Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Club is BACK!

I was so sad last year when my book club went defunct. What can I say? We were just a bunch of overly busy, super extended, live all over the DC metropolitan area, kick-a*s ladies with a love for literature but schedules that would not always cooperate. But I refuse to give up and slowly, out of the ashes, a new book club is arising with a few of the old same friends and some new ones to come on board. This time we've created a bit of a closer parameter to where we all live in the city for a (hopefully) increase success rate.

So break out the wine and a year worth of great reading! To kick things off we're joining the rest of America's book clubs in selecting the #1 book club read in the Nation: the thriller Gone, Girl by NYT bestseller Gillian Flynn. If you haven't heard of it  yet I'm sure it's only a matter of time. If you're reading it on your own, let me know what you think and if you don't have a book club then come join ours virtually. My review will take place at the end of September so you have plenty of time to get through those pages, though I'm told once you get going you won't be able to stop.

When I put out a tweet asking for book club reads, even Lisa and Laura Roecker of The Liar Society fame said it had to be Gone, Girl hands down. And so it shall..

Here's what it's about:

Marriage can be a real killer. On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

So what do you think? Have you read it? Are you intrigued? Does your book club have plans to read it and if not, what are you reading these days?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Swagger Song

This is a unique but very artistic video for a new song that I am sooooo digging at the moment. It's called "Little Talks" by a group named Of Monsters and Men. I was immediately intrigued by the name which makes me think of the book Of Mice and Men though I can't find online whether the Icelandic indie folk rock band was inspired by the novel or not. If so, extra brownie points for them as I adore that book as I'm sure you all do too.

Regardless of the inspiration for the band name, I hope you love this little ditty they've created. It's a fabulous swagger song to be-bop to as these summer days wane and the loveliness which is fall (and my favorite season) starts to get underway.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

WTF Wednesday

This WTF Wednesday post includes the weird, the over the top, and the just not fair.

1. How can she play the guitar with this ICEBERG on her finger? In case you haven't heard, Avril Lavigne, at just 5'1, is now engaged (who knew she was even dating?!) and accepted this whopper of a  14 karat diamond ring. There are no words except, "WOWSER."

2. Did you guys get a chance to see rhythmic gymnastics during the London 2012 Olympics? All I could think of was Will Ferrell during his Old School ribbon dance. Only in real life it looked a lot more like this:

Will someone please explain to me how this possible? Seriously? I'm sore just looking at her.

3. Weird: Apparently post birth placenta eating is a new trend. Really?! According to this article about actress January Jones, she's one of many celebrities in on this very odd behavior. All I can say is, "WTF?"

4. The over top comes to us thanks to the longest bridal dress train EVER! It's nearly 2 miles long. Nope, that's not a typo or a workout but, rather, the length of the train which according to the article would require 4 football fields to cover and an entire NFL team to hold up. To top it off, she was hoisted up in a hot air balloon. High maintenance much?

5. First off, huge congrats to Jennifer Aniston for her engagement. I hope this means the gossip mags can finally stop writing articles about Jennifer vs. Angelina (though for the record I was always Team Aniston). Engaged or not, these pants take "boyfriend jeans" to a whole new--and low--level.

6.  I'm sure by now you've at least seen one if not both of the Hemsworth boys: Chris and Liam, pictured below. Talk about good genes. I'm not sure whether I'd rather date them or be related to them if it means I get to look this good! SO. NOT. FAIR.

So what WTF moments have you had or seen lately?

Friday, August 24, 2012


I just started the book Hooked by Les Edgerton (review on that to come soon) and I just had to share his dedication page quote. It's lovely and inspiring and so, so, so, true! It's for all the writers who didn't have an easy path or a straight journey but, rather, the ones who took rejection, poured themselves into revisions, and kept at it until their book was as good as it could be--until it was an extension of themselves. It's for the writers who continue to stoke the fire in their belly to do what they were born to do: write.

Here it is:

"This book is dedicated to all the writers who didn't give up, no matter how long the odds or how fierce the struggle or how much the naysayers scoffed at their labor. To those who through their sweat, blood, and toil become our conscience and our heart and our soul, and who continually elevate us all as humans. You are a special breed, and I love you all."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Words

I saw this movie and can't wait for it's opening. It's about a man (an aspiring novelist) on the brink between a dead dream and a dark secrete. I LOVE it. What do you think; does it look interesting (Bradley Cooper eye candy aside)?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


That's right, today kicks off WriteOnCon--the free, online, children's writers conference. If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. There are forums to participate in, query and opening page critiques, sessions led by publishing professionals from literary agents to editors as well as published writers themselves. It takes place today and tomorrow, so what are you waiting for? It's free--and fun!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


The U.S. Women's Soccer Team plays the Japanese today in the gold medal match in the Olympics. This is the re-match of all re-matches after Japan beat us in the World Cup finals (and in penalty kicks no less)!

I am SOOOOO looking forward to it. It's anticipated suspense. If any of you watched the U.S. beat Canada in the semi-finals earlier this week then you'll know that it was quite possibly one of the most exciting women's soccer games in history. Canada would score, then we'd counter. Canada would score again, and we'd come back. There were shots dinging off the goal crossbar, dives, controversial calls, and one of the highest scoring games in Olympic history. And the end of regular play, it was still tied 3-3. That means overtime. As the clock ticked, each team kept getting closer and closer but, still, no more goals. It began to look like this, too, was going to end in penalty kicks and, in fact, the first penalty kick showdown in Olympic soccer history!

Let me tell you, there's nothing worse than deciding a big game in penalty kicks. It's incredibly exciting to watch but it's nerve-wracking as all h*ll.

As regular overtime had ended it left just three minutes of injury time on the board and that too was washing away quickly as both teams struggled to find energy after 119 minutes and 40 seconds of soccer. Our goalie Hope Solo prepared herself in the goalie box for what she--and the world--was certain would follow. And then with 20 seconds left in the game Heather O'Reilly sprinted down the right side of the field like a shooting start and sent up a ball like a Hail Mary, praying that it would find one of our players amidst the heavy Canadian defense. The ball lingered in the air, seconds passing and then...Alex Morgan rises up just a few extra inches above the defense flanking her sides. In that brilliant second, her head meets the ball and finds that sweet spot in the back of the goal. Morgan lands on the ground in the process failing to even witness the history she'd just made, though in the loud uproar of cheers ensured she felt the weight of it nevertheless.

This picture below captures fellow forward Abby Wamback's immediate reaction. It shows that kind of exhilarated excitement that can't be faked.

This is U.S. player Abby Wambach celebrating the down to the wire semi-final win against Canada. Don't you just wish you could bottle up this feeling?!

My hope for today's game is another heart pounder of beautiful soccer between the world's greatest women's soccer teams. Last time against Japan we were quite literally that team in the photo in White with our heads hung low, the sting of disappointment or, rather, heart break. But that's the suspense and the beauty of sports: anything's possible. I said to my husband after the Canada game that I was worried that Japan had an edge going into today's match since they'd have much fresher legs; their game was earlier than ours and they didn't have to play that extra 30 minutes of overtime. Then I saw shots like this one of Wamback and I changed my tune. While there's motivation for the Japanese to stay on top, never underestimate the power of of sweet revenge or a team fresh off a comeback and ready for more.

And this, too, is what we all need in our writing. We need action and the pacing to back it up. We need there to be those lingering questions about how the story will end, which side will win. We need to have that scoreboard counting down the dreaded seconds in the background and ensure the reader knows just what, exactly, is at stake. And when we do it right and the guy (or gal) our readers have been cheering for wins, we want the reader to not only be satisfied, we want them to be celebrating right alongside with them. We all want to be Abby Wamback.

Monday, August 6, 2012

We Have a Winner!

Winner, winner chicken dinner! Do you guys know this saying? I had never heard it before I started playing--and losing--at board games this summer with my 11-year-old cousin. Now, it's like a song on the radio that I just can't get out of my head.

I am not, of course, giving away a chicken dinner but rather a Sarah Dessen book which means a great read (as most Dessen books are)! That lucky winner is Malvina. Congratulations!

Malvina, please email me your mailing address so I can send the book along. Thanks so much for following and supporting the blog. As always, thanks to everyone who entered and if there are other contests you're looking forward to or other books you wish to see reviewed on the blog, just let me know.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Olympics

I love the Olympics. Most particularly I love watching sports or, really, anything competitive. I also love an excuse to visit a pub with friends and cheer loudly with the occasional smack talking. The Olympics play into all of these things.

What the Olympics make me think of most, however, is this old picture I tore out of a magazine when I was seventeen.

I don't remember the magazine but I distinctly remember the photo. It had three little girls standing in a line, all wearing bathing suits in the hot summer sun. Their mouths smiled widely at the camera. There was no drama. No sucked-in bellies. No vanity. No insecurity. There were just three adorable, beautiful, perfect little girls. The caption read, "Remember when you loved your body?"

At seventeen this ad really resonated with me. The Olympics are all about country pride and culture--and yet it's counter culture. Instead of make-up laden underweight women, it's like one giant advertisement for healthy, powerful bodies and proof that these bodies come in a million different shapes and sizes and are still beautiful and capable all the same. I LOVE that!

But what about you? What do you love most about the Olympics?