Five Random Things

1) All of you must have downloaded Ilona Andrews‘ free Kate Daniels novella by now right?  If not, well – you probably have 10 days left to get MAGIC GIFTS.  I raced through it over Christmas – I loved visiting Kate and Curran again, and it’s got me all excited about their next book, GUNMETAL MAGIC.  It was a really generous and unexpected present from the authors and totally made my Christmas Eve.

2) I’m way behind on my 2011 book log.  Arrrghhh.  Serves me right for procrastinating.  I’m starting to get a bit panicky about this as I’ve been seeing everyone’s 2011 favourite books posts start popping up around the internets.  Ummm.  You won’t mind seeing my 2011 favourites sometime in 2012, would you?  At the rate I’m going, it may be summer.

I’m planning on spending some time on this over the next few days – so if you follow me on Goodreads, you may just get a flood of reviews from me.  Sorry.  I’m going to be reposting them here as well.  At some point.

3) Reading-wise, apart from MAGIC GIFTS, I have been taking full advantage of time off from work and just reveling in my TBR.  I have so many good books that are just waiting to be read and for once, I have the time to do so.  It has been rather blissful.  I’ve sniffled my way through Carla Kelly‘s COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, devoured the Carina Press m/m romance anthology MEN UNDER THE MISTLETOE, and finished Diana Gabaldon‘s THE SCOTTISH PRISONER.  Amongst many others.

4) New-to-me author: Sonya Bateman.  I picked up her novel MASTER OF NONE on impulse and liked.  I hesitate to compare it to Jim Butcher’s Dresden files just because it’s an urban fantasy with a wisecracking male protagonist but… well.  It has a slightly unusual UF twist – djinns (or genies) aren’t the most popular of supernatural creatures – and that together with some fast-paced action was enough to keep me engrossed.  It wasn’t perfect (I skimmed over the whole background to the conflict because it made my head hurt and I’m not really feeling the relationship) but I’ll probably pick up the next book soon-ish.

5) I love Sarah Rees Brennan‘s tumblr.  And cannot wait for her 2012 release UNSPOKEN.

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Books for December

Ah yes, I do have a blog.

*dusts off cobwebs*

I have to say I have no idea where the latter part of this year went.  It’s Christmas this weekend!  How on earth did that happen?  I have ummm… six months of reading to add to my list of books read this year.  I am off work until the New Year though, so there is hope.

So – December books?  Good month.

UNDER THE VALE AND OTHER TALES OF VALDEMAR (fantasy anthology): It’s December!  And we get another Valdemar anthology.  No matter how much I moan about the latest books, I will always cave and buy them.  Because you know – white horses Companions, Heralds, magic Gifts… go ahead, make fun of me, but Valdemar is always going to hold a special place in my heart.

Blurb:

Under the Vale is the latest collection of short stories set in the world of Valdemar.

The Heralds of Valdemar are an ancient order, drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages, these unusual individuals are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horselike Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. With their Companions, the Heralds of Valdemar ride circuit throughout the kingdom protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.

Now readers can travel to the world of Valdemar with Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, Rosemary Edghill, Judith Tarr, and others in these original stories, including an all-new novella from Mercedes Lackey.

Out now

*

KA Mitchell‘s BAD BOYFRIEND (m/m romance):  I wasn’t wild about the first book in this series, BAD COMPANY, but I do like KA Mitchell’s writing, so I’m giving this series another shot.  This one sounds nice and angsty, which probably means I’ll like it.  I’m so easy.

Blurb:

After Eli Wright came out, his parents threw him out. In the five years since, he’s made his own way, lived by his own rules, determined to never change himself—not for anyone. He’s not against finding Mr. Right, but Mr. Right Now will do just fine.

Quinn Maloney’s reward for ten years of faithfully keeping his closeted boyfriend’s secrets? A hell of a wake-up call to go with his morning coffee. Not only did Peter have affairs, he went straight to marry his pregnant girlfriend—and Quinn was to never reveal their history.

With the baby’s baptism looming and Quinn expected to put on a polite front, he decides he’s had enough of playing the peacekeeper. One wink from a much younger, eyeliner-wearing guy in a bar, and Quinn’s found a perfectly outrageous date for the occasion.

The date goes better than he ever imagined. And so much worse, as Eli convinces everyone they’re madly in love. That wasn’t part of the plan, but the more Quinn learns about the man behind the makeup, the more he wishes it was true.

Warning: Contains an absolute bastard of an ex-boyfriend. Not responsible for sudden uncontrollable urges to punch him in the teeth. Also not responsible for any overheating or sudden urges brought about by explicit sex with a little BDSM thrown in.

Out now

*

Eloisa JamesWINNING THE WALLFLOWER (historical romance): I don’t exactly hide the fact I’m an Eloisa James fangirl.  This novella is probably to help promote her new release (see below!), but it’s most definitely on my list of things to read this month.

Blurb:

It could only happen in a fairy tale.

Lady Lucy Towerton:
Plain and tall. (According to the lady herself.)
Titled and irreproachably proper. (According to her fiancÉ.)

Until, overnight, she becomes

Lady Lucy Towerton:
Heiress. (Thanks to an aged aunt’s bequest.)
Belle of the ball. (So say the fortune hunters of the ton.)

In charge of her own destiny (finally!), Lucy breaks her engagement and makes up her mind never to be proper again…

Out now

*

Eloisa JamesTHE DUKE IS MINE (historical romance): After a bit of a rocky start, I’m now absorbed by this series of fairy-tale retellings.  I’m looking forward to this version of The Princess and the Pea.

Blurb:

He is a duke in search of a perfect bride. She is a lady—but a long way from perfect.

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can’t he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.

Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Tarquin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.

To win Olivia’s hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…

Unless it’s already too late.

This sexy, witty version of The Princess and the Pea turns the classic fairy tale into an enticing, funny, and moving romance

Out Dec 27

 

Also, I have been on a ebook shopping spree – here are some that I’ve purchased recently.  The majority are short stories or novellas, which has suited my reading mood perfectly:

  • Kelly Hunter‘s WISH (contemporary romance): Kelly Hunter sucked me back into to the category romance genre this year and I totally glommed her entire backlist.  This is a brand-new novella that she’s self-published.
  • Tanya Huff‘s FEBRUARY THAW (fantasy): I really liked her first e-collection of backlist short stories, I’m thrilled she’s released another one.
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s HIDDEN (urban fantasy): If you’re not willing to splash out on the Subterranean Press paper versions, the ebook’s a good alternative.  I have to say it’s the shipping that puts me off – if I lived in the US, I would probably own quite a few SubPress editions already.
  • Carla Kelly‘s CHRISTMAS COLLECTION (historical romance): Estara brought this to my attention, and it kicked off a mini-Carla Kelly glom for me.  I tend to forget how much I like her writing in between reads, if that makes sense.
  • Carla Kelly‘s MARIAN’S CHRISTMAS WISH (historical romance):  Spurred on by the previous collection, I bought this re-release and well, really liked it.  Perfect for this time of the year as well.

And actually, that’s a nice Christmassy note to end with – I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!