WoW: Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m Waiting-on-Wednesdaylooking forward to coming out in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

Dragon in Exile by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Series: Liaden Universe (Publication Order #18)

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

Genre: Science Fiction (space opera)

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Star-trading Clan Korval—known to Terrans as the Tree-and-Dragon Family and to the locals simply as “the Dragon”—has been convicted of crimes against the homeworld. No matter that one of the “crimes” consisted of saving the elitist planet of Liad from very real internal threats, the Council of Clans wanted Korval heads to roll. Unfortunately for the Council, the Dragon’s allies conspired to impose a milder punishment for saving the world: banishment, rather than execution.

Now relocated to the free-for-all world of Surebleak, the Dragon is under contract to keep the Port Road open to all traffic, and to back the New Bosses in imposing law and order on a society originally based on larceny and assassination. This modest rustication is going surprisingly well, until Korval discovers that the enemy they’d sought to destroy. . .wasn’t quite destroyed, and is more determined than ever to eradicate Korval.

While the banishment killed no one initially, many of Korval’s trading allies are spooked, and some are reneging on ancient agreements, leaving the Dragon to make its own way. The clan’s efforts to stealthily recruit new allies is going haywire, and a secret death toll is rising even as the clan’s adherents endure increasing exposure to danger and deceit off-world.

To make matters worse, an active portion of Surebleak’s native population liked the Old Ways just fine, and are conspiring to take the New Bosses—and the Dragon—down, and are sure they have the firepower and people to do it.

The exiled Dragon has to make an urgent choice—accept an alliance with criminals or face down each and every enemy in person, one by one.

……………………………..

Why I want this book:

  • I love the different stories in this Universe. The Liaden Universe worlds are the same, but different time periods and different characters are written about in these books.
  • The books are readable and fun.
  • The books have adventures, romances, families, space travel, spies, great male and female characters and so much more.
  • The world building in these books is awesome!
  • I’m at least a couple of books behind in this series and need to start reading them again.

[To figure out where a person might start reading these books (they’re not all published in the order they happen in the Liaden Universe, some directly relate to others and a few are stand-alone books) the authors have information about the books on their website. Also two books are free e-books–Agent of Change and Fledgling on Amazon. These two books work as stand-alone books.]

Musical characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week.Check out their blog for more information.

This week I’m talking about characters in books to whom music is important. I had trouble coming up with the books for this challenge, but finally managed to find enough!

“You all right?”

“The music . . .”

“Lovely, wasn’t it? Good choir at St. John’s” He whistled under his breath. “I promised the Major we’d buy him a drink. The Freemason’s arm, you think? It’s a nice enough evening to sit outside.”

Gemma gazed at him in consternation. Tall, slender, his unruly chestnut hair falling over his forehead, looking down at her with an expression of interested inquiry–he made a picture of the perfect sensitive man. So why did she suddenly feel they might as well be from different planets?

How could he take such music for granted? Had he not felt that the glory of it was almost beyond bearing? The gap between their perceptions seemed immense.

From A Finer End by Deborah Crombie

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1. Susannah in Angelica by Sharon Shinn (science fiction)–All the angels sing in these books by Ms. Shinn. As I read these books I felt like I was hearing the beautiful music they all sang.

2. Cécile de Troyes in Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen (fantasy)–Cécile is a singer who hopes she can become a professional singer like her mother, but then she’s kidnapped and taken into a mountain by trolls.

3. Seraphina Dombegh in Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (fantasy)–Seraphina is a gifted musician and becomes assistant to the court composer. This is a world of humans and dragons who have had peace for 40 years, but are still suspicious of each other. Seraphina’s music brings her to the attention of the royal family as well as the dragons.

4. Gemma James in A Finer End by Deborah Crombie (mystery series)–Gemma discovered her love of music during the early books in this mystery series and finally began taking piano lessons. In this book, however she discovers the transcendence of music for her.

5. Charlie Gale in The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff (fantasy)–Charlie plays in bands and is able to travel the Wild Ways by playing music. Music becomes magic when Charlie plays or sings.

6. Eddi McCandry in War for the Oaks by Emma Bull (urban fantasy)–Published in the 1980’s and considered by many as the first urban fantasy. Eddi is in a rock band when the book opens, but quickly becomes involved in a war between the Seelie and Unseelie.

7. Menolly in Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey (science fiction)–Menolly becomes Pern’s first female harper. The harpers keep the people educated about Thread and its dangers even when most people want to forget about it. Most of the Pern books have harpers in them.

8. Devin Freedman in What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss (contemporary romance)–Devin is a rock star who meets a librarian in this romance!

9. Del in Diamond Star by Catherine Asaro (science fiction)–Del is a rock star and part of the Ruby Dynasty in the Skolian Empire.

10. Christmas in Christmas Belle by Mary Balogh (historical romance)–This is one of the things I love about Mary Balogh’s Christmas romances. The books include singing Christmas carols, music in church and music in the homes of the characters.

Bonus Music?

Sirens in The Odyssey by Homer (classic)–It’s been many (many) years since I read The Odyssey in high school, but I think there were sirens.

Did you do the challenge this week? What type of character did you choose?

Sunday Post: Apr 26

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

My daughter is graduating in May with a Master’s Degree. We’re going to her graduation and planning a celebration dinner for her. I’ve sent out invitations and made plans for the dinner so I think things are under control for now! We’re also doing yard work–building new flower beds and cleaning things up after winter. I’m excited to pick out the plants for the new flower beds. 🙂

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Locked In by John Scalzi (audiobook)

What I read last week

Still Life by Louise Penny

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library


Library

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

E-books

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (and others in the Chief Inspector Gamache mystery series)

Audiobooks

None

Next Week

Home & blog

I will have more graduation plans to work on and more yard work. Plus I need to sort clothes and other things to get rid of clutter. I also want to work to create posts ahead. My backlog of posts was depleted in my last six weeks of activities.

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

Review: The Pyramids of London by Andrea K. Host

the-pyramids-of-LondonThe Pyramids of London
by Andrea K. Höst
Series: The Trifold Age #1
Genre: Fantasy (alternative history)
Published by Andrea K. Hösth
E-book, purchased
366 pages
Grade: B-
Synopsis: In a world where lightning sustained the Roman Empire, and Egypt’s vampiric god-kings spread their influence through medicine and good weather, tiny Prytennia’s fortunes are rising with the ships that have made her undisputed ruler of the air.

But the peace of recent decades is under threat. Rome’s automaton-driven wealth is waning along with the New Republic’s supply of power crystals, while Sweden uses fear of Rome to add to her Protectorates. And Prytennia is under attack from the wind itself. Relentless daily blasts destroy crops, buildings, and lives, and neither the weather vampires nor Prytennia’s Trifold Goddess have been able to find a way to stop them.

With events so grand scouring the horizon, the deaths of Eiliff and Aedric Tenning raise little interest. The official verdict is accident: two careless automaton makers, killed by their own construct.

The Tenning children and Aedric’s sister, Arianne, know this cannot be true. Nothing will stop their search for what really happened.

Not even if, to follow the first clue, Aunt Arianne must sell herself to a vampire.

“Could anyone be that silly?” Griff asked.

“Never underestimate any person’s capacity to ignore the convenience of others.”

and

Gods were very territorial. Most of them were not so completely bound by borders as Sulis–else Rome could not have conquered half the world with Jupiter’s lightning–but often travel led to one-sided devotion. Cerunnos was one of the gods who transcended borders. He protected forests all across Europe, and had even been known to answer petitioners in far-flung points around the world.

Cheers

  • I love the idea of this world.
  • This series has lots of potential. I love that Egyptians still build pyramids and that they control weather and are vampires. The Roman Empire is still around, but their power is waning. Gods and Goddesses control specific areas and the people in those areas. So many interesting aspects of the societies–including steampunk and automatons!
  • I wanted to know more about so many of these groups. Each group could have their own set of books.
  • The world is in flux at the moment. Egypt seems unable to control the weather. Rome is losing power. Sweden is using fear to add to their power.
  • This book is mostly set in Prytennia (an alternate Britain that has pyramids).
  • The Tennings are the main characters of this book. Everything changes for them when Eiliff  and Aedric Tenning are supposedly killed by their own carelessness. Neither their children nor the children’s aunt believe this and they set out to discover what happened.

Jeers

  •  There is so much going on in this book. And I didn’t understand a lot of it.
  • I didn’t really connect with the characters. I think this was because there were so many and it was hard to get to know them.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This book didn’t work for me as well as the other books I’ve read by Ms. Höst.
  • I think the series has lots of potential. But for me there was too much going on in this first book.
  • I’m really looking forward to the second book and hope I will understand everything better!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Andrea K. Höst was born in Sweden, but has lived most of her life in Australia. She self-publishes her fantasy and science fiction and does an excellent job. She has a blog where she talks about writing, her books, self-publishing, the books she reads, her travels and many other subjects.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge

WoW: Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

I’m participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show the books I’m Waiting-on-Wednesdaylooking forward to coming out in the next few months.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

 

Dark Ascension by M. L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #4

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Synopsis (from Goodreads): After a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it….

……………………………..

Why I want this book:

  • This is one of my most anticipated books of the year.
  • Generation V is one of my favorite urban fantasy series.
  • I want to read more about Suzume, Fort’s kitsune sidekick.
  • Fort is looking more mature on this cover!

All-time favorite authors

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week.Check out their blog for more information.

This week I’m choosing my ten all-time favorite authors–a very difficult task!

I limited my authors to:

  • I’ve read more than one of their books
  • I’ve read their books for longer than 10 years
  • Influential in the kind of books I read

The authors who influence my science fiction and fantasy reading

All authors I read as a young adult; my love for science fiction and fantasy is because of them:

1. Madeline L’EngleA Wrinkle in Time is the favorite book I’ve read by Ms. L’Engle. I loved reading about the Murry family in A Wrinkle in Time and I read more books about the Murry family and the Austin family after that. I love the way she wrote about families. And I’ve read some of her adult books–especially The Crosswick Journals.

2. Andre Norton–I read lots of her books when I was a teenager–especially the Witch World series and the Time Trader series.

3. Robert Heinlein–I read all of Robert Heinlein’s juveniles as a teenager as well as most of his other books through the years (e.g., Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress).

4. Anne McCaffrey–I love the Pern books which I also read as a young adult. They might be the first books about dragons I read. They fueled my imagination!

The mystery author influences

I also read lots of mysteries as a young adult. These authors dominated that mystery reading.

5. Agatha Christie–I’ve read nearly all the Agatha Christie books. The Hercule Poirot books are my favorites.

6. Dick Francis–a former steeplechase jockey turned mystery author. I read his books as a teenager and for years afterward.

7. Tony Hillerman–wrote mysteries about the Navajo Indians which feature Lt. Joe Leaphorn and/or Sgt. Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police.  I love the mysteries and reading about the Navajo Indians and the Southwest.

Urban fantasy authors

When authors started writing urban fantasy I was on board and I’ve read lots of them in the last 15+ years, but these are the two authors I love and always come back to.

8. Patricia Briggs–I started reading Patricia Briggs’ books before she started her Mercy Thompson books. The first books I read by Ms. Briggs were fantasy beginning with Dragon Bones. I really liked the fantasy books, but I knew Patricia Briggs was an author I’d read for years after I read Moon Called, the first Mercy Thompson book.

9. Ilona Andrews–They’ve only been publishing the Kate Daniels books since 2008 so they don’t quite fit my 10 years of reading, but I’ve read more than 10 books by them and love them all.

Romance author

I spent several years reading romance nonstop and very few fantasy, science fiction or mysteries. Now it’s the opposite–I’m reading very little romance, but Mary Balogh is still the romance author I’ll read both her new books and her older books.

10. Mary Balogh–my favorite romance author and the one I keep buying and reading today.

Who are your favorite authors?

Sunday Post: Apr 19

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

The wedding we went to was beautiful. Dinner and the reception afterward were great. Everything was planned perfectly. And my husband and I had so much fun dancing.

We arrived home Sunday evening and the weather continues to warm up as more and more flowers bloom. Spring is beautiful! And I read some good books this week.

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Locked In by John Scalzi (audiobook)

What I read the last week

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Geared for the Grave by Duffy Brown

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (audio)

Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Wings of Fire by Charles Todd

E-books

Murder in My Backyard by Ann Cleeves

The Ayton Swans by Alison Greaves

Audiobooks

SPQR 1: The King’s Gambit by John Maddox Roberts

Next Week

Home & blog

Once again I didn’t get my planned posts finished, but this next week I plan to get them done. Really!

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Ireland
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?

TBR Review: Geared for the Grave by Duffy Brown

geared-for-the-graveGeared for the Grave
by Duffy Brown
Series: The Cycle Path Mysteries #1
Genre: Mystery (cozy)
Published by Berkley, 2014
E-book, purchased
288 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Mackinac Island is a peaceful summer resort town where everyone coasts through the streets on bicycles. But after someone sends a prominent local on her final ride, it’s up to one resourceful visitor to get things running again…

Hoping to shift her chances of a promotion in her favor, Evie Bloomfield heads to Mackinac Island to assist her boss’s father. Rudy Randolph has broken his leg and operating his bike shop, Rudy’s Rides, is too much to handle by himself. But Evie’s good turn only leads to more trouble…

After Evie’s arrival, wealthy resident Bunny Harrington dies in what looks like a freak bike accident. Upon closer inspection, Bunny’s brakes were tampered with, and now the prime suspect in her murder is also Bunny’s number one enemy: Rudy. So if Evie hopes to stay on her boss’s good side, she’ll need to steer Rudy clear of jail. Now she must quickly solve this mystery so she can put the brakes on the real killer’s plan…

Before I could answer, two handlebars fell of the wall, crashing to the ground, an owl hooted three times, the lights blinked on and off, and a rooster crowed somewhere in the distance. The woman clutched the gold shamrock around neck, her eyes big as goose eggs. “Great day in the morning and blessed be Saint Patrick!” She kissed the shamrock. “How can it be you’re still alive?”

and

“You’re jumpy?” Sutter took a step back and laughed. “Oh, that’s rich. Got any idea the impact you’re having on the rest of us around here? We passed jumpy two days ago. The whole island’s destined for Prozac.”

Cheers

  • I haven’t found too many cozy mysteries I like. Most are too silly or too sweet for me–not that I like gruesome murders, but I like a little more realism.
  • I’m not sure how realistic this book was, but I liked it a lot.
  • The characters are fun to read about–Rudy the murder suspect and Mark Twain look-alike; Fiona editor of the Town Crier; Bunny snooty owner of a house on the bluffs; Chicago aka Evie Bloomfield; Irish Donna owner of Blarney Scones and many more.
  • The mystery is pretty good. (I didn’t figure out who did it until the end!)
  • I like the setting–Mackinac Island, Michigan–a lot. That’s the reason I bought the book. I’ve wanted to visit the island ever since I read about it years ago so this was the next best thing for me. I like that transportation around the island is by bike, foot or horse.
  • I’m not sure how an author writes about a real place like this. The island is quite small and has only about 150 permanent residents. I would think those people wouldn’t be too happy about the book unless it’s not very realistic! I don’t live there so I don’t care about that!
  • I love the humor in the book.

Jeers

  • I don’t have any!

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is my TBR read for the month of April. This challenge is hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian The April challenge is to read a contemporary book. Geared for the Grave is a contemporary cozy mystery.
  • I managed to finish this book the morning of the challenge so I barely completed the challenge this month!
  • I plan to read more mysteries by Duffy Brown. I really enjoyed this book and I really want to visit Mackinac Island now!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

Duffy Brown is the author of two cozy mystery series: Consignment Shop Mystery series (set in Savannah, Georgia) and the new Cycle Path Mystery series (set on Mackinac Island, Michigan).

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog
  • TBR Challenge–hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit)

Quotes inspire!

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. This week–the quotes which inspire. These quotes encourage me, remind me to do better and inspire.

1. I love Dr. Seuss. And this quote reminds me not to be sad something is over. Such good advice.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss

2. This quote reminds me of the wedding from this last weekend. My husband and I had so much fun dancing!

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey

3. Yes! Life goes on and we need to get on with it and enjoy it.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

― Robert Frost

4. I love Eleanor Roosevelt and all she did during her life. Her life is inspiring. She had people try to make her feel inferior, but she soldiered on. A quote for everyone to remember. We all have people we compare ourselves to and we need to remember to do the best we can.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

5. This is something I always remember. The truth is so much easier! Mark Twain is so funny, but also so wise.

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

6. Maya Angelou is so right. I want to make people feel good about themselves and their lives.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou

7. This is a hard one to remember. I tend to worry about what might happen. But I want to live life to the fullest. And  education and learning are part of my mantra. I never want to stop learning.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

8. Martin Luther King Jr. is so inspiring. We so need to remember him and remember to love one another.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

9. So true and something for me to remember, because I’m a cautious person. I need to remember to stretch myself.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

10. Yes, Neil Gaiman! One of the reasons I love fairy tales . . . but also maybe dragons are real. I want to prepare.

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

…………………….

What quotes inspire you?

Sunday Post: Apr 12

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The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading. This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

 

Last Week

Home & blog

I’m in Chicago for a wedding this weekend. My niece is getting married–a joyous and fun occasion! I’m sitting in the hotel lobby to finish up my blog post and talking to family members as they come by.

Spring is finally coming. I love seeing the bright yellow forsythia and all the bulbs starting to bloom. Such a beautiful time of the year!

Blog posts

Books

What I’m reading

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (audio)

What I read the last week

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

New–Books, E-books, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

Library

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

E-books

Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olsen

Audiobooks

A Cool Breeze on the Underground by Don Winslow

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Next Week

Home & blog

Back home on Sunday and hopefully a quiet week. I’m still fighting my cold so I just want a quiet week and some extra sleep! I hope to get my Ireland post finished and posted this week, too.

Blog Posts

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • TBR Review
  • Review: The Pyramids of London by Andrea K. Höst
  • Ireland
  • Sunday Post

What books did you collect last week? What are you planning next week?