Waiting on Wednesday: Feb 8

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

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

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down-among-the-sticks-and-bones-by-seanan-mcguireDown Among the Sticks and Bones

by Seanan McGuire

Series: Wayward Children #2

Genre: Fantasy Novella

Publication date: June 13

Synopsis: Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

.…………………………

The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • I read the first book in this series and liked it. Plus the October Daye series is one of my favorite series.
  • I like many of the novellas Tor.com publishes. Sometimes it’s nice to read a shorter science fiction or fantasy.
  • I like books which twist a fairy tale or nursery rhyme around. And there were many twists in the first book.

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A funny thing happened

. . .  on my way to catch up with the October Daye series. a-red-rose-chain

But I’m not laughing.

I’ve had a frustrating week. Just a series of different things happening. Reading the wrong book is just one of those frustrations!

The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite series, but I’ve fallen behind. I knew I already had the books I needed to catch up and I knew a new book was coming out in the series so it was time to start reading.

Late one night after I finished a book I decided to figure out which book to read in this series. I could have sworn I checked the last book I reviewed in the series and Goodreads. And I figured out A Red-Rose Chain was the book to read. I must have been dreaming!

The book grabbed me immediately. But now and then I thought . . . “I don’t remember when that happened.” However, I dismissed that little discomfort by thinking . . . “it’s been awhile since I read this series and I’ve just forgotten certain parts.”

the-winter-longHowever, as I got further into the book the discomfort became more insistent. I decided I’d better check again and sure enough I hadn’t read the book before A Red-Rose Chain.

I hadn’t read book number 8–The Winter Long . . . I already have it on my Kindle and it was waiting patiently for me to figure out my problem.

So now I’m part way through A Red-Rose Chain and enjoying it, but I think I really need to put it aside and read The Winter Long.

It starts out with great opening sentences:

The woods were dark, filled with strange shadows. They twisted and swirled independent of any light source, making the space beneath the towering sequoias look treacherous and wild.

However, I haven’t read much more than that and haven’t read more in A Red-Rose Chain either. I had another book I was reading (I often read several books at once) and I finished that (A Brutal Telling by Louise Penny).

And as I said this was a frustrating week. Starting the wrong book just added to my frustrations and I haven’t come to terms with it yet. 😦

So I hope to read The Winter Long soon so I can get back to A Red-Rose Chain!

Maybe I’ll read another book in between–space things out more . . . .

Has this ever happened to you? Have you accidentally started reading the wrong book in a series? What did you do about it?

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Waiting on Wednesday: July 20

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

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

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once-broken-faithOnce Broken Faith

by Seanan McGuire

Series: October Daye #10

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication date: September 6

Synopsis: Politics have never been October “Toby” Daye’s strong suit. When she traveled to the Kingdom of Silences to prevent them from going to war with her home, the Kingdom of the Mists, she wasn’t expecting to return with a cure for elf-shot and a whole new set of political headaches.

Now the events she unwittingly set in motion could change the balance of modern Faerie forever, and she has been ordered to appear before a historic convocation of monarchs, hosted by Queen Windermere in the Mists and overseen by the High King and Queen themselves.

Naturally, things have barely gotten underway when the first dead body shows up. As the only changeling in attendance, Toby is already the target of suspicion and hostility. Now she needs to find a killer before they can strike again—and with the doors locked to keep the guilty from escaping, no one is safe.

As danger draws ever closer to her allies and the people she loves best, Toby will have to race against time to prevent the total political destabilization of the West Coast and to get the convocation back on track…and if she fails, the cure for elf-shot may be buried forever, along with the victims she was too slow to save.

Because there are worse fates than sleeping for a hundred years.

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The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • This is a favorite series of mine.
  • I really like Toby and other characters in the series.
  • I’m a couple of books behind and want to catch up!

May books on my radar…

RadarEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and other times I get excited by some new author I might try.

I don’t buy all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices 😦

But the list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books and I hope people reading my post may find some new books, too!

May 6

This sounds interesting. I’ve read most of Charlaine Harris’ books including her early mysteries before she wrote about Sookie Stackhouse. I still have a few of Sookie’s stories to read. I’ve been saving them! I’m glad she’s started a new series though I will probably wait to buy this one since it’s pretty expensive.

midnight-crossroadMidnight Crossroad

by Charlaine Harris

Series: Midnight, Texas #1

Published by Ace Hardcover

Genre: Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town.

There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own).

Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth…

Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors so I’m looking forward to starting this new series by her.

sparrow-hill-roadSparrow Hill Road

by Seanan McGuire

Series: Ghost Stories #1

Published by DAW

Genre: Fantasy

432 pages

Synopsis: Sparrow Hill Road is the first volume in the story of Rose Marshall, who was the first victim of the man called Bobby Cross, although she was far from the last — and unlike most of them, she did not go easy into that good night. Sixty years down the line, she’s still kicking ass, taking names, and more than a little bit pissed off about the way that she died.

You want a good little ghost who’ll stay where she’s put and only haunt the people who deserve it? Go to a sleepover. You want the real story of the American ghostroads? Come and have a word with Rose.

May 27

I haven’t gotten to this book in the series yet so I’ll wait to get this one. I’m looking forward to my next book–White Night (book 9 in the series).

skin-gameSkin Game

by Jim Butcher

Series: The Dresden Files #15

Published by Roc Hardcover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

464 pages

Synopsis: Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day….

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it….

Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains—led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone—to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure hoard in the supernatural world—which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the freaking Underworld and generally unpleasant character. Worse, Dresden suspects that there is another game afoot that no one is talking about. And he’s dead certain that Nicodemus has no intention of allowing any of his crew to survive the experience. Especially Harry.

Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess—assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance….

Books I plan to buy this month…

  • Of these books I’m only going to buy Sparrow Hill Road this month.

I know I must have missed a number of books this month since I usually have more than three new books on my radar each month! What have I missed? What books are you excited to read this month?

 

March books on my radar…

RadarEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and other times I get excited by some new author I might try.

I don’t buy all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices 😦

But the list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books and I hope people reading my post may find some new books, too!

February 25

I didn’t love the first book in this series, but Nathan from Fantasy Review Barn reviewed the new book this week and convinced me to give the series another try…I’ve already bought the book!

honors-knightHonor’s Knight

by Rachel Bach

Series: Paradox #2

Published by Orbit

Genre: Science Fiction

384 pages

Synopsis: Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either.

After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she’s determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi’s not actually looking for it — trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she’s supposed to hate.

But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there’s worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.

I’ve liked a lot of what Deanna Raybourn writes. Plus I like this time period.

city-of-jasmineCity of Jasmine

by Deanna Raybourn

Series: City of Jasmine #1

Published by Harlequin Mira

Genre: Historical Mystery

354 pages

Synopsis: Set against the lush, exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920s, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn delivers the captivating tale of one woman who embarks upon a journey to see the world—and ends up finding intrigue, danger and a love beyond all reason.

Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world, collecting fame and admirers along the way. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of Gabriel, which brings her ambitious stunt to a screeching halt.

With her eccentric aunt Dove in tow, Evie tracks the source of the photo to the ancient City of Jasmine, Damascus. There she discovers that nothing is as it seems. Danger lurks at every turn, and at stake is a priceless relic, an artifact once lost to time and so valuable that criminals will stop at nothing to acquire it—even murder. Leaving the jewelled city behind, Evie sets off across the punishing sands of the desert to unearth the truth of Gabriel’s disappearance and retrieve a relic straight from the pages of history.

Along the way, Evie must come to terms with the deception that parted her from Gabriel and the passion that will change her destiny forever…

March 4

The first book in this series was one of my favorites of 2013.

murder-of-crowsMurder of Crows

by Anne Bishop

Series: A Novel of the Others #2

Published by Voyager

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more. The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard – Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader – wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat. As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet-and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

This is another book I discovered at the Fantasy Review Barn blog. My husband likes Star Wars books so this is one I may buy for him (and then read myself!)

core__jkt_all_r1.inddHonor Among Thieves

by James S. A. Corey

Series: Empire and Rebellion #2

Published by LucasBooks

Genre: Science Fiction

288 pages

Synopsis: Nebula and Hugo Award nominees Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—writing as James S. A. Corey—make their Star Wars debut in this brand-new epic adventure featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia Organa. The action begins after the destruction of the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

When the Empire threatens the galaxy’s new hope, will Han, Luke, and Leia become its last chance?

When the mission is to extract a high-level rebel spy from the very heart of the Empire, Leia Organa knows the best man for the job is Han Solo—something the princess and the smuggler can finally agree on. After all, for a guy who broke into an Imperial cell block and helped destroy the Death Star, the assignment sounds simple enough.

But when Han locates the brash rebel agent, Scarlet Hark, she’s determined to stay behind enemy lines. A pirate plans to sell a cache of stolen secrets that the Empire would destroy entire worlds to protect—including the planet where Leia is currently meeting with rebel sympathizers. Scarlet wants to track down the thief and steal the bounty herself, and Han has no choice but to go along if he’s to keep everyone involved from getting themselves killed. From teeming city streets to a lethal jungle to a trap-filled alien temple, Han, Chewbacca, Leia, and their daring new comrade confront one ambush, double cross, and firestorm after another as they try to keep crucial intel out of Imperial hands.

But even with the crack support of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing squadron, the Alliance heroes may be hopelessly outgunned in their final battle for the highest of stakes: the power to liberate the galaxy from tyranny or ensure the Empire’s reign of darkness forever.

I haven’t read anything by Leah Cypress and this fantasy sounds interesting.

death-swornDeath Sworn

by Leah Cypress

Series: Death Sworn #1

Published by Greenwillow

Genre: Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

Sounds so interesting!

half-badHalf Bad

By Sally Green

Series: Half Life Trilogy #1

Published by Viking Juvenile

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

416 pages

Synopsis: In modern-day England, witches live alongside humans: White witches, who are good; Black witches, who are evil; and fifteen-year-old Nathan, who is both. Nathan’s father is the world’s most powerful and cruel Black witch, and his mother is dead. He is hunted from all sides. Trapped in a cage, beaten and handcuffed, Nathan must escape before his sixteenth birthday, at which point he will receive three gifts from his father and come into his own as a witch—or else he will die. But how can Nathan find his father when his every action is tracked, when there is no one safe to trust—not even family, not even the girl he loves?

In the tradition of Patrick Ness and Markus Zusak, Half Bad is a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive, a story that will grab hold of you and not let go until the very last page.

Seanan McGuire is one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read any this series yet though I do have the first book in the series.

half-off-ragnarokHalf-Off Ragnarok

by Seanan McGuire

Series: Incryptid #3

Published by DAW

Genre: Fantasy

368 pages

Synopsis: When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.

March 11

This is the other book I’m especially excited about this month. I will buy Night Broken and Murder of Crows when they come out!

night broken_front mech.inddNight Broken

by Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #8

Published by Ace Hardcover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

March 18

Another new author. The cover is what first brought this book to my attention. After I read the synopsis I also thought it sounds interesting.

elusionElusion

by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Series: Unknown

Published by Katherine Tegan Books

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

400 pages

Synopsis: A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

I loved the first two books by Rose Lerner–In For a Penny and A Lily Among Thorns–and I’ve been waiting for more books by her. Very excited to see this new book and that her older books are being rereleased!

sweet-disorderSweet Disorder

by Rose Lerner

Series: Lively St. Lemeston #1

Published by Samhain Publishing

Genre: Historical Romance

321 pages

Synopsis: Nick Dymond enjoyed the rough-and-tumble military life until a bullet to the leg sent him home to his emotionally distant, politically obsessed family. For months, he’s lived alone with his depression, blockaded in his lodgings.

But with his younger brother desperate to win the local election, Nick has a new set of marching orders: dust off the legendary family charm and maneuver the beautiful Phoebe Sparks into a politically advantageous marriage.

One marriage was enough for Phoebe. Under her town’s by-laws, though, she owns a vote that only a husband can cast. Much as she would love to simply ignore the unappetizing matrimonial candidate pushed at her by the handsome earl’s son, she can’t. Her teenage sister is pregnant, and Phoebe’s last-ditch defense against her sister’s ruin is her vote—and her hand.

Nick and Phoebe soon realize the only match their hearts will accept is the one society will not allow. But as election intrigue turns dark, they’ll have to cast the cruelest vote of all: loyalty…or love.

Books I plan to buy this month:

Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

What about you…what books are you looking forward to in March?

Quote-Tastic–from An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

This is a meme hosted by the herding cats & burning soup blog.

Just pick a quote and the book it came from.

an_artificial_nightThe quote today is from the book I’m reading right now–An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire. This is the third book in the October Daye urban fantasy series. This quote is found within the first few pages of the book.  October (Toby) answers a knock at her door early one morning and faces a person who looks exactly like her. This person says her name is May Daye:

May shook her head again. “Close your mouth. You look like a goldfish.” The barb hit home. Anyone who knew me well enough to steal my face should have known better than to make cracks about the time I spent as a fish. [from the beginning of Book 1]

My notoriously short-lived patience was running out. I glared, demanding, “What the hell are you?”

“A Fetch. Your Fetch, to be exact,” she said. “You know, the spirits that wear your face when they come to escort you to the lands of–”

“–the dead,” I finished. “Little problem: I’m not dead.” A Fetch is a duplicate of a living person created when it’s time for them to die. They’re incredibly rare, and most people don’t get one. I certainly never requested the honor.

“Of course. I know everything there is to know about you, right up until the universe decided you were destined to die and created me to be your guide.”

“Everything?” I didn’t like the sound of that. There are some things I don’t want anyone to know.

“Everything. From what you got on your sixth birthday to what kind of flowers you leave on Dare’s grave. I even know what you were thinking about Tybalt after you saw him in those red leather pants–”

I held up my hand. “Stop. I believe you.”

This quite a twist in the beginning part of the book and Toby (obviously) isn’t happy about it! This is a really good series.

Ten New Books for Summer 2013

toptentuesday2

I published this and then realized I forgot to add a shout out and link to The Broke and Bookish blog who sponsors this weekly meme.

Top Ten Tuesdays have a new topic each week asking each blogger to write about their top ten favorites for that topic. This week was the top ten books on our summer TBR list. I interpreted this as the top ten books published this summer I’m most excited about.

 

June books

trailofdead

Trail of Dead by Melissa F. Olson…this is book 2 of the Scarlett Bernard series. I read and enjoyed the first book in the series--Dead Spots–and reviewed it in May.

shapeshifted

Shapeshifted by Cassie Alexander…this is the third book in the Edie Spence series and I enjoyed the first two books a lot!

roaring-midnight

Roaring Midnight (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles) by Colleen Gleason…this book takes place in the Roaring 20s and since I liked the original Gardella books and since a book in the Roaring 20s sounds fun…

July books

Magic-Rises_md

Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews…these books about Kate and Curran are one of my favorite series. When I finally get this book it will be one of the highlights of my summer!

CarniePunk (anthology) by Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearn, Seanan McGuire & Rob Thurman…these authors are such good writers and have written some of my favorite books so I think this would be a great anthology.

a-time-of-dying

A Time of Dying by Hailey Edwards…the first book in this series is one of my favorite books of the year so far. This is the third book in the series. I reviewed the first book–A Hint of Frost–just a couple weeks ago (though I read it in January).

August books

seduction-in-silk

Seduction in Silk by Jo Beverley…Ms. Beverley is an autobuy author for me. I love her historical romance books. This one is set in the Georgian era of the Malloren world–which started a number of years ago when Ms. Beverley wrote about the Malloren family.

arrangement

The Arrangement (Survivor’s Club) by Mary Balogh…this is the second book in Ms. Balogh’s Survivor’s Club series. She is also an historical romance autobuy author for me.

dragonwriter

Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern by Todd McCaffrey, David Brin, Lois McMaster Bujold, & Mercedes Lackey…I read the Pern books many years ago and loved them. I’m interested to see what these very good authors have to say.

Top Ten Tuesday–Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme sponsored by the Broke and the Bookish blog. I don’t participate every week, but it’s a fun meme with great topics each week.

I’m actually going to the beach this summer…to the Oregon beach toward the end of July for a few days. I grew up in Oregon and love the Oregon beach…some beautiful beaches to walk on. However, the beaches aren’t usually ones to laze on. The Oregon coast gets lots of rain–even in the summer–and when it’s not raining it’s usually only about 60 maybe up to 70 degrees! The water is cold, too, but it’s still beautiful.

My husband and I and our three adult children are flying out and meeting in Oregon. My brother and sister-in-law who live in Oregon will meet us there and possibly my niece and her family. I can’t wait! I won’t read all ten books on my vacation…I do need to spend some time with my family…lol!

Here are the e-books I plan to put on my e-reader:

Trying to catch up

Where Serpents Sleep (Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries, book 4)
by C. S. Harris book
I’m way behind in this series, so I’m going to start here and re-read this one.
An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire
A great series…I want to catch up with October Daye and plan to re-read the third book.
Ghost Ship by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
I love the Liaden series and am so glad Lee and Miller are continuing the series. I love the characters and space opera adventure. I think I’m three books behind!

New series to start

 
The Shape of Desire by Sharon Shinn
A Shifting Circle series, book 1
Sharon Shinn is one of my favorite authors, but I haven’t read this book yet. It was published a year ago and only one more book in the series so far (Still Life with Shape Shifter)!
The Silvered by Tanya Huff
I’ve read and enjoyed many of Tanya Huff’s books. This was published last November and I’ve been wanting to read it since I read about it.

New authors

The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand
Summer Knight by Jim Butcher
Hounded by Kevin Hearne
the Iron Druid Chronicles, book 1

A little romance

 
An Invitation to Sin by Sarah Morgan
I enjoy Sarah Morgan’s books and a Harlequin Presents is the perfect quick beach read!
The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
I bought Once Upon a Tower in May and then realized I hadn’t read the book which came out last fall

Top Ten Tuesday–Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings

Note: I had trouble finishing up this post this morning after the terrible events in Boston yesterday. One of my daughters ran in the Boston Marathon a couple years ago so this brought back memories of my happiness for her that day with the horror of seeing those bombs go off  blanketed over those happy memories. Plus I have a nephew and his wife who just moved from Boston. My hearts go out to all the people injuried or killed yesterday, their families and to all of Boston. My thoughts are also with the police, FBI and everyone working to catch the person or person who did this: I hope they are caught very soon and put on trial very soon.

My topic this week is apropos: Sometimes I want to escape this world reality and become immersed in a book’s world or setting. That’s one reason I read.

…………………………

This week  on Top Ten Tuesday we have a rewind–where we can pick a topic we missed the first time around or one we want to revisit. Since I have only done Top Ten Tuesday for about a month I have lots of past topics to choose from. I chose the Top Ten Most Vivid Book Worlds/Settings.

Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) by J. R. R. Tolkien
The world Tolkien created is one of the first fantasy worlds I learned about. It is certainly the richest and most complex world I had encountered at that time (as a teenager) and Tolkien has influenced many fantasy authors. I wanted to go to Middle Earth and the Shire after I read The Hobbit! I’ve always felt I could see the big trees walking. We had a  Beech tree in our yard when we lived in Ohio that I could see walking away from our yard.

 

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
My mother read the Mary Poppins books to me when I was a child before the movie was made by Disney. We both loved them so much and were so excited when the movie came out. I loved to hear about Jane , Michael, the twins and Mary Poppins. As a child I wanted to know how these children lived their lives and I envied them having a nanny! I tried reading the books to my children and either I was too early or too late, because they weren’t interested. Sad, but true!

Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman
Tony Hillerman wrote about the Navajo Indians in the Four Corners area of Arizona and New Mexico and occasionally Colorado and Utah. I love this area of the United States and Tony Hillerman brought it alive for me. I started these books when I was a teenager and at first I thought he must be a Navajo to write the way he did. It doesn’t surprise me he won many awards for his writing or the Navajo Tribe’s Special Friends of the Dineh Award. The protangonists in this book are both Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police. I especially like this book because it does have both characters. Both are Navajos, but they approach their lives and their investigations very differently. Jim Chee is studying with his uncle to become a yataalii (a wiseman or shaman). He is more mystical in his approach to the world than Joe Leaphorn is. Leaphorn is skeptical of the many Navajo traditions, but he does take rumors of Navajo witchcraft and other mysteries seriously. Tony Hillerman also wrote books about each character separately. Hillerman’s descriptions of the American Southwest, the weather, the people especially the Navajo Indians are all clear and strong in his books and I am swept away to the Southwest when I read these books.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
I read this book a number of years ago and it has stayed with me. It was a very emotional read and I also convinced one of my daughters and  my husband to read it. They loved it, too. We’ve gone on to read a number of Connie Willis books, but this is still our favorite. Kivrin travels back in time (she thinks she is going to 1320), but the technician in 2048 makes a mistake and she arrives in 1348 England during the Black Plague. One of the interesting things for me is that she doesn’t immediately realize what year she has arrived since calendars and clocks aren’t common things during that time. The Church kept their church calendar which is how people knew what time of the year it was (that and the seasons, of course!) and the church rang bells during the day. It wasn’t until people began dying that she began suspect what had happened and then she finds she can’t return to 2048 right then and maybe won’t get back at all. This wasn’t an easy read for me. Many people die and the setting was so vivid to me. I felt I was there having to watch all these people die along with Kivrin. The characters were so vivid and as in life there were heroes and villains both in 1348 and 2048 (where an epidemic also occurs).

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The setting is a 1950 English village. The main character is 11 year old Flavia de Luce who is fascinated by chemistry and poison. She is also a neglected child, a prodigy of sorts and when she finds a murdered man decides to investigate. I felt part of the 1950 English village. Alan Bradley as a first time 70 year old author has written such a good series. The other books in this series are also very good. Flavia is such an interesting character and the 1950’s is a great setting.

Fledgling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
I like the world Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have created with all their books. They show the long history of the Liaden Universe. The Liadens are so interesting with their careful manners and complex language and I like that they aren’t perfect. In fact, there are some villains as well as the heroes. The Clan Korvel is the family followed throughout the books. Fledgling is a departure that doesn’t take place on Liad and seems not to be part of the series at first. If you read the earlier books it slowly dawns on you who some of the characters must be. The authors have created a new culture on a new planet which is very interesting. I feel like I could know these people! Each culture they introduce in their books are diverse and unique to me.

A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh
I like Mary Balogh’s books very much…especially her older Regency books. The Christmas books and stories she writes really evoke the English winter countryside at Christmas during the Regency era. They involve families and the adults are active in their children’s lives. There is often snow and they play in the snow, have snowball fights, go sledding or go ice skating. They bring in a yule log and greenery and decorate the house. They attend Christmas Eve services and sing carols. I realize it may be an idealized setting, but it is lovely for the Christmas season especially. It makes me feel I am there!

Secrets of the Night by Jo Beverley 
This is part of Jo Beverley’s Malloren series. They are historical romances which take place in England during the Georgian era. This is one of my favorites by Jo Beverley, but really I love all her books–the Georgian Mallorens, the Regencies and the Medievals. The Marquis of Rothgar is a character in all the books and is a very powerful person in Great Britain. In this book one of his brothers is kidnapped and Rothgar is incensed. He’s determined to find out who did this and why and them make them pay for it. Rothgar is a friend of the King and the Prince of Wales. Jo Beverley does a good job showing how powerful Rothgar is and the influence he wields both inside and outside his family. I like the romance in these books, but I also like how I feel part of the Georgian period and the politics of the time.

The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
This is not the first book in the Vorkosigan series, but it is the first one with Miles nearly grown. He’s physically handicapped on a planet where the warrior class rules. Miles is a brilliant strategist, very intelligent, but his body betrays him. Miles can’t pass the physical for the military academy so he leaves his planet–Barrayer–to try to cope with the fact he can’t be the warrior he wants to be. This is an adventure story, but Ms. Bujold also does a great job showing Miles coming to terms with his handicap, growing up and discovering just what he can do. The people around him are also vivid. Miles begins to come into his own. The world Ms Bujold creates a unique world with people I would like to meet (at least some of them!)

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
This is the first book in the October Daye series. I love the way this series starts. October (Toby) works as a private investigator. She is half human and half fae and has spent 14 years as a fish after a PI assignment went bad! After that, she doesn’t want anything more to do with magic, but of course, she’s drawn back into that world. The San Francisco setting and Toby’s job sucked me into her world…the human world and the fae world in the middle of it all.

My Top Ten Urban Fantasy of the Last Decade

The Angieville blog posted about a list of the Top 20 Paranormal Fantasies of the Last Decade at the Barnes and Noble Book Blog.

(As an aside, the article on the B&N blog is written by Paul Goat Allen. I read his articles years ago when B&N put out a paper science fiction and fantasy newsletter each month. That brought me into their store at least once a month and I found so many new authors that way. He introduced me to Laurell K. Hamilton and her Anita Blake books. I loved those early books by her. They were the first vampire books I read. I didn’t realize Allen still wrote for B&N. I will have to check that out.)

Anyway, as Angie did in her blog I’m going to post my top ten fantasy/urban fantasy books (not in any particular order):

Carousel Tides by Sharon Lee
I enjoyed this book so much. It’s about an amusement park in a tourist town on the coast in Maine. I read this book after our family had a family reunion in Maine and we visited an amusement park at the beach! That made the book so much fun to read, but I would like it regardless. One of my favorite books! Sharon Lee also writes science fiction favorites of mine with her husband Steve Miller.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley
I was so sorry when I finished this book and then find out it’s a standalone book. This was my introduction to Robin McKinley.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
I love this series. Just finished Frost Burned and it was as good or better than the first!

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
This is the other series I love. They are my co-favorites right now!

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
This has been a great series, too. Hard to believe the last book is in May. I started reading at the beginning of the series and it lead me to the True Blood series on HBO which is also a favorite.

Tinker by Wen Spencer
I’ve read a lot of Wen Spencer’s books, but this is my favorite. She built a great world in this book.

Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander
A new author and series I found at the end of 2012. Really looking forward to the next book.

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch
Another new author I read at the end of last year. Good series. I like the lore about the rivers of London.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
October Daye is such a great character.

God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
Another new author and series. I started this one in January and quickly read the next book when it arrived in February.

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
I’m fudging a little with this book. It was written in 2001, but I do like it a lot!

Most of the books which are part of series I used the first book in the series. I admit I’ve liked some books more than others in some of the series, but I can’t choose a favorite in each series so quickly!

What are your favorite books in this genre?