The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 9-6-15

Sunday Post

There are just a few days left to get in on the awesome prize pack that Catherine Bybee is giving away. Who wouldn’t have a few dozen uses for a $100 Amazon Gift Card?

This is Labor Day weekend in the U.S. which means two things now that we are back in Atlanta. The number one thing is DragonCon! Downtown Atlanta has been taken over by aliens, superheroes and roving crews of spaceships from near and far. If you’ve never been, it’s fantastic. Also sometimes fantastically overwhelming.

The Decatur Book Festival also takes place this weekend. So our plan is to spend Friday and Saturday at DragonCon and Sunday at the DBF. Reality may turn out to be different, but we’ll have a blast no matter what.

And tomorrow we can recuperate and squee over all the stuff we picked up over the weekend. I really need to find something appropriately geeky to fill in the front license plate holder on my car. I wonder if anyone will be selling “My Other Car is a Starship” somewhere at DragonCon?

Current Giveaways:

$100 Amazon Gift Card (2) $20 Amazon Gift Cards and Weekday Brides Print Box Gift set from Catherine Bybee
Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr (paperback)

Winner Announcements:

The winner of the paperback copy of If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins is Lysette
The winner if the Nina Croft first in series ebook prize pack is Jennifer

return to dark earth by anna hackettBlog Recap:

B- Review: Keeper’s Reach by Carla Neggers
B+ Review: Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford
B- Review: Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr + Giveaway
B+ Review: Treasured by Thursday by Catherine Bybee + Giveaway
A- Review: Return to Dark Earth by Anna Hackett
Stacking the Shelves (151)




circling the sun by paula mclainComing Next Week:

Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey (blog tour review)
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain (review)
The State of Play by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson (review)
After Snowden by Ronald Goldfarb (review)

Stacking the Shelves (16) Dragon*Con Edition

This would be Stacking the Shelves, the Dragon*Con edition.  I say it’s the Dragon*Con edition for a couple of reasons.

The first is simply because I was at Dragon*Con over Labor Day weekend, and didn’t do a Stacking the Shelves post.  Romance at Random started their Labor Day Blog Hop, and Reading Reality was a participant. There’s still plenty of time to enter, so hop on over to the post and take a look at the giveaway.

About Dragon*Con. Downtown Atlanta looked like it had been invaded by aliens. I’ve been to big cons (Chicago holds three a year) but nothing like this. 50,000+ fen is a lot of fen. (For those unfamiliar, fen is the collective noun for science fiction fans)

While I did go to a couple of media tie-in events (any Mythbusters fans in here?) there were a bunch of authors I wanted to see. Mercedes Lackey and Katherine Kurtz in particular. I’ve been reading both their signature series since Arrows of the Queen and Deryni Rising, respectively. It was awesome to see them in person.

And great to meet authors whose books I have reviewed, like James R. Tuck. He was terrific, and I think even remembered my review. I’m pretty I’m going to finally review Blood and Silver this week. Damn it was good.

Speaking of his reading, he had all his friends who were authors also read from their books, so I picked up Delilah S. Dawson’s Wicked as they Come from her at that panel. And started it immediately, finished it and reviewed it this week. Decadently delicious.

So what delicious books have you added to your stacks this week?

For Review:
When Snow Falls (Whiskey Creek #2) by Brenda Novak
Wife for Hire by Christine Bell
Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire edited by Mitzi Szereto
The Scientific Sherlock Holmes by James O’Brien
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte
All He Ever Needed (Kowalski Family #4) by Shannon Stacey
Racing With the Wind (Agents of the Crown #1) by Regan Walker
The Cowboy and the Vampire by Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall
The Walnut Tree by Charles Todd
Forge (Thrall Web #1) by T.K. Anthony
Spice and Smoke (Bollywood Confidential #1) by Suleikha Snyder
Spice and Secrets (Bollywood Confidential #2) by Suleikha Snyder
Babylon Confidential by Claudia Christian
Clean (Mindspace Investigations #1) by Alex Hughes (print)
Operation: Endgame (When the Mission Ends #1) by Christi Snow
A Date with Death (1Night Stand) by Louisa Bacio
Forty Shades of Pearl by Arianne Richmonde
Seven Nights in a Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin #1) by Anna Campbell
Rapture (Bel Dame Apocrypha #3) by Kameron Hurley

Interview with a Jewish Vampire by Erica Manfred (free)
My Vampire Cover Model by Karyn Gerrard
The Lost Night (Rainshadow #2, Harmony #9) by Jayne Castle
Wicked As They Come (Blud #1) by Delilah S. Dawson (print, signed by the author at Dragon*Con)
Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles #1) by D.B. Jackson (print, signed by the author at Dragon*Con)
Intentional Abduction (Alien Abduction #2) by Eve Langlais (free to Dragon*Con attendees!)

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 9-2-12

This Sunday’s version of the Sunday post takes place at Dragon*Con, so today’s motto is: “Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup”.   I’ve probably picked up some signed copies of too many books in the Hucksters’ Room by now. And added way too many t-shirts to my t-shirt collection. (I’ve got to weed some of the ones I really can’t wear…one of these centuries)

And as happy as I am to be at Dragon*Con, there a part of me that’s sad not to be at WorldCon this weekend in Chicago. We would have managed, somehow, if it hadn’t required a TARDIS. <sniff>

This is Labor Day weekend here in the States. The last three-day holiday weekend that a lot of people get until Thanksgiving.  That’s what makes it the end of summer.

Before we forge ahead to Fall, or even to the upcoming week, there’s one big giveaway from last week that you still have plenty of time to get in on.

If you love small-town romance, take a look at Susan Wigg’s Return to Willow Lake. I reviewed it on Thursday (I’m afraid I waxed really eloquent), and Susan is offering a giveaway of one print copy of the book. So if you like her work, here’s a great chance for a free book. (US only this time, sorry.)

Coming up this week, I’ve got one review/interview combo this Thursday, too. Kerry Adrienne will be here on September 6 to talk about the first two books in her All Mine series under the Decadent Press 1Night Stand series, Druid, Mine and Senator, Mine. (Not US Senators, Senators in Ancient Rome, much yummier) Mixing the 1Night Stand concept with time travel, yes time travel, turns out to be pretty cool. Both books were a LOT of fun.

Don’t worry, I’ll have plenty of other books to talk about this week. I’m in the middle of Laurie R. King’s new Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell book, Garment of Shadows. (No, I can’t resist Sherlock Holmes, apparently ever).

And looking ahead to next week, I’ll be hosting visits from Lia Davis, to talk about her paranormal entry in the 1Night Stand series, Ravished Before Sunrise.

I’ll also have a special treat, because it’s science fiction romance. I have an interview with Heather Long to get the scoop on her new superhero/time-travel/science fiction romance story, Yesterday’s Heroes. Even better, it’s the first book in a series, so there are more for me to look forward to.

So what are you reading to welcome Fall?

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 8-26-12

It’s the unofficial last gasp of summer, because next Monday is Labor Day. School is already in session so many places.

In Atlanta, next weekend in Dragon*Con. In Chicago, next weekend is Worldcon. Science fiction has not moved nearly fast enough. I really need either a TARDIS, or a transporter.

And if that weren’t enough, the Decatur Book Festival is going on at the exact same time. A street festival full of books! Right here in the Atlanta burbs. It was pretty darn awesome last year. We might nip out of Dragon*Con for a bit…maybe…it’s possible.

But there’s a whole week, a whole week, between now and that wonderful, marvelous 3-day Labor Day weekend. What’s coming up on the bookish front at Reading Reality?

Monday, Ebook Review Central, of course. Carina Press is up this week, and they had some fantastic titles in this batch. One book, one single book, attracted (ahem) over 40 reviews. Maybe it’s one you’ll want to read? Check in and see!

On Tuesday Marie Treanor will be stopping by to talk about her latest book, Serafina and the Silent Vampire. This is a terrific start to her new urban fantasy series, Serafina’s, about the psychic and occasional con artist, Serafina, who runs into just a bit more than she bargained for in the vampire Blair.

Thursday I’ll be interviewing Susan Wiggs about the latest book in her Lakeshore Chronicles series, Return to Willow Lake. I’ll also be reviewing this new contemporary romance, which is due out this week.

And last but not least, as we’re all waiting for the weekend…on Saturday, September 1…Reading Reality will be part of the Romance at Random Labor Day Blog Hop!

Looking ahead to after Labor Day (when it will unofficially be Fall but will still be hot in Atlanta)…I have a book I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while on my calendar.

If you’re pining for the next season of Sherlock, and you want to try a different version of Holmes, might I suggest Laurie R. King? Her interpretation starts with The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. The latest book in her Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series, Garment of Shadows, will be published on September 4. I’ve had a review copy for a while, but I’ve been caught in the “so many books, so little time conundrum”.

I’ll make time.

What are you up to this week? And do you have any special bookish plans for the long Labor Day weekend?

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand? 8-19-12

It’s so hard to believe that we’re sliding down towards the end of summer, isn’t it? But we really are.

High temperatures in Atlanta seemed to have finally dropped out of the 90s. Only down into the high 80s, mind you, but out of the 90s. It’s some kind of progress. Less beastly. I love winters in the South, but the summers are probably a foretaste of Hell. (I reviewed one of Eve LanglaisHell books this week, I loved it, but her Hell sounds like the U.S. Deep South for climate)

It’s good to be home. The cats missed us. They’ve mostly forgiven us for leaving them. (If you are owned by cats, you know exactly what I mean!)


So what’s happening at Reading Reality this week? Let’s get out the old calendar (actually Google calendar) and take a look…


After Monday’s Ebook Review Central feature, which is the June multi-publisher post, this week we have…drumroll please…

Tuesday I’ll be reviewing Only Scandal Will Do by Jenna Jaxon as part of a tour from Sizzling PR. Only Scandal Will Do is a terrific historical romance romp which starts with the absolutely opposite of a “meet cute”. The heroine gets sold to the hero at an auction in a whorehouse! This shouldn’t end well, and it doesn’t in the beginning, but of course it does in the end!


Wednesday is for The Memory of Roses. That’s not a commemorative, it’s a book by Blaire McDowell. Ms. McDowell also wrote Delighting In Your Company, a ghost/historical romance that I found, well, absolutely delightful when I reviewed it in June. So I couldn’t resist The Memory of Roses when it popped up on this Bewitching Books Tour.


Thursday I’ll be interviewing Gwyn Cready, the author of Timeless Desire. Since I’ve already reviewed Timeless Desire, I’ll be very interested to see what she has to say. The book was very good, a kind of Outlander-lite. And that feels right to me, after all, the subtitle is “An Outlander Love Story”.


Speaking of cats (well, we were a few paragraphs ago)…on Friday, I’ll have a guest post from Jacqueline M. Battisti, the author of The Guardian of Bastet as part of a tour from Bewitching. I’ll also be reviewing the book. I couldn’t resist. Bastet is the cat goddess.

And that all makes for one busy week!

But looking ahead to the next week, there’s one big event already on the calendar. Susan Wiggs’ will be here for an interview on Thursday, August 30 to celebrate her new book, Return to Willow Lake. And I’ll be doing a review. Naturally.

And then, and then, and then…it will be Labor Day. And Dragon*Con. Where did the summer go again?

Sauntering Vaguely Downward

Sauntering Vaguely Downward, by Nessa L. Warin, is a book about falling in love at a science fiction convention. It is a story that is, itself, in love with science fiction conventions. Sauntering is also an M/M romance.  Last, but not least, the title is an homage to the science fiction genre. It’s a reference to the demon Crowley in Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, Good Omens. For anyone who has attended a lot of cons, this story is sweet, fun and touching.

Dragon*Con is a five-day extravaganza of a con that takes place every Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta. It spreads across three major hotels and overwhelms them. The hotels don’t just sell out, they’ve learned not to bother letting mundanes book rooms, because unsuspecting mundanes and fen just don’t mix well at big cons. I’ve personally been there and done that, and the t-shirts are generally very messy.

Sauntering Vaguely Downward starts out with a “meet-cute” that is actually pretty common at cons. Dylan Rojers and Brendan Stone have arranged to room together at the Con, but they’ve never met in person. In their case, it’s because their usual con roommates have bailed for this con, and in Brendan’s case, his roommate also cancelled their room. Dragon*Con sells out months in advance, even with three major hotels.

They need to check-in for the Con and get their attendance badges as early as possible, because the badge check-in line is going to be incredibly long later in the afternoon. But Dylan is on time and Brendan is late. And hasn’t called. Brendan’s plane arrived late, and he just didn’t think about it. So when he finally does arrive, they’re both pissed at each other, and they get started off on the wrong foot. Both figure that it doesn’t matter, they each have friends they were planning to spend time with that they only see at cons, and they’ve split the cost of the room, so it’s all okay.

But it might be better than okay. Brendan and Dylan are both gay, but at the beginning, neither of them knows that about the other. And they have no friends in common, so it takes a while for the light to dawn. Especially since they start out way too annoyed with each other to find any common ground. At first they only thing they have in common is the Con itself, and a mutual love of the book Good Omens, except that Dylan thinks Terry Pratchett wrote the best parts, and Brendan is certain that Neil Gaiman did. This is almost as bad as the Mac/PC debate.

But Dragon*Con works its magic, and with the assistance of their friends, along with too much unidentified alcohol at a room party, they do manage to find out that they are very interested in each other, in spite of the somewhat rocky beginning. But the problem with Con romances is that the Con always ends. Is their five-day romance just part of the magic of the Con? And if it is, how will they make it in the real world of long-distance relationships?

Escape Rating C+: I enjoyed this book because I know what it’s like to be at a con. It brought back some pretty fond memories. On the other hand, I could easily see that for someone who didn’t have that experience, a lot of this would seem like an in-joke that they didn’t get. And even for me, the story went on too long. I know Dragon*Con lasts five days, but the story dragged at bit toward the end.

The experience of coming to a con, having a roommate you’ve never met, falling in love (or lust) at the con, wondering if it’s real or just con magic–that story is universal. It’s happening to someone,  somewhere this weekend, at a con near you.