Monday, April 30, 2012

Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig

I have to talk about Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig (which by the way gets the golden rating of 6 perfect stars)!

Blackbirds is about a girl, Miriam Black. She has the unfortunate ability to touch someone and know exactly how and when they'll die. In fact, she sees their deaths in gruesome detail. Miriam is a hardened loner. She lives a nomadic life - traveling from place to place - and survives by being at the place of the people she's touched deaths where she relieves them of their money after they're dead. Yeah. She's not exactly a nice person. But she's understandable. Sympathetic, even. Most definitely tragic.

Despite her scavenger lifestyle, self-depricating behavior, and angry brittle wit, I couldn't help but feel horrible for Miriam. She's deeply troubled, thoroughly damaged and so very lost. Enter Louis, a truck driver, big and genuinely likeable, who helps Miriam out of a bad situation. Miriam touches Louis, she sees his death - and he's calling out to her. For the first time in a long time, Miriam doesn't want fate to win. Then there's Ashley, a total fuckup and smooth talking con man who has discovered Miriam's secret talent. He has a plan and a past - and neither is good. Mix in a lot of dark, action-packed bad shit and you have Blackbirds. 

Miriam is a strong believer that she can't control fate. She's tried to stop deaths from happening, but it never works. She believes she's cursed - that she's the catalyst for the deaths. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn't. Either way, she is broken. Chuck Wendig draws you into Miriam's head - into her darkest thoughts and her deepest fears. It's so intense, I swear I could feel the words. Miriam hurts. This book hurts. And that's what makes it so incredibly good.

It's a dark roller coaster through the hell of Miriam's mind - doused with other, darker minds that make her seem like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. And through it all is Louis - hope - light - redemption maybe - if only Miriam can stand up to fate.

I don't think I've been so haunted by a character since the first time I read Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (Odd haunts me to this day - and I have a feeling Miriam is gonna snuggle right up there with him in my brain). 

Blackbirds earns the 6 stars of excellence. That means, people, that if I could I would own it on e-reader (done), paperback (done), and hardcover (damn - no hardcover??). It's a book that I'll read over and over. It's a book that might just sit on my nightstand for a while so I can pick it up and feel the emotion from it again. (Okay, that sounds creepy but it's really not. I just honestly loved the story.)

And the artwork on the cover?? Amazing.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm A Little Bit Emo...A short story.

Okay, I promise after this I'll lighten up & go back to talking books. I'm anxiously awaiting several new releases (peek at my post of what's coming out, if you're curious). I'm doing better today - not great but getting there. I wrote this little bit this morning and I think it expresses how I've felt the last few days. My happy pills didn't even help. I'm hoping to sit in the sun on my deck today and chill. So, without further ado...
(and, hey, don't read it if you don't want - its just a dark love story)


He doesn’t use the doorbell but still I know he’s there, patiently waiting for me to open the door and invite him in. And so, of course, I do. He stands there, beautiful and seductive as always in his black suit with no tie. His white shirt is unbuttoned just enough to be tantalizing. Barefoot. Dark hair touselled like he’s been running rough fingers through it. His mouth is twisted into a wry smile that promises so much pain. His head is bowed just slightly, his dark hair hiding eyes that I know carry all of my bleakest thoughts. He’s a dark angel and I’m drawn to his power. He’s better than the best sex. Just looking at him makes me hurt.
I back up and let him in.
He steps close, so close that I can feel the softness of his breath on my skin, and he wraps his icy arms around me and draws me against him. His lips brush my ear in a gentle kiss and he whispers the words I’ve been waiting to hear.
“Fat. Ugly. Cow. Stupid. Loser. Friendless. Worthless. Hopeless. Alone.”
I know these words so well, as well as I know him – my dark dangerous love. If I had the strength, I would send him away, but instead I press closer. My body fits against his as if it was made to rest there. I want him. I always want him.
I haven’t missed him. I’ve missed him desperately. He’s my poison. He’s my  pleasure. He is, above all else, home.
He steps away and I am bereft. I need his touch – the void of emptiness, so full of dark emotion. I need it like a starving man needs food. He shuts the door behind him and takes my hand. His touch enfolds me, encompasses me, envelops me. He leads me into the house. We settle down together on the couch, as close as we can get, but it can’t be close enough. It's never close enough.
“Disgusting. Gross. Repulsive. Unloveable.”
His words are a melody that draws me in – a song that is all mine. He’s written it for me and me alone. And then he says my favorite words again, the words I’ve been waiting for, the words that are my life. “Ugly. Unloved. Loser.”
Magic. Such dark beautiful magic. He knows just how to please me. The ice of his grip turns painful and it’s wonderful. Joyous. I want more. This is where I belong. I can never get close enough. He can never cause enough pain. He is so beautiful to me.
He stays with me as long as I need him. He’s always there with a torturous touch, or the bite of a word, or a knife to my chest. He cradles me in his arms at night and whispers to me until I sleep. He feeds on my tears and my hopelessness. He knows just how to hurt me. He knows just how to make me feel. And I feel so much when I’m with him.
If he stays, he’ll destroy me.
Ours is not a healthy relationship. It’s unforgiving and dark, and it consumes me. The emotions are too strong. The words too painful. His touch too sensitive to my skin. It burns. The darkness is too all-encompassing. His words draw blood and I'm already so bloody. I'm tired. I need more….
I need light.
It is the one thing he cannot give me.
It’s heartbreaking. It’s enlightening. It’s freeing.
I wake one morning and he’s waiting by the door. His warm gaze meets mine and that crooked smile is there. It doesn't move me. I’ve had my fill of him. His words are burned into me - a reminder of all I know. They won’t disappear for a long time. He’s fulfilled my every need. I'm ready to let him go for now. I’ll be okay without him.
I might even learn to enjoy the light.
Once he’s gone, I tack his picture on the wall with the countless pictures of him. I do this each time he’s visited. I want to remember him. I need to remember him. My walls are so full of his face, a memorial to his empty beauty, that there’s no space for anything else. I can never forget him. I don’t want to ever forget him. But I can go on without him and I will be better for it.
He’ll be back the next time I need him.
His quiet strength is always there, ready to pull me into the darkness of his embrace. His cruel lips are waiting to bring me the ultimate pleasure. Pain.

And that’s what depression is like for me. - Karen

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Very Short Emo Post

Depression came sneaking into my house yesterday. It hunkered down beside me and whispered in my ear. I know the things it said are lies, but still they eat at me. I've asked it to leave but its a sneaky little bastard. It keeps tiptoeing up behind me and catching me unaware. I'm doing my best to ignore it in the hopes that it will get tired of trying to manipulate me and go away. But I have a feeling its going to put up a fight.

Depression is a sneaky lying motherfucker and it sucks ass.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

So I Read This Book.....

Yeah. Um....I'm not going to ask if you've heard about the book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. You probably have. But have you read it? I've been seeing posts and blogs about it for a while, but to be honest - erotic romance? Not really my thing. I love my urban fantasy. I love paranormal romance (as long as its heavy on the story). But erotica...well, there was that time in the 80's in college where I subscribed to Playgirl *blushes furiously* mind. Fact is, I don't have the patience for stories that are all sex and no substance. Plus, trying to read smut in front of my 17 yr. old son & husband -- well... No. Can. Do.

But all the talk about Fifty Shades had me curious. Why the hell was this book getting so much promo? I decided to look it up on Amazon and read the excerpt. And...shit...I was hooked. I had to buy it.

It came Friday. I finished it this morning. (To be fair, I'm also reading two other books - a feat I don't recommend. It makes me scattered.)

I'm going to say one thing -- I've already ordered the next two books in the series AND I'm sitting here trying to convince myself I can wait for them to come in the mail. Honestly, I want to order them for my e-reader too, because I don't WANT to wait.

Fifty Shades of Grey is more than erotica. Yes, there's some racy hot scenes in it that will make your hair curl (and perhaps raise your blood pressure *clears throat*). Yeah. It's something. But that's NOT what makes this book phenomenal. It's the story. And, good God, it's a fantastic story.

Anastasia is just about to graduate from college when she takes her roommate's place interviewing businessman Christian Grey. Christian is ...oooh boy. Hot. Dangerous. Fascinating. Damaged. Just like Anastasia, I wanted to know his story. What makes him the man he is? How damaged is he? It appealed to that part of me that loved Jane Eyre and Rebecca and all those Victorian era stories with the innocent young girl trying to figure out the enigmatic older man who's fucked up. Yeah, except with a very modern twist, because Christian? Well, he's seriously fucked up.

They're not equals. Sexually, she's a total innocent. Romantically, he is. Emotionally? Well, he's rigid and stunted and in desperate need of learning that not everything can be controlled. And she's so unsure of herself in so many ways that she appeals to his need to control. She's light. He's dark. She makes him lighter. He makes her darker. Can they find a balance? A way to come together in a healthy way?

The story is very clever in that some of the most amazing conversations happen in emails which are both clever and funny. They lighten up what would otherwise be a dark dark story. The book ends on a cliffhanger that left me emotionally drained and desperate to know more. I'm invested in these characters. I need to know if they're going to work it out. And how they're going to work it out without Ana destroying herself. Can she find a way to accept Christian and his ... um ... unique likes?

This book has a heart. It has a soul. It has a story to tell. That's what makes it so good. And that's why everyone is talking about it. Do I recommend it? YES! But only if you can handle bondage scenes. (Trust me, there aren't that many and they're ... um .... interesting? enlightening? well written? *turning beet red*.) Shut up. And don't laugh at me. I'm a good little Catholic girl. ;P

I'm kind of shocked to say this, but this may have been one of the most enjoyable books I've read so far this year. Go forth and buy. You may wish to invest in something to fan yourself while you read. And don't blame me if it's too much for you. But you can definitely thank me for recommending it if you love it.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Flash Fiction Challenge

So, Chuck Wendig is having this little contest. 1000 Words. Subject? Death. So here is my entry:

(yes, its a so I apologize in advance to anyone I might offend *cough* family members *cough*, but it's what popped into my head)

I never thought I would be a card carrying member of the 27 Club. Twenty-seven is a crappy age to die, especially in such a humiliating way. I should have known Alex wouldn’t be able to keep his shit together.
I thought we were being smart. We’d talked about taking our relationship to the next step for months. It wasn’t like the sex part was new to us. We’d been playing at friends with benefits for over a year. But Alex kept talking how much better it would be if I just trusted him enough to try it. Everybody I asked said it would be okay as long as we were careful. We’d even created a safe word. “Day-Oh.” It was a joke between us. When we were ready to call it a night, we would sing that stupid song. You know the one: “Day-Oh. Day-Oh. Daylight come and me want to go home.” It really meant, “I’m done. Get the fuck out.”
Day-Oh seemed like such a perfect word for “stop”.
Fat lot of good it was doing me now.
Alex had me pinned to the bed, his big body over me, my wrists clamped in his large hands to hold me down, not that I was fighting him. His body moved in mine in a rhythm that I was familiar with but had long since stopped enjoying tonight. I didn’t dare move at all for fear it would push him further over the edge, but I was dangerously close to losing consciousness. Considering how much he was enjoying my submission, fear would probably send him right over the top.
“Day-oh, Alex. Oh fuck, come on. Day-oh.” I couldn’t believe how warbly and weak my voice was, not that it would help. His mouth didn’t budge. His fangs were sunk as deep as he could get them into my throat. The rumbling noises coming from him sounded like a cat purring, only bigger and more psychotic. This was not the fun loving, party animal Alex who sang Jimmy Buffet when he’d had too many jello shots.
I didn’t know this Alex. This Alex was fucking predator.
If I survived this Jacinda was going to kill me. She’d warned me that some vampires lost themselves in the bloodlust of sex mixed with feeding. She’d begged me not to do it. But Alex had insisted that losing control almost never happened, and that it had never happened to him. I believed him.
Who would have thought Jacinda would be right?
I could feel how hard my heart was working, erratic, the blood flowing in my collapsing veins weak and thready. The sparkly little stars in my vision were wreaking havoc with my eyesight. I blinked in an effort to clear it, but my lids felt as dry and gummy as my throat.
You’d think Alex would have picked up on my distress. But no. He was having too much fun. And just when things started to go a little black around the edges, he started pounding into me. I could actually hear him swallowing as he sucked fiercely. With one final powerful thrust, he came. His teeth retracted from my abused throat and he shouted with his orgasm.
After a ridiculously long moment where I wondered what the morgue would say to my parents when they came to identify me, he lowered his mouth to my neck again, this time lapping at it gently, sealing off the wound. Jesus.
My heart was in its death throws and he was cozying up.
How is it possible that one man (granted Alex is six foot two and built like a lumberjack) consume that much blood? I mean, I know he’s a vampire. And at 125 lbs., I probably have less blood than the average 6 pints - before he turned me into a human slurpee. But even half that amount should be tough to drink down for anybody.
“Oh baby, that was so fucking awesome.” Alex whispered in his ‘sexy voice’, all husky and dark. Usually, I thought it was funny. Today, I just wanted him to get off and shut up. “You were amazing, Cass.”
Yeah. That’s me. The amazing, nearly dead girl. I tried to clear my throat so that I could tell him exactly what I was thinking at the moment about his post-coital dirty talk, but it came out more like a gurgle. Talk about frustrating.
“Cass?” His deep voice took on a concerned tone. I tried to focus on it without much luck. I think he finally realized something was wrong, because decided to shake me like a rag doll. I was going to stake him with the thickest broom handle I could find.
“Oh shit! Cass? Come on.” Great. Now he was panicking. Better late than never, I guess. I wanted to open my eyes and glare at him. I wanted to move, but my stupid body wouldn’t obey. I couldn’t even lift my hand. And it wasn’t like the jerk had moved off me. Or out of me, for that matter. He was primed and ready for round two, something I’d always appreciated about him. Now it just pissed me off.
Something hard smacked my face. I gasped, wedged open my eyes, and wished I hadn’t. His jaw was coated with my blood. His eyes were glowing just a little like a cat’s at night. It freaked me out.
“Cass?” He looked as scared as I felt.
I managed two words. “Call. Ambulance.”  
He lurched away from me and scrambled off the bed. For a second, he just stood there looking at me in horror. “Oh shit. Shit!”
Then he did the damnedest thing. He grabbed his pants off the floor and left the room at a run. Right into the bathroom. I could hear him in there puking. He drank my fucking blood and now he was regurgitating it? What a fucking waste.
If I survived, I was never letting him touch me again. 

Burned by J.F. Lewis

I recently had a twitter exchange with J.F. Lewis about his books. He'd tweeted that he was at the point in the book he's currently writing where things start to roll. I happened to be at the point where Burned started to roll, so I tweeted him (as a fan and a follower and ... is it just me or does twitter sometimes seem like you're stalking people you're fans of?!?). Anyway, he tweeted me back and asked a serious question about where, for me, the action in his books started to roll. It took me about 7 tweets to reply and I'm not sure I explained myself well in those tweets, so I thought I'd talk about it here. I promise to not go all spoilery on you in case you haven't read his books. (I highly recommend you go out and get them, tho. They're not only incredibly entertaining, but they're unique within the urban fantasy genre.)

So, in deference to J.F. Lewis (should he ever come across this blog), I'll tell you why I love his books.

His main character, Eric, is an unapologetic asshole. But he's one of those assholes that no matter how much you want to be pissed at him or dislike him, it's impossible. He warns you he's an asshole and guarantees you will not like the things he does, and yet you can't help loving him anyway. Because despite his being one of those guys that just can't help but do stupid things, underneath it all he's a good guy. You know the type I mean, right? I dated one in college. He was a big, buff, wealthy, good looking guy who I knew from the start was going to piss me off regularly until I dumped him. (I helped him fake-cheat on his previous girlfriend so she would dump him.) Eric reminds me of him in so many ways.

Then there's the cast of characters that support the story: Tabitha, Rachel, Talbot, Fang, Marilyn and especially Greta.  Each of them is essential to driving the story forward. Each of them is unique, cleverly created, and brilliantly integrated. And the "sub-characters" - the police, the thralls, the werewolves - as a whole and individually are well laid out, too. J.F. Lewis has created a complete world. That's incredibly hard to do.

His books are beautifully paced. They're laid out like out a complex puzzle. They all start off with Eric, who is dealing with memory loss, trying to win back his lost love, trying to deal with his current sex interest, trying to handle his business, trying to handle Greta (who may I say is both the scariest and funniest vampire on my bookshelves). With each character, the story takes shape and picks up energy, and then he brings in Greta.

Greta is nuts. Insane. Crazy. And a catalyst. When she enters the story, all bets are off. Whatever Eric thinks is going to happen with his half-assed plans (because with his memory loss, lets face it, his plans are in trouble from the start), well....things just aren't going to work out quite the way he thinks. He can plan it, but each character affects how his plans are going to work out - and Greta, well she can send them spinning out of control.

It's at that point - for me at least - when the books start to roll. It's different for each book, though - by that I mean it doesn't occur on page 50 or whatever. The momentum builds fairly quickly, and then wham! The book is off and running.

The action is insane - and I often have to pause because I find myself wanting to go back and re-read chapters. Not because he's lost me, but because they're so enjoyable. In fact, reading his books probably takes me longer than any other book because I do re-read them while reading them. Yes. J.F. Lewis makes me want to savor each chapter in minute detail. I can honestly say, he's the only author whose books make me want to do that. (I do re-read portions of books that I love, but only after I've finished reading the book.)

His books make me laugh, cringe, laugh, panic, laugh more, and freak out occasionally. I want to grab Eric and shake him, and then give him a hug. I want to hang out with Greta and run screaming from her at the same time (although either way, I'd be DEAD). I want to smack Marilyn upside the head. I want to tell Tabitha to grow up and stake Rachel even tho she's not a vampire. I want to cuddle up to Talbot and learn more about him (he fascinates me). I want to live in that bowling alley of craziness.

If you haven't read the Void City books, I recommend them. Because J.F. Lewis writes his books in the same way Eric lives his life - unapologetically.


Monday, April 16, 2012

A Long Overdue Post (egads)

It occurs to me that I completely fail at blogging this month. Actually, blogging in the last two months has been a challenge. This is due to my inability to multi-task. I can't blog, discuss the latest technologies with anything resembling intelligence, spring clean, line up various contractors, plan college for kiddo, and play with the cat & the dog, all at the same time.

Especially the techno-discussions - they freaking kill me. And kiddo accepts nothing less than my full and complete attention when discussing them. In fact, right now we're discussing C++, Visual Basic, newbs and  oh hell, I don't fucking know.

Anyway, I never posted the books I read in February or March. (What kind of loser blogger am I?)

Here's the list. Unfortunately, I'm going to keep it simple, because I'm losing my marbles...remember, my rating system is 0-6 stars.
0 = didn't finish, didn't want to finish. This book is not for me.
* = didn't read entire book, skipped large portions, read the end. Won't read additional books.
** = read book, but may have skipped portions. Probably won't read additional books.
*** = read entire book, liked it. Will read additional books.
**** = read entire book, loved it. Will definitely read more books.
***** = fast read entire book. Loved it! Will read every book written by author.
****** = couldn't put book down. I am a fan girl for life. Will follow on social media for book news.
(Yes, I am weird. But I'm not creepy.)

February - 7
River Marked by Patricia Briggs *****
Raven Cursed by Faith Hunter *****
Wrong Side of Dead by Kelly Meding *****
Unbroken by Rachel Caine *****
Almost Everything by Tate Hallaway *****
Raven Calls by C.E. Murphy *****
A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison *****

March – 10
The Wood Queen by Karen Mahoney ****
Curses! A F***ed Up Fairy Tale by J.A. Kazimer ****
Headrush by Carolyn Crane ******
Doubletake by Rob Thurman ******
Devil’s Luck by Carolyn Crane *****
A Sliver of Shadow by Allison Pang *****
Tooth and Nail by Jennifer Safrey ****
Stargazer by Claudia Gray ****
Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane ******
The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton ***

So, there it is. My list. While posting this, I learned that newbs should not post on forums for experts asking why there isn't a manual for C++ when using Visual Basic, that the new Commodore 64 (yes, they are remaking them for computer geeks) can be returned for a replacement since it doesn't work, that Microsoft sucks, that Apple sucks, that Android sucks, that the dog needs to go out, that the husband needs gas for the lawnmower, that the kiddo has no underwear (how the hell did that happen?!) & that the kiddo is hungry wants me to make him a turkey sandwich with pepperjack cheese and lettuce. 

Over and out. Must go multi-task other things.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My weekend Part II - Anime Boston

Right now, the hubs is making dinner, so I thought I'd finish my weekend tale of geekery. Yes, you read that right. The hubs cooks most nights. And yes, he is a far better cook than I could ever hope to be. (He ought to be a chef!)

So yesterday was Anime Boston, which for those who don't know is a convention for fans of Japanese Anime (animation) and Manga (graphic novels). Its held at the Hynes Center in Boston, attached to the Prudential Center which is attached to Copley Place. The people that go to Anime Boston are pretty amazing. Most of them are very into Japanese culture in general. They're also kind, respectful, friendly, helpful and welcoming. And geeks. Oh my goodness (as a geek myself) I can say they are geeks. They cosplay - which means that they dress in carefully handmade costumes of their favorite anime/manga/game characters (often perfect down to the tiniest detail). If their character carries a sword 3x his body size, then they craft a sword 3x their size and lug it around with them. (And yes, this is allowed - guns, swords, whatever - there is no violence at Anime Boston, just fun and acceptance.) If their character has wings that are 4x his width, they create wings 4x their width. (Yes, there was a girl with wings that spanned 20 ft. & no one gave her a hard time at all!) Boys dress as girls, girls dress as boys - and nobody cares. There are gothic Lolitas, steampunkers, cyberpunkers, soldiers, gods, pokemon, digimon, domos, and more. 17,000-20,000 people fill three stories of the Hynes and spill out into the Pru, the Copley, and the streets outside. They travel the subway system in full costume. For this weekend and this weekend only, they gather en mass and enjoy the freedom of being who they are and expressing themselves without being bullied.

Strangers hug each other and compliment each other's cosplay outfits. They take pictures with each other. They laugh and sing and shout out to the crowd "Marco" and the entire crowd replies with "Polo". They gather around the manga/anime booths and have intense discussions about their favorite series.

There are panels and workshops and video showings and dating games and contests and shopping. Oh my God - the shopping! You can find pretty much anything you can imagine that geeks love. (I even saw amigurumi Star Trek characters.) I purchased a beautiful leather hand-made steampunk hat with a huge plume of peacock and chicken feathers; a t-shirt that bears a cartoon of a bunny chewing on a human skull with a background of bloody screaming faces that says num num num; and an amigurumi zombie cat. The kid bought a handcrafted fedora, anime poseable figures, shirts, a hat with cat ears, keychains, posters, and...geez, I can't remember it all. Yeah, it was a good day.

I LOVE Anime Boston. I love it because it's a place where a 49 year old mother can walk around with her 17 year old son, wear a steampunk hat & a gaming themed shirt, and join in with all the other geeks - and nobody thinks that's odd. And yes, there were more parents hanging with their kids there than you might think. These kids high fived me and complimented me on both the shirt and the hat (which did not go together). They even complimented my hair color. Strangers chatted with my son and didn't care that he struggles socially. In that crowd, he was connected.

Today was a day of recovery. We're both exhausted from two fantastic days where we gorged ourselves on a culture where we both fit. Thank you PAX East and Anime Boston for seeing the value in creating places where people - who often feel on the fringes of a society where they don't quite fit - can be with other people just like themselves, and be reminded that they are not alone. They are part of a huge group of equally unique people who accept them unconditionally.

That's all. Happy Easter. Happy Passover. Happy Spring.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Crazy Weekend Part 1

Today is Good Friday and the start of Passover, but that's not what makes it great in my household. We're celebrating because today is the first day of PAX East and Anime Boston.

For those who don't know (and don't follow my tweets), PAX East is an enormous gaming convention. If you can think of the gaming company - and I'm talking computer games, XBox games, Playstation games, Wii games, board games, D&D type games, card games, etc. - the likelihood is they were at this convention. So were about a billion gaming geeks.

We only managed to snag tickets for PAX today, but I'm so glad we went. Kiddo doesn't do well for long in crowds or in lines - and if we wanted to play a game, standing in line for as much as an hour (or maybe more) was guaranteed. So we settled for walking (or shuffling along with the crowd) around and watching other people play games. was cool. My ADD kicked in numerous times ("oooh shiny") - as I saw game dice, tee shirts, and everything you can possibly imagine that goes along with gaming - and from the games themselves. There were some that I can't wait to get my hands on.

Most of all, tho - I (of course) love the shopping.

The most awesome items for sale? Customized, hand crafted tables for setting up Dungeons & Dragons games. I can't even begin to describe the sheer beauty of these pieces of furniture. There were also coffee tables built to put your 50-60 inch touch screen television in. OMG, people! I nearly wept over them.

I ended up buying a beautiful, handmade wooden sword from the furniture booth - they had swords, knives, a 'sword in a stone' (wood and stunning), and all kinds of wood items. Of course, kiddo needed one as well. We could probably battle with them, but I'd rather just enjoy it. It's three feet long and stained to match my woodwork. I'm going to see if I can find something to mount it in my family room. And yes, I will probably play with it. I'm a kid myself that way.

I also bought a tee shirt. It looks like the cover of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree, only instead of a kid, it has Link from Legend of Zelda - and on the tree it reads 'The Deku Tree'. It's a totally totally geeky piece of perfection.

Surprisingly, kiddo lasted 3 1/2 hours - I would have thought from the noise level and crowd motion, he would have been in brain overload 15 mins. in. But he was having too much fun.

The final thing I want to say about PAX East is this....if you ever get the chance to go to a convention for geeks (PAX, AnimeBoston), I highly recommend it, if only to experience the people. Nobody is rude at these things. If someone bumps into you, they apologize and ask if you're okay. People talk to each other and call out friendly greetings to other people they don't even know because they like their tee shirt or hair color or costume. If you drop something, people will chase you down to return it to you. Geek cons are filled with the best of humanity. They are what the world should be.

After PAX East, we headed to MicroCenter - the best place to buy anything computer related in the entire world. Its in Cambridge, right next to the Charles River. The ride in along Storrow Drive is lovely with the sun shining off the water. And today there were teams prepping their sculls for racing.

Tomorrow is Anime Boston, another favorite con for both kiddo and me. Picture 17,000 people dressed in cosplay singing, high-fiveing, shouting out to each other and just enjoying being together and being themselves in a bully-free zone. Again, the world should be this way. I'm going to be exhausted by Sunday, but I can't wait to soak it in.

Happy Easter, Passover and Geekdom everyone!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Releases for April - oh dear its soooo long....

I'm not going to buy all these books. I repeat, I'm NOT going to buy ALL these books. :D

I spent the last 2 weeks updating my new release list for 2012 and my Urban Fantasy Book list. It took that long because I've been neglecting them with all the chaos in my house. I'd rather be reading than organizing, you know what I mean? Anyway... I thought I'd post a list of all the books that are out this month (that I know of). If you're curious which books I'm definitely buying, I'm going to highlight them. I think it might be a manageable list (given the right circumstances, I can read 16 books in a month) ... if my TBR pile wasn't so deep I'm drowning under it. As it is, I'm probably just going to bury myself deeper. 

1 – Crystalfire – Kate Douglas
3 – Devil’s Punch – Ann Aguirre
3 – Pure: Omens & Shadows – Kelley Armstrong
3 – Black Heart – Holly Black
3 – The Lingering Dead – J.N. Duncan
3 – Plague Town – Dana Fredsti
3 – Sworn in Steel – Douglas Hulick
3 – Magic Without Mercy – Devon Monk
3 – Enraptured – Elizabeth Naughton
3 – The Marked – Inara Scott
3 – The Shape of Desire – Sharon Shinn
3 – Nocturnal – Scott Sigler
3 – Cain’s Law – Matthew Stover
3 – Blood Right – Karin Tabke
3 – Savage Awakening – J.D. Tyler
3 – Werewolf in Seattle – Vicki Lewis Thompson
3 – Hunter’s Rise – Shiloh Walker
10 – The Calling – Kelley Armstrong
10 – Blue Magic – A.M. Dellamonica
10 – Wicked City – Alaya Dawn Johnson
10 – Royal Street – Suzanne Johnson
10 – Assassin’s Code – Jonathan Maberry
24 – Lies & Omens – Lyn Benedict
24 – Binding the Shadows – Jenn Bennett
24 – Deadly Descendent – Jenna Black
24 – The Fallen: Warrior – Kristina Douglas
24 – Siege – Rhiannon Frater
24 – Evil Dark – Justin Gustainis
24 – Ascend – Amanda Hocking
24 – The Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa
24 – Shadow Play – Erin Kellison
24 – Coveted – Shawntelle Madison
24 – Wishful Thinking – Gabi Stevens
24 – On the Prowl – Christine Warren
24 – 32 Fangs – David Wellington
24 – Blackbirds – Chuck Wendig
30 – Magic Unchained – Jessica Anderson