Sunday, March 20, 2011

Travels with My ARC: One was a Soldier

I'm pretty sure I got . . . something for my birthday this year, and I vaguely recall some kitchen items arriving for Christmas, but winning an ARC of One was a Soldier from Julia Spencer Fleming was a bit like getting Christmas, my Birthday, and a small lottery win at the same time. It's shiny! It's SIGNED! There was a note with it! Commence fangirl swooning.

And, after waiting THREE YEARS for this book, I could hardly bear to start it because I know that as soon as I finish, I will need to a)re-read the whole series to have any hope of retaining my sanity and b)when that fails, start counting the days until the NEXT book. So, while resisting temptation as long as possible, I didn't want my ARC to get lonely. So I took it around with me. DH joked that perhaps I should let it ride in one of the baby carriers. At least I *think* he was joking.

Who needs coffee when you can have an ARC for breakfast?


Later, the ARC took tea with my Nook wherein they discussed the relative merits of Shiny! Paper! New Book Smell! versus Digital! Highlight every "Oh, Clare!" or "Oh, Flynn!" scene! Search functions! (BTW, the first book in the series, "In the Bleak Midwinter" is on sale for Nook at only $2.99, and a free preview of One Was a Soldier is up now, called "Letters to a Soldier" with bonus letters and an excerpt!)


Next, it visited with the Queen, who was a little sad that it doesn't have pictures (I told her that Mama wouldn't have minded some pictures too ;):


The Queen was, however, suitably impressed with the "many, many pages of ABC's. Da typer must have worked Bery Bery hard to do dat! How many chapters dat have?"


From visiting with a queen, the ARC went on to brighten the spirits of the jail house book club:


The resident tough guy examined all the critical acclaim the book has received (while contemplating whether or not it could be traded for shinier contrabrand!):


Then with the ARC of one was a soldier winking at me from the nightstand, I downloaded the "Letters to a Soldier" preview that's up now for free at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and I think Borders too. And I defy anyone to read a Julia Spencer Fleming excerpt without immediately, IMMEDIATELY needing to read the book. Luckily, unlike when I read the "I Shall Not Want" excerpt at the end of "All Mortal Flesh" and nearly required tranquilizers to survive months and months of waiting, I had One Was a Solider sitting right there. And so, I gave into temptation . . .

Review forthcoming. Have you ever waited for a book so long that you were almost scared to start it? What series has you wishing for the next book before you even finish the current one?


  1. Wavybrians, you can have an ARC of any future book of mine, if you post pics like this! Your kids are adorable (and sure to be future readers!)

  2. Looove the travelogue. ;) I'm not sure I would have let the mighty Z so near such a precious artifact, but you know him better than I. :D

    Series where I wanted the next before finishing the current? Emma Bull's pair about the shootout at the OK Corral - I've had Territory in hardcover since the night the last Harry Potter was released, and the second is supposed to come out sometime this year. Finally. I'd be having LOTS of trouble waiting, except for the adorable Miss E, who's a good distraction. Hold me! Also S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series, which hooked me by being postapocalyptic sf set RIGHT FRAKKIN HERE. The last is due out this fall-ish.

  3. How adorable. It goes without saying the kids are total cuties, but oh, how precious is that ARC! Since I won my own ARC of Julia's wonderful book, I know just how you feel. Did you run around the house a la Kevin McCallister in "Home Alone" and frighten your children when you found out you won one? Just me, huh? Okay.

    Well, I got mine in the mail on Valentine's Day, and believe me, it was a really tough choice between spending the day with my husband and children or immediately abandoning them for the people of Millers Kill. I chose flesh and blood, but February 15th, I woke up and left my family to their own devices.

    Now, the next thing I look forward to is trying not to make a fool of myself when the book comes out and Julia comes to my city. When I heard the news, I told my husband no matter what day it was, I was there. He asked, "Even on our anniversary?" I only told him not to be silly, that it was coming out in April, so it would definitely not be in May that she was here. That's how I avoided telling him, "Yes."

  4. That is just too precious - love the photos and your funny descriptions!

    I've never had an ARC before - what an honor! I don't blame you for being so excited!

    I found out about Julia Spencer-Fleming's books last fall on a plane ride back to Virginia (where I live) from Albany, where I had been to visit a stone quarry that supplies stone for my construction projects. The nice lady I sat next to saw me reading a John Sandford book, and during our conversation about books, she suggested I try out Julia's series. Well, needless to say I am now hooked! I am patiently waiting for the latest release!

    I also eagerly await next editions of Sue Grafton, John Sandford, and Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. There are a few other authors that I read here and there, but Julia and these other 3 are my favorites.

  5. It seems like I've been waiting forever for this book, too! I have autographed copies of the earlier books from the author's visit to my home town of Johnstown, New York. I love the authentic "feel" of small-town upstate New York in this series. I have entered a contest at Goodreads for a copy, but since there are already 1099 people requesting and only 100 copies available, I expect I'll be waiting for the official release.

  6. Congratulations on your win. What does it say about me that I immediately went to blow up the photo with an open page to see what I could discern?? Sadly only talk of a body in the morgue...

    I've decided that publishers that only give away copies of ARC's to people in the US, and produce teasers for Kindle and Nook, again only for US residents are big meanies and you aren't my friends. I will just sniff my nose with disdain at you all and sulk until April 15th when I can get my own copy.

  7. @Julia--I am such a Fan Girl that when I saw that YOU had commented, I immediately called my mother (who is a librarian and also a huge fan). My cute children are happy to shill for future ARCs :P
    @Katie--I keep meaning to start that series, as I've heard you talk about it before. Is there enough Romance or Romantic Tension to keep me suitably entertained? The OK Corral one sounds cool too.

    @Carolyn--Yes, I squealed when I saw that I won the ARC from Dear Author. In fact, I was half afraid that there was some sort of mistake, and I didn't really celebrate until the package came. There was much happy dancing! And ARC petting! I'm not sure if Julia is coming to PDX--Powell's has asked, but it's up to the publisher, but if she comes, I will make the trek (and that's saying something for me as I'm not a fan of highway driving AT ALL).

  8. @Therese, @Ellen and @Alison: THE WAIT IS WORTH IT. Ladies, I am so thrilled to tell you that the book is worth every second of waiting. I can't remember the last time I anticipated a book this much, and I was so worried that I would be let down. Well the children have eaten cereal and cold cuts today (the big one anyway, the little one is in 7th heaven as I'm letting him nurse as much as he wants as long it means I can keep reading. It is good. SO GOOD.

  9. Even though I was lucky enough to get an 'ARC' of "One Was A Soldier", I am counting down to get my audio version of the book. The other book I am excited to see this spring is Suz Brockmann's "Breaking the Rules". (Your child is beautiful, and you are wonderful letting us know that "Letters to a Soldier' has hit the nook."

  10. @Ramblings--Thanks! Part of why I tried to hold off with reading One Was a Soldier was because I knew that Breaking the Rules was coming on Tuesday, and reading my two goddesses back-to-back may make my head explode. And will probably ruin me for any other book for several weeks. I can't wait to read Breaking the Rules. My copy ships on Tuesday--part of Suz's virtual signing, and I should have it by Friday. Stop back next week so we can obsess over BTR together!

  11. Oh and we had take-out Pho ("noodle house" as the toddler calls it) for dinner because Mama isn't good for much besides nursing the baby and reading today :) Off to finish the book now!

  12. What a fun post! And I got my 'baby fix' for the day. :) Thanks!