My 'Ascenders' Unboxing, Interview With C. L. Gaber, And Giveaway Contest For You

My 'Ascenders' Unboxing, Interview With C. L. Gaber, And Giveaway Contest For You

The Ascenders series looks like it's going to be so awesome.

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Recently I've been working with the wonderful people at Wunderkind PR for my Odyssey articles. Most recently, they kindly sent me a really cool package with the "Ascenders" series by C. L. Gaber and a few other fun things inside and offered me the chance to ask a few questions to the author.

Read on until the end of this article for your chance to win your very own Ascenders box just like mine!

Unboxing the 'Ascenders' books.Kate Tayler

I wasn't expecting the box when it came so the uniqueness of the box was extra exciting! It was pretty heavy and I was super excited to open it.

Kate Tayler

This is what it looked like when I first opened it. The purple paper and yellow ribbon along with the dark green box all gave a very mysterious vibe that perfectly set the tone for the world within the box.

Kate Tayler

The first thing on top was a packet of papers with a "Welcome to The Academy" note right on top. The Welcome note had a quote from what I'd guess to be one of the characters in the 'Ascenders' series that really made me want to crack open the books right that very second. The packet also included an excerpt from the fourth book "11:11" that's out now. I didn't read it yet, but I look forward to reading it after I finish the last book.

Kate Tayler

After I set the packet aside, I was excited to see all of the books. The covers are absolutely beautiful and all of the books were signed by the author! The books included are the first three books in the series: 'Ascenders,' 'Ascenders: Skypunch,' and "Ascenders: Omorrow."

Kate Tayler

This was probably the coolest and most unique thing that I found in the box: a special Ascenders candle. This candle called "The Old Forest" is meant to be burnt while reading the books to give the scent that the forest in the books would give off. This is a really unique idea and is a really cool way to get you into the world of the books. The candle smells like pine and earth and a little bit like vanilla. I only wish it was bigger so I could burn it forever!

Kate Tayler

This was everything in the box. I gotta say this was a really cool way to be introduced to a series and it got me really excited to start reading it.

I was also fortunate enough to send some questions the author's way and I got some responses!

The interview with the 'Ascenders' author, C. L. Gaber, is as follows:

C.L. Gaber is the author of the 'Ascenders' Saga and a journalist for the New York Times Syndicate, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She also co-authored the young adult 'Jex Malone' series with V.C. Stanley in 2014.

She is originally from Chicago and now resides in Nevada with her husband, bonus daughter, and two dogs.

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was your average nerd who luckily wandered into the school newspaper office at Jack London Jr. High School. No one wanted to be the editor of the paper that year ...and I said yes. I was so lucky to do daily journalism as a way to practice writing. Many years later, I read about a fiction writing contest sponsored by Seventeen Magazine. I sent my story in, went away to college and tried to forget about it. The odds....I mean, come on! When I came home from school for a weekend, my little-to-no-mail was piled up on my nightstand...credit card offer, letter from my cousin...Seventeen Magazine..."Hey, you won...and here's a check for $100." It might as well have been a million dollars. It was that exciting.

2. What has been your favorite part of being a writer?

I love creating new worlds, which is the entire basis of Ascenders, which is about a high school for the recently departed. But since I'm a journalist, I like to add factual truth to my fantasy. Ascenders is based on the medical fact that the human brain doesn't fully form until you're 25. If you died young, I wondered, where would you go? Where would all that potential go? In my mind, you'd linger in a place to continue developing into the person you were supposed to be. How long would you stay there? Who knows? How much "work" do you have to do?

3. What do you find most difficult about being a writer?

There is a lot of waiting...which requires patience...which, let's face it, few of us have these days. You wait for the book to come out, wait for the response and thrillingly I'm waiting right now to hear about a screen version of Ascenders.

4. What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Write every single day. Just 200 words or 100 or 50. Write something. And let it flow. If you get into the mode of writing all the time, you will suddenly have a lot of content. Also, don't write by committee. There is nothing harder on the writer than showing five people a work in progress. Everyone will have a different opinion...and you don't necessarily need that at this point. Show one trusted person or no one until later. Finally, write for you. What story do you want to hear?

5. Where did you get the inspiration for Ascenders?

For over two decades, I have been a film feature writer for the New York Times wire. There I was in Los Angeles about to interview Cher the next day. I fell asleep and had a pretty wild dream that played out in my mind like a movie with a beginning, middle and end. My husband is a really light sleeper, so I snuck around the room, grabbed every notepad and spent the next several hours in the bathroom writing it all down. A lot of that became the first chapter of Ascenders. (Of course, around 5 a..m, I heard a tap on the bathroom door with the obvious, 'Are you okay in there?'") By the way, Cher was really nice the next day.

6. Which character do you relate to most in the series?

It's my main character Walker who has red hair and wanted to be a reporter for the New York Times. She's quite inquisitive and truly believes somehow it will all work out. This is a dead girl being positive. And, above all, she will go the distance for true love.

7. Which book was your favorite to write?

It might be the first Ascenders book that started it all. I also had an amazing journey doing the third book, "Ascenders: Omorrow," because Walker and her tat-covered rebel partner Daniel go time traveling back to New York's past where the time periods keep rolling. I personally visited the places I put in the book including what was once the old autopsy "theater" at Ellis Island. (It's a miracle I'm sleeping through the night -- even now). Looking for history's smaller stories was exciting, plus a few weird things happened. At the actual Church of Ascension in New York City, one of the few churches that kept their doors open all night long during the Great Depression, I had a moment. The doors were locked and I asked a young guy sitting on the front steps if the church was open on Sundays. He smiled and nodded. Then I turned to my husband Ron and said, "That guy thinks it's open tomorrow." My husband said, "What guy? It's just the two of us here."

8. What do you hope readers take away from this series?

I'd like them to consider that there might be more than one realm of existence. Perhaps what we are experiencing now is just the beginning. And I always sign the first book: Make. It. Count. We let so much time just slip through our fingers. Another theme of Ascenders is that there are many great loves in life...romantic love, love for your parents, love of a child or pet and even love of a place. Each should be honored as the threads that tie us to those loves never really break. They are just woven again and again as our story continues.

Good luck to all the writers out there and grateful to all the readers! xo CL

Enter to win a special "Ascenders" box, full of terrific goodies!

The box includes:

- A special forest scented candle that evokes the scents of the forest around the Academy, high school for the recently departed

- One signed copy of "Ascenders" (book one)

- One signed copy of "Skypunch" (book two)

- One signed copy of 'Omorrow' (book three)

- A special excerpt of the fourth book, "11:11," out now!

Enter to win the "Ascenders" box and delve into this interesting new world here!

The winner will be contacted on December 31st.

Check out her latest book in the Ascenders series "11:11."

Breeze Munson

A synopsis of book four is as follows:

In the Midst — a place for those who departed young — there is a fate worse than death. It's the passing of love. Tat-covered Daniel Reid's memory has been erased by his sadistic father who has also jettisoned his other children to places unknown.
Walker Callaghan must now face her destiny alone.
Alliances shift in the fourth book of the 'Ascenders' saga when Walker is accused of murder, lies, and crimes against existence. Only twice a day at 11:11 — a time when all things converge — is everything and everyone clear.
Forced to run to the other side of The Other Side, Walker meets up with Daniel only to discover that the afterlife world they previously experienced was only the beginning of The Vastness.
In a new realm of illusion and deception, there are no rules except one: Rock bottom builds heroes.

I am so excited to read this series! I wish you all luck in the giveaway and hope that you get the chance to enjoy this exciting series!

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Analysis Of 'Bullet In The Brain' By Tobias Wolff

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Anders is a unique character that Tobias Wolff had thought would change the way we see life in the twentieth century. The struggles of growing up, the change in attitude, and living in a world of imperfect human beings are all apparent in Anders. Anders is quite sarcastic, funny, and at one point, very nostalgic of his childhood; An exaggerated character, book critic, and image of the twentieth century.

Anders’s sarcasm is the most apparent of his traits in "Bullet in the Brain." From the moment Anders walks into the bank to his untimely death, Anders is harshly criticizing everything that is going on in the bank like a book. He first attacks a bank teller that closed his post, calling the action “Tragic." Then, as a robbery is occurring, Anders’s sarcasm comes to life. He treats it like a show, telling a women “Oh, Bravo” and felt that it was a “Great Script.” He eventually gets into an altercation with one of the robbers. Anders takes the robbers comment of “Bright Boy” as another criticising point and almost laughs at the fact that the quote came “Right out of ‘The Killers’.” The finishing touch to the sarcastic sandwich made by Anders was his reaction to the robber saying “Capiche”, a hardy laugh. It was surprising how he reacted the way he did. It was also surprising that he meant it. However, it is important that Anders reacted this way, as it leads into his nostalgic childhood.

Anders’s nostalgia of his past is probably the most important aspect of ‘Bullet in the Brain’. Anders is dead, however, we get a look into his mind and what he “Remembered”. We learned that most of what Anders remembers is that of childhood, and not of adulthood. He didn’t remember “Sherry”, his love, or his wife He didn’t remember “Professor Josephs” and his teachings on “Athenian prisoners”. He surprisingly did not remember his daughter either, a “sullen professor of economics at Dartmouth”. What he did remember was a childhood baseball game, in the heat of summer, and overhearing his friend Coyle's cousin saying that shortstop is “the best position they is." What intrigues Anders in this statement is the Coyle's cousin’s vernacular of ‘they is.' He is somehow entranced by the two words. It is an art he has never been familiar with. A strange new way of speaking, but an acceptable one to that of children. That sort of acceptance in childhood, playground fun, brotherhood, the ‘they is’ in life, is what Anders has lost as he grew up. Life became dull to him. The “hall of commerce”, robbery, and his adulthood was just another book to criticize. To Anders, nothing in the world could beat his childhood days.

Anders has changed throughout the entire short story as the robbery ensues and the bullet is shot into Anders’s brain. Anders in the beginning simply couldn’t care enough to realize the seriousness of the robbery of a bank. Anders being shot in the head had brought him back to what really mattered to him, and that was his childhood. As the bullet is traveling through his brain at “900 feet per second”, all he can remember was a summer moment during his childhood baseball days. Anders at the moment realizes that although he is well into his adulthood, he can somehow “still make time”. Anders can still savor the happiness and elation of his childhood, and bring back the ‘they is’ in his life.

Anders has become an amazing character and image of adulthood that Tobias Wolff has carefully crafted. Anders variations of sarcasm, nostalgia, and comedy have turned him from book critic to everyday adult. The irony of murder being the only way for Anders to understand life is what makes this story so unique. ‘The Bullet in the Brain’ will always be a classic with a character like Anders.

Cover Image Credit: trishandchips1 on Instagram

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16 Atticus Poems For Every Girl Struggling To Find Themselves In Life Right Now

Poetry can solve anything.

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If you live on Instagram as many people do, you might have discovered the Instagram famous poet Atticus. Atticus has an Instagram where he posts small poems about a variety of topics, mainly on life's struggles and love. As a huge fan of poetry and literature (as well as a poet themselves), Atticus and his work have a huge place in my heart. His work is raw and beautiful, and it is also inspirational in so many situations. If I ever need a small pep talk, I scroll through Atticus's Instagram and feel so much better.

While I'm doing fantastic in my life right now, I know a lot of other people aren't, so I made a list of 17 Atticus poems to make you feel better when you're struggling.

1. 

Atticus / Instagram

The best is truly yet to come.

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Atticus / Instagram

The face that conquers demons is a mighty face indeed.

3.

Atticus / Instagram

Turn your own storms into adventures. Take what could be bad and make it beautiful.

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Atticus / Instagram

This is one of my favorite Atticus poems because it makes a struggle into beauty.

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Atticus / Instagram

It takes a strong person to wear their scars openly, and you can be that person.

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Atticus / Instagram

Life is a beautiful adventure, and it's one you should live to the fullest.

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Atticus / Instagram

We all have power inside of us.

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Atticus / Instagram

It's cliche to say, but our differences are what make us beautiful and unique.

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Atticus / Instagram

If you're happy, you're living life right.

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Atticus / Instagram

Wait on tomorrow. It will be a better day.

11.

Atticus / Instagram

Struggle builds strength.

12.

Atticus / Instagram

Look to see beauty in darkness.

13.

Atticus / Instagram

The eyes are the window to the soul, and your eyes are unconquerable.

14.

Atticus / Instagram

Just take things one day and one step at a time. You'll get where you're meant to be.

15.

Atticus / Instagram

You will always be enough, no matter what you do.

16.

Atticus / Instagram

Be who you are, because that is the best you.

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