August 2014



Happy August!  I love August because the corn on the cob is plentiful and the zucchini is over running everyone.  Well everyone but me.  My zucchini won't grow, I gave up, so if you have zucchini to unload, just sayin, maybe you could send a little this way.  Recently, I saw this recipe shared by Debbie Macomber for Lemon Zuccchini Bread - yummm.

We have a lot of signings and other activities coming up, stay tuned and check the website calendar often.  I know it isn't in August, but it is time to mention the Annual Sidewalk Sale, September 6th, don't miss it!
We had some incredible author events in July, and August is looking just as good.  Coming up we have Jo Barney and Barbara Dan on 8/2 and Sheron Wood McCartha and D. Wallace Peach on 8/9.  We hope you can find time in your busy summer schedule to stop by and support these wonderful independent authors.
Longtime Jan's employee, Linda retired at the end of July.  She has been with the store for more years than either of us can remember.  She was the one that talked me into coming to work here.  We co-owned it for a few years and she sold out when she took the first step toward retirement.  We will miss her, but she won't be far and I am sure she will be in often as now she will have more time to read.  Happy Retirement Linda!
Anyone attending our August Book Group will get a free copy of the September selection, WHAT I REMEMBER MOST by Cathy Lamb.  Cathy also plans to be at the September group to talk about her book.  Jill has finished it and loved it, I am halfway and loving it.  Why free copies?  Because we are registered as a Book Group with the publisher and they sent us a box full.  In September we will hand out free copies of the October book, MEET ME IN BARCELONA by Mary Carter.  Come visit our book group and get some free books.
Happy Reading,

by Bryan Gregory
We all have a tendency to slip into what's easy and comfortable over time, even in our reading choices. I grew up reading Tom Clancy and David Brown novels because that's what my father read. My mother had a set of The Lord of the Rings and I was given a boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia, but my reading choices were largely shaped by what was available in the house for the first few years of my reading life.

While my choices as a teenager swerved back and forth between genres, I found myself drawn mostly towards fantasy and science fiction as an adult. I’d go to a bookstore and always run straight to the same sections over and over. One day I realized just how much I was missing and turned towards another shelf.  As an adult I've found some of the most interesting material outside of what’s comfortable and familiar.

The same goes for every other part of life, including writing. It’s too easy to slip back onto tired old tropes and what’s normal for whatever genre you might try to author. Great writers succeed only when they find ways to step beyond the usual and the ordinary, stretching themselves outside of their comfort zones to pull in what they might not otherwise have included.

Every reader can be well served by pushing beyond what they might normally choose. Take a chance! The next time you’re at Jan’s, try a section other than where you’re used to going. Pick a new author or a new genre to try out. Buy one book you never would have otherwise and read it cover to cover. Inside a fantasy novel, you might find a sweet romance that reminds you of what you normally read. Between the pages of a mystery perhaps you’ll encounter an adventure or heart-pounding car chase. Deep inside a memoir you may discover the most interesting passage you’ve read in years. Unless you try it you’ll never know what you’re missing!

I’m about to finish my third novel in the Bladesman Lords series, which started with Lord of the City and continued with City of the Lords. They’re fantasy novels with a touch of steampunk. But like any story they contain a bit of everything – there’s mysteries, adventure, romance, and invention. My writing has been informed by every book I push myself to read, even if it’s not what’s closest at hand or by an author I already know. Why not give something new a shot next time you’re at Jan’s?

Bryan Lee Gregory
is an author of fiction that blurs the lines between high fantasy and steampunk. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest and currently lives in Beaverton, Oregon. Bryan has been creating new ideas for stories from a young age and has been turning those ideas into novels since 2009.

When not writing, Bryan works professionally in the software development industry. He graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 1999.

Bryan has written the first two novels in his Bladesmen Lords series and is currently working on the third. Lord of the City and City of the Lords are both available now as eBooks or trade paperbacks.

Bryan can be contacted via email at

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by Theo Lawrence
This book is recommended for teens, but adults will enjoy it also.  A Romeo and Juliet romance with intrigue and adventure set in a dystopian future.  I will be looking forward to books two of this series.  -Tarra

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by James Patterson
I thought this book was funny and at some points adventurous. There was one part where Rafe did graffiti on a wall at school - not the best choice in the world. I liked this book because I felt like I was in Rafe's own world.  I think this would be a good book for 9-13 year olds. -Austin  (Jan's customer, age 9)

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by Emily Giffin
Many of us have secrets from our past, but Marian has a doosey.  At 18 she got pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption.... and didn't tell anyone.  18 years later, her 'secret' comes back to find her.

This is a really sweet story.  I loved the characters and the life lesson each of them has to face and come to terms with.  I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a relaxing and enjoyable book.  -Jill

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by Kate Dicamillo
This book is about a cowboy who doesn’t have a horse, but when he sees an ad in the paper with a horse for sale, he races to get her.  When he sees the horse, Mabelline, she’s not what he wanted her to be. To run, she needs a ‘’beautiful  word ‘’. But she doesn’t  like to be alone either.

I thought this was a very good book. I liked it because it was funny. It had one part where Leroy was drooling at a western movie. I would recommend this book to 6-9 year-olds. –Austin (Jan’s customer, age 9) 

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by William Campbell Powell
This story is set in the year 2049; in a dystopian society humans are on the brink of extinction due to fertility issues.  In order to avoid a collapse of society the company Oxted, develops a very life like ‘teknoid’ as a replacement for human children.  The parents contract for a ‘child’ and they receive a ‘baby’ and then return to Oxted at regular intervals for upgrades that make the ‘teknoid’ appear to grow up.  The catch is that when the teknoid turns 18 they must be returned to the company and they are never seen again.

The main character is 11 year old Tania, an only child.  Tania begins a quest to understand how teknoids differ from humans when her best friend returns to school and no longer looks like a little girl. 

The reader learns about Tania’s life and her thoughts as Tania writes in her diary.  Tania doesn’t want to start her diary entries with “Dear Diary” (“or anything so Victorian ,” she says) so she addresses her entries to Mr. Zog, an alien that is traveling through space and comes across her diary in the distant future, he probably has tentacles and is an archeologist or something. 

I liked the way the story is written, love the Zog thing especially since at the end of each chapter there is an entry by a space traveling alien who has found Tania’s diary.

So the story covers Tania’s teenage years, she loves music and starts a band, they write their own music and play gigs. Then there is the relationship stuff that teenagers suffer with, however the story is anything but typical and the twists at the end of the book are wonderful.

I loved this story, it is well told, interesting and unpredictable and well worth reading.
It is appropriate for 12 years and up (mature 10 years olds possibly).  I highly recommend this book for teens and adults. –Jody

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