Books for November

There are so many new releases in November that I want to read… and I’ve been reading quite a few of them, hence the radio silence.  I also caved and bought the eARC of Lois McMaster Bujold‘s GENTLEMAN JOLE AND THE RED QUEEN (there’s a really interesting (and spoilerific) discussion on Goodreads, with LMB participating) – my first eARC purchase and I have no regrets.  I figured that if I’d waited until the official February release, I would have been so excited about the book that there was no way GJRQ could have lived up to my expectations… you can see how I talked myself into buying the early version, right?  It’s fairly clean, if that helps, and by that, I mean I’ve read finished books with many more typos.

But enough about 2016 books and back to November new releases – this is a long one (with a couple of mini-reviews), so brace yourself.

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23453463Eileen WilksMIND MAGIC (urban fantasy): It’s hard to believe this is the 12th(!) book in the Lupi series.  And unlike some series which are in severe need of winding up, this series is still delivering.  I finished MIND MAGIC in one night, and really enjoyed it.  The start was a bit weak (with a new character’s POV taking up the first couple of chapters), but once Lily and Rule made an appearance, I was hooked.  It’s always fun to explore more of Wilks’ Lupi world, and while I’d loved to have seen more of the usual gang, Lily pretty much carried the book by herself.  As she tends to do.  Probably not one for new readers, but if you’re a long-time Lily and Rule fan, I suspect you’d be pleased.

FBI agent Lily Yu’s mind is a dangerous place to be in the latest Novel of the Lupi…

Thanks to the mindspeech lessons she’s receiving from the black dragon, Lily is temporarily benched from Unit Twelve—until her brain acclimates and the risk of total burnout passes. At least she has her new husband, lupi Rule Turner, to keep her occupied.

But when her mentor calls in a favor and sends Lily to a murder scene, she’s suddenly back on active status—despite the hallucinations she can’t keep at bay. With one touch, Lily knows the man was killed by magic, but her senses don’t warn her how far the conspiracy goes…

A shadowy force within the government wants to take Unit Twelve down, and they don’t mind killing to achieve their goal. With none of her usual resources, Lily is up against impossible odds–because with her mind in disarray, she can’t trust anything she sees.

Out now

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18627947Karen Chance‘s REAP THE WIND (urban fantasy): Speaking of long-running UF series, this is “only” Karen Chance’s seventh Cassie Palmer book, but it feels like it should be a lot longer because of the wait between books.  It’s been two years since the last book, and I was a bit nervous starting RtW, because Chance does love her complicated plots combined with superfastnonstopaction.  And have I said it’s been two years?

I needn’t have worried though, because I quickly sank back into Cassie’s world and by the second chapter, I had remembered how much I love the way Chance mixes up time-travelling seers, vampires, and mages to give good story.  She still packs a lot of action into relatively few pages, but the plot held together just fine (not to mention that I found myself giggling madly at times – some lovely exchanges here!).  Best of all though, was the fact that Cassie finally gains some agency in this book and starts to take control of her life – I’m really looking forward to the next book now.

You’d think that being Chief Seer for the supernatural world would come with a few perks. But as Cassie Palmer has learned, being Pythia doesn’t mean you don’t have to do things the hard way. That’s why she finds herself on a rescue mission skipping through time—even though she doesn’t entirely understand her dimension-bending new power.

Rescuing her friend John Pritkin should have been an in and out kind of deal, but with the near-immortal mage’s soul lost in time, Cassie has to hunt for it through the ages—with Pritkin’s demon dad in tow. He’s the only one who can reverse Pritkin’s curse, but with the guardians of the time-line dead set on stopping anyone from mucking about, Cassie will have to figure out how to get her friend back without ruffling too many feathers—or causing a world-ending paradox or two…

Out now

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20980680Kate Elliott‘s BLACK WOLVES (fantasy): After reading Kate Elliott’s COURT OF FIVES and finishing her Spiritwalker books in the space of a couple of weeks, I was looking forward to her new book.  Spoiler: it didn’t disappoint.

BLACK WOLVES felt like a modern spin on epic fantasy, if that makes sense – still very recognisably epic fantasy, but with refreshingly different takes on the more traditional fantasy tropes.  I loved her variety of protagonists (including two older POV characters, one male and one female), though the multiple POVs did make me feel slightly distanced from the characters.  I also liked how different cultures and backgrounds were deftly interwoven into the story, making the world feel like a living, breathing one.  There were some interesting writing choices, including the usage of present tense for flashbacks and a time-jump about a quarter(?) of the way through the book – all of these worked for me, and I’m looking forward to the next book.

What I’ve just found out is that BLACK WOLVES is set in the same world as her Crossroads trilogy, but several decades on.  Which is interesting in itself, but should I have read the Crossroads books first???  I didn’t feel as though I was missing anything, but I wonder if I’d have gotten more out of the story had I known any previous history…

For readers of Brent Weeks and fans of Netflix’s Marco Polo comes a rich and inspired fantasy tale of warriors and nobles who must take the most desperate gamble of all: awaken allies more destructive than the hated king they hope to overthrow. Kate Elliott’s new trilogy is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

An exiled captain returns to help the son of the king who died under his protection in this rich and multi-layered first book in an action-packed new series.

Twenty two years have passed since Kellas, once Captain of the legendary Black Wolves, lost his King and with him his honor. With the King murdered and the Black Wolves disbanded, Kellas lives as an exile far from the palace he once guarded with his life.

Until Marshal Dannarah, sister to the dead King, comes to him with a plea-rejoin the palace guard and save her nephew, King Jehosh, before he meets his father’s fate.

Combining the best of Shogun and Netflix’s Marco Polo, Black Wolves is an unmissable treat for epic fantasy lovers everywhere.

Out now

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22567177Juliet Marillier‘s TOWER OF THORNS (fantasy): Onto the books I haven’t yet read… a new Marillier is always a cause for celebration, and we return to her Blackthorn & Grim world here.  While it’s not exactly Sevenwaters (sorry, I couldn’t help myself), I still really enjoyed the first book in this series.

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier’s “lavishly detailed”* Blackthorn & Grim series continues as a mysterious creature holds an enchanted and imperiled ancient Ireland in thrall.

Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.

As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.

Out now

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21528313Sharon Shinn‘s JEWELED FIRE (fantasy): While I was a bit lukewarm about the second instalment in this series, I have a soft spot for this world. And I do love Shinn’s writing in general.

The national bestselling author of Troubled Waters and Royal Airs returns to her Elemental Blessings series with the story of a young princess who will need more than blessings to survive in a kingdom where everyone will do whatever it takes to claim the throne…

As one of the four princesses of Welce, Corene always thought she might one day become queen. Only circumstances changed, leaving fiery Corene with nothing to show for a life spent playing the game of court intrigue—until a chance arises to become the ruler of a nearby country.

After stowing away on a ship bound for Malinqua with her loyal bodyguard, Foley, Corene must try to win the throne by making a play to marry one of the empress’s three nephews. But Corene is not the only foreign princess in search of a crown.

Unaccustomed to being anyone’s friend, Corene is surprised to find companionship among her fellow competitors. But behind Malinqua’s beautiful facade lie many secrets.

The visiting princesses are more hostages than guests. And as the deadly nature of the court is revealed, Corene must rely on both her new allies and Foley’s unwavering protection—for the game she has entered is far more perilous than she ever imagined…

Out now

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27271538HOW WE BEGAN (LGBT romance anthology): Yes, proceeds go to a good cause, but also contributors include Alexis Hall (he has a knack of bringing contemporary romance to life) and Amy Jo Cousins (I’ve really enjoyed her Bend or Break NA romance books).

How does love begin?

A glance, a gesture, an unexpected offer of help from a stranger…or from a good friend. A smile across a counter at a coffee shop or video store. A secret revealed in a song from another place and time. Or in a love ballad crooned at a high school dance.

In this anthology of never-before-published sweet LGBTQ+ stories, six authors explore the beginnings of love between young and new adult couples. All proceeds will support The Trevor Project’s work with crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.

Out Nov 9

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19504964Ilona AndrewsSWEEP IN PEACE (urban fantasy): I’ve not read the free online serialised version, so this will be an all-new Ilona Andrews book for me. I found the first Innkeepers book good fun, so am looking forward to this.

Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn…and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper…

Out Nov 13

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25719256Josh Lanyon‘s JEFFERSON BLYTHE, ESQUIRE (NA M/M romance): I think this may be Josh Lanyon’s first NA romance?  Looks promising, and I love the cover that Carina Press produced.

In this fast, fun and dead-sexy male/male new-adult caper from multi-award-winning author Josh Lanyon, twentysomething Jefferson Blythe gets lost, gets found, falls in love and comes out…all in the span of one wild summer

After his first relationship goes disastrously awry, Jeff Blythe uses his savings to tour Europe—the old-fashioned way. Armed with his grandfather’s 1960 copy of Esquire’s Europe in Style, Jeff sets off looking for adventure but finds much, much more than he bargained for…

In London, dodging questions from shady criminals about a mysterious package he most certainly does not have is simple. Losing the gunmen who are convinced he’s someone else is not. And when George, an old friend, offers him help—and a place to stay, and perhaps something more—things become complicated.

Is George really who he seems? And is Jeff finally ready to act on his attraction?

From Paris to Rome and back again, Jeff and George fall for each other, hard, while quite literally running for their lives. But trusting George at his word may leave Jeff vulnerable—in more ways than one.

Out Nov 16

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26400106Amy Jo CousinsREAL WORLD (M/M romance): I mentioned Amy Jo Cousins’ Bend or Break series above, and this is the latest instalment.  I requested an ARC of this because I liked the first few books so much, and this was a really sweet wrap-up to Tom/Reese’s story (which started in OFF CAMPUS).

Set several years later, while the initial conflict felt slightly forced (or perhaps I just wanted to thump Tom’s head for not learning from his previous mistakes), REAL WORLD ended up being a steamy read that gave me the warm fuzzies at the same time, if that’s something that’s possible.  It was lovely to see old friends pop up – I’m not sure if REAL WORLD isthe last book in this series, but if it is, it’s a fitting bookend to a strong NA series.

Also, what I love about Cousins’ Bend or Break books (or actually, her writing in general) is the way she deals with social issues – they’re front and centre, but the “message”, if that’s what it’s called, doesn’t detract from the story-telling nor the romance at all.  If anything, the current-day issues she highlights make her stories feel more real with added depth.

When talking fails, it’s time to break out the big guns.

Five years ago, Tom Worthington busted his ass to overcome the fear and paranoia that led him to withdraw from the world and nearly lose his boyfriend. He never thought he’d find himself right back there, shutting Reese out, keeping secrets again.

Reese Anders is ready to try anything to get Tom to talk: if he can’t seduce his boyfriend with food, he’ll get Tom to open up in bed. But even Tom’s confession that his dad is getting out of prison soon doesn’t clear the air between them. And as the holidays approach, intensive mentoring from a new British boss creates more distractions, until Reese is keeping secrets of his own.

At a company Christmas party, it only takes Tom one look at Reese’s new boss to figure out how much danger their relationship is in. But he’s not about to let the connection that started all those years ago at Carlisle come to an end. It’s time to deal with their problems like adults. Face to face. Or back to front. Starting in the bedroom.

Warning: This book contains two adorable guys with way too many secrets, conciliatory rigatoni, a bedroom lesson on the power of multitasking, and indisputable evidence on what makes the perfect holiday HEA.

Out Nov 17

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25704796Joanna ChambersUNNATURAL (historical M/M romance): Joanna Chambers does historical romance well, and this one promises much. I think I read an excerpt on her website and added UNNATURAL to my must-get list immediately.

Captain Iain Sinclair. Perfect son, perfect soldier, hero of Waterloo. A man living a lie. The only person who really knows him is his childhood friend, scientist James Hart. But they’ve been estranged since Iain brutally destroyed their friendship following a passionate encounter.

Iain is poised to leave the King’s service to become an undercover agent in India. Before he leaves his old life behind, he’s determined to reconcile with James. An invitation to a country house party from James’s sister provides the perfect opportunity to pin the man down.

James has loved Iain all his life, but his years of accepting crumbs from Iain’s table are over. Forgiving Iain is one thing—restoring their friendship is quite another.

In the face of James’s determined resistance, Iain is forced to confront his reasons for mending the wounds between them. And accept the possibility that James holds the key to his heart’s desire—if only he has the courage to reach for it.

Out Nov 24

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And that’s not quite all (I know).  The other November new releases that are maybes for me this month:

  • Astrid Amara‘s CRASH PLUS EXPENSES (M/M romance): I like her writing, not so sure about the premise of this one.
  • Richelle Mead‘s SOUNDLESS (YA fantasy): Mead’s been a bit hit-or-miss for me lately, and while I love(!) the cover of SOUNDLESS, I’m nervous this is going to be on the wrong side of the appropriation line?  I’m waiting on reviews before deciding.
  • Carla Kelly‘s DOING NO HARM (historical romance): I will cave and buy this sooner or later.
  • Janet Evanovich‘s TRICKY TWENTY-TWO (mystery): So, remember when I said some series should be brought to an end?  I err… will still likely request this from the library.
  • Sally Andrew‘s RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER (mystery): No idea what prompted me to add this to my to-read shelf (anyone review it recently?), but it sounds interesting.
  • Mary Robinette Kowal‘s WORD PUPPETS (fantasy): A collection of short stories (with gorgeous cover) – I really liked her “The Lady Astronaut of Mars” (free on tor.com), so would love to read more of her shorts.

Books for October

So many October new releases… seriously.

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12528745Karen Chance‘s TEMPT THE STARS (urban fantasy): A new Cassie Palmer!  It’s only been, oh, two years or so since the last one, although we did get a Dory book to tide us over.  I may need a bit of a refresher as to what’s been happening, but a new installment in one of my favourite UF series always makes me happy.

Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.

Yeah, that part sucks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?

Out Oct 1

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17340100Jacqueline Carey‘s AUTUMN BONES (urban fantasy): I’m a fan of Jacqueline Carey’s writing and enjoyed the first in this series (though I now take back what I said about Norse mythology being uncommon!).  Fingers crossed that the love triangle thing is not played up in this book.

Fathered by an incubus, raised by a mortal mother, and liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, Daisy Johanssen pulled the community together after a summer tragedy befell the resort town she calls home. Things are back to normal—as normal as it gets for a town famous for its supernatural tourism, and presided over by the reclusive Norse goddess Hel.

Not only has Daisy now gained respect as Hel’s enforcer, she’s dating Sinclair Palmer, a nice, seemingly normal human guy. Not too shabby for the daughter of a demon. Unfortunately, Sinclair has a secret. And it’s a big one.

He’s descended from Obeah sorcerers and they want him back. If he doesn’t return to Jamaica to take up his rightful role in the family, they’ll unleash spirit magic that could have dire consequences for the town. It’s Daisy’s job to stop it, and she’s going to need a lot of help. But time is running out, the dead are growing restless, and one mistake could cost Daisy everything

Out Oct 1

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16102412Diana Peterfreund‘s ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA (YA fantasy): The companion book, FOR DARKNESS SHOWED THE STARS, was one of my standout reads of 2012, so I’m looking forward to revisiting Elliot’s world and reading Diana Peterfreund’s re-interpretation of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL.  Speaking of which, I’ve never read it, though I’m pretty sure I downloaded a (public domain – free!) copy a while back – hmmm… to read or not to read?

Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

In this thrilling adventure inspired by The Scarlet Pimpernel, Diana Peterfreund creates an exquisitely rendered world where nothing is as it seems and two teens with very different pasts fight for a future only they dare to imagine.

Out Oct 15

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18141373Allison Parr‘s RUNNING BACK (NA): Remember when I had a bit of a fangirl-y moment earlier this year about Allison Parr’s debut RUSH ME? Yes, me too.  Companion book alert, and this sounds promising.

Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O’Connor, popular NFL running back.

On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she’s not prepared to deal with the arrogant—and adamantly opposed—man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine…

Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams.

Out Oct 21

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17900241Kelly Hunter‘s WHAT THE BRIDE DIDN’T KNOW (contemporary romance): Okay, sneaking this in as this is technically a November release – but Harlequin will release the ebook version on its site on 1 Oct.

Shh…it’s a secret!

Special ops expert Trig Sinclair is a man’s man, and that means he knows the cardinal rule of the bro code—no matter how dynamite Lena West is, as his best friend’s younger sister, she’s strictly off-limits!

But when a secret mission to Istanbul sees Lena and Trig pretending to be married (and sharing a bed!), he finds himself in a whole new world of sweet torture. But if Trig thinks playing the honor-bound hero is tough, it’s got nothing on how Lena feels when she discovers what her “groom” is really hiding…

Out Nov 1 (but Oct 1 on the Harlequin site)

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And that’s not all – other books I’m eyeing:

  • Julia Quinn‘s THE SUM OF ALL KISSES (historical romance): I still have the second Smythe-Smith book in my TBR pile, but Quinn is a safe bet for when I’m in the mood for a fun and witty romance, so I’ll probably end up getting this third book sooner rather than later
  • Diane Stanley‘s THE CUP AND THE CROWN (YA fantasy): The first book, THE SILVER BOWL, was one of those books that left me smiling, but I’ve actually been practising my self-restraint for a change and waiting for the second book to be released in paperback.  Which it will be on Oct 1.
  • Mary Kay AndrewsCHRISTMAS BLISS (contemporary romance): Is October too early for a Christmas story?  I may save this for a December read…
  • AD Robertson‘s CAPTIVE (romance): I received a review copy, so you’ll be reading more about this soon, but this is YA author Andrea Cremer writing under a different name – same world as her YA books, but with the “steamier” bits included apparently.  Is this a trend?

Books for October

We’re into the final quarter of 2012, but there are still so many 2012 releases on my must-get list.  And a lot of them are coming out in October.

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Andrea K Höst‘s AND ALL THE STARS (YA SF): She’s an autobuy author for me, so yeah.  And Estara’s read it already and is busy convincing everyone else that they should read it.  Not that I needed any convincing.

Come for the apocalypse.

Stay for cupcakes.

Die for love.

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.

Out Oct 1 (excerpt)

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Karen Chance‘s FURY’S KISS (urban fantasy): Yet another author I love.  It’s been a while since there’s been a new Karen Chance, and I’ve pre-ordered FURY’S KISS, so you can tell how much I’m looking forward to this.  It’s the third book in her Dorina Basarab series, which is a spin-off from the main Cassie Palmer books, but really shouldn’t be read as a standalone series (have I confused you yet?).  Dory’s a lot more kick-ass than Cassie (and I mean that literally), plus there’s no love triangle in these books IIRC, so yes, should be a fun read.

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing… 

Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.

It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.

To find out what was done to her—and who is behind it—Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead…

Out Oct 2 (excerpt)

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Jacqueline Carey‘s DARK CURRENTS (urban fantasy): So… the last time one of my favourite fantasy authors wrote a UF, it didn’t work out too well.  And Jacqueline Carey’s more recent works haven’t wowed me.  However, that’s not going to stop me from checking out this book.

Jacqueline Carey, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Kushiel’s Legacy novels, presents an all-new world featuring a woman caught between the normal and paranormal worlds, while enforcing order in both. Introducing Daisy Johanssen, reluctant hell-spawn… 

The Midwestern resort town of Pemkowet boasts a diverse population: eccentric locals, wealthy summer people, and tourists by the busload; not to mention fairies, sprites, vampires, naiads, ogres and a whole host of eldritch folk, presided over by Hel, a reclusive Norse goddess.

To Daisy Johanssen, fathered by an incubus and raised by a single mother, it’s home. And as Hel’s enforcer and the designated liaison to the Pemkowet Police Department, it’s up to her to ensure relations between the mundane and eldritch communities run smoothly.

But when a young man from a nearby college drowns—and signs point to eldritch involvement—the town’s booming paranormal tourism trade is at stake. Teamed up with her childhood crush, Officer Cody Fairfax, a sexy werewolf on the down-low, Daisy must solve the crime—and keep a tight rein on the darker side of her nature. For if she’s ever tempted to invoke her demonic birthright, it could accidentally unleash nothing less than Armageddon.

Out Oct 2 (excerpt)

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Eileen WilksMORTAL TIES (urban fantasy): There are so many things I like about Eileen Wilks’ UF series – how her Lupi world is distinctly different to the other werewolf books out there, that she has a main character who is Chinese-American (and both Lily Yu and her partner Rule rock) and best of all, there’s this overarching series plotline that is building up to a very promising climax.

“Eileen Wilks is a truly gifted writer,” (Romance Junkies) and her Novels of the Lupi have drawn readers into a seductive world of action, suspense, and passion. Now, FBI agent Lily Yu tracks a traitor into the darkest shadows yet…

FBI agent Lily Yu is living at Nokolai Clanhome with her fiancé, lupi Rule Turner, when an intruder penetrates their territory, stealing the prototpye of a magical device the clan hopes will be worth a fortune–if a few bugs can be worked out . . .

But the protoytpe can be dangerously erratic, discharging a bizarre form of mind magic—and it looks like the thief wants it for that very side effect. Worse, whoever stole the device didn’t learn about it by accident. There’s a Nokolai traitor in their midst. Lily and Rule have to find the traitor, the thief, and the prototype. One job proves easy when the thief calls them–and his identity rocks Rule’s world.

As they race to recover their missing property, they find Robert Friar’s sticky footprints all over the place. Robert Friar–killer, madman, and acolyte of the Old One the lupi are at war with–an Old One whose power is almost as vast as her ambition to rock the entire world…

Out Oct 2 (excerpt)

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Sean Kennedy‘s TIGERLAND (m/m romance): I loved Sean Kennedy’s first novel TIGERS AND DEVILS when I first read it a couple of years back.  Despite knowing next to nothing about Australian Rules football, I was completely caught up in the romance and fascinated by the very Australian setting.  So having an unexpected sequel feels like a bonus.

After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station.

Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention.

Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.

Out October 15 (publisher book page)

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Kaje Harper‘s HOME WORK (m/m romance): I haven’t really connected with Kaje Harper’s more recent releases, but I’ve enjoyed the previous two books in her Life Lessons series – this promises to be a good continuation of Mac and Tony’s story.

Mac and Tony thought the hard part was over. They’re together openly as a couple, sharing a home and building a life with their two children. It’s what they dreamed of. But daughter Anna struggles with the changes, Ben is haunted by old secrets, Mac’s job in Homicide still demands too much of his time, and Tony is caught in the middle. It’s going to take everything these men can give to create a viable balance between home and work. Especially when the outside world seems determined to throw obstacles in their way.

Out October 5 (author book page)

More Mini-Reviews

Here are more books I read last year (June!) cross-posted from Goodreads, with some additional thoughts in italics.

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House of SilenceHouse of Silence by Linda Gillard (gothic contemporary)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I picked this up because I’ve read good reviews of Linda Gillard’s other books, plus a British setting is always a bonus.

Lovely, strong writing, but I just didn’t connect with the story and the setting, possibly a bit too Gothic for me – I would try another Gillard, but this one didn’t work for me.

I wanted to love this one.  But I didn’t.  However, plenty of other readers did – go read Angie‘s and Holly‘s reviews. 

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Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3)Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh (paranormal romance)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’ve got a feeling I’m just not clicking with this series.

When you start noticing the number of different colours mentioned throughout – the angels’ wings, their hair, their eyes… it’s probably a sign that the story isn’t keeping your attention. I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but the numerous sex scenes probably didn’t help.

I’m going to stick to her Psy/Changeling books from now on – unless the next one gets very good reviews, obviously.

I used to find it difficult to stop reading a series even when the recent books didn’t really work for me – however, I’m finding it much easier nowadays.  Perhaps it’s because there are so many more books out there… or that I’m just more picky nowadays?  Anyway, as much as I love Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling books, I’m done with her Guild Hunters series.

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Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5)Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance (urban fantasy)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m a big Karen Chance fangirl, so this was on my Must Buy list.

I wasn’t massively keen on how Cassie’s love life played out over this book – I’m not a fan of love triangles (understatement). I’ve got to say here that I feel Cassie was cheating on Mircea and if the situation had been reversed, Cassie would have had an absolute fit. Relationship developments aside, I liked this book – while fast-paced as always, this book didn’t go at a breakneck pace which I appreciated! I loved finding out more about Cassie’s heritage and it was great to see her growing into her powers.

And oh, an excellent setup for the next book.

I love Karen Chance’s writing – the only downside is the long-ish gap between books.  I’ll have to double-check but I think she has a new Dory book (related series) out this year – looking forward to it!

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Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling, #10)Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (paranormal romance)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. I’ve been waiting for Hawke/Sienna’s book for a long time and this lived up to expectations.

I was engrossed in this story from the very first page. I’m not normally one for super alpha males – and trust me, Hawke is one – but this was just right. Sienna’s really grown up since the first time we met her, and this story showed how perfect they were for each other. Sizzling tension and lovely romance. I enjoyed the glimpses of previous books’ characters (just enough page time!) and the secondary romance was sweet and satisfying as well.

I stayed up until 2am to finish this even though I had to get up at 7am – and you know what? It was worth it.

One of my favourite books of 2011 – it’s rare when you have such high expectations for a book, and it delivers on all fronts.  This is the UK cover, by the way – does the picture fit your image of Hawke?

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Come Unto These Yellow SandsCome Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon (m/m romance)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Josh Lanyon’s contemporaries usually hit the right spot with me and this was no exception.

I have a thing for damaged heroes so Swift’s troubled past pulled me in quickly. And I loved the relationship between Swift and Max – angst mixed in with a whole lot of attraction and caring. The mystery and its resolution struck me as being stronger than some of Lanyon’s other stories, which was a plus!

Small niggle, but I was confused over Swift using his last name when we were in his POV – it was explained later on in the book but I spent the first one-fifth of the book thinking it was slightly jarring. I also would have loved to have spent some time in Max’s perspective, but overall, satisfying read.

I just like Josh Lanyon’s writing.  I’m not sure if precise is exactly the right word, but he manages to set the scene and bring the story alive in so few words. 

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Last LineLast Line by Harper Fox (m/m romance)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a rather dark read – Michael came across as extremely damaged and I closed the book not entirely sure about the h/h’s HEA. There were too many shades of grey in this one – the story felt slightly inconclusive and I never quite got the supernatural elements.

But I loved Harper Fox’s writing as always, and I read this in one sitting – mixed feelings here, obviously. This is apparently the first of a trilogy, which may explain some of the above – I’m keen to see how this story plays out.

This was probably a bit too grim for me.  Harper Fox is very much an auto-buy author for me – the hits far outweigh the misses, and even when it is a miss, it’s still a pretty good read.

Around the Web

A whole heap of links that I’ve been meaning to post for ages…

From Kristin Cashore‘s blog, the Japanese cover of “Graceling” (too cute) and if you scroll right down to the bottom… I’m so hoping that is what I think it is!

Only of interest if you live in East London (so yes, possibly rather limited), but a branch of Foyles will be opening in the new Westfield Stratford City shopping mall later this year.

Orbit UK has bought the rights to Kevin Hearne‘s Iron Druid trilogy Nath has totally piqued my curiosity about these books, so yay for UK releases.

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller have a free Liaden short story up on Baen’s website, “Intelligent Design” – I am very much looking forward to their new book “Ghost Ship”. And it is now available for purchase although the official release date is 1 August!  This may actually get me out of my reading slump (I’ve no idea what happened because June was a great reading month, but I’ve read close to zero books in July so far).

Anyway, I digress.  Back to clearing out my list of links:

Not just the new cover for Patricia Briggs‘ “Fair Game” (I heart Anna & Charles – January can’t come soon enough), but also a behind-the-scenes type post from the cover artist, Dan dos Santos.

Karen Chance is one of my favourite UF authors – here’s an interview with her at Book Lovers Inc.

And finally, Angie and Holly loved Linda Gillard‘s “House of Silence” – here’s an interview with the author talking about the self-publishing story behind the book.  I’ll be honest – I didn’t love HoS as much as Angie and Holly did, but it was probably more to do with the mood I was in than the book itself.

Books for June

Yes, a woefully late post.  But there were so many good books coming out in the first half of June and only so much time… so well, reading won out over blogging.

So here are this month’s new releases that have been taking up my time:

Suzanne Brockmann‘s “When Tony Met Adam” (m/m romance): The final (short) story in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters universe (unless she chooses to return to this series in the future) – I believe this was first provided as a freebie for the “Breaking the Rules” virtual signing earlier this year, and now has been released in ebook format.

Blurb:

Tony Vlachic, a ruggedly handsome Navy SEAL, has kept his sexuality a secret for years under the threat of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. That is, until he meets Adam Wyndham, a charismatic yet troubled film star. Tony knows that by approaching Adam in front of his teammates he’s jeopardizing his military career. And Adam, nursing a broken heart, has no interest in a relationship. Still, neither man can deny their instant attraction.

Tony didn’t become a SEAL by accepting rejection, and his pursuit of Adam leads to one unforgettable night. But the next morning, Tony is ordered to ship out to Afghanistan, and he’s forced to leave Adam with too much left unsaid. As Tony enters a dangerous war zone, Adam, back in Los Angeles, struggles with the demons of his past, while dealing with the very real possibility that Tony could be killed in action. Half a world apart, both men must face their feelings for each other—and decide if what they’ve found is worth risking everything in the name of love.

Out now (book page on author’s website)

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Karen Chance‘s “Hunt the Moon” (urban fantasy): Karen Chance is an autobuy author for me, and it has been way too long since she’s had a new book out (18 months, not that I’m counting or anything).  This is book #5 in her Cassie Palmer series, so probably not a good place to jump in, but if you can make it past the breakneck speed of her first couple of books, this world of clairvoyants, vampires, and mages, with a time-travelling twist is a good one.

Blurb:

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you’d think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn’t work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world’s chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn’t want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.

Out now (excerpt)

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Sarah Rees Brennan‘s “The Demon’s Surrender” (YA urban fantasy): Now I was going to save my commentary on each of these books for a separate post, because this post is going to be long enough as it is, but I’m going to have to say that (a) I stayed up until 3am reading this book (b) this is possibly the BEST book I’ve read this year.  When I think back to how lukewarm I was about the first book, I am so glad I picked up the second book and SURRENDER  just wraps up the trilogy in the most perfect way.  Sarah Rees Brennan is not afraid of taking her characters to very dark places, which just makes it all the more satisfying when they triumph – a heart-wrenchingly wonderful sort of book.  I loved.

Blurb (with SPOILERS for the previous books):

The Goblin Market has always been the center of Sin’s world. But now the Market is at war with the magicians, and Sin’s place is in danger. Thrown out of the Market she loves, Sin is thrown together with brothers Nick and Alan – whom she’s always despised.

Alan has been marked by a magician and is being tortured so that the magicians can get to Nick. As Sin watches Alan struggle to protect the demon brother he loves, she begins to see him in a new light – but she and Mae are locked in a fierce rivalry over who will inherit the leadership of the Goblin Market, and a decisive battle with the Aventurine Circle is looming. Mae’s brother, Jamie, is holed up with the magicians, his loyalties in question. And Nick – well, who knows what a demon might do to save his brother? How far will Nick go to save Alan – and what will it cost them all?

Out now (excerpt)

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Josh Lanyon‘s “Come Unto These Yellow Sands” (m/m romance): Another autobuy author for me (I did say it was a good month).  I open a Josh Lanyon book expecting a good read, and am rarely disappointed.

Blurb:

Sometimes the adventure chooses you.

Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police Chief Max Prescott is healthy.

When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin—only to find out that the boy’s father is dead and the police are suspicious. In an instant, the stable life Swift has built for himself hangs on finding the boy and convincing him to give himself up before Max figures out Swift’s involvement in the case.

Max enjoys splitting an infinitive or two with his favorite nutty professor, but he’s not much for sonnets or Shakespeare. He likes being lied to even less. Yet his instincts—and his heart—tell him his lover is being played. Max can forgive lies and deception, but a dangerous enemy may not stop until Swift is heading up his own dead poet’s society.

Out now (excerpt)

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Deanna Raybourn‘s “The Dark Enquiry” (historical mystery): I’m looking forward to returning to this Victorian-era mystery series, even though the last book left me slightly unsettled.

Blurb:

Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane’s private enquiry business.

Among the more unlikely clients: Julia’s very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.

It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.

Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont’s sake and more, they’ll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep….

Out June 21 (excerpt)

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Jacqueline Carey‘s “Naamah’s Blessing” (fantasy): This book wraps up Jacqueline Carey’s third D’Angeline trilogy.  I have to admit that Moirin’s story hasn’t grabbed me as much as the previous two trilogies, but I’ll be getting this just to see how her story ends.

Blurb:

Returning to Terre d’Ange, Moirin finds the royal family broken. Wracked by unrelenting grief at the loss of his wife, Queen Jehanne, King Daniel is unable to rule. Prince Thierry, leading an expedition to explore the deadly jungles of Terra Nova, is halfway across the world. And three year old Desirée is a vision of her mother: tempestuous, intelligent, and fiery, but desperately lonely, and a vulnerable pawn in a game of shifting political allegiances.

As tensions mount, King Daniel asks that Moirin become Desirée’s oath-sworn protector. Navigating the intricate political landscape of the Court proves a difficult challenge, and when dire news arrives from overseas, the spirit of Queen Jehanne visits Moirin in a dream and bids her undertake an impossible quest.

Another specter from the past also haunts Moirin. Travelling with Thierry in the New World is Raphael de Mereliot, her manipulative former lover. Years ago, Raphael forced her to help him summon fallen angels in the hopes of acquiring mystical gifts and knowledge. It was a disastrous effort that nearly killed them, and Moirin must finally bear the costs of those bitter mistakes.

Out June 29 (excerpt)

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And the maybes: Janet Evanovich‘s “Sizzling Seventeen” (out June 21) will probably be a library borrow – I can’t convince myself to pay hardcover prices for the Stephanie Plum books anymore and I no longer have the must-read-immediately urge.  And two urban fantasy anthologies I want: “Hexed” (out now) purely because of the Ilona Andrews story, and “Chicks Kick Butt” (also out now), this one mainly because of the Karen Chance contribution, but there are a few other familiar names.

Bank Holiday Musings

I did something this week that I haven’t done in years – I bought five books.  And paid FULL PRICE for each and every one of them. 

What, you didn’t think it was the bought five books bit, did you?

No, seriously, what with the internet retailers – both ebook and hardcopy retailers – and large chain stores offering x% off, 3 for 2s, BOGOFs*, and every other discount combination under the sun, actually paying the Recommended Retail Price for a book is not something I do very often.

But I did.  Not just once, but for a decent number of books on two separate occasions.  And I wasn’t entirely sure why I did, which in turn is why you now get an entire blog post on this.

Part of it was most definitely the instant gratification element: I’m in the store, I see the book, and I WANT. IT. NOW.  But that actually wasn’t the case for some of the books that I ended up getting.  Yes, sure, I wanted them, and would probably have ended up getting them sooner or later, but I would have been quite happy waiting for the books to be delivered by post.  Or in one of the instances, walked ten minutes down the road for a 3 for 2 deal.

And after thinking about this for longer, I think it’s possibly my way of saying thank you to the bookstore for stocking the books, for promoting them, and for maybe, just maybe, getting casual browsers hooked on the series.  Because, sort of selfishly, because the more people buy books, the more books authors get to write, and the more books I get to read. 

Maybe it’s sort of stupid – does a single full-price purchase make any difference?  Probably not, in the grand scheme of things.  And it’s uncomfortably close for me to the argument that I, as a reader, have any obligations to help authors earn their living / make the bestseller list / etc etc that pops up every now and again.  I have obligations, sure, but none related to the author side of the business – and I dislike being made to feel that way by exhortations to buy on release date, to buy from certain stores, to do this, to do that.  On a related note, Seanan McGuire has a brilliant post on dos and don’ts for her new release that sort of makes me a bigger fangirl of hers than I already am.

But I digress.  Back to why I paid full-price for my books.  It’s not as though Waterstones is going to wither and die away if I purchased the books from their online store as opposed to the physical one – but I loved the fact my local store had a display set up to promote YA fantasy and had the latest releases out on the shelves.  And actually, taking into account Borders pretty much collapsed over the Christmas period last year, maybe I shouldn’t be taking Waterstones for granted. 

So, buying full-priced books a thank you to my local store then?  And indirect encouragement to please continue stocking and promoting these books?

I think so.  Will it make any difference in the long run?  Possibly not, as it’s not something I plan on doing consciously or regularly from now onwards.  But yeah, I think that’s why I did what I did this week.

How often do you buy full-priced books?  Always?  Never?  And if you do, why?

 

*Buy One, Get One Free… certainly makes more sense with books than, say, vegetables – just do the 50% off, okay?

 

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PS: And the books?

Suzanne Collins’ “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” (YA fantasy): After holding out for months, I decided it was now or never if I didn’t want to be totally spoiled, and finally read the copy of “The Hunger Games” on my bookshelf.  And obviously had to get the next two.

Two anthologies edited by Trisha Telep: “Kiss Me Deadly” (YA urban fantasy), which I mentioned here, and “The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2” (genre self-explanatory) because that had a Karen Chance short story (autobuy!) and an Ava Gray one.  I’ve Ms Gray’s “Skin Game” in my TBR pile and have been meaning to get around to it for ages as I’ve only heard good things.

Cassandra Clare’s “Clockwork Angel” (YA fantasy): I liked her Mortal Instruments trilogy (the ending not so much) and the cover on this is beautiful.

 

Pretty evident which sections I’ve been spending time, huh?

Around the Web

Karen Chance has put up the first four chapters of a free short story set in her Cassie Palmer world, the rest of the story to follow soon, hopefully.  This is the first of the short stories she’s writing to fill in the gap until the next Cassie book is released in summer 2011.  I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that date will be brought forward – in the meanwhile, I’m all for more Pritkin, Marlowe, and Mircea.

 

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s320x240 I just saw the table of contents for the anthology “Songs of Love & Death”, edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois, and all I can say is I WANT.  NOW.  I started typing out the contributors that caught my eye, then realised I was pretty much listing all of them, so here is the full list instead:

  • Jim Butcher, "Love Hurts" (a Harry Dresden story)
  • Jo Beverley, "The Marrying Maid"
  • Carrie Vaughn, "Rooftops"
  • M.L.N. Hanover, "Hurt Me"
  • Cecelia Holland, "Demon Lover"
  • Melinda M. Snodgrass, "The Wayfarer’s Advice" (an Imperials story)
  • Robin Hobb, "Blue Boots"
  • Neil Gaiman, "The Thing About Cassandra"
  • Marjorie M. Liu, "After the Blood"
  • Jacqueline Carey, "You and You Alone" (a Kushiel story)
  • Lisa Tuttle, "His Wolf"
  • Linnea Sinclair, "Courting Trouble"
  • Mary Jo Putney, "The Demon Dancer"
  • Tanith Lee, "Under/Above the Water"
  • Peter S. Beagle, "Kashkia"
  • Yasmine Galenorn, "Man in the Mirror"
  • Diana Gabaldon, "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" (an OUTLANDER spinoff)

It’s out in November, a whole seven months away.  The cover’s pretty cool too.

 

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And Seanan McGuire has been nominated for the John W Campbell Award for best new writer, one of the big SF/F awards.  I totally adored her October Daye series, so yay for her nomination!  Full list of Hugo and Campbell nominees is also up at the AussieCon website.

More Linkage

The Christmas/New Year hangover has all but disappeared, and I’m starting to spend way too much time at work again.  So in lieu of actual content, more links of interest:

Eileen Wilks has an updated website – and it has an RSS feed for updates!  I’m not exactly lazy (okay, yes I am), but a website feed means that I’m not going to miss out on any news.  Her next book, “Blood Magic”, comes out 2 Feb and I can’t wait – I love her Lupi novels.

Karen Chance has posted a bit about the schedule for her next books (now I could use an RSS feed for her website).  It’s a mixture of good and bad news (scroll down to the 5 Jan update).  The bad news is that her next Cassie book has been pushed back to summer 2011 (big sigh).  The good news is that Ms Chance plans to “…alleviate any withdrawal symptoms anyone may feel by putting some short stories with different character’s POVs on the web site”.  We’ll get Pritkin!  Mircea!  Francoise!  Err… my memory needs jogging – who is Francoise?

51ejPPYyI8L._SL160_ And finally… manga Shakespeare!  It’s “Much Ado About Nothing” – and oh, I’ve obviously missed something because when I googled “Manga Shakespeare”, it’s actually a whole series of books

I know next to nothing about manga, but I’m loving the drawings in “Much Ado About Nothing”“The Tempest” looks lovely too, and “Twelfth Night” has been given a steampunk setting!  They’re not expensive either (around £5 at Amazon), I am tempted…

Another January Book

51Qpj-M8LFL._SL160_ Can’t believe I missed this off my list of January must-gets.  “Inked” is an urban fantasy anthology featuring two authors I stalk (in a polite non-obsessive sort of way), Karen Chance and Eileen Wilks.  The two other contributors are Marjorie M Liu and Yasmine Galenorn.

Blurb:

Four tales of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore body art that is more than it seems—in a world of magic and mayhem that always leaves it mark . . .

New York Times bestselling author Karen Chance’s "Skin Deep" tells the tale of a war mage in Las Vegas who stumbles across an ominous magical ward that appears as a dragon on her skin–and has a mind of its own…

When New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu’s demon slayer Maxine Kiss investigates a grisly murder at a high-class soirée, she finds herself involved in a conspiracy dating back to World War II–and a secret mission that her grandmother may have carried out for the US Government, one that involves the mysterious"Armor of Roses."

In USA Today bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn’s "Etched in Silver," a supernatural agent is on the trail of a sadistic serial killer, when an unexpected ally comes to her aid, setting in motion a magical ritual that may end up binding them together, body and soul.

When the heavily tattooed body of a man is found in a Northern California town, FBI Agent Lily Yu is drawn into the case. Trouble is, the victim wasn’t human–and the killer isn’t finished in USA Today bestselling author Eileen Wilks’s "Human Nature."