Weekly Geeks 2009-12 … Link Love

This weeks assignment for Weekly Geeks is something I’ve been meaning to do for so long, but just never got around to. The idea is one that Dewey used in the very second edition of the original Weekly Geeks. So it’s super awesome that Chris chose this one for us all to take part in.

Here’s what we’re to do:

1. Write a post encouraging readers to look through your archives (if you have your reviews in a particular place on your blog, point them there), and find the books that they have also written reviews. Tell them to leave a link to their review on your review post. For example, I've written a review for Gods Behaving Badly and Jane Doe leaves a link to her review of Gods Behaving Badly in the comments section of my review.

2. Edit your reviews to include those links in the body of the review post.

3. Visit other Weekly Geeks and go through their reviews. Leave links for them.

4. Leave a note somewhere on your blog to let people know this is your new policy.

5. Write a post later this week letting us know how your project is going!

This is a big undertaking but as Dewey put it, it's 'community building'. Have fun!

I’m a bit late to this week’s project, but I plan to spend what’s left of the week looking through all fellow Geekers archives and linking up to any I’ve done. This is something I try to do whenever I post about books, because it’s a terrific way of providing exposure to a whole whack of opinions and perspectives. Normally I would just search out reviews from blog that I’m subscribed to in Google Reader. But I’ve just learned of a wonderful resource created by Nicki of Fyrefly’s Bookblog called the Book Blogs Search Engine. Testing it out I searched for the title of a book sitting on my TBReviewed pile using these search terms "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic"+ review and voila 2 pages of blog posts about this book!

And if, I’ve reviewed a book that you have too, but I don’t have a link to you – just let me know and I’ll add one. You can leave a comment on my blog, or send me a message at shiloki@gmail.com 

As I was looking through some of the Weekly Geek posts this week I was struck by this …

“please please please don't be shy about leaving links. The reason why I'm saying this is because I can feel reluctant about it myself. I worry that I'll look like a spammer, even though rationally I know there is no reason to.”  - Nymeth @ Things Mean A Lot

The reason why this made such an impression in my mind is because I’m incredibly shy, even when I post someone else’s link I’m worrying that it’s not appropriate, so the idea of commenting on someone’s review and saying “hey I reviewed this too – here is my post” nearly makes me break out in a sweat :P Anyways Nymeth said perfectly what I have been thinking lately. We review books not only for ourselves, but also as helpful guideposts for other readers – so the best thing we can do as a group of book geeks is share as many opinions as we can!

Here is a link to my master list of all the reviews I’ve posted - The Book Zombies Review List They are listed alphabetically by author’s last name and I try to keep it updated at least once a month.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

TSS: Weird, Wonderful, WTF?!

No words can express my love of Where The Wild Things Are

Most of those As Seen On TV products are usually not so hot, but the wonderfulness of the ShamWow is really unbelievable! These things really work, and with 2 teenagers, 2 dogs, 1 senile kitty and a man who leaves dishes everywhere(!) I’m always dealing with spills. But look at what I came across at The Smoking Gun (I’m dealing with an addiction to this site atm)

ShamWow Guy In Slap, Chop Bust
TV pitchman battered hooker in South Beach hotel room brawl

Apparently he paid for this woman’s services and things were going fine until she bit Vince’s tongue and wouldn’t let go. So he started hitting her to get free. And he’s charged with assault! I’m pretty sure if someone bit me, I’d be beating the hell out of them too. Especially if I’d paid ahead of time :P
Read the full story at The Smoking Gun

Vince Shlomi
Infomercial John

Sasha Harris
Man-Eating Prostitute

Twitter: It’s the new rage and I myself am pretty addicted. Some users only post random thoughts or goings-ons but others use it kinda like a giant chat-room. Both are useful in my opinion and I guess your enjoyment of the Twitterverse depends on what you personally want from the experience.

This morning I was reading an article entitled “Ego Tweeto, Ergo Sum” in the Globe and Mail, and it  brought up some thought-provoking questions about why people tweet such as a desire to feel a part of a community, a technological ADD or the more philosophical theory which I was really struck by – a fear not existing.

By using Twitter to let the world know what we are doing are we really just screaming out at the universe “@Universe Hey I just tied my shoelace! And if I just tied my shoe, then surely I do exist! Because without me that shoelace would still be da - Whoops gotta rememver that 140 character limit - cont. @Universe ..ngling there loose and my shoe would serve no purpose and then maybe it might all just be a figment of my imagination. Or maybe not, maybe I’m just letting my mind having a bit of fun :)

You can read the full article here:
The Globe And Mail - 3/28/09 - 'Ego Tweeto, Ergo Sum' 



And my latest rant: how do you feel about the new Facebook design and/or Facebook in general? It’s been a few weeks now since the new look was implemented, and I gave myself that long to decide – I really don’t like it. Actually, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that Facebook has lost a lot of it’s appeal. Sure it’s great for connecting with other people, but what gets me is that there are people I knew well, knew in passing or might remember slightly that send friend requests. That’s awesome for friends I’ve lost touch with but why on earth would I want to re-connect with people I didn’t get along with even when I knew them? I’ve gotten requests from people I’ve never spoken to, men from other countries who want to learn better English and lately spammers! Oh the spammers! Which is not a surprise considering how filled with flashy ads, pay for use applications and other crappy garbage is on the site. So that’s my rant, if I know you, talk to you, blog/tweet/email/IM with you, am related to you, whatever – sure send me a friend request. But – if you sat three rows over from me in jr. high math for 2 weeks and we never shared a single conversation – ask yourself if being connected on Facebook is anything more than you wanting a ginormous friends list to show off! Kthnxzbai!

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Kitty + Carrie + Contest

Yesterday was the official Carrie Vaughn / Kitty Norville blog tour, and it was awesome to see so many terrific posts about this great series that I’ve enjoyed reading so much. If you didn’t get a chance, make sure to take a look at all the participants that got together to celebrate these books.

I decided to break the rules and continue on with another day’s posting about the series. 6 books is a lot to talk about in just one day! In my last post, I blabbered on about why I liked this series and provided the book jacket summaries for books 1 through 5. So today I am going to present my thoughts on book 6 – Kitty Raises Hell – write a bit about the author – Carrie Vaughn – and then give you all a chance to win some books – Sound good? Okay here goes…

Too Darn Hot.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… except when it doesn’t. Kitty and Ben return to their werewolf pack in Denver only to discover an invisible evil that smells of brimstone and plays with fire has followed them home. Stalking the whole pack, it leaves a charred trail of ashes and death across the city.

Kitty seeks help from Rick, the master vampire of Denver, as well as from the paranormal investigators on a popular reality TV show. But when a mysterious vampire who claims to be a demon hunter – and the only one who can help them – suddenly arrives, Kitty and her allies won’t be able to predict what he really wants… or what they must do to extinguish the terror that can torch them all.

Kitty Raises Hell, is by far my favorite book of the series, so far! It starts off right from where Book 5 ended. Kitty returns to Denver, but she seems to return a stronger, more kick-ass Kitty. When her pack, family and friends are facing danger this time, it is apparent that all the crap that’s happened in the past has finally become enough for Kitty. She is clearly more confident and sure of herself this time. Which is cool, there’s been steady development in her character, but it’s here that we see the realization of just how powerful Kitty can become.

I don’t want to give away too much of what happens plot-wise, but there were a lot of things in this book that I really enjoyed. Action – again, I have to highlight the fact that the action sequences are terrifically played out. You never doubt that Kitty will pull through, but the scenes are still pretty intense. I also enjoy how more characters are introduced, as they have been steadily through the series. This series is very full of people, but the author is pulling them into the story in a way that is not overdone. All of the characters are given the right amount of focus to make them memorable and individual. Sometimes in a series with such a large cast, people seem to pop in and out and leave the reader wondering “hey who was that?” but it’s skillfully done here. The connections between the characters are  also great, in this book specifically, the way that Kitty feels about the ‘mysterious vampire’ is especially well done. It’s clear that Kitty is fighting internally about how this vamp can help them, and what is she willing to risk. Her feelings of being stuck between a rock and a hard place come through wonderfully. And I know I’m gonna sound like a total geek, but I loved the Paradox P.I. bits. I’m a sucker for those true haunting style reality shows, and I thought this was a great way to bring a bit of current pop culture into the series! 

Overall, an awesome read! Great follow-up to the Vegas vacation. I was a little worried about where the series would head after Kitty and Ben got married, but Carrie Vaughn pulled it off fantastically. Needless to say, I’ll be first in line for the next installment!

Author Bio: Carrie Vaughn had the nomadic childhood of the typical Air Force brat, with stops in California, Florida, North Dakota, Maryland, and Colorado. She holds a Masters in English Literature and collects hobbies-fencing and sewing are currently high on the list. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

While checking out Carrie’s blog, I came across the most awesome picture ever! Seriously how cool is this chick ----------->
Carrie Vaughn as Vampire Hunter! With Stakes!! Love it :)

BlogTalk Author Interview:


Author Blog: Filling The Well


Author Website: Carrie Vaughn.com

Author Essay: There are two essays by Carrie available for reading on her page at Hachette Book Group, I knew almost immediately that I wanted to share one because of this particular passage: “Everyone who's a lifelong reader has that book, that best friend they read as a teenager and still read because it feels like coming home.”  Feels like coming home – that’s exactly the feeling I get when re-reading a treasured book.

Books As Friends
by Carrie Vaughn

I've been thinking lately about the idea of books as friends. Maybe even best friends. When I was about 15, I read Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword for the first time. It's about a girl who is orphaned, uprooted from her home to move halfway around the world, where she discovers a mysterious foreign land full of magic, danger, and beautiful horses. Here, she becomes a warrior and saves the world, but more than that she finally finds a place where she belongs. This novel is custom made for slightly misfit, horse-crazy 15-year-old girls, and I was definitely a slightly misfit, horse-crazy girl (around this same time I broke my collarbone falling off a horse, and was back riding four weeks later). I've reread The Blue Sword almost every year since then. That's getting to be a lot of rereadings. Not only does this book make me happy--especially when I'm down, I can curl up with it and a cup of cocoa and retreat from my troubles--it's one of the books that made me want to be a writer. Harry was so real to me, I wanted her to step out of the pages and take me on her adventures. Since that wasn't going to happen, I wanted to write adventures of my own, and create characters who could also be friends, who could comfort me, cheer me up, and who I could root for and weep for.

This is an amazing thing. I'm constantly amazed by the power of words, of mere ink on the page, to evoke this kind of emotion, this feeling of loyalty I have for a character and a world that don't even exist. (The Blue Sword is at the top of the list of books I hope I have if I'm ever stranded on a desert island.) And it isn't just me. Everyone who's a lifelong reader has that book, that best friend they read as a teenager and still read because it feels like coming home.

It's such a cliché to talk about the power of literature. But we talk about it because it's true, and it includes the power to make a kid feel like she's not alone in the world, and that maybe she can make a difference, too.

Okay, one last thing… Carrie includes a special something at the beginning of each book. When I saw these somethings I thought it was such an amazing way of sharing the writing experience with the reader. So what Carrie does, is she includes a playlist at the start of every book. Not just any playlist though, it’s the music she found herself listening to as she wrote the Kitty books. How cool it that? Sharing her musical inspiration with us – I also like to think (in that geeky fan-girl part of my mind) that these songs are ones that Kitty would be playing on her radio station. I’m a big music nerd, so anything that exposes me to music or bands that I might not know of is wicked! To get an idea of how cool this is, here is the playlist for book 6 Kitty Raises Hell.

Kitty Raises Hell: The Playlist

Eric Burden & The Animals - “Paint It Black”
KT Tunstall - “Hold On”
Thompson Twins - “In The Name Of Love”
Pretenders - “Day After Day”
Oingo Boingo - “Just Another Day”
Squirrel Nut Zippers - “Soon”
The Cardigans - “Happy Meal II”
Abby Travis - “Blythe”
Duran Duran - “View To Kill”
They Might Be Giants - “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”
Garbage - “As Heaven Is Wide”
Cyndi Lauper - “All Through The Night”

And now, here is your chance to win some Kitty books of your own! I’ve got a couple books to offer everyone and a couple of ways to earn some extra entries. First here is what’s up for grabs:

3 people will win a copy of the newest Carrie Vaughn book Kitty Raises Hell!


1 Lucky person will win all 6 books in the Kitty Norville series!

Here’s how you can enter:

  • For your first entry – Just let me know you want to enter by leaving a comment.
  • +1 extra entry – If you could shape-shift into any animal, which would you choose?
  • +1 extra entry – Blog about this contest – side bar is fine.
  • +1 extra entry – Do you follow or subscribe? Let me know.
  • +3 extra entries – This is the big question – Zombies take over the world do you barricade yourself in the house, run to the nearest shopping mall, or grab some weapons and bash some brains?

Complete all five things and get 7 chances to win! You can use multiple comments for each entry or just one comment for all – but please be sure to state how many entries you have qualified for and make sure that I have some way to contact you should you win. Leaving your email is the best way – just format it like this ‘whoever [at] email [dot] com’ to fool any spam-bots.

This giveaway is open to anyone with a US or Canada mailing address.
(Sorry no P.O. Boxes) 
Winners will be notified by email and must respond with mailing address.
Books will be mailed by
Hachette Book Group directly.
Entrants may only win one prize. Winners are chosen at random.

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Howl At The Moon with Kitty!

If you spend much time in the book-blogosphere, you may have noticed that Carrie Vaughn and Kitty Norville have been making a lot of appearances around town. That’s because two brand new Kitty books hit the shelves recently. Ohhh you don’t know who Kitty is? Well, she’s this awesome character from a series of books – now genre-wise I would call this series Urban Fantasy, I’ve heard some refer to it as paranormal romance and others consider it strictly fantasy. But these books are really hard to classify since they contain so many different elements. Okay, back to Kitty – first of all, she’s got this cool job that allows her to stay up all night listening to rock’n’roll (dreamy job eh?) but for Kitty her job allows her to hide out who she really is. She’s a werewolf! A very feisty werewolf, who wants to build a better, safer community for all the supernaturals out there. Really, why should they all have to hide themselves away from the world? They live ordinary lives just like all the humans, well with a couple differences but those can be worked out. Oh and the supernatural community – it’s not just werewolves – there are all kinds of shapeshifters, skinwalkers, vampires, fey, jinn, psychics, magicians – well, you get the picture!

Okay back to Kitty, even though her job sounds like fun she gets sick and tired of cueing up crappy old songs night after night. One night she starts talking, about weird things that might go bump in the night, and apparently the things that may be doing the bumping are listening, because her show suddenly gains a huge following. Kitty starts to think that this is the perfect way for people like her to search out help and The Midnight Hour is born. Humans and paranormals go nuts over Kitty and pretty soon she’s a superstar for her kind.

However, Kitty soon learns that bringing herself into the spotlight exposes her whole community to the world and pretty soon the entire world is a mix of humans and non-humans. This brings up a lot of issues for both sides and Kitty finds herself in the position of non-official supernatural spokesperson, whether she likes it or not. 

So, now that the big secrets out, there’s the politics to deal with. This part of the series is simply amazing. Author Carrie Vaughn has gone above and beyond showing that her world-creation skills are top-notch. Everywhere you look there is some sort of political manoeuvring, along with the human system, Kitty will also discover the dangers of the various were pack’s hierarchy, the problems dealing with power-hungry vampires and somehow all these separate entities are going to have to work out their problems and come to an understanding that allows everyone to co-exist. Gonna be lots of shuffling and toe-stepping to solve this one.

Now, we’ve got Kitty, characters, politics… ahhh right, of course – action! Lots and lots of action! Talking about a series of books without spoilers is just a tad difficult, especially when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it. But let me assure you, each chapter of Kitty’s story is chock-full of crazy battles, skirmishes and yeah ok sometimes a girl’s gotta turn tail and run – but Kitty only comes back at her enemies twice as vicious. And when you’ve always got bounty hunters on your butt and dark nasties plotting your destruction, you’re bound to get a bit cranky.

Don’t worry though, because even with all these bad guys and gals giving Kitty crap, she’s got all she can handle of sexy hotties looking her way. This is normally a good thing, but Kitty attracts trouble like there’s no tomorrow, so of course there’s a fair share of relationship problems in her life. But Kitty’s a smart, take charge type of woman and she’ll figure it all out.

So that’s what’s got everyone buzzing lately. This is by far one of the most fun, most well thought out series’ I’ve read lately. I love that it crosses so many divides genre-wise, my reading taste is all over the place, but I’ve always loved paranormal stories that feature a strong, funny female lead without falling into that romantic suspense stereo-type. That’s my take on the Kitty Norville series, and this is a series of books best read in order so I’ve listed below the books in their correct order.

Vampires. Werewolves. Talk Radio.

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station – and a werewolf in the closet. Sick of lame song requests, she accidentally starts “The Midnight Hour,” a late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged.

After desperate vampires, werewolves, and witches across the country begin calling in to share their woes, her new show is a raging success. But it’s Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may have bitten off more than she can chew.

Werewolves Do It Better.

The country’s only celebrity werewolf, late-night radio host Kitty Norville prefers to be heard, not seen. But when she’s invited to testify at a Senate hearing on behalf of supernaturals, her face gets plastered on national TV.

Kitty’s been in hot water before, but jumping into the D.C. underworld brings a new set of problems. And  a new set of friends and enemies, including the vampire mistress of the city; an uber-hot Brazilian were-jaguar; and a paranoid, bible-thumping senator who wants to expose Kitty as a monster. Kitty quickly learns that in this city of dirty politicians and backstabbing pundits, everyone’s itching for a fight.

All Work And No Play Makes Kitty A Dull Girl.

After getting caught turning wolf on national television, Kitty retreats to a mountain cabin to recover and write her memoirs. But this is Kitty, so trouble is never far behind, and instead of Walden Pond, she gets Evil Dead.

First someone leaves grotesque animal sacrifices on her front porch to curse her, then werewolf-hunter Cormac shows up with an injured Ben O’Farrell, Kitty’s lawyer, slung over his shoulder. Two hotties and one Kitty in a single-room cabin – can the situation get more tense? When a wolf-like creature with glowing red eyes starts sniffing around the cabin, Kitty wonders if any of them will get out of these woods alive…

Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again?

Kitty’s radio show is as popular as ever and she has a boyfriends who actually seems to understand her. Can she finally settle down to a normal life? Not if this is just the calm before the storm.

When her mother falls ill, Kitty rushes back to Denver – and right back to the abusive werewolf pack she escaped a year ago. To make matters worse, a war is brewing between the city’s two oldest vampires, threatening the whole supernatural community. Though she wants to stay neutral, Kitty is again drawn into a world of politics and violence. To protect her family, her lover, and herself, she’ll have to choose sides. And maybe become what she hates – a killer.

Honeymoon In Vegas?

Already the alpha pair of Denver’s werewolf pack, Kitty and Ben now plan to tie the knot human-style by eloping to Vegas. Kitty is looking forward to sipping fru-fru drinks by the pool and doing her popular radio show on live TV, but her hotel is stocked with werewolf-hating bounty hunters.

Elsewhere on the Strip an old-school magician might be wielding the real thing; the vampire community is harbouring a dark secret; and the irresistible star of a suspicious animal act is determined to seduce Kitty. Sin City has never been so wild, and this werewolf has never had to fight harder to save not only her wedding, but her very life.

So check out the other stops on the Kitty Blog Tour to read more reviews, see some guest posts and maybe you’ll come across author Carrie Vaughn out there too!

And check back here later, when I will be talking about Book 6 Kitty Raises Hell, sharing some Midnight Hour fun and announcing a pretty sweet giveaway  (^_^) \m/

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

TSS: On Things That Run Astray…

Happy Sunday everyone, I hope you’ve all enjoyed your weekend – or if you’re in Atlantic Canada like me, maybe you’ve been enjoying a wonderful March (Spring) Break! Normally our March Break plans include a trip of some sort – the hubs likes to take the boys to see the hockey games in Montreal, or sometimes we just pack up the car and drive with no destination in mind, just to get away, relax, not have to worry about the everyday things. Not this year though, with the boys getting older it seems like planning holidays is going to become more complicated. My youngest wanted to spend the week hanging out with friends, my oldest went on his first *gasp* date, and the hubs, well he’s been in bed all week recovering from a step-back in an ongoing back injury – he hurt his back about 15 years ago playing high school rugby and after 10 years of work in new home construction his back isn’t as strong as it should be, but he’s a very fitness minded guy so that helps a lot with managing these occasional set-backs. So what did I do this week? Along with my regular job at the bookstore, I also played nurse-maid, taxi driver and yeah okay I relaxed a bit too :) Oh and I started putting together my university application package for the Fall – weee so exciting to think I will be back to school after the summer!

But with all that was going on these past few days, of course there were things that got overlooked. The most important thing, that made me so sad was realizing that the packages for my giveaway of The Book Of Negroes, somehow got left in the trunk of my car when I went to the post office :( So sorry guys, but I will be mailing them out as soon as I get off work Monday afternoon. And on a related note, one of the winners, Alyce contacted me to let me know she had already won a copy in another giveaway – lucky girl! And she said for me to go ahead and draw another winner – what a sweet lady! And after consulting Random.org, the new winner is Jeanne of Dog Ear Diary – whom I’m sending an email to asap. Congrats Jeanne and thanks again to Alyce for being so thoughtful. Teddy Rose & John Mutford, I apologize again for my forgetfulness and you should have your books soon.

The other thing that got away from me was my reviews, I started out 2009 with a goal of keeping my reading and reviewing pretty equal – but obviously that’s not working so far – so now I move on to Plan B – no more new books until reviews are caught up on! Yup I’m banning myself, except from the library – I’m putting my foot down, but c’mon what is life without the library ;)

It’s not that I have any problems with writing the reviews, I’m just lazy. And Twitter, WoW, Facebook and all that other crap are no help either – lol! Anyways, I’m going to list the books here that are waiting patiently in my drafts folder – oh and hey if you wanna help out I’ve got an idea! Well actually I’m stealing it from one of the Weekly Geeks assignments Dewey handed out awhile back. Here’s what I would love y’all to do – if there are any books in the list that you wanna know something about, just ask me in the comments or send me an email if you want. It can be a question about anything, the book, the author, the cover, why I read it in the first place, what my dogs do if I set the book in front of them etc. That would be such an awesome help to me, I want to write about books in a way that interests everyone – So what do you want to know?

Books I Need To Review
Click on covers for more information.

See, that there is 20 books – I’ve only read 50 so far this year – so according to my calculations (which was harder for me to figure out than the going tip rate) I’ve yet to review 40% of the books read so far this year. And that is pretty pathetic – so help me out by asking a question and consider it your good deed for the day :)

Finally one of the songs I listen to all the time, Weighty Ghost by Nova Scotian band Wintersleep 

© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.