Friday, July 29, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened in Computer Class Last Night.....

I was teaching my computer class last night and I was talking about Facebook. One of the students asked me how one posts a picture, so I went into My Pictures to show them how you do it.  In the course of scrolling through the pictures, this picture popped up onto the screen.
And, when I say the screen, I mean a big movie screen that my laptop was attached to. One of the students said " What is that picture?" and they all started to chortle.  I explained about writing the blog and a little about the Psy/Changeling series. One of the ladies thought it sounded pretty good ,so maybe she will read them.  Today, I was thinking about the fact that I have never written about this really excellent paranormal series from author Nalini Singh.

The premise of the series is that a race of humanoid beings called the Psy have developed a protocol called the PsyNet which keeps all emotion supressed. All of the members of the Psy are connected to the Net telepathically and on some level physically. There are different types of Psy ability and different levels of pyschic ability, the highest being Cardinal. A conservative group of Psy are advocating for a protocol called the Silence, because the PsyNet is starting to break down and some  Psy are going insane.  There is a power struggle going on among the ruling group, the Psy Council ,and lots of backstabbing and mayhem is happening. ( Hmm- kind of sounds like Washington LOL)

In addition to the Psy, the country is populated by various races of animal Changelings. The largest ones are the Snow Dancer Wolfpack and the Dark River Leopards, both based in California. There are also humans in the mix.  The Psy and the Changelings have an uneasy truce which is fracturing from pressure by the conservative Psy faction.

The first book in the series is Slave to Sensation and tells the story of Sasha Duncan, daughter of a Council Member, and a Cardinal E Psy ( Empath). She is starting to feel emotion and has been labeled as damaged.  This makes her dangerous to the PsyNet and she is marked for rehabilitation, a super lobotomy. She makes her way to the Dark River group and into the life of the Alpha, Lucas.

This a a great series if you enjoy paranormal romance and are not a big fan of the vampire, bloodthirsty, paranormals ( which I am not). There is plenty of action and romance and the ongoing back and forth between the two races is interesting. I was luck y enough to meet Ms. Singh at the ALA convention and get a signed copy of the book shown above.

RPL Note: We have all of the books in the series at RPL in the Adult Fiction area. Kiss of Snow is in New Fiction.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shoutout to Netgalley

One of the great things about being a librarian who writes a blog is the eligibility to access Netgalley. Netgalley is a website which aloows members to read upcoming books months in advance of their publishing date. The wonderful thing about Netgalley is not only getting to read the books early but also to be able to read new authors you might not have otherwise tried. Since we generally order books from a list published 2 months in advance, Netgalley gives us the chance to read books that we might not have ordered because of the short description. The little bites don't always give the essence of the book and we pass on a book that could be a good one.

The other nice thing about Netgalley is that it is digital. I can load the advanced copy (ARC)to my Nook and have it for 2 months to read and review. Since we generally can't use ARC books in the library, having a digital version is much greener-saves a tree or two!

Whoever thought of Netgalley-kudos to you! Follow the Reader blog has declared this to be Netgalley month So I am joining the celebration and enjoying as many galleys as I can for the month.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pursuit by Karen Robards

When the First Lady dies in a fiery car crash, rookie attorney Jessica Ford is the only survivor of the tragedy. As the nation mourns, Ford has reason to believe it wasn't an accident. One by one, others in the First Lady's inner circle are being killed. Jessica must find out why- before she's next. ( 2010 -Synopsis form Barnes&

I  have always enjoyed Karen Robards' books. She has a new book coming out next week which is the second in the Jessica Ford series. When I would read the information and they would refer to Pursuit and it's plot, I gradually realized I had never read the book. So, I did!

Jessica Ford is a lawyer in a prestigious D.C. law firm, who, through a bizarre series of events ,ends up as the only survivor of a fatal car crash that kills the First Lady. After she is attacked in the hospital ,she partners with Mark Ryan, a Secret Service Agent. Together they try to figure out who is involved in the plot and who is behind it.

This is suspense from beginning to end. You don't know who to trust and who is the enemy. When you have no access to your normal resources, how do you survive in a city? When the government may be your enemy, how do you get information?  The story keeps you on your toes all the way through and the resolution is a total surprise.The romance between Jessica and Mark is developed in a believable way even when you're not sure at first if he is actually on her side.

 I can't wait for Justice, the next book, to come out next week!

RPL notes: Pursuit is available in the Adult Fiction, Large Print and Audio CD version at the library

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Free Goodies From ALA Part 2

As mentioned in a previous post, I attended the American Library Association Conference in New Orleans at the end of June.  My first panel was mystery authors ( see part 1). My next panel discussion was a Romance panel  titled "Isn't It Romantic" with Julie James,  Stephanie Laurens, Robyn Carr, Brenda Jackson, and Adrienne McDonnell. It was interesting to hear about the previous careers of these well known writers. Julie James was a lawyer, Stephanie Laurens was a cancer researcher, Robyn Carr had a nursing degree and wrote for years before being published. Brenda Jackson has a business degree and worked for years in insurance management. Adrienne McDonnell is a college literature professor. 

All of the authors talked about how they got into Romance and who their inspirations were- Stephanie Laurens was a Georgette Heyer fan and Brenda Jackson was a Katherine Woodiwiss fan. Her son is named Brandon after one of the late writer's characters. All of the women told their stories and talked about their new works. They all agreed that Romance gets a bad name by "serious" authors but that Romance books were the first ones to address women's issues like domestic violence, date rape, divorce, single parenthood, and many others.

After the discussion books were handed out and signed. Here's my stash;

Julie James-  A Lot Like love

Stephanie Laurens-  It Happened One night, The Reckless Bride, ARC of Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue ( her next trilogy)

      Brenda Jackson-A Silken Thread
      Robyn Carr-Harvest Moon

      Adrienne McDonnell- The Doctor & the Diva

Later on in the Penguin booth, I got free signed copies of Nalini Singh's new hardcover- Kiss of Snow and and older paperback- Play of Passion.  I also got The Heir and The Soldier from Grace Burrows at the Harlequin booth. She is a new author to me but I have enjoyed reading the first book and am starting the second.

So, it was a great conference for me- lots of knowledge and lots of freebies!

Gotta go read now!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Free Goodies from ALA (American Library Association) Conference Part 1

I went to the ALA conference in New Orleans the last week of June and had a wonderful time. We stayed in the French Quarter,  which is amazing-unfortunately the 96 degree weather (with humidity =110) curtailed too much exploring. The conference was great and I enjoyed sessions on grantwriting, ebooks, planning library programs, and seeing the latest in library technology. The real fun came when I attended two panel discussions with some of my favorite authors.

The first panel was called The New Miss Marples and was moderated by Jane Cleland, author of the Josie Prescott mysteries, which all revolve around an antique appraiser from New Hampshire.
Panel members were: Elaine Viets ( Dead End Job and Mystery Shoppers Series), Nancy Martin ( Blackbird Sisters and Roxie Abruzzo Series), Rosemary Harris ( Dirty Business Mysteries) and Rhys Bowen ( Molly Murphy and Constable Evans Series).  All of these are authors that I own all of their books. They had a great discussion on cozy vs. hardcore mysteries and talked about their different points of view with the series they write. They also lamented that fact that their publishers seem to want to push them into writing darker mysteries which is not their inclination. It was an interesting hour and a half. After the panel discussion, the author gave away hardcover copies of their newest books and autographed them. Lucky me, I had held off buying three of the four books since I knew I was coming to ALA. Here's what my haul was:

 (Now If I could have gotten an advanced copy of  the new Blackbird Sister book from Nancy Martin, my life would have been complete....... ) Seriously, these are all excellent authors and their books are great reads. Our library has most of them, and if not, they can be requested from other libraries. Most of the earlier books in their series are out in paperback if you want to buy them.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I talk about the Romance Author Panel and my even bigger haul!

Gone with a Handsomer Man Review

Take one out-of-work pastry chef . . .
Teeny Templeton believes that her life is finally on track. She’s getting married, she’s baking her own wedding cake, and she’s leaving her troubled past behind. And then? She finds her fiancé playing naked badminton with a couple of gorgeous, skanky chicks.
Add a whole lot of trouble . . .
Needless to say, the wedding is off. Adding insult to injury, her fiancé slaps a restraining order on her. When he’s found dead a few days later, all fingers point to Teeny.
And stir like crazy!
Her only hope is through an old boyfriend-turned-lawyer, the guy who broke her heart a decade ago. But dredging up the past brings more than skeletons out of the closet, and Teeny doesn’t know who she can trust. With evidence mounting and the heat turning up, Teeny must also figure out where to live, how to support herself, how to clear her name, and how to protect her heart. ( Synopsis from Barnes &
Michael Lee West is the author of five novels featuring Southern women. This book is her first mystery novel and the character of Teeny came to her in a dream and asked  for her story to be told. This is a funny but suspenseful novel about Teeny Templeton, a sometimes baker who has met the man of her dreams ( Bing) and will finally have that perfect life she has dreamed about. In one night she gets un-engaged, arrested for assault ( with a deadly peach) and becomes homeless. Even worse, her collection of old family recipes is still at her ex-fiance's house. When she goes back to the house, she stumbles upon her ex in a bloody mess and finds herself suspected of murder.
Teeny meets up with her old beau, Coop, now a lawyer, and asks him to help her. Along the way we get to know Bing's eccentric aunt Dora-a southern lady with a fondness for pink- much to the historical society's dismay. Dora helps Teeny out with money and a temporary stay in a family owned house that gets sold out from under Teeny by one of the scheming naked badminton players. Another interesting character is Red Butler Hill, a crusty private detective who works for Coop. Red and Teeny do not mesh well at first and it was interesting to watch their relationship transform into mutual respect  as the book progresses. I loved Red's character!
Teeny and Coop revisit their old relationship but there are complications and just when you think things are settled, a plot twist at the end leaves you wondering. This is a great summer read especially if you like books about quirky Southern life and traditions.
RPL notes: This book is available in the Adult New Fiction section. We have one of her earlier books and all are available for request through the BiblioOak catalog.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation.
Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain.
Ellie heads home to Winston Falls, South Carolina, to attend her sister’s wedding. Shortly after she arrives, though, she receives a surprise visitor: Max Daniels. The Landrys have been captured, and she’ll be called to testify. But they’ve been captured before, and each time the witnesses are scared into silence—or disappear before they can take the stand. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly. . . . (Synopsis from Barnes &

Ellie Sullivan has it all…she is young, beautiful, and a gifted trauma surgeon. Unfortunately, she is also the witness to a murder, has been stalked since her pre-teen years by a man from her home town, and has to go home for her sister’s wedding to Ellie’s ex-fiancé. She meets FBI agent Max Daniels at the murder scene and there is instant attraction between them. Because of the history of disappearing witnesses against the killers, Max becomes her “plus one” at the wedding to keep her safe.
I enjoyed this book tremendously. Ellie is feisty and independent even after having her life disrupted by her crazy neighbor. She and Max have major chemistry and both have been traumatized by events in their early life which make them somewhat wary in relationships.  The unfolding of their relationship is classic romance and yet the suspense element is always there.  There were some good bits of humor in this book as well. I especially enjoyed a scene where they go out to eat and Max eats a ginormous BBQ meal which leads Ellie to realize she doesn’t have to worry about him being killed at work because his cholesterol will kill him first.  There is also a very funny part about an air conditioner that is in the bedroom they share.
The subplot with her “bridezilla” sister Ava adds tension and humor to the story. I would have liked to see Ava get a little more comeuppance than she gets, but she is Elli’s sister after all. There is an interesting twist with Ava’s twin, Annie. The back home section of the book dealt very realistically with the stress on a family when a member is threatened. Max’s brother adds a little bit to the story as well.
This book is a page turner from beginning to end. Ms. Garwood always does a great job with her characters and plot and this book is no different. I can’t wait for the next book to arrive!

RPL NOTES: This book will be available in the New Fiction section as of August 9, 2011. The audio version will also be available after that date.