Friday, May 20, 2011

Seattle International Film Festival

One of my favorite Seattle events, The Seattle International Film Festival, opened last night. As always, they are showing an amazing and eclectic group of films shot and produced all around the world. So many films, so little time! The Love Me, Do! category of films about love and romance looks like a good place to start.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Review: "Lifted" by Wendy Toliver (Simon Pulse, 2010)

Poppy Browne is a quirky, independent 15 year old who finds herself in a private Christian high school in Texas after her mother takes a teaching position that relocates the two from Colorado and Poppy's public high school. Before Poppy has a chance to adjust to her new shiny, happy surroundings, she's befriended by two of the most dazzling and popular girls in school and plunges headfirst into their convoluted world where nothing is as innocent as it seems. As Poppy begins to spin out of control, she finds comfort from an unlikely source, a preacher's son, but can't figure out if he's a black hat or white hat kind of guy.

"Lifted" is a well-written and emotionally satisfying read that made me simultaneously nostalgic for high school and relieved to be well on the on the other side! Toliver deftly captures the turmoil of high school life, touching upon deeper issues that influence teen behavior such as parental alcoholism, infidelity, and teen sexuality without being heavy-handed or preachy. Poppy is an engaging and authentic narrator whose voice rings true. The characters are fully dimensional and defy stereotypes, creating a plot that keeps the reader guessing up to the end. Themes of betrayal, forgiveness, acceptance, friendship, and love will resonate with readers of all ages.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Brenda Novak's Annual Online Auction to Benefit Diabetes Research

Romantic suspense author Brenda Novak's annual auction to benefit diabetes research began May 1 and goes through May 31. This year's auction features hundreds of fabulous items and opportunities, including lunches with authors, agent and editor evaluations, handmade jewelry, vacations, and books. Check out the full list of goodies here.