Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review of Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel


Zellie Wells, #1 
Stacey Wallace Benefiel 


Reasons for reading:

Again, when I got my Kindle, I went a little bit crazy buying books. This book happened to be free and was highlighted on a Kindle-blog, so I downloaded it based on reading the summary.

Basic plot:

At Zellie’s 16th birthday party, she dances with her crush and has a vision of the future: they are both older, she is pregnant, and he is bleeding profusely, clearly dying. Insta-love ensues and she starts sneaking out the window at night to snog him, but there are lots of Secrets that Zellie’s mother and great-aunt have yet to tell her, and these Secrets will change everything…


The book is mainly in 1st person with Zellie as the narrator, but throughout the book it switches randomly into 3rd person omniscient with Zellie’s crush, Avery, as the narrator. The first couple of times this happens it’s really distracting, but after a while I got used to it.

The weirdest thing about this book was the ridiculous way in which the characters talked. Zellie is a 16 yr old preacher’s daughter, and she has a younger sister named Melody. Zellie’s BFF is named Claire, and she’s virtually identical to Helen’s BFF, also named Claire, in Starcrossed (AKA realllly annoying.) Zellie, despite living in the middle of nowhere and having all of her social events centered around the church, used so much crude phrasing and ridiculous sounding one-liners that it pretty much killed the book for me. Non-spoilery examples:

Location 607: “…kinda didn’t care if the whole room was scoping my nips at this point; I was filled with reckless sixteen-year-old abandon.” --SCOPING MY NIPS???? EW.

Location 780: “…buried his face in my hair and took a big whiff. It was so good to know we were the same kind of perv.”—How does smelling someone’s hair while making out make you a perv? Again, ew…

There is also a weird jail-bait kind of thing going on… At one point, Zellie narrates that her friend Claire’s “red miniskirt rode up, only just covering her thighs” (Loc 546), and Zellie enjoys the summer weather because “even pastor’s daughters could get away with wearing less clothing.” (Location 1091) This reminds me of the writing middle schoolers who are just starting to explore their sexuality come up with, when appearing sexy involves baring their midriffs and body glitter.

The actual paranormal premise of the story is pretty cool, which is why I persisted in reading the book despite the weird characters. I can’t really explain it without giving away the whole plot, but basically Zellie is part of a line of women who have psychic powers- powerful ones! I wish the story gave us even more psychic scenes instead of the struggling banter between horny adolescents.

Final thoughts:

I wish this book had gone through quality editing, because the premise could really be something great! It’s worth reading if you are curious- it’s short and moves quickly, and I’m glad I read it because it was fun and weirdly fascinating. The awkward dialogue really made it difficult to enjoy the book, which is unfortunate.  I won't be reading the sequels.  Two stars.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry

Simone Elkeles

Look at all that dark hair!

Reasons for reading:

I downloaded Perfect Chemistry on my Kindle in a jubilant book-buying spree of quite a few books on my TBR list that I haven’t yet had an opportunity to read.  I thought Perfect Chemistry would be a fun teen romance with some steamy parts.  I loved the dark cover- although I sometimes enjoy sugary books with little-girl-y covers, I liked that this cover seemed more edgy.

Basic plot:

Alex is in the Latino Blood gang outside Chicago.  Brittany is a white girl princess with a terrible home life.  When they are forced to be Chem partners, sexual tension and violence ensues…


Direct quote from p. 278? (according to my kindle): “‘You only live once.’”  Again, p. 280: “Alex pulls me close and whispers in my ear, ‘You only live once, isn’t that what you said? Dance with me again.’”  When I read this, The Motto starts playing in my head… E’ryday e’ryday… YOLO…”  It made me sad that such a watershed part of the book was so cliché.

Alex is hot.  You will not be disappointed in his sexy bad-boy-ness.  This book was worth reading simply because of that.

Not sure if these are the models or what, but :D

Brittany’s older sister, Shelly, has cerebral palsy, yet her character is developed and plays an important part in the story.  I found it refreshing to read a character with serious disabilities who isn’t treated with pity or swept aside by the story.

I was under the impression that the story was a trilogy.  No.  The story is contained in this one book- the two books that come after it are about each of Alex’s little brothers. This story goes beyond a typical book and includes a weird TWENTY-THREE years later epilogue- this just seemed excessive to me.  It was like the author wanted to reassure the reader that they really, really did live happily ever after. Also, I can’t explain this without spoilers, but it’s almost supernatural- reminds me of what’s going on in Starcrossed.

Final thoughts:

I’m glad I read it, but I wish I had read it when I was younger and I wanted stories to tie up neatly.  I feel like I’ve either read this book or seen the movie because the plot was VERY predictable, but Alex’s hotness and the tenderness Brittany feels for her sister made this book worth reading, and I would recommend it to mature middle (there is actual SEX) / high school readers looking for a romantic story about love overcoming circumstances.  Three stars.

Book trailer:

I'm glad I didn't watch this book trailer until after I read the book... BUT THEN AGAIN, my middle schoolers would love this trailer and would be fighting over the book.  SO if you are under the age of 15, watch the trailer.  Over 15, just read the book.

Friday, June 8, 2012

80's Pop Culture, Trailer Stacks, and an Easter Egg- Review of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One

Ernest Cline

Wade lives in a "trailer stack"- literally a stack of trailers!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is a dystopian novel set in 2044.  Due to global warming and the energy crisis, industrialized nations are collapsing.  People escape into the Oasis, an immersive Internet world, where players are able to build the lives they wish they had in reality.  When the 1980’s-obsessed inventor of the Oasis dies, he leaves his fortune to the winner of a virtual contest within the Oasis.  High school senior Wade Watts is determined to win this fortune- and the most epic videogame of all. 

I enjoyed this fast-paced read because of the incredible world building, the 1980’s pop culture references, and the mysterious clues within the contest.  I even found myself trying to solve the riddles along with Wade.  The characters demonstrate inspiring perseverance and sacrifice in their quest, and teenage and adult readers alike will enjoy the game contained in this book.

For more information, check out the book's website.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Muy Delicioso: Dinner at Plaza del Sol

Last night J and I decided to drive out to Bethesda to try a new restaurant. As anyone who spends a lot of time with us knows, we spend a lot of time debating about where to eat.  Because of our living situations, cooking our own food is not an option right now, so we eat out 3-4 times a week.  With J's Medifast diet, he gets tired of eating at the same few places... leading to us driving 30 minutes for Mexican food.

Plaza del Sol serves "fine Tex-Mex and Latin American cuisine," but the food was typical for a Mexican restaurant in the DC area.  The front of the restaurant looks like a hole in the wall- the restaurant is narrow but long, and the front is very understated.  Inside it looks nice with dark wood and a dedicated bar.  There is indoor and outdoor seating.  We arrived at 8:30 on Sunday night, and there were lots of people there- a few families with very young kids, but mostly young to middle age adults.

We were seated promptly and already knew what to order from the online menu.  I had the Gold Cadillac Margarita and Steak Tacos al Carbon.  J had Seafood Soup and Matamoros BBQ.  The food came quickly but nicely spaced, and the service was courteous and efficient.  The margarita was pretty standard.  The tacos came with 3 tacos, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole- the meat was delicious and flavorful but not fatty.  The Seafood Soup had scallops, shrimp, and some shelled-thing that I won't touch with a stick.  I did enjoy the broth and it was creamy like a bisque.  J loved the generous portion of meat from the Matamoros BBQ- there was also a basket with plenty of warm tortillas, but J didn't eat them since he's on Medifast.  The prices were about 2-3 dollars more than our local Mexican place, but it was worth it!

All in all the experience was great and we will return soon despite the distance.  There is free parking in the garage across the street on weekends, and the area is pretty nice.  I would highly recommend it!

Check out the restaurant's website or the restaurant's Yelp page.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Why 50 Shades shouldn't be dismissed as mere Twilight fan fic

I have spoken to several friends who are curious about the 50 Shades craze, and one friend who read it back when it was really just fan fic who thinks I'm an idiot for enjoying the series so much.  While 50 Shades certainly isn't for everyone, and I don't think it's a MUST READ, the attitude of it being inferior to other romance stories or that I have no taste for enjoying it really irks me.  I think the general attitude is that if you think Twilight sucks, then this book that is BASED OFF Twilight must be even lamer.  Here's why I think 50 Shades shouldn't be discounted because of its origins:

1. Christian's control issues are viewed as an illness and treated as such.  In Twilight, Edward's crazy protection/control mentality is seen as for Bella's own good.  In 50 Shades, Christian is seeing a therapist, and he and Ana eventually work out that control in the bedroom is good for them (though they switch it up), but Christian trying to control Ana's life is unacceptable.  She gets angry at him and stands up for herself.  I love that at several points she refuses to back down.  She doesn't get flustered and start doubting her stance- instead she fights for her freedom and refuses to give in to Christian.  He has to come to terms by adjusting his behavior, and although it is sometimes painful, he does.

2. There are no vampires, werewolves, or other paranormal elements.  My fiance was still laboring under the assumption that Christian was a vampire. No.  All paranormal elements have been removed, which also removes the strange desire Edward feels to eat Bella because of his "nature."  Although Christian at some point admits to wanting to hurt women, there are psychological reasons for this and it is addressed as part of his mental illness, not a sexy thing.  Edward wanting to suck the life out of Bella but trying to control himself is portrayed as hot; Christian wanting to beat a woman is portrayed as unhealthy and unacceptable.

3. Ana is not a dishrag.  While Ana reminds me of Bella during the first couple of chapters where she is clumsy and has bad fashion sense, Ana quickly develops into a strong-willed, smart, and passionate woman.  She is able to defend herself and does at a couple points, she is not afraid to be alone (no laying the woods for hours), and she knows what she wants from life.  While Ana does bite her lip to the point of obnoxiousness, she isn't mousy.  She actually IS very beautiful and interesting.

4. There is no morality message from 50 Shades.  Twilight's pro-abstinence, pro-life, and sometimes religious undertones are not evident in 50 Shades.  This is just a fun series for grown-ups without the author trying to make something that is not spiritual into a message- no hidden PSAs here.

To wrap up, I'd like to point out that while I would be embarrassed to be seen reading either series on the train (I love my Kindle!), aside from a basic outline the actual perspectives and tones of the novels are very different.  Not to say they don't have things in common, because they clearly do, but 50 Shades isn't "Twilight for grown-ups."  It isn't even really "What if Edward and Bella were into BDSM?"  (The BDSM sub-plot takes a backseat to other story-lines.) It's an erotic romance series about unconditional love and overcoming mental illness.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Vow: Not Sappy Enough

So after listening to my best friend from high school gush about how excited he was to watch The Vow now that it is out on DVD, I decided to rent it this morning from Amazon.  I love Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum (this friend and I have already made plans to go see Magic Mike this summer!), and I have been begging my fiance to rent it with me for awhile.  The trailer made the movie out to be heartbreaking and beautiful, and I was expecting to be torn apart and refreshed like when I watched The Time Traveler's Wife or when I read The Fault in Our Stars.  The Vow was certainly beautiful- I loved her sculptures, the urban background, the great costuming and make up (love Paige's wedding gown!), but it didn't make me cry- I didn't even tear up!  I still think the story is beautiful and inspirational (more so because it's true), but I was expecting to be crying into my ice cream.

My favorite thing about the movie was actually really unexpected.  The Vow is set in Chicago, and there are lots of city images in the movie, so I feel much better able to picture the setting of Divergent now!  Paige and Leo visit the bean shaped sculpture that is near the Erudite compound, and there are trains running all over the city! I'm from DC, so I'm used to most of the trains being underground.  It gave me a good background from which to view the Divergent story now.

I'm glad I watched The Vow, but I'm also glad I didn't make my fiance watch it with me.  I'm still saving up credits to get him to go see Breaking Dawn part II with me this fall :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

GIVEAWAY- Swamps, Gunshots, and Stolen Jewels: Review of Brightwing by Sullivan Lee

Sullivan Lee
Available from Amazon,
Adult Action/Thriller

Brightwing is the story of Lucy Brightwing, the last living member of the Tequesta tribe, and her life-changing run-in with infamous brothers Edgar and Mallory Battle.  Lucy is a hardworking, nature-loving, beautiful young woman.  Edgar is my favorite kind of criminal- one with a personal moral code, like Captain Jack Sparrow.  He's recently escaped from prison, and on the run with his younger brother Mallory.  Mallory is an absolute sociopath.  More on this later.

Lucy is given the opportunity to steal some uncut jewels, and her cut of the deal would be enough for her to purchase some land to start her own tribe.  She experiences car trouble on her way home after the theft, and Edgar and Mallory see her on the side of the road and decide to use her as a hostage.  Little do they know, she is not an average woman, and she could easily escape from them or kill them- at the risk of losing her jewels.  She also knows that she must stay alive at all costs, to keep the Tequesta blood alive.  Together the three evade the law and must decide how to resolve their individual problems.

Brightwing is extremely well-written- the language is beautiful, the editing is well-done, and the action and dialogue flow comfortably.  Lucy is a cool, very likable character.  She is resourceful and powerful, and her love of the land brings back memories of Disney's Pocahontas.  Edgar is also likeable, although as the author pointed out in her interview with this blog, his character is not that of the traditional male hero.  Lucy really is more powerful than him, and he experiences tons of personal conflict in the story regarding his brother and his desire for freedom.  I absolutely hated Mallory.  Mallory reminded me of Lennie from Of Mice and Men- IF Lennie was a psychopath, IF Lennie did not recognize other beings as having life, and IF Lennie found personal pleasure in cruel, unspeakable acts.  However, Mallory's character is part of what made this story unique- he is presented as sympathetic from some angles, which was an interesting perspective that stretched my thinking.

My favorite part of the story is the end.  The last 100 or 200 pages on my iPhone were really fun and exciting, with cool twists.  I also enjoyed reading about how Lucy transferred power from the men to herself gradually.  If I could change anything about the story, it would be to take away a little bit of the swamp descriptions- I've never liked setting descriptions in books, and although the descriptions are eloquent and the settings intricate, I prefer more action and dialogue.  I would also make certain scenes less graphic.  I can't watch CSI or anything like that because graphic violence, particularly of a sexual nature freaks me out.

I would recommend this book to adults who enjoy stories of survival, action, and nature.  The Floridian swamp setting is almost a character in this book, it plays such a big part, and nature lovers might really enjoy that aspect.

Giveaway time!!

Thanks to the generous author, I am giving away two e-copies of this book.  Please fill out the form below.  Ages 13+ only.  This giveaway will end in one week, on September 3 at midnight.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.**

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lucky Charm Blog Tour- Interview With Author Marie Astor

Lucky Charm
Marie Astor
Adult Contemporary Romance

I love the cute cover!
What a classic, romantic scene.

Author Marie Astor

LPFR: As a newer author, many bloggers may still be unfamiliar with you.  Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

MA: I am a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why I write in the contemporary romance genre. I am the author of a contemporary romance novel, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories. In addition to being a writer, I am an avid hiker, an excellent swimmer, a good skier, and a capable badminton player.

LPFR: Please tell us about Lucky Charm in one sentence.

MA: In a nutshell, Lucky Charm is a story about a girl who loses her faith in love, but it is also a story about friendship and forgiveness, and most importantly, it is a story about being brave enough to believe in love and having the courage to pursue it.

LPFR: What was your inspiration for writing Lucky Charm?

MA: Romance is such a big part of women’s lives – we spend so much time dreaming and worrying about finding that special someone, but when things do not go exactly as planned, we rely on our friends to help us through the tough times. I knew I wanted to write a fun contemporary romance about the role that friendships play in women’s lives and the challenges of opening up to love after getting one’s heart broken.

At first, the idea started out as a short story I wrote, entitled Lady Luck, which is part of my short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories. By the time I finished the outline for Lucky Charm, the novel turned out to be very different from the short story that inspired it.

LPFR: You handle the unraveling of Annabel’s engagement with honesty and hope.  I went through a broken engagement as well… What advice do you as a romance writer and woman have for others recovering from broken relationships?

MA: Never give up on love! We’ve all suffered from a broken heart - as daunting as it may feel at the time, it is possible to fall in love again.

LPFR: What is your favorite part of the story?

MA: My favorite part of the story is when Etienne takes Annabel for a tour of a chateau – Annabel is expecting them to be part of a tour group, but instead she finds herself sharing a romantic evening alone with Etienne.

LPFR: What are some of your favorite books right now?

MA: I just finished rereading Sidney Sheldon’s If Tomorrow Comes. I absolutely love this book - it’s got romance, intrigue, revenge – what more could a reader want?

LPFR: What are you working on now?  Can we expect another book soon?

MA: I am currently working on my next contemporary romance – it is a love story set at a ski resort. The book should be coming out in November. Please visit my website, for updates. Here is a little preview:

At twenty two Maggie has a lot of important decisions to make: Jeffrey, her aspiring politician boyfriend of five years has just proposed to her, and an acceptance letter from one of the best law schools in the country is lying on her desk. But is that what she really wants? The answer comes most unexpectedly when during a ski trip to Colorado she meets Taylor, a handsome, free-spirited big mountain skier who is the complete opposite of Jeffrey. Maggie’s attraction to Taylor is undeniable, but she is engaged to marry Jeffrey. Will Maggie find the courage to follow her heart?

LPFR: Thank you, Marie Astor, for this interview!

I received a copy of this book from the author for review.  Review for this book to come soon.  Visit the next stop tomorrow August 28th at Housewife Blues & Chihuahua Stories!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Potions, Librarians, and a Tiny Hispanic Boy: Review of Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of East End
#1, The Beauchamp Family
Melissa de la Cruz
Adult, 272 pages

I like the cover, but I'm not too sure
why there are pretty red leaves.

This is Melissa de la Cruz's first adult novel, and I LOVED it.  It was fun, but not ridiculous (some of the Blue Bloods kind of weirded me out), it read smoothly, and basically, it was like the perfect truffle- rich but not too big of a serving.  I also liked that although there will be more books about the Beauchamps, this book could be a stand-alone novel.  As in, it's a complete story in one book!  Imagine that!

North Hampton is an old-fashioned coastal town in New York, and three witches live there.  Joanna Beauchamp lives there with her two adult daughters, Ingrid and Freya, and their familiars: a griffin, a raven, and a cat.  Joanna's gift is wisdom, Ingrid's is Hearth, and Freya's gift is love.  Unfortunately, back in the 1600's, the three were told that they could no longer practice magic- they had to live as humans...  So Joanna is a lonely woman, Ingrid works at the local library as an architectural archivist, and Freya is a bartender, engaged to be married to wealthy Bran Gardiner.  Things are going well for the family until Freya's eye is caught by Bran's younger brother at their engagement party.  When Ingrid decides to secretly practice a little magic to help a fellow librarian conceive, things really start to spin out of control, and the events that follow start to look pretty bad for the family.

As I said, this was an excellent novel.  It's advertised as a summer read, and it's really perfect for reading right now, with the end of summer mentality going around.  For me, it's cooler nights, stormy weather, and an air of nostalgia.  Some Blue Bloods characters show up, which is fun, and there is a heavy infusion of Norse mythology, particularly at the end.  It's also refreshing to read the first book in a paranormal series where the paranormal beings already know about their powers!  All three main characters are engaging and likeable.  Joanna is a very motherly figure, and her affection for her housekeeper's young son is endearing.  Ingrid, who might have an unrequited crush, has a sincere desire to help others, and Freya's passion for love and life is energizing and sexy.  My favorite part is when Freya starts to mix up love potions at her bar- I love fancy drinks, and magical ones sound even better!

I'd recommend this to older fans of Blue Bloods- I like this book better, and it's got a positive energy flowing through it. I'm looking forward to the next book!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Interview with Sullivan Lee, Author of Brightwing

Review of Brightwing to come later this week!

LPFR: Since you usually write books for younger readers, many bloggers may be unfamiliar with you! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

SL: I'm a former newspaper editor, former social worker, former deputy sheriff, current mother, constant worrier, and perpetual writer. Under my real name (Laura L. Sullivan) I write books for children. Under the Green Hill and Guardian of the Green Hill (Holt Books for Young Readers) are about a group of children caught in the middle of a fairy war.  Ladies in Waiting, out next May from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a bawdy historical set in the 1660s England.

When I started writing adult crime novels (hey, I have to put that law enforcement training to use!) I was intrigued by the self publishing world, and decided to experiment. It's going very well so far!

You can find out more about me on my blog, The Omniscient Third Person.

LPFR: Please tell us about your book in just one sentence.

SL: Two criminal brothers on the run get more than they bargain for when they take a female thief hostage.

(Whew! I should note that I'm not good at short. My last contracted book had a 90K word cap and my first draft was 120K. I turned it in at 106K and my poor editor had to do her magic.)

LPFR: I'm guessing your past as a Deputy Sheriff made you interested in the criminal aspect of the story, but what was your inspiration for writing about the indigenous peoples of Florida?

SL: I've lived most of my life in Florida (right now I'm in Kentucky but I'll be moving back soon) and I've always been fascinated with its early history. Florida was, essentially, Clan of the Cave Bear at the beach, with humans living beside mammoths, giant sloths, sabre-tooth cats, and man-eating terror birds. (Even Ayla didn't have to contend with those!)

I've been an amateur fossil hunter for years, and though most of what I find is from animals, I've also found a few relics of the people – beads and arrowheads. Florida has lost a lot of pristine habitat, but you can still find places – especially in the swamps – that are a lot like they were when Florida's first indigenous people were there. (Of course, most of them quite sensibly lived on the coast, or the spring-fed, higher elevation interior. No one in their right mind lives in the swamps if they can help it!) Florida still has a bit of a primal feel, and it never seemed like the paleoindians were too distant.

So when I needed a heroine who was perfectly at home in the Florida wilderness, I looked to pre-history. The Tequesta are a real tribe, but (as far as we know) they died out about 300 years ago. (The Seminole and Miccosukee tribes came later, fleeing from the north, and the Seminoles probably owe their status as the only unconquered tribe to the fact that they moved to the inhospitable Everglades.) I tweaked history to make a branch of the Tequesta line survive to this day.

LPFR: I have to be honest with you- your story left me feeling unsettled.  Without giving away anything, the last third or so of the book contains some surprises (both good and bad, in my opinion), and the last page was not really what I was expecting!  How did you feel about the ending of the book, and how do you expect other readers will feel?

SL: When you write for a commercial publisher, there is a lot of pressure to make your book conform to certain presuppositions. Villains should die (or be defeated until the sequel) and when a couple gets together their emotions should be overwhelmingly happy. That's what they think will sell best – and it probably does. I decided that I needed to tell a different kind of story.

The characters I created in Brightwing are meant to be very disturbing people. And the things they do? As you say, unsettling. They do things which, in other people, would be unbelievable, but which are perfectly in accord with their natures. I wanted to induce strong emotions in the reader – disgust at Mallory's actions, shock at Lucy's reaction to them, puzzlement and sympathy over Edgar's emasculated role. And the ending is deliberately provoking – but again, it suits the characters' natures.

I wrote an alternate ending first, with Mallory dying, but it just wasn't right. When I reworked it, I also saw what terrible wonders he could do in a sequel, so he had to stay. (The sequel, Swamp Bordello, will be out in about a year.)

Most of all, I want Brightwing to be a book people think about long after they finish reading it. Justice and happy endings fade quickly, I think, but if you've thrown a book across the room a time or two – and picked it up again – you'll never forget it.

LPFR: That's funny, because I came close to throwing the book.  I'm glad I didn't, seeing as how I was reading the ebook on my phone.  How did the experience of writing for adults differ from your other writing?

SL: To me, writing for children and writing for adults feels fundamentally the same. Children are slightly less forgiving, and not quite so easy to manipulate as adult readers, but I tell the stories pretty much the same way. I never write down to children, and I never sugarcoat emotions, good or bad. All of my books, I think, speak of the world being an exquisitely lovely place, but terribly unsafe, which children need to learn, and adults need to be reminded of.

LPFR: What are you currently reading?

SL: I just started Kushiel's Dart, by Jacqueline Carey. I'm a sucker for slave-girl and courtesan narratives! It's fascinating that the main character is a complete masochist without being at all weak.

LPFR: What advice do you have for young writers who are trying finish a novel and get it published?

SL: Pretty standard stuff – read everything you can get your hands on. Not every sensitive reader can become a sensitive writer, but I don't think you can be a good writer without being a true reader first.

When you've finished your first manuscript, lock it away and spend the next few months doing research about the publishing world. When you think you're beginning to understand it, edit your book – many times. Put it away and research the market again. Edit again. Then simultaneously start your new book and begin to query agents. You need the new book to take your mind off checking your email every three minutes!

If you decide to go the self-published route, do the same, but double your research time!

LPFR: Thanks for the opportunity to read and review your book!  

SL: And thank you so much for having me on La Petite Fille Rousse!