Tuesday, June 30, 2009

25 Weeks, 35 Books

Since today is the last day of June and marks the end of the first six months of 2009, I wanted to a quick recap of my reading habits. I started the year with a personal goal to read at least a book a week. Sometimes I met it, sometimes I didn't. Once I eve managed three books in a single week (yay!).

I won't list all 35 books I read this year, but if you're interested, check out my Read in 2009 Goodreads sidebar a few scrolls down the page here.

What I thought I'd do instead is pick out my five favorite for this half of the year. In December, I'll do the same thing for that half (and set a goal of 40 books, how about that!?).

In no particular order, my five favorite reads of 2009:

The Darkest Pleasure (Lords of the Underworld #3), by Gena Showalter

Stranger, by Megan Hart

Hotter Than Hell (Hell On Earth, Book 3), by Jackie Kessler

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson #3), by Patricia Briggs

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, by Molly Harper

What are your favorite reads of the year so far?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Countdown: June! Contest Winner

The winner has been announced over at the League.

Congrats, Beth! Not only will you receive a signed copy of Linda Robertson's debut, VICIOUS CIRCLE, but you're also entered into the pot for this fall's drawing for an early copy of THREE DAYS TO DEAD.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Countdown: June! Contest

I knew I forgot to post somewhere yesterday. Oops.

The June contest is up and running over at the League of Reluctant Adults. There's a fabulous interview with debut author Linda Robertson, and she'll be answering your questions until Monday (29th) morning. A random commenter will be selected to win a signed copy of Linda's debut, VICIOUS CIRCLE, on sale June 30th!

So head over and check it out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Number 24

Maybe this is, after some reflection, my new lucky number. Let me count the ways.

* Today is the 24th, also my birthday

* "24" is one of the best TV shows ever

* The song "24" by Jem is one of my favorite songs, and something I listened to repeatedly while writing THREE DAYS TO DEAD

* 24 hours in a day

* December 24 is Christmas Eve

* 2+4=6, and 24 is divisible by 6, 2, and 4 (I don't know if this means anything other than I've overthought this a little)

* The 24th of November is when my book comes out, 5 months from today!!!!

So after spending the bulk of today reading and poking at a story, I'll be heading off the continue Birthday celebrations with a viewing of Transformers 2, and then on to drink and dance at Seacrets in Ocean City.

Have a great Wednesday, folks! And don't forget, Countdown: June! Contest will be hosted at the League this coming Friday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mark of the Demon

Today marks the release of debut author and fellow Reluctant Adult Diana Rowland's urban fantasy novel MARK OF THE DEMON. If you don't have a copy, get to your local bookstore. You don't want to miss it!


Congrats, Diana!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June Contest is Coming!

Countdown: June is coming soon, probably the end of this week. Friday is looking good.

It will also be a little different this time. The contest will be hosted over at the League of Reluctant Adults, will consist of an interview (with someone not me), a signed book giveaway, and questions from you guys!

So stay tuned!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

15 Books

I found this meme via Literary Escapism, who found it via Carrie Vaughn's blog. The deets: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

My Books:

1. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
2. The Story Girl/The Golden Road, by LM Montgomery
3. My Dark Places, by James Ellroy
4. The Girl With the Silver Eyes, by Willo Davis Roberts
5. The Fear Street series, by RL Stine
6. Night World series, LJ Smith
7. Iron Kissed, by Patricia Briggs (all the Mercy books, but this one especially)
8. The Alien Huntress series, Gena Showalter
9. The Stand, by Stephen King
10. Ramona Quimby series, Beverly Cleary
11. Imzadi, by Peter David
12. Band of Brothers, by Stephen
13. North & South, by John Jakes
14. White Fang, by Jack London
15. The New Teen Titans comic series (1980), created by Marv Wolfman & George Perez

Buffy V Edward

Love. This. Vid.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Memory Lane

So my Google-Fu turned up a nostalgic article from "The Cape Gazette," the local paper where I grew up. Dated July 6, 1994, it announced me as the grand prize winner of our middle school's Accelerated Reading Program.

Basically, we read books from a specific list, then took computer tests on those books. We were awarded points based on how many questions we got right, the length of the book, the reading level, etc... I was always a voracious reader, and I remember taking tests almost every day during that program. Sometimes several tests per day. I was never an athletic child, so reading was something I could be good at, something I thought I could even be the best at.

I suppose it's just another one of those little sign posts that should have pointed me toward this current time in my life--being a published novelist. Thank you, Milton Middle School.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

They Say Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

It's been a long, strange week. Lots of thunderstorms have come in and out of the area, which makes me nervous for hurricane season. I mean, we get rain in the spring and early summer, but not severe storms with lightning, thunder, wind, and hail, and not several times a week. Yikes. Our little section of the Eastern Shore hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane since the sixties. Makes me wonder if we're due.

So while the yard sale of several weeks ago was a complete bust, our trip down south to a local flea market was not. Roomie and I loaded up both of our cars and sold about a third of what we took (not quite half). Lots of big stuff went away, and we both have extra cash for Shore Leave next month (woo hoo, it's almost here!). Plus I got a nice tan, and local veggies were cheap at one of the stalls. Definitely a win.

Needless to say, getting up 4:30 am to trek to the flea market and being in a sun all day made for fatigue. So I vegged on a couch for a while and watched the end of Serenity on the SciFi Channel. As it ended, they played a preview for their Saturday night movie of the week, and I didn't pay attention until the voice over guy said "starring Enterprise's Connor Trinneer, and Heroes' James Kyson Lee."

I perked up. I decided to give it a chance.

The movie was called Star Runners. The effects were pretty cheesy. The storyline was very derivative. But you know what? The acting was overall very good, so I found myself entertained for two hours. Plus, scruffy Connor is always a win for me. I liked seeing him play the lead/hero for a change. Even if he was playing some odd amalgamation of Malcolm Reynolds and Han Solo.

It was Serenity, Pitch Black and Star Wars, rolled up with a small side dish of X-Men (gotta love the "next stage of human evolution" line).

Here's the gist (SPOILERS): a pair of smugglers (*cough*) played by Trinneer and Lee are captured by the insidious, intergalactic ruling body (*cough*) and blackmailed into helping them retrieve a package from a space station. Instead of a package, they find a frozen girl in a box (*COUGH*) who is very, very special (*cough*COUGH*). They get off the station on board a public transport ship, which then crash lands on an uncharted planet (*cough*), and only a handful survive. They aren't alone on the planet--giant carnivorous insects live there, but they only come out at a certain time of day (*cough*), which had something to do with solar flares. Survivors start getting eaten. We start to see there's something unusual about the frozen chick (like rapid healing, impervious to radiation, being a human torch, those sorts of things). (*snort*) Turns out the insidious, intergalactic ruling body was part of some slimy cover-up to do with both the uncharted planet and frozen chick's home town. The good guys want to get the word out and make sure people know this. **COUGH** *gasp* *wheeze*

Anywho, the movie was built on the spare parts of things we've seen and were done better, but it was still entertaining. There was a death I didn't expect when it happened, and the climax was a little unbelievable. They didn't do the cliched "rugged hero gets the girl" thing at the end.

And like I said, scruffy Connor is made of WIN!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Return of Zack Morris

I promise to post something more substantial than videos fairly soon, but I came across this one and it just tickled me. I grew up watching "Saved by the Bell." I still catch reruns on TBS whenever possible. The show, for all its dated styles and slang, still cracks me up.

So if this reunion happens, I'm so tuning in.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I'm All For Suspension of Disbelief...

...but come on!

Last night I sat through My Bloody Valentine 3-D (the 2-D version, though, because rentals don't come with 3-D glasses). I was in the mood for a splatter movie. Jensen Ackles and Kerr Smith are hot. It got half-decent reviews. And aside from the strange-looking 3-D-effects-rendered-2-D moments, it wasn't a bad story. I liked the "twist."

My issue?

The movie is set in a West Virginia mining town, in February. February! So why were folks running around in light sweater coats? And there were leaves on the trees!

I know, I know, they probably had the film the movie in April or something, but come on. There are not leaves on the trees in WV, in the ass-end of winter.


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Books, Books, Everywhere!

Since last month's contest winner was already the proud owner of the books I offered up as prizes, she will soon be the proud owner of the following titles:

ANGELS BLOOD by Nalini Singh

Awesome choices!

Yesterday was also a great day for New Releases, and I invaded my local bookstore as soon as I was off from work. One of the books I went for hadn't been shelved yet, but I found others to remove the sting. Among the new, amazing titles weighing down my TBR pile:

BLACK & WHITE, Jackie Kessler and Caitlin Kittredge (I am not allowed to read this until I've finished edits on my own super-hero novel--it's a good incentive, since I've been dying to read this since I first heard about it)


THE REPOSSESSION MAMBO, Eric Garcia (as a huge fan of REPO: THE GENETIC OPERA, I had to try this one)


STREET MAGIC, Caitlin Kittredge

So much to read, so little time.

What have you guys purchased lately?

Monday, June 01, 2009

New Release Date

So the news I mentioned two posts ago...

THREE DAYS TO DEAD now releases on November 24. It's being pushed back because of an in-house scheduling conflict (no, I don't know with who). The Random House site, as well as a few others, have the new date up. Amazon and everyone else will probably follow shortly.

Please help me pass the word!