Sometimes, you find a published story that incorporates major elements of an idea you had once upon a time and you’re disappointed, because now it’s already “taken.” But other times, you stumble across a story that’s very similar to a vague idea you had back in high school and you’re thrilled, because someone has already put all the work into your half-baked idea and you can just sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Genrenauts is definitely the latter for me, and I had a blast reading this collection of novellas. Continue reading
Happy book birthday to an excellent sequel! Yesterday, I interviewed author Sara Dobie Bauer about her paranormal romance Bite Somebody. Today, I’m pleased to review the sequel, Bite Somebody Else. #Imogene4Life!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.
Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.
As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.
Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this novel from the author, whom I consider a friend, in exchange for an honest review.
I was surprised by how much Bite Somebody delighted and entertained me, and in retrospect, that had a lot to do with the how much main character Celia went against the grain as a vampire. I wasn’t sure I was up to an entire novel inside her best friend Imogene’s head, because Imogene is definitely the quintessential vampire. Stuck in a time period that she remembers fondly, obsessed with sex, and badass to the core.
Over the course of Bite Somebody Else, though, these things turned into positives instead of negatives. Continue reading
I am finally caught up on everything in this series, and now I have to wait for the next installment! I picked up the first book just under a year ago, and I think that I’m thrilled to be up to book number 8 (plus all the short stories) in such a short period of time says a lot about the nature of this series. Continue reading
No matter how many things I crossed off the list this past month, my to-do list keeps getting longer. Since I’m at the point where I’m doing work (writing blog posts) to take a break from doing other work (line edits on Steel Time), let’s jump right in.
- I have printed out a copy of Steel Time to do my final pass through before it gets sent off to my editor for her review. The good news is that it is solidly below 90k words! Based on the recommendations of my beta readers, I cut two and a half scenes (which are saved and will appear on the blog as deleted scenes after publication). That got me down to 92k words, and my massive word search for passive and filtering language took care of the rest. That’s a huge weight off my shoulders (my editor was pleased, too).
- I created a form for anyone interested in participating in the July blog tour for Steel Blood. I’m still looking for volunteers, so check it out!
- I totally forgot to include Balticon on my list of goals last month! I had a blast last weekend, which you can read about in my con report.
- Let’s not talk about book 5 right now.
May Book Reviews
- “The Magician” (A Fool’s Journey #1) by Mark Pannebecker (1 star)
- Short Fuse by Brent D. Seth (5 stars)
- “Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor (5 stars)
- “Christmas Present” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor (5 stars)
- “The Very First Damned Thing” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor (5 stars)
- “The Great St. Mary’s Day Out” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story) by Jodi Taylor (5 stars)
- Memories of Magic (Fay of Skye #3) by Cara McKinnon (5 stars)
- “My Name is Markham” (A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story” by Jodi Taylor (5 stars)
- Bite Somebody by Sara Dobie Bauer (5 stars)
May Speculative Chic Contributions
- My Favorite Things: Superior Spin-offs, Alternative History, and Word Games
- Sound Off! The Circle
- Sound Off! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Roundtable: Hollywood, Do This Instead!
- Sound Off! King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
- My Favorite Things: Evil Clowns, Immortal Goblins, Exceptionally Adorable Artwork, and Sense8 Returns!
- Finish and input Steel Time line edits and submit to my editor. I have a the LEGO Snowspeeder set waiting for me in celebration.
- Finish coordinating the Steel Blood blog tour and start writing guest posts.
- Book 5 outline. There’s a heavy sigh there, which is a poor representation of how I feel about the book. I’m excited to write it, but I’m also scared that I won’t do my story ideas justice.
As usual, thank you to everyone for coming along for the ride!
Disclaimer: I acquired this novel at a convention through a book trade with the author, whom I consider a friend.
Not gonna lie — I probably never would have picked this novel to read without outside influence. But I met the author at a convention and we hit it off immediately, and I knew based on her personality alone that I had to read the book that had come out of her brain. Continue reading
This short story is very different from anything else in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series specifically for what is says on the tin: The narrator of this story is security officer Markham rather than historian Max. Now, this isn’t the first time this has happened (see “The Very First Damned Thing”, narrated by none other than the esteemed Dr. Bairstow). But while a glimpse into the history of St. Mary’s was a special trip into legend, Markham’s story is very much in the present. Continue reading
Once I fell in love with the Fay of Skye series, I could no longer claim to dislike romance, historical romance, or paranormal romance. But I definitely fell in love with this series because of the incredible twist McKinnon puts on her tales, setting them in an alternate universe and focusing on both diversity and strong characters.
Today I’m pleased to present the newest installment on its release date. Memories of Magic is my favorite of the series yet!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Her visions could save English magic…if he can teach her to control them.
Olivia Seward never developed the magic of her elder siblings, but now she’s plagued by visions of the past. Etta, Duchess of Fay, asks her to use those visions to discover the source of the drain on English magic. Unfortunately, the visions draw too deeply from Olivia, leaving her weak and vulnerable.
Savitendra Reilly, a half-Indian, half-Irish historian, is hired by the duchess to research the origins of the Aegis Spell, but it is the magic of his birthplace that Olivia needs to learn to control her visions.
The only problem: Savit is an ascetic, performing magic by honing his mind and ignoring the needs of the flesh. Olivia is a hedonist, and accesses her power through pleasure. And every time they do magic together, Savit’s desire for her grows.
If he succumbs to their mutual passion, he believes won’t be able to protect her from the ravages of her unpredictable gift. But Olivia is convinced the only way to access the truth of the past is to immerse themselves in each other–sharing bodies, minds, hearts, and souls.
Disclaimer: I read an early draft of this novel prior to publication. I fully intend to purchase a hardcopy version of the book to add to my collection of this series.
Often, fantasy-romance novels (or romantic fantasy novels) are romance novels with a dash of the magical or fantasy novels with a more-or-less strong romance subplot. Memories of Magic blends genres seamlessly by using the relationship, including the sexual aspect, between the two main characters as a basis for the magic without ever crossing that thin line into straight-up “sex magic” for the sake of titillation. Continue reading
Are you a book blogger and/or reviewer? Would you like to be part of a blog tour this summer to promote the next book in the Steel Empires series, Steel Blood?
Please use this Google form (no registration required) to submit your contact information, availability, and interest in the following:
- Spotlight (book and author info)
- Short excerpt
- Author interview (questions provided by me or you)
- Guest post (topic to be mutually determined)
I am also looking for book reviewers who are interested in receiving an advance electronic copy in exchange for an honest review, to be posted at your convenience sometime this summer.
While I have to wonder at the logic of involving time travel in a holiday for this lot of miscreants, considering all the things that go wrong normally, I have to admit that the story wouldn’t really work, otherwise. (Though I do have faith that they’d get up to the same sort of trouble during a day trip to the next town over.) Continue reading
It was very, very cool to not only get a glimpse of the origins St. Mary’s but also a peek into Dr. Bairstow’s head. At this point in the series, seeing his relationships with the people that he intentionally sought to staff St. Mary’s was more interesting than the jump to Waterloo (despite the delightful surprise guests we find there). Continue reading