Romance, Steampunk, Cats! And a Giveaway!
Ok, first of all, my Tor and Harper reps have come through! I’m going to have copies of The Hollow City and Partials to give away after our signing with Dan Wells. I’m not sure exactly how many copies of each I’ll have, but it should be several of each. The signing is July 6. I will announce the winners on July 15.
1. Leave a comment below to enter.
2. Tell me which book you want; The Hollow City or Partials.
3. Tell me what you would ask Dan Wells if you were at the signing. (If you want to come to the signing it’s at 6:00 July 6 at the Little Professor in Birmingham, AL)
Now, onto my books. My 100 in 2012 challenge is going pretty well. I’m on #45 right now. I’ve got two weeks to read five more books to be right on track. I think I can make it. I am distracting myself a little bit right now. I’m listening to a book that I’ve already read – Phoenix and Ashes by Mercedes Lackey. It’s in her Elemental Masters series and is set during World War I.
It hasn’t come through in this blog too much yet, but I’m obsessed with WWI. Or, specifically, I’m obsessed with WWI era fiction. I haven’t read too much straight history yet, but I’m starting to. I’ve actually got an idea for a novel set during WWI or possibly WWII, so I’ll be doing research for that soon. Expect to see some actual non-fiction show up on this blog in coming months.
The three books today have even less to do with each other than last week. So, with that in mind, here they are:
#34. A Night Like This by Julia Quinn
This is #2 in the Smythe-Smith series. I haven’t actually read book 1, but I’ve read the entire Bridgerton series and the Smythe-Smith girls figure into that series. The Smythe-Smiths are the most untalented musicians in London, but every year all available Smythe-Smith girls give a musical performance. On this particular year one of the girls feigns an illness and her very attractive governess, Miss Wynter, is unfortunate enough to take her place at the pianoforte. There, she catches the eye of the Earl of Winstead, an unmusical Smythe-Smith himself and the cousin of her pupils.
Daniel has recently returned from a not entirely self-imposed exile to the Continent following a disastrous duel. Encountering the mysterious Miss Wynter in a deserted hallway is a much more pleasant welcome home than he had expected. His attraction is slightly tempered due to the possible danger that still haunts him. The father of the man he wounded so many years ago may still be after his blood.
For her part, Anne knows that falling for Daniel Smythe-Smith is the last thing she can afford to do. Her own past is as fraught with danger as his. More so, because she does not dare to use her real name. She cannot afford the slightest hint of a scandal nor any scrutiny of her background. But logic rarely tempers passion as most of the Smythe-Smiths can attest.
I’ve been reading Julia Quinn for years. If I didn’t like her so much I’d probably be insanely envious. She’s pretty, talented, oh yeah, she went to Harvard and won the jackpot on The Weakest Link. So… there’s that. It’s ok. I work at a bookstore and read awesome books, and have a blog… and I won some audiobooks from Random House one time. It’s kind of the same.
Really though, I enjoy her books tremendously. They’re romance that isn’t pure fluff. Her heroines are usually well thought out, intelligent women. Her heroes rarely throb anything, nor do they have crisp mats of chest hair, which just wierds me out. They’re genuinely nice guys even when they don’t think they are. Her historical details are well researched and I never have to jump up and down screaming, “You can’t do that with a corset!” (Which yes, I actually do.) So, if you’re thinking about picking up a Regency romance I can highly recommend Julia Quinn.
#35. Cruel Numbers by Christopher Beats
There is a great piece by him over at Steamed called Ideas in Action. It’s a very interesting look at the ugly side of history and what steampunk can do with it. Cruel Numbers is another look at the ugly side of history. It’s a noir mystery set in a steampunk New York run by a Magnocracy. The War of the Southern Succession went a little differently than we might remember and the shattered republic became a very different thing. Money runs the country now and the power is in the hands of the magnates. Steam and clockwork and automation are the rising powers. Donovan Schist is an Irish-German private investigator. He worked for the Pinkertons for a while until he couldn’t stomach it anymore. Now he works for himself and mostly stays out of trouble.
He’s working on a case. Small time stuff. Searching for a missing Irish girl. In New York. That’s gonna go well, but her mother and her uncle have come all the way from Erie to check on his progress and somehow he just can’t turn them away with a simple explanation. However, the more he looks into the case the more it becomes obvious that there’s nothing simple about the disappearance of Bridget Cleary. Somehow, a simple Irish girl has become caught up with a magnate and anyone who asks about her is likely to end up dead.
I listened to the audiobook version of this novella. It was very well done. It ended up being darker than I had expected, but really good. Donovan is a mostly good man in a difficult position. I’d definitely be interested in his further adventures.
These books are near and dear to my heart. This is #20 in the series. I’ve missed a few here and there (like this one), but I’ve been reading the series since I was 8 or 9 years old. My mom and I would scour the used bookstores and library sales to find these and then share them. The protagonist, Jim Qwilleran used to be a crime reporter in the major metropolitan areas Down Below (everything south of Pickax, which is 400 miles north of everywhere). He stumbled upon an amazing inheritance and has become the wealthiest man in the northeast central United States. He caters to the whims of two Siamese cats, Koko and Yumyum who rule his house with an iron paw.
Koko has investigative tendencies and when murder occurs in Moose County Koko is on the scene with a death howl and various eccentric behaviors which always indicate the killer. The specific plot points aren’t terribly important. This is a very long series with pretty easily recognized patterns. In this particular book Moose County has a new art center. The director has lots of complaints, including one about the unsightly farm-house across the road. Soon thereafter the farm-house burns down, with the owner inside. Qwill and Koko set out to investigate the death of a remarkable old woman.
These aren’t groundbreaking literature by any means, but I love them. I got this one at the Eclipse Coffee in Montevallo. They’re really neat if you’re ever in the area. The Cat Who series started in 1966 with The Cat Who Could Read Backwards and ended in 2007 with The Cat Who had 60 Whiskers, which was the 29th book in the series. I reread or listen to these fairly often. They’re like my comfort food.
Apparently, I never published this? Oops! I’m sorry!