Friday, May 18, 2012

South of Bixby Bridge -- A bait and switch?

I was on Facebook a few days ago and one of those annoying little ads on the side of my news feed caught my attention. Normally, I ignore them, but this one I couldn't.  It read: If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey, you'll love South of Bixby Bridge by Ryan Winfield. So of course I had to check it out. It was only $3.99 for the Kindle version. I bought it and started to read it the next day.

I finished within a couple of days and I have very mixed emotions about it.

First of all, I bought it because I was expecting it to be like Fifty Shades of Grey. I was expecting an intense love story with lots of graphic sex. South of Bixby Bridge didn't have any of that.  (I know, I know, shame on me for not reading the product description or any of the reviews before I bought it, but I'm really glad I didn't because if I had, I probably wouldn't have read it.)

Yes, it was a shocking, raw, gritty tail of addiction and the lengths one man will go to for a fix. Yes, there was a slight love story to it and yes, there was some sex in it. However, I didn't buy into the love story between the main character, Trevor, and his boss's wife.  I believe that Trevor had a physical attraction to her and that he was infatuated with the image she portrayed, but I just didn't find it believable that they loved each other enough to run away together.

As far as the sex goes, the author took a "fade to black" approach. He would clearly state that there was sexual activity going on, but he didn't give us any real descriptions. I found that to be a huge disappointment. Okay, I realize that coming from me, this is a very biased opinion. But seriously, considering how shocking the entire book was, a few really descriptive, hard-core sex scenes would've made it so much more awesome!

With all of that said, I'm glad I read it. I found myself both hating Trevor and rooting for him all at the same time. And even after having read the book almost a week ago, it still sticks with me. That's the sign of a great novel.

Now that I have an idea of what kind of novel this is, I'm going to re-read for what it is, which is not Fifty Shades of Grey, but that's okay. South of Bixby Bridge is a great novel by a very talented (and sexy) new author. I've already recommended it to a few people and I will continue to do so.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inspiration at the Ponderosa

Earlier this week a friend called to ask if I'd like to hang out and have lunch with her one day this week. I told her Wednesday was the only day I had available, but I'd like to.

Well, it's Wednesday. I woke up feeling really crappy and I immediately sent her a message asking for a rain check. However, as I sat here and looked at the pile of things I had to do (packages to mail, letters that needed stamps, a stack of cash to deposit, bare cabinets that needed groceries, etc) I decided I couldn't lounge around on the couch like I really wanted to. So, I forced myself to shower and get my butt out the door. No sooner than I sputtered into the gas station, she called and asked if I'd like to have lunch with her at Ponderosa. I agreed.

After running my errands, we went to Ponderosa Steakhouse for lunch. It was quiet and we had a lot of time to talk, which is always a nice, relaxing thing to do--sit and talk with a friend. As I ate way too much, I looked around and took note of the decor. All the cowboy hats, boots, paintings, horse statues, horseshoes, and every other horse and cowboy related decoration made me really want to write a cowboy romance. But that's neither here nor there right now. The best part of today was knowing I inspired a friend.

Shortly after I had dropped her off and came home, she called me and started asking questions about my writers group, The CNY Creative Writers Cafe, about blogging, and pen names. Now, we'd been talking about  her interest in writing for a few days, but today, I felt like she reached a turning point and is serious about writing. She also asked me if I'd be willing to read it over for her. (Any writer knows how big of a leap of faith that is.) Needless to say, I was honored and happily accepted.

Anyone can think about writing a novel or a memoir. Actually doing it, is something completely different. Despite the common misconception---it's not easy and it's not glamorous. But it's fulfilling. That alone makes all the struggles worth it.

So, to my friend: I wish you luck during your writing endeavors and I'm always just a phone call away should you need help or encouragement.