Friday, June 28, 2013

Thrillerfest 2013.


ThrillerFest!  The premiere convention for writers, readers and fans of Thrillers is back for its eighth year in New York City.

This event starts off with CraftFest on Wednesday and Thursday, which offers high quality writing classes from noted New York Times bestselling authors such as Ken Follet, Lee Childs, Douglas Preston, Catherine Coulter and Anne Rule.  Yes, you read right.  Experienced and successful authors  take the time to share their knowledge in this exclusive setting.

AgentFest is Thursday afternoon.  New York City is where the publishing industry lives and breathe.  What better place to pitch your Thriller novel than in this professional atmosphere?  Pitch your manuscript, find your agent, make connections.

ThrillerFest then offers panels on Friday and Saturday.  Authors, editors and agents discuss key subjects in writing and publishing.  Superior discussions, interviews with this year's Thrillermasters (a few conducted by their own children) and Spotlight Guests.  Receptions, parties, breakfasts, banquets, awards and signings.  If you love the exciting thriller genre, check out Thrillerfest for one of the most exhilirating conventions you will attend.

For details visit their main website HERE.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Under the Sea Bracelet #4

I will be gone a lot in June so I wanted to have some nice prizes to give away in my absence.  If you enter and don't win this one, I will be giving away a charm bracelet every Wednesday in June.   Each bracelet is slightly different so the winner will have a one of a kind piece.




One of my other hobbies besides reading is beading and making jewelry.  I named this bracelet my Under The Sea charm bracelet.  It is a 7 1/2" sterling silver chain with metal ocean themed charms and Swarovski crystals in the colors of the sea.


Please note: I am NOT a professional jeweler so if anything looks wonky on closer examination, my apologies.


Contest:
~ One (1) winner will receive the charm bracelet above.  

To Enter:
~Leave your name and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form.
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY! If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry. 

Rules:
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~Contest ends on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 12:15am. 
~To enter you must fill out the Rafflecopter form.
~Winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~This contest is international!  
~Winner has 72 hours to respond to notification e-mail.  Otherwise another winner will be chosen. 
~If I do not announce winners on a new post, please check back here on the Rafflecopter widget if you'd like to see who won. 

Please note I will be away for most of June so please allow time for notification and delivery!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spider's Bite.

Title/Author: Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep.

Genre: Urban Fantasy.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster.

Source: Purchased.

Favorite Quote: "I'm so much better at being the bad guy anyway." ~Gin.

Synopsis: My name is Gin, and I kill people.

They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride.

Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.

My Thoughts:  I avoided reading this book for a while.  I just wasn't into the whole "Elemental" scene because other books I read that included them tended to be overly complicated.  I was totally wrong.  The elemental aspect is easy to grasp and is utilized well.  I was also pleasantly surprised at the characters, the plot and the dialogue.  Spider's Bite is just so smartly written.

The book sucked me in right away and there wasn't a spot that the action lagged or my interest waned.  The plot is interesting, but it wasn't the main thing that grabbed me.  What I love are the characters, dialogue and the way this book made me believe everything that happened.  Gin is beyond bad ass.  She is an assassin, the best assassin.  And it's not like oh wow, she can do anything how convenient.  It's just that she knows her strengths and brings them to their fullest potential.  What I also love is the vulnerable side to her.  Not too much to be sappy, but enough to really connect with her.  Her inner dialogue, her observations about others and herself all make her a very rich character.

Detective Donovan Caine is Gin's love interest and also involved in solving the case that is going on in the story.  Seeing him through Gin's eyes brought him to life in a way that I don't know would have worked as well in any other viewpoint.  Gin is not only drawn to him physically, but because of his decency.   The fact that he has issues with her yet wants to jump her bones one minute and literally kill her the next for a past crime complicates things.  Gin could set him straight about some things, but chooses not to.  It almost seems as if she feels he is too good for her.  Or maybe she is testing him. 

I actually enjoyed all her relationships in this book and I feel that all the important secondary characters are just as rich.  Sometimes authors use them as throwaways or plot devices.  Someone to just bounce witty dialogue with the lead.  But they are not there just for Gin.  They are all important in their own right.  From Fletcher, the man who takes her in off the streets, to his son Finn who is now like a brother to Gin and a badass and interesting, complex person in his own right. 

I also love how the tables are turned, so to speak.  Gin is more of the pursuer of her love interest, but not over aggressively so.  It wasn't like "...hero has to melt her heart."  It wasn't like "...she is so beautiful but she doesn't realize it."  She was like, "I'm hot for you.  We're both attractive, let's get it on."  The romance wasn't overly abundant however and that's just the way I like it.  It wasn't the first thing on Gin's mind and in fact, she would not let it distract her or put her in danger. 

The setting of Atlanta, GA is included with descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains and once in a while a comment about Southern culture.  I appreciated that it wasn't shoved down my throat, but there are hints of what it is to be a Southerner.

Sure there were a few minor things that bugged me about the book, or rather just the characters.  I don't like when a male character "growls" before he grabs the girl and kisses her.  Also, Gin had a habit of saying "Mmmm." when she was having impure/naughty thoughts.  I can't decide if it's a cute quirk or overdone.  There is also some repetition of Gin's thoughts that I thought weren't needed.  Because of that repeition, I  kind of knew that one of her sister's wasn't really dead because she kept repeating something about her death.  However, these issues are small especially in comparison to the rest of the story and writing. 

If you know me, you know I don't care for series, but I definitely will continue with this one.  In fact, Spider's Bite wrapped up the main issue beautifully while keeping me wanting to come back for more and not making it a frustrating cliffhanger. 

All in all:  An urban fantasy story with a great plot and rich, developed characters.   Great as a stand alone as well as the start of the Elemental Series.

Other Editions:
 


Challenges:






Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Under the Sea Bracelet #3

I will be gone a lot in June so I wanted to have some nice prizes to give away in my absence.  If you enter and don't win this one, I will be giving away a charm bracelet every Wednesday in June.   Each bracelet is slightly different so the winner will have a one of a kind piece.



One of my other hobbies besides reading is beading and making jewelry.  I named this bracelet my Under The Sea charm bracelet.  It is a 7 1/2" sterling silver chain with metal ocean themed charms and Swarovski crystals in the colors of the sea.


Please note: I am NOT a professional jeweler so if anything looks wonky on closer examination, my apologies.


Contest:
~ One (1) winner will receive the charm bracelet above.  

To Enter:
~Leave your name and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form.
~Extra entries are optional.
~If you are choosing to do extra entries, please read the questions/instructions CAREFULLY! If you do not follow the instructions, I reserve the right to disqualify that entry. 

Rules:
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~Contest ends on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 12:15am. 
~To enter you must fill out the Rafflecopter form.
~Winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~This contest is international!  
~Winner has 72 hours to respond to notification e-mail.  Otherwise another winner will be chosen. 
~If I do not announce winners on a new post, please check back here on the Rafflecopter widget if you'd like to see who won. 

Please note I will be away for most of June so please allow time for notification and delivery!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions - BEA, ALA (Monday, June 17, 2013)




Book Blogger Confessions is a meme that allows book bloggers to discuss issues unique to what we encounter in the blogging world. Every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month we will post a question and invite you to answer, comment and discuss opinions and different views.

Please keep the dialogue courteous. No bashing!

If you would like to participate in this meme sign up below and please feel free to to grab the button to include in your post with a link to For What It's Worth Reviews or here at Midnyte Reader.

Question: BEA, ALA. Have you ever been before? If you've been before, share your experiences; both pro & con. If you haven't gone before, do you participate in online events like Armchair BEA? Do you hope to go one day? Do you feel too intimidated to go? Are you jealous of the big book hauls and tweets during the events?


Answer:  I've been to BEA for the past 3 years and I've basically covered it in blog posts.  I think it's a wonderful experience if you can go.  The pros are getting to meet and hang out with your bloggy pals, meeting authors, finding out about books and of course getting free books.  Well I shouldn't say they are exactly "free" because you have to pay to get in and even if you get in for free as press, getting there costs money.  The cons are witnessing negative behavior and not just from book bloggers.  But I guess in a crowd that large, there will be bad behavior.  There just will.  What also bugs me is that sometimes this bad behavior is generalized to all book bloggers and we're not all like that. 

I've also been to Authors After Dark in 2012 and it was amazing!  The pros are again, meeting and hanging out with friends, meeting authors and finding out about other authors.  If I didn't go to AAD I wouldn't have found some of my favorite books in the past year or so, such as My Life as a White Trash Zombie, Three Days to Dead, Mind Games, Royal Street, and The Better Part of Darkness.  I loved the panels and the parties.  The cons-the amount of money I spent on books!  I guess the pros outweight the cons because I'm going again in August. 

I've also attended the World Horror Convention/The Stoker Awards in the past few years.  This one is really up my alley.  Horror authors, horror books, horror panels.  Workshops about writing horror, horror history, vampires.  It's just so incredible.  The cons-again the money, but hey I could spend my money on worse things! 

As for events that I can't attend.  I'm not really intimidated to go.  If I didn't to things by myself, I might not get to do a lot of things.  I don't get jealous of book hauls or people tweeting and posting about their good time.  I may Oooh and Aaaah over it, but as long as the tweet/post isn't too "braggy" then good for them!  I do have to admit is being a bit jealous of people meeting authors who I would really love to meet.  But again, I've met some of my favorites, so I have nothing to complain about. 

How about you?  I'd love to hear what conventions you've attended and what you loved about them or even what you didn't care for. 


Thursday, June 13, 2013

BEA 2013 Coverage - Day 2

What: Book Expo America
Where: Jacob Javits Center, NYC
When: Friday, May 31, 2013.





The first thing I did on Friday was to go to where Alma Katsu was signing.



Then I managed to get a signed copy of Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead. 

Once I waited through the long line for the much anticipated Coldest Girl in Cold Town, I embarrassed myself.  As Holly Black signed my book she said something and I couldn't hear her.  I had to say "excuse me" twice before I heard; "I hope you like it."  I apologized profusely and told her I would definitely like it.  I should have just nodded, but what if that just made me look even dumber than I already did? 

Then it was off to the Harlequin booth.  The line was long, but it was fun chatting with people and listening to bookish conversations while waiting.
Dawn Metcalf signed Indelible for people in line.



Katie McGarry signs Dare You To.

Amanda Sun signs Ink.

Julie Kagawa signs Eternity Cure.

Elizabeth Scott hides behind Heartbeat.

Victoria Schwab & her editor Miriam Weinberg.
After I was done with that line I saw Victoria Schwab just standing there, not surrounded by the public at all!  So of course, I did the polie stalker thing and introduced myself and gushed a bit.


I went to the autographing area to try to find my pal Vince Liaguno.  He was on the BEA website for a signing but couldn't be found on the schedule.  I went to the HWA booth to find out the skinny.  As I was asking someone there, Vince and Charles Day appeared who both greeted me warmly.  Vince told me that the book wasn't out yet.  Mystery solved.  We discussed our excitement for the upcoming Stoker Awards in NOLA. 




The Vicious line was long.  Long, long, long.  When I got up there, Victoria said she was glad I made it.  I got in line just in time, because they ran out of books a few people behind me.  One very nice woman in front of me told the two girls behind me that she was friends with the author and was just on line to say hello and she would get them books.  It was such a nice and the girls who were at first extremely disappointed were so grateful.  So, there you go.  There *are* nice people in the world and they can be found at Book Expo.


This was another fairly long line, but I was lucky enough to get a copy of Ellen Datlow's anthology, Queen Victoria's Book of Spells. 
I was very sad that my pictures of author John Horner Jacobs were blurry.  I think I hit my settings and they went to manual.  Ah well.  John was signing The Twelve Fingered Boy which looks intriguing.

On my way around the Javits Center, I stumbled upon this talk at the Amazon booth with I Zombie author Hugh Howey (left).  He gave great insights on writing and Indy publishing.  "If you can't wait to get up in the morning (to write) you're doing something right."  He feels it is important for an author to interact with their audience and to understand their audience.  His tips to approach publishing?  He stated that they vary.  Publishing changes every day.  "What do you want as a writer?"  He asked.  Do you want to see your books in a bookstore?  Do you want your stories more available to readers?  Each goal will lend itself better to a different approach.  He discussed how Fanfiction and NanoWrimo are even changing the writing world.  My favorite insight from Hugh was his attitude toward writing and publishing.  His dream, he informed us, is that publishing is not about "us" vs. "them."  "We need to compete with Facebook...encourage readers and writers, not fight among ourselves."  He also advised to write for the love of writing. 

Hugh talks to a few attendees.

My last signing of the day was Rick Yancey's The 5th Wave.  I wasn't sure I'd be able to get this book because again, long line, but I was very happy I did.

An attendee interviews this animated character.


The Book Blogger Picnic was organized by Andrea from The Overstuffed Bookcase, Jen from Jen Ryland, Alexa from Alexa Loves Books and Katelyn from Tales of Books and Bands.  We met in Central Park and the event was a huge success.  Bloggers chatted and exchanged cards.  Andrea's husband was kind enough to get us a Harry Potter cake.  How cool is that?!











Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NOLA-Where everyone calls you "Baby."

I'll be going to the Bram Stoker Awards Weekend with the World Horror Convention in New Orleans tomorrow (Click HERE for official website) and I'll be out of town for over a week, because once I get to The Crescent City, I have a very hard time leaving. 

I do have some posts ready to go, but just in case they are spotty or just don't post for some reason - because maybe the internet is wonky or I'm too busy eating beignets - that is why. 

I'm also having four contests this month for Under the Sea Bracelets and each one is original so keep an eye out for those too.  Just a note on the first two giveaways.  I must have done something wrong with the dates so Rafflecopter seems to have combined Bracelet Giveaway #1 and #2.  Because of this, the first winner will win bracelet #1 and then I will pick another winner for bracelet #2. 

When I get back I hope to have taken tons of notes about the weekend and even more pictures.  Oh yeah, and I made it into the Kaffeeklatch with Robert McCammon.  Boom!

In the meantime enjoy this video I took on one of my previous visits.  Maybe you've seen it before, but it's still one of my faves.
video

BEA 2013 Coverage - Day 1

What: Book Expo America
Where: Jacob Javits Center, NYC
When: Thursday, May 30, 2013.

Kendare Blake!  Kendare Blake!  That's all I was thinking as I headed into the Javitz on Thursday morning. Sure I passed by some of the bigger booths and although I was right near the book drops, I just couldn't get to them. Yeah, people still jostle you and grab 3 books and before you know it, they are all gone. Oh well. It's just a book.
This blurry photo captures the book drop frenzy perfectly.

Anyway, I loved Anna Dressed in Blood so I really wanted Antigoddess. I gushed a little bit about the book when I met her and told her I adored Cas. She said he would love that because he's that kind of guy.
Then I headed over to the line for 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil who is soooo extremely nice.  Fangirled *again* and headed over to Kami Garcia's signing. 
I'm really looking forward to her solo effort, Unbreakable. She saw my nametag and said she wanted to use the word "midnight" in her title, but it didn't work.
Isn't her ring awesome?  I complimented her on it and she told me that she had it made and it is from her book.  How?  Well, we all have to read it to find out!
 
 I picked up Doon by Carey Corp (l) and Lori Langdon (r) which is a re-telling of Brigadoon.

Although I missed the autographed lithographs of the new Harry Potter cover, I snapped this picture of artist Kazu Kibuishi.  Some people are upset that they are changing the cover, but I feel that this series is so many things to so many people that everyone has their own vision anyway.  Also, there are already different cover versions for HP. 

Here are a few more pictures of signings I went to. 






These two staff members were trying to get me to do naughty things, which I thought was hysterical.

Veronica Roth signed posters to give out. 

Then I hung out with my cohort Karen from For What It's Worth as she waited on line for Eloisa James to sign.


Karen gets her book signed.


I love to get all my books by Jeri Smith-Ready signed.


Because Kate had kindly invited me as her "Plus 1" we headed over to the Penguin Bird Bash. There were fun punch drinks, organic and vegetarian hotdogs, desserts, AWESOME music and authors, other bloggers and a special appearance by "The" Penguin. Cindy from Cindy's Love of Books won an i-pad mini! It was the number between mine and Kate's - So close! But congratulations Cindy!


Kate (Midnight Book Girl) & Cindy (Cindy's Love of Books).

Sue Grafton made an appearance!










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