Here's a taste of this week's offerings. First, BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN, a prize winner at the Tribeca and Berlin Film Festivals, and a likely contender in the foreign film category of next year's Oscars.
We're also showing THE GREAT SANTINI, the terrific 1979 film adaptation of Pat Conroy's 1976 novel, starting Robert Duvall and Bylthe Danner. One of Duvall's greatest and most memorable performances.
And, of course, THE GREAT SANTINI is only to whet the appetite... on Monday, December 2, we will be having Pat Conroy himself at the Cocteau for an evening of conversation, to discuss his life, his books, and the movies made from them... which list includes not only THE GREAT SANTINI but also THE PRINCE OF TIDES, THE LORDS OF DISCIPLINE, and CONRACK. Pat will also be signing copies of his latest, THE DEATH OF SANTINI, and his other titles. Admission is free with the purchase of a hardcover book, $5 with the purchase of a paperback.
As with our previous events, seats are going fast, so if you'd like to attend, do call the Cocteau ASAP and reserve a book (and a seat) before they are all gone.
See you at the movies.
- Current Location:home again
- Current Mood: busy
If you'd like to see my recent four-plus- and five-star YA recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites.
* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
The 100, by Kass Morgan **+ The opening of this really sucked me in, but it quickly became apparent (to me, at least) that the angst wasn't going to be resolved anytime soon. I liked the multi-POV (as I always do), and I definitely felt the differences between the voices (which isn't easy to do as an author). I would probably pick up the next one, although some of the lack of communication irritated me. Still, it's supposedly being made into a TV show, and I'd say it has the drama and tension to support that. The story: In a distant future, no one lives on earth anymore. Instead, people live in spaceships circling the planet, believing the air to be toxic. However, things on the ships aren't going as well as everyone had hoped, and now the governing group has decided to send juvenile delinquents down to earth to check it out again. A last minute snafu exchanges two places -- and we get to watch what happens on the ships through one girl's eyes while also seeing what happens on earth. (YA science fiction, released 9/13, publisher: Little, Brown)
Viral Nation, by Shaunta Grimes ** I really liked the premise of this dystopic-style novel, but I had a hard time with some of the characterizations. First, it's challenging as one of the MCs is autistic. I felt like the voice was very true to what I know of autism, but it created a distance between me (the reader) and the story. I had a hard time overcoming that and letting the story pull me in. Also, a couple of the other characters were so short-sighted...well, it just annoyed me. Still, it has an intriguing plot. The story: Clover (autistic) wants nothing more than to get into the prestigious academy, but she refuses to leave her beloved dog behind. Therefore, she ends up working for the Company, instead. The Company rules the world after a virus destroyed almost everything and everyone (including Clover's mom). Clover travels through time, searching for information from the future -- but when she discovers something about her brother, West, she can't simply let it stand...and soon she finds herself fighting the Company (and her dad) to save West's life. (YA science fiction/dystopic, released 7/13, publisher: Berkeley Trade)
The Waking Dark, by Robin Wasserman * I found the premise of this really intriguing, but when I started reading it, it was simply too horrifying and creepy for me. I bet Stephen King lovers would also love this, however. The story: On a typical summer day, five separate people go on a killing spree that seems to have no motivations, no purpose. After, five of the survivors (all teens) try to make sense of what remains...and discover that whatever came to life in the killers is still there and wants more. (YA horror/suspense, released 9/13, publisher: Knopf)
Inheritance, by Malinda Lo ** Okay, so I barely read this (because I realized early on that it has a prequel, and I haven't read that yet) -- but I want to mention this here because I don't know when I'll have a chance to read the first one (and then this one). I read enough to know that I really like the ideas Lo is putting forth here -- in particular, the idea about relationships and falling in love. The main character is in love with two different people, a boy and a girl...and instead of it becoming your typical love triangle, Lo resolves it in a creative, thoughtful, and unique way. :) The story: [I can't tell much, since I didn't read much -- but I will say that it's all about aliens and government control and secrets...I really need and want to read the first one!] (YA science fiction/thriller, GBLT, released 9/13, publisher: Little,Brown)
Emerald Green, by Kerstin Gier, transl. by Anthea Bell ***** I so loved this! It's a great finale, even though I wasn't quite sure why Gwen acted toward Gideon as she did in a couple places. Still, the romance was lovely, the intrigue was heart-pounding, the characters were fun -- it is all good! :) The story: Although heart-broken by Gideon's duplicity, Gwen continues her role in time-traveling society. She wants to learn why Lucy (her cousin) and Paul (Lucy's husband and a Guardian) stole the other chronograph -- and she needs to know why Gideon appears to have betrayed them all. Leslie, her best friend, and Xemerius (the ghost demon) continue to help...and soon Gwen learns that her role is both crucial and terrifying -- and that Gideon will do almost anything to stop her from being hurt. Can the two of them stop the Count and save them all? (YA time travel/mystery, released 10/13, publisher: Henry Holt)
Infinity Glass, by Myra McEntire ***** I really liked this. Interestingly, I read the first one a couple years ago and wasn't thrilled -- but this one totally sucked me in (which means, of course, that I'll now have to go back and read both the first two). I liked the characters, I liked the romance, I like the mystery -- and I loved the premise of the different dimensions (in time). The story: The Hourglass group has been looking for the Infinityglass for a long time, but things are crucial now that they've interrupted the flow of time by saving a loved one from death (in the past) and changing the future/present. Because of that, Rips in time (which include people) move from the past into the present. But now they've learned that the Infinityglass is a person, and the member of the Hourglass group chosen to go and get her has to persuade her to help them. It's complicated even further when Dune, the chosen one, realizes he's attracted to Hallie (the Infinityglass)...and her mom is the one standing in their way. (YA paranormal/time travel, released 6/13, publisher: Egmont)
Currently Reading: ? I'm still deciding (and I have one on my Android Kindle too).
On Deck: Crewel, Allegiant, Bang...yes, too many to choose between. :)
Guess what, naysayers? Thanks to NaNo, I have a completed draft of The Detour. And it is not entirely crap, because every day I went over everything else I had written before starting in again. So Chapter One has been revised at least 30 times, Chapter Two at least 29 times, Chapter Three at least-- well, you get it right? Yes, the last week of writing needs a lot of help, but I AM DONE WITH THE DRAFT. I can now spend the next few months revising and perfecting, versus sitting here thinking, "OMG, I have to write the draft." So thank you NaNoWriMo! A heavily revised version of The Detour will hit bookshelves Fall 2015.
2. The kiddos have decided to put up the Christmas tree by themselves. I wholeheartedly support this...but I'm wondering how long it will be before my help is required *checks clock*.
3. D's already had his first ski day (Tuesday) of the year -- and another first, skiing with his bff.
4. I'm all peopled out...I'm glad we have 3 days until 'regular' life begins again. I think I'd just snap at folks if I had to return to that today.
Hope it's been a good week for you, wherever you are! :) Any big plans for the end of November/beginning of December?
This is cheating, I know, but I’m slightly smothered in two deadlines on new books and revisions on another. I also have a proposal to put together at some point. Add holidays. Yeah, if you see me out and about, I’m more than likely staring into space or blinking at my surroundings in confusion.
Some fun news is that I recently saw the cover concepts of my new Norse young adult novels coming from Harlequin Teen next year–but I can’t yet share. Keep an eye on this space though.
So instead of coming up with a post topic and writing it, I’m just going to offer up a set of Beri O’Dell ebooks for some holiday fun. I’ll pick a winner and announce on Sunday. All you have to do is comment–about anything. (I’m fully aware that the comment pool will be low with turkey and shopping. LOL.)
Here’s a bit about both books.
On a hunt to save her sister, the last thing Beri O’Dell needs is love. Aren’t demons bad enough?
Beri O’Dell, Book 1
Beri O’Dell is investigating paranormal creatures because she wants to know what she is. Taller and stronger than most men, she astral projects and can peel through dimensional layers to see the creatures and spirits beyond.
She once helped her foster sister, Detective Elsa Remington, track down killers in Jacksonville, Florida, but stopped when a nasty fire elemental turned her strength against her. Now, she finds herself pulled back when something steals Elsa’s soul and puts her into a coma.
With little time to spare, Beri searches for the reason behind her sister’s coma. She has help in her spirit guides Fred and Phro, but others come along for the ride, including a pyro-nervous witch, and an androgynous necromancer.
The last thing Beri needs is to fall in love with a mysterious stranger. But the handsome Minoan warrior Nikolos knows what creature she’s after because he’s battled it before.
Really, really bad.
He calls it the Dweller on the Threshold.
Warning: Contains a worried heroine with no time, a witch with fire problems, a pissed-off necromancer, a trapped goddess, and a damned sexy, but scary, warrior. Throw in bloody battles, mass-murderer history lessons and a bit of sexy time and you get the start of Beri’s new life.
Saving the love of her life could mean letting her inner darkness out to play.
Beri O’Dell, Book 2
Beri O’Dell is on a mission. She has to rip back into a hell dimension fast, but needs two things first—the blood of an ancient and a fix for her friend Blythe’s magic, which careened out of control after the battle with the Dweller.
Finding ancient blood isn’t easy when the old ones are rare and unwilling to donate. She needs to find Blythe’s former mentor…except the woman has lost her mind and joined a traveling band of singing witches.
That’s not the only magical monkey on her back. Nikolos is imprisoned, and after a screwed-up spell lets her witness the horror that has become his life, her fear for him grows by the day. Now there’s another problem—a powerful being unleashed during the battle with the Dweller likes her gluttonous new existence, and will kill anyone who threatens it.
But Beri has a few tricks up her costumed sleeve, even if it means mining the darkness of her soul to set everything right…and get Nikolos back in her arms.
Warning: Sleazy ancients. Random fires. Nosy teenage hackers. Hints of off-screen torture. Battles with…Beri doesn’t know what. And one scary boyfriend who keeps inching toward insanity.
My kids get off school in less than two hours. Which means I am trying to work on Nano in these last few minutes. I broke 40k! That's a record for me. Of course, it's a mess...but there are one or two images from the mess that might be worth something. As soon as this little experiment ends, I need to get back on the horse and finish this WIP that has been taking me so long. I wrote a whole novel about something else in the middle of it, and pieces of lots of other books besides. But I like the voice and the characters and have gotten through some walls in it recently, and it's time to just up and finish it. I feel like I'm in the middle of a ton of things that require great effort, and it would be nice if one thing got finished, or finally yielded some results. (I think if I knew, ten years ago when I got serious about writing, how far I would be from my goals at this point, I would have cried. I would have kept writing, though. I don't know what my husband would have done if he'd known he'd still be trying out for an increasingly small number of tenure track jobs.)
Actually, what I really feel like doing today is piling on the blankets and curling up with a book. But I need to go to the store and also make some pies at some point. And think up some new traditions. For a while in Idaho, we were going to the Thanksgiving morning community choir concert while the turkey baked, and then making a trip out to the sand dunes later in the day. Nobody is there on Thanksgiving, and the weather was fairly nice, and everyone had a fun time making noise and running around on the sand/snow/sand layers. But obviously we don't have either of those options here. I'm told that all the parks set up ice rinks that you can use for free here, and people collect skates at thrift stores and there are also trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, not that we have any of those pieces of equipment. But I'm still trying to figure out how that is at all comfortable when the temperature is 9 above and the windchill is -14? Unless we just spend the winter all wearing ski masks all the time? Because I checked the weather in Antarctica today, and in many places it's a lot warmer than here today.
Um...yeah. Enough with the cold. I'm also organizing the musical entertainment after the church Christmas dinner. I am not the go-to person to organize events, but I took part in a cool (and easily-organized) one in Germany several years ago, so that's what we're doing. Every organization (kids, youth, women, men, etc.) get an assignment to prepare one carol to sing at this thing. You have Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, and at first you think that you are just going to watch the Nativity scene, and maybe stand up when your time is called and sing your part, and then sit down. But really, each group joins the scene on the stage and doesn't sit down, until by the end, all of you are up there, actually part of it, and everyone sings Silent Night together, and it's done. I liked it because it makes it all feel way more real--you're not acting it for an audience, you're recreating what it might have been like to be one of the people called to witness the event that night. And it's so easy. (And if you are reading this and you live here, please don't spoil the surprise! Nobody is supposed to know the participation element until it happens...)
Okay, now I really need to go do some more writing! Onward and upward, everyone.
(I know holidays can be tricky for some people, but I do hope that the beauty of the world around each of us along with the possibilities of tomorrow [and even today] will brighten everyone's life at least a little bit -- (((HUGS))) and peace to all!)
Yes, I am aware of the SOUTH PARK episodes. No, haven't seen them yet. THere's been no time for TV down here. But I will get to them eventually, no doubt. Till then I live in fear.
Yes, I am aware that my football teams continue to suck.
- Current Location:Rotorua, NZ
- Current Mood: tired