Monday, February 13, 2017
When an author with the popularity of Jen Lancaster comes to town, Third Place Books just outside Seattle always moves the book signing to the larger Commons area that features a stage and plenty of seating. Even so, there were only a few empty seats as Lancaster answered questions for nearly an hour before moving on to the book signing portion of the evening.
Fifty Shades of Grey came up, but she didn't elaborate much). Next out will be The Tao of Martha detailing her attempt to follow the edicts of Martha Stewart. Her struggles to make varied crafts and recipes sounded hilarious, especially as she related the Easter celebration that went so very wrong. Who knew Easter eggs shouldn't be hidden well before the kids arrive on a hot, sunny day! She noted that her next work of fiction will clearly be fiction (unlike If You Were Here which seemed inspired by her own house-hunting adventures) because she realized how distracting it is to read a book that might be the author's real life after reading Bethenny Frankel's Skinnydipping. The next novel should be released in early 2013 and is said to be about high school girls, time travel, and the band White Snake.
Monday, February 6, 2017
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Lethal provides multiple thrills and plenty of action as the conspiracy unfolds. The layers of the conspiracy come apart some though when the big reveal is finally made. Honor and Coburn have a nice rapport and the evolution of their relationship feels authentic, but the shifting perspectives (Lethal is told through a number of narrators) interrupted that development too much at times.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Grand Central Publishing.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
An overflow crowd turned out this week at Third Place Books just outside of Seattle, WA for Ally Carter's book tour promoting the latest Gallagher Girls book Out of Sight, Out of Time. During the hour-long question and answer session that came before the book signing, Carter answered questions about the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series and gave some writing advice.
In explaining how she got the idea for Gallagher Girls, Carter revealed that it was all because of her misunderstanding about a plot point from the TV show Alias. Carter thought Sydney's sister went to spy school. When she found out that wasn't the case, Carter decided she had to write that story. To make the series as authentic as she could, Carter did plenty of research about the CIA. Carter said she approaches the Gallagher Academy as if it's real and has the classes the girls take involve real training exercises used by the CIA. The audience was thrilled to find out a sixth book that takes Cammie through graduation or death--"whichever comes first!"--is in the works. She also told the captivated group the series will not end without the truth about Cammie's father being revealed. But right now, Carter's working on the third Heist Society book. When creating a new story, she uses a notebook to plot it out. That notebook goes just about everywhere with her; Carter's not even taking a break for the tour though she did leave it at the hotel during the appearance.
In regards to writing advice, Carter said you must give yourself permission to write badly and that she did plenty of it in her early teens. Carter also told would-be authors to write and read as much as possible while not worrying about publication. She said you should read everything, not just the genre you're interested in, in order to learn how words work. When asked what she reads, Carter said The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton was one of her earliest inspirations and she now primarily reads young adult books including those by E. Lockhart and Holly Black.
Carter's tour for Out of Sight, Out of Time wrapped up today in Wichita, KS.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Elvis and the Underdogs is a very cute, entertaining story although it sometimes reads more like a script than a novel which is likely due to author Jenny Lee’s employment as a writer for the Disney Channel. Lee also makes a few mistakes that young readers are unlikely to pick up on, but could be important for them to know the difference about. For example, she uses “therapy dog” and “service dog” interchangeably and fails to have the children follow Epi-Pen protocol (understandable that the children wouldn’t know, but the nurse they had on the phone should’ve instructed them to call 911 and go to the hospital following the injection).
Review copy provided by the publisher, Balzer + Bray.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Empty flat, only for us. Loll at the windows studying buses, guessing what ages Blustons has seen. Hang those dresses for a hundred years. On the sofa, he flicks through the flatmate’s Stage that’s been circled, re-circled for telemarketing jobs but peace in the bright, bright sun.Such writing works for the sex scenes (and that’s what the novel is primarily about—the relationship with a much older man rather than the actual goings-on of the drama school), but the choppiness makes it difficult to muddle through all the rest. It felt like the author was trying be literary and poetic, but it came off as pretentious.
Review copy provided by Blogging for Books.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Lucky may have lost her way a little bit in the third novel in the series, but she is back on her snarky game in the fourth. Deborah Coonts builds on all the well-known characters which prevents them from feeling stale now that they’ve become so familiar. The conspiracy that surrounds what becomes multiple murders keeps the reader guessing while also heightening the stakes for Lucky, who can’t seem to help herself from always getting involved.
Review copy provided by the publicist, Kate Tilton.