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Dangerous Romance

A blog for lovers of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

About Me

  • Member for 5 years 52 weeks
  • Last online 5 years 21 weeks ago
January 18, 2011
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Dangerous Romance is moving to www.dangerousromance.com

Hi ya'all,

I started this blog out of  a repressed need to write about my favorite genre, and started it here because I was using onsugar for another blog I have and loved the ease of use. In the meantime, I have been helping my brother with his sucessful financial blog over at wordpress and realized for what I wanted to do with this, it needs to get moved over there. For one thing, I can have my domain with just its address www.dangerousromance.com and it will be easier for me to use in the long run.

So if you liked what you saw here and are interested, I'll be posting over there...so come on over. I'm in the process of trying to move the articles all over and then I'll start blogging new ones. Something to look for is I'm going to do my damndest to go to Romantic Times this year and I'm going to LIVE BLOG the whole thing. I will take notes at the seminars I go to, hopefully get to grab some quick author interviews and pics and I'll probs have to stay up all night to do it but it sounds like fun.

So...come on over to the new website...don't mind the dust, I need a few days to settle everything in but I already love my template a lot more.

All the best,

L Blanchard

January 05, 2011
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Other Urban Fantasy Blogs

When I first started digging on the UF scene there were certain websites that I hung out at to stay tuned to the latest releases, read author reviews and find out the latest.

One of those websites was www.urbanfantasyland.com. I was bummed to see that (as far as I can tell) the last time it was updated was sometime last summer (2010). The last update was in August, and it wasn't really an article or update, just a post that says, "stay tuned!". So I did. For awhile. But then I realized, I was standing alone in a cold empty room so I slunk out and I just peek in occaisonally. I don't know what happened, I hope all is well in Urban Fantasy Land's real home. Believe me, I know how hard real life can kick you in the ass, and interfere in our hobby's.

Fangs Fur and Fey (http://community.livejournal.com/fangs_fur_fey/)

Is an interesting idea for a blog. It's kind of elitest, in that only published authors are allowed to "join", but if you are a nonpublished fan you can "watch". It kind of makes me feel like a lurker or a peeping tom, but it is cool to not have to travel to tons of sites to keep up with authors as they are supposed to post "fairly regularly." At least they used to. The only authors I've seen post in the last couple of months are Anton Strout of the Simon Canderous series, and Kalanya Price (who has the really interesting new series Grave Witch...which I totally dig and can't wait for the sequel to the first book). So...while there is a huge list in the right hand side column of authors that are supposedly involved in the site and utlizing it to reach out to fans, the only two I've seen there in months are the two mentioned above. I'm not sure what is going on with that, but this intrepid blogger of all things UF/PR will keep you updated.

Lastly tonight, I will will round up with one of the best things going in blog land in regards to the wonderful fantastical world we read.

All Things Urban Fantasy - http://allthingsurbanfantasy.blogspot.com/ -

I like this website alot. I love the way it looks. I've been trying to get my hubby to create a header like this for me. I have bought various high quality images and give them to him to make into a bitchin' header like this but he has had his hands full editing our little TV show we're working on so I needs must wait.

 

All Things Urban Fantasy doesn't just look good, it keeps me up to date on whats the haps in the industry and is a must read for me. I highly reccomend it.

 

 

January 02, 2011
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Only 16 Days until ShadowFever comes out (Warning, MUCHO spoilerish questions ahead)

 

 

 

Musings on re-reading all feckin' four of Karen Marie Moning's Fever books in a two day period. Yes, I do have a headache. Yes, I'll admit it. I'm a slightly obsessed fan.

 

Enter at your own risk.

Okay, I just re-read all the books. I'm so obsessed I have to read something else, to cleanse my palette because right now I'm so confused. I have so many questions.

I went and registered at KMM's website and tried to post at her forum but couldn't for some technical reason. Mercury in retrograde probably. (Shakes fist at sky....damn you Mercury!)

Okay, so here are my questions. Which only time and a day off work and a 788 page book can answer.

 

1.Why doesn't Mac ask Barrons what he wants the book for so bad until book 4?

2. Why doesn't Mac try harder to figure out what SHE is instead of always trying to figure out what BARRON's is? Is it that on some level she's afraid of the answers? She's the strongest living Sidhe Seer. She can see into Barron's head when touching him. V'lane kisses her ass. Barrons tries to get her to open her eyes constantly, which she refuses to do from book one. Which makes me wonder if he knew instantly who or what she was, or if he didn't figure it out until early on in DarkFever.

3.Is Mac part Fae? If so, is that going to be the earth shattering truth she'll have to deal with? I swear, if she really killed Barron's I don't know if I can finish the book because basically I'm in love with that character, despite all his misogynistic, dickish qualities.

4. Who is Ryodan?

5.Is the story about the boy who was human who was captured by the Fae and forced to live in a cage just a red herring?

6. Is Mac the Concubine reincarnated? Is Barrons The Unseelie King? Is Barrons Cruce? Is he the above boy? Speaking of boys, who was the boy in Barrons memory, the one who died and broke his heart? That had to have been his son. Who is the woman who was his Bright Shinging Star that died?

7. What is the deal with V'lane and Barrons hating eachother? Why did Barrons kill the Fae Princess? How could he if they are immortal? Why is Mac's adopted last name Lane which matches V'lane's name? Coincidence? Why does V'lance call her princess?

8. What's with all the beast references to different things? She calls the book the Beast. When Mac is Priya, she calls herself and Barrons beasts, and then she encounters a beast that gets killed.

9.Why does she intentionally mislead Barrons and V'lane about where the damn book is until the very end?

10. Who is the "Dreamy eyed boy from the ALD? What is his deal? I do NOT trust his ass, fine though it might be.

12. Who is WAR, the 4th prince at the church during the rape scene?

13. In Dreamfever in the very beginning Dani says, "I know things about Mac that she'd kill me for." What things?

14. When she asks Barrons who he lost he won't tell her. When she asks if he sought vengence he says yes, he killed the man who did it, after he killed his wife. WTH?

15.  When she is in the abbey library with Barrons and V'Lane, both men act like they are courtiers and she is the Queen, it is this weird role reversal where they are both saying they did more for her then the other, and she calmly snaps out orders. "v'lane, clean up your mess and buld me a fire" she tells Barrons, "Give me a report of what is happening outside," Which he does. V'lane tells her he is taking care of her family and she calmly says, "Continue to do so. Please." It is the strangest thing as if she is suddenly the Queen of the world and they are reporting in.

16. Earlier, just before V'Lane shows up and he and Barrons get all pissy, in book 4, in the abbey library, What did Barrons want her to say instead of what she said, when they had the conversation about what had occured between them,  the "same page, chapter verse word" conversation.

17. If she isn't the concubine, why is she dreaming about the white mansion and the unseelie prison?

18. Who are the 8 men who rescued her? Druids? Mercenary Soliders from when Barrons used to be a mercenary? Are these the men who protected the Concubine? The Queen?

19. What is it everyone thinks she is capable of that she hasn't done yet? That they keep thinking she'll do. In DreamFever on pages 260-?, Barrons is screaming at her asking her What she is? Well if he doesn't know, why is he (and V'lane for that matter) making such a fuss over her. It can't just be the whole Sidhe Seer thing, they could get one of the other girls at the Abbey for that couldn't they?  After that scene with him screaming at her asking her What she is, why doesn't she ask herself the same question? She seems to just deflect shit left and right and not do any self examination. The book is after her as well. Argg....WTH? ANd What did Fiona mean when she laughed and made the comment about something to do with, "He hasn't told you?"

20. IF Barrons isn't the Unseelie King, and she isn't the Concubine reincarnated, what was with that conversation in DF where he basically is an apologist for the UK and she is for the Concubine. The conversation where he says something to the effect of, "well the king was trying etc" and she says, "maybe she got tired of sitting alone for years waiting etc

21. Who was the woman Barrons carried through the silvers who was dead?

22.  What was Barrons doing when he was fighting when he was away from her and she called him?

23.  Does Barrons want to die? Is he Immortal? If he is UK how can he touch all the hallows?

24. What is it Barrons?

 

And that my dears....is enough of that. I had to get it off my chest. And now, tomorrow. I will put my book on reserve at Borders. And tonight I will go to sleep and I won't think about this nonsense again. I won't hang out at the forum for hours reading every crazy idea postulated, and  I won't obsess over this one little bit. Or count down the days or anything stupid like that.

 

(Tomorrow it is only 15 days, which means it is nearly only two weeks!)

December 28, 2010
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One of the funniest things I've ever read- A recap of LKH's book "Bullet" by Marci Sischo (SPOILERS)

 

 

I wasn't prepared to write an article on the rise and fall of the Anita Blake series. At least not yet. On how someone started a ground breaking series, and who in essence created the genre I love so much, and yet lost their way into an abyss of self indulgent, unforgivably bad editing, surrounding herself with yes men and women and a literary device known as the ardeur that ruined the series. But Hey, its the holidays...so lets keep it light.

So, while trolling the net, typing in the words Urban Fantasy into google, something I do all too often to see whats new, I  found a great website, www.urbanfantasyfiction.com. They publish original urban Fantasy as well as write articles about the genre; book reviews, movie reviews, and fun shit they think up as well. Marci Sischo and James Agle have a serialized book, which is posted chapter by chapter at their website, called Black Alice. Marci also has a very well written blog on her personal thoughts on current politics, and life in general at www.marcisischo.com. In fact my blog is jealous of how well her blogs are written, it wants to move over to hers.

While searching the site I came across the  recap of Laurel K. Hamilton's most recent Anita Blake book Bullet and laughed so hard I had tears coming down my cheeks. I reached out to Marci and basically begged her to let me reprint it and she generously agreed. On re-reading the recap, I realized, as toned down from the book as it was, and as light an overview as it was,  the satirical recap could not cover the book and not still be pretty X rated. Since my mom might read my blog someday and I live in fear of her disapproval, I decided against posting it here and decided to instead send you to their wonderful website to read it.

http://urbanfantasyfiction.com/2010/06/03/bullet-laurell-k-hamilton-spoilers/

yes...I'm a grown up woman, for Pete's sake, I know it is ridiculous. IF you met my mom, you'd understand.

I think this gives you an idea of what an Anita Blake book has become if a written recap of the book can't be done without it being X rated. Hilariously X rated, much like Bullet,  but in this case, done deliberately. Oh, how I miss the days of a plot in a LKH book.

She just doesn't understand, it isn't that we're all prudes. It's that she used to be a really solid writer with a great character who kicked ass and now has just become a pieice of one.

To put it in perspective, at Amazon.com:

Her first book "Guilty Pleasures" published around 1994 has a total of 552 reviews of which most are high marks, with nearly 400 5's and 4's.  She only had 41 bad one star reviews. That my dears, is a very well received book.

Where as

"Bullit"

has only 280 reviews after six months of which only 44 are five star and a whopping 120 reviews gave her a one star.

This is not good. For one thing, successful series should have more reviews the later the books go on. Not less. Also, I haven't seen too many books that have that many one star reviews. IF they do, they usually have a lot more 5 stars then 44. It isn't a good balance sheet frankly.

 

In other words a complete reversal of opinion. But she won't see it. If you read LKH's blog, she truly feels anyone who dares to point this out is a hater and a prude. Eventually if this continues, I don't see how her publisher can avoid taking this situation into hand and actually force her to use an editor (something I've read she refused to do) or dropping her, which given how successful she has been would be just bizarre. Even the description of Bullet on Amazon looked like it was submitted by someone writing at a sixth grade level.

So in 17 years...she has become hugely successful, and her readers at least think, become a much worse writer. That spells out to me...a rise and fall.

So instead, I am providing you the link, below. If you started out loving Anita Blake and grew disenchanted with the series as it devolved you are going to enjoy this article and then please let Marci know how much you enjoyed it.

For some reason the link isn't hyperlinking so you'll have to copy and paste it. Believe me, it is worth the marginal trouble you will go to find it.

http://urbanfantasyfiction.com/2010/06/03/bullet-laurell-k-hamilton-spoilers/

Also check out

www.marcisischo.com

 

Thanks so much to Marci!

 

December 23, 2010
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CLIFFHANGERS PART DEUX= Starring Jim Butcher's Changes, a Harry Dresden Novel

 

Next up: Jim Butchers Changes. I have read reviews that left the spoilers out (thank you thoughtful people) but I was able to tell it has a huge cliffhanger. I bought the book on CD to accompany me on a long winding road trip and it definitley helped wile the miles away.

The problems is, I'm only half way through it and I'm home.  I'm going to have to start listening at night now  so I can get to the end of the book and review it. I want to be able to at least go right from that cliff hanger to the short story he just released in an antholoy of short stories called appropriatley enough "Side Jobs". The new book has a story called "Aftermath" that takes place about half an hour after the end of Changes and is written by Dresden's friend Murphy.

I've been waiting to read Changes until it was somewhat closer to a release of the book that would explain what the hell happened at the end, because readers seemed stunned. Now I have heard that the story Aftermath leaves as many questions as before. So...guess I'll be waiting until the new Dresden comes out to find out whatever the hell it is that has people so riled up.

Speaking of Changes, I saw a video of Jim Butcher explaining his new book Side Jobs (the above mentioned Anthonlogy) and he looks totally different. Gone is the geekboy long hair, the round spectacles and round  hunched shoulders that speak of hours of writing and playing RPG. He's now sporting a short butch haircut, an "I've been working out" body and dare I say it...he almost looks Dresdenish and kinda hot. I've always heard he was one of the nicest authors in the genre and now he's one of the nicest looking, so there is one Change I'm happy about, which is odd because I used to be all about long hair on guys but let's be honest, it was the late 80's early 90's and guys with long hair were all the rage. Until a little band called Nirvana came along, and suddenly peroxode blonde men were everywhere. Also, a little show came a long called Buffy, and the two men love interests in it; one with short brown hair and one with short peroxide blonde hair and alot of men hit the barbershop. Could have been a coincidence, i think not.

Speaking of coincidences, Butcher's wife Shannon K. Butcher rocks the paranormal romance scene pretty hard with her series The Sentinel Wars, filled with loads of hot alpha men with 6 pack abs, tattoos and short hair. Another coincidence? I think not. Men have been cutting their hair for the chick in their life since before Samson and Delilah. I for one also find that kind of hot.

December 23, 2010
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CLIFFHANGERS- Starting with Karen Marie Moning's Dream Fever and upcoming release ShadowFever (Mild Spoiler Action)

 

 

 

 

I have noticed another trend lately in my favorite authors, and I'm not digging it. Not one bit. Not at all.

In the past, the Urban Fantasy genre series has had over arcing storylines that continue throughout the series, while each book has a story within it that has a definite beginning, middle and end.

Lately however, the cliffhanger has started to sneak into what were and/or are in most cases a fantastic series and it is pissing me off. Finding this in what are my favorite series does not bode well for trends I don't like. People look to the best and if the top authors in a genre are all starting to have hardcore cliffhangers at the end of a book, others will seek to follow their example.

One of the most obvious examples would be the end of Karen Moning’s DreamFever. Up until starting this series, Moning was known exclusively for her steaming Paranormal Romances, featuring the Celtic Druids, the MacKelters, usually set somewhere between 300-500 years ago and today. The books had some time travel, and interference from those meddling Fae, who were mostly lounging about on some mythical island beach.  The queen would pit her King against her favorite Faery prince Adam Black, also known as Puck. Mostly they would interfere in humans lives out of boredom while still having to stick to the letter if not the intention of the Compact drawn up between the humans and the Faerie thousands of years ago, which meant that both sides had to keep up the walls between the worlds.

The romances were well written, mostly lighthearted, and exciting, featuring adventure and were extremely sexual, and were unsurprisingly very successful. After Laurel K. Hamilton, (and who doesn't come after her), but before many other novelists switched to UF, Moning said she had the entire Fever series handed to her by the creative muses. Moning took a break from the fabulous McKelters, with their rippling abs and rippling hair, and the gorgeous Fae Princes with same rippling hair and abs. The Fever books would focus on a young woman who goes to Ireland to seek revenge for her sister’s death and who comes to learn secrets she never thought were imaginable about her birth, her magic abilities and the world of Faerie.

It was kinda a ballsy move and I am glad she took it.

It was a gamble, to switch to another genre, and it was also a gamble because she was taking some of the same characters that had appeared in her light hearted PNR series, and going dark with them. Very dark. For a romance novelist to pitch a series where the main character doesn't have sex until the 4th book and it is basically a sexual healing after a 4 way rape scene...that must have been an interesting pitch session.

There isn't much if any romance, although there is extreme sexual tension between her and her mentor, Jericho Barrons, which by the beginning of the 4th book was reaching the point of being incendiary. Moning has stated up front, and boy do I respect her for this, that there would be only 5 books and the 5th would definitely be the last in this series. Each book sold more and more copies and by the 4th, DreamFever, which was hardcover, it shot right to best seller.

It was the best book of the series, truly a defining one, and it also had a damn cliffhanger in it that was infuriating. I read the last page and was stunned. So now...I would have to wait until the next book came out to find out if a hugely important character to the series, who I'd invested time, emotion and finances by continuing to read her books was even alive.

Her books had been coming out regularly once a year and that is a long time to wait to find out something like that out. Then to add insult to injury the 5th and final book, with answers to above question within its bindings, did not come out when expected. First it was going to come out in August of 2010. Then it was moved to October 2010. I saw somewhere at one point it was coming out in 28th of December, which turned out to be a felonious rumor. The date of delivery is now January 18th.

This one is going to stick as she has a countdown on her website to the release of the final book Shadowfever. She apologizes for the delay and states that this book is twice as long as the last one and we'll be super happy with the results. I don't dispute that one bit and in fact appreciate that she didn't break the final book up into two books which many other authors, given a series that has become this popular would do, (thank god, I couldn't take another cliffhanger).

I just wish she wouldn't have left the last book where it was, thus creating this ridiculous frenzy of "what happened and when can I find out." Okay, mostly that frenzy is probably in my head, but from what I read at her forums I'm not alone.

She has also demanded there not be any ARC's, so there would be no spoilers. I'm not going to know until the day the book comes out if Jericho is alive and who the beast was. The closer we get, the more anxious I am to read it. I suppose as an author it has to be highly flattering to have this much curiosity but as a reader...kinda pisses me off. Do not get me wrong, I can't wait to read ShadowFever. She is a masterful story teller.

Another time I'll write a review of Dreamfever, probably the night before Shadowfever hits the bookshelves. Besides the cliffhanger, I loved it, except I felt the way the main character Mac acted around Barrons in this book was as if the tragic and bizzare situation that had happened at the end of the Bloodfever and the beginning of Dreamfever hadn't happened.

Look, this was a life altering thing and she was flippant about it. What she and Barrons had shared was also something (right or wrong) that was as insanely intimate as possible and she goes back to acting like the childish snot she was before as if nothing was different. Even Barron's seems bewildered about her attitude. I know I was.

The only thing I could think of was it was a way for Moning to keep these two apart until the 5th book. At which point he is dead already (extremely unlikely) or he is going to die trying to save her or they will have a HEA or Mac will find something out that will make her never want to be with him, and she will go on with her life a stronger person etc. etc. The man does have secrets by the flotilla full.

But the damn Cliffhanger, I can't get over it. I know I'm not alone, I read review after review of people like me that loved Dreamfever and felt it was the best of the series and were enraged by the ending so much some threatened to not buy ShadowFever. That is ridiculous. I don't believe them for a second, it’s going to be a huge hit and a help to UF in particular and Urban Fantasy in general.  Sometimes we as the readers have to deal. It’s her world, I just read it, but I can respectfully express that I don’t have to like the route she took us to get to the end.

 

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December 22, 2010
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Preview chapter of Kresley Cole's Dreams of a Dark Warrior is out!

 

Kresley Cole has released at her website, a preview chapter of her newest book, Dreams of a Dark Warrior, which will not be out until around Valentines day so this is another sweet treat. For all the latest intel on her NYTimes Best sellers, go to www.kresleycole.com. For a peek at the new book you can go direct to  http://kresleycole.com/books/dreams-of-a-dark-warrior-excerpt.html

 

 

This is turning into a happy day for me. Evidently she released this December 17th and is another author being generous at Christmas time to her fans. I happen to think this is a marvelous treat and wish all my favorite authors would embrace this particular holiday gift giving!

The Immortals After Dark is my dirty little secret. I know it isn't Urban Fantasy. I know all the female characters aren't strong and kick ass (although most of them do), and the whole "mate" thing does get a tad ridiculous. But oh can she write sexy. Sexy men. Sexy time. I mean it is.....lets just say my guy usually gets lucky as soon I can come up for air when reading Kresley Cole. I adore the way her Valkries behave, they are so ferocious and funny. In the book before the last one (and I'm totally blanking on the name of it...it will come to me) it focused on Regin's sister Lucia. She and Regin are together in the first half fighting to try to find the way to kill a true bastard monster named Cruach, but Lucia is being followed around by a gorgeous werewolf who keeps sidetracking her. Regin's solution is to put him out of their misery and she is totally bewildered when her sister ditches her to go hang with the man of her dreams. The text messages the sisters sent eachother during that book really had me laughing. I love the jusxtoposition of the almost Conan the Barbarian action melded with the world of today.

She has a couple story lines that I am dieing to see happen, in particular the Valkryie Seer Nucking Futs Nix. She's about 3000 years old, can see the future, and is crazy as a loon. But she helps her girls out, and it is possible she has an agenda as the characters in Cole's books are facing a 500 year upheaval.

This new book, sadly is not Nix's story, I'm guessing she is being saved for last, or it is possible we will never see her love story as who could possibly keep up with her?

This book is the story or Regin the Radiant, the one who has a boyfriend who keeps dieing on her and being reincarnated. It's complicated. I just read the preview and I'm kind of torn. On the one hand...it has all the things I love but there was one thing that brought up an ick factor for me. It is handled correctly and I guess I can move on but still....Let me know if any of you feel the same way after reading it. Other then that though, I devoured it and can't wait for the book. I loved the scene with her and Nix in the car, Nix is so much fun.


Thanks Kresley!!!

 

December 22, 2010
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Christmas Gifts From Charlaine Harris and Ilona Andrews (Mild Spoilers)

Charlaine Harris has gifted her fans with her yearly present of the first chapter of her newest book.  Dead Reckoning, Harris's 11th book in the Sookie Stackhouse Series will not be released until May, so a preview of the first chapter, in December gives us something wonderful and new to dissect and discuss until Dead Reckoning hits the shelves in Spring. The chapter is posted at Harris's site can be found at her website at www.charlaineharris.com/deadreck_1.html.

Please do not copy the chapter and post it anywhere else, this is a gift to her fans and her trust should not be abused.

The chapter opens with more trouble for Sam at Merlots, and there is an appearance by both Eric and Pam as well. Since these are tthree of the most loved characters in the series it should make many of the fans happy.

 

Another author favorite, wife and husband Ilona and Gordon duo writing under the name of Ilona Andrews, have also released a preview of their newest addition to the Kate Daniels world, Magic Slays, which won't drop until May 31st. They have released a prologue to the book on their website, but have no fear, it reads like a chapter and it is wonderful. Kate is dealing with the new change to her status since she and Curran have solidified their relationship, and she also has teenager troubles as her ward Julie has decided boarding school is not for her and in order to pound the point home to her adoptive Mother she has run away....again. Their Christmas gift chapter can be found at

http://www.ilona-andrews.com/books/magic-slays/magic-slays-excerpt/

 

Both of these treats are greatly appreciated by yours truly. My one complaint (and I know the authors have little to no control over this kind of thing), their publisher has decided to change the girl on the cover and I hate it. I loved the fact that Kate used to look bi-racial, beautiful and bad ass, and the new Kate on the cover, while a perfectly attractive girl, looks nothing like the Kate we've had in our minds for the last 4 books.

Frankly, I can't help wondering if she could lift Kate's sword Slayer, let alone weild it. She just doesn't look strong enough to even hold it, probably the reason why the artist painted her kneeling down with sword laying on the ground next to her with her hand gently touching it. This model looks like the heaviest thing she would lift would be a cup of nonfat latte and a piece of lettuce.

Hopefully they will change their minds and bring back the cover model we all love, before the book is actually printed and released.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Charlaine, Ilona and Gordon for making my Christmas week rockin'!

I"m going to go swim through the net and see if any other of our favorite authors have decided to follow in their footsteps.

 

December 20, 2010
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In the Beginning....there was Fantasy. And it was good.

 

I could write a long post on why I love Urban Fantasy. The fact that it's magical. That women are the heroes. That they not only kick ass, but they save the (fill in the blank)_______day, child, city,world etc. That they have powers, and that the hot dude wants them. Seriously...for a girl...what is not to like.

I went with the cover of Ilona Andrews first book in her Kate Daniels series for a reason, she (the heroine) exemplifes many of the standards of the very best tropes of Urban fantasy. The main character is strong, but has a heart. She has a damaged past and doesn't fall into bed with every hot guy that wants her, in fact she leads the King of the Beasts on a merry five book chase. She's good with a sword (although she sucks at shooting guns), I could go on and on...believe me there is going to be a gushy love letter to the husband and wife writing team of this fantastic series coming soon. I can't believe I'm saying this but Kate and Curran the Beast Lord (that is "your Majesty to you") have replaced Sookie and Eric in my heart as the greatest couple of UF of all time.

Truth be told, it was probably Ilona and Gordon's wonderful series that pushed me over the edge, I mean...pushed me into pursuing my dream. I've been a closet fan. Not ashamed really but certainly not bragging much about my obssesion/love for the genre. A friend of mine who is a well known, extremely sucessful horror novelist was appalled when I told him how much I loved Urban Fantasy (a fan he is not) and how I was trying to write one of my own. He even apologized later for how harsh he'd been on the topic. I understand, it isn't for everyone. I would wager that fans tend to skew 90% female to 10% male although Charlaine Harris's sucess with Sookie's series turning into a hugely popular HBO series might have helped raise the exposure of the genre to the male species. Good grief...their books (High Fantasy) are mixed in with ours sharing the same shelf space at every Border's I've been too. I've seen the geek boys looking both ways and then picking up a book featuring a hot babe holding a sword. Come on...what is not to love, dudes?

Charlaine's books brought me in, and  Ilona Andrews books have brought me out of the urban fantasy closet. I'm not going to be ashamed of this anymore. I'm in serious like with Urban Fantasy, and the more I learn about it the genre, the craft, the authors themselves and their struggles and triumphs, I reckon the better my odds of writing a sucessful book in the genre myself are. So this blog will be many things.

1. It is an outlet to write about my hobby/passion/obssession/goal.

2. It is a for me to connect with other people who feel the way I do, because I'll be honest....it gets a little lonely in this fan club of one and I'd love to talk about my favorite books with people more often then the occaisional, "Aunt Laurie, can I borrow one of your vampire porn books" conversations with my teen neices, which usually ends up in an arguement as certain books are fine and others are not until their 18, which turns me from favorite Aunt to, not so favorite. Which is tough. For them not me. THere are plenty of books in the genre that don't fall into the Vampire porn category and are perfectly acceptable for teen girls.

3. A way to find out more and let's face it...its good to be on the inside. I'm looking for spoilerish action folks. Don't tell me the whole plot, and always preface your comments with SPOILER Warnings, but I think it would be fun and maybe I will get the occaisonal ARC

4. I'm a writer, I've written interviews with dozens of people on topics I wasn't that interested in, but the editor of the newspaper was. For once, I get to interview people I WANT to interview and how fun is that going to be? And I hope to learn from this experience, as a writer and as a fan.

5. Did I mention I hope to get Advanced Reading Copies? I think I did but just in case some publisher sees this and missed it...(:

I promise to review/write about/and in other ways...promote your authors books. I'll be looking for people who want to write reviews as well. I love writing and talking about books and writing...but actual reviewing isn't my long suit, so anybody out there that would like to join forces and maybe get some free swag for doing it..l.I'm looking for reviewers, and once I've burned through the ARC...I'll overnight it to you! No worries future comrades, I'm a fast reader. It usually takes me about 2 1/2 hours to read a book. I force myself to slow down a little on my favorite ones to savor them...so I might be able to make it last 3 hours.

I can't wait..So lets get started folks.

 

On to the next one....


 

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December 20, 2010
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Magic at the Gate-the 5th in the series by Devon Monk (spoilers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love this series.  I don't think it is too spoilerish to say that I knew when reading the end of the last book, that Allie would face down Death itself to fight for and retrieve her lover, Zavion Jones. I like that theirs is an interracial love story and that that is completely insignificant to the story line, as if saying his eyes were brown and hers were hazel. It isn't a pro or a con, it just is.

I like that she doesn't always know what to do, who to trust, or how to fix things, she just knows that she'd die for Zayvion and he would for her. They don't talk about love, they live it.

In another article I have planned to write later I want to use these two characters as an example that authors don't have to keep coming up with devices to keep lovers from declaring themselves for fear it will destroy the sexual chemistry. These two are so loyal to eachother it makes the books better and each book seems to get more intense.

The covers are always gorgeous but a little misleading. I don't think of Allie as being particularly a sword master. She's learning how to fight but most of that has been grappling with Zayvion and then the two of them trying not to rip eachother's clothes off. When he was "gone" in this book, she carried his sword around but I think that was more to remind herself of him then anything. Her great strength is her magic and the magic of her freaky dad who refuses to die and has possessed her. Let's just say...Allie has Daddy issues.

In the last book, Magic on the storm, Allie a hound who uses her abilities to track magic back to its user (thereby leaving her with massive headaches, illnesses, and gaps in her memory) has been recruited by her boyfriends group of magic users known as "The Authority." Allie isn't a natural fit, what with her F U attitude towards authority. She's inherited an enormous amount of money from Daddy's death that she wants to refuse to spend because she hates her dad so much, but she is growing up and you can see it over the course of the books. She's taken responsibility for the other hounds, bought them a homebase where they can crash and be safe, and is even investing in medical care for them.

And she is letting herself get close to her step-mother, which given how many she has had, and how close in age she and her Step-mom are, is surprising to her as well, but she has a baby brother or sister on the way that Dad will never get the chance to see grow up, unless she can't ever get him to move out of her head.

The authority has recruited our girl and in the last book a huge betrayal and war broke out during a massive magical storm over Portland. Zavion, in trying to hold the gate to death and keep the bad things out, got sucked in.

Allie, her father and her pet Gargoyle Stone, go into death and rescue her boyfriend's soul but she has serious doubts as to what Dad's agenda is, and has she brought something back with her, and will Z ever be the same? The one upside about traveling through death with daddy is she saw another side to him, a nicer side. It's kind of like he pulled a Horocrux and in doing so stripped away the nice part of him and she finally got to see it.

My only real complaint was that I missed the interaction between Allie and Z. By nature of the plot device of him spending a large part (almost all of it) in a coma, it cut down on their interactions, and I missed it. This book was in some respects darker then the others, and there over arching storyline doesn't really show any signs of coming to a firm conclusion anytime soon....which is just fine with me. I also LOVE the character of Shame and would like to see some resolution to his situation, as in, does being a soul complement with someone from the same gender as yourself make you fall in love with them despite your sexuality?

I am definiatley looking forward to the next book in the series, Magic on the Hunt which won't be out until April 5th 2011. I'll be looking forward to it!

 

 

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