But you have to read to the end of this post to get the major announcement.
Gigi is 1 of 3 authors coming to VHOB this coming Tuesday night, July 15, at 7:00, for a panel discussion moderated by yours truly (don't let that discourage you from coming). I had already read Pack Up the Moon by Rachael Herron and House of Glass by Sophie Littlefield. I didn't want Gigi to feel left out!
So Artifact is book 1 in the Jaya Jones series. Gigi's 2nd book in the series, Pirate Vishnu, is the one that she will mostly be talking about on Tuesday. But I have to say that I liked #1 a lot. I will definitely read #2 (I will have an excellent opportunity to buy it - and get it signed - on Tuesday!). What's it about, you ask? Take a look:
When historian Jaya Jones receives a mysterious package containing a jewel-encrusted artifact from India, sent by her ex-lover the same day he died in a supposed accident in the Highlands of Scotland, she discovers the secrets of a lost Indian treasure may be hidden in a Scottish legend from the days of the British Raj. But she's not the only one on the trail.
From San Francisco to London to the Highlands of Scotland, Jaya must evade a shadowy stalker as she follows hints from the hastily scrawled note of her dead lover to a remote archaeological dig. Helping her decipher the cryptic clues are her magician best friend, a devastatingly handsome art historian with something to hide, and a charming archaeologist running for his life.
Let me tell you some of the things that I like about Artifact:
1. I like that I couldn't figure out whodunnit. It is a mystery, after all.
2. I like that on page 92 (out of 264), something happened where I said "Ho, ho, ho, ho." (This was surprise, not Christmas.)
3. I like that Jaya, who lives in San Francisco, comes to the UC Berkeley campus and talks about Sproul Plaza and how that was a political hotbed in the '60's. No kidding. I went to Cal from Fall, 1967 to Spring, 1972 (with 1 year off for Army Reserve duty - I did NOT want to go to Vietnam). I saw many a political speech given during that time. In fact, I was in Sproul Plaza when the student body president, Dan Segal, encouraged everybody to go to People's Park. That actually led to 1 death. AND, I was in Sproul Plaza another time when I was tear gassed(!), even though I was just walking through campus (I was a bit of a wuss back then - and now).
4. I like that Jaya, who is very short, wears high heels in almost every situation. This leads to several funny moments.
5. I like that Gigi does her homework and actually ties the story into history surrounding Britain, India, and the East India Company. (Gigi is half Indian and half New Mexican(?))
The book is entertaining with a nice mix of adventure, mystery, and romance. Here are a couple of quotes praising Artifact:
"If Indiana Jones had a sister, it would definitely be historian Jaya Jones" - Suspense Magazine
"Masterfully plotted" - Midwest Book Review
"Artifact is a jewel of an adventure, and Jaya Jones is a plucky heroine to treasure" - Avery Aames, national bestselling author
I recommend Artifact.
Are you ready for the big announcement? Did you read the review 1st, like I asked?
THE BIG/HUGE (like Julia Roberts says to the clothing store owner in Pretty Woman) ANNOUNCEMENT: Village House of Books is opening up a 2nd location in Los Gatos. Yep, #2 will be in the previous Automobuild spot at 21 W. Main Street. It's the last store right before you cross the bridge over Highway 17 on the Los Gatos Coffee Roasting/Athletic Performance side of Main Street. It's almost twice as big as the current store and should open right around the middle of August. Now you will have 2 VHOBs to visit, depending on which end of town you're in. AND, #2 will be open 7 days.
A Slightly Less Humongous Announcement (ergo, no all-caps): I will start working in the stores on Fridays and Mondays when #2 opens. I will definitely be at #2 on Mondays and don't know yet about where I'll be on Fridays. Please don't hesitate to come in and harass me (I'm sure I didn't need to tell you to do that).