Blog Hop: Popular, Yet Disappointing


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  What books got a lot of hype but were a disappointment for you?

There’s definitely been some books that were super popular that I really disliked…and I always feel a little weird criticizing them, to be honest!  It’s a little harder to say “this is a terribly written book” when the cover says “10 million copies sold” or whatever!  But there have still been some that seemed to work for a lot of people but not at all for me.

The first to come to mind was Wicked by Gregory Maguire, which had  “massive number of copies sold” on the cover.  And I…really disliked it.  I found the characters unappealing, the attempt to be shocking kind of bothersome, and the ending especially disappointing.  The musical, on the other hand, is a wonderful delight!

I was quite disappointed by Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist.  I mean, Carrie Fisher’s memoir of being in Star Wars – that sounded amazing!  But it turned out to be more about her affair with Harrison Ford than it was about, well, Star Wars, and that was disappointing.  I still think she was awesome, but this was not the book for me.

I heard about Stephen King’s memoir/writing advice book, On Writing, from a lot of people, particularly other writers, before I finally picked it up.  I ended up skimming great pieces of it, because it was so much about his writing, which I haven’t read (not being a horror reader).  I suppose I should have taken the “memoir” part of the description more seriously.  If I was a King fan, I acknowledge that this probably would have gone better.

Three seems like enough books to criticize in one day. 🙂  Have you read a very popular book that you found disappointing?  I suspect it’s happened to us all…

The Phantom of the Opera Reading and Viewing Challenge – 2nd Update

It’s (somehow) July 1st, meaning we are halfway through 2020 already!  It has been a strange and unusual several months, and I hope you all are staying safe and well.  If you’ve been escaping from the weirdness of the present moment by visiting below the Opera Garnier, this post is for you!  At the halfway point of the year, it’s time to share about our Phantom of the Opera reading and viewing so far.

I started the year off with rereading Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera.  In the last few months, my Phantom focus has shifted to getting my own retelling out.  I published Nocturne (Guardian of the Opera Book 1) on June 5th, which was of course very exciting!  I’ve also recently reread Book 2 (which will be out in September!) and am currently midway through Book 3.

I’ve posted quite a few videos on Phantom topics, including a review of the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie, starring Gerard Butler.  Check out my Phantom videos here.

Lately I also bought a Phantom-themed coloring book, and have been having a lot of fun with that.  Here’s a few photos, just because.


That covers my recent Phantom adventures – now I want to hear about yours! If you’d like a refresher on the challenge, check out the launch post here.  And please share in a comment below.  I look forward to seeing what you’ve been exploring this year!

Blog Hop: Off to the Bookseller’s


Today’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Do you visit indie and/or used bookstores? Also, have you ever worked in any?

Well, I’m not visiting stores right now because: pandemic, but in general I love a used bookstore.  I used to live in San Francisco, and one of my favorite places was Green Apple Bookstore.  I actually prefer used bookstores to stores selling new books – I like old books in general, and it feels more like a treasure hunt.  You never know when you’ll find some amazing old copy of something.  I also seem to find books I want to buy more often in used bookstores…maybe because I tend to be more interested in picking up old favorites than buying whatever is new and just-published.

I have never worked in a bookstore, though there have definitely been times in my life when I thought that would be a great job.  I don’t enjoy working retail, though, so I don’t know if the fact that it was retail books would actually outweigh the other disadvantages…  I’m currently part of an anthology about magic bookstores that will be out later this year, but that’s the closest experience I’ve had to working in bookstores, and it’s fictional!

Friday Face-Off: Romantic Covers


It’s time again for the Friday Face-Off meme, created by Books by Proxy, with weekly topics hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog.  The idea is to put up different covers for one book, and select a favorite.

This week’s theme is: The bodice ripper – exactly as it seems

I don’t tend to read true bodice-rippers, but I did think about favorite romances in books for this one.  The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer had several excellent romances, though my particular favorite was Book 3, Cress.  So that’s my choice for this week’s theme!

This is the only cover I’d seen prior to doing this post, and I love the sci fi/fantasy-merged feel of it.

Continue reading “Friday Face-Off: Romantic Covers”

Quotable: Knowing Your Role…Maybe

My new book Nocturne is now available! If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, I’m still sharing a few glimpses of the story with some quotes.  Today’s quote reflects the Phantom’s impression of himself…you’ll have to read the book to decide if he’s right!