Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Time is Slipping Away

THIS GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED! My "Surfeit of Spying Spellmans" giveaway ends this Friday, so enter dagnabit! Free lovely books you could win! What's not to love? So enter enter enter! There are 8 prizes to be won, so there's a big chance that could be you! Also, hopefully coming soon I'll have hilarious posts about the Chicks Dig Timelords event I went to on Sunday and the Shannon Hale event yesterday. As a teaser, let me say, one story involves terrifying small children by pretending to be a waxwork, the other involves some cloistered nuns loving Mr. Darcy! See, you have to return or otherwise you will never know!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Shannon Hale Day!

Well, today, despite deadlines and homework and everything else going on there's one thing I would not miss for anything. That's Shannon Hale! She's speaking at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville at seven tonight and I've been so excited. I called the store so early to check on the whole signing line thing that I am literally number 1 & 2! I saw her speak when she was promoting Book of a Thousand Days, and she was dynamic, energetic, funny and engaging, and made sure to spend time with everyone, especially the kids. I've been hoping for a long time that she'd head back my way, and she finally has! Especially in light of the news that she won't be travelling in the nearish future due to a happy event (she's pregnant again, this time with twins!) I wouldn't want to miss this. So the car will be gassed, the oil will be changed, my passenger, little to her knowledge, will be quizzing me on my print production terms for my final next Wednesday and I'll be off to Illinois. But what could make this even better? Well, Kristen from Bookworming in the 21st Century will be there! We've chatted online and are goodreads and facebook buddies, but now I finally get to meet her! I mean, go check out her blog, almost a thousand followers! WOW! Just, wow. Tomorrow should be a great day, and a nice reprieve from homework, despite the terms sheet that will be in my hand.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 27th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 20 Pages
To Buy

The official description:
"Trust Dreams.
Trust your heart,
and trust your story.

A renowned storyteller whose words have transported readers to magical realms and an acclaimed illustrator of lushly imagined fairy-tale landscapes guide a traveler safely through lands unknown and yet strangely familiar . . .

. . . and home again."

Neil Gaiman + Charles Vess = Must Buy! While these two are amazingly fabulous on their own, Neil Gaiman being the cult writer of the moment, while Vess is the best illustrator today drawing in his own unique yet Arthur Rackhamy way (if you haven't checked it out yet, make sure to see his book Drawing Down the Moon) add them together, like with The Blueberry Girl, and you have perfect awesomeness! Don't believe me? Check out this awesome book trailer!

Burned by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 27th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"When friends stop trusting each other, Darkness is there to fan the flames….

Things have turned black at the House of Night. Zoey Redbird’s soul has shattered. With everything she’s ever stood for falling apart, and a broken heart making her want to stay in the Otherworld forever, Zoey’s fading fast. It’s seeming more and more doubtful that she will be able pull herself back together in time to rejoin her friends and set the world to rights. As the only living person who can reach her, Stark must find a way to get to her. But how? He will have to die to do so, the Vampyre High Council stipulates. And then Zoey will give up for sure. There are only 7 days left…

Enter BFF Stevie Rae. She wants to help Z but she has massive problems of her own. The rogue Red Fledglings are acting up, and this time not even Stevie Rae can protect them from the consequences. Her kinda boyfriend, Dallas, is sweet but too nosy for his own good. The truth is, Stevie Rae’s hiding a secret that might be the key to getting Zoey home but also threatens to explode her whole world.

In the middle of the whole mess is Aphrodite: ex-Fledgling, trust-fund baby, total hag from Hell (and proud of it). She’s always been blessed (if you could call it that) with visions that can reveal the future, but now it seems Nyx has decided to speak through her with the goddess’s own voice, whether she wants it or not. Aphrodite’s loyalty can swing a lot of different ways, but right now Zoey’s fate hangs in the balance.

Three girls… playing with fire… if they don’t watch out, everyone will get Burned."

A new House of Night Novel... you so know you're going to go out and buy this!

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
Published by: Blazer + Bray
Publication Date: April 27th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The Carrie Diaries is the coming-of-age story of one of the most iconic characters of our generation.

Before Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more. She's ready for real life to start, but first she must navigate her senior year of high school. Up until now, Carrie and her friends have been inseparable. Then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture, and a friend's betrayal makes her question everything.

With an unforgettable cast of characters, The Carrie Diaries is the story of how a regular girl learns to think for herself and evolves into a sharp, insightful writer. Readers will learn about her family background, how she found her writing voice, and the indelible impression her early friendships and relationships left on her. Through adventures both audacious and poignant, we'll see what brings Carrie to her beloved New York City, where her new life begins."

Clever Candace... not only will you get your current followers, by making this a kind of YA diary tell all, you might get some new teen readers. Trying to turn this into a Twilight Mom teen bonding experience, it's so cute, kind of desperate, but I think I'm buying into it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Beast Below

Never judge a new doctor by his first episode, always judge them by their second. The first is all kind of new and maybe a little weird, the second is when they come into their own. I gotta say, I'm loving Matt Smith. Not my lustful worshipping of David Tennant, but in a quieter, he's goofy and works as a sort of Tom Baker Doctor kind of way. The second episode of a new companion always has to be a huge moment, the moment not when they meet the Doctor and deal with him on their turf, but the moment when he takes them out into his turf. His turf happens to be the British Isle floating in outer space. There are weird menacing mechanical carny booths, think Zoltar, in the 30s, but with a real hidden wicked streak and total control over the ships populous called Smilers. Theirs a complete distillation of all things British into one wickedly fun market, like Bladrunner with bunting. There does seem to be more of a children slant, could it be that they're actually going to not traumatize children forever? No, this episode would so have traumatized me. I already have an unnatural fear of elevators, if one of those Smilers went all evil and dropped me into the bowels of a ship for not doing my homework, I'm sorry, I would have totally lost it. It's that underlying menace of what the Smilers do and that no one stands up to them or even tries to change it that makes the Doctors arrival so important.

So we have an oppressed British people hurtling through space and a Queen, cause there always has to be a Queen, searching for a truth that she is not meant to find and when she does, it's a doozy. But it's the Queen that makes this episode the best. Sophie Okonedo as Liz 10 was a combination of Lara Croft and V. Flowing cap, guns at the ready, and lots of goblets of water laying about as if she were in the movie Signs. The eventual saving of the day happens, of course not from the Doctor but from Amy, who was very Arthur Dent and saved the world in her pajamas. But the Doctor being wrong, and not just slightly wrong, but majorly wrong, was interesting. This Doctor is willing to make harder decisions... he's willing to let there be a looser, versus all winners come hell or high water. But Amy tempers him. Too bad next week we have the stupid overused Daleks, because I like where Steven Moffat is taking us, new villains not the same old same old... well at least that's what I thought till I saw those freakin' Daleks!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Seeing Stars

I must apologize, I meant to get my post up for episode three last Saturday after it aired, and then the dreaded homework did interfere. But at least this means, two for the price of one Saturday! It's like a mega sale at K-Mart! A review of two episodes, versus the paltry one you'd normally get, I say that's a win, and not just me covering my ass. Last week's episode saw what appeared to be politically motivated bomb attacks leading up to the Thatcher general election of 1983. Pretty ho hum episode, nothing really big or revolutionary, except this episode exemplifies a tread I'm hating more and more, the PTSD of soldier's pre PTSD. Now, I'm not saying that they didn't have it, far from it, the shell shock is a horror I can never imagine. My problem is the labeling of it as PTSD pre labeling. I guess it's the whole, I know more than you because I know the name smart aleck from the future Alex, versus just dealing with the horror and helping the person afflicted. Ray had some great moments, as did Shazz the week before. I am intrigued by these episodes apparently each having one of the supporting cast being a focal point, as well as the odd fade to black freeze frames that I feel will somehow tie into the overall mythology of the show and the final solution. Plus, what is the significance of the stars and 6-6-20... is that a future date that something happens on or does it relate to the dead man Alex keeps seeing? Nothing really great stood out on the Gene Hunt front, but just for being Gene he gets a 7 out of 10. Now Alex... ah Alex, you did fail this week. Great hair and red earrings, but that strippy/leopardy shirt!?! Knocks you down to a 5, lowest yet for this season!

Ah, look who we have in episode four! Bryan Dick. Now this boy has become synonymous with cult and sci-fi shows that I just happen to love. From Adam on Torchwood, Sykes on Being Human, to even David Tennant's second in command in Blackpool, it's fun to see Bryan! Basic drug syndicate story with a family creating a monopoly and an undercover cop in the middle. Though there was some nice cryptic graffiti for Alex and I'm thinking Gene's license plate might be important, July 75 I believe it said... Alex wore a really ugly turquoise shirt with a hideous necklace, making it a 7 day. But Gene, oh Gene, a perfect 10! You drove, slightly drunk, cause it was near the dinner hour, smashed a desk with a golf club, but best of all said that a crippled man had the right to compliment Alex on her tits cause he was handicapped after all, but nothing can top your speech at the end, you almost had sunshine coming out of your ass. You go my non-pc Gene. You go!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Review - Melissa Marr's Stopping Time

Stopping Time by Melissa Marr
Published by: Wally Lamb Books
Publication Date: March 16th & 23rd, 2010
Format: Kindle
Rating: ★★
To Buy Part 1
To Buy Part 2

Leslie has been doing better since she left the world of fairies behind. With no more Irial or Niall, she might be alone, but she is safe. They are of course watching over her, forever bound together in a love triangle that none can escape. While Leslie and Irial had their time together, albeit with her in a drunken haze as she was the conduit for Irial to feed his people, she never got her time with Niall. While it's impossible that her and Niall could ever be together, could they perhaps stop time and get just one night?

I really loved where Ink Exchange left off, with Leslie reclaiming her life. This just seemed to be two steps back for her. The fact that they will never really be apart and that their lives are a convoluted mess, a quagmire that she was stepping out and distancing herself from as best she could made great sense. To go back and temporarily revel in that mire seemed part wish fulfillment, part falling back into bad habits. Sometimes you should not go back into stories, sometimes the ending you wrote is right. Also sometimes you get too much information between Niall and Irial and this makes it even more of a love triangle. I liked the vague. I didn't so much like this.

But, if you want to check it out, and if you're a fan of the series who wouldn't, it's wonderfully free for Kindle on Amazon, likewise it's included in the extras of the paperback release of Fragile Eternity.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review - Melissa Marr's Ink Exchange

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 24th, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 325 Pages
Challenge: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★
To Buy

Leslie has had a tough go of things lately. Tough might even be too nice of a word. Her mother split, her Dad is mentally gone, if physically there, and her brother Ren is into drugs and consorting with the worst type of lowlifes. Her best friend, Aislinn, has a weird threesome going with Seth and Kennan and has taken to keeping too many secrets. But who's Leslie to judge, she also has her dark secrets, horrors that happened because of what her life has become that she'd rather forget. She has one remaining hope, one thing that will keep her going till she's able to head off to college in the fall, a tattoo. If she can just find the right ink to adorn her body she can reclaim it as her own and move beyond the something that happened. But all is not right at the tattoo parlor... the proprietor, Rabbit, is having bizarre back room dealings with dark faeries for nefarious purposes. Leslie is destined to be a victim once more... the tattoo that calls to her happens to be the mark of the king of the Dark Court of fairies, Irial. Because the secret her best friend Aislinn has been keeping is that fairies exist, and she is the Queen of one of the four courts, the Summer Queen. Aislinn thought she was keeping Leslie safe by holding out on her, by having her guarded unknowingly. But things have a way of becoming complicated, especially when her guard, Niall, is falling for her, and he has a past relationship with Irial, who he forsook for the summer court.

Things start to become more dangerous and more inevitable once Leslie's inking has begun. With a mixture of dark blood, tears and shadows, Leslie becomes slowly entwined with Irial. But a simple ink exchange binding a mortal to a king for the purposes of sustaining his people has the unintended effect of making Irial care for Leslie. Victim she might be, but Irial wants only the best for her, as does Niall. But is it too late? Could Leslie stop the process before it is complete? Her new feeling of empowerment and the control over her own life might all be an illusion, feelings lent from Irial, and not her own. In trying to feel safe and protected she has placed herself unwittingly in the worst type of danger. Aislinn's codling of her friend helped to create another horror in order to assuage her guilt over not being their before. But things will of course get far worse before there is any chance of them getting better.

Looking back on my previous review of Wicked Lovely, I said what this series needed to hook me was a darker edge... well I sure got it! Leslie is a far more compelling character than Aislinn ever was. For all Aislinn's "problems" with fairies, she had a relatively easy life. Leslie has not had this easy life, her encounters with humans are far worse than what Aislinn has had to deal with... she was made queen after all! Whereas Leslie and her dark past attracts the worst kind of fairies who desire to use her as their conduit to human emotions. She is turned into the very thing she abhors most, a junky and a drug source in one. The two things that destroyed her life in the first place she unwittingly evolves into. In an effort to escape, and who wouldn't want that after what she's been through, she destroys herself more. For a time I was very worried that Leslie would have no redeeming quality, that she wouldn't be able to reclaim her life and her body, that her descent into debauchery would continue. I, of course, should have had more faith in the author. A helpless female is all well and good just so long as she isn't that by the close. I enjoyed this darker tale in Marr's world of fairies, a sort of depraved version of Labyrinth, with the Goblin King being played with equal elan by Irial and Niall... at times the boy's seemed more stilted and less engaging than Leslie, but soon all was well and the story kept the pages flying. Final verdict... the next book is near the top of my to be read list, and I'm far more optimistic after reading Ink Exchange than after reading Wicked Lovely... I think this series has the potential for hooking me yet!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 20th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Hunger for nourishment. Hunger for touch. Hunger to belong.

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers. Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries’ coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani’s death.

Ani isn’t one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin’s plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in Melissa Marr’s next volume of Melissa Marr’s New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series."

Oh can't wait! While I liked Wicked Lovely, it was the darkness in Ink Exchange that really brought me into this series. This looks like a dark one!

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George
Published by: Harper
Publication Date: April 20th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 704 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"While DI Thomas Lynley is still on compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Isabelle Ardery is brought into the Met as his temporary replacement. The discovery of a body in a Stoke Newington cemetery offers Isabelle the chance to make her mark with a high profile murder investigation. Persuading Lynley back to work seems the best way to guarantee a result: Lynley's team is fiercely loyal to him and Isabelle needs them - and especially Barbara Havers - on side. The Met is twitchy: a series of PR disasters has undermined its confidence. Isabelle knows that she'll be operating under the unforgiving scrutiny of the media, so is quick -- perhaps too quick - to pin the murder on a convenient suspect. The murder trail leads Lynley and Havers to the New Forest, and the eventual resolution of the case. Its roots are in a long-ago act of violence that has poisoned subsequent generations and its outcome is both tragic and shocking"

Sure they cancelled one of my most favorite shows when they cancelled Lynley. But that didn't stop Elizabeth George from writing! Yeah! More Lynley and Havers!

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
Published by: Pantheon
Publication Date: April 20th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The delightful new installment in Alexander McCall Smith’s beloved and best-selling series finds Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi traveling to the north of Botswana, to the stunning Okavango Delta, to visit a safari lodge where there have been several unexplained and troubling events–including the demise of one of the guests.

When the two ladies of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency arrive at the Okavango Delta, their eyes are opened, as if for the first time, to the natural beauty of their homeland. With teeming wildlife, endless grasslands, and sparkling rivulets of water running in every direction, it is breathtaking.

But they can’t help being drawn into a world filled with other wildlife: rival safari operators, discontented guides, grumpy hippopotamuses. On top of that, the date has still not been set for Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti’s wedding, and it’s safe to say that Mma Makutsi is beginning to grow a bit impatient. And to top it all off, the impossible has happened: one of Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s apprentices has gotten married. . . . Of course none of this defeats the indomitable Precious Ramotswe. Good sense, kindness, and copious quantities of red bush tea carry the day. As they always do."

You could always do with a little more of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency!

The Bedwetter: Storise of Courage, Redemption, and Pee by Sarah Silverman
Published by: Harper
Publication Date: April 20th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Dear Reader:

My name is Sarah Silverman. I was once primarily known for saying the word "poop" and getting paid above market rates for it. But those days are over, because I am now going to be known for having written a book. Why did I write a book, you might wonder? Because it just seemed like the right time to be getting into the publishing industry.

I'm kidding. Publishing is rotting like an abandoned possum carcass on the shoulder of I-95. I know that for a fact, because shortly after my book deal was announced, I kept hearing people lament the imminent demise of literature. These days there is only one reason to write a book: to be taken seriously. And that is exactly what is about to happen to me. I'm an author now! Like Ernest Hemingway and Fyodor Dostoevsky!

When I was asked to provide text for an author page, I decided to approach it in a scholarly manner, because that's what authors do. I looked to other author pages for inspiration, and I learned so much. For example, while Hemingway and Dostoevsky do not have their own author pages on, Paris Hilton does. And so does former teenage porn star and multi-tasking fellatrix, Traci Lords. Hemingway and Dostoevsky might be wondering, quite literally, "Whom do I have to blow to get my own author page?" If someone had a cruel sense of humor, they might respond to Hemingway, "How about your head off? Oh wait – you already DID that!" But such a remark would be in bad taste, and as a serious author, I'm above all that.

I also learned that Paris' dog, Tinkerbell Hilton, has her own book too. I read a few pages and found the prose to be overwrought, but you can imagine that, being a dog, she'd be coming from a place of needing to prove something. By the way, here's a quote from a review of Paris' book that I found on her author page:

"Heiress, socialite, model, actress, singer and media darling Hilton loves her life, knows how to get what she wants and matter-of-factly explains how anyone can be a glamorous, fun-loving, tiara-wearing heiress just like her… [Paris’] advice to 'channel your own inner heiress, create your own image, and project an extreme sense of confidence' is an empowering message for young women."

This was profoundly inspiring to me. It made me realize: if young women can read Hilton's book and become heiresses, they can likewise read my book and become anxiety-ridden bedwetters. And amidst this generation of disposability that favors the digital over the physical, shopping online rather than in stores (oops, this is awkward!), and reading from LCD screens rather than from print on paper, it's nice to know that I will have left a permanent stain by which future generations shall know of my existence. So read The Bedwetter, if not for me, then for the children."

Sarah Silverman is either really really on, or really really off. She can be the funniest or the cringe worthiest. We'll have to see what this one is, though I will always love her for "I'm Fucking Matt Damon." (Warning, profanity to follow, which, it being Sarah Silverman, you should have guessed.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Eleventh Hour

I gotta say it. I might have been wrong. I think Matt Smith will work as The Doctor. "The Eleventh Hour" was funny, engaging, just that little bit scary, but in the end, though it wasn't David Tennant, it was Doctor Who. I don't think it will ever happen again for me, that emotional connection that I felt with David Tennant, that empathy, where his pain was my pain. But my favorite tv show has not been ruined, so I'm breathing a sigh of relief, as I think any Whovian out there is, the consensus seems to be good. Unlike most regenerations, at the time of his death The Doctor didn't have a companion, so therefore, whoever is the new companion will view this Doctor as the only Doctor. A clever concept, so we don't have to sit through the whole, it's me but not me shtick one more. But added to this is a little girl who, due to The Doctor and his miscalculation of time, ends up waiting for The Doctor a little longer than 5 minutes... a girl, who might know The Doctor better than he does, cause while he's been himself for a short time, to Amy, he's been The Doctor practically all her life. Amy, a feisty red head who won't take shit from The Doctor, after all, she's been stood up a few times by him already. As is the case with all Doctor Who Earth episodes, the world will end if a monster isn't stopped, this time a Prisoner whose guards are trying to find him. Of course the Earth is saved and Amy runs off with the Doctor, even if it's the night before her wedding.

Of course, me being me, I must find fault. Problems... looks like we're lumbered with yet another stupid boyfriend/fiance. Didn't they learn after ass face Mickey? Who knows... maybe he will be better, more like Rhys on Torchwood and less like ass face. Don't really like the new Tardis, it's hard to feel the space, it's too jumbled. The new sonic screwdriver... it looks ugly , green and vice like. But the negatives are far less than the positives, could change once those overused metal heads the Cybermen and Daleks show back up. The new opening credits, love the theremin being back. Great how Amy being a cop turned out, also addressing the "overtly sexy" criticism at the same time. Loved the scene where Amelia cooks for him. And I loved the preview of whats to come, River Song floating to the Tardis! All in all, a solid start, in fact more solid than David Tennant ever had, so we'll have to see if they can keep this up now won't we?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Book Review - Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic & Sister

Shopaholic & Sister: Shopaholic Book 4 by Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Dell
Publication Date: September 28th, 2004
Format: Paperback, 388 Pages
Rating: ★★
To Buy

Becky might have changed her name from Bloomwood to Brandon, but other than that things seem eerily similar. She miraculously pulled off not one, but two, dream weddings, and is now basking in the glow of an ill earned year long honeymoon traveling the globe with her husband Luke. Of course, Becky being Becky, she's secretly buying "mementos" everywhere they go... even if Luke said he didn't want the giant giraffes, he'll surely regret it once they're settled back in London. A christening announcement from Suze makes Becky realize just how much she has missed in her time abroad and Luke and her decide to cut their sojourn short. With a stop off in Milan, Becky maxes out her credit card on "the" fashion accessory of the moment, an Angel Bag, and makes a promise she might not be able to keep to a thuggish, yet oddly fashion conscious man, Nathan Temple, who aids her in the bags procurement. Once home Becky feels out of joint. Her parents are not thrilled to see her, Suze has a new best friend to go with her two new babies, and Luke is back at work and has reverted to the workaholic he was before. Plus, what is she to do with the lorries full of honeymoon mementos... she really didn't think she bought that much?!? With a little help from eBay, she's able to declutter, but then there's all those vintage coats that could be bought with her succesful sales, instead of paying off her bills... But once her parents drop the bombshell that she has a sister, everything else seems insignificant. Of course a sister with whom she has nothing in common, who despises shopping and who doesn't want Becky in her life could be a bit of an obstacle. But when things hit their lowest, it's to her new sister, Jess, that she seeks help. If Jess is willing that is...

I started reading this series last year due to the hype of the coming film coupled with the desire for some good chick lit. The books are light, fluffy and totally lacking in substance, in other words, what you expect from chick lit and a worthy successor to Bridget Jones. But I think, perhaps, I've had enough of Becky Brandon, nee Bloomwood. The first two books were fun and amusing watching Becky and her addictive personality successfully claw her way out of the pits of compulsive buying. But by the third book, she's not just hurting herself, but manipulating others... how she pulled off the two weddings seemed contrived and also not fair, she really didn't deserve a happy ending. At this point the books turned in a new direction, a tad more unbelievable and mean spirited. Plus, is anyone surprised that she's back to her old ways? Each book has an epiphany moment followed by her vowing to change. But by the next book she's back to her old ways. Becky is a cycler... she will never change!

It's this lack of growth that pisses me off, you'd think she'd learn something? But this time around things seem even worse and her marriage seems in jeopardy because of her old tendencies coming back to the front. Becky and Luke are the mismatched lovers that we're supposed to root for. But Luke is a workaholic who is abrasive and not very nice in this installment, looking down on Becky, the woman whom he supposedly loves but won't take advice from, while Becky is the same, self deluded Becky. These ill matched, mistaken fools, who don't seem to respect or understand each other, really grated on my nerves. Neither changes yet they expect the other to. I'm really curious as to what makes them likable? I finished reading them because they are diverting, but diverting like a train wreck. Eventually you reach the end of the line, and I think they have with me. Bye Becky and Luke... have fun with that baby you've got in the oven, it's sure to be messed up by the two of you!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Review - Gail Carriger's Changeless

Changeless, The Parasol Protectorate Book 2 by Gail Carriger
Published by: Orbit
Publication Date: March 30th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 336 Pages
Challenge: Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

Marital bliss can't last long when a surly regiment of werewolves shows up on your doorstep, your husband disappears to the wilds of Scotland and a bizarre plague of humanization strikes London, making werewolves and vampires alike mortal, and shuffling off the ghosties. But Alexia would not be Alexia if she didn't set right to figuring out what's up. After stopping off at a milliner's, always a trying experience with Ivy in tow, Alexia makes the acquaintance of Madame Lefoux, a dashing haberdasher prone to wearing male attire who happens to be a great inventor on the side. In fact, she's invented the parasol to beat all other parasols, making this umbrella indispensable to Alexia. After an explosive attack while leaving Madame Lefoux's establishment, and rumors that the humanization proceeded her husband to Scotland, Alexia decides that the safety of the supernaturals as well as her husband are at stake and to Scotland she must go. Of course, if she must go by dirigible, her long held wish, well then she must. She didn't count on the entourage of a love sick claviger, an engaged Ivy, one of her sisters and Madame Lefoux.

Attempted poisonings and dangerous dirigible daring do lead to a welcome return to Terra Firma. But if Alexia thought the troubles before where anything to the troubles to come she was mistaken. Her husbands old pack are not all that welcoming, and they seem to have collected a lot of Egyptian antiquities on their way home for being stationed in India. But if it's the last thing she does Alexia will get to the bottom of everything, little knowing of the shock in store.

Gail Carriger has outdone herself in creating a rollicking good read, with a tighter more thrilling mystery and even more memorable characters than in her first book, Soulless. From creating a proto telegraph telephone to dirigibles riding on aether, she has not bogged down her book with too much unintelligible speculative steampunk gadgetry. She has made an accessible world that you never want to leave and makes the wait for Blameless excruciating. Plus, delving deeper into the mysteries of what exactly a preternatural is, and unearthing Egyptian myths, sheer perfection. There's nothing I love more than Egypt, and while, throwing Egypt in delights me, I find it truly satisfying when it works so well with the plot and advances the narrative. Egypt for Egypt is all well and good, Egypt for a purpose, all the better. If there was one complaint I could make, aside from the cliffhanger, it is not enough Lord Akeldama. But I can't in good conscious make this complaint with the arrival of Madame Lefoux. She is so mysterious and kind of glamorous, and her openly defining the stereotypes of the day is just wonderful. I hope she continues to play in important part in the story. Also, am I the only one who instantly saw Emma Fielding as Miss Galindo from Cranford as Madame Lefoux? Maybe it's the hat thing, maybe it's the cravat thing, but I think she would be perfect.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review - R. L. LaFevers' Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus Redux

Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
ARC Provided by Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: April 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

The official patter:
"Being able to detect black magic isn’t all tea and crumpets—and for Theodosia Throckmorton, it can be a decidedly tricky business! When Sticky Will drags Theo to a magic show featuring the Great Awi Bubu, she quickly senses there is more to the magician than he lets on, setting in motion a chain of events she never could have bargained for. Meanwhile, back at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, Henry is home for the spring holidays and makes an accidental discovery of an artifact that alchemists have been hunting for centuries. Soon, every black-cloaked occultist in London is trying to get their hands on it . . ."

Just in case you forgot how awesome today's new release is, here's my review once more!

With Will's brother in a mesmeric trance by the Great Awi Bubu he eerily repeats Theodosia's false prophecy to the Black Sunners: "The Black Sun shall rise up in a red sky before falling to earth, where a great serpent will swallow it." And as luck would have it, who is an even bigger thorn in her side than usual? The Black Sunners. But don't rule out The Serpents of Chaos... oh my, Theo does have her hands full. But the occultists are the least of her worries, when her parents have shut down the museum for two weeks to prepare for their gala opening to celebrate their recent discoveries from the Tomb of Amenemhab and The Chosen Keepers have oddly distanced themselves from her, forcing her to deal only with Fagenbush, who sadly, still appears to be a good guy. But Theo won't be having any of this imposed rank, she'll do whatever is necessary to deal with Wigmere himself and cut out Fagenbush and use only Will. Of course, her childish ways tend to cause more mayhem and somehow all that was made wrong must be righted. But could Theo herself be even more then she appears?

In the third, and most recent, installment of the Theodoisa series by R. L. LaFevers', we once again are immersed in the wonderful Edwardian England in the grip of Egypt fever. You would think that all those mummies moving around London in the previous installment would have calmed the ardor of the masses, but no. London loves their mummies, and I love this London. While this book is just as action packed as the previous installments, we don't get so many new plots as a resolution to those dangling threads from the previous books. The Black Sunners are creepier than ever, with a not quite right, almost inappropriate feel to them, that is thankfully quenched by Stilton and his redemptive character arc. But, it's the character of Awi Bubu that solidifies this book. At first I was hesitant with his caricaturish name and his almost stereotypical quality, but he was able to overcome this quite readily. In fact he brought with him an integration of two disparate elements. Before Awi, we had the ancient mystic artifacts and then Theo, who can somehow see curses... but now, we have Theo herself being woven into the Egyptian mythology. So much so that I can't wait for the next installment. I feel that there's this overwhelming urgency for these cults and their love of mystical powers to be stopped, while at the same time an inevitability that somehow Theo and the Keepers will fail, resulting in the first world war. I can't wait to see how everything plays out and just wish that Robin could write just a little faster.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: April 13th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Being able to detect black magic isn’t all tea and crumpets—and for Theodosia Throckmorton, it can be a decidedly tricky business! When Sticky Will drags Theo to a magic show featuring the Great Awi Bubu, she quickly senses there is more to the magician than he lets on, setting in motion a chain of events she never could have bargained for.

Meanwhile, back at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, Henry is home for the spring holidays and makes an accidental discovery of an artifact that alchemists have been hunting for centuries. Soon, every black-cloaked occultist in London is trying to get their hands on it . . ."

Yeah, if February didn't convince of my love of this series, I really don't know what will. Just pick it up, you'll love it! I just got my hardcover in the mail... of so pretty, even better than the ARC! Also, sparkling silvery endpapers... to die for.

Tales of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
Published by: Bantam
Publication Date: April 13th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong has bewitched audiences with her Otherworld series of supernatural thrillers. Now, in this new collection of shorter fiction, some of Armstrong’s most tantalizing lead characters appear alongside her unforgettable supporting players, who step out of the shadows and into the light.

Have you ever wondered how lone wolf Clayton Danvers finally got bitten by the last thing he ever expected: love? Or how the hot-blooded bad-girl witch Eve Levine managed to ensnare the cold, ruthless corporate sorcerer Kristof Nast in one of the Otherworld’s most unlikely pairings? Would you like to be a fly on the wall at the wedding of Lucas Cortez and Paige Winterbourne as their eminently practical plans are upended by their well-meaning friends? Or tag along with Lucas and Paige as they investigate a gruesome crime that looks to be the work of a rogue vampire?

Now devotees of the Otherworld can share these special moments with some of their favorite characters—as well as discovering deeper insights into the lives of some of the lesser-known players. But even readers new to the

Otherworld universe will find much to love in these seven tales of friendship, adventure, and enduring romance. For when the superhuman men and women of the Otherworld set their minds to a task, they do so with fierce passion and an undivided sense of purpose that make them, in the end, very much human."

A few busy weeks here for Kelley Armstrong. The 3rd Darkest Powers book came out last week, which I just noticed I forgot to mention on last weeks Tuesday Tomorrow. Oops, but rectified below. Now another new Otherworld book, of course it's just collected short stories, but still.

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now, along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I’m on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We’re hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We’ll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we’d left behind and to take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope."

Yeah, forgot it last week, I can't wait to read it, I have all the series so far, plus so pretty.

Beatrice and Virgil by Yan Martel
Published by: Spiegel & Grau
Publication Date: April 13th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 224 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Fate takes many forms. . . .

When Henry receives a letter from an elderly taxidermist, it poses a puzzle that he cannot resist. As he is pulled further into the world of this strange and calculating man, Henry becomes increasingly involved with the lives of a donkey and a howler monkey—named Beatrice and Virgil—and the epic journey they undertake together.

With all the spirit and originality that made Life of Pi so beloved, this brilliant new novel takes the reader on a haunting odyssey. On the way Martel asks profound questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity."

Don't know anything about this, but seeing as it's Yann Martel... could be awesome.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Uptown Girl

A great episode of Ashes to Ashes last night. Not only did we have a complex plot involving a serial killer who brands his victims, but we got to see Shazzer really stand up for herself. I wish she and Chris would get back together... sigh. Alex's clothes still holding out around a 9, maybe she won't look awful this season after all. What did you say? I'm not mentioning the most wonderful, funniest thing ever to happen on Ashes to Ashes? Yeah, that's true, because why mention the "Uptown Girl" parody when I can show it? Eh eh? This easily gives Gene a perfect 10 for the night... sure it was Alex's dream, but COME ON! How could I not?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Going Postal Pratchett Style

I really don't think I could love Terry Pratchett more, I am in a Pratchett Reading Challenge after all. He's a comic genius and each and every book he writes has subtle layer upon subtle layer of context and meaning, along with the odd pie in the face, and you better hope that it is not one of Dibbler's pies. Sky TV has been adapting his books for the last few years now. They tentatively started with Hogfather, which I thought was a fair adaptation that did lack some of the subtlety of the original. After their resounding success, ie, fans didn't pelt them with aforementioned pies, they went on to adapt the first two Discworld Novels, The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic, which I think would have be a resounding success if not for Tim Curry's bad costume, but more importantly, the dreadful miscasting of David Jason as Rincewind. Is David Jason in his 30-40s? Is he skinny and lank and able to run fast? Not in the least! Now, while for some bizarre reason I see a young Bruce Campbell as Rincewind, there really is no explaining my mind, I suggest, due to his recently hanging up his screwdriver we bring another David into the role of Pratchett's favorite Wizzard. I'm talking David Tennant here people! Lithe, almost overly so, and we know he can run. Allonsy!

But back to the matter at hand. We have, what I view as possibly the best adaptation on the horizon. Going Postal! Now it's not so much the characters of Moist Von Lipwig and Lord Vetinari, it's the actors. The cast! OMG! David Suchet, Charles Dance, Tamsin Greig, Clare Foy, and I leave my favorite to last... Richard Coyle. Ah Jeff from Coupling, I have missed you. Season 4 was a piece of shit without you. So now I have my Jeff and my Pratchett combined into one wonderful package. So what's the down side? It's not going to air till May! Originally slatted for the Easter weekend, the intimidation of a Doctor Who launch is surely what pushed it back. But until then, a trailer! Huzzah!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book Review - Simon Tofields' Simon's Cat

Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield
Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 24th, 2009
Format: Paperback, 240 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

Simon Tofield's cat first started out as a little animation on YouTube and has since gotten a massive (like in the millions) following. Hence Simon Tofield was offered a book deal... and the result is Simon's Cat. While not as funny as his animation, this book has some truly laugh out loud moments. This cat is no Garfield, being funnier and above all more British. Simon is able to capture the true essence of cats, in all their self centered and slothful ways. As I've said before, when talking about reviewing Charles Addams' Addams and Evil, reviewing a book of cartoons presents it's own set of problems. But luckily I have an easy out. I present to you, some of the wonderful animations of Simon Tofield... and don't forget to check out his website as well.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Corin Redgrave 1939-2010

Another member of the Redgrave dynasty has died today, and the acting world has lost an amazing man. Corin Redgrave had been battling cancer for the last 10 years but has left behind a legacy of acting beyond compare and political activism. From stage to screen he was a force to be reckoned with. Though perhaps best known for his performance as Andie McDowell's Scottish husband in Four Weddings and a Funeral, for me, he will always be old Jolyon from The Forsyte Saga. His death scene at Robin Hill with Irene is heartwrentching. I think it only fitting to reprint the words Rupert Graves uttered as young Jolyon at his father's passing:

Fear no more the heat of the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and taken thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney sweepers, come to dust.
Fear no more the frown of the great;
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke.
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak.
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this and come to dust.
Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
Fear not slander, censure rash;
Thou hast finished joy and moan;
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.

-Cymbeline, Sc. 2, Act 4

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

A River in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Set in 1910, the delightful 19th Amelia Peabody novel from bestseller Peters (after Tomb of the Golden Bird) takes Amelia and her husband, Emerson, to Palestine, where an English adventurer, George Morley, is planning to excavate Jerusalem's Temple Mount in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Gen. David Spencer, the director of Military Operations in London, suspects Morley, an amateur archeologist at best, of spying for the Germans, whose influence has been growing in the Middle East. Spencer wants Egyptologists Amelia and Emerson to stop Morley from undertaking a project sure to offend the three religious groups that consider the temple site holy. Meanwhile, son Ramses embarks on a treacherous journey to convey to his parents important information learned from two travelers he meets while on a dig in Samaria. Once again, MWA Grandmaster Peters uses vivid settings, sharp characterizations, and deft dialogue to transport the reader to another time and place"

Holy dent on my wallet Batman! I can't believe the number of books coming out this week that are just MUST BUY for me... it's just insane and yet giddy little school girl good, there may be squeling. First off there's what's supposedly the final Amelia Peadboy book. I know I've only just started this series, being on book 4 of 19, so I can't attest to the later book quality, but just the thought of this series ever ending makes me sad. An eventuality, yes, does that lessen the sadness, no. At least I have 14 more before the final word is wrote.

Changes by Jim Butcher
Published by: ROC
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 430 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.

Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry. To prevail this time, he may have no choice but to embrace the raging fury of his own untapped dark power. Because Harry's not fighting to save the world...

He's fighting to save his child."

Yeah for Harry Dresden. Love the books, love the show. Still miss the show... yeah, as I've said before, I don't get over things easy.

A Witch in Time by Madelyn Alt
Published by: Berkley
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The latest in the "quirky, enchanting, mystical, and addictive" (Annette Blair) series by national bestselling author Madelyn Alt.

Stony Mill, Indiana's newest witch, Maggie O'Neill, has been attached at the hip to the smoking-hot Marcus Quinn. Things couldn't get any better- until her sister Mel gives birth to not one, but two babies...

Maggie's visiting Mel in the hospital when a whispered conversation in a cafeteria sends chills down her spine. She can't make out what they're saying, but Maggie knows malice when she hears it. The next night, death visits the hospital...twice. Nobody bats an eye, but Maggie knows something sinister is haunting the hospital. Now she'll need help if she's going to tie two murders to one killer."

Lucky me I actually found this a few weeks ago. What's majorly, awesomely cool? That these books are now so popular they are being issued in hardcover versus paperback for first editions. This series is on the way up! So why don't you pick it up?

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear
Published by: Harper
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"In the latest mystery in the New York Times bestselling series, Maisie Dobbs must unravel a case of wartime love and death—an investigation that leads her to a long-hidden affair between a young cartographer and a mysterious nurse.

August 1914. Michael Clifton is mapping the land he has just purchased in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, certain that oil lies beneath its surface. But as the young cartographer prepares to return home to Boston, war is declared in Europe. Michael—the youngest son of an expatriate Englishman—puts duty first and sails for his father's native country to serve in the British army. Three years later, he is listed among those missing in action.

April 1932. London psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs is retained by Michael's parents, who have recently learned that their son's remains have been unearthed in France. They want Maisie to find the unnamed nurse whose love letters were among Michael's belongings—a quest that takes Maisie back to her own bittersweet wartime love. Her inquiries, and the stunning discovery that Michael Clifton was murdered in his trench, unleash a web of intrigue and violence that threatens to engulf the soldier's family and even Maisie herself. Over the course of her investigation, Maisie must cope with the approaching loss of her mentor, Maurice Blanche, and her growing awareness that she is once again falling in love.

Following the critically acclaimed bestseller Among the Mad, The Mapping of Love and Death delivers the most gripping and satisfying chapter yet in the life of Maisie Dobbs."

New Maisie Dobbs with yet another awesome cover... could these covers be cooler? No. Could these books be cooler? Yes, because they are just as awesome inside as out. Take that those people who say never judge a book by it's cover, cause that's how I found this delightful series.

Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: April 6th, 2010
Format: Paperback, 401Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"For Sookie Stackhouse, the day to day activities of the vampire and were communities in and around Bon Temps, Louisiana, are of vital interest, She's blood-bound to the leader of the vamps, a friend to the local were pack, works for a man who is shifter, and has a brother who is a were-panther…

But for most of the humans in Bon Temps, the vamps are mysterious seductive creatures-and they don't even know about the weres.

Until now. The weres and shifters have finally decided to follow the lead of the undead and reveal their existence to the ordinary world.

At first it seems to go well. Then the mutilated body of a were-panther is found in the parking lot of the bar where Sookie works. The victim is someone she knows, so she feels compelled to discover who-human or otherwise-did the deed.

But what she doesn't realize is that there is a far greater danger than the killer threatening Bon Temps. A race of unhuman beings--older, more powerful and far more secretive than vampires or werewolves-- is preparing for war. And Sookie will find herself an all-too human pawn in their battle…"

Um... I'm sure you've read this by now, there's no way you could have waited a year to hear what's happened in Bon Temps.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

There Is No Easter Bunny!

As a kid, Easter was almost a bigger holiday than Christmas. My parents, being far more imaginative for this holiday than just the presents under a tree had jelly bean trails leading to candy throughout the house. So not only cool candy, but a fun time. Of course, now that I'm older, all I really associate with Easter is either Monty Python's Life of Brian, or Mallrats. I chose to share a moment of zen, as it were, with you from Mallrats. Have fun eating those Cadbury eggs!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Do You Still Dream of Him?

It took me a long time to get into the show Life on Mars. It's bizarre mix of reality and non-reality and the fact that it always kept you guessing and wondering were at the same time frustrating and fascinating. But once I embraced that the show was not so much about Sam Tyler as it was about Gene Hunt, it seemed to make some sort of sense. This is Gene's world, Sam's just a visitor. Therefore when Alex Drake dropped into Gene's world I was immensely trilled. Here was someone who, perhaps, knew a little more about what was going on, due to her studying of Sam's case file, as well as being a potential love interest who could verbally spare with Gene with a side of sexual tension. When we last saw Alex and the crew after a convoluted series two, she had woken up in the present day but was somehow still in a coma back in the 80s with Gene Hunt on the lamb because they didn't know his shooting of Alex was an accident. We pick up three months later and it looks that they have upped the surreality but have a strong focus. Sure we're not sure how Alex went from the present day back again, but she, like Sam wanted to go back. Where Sam went to save them, Alex went for answers. Alex went for Hunt. We're promised answers, we're promised conclusions. For a show that lives in the land of convulsion and dreamscapes the thought of bringing it to a cohesive ending is at once scary and exciting. If they can do it will everyone be happy? I can't be certain. The new DNC officer Jim Keats seems to know more than he's saying and seems to be wanting to help Alex out of the world of Gene Hunt. But despite a mildly interesting and diverting kidnapping plot it was the last five minutes that galvanized this episode more than any of the previous series of Ashes to Ashes. Jim Keats will unmask Gene, though I deeply hope that Gene does not turn out to be the villain that Keats is foretelling. And could everything hinge on Sam Tyler? A subject rarely brought up, yet obviously pivotal. I can't wait till next week when Alex opens up that desk drawer and sneaks a peak at Sam's file. Until then, like her, I will still dream of Gene Hunt.

Each week I am going to do a Gene Genie Awesomeness Scale as well as an Alex Drake Drab Scale.

How awesome was Gene tonight? On a scale of 1-10, an 8. The driving the Quatro and shooting at people dream sequence was a perfect 10, as was his way of waking up a coma victim, just slap them in the face, but overall, not enough screen time.

How awful was Alex's clothes tonight? A 9! Highest ever, mainly due to the good new haircut, she really can't be blamed overmuch for the ugly sweater and shoulder pads... at least it wasn't the fur coat!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Seeing the Spellmans' Scribe

So, a week ago, I ventured forth from my book lined hovel to see Lisa Lutz in Milwaukee at Boswell Books. I was lucky enough to have seen her last year and was not going to miss the opportunity to see her again, she was on the tenth day of her extended tour promoting The Spellmans Strike Again. I, being me, and being over prepared in the extreme, arrived about an hour early. Logically that made me the first one there, because I don't think there is anyone else that desperate for prime seating and good access to the front of the signing line (damn them for switching it up, the table is near the front of the store, not this podium transformer thingy, so I was third in the signing line, drat!) Before the talk I had a bit of a palaver with the owner, Daniel Goldin, who was understandably a bit nervous that no one would show, understandable in that it was surprisingly frigid out (20 degrees) and at about 10 minutes to start time there where only four people there, but happy when I told him this was not the final Spellmans book. Luckily the crowd filled out, but I'm not sure if that was a good or a bad thing, for they were surprisingly lack luster and reserved, resulting in a short and mildly surreal experience.

Lisa appeared on time, tired and distracted, but with her wit razor sharp as ever, if not quite linear to follow. She expressed a sentiment that I often feel about public speaking, to avoid when possible, hence she originally wanted to be a scriptwriter, you're rarely asked to speak in front of other people. But first, before anything else, the big news must be made, and no, not my wonderful giveaway that's currently underway, no no. The amazing news is Lisa is finally a New York Times Bestselling Author! The list goes to 15, and she tied for 15th. So yeah for Lisa! So well deserved, which you'd know if you'd all listen to me and go read them (cough *win* cough *them*). She rather succinctly and humorously summed up the newest Spellman installment by saying it had "100% more undercover butlering than any previous Spellman book before." Then, with the help of Daniel Goldin, they did a reading in her preferred style of a scene of dialogue, first between Izzy and Morty, then stranded in Florida, and another between Izzy and a drunk lawyer (it will make so much more sense if you read the book, or if you go to

Then the questions and answers followed, which was kind of a sad affair. People, as in all you people out there who go to book signings or talks, speak up! They're here for you! Ask your questions, get your answers, provoke talk and discussion! Though I did glean some interesting news. First, the movie is in between studios (the new studio being more interested in transformers) and Lisa has a feeling it would be far better if she rewrote it with transformers, or for the real money maker: a family of vampire PIs! She has written a stand alone with her ex that will hopefully see publication, currently titled Heads You Loose, written in the style of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist with them switching off writing chapters. She heartily agreed with one questioner that Sarah Silverman would work wonderfully as Izzy. Then there was a back and forth with a few kids who, for schoolwork, come to talks and then report on it. Lisa said to give a good report on her. She then inquired what other types of questions they had to answer, one being, what are your views on writing and reading, to which she said, "I think they're good things, write that down, we'll wait." She also said she liked these easy questions and could she please have some more.

Then the signing began, she actually remembered me from last year, which I think is good right? I am very vocal in getting her books out there so I hope I help, cause really it's kind of a selfish obsession, she does good, I get another book sometime in the future. So books signed and booty bundled up, with a little extra for my giveaway from the owner, Daniel Goldin (aka a "Free Schimdt" t-shirt) I headed for home, ok, I headed to another bookstore to shop for some rare used books, but still... I did eventually make it home! So a fun evening, signed books, a chat with Lisa, my Dad got to talk to her about the The Innocence Project which is such an important cause and important to the books plot, undercover butlering aside.

So what else should I mention... well as you notice I'm nearing 200 followers, closer and closer everyday, especially if you count my networked blogs followers as well. So, thanks to my new bffs at Simon & Schuster who sent me 4 more copies of the newest Spellman book, along with the new shirt, I thought I'd extend the giveaway, try for that 200 and see how much booty I can bundle off to people. So ENTER! There's a very high chance you could win, there are 8 prizes currently! More to come...

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