Friday, April 10, 2009

Ann Aguirre guest blog and giveaway

I am very excited today to welcome author and guest blogger Ann Aguirre, with a special guest appearance by reader Alice Anderson. Ann Aguirre is touring blogland to help celebrate the release of her new book, Blue Diablo, first book in her new Corinne Solomon series. Click here to see where the other stops on the blog tour are going to be! Be sure to check to the end of the post for details on how to win a copy of Blue Diablo and a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate.

Because I don't want everything to be about me, I have decided to share the spotlight with a reader. Meet Alice Anderson.

What it Takes to be a Keeper

Alice: It's no secret that I adore romance novels. At last count, I have a little over a thousand. You're probably thinking man, that's the mother of all keeper shelves. Are all of them keepers? No, not really. But it's what you might call a collection. I have numerous bookshelves as well as boxes full of books. But I do have an illustrious Keeper Shelf.

Ann: I love romances too, but lately cross-genre fiction has been a big win for me. I had that many at one time, but a basement flood before I moved out of the States decimated my book collection. Let me tell you, I cried.

Alice: So what makes a book a keeper and what's on my keeper shelf?

A keeper, to me, is a book that is unforgettable. Unput-down-able. Rereadable. It's a book that, as my husband says, gives me the warm fuzzies. They're the first romance novels I ever read. The ones that got me hooked on romance way back in the beginning of all this. They're the books that kept me up into the wee hours of the morning and made me late for work the next day. They're the books that I think about often, reference frequently and tell all my friends about.

Ann: For me, it's any book I can't bear to get rid of under any circumstance because I may want to read it again. And let me tell you, that is rare.

Alice: Books like the Marcelli Bride by Susan Mallery...that start with a bang and keep me turning the pages all the way through. I fell in love with the hero almost instantly and I rooted for the (odd) couple until The End. Stories like Night Play that got me hooked on both Dark Hunters and Sherrilyn Kenyon. And oh yeah, hunky super hot (and rich, oh yeah!) werewolves. Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark are there and so are Jennifer Estep's superheroes and ubervillans. I'm still not sure about Fiona Fine's fashion sense but at least her outfits are fireproof.

Ann: Oooh, we're naming names now, are we? Larissa Ione, Lauren Dane, Victoria Dahl, Carrie Lofty, Eve Kenin, Kresley Cole, Sharon Shinn, Patricia Briggs, Robin McKinley... I'd better stop.

Alice: You'll find my all time favorite authors on my keeper shelf because well, all time favorite authors are just keepers. A few of my Rebecca Winters books are so old that the pages are yellow, the spines are crumbling and the covers have creases. And I've reread a few of them no less than twenty times. These books are like medicine. They keep me calm when I have reason to panic (plane liftoff, anyone?), keep me occupied when the world is crumbling around me (death in the family), and in general make me feel better (like when I have the flu for two weeks right before Christmas!).

Ann: I lost all my old books. So anything on my keeper shelf has been purchased in the last four years.

Alice: You'll also find recent additions such as the historical romance that made me fall in love with historicals. I was a hold out for a long time but now I'm addicted. I'm thinking I may need a bigger keeper shelf.

Ann: So glad you mentioned this! I love Elizabeth Hoyt lately, and Anna Campbell and Meredith Duran. OMG, yum!

Alice: In short they're books that I fall in love with at first read and fall in love with again each time thereafter. They make me feel something. They teach me something. They give me new words for my uber (my new favorite!) I find the characters fascinating. I want to be friends with the heroines and date the heroes (shh, don't tell my husband!). They change the way I think about things, make me want to be a better person, and they give me hope. Keepers sit high and proud on the top shelf and always keep me coming back for more.

Ann: What she said.

Alice: What about you? What makes a book a keeper and what's on your shelf? I'll give a $10 amazon gift card to one person who answers by April 15th.

Ann: I'm giving away a copy of Blue Diablo. Winner chosen in 24 hours. I'll talk more about my keepers in comments, too.

About Alice
Alice Anderson is, as yet, an unpublished romance writer. She lives in the Southeast with her husband, dog, three kitties, and beta fish. When she's not slaving over her latest novel, she's hard at work creating designs for other authors and promoting romance to the world through her creation, the CataNetwork. Visit her online at

So how about you all?

Leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Ann's book or the $15 Amazon certificate. Please be sure to leave a valid email address so that we can contact you easily if you win!

The giveaway will close at 7pm Saturday (Australian East Coast Time), which is 4am New York time, and 10am London time on Friday. Hopefully you can figure out what time that is for you from one of those times, because I am terrible at working things like this out!


  1. Oh, yay, this is already up! I can say hello before I hop on the plane. I look forward to seeing what everyone had to say when I get back!

  2. My keepers are a combination of books that I never tire of reading again and again, and books that are part of a series that includes at least 1 book I never tire of rereading, and books whose author has written at least one book I never tire of rereading, and books that are in keeper limbo--waiting to see if they stand the test of time, and books that I keep for sentimental reasons. And then there are books that I may not reread very much but which are written so beautifully I can't bear to give them away. Those I consider heirlooms.

  3. For me, a book is a keeper when I can't put it down or I continue to think about it after I do put it down. If I start worrying about the characters as if they're real people, then it's one that I will want to read again.

    Margay1122 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. A book that's a keeper for me has to be something that I enjoy enough to read more than once. If a book I check out from the library is awesome enough, I will immediately go out and buy it at a bookstore.

    Christen D

    cdouber (at) jacksonville (dot) edu

  5. Keepers are very rare for me. Not sure if that makes the dozen or so I have kept somehow more special than all the books I've read... Just know that in these, something happened to me or for me--something elicited by the words, the story.

  6. My keepers are books that I really enjoyed... I am afraid I am not all that picky about what ends up there! I will clear them out every so often when a book I thought I might reread someday doesn't look all that appealing to me anymore...

  7. To be a keeper for me the book has to be awesome from the first page to the last. The kind of book you pick up and can't put down untill you finish, and can read again and again without getting tired of. Anne Stuart's A Rose at Midnight is one of the books on my keeper shelf.

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. Hi Ann and thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your trip!

    Kat, I love the idea of books as heirlooms! Unfortunately despite my best efforts, I don't think that my son will be wanting to inherit many of my books!

    Margay, there are a number of characters that I continue to think about days, months, and years after reading the book!

    Christen, I keep some books because I intend to read them again, but I don't really do rereads, so it doesn't always work out that way!

    Jennifer and Kailana, I find it hard to get rid of books, so I have loads of keepers, even books that weren't a special reading experience.

    Marie, I haven't read much Anne Stuart, but I am thinking about starting soon!

  9. My keepers are the books that I miss like hell. If I desperately want to be back in that world with those characters, I know the book's a keeper that I'll reread time and again.

    Many of my keepers are also more complex. They work on a few different levels, so I'm bound to notice new things every time I read them. Neil Gaiman's SANDMAN series jumps instantly to mind. I've read the whole thing eight times now, and I come to some new conclusions every time.

  10. What is a keeper for me? I think I have a roundabout process for this. I'm a student, and in my case, that does also mean poor. Like, poor as dirt. So generally, I get books from the library first. Depending on how I feel about it, only then will I buy the book. I've gotten less stingy - it used to be, if I read the book, then found myself checking it out a second, or third time to read it again, if I was still thinking about the book 2-3 months later, I'd buy it.
    Now, just if I read a book and love it. I'll buy the second book in a series too, depending on how I feel about the first :X but I admit I've been burnt before (a number of times), so I'm generally pretty cautious about that.
    Still, even with my seemingly impossible process, I've got tons of books and spend more on books than anything else, including food. O_o

  11. >>books that are part of a series that includes at least 1 book I never tire of rereading

    Kat, you have an interesting point. I quickly thought about series that I collect. While I obviously have all the books that I've bought or reviewed, not all of mine are "keepers" even if one in the series is. On my keeper shelf are just the favorites. Other books in the series are tucked in the closet or *gasp* attic. LOL, I should have sent a photo of all the boxes of books in my attic.

  12. Margay, I totally agree with you on the books you keep thinking about...there are characters that I still think about. It probably sounds crazy (to non book lovers) but I still wonder how characters are doing, what they're up to these days. I guess that's a sign of a great character. Someone I identified with and cared about.

    Another thought on Keepers. Keepers are stories that I don't want to see end. While I'll sigh at the end and the husband will have to get out the mop because I've melted into a glob of bliss, I'll wish that the book could go on forever. Those books are rare...Which is why they're keepers. And they get a fancy spotlight. :)

  13. Kailana, you've now got me wondering if I've ever purged my keeper shelf...I'm sure I have at one point or another. There are books by one author that will always remain on my keeper shelf. All of them. Any of them. There are two other authors, auto buy authors, that usually (like 95% of the time) end up on that keeper shelf and never be moved. But other than that, it's up to each individual book to make it up there. :) I think I purge the shelf each time I move.

  14. I know you won't believe this but they are all keepers to me. Why you ask? I think of the time an author puts into the plot, then writing, editing, etc. and in each and every book there is always a message. So for me they are all keepers, just ask my family. I store them, lend them and when they return, they're stored.

  15. I would have to say my keepers are the books I can not put down. These are books that made me cry or laugh. These are the ones where I got angry or made happy by what happened in the story. If I was naming names and books then there are actually quite a few. I would have to say that Morgan Hawke's Victorious Star and Fallen Star are there along with anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laurell K. Hamilton, Patricia Briggs & Carol Lynne. Samantha Kane's Brothers in Arms series has definitely touched on a lot of my emotions which makes it a definte keeper for me.

  16. Yeah, I have a lot of keepers too. Basically it's a keeper if I know I'll reread it when I finish. They're the ones with characters I consider "friends," they're so familiar to me. I love the way they talk, I love their flaws and strengths and the way they see their world. They're capable of both surprising and delighting me and they're the ones I turn to in times of distress. Some longtime keepers include Mary Stewart, Juliet Marillier, and Ellen Emerson White.

  17. Wow, some really great definitions and thoughts on keepers! Thanks to everyone who read and responded. I am back from my whirlwind trip to San Diego, btw!

  18. A keeper for me is any book that moves me to great emotion, be it disquiet, sadness, laughter, or fear. A keeper is any book I would read again, or save for my daughter when she becomes an adult.