Kindle Daily Deal Alert!

The Science Fiction/Fantasy Daily Deal for today at Amazon is Bec McMaster‘s Kiss of Steel which I read in January and enjoyed. The book is only $1.99 which is a great way to try a new author. A new book by Ms. McMaster (Taste of Steel) is arriving in May.

This book is more of a steampunk romance than urban fantasy, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. As I’ve mentioned in other posts I don’t like the romance to be the focus in my fantasy. To me when the emphasis is on the romance many times the worldbuilding suffers. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some romance just not too much. This book passed my test and I liked it!

Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.

If you enjoy some romance in your fantasy or like the steampunk craze check out this book. For $1.99 you don’t have too much to lose!

BTW, I’ve never met the author, don’t work for Amazon and don’t accept books for review so I’m just letting you all know about a book I enjoyed available at a good price today only.

New Author Challenge–Kate Locke

Last year I read lots of historical romance (13 by the end of February); this year it’s lots of urban fantasy (11 by the end of February). I’ve also found a number of new urban fantasy authors which makes me happy! Because I’m finding many new authors to try this year I’ve joined the New Author Challenge 2013 at the Literary Escapism blog. I’ve challenged myself to read 25 new authors this year. This is my first new author blog post.

This new-to-me author is Kate Locke who is writing The Immortal Empire series. I’m so glad I found Ms. Locke and it’s all because the first book was on sale for $2.99 (the e-book…probably because the second book was coming out in February). I enjoyed the set-up in this first book–the world, the characters and the story.

God Save the Queen 
by Kate Locke
The Immortal Engine, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by: Orbit, 2012
E-book, purchased
368 pages
Grade: B+

Synopsis: Blood. Bloomers. Bedlam.
The Victorian Era never ended. It’s 2012 and her Ensanguined Majesty is still on the throne, the vampire ruler of the British Empire. There are werewolves too. And Goblins. All brought about by mutations caused by the plague.
 
Xandra Vardan is a half-blood, the daughter of a vampire and a human courtesan. A member of the Royal Guard, she’s supposed to keep the aristocrats (those of plagued blood) safe, but then her little sister goes missing and Xandra stumbles upon a secret that not only changes her life forever, but just might end it if she’s not careful.
 
And just what’s going on at Bedlam Asylum for the Insane?

I do like the premise of Queen Victoria still on the throne because she’s a vampire! This series is a lot of fun to read and the world Kate Locke has built is complex and interesting. The fact that vampires, werewolves and goblins were created because of mutations caused by the plague is interesting. I liked Xandra and her brother and sisters and by the end of this book I was definitely ready for the next book. Because I enjoyed the first book so much I bought the second book as soon as it was available in February!

The Queen is Dead
by Kate Locke
The Immortal Engine, book 2
Grade: B+

Synopsis: Humans are growing restless. Goblins are growing impatient, and the aristocrats are growing…hungry. Disappearances, hormonal human boys and Bubonic Betties — it’s all in a night’s work for Xandra Vardan, reluctant Goblin Queen.
 
Her brother Val has gotten into something way over his head. Someone’s sending not so subtle hints to Xandra (dead rats, anyone?). There’s tension amongst the wolf-pack, and the Human League wants blood. There are rumors of Horror Shows — humans being bled to death for entertainment — and half-bloods are being abducted.
 
Xandra just wants a moment’s peace, but she may have to die to get it.

I liked the second book and am looking forward to the third book (Long Live the Queen) which will be published in November. There is romance in these books, but I don’t view it as paranormal romance (which I tend not to like), because the emphasis is on the story, characters and a complete world which is not the case in many paranormal romances.

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2013 TBR list!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly Meme sponsored by The Broke and the Bookish Blog

When I looked over the list of books I want to buy and read this spring I had a hard time coming up with ten books! Many of the books on my list are hardcover editions and even as e-books they are $10 or more. I only buy a few of these books each year. Usually I will wait until they come out in paperback and hope that the e-book version is also reduced. It is frustrating when the paper version of the book is less than the electronic version, but this happens quite often. It has to be a favorite author before I spend that much money.

1. Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson series) by Patricia Briggs–This is my most anticipated book of the spring. I haven’t bought it yet, but will probably do so this week. I don’t want to buy it and read it too soon because I have to wait another year for Ms. Briggs to write another book!

2. What Darkness Brings: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C. S. Harris

3. Heart of Iron by Bec McMaster

The rest of the books I will wait to read reviews and buy as my budget allows:

4. Murder in Chelsea (Gaslight Mystery)
by Victoria Thompson

5. The Family Way (Molly Murphy Mysteries)
by Rhys Bowen

6. Death, Doom and Detention (Darklight series)
by Darynda Jones

7. Midnight Blue-Light Special: An Incryptid Novel
by Seanan McGuire

8. Written in Red: A Novel of the Others
by Anne Bishop

9.  Dead Ever After: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel
by Charlaine Harris

The following book sounds quite intriguing and has some good authors, but I don’t usually like short stories so I will wait and see:

10. Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy
Edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
(18 stories from such writers as Elizabeth Bear, Ellen Kushner, Tanith Lee, James Blaylock, Gregory Maguire as well as new authors)

I’m looking forward to seeing what books others are looking forward to so I can find some new authors and books! What are you excited about this spring?

Top Ten Series I’d Like To Start But Haven’t Yet

I found this Meme at the “The Broke and the Bookish” blog (http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.com/) and I like the idea of making a list about books each week. After reviewing my list of series to start I realize I already have a number of these books and I need to start reading…so many books and never enough time!

1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.

2. The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

3.The Passage trilogy by Justin Cronin.

4. The Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold.

5. Shifting Circle series by Sharon Shinn.

6. The Sun Sword series by Michelle West.

7. Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor.

8. The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

9. Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance.

10. The Touchstone series by Andrea K. Host.

March 2013 Books I Want to Read

These are the books I want to read in March:

Title: Written in Red: A Novel of the Others
Author: Anne Bishop
Part of a Series? Yes (first in series)
Genre: Fantasy
Date Available: March 5
Publisher: Roc
Formats Available: Hardcover, e-book, audio book
Why I want to read it: This is a new fantasy series by Anne Bishop. Her Black Jewels books are among my favorites. It sounds like an interesting concept.
Synopsis: “As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.”

Title: Frost Burned
Author: Patricia Briggs
Part of a Series? Yes, Mercy Thompson series, Book 7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date Available: March 5
Publisher: Ace
Formats Available: Hardcover, e-book
Why I want to read it: This is one of my favorite series. I have read all the books in the series so far so I’m eagerly awaiting this one!
Synopsis: “Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…”

Title: What Darkness Brings: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery
Author: C. S. Harris
Part of a Series?  Yes, Book 8
Genre: Historical Mystery
Date Available: March 5
Publisher: NAL
Formats Available: Hardcover, e-book
Why I want to read it: I like this series, but I’m a couple books behind so I need to read the others before I buy this!
Synopsis:Regency England, September 1812: After a long night spent dealing with the tragic death of a former military comrade, a heart-sick Sebastian learns of a new calamity: Russell Yates, the dashing, one-time privateer who married Kat a year ago, has been found standing over the corpse of Benjamin Eisler, a wealthy gem dealer. Yates insists he is innocent, but he will surely hang unless Sebastian can unmask the real killer.”

Title: Midnight Blue-Light Special: An Incryptid Novel
Author:  Seanan McGuire
Part of a Series?  Yes, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date Available: March 5
Publisher: Daw
Formats Available: Mass Market Paperback, e-book, audio book
Why I want to read it: I haven’t read the first book in the series yet so I plan to read that first. I am a big fan of the October Daye series.
Synopsis: “The Price family has spent generations studying the monsters of the world, working to protect them from humanity–and humanity from them. Enter Verity Price. Despite being trained from birth as a cryptozoologist, she’d rather dance a tango than tangle with a demon, and when her work with the cryptid community took her to Manhattan, she thought she would finally be free to pursue competition-level dance in earnest. It didn’t quite work out that way…”

This is a short list for me this month and three of the four books are coming out in hardcover which means the e-book price is also more expensive. I won’t buy all these books right now, but they are on my radar!

What about you? What books are you hoping to read this month?

Two Urban Fantasy Series from 2012

I ended 2012 and started 2013 reading lots of urban fantasy. I like urban fantasy because they are usually mysteries with a twist…some sort of magical world or elements. The authors have to do some world building as well as usually some sort of mystery. Two of my favorite new-to-me authors from 2012 were Ben Aaronovitch and Cassie Alexander. They both are writing an urban fantasy series that’s interesting and fun to read.

Ben Aaronovitch is writing a series which takes place in London called the Rivers of London series. The three books in the series so far: Midnight Riot (called Rivers of London in the UK), Moon Over Soho and Whispers Under Ground starts with Probationary Constable Peter Grant in Midnight Riot having to guard a crime scene all night. He sees a ghost who talks to him about the crime. His life changes from that point and gets a lot more exciting. I think each book builds on the last one and should be read in order to enjoy them all. I am saving Whispers Under Ground for sometime I’m in a reading slump and need a book I know I will like or for when I know I will be able to get his next book! I broke an informal rule when I bought these books–not to spend the same amount for an e-book as for a mass market book. I’m not sorry I did, because I really like this author, but I sure wish the books were at least a dollar or two less than the paperbacks. A new book is scheduled for sometime in 2013. I hope it is published at the same time in the US as in the UK! BTW, I also enjoy reading his blog–Temporarily Significant!

A second series I read in 2012 by an author I’d never read before are the books by Cassie Alexander. Ms. Alexander is a registered nurse and her books are about Edie Spencer who is also a registered nurse, but Edie works in a secret wing of County Hospital. I’m not a nurse or any kind of medical person, but the hospital rang true to me. I’ve been in several hospitals for surgeries  and I could recognize several things from my stays in the hospitals–but luckily for me, not the fantasy creatures! The two books published so far in the series are Nightshifted and Moonshifted. The third book–Shapeshifted–will be published in June 2013. I’ve read both books in the series so far and enjoyed them. I was able to buy the first book in the series when it was on sale and then bit the bullet and bought the second book at full price! So, authors and publishers take note: sales on e-books do work!

Has anyone else read books in these two series or other new authors they enjoyed?

New Beginnings…Again

I have tried blogging in the past and not been too successful. I’ve even had a book review blog before. My problem was I felt guilty when I didn’t get a book reviewed, but I also started resenting the time I spent working on a review instead of reading. And I didn’t feel I added anything to my reviews that hadn’t been said a hundred times before.

This time I plan to write mini reviews of some of the books I read. Generally, if I read a book I enjoy it. Life is too short to read or finish reading a book I don’t like. I don’t love every book and sometimes I’m disappointed with a book, but usually I enjoy the books I read. I do appreciate reviewers who take the time and energy to review all the books they read even the awful ones, but I know that’s not my path.

I read genre books–mostly fantasy, science fiction, mysteries and romance. I love to find new authors and that is what convinced me to tackle a blog again. This year I’ve started reading a number of new-to-me authors and I want to share these authors and books with someone! Since very few people I know personally enjoy the same books I read I will share my thoughts about my reading here. I will see how it goes and whether anyone reads this blog or not this will help me keep track and remember the books I’m reading!