Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Traveling and Awake

Hi, all! I'm scrambling to get packed and ready for my work trip (and trying to pick books to bring for hotel down time). Packed my emergen-c and hoping this cold doesn't flare up and make me totally miserable. Bleh.

While I'm gone, you should all remember to watch Awake on Thursday (NBC, 10/9 central). I've been pretty excited about this one since I first heard about it. I love Jason Isaacs and the concept sounds interesting -- maybe a little different from the other stuff. We caught the preview and the first episode was pretty good. I'd like it to have a fair shot so I can find out what's going on!

Interestingly, Howard Gordon, executive producer on the show, recently released his second book.

Here's a review in a nutshell for you:

Gideon Davis and his recently pardoned brother discover a plot to take down the top tier of the US government. Unfortunately, the authorities aren't listening. Fortunately, Gideon and Tillman possess the kind of skills one would need to take down a terrorist plot all on their own.

The plot does have some original aspects and the story is fast-paced and interesting. No surprise, but it essentially reads like an episode of a 24-like drama/thriller (Gordon was also producer on that show -- and Keifer Sutherland blurbed the book).

And this is actually the second in the series. I haven't read Gideon's War but didn't have any trouble with Hard Target. It was pretty fun overall. Not sure it's a stand out amongst similar titles, but it was a quick and entertaining read.

See you next week!

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Man From Primrose Lane by James Renner

I have to say, nothing is better than a weekend with minimal responsibilities and a good book to read! When I received James Renner's The Man From Primrose Lane, I couldn't wait for the chance to dive in. The promo material promised a murder mystery with a time travel twist, an overall genre-bending read. And it delivered!

David Neff is a true crime writer with just one book to his name. The Serial Killer's Protege made him a millionaire and nearly cost him his mind. What's worse, Neff hasn't been able to write a word since his wife's suicide four years ago. When his publisher approaches him with an idea for a new book, Neff immediately refuses, but the case of The Man From Primrose Lane turns out to be too puzzling for Neff to turn down.

The Man From Primrose Lane was brutally murdered in 2008. The police had no leads and no suspects. The case is colder than cold. As Neff digs deeper into the mystery, the police also discover new evidence -- evidence that makes Neff their prime suspect.

The Man From Primrose Lane is a dark and twisty mystery. There are multiple stories going on at once: Neff meeting his wife, Neff researching and writing The Serial Killer's Protege, the retrial after his book is released, The Man From Primrose Lane, some child kidnappings, and yes, time travel. It's awesome!

I'm such a fan of these mixed genre novels. The Rook, another hard to pin down multi-genre release this year, was admittedly my first favorite of 2012. The Man From Primrose Lane now joins the ranks of that list.

Renner is the author of two previous non-fiction releases. I'm not sure what he has planned next, but I sincerely hope there's more like Man in his future.

The Man From Primrose Lane should be available starting tomorrow (according to Amazon). Official publisher's date is March 6. Buy it. Read it. Love it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

New Releases 2/28/12

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

Timeless by Gail Carriger

Exogene by TC McCarthy

By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Kingdom of Dust by Amanda Downum

Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors by Molly Harper

Archive 17 by Sam Eastland

Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham

A Rural Affair by Catherine Alliot

The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont

The Ruined City by Paula Brandon

Children of Wrath by Paul Grossman

The Man From Primrose Lane by James Renner

Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell

The Child Who by Simon Lelic

Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper

The Scar by Sergey and Marina Dyachenko

The Boiling Season by Christopher Hebert

The King's Agent by Donna Russo Morin

Blue Monday by Nicci French

Jane Vows Vengeance by Michael Thomas Ford

Lone Wolf by Jodi Piccoult

Victims by Jonathan Kellerman

Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson

Killer Move by Michael Marshall Smith (PB)

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson (PB)

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (PB)

The Night School by Louis Bayard (PB)

Bent Road by Lori Roy (PB)

Never See Them Again by Michael W. Phelps

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Partials by Dan Wells

Perception by Kim Harrington

A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

BZRK by Michael Grant

Torn by Amanda Hocking

When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen

New on DVD:

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Trail of the Spellmans
Bond Girl by Erin Duffy
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pre-Pub Book Buzz: Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

While we're on the subject of lighter reads and sure-fire slump busters, it's the perfect time for me to tell you about the latest and upcoming book in one of my favorite series! Yep, Lisa Lutz's latest Spellman installment is due out Tuesday, Feb 28!

The Spellmans are back in this fifth book of the series. This time they've been hired by a brother to follow his sister, a wife who wants her husband's every move tracked, and parents who want their college-age daughter investigated for possible bad behavior. Of course there's a twist to each one not to mention Izzy's mother's strange behavior, Rae getting kicked out of David's house for a reason no one is revealing, and some unexpected visitors.

What's that you say? You haven't read any of the Spellman books!? Rest assured that readers can jump in at any time. You'll WANT to read them all once you get started, but you can safely pick up Trail without first having read the others.

Be prepared to defend yourself or explain massive outbursts of out loud laughter. My husband still hasn't learned and he came with me to see Lutz when she was promoting Heads You Lose with David Hayward (Heads is a standalone and another hilarious one I recommend highly).

For a taste of some of the Lutz signature snark, here's a little promo video for Trail:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

One thing is for sure -- a lighter read is a definite for pushing this reader out of a slump. Bond Girl by Erin Duffy was my latest slump buster.

Alex Garrett's dad is a banker on Wall Street, so Alex knew from a young age that finance was where she wanted to be. And Wall Street is the ONLY place to be. She lands a job at a great firm right out of college and soon discovers that nothing could have prepared her for the reality of the job.

Bond Girl is fiction, but Duffy spent years working on Wall Street herself. And while readers will no doubt (and have) compare it to The Devil Wears Prada -- with a Wall Street twist -- I still found it funny and entertaining. I'll admit that I don't understand the ins and outs of Wall Street and the world of finance, but you don't have to. Duffy delves into it just enough to wet reader's palates and get the setting down, then dives into the meat of the plot. It keeps the book light without getting bogged down in what could have been an overwhelming look at the industry.

As an aside, I did read that Duffy started off with the equivalent of a 700 page whopper of a manuscript. I'd have been interested to see Bond Girl run a bit longer than the finished product. Perhaps some of it will make it into the possible sequel Duffy says she's open to doing at a later date.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Dub Thee "Subgenre that Shall Not Be Named"

Why is everyone still crying and moaning over the term "chick-lit?" I mean really? This reminds me of the story I heard about a certain bestselling author who threw (literally, according to my sources) a fit upon finding her titles in the Romance section rather than Fiction.

Yes, it's all fiction. Categories and subgenres are basically marketing tools. We get that. But if you like a book and you're a moody reader like me, maybe you say, "Hm, I want something light and funny that will get me out of a funk. Something like Bridget Jones' Diary, but I've read it a million times, what else you got book world?" And the logical answer would be... chick-lit.

And I love chick-lit. I really do. It doesn't offend my sense of women's rights or make me feel like I'm being talked down to by the publishing world. It doesn't even make me feel like everyone thinks an unhappy single girl just needs a man to take care of her.

Women's fiction, in my eyes, is a completely different classification of books. As is romantic comedy, though I guess that one is probably closest if we really need to lost the chick-lit moniker. I have no doubt that once the marketing teams figure out how to repackage these kinds of books so that they don't piss off overly sensitive, oops -- not going there.

I have no doubt that once the marketing folks figure out a new way to repackage these books, we'll all be okay. I can have my fun reads and they won't have to be pink (and for the record, I know of quite a few that were never released with pink covers). Until then, I'll just refer to them like the Voldemort of the publishing world -- the sub genre that shall not be named.

For some sub genre that shall not be named -ish reads, try:

Erin Duffy's Bond Girl

Here are a few articles to chew over:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slide Playlist

Hi, all. I appear to be returning to real life. I've been laid up sick all weekend and through yesterday. It's been loads of fun. I mentioned on twitter that I had to put together a 90s playlist to go along with reading Slide this weekend. I mostly relied on Genius to cull through my 90s collection -- making a great playlist is a bit like making a mixed tape used to be.

I'll put some selections from my music collection below, but I also noted all the references in the book as well. In some cases, it was just a band reference, so I'm including my own song selection (hopefully there will be an official playlist once the book is released):

Oasis - Live Forever
Pearl Jam - Alive
Smashing Pumpkins - Zero
Weezer -- The World Has Turned and Left Me Here
Decemberists - I sadly only know one song by this band
Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box
Alice in Chains - Would?
Smashing Pumpkins - Drown
Bobby McFerin - Don't Worry Be Happy
Veruca Salt - Seether (of course)
Liz Phair - Supernova
Ani DiFranco - the only other one on the list I never listened to
A Perfect Circle - Thinking of You
Pearl Jam - Black
Gin Blossoms - Til I Hear it From You

And some of mine:

Bush - Glycerine
Pearl Jam - Daughter
Dave Matthews Band - Typical Situation
The Cure - Just Like Heaven (technically 80s but rereleased on a '97 collection)
Marcy Playground - Sherry Fraser
Garbage - Only Happy When it Rains
Poe - Angry Johnny
Sponge - Molly
Counting Crows - Anna Begins
Oasis - Champagne Supernova

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Releases 2/21/12

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Troupe by Robert Jackson Bennett

Property of a Lady by Sarah Rayne

Question of Trust by Laura Caldwell

Liar Moon by Ben Pastor

Between Summer's Longing and Winter's End: A Story of a Crime by Leif GW Persson

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini

Before the Poison by Peter Robinson

The Technologists by Matthew Pearl

The Possibility of You by Pamela Redmond

Watergate by Thomas Mallon

The Shadow Patrol by Alex Berenson

Raven Calls by CE Murphy

A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr

A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

New on DVD:
London Boulevard
Puss In Boots
J Edgar

No new reviews from me for Bookbitch.com this week -- I'm sick :( Check out the others, though!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pre-Pub Book Buzz: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Continuing my teen readathon with this week's pre-pub title, Slide by Jill Hathaway. JIll is one of the Apocalypsies (YA authors debuting in 2012). I am loving the premise of this one. It's a teen paranormal mystery with a protag who can slide into other people and see through their eyes. When she sees a murder, she has to figure out who the killer is.

Here's the back cover copy:

She knows too much... but not enough to stop a killer.

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth--her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn't actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experience the world through that person's eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Slide officially hits shelves Mar 27.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where's My Bookmark: A Teen Reading Week Book 2

My goal this week is to knock some teen stuff out of the tbr. My hope was that I could do a book a day. And I did start off okay on that trend. At this point, I'm one book behind. Argh! Oh, well.

I started Lauren DeStefano's Fever on Monday and finished it yesterday evening. As with Wither, book one in the Chemical Garden trilogy, I continue to be blown away by DeStefano's storytelling. It's a dystopian series with some really creepy things going on (girls only live to be 20 and guys only live to be 25, girls are frequently sold as wives, servants, or prostitutes, and there are two contingents of people: those who believe there's a cure and those who believe all is lost).

Rhine and Gabriel have escaped. They are on the run from Rhine's father-in-law and searching for her twin, Rowan. As she and Gabriel make their way back to New York, they must face the realities of the world around them - realities that they have both been sheltered from while living in Vaughn's home. Rhine knows Vaughn will never give her up, but if she can move fast enough, maybe she can get beyond his reach.

I am dying to know what will happen in book three. Dying! And since Fever doesn't technically hit shelves until next week, I'll have to wait at least another year -- as will everyone else. At least I know I'm never alone in the anguished anticipation between books in trilogies these days :)

I'm a huge dystopian fan. Huge. I love it. The Chemical Garden series is dystopian and almost post-apocalyptic. No, there's no radiation, bomb, or meteor otherwise causing the Earth's destruction. Rather it's humans causing Earth's destruction. A virus plaguing all of the new generations and causing the crumbling of society. I love the glimpses of this world. Through Rhine's eyes, you see that life goes on. First generations especially continue on as normal as they can - they go out to eat, they go to work, they drive their cars... And while they all live in fear of their children dying and their daughters being kidnapped, they go on. Kind of makes it all that much more disturbing.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Where's My Bookmark: A Teen Reading Week

So I found myself in something of a slump after one of my recent reads. Not a true slump where books get abandoned into the DNF pile, but an agonizing-over-what-to-read-next slump.

I picked an easy read to bust me out and then, to avoid any further fall out, asked one of the JJs for her opinion. And so, I'm going to read teen stuff all this week. Some of them are books I borrowed from said sister (Unbecoming of Mara Dyer), others are books I bought with the intention of reading and passing on to them (A Million Suns), and others are review titles that I've been dying to get to (Fever) and we'll see how many I can bust out in 7 days.

I started yesterday with Michelle Hodkin's The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, a book I think everyone but me has read by now :)

It's a super quick read (made it to the halfway mark with just a half day's reading time) and I still have no idea what's really going on! Not that it's a bad thing. That's kind of the point. You don't know what's going on.

The book begins with a little note from Mara explaining that "Mara Dyer" is not her real name and that she's responsible for murders. What, what what!?

The next page has Mara waking up in a hospital: three of her friends have died in a collapsed building and Mara has no memory of what's happened. Her family picks up and moves to Miami hoping that a change in scenery will help with some of Mara's PTSD symptoms -- nightmares, hallucinations, etc. But the hallucinations haven't gone away.

All of the reviews I've read about this book have kept things pretty much under wraps. Everyone loves it and no one's telling what the secret is, so I'm not going to be the first. My sister adored it (and bought it after I told her to, thank you very much). I fully expect to finish this evening and join the Mara Dyer fan ranks myself.

Up next, Lauren DeStefano's Fever.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Releases 2/14/12

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

The Darlings by Christina Alger

Delicacy by David Foenkinos

Anatomy of Murder by Imogen Robertson

Mrs God by Peter Straub

The Ritual by Adam Nevill

Oath of Office by Michael Palmer

The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay

Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand

Gone With a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West (PB)

Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody

Private Games by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Restless in the Grave by Dana Stabenow (Kate Shugak #19)

The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig (Pink Carnation #9)

Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox

The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley

Next One to Fall by Hillary Davidson

Heart of a Killer by David Rosenfelt

That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba

Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman

The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kittredge

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Scarlet by AC Gaughen

The Vanishing Game by Kat Kae Myers

Bewitching by Alex Flinn

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

New on DVD:
The Rum Diary

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
Pure by Julianna Baggott
The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi

Pre-Pub Book Buzz: The Ritual by Adam Nevill

I had a computer free day yesterday, never even turned it on. It was a pretty good day, too. Not just because I wasn't on the computer all day :) Ran some errands, went to lunch, saw Chronicle, came home and read a bit and then husband cooked supper while we caught up on the DVR. Today should be equally relaxing.

Anyway, the book I'm buzzing about this week is a UK crossover that will hopefully be a launch for Adam Nevill Here. Nevill is a British horror author whose first book, Banquet For the Damned was released here via the Virgin records pubbing imprint. His second book, Apartment 16, was one I special ordered from the UK. Ritual, his latest, is due out next week via St. Martins Press. Here's a bit about the book from Nevill's site:

And on the third day things did not get better. The rain fell hard and cold, the white sun never broke through the low grey cloud, and they were lost. But it was the dead thing they found hanging from a tree that changed the trip beyond recognition.

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise.

With limited fitness and experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn't possibly get any worse.

But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. And as the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn't come easy among these ancient trees...

Creepy! I love the fact that SMP has been bringing more foreign horror Stateside: John Ajvide Lindqvist, FG Cottam, David Moody..., keeping some fresh new life in my favorite genre!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Guest Post by Nelle Davy

A big, big welcome to Nelle Davy today as part of the blog tour promoting her debut!

The Legacy of Eden, hit shelves on Jan 24. It's a dark tale about the rise and fall of the Hathaway family. The book tackles some very touchy subjects. Nelle talks about how to tackle these topics in her guest post today:

How to write about taboo topics

Because the novel was inspired by I Claudius, in which all these things occur it wasn’t difficult to write because it was the natural course for the story to take. The hardest scene to write was the rape scene and the end confrontation between Meredith and Ava. Everything else was a walk in the park compared to that which was very draining. I think it would be interesting to know that the bloodletting which actually is now a pivotal moment in the novel did not come in until the final draft. Everything that happens in the novel is in context with the characters, their build up, and their downfall, so writing them felt very natural and as I said because the book was a modern reworking of another, it already had a sort of natural path that it was going to take with these things along the way, so I was always prepared for what was going to happen within the novel and the journey it was going to take. What interested me as a writer was not the incidents themselves but the characters reactions to them. That was what kept me gripped when writing it – how the characters behaved and why and what was draining or difficult was trying to understand that and conveying it in such a way that the reader could to while also drawing their own conclusions. After all, books are symbiotic – the writer sets down the story but really it does not come into its own until someone reads it and puts their own interpretation onto it. That’s what gives stories life.

Nelle Davy was born in Grenada in 1984 and was raised in London within an Anglo-Caribbean family. She studied English with creative writing at the University of Warwick and then undertook a master of philosophy degree in creative writing at Trinity College Dublin. She currently lives in London with her husband, where she works in publishing. The Legacy of Eden is her first novel and she is currently working on her second.

For more on Nelle, Legacy, and what comes next for the author, visit her website at: http://www.nelledavy.com/

And as an extra bonus, Booktrib is hosting a scavenger hunt blog tour starting here. Check it out for excerpts from the first chapter.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Fades!

If you haven't been watching The Fades on BBC America (that's their ad pic above), you need to remedy it quickly. If you don't have BBC America, then you need to pre order, save in your queue, whatever so that you can immediately begin watching The Fades when it comes out on DVD on Feb 21.

This show is so completely cool! It's teens vs zombies and the coming apocalypse. Not all of the story behind the story has been told as of yet, but there are beings called Angelics and there are Fades. Fades are dead folks who can't ascend. They can't touch, they can't move things, and only certain people can see them (Angelics). But, if they consume flesh, they become corporeal.

Paul is a somewhat nerdy teen who has really vivid nightmares. And he can see the Fades. But he's so much more than that, too. As the Angelics come under attack by now zombiefied Fades, they discover Paul and his abilities. And as more folks are unable to ascend, things start to look pretty bad for Earth. The Angelics believe Paul may be the answer, but how's a teen to cope with saving the world!?

Yeah, synopsis in a nutshell. And if it was a book, The Fades would totally be paranormal YA. What I love about the show -- in addition to the great storyline -- are the characters. Paul and Mac especially. Iain De Caestecker and Daniel Kaluuya do such a great job playing these awkward teens, I believe them and I believe in them. And the show's getting totally crazy!

Agh! Anyway, it's lots of fun and I highly recommend it. I could draw comparison to a slew of other popular US shows to date that if you watched and enjoyed would pretty much guarantee that you'd like The Fades, but I won't. Fact of the matter is, even if you never watched a show like Buffy, you'd probably still like The Fades. My husband does. It's part of Supernatural Saturday and BBC does that so well (Being Human, anyone? So much better than the Syfy version.).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Where's My Bookmark: The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi

One would think that being snowed in almost all weekend would mean finishing a ton of books from the TBR. Nope. In truth, I had all of Friday, almost none of Saturday, and spent over half of Sunday rearranging the bookshelves. Definitely not a waste.

All I needed was one more hour to finish reading The Whisperer, a highly intense and twisted thriller by Donato Carrisi (with more butterfly cover art). Just one more hour! Now I have to wait until my lunch break. Argh!


When a burial site containing six arms is discovered, Goran Gavila's team is called in to investigate. Gavila is a highly trained criminologist and his team of investigators is no doubt the best for the job. They know that the arms belong to a string of missing girls that's been reported in the region. The catch? There are six left arms. They only know of five missing girls. Enter Mila Vasquez, an officer whose specialty is tracking down missing people. Together, they will have to unravel the most disturbing crime of their careers.

It's dark, there are unexpected twists around every corner, and just when you think the author couldn't turn this mystery upside down any more... he does. The Whisperer is really a fabulous read that will keep you (cliche, I know) on the edge of your seat (it's true, though). Carrisi's debut is a very clever premise and one that he takes full advantage of. I like the plot, I love the twists, but I also like really dark reads. The pacing is really quick, too. It's the kind of book that you really don't want to put down, can't wait to get back to, and think about when you're not reading.

The Whisperer has been making its way around the globe and was released here in the States just last month. I know that Carrisi has a second book out or coming out in Italy. I hope we'll be in store for that next as well.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

New Releases 2/7/12

Some of the new titles hitting shelves this week are:

All That I Am by Anna Funder

The Mirage by Matt Ruff

Wild Thing by Josh Bazell

Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner (pb)

What Happened to Hannah by Mary Kay McComas

Spin by Catherine McKenzie

The Rebel Wife by Taylor M. Polites

The Bedlam Detective by Stephen Gallagher

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner

Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

Life As I Blow It: Takes of Love, Life & Sex... Not Necessarily in That Order by Darah Colonna

Old Haunts by EJ Copperman

Stay Awake: Stories by Dan Chaon

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie (Kincaid and James #14)

City of Dragons by Robin Hobb

Left For Dead by JA Jance

Pure by Julianna Baggott

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney

Dead To You by Lisa McMann

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

Two Truths and a Lie by Sara Shepard

New on DVD:
Twilight: Breaking Dawn pt 1

New reviews at Bookbitch.com:
The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly
The Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pre-Pub Book Buzz: Pure by Julianna Baggott

The snow has finally stopped, but the ground is completely covered in the white stuff. I'm not sure what the final accumulation ended up being. I did hear a bulldozer struggling through it last night acting as a snow plow. And you know it was bad if they sent anyone to plow down our little residential neighborhood!

I've got a butterfly theme going on with my TBR stack and Julianna Baggott's highly anticipated Pure is one of the titles in question. I seriously can't wait to dive into this one (but the one I'm in the middle of is pretty rocking as well -- more on that Monday).

Here's a bit about the book from the publisher's page:

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . . Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . . There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

Movie rights to Pure have already been sold and people have been buzzing about the book for quite a while now. For more on the author and Pure check out the official website. Pure hits shelves next week.

(PS: A read fest in pjs is about the only thing being snowed in is good for.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Interview with Catherine McKenzie author of Spin

A big, hearty welcome to Catherine McKenzie today! Catherine's US debut, Spin, hits shelves Tuesday and I had the chance to pose a few questions. But first, a bit about the book from the publisher:

All Kate Sandford has ever wanted was to be a real writer. After what seems a lifetime of living off ramen noodles and free bar drinks, she gets the call she’s been dreaming of—a chance to interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line. So of course she goes out to celebrate the biggest possible career move of her life that night. But the celebration ends abruptly the next morning when Kate wakes up still hammered from the night before with only 15 minutes until her 9AM interview. She doesn’t get the job, but the folks at the media company think she might be perfect for another assignment for their gossip rag. Kate is asked to follow a young female celebrity into rehab to get the inside story. If she can get the rehab scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they’ll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

And now for the interview!

How far would you go for a dream job?

Not as far as Katie!

What's your daily routine like and how do you balance writing with being a lawyer?

My daily routine … mmm … get up, go to work, do lawyer stuff. Come home, eat dinner, try to write for a bit (some days), watch TV for a bit (most days). Sleep. Repeat. I generally get larger blocks of writing done on the weekends.

What inspires you?

Great music. Great writing. TV Shows like The Wire. Moves like Brokeback Mountain.

You mentioned recently that movie rights for Spin had been sold. If you had your way, who would play Katie and Amber?

I can’t answer this question! Really, no one comes to mind and every time someone has suggested a particular actress I’ve always had a “no, not her!” reaction. I’m not sure why since I don’t have a clear picture in my mind of what either of them really look like in relation to a real person. I guess I just know what they don’t look like (or act like), if that makes any sense.

Are you an outliner or do you write as the story comes to you?

Ah, the panster v. outliner! I have traditionally been a panster (i.e. write with the barest of outlines in my head and see what comes out), but have been trying to get better about that. My current work in progress at least has a few words down for every chapter. Progress, progress.

What do you like to read?

I’m a pretty eclectic reader. I read a lot of non-fiction, commercial fiction. I’m currently reading The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.

You have US releases of Arranged and Forgotten this year, what do you have planned after that? Is there a current work in progress?

I do have a current work in progress (I’m under contract in Canada for a fourth book), but I can’t really say anything about the plot right now. Having fun writing it though.

Thanks for the questions.

Thanks so much, Catherine!

I had a lot of fun reading Spin and can't wait to read more from Catherine. All three of her titles are currently available in Canada. Arranged is set for release in the States in May and Forgotten hits shelves here this fall.

Watch for a review post on Spin and I'll have a review coming at Bookbitch.com as well.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm a World Book Night Giver!

I am so stoked right now! I hope it wasn't an accident or a typo or a joke, but I got an email today congratulating me on being picked as a World Book Night Giver!

The email goes on to say that the deadline for applying HAS BEEN EXTENDED to Feb 6 and to remind people to go sign up if they haven't yet -- so go sign up!

Here's the link: http://www.us.worldbooknight.org/. You get to pick your top three books (and they're all really great ones to choose from) and your chosen spot to "give" as well as why you want to participate. It's that simple. You have until midnight on Feb 6 to sign up and based on my email, they're already picking givers.

Good luck!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy

You know, you really can't pick your family, but you can be glad that Nelle Davy's fictional creation doesn't belong to you!

Meredith Pincetti left home for college and never turned back. Now, the last heir to her family's estate has passed away and none of the remaining Hathaway descendants wants anything to do with the property. Meredith reluctantly answers the call and travels back to Iowa to pick up the last of her parent's possessions. On the way, she recalls the horrible truths revealed to her about her family. In truth, the Hathaway's reign lasted only three generations, prompted by the cunning efforts of Meredith's grandmother, Lavinia.

The Legacy of Eden unravels in a way that leaves the reader expecting terrible things around every corner. In truth, the revelations aren't all that horrifying until the very end. I'd say that the author uses a sort of southern grace in presenting the things that happen to the Hathaways, but I know the author's not southern. Still, it is reminiscent of a great southern plantation family and their downfall, even if it does take place in Iowa.

The one thing I did wish was that there was more about Meredith herself. As a narrator, she's telling her family story but you don't get much of a sense for her. Lavinia is the closest thing to a main character, but even her tale is told from Meredith's perspective, as told to her by Lavinia and other family members.

The Legacy of Eden is a dark read, but one that is elegantly written. I expect big things from Nelle Davy in the future as a result!

(PS I've got a guest post from Nelle going up on Feb 9 as part of her blog tour for The Legacy of Eden)