Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Writerly Update

So spellcheck is telling me I've made up a word, but that's what all my updates have in common: they're writerly.

I am 120 pages into my new WIP (work in progress, for those of you who are not writerly.) To read about that, check out the Finding Charlie page of my new author site. I'm also posting chapters on wattpad.

Oh, and by the way, I have a new author site. It's pretty cool. My very own domain was an anniversary gift from my very awesome boyfriend: katieorourke.com. That's me.

Hmm. What else? Antigone Books, my local indie bookstore, is selling copies of Monsoon Season. Even if you can't trek to Tucson, you can get your own paperback of Monsoon Season or A Long Thaw.

I'm going to the annual Pima Writers' Workshop again at the end of May. That's always a great place to recharge the writer battery and hear from professionals about this wacky, ever-changing industry.

Okay, I think that's it for now...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Long Thaw: Review

“Looks like it’s going to be a long thaw.”
Here's my review from A Well Read Woman:
Abby has always had a safety net, unlike her cousin Juliet, who has an absent father and a drunk mother who depends on her financially. Abby is her cousin’s keeper and protector. Not that Juliet can’t protect herself…
Juliet is tough, in many aspects of her life, except when it comes to love. Perhaps her poor choices in men are because her father abandoned her and her sisters at a young age. All Juliet wants is a man who won’t leave her, and then there is Abby, who has a list of 50 qualities that are required in her perfect mate.
Allen made a mistake ten years ago, and as a result he lost his wife and his daughters. He rationalizes that they don’t need him, they have each other, but he tells his family otherwise. At Thanksgiving dinner, a family secret is let out, leaving everybody to question, “why?”, and “how could I have missed so much?” “What can be done to make things right?”
This broken family sets out to make things right, because life goes on, and as long as life goes on, there will be more chances to get it right.
I liked this story, because I like stories that center around family. Juliet and Abby have a bond that cannot be broken. Even after not seeing each other for ten years, they immediately click back together. They take care of, and lean on one another. These girls act more like sisters than cousins. They are lucky to have this bond, and they both need each other more than ever.
Read the rest on April's blog.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Book Review - He's Gone

"But no man, no anyone, is ever just an angry person. They are tender, and silly, and confused, that's the problem. No person is ever just one thing, angry or unfaithful or critical or guilty or victimized or weak or strong; do you hear what I'm saying?"
                                                                                      -Deb Caletti, He's Gone

When Dani's husband goes missing, her worry for him is mixed with doubts about their relationship. She can't shake the feeling his disappearance might have been intentional. As her leads turn into dead ends, she's forced to take an honest look at herself and her marriage. And while she's being honest, there's a memory she knows she has to face.

This marriage is the second for both of them, built on the destruction of the ones that came before. Dani has a guilty conscience; she can't help but think she's paying the price for all the heartache she caused. When Ian goes missing, she begins to take responsibility for that and she also realizes that she made another mistake. She thought her second husband could rescue her from her first, but she was only repeating a pattern: out of the frying pan, into the fire.

The mystery element of this book is fantastic. It had me turning the pages hungrily and I didn't figure out the ending until I got there, which is refreshing and rare.

But the deeper part of this novel is Caletti's ability to create complicated, lovable, flawed characters you root for and are disappointed by and understand. No person is ever just one thing.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Finding Charlie - What Would You Do?

When her younger sister goes missing, Olivia has to decide how worried she should be. Charlie is 19 and has been missing for less than a day. She has left behind her car and her cell phone. The police aren't concerned.

But what Olivia keeps coming back to is her gut feeling. Something's wrong. This isn't like her.

How worried would you be if it was your sister? What should Olivia do next?

If you'd like to start this blog feature and red excerpts from the beginning, go here. To read the first five chapters, check me out on authonomy. If you have a membership there, you can show your support for the story by voting for it.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Finding Charlie - Rationalizations

Before Olivia leaves Carmen, she finds one more piece of information about her sister's disappearance:
            I rubbed my palms against the top of my thighs. They were so clammy. I was worried for nothing, I told myself. She was nineteen and I hadn’t heard from her in a day. A day was nothing. “If you hear from her, tell her to call home, okay?” I stood up.
            Carmen nodded.
            Before I left, I tried the door to the car, but it was locked. I cupped my hands around my eyes and peered through the window. There, sitting in one of the cup holders, was Charlie’s cell phone. 

If you'd like to read more, come back tomorrow. And, if you'd like to start this blog feature from the beginning, go here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Finding Charlie - "This isn't like her"

When Olivia goes to Carmen's house, she gets a few clues about Charlie's disappearance. For one thing Charlie has left her car in the driveway. Carmen tells Olivia that Charlie was at her house the night before and had been up talking with her new boyfriend, Isaac, when Carmen went to bed. Olivia didn't know Charlie had a boyfriend, so this is news.
            I looked at my watch. My father would have gotten home by now. No phone call. “This isn’t like her.” I said it like a statement, but I was looking for reassurance.
            “I know.” Carmen wrapped her bare arms tightly around herself. “She always texts me back. Even if I text her in the middle of the night. She always keeps her phone with her while she sleeps and she will just text me back a smiley face so I know she’s listening.”
            Among a group of framed photographs on the surface of a dresser, there was a shot of the two girls with their faces pressed together, grinning. They were both missing their front teeth, which would make them, what, six or seven? Their faces were painted like butterflies, caterpillar middles along the bridge of their noses, antennae on their foreheads. It had been taken at the 4th Avenue Street Fair; there was a copy of that photograph at my dad’s house.
            I turned back to Carmen. “How well do you know this Isaac?”
If you'd like to read more, come back tomorrow. And, if you'd like to start this blog feature from the beginning, go here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finding Charlie - What does Carmen know?

Are you getting worried about Charlie? Here's the end of what I posted yesterday:
            It was Carmen who came to the door. I could just make her out through the mesh of the security screen: dark hair flat on one side, wild on the other. She was wearing baggy shorts that hung low on her tiny hips and a red tank top.
            “Olivia,” she whispered. She reached to unlock the security door and I pulled it open. Her face crumpled and she stepped back. “Oh, god.”
And here's more:
            It was not the welcome I had expected. I tried to hold my voice steady. “Where’s Charlie?”
            Carmen blinked and her face smoothed. “You don’t know?”
            “No, I don’t know!” I was yelling. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to hit her, this girl I’d known forever who was nearly as much a sister as my sister was. She knew something; she was hiding something, taunting me.
            Carmen put a hand to her chest. “Oh, you scared me. I thought you were coming to tell me something had happened.”
            “Something like what?”
            “I don’t know. I’ve been texting her all day and she hasn’t texted back. I’m worried.”
            “Her car’s in your driveway.”
            “I know. She was here last night.” And then, finally: “Come in.” She shut the door behind me and led me into the living room.
            “My dad was calling the house all day,” I said.
            She sat in the oversized recliner in the corner and pulled her feet under her, making herself even smaller than she already was. “My parents are away. I don’t answer the house phone. It’s never for me.”
            I sat down on the couch across from her. “Carmen, if you were worried about her, why didn’t you try to get a hold of me or my dad?”
            She looked startled by this suggestion. “I didn’t want to get her in trouble.”
            I sighed. Kids. “So she was here last night?”
            Carmen nodded, warily.
            “Did she sleep here?” 
            “Well, I thought she did. But, I’m not sure.”
If you'd like to read more, come back tomorrow. And, if you'd like to start this blog feature from the beginning, go here.