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Showing posts from April, 2013

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler

It's difficult to resist the siren song of an as-yet-unread contemporary author, isn't it? For the most part, I tend to dip into those waters with caution. Sometimes I make out like gangbusters . And others I wind up feeling as though I was force-fed treacle , or that I was curiously emptied while reading the book rather than filled. I tell myself it's worth it, though, to find those gems that make your blood pump and the tips of your fingers tingle. I tell myself it's worth the racing anticipation and the occasional deep disappointment. And it is. Even if an author's entire bibliography doesn't work for you. It's worth it if that one, perfect match does. Cause then you get to hold onto it for the rest of your reading life, and pull it out and revisit those characters and that place and those moments whenever you need them. All of which is a rather long winded way of explaining how I found myself giving Sarah Ockler a try for the first time. I wasn't

Review: The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand

These darling covers continue to delight me. I am such a sucker for a good silhouette, and the multicolored macarons on this one really do lend it just the right whimsical air. I could hardly wait for my copy of The Chocolate Kiss to arrive once I'd finished The Chocolate Thief . It was just such a delightful surprise of a read, made that much sweeter by the knowledge that there were two more books in the series already out there just waiting for me. As feelings I get to experience in my life go, that is one of the ones I savor the most. This series does not follow the same characters, but branches out into side characters. We get glimpses of the previous ones, though, and of course the irresistible Paris setting remains. I had heard somewhat mixed opinions on this second volume. Some were not that enamored of the slight elements of magical realism, others found themselves absolutely charmed. I find when it comes to magical realism, readers really can go either way. For the most

Catching Fire Trailer

I don't know why I do this to myself. November? Gah. But I'm pretty sure it's because all I wanted to do when the credits on The Hunger Games rolled was watch Catching Fire . Immediately.  Oh. And also  GALE!

Golden Pretties

Come on! How am I supposed to sit around and ignore these upcoming releases when they feature such pretty, pretty covers? You've likely seen them floating around before, but they go so well together I had to throw out a mention. I like to think their dust jackets will be thick and matte, with that slightl pebbly feel to them that makes my bibliophilic heart sing. Well done, Bloomsbury and Allison & Busby cover peeps. I mean, really. Well done. Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst Okay. A supernatural librarian in the witness protection program. A magical serial killer on the loose. I feel fairly confident I can just stop there. Yes? But, oh dear, all the pins in that heart . . . Due out September 3rd. Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth This one's got all sorts of potential. A retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale told (partially) from the perspective of a woman at the court of Louis XIV. I ask you. Need I go on? The early word from across the pond (and Oz) is very good. C

Women in SF&F Month 2.0

Today, I'm hanging out over at Fantasy Cafe for the second annual Women in SF&F Month. Kristen has put together another stellar lineup of authors and bloggers in this month dedicated to the women throughout history and today who have contributed so much to my two all-time favorite genres. This year, I was inspired to write about one of the very first female SF&F authors I ever read. Her impact in my life has been enormous. Stop by and say hi . And while you're there, be sure to weigh in on the Favorite SF&F Books by Women Project with your top ten favorites!

Review: The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand

When one of your very good friends wholeheartedly recommends a book or series as one of her favorite contemporary romance series , you pay attention, yes? Which is why I didn't last long before picking up Laura Florand 's The Chocolate Thief after Chachic brought it to my attention a couple of weeks ago. I don't know if I would have discovered Florand otherwise, and I am just really happy that I did because this book is delicious. That cute cover doesn't hurt it either. In fact, I am currently wallowing in reading purgatory waiting for a paperback copy of the second Amour et Chocolat novel to show up in my mailbox, because even though I could download the ebook in the blink of an eye, I just really need the cute matching covers on my shelf. This surprises none of you, I am sure. Make no mistake, though. The minute it does arrive, I am diving right in. Because this delightful little treat reads like a chocolate-drenched  Anna and the French Kiss for adults. Are you

Review: Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer

I have come to look forward to the latest Liza Palmer book with a vigorous sort of yearning. I discovered her through the hilarious and thoughtful Seeing Me Naked , and I did not look back. I've loved each of Palmer's previous four novels, but this one . . . I think this one is my favorite. It's certainly the one I had the most trouble letting go of, both when I had to stop reading to deal with some real life matter and when I finished the final satisfying page and realized it was over. And this time, as I was sitting there mourning the loss of the characters and my time with them, I started thinking about the adult contemporary authors writing today that I have these feelings for. I've read each book they've written. I've loved them all. And I am at the point where if they have a new book coming out, I buy it . End of story. And you know what? Liza Palmer and Sarah Addison Allen were the two names that stuck in my mind. For their charm, their depth, and the

Retro Friday Review: The Young Unicorns by Madeleine L'Engle

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted here @ Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, and under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! Goodness, I love old covers. What I wouldn't give to own that glorious, garish killer unicorn cover in the middle. It must be the original. I happen to own the cover on the left, with the boy and girl talking on a New York City park bench. I love it so. And it probably gets to the heart of the book best of each of these. But I adore the Square Fish reissue because it features the cathedral, and I long to have the entire Austin Family Chronicles in those editions as well. I gifted them to my niece not long back, and they are as lovely in person as they are on the screen. So. I am a longtime Madeleine L'Engle devotee. It started back when I was 10 with A Wrinkle in Time and it has stretched out over the y

Bibliocrack Review: Big Boy by Ruthie Knox

I . . . I am just not going to be able to pull off being at all dignified about this book. I couldn't possibly manage it and, what's more, I am not the least bit interested in trying. Because this book is so good it makes my teeth hurt. And I just wasn't expecting teeth-hurting goodness, you know? I was expecting a bit of fun, an engaging evening. It's a novella , for crying out loud! How much awesome can Ruthie Knox pack into 66 pages? Honestly. I should just stop asking myself that question. It doesn't even signify anymore in a world of Courtney Milan and Ruthie Knox novellas. I read Knox's How to Misbehave novella not long back and thought it was extremely cute. And so when I heard about this Strangers on a Train compilation, I knew I'd be reading Knox's contribution for sure. If you're interested in the story behind the anthology, I highly recommend Knox's take on it here . I love reading about how authors come together behind a single

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

I fell hard and fast last year for Robin LaFevers ' first novel in the His Fair Assassin trilogy. Historical fiction with a touch of fantasy to spice things up, this series reads like a breath of fresh air (to me) amid so many contemporaries and paranormals. Not that I don't love many of those. I absolutely do. But give me some top-notch court intrigue and I am one sated readergirl. I loved everything about Grave Mercy , and so it went without saying that Dark Triumph would occupy one of the top spots on my most anticipated reads of 2013 list. I will say that I worried just a bit about spending all of my time with Sybella. I loved her scenes in Grave Mercy , but I definitely resonated more with Ismae and her desperate mission. But I am always up for a sequel, and I had a number of questions about Sybella's past and future that I looked forward to having answered. I also held onto fond memories of Beast from the previous book. More of him was nothing but fine in my book

The Colors of Madeleine Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway!

Today, I'm delighted to host a stop on the Colors of Madeleine Blog Tour, in support of Jaclyn Moriarty 's upcoming release A Corner of White . I read and loved Moriarty's Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments back in the day and have been eager to return to her work ever since. In this novel of parallel worlds, I think I may have found my reentry point. This tour celebrates the colorful aspects of the novel, with two stops representing each of several colors. Along with Jess over at Gone With the Words , I'm representing the color white. Hence, the giveaway here is a prize pack of white items as well as a copy of the book! Jaclyn Moriarty is also here today introducing the character: Belle Pettifields Belle Pettifields grew up in Cambridge , England .  She is fifteen.  Her best friend is Jack Cagnetti.   She and Jack are home-schooled with newcomer, Madeleine Tully.  She has reservations about Madeleine. Belle can be vague, sharp, gri