Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I Read in November 2010

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


Play of Passion by Nalini Singh
Warrior by Zoe Archer


Somewhere Along the Way by Jodi Thomas
The Guardian Bride by Lauri Robinson

Science Fiction Romance

Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard


The Iron Duke by Meljean Brooks

Monday, November 29, 2010

What I Purchased in November 2010

From Borders:

Christmas Mail Order Brides by Susan Page Davis, Vickie McDonough, Therese Stenzel, Carrie Turansky
Clone Empire by Steven Kent
Damage Time by Colin Harvey
Redoubtable by Mike Shepherd
Somewhere Along the Way by Jodi Thomas
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brooks
Enemy Within by Marcella Burnard
Play of Passion by Nalini Singh
Scoundrel by Zoe Archer

From Fictionwise:

The Guardian Bride by Lauri Robinson

From All Romance Ebooks:

Tangled in Time by Pauline Baird Jones

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

So far today we have had rain, freezing rain, sleet, more freezing rain and finally snow. Welcome to Thanksgiving in the Ozarks. It is a good day to eat and then curl up with a good book. Hope all of you are having a great Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Warrior, The Blades of the Rose by Zoe Archer

Paranormal Romance

I love historical romances and find I also love the combination of paranormal and historical romances. Warrior by Zoe Archer is that combination. Set in the late 1800’s, Warrior is the first book in the Blades of the Rose series. Captain Gabriel Huntley has retired from the army after years in India and returned to England to find a job, a wife and start a family. As he leaves the ship he goes to the aid of a man being attacked by several other men. Even though they beat off the attackers the man is mortally wounded and as he is dying he asked Gabe to go to Outer Mongolia to finish his mission. There he meets Thalia Burgess who is like no woman he has every met before and learns of her mission to protect a magic artifact. The two clash but have to work together to keep the world safe from The Heirs, people who would use the magic to gain world domination.

Warrior has a good plot that flows seamlessly, well-developed characters, great dialog, magic that makes sense in the context of the story as well as an interesting historical background about a place most of us know little about. The next two books in the series, Scoundrel, Rebel are already out and the third Stranger, will be released in December. I will be adding all three to my library in the near future.

Zebra Books published Warrior by Zoe Archer in 2010.

I think purchased Warrior from Amazon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Somewhere Along the Way, A Harmony Novel by Jodi Thomas


Just like a master weaver who can take threads of any color and weave them together into a beautiful fabric Jodi Thomas can take characters of all types and weave them into a fascinating story. While Somewhere Along the Way continues the story of Regan Truman she is not the only main character. There is Gabe Leary, a wounded war hero who only wants to be left alone, Liz Matheson, whose encounter with Gabe changes both of their lives, and those are only two of the residents of Harmony whose lives are woven into Somewhere Along the Way.

In Somewhere Along the Way Jodi Thomas has created a town filled with characters that make the reader beg for more. The dialog is wonderful and often funny, the characters are just what you might find in any small town and the twist and turns in the plot keep you reading.

Welcome to Harmony is the first book in the series. The third book is due out in the Fall of 2011.

Berkley published Somewhere Along the Way by Jodi Thomas is 2010.

I purchased Somewhere Along the Way from Borders.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter

Regency Romance

Madeline Hunter is one of my favorite romance authors. I checked my bookshelf and found that I owned 15 of the 20 books she has written. Sinful in Satin is the third book in the Rarest Blossoms Regency Quartet and my latest purchase. The background for the quartet is at Daphne Joyes’ home in Cumberworth where she grows flowers that she sells in London. Her business is called The Rarest Blooms. Each book features a female who has come to live with Daphne in her home in Cumberworth. Each is running from something but by the rules of the house no one is allowed to ask about anyone’s past. In Sinful in Satin we learn Celia’s story. Celia feels her future is limited by her Mother’s past but life has several surprises for her.

Sinful in Satin has mystery, suspense, engaging characters, a great plot and of course romance. It can be read as a stand-alone but is a lot more fun if read as part of the series. Look for Dangerous in Diamonds, the fourth and final book in the series, in May of 2011.

Jove published Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter in 2010.

I purchased Sinful in Satin from Borders.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts on Historical Romances

I just finished reading Lisa Klypas’s first published novel, When Strangers Marry and one of Candace Camp’s early books, Rain Lily. Both were published in the early 1990’s and both are set in the United States. When Strangers Marry is set soon after the Louisiana Purchase and Rain Lily is set soon after the Civil War. What struck me was how few historical romance novels are placed in similar settings today. The setting for both Klypas’s and Camp’s later historical romance novels moved across the ocean. Check the books for sale in the romance section in any bookstore and you will find that the setting for most historical romance novels have made that same move. England in the 1800’s seems to be the favorite setting. Authors write what people buy so it must be that historical novels set in America do not sell nearly as well as historical novels set in England. Can you not have romance in pre 1900 America? I admit I am as guilty as other readers. I love historical novels set elsewhere and if I find one set in America I will often put it down and go to one set somewhere else. The exceptions to this are authors like Jody Thomas who writes western romances. While historical in nature they are a category of their own and on book shelves they are still outnumbered.

I purchased both books when the used bookstore I often visited (See my post Death of a Bookstore) went out of business and all books went for $1.00.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

Paranormal Romance

I just finished Play of Passion by Nalini Singh and was left wanting the next book. The last two books in the Psy/Changeling, Blaze of Memory and Bonds Of Justice were almost side stories written to enlarge the world Singh had created. With Play of Passion the focus returns to one of the main line packs, the SnowDancers and to the main story arc. While I enjoyed the last two books I loved Play and Passion. In Play of Passion the characters from the two previous books are drawn into the arc and everything is set up for the next story.

Drew Kincaid and Lieutenant Indigo Riviere were introduced in previous books. Now they get their story. Drew knows that he wants Indigo but she has doubts about his intentions. He has to work very hard to get her to take him seriously. For me one of the best scenes in the book is when Indigo’s Mother pulls Drew aside to explain how childhood events are affecting Indigo’s ability to commit. To add to the problems both face there is a split in the Psy Council and some members of the Council are intruding on SnowDancer territory. All of the members have to work to keep this threat from destroying the pack. This leads to some new and surprising alliances.

The additional world building in Play of Passion continues to expand the Psy/Changeling world. There are new character introduced, previous characters reappear, and hints are offered about some main characters that have yet to have their story told. Play of Passion keeps up the tension, romance and drama that are a mark of this series.

The next book, Kiss of Snow, is due out in June of 2011.

Berkley Sensation published Play of Passion by Nalini Singh in 2010.

I pre-ordered Play of Passion from Borders and got an email on November 1st that the book had been shipped. When it did not arrive I checked the tracking and found that after leaving Atlanta it went to Chino CA, then Los Angeles, CA, then Dallas, TX, then Southhaven MS, and finally on November 13th it arrived at my house in Bella Vesta, AR. It had quite a journey to get to me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Made About the Duke by Elizabeth Boyle


I purchased How I Met My Countess, the first book in this series, at a used books store in Chattanooga, TN. I saw the book when it first came out, passed on purchasing it new but decided it was worth a try when I could get it for half price. Reading How I Met My Countess hooked me on the series and I purchased Mad About the Duke when it came out new. There are three-widowed Lady Stanton’s and this series tells story of each. The last pages of How I Met My Countess sets up the story in Mad About the Duke.

When Elinor, the second Lady Stanton, mistakes the Duke of Parkerton for a solicitor the fun begins. Mad About the Duke is a entertaining romp where mistaken identity allows two people to fall in love without the influence of wealth and position getting in the way. It can be read as a stand-alone but is better read as part of the series. Lord Langley is Back In Town, the third book in the series, is due out in May of 2011.

Avon published Mad About the Duke by Elizabeth Boyle in 2010.

I purchased Mad About the Duke from Borders.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

One Touch of Scandal by Liz Carlyle


Liz Carlyle is one of my favorite romance authors so as soon as I saw her new book One Touch of Scandal I picked it up. In this first book of a new trilogy Liz Carlyle adds a paranormal twist to her historical romance. Grace Gauthier finds her employer and soon to be husband murdered and herself as the prime suspect. Adrian Forsythe, Lord Ruthveyn, is called into the case and is surprised when he touches Grace and can read nothing. Both Adrian and Grace have unusual abilities that link them in ways they do not expect. Liz Carlyle has added a new touch to her romance novels skillfully blending a traditional romance with a touch of the paranormal. Look for the second book One Wicked Glance in May of 2011.

I think that people who like the Arcane Novels written by Amanda Quick (a pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz) should try this new trilogy by Liz Carlyle.

Avon published One Touch of Scandal by Liz Carlyle in 2010. At some time there must have been a cover change because the cover on Liz Carlyle's web site is different from the final cover.

I purchased One Touch of Scandal from Borders.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Death of a Used Bookstore

On a recent visit to my Mother’s I found myself part of a sad event. Mother lives in Little Rock where I used to live (I moved 20 years ago). When I lived there I often visited Paperback Excreta, a used bookstore where you could trade your used books for others or buy used books for half price. The selection was always very good and any time I was in town I would visit and buy books I wanted to try.

I was visiting in mid-October and went to check out the used book selection. On the door was the following sign:

We Are No Longer Accepting Books for Trade
After 30 Years of Business Paperback Excreta Will Close on October 30.
All Books are $1.00.

It was like seeing the death of an old friend.

I talked to the owner about her reasons for closing. She blamed most of it on the economy. There had been a marked decrease in the number of people buying for cash. She also said that she had getting fewer books coming in and as a result her stock was not as good.

With this closing the only used bookstore remaining in the city would be the one run by the Friends of the Library. Used bookstores have a very useful place for those of us who read. That is where I look for books that have gone out of print. I use it to fill holes in series. It is also where I will pick up books to try by authors I am not familiar with. A new use today is to pick up paper copies of ebooks that I purchased, read and liked. I am going to miss having a trusted place to pick up used books.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Royal Spyness Mysteries: Her Royal Spyness, Royal Pain, Royal Flush and Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen


I just finished Royal Blood the latest in the Royal Spyness Mystery series by Rhys Bowen. Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the throne, is again up to her neck in problems. She is looking for a way to escape her brother and her money problems when the Queen sends her to represent the Royal Family at the wedding of an old school chum, Princess Maria Theresa. When she arrives she finds the wedding is being held in a spooky castle and the bride is not what she remembers. Then first one one of the guests is murdered and then shortly after that another guest is pushed to their death. Once again Lady Georgiana involvement in solving the crime puts her life in danger.

This is a really fun series. Historical events are mixed in with the fictional crimes. Lady Georgiana has family problems, no money and is not allowed to work. To add to her problems her family keeps trying to marry her off to men she cannot stand. While she works to overcome all of these problems she keeps running into murder and mayhem. Each book has a great cast of supporting characters many of which appear in each book.

So far there are 4 books (Her Royal Spyness, Royal Pain, Royal Flush and Royal Blood) in the series with another due out in 2011. Each can be read as a standalone but are better if read in order.

Berkley Prime Crime publishes the Royal Spyness Mysteries by Rhys Bowen

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Borealis: A Space Anthology Book One

Science Fiction Romance

I love Science Fiction Romance so I ordered Borealis from Desert Breeze Publishing as soon as I saw it in the October email. Borealis is a space station on the edge of conquered space and as resources are sent other places the station is slowly falling apart. The Trans Planetary Protectorate is in charge but they are being pressed by the Rebellion.

“The Borealis is a hive of villainy where anything can be bought or sold – anything or anyone – if the price is right. Boasting the slogan ‘The last stop for Debauchery before falling off the edge of the universe’, the station and its inhabitants do their best to live up to the motto.”

This is the setting for three stories in Book One.

In Inamorata Crossing by P.I. Barrington while transporting a prisoner to Borealis Khai Zafara finds her past is not what she believes.

Kiss Me Kate by J Morgan features a pampered prince who comes to Borealis because he hopes the Professor can help him become the man his people need. The Professor is not who he thinks.

In Forgive Us Our Debts by Gail Delaney Theron is a gun for hire that comes to Borealis to rescue Sarina Laroux. This is one rescue where it is a good thing he always prepares for the worst because the worst just keeps happening.

I liked all three of the stories but Kiss Me Kate was my favorite because it turns the romantic situation upside down. The other thing I loved about all three stories was how the romance was handled. All stories built the romance without pages of sex. I said in a previous post that I usually just skimmed the sex scenes. It was great to read good science fiction romance that developed the romance between the characters without pages and pages of sex.

This is the first book in the series. Borealis Book Two is due out this month.

Desert Breeze published Borealis: A Space Anthology Book One by Gail Delaney, J Morgan and P.I. Barrington in 2010.

Borealis is only available as an ebook.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thoughts on My Blog

I thought that the first of November would be a good time to write this post. To share my love of reading I started Mixed Book Bag two years ago in October. I find that I am not entirely satisfied with how it has evolved so I am going to make a few changes. I will still be recommending books but I will be doing more posts that are just comments on anything books related that catchs my attention. I also plan to approach a few authors about doing some short author interviews. Blogspot has also added some features that I have yet in incorporate so look for changes in that area. I am also going to try a monthly theme for my book recommendations. November’s theme will be on series that I like. We’ll see how all of this works out.