Friday, September 30, 2011

What Else I Read in September of 2011

Science Fiction:

Rising Tides by Taylor Anderson - I like the Destroyermen series but I have to admit this book was really slow.  I have had it for awhile.  I would pick it up and then put it down.  It seemed to have more description and less action than the others.  It did pick up near the end.  I am not giving up on the series.  I have the next book on order.

Science Fiction Romance:

Canyons of the Night by Jayne Castle - Book Three of the Looking Glass Trilogy this was really more of a set up for future books.  The romance was nice, the dialog snappy but a lot was left unsolved.  Future visits to Harmony are in the making.

Wild and Steamy by Meljean Brook, Jill Myles and Carolyn Crane - I have read books by two of the authors, Carolyn Crane and Meljean Brook.  Meljean's is a side story in the The Tale of the Iron Seas Universe and Carolyn's is a side story in the Disillusionists Universe.  Both are fun additions to their other books.  Wild and Steamy is available only as an ebook.


A Covent Garden Mystery by Ashley Gardner -  I love this series and have actually been saving this book because it will be awhile before another one will be released.  By the end of the book everything is working out for Captain Lacey.  I know there will be future problems in the next books.  I just hope that some things still work out for Captain Lacey.

The Gentleman's Walking Stick by Ashley Gardner - This release is two short stories set after A Covent Garden Mystery.  They are just enough to make me want more.


Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage and The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley - I loved The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.  These two books continue the story of the four Mackenzie brothers.  I like both books and now only one brother's book is left.  That book is due out in April of 2011.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Debris, Book One The Veiled Worlds Trilogy by Jo Anderton

Debris (Angry Robot)Science Fiction/Fantasy

“In a far future where technology is all but indistinguishable from magic, Tanyana is one of the elite.

She can control pions, the building blocks of matter, shaping them into new forms using ritual gestures and techniques. The rewards are great, and she is one of most highly regarded people in the city. But that was before the “accident”.”

She goes from one of the most highly regarded people in the city to one of the lowest.  Jo Anderton has built an unusual world and has used the story and the characters to illustrate how the world works.  Tanyana meets and interacts with a wide cast of fascinating people who live in this world.  All combine to tell a story of trial and hope.

Debris is the first book in the Veiled World series.  I found that the conclusion left me wanting to know more.  While there was some resolution to Tanyana’s problems much was left hanging.  I will be looking for the next book to find out more about this new world.

Angry Robot published Debris by Jo Anderton in 2011.

I received an eARC of Debris from Angry Robot.  The book will be released in October of 2011.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday September, 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser:

"Then again, I was a secular Jew interested in a practicing Catholic who thought I might be a dangerous lunatic.  So I should probably eschew snarkiness about other people's love lives."

Unsympathetic Magic, An Esther Diamond Novel  by Laura Resnick - Paranormal


Monday, September 26, 2011

Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau

RulebreakerScience Fiction Romance

Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau is another female/female romance.  This is not my normal read but the story sounded interesting so I gave it a try.  Listed as Science Fiction if you moved the location back to Earth and the time to the present it would work just as well as a contemporary romance.  To me location and time are the only things that make this Science Fiction.

Liz Braxton’s Felon Rule #1 is Don’t get emotionally involved.  She breaks this rule when her ex Tonio shows up with a job she cannot turn down.  All she has to do is fool Zia Talbot and steal information about a new process that will improve the safety for miners.  The only problem is Liz really likes Zia, in fact it goes beyond like into love and the process is not safe at all.

Liz is caught between two opposing forces.  The story is fast paced, the character well drawn and there are surprises throughout the story.   All in all it was a pleasant read.

Carina Press published Rulebreaker by Cathy Pegau in 2011.

I received an eARC of Rulebreaker from Carina Press.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Email From Vijaya Schartz - Black Dragon

When I intervied Vijaya Schartz the cover for Black Dragon had not been released.  I just got an email from Vijaya with the cover and a teaser about the story and I am sharing both here.  Look of her contest to win a copy of Black Dragon.  If you missed her interview you can find the link on the Interview page listed on the right.

Coming October 1, 2011, BLACK DRAGON is a romantic action romance set on a decrepit space station at the fringe of conquered space. Check out the book cover and click on CONTEST on the top right for a chance to win a pdf copy of this novella at:
A gambler is cheating in a den of the Borealis space station, and Lieutenant Zara  Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle.
Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come under cover to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, on the Borealis space station. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow TPP enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been used by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself.
Vijaya Schartz
Award-winning Sci-Fi, Guns, Swords, 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Interview with author Rachel Aaron

From the Interview at the back of The Spirit Thief

As I finished reading The Spirit Thief I found that Rachel Aaron has done an interview for her readers.  As I saw no reason to reinvent the wheel so instead of asking her to do another interview I decided to quote three of the question and three of the answers from that interview.  I am only quoting the first three questions and answers so read the book to get entire interview.

"Have you always known that you wanted to be a writer?

Yes and no.  I’ve always wanted to tell stories, but I went through several mediums before settling on writing.  For a long time (all through middle and high school) I wanted to write and draw manga.  Unfortunately, my artistic talent never matched my ambitions.  In the end, I’m really glad I went with books.  I feel that I’ve been able to tell a much larger story in far less space through writing than I even would have managed with panels.  Plus, no one makes fun of my drawings anymore.

When you aren’t busy writing, what are some of your hobbies?

I’m a total nerd.  I play video games and read as much fantasy and manga as I can get my hands on.  I also have a horrible adoration of trashy television, particularly reality police shows.  You can learn so much about human behavior watching a drunk, shirtless man trying (and failing) to bluff his way out of a ticket.

How did you develop the concept for The Spirit Thief?

It started, very appropriately, with Eli.  He wasn’t even my idea at first, but a character concept from on of my husband’s old Dungeon and Dragons buddies, a thief whose goal in life was to be worth one million gold.  I loved it, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  A thief actively trying to make his bounty higher?  Why would he do that? What would he be like?  Thus Eli came into my life and started talking to this door.  It was all downhill from there.

Everyone else went through several pretty radical iterations before settling into their current roles.  For example, Miranda was originally Eli’s thief rival.  That lasted about a chapter before I realized this woman was way too duty bound to ever steal anything.  After a few more tries, she settled in as the cop to Eli’s robber, and the Spirit Court emerged from my need to give her a backing organization.  It was a great fit and I’ve never been happier to be wrong about a character Josef, on the other hand, was a last-minute addition.  He came into being because I needed someone to carry the Heart of War, making this one case where the sword truly did choose it wielder on every level.  It had excellent taste, and I’m very happy with the cast I ended up with. 

As for the concept of the book itself, it evolved naturally.  After all, I had a thief and a cop, now I needed a crime, and what better crime than kidnapping a king.  But since nothing can ever go smoothly, the king had to have a dastardly brother waiting in the wings Once I figured those bits out, the novel found its own way."

There are a lot more interesting facts in the interview. Look in the back of The Spirit Thief to find out more about Rachel and her books.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress) by Rachel Aaron

The Spirit Thief (The Legend of Eli Monpress)Fantasy

The Spirit Thief has been described as fast furious fun.  In addition to all of those descriptions it is also full of great characters, good world building and an exciting plot.  Eli and Miranda are the main characters but they are surrounded by a host of wonderful secondary characters that increase the fun in the book.

Eli Monpress is a thief.  He is the greatest thief around.  He is also a wizard who can ask sprits for help and is never refused.  He wants a bounty worthy of his talent so he is working to increase it to 1,000,000 in gold.  Miranda Lynotte is a wizard and a Spiritualist.  She has spirits who agree to do her will and has been sent by the Spirit Court to capture Eli. In his quest to increase his bounty Eli has kidnapped the King. It does not go as he planned.  The King has an evil brother who takes over with the King gone.  When Miranda arrives she and Eli must join forces to undo the damage Eli has caused.

The Spirit Thief is the first book in the series.  There are more stories with Eli and  his cast of characters.  The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater are out now and according to her website Rachel is working on The Spirit War.

Rachel Aaron published an interview at the end of The Spirit Thief.  Look for parts of that interview in my blog post tomorrow.

Orbit published The Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron in 2010.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Author Interview with Vijaya Schartz

I love the Borealis books from Desert Breeze and have posted recommendation on both Borealis I and Borealis II.  When I read that Desert Breeze will be releasing Black Dragon, a new Borealis novella by Vijaya Schartz on October 1 I wrote and asked if she would do a short interview.  She agreed and here are my questions and her answers.  
 1.  Desert Breeze will be releasing BLACK DRAGON, a Borealis Universe novella, on October 1, 2011.  Can you give us a preview of what to expect?

I always write strong heroines, so you can expect a futuristic girl wielding some sophisticated futuristic gun. She is a security officer on the Borealis Space Station. This time, the hero is a sexy rogue, a smuggler and a gambler, with a dark secret. The setting is this aging space station at the edge of conquered space, where all the Borealis Universe stories take place.

This time, a gambler is cheating in a den of the Borealis Space Station, and Lieutenant Zara  Frankel intends to catch him in the act. She always gets her man, but this one could prove more than she can handle. Captain Czerno Drake, code name Black Dragon, has come undercover, to break his innocent uncle from the most secure penitentiary in the galaxy, the Inferno, on this spinning bucket of bolts orbiting a sorry planet. He will stop at nothing to succeed, even enrolling the help of the lovely straight arrow TPP enforcer. When Zara realizes that she’s been used by a shrewd but seductive rebel, her reaction surprises everyone, most of all herself.

2.  I am fascinated by the craft of writing and the different approaches authors take. How do you structure your stories and what is you typical writing day like?

I write every single day, at least six hours. I started writing as a pantser (who writes by the seat of the pants) but when I signed contracts on series, for books I had to write fast on stringent deadlines, I realized I had to plot and outline my stories before hand, so I could write them faster. Now, I do a little bit of both. I know where the story is going, I know my main plot twists, but as I write, the characters develop and the story evolves in an organic manner from the characters.

3.  Who or what inspires you in your writing?

Everything I see, breathe, taste, hear… Often I get ideas from dreams. My favorite childhood authors were Jules Vernes, Victor Hugo, (I was born and raised in France). Later I loved the Nineteenth Century Romantic literary period. I loved the classics in school.  Then I fell in love with the likes of Sommerset Maugham, Hemmingway. But my great love is and always will be Science Fiction. 

4.  When you are not busy writing what are some of your hobbies?

I love cats, I have three at home and I take care of several abandoned cats in my backyard. There are just too many forsaken animals in these difficult times. There is at least one cat in every single book I write. In BLACK DRAGON, it's a white Angora named Marshmallow. Sometimes it's a large feline, a tiger, a jaguar, a lioness, like in the Chronicles of Kassouk.  I'm also known for jumping out of perfectly good planes in free fall, rough water rafting. I used to surf, but I now live in Arizona. I do miss the ocean and the waves. I still like to travel whenever my deadlines allow it, which is not very often these days. But I have no complaints. Writing is my life, and I love what I do.

You can find out more about me and my books at

Great Interview.  Thanks for doing it.  As you can see I also love cats.  I now have pictures of both of mine taking their leisure in my bookshelves.   SFR is my favorite and I am looking forward to Black Dragon

Vijaya is holding a contest on her website to win a pdf copy of Black Dragon.  Just click on CONTEST at the top right of her website main page to enter you name at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 9/20/2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
" Almost as soon as Jenks veered away , walking briskly, a man in an elegant frock coat and a large wide hat appeared in the gloom ahead, forcing the escort to pause."

"Please send a man to my ship, if you please, and tell them where we are going and who we'll see."

Destroyermen, Rising Tides, by Travis Anderson.  Science Fiction.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff

The Truth of Valor (Valor Novel)Science Fiction/Space Opera

Yes! Yes! Yes!  Love it! Love it! Love it! The Truth of Valor is space opera as it should to be written.  The two main characters, Torin and Craig, reappear from the previous Valor books.  Torin has left the marines and joined Craig in the salvage business. Life for these two should be fairly simple but of course nothing with these two goes as expected.

Someone has found a Marine Armory.  If they can get it open they can make a fortune and change the balance of power between the races.  Craig gets pulled into the mix and Torin get left for dead.  What a set up for a great story.

Look for adventure, danger, and disappointment.  Torin is left on her own to rescue Craig.  Craig and Torin are great characters and the relationship between them continues to grow.  The villains are really bad.  Torin’s old Marine buddies come through for her. Craig’s friends do not come through.  As the book ends there is a whole new set up for future books about these two.  I for one am looking forward to more Valor novels. 

The Truth of Valor is the fifth book in this series.  It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading all six.

The books in order are:

A Confederation of Valor - Omnibus of first two books
Valor’s Choice
The Better Part of Valor
The Heart of Valor
Valor’s Trial
The Truth of Valor

Daw published The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter)Paranormal Romance

When I read that Archangel’s Blade would be Dmitri’s story really wondered if I wanted to read it.   I have never liked Dmitri and I considered passing on the book.  I glad that I didn’t.  I still am not fond of Dmitri but his story is very engrossing. 

Someone is leaving body parts around New York City and Honor is the hunter called in to consult with Dmitri.  Honor barely survived being held captive by vampires for two months and the last thing she wants to do is be around Dmitri, the most dangerous vampire of all. 

Honor is a great character.  She went through two months of hell but manages to put herself back together and she emerges stronger than every.  Dmitri has always fascinated her and now that the two of them are working together she must fight her fear and the attraction that is between them.

Archangel’s Blade is a very dark story.  Don’t look for Dmitri to change from the really bad and scary character from pervious books.  However he does soften just a little bit.  All in all Nalini Singh made Dmitri’s story one that I would not want to miss. 

There is another reason not to miss Archangel’s Blade.  This book adds new elements and depth to the Guild Hunter’s world and to the characters that live there.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Asimov’s SF October-November 2011

Science Fiction

I don’t have a subscription to Asimov’s.  I buy from Fictionwise when I see a story by an author I like.  This edition has two months combined so it contains many stories and many authors.   I purchased because there is a novella by one of my favorite authors, Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Stealth is a side story about the dangerous and destructive technology that was first encountered in “Diving Into the Wreck”.  There are hints in the story of things to come and reading the story adds to my enjoyment of the series. Boneyards, the next book in the series , will be published in January of 2011.  She also has a new Retrieval Artist novel, Anniversary Day, that will be released on this fall and in books format in December.   

If you are a fan of Kristine Kathryn Rusch pick up this issue of Asimov’s SF.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens

Historical Romance

Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue is a Cynster novel featuring Heather Cynster.  This is the sixteenth novel in the Cynster series and Stephanie Laurens has provided a much-needed Cynster family tree at the beginning of the book.

Someone is looking for revenge and needs to capture one of the single Cynster women to meet their goal.  Viscount Breckenridge is a witness to Heather Cynster’s abduction and sets out to free her.  It is great fun to watch the two interact.  Breckenridge comes to appreciate Heather’s strength and independence.  Heather sees Breckenridge in a whole new light.

Look for mystery, suspense, and romance in Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue.  Not everything is revealed.  There are only hints about the villain and he still needs one of the Cynster women to get his revenge so look for the next book in the Cynster series to learn more.

Avon published Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue by Stephanie Laurens in 2011.

I received an ARC of Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 09/13/11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is my first time to post a Teaser Tuesday quote.

"By morning the whole station would be talking about her but by morning they'd be gone.  "Are we playing or talking," he asked the table at large as Nat dug bloody fingernails into her scalp."

The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff - paperback has just been released.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks

In Bed with a HighlanderHistorical Romance

Maya Banks beguiling new trilogy features three unforgettable brothers risking everything to save their clan and their legacy – and to surrender their hearts to love.”

Ewan is the oldest of the three McCabe brothers.  He is a strong warrior who has worked tirelessly to bring his clan back from a treacherous attack eight year ago.  The last thing he needs is for a woman wearing the colors of his enemy to show up on his land.  Mairin has been in hiding most of her life.  She owns valuable property and is on the run for her life.  Ewan becomes her safe haven.

In Bed with a Highlander is a great start to the trilogy. The plot is filled with romance and suspense.  It is fun to watch the conflict and attraction work between Ewan and Mairin. They are just two of the great characters in the book.  I look forward to the next two books featuring Ewan’s brothers Alaric and Caelen.

I received an ARC of In Bed with a Highlander.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

By His Majesty’s Grace by Jennifer Blake

By His Majesty's Grace (Three Graces)
Historical Romance

By His Majesty’s Grace is set in the time of Henry VII, a turbulent time in English history.  Henry has finally secured the English throne but he still sees plots and treason around every corner.  Jennifer Blake has researched the history of this time and uses it to construct a compelling story.  Henry’s paranoia works as the central theme.
Isabel Milton and her two sisters have come up with a great way to discourage suitors.  Isabel, the oldest, has been betrothed four times and each of her prospective grooms has died before the wedding.  The sisters have spread the rumor that they have to marry for love or the groom will die.  It has worked well until now when she is given to Randall Braesford as a reward for his loyalty to the King.   Isabel is a noble woman.  Randall is the bastard son of a noble man and a long time friend of Henry VII.  Being the King’s friend does not always keep you safe.  Both Randall and Isabel have enemies who will use Henry’s paranoia to put both at risk. 

By His Majesty’s Grace is the first book in a three book series. By Grace Possessed has been released and Seduced by Grace will be out September 20, 2011.

I received a free copy of By His Majesty’s Grace from Mira Publishing.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Killing Time by Elisa Paige and Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape

Motor City Fae
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

I received a free copy of  Killing Time and purchased Motor City Fae from Carina Press.  I read the books back-to-back and found that they have a lot in common.  Both use the other world of the Fae as a backdrop to their stories although each has their own twist to that world.  In Killing Time the fae are the enemies and in Motor City Fae they are part of a different world that is neither all good nor all bad.

Killing Time features Sephti, a genetically engineered fae warrior used by her creators as an engine of destruction.  She has escaped her makers and is determined to destroy those use used and abused her.  Her capture by Koda, an ancient Native American guardian who wants to protect his people from the fae, brings the two into an alliance against a common enemy.  Elisa Paige has created a world where the supernatural are commonplace and filled it with interesting and well-developed characters.  The action is fast paced and the story moves in a consistent direction.  Killing Time is the second book in the series but functions well as a stand-alone.

Motor City Fae also uses the world of the fae but not as enemies.  Meagan Kelly is a Detroit artist who does not know she is half elf and half human and an heiress in the world of the fae.  Megan holds the deciding vote on who rules in the Fae Council and Ric Thornhill is an elf that has been sent to find Meagan.  He must keep her from harm and deliver her in time to keep the peace between humans and the fae.
Cindy Spencer Pape’s world is filled with otherworldly people who hide what they are when in the human realm.   Motor City Fae has a well-developed plot, great characters and plenty of action.  This is book one of the Urban Arcana series and it contains multiple hooks for future stories.

Carina Press published both Killing Time by Elisa Paige and Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape in 2011.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heiress in Love, A Ministry of Marriage Novel by Christina Brooke

Heiress in Love (Ministry of Marriage Novels)Historical Romance

I entered a contest on the web and won a copy of Heiress in Love by Christina Brooke.  I really enjoyed the book so it is getting a post here on my blog
When the Ministry of Marriage arranges a match, all that matters is power, wealth, and prestige.  In the business of marriage, there is no room for love.  But even the most prudent plans can go awry.”

There is a very good explanation for the Ministry of Marriage on Christina’s web site.  I recommend that you read it before you start the book.  While there is some back-story in Heiress in Love I was a little in the dark about the purpose and players involved in the Ministry.  The web site cleared everything up.

Lady Jane Roxdale has had one marriage of convenience and is determined to avoid having another.  Fate on the other hand has another idea.  Her late husband’s heir, Constantine Black, is a disgraced libertine and is left only the land, the title, and guardianship of six-year-old Luke. Jane expect to be left with nothing except the guardianship of Luke but is instead left all of the money and wealth.  Jane wants Luke.  Constantine wants the money.  The will is forcing Constantine and Jane into a marriage of convenience.

This is a very good set up for the story.  Jane does not trust Constantine but is attracted to him.  Constantine does not want a marriage based on need instead of love.  Outside forces are working to keep them apart.  Things really do look hopeless for a while.

There was an excerpt from the next book in the series, Mad About the Earl.  It really peaked my interest and is on my list of books to pre-order before it comes out in January of 2012.