Books Are Food For The Soul. Eat Well.

Hello friends and followers! After a four year break for health and family reasons I will be returning to regular blogging soon. I am still obsessed with reading fantasy romance with emphasis on paranormal, dark or dangerous settings or characters, but I just haven’t been compelled to write for a while.

Sometimes life’s issues and tending those you love who are suffering in some way require so much of your outpouring that there isn’t much left to say or give to that which inspires you. But reading helps us break from reality for a while to explore someone else’s world in all its beauty and mystery, or struggle with them through darkness and tragedy to experience ultimate success, to know freedom (and hopefully enjoy some sweet and sexy diversions!)

I find that I am strengthened for my own journeys by surviving the difficulties of a fictional well-written character (and story) who often faces worse trouble than I do with far less resources or companionship to help them reach a better place, to find that inner strength that holds their faith and integrity of soul while battling life’s complexities.

The ability (and will) to survive whatever comes at you in life while staying true to yourself, remaining open to possibilities, and holding tight to those you love may very well be the meaning of life we all search for. I think we all have a need to unravel this mystery to understand our part in it and define goals, choose paths, and select companions and resources to make the journey and achieve our goals. Perhaps that is why we love role-playing games so much or at least the concept.

A truly well-developed character that we can identify with in some way and who evolves internally, even if not all their difficulties are resolved or conquered in the story, can somehow convince us we will be able to do the same one day.

I am thankful to all the authors who put themselves out there and risk sharing ideas, people, dreams and sometimes nightmares, and then somehow find a way to bring closure to each book, even while sometimes glimpsing an unknown development brewing in the future that may bring us back to fight or learn with them again.

We are all enriched by these stories in some way so be sure to keep plenty on hand for daily breaks and for a crisis. Good stories with great characters are as necessary as food and water to me.

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Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is Best New Young Adult Wolf novel

WOW! I am happily stunned and moved by this one. This new book/series is highly understated in my opinion. I’ve had it on my GOODREADS shelf for a while but I don’t know when I might have read it if someone hadn’t actually put it in my hands. I knew I would enjoy it but I never expected to be glued to the audio book until completion.  Narrators David LeDoux & Jenna Lamia are perfect fits for Sam & Grace too!  This is a beautiful story of young love, community and friends with all the mystery, tragedy and discovery that its paranormal and seasonal elements bring.  The author’s charming writing style is the most comparable to Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga) I’ve seen so far and sure enough Warner Brothers recently bought MOVIE rights to this one.  (movie articles: bottom of this post)

Shiver, both story and characters, completely captivated me and I cannot wait for more from The Wolves of Mercy Falls! Maggie Stiefvater writes with such experiential flow that readers can taste, smell, feel, visualize, hear, and completely wallow in the amazing yet supposedly normal world that Grace and her friends live in. I had an immediate and complete connection with almost every character she introduced. I never felt overwhelmed or anxious for something to move along. Her pacing is perfect — for me anyway. I hope you will give this book a chance. That’s all it will need. I was drawn into the story from the first words and I never put it down til done.

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Claudia Gray and HarperTeen write Werewolf Romance aboard Titanic

NEXT STOP: WEREWOLVES!
More Big News from  Claudia Gray, celebrated author of the EVERNIGHT series (popular young adult novels shown at the bottom of this post)

*** begin quote from Claudia’s blog ***

My big news! I’ll be publishing another novel with HarperTeen in fall/winter 2011 — no title yet, but it’s about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that’s not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who’s ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she’d rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf … one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You’d think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn’t you? But no. Continue reading

March 2010 New Releases in Vampire/Paranormal Romance Novels

MARCH 2010 New Releases
Mar 2: Shift (Werecats/Shifters 5) by Rachel Vincent
Born To Be Wild (The Others 8) by Christine Warren
Roadkill (Cal Leandros 5) by Rob Thurman
Velvet Haven (Immortals of Annwyn 1) by Sophie Renwick
Atlantis Redeemed (Warriors of Poseidon 5) by Alyssa Day
Master of Fire (Berkley Sensation) by Angela Knight
Mar 9: Hourglass (Evernight 3) by Claudia Gray
The Vampire and the Virgin (Love at Stake 8) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Mar 16: Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
Shadow Souls (Vampire Diaries The Return 2) by L. J. Smith
Mar 18: Audio CD: Blue Moon (Anita Blake 8) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Mar 18: Audio CD: Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake 9) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Mar 23: Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
The Devil’s Playground
(Morgan Kingsley 5) by Jenna Black
Mar 30: Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson 5) by Patricia Briggs
The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane) by Jaye Wells
Beyond the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity 6) by Alexandra Ivy

2010 February New Releases in Vampire/Paranormal Romance Novels

FEBRUARY 2010 New Releases
Feb 1:
Ecstasy Unveiled (The Demonica Series) by Larissa Ione
Feb 1: Everlasting Kiss by Amanda Ashley
Feb 2: Flirt (Anita Blake novella) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Steamed (A Steampunk Romance) by Katie MacAlister
Archangels Kiss (Guild Hunter Novel) by Nalini Singh
Blood Magic (World of the Lupi 6) by Eileen Wilks
The Dark Storm (A Dark Storm Novel) by Kris Greene
Unknown (Outcast Season 2) by Rachel Caine
Feb 9: First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World 1) by Jeaniene Frost
GONE (Wake Series 3) by Lisa McMann
Eleventh Grade Burns (Chronicles of Vlad 4) by Heather Brewer
Token of Darkness (A Cooper Blake Novel) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Feb 16: Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark) by Kresley Cole
Feb 23: Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan 8) by Kim Harrison
Defeat the Darkness (Paladins of Darkness) by Alexis Morgan
The Hellion and the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
The Devil’s Playground by Jenna Black

Kiss of Death (excerpt) from The Morgaville Vampires by Rachel Caine

KISS OF DEATH

The Morganville Vampires, Book 8
estimated release: April/May 2010
by Rachel Caine

pre-order from Amazon Immortal Fiction

The way the Glass House worked, on a practical level, was that there was a schedule for the stuff that had to be done. Cooking, cleaning, fixing things, laundry. Technically, they were all on every housemate’s list. In practice, though, what happened was this: the boys (Michael and Shane) bribed the girls (Eve and Claire) to do laundry, and the girls bribed the boys to fix things. 

The basement of the Glass House was big, dark and creepy, which wasn’t really such a surprise. Most basements were, and this was Morganville. Morganville went in for dark and creepy the way Las Vegas went in for neon. Apart from the one area Claire was in, with a battered washer and dryer, a table that had once been painted some kind of industrial green, and some shelves filled with unidentifiable junk, the rest of the basement was dim and quiet. 

She had the music cranked up so high that she failed to hear steps coming down the stairs. In fact, she had no clue she wasn’t completely alone until she felt a hand touch her shoulder, and hot breath against her neck.

Divine Misdemeanors, Flirt and Bullet (Anita Blake #18) by Laurell K Hamilton

BULLET is the next Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel #18 releasing June 2010! But according to author Laurell K. Hamilton, Anita couldn’t wait til then and started FLIRTing for her own little novella (like Micah) which will release February 2, 2010.  Thanks Anita! we’ll enjoy the Tease!  And December 8th we can read a full course meal from Meredith “Merry” Gentry as she and her men solve a mystery! uh, between their “escapades” that is! 
Pre-order BULLET Now!  Hardcover  |  Unabridged Audio CDs

Here is the full post on Laurell’s blog posted November 9, 2009.
—- excerpt from blog —-
Laurell and JayFlirt that comes out February 2nd 2010, is an Anita Blake novel, but its a surprise book. I got the initial idea, and it was a new idea for Anita. Now I get ideas for Anita all the time, but ideas that become books usually take months, or years to make their way to the front of the que of novel ideas. This idea hit me and I was writing it as a novel only two weeks, or so later. Very unusual for me. The last time something close to this happened it was the book Micah, but I still to this day can’t tell you where that idea came from. So the seed of the idea must have been incubating for months, or years, before it burst onto my subconscious, and then hit my conscious mind right between the eyes. Flirt wrote as quickly as Micah, but with Flirt I knew exactly where the idea had originated. I made a note, because one of the most common questions I get is, “Where do I get my ideas?” So I kept notes. Where and when and how I got the idea for the novel. The process of writing it from page count, to how it overwhelmed my muse and me and interrupted another book.

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