Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A signing! A signing!

Well tonight I was lucky enough to make my way to my second signing of the season (the first being a signing in Ann Arbor with Richelle Mead.) This one was a big one. For years I've wanted to meet the amazing Laurell K. Hamilton. Last time she was remotely nearby I couldn't make it for one reason or another...this time around I made sure I had the time set aside well in advance.
Lets start at the beginning shall we? Woke up this morning far too early (after staying up waaaaaaaaaay too late to watch the whole Stanley Cup Finals game...come on Wings!) for work. Went through the motions because I knew I would not be going in for the afternoon shift. Made it through then hauled booty back home to catch a quick 2 hour nap (ok not so quick...but I do lurve my naps!)

Around 3:15pm the lovely Ms. Jade (my new book signing buddy! yay!) showed up at my house and off we zoomed through the humid drizzling michigan afternoon. With only a slight directional delay (get off at exit 175...not 177 to get to the new Borders in Ann Arbor...heheh) We got parked and dashed through the rain to the entrance.


Now I work for the Borders Corporation but I work at what I consider the "red-headed step-child" of the company. I work at a Waldenbooks. Waldens are small...with antiquaited registers and technology. And a suprising lack of books. Go figure. Well this is one of the newest, most modern, fancy-schmany Borders there are. It is gorgeous.

Ok back to the step-by-step. We got our wrist bands and were lucky enough to be in the 3rd group (about 100 people or so in.) At this point we decided to run back to the car and go in search of food. Applebees was the choice. yadda. Dash back to Borders to get our spots for the Q&A section.
I have to say Laurell is a very at ease and very entertaining speaker. I really enjoyed this portion of the evening..though I wish it could have been a bit longer and that maybe a pillar hadn't been in my view. sigh. The pillar is why there are no pics of this event. Moving on.

Seriously one of the slowest moving lines I've ever been in at a signing. This is both good an bad in some ways. It means the author really takes time with each reader but it also means everyone in line is stuck clumped together in small spaces that get really uncomfortable. Luckily I have always found my fellow readers to be amazing to chit chat with and help pass the time. I met up with one of my younger high school buddies (no longer high school yay graduate!) and her mom who helped pass some waiting time, then chatted it up with some new stranger friends while inching along in the actual signing line. Now I have a disclaimer...the lady at the store took the pictures....and they suck. they suck baaaaaaad. but oh well.
Me and Ms. Hamilton...Squee moment!
Ms. Jade, Ms. Hamilton, and me! (heheh I love
Jade's expression... total squee face)
Now the big part. Laurell. I have to say her presence was amazing, but as Ms. Jade remark "she seemed kinda cranky." Yeah I might be too if I had a fear of flying, got stuck in nasty traffic and was late, then started having hand/wrist issues while not even half way through the signing. But really it was her husband Jon that seemed the more animated, affable one. He's the one that chit chatted. Laurell, while a fantastc group speaker didn't strike me as much on the individual level. Don't get me wrong...lots of hearts for Laurell...but I really think that I have other authors I've met that I've enjoyed alot more. While I enjoyed this event I'm really looking forward to seeing Jacqueline Carey again (hopefully on the 16th) and Sherrilyn Kenyon on August 6th. And hopefully I'll have more pics and maybe some freebies to share!

All in all worth the trip..I'm sure I'll go again if she comes around..but not my top two. So far those honors go to Sherrilyn Kenyon and Suzanne Brockmann.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bookstore Etiquette: Lesson #1

So having worked at a bookstore now for over 7 months I've come to realize that people do not understand basic etiquette when it comes to shopping for books. I have decided to use some funny (yet oh so true) comics from the lovely web comic .

#1: If you have a book you are looking for...Know the book the title and or author of the book!!!!
Yes we work in a bookstore but no....we don't know the title, author, plot, or celebrity endorsement of everybook in the store. Ok you might get lucky but unless its a best we don't know what you are looking for if you don't even know. The whole idea of customer service being considerate should also apply to the customers. Yes we are here to serve you, but no we are not an outlet for your ire when we can't answer your questions. This goes for phone inquiries too.

ok I was going to do a few of these in this post but I think this will be an ongoing thing. I may even start telling funny true events I have had at my 2nd job. I still think my favorite goes along well with this lesson:

customer: "I'm looking for a book." Proceeds to look at me silently and simply blink.
Me: "Well....we might have a few of those...let me go check in back." this is my new favorite standard answer.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A little Romance..........section reviews!

So here we are...finally back in action. Lets start off with a Urban Fantasy Romance shall we? In fact I think this will be an adult book entry...I'll try to get the YA ones done up soon.

One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost is actually the second in the series. We catch up with "Cat" Crawford 4 years after the end of Half Way to the Grave where we learn Cat is an anomaly with her half-vampire/half-human blood. She has dedicated her life to hunting vampires and making them pay (her mother was an unwilling victim of a newly turned vamp who ended up fathering Cat). Now its really hard to get too into the plot of this one without ruining the first. But perhaps I'll stick to character profiles to help draw you in.

Cat is as I said a dual blooded sort of girl. She has all the perks of vamps, though not quite the extent, and all the perks. Quicker healing time, ability to recognize a vamp, awsome reflexes and skills. All that jazz. She is driven by her mother to "destroy the monsters" because of what was done to her. Any time Cat deveates from this it is blamed on her vamp blood.

This leads us to the fateful night in the first book where we meet Bones the vamp.

Bones: Bones is a vamp with considerable age and skill behind him. When he and Cat meet in the first book much craziness ensues and they end up partnering up. His sarcasm is quite on par with Cat's.

Now my review: I absolutely love both this book and the first in the series. I know it sounds much the same as alot of urban fantasy out there but Frost's characters have all the...ahem...bite...of a snarky Spike from the Buffy days. The true clincher in this series is the strength of these characters and their relationship with eachother. Book one ends with sharp breath and I was holding it till I got to see the outcome in book two. And Whoo boy chapter 32 is a steamer. Give them both a shot and see what you are missing. I for one am eagerly awaiting book three.

Next we have The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter. Here's the blurb from Gena's site:

An immortal warrior cursed to die every night, only to awaken the next morning knowing he has to die again. A mortal woman with a power beyond imagining...

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member – a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments. . .and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love...

Whoo baby. Like most of Gena's men these are some alpha males tortured and in need of a good woman with some redemption. I know I'd offer myself up any day. But beyond the obvious hot guy thing, Showalter puts and interesting spin on the old Pandora myth. Pandora wasn't a weak willed woman but a warrior of acclaim betrayed. She was betrayed by other warriors, jealous of her charge and they are the ones who break open the box and release all the plights upon the world. As punishment they take these demons...the attributes into themselves and must endure. Notably darker Gena has built a world that I'm sure will only be painted more vividly as the series progresses. The next should be out the first of June.

P.S. Check out Gena and her friend Jill Monroe at their amazingly funny website . They do mock interviews with authors that will leave you in stitches (if you get sarcasm and have the ability to mock yourself).

Alright I know thats not much but I've had a long day. I have an idea for a running post on here that may make an appearance tomorrow. So keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

yeah yeah I know I'm coming off as a slacker...

but I'm not really. Well not all that often. There have been a few "things" that have popped up lately..thus the lack of reviews. Well this weekend I had a trip cancelled due to illness so I'll be catching up. Thats a promise! I'll review the books I listed on the previous post plus another one or two. They will be possibly by tomorrow night.

But hey...I made the blog look frabjous. If you weren't familiar with it...the Jabberwock is from the poem "The Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass. Check out the poem if you haven't..and check out the original sketch of him:

My Jabberwock looks pretty close huh? I've decided he's going to be my mascot/logo/whatever...moving on.... I'm an Alice geek for sure.

thanks for the patience.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Yeah I'm a bit behind....

Well it has been a hectic week around my house. I've had an increase in bookstore hours (just for this week though) and the kids at work have the mentality that its June already. I have swiftly batted this out of their hyperactive little heads. But I have been reading! and reading and reading. I'll be posting in the near future about: One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter, and the Wicked Lovely books by Melissa Marr (see I told you I've been reading bunches!) and hopefully I'll be able to toss in Generation Dead by Daniel Waters (I'm about a 1/3 of the way in..but alas I must go back into work today.)

So keep your eyes peeled...I'm off tomorrow in between shift with the kidlets so I'm hoping to get caught up (after my nap of course!) Let me know what your reading!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Time for a little variety - Sci-Fi/Fan & YA

Ok...well I'm still savoring the last "In Death" book but I'm sure I'll be done with it tomorrow. Like I said before, I have to enjoy this one because it will be a fairly decent stretch until the next one and that seems rough considering I've spent the past 2 months straight with these characters.

Moving on, I thought I would try something a little different. It mentions in my profile that I work part time at a bookstore. Well one of the benefits is that I get to recommend books (or up sell) to customers. We also have an endcap display devoted to just "Staff Picks." I take advantage of this wall and I must say my picks just fly off the display. So I thought I would share a few of those today to fill the gap until I read and finish the next book.

First up is one of my all time favorite book series:

The Black Jewels Trilogy By Anne Bishop. I have loaned this series (first the individual books then this omnibus copy) to so many people I can't begin to list. Every single one of them has loved it and read all the other little accompanying books. Don't think it is just my female friends that enjoyed this series...the male ones like it too!

A Sci-Fi/Fantasy book set in a dark world where the caste system is matriarchal. Filled with magic, betrayal, and utter devotion these characters firmly entrench themselves in your good graces from the first introduction. One of the few books where I did, in a very cliche way, laugh out loud and cry enough to need a kleenex.

Next up is a young adult...actually probably a few YA books as I am the only one at the bookstore who reads them:

Ginny is a 17 year old girl who has just recieved a letter from her aunt Peg. The thing is her aunt passed away a few months earlier. In this letter are directions that will lead Ginny on a scavenger hunt across Europe one little blue envelope at a time. Think one insane scavenger hunt/road rally. But Ginny is the only player and she can't have a cell phone, laptop/computer, or even a music player of any sort. She can only use what aunt Peg has provided.

The premise of this book is what intruiged me enough to buy it (even with my awesome 33% discount). The evening I finally got to it in my "to be read" pile I figured I would read a few chapters then go to sleep for the night. Fast forward to me yawning hugely and turing the last page in the wee early morning hours. Translation: Jenny stayed up way too late finishing the book. But I just couldn't put a pause on the adventure.

I really did enjoy this book and felt as though I was on the trip with Ginny. My only issue is the fact that this 17-year-old who's mother is supposedly very straight-laced and organized didn't have a problem with the whole adventure and has absolutely no contact with Ginny throughout the trip. Beyond that it is a wonderful story about a girl discovering things about herself and her family that help lay the groundwork for the rest of her life.

Ok, I was going to do another one but I have an early wake-up call for job #1 tomorrow. Maybe I'll add the other YA book during the day.

"In Death" Series By J.D. Robb - Adult Mystery/Thriller

I may be hanging myself with a short rope (yes the death pun is intentional) by using the almighty Ms. Robb (AKA Nora Roberts) as my first review. Then again taking on a series of books that number 30+ in novels and short stories is a tall order no matted how you look at it. I orginially started these books a number of years ago then wandered away around tale #20. About a month and a half ago I decided, with the help of the friend who first got me into the series, to attempt to forge my way through the entire series. And I have. And boy did we have our ups and downs.

I'm not going to go through book by book and give you the low down. Instead I'll give you what drew me into the series as a whole. What we have is a series about a NY police Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her devoted significant other Roarke in the relatively near future (wikipedia lists it circa 2058). Both of these characters have traumatic backgrounds that lay the foundation for the wonderfully witty, devoted, and determined people we meet in the books. Eve with the help of Roarke and her trusty sidekick Officer Delia Peabody work in Homicide to solve whatever murders fall in their keeping.

I'm sure thats information you can get anywhere...including wikipedia. But here is my take. While I love Eve and Roarke and their dynamic it is the secondary characters, their evolutions, and their interactions with Eve that pulled me through these books. I wanted to see Peabody as she grew under Eve's guidence (not gentle by any means...more snarky and saracstic). In the same vein I wanted to see Eve grown as a person because of her relationship with Peabody. There is a number of other supporting players, Detective Ian McNab with his bright flamboyant style but true (slighty perverted) heart, Captain Ryan Feeney who is Eve's trainer and the father of her heart, Dr. Charolette Mira who knows Eve better than Eve does, and lastly but certainly not leastly Mavis. Ahh Mavis. I can't even go there. Read for yourself.

If you haven't guessed by now I adore these books. Its true like any series some books are better than others but as a whole it is all engrossing. My only issue is the fact that so many of these high porfile murders happen on Eve's watch and there is always a swift (literally almost always within a few days) wrap up of the case. There isn't much to show the reality of juggling cases and the reality of cases going cold. But even with this one bit of slight dissatisfaction I can't help but feel sad that I am nearing the end of the most current book. I will have to wait till fall for any new Eve adventures, but you can start from the beginning now and truly enjoy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Started

Well hello. This is the maiden voyage of my attempt at sharing my vast reading collection. Or at least sharing informantion about it. I'm a 26-year-old recently graduated unemployed certified seconday english teacher. That makes me sound both impressive and a bit pathetic all at the same time. Oh well. I also work part time at a bookstore. These two combined with my life long love affair with books have led me to having more books than clothes and very minimal space for anything in my room that isn't binding and paper.

In this blog you will find my thoughts and opinions on the different books that make their way to my shelves. I am an avid Romance reader, a Young Adult book enthusiast, and a fan of Urban and Sci-Fi Fantasy. Mind you, I'm not limited to those by any means but they are what I prefer to read in my space time.

So let me tell you how this is going to be set up. In the Title line I will give you the title of the book and the author followed by the section of the bookstore you are most likely to find the book. I'll usually try to provide a picture of the cover and give you a run down on the book plot and characters. After that will be my free form babbling about what I like or don't like about what I read. See. Simple.

Now as I work with kids throughout the summer I hope to gather more titles and new authors to my ever expanding list but please feel free to send me any suggestions you might have as well.