Archive for the ‘books / reading’ Category

Hungry for Zombies
October 4, 2010

I was running errands Saturday (MAN did I score some good deals) when I decided to pop into Barnes & Noble to say hello to my friends’ books. Specifically, Hungry For Your Love, a zombie anthology that includes a short story by my friend Stacey.

Living in west Michigan, I don’t always have the best luck finding what I’m looking for, but Hungry for Your Love was on one of the feature tables up front. I actually jumped up and down, then excitedly told the couple next to me that “THAT’S MY FRIEND’S BOOK!” Then I (politely) shoved them out of the way so I could take a picture. The “in the wild” pictures are very important.

After snatching a copy for myself, I headed to the general fiction section and eventually found my way to the young adult section. My next novel is (will be) YA, so it makes sense to immerse myself in that world, no? That’s what I thought. I grabbed three books that I’ve heard a lot of people say good things about, then marched to the checkout counter. It was only as the cashier rang me up that I made an odd discovery. Can you see it?

The best part about this excursion was knowing that in less than a month Stacey will sign my book! We’re going to Seattle (I’m not sure if I can say why yet…) and ANOTHER friend — JLC — is driving up to meet us for an afternoon. I cannot wait!


Me & David Baldacci
September 29, 2010

Last night my mom and I went to see David Baldacci, the #1 New York Times Bestselling thriller author. I’ve read a handful of his books and while I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was excited to listen to a successful author tell his story in person.

And tell it he did. He’s funny, charming, and I totally want to be him when I grow up. I didn’t buy a book before entering the auditorium but about the time he said rejection is a badge of courage for writers I started plotting how I could beat the crowd, buy a book, and get in line.

He told a funny story about an Amazon reviewer who only gave him one star because she figured out the book in the last three pages. His solution? He now includes an 800 number on the back of the book that you can call for the end of the story. No more revealing the ending within the actual book!

He also shared several stories of people asking for specific inscriptions when he signed their books, and this — of course — got my mind churning. The moment they opened the floor for questions I hopped a railing, rushed outside to by a book and was first in line before anyone else came out.

This is what I bought:

As I stood in line I tried to think of something interesting to ask him to sign. I am a writer after all. The moment came and he cautiously approached, probably wondering why the woman at the front of the line was bouncing around and clutching his book to her chest. I introduced myself and told him I’m also a writer, at which point he said “Oh!” and shook my hand.

Then I told him I had his first scandelous request for the evening. (You’re surprised, no?) I said I plan to send out my query in the next few weeks and would love if he could write something about rubbing my book (well, his book) for luck. And that he could elaborate however he saw fit.

This is what I got:

This is me being a total groupie:

Aren’t we cute together?

This is perfect timing because I finally wrote my synopsis. Time to read!

Ineffective Motivation
September 27, 2010

I’m not sure when I started doing this, but for the past year or so I’ve treated reading books as a reward. If I have a project hanging over my head that I really need to finish I won’t allow myself to start a new book until I’ve finished it. I love reading so in theory this is a great way to keep me on track, but really it just makes me grouchy.

Reading is an escape for me, always has been, and I can get lost in a matter of pages. Screaming kids on a plane? Not in my world. Screaming weirdos on a bus? Well, maybe I hear them, but that goes back to the safety issue I talked about on Friday. I love getting sucked into a world someone else has lovingly created and forgetting about my own life for awhile.

*hums Billy Joel*

So back to my motivation. You’d think that by depriving myself of this joy I’d hurry up and finish my project (in this case my synopsis), right? Well… not so much. Instead I stare longingly at my TBR (to be read) shelf and grumble (internally) about this stupid synopsis.

What’s your motivation when all you want to do is lie on the couch and eat bon bons?

Exciting side note: My mom and I are going to see author David Baldacci tomorrow night! Maybe HE’LL write my synopsis for me.

As Lie the Dead, by Kelly Meding
August 11, 2010

Wow! I LOVED Kelly’s debut novel, Three Days to Dead, and I dare say As Lie the Dead is even better.

It picks up moments after Three Days ends and never stops. Evy joins Wyatt, her super hot Handler, as they race to save another Handler. There’s more shape-shifters (an osprey, an egret, and a fox are around the most) and we learn more about how Evy got to this point in her life.

As a writer I caught myself noting how Kelly handled fight scenes, since that’s something I’m working on myself. (well done!) I had several giggles when Evy said something that I say a lot myself (“Gee. You think?” was one such phrase.) And I enjoyed how she handled all the emotion this time around. It’s tough to really feel for characters when they’re kicking butt the entire time, but she handles it flawlessly.

One thing that occured to me while reading is Evy Stone reminds me a bit of Stephanie Plum (by Janet Evanovich) except Evy fricking rocks at her job. For every case Stephanie bumbles through, Evy has already killed a dozen Halfies or saved yet another were from certain death.

(I really hope Kelly doesn’t mind that comparison–I mean it as a compliment!)

You can find out more about Kelly at her blog here. Buy As Lie the Dead here.

Dustin Time, by June Kramin
August 4, 2010

Squee! My friend Bug has a book published!

Here’s the blurb on the back:

A successful veterinarian, Kaitlyn thought she was content with her life. That is, until she turns thirty and realizes that her current ‘boy toy’ is simply not the father material she was looking for. As her biological clock ticks loudly in her ear, both her ‘toy’ and fate strongly disagree.

But something happens and over the next several days, she starts traveling between her birthdays of an altered present and those of her past, leaving her more confused than ever. With the help of a kindly old custodian named Frank, Kaitlyn comes to terms with her feelings for Dustin. And can Dustin Time quiet the ticking she’s trying so desperately to ignore?

Dustin Time is still on my TBR list, so I can’t give you a review YET, but oh… I will. Right now it’s only available as an e-book but there will be a print edition available in a couple months.

You can learn more about “June”* on her site and you can buy her book here.

*I’m not allowed to call her June, but since this is about her book, I figured she’d cut me some slack. After all, I didn’t share the other picture.

You Tell Me
July 16, 2010

I have another long weekend and should standing in line for airport security about the time this posts, so today will be a short one. You tell me:

When you travel, what’s your favorite type of book to bring along, and why?

Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves since I’m 20,000 feet up in the air.

The Tavernier Stones
June 2, 2010

I finished reading Stephen Parrish’s The Tavernier Stones over the weekend and have been anxious to tell you about it. As I’ve said before, I suck at book reviews, so please bear with me.

The Tavernier Stones

In the opening pages The Tavernier Stones is compared to Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol, and I’ve gotta tell you, that worried me a bit. I actually liked Brown’s more successful books, but he has a bit of a reputation among writers as being… how do I say this nicely? Of being a bit of a hack (I’m not calling him that, I’m just repeating what I’ve heard) so I was a little concerned when I cracked open Stones.

I didn’t need to be. Parrish IS similar to Brown in that he wrote a tale I couldn’t put down and he amazed me at the amount of research he put into this book. The difference is he can really write AND he created characters that have depth. And I actually liked them.

Stones follows four storylines as they search the globe for the elusive Tavernier Stones. Parrish’s experience as a cartographer and gemologist (neither of which I was aware of prior to reading it in his bio — shame on me) makes this tale both plausible and riveting.

That said, what are you waiting for? Go buy it!

You Tell Me: Audio Books
May 12, 2010

Next month I have TWO — count ’em, TWO — trips to Kentucky and some genius (I honestly cannot remember who or I’d give linkage credit) suggested I listen to an audio book to pass the time.

(You know, I’m thinking it was AB. Thanks AB!)

Anyways, I’ve never listened to an audio book before and while I know they’re quite popular with the iPod set (is that who listens to them? I don’t really know what I’m talking about…), I don’t even know where to begin. There are a couple things I’d like to read, but I love holding my precious books so I think I my maiden voyage, so to speak, should be with something a little different.

Here’s where you come in. I need suggestions. Preferably for something that won’t put me to sleep nor make me bawl my eyes out. If it’s sad, I’ll cry. Period. Can’t have that while driving 80mph. Nuh-uh.

I’m not a big fantasy person and horror scares me more than is really healthy for an individual, but I’m open to most anything else. Something like a Chelsea Handler biography would rock.

Hmm… maybe I’ll just do that…

Nah, I really could use your suggestions!

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