Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Breaking News...

...that you may already know. Hopefully I'm not the last : )

Stephenie Meyer will treat readers once more to the vampire world of Twilight, with the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

In a press release from last Tuesday, Little Brown announced the release of the novella (June 5, 2010) along with this info:

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a novella told from the point of view of Bree, a character originally featured in Eclipse. The novella (at 192 pages) will be released at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, 2010 in hardcover for $13.99 with a first printing of 1.5 million copies. One dollar for each book sold in the US from the first printing will be donated to the American Red Cross Internasuch as those in Haiti and Chile.*


You can read more on Meyer's official site. The official press release can be found here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Dorchester's New Pledge

Hi, all! Dorchester has started a new program that I think you're all going to love. The first book featured, Sunrise in the Garden of Love & Evil, hits shelves tomorrow (officially) so I figured I needed to get this posted pronto!

Here's the info from the email I received last month from Dorchester, explaining the new Publisher's Pledge program:

New York, NY—Dorchester Publishing is proud to introduce its Publisher’s Pledge program, a bold, new marketing initiative created to launch the careers of the next generation of genre superstars. A privately owned publisher of mass-market original fiction, Dorchester has a long, storied history of discovering the most exciting names in genre fiction, including Victoria Alexander, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Katie MacAlister and Lynsay Sands.


Next year marks the firm’s 40th anniversary, which prompted the company to redouble its commitment to the discovery and nurturing of the needs of new authors, thus reinforcing its founding philosophy.


“Publisher’s Pledge is a reaffirmation of the business model Dorchester has always prided itself on,” stated Brooke Borneman, Director of Sales and Marketing. “Our strength has been identifying emerging voices and trends in the industry rather than chasing bestsellers. Our intent is to reestablish ourselves in the market as the publisher authors and agents turn to first to introduce new talent. Dorchester has proven countless times—through our innovative marketing, tireless dedication and willingness to take chances—that we are uniquely qualified for this special and vital niche. This program represents our commitment—our pledge, if you will—to everyone in the book publishing community.”


Launching in April 2010, the Publisher’s Pledge program will be supported by online and national print advertising; bookstore mailings; press release and ARC campaigns to media, reviewers, bloggers, retailers, libraries and consumers; lead features in bookseller, library and consumer e-newsletters; consumer contests and buzz campaigns through social networking sites; and a money-back guarantee for readers.


The first Publisher’s Pledge title will be Barbara Monajem’s Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil (April 2010), an erotically charged urban fantasy in the same vein as Charlaine Harris. Additional titles include Elisabeth Naughton’s Marked (May 2010), a darkly sensual paranormal romance inspired by Greek mythology that will appeal to fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon; Christie Craig’s Shut Up and Kiss Me (June 2010), a delightfully quirky romantic mystery that will appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich; and Erin Kellison’s back-to-back debuts Shadow Bound (July 2010) and Shadow Fall (August 2010), the first two releases in a riveting post-apocalyptic series that fuses dark fantasy, science fiction, horror and romantic suspense.


Additional information about the books selected for Dorchester’s Publisher’s Pledge program will be available on www.dorchesterpub.com in March 2010.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Releases 3/30/10

Some of the the titles hitting shelves this week (there's a lot!):

31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich

Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson

The Beautiful Assassin by Michael C. White

The Mage in Black by Jaye Wells -- second in the Sabina Kane series

Changeless by Gail Carriger -- second in the Parasol Protectorate series

Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Desires of a Perfect Lady by Victoria Alexander

Sunrise in the Garden of Love & Evil by Barbara Monajem

Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams

Succubus Shadows by Richell Mead -- fifth in the Georgina Kincaid series

Corner Shop by Roopa Farooki -- trade paperback

The Long Way Home by Robin Pilcher

The following titles are set for release on April 1:

The Deputy by Victor Gischler

Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi

A Catch in Time by Dalia Roddy

Stress Fracture by D.P. Lyle

The Executor by Jesse Kellerman

New on DVD:
Sherlock Holmes
And Education

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
31 Bond Street
Mage in Black
The Barbary Pirates

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Light Reading for a Snowy Day

I have a stack of feel good, contemporary women's fiction (*chick-lit*) on my bedside table right now and I'm kind of relieved. No doubt a few books in I'll be hitting up my thriller stack (yes, there are actually two stacks on the bedside table right now -- light and dark reading), but for now I'm relishing my Dana Reads. That's what I'm calling them from now on: Dana Reads.

I have three sisters, the JJs and Dana. Dana's a reader, but she doesn't read the same things the Junior Junkies do. Dana prefers her books on the lighter, less paranormal side. In fact, the two of us read the Twilight books together, and although she really enjoyed them, it took my promising to read them as well to get her to finally jump in. I actually started separating the TBR stack into three sections: books to be read and sent on to the JJS, books to be read and considered for Dana, and everything else.

It's snowing. Again. Folks back home, be ready for another bout of bad weather in a few days. No, no snow for most of you, but I'm willing to bet the storm that's causing our weather today and tomorrow will move right through and say hello to you too.

I've said it before and I'll continue saying it until my heater can be turned off and that's that I am totally sick of this weather. I'm ready for spring and summer and hot weather and the smell of grills going in the neighborhood. I'm sick of the smell of cow manure that wafts in with every coming storm. I'm sick of freezing in my own house (regardless of what the thermostat says there's a difference of at least 20 degrees between the living room and upstairs, which means that you have to have blankets to watch tv).

Last winter, I read Katherine Center's Everyone is Beautiful, and really enjoyed it. Parts of that book resonated with me so much so that I still remember scenes very vividly. I'm about halfway through her latest book (due out April 6), Get Lucky, and am totally loving it. It's a book about sisters and surrogacy; I'll be sure to post on it later, but I wanted to share my review of Everyone is Beautiful from last year:

Lanie Coates is kind of miserable. She and her family have left behind their lives in Houston to start fresh in Massachusetts after her husband earns a position at the university that offers free housing. Unfortunately that’s about all the job offers. Peter supplements his meager income teaching piano lessons while Lanie is stuck with their three sons all day. It’s not until another mother at the local park asks Lanie her due date that she decides its time for her to do something for herself. See, Lanie’s not pregnant at all, she’s just let herself go in lieu of taking care of her family. Soon she’s heading to the gym and taking photography classes and on her way to becoming a better Lanie, but it could end up being at the expense of her own marriage. Center has a great voice and Lanie is a charming leading lady. This touching and hilarious read will really open your eyes to what truly makes a person happy, what truly makes a person beautiful in the eyes of another.

My fellow reviewer Jenn also enjoyed the book. You can find her review on bookbitch.com under Book Reviews. (It also made Jenn's list of favorites read since March 2009.)

Katherine Center is definitely one Dana would enjoy! Redbook even called Everyone is Beautiful " A great book for the tub." I can definitely attest to that! And if Everyone was a great tub read (they're all great tub reads in my house, to be honest), then Get Lucky is a great book to curl up and stay warm with. Be sure to check out Katherine's website (lined above) for more on her books, including excerpts!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Me and Ethan Gage Are Tight!

Or at least we're going to be.

I keep meaning to do some posts on the adventure thrillers I enjoy and somehow haven't done that yet. I remember one of the very first ARCs I got as a bookseller was a set of Matthew Reilly's books, Ice Station and Temple. Oh, I was in heaven. I was a newbie at the store and snagged two freebies that introduced me to an author I'd never heard of/read before. This was the first time that I really got to experience that rush from start to finish. I mean, the books were free, for one. But having the chance to read something new and then tell customers about it, which I did for years to come, was and always will be the best part of reading like I do.

I featured William Dietrich's upcoming The Barbary Pirates in a Pre-pub post last week (here) before I'd had a chance to read it, so was unable to actually review the book as part of the post. So here's my follow-up since I can now add it to the finished stack.

When Susan Schwartzman asked if I'd be interested in The Barbary Pirates, I told her definitely. As I've mentioned before, the publicist extraordinaire has not steered me wrong in her recommendations and of course I'm always open to new authors. Thing is, this is the fourth in the Ethan Gage series and I feared that I would be completely lost. I have to say that although I'm really itching to go back and read Ethan's previous adventures (and will as soon as I can), I found that I was not, in fact, completely lost.

Be warned, though, The Barbary Pirates does rely very heavily on an already established storyline, but for action fans, it's merely something that will send you racing to the bookstore -- once you finish, that is. I definitely was not tempted to set this one aside long enough to catch up!

In a story that began at the poker tables of Napoleon's Pyramid, The Barbary Pirates begins with Gage and four savant cohorts hitting up The Palais Royal in France. Of course they end up at a brothel where Gage is targeted by a member of the Egyptian Rite who claims that he can help track down Gage's missing lover. It's clear pretty soon that the Rite is not out to help Gage and he and his friends narrowly escape danger, only to be brought straight to Napoleon himself. Soon Ethan and his friends find themselves on a mission that they can't refuse.

I find Dietrich's style to be extremely humorous and smart and I love that actual historical events are woven into the tales, creating a web of reality around the fantastic and fun plot. I wish that I'd read the earlier books first so that I could get the whole picture, but rest assured that it's not completely necessary, merely highly recommended!

If you would like to start on Gage's adventures from the beginning before The Barbary Pirates lands on shelves next week, they are (in order):

Napoleon's Pyramids
The Rosetta Key
The Dakota Cipher

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Case of the Wednesdays!

The week is halfway over, but somehow it never seems that way when you wake to over a foot of snow on the ground.

Yep, a snowstorm hit hard and heavy last night. The power even flickered a few times during Survivors and Lost (somehow, Tuesdays have now become my tv nights). It's a good thing I ventured out in my jammies and backed the car up during the commercial break, too. There's a tree in our yard whose snow-heavy branches reach all the way to the ground until everything melts again. One of the branches actually broke off sometime during the night and now sits in the front yard waiting for us to borrow a hand saw and break it into moveable pieces. Craziness.

So yeah, my morning did not start off very well. After I dug half of our sidewalk out, I ended up calling it a day and leaving the rest for Mike (thank goodness his knee is well enough that I don't have to do the whole thing anymore!). Cold and sore, all I really wanted this morning was to go back to bed! Fortunately the sun has come out since then and the snow is fast melting.

I'm so ready for winter to be over that I'm breaking out the beach reads! I'm not kidding. When the weather really starts to get me down, nothing cheers me up better than a good book, and nothing can lift my mood as much as something light and funny -- like Lisa Lutz! I was actually reading her latest last week when we had pretty nice weather, but today got me thinking: Izzy Spellman and her family definitely would have cured my blues, so I thought this would be a great time to do my The Spellmans Strike Again post!

If you haven't read Lutz yet, stop now and go out and buy all of her books. I'm not kidding. Now. All four! You definitely have to read them in order to get the full effect and you're going to want to gobble them up once you start.

In The Spellmans Strike Again, Izzy is once again facing blackmail from the Spellman matriarch. This time around, her mother has insisted that unless Izzy begins going on a series of mother-approved blind dates (i.e. with lawyers or otherwise acceptable professionals) the secret of Prom 1994 will be revealed. Meanwhile, Maggie (see Revenge of the Spellmans for her intro) and David are trying to maintain a healthy relationship with the Spellmans looming. They're hiding a secret, too, but is it as tantalizing as the one Izzy's parents are hiding? And not to be left out, the youngest Spellman begins an internship researching pro bono cases, which leads to her involvement in a new cause.

Hilarious as always! (I can't help but be a little cryptic when describing these. They are, after all, PI mysteries at heart. They're just all around great reads, too, so I never want to give too much away.) The whole time I was cracking up (out loud) while reading, Mike just kept asking, "What? What?! What's so funny?!"

Yeah, you might not want to read these in public for fear of looking a little crazy -- or maybe you should read them in public. Definitely! The people might run out and buy them for themselves to see what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Straight From the Headlines

... of 1857, that is.

I told you about Ellen Horan's debut, 31 Bond Street, this weekend in my Pre-Pub post and I promised that I would follow-up. So here it is!

I stayed up last night finishing this one and I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed. It begins with the discovery of Harvey Burdell's brutalized corpse. The accused, Emma Cunningham, is a widow who was trying to better her situation by landing a husband with a respectable address and wealth. Unfortunately, when she met Harvey Burdell and agreed to act as housemistress of his home, she hoped that, as he promised, they would be married soon. Now she stands trial for murder and the question is this: is Emma a killer or a victim? Attorney Henry Clinton has vowed to take on her case and her defense in spite of the fact that both his career and his reputation are now on the line.

The majority of Horan's characters come straight from the actual 19th century case. Apparently, the book began as a non-fiction account of the trial before she transformed it into the fictional mystery that it is now. The result is a highly entertaining, page-turner that unfolds for readers much the way I imagine the original case did all those years ago. It's obvious why Horan was inspired to write this book -- the case and the players are utterly fascinating. I think Horan has done a masterful job in weaving fact and fiction and bringing them to life for today's audience.

Quite simply, I loved it! So again, 31 Bond Street hits shelves on March 30. Historical mystery fans take note. This is one people are going to be talking about!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- 31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan

Ellen Horan's debut historical mystery, 31 Bond Street, hits shelves in just over a week and you're definitely going to want to keep an eye out for it.

One of the best parts of reviewing books, in addition to sharing my newfound reads, is receiving press material. It's a little added bonus for nerds like me: I'm one of those readers who just gulps up information on books and the industry. I read the acknowledgements, the author bio, and any other extras that come in the finished book. I check out the author's website and I read reviews. Sometimes, the press material features blurbs by other authors I read, sometimes it's simply a note from the editor or the publicity director. The best ones, though, are the ones like 31 Bond Street, where there's really a great backstory for the inspiration behind the book. It can be just a nugget of info or a full-blown interview, but either way, it's a peek into what makes the author tick.

Here's some of what the press material on 31 Bond Street said:

On a lazy day, perusing the bins at a vintage print shop in Soho, Horan found a yellowed newspaper page with an etching of a crowd assembled on the cobblestone steps of a townhouse on a tree-lined street in New York City. The caption said 31 Bond Street and the date was 1857. Upon research, this clipping turned out to be about the murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell, a dentist, who lived at this address, and the biggest news story of the first half of the 19th century, occupying the front pages of every major newspaper of the time and traveling across the ocean. It was the “crime of the century,” literally, and it began our current voyeuristic fascination with crime, sex and law.

In the tradition of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, 31 BOND STREET takes readers on a fascinating archeological dig, wading trough the minutiae of a buried past, only to uncover circumstances that are shockingly contemporary: a sensationalist press, burgeoning new wealth, a booming real estate market, and race and gender conflicts, and the crime that overshadowed everything. According to historian Kenneth M. Stampp in his book America in 1857: a Nation on the Brink, the murder of Harvey Burdell “Permeated every grade of society…Until the termination of the trial the case so absorbed the public that even the political press was distracted from politics, not only in New York but throughout the country.”

I dare you to tell me that you aren't at least a little curious about what Horan has in store. I dare you!

For more on 31 Bond Street and Ellen Horan, visit the official 31 Bond Street website at: www.31bondstreet.com. I'm in the midst of reading this one right now and will be reviewing it for bookbitch.com this week. I'll also post something here later as well.

Happy reading and I hope you're all having a great weekend!

New Releases 3/23/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

212 by Alafair Burke -- 3rd Ellie Hatcher book

Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Caught by Harlan Coben

Known to Evil by Walter Mosely -- second in the Leonid McGill series

The Sheen on the Silk by Anne Perry -- a stand alone

The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen

The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear -- a Maisie Dobbs book

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

Shattered by Karen Robards

Divine Misfortune by A. Lee Martinez (3/26)

Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott

New on DVD:
The Blind Side
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Men Who Stare at Goats
Brothers

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
212
Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Shift by Rachel Vincent

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hump Day!

And St. Patty's Day at that! Not that I'll be partaking in any green beer, though I did send Mike out for Guinness for the roast that I'm making.

It's been an interesting week. We went to the Danielle Trussoni signing last night at the Colfax Tattered Cover. There was a pretty decent turnout. I have to say, Trussoni's fiction debut is truly a great read so if you have the opportunity to attend one of her signings, I highly suggest you go (tour dates are on the In Person page of her website). I've reviewed Angelology for Bookbitch.com this week and you can check out my post from last Tuesday for more of my thoughts.

She did a reading -- great scene choice, btw (one of my faves!), and then opened the floor to questions. I have to admit some pretty weird ones came out of that. I'm glad we went out to attend, though. Mike even confessed that he was kind of interested in reading Angelology after hearing her speak (I'm not sure it's quite his cup of tea, but I won't deter him).

I did ask Trussoni about the sequel and she said she's hoping to finish it by year after next -- it's evident that she spent quite a bit of time researching Angelology, and she admitted that it took three years for that one. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with the follow-up and how the story will continue (no worries, no spoilers -- I'm not giving anything away).

No pics, unfortunately. I left my camera at home. Guess I could have attempted the phone, but since I'm not a great photographer anyway, I didn't really think to try. Next time, though.

The Tattered Cover has some other great events coming up this last half of the month, a couple of which are on my own calendar to attend. I'm linking to their events page for those of you who might be in the Denver area and able to attend.

The Boulder Bookstore has some great events coming up as well, including Ruth Reichl and Paula Reed (Hester), so check out their calendar, too.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Carrie Ryan = Ahhh-mazing!

I did some marathon reading Friday and Saturday and finished up some books that I've been under orders to send to the JJs.

One of them was the follow-up to last year's fantastic teen zombie book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which I reviewed here. I was just rereading that post and realized that I was under deadline with that one as well -- but it was self-imposed that time around :)

Not that I can blame my sisters, I've been dying to get my hands on this one, too! Ever since turning the final page on Forest last year, I've been desperate to return to this world. And, to be totally honest, I don't think I could have lingered over The Dead-Tossed Waves anyway. Again, Carrie Ryan's amazing imagery and relentless pacing just begged to be gulped up in one sitting. And I did!

This time around, the story is told by Mary's daughter, Gabry. Gabry has never known the danger of the Forest. Mary vowed that Gabry only ever know love and safety, and until now she's been successful in providing this. But when Gabry and her friends go beyond the Barrier for an evening of fun, everything changes. The kids are attacked by a Breaker and the Militiamen are sent out to save them. Gabry escapes with only some suspicious that she might have been present during the event. In the end, the survivors are quarantined and punished, forced into service with the Recruiters where they will face endless danger from the Mudo. Gabry's friends keep her secret, but in exchange, Gabry must cross the Barriers once again and find one of the infected who escaped. From this point forward, Gabry will have to face the dangers that have been kept from her for so long.

I had some fear that Dead-Tossed Waves could not live up to the expectations I had after Forest. I was so wrong! Carrie Ryan completely blew me away yet again. And now it's back to waiting for the next installment. And yes, readers, there is to be a third book in the series and it's due out next Spring! And there's still the movie on the horizon, too, though I've not heard anything more about it of late.

Gah! Go out and get these books. Whether you're looking for a great YA read for your teen (and you should snag 'em first) or if you're a post-apocalyptic/zombie/horror fan like I am, these are beyond amazing reads.

For lots of extras including book trailers, check out Carrie Ryan's official website.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Releases 3/16/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Club Rules by Andrew Trees

Down to the Wire by David Rosenfelt

Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline

The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz

New on DVD:
New Moon (March 20 on this one)
Ninja Assassin
The Princess and the Frog
Did You Hear About the Morgans
Astro Boy
The Fourth Kind

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Dark Secrets of the Old Oak Tree by Dolores J. Wilson
Abandon the Night by Joss Ware

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich

If you're a fan of historical adventure a la Indiana Jones, then you should be reading William Dietrich. The Barbary Pirates, the fourth Ethan Gage adventure, hits shelves on March 30.

I've got lots of info for you on this one, starting with some stuff from the press release:

Dietrich’s newest THE BARBARY PIRATES (on-sale: 3/30/2010) will not disappoint – the book features pirates, and lots of them, and takes his characters from Paris to Santorini, to Tripoli. During the roiling era of Napoleon’s reign, American adventurer Ethan Gage is in a desperate race with the Barbary pirates —and with his Egyptian Rite nemesis Aurora Somerset — to rediscover and control the mirror of Archimedes: an ancient super-weapon that legend contends burned a Roman fleet. In 1802, this death ray could tip the balance of power in the Mediterranean, and Ethan must stop the pirates from using it against American, English, and French fleets.

Beginning in Paris, the dashing Gage, with the help of real-life scientists and engineers, must not only rescue his former lover Astiza; he must also save the three-year-old son he didn’t know he had. Astiza and Gage’s enemy, Aurora, find themselves in a fight to the death, while the infant United States Navy tests its mettle against Tripoli.

Delivering the fast-paced adventure, uncanny wit, and page-turning historical excitement that readers have come to expect from the masterful William Dietrich, THE BABARY PIRATES is Ethan Gage at his winningest, most hilarious, and most death-defying!

And here's what PW had to say:

Dietrich's fourth entry in the Ethan Gage series (after The Dakota Cipher) continues the high-octane saga of the intrepid diplomat during the reign of Napoleon. Our hero is in Paris with his three “savant” friends, British geologist William Smith, French zoologist George Cuvier, and fellow American, inventor Robert Fulton. Napoleon dispatches the quartet to chase down the rumor of the fabled mirror of Archimedes, a fantastical prop straight out of science fiction that can emit a death ray. Things turn sticky when Gage's old arch nemesis, the Egyptian Rite, a ruthless cabal out to rule the world, joins the race to grab the death ray for their own evil designs. On his perilous journey from Paris east across the Mediterranean Sea, Gage meets up with British femme fatale Lady Aurora Somerset, Egyptian lover Astiza, and, of course, the savage Barbary Pirates. His quest takes him aboard Fulton's submarine, steaming into the exotic port of Tripoli to a violent, if far-fetched climax. A heart-stomping pulpy yarn, Gage's narrow escapes, hardboiled banter, and unexpected surprises ensure Dietrich's imaginative page-turner will enjoy a long and lively run.

If that's not enough to get you chomping at the bit, Dietrich recently sat down for an interview on Seattle's KCTS, which you can watch here: http://www.williamdietrich.com/pressroom.htm

If you want to check them out from the beginning they are (in order): Napoleon's Pyramids, The Rosetta Key, and The Dakota Cipher.

Happy Reading! And remember March 30, The Barbary Pirates.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Amazon Issue

I know that I may alienate some of my readers and I know some of you might not think this is the best place for this, but I don't have an outlet and I AM PISSED!!!! Everything that I read about the Colorado/Amazon war that began this week with Amazon "firing" it's Colorado affiliates has me completely up in arms.

Basically it's this: the state of Colorado, in an effort to find new ways to collect money from it's already taxpaying citizens, has told Amazon that they can either collect sales tax OR and this is the big freaking OR send a report of all Colorado state purchasers to the state revenue office so that the STATE CAN SEND PURCHASERS A BILL OF OWED CO SALES TAX!

Seriously?!

If I go to New York and buy something, I have to pay New York sales tax on that even though I'm not a New York citizen. If I order something from an Arizona bookstore, I have to pay Arizona sales tax on that purchase even though I'm in Colorado. I don't pay the state of Colorado for these purchases, these businesses are not located in Colorado.

What kind of sense does it make then that I would have to pay sales tax to the state of Colorado for a business that is not located in Colorado?!

I pay income tax to the state of Colorado. I pay sales tax on every purchase I make at every store here in Colorado. I even pay a "tax" (they call it a registration fee but damned if it's not at least $200 more than what I paid for the PRIVILEGE of driving a car in Louisiana). And you know what, I pay it all. I made barely $24k last year and I sure didn't have a lot of extra money to spend. But I do spend my money at Colorado businesses. Colorado restaurants, Colorado located clothing stores, Colorado furniture stores, Colorado gas stations, and even brick and mortar Colorado bookstores. And I've so far managed to keep myself out of debt, which can't be said for the state government.

If Amazon was charging me Tennessee sales tax because their offices were located in Tennessee, I wouldn't have a problem. What I have a problem with is the fact that the state of Colorado honestly believes that they have some claim over these purchases. That they can what, dig their way out of a budget crisis -- and let me remind you that budget crunched Colorado citizens have LESS MONEY TO SPEND SINCE THE STATE LAID OFF PEOPLE! -- by coming up with new ways to get more money from me. Nevermind the fact that Colorado sales tax varies according to county and city.

I was laid off last year. My income was cut in half! I, a college graduate with ten years' work experience, am getting minimum wage after taxes. Yeah, minimum wage at 28 and I still do my part to keep the economy alive. And you know what, Amazon may not be part of the Colorado economy, but they are part of the US economy. Every book I purchase on there puts money into the publisher's pocket and the author's pocket. And my thrifty purchases there allow me to make more purchases than I otherwise could if I were shopping solely at local stores. In fact, by splitting my purchases roughly 50/50 brick and mortar and Amazon, I'm able to contribute more to the US economy as a whole.

And the state of Colorado wants to a. track my purchases (which, hello, the same people who support this tax bill shit their pants when they thought the government had an interest in what they were buying) and b. send me a bill for my owed tax. It's simply not fair.

It's like a damn kick in the pants and supports the feeling I've had for a while that Colorado would prefer that it's lesser citizens (oops, I mean lesser earning citizens) would fly off to another state and never return. Because frankly, on my income, it's clear the state of Colorado believes I shouldn't be able to afford to live here.

And because I understand that my pissed off approach to this post probably won't win my side many supporters, I did find this post at Free Colorado that perfectly sums up everything that's going on. Please don't come knocking on my door saying that I'm against Colorado businesses or with any "Down with the man, Amazon is evil" protests. I'm doing the best that I can and honestly believe that this is wrong on so many levels.

Here are various articles on the issue:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Could Use a Spa Weekend!


The fabulous Christine over at HarperCollins/Avon sent me this info to share with all of you:

To celebrate the publication of New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub’s Avon debut, LIVE TO TELL, which bestselling author Lee Child called “solid gold suspense ... this one is a wild ride,” Lake Austin Spa Resort (the #1 rated spa destination on North America) is partnering with Avon Books/an Imprint of HarperCollins, to offer readers the chance to relax and recharge--and meet bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Readers can visit www.lakeaustinsweeps.com for more details and a chance to enter to win.

To learn more about Wendy and LIVE TO TELL, visit her site http://www.wendycorsistaub.com/ or check out her appearance yesterday on Tampa's Studio 10.

Isn't this the COOLEST contest ever?!

I've not read Staub's latest -- yet. I've been dying to get my hands on a copy and haven't really made it to the bookstore (except my impromptu trip last weekend without my wish list). I've been reading Staub since my early bookstore days, though, and can tell you that if you enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense, you should be reading her, too!

Here's the description of Live to Tell from Wendi Corsi Staub's website:

Secrets can scandalize …

In a lovely suburban town just north of New York City, the gossip mill runs more efficiently than the commuter train line. And in every impeccably decorated house, they’re talking about Lauren Walsh. They say that nothing could be worse than being abandoned by your husband for another woman. They’re wrong …

Secrets can shock …

All Lauren wants is to protect her children from the pain of her messy divorce. But when their father goes missing, a case of mistaken identity puts all their lives in danger, and a stealthy predator lurks in the shadows, watching…waiting…

Secrets can kill …

Lauren is about to uncover an unfathomable truth—a truth this cold-blooded mastermind would never let her live to tell…

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Danielle Trussoni's Angelology was supposed to be my Pre-Pub post this past Saturday, but seeing as how I'm now so late with it that today is the official release date...

I first mentioned this book last Wednesday when I wrote about Elizabeth Kostova's debut, The Historian. You see everything about Angelology really brings me back to the whole Historian experience. And I do mean the WHOLE experience: the excitement I felt post-release when I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and the lush experience of losing myself in that fantastic novel.

Angelology definitely lived up to these expectations. And like The Historian, I found that Angelology took me a lot longer to finish than usual -- as might be obvious by the fact that I delayed posting this.

The book concerns a group of angelologists who have been studying the Nephilim for generations, in hopes that they might defeat these beings once and for all. The Nephilim, according to literature, are the descendants of the Watchers (angels) and their human lovers. The Watchers were male and it is said that they gave up everything when they fell in love with human women. Their children, however, were dangerous beings who brought warfare to the human race. The Watchers were punished and imprisoned deep beneath the earth while the Nephilim infiltrated the human population. Present day, Sister Evangeline, a nun with the St. Rose convent in Milton, New York, has received an odd request: a man named Verlaine has been hired to find a connection between Abigail Rockefeller and his clients and he believes that she may have been in contact with one of the nuns at the convent during the period he is researching. What neither of them know is that Abigail Rockefeller helped fund an expedition to find something that could have given the angelologists a great advantage over the Nephilim. Verlaine's letter plunges both of them into an ages old battle between man and angel, and the outcome may depend on their being able to unravel the puzzle.

The story is fairly involved for a brief synopsis, but it's definitely what I've been waiting for in terms of the "angels as the new vampires" trend. No doubt readers who find titles like The Historian to be dense and overwhelming, will feel the same about Angelology -- it's a style that's not for every reader out there. Personally, while I enjoy curling up with (and finishing) a new book every other night, I rather like having the occasional long read. Evangeline, Verlaine, the nuns of St. Rose, and the angelologists kept me enthralled for almost a week and it was with some regret that I said goodbye to them with the final page.

But, I've heard that Trussoni may be working on a new Angelology title. If that's the case, I'll be on the edge of my seat until it comes out!

For those of you in the Denver area, Trussoni will be at the Colfax Tattered Cover on March 16. Additional tour dates can be found on the In Person page of her website (link at the top of this post).

Monday, March 8, 2010

Irresponsible Reader

Well if it looks like I've been totally irresponsible with my reading lately, it's because I have. Total brain meltdown these days and I really couldn't tell you why. Abandoned books are covering my nightstand (not to worry, other than my pre-pub post on Angelology at least you guys aren't waiting with baited breath for reviews on said temporarily on hold reads). One sitting reads are taking all week! It's just been absolutely ridiculous and I really do apologize to my faithful readers here. After all, I'd be nothing without you. Just some wacko blogging for to empty digital airspace, or something.

I finally started reading Julie Powell's Julie & Julia last night. I know. I'm slow. I'd actually seen this one with its charming green cover and cute egg beater when it first hit shelves way back in 2005. For a foodie's diary, this book sold massive amounts and readers absolutely adored it. And I don't know why I didn't read it then.

Of course, the fabulous movie adaptation was released in August last year, a combination Julie & Julia as well as Julia Child's bio, My Life in France. And still, I didn't read Julie & Julia. Both titles went on my want list, but unfortunately I got laid off. And then started a new job. Upheaval can severely impact plans, I've noticed.

However, my recent spate of foodie reads prompted me to hit the bookstore this weekend and finally, finally buy Julie & Julia. (And add Orangette's book to my wish list where it awaits actual purchase along with Julia Child). Well, the food reads and a coupon, and an uncontrollable urge to spend after blowing a wad of cash on preparing for a party that I didn't even attend. I swear, it was like opening the floodgates and the bank account has been leaking like a sieve ever since. Definitely time to plug it for a while.

The thing is, I really identify with these women: Julie Powell, Michelle Maisto, and Cathy Erway. I swear, reading the first few chapters of Julie & Julia last night, I felt like I was reading in part about myself. Hm. Late twenties and unsure what comes next or what to do about it. And hitting the kitchen results in some semblance of sanity for me as well, at least for a very short period of time.

Anyway, I guess I'm hoping that you guys understand my current malfunctions and forgive me for them. And if you haven't read Julie & Julia yet yourself, you should check it out. Julie Powell is something else. Really quite different from the fairly tame, cute character played by Amy Adams. Julie Powell is unabashedly honest in her language (she curses a fair bit, which is totally ok by me) and in her admissions (just read the part about her friend's strange dream that went out via email to her whole contact list).

Like I said, I'm really enjoying these foodie books and plan on reading many more of them in the near future. And they have inspired me to start my own food blog. Not sure who will read it or find it, but it's begun. http://trufflesandpistolettes.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Cove Won!

Didn't exactly make it to the Oscar party here in town -- turns out there was some miscommunication about the event and the plus ones had to buy tickets (yeah, complete communication meltdown I would say since all of us here in town were in the same boat finding this out day of).

We ended up spending the evening as it should be, with friends rather than strangers.

I have to admit, it's pretty surreal and hasn't yet sunk in that the movie Mike spent over two years on won the Oscar for Best Documentary tonight. Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!

New Releases 3/09/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman

Abandon the Night by Joss Ware

Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

The Serialist by David Gordon

Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler

Hell Gate by Linda Faistein

The Silent Sea by Clive Cussler

So Much For That by Lionel Shriver

New on DVD:
Up In the Air
Precious
Old Dogs
Bookdock Saints II
Possession

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn