Waiting on Wednesday

I'm a dancer. So La Sylphide is sort of one of my personal staples in life. Suffice to say when I saw this book, I got pretty excited. It sounds like a modern-day La Sylphide (with a little more plot than the original ballet!).

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.

ISBN: 9781442450417 | Expected Pub date: March 5th 2013 by Simon Pulse | Amazon | Goodreads

Review: Guilty Wives

Guilty Wives by James Patterson and David Ellis
Read by January LeVoy
ISBN: 9781607884682
Published: March 26th 2012 by Little, Brown & Company (first published January 1st 2012)
Rating: 4

No husbands allowed

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. For four days they're free to live someone else's life. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known.

What happened last night?

In the morning's harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened—something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable. And now the vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime & for survival. GUILTY WIVES is the ultimate indulgence, the kind of nonstop joy-ride of excess, friendship, betrayal, and danger that only James Patterson can create.

There were some awesome things about Patterson's new book, and some not so awesome things.

First of all, the awesome:

  1. In general, the characters were very well developed and written. The narrator, Abbie Elliot, is wonderful. She's super strong, very brave, snarky, smart, clever, broken, imperfect, but loveable all the same. She was perfect for the protagonist. At first I thought Patterson was going to pull the "Switch-Point-of-View-Every-Chapter" thing, and I was relieved when most of the book was from Abbie PoV. She was a good protagonist.
  2. As far as the audio recording itself, the French was very good. I'm a stickler about French being pronounced well, since I've studied the language, and (name) did an excellent job.
  3. Very vivid sensory details. This can be good and bad—there were a few scenes where the details seemed to slow down the action, which made it more frustrating when I just wanted to know what happened, but it also increased the tension. I could see all the characters and the actions and facial expressions very clearly.

The not-so-great:

  1. There were quite a few times when Patterson would explain something, and then a few chapters later, would re-explain something as if he hadn't explained it the first time (and it got really annoying). Examples: Lexi, the arsonist, was ALWAYS referred to as "Lexi the arsonist." after the first time he told the story about her, I didn't forget who she was, but he constantly referred back to her with that little tag, as if I'd forgotten who she was. there were other things too, like when he explained something about the prison system, or the court case, or whatever else… and it was really annoying.
  2. The writing itself just wasn't that great. It was right for the type of book, but it didn't stand out as excellent or lyric or entrancing, like Erin Morgenstern or Danielle Dixon.
  3. The plot itself… it was interesting, but I figured it out really early. like, within the first few chapters I knew exactly what happened, and I just wanted to see it confirmed and see how Abby survived this life-threatening challenge. That's unlike Patterson—usually he's pretty good at keeping it a mystery.
  4. Two little words that a lot of people won't pick up on: Prison Guard. Refer to them as "Prison Guards" and they get majorly pissed off, or so my criminal justice professor and former prison worker tells me. They're called "Security Officers." They were referred to as "guards" the whole time, and it got on my nerves. Call me "one of those people," but hey, you are reading my blog for my opinion, so here it is.

So that's the breakdown: I liked it a lot, and I tore through it, and found it almost impossible to stop reading (listening to), but there were some things that could have made it better.

Content/Recommendation: Some explicit sex, one near-rape scene, Some language. Ages 18+

Waiting on Wednesday

You know I'm a ballet dancer and teacher, right? So yeah, this book caught my attention…

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.
But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.

ISBN 9781599909400 | Expected publication: February 12th 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books| Goodreads


o.O Looks amazing, yes? Also, she's wearing Grishko pointe shoes. I wear Grishko's too. Probably 2007s or Ulanova's. (fun facts).

Guest post: Paul Batista

Today I'm hosting Paul Batista, author of Extraordinary Rendition. Paul is stopping by The Life and Lies today to talk about why he made the change from being a criminal lawyer to a creative writer!

Why Make The Transition From Busy Lawyer to Novelist?

More basically, why exit from a business with a good regular paycheck to a business where the financial rewards are uncertain? Why exchange a suit for a casual shirt and jeans? I get asked these questions a lot, and they are in fact questions I ask myself.

Let's start with a disclaimer. I haven't entirely abandoned the practice of law. This is work I've done for more than thirty years, and old habits die hard. Besides, I like it. More important is the fact that the legal work I do provides fuel for the novels I write. A criminal case or even a civil lawsuit involves a story, a narrative. Part of the function of a lawyer is to shape the narrative -- not to fabricate facts but to tell a story.

Creating fiction, however, does give me a license to do more than just shape the narrative of a case. In writing a novel I have the ability and the incentive to weave imagined events together, to create personalities and personal histories, to generate intrigue and conflict. In practicing law, I’m confined by facts -- and those facts can be extremely interesting given the nature of the work I do -- but there are no such constraints in writing fiction.

There's another factor. Law is a highly regulated business. No matter how independent you may be as a lawyer, there are people known as judges. They require you to do specific things on their schedule, not on yours. They want you to do things their way, not necessarily yours. They tend to have outsized personalities -- wearing a robe can transform a guy or gal who in civilian clothes is demure and shy into a muscled-up action figure. And there are also clients. They get to call you in the middle of the night.Batista_Author_Photo

The external controls on fiction-writing are different. Sure, an editor can set "deadlines" but those are more goals and aspirations rather than drop-dead dates. You can be disbarred for missing a judge-imposed deadline if you do that too often. The worst a publisher can do is get mad at you.

But the most important reason for transforming myself into a novelist from a practicing lawyer is the beauty of transformation. The stuff of a novelist's life is different from the stuff of a lawyer's life. Creating novels is a liberating experience; you can let loose your imagination. I find I can have a passion and a drive that, even though I’ve loved practicing law, I can't completely tap into in a courtroom. You hear commencement speakers constantly delivering to young graduates the trite mandate to "follow your passions." As you move through life and hit the jarring realities of jobs, families and obligations, you can get cynical about those conventional admonitions to follow your passions, live out your dreams, and fulfill your talents.

But those inspirational messages do have meaning, at least for yours truly. Even a lawyer can break out of the constraints of the life he or she has lived. There is something invigorating, even for a seasoned adult, in taking risks and having the courage to give up security and embrace something unknown, strange, exciting—fresh.

About Paul

Paul Batista, novelist and television personality, is one of the most widely known trial lawyers in the country. As a trial attorney, he specializes in federal criminal litigation. As a media figure, he is known for his regular appearances as guest legal commentator on a variety of television shows including, Court TV, CNN, HLN and WNBC. He’s also appeared in the HBO movie, You Don't Know Jack, starring Al Pacino.

A prolific writer, Batista authored the leading treatise on the primary federal anti-racketeering statute, Civil RICO Practice Manual, which is now in its third edition (Wiley & Sons, 1987; Wolters Kluwer, 2008). He has written articles for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The National Law Journal.

Batista's debut novel, Death's Witness, was awarded a Silver Medal by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). And his new novel, Extraordinary Rendition, is now being published—along with a special reissue of Death’s Witness—by Astor + Blue Editions.

Batista is a graduate of Bowdoin College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Cornell Law School. He’s proud to have served in the United States Army. Paul Batista lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.

About the BookExtraordinary_Rendition_CVR_#

When Ali Hussein—suspected terrorist and alleged banker for Al Qaeda—is finally transported from Gitmo to the US mainland to stand trial, many are stunned when Byron Carlos Johnson, pre-eminent lawyer and the son of a high-profile diplomat, volunteers as counsel. On principle, Johnson thought he was merely defending a man unjustly captured through Rendition and water-boarded illegally. But Johnson soon learns that there is much more at stake than one man’s civil rights.

Hussein’s intimate knowledge of key financial transactions could lead to the capture of—or the unabated funding of—the world’s most dangerous terror cells. This makes Hussein the target of corrupt US intelligence forces on one side, and ruthless international terrorists on the other. And, it puts Byron Carlos Johnson squarely in the crosshairs of both.

Pulled irresistibly by forces he can and cannot see, Johnson enters a lethal maze of espionage, manipulation, legal traps and murder. And when his life, his love, and his acclaimed principles are on the line, Johnson may have one gambit left that can save them all; a play that even his confidants could not have anticipated. He must become the hunter among hunters in the deadliest game.

Written by no-holds-barred-attorney Paul Batista, Extraordinary Rendition excels not only as an action thriller, but as a sophisticated legal procedural as well; tearing the curtains away from the nation’s most controversial issues.

Provocative. Smart. Heart-pounding. A legal thriller of the highest order.

ISBN 9781938231261 | Expected publication: May 1st 2013 by Astor+Blue Editions LLC
Amazon | Goodreads

Old Friends: Amazing Grace

This was a beauty that I stumbled across while browsing my local library back in High School… to this day, I still remember how much I loved this book. I don't remember a lot of the plot, but I do know that it was a character driven novel about a girl who was ready to move forward with her life and become who she wanted to be instead of who the world perceived her to be.

And because of the beginning of the novel, I had a lot of respect for her and her mom.

I'd recommend either buying it on amazon or local book store, checking it out at the library, or snagging it on paperbackswap.com.

Grace Kincaid, the Anna Kournikova of the tennis world (beautiful, teenaged, and the BEST in the world), calls her mother on the eve of the U.S. Open and says three little words: "I want out." Whereupon her mother flies to her daughter's side, cancels all further engagements, endorsements, press conferences, tournaments, and gives Grace an entirely new identity. Which includes a make-under, a former FBI agent as a mentor and bodyguard, and a new life in Medicine Hat, Alaska, population 318. How one teenager goes from superstar to almost-normal is the subject taken on by Megan Shull, a sparkling new voice in teen fiction.

ISBN 9780786856909 | Published September 27th 2005 by Hyperion | Amazon | Goodreads

Audio Review: The Soddit

The Soddit; or, Let's Cash In Again by A. R. R. R. R. Roberts
Genre: Literature spoof
ISBN: 9781619693708
Published: September 18, 2012 by Orbit
Rating: 4

Bingo Grabbins is a soddit who enjoys a comfortable life (apart from his feet, of course). But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandef, and a company of bizarrely Welsh dwarves drag him away on an adventure.

They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard (or so they say) guarded by Smug, a large and very tedious dragon. Bingo is reluctant to take part in this insane venture, but a dwarven dagger held to his throat soon surprises even himself and off the companions go on a quest that seems truly epic (well, until you read about what later happened to Bingo's cousin, at any rate).
Oh, and Bingo finds this thing...

This was a fast funny read. I've read The Hobbit and seen the movie (the old animated one!) and I love the story... and the silliness of The Soddit was delightful.

The reader was fabulous, though a bit abrasive, and at times I couldn't quite understand what words were being said because of a thick accent or voice, but it was all together enjoyable.

Content/Recommendation: all ages

Guest Post: Bette Lee Crosby

Welcome to Bette, author of The Twelfth Child! Today I'm hosting Bette for her virtual book tour. Follow the tour for more guest posts and reviews!

Why Every Writer Needs A Dog by Bette Lee Crosby

No, I'm not talking about a dog of a story, I'm talking about the yapping, tail wagging, love you forever kind of friend that writers should not be without. However, in deference to all my kitty-loving friends I must admit that some cats have been able to capture the same wonderful traits found in dogs.

Katie is my baby...well, she's actually a Bichon Frise, but as far as I'm concerned she's my baby. She loves me unconditionally, pines for me when I go out and jumps for joy when I return. Okay hubby loves me, but doesn't miss me if I’m gone for hours, nor does he jump for joy when I return.

Katie is thrilled with a piece of bologna..., hubby, not so thrilled.

Katie is content to sit beside me while I work...hubby prefers to watch ballgame.

Now let me share a secret, Katie is a replacement dog. She was adopted from a rescue center after my first Bichon died at the ripe old age of 18. My first dog was the love of my life and after I lost her, I was heartsick.

Although I had no interest in buying another dog, I finally decided that I could at least give a
less fortunate pooch a home. While her predecessor was fluffed, puffed and adorable, poor Katie was shaved, newly spayed and looking like she'd just escaped a concentration camp ...how could I not compare this scraggly creature to the adorable dog I'd just lost? But God in His wisdom gives dogs something that people sometimes lack...the ability to keep on trying to win your heart regardless of rejection. Within the week I was hers.

Now, here are the Ten Reasons Every Writer Needs a Dog

1) A dog needs to pee, so you are forced to take periodic breaks from the computer.
2) A dog happily listens to that revised manuscript as many times as you want to read it.
3) On a cold afternoon a dog in your lap keeps you warmer than a space heater.
4) A dog does not expect you to actually cook dinner...a slice of bologna or take out is fine.
5) You’re always #1 on your dog’s best person list.
6) A dog doesn't punch a time clock, they'll keep you company for as long as you work.
7) A dog will join you in a lazy day nap, or stay in bed beside you if you're sick.
8) A dog will prevent you from getting fat (they get half of every cookie!)
9) A dog eliminates the need for a doorbell.
10) A dog will teach you what unconditional love actually is.

But a word of warning...once you fall in love with a dog it is a forever thing! I know. Trust me, I know!

About Bette

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and most recently the 2011 Reviewer’s Choice Award and Reader’s View Southeast Fiction Literary Award.

Her published works to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), and Life in the Land of IS (2012).  Life in the Land of IS is a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

Crosby newest novel Cupid’s Christmas is scheduled for release in early October and following that, What Matters Most will be released in early 2013.

 

About The Twelfth Child

Be prepared to be swept away into the life of a girl who will tug at your emotions while never leaving your heart. Crosby has crafted a story that will enchant readers.

Steena Holmes, bestselling author of Finding Emma

Trust, love and friendship—Abigail Anne Lannigan searched for these things all her life. Now, when she is at the tail end of her years, she teams up with a free-spirited young woman. A nobody from nowhere, who suddenly moves in across the street. This unlikely friendship comes under suspicion when a million dollars goes missing and a distant relative, claims embezzlement. Abigail knows the truth of what happened, but she’ll never get the chance to tell..

Reminiscent of Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes, the unlikely friendship of these two women is sure to settle in the soft spot of your heart.

ISBN 9780983887966 | Published May 21st 2012 by Bent Pine Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday

You know how I love those kick-ass girls in futuristic worlds with sexy boys… guilty pleasure I guess, maybe because that's what I write.

Piper's world is dying.
Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.
Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.
An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

ISBN 9780765334695 | Published Expected publication: June 21st 2013 by Tor Teen/Macmillan | Goodreads


Apparently, Solstice was first published May 4th 2011 by Andrea Brown Literary Agency… it's one of those self-published books that is good enough to be re-published! Yay! We need more of those!

Tour: Wisteria

Today I'm helping to kick off the virtual book tour for Wisteria, a YA paranormal by Bisi Leyton!

About the Book:

Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.

Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.
Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.

*Review of Wisteria coming soon!

ISBN B008XRI3BA| Published August 15th 2012 | Amazon | Goodreads

About the Author

Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters.
She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels, and cracked.com.

You can email Bisi on bisileyton@gmail.com as she would love to hear from you. You can also follow her on twitter at @bisileyton or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Bisileyton2 orhttp://bisileyton.wordpress.com/

 

Giveaway

Bisi is giving away a $15 amazon gift card to one random commenter on the tour. The more you comment here and on the other tour stops, the higher chance you have of wining!

Waiting on Wednesday

As a performer… this caught my attention right away!

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.
Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.
But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

ISBN 9781908844378 | Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Strange Chemistry| Goodreads

 

Also, never heard of the publisher. Anyone else? Maybe it's new, or self-published?

Teaser Tuesday

Todays TT comes from [sic] by Scott Kelly.

My personal savior is named David Bloom, and he's currently falling about ten stories from the top of a water tower. ~ Page 1

 

ISBN 9780988273207 | Published August 17, 2012| Amazon | Goodreads

One rule: If another player taps you on the shoulder, you have to completely change your life within the next fifteen minutes. In front of everyone. Your car, your virginity, your grades, your identity - nothing is safe. When five high school students from the wrong part of town devote their lives to playing the game David invented, what could go wrong?

David's murder, for one. He has perfect poise as he plummets from the top of a water tower, a shining example of keeping cool under any condition. He’s got a history of looking like a badass and teaching Jacob lessons, but landing dead at his pupil’s feet isn’t supposed to be the final one. One of the game's players pushed David off that tower, and he's framing Jacob for the crime.

Jacob's group of five trailer-park companions – well, four – have let David's existential version of truth or dare shape their lives. Playing the game has made them all a little crazy. Being willing to give it all away at any moment has changed them. Made them a little detached. A little enlightened.

Jacob knows one of his childhood friends must be the killer. Now can he talk his way out of prison and uncover the truth before he takes the fall?

I'll be reviewing [sic] for a book tour later in November! Keep your eyes peeled!

Sapphire Blue

I had the chance to read Ruby Red before it was published in America. I just now got a copy of book 2, and I officially don't remember anything except that it ended with a really hot kiss. There was something about time travel and the main character hating frilly dresses, but other than that, I'm pretty lost. I read the first two chapters, and it's no better.

Now the good thing is, the little bit I read was entertaining, funny, and well written. So hypothetically if I knew what was going on, I'd read it through all the way. However, I really don't have the time or the incentive to read book 1 again, so I'm just going to have to trust that this book was every bit as good as the first.

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

ISBN 9780805092660| Expected Publication October 30th 2012  | Amazon | Goodreads

Tour: 6 Seconds of Life

6 Seconds of Life: I saw the cover and read the summary and wanted to jump off a cliff I was so excited! (Okay that may have been an over-exaggeration).


About the Book

Maura has just jumped.

Now she has precisely six seconds until she hits the water below her—just six more seconds until she is finally freed from her mundane and aimless existence.  Freed of all of the regrets and disappointments that have haunted her throughout her nineteen years.

She just needs to be free.

But as she falls, the most pivotal points of her life start to replay like a movie in her head: her family falling apart, her first love, her first heartbreak, her first true friends, and her first betrayal.  As she remembers these moments that brought her to this point, will she feel a sense of peace?  Or will her death be her greatest regret?

ASIN B009677S4O| Published September 1 2012 | Amazon | Goodreads


Excerpt

“I guess I’ll just know it when that time finally comes along,” he whispers. His lips graze my cheek and we stop waltzing. His hand comes up and brushes my flyaway bangs behind my ear, the tips of his fingers running along the back of my earlobe. An overpowering wave of desire and anticipation wells up from my stomach, causing my internal hurricane to erupt into a monsoon. I let his eyes lock with mine, restraining me like a pair of handcuffs. They inspect me, almost like they’re looking right through my skin and into everything that’s underneath, begging to learn anything and everything about me. I don’t move. Maybe if I can manage to stay totally still, this moment might last forever.

His face moves closer. My chest is caving in on itself.

Is this it?


About the Author

Tonya Fitzharris is a writer, reader, blogger, mediocre cook, photographer, runner, Florida native, and cat lover. She used to be a Middle School English Teacher, but now she's trying out the whole novel writing thing. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and her Belgian cat named Waffles.

Exploring Etsy: Recycled Yarn!

Who wants to buy yarn for $20 a skein when you could get perfectly good yarn from old sweaters? Give that wool and alpaca a second life. Save some cash. Support some Etsy businesses.

Indian Corn cotton blend by Knit Anew


Hand dyed, Hand-plied recycled yarn by Yarn N Sticks


Mocha Silk recycled lace-weight yarn by Twice Sheared Sheep


Funky Chunk by Remnants


Handspun recycled yarn by Craft yarn

Craft yarn also has Yarn Recycling kits, where the sweater is already in pieces and you do the unraveling yourself.


Cotton and Lambs wool blend, recycled yarn by Entangled Knots


Blue Birds Soar by Larkspur Funny Farm


Wool Nylon blend and Cashmere by Sassy Nan's Boutique


Merino Angora by Penelope's Fine Yarns


Nepal Silk and Pumpkin Orange lambswool by Echo Yarn


tshirt yarn by Tied Up In Knots


Pure Cashmere by Fun Yarns


Recycled cotton by Sticks N Twigs


Wool and Nylon self-striping yarn by Milo Knows


Grey t-shirt yarn by Idle Hands Yarn Supply


Do you have an Etsy shop? would you like to be featured on Exploring Etsy? Leave a comment with a link below!

Waiting on Wednesday… sort of.

I'm trying to blog regularly, I swear! I'm working on it! teaching 11 classes a week AND trying to finish a senior year in college AND editing a novel to pursue publication is a lot at once…

See, I don't want to call this "Waiting on Wednesday" because a lot of these are already published… but I haven't got the time or the means to read them.

So, here's a What I Want To Read Wednesday… or a Waiting for Money So I Can Buy Books Wednesday.

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

ISBN 9781416912040 |Published November 6th 2007 | Goodreads


I should not exist. But I do.
Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .
For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

ISBN 9780062114877 | Published September 18th 2012 by HarperCollins | Goodreads


A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

ISBN 9780985661816 | Published May 25th 2012 by CreateSpace |Goodreads


What are you waiting on today?

Review: Oblivion

Oblivion by David Foster Wallace
Genre: Short stories, maybe?
ISBN: 9780316010764
Published: August 30th 2005 by Back Bay Books (first published January 1st 2004)
Rating: -2

I listened to the first three tracks of this book, and can honestly tell you I have no idea what was going on. It was two different stories flashing from one to another, and they didn't seem related at all. One was interesting, the other felt like I was doing math homework. On top of that, the reader sounded like he was reading something very exciting, when he was really just describing the length of someone's tie or the type of knot they used to tie their shoelaces.

Suffice to say, I quit. I sincerely apologize, but I can't recommend this book. I can't even tell you a content or age recommendation because I wanted to die twenty minutes after starting.

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