Author Trish J. MacGregor shares her impressions of Ecuador, where her new fantasy novel, Esperanza, is set. Learn how this country's contrasts captured the author's heart and get a glimpse of some of the moments that inspired her novel.
Ecuador is a country of stunning contrasts. From its Andean peaks and volcanoes to the seaside towns that smell of salt and fish to the mysterious jungles that are home to indigenous tribes, it’s a writer’s dream. Pick an area, any area, and you’ll find unique cultures, customs, and mythologies.
Against a backdrop of lightly sprinkling rain, hundreds of authors and readers met in Brooklyn yesterday for the annual Brooklyn Book Festival. With guest authors including John Ashbery, Sara Shepard, Jessica Hagedorn, Salman Rushdie and more, Borough Hall Plaza was the place for New Yorkers to be.
Amidst the political discussion courtesy of Paul Krugman, sports talk with Venus Williams, comedy sketches featuring Sarah Silverman and a suspenseful conversation with Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, there was also a panel on one of my favorite topics - the romance novel. Titled "Romancing the Novel" and featuring authors Donna Hill and Sarah MacLean, this panel delved into the some of the big questions in romance.
RT loves The Contemps, a new website that brings authors and readers together to discuss what’s going on in contemporary YA fiction. The site launched on August 17th and already has 21 authors who have gathered together to "celebrate books that feature true-to-life settings, characters and situations." These authors are are blogging, tweeting and sharing their experiences as teens. The Contemps is more than just a gathering place for contemporary YA fans, it also shows publishers that readers are interested in a reading about a wide range of YA tales. So be sure to join in the discussion at The Contemps — you can expect these authors' reflections to be honest and their passion for contemporary YA fiction to be contagious!
The Website Breakdown
On the eve of ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Kim Adams shares how romance novels have been a comfort to her while her husband has been overseas fighting in the war against terror.
This weekend, Americans will reflect upon an event that defined our decade and our future. On that fateful day, I was living in Florida with our children while my husband was working in Japan. We watched in horror as the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
But America picked itself up, brushed off the dirt, and went back to work. We mourned the deaths of innocent families and resolved to protect our freedom. The terrorists did not deter America.
One month later, my husband came home for scheduled leave. We attended the Air Force/Navy football game in Annapolis. As the National Anthem was played, a formation of older Navy aircraft flew over the stadium. The older aircraft meant that the newer aircraft were otherwise engaged. The retaliatory strikes began the next day.
One year later, we moved to the Netherlands. My husband worked for NATO and coordinated the deployment of multinational troops to Afghanistan for security assistance. As part of community outreach, NATO personnel asked the international spouses to collect items for Afghan orphanages. I shipped the items donated by the American community except for the paperback books with English text.
Paranormal author Michele Bardsley brings humor to an often angst-filled genre — the vampire tale.
Vampires, being creatures of the night, tend to be crabby. Lack of sun, you know. Have you ever known anyone who has a great tan to be anything less than cheerful?
Of course, being pale, dead, and on a diet that makes the Fat Flush appetizing would make anyone cantankerous. Maybe being immortal, gorgeous, powerful, and mysterious is just too hard on a soul filled with regrets and the longing to just feel human once more.
Hah. Are you freaking kidding me?
I don’t buy the angst. Unless master vampires are roaming the earth looking for whiners (I’m looking at you, Lorcan O’Halloran, oh guilt-filled one), then it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Granted, humans can be whiners, too, but filling up an eternity with regret is soooo not appealing. After the first century or two, wouldn’t a vampire just get the hell over himself? And who would date a guy (or girl) like that anyway?
One of my favorite aspects of YA fiction is the special touch authors use when writing sisters. Teen sisters have a built-in audience for their paths of self-discovery. Big sisters have someone to look out for and little sisters have someone to look up to. And whether a heroine loves her sisters or hates them, part of her character is always defined in relation to them. The relationship between sisters also shapes how they deal with their parents, their friends and even strangers. It is always interesting to watch the complex relationships between sisters unfold over the course of a YA novel.
After finishing Mockingjay, the last of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy — in which heroine Katniss’ actions are all motivated by her desire to protect her little sister — I wanted to continue my “sisters story” reading theme. I was pleasantly surprised when I took a chance on Zen & Xander Undone by Amy Kathleen Ryan (you can read the *Web Exclusive Review* of the novel here). Ryan’s latest novel was a deft exploration of the changes that Zen and Xander’s relationship undergoes as they grieve for their mother.
For my weekly column Scooped!, I scour the Internet, contact authors and pick my fellow RT editor's brains to make sure no reader question goes unanswered. This week, I go in-depth about Gabaldon's Outlander graphic novel, give you something to read while you wait for the next J.R. Ward and offer some puppy-friendly reading suggestions. Still have questions? Send them to me here and you may be featured in an upcoming post.
Question: I just got a puppy that I have fallen in love with. Are there any good romances out there that feature dogs? - M.