June 30, 2011

Accidental Bestseller?

The Accidental Bestseller
Ten years ago, four friends met at a writers conference. Each woman was different but shared a bond. 

Faye and her husband, Steve, had gone from comfortable to strapped living now that Steve left his lucrative advertising job to start a church and television ministry. Supporting three children in college depleted their savings. Faye didn't sign up for this life, but dealt with it best as she could. Mallory is labeled the most successful of the group. She focuses all of her time on writing bestsellers, neglecting her husband in the process. Tanya is a single mother, juggling two jobs and a troublesome mother. Then there is Kendall, who lost her husband, publishing deal, and an award all at the same time. Now she is forced to carry out her publishing contract by writing one more book.

The women form a plan to help Kendall finish her last book. They secretly collaborate on a fiction novel loosely based on their own lives. Nobody will ever know, right? Well the book becomes an accidental bestseller. Only then does the slow-paced book take flight (about the last 60 pages). We learn secrets of each friend as a scandal unfolds and their friendship is tested. 

I enjoyed the insider information of the publishing world in The Accidental Bestseller. It left me wondering whether this was a true story within a story, within its story. Is this a real life accidental bestseller? (Read the book and this statement will make sense.) However, like I previously mentioned it was too slow for me. It was the June beach read selection for a Goodreads club I'm in. I tried reading it at the pool, but was easily distracted. I tried reading it on the patio, but again I was quick to put it down. Hopefully other Wendy Wax novels are better.

Title: The Accidental Bestseller
Author: Wendy Wax
Published: May 2010
Pages: 370 pages
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥

June 29, 2011

J Hud, Flavor Flav, Kwame & Carole King Memoirs

Everyone wants to write a book. On one hand, it is annoying because everyone is not an author. On the other hand, it provides for good blog material, manuscript editing, and entertainment. Especially the memoirs from celebrities.

Weight Watchers Magazine January/February 2011 (Success! How Jennifer Hudson Found It!)American Idol contestant, singer, Oscar award winning actress, and now Weight Watchers spokesperson Jennifer Hudson is writing a weight loss memoir. I don't expect her to share feelings of her family's tragic deaths, or details of her marriage to pro wrestler David "Punk" Otunga. But of all things to write about, she chooses to share inspirational weight loss and exercise tips. Okay, J Hud.

Flavor Flav: The Icon The Memoir
Flavor Flav's memoir, The Icon, was released May 11. He reveals that he spent $5.7 million on drugs in six years. That equals $2,600 spent on drugs daily! He also reveals that he lost his virginity at age six to a girl of the same age. Just from watching his VH1 reality shows, I can tell his memoir will be entertaining. Has anyone tried his chicken by the way?

Former Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick wrote a biography titled Surrendered: The Rise, Fall & Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick. He claims to reveal the truth about his life in the past decade. "I'm ready to talk about everything," he says. Suuuuuure. I doubt that he will speak candidly. I doubt he will really tell of the scandals he was involved in. I seriously doubt he will finally admit to the mansion party. Maybe his supporters will pre-order the book set to release in late July. I, however, am a resident of Detroit and experienced first-hand the effects of his actions. I won't even borrow it from the library, let alone spend a dime purchasing. If an ARC happens to appear in my mail, then I will read and provide an unbiased review.

It's certainly not too late for singer-songwriter-pianist Carole King to release her own memoir. A Natural Woman will be published by Grand Central Publishing in April 2012. It will cover her growing up in Brooklyn, rise to the top of pop charts, and her current life as an environmental and political activist. She's won four Grammy Awards, sold more than 10 million copies of the Tapestry album, and was also inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Carole King is one of Chickadee's all-time faves, so this is definitely being added to the TBR pile.

Do you plan to read any of the above?

June 28, 2011

Naomi's View on Life, Love & Whatever Else She Desires

Welcome to Precision Reviews, today's stop on the Intimate Betrayals book blog tour. 

Today we're interviewing one of the main characters in the Intimate Betrayals series: the one and only Naomi Saunders. 

Literary Marie: Naomi. Naomi. Naomi. Where do I begin? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Naomi: I am from the south side of Chicago. My mother had me very young and was not very responsible when she and my father produced me. I guess he decided he didn’t want to be around and split. So my young years were filled with crack head men that drifted in and out of our lives. It wasn’t long after that
I had to fight to even survive at home. Deciding to split myself at 17, I did just that, enrolled in college and made my mind up that I would not be like her. I barely speak to her now. She is still alive, but I don’t really communicate with her.

Well I’d like to think that I’m a self made woman. I built myself from the ground up. I pretty much had to fight for what I have attained and will continue to fight for what I want. I can be a little headstrong. 

Literary Marie: A little? LOL

Naomi: Okay, a lot headstrong. But in order to get ahead in life, I learned pretty quickly how to adapt to my surroundings and make the best of what I had and improve on it gradually.

Literary Marie: Are you a firm believer of going after whatever/whomever you want? Regardless of the consequences?

NaomiYes, I am. No one is going to give you anything! Closed mouths don’t get fed. I truly believe that. As far as consequences, I know they are always present. I remember that every decision has a result, whether good or bad. I make up my mind that whatever the outcome is, I deal with it. I roll with punches. That’s what makes me stronger.

Literary Marie: Describe an average day in your life.

NaomiRight now, my ideal day is spent shopping, lazily lounging at a pool while preparing myself for my child that was conceived. I spend a lot of time with Shaylynn. She is a great friend that seems to understand me. Not many people understand me. Since I am well paid for what I do as Mystique, there is no need for me to really do anything else. So I have all the time in the world to myself, thanks to Lady Dane and The Ladies Club.

Literary Marie: Congrats on becoming a mommy! I'm sure you're overjoyed. What else are you passionate about?

Naomi: Being comfortable in my life. I've had the worst and now want the best.

Literary Marie: I hear that. Let's switch gears and talk about one of the comforts in life: men. Describe your ideal man.

NaomiMy ideal man loves me completely! He has eyes only for me. He can see me for me and not what I offer visually. I know I have a great body and an insatiable sexual appetite, but I am more than that. I need for him to see that and realize that he has a strong willed and strong minded woman that will always be there for him no matter what.

Literary Marie: Hmmm, you know I'm wondering who fits that description. You and Kevin have a history together. What originally attracted you to him?

NaomiKevin was the first guy that actually gave me real attention and made me feel worth something... I felt worthy and loved. I fell head over heels in love with that man. We were both young and growing. He was more advanced and practiced with the opposite sex and knew what it took to get to me. Early on, since I was always fighting off my mothers’ boyfriends, they made me think and feel that sex was absolutely dirty and foul. Kevin changed that for me. He had patience. But I later found after he had me wrapped around his finger that was just a ploy to get me to do whatever he wanted. He’s very good. Smooth.

Literary Marie: Indeed, he is. Based on your past experiences, do you believe in love? Are you in love?

Naomi: Yes, I believe in love. No, I am not in love at the moment. I still love Kevin, but it's not possible to be with him right now. Maybe later after the baby is born.

Literary Marie: I see. Well I certainly wish you luck and can't wait to see where life takes you. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Naomi: Prior to being pregnant, I really didn't have a clear picture of where I would be. I lived from day to day, scratching my way in and out of my realities. Now, I see myself with a child, a paid for home, living a luxurious life...a life that I am entitled to live.

Literary Marie: Well thank you so much for sharing your views on life and love. I look forward to chatting with you again soon.

Want to read all about Naomi and Kevin? Well here is your chance to win a free eBook thanks to author Shawna Hill. The giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on July 4, 2011. See the guidelines below to qualify.

  • Post a comment. 
  • Share this post on Facebook or Twitter. +5
  • Follow this blog and Shawna's blog (www.shawnarhill.blogspot.com) +10
  • Follow Shawna Hill on Twitter and mention this giveaway. (@ShawnaRHill) +5

Don't forget to check out the reviews of In Between Lies and Intimate Illusions. Also, get to know more about the author behind the books, Shawna Hill, in an interview here.

Tumblr Style Tuesday

During my holiday, I took time to explore the many blogs I follow. I've fought the temptation to create my own tumblr. It would just be another platform to update regularly, and enable me to waste time via the internet. So, I'm just going to share some of the book related pictures here on Tuesdays. Stay tuned, comment, reblog, do what you do.

Here are some of the cool places I'd like to visit in this lifetime.

The Thompson Library is located at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Isn't it huge and modern?

The Tower of Babel is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina and includes over 30,000 books in over 50 languages. Cool, huh?

Last but certainly not least, is the Oxford Union Library located in my native-land-in-my-head, UK.

June 26, 2011

Series Sunday: Getting to Know Author Shawna Hill & Her Novel Life

Welcome to Precision Reviews, today's stop on the Intimate Betrayals book blog tour. 

On my Series Sunday meme, I reviewed In Between Lies and Intimate Illusions. Two great books to kickoff the steamy "Intimate Betrayals" series. Check out the sizzling trailer below.

Today you get to know the author behind the books.

In Between Lies   Intimate Illusions 

Literary Marie: Tell us a little about yourself.

ShawnaI am a single mom of two children that keep me busy. When I am not juggling my kids, I do work full time and find time to squeeze out a few words or two in my books. Currently I am working on the third installment in my “Naomi” series, which now I have dubbed as the “Intimate Betrayals Series.” My great grandmother introduced me to the world of books way back when and I was instantly hooked. The Library became my secret place. Every time you saw me there was a book in my face. I have been writing since the age of about 8 or 9 years old. 

Literary Marie: What does it mean to live a "novel life"?

ShawnaWell, for one, I believe that there is a story or novel in each of us. At least one. My life in particular, there are many! LOL! I hate to admit it but in my mind, I live more in my novels than in reality. I am constantly thinking about my characters and their situations. It’s not a bad thing. I say that to say that my characters come to me all the time and express themselves and make me want to write, think and wonder about their lives…if that makes any sense to you. Like right now, I have one particular character that is evolving, and I feel her struggle. So to make a long story short, I live a novel life.  
Literary Marie: I just love that philosophy! Now, back to your keeping a book in your face. I'm a firm believer that readers write. Who/what originally inspired you to go from an avid reader to writing at an early age, and finally to a published author?

ShawnaThere is not one thing that triggered me to turn to writing as far as reading goes. I seriously turned to writing when I was in a dark place in my life. Things were just not right and I needed some form of escapism. After reading so many books I was confident that I could write the same as any other author out there. The trick was getting it published; but the fact that I wasn’t published didn’t deter me at all. I still wrote.   

Literary Marie: Glad to hear you were determined. You can certainly write the same, if not better, than some authors currently out. Do you have a writing ritual or favorite place to write?

Shawna: I don’t really have any writing rituals. I just sit down and write. I write in spurts. I cannot sit for hours and pound out thousands of words like most authors do. I don’t write from an outline. Most of the time I free write to see what becomes of it. For example, I had a general idea of what I wanted with In Between Lies. When I first started it, it was supposed to be your typical love story/romance. That wasn’t the case, however. Characters popped out of nowhere (while free writing) and the rest is history. I just went back and cleaned up the story, maybe added a few extra things and tweaked it. I love to free write because you never know what comes out. It’s amazing how your mind can wander!

Literary Marie: Yes, it is. I realize In Between Lies was also a result of conversations with your girlfriends. But were you ever involved in a similar relationship situation or love triangle?

Shawna: Yes, unknowingly…I have been cheated on as I’m sure many others have been too. It’s not an uncommon incident. I have also known people who were either the cheater or cheatee and neither is a side you want to be on. It gets really complicated and very messy quick. My philosophy is if you want to cheat, break the relationship first then move on. Anything outside of that will not come out good. 

Literary Marie: I totally agree. What is the lesson you want readers to learn after reading Intimate Illusions?

Shawna: Mainly, what goes around comes around. If you read the first book and read the subtle clues about Naomi’s past with Kevin and what really happened…then it will become clearer to you what her motive was and why she did what she did. You may not agree with her tactics and motives but Kevin had his flaws that she felt needed to be taught a lesson. Now…what she has to remember is that lesson is not one sided… 

Literary Marie: Who is your favorite character to write about in the series?

Shawna: You probably guessed it. Naomi is my favorite character. She is over the top with everything and does things that may have crossed my mind but would never bring myself to do. I can explore with her. 

Literary Marie: I knew Naomi was your favorite! I assume when you're not exploring with her, you take a break from writing and leisure read. Which author inspires you the most and what are you reading right now?

ShawnaRight now, any indie author that is able to juggle all aspects of life and still succeed inspires me. It sometimes disturbs me when I hear people (non readers or non writers) just say “Oh you wrote a book, huh? I think I want to write one too,”  like it’s a simple process. It’s not as simple as it seems…  especially when you sit down to a blank screen. Then you have to market, etc…a lot of work! So anyone that can accomplish all involved and come out on top, is an inspiration to me.  

At the moment, I am not reading anything. I have been so busy preparing for the blog tour, marketing my books, taking care of my kids, etc. I haven’t had time to sit down and really read a book lately. I can tell you however, I just finished re-reading a friends script for a movie that he wrote, directed and produced. I had the opportunity to work with him last year and be a part of the production team, but I had to regretfully pass it up due to time constraints. The movie premiered yesterday and I wanted to refresh myself with the story. I also re-read his production board, which allowed me to brush up on my screenwriting skills or lack of.   

Literary Marie: Speaking of production, there is a casting call to be held Saturday, July 23. You're looking for actors/actresses for an upcoming web series. Please tell us more about this exciting news.

Shawna: WOW, you saw that!? 

Literary Marie: Of course! Being a copyeditor, I have a sharp eye and rarely miss anything.

Shawna: Yes, it is true. The series is called… you guessed it, Intimate Betrayals! Initially, the pilot episode will be approximately 10 minutes long. I know that is not long, but it really is. Each additional episode will run every 3 weeks for the same allotted time frame. I am working on the promo video now and hope to have it out soon. 

My team and I have been talking about a web series since the 1st book came out and wanted to base it off of the book. The question then became how do we present this web series without giving away the book? We still want people to purchase the books. Finally we decided to possibly do a prequel to In Between Lies. The good thing about this series is that almost everyone in this book is there for a reason and has their own specific issues. Each character can be expanded on and delved into. So the stories can and will be endless and I can still write my series without giving them away. Its genius, I think. Also the web series will give you more insight to characters that you read about.

I put an ad out on craigslist and have received a few inquiries from people that are interested in attending. It’s also listed on Facebook and now there is a blogspot.com page that we are developing. It takes time to build, but we will get there.

I have been lucky enough to be in a circle of friends that have film/video experience that are willing to help and do what they can to help us get this off the ground. We pretty much have everything we need. I am working on the scripts now, with the hopes of having the first three ready by July 9 for the readings on July 23. So I am very excited. Our expected first episode will be uploaded in September to our YouTube channel under Urban Prints Productions and the blog page as well.  

Literary Marie: Wow. How exciting and genius! Plus you're already working on the third book in the Intimate Betrayals series. I, along with others that read the first two books, are eagerly waiting for it. When can we expect it?

Shawna: Originally, I was expecting to have the third installment completed by the end of June. It’s not looking like I will be finished by then. I am projecting it to be July now. After getting it edited, I’m hoping to have it completely done by August and ready to go.

Literary Marie: Great! Well, thank you so much for interviewing with Precision Reviews and the chance for us to know you better. 

For more information about Shawna Hill, visit her blog for a live chat at 9 p.m. EST tomorrow.

Be sure to check back here on Tuesday, June 28 for giveaway details and an exclusive interview with main character, Naomi Saunders. She's a diva you don't want to miss!

Breaking Dawn Movie Trailer

Save the date: November 18. Breaking Dawn, the final movie of the Twilight saga. I cannot wait! Am I the only one watching the below movie trailer repeatedly?

I'm Back From Holiday

June 23, 2011

Auction Helping L.A. Banks

We interrupt this holiday to report author L.A. Banks is very ill. She has been diagnosed with late stage adrenal cancer. There is a 10-day auction to help with her escalating medical costs. For more information, to bid on an auction item, or to donate, visit L.A. Banks Auction or her official website.

Big hug and prayers going up.

June 2, 2011

I'm On Holiday

See you in a few weeks, bookhearts!

Fatal Attraction Meets Facebook

The Mistress's Revenge: A NovelSally and Clive had a passionate love affair for five years. Then one fateful night, which Sally refers to as York Way Friday, Clive dumps her. Trouble is Sally refuses to let go. She vows revenge and plots to always be in his life. First she cruised by his home. Then she befriended his wife...on Facebook. Then his son. Then his daughter. Before you know it, she's involved with the whole family. 

The story is told through journal entries that Sally's therapist suggested her to keep. (Yes, a therapist. What does that tell you?) The entries are mostly addressed to Clive, about her two kids, and partner. I usually like to relate to main characters. But this chick was so far gone, I couldn't see where she was coming from. Do women really go obsessively insane when their hearts are broken? Even though I was far removed from the character, I couldn't stop reading. I had to know what frightening crazy action she'd take next and what Clive's defensive retaliation would be. I certainly didn't expect the ending.

Tamar Cohen's debut novel is engrossing, yet unsettling. Because the book is based on Sally's emotions and thoughts, the reader gets a close look into how her twisted mind works. The chick is disturbed. I firmly believe that social networking sites like Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter are a stalker's dream. The location settings on such sites along with detailed status updates from users make it too easy for someone to literally follow a person's every move. This novel reinforces my belief.

Add The Mistress's Revenge to your wish list or pre-order your copy by clicking the link below or the book cover picture. It will be available in stores next Tuesday, June 7.

Title: The Mistress's Revenge: A Novel
Author: Tamar Cohen
Published: June 2011
Pages: 274
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥

June 1, 2011


June 21, 2011, is the first day of summer. It is the longest day of the year. After that day, the days start getting shorter because the sun reaches the northern point in the sky. Did you know that? Ok, science lesson over.

During the summer, I tend to rest my brain and read mindless, light books. My brain cells need to be preserved for the manuscripts I read for a living. Besides, I just can't concentrate on heavy, deep story lines while lounging by the pool, sipping Bahama Mamas, and tanning in the sun. Oh yes, I love my brown girl summer tan!

Below is a list of what I plan to read this summer and a brief description of each book. Share your summer reading list.

The Accidental Bestseller is the June selection for a chick lit book club I'm in. Four aspiring authors meet at a writers conference. Ten years later, they are still friends and collaborate on a novel about their own lives, assuming no one will discover it is really about them. It becomes a bestseller and then a scandal.

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel is the sequel to The Carrie Diaries. The Carrie Bradshaw we know and love is now in the Big Apple. It's the story of how Carrie met the other Sex and The City women, Samantha and Miranda.

Pinch Me is about a woman who can't believe her good fortune. Despite a family curse, she is happy and engaged. You know the cliche: Pinch me. I'm dreaming. Well, the main character is pinched, then suddenly transported back in time when she was single.

Holly's Inbox: Scandal in the City is the sequel to Holly's Inbox. It continues the story of bank receptionist Holly Denham, her friends, family, boyfriend and co-workers entirely in e-mail format.

Smokin' Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel is the 17th book in the Stephanie Plum series. Although I was disappointed in the last few in this series, I'm still going to read with hopes that Janet Evanovich returned to her original writing. I won't be surprised if Stephanie still hasn't decided between Morelli and Ranger. There are sure to be wrecked black cars, fried chicken and donuts eaten by Lula, and Grandma Mazur gossiping around caskets at the funeral home.

10th Anniversary (Women's Murder Club) is the 10th book in the WMC series. Of course, I need a touch of mystery during the summer. Hopefully Patterson doesn't disappoint.

Save as Draft is an autobiographical novel told entirely through e-mail, text, and internet exchanges like Facebook. The character's thoughts are revealed in unsent e-mails saved as drafts. It should be a cute, light digital type read.

Single Girl's to-Do List is about its single girl, Rachel. The book details her wild adventures while ticking off items from her To Do List.

Brown Girl, Brownstones is a selection that my online Twitter book club is reading. It is a coming-of-age story set in Brooklyn during The Great Depression and World War II. It may be too heavy and require more concentration when lounging in a lawn chair, but I'll try to finish.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away has been in my TBR pile for ages. It's an honest memoir of a chronic headache sufferer. I can certainly relate. She's tried drugs like vicodin, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, marijuana, chocolate, ice cream, etc. Laughter seems to be the simplest form of treatment.