Feature & Follow #1

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. It’s a fun way to find other blogs and meet new bloggers.

You can follow Lit, etc via Twitter, Facebook, or subscribe to the blog via email. Please let me know if you’re a new follower and I’ll follow back.

Q: Write a letter to your favorite character. Rant, rave or gush…just pretend like they are real and you just want to let them know a “few things”. – Activity courtesy of author, Kelly Walker
I’ve decided on Archie Sheridan from the Archie / Gretchen series by Chelsea Cain.

Dear Archie:

I should be more formal since you are a detective, but like Susan, I’ve been on a few cases with you and feel like I already know you. I have a confession…I’ve meet Gretchen Lowell and I know it was dangerous to do so considering she IS the Beauty Killer, but at the time I didn’t know her. Meeting her brought me to you.

I worry for you. I know the years haven’t been kind to you and you still hold scars from the torture you endured at her hands, but I wish you’d let others in. Go to Henry and talk to him. Trust Susan (even though I’m jealous of her) and know that she would never break your heart. The past two books have left me in tears with regards to what you do for Susan. That is the man I’m sure Debbie fell in love with and misses. You can still be that man…the man before Gretchen came into your life. I will always be your biggest supporter and I know everyone wants you to move on and forget things, that you can’t.

I’m on pins and needles awaiting the upcoming August release of Let Me Go. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m hoping Chelsea is kind to you and doesn’t torture you some more because I have to keep asking, how much more can you endure? A lot by what she’s shown us and you’re a pillar of strength.

Affectionately yours,

Fangirl Bookish Memories

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s topic is bookish memories. This can be anything from waiting in line for a book release to meeting an author to finding an out of print book. What are your memories?

10. Fairy tales!
When I was little, they were my go to reading choices even though I couldn’t associate with wanting to live happily ever after. What drew me to them was Europe and for a little girl growing up outside El Paso, Texas, trust me Europe seemed amazing. I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could go see where Cinderella lived and company. :sigh: My four-year- old self still insists I didn’t try hard enough to find Snow White when I was living abroad.

09. Winning the golden ticket!
danbrownOkay not THE ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the Borders (:sob: I miss you!) golden ticket for a signed copy of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. In 2009, they ran a scavenger type contest and would tweet the location of the clue. No clue in my city, but the neighboring town had one and it was a 40 minute drive (in rush hour traffic) and I did question if it was worth the drive. On arrival, I thought someone beat me to the ticket because the location of the clue yielded nothing until, I removed all the books from the shelf and it was behind the last book. The manager laughed when he caught me dancing and I was very pleased with my win.

08. David Gandy!

Okay he’s not exactly a bookish moment, but during my chats with other bloggers he’s been mentioned so why not add him to the list?

07. Fictional Boyfriends
Um…let’s just say I have way too many and I don’t have enough room in bed for all of them. LOL! I just hope they all realize how much I adore them equally and don’t fight over me. Who’s on your list and how many do you have?

06. Book series!

He often envied people who hadn’t read his favorite books. They had such happiness before them. ― Charles Finch, A Stranger in Mayfair

I love this quote by Charles Finch that appears in his fourth Lenox novel. It’s very true! I love discovering new book series and going on a journey with the characters. It’s bittersweet when they end, but you can always revisit and get to know them all over again. Some of the magic is lost, but in my opinion, you experience that magical feeling when someone you know starts a beloved series and falls in love.

05. Getting books signed!
I’ve mentioned before, if given the opportunity, I won’t pass up a signed book. 2012 was a great year for my bookcase! I do have to say the best inscription of a book to date, comes from Chelsea Cain and most of my friends know of my love for Archie Sheridan from her Archie/Gretchen series. When a former friend had the opportunity to attend a book festival with Cain present, she went and got me a book signed and I will always be thankful to her for that because I know Cain isn’t her type of author and she took time out of her busy schedule to attend. Thank you M!

04. Meeting Deborah Harkness.
Deborah Harkness is the first author I’ve met at a book signing. Prior to that, I had no idea how these things were conducted despite everyone telling me what to expect. It was exciting and the line after her Q&A was long, but when the moment came to hand her my books, I didn’t want to say anything in case I interrupted her concentration while she signed them! She was lovely and happily answered a question I had.

03. Interviewing Charles Finch.
I had the opportunity to interview Charlie for another blog (see #1); it was exciting, but nerve wracking. Most of you probably know how it feels, taking the plunge to ask for an interview. He truly is an amazing and thoughtful person. Hopefully we’ll meet one day and I hope my fangirl letter to him didn’t scare him off.

02. Meeting George RR Martin.

Let me explain…a few years ago, I was helping out at the annual Medieval Spring Lecture series run by undergrad university and there were a few whispers among the History / English students that someone big might be attending. The first night of the series, the know-it-all in our group began to fangirl and I was about to ask him what was wrong, when I looked up to hand a program to an attendee and I almost passed out! It was Martin himself and we chatted a bit about the lecture series, etc. By the end of the week he knew my name and the following year, he remembered me. I don’t think he attends the lectures anymore since Game of Thrones has become popular, but it would be lovely to see him again.

01. Book blogging

Although Literary, etc was established in June when my friend Arlinda suggested it, I didn’t take it seriously. A few months later, I was asked to be part of a blog that was being created and the first 2 words in their name were my suggestion. I left in early December due to scheduling conflicts and different agendas. It wasn’t an easy decision to make and there are times I regret accepting the offer to join because I had really good friendships with some of the girls. Since my departure, the friendships have ended and it makes me incredibly sad. Most of my content was removed and no mention of my departure was announced (makes it seem as if I never existed). I wish them well and I have no hard feelings towards them. To: K, R, E, T, A, & M-thanks for the fangirl moments and wish things had turned out differently.

Book Review: Chelsea Cain’s Kill You Twice

12996425Title: Kill You Twice
Author: Chelsea Cain
Genre: Suspense / Thriller
Series: Yes / Book 5 of 5 (as of review posting)
Rating: 5 out of 5
My Copy: Purchased

Chelsea Cain once again delivers! Kill You Twice is the fifth installment in the Sheridan/Lowell serial killer series and honestly I do believe this is the best of the series. If you haven’t read the books start with Heartsick as this really isn’t a stand alone. For that you’d have to read The Night Season (book 4).

Archie Sheridan, detective for the Portland, Oregon police department, is back and this time he has another murder to solve. When a body is found gagged, skinned and tied to a tree he knows this isn’t an ordinary killer he’s looking for. So when Gretchen Lowell, the “Beauty Killer,” calls him with information regarding the latest murder, Archie has to begin to distinguish what the truth is and it leaves us all a little bit shocked. Cain isn’t for the faint of heart and if readers thought book 3, Evil at Heart, was gruesome, Kill You Twice will have you wincing and wishing you hadn’t eaten that burrito before you began to read. Book 5 is perhaps the goriest of the series, however; it’s part of the plot as well as that of the psychopaths Archie has to deal with.

Cain isn’t one of those authors who feeds you character information right off the back. She makes you dig for it and in many ways we become the detectives. Just like Archie we readers aren’t sure what to make of Gretchen and her past. Should we believe what comes out her mouth? Most importantly does Archie believe it?

I won’t go into many details regarding the book for fear of spoilers, but you can read the book blurb here. Kill You Twice is well plotted with fully developed characters. The original gang is back including our favorite snoop / journalist Susan Ward and her hippie mother, Bliss. Cain does introduce a new character where Henry (Archie’s partner) states, “Susan’s going to hate her,” and it begs the question of who is this mysterious neighbor of Archie’s? Is she one of Gretchen’s pawns and if so where does that leave us with Archie?

One of the complaints I keep hearing about with regards to Gretchen is that this can’t be the only serial killer Archie has to deal with. Again I refer readers to Gretchen’s use of apprentices and remember she’s been attributed to many more murders than she took credit for (part of her cat chases mouse routine). It will be interesting to see how Cain develops her series outside Gretchen Lowell, however; I truly believe you can’t have Archie without Gretchen. One of the most important scenes in Kill You Twice is between Susan and Archie and he admits “he’s still not over her.” Readers of the series will know what he is referring to (book 3: Evil at Heart and his grand confession) and in many ways we begin to understand his torture. This is man who was cut open and left with horrible scars on his chest and for the rest of his life he’ll never be free of Gretchen.

Cain leaves us always wanting more, but also asking the question: How much more torture (emotionally and physically) can Archie handle?