Waiting on Wednesday: Maybe in Paris

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week I am excited to feature a book that appeals to me because of the setting! :) 

Release Date: June 20th, 2017

Summary from Goodreads:
Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

Guest Post: Suzanne Sherman

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from author, Susanne Sherman. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome! 

Guest Post:Creating Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 - 2010

I was a writer and editor at 36 when I found a job of my dreams. No, I wasn’t earning a six-figure salary or having adventures in foreign lands. I was teaching memoir—guiding people in writing about their wonderful, complicated lives.

Twenty-one students at least 40 years older than me circled the big table on that first day of class, the oldest among them Gertrude, an 89-year-old who remembered trembling while her grandmother held her close in a bomb shelter as bombs went off across London during World War I. A New Yorker in class met his wife of 70 years when they were in high school. He married her without a ring—“Who had money?”
My students wrote amazing stories about ways of life I’d never known, about climbing on a chair to put a nickel into the gas meter in a tenement apartment to heat the house for another day. I read about city kids in the ‘20s picking sticky tar bits from the edges of newly laid streets and chewing it like gum. One woman wrote about rag sellers with horse-drawn carts on the streets of San Francisco. Another wrote about the Depression, with her family living out of the back of a truck as a squatter by a Tennessee River. During World War II one woman saw her Japanese school friends taken away and moved to fenced compounds in a different state for the duration of the war.
Ten years later my students had different stories to write. One woman hitchhiked to Woodstock at 16. Another wrote that she was raised by the TV after school and had a bedroom at her mom’s and her “weekend dad’s” houses.
I could see the wheel of time was turning. The contrast of the present made me realize even more the importance of the past.
And then I had an aha moment.
I had to collect this amazing whirl of change, had to capture these jewels about our culture on paper for more people to see. I had to unlock the treasure chest.
I decided to create “100 Years in the Life,” a new book series, and to start with women. The series would begin with girlhood stories of life before age 13 in every decade of a century and go on to teenage girls—coming of age stories, which I’m collecting now. (Go to www.100yearsinthelife.com for details.) The third book in the series will feature women’s lives throughout a century, with all the many ways we have lived.
To create Girlhood in America I selected 25 stories from my oldest memoir students for the first four chapters, the 1910s through the 1940s. For the 1950s through the 2000s I interviewed 30 women and girls from around the country, transcribed their words and edited them into the fabulous stories they are.
Each chapter focuses on a decade, opening with a cultural history about the country and what affected young girls, an interesting list of the 10 top girls’ names (from Mildred to Zoe), and fun highlights from pop culture. For each decade there are five or six girls’ stories, from Maine to Molokai’i. It’s history in motion, a rare chance to go time-traveling while seeing yourself, in ways, reflected in every story. The book is available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2lHlXai2), as an e-book, and by order through Ingram for libraries and bookstores. *******************
Thanks Suzanne for coming by the blog today. 

Check out the information here for more details about her book: 

Author bio:
   Suzanne Sherman, editor, memoir consultant, coach and teacher (www.suzannesherman.com), is the creator of the new book series, 100 Years in the Life. These collected short memoirs reveal a century of American life through personal voices from every decade. Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910 – 2010 starts the series, available in print and e-book (www.100yearsinthelife.com). 

About the book:
an important testimony to the lived history of decades of young girls. Informative, fun and illuminating!" -- Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers

The period of 1910-2010 ushered in huge changes—in social codes and lifestyles, discoveries and inventions, and of course—entertainment. Family life, education, and daily concerns transformed in this century of challenges and discoveries, devotions and losses, privileges and prejudices. These true stories of more than 50 girls under 13 transcend age and gender. You'll learn about yourself, your children, your mothers, and your grandmothers. It's history in motion, powered by the personal.

For more information: www.100yearsinthelife.com

Bookmark Monday

Monday, February 20, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping today with a the new book meme that I learned about recently:  Bookmark Monday! This is hosted by: Guiltless Reading.

Here is what you do:
Do you have a bookmark you want to share? Just take a photo and link up in the linky!

Sounds pretty easy right?

I am excited to share with you this bookmark that I got from my niece. :) She not only took the time to pick out the orange, but added tulips and cats because she knows I am a fan.

Happy Reading!

Love-A-Thon Mini Challenge: Let Me Sing You A Love Song

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hi Everyone!

Just popping by quickly to participate in one of the mini-challenges for the Love-A-Thon.

In this challenge you pair up songs with characters. I thought I would just do a couple for fun.

I thought it sounded like fun, so here we go:

Photo Credit
My Song for Dorothy would be 'Feels Like Home To Me'.

Photo Credit   

My Song for the Berenstein bears is 'We are 

What characters would you pair up with songs?

Happy #Loveathon!

Guest Post: Larissa Reinhart, 15 Minutes

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am super excited to be here with you today to feature a guest post from author, Larissa Reinhart. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome!


15 MINUTES, Maizie Albright Star Detective, by Larissa Reinhart
Doing HHI As Research for My Reality Star Heroine

Last May 2016, my family had our TV debut in HGTV’s House Hunters International. Our episode was “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya, Japan” and is now showing as a rerun (most currently on February 21st at 12:30 pm EST). The shoot took five days and was a lot of fun. The crew was wonderful, very friendly and sweet with our children. We’ve been longtime fans of the show and were thrilled to be a part of it.

When my husband first inquired about the show’s application process, I didn’t think we’d have a chance of getting picked. We’d lived in Japan three times previously, how could we be interesting to viewers? However, I had started writing my first Maizie Albright Star Detective story, 15 Minutes. Mazie’s an ex-child and teen star whose star imploded and landed her on a reality show between bouts of rehab. She’s forced by a judge to leave LA and her celebrity lifestyle to return to her hometown in Georgia, where she decides to become a private investigator (after playing one on TV).

Unbeknownst to Maizie, her reality show follows her to Georgia, so I thought it’d be great research to see what went into applying to be on a reality show. Little did I know, that by the time I finished writing 15 Minutes, I’d be on a reality show and using what I learned for the other books in the series.

Here’s five things I learned.

1)    A lot of your filming day is waiting for sound and light. When you’re indoors, light is always an issue. Sometimes indoor light reflects green, so the cameraman has to find an angle that works. For HHI, he needs shots of the interior before we come in to look at the house. When you’re outdoors, sound is always an issue. The mixer needs to constantly do background noise checks. And for some reason, waiting is exhausting.
2) On a reality show, everything is improvised, the words are yours, and your reactions are genuine. However, when there’s only one camera, the director may want to get other angles. Then you have to do the same scene again and repeat what you just said. And sometimes you have to do it many times because you forgot what you said or you flub it. Or a loud truck rumbles by and ruins the sound. 

This happened a lot, especially in the first days of our filming. However, in our last big scene where we discuss our three housing options and decide which house to choose, we did it one take. That felt great!

3) The director is watching the action and listening to sound from a small TV screen that’s connected to the camera wirelessly. The cameraman is paying attention to angles, light, and composition, what technically will look good. The sound mixer is wearing headphones and checking for sound clarity. The director is thinking about the story and creatively what looks good. She’s also in charge of the filming time table each day. Camera and sound are the trees and she’s the forest. No one’s paying much attention to you unless you screw up.

4) The worst thing you can do is look at the camera. If you look at the camera, you have to do the shot over.

I learned this the hard way. Many times.

5) Our shoots were 8 to 5 with an hour break for lunch every day. We all went to lunch together but at the end of the day, the crew went back to their hotel and worked. They had to upload the film, check it, and prepare for the next day.

There’s no after-party with the crew. They take their job seriously and like everyone, when the work is over, they want to go home.

Thanks Larissa for being here today!

Happy Reading!

Love-a-Thon 2017

Hi Everyone! Happy Start of another Love-A-Thon Year! Here are my answers for the 

An Introduction to You and Your Blog
  1. What’s your name? Where in the world are you blogging from? Valerie, Greater DC area
  2. Tell us your history with reading. Were you always a reader? Were you a reluctant reader? Was there a book that convinced you to become a reader?
    I have always been a reader since I was a little girl. I can safely say it has always been in my blood!
  3. How did you get involved in the online book community? We have a personal blog, but my mother in law had an idea about creating my own book blog and so I did :)
  4. How did you choose your primary platform (blog, Instagram, YouTube, etc)? I thought blogspot seemed easier to use!
  5. What’s your favorite thing about the online book community? The people!
  6. What sort of posts can readers expect from you? All kinds, I try to mix it up as much as I can.
  7. What book genres do you talk about most?  YA, Womens Literature, Memoirs, all over the place :)

  1. Favorite food? Beverage?  Hot Chocolate/Spaghetti
  2. Favorite color? It changes, but usually orange or green.
  3. Favorite things to do apart from reading? Traveling, Hiking, Running, :)
  4. Favorite tv shows? Gilmore Girls
  5. Favorite movies?  The Wedding Singer, Armageddon, Cars
  6. Favorite musical artists?  Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean
  7. Favorite places to shop?  REI

Book Talk
  1. Favorite childhood books?  Chicken Soup with Rice (Maurice Sendak)
  2. Favorite books read in the last five years? I have a fave list on my good reads page.
  3. Favorite genres? All sorts!
  4. Underrated book, series or author you love?  The Richest Man in Town
  5. A book you want to see made into a film or tv show? Ummm not sure.
  6. Book boyfriend/girlfriend? Book BFF? Book family?  All of you!
  7. Books you want to read in 2017? I set a goal to read the books I own!