Both an online resource and later (next spring) to become a book, this project is perfect for your daily dose of children's lit information. Anita Silvey - former publisher for Houghton Mifflin, children's non-fiction author, professor, and all-around children's and young adult literature expert - is writing daily posts about a children's book or author, something relevant to that date. Giving current information, background stories, historical context, reading audience, and any other tidbits that pop up, you'll find a treasure trove of information from this exalted, knowledgeable source.
While I think this is a brilliant project in its own right, I can't help but be proud of the behind-the-scenes research done by Alison A. Ernst of Alison Ernst Associates, a fellow graduate of the Simmons MFA program in Writing Literature for Children, and librarian extraordinaire-turned-consultant.
Gabrielle Maxwell is a photographer with a special gift - she is a magnet for supernatural activity. Drawn to random, apparently abandoned locations around town, she photographs stark landscapes and buildings, creating art for a living. Just one problem: she doesn't realize she has this gift and so narrowly escapes with her life again and again, often without knowing it. It isn't until she witnesses a murder outside a club that she is exposed to the realm she has been inadvertently been exploring for years. She is saved from murder herself by Lucan Thorne, a vampire Breed warrior, sworn to protect other vampires and humans from the lawless violence perpetrated by the growing threat of the Rogues. He doesn't want to involve Gabrielle, and he doesn't want to get involved with Gabrielle, but when someone on the Rogues' side recognizes the locations in her photographs, Lucan has to take her into protective custody - his protective custody. They can't deny their attraction to each other, and though both have dark secrets in their pasts, they must learn to trust the knowledge the other person has if they're ever going to avenge their fallen brethren and fight against the Rogues.
This is the first book in the Midnight Breed series and I'm looking forward to reading more.
My favorite part was the unique plot tie-in of Gabrielle's artistic profession. The descriptions of her photographs made me want to go out and take some more photos of abandoned buildings myself.
I apologize for the long hiatus. For the past 2 weeks, I have been busy settling into my new role as Sales Assistant/Receptionist for Beacon Press, and figuring out where my blogging life fits into that. This is the first position I've had in 5 years where I wasn't required to read something for work. It's an odd feeling - I work for a publishing company, and yet my opinion on the books published isn't sought.
Not that I'm the end-all-be-all in opinions, but whether it was as a bookseller, book blogger, book buyer, or editorial intern reader review writer (say that 5 times fast), I was encouraged to give a well-thought-out opinion on the books I came into contact with on a daily basis. Now as the sales assistant-slash-receptionist, I am required to process book orders via computer, phone, and fax, and above all, have a friendly smile in place while greeting Beacon Press and UUA visitors. Where do book reviews fit into all of that? For the first time, my professional life isn't directly linked to my personal interests, my academic pursuits, or my reading/blogging passions. Eek! Identity crisis in the works!
Not that I have anything to complain about, really. At Beacon, everyone has been incredibly nice and welcoming. I've joined twice-weekly lunchtime yoga and a once-a-week lunchtime knitting group. What's not to love about that? In addition, they were charming and understanding about the one sick day I already had to take. (And can I pause for a moment here to give thanks to the bizarre blessing that for the first time in 2 years, I could actually afford to take a sick day - make that a sick weekend - without getting behind in either grad school homework or employment home work.)
In the meantime, while I get adjusted to my new schedule and figure out where blogging fits in, check out some new book porn in the sidebar, and don't forget to hit up the links of other favorite blogs to see what they have to say. I promise blogging will fit back into my life soon.
Stay tuned for a final "What I Learned From My Fall Internship" post and a hopefully a true Beacon Press introduction.
Kick-ass, action-packed, and drama-packed. If you're in the mood for gun-totin' shapeshifters and elite trained operatives, rouge werewolves, a supernatural war fought on multiple planes, and drama between lovers, then pick up one of the Crimson Moon series today. This was my first foray into this world, of course it's the latest book, so I did have a bit of catch-up to play, but the author explained previous events fairly well while maintaining the plot and not making the series history feel like an information dump.
Sasha Trudeau is an elite, highly trained operative bent on saving both the human and supernatural worlds. She's also mated with Max Hunter, the Alpha of a werewolf pack, making her an important figure in a world where the rules are very different than what she's used to. Her team was ambushed while on their last mission; only Sasha and two of her men survived. Their mission was to find and destroy anyone who has been infected with a deadly toxin that poisons the blood of any shapeshifter. What she doesn't know is that the man she loves was infected with this toxin as an infant. At each major stage in his life, his good wolf side and bad wolf side have to fight an internal battle for supremacy. As Sasha struggles to trust Max and her mate bond with him, Max is struggling to control the outbreak of another battle within - right when Sasha needs to rely on him the most as a no-holds-barred, all-out war for supernatural supremacy breaks out. Max fights his inner demons while Sasha and Max's grandfather fight to keep him safe and alive on the eve of battle. Meanwhile, the vampires are taunting the misguided werewolves who are now addicted to the toxin like it's the latest new high-inducing drug. It's the rogues versus the pack, as many packs come together to battle this new evil, with Sasha, her trained operatives, Max, and his grandfather right in the middle.
My favorite part: Sasha really knows how to fight. Readers of the Laurell K. Hamilton Anita Blake series will appreciate a woman who can use her weapons well.
Armand Argeneau is a vampire-turned-farmer in the boonies of Canada. This isn't so odd when you consider he's tried to cut himself off from most of the world. The women in his life, most particularly his three wives, have all met with strange accidents over the years - accidents that left them dead. Armand hasn't shared his suspicions with anyone, but he suspects foul play. In order to keep his daughter and other various female relatives safe, he has retreated to a mostly solitary life, with the occasional visit from his brother and his second.
When his brother, Lucian, does visit, he tells Armand that he needs to have Armand hide someone away for a little while. Eshe d'Aureus is one of Lucian's best enforcers, but has caught the attention of some fiends and needs a place to lay low. Armand reluctantly agrees, but it's when he gets a glimpse of the 6-foot tall, gorgeous Egyptian woman with the golden eyes that he perks up about the arrangement. Unfortunately he doesn't know the real reason Eshe is there. Other people have become suspicious of Armand's wives' deaths, too, and as someone who brings rogue vampires to justice, Eshe is there to figure out if Armand is really the killer.
It's when they're both almost burned to a crisp that they realize neither one is the enemy, and they need to find out who really is. Of course, though, they've just realized they're each others' second life mates and so their attention is a little distracted as they tear each others' clothes off, gain new traits like the need to eat real food, and lose control of some pretty important powers like the ability to not broadcast their thoughts to every mind reader in the vicinity. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily for two people who want to be naked and alone for most of the time, Lucian was smart enough to send in backup.
My favorite part: Eshe is a leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding hellion. Gotta love a chick who makes an entrance.
Demon from the Dark
by Kresley Cole
9781439123126, $7.99, Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster)
This is the first book I've read from the Immortals After Dark series, though apparently it's installment #10. Luckily, I didn't find I needed to read books 1-9 to understand what was going on. It's a very interesting world! I'm looking forward to reading more. In the context of this book, there are many worlds - maybe alternate planes of existence is a better way of describing it - and bad things are happening in almost all of them. The supernatural creatures in the world of Earth are being hunted down and kidnapped, brought to a secret laboratory on a hidden island, where a madman performs nasty experiments on them in an attempt to explore each supernatural power so that he can create the ultimate weapons to wipe out all supernatural creatures.
Carrow Graie is a prank-playing, partygirl witch who has just been captured and brought to this place. Her best friend's daughter, eight-year-old, Ruby, has been kidnapped too. Carrow is offered a deal: the madman will let her and Ruby go, if she travels to another dimension and brings back a demon. She has no choice but to accept and hope for the best.
Malkom Slaine is an outcast among everyone he once knew. Originally demon, he was made part-vampire during his own capture during a wartime centuries ago. After killing his own best friend and the evil sorcerer who turned them, Malkom retreated to the caves on top of a mountain to plan his revenge on the man who betrayed him. Living alone, he has terrorized the other supernatural beings of his own world by keeping control of the water supply. It is this tormented soul Carrow must somehow seduce in order to bring him back to Earth.
They don't speak the same language, physically or emotionally. He's a brute, but she needs to rely on him, as she's relatively helpless against the creatures of this new dimension. Yet, as a demon, he has the power to know who his true mate is, and as fate would have it, it's this green-eyed witch who's just fallen through the magic portal. Can he trust her after he's been betrayed so often? She's the first soft touch he's ever known, but is it enough to save them both against all the evil in the world? And if they save each other emotionally, is that enough for them to save the rest of the poor souls held in this horrible captivity?
My favorite part: Malkom has piercings and a hot tattoo wrapped around a gorgeous body Carrow bathes between pages 145 and 184. Any scene that lasts that long you know has to be good.