Thursday, May 31, 2012

This week on Blogger Confidential . . .

Head on over to Emily's to see what we lot had to say about trolls, spammers and other unsavories lurking in our comments.

Love Drugged by James Klise + Giveaway!

Published September 8, 2010.

Author website.

Fifteen-year-old Jamie Bates has a simple strategy for surviving high school: fit in, keep a low profile, and above all, protect his biggest secret--he's gay. But when a classmate discovers the truth, a terrified Jamie does all he can to change who he is. At first, it's easy. Everyone notices when he starts hanging out with Celia Gamez, the richest and most beautiful girl in school. And when he steals an experimental new drug that's supposed to "cure" his attraction to guys, Jamie thinks he's finally going to have a "normal" life.

But as the drug's side effects worsen and his relationship with Celia heats up, Jamie begins to realize that lying and using could shatter the fragile world of deception that he's created-and hurt the people closest to him.  (

LOVE DRUGGED was kind of a sad book to read.  Not that it actually made me sad but it was sad to see a boy so uncomfortable with himself that he'd be willing to pop unknown pills and suffer through some horrifying side effects just to be "normal."  But I guess it's true, isn't it?  Even the author admitted in his blurb at the end, that if given the chance when he was Jamie's age he would have taken Dr. Gamez's wonder pills and see if they helped.  The fictional character and the real one can't be the only ones.  In a world where being gay is okay only depending on where you live and who's around you, I can see it being double hard for a teenager, who's just trying to fit in, to want to do everything he can to blend in with the crowd.  It just hurts to read that Jamie took such drastic measures to do it.

Jamie is a compelling character and I was definitely right there, sitting on his shoulder, begging him to not get involved with those pills.  They were ultimately far more hurtful than just having some scary physical effects.  Honestly I'm not surprised the story went where it did.  When you have people that believe that treating homosexuality is akin to getting rid of allergies, it puts their moral stance firmly into perspective.  So when the poo smacked against the rotating device I can't say I was surprised.  I'm kind of shocked that Jamie didn't see it coming but really, he was a bit involved in convincing himself that the pills were working.

What I didn't really understand was why Jamie's parents were the way they were; idea people that got good starts and then fell flat on their faces, ending up being, for the most part, fiscal screw-ups that just couldn't get their shit together.  I wouldn't be so hung up about it if it weren't such a prominent part of the story.  And I'm still unsure as to why.  Them being that way ultimately didn't serve a purpose, it didn't hurt or hinder them as characters.  But Klise was insistent that they were less than stellar financially and they ended up in this position because they couldn't get it together.  Maybe it was a round about way of focusing blame?  If they hadn't moved there Jamie would have never come across those drugs?  Or maybe it was a means of helping him, that final step.  Maybe if they were more stable, Jamie would have felt even greater pressure to be "a man" and wouldn't have found himself.  I don't know.  I'm still trying to sort it out.

I liked LOVE DRUGGED.  It was a strong read that pulled me from one cover to the other.  I was always afraid that Jamie would get found out or he'd get outed outside of his control or the situation would just get away from him entirely.  The plot was always right there in teetering on the edge of everything collapsing.  It did that for most of the story, actually.  And as a result it was only a matter of time before it came crumbling down.  It's a story about a teenager finding himself, and doing some really drastic things to do it.  Sure, it can be just like so many other stories out there.  But it's not.  It's so much more drastic than that.

Ban Factor: High - A book that deals with homosexuality and acceptance.  Whoa!  That's way too damaging for such young eyes!

Giveaway time!!!

Want my copy?  Then just fill out the form below for your chance to win.
  • Open to US residents 13 years of age and older only.
  • One entry per person per email address.
  • Duplicate entries will be deleted.
  • Entrants must be a follower of Bites via one of the following mediums: GFC, RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr.
  • Giveaway ends June 14th at midnight, EST.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not In My School (6)

Not In My School is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly that throws out one YA lit cliche a week for you to compare to your own high school days, current or past. For more information go here.

And we keep rollin' . . .

Contrived slang

Nothing goads my grits more than someone saying something that makes them look like a total tool but they're so delusional that they think they're as awesome as the hipster clothes they're wearing.  Whether it's actually saying OhEmGee or spouting off with the gangster slang, it all makes me shiver.  That then translates to reading it in writing.  Come off as a poser in my school and you will be called out right quick.  Slang is one thing; trying to be too cool for school is quite another.  No one's buying the shit you're selling, dude.  Time to pack it away.

What about you?  What was it like in your school?  Leave your link in the comments!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I have a favorite thing . . .

Head on over to Sya's The Mountains of Instead to see what it is . . . 

A Handful More on BEA

It's now officially one week until BEA.  For those of you that are going, are you excited?  I hope so!  It's super fun, interacting with so many different people at all levels of the publishing industry.  Right now I just have a few more things I wanted to mention that I didn't say in my Obligatory BEA Post from last week.

 If anyone wants to say hi while at BEA or get a hold of me for whatever reason, the easiest way to do that would be to @ me on Twitter, donnaatbites.  It'll pop up a couple of different ways on my phone, which I'll have on me constantly, so I'll definitely get it.

Along with following me on Twitter be sure to tag along on my tumblr page as well.  You can find that here.  Instagram + direct posting = instaphotos.  I'll be posting them, possibly in a variety of filters.  So you'll definitely want to follow for that.

If you can't attend BEA for whatever reason, be sure to sign up for Armchair BEA.  I did it last year and it was loads of fun.  I also won a bunch of books.  Yes, I went to BEA last year but only for a day. I won't be doing Armchair this year because I'll be at BEA for most of the week.  But you'll want to do this.  It's totally worth the effort, you'll get introduced to a bunch of new bloggers and it's just plain old fun posting and participating in all of the activities.  And winning!  Not to mention BEA is actually sponsoring this year.  How awesome is that?  It's grown so much!

For those of you that are going to BEA, don't forget to use their My Show Planner and download the mobile app for use at the show itself.  You'll get to keep track of all of your stuff in one easy to use place plus get near-instant changes to scheduling right there.  The first two years I went I can't tell you how many times my schedule changed as I was getting into a signing line.  What do you mean they're not here?  But I wouldn't discount printing out your schedule either.  As the foremost killer of technology, I'd always recommend a failsafe backup.

And last but not least, my BEA information posts of yore.  I've done quite a few of these posts, which is why I don't really do them anymore.  I'm not a fan of repeating myself.  But I will repost my links.  And if you do happen to have any last minute questions I'd be more than happy to answer them if you want to leave them in the comments.

2010 -

2011 -

Monday, May 28, 2012

Samantha Moon by JR Rain

Pub date: June 5, 2012.

Author website.

Mother, wife, private investigator ... and vampire. Six years ago, federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happened, an attack that changed her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire.

Samantha's adventures as a night-roaming vampire and private investigator in Samantha Moon include ...

Vampire for Hire #1) Moon Dance: Samantha is hired by Kingsley Fulcrum to investigate the attempt on his life, a horrific scene watched on TV around the country. But Kingsley isn't exactly what he appears to be; after all, there is a reason why he survived five shots to the head.

Vampire for Hire #2) Vampire Moon: Samantha Moon hunts down a powerful crime lord and protects an innocent woman from her ruthless ex-husband-all while two very different men vie for her heart. As the stakes grow higher and her cases turn personal, Samantha Moon will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent and bring two cold-blooded killers to justice-her own brand of justice.

Vampire for Hire #3) American Vampire: Samantha receives a heartbreaking call from a very unlikely source: a five-year-old girl who's been missing for three months. Using her considerable resources-including her growing supernatural abilities-to locate the missing girl before it's too late, Samantha also receives devastating news on the home front, forcing her to make the ultimate choice of life and death.

Vampire for Hire #4) Moon Child: Samantha Moon is faced with an impossible decision that will change her life and those of the ones she loves forever-a decision that no mother should ever have to make. And through it all, Samantha finds herself in a lethal game of vampire versus vampire as a powerful and desperate enemy will stop at nothing to claim what he most desires.

Christmas Moon: With Christmas just around the corner, Samantha takes on a very strange case: A priceless family treasure has been stolen, something passed down through the generations and buried in secrets. And Samantha gets half of whatever it is ... if she can find it first.

... and an all-new Samantha Moon short story by J.R. Rain.  (

I was SUPER excited to get to reading this omnibus.  Mainly because I'm a little desperate for something different.  As if vampires are something different, right?  But this just sounded so neat.  A vampire PI?  Hell yeah I'll try that out.

Eleven pages into book one and I wanted to light it on fire.  I mean we're talking so bad I actually stopped reading.  I know I've had a small string of DNFs lately but you all know me; I usually give them far more of a chance than a mere eleven pages.  Hell, HALO got more than that from me.  I just couldn't do it with SAMANTHA MOON.  It was too terrible.

First the writing, much like WILDE'S FIRE, was too unpolished.  The sentences were just strung along together, getting me from point A to point B with no flourish and would alternate between zipping through seemingly more important moments, like backstory, and hanging out at mundane crap I didn't care about, like picking up her kids from school.  I don't care.  It was an underdeveloped work.

Next the MC wanted to hump every male leg that she crossed paths with.  I'm okay with vamporn of the pornpire.  Not a problem with it.  But I HATE it when every male that crossed the MC's path is described by their varying levels of fuckability.  Especially when the MC is already married.  Yeah, no.    Bitch, you're a trashhole.  The opening scene was Samantha getting a delivery from a UPS guy and I honest to god thought it was either a porn dream or I was reading erotica with the way the dude was described.  And of course he was some super awesome, super sexy guy that the MC just wanted to bang right against the door jamb.  Yeah, because all of my delivery men look like that.  And she constantly had to throw mental ice water on herself.  I was just not cool with it.  Especially since she was already married.  It's okay to look but this woman might as well have just ingested a keg of Spanish Fly.  Gross.

And then there was the name-dropping.  Burger King, Coppertone and a few others.  In eleven pages there were five that I counted, four of those within three consecutive paragraphs.  Annoying.  Why can't you just say you stopped for burgers?  Why can't you just say you slathered on sunscreen?  Do you get paid for every name you drop?  Blech.

But the kicker?  Samantha was viewing video footage of some dude getting gunned down.  And the assassin was using a .22.  NOT A CHANCE IN HELL.  Did the guy sit down to pee too?  But I kept reading.  And then that same gun totally shredded a tree big enough to hide a guy the size of a Coke machine.  And we're done.  Fucking seriously?  Dear authors: if you're going to write about guns, DO YOUR GODDAMN RESEARCH.  I hate it when authors want to use guns but instead of actually looking into them they just watch some movies with guns in them.  I'm sure this author would have people flying back after getting hit with a .22 too.  Boo.  Sorry, author.  You've totally blown my trust.  We can't be friends.

So yeah.  Eleven pages into book one and done.  Could I recommend this to someone?  If you like mediocre writing, name-dropping and know nothing about guns and can thus swallow such fallacies, by all means take a stab at it.  I won't be making it.

Ban Factor: High - Vampires, assassins and a way-too-horny married woman.  Yeah, cooked.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson

Published August 1, 2010.

What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?

In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's "Emma," screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her...  (

My stopping my reading of EMMA AND THE VAMPIRES didn't really have much to do with Josephson's add-in of the vampires to EMMA.  It was Emma herself.  I'm going to take a shot in the dark here and assume that the EMMA text really wasn't touched all that much; only where needed to amend for the vampire insertion (well doesn't that sound pornographic).  I thought it blended nicely enough except for the fact that it appeared people only had problems with certain kinds of vampires and were conveniently oblivious to them when it suited them.  For instance some people whom they knew were vampires but were far more civilized were noted as having a curious aversion to the sunlight and hung black-out curtains and never ate.  It was weird and kind of off-putting.  I really didn't understand the ignorance for some but not for them all.  Why was it odd that a guy didn't like the sun if you already knew he was a vampire?  It seemed really disjointed and I couldn't get my head around it for what I read.

Really my distaste was for Emma.  What a freaking snatch she was.  Her nose was so far in the air I'm surprised she couldn't smell bird farts.  She thought exceptionally highly of herself and just couldn't imagine associating with people she felt were lesser than her.  Oh the horror.  Her open disdain for "lower" people made me want to smack her.  And I certainly don't understand why this is appealing to read.  Is it satirical?  Does she get her mouth smacked and get knocked down a peg at the end of the book?  Because she needs a serious dose of reality.  I just couldn't stand her.  I didn't find her outlook on life appealing.  I didn't find her pretentious setting-up of rich snobs quirky.  I wanted to hit her with a bus.

So I'm pegging this DNF down to Austen herself.  While the vampire insertion (*enter porn music here*) wasn't all that bad the bi-polar behavior of the characters was at times confusing and irritating.  But Emma?  The creation of Austen?  That's one baby that needed to be aborted.  Drech.  Now I have a bonafide reason to avoid Austen novels because if they're all in that style I may end up lighting them on fire.

Ban Factor: Medium - Only because the vampire aspect would get banner attention.  But upon reading (doubt it), they would find Emma the proper lady fastening her stake to her leg with pretty little ribbons.  Yak.

Things I've Learned from Books + 153
Jane Austen makes me want to stab myself in the eye.  Repeatedly.  Sorry, Evil Twin.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

80s Awesomeness! ~ 161


AKA a loser.  You may or not remember Emilio Estevez's character Andy in The Breakfast Club slinging this particular piece of insult at the "criminal" John Bender, aka Judd Nelson for wanting to blaze a doobie.  For which he caves to peer pressure and actively participates.  Way to stand by your laurels, Andy.

Freaky Friday :|: 161

Title: Summer of Secrets
Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick
Published: July 1, 1996
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 224
Lost on a dark country road, Gayle and her best friend Stephanie are hit by a truck that was following them without any light. Their damaged car was only the beginning, for mysterious "accidents" are suddenly occurring. Gayle knows she must find the answer soon--danger is only a heartbeat away.  (
I don't understand how the cover relates to this.  Is there a roll in ze hay involved?  This looks like your token tacky romance novel, not your token YA cheese horror novel.  I think someone needs to Photoshop a knife into the guy's hand or something because there's a severe disconnect here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

This week on Blogger Confidential . . .

This week Emily invited us over to chat about uncomfortable author confrontations and how we'd deal with them.  Or have, in some unfortunate cases.  Come see what we had to say!

Wilde's Fire by Krystal Wade

Published May 13, 2012.

Author website.

Katriona Wilde has never wondered what it would feel like to have everything she’s ever known and loved ripped away, but she is about to find out.

When she inadvertently leads her sister and best friend through a portal into a world she’s dreamed of for six years, she finds herself faced with more than just the frightening creatures in front of her. Kate’s forced to accept a new truth: her entire life has been a lie, and those closest to her have betrayed her.

What’s worse, she has no control over her new future, and it’s full of magic and horrors from which nightmares are made.

Will Kate discover and learn to control who she really is in time to save the ones she loves, or will all be lost?  (

Okay, let me just put this out there: I don't read books with the intent to crap all over them.  When I pick up a book to read and/or review I do it because it sounds like something I'd actually want to read.  I don't go into lulz or DNFs knowing that's what they'll be because, quite frankly, why would I waste my time?  So when WILDE'S FIRE turned out to be a total turd I was disappointed.  Like I said, I don't like not finishing books but the entire time I felt like I was reading a draft of a manuscript and I really felt a little embarrassed for the author.  It just.  Wasn't.  Good.

The writing alternated being heinously rushed when it probably should have slowed down and dwelled on the situation a little (like explaining her history with Brad, the whole "you are the Chosen One" thing where she was over it in like half a second) and lingered for far too long on minutiae that I just didn't give a crap about (potatoes.  EFFING POTATOES.  She ate them a lot.  And cleaned.  And made other mechanical movements throughout).  I wouldn't say it was sloppy as much as it was amateurish.  Hate to say it but that was my impression.  These are writing kinks that one's supposed to work out by the time they're published.

The mechanical movements?  I was reading stereo instructions of character actions.  There was no flourish to anything and for a story that's supposed to be so action-packed I just ended up skimming along.  No oomph, no marvel.  Nothing.  Point A, point B, point C, point D.  End.

And one just can't forget how super awesome of a swordsman Kate was the second she picked up a sword irrespective of the fact that she's never even touched a sword in her life.  It was pretty much at that point I checked out.  I don't even think I made it to 100 pages.  I just couldn't do it.

The concept was pretty neat: this world is being devoured by darkness where there are these creatures that pretty much tear the hell out of everything.  Too bad they're a flash in the plot up until the point I stopped because kissing Brad was so much more important than getting eaten by some kind of Hell Beast.  Totally.  Ugh.  Really disappointed with this one.  Perhaps irrationally so.  It could have gotten better as the story went on but I wasn't going to slog through such mediocre writing to find out.

Ban Factor: High: Fantasy world without a Christian god.  That's pretty much all you need.  Although it plays on the whole light and dark concept, it's not a Christian light or darkness.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

YAckers Review: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Published April 3, 2012.

Author website.

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?  (

Lyga is demented.  And I love him so hard for it.  I HUNT KILLERS is unique and thoroughly disturbing and though all of us who read it, at times, questioned just where Lyga was when he wrote this, we had a lot of good to say about it.  So incredibly well-written, if you don't feel just a little repulsed as what's going on in these pages then something must be wrong with you.  Seriously.  I mean I wasn't as affected as some of my fellow YAckers were but there were moments where I pulled back a little.  I'm only human.  Mostly.

The Keeper of the Book this month was Holly so why don't you come stop by her site, Book Harbinger, and see what we had to say about I HUNT KILLERS.  CORNNUTS!

Ban Factor: High - OMG, are you kidding me?  The banners would burn this one alive.

Not In My School (5)

Not In My School is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly that throws out one YA lit cliche a week for you to compare to your own high school days, current or past. For more information go here.

What's on this week's agenda?

Boys with super long lashes.

I can't count how many times a boy's eyelashes are mentioned in your standard YA novel.  And they're always long and luscious and at times make the chick jealous that she needs to supplement with volumizing mascara.  Usually a guy's eyelashes were pretty low on my list of noticeable things.  And if you happened to mention to a guy that he had lovely eyelashes you'd probably get some weird looks in return.  But now it appears all boys go the way of the Bieber and Efron and actually WANT enviable lashes, with or without curling.  So maybe I'm out of date.  Or maybe I'm just not a fan of the Bieber.

What about you?  What was it like in your school?  Leave your link in the comments!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Obligatory BEA Post

Well, it's that time of year again.  We are officially two weeks away from BEA and I'm just a little bit excited.  I may or may not have peed a little.  Most likely the latter.

Instead of spreading out my schedule times down to the second, because I'm far too paranoid and I don't want to have to bring the hurt down on anyone that could potentially stalk me, I'm just going to give you a general rundown of the authors and books that I'm going to be keeping my eye out for while I'm there.  Look at that epic sentence, won't you?

Let's see.  For authors I have -

  • RL Stine (OMMFGBBQ fangirl moment!)
  • Eloisa James (for my evil twin)
  • Melissa Marr
  • Maggie Stiefvater (for a fellow YAcker across the pond that couldn't make the trip)
  • Sarah J. Maas
  • Kristin Cashore (for my evil twin)
  • Maureen Johnson
  • Sarah MacLean (for my evil twin)
  • Julie Kagawa
It's a really short list this year simply because I'm attending far more events this time around so my time's been split between the event and off-site shenanigannery.

I may make an appearance at the YA Editor's Buzz panel but I haven't decided yet.  And I know I'm definitely going to be popping into the Apocalypsies event that same day.  That one's a must, even for a few minutes.

How about them books?

Purdy covers.  In between all of this over these few days I'll be running in and out of hotels. I was originally going to stay just Tuesday night and come back Wednesday evening.  Then I had an event crop up Thursday morning that I REALLY wanted to attend so that pretty much killed my original plan and I needed to stay another night.  You'd think I'd just be able to amend my reservation with the hotel I was already staying at.  Well yeah, sure I could have done that . . . for an additional $500 for the new night.

Excuse me, what?  I literally had to have the woman repeat the price to me like three times because I didn't think I was hearing her right.  $500 for a single night.  The night I already paid for was half that.  Bite me.  I'll find another hotel.  And I did.  A little further downtown but for the same price.  I'm okay with that.  I'll take the inconvenience of shuffling hotels halfway through the day over spending almost $1,000 for two nights in a barely three star hotel.  No thanks.  So yeah.  I have gaps in my schedule for a reason.  I have two check-ins to contend with.

So I shall be doing a lot of running around for those two and a half days that I'm there.  I have off-site events all three days (I'm actually only going to BEA Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm passing on Thursday) plus a phenomenal dinner with some of my fellow YAckers at Willy Wonka's cousin's house.  I'm super excited.

This is going to be a good BEA.  I can't wait!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Word to Your Mother

First I think I need to give some credit where credit is due.  I don't want anyone to think I'm plagiarizing or anything.

A huge thanks to Justin Hall for creating the first ever blog.  Without him I certainly wouldn't be here, blogging.  Really, we all should be crediting Justin in each and every one of our posts because, well, every blog post that we make WITHOUT giving him credit is a win for plagiarism.  For more information on the history of the blog, please be sure to check out the bastion of all knowledge.

I simply can't go on without thanking that one dude in the tights and the tri-corner hat for thinking it a marvelous idea to publicly announce his general likes or distastes for books in print via locally type-set and hand-cranked newspapers.  Without this unknown gentleman (and you know it's a dude because bitches didn't typeset) we simply couldn't compile coherent thought enough to simply review, let alone add in succinctly placed animated images to better convey our feelings.  On a smaller note, one can't overlook the rise of literacy rates of the general public during that same time.  Thank you, minions, for rising above the mire and paving the way for people like me.

And look!  Even more credit is due to the 18th century!  The rise of the book advert!  Hooray!  Now if you want to talk the beginnings of true advertising you're going to have to go supernova old timey, back to the Greeks and Romans and Egyptians.  They were all about the adverts.  Except their billboards weren't mechanized.  But the book advert?  That coincides with the unwashed masses getting learned and wanting to read them wordy lumps and create discussions with each other and whatnot.  So big up to you, men of history, for thinking to spread the word about the awesomeness of books and giving me the idea to do the same.

Okay?  Are we good?  Is anyone else going to piss and moan about how horrible it is that someone is taking someone else's idea, putting their own unique spin on it and creating their own thing?  Yes?  Then go read Rachel's (Parajunkee's) post about plagiarism versus etiquette and check yourself.  At the rate people are throwing fecal matter at the rotating devices about meme stealing you'd think we'd need to credit the act of book reviewing itself.  Book covers in sidebars?  Credit.  Blog post titles?  Credit.  Blog post signatures?  Credit.  Book covers in reviews?  Credit.  The use of the word 'the'?  Credit.

But that's different--HOW?  How is that different?  I've actually had a feature meme stolen.  Not taken and put a different spin on it.  Stolen verbatim.  That's plagiarism.  You know what else I've seen?  A similar idea altered and added into the book review itself.  Do you see me losing my shit about it?  No.  Because, SHOCK, people can have similar ideas.  It happens.  But I don't expect to be the be-all-end-all of this particular meme and any variations thereof.  That's just insanity.  So really, just because someone posts about the books they received for that week, adding in, or not, whatever else it is they want to add, doesn't make them indebted to a single Al Gore-ish I INVENTED THE INTERNETS blogger because they happen to be bigger and popularized a particular aspect of it.  I'm not going to nitpick the differences between plagiarism and etiquette because Rachel does a good enough job of that.  But let's cut this shit because it's annoying.  The concept of advertising books was not invented in 2007.  Get over it.

Now, just to be clear, YOU CAN'T COPYRIGHT IDEAS.  It's impossible.  The copyright office won't accept it.  Blogging tips, book reviews (generally speaking), snark, the word 'and,' these things are generalities.  Again, this is something that Rachel talks about in that same post above.  Everyone has ideas and they're going to overlap, sometimes unintentionally.  Common phrases, common topics, common themes. It's bound to happen.

Where the line is drawn is where you start copying syntax, set-up, timing, wording, execution.  That leaves the "general ideas" behind and broaches into the world of downright plagiarism.  You can find a billion and one blog posts about how to make your blog successful, how to get readers, how to utilize social media.  Whatever.  All of these guys are going to touch on the same subjects but they should read as individuals.  How many projects did you do in school on the same subjects as classmates but they ended up coming out completely different?  Duh.  Differing execution is possible.  But when your paper sounds awfully close to Billy's over there someone's going to have some 'splainin' to do.  Right, Ice?

Now see Ice here, or is it Mr. Vanilla?  Winky?  Learned the hard way that even though you add a couple of extra notes onto an already popular intro you can't call it your own, completely different or in any way not pass it off as you being a total douche and stealing someone else's stuff.  Bowie & Co. will notice, right Bobby?  A couple of notes does not your work make.  I mean, no wonder this guy totally broke down under his own pent up douchery years later.

So what did the nice tool box learn?  That you can't just take someone else's entire shit, sprinkle in a little of your poo and call it totally yours and be done with it?  Hmm?  Without credit attributed?  Hmmm?  That's right.  We're all big kids.  Totally edumacated.  Let's not toss around half-assed comments that you didn't know what plagiarism was.  That you totally thought you were working under Fair Use or Orphan Works or Feigned Ignorance or whatever.  Let's not start thinking we can strip off the Apple logo on an iPad and start calling it Pear and it's totally our own making because IT LOOKS NOTHING LIKE AN IPAD.  Totally.  Let's not patronize people and insult their intelligence, shall we?

We know Queen and David FUCKING Bowie when we hear it, man.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me three times and you're stumping around footless because you've shot them off.

I'm smarterer than what I'm generally given credit for.  Now for some of the REAL thing -

Fucking shenanigans.  Seriously.  Can we go a quarter without this shit exploding in a flaming blaze of stink?  Please?  Is that too much to ask?  Three months?  To quote Tom Hanks playing Jimmy Dugan in A League of Their Own, "Start using your head.  That's that lump three feet above your ass."  There's no crying in baseball.

Angels, Vampires & Douche Bags by Carla Collins

Published March 1, 2010.

Author website.

In this candid confessional, comedian Carla Collins divides the world into the angels who guide us, inspire us, and save our butts; the sexy and trendy vampires who suck the life out of us; and the douche bags who constantly annoy, disgust and taunt us. With a fast wit, fake breasts and real heart, Collins shares her unconventional journey from a small steel town in Ontario, Canada to Tinseltown L.A. On this wild and revealing romp, she navigates her way through seventy-two imaginary friends, multiple fianc s, eight dogs, two marriages, and one topless grandmother. Her hard-earned life lessons will show you that by taking risks, embracing humiliation and tapping into the power of laughter, anything is possible--and everyone is manageable. Attract more angels into your life, control your vampires, and keep all the douche bags at bay.  (

I laughed my ass off reading ANGELS, VAMPIRES & DOUCHE BAGS.  Seriously, Carla has a wit and timing about her that just can't be beat.  She's a petite little blonde that's packed full of snark but never even comes close to toeing the line of being a snatch.  Her comedy doesn't stem from any kind of nastiness.  There isn't a bitterness to it.  Sure, some of the things in her life weren't all that great but even the seedier moments are spun on their head and given a humorous light.  Carla is exceptionally self-deprecating, something I can wholly appreciate.  Trust, no one's going to find you funny unless you can laugh at yourself first.

While having a nominally unhealthy obsession with hookers, Carla tells like it it is, her life spread eagle on the pages for all to see.  She doesn't try to hide anything and she certainly doesn't sugarcoat any of it either.  Her stories are told with a poignant voice that really only sprinkles in the snark but the lines are so well-timed that they kind of sneak up on you and you find yourself laughing before you can even really process what you read.  Seriously, I need to see this woman live because she's a damn good storyteller.  I can imagine her sitting around a table just chatting and just the WAY she tells the stories sucks you right in.  The tone, the voice, it's funny without actually being funny simply because you know there's going to be a line there that'll crack you right the hell up.

If I quoted all of my favorite lines I'd pretty much be duplicating the entire book but here are some of note enough that I stopped reading to plug into my Goodreads status thingy -

"I hesitated, because to me, tantric sex sounds like a Kevin Costner movie - it goes on forever and nobody comes." 
"I was at the counter and figured I needed a back of Mentos,  a copy of People magazine and a bag of boobies." 
"That Jerry Maguire movie was bullshit.  You need to become complete yourself first; then ideally, find another complete human to compliment you."

Between the most excellent pearls of wisdom and the snap, it could hardly go wrong.

Except it did.  Not at the fault of Carla, though.  From page 75 to 104 it duplicates from page 17 on 32 pages.  I'm not kidding.  And I'm not talking some extra pages shoved into the greater book.  I'm talking about these 32 pages replaced the greater part of the VAMPIRES portion of this book.  I was filled with chagrin.  I mean talk about total buzz kill.  And it cut me off in the middle of an epic story and I still have no idea how it ended!  I'm missing 23% of the book and that makes me cranky.  Cranky to the point where I don't know how to rate this.  I loved everything I read.  Carla has an intriguing life and a kick ass voice that'll make me want to read anything she's ever written.  But an inbred one-eyed, one-handed clown bound the book and robbed me of a chunk of it.  Cranky.

I believe I shall rate it based on writing alone even though missing that part of the book put a huge damper on it for me.  Like I said, not Carla's fault so I can't discount her for it.  But I can grumble.

Ban Factor: High - Did you miss the part about Carla having a nominally unhealthy obsession with hookers?  Or boobies?  Or the tantric sex?  The banners are swooning.  Someone get some accordion fans.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Added to the Pile + 111

Three sweetnick books this week, all from NetGalley.  I'm amassing a mighty collection from them.  Considering a couple of these are rather lengthy omnibuses I have a bit of reading ahead of me.

OBSIDIAN & BLOOD by Aliette de Bodard (currently in the cooker)
SAMANTHA MOON by JR Rain (already attempted to read and gave up rather quickly, like record settingly quickly)

As you can see I'm kind of branching out.  I need me some variety and a little less YA.  Not that there's anything wrong with YA.  I just need more variety.  Mainly high fantasy.  Good high fantasy.

Things I've Learned from Books + 152

Who says books actually need to be bound properly?  Since most people only focus on the covers, no one's really going to notice 30 pages of repeated text in a final bound book.  Honest.  They'll skim right over it.  Proofreading is for pussies anyway.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

80s Awesomeness! ~ 160

That, my friends, is a Glo Worm.  A nightlight in toy form, it came complete with it's own cartoon, as did many other 80s toys.  Or vise versa.  I personally never had one of these guys.  In fact I don't even remember them being around.  But Soldier Boy here is familiar with this toy and he assures me it was neither soft nor cuddly.  Mainly because of its hard plastic face.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Freaky Friday :|: 160

Title: Overdue
Author: Richie Tankersley Cusick
Published: April 1, 1995
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 224
Kathleen is working late in the library when someone returns five grisly books about death, all overdue. Then close friends begin having tragic accidents. Kathleen is sure of one thing--the killer will strike again. Is her death overdue?  (
OMG, epically, cheesily yes!  Horror in the library.  I love it.  I don't care how terrible it could end up being.  I'd read it and worship it like it so rightly deserves.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Week on Blogger Confidential . . .

Over at Emily's us confidantes discuss what's in a name.  Our blog names.  The whys and how-tos.  Come see!
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