Virtual Book Club-Mind Games

Up until recently, there was nowhere that I could go geek-out with other literati, and I definitely didn't have a book club in the sleepy beach town where I live.  So, I thought that once a month I would host a virtual book club here at the spinecracker, where we can share thoughts and argue about plots.  So grab a cocktail and join in at your leisure. 

There will also be a giveaway for a signed copy of Double Cross, the next book in the Disillusionists series happening today simultaneously.  Here's how that'll work:

  • Each comment about the book is a point
  • If you are a "follower" of this site that's a point
  • The contest ends today 9/3 at midnight.
  • Must include your email on at least one post.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly this weekend and posted on Monday.
  • US & Canada only (sorry)
  • Again, this is not an ARC, but your copy may arrive slightly before the Sept 28th release...or slightly after for that mater.

This month we'll be discussing Carolyn Crane's Mind Games.  Carolyn was kind enough to provide us with some discussion questions, but if there's anything you want to bring up about the book definitely jump in.

All that I ask is that each comment here remains respectful.  Thank you & have fun!

  1. What do you think Justine would have said if Packard had told her the full truth of what she was getting into?
  2. Is Justine a little bit of a monster like she thinks?
  3. Packard's power involves fully understanding people's motivations and patterns. What would be worse - telepathy, the way Sookie Stackhouse struggles with it, or Packard's total insight into people, even though he can't see their immediate thoughts or emotions?
  4. What do you think about Simon?  Good guy or bad guy?
  5. Did you guess who the nemesis is?
  6. Which hero is the right one for Justine?
  7. What do you think about Jordan, and her question for Justine: When is good not good?


  1. One of the things I most enjoyed about Mind Games was I honestly didn't see the nemesis coming. Generally I can guess what might happen, but I had no idea here.

  2. (I'm in Canada, so you can't count me in the contest)
    Who the nemisis is came right out of, well PAST left field. From the cornfield behind the parking lot that is behind left field! Very clever though. It really makes you think about Otto. I loved Packard. But then again, I seem to be attracted to slight bastards who turn out to be fantastic human beings in my books. (I'm assuming Packard will end up a fantastic human being).
    I loved when he stepped out of the restaurant for the first time *tear*. I'm really anxious to read about what becomes of him in the next book. I do hope he eventually ends up with Justine, but my opinion might change after reading "Double Cross"
    I don't think Justine is a monster. I think we all do what we need to survive. Her case is just a little different from anyone else.
    And "When is good not good?" When it becomes strictly about personal motives and looses sight of those who you are really supposed to be helping.

  3. I cannot wait to read Double Cross! Mind Games was so good that I was thinking about all the twists and turns for days after I read it.

    I don't think Justine would have joined the gang if she really knew what was going on. I think she would have continued her downward spiral until she would have become a shut in or admitted into a mental hospital.


  4. See I think Packard is going to be much worse before he gets better. I think he is going to really piss us off in Double Cross. ESP since he's "out" now. I just got an incredibly weird vibe towards the end of the book.
    Otto was the hardest character for me to feel anything towards, which is a great indicator that CC does her job extremely well. I couldn't just all of a sudden decide he was a good guy just b/c he says so...and frankly I'm a little surprised Justine could.
    I still think that Jordan is going to double-cross (no pun intended) Justine....I always expect the worst in characters.

    PS-I'm checking on Canada eligibility right now. I'm hoping to be able to include Canada.

  5. Bells: See I think it would have only been a matter of time before Justine "came on board" She did get a taste for for the zing after all.

    And I agree. I just loved all the twists! So good :D

  6. I agree. I think it would have taken her a little longer - maybe a couple of zings - but I think she would have come aboard too.

    I really don't see what Justine sees in Otto. I know there is a common ground with them both being hypochondriacs and all, but still. He wears a beret for goodness' sake! lol Again, I can't wait to see more of his character and maybe getting a better understanding of why she chose him...other than also feeling betrayed by Packard. Okay then, maybe there are a few reasons already on the table for having chosen Otto over Packard. lol

  7. Julie: RIGHT?! LOL. The beret thing cracks me up.
    See, CC knows how to weave a tale though you're already second guessing what you just wrote. Hee hee.
    But, yes I hope we learn a little bit more about Otto. B/c right now I don't think he's going to be a good thing.

    What do you think about Packard's interest in Justin. do you think she was a means to an end (getting him out)? I mean he just all of a sudden likes her, but doesn't really ever say why. Did I miss something there?

  8. I think he was always drawn to her, but maybe he's shy. (insert Awwwww) I think he was maybe trying to keep his head in the game and not focus on Justine, but then sometimes you can't fight who you like anymore.

  9. LMAO, you're so in love with him :D But, yes I tend to agree. You just likes who ya likes. (preferably sans beret)

  10. Well, I am going to start with the nemesis. I really did see that one. :) But I loved the way it twisted some in the end. I even had my suspicions on who he was. But there was more to it than I was looking for, and I am glad for that.

    I kind of liked the nemesis in the end of the book. He wasn't as "evil" as planned to be.

  11. Oh, I think Packard will be a real treat (not nice one although sounds like he could be...) in the next book. I think there is a chance Packard and Otto are not going to see eye to eye on a few things, not just work related. I don't think Packard is going to give up on Justine being with him just yet. Although, I'm not quite sure as to why he is so stuck on her ~ other than he can read her so well. I guess he really likes what he sees there.

    I do like Packard though, and I am afraid I am going to be upset with him in the next book. But, I think that will be okay. ;)

  12. I don't think Justine is the "monster" she seems to think she is. As long as she keeps herself in check, which she seems like that kind of person. She is very aware of what she is doing. And she is one who believes in people and being nice. So she does have a hard time doing her little zings because she feels it is invading another's space and privacy. Being that Packard did what he did to her (sucking her into this world without her knowing) makes her all the more aware and self conscious of it.

  13. Melissa: I'm so jealous that you figured out the nemisis. I knew that Chief Otto was going to have some role in Justine's stories, but I thought he'd pop up maybe in the next book to lend a helping hand catching a caper, and therefore becoming a triangle-type struggle between Packard...see my stories would be so damn predictable LOL

  14. Meliss: I totally agree. I think the fact that the next book is called "double Cross" makes me think that alot of the people Justine counts on are going to betray her. And I def think Packard is going to be one of those people.

  15. HAHA. didn't mean to inadvertently create a new nick name for you Meliss.

  16. Thats okay on the nick name. I also use Mel when I'm in a hurry (less letters to type, write, say...) :)

    At first I really was suspicious of this Otto. And the pull that Justine felt to him, and he was just on tv or in pictures. And then there was Packard who didn't care for him. Although I didn't know if he knew exactly that he was Nemesis. But then after a while I started to double guess by self. I should have gone with my first instinct, but started to talk myself out of it. :) Oh well.

    I am wondering if the double cross comes in to play from Packard OR.... Justine herself!

  17. I am hoping to see more of Simon. He is a great player in this game. I like the uneasiness he brings to the table and the unknowing that he knows about. The one with no limits. You have to have that one over the cliff kind of character. And I think he could be it. He doesn't really have a "side" per say, except his own. He wants what he wants and to be free at the same time. He is one that could team up with Justine to double cross to get out of the dependency on Packard.

    Just a thought...

  18. Melissa: OOOH, I hadn't thought that maybe Justine will be the one double crossing. That just threw my mind into many What-ifs!

  19. Yes, more Simon for sure! I'm glad that you brought that up. I think he;'s driven my his own motives (although we're not privy to) but I think he like's Justine for the mere fact that she and he are similar, AND that she trusted him and jumped completely in to Otto. I hope Simon is a big part of Justine's next story.

  20. Oh, Justin double-crossing and not being double-crossed! What an idea. It wouldn't totally surprise me if that's how it goes down. CC keeps us on our toes!

  21. I was thinking on Justine because she wants out of the "group" so badly. She could double cross Packard to get out info to find someone else to handle her needs (zinging) and out from under his fingers.


    Maybe Otto is doing the double crossing... Could he be up to something more than we know? You can't tell me he didn't realize how bad crime was getting in the city after he started putting these specialized people away. So why didn't he do more to protect his beloved city and home?

    Just more thoughts for you...

  22. You're probably right. He probably only put those few people away b/c they came up against his master plan. And he's only spun it to look like he has trapped them for the greater good, b/c you're right he had to have known what was happening in his city.

    Let's talk about Jordan for a quick sec. What do we think about her? She's meant to be a female confidant, but she left all the others at the end. Is she really justine's friend or was she told by packard to be-friend. I don't see a ton of genuine interest...it feels forced somehow.

  23. Hmmm, great look at Jordan. I fell for Justines' view of Jordan as the only female in need of a female friend. But, she would be a great way to get info from Justine.

    I don't think Packard has done this yet though. He seemed a little surprised that Justine knew about the face. Although, now that I think on it... he wasn't as shocked or upset as I had thought he would be. But, I don't think he has done this yet. It is always a great chance to happen now! Hey, there is another double cross! Jordan with Justine. Jordan is really on Packards side for the help he has done for her. Hmmm, another one to think on.

  24. I agree about Jordan. I don't think she was told to be-friend, but I don't think she's a real friend either. Unless she was just having a bad day or something...

  25. Well I'm glad that I'm not completely alone in thinking that she's not a true friend.
    But, I think he totally told Jordan to snuggle up to her. It was too easy. "you're a girl, I'm a girl. Let's be friends..."

  26. Although, knowing how CC likes to make us think (and even if that's not her goal, that's what happens) maybe it really is that simple and Jordan is just a little 'pulled back' because she's used to being surrounded by men.

  27. LOL Julie you're probably right. We just have to make something out of everything though huh?!

    Who is your favorite supporting character? (ie no Otto, Justine, or Packard)?

  29. Whoa. That's a tough one. They're all good characters. I did like Simon though.

  30. I really liked the girl that was stuck in the apartment. (i dont have my book) I can't wait to see more of her.

  31. I was thinking about her too...I just couldn't remember her name. She had spunk!

  32. Extra point for the next person who can name me that character. It's driving me mad!

  33. WooHoo just in time. I loved Mind Games, keep telling everyone to read it!

    1. I think that Justine would have eventually signed on for it, because she was just that desperate to not die of her disease. It would have taken her a lot longer, though, to finally agree, time he didn't have.

    4. Simon is totally a wild card! I love it! Can't see what direction he goes in.

    5. Yeaaaah, I knew when she was adoring him for doing things around the city. I immediately thought, he's not who she thinks he is.

    6. Team cucumber! LOL

  34. Spaz: I agree, I totally think she would have gone for it, eventually.

    Congrats for ferreting out the archenemies...sadly, I did not. I just thought he'd wind up a future love interest of something lame like that.

  35. Rickie. That's her name. I checked. :)

  36. Thank God. YES! I will be sure to put this post down for 2 points. :D

    good thing she's my favorite secondary character, she's being a pain in the ass today.

  37. Hey everyone! Finally here. I guess I'll start off with these questions.

    Did you guess who the nemesis is?
    Honestly, I was clueless that it was going to be Otto. I really didn't see that coming. I just assumed nemesis would appear by the end of the book and it would be someone we didn't know.
    I was also in complete shock because here I am liking Otto and was like boom, it's him.

    # Which hero is the right one for Justine?
    As of right now. I have no clue. I'm so torn. I can see pros & cons for both guys.
    I just know it will be interesting to see how the two get along and fight for Justine's love.


  38. Favorite secondary character...
    That is a hard question to ask! I loved all the characters in the group.

    But I can tell you how I am REALLY curious about... The monk who is to be THE most dangerous one and then we have the Therapiest Jordan. I am really curious about her comment to Justine... When is good not good? Could this be something that drives Justine in Double Cross to not do her job? I think this small comment will wear on Justine for some time and cause her to act or not act at things.

  39. I don't trust Jordan. I have a feeling she could end up being the villain or something.

  40. Robyn, funny you should mention that. Otto's assistant rubbed me the wrong way. I thought maybe for a little while she was the bad person using Otto and his position to get the better of things in the city. That she has a power that could help her make Otto worry on things more as well made me think twice on her. I wondered if she was part of the reason he worried before Justine came along.

  41. Maybe. That could be one of those things we see in the next book.

  42. I have to say this has been a great and fun discussion everyone! Thanks for hosting it Jessica. :) Great job guys.

  43. I wish I could have chatted more :).

    I'm excited for Double Cross. I definitely want to know what's going to happen to our girl.

  44. OMG, I'm suck a slacker, I've been hosting my physical book club at my house all night, and haven't had a chance to come chat with you!
    We've been geeking on Mind Games, and everyone LOVES my selection!
    I finally dragged my laptop outside, in the dark while their serving desert....

  45. Robyn: I'm so glad that I'm not alone in not picking out the nemesis.

    Melissa: I LOVE the monk too. I hope we see more there for sure. I think she is going to make Justine answer some very interesting questions about herself, and her motivations.

  46. OK, I have to get back to my drunk patrons.... LOL. I'll post an end-of-the-night pic soon.