Friday, April 30, 2010

The Eternal Ones - Kristen Miller

Rating: 3 stars
Shelf: Now Reading

While some of her New York details seemed a little off (I've never seen anyone hand out yellow tickets for the cab line outside Penn Station), it was Kristen Miller's detail of Snope City and distinctly southern tone that really drew me in.

Haven Moore suffers from fainting spells that give her visions of her past life as Constance and her true love, Ethan. Haven's grandmother, along with the rest of the folks in the small town, believe that these visions come from the devil and all are determined to keep her in Snope City to drive the Devil out. With the help of her gay best friend Beau and the eccentric Leah, Haven escapes to New York City to pursue her destiny. Which is all romance and butterflies (you know, except that her reincarnated lover is a murder suspect) until Haven actually meets the devil himself.

I have to say, I super enjoyed this one. A little mystery, a little action, a little undying, everlasting love, a lot of ancient rivalries and misunderstandings. Pretty awesome. Doesn't hurt if you read it aloud in a southern accent. Not saying I did that, or anything...

Purchase Now from Amazon: The Eternal Ones

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sometimes I Surprise Myself

I've been dying to have someone critique the first chapter of Anabel and Paul. I know there are writers who say you should never share what you are writing until you are done, just in case your critic discourages you from continuing. But - like any Taurus, I need validation. I need hugs and diamonds and literary critiques. Just to know if it's all worth my while.

Anyway - I finally gave it to a friend of mine from college. She gave me to courage to continue. Some of the flaws she pointed out in the chapter were sections that already weren't sitting well with me, but I still felt married to them. It's nice to have someone say - Just cut that out and it will be so much stronger.

Also - she marked the following paragraph as one that she really liked. I went back and read it and - I mean. Not to toot my own horn (but to toot my own horn), it's pretty damn good. I can hardly believe it came out of me. To set it up - the following paragraph exhibits how badly Anabel wants a baby, how strongly she believes a baby will save her marriage, and you also get a taste of how her isolation is causing her to lose her mind.

"So she would tell of the sun and moon and the stars. Of the creek and the way she could feel the cold currents change against her naked skin. She would tell of the first time a man touched her. Of the day she met Paul and the day she fell in love with him, the day they got married. The day they moved into the house on the mountain. Of the days he began to work at his desk longer and longer and speak less and less. The sheer isolation of the world they had built around them. When she lost the sun and moon and stars to the void in the sky. And of the day she had a baby and brought their family together. Brought the stars back, one by one. Brought the moon back in his waxing state. And the sun. Then the baby brought the sun. They saved the world this way, the three of them."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

In Blogs

The Rejectionist Goes to Forks! and they are seriously monopolizing on the Twilight thing.
Caroline by Line channels Stephen King and I lurve it!
Quentin Blake's House of Illustration
Networking Tips Review mine too and then take over the world!
The Babysitters Club is OFFICIALLY back!
Headlining Events for Children's Book Week
Trustworthiness of Beards According to this chart, Santa Claus, Dumbledore and Gandalf are all very trustworthy. I also LOVE that werewolves are a step above Joe Jackson, and two steps above Hitler.
How Writers Build Courage best writer advice I've read in while.

In Books

Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
The Eternal Ones - Kristen Miller
A.H.W.O.S.G. - Dave
Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll

In the Pile
If you have any suggestions on what I should be reading next, please leave them in the comments!

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm - Nancy Farmer
The Prince of Mist - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Raven - Tim Reiterman
Purge - Sarah Darer Littman
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Very Own Spine Poem!

Using my Shelfari Wish List, my sister made me a Book Spine Poem for my birthday, since it's so gloriously situated in Poetry Month.

Pretty cool, right? Though, it's also sort of like my sister said - "I feel like it sounds like one long title. Like something on TLC."

At least she tried.

Children's Book Week - Children's Book Drives

Children's Book Week is May 10 -16th, but this quote from PW's Events post inspired me to start celebrating early:

"In St. Louis, the CBC's partner is Onesto Trattoria, which will hold a week-long children's book drive."

Though I'm nowhere near St. Louis, I think donating books to children is a great way to celebrate Children's Book Week. Donating gently used (with love) books to local libraries, shelters, schools and youth centers is a great way to get involved. Here are some other organizations that accept donations:

International Alliance for the Advancement of Children
I've been donating boxes upon boxes of books for Haiti to this organization. A wonderful co-worker of mine traveled to Haiti just weeks after the earthquakes to help build a library for the families displaced by the tragedy.

Tuck's R.U.S.H. for Literacy donate money to help buy new books for children in need. 97% of your donation goes towards the All Stars Helping Kids charity of your choice.

Reach out and Read has a variety of ideas on how you can help spread literacy across the nation.

Reader to Reader donate books or money to help distribute books to libraries and schools in need.

The Lisa Libraries distributes NEW books to organizations that work with children in poor and under-served communities. My publishing house constantly donates our advance overstock to The Lisa Libraries - we know the books will get redistributed where they are needed most!

First Book donate money to buy brand new books for children in need.

Goddard Riverside Community Center donate money or donate books that Goddard sells at their annual Book Fair to raise additional funds for their various programs.

Please post other organizations and/or ideas in the comments!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sick Birthday Week

While volcanoes erupted in Iceland, basically ruining the London Book Fair for lots of folks, my stomach erupted from my Sunday evening pre-birthday dinner and basically ruined my birthday. Whatever. Since I couldn't go out, a couple of lovely friends came over with cupcakes baked with love (red velvet, yum!) and The Best of the Chappelle Show.

So, anyway - if anybody was looking for updates on LBF, you can just tell them to go to David Maybury's blog because I like it there and because he was very dutiful about his updates.

Also, my boss just handed me The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer. I can't wait to start reading it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

In Blogs

Make a Tote Bag from an Old T-Shirt good for library books, but not for e-books
HBO Creates Dothraki Language via Laura C. Ombreviation's squees. I think I'll re-read that series soon.
Nostalgia-Lit Babysitter's Club & Sweet Valley High, again succeeding in making me want to re-read the BSC series.
Was it good for you? Using this article as a guide, I'd say I wrote a pretty good sex scene between Anabel and Paul. Hrmm...
Awful Library Book Library Romance
Thursday Three Poetry Books since it's Poetry Month, I figured I'd put some effort into including a poetry post!
More to do with Nostalgia Lit from GotYA

In Books

Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
The Eternal Ones - Kristen Miller
A.H.W.O.S.G. - Dave Eggers
From Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll

In the Pile
If you have any suggestions on what I should be reading next, please leave them in the comments!

Raven - Tim Reiterman
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (a re-read)
Purge - Sarah Darer Littman
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Friday, April 16, 2010

London Book Fair

Everyone is running around here in a tizzy. So far, everyone's flights have been canceled except for one. Freaking volcanic ash. I heard Ireland's airports opened back up this morning are still closed. We're hoping Heathrow follows at some point today before the fair starts.

Visit The London Book Fair for updates.

Also - if you're tweeting, I'm blogging.

UPDATE: Ugh, I feel really bad for our sales people. For ALL of publishing sales right now. Boo Volcanoes!

Mentors, Mentees, and Statues on Buildings

Firstly, have you guys heard about this? It's the Event Horizon exhibit that's up around Madison Square Park until August. Though, up until I looked it up on the Internet just now I was calling it "that naked statue thing on the roofs around Madison Square Park" because I'm so cultured. Anyway, I'd heard a bunch about it and thought it was kind of crazy because these statues are poised on the edge of these buildings, including the Empire State Building, and given that someone just recently jumped from there, I thought - may be a little insensitive? I mean, if I was one of the people down below who witnessed a jumper, I might be a little skittish for the rest of my life.

Schmegan and I took a walk through the park yesterday and she pointed a lot of them out to me. It's totally insane and sort of awesome. I got a little dizzy from staring at the tops of buildings. But it was still awesome. On my way to Penn last night I totally became the person that I hate whilst staring at the top of the Empire State Building. I walk up Broadway towards 31st and you get a really great view of the very top of the Empire State Building from like, either 29th or 30th. I desperately wanted to find the statue and in my desperation I became that tourist that stares at the tops of buildings instead of down at the sidewalk and I FULL ON WALKED INTO SOME GUY. Awesome. I didn't even get to find the statue.

Just found this. No wonder I couldn't see the gd thing.

Moving on.

I went to lunch with one of the Editors for our trade imprint. Because I do co-editions and co-editions is a totally different beast from regular old publishing, I had a lot of questions to ask her about what she does and how she got to where she is (she was promoted to Editor at the same time I was promoted. Yay!) I learned a lot from her about the importance of establishing relationships with agents and of actually reading and providing feedback on the manuscripts they send - this makes them feel loved as well as giving them an idea of what you are actually looking to print, making the relationship even better. I learned about her entire process, start to finish and how it takes a good amount of time, sometimes years. (we are constantly banging it out here, since what we create already exists and the only thing we usually change is the format, we're able to work on at a quicker pace and with more titles.)

I also learned that a mentor program exists here at my company. And I'm super excited about it. She (Editor) is the mentee of one of our sales people, as she wanted to learn more about sales. She's been able to go out on sales calls and everything. Super cool!

I contacted HR about the program yesterday and they'll be starting up a new round in a month or two. I really want to participate. I want to do mine in Production and I know exactly who I want to be my mentor. He's the best of the best. This little Production obsession of mine is something that no one really understands. But, I'm thinking that I really want to explore Production as one of my future options. Though I always thought I'd be more keen to stay on the creative side of things, I like order and control. I think it could be right up my alley and I think getting a mentor who is the best of the best in that department could immediately answer my question regarding - is this what I want for my (not immediate) future in publishing?

Mentees. The fresh maker.

Monday, April 12, 2010

D.E.A.R. - Drop Everything And Read

Visit the Booklights blog for some information about D.E.A.R. day and for a link to some really great Drop Everything And Read books.

Will you be celebrating? Fun days like this make me wish I had children to read to. Maybe I'll go steal the cute ones across the hall. Or, I'll just dedicate my night to reading instead of watching Weeds, or Dexter, or Gilmore Girls, or anything on Netflix.

I mean, after I finally do my taxes of course.

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup (Very, Very Late)

In Blogs

Lit Shirts I really want the Hestor Prynne adultress jersey
Leviathan Review I have to add this one to the pile
If only the Nicholas Sparks hating could last FOREVER
How the Paperback Novel Changed Popular Literature
Judy Blume Quiz I got a 73%
J.K. has another HP up her sleeve?
The Classics Get Bad Reviews

Battle of the Kid's Books

The Big Kahuna Round

In Books

The Eternal Ones - Kristen Miller
The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
A.H.W.O.S.G. - Dave Eggers
From Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll

In the Pile
If you have any suggestions on what I should be reading next, please leave them in the comments!

Raven - Tim Reiterman
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (a re-read)
Purge - Sarah Darer Littman
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Friday, April 9, 2010

How Something I Do For Work Almost Always Ends In Me Doing Something EmbarrASSing

I try really hard to be a joiner. It's my role in our little three person group -- I'm the one who joins things and makes friends. (So I can ask for favors later on, mwahahahaha! Winning friends and influencing people!) However, I'm an incredibly awkward person and when awkward people insist on just diving in, insane things usually happen.

Like every time we have a company party and I manage to either a) tell the CEO of my company to "Get away from me" during the Halloween party because I don't realize it's him under that Darth Vader mask and masks freak me out, or b) turn around and do some freaky dance moves on the CEO of my company during the vendor Holiday Party because I thought another co-worker was behind me or c) decide to steal the mic away from the CEO of my company at the company Spring Fling because he's singing London Calling and I apparently LOVE the Clash.

I'll also be playing softball for the company starting next week. I'VE NEVER PLAYED BEFORE IN MY LIFE. This should be good.


Our fabulous Buzz Marketer over here asked if I'd be part of a Video Shoot we were doing a few days ago. Apparently, I'm the only one who said YES enthusiastically. I mean. Come on. VIDEO SHOOT. I wore a lovely new purple shirt and I put on makeup. I never put on makeup. The gist of the video was to show who we are as a company. Don't ask what we're using this video for. I'm sure they told me. I'm a good joiner, but I'm not a good listener.

I got to look into the camera and say - "We R Family" and smile. I didn't sing it. They asked me to sing it. I wasn't singing it. I did have a strong urge to look at the wall behind me and the camera guy was like, "Please look at the camera." So I looked at the camera and said it again, but then he was focused on my smiling face for too long and my eyes just wanted to open really wide so I opened them really wide.

They'll probably cut me from the video.

Here's a personal slice of me: The camera guy was SUPER cute. According to awesome Buzz Marketer, I have to GET IN LINE. But, he puts the mic pack in my pocket and tells me to snake the mic up my shirt so he can hook it to my collar. I realize that I'd unbuttoned my pants earlier because of a fat day and my shirt was one of those balloony ones that hid that. So I turn around to hide this fact from him but then when I turn to face him again I proceed to TELL HIM WHY I TURNED AROUND! Then I'm like, "And I now I'm telling you what I was trying to hide from you because I don't know why." Luckily, he just laughed at me and seemed amused by how ridiculous I am. I'm glad I looked pretty.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gather 'round, For I Have News

That guy who decided to try and make me feel this big can SUCK IT!

(I will never again experiment with that many font sizes)

I got promoted! La, la, la, LA!

Details to follow once my boss sends out the actual announcement.

I wonder what would happen if I actually went over there and told him to suck it...

Also - 50 BILLION points if you can guess where my post title comes from.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What I'm Reading Weekly Roundup

In Blogs

Awful Library Books a new site I discovered through Omnivoracious.
Bridget Jones Learns Something Every Day But she wasn't THAT fat, you guys.
You Can Make It Up some awesome Nicholas Sparks AND James Franco bashing.
Tips for a Successful Blog I have to follow me some of these
Stay True To You
Secret Garden Cover Competition
Celeb Bios
Nicholas Sparks-ize your Movie! gosh I love the bashing. LOVE it!
Duh Aficionado Magazine the N. Sparks interview I posted the other day
NPR Analyzes Twilight I basically wet myself all over while reading this.
Surf the Slush with the INTERN I want to play!
AMAZING Spiral Staircase Oh god. Forget the Beauty and the Beast library. I want THIS.
Monster Mash Up some books for your wish list.
More Book Spine Poems hmm, I'm starting to think about creating my own.
How to Avoid Assaulting Someone Perfect for my SVU obsession.
Stephanie Meyer's Bree Tanner Ms. Meyer is only second to Nicholas Sparks in my heart.

Battle of the Kids Books - Round 2/Round 3

Round 2, Match 3 - Marching for Freedom vs A Season of Gifts
Round 2, Match 4 - The Storm in the Barn vs Tales from Outer Suburbia

Round 3, Match 1 - Charles and Emma vs The Lost Conspiracy
Round 3, Match 2 - Marching for Freedom vs Tales from Outer Suburbia

In Books

The Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
A.H.W.O.S.G. - Dave Eggers
From Eternity to Here - Sean Carroll

In the Pile
If you have any suggestions on what I should be reading next, please leave them in the comments!

The Eternal Ones - Kristen Miller
Raven - Tim Reiterman
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (a re-read)
Purge - Sarah Darer Littman
The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King
Into the Land of the Unicorns - Bruce Coville
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why Can't They Ever Leave Well Enough Alone? (SPOILERS, probably)

I've been dying to see the Percy Jackson movie, The Lightening Thief. Though I haven't finished the series yet, I'm a medium sized fan of the series. Riordan is a great writer, the stories are exciting, and the characters are all believable and likable. So, when it was reported that the first movie was in production, I couldn't help being a really big kid about it. I LOVE seeing books turn into movies. I never expect much - it's rare that a movie lives up to the book - but I just really like seeing certain scenes from the book played out on the big screen. I like to see how the movie people envisioned the scene - is it similar to what was in my head, or did they have a different take on it?

I finally saw the movie on Wednesday (a lovely friend of mine surprised me with it) and it SUCKED. I mean, basically the only similarities between book and movie was that there was a kid named Percy Jackson and there's a lot of mythology. I mean, obviously there were more connections than that - they kept a lot of the other characters. But seriously. THEY CHANGED THE WHOLE PLOT! Why, I ask, when the plot was already SO GOOD!?

First, let's start with the target audience for the book versus the movie and let's discuss why this change up might explain why the movie isn't doing that great. Book Percy Jackson is a 12 year old boy, struggling to not get expelled from yet another school. Movie Percy Jackson looks to be about 17, a teenager with teenager problems. It was a movie based on a middle grade novel, but targeted towards teens. That doesn't make any sense to me. Why would you completely abandon the books core (and large!) audience? Am I missing something here? It just seems to me that if your fan base exists for you before you even begin, then you should probably thank your lucky stars and cater to it. "What? There are 1.2 million YA readers who put this book on the New York Times Bestseller List? OBVIOUSLY we want to make this movie for teenagers!" quote by movie people around a movie table.

I don't even know how to go into the rest of what bothered me about this movie without weaving a tale that would take a thousand years to tell. Let's start with the fact that Grover, the satyr assigned to protect Percy is a bit of a horn dog in the movie. WHAT? WHY? (An aside - it is my clear understanding that if you have to ask yourself WHY a zillion times while watching or reading something, it probably should have never even been made.) The sexual references are through the roof. I guess this made Grover 'cooler' and more relatable to teen audiences. (See paragraph above.) Even Persephone (disgustingly portrayed by Rosario Dawson) totally digs him - she keeps him in the underworld to be what I can only assume is her sex slave AFTER she shoves her tongue down Hades throat and then knocks him out. ACTION! ADVENTURE! ROMANCE!

The reason Percy is so special in the novel is because he is the son of Poseidon, one of the big three (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades). At first, Riordan keeps Percy's parentage a secret from the reader, only giving us tiny clues to help us along until Percy is finally claimed by his dad. When Poseidon claims his son, it's a really big deal. Zeus decided sometime after World War II that the sons and daughters of the big three were too powerful and the three were therefore banned from siring half blood children. But Poseidon can't keep it in his pants, basically, (though in the movie they make it like he actually fell in love with Percy's mom and wanted to be a mortal. WHAT!?) and so Percy is born. In the movie, the rule instead is that the gods are not allowed contact with their children because, I don't know, they might love them too much or something. I forget because I kept yelling NOT THE RULE! at the screen. To me, this one simple change ruins the entire plot. Luke, the real Lightening Thief and son of Hermes, is this troubled kid who wants to cause a war between the gods. In the book, the gods are free to visit their offspring but often don't. Ever. I mean, they are busy being gods, you know, and some of them have a ton of kids. But Luke takes his father's abandonment to heart. Because that's what it is, when you are free to see your children but choose not to. It's called abandonment. And it's sad. In the movie, even though they took away Hermes' will to decide whether or not he wants to visit his son, Luke is still pissed about it. So instead of this troubled, hurt, and abandoned kid, you just have this whiny brat who doesn't know the rules. It doesn't really make sense or have the same sympathizing effect.

There's more. So much more. Like, why was Ares completely cut out of the plot? Why was there absolutely no mention of the Titans? Why was Persephone and her pearls added to the plot when, as far as I can tell or remember, they have no basis in Greek mythology at all?

Ugh. I chalk this movie up to nothing more or less than an epic FAIL.

Purchase Now from Amazon:  Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Remember When I Said We Should STOP NICHOLAS SPARKS!?

Well. Read this and tell me I wasn't 100% right about that.

Oh, oh, oh. It makes me want to smash things!

UPDATE: You know, maybe you were skeptical or didn't remember when I said we should STOP SPARKS. For proof, this is a snapshot of my myspace page circa a really gd long time ago:

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