Tag Archives: 2017

In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back


In the World of Fiction: The Oldies but Goodies Are Back

by Amy Lignor


Readers, 2017 has arrived. And the one thing that rises above all the other so-called ‘trends’ that publishers and book lovers are looking forward to seeing this year is one, undeniable and exciting fact: Beloved authors will step back into the limelight.

Trends are odd. There are those of us who never assumed that the whole utopian word as well as dystopian world would hang on for this long. “The Hunger Games” brought about author after author (a lot of first-

2017, trends, Dean Koontz, oldies but goodies, Anne Rice, good reads, fiction
Image: Erin Kelly

time/debut novelists) writing about odd worlds where reality has been most definitely altered. Heroes and heroines came to the forefront who were much younger, and a lot of females cropped up with everything from blades to crossbows to fight the bad guys with. They also had high moral compasses – the need for authors, perhaps, to teach the world that battling is just fine…if done for the right reasons and in a totally different world.

That trend will continue, but the most exciting news is the fact that two authors are taking back center stage – one beginning a series that is sure to have the populace raving; and one who has begun a series by renewing a character she’s been obsessed with since 1976.

We begin with one of the masters of fiction; Dean Koontz. His series featuring the much loved “Odd Thomas” ended, and readers everywhere were highly upset. Those millions who received the Dean Koontz monthly newsletter were practically in tears when they learned that old Odd was heading out, never to return again. But now, for 2017, Dean Koontz has created a character he is so excited about that a series has already been born. What will begin with “The Silent Corner” is already being followed up with a sequel that he’s written called “The Whispering Room” – both to be published in 2017.

Even Koontz is head-over-heels about this one. Interviews have commenced and he stated (in various articles and even the amazing year end Suspense Magazine issue put out last week) that “Once in a while, a character comes so alive so quickly and with such an edge that I almost feel as if I’ve actually met this person. It often follows that if the character has such an edge, the story moves like an express train, because a character with an edge has surprises up his or her sleeve that I can’t foresee but that I’m delighted to discover in one twist after another.”

He is speaking of Jane Hawk, an FBI agent who’s on leave, but one that quickly becomes an FBI agent gone rogue. This is no child with a crossbow. Late twenties, Jane is incredibly tough and highly smart. And, unlike Odd Thomas, her stories involve no supernatural elements whatsoever. Instead, we’re talking about science and fact. Yet, of course, Koontz is still Koontz and has made sure to write a frightening tale. He will even have a third Hawk book complete before the first two are even published in 2017. Readers’ message to Koontz? Keep going! We want as many as we can get!

The other author who everyone is talking about is Anne Rice. Coming back at the end of 2016 with her well-known bloodsucker that took the world by storm decades ago (and played horribly by Tom Cruise on the screen), “Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis” was published in October. Yes, this begins a new series of books – a trilogy that will continue in 2017 that will focus on Lestat and give readers a real thrill. The old vamp will even cross over to the small screen in 2017, coming to your television very soon.

So although there will be debut authors and books that will come out of nowhere to score high in the world of fiction, it is these two authors – the oldies but goodies – who are being talked about above all else. It is a breath of fresh air to see these two names once again up on the publishing marquee…right where they belong.

Source:  Baret News

This Year’s Fashion: Say Goodbye to Romance & Hello to Power


This Year’s Fashion: Say Goodbye to Romance & Hello to Power

by Amy Lignor


The runway models have done the walks, showing everyone the trends and hottest looks for 2017. Oddly enough, when it came to a great many European shows, the “in” color they focused on for this year was…pink.
Fashion, Pink, Feminists, 2017, power, color, bold trends, platform shoes, clothing, jewelry, stylesMany will say “ugh” or roll their eyes when reading that statement, but it’s true. Even though America proclaimed that green will be the color of 2017, the fashions shown on the runways were most definitely on the side of “bubblegum.” From Valentino to Gucci, models wore rose-hued designs that included everything from pocketbooks to jewelry to feminine suits for the workplace. In other words, if you choose to shy away from green, pink will be found everywhere.

But what else is on “top” and in the “it” column when it comes to fashion? Well…the world seems to be headed to the activist in all of us – those who stand up and fight. Designers have created tops that are covered with empowering messages. Feminists are in, and will not only be able to say what they feel and think but also wear their ethics and morals on their sleeves…literally.


Although clothing is going to be loud and clear this year, when it comes to bags, being chic is all about keeping the hands free and carrying only mini purses that are just big enough to hold that beloved cell phone that no one seems able to put down for ten seconds at a time. In other words, your best technological friend will be taken care of in style – by everyone from Valentino to Dior – but your hands will be free to wave in the air as you shout your ‘battle cry’ and stand up for liberty and justice.


The soft-colored fabrics – romantic hues that were truly feminine for the past few years – are also fading out. This time around those big, bold stripes are back on everything from knit dresses to oversize (and still unattractive) shirts and sweaters. Perhaps more room is necessary, considering everyone will be wearing that activist t-shirt underneath.


Shoes, which is still the number one category for the female persuasion, are also not going to be demure. Although the trend of the six-inch spike heel has faded out, sneakers are also not the staple they once were. This season designers are going for new heights and offering platform shoes. Bigger/wider heels placed onto a sandal or even a loafer will be all the rage. So although you don’t have to teeter on those spike heels, you will be “raised” above the crowd, towering over those sneaker lovers who are never going to change their minds that flatter is better.


Jewelry companies have always loved bold trends, but for the past few years the beauty of thin gold, small stones – with a more romantic feel – have been the ‘in’ thing to wear. This season, however, loud and clear/big and bold is back in the limelight. The earrings ranging from hoops to dangling spikes that go past the shoulder blades are back. What you saw in the eighties – those feathers that people wore that fell from the ear and blended in with the hair have also reappeared on the runways.


But the eighties revival will not only be seen in jewelry. When it comes to clothing, big shoulders are the staple of fashion lines being presented by many designers. Remember the TV show Dynasty? Those women had shoulders football players would kill to own. This year, women will be trading in those off-the-shoulder romantic silhouettes they’ve been so head-over-heels in love with, for tops and dresses sporting voluminous sleeves and architectural shoulder pads. In other words, when they scream that ‘battle cry’ and fight for the rights of one and all, their clothing will also make a strong, powerful statement.


Odd…2017 may just go down in history as being the one and only year ‘pink’ and ‘powerful’ were ever part of the same fashion line.


Making Your Health “Resolute”


Making Your Health “Resolute”

by Amy Lignor


It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made. We all know the ones most likely being placed on lists everywhere: stop smoking and lose weight. Why? Because these have always been the top two when it comes New Year’s Resolutions, 2017, good health, happinessto goals, so that the next time the ball drops you feel amazing that the goal was achieved. A tough fact to learn, however, is that even though more than half of Americans resolve to better their health in some way each year, less than half are still on target to achieve their goal six months later.

Enthusiasm always deadens after the “party” is over and the real world comes back into play. The holidays are wonderful times, yet the luster of it all fades. So…are there ways to keep people working towards their goal? You bet there are!

Take the weight loss resolution. That one resolution, a great many times, comes along with the feeling that there should be overnight success. It is still a reality that gaining it took a lot less time and energy than it will ever take losing it, but setting normal goals for yourself can aid in keeping your momentum and that luster shining brilliantly far more than six months into the year. Results can and will happen, yet there are so many programs, machines and equipment out there that when it comes to weight loss, sometimes the ability to pick the right advice that will actually work becomes more of a load to carry than the actual extra weight. In the end, it’s the social factor that needs to be in place in order to keep the goal you’ve set for yourself.


This is the same basic foundation when it comes to quitting smoking. You need that support of family and friends around you to not only help, listen to the frustration, etc., but also be highly supportive: going to a gym with a best friend so that they, too, can get healthier but also become a “team member” in achieving your goal is perfect. If the focus is smoking, speaking to an ex-smoker and having them on your “team” can be truly helpful. After all, they’ve already gone through it, so they are the absolute best people to help you.


Never forget how much cash you will save either. Let’s be honest, if you added up the costs of those extra snacks, pizza deliveries, etc., something a whole lot more fun could be bought for both you and your family. When it comes to smoking, the cash saved is huge. And the idea to spend cash on something that won’t necessarily lead to your early demise is most definitely another plus.


Stress is also a problem for almost everyone, and the amount of stress can become astronomical. For good health, stress must be cut. The work hours need no more extending. Exercise, nutrition, spending time with family and friends – these are all important in order to cut the stress and allow you to get a more restful sleep – which in turn causes you to do far better at work than you did when you spent way too many hours there.


My own grandfather used to tell me: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” The line was very strong and precise. But in the real world, without a restful sleep, you are more likely to develop poor health. A higher risk of obesity, as well as Type 2 diabetes and memory issues have been linked to lack of sleep.


There is also a solid, basic factor when it comes to owning good health: happiness. No rolling of the eyes on this one. Yes, work is difficult at times. Yes, the bills keep coming in and the kids need that college education. Those facts are most definitely real. However, by taking time out – even small amounts of time – and enjoying the life you’re working so hard at making, allows you to leap onto the good side of health. Thousands of studies have proven positive/happy people are less likely to deal with heart attacks or develop heart disease than those who are resting on the side of gloomy.


In every place – whether big city or small town – there are always locations where you can enjoy a walk, sit and listen to music, or simply have a good day outdoors in the sunshine with your family.


Thus, it’s time to make those 2017 Resolutions the most resolute they have ever been

Source:  Baret News