Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Queen in Winter Kurland, Shinn, Delacroix and Monette

This anthology of romance tinged fantasy was published back in 2006 by Berkely and includes works by Lynn Kurland, Sharon Shinn, Claire Delacroix and Sara Monette. I also read the previous fantasy romance anthology, To Weave a Web of Magic. I think this one is stronger than the previous one, but I don’t own it any longer and direct comparison is therefore impossible.

A Whisper of Spring by Lynn Kurland is s short story set in the kingdom of Neroche. Symon the mage must rescue Iolaire the elfin maid. I couldn’t help but picture Liv Tyler as the elfin maid, which enhanced my reading I think. For me this story is very visual, and it unfolded neatly.

When Winter Comes by Sharon Shinn showcases a small kingdom slowly being dragged into civil war. Sisters Annie and Sosie and Annie’s baby Kinnon must flee their family home and search for refuge. Along the way they make friends and find answers. Set in the same world as the 12 Houses series.

The Kiss of the Snow Queen by Claire Delacroix is a unique take on the Merlin trapped in a cave myth. I found a secondary character named Loki the most compelling. I pictured him as Michael Fassbender(image at left) who plays Azizeal on the tv series Hex. And I’m thrilled to discover Ms. Delacroix is writing a paranormal series featuring fallen angels.

A Gift of Wings by Sarah Monette is a heartfelt exploration of the painful effects of post traumatic stress syndrome on the loved ones of those who suffer emotional and physical trauma, all wrapped up in a cabin mystery.

Of the stories I thought Ms. Monette’s is the strongest both in terms of emotional content and plot. It is one of the few stories I’ve read recently where the female lead convincingly carries the relationship. The other story that impressed me was the one by Ms. Shinn. I regret to say I’ve not read her Samaria series. I just can’t seem to get around the visual of folks with wings, I guess. The other two stories are well done, but I felt each one had individual elements that stood out against the background.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pigloo Eskimo Kisses


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Kiss Of Crimson; Lara Adrian

This is the second book in the Midnight Breed series and was published in June 2007by Dell. I dearly hope Ms. Adrian harbors many story ideas for this series, well done vampires are some of my favorite material. And I’m nothing but loyal when it comes to series books. I’m still reading the Merry Gentry books for heaven’s sake! LOL

As in the first book, the overarching plot continues to develop. The evil Rogues intent on conquering the world have unleashed a new and fearsomely potent weapon. Kiss of Crimson focuses on Teresa (Tess) Culver DVM, her would be lover Ben Sullivan and her inadvertent Breedmate Dante. There’s also the Darkhaven FBI equivalent running around Boston investigating the disappearance of a large number of vampire youth.

It seems to be a requirement that romance heroes have some kind of impediment to forming an emotional bond with the heroine. Vampire heroes don’t seem to be an exception to this rule. Longevity, I suppose, would by its very nature create and reinforce these issues. To my mind Dante’s fears of bonding with Tess are superficial at best, but I admit this didn’t occur to me until after I was done reading.

Tess seems to suffer from the requisite lack of self esteem as well as a traumatic childhood. Like the heroine in the previous Midnight Breed book, Tess is pretty much a loner without too many close friends and family. IMO this probably eases the women’s transition into the vampire world. In my mind certain things were glossed over that I would like to have seen discussed, but these stories don’t go much beyond the initial flush of romantic love and sexual attachment.

I always wonder about some of the heroines in paranormal romances. The ones who end up significantly changing their lives and by implication the careers many of them have built. Apparently the subject doesn’t come up during the ‘conversion’ process, I guess. Most of the time the hero brings her into his world without too much serious thought towards what she’ll potentially be forced to give up. Are the readers not supposed to think about these things? Am I expected to accept that these issues will be addressed later- after he’s completely changed the parameters of her life? I dunno, maybe the amazingly hot powerful vampire sex makes it all worthwhile.

Meantime, despite all of these questions I heartily enjoyed Ms. Adrian’s Kiss of Crimson. I already have the next two books in the series buried in my TBR. The dermaglyphs continue to fascinate me. Write on Ms. Adrian! 

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday 13 #41- Family Update

Thursday 13 is intended to help bloggers get to know one another better. Leave a link in the comments and I'll link to you here. Click link in title above to see a list of more participants.

1. College Student is home for a week or ten days. It's nice to have him here, but it's also kinda sad 'cuz it reminds me that the days we'll all be together will slowly dwindle down further and further. Unless he moves back in of course.

2. Anime Queen's plans for the summer are proceeding apace. The Japanese language classes are a no go though. However now she's bucking for a summer college tour through New England.

3. The Pianist has a part in the 6th grade play. The plot of which runs along the lines of the animals trying to save the elderly farmer from the greedy rich guy who wants to buy the farm. Pianist's a horse. I think. I'm simply the chauffeur.

4. Husband is in the middle of finals. One C so far. Other grades unknown.

5. The Anime Queen just put her foot through the hall ceiling while climbing around the attick hunting for the fans. Yes, she's fine. The ceiling? Not so much.

6. My Lovely Sister sent me a gorgeous basket of gourmet coffees. Which are already half gone. Yummy and delicious. Unfortunately I'm only half as orgainized & still have to get some of her gift.

7. Our little deck-garden is proceeding slowly. I've only been able to find one plum tomato plant, one red bell pepper, one hot pepper and one mint plant. We're still looking for a few cherry tomato plants- to no avail as yet.

8. The blueberries though are chock full of berry buds. And I managed to find nets to cover them. So maybe we'll eat some this year. Fewer for the birds. Maybe.

9. My new favorite tv show is You Are What You Eat on BBC America. That woman pulls no punches. Unlike Americans who often try to dance around the elephant in the room.

10. The Pianist's newest pieces are Moonlight Sonata and some section of Howl's Moving Castle.

11. I cleaned out my closet. I do this at least once a year, but it always amazes me how much stuff I've not worn or outgrown or don't like anymore I can find to give to the charity thrift down the road.

12. I bought a copy of Jacques Pepin's Simple and Healthy Cooking and have promised I'll make one recipe a week all summer out of it. Tomorrow is red wine beef stew.

13. More next time!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Bon bons and soap operas

More big events in my life this week. My last day at work Monday, last official day was Tuesday. Both the Husband and two good friends at church urged me to reconsider my priorities and my needs against the positives (??) of continuing to work. Basically it comes down to too many too regular too long nights away from home. Lack of basic consideration of family needs and worship time. The commute is a killer- 30+ miles one way, most often we ended up on the road commuting over an hour one way. The brand new car we bought last summer because both of our "beaters" died now has over 35,000 miles on it.

The irony of it all? The senior management at the last minute- literally as I was walking out the door Monday afternoon- offered to allow me to transfer out of my department into another, if I was willing to work two nights (past 10 pm each night) a week. Most likely Friday Saturday or Saturday Sunday. My first thought was, "If you really valued my work, my input (whichever you care to call it) you would have said something way before now." The second thought was that I ought to at least hear the man out before laughing in his face. Husband says he thinks they thought they could "call my bluff" or talk me out of it.

To be honest, I'm tired all the time. Late nights and early mornings aren't bringing out the best in my already sparkling personality. I'm starting to have stress related illnesses: chronic heartburn and nausea, "pre-high blood pressure" which sounds weird and fake but I am assured is real and potentially serious. Not to mention the price of gas pushing onward onward to $4 and likely more.

So the result of all the drama is that I'm once again unemployed. Still not quite sure I'm all that comfortable with it, but I did meet my goal of lasting through the end of Husband's semester at school. I'm a full time homemaker once again.

Although they did call twice this afternoon looking for me, but I was out of town rescuing College Studant. A story for another time. Will up date everyone with news, if any.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Post Up

My once monthly post is up over at Access Romance. All about whether or not online gossip effects your reading or book purchasing attitudes. Take a look.