Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Book Birthday, Goddess!

Today's the book birthday for The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter! WOOOOOOOOOO! Before I go out to B&N to purchase my very own copy and not-at-all-subtly try to convince people to read it, I want to tell you a story in which I look very stupid (probably because I AM very stupid).

So Aimee was working on this book, which consists of five novellas. And as it often goes, she had a deadline nipping at her heels as she wrote. And I figure, "This is a great opportunity for me to seem like an awesome friend while sneaking an early peek at her book! It will SEEM like I'm providing an awesome service, but really, I'm doing it so I can taunt people with all my knowledge! MWAHAHAHAHA!" So I offered to read them as she wrote and give her some critiques.

I read them and loved them and squealed about them and taunted all the people, and you'd think that would be the end of the story, right? Well, the book became available on NetGalley, and Aimee says to me, "You have to take a look at the interiors of this book! HERE!" and sent me a link. And I'm all, "Uh....okay," but it kept getting pushed back on the list of things to do, and I figured they'd be prettier in person, you know? But finally, I opened the book, and I flipped straight to chapter 1, which was decorated with some very pretty swirlies. And I said to her, "So I looked at the book, and you're right. Those interiors are really pretty." But secretly? Secretly I thought she was a little nuts or maybe had a secret swirly fetish. And who am I to judge, but the whole thing seemed pretty silly to me.

A few weeks ago, we got together with some fellow authors who will be banding together for the Written in the Mitten tour (in Ann Arbor on August 17th, Livonia on August 18th, and Lansing on August 19th!), and at one point, she turns to me and says, "You never did open that book, did you?" And I'm all, "Yes! Of course I did! It has pretty swirlies in it," and the whole time, I'm thinking, "You swirly fetishist, you. Not that I'm judging, because who am I to judge?" And then she says, "Because you totally missed the part where I dedicated it to you."

Then I felt like such an ass, and I must have looked completely shocked and dismayed, and she probably thought it was because I'd missed the dedication, but mostly it was because I'd spent all this time thinking she was a secret swirly fetishist. And maybe she is, but she's a secret swirly fetishist who writes some great books, and you should totally read this one. When you get to the dedication, feel free to think about what an ass I am.

Man, I really do still feel like an ass.

Monday, July 30, 2012

More Reads and Release Stuff

As you may already know, I've got a new book coming out in November! Stay tuned to this space, because I'm starting to plan release-type awesomeness, and you are totally invited to participate! At this point, I don't have plans to do a full Night of the Giving Dead, but I do have other things up my sleeve that I hope you'll enjoy. More on that once I finish these edits and get a handle on exactly what I'm doing.

In the meantime, here's what I've been procrastinating with lately, book-wise. For those of you who missed it, the numbers are a part of my goal to read 50 books before my kids go back to school. This week's list is short, because I'm in the middle of reading three of them. Le sigh.

23. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton
Somehow I got on a Medusa book kick, and I'm not complaining. A quick, fun read, and the title anagrams to "Dorks embrace sheens." I don't know what that means, but I think it's funny.

24. Snobs by Julian Fellowes
A book by the creator of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey? YES PLEASE. Sadly, "snobs" doesn't anagram to anything. Unless it's "B.S. Nos," which sounds like a very weird degree.

25. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
I know, I know. This book has been on my to-read list for forever, and I hate myself for taking so long to get to it. It's pretty impressive when a book can make you laugh and cry, but this one manages to do it simultaneously, which is pure genius. And the anagrammer made me take out the articles, but the title still anagrams to "Adaptabilities reunited a lorn my yurt." I'd read that.

26. Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty
This is a hilarious read for people who have outgrown Captain Underpants. Except that you can never outgrow Captain Underpants. And if the original title isn't funny enough, it anagrams to "A cab sniff hulk nutty toffee." HULK NUTTY TOFFEE IS NOW MY FAVORITE CANDY.

Did you know that BAD TASTE IN BOYS can be anagrammed as "Antibody Beasts"? I think that is SO AWESOME.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Duh. I forgot the title.

Look! Look! I read more things! Which is really impressive when you think about it, because I've got an edit deadline at the end of the month, and it has me all...

Only minus that tank top. That thing is SO WRONG.

Anyway, this is one of my favorite things about summer--lots of reading time. And here's what I've been up to!

23. Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series is one of my favorite EVAR. Seriously, if you're into epic fantasy with lots of crazy political machinations and magics and generalized awesomeness, you need to read it. And after a bit of a slow start, I enjoyed this stand-alone too. It's about a girl whose father dies shortly before she learns that she's supposed to be the king's fifth wife. But after she runs away, she learns that her destiny is very different indeed, and it's all magic-like and stuff. I'm all about the technical terms, as you can see.

24. Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
I've been wanting to read one of her books for a while, so I pretty much jumped on this one, squealing like an idiot, when I saw it at the library. Medusa's modern day descendants? Yes please! And it turned out to be a quick, light, enjoyable read. But it does end on a giant cliffhanger, so please be aware of that before you pick it up.

25. May B by Caroline Starr Rose
I finally got my hands on this former Class of 2k11, now Class of 2k12 book! And you know, there's always this bit of nervousness when picking up something by a person you really LIKE, so it was a huge relief to find that the book was this terrific, quiet gem of a verse book about a girl abandoned at a prairie homestead in the middle of a snowstorm. And I loved the reading disability subplot. A fabulous MG that I think would appeal to readers of the Little House stories.

26. My Dead Girlfriend by Eric Wight
A graphic novel blurbed by Joss Whedon with Monster High tendencies? YES PLEASE. And I ended up with more than I expected. I expected the snortworthy takes on high school monsterdom. I expected the fast paced story. But I didn't expect the level of real emotion I got as Finney deals with lost love, bullies, social outcastery, and a ghostly family with which he quite literally doesn't fit in. If you're a fan of YA and new to the whole graphic novel thing, this would be a great place to start.

27. Blood Lite III: Aftertaste edited by Kevin J. Anderson
I admit it; I picked up this compilation of funny/scary short stories because of the Jim Butcher story. And "I Was a Teenage Bigfoot" was totally worth the effort, but unsurprisingly the whole book was right up my alley. If you liked the humor of Bad Taste in Boys, and you didn't mind the gory bits, and reading a book with some sexy stuff isn't going to get you into trouble, this is for you. I added quite a few authors to my to-read list after this one. And I really want Nina Kiriki Hoffman to make her story into a novel. PLEASE?!?!?

So there are my latest reads. Got anything great that you recommend? You know, for AFTER my edits? (I say this for my own edification, in the hopes that I'll listen.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I've been reading lots of things and using all of you to keep me honest! And now I'm going to do it some more! And tell you about the books in 140 characters or less! Probably with lots of exclamation points, because I'm apparently addicted to them!


16. Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
EMP-pocalypse plus zombies plus smelling people's emotions equals lots of things to digest! Still digesting. With exclamation points.

17. Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
Hell's hitman returns to earth to kill things and be very, VERY snarky. Color me highly amused.

18. Dust by Joan Frances Turner
A zombies-are-people-too story in which zombies and humans catch a very nasty disease. Lots of gross out moments crossed w/introspection.

19. Graveminder by Melissa Marr
LOVE LOVE LOVE WHY ISN'T THERE A SEQUEL? Awesome book about the two people tasked to keep the dead resting peacefully in a small town.

20. Losers in Space by John Barnes
Amusing story about kids stuck on a spaceship with a sociopath. Plus lots of CRAZY COOL space travel stuff inspired by Buzz Aldrin.

21. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Multi-POV story about zombies in a steampunk Victoriana world. Long, but worth the effort. Bram the zombie is awesome.

22. The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse by Bruce Hale
Hilariously funny MG that satirizes dime detective novels. This one's about a missing boy. And a dame. And a Gila monster named Herman.

Whatcha reading?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kilts and Skulls and Other Awesome Things

How're you?!? Over the past week, I got a sneak peek at a new book cover for one of my upcoming releases, and I'm DYING to share it. Like, if I turn into a zombie and you have to shoot me in the head, you'll know who to blame. I also cheered for a big man in a kilt and Jack Skellington socks as he tried to throw a heavy weight over a pole.

I covet these socks. They're good for throwing weights over poles.

And then we saw one of my favorite bands of all time, the Tartan Terrors. My new official photographer, otherwise known as my son, was kind enough to take a picture for me. I particularly like how we got photobombed by a skull.

There's a bagpiper in there somewhere.

If you ever get a chance to see them, you totally should. They're insane in all the best ways. They play 80s songs on the bagpipes and get dressed up in sheep costumes, but not necessarily at the same time. (Although that does have potential...) Here's a taste of what it's like to see them live--the video starts out slow but gets awesome around 1:00 or so, so don't get discouraged.

Slayer and I are hoping to see them again when they come through Michigan in March. We may have to commemorate the occasion with a bacon party. ZOMG, GUYS. WE SHOULD INVITE THE TARTAN TERRORS TO OUR BACON PARTY. AND WE SHOULD ALL WEAR KILTS. THIS MUST HAPPEN.

Anyway, that was my week. How was yours?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Moar Books (and other things)!

So! A quick reading recap this week. I'm totally going to hit that 50 books this summer benchmark. TOTALLY.

11. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
If you haven't read the Beka Cooper series, GET ON IT RIGHT NOW. It's the best kind of fantasy, where none of the characters are black and white, and the subplots are just as interesting as the main plot, and you never want it to end. No one makes stew in these books. (It always cracks me up when fantasy characters go on a trip and make...STEW!) Anyway, this book takes Beka on the road, which I think was a really interesting choice. I missed seeing her usual crew develop, but I liked seeing how she dealt with being out of her element. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, but the rest of the series was so so SO good. You should totally read it.

12. Not the End of the World by Christopher Brookmyre
This is about a terrorist plot, and a B-movie festival, and a bunch of disappearing sailors, and Glaswegian photographers. I've seen Brookmyre compared to Elmore Leonard, whom I love, but unfortunately I managed to pick up one of his more serious titles when I was really in the mood for something funny. So I will definitely revisit later, and if you're into complicated, pop culturey mysteries, you should give it a try.

13. Watchmen by Alan Moore
Wow is this a dark book. I love that it was a game-changer for graphic novels, and anyone who claims that comics are a bunch of fluff about guys in day-glo tights needs to pick this up. I love graphic novels--anybody have any good recommendations?

14. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I've been meaning to read this forever, and it was well worth the wait! I think my favorite DWJ title is still Dark Lord of Derkholm, but this one was crazy and interesting and weird. I'd recommend it, but it seems like I'm the last person in the world to have read it, which is as it should be.

15. The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
A lot of things about this book reminded me of Texas Gothic, which I LOVED. There's a ghostly mystery, and burial grounds, and archaeologists, and an awesome guy for the main character to argue with. Instead of tree-climbing goats, there's an impish Chihuahua. In short, a lot to enjoy. If you liked Texas Gothic, you'll definitely like this one.

So there you go! I'm going Internet dark this week to get some things done. Who am I kidding? I'm going to spend a lot of time swimming. But I do hope to get a lot of reading in too. Hope you have a similarly lovely week, and I'll see you when I switch back on again!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekly Reading Recap

I haz been exercising my library card. What haz you been doing?

So the short version is that I'm reading 50 books this summer, because I am crazy. And I've already talked about books 1-6, so here are my most recent reads with representative lolcats because why not.

7. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
This is an apocalypse book about a bunch of kids stuck in a store during, well, an apocalypse. Except you don't know a whole lot about the apocalypse because they've locked themselves inside, so I think the summary might be a little misleading. It's more about how the kids deal with the stress of being locked up together with little info about their families. At least they didn't get stuck in a shoe, because that would have been embarrassing.

8. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor by Stephanie Barron
I've read a lot of Jane Austen inspired stuff, including the one where Jane is a vampire (still not entirely sure what I think of that), so I figured I'd give the Jane Austen as detective series a try. I'm not sure I buy the Jane-ness, but I enjoyed the mystery, so I'll pick up the next one.

9. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
I spent the first 50 pages not knowing what the heck was going on, and the last 50 pages frantically reading to find out what was going to happen. The middle of this time travel drama was a total blur. Highly recommended to people who like a big old slice of life with their sci-fi. The confusing bits will eventually start to make sense, although you really start wishing people in the future had cell phones.

10. Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers
THIS BOOK IS HAPPY MAKING. I had a huge Egypt mania when I was a tween, and I would have loved the crap out of this book and walked around pretending I was Theodosia sleeping in her sarcophagus and undoing ancient Egyptian curses. (Yeah, so I'm not a tween anymore, but I still did it anyway.)

What are you reading, and do you have any lolcats for it? :)