Liz Fichera's Blog

July 6, 2015

I've been on a roll.

Every book I've opened this summer has been a page-turner.  Don't you love when that happens? 

Here are a few of my favorites so far:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Loved it from the first page.  Thrillers are not usually my go-to books but after reading this one I'm starting to wonder why the heck not.  If you liked Gone Girl, you should enjoy this one.

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks.

This one was totally creepy and unputdownable.  It's YA but I think this story would appeal to adults as well.  Some interesting themes here like, what would you do to survive if the odds weren't in your favor?  What kind of person would you become when you're at your most desperate?  I don't want to say too much or else I'd be giving too much away.

Check this one out.

Finally, I read Listen, Slowly by Thanha Lai.

This one is another YA but I believe it would appeal to middle-grade readers as well.  It's about a teen girl who returns to Vietnam with her grandmother to find her grandfather. 

I loved being in this setting and reading about the mystery concerning her grandfather. Very poignant.  I plan to read more from this author.

Well, it's a long, hot summer here in Arizona.  The monsoons have started.  There's rain and blowing dust almost every night.  Summer is kind of the Southwest's "cabin-fever" time, desert-style.  Time to stay inside where it's cool and read lots of good books (when I'm not writing). 

Hope you're having a great summer! If you happen to live near an ocean and cool breezes, allow me to live vicariously through you.  :)  At least until October.  Also, if you've got any fave books to recommend, feel free to mention in the comments.
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Published on July 06, 2015 06:00 • 11 views

June 8, 2015

In denial that it's been five whole crazy, amazing years since Captive Spirit and Craving Perfect

Time flies.  Man, does it fly...

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Published on June 08, 2015 06:52 • 10 views

June 1, 2015

While I was on vacation, a friend of mine asked for some young adult recommendations for her teen son.  Her son and my nephew had a few of the same likes and dislikes (e.g. more adventure; "no kissing books," as my nephew often tells me.) I rattled off a few books that I had read recently that I thought might appeal to her son, including Neal Shusterman's very fabulous Challenger Deep as well as Alex Cavanaugh's Cassastar sci-fi series (my nephew loves!).

I get that people, particularly tweens and teens, like to read books that have relatable characters.  In fact, some might say that young adults need these books, particularly if the goal is to foster a lifetime love of reading.  I think (or perhaps, I hope?) that readers morph into readers that simply want to read stories with protagonists with relatable character traits, where things like gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. do not matter.  In the end, all that's needed is a damn good story.

Thoughts, dreams, aspirations?
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Published on June 01, 2015 05:26 • 19 views

April 6, 2015

Stop the cruise, I want to get off!

That's what I imagine myself screaming five minutes after stepping on to a cruise ship.  And yet we're seriously considering an Alaskan cruise in the not too distant future.

Considering that I'm claustrophobic, dislike buffets of any kind, and more than mildly introverted, this does not seem like a smart travel choice.

But, I've never cruised.  And I'm all about the trying-something-at-least-once bit.

I know that people who cruise regularly, love it.  For those of you that have cruised before, any words of wisdom?  Anything to be aware of on cruise ships? Any advice to (possibly) make the experience more enjoyable?  Any cruise lines you particularly like or don't like?  And, what about these river cruises...any thoughts on those too?

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Published on April 06, 2015 05:00 • 24 views

March 2, 2015

...don't talk very much.

One of the reasons Craig and I make such great hiking partners is because we do very little talking on our long desert hikes.  There's something very rejuvenating about listening to the quiet.  And you get lots of it in the desert, out in the middle of nowhere.  Wish that I could bottle it.

In the background, you can see the path that we took.This past weekend, we ventured further into the McDowell
Mountain Preserve, just up the street from where we live.  I wanted to see the wildflowers; Craig wanted to reach the top of Overlook Pass.  We did both.  This was about a five-mile hike.  The elevation changed significantly about 1 mile into the hike. 

Thanks to some good rain so far this year, the desert wildflowers have started to sprout.  On this hike, we saw lots of red, yellow, and purple flowers.  I think the red is my favorite.

Hello, gorgeous!


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Published on March 02, 2015 06:28 • 29 views

February 17, 2015

For the next 13 days, I'll be participating in an International Book Giveaway with 13 other authors, 20 books, and some really cute swag.  Deets here.  Rafflecopter below to enter.

Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Published on February 17, 2015 03:54 • 56 views

February 9, 2015

Thrilled that Glen Campbell's song I'm not Gonna Miss You won a Grammy last night. 

It's the last song that he wrote before he fell into the cruel abyss known as Alzheimer's.  The lyrics will crush you, particularly if you've ever watched someone struggle with this horrible disease.  And I sincerely hope you don't.

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Published on February 09, 2015 07:14 • 25 views

January 26, 2015

The DVR is set.  Two of my fave shows are set to start: The Americans and The Vikings.

Weird how I really love well-written period television shows but I don't often read historicals or thrillers.  If you've not seen The Americans, it is a thriller set in the 1970's about Russian spies living in the US; The Vikings is on the Historical channel and just so damn goodI even adore the music set to the opening credits for this show.  So hauntingly good.

Lately, as in the last few years, I prefer to read (and write) present-day contemporary stories.  Funny how my TV tastes and reading tastes differ.

Am I the only one with this affliction?
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Published on January 26, 2015 05:13 • 29 views

January 5, 2015

Photo credit: US MagazineI was surfing through the channels over the Christmas holiday and stumbled upon


The Housewives of Beverly Hills.

I was about to turn it back to The Twilight Zone marathon which is infinitely better, by the way.  But then I was watching actress Lisa Rinna talk about her aging parents (they are 92 and 82) and I was struck by the genuineness and seemingly unscripted-ness of the moment.  Lisa talked about how she felt guilty that she couldn't do more for her parents; she talked about the frustration of seeing her once vibrant parents becoming so vulnerable and suffering through strokes and dementia.  She also talked about how she never imagined the day where she would feel like the parent to her parents.  Then she mentioned how she could only see her parents ONCE A YEAR (even though she lived in California and they, in Oregon) and I wanted to shake the television set and yell, "Visit them every chance you get! MAKE time for them like you do everything else! You can probably measure their final days in weeks and months, not years!!" 

Then the show panned from Lisa to some dumb empty party where one of the other housewives was throwing a hissy fit over something meaningless and I turned it back to The Twilight Zone

Anyway, it was a momentous day. Some actual reality from reality TV, if only for a few minutes.  Bravo, Lisa!

Happy New Year!  And hug your parents every chance you get!

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Published on January 05, 2015 04:41 • 22 views

December 8, 2014

From the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, I become almost obsessed with Christmas music--listening to it, playing it on the piano, tuning it on in my car, singing it, thinking it.  All types too--the classics, the re-do's, the jazzy kind.  I don't like Christmas music in July; I don't like it in January.  Just December.  And just through Christmas.  Then it must go away till next year, never to touch my ears till it is time.

Yes, it's playing in my office now as I write this.  I am not wearing a Christmas sweater. I will never wear a Christmas sweater.  I may be eating a Christmas cookie. Or two.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas...
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Published on December 08, 2014 06:10 • 25 views