More Book Shopping

Yesterday I didn’t go to the bookstore, because the bookstore, Katy Budget Books, came to me, or rather to the West Houston RWA chapter meeting, as they do most months.  So I came away from the meeting with four more books to read.

ScorchedOur guest speaker was Mari Mancusi, who gave an excellent presentation on World Building.  She describes her newly released book, Scorched, as “Terminator with Dragons,” in which two time-traveling boys come from the future to prevent a dragon apocalypse.  Now I do like a good dragon apocalypse story (just read Lorenda Christenson’s Never Deal With Dragons), but what really tempted me was the image of the last dragon egg in the world turning up in a run-down West Texas roadside attraction.

West Houston member Shana Galen’s new release, True Spies, also came home with me.  True SpiesShana mixes lots of action and a good dollop of humor into her historical romances, great fun to read.  This one is a follow up to Lord and Lady Spy; both are set in the Regency Era against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars.

The latest installment in West Houston member Kerrelyn Sparks’ wildly popular Love at Stake series is The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo (goodness, dragons seem to be trending here tonight), and I bought that, too, although I have to confess (Kerry knows this) that I’m way behind on this series.  Some of my friends write faster than I can read.  Kerry started this series with a handsome vampire who broke a fang one night and had to kidnap a lady dentist from an all-night dental clinic to get it fixed before sunrise (How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire, published in 2005), and the current one is number fourteen.

Kerrelyn Sparks

Kerry also has a new historical novel out, Less Than a Gentleman, a belated sequel to The Forbidden Lady (which was originally published as For Love or Country in 2002).  These books are set in Revolutionary period America, an uncommon setting in the current market but one which I enjoy.

Now my only problem is to pick what to read next–after I judge some more contest entries, drag a completed manuscript out of Scrivener (I’ll let you know how that goes), and get back to work on my current manuscript.

 

Two Meetings and Half a Dozen Books

I belong to two local chapters of Romance Writers of America, and this month the meetings fell as close together as they ever do, West Houston last Saturday morning and Houston Bay Area last night.  Both meetings featured interesting speakers on topics that I have yet to tackle myself.

On Saturday, West Houston heard from Alyssa Goodnight, who showed us how she is using the combined impact of several social media channels to promote her new release, Austentatious.  She has tied together input to Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads, Pinterest, and her website, and claims that it takes relatively little work to maintain her online presence.  I could only watch in admiration–looks like a fulltime job to me.  And I already have one of those.

Last night Joan Reeves gave Houston Bay Area a very interesting talk about some of the technical and legal challenges involved in independent publishing, including copyright laws and piracy problems.  Check out Joan’s blog for a wealth of information on the field, and check out her popular ebook releases while you’re there.

This has been a busy month for West Houston authors, with a whole stack of new releases:

  • Real Vampires Hate Skinny Jeans is the latest in Gerry Bartlett’s very popular Glory St. Clair series.
  • How To Ravish a Rake, by Vicky Dreiling, is the third in a trilogy of charmingly funny Regency historicals.
  • The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek is the first in a new series by Jane Myers Perrine.

  • The Quakers of New Garden anthology includes “New Garden’s Inspiration” by West Houston author Claire Sanders.
  • Wanted: Undead or Alive is the latest installment in Kerrelyn Sparks’ NYT bestselling Love At Stake series.
  • The Kingdom is the second in Amanda Stevens’ Graveyard Queen series, to be followed next month by The Prophet.

I bought books for myself, and an extra copy of Jane’s book as a thank you gift for my neighbor.  Books make terrific, thoughtful, and affordable gifts.  Go out and buy one for someone you’d like to say “thank you” to.

Thursday Thoughts

Just saying Hi tonight.  I’m still determined to finish my WIP by the end of the month, not that I’ve made much progress so far this week.  The Michael Hauge workshop pretty much derailed the weekend (well worth it), not to mention the three contest entries I had left to the last minute for judging.  Fortunately they were all quite good–I even gave one a perfect score.  By the time I finished those on Monday night and went to a meeting of the HBA RWA chapter on Tuesday night, I’d run up a string of six or seven nights going to bed at one AM.  Keep in mind I have to get up at 6:30 on weekdays, and 5:30 last Saturday, so Sunday was my only chance to sleep in.  Add to that the cold I’ve caught from my BFF Jo Anne, and by Wednesday I was a zombie.  So I wrote a couple hundred words (keeping up my run, Day 130) and crashed at 11.  Still have the cold, but at least I got a good night’s sleep. 

I’ve had very little time for reading this week, but that hasn’t stopped me from collecting more books.  At the West Houston RWA meeting on Saturday, I picked up Deeanne Gist’s latest, Love on the Line, along with a second copy for my neighbor.  Bethany House gives Deeanne’s books the most charming covers.  I also picked up Kerrelyn Sparks’  Sexiest Vampire Alive, the latest in her Love At Stake series.  On Monday night I found a box of books on my doorstep:  Sue Grafton’s V Is for Vengeance, Marcia Muller’s City of Whispers, and Jack McDevitt’s Firebird.  So many books, so little time.

This past summer, Houston radio station KTRH abandoned its long, proud history of news programming and surrendered to conservative talk.  Even the morning news is now more conservative opinion chat than actual news (and I exchanged a few emails with the station manager on that topic one morning when I woke up to a particularly offensive mockery of one of our area congresswomen).  Fortunately our NPR station has split, amoeba-like, to give birth to full-time news and information on one channel and full-time classical music on another.  KUHF does carry local news, but I was delighted to learn recently that many of the people thrown overboard by the KTRH shipwreck are involved in the launch (to stretch the metaphor a little too far) of a new 24/7 news station, NEWS 92 FM.  Should be on the air next week, and I’m hoping the venture will be a huge success. 

Here’s another of those pictures that wander around cyberspace with no atrribution.  Made me chuckle.

Somebody missing a cat?