Stacking the Shelves (143)

Stacking the Shelves

I still can’t believe I picked up a Christmas book. I’m not sure which disturbs me more, that it’s barely July and I’m getting Christmas books, or that the book will be released at the end of September. Too soon, too soon! Ten yard penalty for rushing the season.

But it’s a book in a series I’ve enjoyed, so I could resist. Sugarplums, anyone?

For Review:
Christmas in Mustang Creek (Brides of Bliss County #4) by Linda Lael Miller
Crosstown Crush (Sins in the City #1) by Cara McKenna
First Time with a Highlander (Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands #2) by Gwyn Cready
The Hidden (Krewe of Hunters #17) by Heather Graham
Liesmith (Wyrd #1) by Alis Franklin
One Good Dragon Deserves Another (Heartstrikers #2) by Rachel Aaron
Stormbringer (Wyrd #2) by Alis Franklin

Purchased from Amazon:
Created in Fire (Art of Love #2) by Donna McDonald
Romancing the Alpha: An Action-Adventure Romance Boxed Set by Zoe York, Ruby Lionsdrake, Zara Keane, Anna Hackett, Ember Casey, Anna Lowe, Sadie Haller, Lyn Brittan, Lydia Rowan and Leigh James


Stacking the Shelves (117)

Stacking the Shelves

The holidays are definitely over. NetGalley and Edelweiss are back to their usual irresistible best, and well, I obviously didn’t resist. My find of the week is Anne Hillerman’s Rock with Wings. I loved her father’s books, and absolutely adored her Spider Woman’s Daughter. While I hoped she would continue, I didn’t see the announcement for the new book until this week. I can’t wait to read it!

For Review:
Bite at First Sight (Scandals with Bite #3) by Brooklyn Ann
The Dead Play On (Cafferty and Quinn #3) by Heather Graham
Death of a Liar (Hamish Macbeth #31) by M.C. Beaton
The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs
First Time in Forever (Puffin Island #1) by Sarah Morgan
Flirting with Disaster (Jackson: Girls’ Night Out #2) by Victoria Dahl
Just in Time for a Highlander (Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands #1) by Gwyn Cready
Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall
Rock with Wings (Navajo Mysteries #20) by Anne Hillerman
September Sky (American Journey #1) by John A. Heldt
Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn
White Knight (Cornerstone Run #3) by Kelly Meade
The World Between Two Covers by Ann Morgan

Purchased from Amazon:
Crosstime by Andre Norton

Borrowed from the Library:
Let the Dead Sleep (Cafferty and Quinn #1) by Heather Graham
Waking the Dead (Cafferty and Quinn #2) by Heather Graham

Review: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

written in my own hearts blood by diana gabaldonFormat read: ebook purchased from Amazon
Formats available: ebook, paperback, hardcover, audiobook
Genre: historical fiction; time travel romance
Series: Outlander, #8
Length: 849 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date Released: June 10, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

My Review:

The title is much too long, but completely evocative of the story, assuming that the heart in question belongs to Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp Randall Fraser (and briefly Grey).

outlander mediumIf the above recital of names requires explication, please start this series at the very beginning, with Outlander. If you enjoy historical fiction, you’ll be extremely glad you did.

Consider all of this as spoilers to the Starz Outlander TV series that starts next month. Just as with The Game of Thrones, someday, if the series is successful, TV will catch up to the books.

By the time of this particular story, it is 1778, and Claire and Jamie are caught in the midst of the American Revolution. Even though Claire is a time traveler, she only remembers the bare outlines of 18th century American history. The Colonials obviously won in the end, but who won which battle is not something she ever studied in medical school.

Claire and Jamie live their 18th century lives one day at a time, doing their best to survive. Life, however, has a way of throwing them curveballs, ones almost as big as the trip through the standing stones that brought Claire back to the 18th century in the first place.

scottish prisonerWritten in My Own Heart’s Blood begins just where An Echo in the Bone left off, five years ago. (Waiting for the next book in this series is awful).

At the end of Echo, Jamie has just returned to the colonies after a trip to Scotland, a trip where he was reported dead. Claire is married to Lord John Grey (see The Scottish Prisoner (reviewed here) for more on Grey) as a way of being protected from accusations of sedition against the British. As Grey is homosexual, it was assumed that this would be a marriage entirely of convenience. It was, mostly, emphasis on mostly.

So Jamie comes back to find out that his wife has married one of his best friends, and takes Grey out to beat him to a pulp. A beating that Grey feels he not only deserves, but actively encourages. The results, however, leave Grey wandering around the Pennsylvania countryside with severe injuries. He finds himself batted, and battered, back and forth between the rival Colonial and British forces as he alternately conceals and reveals his identity in an attempt to return home.

Meanwhile, Jamie returns to Philadelphia and gets dragooned into the Colonial Army as a General, based on his experience in Europe as well as in the Colonies. Claire follows him as a surgeon while they repair their slightly strained relationship.

And in the 20th century, their daughter Brianna faces multiple kidnap attempts as she tries to figure out where and when the best place will be to raise her children, all while her husband in lost back in the 18th century on a wild goose chase for their son.

All anyone wants to do is go home, if they can just dodge the armies and other forces against them; and if they can figure out exactly where that elusive “home” might be.

Escape Rating A+: Okay, I’ll say upfront that I love this series, and have since the very first book, over 20 years ago. This series is sprawling and awesome and sprawlingly awesome.

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood was the perfect book to read on a 5-hour flight. I didn’t finish the 800+ pages, but I was enthralled every step of the way, both mine and Claire’s.

After 8 books in the series, what continues to fascinate, at least this reader, are the closely intertwined relationships among all the participants. Family and friendship make incredibly strong bonds, and in this story we see how close everyone has remained, even across three centuries and three generations.

The story encompasses not just Jamie and Claire, but also his nephew Ian, his natural son William, Bree and Roger in the 20th century, and every member of both families. And it’s all so enthralling that each person plays their own separate and completely needful part in the narrative. Including John Grey and his family from the British military side.

Not only is every story part of every other, but we get a glimpse at the time before Outlander started through Roger’s wild goose chase in the 1730s, and we see the genesis of characters who have fallen by the wayside. Even Bree’s 20th century stepfather manages to send an important message back from the grave.

Following the American Revolution from the ground is bloody, gory, frightening and amazing. Claire’s perspectives of the battles, from her position as a medico, give the entire scene a “you are there” feeling that keeps you on the edge of your seat. We meet some of the towering figures of the Revolution, like Washington and Benedict Arnold, only to discover that they were human and fallible (especially Arnold!) but still amazing.

I hope that Claire gets to meet Ben Franklin, I think it would be hilarious.

But speaking of hilarity, the story definitely has it’s lighter moments. The humor and occasional sarcasm laced through Claire’s 20th century observations of the 18th century are often snort-chuckle funny. The characters are so familiar that the humor in many situations comes through wonderfully.

If you have an interest in any of the periods that this series covers, if you enjoy historical fiction laced with romance and in the midst of a sprawling family saga, try Outlander. (If the size of the books alarms you, the first seven are available in an ebook bundle.)

I can’t wait to visit with Claire and Jamie again. The story does not (thankfully) end on a cliffhanger, but one is left with the intense feeling that there is much more yet to come!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Stacking the Shelves (93)

Stacking the Shelves

This is the first time in a while that I’ve had books in every category. I want to read the new Charlaine Harris, but after the way that Sookie went downhill, I decided that borrowing it from the library was sufficient. If I really like it, I can always buy it. Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine was on sale for Kindle. I loved her Lady of Hay, many moons ago, and thought that $2.99 made it worth trying her again.

I also have the annual treat: the new book in Michelle Sagara’s Elantra Chronicles popped up on NetGalley this week. I can’t wait to sink my eyeballs into that one!

For Review:
The Black Stiletto: Endings & Beginnings by Raymond Benson
The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness
Broken Souls (Eric Carter #2) by Stephen Blackmoore
Cast in Flame (Chronicles of Elantra #10) by Michelle Sagara
Harbor Island (Sharpe & Donovan #4) by Carla Neggers
The Heart’s Game (Kelly Brothers #4) by Crista McHugh
Inamorata by Megan Chance
Last Year’s Bride (Great Wedding Giveaway #8) by Anne McAllister
Should’ve Been Home Yesterday (Country Roads #3) by Inez Kelley
The Way You Look Tonight (Sullivans #9) by Bella Andre

Purchased from Amazon:
Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine

Borrowed from the Library:
Midnight Crossroad (Midnight Texas #1) by Charlaine Harris

Stacking the Shelves (88)

Stacking the Shelves

In addition to the usual suspects, this week Library Journal sent me the next Inspector Gamache book to review. It’s a really ugly ARC, and I don’t care. I absolutely adore the series, and I’m thrilled to get the next book in any form available. If you like character driven mysteries, start with Still Life. If you are eagerly awaiting the new one (due out at the end of August) let me tell you, it’s worth the wait!

For Review:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy #1) by Ilona Andrews
A Case of Spontaneous Combustion (Displaced Detective #5) by Stephanie Osborn
Gemsigns (®Evolution #1) by Stephanie Saulter
Heirs of the Demon King: Uprising by Sarah Cawkwell
Leashing the Tempest (Arcadia Bell #2.5) by Jenn Bennett
The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Gamache #10) by Louise Penny
Love and Let Spy (Lord and Lady Spy #3) by Shana Galen
Premonitions by Jamie Schultz
Rogues edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
Sundance by David Fuller
What a Bride Wants (Great Wedding Giveaway #1) by Kelly Hunter (review)

Borrowed from the Library:
Reaper’s Legacy (Reapers MC #2) by Joanna Wylde
The Silk Map (Gaunt and Bone #2) by Chris Willrich

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-20-14

Sunday Post

We spent the weekend at Norwescon. It was fun, but one thing I’ve noticed is that Dealer’s Rooms have gotten considerably smaller (and slightly less fascinating) since book buying over the Internet has become ubiquitous. There used to be practically acres of big book booths, and now they are few and relatively small.

nwc37-draft-banner-560x171I attended lots of great panels, and a couple that were absolutely fabulous; one on Medieval Women and the roles they really occupied in history, and the other about what a Heroine’s Journey would look like, as opposed to the classic Hero’s Journey we’re all familiar with. Awesome!

But now we’re back to regularly scheduled life as we know it, so here’s the Sunday Post.

Current Giveaways:

The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran (print or ebook, US/CAN)

Ophelia Prophecy Blog Tour ButtonWinner Announcements:

The winners of The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher are Brandi D., Brianne R. and Alisha S.
The winner of The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend by Annabelle Costa is Pauline.
The winner of Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates is Kristia M.

under a silent moon by elizabeth haynesBlog Recap:

B Review: Trinity Stones by L.G. O’Connor
B+ Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer
A Review: Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes
A- Review: Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews
B Review: Bite Me by PJ Schnyder
Stacking the Shelves (85)

nightmare ink by marcella burnardComing Next Week:

The Forever Watch by David Ramirez (review)
Ice Red by Jael Wye (blog tour review)
Guest Post by Marcella Burnard + Giveaway (for Nightmare Ink, previously reviewed at the Book Pushers)
Dash of Peril by Lori Foster (blog tour review)
Sing for the Dead by PJ Schnyder

The Sunday Post AKA What’s On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 4-6-14

Sunday Post

Wow! I gave something away almost every day last week. Or, I’m giving something away, since the giveaways are still going on. But if you’re a Fool for Books, you only have one day left to declare yourself!

I’m still wrapping my head around the idea that I’ve been doing this for three years. That’s a lot of posts, a lot of books, and oh so many reviews. I’m sharing the joy, so be sure to get in on my Blogo-Birthday Giveaway before the end of the week.

Current Giveaways:

blogo birthday one day$10 Gift Card in the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins (paperback, US)
Four Friends by Robyn Carr (paperback, US)
$30 gift card plus books courtesy of Max Austin
$15 gift card plus books in my Blogo-Birthday Giveaway

Winner Announcements:

The winner of The Accident by Chris Pavone is Suzy.

four friends by robyn carrBlog Recap:

A- Review: The Descartes Legacy by Nina Croft
Fool for Books Giveaway Hop
B+ Review: Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins + Giveaway
A Review: Four Friends by Robyn Carr + Giveaway
B Review: Duke City Split by Max Austin + Giveaway
Blogo-Birthday Celebration and Giveaway
Stacking the Shelves (83)

time traveler's boyfriend by annabelle costaComing Next Week:

The Time Traveler’s Boyfriend by Annabelle Costa (blog tour review + giveaway)
The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran (blog tour review + giveaway)
Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates (blog tour review)
The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher (blog tour review)
City of the Gods: The Betrayal by S.J. McMillan (blog tour review)

Stacking the Shelves (79)

Stacking the Shelves

There’s another StoryBundle available, and this time it’s a “Truly Epic Fantasy Bundle”. It says so right there on the label. I got it for the Rusch and Gaiman books, but it looks like an awesome combination of stories all around.

I can never resist a good epic fantasy, or even the promise of one–so they had me at “Truly Epic”. But seriously, if you love reading genre, get on StoryBundle’s mailing list. They put together some fantastic batches of books, not just fantasy, but they’ve done romance, horror, thrillers, science fiction and even an entire Doctor Who bundle.

For Review:
Dialogues of a Crime by John K. Manos
Duke City Split by Max Austin
The Guild (Guardians of Destiny #3) by Jean Johnson
Hard Time by Cara McKenna
Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell #1) by Jenn Bennett
The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran
Loving Rose (Casebook of Barnaby Adair #3) by Stephanie Laurens
The Mirror (Northwest Passage #5) by John A. Heldt
Seth (Cyborgs: More than Machines #5) by Eve Langlais
Silver Skin (Cold Iron #2) by D.L. McDermott
Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell #2) by Jenn Bennett
Tease (Ivy Chronicles #2) by Sophie Jordan
Twisted Miracles (Shadowminds #1) by AJ Larrieu

Purchased from Storybundle:
Bloodletting (Affinities Cycle #1) by Peter J. Wacks and Mark Ryan
The Camelot Papers by Peter David
Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart
The Emperor’s Soul (Elantris) by Brandon Sanderson
The Festival of Bones (MythWorld #1) by James A. Owen
The Immortals by Tracy Hickman
The Monarch of the Glen (American Gods #1.5) by Neil Gaiman
The Sacrifice (Fey #1) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Spirit Walker by David Farland

Borrowed from the Library:
Boots Under Her Bed by Jodi Thomas, Jo Goodman, Kaki Warner, Alison Kent
The Cold Cold Ground (Sean Duffy #1) by Adrian McKinty
Concealed in Death (In Death #38) by J.D. Robb
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin
Spirit of Steamboat (Walt Longmire #9.1) by Craig Johnson

Stacking the Shelves (76)

Stacking the Shelves

The great thing about participating in two blog hops two Saturdays in a row is the amount of traffic that they generate–I hope some of the people who tuned in for the hops are sticking around to see what else is going on!

The bad thing is that my Stacking the Shelves post really stacks up!

And of course there were some events that added to the stack! This is my first Stacking the Shelves since ALA Midwinter, and I wasn’t totally able to resist the ARCs in the Exhibit Hall.

random penguin 2Closer to home, representatives from Random Penguin came to my library for a Book Buzz. That’s an event where the publishers bring ARCs to the library and talk up their books. They brought some terrific books, and I also got some ARCs from NetGalley and Edelweiss based on what they said.

Last but definitely not least, there is a new book bundler on the Interwebs; Bookbale. Their current bundle (good until the end of  February) is a science fiction bundle with 8 books for $10. I bought it for the Kristine Kathryn Rusch title, but several of the others look interesting as well. And the price is fantastic.

For Review:
As Hot as it Gets (Out of Uniform #10) by Elle Kennedy
Bittersweet Darkness (Order #3) by Nina Croft
Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates
Cauldron of Ghosts (Honorverse: Wages of Sin #3) by David Weber and Eric Flint
The Clockwork Wolf (Disenchanted & Co. #2) by Lynn Viehl
Dancing with Dragons (DRACIM #2) by Lorenda Christensen
Dangerous Angel (Earth Angels #4) by Stacy Gail
Death Defying (Blood Hunter #3) by Nina Croft
Eagle’s Heart by Alyssa Cole
Falling for the Wingman (Kelly Brothers #3) by Crista McHugh
Ghost Seer (Ghost Seer #1) by Robin D. Owens
Hope Ignites (Hope #2) by Jaci Burton
Hot Rock by Annie Seaton
Lovely, Dark and Deep (Collectors #1) by Susannah Sandlin
The Martian by Andy Weir
Night Owls (Night Owls #1) by Lauren M. Roy
The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Prince’s Fire (Hearts and Thrones #3) by Amy Raby
Raising Steam (Discworld #40) by Terry Pratchett
Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends #1) by Kelley Armstrong
The Time Tutor by Bee Ridgway
Waiting on You (Blue Heron #3) by Kristan Higgins
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon

Picked up at ALA Midwinter Conference or Random/Penguin Book Buzz:
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris
Once in a Blue Moon (Hawk and Fisher #8) by Simon R. Green
The Quick by Lauren Owen
Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
Waiting for Wednesday (Frieda Klein #3) by Nicci French
Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr #9) by C.S. Harris
Year of the Demon (Fated Blades #2) by Steve Bein

Purchased from Bookbale:
Alien Influences by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Iterations by Robert J. Sawyer
Ivory (Birthright #14) by Mike Resnick
Lights in the Deep by Brad R. Torgersen
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett
Ocean by Brian Herbert and Jan Herbert
Their Majesties’ Bucketeers (North American Confederacy #3) by L. Neil Smith
Veiled Alliances (Saga of Seven Suns #0.5) by Kevin J. Anderson

Borrowed from the Library:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Touched by an Alien (Katherine “Kitty” Kat #1) by Gini Koch

A Look Forward: My Most Anticipated Reads for 2014

2014 numbersWhat a difference a year makes!

It was surprisingly easy to pick the books for this list. I know exactly which books I’m dying for this year. Well, the first ten, anyway. I wasn’t planning on fourteen, but Cass jumped in and rounded out the list. (Thanks, Cass!)

Then I took a look back at last year’s list, and my eyes crossed a bit. There are two repeaters. I don’t mean series where the next book in the series is on the list, although that happens too, but two books that were delayed in publication. So I’ve waited a whole year longer than originally planned. (Not that I didn’t find plenty to read instead)

And a couple of things I thought I would read as soon as they came out, I didn’t. (Best laid plans, etc., etc.)

So here’s this year’s set of newly laid plans. Let’s see how it goes. Why do I hear a “bwahahaha”, coming from somewhere in the shadows?

skin game by jim butcherSkin Game by Jim Butcher is the 15th Harry Dresden book. I can’t believe the series has been going on that long. I fell in love with Harry because he started out as a hapless and frequently luckless wizard in my favorite former hometown, Chicago. But I still love his trademark snark, even as Harry has gone from being a two-bit wizard-for-hire to the Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness.

Damnation by Jean Johnson is the fourth book in her Theirs Not to Reason Why military science fiction series. I heard her read from Damnation at WorldCon in San Antonio, and I can’t believe I have to wait until August to finally get the next chapter in Ia’s story. There have been moments in this series that have sent chills down my spine. This entire series has been awesome.

guild by jean johnsonThe Guild, also by Jean Johnson, is the third book in her Guardians of Destiny fantasy romance series. Her military sf is kick ass, but I found her through her fantasy romance, and she’s utterly marvelous. The second book in this series, The Grove, was on my 2013 best list. She does fantasy romance where the fantasy worldbuilding is top notch and her heroines are always the absolute equals of her heroes. Her women have friends who talk to each other, and the plot of the fantasy is as important as the romantic happy ending. Her stories are always a treat!

Cast in Flame by Michelle Sagara is the tenth of the Chronicles of Elantra, and I can’t wait for Kaylin to get back to the city. She belongs there. Removing her from the city and the Courts for two books was interesting and told a lot about her friends among the Barrani, but took away from Kaylin as the center point. I want Kaylin back where she belongs!

silver mirrors by aa aguirreSilver Mirrors by A.A. Aguirre is the second book in their (A.A. Aguirre is the joint pseudonym of Ann and Andres Aguirre) Apparatus Infernum series. The first book, Bronze Gods, was one of my best of 2013. The world is just such an awesome mixture of steampunk and “magic goes away”, with an urban fantasy/detective duo that is something special.

Death Defying by Nina Croft has been the biggest tease for the end of December. It’s also the third book in her Blood Hunter series. I loved the first two books (Break Out and Deadly Pursuit) in that science fiction romance series so damn much that I gave Break Out an SFR Galaxy Award. I’ve been waiting since then. Death Defying almost made it into 2013, but not quite. What is so cool about the Blood Hunter series is that Croft figured out a plausible way for vampires and werewolves to make it into space. So along with a science that has granted immortality to a privileged few, there are vampires, who are also immortal. And it makes sense.

shield of winter by nalini singhShield of Winter by Nalini Singh is lucky 13 in her Psy-Changeling series. I still love this series, but it’s pretty obvious that the overall arc of the worldbuilding is drawing to a conclusion. The Silence Protocol will fall, the questions revolve around what is going to take its place; order or anarchy. I think I’ve become as or more fascinated with the big story than the individual romances. And I simply can’t express how grateful I am that the cover design has improved with Heart of Obsidian and Shield. The previous US covers were simply abominable.

Lock In by John Scalzi. Honestly, I wouldn’t care what the summary said on Goodreads. It’s by Scalzi, and I’m going to get the eARC from Edelweiss as soon as it pops up. But seriously, it sounds cool, but not one of his funny ones. This looks like one of his big idea books mixing virtual-reality, epidemiology and the misuse of power. Wow!

And now for those books that I hoped to see last year, but were delayed in publication…

written in my own hearts blood by diana gabaldonWritten in My Own Heart’s Blood is the eighth doorstop in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The Outlander series has been described, and it sounds about right to me, as “historical fiction with a Moebius twist”. The past and the future intertwine in a way that has to be read to be believed. Her 18th century is like you are there, and in a way you are, because you are experiencing it through the eyes of a 20th century woman who found the love of her life in 18th century Scotland. Outlander is the standard by which all other time travel historical fiction and romances are judged. I can’t wait to lose three days in the next one.

One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear is the continuation of her completely splendiferous Promethean Age series. They are portal fantasies, where Faerie exists next door to our world in a way that means events can, and do, affect both us and them, usually to the detriment of one or the other. And whoever scored last has a nasty tendency to strike back. The original cover sucked, and it went back for a better one. At least, that’s what the author said at WorldCon. (The first cover really, really does suck, we’ll have to see about the second one when it gets here. I just want the damn story)

Two books I should be anticipating but aren’t exactly…

Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S. DawsonWicked After Midnight by Delilah S. Dawson and Rex Regis by L.E. Modesitt Jr. These two books have nothing to do with each other, except that they are both January books, and I would normally be chomping at the proverbial bit to get at them. However, I have ARCs. I’ve already read Rex Regis, and can’t recommend it, and the entire Imager Portfolio series, highly enough to anyone who loves epic fantasy.

I started Delilah S. Dawson’s Blud series after I met her at Dragon*Con in 2012. The series is steampunk with a slightly creepy twist to it, but they are darkly enchanting and I scoop up each book as soon as they are available. I know Wicked After Midnight is going to be a treat.

And now for a few words from the Alaskan delegate. Here’s Cass!

tropic of serpents by marie brennanThe Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan! Clearly. I invented a new rating system for Book #1 Then I preordered Serpents 6 months before it’s release. I’ve NEVER preordered something so far in advance. I have no idea what edition it is (hardcover? paperback?), what the cover art looks like…nada. Doesn’t matter. Don’t care. WANT BOOK NOW.

Symbiont by Mira Grant. Argh! I have to see what is happening with the Tapeworm Uprising! And then find some anti-parasitcs to ingest, thus purging my body of our future Tapeworm Overlords.


Wyrd-Sisters by Terry Pratchett new coverThe Discworld Collector’s Library. Holy shit these covers are gorgeous. ( I’ve read the covers off several of my favorite Terry Pratchett books, and I upgrades. Particularly the Death, Cultures of Discworld, and Witches Collections. I am only interested in certain Unseen University and City Watch books.

Untitled by Connie Willis. Connie read the first chapter from an untitled (and as yet unfinished) book at WorldCon and I have no idea when it is coming or what it will be called by I am waiting. Credit card in hand. Just give me a sign Connie…..

And there you have it. A few of the books we are looking most forward to in 2014. Of course, there will be more. Lots, lots more.

Which books are you looking forward to the most in 2014?