Liz Fichera's Blog

May 30, 2016

A couple of good reads...

First, I really enjoyed Katherine Wilson's Only in Naples: Lessons in Food and Famiglia From My Italian Mother-in-Law.  I read this memoir in anticipation of an upcoming Rome trip and loved the often hilarious interactions between Katherine and her mother-in-law.  The American author moved to Naples in the mid-1990's after college, found a job and fell in love with the city and an Italian.  I now have a serious craving for more travel and lasagna.  Fun book! Toss this one in your beach bag and enjoy, preferably with a cappuccino at your fingertips.

Next, I devoured Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss.  This is a
darker, more literary read.  The writing is gorgeous.  If you anticipate spending hours alone on a beach or poolside, consider this one.  Prentiss does a perfect job of capturing the crazy stubborn desperate beautiful mind of an artist.  Set in the 1980's in SoHo in New York City, I was unable to put this novel down and got totally absorbed in the characters and their intersecting, often very dark, lives. 

Happy Reading!

Have an amazing summer.
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Published on May 30, 2016 06:00 • 8 views

May 9, 2016

I have a love-hate relationships with retellings.

On the one hand, I love when I find a clever retelling.  For example, I'm currently reading Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible, which is a modern-day Pride & Prejudice retelling.  Overall, I'm enjoying it.  But since I've already read Pride & Prejudice, I kinda know the plotline and the characters. 

It's sort of how I feel about remakes and even sequels to good movies:  You loved the first one and you want to watch the second one but the second one is never as good as the first and after you watch the sequel or remake you wonder why they just couldn't leave a brilliant thing alone.

With authors and retellings, while I appreciate the cleverness (and good writing) of a retelling, I have to wonder why a talented author couldn't dream up a totally new story on his or her own.

Thoughts, dreams, aspirations?
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Published on May 09, 2016 07:26 • 4 views

April 7, 2016

What do you get when you mix green jackets, golfers, and books? Why, you get a sweet mention for your book in USA Today!

The first of the four major tournaments in the men's PGA Tour tees off today at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and imagine my surprise when I'm minding my own business and I happen to be reading this article in USA Today and my book Hooked is mentioned in practically the same paragraph.

So, thank you, USA Today! Keep calm and golf on.

To read the article, go here.
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Published on April 07, 2016 04:21 • 17 views

March 21, 2016

Luckily I can just walk outside my door and breathe in the desert and I am grateful for that every day.

Here are a few recent photos from recent treks in the desert around my home. 

Spring is such a great time of year for hiking because of the cactus flowers and all of the wildflowers.  My husband and I try to get in as many hikes as possible before the summer heat, although we still hike in the summer. Just not as often.

This is where I go to clear my head and sometimes I even get a story idea or two.  Or a line for a poem that's brewing inside my head.  But, sometimes, it's nice not thinking of anything and  You know?

Good times.

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Published on March 21, 2016 13:28 • 2 views

February 29, 2016

Haven't done one of these posts in a while.  As usual, I read a ton.  Lately I've been reading loads of nonfiction and poetry, which is a big detour from my usual YA and fiction preferences.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

Anyway, here are some books that I'd like to recommend:

Tops on my list definitely goes to Boys in the Boat.  And, I mean, wowza. Big wow.  What an incredible story.  This is the kind of book that I will buy and then lend it to everyone in my circle of bookworm friends. 

It's the true story about a group of guys from the University of Washington who, against all odds, won the Olympic gold during the 1936 Olympics.  Loved, loved, loved it.  Their personal stories were compelling. Couldn't put it down.

Side note: I volunteer at a local assisted living facility. One of the residents that I sit with often is a lovely Swiss woman who lived in Germany during the 1936 Berlin Olympics as a young teen.  She remembered attending these Olympics, even remembered these "boys in the boat."  It was fascinating to talk about this book with her.  She told me about the time that she (had to) shake Hitler's hand.  She remembered that with a shudder.  Shortly after that point, she and her family emigrated to the US.  Anyway, how timely. I am so privileged that I got the chance to talk about this story with her.

Next on my list:  Practically anything written by Charles Bukowski, but mostly his poetry.  I've been reading through all of Bukowski's books at my local library and only recently discovered him.  Bukowski died in the mid 1990's during his 70's.  But he left behind a long list of literary works.  Most of his writing is gritty, dark, and oftentimes funny, but dark-funny, if that makes any sense.  His poems are not full of light and joy and unicorns, so reader-beware.  I haven't read one yet that I didn't like.  I've also enjoyed reading about his perseverance at becoming and being a writer.  He doesn't mince words about publishing, writing, editors, and the publishing world and just about any writer/author can relate to his candid perspectives.  Although he'd been writing his whole life, he hadn't had much success until his 40's.  Anyway, I appreciate his poetry. Maybe you will too.

Love is a Dog from Hell is the last one I finished. But I've also read Open All Night, and The Last Night of the Earth Poems.

As usual, I keep track of everything that I read over at Goodreads.  I generally only rate and review those books that make an impact on me in some way.

Happy Reading!
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Published on February 29, 2016 05:00 • 18 views

February 8, 2016

The Super Bowl is the one time of year where I love to watch the commercials and hope for something funny and clever and mostly funny. And, btw, go Broncos!

There were a lot of funny ones yesterday (and a few weird ones--hello, monkey baby puppies?). That was bizarre.  And I have no idea what they were selling.

Ryanville was still my favorite, although the Weiner dog stampede one was pretty weird-cute.  And I liked the one where the father was being overprotective of his daughter.  Sweet, funny, and cute.  Although it doesn't mean though that I'm gonna go out and buy a Hyundai.

Noticeably missing this year: Labrador puppies and the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.

What about you?

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Published on February 08, 2016 07:05 • 4 views

February 1, 2016

I just learned that both Hooked and Played are being offered for $2.99 on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Not sure how long the publisher will be offering this promotion but I'm calling it Christmas in February.  And I'm pretty sure I paid more than $2.99 for my last latte. 

So, there's that.  :) 

Happy Reading and have a great week!

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Published on February 01, 2016 05:16 • 14 views

January 4, 2016

I'm typically not a fan of New Year's resolutions.  Resolutions seem to be synonymous with failure.  I prefer to call them goals.  I know, silly.  But it works for me.  Here are a few of mine for 2016:

1) Paint more.
2) Write more poetry.
3) Travel more. (Three trips planned thus far for 2016)
4) Cook more.  (Translation: Less takeout; more home-cooked meals)
5) Disconnect more from technology.

Curious.  More seems to be a common denominator in my goals...

#5 was one of my 2015 goals and I think I had moderate success.  When I disconnect, I'm more productive. 

Hope you had a wonderful holiday! Wishing you health and happiness and more in the New Year.  Happy 2016!
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Published on January 04, 2016 09:12 • 15 views

November 16, 2015

Maybe I should have titled this post: Always The Last To Know

I just learned that the publisher for CRAVING PERFECT has just reduced the purchase price for this book to 99 cents on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which is way less than a latte.  Not sure how long this sale will last but I wanted to share.

I wrote this book around 8 years ago but it was published in 2011.  It's the only book that I've had published that contains a fantasy element, although I've written others with fantasy elements.  They just haven't been published (yet). 

This book will always have a special place in my heart.  It was fun to write.  I wrote it when I used to run/jog for long stretches at a time. I used to write chapters in my head when I ran and then go home and pound them out on my laptop.  So, it's no wonder that this one involves a magic treadmill. :)

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Published on November 16, 2015 06:36 • 32 views

November 2, 2015

Last week, it rained in Phoenix.

If that wasn't odd enough, I also saw these pretty discarded flowers in a parking lot.  That was odd too.  But also sad and intriguing and lonely and puzzling, but mostly sad.

And I started to wonder:  why would someone toss away such pretty flowers?  Could they have fallen out of someone's trunk or fallen off of someone's roof because, seriously, why would anyone toss away such pretty flowers?  Did I just miss some kind of blow-out, lover's quarrel in the parking lot?  Did someone just get a break-up text?  It was as though they were intentionally dropped there, right against the tree.  Inquiring minds...

They weren't the expensive, right out of the florist's window, kind of flowers.  They were more like the kind that you snap up from the grocery store checkout aisle, kind of flowers.  But, still.  They were pretty.

And they were discarded. In the rain.  And it made me kind of sad and I started to think about all of the possible scenarios and stories and my brain just started buzzing.

The sad stuff always inspires me to write, for some reason.

I left the wet flowers exactly where I spotted them, just in case the owner came back looking for them.
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Published on November 02, 2015 05:32 • 23 views