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Noir | Christopher Moore

“He looked like one of those dried-up faces you carve out of an apple in third grade to teach you that time is cruel and we are all just going to shrivel up and die, so there’s no point in getting out of bed.”

Genre: Historical Fiction / Satire. Number of Pages: 339. Perspective: First / Third. Location: San Francisco 1947.
Sammy "Two Toes" is a bartender in 1947. He buys a black mamba as part of a business venture that leads to his boss’s death. At the same time, his new love interest goes missing. This sends him down a rabbit hole of adventures with a ragtag group of sidekicks. For a complete summary, you can go here.
Moore is skilled at creating unique characters and outrageous storylines. He has a very creative and well-formulated voice in all of his stories. His writing is descriptive and I felt like I was in an old noir mystery film. Based on his other books I’ve read, I should have expected the paranormal element. But it happened so late in the book that it threw me off (ki…
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It's a Writer Thing -- How I Write

This is a guest post by Jessica Bayliss. 

I’m realizing that I’ve never written a post about how I write, my process for banging out all the books. So, this post is a first in a series on that. This month, I’m going to talk about the moment that changed EVERYTHING for my writing. Now, I’ve talked about this before, and I’m giving advanced warning—I’m going to use the dreaded P-word—plotting—but plotting is definitely a big part of my process. Now. I didn’t start out as a plotter. I was a die-hard pantser at the beginning. 
But things change …
When I first started writing, I had less than zero idea how to write. I thought it would be fun to try, but I’d never studied writing, so I had no expectations of myself. I was astounded that I finished that first novel. I was also immensely emotional; it was one of the most momentous accomplishments of my life. It just felt huge. It still does. Every time. 
That book took me a year to write. I’d sit down and work for days in a row; as long as I had …

Landline | Rainbow Rowell

“I love you more than I hate everything else.”

Genre: Chick Lit. Number of Pages: 310. Perspective: Third. Location: LA, California & Omaha, Nebraska.
Georgie and her husband are at odds when Georgie chooses to miss her family’s Christmas vacation in order to prepare for an important work meeting. While her family is away, she discovers a phone that allows her to talk to her husband when he was over a decade younger. This might be the key to rekindling their broken relationship. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This is probably my least favorite Rainbow Rowell book, but it was still pretty enjoyable. My ranking of her books now is Eleanor and Park, then Fangirl, then Carry On, then Landline. This book was so different from her other books because it was an adult book about marriage, rather than a young adult book about blooming love. Her voice was still present, which is what made the book enjoyable. 
This was a quick read and the premise was interesting. But I felt gipped by the…

It's a Writer Thing -- Seemingly Inconsequential Events

This is a guest post by Jessica Bayliss. 

Hello, Wonderful Writers!
The author journey is long. Long. It takes forever to get an agent. Even when you sign with one, it can take months to years to sell your book. Then you wait for it to come out. And to get the next book deal. In between, there are a lot of things to wait for: people to read and give you feedback, wait times until reveals and announcements, delays in getting an answer so you can move on to something else.
This process takes a LONG time.
But, it’s not all an endless, sweaty slog along a dusty trail. I swear. There are many bright spots along the way. Today, I want to talk about something else that happens during the writing journey: a bunch of seemingly inconsequential events that actually are really important. 
I learned this concept as a psychology pre-doctoral intern, leading a CBT psychotherapy group for people in recovery from addiction. One of our therapy concepts was Seemingly Inconsequential Decision: or, the little,…

National Siblings Day: What to Read

Without Merit | Colleen HooverThis book follows the dysfunctional Voss family told from 17-year-old Merit’s perspective. She is holding on to a lot of secrets for members of her family, but she may not be seeing the full picture. For a complete summary, you can go here.
First of all, any book that I can read in one day (and practically one sitting) has to be pretty good. The way Hoover writes just flows so well. All of her books suck you in and are quick reads because you just want to devour the book. They usually have some twists, but you never feel like you have to think too hard or slow down to piece everything together. I even gave it my Best Book Award (I am on a roll with good books this week!).
My favorite part about this book is that it discusses perception and that we make a lot of assumptions about people. I also like how it makes us aware that no one is perfect. Some reviewers complained that most of the main characters are unlikeable, but I actually appreciated that they wer…

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