All posts by Kelly

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


Yup, it’s pretty much just this again.

BEA is a little over a month away (!!!!) and I am getting very excited.  I have a pass to a panel with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman, which includes admittance to an “exclusive happy hour,” which I am hoping means “drinking with Tina Fey.”

Job Books:

I love that I’m getting paid to read and promote books.  :)  This is basically my literal dream job.  It helps that I have amazing coworkers and that the books coming out are also amazing.  I’m excited to see “my” books start entering the world.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

BEA Quest #3 (Sort Of)

When you read this, BEA will be a little over a month away.  I’m incredibly excited for it, but I’m also nervous.

Last year was not great.  It was my fourth year going, but it felt like my first—there were snafus left and right and it just seemed like the event planning was lacking.  It seems like the publishers want one thing and the people behind BEA want another.

I’m Team Publisher on this.

BEA seems to try and evolve into sort of like ComiCon and I hate it.  The latest example is the fact that the breakfasts this year are full of celebrities and the people going to “BookCon” (which used to be Power Readers Day) are mostly celebrities.  I’m excited to meet Cary Elwes and Amy Poehler.  You know I am.  But it’s not really BEA.

The whole situation is made even more complicated by the fact that they turned Power Readers Day into BookCon last minute, after many people had purchased their passes.  Since Power Readers Day started, you spend about $35 or so and get about the same experience as everyone else at BEA.

This year, you get your own space.  Some publishers will be there, but not all.  BEA people can go to BookCon; BookCon people cannot go to BEA.

And, as you can imagine, people got pissed.

On the one hand, yes, it’s very underhanded to sell one experience and deliver quite another.  On the other, I read a blog post from someone (a blogger like me) who deliberately bought the Power Reader Pass instead of a one-day blog pass because it was more affordable and is now furious—FURIOUS!— that she gets a cheaper experience.

I do get it.  I go for all three days every year and it’s expensive.  I wait until my tax refund comes in and pretty much all of it goes to BEA, between the ticket in, the Avid Reader Pass (I like getting tickets early and I love the line jump), the breakfasts—I usually go to at least one—and, oh yeah, THE COST OF STAYING IN NYC.  I get it.

But if you deliberately choose the cheapest option, you can’t be too pissed or surprised if you then receive the cheapest experience.

Divinity Cover Reveal


Okay, first, how stunning is that cover? I am absolutely in love with it.

Divinity is by Michelle L. Johnson and will be out September 23.

Jacket copy:

“When Julia climbs into a flaming car to save a trapped child, she’s left wondering why either of them survived. Then she learns that her father is the Archangel Gabriel, and that she is half human, half Archangel.

With guidance from Michael, the most powerful Archangel, Julia sets out to discover her own history and explore her angelic powers. But her journey is cut short when an evil force, invisible to human and angel alike, tears her world apart.

Now Julia must fight through her despair, harness her newfound gifts, and risk her very soul to stop the A’nwel and protect the family she never knew she had.

What she doesn’t know is that Archangels have secrets too.”


Still More Books I’m Looking Forward To

1)  Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans.  I absolutely love everything of hers I’ve read.  I’m very excited for this book.

2)  The Burning Room by Michael Connelly.  A NEW HARRY BOSCH BOOK! :)  I love everything he writes but the Bosch books are my favorites.

3)  Revolution by Deborah Wiles.  This is the first in a trilogy that’s set in the 1960s.  The first book (and maybe all the books) balances the turbulence of the time with the upheaval in a particular household.

4)  The Rocky Horror Treasury by Sal Piro. I don’t think any further explanation is necessary.

5)  The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth. Dystopia; sounds amazing.

6)  Antitype by M.D. Waters.  A novella set before Archetype! Very excited.

7)  The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm.  It reminds me of The Summer of Letting Go.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of the AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Passions picks.

I recently learned that my mother had never seen it and, considering the fact that Cary Elwes will be at BEA (!!!!) with a book of Princess Bride memories (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I thought this was the perfect time to fix this.

You’ve all seen The Princess Bride, right?

I feel like this is one of the world’s perfect movies.  It’s got something for everyone: it’s romantic, action-packed, ridiculously funny and suspenseful.

I also love the fact that, except for Billy Crystal and Peter Falk, pretty much everyone in the movie isn’t famous (well, THEN).  They’re all famous (to differing degrees, admittedly) now.

While I was watching the movie, I was amazed at (a) how much of the movie I have memorized (I’m pretty sure it’s 98%) and how many of the lines I quote in everyday life.  (“Have fun storming the castle” is a big one.)

Oh, Ethics, I Kind Of Hate You

So as you know, I’m working as a publicist for Spence City, which is the urban fantasy imprint for Spencer Hill.

I’d planned to not review any of Spencer Hill’s books (because, you know, potential conflict of interest and how can you trust what I say if they give me money to promote their books?) but there are so many awesome ones.  And between the books I am working on and this blog, I don’t really have time to read books that I’m not going to review or promote.

But they’re putting out a new Daisy Whitney book later this year and seriously all of their books look awesome.


Love Letters to the Dead

Finished Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira.

Summary (from Goodreads):

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

I have no idea how to review this book.  You should probably just read Kathy’s review because it’s perfect.

You know that line in The Book Thief, “I am haunted by humans” and how it simultaneously breaks your heart and fixes it?  That’s this book.

I think we can all identify with Laurel and how it feels to try and rebuild your life after someone you love dies, and the way it hurts when you stop talking about that person.  It’s a weird thing, you know; it’s a relief and it feels like a betrayal at the same time, because it hurts to talk about them and it hurts NOT to talk about them.

Laurel starts writing letters to dead celebrities as a school assignment but continues doing it.  It helps that each celebrity connects to her life in some way and represents part of her, if that makes sense.  (Many of the letters are to Kurt Cobain, who she quickly becomes on a first name basis with.)

I feel like I probably highlighted something every three or four pages, but this is my absolute favorite:

“Sometimes when we say things, we hear silence. Or only echoes. Like screaming from inside. And that’s really lonely. But that only happens when we weren’t ready to listen yet. Because every time we speak, there is a voice. There is the world that answers back.”

Highly, highly recommended.

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


Yup, that’s pretty much it. ;)  Since starting to work for Spence City as a publicist, that’s basically been my life (besides the day job, of course): books.

We’re getting closer to BEA (a little over a month away!!!!) and I can’t wait.  It’s also kicking off vacation season, which I am very much excited for.  I’m going to BEA AND ALA, which means that for about two months, I’ll only be at work for a few weeks.

I’m excited for ALA, because it’s my first time going and because it’ll be bookended with time with my best friend, who I haven’t seen in years.  There will be books and crab angels and movies (definitely 22 Jump Street and The Fault in Our Stars, but probably more) and probably TV marathons and I’m so excited. :)

I feel so lucky, you guys.  I love talking about books and now I have a bigger forum to do it.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

The Haunting of the Gemini

Finished The Haunting of the Gemini: A True Story of New York’s Zodiac Murders by Jackie Barrett.

Summary (from Goodreads):

” On a sweltering summer day in 1992, the body of Patricia Fonti was found in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Highland Park.

She had been stabbed more than 100 times.

The Zodiac Killer had struck again.

Renowned psychic medium Jackie Barrett is no stranger to visits from the dead. But when the spirit of Patricia Fonti comes to her twenty years after her death, Jackie finds herself caught in an unexpected battle for the restless, schizophrenic soul of a murder victim. Here is Jackie’s first-person account of her connection with Patricia Fonti and her murderer, New York Zodiac Killer Heriberto �Eddie” Seda, whose early 1990s killing spree paralyzed the city with fear.

In exclusive letters, drawings and recorded telephone conversations from prison, Eddie divulges things to Jackie that have never been made public, including how he killed and why. Her astounding interviews with the man who calls himself �The Soul Collector” give rare insight into the recesses of a very dark mind. And while Jackie struggles to help Patricia Fonti find peace, Eddie insists he and Jackie are two halves of a whole, that together they make up the astrological sign of the twins—the Gemini….”

This is easily one of the most unsettling books I’ve ever read, and I’ve been watching horror movies since I was nine and reading scary stories for about that long.

I first heard about Jackie Barrett a few years ago when a documentary on her relationship (for lack of a better word) with Ronnie DeFeo was on TV.  Last year, she released a book on it.

Jackie Barrett is psychic and deals with the darker side of life.  She speaks with murderers and their victims, and is privy to things that most of us are not.  Most of us are able to debate whether or not there are angels and demons, and most of us can’t answer that question definitively because we’ve never seen or experienced one.  Jackie Barrett doesn’t debate; she knows.

I said all that to say this: in this book, she communications with the Zodiac (New York one, not west coast one) and one of his victims, and almost loses herself in the process.

There are parts of this book—probably something like 85%, actually, so a little more than “parts,” right?—that sent actual chills down my spine.

This book is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re curious about the paranormal, you need to check out her books.  Highly recommended.


Finished Sunrise by Mike Mullin.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“The Yellowstone supervolcano nearly wiped out the human race. Now, almost a year after the eruption, the survivors seem determined to finish the job. Communities wage war on each other, gangs of cannibals roam the countryside, and what little government survived the eruption has collapsed completely. The ham radio has gone silent. Sickness, cold, and starvation are the survivors’ constant companions.

When it becomes apparent that their home is no longer safe and adults are not facing the stark realities, Alex and Darla must create a community that can survive the ongoing disaster, an almost impossible task requiring even more guts and more smarts than ever — and unthinkable sacrifice. If they fail . . . they, their loved ones, and the few remaining survivors will perish.

This epic finale has the heart of Ashfall, the action of Ashen Winter, and a depth all its own, examining questions of responsibility and bravery, civilization and society, illuminated by the story of an unshakable love that transcends a post-apocalyptic world and even life itself.”

I absolutely loved this book and this series.  This book covers several years after the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupted, and things are not getting any better.

People are getting increasingly desperate to survive and people are beginning to band together more and more.  Sometimes that’s a good thing but generally not so much.

One of the most interesting things about end-of-the-world type books is that it tends to turn society on its head a little bit.  You know how now, money is so important and we judge people based on their job and office size?  In this world, money is absolutely worthless and the important jobs are the same ones that are mocked a little bit now.  Mechanical skills are the most important things ever, and many people don’t have them.

Also, since a lot of the things we take for granted aren’t around anymore, simple things become absolutely daunting.   (As an added bonus, even if you can find a car that works and enough space to drive it, any leftover gas has long since gone stale.)

I absolutely cannot wait to see what Mike Mullin does next.  Highly recommended.