Posts tagged ‘Laurell Hamilton’

June 2011 Book Releases, part 1

Tuesday is a big ebook day for me. 3 books I’ve really been looking forward to will be released. I won’t know which one to read first.

NightfallJune 6, 2011: Nightfall (Dark Age Dawning trilogy, book 1) by Ellen Connor

This is book 1 in a new series is by the writing team of Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty. Adjectives like “gritty” and “intense” have been used to describe it.

Ann Aguirre is an auto-buy for me. She does such a great job of balancing world-building, character development, and action.

I was lucky enough to get it and read it over the weekend, after preodering it, I have to say, all of the above is true.

In Nightfall, Jenna is kidnapped by Mason, a man who believes her father’s apocalyptic prophecies and has promised her father he would watch out for her when the predictions start to come true. Together, she and Mason have to fight the horrors that come to pass and figure out what exactly is happening to the world around them and to themselves.

Goddess with a BladeJune 6, 2011: Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane 

I’ve read contemporary erotic romance, paranormal romance, and futuristic romance by Lauren Dane, but, this will be the first urban fantasy I’ve read by her. I love Lauren Dane’s writing, and am looking forward to it.

Rowan is a “physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation”. Sounds like a kick-ass heroine if there ever was one! She encounters a sexy vampire leader, and has to solve a series of vampire-related killings.

Yours to KeepJune 6, 2011: Yours to Keep (Kowalski family, book 3) by Shannon Stacey

Currently reading this!

After Angela James raved about this book at the Romantic Times blogger dinner, I had to start reading this series.

I’ve really enjoyed books 1 and 2 of the Kowalski family series, and like its predecessors, Yours to Keep has a great blend of fun, family, and chemistry between heroine Emma, and Kowalski cousin (and recent Army vet) Sean.

Bad CompanyJune 6, 2011: Bad Company by KA Mitchell

There’s something about this story that really sucked me in when I read the excerpt. (See excerpt on linked page.) It’s already pre-ordered, and I can’t wait to download it today!

Nate and Kellan were friends until Kellan outed Nate in high school. 13 years later, Kellan comes to Nate asking for a favor: pose as Kellan’s boyfriend to get back at Kellan’s homophobic father.

Why should Nate help Kellan out? And, why would Kellan ask him, when he knows that Nate hates him?

I love transgression/forgiveness stories, and am so excited to dig into this one!

Hunt the MoonJune 7, 2011: Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer series, book 5) by Karen Chance

It’s been a long wait (2 years!) since book 4, Curse the Dawn. I really enjoy this fast-paced series, and am looking forward to see what’s in store for Cassie, Mircea, and Pritkin, especially since I’m hearing that the Pritkin/Cassie relationship might progress a bit.

I’ve read a couple reviews that indicate that this is one of the best books in the series so far, and am excited to see for myself. I’m on the library wait list for this one, so hopefully it won’t be too long before I get it.

Hit ListJune 7, 2011: Hit List (Anita Blake series, book 20) by Laurell K Hamilton

Yes, I’m STILL hanging in there with Anita and the gang.

I am totally invested in the characters, and really want to know how Nathaniel, Jason, Edward, and even Jean Claude are doing.

When Anita and the guys don’t get too caught up analyzing their relationships, there is usually some good supernatural action (of the non-sexy variety), and I’m hoping Hit List will deliver.

I’ve been listening to the audiobooks from the library for a while now, and always like the production on these.

Demon's SurrenderJune 14, 2011: The Demon’s Surrender (Demon’s Covenant trilogy, book 3) by Sarah Rees Brennan

This is one of my favorite YA series, and Alan’s on the cover of this one!

If you want a gripping, unique YA, I can’t recommend this series enough. I love the relationship between brothers Alan and Nick. They are often at odds, but when it comes to fighting the magicians who complicate their lives, they have each others’ backs.

And then there’s Jamie, his sister Mae, and the dancer Sin who round out the cast of characters. Confession time: while Nick has had considerable chemistry with both Mae and Sin, it’s his rapport with Jamie that gets me. If this were a different kind of story, I’d be hoping for a Nick and Jamie HEA.

This book is the last in the trilogy, and I can’t wait to find out how Sarah Ress Brennan will conclude it.

Come Unto These Yellow SandsJune 14, 2011: Come Unto these Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon

Lanyon is another auto buy for me, and this one sounds really good!

A professor gets embroiled in a murder investigation when he tries to help one of his students. Complicating matters is the professor’s boyfriend, who happens to be the police chief.

I always have high expectations of Lanyon’s books, and am rarely disappointed. I will be pre-ordering it soon!

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That’s a lot of books for just a 2 week period! Luckily, 3 of them will be library reads, but even so, my poor bank account is taking a big hit this week!

What are you looking forward to in June?

June 7, 2011 at 5:00 am 15 comments

June 2010 Releases, part 1

Blame it on the holiday, but it didn’t click with me until this evening (Tuesday) that book release day was today! Luckily, this post was mostly done. So, here are the books that are due out today and next week.

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June 1, 2010: Chimera by Rob Thurman

Here is a book description:

Chimera
Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak’s younger brother was kidnapped. No one knew who took Lukas, or why. He was simply gone. But not a day has passed that Stefan hasn’t thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian mafia, he has finally found him.
But when he rescues Lukas, he must confront a terrible truth—his brother is no longer his brother. He is a killer. Trained, brainwashed, and genetically transformed into a flesh-and-blood machine with only one purpose—assassination. Now, those who created him…will do anything to reclaim him.
And the closer Stefan grows to his brother, the more he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him…
  • Rob Thurman’s site.
  • Excerpt for Chimera. (Scroll down linked page.)

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June 1, 2010: Bullet (Anita Blake series, book 19) by Laurell Hamilton.

Here is a book description:

Bullet
Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life—as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita’s past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It’s hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here—in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America.
The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can’t succeed in taking over Anita’s body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: “Run if you can…”
  • Laurell Hamilton’s site.
  • Excerpt from LKH’s site. (Link downloads PDF.)

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June 1, 2010: Demon Hunts (The Walker Papers, book 5) by CE Murphy

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Demon Hunts Seattle police detective Joanne Walker started the year mostly dead, and she’s ending it trying not to be consumed by evil. Literally.
She’s proven she can handle the gods and the walking dead. But a cannibalistic serial killer? That’s more than even she bargained for. What’s worse, the brutal demon can only be tracked one way. If Joanne is to stop its campaign of terror, she’ll have to hunt it where it lives: the Lower World, a shamanistic plane of magic and spirits.
Trouble is, Joanne’s no match for the dangers she’s about to face–and her on-the-job training could prove fatal to the people she’s sworn to protect…

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June 1, 2010: Skin Tight (Skin series, book 2) by Ava Gray

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

Skin TightUncovering the truth is her specialty
As a forensic accountant, Mia Sauter could usually tell when people had something to hide. She made her living exposing secrets while concealing her own. Then, in Vegas, she met a clever, ruthless man who called himself Addison Foster. One year later, she’s still haunted by his betrayal.
He’s a natural born liar
The truth of him had long ago been buried. Foster was only one name of many; he’d been so many men, he’d lost count. Reinvented as Thomas Strong and hell-bent on revenge, his mission is about to be compromised by the one woman capable of exposing him…
Reunited, they confront the explosive chemistry still crackling between them. But their chance meeting will have consequences, for a ruthless madman has his own deadly agenda. The question is—if they survive the fallout, will he choose love over vengeance?

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June 1, 2010: Lightborn (Darkborn trilogy, book 2) by Alison Sinclair

Here is a book description:

LightbornThe second book in the Regency-flavored fantasy trilogy of magic and manners from the author of Darkborn. The Darkborn aristocracy has rejected magic, viewing the pursuit of science as the only worthy goal. But Lady Telmaine Hearne does not have that luxury. She has kept her own powers secret, fearful of being ruined in society…until her husband Balthasar draws her into a conspiracy to protect the archduke and his brother against a magical enemy.

But who will protect them from her?

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June 8, 2010: Dragonsoul (Havemercy series, book 3) by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett

Here is a book description:

Dragon SoulWhen the war was at its height, there was no fighter on either side who could match Rook for sheer arrogance and skill. Only Rook could ride the great dragon Havemercy, whose savagery and bloodlust matched his own.
Thom could not be more different. Bookish, diffident, reserved, he yearns for his brother’s approval—yet fears he can never earn it.
With the war over, and an uneasy truce holding between Volstov and Ke-Han, it seems the perfect opportunity for the long-lost brothers to forge a bond by taking a trip together. At least, that’s how it seems to Thom. Rook hasn’t given a rat’s ass about anything since the end of the war, his brother included, and he’s not about to start now. Not when the one thing he loved in the world—Havemercy—lies scattered in pieces across Ke-Han.

Then Rook and Thom discover that someone is buying up bits of the fallen dragons, including Havemercy. Though the dragons are dead, the magic that powered them is not—and if that magic and the technology created to harness it should fall into the wrong hands, the fragile peace could shatter. An agent from Ke-Han, a sorceress from Volstov, and a group of desert tribesmen are all in the race, and the future rests on whoever gets there first. But all that matters to Rook is that someone is desecrating his girl, so he vows to leave no stone unturned in laying her to rest—and taking his revenge.

  • Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett’s site.
  • Excerpt on publisher’s site.

June 8, 2010: Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Here is a book description:

Raised by WolvesAdopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it.  That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two.But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents’ murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.

But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she’s shaped?

  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ site.

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Cover award for the month has to go to the absolutely beautiful Lightborn cover. I also really loved the cover on the first book in the series, Darkborn. (The story was really good, as well. ;-) ) Can’t wait to see the final cover in the trilogy! My library has Lightborn on order, but for some goofy reason, I can’t request it yet.

However, I do have Bullet and Raised by Wolves on request at the library. I’m behind on The Walker Papers, but hope to catch up soon, probably on audio. Chimera, Skin Tight, and Dragon Soul will probably be purchases, unless the library gets them in really soon! Because I’m just impatient like that.

Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?

To see what other books were released in June, check out my June 2010 Releases, part 2 post.
For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page.
For information about other previously released books, check out my Released in 2010 page.

June 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm 16 comments

Mind Games release day, new pub date for JS-F, & an update

First off, big congratulations to Carolyn Crane for today’s release of her first novel, Mind Games (The Disillusionists trilogy, book 1). I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I won it over at DIK, and it should be winging it’s way to me right now. I’m really excited to see Carolyn’s wit, writerly talent, and quirky sense of humor that is so fun to read at The Thrillionth Page, translated into this urban fantasy series.

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane

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Another book I’ve been eagerly awaiting is Julia Spencer-Fleming’s One Was a Soldier (Rev. Clare Fergusson and Russ VanAlstyne series, book 7). Her site (which is out of date) has said for months that it would be released “fall ’09 or winter ’10”. However, neither cover nor release date has been forthcoming. Last week in her email newsletter, JS-F gave readers an update on when we can get more of Clare and Russ.

Here’s what she says:

First Amazon posted its publication date as “February 2012,” then  sent out a notice it was going to be on sale a month from now! I was deluged by readers wanting to know which was true, and what the story was?
Here’s the good news: One Was A Soldier will be coming out a lot sooner than 2012.
Here’s the less-good news: You won’t be able to read it this year. Publication is set for April, 2011.
The manuscript was so late, I missed my production slot–the date my publisher had reserved for the book to be sold-in, printed, bound, etc. There are a multitude of steps readers never see that go into the proper publication of a book.  And yes, with today’s technology a publisher can “crash” a book and skip a lot of correct practices but the folks at Minotaur don’t want my series to suffer.  They want to do it right — and so do I.  I promise you, it will be worth the wait.  I’m extremely excited about getting One Was A Soldier into your hands.

She goes on to say that she plans to do some “character sketches, vignettes, or short stories” for her mail list subscribers if she is able.

As disappointed as I am to have to wait another year for One Was a Soldier, I’m glad that the high quality of this series won’t be compromised.

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On a personal front, things have settled down a bit. My little great-nephew is home now with my niece. It was wonderful to introduce him to my son, who is thrilled he finally has another boy cousin. (The last few were girls, and he’s been dying for another boy in the family.)

Here is a picture of him getting to know his new little cousin (with my help):

Baby N, the kid and Renee

He was a little nervous to hold him or even touch him at first, but by the end of the afternoon, he didn’t want to let go of his cousin’s tiny hand.

The 3rd annual DABWAHA (Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hellagood Authors) Tournament (a romance oriented NCAA March Madness style tournament) has just concluded the 2nd round. I’m really excited to currently be in 5th place. I know the tides change quickly with each set of voting, so I may not be where I’m at once the next round concludes, but it’s been fun to check in after voting in each set, and see where I’m at.

On the book front, I’ve been really loving the audiobook of A Local Habitation (October Daye series, book 2). Rosemary and Rue (book 1 in the series) was one of my favorite UF series debuts last year, and Toby’s further adventures are just as enjoyable. It also is translating well into audio format and Mary Robinette Kowal is doing a great job with the narration.A Local Habitation

I’m also reading Flirt by Laurell K Hamilton, which I have a feeling won’t be one of my favorites in the series. It’s one of her shorter books (158 pgs) leaving little time for plot, and the “flirting” theme isn’t really doing it for me. However, I will persevere for continuity sake and hope for better things with Bullet (a regular length novel) which will come out in June. I enjoyed the last Anita Blake novel, Skin Trade, more than any of the last 5 or 6 that I read and will continue to be optimistic about the future of this series.

This week I’m hoping to finally get to Linnea Sinclair’s Games of Command and Madeleine Brent’s Tregaron’s Daughter, my March Re-read Challenge book. I’ve been totally flaking out on my challenges this year, reading the books but not reviewing them. Ideally, I’ll be turning that around this month!

So, that’s what’s going on around here. What’s happening with you? Read any good books lately?

March 23, 2010 at 5:00 am 14 comments

Some Classic Urban Fantasy

A while back, when plans for a televised version of her Anita Black series fell through, Laurell Hamilton reiterated her controversial observation that, “It has been frustrating watching other shows in the genre I pioneered go on the air while we didn’t, but in the end I believe most things happen for a reason.” (The above link goes to a cached version of her blog post, since I was unable to find the original.)

Now, let me first off say that I am a Laurell Hamilton fan. While I have often been frustrated with the Anita Blake series, it was an early series (though not the first) in the urban fantasy genre that I had read. I think that her latest, Skin Trade was closer to the AB series that I fell in love with than any book since Obsidian Butterfly. And, while not perfect, Skin Trade gave me much hope that the procedurals I love will once again be joined with some of my favorite characters in the urban fantasy genre. (Nathaniel, anyone? How about Edward?)

Secondly, I’m not clear in her comments which (sub)genre she meant when she made these comments. Vampire fiction? (With book turned tv series/movies: True Blood, Blood Ties, Twilight) Urban fantasy? (Dresden Files, along with the previously mentioned series/movie) Regardless, she undoubtedly is incredibly influential in either of these subgenres.

However, it’s equally clear that any way this comment is taken, there are many other authors that are at least as important and many came along before Guilty Pleasures was published.

Anita and EdwardIn vampire fiction (for lack of a better term), contemporary authors Anne Rice (Interview with a Vampire 1976) and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (Hotel Transylvania 1978) immediately come to mind.

Now, this post is not a bash on LKH. But, I’ve come back to her comments in my mind over the last few weeks, and for me, the upshot is that there are a number of really great urban fantasy “pioneers”, Laurell Hamilton, among them—though she is not the first. (I decided to focus on uf, because that’s the genre that’s closest to my heart.)

These authors are not ones that I see mentioned very often, and some aren’t even currently writing urban fantasy. However, without them I don’t think that the genre would be what it is today. Also, for perspective, I’ve added LKH in there chronologically.

Lastly, this list isn’t complete by any means. It lists some of the authors/books/series that I’ve read or I’ve always meant to read that I think of when I think about “classic urban fantasy”.

War for the OaksWar for the Oaks by Emma Bull (1987)

Eddi McCandry sings rock and roll. But her boyfriend just dumped her, her band just broke up, and life could hardly be worse. Then, walking home through downtown Minneapolis on a dark night, she finds herself drafted into an invisible war between the faerie folk. Now, more than her own survival is at risk—and her own preferences, musical and personal, are very much beside the point.

What I love about this book is its firm foot in it’s setting: the music scene in Minneapolis in the 1980’s, and how Emma Bull weaves the faerie world into the “real” world. And, while some of it seems dated, I think it’s due to the really detailed setting more than any lack on the story’s part. (Also, I’m an 80’s girl at heart.)

It’s a great blend of faerie war, romance, and rock ‘n’ roll story. It’s hard not to read War for the Oaks’ modern-day faerie tale and not see it as the precursor to Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, Holly Black’s Modern Tale of Faerie, and (dare I say it) Laurell Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series.

The Dreaming Place (The Newford series) by Charles de Lint (1990)

A young woman locked in rage yet seeking magic, Ash is drawn into a wondrous Otherworld of totems and dryads, living tarots and mystic charms. At the same time, Ash’s cousin Nina is stalked by an Otherworld demon-a manitou who can force her mind and soul into the bodies of beasts. Ash must find the strength to overcome her own anger, learn the full power of magic, and save Nina before she becomes the manitou’s weapon, turning the faerie realm into an arctic wasteland.

There is some confusion on my part as to the first book by Charles de Lint set in the fictional North American city of Newford. (ISFDB, Newford Wiki, Charles de Lint Wiki and Fantastic Fiction all list different books/short fiction as the “first” Newford story.) However, as far as I can tell, The Dreaming Place (1990) and Memory and Dream (1994) seem to be the earliest Newford novels, and I’ve had this series on my TBB list for ages. (I’ve read de Lint’s juvenile fiction Little Grrl Lost, which is a more recent Newford book, and it was wonderful.)

I love the idea of a series where the individual stories aren’t necessarily connected, but together they create a world, like individual pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Also, Charles de Lint is one of those authors that other authors cite as influential, and since writers also tend to be avid readers, I pay attention when a name keeps popping up the way his does.

Blood PriceBlood Price (Victoria Nelson/Blood series) by Tanya Huff (1991)

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…

Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans, how to deny the call for blood in his veins. Without him, Vicki and Mike would not survive the ancient force of chaos that has been unleashed upon the world—but in doing so, his identity may be exposed, and his life forfeit.

This is one of my earliest urban fantasy reads. This series really feels like it bridges the genre gap between horror and urban fantasy. I love this series (which was later turned into the tv series Blood Ties) and it’s equally wonderful spin-off the Smoke series. (Actually, Tony, the eventual protagonist in the Smoke series is one of my favorite characters in both series.)

Tanya Huff comes out of a fantasy writing tradition, and shows in the series’ extremely detailed world and complex plots. She also doesn’t string the reader along with the never-ending love triangle, bringing the Vicki-Mike-Henry relationship —and the series— to a really interesting conclusion. (And, no, it’s not a menage.)

Guilty PleasuresGuilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series) by Laurell Hamilton (1993)

“My name is Anita Blake. Vampires call me “The Executioner”. What I call them isn’t repeatable.

Ever since the Supreme Court granted the undead equal rights, most people think vampires are just ordinary folks with fangs. I know better. I’ve seen their victims. I carry the scars…

But now a serial killer is murdering vampiresand the most powerful bloodsucker in town wants me to find the killer… “

Well, here it is! The early installments in the Anita Blake series are such great paranormal procedurals, owing as much to the police procedural as to the horror novel. I love it when a fantasy novel has the feel that it’s world is made from “whole cloth”, and not just window dressing. And, that is surely the case with this series. History and culture have depth from the very beginning.

One of my favorite things about Laurell Hamilton’s writing is how she makes her characters come to life and makes me, as a reader really care about them.

Saints and ShadowsSaints and Shadows (The Shadow Saga) by Christopher Golden (1994)

A secret sect of the Catholic Church, armed with an ancient book of the undead called The Gospel of Shadows, has been slowly destroying vampires for centuries. Now the book has been stolen, and the sect races to retrieve it before their purpose is discovered: a final purge of all vampires. As the line between saints and shadows grows ominously faint, private eye Peter Octavian is drawn into the search. And he’ll do anything to find the book . . . for Peter Octavian is also a vampire.

I’m more familiar with Christopher Golden’s Menagerie series that he co-writes with Thomas Sniegoski. However, I came across this (older) series of his, which I found especially interesting for the fact that this first book was published the same year as Guilty Pleasures.

This series is currently being re-issued in anticipation of the 2011 release of the 3rd book in the series. I’m really intrigued by it, given the paranormal DaVinci Code style plotline.

In the course of writing this post, I had to look up a number of series which, to my mind were “early” examples of urban fantasy. However, while they may have been books that I read when I was first beginning to read uf, they weren’t necessarily early on in the genre. These  include: Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (2000) (which I would consider the first uf series I read), Kim Harrison’s Hollows series (2004), Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series (2001), Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series (2002), and my current Re-read Challenge book, Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (2003).

Now, all this being said, I think it’s also fair to say that it’s not only the “pioneers” that are of value to any given genre. So many incredibly talented authors have more recently contributed to making the urban fantasy genre one with diverse, high quality books.

Where do you weigh in on this issue? Do you have some urban fantasy “pioneers” to add to my list? Does this value put on being a “pioneer” matter to you as a reader?

January 18, 2010 at 4:00 am 20 comments

Library Loot (Inaugural post!)

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair and Marg at Reading Adventures that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post—feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries! This weeks Mr Linky will be at Eva’s.

My blogging energy has been a little low over the last week, and while I have a ton of half done posts sitting in my drafts folder, none has been sparking my interest. However, I’ve been seeing the Library Loot event around blogland, and have been intrigued. Today, Christine’s Library Loot post inspired me to give it a try. :-)

I visit my local libraries (county and municipal) at least once a week, and get at least half my reading from them.

The books below are ones I’m picking up this afternoon. Most of the books I get from the library are requests. (My local county library is a tiny one-room affair in a strip mall, but Los Angeles County’s resources are enormous.) On Wednesdays, if my son has a good day at school, his reward is getting to go to the library, do his homework there, play on their computer, and check out a book. He actually looks forward to this more than other kind of treats! :-) (If he doesn’t have a good day at school, we just pick up my books, return the due ones, and come home.)

So, here’s what’s waiting for me at the library today:

Skin Trade (Anita Blake series, book 17) by Laurell Hamilton

Yes. I’m still reading this series. As much as I get frustrated with where this series has gone, I continue to read. Why? Because despite my aggravation with some of the sexual scenes that last for days, and the emo fall out of these activities (with which I think I have a harder time), I feel incredibly invested in these characters. Despite it all, LKH has developed a rich world with interesting characters I’ve come to care about.

Also, I’m an optimist, and continue to hope that the compelling paranormal procedurals that first attracted me to this series will return. I’ve heard that this book, while not back to the days of Obsidian Butterfly or The Laughing Corpse, is more plot driven. ::fingers crossed!::

Dreamfever (Fever series, book 4) by Karen Marie Moning

The previous book in the series, Faefever, ended on such a cliffhanger that I was in shock as I listened to the last scene.

I can’t wait to see what happens to Mac, and am so excited that we’re going to get Barrons pov in this book. I listen to the audiobooks for this series, and narrator Natalie Ross is a great Mac. (The books are told in 1st person.) I’m interested to see how the addition of Phil Gigante (as Barrons, for his pov) will work. Phil Gigante also narrated KMM’s Highlander series audiobooks.

Bet Me by Jennifer CrusieBet Me by Jennifer Crusie

I really enjoy Jennifer Crusie’s romantic comedies. I always feel Meg Ryan or Kate Hudson should be starring as one of her smart, quirky heroines.

I’ve heard such great things about this book, in particular, so I’m looking forward to picking it up this afternoon.

By the way, all of these books are in audiobook format. I had gotten such a backlog of print library books sitting on my tbr shelves that I’ve been having to return them unread. As many of the books I request are new releases, and there is usually a waiting list for them, and it’s unpredictable as to when they’ll come in. It always seems like books won’t come in for ages, and then all come in at once. Consequently, I’ve been mostly requesting audiobooks lately until I catch up on my print reading. (I can always load the audiobooks onto my iTunes, return the CDs to the library, and listen at my convenience.)

December 9, 2009 at 10:20 am 15 comments

December 2009 New Releases

I’ve missed the last couple of months of releases, due to my arm fracture. I’m so glad I can at least finish up the year with December’s releases.

I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Josh Lanyon seems to be one of the busiest authors out there! This month there are 2 releases by JL, including my most anticipated release this month, The Dark Tide (Adrien English Mysteries, book 5). In fact, I’m so excited about it, I will be re-reading the entire series to work my way up to it! I’m actually looking at its Dec. 22 release as a belated birthday present. (My bday is the day before that.)

I’ve also been very excited about Sue Grafton’s new Kinsey Millhone book, U is for Undertow, since it’s been 2 years since the last release. I’ve already got my library request in for the audiobook.

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December 1, 2009: The Dickens with Love by Josh Lanyon.

Here is a book description:

Three years ago, a scandal cost antiquarian book hunter James Winter everything that mattered to him: his job, his lover, and his self-respect. But now the rich and unscrupulous Mr. Stephanopoulos has a proposition. A previously unpublished Christmas book by Charles Dickens has turned up in the hands of an English chemistry professor by the name of Sedgwick Crisparkle. Mr. S. wants that book at any price — and he needs James to get it for him. Thereís just one catch. James can’t tell the nutty professor who the buyer is.
Actually, two catches because the nutty Professor Crisparkle turns out to be totally gorgeous — and on the prowl. Faster than you can say “Old Saint Nick,” James is mixing business with pleasure — and in real danger of forgetting that this is just a holiday romance.

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December 1, 2009: U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone series, book 21)

Here is a book description:

It’s April, 1988, a month before Kinsey Millhone’s 38th birthday and she’s alone in her office doing paperwork when a young man arrives unannounced. He has a preppy air about him and looks as if he’d be carded if he tried to buy booze, but Michael Sutton is 27, an unemployed college drop-out.
Twenty-one years before, a four-year old girl disappeared. A recent reference to her kidnapping has triggered a flood of memories. Sutton now believes he stumbled on her lonely burial when he was six years old. He wants Kinsey’s help in locating the child’s remains and finding the men who killed her. It’s a long shot but he’s willing to pay cash up front and Kinsey agrees to give him one day. As her investigation unfolds, she finds out Michael Sutton has an uneasy relationship with the truth. In essence, he’s the boy who cried wolf. Is his current story true or simply one more in a long line of fabrications?

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December 1, 2009: Scorched (The Dark Forgotten series, book 2) by Sharon Ashwood.

Here is the description from the author’s site:

Welcome to the Castle. The price of admission is your soul.
Ex-detective Macmillan always had a taste for bad girls, but his last lover really took the cake—and his humanity. Now half-demon, Mac’s lost his friends, his family and his job.
But Constance, a strangely innocent vampire trapped in the supernatural Castle prison, needs his help. Her son has been kidnapped, so suddenly Mac has a case to work—one that embroils him with a mad sorcerer, an even madder city council, and a winged love god. The trail leads deep into the supernatural prison, and Mac soon learns that cracking the case will cost him his last scrap of his humanity.
Fiery, vulnerable Constance will do anything for those she loves, including Mac. He’ll be damned if he turns his back on her… and a demon forever if he doesn’t.

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December 1, 2009: Demon Bound (Black London series, book 2) by Caitlin Kittredge

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

Jack Winter’s deadly past has come back to haunt him…and his only hope lies in the shadows of Black London, the supernatural underworld teeming with dark magic and fey glamour.
Thirteen years ago, Jack Winter lay dying in a graveyard. Jack called upon a demon and traded his soul for his life. and now the demon is back to collect its due. But Jack has finally found something to live for. Her name is Pete Caldecott, and because of her, Jack’s not going to Hell without a fight.
Pete doesn’t know about Jack’s bargain, but she does know that something bigger and far more dangerous than Jack’s demon is growing in the Black. Old gods are stirring and spirits are rising–and Jack doesn’t stand a chance of stopping them without Pete’s help.
  • Caitlin Kittredge’s site.

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December 8, 2009: Divine Misdemeanors (Merry Gentry series, book 8 ) by Laurell Hamilton.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

You may know me best as Meredith Nic Essus, princess of faerie. Or perhaps as Merry Gentry, Los Angeles private eye. In the fey and mortal realms alike, my life is the stuff of royal intrigue and celebrity drama. Among my own, I have confronted horrendous enemies, endured my noble kin’s treachery and malevolence, and honored my duty to conceive a royal heir—all for the right to claim the throne. But I turned my back on court and crown, choosing exile in the human world—and in the arms of my beloved Frost and Darkness.
While I may have rejected the monarchy, I cannot abandon my people. Someone is killing the fey, which has left the LAPD baffled and my guardsmen and me deeply disturbed. My kind are not easily captured or killed. At least not by mortals. I must get to the bottom of these horrendous murders, even if that means going up against Gilda, the Fairy Godmother, my rival for fey loyalties in Los Angeles.
But even stranger things are happening. Mortals I once healed with magic are suddenly performing miracles, a shocking phenomenon wreaking havoc on human/faerie relations. Though I am innocent, dark suspicions of banned magical activities swirl around me.
I thought I’d left the blood and politics behind in my own turbulent realm. I had dreamed of an idyllic life in sunny L.A. with my beloved ones beside me. But it becomes time to wake up and realize that evil knows no borders, and that nobody lives forever—even if they’re magical.
  • Excerpt (in pdf format) at author’s site.

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December 22, 2009: The Dark Tide (Adrien English series, book 5) by Josh Lanyon

No Description Available.
However, be sure to check out the excerpt at the link below!

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December 29, 2009: My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers series, book 2) by Rachel Vincent

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

“If she were going to die, I’d already be screaming. I’m a banshee.  That’s what we do.”

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her boyfriend’s loyalty to the test.  But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld — a consequence they  can’t possibly understand.  Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk . . .
  • Rachel Vincent’s site.

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December 29, 2009: Beneath the Skin (Maker’s Song series, book 3) by Adrian Phoenix

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

CHAOS CONTROLS HIS FUTURE. ONE MORTAL WOMAN COULD BE HIS SALVATION. THE COUNTDOWN TO ANNIHILATION WILL BEGIN WITH DANTE’S CHOICE . . .
THE FATE OF THREE WORLDS . . . The dark pieces of vampire rock star Dante Baptiste’s past are violently emerging, and it is only a matter of time before the Fallen discover he is the creawdwr they have sought for thousands of years. The destruction he left behind in Oregon threatens to reveal his identity as Fallen Maker and True Blood, exposing the young nightkind to shadowy predators — mortal and supernatural — who will do whatever it takes to win his favor . . . or destroy him.
RESTS IN DANTE’S HANDS. When beautiful FBI special agent Heather Wallace went AWOL on assignment, she chose irresistible Dante over the shady government forces that now stalk them both. Heather has her own secrets of the past to uncover, but she is also the only one who can hold her nightkind lover together when his dangerous quest for the truth threatens to send him over the edge. And as she and Dante fight for their survival, she realizes they must work together to protect their future — before his mysterious destiny tears them apart . . .
  • Adrian Phoenix’s site
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Link opens a Word doc.)

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December 2009: Angelic by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld novella, featuring Eve Levine)

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

As a half-demon master of the dark arts, Eve Levine isn’t what anyone would call angelic. That’s exactly why the Fates chose her for the job. She’s their secret weapon against the forces of evil. However after five years, Eve is tired of being the designated rebel of the angel corps, expected to break the rules, then penalized for it.
When the leaderless djinn stage an uprising, Eve sees the perfect chance to get herself fired. As she plunges deeper into the demon world, though, she realizes she’s in danger of losing a lot more than her job.

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It’s funny, because for a while it felt like not many books were being released this month, but then I realized that it’s more that I don’t have any romance releases on my radar for December. However, there seems to be a ton of UF and a couple of mysteries for my holiday reading.

Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?

For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page. For information about other books that were released earlier this year, check out my Released in 2009 page.

November 30, 2009 at 5:00 am 18 comments

June 2009 New Releases

Here we are at the mid-year point. Can you believe it? There are so many cool books coming out this month.

Here are the June releases I’m looking forward to:

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June 2, 2009: Street Magic (Black London series, book 1) by Caitlin Kittredge

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes — or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child . . . but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, a shadow of his former self, but he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey.  Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget — and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago . . .
Street Magic by Caitlin Kittredge
  • Caitlin Kittredge’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site.
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June 2, 2009: Silent Blade (Short story, 42 pp) by Ilona Andrews (Samhain, publisher)

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

Old hatreds die hard. Old love dies harder.On Meli Galdes’ home planet, the struggle for power is a bloody, full-contact sport—in business and on the battlefield. For years her lethal skills have been a valuable asset in advancing her family’s interests. She’s more than earned her right to retire, but her kinsmen have one last favor to ask.

Kill the man who ruined her life.

Celino Carvanna’s razor-sharp business acumen—and skills with a blade—won him the freedom to do as he pleases. There’s only one thing he can’t seem to control—his reaction to the mysterious woman who tantalizes his senses. Her eyes alone set his blood simmering, stirring ridiculous adolescent fantasies about breasts and honey. With a few words she dissects his soul. Who is she? And how does she slide so easily under his well-guarded skin?

It’s almost too easy to draw Celino within the kill zone. Meli plans to revel in him. Drink him in. Wring every drop of pleasure out of every moment.

And when she’s sure he belongs to her, she will finally repay a decade’s worth of pain—in a single, brutal dose of reality.

Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
  • Ilona Andrews’ site.

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June 2, 2009: Skin Trade (Anita Bake series, book 17) by Laurell Hamilton

Here is the description from the author’s site:

When a vampire serial killer sends Anita Blake a grisly souvenir from Las Vegas, she has to warn Sin City’s local authorities what they’re dealing with. Only it’s worse than she thought. Ten officers and one executioner have been slain – paranormal style. Anita heads to Vegas, where’s she’s joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward. It’s a good thing he always has her back, because when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses ‘tiger’ too strongly to ignore it. The weretigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher. Skin Trade by Laurell Hamilton
  • Laurell Hamilton’s site.
  • Chapter 1 on author’s site. (PDF file.)

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June 2, 2009: Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires series, book 6) by Rachel Caine

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace — until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants — the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power? Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

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June 2, 2009: The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Alysha Gale is a member of a family capable of changing the world with the charms they cast. Then she receives word that she’s inherited her grandmother’s junk shop in Calgary, only to discover upon arriving that she’ll be serving the fey community. And when Alysha learns just how much trouble is brewing in Calgary, even calling in the family to help may not be enough to save the day. The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff
  • Tanya Huff’s blog.

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June 2, 2009: Black and White (Book 1 of the Icarus Project) by Jackie Kessler & Caitlin Kittredge

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Once best friends at an elite superhero training academy, Callie Bradford — code name Iridium — and Joannie Greene — code name Jet — are now mortal enemies. Jet is a by-the-book hero, using her Shadow power to protect the citizens of New Chicago. Iridium, with her mastery of Light, runs the city’s underworld. For years the two have played a dangerous game of cat and mouse.

But now playtime’s over. A looming evil threatens both them and the world they share. As Jet works with a “normal” man who has an extraordinary ability to make her weak in the knees, Iridium teams with a mysterious vigilante called Taser. Both Jet and Iridium are convinced that the other woman is the key to a catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions.

And one of them is right.

Black and White
  • Jackie Kessler’s site.
  • Caitlin Kittredge’s site.
  • Icarus Project site.

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June 9, 2009: Green by Jay Lake

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

She was born in poverty, in a dusty village under the equatorial sun. She does not remember her mother, she does not remember her own name — her earliest clear memory is of the day her father sold her to the tall pale man. In the Court of the Pomegranate Tree, where she was taught the ways of a courtesan . . . and the skills of an assassin . . . she was named Emerald, the precious jewel of the Undying Duke’s collection of beauties.She calls herself Green.

The world she inhabits is one of political power and magic, where Gods meddle in the affairs of mortals. At the center of it is the immortal Duke’s city of Copper Downs, which controls all the trade on the Storm Sea. Green has made many enemies, and some secret friends, and she has become a very dangerous woman indeed.

Green by Jay Lake
  • Jay Lake’s site.
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June 16, 2009: Somebody Killed His Editor (Holmes & Moriarty series, book 1) by Josh Lanyon

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

For sixteen years Christopher (Kit) Holmes has enjoyed a successful career as a mystery writer, thanks to the popularity of elderly spinster sleuth, Miss Butterwith and her ingenious cat, Mr. Pinkerton.  But sales are down in everything but chick lit and Christopher’s new editor doesn’t like geriatric gumshoes.  It’s a pink, pink world for Kit.

Reluctantly the reclusive Christopher agrees to attend a mystery writer’s conference at a remote Northern California winery.  But no sooner does he arrive then the bridge to the outside world washes out. On his trek to the Blue Heron Lodge, Christopher discovers the body of a woman in the woods.  If nearly two decades of mystery-writing are anything to go by, the woman doesn’t appear to have died a natural death.

Thanks to the ongoing storm and washed-out bridge, local law enforcement is not able to come to the rescue. Déjà vu!  It’s practically like all those classic murder mysteries in isolated country manors that Christopher has been penning for sixteen years!  If only Miss Butterwith was on hand. Or even Mr. Pinkerton . . .

Somebody Killed His Editor by Josh Lanyon
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June 23, 2009: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (Stephanie Plum series, book 15) by Janet Evanovich

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Recipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton to participate in a barbecue cook-off and loses his head –literally.

Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she’ll talk to is Trenton cop, Joe Morelli.

Pump up the heat: Chipotle’s sponsor is offering a million dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers.

Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help her find the killers and collect the moolah.

Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur.  Enough said.

Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, A.K.A. Ranger, during the day.  Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, solve Ranger’s problems and not jump his bones?

Warning: Habanero hot.  So good you’ll want seconds.

Finger Lickin Fifteen
  • Janet Evanovich’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site.
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June 30, 2009: Instant Gratification (Wilder series, book 2) by Jill Shalvis

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Wishful, California, is 3000 miles from Dr. Emma Sinclair’s last job in a New York City ER. It may as well be another galaxy. Here, running her father’s clinic for a summer, Emma treats bee stings, stomach flu, and the occasional pet cat. Plus, she has to contend with patients like Stone Wilder: gorgeous, laid-back, and irritating beyond belief. The man laughs at her. A lot. And Emma loathes him. All except that tiny part of her that wants to throw him on her examining table and break every doctor-patient rule in the book . . .

When Stone tries to help Emma learn to loosen up a bit, he pictures white-water rafting or scenic mountain hikes. Not a mind-blowing affair that shakes them both to the core. Emma’s sure she has no place in a town like Wishful, but Stone knows different. Emma belongs here, in this town, in his
life. And convincing this strong-minded, stubborn, sexy woman of that fact will be a challenge no Wilder man could resist . . .

Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis
  • Jill Shalvis’ site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Scroll down.)
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June 30, 2009: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains.
That’s the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England.  After twelve years in the exotic east, she’s shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn’t and nothing she ought to know.  She’s a walking scandal, with no hope of a future . . . unless someone can civilize her.

Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor.  He’s sarcastic, cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women.  He charms, seduces, and leaves them–with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears.  But good looks and charm, combined with money and rank, make him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe’s risqué reputation . . . if the wayward beauty doesn’t lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.

Dont Tempt Me by Loretta Chase
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June 30, 2009: The Women of Nell Gwynne’s (Novella) by Kage Baker.

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Lady Beatrice was the proper British daughter of a proper British soldier, until tragedy struck and sent her home to walk the streets of early-Victorian London. But Lady Beatrice is no ordinary whore, and is soon recruited to join an underground establishment known as Nell Gwynne’s. Nell Gwynne’s is far more than simply the finest and most exclusive brothel in Whitehall; it is in fact the sister organization to the Gentlemen’s Speculative Society, that 19th-century predecessor to a certain Company . . . and when a member of the Society goes missing on a peculiar assignment, it’s up to Lady Beatrice and her sister harlots to investigate. Women of Nell Gwynnes
  • Kage Baker’s site.
  • Scroll down linked page for excerpt.
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June 30, 2009: What Happens in London (sequel to Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever) by Julia Quinn

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

When Olivia Bevelstoke is told that her new neighbor may have killed his fiancée, she doesn’t believe it for a second, but still, how can she help spying on him, just to be sure?  So she stakes out a spot near her bedroom window, cleverly concealed by curtains, watches, and waits… and discovers a most intriguing man, who is definitely up to something.

Sir Harry Valentine works for the boring branch of the War Office, translating documents vital to national security.  He’s not a spy, but he’s had all the training, and when a gorgeous blonde begins to watch him from her window, he is instantly suspicious.  But just when he decides that she’s nothing more than a nosy debutante, he discovers that she might be engaged to a foreign prince, who might be plotting against England. And when Harry is roped into spying on Olivia, he discovers that he might be falling for her himself . . .

What Happens in London
  • Julia Quinn’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Scroll down.)
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Oh man, that’s a lot of books! There’s something for just about everybody.

For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page. For information about other books that were released in January thru April 2009, check out my Released in 2009 page.

Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?

June 2, 2009 at 6:00 am 8 comments

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