Still alive…

It’s been nine days since I posted! Oh well.. life has gotten very busy. I’m spending most of me free time shopping for gifts for the family and working on a gift I’m making for my husband. So not much reading going on, but I have some backlog reviews I may be able to put up soon, I hope.

Meanwhile, I wrote up a couple of small things a few weeks ago for other blogs which got posted..

1) Grasping for the Wind – Best endings in the genre
John Ottinger asked some bloggers “What are the best endings in science fiction/fantasy novels?”

My answer was The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb (fantasy), Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (urban fantasy), 1984 by George Orwell (science fiction), and Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti (romantic steampunk). I explained why in that post!

P.S He also did a worst endings post (but I really couldn’t think of one)

2) Harlequin Week at Netgalley

So if you are a book blogger, it is FREE to sign up for netgalley where you can browse for books you want to review and request them. Harlequin is one of the publishers who just joined this service, and on their Follow the Reader blog asked some people’s thoughts on that. I’m quoted right smack dab in the middle of Jane Litte of Dear Author and Sarah of SBTB! Wowsa, a brush with blogger fame. 😛

Beastly movie trailer / Cheap kindle books

Beast form

I found out today through scifiwire that Alex Flinn’s book Beastly is coming out in movie form in July 2010. Looks like it could be a bit cheesy, but I may watch it on DVD. I like the Beauty and Beast retellings.. From

Kyle Kingson (Alex Pettyfer) has it all – looks, intelligence, wealth and opportunity – and a wicked cruel streak. Prone to mocking and humiliating “aggressively unattractive” classmates, he zeroes in on Goth classmate Kendra, inviting her to the school’s extravagant environmental bash.  Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion.  She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is – a task he considers impossible.

Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle’s callous father banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper and blind tutor. As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer.  Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter, Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) if she will consent to live in Kyle’s Brooklyn home.  Thus begins Kyle’s journey to discover true love in this hyper-modern retelling of the classic “Beauty and the Beast” story.

Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer star in “Beastly” Daniel Barnz (“Phoebe In Wonderland”) directs for CBS Films, the film division within CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS).  The project commenced principal photography in Montreal on June 13, 2009. Susan Cartsonis (“No Reservations,” “What Women Want”) is producing through her company, Storefront Pictures.  Roz Weisberg is co-producing.  In addition to his role as director, Barnz wrote the screenplay, which is based on the Alex Flinn novel of the same name.


In other news, Dear Author has posted about cheap kindle deals and how to search for them on Amazon. If you don’t have a kindle, don’t despair, because Amazon now has a Kindle for PC beta up. I downloaded it, and although it sometimes seems like they don’t have all the kinks out yet (like it made me come back later to register my Amazon account, and it’s having problems synching right now), it seems to do the job.

Some free books right now:
1)  The Wild’s Call by Jeri Smith-Ready (distant prequel to the Aspect of Crow trilogy)
The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, Book 1) by James Patterson
My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent
4)  The Demon Awakens by R.A. Salvatore
Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon
6)  A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton
7)  Starfist: First to Fight by David Sherman
Plus I see all the free harlequins from their 60th anniversary celebration.

For your amusement

I have reviews to do but I’m lazy so here’s a funny book cover that gave me some chuckles. This was from a website that posts particularly hilarous covers and blurbs of self-published books. This too was found through twitter a few months ago but I forgot to post it. This cover is my favorite but there are so many funny ones. It kind of reminds me of the awkward family photos blog.

Everyone’s Reading (free reads from Mills and Boon)

I love twitter. I found out about everyone’s reading there from eagle-eyed @Lou_bookpushers a couple of days ago. I’ve been meaning to try out Deanna Raybourn for a while now, so the first book from her series being out there for free is great. Also amusing: 7 out of the 10 books here have a baby/pregnancy in them!!! (By the way you can download these no matter where you are. I had no problems downloading from the U.S. and Lou is in the U.K I think).

Being giddy about Doubleblind & June releases

Just a quick post here:

I’m a big Ann Aguirre fangirl and every time I hear news about any of her new books I’m all a-tizzy. So I wanted to point out that over the weekend ocelott has put up the very first review anywhere of Doubleblind. She says:

“if you haven’t read the previous two books, here there be spoilers. If, however, you’ve glommed the first two and are waiting impatiently for Doubleblind to release, you’re safe. I give out no plot twists.”

And with that- – the Doubleblind review is here
I am looking forward to this one because I kind of have a thing for the “ambassador in a strange land/world” trope. Love it.

Mark of the Demon
Diana Rowland

There’s a whole BUNCH of new books coming out today. Sci Fi Guy posted June releases on his website and about 80% of the books there I want to read. Which is so bad when I just hauled back 40 some books from BEA. I have the sickness.

Amongst the list (coming out June 23rd) is Diana Rowland’s debut The Mark of the Demon. I’m currently reading it and it is GOOD. Also – the cover is really gorgeous – I gasped aloud when I saw the coverflat. Seriously – it has shiney patterns on it and I am mesmerized by it’s beauty.

The book I’m FOR SURE going to get this week is Ilona Andrew’s Silent Blade which just became available from Saimhain today. I’m all over it. It’s a short story and costs just $2.50. It will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine.

Steampunk – the Next Big Thing?

Above artwork is “Steampunk” by John Coulthart

Is Steampunk the new trend in the fantasy genre? I’m beginning to see it everywhere I look. But what is it? The image above has tongue-in-cheek a formula Jeff VanderMeer came up with: Mad Scientist Inventor [invention (steam x airship or metal man / baroque stylings) x (pseudo) Victorian setting] + progressive or reactionary politics x adventure plot = Steampunk.

Some books to look out for:

  • I just read and reviewed (LJ / vox / wordpress) Dru Pagliassotti’s Clockwork Heart. She’s busy working on the second book tentatively titled Obstruction Currents. She has also been working on a third novel with the working title King’s Monster, but I don’t know if that is also steampunk.
  • Karin Lowachee is working on The Gaslight Dogs (she’s the author of an amazing science fiction trilogy Warchild, Burndive, and Cagebird). I haven’t seen much about this one so it may be coming out later from orbit books:
    “Very different from her previous military science fiction novels, this is a Victorian era steampunk novel in the style of Philip Pullman taking us from the Arctic North to steeped rooftops of civilization and the savages to the east. (Fall/Winter 2009)”
  • Liz Maverick is working on Crimson and Steam, which should be out January 2010 and which is set in her Crimson city universe.
The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy ParkerSteamed by Katie MacAlisterSoulless by Gail Carriger

  • Katie MacAlister is working on a Steampunk series that will have it’s first book out in 2010. Her website has this announcement: “I’ve just received the cover to Steamed, the first in a new series of Steampunk romances, which will be out February 2010. The cover isn’t quite finished (you can view a large version of it here), but you can get a sneak peek at it and the back cover copy to see what all the fuss is about. Fluff up your bustle, polish your pocket watch, adjust your goggles, and crank up the Abney Park! It’s steam time, ladies and gentlemen! ”
  • The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber is coming out from Dorchester on 09/09/09 and has a lovely cover. The author calls it a “ghostly, gothic Victorian fantasy”. Looks promising. Link to the book trailer. The cover blurb:
    “What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow-white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered a portal to a new life, an education far from the convent—and an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death….”
  • Gail Carriger has a book out September from Orbit: Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate):Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette. Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?SOULLESS is a comedy of manners set in Victorian London: full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.”
  • Meljean Brook has twittered about a steampunk book with pirates. Research reveals she’s got a new series in the works called the Iron Seas

The books coming out should be interesting. I see both authors with a background in romance and science fiction/fantasy coming into the same genre. I’m really looking forward to the results.

The Galaxy Express: Steampunk Romance Watch

Book Art – Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen

Thomas Allen

Cool Link –

“American photographer Thomas Allen constructs witty and clever dioramas using figures cut from the covers of old pulp paperbacks. Using salacious pulp art drawing’s of the ’40s and ’50s that covered books such as ” I Married a Dead Man” and ” Marihuana Girl’, Allen constructs one set of pictures up close while obscuring another, and in the process creates a different context. Each piece is given a brand new storyline, though never quite strays from their cheeky origins”

Amusing reviews I’ve read today

OK for some reason today is the day for things that make me snort. Two reviews for books I've read had me chortling away:

Twilight Review here:

This is so snarky.












A review of Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair here:

This reviewer liked the book a lot (which is good because this is my favorite Sinclair so far) and she still made me laugh.








And for good measure here's a short story that pokes fun at the idea of certain kinds of heroes:

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Contest Roundup

Some interesting contests going on out there right now:

  • Mark Henry is hosting a contest with a variety of great prizes to celebrate the release of his second book – Road Trip of the Living Dead. Prizes include a Dinner and a Movie package, Coffee and Gas package and a basket of books. All you need to do is preorder his book and send a copy of the receipt to Winners are announced Feb 24th, so try to enter before then.
  • So have you not heard about the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? Basically Lizzy and Darcy meet and battle zombies together or something.

If that's not nutty enough for you, how about the movie "Pride and Predator"? Executive produced by Elton John, it's about Pride and Prejudice plus aliens (I'm still not convinced this isn't a hoax). Smart Bitches is having a 24 hour contest for a $25 gift certificate if you come up with another zany combination of a book with some nutty thing inserted into it like these two shining examples.

  • Ann Aguirre is having a Blue Diablo blowout to celebrate her newest release. This is the first book in her new Corine Solomon urban fantasy series. Some really nice B&N, Amazon and Lush gift cards are on the line – more than one prize, and more than one way to enter. Plus this contest is open for a while (you have about a month or so). Check it out! 

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