Friday, June 05, 2009

Upcoming books/Updates for my favorite authors

I've been web surfing, checking up on all my favorite authors. Here's the latest:

Kelley Armstrong: I still haven't gotten to reading her latest in the Otherworld series (Living with the Dead). It's definitely on the list for this summer. She's announced the next book in the series: Frostbitten, which will be out in November. Looks like Clay and Elena will be narrating. Woo hoo!

I've kind of lost interest in her other two ongoing series (YA Darkest Powers and thriller Nadia Stafford). They're just not quite my cuppa.

Mary Balogh has just put out the first four books in the Huxtable series. I've read the first and bought the second. But why is the fourth one in hardcover when all the others were paperback? I do not understand the reasoning there. The last book in the series will be out next year (I think).

Meljean Brook: The next Guardians book is out in October. Yay!

Lois McMaster Bujold is in the midst of writing a new Miles book. (Her MySpace blog says she's about halfway through.) This does not actually terribly excite me as I still have many, many older books in the Miles series still to read. It will take a couple years to catch up. But still good news for most fans.

Loretta Chase's newest is due out at the end of the month! Don't Tempt Me.

Jennifer Crusie has a pretty new website, but unfortunately no good news on upcoming books. She's planning to release a Mayer/Crusie sometime in 2009 and a solo book (!!!!) in 2010.

Sara Donati has announced the publication date for the next (and final) Wilderness book!!! YAYYYY!!!! This one makes me ecstatic. The Endless Forest (nice title) will be out January 26, 2010. Less than 8 months to wait.

Eva Ibbotson: Penguin has just republished The Magic Flutes as The Reluctant Heiress. Have already read it and will post a review soon. Preview: it's lovely.

Eloisa James: Just bought her newest last night. This Duchess of Mine is Jemma and Elijah's story. And she has another book coming out 7/28 -- A Duke of Her Own, which is Villier's story. Two books in one summer -- nice!

Susanna Kearsley is writing "a story of historical suspense set on the southern coast of Cornwall." Excellent! Will keep stalking her website for more details.

Carla Kelly: Bought her newest last night as well -- The Surgeon's Lady. This is the second in a trilogy, I believe. Don't know whether the third has been announced yet. Anyone know?

J.K. Rowling -- The 6th Harry Potter movie is out in mid-July. The previews look good. I need to start my pre-movie reread of Half-Blood Prince soon.

Sharon Shinn: I still haven't read Fortune and Fate, the newest in her Twelve Houses series. Gotta get to that soon. I'm excited about Quatrain (due out October 6) which is a book of four novellas, each set in a different world that she's created (especially excited about the one set in Samaria and the one set in the Summers at Castle Auburn world).

Mary Stewart -- Chicago Review Press is re-releasing My Brother Michael (one of my favorites!) in November.

Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich

Author: Janet Evanovich
Published: 2007, St. Martin's Press
Category: Fiction
Rating: 5.5/10

I've had this book sitting in the TBR pile since it came out two years ago. I read the first 8 or so books in this series with absolute enjoyment -- really great reading. The later books just haven't been living up to the earlier ones. I'm not really sure why, though I'm guessing that it's because they're really all the same at this point. The characters aren't developing, the plots and the jokes all feel like slight variations on an earlier theme. And the love triangle, which was cute at first, is now just annoying.

But I picked this one up finally when I saw adds for Finger Lickin' Fifteen, which is due out at the end of the month. Lean Mean Thirteen was a fun read, though still pretty disappointing.

Stephanie is again broke and struggling in her job as a bounty hunter. She's chasing her usual list of crazy FTAs (failure to appear in court), this time including a grave robber and a taxidermist with anger management issues. She has another fight with her slimy ex-husband, Dickie Orr, and when Dickie goes MIA everyone thinks that she's murdered him. We soon find out that Dickie's law firm was definitely into some shady dealings and 40 million dollars is missing along with Dickie. The partners in his firm (who are really mobster-types) are all looking for Stephanie to find out where their money is.

This book had me rolling my eyes almost constantly. I think the problem is that Evanovich feels the need to top the craziness of the previous book. So while originally it was funny that Stephanie's cars all get destroyed, now she goes through 2-3 of them per book. It just all becomes too ridiculous. And if Joe Morelli asked my advice on his love life, I'd tell him to move on because he deserves better.

I'm not sure if I'll read #14. Any advice here? I'm definitely not shelling out hardcover price for it. Maybe one day I'll get it from the library. Or maybe I'll go back to One for the Money and start re-reading the next time I'm in the mood.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Secret Society Girl, Diana Peterfreund

Author: Diana Peterfreund
Published: 2007, Bantam
Category: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: 7/10

I picked this one up from the library mostly because Li loves the series and I was looking for something light (not like what most of what I read isn't "light", but you know what I mean). There are currently four books out in the series.

Amy Haskel is a junior at ultra-preppy, ivy league Eli University. It's a big deal at this school to be chosen for one of the many secret societies, and junior year is when it happens. Amy is waiting to be tapped by the literary society, when she instead gets an invitation from Rose & Grave, the oldest and most notorious society on campus. She thinks at first it's a hoax, seeing as how Rose & Grave picks the most elite (and generally richest) students. And they've never before tapped women. We see Amy's crazy initiation, meet the very interesting and zany people also tapped that year, and watch the backlash as the society's alumni question the group's decision to admit women.

I did enjoy this book. It's sort of fun to live vicariously through Amy as she attends this swanky, elite university and hobnobs with the rich and beautiful people. It's saved from being Gossip-Girl-vapid by the fact that Amy is very down-to-earth and sensible, and surprisingly resistant to the snobbery. I've requested the second book from the library. :)

Powder and Patch, Georgette Heyer

Author: Georgette Heyer
Published: 1923, Mills & Boon originally, most recent edition is Harlequin, 2004
Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 7.5/10

I am still making my way through Georgette Heyer's huge list of historical romances. Someday I will run out of new Heyers to read and it will be a sad, sad day. But then I will re-read them all and be happy again.

Powder and Patch follows Philip Jettan, the son of a country squire. Philip loves his country life, and at 19 has no wish to taste the delights of town. He's also in love with the belle of the neighborhood, the beautiful Cleone. Cleone returns his affections, but is appalled by his lack of town polish. He's a bit of a country bumpkin, see, and in that age such coarseness is unforgivable in an English gentleman. So Philip, whose marriage proposal has been rejected, takes off for Paris and London to begin a transformation into the powdered, foppish man he thinks Cleone wants.

This book seemed shorter and simpler than many of Heyer's -- fewer characters and a less complicated plot. According to this bibliography, Powder and Patch was only Heyer's third novel and was originally titled The Transformation of Philip Jettan (which I think is a better title). Still a very charming read, though. Philip is a lovable character and it's fun to see how he transforms himself from a gauche boy into the toast of London.