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Showing posts from October, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

As my children keep reminding me, it's Halloween Eve today. Such a momentous occasion deserves a list, don't you think? I thought we'd go with my favorite creepy crawlies. These are my favorites, you understand. I already did a best of the Big Bads (the ones you run from screaming like a banshee). This lot are horses of a different color. These ones can be scary as hell when they want to be, but they're also the ones I return to over and over again because of the love. They are the heroes, the antiheroes, the you're-never-quite-sure-of-them-but-there's-something-about-them-you-can't-walk-away-from ones. So. In no particular order, my favorite Things That Go Bump in the Night:


Werewolf
Adam Hauptman from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

You saw this one coming, I know. But I really can't help it. Adam is just . . . Adam. He lets Mercy be herself while threatening to eat her cat if it strays onto his property once more. Full disclosure, I went …

Romantic Pretties

These three took up residence together in the same space in my mind a little while ago. Each one made it onto my upcoming reads list as I became aware of them. But it was when I saw the cover for Sacredthat they sort of slid into place together for a pretties post. So here they are. And I really am so looking forward to reading each one (full disclosure: I actually have an ARC of one of them already, so it really should be next on my list)!

Sacredby Elana K. Arnold
This may be the one I'm looking forward to the most. And it's definitely my favorite of the three covers, probably because it puts me in mind of a Secret Garden/Scorpio Races mash-up. Don't ask me how these connections are made. They just are. But bonus points--it takes place on Catalina Island--the island I gazed out at from my bedroom window throughout high school and where I went scuba diving and hiking with friends and family. So bring on the tale of the grieving girl who rides her horse on an island I love.

A Spear of Summer Grass Cover

A Spear of Summer Grassis Deanna Raybourn's next full-length novel. Set in the twenties, it features a flapper who heads to Kenya "in search of adventure." I really don't need anything else to convince me, but I do love this cover and how different it is from her others. It screamed Out of Africa the first time I saw it, but my favorite bits are the aged creases, as though it were a faded photograph someone had folded and kept in her pocket. Due out May 1st or April 23rd (depending on where you check). I am so looking forward to the spring now. Fortunately, we've got the Lady Julia Grey Christmas novella coming out in just a couple of weeks to tide us over until this one comes out.

Retro Friday Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here @ Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! Like most everyone else, my mother read The Secret Gardento me as a kid. I remember lying on my back on my bed at night staring up at the ceiling and out the open window to the fireflies outside as she read about Mary Lennox and Dickon and a sick little boy named Colin no one wanted to remember. Beyond that, however, my memories had faded quite a bit in the intervening years. I've seen a couple of film adaptations. In fact, the Hallmark one was a fixture in our home growing up and I still start humming Chopin's Nocturne in E Minor whenever I run across a Secret Garden reference or think of one of the characters. And I made the acquaintance of the musical in college and fell in love with that adaptation and th…

About a Girl

Today is the very first International Day of the Girl and I have had many things on my mind as a result. Trolling the internets, it was very gratifying to find I'm not the only one. Several other eloquent and smart ladies have things on their minds, too. Many of these are spoiler alert: literary ladies. And I wanted to share just a few of them with you on this day set aside to advocate girls' rights and discuss issues of gender bias.

First, a few prominent women around the world share what they would tell their 15-year-old selves if they had the chance.

Next, the always eloquent lady-advocate Sarah Rees Brennan is over at Tor talking about her experience with the relationship between YA, fantasy, and gender.

Lastly, Feminspire has a lovely Love Letter to "The Song of the Lioness" that you do not want to miss. Is it just me or does it kind of seem like Tamora Pierce saved us all at one point or another?

My question for you: what would you tell your 15-year-old self if…

Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Okay. So there's a difference between retellings and readalikes, yes? Retellings (which I adore when done well) take the original story and carry it into hitherto unexplored places. Perhaps Mr. Rochester becomes a washed up rock star. Or Beauty becomes a drug dealer's neglected daughter. Robin Hood can actually be a very reluctant, very bad archer indeed. And Captain Wentworth can pilot ships through the sky rather than the sea. Anything is possible. As long as you understand and stay true in some sense to the spirit of the original tale, I am on board. Readalikes (which I avoid like the plague), on the other hand or in my experience or what have you, tend toward the fawning, toward the somewhat less mature forms of imitation. And as readalikes go, the Austen ones seem to be the most prevalent. To be honest, I've never read one. The notion always seemed a bit laughable to me. I've read Austen retellings I've loved, and even a few that rather subtly nod their head …

Clockwork Heart: the Trilogy

So I read and fell in love with Dru Pagliassotti's Clockwork Heartback in 2008 when it was first published. I've followed Ms. Pagliassotti's blog ever since, anxious to see what she would write next. I was surprised and delighted to hear she was at work on a sequel. Even though it's perfectly lovely as a standalone, it's also one of those instances where I will always be up for spending more time with these characters. And definitely in this world. From page one, I was enamored of Ondinium, its elaborate social strata, and its gorgeous steampunk trappings. And I just never get tired of the phrase "metal-winged icari." So it was with all kinds of excitement that I saw this ad for the trilogy, to be published by EDGE. They're republishing Clockwork Heartin March of next year. It will be followed by the second book in September and the final book in the trilogy the following March. Word is they're keeping artist Timothy Lantz on to do the covers for…

The King's English

Shortly after I moved to Utah, I began hearing about this bookstore called The King's English. I thought it was the most charming name for a bookstore I'd ever heard, and I resolved to make its acquaintance as soon as possible. That opportunity came when I discovered Tamora Pierce would be stopping there on her book tour. The moment I heard that news--I kid you not--everything else in my little world fell away. I could not believe I was going to have the chance to sit in a room and listen to one of my most beloved authors talk about Alanna and Tortall and her writing process. So I drove up to Salt Lake and had one of the most lovely  experiences of my bookish life.

I've returned to this marvelous bookstore several times since for local authors, for national authors on tour, to browse the wonderful children's section with my kids, and, most recently, to celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary. What I'm saying is, The King's English is always a good idea. Next we…