January 30, 2009

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

I get so excited when my favorite authors break into hardcover. In fact, I'm pleased as punch to shell out the bigger bucks because it means that the awesome I've been basking in for awhile now has finally caught on and is being recognized on a wider scale. So it was, in a word, thrilling to open up the package from Penguin and see the words "#1 New York TimesBestselling Author" atop Patricia Briggs' shiny new hardcover Bone Crossed

Mercy Thompson starts her fourth adventure staring herself down in the mirror trying to decide where to go from here. The closing events of Iron Kissed left our favorite VW mechanic feeling, at best, very conflicted. She managed to make several key decisions, but can't quite seem to outrun her demons. Of course occupying the place of honor as lone walker, Alpha's declared mate, and vampire public enemy #1 doesn't help. She doesn't have long to fret, though, when an old acquaintance shows up on her doorstep convinced Mercy can banish a ghost for her. Meanwhile, a pair of crossed bones show up on the door of her shop branding her traitor, her place in the pack is still perilously unclear, and her mother drops in unannounced. On the positive side, Stefan plays a much larger role in this one. A favorite scene:
I didn't smell vampire, only blood--fading as the frost had faded. I had seen the ghost--not clearly, but it had been there. Still, I turned so Chad couldn't read my lips. "Do you think Blackwood is playing ghost?"
Stefan shook his head. "No, it's not the Monster. Wrong heritage. There was an Indian vampire in New York--" He looked at me and grinned. He pressed a finger to his forehead. "Indian with a dot, not a feather. Anyway, he and his get all could have done something like what we saw tonight. . .except for the cold. But only the vampires he made directly could do it--and he only made Indian women into vampires. They were all killed a century or more ago, and I think Blackwood predated him anyway."
Chad had been watching Stefan's mouth with every evidence of fascination. He made a few gestures, and Stefan signed back, saying, "They're dead. No. Someone else killed them. Yes, I'm sure it was someone else." He glanced at me. "Want to explain to the kid that I'm more a Spike than a Buffy? A villain, not a superhero?"
I batted my eyelashes at him. "You're my hero."
He jerked several steps back from me as if I'd hit him. It made me wonder what Marsilia had said to him while she'd tortured him.
"Stefan?"
He turned back to us with a hiss and an expression that made Chad back into me. "I'm a vampire, Mercy."
I wasn't going to let him get away with the morose, self-loathing vampire act. He deserved better than that. "Yeah, we got that. It's the fangs that gave it away--translate that for Chad, please." I waited while he did so, his hands jerky with anger or something related to it. Chad relaxed against me. 
Stefan continued signing, and said, almost defiantly, "I'm no one's hero, Mercy."
I turned my face until I was looking directly at Chad. "Do you think that means I won't get to see him in spandex?"
Chad mouthed the last word with a puzzled look.
Stefan sighed. He touched Chad's shoulder, and when the boy looked up, he finger-spelled spandex slowly. Chad made a yuck face.
"Hey," I told them, "watching good-looking men run around in tight-fitting costumes is high on my list of things I'd like to do before I die."
Stefan gave in and laughed. "It won't be me," he told me.

Clearly, Stefan really stole the show for me and it was good to have him back after his rather conspicuous, though necessary, absence in Iron Kissed. His friendship with Mercy remains a highlight of the series for me. 

If you haven't guessed by now, these books are hands down my favorite urban fantasy series out there. I am ridiculously fond of them. And a big reason why is the nimble way Ms. Briggs walks that infinitesimally fine line between keeping things interesting and staying true to her characters. Beset on all sides by the supernatural, the macabre, and the horrific, her characters continue to feel so real to me. Like I could step into their world and accept it lock, stock, and barrel because Mercy's there in her garage. And what could be more normal than that? Bone Crossed had the same gritty feel that Moon Called had, as well as the dry humor and breathtaking timing of Blood Bound. Being the fourth installment, these characters know each other pretty well by now and so the interpersonal issues swirl around the arc of the mystery, lending it a richness you'll want to sink your teeth into. This series has it all. Good guys worth fighting for. Bad guys worth having nightmares over. And a heroine who can handle them all. More. Please.

January 29, 2009

Bad to the Bone Cover

Check out Jeri Smith-Ready's blog. Looks like Ciara leaked the cover of her upcoming book, Bad to the Bone, on her Twitter profile. Scamp. That's a big dog, btw. Wicked Game was so great, I can't wait to continue the fun come May 16th! 

January 27, 2009

Marvelous Martha

Shelli over at Market My Words has an interview up with the lovely Martha, in which she discusses her job as editrix extraordinaire at Greenwillow and lists several great ways to promote yourself and your book. Check it out!

January 26, 2009

2009 Newbery Medal Awarded

Yay!

Bibliocrack Review: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles



I decided I had to read Perfect Chemistry based on Trisha's awesome review. In her words:

Simone ElkelesPerfect Chemistry is a teen romance full of cliches, melodrama, an unrealistic denouement, and a completely over the top epilogue. And I freaking loved it. Ate it up with a spoon like it was an ice cream sundae.
Rock on, Trisha. I love it when reviewers are honest about how much they loved a book. I'll add to her description The Cover. Every time I sat down next to DH to read he'd say, "You still reading the The Cover?" And I'd smile like the cat who ate the canary and say, "Yeah." In my best what's it to ya voice. 

Brittany Ellis and Alejandro Fuentes go to Fairfield High on the outskirts of Chicago. And that is the one and only thing they have in common. She is the captain of the pom squad. He is a member of a local gang. On the whole, they could be categorized as Less Than Thrilled to be made lab partners in chemistry for the entirety of their senior year. What follows is a fair bit of verbal sparring, a healthy dose of teenage angst, and a whole helluva lot of sexual tension. Forced to spend time together outside of school working on their final project, Alex and Brittany discover more about each other than they ever wanted to know. Soon they are forced to decide just what they will do with their newfound knowledge. I, for one, couldn't wait to find out. Okay, so I knew from the moment they met exactly what they would do with it. But, honestly, I was enjoying myself way too much to care. 

So, yeah. This thing is the real deal. It's star crossed lovers against the world. It's passionate pleas and rising music. It's West Side Story sans the whole love at first sight bit. In fact, these two kids despise each other. They're both smart, sexy, and very very troubled. And they have several sizeable barriers to cross before they can even begin to take each other seriously. Is it sappy and predictable and overwrought? Yes. Did I love it? Oh, yeah. Why? Because, quite simply, Simone Elkeles made me believe in these two. I wanted so much for them. And, even though I knew it would, I could not stop reading until I was sure things came out all right for them in the end. Suddenly I was fourteen years old again and falling in love with Romeo & Juliet for the first time. There's nothing like that feeling and it was nice to have it back for just a little while.

January 23, 2009

Ranger's Apprentice eBook

To celebrate the upcoming publication of the sixth book in John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, Penguin is making the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan, available in free eBook format. The site went live last week and will run until February 15th. Check it out here

Synopsis:
They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger's apprentice. What he doesn't yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .
I've glanced at this series several times without picking it up. This might be the perfect time to jump in. And I'm always partial to stories about young boys named Will...

Catching Fire Cover

Publisher's Weekly got the first peek at the cover of Catching Fire--Suzanne Collins' sequel toThe Hunger Games. I like it. But then I really liked the first cover as well. Looking forward to some interesting developments in this one. Thanks to Jen for the heads up!

January 22, 2009

It's Not Lupus


If you're a House fan, you'll probably think this is as hilarious as I do. Hehehe...

Bone Crossed Book Tour

As you probably know the fourth Mercy Thompson book, Bone Crossed, is being published by ACE on Feb. 3rd. To support her first hardcover release, national bestseller Patricia Briggs is going on a 7-city book tour. Kicking off her tour in Seattle, Patty will be traveling to the following cities and stores: 

February 3rd
University Books
7:00pm
Seattle, WA

February 4th
Third Place Books
7:00pm
Lake Forest Park, WA

February 5th
Powell's Books (Beaverton Store)
7:00pm
Portland, OR

February 6th
Borderlands Books
7:00pm
San Francisco, CA

February 7th
Mysterious Galaxy Books
2:00pm
San Diego, CA

February 8th
Barnes &  Noble (Bella Terra)
2:00pm
Huntington Beach, CA

February 9th
Borders (Waters Place)
7:00pm
Ann Arbor, MI

Sadly, none of these are near me. So if one of them is near you, make sure to go and show her some big fat Mercy love! And make sure to tell me all about it afterward...

January 21, 2009

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

"Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme..." 

Since reading this book I have not been able to get that song out of my head. It has been, you'll forgive the pun, Impossible. It's all good, of course, because I've always loved the Simon & Garfunkel version, as well as Dylan's quasi-adaptation of the ballad "Girl from the North Country." And it's good because Nancy Werlin does such interesting things developing a novel based on the lyrics. In a few words it is a contemporary suspenseful folk fantasy with some hereditary insanity, a sweet romance, and one extremely dubious (and dangerous) elven knight. 

Lucy Scarborough has spent her life with her adoptive parents because her mother, Miranda, is insane. Lucy manages to lead an eminently normal life interspersed with occasional random visits from Miranda, who is never really lucid beyond mumbling strange lyrics to "Scarborough Fair." But when prom night turns disastrous for Lucy it sets into motion an unbelievable chain of events and they all lead back to Miranda and an awful curse the Scarborough women have suffered under for centuries. Soon Lucy is rushing to beat the devil and save herself from insanity and her unborn daughter from sharing her unbearable fate. She is accompanied on this endeavor by her childhood friend Zack and her adoptive parents Leo and Soledad. 

Impossible reminded me of an end of high school version of Pamela Dean's Tam Lin. It had that same eerie, lyrical feel to it and I had similar responses to both books. I enjoyed them but felt that the characters remained somehow aloof from the reader to a certain degree, with the result that the stories as a whole felt cold. Part of this removed feeling comes, I think, from the nature of the tales themselves. They center on truly cruel supernatural beings playing wanton games with desperate, usually outnumbered humans. I've loved similar storylines, but if I can't get into the desperate humans and really root for them, it's hard to stay involved. Despite this, I did like the easy friendship Lucy and Zack shared and how their growing feelings for each other both surprised them and made them stronger. And I especially appreciated the emphasis Werlin put on humble human triumph over haughty supernatural manipulation and how true love does not cloud judgement but enables one to see clearly. 

January 19, 2009

Need by Carrie Jones

First of all. How about those gold lips? Shimmery! The color of those lips does a good job of representing the glittery-but-dangerous magic in this book. Just as the pale skin of their owner conveys the tone of the story quite well: pale, cold, and creepy. I'm pretty sure this is my first pixie urban fantasy and I wasn't sure what to expect. What I did not expect was feeling like I was back inside the world of Stephen King's It. But apparently if a book's got Maine, winter, and a town with a curse on it, it will always evoke the same prickly, back-of-the-neck feelings in me. And Need's heroine shares my sentiments. 

Zara's stepdad is dead. After watching her waste away day by day, Zara's mother puts her on a plane and sends her to her de facto grandmother--her stepdad's mom Betty. Betty lives in Maine. Maine feels like another world to Zara. A world in which the every surface is blanketed in snow and the local teenagers are all track stars or football talent or some other sort of gifted. These things combined make Zara real nervous. As a coping mechanism, she recites phobias in the hopes that naming her fear will help her face it. Yeah, she's brave and likeable that way. And she makes a trio of truly cool, hilarious friends. The adorably scattered Issie, the kind and quiet Devyn, and the dark and looming Nick. The three of them begin giving Zara a reason to get up again. There are, of course, some kids who don't like the new girl. And there is, of course, a bit of a love triangle (but not really). And it's all very high school. That is until gold dust starts showing up everywhere and her classmates start turning out to be Not Who She Thought They Were. And it becomes clear that something wicked is definitely this way coming. 

Need is a good one to stay up late at night reading. Alone. That way you can take full advantage of the awful not-pretty pixies going to eat you factor. And, really, when was the last time you did that? What I liked about Ms. Jones' writing is the way she created a truly scary world and villain with very little overt description. I have no idea what he looks like. In my head he's this huge dark form without a face and he is the scarier for it. Part of this is accounted for by the fog Zara is in when she first arrives in Maine, and part by the fear that seems to grow no matter how many names she gives it. I liked that she had such good friends and that they were actually a part of the story, not just background music. Once I met Issie and Devyn, I wanted more and more of them. Nick is definitely a good guy and could probably have used a little more conflict for my taste. But I liked him well enough. His hero complex was indeed charming. Thanks go to Chelle's review for pushing me to get this one. I would be happy to read more in this world. Recommended for fans of Holly Black.

January 16, 2009

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I'm so glad I finally got around to this one. The laughs were much needed. Of course, there were bouts of tears to go along with those laughs, so it probably evened out in the end. But that is the mark of the best kind of story. It made me feel genuine emotion, and not all one kind, so I feel fulfilled and stretched out, rather than left wondering if I'll ever be able to crawl my way up out of the hole. 

Junior's life is unenviable. And that is putting it mildly. He lives on the Indian reservation in Wellpinit, Washington with his parents (part to full time alcoholics), his sister (a depressed basement dweller), and his grandmother (the one functional member of the family). He also has a best friend called Rowdy, a young man whose father beats him and who, in turn, beats up everyone in his path. Except Junior. When we first meet him, Junior is excited to begin his first day of high school. A self-proclaimed nerd of the highest order, Junior eagerly opens his geometry book only to find his mother's name inscribed inside the cover. That's right. This is the same geometry book his mother used when she was a freshman in high school. Junior is filled with such hopeless rage that he chucks the book at his teacher, earning himself a suspension. But after a conversation with his teacher, he sets out on a quest for hope, resolving to transfer to the local white school in Reardan. 

I loved this book for so many reasons. I loved it for the humor, dialogue, and artwork. But also for the ache it gave me in the back of my throat when I imagined a life like Junior's. This is my second encounter with Sherman Alexie's work. Awhile back I watched and loved Smoke Signals and that came back to haunt me (in a good way) so many times that I was eager for more. This book is semi-autobiographical and that thought alone kept my emotions very close to the surface throughout the reading. The obvious and favorable comparisons to John Green and Chris Crutcher are certainly valid and definite indicators of whether or not you will like the book. But it's worth mentioning that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian also reminded me of the tough, direct prose found in My Heartbeat and the throbbing longing of I am the MessengerIf any of this sounds like your cuppa, I'd add this one to your stack posthaste. 

January 13, 2009

Rumors by Anna Godbersen

Well, everyone's in love with the one person they can't have and no one seems to be able to communicate their woe to anyone who could help. Must be Tuesday in Luxeland. Rumors is the second volume in the Luxe series and, as the deep red dress and haughty gaze of the cover model suggest, things are just getting worse and worse for our crew of Manhattan debutantes/bachelors/scheming underlings. I checked this copy out from the library and the girl at the checkout desk smiled knowingly and said, "I liked this one." I smiled and said, "I just finished The Luxe." Her grin got bigger. "I liked this one much better," she said. So. There you go. I was beginning to get the impression that lovers of The Luxe fell into two categories: even bigger lovers or big time haters of Rumors. I was interested to see which category I fell into (if any).

So everyone thinks Elizabeth Holland is dead. And pretty soon (oh, let's go ahead and say it) shockingly soon, everyone thinks Henry Schoonmaker should just say enough with the mourning and go ahead and marry Penelope Hayes since it is clear they were Meant To Be. What with the being rich and hot and whatnot. But then Elizabeth Holland is not actually dead, is she? And Henry is not actually in love with Penelope, is he? Meanwhile, Lina is masquerading about as a mining heiress from Utah (LOL), Penelope is advancing on Henry like a post-coital black widow, and the weight of the world rests squarely on Diana's little shoulders as she is the one who is now expected to make a most advantageous marriage to save the family name. Just not the advantageous marriage she'd like to make.

I liked this one. Liked it just as much as the first one, in fact. I continue to enjoy Diana and Henry and what's going on there. I continue to hate Penelope unreservedly and feel almost unbearably embarrassed for Lina around the clock. Although I do wonder about Tristan. As I was never a fan of the whole Elizabeth and Will thing, I was perfectly happy to have them off screen (for the most part). And I have to say, I really liked the ending. I mean it was exactly the awful thing you were expecting down to the last dewy glance. In slow motion. But then the last page was just so awesome and fierce in its way, that I'm really looking forward to reading Envy and consuming another volume of decadent treats on display. 

January 12, 2009

An Excerpt, a Cover, and Some Awards

First, for fans of the Hero series, Moira J. Moore has posted the matching scene from the first book, Resenting the Hero, written from Taro's perspective instead of Lee's. And it's awesome. Only 8 months left till the fourth book comes out!

Next, here is the cover for the second Alpha and Omega novel, Hunting Ground, by Patricia Briggs. (Thanks Renee for the heads up!)





Lastly, Urban Fantasy Land is holding their Reader's Choice Awards right now. If you go vote and spread the word about the awards, you'll be entered in a contest to win a $25 gift card from a major online bookseller. Go have your say!

January 9, 2009

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

Another Christmas gift, and one I wanted to read very much when it first came out, but shied away from somewhat after reading several reviews comparing it to the Gossip Girl series and stating that the writing left rather a lot to be desired. Oh, I thought sadly. That's too bad. It looked better than that. So I just admired the cover from afar, and that of the sequel Rumors. I probably would have just gone on ignoring the series if my mom hadn't given me a copy of The Luxe. I'm glad she did.

The prologue begins with Elizabeth Holland's funeral. The darling of upper crust Manhattan society, her sudden and inexplicable drowning in the Hudson shocks everyone from her frozen fiance Henry Schoonmaker to her scornful maid Lina Broud. The story then immediately jumps back several weeks to show us how events came to such a strange state. You think Elizabeth is going to be the main character, but she's not. She's not even very likable. Quiet, passive, perfect. Perfectly boring. That's Elizabeth. And that's why her best friend Penelope Hayes hates her. Everyone assumes Henry and Elizabeth would be perfect together, while Penelope is determined to have him for herself. And if you're wondering right now if the whole thing is as Peyton Place as it sounds thus far, the answer is yes. Yes it is. It's a roiling sea of love, despair, social climbing, and backstabbing. In perfectly lovely period costumes. It's hypnotic.

The story spends time going back and forth between five Victorian teens: Elizabeth, Henry, Penelope, Lina, and Diana (Elizabeth's younger, much more likable sister). And for awhile I kept thinking, Why am I reading this? These characters are perfectly awful. But then Diana became cool. Or rather I could tell she was going to become someone who was going to be cool. So I was reading it for Diana. The others I could take or leave. But then Henry started showing some good sense and just the slightest hint of a backbone, despite his apalling sense of entitlement. So I was reading it for Diana and Henry. And the dresses. Oh, the dresses. And because I enjoyed seeing Penelope swallow her own tongue when she finds out a certain couple are engaged. And, in the end, it was like watching a train wreck. A beautiful, awful train wreck. And I couldn't tear my eyes away from it. I had to run to the library to get a copy of Rumors to see What Happens. That review to follow shortly. 

January 8, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

I read The Boyfriend List awhile back and enjoyed it but somehow didn't make it on to its sequel, The Boy Bookor any of E. Lockhart's other titles. Then The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks came out and there was just so much buzz. And then it was named a finalist for the National Book Award. So I figured I'd better pick it up. Fortunately, Santa brought it to my home this year so I was able to jump right in.

Frankie is a sophomore at Alabaster Prep, super exclusive boarding school for the children of the elite. Ever since she was a kid, Frankie had heard her father and his cronies go on about a mysterious secret society known as the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Once she starts at Alabaster it becomes clear that the Order is alive and thriving and open only to males. When she suddenly gains a few curves in the right places and a snazzy new boyfriend to go with them, Frankie becomes aware in a way she hadn't been up to this point in her life. And when the darling boyfriend starts evading her all the time, haring off to locales unspecified with other guys she just knows are in the Order, she decides to follow him. What she discovers from following Matthew (and the subsequent actions she puts into motion) change Frankie (and the Order) permanently. For the better? That's up to the reader. I say yes, but the whole thing is still painful to watch.

I am a bit conflicted over this book. For a variety of reasons. I felt like it really wanted to be Secret Society Girl meets Looking for Alaska. Not the best combination, IMO. This wasn't helped by the fact that I kept picturing Alpha (my favorite character) as The Colonel in my head. I usually quite like third person present narration, but in this case it felt slightly contrived, particularly since Frankie never gelled into a tangible character for me. I laughed several times while reading and I liked Frankie but I didn't love her. I liked her for her dogged attempt to wade through the ever shifting waters of a rather assaultive adolescence and an unsympathetically exclusionary pack of boys who told her they liked her but clearly didn't know her at all, nor did they seem to care to. Despite these obstacles, or perhaps because of them, she managed to carve out a place where she could be herself, free from manipulation. I liked her combative and compelling relationship with Alpha. In fact, I wanted more of that and less mooning over lackluster Matthew. But the book ended just when things were getting interesting. I suspect I would really enjoy a sequel.

Links
3 Evil Cousins Review
Bildungsroman Review
Presenting Lenore Review
Shelf Elf Review
The Reading Zone Review

January 5, 2009

The Dedicated Kind

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader
 

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Book Snob
 
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
 
Literate Good Citizen
 
Fad Reader
 
Non-Reader
 
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thanks to Aidan over at A Dribble of Ink for the link. Take the test and see if you're the kind of reader you think you are. ;-)

2009 Must Be Mine List

January
Third and final book in the Nine Kingdoms Trilogy. Morgan and Miach are wonderful characters and I'm hoping they can vanquish what needs vanquishing and find a kind of rest. 

February
I fell in love with Whitcomb's graceful ghost story, A Certain Slant of Lightand have been anxiously awaiting her second novel. 

Fourth Mercy Thompson novel. Thea's already read it. *twitch* And I'm over here languishing. Like an animal.

March
Third Lady Julia Grey mystery. There will be progress Brisbane-wise in this one. I can feel it.

There will be zombies. That is all I know.

Third Kate Daniels novel. Things are really getting intersesting and I just love Kate and her magic drenched Atlanta. 

April
First in Aguirre's new series featuring magic handler Corine Solomon. Loved Grimspace. Looking forward to something new. 

Song of the Sparrow was really lovely. I'm a huge fan of Arthurian tales and it was such a great revisionist version. So I'm interested to see what Sandell does in a non-Arthurian, contemporary setting.  

Third in the Wicked Lovely world. More Seth, Aislinn, and Keenan. Wonder how much we'll see of Leslie? I loved her in Ink Exchange

The long-awaited second installment in the Beka Cooper trilogy. I thoroughly loved Terrier and can't wait to be back in the Lower City again.

Third in the Raine Benares series and guaranteed to rock my world. Go Team Tam!

May
Ninth Sookie Stackhouse book. No idea what to expect at this point, but this series has remained happily on track for me and I have, as always, high hopes. 

Sequel to Wicked Game. This series gives good groove. I really liked Ciara and how she's growing as a character and how she seems to thrive surrounded by OCD vampires who need her. 

Fourth and final installment in the Secret Society Girl series. Cannot. Wait. I foresee a very late night the day it comes out. 

Swoon by Nina Malkin
The two main characters' names are Dice and Sin and the town's called Swoon...Ahem.

The first in the new series that's going to keep me from despair when the Secret Society Girl series is over. Killer unicorns, Rome, virgin descendants of Alexander the Great. Bring it.

The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson
Ibbotson returns to Austria in this new reissue of Magic Flutes, set in the 1920s and revolving around the Viennese Opera Company. A new (to me) Ibbotson is like a big, fat chocolate truffle of delight.

June
Hale's second adult contemporary offering after the fun, light AustenlandShould be entertaining.

The Rebel Princess by Judith Koll Healey
I thought The Canterbury Papers was intruiging and well-written and an interesting take on Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Knights Templar. I was hoping and am very glad to hear Healey has written another historical. 

July
Second in Briggs' Alpha and Omega series. I loved the short story that started it and I liked Cry Wolf just fine. Anna and Charles are sweet and worth following to see how they fare. 

August
Maggie is calling it her "werewolf nookie novel" and I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on it. Also...Sam got his name back. Yay!

Fourth in the Greywalker series. I've grown increasingly fond of this series with each new installment. Harper is a refreshingly sane character and Richardson's Seattle is a visceral character in its own right. 

No news on this one except that my love for Such a Pretty Girl leads me to believe it will be great.

New Meg Rosoff about a girl who runs away from home on the morning of her wedding with only a white horse to keep her company. Awesome.

Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre
Third in the Sirantha Jax series. I know things are, well, complicated. And I realize how fragile these characters are. But I'm still hoping for some happiness for them. 

September
Heroes at Risk by Moira J. Moore
Fourth in the Heroes series. Seriously, if you have not read these go out and rectify the situation immediately. Fans of Lisa Shearin take note. Start with Resenting the Hero and proceed on from there. They're great. Just great.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Sequel to the The Hunger Games. My interest in the first book increased with each page right up to the anxiety-filled ending. I need to find out what happens next.

October
A new Shinn is always a pleasant thing indeed. This one is a YA, I believe.

Forest Born by Shannon Hale
Fourth Bayern book. I'm not even sure which character this one follows (Razo's sister?) but I have loved this series and am glad she's decided to continue beyond book three.

Fire by Kristin Cashore
Prequel to the so very good Graceling. That's right, it's a prequel. I know. I'm worried about the lack of Katsa & Po as well. Otherwise, it sounds great!

November
Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
A standalone Gothic ghost story/romance set in fourteenth century Ireland. What was that sound, you say? It was the sound of Angie expiring from happiness at the prospect. 

Fall/No Fixed Date As of Yet
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
The sequel to LamentThere will be more Deirdre, more Luke, and, in particular, more James! Bring on the amusing t-shirts.