Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Josh Berk's New Book!

Fans of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin (which definitely includes ME) have been anxiously awaiting Josh Berk's next release! The wait is over because Guy Langman, Scene Crime Procrastinator is now in stores! Here's the blurb:

Guy Langman can't be bothered with much. But when his friend Anoop wants Guy to join the forensics club with him in the (possibly misguided) hopes of impressing some girls, Guy thinks why not.

They certainly aren't expecting to find a real dead body on the simulated crime scene they're assigned to collect evidence from. But after some girlish, undignified screaming, the two realize it is indeed a body. Which means they have stumbled across a real, dead murder victim.

Meanwhile, Guy has been looking into the past of his father—a larger-than-life character who recently passed away. He was much older than Guy's mom, and had a whole past Guy never even knew about. Could his father's past and the dead body be linked? Does Guy want to know? He's going to need all his newfound forensics skills to find out...

Another funny, engaging read to be sure!

Josh was kind enough to chat with us about Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator, and his writing in general...

Tell us about your book in ten words or less!

Josh: Slacker goofball teen learns about forensics, family, life. Also boobs.

LOL, can't wait to read it! Now, other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?

Josh: Guy's father, Frances Langman, dies on page one of the book, but he shows up throughout. Not like, as a ghost or anything, just in that Guy remembers him and quotes him often. He was ridiculously fun to write. I decided to make him a very old bad-ass Jew, a real mensch and a giver of strange advice. He says stuff like "Do not trust those who love death nor those who hide from it. Death is part of life, but so is the clap. And let me tell you: it is no fun, but you’d be foolish to pretend it doesn’t exist. Seriously, Guy, wear a rubber.”

Tell us something fun about your new book. It can be a character detail, something that inspired the story, or a behind the scenes story from the writing process.

Josh: Sometimes while writing GUY, I got a little too into the character of a procrastinator and I just kept procrastinating instead of writing. Then I sort of developed writer's block so I decided to write a chapter about Guy having to write something, but getting writer's block. It all became very meta and at a certain point I thought my head would explode, but a mere two years and 47 nervous breakdowns later the book was finished.

What is a favorite comment you've ever received from a fan?

Josh: Regarding THE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN, which is about a deaf teen, I got this email: "I just wanted to express my thanks for giving kids with disabilities, like I was, a way to feel included that doesn't involve a perfect hero/heroine sobbing over us to show the audience how sensitive they are. It's been a long time coming."

Wow, wonderful. What are you working on now?

Josh: I have a series for younger readers in the works -- they are baseball mysteries and the first one (STRIKE THREE YOU'RE DEAD) comes out next year. I'm working on book #2 for that and also what I hope will become my third YA novel. It's similar to my first two in many ways, but rather different in that it's half-narrated by the female lead. So it's been challenging but really fun!

Thanks to Josh for visiting with us, and we hope all our readers will check out his terrific books!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Hooks You to Buy a New Author?

Okay, I'm what you call a loyal reader to my favorite authors. If they've hooked me with some awesome characters or an adventurous series, you got me for life! haha. If the author starts writing in a new genre--I'm picking him/her up.  But I'm one of those picky people when it comes to finding authors I've never read before. I'm not a one genre reader girl. I do go through phases and read one or two particular genres for a while, but basically I've read it all.

I guess what I'd like to know from readers: what makes you try a new author?  Let's not count word of mouth because I think book buzz intrigues many of us.  Let's say, you are browsing on-line and you're looking for a new author.  Do you consider... 

Let's take a poll!

I listed these options because I really go through an entire research method before I buy a new author. LOL. But like I said, if you hook me, I'm faithful! If you consider something else, let us know in the comments. So what do you think?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Hunger Games...the film!

The calendar is steadily ticking towards March 23rd, and the release of The Hunger Games...the film!

So many of us have read and loved the books. How about you?

And are you excited about the movie? Plan to see it? If so, when? The first midnight showing, first weekend...or wait until the crowd dies down?

Help us wile away these last few days by chatting up the film!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


For the past month or so, I have been going to Water Zumba classes. What is Water Zumba? The in-pool version of Zumba, the exercise/dance program that combines Latin and international music with a spirited workout system.

I first learned about Zumba from my 17 year-old niece, watched her do some combination exercise-dance moves that not only looked like great fun, but like it would great for the figure. Then I did a little research, including watching this clip from Kelly Ripa’s show, as the creator introduces it to her and co-host Rob Lowe:

Finally, I checked out the classes in my community. I decided to start with Water Zumba since it seemed like an easier way to learn...and am looking forward to moving on to the land moves soon, too. But for now, I’m having a wonderful time at “the party,” as the instructors like to call the sessions.

Have you heard about Zumba? Have you tried it, or want to?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Deadline: Yearbook

It's deadline time and this time for an entirely different kind of a book.

A Yearbook.

Yes, I'm working on my daughter's school yearbook and this big of a project is STRESSFUL. hahaha!

I've always loved my yearbooks during my school years, and never had the chance to work on one during my teen years. School paper, yes. So the yearbook is a new experience for me. I love the creative side of collage pages and sneaking around school with my camera, but the paperwork and the fine details of names and making sure we're not missing anyone or making big ERRORS is the tough part.

And the funny thing is it's a small yearbook, not like the massive high school ones.  I cannot even imagine taking on that big of a project.

Everyone keeps telling me, "All you can do is your best," when I have my freak out moments. And its true. :) :)

I suppose many schools will be hitting yearbook deadlines soon in March or April.  All I can say is GOOD LUCK!!!