}

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Waiting for Payday 1


Waiting for Payday is a **NEW** weekly event hosted at The Bookish Snob which spotlights books that may have been out for a while that you're anxious to get your hands on, but that empty wallet is already crying, so Waiting for Payday it is! Head on over to TheBookishSnob and link up!


Heart of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy 1) by C.E. Murphy
Blurb:
Okay, so jogging through Central Park after midnight wasn't a bright idea. But Margrit Knight never thought she'd encounter a dark new world filled with magical beings -- not to mention a dying woman and a mysterious stranger with blood on his hands. Her logical, lawyer instincts told her it couldn't all be real -- but she could hardly deny what she'd seen . . . and touched.

The mystery man, Alban, was a gargoyle. One of the fabled Old Races who had hidden their existence for centuries. Now he was a murder suspect, and he needed Margrit's help to take the heat off him and find the real killer.

As they worked together to figure out who was framing Alban, Margrit discovered that this man with a heart -- and body -- of stone made her feel more alive than ever, And as the dead pile up, it's a race against the sunrise to clear Alban's name and keep them both alive . . .

Gargoyles. I was sold right there at that word. I'm always looking for something new and different in the genres I read, and you certainly don't read too much about gargoyles!


Stormwalker (Stormwalker 1) by Allyson James
Blurb:
Half-Navajo Janet Begay comes to Magellan to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the police chief's daughter. But the people of Magellan sense that Janet is not what she seems, and they're right.

Janet possesses extraordinary power which is tied to the storms that waft across the desert. The only person who can control her when she's caught in the storm's evocative power is Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker Janet can't seem to touch with her powers. He can wield fire and not get burned, and Janet's never sure where he goes when they're not together.

Together they investigate mysterious disappearances, which Janet fears are tied to her mother's people, the mythical gods from below the earth. They are helped along the way by Coyote and Crow, but these shapeshifting gods have their own agendas.

This has been on my list for a while, but I have to admit that it didn't move up the list until a friend of mine just rated it very highly. So now here it is. I'm ready to buy!




I think that's enough for this week! Though my To-Be-Bought list is quite long actually. How about you? What are you anxiously awaiting payday to buy?



Some other things I thought were interesting today. At Smart Bitches Trashy Books they had a couple of links.

First is the Page 99 Book Test. So pick up a book you're thinking about reading, and read page 99. That should tell you if you're going to want to read the book, according to this. I tried it on a couple I had to hand, Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh, and Warrior by Zoƫ Archer. It worked for me on both of them, and I'm looking forward to trying it out on some more of my to-be-read books. What's your page 99 result? Does it work for you?

Second is this post that's full of awesome. Sell the Girls by Maureen Johnson. She talks about genre type and gender, and I highly recommend the read.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Iron Duke



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

The first Meljean Brook story I read was "Here There Be Monsters" in the Burning Up anthology. And I immediately fell in love with the world. Meljean describes it as "The Pirates of the Caribbean meets The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" when she first pitched the idea to her editor, long before there was any steampunk in the romance genre. It's a steampunk series, which is essentially "historical science fiction".

This is my first foray into steampunk romance, though I read a lot of alternate history, fantasy and science fiction books, so I'm eagerly awaiting the release next week!





Title: The Iron Duke
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas 1
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: 05 October 2010


Book Description (from author's website):

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Amazon Free eBooks 10 and Mills & Boon Free eBooks

From Amazon:

Thrillers
Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder
Velocity (Karen Vail 3) by Alan Jacobson
Don't Blink by James Patterson

Urban Fantasy
Sixty-One Nails (Courts of the Feyre 1) by Mike Shevdon


Mills & Boon is offering up 12 free ebooks (there are currently 11 listed.)



Enjoy!

Banned Books Week: September 25 - October 2, 2010



Banned Books Week: September 25 – October 2, 2010

“Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.” ~from the American Library Association

The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009:

1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight (series) by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. The Color Purple Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

The Updated Top 100 List of Banned Books for 2000-2009:

1. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
6.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

7. Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series) by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series) by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
16. Forever by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing by Robie Harris
38. Arming America by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground by Avi
43. Blubber by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me? by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series) by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill by John Grisham
68. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series) by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series) by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It! by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series) by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
96. Grendel by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel by E.R. Frank

I’ve bolded, and put in red, the ones that I’ve read. Most of these I read when I was in grade school. In fact, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle is one of my favorite books from childhood. As always I’m incredibly shocked by the efforts of some people to censor and control other people’s lives.

The ALA estimates that it’s statistics only reflect 20-25% of the challenges that actually occur.

How can you celebrate? Read a banned book. Talk about a banned book. Support our libraries.

Here’s an article from the New York Times about other ways to celebrate Banned Books Week.

Some of my favorite quotes about books, and what joy they can bring people:

“Don't join the book burners. Don't think you're going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go in your library and read every book...” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” ~ Cicero

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” ~ Groucho Marx

“When I step into this library, I cannot understand why I ever step out of it.” ~ Marie de Sevinge

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.” ~Anna Quindlen, "Enough Bookshelves," New York Times, 7 August 1991

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ~Charles W. Eliot

“Medicine for the soul.” ~Inscription over the door of the Library at Thebes

“To choose a good book, look in an inquisitor’s prohibited list.” ~John Aikin

Review: Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole


Title: Demon From the Dark
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark 10
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 31 August 2010


**Warning – Minor Spoilers for Pleasure of a Dark Prince**


Carrow Graie has been kidnapped. She doesn’t know by who, or why, until they come to her and demand she retrieve someone for them. They are the Order, a group of mortals who rise up to clash with immortals every Ascension. Some want the Lore all destroyed, others want to study them.

The Order tells Carrow that she must go into Oblivion, the Trothan Demon-world, and bring back Malkom Slaine, a vampiric demon they’ve been unable to capture. When she tells them where they can shove their demands, the Order reveals it’s ace. Something that makes Carrow not only cooperative, but eager to be done with her mission.

Carrow is thrust through the portal, finally able to use her spells once more – if only she can find a source of power here. Setting off to search for the notoriously savage venom, Carrow wonders why she was chosen, and starts to realize that she may have vastly underestimated the hazards associated with the unforgiving world she finds herself in.

Malkom Slaine has spent his entire life going from one betrayal to the next and has a strong hatred for vampires, killing them whenever he meets one. Having been a slave, been made to scavenge for food, betrayed by the people he had served so faithfully and finally forced to do the one thing he regrets most, Malkom now lives only for revenge on those that have deceived him. For someone only betrays him once. They won’t live to do so again.

But when he scents something different in his guarded mountain area he instinctively takes off after it, saving a female from a band of ruthless demons. Their first meeting goes badly, Malkom realizes that she is his fated mate and wants to claim her – both parts of him, vampire and demon. Fighting impulses he’s never felt before, Malkom tries not to hurt her, but things go badly. He doesn’t understand why she won’t recognize what she is to him, and with a language barrier between them understanding is not easy in coming.

Carrow is furious at Malkom after their first meeting, running off and hiding herself. But he eventually finds her and presents her with the head from a disgusting ghoul (his idea of a courting gesture). Thinking that the profile the Order had given her on him was right and he was a big, bloodthirsty brute, Carrow continues to fight and flee from him, having no idea how to get him back to the portal for their retrieval. But as he continues to save her life, she begins to trust him, eventually following him to his lair.

There they learn more and more about each other. With ground rules laid, no sex, no biting/drinking, Carrow and Malkom begin to form a fragile trust. Malkom begins to believe that fate has finally dealt him something beautiful – love and family, and begins ever so slowly to dream of the future. Carrow feels increasing guilt as she starts to care for Malkom, realizing that when she betrays him to the Order she will have sealed her fate in his eyes.

Malkom is a tortured hero unlike many I have ever seen. His past and history, told in the prologue, literally made me tear up. Every time I saw through his eyes, I fell a little more in love with him. Loyal, noble, strong, smart, and hotter-than-hell – once he got a bath anyways, which in itself was incredibly hot – he dreams of the simple things in life after meeting Carrow. A home, family to raise, and a woman to love and trust. His attention to Carrow as he learns her is sigh-worthy.

Carrow was never a character who’s story I was clamouring for, but I greatly enjoyed seeing why she acts the way she does, taking a peek into her own lonely childhood. And while I could easily understand all her choices and the reasons behind them, something was missing with her for me. I also thought that she depended on the hero a bit much, kind of a side-effect of one of the restraints that were placed on her by the order, so I understand it, but I still would have liked to see more of them as equals. Finally, I didn’t really feel a connection to her until the very end, when she does something that almost literally made me cheer.

The romance between them was a dance of circling each other, stepping just slightly closer, each giving a little bit more. The betrayal that Carrow deals Malkom is very real, and how they came back from that was really well done. There wasn’t some magical forgiveness, and they didn’t try to brush it under the rug to suddenly disappear later.

The action in Demon From the Dark is non-stop! From the first moment when we find out who has taken Carrow, and a lot of her friends, to the very end I had a hard time putting this book down. There are a fair share of surprising moments, and glimpses of characters that I’m dying to read more of, including Lanthe, Thronos, Lothaire and a few new ones that have piqued my interest. Regin’s cameos in the story made me ache for her, and I’m anxious to see how Kresley Cole resolves that storyline in the next book, Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

While I think that Demon From the Dark can be read as a stand-alone – all the information you need is there for the main story – I really feel that it’ll be better appreciated if you’ve read the previous books in the series. You’ll get a more thorough picture of the world, and the beings that show up in it. Also, there are a lot of great gems waiting to be found in those earlier books too.

Demon From the Dark is an intense, hot addition to the Immortals After Dark series that kept me turning pages late into the night. Get ready to dive into the strong world that Ms. Cole has built and filled with characters that you’ll be begging to know more about. While I had a couple of issues with Carrow in this one, I still feel this is a good addition to the series. It’s not one of my favorites, but Ms. Cole has set the bar high, and I’m eagerly anticipating some of the foreshadowed stories coming up!

Grade: B

Book Link | Amazon (print) | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Book Depository | Simon & Schuster

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 24 2010 Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This weeks question is: When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

I will flag things that strike me while I'm reading the book, but I generally start actually writing the review when I finish the book. Mostly I'll finish it right away, but then I let it sit a couple of days and re-read the review to make sure I've covered everything I wanted to, and that nothing new popped out at me while my brain was stewing over it. And sometimes that does happen and I end up editing before putting it out there.











Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Her question this week is: What is your high fashion book? --- translation --- best book cover ever.

Um. Hmm. Well, I can't pick just one. Surprising, I know. I did a post not long ago on some covers that I really like. So I tried to pick some different ones. In no particular order.

The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus Trilogy 1) by Jonathan Stroud
Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer 1) by Karen Chance
Archangel's Kiss (Guild Hunters 2) by Nalini Singh
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Faefever (Fever 3) by Karen Marie Moning
Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson 5) by Patricia Briggs
The Mage's Daughter (Nine Kingdoms 2) by Lynn Kurland

A Matter of Magic by Patricia C. Wrede

















So those are just some of my picks. What's your favorite cover?






And, because while I love YA, I also love UF, Paranormal, Romance and Erotica.

Photobucket

The 18 & Over Blog Hop is hosted by Laurie at Bitten by Paranormal Romance


Some new stuff this week:

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadowfever
Amazon Free eBooks 9
Review: Run For Your Life by Andrea Kane

Coming up:
I'll be updating all the reading orders (again) with upcoming release information.
Also, a review of Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole. Book 10 in her Immortals After Dark series.




Question for you stopping by: What's your favorite book so far this year?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadowfever



Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

This book is probably my most anticipated book in several years (since the end of Harry Potter!) If they had a midnight release for this, I would be first in line to get it. I'm already planning on taking the day off of work to read it.

It's the final, fifth, book in the Fever series. If you haven't started the Fever series, I highly urge you to pick up Darkfever. Check out the reading order here. It has incredibly strong world-building and...I can't even do it justice. I've posted about the Fever series before (prior to the fourth book Dreamfever coming out). There's no real spoilers in that post. Seriously. Run, don't walk, to get this series.

****Spoilers after this point for the first four books***







Title: Shadowfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Series: Fever 5
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: 18 January 2011

Book Description (from author's website):

"Evil is a completely different creature, Mac.
Evil is bad that believes it's good."

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister's murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals that have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief, while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh--a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King that contains the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac, and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman that haunts her dreams? More importantly, who is Mac and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master's penthouse, to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover, to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac's journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and make a choice that will either save the world...or destroy it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Karen Chance Book Order

Cassandra Palmer Series

1. Touch the Dark
2. Claimed by Shadow
3. Embrace the Night
* "Day of the Dead" in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance anthology (also available free here)
* "Rogue Elements" in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe anthology
4. Curse the Dawn
* "A Family Affair" (free short story available in ebook here or on her website here)
* "Shadowland" (free short story to come)
* The House at Cobb End (free short story available here)
5. Hunt the Moon
6. Tempt the Stars
7. Reap the Wind (11 November 2014)


Dorina Basarab Series

1. Midnight's Daughter
* "Buying Trouble" in On the Prowl anthology - also ebook single available
* "In Vino Veritas" in Chicks Kick Butt anthology
2. Death's Mistress
3. Fury's Kiss



Connected

1. "Vegas Odds" in Strange Brew anthology
2. "Skin Deep" in Inked anthology



Other

1. "The Gauntlet" in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 anthology



Alternate Reading Order

* "The Gauntlet" (free short story available in ebook here)
* "The Queen's Witch" (free short story available in ebook here)
1. Touch the Dark (Cassie Palmer, Book 1)
2. Claimed by Shadows (Cassie Palmer, Book 2)
3. Embrace the Night (Cassie Palmer, Book 3)
* "Buying Trouble" in On the Prowl anthology (also available as ebook single)
4. Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, Book 1)
5. Curse the Dawn (Cassie Palmer, Book 4)
* "House at Cobb End (free short story available in ebook here)(takes place prior to Cassie Palmer 1 chronologically however, story spoilers fit better here)
* "A Family Affair" (free short story available in ebook here
* "Shadowland" (free short story available in ebook here
6. Death's Mistress (Dorina Basarab, Book 2)
* "In Vino Veritas" (free short story available in ebook here
7. Hunt the Moon (Cassie Palmer, Book 5)
8. Fury's Kiss (Dorina Bassarab, Book 3)
9. Tempt the Stars (Cassie Palmer, Book 6)
* Masks
10. Reap the Wind (Cassie Palmer, Book 7) (11 November 2014)

* "Day of the Dead" (free short story available in ebook here)
* "Rogue Elements" in Wolfsbane and Misteltoe anthology
* "Vegas Odds" in Strange Brew anthology
* "Skin Deep" in Inked anthology

Please note: This page was written by me, so as always, please visit the author’s website for up-to-date, author-verified information as well as for information on books that have not yet been included to this list.

http://www.karenchance.com/

Meljean Brook Book Order

The Guardians

* "Falling For Anthony" in Hot Spell anthology
Anthony Ramsdell and Emily Ames-Beaumont

1. Demon Angel
Hugh Castleford and Lilith

*. "Paradise" in Wild Thing anthology
Lucas Marsden and Selah

2. Demon Moon
Colin Ames-Beaumont and Savitri Murray

3. Demon Night
Ethan 'Drifter' McCabe and Charlie Newcomb

* "Thicker Than Blood" in First Blood anthology
Jack Harrington and Annie Gallagher

4. Demon Bound
Jake Hawkins and Alice Grey

5. Demon Forged
Irena and Alejandro

* "Blind Spot" in Must Love Hellhounds anthology
Maggie Winters and Geoffrey Blake

6. Demon Blood
Deacon and Rosalia

7. Demon Marked
Nicholas St. Croix and Ash

* "Ascension" in Angels of Darkness
Marc and Radha

8. Guardian Demon
Michael and Taylor


The Iron Seas

* "The Blushing Bounder" in Wild and Steamy anthology (ebook only)
Constable Edward Newberry and Temperance

* "Here There Be Monsters" in Burning Up anthology
Eben 'Mad' Machen and Ivy

1. The Iron Duke
Rhys Trahaearn and Mina Wentworth

* "Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City" in MMPB release of The Iron Duke and later as standalone ebook

2. Heart of Steel
Yasmeen and Archimedes Fox

* "Tethered" in MMPB release of Heart of Steel and later as standalone ebook

3. Riveted
David and Annika

* "Wrecked" in Fire & Frost
Caius and Elizabeth

* "Salvage" in Enthralled
Thom and Georgie

4. The Kraken King (August 2014)


Other Work

* "In Sheep's Clothing short story in Under Her Skin (previously in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance)
* "Rescue Me" short story in Agony/Ecstasy (November 2011)



Please note: This page was written by me, so as always, please visit the author’s website for up-to-date, author-verified information as well as for information on books that have not yet been included to this list.

http://meljeanbrook.com/

Amazon Free eBooks 9

Romance
Compromising Positions by Jenna Bayley-Burke (Samhain Publishing)
Guns Will Keep Us Together by Leslie Langtry
Marked by Elisabeth Naughton
Penelope and Prince Charming by Jennifer Ashley
Shadow Fall by Erin Kellison
Immortals: The Crossing by Joy Nash
White Tigress by Jada Lee
Strike Zone (Richmond Rogues 3) by Kate Angell
Sheltering Hearts by Robyn Carr


Autobiography
Cybill Disobedience by Cybill Shepherd


Documentary - Labor Union
Devil at My Doorstep by David Bego


Enjoy!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review: Run For Your Life by Andrea Kane


Title: Run For Your Life
Author: Andrea Kane
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: Reissue - 1 October 2010


Victoria Kensington is on her morning run through Central Park when her sister, who's supposed to be in Italy, stumbles into her path. Audrey is wearing a medical gown, obviously sick, and warning her sister about danger. When Victoria goes to get help and returns, her sister is gone - without a trace.

Ignoring all threats, determined to find her sister, and unsure whom to trust, Victoria vows to get answers. Then the only man she's ever loved, Zach, shows up in New York, assigned to investigate the worldwide drug syndicate, their missions leading them to the same place. 

Despite their tangled history, Victoria trusts Zach, so they work together against the clock to find Audrey, and break the deadly drug ring. But the truth may just tear Victoria's family apart. 

As they dig deeper, the electric chemistry between them flares to a fever pitch, and the feelings they thought were in the past just won't stay there. Can Zach and Victoria navigate all the deceit surrounding them, and deal with the emotions that are unwilling to die? 

This book is one of my favorites, and I love to go back and re-read it. Mostly because it just makes me happy.

It’s hard not to like Victoria. She’s a strong, smart, independent woman, who loves unconditionally.

Zach is a brilliant surveillance expert who's a driven, caring, gentleman. As Victoria says, "She'd always marveled at how he could treat her as an equal and yet always make her so acutely aware that she was a woman." His actions prove that over and over again. 

One of my favorite things about this book is that the hero and heroine are evenly matched. Both are strong, intelligent, and they can rely not only on themselves, but also on the other. They match wits, even sometimes disagreeing, and neither is afraid to admit when they're wrong...even aloud.

Also, this is a reunion story done right. They were separated for four years, for perfectly understandable reasons. One of my biggest pet peeves in romance is the “Big Misunderstanding” between the main characters. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen here. There's definitely opportunity for it, but confusion is easily avoided because Zach and Victoria actually talk to one another.

This is another thing I love. Not only do Zach and Victoria talk about what happened four years ago, they talk about everything...the intervening years, their fears, desires, hopes and thoughts. There's no misunderstanding about what each wants. They both have eyes wide open, and make themselves, and each other, face the obstacles in their path so they can find happiness. They, understandably, have some concerns about renewing their relationship, but honest thought and discussion lead them to what they both desire. 

Obviously, what I love most is the characters, their development, and the road to happily-ever-after. I suppose I should mention the suspense part of the novel, as it is intricately tied to Victoria and Zach. I keenly felt Victoria's fear for her sister, and her worry that she wouldn't be able to help or protect her, comes through clearly. Finding out how Zach's case and Victoria's sister is linked, makes for an interesting journey, with a few twists thrown in. There are some aspects of the story that are not entirely “real world” accurate, but I honestly didn’t notice them. You are so caught up in the story, that you just keep turning pages wanting to read more.

This is definitely a favorite of mine, with a strong suspense plot weaving around the characters and providing the motivation for their objectives. By far the best thing in this story is Zach and Victoria’s love. This book is a must read!


Grade: A+

Unfortunately it's not currently available in ebook, however I'm hoping that with the re-release coming up it soon will be.
Book Link | Amazon (print) | Kindle | B&N (print) | nook | Borders (print) | kobo| Sony (ebookstore) | Simon & Schuster

Friday, September 17, 2010

September 17 2010 Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This weeks topic is: In honor of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, let's take time this week to honor our favorite book bloggers and why we love them!

There are a lot of blogs that I love. In fact my reader tends to overflow! I'm just going to focus on a few here.

Kat from Wit and Sin was probably the first blog I started reading. She's still my go-to for reading orders of new-to-me authors, and a very good friend.

Nicole from The Betrayed Writer is another favorite. An avid reader, with extremely discriminating tastes, she's a friend that I work hard to find the best of the best to recommend to her. She's also a writer, working towards getting published, with some thoughts on that.

One of my favorite new finds is The Bookish Snob. I love her blog set up and can't wait to read her posts when they come up! I look forward to many more.






Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Her question this week is: Favorite YA, or do you stick to the adult reads?

It's hard for me to pick a favorite of anything, even one specific category. I tend to stick mostly to adult reads, but I've really enjoyed the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud and of course Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I've been out of reading new YA for a while now (as you can probably see), so if you have any fantastic recommendations, let me know!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Archangel's Consort


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

Two weeks ago when I put up my first 'Waiting on' Wednesday post, I had to choose between the one I put up and this one. It was a very hard decision to make, so I finally went (democratically I think) with which cover I'd seen first.

I am a major fan of Nalini Singh. I think she's at the top of the game for world-building, and characters that I just want to know. I'd highly recommend either her Psy/Changeling series, or her Guild Hunters Series (find the reading order here.)

***Warning: Spoilers if you haven't read the series to this point***









itle: Archangel's Consort
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter 3
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Berkley
Release date: 25 January 2011

Book Description (from author's website):

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders.

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

Friday, September 10, 2010

Review: Amethyst Bound by L. Shannon


Title: Amethyst Bound
Author: L. Shannon
Series: Amethyst Trilogy 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 7 June 2010


Toni Giovanni is in what she calls the 'high-risk-recovery business' - or in other words she's a thief. Her latest job is to retrieve a special box and seems quite easy, that is until Toni puts on an amulet and binds herself to an ancient dragon named Amethyst. Suddenly everything goes crazy, and she's fleeing for her life towing along one sexy archaeologist - Dr. Ben Davis.

And that's just the start of it. Now someone's hunting her, she has to face her employer without his artifact and, oh yeah, there's an ancient prophecy that predicts dragons will end the world in a blaze of fire.

Can Toni and Amethyst learn to trust one another to avert disaster?

I was really excited for this book. Dragons are a special love of mine, and there just aren't that many books out there, especially compared to vampires and werewolves, that focus on them.

Honestly I sit here a couple of days later and I'm finding it hard to remember what I liked about this book. I thought the premise was interesting, but for me it was just lost in Toni's endless musing, thoughts and (surprisingly) conversation.

The book moved at a pretty slow pace, with lots of discussions on what they were going to do, and very little time spent on any action. While I normally love discussion between characters, because it lets me get to know them better, I felt that they were constantly treading over the same stuff - again and again. Despite being inside Toni's head all the time, I never really felt I got to know her. And because we never got Ben's point-of-view I feel even less connected to him.

There were a couple of moments that made me very interested. L. Shannon has obviously put some thought into the world, and I would have liked to see more development here. I do think that things moved along a little too easily in this book. Toni seemed to accept being bonded to a dragon with hardly any qualms. Even Ben didn't seem to be too shocked (even enjoying his first ride as a dragon passenger, moments after his first sight of a dragon).

Also there were a couple of things that came up later in the book that just made me wonder why they were there. Two other supernatural beings show up out of nowhere. And maybe they'll have some further significance later. Or perhaps I was just really looking forward to a book more focused on dragons and didn't want the other stuff.

I was very, very interested in a character that showed up at the end, and I may just pick up the next book in this series to see if more story helps me like it better (and to see Weaver).

I went into this book expecting romance, and while there is some I would more classify this as urban fantasy. I do think that this may have colored my initial expectations and could have had some impact on my final thoughts, but that's not completely it because I usually don't mind whichever one I happen to pick up.

Rating: C-

Book Link | Kindle | nook | kobo | Sony | Carina Press

September 10 2010 Blog Hop and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop


Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.

About the Hop: In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read!

This weeks topic is: Post a link to a favorite post or book review that you have written in the past three months.

My favorite post from the last three months is for Sins of the Heart (Ohterkin 1) by Eve Silver. This is a great start to a new series. Book 2 in the series was just release September 1st 2010, and book 3 will be released October 1st 2010.




Follow Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.

Her question this week is: eBook or Print?

This is a question that seems to come up in discussions quite a bit lately. I have, and love, my Kindle so I'm constantly reading eBooks on there. It's changed the way I read. It's more convenient for travel, and having on hand a bunch of options to read if something just isn't working out for me. Holding my Kindle is easier than holding a print book most of the time.

On the other hand, I still love print books. I still shop in the bookstore (in fact I was just there this last weekend). I have bookshelves overflowing with to-be-read books. I love the texture and scent of books.

So, both. Can I choose that? ;)



In the next couple of days I'll have a review of Amethyst Bound by L. Shannon.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

My Shelf of Awesome

A friend of mine (Kat at Wit and Sin) posted about her Shelf of Awesome. Not merely a 'Keeper' Shelf, it's something a bit more. To quote her:
The Shelf of Awesome is a shelf of books that, in brief, inspire me. No, you won’t find any “inspirational” books on The Shelf of Awesome. By inspire I mean these books are the ones that always inspire me to write, to read, to imagine, to do, to love, to smile, and to find happiness. I’ll even let you in on a little secret: not all the books on The Shelf of Awesome are favorites of mine and some of my favorites aren’t on the shelf.
This made me start to think. What books would make up my own Shelf of Awesome. This is what I've come up with. These are all physical books that I own paper or hard copies of. Like Kat, perhaps later I'll add to it with some of the ebooks that make the grade too. Some of these fall into multiple categories, but I put them in the one that makes the most sense to me.


The Classics

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This is a classic for a reason. Smart and witty, it's a one that I return to again and again, each time falling for Jane Austen's sharp writing.

The Illiad by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
These two together started my fascination with Greece. It's never stopped, and I credit these two novels with my continued fascination with all things in ancient (and more recent) history.


Poetry Some of my favorite bits are listed below. This is nowhere near a comprehensive listing of my favorites by each of these authors.

Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay
***

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could

William Butler Yeats
When my arms wrap you round I press
My heart upon the loveliness
That has long faded from the world;
The jewelled crowns that kings have hurled
In shadowy pools, when armies fled;
The love-tales wrought with silken thread
By dreaming ladies upon cloth
That has made fat the murderous moth;
The roses that of old time were
Woven by ladies in their hair,
The dew-cold lilies ladies bore
Through many a sacred corridor
Where such grey clouds of incense rose
That only God's eyes did not close:
For that pale breast and lingering hand
Come from a more dream-heavy land,
A more dream-heavy hour than this;
And when you sigh from kiss to kiss
I hear white Beauty sighing, too,
For hours when all must fade like dew.
But flame on flame, and deep on deep,
Throne over throne where in half sleep,
Their swords upon their iron knees,
Brood her high lonely mysteries.

William Blake
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
***

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

John Keats
When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain;
When I behold, upon the night's starr'd face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;--then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Edgar Allen Poe
In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.
***

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

William Wordsworth
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee


Favorite From Childhood
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle


Anne Rice - Yes, she deserves her own category.

The Vampire Lestat
Lestat just immediately jumped off the page, demanding to be heard, understood, loved. I couldn't help but give him everything he asked for.

The Queen of the Damned
Fascinating and rich, this novel is filled with the vampires' history - going back to ancient Egypt, one of my favorite times. I loved how it was written from multiple points of view, with Lestat returning 'full flair' at the right moment.

The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned
Ramses the Second waking up in modern day 1914. Cleopatra, his ancient love. Julie, his new love. Intrigue, romance, suspense. A whole new take on 'the mummy.'

Servant of the Bones
Rich with history and mythology this book follows a fascinating djinn that has been forced to do much evil, and is now looking for redemption. I think this is a truly under-appreciated novel by Anne Rice

The Witching Hour
The Mayfair witches are haunted by a mysterious ghost who shows himself to a select few. The intricate, complicated relationships between the ghost, Lasher, and the women of Mayfair bring them untold riches, and untimely deaths. This first novel in the trilogy is by far the best, and the one I re-read the most


First Fantasy

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I still re-read this rich, beautiful novel at least once a year. It's just a fantastic novel, a history with it's own history, people, languages and trials.


Other Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
While it's easy to see where Paolini got his inspiration, this book tells a very interesting story of a young man, his dragon and the fight to save the world. I'm patiently waiting for the final(?) novel

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
This is the third novel in the Mercy Thompson series. Patricia Briggs hooked me with the first book, but Iron Kissed firmly put her in my favorites. It has an extremely interesting storyline that is filled with fantastic characters that she continues to add depth and layers to.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I read this after The Lord of the Rings and loved every word of additional information I got about the history of Middle Earth. Bilbo's journey will forever hold a special place in my heart

City of Golden Shadow by Tad Williams
A book I picked up completely on a whim, and couldn't put down once I started. Tad Williams built a whole new world - in our minds. Travel anywhere, be anyone, do anything - just hook into the 'net in this futuristic novel. Except just like the real world, the rich have more power, and the annonymity of the 'net gives them an almost free reign. I didn't know going into this book that it was the first of a (long) four-book series. I turned the last page and my eyes nearly popped out of my head at the cliff-hanger ending. I was lucky enough that the next two books were already out. This book is very heavy on description and internal thoughts, but I loved every moment spent with each character.

Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland
A rich fantasy world with magic, shieldmaidens, evil creatures, mages, swords, horses and a lot of interesting characters. For me the characters themselves are what I love most about this (continuing) series. They're so richly drawn that I'd love to know them in real life. They have doubts and loves, fears and ideas, they make mistakes and keep on pushing through, against all odds sometimes. With a strong romance wending its way through each trilogy, I dare you not to fall in love with Morgan and Miach.


First Romance

Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts
My first Nora Roberts. Definitely not my last.


Other Romance

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
Truthfully, I love this entire series, but I go back to this book time and time again for the sweet love story between Rhage and Mary. I especially love watching Rhage, a male that has a (rightly deserved) reputation as a philanderer, fall in love. You can't go wrong picking up a J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood novel.

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
I have to add this one as well. Zsadist and Bella's story always gets me. It's so emotional, so heart-wrenching, so fulfilling. There are a lot of moments that make me tear up, still, after several dozen re-reads, and I love that I always finish the book not only happy, but content and sure in their love for each other. It's just such a touching story. I can't even begin to do it justice here.

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
*sigh* The first novel in Nalini's fantastic Psy/Changeling series. I fell in love with the world, the Changelings and even the Psy. Nalini is at the top of the game for world building and characters that feel like they could walk off the pages. Sascha is one of my all-time favorite heroines.

A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
By far my favorite by Judith McNaught, this book has an abundance of love, loyalty, betrayel, forgiveness and heart-wrenching moments. With it's hard, yet caring, hero...it's fiery, independent, loving heroine...the beautiful backdrop of medieval England and Scotland...it never fails to make me laugh, make me cry, and make me fall in love all over again.

Run For Your Life by Andrea Kane
A contemporary romantic suspense with a reunited couple that are thrown together in a dangerous search. She searching for her sister, he for the truth. Sparks fly, and love blooms anew. The plot is driven not only by things that happen, but by the thoughts, desires, fears and shared history of Victoria and Zach.

Dreams of Stardust by Lynn Kurland
Another book that I found entirely by chance. On a book-exchange shelf at a previous job I picked it up one day because I needed something to read. I didn't expect much, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Lynn Kurland weaves a sweet, romantic, funny tale with characters that seem very real. I immediately went on a glom of all her backlist, and follow her still. Closed door romances that aren't lacking anything by not having those steamy scenes so common in most romances today.

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
A plus-sized heroine that doesn't magically become skinny by the end, but learns to love her body, herself, and the hero. Min is smart and someone that I instantly related to. Her sharp tongue, sweet nature, and loving character just make it impossible to not like her. Cal, her hero, is definitely hero worthy, smart himself, strong, sexy and absolutely, irrevocably falling for Min. This is a sigh-worthy romance that I'm always happy to revisit.


Other Young Adult

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
A young boy that's a genius, in the true sense of the word, who's also a criminal mastermind and comes up with a cunning plot to relieve the fairyfolk of their gold. His plan is to capture one of the fairyfolk and hold them for their ransom. But when he gets his hands on Holly things start to take unexpected turns. Artemis Fowl is an anti-hero that you can easily root for!

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The first book in His Dark Materials trilogy. Enter a world much like the not-too-distant past of ours, but it's a place where magic, religion and science are all closely enter-twined. Lyra Belacqua is an orphan, growing up at Oxford University, with her daemon - the manifestation of her soul in animal form. Lyra isn't concerned with much but entertaining herself with her close friend Roger. Her precociousness leads her to learn of dust, a thing that those in power would do a lot to hide, and she's suddenly thrust upon an epic journey. Searching for her kidnapped friend takes Lyra north where she meets friends and enemies alike, including gyptians, witches, an armor-clad polar bear, and a nefarious plot involving many more missing children. This book is rich with emotion and adventure.

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
A young boy as a magician-in-training, Nathaniel, is visciously betrayed and vows revenge. Devouring texts he finally amasses enough power to summon a djinn, Bartimaeus, to steal the powerful Amulet of Samarkand and prevent his nemesis from his own designs. The story switches between third-person narration of Nathaniel, and first person narration (complete with footnotes that I loved immensely) by Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus is full of a wry wit that kept me grinning almost constantly when he was 'on-screen.' He alone is reason enough to read this, though it's filled with much, much more.


The One Two I Can't Figure Out Where To Put

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
I read this book when it first came out, and absolutely loved the rich historical detail that Diana Gabaldon wove through the story. Sometimes a bit wordy, but that doesn't mean that every word isn't worth reading. Definitely an interesting look at the history, and people, of Scotland and England. I loved this book so much, and even though it's a true tome, I still pick it up to re-read. Side note - I didn't read, or even know, there were sequels to this book until the fifth book was out, so I definitely didn't feel like it was a cliffhanger ending. I have since picked up the following books, but am still working my way through them, as each of them is just as richly detailed as Outlander is.

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
The first book I ever read by Jodi Picoult and I was absolutely amazed by her ability to make me truly think about where I fall on certain values and thoughts that I have. It's something that she does in every book I've read of hers. She'll easily show two sides to every story, and makes me think about both sides. I always walk away from her books with a new view on something.


The I-Can't-Pick-Just-One-Of-This-Series

Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
I started reading Darkfever, the first book in this series, when it first came out in 2006 and have loved every minute of speculating since. The final book is coming out in January of 2011 and I'm so looking forward to the conclusion of this wonderfully complicated, intricate, fascinating series. It's mostly set in Dublin, Ireland and follow Mac's journey to find her sister's killer and she's suddenly thrust into a richly built world she knew nothing about, filled with fae, that are nothing like the fairies from our childhood tales, ambiguous characters and plots that Mac has to work through just to survive.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
A deftly written series in a magical world set just on the fringes of our world. If you haven't read these, or don't know about them, I highly recommend that you start now (the movies just don’t do them enough justice, though I enjoy them too). Following Harry Potter on his coming of age journey with fantastic characters that I love totally.






So, there you have it. My very own Shelf of Awesome (and yes I can fit all these on one shelf, if I really have to. ;) I hope you find something new here to pick and enjoy, if you do, please let me know! I'd love to hear what you think about any of these books.


And I'd LOVE to hear what makes your Shelf of Awesome!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Amazon Free eBooks 8

I decided to break these up by "genre" - Sometimes I know what genre it is, sometimes I'm going by what reviews/Amazon states. But at least it helps to separate a little bit more...

Romance:
Lessons From a Younger Lover by Zuri Day
The Pearl at the Gate by Anya Delvay
The Other Side of the Page by Terry Odell



Mysteries/Thrillers:
Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery by James R. Benn
Hostile Intent by Michael Walsh
Bake Sale Murder by Leslie Meier
Hour of the Hunter by J.A. Jance



Science Fiction:
The Dangerous Dimension by L. Ron Hubbard
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