Around the Web

Sherwood Smith blogs about jury reading for the 2008 Andre Norton Award, and gives some good recs for YA science fiction and fantasy books.  I’m definitely going to be looking up all the ones she’s mentioned.

9781849010436 Check out this followup to last year’s “Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance” (out in August this year).  This time it’s called “Love Bites”, and contributors include Karen Chance and Eileen Wilks.  This will be an autobuy for me. 

And it’s no secret that I love Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments trilogy (the final one “City of Glass” is out next month and I can’t wait).  Here’s a short story that’s been out awhile, it’s part of Baen’s “Turn the Other Chick” anthology, and called “The Girl’s Guide to Defeating the Dark Lord” (you may have to click on #5 in the navigator bar).  A fun and tongue-in-cheek take on a princess being rescued from the evil Dark Wizard.  Sort of.


Busy Busy Busy

I’ve had an incredibly mad week at work.  Though we are expecting some major announcements next week (job cuts anyone?), so I’m guessing that being busy is better than sitting around doing nothing.  Errmm.  Let’s see.

So anyway, I missed Keishon’s TBR Challenge this week.  For the first time ever.  Am slightly annoyed with myself, seeing that I had the book picked out and everything, but it just didn’t happen.

I have so far read a grand total of four books in February and there is only one more week in this month.  I’m doing rather dismally.

I have bought the anthology “The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance” though, and in the interest of actually providing some useful information on my blog this week (as opposed to having a general moan), here’s the link to its Table of Contents, listing author and story.  Plus a few pages of Carrie Vaughn’s contribution.

And because this is something I like to know, of the stories I’ve read so far written by authors I’m familiar with:

  • Ms Vaughn’s story is very possibly set in the same world as her Kitty books, but there’s no crossover
  • Kelley Armstrong’s “Paranormal Romance Blues”: Otherworld setting, and Cassandra and Aaron make a cameo appearance
  • Ilona Andrews’ “Grace of Small Magics”: New world (love the title!)

And ummm… that’s it.  I did say I really hadn’t read that much this month. 

Okay, I skimmed the others:

  • Rachel Caine’s story features Joanne and David (and its title is “Blue Crush: A Weather Warden story”)
  • I didn’t recognise any of the characters in Meljean Brook’s contribution so it may or may not be a Guardian story (this is so helpful)
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon’s story mentions Avalon, so it must be set in her Lords of Avalon series which I haven’t read
  • Maria V Snyder’s story has a contemporary setting, so it’s not set in her Study world
  • Mary Jo Putney’s story “The Tuesday Enchantress” (love this title too) has “A Guardian Story” as the subtitle, but a contemporary setting so I’m slightly confused.  Possibly featuring a descendant from her historical series.


Any other questions, feel free to ask.

*happy dance*

My copy of Patricia Briggs’ “Bone Crossed” arrived today!  I couldn’t resist opening the book even though I had to go out in half an hour, and it was soooo difficult to put the book down.

In other good book news, Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Horizon” has started appearing in ebook format despite originally having a March release date.  About time too.

And finally, I came across this cool PDF metadata editor, BeCyPDFMetaEdit.  If you’re as anal as me, while I love it when authors/publishers provide free ebooks, the PDF ones drive me nuts because there’s no way I can edit the author or title when I upload it into my Sony Reader library.  And for some reason, metadata in PDFs is very rarely correct.  So I had around ten or so PDF ebooks sitting on my hard drive because I err… didn’t want to have rubbish titles and author names on my Reader (I did say I was anal about this).  Now with this software, it is incredibly easy to get the author and title right (obviously only works on non-DRM’d files)

Disclaimer: I’ve just used it for an hour or so, and it all looks good (i.e. my computer hasn’t gone mad and started surfing pr0n sites) but it’s still early days.

Okay, off to “Bone Crossed” now  😉

Another UK v. US Cover


I swung past the bookstores today, and while I didn’t see Patricia Briggs’ “Bone Crossed” on the shelves (and no, my Amazon order hasn’t shipped yet), I did see this book (right) in the SF/F section.

51aCu4XCO3L._SL160_ I thought it looked vaguely familiar, and had a closer look – yep, it’s Elizabeth Vaughan’s “Dagger-Star”, not just with a different title and cover art, but also with the author’s name changed from Elizabeth to Beth.

519AJZRLx2L._SL160_ Am wondering what the reason for the change is; while US and UK versions do have different cover art quite often (and also different titles to a lesser extent), the author’s name tends to remain the same.  Especially since Ms Vaughan’s previous Warprize trilogy was released here under her full name.


Snow Day!

Okay, I know there will be people out there laughing at this, but London apparently has had its worst snowfall for 18 years… a whole 8 inches of snow!  And this means practically everything everywhere has ground to a halt.

I managed to get to work this morning, slipping and sliding every now and again.  It was annoying because the snow somehow makes everything look beautiful, but I couldn’t admire the views because I was more concerned with staying on my feet!  Got to the office, and I really shouldn’t have made the effort because only around 2 in 10 people made it in today – everyone else logged on from home and pretty much all meetings were cancelled.  And we were then told to leave early if we could, because there is apparently more snow on its way later today.  So I’m back home, enjoying the views from indoors, which is probably the best place to be at the moment!

So this has left me free to think about my latest purchase: a new bookcase!  Way overdue, this one.  Anyway, instead of having my TBR books piled haphazardly in a corner, I’m thinking of transferring them to the bookcase.  However, I can’t quite decide if they should go on the top shelf (where I can then see them everyday and actually make some inroads) or the bottom shelf (so that I can then have my keepers occupying the place of honour on the top shelf).

Any thoughts?

Books for February

4114F4Y9TuL._SL160_ 51EA4W-3yRL._SL160_ The big release this month for me is Patricia Briggs’ “Bone Crossed” (urban fantasy, Book 4 of the Mercy series).  After the events of the previous book, I can’t wait to see how things unfold in this one. Oh, and can I just say how jealous I am of everyone who has already read it?

After weighing up the chances of me stumbling across a copy in the bookstore in the week or so that Amazon will take to deliver, I’ve gone with the Amazon option.  Which probably means I should avoid the bookstore next weekend, because if I do see it, I’m not quite sure I’ll win the struggle against temptation. 

And as for the UK v. US cover debate?  The US one is incredibly striking, but I’ve been pragmatic and gone for the UK paperback version (which is also obviously a lot easier to obtain).  It’s actually not that bad if you don’t compare it against the US version!  Very similar in style to the previous three, and it’s very easy to tell they’re part of the same series.  Too easy perhaps?

Excerpt here (out Feb 3)


51TaarqJq0L._SL160_ On to other February releases, Eileen Wilks’ “Mortal Sins” (urban fantasy, Book 5 of the Lupi series) is also out.  Ms Wilks is another of my favourite UF authors, so February is obviously a good book month for me. 

Blurb here:

FBI agent Lily Yu is in North Carolina with her lover and mate Rule Turner, lu nuncio of the Nokolai werewolf clan, where he is to take custody of his son from the boy’s grandmother. It’s a purely personal trip until Rule, in wolf form, finds three bodies in a shallow grave. They carry the stench of death magic, which makes the murders a federal crime. Lily takes charge of the investigation, and soon realizes that nothing adds up—not the motives, not even the accused killer, who’s behind bars when death strikes again.

But murder, however bizarre, is an everyday affair for Lily, who was a homicide cop before being recruited into the FBI’s Magical Crimes Division. A more personal shock arrives in the person of Rule’s son’s mother. Why is she challenging Rule’s long standing plan to bring his son to live among the Nokolai?

As much as I enjoyed Cynna and Cullen, we’re back to Lily and Rule’s POVs, and I’m thinking the introduction of Rule’s son opens up quite a few possibilities!

Excerpt here (out Feb 3)


51AESg0Z6IL._SL160_ (1) Kelley Armstrong’s “Made to be Broken” (suspense, Book 2 of the Nadia Stafford series) is finally released as well.  This has been a long time in coming, since the first Nadia book was published back in June 2007 – or have we just been spoiled by prolific authors?  Seeing that Ms Armstrong released quite a few books during 2008, I’m not really complaining.

Anyway, the first book “Exit Strategy” introduced us to hitwoman Nadia Stafford, and while I was slightly dubious about having a killer-for-hire as the main protagonist, I ended up really liking it, IIRC.  Ms Armstrong makes it work – no surprise there!

Excerpt here (out Feb 24)


51a6FcXhjyL._SL160 “The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance” (anthology, edited by Trisha Telep) is also released this month in the UK.  Despite the cover (who on earth signed off on it??!), I’m getting it because contributors include Mary Jo Putney, Kelley Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, amongst many others.  I’ve the related anthology “The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance”, which I’ve dipped into now and again – “mammoth” is a rather good description for these books.

Out Feb 26 in the UK, April 13 for the US peeps


Also out is Nalini Singh’s e-novella “Angels’ Pawn” (released Feb 24).  This is an interesting one because it’s almost like a teaser for her first Guild Hunter novel “Angel’s Blood” (out March 2009) – a new publicity tactic?  Anyway, not sure if this is paranormal romance or urban fantasy – or sits on the borderline between the two.  I’ve enjoyed her Psy-Changeling books, and from what I’ve heard, this is shaping up to be an exciting new series.  Angels and vampires, what’s not to like?

Another February ebook release is Josh Lanyon and Laura Baumbach’s “Mexican Heat” (m/m romantic suspense, out Feb 6) – this is the first in the Crimes & Cocktails series.  I’ve loved his Adrien English series, so this is definitely on my must-get list.


As for the maybes:

51wK0AUH zL._SL160_ LJ Smith’s new book “The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall” (YA urban fantasy, out Feb 19) is a return to her Vampire Diaries series and the start of a new trilogy, as evidenced by the number of colons in that title  ;-)  I’m tempted, but it’s been a while since I read the original series.  I actually bought the re-released versions, but they’re sitting in the depths of my TBR pile, and I’m thinking I should really re-read them before getting the latest.



51HgN0JvrjL._SL160_ Jacqueline Winspear’s “Among the Mad” (historical mystery, Book 6 of the Maisie Dobbs series) is the latest in her series set in 1930s London, and will be released Feb 17 in the US.  I read the previous book, “An Incomplete Revenge”, in December, and like the other books, really enjoyed the period feel and setting.  However, it’s only released in the UK in June, and I’m not sure if I like it enough to get the US version (though I love the cover).  I’ll probably wait for this one.  Excerpt here.


Hmm… that is probably it for me this month – more than enough, I would say!