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Week in Review: What I’m Reading (and didn’t have time to read–because, hello–Baltimore Book Festival! 9-29-13)

I know, I know--finally going to take a look at the welcome sign on the last day. I get the irony.
I know, I know–finally going to take a look at the welcome sign on the last day. I get the irony.


Well, the Baltimore Book Festival is over, and we’re on our way back to the real world again. Sadly. But we did have an awesome time, talked and listened to lots of interesting people, and increased our TBR piles by…well, a lot. (That latter bit is a good thing, right? I’m going to say yes.)

So…not a ton of reading got done last week, but I’m planning on playing catch up on the long train ride back. As soon as I finish my post, that is.

I read and reviewed Ivy Entwined by Laura Simcox, a new-to-me author who I plan on reading again. I liked her quirky style. Since I’ve argued with flight attendants before about using ereaders during the ascent and descent (and since our flight was so short that’s practically all it was), I decided just to avoid the hoopla and read a print title, so I started Mary Balogh’s The Arrangement, which I am loving. It’s going to be hard to focus on work this week knowing it’s waiting for me. The hero is a blind war veteran. And he’s awesome.

I read the short YA novella (70 pages) The Dating Tutor by Melissa Frost over the weekend, and will be posting a review and an interview with the author tomorrow. It was a really cute debut. (But isn’t on Goodreads yet. I might have to sign up as a librarian and add it, gosh darn it.)

Next up I’ve got a handful of novellas to read for Entangled’s Ever After line–reviews to follow later on this week. In the meantime, check out the associated giveaways here.

On audio I finished Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren–fantastic finish, even though the ending was a bit problematic for me (I had a hard time getting past the she’s-his-intern part of the beginning), and I went right into the sequel novella, Beautiful Bitch It was okay, but not as satisfying as the first, since most of the darn good reasons for drama were missing. Since I finished that one a day too early for Meg Cabot’s new release, The Bride Wore Size 12, Mini Moe #2 decided it was time for me to start listening to Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Squad: Perfect Cover. It’s an entertaining YA cheerleader squad-masquerading as spies novel, which is good–but now Mini Moe #2 is more than halfway done with Bride and I can’t even start it yet. Grrrr. All part of her plan, I’m sure.

(Yeah, confirmed. She just stuck out her tongue in a very snotty way.)

Last day of the festival was awesome. Most of the panels we attended had to do with the craft of writing–there’s 32 days left until NaNoWriMo, after all–and they were all great. The first one was The Craft of Writing with Cristi Barth, Stephanie Draven, Jean Murray, Christie Kelley, and Kate Dolan. (No pic, because the photographer was at the Writing for Video Games discussion instead.) They had some really great information about how they write and general advice for writers. I’m determined to use Scrivener even more effectively this year because of it. I refuse to be cowed by the month of November!


Next up was The Part-Time Writer, which I missed the beginning of because I was chatting in the back of the tent. I still got some good ideas for time management–I’m seeing more lists in my future–and have hope that I’ll eventually finish a novel I actually like some day.

part time
The Part-Time Writer, with (L to R) Elisabeth Staab, Ann Arbaugh, Laura Wellig, Misty Waters, Robin Covington, and P.J. Schnyder

I wanted to sit for Writing the Hot Contemporary, but Mini Moe #2 wasn’t sure she could take it and we were both starving anyway so we met Mini Moe #1 and his uncle for lunch. We finished up just in time to catch Writing a Fiction Series, which both Mini Moe #2 and I were looking forward to.

Writing a Fiction Series, with (L to R) A.C. Arthur, Andrew Grey, Elisabeth Staab, Brigid Kemmerer, and Jean Murray


Mini Moe #2 was shocked to find out that A.C. Arthur doesn’t like puppies (“How can she not like puppies?” she asked, multiple times). I love reading books in a series, but suspect I’ll have to at least journey over to the dark side of the plotters if I’m going to write them.

Darn it.

Finally, Mini Moe #2 and I (MM#1 went back with his uncle), made our way over to the Literary Salon to prepare for the Meg Cabot/Jennifer Armentrout talk. If we made a slight detour by the Island Cow Ice Cream stand, no one will tell, right? We sat in for the very end of Jason Mott’s talk about his debut book The Returned (on my TBR list, because it sounds good and creepy) and then got front row seats for Meg. And Jen.

Meg and Jen II
Jen Armentrout! Meg Cabot! Live and in person!

Both authors were wonderful–funny, personable, and I wanted to run right home as soon as it was over and read (or re-read, as the case may be) every single thing they ever wrote. The BBF people were taping it, so if (when) they post it online and we find it, I’ll give a link. It was really a great talk.

Meg and Jen
We didn’t want it to end! Except that we had books (and a Kindle) for them to sign, which they weren’t going to do up on stage


Both authors recognized us from earlier in the weekend, but neither indicated that they felt like they were being stalked. (Phew!) And they were super nice about signing our things and chatting. We would absolutely go see either of them again anytime, anywhere. If only money were no object…but then that would probably be more stalker-like, wouldn’t it?

Probably better this way.

Hope your week is full of lots of great stuff to read–stay tuned, because this week’s posting schedule is busy!

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