Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I am so techno illiterate ...

... So, the post that was supposed to be for yesterday was not because I am still hopelessly stupid with technology which led to me staring at the screen's error message for hours....

Anyway - onto Tuesday! (favourite day of the week!)

And we start off this fog fueled day (seriously - I couldn't see the top of the GM Renn Centre from the border...) with a plug! My good friend,Smithy, just made the next round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest! *applause* Everyone who knows her (and has read anything she's written) are both proud and not surprised - we all knew this girl will go far! :D Her novel is called "The Amulet of Osiris" and it is a twisty ghost story that brings in elements of Ancient Egypt, teen angst, unrequited (and near impossible) love, ghosts (of course!) and excellent prose. When it gets published (and it will) I highly recommend everyone go and buy a copy - I definitely will! Now for the links:
Here is a link to the Contest Homepage: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=332264011
Here is a link to her story And here is a link to an excerpt for her story:http://www.amazon.com/Amulet-Osiris-Excerpt-Breakthrough-ebook/dp/B003CV7RXW/ref=sr_1_142?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269962497&sr=1-142

Congratulations, Smithy!
Can't wait to see it adorning bookshelves everywhere!

The book of the day is:

A few notes on Christina Dodd: I adore her writing. I really do. I am introduced to her last Autumn in the form of her Darkness Chosen series - which I highly recommend and might do a post on soon, just because I adore that series to death. Dodd herself is funny and fresh, her facebook page is full of her personality and she exudes a confidence and a friendliness that attracts people. Her writing is the same - and it is also gritty and rough, which I adore in female and male protagonists. Her female heroes are flawed - deeply flawed, the way it should be. And her male characters are also deeply flawed - and that makes their stories that much better.

This book is part of the "Texas Hearts" series - A series I only knew about after finishing this book (I know, I am so slow, sometimes). The basic premise is that a corrupt town (we are not sure how corrupt or exactly what happened yet) in Texas managed to separate 4 siblings, 7 years ago. The eldest was Hope - at 16, she was moved to an orphanage in Boston and has spent the last 7 years hardening her heart to the world, trying to find her siblings and working on a college degree. This is where we enter.

In Boston, 7 years later, there is welathy and cold businessman, Zach Givens. He hates technology and so he prescribes to an answering service that Hope works for. Falling in love with her voice and then herself when he meets her, he continues a lie that he is not himself, and is rather his own butler, because of Hope's prejudice towards rich people (on account of those corrupt officials in Texas).

You may be tempted to call it a typical romance, but it is so much more (in general, Dodd's books are so much more). the subplots are as follows: A corrupt jerk of a man whose company Zach just took over; Madame Nancini's desire to see Hope settled; Zach trying to figure out if his Aunt Cecily is having an affair; Hope's search for her siblings; Griswald (actual butler)'s search for Hope's siblings (on Zach's orders); A mysterious "Ma" who has Hope under her protection; A crooked accountant who screwed over a mobster; and, the lives and tribulations of other clients of the answering service.

Must say: The sex is awesome. Awesome. I love Dodd's sex scenes - they seem more real, more tempting. None of that "Women don't get aroused" or whatever - women like sex. I think that's an important thought to have and express.

The plot is actually quite complicated and the emotions run high. I particularly like the dialogue between Zach and his best friend, the lawyer (yes I am biased, lawyers) Jason, and especially the quotes from the hockey game (I will post these when I go home - I forgot my books there, on top of the stereo).

I also like the sense of family that Dodd puts into her books. There always seems to be this consideration of family or familial consequences. Her characters are defined in some parts, through their relationships to their families - whether they be blood ties, or a circle of friends that have become a family. She does a very good job of this. And with that comes a sense of the "bigger picture", which I think is why her series do so well - they have a semblance of the "big picture" throughout.

I also like that she includes epilogues and short stories that sum things up (she has these on her website by the way, find them at: http://www.christinadodd.com/ ). I think that an author who invests so much time and energy into developing real characters ought to be rewarded. And she does it so well, you'd have to agree with me.

I highly recommend this book - and all her others. She is a delight to read and I think everyone will take something from her books.

Thanks - see you tomorrow for the next installment!
Cheerio! :D

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