Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Here!

Sometimes having a Kindle is like Christmas - while you sleep, the magic book fairy delivers it so you can start reading as soon as you wake up. Merry Christmas to me.

Woke up to Magic Slays - will now squirrel myself away so I can revel in the awesomeness.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I get to be She-Ra!

Okay, not really. But my inner 10-year old has got grabby hands over the new She-Ra t-shirt at ThinkGeek. Freaking awesome. (Be sure to check out the front AND the back.) I must have it.
And yes, I would totally wear it, along with my Wonder Woman shirt. One note: this is the babydoll style, so unless you're cool with very tight shirts, you might want to go a size or 2 up from normal.

Great Deal on The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

This fantastic steampunk romance by the talented Meljean Brook is just $5.63 for the paperback over at Amazon (link goes to product page).

The Iron Seas series will be getting it's own post soon (I love it that much), so I won't say more other than if you were interested in starting this series, now is the time to get it. Don't know how long this price will last.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Survival, Sequins and Beauty Queens

I recently read (and loved by the way), Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I've found with satire, you either love it or hate it, there's little middle ground. Bray's commentary on the pressures put on girls struck home for me. It made me think, and a week later, I'm still thinking about it.

I went to an all-girls high school, so I consider myself quite fluent in bitch.  I've heard a few parents say that they're considering private school so that their kids won't have to deal with the horrible "mean girls" and high pressures. After I pick myself up off the ground laughing, well, I laugh some more. As a parent of a young girl, I get wanting to protect your own kids from that. I just don't think you can. I am not ashamed to admit that the idea of parenting a teenager scares the crap out of me, but I'll deal, she'll deal, and we'll come out of it OK. I just need to keep my head out of denial-land. Books like this are good for that.

The contestants for the Miss Teen Dream pageant have crash landed on a seemingly deserted island. The survivors need to find food, build shelter, and practice their opening number because they will be rescued anytime, right? Add some freakishly weird snakes, explosive beauty products, corporate espionage and pirates and you have a very fun romp through our image (and reality show-obsessed) society. The stereotypes start out heavy, the humor is biting, and I was a tiny bit concerned that I wouldn't care enough about the characters to hope they made it off the island. But I did, and in fact the character I first thought I'd be rooting for the most, isn't the one that ended up being my favorite. There are also some great lines - who wouldn't want to be the Che Guevara of pageants? And WWWWD ("What Would Wonder Woman Do?") should be on a t-shirt.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fun Stuff & Recent Reads

Alpha Showdown

I so wish I had thought of this, but that honor goes to Vampire Book Club. So far there has been a Bones vs Wrath battle (Bones for the win), Cat vs Fayth (Cat wins), and Anita vs Eugenie (Anita squeaked by). Dmitri vs Jace and Zsadist vs Curran are going on now. Curran needs votes, people.  Barrons is up tomorrow, and Kate will be up soon. Head on over, vote, check out the awesome bracket. Fun stuff.

Recent Reads

Dark Descendant by Jenna Black

My plan had been to start this one after I'd finished a couple more on my TBR list, but I decided to peruse the first couple of pages, got sucked in, and couldn't put it down (or read anything else) until I finished. Dealing with the descendants of gods living in modern times, battles between factions, and a descendant of Artemis who is thrust into all of this, putting her loved ones and her own life in jeopardy. I loved the heroine from the start, likeable, funny, but not bitter or too tough to be believable. Really interesting world, and being the sucker for all things myth-based, I ate it up. Check it out. [link goes to Goodreads.]

Monday, May 16, 2011


I have a confession to make - I used to be a bio major. Now, as soon as I hit O-Chem and discovered that the only way I was passing was because of my stellar lab reports (mostly describing everything I did wrong), I hopped back over to my beloved books and English dept. Never really looked back, either, although I do still love experiments and scientific discovery and all that. Maybe in part because scientists are trying to discover new things, things that previous generations would have thought were impossible or magic.

As a kid, I remember fighting with my dad over the remote control. I probably wanted to watch Rainbow Brite, but he needed his weekly Dr. Who and Wild Wild West fix (Saturday and Sunday mornings used to be re-run central at my house). Usually he won and we watched episodes together every weekend. Maybe that's also why I love steampunk, with the infusion of gadgetry, alternate histories, science and adventure. So maybe it's not that steampunk is "new" as it's about time we're recognizing it.

Here's a couple of books to think about (and yes, most have some kind of paranormal element too - I like what I like).

The Steampunk Bible by Jeff Vandermeer History, fashion, art, books, music, TV and Movies. Have questions about "what this whole steampunk thingy is anyways?" then check out this book.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Odds & Ends

Here's a few random thoughts, cheap eBook finds, other fun stuff like that.

EBook Deals:

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin - fantastic book 1 in Fantasy trilogy! You have politics, gods, wars between the gods, betrayal, schemes, sacrifice, and it has a kickass heroine! OK, so Yeine might not actually do much physical ass-kicking in this book, but you know she could. The next book is wonderful too. You need to see why Kingdoms has been picking up award noms right and left. Did I mention the eBook is just $2.99?
Amazon   B&N  Google Books  Sony

Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcow - I haven't read this series yet, although I am a fan of the Strange Angels series by the same author. Great eBook deal - $9.99 for all 5 books. I got it and I'm looking forward to starting it.
Amazon  B&N  Google Books  Sony

Note: You can probably guess where I get most of my eBooks, but I tried to link to the other biggies. If I'm missing some, let me know. Also apologies for those outside the states - I know that prices and availability vary from country to country.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

YA Urban Fantasy

There is a lot of YA (young adult for the uninitiated) out there, and even more is coming. True, a lot of it deals with high school, love triangles abound, and sometimes the angst-o-meter goes off the charts, but I still love to read it. Maybe I'm nostalgic, maybe I've never really grown up (actually, that one is a fact), or maybe I just like that although bad things might happen, almost universally YA books end with hope. Whatever the reason, I am very excited about quite a few new YA series.

One thing I've noticed is a trend towards darker, more adult themes. I think this is a reflection of both the large number of adult readers coming back to YA, and that teen readers are staying within YA longer than they might have in the past. I know when I was a teen I made the switch to adult books fairly quickly. Given today's abundance, I might have stayed in the YA stacks.

There are 2 series out right now that I feel are just a few steps away from adult Urban Fantasy. If you tacked on a few more years to these heroines, I think they would fit in well on my shelves next to Kate, Mercy and Rachel. Sure, they make lots of mistakes (show me an adult who never made mistakes as a kid and I'll show you a liar), and they have the usual teen insecurities, especially when it comes to boys. Teens get surly, think they know everything, and rebel at the most inopportune times. I know I did (and acted like a complete idiot around any boys I liked). This makes some people cringe, but neither of these heroines made me want to duck for cover - they felt like real teens in surreal circumstances.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is it May 31 Yet?

Of course it isn't. If it was May 31, I would not be on the computer - I would be snuggled in my chair, devouring every word of Ilona Andrews latest Kate Daniels book, Magic Slays.

I love this series. Nope, that's not good enough. I am addicted to this series. I am proud of the fact that I have gotten other people addicted to this series. I have re-read the books, I have stalked the author's web site looking for snippets. I found this series when life had punched me in the face a few times, and the books gave me the escape I needed.

Why do I crave it? First off, the characters are amazing. They feel real - a great feat in a magical setting, but also necessary. I can suspend all kinds of disbelief if I have a character I can empathize with on some level. Also, the characters grow over time, both personally and in their relationships. They are changed by what happens to them. There is romance, but it is the slow-building kind, and that adds another level of realism.