Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Thursday Thirteen

What I'm Reading: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey and The Devil's Company by David Liss

What I'm Working On: Rewriting chapter 2 for the 1000th time. Still.

I've been reading How to Read Literature Like a Professor in addition to the books above. I've read ALOT of the book he discusses in there, but a few I've missed. And those few also made me think about others I'd read. And missed. So, I thought I'd list 13 books I've never read but really feel I ought to based on all those 100 best and such lists. What haven't you read, but feel you ought to?

1. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
3. Go Tell It on the Mountain - James Baldwin
4. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
5. Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys
6. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austin
7. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
8. A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
9. The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles
10. The Road - Cormac McCarthy
11. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
12. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
13. Siddharta - Hermann Hesse

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I'm Reading: Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey and The Devil's Company by David Liss

What I'm Working On: Rewriting chapter 2 for the 1000th time.

INTERTWINED by Gena Showalter,
Harlequine Teen, August 25th.
Like most teens, Aden Stone has friends.
They just happen to be the four human souls living inside him. One can time travel; one can raise the dead; one can foretell the future; one can possess another human.

Lately, however, they’ve been causing him all kinds of trouble, playing mind games with our young hero.

Just when Aden thinks peace of mind will never be his, he meets Mary, an outgoing spirit who is his opposite in every way. And, incredibly, she is capable of quieting the voices. Theirs becomes an inexplicable bond of friendship – one to be tested by a werewolf shape-shifter and an irresistible vampire princess.

All four of these characters, their fates intertwined, will enter a dark underworld of intrigue and danger. But not all of them will emerge alive.
First, I'm really interested in what Harlequin is publishing in their teen line. I love YA and I'd like to write YA (when I get Slayer the hell done). Harlequin Teen is a new market. Let's see what they have. Plus, I'd like to give Gena Showalter another chance. I read one of her romances and liked it less than I'd hoped. I want to like her YA.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I'm Reading: The Devil's Company by David Liss and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

What I'm Working On: Nothing. I'm in Texas visiting family.

Waiting On: FLAT BELLY DIET COOKBOOK BY LIZ VACCARIELLO, by Rodale Press, Pub. Date: August 18, 2009


Drawing on the latest findings from weight-loss science, Prevention, America’s most trusted healthy living magazine, created the breakthrough Flat Belly Diet! The diet that everyone is talking about, this is the only eating plan that integrates monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) into every meal to help women banish those stubborn—and dangerous—extra pounds in the tummy region. This follow-up cookbook puts the eating plan into action, as readers learn how to cook for better health and a slimmer waist, while losing up to 15 pounds in 32 days.

In the Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook readers will find:
1) more than 200 great-tasting new recipes for foods they'll love—like Rigatoni with Meat Sauce, Walnut-Crusted Chicken Breasts, Mexican Stuffed Peppers, and Ginger Macadamia Nut Cheesecake
2) a 4-day jumpstart phase to keep them motivated with quick, noticeable results—losing up to 7 pounds and up to 5 inches from their waist in just 96 hours—with no exercise required
3) a totally flexible program (with mix-and-match meal plans) that allows readers to pick and choose the foods they like and eat them when they want to

Everyone knows that excess belly fat doesn’t just look bad—it’s bad for you.

This cookbook gives readers fatblasting power to trim their tummies—and food so good they’ll want to eat this way for life.



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I'm Reading: The Devil's Company by David Liss and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

What I'm Working On: Nothing much tonight. A last minute crisis at the bill paying job had be working late -- about 2 hours.

WAITING ON: IN THE PRESIDENT'S SECRET SERVICE: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect

Crown Publishing Group, August 4, 2009


Never before has a journalist penetrated the wall of secrecy that surrounds the U.S. Secret Service, that elite corps of agents who pledge to take a bullet to protect the president and his family. After conducting exclusive interviews with more than one hundred current and former Secret Service agents, bestselling author and award-winning reporter Ronald Kessler reveals their secrets for the first time.

Secret Service agents, acting as human surveillance cameras, observe everything that goes on behind the scenes in the president’s inner circle. Kessler reveals what they have seen, providing startling, previously untold stories about the presidents, from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as about their families, Cabinet officers, and White House aides.

Kessler portrays the dangers that agents face and how they carry out their missions–from how they are trained to how they spot and assess potential threats. With fly-on-the-wall perspective, he captures the drama and tension that characterize agents’ lives.

In this headline-grabbing book, Kessler discloses assassination attempts that have never before been revealed. He shares inside accounts of past assaults that have put the Secret Service to the test, including a heroic gun battle that took down the would-be assassins of Harry S. Truman, the devastating day that John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, and the swift actions that saved Ronald Reagan after he was shot.

While Secret Service agents are brave and dedicated, Kessler exposes how Secret Service management in recent years has betrayed its mission by cutting corners, risking theassassination of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and their families. Given the lax standards, “It’s a miracle we have not had a successful assassination,” a current agent says.

Since an assassination jeopardizes democracy itself, few agencies are as important as the Secret Service–nor is any other subject as tantalizing as the inner sanctum of the White House. Only tight-lipped Secret Service agents know the real story, and Ronald Kessler is the only journalist to have won their trust.


I might, maybe, but I'm not saying for sure, have a family member who is a secret service agent. Frankly, I want to read this to see how much they've left out. The secret service does alot more than put on neutral suits and run beside the president in parades. I might also buy one for the family member, who may or may not be able to authenticate or expose as a sham, this new novel.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Summer Reading Sunday Seven

What I'm Reading: The Devil's Company by David Liss

What I'm Working On: Kevin -- hero, villian, enigma

I wanted to throw out another 7 books I hope to get to this summer -- or at least soon.

From Cosmo’s list:
1) Dark Places
By Gillian Flynn
When Libby Day was seven, her mother and younger sisters were murdered. She then testified against her brother and helped put him behind bars. Now, 25 years later, Libby is alone and about to go broke. So she begins to sell old family memorabilia to the Kill Club, a group of true-crime fans obsessed with her story. But the club doesn't believe Libby's brother is the killer, and pushes her to investigate the murder. What Libby finds will turn her life upside down — again.
Cosmo says: This thriller got passed around the Cosmo offices for good reason — it's gripping, smart, and chilling.

From another Cosmo list:
2) How to Be Single
By Liz Tuccillo
Manhattan chick Julie Jenson is fed up with the dating scene stateside so she says buh-bye to her posse and travels the world to discover how women in other countries survive the single life. Each city brings new lessons, and soon she finds what she least expected — love. (Psst, the author is the coauthor of He's Just Not That Into You and was an executive story editor for Sex and the City. And she actually jetted around the globe to research this book.) Cosmo says: Reading this novel is like taking a vacation with your BFFs — minus the pricey ticket and lost luggage.

From Queen’s Library summer reading list for adults:
3) Just Too Good to Be True
By E. Lynn Harris
College football player Brady Bledsoe couldn’t ask for more success – A possible professional career is complicated by sexual temptation and emerging family secrets.
Harris serves up a treat that will capture and enchant audiences everywhere--a big, bold, and irresistible novel about football, family, and secrets. Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church's "Celibacy Circle." Now in his senior year at college, the smart, and very handsome, Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL. As sports agents hover around Brady, Barrett, a beautiful and charming cheerleader, sets her mind on tempting the celibate Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future--but is that all she wants from him, and is she acting alone? Carmyn is determined to protect her son. She's also determined to protect the secret she's kept from Brady his whole life. As things heat up on campus and Carmyn and Brady's idyllic relationship starts to crumble, mother and son begin to wonder about the other--are you just too good to be true? A sweeping novel about mothers and sons, football and beauty shops, secrets and lies, JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE has all the ingredients that have made E. Lynn Harris a bestselling author: family, friendship, faith, and love.

4) Reading Like A Writer
By Francine Prose
From Amazon: Life is precious, and much of that preciousness lies in the details: the sights, the sounds, the scents we too often ignore in our busy lives. Prose makes a superb application of that concept for readers of fiction. To know how the great writers create their magic, one needs to engage in a close reading of the masters, for that is precisely what successful writers have done for thousands of years. College programs in creative writing and summer workshops serve a purpose, but they can never replace a careful reading of the likes of Austen, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Salinger, Tolstoy, and Woolf. In this excellent guide, Prose explains exactly what she means by close reading, drawing attention to the brick and mortar of outstanding narratives: words, sentences, paragraphs, character, dialogue, details, and more. In the process, she does no less than escort readers to a heightened level of appreciation of great literature. Many will want to go to the shelves to read again, or for the first time, the books she discusses. And to aid them, she thoughtfully adds a list at the end: Books to Be Read Immediately.

*This one should be waiting for me in my office on Monday.

5) Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception
by Maggie Stiefvater
From Amazon: Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan, a gifted harpist who regularly plays for weddings and other events, has the kind of stage fright that makes her physically ill before a performance, which is an inauspicious way to start a romance; but while vomiting before a competition she meets a gorgeous boy who comes into the restroom to hold her hair. He is Luke Dillon, a flautist who proceeds to accompany her in a truly stellar performance. As four-leaf clovers start appearing everywhere, Deirdre develops telekinetic powers and encounters strange, unworldly people who seem to bear her ill will. Her best friend, James, also a talented musician; her beloved grandmother; and her mother all are in danger, as Deirdre is targeted by the queen of Faerie. Deirdre eventually discovers that she is a cloverhand, a person who can see the denizens of faerie, and Luke, not the only immortal who has her in his sights, is a gallowglass, an assassin assigned by the queen of Faerie to kill Deirdre but who falls in love with her instead. This beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary debut novel, with its authentic depiction of Celtic Faerie lore and dangerous forbidden love in a contemporary American setting, will appeal to readers of Nancy Werlin’s Impossible (2008) and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

*I like faerie stories.

6) Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical
Deborah Noyes (editor)
From Amazon: Noyes once again pulls together 10 stories from some of teen fiction’s heaviest hitters (including Annette Curtis Klause, David Almond, and Cecil Castellucci), shining the spotlight on horror’s younger cousin: human oddities. “The Bearded Girl” is an obvious choice, but in it Aimee Bender hones a tale of adolescent acceptance to an uncanny edge, and Vivian Vande Velde delivers a near-perfect should-have-seen-it-coming twist in “Those Psychics on TV.” a sign of the format’s growing acceptance, three of the offerings are graphic stories, including the highlight of the collection, Matt Phelan’s quietly enigmatic “Jargo!,” about a circus curiosity who might be even curiouser than he seems.

*I've been wanting to learn more about short story construction. This anthology might just be the perfect place.

7) Everything Matters!
By Ron Currie, Jr.
On the day that Junior Thibodeau is born, he learns the exact moment when the world will end: 36 years, 168 days, 14 hours, and 23 seconds into the future--pretty heavy news for a newborn. Knowledge of the pending apocalypse--revealed by an omniscient, unnamed "we"--colors Junior's existence from day one and leaves him wondering: "Does anything I do matter?" Ron Currie, Jr.'s terrific debut novel unfolds through the funny, poignant, and tragic stories told by Junior and his family, (each of them owning a chapter) including the all-knowing Greek chorus that gently, affectionately nudges Junior toward his destiny. Everything Matters! is one of the most unique novels I've come across this year--unpredictable without being flashy, sweet without being sentimental, thoughtful without being preachy--a fun read that will keep you thinking long after the story is over.

*This new novel is getting too much press to ignore.

Happy summer reading.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm back!

What I'm Reading: The Devil's Company by David Liss and The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

What I'm Working On: Laundry and unpacking

I'm back from vacation -- 1/2 spent in Key Largo, 1/2 in Key West. I LOVE Key West. I could live there despite the heat.

I'll blog about our adventures and have another summer reading post and a Waiting on Wednesday this week.

More tomorrow.

Onward to yet another load of laundry!


Sunday, July 5, 2009


This is just a note to say that I'm off to the Florida Keys for a snorkel week. I doubt I'll post from there, but you never know. I'll be back soon, however! See you in a few days!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

What I'm Reading: Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and The Devil's Company by David Liss

What I'm Working On: Threads, plot points, beefing up the story. (Mostly in my head. I know, writers write, so I should get going!)

WAITING ON: DREAMFEVER by Karen Marie Moning, August 18th, 2009 by Delacorte Press


He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge...It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth—about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons…and about the world she thought she knew. .


Well, for starters, it comes out in just over a month and other than a few very short excerpts in Moning's newsletters, the above is ALL that has been released. It's been tightly under wraps. Very few teasers (which is a huge teaser). It's the longest of the 4 books in the series (slated for 5 total). The 3rd book ended with...well, you'll have to read it. I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, Mac is screwed. Of course, I'll devour it I'm sure, then I'll have to wait who-knows-how-long for the last installment. Sigh. Oh to feed my book addiction.