Category Archives: Series

Books To Watch For In 2015: The Earl’s Childe

The Earl’s Childe is the sequel to The Kelpie.  (Both are by Trisha Wooldridge.)

The Earl's Childe cover FINAL

My chore after dinner is to feed my kelpie.  A kelpie, if you don’t know, is a carnivorous faerie horse. Until I accidentally gave him a piece of my soul, this particular kelpie had killed two kids near the hundreds-of-years-old castle my family and I live in.

Heather MacArthur had a hard enough time dealing with the arrival of a kelpie into her life, but that was only the beginning.

Summoned as liaison between humans and faerie, Heather is informed by the fey nobles that another danger has arrived in the area and is claiming rights to the MacArthur lands. The claimer of these rights is a particularly mad daoine síth named Calbraith, that even the kelpie finds “cruel and unusual.”

As luck would have it, twenty students have also just arrived at the castle for her mother’s riding camp.

It will take Heather, her whole family, the royal family, and a few friends she didn’t realize she had, to keep Calbraith from enslaving—or killing—all of them.”

This needs to show up at my house NOW, please!

Books To Watch For In 2015: An Interview With Jennifer Allis Provost

Today, I get to interview Jennifer Allis Provost! Welcome Jenn!

1)  This is the penultimate book in the series.  What’s it like to write a middle book in the series?  Is it hard to keep action going and provide some answers but not all?

COPPER VEINS was great fun to write, and it’s the most action-packed of the series. I find the hardest part about writing a middle book is to keep the story arc moving along smoothly. I try to keep the overall goal of the series in mind without giving away too much. And remember Sara’s best frenemy, Juliana? There’s a BIG reveal about her.

2)  Would you enter this world if you could?

Umm…maybe. The Mundane world is  pretty strict society, with the government regulating everything from food to who you can reproduce with. And, their food tastes like crap. (Interestingly, the Mundane realm, and Sara’s job in particular, were based on an actual job I had in the insurance industry.)

The Otherworld, while filled with beauty and magic, is also full of danger. Maybe I’d stop by the Whispering Dell on a Saturday night, just to see what Ash the blacksmith is up to.

3)  Mundane world or Raven clan?

Raven clan!

4)  What are you reading now?

DEADWOOD by Kell Andrews and THE WAYFARER REDEMPTION by Sara Douglass

5)  What are your top five books? (you can do authors if that’s easier)

MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs

MAGIC BITES by Ilona Andrews

HOUNDED by Kevin Hearne

DARK CURRENTS by Jacqueline Carey

ANGEL’S BLOOD by Nalini Singh

6)  What book would you make mandatory reading?

The entire ELFQUEST series by Wendy and Richard Pini

7)  What 2015 books are you looking forward to?

DEAD HEAT by Patricia Briggs, MAGIC SHIFTS by Ilona Andrews, STAKED by Kevin Hearne, THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black, and REQUIEM by Maggie Stiefvater

Books to Watch For In 2015: Copper Veins

One of the things I’m most excited for in 2015 is the chance to read Copper Veins, which is the third book in Jennifer Allis Provost‘s Copper Girl series.  It’s coming out on July 7!

Summary:

Sara’s pretty sure her life is perfect.

Not only are she and Micah finally married, her father, who’d been missing since the Magic Wars, has been found. Actually, he just strode up to the manor’s front door, but whatever. Sara knows better than to look a gift horse in the mouth.

But Baudoin Corbeau isn’t content to return to family life. He’s decided that he will be the force of change in the Mundane world, and lead the Elemental resistance to victory with his children at his side. What’s worse, Baudoin doesn’t approve of Sara’s marriage, and makes every attempt to separate her from Micah.

After a visit to the Mundane realm leaves Sara, Max and Sadie imprisoned by the Peacekeepers, Sara’s doubts creep to the surface. Is her father right? Does she belong in the Mundane realm, not the Otherworld? Is Micah really the right man—make that elf—for her?

Was marrying him a mistake?

I love the idea that happily ever after isn’t necessarily all that happy and that the wedding isn’t the end of the story.  I can’t wait to see what Jenn does with this series.

Books To Watch For In 2015: An Interview With Sara Blaedel

As you know, I am a huge, huge fan of Sara Blaedel and am absolutely delighted to host her on the blog today.

1)    Is it hard to write a series and keep the characters fresh while also remaining true to who they are? (You are succeeding admirably, by the way)

No, it’s actually quite easy. The characters evolve naturally as the series grows. But it’s I also have to think about plots long-term so my characters land where I want them to. I have written the series about Louise Rick and Camilla Lind for ten years now, and sometimes my characters do not behave the way I wanted them to, but basically I am the one who decides…although they can be a little difficult to control. But my stories are fairly tight, so the characters have also had to adapt to the plots I have laid out.

2)    Do you have a favorite character? If so, who?

Well, Louise and I have gotten to know each other pretty well in the ten years we have worked together. And Camilla is the character that is most similar to myself. But I’m probably most in love with some of my minor characters, perhaps because many of them deserve to have their very own stories told.

3)    What was the inspiration for this novel?

Actually it was an article I read in a Danish newspaper that got me started. I often write based on indignation, or something I cannot understand, but really want to understand. It’s not that long ago that we were treating odd characters in our society as indecent. And there are still people whose lives are marked by the horrible conditions we previously subjected people with mental, emotional, and physical challenges and their families to. We can be quite smug sometimes, and in this book I try to say: Hello, look what we did, let’s not degrade other human beings ever again. And since I am a crime writer by heart, and since the subject put all sorts of pictures in my head, the story immediately took shape.

4)  What are you reading now?

I always try to keep up with the new Danish crime writers. My priorities are to keep up with what’s coming next.

5)  What are your five favorite books? You can do authors if that’s easier.

I love Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, it made me want to do an eye-opening hike myself. And Gillian Flynn, Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter and Jojo Moyes. And I really, really enjoyed Dicker’s THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR.

6)  If you could make one book mandatory, what would it be?

Such a difficult question! I would have to say: all of them. So many books have made a difference in my life, from comic books to serious tomes…I couldn’t choose just one!

7)  What 2015 books are you looking forward to?

THE ARC OF THE SWALLOW by Sissel-Jo Gazan and THE TRUTH ABOUT PRETTY GIRLS by Karin Slaughter.

Books To Watch For In 2015: The Forgotten Girls

It’s no secret that I absolutely love Sara Blaedel and the fact that her new book is out (relatively) soon is the best news.

The Forgotten Girls has quite possibly the best premise ever:

“In a forest in Denmark, a ranger discovers the fresh corpse of an unidentified woman. A large scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. After four days, Louise Rick–the new commander of the Missing Persons Department–is still without answers. But when she releases a photo to the media, an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a “forgotten girl.” But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates over 30 years ago. As the investigation brings Louise closer to her childhood home, she uncovers more crimes that were committed–and hidden–in the forest, and finds a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed.”

It sounds so good and so, so sad.

Books To Watch For In 2015: An Interview With Darby Kaye

Kelly, this is such a treat to visit with you and your followers today. Do they know the running joke about “Sam Lord?”

1)  Are sequels easier to write than first novels?  Discuss.

What a great question! I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before. And while I’m not trying to sound wishy-washy, I must say taht both the first one and the subsequent ones have their difficulties. With the first one, I am building a world that will be canon for the rest of the series. Which is fun, but I do have to be thinking ahead and not write a scene or create an element of that culture which would cause problems later. In fact, because I write my sequels right on the heels of my first books, I often go back into book one (if it hasn’t gone to print yet) and tweak things. Sometimes, I feel like I am writing backwards, but it works for me. I certainly did that for The Stag Lord and its sequel, Unholy Blue (aka Sam Lord).

2)  How awesome is it that my dog is in this book?! Talk about that. :)

Ah, yes. The awesomeness known as Sam Hager. Yup, Sam (Kelly’s adorable little terrier) was the inspiration for the puppy in Unholy Blue. While the breed is different—Sam is a Silky and the Sam in Unholy Blue is a Labrador mix—the same courage and adorable-ness is all Sam. Plus, the name was perfect. So, when Kelly started referring to Unholy Blue as Sam Lord, I just had to join in.

3)  Do you prefer writing adult or YA?  How are they different?  Is your writing process any different?

Good storytelling is good storytelling, and my writing process is about the same: Write a brief outline, then plunge in and forget to refer to said outline. But, both genres have their strength and weakness. When I first tried adult, I had to push myself to be over the top in order to turn off the YA editor in my head. Once I got going, I did realize there is a freedom in adult stories and also a cage. In YA (and middle grade), I can address Big Questions of Life without coming across as too cheesy.

4) Who are your five favorite authors? J.R.R Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, John Flanagan, Kevin Hearne and Cassandra Clare (for their respective fantasies), M.M. Kaye (for her historical novels), David McCullough (for his biographies of famous Americans), and C.S. Lewis (for his Christian apologetics books)

5)  What books are you looking forward to in 2015? They are both by Kevin Hearne: Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi (because Hearne and Star Wars? I know. I know!) and the next book in his Iron Druid series (because Owen. ‘Nuff said.)

Books To Watch For In 2015: Unholy Blue

The first book I’m incredibly excited for in 2015 is Unholy Blue by Darby Karchut (writing as Darby Kaye).

It’s the sequel to The Stag Lord, which is out Dec. 2.  That’s one of my favorite books from THIS year, but Unholy Blue is going to be even better.  Know why?

Because my dog, Sam, is going to be a character!!!!!!!!!

I’ve known about this for ages—since long before Stag Lord even came out—and I think it’s been roughly the worst-kept secret ever, at least if you know me, Darby, or both of us.

So this book is going to be called Unholy Blue, but because it’s the sequel to The Stag Lord, I’ve been calling it Sam Lord.  (Unfortunately, I now need to break myself of this habit, because it’s going to be really embarrassing if I—as the publicist—can’t get the name of the book right.  So please preorder Unholy Blue once you can, and please forgive me when I keep calling it Sam Lord.)

 

Books To Watch For In 2015: An Overview

This is the second year of Books to Watch For!  I got this idea after my friend Kathy started doing this last year (yes, I basically stole it—but with permission!).  You should stop by her site and see what she’s excited for, too.

This year, I also got incredibly ambitious.  I talked to many of my favorite authors to see (a) what they have planned for next year and (b) the books that they’re looking forward to.

As a reminder, each book is featured over the course of two days.  The first day is a synopsis and explanation for why I’m excited (although most of the time, it’s probably fairly self-evident—because, when Sara Blaedel, for example, releases a new book, I’m excited) and the second day is an interview.

Even more exciting, several of my favorites are releasing two books next year! It’s going to be a good year for people who are book-greedy like I am.

There are some amazing books ahead, so please let me know what you’re looking forward to.

 

The Stag Lord

The Stag Lord by Darby Kaye is out Dec. 2.  You can see Darby’s Twitter here (and please talk to her on there, because I bullied her into getting a Twitter account.)

Stag Lord full jacket

You can request it on Netgalley by clicking here.

This is one of my first books as a publicist, and I’m so excited that it’s almost out.  I absolutely love this book and I know you will, too.  It’s fun and creepy.  (And it makes great presents.)

Synopsis: “On the run across America from a vengeful shape-shifter, Bannerman “Bann” Boru has only one thing on his mind: keeping himself and his young son, Cor, alive.

At any cost.

Until he meets Shay Doyle, healer and member of a secret group of immortal Celtic warriors, the Tuatha de Danaan, living in modern-day Colorado. When Cor is injured, Bannerman is forced to accept her help. He quickly realizes that the golden-haired healer is shield-maiden tough and can hold her own onthe field of battle with the big boys. And Shay soon discovers that there is more to Bann than meets the eye.

Now, with the shape-shifter Cernunnos teaming up with the local pack of Fir Bolgs (Bronze Age creatures with a nasty taste for children), Bannerman, Shay, her wolf-dog Max, and the rest of the Doyle clan must figure out how to battle one insane god.”

You will learn more about this series soon; I am featuring the sequel in my end-of-year feature (which is starting very, very soon).

The Burning Room

Finished The Burning Room by Michael Connelly.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Detective Harry Bosch tackles a cold case unlike any he’s ever worked, in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.

In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent.

Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. Starting with the bullet that’s been lodged for years in the victim’s spine, they must pull new leads from years-old information, which soon reveals that this shooting may have been anything but random.

In this gripping new thriller, Michael Connelly shows once again why Harry Bosch is “one of the greats of crime fiction” (New York Daily News).“

I don’t read many mysteries anymore, but Michael Connelly is always a must-buy for me.  I have enjoyed all his books, but the Harry Bosch ones are my favorite.  (I feel a little guilty, actually, because whenever I read a Mickey Haller installment, I always love them but I also always think, “I’d rather it were Harry Bosch instead…”)

I also know that these books are drawing to a close (Harry is approaching retirement) and I know that will be a sad, sad day for me.

But we don’t have to think about that yet.

So anyway, Harry has a new partner: Lucia Sota, who’s new and is a bit of a media superstar.  (Her last partner died in a shootout and she was able to hold the gunmen at bay until reinforcements arrived.)  I wasn’t completely sold on her at first, but I ended up really liking her, and I hope that she will show up in more books.  I’m not ready to lose Harry, but more books with Lucy in them would be really good.

This is a cold case and Harry quickly gets sucked into it.  He even uses his current catchphrase (“Everybody counts or nobody counts”), which is basically every value I have distilled into one sentence.  The best part is that a politician overhears and appropriates it and Harry is just completely horrified (because he actually means it and it’s so obvious that the politician is trying to score votes.

If you’re a fan of police procedurals, you owe it to yourself to read Harry Bosch.

Highly recommended.