Update (and Giveaway!) for The Storyteller and Her Sisters

Storyteller Cover 1 - SmallI may have mentioned (once or twice) that my next novel is coming out this fall.  And today I have all kinds of cool news to share!

Release Date: October 10th!  Mark your calendar…but don’t worry, I’ll remind you. :)

Description: I updated my Novel News page so you can read the back-of-the-book text now.

Giveaway: This one I’m very excited about–I’m giving away two signed paperbacks through Goodreads!  This is an exclusive opportunity to get a copy before the release date.  Enter the giveaway here!  Sorry, U.S.-only due to prohibitive shipping costs (but watch out for some ebook giveaways in October!) And even though you can’t pre-order the book, you can add it to your “To Read” shelf on Goodreads. ;)

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Book Review: My Name Is Memory

I didn’t actually plan to read more of Ann Brashares’ books after reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but in the course of linking to her site for my reviews, I happened to read the plot summary of My Name Is Memory—and was far too intrigued to resist!

Daniel has lived many lives, and remembers them all. Starting around 500 AD, he has been reincarnated through many times and places. In his first life, he was part of an army that burned down a village—and killed a beautiful girl in the fire. In later lives, he meets her again and again. He remembers, but she doesn’t. They fall in love more than once, and lose each other again and again, but in all his lives Daniel searches for her, waiting for the lifetime when they can finally be together.

The book is structured with alternating chapters. In one thread, Daniel tells his history through the centuries. The other thread is set in the present day, focusing on Daniel and Lucy, both teenagers, both deeply attracted to each other, but parted when their first conversation goes very badly. Lucy struggles to understand why she’s so drawn to Daniel, and the meaning behind her dreams that hint at past lives. Continue reading

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New Feature: Favorites Pages

You all know I recommend lots and lots of books…and while I love giving you many different book reviews to explore, I also know the archives are large (almost four years of blogging!)  SO–I’ve put together new pages listing my favorite, top recommended books.  Because I’m sure you all needed new ideas for something to read, right? :)

My apologies if I’m expanding an already-long To Be Read list…but hope you will enjoy my new lists of Recommended Reads anyway!

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Movie Reviews: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 1 and 2

sisterhood_of_the_traveling_pants 1Once I finished reading the complete Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares, I thought it would be fun to watch the two movies as well to see how they compared. I thought the first one (mostly) did very well, while the second one was (probably) a good movie, but struggled more with representing the book(s).

Movie #1 is based only on the first book, and follows the same essential plot and pattern: four best friends find a pair of blue jeans that magically fits them all, and they pass the jeans between them when they have to be separated for the summer.

I thought all four girls were portrayed well and accurately to the book, and three out of four plotlines went well too. Carmen struggles to accept her father’s new fiancée and soon-to-be-step-children, and Tibby has a heart-breaking and eye-opening summer when she meets Bailey, a twelve-year-old girl with cancer. Although things have to happen faster on screen than in a book, the emotions and essential ideas of both these plotlines came through. Continue reading

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(Guest) Book Review: Brunette Ambition

When I was offered a review copy of Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele (of Glee fame), it didn’t look like my type of read…but I knew someone who might like it better!  So I did accept the copy, and today I have a guest review from Diane, who you might recognize as a long-time blog reader. :)

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If you are a fan of the TV show Glee, about the high school glee club and its various members, then you are well acquainted with Lea Michele.  She is one of the stars of that popular series.  She has a phenomenal singing voice and flair for the dramatic.  She’s now come out with a book called Brunette Ambition.  It is aimed squarely at her fan base, young women who are teenagers and in their early 20’s.  Part memoir and part beauty/diet/exercise advice book, it takes a very positive outlook and offers background on how she got started in her career plus advice to her fans on how to best move forward on their chosen career paths.

The book can be used as a reference for Michele’s advice on diet, hair, make-up, clothes, etc.  Her thoughts on these topics are really rather conservative, suggesting healthy eating, more nights in than heavy partying, exercises to do in your own backyard, beauty tips that rely strongly on common sense, and buying timeless clothing styles for your closet.  She also provides step-by-step make-up and hair style tips.  These thoughts are useful, I’m sure, for her demographic, who may want to emulate her. Continue reading

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