30 June 2010

We have Winners!

Thanks to all who entered the contest for Sean Munger's books.

Word Nerd is pleased to announce the winners.

The grand prize trilogy set of all three Giamotti books goes to.... Gothika!

The e-book version of the first Giamotti book goes to S Penney!

Please email your contact info to Word Nerd at bkwarner at gmail dot com and you'll get your prize!

28 June 2010

Word Count Meter

The Word Count meter says Word Nerd's half done writing her current WIP. Yes, another one. Except not, really.

It's the NaNo2009 manuscript and the WIP from about 2006 come back around again.

It doesn't feel very half done, actually.

But, hopefully, the word count meter will continue to tick upwards. It is fun to update the progress.

For the record, the goal for June is to hit 50,000 total words and July will be 70K.

24 June 2010

Book Banter -- The Whiskey Rebels

Title: The Whiskey Rebels
Author: David Liss
Genre: Historical fiction
Length: ~500 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Her personal collection

Plot Basics: Late 1780s America -- the Revolutionary War has been one, the country is expanding and an investment craze is underway as the new Bank of the United States is formed. Unconcerned with banks, Ethan Saunders a spy during the war, would be content to drink his days away, disgraced now as a supposed traitor. But when the woman he would have married asks for his help, Ethan stumbles into a plot that he can't let go. Someone, it seems, would sink the Bank before it gets off the ground, financially ruining his young country. Ethan puts the spy craft he knows so well to work to unravel the conspiracy.

Banter Points: Word Nerd heard Liss on a panel at Bouchercon 2009 and put this book on her TBR list. She's getting more into historical fiction and the Revolutionary War period and shortly thereafter has always been a time that interested her. While she vaguely remembers reading about the Whiskey Rebellion during AP American History in high school, not remembering the details didn't hurt this story at all. What makes this book is how amazingly modern the plot is -- it's about stock market and people betting against investment futures... the same kind of scheme that's got guys on trial today. Ethan is a great voice for telling this story as he is not a man of means or power, but doesn't want to see money sink his country.

Bummer Points: Word Nerd took this book as her airplane book on vacation and it's not really a good airplane book. The plot is fascinating, but sometimes Liss descends into long explanatory passages that don't do much to make the time go by when feeling stuck in a window seat at 30,000 feet.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like historical fiction (of the non-romantic kind) this is a good read. Also, an interesting mystery-style book all built around greed, not murder.

22 June 2010

Varied Voices -- Sean Munger

Say hello today to Sean Munger and stick around after his blog to find out about how you can snag some copies of his Giamotti books.

Why I Will Never Have A Life Without Giamotti

By Sean Munger

One of the great—and terrible—things about writing is that what you write never really goes away. Just this month (June 2010) the new ebook version of my science fiction novel Life Without Giamotti has been released, marking another milestone on what I can hardly believe has been a twenty year odyssey with these stories and their eponymous main character.

Life Without Giamotti was first published in paperback form by Buffalo Fetus Productions in 2006, but the story and the character of Giamotti have been around for much longer than that. In high school I had the curious idea for a character, a sort of darkly intelligent and devious biker who becomes sentient, realizes he is a fictional character and sets about trying to bring himself out of his novel and into reality. From the beginning the character of Steven Giamotti seemed different than any other character I’d created. He is not just devious; he has a total lack of human emotions and the capacity for empathy, making him capable of true evil. He isn’t just arrogant and ambitious, he’s megalomaniacal. And I quickly learned over the various early drafts throughout the 1990s that he had his sights set a lot higher than I appreciated at first. Becoming a real person in the real world was only a first step. Ultimately he wanted to become God: omniscient, immortal, and all-powerful.

The story of how Giamotti sets out to do exactly that finally jelled in Life Without Giamotti, but there are so many facets to his journey that the leftovers from the sixteen years of labor on the first book quickly became the two sequels, All Giamotti’s Children (published in 2008) and Giamotti in Winter (published in 2009). Now, after three novels, twenty years, and Giamotti’s adventures across time and space ranging from the American Revolution to the swanky nightclubs of Manhattan in the 1950s, it feels like the whole thing is starting over again with the publication of the ebooks. The first ebook is already out, available from Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/life-without-giamotti/11179131) and the others will be released in digital format soon.

Buffalo Fetus Productions, working through the web-based printer Lulu, has proven to be a terrific option for the publication of the Giamotti books. The publishing business has changed radically in the last ten years, with traditional brick-and-mortar publishing houses struggling to adapt to a new environment largely defined by technology and with multiple new ways to access books. Life Without Giamotti is a very unusual book with a non-linear narrative, complex characters that drift in and out of the plot at unpredictable times, and deals with a lot of mind-bending metaphysical concepts that go pretty far beyond traditional science fiction tropes—not the kind of stuff traditional publishers are likely to take a chance on. The rise of technology-based book presses like Lulu have suddenly made it possible for tiny publishers to capture niche markets, and that makes all the difference with non-traditional books like the Giamotti trilogy. I never set out to be on the New York Times’ bestseller list, but I’m amazed that the story of Life Without Giamotti has found its way from my laptop in suburban Oregon to bookshelves across the Americas, in Norway, in Germany and all places in between. The books have been read at both poles of the Earth: I once got an email from someone reading Life Without Giamotti at a research outpost in Greenland, and a copy of All Giamotti’s Children can be found in the library at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. All in all, that’s pretty satisfying.

I proclaimed myself “done” with Giamotti when I finished All Giamotti’s Children in 2009. A year later I wonder who I was kidding. Even as I move on to other projects—my new book, The Valley of Forever, which is not part of the Giamotti saga, will be released sometime later this year—I know that Giamotti, being omniscient and all-powerful as he is, will never leave me. I wrote him to be immortal, and for better or for worse, he probably is. With the ebook versions giving him another lease on life, I’m sure he’ll be around for quite some time to come.

So -- now it's your turn. Sean talked about how he hasn't been able to let go of the character of Giamotti. What character from your reading has stuck with you over the years?

Post a comment and you could win! We've got two prizes this week -- first, the whole Giamotti trilogy in print for the grand prize winner and second, a e-book copy of Life Without Giamotti for the runner-up. The contest is open to everyone, even if you've won something here from Word Nerd before. Contest ends on Tuesday, June 29.

21 June 2010


Word Nerd has returned from a lovely vacation out East -- Providence and Newport RI, and Cape Cod, MA. Lovely, lovely places.

She'd happily take a summer home out there if anyone's got some spare millions lying around that they would like to funnel her way.

Coming up this week on Word Nerd:
-- A review of David Liss' "The Whiskey Rebels"
-- A guest blog and contest with author Sean Munger
-- And more!

14 June 2010

Word Nerd is...

... somewhere in this general vicinity.

She will return to regularly scheduled blogging the week of Juen 21.

11 June 2010

Book Banter -- Speak No Evil

Title: Speak No Evil
Author: Allison Brennan
Genre: Romantic suspense
Length: 412 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library

Plot Basics: The body of a woman is found on a San Diego beach, wrapped in garbage bags, her mouth glued shut. Detective Carina Kincaid suspects the victim's evasive, older ex-boyfriend as the killer. When Sheriff Nick Thomas comes in to town to support his brother who's accused of murder, he begins to think the case has the markings of a potential serial killer. As killer strikes again, Carina and Nick try to outwit the killer and not let their growing feelings for each other get in the way of the investigation.

Banter Points: Allison Brennan is like reading candy for Word Nerd. It's not as delicious as a really good meal, but it tastes good while you're eating it. Her books aren't the highest quality literature, but there's something appealing about them from time to time. She's got broken characters (the sheriff with the knee trouble, the cop with family baggage) and a generally compelling plot.

Bummer Points: Word Nerd has to suspend a great deal of disbelief for these books. Not because of the prevalence of serial killers and cops with baggage, no, for the romance. Cuz... dashing sherff and sexy cop are going to go get all horizontal in the middle of a murder investigation.

Word Nerd Recommendation: It's like that bag of M&M's you want. Read it and don't feel bad about it every so often.

10 June 2010

Book Banter -- Dragon Keeper

Word Nerd tackled Robin Hobb's latest -- Dragon Keeper -- over at Popsyndicate.com.

Check out her review there.

09 June 2010

Winner the Second --CJ West/End of Marking Time Contest!

There is another winner to announce this week on Word Nerd!

Thanks for all the comments about brain-bending readings in anticipation of CJ West's new book, "The End of Marking Time."

And, as promised, one lucky commenter has won a copy of CJ's new book. The magic hat -- or in this case, drinking glass of winning -- produced the following winner:

christinebonner2 who commented about how much she likes Lee Child's Reacher books because it's unclear whodunit until the very end.

Christine -- e-mail me your shipping address at bkwarner at gmail dot com and I'll pass it along so you can get your copy of End of Marking Time.

Don't forget, if you didn't win, check out CJ's virtual launch party tomorrow, June 10, where CJ's got a great contest of his own announced.

08 June 2010

Book Banter -- Secret Society Girl

Title: Secret Society Girl

Author: Diana Peterfreund

Genre: Chick lit/mystery

Length: 291 pages

Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library

Plot Basics: Amy Haskel, Eli University junior and editor of the literary magazine, is sure that if she gets tapped into one of the school's secret societies it will be Quill & Ink, the haven for the literary set. But when she receives a summons from the school's most infamous secret society -- Rose & Grave. There's just one problem with this -- Rose & Grave doesn't take girls and Amy discovers that such a change is going to shake up the whole notion of secret...

Banter Points: A few years ago, Word Nerd interviewed Diana Peterfreund back when Secret Society Girl debuted and thought the book sounded fun. Last week or so, Word Nerd spotted the 4th one in the series on a new book shelf and she suddenly remembered this series and thought she'd check it out. And what fun it was. Word Nerd started reading on Saturday afternoon/evening and finished the book Monday morning because it was just a hoot. Reminiscent of Megan McCafferty, Secret Society Girl is just a fun read all around with a quirky and loveable protagonist. And who doesn't love the idea of secret societies? Amy is a great narrator with a strong voice. The chapters are punctuated by Amy's lists which give great insights into how she thinks.

Bummer Points: Word Nerd's got nothing. It was a delightful read.

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you are looking for a fun read with an engaging main character that manages to be a page turner without involving serial killers, Secret Society Girl is it.

07 June 2010

Winner the First -- The Name Game


Word Nerd has a winner in her Name Game contest from last week!

Drumroll please!

Johnny Dangerous (aka, John Desjarlais) you are the winner.

E-mail Word Nerd at bkwarner (at) gmail dot com with your mailing address and the copy of The Eternal Ones will soon be on its way to you!

To all who entered -- THANK YOU! All your suggestions were fantastic! Now Word Nerd just has to choose which one(s) she likes the best. Good thing pegasus polo ponies come in teams because all those choice were especially good.

04 June 2010

Book Banter -- Without Fail

Title: Without Fail (Reacher bk. 6)

Author: Lee Child

Length: ~400 pages

Genre: Thriller

Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library

Plot Basics: Drifter Jack Reacher is hired by the US Secret Service to conduct an audit of the Vice President's security and see if and where he might be vulnerable. Only what starts as a training exercise becomes a life and death race as true assassins plan to kill the VP. But Reacher is determined to stand in their way.

Banter Points: Word Nerd started reading the Jack Reacher books because she heard that despite the violence in them, women tended to like them. Or maybe it's that women like Reacher... Either way, she's now 6 books in likes them, but probably not for the same reasons other women do. They are darn good thrillers. Fast-paced. Interesting plots. And they don't all read the same. Sure Reacher's going to foil some plot every time and along the way, shoot some guys or beat them up, but the storylines truly are different each time. That said, Word Nerd does not have a fictional crush on Reacher. He's a scary guy. The bad boy thing is supposed to be appealing, but in Reacher's case... yipes.

Bummer Points: One of the early Reacher books was told in first person and it was even more amazing to be inside Reacher's head when he metes out his personal brand of justice. Word Nerd's bummed that we haven't gotten back there yet. (Later ones are first person again... apparently...)

Word Nerd Recommendation: If you like thrillers and can stand some violence in books and aren't reading Reacher, what are you waiting for?

03 June 2010

Welcome back, CJ West

Give it up for author CJ West who's been a writing maniac lately and has another new book out.

CJ's got a virtual launch party on June 10th, click here for details.

In the meantime, the man himself explains a little bit about what's different with his new book, The End of Marking Time. Oh, and want to read it for yourself? Stay tuned at the end of the CJ's guest blog to see how you can win a copy of your very own.

The End of Marking Time has elements of first, second, and third person perspective and I wanted the packaging to shout that this book is unusual. The front cover hints at Michael’s release from prison and I think Sarah Carroll, my cover artist, did a great job putting together a classic cover that warns of danger.

When you turn the book over, it gives you a good stiff poke in the cranium. You won’t notice the little trick I’m playing on the men when they handle the book cover, but I’ll tell you in a moment how you can test it out with your friends. The first thing you’ll notice is that the text is landscape (sideways if you’re not a graphic artist.) When you turn the book 90 degrees to read the text, I’m telling you that you’re going to have to think about this book differently. The second indication that this book will make you think, is that Michael immediately introduces himself and begins talking to you as if you already know him. One of the mysteries of this book is you. Not who you are, but who Michael thinks you are.

Michael is locked in a room facing a large window set into a concrete block wall. The back cover subtly shows the window and the wall, which are the setting for the entire book. Michael believes that you are behind the window, listening to his story and that it is your job to decide whether he is worthy of another chance. That is why there are two big buttons on the back cover. One red. One green. If you press the green button, Michael gets to go free. He doesn’t know what will happen if you press the red button, but he knows it’s not good.

If you knew about the buttons before you picked up the book, you might realize that I’ve tricked many of you into pressing the green button when you turned the book over. This works surprisingly well for men. Try handing the book to your friends and asking them to check out the cover front and back and tell you what they think. Most of the men will have their thumb on the green button when they first turn it over. You have to pay attention, because they will turn the book as soon as they realize the text is landscape. I can’t make women press the button consistently because they are too darn unpredictable. But if I could figure out women, I’d be writing a different sort of book, wouldn’t I?

I’ve created a Facebook group called, I pressed the (RED) (GREEN) button for you to share your own results. Stop in, tell me what you think of the cover, and which button you pressed. Enjoy The End of Marking Time and please join me for the virtual launch party on June 10th.

So... you've hung on just for the contest, right? Right. Here's how to win:

In the comments, post your favorite brain-bending book and why you liked it. All commenters will be thrown into a hat (well, not literally, but you get the idea) and a winner will be chosen on June 9 in anticipation of the launch party. You can only enter once, but everyone is eligible to win.

02 June 2010

What's in a name?

Word Nerd's madly writing again, going back and making something viable out of what she wrote during NaNoWriMo in November. It's going well, but she needs some names.

Rather than spending hours (hours? Yeah, maybe...) pouring over choices at behindthename.com, she's going to turn to you, her faithful readers for some help.

Here's what she needs:
  • A police woman. First and last name... Sgt. ??? ???
  • Her protagonist's middle name. Ainsley ??? Doran. It's used one whole time in a legal document. But, it looks funny without it.
  • A black pegasus. She asked for help on this before and got the helpful suggestion of Charlie. Charlie was a unicorn, not a pegasus. This pegasus is a part of a polo string and needs a name sounding like a champion. Cuz he is.

So, what do you get for your help? An advance copy of Kirsten Miller's "The Eternal Ones." Straight from the publishers. Before it comes out in August.

Anyone who puts a name suggestion in the comments is entered! Winner will be chosen at the end of this week!

01 June 2010

May 2010 Bibliometer

Despite Word Nerd's sporadic posting lately, she really has still been reading books, so with the end of May comes another Bibliometer reading.

May 2010
6 books
2,234 pages
72 pages/day

32 books
11,079 pages