Wednesday, August 19, 2009


No, that the geographical ones, but my favorite bookstore.

Why? They have a frequent buyer program which does not cost you anything to join. They are good in sending discount coupons, nearly weekly, to members. If you spend $150.00, they will send you a $5 off coupon for your next purchase.

But this is not why I'm blogging.

Ever since I started buying ebooks, I've not step foot into my local Borders. I had to go this time because I knew I could not get the Dark-Hunter Manga as an ebook.

I parked and opened the first door. I saw a discounted dinosaur book which is a great gift for my nephew's upcoming birthday. As I stepped further into the store, past the front where they always do the promo for the new stuff, nothing was the same. They have reconfigured the central shelves layout. Now I have to relearn my local store. It was like visiting an out-of-town Borders. All the categories and stacks got moved around. They are no longer rows and rows of shelves. Borders created a square-like area for these sections -- Young Adults, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Romance, Graphic/Manga. Teens must really be reading now given Harry Potter and Twilight. I've never such a prominent area for Young Adults.

Instead of recommendations in each section, maybe they are still there but I did not notice, they had a wired display like this. If you don't know True Blood based on the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris is the biggest buzz since Twilight. I will admit I tried one of her books. It was not my cup of tea or I was not in the mood for it and never tried again. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big paranormal fan. I've read majority of the books or have them on my TBR that are on that display. Though I don't get what Janet Evanovich Plum series is doing here.

Some square areas had weird end caps. Like J.R. Ward's series was an end cap in the Mystery section. I wondered if they moved her to this section as the hard-core romance community did not like the direction her books were taking -- more urban fantasy than romance. So I check the Mystery shelves for her books. Nope, not there. I went to the Romance section to see if she was still there. I only found one.

I read somewhere that Borders has decided to order less stock from the publishers. This way it's less inventory that would need to be returned to the publisher or gets discounted. I think it's true. I generally help out, unpaid, by restocking when I see the holes in the shelves. I would find the books hidden behind what's displayed. There were none to be found. I think all of J.R. Ward's stock was on the floor. All of Sherrilyn Kenyon's was also front and center. Nor any for Christine Feehan.

What changes have you seen in your local bookstore to whet your appetite to buy more books? Or have you gone almost electronic book, like me, or the audio route -- you know downloading from iTunes?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mosquitoes & Their Bite

Mosquitoes must have been the first vampires. What!?! Do they not suck your blood?

I went to my brother's BBQ on Saturday. Unlike some of the others, I just sat, fanned myself, ate and chatted with my brother's in-law relatives. It was too hot, 90's, and humid to run around. As I was under the trees in his backyard, I was the feast for some other critters. I do not think the bug-off spray worked. I guess it made me tastier.

When I got home, I went searching for my cortisone as some of them were saying "scratch me". I keep a tube a round as I easily get hives when I'm totally stressed. I could not find it anywhere -- emptied the pocketbook and brief case and shoveled through my carry-on. I must have left it in the office or hotel bag. Gotta have something to put on the bites or I'll never sleep. I hightailed it back to the car for a quick trip to my Shop-Rite. I picked Aveeda's 1% hydro-cortisone. Smeared it on myself and went to bed with mine over itch.

I woke up with more mosq bites screaming for scratching. Put more Aveeda on myself and had my sis help with the ones on the back. Not much relief; maybe an hour.

I posted on FB and twitter about my misery with my mosq bites. I got some very interesting advice...

"rubbing alcohol on cotton balls, blot. works for me"
"ice also helps a little bit"
"Aspercreme! It has a numbing agent and takes away the itch!"
"Drink a beer or a hard cider...itching disappears for some reason"
"if you have Maalox rub that on the bites and it will stop itching"
"go ahead and scratch"
"sometimes Benadryl helps w/ the itching. Does for me but it makes you tired. Also After Bite if you have it there works"
"make a paste of meat tenderizer and water and put it on your bites. It works believe me. Crazy but true."
"try the Dr Burt's res-q ointment. It is made by Burt's Bees"

The Benadryl reminded me that I can take Claritin as it decreases the histamines in the body. I forgot that I took that along with smearing Cortisone on my hives. I found my Claritin and took one. Still major itch screaming. I looked at the advice given and feel Aveeda is better as moisturizing company and headed to my local CVS.

I liked the aspercreme comment but CVS did not have that but they had their brand. Picked that up. Picked up rubbing alcohol, too, as you cannot go wrong with having that in the house. Benadryl actually puts out an extra strength itch stopping cream. It's like the aspercreme as it contains a topical analgesic. Cheapo me went with the CVS brand which contains the same ingredients.

Got home and smeared the CVS itch relief cream on. It actually works. Bites went into a murmur. I don't know how much this was helped by the Claritin I took earlier. I have the CVS quasi aspercreme as a back up in case I need a stronger numbing agent. Aspercreme is for arthritis.

Well, Monday early I had to get on a plane. I took my Claritan and guess which cream I used. I used the CVS pretend aspercream as I did not want to hear from the bites at all. They only gave little squeaks until I deplaned. I think the usage of my legs woke them all up.

It's Tuesday and they have all quieted down with occasional murmurs that I can easily ignore. I did not put anything on them today. However, I don't appreciate the red splotches that are the remnants of the bites.

My sister has requested that my brother hold his next BBQ indoors. Her boyfriend has more bites than I did. He did not become aware of them until Sunday and Monday when some of them wanted attention.

Next time, I'm bringing the citronella candle pot I have.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sherrily Kenyon's Bad Moon Rising Tour - Foxwoods Stop

Now, when did I gas up the car for 160 mile drive to Foxwoods Resort Casino. It must have been Saturday. Tis very sad that I have lost all sense of time.

On Sunday, August 9, I headed out of the house at 11:15am to insure I got Foxwoods before the event started at 3pm. I'm glad I left early as there were many parts of I-95 in CT that was congested. Holter Graham kept me entertained during my drive out and back (@320 mi roundtrip). I got to finish 5 more disks of the 19-disk ACHERON. As I listened to the 1st five disks on my last trip to Foxwoods, I will need another trip to finish the book off. It might be next year.

Like last year, I found immediately where Sherri's signing was going to be held. I couldn't miss this sign once I came in from the garage. When I got to the Grand Pequot Ballroom, I had to do a doublecheck as the signage on the ballroom was advertising "Deal or No Deal". As there was a line coming out of the ballroom and I recognized the visage of a Kenyon minion, I was assured I was in the right place.

Unlike last year which was the big splash for ACHERON in 2008 (photos), the ballroom lobby was where you just purchased BAD MOON RISING and received a ticket to attend the Q&A and author signing. I, like Sherri, was shocked to find out you must purchase BMR in order to enter the event. When I double checked with Foxwood staff, I walked out to decide what I wanted to do. As I took a picture of the signage, I double checked it. Yep, the small print says you must purchase BMR in order to enter the event. Even though I bought my copy of BMR with me, I re-entered and purchase another copy. I really wanted to see Sherri and her co-hort, Dianna Love.

The room was a bit smaller than last year, still big though, and did not have the book covers hanging from the ceiling. Instead the book covers were leaning against the wall upfront.

Dianna Love introduced Sherri. Sherri did here Q&A. Dianna kicked out Sherri to start the signing. While Sherri was signing anything and everything, except a check, Dianna entertained the group in the ballroom with giveaways and vinnets about her travels with Sherri.

It was very entertaining how Dianna did the giveaways this year. Instead of using tickets we generally receive at the events, Dianna decided to use the event signing numbers that Foxwoods distributed. The pages of BAD MOON RISING was used to find the winning number. Dianna would open the book to a specific page number. There were many shouts for specific numbers, "even" and "odd". Then Dianna got the audience to scream "STOP" while she flipped through the pages. It was a fun time.

What was given out you wonder: Simi Birthday Cards, Bite Me Glo Bracelets, Marked by Fang T-Shirts, BMR Poloshirts, Kenyon Menyon lapel pins, Daimon lapel pins, Simi lapel pin, Acheron lapel pin, Tabitha Drawstring Backpack, DH Slapbracelet (even a blonde can operate - Dianna said that), Bad Moon Rising Tote Bag, Born of Night Galley, all the hanging bookcovers from last years ACHERON event, BMR promotion posters and placard and that BMR Bookcover hanging on the stage.

It was great playing catchup with Simi aka Kimmy and meet new minions. I waited until the end to get my books autographed as I think I've finally had Sherri sign all the books I have. Gotta check my bookshelf.

As I made my way back to the garage, I looked at my receipt. There was nothing about final sales or no return policy on books. It may not be right, but I returned the book I bought. I just did not feel right paying full price for a book I can get at a discount, especially a hardcover.

I will not blame Sherri for how the venues decide to handle her signing. It taught me a lesson to always check with the venue on their signing event. If Sherri knew ahead of time, she would have posted it. Well, for Foxwood, Sherri did not know until she arrived at the event herself.

Click here for more pictures of the Bad Moon Rising Tour - Foxwoods.