Thursday, July 30, 2009

Deadly Night by Heather Graham

I've been talking so much about BlogHer that I figured I should probably post about what the blog is really about--books!

Looking for something spooky to keep you awake at night? This first book of the Flynn Brothers Trilogy is just the thing! Heather Graham likes to write about New Orleans, and this book was no different. It's one of the best settings for a scary novel!

The Flynn Brothers, Aidan, Jeremy, and Zach inherited a plantation from a great-aunt that they didn't know about until she passed away. Kendall is a business owner and tarot card reader who cared for the brothers' great-aunt Amelia before her death.

There is a ghost story that goes along with the estate. During the Civil War, Flynn cousins reputedly killed one another in a fight over a woman. The woman threw herself off the balcony during the fight and was killed as well.

The Flynn brothers are all former FBI agents who now run a detective agency, among other pursuits. Aidan is intrigued when bones turn up on the property. At the same time, Kendall's tarot cards begin to come to life. The two work together to find the women that they discover are missing.

Heather Graham never fails to send shivers up and down my spine! I love reading about New Orleans, and it's absolutely the perfect setting for a scary novel. At the same time, Graham makes the paranormal believable for someone who definitely doesn't believe(but loves to read about it!). She also does a good romance, with neither the romance or paranormal aspect outweighing the other. The pacing is just right so that I don't want to put it down while I'm reading. It leads to a lot of late nights! I can't wait to read books two and three in this trilogy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back from BlogHer

I'm a little sad to be home. I'm a little happy to be home. I'm happy to be home because I no longer have to share a teeny double bed with my wonderful friend Heather. If I have to share my bed with someone, I'm glad it's her.

Wait. That came out wrong. You know what I'm trying to say. I thought about saying it differently, but it's just going to sound wrong no matter what!

My roommates were spectacular. Heather and I roomed with LeeAnn from The Butter Compartment and Julie from Mampedia who doesn't have her own personal blog. They were so interesting and such fun! I was a little worried about ending up with roommate drama, but there was none in sight!

I wish that I had gotten to meet more of the women at BlogHer, although I know it was impossible to meet all 1399 of the other women(and men) who were there. I have a pile of people whose blogs I need to read, who I need to follow on Twitter and who I need to email! I am sure it's going to occupy me for at least the next week. Probably much, much longer.

I have pages of ideas about posts for my blogs. I can't wait to start on them! I also had spectacular cheerleader on my car ride back from Chicago. There may be a possible new business enterprise for me that comes out of the weekend. All in all, it was an invigorating, exciting, inspiring weekend! I hope I can hang onto all the ideas and ephiphanies until I have time to sort through them all! Stay tuned for exciting new things at My Kingdom For a Book and my two new blogs, Churchsurfing (about local churches), and my blog about being single, Quirky Single Girl.

Oh, and bonus for you! A photo of me enjoying an alcohol-free mudslide from Quaker Oats at BlogHer '09!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Amazing BlogHer Conference

I can't say enough good stuff about BlogHer! I am enjoying myself SO much. I am way sleepy and ready to crawl into my bed, but I am energized mentally. Can you be energized inspirationally? If so, that definitely describes me.

I would love to have questions to ask some of the panelists, but I'm so busy taking in what these women are saying that I don't have enough brain power left over for questions! I've been to some really helpful sessions--Beginning Wordpress and a session about writing Op-Ed pieces. Ooops, is Wordpress a dirty word when I'm using blogger for my blog? Are they going to censor me? Hehe.

I really enjoyed the panel on feminist/pro-woman issues yesterday. It was really thought-provoking! I've always considered myself a feminist, but in a quiet sort of way. The panel made me feel like I should be more outspoken about my feminist leanings because the things that I and my fellow women do now have lasting repercussions/implications. We need to speak up so that the lives of the daughters that come after us are improved. I'll probably talk about that more over at my single woman blog: later on.

Last night's keynote was amazing. There were 15 or 20 women whose work was selected from quite a few applicants. These women got up and read in front of the community. There were women talking about food as love, about having a child with special needs, about the death of a child, about fear of medical professionals, about infertility. It was amusing, moving, heart-rending. I rarely ever cried, but these women made me cry!

This morning we had a celebrity panel talking about media, blogging, advertising, etc. There was Ilene Chaiken who created the TV show The L Word, Donna Byrd who runs a new site with a focus on African-Americans called, and Tina Brown from Beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, women who are leaders.

BlogHer is made of awesome!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blogging from BlogHer 09!

We finally made it to the Sheraton in Chicago last night. The trip was supposed to take 6 hours, and ended up taking 9 or 10! We got stuck behind a tour bus wreck on I-65 in Indiana, and then in Chicago traffic at rush hour. After that, we had bad directions to get to the Sheraton and had to ask innocent bystanders how to get there! I felt like I had a big "Tourist" tattoo on my forehead! Not that I really mind--I AM a tourist!

We registered and got our room with no problem, thankfully. We had a bit to eat at the very awesome Fox & Obel around the corner from the Sheraton. Think Whole Foods, but better. We hit up the People Party around 9 p.m. and partied for a while. I was going to go to the Room 704 party, but I heard they were out of swag bags. So, I hung out in my room and got to know my very awesome roomies!

I'm up and at 'em much earlier than I'm accustomed to, but I'm excited about today! Meeting new people, lots of awesome talks to choose from! More from BlogHer 09 later!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Follow me at BlogHer

I'm on my way to the 2009 BlogHer Conference in Chicago! I'll be learning more about blogging, meeting some awesome new friends/bloggers, and generally having a lot of fun! It may lead to new things at My Kingdom for a Book. Stay tuned for my thoughts, tips, and snippets about what's going on at the conference in the next few days!

My Reading Habits

My friend Christina had this over at her site! I liked it, so here are my answers!

01. Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
No, because I usually read in bed! Every once in a while, I get the munchies, so I eat in bed, too.

02. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
Write in a book??!! NEVER! I couldn't even write in my textbooks in college. It feels like I'm defacing the book.

03. How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I get paint strips at the local Wal-Mart that I use as bookmarks! I also have quite a few bookmarks that I've picked up at national parks throughout the U.S. on my road trips. I do hang books over the drawer in my night stand sometimes, too.

04. Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
A much heavier leaning toward fiction, but I love autobiographies as well. I like the idea of reading fiction, but I usually either buy or borrow a book from the library and run out of time to finish it. I like my reading entertainment!

05. Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy, definitely. I don't have the patience to listen to someone read a book.

06. Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
If it's holding my attention, I read to the end of the chapter. If I'm reading on the couch while I'm watching TV or something like that, I put it down whenever.

07. If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Honestly, I don't remember the last time I came across a word I didn't know during reading. If I did at this point, it would probably bother me enough that I would HAVE to look it up.

08. What are you currently reading?
A paranormal romance by Heather Graham. Getting ready to start an advanced reading copy of The Lost Throne by Chris Kuzneski that I am VERY excited about.

09. What is the last book you bought?
James Rollins' latest, The Last Oracle

10. Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
Multiple books, usually. I try to focus on one at a time, but it doesn't always work.

11. Do you like re-reading books?
Only my favorites! Most books I read are one-timers, but I do have some favorites that

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately. Nothing was really standout, other than Jim Butcher's Dresden Files. If you haven't read these, please, please, please pick them up! They are absolutely fantastic. Turn Coat is the most recent of Butcher's series, number 11! I am seriously impressed by Butcher's ability to keep his readers entertained book after book. This book was just as good as the first, in my opinion.

The Major Players:

Harry Dresden, professional wizard
Karrin Murphy, former lieutenant, current sergeant of Chicago PD's Special Investigations squad
Bob, Harry's air spirit advisor who lives in a skull in his basement
Mister, Harry's 30 pound cat who sometimes provides a corporeal body for Bob
Molly, Harry's apprentice
Mouse, Harry's St. Bernard-sized Temple dog
Thomas, a vampire of the White Court, feeding off the life essence of others during the sexual act
The naagloshi, a Native American skinwalker out to collect a bounty on Harry's head
The White Court, the Black Court, Blackstaff McCoy, the Merlin, and a score of others!

If you're going to start reading this series, go back to the beginning. There's so much back story that you're going to be seriously confused. There are a lot of characters whose lives intertwine with Harry's.

Harry is kind of a reluctant good guy, almost to the point of being a martyr. He has magic and considers it a responsibility of that magic to help those in need. He ends up battered, bruised, and broken in every book. I feel sorry for the guy. At the same time, he's the one I'd definitely want on my side if I found myself involved with the supernatural community. On top of that, he just seems like the nicest guy. He's very chivalrous, but only somewhat in a chauvinistic way. He wants to protect all the people he cares about.

If you like the Harry Potter series, give the Dresden Files a try! I am sure you'll like it!