October 20, 2011

BTT - Vacation

Today's BTT asks
Do your reading habits change when you’re on vacation? Do you read more? Do you indulge in lighter, fluffier books than you usually read? Do you save up special books so you’ll be able to spend real vacation time with them? Or do you just read the same old stuff, vacation or not?

Perfect timing for this question, since I'll be going on vacation very soon.   I tend to read more on vacation.   Am taking three books
1.  a new historical fiction about four women in the place we're visiting
2.  a light mystery  that I've been saving:  Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
3.  a book on my Kindle app that my book club is reading next  Story of Beautiful Girl

October 13, 2011

BTT - Sequel

Today's Booking through Thursday asks us

you could get a sequel for any book, what would it be?

Easy! A sequel to Time Traveler's Wife. I'd like to know more about the next generation: Henry and Claire's daughter.

October 12, 2011

Commune of Women - review

Commune of Women
Suzan Still
publisher Fiction Studio
source: publisher
Goodreads summary:  The lives of seven women are about to become inextricably entangled, as they converge upon LA International Airport for various purposes. Suddenly, the morning erupts into chaos, as black-clad terrorists charge into the terminal, guns blazing. As the concourse becomes a killing field, six of the women dodge a hail of bullets to find refuge in a tiny staff room. 
The minute I first heard about the Commune of Women and its plot, I put it on my Wish List on Amazon.   Then the publisher asked if I wanted to review the book.   Did I!!   Yes, definitely. 
     The seven women could not be any more different from each other.  One is a frumpy fat housewife.  Another is a world traveler in designer clothes.  There's a homeless bag lady.  A mysterious woman, huge in size, takes on the leadership role naturally.  However, a psychologist feels she should be the leader because she's the one with the education.  
      The psychologist knows the best way to keep the women from panicking is to have them tell stories about their lives.   At first I was reluctant to read those shorter stories,  I didn't want to hear about the past .... I wanted to know what happened next in that small room.  Still, the author Still, grabbed me with these stories.  They made the book.
       Her style of writing differed for each female character --  for example, the homeless woman spoke and thought in dialect (the same way as in the opening chapter of the book The Help).  
      How would you behave if you were in a room with five stressed emotional strangers for four days?  Would you panic?  What story would you tell when your turn?    Commune of Women is a great book to ponder over. 

About the author:  Still  has a masters in art and writing and a doctorate in depth psychology. Her experiences in teaching creative writing in a men's prison can be found in a three-part series on Fiction Studio blog.  

October 7, 2011

Car Wash and a Giveaway

FEAR! (and a giveaway)

Winner is Nan-c Feiertag! She will choose a Book by Tara.

Maddox, age 2 1/2,  went through the car wash and covered his eyes, just the same way you and I cover our eyes in a horror movie.   His daddy texted me this photo and said it was heartbreaking to see his fear.

A grammy will do anything for her loved one, and I knew just the solution.    

Books by Tara to the rescue!   I had recently won a book from Tara and chose Water.   This time I ordered Car Wash. 

Here is Max looking at his new book for the first time.  The pages are full 8 1/2 by 11" photographs.  Sound effects are printed in an arc on the steering wheel of the car.    

The page Max is looking at says "Flippa Floppa Flippa Floppa Flippa Floppa."  

Another page says "ka-poonka ka-poonka."   What other sound effects can you think of while going through the car wash?

There are two ways you can win your choice of a book by Tara.

1.  Sign up for Tara's monthly newsletter on her website.  That's how I won Water.

2.  Fill out the form below.  Tara will give away one book to a random name selected.  USA addresses only.   I will randomly draw the winner on October 20, and email both the winner and Tara.

In the meantime, I think I might order couple more books for a baby shower.  My daughter and I were at a baby shower, she and I were the only two people in a room full of guests that gave a book.  Imagine!

October 6, 2011

Betrayed and advice - guest post

Today's guest post is from sisters Morrigan Michele and Misty Carmody, authors of Betrayed, first in the Blood and Magick series.    Let's hear from Morrigan  -- then I'll close with more information about Betrayed.

What would I tell a new author?
by Morrigan Michele

I know how hard it is to be a new up and coming author. It's exciting and tough all at the same time. Trying to balance writing and marketing; not to mention work and family life as well. My advice is to keep writing. Try and make time each day to write. I know it's easier said than done. 

Misty Carmody
To be honest, sometimes I have to step back and take a break from it all. If you're having a frazzled day and your heart and mind aren't in it...don't write. When I do, I end up scrapping my work later because it just isn't right. Pick a day that is set aside just for writing. Turn off the phone and t.v., put on your writing music (you know what I'm talking about) grab your drink and whatever "must haves" you need to set a while and write. I do aroma therapy when I write. Then just let it flow. 

It also helps if you have someone you can call to run scenes by, especially if you're in a block situation. I call my sister Misty (the co-author) and she helps me get back on track. If you're not pressed for time, take a few days off and do something else; then come back later and write. I have found that it really helps my writing.

About Betrayed:  Love. Lies. Magick. Betrayal.
Alexis Allcroft is used to being different, but nothing could have prepared her for the buried secrets about to be revealed.                                                       With her seventeenth birthday approaching the only thing on Alexis Allcroft's mind other than her birthday party is Sebastian Valto, the hot new guy in school.      Things suddenly take a strange twist, and in an effort to take the spotlight off herself, a spell backfires and her secrets are revealed as well; secrets she didn't know existed. With her world quickly spinning out of control, Alexis realizes no one is what they appear to be, not even herself! Alexis will soon learn that family secrets run deep, blood deep....
 You will find many more intriguing tidbits about the book, Morrigan and Misty at the Blood and Magick site.

BTT - Oddities

This week's odd topic on  Booking Through Thursday  is:

What’s the oddest book you’ve ever read? Did you like it? Hate it? Did it make you think?

The best of times, the worst of times:  being forced to read a book.  I hated Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities;  it was the 10th grade English teacher, Mrs. Miller,  that caused this reaction.    In the ninth grade, we read and adored David Copperfield, thanks to Mrs. Walker's presentation.  

For voluntarily read books (not as a class requisite), the early Stephen King books take the cake!   

October 3, 2011

Why We Broke Up - review

Why We Broke Up
author:  Daniel Handler
illustrator: Maira Kalman
to be published January 2012

Breaking up is hard to do.    Or is it easy to do?  At any rate, it can be tough.

A refreshing book about a BOX is Why We Broke Up.   Min (short for Minerva) sends a box of mementos back to Ed after they have broken up.  Inside the box are many things:  a matchbox, tickets, earrings, posters.    With each item, Min explains in a long letter "this is why we broke up."

Min is an "artsy" girl, meaning she and her best friend Al love seeing vintage movies and quoting lines from these films.   At the very end of the book, it is heartbreaking to read Min's words on why she is NOT artsy.

The best part of the book is the illustrations.  Full color!  In a YA book!  This is a rarity, and will be well worth the cost of the book.   The dialogue was a bit much, with many many many relative clauses in the middle of the too-long sentences.   
Have a break-up story?  The author and the illustrator want to know!   You can post your story at The Why We Broke Up Project or read other stories and think "I'm glad this didn't happen to me!"