In Search of the Fiction Fairy

award-wining author Mia Zachary's online diary where she ponders the meaning of life, strives to improve her craft and generally mouths off

Monday, June 26, 2006

Recommend- The Fun in Funeral

(I'll add the book cover as soon as Blogger stops screwing the upload)

I don't know why I picked this book up. Maybe because I'm in the final stages of settling my late grandmother's estate, which brought up extremely bad memories of my late father's death and my step-bitch's post mortum behavior....

Anyway, I'm very glad that I did. Despite what I thought was a heroine who was a bit more innocent that was believable regarding her antagonist and quite a bit of repetition in the 3rd quarter, THE FUNERAL PLANNER by Lynn Isenberg is really a good read. I liked Maddy Banks and found myself rooting for her to succeed. I adored Maddy's Uncle Sam and her unexpected intern Eve. But, more than anything else, this book made me think. About my death, of course. But also about my life and how I want to live it and how I want it remembered.

The absolutely coolest thing, is that the author has actually created in real life the business she created in fiction. You can find out more about Lights Out Enterprises by clicking the link. The intention is to help the living celebrate, not mourn, those who have passed.

From the Back Cover-"An initial investment is all she needs…. The stereotype is "starving artist" not "starving entrepreneur." However, business-school grad Maddy Banks lives in her office, works 24/7 and hasn't shopped in so long that her closet has official historical status. Still, she's convinced that her manic drive, propensity for risk and dogged follow-through will make her millions. Someday. They have to. Right? When "death" gives Maddy a second chance at happiness, she quickly realizes that schmoozing and spreadsheeting her way through life isn't much of a life at all. Armed with an angel investor and a hot VC (um, that's venture capitalist), Maddy starts party planning for those who won't be attending…while she learns some hard lessons about trust, working with "friends" and mixing business with pleasure."

From Booklist-"Chick lit meets business savvy in the second novel from Isenberg (My Life Uncovered, 2003). .. Smart, perceptive Maddy is a welcome relief from the shoe-obsessed heroines of other chick-lit novels, and Isenberg's exploration of the business world is fresh and fascinating."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Love is a foreign language

I'm clearing off my bookshelves to make more room for my TBR pile andI have a few books to give away to the first person who asks:

2 copies of the Dutch edition of YOURS IN BLACK LACE
1 Italian edition of 9 12/ DAYS
1 German edition of YOURS IN BLACK LACE
1 German edition of 9 1/2 DAYS
1 Australian edition of YOURS IN BLACK LACE
1 Australian edition of 9 1/2 DAYS

Just email me with your mailing address if you want them.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

More Than Words

They’re your neighbors, your aunts, your sisters and your best friends. They’re women across North America committed to reaching out and changing lives, one good deed at a time. Five of these exceptional women have been selected as this year’s recipients of the Harlequin More Than Words award. And once again five award-winning bestselling authors have kindly offered their creativity to write original short stories inspired by these real-life heroines.

Do you know a real-life heroine?
Nominate her for the Harlequin More Than Words award
(The nomination deadline for the 2007 book is fast approaching on August 4)

Somewhere right now a woman’s compassion is improving the quality of life in her community. With each act of kindness, each word of support, she is proving that real-life heroines do exist. And at Harlequin, they believe her story should be told!

Each Harlequin More Than Words award recipient will be honored by:
· $10,000 to advance the work of her associated charity
· National recognition and promotion at
· An all-expenses-paid trip to the award ceremony for her and a friend
· A novella inspired by her life and work, written by one of Harlequin’s most acclaimed authors

The third annual More Than Words anthology celebrates women and their achievements. In this unique collection of novellas by bestselling authors you will find stories of courage and determination. And by purchasing the book you will be supporting causes of concern to women. Available wherever books are sold or at in October 2006. Proceeds from the sale of More Than Words anthologies are returned to the program to support more causes of concern to women.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Recommend- Obituary Babe

While I was at the Book Expo of America in D.C. this past May, I snagged an Avanced Reading Copy of SCOOP by Kit Frazier. The book won't be available until September, but I'm going to talk about it now anyway.

This a soft-boiled mystery with a very likable heroine, although the author's website calls this chick-lit mystery. Although Cauley is a believable reporter, she's not the best detective ( one particular clue was left in her jeans pocket and I wanted to smack her for forgetting it) but then she really isn't a detective and it's quickly obvious that she's over her head.

However there are two hot law enforcers to help her and keep things romantically interesting, a very likable group of friends and a great dog. And I have to say that I pride myself on figuring stuff out, but did not see two of the baddies coming since the author very adeptly directed my attention elsewhere. Get a copy of this one, it was a good read.

BACK COVER BLURB: "Cauley MacKinnon is staring down the barrel of thirtieth birthday, certain the only things standing between her and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck and a kick-ass hairdresser.

Starting over after a truly bad marriage and armed with a freshly minted journalism degree, Cauley is disappointed to find that the only job she can get in her hometown of Austin is as an obituary writer—something that only happens to interns who’ve been very good, or reporters who’ve been very bad. Somehow, Cauley’s managed to do both. And of course, being the Obituary Babe wreaks havoc on her already disastrous social life.

While on the hunt for a story that will get her off the Death Page, Cauley’s life takes a turn for the worse when hapless childhood friend, Scott Barnes, threatens suicide and barricades himself in a dilapidated old shed where he phones Cauley for help. Cauley manages to talk her friend out of the shotgun and the shed. But Cauley is soon devastated when she discovers Barnes dead at his computer with an empty bottle of bourbon and a computer-generated suicide note. Soon, Cauley is up to her eyelashes in dead bodies and everyone wants to know what Barnes said in the shed—the last time anyone saw him alive."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Recommend- The Gallagher Girls

I never read young adult fiction-not since I was a young adult and Juldy Blume was all the rage- and I almost never pay the cost of hardcover books. I made an exception in the case of I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter and I'm glad I did.

I was intrigued by the premise of an international spy academy for teen-sged girls, but this book wasn't the James/Bond Alias-lite I'd expected. Cammie and her friends are real girls, who reminded me of the real issues every girl- even extraoridinary ones- have to face: new teachers, parental approval, school rivals and first love.

The story is fun and funny and I read it in only a day. I recommend it to any woman looking for a light read and a stroll down memory lane... if your memories included speaking 14 languages and weapons training, that is.

BACK COVER BLURB: "The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might posit itself as a school for geniuses but what they really mean is spies.

But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name? Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn’t prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever --she's falling in love. "