“I Don’t Want to Bother You….”

movie star bookstoreSeveral times this week someone has approached me as I sat at the bookstore laptop, frowning as I pondered just the right words to use. It’s a delicate business, Facebook posting….

“I don’t want to bother you, but…” the gentle inquiry began. The first time it was, “….but I really like Nicholas Sparks–”

I leaped to my feet. “Right over here.” But the lady did not follow, just stood there with hands clasped.

“Um, I meant, I’ve read everything by him. I just wondered, would you know of anybody who maybe writes a little like him, that I might enjoy reading?”

Madam, my day has been made. I led her to LaVyrle Spencer (among others – don’t judge me). We pondered and debated plot lines and writing nuances, and she left smiling.

I sat back down, smiling. Later that day another customer said, “I don’t mean to bother you …”

He had read all the Nevada Barrs we had. I showed him James Doss, Margaret Coel, Dana Stabenow and J.A. Jance. We talked plots and points and cultural sensitivity and he left with a bagful of paperbacks, smiling. I sat down, smiling.

Charlaine Harris. Nora Roberts. Mercedes Lackey. For some reason, this week, people have wanted to talk “similar authors.” Sometimes I call them starter authors, people whose body of work lead people to others who are similar in theme or style, yet different. And they lead to another, to another, and the reading path goes on and on and on, great writers, popular writers, eclectic writers, groupie writers. Who cares, so long as you’re enjoying them?


I love matchmaking in the bookstore. Please don’t ever apologize to a bookseller for wanting to ask about authors, dear ones. We LIVE for these opportunities. They’re not interruptions; they’re fulfillment.

Anybody wanna talk books?

Regan’s Halloween Recommendations

1951 – The Deserts of Iraq

A dashing explorer-priest is conducting a study of ancient relics when his archaeological team uncovers a statue of the Sumerian demon Pazuzu.  A confrontation with evil is inevitable.

2012 – Tales of the Lonesome Pine Bookstore

Andrew Whalen, shopsitter, is woken by clanking and rattling noises in the attic. He investigates, hoping to find Halloween decorations and not to find demons. He is disappointed on both fronts.

But as Andrew encounters the horror within he discovers that it’s not the Sumerian Pazuzu at all, but a transmigrated manifestation of Andrew’s own Netflix Instant Queue, and the horror movie that had awaited him.

This is getting complicated.

Now Andrew is possessed by the spirit of  Regan, a young girl, who is herself possessed by the demon Pazuzu and is ALSO fictional.

Phwew, this is a mess. And totally not an excuse to wear a night-gown all day and eat split-pea soup. Luckily, this particular possession arrived just in time for Halloween! And Regan has recommendations from the shelves. Take it away evil-spirit-movie-demon-girl:

While William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is way better, the sequel Legion has some fun moments. More police procedural than horror, it’s never as scary as the original, and has far less ME!

Full of supposedly true tales as told by truckers and motorists, the Book-on-CD Trucker Ghost Stories is occasionally chilling, but more often just plain fun.

Ok, I’ll admit. I haven’t read either of these. But I’ve heard good things about Let Me In and the Swedish film adaptation Let The Right One In is the best vampire movie since Near Dark. As for Prophecy… if it’s anything like the movie than it waffles between environmental preaching and gory silliness in the most charming and 1970s way imaginable.

And no Halloween list would be complete without creepy ol’ Mr. King, so I’m recommending his short story collection Night Shift, which includes the story that heart-attacked 13-year-old Andrew, “The Boogeyman.” Plus, there’s no better primer to horror as a genre than his nonfiction Danse Macabre.

Oh, geez. This is just so exciting. I spewed up all my demon gunk.

Happy Halloween!