If you’ve ever watched Downton Abbey and thought, “This show could use more espionage, blackmail, and murder,” this is the book for you! What I especially enjoyed about this book is that it is primarily a mystery/thriller with an excellent romance subplot. But more importantly, the romance subplot informs and adds to the tension of the main plot, which is a credit once again to the author’s ability to tell a seamless story. Continue reading
This short story acts as a sort of prequel to the Society of Gentlemen series, filling in the background for one of the established parings in the full trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone.
My favorite part of this story is card game of “strip poker,” though Ash and Francis are playing a game that predates that. It’s ridiculously sexy and you can cut the tension with a knife. Continue reading
Though I was correct in my guess that the final book in this trilogy would involve the relationship between Lord Richard Vane and his valet/spymaster David Cyprian, I wish this series had ended with more of a bang. Continue reading
First of all, this can’t be read as a stand-alone. You absolutely have to have read the first book in this series, A Fashionable Indulgence, to understand a significant portion of the larger plot. That being said, this is not a detraction to the book. In fact, I spent a lot of time admiring the plot details Charles had sprinkled through the previous book that emphasized both stories, especially where they overlap. Continue reading
Today, I’m pleased to share the cover for Wolf Smoke, the first in a new science-fiction series by Poe Casavant! I’ve received an advanced copy of this novel that I’m excited to read, so look for a review here on my blog soon. For now, enjoy this stunning cover with artwork by l0cke.
ABOUT THE BOOK
They were chosen to save their country. First, they’ll have to save themselves.
This month, it feels like I wrote all the words, read all the books, and went to all the conventions. Okay, it’s actually about 32k words, 15 novels, 8 short stories, 3 graphic novels, and 2 conventions. Still a hell of a month.
Obviously, that 32k words means that I did NOT “win” NaNoWriMo. As you can see from the chart, I missed the first few days for World Fantasy, wrote for a bit, stalled out for a week, then went hardcore for a few days until Thanksgiving and ChessieCon. In theory, I could have done another 18k words in the time left. But I’ll refer you to what I said in my con report for ChessieCon:
“During some time spent chatting with friends after the panel, mentally moaning to myself that I should have been working on NaNoWriMo, I had a bit of an epiphany. I didn’t sign up for NaNoWriMo this year to write 50 thousand words in 30 days. That would have been nice, but it wasn’t the main point. The main point was to kick myself in the pants and actually get some words written on my the next book. I started the month with 8 thousand words. I now have 40 thousand. I’m going to call that a win in my book and keep writing at a pace that is comfortable for me.”
In addition, I also found out this month that I’m perfectly capable of writing up to 3,500 words in a day, where before I’d felt like 2,000 was my maximum. So, I didn’t win NaNoWriMo…but I totally accomplished what I needed NaNoWriMo to do for me, which is more of the point.
- See above for NaNoWriMo details.
- I had a fantastic time at both World Fantasy and ChessieCon! The links for each name go to my con reports.
- I still have about 200 pages to go in the last Wrinkle in Time series book, An Acceptable Time. This one is not grabbing me as much as the others, alas.
November Book Reviews
- Meik & Sebastian (Obsessed #1) by Quin Perin (4 stars)
- Meik & Sebastian (Obsessed #2) by Quin Perin (4 stars)
- Unfit to Print by K.J. Charles (5 stars)
- An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1) by K.J. Charles (5 stars)
- An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities #2) by K.J. Charles (5 stars)
- An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3) by K.J. Charles (5 stars)
- The Surrender Gate (Desire Exchange #1) by Christopher Rice (3.5 stars)
- Band Sinister by K.J. Charles (5 stars)
- A Fashionable Indulgence (Society of Gentlemen #1) by K.J. Charles (4 stars)
November Speculative Chic Contributions
- Sound Off! Ralph Breaks the Internet
- Naughty or Nice? Our Holiday Wishlists, 2018
- Sound Off! Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Now that I’ve started, I have no excuse not to write another 15k to 20k of Steel Justice!
- Finish An Acceptable Time and review it for Speculative Chic.
- Contribute to four group blog posts for Speculative Chic: my wrap-up of my 2018 resolution, a description of my 2019 resolution (more reading!), my biggest disappointment of 2018, and my most anticipated thing of 2019!
- As is my new tradition since I became obsessed with LEGO, I’ll build one set between Christmas and my birthday (Dec 31).
- And most importantly: VACATION! The husband and I will be on a giant boat in the Caribbean for 7 days. No internet. No writing. Just lots of sun and warm and reading. And maybe a caipirinha or three.
I reorganized my To Be Read shelves after all the free books I got from World Fantasy, and then Nicki-cat told me to get back to writing.
Going to a convention after a major holiday would be pretty crazy, but luckily this convention is local, chill, and a chance to visit with friends. So it’s easy to treat it as an extension of the holiday, and I had a lovely time at ChessieCon this year.
Friday started with how all days after Thanksgiving should start, with a massive lunch of leftovers. We ate at my mother-in-law’s house, where my parents also dropped by, so by the time I headed home to prepare for the convention, pretty much no NaNoWriMo writing got done. I was not super upset about that. Instead, I made sure my con bags were sorted and that I had questions prepared for the panel I was moderating on Saturday afternoon. Even though my first scheduled event was not until 9:15 that night, I headed up to Baltimore around 5 PM so that I had time to greet friends. Continue reading