Jessica Wilson’s Reviews > Happenstance Found

Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese
Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber, #1) 
by P.W. Catanese (Goodreads Author)


Jessica Wilson‘s review

Jul 05, 14  ·  edit

bookshelves: favorites

Read from July 04 to 05, 2014


Wow! I have been searching for something like this for a long time (maybe years). This was a wonderful surprising cleverly written story that takes you on a journey to a world you never want to leave. I loved the main character Happenstance and all the mysteries surrounding him. Lord Umber is a character you root for and hope to see in the next installments as someone who will surprise you with more hidden bits of wisdom. Catanese is a great writer and has the ability to capture your attention with just a few lines. I am hooked and I am seriously going to invest in purchasing the series.
1 like ·  fla


This is a great read and I suggest this to all writers.

Originally posted on Legends of Windemere:

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A big headache for genre writing is that nearly every reader has their own set of rules about how that genre should work.  They have their favorite authors and all others get compared to those ‘elite’.  Any deviation is met with disagreement or outright rage because god forbid you have two fantasy authors who take different approaches to the genre.  So I’m going to have a little fun here and go over a few rules that have been hurled my way over the years:

  1. YOU HAVE TO KILL CHARACTERS-  No I don’t.  Just because you have a disturbing blood lust doesn’t mean I have to give you a body count.  We can’t all write ‘Game of Thrones’, which is actually a rarity in terms of death.  8 of the 9 Fellowship members survived Lord of the Rings.  Drizzt is still kicking around since the 1980’s.  Conan…

View original 1,044 more words

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Has anyone ever read a book where the POV switches from one character to another or the POV is unclear?  I have, and at first I felt a little disoriented.  The POV should be clear from the beginning of your story and continue the same way throughout the story.  I loved reading Rick Riordan’s Red Pyramid.  This was a great story about Egyptian Gods.  But the story flip-flops POV between a brother and sister.  They tell the story to you in a way though that is cute and very likable. Rick pulled this off in a children’s book that not a lot of people can do.  images (12)





I have struggled with one of my stories switching POV, and now I have trimmed the fat.  Yeah, I did the hard thing and took out some parts where the POV switches to another character.  Some people might have liked it, but I didn’t want to confuse any readers.

After recently reading an article about Top Ten Mistakes new writers make I thought I would share some of them with you here:

  •  No clear POV- Children tend to relate to the POV character in a story. This is the person they will root for. Make it clear right from the start whose story is being told. Even if you have two main characters (twins, for example), you need to pick just one of these kids to be your POV character. And, it should go without saying, when writing for children, make sure your POV character IS a kid – even if Grandma has a big part in your story.


  •  Multiple POV’s – Unlike stories for adults, stories for children are generally told from only one POV. It isn’t difficult to maintain a single point of view once you get the hang of it. Just remember– if you are “showing” everything from your main character’s point of view, then he or she has to be present for everything that happens. I see stories all the time where the POV character suddenly leaves the room. Yikes! If your POV character wasn’t there to see or hear what went on, then we can’t see or hear it either.

This list goes on with other mistakes that have to do with other writing mishaps.  You can read more mistakes at:http://www.absolutewrite.com/specialty_writing/top_ten.htm

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So long story short,  I had to do what was best for the story.  Editing is the hardest part of writing, but well worth it.

Happy writing!images (14)



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So I have been reading the Popular Science magazine.  I have always had a passion for science and career wise I even thought about going into the field.  But something steered me towards literature and now I will be an English major in the fall of this year.  But science has been creeping back into my life with all the movies over the past few years like: Star Trek -Into Darkness, Looper, MIB 3, RoboCop, After Earth, Oblivion and so on.  These movies have seen a rise in popularity because there was quite a while without that many sci-fi movies.  Maybe just a few Will Smith sy-fy movies every once in a while to tide us over.  But now it is a booming genre.

What does these movies and science have to do with my writing.  Well recently Popular Science made a call out to science fiction authors and asked for more books written about a futuristic world where it DOES NOT become a dystopia world.  Science shouldn’t be the negative thing to bring down our civilization.  It should be wars or natural disasters.  That’s my opinion anyways.  Readers and scientists are tired of things like Hunger Games or Divergent, portraying a world where science is a horrible, evil menace where we need to live like we are cave men again.  Science should be our saving grace.

If we look at history and far science came in just fifty years then we are the most incredible people on the planet.  Our country put a man on the moon.  We made that happen.  We explore other planets.  We found the G-planet that closely resembles our world in another solar system.  Come on!  We can accomplish great things.  Sure there are new things to destroy us like the atomic bomb or droid planes that have bombs attached to themimages (1) that can be sent anywhere remotely.  But with better intelligence information less mistakes can be made.  There will always be human error somewhere.  We are not perfect but the science can be.



My new journey will be to incorporate a science fiction theme into a middle grade book.  Science will not be bad or negative.  It will show children that science can be seen as a good thing.  Humor will also play a part in the story.  I have the outline and now I just need to get to work on writing it.  The plot is a simple coming-of-age story set in the far future.

I just hope people like it as much as I do.  Science rocks!



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When I want to write something I don’t look at the bookshelves in the stores to see what’s popular now.  I write what I want to write.  This is how every artist, singer or writer in the world expresses themselves.  If I wrote what is popular now and then try to get it published, by the time it sees the bookshelves, which is over a year later, those topics or genre is no longer popular.

Readers today will look up books by popularity and read reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.  This little tool of reading reviews has saved me many times from buying the wrong product.  How ingenious it is to have a place where we can read what other people thought of the book or product before we decide to read or buy.

But there is another side where readers don’t trust complete strangers on the internet to give them advice to read a book.  So what do they do?  They ask their friends and family members.  They ask librarians or teachers.  They research a book’s quality by doing a lot of leg work.  Sounds tiring huh?

It starts small…

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Then grows a little more…  images (5)



till finally your eyes are screaming !!!!images (6)





The only thing left is to trust the reviews online.  Surely, over a hundred people can’t be wrong about a book, right?

So write what you want to write.  Sooner or later they will find your book, and either love it or hate it, and let everyone else in the world know about it.

Read more at : http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2013/03/18/what-should-i-read-next/


Gina Damico

Author of the CROAK series


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