Linda Stevens's blog

Who's Your Book Boyfriend?

shadowfeverI was talking with a friend the other day, and I'm not really sure how this came up, but she said that Jericho Barrons would always be her imaginary boyfriend.  I'm sure her real husband doesn't have a problem with that.  It would be a rare woman who did not think that Barrons was uniquely appealing, but I find that I am a much more fickle reader.

Self-Pub Success

on dublin streetI am not only an extreme book nerd, I am also a book publishing news junkie.  I've been particularly addicted lately, when the latest book publishing trends have such a huge impact on libraries.  One trend that I find fascinating is the change that's taken place in self-publishing over the last few years.  We've come a very long way from the days when John Grisham self-published A Time to Kill and sold it out of the back of his car. 

This trend is most visible in the romance genre, spurred on by the success of ebooks and blockbuster breakthroughs like E.L. James.  Many self-published ebooks that become popular are purchased by traditional publishers and made available in print.  The titles and authors listed below have either had their beginnings in self-publishing or the authors have decided to make a break with traditional publishing, at least for some titles, and give the new business model a try. 

Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Programs at HCPL

HC fun for seniorsHarris County Precinct 4’s Senior Adult Program (SAP) will begin offering special programs at the Barbara Bush Branch Library and the Fairbanks Branch Library in February for adults 50 years of age and older. SAP events are part of Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle’s educational and recreational commitment to Harris County residents.

Barbara Bush Branch Library:  Tuesdays, February, 5 and 12:

10 a.m.  Senior Fitness Class
Safe, effective, and fun fitness class designed for active older adults!

1 p.m.   Art Class
Pursue any type of artwork, in any media, in this class led by an award-winning artist. Students work at their own pace; no prior experience is necessary. A list of supplies for the media you choose will be provided in class.   

Fairbanks Branch Library:  Tuesdays, February, 19 and 26:        

10 a.m.  Senior Fitness Class
Safe, effective, and fun fitness class designed for active older adults!

1 p.m.   Art Class
Pursue any type of artwork, in any media, in this class led by an award-winning artist. Students work at their own pace; no prior experience is necessary. A list of supplies for the media you choose will be provided in class.

Baby, It's Cold Outside

deep kiss of winterOkay, it's actually been kind of cold for a couple of days in Houston, Texas and many of us have been enjoying the chill before we start wearing our shorts again.  I think that people who have always lived in warm climates romanticize snow and wintry temperatures, with pictures of fireplaces, snowmen and hot chocolate dancing in our heads, instead of snow tires, shovels and bursting pipes.  While safely ensconced in our temperate zone, what's the harm in that?

Friends of the Library Drawing Winner

Congratulations to Susan Meeks from the West University Branch Library!  Susan is the winner of the Harris County Friends of the Library drawing for a new Kindle Paperwhite and cover.  Thanks to our generous donors and to all who participated to support the Friends and HCPL!  Funds raised will be used to support summer reading programs at all Harris County branches. 

For more information about supporting the Harris County Friends of the Library, visit www.hcfol.org or volunteer for your local Friends group and make a difference in your community.

Support Your Local Romance Writer

wanted undead or aliveWe hear a great deal nowadays about buying local and eating local, but what about reading local?  I was preparing a presentation about hosting an author visit and it made me think about the talented and wide-ranging crop of local writers available in the romance genre. 

Starting Over

I am a firm believer that book series should have a definite beginning and end, and not just keep continuing on because they are selling well.  All of you series readers know what I mean -- sometimes no matter how much you love the characters, the story has come to a natural conclusion.  How do authors bring that about in a way that will satisfy their fans and then try something new?

Hot Off the Press in October

lady by midnightLibrarianship is not a profession that is generally associated with many perks.  We do have one, though, that is very exciting for us.  We get to read some new books before they have reached their release date.  We are passionate about this.  We sometimes riot at conferences over the latest pre-release that no one else has.  (A slight exaggeration, but only slight.)  I've been lucky enough to get a good batch recently, without resorting to violence, and I want to share them with you.

Talking the Talk

chasing magicHave you ever thought about how difficult it must be for an author to convey the sound and rhythm of a character's speech?  What a powerful tool that can be for a novel when conveyed correctly.  The other night I got up from reading a book to walk the dogs and realized I was speaking to my neighbor in a speech pattern not my own, but that of one of the characters in the book I was reading.  That's how you reel in a reader!

The Amazing Read: Summer Reading Challenge, Week 10

amazing readI'm back from last week's visit to another world.  I decided to visit Graphic Novel Land, and spent some time in the Sandman's dream world and the altered Victorian detective world of Ruse, which I found as a suggestion from another summer reader.  I enjoyed my time "out of this world" thoroughly.

We are now in the final week of The Amazing Read, so let's end on an inspirational note:  Read something that helps make you a better person.  You can take the spiritual or philosophical route, or pick something that will aid in self-improvement, like The Power of Habit.  You can focus on your professional life, with a book like The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future.  Or, enhance your parenting skills with a book like Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success.  Improve your physical self with the latest yoga guide or stress management tool.  We all have something we could work on!  What are you reading?

We hope that you've all enjoyed The Amazing Read challenge and all of summer reading this year.  Don't forget to register for the program and record your titles by August 11th to be eligible for prizes.

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