Have You Read This One Yet?

If you’re a regular reader here then you know Lisa Ricard Claro. We met years ago at an open writer’s critique group and found that we had a lot in common.

I mean, seriously a lot. It’s kinda creepy, if you want to know the truth. But I’m used to it by now. And so when I read Lisa’s latest blog post, listing some of her favorite reads, I laughed out loud. Because on yesterday’s Cathy C. Hall To Do List was “Blog–books.”

Yep. I was too tired last night at 10:00 when I sat down to write the post, figuring I’d just check what was going on in the world. That’s when I read Lisa’s list of books; they sound like excellent reads. But first, I think you should read my list of great reads (because technically, I’ve had “Blog–books” on my To Do List for a couple of weeks now):

The Write Man by Lisa Ricard Claro

51FhOrynCpLI read Lisa’s novella back when it first came out in December or maybe early January, and it was an absolute treat to be transported to the breezy Barefoot Bay when the cold winds were blowing around here. (And truly, Lisa’s descriptive writing of this seaside setting is lyrical and lovely and downright passionate!) I loved, too, the kidlit writers and their romance, but I will happily admit that if you write about a pirate, I will follow you anywhere. (And if you haven’t been following Lisa’s romance reads, then you can start with The Write Man, but you’ll want to catch up with her Fireflies series!)

 

Blood Ties by J. T. Hardy

51M3pWDKBuLJ. T. Hardy is the writing team of Janice Hardy and her husband, Tom. And I expect they’ll be collaborating on a lot more novels to come because Blood Ties is a heckuva ride with a gritty (yet surprisingly witty) protagonist in Grace Harper, and I have to know what happens next. You can read more about the particulars, but all you really need to know is this: if you’re a fan of supernatural, fast-paced, urban fantasy thrillers that read like screenplays (and P.S., the dialogue could be a master class in itself), you’re going to want to pick up Blood Ties. But clear your calendar, ’cause you’re not going to want to put it down till you get to the very end. Which really, is just the beginning.

The Falling Between Us by Ash Parsons

9780399168482Ash Parsons writes compelling Young Adult novels and her latest release, The Falling Between Us, is…is there a word for beyond a page-turner? Because there’s so much more to this story than its mystery-suggestive tagline, “What happened to Joshua Blackbird?” Though maybe that’s meant to suggest multiple layers of meaning, now that I think about it. Because this story, with its exploration of fame, fortune, and social media, exposes all the sides of our exploitative culture. It’s a provocative and eye-opening novel and a worthy read no matter what your age.

 

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And Another Thing

Like most authors/writers, I have this love/hate relationship with Amazon. These days, I’m perilously close to the highly annoyed side not so much for me, but for several of my author/writer friends.

They’re losing book reviews–or they’re worried about losing book reviews. You can read more at my post over at The Muffin, “Keeping Book Reviews on Amazon.” And if you have any experience and/or suggestions, I hope you’ll join in on the conversation.

I like to write book reviews. But I don’t write a review for the mega-selling author; Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, BIG MAGIC, is wonderful, but she doesn’t need my review. My newly-published friends of a more modest selling background, on the other hand, appreciate every single review. So to lose a review is a big deal to them.

How can we make sure a friend keeps a review? Because I don’t want to boycott Amazon. I need a new phone case.

 

 

Showing the Love For Authors You Love

logo-bookmarkWe have a Georgia Center for the Book in my home state and it happens to make its home base down the road from me, in the Decatur library.

I love the Georgia Center for the Book because…well, it’s a center. FOR THE BOOK.

Anyway, last week, they announced their 2015 books for adults and children, books that all Georgians should read. (And I’m not gonna lie. Folks outside of Georgia will probably love these books, too.) Many of the authors were there to receive awards and I was there because many of those authors are friends of mine and members of SCBWI. After the ceremony, they had a book-signing (they had a book sale, too) but I refrained from buying books. I have a wee bit of a problem, buying books, but still, I wanted to support these wonderful authors. What to do, what to do?

I have a couple strategies to support authors I love (besides buying the book), and I thought I’d pass ’em along to you:

  • Go to your local library and check to see if the book is on the shelf. If it’s not, request the book. When enough people request a book, a library takes notice (and maybe orders the book!).
  • If you do find the book at the library, check it out and read it. If you use social media, talk about the book. (And make sure you include the author’s name along with the book title so the author can see your support.) Authors often are uncomfortable with self-promotion, but when you do it, it’s golden!
  • Leave a book review on Goodreads or Amazon. It doesn’t have to be a 5-star review (in fact, too many five-star reviews is not a good thing) and it doesn’t have to be a mini-book. Short and sweet is just fine. You will make an author’s day, leaving a nice review.

How about you? What do you do when you love a book but can’t afford to buy it?

And you know what else? I’ll bet you have a Center for the Book in your home state. Why not take a little road trip and check out what they’re doing for the authors you know and love? (And if you’re an author in your state’s Center for the Book, let me know. I’d love to support ALL my author friends!)

Make Someone Happy

51NuBzmRYhL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_The other day, I received a card from Lynn Obermoeller, the Queen of Letter-Writing.

I’m not sure if she calls herself the Queen, exactly, but that’s how I think of her. She sends lovely notes all the time, and she makes her holiday cards. The notes are a work of art, and her words are always heartfelt and cheery–and I feel pretty special when I receive a card from Queen Lynn. And who wouldn’t feel special, knowing that someone took the time to do something special?

Which brings me to Fifty Shades of Santa, an anthology of holiday stories (wherein Lynn has a story, and Donna Volkenannt, too. She often stops by here with a lovely comment. And Marcia Gaye, another Missouri writer friend, is in there as well!). And though I have this Kindle book, and have read both of their stories, I haven’t left a lovely review of the book.

And now I’m fifty shades of red! Writing a review is such a simple thing to do¬†and yet, it’s often forgotten in the rush of writer deadlines and rewrites and challenges.

So. There are several books in my Kindle library that I’ve read and not reviewed yet–and a few that I haven’t quite got ’round to reading. I’m challenging myself–and you–to write a review or two before 2014 comes to a close. Because I know how special a person feels when someone takes the time to do something special.