They Came. We Saw. They Conquered!!!

Today was the BIG EVENT!!!

I’ve been waiting 9 months and it finally came, The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour rocked Chapters Dartmouth!

Though the turn out wasn’t quite the numbers I had hoped for the authors were incredible and enthusiastic. They had the crowd laughing, cheering and  quivering with anticipation. Participants came from near and far to see their favourite authors and ask the questions they were dying to have answered.

Though all of the authors were incredible I have to say that Sarah Rees Brennan stole the show. She made many new fans today. I’m told it was her first Canadian signing and I am glad I was there to see it. She was promoting her newest book, Unspoken, which is a favourite of mine but her wonderfully cheery disposition has enticed me to now read her Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy.

Here she is crawling across a table to play host:

 

She caught me off guard which is why it’s a little blurry.

 

The panel included Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, the incredible brains behind the Smart Chicks Kick it Tour! I am so grateful they put this together. I can’t wait to read their collaborative book called Loki’s Wolves:The Blackwell Pages Book 1. And I swear one of these days I WILL get to the RT Book Lovers Convention where they do an amazing job with the YA events. At least from what I’ve seen in the magazine.

 

 

I got to meet Jeri Smith-Ready who writes a fabulous YA trilogy about ghosts (and their rights) and her awesome series for adults the first of which is called Wicked Game and is centered around a radio station owned and operated by Vampires but run by their former con-artist turned marketing manager Ciara.  All of the authors are very interactive online with their fans but Jeri takes it a step further with her WVMP website and playlists or Twitter accounts for some of her characters

www.wvmpradio.com

I went into this event as a huge fan of Kelley and Jeri, a recent (yet passionate fan) of Melissa Marr and Sarah Rees Brennan. Both Carnival of Souls and Unspoken -respectively-  Enthralled me.

I just started reading Charles de Lint’s novel Under My Skin which I am really enjoying and will recommend to fans of Kelley’s YA Trilogies but I have to say honestly I have only read book one of Melissa De La Cruz’s teen series and have just purchased, like yesterday, her first adult novel Witches of East End. I love that events like this can lead people (myself included) to try new authors.

 

So now the event is over, facebook has exploded with posts and pictures, and we are home (or on our way home) happy with our autographed books.

I can not thank the authors enough for including us in this tour. I hope it will help us to entice more authors to the East Coast. A round of applause to all the fans who came out bringing a wealth of questions and enthsiasm but most importantly for making all the authors feel welcomed.

And the staff.  My wonderfully supportive co-workers and managers who support these crazy ideas of mine and work hard to make them so successful. Julianne and Nicole, part of the book club and a couple of fans who missed the event to run the best ever bake sell to raise money for The Love of Reading Fund! The managers and Mathieu for organizing everything. The on duty staff who help fans and customers alike. You are inspirational and make work fun! Thank you.

To the former staff members who came out to make the event a success especially Becky,  photographer extraordinaire and soon to be internet critic supreme.

Check her out at IronGrayPhotography or on YouTube at 

Last but not least to the members of book club and honorary member Samantha who came in early to set up, help with the bake sale, keep the lines moving and so on. We did it!!!!! Thank you all for your hard work. I say we aim for the RT Convention in 2014.

www.kelleyarmstrong.com

www.melissa-marr.com

sarahreesbrennan.com

www.jerismithready.com

charlesdelint

www.melissa-delacruz.com

 

 

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What enterTAYned me this week

I wish I could say that Big Brother entertained me this week or even this season but so far I’ve found it to be predictable and annoying. Does Brittany really think she is playing the game? Do any of the coaches really think they have control of their players? And if they do have control of those players, shame on the players.

Janelle did a fabulous job at the coaches competition, she’d give Gene Simmons a run for his money with the tongue control she has. On that note I have to say that there was a competition I could have lived happily not seeing.

This week I read a teen paranormal book that I LOVED I can’t wait for August when the next one comes out.

Storm: The Elemental series by Brigid Keemerer was a new take on people who can control the elements, usually a talent reserved for witches and sorcerers but in this case,  four boys in their teens and early twenties who have lost their parents because of the fear their powers evoke in people.

On her way out of a self-defense class Becca happens upon two guys beating the crap out of another one. Without known why she steps into the fray running off the guys with her car and the threat that she called the police. Thus life as she knew it will never be the same. All the elements you expect are here. She is unsure of her feelings for two different guys. Chris and Hunter are so very different how is a girl supposed to know who to trust? There are major disagreements with her best friend and bullies to contend with and yet it seemed like a whole new world to me. One I can not wait to explore further. I am very excited that the second one comes out in August and so I don’t have long to wait. I was also thrilled to be able to read Michael’s story in the novella called Elemental and to discover that another novella called Fearless will be available tomorrow (July 31) thereby making the wait seem shorter.

My one problem with the book is the cover. The boy on the cover of Storm does not look like the youngest of the brothers who is the hero of this story, he looks like one of the twins. Also the twins don’t look identical which according to story line is inaccurate. Gabriel pretends to be Nick so that he can play on more than one sports team at school. None of this is vastly important in the grand scheme of things nor is it enough to make me stop reading the series especially since they seem to have done a better job on book 2’s cover.

On Saturday I finally got around to watching 21 Jumpstreet starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. Though I didn’t find it as funny as many had lead me to believe it was I did enjoy it. I am a Channing Tatum fan and greatly enjoy the moments in a movie when he is just silly like in the band room. I also immensely enjoyed the big reveal during the big take down. I have to say I probably should have seen it coming but I really didn’t.  I look forward to seeing it again.

The most entertaining thing I saw this weekend though was the Pub Crawl I attended. As previously mentioned I work in a book store. Every year we have a pub crawl and we try to make our shirts book related with no mention of the company we work for. One year our shirts said Accio Beer! for those who don’t know that’s a Harry Potter reference. This year we had to pay homage to the best selling book out there so our shirts were grey with a tie on them and the title was Fifty Shades of Drunk. You can imagine the amount of comments we received while walking around town. At one pub a group was sitting on the patio and the guy asked what our shirts said. When I told him he asked what it meant while his girlfriend/date started laughing so I just smiled and said, “She knows. Ask her.” Besides the fun of the t-shirts it was my second oldest nieces’s first pub crawl (she turned 19 in March) and I had so much fun sharing the evening with her. It was a great evening with amazing co-workers, friends and family.

If you had to make a book related t-shirt for a pub crawl what would yours say?

When a Great Book Just Won’t Let Go

This picture was posted recently on facebook by Mary Balogh one of my favourite Historical Romance authors and I just had to share it.

Anybody who calls themselves a reader knows this feeling. When you’ve read a story and it touches something inside you, so much so that you can’t stop thinking about it.

This happened to me in March when I read the Chaos Walking Trilogy which as anyone who knows me can tell you they are thoroughly sick of hearing about at this point. I went into it with a ‘this is something to read mindset” and it completely blew me away. It’s a difficult thing trying to explain what it is that struck me so forcefully. I find it really well written because it not only  flows so very smoothly but the descriptive phrasing puts you in the thick of things.

It was also unlike anything I had read before, sci-fi without the sci-fi. It has all the elements that make a great story into a phenomenon. A read that both sexes can enjoy, an epic quest adventure leading to the ultimate showdown between good and evil. A romance without all the “I hope he likes me, why doesn’t she see me, kissy kissy” stuff.  And of course a lesson, a morality tale if you will about how we treat each other and the world around us. How one person no matter their age or size can make a difference if they believe in themselves.

After thinking about it I realized that most of the books I’ve read that leave me feeling, as the pictures seems to state, wrapped up in them have all had those elements. Whether it be a classic like Anne of Green Gables or Little Women, Danielle Steele’s Palomino (which I read as a teen), Harry Potter or Meridian (both of which are books aimed at the teen market yet I read them as an adult) or The Poky Little Puppy and Bread and Jam for Frances ( books I loved as a child), they all have those same attributes that made me feel as though I had been immersed in the story, made friends with the characters and had managed to stop something bad from happening in order to save the world or at least a small part of it.

What more can you ask for?

What stories have stayed with you long after you’ve read them?

 

Ryan says it Best

In my 20’s I started watching a show called Breaker High. It was a fun lighthearted show that made me laugh and right from the start one of the characters garned all my attention. I use to watch episodes just waiting for him to appear and make me laugh.

After the show ended I was excited to discover him in another show called Young Hercules. While I liked this show it was not as much fun as Breaker High and I didn’t really watch it regularly but I knew that this young actor was one to watch.

Today that young actor has indeed become a household name.  A name you might recognize…..  Ryan Gosling.  With great care he has chosen roles that let him exercise his acting skills. A few that have had mass appeal and several indie type roles have allowed  him to form a career not just be a star.  And might I just mention he is another incredible Canadian export.

Today a friend reminded me about a fun site that features photos of Ryan with quotes that reference different pop culture Teen books.

http://ryangoslingyoungadult.tumblr.com/

Here are a few of my favourites:

Photo &amp; text: kdhart<br />Book reference: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Um, awesome submission much? Thanks 143books!<br />Book reference: The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

The last picture makes reference to one of my favourite Trilogies (Chaos Walking)  and makes me smile every time.

What’s your favourite Ryan Reads?

Between The Covers Is What Matters

We’ve all heard the old adage -Never judge a book but it’s cover- but let’s be honest the cover is almost always going to be the thing that draws you in.

When you are standing in the book store staring at the rows and rows of books, the first ones you pick up are those that have the covers showing (faced as we call it). When staring at all those choices if  you are looking for sci-fi you aren’t likely going to pick up the one with a couple looking at each other intimately,  if you are looking for a mystery you aren’t likely to pick the one that has a dark background with a teen girl whose hair is fanned out around her and is wearing some elaborate goth prom-like dress. You are looking for a cover that resemble your reading habits.

Finally one peaks your interest, you reach over pick it up and only then to READ anything about the story. Maybe you read the synopsis on the back or the inside flaps. Maybe you’re the type to read the first bit or first few pages but maybe you open it randomly to see if anything grabs your attention. Which ever way it happens it was the cover that got you to this point.

Another fun thing about covers in when you find the same model or picture used on different covers. There are a couple of difference places that show examples of this but the following is one that I like the best.

http://readingthepast.com/gallery/reusable-covers.htm

We tried testing the cover theory in book club a few months ago. We picked two books by the same author. One had a cover that everyone agreed was very appealing and one that left everyone feeling unimpressed. In the end the book that was considered the better read had the less appealing cover. While this little experiment seems to prove the above mentioned nugget of wisdom (which by the way applies to people as well as books) it begs the question – How do they choose covers in attempt to appeal to the widest possible market? Even within the book club there are several differences of opinion on what is most attractive on the cover.

So, the next time you are book shopping remember that thought the cover may be the original source of attraction it really is what’s between the covers that matters.

 

 

Inconceivable!

My two best friends from High School and I literally live across the country from each other. I am the East Coast Girl, One is the Central Girl and the other is the West Coast Girl.

Last year, as a way to stay in touch, we came up with what we call Coast to Coast Movie Night. We pick a night (usually Friday), pick a movie and time then sit down to watch it while “chatting” with Skype or Facebook Chat. It’s our way of staying connected with each other in the Now while also enjoying some of the Then as we often choose to watch old favourites.

A lot of the time we post lines we love from the movies on our facebook status and it always amazes me when other friends like those lines then add their favourites in the comment field. For instance; last night we were watching The Princess Bride and all I typed into my status line was ‘Inconceivable!’.  Immediately someone commented ” I don’t think that word means what you think it means” another posted “As You Wish” and so on. This is the power of a classic movie. Whether it’s award winning or considered a Cult Classic these movies and those lines touch something in us that we pass down generation to generation, they become part of Family Traditions and are there when we need to laugh or cry.

It lead me to thinking about some of my favourite movies that I’ve been able to share with the kids in my life and I urge you to do the same with the kids in yours. Don’t worry about what they’ll think although you should keep in mind their age and movie interests.  Go ahead, share the magic of musicals with a niece or nephew, take the kid you babysit on a pirate treasure hunt with The Goonies or show a younger sibling the wonder of The Wizard of Oz!

Entertain yourself by generating new fans of some great old films and maybe try opening up to something they love. Look at it as if you were their age again. You just might find a new 16 Candles or Top Gun.

And so we begin

As someone who loves all things entertainment and works as a bookseller / book club hostess it has been suggested to me that I take up blogging. I have to say I am a little intimated by the thought of it.  However you shouldn’t let a little fear stop you so, let us begin shall we?

They say that most people have no real memories before the age of four so I’m not sure if this is a memory or imagination but I remember being a toddler in my crib sitting and ‘reading’ a book. It was a small book, 4 vinyl pages sewn together with red thread and a bluish gray cover. The story name has long been forgotten but this is my first memory of loving books. I used to carry it all around the house and according to my baby record book, it was my favourite toy.

The bookshelves in my apartment  hold copies of my most prized books ranging from Who Wants A Cheap Rhinoceros? by Uncle Shelby (better known as Shel Silverstein – we’ll discuss the shape it’s in some other time) to Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume  hardcover copyright 1970. This may give you some indication of my age but if you really want to know I will be 41 this month.

This leads me to what I want you to understand about  the reviews and opinions you will see on my blog. I am an entertainment junkie. I like what I like and I refuse to give up my inner child. Yes, I am a responsible adult going to work and paying my bills but I see no reason for that to prevent me from enjoying books, movies and music meant for those of a younger generation. If it is something I would’ve enjoyed when I was 9, 14 or 22 there’s a good chance I will enjoy it now. Case in point The Backyardigans. I love how they use different types of music and their imagination to play and tell stores.I wish more kids did this. It seems to be a lost art.

So be forewarned while it will most likely be book reviews/opinions posted here anything that has entertained me at any point in my life may make it’s way on. And who knows eventually I may entertain you with stories from my life, like the time I almost fell in a hippo’s mouth.