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Posts Tagged ‘Books’

  1. Additions to the shelf

    April 13, 2015 by Suzi

    I haven’t posted lately on any additions to my book shelf–my autographed book selection, so now is a good time to do so.

    The first one is Where the Staircase Ends, and it’s extra special  because it’s the first book I ever beta read. Here’s the link if you want to read about that. But Stacy’s release day is actually tomorrow, and I’m excited for her. She had told me it changed a lot since I first read it, which was several years ago, so it’ll be fun to read again.



    The second one I have is the recently released Drawn In by Sioux Trett. I won the ARC for Drawn In from a blog contest hosted by the Cover Girls–Dani and Jax,  and I look forward to reading this one also. Thank you all, ladies.




    I know I need to update my page that lists all these books I have signed. And I probably also need to do a check because I might be missing one that I’ve forgotten to add. Just another thing on to do list that never goes away. :)

    Do have any books you’ve gotten signed?


  2. What a bargain

    March 30, 2015 by Suzi

    Recently I got this cool book from Barnes and Nobles. You know, the bargain racks with the cheap books, often hard cover, and usually non-fiction. This one was about royalty—kings and queens from the medieval times to now and their issues.

    Like Vlad the Impaler, AKA Dracula (the real one) and Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary. Both sadistic killers who enjoyed torturing people.
    I also learned a lot about how insanity was passed down through generations in some royal families, like that of Queen Juana I of Castile (Spain). Her story made me wonder if now her problems could’ve been cured or at least managed with today’s medicine.
    This book is full of all sorts of examples of royalty behaving badly. Kings and their mistresses, spoiled children, and power hungry men and women who spend all of their country’s wealth. It’s fascinating how messed up European royalty was at times.
    I really should shop more often in the bargain bin of B&N. Of course then my wallet would be a little lighter too.
    Have you ever stumbled onto any terrific reads from the bargain bins of B&N or some other store? Do you think that reading about royalty in medieval times is fascinating too, or is it just me? :)

  3. My very first

    March 16, 2015 by Suzi

    I’ve got something kinda cool to share. The very first story I ever beta read is coming out in about a month. In early winter 2011, I hooked up with Stacy Stokes through when we were both looking for beta readers. I’m not sure how many she’d critiqued before, but it was my very first time. Kinda scary and all that. What did I know about critiquing? Would she think it was too much… too little? Critiquing with someone new for the first time really gets your nerves going.
    In December we exchanged stories and I think it went okay. She still talks to me, at least. :) But that was the start of something new for me. I’ve learned so much from critiquing other people’s stories, and I’ve become a better writer, but I’ve also come to realize how much I enjoy critiquing and editing.
    Back then I was trying to connect with writers and I didn’t know anybody who was published. (Now I know lots. :) ) It was so cool to think then, and even now today, that I had a part in the journey of a story I was reading. That it could someday be published. And now for Stacy, that is happening soon.
    So for those who have not heard of it, Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy A. Stokes will be released next month and is now available for pre-order. Check it out here on Goodreads.
    Congratulations, Stacy. I can’t wait to read the final version (which she’s said has much changed).
    What about anybody else. What was the first book you ever critiqued and was it published?
    Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy A. Stokes
    After her best friend orchestrates the lie that destroys her reputation, Taylor wants more than anything to disappear from her life. But when an accident turns this unspoke wish into reality, instead of an angel-filled afterlife, Taylor must climb a seemingly endless staircase into the sky. Instead of going up, the journey plunges her into the past. As she unravels the mystery behind her friend’s betrayal, she must face the truth about life and find the strength to forgive the unforgivable — unless the staircase breaks her first.

  4. Prove Me Wrong

    March 2, 2015 by Suzi

    Another must read by my good friend Theresa Paolo (writing as Tessa Marie.)

    Prove Me Wrong


    Prove Me Wrong

    By Tessa Marie


    March 2, 2015


    A single secret changes everything.

    With no college ambition—or desire to care—Luke Hannon’s ready to bail on school before senior year even begins. But when he spots the hot new girl reading an upside down map, he changes his mind.

    Hailey Saldino desperately wants to start fresh at a school where she’s free of the snide remarks and hurtful stares. A place where no one knows her past…or her son, Brady.

    Luke wants a no strings attached, physical relationship, until Hailey becomes more than a cute girl in a skirt. Usually his bad boy reputation hooks the ladies but it won’t be enough to land a girl like Hailey. Needing a lasting approach, Luke decides to be honest. No lies. No BS. As the connection between them deepens, Luke shares all his shameful secrets.

    Afraid to lose one of the few people who’s ever looked at her as something other than a slut, Hailey buries herself in compounding lies. And when Hailey’s purposeful deceit blindsides Luke, he must decide if he’ll walk away, or accept Hailey and the little man she already loves.




    Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released last summer under her real name, Theresa Paolo. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Faceb

  5. The Kindle Crawl

    January 18, 2015 by Suzi

    When you’re reading an ebook, do you pay attention to that little percentage down at the bottom? It’s nice to have it, to see exactly how much of the book is left, but sometimes it’s not a good thing because of the Kindle crawl.
    The Kindle crawl: When you’re reading an ebook and you glance down at the percentage and think, I’ve hit the page down button like 10 times and I’m still on 22%? And the whole book seems to go the same way.
    That is the Kindle crawl. And I totally made that word up. I googled it and didn’t find any references, so I’m gonna claim it as mine.
    Now there’s two reasons for the Kindle crawl.
    1.) You’re reading a ridiculously long book. If the book’s 400, 500, 600… pages, it’s explainable.
    But the other reason is:
    2.) You’re bored. You like the book enough to keep reading it, but it just crawls along, making it feel like you’re barely moving forward.
    I thought about this because recently I’ve read some books that seem to drag. But right now I’m reading the opposite. A book that is going fast.
    The other night I was reading and I’m like whoa—I jumped ahead from 20% to 30%, and I hadn’t been reading that long.
    But maybe it’s a shorter story though.
    Luckily, the author is Jolene Perry, and I kinda sorta know her. And the story is The Summer I Found You. So I emailed her to ask about the word count, and she wrote back and told me. Cause she’s nice like that.
    The story isn’t short, but it’s not long either. It’s just in the middle, word count wise. But I love the story. The characters are fresh and likeable, their voices are perfect. Which means it’s an easy=fast=good read. So there is no Kindle crawl with The Summer I Found You.
    And I like to read books like that. I much prefer to read books like that. Of course, who wouldn’t? :)
    Do you ever experience the Kindle crawl? Or better, do you more often read novels like The Summer I Found You, where the book seems to move super fast because it’s a terrific story?

  6. A difference of opinion

    December 15, 2014 by Suzi

    I know two people can read the same book and have different opinions about it. Some love the writing, others will think it sucks. Some think it’s an original story, others think it’s cliche. I’ve read enough book reviews to see that. There’s many reasons why people look at books differently, including simple things like their tastes or deeper things involving their history and lookout on life.
    Yes, we’re all different, so we see things differently.
    But sometimes I question a reviewer’s take on a book–it just no sense to me. Just recently I finished Flawed by Kate Avelynn. I enjoyed the story and after finishing, read through some one and two star reviews to see what the people who didn’t like it said.
    And I read something that kinda shocked me.
    Spoiler alert. If you don’t want to know the ending, skip ahead to where I say spoiler end.
    The reviewer was unhappy because the MC had a HEA. And I was like, huh? A happily ever after?
    -The MC’s mother died during the story.
    -The MC will have to deal with the affects of her father’s abuse for the rest of her life.
    -The MC’s brother killed her boyfriend, who was also the brother’s best friend.
    -The MC’s brother, whom she deeply loved, also killed himself.
    That is nowhere near a HEA to me. I guess the reviewer wanted the MC to either be physically hurt or killed and anything other than that was a happy ending.
    Spoiler End.

    So obviously, me and that reviewer have drastically different definitions of happy. :) I can understand people view stylistic things differently, but this difference of opinion seems big. And honestly, it makes me wonder about this person. What they are like and how they generally view life.
    Have you ever had a similar experience reading a review, not just a difference in opinion, but something that makes you curious about the reviewer and what it was in their lives that helped shaped their outlook, and hence the review you just can’t understand. (Sorry, that’s kind of a mouthful.)

  7. Lying is the in thing

    November 30, 2014 by Suzi

    Recently I finished Gone Girl. For those who haven’t read it, neither of the main characters are likable. Interesting maybe, but not likeable. But what intrigued me with the story was the whole unreliable narrator thing.

    Image courtesy of
    Stuart Miles

    Unreliable narrators can’t be trusted. They maybe lie, with-hold information or misrepresent what’s happening, but we the readers might not realize it until we get further into the book.
    It’s an unusual concept to me, and I was curious about other books with unreliable narrators.
    When I did a Google search, some of the well-known books that pop up are Lolita, American Psycho, and Fight Club—none of which I’ve read.
    There were a few on the lists I have read: Catcher in the Rye and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but I read those so long ago, I don’t really remember much about them.
    I’m curious though, and plan to read more about these scheming and deceitful characters. As a writer, I want to know what those authors do to make these liars likeable. From what I’ve seen, it’s not an easy thing to do.
    And I’ll probably start with Fight Club—I loved the movie after all.
    Have you read any books with unreliable narrators that you really enjoyed? Do you like the whole unreliable narrator concept?

  8. A useful tip

    November 16, 2014 by Suzi

    Right now I’m reading a big book. It’s just over 700 pages long. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
    Well it isn’t. Cause it’s a large print. According to Amazon, Gone Girl is 432 pages, which isn’t exactly low, but it’s not 700. As most everybody knows, Gone Girl is the big rage now, especially because the movie is out. Which means that the book is hard to find at the library.
    There are 22 digital copies available through our library, and if I wanted to put a hold on it, I’d be number 185.
    Yes, that’s the 185th person waiting to check it out.
    I’m sure the hard copies have a big waiting list too although I don’t have that exact number.
    But I found a faster way to get it.
    Which is why I’m reading a 700 page book. When I first checked the book’s availability a while ago, the large print book was checked out, but nobody had put a hold on it. So I did.
    Reading a 700 page hardcover book is kinda a pain. I might end up with carpal tunnel syndrome, but it beats waiting.
    So remember that tip. If there’s ever a book you want to check out, more likely one that’s gotten pretty popular, check to see if there’s a large print edition because you might get lucky like me.
    Do you ever read large print books?
    Have you read Gone Girl? Seen the movie?

  9. Skipping ahead or leaving it all behind

    November 10, 2014 by Suzi

    Not long ago I finished reading a book. And by finished, I mean I read the last few chapters. But I didn’t read ALL the chapters.
    This book is by a popular author but I never connected with the characters, didn’t find the story all that interesting either.

    Image courtesy of Traffic Barrier by mapichai /

    Because of some busy times a few weeks ago, I put the book down at about the 60% mark, and I could’ve walked away. Would’ve never given it another thought, but I wanted to read the ending—which I’d sorta heard about anyway, but didn’t know the exact details.
    So I did something I haven’t really done. I just skimmed a few chapters and jumped to the end.
    The ending didn’t change my mind about the story, by the way, and I didn’t regret skipping 1/3 of the story.
    Usually, if I quit a book, I quit fully. I don’t look to the end to see what happened. I just stop. (Of course, I normally stop before the 60% mark though too. And really, the only reason I read that far was because it was going fast and I kept wanting to like it like everybody else did.)
    So I was wondering what others do. If you give up on a book, do you jump ahead to the end to see what happens? Do you read spoilers in reviews to get an idea? Or do you just walk away and forget it?

  10. Soulless

    October 27, 2014 by Suzi

    I’ve got Crystal Collier here to celebrate the release of her newest novel, Soulless. The sequel to Moonless, released last year. One of the interesting things about this series is where it akes place and the time period.

    I was curious about why she chose that time and location, and now she’s here to answer my questions. Welcome, Crystal. So my first question, as I said above, is how you chose England 1768 as the location for this series.
    About the time I penned out the first draft of MOONLESS, I was working on a musical based in 1798, England. (It may have slightly influenced my writing.) I knew the time period for MOONLESS had to reflect England’s most prideful hour—a time when aristocracy was at its height, before the American revolution and industrialization. This story has been in my brain for a LONG time, and the nation/time period was very strategically placed to accommodate the entire series arc.

    Did you have previous knowledge about this period in time or did you have to research everything?
    The musical prepped me, but I seriously spent about five years reading articles, essays and books based close to the time period, not to mention studying fashion, technology, maps and anything else I could get my hands on. The greatest challenge of writing historical fiction is understanding how people thought in a different era. There are so many anachronistic social expectations we embrace (that I had to wipe from early drafts). Gaining an authentic cultural mentality was like learning a new language. And becoming an anthropologist.

    Wow. Five years. That’s a lot of prep work! :)

    One thing I was curious about. Did you have to revise any details from the story because you discovered they didn’t fit with the time period?
    Contractions (can’t, doesn’t, we’d, etc.) are modern inventions. That’s not to say people didn’t slur their words together in 1768, but they would never have written or spoken that way in polite society. That made for a bit of a rewrite…

    Clocks had just been invented, and only the most modern of men possessed a pocket watch…which set back my method of explaining time. It was a transitory period, going to from candle-marks, moon cycles and season to hours, minutes and seconds. Another tricky one.

    John is a smoker, but not a pipe kind of guy. Turns out the story takes place RIGHT at the time when cigars made their debut…or I may have fudged that one by a couple years—because I can.

    I had a writing coach who absolutely adores my time period, and a literary agent mentor who was kind enough to point out some of my early, erm, foibles, but mostly I corrected myself while studying. For instance, in 1750, King George the first established new marriage laws that dictated the legal age of marriage as 21. (Our equivalent of 18.) In early drafts I wanted to call “coming of age” 16. Major no-no.

    Definitely good to do your research. That is one of the things that scares me away from writing historical fiction. Do you get nervous about people bashing you for not being historically correct?
    I’m such a perfectionist. Seriously. The only way to conquer your fears is to face them, knock them down and grind your heel in their face. I listened to all the bashers in beta readings (probably went overboard in how many betas I used for MOONLESS) and studied my guts out. I even went so far as to research every word and phrase for its historical accuracy. It really was like learning a foreign language, but the more you use that language, the more fluent you become. After all that, I came away rather confident—no matter whether people might rip or not. (Which they haven’t—even the mean ones—so I must have done okay.)

    Thanks so much for sharing with us, Crystal, and congratulations on the release of Soulless. And now you can find out more about Crystal’s book and have a chance to win some special prizes.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    Soulless by Crystal Collier
    The Soulless are coming…
    Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she’s forced to unleash her true power.
    And risk losing everything.