Tuesday, January 16, 2018

0 Top 5 Greatest Author Feuds and More!

Top 5 Greatest Author Feuds

Meet Chloe Benjamin, author of The Immortalists! I don't know about you, but this book is definitely on my radar!

This video is hilarious. You're going to want to watch it more than once. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

1 The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg Book Blast

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Lake Union Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 348 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

Available for Pre-Order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound

Praise for The Secret Life of Mrs. London

“The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a heart-wrenching portrait of a marriage between two people who utterly depend on one another, but ultimately aren’t enough for each other. With skillful precision of language, Rosenberg weaves a narrative that defines the complexities of love, passion, and art. This is a perceptive, deeply moving novel by a great new talent about a couple who has gone unnoticed in historical fiction until now. Anyone who has ever loved another person will want to read this book.” —Victoria Kelly, author of Mrs. Houdini: A Novel

“One of Houdini’s best kept secrets was his affair with Charmian London in 1918. Now Rebecca Rosenberg tells the story using an elegant blend of fact and fiction, creating a Houdini book like no other. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is a true peek behind the curtain and a page-turner.” —John Cox, Wild about Harry

About the Author

A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel.

Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children's Home.

For more information, please visit Rebecca's website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads. Visit the Facebook page for The Secret Life of Mrs. London.

Book Blast Schedule

Tuesday, January 2

Friday, January 5
Creating Herstory (Fierce Femme Friday)

Monday, January 8

Tuesday, January 9

Wednesday, January 10

Thursday, January 11

Friday, January 12

Monday, January 15

Tuesday, January 16

Friday, January 19

Monday, January 22

Tuesday, January 23

Thursday, January 25

Monday, January 29
What Cathy Read Next

Friday, January 5, 2018

0 Audiobook Review: The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person
By Shonda Rhimes
Read by Shonda Rhimes
7 hours and 14 minutes
Simon and Schuster Audio


The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying Yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

My Thoughts:

I had purchased Year of Yes on audio way back in August 2016. It sat quietly in my audible library waiting on me to finally say YES to it. And, well, that didn't happen until December 2017. Year of Yes was my last listen of 2017 as well as my first of 2018. I had been going through what I call a funk during October and November. I didn't really want to do anything or go anywhere. I wasn't depressed; I was just sort of burned out on life. In December, as I was scrolling through my library, I came across this audiobook and realized I had not listened to it yet. And maybe, just maybe, it would be the motivation I needed to help me get over my funk.

I first became aware of Shonda Rhimes because of Grey's Anatomy. From the first episode I was hooked. A few years ago I became a fan of How to Get Away With Murder. Side bar: Viola Davis is a master of her craft and she deserves all the awards! I still have yet to watch Scandal, but somehow I know I'll love it as well. So it's safe to say Rhimes knows how to write killer television series. And despite her epic dramas and phenomenal writing skills it was the title of her book that grabbed my attention: Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person. 

One of the reasons the title grabbed my attention is because I had been saying no a lot. No to nights out with friends. No to events. No to my family. I felt overwhelmed by my responsibilities: work, school, mom, wife, trying to be everything to everyone. It's exhausting. Also, I'm an introvert. Which means I basically want to hide in my hobbit hole for days at a time. My husband is an extrovert as well as one of my children. And I think it's hard for them to understand why I need downtime. But I also felt guilty. Am I spending enough time with my kids, my husband? Should I be saying YES more? 

So, on a cold December day I started Year or Yes. Shonda (I feel like we should be on a first-name basis now) describes how one little comment made by her sister led her to start her year of yes. Saying yes to things, especially things that scared her, was a liberating experience. It literally changed her life, her attitude, her way of living. Shonda doesn't hold back. She talks about her amazing family and friends, and how they helped her on her path to yes. No man or woman is an island and she gives credit where credit is due. I also like how she pointed out that sometimes we say yes to things by our actions that we should really be saying no to. By the end of the first chapter I was ready to start saying YES to more things in life. Now, I don't have Shonda's resources, so I still have to be choosy about when I say YES. Because this girl needs her sleep! 

Year of Yes was narrated by the author as well. And I'm glad it was. Shonda has an easygoing conversational manner about her as if she's a friend about to give you some epic advice. So you might want to pour yourself a glass of wine and get comfortable. Year of Yes is inspirational, especially if you're not really feeling it these days. Shonda's vulnerability, humor, and journey will help you find the courage to say YES to life.

Friday, December 29, 2017

0 Stephanie Kate Strohm Answers the Question: What qualities should a prince possess?

What qualities should a prince possess?

When I was little, my favorite prince was Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. I knew, even at the time, that this was sort of an unusual choice. Most of my friends liked Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid, which made a lot more sense, as we’d all seen Little Mermaid on the big screen when it came out in 89. Plus, Eric had a dog, and was rocking that very handsome light eyes-dark hair combo. But for me, it was all Prince Phillip. And when thinking about what qualities a prince should possess, if I go with my first favorite prince, a prince should:
  • Be a great singer/dancer (gotta know how to waltz!)
  • Have a hilarious horse
  • Rock a jaunty red hat with a feather in it
  • Have nearly immobile hair
  • Be willing to defy royal convention/parental expectation and marry for love

Most of these qualities have not stood the test of time. For example, I am having a very hard time picturing Prince William in a red hat with a feather on it. But when I started to think of some of my favorite fictional princes from books, TV shows, and movies – like Eddie from The Prince and Me, Nick from The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, every prince in every Hallmark movie ever – there was one thing they all had in common. All of these princes defied whatever they were supposed to do and married for love, usually spurning some scary debutante-type in the process. There is something about these royal love stories I find irresistible. I think it’s that push-pull between duty and love, and that message that love can triumph over all – even over a scary debutante-type.

Of course, a real life prince should possess a lot more qualities than just the ability to follow his heart. A keen sense of empathy, for one. Knowledge about and respect for other countries and cultures. An unflagging commitment to charity work – and both William and Harry have distinguished themselves admirably in that regard. (Here’s some information on all the charities they support: https://www.dukeandduchessofcambridge.org/the-duke-of-cambridge/charities )

But I can’t deny that when I watched the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement interview video for the seventh time, I wasn’t thinking about any of those things. I was thinking that here are two people who have followed their hearts, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Here’s to love! 

More about Prince in Disguise

Someday I want to live in a place where I never hear “You’re Dusty’s sister?” ever again.
Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.

As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation.

About the Author

Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of The Taming of the Drew, Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink, Confederates Don't Wear Couture, and the upcoming It's Not Me, It's You and Prince in Disguise. She grew up in Connecticut and attended Middlebury College in Vermont, where she was voted Winter Carnival Queen. Currently she lives in Chicago with her fiance and a little white dog named Lorelei Lee. http://www.stephaniekatestrohm.com

0 My 18 for 2018 List

I've been following Gretchen Rubin on Facebook for over a year now. She's written a book called The Happiness Project which in itself has become a movement. In a podcast a few weeks ago, she adopted "18 for 2018" for the new year after being inspired by a listener. I thought this was a great idea and decided to post my 18 things that would make me happier in 2018.

  • Put new batteries in all the flashlights
  • Learn more about coding
  • Make more time for being crafty (sewing, knitting, etc.)
  • Do yoga everyday
  • Be more organized
  • Take more photos
  • Start a family game night with in-laws
  • Read more books that I already own
  • Learn to cook new recipes
  • Say yes to things that scare me
  • Spend more time in nature
  • Finish reading Moby Dick
  • Limit time on social media
  • Connect with friends more
  • Send out Christmas cards
  • Learn to say no without feeling guilty
  • Drink less coffee
  • Learn a new language

So that's it. What's on your list?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

0 Interesting Holiday Word Origins, Melissa de la Cruz's Writing Process, and More!

Monday, December 25, 2017

0 One of the best books of 2017 is on sale today only!

Kate Quinn is a native of Southern California. She attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance detailing the early years of the infamous Borgia clan. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in Maryland with two black dogs named Caesar and Calpurnia.

In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.

Connect with Kate:
Facebook: @KateQuinnAuthor
Twitter: @KateQuinnAuthor

  • One of NPR's Best Books of 2017!
  • One of Bookbub's Biggest Historical Fiction Books of 2017!
  • Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick!
  • One of Amazon's Best Books of June!
  • One of Goodreads' Best Books of June!

“The Alice Network has history, suspense, romance and women kicking butt. I couldn't put it down.”—NPR.org

“Amazing historical fiction... a must read!”—Historical Novel Society, Editor’s Choice

“With her latest novel, Kate Quinn announces herself as one of the best artists of the genre. The plotting is seamless, the pace breathtaking, and the prose is both vivid and laced with just the right amount of details. Fans of historical fiction, spy fiction and thrilling drama will love every moment of THE ALICE NETWORK. It‘s a masterful novel that will leave you craving more.”—Book Page

“Those looking for intrigue and danger in their summer fiction may be drawn to Quinn’s (Mistress of Rome) latest... This fast-paced story offers courageous heroines, villains you love to hate, and dramatic life-or-death stakes. A compelling blend of historical fiction, mystery, and women’s fiction, Quinn’s complex story and engaging characters have something to offer just about everyone.”
Library Journalhttp://www.publishersweekly.com/images/reviews-star-19b.pngstarred review

“Lovingly crafted and brimming with details, readers are sure to be held in Quinn’s grip watching as the characters evolve. Powerful reading you can’t put down!”—RT Book Reviews, 4.5 star, “Top Pick”

“Smart, suspenseful and adventurous, The Alice Network is a worthy homage to the female spies of World War I of which Quinn should be proud.”—Shelf Awareness

“Page-Turning… riveting…with enough thrills, violence, and intrigue to keep any mystery enthusiast interested, especially if they enjoy well researched historical settings and intriguing characters.”—Reviewing the Evidence

“Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”—Stephanie DrayNew York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter

“The Alice Network... perfectly balances a propulsive plot, faultlessly observed period detail, and a cast of characters so vividly drawn that I half expected to blink and see them standing in front of me. This is historical fiction at its best--thrilling, affecting, revelatory.”—Jennifer Robson, international bestselling author of Moonlight Over Paris

“Kate Quinn delivers an enthralling tale filled with breath-taking narrative that will make the reader feel as if they’re in the back of the roadster, riding along with the raucous Eve and courageous Charlie on their clandestine adventures. Suspenseful and engrossing, THE ALICE NETWORK is a must-read!”—Heather Webb, author of Rodin's Lover

“A ring of daring female spies known as the Alice Network left a legacy of blood and betrayal. Two women suffering the losses of two different wars must join forces, one to find her voice and her redemption, the other to face her fears and her oldest enemy. Kate Quinn strums the chords of every human emotion with two storylines that race over continents and through decades to converge in one explosive ending.”—Marci Jefferson, author of Enchantress of Paris

"A powerful story filled with daring and intrigue, The Alice Network will hook readers from the first page and take them on an unforgettable journey."—Chanel Cleeton, author of Next Year in Havana

“Line for line, one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Loyal and brave, the women of THE ALICE NETWORK are brilliantly revealed by Kate Quinn’s exquisite storytelling and prose. I loved every word! A must read for fans of WWI and WWII fiction.”—Renee Rosen, author of Windy City Blues

Sunday, December 24, 2017

0 Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2017

0 Check out these 5 debut female authors from Beaks and Geeks

Whether you're out and about, waiting in line, or wrapping gifts, you can tune into Beaks and Geeks to listen to numerous debut novelists share insights into the stories they have written and engaging tidbits about their lives, inside, and outside of writing.  

Below are links to five episodes from the past year, which feature women debut authors. 

Listen to Francesca Hornak discuss her witty and charming novel about a deadly disease, complicated family, and a forced Christmastime quarantine. Tune into an entertaining conversation about creaky family estates, awkward moments, gruesome diseases and more.  

On Beaks and Geeks, Brit Bennett celebrates the paperback release of her 2016 debut novel about motherhood, friendship, and life choices. She talks about the power of gossip, politics of her novel, feedback from readers, and more.

Tune into a conversation about newfound wealth and “keeping up with the Joneses”, as author and actor, Diksha Basu, discusses class, culture, wealth, and love in modern India—topics central to her debut novel. 

Chiara Barzini tells readers about her experience moving from Italy to California as a teenager, and how it influenced her debut novel, a coming of age story set in Los Angeles in the nineties during the race riot and earthquake.  

Camille Bordas discusses her debut English novel, which unfolds through the eyes of an eleven-year-old boy, the youngest of six siblings, who struggles to fit in with his quirky family of academics. Bordas talks about the loneliness of academia, her characters, writing process, and more.  

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

0 The first trailer for Little Women is here and I'm so excited!

I love Little Women and I'm excited to watch the first trailer for the new PBS series. What do you think? 

Watch the first trailer for Little Women, the two-part TV adaptation coming to MASTERPIECE on PBS on Mother’s Day (May 13), and continuing on May 20, 2018!

To Read, or Not To Read Copyright © 2010-2016 - |- Template created by O Pregador - |- Powered by Blogger Templates