I have a lot to tell you this week – aren’t you happy? lol The excitement started Wednesday when I got an email from Malle Vallik who is the Digital Director for Harlequin. She stated that along with Angela James, Executive Editor for Carina Press, they were having a dinner that night to meet with bloggers and get to know them a bit. Holly from Book Binge couldn’t attend but was nice enough to forward some other bloggers emails to her and mine was one of them – woohoo! I ended up at the dinner (at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse which was excellent) with Malle, Angela, Lori, Renee (So Cal Bloggers), Katie (young librarian on twitter), Amber (Buried by Books blog), Sarah (Smart Bitches), Mallory (an editor for Carina) and Barbara Vey from Publishers Weekly. We had a great discussion about Goodreads and just talked about books for hours – so much fun.
|From left to right: Renee, Sarah, Katie, Malle, Angela, Me, Lori, Mallory, Amber|
On Friday I drove back down to LA and shacked up with Holly, Lori & Nikki for the weekend. We attended the Ebook/Graphic Fiction expo that day where I got to meet ZA Maxfield again, Belinda McBride, Mari Freeman, Mari Carr, Vivian Arend, James Buchanan, Angela Knight and many more. It was great meeting all of these wonderful authors. And of course I got to see my friends LB Gregg & Rosie after not having seen her for a year and that was a huge highlight. :) That evening after dinner at LA's famous Pantry we hung out in the lobby bar and talked to authors Beth Kery & Julie James who are just nice, nice, nice women. (I was doing my inner fan-girl squee and trying to act calm. lol) We were joined later by Lorelei James, Angela James and Jane from Dear Author which was very cool as well. I think others joined later but sadly after 2 margaritas my brain didn’t latch on to much. lol
|Me, Julie James & Jane from Dear Author|
On Saturday we attended the Giant Book Fair and it was incredibly fun. I got to meet and see so many wonderful authors – Shana Abe, Ann Aguirre (who I'm pretty sure managed to talk me into reading the Sirantha Jax series even though I'm not a sci-fi fan), Tessa Dare, Lydia Dare, Joanna Bourne, Elizabeth Hoyt, GA Aiken/Shelly Laurenston, KB Alan, Jennifer Ashley, Tara Taylor Quinn, Lorelei James, Victoria Dahl, Heather Davis, Ashleigh Raine, Jennifer Haymore, Jill Sorenson (who actually knew me by sight – how cool is that?*waves*), Delilah Devlin, HelenKay Dimon, Lila DiPasqua, Megan Hart, Courtney Milan, Kate Noble, Jeri Smith-Ready, Mary Wine, Veronica Wolff. I think I might have missed some in there but it was all a bit overwhelming but fabulous. I did miss Lynsay Sands, Shelly Bradley/Shayla Black who I had on my list but somehow missed them. I suck. lol
On Saturday we had a So Cal Blogger/Author get together in the lobby bar and invited anyone and everyone to attend or stop by and say hi. We were joined throughout the night by Zoe Archer, Sabrina Darby, Eden Bradley, Nico Rosso, Jill from Romance Rookie, Holly, Lori, Renee, Rosie, Rowena, Beth Williamson, Lorelei James, Vivianne Westlake, LB Gregg, James Buchanan, Rhiann Cahill, RG Alexander, Stephanie Dray & Susanna Kearsley, Colleen Gleason, Lisa Hendrix. Did I miss anyone? Sorry if I did.
|KB Alan, Vivianne Westlake, Lisa Hendrix|
|Zoe Archer, Renee & Lisa Hendrix|
|Amber, Nikki, Holly, Renee, Sabrina Darby in the back there with Stephanie Dray next to her. James Buchanan has her back to us with the lovely black and white jacket...and I can't tell who the others are. Anyone?|
|Lorelei James, Beth Williamson, the back of LB Gregg and the side of Colleen Gleason|
|Lori & Rosie & the back of Rowena on the right|
|Holly looking adorable & Me (I apparently have really squinty eyes and 1 wandering eye. Who knew?)|
We headed up to the Carina Press party for a bit where I met some other great authors, Caridad Pineiro, Dee Tenorio & Hunter Raines among others. And Carina gave away an IPAD2 and a Nook Color – neither of which I won – bummer.
|Nikki and others at the Carina Press party|
I gotta tell you that I haven’t had that much fun in a long damned time. Every single author that I met was just as nice as could be and was more than willing to stand or sit and talk about books as well as a myriad of other subjects. I’m so glad I went!
My co-worker just handed me this comic that he cut out of the paper so I thought I’d share. Funny.
|Click on picture to enlarge|
Ok – what did I read this week?
I started off the week with Dead on Delivery by Eileen Rendahl. This is book 2 in the Messenger series and it was a good one. I didn’t like it quite as much as the first because I think there was less action and because our heroine, Melina, was a bit stressed throughout the book. She had every right to be but her stress kind of fed through the book. If interested you can read my review here on The Book Binge. 3.5 out of 5
My next read was Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger. I am now firmly a fan girl of Steve Kluger. I read Almost Like Being in Love and it became one of my favorite m/m books. I ordered LDoS from the library and dug in and it was so. damned. good. It’s not a romance but a story told in epistolary style about a 12 year old boy, Joey, back in 1936-1942 who needs a father figure in his life since his father re-married and wants nothing to do with him. He latches on to the 3rd baseman for the NY Giants, Charlie, and starts writing him letters. Charlie doesn’t want to be latched on to but eventually the two become friends. The story follows their friendship and how Charlie changed Joey’s life but Joey had such an affect on Joey’s as well. It was hilarious and heart-wrenching and just an absolutely fabulous read. 5 out of 5
Next up was Secrets of a Proper Countess by Lecia Cornwall - another book I read for The Book Binge. This was the story of Isobel who is at a masked ball and can’t keep her eyes off of the Marquess of Blackwood. The Marquess approaches her and they end up having more than a little fun in the garden. He wants to know who she is but she has to have a squeaky clean reputation because if she doesn’t her son will be taken away from her. This was a romance/spy for the crown/evil in-law story and on some levels it worked for me and others not so much. I’ll let you know when my review posts on TBB and you can read more of what I thought. 3.75 out of 5
Last for the week was The Good Thief by James Buchanan. This was a great story about Caesar who is a thief who cases and breaks into houses for a living and Nate who is a beat cop. They meet at a party and end up going home together and really love being together but the next day Nate’s a bit of an ass and then Caesar finds out he’s a cop and decides not to leave his number. When Caesar breaks into a house and finds some horrible pictures involving kids he takes them to Nate and an investigation begins that puts Nate and Caesar firmly together. They finally realize that they’re falling for each other but how can a cop and a thief live happily ever after. I really liked this book. Buchanan really knows how to suck me into the book and keep me there with the relationship. She really knows how to balance the romance with the sex and the other parts of the story and I really enjoy that about her books. Good stuff. 4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
That’s it for me. I’ll leave you with a picture of a place I saw when Lori was driving me to the train station. Do I really want those two things at the same time? I don’t think so.