Saturday, March 27, 2010

Latest info on Girl: Treasure Seeker

I wrote some more of Girl: Treasure Seeker today. I'm up to page 26, and I finished the outline for the book. In this one Rachel and Justin are nabbed by terrorists and forced to give state secrets and build a biological weapon. And this one details Rachel's adventures traveling the world in her new job at the auction house while she's awaiting the trial for the van Gogh prints she sold.

Other news on my writing:
I'm speaking about the books and writing in general on April 14th to the GWU Hillel and some other women's groups. I also entered the Bethesda Literary contest with a short story called, "Silence". I think the results of that should be in May. And the results of the Romance Writer's of America Golden Heart Awards should be coming sometime in May as well. So here's hoping something will come through.

Meanwhile, I'll just keep writing the Girl series and sending out a couple of query letters to agents.

You might have noticed that I'm not writing in the blog every day like I used to. That's so I have more time for writing the novel. But I'll still post in the blog as much as possible. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Christopher Moore

Has anyone read any of his books? He wrote the novel, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. That's the first book of his that I've read, and it was really good. What were other good ones that he wrote, which I might want to read next?

Monday, March 22, 2010

If you're an avid reader, this website is the place for you. It's a book trading depot where you earn credits by mailing your books to others across the country. Every time you mail a book, you get a credit that enables you to "buy" a book from someone else. I've been on the site for about 2 years, and I've only had a couple of problems in all that time. One was that someone sent me the wrong book and then never credited me back for it. And the other was that the site administrator did not like me "advertising" my blog at the bottom of my posts on their blog. Oh well. I've saved a lot of money in book-buying, though, and that's the main benefit! Enjoy your swapping!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Percy Jackson - Guest Blog from Kim C.

Guest blog written by Kim C.

"Percy Jackson and the Olympians" (Lightning Theif).

Being a huge Harry Potter Fan, I was instantly intrigued to hear about another kids series with a similar scenario. Boy-hero, misunderstood by everyone, enters a secret world of kids just like him, makes friends, saves the day. I tried to hold off reading it, but I couldn't hold out for long. The similarities to Harry Potter are very clear (Protagonist even has dark hair and green eyes) but if you ignore that, it's another thrilling story of good versus evil, just pasted on a backdrop of Greek mythology in lieu of Wizards and Witches. I'm not sure if I will go on to the rest of the series, but it was a quick read that satisfied my old Harry Potter pangs.

Friday, March 12, 2010

2nd Speaking Engagement - GWU Hillel

I am speaking about Girl: Classified and the process of writing a novel again--this time at the George Washington University Hillel on Wednesday April 14th at 7:30 pm. If you would like to come on out, please just let me know. I can forward the address and any other information to you upon request.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Recommendation for Kelly

I asked audience members from the GWU Women's Literature discussion to tell me the kinds of books they like to read, and I promised to give them personalized book recommendations on my blog.

This one is for Kelly. She said she likes biographies/suspence/drama/Jodi Piccoult). I like Jodi Piccoult too, Kelly. I would recommend one of her books to you, but I bet you've already read a bunch of them. As soon as I saw what kind of books you like, I thought of a recommendation straight-away.

Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite authors who writes historical fiction. I think I've read all of her books. My favorites are the ones centered around the English monarchs--just because their real life stories are so sensational/dramatic. I'm specifically recommending The Virgin's Lover. It's about Queen Elizabeth's suspected long-time lover, Sir Robert Dudley. All of Gregory's books take historical info and fill in the blanks that history is missing.

The year is 1558, an especially dangerous time for England: no bishop will coronate Henry VIII's Protestant daughter, the treasury is bankrupt, the army is unpaid and demoralized. Meanwhile, the French are occupying Scotland and threatening to install Mary, Queen of Scots—on the throne. Ignoring the matrimonial advice of pragmatic Secretary of State William Cecil, the 25-year-old Elizabeth persists in stringing along Europe's most eligible bachelors, including King Philip of Spain and the Hapsburg archduke Ferdinand. It's no secret why: she's fallen for her "dark, saturnine" master of horse, Sir Robert Dudley, whose traitorous family history and marriage to the privately Catholic Amy make him an unsuitable consort. Gregory deftly depicts this love triangle as both larger than life and all too familiar; all three characters are sympathetic without being likable, particularly the arch-mistress Elizabeth, who pouts, throws tantrums, connives and betrays.

Kelly, feel free to have your friends contact me for book recommendations. You/they can contact me through my website

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Recommendation for Jamie

I asked audience members from the GWU Women's Literature discussion to tell me the kinds of books they like to read, and I promised to give them personalized book recommendations on my blog.

This one is for Jamie. She said she likes women's literature & chick-lit (Time Traveler's Wife); some non-ficton (3 Cups of Tea). So...for you I'm recommending Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read this book last year and enjoyed it. I typically go for fiction, and this is non-fiction. So it's a little out of my regular genre, but I found the story's abandon and adventure fascinating.

At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly food-wise, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for "balancing."

I also love traveling, so reading this book made me feel like I was in these three destinations.

Jamie, will you let me know what you think of this recommendation? Have you already read it? Did you like it? They're making a movie out of it, I hear, so I'm looking forward to that. I always like to read a book first and then watch the movie to see how other people portray the characters that I'd pictured in my imagination.

Please feel free to have your friends contact me for recommendations too. You can contact me through my website:

Thanks for coming out on Monday!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recommendation for Stephanie

I asked audience members from the GWU Women's Literature discussion to tell me the kinds of books they like to read, and I promised to give them personalized book recommendations on my blog.

This first one is for Stephanie. She said she likes chicklit but with more of an "edge"...funny, but also dealing with serious issues (family, depression, divorce), recognizable characters, even if a bit over the top.

Stephanie, I just started reading the book, Beach House, by Jane Green. I'm only in a few pages, but I thought this might be up your alley. It's about a sixty-five-year-old Nan Powell who has lived comfortably and happily in Nantucket since the suicide of her husband, Everett, so she is thrown for a loop when she learns that she is in danger of losing her beloved house. After weighing her options, Nan decides to turn her home into a bed-and-breakfast. The guests she gets for the summer are all at a crossroads in their lives in one way or another. Daniel has just separated from his wife and is facing something he has denied for years; Daff is recovering from the heartbreak of a divorce and getting a much-needed break from her anger-filled 13-year-old daughter; and Nan’s son Michael is on the run from a disastrous affair. Nan finds herself opening up to her guests and enjoying their company, but she is shocked when she discovers a person close to one of them has a startling connection to her.

Stephanie, will you let me know what you think? Also, feel free to have any of your friends tell me the kinds of books they like, and I'll do a recommendation for them too. You can contact me through my website

Monday, March 8, 2010

GWU Speaking Engagement

Today I was a speaker at George Washington University on a panel discussing women's literature and chicklit. It was a great experience! Published authors always talk about the importance of networking and marketing yourself. I saw it first hand today. I met some great people who had ideas on how I could move forward with my writing projects.

The other speaker on the panel was a GWU teacher who did her dissertation at Delaware on Chicklit (although, her professor wouldn't let her use the specific term in her dissertation's title...) She is introducing me to her friend who's a published author and who is starting a writer's circle. A writer's circle is a group of writers who give each other constructive critism and tips on writing/publishing. I've been looking for a circle that includes authors focusing on women's fiction.

An audience member also gave me a great tip. She's the Director of Engagement at GWU's Hillel. She would like me to speak again with her specific contingent. I'm looking forward to that! She also said that Lilith Magazine is looking to do a story on Washington DC writers, so she is planning to give them my name. Lilith magazine features award-winning investigative reports, new rituals and celebrations, first-person accounts both contemporary and historical, entertainment reviews, fiction and poetry, art and photography--all with a focus on Jewish women.

Third, another audience member talked to me about Book Expo America. The next conference is in NYC on May 26th. Many authors, publishers, and agents congregate at the BEA to trade ideas and network. I hadn't heard of the conference before, but I'm looking into new avenues for networking, so it was a great tidbit of info.

All in all, the speaking engagement today was a fulfilling use of time...and fun! It was interesting to discuss favorite authors with other women. We also had an intellectual conversation about why the term chicklit is a bit dirty in the publishing world--why the genre went downhill after an influx of poorly written books in the beginning 2000's--an how chicklit writers are reinventing themselves under the term "women's fiction" or just plain "literary fiction" instead.

Thank you again to Erica for setting this up and inviting me!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

There's No Place Like Here

I just finished reading a classic, great chic-lit. It's written by Cecilia Ahern, the author of P.S. I Love You. She's also the Irish Prime Minister's daughter. (I've always thought that was cool tidbit of her biography.)

There's No Place Like Here is classic chicklit because it's written in the first person by a female protagonist. The narrator is discovering something about herself in the book, and a background (yet important) plot element is the acknowledging of the main character's true love. It's about a thirty-something woman, Sandy Shortt, whose job it is to find missing people until she herself goes missing. What I like best about Cecilia Ahern's books is that most of them include an element of Irish folklore/magic. I know that sounds strange for chicklit, but it's what makes Ahern's books different and special.

Five stars for this novel, Ahern's latest, which was published in 2009.