City of Glass

June 9, 2014 at 8:31 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

It seems even though this is my second time reading this book (my second time through the series as I prep to read the final volume!), I didn’t write proper reviews for each one.

I addressed the series, made references to Cassandra Clare’s work in many of my reviews, but City of Glass never got a review all it’s own.

So here it goes:

city-of-glass2Title: City of Glass

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: Young Adult/ Teen/ Fantasy

Length: 541 pages

The book cover finally features a boy *with* his shirt on. However, the cover still annoys me. I suppose I’ll never get over how embarrassing they are. I’ve never preferred having actual people on the front covers of the books I read, unless of course they’re in some sort of Victorian garb. For some reason a person on the cover never truly embodies the mood of a story the way I want it to. I prefer buildings, scenery, landscapes, or the hint of a person.

For instance…

City of Glass 1That’s a cover I don’t mind flashing the masses, a train full of people, other moms at a public park, or I don’t know – MY KID.

Who am I kidding? In the U.S. the cover up top is the only one that is going to move copies of the book.  I’m an odd duck.  I know that.

Regardless of all that – I still adore these books. Brain candy, teen flick, romance nonsense and all. I just love them.

I love the book references, the intelligent quotes, the very teen appropriate quips.  I love that Jace (Jonathan) Wayland/Morgenstern/Herondale/whoever reminds me so very much of my own Jonathan at that age.  Clare has cocky teenage boy dialog down to an art.  Jace’s cockiness rings true and familiar, the knowledge that he is attractive and desired, edged with angst anyway.

I remember those conversations.  I remember the beautiful, desired boy flirting with me – the short, somewhat tomboyish and frumpy nerd who was always a little out of place.  Granted, I never got Luke & Leia -ed like Clary and Jace did.  But I think what makes these books so marvelous is despite the fantasy, despite the action and apocalyptic level of drama, despite the paranormal parts that drip into every aspect of the story – there’s something familiar for everyone in these stories.  Especially City of Glass, and the ever burning question so many romances have: If it’s not forbidden will he/she still want me?

This time around I re-read the first book, City of Bones, after seeing the movie. The library didn’t have the second book, City of Ashes, on hand so I just skipped it and went onto City of Glass. By doing this, I was brought to a whole new level of appreciation for the series, Cassandra Clare, and each book individually.

Even though I jumped in having skipped the second book – I wasn’t lost. Although the second book is pivotal to an epic saga of the Nephilim, I didn’t feel out of sorts by not having read it. Clare does such an excellent job of having each book stand on it’s own even though it’s merely a puzzle piece in a giant story. I love that.

I know it’s the thousandth time I’ve said this, and I shall say it a thousand times more – Well done, Cassandra Clare, Well done.

Do I feel bad about re-reading young adult titles over and over again and the age of thirty? No, not anymore.

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”- C.S. Lewis

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S. Smith Book Signing – Earth Day Every Day Part Four

April 17, 2014 at 12:18 am (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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The Half Price Books Clear Lake store was a lovely host today for S. Smith’s first signing of her Texas Earth Day Tour.

The weather was gorgeous, a little chilly for we Texans, but quite beautiful.  A great day for an author from Oregon to set up shop in Houston.

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Last night, in preparation, I made seedling cupcakes. Yet another great Pinterest idea that the Texas humidity took a toll on. The fondant sort of got floppy the warmer it got throughout the day, and the green sort of melted a bit. But over all, I’m pleased with my first try.

We met new readers today, and enjoyed chatting with the customers in the store. Of course, the first and most common questions was, “What are the books about?”

If you’re stumbling across my blog for the first time, Seed Savers is a young adult series about a dystopian society where growing your own fruits and vegetables is illegal.  So naturally, an underground organization is created to keep the art and know how of gardening alive.  It’s good garden sense mixed with the danger and adventure of kids on the run from the government entities hunting them down.

There are three books in publication that Sandy is signing and selling right now, but the series is set to be five volumes long.  The story is pretty epic, in my opinion, as you can tell if you read through all the past Seed Savers posts featured on this blog.  I adore this woman and all her work, and I hope that everyone who purchased her book today feels the same way when they’re done reading.

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S. Smith will be at Good Books in the Woods Friday night and then at Half Price Books Humble 1-3 pm and HPB Montrose 6-9 pm on Saturday.  If you missed today’s signing, please make time to see S. Smith at the other Houston stores before she flits off to Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas.  The author is from Oregon so this very well might be a once in a lifetime opportunity!

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April Events 2014!

April 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The month of April is full of Earth Day celebrations. More specifically, S. Smith, author of a dystopian young adult series that I can’t seem to rave enough about, has planned a trip to Texas from Oregon!  I’m so excited!

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Earth Day GBitW(1)

Earth Day 2014 revisedShe will also be at the Montrose HPB (hpb.com/011) on Saturday, April 19th, 6pm-9pm.

Then she’ll be making rounds in San Antonio, Austin, and finally Dallas!  Check out her website for more details on events in those cities: http://authorssmith.com/book-news-and-events/

seed savers book marketingAlso, although I am based out of Houston, this is a Dallas event that I support with all my heart and would love to attend if I were able:

Deep Ellum Karyna

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Literary Journal Monday – Mapping My Mind

March 10, 2014 at 10:14 pm (In So Many Words, Reviews, The Whim) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I am not ADD, but my mind is often many places at once. It goes and goes… it races… it is unstoppable.

hungerI’ve been reading Hunger by Michael Grant.  It’s one of my niece’s books – the second in a series she introduced me to.  No, that’s not how I want to start this post – is it?

I was craving a little bit of dystopian society literature after reading Herodotus.  My brain spinning in a circular momentum about democracies, oligarchies, and dictatorships.  Darius and then Xerxes tyrading around ancient lands building the Persian Empire.  A thousand utopian and dystopian variations of all societies throughout history – a million possible outcomes for our modern world – twisting about in my mind.  Conveniently, it was at this moment that a trailer for the movie Divergent came on and I thought, “It’s about time I read Veronica Roth.”

Cue discussion of autism I’ve been having on and off with people since reading Not Even Wrong written by Paul Collins. Collins is an amazing author and obscure historian. Still suffering from story hangovers from Divergent and the movie Tonight You’re Mine (all about instantaneous human connections) – I found myself thinking about my niece’s Gone series.

Set in a town in California, all the kids fifteen and under have been left in a supernatural bubble – all adults over puberty have vanished, leaving kids and babies to fend for themselves and create a new government. Not unlike Lord of the Flies, different factions have formed. One is under the leadership of Sam Temple, another under his half brother Caine (the biblical implications of Caine and Abel not to be lost on readers, of course). Sam and his new girlfriend, Astrid, are two of the oldest left behind. They have formed a parental union for the younger kids, caring for all the helpless, including Astrid’s autistic brother.

Like bumper pool – or pinball, if you missed out on the bumper pool phenomena – the synapses in my brain spark and twitch and leap bringing me back to Paul Collins/Not Even Wrong/ McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. Then, I find myself thinking, “Goodness, it’s Literary Journal Monday.

tonight you're mineTonight You’re Mine still echoing in my gut (I’m pretty sure I love that movie far more than what is considered healthy or normal), I veer toward the London Magazine when selecting my Literary Journal Monday feature. (Tonight You’re Mine is set in Scotland – not England, but for an American like me, it is the closest I can get in Literary Journals once I mentally cross the pond.)

London Magazine February/March 1981 Vol. 20 Nos. 11 &12

The Private Letters of Tennessee Williams and a piece on Gore Vidal catch my eye. I flip through the first few ads, the table of contents, then stop dead on a heading: FINAL REMINDER.

“If we are to survive the next issue we need 1,000 new subscribers or their equivalent, and we need them immediately […]”

P1010303My reading screeches to a halt and I turn to the shelf. Were there more? Did they have to cancel the magazine? Did they get their 1,000 readers? Ah, sigh, they survived. At least until 1989 where the collection at the bookstore stops. So clearly, they got their 1,000. I wonder who these 1,000 were and if this final reminder is what provoked them to officially subscribe. Or were they friends and family of existing subscribers, terrified their favorite magazine would cease to exist if they didn’t recruit others to love what they loved?

My thoughts have veered so far off track that I forget what I was reading altogether. I flip through the journal in my hand trying to grasp the reason I had sat down to look at this in the first place.

It’s March. St. Patty’s Day is coming up. Irish authors keep popping in and out of my mind. Ireland… Scotland… Tonight You’re Mine… music… poetry… Derek Mahon, an Irish poet’s name blinks at me from the page of the literary journal in my hand. Literary Journal Monday, of course. I read the poem “The Elephants” first. I love elephants. Then my eyes skip over to “April in Moscow” and I read “Spring burst into our houses…” It does, doesn’t it? Just bursts right in and none too soon. At the end of the poems there is an ad for the Poetry Society Bookshop at 21 Earls Court Square in London. I wonder if it is still there.

If they do still exist, I bet they have a copy of Lang Leav’s Love & Misadventure. I’m dying for a copy. Leav has been speaking to my soul lately. Misadventures stuck in the cogs of the mind of a woman turned 30.

A line from Grant’s book swings into full view of my mind’s eye:

“He buried his face in her hair. She could feel his breath on her neck, tickling her ear. She enjoyed the feel of his body against hers. Enjoyed the fact that he needed to hold her. But there was nothing romantic about this embrace.” – pg. 21

There rarely is when a hug is really needed. It’s that moment Leav writes about…

When words run dry,
he does not try,
nor do I.

We are on par.

He just is,
I just am
and we just are.

– Lang Leav

The lack of selfishness between the characters at this point is refreshing in fiction and real life.

In a 2014 American Society of infantile adults who never learned to fend for themselves and work hard without constant praise, we are fascinated by literature and movies where children and teens are forced to grow up overnight and be adults.

It’s sad when the idea of fifteen-year-olds co-leading a community and making wise, unselfish decisions for themselves and each other sounds absurd and fictional. My associative mind leaps back to all the ancient history I’ve been studying, back to the likes of King Tut – pharaoh at age nine – dead by nineteen, married somewhere in between.

We believe in responsible marriages like the Romans, but we chase telepathic connections like the Greeks. What a very convoluted and contradictory way to live – the reality of a dystopian society is that every society is a dystopia – even a society of one. Our minds are everywhere and nowhere. Of course we are in conflict.

I suppose you Literary Journal Monday followers got a little more than you wanted. I bit off more than I could chew today. I attempted to map my own mind and identify all the associations and patterns, leaving myself somewhat exhausted from chasing whimsies.

At least I got to spend a few stolen moments in this room…

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A Little Bit of Fad Reading

March 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

divergentTitle: Divergent

Author: Veronica Roth

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (An Imprint of HarperCollins)

Length: 487 pages

So I finally took that leap onto the [fad] train.

When I worked full time in the bookstore, chatting with customers, recommending books in person, I would have read this as soon as it was a thing for the sole purpose of finding something on the shelves that was similar when we were out of stock.  It was published in 2011, the year I left.  That last year was also one spent handling more inventory and displays as the store’s SIM than handling people and their whims and desires in the book world.   So though I was vaguely familiar with the title I totally missed the need to devour this title in a day and come back with a list of titles to hold over disappointed customers until we could get this one in their hands.

Somewhere along the road in my stay-at-home-mom life I discovered Hunger Games, and fell in love.  Though part of a huge fad, Hunger Games was no Twilight Saga or Vampire Diaries series.  Hunger Games was epic and beautiful and insanely well written.

So when I saw the preview for the movie Divergent, I thought, ‘What the heck? Let’s see if it will surprise me too.’

Color me surprised – again!  I really liked this one.  I read it in one day – nearly one sitting.  It tends to be easy to do that with contemporary young adult novels, no matter how long they are.

I found Hunger Games more moving, but I was able to relate more to the main character of Divergent more.  I’m nervous to see how they portray her in the movie, the book version is a person I feel very in tune to.  Katniss Everdean is someone I admire and look up to as a literary character, but whom I share very few similarities.  Tris’s story feels as though Roth dropped my mind into her version of dystopia.  Tris feels how I feel and tends to react in ways I am known to react.  (So far anyway.) Many of her fears were my fears at 16, actually I can’t think of one that is different.

For that it was incredibly enjoyable and easy to get into, and despite this being completely entertaining fluff fiction, I consider the hours spent reading it time well spent.

I’m interested to see how the  rest of the books go (it’s a series), as well as the movie adaptation in theaters this month.  Although I’m a little nervous that it might be too easy to amp up the cheese factor for the big screen – but I guess I’ll have to take a flying leap onto that fad train as well or I’ll never find out.

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Storybound

June 13, 2013 at 9:08 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

StoryTitle: Storybound

Author: Marissa Burt

Publisher: Harper Collins Childrens

Genre: Middle Grade/ Young Adult/ Fantasy

Length: 406 pages

Phenomenal premise! It hooked me (and the kiddo) from the cover.  It’s a delightful mix of Chronicles of Narnia meets Harry Potter.

Just look at that cover – it imbues pure magic.

Yet, it took me far too long to read it.  Mind you, a lot of it was out loud to the toddler, but even so I felt a little disconnected.

I think Storybound is genius in concept, and I even think it is well written.  A girl from the World of Readers (yes, our world) gets WRITTEN IN to the World of Story – where kids are trained on how to be heroes and ladies, archetypes are studied, there’s a class on Villainy, and the Talekeepers are basically the government.  And the Muses? A mystical group of entities from the past that have been eradicated.

Absolutely genius!

I think, however, I finally found a modern young adult book that is truly meant for young adults and didn’t manage to grasp the adult audience as the fad of young adult books has done so far.  That’s perfectly fine… it’s a fantastic book, and I intend to hunt down the sequel (Story’s End) and read it as well.  I also intend to own these sometime and have them available for my daughter to re-discover when she can read on her own.

But I will wait to find them used.  I don’t feel the need to rush to Barnes & Noble and purchase fresh new copies NOW.

As a reviewer I find this sort of situation the most difficult… you know the one: I LOVE the book, but I’m not IN LOVE with the book.  I feel as though I have failed the author in some way, like I didn’t give it a proper chance.  Maybe if I read it over here I’ll get the butterflies while I read, maybe if I change the music, maybe if I set the mood just right it will work the way I expected it to.   I’ve done this with boyfriends in the past – “he was perfect, but I just didn’t have that connection…”  That’s how I feel about Storybound, it’s perfect, but we just… didn’t… have that… connection.

So here is one I recommend, and encourage you to read; but my passion isn’t stirred and I may have to be reminded to add it to my friend and customer-renowned lists.

Adults that do fall in love with this will probably be ones who are die hard fans of the TV Show Once Upon A Time –  a show I wanted to love, but didn’t.

Kids who should get their hands on this should also have The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Above World (by Jenn Reese), The Land of Stories (by Chris Colfer), and The Castle in the Attic books (by Elizabeth Winthrop).

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Discovering the Ice Age

April 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm (Education) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Magic Tree House Adventures in my library with my toddler.  I can’t wait to take her to the Natural Science and History museum!  I think it’s about time for her first trip.

She is completely enthralled with Jack and Annie now, and begs for the next story as soon as we’ve finished the last.  For parents just coming in for these blog posts, it helps to have some kind of tactile activity and/or lots of related picture books available while toddlers listen to chapter books.

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She was really into the bits about the Woolly Mammoths.  We learned from Mary Pope Osborne’s research guide that there were different kinds of mammoths: Columbian Mammoths were the biggest, Woolly Mammoths the second largest, and there were smaller ones called Pygmy Mammoths.  Of course, a two-year old sees these different mammoths and calls them Daddy Mammoth, Mommy Mammoth, and Baby Mammoth.  It’s ok, we still have time to figure it all out.

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My child is enamored by sharp teeth and weapons.  She also likes maps and any time a location is discussed in a history book she wants to know where it is in relation to Texas and Virginia.  Texas because that’s where she’s from, and Virginia because that’s where Pocahontas met John Smith.   This was the topic of conversation when the Giant Beavers of North America were discussed during our Ice Age study.

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We prefer the Life in the Ancient World book over the Early Humans book.  It has a lot more detail, it WILL be used as our first official History textbook and I already have the lesson plans blocked out.  There are projects scattered throughout, both crafty and educational, and I think it is a must have homeschooling tool – especially for those pursuing a classical route.  Rocks and Fossils is a really awesome book for an older child.  I think around ages 8-11 this is going to be a household favorite.

Purchase from Amazon.com

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Afternoons on the Amazon

March 30, 2013 at 3:52 am (Education, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Our Magic Tree House Adventures

DSC02997As part of our Magic Tree House regimen, the kiddo and I read through everything and anything we could get our hands on regarding rainforests.  It’s been about a week, and every afternoon we’ve been diving into the magic of the Amazon River and its surrounding rainforests.

Last time we shared our Magic Tree House Adventures, we’d just finished our fourth set: Pirates Past Noon and Pirates! Fifth in line was Ninjas at Night, and I was searching high and low for a Research Guide (“Fact Tracker”) on Ninjas and could not find one.  It looks as though I may have dreamed that one up.  So we read the fictional adventure and moved on to Afternoon on the Amazon and Rainforests, the sixth set.  I couldn’t find Rainforests anywhere either!

So I built my own unit with out the help of Mary Pope Osborne, and found some pretty awesome books in our personal library the process…
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Ladybird Explorers Plus: Rainforests

The Ladybird Explorers Plus series are flip/tab books with tons of information.  They are great book to have if you have lots of different ages in the house.  Even though I can’t say that from the experience of having lots of various aged children, I can say it from the experience of being just as fascinated by this book as my toddler.  The pictures are lovely, the facts surprising (I didn’t know there were dolphins in the Amazon River, they must have skipped over that in my childhood rainforest studies), and the tabs and flaps were fun.  One of our favorite tabs makes an Asian elephant move a heavy log.  Another causes the monkeys to swing through the trees.  It includes detailed but simple charts with flaps that show the water cycle in a rain forest, and clear glossy photos that overlap pages like you would find for an overhead projector.  The chapter “Beauty in the Forest” lives up to its name and is indeed full of very beautiful illustrations of the trees, birds, and flowers.

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Learn About Rainforests by Jen Green

The Learn About series is fantastic for the pictures now, but even more important for all the projects later.  This really spells out detailed activities to do with an older child when we tackle the rainforest more formally.   It shows you step by step how to plant your own canopy, how to make molds of animal tracks in the forest, and the basics of field studies.   It is only 63 short pages in length, but the pages are full of facts, gorgeous photography, and 24 projects geared toward 8-12 year olds. It is advertised as “a fascinating fact file and learn-it-yourself project book” which to me is the very definition of what you should have in a homeschooler’s library.  I’m not sure why they are priced so high on Amazon, but I got mine for a couple bucks at Half Price Books.

Usborne Living WorldThe Usborne Living World Encyclopedia

First, I love Usborne.  Second, the Living Encyclopedia will be making its way into many lessons, as it covers all living things all over the world.  Being that it covers so much, naturally there is a huge section on rain forests that made for some nice supplementary pictures to gaze at while reading our fiction.  The kiddo was really taken with the unrelated lady bug on the front cover, but also liked seeing the extra pictures of the dolphins and jaguars while we were reading Dora and Diego’s Adventures, where they travel through the rainforest, use a dolphin to pull them through the Amazon river, and save Baby Jaguar.

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The Froggy Books

March 4, 2013 at 6:01 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

froggytieWeekly Low Down on Kids Books

Title: The Froggy Books

Author: Jonathan London

Illustrator: Frank Remkiewicz

If I never have to read another one of these books that would be fine by me! BUT, that’s not going to happen as the kiddo so kindly nominated these as the must read series for the last two weeks running.

I picked up ten titles in the series at the library and have not had a break from them since.  She saw frogs on the cover, so frogs we had to have, and we checked out everything available in the series.

They aren’t bad, they’re very toddler friendly actually, I’m just tired.  Any time Froggy goes somewhere he has to flop, flop, flop.  When he puts on his clothes it’s with a lot of zips, zats, and znats.  There are bonks and clangs, lots of “Froooooooogggggy!” and “Whaaaaaat!” exchanges between Froggy and his parents.  Then of course, there’s that defining moment in each story when Froggy “more red in the face than green” discovers he’s doing something ridiculous.

The kiddo loves them and I cannot sit down to read a Froggy book without reading at least three Froggy books.  This week, on multiple occasions, Froggy has gone to school, learned to swim, gone to bed, played T-ball, eaten out, gone to Hawaii, played in a band (kiddo’s favorite), gotten dressed (my least favorite), had the best babysitter, and had a sleepover.

They don’t have to be read in any particular order, but if you happen to find them in order you will definitely benefit.  London does a good job of bouncing previous lines from previous stories into a later book.  For instance, if we had not read Froggy Learns to Swim I would not have understood why in Froggy Goes to School the characters start chanting ‘bubble  bubble toot toot chicken airplane soldier’ and think that it has anything to do with swimming.  I guess I missed out on that swimming lesson as a child.  But thankfully, I’d been to Froggy’s swimming lessons, so it wasn’t too weird.

There’s a lot of Froggy books and I’m sure we shall read more of them in the future as we come across them.  As I said, great toddler titles… for the toddler.  Parents: you’ll be longing for the days when you were reading Eric Carle twenty times instead.

Froggy

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Interview with Author Rhonda R. Dennis

January 30, 2013 at 9:18 pm (Interviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Author of the Green Bayou Novels

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Rhonda on the right at HPB Humble last year.

I met Rhonda R. Dennis while booking her and Melinda McGuire for A Southern Saturday – an event we put on at the Half Price Books in Humble. It featured southern authors, southern goodies, and all around a lot of southern hospitality. We had a blast. Rhonda was friendly, donated a lot of her own books to raffle off to customers, and kept a professional attitude.

Another signing is the works now, with details to follow later.  But since I can’t quite have her in the store again just yet, I’ve arranged an interview! (So exciting! As I’ve said before, interviews and guest blogs make me feel like Oprah.)

  1. Your books are set in Southern Louisiana, and you’re also from there.  What were your favorite things about the state when growing up? What are your favorite things about living there now?

First, I want to thank you for having me as a guest!  I absolutely love reading your posts.

While growing up, I never gave much thought to how different my culture is to others.  I assumed that everyone ate tons of seafood, celebrated Mardi Gras, and had the innate ability to pronounce French names.  I started traveling, and realized that was far from true!  I love visiting new places and I have a huge appreciation for their traditions, but South Louisiana will always be home to me.  It’s definitely a place that everyone should visit at least once.

  1. Your books are Romantic Suspense/ Mysteries.  Is this the genre you typically read as well? What authors or books are on your ‘favorites’ shelf?

a-confederacy-of-dunces-by-john-kennedy-tooleI enjoy most genres.  My favorite book is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  I read it at least once a year and I’m always amazed by his genius!  I also love Charlaine Harris’ The Sookie Stackhouse Novels and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series.  I appreciate the work of many Indie authors, although several of them are now being traditionally published.  Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless left me sobbing and Marie Coulson’s Bound Together was scorching!  L.B. Simmons’ Running on Empty—phenomenal!  I tend to gravitate toward books that let you feel a range of emotions.  I like to cry one minute then laugh the next.  To me, that’s the mark of a truly great author—being able to take your reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions.

  1. Do you have play lists of mood music you write to?  If so, which artists/songs generally make the cut?

writing-and-musicMy music choices are even more eclectic than my reading preferences.  Depending on the mood of the scene I’m writing, I will listen to anything from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Bruno Mars.  I’ve been listening to a lot of 80’s and 90’s music lately, as well as the Les Miserables soundtrack. A lot of times, I have to turn the music off because I spend more time belting out tunes than getting my story down!

  1. What do you find to be the easiest part of the writing and editing process? What is the hardest for you?

unforseenThe easiest part is coming up with the general direction I want to take the story.  Generally, I type a skeleton version then rework it until I’m happy with the manuscript.  The hardest part is when I actually put it out there for the public to read.  I believe in my stories, my beta readers are generally enthusiastic about the books, but until I get that feedback from the readers, I’m waiting with bated breath.  Please leave reviews people!!  You have no clue how important they are to authors, not for an ego boost, but for validation that we’re on the right track. J

  1. When you complete a book and it goes to print, how do you celebrate?

It’s generally a quiet, personal pat on the back kind of thing.  Although, the series will be wrapping with book six at the end of the year, so I anticipate a book launch/series finale party for that one.

  1. I’ve met a lot of authors with drastically differing views on this… would you ever be interested in a TV or movie deal for your series?  If so, how involved would you want to be? (There every step of the way? Or hand it over and let the film people do their thing?)

I have so many people tell me that they strongly feel the series needs to be made into a movie/movies.  I’m all for it!  I’d love to have lots of control over it, but I’m realistic enough to know that that probably won’t be likely.  My only wish is that they would do the series justice.

  1. I’ve read in other interviews that you’ll write this series as long as Emily has stories to tell. Do you have any other projects in mind at this time?

I do have some projects lined up after the last book of The Green Bayou Novels series is released.  I want to branch out a little bit.  I have plans for a couple of stand-alone novels, as well as a book about local ghost stories.

  1. You’ve been featured on Melinda McGuire’s Southern Creatives segment of her blog, been involved in joint book signings, and contributed to a project she edited (Rich Fabric) [I’ll link to Rich Fabric].  How did you meet?

facebook_like_icon_blogsThat is one of the wonderful things about technology!  We met online!  I want to say it was the Goodreads website?  Anyway, being that we are both writers of Southern fiction, we instantly bonded, even though our writing styles are quite different.  She writes from a historical perspective, whereas my novels are set in modern times.  I’m pretty sure she’ll agree that we have a mutual appreciation of each other’s enthusiasm for all things Southern.  I’m a definite fan of her work.

  1. Every reader or writer has a favorite bookstore (and if you don’t, please don’t spoil my delusion!).  Now is your chance for a shout out!  Tell us who you love and what you love about them.

While I could easily spend loads of time and money in any Barnes and Noble store (or any other major retailer for that matter), I prefer the feel of the small Mom and Pop bookstores.  I love walking into a place where you know the staff is there because it’s their passion, not just a job.  We had a quaint little bookstore in Morgan City, but unfortunately, it shut down.  I continually hope that someone will try to open another one.
I should also mention that we don’t have any Half Price Book branches in Louisiana, but based upon the reactions of my husband and son when I had my joint signing with Melinda McGuire in Humble, we’d be spending lots of time in there, too!

  1. Outside of writing and Southern Louisiana, what are your passions?

I am very passionate about giving back to others.  I’ve donated many copies of my books, t-shirts, and other prizes to raffles and auctions to raise funds for injured or ill persons.  My favorite charities revolve around cancer research/children’s charities:  St. Jude’s, the Shriner’s Hospitals, American Cancer Society…  At this moment, I’m in the process of working something out for our local Relay for Life.

I’m also passionate about treating others the way I would like to be treated, and doing all I can to help make this world a better place for my son to grow up in.  I love to promote the good things that are happening around us.  I feel that we often get bogged down in the bad news.  Just as many wonderful things occur in a day, however, it’s not often considered “newsworthy”.

Rhonda Dennis

Rhonda R. Dennis posing for the St.MaryNow Franklin Banner Tribune fifteen months ago. Click on the image to visit the article.

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