Sunday Showcase #13

Welcome to this edition of the Sunday Showcase. This was a big week for me in terms of purchases. Didn’t spend too much, but gathered quite a few books.

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – An Iron Seas novella of 15,000 words: The search for a killer puts Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth’s life in danger and her assistant, Constable Newberry, in the line of fire. But Newberry faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Vixen by Jill Myles – A shifter novella of 15,000 words: Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men…it wants them both.

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – A Disillusionists novella of 20,000 words: Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve been following Carolyn Crane’s Disillusionist series, so yeah… had to get this one. Plus it has Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas work. I’m all for seeing what Inspector Mina is up to with her iron heart.

So I had $7 in cash when I set out to find birthday presents for my husband on Friday. Not much, but enough to make stopping at the local used book store worth it. 🙂 These were my finds.

National Geographic on Indians of the Americas a color-illustrated Record

Why I Picked It up: I’m fascinated with early Native Americans… before Europeans pushed them onto reservations and such. It’ll be interesting to sift through this one. Cost me a whopping $2. Sorry. This book is an ancient one, and I could find a decent picture. I will say that it looks a bit like an encyclopedia.

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipseturned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for…Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

Why I Picked It up: Mostly for my daughter. She read the first two books. This was cheap ($1), so figured I’d pick it up for her. Now I’ll have to keep a look out for book #3. The other two books I also picked up from the used book store, by the way.

Available at: The Book Depository and Anne Rice returns to the mesmerizing storytelling that has captivated readers for more than three decades in a tale of unceasing suspense set in time past—a metaphysical thriller about angels and assassins.

The novel opens in the present. At its center: Toby O’Dare—a contract killer of underground fame on assignment to kill once again. A soulless soul, a dead man walking, he lives under a series of aliases—just now: Lucky the Fox—and takes his orders from “The Right Man.”

Into O’Dare’s nightmarish world of lone and lethal missions comes a mysterious stranger, a seraph, who offers him a chance to save rather than destroy lives. O’Dare, who long ago dreamt of being a priest but instead came to embody danger and violence, seizes his chance. Now he is carried back through the ages to thirteenth-century England, to dark realms where accusations of ritual murder have been made against Jews, where children suddenly die or disappear . . . In this primitive setting, O’Dare begins his perilous quest for salvation, a journey of danger and flight, loyalty and betrayal, selflessness and love.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve wanted to read this for quite some time. I’m not a huge fan of Anne Rice’s works since she let the vampire and witches series go, but I continue to remain curious about what she writes. Hoping this one is interesting.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Nora Grey’s life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn’t pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He’s more elusive than ever and even worse, he’s started spending time with Nora’s arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott’s totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him – despite her lingering feeling that he’s hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything – and everyone – she trusts.

Why I Picked It up: Last time I went to Walden, I picked up Hush, Hush. When I found this one on the bargain shelf, I was so pumped. Hopefully Hush, Hush and leave me highly motivated to dig into this one.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lover Bones at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’s past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself—and Bones—from a fate worse than the grave.

Why I Picked It up: I’ve actually been keeping an eye out for TBD to offer book #2 in paperback. I saw these two available for 1/2 price at Walden and decided to pick them up in anticipation. A bit bummed I couldn’t find book #2. Oh well.

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Why I Picked It up: Same reason I picked up book #3. 🙂

Available at: The Book Depository and Barnes & Nobles

So what about you? Have you taken advantage of any going out of business sales this year?

Novel Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

I’ve resisted the Twilight series. As I’ve told others, the movies sucked balls. And even though books are usually better than the movies, I had a hard time believing the novels could be much better. So here’s the thing. Stephenie Meyer offered The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner for free until 7/5/2010. I decided to take advantage of it and see if the writing was really as bad as people say (Stephen King, I mean you). So the low down and dirty from the Bree Tanner website:

There are Two Sides to Every Story

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse , and the newborn vampire world she inhabits.  In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

I was pleasantly surprised. The book started strong. Though the gal was inhumane in many ways, I did sort of like Bree. I felt a little sorry for her being dropped into the world of vampires and forced to survive the best she could. Though I couldn’t understand the need to kill, and I question why this hadn’t occurred to her. There were other inconsistencies in her behavior that baffled me also, particularly the last few pages. It was like she was able to put her physical reactions to the situation on hold when before she was out of control.

Ms. Meyer introduced several characters whom I would have liked to know more about.

  • Diego — seemed to play such an important role in Bree’s life, but we learned virtually nothing about him.
  • Freaky Fred — by far was the most interesting character, but again, who was that guy? I definitely want to know how things worked out for him.
  • Riley and Victoria — Exactly what happened to them? Yeah, I got clues and know their outcome, but I want details. Perhaps that’s revealed in Eclipse.

As I mentioned, I’ve not read any of the other Twilight novels, though I’ve seen the first two movies. Still this novel seemed fairly stand alone. Not once was I lost. In fact, if I’d not seen the movies, I’d still be able to follow along easily. So if you’re afraid to read this novel because you think you’ll get lost, don’t be. I don’t even think this novel ruins it for readers who haven’t read the rest of the series. In a way, I think it just fills in a gap (the other perspective from the enemy stand point).

As far as the writing goes–not bad. I’m not sure really why so many people complain about it. It’s not the best, and certainly not the worst. One thing though. Decent start, saggy middle, and an ending which dragged. I know that sounds bad when considering half the book crawled. Still, the beginning had a decent enough hook to keep me interested in finding the outcome.

At the conclusion of the book, the question came to mind: Why Bree Tanner? In the big picture her POV seemed so insignificant. Yes, she was misled and ill-prepared, but other than being the last, she did not stand out as particularly unique. It was like having an entire book through the dreaded secondary character’s POV. Only thing, she had nothing really significant to offer.

Stephenie Meyer, thank you for offering this novel for free. Reading it has taken away my fear of wasting time on the Twilight saga. I’m now confident the series has potential. Will I run out and buy the first in the series today? No. However, I certainly won’t avoid it if a reasonable opportunity arises for the right price.

I do have one suggestion. Could you consider adding chapters? I’m not sure you noticed, but this novel was one long series of events with no breaks. No biggie…just askin’.

Available at Barnes & Nobles || Amazon || The Book Depository || Kobo


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