Friday, March 28, 2008

Book Purse

I like the idea of recycling old books. I found a great book of bird illustrations at a used book store. I cut out the illustrations I liked and framed them for my office. Here's a cool way to recycle pretty and/or unique book covers. You never know what you'll find on Etsy...

The Pretty Theory Etsy shop also has other books like Black Beauty, Harry Potter and Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

2008 RITA Award Nominations

The Romance Writers of America has released their list of nominees for the 2008 RITA Awards. There are a few good books on the list, but most of them I've never heard of. Some of the highlights (and lowlights) are:

Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalists:
Blame It On Cupid by Jennifer Greene (erm, I read this last weekend and I can't even remember what it was about)

Catch Of The Day by Kristan Higgins (great story, I'm such a sucker for books with dogs)

Tangled Up In You by Rachel Gibson (I've really enjoyed all her Idaho books)

Paranormal Romance Finalists:
Demon's Kiss by Maggie Shane (hated it from the first, has lame character names like Vixen and Reaper)

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward (good book but hated the ending)

Romance Novella Finalists:
Christmas Cravings from Holiday With A Vampire by Maureen Child (I'm not big on short stories/novellas but this one was really good. Plus I got it as a free download from eHarlequin over Christmas)

Click here for the full list of nominees

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Best Selling Books of 2007

I haven't decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing yet, but my reading choices over the past year seem to be fairly out-of-step with mainstream America. Publisher's Weekly put out their list yesterday of the top sellers of 2007. From the top 15 (in fiction) I've only read two and they're both Janet Evanovich. And what's up with James Patterson? I'm not convinced he's really writing all these books. I think his publisher is suffering from the Hollywood sequel syndrome; if one is a hit, pump out 10 more of the same damn thing and people will gobble it up.

Here's the list:

PW 2007 Bestsellers
1 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Riverhead (5/07) 2,201,865
2 Playing For Pizza by John Grisham. Doubleday (9/07) #1,445,000
3 Double Cross by James Patterson. Little, Brown (11/07) 1,428,974
4 The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central (9/07) 1,200,809
5 Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich. St. Martin's (6/07) 1,116,828
6 Plum Lovin' by Janet Evanovich. St. Martin's (1/07) 1,080,686
7 Book of the Dead by Patricia Cornwell. Putnam (10/07) 1,027,000
8 The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Little, Brown (7/07) 795,736
9 The 6th Target by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. Little, Brown (5/07) 769,460
10 The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz. Bantam (11/07) #740,000
11 Step on a Crack by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. Little, Brown (2/07) 732,702
12 You've Been Warned by James Patterson and Howard Roughan. Little, Brown (9/07) 724,713
13 T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. Putnam (12/07) 716,582
14 Stone Cold by David Baldacci. Grand Central (11/07) 670,590
15 Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Atria Books (3/07) 609,000

Click here to read the full Publisher's Weekly article.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pulp Cover Laptop Bags

I'm totally into pulp covers recently and these laptop bags from Maddie Powers are so cute. It's hard to find stylish (and girly) laptop bags in the sea of black nylon. I guarantee people will stop and ask where you got these...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Recyled Book Cuff Bracelets has a great post today about an Etsy artist who creates cuff bracelets from old book spines. What a cool idea!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Books of the Week

Predatory Game Book CoverOkay, so I was traveling this week and I finished the one book I had brought with me to read. I still had the five hour flight home so I wanted to grab another book at the airport. Well, pickins were slim, let me tell you, so I grabbed Christine Feehan's Predatory Game. This is book six in her Ghostwalkers series. I read the first four but they all seemed the same to me so I stopped. Sadly book six was no different. It was 50% enjoyable, and 50% annoying. The hero keeps calling the heroine "baby" and "honey" in every damn sentence. And, this is way before they become involved. Roomates don't call each other baby. Look, she has a name okay? Learn it tough guy.

Another book I read this week was the long awaited Murder Melts in Your Mouth by Nancy Martin. It was just as good as the other Blackbird Sisters mysteries. I want Nora Blackbird's closet. She may be poor, but she has great clothes. The ending was also very satisfying. Worth the wait! 

And, last but not least, Stealing Home, by Sheryl Woods. This is book one in her Sweet Magnolias Trilogy. I've really enjoyed books set in the south but this one just made me think, maybe it's not such a good idea to live in a small town. Apparently you can't even have sex without everyone knowing and maybe even getting fired. Geesh!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Onion - Novelist Strike

I've been away for a few days to the beautiful city of Washington, D.C. One of the things I usually do is pick up a copy of the satirical newspaper The Onion. The headlines and stories are just plain funny. Sometimes silly, sometimes neatly skewering politicians or current mainstream news drama.  This week they have a funny article, Novelist Strike Fails To Affect Nation Whatsoever. My favorite part is a caption under a picture of a writer titled "Novelist T.R. Walsh was forced to put a manuscript on hold he has been writing for more than 15 years." 

Saturday, March 8, 2008

All About Romance Reader Poll

Every year, All About Romance does it's annual reader poll. The poll was limited to books released in 2007. The results are interesting and it's a good place to get ideas of new authors or books to try. I pretty much always surprised at the "best of" results. They trend toward historical romance which I am *so* not into. But here's a little tidbit of the poll.

Best Romance: If His Kiss is Wicked - Jo Goodman, tied with The Serpent Prince - Elisabeth Hoyt
Best New Author: Anna Campbell
Guiltiest Pleasure: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Lover Unbound and JR Ward were all over the "worst of" categories. If His Kiss is Wicked won in several "best" categories. Click here to read the entire list.

Madhouse by Rob Thurman

I just finished reading Madhouse by Rob Thurman. It's the third book in her series about Cal and Niko Leandros. Cal (short for Caliban) is part monster. His mom was human but his father was a terrifying creature called an auphe. Niko is full human and he basically raised Cal. The brothers have been running their entire life from the auphe but they've finally settled down in New York City. They're started a supernatural clean up service with the help of Niko's vampire girlfriend, Promise. Their latest job is to hunt down a serial killer called Sawney Beane.

This series is really intense dark urban fantasy. The city is alive with monsters like boggles (they live in Central Park and eat joggers), nymphs, werewolves and other assorted fairy tale creatures. Things can get gruesome at times but I think the reason why I like the series so much is that Cal isn't perfect. He's a young guy trying to deal with the horrors he's seen in his life and he's an interesting mix of contradictions. If you like fantasy you should give this series a try. The first book was Nightlife and the second book was Moonshine .

By the way, an interesting note, Rob Thurman is a woman. Short for Robyn I believe. It makes sense based on the quality of the writing. I'm a little biased I think women tend to be better writers than men.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lynn Viehl Interview

I have a bit of a girl crush on Lynn Viehl. I think she's a fabulous writer and she pens one of my favorite vampire series, the Darkyn. She did an interview at a blog called 101 Reasons to Stop Writing that is pretty hilarious. It's hard to take the piss out of someone who's trying to take the piss out of you, but she manages it brilliantly. One of the things I like about her is that she never takes herself too seriously. Read the interview here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cool Stuff on Etsy

If for some reason, you have never heard of Etsy, boy are you missing out on some good stuff! Etsy is a marketplace where you can find unique handmade crafts, arts and other random lovely things you must buy. Here are my latest Etsy finds:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

So Many Books, So Little Time

I cannot wait to read Nancy Martin's newest Blackbird Sisters mystery Murder Melts in Your Mouth. I think that's a horrible title that conjures up all kinds of disgusting mental pictures, but I digress. I don't even remember how I stumbled onto these little gems but I was hooked at the first one and immediately bought the entire backlist. There's so much to love from to-die-for vintage couture clothes, crazy sisters, and the Philadelphia blue-blood society they were raised in. Most of all there is the hunky, so-bad-he's-good guy Mick. Born into a mafia family he's trying to escape his family roots. Of course Nora Blackbird can't stay away from him (and who would want to try). 

It comes out this week and I'm itching to get my hands on it. Sadly, Nancy Martin has fallen victim to the publishing industry's idea of success. When a paperback series becomes a hit, they put it in hardcover. Aargh! Why do they do this to us? I was getting these fabulous little books for $5.99, now you want me to pay $22.95. Are you kidding me? Of course you can get it from Amazon for $15.61 but that's beside the point. Do publishers want successful author's sales to drop off? I can tell you that I'm not going to buy it, sorry Nancy. I'll wait to borrow my wonderfully generous friend, Teresa's copy. Read fast Teresa, read fast.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi

A few weeks ago I won a Valentine's Day giveaway by author Lynn Viehl. She was giving away copies of Rosina Lippi's new book, The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square. I was really excited to read the book based on the blurb:

"For John Dodge, moving to new places and reviving ailing businesses is a way of life. So when he sees an ad for Scriveners, a stationery shop in a small town in South Carolina, he decides to take the plunge.

As soon as he arrives in Lamb's Corner, Dodge falls happily into the whirl of gossip, gifts, and quintessential Southern hospitality. Link Kay, one of his employees, warms up to him after Dodge admires his expertise on pens. Bean Hurt-a feisty and outspoken ten-year-old-becomes a fast friend. And Maude Golden, the mayor, supplies him with indispensable information. But the one person who really catches Dodge's eye is Julia Darrow-the beautiful but aloof pajama-wearing owner of the Cocoon, a popular store specializing in luxury linens. Dodge tries to befriend her, but she remains elusive and mysterious. Everyone knows that she is a widow, but no one seems to know why she came to town or why she never leaves Lambert Square-or does she?

Like Dodge, Chicago-born Julia is fleeing a tumultuous past. But with the help of a hilarious and endearing cast of characters, Julia and Dodge learn that, sometimes, you don't need to go far to find home." - From

This is a really wonderful book. Ever since I read my first Anne Rivers Siddons book set in the Low Country of South Carolina I've had this fantasy of what it might be like to move to the south. This book plays right into that fantasy and I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved these quirky characters and Lippi's writing is so good that it sneaks up and grabs you when you're least expecting it. I'm definitely going to hunt down her backlist, including Tied to the Tracks so I can soak up all the southern goodness. 

Thank you Lynn!