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Showing posts from May, 2013

Everything I loved about 'Top of the Lake' I loved about THE MEMORY OF LOVE by Linda Olsson

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The harshly beautiful landscape of New Zealand -- and the harshly beautiful people of New Zealand -- create a rich environment for this wonderfully talented author.

On a quest to rescue a little boy from a rotten home situation, the protagonist, Marion, journeys into her own troubled past and confronts the realities of the people who loved and hurt damaged her.

Highly recommended for book clubs and lovers of excellent literary fiction.

Hello, #BEA13 Blogger Conference! (What are you reading?)

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I'm off to NYC today for BookExpo's Blogger Con! I'm helping my daughter launch an online ebookstore this year, and we're eager to connect with small presses putting out excellent fiction and memoirs.

If you see this person looking baffled, please give her a hug. (And tell me what you're reading!)

#Giveaway Alert: THE PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL by Dwight Okita is free on Kindle Mon/Tues!

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A new revised edition of The Prospect of My Arrivalby experimental novelist/poet Dwight Okita is free today on Kindle!

Here's my review from a few months ago:

Why I love Kenton Nelson's sensually intelligent 'Perusal'

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Just updated my website with this wonderful painting by Kenton Nelson, a California artist who is keeping the style of the 1930s WPA artists alive. His work is full-bodied, whimsical and richly American.

When I first saw 'Perusal' on a friend's Pinterest board, I was instantly smitten. I love the way the straight lines of the wooden chair and baseboard form a solid perch for the curvaceous reader, which is so apropos of the way craft structure holds up the art of writing. The woman's posture says everything about how it feels to take a story in hand.

For me, 'Perusal' evokes exactly what books mean to me as a reader and a writer: respect for the straight lines of grammar and craft skill, a profound affection for characters reflected in the careful turning of the page, a sensual love of story that is centered in the heart and gut rather than the head, and then there's that gracefully sly pinkie finger doing its own thing.

Huge thanks to Kenton Nelson for allowi…

Kenton Nelson's 'Perusal' is the perfect avatar for my online self

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Just updated my website with this wonderful painting by Kenton Nelson, a California artist who is keeping the style of the 1930s WPA artists alive. His work is full-bodied, whimsical and richly American.

When I first saw 'Perusal' on a friend's Pinterest board, I was instantly smitten. I love the way the straight lines of the wooden chair and baseboard form a solid perch for the curvaceous reader, which is so apropos of the way craft structure holds up the art of writing. The woman's posture says everything about how it feels to take a story in hand.

For me, 'Perusal' evokes exactly what books mean to me as a reader and a writer: respect for the straight lines of grammar and craft skill, a profound affection for characters reflected in the careful turning of the page, a sensual love of story that is centered in the heart and gut rather than the head, and then there's that gracefully sly pinkie finger doing its own thing.

Huge thanks to Kenton Nelson for allowi…

Once upon a time...I got cancer. (Bald in the Land of Big Hair trailer)

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This month's Reader's Digest features a story about the day Gary and I met, and it's spurred a lot of interest in my memoir, Bald in the Land of Big Hair.

My favorite review of the book said, "This is not the usual cancer memoir; it is a love letter to an extraordinary caregiver." This year, the Gare Bear and I mark 30 years together, our kids (5 and 7 when I was diagnosed) are grown up and thriving, and life is good.

Click for a free preview of Bald in the Land of Big Hair

Goodbye to Doors cofounder Ray Manzarek.

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Got 5 minutes? Brush up on your music history with Pentatonix!

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#First50Words ROCKET CITY by Cathryn Alpert

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Three melons and a dwarf sat in the front seat of Marilee’s ’72 Dodge, but the cop was not amused.

“I’d get rid of that bumper sticker if I was you,” he said. “Folks ‘round here, they’re proud of their history.”

 Marilee’s bumper sticker said, “One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.”

Click to purchase Rocket City

New Website

With my website long overdue for a freshening, I've opted for a total overhaul, an easy-to-navigate spot where a visitor can find out about my books, read articles on writing, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page. I hope you'll stop by today for a visit and let me know what you think!

Make Them Birds

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I thought you all might like the post I made over at Academic Ladder, since it speaks to much of what we talk about here. I know I've certainly had my fair share of those moments, and it's always amazed me what opportunities there are to transform.

Nancy Atherton's delightful cozy mystery series holds up nicely with AUNT DIMITY & THE LOST PRINCE

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Gotta love Nancy Atherton's ghostly detective series starring Aunt Dimity and her young (very much alive) protege, Lori.

Lori is back, supported by the colorful cast of characters from the town of Finch, to solve the mystery involving a silver sleigh, a Russian prince, an enigmatic little girl in a pink parka and the ongoing teapot tempests of life in Finch.

This series has stayed fresh and charming over the course of almost 20 years (I think this is the 18th book), and will delight fans of Miss Marple type cozies.

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Ron Charles reads THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS--and dishes about gender inequality

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This one is a must-watch video.  The man knows satire.

Unbridled Books brings Cathryn Alpert's fabulous ROCKET CITY out of the vault

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I loved Rocket Citywhen it was first released back in the mid-90s, and I love it still, beginning with the boffo first line: "Three melons and a dwarf sat in the front seat of Marilee's '72 Dodge, but the cop was not amused." Engaging, funny, poignant, surprising. I hope you'll check it out.

Reading Order

Often, I am asked about the proper reading order of my romantic thrillers. As a reader, I've always hated feeling as if I've walked in on the middle of a series, so I've been very careful to write each book to truly stand alone. Whether you pick up my first, fifth, or fifteenth, I want each book to be enjoyable, suspenseful, and complete. However, within my body of work, there are two pairs of books where your enjoyment will be enhanced if you read in order. Set in Houston, Texas, the first pair is as follows: 1. Fade the Heat 2. Heat Lightning (features the continuing story of Luz Maria Montoya, the sister of Jack Montoya, hero of Fade the Heat. Set in a small town in the bayou country that straddles the Texas-Louisiana border, the second two include: 1. Beneath Bone Lake2. Touch of Evil (features Sheriff Justine Wofford, who was investigating the crime in Beneath Bone Lake. If you're a careful reader, you may find subtler connections between the other stories, to…

#First50Words: THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE DAMNED by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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In 1913, when Anthony Patch was twenty-five, two years were already gone since irony, the Holy Ghost of this later day, had, theoretically at least, descended upon him. Irony was the final polish of the shoe, the ultimate dab of the clothes-brush, a sort of intellectual “There!”—yet at the brink of this story he has as yet gone no further than the conscious stage. As you first see him he wonders frequently whether he is not without honour and slightly mad…

Read THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED on Kindle for the sickening price of 99 cents.

John O'Hara's APPOINTMENT IN SAMARRA is what happened between Gatsby and Mad Men

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John o'Hara's debut novel Appointment in Samarrahas been rereleased with original art! How cool is that?

If you loved BUtterfield 8, you must read this wonderfully well written story about marriage, love, hate and torpor in the American suburbs circa 1934.