Monday, August 01, 2005

Books, Books, Books

I have two huge bookcases full of books I haven't read. A lot of them are books people passed on to me because they liked them, but I know they're most likely not my taste. My plan was to go through the bookcases and pass those books on to the library before we move. I also intended to read as many of the ones that interested me, but wasn't going to keep to reread later. But I have a whole bunch of books written by friends I'm dying to read. And a bunch more my friends recommended I'm dying to read. Plus a few I picked up because they just looked so interesting. It would have been a good plan, if I had a definite date for when we're going to move. We still don't know when we're moving and I don't have enough discipline when it comes to reading to wait indefinitely for the treat of reading books my friends wrote, so I caved and started reading that pile. My published friends are an awesome bunch of writers. Give them a chance and see if I'm not right.

Last fall, Tamara Siler Jones, invented her own genre. Ghosts in the Snow is "a forensic procedural in a medievalist fantasy setting". This book will appeal if you're a fantasy fan or a mystery fan. She deftly weaves the strengths of both into a wonderful story about Dubric's efforts to get rid of the ghosts that haunt him by finding their killer. Tamara plays fair with us, planting the clues we needed to solve the puzzle, but I got so caught up reading the story that I forgot to play the game. Usually I figure it out by halfway through the book, but not this one. She kept me guessing all the way to the end. The next book, Threads of Malice, will be out in November. I'm looking forward to it. I know some people who have read the manuscript and they all say it's awesome.

Sheila writes in five genres, with five pseudonyms. Today, I'm talking about two of them. The first is Lynn Viehl, the pseudonym she uses for her Darkyn series. The first book, If Angels Burn came out last April. I told Sheila I don't like vampire books, but I was going to read hers because I love her writing. This turned out to be no exception. It's a great twist on the vamp mythology. Sheila is a master of making you think the story is going one way, then sending you off in another direction. Yet, you never feel like it's random. It always makes sense and you're left with the feeling that you should have seen it coming. This book is marketed as a romance, and if you like romance, you'll like this one. If you're more of a dark fantasy fan and don't think romance is for you, give this book a chance. There's plenty for the dark fantasy fan to like. I'm really looking forward to Private Demon, the next installment in the series, which will be out in October.

The second book of Sheila's I wanted to mention is Afterburn, a sequel to Bio Rescue. Bio Rescue is due to be released in paperback this month. They're set in the same universe as her Star Doc series, but involve different characters and stories. These books are written under the pseudonym "S.L Viehl". I got a nice surprise because I was expecting Afterburn to get here tomorrow, but it got here this morning. I'm looking forward to it, but I haven't read it yet, so more to come after I'm done with it.

I enjoyed Holy Lisle's first paranormal romantic suspense, Midnight Rain. So, of course, I preordered Last Girl Dancing . I couldn't put it down, even though I'd read an early draft and knew the story. Holly does a great job of keeping you guessing, as the story twists this way and that way. If you like romance, you'll like this one. If you're more of a mystery fan, you'll like this one, too.

Holly has a fantasy coming out from Tor this month. I can't wait for my copy of Talyn, but I hope it doesn't get here before I finish Afterburn.

Two other books worth mentioning are Urban Shaman by C.E.Murphy, which I haven't read yet. And A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer. I've read a manuscript version of that, but haven't read the actual book yet. They're both on my TBR pile, near the top, but I can only read one at a time. I'm not one of those people who has books scattered all over the house--the bathroom book, the dining room book, the kitchen book. . . . So more on those after I read them.