“Waiting On” Wednesday

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a meme created at Breaking the Spine to spotlight upcoming releases that we can’t wait to read.

Today I’m ecstatic to have found the gorgeous cover art for Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs.

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Here’s the summary, taken from Goodreads:

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson’s life is calming down, at least enough that she can focus on mundane matters like Black Friday sales. But on her return, Mercy is unable to contact her mate, Alpha Adam Hauptman, or the other members of their pack. All she knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related – and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from the most unlikely of allies: the vampire seethe.

It’s been too long since the last time we got to visit Mercy, and judging by that blurb, oh how I hope we get to see more of Stefan!

This title is released on March 5, 2013.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Characters I would Switch Places with for 24 Hours

1. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Obviously, this series is my number one priority in terms of getting to live in it myself (my recent trip to the Wizarding World only strengthened my belief that Hogwarts would be the greatest place to live in the world). I see more of myself in Luna than in any of Rowling’s other characters (though Hermione is a close second), and if I had to stand in someone’s shoes for a day, I’d pick Luna hands-down. She’s smart, quirky, doesn’t care what others think, loves eccentric animals, has a brave sense of fashion, and just so happens to be a fellow Ravenclaw.
2. Kate Daniels from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Ever since I was a kid, I have wanted to be Buffy. She never fails to have a quippy comeback at the ready, and, more to the point, she kicks ass. But since I haven’t read a Buffy-related book since high school, I’ll have to get my vicarious fighting kicks through Kate instead. Having Curran by my side would only sweeten the deal.
3. Clare from The China Garden by Liz Berry
Ever since I first picked this book up in high school, I have longed to visit Ravensmere. If I were to trade places with Clare for the day, you’d be hard-pressed to tear me away from this gloriously quaint-sounding village.
4. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Many will probably go with Lola from Lola and the Boy Next Door, but for me, Anna is the girl I’d want to be (and be friends with once my twenty-four hours were up). I’ve never been out of the country, so spending a day in Paris with a great group of friends and one swoony male named Etienne sounds like heaven.
5. Amy from the Secret Society Girl series by Diana Peterfreund
I switched majors from journalism to geography in college, and I was never a part of the Greek life, so the Secret Society Girl series represents an intriguing peek into the college experience that I never had. Granted, my decisions were made intentionally, so I don’t regret never having been in a sorority or other society, but Peterfreund’s series made me wonder what it would be like nonetheless.
6. Penelope from Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Whenever I read a historical romance or one of the classics, I can’t help but ponder what life would have been like as a woman living amidst the restrictions imposed by society, class, and corsets. As unpleasant as many of the details seem, though, I’d like to experience it if only for a day. I’m bypassing classic heroines like Lizzie Bennett and my beloved Jane Eyre here and instead going with a more lighthearted take on the general era.
7. Mercy Thompson from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
Originally I was going to go with Elena from Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. Then I remembered the excruciating pain that Elena experiences during transformation as a werewolf, and I decided that if I were really going to get my fuzzy alternate persona on, I’d be better off as a shapeshifter.
8. Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Dressing in eccentric outfits, baking holiday cookies, browsing The Strand bookstore, and exchanging witty journal entry dares with a mysterious penpal…I’d trade places with Lily in a heartbeat.
9. Tish from Wicked As They Come by Delilah S. Dawson
This is yet another entry chosen solely for the opportunity to visit the wonderful world in which the story takes place. Sang sounds like an absolute trip, and one that I would gladly take.
10. Anyone from one of Sarah Addison Allen’s novels
I spent the better part of ten minutes trying to choose one of Allen’s novels, but I honestly cannot limit myself to only one. As a North Carolina resident, I could pretend that I do actually live amidst the subtle magic that winds itself throughout all of Allen’s narrative threads, but it’s simply not the same. None of the trees in my backyard throw enchanted apples at me, and the wallpaper doesn’t change to reflect my mood. I long to be a part of the quietly magical realm that Allen has created.

Showcase Sunday

Showcase Sunday is a meme created by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to share new book acquisitions, whether bought, gifted, received for review, borrowed, or won.

Bought

  • Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
  • Magic’s Promise by Mercedes Lackey
  • Magic’s Price by Mercedes Lackey
  • The Hob’s Bargain by Patricia Briggs
  • Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs
  • Raven’s Strike by Patricia Briggs
  • The Queen of Attolia ARC by Megan Whalen Turner
  • Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty
  • Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

For Review

 

 

  • Breaking the Devil’s Heart (Signed) by H.A. Goodman (received from author)
  • About Last Night by Ruthie Knox (from Random House)
  • Two and Twenty Dark Tales Anthology (from NetGalley)
  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (from NetGalley)
  • Andy Squared by Jennifer Lavoie (from NetGalley)

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Favorite Covers

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

1. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

2. The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

Looking for Alaska by John Green

3. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

5. A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

6. Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith

8. The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

9. River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is:

What’s more important to you? Real, three-dimensional, fleshed-out fascinating characters? Or an amazing, page-turning plot?

(Yes, I know, they are both important. But if you had to pick one as being more important than the other?

Just a few of the leading ladies of urban fantasy who keep me coming back for more: Kate Daniels, Toby Daye, Sirantha Jax, MacKayla Lane, Mercy Thompson, Cat Crawfield, Justine Jones, and Kitty Katt

I’ve already answered this exact question for a previous Musing Mondays meme, which can be seen here. I’ll repeat the answer I gave before.

 

I read for the characters. Half the time, I honestly don’t even care how novel or complex the plot is (or, often the case, is not). World-building is exciting and helps to draw me into the novel, but if the characters aren’t relatable or believable, I will likely jump ship. While many people probably find their literary cathartic relief through the experience of living another person’s trials and adventures, I live for absorbing the emotions of the story. An author finds a place on my auto-buy list when I can actually feel my stomach twist or my heart ache along with the character.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: What book or author are you most thankful to have discovered? Have you read everything they’ve written? Reread them? Why do you appreciate them so much?

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow readers.

This question is nearly impossible to answer. It feels a bit like Sophie’s Choice. There are so many different routes I could take. I’m thankful to my mom for introducing me to Jane Eyre back in fourth grade, for it remains and will always be my favorite novel. Not a year goes by that I don’t reread it at least once and experience the thrill all over again. Yet I can’t say that Charlotte Bronte is my favorite author, nor that the classic gothic romance is my favorite genre, though I have read a fair amount of it in the works of Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, and Mary Stewart.

I’m thankful to one of my friends for tipping me off to Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. Again, though, while I love Briggs’ writing and Mercy is one of my favorite series heroines, neither Briggs nor the series are at the very top of my favorites list. Still, had I not been exposed to Moon Called, I might not have discovered the urban fantasy genre, which has been my favorite genre for many years now.

I’m thankful to Neil Gaiman and Tim Powers for expanding my imagination through their convoluted and brilliant worlds, to Karen Marie Moning and Anne Bishop for writing two of my favorite fantasy series, to Kerouac and Fitzgerald and Salinger for giving us some of the greatest novels ever written. I’m thankful to readers who love fiction as much as I do for continuing to purchase the written word.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open (because of the cliffhanger or because it the ending was MINDBLOWING, etc.)

1. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

Everyone who has read the Fever series knows what I’m talking about on this one. For those of you who haven’t read it, make sure you have Shadowfever at the ready, or else you’ll wind up staked out at the bookstore waiting for the doors to open (true story).

2. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Not only is the Cat and Bones relationship one of the best in the paranormal field, but this first installment in the Night Huntress series defies expectations of what a paranormal romance should be.

3. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

 

Few can read this series without coming to love Mercy, and so the trials she undergoes in this third book of the series hit especially hard. Briggs does a wonderful job in portraying the events that unfold realistically (as much so as can be expected in a fantasy series) and without gratuitous grittiness.

4. Double Cross by Carolyn Crane

Few books have left me with my mouth hanging open, but this one takes the cake. It’s been a cruel kind of torture having to wait for the final book in the trilogy, but I’m thrilled that this unfortunately orphaned series has found a publisher at last.

5. Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

I’m never sure whether I really like this series until I read the latest book. Then, I lament the long lag-times in between installments. This latest was the best yet and ended with quite the cliffhanger.

6. Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

Thank goodness I have the trilogy in a bound set; otherwise, I would have been scouring local bookstores searching for the second book in this trilogy. This first book ends with a bang, and the repercussions haunt the characters in the wake.

7. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

Upon finishing this book, I looked up and demanded of anyone in the vicinity, “That’s it?!” This one was jaw-dropping simply for my incredulity at Armstrong’s decision to break up what is essentially one storyline into three books.

8. Sunshine by Robin McKinley

I believe that Sunshine is to be my never-ending lament. I just can’t reconcile myself to the fact that the story is over; there’s so much more there that needs to be explored, but until it is, I will have to be content with my poorly-written fanfiction (which I cannot even post, per McKinley’s request).

9 & 10. Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

I won’t say to much for fear of spoiling the series, but for those who haven’t read it, I’ll simply advise you to have some tissues ready.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s theme is: Top Ten Books I Want To Reread

Since I reread (at least in part) all the time, I’ve limited my list to those books that I’ve only ever read once.

1.The Prestige by Christopher Priest

I remember reading this book over Christmas weekend a few years ago and being completely enthralled. I’d be interested to see if my impression would be the same after having read a bit more steampunk fiction. (Though The Prestige is not a steampunk work, it does have elements that evoke the genre).

2. The Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey

I absolutely loved the first half of this book; it was perfect. The second half disappointed me, and my emotion prompted me to get rid of my copy. I’ve spent the past year tracking down a new copy and have a feeling that I’ll enjoy it a lot more the second time around.

3. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card

This book is a brilliant example of fairy tale adaptation, and I honestly don’t know why I haven’t reread it already. It’s going to the top of my reread list.

4. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers

Tim Powers novels are never easy, and while I remember the main structure of this wonderful book, I’ve forgotten much of the detail (assuming I grasped it all the first time around).

5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

I’m not sure I will love this one as much upon rereading it as I did when I first read it, but I know it will be an enjoyable experience nonetheless. I will probably save this one for after I finally get around to watching the movie.

6. Nightlife by Rob Thurman

Followers already know that the Cal Leandros series is among my absolute favorites. At some point, I am going to sit down and reread the series from start to finish just to experience Cal’s maturation anew.

7. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Honestly, I forget which book introduced me to Gaiman, but I feel like this might have been it. And though I largely forget the substance of this book, I remember thinking that I’d rarely read such a delightfully odd and witty work. When do you really need an excuse to read more Gaiman?

8.The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I only read this within the past few months, but I’m already looking forward to reading it again. I’m forcing myself to wait a few more months so the prose will be that much more striking upon distance from memory.

9. Masques by Patricia Briggs

Briggs’ straight fantasy works aren’t quite as great as her urban fantasy series, but I was really impressed by her rewrite of this first novel. I’ll follow it up with the sequel, Wolfsbane, which exceeded the first in my opinion.

10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I’m not the biggest fan of this series, but I think I’ll have to do a reread prior to the release of the movie. Maybe I’ll develop a bit of liking for the characters this time around.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish that allows us to list our top ten answers to a different question each week.

This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Trends You’d Like To See More of/Less of

Less

1. Love Triangles
For some reason, more and more authors (particularly YA authors) are becoming convinced

I prefer my novels team-free.

that this is the only acceptable form of romantic entanglement. I can’t speak for all readers, but I for one do not find it easier to relate to a character who can’t turn the corner without a new man falling in a dazed stupor at her feet. Perhaps if some of this page time were dedicated to developing the relationship between two characters rather than figuring out how to delicately remove the third side of the triangle, I would find more literary couples to cheer on.

2. Insta-love
Again, I’m looking at you, young adult authors, although I ultimately blame Shakespeare for this one. I’ve never found Romeo and Juliet romantic. They were two kids whose hormone-addled brains decided to get some action and give the finger to their parents all at the same time. They did not know each other, barely spoke to each other, yet died for each other. I rolled my eyes at this premise back in seventh grade, and I roll my eyes whenever an author resurrects it with characters who experience ALL-CONSUMING-LOVE within a week of meeting each other. Please see above re: relationship development.

3. Cheating
Adultery is not sexy. True, it is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean I want to read about it in romantic contexts. I give a slight pass to non-romance-centric genres, but only if they make their non-romantic status clear from the get-go.

4. E-books
There is no substitute for the feel of a book in your hands as the pages flip past, or for the anticipation of strolling through your local bookstore searching for a new release, or for the beauty of book covers that are an art unto themselves. E-readers are lightweight, perhaps cheaper…and offer absolutely none of this.

5. Series
When you find a great series, there’s excitement and comfort in knowing that you won’t have to say goodbye to your favorite characters when you turn the last page. Yet, now and then, I wish I could open an urban fantasy novel and know that there will be resolution come the end, without any loose threads or dreaded cliffhangers. If Neil Gaiman can do it, so can others.

More

I bet Mercy could use something right around now. Like a jacket.

1.Covers with clothing
Personally, if I were about to engage in hand-to-hand with a nasty beasty, I would want something covering my midriff. I’m sure some of the heroines could do with fewer tattoos as well.

2. The Anti-Mary Sue
Mercy, Kate, Cat, Mac…want to know what some of my favorite UF heroines have in common? They make mistakes. Why anyone would want to read about an infallible protagonist is beyond me, because what could you possibly learn from such perfection? There is a difference between a character that is perfect, and a character that is strong, assertive, and intelligent, for often it is in over-thinking things that one makes the biggest mistakes. The best characters may overthink, or they may (gasp) act human and not even think at all at times, but they own up to their mistakes, and therein lies growth. Please note: the same can be said for TSTL heroines.

3. The Beta Hero
Yes, we get it, it’s fun to fantasize about the brawny, bossy male. But how many of us would actually be able to tolerate that in real life? There is a dearth of Beta men, and I’m calling for that to be rectified. Strength is sexier when it doesn’t come in a domineering package, and it’s time that authors start romanticizing the heroes that are right next door.

4. Updated Mythology and Folklore
Newsflash: there’s more to the supernatural than the creatures that want to drink your blood. Greek, Egyptian, Celtic…there’s no end to the mythologies available for artistic interpretation, and I’d love to see more authors start to take advantage of that.

5. Loving Family Relationships
Estrangement, dysfunction, abuse…they are themes prevalent both in fantasy as well as young adult fiction, and sometimes they provide a necessary background for the protagonist. But more often than not, they seem gratuitous, as if by depriving their main characters of a loving family the authors can simultaneously secure audience sympathy and make their characters seem more capable and edgy. Yet, as I highlighted in my reviews for Audrey, Wait!, The Black Jewels Trilogy, and Blackout, family relationships often provide some of the most interesting dynamics among characters.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a meme created at Book Journey to catalogue everything read in the past week, what you’re working on now, and what you hope to get to in the coming week.

This upcoming week threatens to be super busy once again, so I’m not as optimistic toward my TBR list.

Past Week

Princess in Love by Meg Cabot

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Wages of Sin by Jenna Maclaine

Grave Sins by Jenna Maclaine

Re-Reading Now:

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

 The Week Ahead:

Bound by Sin by Jenna Maclaine

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Fire by Kristin Cashore