Sunday, July 31, 2011

WHAT I READ THIS SUMMER by Kimberly Derting

Thankfully, this isn’t homework. And fortunately, the summer’s not over just yet. But so far my summer reads have been much more exciting than our gloomy Northwest weather, so I thought I share a few (or more) recommendations with you:

First up, CITY OF GLASS by Cassandra Clare. I’m intentionally taking my time reading Ms. Clare’s books, because I soooo do not want to rush through them. Let's just say Jace is a dish best enjoyed slowly. (Which makes me sound all-kinds-of-dirty-old-woman.)

Next, THE VESPERTINE by Saundra Mitchell. Damn, I love Saundra’s books. She does an authentic voice like nobody’s business. Plus, the whole psychic thing was awesome!

Also, I just finished listening to the audio version of WORLD WAR Z by Max Brooks. I totally recommend the audiobook to anyone considering this one. Each individual monologue is told by a different narrator, giving it such a cool vibe and making it feel…authentic. You know, for a book about the zombie apocalypse. (Note: Don’t listen to this one while the kids are in the car.) (Second Note: I learned this the hard way.)

POSSESS by Gretchen McNeil. This uber-fab debut had me flipping the pages while the snarky main character, Bridget, demon-hunted her way through San Francisco. Loved it!!

A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young. This was another super fast-paced read, with a character whose voice I couldn’t get enough of! Definitely pick this one up!!


Lastly (and only because don’t they say “save the best for last”?), WHITE CAT by Holly Black. Oh. My. God!!!! Probably one of the best-built worlds I’ve ever read, topped off with one of the most fabulously flawed characters that you just can’t help rooting for (and maybe falling a bit in love with). Damn, damn, damn, Ms. Black…I have a new author crush and she’s a feisty brunette!



And then there are the books that are jumping to the TOP of my TBR stack:

RED GLOVE by Holly Black. Because…you know. When I heard that the audio version was narrated by Jessie Eisenberg, I just had to listen to it. I’ve already started it and I’m SO not disappointed!!!! Not only am I loving the book, but I’ve also developed a new crush on Jessie Eisenberg.

DREAM DARK by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I have so many books on my TBR pile that I almost never read series books…unless I love-love them. Well, the Beautiful Creatures books are definitely on that must-read-series list. Not only is Dream Dark told from Link’s POV, but I hear it has the first five chapters of Beautiful Chaos. This one’s out on Tuesday, so pre-order it NOW!

RIPPLE by Mandy Hubbard. Two words: Killer mermaid. Need I say more?

SILENCE by Becca Fitzpatrick. From the moment I first saw the cover of Hush, Hush I knew Patch would be something special, and, umm…WOW, was he ever! I can’t wait to get my hands on this final book in the series!

THE DAY BEFORE by Lisa Schroeder. I loved I Heart You, You Haunt Me, the first book I’d ever read in verse, and the storyline for this one looks even better: a girl and a boy drawn to each other for one perfect day. *swoons*

Thursday, July 28, 2011

BLERGH!!!!

Umm…remember that one time when I said THE PLEDGE would be available six weeks early for those attending Wordstock in Oregon? Yeah, well…not so much…

Apparently there was a scheduling snafu and they won’t be printed in time.

[Insert pic of me crying, snot bubbles and all.]

Okay, so there is no such pic, but you get my point. I feel like such a loser that I said it, and now I have to take it back.

But I have something almost as good:

Free advanced reader copies of THE PLEDGE!!!

That’s better than having to buy them anyway, right? I’m still working on the exact number of ARCs that will be available and how exactly they’ll be given out, but they will be there which means I’m not a total liar!

And because I reallyreallyreallyreally want you to come, I’ll also be giving out other super-cool prizes and swag.

So…forgive me???

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some EXCITING(!!!) Event News…

First, I’m going to be at Oregon’s WORDSTOCK Festival in October! And while this alone is enough to get me really excited, I’ve also have a juicy secret that I can now share with everyone: The organizers at WORDSTOCK were able to convince/Jedi mind-trick Simon & Schuster into having THE PLEDGE available for sale at the event…way, way before the release date!!!

How early? Anyone at WORDSTOCK in October will be able to buy THE PLEDGE six weeks before anyone else!!!! SIX WEEKS!

**confetti cannons**

Also, just a reminder that if you don’t have plans this coming Sunday, or for that matter even if you do, you should totally drop everything and come to the Summer Reading Extravaganza at Third Place Books in Seattle! I’ll be there rubbing elbows with my rock star friends Mandy Hubbard, Suzanne Young, Lisa Schroeder, Cat Patrick, and Eileen Cook.

Trust me, it’s going to be a blast and you won’t want to miss it! And we may or may not have goodies for those who attend. I’m just saying it’s totally possible. ;)

**confetti cannons**

(Note to self: I really need to buy a confetti cannon.)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In Search of the Perfect Horror Film...

A recent conversation I had on Twitter got me thinking about my ten-year-old’s horror kick lately. She’s been dying to be let loose on the R-rated vaults so she can have full access to some of the scariest and most vile horror flicks out there. Simply put, she wants to be terrified. And while I have to admit the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the mom in me has to temper the urge to share my love of horror with the fact that she’s, well, ten. Oh and it doesn’t help my decision any that I’m sure she would tell every neighbor kid (and their parents) that “My mom let me watch [insert gory/inappropriate horror flick here] last night”.

In an effort to appease her zeal for things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, my husband and I have desperately been trying to find movies that are just scary enough to tide her over until she’s older, yet not so scary that she’ll end up in therapy…or worse, sleeping in our bed until she gets her driver’s license. (Believe me, it’s not as easy as it sounds with this kid.)

We started off slow with a little Signs by M. Night Shyamalan (you’d laugh if you heard me try to pronounce his name, by the way). Our thinking was that it’s freaky, but not really scary. Yeah…she practically yawned. Don’t get me wrong, she fashioned her tinfoil hat with the best of them, but the fright factor just wasn’t there for her. She needed more.

Next up, Poltergeist. We even watched while we were camping in the woods thinking this has got to scare her, right??? What I remembered about it: Scary clowns, a monstrous tree that attacks, and Carol Anne’s creepy voice as she announced, “They’re here.” What my daughter saw: Lame 1980’s special effects. Period. Let’s just say, she slept just fine.

Okay, so we break out the big guns. Well, big guns for a ten-year-old, and decide to let her watch The Sixth Sense. Ghosts, gruesome corpses, the whole nine yards.

Her take: It was cool. Kinda creepy. Not really scary, though.

Huh.

So the other day we’re walking up to the front door and she tells me that in order to kill a zombie you have to do a “double tap”.

Me: “What’s a double-tap?”

Her: “You know, you shoot ‘em once in the brain, and then you shoot ‘em again, just to be sure. A double-tap.”

Me: “Where did you learn that?”

Her: “I watched Zombieland at a sleepover.”

Me: (Okayyyy…) “Well…were you scared?”

Her: (shrugs) “Not really. It was kinda funny.”

So I haven’t seen Zombieland, but I’m thinking it’s a little worse than PG-rated Poltergeist. But it also got me to thinking about what my favorite horror movies of all time were (not that most of these are on the potential list for my daughter’s eyes…yet), and I decided to make a list.

Here’s what I came up with:

Rosemary’s Baby (scarier as a book, but a great classic too)
Nightmare on Elm Street (the original, of course) (probably not as cool if I watched it today)
Saw (because…ewww!)
When a Stranger Calls (“The calls are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE.”!!!!!) (Another one that I’m sure would be disappointing if I were to watch it now)
Dawn of the Dead
The Silence of the Lambs
Alien (parts 1 and 2)
The Ring
The Sixth Sense
Seven
The Shining (the book and the movie)

And the two movies that are on my “I-can-NEVER-EVER-watch-them-because-I’m-too-chicken” list are:

Paranormal Activity
The Exorcism of Emily Rose


Without even seeing these ones, I already know that they’re the kind of movies that will have me worried about waking up in the middle of the night and finding someone (or something) in my bedroom. *shudders at the thought*

So, what do you guys think? Suggestions for my ten-year-old. Suggestions for me. What are some of your all time favorite horror flicks???

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

RWA Recap (and where you can order signed copies of TBF and DESIRES OF THE DEAD!)...

So...whew! New York was awesome, exciting, and exhausting...pretty much in that order. And rather than bore you with the deets, I thought I'd share some pics of my whirlwind week, starting with the amazing view from my room:

While I LOVED this view, it was pointed out to me that it was somewhat dizzying for those with a fear of heights (*cough*LisaSchroeder*cough*).

I saw some sights, you know like St. Patrick's Cathederal...(okay, yes, this was from my cab...I did mention this was a whirlwind of a trip, right???)

The Central Park Boathouse:

And, of course...the Naked Cowboy:

(I was disheartened to realize that he isn't just one random lunatic standing around in his tighty-whities, but that there are several "Naked Cowboys" in the franchise. Sorta ruined him for me.)

Also, I ate. And ate. Lisa Schroeder convinced me, Sophie Jordan, and Inara Scott that the Shake Shack was worth the half hour wait in line. And lemme tell ya somethin'...OMG, those shakes...those disgusting looking shakes...SOOOOO GOOD!!!!

I ate until I felt sick, and then I ate some more. I finally resorted to stuffing my cup with trash so I'd stop eating (something I probably shouldn't admit out loud). Now that's a good shake.

Lastly, the signing at Books of Wonder was everything I'd hoped it would be.

Not only did I get to spend the evening hanging out with fab authors, but I got to chat it up with some of the best readers in the Northeast!!! I met one of my agent mates, Frankie Diane Mallis:

Later, while we were walking to Penn Station, Frankie and I were even invited by a random stranger to watch "naked lady wrestling". Man, I love NY!!!

And check out what one super-awesome reader made me:

(And that was just the envelope!!!)

The best part: Books of Wonder ordered extra books, which we signed and you can order. So if you've wanted signed copies of THE BODY FINDER or DESIRES OF THE DEAD, you can get them by calling BoW at (212) 989-3270!