Before I start, a small plug: this week you can find me over at Jennifer Anderson’s blog, where I’m talking about J.K. Rowling, surviving Australian wildlife, and my love of urban fantasy. Drop by and say hello!
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (a bookish blog hop organised by the Broke and the Bookish) is “Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer”. Of course, it’s the last month of autumn here and thanks, tBatB, for the reminder of beaches when there’s already frost on the ground! *sob*
Still, since summer is so far away and I can barely plan three months ahead, here are the books I’ve got on my TBR pile as winter reads. These are in no particular order, because I am fickle!
From top to bottom:
Darkness Unbound by Keri Arthur
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near
The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller
Hit by Delilah S. Dawson
The Dream Hunter by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Autumn Bones by Jacqueline Carey
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Every Breath by Ellie Marnie
Three of the ten are by Australian women writers I’ve never tried before; three are by writers people have raved about to me; and the rest are by authors whose other works I love and who I’m keen to read more by.
It’s going to be a good winter.
What are the books on your TBR for the next three months, whatever the season?
PS. I haven’t included them because photos of my iPhone aren’t that sexy, but I’ve been listening to Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series on audiobook on my commute. I can guarantee I’ll get through at least three more of those over winter. :)
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is “Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet”. I debated whether to do this one or not, because I already did a top five on the same subject about a year ago. But I figured I’d do an expanded version. In my fantasy scenario, we’re all having dinner somewhere fabulous (where I don’t have to cook!).
In no particular order, Stacey Nash, Lauren K. McKellar and Kim Last. These three ladies are some of my fellow Aussie Owned and Read bloggers, and they’re always so ready to provide advice, cheers and a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold when required. They’re also all super talented, and the idea of being able to sit down with them and brainstorm plot ideas makes me giddy with delight.
J. K. Rowling. The world of Harry Potter is so clever and complex, and I’d love to engage with someone who can achieve such an epic level of world-building. Also, she was a single mother when she wrote it, and we could bond over that. We’d share parenting advice and give each other manicures or whatever it is that bonding single mothers do.
Stephen King. I’d probably be too terrified to talk to him, because — whatever you think of genre fiction in general and horror specifically — this man is a genius. (For the record, I love horror but am now scared of clowns. Seriously.) Maybe I could bask in his reflected glory. If I did speak, I’d have to be careful not to utter any adverbs.
Chuck Wendig. As well as being an excellent writer, he seems to be a stand up bloke, and I’d like to buy him a beer or something. He’s also funny. I like a man that can make me laugh and impart excellent writing advice at the same time.
Delilah S. Dawson. As well as writing kick-ass steampunk fantasy romance and a Southern gothic that will scare you witless. Delilah is funny too, and a geek. She’s such a geek she writes geekrotica, WHICH IS TOTALLY HOT YES I MAY HAVE READ IT SHUT UP! (The safe word is “wookiee”.)
Mercedes Lackey. Misty wrote one of my go-to favourite fantasy reads — the Last Herald-Mage trilogy is comfort food for my brain. I love some of her books more than others (I blogged about that during last week’s Top Ten Tuesday), but given she’s released over 100 novels, that is inevitable. I’d love to talk to her about her approach to writing — how she does it.
Unfortunately, unless I get a TARDIS, these folks are no longer available. :(
Anne McCaffrey. Anne was my first writing love, and her Pern books are the first fantasy world I desperately wanted to live in.
Douglas Adams. Adams was not only a hilarious writer but a staunch conservationist and lover of science.
Who would you have to dinner?
Jordan Hays knows just how precious life is; that’s why he has his own mapped out. He’ll work to pay his way through university while he studies hard, regardless of the constant distractions. Because when it comes to becoming a nurse, he’s deadly serious. He won’t fail to save someone again.
But Hex Penton is way too similar to the sister he lost, and even though the only thing more fun than stupid dares is the crazy girl who sets them, Jordan needs to make a choice. Hex believes every moment is important; every opportunity must be taken, because you never know when the world will be yanked out from underneath you. With the foundations he’s based his life on shaken, Jordan must discover what’s more important: making sure Hex’s life isn’t wasted, or remembering how to live his.
It’s time to play truth or dare.
Wait! is a story about acceptance, learning to trust and in turn love while facing life’s unexpected difficulties.
NB: This book is of a mild heat level, and contains no explicit sex scenes.
I think by now it’s no secret that I adore Stacey Nash. Not only is she a fabulous writer but she’s a wonderful human being. Still, you should all believe me when I say that if you want to read sweet new adult fiction (set in a university but without the usual semi-erotic trappings typical of the genre), you should get onto this series ASAP.
Wait! is the sequel to Shh! (yes, the exclamation marks are part of the names). It is set about a year later, and focuses on Jordan Hays, younger brother of the yummy Logan from Shh!, and Jordan’s venture into university life. Jordan’s an interesting character; he’s grown up way before his time due to the death of his sister. In some ways I found him more serious than Logan, and he is definitely more guilt-ridden than Logan is. (I won’t go into the reasons, because spoilers, but it all makes sense.)
Don’t get me wrong, I liked Jordan — but if I were choosing a book boyfriend, I’d choose Logan any day. Probably because he struck me as more geeky and less sporty, and that’s just how I roll. ;)
Still, one of the things I enjoyed about Wait! was watching Hex, Jordan’s firecracker dorm-mate, teach him how to loosen up even as he manages to get her to see that there’s more to life than partying hard. Stacey did a great job of looking at binge drinking and alcoholism (not so much in Hex’s case but probably in her mother’s) without being preachy. Some of the characters were judgemental, but there was no authorial intrusion into it, which is a very tricky line to walk.
The other line that is tricky but that I think Stacey handled well was Jordan’s attraction to Hex even as he realised she reminded him of his sister. That could have been very icky, but it wasn’t, thank goodness!
I quite liked Hex, although her personal decisions weren’t ones I’d have necessarily made myself. (It may surprise you to know, dear reader, that I wasn’t a massive binge drinker even at that age.) I sympathised with her enough that I shared her indignation at Jordan judging her behaviour.
My only quibble (and it’s so minor it’s barely worth mentioning, but I wouldn’t want you to think I was sugar-coating this review!) is that there’s very little swearing in this book. Not that I require swears, you understand, but both Hex and Jordan tend to think words like “darn” rather than more sweary examples, which didn’t quite seem to fit with either one very well. I only recall seeing one of them drop the f-bomb once. It was an appropriate f-bomb, sure, but there were a handful of other times that a curse would’ve fit too.
See, I told you it was minor. :)
Before I start, just a reminder that I am giving away a paperback of Isla’s Inheritance to celebrate the release of the third book in the series, Melpomene’s Daughter. Get you some!
I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday in a while, and I kinda missed it. So even though it’s not Tuesday here for much longer, I’m jumping on this bandwagon! Yeah!
This weeks theme is “Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read”. I’ve decided to copy Emily Mead and limit it to books on my TBR, because let’s face it, there are a TON of books I’ll never read, and I wouldn’t even know where to start!
None of these books would’ve made it onto my TBR in the first place if I hadn’t thought they were worthwhile. I’ve also done a couple of TBR culls (driven by moving house), and these ones survived the cut. But there are almost 100 books in that pile, both paper and digital, which means lots of stories clamouring for my attention.
Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. I started this one, but life-stealing plots give me the heebie jeebies. And this has one. I should probably get over it — because Neil Gaiman — but I’m not sure I ever will.
Cardinal Sin by Allison Brennan. I bought this and the first book in the Seven Deadly Sins series at the same time, and although the first carried me along (enough so I haven’t given both of them away), I remember being a little put out at the depiction of witches as universally evil. Now it’s been so long I’d have to start from scratch, because I’ve forgotten almost everything.
Passion by Lauren Kate. This book falls into the same category as the previous one — I liked the first book in the series, Fallen, but I didn’t love it. In this case I was disappointed that all the action happened right at the end of the book. It did sorta make me want to know what happens next, but I also think maybe I’m not cut out for paranormal romance.
The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss. This is yet another second book in a series where the first didn’t grab me as much as I liked. (From memory, I found the plot a little transparent? It was years ago, though, so I may be thinking of something else!) Hmm, I’m starting to notice a theme here!
Diplomacy of Wolves by Holly Lisle. I picked this up on impulse years ago. I like Holly Lisle’s books, but I’ve gone a bit off fantasy lately in favour of its urban cousin. I’m sure I’ll love this if/when I read it, but… *shrug*
Mary Queen of Scots and the Isles by Margaret George. I read Margaret George’s historical fiction on Henry VIII and really enjoyed it, but I’m not sure I have the attention for historical fiction these days. Sad but true!
The Snow Queen by Mercedes Lackey. I used to love Mercedes Lackey’s books, and I was excited when I read the first book in the Five Hundred Kingdoms series. I bought a bunch of the books, but the second and third ones didn’t do it for me. This is the fourth in the series, and I just can’t face the heartbreak if I don’t like it either. (I also have the next two, The Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Werewolf, sitting there, but I decided not to name and shame the series three times.)
What books are on your TBR that you don’t think you’ll ever get to? Or are there books in my little stack of shame that you think I should give a chance?
We finally got there, you guys! Maybe it was the promises I made the aosidhe (shh), or the sacrificial offerings to Fate, or the dogged persistence of Kim at Turquoise Morning Press — who managed to upload my ebook to websites despite a broken elbow meaning she can barely hold a mouse.
Okay, really it was that last one. (Thanks, Kim!)
But today is the Melpomene’s Daughter release day. And as I’m sure all older children will claim is typical (I’m the oldest in my family, so I wouldn’t know ;) ), its birthday has been delayed and as a result rather poorly planned. I’m organising a book blitz for mid-May to atone, but I don’t want the poor thing to languish till then.
And don’t the three of them look pretty together?
Giveaway and links
My giveaway of a paperback copy of Isla’s Inheritance is still running. You can enter here. It’s open to anywhere The Book Depository delivers, but if the winner is in Australia I’ll sign their copy for them. You know, if they want me to… *shuffles feet*
As I write this, Melpomene’s Daughter has gone live on all the stripes of Amazon and at Smashwords. As I get more buy links, I’ll pop them here (where you can, as it so happens, find links to the first two books in the series if you’ve got some catching up to do).
You can add it to your Goodreads shelf here.
Obligatory Oscar speech
Melpomene’s Daughter wouldn’t have been possible without feedback, support, hugs and/or coffee from the following people.
Firstly, and most importantly, thank you to Nathaniel, for your bright-eyed enthusiasm and determination to make me laugh. Being your mummy has helped me see the world with fresh eyes, and it’s pretty awesome.
Thank you Peter, friend, alpha reader and evil genius, for telling me when you thought my bad guys weren’t being bad enough. Thanks also for that epic plotting (and scheming) session during our caving holiday. As you can see, I stuck to the plan. More or less. To Shelby, editor extraordinaire, for letting me get away with — and even encouraging — all that Australian slang: cheers, mate! Also, thanks and high fives to my friends Mikey and Cass for showing me it could be done. You were my inspirations when I sat down to write Isla’s Inheritance. True story.
For their full-throated support and enthusiasm, I’m grateful to Craig, Ali, Karen, Nicole, Barbara, Stacey, Lauren, Kim and the rest of the Pageinators. And, as always, thanks to my family and work colleagues, the BC09 gang, the rest of the AOR crew, and all my writing friends on Twitter: you guys are my safety net.
And finally, thanks to Isla, Sarah, Jack and the others, for letting me spend time in your world. It’s been a blast. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye.
And now I want to cry…
So I can’t decide whether I tempted Fate with my last blog post (Fate is a dick) or whether I’ve accidentally hit on the truth with my Isla’s Inheritance series. Maybe the aosidhe have just caught on and are belatedly trying to suppress the truth.
Either way, I have some bad news: due to some circumstances beyond anyone’s control (a broken arm is involved), the release of Melpomene’s Daughter has been delayed. I don’t have a new release date yet, but I’m hopeful it will be in the next few weeks. As soon as I know anything, you’ll know.
I’m really sorry to everyone who’s waited so patiently for this book.
So what’s the good news?
Because I’m a rebel and won’t let the aosidhe tell me what to do (damn them and their pointy-eared arrogance), I’m giving away a paperback copy of the first book in the series, Isla’s Inheritance. If the winner is in Australia, I’ll even
deface sign it for them if they want me to. (For an overseas winner that won’t be possible, unfortunately, unless they want to pay for postage. In that case, I’ll deface away!)
The competition is open to anyone in a country The Book Depository ships to.