Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What I read in August

You can see how I rated any of these books by clicking on the Goodreads bookshelf on the right.


The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin
Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick

Science Fiction

Distant Thunders by Taylor Anderson
Children No More by Mark L Van Name

Science Fiction Romance

On Bliss by KS Augustin
Prime Suspect by KS Augustin
Sureblood by Susan Grant
Hero by Cheryl Brooks


The Sheik's Kidnapped Bride by Susan Mallery
Wicked Intention by Elizabeth Hoyt
Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase
A Gentleman Always Remembers by Candace Camp
A Lady Never Tells by Candace Camp
A Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch
With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland
Till There Was You by Lynn Kurland


Damage Control by J.A. Jance

Monday, August 30, 2010

What I Purchased in August of 2010

From Borders:

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase

From WalMart:

Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle

From Amazon

Sleeping with the Enemy by Kaitlyn O'Connor
Body Master by C.J. Barry
Hero: The Cat Star Chroniclies #6 by Cheryl Brooks
Heroes Return by Moira J. Moore
The Noise Within by Ian Whates
Heart Journey by Robin D. Owens
Love in the Time of Dragons: A Novel of the Light Dragons by Katie MacAlister
The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert V.S. Redick
Unsympathetic Magic: An Esther Diamond Novel by Laura Resnick

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase


If you liked Mr. Impossible and Lord Perfect you have to read Last Night's Scandal. Peregrine and Olivia met and became fast friends in Lord Perfect when both were pre-teens. Now both are adults and are off on another of Olivia's adventures.

Loretta Chase has written another laugh out loud romance. Last Night's Scandal is full of great dialogue, wonderful characters, and unusual situations. Here is one of my favorites. I loved Peregrine's thoughts when he finds out that Olivia latest idea involves them going to Scotland with two chaperons.

"Cooper and Withcote as chaperons! Like all of the dowager's friends, they lived to gossip, drink, gamble, and ogle young men. There couldn't exist more unsuitable chaperons outside of a brothel."

Just one of the many times I laughed out loud while reading Last Night's Scandal.

Avon Books published Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase in 2010.

I purchased Last Night's Scandal from Borders.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Sheik’s Kidnapped Bride by Susan Mallery


I think it is fun to find early books by popular authors. I found The Sheik’s Kidnapped Bride in the free box outside McKay’s used book story in Chattanooga, TN. Books that McKay’s will not accept for trade often go into the boxes. On the day I was there someone had put in a large sack of older Silhouette books in the box. I recognized Susan’s name and picked up the book. By the time The Sheik’s Kidnapped Bride was published in 2000 Susan was an established writer who had written over 30 Silhouette books.

The Sheik’s Kidnapped Bride is the first in the Desert Rogues series and I like the story enough pick up the other two if I ever run across them. Prince Khalil Khan and Dora Nelson are an unusual couple. Dora first appears on an airport runway in a wedding dress. It’s a great beginning for an entertaining story. I was glad I picked it up out of the free bin.

Silhouette published The Sheik’s Kidnapped Bride by Susan Mallery in 2000.

The Sheik'a Kidnapped Bride by Susan Mallery is available as a Kindle book from Amazon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Children No More by Mark L. Van Name

Science Fiction

I like to go to Science Fiction Con’s to meet and listen to the authors I read. Mark L Van Name is the author of the Jon and Lobo series published by Baen and he was at Reconstruction Con. I like his series and found his writing style fascinating. He holds a full time job, writes late at night, and his goal is to write one book a year. Unlike many authors who have beta readers no one sees his work until he is finished and ready to turn in the manuscript.

Children No More is the fourth book in the Jon and Lobo series. Jon is asked to help rescue a group of children who have been trained as soldiers. I found the book to be very different from the previous books. There is less direct action and more reaction to the situation Jon finds himself in. The rescue is only the first step in the process of returning the children to a normal life. . Jon identifies with the children and instead of leaving after the children are rescued he stays. This is a more introspective book and adds a deeper dimension to the character of Jon.

The theme is one close the author’s heart. For 3 years starting at age 10 Mark became part of a “youth group that trained boys in how to be soldiers”. In the Afterword Mark states that on his first day he “stood at attention in the hot Florida sun while this grown man screamed at me and when I cried punched me in the stomach so hard that I fell to the ground and threw up. He put his boot on my head and ground the side of my face into my vomit. That was not the worse day I had in those three years. It wasn’t even close.” Those three years changed Mark in many ways and lead to the theme of Children No More. Throughout the world there are children forced to become soldiers and those children need help returning society. All of the proceeds from the hardcover sale of Children No More will go to a group that helps reintegrate child soldiers back into society.

Baen published Children No More by Mark L. Van Name in 2010.

I went to the Baen Slide Show at Reconstruction Con and received a free copy of the ARC for Children No More.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sureblood by Susan Grant

Science Fiction Romance

Sureblood is Susan Grant’s latest book in her Borderlands series. The time line spans the last years of the war between the Coalition and Drakken Horde and the first years of the peace when the Triad is formed. Zelfen ore is needed by both sides of the conflict and found only in the Channel. Rival pirate groups make their living preying on the ore freighters and selling the ore to the highest bidder. With the war raging and Zelfen needed by both sides Dake Sureblood and Valeeya Blue are thrown together when they both walk into a trap trying to take the same ore freighter. The only way out is to work together. When they try to continue that corporation after the raid outside forces step in to stop their efforts.

Susan Grants paints a very realistic picture of how war molds the behavior of people outside the actual battle zone and how that lifestyle is threatened by peace. The actions and behavior of Val and Dake are molded by that behavior and lifestyle. The result is a moving and realistic love story.

Like any of Susan Grant’s books the writing is crisp, the characters well drawn, and the action exciting. The world building is right on tract for a pirate story and Sureblood adds additional depth to the Borderlands series.

Sureblood by Susan Grant is a don’t miss addition to any Science Fiction Romance Library.

HQN published Sureblood by Susan Grant in 2010.

I received a free eBook copy of Sureblood by Susan Grant from Emma Cunningham at Harlequin Books.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sackett by Louis L’Amour


Sackett by Louis L’Amour is another audio book I checked out for my trip. I don’t read many westerns but they make really great listening while I drive. Louis L’Amour wrote many of the western classics and is probably the most famous of the western writers. In Sackett he wrote in all the elements that make a good western.

William Tell Sackett grew up in Tennessee, fought for the Union in the Civil War, and is now a drifter who wants to settle down and get a place of his own. He leaves Montana after a gunfight were he killed a man and heads for New Mexico where his younger brothers live. Along the way he stumbles on an old trail that leans him to a abandoned and forgotten gold mine. Tell knows there is someone else in the valley who is stealing his food so as he leaves he kills a deer and hangs if as a gift. He is being tracked the brothers of the man he killed and after he sells the gold he found is tracked by people wanting to take his gold claim. And of course there is a girl.

Sackett is written in the first person and has a lot of classic lines. Most start with Sackett’s are -----, or Sackett’s do -----. I enjoyed listening to the story. L’Amour needs no recommendation so I will leave it at that.

Random House put out the audio recording of Sackett by Louis L’Amour. Sackett was first published in 1981.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Killing Time by Linda Howard

Mystery and Romance

I like to listen to audio books when I travel and the trip to Raleigh, NC was a long drive. I checked out 5 audio books from the library before I left. My favorites to listen to are westerns and mysteries. This time I checked out Killing Time by Linda Howard, a mystery author I have never read before. I loved Killing Time. It combines mystery and romance, two of my favorite reads. In fact I liked it so much I listened twice. Knox Davis is the Chief Crime Investigator in small eastern Kentucky town. Someone digs up the time capsule that was buried 20 years ago and that event starts a series of murders that Knox must solve. At the same time Nikita arrives. She says that she is a FBI agent but some things about her do not add up. Knox and Nikita need to solve the crime. There is an instant attraction between the two but both know their ways have to part when the culprit is found.

I loved Knox and was pulling for the pair to stay together. There were a lot of unexpected twists and turns to the story. The title is a clue to the biggest twist of all. I recommend Killing Time to anyone who likes mysteries that are not quite the norm.

Ballantine Books published Killing Time by Linda Howard in 2006.

While I listened to Killing Time as a audio book it is available as a paperback from Amazon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reconstruction Con (North American Science Fiction Convention)

Sunday, Day 4

Yesterday was the last day for Reconstruction Con. I went to the Kaffe Klach's of Eric Flint and Toni Weisskopf. For any who do not know a Kaffe Klach is a small gathering where fans can ask questions and visit with the author and in this case with an editor. I always learn new things about the author. One thing I did not know came out when I asked Eric Flint what he had seen as the the biggest change in publishing since he became a full time writer. His answer was a big surprise to me. He detailed the collapse of the paperback market. I did not know that hardcovers now out sold paperbacks. He blamed the consolidation in the distribution chain. Where stores used to get individualized orders targeted to their customers now everyone gets the same thing. This has lead to the decrease in paperback sales.

Toni Weisskopf's Kaffe Klach was interesting but I think I was the only one there who did not either have a manuscript I was trying to sell or who did free lance work for Baen. As a reader I still found it interesting.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

North American Science Fiction Convention

Saturday Day 3

Yesterday was a slow day at the Con for me. I spent some of the day sightseeing (See my Travel Blog). I did go the the Guest of Honor Speech by Eric Flint, the Masquerade (which had only 6 entires, they get less and less each year), several concerts and at the end of the day I went to the Lizard Lounge for the Laiden party. I did not take any photos at the Con.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reconstruction Con (North American Science Fiction Convention)

Friday, Day 2

I went to several panels today. The two best were the Baen Traveling Road Show and A Day in the Life of a Writer. The Baen Traveling Road Show is a two hour presentation showing the cover art work for upcoming and already released books. Some of the authors were present and talked about their books. Question from the audience were encouraged and prizes were awarded to some of the questioners. Some of Baen authors at the presentation were Steve Miller, Erik Flint, Mark Van Name, Catherine Asaro, Sarah Hoyt, P.C. Hodgell, and Steve White. I saw several new must read books during the show.

A Day in the Life of a Writer had Eric Flint, Walter H. Hunt, Chris A Jackson, Lawrence M Schoen and Mark Van Name on the panel. I am alway fascinated by the different ways authors approach their writing. For me part of the fun of a con is seeing and hearing the viewpoints from writers whose books I enjoy. They all had different structures to their days. Some like Mark Van Name have full time jobs. Others like Eric Flint and Walter Hunt are full time writers. The one thing each stressed was to be a writer you had to write. Most said they wrote every day.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reconstruction Con (North American Science Fiction Convention)

The Con started today at noon. I went to several panels. The first was The Urban Fantasy Make-over with Jean Marie Ward and Toni Weisskopf. Toni is the Executive Editor at Baen Books. I found two things Toni said interesting enough to pass on. One was Toni's take on Baen's difference from some other SciFi publishers. She said the Baen book tend to have ethical and moral issues very clear cut and that Baen books are usually PG13 (less explicit sex). Since I tend to just skim the sex scenes I am all for that.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Distant Thunders by Taylor Anderson

Science Fiction

Distant Thunders by Taylor Anderson continues the Destroyermen series. The Walker and Captain Reddy have a new set of problems when Commodore Jenks of the New Britain Imperial navy shows up, Reddy and his allies have just won a victory over the Girk but know their enemy is far from defeated. The last thing they need is new tension and new danger.

I continue to be impressed with how Taylor Anderson back engineers the technology this group of men who came though the rift must introduce to win the battles they face. There is a lot of research that went into the writing. The descriptions of the new processes the crew of the Walker introduce are detailed and authentic.

The Distant Thunders ends with new problems, many of the characters in new danger, and no easy solution in site.

ROC published Distant Thunders by Taylor Anderson in 2010.

I purchased Distant Thunders from Amazon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin


The Trouble with Demons is the third book in the Raine Benares series. It has been on my TBR shelf waiting for me to finish book two. Both have now been accomplished. Book 4 was out in April so I still have some reading to be up to date in the series.

I enjoy the series and continue to be impressed with Lisa Sherain’s command of the language. She really knows how to turn a phrase. The Trouble with Demons is filled with exciting action, tension, danger and some romance. What it does not do is solve any of Raine’s problems. In fact it just adds to her troubles. I was looking for more story movement and hope book four will provide it.

ACE published The Trouble with Demons by Lisa Shearin in 2009.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

North American Science Fiction Convention

I am getting ready to go to Raleigh, North Carolina for the North American Science Fiction Convention. Before I go I am doing two quick post on books I just finished. Look for my post from about the Con from August 5th through the 8th. Leave me if message if you plan to be there. Maybe we can get together.