Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My "To Be Read" Pile

Here's what I have on the docket. Has anyone read any of these yet?

Must Read:
Looking for Alex by Marian Dillon - 4/14/14 (in process)
Nova & Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen - 4/14/14
The Right Thing by Amy Conner - 5/27/14
Seeing Red by Holley Trent - 6/16/14
Hero Duty by Jenny Schwartz - 6/1/14
Smoking Holt by Sabrina York - 8/5/13

Have on Hand to Read:Prom & Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Buried Memories by Katie Beers (memoir)

Just Read & Need to Review:Love, in English by Karina Halle
Sex Love Repeat by Alessandra Torre
Kissing the Maid of Honor by Robin Bielman
Pirates & Prejudice by Kara Louise

What's in YOUR pile?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Austen Movies

From the Broke & the Bookish

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Top Ten Movies If You Like Jane Austen

I kind of switched this topic around from its original intention this week, but I hope no one minds! I'm recommending movies that are similar or based on a Jane Austen novel! :)

1. Austenland (a movie based off of Shannon Hales' book Austenland) - Keri Russell is a 30-something obsessed with Mr. Darcy from P&P. She sinks all of her life savings into a 2-3 week visit at Austenland, a Jane Austen re-enactment resort where each lady vacationer gets her own regency romance with one of the gentlemen actors. What she doesn't count on is falling in love . . .

2. Lost in Austen - Amanda Price is sick of the modern world. She yearns for the romance and elegance found in the books by her favorite author, Jane Austen. But she's about to get a rude awakening as one fateful evening, she is propelled into the scheming 19th century world of Pride and Prejudice while that book's Elizabeth Bennet is hurled into hers. Amanda's presence alters the course of the story for some characters and gives us a deeper glimpse into the "true" motivation of some of Jane's most memorable characters.

3. Pride and Prejudice (Restored Edition) (1995 BBC Version restored in 2010) - Colin. Firth. Need I say more? This 6-part mini series truly does P&P justice. The chemistry between Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle is undeniable.

4. Pride & Prejudice (2004) - I love this modern interpretation of the classic. The setting is Mormon country, Utah. The sisters are friends. It's all bright colors, fast movement, and modern vibe, but it does the story justice.

5. Becoming Jane - This is the story of Jane Austen's first, and perhaps only, love Thomas Lefroy. What I love about this movie is the intense chemistry between Anne Hathaway (Jane) & James McAvoy (Tom). INTENSE! Plus, he's a cutie. ;)

6. Persuasion - Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth. Yum. 8 years have passed since Anne turned down his engagement, but neither has squelched their feelings. Can they find another chance at forever?

7. Emma - Gwyneth Paltrow plays Emma Woodhouse to perfection in this 1996 version of the beloved Jane Austen story. Jeremy Northam is a hot Mr. Knighley as well. ;)

8. The Inheritance - This is based on a novella by Louisa May Alcott. The Hamiltons raised orphan Edith alongside their daughter. She is halfway a servant, halfway part of the family. When cousin Ida comes to town, looking to meet a husband, her prospect James Percy only has eyes for Edith.

9. Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition) - Hugh Grant. Kate Winslet. Emma Thompson. Alan Rickman. Nothing more needs to be said.

10. Bride and Prejudice - Bollywood does Austen. Enough said. ;)

Have YOU seen any of these films? If so, tell me what YOU thought!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Have Mercy by Shelley Ann Clark

Have Mercy
by Shelley Ann Clark

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Published by: Loveswept on July 1, 2014
Genres: Music Industry, Erotic Romance (light on BDSM), Alcoholism
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4.5 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rock diva Emme Hayes already broke up one band after sleeping with the lead singer, and she swears she won’t let sex screw things up again. The problem is, her new bass player—a lean, muscular, tattooed mystery man who makes her want to demand his absolute attention—has her so worked up she can hardly carry a tune. Emme promises he’s off-limits. She just doesn’t know how she’ll be able to confine the heat to her love songs.

The moment Tom McKinney lays eyes on Emme strutting around the stage of his blues bar—all curves, eye liner, and teased blond hair—he knows she’s one of a kind. So when she offers him a two-month paid gig to tour with her band, Tom can’t say no, despite family troubles and the bar’s precarious finances. Onstage and off, the music they make thrums in his soul, but Tom has too much going on to get involved—even if he burns to let Emme play his body like a fine-tuned instrument.

If you're looking for something hot, but not too hot, this is the book for you. I'm not a big fan of BDSM erotic novels, but this one was more chaste than most in terms of the submission. I didn't mind it as I usually do. It was more about submissiveness than anything; it presented itself as foreplay rather than erotica.

Emme and Tom are attracted to one another from the moment they meet. I got the feeling that Emme really just wanted to get laid and with cute Tom on the scene, he was as good as any man to get involved with. Tom seemed to be more interested in her as a person than she was him. There was a bit more depth to him as a character than to Emme.

The story's conflict comes from two places: Tom's alcoholic sister and Emme's fights with band mate Dave over keeping things professional with other band mates. Dave knows that Emme broke up a band in the past after connecting with a married coworker, and he wants her to steer clear of Tom. Meanwhile, Tom, who's been his sister's protector and enabler for years and years, has to come to terms with the fact that he needs to let his sister hit rock bottom or she's never going to clean herself up. Emme's pent-up sexual frustration and Tom's genuine like for Emme turn into heated, secret nights and not-so-secret public exploits. It's hot as hell, but I would have liked to have more emotion shown between the characters before they instantly decide they love one another after having good sex. Good sex does not equal love. Despite that, I would highly recommend this book if you're looking for a light erotic novel with interesting characters.

Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James

Jane Austen's First Love
by Syrie James

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Published by: Berkley on August 5, 2014
Genres: Regency period, Jane Austen spinoff
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fifteen-year-old Jane Austen dreams of three things: doing something useful, writing something worthy, and falling madly in love. When she visits her brother in Kent to celebrate his engagement, she meets wealthy, devilishly handsome Edward Taylor—a fascinating young man who is truly worthy of her affections. Jane knows a match between her and Edward is unlikely, but every moment she spends with him makes her heart race—and he seems to return her interest. Much to her displeasure, however, there is another seeking his attention

Unsure of her budding relationship, Jane seeks distraction by attempting to correct the pairings of three other prospective couples. But when her matchmaking aspirations do not all turn out as anticipated, Jane discovers the danger of relying on first impressions. The human heart cannot be easily deciphered, nor can it be directed or managed. And if others must be left to their own devices in matters of love and matrimony, can Jane even hope to satisfy her own heart?

As I'm a rabid Jane Austen fan, I was excited to receive this book to review. The book blurb suggested that an element of "Emma" with her matchmaking schemes had made it into this story, but I was disappointed that it was more of a "I think so and so likes you, Cassandra" than an "I'm scheming to connect these two young people," kind of way. That section of the plot didn't hold it together for me. I wanted more - in fact, I kept wanting more during the entire story. Although there were a few nice scenes between Jane and her would-be-match, Edward Taylor, overall, I kept skipping the rest, trying to get to those few Jane/Edward sections.

It was a quick read and edited nicely (grammatically), but I wouldn't read it again or have picked it up in the first place if I knew how dull it would be.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Follow Friday: Pets

This weekly link-up is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!

Please follow me on Bloglovin' & I'll follow you!
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I'd also love it if you'd participate in my Book Blogger Buddy Meme! Let me know if you do!

Please read my latest review: I See London by Chanel Cleeton

Question: Tell Us About Your Pets

I have 3 "kids": Maisie (10), Lola (8) and Thurston (8).

I See London by Chanel Cleeton

I See London
by Chanel Cleeton

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Published by: Harlequin HQN on February 3, 2014
Genres: New Adult, swoon-worthy romance, London
Pages: 319
Rating: 5 Stars

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change—and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twenty something British guy, she finds herself living the life she has always wanted. Suddenly she's riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can't seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn't do relationships. He's the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he's everything she can't resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

This is a New Adult romance recommended for readers 17 and up.

O.M.G. Move over Anna and St. Clair - Maggie & Samir are here!

To say that I'm obsessed with this book is an understatement. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop! The storyline, the characters, the hot chemistry, and the sexy scenes were written to perfection! Absolute perfection. Hats off to Chanel Cleeton for writing this enticing book AND for writing a sequel due out in July - London Falling.

Although the book blurb makes it sound like I See London is about a love triangle between Maggie, Hugh and Samir, it is anything but. If you are one of those readers who abhors love triangles, don't be dissuaded by this book's description. There is more to this supposed triangle than meets the eye.

Maggie Carpenter is a 19-year-old first year student at the International University in London. Her dreams of getting into Harvard dashed, she leaves her semi-sheltered life and moves to London for school abroad. She knows little about who she is and what she wants out of life at the beginning of her journey, but will soon learn all sorts of things about herself - her power as a woman, her life goals, her willingness to let people different from her into her life, and that the powerful connection between two people isn't something to take for granted. It may only come along once in a lifetime. Sometimes, you have to go out on a limb to truly be free.

Samir Khouri is a junior at the International College. Part French, part Lebanese, Samir runs with a posh crowd including Maggie's Ice Queen roommate Fleur and friend Mya. He has a different girl on his arm every week and admits to being a player. Despite his clear rules about the opposite sex, and Maggie's determination to stay away from players, there is a very real connection between them. From the start, there is heat in their locked gazes and sexual tension whenever they're in proximity to one another. That said, Maggie and Samir are friends. They slowly reveal things about themselves to one another, things they perhaps haven't even realized prior to meeting. Maggie opens up about her absent father and the abandonment by her mother. Samir reveals that his father is a strict dipolmat that expects Samir to follow in his footsteps following graduation, something he doesn't want. And while Samir makes it very clear that he'd like Maggie in his bed, he doesn't pressure her. He respects her and cares a great deal about her - more than he probably wants to admit.

To get Samir's body out of her mind, she throws herself into a relationship with Hugh, a sexy bar owner several years older than her. Hugh is nice, respectful and easy on the eyes. Maggie likes him and likes that she is in control of her body and heart unlike the way she is around Samir. With Samir, her animal instinct takes over and she ends up in some compromising positions with him. She can't help herself, and it frightens her. With Hugh, she feels safe and able to guard herself. She keeps telling herself to make things work with Hugh even though in her heart, it's Samir, and only Samir, who is the one for her.

The secondary characters are also well-formed and complex. Roommate Fleur's Ice Queen exterior slowly melts away over the arc of the book, revealing her to be nothing more than a heartbroken girl who lost the love of her life. Her bitchiness is a front for a more fragile person inside. And friend Mya struggles to deal with her father's affair and come to terms with what this means for the future of her family. Michael is the only character who is not overly complex, but he is more of a tertiary character in the story.

I devoured this book in two days, sneaking in reading whenever I could. I couldn't get enough of Maggie and Samir and I can't wait until July when the sequel comes out!

My only complaint about this book is the cover. It looks very cheesy and gives me a different vibe than the story that's actually inside. They don't match. If the author is able to get a new cover, I'd highly suggest that. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Scared Scriptless by Alison Sweeney

Scared Scriptless
by Alison Sweeney

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Published by: Hyperion on June 3, 2014
Genres: TV Industry, light romance
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Maddy Carson is a mass of contradictions. She loves her job as Script Supervisor on a hit TV show, but hates "Hollywood." Super-organized and down-to-earth, Maddy is clearly one of the best at her job, and her strict dating rule - "No Actors!" - helps her keep focused on her career. However, a budding relationship with Craig, one of the executives at her company, may even propel her into the big leagues. Could Wolf County, her beloved hometown in the mountains, be saved from a financial crisis by creating a reality show featuring the eccentrics in the small ski village? Maddy is determined to try, even when she learns that Craig's agenda doesn't exactly line up with her altruistic goal.

Meanwhile, Maddy still has a full-time job to manage, her family to deal with, and a gorgeous new actor, Adam Devin, determined to wear down her resistance. Eventually Maddy must learn to break all her self-imposed rules and simply follow her heart.

Maddy Carson stars (in her own romance) as a TV Script Supervisor on The Wrong Doctor, a TV show bursting into its Second Season on air. As Script Supervisor, it's her job to take copious notes on clothing, staging and line flubs. She's there for continuity, and her OCD personality is perfect for this position. In addition to doing a job she loves, she and her boss are working on pitching a new reality series based on her hometown. Not only would it highlight the lives of those she loves, but it would bring industry into the town - and maybe even a chance at moving from Script Supervisor to Producer! Did I mention she's secretly dating her boss (Craig)? She made a vow long ago never to date actors, but apparently bosses never entered into that little declaration. . .

Enter new A-List actor, Adam Devin, the foe to The Wrong Doctor's lead, Billy Foxworth. Adam is simmering and down-to-earth . . . and he likes Maddy. But, Maddy's secretly dating Craig - plus - she doesn't date actors.

While the plot twists are expected in this novel by soap star, Alison Sweeney, Maddy is a well-written character, as are the secondary players. The banter between characters is enjoyable and enough to make you want to finish the novel.

I do think the book focused too much on the Maddy/Craig plot line and not enough on Maddy and Adam. I never really got a sense of why Maddy and Adam liked one another, and I admit skipping pages of dialogue between Maddy and Craig. Sorry. I realize that this was supposed to be a light romance, but I wanted more action between Maddy and Adam. They barely kissed until 3/4 of the way into the book. I just wanted more.

The format of the book was great. It was in Acts and Scenes, much like a TV, Firm or Play script. It followed along well with the title.

I'm giving this book 3 1/2 stars because although it was well-written, the first 3/4 was Craig-heavy (you'll see what I mean if you read it), and I wanted to get to the "good" parts a bit faster.

Love on Location by Claire Baxter

Love on Location
by Claire Baxter

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Published by: Random House Australia on April 30, 2014
Genres: Film Industry, light romance
Pages: 157
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A deliciously fun rom com about a girl who has big dreams and just can't stop herself from falling in love.Shayna is this close to getting her dream job as a location manager for a new TV soap, she just needs to find the right house to film it in, and the job is hers.Luckily, she's found the perfect place. Unluckily, the owner - who is tall, blond and more handsome than is fair - is stubbornly refusing to let her use it unless she goes to dinner with him. No harm in that, right?Lachlan swore he'd never go back into show business - not after his heart was broken - and the last thing he wants is a film crew traipsing through his house, but there's something about Shayna that's making it hard to say no . . .He won't let anyone near his heart, and she's not looking for love - what could possibly go wrong?

I love books about film and theatre because I'm an actor, myself. It's always fun for me to read about the entertainment industry. Throw in some romance, and I'm a sucker!

This was a quick, light read. There wasn't a lot of substance to it, and although the heroine, Shayna, had depth to her character, I never really got a feel for Lachlan. I was never quite sure what drew Shayna to him other than some words on a page, telling me that he was cute and sexy. He had no unique quirks or personality points that made me take notice of him. As the book was mostly relationship-driven, I can't say that it appealed to me all that much. That said, it flowed nicely and the writing was excellent. I gave it 3 stars only because I was left wanting more as I read the book and not in a "Please write a sequel so that I can have more of these characters" kind of way.

Wayback Machine Fun

I used the Wayback Machine (aka the Internet Archive) to check out my old blog and here's something I had posted on my site. Cracked me up. Post something from yours below too!

Interesting? Facts:

My friend Amanda tried to sell a Valentine's Date with me on Ebay in 2002.

I was born on the 4th of July; I have red hair, white skin, & blue eyes.

I broke my right wrist in 5th grade after my friends ran over me on the playground.

In high school, I laughed so hard that I peed my pants onstage while performing a musical. I've been to a concentration camp (Dachau).

My left foot has been possessed before (do the #'s 2 3 8 mean anything to you?).

I grew up thinking that the brown trash bags filled with toys in my closet were really the possessed "dogs" from Ghostbusters.

I used to be obsessed with NKOTB (it was the 80’s).

I’ve known a pool table intimately.

I’ve been raped.

I didn’t sleep through the night until I was 9 years old.

Everyone thinks my brother and I are twins (I’m 5 years older).

I didn't have my first sip of alcohol until I was 22.

I remember when you actually had to wait in line to buy a Cabbage Patch Kid.

I can blow spit bubbles off my tongue.

I've been to Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.

I got kicked out of history class in 7th grade for saying “tampon.”

I think I was happy once.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Year's by Adelle Waldman

New Year's
by Adelle Waldman

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Published by: Macmillan-Picador on May 6, 2014
Genres: Novella, friends, crushes
Pages: 43
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 2 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., here’s New Year’s, a story from the point of view of Nate’s friend Aurit—as startling, provocative and true-to-life a tale about a young woman’s dating life as The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. was about a young man’s.

She felt some part of herself relax when she was with him. She could shut off the part of her brain that was always monitoring whether she was talking too much, being "selfish."

A few years before the start of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., twentysomething writer Nathaniel Piven admires a piece of published work by a young woman named Aurit Arazi, and writes her an email expressing his appreciation. After this introduction, they meet for a drink. At the time, Nate is dating gorgeous, moody Elisa, and Aurit has an older, successful novelist boyfriend named Carter, but Nate and Aurit become friends. In the months, even years, that pass, Nate’s and Aurit’s romantic partners change, but their friendship carries on. And then, one New Year’s eve, it seems that the nature of their relationship may change. Like many readers who got to know Nate P. in The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Aurit is pretty sure that, when it comes to relationships with women, Nate can be an asshole, but is there more to him than that? In New Year’s, author Adelle Waldman exposes the mating psyche of one brilliant young female writer, with the same shockingly accurate eye that brought the world Nathaniel P.

I must say I didn't realize 2 things when I requested to read this book: That I should have read The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. prior to reading this follow-up and that it was only 43 pages long. I'm not really a novella kind of girl unless it's a follow-up to something I really enjoyed reading.

There's not much to really say about this story, other than I felt there was too much exposition. It was lacking in dialogue and heavy on Aurit's background. It was a tale of one friend having a crush on the other, but there wasn't enough dialogue for me to even tell whether her crush was justified or not.

Perhaps if you've read the original book, this one will make more sense to you. I'm sorry that I can't offer much more than this.

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Then and Always
by Dani Atkins

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Published by: Ballantine on May 20, 2014
Genres: Mystery, amnesia, love, finding yourself
Pages: 320
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.

Rachel wakes up in the hospital from a head trauma only to learn that her memories of the past 5 years are not the reality of the 5 years everyone else remembers. She has a different job, a fiance she didn't know she had, and the biggest change of all: Her friend that died in a tragedy 5 years ago in her reality, is very much alive in this reality. Is she dreaming? Did time split off? Is everyone else around her crazy or is Rachel losing her mind?

The author, Dani Atkins, does a great job of sucking me into the story from the very beginning. I'd quote it, but with ARCs, you aren't supposed to quote until the final product is released. The beginning alone made me want to keep reading well into the night.

While the difference in the two realities is vast, the book is never confusing. Not once did I question what was going on. The plot unfolded at a steady pace to help the reader, and Rachel, put the pieces of Rachel's fractured life together. Along the way, she has the steady help of her father and the support of her childhood friend Jimmy.

I honestly wasn't sure how the book was going to end, but when it did, instead of feeling happy or sad, I felt a great peace settle inside me. It lead me to think about my views of the universe. I won't say in what way, as that would spoil the ending.

Go pre-order this book now! You won't regret it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday

From the Broke & the Bookish

I'm a new book blogger, so please follow me!
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The 10 Bookish Things I'd Like to Own

If you follow my blog, you know that every week, I feature bookish finds from Etsy. Check out my old posts here for more great ideas than the ones listed below!

Book Necklace from Paper Memoirs - $45

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Book Tee by Sunshine Mountain Tees $22.50.

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Land of Stories Tote Bag by Apples and Spindles- $27

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Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy Paperdolls by Ardently Crafted - $18

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Mr. Darcy Proposal Sweatshirt by Neena Creates - $49

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Emma Woodhouse Luxury Set by Scentings - $69

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The Little Prince Elephant Inside a Boa iPhone Case by Pocketcase - $15.90

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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Wrong Woman Release Tour

The Wrong Woman

Brenda J Brown 

Release Date: 17th April 2014
Available from AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

I had the unique opportunity to review an ARC for The Wrong Woman earlier in the year. Please read my highly positive review here!

Norah Rothe is an actress and dreams of a life on stage in the big city until the callback she never expected has her bailing out the family business back home. But a chance encounter brings those dreams back into full focus when, miraculously, Hollywood comes to her.

David Raurke is a card-carrying movie star, but dreams of being more. When a freak accident costs him his leading lady David must find a replacement immediately or risk seeing his directorial debut tossed on the cutting room floor.

What he didn’t count on finding was Norah Rothe, and what he’d ultimately risk for her.

Can a romance between a talented girl next door and one of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities survive within the cutthroat world of the film industry? Come behind the scenes and see for yourself if dreams can become reality and find out what really happens once the lights fade to black.

Interview with Brenda Brown: 
Q: This boy-meets-girl novel is not quite what I expected. It contained none of the usual love-hate predictable character conflict between two lovers when they first meet. What made you decide to have David and Norah like each other right away? I found it refreshing.

A: What a great question! I guess I wanted to see if I could write a compelling story that didn’t always follow the typical formula, while still remaining true to the genre. Even though, like you, I’m a voracious reader of Romance, I haven’t any personal experience with intensely disliking someone and then being passionately overcome by him later. I’m not sure if I could do justice to that kind of scenario. Liking someone and then growing to love them simply felt more natural to me.

Q: Which protagonist came first: David or Norah? Explain.

A: They both kind of arrived fully formed. I had a dream one night that involved myself and a very famous movie star (the dream ended up in chapter 1, more or less in its entirety). The dream haunted me for days afterward and eventually took over my waking life by expanding into the before and after. Finally, I had no choice but to write it all down.

Q: Were any of the events or characters in the novel inspired by real life? Explain.

A: Well, that dream was the true inspiration. If not for that random flash of nocturnal imaginings this book would never have happened…what an awful thought! As to other events, I lived in Whitecourt, Alberta until I was 9 years old, and then again for a year or so at 17. I still have lots of family there and visit often, so I’ve frequently wondered how different my life would have been if I’d remained. As to the characters, there are certain mannerisms, speech patterns or turns of phrase that I can attribute to any number of friends and family members.

Q: I see that you, like me, have an extensive theatre background. What made you decide to include that element in The Wrong Woman and how different was it writing about film acting rather than stage acting?

A: Cool! Going back to ‘The Dream’, in it I was brought in to audition for a movie so there wasn’t any way to not include the acting element. Plus, we’ve all heard the old adage, ‘write what you know’, and I know acting, so it’s something that I could write about with some authority or at the very least, make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. ;-) As to the other, I’ve never written about acting in either format before this, but I’ve studied both. So, I suppose, to give the illusion of the intimacy that film is capable of, the scenes that are described in The Wrong Woman have the characters physically very close together. I’m a firm believer that there needn’t necessarily be a great deal of difference between the two forms of acting, beyond that one needs to be a bit louder. That’s a gross simplification, of course, but I think that audiences of live theatre today have become more sophisticated and prefer a subtler performance. We could talk about this for HOURS!

Q: Fans of The Wrong Woman want to know: What are you working on right now?

A: Well, I have two stories on the go just now. One is going to require a LOT of research so I think I might pick away at that one while focusing primarily on the other. I can’t go into much detail as I’m in the most preliminary stages and I’m ridiculously superstitious about that sort of thing.

Author Bio:
Before writing The Wrong Woman, Brenda dabbled in a myriad of professions. She’s been a waitress (back in the day before they were called servers), a security guard, a ballroom dance instructor, an interior decorator and design consultant, a set dresser for the film and television industry, where she is still a member in good standing, and a restaurant manager. She is currently working as a visual merchandiser for The Brick, a chain of furniture stores throughout the lower mainland.
In the midst of all that, she’s been an active part of the Community Theatre scene, doing set design but principally acting and studying most of the great works since her late teens. She currently lives in Coquitlam, British Columbia, with her beautiful daughter, one dog, and two cats.
Connect with Brenda J Brown on: 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Follow Friday

This weekly link-up is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!

Please follow me on Bloglovin' & I'll follow you!
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I'd also love it if you'd participate in my Book Blogger Buddy Meme! Let me know if you do!

Question of the Week: Tell us about a book that you didn’t like and why we shouldn’t read it (as nicely and respectfully as possible.

I'm not sure if I can pick just 1 book and say, "This is the worst book ever; don't read it!"

I wasn't a fan of The Scarlet Letter - maybe being forced to read a classic in high school isn't the best way to experience it? The same with A Separate Peace, although that was middle school.

I hated Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - not just because I loathed the characters - I thought the story just went on and on and on and . . . well you get the idea. People who've had real life psychopaths in their lives (like me) probably don't want to read about them, especially such an intense look inside their minds.

Did YOU like any of these books?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

State of the Union: 4/9/14

On my other blog, my State of the Union posts are like life updates. Since I'm not really writing over there at present, I thought I might start posting things on here every once in awhile. I'll also quite fond of lists, so you'll probably find a lot of those in these posts. It keeps my thoughts more concise and better able to stay away from tangents. My mind is one constant tangent, sometimes. :)

1. I'm finally breaking out of the semi-deep depression I've been in since about October. Could it be SAD? Could it have been the trauma anniversary I get triggered by every Oct/Nov? Could it be the night terrors that started in Dec? Could it be all of the above? Probably. The good news is that it's lifting. Hopefully it will continue to do so.

2. Speaking to a lawyer today about something. Anxious to see what she has to say. I know I won't get a lot of answers today, but having an opinion will be helpful.

3. Finally have our (my bf D and my) money situation figured out, although I actually have to send the money out to the accounts. That HAS to be done today or tomorrow. Mental Note.

4. MUST do city taxes for myself and parents tonight. MUST. NOT. FORGET.

5. I am going to NYC next Friday through the Monday after Easter!!!! SUPER excited! I'm attending my first writing workshop ever on Sat & Sun. I also plan to hang out with my theatre friends, possibly see a Broadway show (I was a musical theatre major), and then visit one of my cancer kids' families. Unfortunately, I don't get to meet the actual kid, because she's now an angel. Angel Ila Jean "Bean." (I fundraise for kids with Neuroblastoma - a childhood cancer. I'm excited about the trip, but I do need to figure out if I'm staying free with friends or if I need to book a hotel (um, ASAP!)

6. Feeling a bit nervous and not good enough for the writing workshop. There are only 10 of us in the workshop and I know everyone else is going to be a seasoned writer. Although I've always wanted to be a writer since age 3, I've had no formal training. At the beginning of the year, it was my year's goal to get a first draft down of my memoir. Now I'm not so sure that's wise. Gah. It's so hard to make decisions!

7. I just got an email from the musical team that I work with each summer. We put on a musical in town and I choreograph. I'm hoping to either do Carousel or Bye Bye Birdie (they promised me a dancing show this year after 2 years of non-dancing ones)!

8. Online Photos - It seems that everyone loves taking photos of themselves and posting them online. So many people are comfortable with their faces, hair, bodies, skin, etc and I'm jealous of that. Women of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, backgrounds etc are proud of who they are, and I'm still cowering over here in a corner, surviving with only old photos when I need to use one for something. Below is the newest photo of me (I'm the redhead) taken 2 winters ago. I seriously avoid cameras. I feel ugly, uncomfortable in my body, like I'm in the wrong skin. I know this ultimately has to do with PTSD from the traumas I've survived, but it still sucks. I guess I should work on this in counseling or something. That and the topic of physical intimacy. Things aren't good for me in that department either (nor for my bf lol). Gah. I HATE PTSD!

TO DO LIST (or reminder for Vi):
1. Taxes
2. Book a hotel if not staying with friends
3. Pay bills

I'm the redhead on the left & my former roomie is on the right.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Most Unique Books

From the Broke & the Bookish

The 10 6 Most Unique Books I've Read

1. I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver) by Dan Wells
This is the first book that comes to mind. I actually didn't realize it was part of a trilogy until I looked it upon Amazon just now. I'm not sure why this book sticks in my head - it could be that I don't read this genre much - but I think I really liked the twist: It takes a sociopath to track down another sociopath.

2. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh
Years ago, Allie started a website illustrating episodes from her life, from her dogs to her depression. Her greatest hits plus 10 new anecdotes are compiled in this fabulous book. Buy the paperback not the Kindle version.

3. The Book of Bright Ideas: A Novel by Sandra Kring
I've never felt the realness of characters like I did when I read this book. I'd never before written to an author to express my true appreciation for their work until this one. It's a portrait of true friendship and sage advice.

4. & 5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson / The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu (check out my review)
Although the truth behind each novel is different, they both deal with school bullying after rumors of sexual assault (in one case) or promiscuity (in the other). Each girl is isolated and placed in the role of school outcast as they struggle to maintain their sanity and heal from the crimes against them. As a survivor of sexual assault and a sexual assault advocate, I find both of these fictional portrayals plausible - that's not something I find in a lot of books dealing with this topic (i.e. do NOT read The Tenth Circle: A Novel by Jodi Picolt if you want a true-to-life picture of sexual assault and sexual assault survivors). There's a movie version of Speak starring Kristen Stewart. Whether you're a fan of her or not, she is excellent as the MC and the film is excellent. I highly recommend it even if you don't read the book.

6. House of Secrets by Lowell Caffiel
This is a true crime novel not for the faint of heart. It is literally the most horrifying thing I've ever read, and thus makes it on my "unique" list for that reason. Read the synopsis and you'll realize why.