I spent this last weekend working (read as volunteering) for Phoenix Comicon. I am exhausted and my feet are still a little sore.
It was a ton of fun and it was my favorite con so far. There were some challenges, as happens, but it was still amazing.
Here are some highlights:
Meeting Scott and Paul from Ghost Hunters International. I had a great time hanging out with them after hours. They were hilarious and fun. And girls they are both Total Llamas! They saved my sanity more than once, especially Scott whose hugs make stress go away. Although, I never did get that foot rub…. hmmm
Finding the time to stop by Travis Hanson’s booth for hugs and to look at pretty artwork.
Seeing Jeff Mariotte and getting showed that I was in the acknowledgments of his new book. And then getting him to sign it. That kind of stuff can make a girl swoon. Just saying.
Brandy and I embarrassing Matt by pretending to go all fan-girl while he was hanging with Vic (an actual celebrity).
Drinks with Scott and Paul.
Dinner with Dean and Elizabeth Lorey. Having Scott geek out a little over Dean. That might have been my favorite part of the whole weekend. I mean, I geek out over Dean all the time, but that is different since we are friends.
I told myself I was not going to be one of those people that did an end of the year list. But… I can’t help myself. Here are the best books I read in 2011. Keep in mind that some of these books I read in ARC form and do not come out until 2012.
Fracture by Megan Miranda is a beautifully crafted story of a girl who should not be alive.
On a crisp winter evening, Delaney Maxwell falls into an icy river and it takes her friends eleven minutes to rescue her. Eleven minutes that should have been enough to kill her. Just days after waking from a coma, Delaney starts to realize that maybe her recovery is not the miracle it seems. She starts having strange sensations she cannot control and she seems drawn to people who are dying. Shortly after her return to normal life, she meets Troy, a boy who also miraculously survived death. But as she gets to know Troy, she realizes that all is not what it seems.
Delaney’s journey to rediscover herself makes her realize that sometimes the things that seem the most mundane, are actually the most miraculous.
A perfect read for those aching for more from authors like Gayle Forman.
Picture it, 2007; I am working at the book store and in walks this lovely woman I would soon call a friend. Her name was Lisa and she was there to talk to me about her debut novel that would soon be released. It was called Wake and it was wonderful! Lisa was so adorable, all new and first-time-authory.
Now, it’s 2011 and I recently read Dead to You (due 2/2012), Lisa’s latest piece of brilliance. It is a wonderful story of a boy who disappeared when he was 7 and has finally come home to his family. What follows is a deftly woven tale of a family trying to put their lives back together.
And when I finished it, I did something I never thought I would do, I shook my fist and said “stupid Lisa” - ala Homer Simpson.
I also had to re-read the last chapter about five times. I could not believe it! I loved it though. I have not been able to stop thinking about it since I finished it over the weekend and the more I think about it, the more I love it!
Which makes me love Lisa even more. Once again, I have read a book that I am dying to tell people about. It may just be Lisa’s best work yet!
So do yourself a favor, pre-order Dead to You. You will love it. I promise!
So… anyone who is reading this knows about Project BookBabe and the supreme awesomeness (and I use that in the truest sense of the word, it was awe inspiring) that was that event.
But few people know about one of the best things to come from that event, my friendship with Shannon Messenger. If you follow Publishers Weekly, you probably heard that she got a 3 book deal from Simon & Schuster. The first book, Keeper of the Lost Cities, comes out next year. If not, click here to read about it on her blog. And I am pretty sure I am more excited about it than she is! Anyway, shortly after the event, I started blogging in between treatments and naps. Shannon was one of the few people who commented regularly, prompting me to visit her blog and realize just how cool she was. So… I started emailing her and we quickly developed a friendship. She told me about her agent and her books and then trusted me enough to let me read one of her manuscripts. As I was reading it, I got that feeling (fellow book buyers understand what I am talking about), that this-is-going-to-sell-big-and-be-hugely-popular feeling. Similar to the one I got when you-know-what came out. Not just because it is an adorable MG fantasy but because she has a couple of really great characters that totally captured my heart. I am so looking forward to book one to hit the shelves.
Not only is Shannon a wonderful person and a great writer, she also has the BEST contests on her blog! She is constantly giving away books (really good ones too) so I recommend everyone follow her blog. Also, she is super funny.
So, a huge congratulations to Shannon and her fabulous book deal!
Should I ever decide to become an author, I want to be like Janette Rallison. She has been writing for over ten years and 17 books later, she is STILL getting published. Brilliant!
Her latest (under an pseudonym), and my favorite to date, is Slayers. A fantasy novel about a group of teenagers, descended from the original Dragon Slayers, who attend a special camp where they are trained in the lost arts of dragon slaying. These elite group of teens are blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with powers to help them battle the creatures that most people believe are myths from a long lost age. But someone, somewhere has cultivating dragon eggs and is about to unleash them on an unsuspecting Washington DC.
Slayers is a wonderful fantasy adventure sure to capture the hearts and minds of readers everywhere. Like all of Janette’s books, Slayers is appropriate for readers of just about any age. I recommend it for Middle Grade and High School.