Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's Happening! Tamora Pierce Fans Rejoice!

Today's post was originally supposed to be a recap of my travels over the last couple of weeks, however, we'll have to save it for next time. I have learned some very exciting news!

For all you Tamora Pierce fans out there, it's happening! We are finally going to see a "Tortall Legends" novel chronicling the life of her infamous wizard, Numair Salmalin, before he made his first appearance in her earlier books. Ms. Pierce made the cover reveal announcement this evening at 6:00pm EST on her Twitter page.

My returning Writing Desk Readers will already know, I have a special place in my heart for Tamora Pierce and her Tortall novels. "The Song of the Lioness" quartet was my refuge as a shy middle schooler, longing to be a writer who could create such rich characters and the kind of stories that drew readers in.

In fact, in one of my earliest posts here on the blog, I shared the story of how I wrote a fan letter to Tamora Pierce and received a wonderful response in return!

A brief summary of the novel has also been provided by The Underlined. I encourage everyone to check it out, and if you haven't read any of Pierce's books yet, I suggest starting with "The Song of the Lioness" or "The Immortals" series.

Now, without further delay, behold the cover of "Tempests and Slaughter: The Numair Chronicles, Book One":

(Book One! Meaning there will be more to follow!)

Of course, this means we'll have to do another 2017 TBR update soon! Are there any other Tamora Pierce fans out there who are as thrilled as I am?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2017 TBR List (Update 6/6/2017)

Hello Writing Desk Readers!

It's time for another update to the 2017 TBR! The previous update was more business minded, but now we're back into the realm of fiction.

How are your 2017 TBR Lists going? Who out there is right on track with your reading goals for this year, so far?

"Dead End Girl", by LT Vargus & Tim McBain
(A new release from the authors of "The Scattered and the Dead". This will be the first book in their new Violet Darger series. I'm also LOVING this cover!)

"Some Fucked Up Shit", by Nicole Sixx
(I believe the title is pretty self explanatory here. I've heard great things about this collection of horror short stories!)

"Anansi Boys", by Neil Gaiman
(Spinning off from Gaiman's "American Gods", "Anansi Boys" follows the (etc.) of the sons left behind by Mr. Nancy - aka the god Anansi - after his death.)

"Neverwhere", by Neil Gaiman
(You can see a pattern here.)

"Into the Water", by Paula Hawkins
(Very much looking forward to reading the second novel by the author of "Girl on the Train"! Although, will this bring us back into the territory we've discussed previously?)

Total number of TBR books for 2017: 40! 
Number I've read so far: 8. 
I'll admit that all of the travel and job changes have put me behind, but I'm determined to catch up!

My apologies again to everyone for the recent post delays! But when you see the view I had for Memorial Day Weekend, I hope you'll forgive me:

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What Am I Reading Wednesday (5/31/2017)

Title: “Mrs. Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years”

Author: Barbara Leaming

First Reading: Second!

Initial Impression: Wow. There was so much I didn't know about Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Final Thoughts: A fantastic biography about an incredible woman.

How amazing is this cover?

It takes a special kind of writer to be able to look at another person's life and portray it in an accurate, honest way. Barbara Leaming is an exceptional biographer, I must have read her book on Marilyn Monroe at least three times during my high school years. (I'll be happy to re-read it again and feature it on the blog if anyone is interested!) She's actually written multiple books about the Kennedys, which I'll definitely be diving into soon.

The focus of "Mrs. Kennedy" takes a close look at the life of Jacqueline Bouvier (Kennedy; Onassis) from her childhood in New York, to her budding romance with young Congressman John F. Kennedy, to becoming the First Lady of the United States and every trial that came along with that title, and finally to her husband's assassination in 1963.

Drawing from a wealth of declassified information, Secret Service records, and personal accounts, Leaming shows just how crucial Jackie Kennedy was to her husband's presidency during a pivotal time of change in our country's history. It also shows the pain and personal struggle she endured while performing this role, all the while displaying a level of grace and glamour that hadn't been seen previously in a First Lady.

I won't go into any further detail here. If you have any interest in the Kennedys, I highly recommend this novel as a window into their world.


About the Author:

Barbara Leaming's career as a biographer began in 1980, and has included subjects such as: John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Roman Polanski, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Rita Hayworth, and Bette Davis, among others.

Her most recent book, "Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter", delves deeper into the life of JFK's younger sister Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy Cavendish. In "Mrs. Kennedy", Leaming touches on how deeply Kick's death affected JFK as a president, so I can't imagine what it will be like to see her whole story laid out.

While I was unable to pin down an official website, you can find Leaming on Twitter and Facebook, with a full listing of her publications available on Amazon.

Expect to see quite a few more of Leaming's works on the next 2017 TBR updates!

**Disclaimer: The "What Am I Reading Wednesday" posts are my personal opinion and not to be taken as professional literary reviews. I just love sharing books I've enjoyed!**

BONUS POST: Thank You!

Today's What Am I Reading Wednesday post is coming later this evening, but first, I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone for joining me each week here on The Writing Desk!

Whether you're new to the blog, or have been hanging in there with me since this whole thing started a little over a year ago, I appreciate each and every one of you.

April and May 2017 were the best months for readership The Writing Desk has ever had! The total number of readers in those two months combined were more than the entire 2016 year! Can you believe it?

Stay tuned for today's What Am I Reading post, I'm so excited to share this particular book with everyone!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What Am I Reading Wednesday (5/24/2017)

Greetings, Writing Desk Readers! Who's ready for What Am I Reading Wednesday?

Title:  “My Sweet Home Alabama: A Honeysuckle Hill Novella”

Author: Erin Knightley

First Reading: Yes

Initial Impression: Always take car trouble with a grain of salt.

Final Thoughts: A short and sweet summer read!

My Sweet Home Alabama” is the latest novella released by USA Today Bestselling Author, Erin Knightley! If that name sounds familiar, then you probably noticed at least one of Knightley’s novels is currently on the 2017 TBR List. Her hilarious blog, Have Your Cake & Read It Too, has also been featured on The Writing Desk as a writing resource!

They say bad things come in threes, and at the start of “My Sweet Home Alabama”, it looks like Delaney Hart has just hit her third. No money. An uncertain future. And now? No car. 

Delaney's day is saved when her ailing car manages to chug into the small town of Honeysuckle Hill and she finds the town's lone mechanic on duty. There's just one, tiny problem. The grease-covered car pro turns out to be the college friend that Delaney hasn't spoken to in months: Beau Rodney. 

They didn't exactly part on good terms, (understatement of the year), and now Delaney is at Beau's mercy to get her out of Alabama and on to her new life. 

They could tolerate each other long enough to get her car fixed, right? Right?

If you're looking for a short and sweet romance this summer, (on a beach, by the pool, on the couch - the location is up to you), then you'll love this (what I hope is the first of many) Honeysuckle Hill novella.

As I’ve heard Erin say before: It’s all about the happily ever after!   


About the Author:

With more than 18 novels and novellas under her belt, Erin Knightley is going strong! 

What made this novella especially fun for me to read, besides the fact that I love Knightley's writing style, is this is somewhat of a departure from from her earlier works.

Erin Knightley's bread and butter is Regency era romance, (you can find a complete list of each of her Regency series on her website!), but recently she's been dabbling in a little modern-day romance as well. She's even co-authored two BookShots with James Patterson! 

I had the pleasure of working with Erin at the Triangle Sisters in Crime 2016 Workshop, where she was a guest speaker and panel member. Her talk on the different methods for plotting a novel was excellent! 

Are there any other Erin Knightley fans out there? If so, which of her novels is your favorite? I have to say that "Flirting With Fortune" and "Deceived by a Duke" are still my current favorites of her Regency books.

Happy reading!

**Disclaimer: The "What Am I Reading Wednesday" posts are my personal opinion and not to be taken as professional literary reviews. I just love sharing books I've enjoyed!**

Sunday, May 21, 2017

2017 Reading List Update - Business Edition

Hello friends!

Welcome to the 2017 Reading List Update - Business Edition!

It's no secret to anyone familiar with the writing/publishing community that a writer has to wear many different hats. Writer. Marketer. Self-publisher (even if you go the traditional route, you're still very much involved in the process). Promoter. Salesperson. Accountant.

I could go on, but you see my point.

So, in an effort to bulk up my knowledge in these areas, I've created a business sub-category for the 2017 TBR. Included in this are the few non-fiction/writing books I've listed in the previous TBR updates. If anyone has any other recommendations, please let me know!

"How to Make a Living With Your Writing", by Joanna Penn (I've been wanting to start Joanna Penn's podcast for a while now, maybe I need to start a TBH (To Be Heard) list!)

"Writing the Paranormal Novel", by Steven Harper
(This one was recommended to me by a fellow writer. As many of you already know, I'm currently in this midst of Book Project #1, which happens to have some supernatural/paranormal leanings. Very excited to see what Harper recommends for this genre!)

"Getting Things Done", by David Allen
(Another recommendation, who doesn't love organization and productivity?)

"Outlining Your Novel", by K.M. Weiland
(While I do have an outlining process that I use, I'm always interested in learning different techniques, seeing what works for me and what doesn't.)

"Million Dollar Productivity", by Kevin J. Anderson
(With my new work schedule, this is the perfect opportunity to make the most of my writing time. If Book Project #1 is to have a chance of getting finished, (and also titled...leave me alone, I hate coming up with titles), in the time frame I've set for myself, this will be key.)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017: The Year of Stephen King + "The Dark Tower" Trailer

2017 is quickly becoming the year of Stephen King movies and television series. While a full list of all of King's works slated for production for the big and small screens can be found here, (and believe me, there are quite a few!), the ones confirmed for 2017 include the "IT" remake, "Mr. Mercedes", "Gerald's Game", "1922", "The Mist", and, of course, "The Dark Tower".
Source: Stephen King's official Twitter page.

I'm especially excited about "The Dark Tower" film, staring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, due out in theaters on August 4, 2017.

Returning Writing Desk readers will know that we've already talked about "The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger" in March on What Am I Reading Wednesday. With the success so far of the adaption for the "American Gods" series, (we all know how nervous I was about that one), not to mention the many successful films and TV shows that have been made based on King's work, I'm feeling good about the potential for this one. I wasn't able to confirm how many movies are planned for this series, (if anyone knows for sure, please fill me in!), but from what I can tell they'll be pulling elements from more than just the first novel for the debut film.

Below is one of the trailers for "The Dark Tower". Are there any other Stephen King fans out there looking forward to this movie? How do you feel so far based on the trailer?