Sunday, July 31, 2011

Aggie's Nine Heroes by Diana Laurence

Hi there readers!
How's your weekend going?  Good I hope.  I was up late so I figured I'd catch up on the end of GLEE Season 2 (was definitely feeling off for not seeing the last three episodes...what kind of fan am I?) and now that that is completed (good stuff too...definitely good), time for a little reviewing.  Just finished this particular title before the clock struck twelve yesterday and immediately I felt the need to jot a few things down that needed saying.  Ready to read all about it?  Here goes.  Today's book of choice is....

Aggie's Nine Heroes
by


From the author...

Meet the little girl who decided superheroes didn’t live only in comic books.Then learn how she—and nine other amazing people—proved it. Aggie Borkowski is only ten when she realizes the world needs help, and she can’t do the job alone. For the next dozen years, Aggie pursues her extraordinary goal: to gather a team of nine talented, dedicated people who want to be heroes. Number one on that roster is Aggie’s remarkable grandfather, Bernie. His indomitable spirit--undaunted by personal tragedy and a sometimes-terrifying handicap--is key to the realization of Aggie’s dreams. The Borkowskis’ story spans five decades, from Korea’s Demilitarized Zone to the high-tech minefield of life in the 21st Century, including a sojourn in that fearful place called middle school. With Bernie’s loving guidance, Aggie develops exceptional coping skills, all the while facing the conventional challenges of growing up and finding true love. Aggie is just one girl trying to make a small difference…but like Bernie taught her, “When you do a good thing, no matter how small, the goodness that results can be great.” And it works even better when you can do it with a team.



Click here for an excerpt from the book.  As for the review, I'm just going to jump right in....
Bernie Borkowski (slightly inspired by her own dad...how cool!?!) was a remarkable character as were Aggie and her friends, but he had unusual circumstances to boot dealt his way and thus he gets the spotlight first. A character with mental illness...especially one that's not flapping around like Renfield whilst alluding the men in white coats (pardon the dramatic explanation, no offence intended...just setting a contrast)...is often unheard of or rather seen/read of in literature. The spin put on his overactive mind and the creativity that sparked from it was amazing....

(LINES REMOVED PER REQUEST OF AUTHOR...PARDON THE MESS)...

An issue so hard to deal with yet he found a way to "make it work"...but that's not all. It wasn't just his stubbornness that drove Bernie to try to learn a "normal" life (quotations used there because really, normal is relative to some degree), but strength, conviction, courage, and love. He possessed all of these qualities, tried to surround himself with like minds and in the end the world was a better place for it. We should all be so lucky to have a person of his caliber touch our lives even for a moment. Now Aggie...

Aggie was a brave girl. A girl who looked life in the face, listened to what it wanted and made it a compromise it couldn't refuse. She wasn't a bully, but she knew what was right and stood as best she could for it. When times got tough, she got going and by going I mean building an organization (non-profit no less) that would help solve those problems too big for Johnny Q. Public but too small for the big arenas to deal with properly. Can you believe it all began as the idea of a young impressionable child with a love of Neil Gaiman comics (which is totally explainable...it seems a few shades of the author colored this particular area...) and a dream of a better world for all? A remarkable child that grows into a remarkable young woman that despite the encroaching world with all its ugliness, she fought to keep a light on the goodness around her. That power and strength went two fold stronger for those closest to her...including those within the inner circle of A9H (aka Aggie's Nine Heroes). She sought out the extraordinary in the ordinary world and found those that would share in her vision who not only become a formidable team but her extended family. From the Tri (three computer hac....I mean geeks... ^_^) and Nita (a real people person), to Jason (the actor) and Brandon (dojo master and long time friend), there are so many personalities and so many skills amongst this group I could go on for days. Will I? No. Why? Simply to let you discover them on your own. I know I know, pretty nice of me, right? (LOL. ^_^)

Now don't get me wrong, there are a few points on which the lows settle. A grasmmar error here and there plus a break down of content once or twice and foul language unfortunately do happen...but it's not enough to stop the show from rolling on (oh pardon the theater reference, was watching Glee when I typed that part...hehe). Let's blow through them rapidly. The romance aspect for Aggie after nearly 200 pages of the book seemed like an after thought. It still worked but the story and characters already had so much going on that set them apart, it felt a little like a "what-else-can-I-add"-ish sort of moment. Also, the descriptiveness of her intimate encounter is not for the kiddos....a fact which is understandable when her other works are taken into account (apparently the author has previously penned a collection of "tasteful erotic stories" among other things). Whew! Still there? Okay....truly those are the big things, anything else was easy to pass right by and seriously had no bearing on the overall story.

All in all, a surprising read that will have you glued to the page at first out of curiosity, then out of interest and finally out of a need to see where a not-so-simple dream carries a group of people so different and yet all in to affect the same outcome...a better world for one and all. Recommended reading for older teens through adults. Be prepared for a curious journey that will take you near, far and everywhere in between whilst leaving you with many points to ponder.

Special thanks to author Diana Laurence for the ebook review copy. (THANKS!) For more information on this author and her current works, feel free to visit her website, friend her on Facebook, or check out the blog. It might do you well to hear some great news that the author was kind enough to clue me in on. This book was up for an award recently in the Hollywood Book Festival and guess what? It received an honorable mention in the General Fiction category! "Awards are given based on the author's storytelling ability and the book's deserving the attention of film, television, and other media." (Congrats Ms Laurence!!) Read all about it folks....just click here.

One more thing...the author is using the funds from the sale of this book in a very special way. Check it out....

Aggie’s Nine Heroes explores themes related to responsible living, charity, and benevolent entrepreneurship. So, the author wanted to use the proceeds of this book in a manner that Aggie and her grandfather Bernie would approve. Kiva.org is an 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that allows people to lend money via the Internet to microfinance institutions in developing countries around the world in the U.S., which in turn lend the money to small businesses and students. Kiva enables people who otherwise would be “unbankable” to start businesses and become productive members of their local communities, while bringing themselves and their families out of poverty.

25% of the proceeds of the sales of Aggie’s Nine Heroes will be donated outright to Kiva for ongoing administrative expenses. 75% of proceeds will be provided to investments through Kiva.



Definitely an effort that Bernie, Aggie and the whole crew would be proud of....



Until next time...happy reading!
 


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bake Sales and Blackmail

Hi there readers!

As promised, I'm back with another post to hopefully brighten your reading day and quite possibly add to you wish list.  It's a book with an off kilter title and a story that while some may view as a bit out there....I personally found the possibilty of it all too real, but in a "OMG-that-could-totally-happen" sorta way.  Now it's not for the kiddos as it has a few blushworthy scenes but trust me...it's good.  Ready to find out what's behind that blog post title?  Here we go!  Today's book of choice is....

Confessions of a PTA Mafia Mom
by
Elsie Love

Elaine Elizabeth Jackerson, aka Lanie from here on out, is doing what a lot of parents will be doing in a few weeks...getting her kids out the door to the first day of school.  Her surly daughter Lexie is like most teens, ready to be on her own and couldn't care less about what dear old Mom says.  Her son affectionately known as Poodle still loves her attention but wants his space as well prompting him to have her delay her arrival to the first day of school parent PTA meeting until he clears the area.  Such is the life of a Mom. 

To tell you the truth though, Lanie doesn't really want to go either.  She's really only going to get her husband off her back because lately her ambition and go-get-em have been below par....okay, sub zero.  She just hasn't been herself and while she's sought solace in her nightly liquid escapes, her home life has been taking a hit (or two or three) that she never anticipated.  Perhaps the company of her fellow Glen Ellyn mom's was just what the doctor ordered...then again, I don't think the doctor that ordered that ran with this crowd. 

There's more than meets the eye when it comes to this particular PTA group...and I'm not talking about their incredible bake sale skills either.  They're one unstoppable bunch in more ways than one, which our friend Lanie is about to discover one heavy breathing phone call later.  Like I said...this is not your ordinary PTA, this is the PTA Mafia and they're about to make Lanie an offer she can't refuse.

Alright, so here we have a title that at first glance makes me think...okay, this could be interesting...but the story was more than that, it was fun and exciting too.  The probability of it all actually occurring, slim to none....or is it?  I mean didn't you ever wonder how your school PTA was able to consistantly pull off event after flawless event without ever having a curl out of place?  Oh admit it....you have and that's okay!  It's all a part of the fun in this adventure.  Now, continuing with the story...

It's more than just bake sales and meetings.  There's a story of family and values, love both lost and gained, lust (of a particular Hawaiian hottie you won't mind dreaming of) and passion for both people and creativity. Lanie is dealing with life as it comes at her.  She accepts those things that have happened due to her own negligence and takes action to stop those things that are not....eventually.  Admittedly there is a learning curve but hey, life doesn't come with an instruction manual (at least mine didn't...if yours did, please share!).  I loved her characters growth by stories end even more so than the makeover because it was more permanent, a change on the inside for the better.  Now since we're talking characters....

There is a full cast of characters that are memorable for one reason or another and while I could list them all, I shan't.  Allow me to point out a few a the "top dogs" though...starting with Suni Calverson.  A force to be reckoned with with or without the deadly duo of Yvette and Babette by her side, one nod from Suni and well, let's just say the forecast for your day is no longer matching her name.  Then we have the duo listed there and while they're names may rhyme, that's about as cutesy as they get.  On a suni-er note (pun intended), we have Benjamin Oliana...Lanie's suppose to be fling whose heartthrob status is noticeable even in black and white font...but whose motives are somewhat harder to discern.  *le sigh* I suppose no one can be perfect.  Suffice it to say, there's a large cast but not so large as to get lost in the shuffle.

All in all, a well written story with changes in direction that  you won't always see coming and will definitely leave a smile on your face....for one reason or another.  Take a chance with Lanie as she embarks on a forced mission of self discovery only to uncover to powerful woman that was there the whole time.  Recommended read for adult readers as it deals with a few blushworthy scenes and topics...nothing x-rated but still, adult intended. 

Ebook for review courtesy of author Elsie Love.  (Thanks!)  For more information on the author as well as her full body of work, feel free to visit her website for all the delightful details.

Until next time....happy reading!


The forecast today is for a...

...well, this cover says it all.  Oh wait. Does that say 'fairy'? *double checks*  Sure does.  PJ well, you get the point...and that sword could TOTALLY come in handy today.  Enjoy your day (hopefully less eventful) and check back later today for another review.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Taste Testing Tuesdays....on a Wednesday!


Good afternoon (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Though usually done on a Tuesday (hence the MEME name), a tastey book is best sampled any day of the week so why not on Wednesday?
 
On the menu this week...an ebook I've had waiting in the wings for a while and if it wasn't for my reading schedule I totally would have started it sooner.
Ready for a taste?
 
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Bernie went on, “A fad starts as an idea, something somebody thinks people might like. So that somebody turns the idea into an actual thing. And if lots and lots and lots of people like the thing, and ridiculous numbers of them want one and get one, that’s called a fad.”
“How many people have to like the thing?” asked Aggie.
“So many that almost no one hasn’t heard of it, at least.”
-- pg 3, Aggie's Nine Heroes by Diana Laurence

This is an unusal book to say the least but good nonetheless.  It's a YA pick that features a young girl that see's the world differently....in part from her imagination, and in part from her upbringing.  You see her parents died when she was only a tot and her grandfather (Bernie) has been raising her ever sense but he's not a cookie cutter character in the least.  He has an (often unspoken of) illness that while doesn't sit right out in front of him and wave hi to folks, it does or rather can interfer with day to day life in a most dramatic way.  Enjoying the book so far and anticipate finishing it before week's end.  Stay tuned for the  review!







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Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR.* 

 
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Until next time....happy reading!

 
 
 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ada, Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald

Hi there readers!
Happy Monday!  Well, at least I hope it's treating you nicely.  Today is normally reserved for my 'In My Shopping Bag' post but well, I'm not at my computer right now and as multiple pictures don't like to cooperate with my blogger app, a review it is!  Besides, the book I chose for today is one of those somewhat hidden gems that you'll WANT to know about....and despite the universe's apparent opinion that I shouldn't post today, I will prevail.  (No, seriously!  Every time I tried to start texting/typing, the few minutes I had would be taken away!  LONG stop at the train tracks, as soon as I picked up my phone....it ended.  Long line at the checkout, phone comes out...magically the line moved at the speed of light.  :0\)
Today's featured title is one that came to my attention a few months back, but due to reading obligations it couldn't be started right away.  Once I did get back to it though, I couldn't put it done.  It's a YA lit book you may not have heard of yet, but put on your listening ears (or grab those ones that the Weasley twins created) and get ready to read all about it.  Today's book of choice is....
Ada, Legend of a Healer
By
R.A. McDonald
Ada is a troubled young girl.  At only 15 years old, she'd been in and out of foster homes all her life...and as we meet her, she's in the "out" stage once again.  It's not her fault though...well, at least not completely.  You see, something always goes wrong at each new home.  Some are unavoidable...the male member of the household is a perv....and sometimes it's simply a matter of Ada saying something they don't want to hear.  We're not talking about teenage sassing back here or a mouth that needs a good cleaning with soap.  We're talking about an ability that Ada has and can't quite keep a lid on it. 
Ada has the "power" if you will to "see" or sense sickness.  You know those stories of the dogs that can smell cancer?  Think that magnified 100 fold and covering ANY ailment.  From clogged arteries to an inflamed knee, the big and the small she can pinpoint it with accuracy better than your general practitioner.  Sounds good right?  Well, the problem comes in with human nature.  Most people despite what they say don't take kindly to being told something is wrong with them....and when it comes from the mouth of babes, they're even less inclined to listen.  So time and time again she succumbs to the need to tell them and POOF, it's moving time once again.  This last stop, I can't say I'm too sorry she had to leave though (had both issues listed above going on), but family is family and she could surely use one. 
Lucky for her, this time around her aunt has mysteriously materialized.  True she's been in the picture before, telephone wise at least, but this time she's there in living color and ready to take Ada under her wing.  Finally, someone she can depend on...well, yes and no.  While it's true her aunt Jessie cares for her greatly, there's a bit more to her life than meets the eye....and a lot more she has in common with Ada than she's letting on.  When things take a turn for the strange, the truth is revealed....but Ada is about to get a taste of her own medicine.  Knowledge may be power but sometimes you can't help wishing you just didn't know the magnitude of what's happening. 
So, let's see here.  Where to begin.  The story itself is unique...not in the choice of characters (teen girl with powers and issues struggling to find her place in the world....certainly familiar) but in what the author does with them.  Ada is no wall flower.  She may prefer to stay out of the limelight because of her abilities, but she is not afraid to stand up for herself, and at times leads to some pretty funny moments.  Back to those abilities...
Seeing sickness and injury is only the beginning for as the title implies, she can heal others as well.  The extent to which this applies is ming boggling and I'll leave you to discover on your own but the moral dilemma it introduces is huge.  How DO you determine whom to heal and who should not?  What makes one more worthy than the other?  Jessie sees it as her way of giving back and sharing her gift (except in the case of a particular person of power that wants them as his own fountain of youth) but Ada raises a good point as well.  To heal everyone is a beautiful thought, but the reality of that could be rather scary.  Think about it.  We have population issues now, imagine if the due course of nature didn't take place and people lived on til virtually forever.  Then again, no one wants to say goodbye to their loved ones so we're back to square one of the dilemma.  The way the issue is explored is realistic and offers both sides of the coin inviting readers to reflect further on the ideas after the reading.  Props to the author for the one two successful combination!  Now back to the characters...
Aside from Ada and Jessie, we have a whole cast of interesting folks along the way.  Some are temporary fixtures like one Simone LaRue, while others leave lasting impressions on both Ada and her life such as Ms. Jardin and Daniel.  As each learns a bit more about Ada's life and abilities, it's interesting to see their reactions and interactions going forward.  You can see where human nature and curiosity get the better of some while others remain nonplussed.  The Senator though?  Evil!  Really, he is quite the manipulator...and his henchmen, no different.  Just watch out for them, trust me.
So we've covered the story and the characters in brief (lest I spoil the whole thing for you), let's talk artwork which is a rarity in YA books nowadays.  The cover art is only the beginning.  Throughout the story there are images scattered about illustrating some of the more important moments and lending a visual to an already stunning story.  I love the gritty feel of the art.  It speaks of the life she has lead and the troubles always there just around the corner but it doesn't stop there.  There is always this inclusion of these butterflied around the edges of the image which to me show that despite all she endures, beauty and wonder can be found in the situation as well as the gift she's been given.
In short, a great book with a lot of meaning, adventure (anyone heard of Parkour?  Definitely worth the look up..), and what ifs that end in an astonishing twist.  Well worth the read and high recommendation if I do so say myself...and I do.  Special thanks to author R.A. McDonald and House of Lore Publishing for the review copy.  (Thanks!)  To find out more about this author as well as her amazing work, check out www.adaslegend.com or check her out on Twitter!  For more on the publisher, visit www.houseoflore.net .
Until next time...happy reading!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Roving Reader


Love the colors on this one and the picture makes me curious....take a close look at the one girl's image.  Also....this was previously published as Dear Anju...and had a simple but striking cover as I recall with a bright pink background and a typewriter holding a letter only just begun.  Can't help but wonder why such a dramatic change between hardback and paperback release?  Either way though, the story sounds interesting. What say you?

What caught your eye when out and about? Do tell!
:0)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Taste Testing Tuesdays....on a Thursday!


Good afternoon (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.  Though usually done on a Tuesday (hence the MEME name), a tastey book is best sampled any day of the week so why not on Thursday?
 
On the menu this week...an ebook I've had waiting in the wings for a while and if it wasn't for my reading schedule I totally would have started it sooner.
Ready for a taste?
 
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Suni pointed at her. “Lanie Jackerson, when you signed on to become one of us, you joined more than a ladies’ social club. You raised your hand before God and country and joined the PTA mafia. We are women, we are powerful, and we are not f****** around.”
-- pg 76, Confessions of a PTA Mafia Mom by Elsie Love

Now first things first, I did edit the above line where the astericks are for posting purposes.  It's not that the book has a lot of fowl language, it just happened to be the random page I opened to with a great quote had one and well, I try to keep the site free of that when I can.  As for the book, WOO!  What a trip!  I always wondered about those perfectly run PTA events and how it always seemed so easy for them no matter what they did.  LOL.  Seriously, can't wait to finish and see just how (and where...*gulp*) everyone ends up. 







~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR.* 

 
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Until next time....happy reading!

 
 
 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

BLOG TOUR: Author Interview with Connie Corcoran Wilson + Contest!

Why hello again!
As promised we're back with day two of the far out tour from Premier Author Virtual Tours featuring It Came From the 70's by Connie Corcoran Wilson.  Yesterday we took a look behind the cover with a review of the book, today we take a look at the mind behind the work itself with an author interview.  Ready to learn more about another fascination author?  Here goes.  Please join me in welcoming author Connie Corcoran Wilson to the site....take it away!

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Author Interview
Connie Corcoran Wilson
(author of 13 books and counting, including It Came From the 70's)



You included a sampling of movies both good and bad so readers got an idea of both the times and your taste....HOWEVER, there were movies you had to leave out for the sake of space. Of those films, which would be your top choice and which would be your bottom? (And why?)


 It was, indeed, difficult to include ALL of the movies of the 70s and some choices were dictated by my ability to actually find the old reviews in my carefully preserved scrapbooks . I tried to use only those which had been written, originally, in the 70s, which, to me, is an important distinction and one reason the book is  special and distinctive amongst other movie books. It is true, however, that some of those reviews---even if I vividly remembered writing them at the time---could not be relocated. I had to do them over from a "looking back" vantage point ( about 6 fell into this category). I also read through all the many books of reviews I had saved, and those reviews that made me laugh out loud again made the cut.  I can't definitively pick a "top" choice and a "bottom" choice, but I definitely agree with the just-posted review at http://www.undermyappletree.com/ that the omission of "Blazing Saddle" (1974) and "Animal House" (1978) were painful, as these were big favorites for both Leslie and me. [ I did, in fact, have a photo of "Animal House" (p. 243) and named it to my Top Ten of the Year, so I felt I had "included" that one.] As for a bottom choice, there was a real stinker of a film called "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" which starred Ben Johnson of "The Last Picture Show" (1971). It was a truly terrible movie. I recall saying something at the time along the lines of "The Quad Cities should become 'The Town that Dreaded the Town That Dreaded Sundown.'"


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When did you know that "reviewing" was right for you?


I have been an avid movie fan ever since I can remember.   I haven't missed an Academy Awards ceremony since at least age 10, if not before. I grew up across the street from our local theater (the Malek Theater in Independence, Iowa), and my college comrades were (many of them) film students. Post-college, I kept predicting (accurately) the winners of each year's Oscars and won several contests, all of them offering prizes of one sort or another. (One year, it was a year's supply of bread; one year it was a blue plastic black-and-white television set with rabbit years; most years, the prize was either a season pass or a set number of passes to movies.) I also attended the University of Iowa intent on becoming a writer. Marriage and motherhood and the reality of a journalist's pay versus a teacher's salary headed me in a more ordinary direction after college, but I had always wanted to throw my typewriter in the trunk of my car, like Nick Meyer did, head for Hollywood, and "make it" (as Nick Meyer did). That didn't happen. What did happen is that I continued, annually, to win Oscar-predicting contests in the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois. Finally, I  decided (after one such win sponsored by a local newspaper) that I might be able to combine my love of writing with my love of film by offering my services as a local film critic to one of the local newspapers. The rest is history, as sketched in the Preface to It Came from the '70s.


-------------------------------------------------

Though not an official review, what would be your top and bottom picks of more recent times?
This one (What are the best and worst films of this decade) is a very easy one to answer, since my article entitled "The Best Films of the Decade 2000-2010" has been up on Associated Content/Yahoo (over 90,000 hits) since January 6 of 2010. I'd recommend you check it out. http://www.associatedcontent.com/> Arts & Entertainment It's done in list format (10 films per year and Honorable Mentions). I guarantee you that it's a better list for the discerning movie consumer than Roger Ebert's top film pick of "Synecdoche, New York." Just google Connie Wilson and "The Best Films of the Decade 2000-2010" and see if you agree with my picks, which were #1 on Google (above Ebert's) for quite a  long time. [I'd like to see if the article can regain its Number One status (it's #8 now) and YOU can make that happen by googling that article name along with my own (Connie Wilson).] It's a great little guide for recent movies to rent, [and you just might be getting a sneak preview at the next decade I'm thinking of using as the basis for a book similar to "It Came from the '70s." Maybe "Movies of the Millennium"?]

-----------------------------------------------


You pay equal attention to actors and actresses that shone as well as sunk. Any personal favorites? You know...like someone that would (or wouldn't) make you see the film because they were in it....


There are so many outstanding actors and actresses from 70s films that could "sell" a film. Names like Pacino and DeNiro instantly come to mind. As for female actresses, it's interesting to notice how short the careers of actresses like Marthe Keller ("Black Sunday," "Marathon Man") or Olivia Newton-John ("Grease") and Genevieve Bujold ("Obsession") were, by comparison to the careers of their male counterparts. It's also interesting to see how Travolta rose, sank and then rose again, thanks to "Pulp Fiction" and Quentin Tarantino. But let's not forget that Diane Keaton is still going strong, many years after "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and "Annie Hall." And Julie Christie resurfaced and even got an Oscar nomination for "Away from Her" as Fiona Anderson in 2006 and is still working in 2011.


--------------------------------------------------

Quid Pro Quo
If I wasn't a writer, I would have been.... an attorney. The reason I am not?  I thought it would be really fun to go to law school, and really boring to practice most types of law, with the exception of criminal law, and that seemed to attract a crowd that was seamy and dangerous. I ended up a teacher for 33 years at levels from junior high through adult, so maybe mother knew best when she made me get that teaching credential. It didn't help any that nobody...and I mean nobody...that I knew (including my parents who would have had to pay for it) thought a woman should become a lawyer in 1963. There were only 2 females taking the LSAT in the auditorium of roughly 1,500 students the first time I took it way back then. Now, the tables have turned.


On my nightstand is.... a wind machine to make a white noise to help me with my difficulty sleeping (I usually write by night), copies of many of New York Times' best-selling author Jonathan Maberry's books (he's blurbing my new novel The Color of Evil), a copy of Kincaid, a short story collection, by William F. Nolan (he's introducing The Color of Evil, as he did my short story collection Hellfire & Damnation, and is the iconic mastermind behind "Logan's Run," 85 other novels, and numerous screenplays and television episodes), and Keith Richards'  new autobiography Life. (I've seen the Rolling Stones 12 times "live" in concert.)


One of my all time favorite movies is... "The Manchurian Candidate" (the original), partially because it was withdrawn from circulation for so many years after JFK was assassinated. I have so many favorites that it's difficult to pick just one. It's a little like saying which of your children is your "favorite" when you love them all. A recent favorite, although supremely depressing, was "Never Let Me Go" with Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley and Carrie Mulligan. I saw all of the movies (and actors and actresses) who were Oscar- nominated  last year and thought it was a shame that "Black Swan's" Natalie Portman and Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole" had to go head-to-head for Best Actress, since those two performances were both so powerful. (This year, I got 18 of 24 categories correct, which earned a small prize.)


My final thoughts....
My final thoughts are that I have enjoyed writing these responses for you. I hope anyone reading this will go check my list of "The Best Films of 2000-2010" and leave me feedback regarding your views on my views. [Let's make that article NUMERO UNO again! You can do it, Gang! Go for it!]

I also hope that you will all check out my latest book of humorous essays (Bombeck-Meets-Sedaris) on Amazon or Barnes & Noble available as the Kindle title Laughing through Life now and soon to be available in paperback. Keep in mind that Hellfire & Damnation II, a collection of short stories (sequel to Hellfire & Damnation with a trailer which can be seen at http://www.hellfireanddamnationthebook.com/) and The Color of Evil, the first novel in a series, are soon going to be out and available, initially, as E-book titles. There's even one story from "H&D II" up now as a Kindle offering for 99 cents ("The Bureau"). It is 6,500 words and represents the 9th Circle of Hell, the unifying device of both "H&D I" and "H&D II," and is a sneak preview of what's to come in "H&D II."

By Christmas, as a complete departure, there will be an illustrated children's book, The Christmas Cats in Silly Hats, an illustrated paperback (pictures by Andrew Weinert) for my 2-year-old twin granddaughters Ava and Elise. Thank you. (*This has been a Public Service Announcement.)
 
 
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Wow, lots of great information there folks.  Thanks for the interview Ms. Wilson!  So what do you think guys?  Pretty cool, right?  Don't worry, it's about to get even cooler because the author is holding a nifty little contest with some fun prizes just waiting to be won.  Here's the details...
 
 
 
Connie is giving away cool It Came from the '70s luggage tags to 10 of my lucky readers. In addition, she will send the winners a short story "sneak preview" of her upcoming short story collection, Hellfire & Damnation II, the sequel to Hellfire & Damnation (all available on Kindle right now; short story title "The Bureau.") She welcomes reviews of "The Bureau" on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com, as well as comments or reviews of It Came From the 70's on Amazon.com.

Additionally, if you purchase a copy of It Came from the '70s and post a review for it on BarnesandNoble.com and/or Amazon.com, Connie will send you her new novel, about to be released on Kindle, The Color of Evil. The Color of Evil is a thriller about a young boy with paranormal abilities. You can even suggest plot directions to Connie by e-mail for this first-in-a-series novel and, if you wish, Connie will use your name as a character in the novel.

Both The Bureau (6,500 word short story) and The Color of Evil (80,000 word novel, Book One) will be sent to you by e-mail, free of charge, as a Microsoft Word document to read on your computer.

After you have reviewed It Came from the '70s on BarnesandNoble.com and/or Amazon.com, Please send Connie a link at EINNOC10@Aol.com, with 'Book Tour Review' in the subject line, to claim your free copy of The Color of Evil.
 

Now to win one of those luggage tags, just leave a comment on this post about the review or book or your thoughts in general on the subject matter it covers....and be sure to include your email address!  TEN lucky readers will be chosen at random to win this novel prize.  Contest open to US addresses only.  Begins NOW and closes 07/25/11 at midnight CST along with end of the blog tour.



 
So, what are YOU waiting for?
Snag your entry to win one of these far out tags and gain a chance to win/read another of her published works.  Best of luck to everyone and be sure to check out the rest of the tour as it continues through the blogosphere.  Next stop, Books, Books the Magical Fruit.

Special thanks to Teddy at Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for the chance to host on this tour.  Be sure to check out their website for more on this tour as well as upcoming events.


  Additional thanks to author Connie Corcoran Wilson for obliging my curiosity and supplying answers well worth the read.  Take a click over to her site for more on her published works as well as works in progress.

Until next time...happy reading!





Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BLOG TOUR: It Came From the 70's by Connie Corcoran Wilson

Hi there readers!
Welcome to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today is day one of a two day stop here at the site where we'll be welcoming a blast from the past that speaks volumes to the present AND the future.  It's a little out of the box compared to the books I normally review, but I couldn't resist once I read more about it...after all there were A LOT of great films that came to us from that era.  Without further adieu, courtesy of Virtual Author Book Tours....today's book of choice is....

From the Godfather to Apocalypse Now
by
Connie Corcoran Wilson

In its simplest form, this book is a collection of movie reviews from days gone by delivered to us by a voice of the generation.  It's a walk down memory lane with the blockbuster hits of an era that brought us timeless classics like Rocky, Carrie, and Alien....films that despite their age of production live on vividly today.  If we expand our view though, we find not only a chance to experience many of these films "first hand", but also the opportunity to learn a lot of little known facts that may have fallen on the cutting room floor.  For example...did you know that Al Pacino was NOT the first, second, or even third choice for the memorable role of Michael Corleone in the Godfather film series?  That's right.  As far as the studios were concerned, those in the running were Nicholson, Sheen, and Beatty (among others) but Pacino wasn't even a consideration.  Can you imagine this series with a different cast?

Or how about another creepy favorite....Halloween.  Little known fact time....the mask that Michael Myers wears in the film, does it look familiar to you?  It should.  It was actually a William Shatner/Captain Kirk mask turned inside out that created the look of this iconic character.  Who'd have thought, right?  But it doesn't stop there...or rather it's just getting started.  You can easily make a rather interesting to see (or not to see, EVER) list that will take you through some of the best and worst films in 70's cinematic history.  At the end of each review, there's a bit of trivia to add to your knowledge base and help bring out the movie buff in you.

In short, a great book for the hardcore enthusiast but also an entertaining read for those just getting their feet wet in 70's movie culture.  Whether you're saying hi to old friends or adding to your viewing repertoire, you're sure to find a lot of great introductions within this book.  Recommended reading for teen and adult readers...no questionable content but the interest is geared for older readers.

Special thanks to Teddy of Premier Author Virtual Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this tour as well as their upcoming events, be sure to check out their website.  As for me, I'll be back here tomorrow with an interview with the author herself...and there just might be a chance to win involved as well.  Stay tuned....

Until next time....happy reading!



Monday, July 18, 2011

In My Shopping Bag (83)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Through her guidelines, your post does not actually have to be named the same and thus my post shall be..."In My Shopping Bag".  (just fits with the "foodie" theme a bit better in my humble opinion)
Let's take a peek inside my shopping bag this week....

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Review
 
I Am Tama, Lucky Cat by Wendy Hendrichs
(Advanced copy courtesy of Peachtree Publishers)
Admittedly I read this the moment it came in....it's a great story and the artwork is simply wonderful.  I love how the artist places the subject of the picture front and center, then blends the scenary to match.  Review to come!
 
 
 
-----------------------------------------
 
Received
 
 
The Wide-Awake Princess by Ed Baker
This one's been on the radar for a while....suppose to be pretty good too.  We shall see....  ^_^



Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Saw the movie....loved it.  Curious to see how the book matches up.




Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
I'm a fan of the traveling pants series so when I saw this one release it went IMMEDIATELY on the wish list.  Now...wish granted!
 
 
....all thanks to Nayuleska at Nayu's Reading Corner!
(Thanks! ^_^)
 
 
 
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That's it for this week.

What did you get?
Do tell!


Until next time...happy reading!


 
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