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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

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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.”

 

A Whisper in Time Release Day Blitz

Book Blurb:
“I have never been useless in my life…”

Rescued from a life of servitude by the boy she loves, Susanna Marsh escapes across two centuries, only to be plunged into a world she’s ill-prepared to face. Unable to work or go to school, Susanna finds herself dependent on others to survive.

Immersed in the fun and demands of his senior year of high school, Mark Lewis longs to share his world with the girl who’s captured his heart. But first he must tackle government bureaucracy to prove Susanna’s identity.

Overwhelmed by her new home, Susanna seeks refuge in history and in news of the people she left behind. But when she learns that danger stalks her sister, Susanna must weigh whether to risk her own future in order to save Phoebe’s happiness.

Click here to enter the giveaway.

Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Book Information:
Paperback: 360 pages
Expected publication: April 8th 2014 by Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 1937053814

Author Bio:
Elizabeth Langston lives in North Carolina, halfway between the beaches and the mountains. She has two teen-ish daughters and one husband (a geek like her). When she’s not writing software or stories, Elizabeth loves to travel with her family, watch dance reality TV shows, and dream about which restaurant ought to get their business that night.

Elizabeth’s debut novel WHISPER FALLS released in November 2013. Its sequels, A WHISPER IN TIME and WHISPERS FROM THE PAST, release in 2014. Learn more about her at http://www.elizabethLangston.net.

Author Links:
Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

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Sleeping Jenny Cover Reveal

FULL JACKET COVER:

ABOUT SLEEPING JENNY…

As the daughter of multimillionaires, Jennifer has everything she’s ever needed, except time. Diagnosed with a form of incurable cancer, she has only months to live, and her dreams of working for National Geographic to save African elephants and polar bears are shattered. Her only hope is an experimental cryogenic freezing program, which will keep her in stasis until doctors can find a cure. The cure comes three hundred years too late, and she wakes to a futuristic world where animals are all but forgotten.

Descendants of her brother adopt her, and she’s thrown back into high school. Exara, the class beauty, calls Jenny the Neanderthal girl, and she becomes more of a sideshow than a member of the senior class. Only Exara’s gorgeous boyfriend, Maxim sympathizes with her. Her developing feelings for Maxim are only the beginning of her problems. There aren’t any more animals to save, so Jenny involves herself with a rebel group called the Timesurfers, explorers searching the galaxy for another planet to inhabit to clone long-dead animal species. Soon, she must choose between her blossoming feelings for Maxim and her lifelong dream.

This giveaway is open US ONLY. 
Check back daily for more entries! :) 

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Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation-favorite character was Data by far-, and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be “A concert flutist” when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.

Double Cover Reveal! (Swimming to Tokyo and Lifestyles of the Rich & (In)Famous

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SWIMMING TO TOKYO by Brenda St. John Brown  (out July 28)
Find Brenda Online: Website / Facebook / Twitter
About the Book:

The rules for swimming are simple:

Rule #1: There is no lifeguard on duty.

Since her mom died three years ago, nineteen-year-old Zosia Easton’s been treading water. Living at home. Community college. Same old Saturday nights. So when her father breaks the news he’s taken a job transfer—and by the way, it means renting out the house that’s been her refuge—a summer in Tokyo feels like it just might be a chance to start swimming again.

Rule #2: Beware of unexpected currents.

Finn O’Leary has spent God knows how many years trying to drown out his past. Juvenile detention. Bad decisions. Worse choices. He’s managed to turn it around – MIT, Dean’s List, a sexier-than-thou body with a smile to match – at least on the surface. When his mom asks him to spend the summer with her, Tokyo seems as good a place as any to float through the summer.

Rule #3: Swim at your own risk.

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LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND (IN)FAMOUS by Tierney Fowler (out August 19)
Find Tierney Online: Website / Twitter 
About the Book: 

Nyx Carrington, notorious for her red lipstick and over-the-top personality, has just snagged the dreamiest A-Lister in Manhattan. Tristan Halifax, a gorgeous, arrogant man with a penchant for beautiful women, could be Nyx’s chance at true love. After her last disastrous relationship with her not-so-dream guy, the brooding Crashbang bassist, AJ Abbott, Nyx is ready for a new start.

Overnight, Nyx’s relationship status with Tristan turns her into America’s Sweetheart—complete with scandalizing parties, new friendships with Manhattan’s Golden Boys, and unending photographers. It’s the perfect moment in the spotlight with Tristan—or it would be if AJ would stop writing chart topping love songs dedicated to her red lipstick.

When AJ crashes back into her life declaring that wants to reignite their high school romance, Nyx’s love life gets complicated. And when the press hears about problems with the “it” couple, they turn on Nyx—jeopardizing her relationship with Tristan, ruining her reputation, and discovering her old skeletons. Nyx’s newfound fame as America’s Sweetheart may leave her brokenhearted.

Celebrities are supposed to have it all, but having it all could mean losing everything that used to matter.

(Me again.  How awesome do both these books sound?! I want to read both, and preferably RIGHT NOW.  I love the covers, too.)

Birthday Plans

In less than two weeks, I’ll be 34.

I generally make a huge deal out of my birthday, but I don’t have any plans this year.  I see my local friends the next week for book club.

Honestly, I just kind of want to stay in and read or watch TV or sleep.

It’s not that I have a  problem with my birthday or with being in my mid-thirties.  I have no problem getting older (especially because there’s only one way to prevent it, and I would rather not die anytime soon).  I’m just not feeling it this year. I think that’s probably because next month, I’ll be in New York for BEA. I’m seeing Heathers: the Musical and I’m more excited for that (and BEA) than this birthday.

But next year I’ll be 35.  I should start planning for that now.

And We Stay

Finished And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard. I received a copy from the publisher on Netgalley.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“When high school senior Paul Wagoner walks into his school library with a stolen gun, he threatens his girlfriend Emily Beam, then takes his own life. In the wake of the tragedy, an angry and guilt-ridden Emily is shipped off to boarding school in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she encounters a ghostly presence who shares her name. The spirit of Emily Dickinson and two quirky girls offer helping hands, but it is up to Emily to heal her own damaged self.

This inventive story, told in verse and in prose, paints the aftermath of tragedy as a landscape where there is good behind the bad, hope inside the despair, and springtime under the snow.”

This is a very interesting book, one that’s definitely worth the read.  It’s short and, as the synopsis said, partially told through verse (but mostly prose).  It should take most people only an afternoon to read.

For some reason, books completely or partially about grief are finding me lately and this is no exception.  It’s not a depressing book, but it has some incredibly poignant things to say about grief.

I enjoyed reading this book, but I don’t feel that I really got to know Emily Beam.  To be fair, I’m not sure that anyone does, especially at this particular part of her life.  She’s changing a lot—evolving might be more accurate—and she holds everyone at arm’s length for much of the book.  (That included me as a reader.)

I liked it but didn’t love it.  Chances are that if it had been a little bit longer (or a lot longer), this would’ve become one of my favorites.

The 13-Month Reading Slump

For the past year (or, to be accurate, 13 months), I’ve been in a reading slump.

I still read, of course—I am in two book clubs and I read the books for those, as well as enough to keep the neverending TBR pile more or less at the same level (one book read, one book bought…).

But in 2011 and 2012, I read over 300 books each year.  Last year, it was a shade over 250. This year, I’ll probably be lucky to hit 200.  (I realize that these are not numbers to be ashamed of AT ALL.)

I used to read a book a day.  Now it’s more like a book every three or four days.  Sometimes not even that frequently.

I’m mostly okay with it.  So far, my blog hasn’t gone dark, although that day may be coming.

The bigger problem is that I’m still receiving and requesting books the way that I did when I WAS reading a book a day.  A huge “to be reviewed” stack isn’t a big deal when I could probably get through the entire list in a few months.  Now it may take all year.  But eventually I’ll get to everything and eventually (I hope) the reading mojo will be back and I’ll be that reading machine we all know and love again.  (I hope.)

I have no plans beyond “pick a book.  Read it.  Review it.  Pick another book.  Read it.  Review it.  Pick another book…” and so on.

Suggestions are welcome. :)

Labor Day (the movie)

Labor Day was my book club’s last pick.  Thanks to Harper Collins, we also had the chance to go see the movie.   (Click here for my review; click here for the book club’s reaction.)

I had planned to take pictures, but that didn’t happen.  (The obnoxious teenagers at the end of our row took plenty of pictures—some during the movie—so I guess there’s a chance that Julia and I were in some of those.)

I had heard mixed (mainly negative) reviews going in, but the trailer made it look very good and I enjoyed the book very much, so I was very hopeful.

We all ended up liking the movie.  I don’t think it’s going to win awards, but they don’t all have to.

There were several changes made from book to movie, but I liked those changes.  (Super rare, right?)

I thought, for example, that Frank was a lot more menacing in the initial meeting in the store.  In the book, it was almost like Adele found nothing unusual in a complete stranger hitching a ride to her home.  In the movie, though, it was an explicit threat.

The other huge change is the fact that in the book, it’s pretty clear who (to be vague) is to blame for the ending being what it was.  In the movie, it could be any one of a few different people.

The best part of the movie is the cast.  Every single person is just brilliant in their role.  I don’t think that’s a newsflash where Kate Winslet is concerned, but Josh Brolin and Gattlin Griffith also did great jobs.  Griffith, especially, did an amazing job.  You could really see him transform after spending time with Frank.

I’m not a huge fan of Josh Brolin, but I think he was a great choice; you could see the potential for menace but also a great deal of tenderness in his portrayal of Frank.

Obviously Kate Winslet was amazing as Adele.  I think it would’ve been easy to sink into melodrama with Adele, but she showed the desperation and vulnerability without ever making her into a caricature.  (I believe she was actually nominated for a Golden Globe, but lost to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.)

I don’t know that I believe this is a great date movie, but it’s a very good movie.  Recommended.

 

Labor Day (book club)

Harper Collins sent copies of the book to our book club, so thank you. :)

Labor Day is by Joyce Maynard and will soon be a movie with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

We were supposed to have Labor Day-themed recipes, but I can’t cook.  So I bought ribs and potato salad.  Philip brought ice cream and Julia made a peach pie.  ( so that counts!)

We all agreed that it was an excellent story and something that was original and unique, not something that had been done a million times.

Adele was neurotic but we sympathized with her anyway.  We liked Frank and his relationship with Adele.  I think we were all rooting for them to be together, even though it would be a hard thing to sustain, possibly.  They were people who believed in true love, so maybe it’s easier for them to have it.

We enjoyed learning why Adele was the way she was, and how she became as overprotective as she is.

We thought that Frank and Henry were the two people who saw her.

One of us didn’t particularly care for the writing style, but most of us very much enjoyed it.

We all thought that it moved very quickly and we all finished it very quickly.

We were united in our hatred of Eleanor.  We didn’t like her very much even besides being the person who called the police on Frank.

Henry reminded us of Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower, although we feel like he maybe wasn’t that bad or severe of a case.

Our lone male book club participant thought that Joyce Maynard did an excellent job writing from the perspective of a teenage boy.

We were concerned about the relationship between Adele and Henry, because she related to him more as a friend than as a parent.  We thought that she didn’t really do a good job keeping appropriate boundaries.

Initially, we were all nervous about Frank but he quickly won us all over.

We’re very excited to see the movie, because the trailer looks so amazing.  We are all Kate Winslet fans.  “It may do for pies what Ghost did for pottery-making.”

We’re excited to see the chemistry between the three characters and also just between Adele and Frank.  I’m excited to see the scene where Frank teaches Henry to play baseball.  We’re also looking forward to the initial meeting between them, the pie-making scene and the scene where he ties Adele up.