From books and authors to characters and genres, here are the ones authors and readers feel passionate about–good or bad!

Category Archives: Rants/Raves

From books and authors to characters and genres, here are the ones authors and readers feel passionate about–good or bad!

Rants/Raves | December 10th, 2014

My Journey of Embroidering Words


My maternal grandmother was the owner of the Pepsi Cola factory in Vietnam before the Communists took over. Barely able to read, she took over the business after my grandfather died suddenly of a stroke in his early 40s. My mother always boasted about Grandma’s success and showed me pictures of her with celebrities including Hollywood star Joan Crawford and the Vietnamese president.

Rants/Raves | December 7th, 2014 | 2 responses

What Brahms Teaches Us about Creativity by Joan C. Curtis


I attended an incredible concert in which Joshua Bell played the solo violin in the Johannes Brahms Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op. 77. You might ask, what was so wonderful or different about this concert? Little did I know that when Brahms created this piece, this was the first time a violin was so heavily featured in an orchestra. Usually there are violins, of course, but not where the violin soloist actually takes the stage front and center and literally outplays all the other instruments.

Rants/Raves | December 2nd, 2014 | 3 responses

Yoga Can Be Murder by Tracy Weber

Killer Retreat Cover

I’m not a typical yoga teacher, even though I’ve owned a yoga studio for the past fourteen years. I can’t put my foot behind my head or sit in full lotus pose. I hate the smell of incense. I’d rather chug jalapeño margaritas than sip mugs of chai tea. But I completely believe in yoga. The practice has transformed my life and sharing it brings me great joy.

So most of my students just rolled their eyes when I decided to spend my spare time plotting murder, and my husband muttered “it figures” when he found a book about poisons “accidentally” hidden in the kitchen. It all makes sense if you know my warped sense of humor. Still, other yoga teachers are sometimes taken aback—even a little insulted—to learn about my series. What kind of demented yoga teacher combines yoga—a practice designed to promote inner peace—with murder?

Rants/Raves | November 3rd, 2014 | 2 responses

Writing Stalled? Try This!

Julie Brown

Your day has been derailed. You’re unmotivated. You’ve lost focus. You can’t concentrate. You would rather do the laundry, wash the car, or file your back taxes.

Most writers have days when writing is near impossible. We have weeks when the stars refuse to align, forces conspire against us, and ideas that once seemed brilliant have lost their sparkle. At these times, my friend, you have two choices: give up and quit or do what I do: “DIS” yourself.


Rants/Raves | October 23rd, 2014

Women Writers Everywhere! by Anesa Miller


In the mid-1990s (way back in my early childhood—lol!), I completed a graduate program in Russian literature. To prepare for comprehensive exams, I had devoted three years to reading my way through a list of novels, short stories, and poems by such luminaries as Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and others. Once I had passed the exams and found a spare moment to reflect on things, I came to a startling realization: it had been ages since I last read a book by a woman.

Rants/Raves | October 21st, 2014

Your Passion or Your Husband by Alretha Thomas

alrethabenchnice500x780 “If your husband told you he needed you to stop pursuing your passion because he was feeling neglected would you?” This was the question my sister asked me during one of our many daily calls to each other. Her question gave me pause because I could never envision being married to a man who would ask me to choose between what I love to do and our relationship. I have truly been blessed in the husband department. Not only is the love of my life a great guy, but for the past 16 years he has supported me wholeheartedly while I have been chasing my dream to become a successful writer. But…but…yes, that three letter word. But, even nice guys have limits and this year I have truly pushed the proverbial envelope. I need to take inventory of the myriad activities that stem from my creative endeavors. I must find balance and that’s definitely easier said than done.