Saturday, December 31, 2011

What Else I Read in December 2011

I don't write a post on every book I read.  Here are the books I enjoyed but did not write up or had already mentioned in a meme. 


Fantasy:


Michael Sullivan's The Emerald Storm, Nyphron Rising, Avempartha.  I read the first book in this series, The Crown Conspiracy over a year ago.  The next three books have been on my Nook waiting to be read.  In an effort to clear my ebook TBR pile I read all three back to back.  This is a fun series and I still have at least one book to go.  There are great characters, a good plot, and lots of action.  Each book reveals a little bit more about the two main characters.  


Historical Romance:


Joanna Bourne's The Black Hawk.  This is the fourth book in the series that started with The Spymaster's Lady.  I read the first and now this one.  It can stand-alone.  I do plan to go back and read the other two.  The Black Hawk is the story of two spies on opposite sides and how their actions in the past impact their present. 


Grace Burrowes' The Virtuoso.  This is the last book in the trilogy that included The Heir and The Soldier.  I loved the other two but this one got pushed back in my TBR pile after Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish was released first.  I think that in the rush to release both books the editing process The Virtuoso for broke down.  While the story is good it lacked the tension I expected and there were facts stated that were not consistent throughout the book.  I am not giving up on the series, I was just disappointed in Valentine's story because he is one of my favorite's and I wanted his book to be better.   


Sabrina Jeffries' To Wed a Wild Lord.  This is the next to last book about The Hellions of Halstead Hall and it answers a question that has been talked about since the first book.  Gabe Sharpe does not remember what happened before he raced Roger Waverly but he does remember Roger being killed.  Now Gabe is trying to make amends by wooing Roger's sister Virginia.  Since she blames him for her bother's death it is not going to be easy.  Can there be true love with all the past history between the two?  There is also additional information about the deaths of the Sharpe's parents.  There is a lot left to find out and when A Lady Never Surrenders comes out we should get the rest of the story.


Science Fiction/Paranormal: 



Robin D. Owens' Hearts and Swords.  This is a collection of four stories set in the world of Celta.  Heart and Sword tells about the original landing and the problems that happened on the journey from Earth.  Heart Story is the side story that tells what happened when Blush Willow meets her heart mate Dri Paris years after her Mother ran him off.  Heart and Soul is what happened toGenista Furze's after she left Tinne Holly.  Noble Hearts let us share the events after the Clover's were elevated to Noble status.  If you are a fan of this series don't miss this book.


Eve Langlais' Delicate Freakn' Flower.  Naomi does not plan to mate with a shifter.  She wants a normal human.  After growing up in a home with 5 sifter brothers where nothing is safe she just wants peace and quiet, at least that is what she thinks.  Then her friend convinces here to go to a lacrosse game where the unthinkable happens.  She meets not one but two shifters who are her mate.  Ethan is a large shy bear shifter and Javiar is a sext jaguar shifter.  Naomi may think she is a delicate freak' flower but she is also a wolf shifter and can take care of herself.  The sparks fly and the story proceeds full of humor and romance.  This is the second Eve Langlais book I have read.  Accidental Abduction was the first.  Both are full of wonderful dialog and a plot full of humor.



Science Fiction:


Kristine Kathryn Rusch's Anniversary Day.  The latest book in the Retrieval Artist series follows the action on the anniversary of the bombing of Armstrong Dome.  All the familiar character are present.  Noelle DeRicci, Miles Flint, and Bartholomew Nyquest find themselves in the middle of a new plot.  It ends with a cliff hanger so I am waiting for the next book in the series.


Mystery:


Stieg Larsson's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  This is a book with a lot of hype.  I resisted reading it until my son insisted and loaned me his copy.  It did what everyone said, it started slow but I never wanted to quit reading.  Lisbeth Salander comes across as not very nice but I could not help but pull for her.  Now I just have to wait for my son to send the the next two books.


Rita Mae Brown's Murder Unleashed.  I checked the first book in the series, A Nose For Justice, out as a audio book.  When I saw this one in book form on the shelf I had to check it out.  I love the setting, Reno, Nevada, and the two main characters, Jeep Reed and Mags Rogers.  This time Jeep and Mags with their faithful dogs Baxter and Kings are approached by a local real estate agent to help people living in abandoned houses on Reno's Yolanda Street.  Brown has done a massive amount of research on the housing bubble burst and does a great job weaving it into the story.  There are corrupt officials, ruthless politicians, a utility company and a murderer all rolled into a great story.  There is also a treasure hunt as a side story.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday December 30, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Katy from A Few More Pages. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.


I am readin Catherine Asaro's Carnelians, the lastest book in her Skolian Empire series. 
Prologue:
It was one of the most effective weapons known.
It didn't explode.  It shot no projectiles.  It didn't spread chemical, biological, or physical poison  It created not flames or shrapnel. It could being down empires."
I love this series and Carnelians brings together many of the elements from previous books.  Carnelians is a combination of Space Opera and Science Fiction Romance.  I purchased it in ebook form from Baen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (WOW) December 28, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I am waiting for Mad About the Earl by Christina Brooks.  It is due out January 3rd and I have it on pre-order.  Here is what Goodreads has to say about the book.


Designed to arrange matches of rank and affluence, the powerful Ministry of Marriage has no interest in love. But when does the heart ever play by the rules?
Lady Rosamund Westruther has no objection to the match arranged for her by the Ministry—until she meets her intended. Gruff, stubborn Griffin, Earl of Tregarth, is hardly the charming nobleman the classic beauty has dreamed of for so long. While a proper lady can’t cry off, she can demand a proper courtship …
Griffin is aware of his duty to wed—and more convinced than ever that the lovely Rosamund has no place with a man like him. Built for fields and stables rather than drawing rooms, Griffin doubts he can win her in the polite manner society requires. But with every passing day, the attraction between them flares higher and hotter. Maybe there is more to love than meets the eye…

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday December 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 this week is from Blood Memory by Margaret Coel.  I read all of her Wind River Mystery Series but had not realized that she had a new series until I saw The Perfect Suspect, book two in the library.  I don't like to read out of order and when I checked book one Blood Memory was available.  The book is set in Denver where I lived for many years.  For me it adds something when I know the area and landmarks where a story is set.

"I'm going to tell you what I told Maury.  I didn't marry Lawrence for his money and I didn't divorce him for his money.  Is that understood?"

"I've read some of your articles  I pulled a number of them this morning.  You dig beneath the PR releases  Maybe you've stepped on somebody's toes......Got somebody mad enough to send a killer after you?"

From Page 19 of Blood Memory.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Musing Mondays December 26, 2011

This week’s musing asks…
Did you get any books for Christmas? If so, what were they?
If you didn’t, what books are you most looking forward to reading (and/or buying) in the new year?

I got a Barnes and Noble Gift Card.  Haven't used it yet but you can be sure none of it will go to waste.  I also treated myself to 4 months of Baen releases in ebook form.  Baen publishes Science Fiction and for $18.00 you can buy the entire month of releases as ebooks.

Break Out (A Blood Hunter Novel, book 1) by Nina Croft


Science Fiction/Space Opera/Paranormal

Science Fiction with a Vampire space ship captain.  I could not resist when I read a review of the second book in this series, Deadly Pursuit.  I went over and found Break Out, the first book, for only .99 at Barnes and Noble.  It went right to my Nook.

Richardo Sanchez is a two thousand year old vampire who really knows how to change with the time.  In 3048 he is the Captain and owner of the space ship El Cadazor.  Skylar Rossaria is on a rescue mission to break a assassin from the most secure prison in the galaxy.  She is not what she seems.  Her mission is not what she thinks. She hires the El Cadazoe and her attraction to Richardo is a further complication. 

Look for an interesting crew, great dialog and a surprise ending.    The world building is a little weak.  We know that there is a mineral that can give immortality and only the Collective has access but not much more.  I read where the second book fills in some of the blanks the first did not.

Break Out is a quick fun read more Science Fiction than Paranormal.  Get it while it is only .99.

Entangled Publishing released Break Out by Nina Croft in 2011.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday December 23, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Katy from A Few More Pages. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

My book this week is Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch.


"THE DAY STARTED OUT like all the days had in recent memory - I was confined to my bed while everyone else got to do fun things like fly jets, kill the random parasitic super being that might have passed up the Alpha Centaurion system for a vacation out Earth's way, or just walk around.  Interspecies pregnancy, it was a joy."


This is the fourth book in Gini Koch's Alien Novels and Kitty is at it again.  She may start the book confined to bed because she is pregnant but that time is almost over.  As soon as little Jamie Kat is born Kitty is off and running.  I love her adventures but what I envy most is the fact she is becoming superhuman and is back to pre-pregancy shape in less than two day.  I am not back in that shape yet and it has been 41 years.   


If you like fun SFR pick up this series.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nation by Terry Pratchett

YA Alternate History/Audio Book

I had never read anything by Terry Pratchett so when I saw Nation in the YA audio book section at my library I checked it out.  Here is what it says on the back.

"Thirteen-year-old Mau is the only one left after a giant wave sweeps his island village away.  But when much is taken, something is returned and somewhere in the jungle, Daphne – a girl from the other side of the globe – is the sole survivor of a ship destroyed by the same wave.

Together, the two confront the aftermath of catastrophe.  And slowly, other refugees arrive – children without parents, mothers without babies, husbands without wives- all of them hungry and all of them frightened.  As Mau and Daphne struggle to keep the small band safe and fed, they defy ancestral spirits, challenge death himself, and uncover a long-hidden secret that literally turns the world upside down."

It sound kind of grim but it is anything but.  Terry Pratchett has a great way with words and uses that to produce dialog that left me chuckling throughout the book.  Mau and Daphne are great characters.  They complement each other even as they bicker.  The secondary characters are well-developed and add depth to the story.  While survival and rebuilding is the main theme of the story there is a secondary story line that involves the outside world.  This is not part of a series so when the book was over Mau and Daphne’s story ended.  I had become so invested in both that it was with a great deal of sadness that I told them good-by.

Harper Audio produced Nation by Terry Pratchett in 2008.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (WOW) December 21, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


I am waiting on Oracle's Moon by Thea Harrison due to be released March 6, 2012.  This is A Novel of the Elder Races.  Here is what I found about the next book in the series.


"When Grace Andreas's sister, Petra, and her husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister's two young children--neither of which she is prepared for. Then Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn Prince of House Marid, decides to make himself a part of the household both as guardian and counterpoint to Grace's impudence towards the Elder Races."   

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday December 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.
My teaser is from the book I just started, To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries.  
"Not good with women, hah! What did Lyons know about it?"  page 31.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Musing Mondays (November 14, 2011)

This week’s musing asks…

What’s one book you always recommend to just about anyone?



Playing the Enemy, Nelson Mandela and the Game that Made a Nation by John Carlin

From Goodreads:

A thrilling, inspiring account of one of the greatest charm offensives in history--Nelson Mandela's decade-long campaign to unite his country, beginning in his jail cell and ending with a rugby tournament.

Anyone can learn from this.  It is a story about overcoming years of hate and violence to bring a nation divided together to support one cause.


Follow this link to see how other answered this question.
http://shouldbereading.wordpress.com/ 

Touchstone by Melanie Rawn


Fantasy

Melanie Rawn has set Touchstone in a world with humans and humans mixed with the older races like the Elves, Trolls, Giants, Wizards, and Fae.  The four main characters are a theater troupe working to become the best troupe in the kingdom.  All theater troupes are composed of four members who use magic to create the illusion in each play.  Each member has a specific role to play.
When the story starts Cayden, Rafcadion and Jeschenar are old friends who are searching for a fourth member who will fit into their troupe.  Mieka joins them in a trial to see if he fits and they finally have the four members who fit together.  From there it is a journey to become the best in the land.  Cayden is the main character in the story.  He has dreams that tell a possible future.  Some of his dreams are about the members of the troupe.  Those dreams and his actions after dreaming as well as his interaction with Mieka are the heart of the story

This is the first time I have read a Melanie Rawn book.  I was in a world where I was lost for most of the first third of the book.  This is the first book in a new series but I wonder if this is an extension of a world she created in a previous series. 

Touchstone is filled with dialog and is very character driven.  There is conflict but it is mostly internal.  There were hints of external conflict but nothing was developed.  I was left a little puzzled about where the series is going.  I guess I will read the next book to see if my question is answered.

Touchstone is an ARC I received from Amazon Vine.

Tor will release Touchstone by Melanie Rawn in February of 2012.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mail Box December 18, 2011

In My Mail Box is hosted by The Story Siren
and is an opportunity to share the books
I get each week.  






Click on this link to see what books other bloggers received this week.

I didn't get much this week.  Just two mystery books from the library, a book on loan from one of my sons, and three free ebooks all part of Christmas Giveaways.

Library Books:

Blood Memory by Margaret Coel - I read her first series so wanted to try this one.
Murder Unleashed by Rita Mae Brown - I listened to the first book in this series.  I am not that much of a fan of dogs talking but I like the story so decided to read the second book.

Loan from Son:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Srieg Larsson

Free eBooks:


Almost an Angel by Jade Lee
Delicate Freakn' Flower by Eve Langlais
Taken by the Cowboy by Julianne MacLean




Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James


Historical Romance

The Duke is Mine is another book using fairy tales as a part of the story.  Somewhere in the book there is a huge pile of mattresses but no pea under the bottom one.  There is also a prospective Mother-in Law conducting tests that the bride to be must pass. 

Olivia and Georgiana are twin sisters but not at all alike.  Olivia is the oldest and is very full figured.  Georgiana is the studious one and tall and slender.  Their father went to school and was fast friends with the Duke of Canterwick.  The two made a pace to join the two families by marriage and in spite of the difference in rank they Olivia, the first-born daughter, is betrothed to Rupert the first-born and only child of the Duke.  This is not a marriage made in heaven.  Rupert is 5 years younger than Olivia and is not the brightest blub in the chandelier.   There is one good thing about the marriage.  Olivia will be able to provide a large dowry for Georgiana allowing her to marry well.

Then as fate would have it before the marriage Rupert goes off to war and Olivia goes with Georgiana to meet the Tarquin, the Duke of Sconce.  He and Georgiana are perfect for each other.  There is just one problem.  Olivia and the Duke fall in love.  Olivia does not want to betray Rupert or hurt her sister.  It looks like a hopeless situation. 

The first of The Duke is Mine is filled with humor.  Olivia, Rupert, Georgiana and Tarquin are all great characters.  Olivia and Georgiana are not only sisters but also best friends and their talks are fun to read.  The dialog between Olivia and Tarquin is priceless.  I liked the action and how it played out.  Of course there is a HEA for Olivia and Tarquin.  I just wished that it had happened in another way.  The last part of the book was sad not humorous.  I won’t say anything more to prevent a spoiler.

Avon Books will release The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James December 27, 2011.

I received an ARC of The Duke is Mine from Amazon Vine.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another Free eBook

Jade Lee is giving away free copies of Almost an Angel.  Go to this link to get the book:


http://jadeleeauthor.com/happy-holidays-free-e-book-from-jade

Book Beginning on Friday December 16, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Katy from A Few More Pages. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.


This week beginning is from Stroke of Enticement, my favorite side story in Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series.  It is  a story I love to re-read and is from The Magical Christmas Cat by Lora Leigh, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh and Linda Winstead Jones.  Re-reading it now at Christmas seemed appropriate.


"Annie looked up and met the angry eyes of the seven-year-old sitting at the child-sized desk in front of her own, arms crossed and lip jutting out.  Bryan glared at her, the fury of his leopard apparent in every line of his body."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

YA Science Fiction

Even though the slipper is not glass the cover points to Cinder being a variation on the Cinderella theme.   For me that was a big part of the fun of reading this book.  I know how the Cinderella story goes and I loved how some of the book followed the original story, some of the book used a twist on the story, and some of the book went it’s own way.  There are other fairy tale themes in the book as well.

Cinder was saved, partially rebuilt and adopted by a man who died leaving her with a stepmother and two sisters.  She is a master mechanic and her work supports her family but she is a second-class citizen unloved by her family.  There is a ball coming up, she meets the prince when he needs something repaired, and the story unfolds from there.  There is plague killing person, the Luna queen wants to marry the Prince, and Cinder becomes a key player in an intergalactic struggle.  This is the first book in the series so we are left with many questions and a few answers. 

Cinder is a great character and we get to know a lot about her in this first book.  Some of the secondary characters are as well developed and some were more like cardboard cutouts.  That did not take from the story.  They were all the story needed and were what I expected because of the similarity to the fairy tale.  The plot development is smooth and filled with some surprises.  I admit that there were enough hooks that I was not surprised when Cinder’s real identity came out.   This was a well-written start to a new series.  Cinder is listed as YA but I think any age would enjoy the book.  I certainly did.

When I finished I was ready for the next book.  Since I got Cinder as an ARC and it will not be out until January I have quite a bit of time to wait for the next book.

Feiwel and Friends will release Cinder by Marissa Meyer in January of 2012.

I received Cinder as an ARC from Amazon Vine.

Tor released a free short story prequel to Cinder.  Click here to read.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (WOW) December 14, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This is a new historical mystery series due out December 27th, 2011.  I read about it Romantic Times and added the book to my wish list. 


The Anatomist's Apprentice (Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries) by Tessa Harris


Meet Dr. Thomas Silkstone, an intriguing addition to the annals of detective fiction.

In eighteenth-century England, the murder of Sir Edward Crick sends a torrent of gossip breezing through Oxfordshire; although, aside from his sister, Lady Lydia Farrell, few mourn the young man. When Lady Farrell's husband becomes the prime suspect in the murder, she enlists the help of Dr. Thomas Silkstone--an anatomist and pioneering forensic detective--to solve the murder and prove his innocence.

Though Dr. Silkstone studied medicine in England under the foremost surgeon in the region, his unconventional methods and unfamiliar field of study have made him an outsider. Still, he agrees to examine Sir Edward's corpse, but the keenest blade he will use is his intellect. He must determi
ne both the cause and motive of this suspicious death in what will be the first of many cases.


T 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AllRomance Ebooks 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

All Romance is doing it again.  They are having a 12 Days of Christmas free giveaway.  That is one free ebook a day from December 13 - 24.  Here is the link to the Giveaway.  If you do not have an account you will have to create one and log in to download the free book.  


12 Days of Christmas


Today's book is Delicate Freaking Flower by Eve Langlais.



Dammit, just how many toes was she going to have to stomp on before people realized she was a delicate freakn' flower?  
 
Naomi doesn't want to follow tradition and settle down with a violence-loving, chest thumping shapeshifter. She grew up in a household with five, testosterone laden brothers where none of the dishes ever matched, the ugly-as-sin furniture could withstand any catastrophe, and where crazy glue was bought by the case.
 
When fate-with a snicker-makes her meet not one, but two mates, Naomi digs her heels in and refuses to do what her wolf-and her body-demands. No way is she voluntarily allowing herself to get hitched to a pair of dumbass-totally hot and muscled-lacrosse players.
 
Can Ethan, the towering Kodiak bear, and Javier, the sexy, tanned jaguar convince this she-wolf that life with them won't be all chaos? And can this delicate freakn' flower unbend her prejudices enough to recognize she needs a pair of men who can handle her thorns-and her passion?
 
Note: All the focus is on her, with delicious results