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Showing topics in Kara's Cabinet of Themes and Curiosities, Novel Writing Advice Videos - Who Has it Right?, Crime Reads - Suspense, Thrillers, Crime, Gun!, Writer Unboxed - The "Connect Kitty" Approves, The Fantasy Hive - A U.K. Wonderland, Women on Writing - WOW and WOW!, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and The Paris Review - A Literary Wonderland posted in for the last 365 days.

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  1. Today
  2. I’m gathering up the Books on Sale this week, so if you’ve spotted some good discounts, let us know in the comments! The Best Man Plan The Best Man Plan by Jaci Burton is $1.99! This is book one of the Boots & Bouquets series, and is a one night stand/friends to lovers contemporary romance (sniff, sniff…is that catnip?). Book two, The Engagement Arrangement, comes out on June 29, so if you like this one, the next one wi
  3. The eponymous protagonist of Stark Holborn’s far future set sci-fi novel is an ex-convict with a past she is trying to make amends for, but chance has dealt her a harsh hand and continues to torment her with half glimpsed possibilities along a path to redemption. The world, or rather universe, of Holborn’s imagination sprawls across several systems, planets and moons, with a civilisation recovering from a civil war with the rebel “Free Limits” brutally supressed by the governing “Accord.” However, the novel’s action focuses on the desolate moon Factus. For all the emphatic nature of their vict
  4. “One writes out of one thing only—one’s own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.” James Baldwin – Notes of a Native Son Over the ages, any revolutionary movement has an element of art tied to it, whether it be paintings, sculptures, writings or music. These mediums are weapons in the fight that shed no blood and take no prisoners, yet they inspire, enrage, motivate, and encourage. A
  5. For those of us obsessed with them, stories about skyjackings offer retro fascination, criminal ingenuity and daring, and, in some cases, wackiness. Skyjackings have been around as long as aviation itself, and continue to this day. But they are most associated with their peak in the 60s-70s, when air travel evoked a sense of glamour (well-coiffed stewardess and Dungeness crab served on china). In this so-called “Golden Age” of skyjackings, global political turmoil produced many cults, revolutionary groups, and malcontents. These are colorful characters, who saw skyjackings as financial or poli
  6. Another week, another batch of books for your TBR pile. Happy reading, folks. * Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps (Doubleday) “While Justice Sleeps is a mesmerizing legal thriller that does the rare thing: It uses the novel to get at the truth. Stacey Abrams is a powerful new voice in fiction.” –Michael Connelly Lara Bazelon, A Good Mother (Hanover Square) “A Good Mother is a high-stakes legal thriller packed with intense courtroom drama, but it’s also a story about the complicated sacrifices and compromises that mothers face. In this impressive debut, Lara Bazelon’s talent for
  7. Ah, the thrilling wives. Sometimes they’re the first, sometimes next, and sometimes they’re last. Often, they know too much. They are charming, hunting, haunted and lovely. Sometimes, they’re found in the twilight, or upstairs. These are the wives of domestic suspense, and no matter who their spouses are, these captivating women are the stars of the show. If you’re looking for your next thrilling read, look no further than The Real Wives of Domestic Suspense. Consider these popular episodes: My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing Samantha Downing knocked it out of the park with this particular
  8. Some years ago I was invited to a fancy literary dinner where I was seated between Erica Jong and a senior editor of a mega publishing company. Having just exhausted with Erica the infamous topic of the “zipless f—k,” I turned to the editor and asked, “What do you look for in a manuscript that crosses your desk?” Frankly, I thought he’d give me a yawn and turn back to whomever he had been talking to. But he replied seriously, “I want to be intrigued by the first sentence and gripped by the time I reach the third paragraph. Thereafter, I want it to sing.” No doubt I’d overly participated in t
  9. Olive is searching for her missing dog Ginger, but the dog has fallen into a hole and is trapped. Along comes Zen, a homeless dog who helps free Ginger. Together, they make their way back to Olive. This book is perfect for teaching young readers how to trust, make new friends, get out in nature, explore and investigate the world around them and learn about the best doctors, sunshine, diet, fresh air, fresh water, a goodnight's rest, and exercise. Print Length: 24 Pages Genre: Children's ISBN-13: 979-8616441805 Publisher: Independent Zinger in The Woods is available to purchase at Amazon.co
  10. B+ From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn May 11, 2021 · Viking Books for Young Readers RomanceYoung Adult From Little Tokyo, With Love is a modern day, urban, feminist Cinderella meets nure-onna. It is a YA featuring a biracial girl with a ‘kaiju temper’ who prefers monsters to princesses and I am totally here for it. Riki is the daughter of a Japanese-American woman who died in childbirth. Her father, who abandoned Riki’s mother w
  11. You all look like you need some Cover Snark! http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/image-51.png From Peggy. Thanks, Peggy! Sarah: I keep reading the title as “Walk Away.” Yes. Walk away. Slowly. Get outta there. Tara: via GIPHY Amanda: No thank you. Carrie: Aww finally Cousin Itt gets his own story! Shana: That’s gonna give me nightmares Carrie: A Man and his Merkin: A Un-hygenic Love Story. Sneezy: Huh. Been a while since that cut of bikini bottoms were in. This one looks itchy. Unless all of that’s his pubic hair. Catherine: That was my first thought
  12. Yesterday
  13. My Kind of Earl My Kind of Earl by Vivienne Lorret is $1.99! This is book two in The Mating Habits of Scoundrels series. Elyse mentioned this in a previous Hide Your Wallet because she was very intrigued by the idea of the heroine starting a fight in a brothel. USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret continues her charming new trilogy with a bluestocking whose search for information on the mating habits of scoundrels has her stumbling upon the missing heir to an earldom… in the London
  14. I just wrote a novel about another kick-ass Anne: Anne Bonny. A pirate who dressed as a man (women were bad luck on ships) and who was sentenced to be hanged but reprieved because she was pregnant. She drops out of history at that point so I created one for her. It's called Sailing Against The Tide. She is kick ass as a non-pirate too.
  15. Images by Svetlana Alyuk, banner by Imyril This year, the Wyrd and Wonder crew are hosting a read-along of Andrea Stewart’s The Bone Shard Daughter. Nils, Beth and Filip will be joining in; for Beth and Filip, it’s a re-read and re-listen along, but for Nils it’s her first time reading Stewart’s epic debut. Which makes our whatsapp chats quite difficult… We’ll be sticking to the following reaching schedule, and posting a weekly discussion of that week’s chapters every Sunday. Imyril will be doing the same on her blog, and everyone is welcome to join in! If you don’t have a blog, feel
  16. B- Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger October 20, 2020 · She Writes Press Literary Fiction TW/CW Abortion, death of animals including a dog, description of bear-baiting, discussions of homophobia and racism Prospects of a Woman is a historical novel, very much not a romance, about a woman who finds her independence in California during the Gold Rush. It’s written by a local author and the sense of place is solid all throughout t
  17. Mary Jumbelic is an author from Central New York, and the former chief medical examiner of Onondaga County. Performing thousands of autopsies in her career, she elaborates a strong voice for the deceased. She explores through creative non-fiction the imprint the dead have made on her humanity. She has published with Rutgers University Press, Tortoise and Finch, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, Vine Leaves Press, GFT Press, and Jelly Bucket. In 2014, her piece was selected for the top ten in the AARP/Huffington Post Memoir Writing Contest. In 2021, another was chosen in the top ten for the Tucs
  18. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/themes/smartbitches/images/posts/kickass-women.jpg Recently I read Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger, and discovered a new Kickass Woman in its pages. One of the characters is loosely based on real-life photographer Anne Brigman, a passionate traveller and artist who was a leading figure in the Photo-Secession Movement in the arts. The real-life photographer was in California later than her fictional counterpart, but the real and fictional women share a common artistic style and pers
  19. Last week
  20. Crazy Stupid Bromance Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams is $1.99! This is the third book in the Bromance Book Club contemporary romance series. Totally on board with the cat cafe named Toebeans. However, I feel like these books have been hit or miss. Thoughts? A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance. Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a
  21. Whenever Mother's Day draws near, I must admit I go into overdrive reminiscing about my late mother and thinking of ways to pay homage to her and all that she ever taught me, through my writing. I have my fill of so many memories that I try to slip into those stories. Whether it's a fiction story about a family matriarch, a nostalgic essay about my mother's life, or a children's picture book story where she is the adoring Grandma doling out love, wisdom and peppermints, she is there, her voice, her advice, her mannerisms, the way she dressed, the wigs she loved wearing, the songs she hummed, t
  22. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/bigstock-Keukenhof-flower-garden-also-289372672-e1556807413689.jpgIt’s that time again! Whatcha Reading time! This is where we discuss are the wonderful books, weird things, and perhaps big letdowns we’ve read in the last couple weeks. Let’s get into it! Shana: I’m reading Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron. Kiki reviewed it, and I’m absolutely loving it. Sneezy: I’m so excited for you! A | BN | KCatherine: I’ve just started reading The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennett by Katherine Crowley ( A | BN | K ) and it’s really g
  23. Tove Jansson, 1954. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. My grandmother will be ninety-six this September. Lately she has taken to expressing herself with an almost childlike wonder, finishing television shows or simple meals or songs on the radio with jaw-dropping admiration, claiming them the best she has seen or eaten or heard in all her days. Thinking about this sometimes apt and more often comical appreciation for life’s otherwise ordinary details puts me in mind of another fanciful grandmother and her adventures around a small Finnish island on the heels of her six-year-old granddaught
  24. http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/WP/wp-content/themes/smartbitches/images/podcast/header_05c.jpg The transcript for Podcast 456. Bananas, Pajamas, Cat Yak, and a TV Theme Sing-Along with Sarah & Amanda has been posted! This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks. ❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast → Ahoy! A transcript! With apologies to Kareni – I forgot to do the transcript alert post last week. Sorry about that!
  25. The Earl Next Door The Earl Next Door by Amelia Grey is $1.99! This historical romance is the first book in the First Comes Love series. Readers loved how the heroine creates a strong friendship with a group of widows, though others thought the romance could have been stronger. What does a fiercely independent young widow really want? One determined suitor is about to find out. . . When Adeline, Dowager Countess of Wake, learns of her husband’s sudden death, she realizes she’s free. At la
  26. While the SPFBO dust briefly settles let’s take a moment to look back (but not in anger of course) For those who say “What’s SPFBO?” (or even how do you pronounce it?) The TL:DR is it’s a competition featuring 300 self published fantasy books, 10 blogger judging teams and one winner. More info can be found here Rules and Submission Info SPFBO Facebook Group SPFBO 6 Introduction Like the apocryphal painting of the Forth Road Bridge – SPFBO is a near continuous process as the competition cycle settles into a 5 month first phase, a 6 month second phase and a one month turn around in the mon
  27. The second series of Poets on Couches continues with Sara Deniz Akant reading Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Missing the Boat.” In these videograms, poets read and discuss the poems that are helping them through these strange times—broadcasting straight from their couches to yours. These readings bring intimacy into our spaces of isolation, both through the affinity of poetry and through the warmth of being able to speak to each other across distances. “Missing the Boat” by Naomi Shihab Nye (Issue no. 72, Winter 1977) It is not so much that the boat passed and you failed to notice it. It is
  28. Images by Svetlana Alyuk, banner by Imyril Welcome to Fantasy Friday! If you’re following us on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll have had your feed completely spammed noticed that we’re taking part in the Wyrd & Wonder photo challenge. We decided that we’d take the challenge a step further on Fridays, and post about the prompts in a little more detail. This week, the prompt is fantasy from around the world – we’re focusing on fantasy settings inspired by non-European cultures! Underlined book titles in bold contain links to reviews on this site. Nils I really love Asian Inspired fanta
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