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Showing posts from October, 2015

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter | Kim Edwards

“He'd kept this silence because his own secrets were darker, more hidden, and because he believed that his secrets had created hers.” 
Genre: Literary Fiction Number of Pages: 401 Perspective: Third Location: Pennsylvania and Kentucky
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter is about a doctor that has to help his wife give birth to their twin babies during a blizzard. When the doctor realizes that his daughter is born with Down’s Syndrome, he tells his nurse —who is in love with him—to take his daughter to a group home. The nurse tries, but decides to keep the daughter as her own. When the wife wakes up, the doctor tells her that the daughter died during birth, but they have a healthy son. We see how this one decision affects these families over a quarter of a century. For a complete summary, you can go here.
I’ll be honest, this book is very difficult for me to review. At some points, I hated it and at other points I was deeply moved and connected to the story. After reflecting on it for a bit, …

Something Different, Something New

This is a guest post by Ryan R. Reilly.
I love to write. I love creating worlds, populating them with characters, and throwing those characters into overwhelming situations. As a fan of this website, I'm assuming that you love reading, and that it is quite likely that you have a passion for writing, too. Like me, you probably have a favorite genre, the one that draws you in and refuses to let you escape. For me, that flavor is fantasy. High, epic, urban, paranormal, adventure... give me some level of fantastical make-believe, and I am deeply engrossed. I will stray occasionally—dabble in a little sci fi, court some historic thriller, dance with a bit of contemporary fiction, and even dive into a sampling of sports science—but I always find myself enthusiastically running back into the realm of fantasy.
That said, in recent years, I have stepped outside of my comfort zone of fantasy novels and attempted to write screenplays and graphic novels, and let me tell you: those things are

Q and A with Author Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey is an award-winning author, philanthropist and libertarian whose stories won a prize from Antietam Review and were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His dark fiction and controversial ideas have broadened debate on violent entertainment, relationships and sexuality. At the core of his fiction stand the motives, methods and goals of the characters. Here he talks about his latest novel Show Time and the release of three new collections: Wisdom of Fools: Stories of Extraordinary Lives, Devotional: Erotic Stories for the Sensual Mind, and Across the Water: Tales of the Human Heart
Your three new books are collections of short stories in which characters touch something important in themselves or in others. 
The centerpiece of my fiction is always the individual. I like to put characters in demanding physical/psychological settings that force them to respond. Frankly this saves work and imagination because some responses are fore-ordained. Other ideas come from experience. Fl…

I Need a Hero | Emma Bennet

“In fact, she was rapidly coming to suspect her fictitious image was just that, and it didn’t quite fit with the real [him] at all.” 

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Number of Pages: 163 Perspective: Third  Location: Great Britain 
I Need A Hero is about Bronte, a writer of popular romance novels, so she has a very strict idea of who her real life love interest should be. When she finally meets her storybook hero, she realizes that maybe her idea of romance is different than what she writes about in her books. For a complete summary, you can go here.
How was this book only 163 pages? I read this book on my Kindle—which I hate to do, but sometimes I have no choice if that is the only way that the publisher is offering the book—so I had no idea how many pages this book was until I just looked it up. That was the longest 163 pages I have ever read. I should have flown through this book, but that was not the case. 
This book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I was intrigued by the concept, b…

Make an Unreliable Narrator Work for You

This is a guest post by Samantha Saboviec.

I love unreliable narrators—those characters that tell you part of the story and leave you to your devices to figure out what’s actually true. Some of them lie on purpose, such as in The Usual Suspects. Some of them accidentally lie because they want you to think well of them, such as in Lolita. Some of them have no idea that they’re not telling the truth, such as in The Sixth Sense or Fight Club. But all of them have one thing in common: you, the reader/watcher, has to decide for yourself what’s true and what’s not.
I recently read a book that employed the use of an unreliable narrator, Liar by Justine Larbalestier, a YA contemporary. At the end, I was mad. Yes, mad. I felt cheated. I don’t give out one star lightly, but I finally did to this book, after contemplation and several conversations with others who hadn’t even read it.
Among other things, Liar does not employ the one thing I believe is important for the unreliable narrator: a…

The Fixer: The Naked Man | Jill Amy Rosenblatt

Genre: Mystery/Chick-Lit Number of Pages: 122 Perspective: Third  Location: New York
The Fixer is the first novella in a series following Katerina. She is struggling to pay her bills and tuition for law school, so she finds herself working in a private concierge position that makes her tons of money, fast. But the catch is that she has to do services that no one else wants or is able to do. For a complete summary, you can go here.
I really loved this book! It was a great speed and had enough description and action to keep me engaged the whole time. I was actually planning on giving this book five stars, but I really hate books that force you to read the next book by leaving huge cliffhangers. My opinion is that books in a series should leave one loose end to be tied up in the next book to keep readers wanting more. But this just felt like I only read the first half of one book. There were no resolutions or answers. By the time the next book comes out, I will forget all about this book and…

Q and A with Author Jill Amy Rosenblatt

Hi, Jill! Thanks for joining me. What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?
I seem to be drawn to the theme of growing up/growing older/growing wiser. I’m very attached to the idea of a character going through a definite arc of change through a story and being able to look back and see this character at the end of the book is very different from Chapter 1. The Fixer: The Naked Man is the start of Katerina Mills’ origin story, so expect that she is going to go through many trials by fire before it’s all over.  As far as genre goes, I’ve written chicklit (Project Jennifer), drama (For Better or Worse), and now suspense. One constant through all of the genres is I do try to add a bit of humor when and where I can, if I can. 
Where did your love of writing come from?
My mom. She passed it down to me in a gene. My mom is amazing. She’s so smart, talented, and creative. She has always been and is a huge reader. She is  always honest with me about my work, and she is a wonderful editor…

Q and A with Author Heather Demetrios

Thanks for participating in this discussion, Heather! What are your ambitions for your writing career? What would your career look like in an ideal world? I’d like to be part of the YA canon, with at least one book that stands the test of time. Of course, I'd love all the awards, too! I like straddling that line between literary and commercial, so I really just want to keep writing the books I want to write for, you know, the rest of my life!  Well you did win my Best Book Award ;) Which writers inspire you? Walt Whitman is my favorite poet and I go to him when the well runs dry. I really enjoy reading Laini Taylor for fantasy and E. Lockhart for contemporary. Writers who write both contemporary and fantasy – like Libba Bray – also inspire me, since that is what I do.  Some people say that all stories are inspired by real experiences. Were any of the events in your books inspired by your own life?  I think there’s always a little piece of the writer in whatever book they’re working …