Saturday, January 7, 2012

New This Week!

Here are some of this week's Young Adult book releases. To learn more about each book, click on its cover art to be redirected to its page on Young Adult Books Central.

January 1, 2012

January 2, 2012

January 3, 2012

January 5, 2012

This post is brought to you by Missy's Reads & Reviews. It spotlights some of the newly released books in YA - but it is not a comprehensive list to ALL Young Adult releases. To see these books on the date that they are actually published, please be sure to "like" Missy's Reads & Reviews on Facebook.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Robyn Carr Q&A

Robyn Carr

You write a lot of strong women, but they all go through some sort of character evolution in Virgin River. What is it about the town that helps people discover their best selves?
Every woman faces the challenges Virgin River women face! That’s why the readers relate and write to me about their own issues. They don’t all have breast cancer or widowhood or domestic battery todeal with, but they all relate personally. If it’s not the reader who has had these experiences, it’s the reader’s sister or cousin or neighbor or co-worker. And the things that get women through crises like these are professional help, friendship, opportunity, understanding, education and no small amount of love. It’s all there—there is Mel Sheridan, a women’s medical practitioner, Jerry—the psychologist one town over, Jack and Preacher, marines who have seen it all and are wise to the casualties of war, Noah Kincaid, a minister with a wide view of spiritual faith and the world, and dozens of willing friends and neighbors.

Do you have a favorite place in Virgin River? (Everyone loves Jack’s!) If it was a real town,where would you spend most of your time?
Oh, there’s no question—I would never miss an event at Jack’s. And while it would severely threaten my weight, I’d eat there at least once a week. There’s nothing like a local hangout where you can find your friends and catch up on the local news.

Do you find it's harder to write the male or female characters, and why? Unlike many romances,the men in your books feel as multi-dimensional as the women. Conner from Hidden Summit is a very strong male lead and Dylan from the forthcoming Redwood Bend is so much more than a former movie star heartthrob. How do you manage to make everyone seem so real?
They’re all hard, and a complete joy to investigate, study and develop. I imagine them. I think about them constantly. I create the ideal man or woman in my mind—stronger and better than me, absolutely. Admirable. People with flaws they desperately want to overcome, with desires they can’t quite figure out how to satisfy. In fact, sometimes they are so much smarter than I am, I can’t figure out how to get them out of their problems and off to happily ever after. We tussle. I wrestle them to the ground and try to hold them still until I can figure out what they want, what they need. And nothing, nothing is more satisfying than creating a whole, imaginary person that can speak to a reader, possibly serve as a role model for a reader who has had similar challenges and has been looking for her own answers. For HIS own answers—because many men write to me as well. After Paradise Valley was published I received dozens of emails from men who were amputees—and they were very positive letters. That’s what I live for—an endorsement from a real person!

We meet Katie, Conner’s sister, briefly in Hidden Summit and have a chance to get her story in Redwood Bend. She lost her husband in Afghanistan and there are someheart-wrenching scenes when we get into her psyche and experience a hint of what life would be like after losing a loved one in war. How did you write Katie’s character?
She’s a very tidy composite of young women I’ve known—single mothers with a singular dedication to raising the children they’ve been left with. Additionally,Katie has a fantastic personality that melds intelligence, courage and humor. She’s due a break; she’s held strong through lots of tough times, not the least of which was burying the love of her life before her sons were even born. She’s a lesson in fortitude, optimism and almost savage motherhood. I love her. I wish I was her. And if I were a strong young man who didn’t believe true love was possible for me, I would end up her slave forever.

Hidden Summit
Virgin River, Book 17
Mass Market Paperback
400 pages
Published by Mira
December 27, 2011
Sick of running into her cheery ex-husband and his new wife, Leslie Petruso accepts a job at the Virgin River branch of Haggerty Construction and takes the high road right out of town. Now she's got Paul Haggerty's business running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, things are so busy Paul jumps at the chance to hire an extra set of hands.

Just like Leslie, Conner Danson has been burned by love. But if Leslie was disappointed by her relationship going bad, Conner was decimated. He's got no time for women…although he spends an awful lot of time pretending not to notice Leslie. And she's pretty busy "ignoring" the chemistry between them.

According to Conner and Leslie, they have only one thing in common—they're done with love. But everyone in Virgin River can see that things are heating up at Haggerty Construction. And as far as Paul Haggerty can tell, the best thing he can do is hang on to his hard hat and watch the sparks fly!

Coming Soon...

Redwood Bend
Virgin River, Book 18
Mass Market Paperback
400 pages
Published by Mira
Expected February 28, 2012

Katie Malone and her twin boys’ trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie doesn’t have the first clue about putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the site of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another.

In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Blogger Goals

Happy New Year's Day, everybody!

Wow.. 2011 was kind of crazy, wasn't it? I can't believe how fast it flew by! At the beginning of last year, I had a lot of goals that I wanted to accomplish as a book blogger. Some things I accomplished, some things I did not. Obviously, this biggest curve ball for me last year was my cervical cancer debacle. Thanks to the surgery, recovery and so many other things that followed.. I got really behind on this blog. I don't want to do that again. Ever.

Since it's the beginning of a new year, I thought I would go ahead and write down things I'd like to accomplish and goals I'd like to achieve as a book blogger in 2012. Hopefully these plans will help to improve not only myself, but the quality of content found on this blog.
  1. Download my blog weekly. I've heard too many horror stories of blogs disappearing and people losing all of their hard work. I invest entirely too much of my life in this blog to have it all go missing on a whim.
  2. Schedule posts 2+ weeks in advance. This was going well for me last year until Blogger decided to mess things up. I think (and hope) I have it fixed. Unfortunately, I have to start from scratch.
  3. Bring Before & After feature back permanently. This was one of those things that worked out marvelously, then life happened and I couldn't keep up. I have a back-up plan in preparation just in case something comes up, so I'm positive this will stay around.
  4. Post author profiles frequently. The best way for people to discover new authors is to have a source of information on them at hand. I plan on making it a habit to post about new, old and favorite authors as much as possible.
  5. Update all information on this blog. New navigation, updated links, new tagging system, etc.. all in hopes to succeed where I failed last year.
  6. Be more available. Last year's phone debacles (yes, plural - I went through a few Blackberry Curves) and the fact that I was out of town a lot really hindered my communication relating to this blog. I just put a nice chunk of money into a better phone that seems up to par for all of my needs, so I'm hoping this is already fixed.
  7. Post more reviews. Upon reviewing my 'read' list on Goodreads, I discovered that I have not posted nearly as many reviews as I have read books.. and this makes me sad. This year, I not only need to review books as I read them, but also review books I've already read to post on the blog. The more information out there, the better.
  8. Find a more efficient template for review posts and utilize it. I want more information in a very organized way. I need to find a happy medium soon and possibly re-work all of my past reviews with the same template.
  9. Purge my Gmail account. Since August, my inbox has been a hot mess. I need to clean it up, then go through and get rid of e-mails in folders that are not longer needed.
  10. Update contacts. I have a whole lot of contacts and a not-so-very-organized way of listing them. This needs to change ASAP.
  11. Try a more polished layout. I absolutely LOVE my header and color scheme for this blog, but sometimes I feel as though it needs to be a little more professional looking. I plan on making a few tweaks to help settle that unease.
  12. Be more social. I don't reply to comments, tweet or interact with all of you lovely people much at all. This makes me sad. It's definitely one of my priorities to change in 2012.
  13. Just be happy! Sometimes, life happens and things come up. I need to stop stressing over this.
Well, that's it for my blog. I also have a few goals for my blogging life outside of Missy's Reads & Reviews. They include:
  1. Be more active on Young Adult Books Central. I help review for this site and it's quite possibly the BEST site I've seen for YA books. Helping to make it one of the best sources of YA information is a big goal of mine.
  2. Write 3-5 articles per week for Examiner. I've finally decided to hop on the Examiner bandwagon to get more exposure for my blog, books I love to review, and awesome authors. I want to make sure I utilize this opportunity to its maximum potential.
  3. Be more efficient. I want to get my name out there as much as possible and be one of the many voices of books that people recognize. Obviously, this takes work. I'm more than willing to put my blood, sweat and tears into that work.
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