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Blue Diablo Virtual Tour: Special Guest Ann Aguirre (+ Giveaway!)

If you've been following this blog, you'll know I've become a big Ann Aguirre fan over the past year. I fell in love with her Sirantha Jax books and can hardly wait to get my hands on the third installment, Doubleblind, due out in September. What's even more exciting, though, is the release of the first book in Ms. Aguirre's new Corine Solomon series. Here to celebrate the upcoming release of Blue Diablo, I'm tickled pink to welcome Ann Aguirre!
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“Bacon is not a snack food”, and other truths
Read that title. Do you agree? Or would you fry up a skillet full of bacon if you had the munchies? (If that’s true, I can only say, dude, you must’ve been a trip when you were stoned.) But I digress.The only person (is my a dog a person? She occasionally wears a sweater, so you decide) I know who thinks of bacon as a snack is my dog, Daisy. And she doesn’t get actual bacon, but treats that look and smell like bacon and come from the pet food section of our local grocery st…

Monday Guest & Giveaway

Just a quick reminder that the lovely Ann Aguirre will be here guest blogging on Monday. She will also be giving away a copy of her upcoming release Blue Diablo to one lucky commenter! So be sure to stop in and say hi.

A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander

This second installment in the Lady Emily Ashton mystery series definitely exceeded my expectations. I ended up rather underwhelmed by the first book. Nevertheless, I was willing to move forward, hoping things would pick up substantially in the second. And by "things" I mean plotline, character development, chemistry between principals...pretty much the whole shebang. Good news is--they did. Quite a bit, in fact. And I'm still trying to decide whether I adjusted to the world and writing style or if they gussied up a bit. Either way A Poisoned Season was a very enjoyable read. 
Emily leaves her beloved Greece reluctantly, returning home to England for the dreaded Season. Now that she's a couple of years into her widowhood, Emily couldn't possibly care less about the endless winings and dinings, myriad marriage brokerings, and insipid social maneuverings that consume the London aristocracy for months on end. The string of cards and parties is spiced up a bit, howeve…

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander

I must confess. I feel a little bad about my relationship with Lady Emily Ashton. I came across her adventures in the wake of LadyJulia Grey'sescapades and I fear I won't be able to do Emily justice, that she will always be overshadowed by Julia. And, um, Brisbane. Do not mistake me. I like Colin Hargreaves very much. He is a delight and I hope Emily never throws him over. But he's not....well. He's not Brisbane. There. I've said it. We can move on. If you haven't guessed by now, And Only to Deceiveis the first in Tasha Alexander's series of Victorian mysteries featuring Lady Emily Ashton. A series that has a fair bit in common with Deanna Raybourn's Julia Grey novels. 
Emily, like Julia, is made a young and rather sudden widow at the start of the story. The thing is, she never much cared for poor, dead Philip. He was simply a way of escaping her overbearing mother. To the cynical Emily, he represented the lesser of all the evils courting her. After his …

A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell

A big thanks to Scholastic for sending me an advanced copy of Lisa Ann Sandell's A Map of the Known World. Ever since I read and loved Sandell's Song of the Sparrow, I have been eager to see what she would write next. I knew it would probably be something quite different. It both was and it wasn't. Where Song of the Sparrowwas an Arthurian novel in verse told from the perspective of Elaine of Ascolat, A Map of the Known Worldis a contemporary prose novel about a girl named Cora's struggle in the wake of her brother's death. What they share is a young woman's attempt to make sense of (and leave her mark on) the changing world around her.
Cora's brother Nate died in a car crash six months ago. And Cora's been on her own ever since. Grief inhabits all corners of her world now. Her parents effectively collapsed in on themselves after Nate's death, her best friend doesn't know how to talk to her anymore, and Cora is afraid she will forever be known as…

Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh

This book won out on the most likely to pull me out of my slump query. I do think it did the trick as I've read two more since and seem to be moving on. So thanks, guys. I was in dire straits. Prior to reading Angel's Blood, I was a Nalini Singh virgin. I'd heard nothing but good, but just never found myself in the mood for paranormal romance. My feelings on the genre are unsurprisingly similar to Thea's. However, this book, the first in Singh's new Guild Hunter series, is being billed as urban fantasy, which made it seem more palatable and like a good place to start. It does have several of my favorite urban fantasy characteristics. Kick-A** heroine, deadly vamps of the non-sparkly variety, strong world building, etc. But. As Thea points out, it remains a paranormal romance at heart. So if extremely heated situations make you cringe, giggle, or otherwise react unfavorably (as they do me), tread lightly here. 
Elena Devereaux is a vampire hunter. She's what is k…

Rated E for Everyone

Awhile back the Ink Mage put together a delightful post entitled, "Books I'd Recommend to Anyone."  I enjoyed reading through it so much I decided to slap together a similar list of my own. It's rather nice to have a list of books in various genres that you feel comfortable pressing on almost anybody. This list does not encompass all of my favorites, but these are the ones I hand out indiscriminately.




Fairy Tale Retellings Beauty by Robin McKinley Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale










Young Adult Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton Morning is a Long Time Coming by Bette Greene Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti









Fantasy The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner Resenting the Hero by Moira J. Moore








Sci Fi/Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian
How I Live…

FABulous

Jackie over at Literary Escapism has gifted Angieville with this FABulous award. Literary Escapism is a daily stop for me and Jackie keeps it chock full of good info, reviews, recommendations, and updates from around the web. So thanks for the award!  I'm supposed to list five things I am obsessed with and/or addicted to. I asked DH what he would list if asked what I was obsessed with. His response: "You're not a particularly obsessive person." And I guess he's pretty much right about that. The only thing I really obsess about is books. So this will be a list of five book-related things I currently think about WAY too much.
1. The ThiefThe Queen of Attolia, and The King of Attoliaby Megan Whalen Turner. They, um, rock. 
2. How Diana Peterfreund's Ivy League series is going to end. Tap & Gowncomes out in just over two months and I am seriously concerned cautiously optimistic.
3. Book release dates. I keep a list of everything I'm looking forward to. I a…

"Chrissy, bring me the big knife!"

Much like Ronny Cammareri in Moonstruck, I appear to be floundering. Having finished my Megan Whalen Turnerorgy fest, I find myself in the old familiar place. Stop-starting book after book. Unable to commit. I figure I'd better ask for some help before my status gets upgraded to critical. So now's the time. The suggestion box is open. I need your very best, guaranteed to bring you out of any slump, recalled to life books. Cause, seriously, I'm starting to lose it. 

A few Pretties to look forward to

Sevenwaters Sequels

Good news all you Sevenwaters fans. The folks at Writer Unboxed revealed that Juliet Marillier has sold two new Sevenwaters books! The first of the two books is titled SONG OF THE ISLAND and features druids, Vikings, and a familiar medieval Ireland setting. I just knew Heir to Sevenwaters wouldn't be the last word. 
Thanks to Li for the heads up!

Blue Diablo Blowout and Guest Blog

The countdown to Ann Aguirre's new Corine Solomon series is on. Blue Diablois due out April 7th and I am very pleased to announce that as part of the celebrations Ms. Aguirre will be making a stop here at Angieville as part of her Virtual Tour! Make sure to stop by on March 30th to catch her guest blog. Here is the official blurb: Right now, I’m a redhead. I’ve been blonde and brunette as the situation requires, though an unscheduled color change usually means relocating in the middle of the night. So far, I’m doing well here. Nobody knows what I’m running from. And I’d like to keep it that way…Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border to Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover, and her “gift”. Corine, a handler, can touch something and know its history—and sometimes, its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing—and that’s why people never stop trying to find her. People like her ex, Chance…Chance, whose uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep, needs her h…

It's not you. It's me.

A couple of days ago Read Roger posted his thoughts on the reader's right "not to finish a book."There are many reasons you might choose not to finish a book. You get bogged down, lose interest, something more engaging comes along, you may not even be able to put your finger on the exact reason. But one way or another you put it down and don't come back. 
I am often motivated to finish a book I am not enjoying out of sheer perversity or a desperate hope that it will pull itself out of the nosedive at the last minute. But the last book I simply walked away from? I think that was The Fetch. It was just so cold and strange and, try as I might, I couldn't get close to any of the characters. I don't like doing it, but finally it was just time to move on.
So what was the last book you gave up on? And do you have a hard and fast rule on calling it quits? 

(via Bookshelves of Doom)

The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

If I tell you that each book in this series just gets more and more exceptional, will you believe me? Or will you believe that I, like Eugenides, am simply telling you a version of the truth to get you to do what I want you to do? (In this case, to get you to read these books yesterday). Both things are true, by the way. The King of Attoliais even better than its predecessor and I will tell you anythingto get you to read these books. Yesterday. Plus, check out my favorite cover of the three. Look at the feather scar on his cheek. Her hand on his shoulder. His grip on the sword. So awesome.

Eugenides has just embarked upon his self-imposed life of exile in Attolia. And to any and all onlookers, he is ill at ease in his new home. The queen appears to despise him, the court thinks him an idiot of epic proportions, and the guard are ready to murder him on their queen's behalf. The story follows a young lieutenant named Costis who is having a shockingly bad day. In a fit of righteous in…

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Wow. I just...wow. Talk about a sequel. In fact, I'm pretty sure that as sequels go The Queen of Attolia should be the standard textbook in a class entirely devoted to how to write a killer sequel. The kind of sequel that will leave your readers completely unable to contain their glee at how it was just as good as they weren't daring to hope it would be. The kind that makes them keep their husbands up at night expounding upon the splendor that is such a sequel.

A note on the cover: I truly love the "new" covers. I do. But this one kind of makes me want to run and hide under the covers. And I'm glad I didn't see it until after I read the book. Rather, I went in blissfully unaware of what awaited me.
A note on a spoiler: I generally try to avoid them. This review, however, may have to be an exception as there is one key plot element early on that is, well, integral to everything that happens thereafter. I can't find a way to dance around it, so consider yours…