The reason the blog has been a dead zone is because I spent most of last week traveling. First, visiting my sister, then spending time in San Francisco for the ALA conference (more on that in a bit). It also kicked off what is promising to be a very busy summer for me. Next up? RWA.
Romance Writers of America conference is heading back to New York City. The first time since 2011, also affectionately known as Wendy's Librarian of the Year year (and no, I never get tired of pimping out that award even though it's been four years. I earned it folks. I'll be tooting that horn until I'm dead. And even then I might come back as a ghost and toot some more.)
I'm a terrible hostess, but do think it's nice to set aside a time for a bunch of us who kick around online together to meet up at the conference. So if you've got nothing going on after the big Literacy Signing on Wednesday, July 22 - stop by the conference hotel bar to have some drinks and laughs.
I'll be kicking around the entire conference, including speaking at Librarians Day (again) - so if you see me, come on up and say howdy. I'll teach you the secret librarian handshake.
Even if you can't attend the entire conference, if you're in the area please DO attend the Literacy Signing. It's awesome, open to the general public, is free of charge, and the only cost to you is any books you buy at the event.
Book Binge. I'm featured in their awesome Five Books Everyone Should Read feature. Go on over. See me pimp out books.
Speaking of books, by sheer dumb luck I seem to have had a couple of highly touted new releases fall in my lap. You know, on top of the giant pile of ARCs already living on my Kindle. Long-time readers of this blog already know that I don't read a ton of bestselling romance. I lap up categories. I devour midlist historicals. I'm reading erotic romance written by people not named EL James. But there are two releases coming up that even I, Wendy who ignores most bestsellers outside of work, am curious about.
The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward. I read exactly one Black Dagger Brotherhood book (the second one) and while I saw the attraction for other readers, it wasn't for me. Mostly because of the insipid dialogue (you feel me?) and heroines (all the complexity of wet dish rags). Plus I'm not a huge paranormal reader, so it was easy for me to move on. But this series? It sounds like Dallas and Dynasty got together and had a baby. I am, without a doubt, an unrepentant sucker for soap operas. The trashier, the better. I put myself on the waiting list at work, but shot for the moon asking for a copy via NetGalley - which Penguin actually approved for me. So I have to try this. We'll see how far I get. Will I DNF or finish it? Will Ward's writing ticks drive me insane? Only time will tell.
Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas. Now I'm not a huge squee'ing Kleypas fan girl. I've liked some of her books. But she's been away from historicals for five years. If you look at the genre in the past couple of decades (at least) - when a historical romance author goes contemporary, they rarely come back. Kleypas is coming back (although yes, she's obviously still working on her contemporaries). So naturally I cannot help but be curious, but figured that with all the anticipation that Avon would probably have a tighter rein on advanced copies. So imagine my shock (literally, shock) when while wandering around ALA last weekend I saw a giant pile of Kleypas ARCs at the Harpercollins booth.
A giant pile.
And yes, I realize this is a horrible tease - but unlike some conference attendees, I try not to be an ass. I took three. And I felt like an ass taking the three. One for a librarian at the conference stuck in a workshop, one for me, and one for KristieJ. Because I could NOT not get one for Kristie. Look up Squee'ing Kleypas FanGirl in the romance dictionary and there's Kristie. It was my civic duty. Plus, you know, she's my RWA roommate. If I didn't get her an ARC she would have probably smothered me with a pillow.
So yeah. Sorry to be a tease everybody else. But thank you to Harpercollins for being nice to romance reading librarians. Because really, it was a lovely surprise to see those ARCs.
I'm slowly beginning to get my reading mojo back (thank you Charlotte Stein - review to follow), which is a good thing since I have a ton of books waiting for me. Westerns, Harlequin Historicals, the above mentioned Ward and Kleypas. Lots to read, little time to actually do it. Story of my life.