Around the Web

Another set of links, old and new:

Books for March

March is a good month for new releases.  I’m sort of overwhelmed, but in a good way.


Patricia Briggs“River Marked” (urban fantasy): The sixth Mercy Thompson book and the series is still going strong.  The (rather skimpy, admittedly) blurb for this book implies we’re learning more about Mercy’s background, which has been left as a bit of a mystery to date.  I’m excited about this one.

Although the UK cover?  The only word I have is “unfortunate”.  I could have lived with the previous UK covers, but this change in cover art style halfway through the series is bugging me.  Okay, I really want the Dan Dos Santos US covers, though I suppose the one consolation is that these are still paperback releases in the UK (for the moment anyway!).

Goodreads blurb:

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River—one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help…

Out March 1 (excerpt)


Seanan McGuire‘s “Late Eclipses” (urban fantasy): See, this is what I mean by a good month.  Not only a new Briggs, but also a new McGuire.  Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye series is one of the UF series I completely fell in love with last year, and it sounds as though the stakes are getting higher by the book.  I can’t wait.

Goodreads blurb:

Two years ago, October “Toby” Daye believed she could leave the world of Faerie behind. She was wrong. Now she finds herself in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, sharing an apartment with her Fetch, and maintaining an odd truce with Tybalt, the local King of Cats. It’s a delicate balance—one that’s shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended.

Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile. But if Oleander’s back, what’s her game? Where is she hiding? And what part does Toby’s mother, Amandine, have to play?

Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher. For the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda, and there are more players in this game than Toby can guess. With everything on the line, she will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she thought she’d never have to face again…

Out March 1 (author’s book page)


Jo Beverley‘s “An Unlikely Countess” (historical romance): I have a thing for Jo Beverley’s historical romances, which is probably evident from this blog.  I’m liking this, and not just because of the Georgian historical setting – I love the first sentence of the blurb!  And heroines named Prudence remind me of Georgette Heyer‘s “The Masqueraders”, which is one of my favourite Heyers.


A hero called Cate, who’s not at all effeminate, and a heroine called Prudence, who isn’t particularly prudent. They meet one dark night in Yorkshire, both impoverished and at their limit, so how do they end up as Earl and Countess of Malzard. And can they survive the trouble that brings?

Out March 1 (excerpt)


Suzanne Brockmann‘s “Breaking the Rules” (romantic suspense): It’s been a pretty long time in coming, this one.  The 16th, and final (for a while at least), book in her Troubleshooters series, this means all loose ends get wrapped up for once!  I’m not sure if Suzanne Brockmann kickstarted the whole Navy SEALs trend in contemporary romance, or just caught the wave at the right time, but looking back at these books as a whole, this has been one of the best military romantic suspense series out there, IMO.

Goodreads blurb:

Izzy Zanella didn’t need another reason to butt heads with his Navy SEAL teammate and nemesis, Danny Gillman. Then he met Danny’s beautiful younger sister, Eden. When she needed it most, he offered her a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on—and more. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered her marriage. But Eden’s devastating miscarriage shattered their life together—and made the intense bad blood between Izzy and Danny even worse.

Now Eden’s back, on a mission to rescue her teen brother, Ben, from their abusive stepfather. Winning legal custody is her only chance, if she and Izzy can prove their broken marriage is still in one piece. But they’re not alone: when Danny and his girlfriend Jenn offer to help, he and Izzy agree to bury the past and fight for Ben’s future.

As they plan their strategy, Izzy and Eden grapple with the raw passion that still crackles between them—while Danny and Jenn confront new depths in their own rocky relationship. But events take a terrifying turn after Ben befriends a girl fleeing a child prostitution ring. When the young runaway seeks refuge with Eden and Izzy, her pursuers kidnap Ben—and a deadly standoff begins. Now, they must all pull together like never before, and strike back swift and hard, to protect their unconventional little family and everything they hold most precious.

Out March 22 (excerpt)


And finally, two UF anthologies that have caught my attention, primarily because of various contributors – “After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar” (edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray), which has a Seanan McGuire story:

Science fiction and fantasy readers have long shown an affinity for a good “bar story”. Now some of today’s most inventive scriveners have decided to tell their own tall tales-from an alewife’s attempt to transfer the gods’ curse to Gilgamesh, to Odin’s decision to introduce Vikings to the Ur-Bar, from the Holy Roman Emperor’s barroom bargain, to a demon hunter who may just have met his match in the ultimate magic bar, to a bouncer who discovers you should never let anyone in after hours in a world terrorized by zombies.

and “Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives” (edited by Justin Gustainis), with contributors including Tanya Huff, Rachel Caine, Carrie Vaughn, and Lilith Saintcrow:

Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives, is your one-stop-shop for Urban Fantasy’s finest anthology of the supernatural. 14 sleuths are gathered together for the first time in all-original tales of unusual cases which require services that go far beyond mere deduction!

Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives brings together popular characters from many Urban Fantasy paranormal investigative series, for your enjoyment.


So, that’s my March new releases list, any others you’re looking to get?

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.

Books for January

21q4pgimxhl__aa_sl160_.jpgETA: I can’t believe I forgot to add Patricia Briggs‘s “Iron Kissed” (urban fantasy) to my list.  I loved her books when she wrote straight fantasy, and now I love her urban fantasy.  This is the third in her Mercy series, and apparently the love triangle gets resolved.  I can’t wait to read this one.  Excerpt here.


Happy New Year! 

There are quite a few January new releases that I want to get: 

21buid0l2bml__aa_sl160_.jpg“Night Season” by Eileen Wilks (urban fantasy) – As mentioned in my previous post, this is one of my favourite urban fantasy series.  Excerpt here.  It looks as though Ms Wilks has also put up a bonus short story (yay!)- I’m waiting until after I finish reading “Night Season” though.

21xb8nkn5kl__aa_sl160_.jpg“Kitty & the Silver Bullet” by Carrie Vaughn (urban fantasy) – Fourth book in Ms Vaughn’s Kitty series.  Another werewolf urban fantasy, yes – but how many out there have a werewolf named Kitty?  I like but don’t love this series – at least not yet.  I’m still going to get it though – I like how Kitty develops and grows throughout the series.  Excerpt here.

21zvij2dvzl__aa_sl160_.jpg“The Wicked Ways of a Duke” by Laura Lee Guhrke (historical romance) – Ms Guhrke was a new-to-me author in 2007 and I enjoyed the first book in her Girl-Bachelors series “And Then He Kissed Her”.  I’m hoping this is just as good.  The cover’s a bit cliched though – I like the dark blue colour scheme but not the standard romantic h/h clinch.  Excerpt here.

21j6ojd-bwl__aa_sl160_.jpg“Succubus on Top” by Richelle Mead (urban fantasy) – Another 2007 new-to-me author.  I read the first book in this series a couple of months ago, not expecting much (I was in an urban fantasy reading slump), and really liked it.  Heh.  I’ve just re-read the review I wrote back then – and I *really* liked it.  LOL.  Excerpt here.

312wy5vk3cl__aa_sl160_.jpg“The Ruby Dice” by Catherine Asaro (SF) – The latest installment in her Skolian Empire series.  Ms Asaro does SF with really good romance.  I’m very excited about this one – except for the awful awful cover.  Sigh.  This is why I shouldn’t complain about romance covers.  There are worse ones for SF books out there.  Excerpt here.

As for Jan releases I’m interested in, but probably won’t get:
21-pjhr4egl__aa_sl160_.jpg“My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon” (urban fantasy anthology) – Why I want to read it: It has some of my favourite authors, including Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong.  And a rather cool theme – honeymoons with a supernatural twist, in case the title didn’t quite make that clear 🙂  Why I’m not quite sure: It’s a trade paperback release, so more expensive than a mass-market.  And short stories aren’t quite my thing.  Nice cover though.
21kv2bfox5ul__aa_sl160_.jpg“Plum Lucky” by Janet Evanovich (mystery) – Oh no, another “between the numbers” book!  Now I know I bought “Plum Lovin” (her last Valentine Day novella) despite swearing not to, but this time, I’m definitely not getting this St Patrick’s Day one – as much as I love Stephanie Plum.  £17 for a 176-page book is just mad.  I don’t know if I’ll even get this one if it comes out in paperback.  IMO, the problem with her “between the numbers” books (apart from the length, that is) is that because not many of her Plum readers buy them, she can’t really advance the overall story plot – and that leaves you feeling unsatisfied.  Excerpt here.

Around the Web

The new cover of Anne Bishop’s “The Invisible Ring” is up on her website (with an excerpt – it’s to be reissued June 2008).  And it’s a great cover, IMO.  “The Invisible Ring” is a stand-alone story set in her Black Jewels universe.  If I want to re-visit her world, but don’t have the emotional energy (or time!) to read all three books in the original trilogy, I read “The Invisible Ring”.  It’s a lovely reminder of her world – and Daemon makes a cameo.

On excerpts / short stories – these have been up for a while, but in case you haven’t seen them:

  • Nalini Singh has a short Lucas/Sascha scene up on her website – set between “Slave to Sensation” and “Visions of Heat”.  I need to track down the Christmas anthology “An Enchanted Season” with her Psy/Changeling short story.
  • Laura Lee Guhrke has an excerpt from the second book in her Girl-Bachelors series up as well.  I really liked the first one in this series, and will definitely be getting “The Wicked Ways of a Duke” when it comes out in January 2008.
  • Carrie Vaughn has the original Kitty short story up – this was the story that started off her Kitty werewolf series.  Yes, I know – a werewolf named Kitty, but it works!  The fourth book in this series, “Kitty and the Silver Bullet”, is out in January as well.