Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Why would someone even suggest NOT stocking books in libraries?

This article from Jezebel is just a complete mindf*ck for me: "California Library May Stop Stocking Books".

I'm sorry - SAY WHAT?!

This is just unacceptable to me. Since the time that I was little libraries have been this center of my love for the book - how can we take away that experience from other people? 

From the article - "City Manager Dave Kiff remarked, "Shouldn't the modern library reflect what people are doing now, instead of reflecting what we might have done 20 or 30 years ago?"" Well how about we adapt in that we bring in more of a focus on the digital media that people are interested in without decimating everything libraries stand for?

What kind of places will libraries be with everyone sitting in their corners with their headsets glued to whatever the tube in front of them is showing? Libraries taught me to love books. Libraries allowed me to teach other people to love books. You know how that happens? By giving me the space and opportunity to talk to people. To recommend something. To bring someone to a section of books and show them how to browse and choose what's interesting to them.

How the hell is that going to happen at a 'library' where you can only get books through interlibrary loan?!

My heart hurts.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

Condemned to death for black magic and shunned, Rachel Morgan has three days to somehow get to the annual witches convention in San Francisco and clear her name. If she fails, the only way she can escape death is to live in the demonic ever after . . . for ever after.

Banned from the flight lists, Rachel teams up with elven tycoon Trent Kalamack, headed for the West Coast for his own mysterious business. But Rachel isn’t the only passanger along for the ride. Can a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car survive for over 2,300 miles? And that’s not counting the assassin on their tail.

A fearsome demon walks the sunlight, freed after centuries of torment to slay the innocent and devour souls. But his ultimate prey is Rachel Morgan. While the powerful witch with nerves of steel will do whatever it takes to stay alive, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

First, for anyone who's wondering, I do not consider Pale Demon a stand alone. At all. There has been way too much back story and too much emotional baggage in this series for the new reader to pick up Pale Demon and appreciate it fully. The part of the story that we're shown in this one novel isn't bad, definitely not, but it's very complicated. There's a lot of back and forth and assumed knowledge that for a newbie I think would really distract from truly enjoying what was being portrayed on the page.

Essentially what we see in this book is a road trip. A long, dangerous, HUGE CONSEQUENCES having, road trip. With all the familial bonds and bad food that those words bring to mind, lol. Rachel is desperately trying to clear her name and to get to the West Coast on time is sucked into Trent's world again - this time though because he's on some mystical 'elf quest'. The whole crew goes with and we get a sh*t ton of action along the way. That's almost what I noticed the most. That the action made things seem to be going so fast but at the same time so slow.

It's like the action can be so enthralling in times I almost forget that people are saying and doing very important things while it's going on. Does that make sense? Either way it's breakneck pace and when I reached the 'conclusion' it kind of felt like I'd hit a brick wall. Which resulted in this ugly scene:

"What do you mean it's done? I want to know what happens next! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?" (there was a temptation to throw my book at the wall but really - I just couldn't do it)

It's not a cliffhanger in the traditional sense (*cough* Jim Butcher *cough*) but a feeling of WOW. Harrison has a lot of material to play with in the next book and I can't wait to see where she goes!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - ...6) The Outlaw Demon Wails 7) White Witch, Black Curse 8) Black Magic Sanction 9) Pale Demon

Monday, March 28, 2011

Movie Sunday - Hits or Misses

Apparently the only time I'm going to actually stick around and watch any of the DVD's I own will be on days where I feel icky and don't want to leave the house. Yesterday I managed to watch 2 whole movies and parts - big parts - of 2 more.

Which probably sounds like nothing to those people who buy movies and watch them the same day (or the same week at least) but for me it's totally a BFD. And so accordingly I feel it deserves a little space on the blog - to hopefully some other lost soul when they're flipping through channels or searching their shelves for something to watch.

1. Hellboy - HIT

I have to admit I've seen this one before as I did in fact watch it soon after I bought the movie originally. Still - doesn't matter -  because I ended up watching most of it again yesterday, which reminded how cool it really is.

2. Save the Last Dance - HIT

Oldie but a goodie. And I don't care how much of it was done by a double because that last Julliard audition scene? LOVE it!

3. My One and Only - HIT

I picked up this up as a random 4/$20 from Blockbuster and I've gotta say it wasn't too bad. Renee Zellweger as an aging Southern Belle trying desperately to hang on to her way of life while it's falling down around her? A+ entertainment.

4. Monsters vs Aliens - MISS

Unfortunately this one was not so great. I couldn't really put my finger on anything specific, it was just a bunch of a 'blah'. I'd definitely save the money and watch it when it comes on TV.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ghost of a Chance by Simon R. Green

Got ghost problems? You're in luck. The intrepid agents of the Carnacki Institute will investigate. They'll do whatever's necessary to take care of the problem, from convincing the ghost it's time to move on, to kicking its sorry ectoplasmic ass. Their best team is a three-person operation, capable of handling any problem. There's JC Chance, the leader; technogeek Melody Chambers; and drug-addled telepath Happy Jack Palmer. Between them, they have every eventuality covered.

Fresh off a job involving a haunted supermarket parking lot, the team is sent to deal with an extremely nasty incident originating in the Oxford Circus Underground station, an unprecedented event that's just the start of their worst adventure yet. Something ancient, alien, and powerful is threatening to break through down where the sun never shines, and it'll take everything the team has just to survive, much less succeed. And just to complicate matters, they have to deal with their evil counterparts from the Crowley Project, who believe the best opportunity is the one seized through force and blood. But when the chips are down and it's everyone for themselves, can the two teams work together? And who's going to tell JC Chance that falling in love with a ghost is a monumentally bad idea? (All of them, that's who.)

I probably don't talk about it a lot, but Simon R. Green is hands down my favorite horror author. He writes these incredibly detailed and imaginative stories, with the type of world building that really lets you see everything with your mind's eye. In Ghost of a Chance I can see how the series is going to be another great creepy production. 

First let me say that this definitely has all the earmarks of a first book in a new series. There is a lot of explanation, a lot of character building. It's the kind of stuff that Green's already known for, but in this book you really get even more than usual. I don't think it's bad, this series just doesn't have the base that his John Taylor books do. JC, Happy, and Melody are new to us and what they do takes a bit more explanation. Though I do love the fact that it's still all taking place in and around the same world that we've been introduced to before. Something has to be going on in London outside of Nightside right? And this book shows us that. 

I know that doesn't tell you a whole but I do tend to prefer titles to stand for themselves. Take the blurb and my thoughts and go pick up this book from your local bookseller - it's a grand ride and a great beginning to a new series.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. 

Series - 1) Ghost of a Chance

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Patrick Rothfuss! For real this time

Hey Everyone!

So I didn't actual mean to dangle the prospect of Patrick Rothfuss spoilers over your head and then leave you hanging. Instead, as usual, there was some slight life implosion and then you know what happens? I get tired and don't want to do anything productive. Anywhere. I almost don't even want to read - which makes me feel guilty when I have NetGalley requests hanging around. 

Luckily I'm starting to feel better. I'm feeling the juices of actual motivation to get things done, which includes rereading Silver Borne so that I can finally move on to River Marked. I know! I know! I'm horrible - it's been sitting on my shelf for weeks but I've been reaching for old standards and leaving it unloved. get back to the point that I swear I started with, Patrick Rothfuss. His Q&A was almost more of a discussion and very reminiscent of popular fiction courses back from when I was in college. It is not at all a negative thought, just reflection. It's a lot of fun to hear one of your favorites authors expand on a topic like oral tradition and fantasy in today's world. Still there were some questions pertaining just to him personally and his series and this is what I gleamed from them:

*On Nathan Fillion/Firefly - yes Fillion did say something along the lines of if he won the California lottery and had $300 mill he would buy Firefly and give it to Joss Whedon. And yes Rothfuss would be glad to help with this project but that is it. It's not even near any sort of stage where it could possibly happen as many - many - more people would be needed ("30 to 50 geeks with more money than sense")

*He's tried to present a realistic world; a pre-industrial, pre-information age world ("a world that is filled with uncertainty")

*He spends a lot of time looking at how information would move in this world

*'Narrata' - the individual narrative unit (he said it, defined it, so even with no context here it is)

*A lot of stuff in the books  he's created from educated guess about what might/could happen. Sometimes those guess can turn out to be true, can be seen in real world examples from the past. (Eg - silk bras, the buggery (Library of Congress seriously used to de-bug books this way:  the books were laid out in a circle around a log dipped in honey. You close the door and come back later after all the bugs have left the books to eat the log))

*How literate are the people? World more akin to renaissance Europe than anything else; troupers are of course eminently literate but most people have enough learning to read signs and that's about it - reading/writing skills are available, just not very important

*Why does he change the things he changes? Rothfuss makes changes to make the story better. For example, without tension there is no story - you have to have problems if you're going have to something actually happen. 

And there you go people - out of a huge multiple hour long chunk of my life I ended up with 7  bullet points. But weren't those some fun bullet points? 
Yet I still think something is lacking....something...something. GOT IT! You know what this post needs? Some completely without context

Memorable Quotes:

-"I'm writing a realistic world which means...people are dicks."
-"The bar bet is dead"
-"You hear what Newton said?"..."He's high on mercury!"
-"Why are you ruining bouncing?"
-"Cognitive dissonance...then you stroke and you die."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Falke's Peak by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton

She couldn't believe her eyes.

Stressed out ad-exec Dakota wandered into Catamount Outfitters in search of a guide for a wilderness excursion. She didn't expect to be greeted by not one, but five of the most ruggedly delicious-looking men she'd ever seen. Not to mention a live cougar guarding the shop.

The Falke brothers have more than just good looks in their genes.

Eldest brother Axel agrees to guide Dakota on her mountain trek. In cougar form, Axel's twin, Gunnar, was there as a protection from predators—but he had his eye on the sexy client instead.

Into the wild...

While the rule with clients was "paws-off," both Axel and Gunnar couldn't resist Dakota's seductive Native American beauty and determination. As cold days led to hot nights in the cabin, Axel and Gunnar wondered if they'd finally found a woman strong enough to tame them...
**I requested this title for review from NetGalley**

The ending definitely pulled this book into thumbs up territory for me. Not to say that any part of it was bad, and it could be a contributed a bit to my mood, but for awhile there I was just 'eh' about everything. I didn't mind Dakota I didn't dislike Axel or Gunnar but for some reason it wasn't clicking for me. Which is strange when you consider that this book has all the things that are right up my alley.
What gave it the home run hit right at the end? The realistic representation of how they finally came together. It's not unusual to just get a 'and they all lived happily ever after ending' even when it's obviously going to be more complicated than that. Dakota has a family. A family that knows nothing about shifters or needing two males to before she could ever have their children - no idea. And as poly relationships are still somewhat atypical, I think it's expected that not only would Dakota have reservations about telling them, but that they might have problems accepting it.

The best example of this though? After a few days snowed in with Axel and Gunnar Dakota doesn't magically decide to stay. In fact, she leaves. Leaves and attempts to go on with her life after her 'fling'. There's a great conversation between Axel and Gunnar and their fathers which pretty much amounted to the older generation saying 'well you expected her to give up her whole love and move in with you....why wouldn't you be willing to do the same for her?'. Loved it. Absolutely loved it.

So I think this is definitely a book someone could pick up for a quick read and enjoy. Fun characters, steamy sex, and a realistically satisfying ending. Wonderful!

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - None (?)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thank goodness for other book bloggers

....they continually help me find fun random things to do when I'm bored. Or don't want to write a book review. Or really do much of anything because my teeth hurt and my office has already got me wanting to go home. 


Moving on - over at Fiction Vixen Sophia has written up a post on a couple fun book quizzes. First up is the What Kind of Book are You? quiz. My result?

You Are Humor
"You love to laugh at life, and if possible, get others to laugh along with you.
You believe there's always a humorous side to everything. And your sense of humor ranges from upbeat to very dark.

You are outrageous and very honest. You're often the only one willing to say what everyone else is thinking.
You are witty and verbally talented. You like to play with words and say things in interesting ways." 

Next is The Book Test. What I got:

You are a Dreamer
"You tend to have your head in the clouds. You love to be drawn in to a whole other world.

You are a sensitive person. You find it easy to be emotionally effected by books.

You are a person with a few deep interests. If you're drawn to something, you learn everything about it.

You are a person who loves to acquire possessions. You can't resist a sale, and you own a lot of things. "

And apparently Sophia and I have a lot in common because we got the same results! Hmmm...I am naturally suspicious of similar answers.

Have you taken these quizzes? What results did you get?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In honor of the great orange, white, and green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

While I (due to job stuff) was not able to work green into my outfit day, I hope each one of you out there in cyber land is keeping Ireland in your hearts! One of my most favorite life experiences are the 6 weeks I spent there one summer in college. I learned a lot and saw so much more than I could have ever expected. 

One thing I'd like to pass on to you though is a great little shooter that I had over there, the:


This great little drink is made with two ingredients (traditionally) -  Tia Maria (a coffee flavored liquor) and Bailey's. To make:

1) Pour the Tia Maria into your shot glass about 3/4 of the way full
2) Slowly (!) pour in the Bailey's down the side of the glass attempting to not mix the two so that the Bailey's sits on top of the Tia Maria
3) That's it! If done correctly you should have a small shooter that looks like a dark glass of Guinness with a perfectly settled foam head. 

What are you doing to celebrate today?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

And it's time for.....DABWAHA!

While initially I was too scarred by my abysmal placing last year to even contemplate it, somehow I managed to scrounge up enough self-imposed peer pressure to take part in Dear Author's tournament of romance books.

The biggest problem I face in this tournament is really my own ignorance. Once I've read the list of finalists it usually seems like I haven't read almost 90% of the list. To compensate I go through and read all the Amazon reviews (so helpfully linked from the site) but then have to go by gut. Gut and what I would like to read more. Later on it turns into a battle between what I'd like more and what the public may have liked more, but that's the beginning.


I'm sure I'm going to be abysmal at it but hey, hope springs eternal right? Ultimately my bracket comes down to two heavy hitters:

"Here There Be Monsters" by Meljean Brook in the Burning Up anthology:


Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

Why? Well first I feel that Steampunk is the new 'it' genre in romance and secondly the husband/wife team Ilona Andrews is possibly one of my favorite authors....EVER. So it's (for me) a good combo of what I think most people will vote for and what I actually love.

Can you guess which one I picked to take the cake?

P.S. - If you're interested in filling out your own bracket you have until 11:59pm tonight!

Patrick Rothfuss! Well ok - almost

So yesterday I decided that the best use of my time (in or out of work) would be to take the day off and go see Patrick Rothfuss at the Library of Congress. And you know what? I was exactly right.

Even after moving the event to a 'bigger room' it was completely packed, with Rothfuss eventually having to play traffic controller and gradually moving people standing in the hallway in to sit on the floor. Seriously. It was even more ridiculous when you consider that we were in a dining room that was obviously cut in half with those sliding wall things and it would have been the easiest thing in the world to create more room. 

But again, I consider that one of those logical actions that most people apparently don't like to do.

Sadly for you guys Rothfuss doesn't like being filmed while having discussion like this past one. He's rightfully concerned about small 45sec clips being taken out of context and posted up on YouTube - to his and everyone's detriment. We'll have to just settle for my book nerd-ery in the form of handwritten notes, which will be transcribed tomorrow as I forget to bring my notepad with me :-/ Sorry!

Still let me just assure you that it was a hilarious event and even now one of the things I remember best is how much I want the shirt he was wearing:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

What would make the perfect man?

That's the delicious topic heating up the proceedings at a certain table of professional women at their favorite restaurant, Ernie's, tonight: Mr. Perfect. What qualities would he have? Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted -- or will just muscular do? Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends start off with the basics -- he'd be faithful and reliable, the responsible type, with a great sense of humor.

But as the conversation picks up momentum, so do the quartet's requirements for Mr. Perfect -- and they write down a tongue-in-cheek checklist that's both funny and racy. The next thing they know, the List, as it has come to be called, spreads like wildfire throughout their company and sizzles along e-mail lines. And it doesn't stop there: the List becomes an overnight sensation, grabbing the interest of local newspapers and television coverage. No one expected this avalanche of attention for something that began as a joke among friends. And the joke turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered...

The prime suspect in the case is the victim's boyfriend, who was one of a number of men who found the List sexist and offensive. But an impenetrable alibi gets him off the hook. Now, with the help of Jaine's neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, the puzzle must be solved -- and time is running out as a deadly stalker targets the three remaining friends. Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival -- as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare. 

I picked this up at a used bookstore in Eastern Market a few weeks and truthfully when I bought it I had a 50/50 shot that I already owned. Thank goodness 1) I didn't own it, 2) I had never read it, 3) It's a really fantastic freaking book. The kind of book that reminds me why well written romantic suspense is such a great genre. 

First off the chemistry between Sam and Jaine is scorching. SCORCHING. They're not even a couple until the second half of the book but the way they argue and communicate beforehand is textbook example of why a little delayed gratification can be so rewarding. Jaine is not just going to jump into Sam's arms. Not only did she initially think that he was a drug dealer, but due to some particular bad days at work Sam was kind of acting like an ass. Jaine, being the strong character that she is, wasn't going to exactly let that slide. I think that's one of the first things that makes a romance really interesting, vivacious and independent characters who play off each other but also have their own lives.

Secondly, at least in regards to this particular book, the murder mystery was epically fantastic. I have to admit that I usually know who I'm supposed to be watching for within the first few chapters of the book, but while Howard lets me think at the beginning that I know what's going on - I actually have no idea. I'm not going to spoil it, but seriously the who-done-it in this one is very well done and something I won't be forgetting for a long time. Maybe I was just really susceptible to Howard's writing in this point and other readers might figure it out sooner, but I prefer to give Howard the benefit of the doubt and say she's crafted a grand game of clue.

Please read this book. It's a great, fast read that anyone, even some 'non-romance' readers, would enjoy.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - None

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dana why is there a straw? ......Because it's art?

Look at me! Instead of it taking me months to go through the few clips I took at the Patricia Briggs signing it only took me days! Everyone should be very proud.

(We won't talk about how I STILL don't have all my 2010 Dragon*Con footage up yet)

Ms. Briggs was so kind as to do a reading from River Marked in addition to her general Q&A. I caught a bit of her intro when she walked in, because damn - to be that person at her last signing. Crazy. I unfortunately had to split it into two parts because of the length but at least I've got both of them here for you to enjoy!

So enjoy you will.

Part I

Part II

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (3/8)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
   * Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Because in the end that's what love is. To go on, despite everything, driven by hope and faith alone."

--pg 172, Ghost of a Chance by Simon R. Green

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Patricia Briggs Q&A Round-up

As I'm sure it's probably clear from the letter I posted earlier, my experience last night at the Borders book signing for Patricia Briggs wasn't all that pleasant. 

But you know what was pleasant? Ms. Briggs herself.

I've never heard her speak in person before but she is an absolute doll and obviously dedicated to her fans! She let attendees know by Twitter and in person that to keep the line for signing manageable each person could get 3 things signed initially, but then get back in line. She wouldn't leave until every person got what they wanted signed. How nice is that?!

Plus she had a great sense of humor about the Q&A portion and it was so much fun listening to her read an excerpt from River Marked! I even took some video from that and will post it up as soon as possible, since I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd enjoy hearing her voice, lol. 

Still, until then I wanted to write up some of the take home points I took notes about during the Q&A portion:

*There will be another Hurog book eventually, she's just not sure when

*Ditto for the Hob's Bargain series - there will be another, at least one to really finish out the story, but she's not sure when it will actually materialize

*It's very doubtful that there will ever be a book with both Mercy and Anna. If anything a short story is more likely

*Regarding children between Mercy and Adam: there's always a possibility, but it's doubtful. If Mercy did have children one of two things would have to happen: either she'd have to do something stupid, put them in danger and then subsequently rescue them or stop doing stupid things entirely

*Why she doesn't do novellas - stories good enough for novellas are usually good enough for novels. So she has to write a novel and then take all the good stuff out - so she won't be doing that again

*Merric won't have a novella, we'll just continue to learn more about him as the series progresses

*Ms. Briggs said that as a concise writer she's never taken anything out of her books that she would now put back in 

*It's HIGHLY unlikely that Mercy would ever turn into a werewolf. Giving her any more awesome cosmic powers would be wrong for the series. Mercy is who she is and most of her awesome cosmic super powers have to do with her brain

It was a short Q&A so those are the only notes I got from it all but I hope like me you learned something new! Author panels and Q&A's are some of my favorite things in life, as long as I never hear the dreaded phrase "This isn't so much a question as a comment...."

P.S - I totally realized from this that I have to start bringing note books or something to these kinds of things. Taking notes on my phone got old REALLY fast >.<

P.S.S. - Patti over at Book Addict also has a wrap up post from her in-person meet up with Patricia Briggs AND Kim Harrison.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'm sorry Borders, I think it's time we started seeing other people.

**This is a rant. It's a really f*cking long rant in the form of a polite letter to corporate. I plan on sending this letter to every Borders management structure email address I can put my hands on, but I thought having it here too wouldn't hurt.**

To Whom it May Concern,

Last night I attended a book signing by Patricia Briggs at the Borders in Baileys Crossroads, Virginia. I'm unhappy to have to say that it was the worst time I've spent in a Borders, in a book store, in my entire life. In fact it was such an unpleasant experience that I feel compelled to report your manager's actions, especially in light of Borders recent store closures. I would hate for any more customers to face the same type of disrespect and mismanagement that has caused me to withdraw any further support of the chain.

From the beginning of the evening it was immediately apparent that the organizers did not have the event under control. As patrons arrived and found a seat no employees were available to hand out line numbers or colors to facilitate the later book signing. Instead almost 45 minutes later an employee stepped up the podium to say that because of the large crowd and an inadequate number of seats, the book signing would proceed by rows and then with the people standing in the back. Now while this was the first time the announcement was made to the crowd it was not the last. Three or four subsequent times one of the 2 Borders employees on hand stepped up to the microphone to make the gathering crowd aware of how everything was to be handled. Unfortunately even with these clear and concise directions as laid out by the manager herself it was not enough to prevent her from bringing chaos to her own event.

After the first two rows were call in an orderly fashion the manger, who I later found out is named Josie, called row three and then said 'Oh what the heck and the people with pink slips'. Sirs and madams, not only did this blatantly disregard every single person who'd been patiently sitting and waiting since long before the event began, it created chaos within the event itself. Instead of each row rising and lining up orderly there suddenly was a mad rush while I, and the approximately 50 or so other people sitting around me, were left to gaze around in disbelief as things officially went to hell.

After watching the droves of people who'd arrived later than myself and my compatriots I went to find a manager. I felt that the way I was currently being treated directly contradicted Borders usual commitment to the very highest levels of customer service. When I was finally able to locate a manager and obtain the name of the general store manager (who was not at the event) and after hearing my initial complaints I was met with excuses. I was told that it was an 'unexpected crowd' and that there had been a 'mishandling of the line system' for the signing - yes there had been a mishandling! They had let someone with obviously little to no experience with crowd control create a madhouse instead of a positive event for everyone.

Later, after waiting more than 2 hrs, I went to find a manager again because not only was there no clear directions for the crowd regarding getting in line, there also weren't any employees policing the line. For a crowd of that magnitude, to have any type of chance of preventing people from just stepping up the end, there has to be official presence. There has to be someone with a badge at the end to make sure that each persons time and dedication is being respected. Instead, after leaving the event area to find a manager that wouldn't interfere with the event itself, I was listened to and summarily ignored. No one showed up, no one even attempted to correct the problem.

After waiting in vain for employees to respond to my request for aid, I again left the section to find an employee. Let me be clear, at no time did I interrupt the event itself; I didn't walk up to the front, distract the manager 'controlling' the event, or hamper the ability of the author to sign books for the people in line. Instead I did everything I could to find employees and managers in different sections entirely and report my problems and frustrations in as clear and polite a way as possible. Unfortunately this was when the very worst of your manager Josie came to light. After standing with an employee and requesting a Borders presence at the back of the line, since at this point I'd been there for 3+ hours, he told me I could go the front of the line. I declined as that would be completely unfair to everyone else around me who was also waiting. As I was speaking with him though Josie and another man, who wasn't wearing a badge or really anything to distinguish him as an employee, came up to interrupt. After hearing my concerns they proceeded to explain that there weren't enough employees, that there was a concern that the attendees sitting around the top of the stairs were a fire hazard, etc. Again - excuses. Excuses that ultimately did nothing as it would have been the simplest thing in the world to send  all of the guests not standing in line or sitting in a chair downstairs. Clearing the entire top floor and removing every possible fire hazard issue. Still it was the later part of this conversation that was the most telling ofJosie and her opinions about the potential customers she was alienating: not only did she refuse to give a last name for me to use in this complaint, she claimed not to have a business card, and it was only through careful questioning did she identify herself as the 'inventory manager'. She took no responsibility for the chaos she caused and obviously felt no compunction to try and rectify her actions with the customers still waiting. And then finally after finding out her position I was told by her that if I A) didn't allow them to bring me to the front of the line, or B) sit back down, I would be escorted from the store.

Escorted out for bringing to one employee's attention the areas in which this event was being mismanaged? Josie replied that I personally had 3 employees there talking to me; not only did I specifically not request her presence as she had already proven to be unreliable, I had walked away from the area to find an employee in another section to report to, thus ensuring that I did not harm the overall event. Any claims to the contrary where just her attempts to cow me into submission. The same can said of the older gentleman with no badge that said the 'truth would be known' even with me reporting her actions.

Well let me tell you, I am not cowed or impressed. I am not going to be bullied into submission when such a horrible example of organization has been shoved in my face. I and everyone with me have the right to report their inadequacies. Their complete and total failures in organizing this event and working with their customers. Especially in light of Borders current hard times and bankruptcy troubles this is even more mind-boggling to me. Book stores and its employees are there to service the readers. To work with each of us to make sure we're happy in such a way that we can recommend the facility to others. Now, after this event, not only will I go out of my way to never patronize another Borders for the rest of my life, I will make sure that my friends and family do the same. And before you claim that I am just one person, keep in mind that there were hundreds of people at the Borders last night - hundreds who feel just as insulted and just as disrespected as I do. I've already begun to send my business elsewhere, with the Prime account I just signed up for, and I will continue to let the people I interact with socially and on a professional level aware of how the employees at the Borders in Baileys Crossroads treats its patrons.


Dana W. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

In the Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

If only a broken heart were all she had to deal with…

…but there are Viking ghosts, gods, werebeings, and one sexy as sin vampire on Francesca’s case. And her biggest trouble is Loki, the trickster god.

When Fran arrives at Goth-Faire to deal with him, things go from bad to worse, for her immortal ex, Benedikt, is there…with a new girlfriend.

Shapesifters, Vikings, and a town filled with deranged opera fans…it’s a good thing Fran’s no ordinary mortal…

Well I'm trying to think how to write this review and not make this book sound like a bummer. It's not really. The problem is that as an adult addition to a young adult series it didn't jive with me as much as I expected it to. 

On the positive side, I think MacAlister did a good job taking Fran and Ben into an 'adult' relationship (mostly). As soulmates (she's his Beloved) who have known each other for so long but have not Joined, it could have been really tricky. Instead MacAlister used her trademark sense of humor to bring the reader along the journey of these two really coming together as a couple. Also I enjoy the Viking ghosts a lot. Random for sure, they add a sense of ridiculous to the story that works great with the unique characters who work at the GothFaire.

But to go on to the negative.....first I have to admit that even though the romance itself is good, having started the series with Fran being 16 years old, it was a little weird to read about her as an adult. I think her personality is just similar enough to how she was presented in the first two books that she still read in my mind as a young teenage - which skivved me out a bit when she and Ben started exploring le sexy times. With that I didn't really appreciate a lot of the characters (and Ben) telling Fran how much she'd 'grown' and 'matured'. You know what dumbasses? A 16-year old girl isn't ready to join with a HUNDREDS of years old Dark One. Suck it up and don't tell her how unselfish she's become and how much more aware of other people's feelings she is now that she's an adult- ready for an adult relationship.

It's annoying.

So yeah in the end there were some good and bad to this book, and even with the bad I still look forward to MacAlister hopefully continuing with the story since this book left a lot of things hanging. If you haven't read the back story to Fran and Ben yet I'd almost say wait until after you've read this one, because I think you'll save yourself some of my skivvy feelings.

Overall Feeling - Eh.

Series - 1) Circus of the Darned (YA) 2) Got Fangs? (YA) 3) In the Company of Vampires (Adult)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

February in Review

I guess I should do this huh? I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with all the books I should be reading - and I find that makes me wand to dig in my heels and reread other things.

I'm a strange and wonderful creature. An enigma if you will.

What I'm really trying to say is forgive me for all the re-reads/review from months ago, books. At least you know if they pop up often that they're a favorite of mine!

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts
Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston
The Mane Event by Shelly Laurenston
The Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan
Safe Harbor by Christine Feehan
Water Bound by Christine Feehan
The Search by Nora Roberts
Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman
Dying to Please by Linda Howard (Romantic Suspense Challenge! First one down!)
Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh
Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh
Eclipse Bay by Jayne Ann Krentz
In the Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister
Savannah Grey by Cliff McNish

Books Read/Reviewed: 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's a great day to love books!

Happy Tuesday everyone! I wanted to pop in with a quick post because not only is it the start of a new month (March) and a Tuesday, it's a WONDERFUL Tuesday! So many great books, most of them continuations in series that I love, come out today.

Be it your Barnes and Noble, Borders (if you can find one), or your neighborhood bookseller, make sure to get out and about today to make some of these great titles yours!

 Blackout by Rob Thurman

Late Eclipses by Seanan McGuire

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Live Wire by Lora Leigh