Into The Water, by Paula Hawkins

There was so much that I disliked about this book, but where to start? While there were some interesting aspects and plot lines in the novel, most of it was tiresome and annoying. Hawkins switches amongst her characters too often and fails to connect like she should with any of them. This felt like a story that could have been great, but instead it tried to do to much, and didn’t do anything well. I give it two stars because there were interesting moments and it was not entirely bad.

2-star

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Meet The Author, Patrick Adams

Enjoy getting to know, Patrick Adams:

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Thank you for joining me today. Tell us in three words how you would best describe your writing.

Inspired By Travel.

Your book, “Lisa Goes to India” is set to release in January 2018. Please share a passage with us that you’d like for us to enjoy.

Jonathan and Ravi started running around with the monkeys. “Be careful, you guys,” shouted Daniel. It was too late. The boys and the monkeys were laughing and running, heading towards the Taj Mahal. To get away from Ravi and Jonathan, the monkeys climbed all the way up Taj Mahal to the top. “Whew,” said Bali, the monkey. Then, looking down, he realized it was easier climbing up than it was going back down. They were stuck!

You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author, but can never write again, or write forever, but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

Write forever but never have a bestseller. I can live with #2 on the New York Times Best Seller List 😊.

If you could live on a college campus and never leave, or live in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

Super easy choice! Live in a small town but be able to travel. Unless that college campus was in Tahiti or Fiji……

Okay, how about in an amusement park or in an airport?

Amusement Park. Last time I checked, Airports don’t have Roller Coasters, Games, Shows, and Fireworks.

And how about Ireland or Germany?

This is a tough choice, but if I have to pick one, I’ll go with Ireland. I don’t tend to learn new languages easily, so I’d assimilate better into Ireland. Unless I’m in a part that only speaks Gaelic.

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

Not many people may remember them, but my favorite 90’s band is Tripping Daisy. Their first album, Bill, is incredible. Some may remember their song “I Got a Girl” from their second album, I Am an Elastic Firecracker, as that was a fairly big hit on radio and MTV and got skewered by Beavis and Butthead. I’ve re-discovered them recently and their entire back catalog. Huge fan of their singer, Tim DeLaughter, who went on to front two other bands, Polyphonic Spree and Preteen Zenith. I was happy to learn Tripping Daisy had reunited this year.

Are there any good bands out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?

I wish there were. I don’t see bands of today sporting 40+ years of longevity like the Rolling Stones and U2. Of course, I could be wrong and One Direction will still be HUGE in 2067.

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is still The Office)?

The Big Bang Theory, hands down. I never get tired of watching it, and the characters are brilliantly written. In the 80’s and 90’s, it was Married With Children. You gotta love Al Bundy. We’ve all felt like him at one time or another.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

I have multiple projects going on. My first novel, “The Vacationer”, is under developmental edit. Targeting a 2018 release. It is a harrowing story about a man experiencing a life crisis as he journeys across the globe on a path of self-destruction. Will he be saved? Can he be saved? Amazing Lisa children’s book series: The fourth installment, “Lisa Goes to India”, is currently being illustrated. Rhythm’s World children’s book series: The third book, and the start of a series of books themed around travel, called “Rhythm’s World Tour Vol 1: North America” is currently being illustrated.

Putting the final touches on a new blog series about travel called Diary of a Travelman. It’s based on another book I wrote, featuring humorous and poignant travel stories from my journeys around the world. Debuting November 2017.

Planning a Podcast that will spotlight up and coming authors and travel bloggers. Tentatively titled “Book It! with Patrick Adams”, I’m looking to give a voice and a spotlight to those with a creative vision. Targeting a debut in January 2018.

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. My question would be: “Did you map out the entire Harry Potter series story before you wrote the first book?” I’m curious how much she planned that wonderful story out over seven books.

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Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains? Oceans. Less climbing involved.

Yogurt or ice cream? Ice Cream!

Chocolate or Sour Candy? Chocolate in a landslide.

Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert? Jimmy Fallon. Loved him on SNL.

Happy or sad ending to a novel? Happy, always.

Beer or wine? Wine. Red.

Flying or driving? Flying. Gets me there faster with no traffic jams.

Hemingway or Twain? Twain. Not sure why.

You’re stranded on a desert island, and you can take two things with you, as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

Things: A spear for fishing and a flashlight.
People: My wife and daughter. Because I’ll surely get an earful if I don’t pick them.

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him/her over to your house, or meet at their place of royalty?

I would choose Queen Elizabeth II of England. I would read her my book, “Lisa Goes to England”, because she stars in it in one scene. If I could get her seal of approval on my book, skies the limit! We would definitely meet at her place of royalty!

You can wish for one thing and one thing only (not world peace and no more wishes). What’s it gonna be?

Since you didn’t exclude money, I’d have to say a bank account with $1 Billion dollars in it. My family and kids would be set for generations and I could definitely be a full-time writer and traveler 😊

Bio:
Patrick Adams, founder of Patrick Adams Books, is the author of the Amazing Lisaand Rhythm’s World children’s book series. His journeys around the world inspired him to become a writer. As a book architect, Patrick is dedicated not only to publishing his own books but also helping other independent authors achieve their dream of seeing their children’s books come to life, and getting published. Through his blog, “Rhythm’s Miracles”, and the Rhythm’s World book series, Patrick is a strong supporter of families dealing with a rare form of Epilepsy called Infantile Spasms.

Patrick on Facebook
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Patrick’s Books on Instagram 
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Patrick’s Blog

Lily Alone, by Vivien Brown

I found the book to be different from anything I’ve read lately, and that is a good thing. Brown introduced just the right amount of characters and connected them nicely. My biggest qualm is that I would have liked to know more about the main characters. I give it 4 stars and recommend it if you like drama-type novels. It’s set in England, so that is an added plus as well.

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Meet The Author, Warren Alexander

Enjoy getting to know, Warren Alexander:

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Thank you for joining me today. Tell us in three words how you would best describe your writing.  

Funny, clever, nettlesome.

Your book, Cousin’s Club, was released in April 2017. Share a passage that you’d like for us to enjoy.

“Look! Here’s an envelope from Flora,” my mother said, “but it’s empty.”

“What’s the postmark?”

“Los Alamos, New Mexico.”

“Isn’t that where Davy Crockett died?”

You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author, but can never write again, or write forever, but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?

I write, so I can write some more. I would be shocked if any novel of mine became a best-seller. In any event, I would refuse any Faustian arrangement.

If you could live on a college campus and never leave, or live in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?

If you chose either Princeton, NJ or Berkeley, CA then you could have both.

Okay, how about in an amusement park or in an airport?

I found neither amusing nor comfortable.

And how about Ireland or Germany?

Very narrow and arbitrary choices. The Irish literary tradition is incalculable, especially when you consider their small population.

Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?

I am an old guy and like the oxymoronic category Classic Rock. So, in the same vein, I would take REM.  

Are there any good bands out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?

Is there a group called “I Haven’t A Clue.”

And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is still The Office)?

This is a subject I could actually speak about for days and never bore myself. Others surely, myself, no. I like comedies with an edge, wit, and with a large dash of irreverence. Of today’s lot, I like Larry David and Veep with Julia-Louise Dreyfus.

Is there anything you’re currently working on?

I am working on a satiric novel about business. It is my revenge after 45 years of working. I am also working on a short story about a saxophone player and a changing neighborhood.

Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?

Laurence Sterne. This is no one magic question or answer. And if you think there is, you will miss the last 50 years of your life.

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Lightning round:

Ocean or mountains?  

If I am on skis, the mountains, in a boat well…..

Yogurt or ice cream?  

When you start to hear kids scream after a ball game, “We want yogurt,” it is time to move to a cave.

Chocolate or Sour Candy?  

When was the last time someone said that they could not live without sour candy? Can you imagine bringing giving sour candies on Valentine’s Day? Now, there’s a guy who will be lonely for a while.

Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert?

Colbert, Fallon is Late Night Lite.

Happy or sad ending to a novel?

I hate happy endings but sad endings must make sense.

Beer or wine?  

Diet Coke.

Flying or driving?  

Don’t own a car or a plane.

Hemingway or Twain?  

Twain. Wit and insight. Hemingway always gets in his own way with his macho BS. As time passes Hemingway will become more of a historical curiosity than a literary lion.

You’re stranded on a desert island, and you can take two things with you, as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?

Something better than a volleyball.  I would take my wife and someone who would know better than to recommend a diet of seaweed.

You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him/her over to your house, or meet at their place of royalty?

Nebuchadnezzar so I can ask him what his friends called him, but at his place because I doubt he would he would bring the right cookies. I would choose either Václav Havel or Nelson Mandela and ask the differences between being a dissident and the leader of the same nation.

You can wish for one thing and one thing only (not world peace and no more wishes). What’s it gonna be?

An appreciation of others.



Warren Alexander was born, raised, and still lives in New York City. He was identified as a cynic by his kindergarten teacher, and he honed this quality under the tutelage of Thomas Keneally, Peter Carey, and E. L. Doctorow at NYU, where he received his MA in creative writing. He recently came in second in Cutthroat’s fiction contest, judged by Michael Matrone. He is also a decorated photographer.

The Ninth Hour, by Alice McDermott

I’ve rarely been as excited to finish a book, though not for the best of reasons. Still, you can’t appreciate a good book without reading a bad one. This book was not poorly written, exactly, but it was painfully boring. I wanted desperately for it to finish as the story lagged along, and it provided very little for me to care about, hence the two-star rating. As I reflect on the book, I don’t see a point in its story and cannot understand how it won an award or even got published.

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The Body Reader, by Anne Frasier

This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Frasier kept my interest, and she did have unique twists throughout. The story overall, however, was simply good, not great. It’s definitely worth the read, but somewhat predictable at times. I’d give it slightly under 4 stars as I would have liked to know more from the lead character’s kidnapping, rather than her life afterwards.

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