Saturday, July 31, 2010

What the heck is going on here?

I know, I've been very, very light on posting lately. Why? I'm planning a wedding. In three months. No reason for the hurry other than the fact that the bride was going to be wearing a straightjacket if she had to plan something a year out (and worry about it for that long).

Three months is a tight schedule and I might be mad for doing so, but at least I feel like I'm getting some things done now.

So far I've set up the wedding website (somewhat), booked the ceremony site, booked the reception site, tried on dresses, and set up meetings for some of the other things we'll need for the event.

I'm still stressed. There's still a ton to do. I'm somehow managing to sleep at night, though. We've got guests from out of town this week as well so the reading has been extra slow going. Bear with me through it all, please.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Monday?

It's Monday, again. I think the most universally groaned about day of the week, right? And understandable considering it's the first day back for most of us after a weekend off and the first day in a long week until the weekend hits again. By Tuesday things are already looking better just because Monday is out of the way.

For me, Mondays also usually mark a start day on a new book (yay!) after a weekend of reading (or not in some cases). It's back to the norm, back to the routine, and for me, reading is very routine. It's my way of attempting to wind down and relax at night before bed. It's rubbed off on my fiance as well. He has to have something to read at night and has discovered the strange quirk that seems to affect so many of us: not being able to end the day unless a new book is begun.

Weird, isn't it? If I finish my book before I go to sleep, I have to settle on a new one and at least read the opening pages before I can turn off the lamp and sleep. Yeah, readers' quirks.

I found myself in just this situation last week when I cracked open E.J. Copperman's Night of the Living Deed, a cozy paranormal mystery "debut" from Jeffrey Cohen, author of the Double Feature mystery series. 'Course I then found myself staying up later than planned as I was sucked into the story!

I'd won the book the week of its release by answering Copperman/Cohen's movie questions about ghostly inspirations. A certified movie buff myself, I love that Cohen ties this into his books. It's a theme in his other series and it carries over just slightly in the new Haunted Guesthouse series. For example, Alison Kerby (heroine of the new series) gets her name from the main characters in Cary Grant's 1937 film, Topper (which I've yet to have the chance to see and am sorely tempted to buy). I've heard that a remake starring Steve Martin is currently in production.

There are other film/tv inspired names as well, including Maxie Malone and Phyllis Coates.

In the book, Alison Kerby, newly single parent and now owner of a fabulous historic oceanfront home in Jersey, has plans to open a guesthouse (Not a B&B, a guesthouse!). Seeing as how she's invested all of her savings into the project and is doing most of the renovations herself, she can't afford any distractions that might throw her off schedule. And that includes distractions in the form of the two ghosts in residence. Maxie Malone and Paul Harrison, the former home's owner and her PI, died in the house. The official report is suicide, but the spectral pair insist it was murder and want Alison's help in proving it. But it's not until Alison starts getting threats herself that she agrees to step in as part time investigator.

Night of the Living Deed is a fun mystery with some truly lovable characters! Perfect stuff for a Monday night start to get you through the week, eh? I think so : )

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Releases 7/27/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The I Hate to Cook Book: 50th Anniversary Edition by Peg Bracken

Running Scared by Lisa Jackson

The Exile of Sara Stevenson by Darci Hannah

Wolf's Cross by S.A. Swann

White Heat by Brenda Novak

Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller

A Wild Light by Marjorie M. Liu -- Hunter Kiss #3

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong -- latest Women of the Otherworld

Jealousy by Lili St. Crow -- third in the Strange Angels series

Wait for Dusk by Jocelynn Drake

Eternal Kiss of Darkness by Jeaniene Frost

The Iron Daugter by Julie Kagawa

New on DVD:
Clash of the Titans
Repo Men

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina
Wolfbreed by S.A. Swann
Night of the Living Deed by E.J. Copperman
7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

Friday, July 23, 2010

Plum Behind!

Janet E's Stephanie Plum series is finally up for movie adaptation and her latest is just a month out in hardcover and what do I realize but that I'm now four books and three in betweens behind. How did it get that bad?!

So here's my plan. I'm going to squeeze in a Stephanie Plum whenever I can this month and hopefully catch up -- at least read the ones I have so that I can justify going out to buy Plum Lucky, Finger Lickin' Fifteen and Sizzling Sixteen.

After that, I plan on tackling my Lee Child backload as well. And I added Kelley Armstrong to the list last night, too. Her latest, Waking the Witch is due out next week and it's my first of the Women of the Otherworld series. Now I have to start from the beginning (luckily I have the first three already!).

So One for the Money is currently in production (or something) and set for release next year (looks like). The director, Julie Anne Robinson, has a slew of tv under her belt, including episodes of Weeds, Grey's Anatomy, and Scoundrels.

The cast, well we'll have to see about the cast. Katherine Heigl is at the helm as Stephanie Plum. Daniel Sunjata from Rescue Me plays Ranger. Jason O'Mara, most recently of Life on Mars (the US version), is playing Morelli -- he's hot, but definitely not what I'd pictured as Morelli. Sherri Shepherd plays Lulu and Patrick Fischler plays Cousin Vinnie, which is kind of the only casting choice I'm actually sort of pleased with.

We'll have to wait and see what happens. I kind of think, right now, that they've missed the mark on most of the cast -- I mean it is an established series and folks have certain ideas about the characters. I'm hoping that the movie turns out well, though. It could lead the way for more series like this to finally be adapted, thereby introducing new readers to the series as well ('cause you know there are a number of folks who will go out and buy the book after seeing the trailer or the movie). Course if it tanks (and it had better not with this much time and effort to get it made in the first place)...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Page to Screen - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I was pretty bummed when The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie didn't play near me. But it's a foreign flick and our Boulder theater that typically played foreigns is closed. So it seemed I would be waiting for the DVD release after all.

And then it had a very long wait in the rental queue, but it was on play instantly. I made some chicken chilli and curled up with the remote and went to town.

My first thoughts were that it was very well done, but very brutal. Of course the book is pretty brutal, but it's harder for me to see that on screen than it is for me to read it.

Another thing that struck me was that they're pretty good at adaptations over there. The core of the book was still there, but many of the small details that I remember were also still there. I have to wonder, though, how much of it will hit the cutting room floor or not be included at all in the American version. And in this case, I'm kind of ok with that. Sure the book is fantastic, but in films, I kind of prefer that certain types of violence be inferred rather than in your face, i.e. the scenes between Lisbeth and her "social worker."

Noomi Rapace was pretty amazing as Lisbeth. As of right now, I see that Carrie Mulligan is rumored to be playing the character in the US version. Not sure I like that choice. I see her too often as a polished waspy character to see her as the kick ass, damaged genius that is Lisbeth. Director David Fincher (Zodiac and Se7en, amongst others) and screenplay writer Steven Zaillian (Schindler's List and Hannibal -- again amongst others) are also supposed to be on board. And IMDB shows Daniel Craig as Blomqvist, which I think is a pretty good choice considering he gets around so much and Craig is hot.

I'm on the fence with the books right now. Basically I thought that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was as brilliantly fantastic as it was hyped up to be. The Girl Who Played With Fire has stumped me, though, and I've not yet resumed reading it.

Overall, as I said a great adaptation and a pretty good flick. I'm not as against an American remake as I was, mostly because I'm interested to see how it's going to be handled.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

13th Century Werewolves

Vampires are still at the forefront of the paranormal realm, but werewolves have been trying to beat them for a few years now. Every once in a while a couple of werewolf books will hit shelves, but it seems that for every 2, there are 20 more vampire books. They're dominating. But I can't hate on them too much since they have, in a sense, paved the way for all of the other paranormal entities. In truth, they've been around for ages, but it's their current popularity that's resulted in a slew of new genre releases.

And everytime something totally different pops into my radar, I can't help but love it. (I must admit, even with the vamps, there are so many possibilities that if an author truly does come up with a different twist, I'm all about it.)

Anywho, that brings me to my latest read (finished it last night), Wolfbreed by S.A. Swann.

In Wolfbreed, Swann uses 13th century Prussia as his backdrop for a really great werewolf tale. Historically, Teutonic knights from the Crusades had been invited into the country to help Christianize the Prussian pagans (I looked this up, I am not an expert on 13th century European history). In the book, a knight of the Order of the Hospital of St. Mary of the Germans in Jerusalem discovers his camp has been attacked, all of the others brutally murdered. He defeats the werewolf responsible, only to discover a litter of her cubs. Intent on raising them as weapons for the Church, the young werewolves are tortured and brainwashed as training for the next eighteen years. It is 1239 when Lilly finally escapes her master. But these knights are not going to give up their captor so easily. They will hunt her to the ends of the earth if needed. She is saved by a family who take her in and care for her when she is wounded. But soon enough, the Order tracks Lilly to her hiding place. Whether her newfound friends will stick by her once they learn the truth about her is the question.

I don't think I can really do this book justice. First, I don't want to give too much away: Lilly's not your typical werewolf (at least not the ones that are usually portrayed these days), and her back story is really great. Plus, it's one that runs the length of the book and is integral to the revelations that come at the end. Wouldn't want to ruin that for you, now would I?

This was, at least in my area, a very quiet release. I'd heard nothing about this book until just recently and that's thanks to the upcoming release (7/27) of the sequel, Wolf's Cross. Frankly, Swann's historical/paranormal read deserves much more attention, in my humble opinion. I'd highly recommend checking it out if you're looking for something different, if you enjoy the fantastical with a hint of true history, or if you're simply looking for a great story. Wolfbreed is all of these things and I can't wait to find out where it goes next with Wolf's Cross (which jumps to 1343).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Releases 7/20/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando

The Past is a Foreign Country by Gianrico Carofiglio

Wanting Sheila Dead by Jane Haddam -- a Gregor Demarkian mystery

Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James

Historic Road Trips from Dallas/Fort Worth by Wendi Pierce with Rick Steed (this is one of mine! So proud of Rick and Wendi! This is a great read and a great companion if you want to try the drives yourself.)

Trouble Maker by Janet and Alex Evanovich -- Alex Barnaby #3

The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva

The Fallen 2 by Thomas Sniegoski -- this is a teen read that my sisters recently discovered. They keep telling me I need to read it : )

Dark and Stormy Nights ed PN Elrod -- anthology with Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Vicki Pettersson and more

Shadow Zone by Iris and Roy Johansen -- I've enjoyed their colabs and am looking forward to this one

People of the Longhouse by Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

New on DVD:
Cop Out
The Losers
The Runaways

I've got no new reviews for Bookbitch -- this has been a crazy week and frankly I completely forgot it was the weekend. But there are always new reviews from BB and the others (and fabulous giveaways!).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile

March 2005 saw the release of Kevin Guilfoile's Cast of Shadows, one of my all time favorite thrillers. I've checked occasionally to see if he had any new releases and it's finally paid off! Guilfoile's latest, The Thousand, will hit shelves on August 24. Here is the product description from Amazon:

Kevin Guilfoile’s riveting follow-up to Cast of Shadows (“spellbinding”—Chicago Tribune; “a masterpiece of intelligent plotting”—Salon) centers on an extraordinary young woman’s race to find her father’s killer and to free herself from the cross fire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.

In 530 B.C., a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton, in what is now Italy. After three days the skies finally cleared and a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered along the wet sands. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. They became a community. A school. A cult dedicated to the search for a mathematical theory of everything. Although Pythagoras would die years later, following a bloody purge, his disciples would influence Western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.

Chicago, the present day. Canada Gold, a girl both gifted and burdened by uncanny mental abilities, is putting her skills to questionable use in the casinos and courthouses of Las Vegas when she finds herself drawn back to the city in which her father, the renowned composer Solomon Gold, was killed while composing his magnum opus. Beautiful, brilliant, troubled, Canada has never heard of the Thousand, a clandestine group of powerful individuals safeguarding and exploiting the secret teachings of Pythagoras. But as she struggles to understand her father’s unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in the violence erupting between members of the fractured ancient cult while she is relentlessly pursued by those who want to use her, those who want to kill her, and the one person who wants to save her.

In an irresistibly ambitious novel that fuses historical fact with contemporary suspense, Kevin Guilfoile delivers an erudite, propulsively entertaining thriller that seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music, and philosophy.
The Thousand is ringing confirmation of Guilfoile’s enormous talent.

Cast of Shadows was an intriguing and intense read about just how far a father would go to learn the identity of his daughter's killer. It was fantastic. Needless to say, I have high hopes about The Thousand!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Blogger Hop July 16 - 19

In the spirit of the Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky at Crazy-For-Books!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

Make sure you hop on over to Crazy-For-Books so that you can find some great blogs like I have done! You won't be disappointed.


Hm, books I'm dying to get my hands on right now... I just found out about Kevin Guilfoile's latest, The Thousand. I loved his Cast of Shadows, so I'm definitely excited about this one. Black Swan Rising by Lee Carrol is another one I'm looking forward to (collaboration between Carol Goodman and her husband, Lee Slominsky). Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis has been on my wishlist since I first heard about it's release.

I know there are a ton of others, there always are!

100 Thrillers

This month, ITW authors got together and contributed essays for Thrillers: 100 Must Reads ed by David Morrell and Hank Wagner. The book is an interesting look at 100 thrillers throughout the years, beginning with Lee Child's essay on "Theseus and the Minotaur" all the way through Steve Berry's entry on Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.

Thriller fans will love it. Not only can you totally poach thriller reads -- both classic and contemporary -- for your TBR stacks, but you get to see what your favorite authors have to say about some of the best of the genre. Douglas Preston writes on Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, Laura Benedict weighs in on Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles. Allison Brennan writes about one of my favorites, Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, CJ Lyons tackles Robin Cook's Coma, and JT Ellison got another of my favorites, The Charm School by Nelson Demille.

It's just a super cool look at the evolution of the genre. Like me, you've probably read some or many of the titles mentioned, you've probably read many of the authors contributing. But I guarantee you that there's something in there that you've missed! Some fantastic book that may have inspired some of your favorites today. Something that's calling your name from the bookshelves as your next must buy! And who among us isn't always in the lookout for something new and great to read?

I just think it's a truly fantastic anthology and highly recommend it to any fellow book junkie who loves to read books that leave you on the edge of your seat.

And, in a separate poll, NPR is letting you vote on your favorite thrillers. They've narrowed the list down to 182 titles. You can head over here and cast your vote for your favorite ten on the list. Trust me, it's a tough vote. There are some amazing titles on this list. I managed to vote on a King, a Coben, a Deaver, a Child, a few newbies, and Rebecca. I can't remember what else, but I think I got the important ones (for me, that is).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Southern Gothic Ghost Tale

I'm in the mood for some horror. Alas it is not in the immediate review cards (although I am reading a paranormal cozy with ghosts at the moment). Actually, I'm chomping at the bit to dive into the new Christopher Ransom. Strangely enough, it's only been released in the UK (and seemingly no plans for a US release so far), but I did get the newsletter email from Ransom and sprung for it at Book Depository. It arrived on my doorstep today and is waiting patiently on my bedside table with Adam Neville's Apartment 16.

In the meantime, I thought I'd dig another past rec from the reading closet. This time, it's Cherie Priest's gothic debut, Four and Twenty Blackbirds.

After my trip to Charleston in December, I tackled Cherie Priest's backlist with great expectations. So far, she's lived up to them completely (and I've no doubt she will continue to, because she's fab!). It was her steampunk release, Boneshaker, that did it for me.

To be totally honest, I'd actually bought Four and Twenty Blackbirds much earlier, but my book hoarding habit is one that results in some long awaited TBR titles. One of these days, when I'm rich (or retired), I'll find time to read everything twice over! Those'll be the days, right? 'Til then, I'll peck away at the stacks as I fast as my tired eyes can read them. I've got the two follow ups to Four and Twenty in the pile right now -- and trust me, you'll want to have them on hand for when you finish the first Eden Moore installment, too. Four and Twenty Blackbirds is a truly stellar and creepy ghost story.

Eden Moore has long been able to see things that others can't. She's haunted in every sense of the word. Secrets surround her as do the ghosts of her past. The specters of three sisters have followed Eden since early childhood. Mae, Willa, and Luanna have been dead for decades, but their story is one that Eden will need to untangle if she is to survive what is to come: When Eden was younger, her cousin became convinced that she was a wicked spirit returned from the grave, one that needed to be snubbed out as quickly as possible. Eden escaped his first attempt, but now he's back and her only hope lies in the history of her ancestors.

Cherie Priest has a truly amazing talent as a storyteller. So far I've been completely enthralled by her settings and her characters. She's yet another addition to the ever growing "Must Have" list and I really can't wait to see what she does next (actually, I know she's doing more with the Boneshaker world next -- yay!). She's quite possibly addicting. Not only that, but Four and Twenty gave me chills! Not too many horror stories do that for me these days, and I relish every single one that does.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Releases 7/13/10

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

The Unit by Terry DeHart

Lucy by Laurence Gonzales

Faithful Place by Tana French

Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitane by Alison Weir

Rules of Betrayal by Christopher Reich

New on DVD:
The Bounty Hunter

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Beautiful Malice
The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Blogger Hop July 9 - 12

In the spirit of the Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky at Crazy-For-Books!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event!

Your blog should have content related to books, including, but not limited to book reviews.

Make sure you hop on over to Crazy-For-Books so that you can find some great blogs like I have done! You won't be disappointed.

This week's question: Tell us about some of your favorite authors and why they are your favorites!

Hm. Some of my favorites, eh? That's always such a tough one. First, I have to say that I think my favorites change with my mood, so on any given day you might get a completely different response. So here they are today:

Stephen King -- he's always changing and evolving his style. In truth, I'm always blown away

Mo Hayder -- intense and shocking, but an completely amazing talent.

Joanne Harris -- ever since Five Quarters of the Orange, I have been in love with Harris's work.

Deanna Raybourn -- one of the few authors today who is writing what I consider to be pretty traditional gothic fiction, and I LOVE gothic fiction

Harlan Coben -- I have to have each new book. Have to! And he's mastered the art of the page turner.

Alexandra Sokoloff -- I love what she's doing, mixing genres, surprising readers with something new each time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Promised Giveaway Pt 2

And a second giveaway! I've got a copy of Sarah Addison Allen's The Girl Who Chased the Moon up for grabs.

This is another perfect summer read, albeit very different from Clegg's : )

In Sarah Addison Allen's latest, Emily Benedict has lost everything. Her mother is dead and her only remaining family -- her grandfather -- is a man she's never met. As Emily arrives in Mullaby, North Carolina (the town her mother left behind years ago), Emily is faced with family secrets and whispered rumors of one of the town's most tragic events. In spite of this, Emily makes a friend in Julia Winterson, a woman who knows all too well the pain of being an unpopular teenager in a small town, but a woman who also knows how to make the best of what you're given. A sweet and charming read with a hint of something magical!

I loved this book. It was my first by Sarah Addison Allen and it was just wonderful. (As an aside, my sixteen year old sister loved it as well!)

To enter to win, leave a comment here with your email (so I can contact you if you win) before midnight Wednesday, July 14. US only, please. The winner will be announced here and contacted by email on Thursday, July 15.

Good Luck!

A Promised Giveaway Pt 1

So I've decided to give away two books. I'll do a separate post for each one.

The first is Doug Clegg's Neverland. The perfect summer horror read, in my humble opinion. Originally released in 1991, this new trade edition features creepy drawings by Glenn Chadbourne (who also paired with Clegg for the recent new edition of Isis).

Neverland is the story of a family vacation gone very, very wrong. Beau and cousin Sumter have dubbed an old shack in the woods their "Neverland." Here their imaginations are free to run wild. But Sumter has brought something powerful to Neverland. Something that will change their lives. Something that wants to be let loose. Now the family's annual trip to Gull Island has become so much more than mosquitoes, boredom, and grumpy parents. Neverland is one of Clegg's scariest reads, if only for the fact that the imagination of a child -- which Clegg so eloquently and disturbingly captures here -- is so full of possibility. As the basis for a horrorific tale, that imagination let loose is truly magnificent.

I have one copy of Neverland to give away. Leave me a comment here by midnight Wednesday, July 14 to enter to win. Include your email -- US only. I'll contact the winner on Thursday, July 15 and announce it here as well.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Happenings Post!

Hi, readers! Bear with me on this, I've been on a blogging vacation, mainly because I've had work to catch up on from my real vacation : )

I know you're all dying to know what I ended up packing (kidding). Anyway, I did end up bringing Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce, which I left with the Junior Junkies, unread. I also brought Anne Rivers Siddons's The House Next Door (the only book I actually finished reading, and not until I returned home at that).

I always overpack books, but I didn't this time. In fact, I knew that I probably wouldn't get much read, and I was right. So I've been catching up on my reading since I returned as well.

Today's my b-day, so on top of all the engagement/wedding mess, I'm turning 29. No big plans -- I still can't even decide where I'd like to go for dinner. It looks like it's going to be a gray and yucky day today, though, and paired with my fabulous birthday headache (hopefully knocked out now), it has me wishing I'd requested the day off to read and watch the newly released The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Ah well. Them's the breaks sometimes. I did get a lovely stand mixer for my special day and even though I should be working on getting in shape for that other special day, I've already got plenty of sweets planned to break the thing in (I'll be gymming with various reads to make up for it)! I also got a big gift card for books courtesy of Jen (the best book junkie enabler out there!).

More posts to come -- and promised contests as well. In fact, let's do one tomorrow, shall we? I'll have a freebie up for grabs on the blog tomorrow, but you'll have to check back to see what it is. In the meantime, have you entered to win the "Things Jane Likes" pack from Nicole Peeler?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Pre Pub Book Buzz -- Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

In a publishing Cinderella story much like that of JK Rowlings, Rebecca James's debut novel was plucked from the slush pile at British agency Conville & Walsh and earned James six figures and multiple contracts. Like many agents, unsolicited manuscripts arrive at Conville & Walsh in droves each week, but many don't get picked up. Pure luck seems to have led to Rebecca James's winning the attention of an agent and kicking off a bidding war that ended with Random House winning the publishing contract here in the States.

Rebecca James was not quite in the position Rowling was when her own titles were picked up, but for James, a small business owner without a business in this current recession, her new book contract has been the publishing equivalent of winning the lottery.

Here's a bit from the publisher about Rebecca James's upcoming debut, Beautiful Malice:

As BEAUTIFUL MALICE opens, James’s heroine hopes to turn her life around as well. After an unspeakable tragedy tears her family apart, Katherine Patterson is desperate to escape the cruel headlines and media scrutiny—as well as the sense of guilt that shadows every move she makes. Changing her name, she moves to a new city to begin her life again. There she meets Alice Parrie, a girl who represents everything Katherine used to be: socially confident, gorgeous, and effortlessly adored.

Though Alice helps Katherine come out of her shell and the two quickly become as close as sisters, Katherine hesitates to reveal her true identity and the details of her family’s past. What holds her back are disconcerting glimpses of a less-than-charming personality and a sense that Alice has some dark secrets of her own. Are the occasional moments of friction just a case of girls being girls? Or is something more sinister at work? And when Katherine’s intuition starts sending her warning signals, will she be able to unravel a friendship to which her past and her future may have become inextricably bound?

As James said in a recent interview with Australia’s Herald Sun, “Everyone is scared they will have an Alice in their lives, someone who will betray their deepest secrets.” BEAUTIFUL MALICE will keep you reading late into the night—and might make you take a second look at the people you’ve invited into your own inner circle.

James's debut hits shelves on July 13 and has already earned her a starred review in PW.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Uber Cool Nicole Peeler Contest

Just wanted to let you guys know that Nicole Peeler, author of the wonderfully fun Jane True series (Tempest Rising and the newly released Tracking the Tempest) is running a fab contest over at the League of Reluctant Adults blog (and on her own blog as well). You can enter to win a prize pack of "Things Jane Likes." at either (or both) places.

Good luck!