Friday, March 29, 2013

Hey gang, we're back! Sorry for the delay in posts, but life has had some changes for us. First, Kat has left the bookstore she was working for. For the first time in 11 years, I'm not recommending titles and authors to new readers. Well, I will be as a book giver for World Book Night. It means I don't get the early scoop on big books news, but I get more time to read and help my friends over at Ceilidh Books & Cafe (@The_Ceilidh on twitter). The girls are giving away TONS of titles to make room for Book Expo America. Head over to their blog http://ceilidhbookscafe.blogspot.com/ to learn how you can win multiple titles every week!

Since I'm just now finishing up three titles (because who can really only read one at a time?), we'll be getting reviews up more often. Or at least I will. As long as my other half isn't doing his homework or distracting me with Doctor Who. We'll try to update you on how the Ceilidh girls are making out with their independent bookstore venture and how you can be a part as well. As a plug: http://ceilidhbookscafe.com/ is you ONLY source on the internet for signed and personalized books by Maria Snyder. You know WE love her, we hope YOU love her too, and now you can get her books signed without having to find a store hosting her. Check out the Shop link and see what's in store.

TTFN,
Kat


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tempest's Fury

Tempest's Fury by Nicole Peeler


The penultimate Tempest novel is out and flying off the shelves. Nicole had a limerick contest for her fans and somehow, my lame ones won me a copy WEEKS before anyone else could get it. I actually received it right after our return from BEA and was, of course, the first book I read. Not any of the 100+ books I had just chosen in NYC, nope Nicole and Jane came first.


We follow our little heroine across the pond to the UK where she's following her calling. Granted, she would rather that Blondie stopped reminding her of the job she was there to do and let her be a tourist. She does however get to imbibe pretentious cheese, spend time with Anyan, and see sights she wouldn't have seen if she hadn't left home. Still, trying to be the savior and the spokesperson for the supes is not her idea of a good time.


With Jane and her band of merry gentlemen we find out about the Red and the White. We meet a grand barrage of "good" guys and "bad" and see how easily that line is blurred. We visit an amazing library, Notre Dame, the chunnel, and some verrrrrry shady parts of London & Paris that I now want to go find. There MAY be a huge payoff for avid readers of the series that I will not spoil for any of you. 


Nicole, as usual, adds a trip away for her readers too. She also lets a bit more of her Geek Girl out. See if you can find the Dr. Who reference and NOT laugh out loud. I dare you. Possibly my favorite of the series so far, I say go get it at your local bookstore. Get yourself a glass (or two) of wine, some cheese, and read  about Jane's newest troubles and adventures for yourself. 


Of course we probably have to wait an entire year to get our hands on book 6 so you may want to read slowly.


In other news, Nicole is working with friends of ours to help make their dreams of owning a bookstore a reality. Go see how you can help and benefit from the girls and their friendship with Nicole!
kat

Friday, June 8, 2012

New year, New resolve

Ok, we've been missing. We get it and feel terrible. Also, we've been rejuvenated. That can mean only 1 thing, right? That's it, we just got home from Book Expo America in beautiful NYC. The trade event that gets us excited to do what we do away from this little rant station.

    Where have we been?  
Well, as some of you might have figured out, we used to work for Borders. Last year we went to BEA together for the first time! I know!! Ash has been pretty consistent with her attendance and always found new and interesting titles to bring me back since not everyone could leave the store for the better part of a week. Last year, I got to experience it first hand. However, while we there we started to get the distinct feeling that the industry knew something our own company was hiding from us. We decided that by the new year we would be out of a job. None of our co-workers believed us. Unfortunately, it was sooner than that. Some of our friends heard us talking about it and have been inspired by what we think book selling needs to become and are making it happen. You can follow them and help make their dreams come true by checking them out on indiegogo

  Where to go from here? 
Well, we got new jobs with another book chain in October and have been settling into their groove. We also just got home with suitcases full of new and new-to-be books to read and share with all of you. That being said, the real question is: Where will book stores be in the next few years? Probably not anything like you see now. I like my current paycheck and therefore won't reveal where we're at, but they're all flawed. Here's why: They want every store to be a cookie cutter. "So what?" you might say. "I like going into my local branch and one on vacation and being able to find things in roughly the same place." Awesome. It does help. However, have you noticed the diminishing one-on-one customer service industry wide? Yeah, we have too. There's nothing wrong with the chain mentality. I like the company I work for better than the rest that are out there. Which is why I took their offer over the others. However, what works in Manhattan doesn't work in Los Angeles and what works in Georgia doesn't work the same in Ohio. It just doesn't. The smart chain is going to treat each store like a franchise. Have a core set of values/rules/conditions/whatever, but let each location cater to its audience.
    The cards should stop too. EVERYWHERE. And not just at bookstores. Personally, I lose them every time. Got a plus card from Borders before it launched to the public. Couldn't find it the next week. My local CVS knows me enough to just ask for my phone number. They're overwhelming to the customer at large and NOT why they came into the store in the first place. Do I do my best to be one of the best at selling them where I work? You bet your bottom dollar! And for the record, I am pretty good at doing so. Would I rather concentrate on the customer's needs and desires and not my corporate office's? Wouldn't we all? Look, the best bookseller in the best bookstore will do what it takes to keep doing what they like love to do. Just as every corporate 9-5 stiff does all over the world.

  Why keep doing it?
I love what I do. Plus, unlike a lot of booksellers out there, I got the chance to start this blog with one of my best friends. So, even if it's an awful day at work, we get to come home and share new authors and titles with all of the world. If we didn't have to punch the clock and could just do this, we might. We also might miss getting to see a person's face light up when you find just the book they came in for OR tell them about a great new book/series we just started/finished that we think will be the next "big thing". (Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl, imho)

  What's the new resolve?
To get back to telling the world about our loves, our passions, our amazing friends. We will be blogging more. We will be sharing what we're reading more. It's in the blood, can't seem to shake it. Will there be the occasional rant? I'm sure there will be. Thanks for letting me get my newest insights out there, by the way. And a special thanks if you've gotten this far. Now go support your local booksellers, be they an independent start-up or a part of a big chain. Let them know you care. Don't have one? Why are you reading a book review blog then? ;-) If you like, follow @The_Ceilidh on twitter, or find them on Facebook & on indiegogo. The girls there would love the love. 


TTFN,
Kat 
(This post in no way reflects Ashlen's perspective that I know of. All opinions blasted here are mine and mine alone. Well, maybe some parts of the publishing world's too. Or at least that's my impression from this past week)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer

Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer by

The idea for this book was great but didn't wow me.
This was a "choose your own story" retelling of Sleeping Beauty. With a current trend in YA being the twist on classic fairy tales, this falls short of the mark. Instead of retelling in a unique way, the bad guys are vampires. The story is predictable with the choices being the best part.

From hot spies to hometown romance

Angel's Falls by Emily March aka Geralyn Dawson

If you have read Geralyn Dawson's books about 3 brother spies, this is a different pace. The trilogy that starts off with high speed action continues in this small town romance.

This series is a more classic contemporary type of romance. A small town in Colorado is where people go to heal or escape from a high pressure life. When Jack comes into town it is clear that he has a complicated past that he is running from.

This is the start to a new series under a new name. Sweet and hometown romantic feel.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We're not quite family

Oh my goodness!!!! Just finished a fantastic new read! So many exclamation points are needed to express my delight after reading "Timeless" byfirst time author Alexandra Monir! I know what you're thinking & you're wrong. Ash handed me the book & I started half-heartedly reading it @ 6pm friday, read it seriously by 10, & was dreaming about what would come next.

Like all good Disney films, "Timeless" starts with our leading lady becoming an orphan. (go ahead, prove me wrong. No princess has both parents."Sleeping Beauty" doesn't count since she was hidden away from both of them) Instead of getting to go live with one of her best friends, however, Michele Windsor is sent to live with her grandparents in NYC. The very people her mother ran away from when they disapproved of her choice of husband.....a man Michele never knew. What she finds there is not just the opposite of everything she had ever known, but an intensly lonely feeling. And a mystery.

While exploring her rooms, Michele comes across a locked drawer. Odd in and of itself, but downri th t wierd when the mysterious key in her mother's belongings reacts to it. Unlocking the drawer finds Michele & the reader transported into history. History of the city, history of the Windsor family, history of romances......and is that Michele's father we just ran into? Michele seems to only be visible to whichever Windsor girl occupies her rooms with each trip. Her new found family pride & intrigue keeps the pages flying by.

Did Michele's dad break the time travel code? Does Michele's trips cause a feud with the Walker family next door....a hundred or so years ago? What do all the Windsot women that lived in those rooms share that makes this fantastical journey possible? Most importantly, when do we get a second book?!?!

Go, run, get "Timeless" & go on an adventure unlike any other!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tink's a Disney Whore!

A witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixie get into a powdered blue Buick…

No, it’s not the beginnings to a horrible joke, but the start of Pale Demon, book nine of the fantastic Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

Book Blurb From Borders.com:

Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

Complete fan girl squeals and happy dances all around. From the moment I finished Black Magic Sanction last February, I’ve wanted to read this book. Each Hollows addition is better than the last and Pale Demon is once again my favorite so far. Why? Because of a certain cookie-sniffing shoe maker.

Tink’s a Disney Whore! Yes, I mean Trent Kalamack. Ever since we first met him in Dead Witch Walking, I’ve loved the chemistry in every scene with him and Rachel. They’ve out right hated each other, have both tried to kill the other and yet can work together when the situation calls for it, to both their dismays. So when Kim announced that Pale Demon was going to lock the two of them in a car for 2300 miles, my first thought was “this is gonna be good.” Understatement. What I loved was that we don’t see the polished professional Trent personifies as he pursues political office (say that three times fast), runs illegal Brimstone smuggling operations and tries to find the cure to the curse demons have placed on the elven race. We see Trent disheveled, embarrassed, making mistakes and otherwise being…human.

And Rachel notices too.

Rachel herself faces trial after trial as the Coven tries to stop her from getting to the conference to clear her name (the Coven can’t be trusted), as assassins hunt Trent for reasons he won’t disclose (typical), as Al tries to convince her to shun reality, embrace her inner demoness and join him in the ever-after (the most likely outcome of the conference), and never mind about the day-walking demon that has just placed her at the top of his want list (all in a day’s work). There’s always something or someone gunning for Rachel, trying to kill her, subvert her, manipulate her…and she survives. She takes what is thrown at her, reacting by the seat of her pants and often making bad decisions, but she survives and rises to protect those around her, even when they don’t want her protection (*cough* Trent *cough*). Rachel will always put others above herself and that’s what I love about her. When the cards are on the table and she knows she’s beat, she’ll sacrifice herself to make sure everyone else survives. We need more heroines like her.

And I want more Trent. When’s book 10 come out?

Pale Demon releases on Tuesday, February 22nd from HarperCollins. ARC provided by NetGalley.

Kelly Metz enjoys reading, writing, photography, her family and annoying her baby brother, who, while younger, is now over a foot taller than her and can punch much harder than when he was little. She spends her free time engaging in various torture activities, demon summonings, zombie raisings and spell casting. And writing when she gets bored with those. You can find her online at www.kellymetz.com or follow her on twitter at www.twitter.com/bwlrgrl300