Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category
Posted on November 7, 2011 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
I am so honored to have award winning author, Melissa Foster guest posting on my blog today. I’ve admired Melissa for a long time, and I’m so blessed to call her friend. Her newest release Come Back To Me, is so beautifully written and such an amazing story of love, hope, courage and strength. It is a must read. Don’t miss this beautiful book, and be sure to check out her first two books, Chasing Amanda and Megan’s Way. Click here to purchase Come Back To Me from Amazon. Also be sure to check out her raving reviews, yes I posted one!
You would think that creating a character would be like designing the perfect person. You, the writer, have full control of everything from the looks, personality, and style of this new person to when you will allow them to speak and what you will allow them to say. Given the nature of control that you have over your characters, you would think that liking or hating them would come easily. As an author, I don’t necessarily think that is true.
There are many times when I’m developing a character with one personality in mind, and something happens—the character speaks to me and tells me I’m wrong, and they’re allowed to create themselves, so to speak. This happened with the creation of Alice in COME BACK TO ME. When the story began, Alice was set to be a stoic, conniving woman with no ability to bond with others. I expected her to remain that way throughout the book. She had other ideas.
What happens next in these situations always takes me by surprise. I end up bonding with the characters I thought I would not. They take over more of the story, weaseling their way into the hearts of the author (yeah, that’s me), and when the writing process is over, I find myself thinking about them and their pasts, what made them the way they were.
It would be interesting to create a whole book one each character’s backstory. Yeah, I get a little too bonded to my characters. They never seem to go to sleep!
As a reader, do you put characters away easily or do you bond with them?
|My Review of Come Back to Me By Melissa FosterHaving read her previous two books, I was excited to sit down with this one, hoping Come Back to Me would draw me in the way that they did.
In no time at all, I was hooked and had a difficult time doing anything else, besides reading.
Come Back to Me is a story full of love, loss and a determination that is unbeatable, a faith unwavering and a beautiful ending that you didn’t really see coming.There were definitely some tears that fell during several parts of the story as Ms. Foster brought her characters to life. It was easy to feel the emotions and see the struggles and challenges that they endured. I connected to this book in a way I haven’t connected to a book in some time.
The story is a story of the unending love shared between Tess and Beau. There was never a question in how much these two loved each other. It was right there in black and white through the entire story.When Beau heads off to Iraq for a short photography job, Tess tries to talk him out of it, but Beau assures her, he will be safe and this is just the thing that will launch the career he has always wanted. She relents and supports him. During his trip she discovers she is pregnant and cant’t wait to share the news with Beau who is miles away via a video chat so she can see his face.
Tragedy strikes, as you suspected it would and Tess keeps her undying faith that Beau will come back to her. There are plenty of interesting twists and turns along the way that will keep you wondering if Tess will remain faithful in her knowing that Beau will return. So does he? Let’s just say the story doesn’t go the way you thought it would, but that isn’t bad, not at all. It was beautifully written and you will need to read the book to find out more. Definitely a fantastic book!
The thing I love most about Melissa Foster is her writing style, the way she weaves the words together to create an emotional connection immediately with the characters, the setting, the story. Not only was this book amazing the first time, but I actually read it a second time because I was planning to write this review. I loved it even more the second time, and I didn’t think that was possible. Please be sure to check out her other books, Megan’s Way and Chasing Amanda. You will not be disappointed.
Posted on May 22, 2011 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Bullying has become such an issue lately. I’m not saying it hasn’t always been there. It was certainly an issue in my childhood as well, but the depths and technology that the kids will go through and use today has surpassed anyones wildest imagination.
There are so many new ways for them to reach each other in order to bully, and nothing is sacred anymore.
- Cell phones = texting, phone calls
- Social Networking = posting photos, writing on walls, being able to tag
- Videos = taken by phone, youtube posted videos, etc.
- School = teachers who don’t wish to get involved, teachers who tolerate much more than they used to, teachers who do not follow through because of laziness, fear or bullying by parents.
It’s happening everyday, and sometimes, these things are worse than others. Many lead to deaths by suicide or a child turning to drastic measures to hurt themselves.
Bullied Teen’s Mom Talks Of “Final Nail in Coffin” – sadly Phoebe Prince was bullied so long and so hard and the ones doing it were relentless, that she turned to suicide. This is not the ending that anyone wants to see. So many lives were affected with this story, and I so wish something could have been done before it was too late.
Awhile back I joined Young Adult Authors Against Bullying. As someone who was bullied in my youth, I am not blind to the need for us to do something before its just too late. Together, the authors involved collaborated and assembled a book titled Dear Bully, where 70 authors tell their stories about being bullied and bullying.
The anthology “Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories” from HarperCollins comes out August 2011, edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones. http://www.dearbully.com/
If you haven’t seen them yet, I’m not sure where you’ve bee hiding, but building tolerance in the LGBT community, the “It Gets Better!” series hits full force with some of the most popular celebrities creating videos to spread awareness and tell those that are suffering that “It Get’s Better!”.
There are hundreds of thousands of videos on youtube for the “It Gets Better” series, created by corporations, big and small businesses and individuals, celebrities and musicians who are helping to spread the word about LGBT bullying. THIS is the type of thing people should be doing to support ALL bullying! Would love to see a movement started for Bullying in general.
What are your thoughts on all of this?
Posted on May 19, 2011 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I reserve my 5 star rating for a book that has everything I want. This book, is definitely it.
As usual Jill’s steamy novels, not only work to keep you warm with some of the best bedroom scenes ever, but beyond that, her books contain a real story. The thing about Jill, is that she doesn’t just tell you a love story with some fantastic sex scenes, nope. You get action, adventure and mystery to boot. All told with Jill’s amazing voice that is unique in this genre.
Get a Clue was a page turner from the very first page. In fact I had a problem putting it down for any length of time and wanted to be able to gobble it up in one sitting. Unfortunately, with my busy schedule and a beautiful 318 pages it took me a little longer than I would have liked to, to eat the whole thing. However, when I got to the unexpected ending, I was speechless. Typically, I figure out an ending long before we get there, and if not, right before we get there. I didn’t see this one coming, and it was an unexpected surprise. One that left me smiling, because as Jill is known to do, she made me fall in love with every single character in this book from the appetizing Cooper and Breanne connection that was visible from the very start, all the way down to the mix matched chemistry of the sexy, opinionated Lariana and her clumsy Scotsman, Patrick.
Jill is among my most favorite authors (top 4 easily) and I am still working to read every book she’s ever written. Do you love Jill as much as I do? If you haven’t read a Jill Shalvis book, this would be a great one to start out with.
Posted on May 13, 2011 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
I really want this. The idea of getting an ARC of any book is usually pretty awesome. BUT. Getting a DOODLED Arc of Possession is far better in my opinion. Dying to see what Elana Johnson added to the book that personalized it and made it more awesome than you know it already is.
Random-ish is hosting a contest to win this coveted Doodled ARC of Possession. Oh yeah, and you also get an autographed bookmark and a $10 iTunes card. Have you entered to win?
I was determined to at least get a good chance, I never win anything but ya know Friday the 13th’s are my lucky days so…
- I am following Random-ish – Puts my name on the list
- I blogged about it +5
- I tweeted about it (and have scheduled to keep going until tomorrow night at closing) +8
- I facebooked about it (and have scheduled to keep posting about it until tomorrow night at closing) +8
- I have added it to both my Goodreads and my Shelfari site +3
- And I commented on the post. +1
You can get additional single points for anything else you do to spread the word, so be sure to count that too.
Did you enter to win?
Posted on October 11, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Nicole Humphrey Cook: Hi Liz, I am excited to be interviewing you today. Can you tell us a little about yourself so we can get to know you better?
Liz: Well, first of all I feel so lucky to get the chance to be interviewed here. I love to tell stories, travel, and spend time in the city (New York City). I must say, I’ve been to London twice and it’s my all time favorite city in the world. The mix of cultures there is incredible. I always feel so inspired after having visited.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: I’ve never been to London, but I’d love to travel there one day. If it’s anything like New York City it has to be exciting and busy and full of all kinds of cultures. I think it’s great that you enjoy traveling as well as writing. When did you start writing?
Liz: I’d say I was eight or nine when I started writing stories. Before that I’d just tell them to whoever wanted to listen. I’d scribble them long hand on legal pads. Problem was I had horrific handwriting. So…no one, including me, knew what they said a few hours later.
Honestly, though, I was a weird little kid and I wasn’t very good at socializing, or making friends. So, I used my stories as an escape. I’d be able to alter reality just a little bit to make things go my way. Maybe that was more than a little bit, but it was my way of exploring the world.
I eventually came out of my shell, but I never lost my passion for stories.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: Honestly, I’m sure a lot of people can understand where you are coming from. Most writer’s seem to start when they are young, often because of books they read themselves. What books from your childhood/teen years captured your imagination and gave you the thought that you might like to write books?
Liz: S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. I devoured that book repeatedly before I reached out and found more of her novels. I learned a lot from reading her. The two biggest things that caught my attention were that she wrote from a male POV, something I tend to do and she was published at 14. I love that fact. It’s part of what kept me writing when other people told me I was too young.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: Do you have a favorite genre or one that you tend to write in more? If you do, why?
Liz: This is fun. Ok, I don’t know what drew me to this genre. As a matter of fact, up until I got my publishing contract, I didn’t know what genre I wrote in! No, seriously, I asked my editor on Twitter one day. I just tell the story and this one happened to come out as a Contemporary Romance, but I like it.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: Wow, that’s actually interesting. I wonder if there are other authors that are like that too? What authors do you admire and what about them do you love?
Liz: Besides S.E. Hinton, I love Michael Cunningham. If you haven’t read him, you really should. A Home at the End of the World continues to influence my writing every day. He was also directly responsible for turning that book into a very powerful movie.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: I have read A Home at the End of the World, and it was excellent. I have not seen the movie, though I’d like to. I understand that you are one of the founding authors of Lazy Day Publishing. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Liz: It’s a dream come true. No, really, when you’re writing a novel you hope against all hope that someone else out there will get it enough to be able to want to publish it. I got that and more. They’re excited about my novel and supportive through the editing and promoting process. All the other authors feel the same. Incredible experience.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: Congratulations on your publishing contract through Lazy Day. I understand your first novel is due out on December 1. Can you tell us a little about Expectations?
Liz: Expectations depicts the story of twins Matt and Chris, who are trying to win their overbearing father’s approval and ‘earn’ their trust funds. This requires both of them to make huge sacrifices in what they want in life and they have to come to terms with whether or not it’s actually worth it.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: I cannot wait to read it, the story sounds as if it will be very inspiring. What are your future aspirations with your writing?
Liz: My aspirations are really two-fold. First, I want to be able to ‘comfortably’ support myself with my novels. And maybe more importantly, I want to inspire people with my writing. I want people to look at something I conveyed in my story and stop to think about how they view that issue.
Nicole Humphrey Cook: And what do you think the future will hold for you?
Liz: I can only tell you what I hope the future holds for me. In five years, I want to be living in or near a city with two dogs, making enough money to support my Snapple habit. Oh, I guess my future husband can live there too. How about just most of the time?
Nicole Humphrey Cook: Liz, I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to get to know you better and I really look forward to the release of your book. I hope I have the opportunity to interview you again down the line to see how everything is going with you. Congratulations again on the upcoming release of your new book.