Saturday, September 26, 2009

And the Winning Numbers Are...

This is sooo cool! Here are the winning numbers: 5 - 9 - 13. Write them down, and don't forget them! 5 - 9 - 13. Got it? 5 - 9 - 13.

But what's it all about? I hear you saying.

Let me explain.

Okay, so you know that NINE DRAGONS, Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch thriller, is due out soon, right? Well, thanks to the wonderful people over at Hatchette Books, I'm getting an early review copy! I'm so excited that words fail ~ or they would, if I wasn't blogging about it. Anyway, it just gets better and better! They are also giving me five (count 'em, 5) copies to give away to five lucky readers.

That's where the 5 and the 9 come in, but what about the 13? Get ready for it: October 13 is when NINE DRAGONS will be released in the U.S., and, even better, it's the date I'm going to draw the winners' names.

There you have it: 5 - 9 - 13. Way cool, huh?

For those benighted few who don't already know about the Harry Bosch mysteries, I've got to tell you that they are among my all-time favorites. From the first one I read ~ CONCRETE BLONDE (Note: THE BLACK ECHO was the first of the series) ~ back in the 1990s (soooo long ago, hah!) I was hooked, and from then to the latest ~ THE OVERLOOK (2007)~ it's been one exciting thrill ride after another with LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch.

Here's a description of NINE DRAGONS from the Hatchette site:

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life.

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer.

The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.

And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

So there you have it. I don't know about you, but I'm practically hyperventilating from excitement. Cannot wait to read this one.

I think that should make pretty much everyone sit up in interest. (Lord, I love a good cliche!) Now, down to the brass tacks. (See what I mean?)

To enter, please leave a comment letting everyone know your favorite mystery/thriller writer or novel. Also be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win; no email addy, no entry. For an extra entry, post a note about the giveaway on your blog. You can also get an extra entry for tweeting it. As always, the giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only, and you must have a street address (no post office boxes please).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Day Late Is Better Than Not At All!

So, I in keeping with the tradition of procrastinating that I have perfected after lo, these many years of practice, I'm posting this "a day late." And, oh, yes, if you must know, I am also very much "a dollar short."

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

Sure. I like apples and nuts for snacking. And chocolate. I also read at regular meals. It can be rough on books, though, especially if I'm eating something messy like spaghetti bolognese. Gotta put the book behind a plastic shield. lol

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

The thought of writing in books makes my skin crawl. I just can't do it. Not even textbooks. It's akin to desecration for me.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

I'm guilty of dog-earing paperbacks sometimes but not usually hardbacks or trades. I try to use pretty bookmarks but tend to lose them so end up using post-it notes or grocery receipts, stuff like that. Last night I found a lovely tarot card in a library book ~ the last borrower must've been using it as a bookmark. It's a picture of an angel and it's title is "Prayer Answered." Very cool!

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?

Yes, definitely both, though I tend to read more fiction.

Hard copy or audiobooks?

Both. I usually have one audiobook going at all times, along with one or five books.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I usually read until I can't keep my eyes open one more second and have even fallen asleep sitting up with the light on and the book propped on my knees, so wherever I happen to be in the book when I pass out is where I stop. If I have a choice, though, it's at the end of a chapter.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Nah, not unless I can't make sense of the sentence, then I might go back and look up the meaning.

What are you currently reading?

I started The Last Dickens on audio and The Sun Is My Undoing, an old (written in the '50s) historical novel set in the late 18th century, by Marguerite Steen. I'm also taking my time reading Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman and Elizabeth I by Alison Wier.

What is the last book you bought?

Hmm, it was awhile ago, I know that. I usually borrow from the library. Oh, I know! Last Christmas, while in New York visiting my daughter, I bought The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar, The Gettysburg Bible, and Procopius: The Secret History. Will you be shocked if I say that I have not read any of them yet?

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I generally have a few books going at a time, but I can only actually read one of them at any given time. :) Though I'd give a lot to be able to read two or more at once.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Oh, yes! Before going to sleep at night, while eating, between housekeeping chores, while waiting in lines at the store or waiting at the doctors, etc.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

Yes. Haha, sorry, I enjoy both.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

Sharon Kay Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, Carol O'Connell's Mallory mysteries (a series) and The Judas Child (a stand-alone), Susanne Alleyn's Aristide Ravel mysteries, Edith Pargeter's The Heaven Tree, Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

Organize? What's that? Um, books I've read are in back or on lower shelves; books I want to read or want to reread are out front or on the top shelves. Reference books are piled around my desk. I don't know, I don't really organize books. Sort of like my life ~ in total disarray ~ but it seems to work for me. Most of the time.

Happy BBAW!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

BBAW Day 2 - Interview with Britt

Okay, as usual, I'm late getting this interview up and apologize profusely to Britt from Confessions of a Book Habitue, though I believe she will understand. We had a few really good convos over the past couple of weeks about how insanely busy (I think we called it "time-challenged") we both are! Of course, she managed to get her interview with me posted to her blog on time, but let's not dwell on that little factoid. It's just too embarrassing for me, and anyway this blog interview isn't about me, it's about Britt.

Before I start with the Q&A, I just want to say that I really like the look of Britt's blog. It's simple and elegant and easy to read (which, for a woman like me who is closer to the end side of Life than the start side and with failing eyesight, is a wonderful thing!) But I really really really love her blog's graphics. You just have to check it out!

So, without further ado, welcome Britt of Confessions of a Book Habitue.

Me: Love the name of your blog! How did it come about?

Britt: Let's see--honestly I used a thesaurus to pick a name because I wanted something along the lines of an addict, but Confessions of a Book Addict was taken. (Well, was taken anyway.) So I wandered around an online thesaurus forever until I found something I liked. The result is apparently unpronounceable, but I'm kind of attached to it.

Me: Well, I like it, sounds very 1950's Parisian chic! What got you started blogging anyway?

Britt: I started blogging after my friend Cari started Bookscoops with her sister. Cari and I are in a book club together and I thought it sounded like a good idea, so I started a book blog too!

Me: And what keeps you going? I mean, blogging may sound like it's easy ~ at least until you do it. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep up with a book blog, especially if you want it to be creative, well-written, and full of interesting reviews.

Britt: I keep going because now it's part of my routine. I finish a book, I have to write the review and record it in my notebook before I'm really "done" with it! Totally OCD (or rather CDO, which is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, only alphabetically, as it should be.)

Me: Hah! Guess you weren't kidding about the OCD/CDO thing. :) I know you're busy with your young children and you also keep up three other blogs (two for stamping ~ Pickled Penguin Ink and Stampin Up and one fabulous blog ~ Arri and Keish ~ a YA adventure told epistolary style). Where in the world do you find the time to read, much less keep up your book blog?

Britt: Where do I find the time? I ignore housework and neglect my kids. ;) Honestly, I read during meals, while my kids play, while I watch tv, in the bath tub, in the car...though not while driving. Well, okay, just at stoplights. :D And I read really fast--generally at least 50 pages every hour, so it's easier to go through a lot of books. Reading is also a coping mechanism for my depression, so if I'm really struggling I tend to bury myself in books, coming up for air only if my kids are screaming at me. But hey, I'm generally reading right there where they're playing and so they bring me toys they need help with or books they want me to read to them...and I'm right there to change the channel or start a new On Demand cartoon.

Me: Whew!

Britt: I review everything I read, except when I'm rereading a book I've already talked about. (For example, I haven't done standard reviews for Deanna Raybourn's books or Tasha Alexander's books, but I've talked about them enough that I didn't want to be redundant and review them when I reread them recently.) I did initially skip Confessions of a Wallflower (I think that's what it's called... feeling too lazy to look it up) because I felt so torn about it, but I did eventually review it.

Me: I know this is Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, but I want to commend you especially on your other blog, Arri & Keish, and tell you how much I enjoyed it. Ever think of publishing the story in book form?

Britt: I'm glad you like the Arri and Keish letters! We have fun writing them. The secret to keeping up with that one is we're way ahead of it in real life! We've joked about publishing...we'd have to edit them to within an inch of their little paper lives! We just keep writing and writing, so if it were to ever be a book it would need serious tightening.

Me: Well, let me know when so I can run out and buy it! Last question: what are your top 3 books are so far for 2009?

Britt: Top three books this year? Ooooh, hard one. I'll have to go grab my list of books I read this year! Holy criminy, I've read 112 books this year! Okay, not counting rereads--sigh. I'm having a terrible time narrowing it down. Okay, I'm going to go with Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, The Planets by Dava Sobel, and... okay, I'm going to discount series books too... probably Savvy by Ingrid Law or The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry for my third.

So there you have it. A huge thanks to Britt for letting me interview her and, most of all, for blogging and sharing her love of books and her reviews with the rest of us! Now, hop on over to Britt's blog to see just what a great place it is! And do let her know you heard about it here!

Happy BBAW and happy reading to everyone