#Review: My Last Blind Date, by @SusanHatler

My Last Blind DateTitle: My Last Blind Date (Better Date than Never #3)
Author: Susan Hatler
Rating: 5/5 stars

“It’s Valentine’s Day and Rachel Price has a choice: Stay home and watch TV with her loveable doggy or let her best friend, Ellen, set her up on a blind date. What to do….

Ellen says the guy is a “10,” but the last guy she set her up with was a “–5.” Rachel’s been flirting with coworker Noah Peterson and she’s hoping he’s noticed. Then, she finds out Noah has big plans. Even worse, he advises Rachel to go on the blind date!

Should she play it safe and spend the Hallmark holiday with her loyal pooch, Chester, or risk another dating disaster by trying yet again for love?” (description from Goodreads)

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*I’d like to preface this review with a quick, funny note: this review was originally written (and posted on both Goodreads and Amazon) back in October of 2012 when I read the story. For some strange reason…I failed to post it here on the blog (as I’m seeing when I searched my Susan Halter reviews tonight). So, for my blog readers, here’s my review of a great little romance. I’ll also post a link to the other story from Hatler I read below and will be reading more in the series soon, as I’ve missed her writing.*

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This was a great story. My second of Hatler’s that I’ve read and now I want to read all of her work. It was a light romantic read. The character’s were great and well developed for a short story. I was left very content at the end which is also a plus.

I was left with a smile on my face after debating what was going to happen next with Rachel in her search, or lack there of, for romance.

If you’re looking for something quick and heartwarming, this might be a good story to check out.

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If you’d like to check out my review of Love at First Date, the first book in the Better Date than Never series, you can find that post HERE.

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If you’d like to purchase a copy of My Last Blind Date, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

SUSAN HATLER is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, who writes humorous and emotional contemporary romance and young adult novels. Many of Susan’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, and Italian. A natural optimist, she believes life is amazing, people are fascinating, and imagination is endless. She loves spending time with her characters and hopes you do, too.

For more:

Warm Memories – A new #poem

Today’s post is a new poem I wrote about two weeks ago while out on a walk in the woods. Fall comes early where I live. The leaves have been starting to change for over a month now. Aside from winter, fall is one of my favorite seasons.

You may recall an announcement from last year in which I mentioned that I was working on a new collection of poetry. As you probably were able to tell…nothing came out of it. Well, I haven’t forgotten about it. That collection has some work to throw into it, and this poem will probably be in there too (if no one thinks it’s the worst thing I’ve written). It’s just that I haven’t been able to write much in the last year or more. I’m hoping that more of these random bouts of inspiration hit me so I can work on this collection more. Fall plays a big part in the theme, so this is the best time of year to work on it more. Time will tell. For now, here’s my newest poem Warm Memories. I hope you enjoy. I also added a photo I took a few days ago looking down the valley at a colorful section of trees. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments, and let others know about it if you like it. We all need to be exposed to as much poetry as we can. It’s healthy ;)

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*please note that this poem is still a work in progress and hasn’t undergone final revisions at time of posting*

Warm Memories

 

Falling leaves
fill our noses,
not with decay
but with warm memories.

Piling leaves
jumping in

Picking apples
and baking pies.

Morning walks
through crisp air.

through crisp air.

The world is quilted in warm hues,
the canvas of summer painted over.
Soon the wood stove scent will fill the air
and wearing sweaters will be for more
than fashion.

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Social Butterfly…I Am Not, Part 2

If you’ve been following along with the blog and my social media the last week, you know that I went to my first book event on Saturday (the 20th). Today’s post is the second part of my recap of the event. If you missed yesterday’s part 1, you can find that HERE.

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When we last left our hero, he was deep in the bowels of the beast…The Chapter by Chapter Book Rave. He was knee-deep in a crowd of readers and authors with only a few familiar faces to keep him afloat…

Ok, enough with being overdramatic. Yesterday’s post touched on the fact that I only went up to two authors out of all that were at the event. Did I know other authors? Well, not really. I knew of a majority of them, and I knew of their books (either by name, cover, or both)…but that’s really all. I don’t meet people easily. Wait, that’s somewhat untrue. I can be outgoing to strangers, but when it’s dealing with my “professional” self, it’s not the same. It’s harder to do and I actually need to pay attention. I can’t just go on auto-pilot and act like someone who I’m really not. Blah blah…

So I didn’t go up to any other authors and I’m regretting that now. There was one author there who I’d actually read a book from over the winter and wanted to go up to. I listened to the audio for Incarnate by Jodi Meadows during the months of audiobook listening/snow shoveling this year. I enjoyed the book and will get to reading the next two in the trilogy when I can. I also tried to use it as a selling point to get a friend to come to NY for the signing. C.J. Listro, who’s been on the blog a few times, LOVED Meadows’ series. She’d have been a better candidate to meet the author. Me, I saw Jodi at her table. No one was standing there at the time, and I could have walked up and said…hi? Probably my best bet. I chickened out a bit. But at least I saw her in person. I’m pretty sure I’d only have been able to say “Hi, I enjoyed your book and love the cover.” Not sure I could elaborate much more. I’m still not good at vocalizing why I enjoy books.

Funny addition to that part of the adventure is that on Monday I tweeted to C.J. that I didn’t get the nerve to go up to Jodi…and then Jodi replied to the tweet and we had a short conversation about the event. Apparently (I knew this already) I am very open and easy to talk to on Twitter (and anything dealing with typing, not speaking). Maybe now I’ll go up to Jodi next time I meet her. I have a fun thing to laugh about now.

Another author I should have said hi to was Megan Erickson. No, I haven’t read her books yet, but her table was RIGHT next to Chelsea M. Cameron’s where I was standing for a good amount of time. I should have just introduced myself like any civilized person should do, and gotten to know more about her books and all those things you talk about at book events. Nope. Didn’t do that. I’m a dumbass.

Similar to my interaction with Jodi Meadows, I also had a Twitter conversation with Megan. I came home from the event and was like “Well, maybe I should at least find some of these authors online and check out their books more.” So I found Megan Erickson on Twitter and knew I had friends who’ve enjoyed her work. I’ve seen her covers around on their blogs and tweets. That’s normally how I start following people anyway. That word of mouth stuff.

So, I started following her. Not too long after, Megan follows me back. Always a good sign. Then this morning when I had some time, I took a look at her books and grabbed a copy of her first book Anchor Me (I always find it good to start with the debut). Tweeting that out started a conversation between us about the event. Again, so much easier online. But yea, another missed opportunity. Megan seems like a person I’d get along well with. Lesson learned!

There’s a moral here. That moral is basically to suck it up and say hi. In my experience online, authors don’t bite unless you bite first. That transfers to real life too. I’m basing that off of the fact that I witnessed no biting at the event from either side of the tables…but I didn’t check the dark corners or vampires, so who knows. Is that moral easy to put into action? Nope, I knew the moral before walking in there. With one event under my belt, I think it’ll be easier next time and I do hope there’s a next time. That’s the bottom line really. I want to go to more. I want to meet Chelsea and Tiffany again. I want to meet more of these authors who are only mythical creatures in the world of “The Interwebs” (story idea? Fantasy with a cyber/sci-fi twist?). Maybe next event I’ll be on the other side of the table, and be able to intimidate the readers…MWUAHAHAHAHA!

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Let’s end this post with what you all really want to see…the booty I collected from the event! Regretfully, it’s not a HUGE pile of booty because as you read, I didn’t go up to more than two authors, but the pile is very special to me. That’s what counts in the end.

Let me start with the signed books I came home with. My signed book collections is larger than I realize sometimes. Many of those are from Tiffany King. But it’s not a complete set…yet. I’m lucky enough to have walked out with three more Tiffany King signed books from CBC. One of the books I brought from home was Misunderstandings, which I went to a B&N to buy because I wanted to buy it from a physical store. It’s the first time I’ve been able to buy a book from an author I know from a store. It was also the first time I walked into a B&N in over 6 years. Sacrifice and all that jazz, for the love of books. Tiffany, since she’s the nicest person I’ll ever know, signed a copy of The Write Stuff for me, as well. I also made sure to go buy a copy of No Attachments while I was there. Here they are, all signed and pretty:

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BONUS: Here’s how Tiffany signed my copy of No Attachments…(see pic with Chelsea below for further explanation. Also if you still don’t know what GG is, wait until October 1st and you’ll know for sure.)

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Now, with that link, here are the books from Chelsea that I got. I brought My Favorite Mistake and My Sweetest Escape from home. I’d bought those two special MONTHS ago in order to have them ready for this event. The other three, Deeper We Fall, Faster We Burn, and UnWritten, my girlfriend bought me when we were at the event for an anniversary present. I got her a necklace, she gets me pretty books. Everyone wins! Now I own five signed books from Chelsea, to Tiffany’s eight. They’re both going to make my signed shelves overload.

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Aside from signed books, I left with more swag from Tiffany King than I know what to do with. I already have A LOT in a box with my other swag. But who can refuse even more? And there are new items, like the buttons! One day I’m going to walk around handing people some bookmarks to push King’s work on more people. I’ll be a walking business card for her.

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Tiffany also gave me these cool mini-posters that I have to go buy frames for:

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And in pure Tiffany King fashion…here’s a very unique piece of swag. It’s a tile with part of the first page of Wishing For Someday Soon (my FAVORITE one of her books) attached to it. Once I buy a little stand for it, I’m going to keep it on my desk (once I clear off space and stacks of books).

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Lastly, to end this recap on the best note possible, here are the (very few) pics I took while there.

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Chelsea M. Cameron and I…I made sure to make a face since Chelsea doesn’t like taking pictures. Figured I’d look like a weirdo so she didn’t have to.

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Tiffany King and I, together for the first time…FINALLY!

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Tiffany, myself, and Shana (of A Book Vacation)

Social Butterfly…I am Not: I Survived my 1st Book Event

As I mentioned last Friday, I was going to be attending my first book event on Saturday. Well, today’s Tuesday, and as you may have figured by now I survived it.

The Chapter by Chapter Book Rave was an event I was waiting most of 2014 for. (Maybe even longer than that, but I forget when I first got word about it.) With the wait came the anticipation for finally meeting many authors who I’ve socialized with for years online, many have been online friends since I started this blog.  It should be noted that I don’t do crowds well and also I’m not great at meeting people…especially when that’s in a crowded room and “fangirling” is a ready reaction to meeting an author whose book I’ve enjoyed. Both of these things together means I was in for a fun experience. Luckily I had my girlfriend with me, so I didn’t have the option to chicken out fully.

Overall going to the event was a success, even though I only really talked to two authors out of…MANY. I had planned on meeting at least five. They were all authors I socialize with regularly on Facebook and Twitter, and I’d be comfortable with enough to just walk up to them and feel awkward. Sadly, one of them had to cancel last-minute. Another was there, but I somehow didn’t find her table. (We talked on Facebook an hour or so later discussing this. I’m thinking I probably even walked passed the table multiple times without noticing…I get tunnel vision sometimes and overlook things.) And yet another author was there…somewhere. I think at the time I found her table, she happened to have stepped away for a moment. She could even have been roaming around and circling the rooms without bumping into each other. This is what I have to put up with for not being a social butterfly. If I were more straightforward and all that, I’d have hunted these authors down.

Luckily, out of all the “I MUST Meet” authors, the two I especially needed to meet were there (no offense to the rest of you, really). The first was Chelsea M. Cameron. I spotted her almost immediately upon entering the “New Adult” room, and surprisingly didn’t hesitate to walk over…too much. I’ve known Chelsea since around July of 2012 when I was doing my Indie Week celebration. She did a post for that event. It’d be interesting to see if I could maybe get her to do a follow-up to that. Chelsea’s writing career has really skyrocketed in these last two years. Having two years of online experience was a bit more helpful than I expected. I’ve never met someone I only knew from the internet before. I figured it’d be like meeting the person for the first time. We don’t all act the same way behind a computer screen as we do in the real world. I know I don’t, not exactly. I was proven wrong. It felt so natural to start a conversation when I walked up to the table and it turns out Chelsea is even cooler than I thought.

Who was the other author I went up to? This should be no surprise…it was Tiffany King! If I left CBC without seeing her, I’d be disowned by no less than 50 people on the interwebs and probably would end up crying in the corner for weeks. Again, it was almost totally natural to stand there talking to the USA Today Bestseller and one of my top 5 authors, Tiffany King. BUT, I was still very star struck. I’ve known Tiffany from around the time Wishing For Someday Soon came out in March of 2012. So a little longer than Chelsea. After reading WFFSI was hooked, but I also eventually became friends with the author…great friends. For those who don’t really know Tiffany, to sum her up nicely, she’s probably the nicest person I’ve met…ever. I already had this opinion of her before going to CBC, but in person my suspicions were confirmed. I had such a great time talking with her. What was also great was that her daughter came to the event, too. I don’t know Ash very well, but I’m going to count her as the third person I met. And she’s probably an even bigger reader than I am. I was jealous of the stack of books she had with her. Mine looked tiny (you’ll see mine in tomorrow’s post).

Was going to the Chapter by Chapter Book Rave all I thought it would be and more? Definitely! Even though, as I said, I only got the nerve to talk to two authors, it was those two interactions that have become the highlight of my bookish summer…my bookish year. I didn’t enjoy having to leave when it was over. Leaving two friends you just met and hung out with for the first time is never easy. But for being my first event, I’m happy that it was Tiffany and Chelsea that were there to be part of the experience.

I’m hoping that this event happens next year, and that I get the chance to go. This is the first event that’s been within a reasonable traveling distance for me (five minutes from my girlfriend’s apartment, though 3.5 hours from my house). It’s not an opportunity that comes around as often as I’d like. Next time I’ll  have to put more effort into interacting with other authors. But there’s more to that, and I’ll try to briefly talk about that in tomorrow’s follow-up post. It’ll also include pictures of the signed books and swag that I got while I was there.

Hope you come back again tomorrow, and that I didn’t bore you with my ramblings today. I’m still trying to sort out my reaction to the event in my head. It was an overwhelming weekend.

Please, in the comments, feel free to share your experience at book events you’ve gone to. If you haven’t gone to any, are there any you would like to attend?

#CoverReveal: For Now, by @Chel_C_Cam

FOR NOW

Rules of Love #2

by Chelsea M. Cameron

For Now

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Releases Fall 2014

Two people. A one-night stand. What could go wrong?

Javier Cruz definitely isn’t relationship material, but that suits Hazel Gellar just fine. She’s not a relationship girl and doesn’t plan on ever being one.

But after a mind-blowing, panty-ripping, bed-breaking night, she knows once isn’t going to be enough. Fortunately, Javi feels the same way. Soon, what started as just one night turns into a lot of nights, and Hazel doesn’t know what to do.

Will she and Javi make the choice to be together for longer than just right NOW?

*Please note that this isn’t the official, final description for the book*

This book doesn’t release until later this year, but since it’s book two in Cameron’s Rules of Love series, that means you have time to read book one still (if you haven’t already, of course). If you still need to read For Real, you can find more about that here:

Goodreads

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

About the Author:

Chelsea M CameronChelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare, and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.

Find out more:

I’m Going to My First Book Event….EVER tomorrow!

Tomorrow, September 20th, I’ll be going to my first book event ever. Surprisingly, even though I live in New York, there aren’t many events that come my way. No, I don’t live in New York City, but in the real land of New York, the state itself. I’m roughly 3-4hrs north of the city and the book culture up where I’m from isn’t that great. Even if I were closer to NYC, there aren’t that many events to go to for authors I socialize with and read. Book Expo America is probably the only big event that I know has happened in NYC all year, and I don’t think I’ll ever bother going there. Too many people, too much crazy, too expensive for my wallet. But it looks like fun at the same time.

So what’s this event that I’ve finally been able to make it to? It’s the Chapter by Chapter Book Rave which is being held in New Rochelle, NY…just north of The Bronx. The fact that my girlfriend lives in New Ro (less than 2 miles from the event itself) and our anniversary was on the 16th, it all worked out perfectly. I couldn’t pass up going.

What’s so great about this event is that it’s HUGE and filled with authors I’ve been wanting to meet for years. The authors I’ve most looking forward to meeting are names you’ve all seen on the blog in the past. I’ll be meeting Tiffany King, Chelsea M. Cameron, Heidi McLaughlin, Rachael Wade, Laura Howard, and many more…and many bloggers/readers as well. I have some books with me to get signed, and will hopefully be leaving with at least one or two new books for my collection.

I’m not sure what to expect at the event. I know it’ll be crowded and a lot of fun, but that’s all I know. I’ll link the event below all this in case someone was in the area and felt like stopping by. I’ll be there for a bit walking around and stuff. Meeting people’s sort of the point.

I’m planning on doing an after-event post later in the weekend or early next week with pictures and all that fun stuff. Stay tuned for that. And please, share some stories about events you’ve gone to in the comments on this post. We all have to live vicariously through other people’s experiences ;)

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#NewRelease – Beyond the Pale Motel, by @FrancescaBlock

You may have noticed a little of an increase of posts talking about Francesca Lia Block here on A Life Among the Pages.  For those paying attention to my Twitter and Facebook, this might be more apparent. Have I found a new favorite author? Have I gotten addicted to pushing shit in your face for the hell of it? Well, I don’t do anything just for the hell of it…wait, yes I do, but not in that way.

Even though I’ve technically known about Block for years, I never took a close look at her work until this year, but I”m glad I did. I read much of her work (though, I may only have gotten a quarter of the way through her extensive catalog) in the last few months and anything she puts out ends up on my radar. Last month, Block released The Island of Excess Love. She’s a busy writer and had ANOTHER new book to release already! That’s what we’re here for today…

The new release I’m sharing today is Beyond the Pale Motel, which is a switch from what I’ve read and shared from this author before. I’ve only read the more “young adult” books so far, but this one is more for adults and looks like it’ll be a steamy read ;)

If that wasn’t enough to get you excited for today, September 16th…it’s my anniversary today! I’ve been with my girlfriend for four years now, so maybe we should all celebrate by reading something great today. Sound good? Maybe Beyond the Pale Motel will be the what you’ll read today. Find out more about the book below and feel free to tell us about other new books coming out today, in the comments on this post.

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Beyond the Pale Motel

Maternal, sexy Catt and her beautiful, daring best friend Bree are hairdressers at an L.A. salon called Head Hunter, and work out at a gym called Body Farm. They have over a decade of sobriety behind them and are getting close to living the lives they’ve always wanted.

But when Catt’s husband, Dash, leaves her, and then her neighbor is brutally murdered, possibly by a man being called the Hollywood Serial Killer, Catt’s world begins to come crashing down. The murdered victims all seem to bear a chilling resemblance to Bree. Catt suspects that Bree is the next target of the Hollywood Serial Killer…is she losing touch with reality or simply coming to terms with the truth?

In Beyond the Pale Motel, a terrifying and intensely erotic novel, Francesca Lia Block explores the dangers of modern living, loving and dying with lyrical edge and sensational attitude.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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About the Author:

Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles to a poet and a painter, their creativity an obvious influence on her writing. Another influence was her childhood love of Greek mythology and fairy tales.
She has lived in the city all her life, and still resides there with her daughter, Jasmine Angelina (about whom she wrote her book Guarding the Moon), her son Samuel Alexander, and her two dogs: a springer spaniel named Vincent Van Go Go Boots and a beagle mix named Thumper.

She left only to attend the University of California, Berkeley. She has often professed her love of Los Angeles, calling it a “Jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked city,” which she has nicknamed in her books “Shangri-LA.”

Find out more: