Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Guest Post: Kirsten Miller

Only a third of the books I own can be found in my Brooklyn apartment. Which is sad, really, since this is the first apartment I’ve ever had that actually has room to house all of them.

Six years ago, I made a sudden (and disastrous) decision to move to France. So I crammed all of my books into a storage facility in Queens. When I returned to New York nine months later, I rented an apartment on the third floor of an old brownstone. The stairs were so steep that I pitied the moving men I’d hired to transfer my belongings from storage. I left most of my heavy book boxes in Queens. That was three apartments ago.

The books you see in the photos are either books I needed to write my own novels—or books I purchased for pleasure in the last six years. (Fortunately for me, there’s a fair amount of overlap between those two groups.)

There’s very little organization involved. (I keep expecting to move my other books out of storage, which would screw up any system I might develop.) My dining room bookcase (the one with the plague doctor mask on top) holds my favorite books. You’ll find everything from Poisons and Antidotes to Rats to The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. (And yes, my last hardcover copies of Kiki Strike and The Empress’s Tomb.)

The shelves in my living room house a truly random assortment of books. (And believe me, things get really random at my house.) I’ve filled a little alcove between my dining room and living room with my heaviest tomes. (Most are devoted to art, weird places, or the history of New York City.)

The books I’ve read most recently can be found beneath my bedside table. (Or on my Ipad, which is always on top of the table.) I’m working on a haunted house/horror novel at the moment, so many of the books are ghost story anthologies. (I highly recommend the ghost stories of Edith Wharton. Who knew, right?) Also, if you look closely, you’ll see the first two Nancy Drew books.

And last but not least, just yesterday I received a package of galleys. The books stacked on the radiator next to my desk are copies of my latest novel, How to Lead a Life of Crime. Unfortunately, they won’t be staying here for long!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Surrender by Lee Nichols

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Publisher

After a devastating battle at headquarters in New York, the ghostkeeping world is in shambles. When Emma and Bennett return home, they are determined to defeat the wraithmaster, Neos, forever. But it's not going to be easy. Bennett's parents kick him out when they realize he is still using drugs to enhance his powers. Emma is convinced her aunt has come back from the dead to warn her of a new threat. And worst of all, Neos is using wraiths to possess the students at Thatcher Academy. If the ghosts manage to take over the entire school, even Emma won't be strong enough to stop them. But if either she or Bennett sacrifice his or her powers, they might be able to save the ghostkeeping world once and for all-and break the "ghostkeepers lose their powers when they fall in love" curse. The question is: who will be the one to surrender all power?

When I first began the Haunting Emma trilogy, I fell in love with it and couldn't wait to read the rest of the books. I enjoyed the first two books, but I felt the last one fell a bit short. By no means am I saying I hated it, I enjoyed the book, bu t it took me longer to finish than I had expected.

The romance between Emma and Bennett made this book come to life. I loved them both and I missed Bennett a lot when he would leave and I was able to feel Emma's pain there and there were moments in the book where I would be completly shocked when those two were caught together. After waiting so long to read this book, I was glad to see all the characters that I had come to love in this trilogy from Celeste and Natalie and everyone else. Being that it is the last book, I don't want to give much away, but I felt that the book ended right when it did.

The Haunting Emma trilogy is a refreshing read from the regular paranormal reads and Nichols gives is ghosts in which we fall in love with and cute Harvard-esque boys as well.