Sunday, December 29, 2013

Looking Back on 2013

Well, I blinked and now 2013 is almost over.

It's been a pretty good year. The screenplay I wrote was shot and is in post-production. There were many times this project almost died, so that was a huge victory.

I'm making a major revision in my novel before I send it out to another round of agents.

Libraryland was pretty good to me with record numbers for summer reading. And I was able to pull off some crazy fun programs, too.

There were some excellent books and audiobooks that I enjoyed this year and I hope that you enjoyed my reviews of them.

I also hope that 2013 was a good year for you. I know there are times when life just sucks, and I try to remember to enjoy the moments that don't. I worry too much about things that ultimately don't matter, and I'm trying to appreciate the things in my life that do matter.

So here's to 2014: may it be a year without too many life-sucking moments!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas to All 2013

Merry Christmas! 

Happy Holidays! 



I appreciate everyone who stops by this blog and I hope all of you have love, warmth, and laughter to share with others.

And I'd like to share this with you:




Lil BUB's Yule Log:


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bubble World Book Review

Title: Bubble World
Author: Carol Snow
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0805095715

352 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

You may be bundled up the layers as you sit by the fireside and sip on hot cocoa, but if you want to escape to somewhere sunny, Bubble World by Carol Snow is a perfect beach read.

Escape is a key word here, as Bubble World isn't an actual place, but a virtual world where Freesia lives as she goes to parties and shops with her best friend. Except that Freesia doesn't realize that Bubble World is a virtual world. Not at first, anyway.

As the Bubble World is burst, Freesia is brought back to a reality that is considerably less "de-vicious" that the one she left. (Warning: A lot of Bubble World slang is introduced in the opening chapters. I thought it helped with the world-building, but your mileage may vary.)

Bubble World is a funny book with big ideas about identity, how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. It's thought-provoking without being preachy and with plenty of laughs along the way.

My biggest quibble was that while Freesia is a well-developed character, her real parents are about as one-dimensional as her computer generated ones.

But overall, Bubble World was a frothy, fun read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoyed Beauty Queens by Libba Bray or Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Dare You To Book Review

Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0373210633

480 pp.

ARC provided by publisher

Dare You To by Katie McGarry is the second of her contemporary romance trilogy following a group of friends. I haven't read Pushing the Limits, which has gotten a lot of positive reviews and was a Teens' Top Ten for 2013. While the two stories are linked by crossover characters, you don't need to read one to enjoy the other.

And I did thoroughly enjoy Dare You To. It's the kind of swoony romance that keeps itself grounded in reality. In Beth's case, her reality is a gritty, bleak one, with a mom who's a barfly and probably worse, but Beth doesn't let herself think about. She's just trying to get through the day, making sure the bills are paid and her mother eats.

Then she meets Ryan at a late night taco joint. Ryan seems to fit the total jock stereotype, good-looking, full of himself, and only out to use someone like Beth. And when she finds out that Ryan wants to buy her dinner just because his dumb jock friends have dared him to get her phone number, Beth shows him no mercy.

But Ryan isn't the stereotypical jock. His family life is broken, although his parents are trying to do everything they can to keep up appearances. He's torn between following his dream of going pro in baseball and the realization that the dream might actually be his father's and Ryan has more options than he thought.

Cut to the twist of fate that brings the two back together. The romance is realistic and true to the characters. The chapters alternate between Beth and Ryan and the reader is able to see how they're able to change their first impressions of each other and learn to love each other, although this love is not easy for either one of them.

Dare You To is a winner for fans of contemporary romance.

Dare You To book trailer:

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013 Wrap-Up

Yeah, so I didn't "win" NaNoWriMo this year. I didn't write 50,000 words in 30 days. But ...

Around the middle of November (at about 20,000 words), I realized that my historical fiction needed more research before I could effectively do any more writing.

I knew some stuff about the time and people I was writing about, but not enough of the right stuff. I could have bullshit my way through 30,000 more words, but would be the point of that? That would mean so much more work rewriting later on.

So thanks, NaNoWriMo, for getting me started, but I spent the rest of the month doing research.

And I'm a nerd, so doing research is fun.

I still highly recommend NaNoWriMo for people who need a kick in the pants to start or finish a project.

Maybe next year I'll use NaNoWriMo to finish this novel.

Stay tuned ...

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