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Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

ink and bone
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

If you are looking for the type of review that goes into great detail about plot and characters, you may as well quit reading right now. I don’t do an awful lot of that anyway, and I’m darn well not going to give away a single thing about this book, except this: it’s bloody wonderful! Finished it over breakfast today, crying on my poached eggs, and any book that brings me to tears like that is a 5-star book in my mind. It means that it engaged me so completely that the characters and the world became real, and I was fully invested in each.

I’ve been a fan of Rachel Caine for a long time. Her Weather Warden series and its Outcast Season spin-off were terrific fun. I even enjoyed every single book in her YA Morganville Vampire series. But she has soared to new heights with this one. I loved every plot twist, every setting description, and most of all, every character. Scholar Wolfe and Jess Brightwell, in particular, as different as they are. Both broke my heart, and the only thing about the entire book that I hate is the fact that I have such a long, long time to wait for the next one. As you can probably guess, I highly recommend this new series.

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Scholar (Christopher) Wolfe

Ink and Bone

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Ink and Bone Website…Check It OUT!

ink and bone

Just got a newsletter from Rachel Caine with a link to her new Ink and Bone website. Great goobley oobley! Caine has gone ALL OUT on this page, and it is drop dead gorgeous! The artwork is to die for, and there are lots of fun things to look at and read. A couple of videos to watch, too, though I haven’t had time for that, yet. You really should stop by. If this doesn’t make you want to read the book, I don’t know what would.

The Great Library

#TuesdayBookBlog Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve been waiting for SOOO long for this second book in The  Great Library series, and finally, I have it. On my shelf, and again on my Kindle, because it’s so beautifully done, I didn’t even want to take a chance of creasing a single page. Truly a stunning cover, to go with another stunning story. If you didn’t read my review of Book 1, Ink and Bone, you can check it out HERE. I adored it, and I adored this one no less.

Rachel Caine is a very strong writer, and creates characters that are flawed but endearing. I’ve been a fan of hers since the Weather Warden series, and read her YA Morganville Vamps series, as well. The Great Library books are nothing like either of those, except in the quality of writing, and the strength of the characters.

I do not do book synopses, and I hate spoilers. Even small ones. I don’t read reviews that have them, and I won’t write them either. But what I can tell you is that Jess Brightwell is an endearing and touching character, who finds himself in a world he never imagined being part of. One where nothing is as he had always believed, and time is running out in which to right great wrongs. And even though the cast of players is largely a young one, you never doubt for a minute that they will find a way. It’s more a question of how, and who, if anyone, will fall to the enemy along the journey. There are tense moments galore, believe me.

My personal favorite things about the book–besides the great library of Alexandria itself, which in this world, was never destroyed, but has become the most powerful force in the world–would have to be the automatons. Automata? Oh, the huge mechanical lions and sphinxes, and even the giant, spear-wielding Spartan! I loved the scenes describing them.

And the ending, while wrapping up the part of the story focused on in this book, has left me panting for Book 3. I will put it on pre-order the first day I can. And that, my friends, is about the highest testimonial I can give it.

If you’ve read Ink and Bone and enjoyed it as much as I did, you will want to read Paper and Fire. If you haven’t read either, you can find them here:

Ink and Bone

Paper and Fire

A Question and a Request

 

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Agatha Christie

The Question: Agatha and I have been wondering…where does the time go? No, I mean, really. Where does it go, once we’ve squeezed every bit of the life from a moment, and cast it aside, moving on to the next? Is there some graveyard for used hours somewhere? Or is it really relegated to crumbling photo albums and lines in a diary?

Just curious, here, on account of I seem to have lost a LOT of it lately. But I suppose that’s the nature of things–both losing time, and wasting more, wondering where it went. By my age, there are veritable slag heaps of lost time piled up behind me, but I’m finally learning that it doesn’t pay to worry about it. What does pay, sort of, is writing. So that’s where I’ve been in recent weeks. Writing my fingers down to bloody bones! Makes for a messy keyboard, but it does get me closer to the final line of Novel #4, anyway. And that brings me to the next part of this post.

The Request: I’ve said this before, and I’ll no doubt say it again. Most readers have no concept of just how important good reviews are to writers, most especially in this day of eBooks. If you’ve read a book you enjoyed, please, please consider posting a review on Amazon. Yes, even if the book is by a famous author who has sold millions of copies. Every single review has an impact on where they rank on Amazon, which, in turn, impacts how many new readers come across their book. Unless they are in the #1 spot, across all boards, they have room to move up, and increase their sales. And if you enjoyed their book, they’ve earned it.

Reviews are even more important for new writers, such as myself. When I balance the number of reviews Swamp Ghosts has gotten, for instance, against the number of emails and other comments I’ve received from folks who say they enjoyed the book, I know that a lot of them–most of them–aren’t leaving reviews. I think some don’t know how critical they are, and others actually mean to do it, but forget. Either way, it would sure be nice if everyone who enjoyed reading a book, mine included, would take five minutes to let the world know. It will increase sales dramatically, and for some authors, that can mean the difference in being able to continue writing versus having to get a second job, just to put food on the table. You can leave reviews on your blog or Goodreads, too, but the one that will make the biggest difference is the one you leave on Amazon.

Help your favorite writers succeed. Read and review. Rinse. Repeat. Rainbows will follow you everywhere you go, and sweet dreams will visit you every night. Okay, not really, but you WILL be doing a good thing. 🙂 Thanks!

A Dead Husband by Anna Celeste Burke

 

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

A Dead Husband is the first of a series of cozy mysteries, and it gets the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series off to a solid start. Our heroine is resourceful, clever, determined, loyal to her friends, and oh, yeah…wealthy. Very wealthy. This alone makes her stand out in a genre filled with heroines who are so often struggling to make ends meet. But as Jessica slowly learns, money doesn’t buy the really important things in life, like a happy marriage to a faithful husband. Read more…

Just Thinkin’….

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I realized after reading a comment the other day that I haven’t reviewed a non-urban fantasy book in quite some time. Now this doesn’t bother me overly much, as I’m very fond of good urban fantasy and have been in that frame of mind for a couple of years. However, I certainly Read more…

Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs' Flash and Bones Cover

My Rating:  3 of 5 Stars

When Kathy Reichs’ first book, Deja Dead, was released in 1998, I was really interested in forensics in general, and found forensic anthropology especially fascinating.  It seemed quite remarkable that so much could be discovered by examining mere skeletal remains.  When those remains are very old, or are only partial remains, it is even more Read more…

From Sea To Shining Sea by James Alexander Thom

James Alexander Thom's From Sea to Shining Sea Cover

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Another book in my library that probably warrants a re-read.   When this book was released in 1986, I was enjoying a lot of historical novels of the type that were good at making history come alive, and seem like the rip-roaring adventure it was when it actually happened.  This was one of my favorite books at that time.  It’s the story of the Read more…

Top Ten Tuesday List: Summer Reading 2015

Top Ten Tuesdays are a fun meme, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The idea is to  feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. What a neat way to find new and interesting books on all sorts of topics. Good way to discover bloggers who love the sorts of books you do, too.

Check out The Broke and The Bookish for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate! And maybe give it a try, yourselves.

The subject for June 16 is:  Top Ten Books On My Summer 2015 Reading List. Since I’ll be home recovering from foot surgery through all of August and probably into September, I might actually make some progress on these. So without further ado, here’s my list:

blue lily

1. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. This is the third book in The Raven Cycle series, which I adore. The first two books were among my favorite reads of the last couple of years, but then again, Maggie Steifvater is one of my very favorite writers, too. I’ve been taunting myself with this one for weeks, but saving it for some quiet, uninterrupted reading time.

hollowcity

2. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs. This is the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, a very creepy, totally bizarre book that I couldn’t explain to you if I tried. But don’t worry. There are photos. Really weird photos. Sort of like this one on the cover of Hollow City. I really liked the first story, and am looking forward to seeing what happens next.

kings mountain

3. King’s Mountain by Sharyn McCrumb. Most people who know me at all, know how much I love the Appalachian mountains. I’ve read nearly every Sharyn McCrumb book out there, because she writes about them so beautifully, and can’t wait to read this. They often have an element of supernatural to them, be it a wandering ghost or two, or a character with The  Sight. But not always. This one focuses on the Revolutionary War battle of King’s Mountain, a site I’ve visited, myself. I have no idea what the story line will be, but it’s Sharyn McCrumb. Good enough for me.

thewayofkings

4. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. I first discovered Brandon Sanderson with his novel The Alloy of Law. I enjoyed that book so much, I went back and read the earlier series it’s part of, The Mistborn Trilogy. Loved that, too. So I’m now working my way through all  of his books, and this one is Book 1 of the Stormlight Archive. I’m sold on Sanderson.

ink and bone

5. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine. I loved Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, and the Outcast Season spinoff. I loved her YA Morganville Vampires series. Didn’t get into the Working Stiff one, but this book sounds like the start of something big. It deals with the great library of Alexandria, and the premise sounds loaded with possibilities. Can’t wait.

the veil

6. The Veil by Chloe Neill. I haven’t yet read a lot about this one, but frankly, Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series is so darn good, I’ll give anything she writes a chance. Two words: Ethan Sullivan. Best vampire, EVER. So come August, I’ll be finding out what the Veil is all about.

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7. Make Me by Lee Child. Jack Reacher. Enough said

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8. Crucible Zero by Devon Monk. Started reading Devon Monk’s House Immortal series, and found it very entertaining. I won’t try to explain the complicated premise, except to say the main characters are made up of Pieces/Parts…kind of like  Frankenstein, or maybe chicken nuggets, whichever you prefer. 🙂 It’s not quite as icky as it sounds, and I’m quite looking forward to this next volume.

color of magic

9. The Entire Discworld Series by Sir Terry Pratchett. After discovering the  Wee, Free Men a year or so ago, I knew I wanted to read more of Pratchett’s famous Discworld series, and I’ve finally started. I’m on The  Wyrd Sisters, which is Book 6, and plan to keep on reading straight through. Yes, all 763 books. Or so. 🙂 Hilarious beyond belief. I’m very fond of Rincewind, Death, and maybe most of all, The Luggage. A concept that makes me laugh every time it trundles onto the page, using all it’s teeny-tiny feet. Not to be missed. (Not that I’ll finish the whole series this summer, you  understand. But I plan to make a good dent in it.

aeronauts windlass

10. The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim  Butcher. Saved the best for last! You can’t have spent much time around here and not know that Butcher’s Dresden Files series is my favorite Urban Fantasy series of all time. Jim Butcher RULES. And Jim Butcher plus Steampunk? I’ve died and gone to heaven! (Even though this new series has no doubt slowed down the next Dresden book. But if it’s as good as I’m guessing, I’ll try to forgive him. )

And there you have it. Hope you find something new and interesting to check out.

The #GrishaTrilogy by #LeighBardugo #TuesdayBookBlog

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I may have disappeared for far too long, being caught up in writing five novels over a three-year period, but I’ve decided I really want to get back to this blog, and my love of sharing great books with other readers. I plan to make Tuesdays my day for reviews, and I’m starting today with a series of books that knocked my socks off: Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

As usual, I don’t like to give away very much about the plot of any book, but I will tell you exactly what I think of the writing, the characters, and the story line.

For my money, Leigh Bardugo knocked this series right out of the ballpark. She put just enough spin on her fantasy world to make it intriguingly different, filled with a highly developed political structure, and exactly the right amount of backstory to let readers know how it all came to pass. The story line was strong and very interesting, but for me, the real success of the entire series rests with the excellent character development. I adored the love story at the heart of the adventure, and thought Alina and Mal were perfect, even down to their IM-perfections, which were what made them so believable. The turmoil plaguing a land in desperation was dark and disturbing–almost as much so as the source of it all, The Darkling, a truly compelling and frightening creation. Even the secondary characters were well developed and worth caring about.

There were times when I was heartbroken, fearing the worst would happen to the people I’d grown to love, and times when my heart sang with shared happiness as they conquered yet another seemingly insurmountable task. But I never gave up hope that Good would conquer Evil, and the world would be made whole again. Were my hopes justified? I’ll let you decide.

If you enjoy richly developed fantasy worlds with believable heroines and heroes, accomplishing UN-believable things, this series ought to be just your cup of tea. You should head right on over to Amazon and buy these books today. Go ahead and get all three. Once you’ve read the first one, you won’t be able to stop. (And then you’ll likely do as I did, and start right in on Bardugo’s next book, The Six of Crows–even the COVER is gorgeous on that one.)

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My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

14061957
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Shadow and Bone

Siege and Storm

Ruin and Rising

 

Wild Things by Chloe Neill

wildthingsMy Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Someday I should take a moment and explain my rating system. I’m sure it perplexes some of my readers from time to time when I give their favorite novels only 3 or 4 stars. Sometimes I even give critically acclaimed works with real redeeming social value only 3 or 4 stars, as well. And yet, I’m going to give Chloe Neill’s latest Chicagoland Vampires book a solid 5 stars. How can that be, you may wonder. Simple. Read more…

Blood Trade by Faith Hunter

blood trade

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I have been reading Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series from the beginning, and for the most part, it has been a fun ride. There are things I don’t like a lot, but generally, they don’t take away from the adventures Jane gets up to, and the interesting Read more…

Fort Myers Book Festival – March 16, 2013

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Kim Harrison and Jeanienne Frost

Sorry it has taken me so long to post about this event, but I’ve been really swamped the last couple of weeks. My To Do List gets bigger every day instead of smaller, as I’m trying to get ready to fly to San Diego on a moment’s notice for the birth of my first grandson.  Lots to do to be sure I don’t leave hubby in the lurch while I’m away. But finally, I realized if I didn’t take a few minutes to post about the Festival soon, Read more…

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

I’m a sucker for Celtic legends, ghost stories, myths and music, of any kind.  Set it in Scotland or Ireland, and I’m happy to the bone.  Old England?  Love it.  Wales? Yorkshire? The moors?  Happy sighs from me, all around.  I thought today might be a fun time to share a poem Read more…

A Narrow Fellow In The Grass by Emily Dickinson

Since I mentioned yesterday that I love snakes, I thought it might be fun to post one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems on just that topic!  Even when you love them as much as I do, you still get a shivery feeling–zero at the bone–when you see one.  Hope some of you enjoy this, even if you aren’t as crazy about our legless friends as I am. Read more…

Something From The Nightside by Simon R. Green

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I just love these Tales From The Nightside books.   They all have a great noir feeling about them, and center on old-fashioned, trench-coated detective John Taylor and his misadventures in Read more…

V Is For Vengeance – Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton's V Is For Vengence Cover

MY RATING:  4 of 5 Stars

I think of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet series as being very like a bowl of oatmeal…nothing fancy, but it will stick to your ribs and make you feel as cozy as a pair of comfortable flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers.  As always, “V Is For Vengeance” is a satisfying Kinsey Milhone tale. I actually think this might be the best book in the series. Grafton’s writing, always solid and entertaining,  has Read more…

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich's Explosive Eighteen Cover

MY RATING:  4 out of 5 stars

Let me begin by saying, I love Stephanie Plum. Love her. I love Morelli, Ranger, Lula, Grandma Mazur, Connie, Vinnie, the Burg, and everything and everyone connected to Stephanie’s weird, weird world. No, I don’t consider these books to be “great literature,” and yes, I do think they are formulaic in the extreme. But the formula still works for me, because…and this is a BIG because… Read more…

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