Mar 30, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: 3.30.10

Teaser Tuesday is hosted each week by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's how it works:
  • Grab your current read
  • Let if fall open to a random page
  • Choose two sentences to use as your teasers, being careful not to include any spoilers
  • Name the book and page number you took your teasers from
It's that simple! And anyone can play along. Today my teasers are from a new book by Kate White called HUSH.

And yet, she also knew that learning the truth would ultimately help her escape from the nightmare she'd found herself living through. The police would focus on the clinic and not on her. ~ page 165

Although I've just started reading this new thriller, it's already clear it's going to be a real page-turner. Right off the bat, I'm pulling for the protagonist, Lake Warren, a marketing consultant and mother of two young children who is in a custody battle with her soon-to-be ex-husband. But that's only the beginning of the story...

Mar 29, 2010

The Girl On Legare Street by Karen White

In this second installment of the Tradd Street series by Karen White, we return to Charleston and follow Melanie Middleton through another exciting journey through her ancestral past and encounter more ghostly presences, some harmless and some very dangerous.

We take up with Melanie having to face the return of her mother, Ginette Prioleau, a world famous opera singer, who walked out of Melanie's life when she was a young girl, leaving no explanation. Her re-entry into Melanie's world is as abrupt as her departure was over thirty years ago. Melanie has no desire to spend any time with her famous mother but feels cornered when Ginette asks for help in purchasing the old family home on Legare Street that once belonged to Melanie's beloved grandmother. Reluctantly, she agrees and before she knows it she is staying there with her mother while her own home is under renovation.

Although Ginette isn't very forthcoming about why she has returned to Charleston, it doesn't take long for spirits to appear with threats against both Melanie and her mother. More questions arise when a sunken sailboat belonging to Melanie's ancestors is discovered off the coast of South Carolina. When the remains of a young girl are found in a steamer trunk on the boat, Melanie and her mother try to find out who she was and if she is connected to the spirit that has been residing in the house on Legare Street for decades. The closer they get to the truth, the more dangerous it is for them to stay at the house. With the help of Melanie's friends and Rebecca, a reporter Melanie just can't seem to trust no matter how helpful she is, the pieces of the family puzzle slowly start coming together. But Melanie wonders at what cost those answers will come.

THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET brings back the original cast of characters we first met in THE HOUSE ON TRADD STREET and also introduces us to a few more that play pivotal parts in this story. Like the first book, there is a combination of mystery, family drama, paranormal activities and a little bit of romance. although the ghostly presences in this book are more intense and more dangerous than in the previous book.

I do like the addition of the new characters and was glad to see the old ones return, but there were times during the book that I didn't really care for Melanie Middleton, the protagonist of the story. She's a difficult person to get close to, mainly because of the abandonment issues regarding her mother, but sometimes I felt she pushed it a bit too far. I'm not a big fan of romance novels but I did get irritated at how she continued to push Jack away and then sulk about it afterwards. I wanted to say 'Enough already!'

One criticism I have is that there are a lot of ancestors to keep track of in this story. Maybe it's just me but I sometimes got a bit lost in keeping all of the dead ancestors and their relationship to Melanie's family straight. It wasn't so much so that I didn't enjoy the book, because I did. I simply felt flustered at times. That being said, I do plan to continue reading this series once the next book comes out. However, that may be awhile because the third installment hasn't been written yet. I will just wait patiently and see what Ms. White comes up with next.

Publisher: NAL Trade
Published: November 2009
Pages 352
Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Other books by Karen White:

Mar 28, 2010

[TSS]The Side Effects of Being A Writer - Guest Post by Karen Harrington

Recently I read Karen Harrington's amazing book JANEOLOGY and was blown away by it. It's one of those books that you really don't know what to expect but are completely satisfied with the journey. You can read my review here if you missed it before.

Today Karen has agreed to be my special guest and I'm so happy to have her! Karen and I have become online buddies through our blogs and Facebook over the last year or so. Recently we had a very interesting exchange about how personalities come across and more specifically how surprised I was at the drastic difference between how I've come to know Karen and the dark subject matter of her book. In this post, Karen has expounded on that in her own inquisitive and humorous way. So, without further ado, here's Karen in her own words . . .

The side effects of being a writer

You’ve heard those drug commercials with the laundry list of possible side effects.

This drug may cause stomach upset, drowsiness, changes in eye color, walking, driving or having an affair in your sleep, colored urine or amnesia.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the side effects of being a writer. They are often as unexpected and funny as those listed above (which are all REAL, by the way, depending on the drug used.) I’ve kept a diary of my experience as a debut author and I can tell you – I have a list of unexpected side effects, all of which make me smile.

- Strangers send me nice emails. (This is simply wonderful. Please email your favorite authors. Who doesn’t want a friendly note?)

- Strangers send me emails demanding to know more about the ending. (This makes me smile.)

- I only make about $1 per book. (But I get paid much more in other means than money.)

- People tell me the acknowledgements were one of the favorite things in the book. (Wow, I wrote that paragraph in what, ten minutes?)

- People ask me when my next book is coming out. (Squeeee!)

- Readers ask me how I could write the point of view of a man so believably. (I never thought about this when I was writing the book, but virtually everything I’ve ever written has been from the perspective of a man.)

But recently, our lovely blogger Lisa got in touch with me after reading Janeology and posed a new thought. She commented “I’m curious. I’ve gotten to know you a bit through Facebook and on your blog and was surprised by the dark subject of your book.”

Talk about things that make you think.

Lisa’s curiosity got me to thinking about the whole nature of public perception as it relates to blogging and Facebook. This is a fascinating area all by itself. For instance, one of my Facebook friends met a girl, fell in love with a girl and broke up with a girl – and I read about the entire relationship life-cycle via his Facebook status updates. Reading the intimacies of his joy through heartbreak – one sentence at a time – probably caused me to make assumptions about his personality. By the time of the break-up, I was ready to flog the girl who broke his heart. She seemed mean and cruel while he seemed so sensitive and misunderstood.

Was this true? Maybe. Or maybe he was the jerk. Or maybe worse – a stalker! Only he knows. But his Facebook personality certainly made him sympathetic.

Now, this whole topic makes me wonder if a writer’s virtual personality necessarily has to match his/her writing themes. Do I necessarily need to post things about human nature and the dark nuances of humanity so you’ll know I write novels about troubled souls? Perhaps I do, but the blog wouldn’t last for long.

When I was first published, I did whatever my publisher advised. If they said, start a blog, I did. If they said join every social networking site, I did. I thought I was blogging to sell books, but then I realized I was doing it for the sheer benefits of connecting with other people. A writer’s day is pretty solitary, but checking in with blog friends and Facebook pals is sort of like getting up and walking over to a co-worker’s cubicle and saying “Hey, did you get those TPS reports?”

So for this reason, I’ve created a blog that (I think) offers the kind of at-work discussion I’d like to have with you during a stressful day. Sometimes it reflects my writing themes, but mostly it reflects my writing struggles and my reading interests. When I take a break from writing a particularly emotional scene, it’s nice to switch gears and read a book review or write an opinion piece. Does this give an opposite impression from the themes of my writing? Well, yes. Only time will tell if that has an impact on my future readership. My upcoming novel, PRODIGAL SON, is about the ripple effect hypocrisy has on a family after their patriarch, a famous mega-preacher, falls from grace. Will it sway readers either way if, on the day this book is released, I post on essay on why I think the Snuggie craze is hilarious? Maybe so.

I guess what I’ve realized about my conversation with Lisa is this: Having a virtual personality is an interesting side effect of being a novel writer. And come what may, I’ll continue to do it because the social benefits are far greater than I could ever have imagined. (And where else can I write my opinions on Snuggie’s?)


I can't thank Karen enough for graciously taking the time to write a special post for my blog. I also can't encourage any reader more to take the time and read JANEOLOGY. It's an amazing story that will stay with you long after you've finished the book. It touched me so much that I have begun my own journey into my family's history and am building my own family tree. With the help of and my parents, I'm learning more about my ancestors than I ever thought I would. If you'd like to learn more about JANEOLOGY, read an excerpt from the book or contact Karen, please visit her website.

Karen, thanks again, my friend for sharing your thoughts and your talent.

Mar 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: 3.2.10

The rules for Teaser Tuesday are simple:
  • Grab your current read
  • Let if fall open to a random page
  • Choose two sentences to share, being careful not to include any spoiler sentences
  • Name the book and page where your teasers are from
Today my teasers are from Pat Conroy's SOUTH OF BROAD, a book I only started reading a day or two ago, but already I'm feeling myself being drawn into the southern charms of the story and of his writing.

Charleston could produce men and women so aristocratic they could smell the chromosomes of a passing tramp in the armpits of a tennis-playing Ravenel. It was a city and a club that knew exactly who it wanted, and I didn't fill the bill in any of its particulars. And I was well aware of it. ~ page 46

Mar 1, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is now being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through A World Of Books and is open to anyone who wants to share what books they've been reading and are planning to read.


Last week I finished reading THE GIRL ON LEGARE STREET by Karen White, the second in the Tradd Street Series. I'll be posting my review later this week.

I reviewed JANEOLOGY by Karen Harrington and you can find that review here. If you're a member of GoodReads, be on the lookout for a giveaway that Karen is hosting there for 3 signed copies of this fascinating book! You definitely don't want to miss out on that!

This week I'm reading Pat Conroy's SOUTH OF BROAD as part of a TLC Book Tour for April. I started reading it yesterday and immediately was reminded how much I love his writing. I'm looking forward to getting lost in this book.

What books are your reading this week?