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Friday, February 28, 2003

Anne Bishop's SHADOWS AND LIGHT (Book 2) -- excellent!

Check it out at Amazon. -->

I highly recommend this book!! ...It follows Aiden, the Bard, and Lyrra, the Muse, as they continue to try to warn the witches and convince the fae to help them. ...They make sacrifices, and go through danger, horror, and despair. Their fear for each other has changed them and made them realize their true love for each other only. :-) Which makes this book much more romantic and satisfying than the first.

...There are even have a few other touches of romance that I enjoyed. I loved this book and could hardly put it down. It's romantic, horrifying, amusing in parts, and heroic. I enjoyed it much better than the first book of the series and look forward to the third.--Linda

[more on SHADOWS AND LIGHT...]
[more on book one, THE PILLARS OF THE WORLD...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Harlequin Update
Michele Hauf has sold three books to the new (still unnamed) Harlequin Fantasy Line. They are not vampire books. Michele also said that another romance author has sold to them and that the editor, Mary-Theresa, has bought books that have varying amounts of romance.

Posted by rebekah [Link]

Holly Black's TITHE -- Isabel's impressions
 <-- Check it out at Amazon.

I finished TITHE. Lovely story and I think I'm in love with Roiben.

I really enjoyed this book, but my mind is such a sieve lately that I doubt I would be very coherent in analyzing the whys and wherefores of my enjoyment. So impressions.... the girl (whose name slips my mind) was interesting enough but not the high point of the book for me. I found Roiben fascinating and wish Black had delved into his experiences more that she did. I can see why he found what's-her-face's courage and loyalty irresistible but I would have preferred to see the romance developed a little more. But the romance is there and this is a YA book.... It's a very fast read and I even stayed up to read it in one night (highly unusual for me nowadays) but I wanted a little more....

If you have the book, go read it. If I can finish it in one night while suffering from reader's block then you can too :)--Isabel


Posted by Preeti [Link]

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Tor editor Anna Genoese has released the guidelines for submissions to the new Tor Paranormal Romance imprint. Looks promising ...

Proposal Guidelines for TOR ROMANCE

Tor Books is actively seeking well-written novel-length stories, focusing on both plot and character development. All submissions, no matter which of the following subcategories they fall into, must include paranormal elements (emphasis Genoese).

These are the subcategories we are looking for under the general heading of "paranormal romance":
(a) plausible science fiction
(b) fantasy
(c) horror / otherworldly beings (i.e., vampires, goblins, faeries, ghosts, banshees, skinwalkers, zombies, golem, etc.)
(d) near-future / speculative fiction
(e) non-standard time travel

As Tor Books is an award-winning, world-renowed science fiction and fantasy publisher, please be advised that submissions in those areas will be held to our usual standards for plausibility, world-building, character development, and the various elements that comprise these genres.

We are not looking for:
(a) fluffy comedies
(b) inspirational religious
(c) traditional/typical stories in which a ghost or an angel falls in love with a human (or vice versa); if you plan on using this plot, please come at it from a fresh and original angle
(d) traditional/category romance

Each novel should include at least two main plot elements: one, the romance and the conflict inherent in that; two, another significant conflict. Both storylines should be crucial to the overall novel, and the romantic elements should make up no more than half the entire story.

We are open to non-traditional romances (i.e., multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-spiritual, homosexual, etc.), as well as traditional ones. We are open to very erotic works as well as less graphic ones; in any work the sex and romance should be believable and rational and well-suited to the story.

From the Tor site [more]

Posted by rebekah @ 10:13 AM ET [Link]

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Sharon Shinn's ANGELICA
 <-- Check it out at Amazon.

ANGELICA is a prequel to Sharon Shinn's science-fiction-that-reads-like-fantasy Samaria Trilogy. It's quite good--I read it in one long sitting--even though it isn't in the league of ARCHANGEL. You know, I'm as taken aback as when I read the earlier books at how strong a role the love story plays in Shinn's book. And there're two sets of romances in ANGELICA.

There are three characters to follow in this book. Susannah is a woman of the gypsy-like Edori tribe... Gaaron, the Archangel-elect, is basically a rock-solid guy... Gaaron's rebellious young sister Miriam was not born an angel, and is trying to find her place in this world...

While I liked the story very much, a weakness in the story to me was that Susannah didn't exactly move the plot along. Things kind of happened to her and she was just there. The dynamic (chaotic?) Miriam took center stage by the latter half of the story, almost completely overshadowing the main couple (although Shinn did a bit of rescue with the poetry of Susannah and Gaaron's lovers declaration at the end.)

Overall, though, I can definitely recommend ANGELICA. Samaria is such a fascinating science fiction world, with its winged angels and oracles and gypsies and traders and the love of music...--Preeti

[more on ANGELICA...]
[more on ARCHANGEL...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Some Garth Nix news

From the Garth Nix website--

SABRIEL has been shortlisted in the 2003 British Book Industry Awards, aka "the Nibbies", in the Newcomer of the Year category (sponsored by Virgin) and shortlisted in the WHSmith People's Choice Awards.

Actor Tim Curry has read SABRIEL, LIRAEL and ABHORSON for the Listening Library (Random House) audio book editions (April 2002, May 2002 and January 2003). (Now that could be interesting ...)

Posted by rebekah [Link]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Danielle's Recent Reads -- Briggs, Marcellas
 <-- Check it out at Amazon.

Just finished Patricia Briggs' DRAGON BONES tonight. No romance, but I really enjoyed it and am very interested in the sequel.

Ward was a wonderful character - his emotions were very real, without tipping over into the laboured angst of the "wounded hero" type. And Briggs could teach a lot of authors about pacing; the plot moves along as smoothly as a silk thread, never too fast or slow, and every event (even the big surprise) is inevitable.

In a related rant, I started reading Diana Marcellas' MOTHER OCEAN, DAUGHTER SEA a week ago and haven't gotten past the first four chapters because things were Moving. Much. Too. Slowly for me... and I'm not an impatient reader. Danielle--Danielle

[more on DRAGON BONES...]
[more on DRAGON BLOOD...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

Julie's Recent Reads -- Tarr, Shinn

<--check out at Amazon-->

re: Judith Tarr:
I finally read a book, and Danielle reviews it for me. LOL. My thoughts exactly on THE DEVIL'S BARGAIN. Maybe I'm tired of Tarr's work, she definitely needs to break out a little. But it was a quick read with a happy ending, which is always good.

re: Sharon Shinn:
I will definitely pick up the next Shinn, although I did not really care for JENNA STARBORN. It was too unbelievable for me, too stilted, not her best.--Julie

[more on Tarr's THE DEVIL'S BARGAIN...]
[more on Shinn's JENNA STARBORN...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

Monday, February 10, 2003

Anne Bishop News
Dark Jewels Trilogy
According to Anne Bishop's Web site, she's going to be a contributor to Deb Smith & Co.'s MOSSY CREEK 3. Also, the Dark Jewels Trilogy is coming out as an omnibus trade pb in December 2003 and includes DAUGHTER OF THE BLOOD, HEIR TO THE SHADOWS, and QUEEN OF THE DARKNESS.

Posted by rebekah [Link]

Locus Recommended Reading
The Locus February 2003 issue includes the 2002 Recommended Reading List.

Several familiar names are on the Fantasy list:
KUSHIEL'S CHOSEN by Jacqueline Carey
THE LADY OF SORROWS by Cecilia Dart-Thornton
LOST IN A GOOD BOOK by Jasper Fforde
A FISTFUL OF SKY by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
THE FALL OF KINGS by Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman
A BED OF EARTH by Tanith Lee
CHILD OF THE PROPHECY by Juliet Marillier
OMBRIA IN SHADOW by Patricia A. McKillip

Best First Novels include
THE EYE OF NIGHT by Pauline J. Alama (Her name came up during the Sapphire Awards last year)

-- From Locus

Posted by rebekah [Link]

From the February 2003 Locus
- Catherine Asaro sold "Skolian Empire" novel TRIAD to Tor.
- Juliet Marillier's new "Bridei" trilogy sold to Tor for a very nice advance. (Same as the advance that Lackey got for her Harlequin.)
- Julie E. Czerneda sold the first two as-yet-untitled books in her new "Stratification" series to DAW.
- MaryJanice Davidson's trilogy, comprised of UNDEAD & UNWED, UNDEAD & UNEMPLOYED, and DERIK'S BANE, sold to Berkley.
- Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey delivered "Pern" novel THE UGLY DRAGON to Del Rey.
- Lynn Flewelling turned in HIDDEN WARRIOR to Bantam Spectra.
- Anne Bishop delivered THE HOUSE OF GAIAN to Roc.
- Film rights to J. D. Robb's "In Death" series were optioned by Fox 2000 for Icon productions.

-- From Locus

Posted by rebekah [Link]

Sunday, February 9, 2003

Harris wins major mystery award
Dead Until Dark<--check out at Amazon

Charlaine Harris was the surprise winner of a major mystery-genre award at this year's Bouchercon, the mystery world's largest annual gathering.
From January 2003 SF Chronicle--
"The Anthony Award is voted by the members of the convention and the winner for Best Paperback Original Mystery was DEAD UNTIL DARK by Charlaine Harris (Ace). Ms. Harris is an established mystery writer but DEAD UNTIL DARK is a Dark Fantasy novel and was published by Ace Books, a dedicated SF/Fantasy genre imprint. It's the first book in 'The Southern Vampire' series, and naturally, features a vampire as one of the main characters. In fact, the series has been compared to Laurell K. Hamilton's best-selling Anita Blake sequence. Not the usual stuff of mystery popularity."

[For what we thought about DEAD UNTIL DARK ...]

Posted by rebekah [Link]

Saturday, February 8, 2003

Danielle's recent reads -- Tarr, Shinn
 <--check out at Amazon

DEVIL'S BARGAIN was vintage Tarr in the writing style and in the romance subplot -- star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of the Crusades. It's an alternate history in which Eleanor of Aquitaine is an evil sorceress and the heroine is Richard Lionheart's bastard half-sister.

I love most of Tarr's earlier books, but I've found her later stuff rather monotonous. A month or two after reading this book, I don't remember details about any of the characters except the ones that annoyed me. It's probably a sign that I've read too much fanfiction, but I felt the heroine verged on MarySuedom. (Violet eyes, for Pete's sake!)

Considering the forces keeping the h&h; apart, the romance should have had more emotional impact, but I never really felt any tension about the outcome.

My final verdict would be a very mild recommend. It's a quick read; pick it up if you love the time period or Tarr, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

check out at Amazon-->

I also just finished SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN by Sharon Shinn.

While I liked the heroine a lot, the generic setting wasn't very convincing. (Quotes from THE TOUGH GUIDE TO FANTASYLAND kept popping into my head while reading.) And frankly, I disagreed with the romantic pairings - I could see who was going to end up with who, and why, I just didn't agree.

It was a nice, sweet read, and everything is resolved happily, if a little unrealistically. Another mild recommend - it would be a good choice for an undemanding comfort read.--Danielle

[more on Tarr's THE DEVIL'S BARGAIN...]
[more on Shinn's SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

JW's Newest Reads -- Hetley, Czerneda, Hobb

<--check out at Amazon-->

I picked up THE SUMMER COUNTRY by James A. Hetley from the library, but didn't finish it. Didn't hate it, just kept losing interest and putting it down. Had the same reaction to A THOUSAND WORDS FOR STRANGER by Julie E. Czerneda, except I think this was the second time I'd tried this book and failed to finish it. I really enjoyed another book by her last year, IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS, which is why I decided to give it another try. Oh, well ...

I also find myself skimming a a lot. I got through a trilogy by Robin Hobb (SHIP OF MAGIC/MAD SHIP/SHIP OF DESTINY) and found parts really fascinating and others almost without interest (so I skimmed). I completely understand what Preeti means about the Kate Elliott book(s).--JW

[more on Hetley's THE SUMMER COUNTRY...]
[more on Czerneda's A THOUSAND WORDS FOR STRANGER...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

Friday, February 7, 2003

Kate Elliott's THE GATHERING STORM (Book 5)
 <-- Check it out at Amazon.

Well, I made it to about page 300 (of 864) of Kate Elliott's THE GATHERING STORM reading every word. And then I gave up and began following only those of the multiple story arcs that interested me: Sanglant and Liath's. The strange thing about this series is how absolutely compelling I find Liath and Sanglant to be and how boring and uninteresting everyone else. Unfortunately, everyone else gets lots and lots and lots of pages dedicated to their points of view.

This series is set in a fantasy world inspired by medieval Europe. Sanglant is the bastard son of the king, but becoming a powerful general. Liath is the daughter of a scholar and becoming more strange and powerful as the series progresses.

The two have fallen in love but are separated at the beginning of this book. Sanglant is angry with Liath for abandoning him and their infant daughter, as his own inhuman mother had done to him--but he still longs for her. Liath has been missing for four (five?) years. In the meantime, Liath thought only a week had passed in the ether (aether?) to which she'd been spirited away against her will. I loved the scenes covering Liath's fall from the ether to earth and her all-too-brief reunion scenes with Sanglant. Elliott struck all the right emotional notes with Sanglant. I found his turmoil--his anger and resentment at Liath all mixed up with love and longing--and his reconciliation scenes suspenseful and exhilirating and deeply romantic. In fact, I went back and read them twice.

You know, Sanglant is as good as any romance hero. And now that I think more on it, even Liath isn't that interesting on her own. I think I'm reading this series (or, to be more accurate, a fraction of this series) mostly for Sanglant, with or without Liath. Everything else is just unnecessary padding. --Preeti

[JARAN is the only Kate Elliott in our database...]

Posted by Preeti [Link]

New Emily Devenport novel w/a Lee Hogan
A reader of our site tells us that an author she loves, Emily Devenport "seems to love changing her name. Apparently Emily is not her real name, and she has since published BROKEN TIME under Maggy Thomas and BELARUS and ENEMIES under Lee Hogan, her latest pen name." Erin continues, "I thought BROKEN TIME was interesting, though not her best. I'm going out this weekend to get BELARUS now that I know she wrote it."

Posted by Preeti [Link]

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

New Czerneda
Hidden in Sight

The full cover for Hidden in Sight, the 3rd book of Julie Czerneda's Web Shifters series, is now up on her website. It's a pre-print "flat" so you can also read the blurb that will be appearing on the book when it comes out in April.

[see our thoughts on other Czerneda books ...]

Posted by rebekah [Link]


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