Archive for the Promotions Category

At the Seams

Posted in Events, Promotions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2014 by jaclemens

Big Hero 6Like Disney’s Big Hero 6, Salt Lake Comic Con is bursting at the seams! Organizers were scrambling to find more scotch tape to seal the leaks on the first day of the second annual convention, as enthusiasm overflowed the registration lines. Fans who missed out on the excitement while waiting in line for hours have been offered recompense. Intake was more efficient on Friday, but fire marshals had to bar the doors a few times on Saturday as the ranks swelled upwards of 90,000 fans! More of the Salt Palace was utilized this year, but Salt Lake Comic Con broke the attendance record once again, with more than 120,000 attending between Thursday the 4th and Saturday the 6th.

Comic Con experienced some growing pains in its second year, but it also made some improvements to the layout. Artists’ Alley was moved to the front of the Expo Hall, immediately inside the main entrance. The booths were color-coded this year, although the aisles were not all completely color-coordinated. It wasn’t a perfect system, but it was better than the shunted to the side and scrambled set up from FanX, according to AZ Powergirl at booth Green 14. The Celebrity Signing area was moved around the corner to be closer to the Photo Ops area, which brought the Kid Con area forward. The orientation of the ballrooms was also changed from east-facing to north- and south-facing.

Craig Parker

Craig Parker interviews; over his shoulder, Veronica Taylor (voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokemon cartoons) poses with a fan.

The Celebrity Kick Off Press Conference was held in the South Ballroom on Thursday morning. Lou Ferrigno welcomed us to Comic Con, then more guests emerged from a TARDIS onto the stage. As they were introduced one at a time, the ambidextrous artist Rob Prior completed a painting of the Joker in under fifteen minutes. The painting was given to one of the Wish Kids on the stage, and Manu Bennett pledged his first thousand dollars in earnings to another Wish Kid’s family before challenging the other celebrities to do likewise. At the conclusion of the press conference the Wish Kids got their own parade while the celebrities were made available for interviews.

When asked if he had a rebuttal to Jed Brophy’s aggrandized impersonation of an elf strutting the stage at Fantasy Con, Craig Parker (Haldir in The Lord of the Rings) responded that he had shown Brophy “the way of the elves” the weekend before coming to Salt Lake. Parker talked about having replica action figures, and said he knew he had made it as an actor when Lego issued a figure of Haldir! Parker was irrepressible in his spotlight panel that evening, sitting on the table to answer questions. At one point he held the microphone between his upraised knees so he could gesture with his hands while speaking. He mused about the blonde Russian girls who were offered Coke and Levis in exchange for the hair that went into making wigs for the elves (which beats the yak-hair wigs and beards the dwarfs wear!).

all fine

A cosplayer posing with my advance copy of Daryl Gregory’s We Are All Completely Fine (Tachyon).

Cary Elwes made the day of a lot of fans in his panel that afternoon. When a woman pronounced him her first Hollywood crush, he gave her a hug. Asked about his favorite sound he answered with his daughter’s laugh, and was declared both a sweetheart and a cutie pie. The real highlight of the Q&A came when a wheelchair-bound fan asked Elwes to perform the scene from The Princess Bride where the Man in Black (Westley) enters a battle of wits with Vizzini. Elwes needed help remembering his lines, but the fan had the Sicilian down pat! Elwes said that he loves this town, and hopes to be invited back for more episodes of Granite Flats. He was a hit, and took ample opportunities to promote his upcoming book, As You Wish. He may have missed his best opportunity, however, which would have been the press conference with all the Wish Kids present.

Sam Witwer rounded out the first day’s panels for me. Witwer played “Crashdown” on Battlestar Galactica and provided the voices of Starkiller in the Force Unleashed video game and Darth Maul in the Clone Wars animated series. Witwer knows his Star Wars chronology, and gave us his blueprint for introducing someone to the Star Wars trilogies out of numerical order, which preserves the overwhelming surprise of seeing it for the first time. Following his plan gives the original trilogy its full impact, while also making the prequels more enjoyable. That is a true Jedi mind trick, courtesy of a Sith apprentice!

 

Knights Who Say

Posted in Fiction, New release, Promotions, Recommendations with tags , , on March 25, 2014 by jaclemens

Shattered Plains 2Words of Radiance! The second book in The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson was released on March 4th! We are featuring it in the store as our book of the month – and it made a fine birthday present for a certain Sanderson fan!

The Heralds have returned, the Knights Radiant have reformed, and the Voidbringers have summoned the Everstorm. As they converge on the Shattered Plains, so does Shallan and Szeth-son-son-Vallano. Words of Radiance wraps up a two book mini-arc (if two thousand pages can be deemed “mini”) establishing the series, and opens many more possibilities moving forward. It is a dazzling follow up to Way of Kings (which I re-read beforehand), and it bears some resemblance to Hero of Ages. Its’ ties to Warbreaker may be the strongest, however, resulting in an unplanned re-read of that supposed stand-alone novel.

In the final 60 pages there is an epic showdown that gave me such chills I had to give myself an extra day to finish my reading! I’ve read almost everything Sanderson has written, but this one blew my mind to such an extent that it has taken two weeks to form a review! I hope I get a book of The Stormlight Archive for every birthday!

Two Drawings, Three Winners

Posted in Giveaways, Promotions with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2014 by jaclemens

Congratulations to Anne Grech, winner of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma, and to Tonya, who won The Bosnia List by Kenan Trebincevic! In addition, I had a spare advance reader copy of The Bosnia List, which went to Camille. Thanks to everyone who entered, and to Penguin and Viking for letting me conduct these giveaways!

Double Up

Posted in New release, Promotions, Recommendations with tags , , , , on February 20, 2014 by jaclemens

LeopardsViking is allowing me to do another giveaway for Kristopher Jansma’s The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards, this time in paperback! I have re-posted my review – leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing.

While I am holding a second giveaway for one of my favorite books of 2013, I will simultaneously have a giveaway for a new release from Penguin! Stayed tuned for that review, as you will need to comment on it separately to be entered in both drawings; they will both close on Friday, February 28th.

(This review was previously posted on 3/21/13; an interview with the author was also posted on 3/18/13)

The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma is highly addictive for fans of literary fiction; it’s lit fic crack! I sped through it in a day and a half, but I absorbed it too quickly the first time so I had to start over and re-read it at a slower pace. As the unnamed narrator describes the work of another writer:

“It is the rare sort of book that resembles nothing else and yet somehow seems intensely familiar. From the first line you feel your own heart begin to beat differently. Once it’s over you want to begin it again.”

That is precisely my experience with this book. There is a great con going on here – our narrator is both unnamed and unreliable – but there is another level to this Inception-esque con at work. I was hooked so rapidly that I had a surreal sense of being hooked, as though Jansma had cracked the literary fiction formula and used it to cook up this new form of irresistible lit fic crack. I embraced the book so readily I wanted to throw it across the room! I might have done it had I been reading a typical advance copy, but I got this through netgalley (a first) and a touchscreen isn’t especially useful when it’s embedded in the drywall.

Somewhat like the three books our narrator has written, all of which have been lost. In an Author’s Note he explains that this book is pieced together from the remnants of those other books, and that in the empty space between them – in the cracks, as it were – is the truth.

Good Friday Giveaway

Posted in Promotions, Recommendations with tags , , , , on March 29, 2013 by jaclemens

My Good Friday Giveaway had a record number of entries, making the odds 1 in 264. I performed a random drawing, and the winner was #217. Congratulations, Danielle!

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway for The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma, and thanks to Elaine Broeder at Viking for authorizing it!

Happy Easter!

“the leopards of words”

Posted in New release, Promotions with tags , , , , on March 27, 2013 by jaclemens

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the giveaway of one copy of The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma; I will be announcing the winner on Friday, March 29th, at 2 PM Mountain Time/4 PM Eastern. The winner will be posted here on the blog and notified by e-mail.

For anyone who has not signed up yet, go to the Meet the Author post, learn more about debut author Kristopher Jansma, and leave a comment to enter. You have two days left!

[The title of this post is a quote from “The Poem” by Vladimir Nabokov]

In the Cracks

Posted in Fiction, New release, Promotions, Recommendations with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by jaclemens

spots of leopardsThe Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma is highly addictive for fans of literary fiction; it’s lit fic crack! I sped through it in a day and a half, but I absorbed it too quickly the first time so I had to start over and re-read it at a slower pace. As the unnamed narrator describes the work of another writer:

“It is the rare sort of book that resembles nothing else and yet somehow seems intensely familiar. From the first line you feel your own heart begin to beat differently. Once it’s over you want to begin it again.”

That is precisely my experience with this book. There is a great con going on here – our narrator is both unnamed and unreliable – but there is another level to this Inception-esque con at work. I was hooked so rapidly that I had a surreal sense of being hooked, as though Jansma had cracked the literary fiction formula and used it to cook up this new form of irresistible lit fic crack. I embraced the book so readily I wanted to throw it across the room! I might have done it had I been reading a typical advance copy, but I got this through netgalley (a first) and a touchscreen isn’t especially useful when it’s embedded in the drywall.

Somewhat like the three books our narrator has written, all of which have been lost. In an Author’s Note he explains that this book is pieced together from the remnants of those other books, and that in the empty space between them – in the cracks, as it were – is the truth.