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Showing posts from March, 2013

Review + Q&A: The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

Sometimes you run across a certain author at just the right time. In my case, it often happens post-some trauma or other, when I am . . . depleted, if you will, and sorely in need of something that will wrap me up in its charm or beauty and give me back a little bit of what I lost. Kristan Higgins is one of those authors. I discovered her not long after having my third baby (never in a million years did I think I'd have cause to use that phrase), and the laughter and hesitant, honest emotion her stories provided served as a balm. She has a nice backlist, and I blew through it with gusto. A few became dear favorites, others merely pleasant ways to pass the time. I tend to think there's probably a Higgins book for everyone, and I'm ever curious as to which one works for which reader. My top three are All I Ever Wanted, Catch of the Day, and Until There Was You. I foresee rereading them indefinitely. All of which is to say that I always look forward to her new releases. With …

My Local Indie

When I first moved to Utah from California, it felt in many ways as though I was moving away from the "action," if you will. For better or worse, so many events take place in southern California. I only lived there for a few years, but in that time period there really was never a dull moment. And I worried that I would be cut off from my favorite author tours, concerts, etc. And for awhile that felt true. Happily, in recent years, my locallibraries and my local indie bookstore, The King's English, have been coming through for me big time, reeling in fabulous authors for signings, presentations, and other various and sundry gatherings.
In a few days, I get to attend one such shindig sponsored by The King's English, featuring Robin LaFevers, author of the crazy good His Fair Asssassin series. Superbly written historical fantasy is my kryptonite (okay, one of them), and I loved Grave Mercysomething fierce. It's probably worth mentioning that I am in the middle of …

Best Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade

Barnes & Noble posted their top 25 Paranormal Fantasy Novels of the Past Decade over on their blog today, and I relished reading through the list. Since I discovered the urban fantasy/paranormal  fiction genres, for all intents and purposes, within that time period, I found it a fitting moment to examine which novels and/or series I might include on such a list. Most of the usual suspects make an appearance on the B&N list (some of them work for me, some of them don't), though I was a bit dismayed to find a couple rather glaring (in my mind) absences, foremost among them Robin McKinley's Sunshineand Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. If you need a single book from the Daniels series, I'd go with Magic Strikesin a heartbeat. It, like a couple of others on my list, is a perfect book. And it fueled my passion for the genre like few other books ever have. Honestly, urban fantasy/paranormal fiction/call it what you will is very near and dear to my heart. I always …

Shadowy Pretties

I would seriously shelve these three together just for how pretty they look side by side. And I'd do it in this order so as to be able to admire the light as it moves into darkness. I have only read one of these authors before, but I look forward to checking out all three. Two historical fantasies and one young adult fantasy, this summer is looking better and better.

The Firebirdby Susanna Kearsley
I am a huge fan of The Winter Sea, and so it is with great pleasure that I anticipate this sequel of sorts. The matching covers will also look so nice together (that's right, I really am that shallow). Kearsley is the best when it comes to time traveling historical fantasies (and, really, when does it not?) I have implicit faith in her and in this adventure that spans the courts of Jacobite Scotland and Czarist Russia.
Due out June 4th

Indelibleby Dawn Metcalf
How about that cover? I mean, really. Well done, Harlequin Teen. This sophomore novel from Ms. Metcalf is set in the world of…

Much Ado About Nothing Trailer

Pure unadulterated awesome headed to a theater near you come June 7th. I love the Emma Thompson/Kenneth Branagh version so much that I haven't ever found myself longing for another. But, come on! Nothing will keep me from seeing this one. How about you?

In Which I am Rather Fond of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I put off watching this modern web series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for a long time. I think they had already aired around 70 or so episodes when I finally caved and watched the first one. At a scant three minutes and twenty seconds, it wasn't enough to hook me per se. But it was enough to whet my appetite. And so I pressed on and met impossibly adorbs Jane, too legit to quit Lydia, sweet as apple pie Bing, slick as a whistle Wicks, and, yes--some 50 odd episodes down the line--Darcy himself. And I have to say . . . I'm rather fond of the lot of them. I may be wildly a teensy bit partial to Lydia (who completely steals the show) and yeah, okay, to Darcy (who is just beautifully awkward). The series actually branches out across several social media forums and includes the abbreviated, but fabulous spin-offs The Lydia Bennet and Pemberly Digital, thereby highlighting the real genius of the adaptation. All signs point to the entire series wrapping up at an even 100 episo…

Review: Still Life with Shapeshifter by Sharon Shinn

As you know, Sharon Shinn is an auto-buy author for me. Ever since the unparalleled experience that was me reading Archangel, I have been an unabashed fangirl. I have my favorites, but I read everything she writes because I love her ways with words and her way with worlds. Which was why I was so intrigued and excited to hear she was working on an urban fantasy series. She's done sci-fi, she's done high fantasy, she's done YA. It only makes sense she should find her way to one of my very favorite fantasy sub-genres and make her mark there. I read The Shape of Desire, the first book in her Shifting Circle series, right when it came out last year, and I've essentially been mulling it over ever since. And while my feelings for it were complicated and many, I knew I would be reading the companion novel either way. Because, as is always the case, the world she has created won't leave me alone. But before we go on, a word on the covers for this series. I love them. They …