Linda Stevens's blog

Do You Watch Book Trailers?

What is a book trailer, you ask?  Imagine the promos you see for upcoming films when you go to the theater, only these are promoting upcoming books and are viewed online.  They cover a wide range of book categories and a wide range of video capabilities, but some of them are funny, well-made and intriguing.  The book trailer embedded below is for Sherrilyn Kenyon's most recent Dark Hunters book, No Mercy:  

What do you think?  Embarassing or enticing?  Would a book trailer convince you to try something you might not normally read?

Countdown to Summer Reading

dig up a good bookEveryone is invited to "Dig Up a Good Book" this summer with HCPL summer reading programs for the entire family.  The fun begins Friday, June 3rd and runs through Friday, August 5th Saturday, August 6th, but you can set up your account starting May 31st if you would like a few extra days before you begin logging the books you read.  Registration and reading logs are online, but we encourage you to check out the events calendar and visit your local branch to take part in the great free family entertainment happening all summer long. 

Romance Family Sagas

hidden awayLast weekend I was scarfing down the books in Maya Banks' KGI series as if they were bonbons and I paused for a moment to wonder about the source of their appeal.  I started reading the first book because I was in the mood for a military/adventure type of romance, but by the time I finished that one and drove to the nearest bookstore to buy the next two, I was caught up in the story of the family.  It made me think of how many series I've made my way through because I really liked the characters in a family, I wanted to find out what happened in all of their imaginary lives, and I just wanted to spend more time with them.

Romance Writing Teams

When my best friend and I were in high school, we decided we were going to write a book together.  One week later, we weren't speaking to each other.  We couldn't agree on what the characters would be named, what they would look like, what they were going to do, or what they were saying to each other.  We won't even get into the delusion that we could actually write.  Needless to say, I have a great respect for the special skills of authors who can collaborate to tell a single story. I mean ones who really collaborate, not become a brand with a second author.  I am baffled by how they can make it work as a truly equal effort, but some very successful teams of friends, husbands and wives, even mothers and sons have proven it can be done.

New Hours at West University Branch Library

The West University Branch Library will have a reduction in hours starting April 6, 2011.  Renewals, requests and other online services are still available 24/7 at  The new West University Branch Library schedule will be:  Monday 10-8, Tuesday 10-6, Wednesday 10-6, Thursday 1-6, Friday 1-6, and Saturday 10-5.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you have any questions, please call 713-749-9000.

New Hours at Octavia Fields Branch Library

The Octavia Fields Branch Library will have a reduction in hours starting April 6, 2011.  Renewals, requests and other online services are still available 24/7 at  The new Octavia Fields Branch Library schedule will be:  Monday 1-7, Tuesday 10-9, Wednesday 10-7, Thursday 10-9, Friday Closed, and Saturday 10-5.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  If you have any questions, please call 713-749-9000.

Hours Change at Six Library Locations

Six library locations will have a change in hours starting April 6th, 2011.  The new schedules for the Atascocita Branch Library, Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library, Barbara Bush Branch Library, Northwest Branch Library, Octavia Fields Branch Library and West University Branch Library are:

The Benefits of eRomance

sony readerIt’s not exactly breaking news that the eBook business is booming right now.  At HCPL, our customers check out at least 20,000 eBooks and eAudio books each month.  A blog post I read today compared the rise of eBooks with the debut of mass market paperbacks around the time of World War II, and many of the issues sound similar.  Pricing issues – check.  Publisher paranoia – check.  Genre domination – check.  Literary snobbery – check. 

2011 Audie Award Nominations

audie awardsThey might not receive as much attention as The Oscars, but each year The Audies highlight the best in audiobooks from the previous year.  The Audies feature 30 categories, including Biography/Memoir, Fiction, History, Humor, Solo Narration, and Original Work.  The awards will be announced at the Audies Gala on May 24, 2011, but you probably won't see the winners strutting down the red carpet on television.

There are some strong contenders this year, including the titles listed below.  Why not branch out from your usual audiobook selections and try one of these quality guaranteed nominees?

African-American Romance Authors

I recently read an article that contained a quote by Beverly Jenkins, a prolific author of romances featuring African-American characters.  Ms. Jenkins stated that she creates heroines who are beautiful in "who they are and how they live their lives," "women who are the first African-American doctors, journalists and business owners."  It made me start thinking about how quickly the romance genre went from having only white characters to having a wealth of styles and storylines featuring African-American and multicultural characters.

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