Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Young Chicago Authors - the Area 17 ceremony

May 25, 2011, the culminating ceremony for the Area 17 Chicago Young Authors celebration was held at the Dr. Alexander Bouchet Math & Science Academy, and I was there as a guest of the coordinator, Tina Franklin-Bertrand. 
Author B. A. Binns and Area 17 Youth Authors Coordinator Mrs. Franklin-Bertrand
Many of the winners were stories I judged last Friday.  
Primary, Intermediate and Middle school students arrived early to read each others books and get their well-earned rewards. It was my pleasure to see all the Area 17 students, Honorable Mentions, Excellent and Outstanding, in the audience and marching across the stage.
Students, teachers and supporters of the young authors.

For the Primary grades,
Trip To The Zoo by C. Patterson took home the Excellent prizeThe Return of Super Marcus by M. Frazier the Outstanding prize.
For the Intermediate grades,
A to Z Math Terms by C. Tareef took ExcellentI Wish Horses Were Blue by A. Burks the Outstanding prize.
For Middle School,
Why Me? by K. Cruse took ExcellentTimes Get Hard by L. Anderson won the Outstanding prize.
Times Get Hard, the Middle School Outstanding book, is a group of poems that I had the pleasure to judge.  Having read it already, I was not surprised when it won the top Middle School honor.  In spite of the title, many of the poems contained in the slim volume showed hope.
 After reading this and a number of the other Honorable Mentions, Excellent and  Outstanding stories, I can honestly call all the writers in the room winners, along with their parents, teachers and supporters. Everyone deserved their medals.  As I was able to tell all the students in the room, welcome to the world of writing. I consider all of them my hard-working companions in this endeavor we call writing.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Things I learned from being a contest coordinator

I'm in the final stages of being contest coordinator for my RWA chapter's writing contest - I know, I did it before and you'd think I would learn, but for some reason I agreed to do it again. 

We have an all-electronic contest now - last time we tried to allow people to submit either electronic or paper because it was the transition year. I remember the conversion year, and every time I hear people say the RWA Golden Heart, with over a thousand entries, could easily convert, I cringe.

Judging isn't easy - and never unanimous
For 2011 we had 120 entries, everyone found at least one pubbed judge per our rules.  I did see some strange things, we have a system to allow for an extra judge in the face of discrepancies, such as one judge giving a manuscript a 95 and another a 50 (I kid you not, we had that kind of differences in opinion). Thanks to the system, that entry went on to become one of the finalists because our rules  require the opinion of a third judge in those situations.

Contest Results
We had a number of requests from the agents and editors who served as final judges. And that's where I learned most. As the coordinator exchanging emails with these judges, I became privy to something that doesn't often happen with generic rejection emails.  Several of the judges provided reasons for their ratings.  One had excellent writing skills but the work did not feel like a Romance.  Some felt  a particular manuscript had little market potential, or that the dialog was unrealistic.  No one seemed to worry about the dreaded prologue, but they did have problems with too much backstory up front.

I've kearned that the things we're told about in workshops and discussions, meeting reader expectations, keeping up the pace and good dialog.  It's not the occasional comma or type; it really is all about the writing and having a strong theme. And recognizing that agents and editors are people too.  

What do you think, should I do this again?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review - On These Silken Sheets

On These Silken SheetsOn These Silken Sheets by Sabrina Darby

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My guilty secret - this is one of the books that taught me to enjoy erotic romance. There are four inter-related novellas about the goings on at Harriden House, ont of Regency England's most exclusive gentlemen's clubs run by the secretive Madame Rouge. She, and three of her friends meet men, have sex and fall in love -- in that order.

In Harriden House every possible sexual act between consenting adults can be purchased or observed or both. But its not only about body parts as the men discover when they meet the right woman. Even Madame Rouge herself finds a soulmate. And in the fifth and final vignette, readers get an epilogue that shows that Happily Ever After doesn't always have to mean love and marriage.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Young Chicago Authors are GREAT writers

I spent today in Chicago judging at the annual Young Chicago writers competition, that includes poetry, fiction and instructional stories by kids from first grade through 8th. I am amazed at the quality of some of the writing there.  My very first read - a book of poetry of all things (I am not usually a poetry fan) blew me away. I would have paid money for that book, the author was that good, and I hope to see her at Printers Row in June as one of the winners.

The competition is divided into three groups, 1-2 grade, 3-5, and 6-8. Every manuscript was a finalist at the local level, what we read were the best of the best. I joined other authors, educators, and administrators in reading and judging the stories. My hat is off to the students of Chicago, and the great writing they exhibited.  I have judged adult contests where the writing did not pull me in as deeply as some of these entries did. Congratulations to all the students who entered and showed they could write interesting and compelling works.  Not to mention cover and interior artwork.

It was nice to see something good coming from today's youth, and I've already marked my calendar to participate again next year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Yesterday was my day for stardom. I was a guest on the Laura Dion-Jones Radio Show, WRMN 1410 AM broadcasting from Elgin, Illinois. (Someday I will have to put a radio program in one of my books).   Naturally I alerted all my friends in the area - both of them (haha) - so they would listen in while I promoted myself and my book, PULL.

The people at the station were gracious. I arrived early, good thing because I needed time to catch my breath after climbing the long flight of stairs to the studio.  The Green Room where I waited - well, it wasn't green. It was the employee lunge, that wasn't a lounge, more a combination mail room and kitchenette. I'm detail oriented, always thinking of the next book.

The minute the show began everyone became professional. Laura had a script that she didn't need to use, looks like it was there more to mark off topics as they were covered, probably just something to use "just in case." She never needed it. Only the guy doing the commercials read from his paper - have to get the names and facts exactly right.

I never stuttered once, even with the microphone right next to my mouth. I swear I used to be an introvert, and somewhere deep inside I still am, but I've learned to hide it well.

And I even got a fan email afterward.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

What's wrong with bookstores

I h ave a friend who wanted to buy my book. She doesn't like Internet shopping, so don't tell her about Amazon or other online venues - yes, such people still exist. I sent her to the local Barnes and Noble. The didn't have the book in stock and told her to go to the Internet and order it herself.  She went to a second store and got the same answer, no we don't have it, no we won't order it, do it yourself.

In the end I sold her one of my copies, because she wanted the book and I wasn't going to let a fan down. She's an old-fashioned type doesn't purchase online - such people do still exist in droves. She was willing to drive to not one but two different stores to make the purchase, and both stores failed her.

Is it me, or is something wrong with the world? I just can't understand why a brick and mortar Barnes & Noble didn't want to make the sale themselves. Has the world of book selling changed that much?

Book Review - My Invented Life

My Invented LifeMy Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Roz decides to pretend she's a lesbian because she's in love with her sister's boyfriend. There's a lot to like about this story, but a lot is anit-climatic too. As she dips into her pretend world she, and the reader, learn something about being homosexual. She even finds a gay best friend - these guys are all over the place in books these days. The good news is she manages to help him deal with his family issues because of his gay status, and she helps her sister, the real lesbian in the family.

There's a lot of humor in this story involving a drama group and their attemps to put on a show in the midsts of Roz's shenanigans.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do you remember your first time?

That's what I'm blogging about today on Romancing the Genre's. No, it's not what you think, but yes, I hope you will enjoy reading about Young Adults and what it takes to write for them, so come over.  Added bonus, you get a chance to win a huge blog launch package of prizes.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review - I Am J

I Am JI Am J by Cris Beam

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went to this book at the recommendation of a friend. The beginning was slow, without that recommendation I would have put this aside. I'm glad I didn't. I am J deals with a boy born into a girl's body by mistake. He has no doubt what he is and bristles at being called a lesbian. That may be the one big fault I found, his homophobia which he does overcome after spending time with other GLBTQ people. J is clear that he is a boy, and has realized this since he was two or three. It's his body that's wrong. He goes to great lengths to push aside traces of femininity, binding his breasts and studying how other men walk and act so he can be more himself.

He is lucky to have friends who accept him, and are willing to help his journey toward getting T - testosterone, the hormone that will allow him to be more himself. His family poses a continued problem along his journey. I found myself hurting for him, and rooting for him to find himself and for his family to come around and accept him.

In many ways this reminded me of Luna, a book about a girl erroneously born into a female body. That story, told from the POV of the girl's younger sister, is an interesting contrast and companion piece to this one. Crossing Lines would form the third part of the transgender triangle, a story of a transgender girl fromt he POV of a homophobic boy who can't understand the boy dressing in girl's clothing. Having read all three and their very different approaches to the issue, I feel I understand things better now.

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Book Review - Time Traveling Fashionista

The Time-Traveling FashionistaThe Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a cute book with a cute premise, a girl with a taste for vintage clothing and dresses that take her back to the time when they were made. I had a hard time buying Louise as a seventh grader and an even harder time beleiving that she could spend time in school studying the Titanic, then wake up in the body of an actress on board a White Star Line boat amid a crowd of famous people who died on the Titanic and still spend a day not realizing where she was. Instead she marvels at the fashions, and gushes over one of her favorite historical designers. She finally finds a ticket for the Titanic, recognizes the famous staircase from having seen the movie and even wishes Leonardo (di Carprio) was there with her and attempts to get people to listen to her and change course before it's too late.

This book will appeal to girls who gush over clothing, and includes numerous full page spreads of vintage outfits.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Chapter one of the sequel to PULL

This only took forever. But I finally have things on a roll. Take a look at how it begins.

Chapter 1:
The trip home from prison always lasts forever. After spending Saturday with robbers and killers and the man who murdered my mother, the chartered bus can’t get me back to Chicago soon enough. I have four weeks until I head back downstate for another fun-filled visiting day inside the walls. I’ll need every second to recover from today.

“Did daddy say anything about me?” my eleven-year-old sister Linda asks as I push our Aunt Edie and her wheelchair into the house. She’s careful to keep her eyes on her coloring book. Not even her voice cracks. The teeth biting her lower lip is the only crack in her mask.

“Not a word,” I assure her before our aunt can answer. The old woman sighs but doesn’t reveal my lie. We both remember what happened after the first visit, when we returned and told Linda the truth about what Father said.

Linda puts down her crayon and stares at the floor. Her fist tightens and she nods before jumping from her chair and heading upstairs to her bedroom.

My aunt reaches up and touches my arm as I push her wheelchair into her first floor bedroom. “I still think it’s wrong to keep her from her father.”

“There’s no way I’ll ever force my sister to sit through visiting day inside prison, I told you that already.” Aunt Edith makes me go with her when she visits her little brother, isn’t that enough?

“Linda’s so young, I understand why she hasn’t forgiven him. But you forgive, don’t you, Barnetta?”

No way. Never. “Of course I forgive him, he’s my father.” I take a deep breath. “Can you manage now, I need to get to work.”

It feels almost as good to leave the house as it did to watch the gray stone walls vanish in the distance. Lucky for me, Franks’ Place where I waitress three times a week is a big hangout for students at Farrington High School. Even late on Saturday afternoon the restaurant will be filled. The owner is understanding and accepted why I had to come late today.

I pull my jacket collar tight around my neck and lower my head as I head into the chill November wind. Walking helps me push aside the memory of the bumpy bus, the sad-faced visitors, tired prisoners, and vending machine coffee. And the grim faced guards who look at prisoners and visitors alike as if we were bugs they ached to squash. One of the few virtues of being a six-foot tall fourteen-year-old is that my legs cover distance quickly.

Cars rush down the street, speeding through yellow lights as if their drivers can’t spend an extra second in a part of the city where nearly every block is dotted with vacant lots and abandoned buildings. Christmas lights hang from trees, although Thanksgiving remains weeks away. Even in the so-called shopping district. Sale signs in brightly decorated windows beg passers-by to enter and spend. Darkened stores with boarded up windows warn what will happen if they don’t. Foreclosure signs in front of houses explain why they can’t.

A bus rolls past spewing dark exhaust that makes me cough. When I look up I see a man in my path, so close I have to jump to the side to avoid a collision.

“Sorry,” I say and start walking around him.

“Sorry don’t cut it, man,” he says in a voice that sounds like pieces of gravel rubbing together. He steps into my path.

I raise my head and see a guy only an inch or two shorter than me. He’s older than the usual high school crowd, maybe in his twenties, although his dark skinned face is as leathery as my father’s. His thick lips open into a grin revealing yellowed teeth. Two silver studs gleam in one of his ears, an unlit cigarette perches behind the other, and a silver chain holding a large crucifix hangs around his neck. He wears a red jacket with black markings, but I don’t need those colors to recognize a member of the Devil Dog gang, not after months living in this strange part of Chicago where people talk about blood and pain like it’s nothing. I’ve only been in this neighborhood a couple of months, but I’m not stupid nor a little girl. I know Double D is not just a bra size. I also know I need to get away from this guy as soon as I can.

He looks me over and smacks his lips. “I didn’t know you were a girl. You make one giant-sized shorty.”

I’ve heard that line a hundred times since I grew five inches and two big breasts in sixth grade. I hate guys staring at my chest. Don’t show fear, I remind myself. I have every right to be here. That’s what my therapist tells me.

“My name’s Darnell.” The rocks continue cracking against each other. “What should I call you, miss tall, dark and uhmmm tall?”

Let me pass and you can call me gone. I take a deep breath and try to appear confident as I start walking around this guy.

“Rude not to answer when a man talks to you, girl.” He moves into my path again, forcing me to stop. “Didn’t your momma teach you manners?”

When she lived, my mother taught me a lot. But she couldn’t teach me how to escape creeps because she never learned how to escape from the wrong man herself. The breeze brings the smell of alcohol and my mind flashes back to the long-ago months when my father came home every night soaked in beer or wine or whiskey and looking for an excuse to fight. I try remembering the things I’ve been told since moving to Chicago’s south side. One gang member alone isn’t too dangerous, not out in public, even if the sky is dark and gray and the sidewalk almost empty. One will just look and make a few crude comments and then let you pass. Two might be a problem, but things don’t become real scary until you have to deal with three. With numbers they enjoy that I-Am-God feeling and everything-I-want-I-take kind of power.

“I’m going now.” My voice shakes, but I take a deep breath that fills my nose with eau-de-bad-guy and continue forward.

Darnell grabs my arm, jerking me close. I hit at his hand without thinking. His grip tightens and his lips twist into something that might pass as a smile among his friends, but to me he’s a mangy alley cat waiting for the mouse trapped under its paws to stop kicking.

“Yo, Darnell,” a man’s voice calls from behind me.

From the corner of my eyes I see two men weaving through traffic to cross the street and reach us. Two plus one makes three; the dangerous number.

Three can kill you.

The newcomers come close and I recognize the taller one in spite of the reflective wraparound sunglasses that somehow don’t look out of place on him even on this gray day. Malik Kaplan, a senior at my school. He’s six foot four, with broad shoulders, all the muscles in the world, a killer grin, and an ugly heart.

His companion is several inches shorter and appears older. He and Malik share the same coffee with a touch of cream skin tone. He wears a moustache that makes him look like he’s laughing. They slow as they approach.

Malik’s movements radiate energy, as if he prepares to attack the way he does his opponents on the basketball court. I can’t tell if he’s after me or Darnell. Malik stops a few feet away and stands with his legs in a wide stance, arms crossed over his chest and head held high. He wears his grey and green camouflage jacket, the one he never takes off except when he’s on playing. It covers his body like indestructible armor.

“Hollah, Big John,” Darnell says to Malik’s companion.

“What brings you to our turf?” John replies with a solemn nod. The two men appear about the same age. They start one of those intricate handshakes I see guy’s use but don’t understand.

“That’s right,” Malik says, and the cool menace in his voice makes me shiver. “You have no business in my territory.”

“Your territory?” Darnell drops his hand and leans closer to Malik. The two are barely spitting distance apart, and I wonder whether spit or fists will fly first.

John touches Darnell’s shoulder and gestures with his chin. They move to the side.

Malik turns to me and puts his hands on his waist as if trying to make himself bigger. The little I see of his face below the glasses reveals no hint of his emotions. His head moves just enough to show he’s watching me from behind the lenses. It’s creepy, looking at the guy I once crushed on and seeing only my own distorted features reflected back.

“You don’t know much about the gang,” he says. “Life in the hood lesson number one: don’t mess with a Devil Dog.”

“If he doesn’t mess with me I won’t.”

“That’s not what I said and you just failed the lesson.”

“Is he supposed to be scarier than you?” My heart still pounds, but I won’t let Malik know how frightened I was.

“Nothing’s scarier than me, Barney.” Malik laughs, but his eyes remain cold as he says, “What are you doing out here?”

“Are you accusing me of something? For your information, I’m on my way to work. You know, that thing most people do because their family can’t toss them money and anything else they want.”

The wind picks up and I shiver. Strands of black hair pull free from the braid hanging down my back and fly across my face. I look across the sidewalk at John and Darnell who seem to be arguing about something and wonder why Malik doesn’t go over to join them.

“Shouldn’t you be over there helping your friend?” I ask after glancing at the two men as they stand talking. “Who is he?”

“My cousin John, and he doesn’t need help. Any Kaplan can handle a gang member or two.”

“I suppose I should say thank you.”

Malik’s thumbs hitch into his belt and he makes a suggestive move. “You know how you can pay me.”

There’s the Malik Kaplan I know and hate. He hasn’t changed. This was no rescue, he’s not here about me. This is about ruling the streets, pit bulls snarling over the same burial plot for their bone, while the bone itself didn’t matter. He’s still the pushy braggart and I can’t understand how I could have crushed so hard on a guy who only cares about himself. He’s a spoiled boy who gets whatever he wants handed to him, including the hot girls in school ready to give their all if he lifts an eyebrow.

“You’re smart enough to know that’s never going to happen,” I say and turn to leave.

“How’s that brother of yours?” he asks.

That brings my attention back. I don’t know why Malik mentions my older brother unless he wants me to remember just how scary he can be. I grit my teeth and answer, “David’s just fine. I’ll tell him you sent your love.”

Before Malik can say anything more, John returns. Over his shoulder I see Darnell moving on toward the end of the block.

John touches his moustache and bows. “I’ve cleared up the mess for you young lady.” He’s a definite step up the quality side of the Kaplan gene pool.

“Thank you, Mr. Kaplan.”

“Henley,” he corrects me with a grim tone. Then he squares his shoulders as if shaking off a heavy burden and takes my hand. His voice grows smooth. “Helping you was all pleasure. I’d love an opportunity to show you just how much.”

“John, she’s fourteen.” Malik’s lips curl, as if my age ever stopped him from hitting on me.

John drops my hand but the teasing note in his voice deepens as he says, “She’s still a very fine looking young lady.”

My heart jumps. I’m six feet tall and a size sixteen and I get so few compliments from guys that John’s words send a spark down my spine. He looks sincere and I’d like to believe, only Malik looked sincere too when he pretended he liked me. There’s a million miles between eighth grade and high school, especially after months of therapy to stop me from spent trying to follow my mother. When you’re a nerdy, oversized freshman horse other kids snicker about, and the school’s badassed homecoming king says you’re the beauty he dreams about…well, I wanted to believe him.

But it was all a pretense, a way for Malik to score points against my brother.

“Look me up in a few years,” John says.

“She’s a giant, you must mean look down,” Malik says.

“I never hold a few inches against a pretty girl,” John says while I blink back angry tears.
What do you think?

Book Review - Fallen Graces

Fallen GraceFallen Grace by Mary Hooper

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fallen Grace is a wonderful historical YA story involving a strong heroine, fifteen-year-old Grace. We begin watching her struggles in Victorian London as she tries to find a way to get a decent burial for her stillborn child. Her grandparents disowned the family when her parents married, her father disappeared before her birth, her mother died when she was five-after charging Grace with the care of her sister Lily. Lily is older chronologically, but her mind is forever a child, leaving her prey to everyone and needing Grace's constant care.

Grace's attempt to bury her child puts her into the path of a conspiracy as people pretend to befriend the girls while trying to defraud them. The story shows the stratified London society. History oozes from this novel, and the death of the Prince Consort plays a major role in the story. We see what life is like in Victorian orphanages and workhouses, the sacrifices people have to make just to survive on a daily basis, and gain an in-depth look at the funeral business as Grace becomes desperate enough to accept employment as a Mute - a paid mourner for high-priced funerals.

The reader is told a secret early on, that Grace's child was not stillborn but instead given to a wealthy family that has suffered numerous miscarriages. At first we think this will be a story of how Grace is reunited with her son. But her journey is more convoluted than that, as people attempt to defraud her and her sister of a fortune left them by their late father, and she uncovers the identity of the man who raped her and fathered that child while she was in a workhouse.

Grace needs all her wits and determination to search for her missing sister, thwart the villains who seek her inheritance, and seek vengeance for all the girls who have been attacked by the villain. And to decide on the right future for her son.

I worried about both Grace and Lily, loved the devotion the sisters had for each other, and appreciated Grace's strength and determination to survive and care for the sister she loved no matter how big the burden was. Most of all, the ending was satisfying, and left me feeling hopeful for all their futures.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where are those New Adult books?

I hear people saying they are interested in reading books about the 18-20 somethings, set in life after high school.  Here are a few I've found dealing with romance, mystery and adventure int he world of college, the workplace and beyond involving older teens.

KindredKindred by Tammar Stein The heroine starts in college, then leaves during her freshman year after a visit from an archangel (who is not the love interest, this isn't that kind of paranormal romance) and begins working for a newspaper in a small town. It deals with college, independence and seperation from parents. She finds a love interest in the form of the owner of the local tattoo parlor who displays his craft on his body. She also deals with health issues that she attributes to failing the mission handed to her by the archangel, and a conflict that puts her in direct oposition with her twin brother (a student at another college) who has been visited by the devil.

Spring BreakSpring Break by Kayla Perrin- This is a suspence story about three co-eds who head off to an island paradise for a spring break filled with sun, drinks, sand, boys and more boys. Until one disappears and all those boys morph into suspects. Technically they are not at college, but this does deal with college-aged kids and is good solid suspence.

We'll Never Tell - (by the same author as Spring Break) This is set on campus, as a prank leaves one girl dead and the survivors swear to remain silent to hide their guilt and feelings of responsibility.  Life in college is raw and frigtening as the killer works to evade discovery by any means necessary.

Vicious Little DarlingsVicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer  Maybe college works better with mystery/suspence. This book deals with the heroine forced to go to an all-girl's school, her grandmother's alma mater, after an incident with a boy. She teams up with two other girls from a wealthy background and the three freshman move from the dorm into a private house off campus. A major mistake, because as their lives become embroiled we realize that at least one of the three is insane, one is suicidal, one determined to survive no matter who she has to kill to do so, and one ready to do anything to win the love of one of the others.  The question facing the reader right up to the last pages is which girl is which, and who, if anyone, will survive the insanity.

Zero Point: Bond (Volume 1)Zero Point: Bond by Jordan BecketThis one not only puts the heroine in college, it also gives her the kind of family problems that go along with this time in a New Adult's life.  It also gives an 18-year old a soulmate who happens to be 218. This paranormal romance features a college freshman who bonds with a mysterious crystal that gives her superpowers to help save the world from those who want to use the crystals for their own ends, while she tends her absent-minded professor mother and makes plans to ressurect the father who died when she was three.

The Adventures of GuyThe Adventures of Guy by Norm Cowie  I haven't read this one, but I've heard that, while it was originally written for and published as an adult book, the cover led YA readers to it in droves. This is about a bunch of college boys, Guy and his roommates. 

So, books involving the 18 and up protagonist, set in life after high school, do exist. As I mentioned in an earlier post, apparently college is a dangerous place, and serve as fodder for mystery and suspence.

Do you have any to suggest?

Click here to View my earlier post on the New Adult genre

Monday, May 2, 2011

Book Review - Love Sucks

Love Sucks!Love Sucks! by Melissa Francis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a good, fun, quick read. Although I have not read the first book in the series, Bite Me, I had no trouble following along with the plot or characters. We have a vampire teen fighting off her unsibling-like feelings for her stepbrother who is a wizard, and dealing with the development of her own powers. She teams up with a sexy vampire trainer while her mother prepares to give birth to a witch/vampire hybrid and her evil father reenters the picture and tries to use her as a key to something horrible. Somehow the author manages to make this not just another vampire story as the Ashe and her look-but-don't-touch stepbrother learn to trust and work together to save the baby and the world. And prepare for the "Love Sucks" prom.

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