Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mixed Drinks Inspired by Literary Types

For those of you who enjoy imbibing the occasional mixed drink or simply like to know trivia about mixed drinks inspired by literary types, here's an article that lists 25 Brilliant & Literary-Inspired Mixed Drinks. To quote the article:

Plenty of authors throughout history have drawn inspiration (or consolation, as it may be) from a bottle, and as such, there is no shortage of cocktails, concoctions, and libations that can be related to great books and their authors. Whether you're hosting a literary-themed party or just want to drink like your favorite author while you read one of his or her works, you certainly won't thirst for options (pun very much intended) when you read through this list of literary-inspired mixed-drinks. You'll find an assortment of titular puns, tributes to authors, and even a few favorites drawn from the lives of famous authors themselves to help you find the perfect bibliophile beverage.

Well, I'm not much of a drinker, but after this weekend, I might be convinced to try at least one of these. :)



Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Quick Trip to the Bookstore


This morning, I rose earlier than usual. I'm glad I did, because I had plenty of time to eat breakfast, take a shower, get dressed and go through my email. These are all time-consuming chores for someone with a crappy movement disorder that has no fucking cure and can't be adequately treated for shit.

So, as I was eating breakfast, we were watching a war movie. And I remembered this is Memorial Day weekend. Right. Writers don't get holidays.

Now, I can think of at least two blog posts, in which I've referred to wars and being in the shit. This one and this one.

And I had come to the realization that all entrepreneurs, whether they be authors, bookstores or publishers, must be willing to adapt with changing times.

Which is why I posted this on my author blog.


Anyhow, when I was done with all the boring crap, I rushed clumped on my gimpy foot hurriedly to my car and took off. Just to go to a damn bookstore, in order to prove to myself that I could still drive my own car.


And, as I drove, I listened to the radio and I swear this song came on:



Weird, huh?

Now, honestly, I have no problem with technology. But let's not forget about our humanity in the process. Everytime I blog, I give my real opinion. I try to be respectful of others online. We should all be respectful of others in business and personal relationships. In any case, it's my opinion that bookstores do serve a function. And other authors share this view. I've seen it expressed online.

For some reason, they have it in for B&N, but love indies. I guess because indies have been nice enough to work with us indie authors, by placing our books on consignment.

Here's the thing. There isn't a single freaking indie bookstore worth a damn convenient to where I live, okay?

Plus, if I may ask, what about that whole returning books to the publisher and getting a 100% refund thing? Seriously, how are publishers going to compete effectively against a huge fucking technology company/publisher/retailer that can give authors whatever they want, including the author you chose to make this video:



The amazing Ann Patchett, owner of Parnassus Books (though she had "no interest in opening a bookstore") and author of THE GETAWAY CAR.


My most convenient bookstore is a BAM, which is located where the dead Borders used to be. And I dragged my gimpy ass all the way to an Annapolis B&N to see Jenny Lawson.

Two New York Times bestselling authors in green shirts
Just to be clear, Jenny Lawson writes about zombies. I don't. Nor am I one. Furthermore, I do actually eat real food and brush my hair, now and then. And I'm not a junkie.

PS: I went to the bookstore to find Rick Steves travel guides for my trip to the UK. Because I love to travel, damn it. While I was there, I looked for a Robert Crais book, (Robert Crais is my hero, because he's a blue collar writer) and would you believe, they didn't have one stinking title? I nearly got so mad, I could've knocked down the shelf, except I was too tired and gimpy, and I figured, oh, fuck it. So, while trudging toward the checkout counter, I passed a book display. And one of the books was THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O' Brien. And I thought, I'm with you, brother.

And why does that sound so familiar? :)


PPS: I had no interest in being a gimp, but no one gave me a choice about that. So, I choose to be a happy fool.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

'Blue Suburban Skies' by Richard Peabody


Just to be clear, this isn't a review. If you read this blog, you'd know that I support independent bookstores and online booksellers that compete with the great big huge online bookseller that's trying to take over the Internet. (I'll leave names out of it.)

And, just so you know, Richard Peabody has published this book, and it's available for pre-release order at a discounted price online, but not through the great big huge online bookseller, etc., etc.

FYI, I've previously blogged here about Richard Peabody.

And he's a DC-area author who cares about literature, and he loves French Toast.


I rest my case. :)

PS: Waterstones doesn't mind having its stores used as showrooms for the great big huge online retailer/publisher, etc., etc. Apparently.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Review of 'The Post-College Guide to Happiness'


REVIEW: THE POST-COLLEGE GUIDE TO HAPPINESS
AUTHOR: Bryan Cohen

Just so you know, this isn't a typical review. In fact, this book was extremely useful to me, which is why I recommend it.

I thought I'd explain why I found it so useful.

This book is a guide. As such, you'll find advice, tools and exercises that can aid you in becoming a happier person.

Here's how it worked for me. I was suffering from depression. I also have a tendency to dismiss "easy" self-help solutions. However, after a talk with my doctor and reading this book, I realized I could choose to be happy, no matter what.

Which is why I wrote this endorsement for the book: "If troubles seem insurmountable or overwhelming, The Post-College Guide to Happiness provides a straightforward guide on how to find happiness by making better choices. I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking a better life."

PS: I just wanted to add the happy news that Peg Brantley's first novel RED TIDE got an awesome review! :D I'm still reading it and loving it, so far.


PPS: Did you know that "bonzer" is Australian slang that means "awesome"? :)



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mystery Scene Review of 'Beastly Things'


Here's my Mystery Scene Magazine review of BEASTLY THINGS by Donna Leon. In an interesting coincidence of sorts, I've not only been to Venice, but I suffer a rare disorder that deforms, but doesn't kill people, and I've published a mystery involving the poultry industry, as I blogged about here.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mystery Scene Review of 'Ice Fire'


Here's my Mystery Scene Magazine review of ICE FIRE, a thriller I found particularly awesome for reasons that should become obvious when you read the review and consider that I'm a lawyer, who's interested in sustainability issues.

Thanks, David Lyons, for writing such a great book! :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mystery Scene Review of 'Strindberg's Star'


For those of you looking for a thriller with a lot more than the usual, here's my Mystery Scene Magazine review of STRINDBERG'S STAR by Jan Wallentin.

Jan ... get a website ... seriously ... :)

PS: RIP Maurice Sendak. :(



Monday, May 7, 2012

Nature Wall Decals-Nature Wall Stickers

Nature Wall Decals And Nature Wall Stickers. The tendency of many people today are more like something that nature and fresh. Similarly, wall hangings, many in the living room decorated with natural ornaments. It is also a great choice for your room and your kitchen, child's room is also decorated with this ideal because as they grow older and their tastes change, you can easily give the room a new look.

Nature Wall Decals,Nature Wall Stickers

Nature Wall Decals,Nature Wall Stickers

Nature Wall Decals,Nature Wall Stickers

It decl wall nature allows you to bring the views of the forest into your living room, pictures of forest to your indoor patio area. And if you have a gym, you can bring the game up close and personal with the beach picture. Try it, you will feel the beauty of this world up close.

Nature Wall Decals,Nature Wall Stickers

Nature Wall Decals,Nature Wall Stickers

This decoration is not very easy to install. in price depending on size wall mural you want, but I'm sure you do not need to sell your valuables to get a natural wall murals.

Tree Wall Murals For Teenage Bedroom

Tree Wall Murals For Teenage Bedroom. Do you know the teenage is the most memorable in my life. Everything was beautiful and all-round challenge. Teen have fulfilled all his wishes. You never feel it's ...
As a parent you should know what is most preferred for his special teenage bedroom wall.


Coconut Wall Murals For Teenage Bedroom

Flower Wall Murals For Teenage Bedroom

Rose Wall Murals For Teenage Bedroom

Tree Wall Murals For Teenage Bedroom

Trees are a favorite among teens in decorating the walls. it is true, the bedroom feels cool and comfortable with tree wall mural. When your child home from campus and the rest in the room, they will feel very comfortable with the atmosphere of the room whose walls are decorated with wall murals trees.

Many types of plants you can install to decorate the walls. Girl usually prefer pictures of flowers such as roses or jasmine. whereas for a boy you could put a picture of palm trees or the other according to your teen craze.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How a Bookstore May Have Saved My Life


Since I've been supporting indie bookstores on this blog, I thought I'd share this story from another blog about how Barnes & Noble may have saved my life.

Now ... I realize, it's a B&N, not an indie. But as I've blogged before, we don't have any really decent indie bookstores convenient to where I live.

Which is why I was saddened to see Borders go under. And I wrote this post on another blog.

However, we all have to adapt to survive. As an author and one in this for the long haul, I'm interested in the possibility of using crowdsourcing as a way of producing books.

Other businesses are doing this. And authors are entrepreneurs, too.




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Imagine, Singleton Hippie Art Original



IMAGINE
(C) Singleton
A Hippe Art Box of Thoughts....

I reached down and scooped uptiny abandoned periwinkle shells, the colors of pastel rainbows,and buried them deep into my pockets....Seaweed, a deep forest green,wrapped itself around my ankles,an impromptu braided bracelet from the tides....And I knewI was in Love again....With all my forgotten Dreams,my lost imagination......And I knew

'The Assassin's Mistress' and Other Stories


REVIEW: THE ASSASSIN'S MISTRESS (Pretur 2012)
AUTHOR: J. H. Bográn

Although this short ebook is entitled THE ASSASSIN'S MISTRESS, it's actually comprised of a short story by J. H. Bográn and excerpts from his other work and two other authors. This small collection makes for highly diverse, satisfying and enjoyable reading.

"The Assassin's Mistress" is a quick and thrilling look at a hitman's difficult choices and how life can pull the rug out from under the most prepared and stoic individual. I highly recommend it.

The excerpts of FACE THE WINTER NAKED by Bonnie Turner and THE BRO-MAGNET by Lauren Baratz-Logsted make this 99 cent ebook way more than a bargain.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saturday Has Been Cancelled


This weekend is the Malice Domestic mystery convention, which I'm not officially attending. I'll be busy hobbling running around, finding really awesome people, including the one mentioned in this post.

While I have your attention, coming next month ...


The print version! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Book Lover's Dilemma


This is kind of what my house looks like. Except it's inside a completely different house. And those two people look like me and my husband. Except we wouldn't be smiling. Or we would be smiling only because someone was taking a picture of our books piled outside of our house, which isn't really our house. And we'd have to borrow a Jeep. That is a Jeep, right? Whatever.

So ... my point is that after having a really eventful day just driving my car and doing some shopping, I decided I needed to part ways with some of my beloved books, at my husband's continual nagging incessant urging.

This meant I had to decide which books really meant something to me. I kept thinking that I loved them all, because I love all books, damn it. That's why this blog is called The Book Grrl, and not The Reading Device Grrl or whatever. Not that it matters. Stories are stories, regardless of technology, right? This is a story right here. A really boring story, maybe. Too bad. Ha ha!

So then I figured, okay, I simply can't keep ALL these books. I'm not a library. I fell back on my own advice. Share your toys.

That's when I decided, here's what to do: If you love a book, donate it so others can enjoy it; if you cherish a book, keep it so you'll always remember why it was awesome.

That still left me with the decision of which books I loved and which I cherished. Some decisions came easier than others. The ones close to the line were toughest.


But I survived! And I'm ditching donating a whole sh*tload lot of books. That's a whole lot of reading to share with others. And I did it, despite my gimpiness. In my hand and my curled-in foot. :D


If I'd had a hat on, I would have thrown it in the fucking air. :)




While I was piling all the books around and figuring out which to donate, I happened to find an old Lawrence Block paperback called IN THE MIDST OF DEATH. It's a Matthew Scudder book, and I love Matthew Scudder like nobody's business.

It occurred to me that Matthew Scudder is driven by guilt. And guilt has figured largely in my writing. Weird.

Then, I opened the book and flipped through the first few pages. On the second page, there's a woman named Portia Carr. The protagonist in the young adult novel I'm writing is named Portia. Weird.

So ... I walked around the house, clutching the book like grim death. Or maybe it was just my dystonia. Whatever. #iamfoolish

PS: I really love those striped socks, but on me they would just look fucking ridiculous.

PPS: Curious George is awesome! :)


PPPS: If you have to bow out, do so gracefully.


PPPPS: World Book Night celebrated reading by giving out print books. Amazon wasn't invited.

Quoting the article:

The costs of the paperback World Book Night special editions are being underwritten by publishers, printers and paper companies. All 30 authors have waived their royalties.

Most of the publishing industry, including the two largest bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, is involved in some way. The one conspicuous exception: Amazon, the giant e-retailer that's at odds with publishers and traditional bookstores over Amazon's discounted e-book prices.

Amazon, which sells both print and e-books, wasn't asked to participate. Lennertz says only that "the philosophy behind World Book Night has been about physical books in physical places, handed out person to person. How can Amazon participate meaningfully without a physical presence? It uses other retailers' stores as its own showrooms. That's just messed up. Plus Amazon doesn't really give a damn about books, anyway. They're a retailer that sells all sorts of stuff and books happen to be among the things they sell."

But Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman says, "We look forward to talking to the organizers of World Book Night about future opportunities, after we've run everyone else out of business and we're the only publisher and retailer in the world."

Oren Teicher, head of the American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, says that in Britain last year, World Book Night "triggered an avalanche of publicity for books," which then led to a boost in sales of the same titles that were given away.

Or, as Lennertz puts it, "We believe that reading begets reading."

I believe that's the whole concept behind libraries and promotional giveaways.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

9 Most Controversial Pulitzer Prize Winners Ever


Timing is interesting, isn't it? I just happened to get this article in my email. I thought I might share it, as bloggers tend to do.

I'll quote the leading paragraph for you:

The Pulitzer Prize is the Academy Award for writers. Winning it means the admiration of peers and readers, recognition and validation of the subject matter, and a nice cash prize for the author. Like any contest that could define a career, there is the potential for heated debates and passionate disputes. For these nine Pulitzer winners, victory came with a big asterisk.

Well, I couldn't help noticing that #6 is no one. I guess we can add 2012 to the list, huh? Or the year to no one. Whatever.

Frankly, here's my feeling about the whole thing. #iamfoolish


As an ebook author who supports indie bookstores, I was out shopping today and I was happy to see that the dead Borders was replaced by a BAM, i.e., Books a Million. I wish it were an indie bookstore, but it wasn't. So, I chose to feel good about having any bookstore at all. Hey, it's something, right? :)

PS: Ann, please consider taking my advice. You really shouldn't take yourself too seriously. I've chosen to be happy, and I think I'm much better off as a result. #iamfoolish

I also happened to get this from a fortune cookie: "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause." True story!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heroines of Indie Bookselling

Lisa Corson
At a time when things are looking tougher than ever for indie bookstores, because of one particular big, horrible mammoth online retailer/publisher, I was really thrilled to see this article. In Time, no less. Awesome! :D

Ever since Google bailed out on indie bookstores, I've been feeling like they've been the butt of a really bad cosmic joke. #iamfoolish

Well, let's take a look at who these awesome ladies are. They run an online bookselling business called ... wait for it ...!

Emily Books. It’s a two-woman operation run by Emily Gould — former Gawker writer and author of And the Heart Says Whatever — and Ruth Curry.
 
“I worked with these large publishers for most of my career, and there is a lot of fear over how much power Amazon and Apple have over the marketplace,” says Curry. “But nobody is asking, ‘What can we do?’ or ‘How can we fix this?’”

Ooh ooh!! Me!! I'm asking! See? I posted this today on one of my other blogs.

But enough about me. These two women are so awesome I think they're the real heroines in indie bookselling.
So ... here's the Emily Books website.  And here's the really cool Emily Books blog! #furiouslyhappy


And there's the logo. Awesome, isn't it?

So ... do you guys carry mysteries? :) I just had to ask.

PS: I'm still really puzzled by this, in light of this. Curiouser and curiouser.

PPS: Take heart. One fed-up publisher is doing better without Amazon. :)


PPPS: I nearly forgot to mention this post. Duh!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Get 'Riptide' For Free From Smashwords in Any Format


Since Smashwords offers ebooks in all formats and is no threat at all, when you come down to it, to indie bookstores compared to some big, horrible mammoth online retailer/publisher who will remain unnamed, I feel it's fine to promote my Smashwords ebook giveaway right on this here blog.

Having said that, here's the deal.

As a Smashwords author who has offered to be their spokesperson, simply because they’re so awesome, I’m offering my latest novel RIPTIDE from Smashwords (just click the link to go to the order page) for absolutely FREE.

You can get the book for nothing at all in any format at all, including .mobi for Kindle, .epub for Nook, Apple, etc., PDF, etc.

All you have to do is use this coupon code ZX76D when you check out.

And all you have to do to transfer the file to your device is follow these really easy instructions. Super easy, right? Even I can do it. The gimpy techno-idiot. Honest!

However, this promo runs until Sat., April 21. So act fast, because I’m only giving away so many ebooks, okay?

And all I had to do to post this info is copy and paste the relevant stuff from this blog, but click that link and check out the other stuff, too, okay? Because it's really awesome. Honest! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Disney Wall Murals for Kids Bedrooms

Journey to Disneyland during the holidays so much fun and create unforgettable memories. Each time to Disney with the kids to make them not want to go home.

Disney wall murals are very unique and interesting to see, this wall mural makes them remember the sweet memories when sightseeing. With wall murals of life seemed to go to Disney every day.

wall mural is unique and suited to your child decorate the walls. Disney wall murals in figure added with a picture or a butterfly in the surroundings really make life more beautiful in the lead.

Disney Wall Murals for Kids Bedrooms
Disney Princess Wall Murals

Disney Wall Murals for Kids Bedrooms
Disney Mickey Wall Murals

Disney Wall Murals for Kids Bedrooms
Disney Wall Murals Colouring

Disney Wall Murals for Kids Bedrooms
Girl Disney Wall Murals
Hopefully this article and the picture can inspire you

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

20 Reasons Why Books Are Awesome for Your Brain


Those of us who love books know instinctively that they are awesome. However, here's an article that explains specifically why books are awesome for your brain.

To quote the article:

Romantic types like to portray books as flights of fancy offering up imaginative escapes from everyday drudgeries of work, school, and the like. But literature, no matter the medium, holds some pretty amazing, scientifically analyzed perks right here on terra firma. Passionate readers generally enjoy more finely-tuned brains than those who prefer more passive (though not lesser) activities, so anyone hoping to improve their minds both psychologically and cognitively might want to think about taking up the habit of regular reading.

This is why the girl in the photo is so happy. Because her brain is becoming so awesome from reading that book.

So ... if a person with a brain disorder reads enough books, could they be cured? #dystonia

That's an interesting thought.


I'm not quite sure what to make of this.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Suspense and Thrills Abound in 'A Vine in the Blood'


REVIEW: A VINE IN THE BLOOD (Soho Crime 2011)
AUTHOR: Leighton Gage

Mere weeks before the big showdown for the World Cup FIFA futbol (aka soccer, as we gringos call it ;)) championship, Brazil's most awesome player Tico "The Artist" Santos is put through a traumatic ordeal when his dear mother, Juraci Santos is kidnapped. Not only do the kidnappers take Juraci, but they murder her maids in cold blood and her sweet little doggie, and they try unsuccessfully to make it look like a break-in gone bad.

Now ... Brazilian pride and sportsmanship are on the line, and Brazil will be playing its arch rival Argentina in the World Cup. Thus, given the political ramifications of same, when Chief Inspector Mario Silva and his associate Arnaldo Nunez are called in to investigate the crime, they're under a lot of pressure to nail the perp. And they have many suspects upon which to focus their suspicions.

Leighton Gage's ability to introduce a wide variety of suspects into the story and weave different plotlines around one premise is truly a testament to his storytelling skills. His descriptions of Brazil also set the novel apart from others in the thriller/suspense genre, by giving the story the distinct flavor of that country's culture.

Gage also writes very strong and capable female characters, who aren't stereotypes. Highly refreshing to this reader's eyes. :)

Which is not to say that Silva and his crew lack a sense of humor. Anything but. Nunez is hilarious. So is "Baby Face" Goncalvez (don't ask -- just read the book :)). Silva has a dry wit and the amazing ability to keep his head when everything seems to turning to sh*t the chips are down.

So, when the case gets wrapped up and the big awesome exciting ending happens, can Silva handle it? That's the question.

But we already know the answer. Or do we?

Leighton Gage has written another highly suspenseful winner. A VINE IN THE BLOOD will keep readers guessing until the very end. Justice is served, one way or the other.

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