Thursday, June 21, 2012

BEA 2012 Recap-ish

So, BEA. 
I keep attempting to write a recap of my time spent roaming the Javitts but I find I don’t have very much to say.  It was just like last year – crowded, stuffy, exhausting and fun.  I wasn’t able to spend the full amount of time there.  I had to leave at 11:30am on Wednesday to get to my matinee but despite that (and despite not being very organized), I still managed to get a lot out of the event.  I was able to touch base with the one publicist I have had some dealings with and I got to do a little networking with some other bloggers.   I also discovered that there are a lot of unannounced giveaways that happen first thing in the morning, which is how I snagged an ARC of The Iron Wyrm Affair (Bannon & Clare, #1), by Lilith Saintcrow -  on my must-read-this-summer list.  I have high hopes for this one.  

My goal at BEA was to not be a greedy pete.  I wanted to only take books that I would definitely read and that fit the scope of my blog.  It's hard not to get sucked into the whole book feeding frenzy.  Really hard.  There are piles of books just sitting there!  And they want to come home with me.  

Anyway, I wanted to highlight some of the books I received.  These are promising books to keep an eye out for and the books I am looking forward to reading.  Some of them have already been released, while others will be dropping later this year.  
I guess you could call it the k reads Buzz List.    

Redshirts by John Scalzi
Blurb: Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship "Intrepid," flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better...until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expendedon avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues' understanding of what the starship "Intrepid "really is...and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives
Published 6/5/12

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland, #2) by Catherynne M. Valente
Blurb: September returns to Fairyland to reunite with A-Through-L, Saturday, and Gleam, and to confront her shadow-self, who has become the queen of Fairyland-Below, the upside-down world beneath the Fairyland of the first novel, filled with creatures of water and shadow, tales of ancient Fairyland before the human world was born, and not a few hungry buffins, blind birds of ice and moonlight. The yearly revels of Fairyland-Below climax in a mysterious rite September must avert or else lose her shadow forever.
Drops 10/7/12

Carnal Machines: Steampunk Erotica by D.L. King
Blurb: The Victorians wrote some of the best and most enduring erotica. For such a tightly-laced age, people spent a lot of time thinking about things carnal. Jules Verne, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, H.G. Wells, et al enthralled us with their visions of new possibilities. The rich and slightly decadent visuals of the steam age lend themselves perfectly to the new carnality of post-punk era. And, of course, what is repressed will be even more exciting once the corset is unlaced. Steampunk, even without sex, is erotic; with sex, it’s over-the-top hot. A widowed lady engineer invents a small device that can store the energy from sexual frustration and convert it to electricity to help power a home. Teresa Noelle Roberts shows us what it can do, confronted with sexual fulfillment. What volume of steampunk would be complete without a tale of sailing ships and the men who sail them? If your taste runs to sexy pirates in space, Poe Von Page will delight you with the mutinous crew of the Danika Blue and their new captain.
Then there’s the very special room on the top floor in the House of the Sable Locks, a brothel where sexually discriminating men go to have their fantasies fulfilled. Even if a man daren’t put those fantasies into words, Elizabeth Schechter’s “Succubus” will give the madam all the information she needs with which to make her clients happy. There are brothels, flying machines, steam-powered conveyances, manor houses, spiritualist societies. The following stories afford intelligently written, beautifully crafted glimpses into other worlds, where the Carnal Machines won’t fail to seduce you, get you wet or make you hard so, lie back, relax; a happy ending is guaranteed.
Published 4/12/11

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Day at the Book Blog UNCON & the BEA Blogger Conference

Hey!  Guess what I did last Monday?
I went to the Book Blog UNCON and the BEA Blogger Conference!

I had registered for BBC back in early February.  The registration process blew (You can read my bitchfest here.), and when the schedule was released, I was underwhelmed;  it seemed more of a publishing industry event than something geared towards the actual process of blogging.  So when Jeff over at The Reading Ape proposed an "unconference" for book bloggers, I was intrigued.  I have been blogging for over a year but I feel like I’m still figuring it out.  The UNCON sounded like more my speed.  But, I wasn’t ready to walk away from BBC completely.  I went last year and found it informative.  There was always a chance I’d get something out of it this year.  Since the BBC morning events were a big snoozefest, I decided to hedge my bets and split the day between the two.

On Monday I got up at an ungodly hour and headed over to The Center for Fiction, the site of the UNCON.  I was a little nervous because unlike BBC, the UNCON is participant driven with a loose form structure.  Topics would be determined by the participants at the top of the day so I wasn't sure what to expect.  (Plus, I am NOT a morning person.  Coherent conversation before the crack of noon?  I wasn’t sure I could manage that.)  I needn’t have worried.  It ended up being a stimulating morning. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Harvest of Dreams by Merrie Destefano

Ok.  First things first.  The cover of this book is just terrible.  Terrible.  It does not accurately reflect the type of story inside at all.  Look at it.  Look!  Wouldn't you expect this to be about one of those kickass urban fantasy heroines, who beats the crap out of the baddies and sexes it up with the dude on the cover?  Does the woman on this cover look like she is a divorced mom with a 9 year-old son, who's life is falling apart?  This is a typical urban fantasy cover but this is not an urban fantasy.  Instead it's a lyrical, darkly magical tale that feels almost like a fairytale.   

Feast by Merrie Destefano
(Harvest of Dreams, #1
ISBN 0061990825 
ISBN13: 9780061990823
Published June 28th 2011 by Harper Voyager
Blurb: Madeline MacFadden ("Mad Mac" to fans of her bestselling magical stories) spent blissful childhood summers in Ticonderoga Falls. And this is where she wants to be now that her adult life is falling apart. The dense surrounding forest holds many memories, some joyous, some tantalizingly only half-remembered. And she's always believed there was something living in these wooded hills.
But Maddie doesn't remember the dark parts -- and knows nothing of the mountain legend that holds the area's terrified residents captive. She has no recollection of Ash, the strange and magnificent creature who once saved her life as a child, even though it is the destiny of his kind to prey upon humanity. And soon it will be the Harvest. . . the time to feast.
Once again Maddie's dreams -- and her soul -- are in grave danger. But magic runs deep during Harvest. Even a spinner of enchanted tales has wondrous powers of her own.