My Musings on Bittersweet

Before I get to my thoughts on Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, I want to give some background on how I came to have the book (yes, paperback, not ebook).

I was in Orlando, Florida, for a work conference. I had the misfortune of traveling with two coworkers. Yes, you’re reading into this correctly…I was the third wheel, the female cramping their boob-scoping missions. When we stopped by Target, I jumped at the chance to pick-up a puzzle book to entertain myself. Well, being the bookworm that I am, I had to check out the books (sorry, Target, but the book section was a disaster). Bittersweet was stuck in front of a YA title. The cover caught my eye as did the 20% off sticker (yeah, I won’t lie!).

I wasn’t familiar with the author and hadn’t heard anything about the book. I did a quick check of the reviews on Goodreads. To my surprise, the reviews that came up first were one and two stars. What?! So I weighed my options…I liked the cover and the blurb. And, heck, it was on sale. I was willing to take the chance!

In case you aren’t familiar, here’s the blurb:

Suspenseful and cinematic, Bittersweet exposes the gothic underbelly of an idyllic world of privilege and an outsider’s hunger to belong.

On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the Bittersweetbeautiful, wild, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it’s the kind of place where children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with midnight skinny-dipping, the wet dog smell that lingers near the yachts, and the moneyed laughter that carries across the still lake while fireworks burst overhead. Before she knows it, she has everything she’s ever wanted: friendship, a boyfriend, access to wealth, and, most of all, for the first time in her life, the sense that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes an insider, a terrible discovery leads to shocking violence and reveals what the Winslows may have done to keep their power intact – and what they might do to anyone who threatens them. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and make Ev’s world her own.

This book hooked me from the start. I was enamored with the Winslow clan. The idea of Winloch, an expansive summer estate/ great camp, on the shores of Lake Champlain was fabulous. Some people have complained about Mabel, but I found her character realistic. How many of us haven’t wondered what it would be like to be rich (not millions of dollars, but billions)? How many of us, when we were poor college students, would welcome the opportunity to spend a summer in such a place as Winloch? Continue reading “My Musings on Bittersweet”

All Kinds of Writing

As I pondered this post, I found myself distracted by the prospect of updating my resume. I am fortunate that retirement (from my current position) is less than five years away. While that excites me – oh the opportunities for the next chapter in my life! – I am also frustrated at formatting and organizing on a single (maybe 2) sheet of paper the last fifteen or so years of my work life.

I feel especially challenged as I think about what my next job might entail. Specifically, here’s the challenge: I know what I would like to do (yay, right?), but I will have a gap of five years in my skill set. How do I market myself based on what I learned and did five years ago? Technology has changed by leaps and bounds as I’m sure have the policies and procedures governing my area of interest (sorry for the convoluted sentence!!).

Since this train of thought is making me tired – and giving me a headache – I’m going to think about the creative writing front. That is much more fun!

This weekend I outlined two new stories – that’s correct – the writing bug has bitten me!

The first will be another story along the lines of Latin Heat. Woot, woot!! More smexiness happening in the Dominican Republic. This story, though, will have a bit of suspense. I’m excited about trying to pull it off.

The second story will be a sweet (contemporary) Christmas romance. The setting for this story will start in sunny Florida and then move to snowy Vermont. I can’t wait to get my characters together – there are sure to be some sparks…well, once they get over their pasts. Are you intrigued??

For these two stories, I’ve outlined and plotted more than normal. I’m also going to write my “back of the book” blurbs in advance. I I typically struggle with these so I’m going to get them out of the way in the beginning. Plus, I’m hoping that they might help to guide my story.

I’m going to share some sites that might help you out if you are like me and struggle with writing the blurb:

Ok, now you have some samples and lots of advice sooo…get to it!! I’m going to be working on the blurb for my Christmas story!

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A snowy scene to help get me in the mood for writing about Christmas in June!!