Critique Partners – Worth Their Weight in Five Star Reviews [REPOST]

~ By Debra Elise Finding the right critique partner (cp) can be an odyssey, but sometimes you get lucky. For me I’m in the second group. As a newbie writer a few years ago, I was indeed lucky when it came to connecting with a few key people already established in the business. I met the inspiring Rebecca Zanetti (read my blog on that here) and I joined my local RWA chapter where I found a group, small yet mighty, of accomplished women who were at varying stages of their careers. They embraced me from the very first meeting and more importantly shared...

Critique Partners – Worth their weight in 5 Star reviews

~ By Debra Elise Finding the right critique partner (cp) can be an odyssey, but sometimes you get lucky. For me I’m in the second group. As a newbie writer a few years ago, I was indeed lucky when it came to connecting with a few key people already established in the business. I met the inspiring Rebecca Zanetti (read my blog on that here) and I joined my local RWA chapter where I found a group, small yet mighty, of accomplished women who were at varying stages of their careers. They embraced me from the very first meeting and...

Welcome Erica Manfred, Author of “Interview With a Jewish Vampire”

~ Interview by Melina Kantor  * This post is part of Erica Manfred’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour. Until recently, I thought I’d heard (or even experienced) some of the worst JDate horror stories imaginable.  Or at least some of the strangest. Trust me. My friends and I could write books about our online dating experiences without having to stretch the truth even a little. But then, I learned about poor Rhoda Ginsburg, the “zaftig, middle-aged journalist” from Erica Manfred’s book who falls in love with a vampire she meets on JDate. And he’s not just any vampire. He’s a...

Review: “Somebody to Love” by Kristan Higgins

~ By Elle Filz By all accounts, Parker Welles is living a charmed life.  A trust fund kid, she’s the author of a wildly-successful childrens book series – the profits of which are donated to charity.  She’s also got an adorable son, good friends, and a nice little life in small-town Rhode Island. And one day, she loses it all.  One evening, her father appears on her doorstep with his two henchmen (not so affectionately known as “Thing One” and “Thing Two”) and announces that he’s in trouble with the SEC.  Their assets – including Parker and her son,...

Review: Murder, Mayhem, and Mama by Christie Craig

~ By Toni Linenberger I bought my first Christie Craig book, Don’t Mess with Texas, because of TxDOT (that’s the Texas Department of Transportation for the uninitiated).  It seems they had taken offense to her use of the catch phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas” as the title of a romance novel.  GASP!  Rick Perry on the cover of Newsweek:  OK.  Romance novel:  not so much.  To counter this imagined offense, TxDOT opted to sue.  (The suit was later dismissed by a judge.  A couple links to the original blog-posts can be found at the bottom of this post.)  Needless...

Review: Hearts at Stake, by Alyxandra Harvey (2010)

~ By Elle Filz By most accounts, Solange Drake is a normal fifteen year old girl.  She’s got loving parents, seven older brothers, and a best friend who accepts her for who she is. A vampire. Well, she will be once she hits sixteen.  And since Solange is the first vampire daughter to have actually been born (as opposed to “turned”) in something like 900 years, she’s pretty hot stuff in the vampire world.  Not only does every vampire boy want to make her his baby-mama and an aspiring vampire king wants Solange for his queen, there’s also a...

Review: The Thin Pink Line by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (2003 – Kindle Edition 2011)

~ By Elle Filz Junior editor Jane Taylor has a problem. Well, that’s not entirely true, she has a lot of problems. Jane, like many women of a certain age, is baby-obsessed. She wants a little bundle of joy to carry around and solidify her relationship with her live-in boyfriend, Trevor. So, convinced is she that she’s pregnant that she begins telling people about her “condition.” Nothing can convince her otherwise, not even the fact that her monthly arrives the same night that she tells Trevor of his impending fatherhood. Instead, she merely purchases a couple of tests and...

Review: The Language of Flowers

~ By Robina Grant Thank you for inviting me to share a wonderful read. The novel, The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, touched me in so many ways. Not a romance, not quite YA, not really magical realism but with elements of all three. It was a glimpse into the foster care system and how that experience can color a youngster’s life forever. The story was for me a deep insight into what it means to have family, to be able to give and receive love, trust, forgiveness, and to embrace second chances. Victoria is eighteen when the...

REVIEW: Murder at Midnight . . . On a Sailboat

~ By Toni Linenberger My friend Frank Calcagno wrote a book.  Actually he wrote three, but who’s counting?  (Apparently he’s up to four, darn him.)  The fact he wrote them while working full-time, raising a family, and generally being an all-around nice guy means we will try not to hate him.  Did I mention his daughter got married last summer?  I don’t, hate him that is.  I do however, admire his work ethic.  I would like to be disciplined enough to write books the way he does.  But I digress. Frank’s latest book is Murder at Midnight . ....

Review: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

~ By Elle Filz Lately, I’m noticing an exciting trend in women’s fiction: historical tales framed within the context of a second, contemporary story.  There’s Juliet by Anne Fortier, of course, and this fantastic novel about a Dutch painter living in England around 1500 that I would love to read again, if only I remembered the title.*  Even The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott was originally set in this vein before Kelly O’Connor McNees decided to focus exclusively on Louisa herself. The Winter Sea is another outstanding example of how great this genre can be in connecting past...

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