Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Blood Oath' Contest Winner!!!


Congratulations to Alix for being the winner in our ‘Blood Oath’ contest!! She had the most questions correct and the most number of words (339) created from ‘Transylvania’. Her picture of her interpretations of what a vampire looks like didn’t hurt either. :-) Alix will receive a copy of ‘Blood Oath’ by Christopher Farnsworth and my undying (hahaha) gratitude for participating! Congratulations Alix and stay tuned everyone else for my next book contest!!



Questions:

1. Who was the only President to pardon a “blood-sucker”?
2. Name at least three “traditional” ways to kill a vampire.
3. Which President had the nickname “Old Hickory”?
4. Into which creatures can a vampire turn? Name at least two.
5. Name the sixth and ninth Presidents of The United States.
6. What sadistic, torturous real-life leader was known as the first living “vampire”?
7. Name at least three ‘traditional’ ways to protect yourself from vampires.
8. President Obama is our 44th President. There have been, however, only been 43 men that actually held that position. What is the discrepancy?
9. According to this fantastic Biblical tale, whose wife is considered the first female vampire?
10. Eleven Presidents have had unsuccessful attempts made on their life. Name four.

Answers:

1. Andrew Johnson
2. Stake through the heart, decapitation, prolonged exposure to the sun, shot or stabbed with silver.
3. Andrew Jackson
4. Bat, wolf, cat
5. John Quincy Adams (6th) and William Henry Harrison (9th)
6. Vlad, the Impaler
7. Wearing garlic, wearing a cross, dousing them with Holy Water, thrown seeds at them.
8. Grover Cleveland actually held the office of president twice, but they were non-consecutive terms.
9. Lilith
10. Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Monday, April 19, 2010

'The Common Lawyer'


I became a fan of Mark’s when I read ‘The Color of Law’. I became an addict when I read ‘The Abduction’. I became obsessed when I read ‘The Common Lawyer’. Mark is one of those authors who just make reading exciting. He creates fun characters, characters with substance, nutty situations, all fenced in by one heck of a plot. ‘The Common Lawyer’ is a book that has all that. I loved Andy from the start. He’s a character that you can live vicariously through. A regular working Joe, trying to get by with as little effort possible, but having A LOT of fun with life. He has great friends, lives in a magnificent city, and a passion for freedom, which he expresses through his love of extreme mountain biking.

Andy is a lawyer who got average grades in law school and is ok with that. He’s an advocate for people who get speeding tickets and even though it is not the glamorous life of a lawyer, Andy loves it. He passes his time looking at gorgeous women (good man) at a local grocery store, perusing wanted ads from women, eating Mexican food, and getting his adrenaline rush on a mountain bike. His life is simple and fun. All that changes when he meets Russell Reeves. Texas billionaire, Texas icon, married to an absolute Betty… with a dying son. Russell is trying to save him. By any means necessary. So how can a lawyer, who makes a career out of helping people, skip out on speeding tickets, help a Texas billionaire save his dying son?

That is part of Mark’s charm and talent in telling a story. A “grab you and won’t let you go” book this one is. The prologue will have you scratching your head until you read the entire book, then go back, and reread the prologue… then it makes perfect sense. I love immerse-able books because you can get lost in them and I enjoy that getting immersed feeling. I like that at four books Mark Gimenez has not slowed down one bit!

On a side note: reading this story also had an effect on me in a different way. It made me want to move to Austin, TX! This town was almost a character unto itself. More like a CULT-ure than a culture. Wanting to see the beautiful vixens at Whole Foods, wanting to ride the Barton Creek Greenbelt, hanging out at Guero’s, spending a day or three hundred at Hippie Hollow, and kicking hacky sack on that 300+ acre campus. Not sure how long I could deal with the over-the-top-liberals, but Austin is a town that seems to welcome all kinds of strange people and outcasts. So a Black Republican should fit right in… or not!

The way Mark tells is, Austin was a very big, yet close-knit community. Maybe one day I’ll find out; Until then I’ll just live indirectly through his characters and his extremely enjoyable stories.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

'Innocent'


MAN!! I’ve got so many feeling about this book that I seriously don’t know where to start. I kinda feel like a tourettes patient in a canyon of echoes. What I’m about to say I don’t say to be flippant and I’m not joking; if this exact same story was in a hardcover jacket with a different name (not different author) it would be a New York Times Bestseller. This was… an… amazing story! Forget every stupid, narrow-minded, stereotype you’ve hear about “street-lit”. This one will change your mind.

This is also one of those books that will make you mad. No. More like furious. Livid. Setting up a Black man for a crime is one thing, but the things that these David Duke-Opie-moonshine-making-cowards-behind-a-dirty-white-sheet did will make your blood boil like The Obama’s vs. The Clintons! Leo throws up a POWERFUL story of dirt, sex, prison life, gangsta’ loyalty, crooked cops, and scandalous hood rats. Once I.C. gets ID’d, his life becomes one long skid of bad luck. Some of the situations I.C. finds himself in would make Jack Bauer cringe. ‘Innocent’ is one of those books that you savor and digest over time because it’s really, really good.

My one beef: they say “never judge a book by its cover”. That advice could not be more relevant with this book. Now I would be a complete hypocrite if I say that a beautiful woman on the cover doesn’t grab my attention. Hell, I’m MORE apt to look at a book BECAUSE of the cover. But this cover has absolutely nothing to do with this book and, in this case, takes away from the story. ‘Innocent’ has more than enough gruff to stand on its own without the cheese.

My laugh out loud moment: at the end when Leo is giving his shout-outs and he calls out his publisher for being stingy with the dough! In all my many years of reading, I don’t think I’ve EVER read anything that and I literally had a laugh out loud moment in my bookstore! Very good job here Mr. Sullivan.

Monday, April 12, 2010

'Blood Oath' Contest!


Jason’s ‘Blood Oath’ Contest

1. Who was the only President to pardon a “blood-sucker”?
2. Name at least three “traditional” ways to kill a vampire.
3. Which President had the nickname “Old Hickory”?
4. Into which creatures can a vampire turn? Name at least two.
5. Name the sixth and ninth Presidents of The United States.
6. What sadistic, torturous real-life leader was known as the first living “vampire”?
7. Name at least three ‘traditional’ ways to protect yourself from vampires.
8. President Obama is our 44th President. There have been, however, only been 43 men that actually held that position. What is the discrepancy?
9. According to this fantastic Biblical tale, whose wife is considered the first female vampire?
10. Eleven Presidents have had unsuccessful attempts made on their life. Name four.



How many words can you make from the word “Transylvania”?
Google or DRAW me a picture of what your version of a vampire looks like.


HOW TO WIN

The winner will be the person who gets the most questions correct and has the most words created out of “Transylvania”. If you have all the questions correct but have fewer words than someone else, you lose. If you have a lot of words but fewer correct questions than someone else, you lose. The winner will be the person that has the most words AND correct answers. In the unlikely event of a tie, both winners will receive a copy of ‘Blood Oath’ by Chris Farnsworth.

Send entries to rubiconreader@yahoo.com or drop off a printed version at Russo’s Books in The Marketplace.


RULES

1. Winners must be from Bakersfield, CA because they will have to pick up the book in two weeks or forfeit the prize.
2. The prize will be an advanced copy of ‘Blood Oath’ by Christopher Farnsworth.
3. Prize must be picked up within two weeks or it will be forfeited and the runner-up will win the prize.
4. Winner will be notified via e-mail.
5. This contest is being done by Jason Frost, NOT Russo’s Books!! If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to me.
6. The contest will stay open until someone wins.
7. The deadline for this contest will be 12 AM April 27, 2010.
8. Entries must be in BEFORE 12 AM April 27, 2010. Any entries turned in after this time and date will not be eligible for this contest.
9. Any questions please feel free to contact Jason Frost (rubiconreader) at rubiconreader@yahoo.com
10. Only one entry per person/per e-mail.
11. Entries can be mailed to rubiconreader@yahoo.com or you may print out this form and drop it off at Russo’s Books – 9000 Ming Avenue – I-4 – Bakersfield, CA – 93311
12. Answers will be posted on my blog after I announce the winner. My blog address is: http://rubiconreader-rubiconreader.blogspot.com/


And don’t forget to come out and meet Chris Farnsworth as he signs copies of his book

‘BLOOD OATH’
at
Russo’s Books

Saturday, June 26, 2010

1 PM – 3 PM

**To receive a copy of this contest along with the rules on Microsoft Word, send a blank e-mail to rubiconreader@yahoo.com

Sunday, April 11, 2010

'The Sorceress'


Well now… this was an interesting read from Allison. If you are not into sorcery, dark realms, winged creatures, goddesses, and things of that nature; then you probably won’t enjoy this book. ‘The Sorceress’ still has the aberrant sexuality, the insane storyline, the grime, and the “meanness” that I’ve come to love from Allison. But if you aren’t into the black magic genre then this book will be challenge to finish. I finished it and I can’t stand the evil, black magic stuff. I can, however, stand one of my favorite author’s and her work. But for the life of me I can’t figure out how she comes up with characters that are so incredibly evil and… MEAN! And so stupid. Eris was… a mess. The things she does in the Dark Realms will literally turn your stomach! The things she does and allows others to do in the Earth Realm will almost force you stop reading for a minute because you can’t imagine ANYTHING so detached from evil. I know I keep using the word ‘evil’ but that’s because I can’t think of anything else to put in its place.

And since we love to put labels on everything; IE: Zane is the queen of erotica, Stephen King is the master of horror, Paris Hilton is the duchess of skank, Kendra is the sultan of stupid, Zoe Saldana the president of the “damn she’s fine committee”. Stuff like that. Well, Allison would have to be the Empress of Shock! You almost need a bib when you read her books because you read the freaking things with your mouth hanging open. This one is no different. There is one scene in this book that I CAN NOT get out of my head. Don’t worry I’m not going to spoil it for you, just remember the name Boozer. What he does is so horrific that your body will cringe and try to hide within itself. And we get to witness his savagery. Twice.

This is Allison’s usual non-stop, brutal, spectacular storytelling with a supernatural twist. I highly recommend that you read ‘The Enchantress first to get caught up with everything and to learn (somewhat) why Eris is so, so, so, so, so, mean and 100% evil. Stephen King wrote a book called ‘On Writing’ a while back. In it he gave us background into the writing of some of his novels. An utterly fascinating read! I can only hope that one day Allison decides to do the same because I have to know what the hell is the inspiration behind some of these books. Heck, maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe I don’t want to hear about the pain, the hurt. I don’t want to hear about the sad teenage years or painful childhood. I don’t want to imagine the tears running down her check. Or her hiding in her closet when she hears certain voices. I don’t… oh who am I kidding!?! Yeah I do!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Chris Farnsworth signs 'Blood Oath' at Russo's Books.


What if you had a human sized blender? And what if you put in that blender Brad Thor, Bram Stoker, Glen Duncan and pressed speed #4? What would that bloody, gory, bone shard, putrid red liquid produce? You’d get an author called Chris Farnsworth and a book called ‘Blood Oath’. I keep saying that this is the most fun I’ve had reading this year because, DAMMIT, it is!! Please, please don’t be put off (like I honestly was at first) that this is another vampire novel. Yes, the main character is a vampire but to leave it at that is not just wrong, it’s… like… super wrong!

There are a lot of books that have that all important “buzz” before the book is released. There are also a lot of books that I would use to wipe my butt after a night of binging on ice cream and buffalo wings! Buzzes don’t mean jack unless you have the Boom-Book-Pow! to back it up. ‘Blood Oath’ does. ‘Blood Oath’ does. ‘Blood Oath’ does. And if that wasn’t enough to give me a Michael Jackson like overdose, this will…

Christopher Farnsworth will be making an appearance at my bookstore, Russo’s Books on Saturday, June 26th from 1 PM – 3 PM! HELL YES!! Someone get Conrad Murray on speed dial! In the conversations I’ve had with Christopher he has been very nice and genuinely tickled (?) that I enjoyed his book so much. That’s probably because I did. Please come out to support this author and your local bookstore. You’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about e-books, and the iPad is getting more exposure than Pam Anderson in Barbados. But neither one of them can give you the satisfaction, the fun, the thrill, and the experience of meeting an author. And if you want to meet me, yeah, I’ll be there too.

'Blood Oath'


First, a short story: I was going to our inventory room and the lady that works there holds this book up and says “hey Jason, look at this one”. My honest to goodness first reaction was, “oh goodness, not ANOTHER Vampire book”! I took the book anyway (hey, no one said I was bright) and … BAM!!! Whoever wrote the short synopsis on the back should get a raise because THAT was what hooked me. I took it home and finished it in three days. That isn’t easy with my crazy busy life but I did it! And I’m glad I did!

This book is the most fun I’ve had reading so far this year. Really. As fantastic as a 140 year old Secret Service vampire who has been sworn to protect the President story can sound, nothing about this story was fantastic. Except it WAS fantastic! If you’re looking for that “holy crap this book has everything book” book, then I can not recommend this book more. The action is in this book’s DNA, the blood and gore are its red blood cells, but the oxygen that keeps it alive is the story. At the beginning of most of the chapters we are treated to small bits (sorry for the pun) of the ‘Presidents Vampire Manual’. Here we learn about the secrets, the history, the strengths, and the weaknesses of Cade. Utterly fascinating!

We first meet Cade in Kosovo battling terrorists for the US. I know, I know, you’ve heard it all before. But ooooooh my dear reader you couldn’t be MORE wrong! We quickly learn that terrorists are BY FAR not even in the same breath of evil as some of the things Cade has had to fight. 99% of the time I shy away from books that deal in the supernatural because I just don’t like it. But there is that 1% that makes me a believer. ‘Blood Oath’ is in that 1%. And what would a Presidential Vampire be without a nemesis? And we get a good one y’all. Konrad. That name means nothing to you if you haven’t read this book… but it will when you wake up screaming, begging the imps of hell to put you out your misery.

The author does a magnificent job of telling a stunning story that will drag you kicking and shrieking well past your bedtime. This is one of those “real” vampire novels here people. Nothing frilly or lacy here. Testosterone abounds a-plenty and wimpy can only be found in one of them red, blue and green books. As bad as I want to go on, I feel if I say anymore I’ll just be gushing… and since I’m not a young girl on prom night… (OK, one more thing: I loved everything about this book. There. I’m done)!

9780399156359

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Stephanie Meyer is an idiot.



My quick take on Stephanie Meyer and her free book giveaway:

She is a complete and total idiot and so is her publisher. There. (That was the original ending for this blog). But opinions were invented for me and short sentences are for death row inmates… So why does this matter to me? I sell books for a living, period. And when one of the biggest authors of this time chooses to GIVE AWAY a book that would break most sales records, in a time where indie bookstores, not to mention the entire book industry, could use the revenue, it’s just fucking stupid! She said she “wanted to thank her fans” because they bought a “ton of her books”. So let me get this straight my dear Mormon vampire: you want to thank people who paid the lowest price they could for your work by giving them something free? Oh good lord Stephanie! She also says on her website; “My publisher was awesome and embraced this idea”. That statement has so much bullshit in it that I’m surprised that President Obama hasn’t signed it into law!

That’s like saying that J.K. Rowling is so excited about her new theme park that everyone who pays admission gets a free digital copy of her next book: ‘Harry Potter: Bloody Hell and Broomsticks’. Publishers are hurting (‘course you can’t tell by their actions and backdoor deals) just as much as the rest of the book industry and there is no way you can convince me that they would be OK to give away what would undoubtedly be the hottest book of the summer leading into Christmas. Sorry. Go sell that shit to fans of Bella and forest nymphs, not me. I don’t think this will kill the book industry but it’s damn sure another nail. I know, I know, I know… they are making a print version of this book for $13.99. But guess what Captain Obvious? Amazon is selling it for 45% off! Well this just keeps getting better and better! Not only do we have to compete with 45% off from industry Ebola’s like Amazon, Sam’s Club, and Costco… we now have to compete with FREE!

One thing authors and publisher fail to realize, even though it’s been in their face forever, is that you need indie book seller and indie bookstores! Sorry, but faceless warehouse-style bookstores employees are about as helpful to book lovers as lead underwear is to a scuba diver. Indie bookstores have ALWAYS been the driving force behind recommending, selling, and getting excited about books. Yes, I will concede that you do have “true” booksellers in the cookie cutter bookstores that love books like the ghetto loves gub’ment cheese. But they are few and far between. I was one and I’m still friends with one at the Borders here in town. But I’m on a tangent… let me refocus…
I’m not going to get excited about selling a book when I know that somewhere someone is offering a LEGAL copy for free. My store will be selling the book for $13.99, regular retail. Or… OR… I can download it for free on my iPhone while standing inside said store! YAAAHHHH for me!!! I know what some of you are thinking: but Mr. Pissed off Jeep Lover, most books you can already get in a digital for free. Well… yes you can. But 1. It’s ILLEGAL and 2. Who asked you? My frustration is I’m working hard as a bookseller. I read, I blog, I review, I take pictures, I recommend, I get excited, I pimp, I up sell, I FaceBook, I TwitterBook, and once I get my degree in Engineering and figure out Google Wave, I’ll do that too. I do what I can to make my hand selling experience and my customers book buying experience as fun as possible. It pisses me off that the same industry that I’m trying to sustain is the same industry that’s sawing my head off with a machete. Indie bookstores are fighting tooth and nail with the no personality box stores and online loser websites and we’ve had some small victories. But asking us to compete with free is too much. Wait, how about this? How about I not buy the book from the publisher and just print it out at my store? I can use certain chapters as bag stuffers. “Thank you for shopping my store today. Here are chapters 1 – 3 of the new Stephanie Meyer book. If you come back next week I’ll have chapters 4 – 6 for you”! And to really make things interesting, I can offer my blood in a cute little vial that says “Eat Sleep Suck-Me-Dry”. I can bundle that with that wonderful ‘Twilight’ graphic novel that isn’t selling.

Yes, we will order this new Stephanie Meyer to have in stock because we’re supposed to. Just like every bookstore should have a copy of that mind fuck of a novel ‘The House of Leaves’. Look Publishers; bundle the e-book with the hardcover if you must. Sell the e-book for the same price as a trade, and give indies the same discount you give Big Daddy Plantation owning Amazon. Allow us to be creative with CO-OP dollars. But don’t give away the book for free. Damn.