Waiting On Wednesday–Solstice by P J Hoover

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

I am such a sucker for post-apocalyptic books!   I don’t know that I would be setting off on the adventure of a lifetime in a pair of shorts and a tank top, but Solstice by P J Hoover looks intriguing anyway.

In stores June 2013

 

Piper’s world is dying. Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

What are you waiting on?

Interview with Linda Grimes, Author of In a Fix

 

Linda Grimes is the author of In A Fix, a new Urban Fantasy release from Tor Books.  It will be hitting store shelves next week, and in the meantime, Linda dropped by the virtual offices to introduce herself and chat about her book.

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Linda Grimes] My tweetography, huh? Okay, let’s see … "Linda Grimes is a smartass writer of light urban fantasy who will do anything (except take her clothes off) for a laugh."

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about In a Fix?

[Linda Grimes] Yes, I can.

Oh, wait … you want me to actually do it? Okay, I’ll give you the short and long of it.

Short version:

Ciel Halligan, a kind of human chameleon, has a great job: she steps into her clients’ lives and fixes their problems for them—as them—but collecting her hefty paycheck can be a real killer.

Longer version:

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck. This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable…that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated. Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years – both skilled adaptors – step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended. Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Linda Grimes] Is it too "woo-woo" to say I think they were always there in my head, just waiting for the right trigger to make them spring into view? Because, weird as that sounds, that’s what happened. The trigger was seeing a vanity license plate with the name "Ciel" on it while I was riding along on the Fairfax County Parkway. Ciel—and her story—popped into my consciousness just like that.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Ciel?

[Linda Grimes] Short, sharp, and hilarious.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are three things Mark would never have in his bedroom?

[Linda Grimes] Ruffles, a throw pillow, and a French poodle. (So, of course, Ciel will no doubt give him a ruffled throw pillow embroidered with a French poodle for his next birthday, because that’s just how she rolls.)

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Billy’s single most prized possession?

[Linda Grimes] Oh, that’s easy—his cherry-red 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Nothing else comes close. He was born in the back seat of it, so his connection to it goes back a long way.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Linda Grimes] You mean other than booze and chocolate? (Not really. Okay, maybe a little.)

No, clichéd as it sounds, I’d have to say good books (way too many of them to name here—besides, I’m terrified I’d leave some favorite off the list, and never forgive myself). Every time I read a book that really grabs me—that drags me into another world—I think to myself, I want to do that to somebody!

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Linda Grimes] Booze, chocolate, and … oh, all right. I’ll try to be serious. I need my laptop, quiet, and a good night’s sleep. Without those things I’m pretty useless.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Linda Grimes] The Taken, by Vicki Pettersson. The rockabilly-noir sensibility, coupled with the paranormal aspects, just blew me away. It’s so original—I love it!

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Linda Grimes] Astrid Lindgen’s Circus Child was the first book I could read all by myself. Once I broke the key, there was no stopping me! I read everything I could get my hands on.

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Linda Grimes] Read, of course. But also hang out with my husband, and my kids (when they visit the nest). Not just because I’m related to them, either—they’re genuinely fun to be around.

I’m also quite fond of providing feedback to people on their cooking, as long as they don’t expect me to participate in the prep. I’m a wonderful culinary audience.

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Linda Grimes] They can find me at my blog, Visiting Reality (lindagrimes.com), or on Twitter (@linda_grimes).

I’m also on GoodReads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5029662.Linda_Grimes).

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, and for asking such fun questions!

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

You can preorder In A Fix from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the widget below

 

Author Bio:

Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses and embarrassed herself onstage a lot. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of "If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait" to hook a man for a lifetime.) Like her globetrotting main character, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.

Cover Shot! Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

OMG I love this cover! Shades of Milk and Honey floated right under my radar because I find that cover drab and dull, but this cover is gorgeous!  So pretty!  Without a Summer by Mary Robinette Kowal will be in stores 2013

The magical book that might result if Jane Austen’s Emma were set against the Luddite uprising in the Year Without a Summer

Up-and-coming fantasist Mary Robinette Kowal enchanted fans with award-winning short stories and beloved novels featuring Regency pair Jane and Vincent Ellsworth. In Without a Summer the master glamourists return home, but in a world where magic is real, nothing—even the domestic sphere—is quite what it seems.

Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane’s family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody’s dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors. When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects—and mood—will be brighter in London.

Once there, talk is of nothing but the crop failures caused by the cold and increased unemployment of the coldmongers, which have provoked riots in several cities to the north. With each passing day, it’s more difficult to avoid getting embroiled in the intrigue, none of which really helps Melody’s chances for romance. It’s not long before Jane and Vincent realize that in addition to getting Melody to the church on time, they must take on one small task: solving a crisis of international proportions.

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Waiting on Wednesday–In A Fix by Linda Grimes

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

In A Fix by Linda Grimes has an interesting premise.  What would it be like to hire a human chameleon to deal with those unpleasant episodes that life hands out?  I can find out in September 2012 when In A Fix hits store shelves.

 

The start of an original new urban fantasy series starring human chameleon Ciel Halligan

Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. A kind of human chameleon, she’s able to take on her clients’ appearances and slip seamlessly into their lives, solving any sticky problems they don’t want to deal with themselves. No fuss, no muss. Big paycheck.

This particular assignment is pretty enjoyable… that is, until Ciel’s island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be-fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings. For some reason, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.

Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting, as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she’s been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client’s intended.

Suddenly, facing down a horde of Vikings feels like the least of her problems.

What are you waiting on?

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Cover Shot! Thieftaker by D B Jackson

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café.  I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share.  More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents.  There is an allure to a beautiful cover.  Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

Thieftaker by D B Jackson looks awesome! The cover is striking, and I love the premise.  Murder and magic in Boston during the Revolution – what’s not to like about that! In stores July 2012.

 

 

Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.

Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed—and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can’t stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see.

In stores July 2012

 

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Review:The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa

 

Title:  The Comet’s Curse

Author: Dom Testa

Publisher: Tor Teen

ISBN: 978-0765360779

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

When the tail of the comet Bhaktul flicks through the Earth’s atmosphere, deadly particles are left in its wake. Suddenly, mankind is confronted with a virus that devastates the adult population. Only those under the age of eighteen seem to be immune. Desperate to save humanity, a renowned scientist proposes a bold plan: to create a ship that will carry a crew of 251 teenagers to a home in a distant solar system. Two years later, the Galahad and its crew—none over the age of sixteen—is launched.

Two years of training have prepared the crew for the challenges of space travel. But soon after departing Earth, they discover that a saboteur is hiding on the Galahad! Faced with escalating acts of vandalism and terrorized by threatening messages, sixteen-year-old Triana Martell and her council soon realize that the stowaway will do anything to ensure that the Galahad never reaches its destination. The teens must find a way to neutralize their enemy. For if their mission fails, it will mean the end of the human race….

Review:

I haven’t read many sci-fi novels lately, so when I was given the opportunity to read The Comet’s Curse, the first book in Dom Testa’s Galahad series, I jumped at the chance.  The premise intrigued me; 251 teens are sent away from Earth after a comet unleashes a deadly plague on the planet.  Nobody over the age of 18 is immune to it, and there is no cure.  Fearing that the disease will continue to wipe out a bigger and bigger percentage of the population, a noted scientist urges a desperate plan to save humankind, instead of waiting for a cure that may never come.  Proposing to send a group of gifted young adults into space in search of a new home, his plan is met with mixed reactions.  Some openly oppose wasting the time and money on saving such a small group of kids.  Others see the wisdom of this last ditch effort to preserve the species, and agree to devote the time to implement the desperate plan.

I loved this book when the focus was on the kids on the space ship.  They have had to say good-bye to their families and their homes, and they will never see any of their old friends again.  They have the sad knowledge that everyone left behind will eventually succumb to the virus.  They also have a lot of pressure placed on each and every one of them.  In order to ensure their survival, they all have to work together and learn everything they can to help once they find a new planet to colonize.  They have to know how to raise enough food to feed everyone, how to build shelters, how to provide for themselves entirely.  They will lose contact with everyone from Earth early in their journey, so they are essentially on their own. 

With so much at stake, and so many different personalities packed into a small space, there is bound to be some drama.  Without adults to guide them there is also a lot of self-doubt.  Are they handling each crisis correctly?  Will they be able to fend for themselves?  The chapters spent on the ship kept me totally engaged in the plot, and I was reluctant to set the book aside.  I wanted to know how Triana, the young leader of this group of kids, would handle the challenges tossed her way.  How would she keep the peace between the crew, when even she has clashes with some of the members of the Council, the small group in charge of the mission?  I thought these chapters were great, and started wishing that most of the action took place on the ship.

Which brings me to what I didn’t enjoy about The Comet’s Curse.  There is a ton of set-up, and I found that the pacing for these chapters bogged the story down.  Unbearably so, at first.  We are spoon fed all of the background details behind the comet and the mission to save mankind, and I thought it was a little boring.  I got that the virus was terrible and it attacked its victims in different ways, making it almost impossible to discover a cure.  I got that Dr Zimmer, the man behind the Galahad mission, and Dr Scofield, his most ardent opponent, had vastly differing ideas about how to handle the very dire situation confronting every single human on the planet.  The problem with these chapters were that we are told every tiny detail, but not in a compelling way.  These sections were dry and failed to hold my attention.

Now that the set-up is over, though, I am looking forward to the next book.  The teenaged characters are likeable and engaging, and I want to see how they handle all of the challenges that they are sure to face.  What are they going to do, once they leave the solar system and lose contact with Earth?  What are they going to do when they start to really get on each other’s nerves?  I enjoyed the soap opera elements of the story, and I’m hoping for more interpersonal conflict as the series moves forward.

Grade: B-

Review copy provided by publisher

 

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The Galahad Legacy Blog Tour with Dom Testa and Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of The Galahad Legacy, the final book in Dom Testa’s Galahad series, Tor Books is hosting a scavenger hunt blog tour!  You can win the entire Galahad series, as well as learn more about Dom and his books.  Today I have an excerpt from The Galahad Legacy for you to enjoy.  If you want to read all of the excerpts, please visit this link at Tor Books.

Excerpt:

“Well, besides the smoky haze, I could see things moving around inside. Various sizes. Very graceful. Almost…peaceful.”

Lita stared at Triana for a moment, then said: “The thing you brought back. I take it that was one of the…graceful creatures inside the…” She chuckled. “I don’t know what to call anything.”

A wry smile creased Triana’s face. “Well, for the sake of this discussion, and until we know more, let’s just continue to call the things outside our ship vultures. We can call the floating blobs amoebas. And the thing I brought back…”

She hesitated, then finally shrugged.

“Well, we all know exactly what it looks like, so let’s be blunt. We’ll call it a jellyfish.”

 

Please visit Bookshelf Banter tomorrow for the next excerpt from the second chapter of The Galahad Legacy.

Want to learn more?  You can follow Dom Testa at these websites:

* Follow Dom on twitter: @HeyDomTesta

* Like Dom on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DomTesta

Watch Dom discuss his books:

Dom will be making several public appearances in April.  If you live nearby, stop in to say “Hi”

* Saturday, April 14th:  Murder by the Book, Houston, TX;  11:00 am

* Wednesday, April 18th and Thursday, April 19th: Texas Library Association Annual Conference, Houston, TX; various times

* Friday, April 20th:  Barnes & Noble, 1000 Research Drive, Austin, TX; 7:00 pm

* Saturday, April 21st:  Barnes & Noble, 15900 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, TX; 2:00 pm

GIVEAWAY TIME!

You can enter for a chance to win the entire Galahad series!  Following gets you extra entries.  Open to US and Canadian addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Didn’t win?  You can order the series from your favorite bookseller, or by clicking the widget below:

Teaser Tuesday–Immortal Hope and Time Out

Okay, I took one look at this hottie and wanted to know more about Immortal Hope by Claire Ashgrove.  And learn more about the guy.  Like where is the rest of his chain mail? If he is attacked by demons, his beautiful body will be marred!

Declan’s wound gaped wide, exposing white bone beneath. He groaned as Merrick and Farran eased him onto the fresh linens of a newly made bed within the infirmary.  Merrick squeezed the Scott’s good shoulder. Though the tear in Declan’s flesh was bad, Merrick had seen worse.

 

When I saw Jill Shalvis’ new Harlequin Blaze, I had to read it.  Like RIGHT. THIS. SECOND.  I even let it take cuts, despite the massive guilt I feel for dissing my other, more seasoned reads.  Why? The hero is a coach in the NHL.  I love hockey!  I’m from Red Wing country, so I guess it’s inherited.

"Trust me, he’s not your type.”

“Because he’s rich and famous? Because he’s tough as hell and cool as ice?”

“Because he’s missing a vital organ.”

Lena gasped in horror.  “He doesn’t have a d-“

“A heart! He’s missing a heart! Jeez, get your mind out the gutter.”

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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