HRM – Ring in the New Year with New Year Themed Books…wow, that’s a long post title, isn’t it?

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Holiday Romance Month is coming to a close. I was able to feature many, many more books this year than I expected and I hope you’ve been able to expand your holiday reading TBR because of it. I discovered new books as well as new authors. It’s always a fun way to end the year.

Another fun way to end the year is with books that take place at the years change over. That’s what this final HRM post is all about. It’s not as easy to track down New Year themed books, but I was able to put a little list together to rind in 2019. I hope you check some out. And don’t think that just because the holiday season is coming to a close that you can’t read a holiday themed book. Sometimes the best times to read them are when the holidays are far away. I find it true at least.

Hope you enjoyed this years Holiday Romance Month. I’ll be back with more next December. But if you ever want to share other holiday romances with me or my readers, just let me know. I’m always open for overloading my TBR!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

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HRM – Broken Resolutions, by @OliviaWrites

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We made it! 2017 ends tonight. To welcome in the 2018, today’s Holiday Romance feature takes place on New Year’s Eve. I read this one back in May and you may have caught my review back then. It was one of many I shared that involve libraries.

Do you have any New Year romances you’ve enjoyed? Any you want to read? Christmas seems to have a monopoly on holiday romance, with Hanukkah slowly building it’s ranks. The new year seems to be lacking a little as well (unless I’m missing them all, which it totally possible). If you know any books you’d recommend to me or my readers to start the new year, let us all know in the comments.

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LOVE BETWEEN THE LINES

Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…

Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks

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About the Author:

While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a “manhood”? 4) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 3) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. 4) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet–it didn’t matter. I loved them all.

Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

Find out more:

2015 Recap: Books Read – The Highlights

2015 Books Reads

Just the Highlights!

January may be almost half over. You may be getting tired of everyone talking about their best of lists from 2015. I may be posting this for everyone to ignore. But I’m going to post it anyway!

Instead of going though my list of books read, choosing my top 5 or 10 of each type, then listing it all out like in years past, I’m making it easier on everyone. Here are just the highlights. After going through what I read, these are the books that still stand out to me. I didn’t have a lot of duds this year. But I did read a lot of books that didn’t stand out. These are those novels, graphic novels, and books of poetry that I still think about from time to time.

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  • The Opposite of Nothing by Shari Slade
  • My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron
  • A Shattered Moment by Tiffany King
  • Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
  • Girl at War by Sara Nović
  • The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block
  • The Misanthrope by S.M. Boyce
  • Dear Future Boyfriend by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
  • Freakboy by Kristin Elizabeth Clark
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  • Lumberjanes (#1-11) by Noelle Stevenson, grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen
  • Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
  • Saga  (Vol 1-5) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  • The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger
  • This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki

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What books stand out from the others on your books read in 2015 list? Which should I have read last year that you think would have made it on this list? I’ll think about adding them to my 2016 TBR.

Story Time Friday – New Beginnings

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It’s a new year. With that comes new beginnings and all that. Even though we’ve just started winter, the season where everything’s dead (unlike spring, the real new beginning/rebirth season), we can take time to look forward at the coming year. Maybe change some things. Maybe make it better than the last year. At least most of us try to accomplish this.

In the past, I’ve set some reading goals to start off the new year. I don’t think I’ll write those down this year. I didn’t accomplish as much of the last list, but I made an effort. That’s what I’ll try doing again. Make an effort in reading. I’ll keep reading more diversely and finding more books to enjoy.

For writing goals? Well, maybe I’ll have a new collection out this year. I should. It’s been a long time. Maybe this poem will make it in there. If anything, it’s a start at something. I’ve written a little more lately and I’m going to try to keep that up. I’m going to try keeping STF going too. For that I will need your help. I realized that I can’t keep the series going on my work alone. I tried at one point, then just gave up. Please consider submitting your own work and making STF a regular series again. It’s a way to get your work and name out there. And readers do enjoy it when there’s a post. (Find how to submit at the end of the post.) For now, I hope you enjoy this new piece. It’s still a bit raw, but most of these posts are.
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A Festive New Year

by Robert Zimmermann

Lights line the trees,
the bushes, and the leaves.

The houses, outlined and aglow,
in row upon row.

They’re runways from above.
Wonderlands on the streets below.

Night becomes day
in a technicolor haze.

Wood stoves are burning
but it’s the children’s eyes ablaze.

The magic of the season
isn’t lost on them.

We should take note
from this younger generation.

Once we were like them,
staring in awe, all lit up.

Santas, reindeer, snowmen.
No reason to feel down.

Shall we embrace this feeling
for the coming year?

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How to Submit:

For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip one in 😛 ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!

 

Story Time Friday – New Year, a poem

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a poem by Robert Zimmermann

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New Year

A new year has fallen
with the snow of
the just begun season.

Winter, a week old.
The new year, new.

Who decided that
this calendar
made sense?

The world is dead
beneath a white veil.
The holiday cheer
will wane in the coming
days, as harsh winter digs in.

Happy new year.
Bundle up and
beware the snows.
Don’t fret.
the world’ll start afresh
in a few months time.

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How to Submit:

For those who wish to be part of Story Time Friday in the near future, you can send submissions to the email address that I formerly used for review requests (but don’t anymore since I’m retired . . . don’t try to be clever and slip one in 😛 ): miztrebor88@gmail.com. Be sure to use the subject “Story Time Friday Submission” and send your piece as an attachment (.doc/.docx would be best). Any other questions, feel free to comment here or contact me through the blog’s contact form.

Hope to hear from some writers soon!

Some Goals for 2014

Hey everyone!

Earlier today, I posted a little announcement about my status as a reviewer and a few more changes taking place on A Life Among the Pages. You can read that HERE if you haven’t seen it yet.

What are some of the changes that’ll be taking place? Well, I want to make a short list for those interested. Some are things you’ll be seeing on the blog, and others are more personal (well publically personal) changes, and maybe some of you’d like to adopt them as well.

Let me get some of the blogging things listed…

  • I want to bring back some of the series I used to run here. Those require input from my readers, like you have in the past. So for those interested, please get a hold of me and we can get things rolling 🙂 For now these will be linked to the main category pages, but I’m working on making real main pages for them soon.
    • Authors We Love – basically posts telling us about an author you love and why. This isn’t about a specific book, but more the broad sense of an author’s writing they keeps pulling you in book after book.
    • Aged Pages – Used books, used bookstores, and the joys of inhaling dust! This series has a range of topics to write about, as long as it centers on the appreciation of making sure no books are left behind. All books need a home!
    • Prose Verse Babel – This series is really fun. Take a few books, stack them up, and make a poem out of the titles on the spine. Doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, as long as it makes some “sense” and was fun to “write.”
  • I’m also going to be doing the regular new release promos, occasional sale posts, and blog tours. I won’t be taking a full step back from helping out my author friends or even random authors who’d like a spot on the blog. If you are looking for a blog to do a promo on, feel free to contact me via the contact page (found on the right in the menu bar).
  • I want to share more of my writing. Whether I’m writing some poems or have a fragment that I might make into a short story…I want to get those out to everyone. I haven’t have much writing to share since my releases in late 2012/early 2013, but I want to change that. Part of relieving myself from my review workload is to open my mind up for my own writing. I’m hoping this’ll help my inspiration room to push through and more time to get it on paper.

That last thing is one of those more “personal” goals/changes, as well as, beneficial for the blog. Another thing I want to do this year is get some goals for specific books to read or types of books. This is a rough sketch and I hope to be able to check off much of it this year:

  • Read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books/stories.
    • It’s one thing I’ve sort of wanted to do for some time since I don’t know much about Holmes, but he’s kind of really famous. I started thinking more seriously about doing this when I was reading the Pendergast series by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. In 2013, I plowed through the most of the series (from books 4-13) in order to be all caught up for any future releases next year.  I’m happy to say that I finished book 13, which came out in November, with just a few days of 2013 left. It was a great book, and solidified this goal for me. Doyle & Holmes played a role in the mystery in the book. But even before that, Pendergast has qualities often said to resemble Holmes, and being that Doyle’s stories are almost the definition of the mystery genre, I need to check these out now 🙂
    • I want to read at least one more Jane Austen book. This might not seem like a big deal to some people since it’s just a goal of one or two books, but I read Pride & Prejudice a few years ago and didn’t care for it much. BUT, I have a friend, Cinta (the author of The Funny Adventures of Little Nani) who’s a HUGE Austen fan. I want to give the author a chance and maybe see what my friend enjoys so much. I’m still iffy on some classics, but I’ve accepted that issue.
    • Here’s a big one…I want to try reading a short story a day. Even if it’s a few pages long or 30 pages long. I think this’ll help me keep in the habit of reading and sticking to a “reading goal”. But, in order to keep me sane, I think I’ll allow myself a minimum. I want to read a story a day, but if I read 5 a week, I’ll be happy. Some days I just might not be able to read something…luckily I have audiobook resources like Librivox! I’ll be able to “read” some classic short stories while doing other things around the house.
      • Small note on this: I will maybe be doing a weekly “report” on what stories I’ve read and my basic reactions. Kind of a post with quick reviews, nothing too in depth. But then again maybe some stories will get full reviews. We’ll have to see.
    • There are many other books I’ve been “wanting to read” but couldn’t for one reason or another. Some series I want to continue or start are: Stephen King’s Dark Tower (I’ve only read book 1), Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Event (got the first 6 recently), and Dean Koontz’ Odd Thomas books (read some of book 1, but had to stop at the time). I’m forgetting many though, haha.
    • MORE POETRY!!! That’s right, I’m just going to say this simply: I made a goal to read more poetry this year…since I’m a bad poet and don’t finish many poetry books. I jump around books a lot. It has its benefits and disadvantages, so let’s see if I can finish a few books.

I think that’s a good list for now. I’m sure I’ll alter it by adding or removing a few things. Having it out in the open kind of makes me bound to a contract of sorts right? lol. Maybe this’ll help keep me on track if everything knows what I want to do in 2014.

What are some of your goals? Do you even have any? This is a new thing I’m trying out, myself. Please, feel free to leave a comment on this post and let’s get some discussion going on the blog again. No need to be silent around here.

Announcement: I’m closing my doors…to open others

Being that the new year is starting, people are making resolutions and changes to their lives, I feel this is the best time to announce something important…

To come out and put it bluntly, I will be closing my doors to reviews requests for at least the entirety of 2014.

I started being a serious reviewer early in 2012 and have enjoyed most of what comes with that title for two years. While I have closed my reviewing doors on several  occasions, that time was still spent reviewing my towering piles of books, and wasn’t spent being idle like I might have needed. I’ve come to the realization in the last few months that I need to take a real break from reviewing for a while.

Now that I’m taking myself “off the market,” I’m hoping that I can take that extra time to focus on my own writing. It’s taken the back seat in 2013, and when I was trying to write, I wasn’t focused enough on it. I’m hoping to get more material together for my next poetry collection…which I tried motivating myself to write back in the fall, some of you may recall…and a few other projects that are formulating in space somewhere. The same goes for my blogging. I want to focus on resurrecting some of my book related series, like Authors We Love and Aged Pages. Those were fun, and I miss doing them.

Will there still be reviews on  A Life Among the Pages? Yes, yes there will be. I will continue to read, but I will be pulling books from my extremely outrageously large collection of books. With over 1800 print books, and…well I won’t tell you how many ebooks…sitting around waiting for my enjoyment, I will be getting to some of those now. I’ll be reviewing those that I feel I can adequately review and some might get a brief mention so you all know what I’m up to. I’ll also be reviewing for a very select group of authors that I’ve established a relationship with due to my enjoyment of their work. They know who they are, so you will see some ARC and new release reviews on rare occasions.

So, there it is. I’m taking my reviewing hat off, and putting it over on the Shakespeare bust on the corner of my desk. Well, it’ll go somewhere. I don’t have a Shakespeare bust, or any bust. If I did, I think it might be Whitman and he already wears a hat most of the time.

I hope everyone comes around to take part in the other fun bookish stuff that I’m going to bring to A Life Among the Pages. It’ll be fun, like it used to be. I can’t wait to get the sense of community back and to bring you new material to read, hopefully a few new books for you to read as well.

Happy 2014 everyone!

– Robert Zimmermann
the dude who runs this joint 😉

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P.S. – to those on my review list right now, those books aren’t to be forgotten. I’ll never forget about a review book that has been accepted prior to closing. I know a few authors have waited much longer than you should have. Not too proud of that. They will be read/reviewed, in time.