Touring Chicago Merit Style with a little help from Chloe Neill!

Schmoopy and I are in Chicago for the International Reading Association convention. It starts on Monday, so today we had some tourist time!

We  got to spend the day doing some sightseeing.

Of course, I needed to see where Merit, from the awesome Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series, lives.

I sent a little Tweet out to Chloe Neill asking for some pointers on Cadogan House and she totally replied!

Massive FANGIRLING episode ensued!

 

So, Schmoopy and I hit up the local Starbucks and started walking. 2.1 miles (Yup, miles were walked. That’s serious!!) later, we were there. We stopped along the way to do some super fun touristy stuff that I’ll post later, but my goal was Cadogan all the way.

Cadogan House

Unfortunately, it was daylight, so Merit was sleeping. They say it is the US Soccer House, nice cover, but I know the truth.

Then, to take my FanGirl’s Guide to Chicago a step further, Chloe Neill asked me if she could post my picture (my. freaking. picture!) on her blog. What the what? Can you say YES any faster than I did?

Check it out here:

Cadogan House’s Architectural Inspiration

So, my day was EPIC! Totally, vampirely, wickedly, awesomely, EPIC!

The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill or Why Heather Brewer ROCKS!

5 Blings for First Kill!

I’m a huge Vlad fan! I totally LOVED all of Heather Brewer’s The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod books! It was super sad to read the last in the series.

But, as usual, Heather Brewer doesn’t disappoint her minions!

In The Slayer Chronicles, she tells the story from Joss McMillian & the Slayers’ point of view.

It doesn’t just work–it ROCKS!

So many times while reading First Kill I was like, “Oh, oh, I know…this is xyz from Vlad! Awesome!” And it was awesome! And the coolest thing is that you could start with Vlad or Joss and be equally as hooked! Have I mentioned how freaking cool this is? I mean, really, it is total author genius here! For real life! 

OK, but what’s the big deal? Well, Joss is a regular kid who is about to go hang out with his awesome cousin for the summer. Then his sister gets killed. In the middle of the night. By a vampire! At the funeral, his creepy uncle tells him to swear that he’ll avenge her death. He swears. Fast forward a few years and we learn that, understandably, Joss and his parents have never recovered from the loss. Joss is ignored by his parents, who have just been coasting on auto-pilot since his sister’s murder. So when that creepy Uncle Abraham asks for Joss to spend the summer with him doing wilderness survival training, the whole McMillan family goes for it. It is in the mountains that he learns the truth behind the Slayer Society and begins his crazy & often cruel training. Through Joss, we learn the flip side. Not as  much vampires are so awesome, but more of a awww, poor Slayers kind of sympathy. But the way that Joss looks at the world with compassion, empathy, and hatred totally works. Come on, how many people can pull that off? 

Bottom line: If you loved Vlad, you’ll love First Kill. If you haven’t met Vlad yet, then you can start with either series (but if you are impatient like me, go for Vlad first because that series has more books!).

 

 

Sookie & DEAD RECKONING get 4 Blings!

4 Bling Book!

I usually don’t read reviews of books. I just read what I like or what a friend (or awesome blogger) recommends. But, for some reason, I read a few reviews of DEAD RECKONING and they were awful. So, of course, I had to read more reviews. I was pretty shocked at how negative they were. I mean, this is like the 11th book in the series, they knew what they were getting into.

I thought the book was Sookie being Sookie, vampires being vampy, and everybody else doing what they usually do in this awesome Charlaine Harris series. The only thing I really (REALLY) noticed was the lack of explicit bedroom scenes. There was a pretty heavy one on the porch, but that was it. And let me tell you, that was quite fine with me. Didn’t really miss it. I always look around like a guilty kid when I read those hot and heavy scenes, like I’m about to get caught doing something really awful, anyway. So, aside from that, I still don’t see what the big fuss is all about.

Several reviews stated that not much happened in this novel. I thought the amount of action was on point for the Sookie series. But, I also think that DEAD RECKONING was a “bridge book” of sorts. By that I mean that it was needed to act as a bridge between the book before it and the book after it. I mean, really, Charlaine Harris knows what she’s doing with this series, so I trust her on stuff like this. Every major series has a few “bridge books” in their lineup. It just has to happen sometimes.

Another common comment that I read was that there were several inconsistencies in the plot. They named details that, quite frankly, weren’t ones that stood out to me or even mattered once they were pointed out. I kinda wanted to tell those guys to chill the heck out. It is a super fun and trashy vampire series for heaven’s sake. It’s not going into the cannon! Geez! But, I can see why those super obsessed fans would like to point out stuff like that. I do know many a fan of other things (cough, cough, Star Wars, cough, cough, my Schmoopy) that would be able to rattle off any slight inconsistency ever in any related material. I get it, but really. Calm down. It’s not a deal breaker to me.

All that being said, I enjoyed the book. It was fun and had a bit of mystery. The plot made sense to me and everyone I wanted to hear about was there. I still don’t totally get Eric and Sookie’s relationship. I mean, he is way hotter and way less caring than she is. Even though I think he is way hotter than Bill (bad boy complex, I know, I know), I just don’t see them together for long haul-not that they could be anyway, since she has no interest in being a vampire.  But, maybe we’ll see a Sookie and Bill, Sookie and Sam, Sookie and somebody that she can have a happily human ever after with relationship soon. Maybe.

What can I say. I’m a fan and I look forward to the next in the series, the new story collection  HOME IMPROVEMENT: DEAD EDITION by some of my favorite authors of all things supernatural & the SOOKIE STACKHOUSE COMPANION, both due out in August, 2011.  I’m counting down the days until the new season of TRUE BLOOD on June 26, too. I am so totally crushing on that Eric’s vampire hotness! Uh-huh!

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Sookie & Eric, Claire & Shane!

So in love with these sexy vampires (Eric!) & humans (Shane!) that I just can’t stop reading.
And I just can’t wait for Merit & Ethan!
Yup, I have vampire issues.
Don’t like it?
Bite me! (sorry…had to!)
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Reading Right Now

I had to make some tough vampire choices this week. I decided on DEAD RECKONING by Charlaine Harris, mainly because I had it on my iPad. I preordered BITE CLUB by Rachel Caine and HARD BITTEN by Chloe Neill before I knew about the awesome iPad anniversary gift that Schmoopy gave me! Truth be told, they’ve been preordered for months. I really super totally love this iPad, so it made the choice really easy! Yup, this post is From my iPad, too! (so be extra understanding about spelling oops, ok.)!

But here’s the kicker…I have a major rule about no technology in bed (mainly because I have zero self control with my iPhone and laptop), so I am still trying to decide where the iPad falls under this rule. If I just read, I would be ok, but again the lack of self control thing comes into play! So, I came up with a great solution: I’m reading Sookie on the iPad downstairs and Morganville upstairs. If only I could fit Chicagoland in there without totally mixing up my vampires!

Oh well, you can’t have everything!

Update: I totally stalked Cadogan House when I visited Chicago in 2012. Schmoopy knew he was powerless to resist my need to find Merit and Eric. It was pretty dang epic! Sadly, it was during the day and they weren’t available. Maybe next time!

Cadogan House!

Cadogan House!

Vampire Tuesday! The Most AWESOME day ever!

Today three of my favorite vampire books were released.

Bite Club by Rachel Caine, Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill, and Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris.


3! On. The. Same. Day!

Oh My Awesome!

Today is also the day the I bought my first iBook!

Vampire Tuesday Rocks!

Bite Club

Hard Bitten

Dead Reckoning on my iPad

Ooops, I did it again…

I have a small book problem. Ok, I lied. It is a HUGE book problem.  It has many facets, too.  So many, in fact, that they need a list:

  • I want to read just about everything!
  • I have serious vampire and zombie issues. I have to read them all!
  • I check out WAY too many books at the library. It is like how people must feel when they walk past a pet store. I just can’t leave them there, they need a good home!
  • I keep buying more books. I can’t help it. Sometimes the wait lists at the library are so long and I want it now (Veruca Salt, anyone!?).
  • I say I’m going to read this or than next, but then something just jumps out at me and I pick it up. Then that’s it…I’m reading it.
  • Being ADHD (really, like clinically, not like in the kidding kind of way) does not help this issue. I am currently listening to something in the car, have a book on my desk at work, have a book upstairs, and a book downstairs. I’m getting an iPad this weekend (YAY!) and I just know I’ll put a few books on that!

So, what’s the bottom line here? Why the rant?

I need to fess up:

I went to order one book today and got three (Oops, sorry Schmoopy! Didn’t mean to!). It is just so easy to click, add to cart, and check out! Darn internet!

I am trying to return some library books, but they look at me all cute and book-like, with their shiny covers and cute spines…I just can’t decide which ones to return without reading first. I know that I can check them out again, put them on a special list, whatever, but (go ahead and laugh) I don’t want them to feel bad. UGH!

Whew, I feel better now. I probably won’t change, but isn’t the first step in solving a problem admitting you have one?!

Did I mention that I love books? Well, I do!

Today I am thankful

Today I am thankful that my parents let me read banned books, old books, over my age limit books, books that I should have outgrown, books that nobody else let their kids read, silly books, awful and trashy and horrible books, really just any books.

I am so thankful for their reading! My mom reads anything she can her hands on (and I was proud to be able to put a Kindle in her hands this year). My dad read magazines and trade publications and loved audio books on long car trips (he usually got the gist of it, but he never really paid much attention to the details).

They were readers. Now I am a reader. I get to inspire others to read.

THAT TOTALLY ROCKS!

Today I am thankful for my awesome parents and their love of reading. That is a feeling that is better than all the Bling in the World!

Welcome to Books and Bling!

I love books! I love my Bling!

The two are together at last!