BOOK & BLOG
October 30, 2012
Three novels on the romance side of urban fantasy, almost read in a row. I think Karen Chance writes the most wonderful action scenes, and she gets to show that talent to its full extent in Fury’s Kiss, one of her Dorina Basarab novels. The dhampir Dorina, who remembers very little of her past, is teamed with the mage Lawrence when they are sent to discover . . . well, it’s a long complicated story. The upshot is that Lawrence vanishes and is presumed dead, and Dory’s brain is the only source of what may have happened to him. Having people poke around in your skull is not any fun for Dory, and she takes hard knocks throughout the whole, complicated, story. She acquires a minion by accident, works through her feelings about the gorgeous Louis Cesare (she can’t stand him – just kidding!) and is confronted by her past. Action packed and full of fun.
Karina Cooper’s Blood of the Wicked features witch Jessie Leigh, who is trying to stay hidden from view. Witches don’t fare too well in Leigh’s world. But a solider of the Holy Order, Silas Smith, tracks her down because he’s searching for her brother. They’re both trying to keep their secrets, while both attracted to each other. There’s lots of enlightenment in this book, which is an engaging read. Jessie is a tough and determined character.
J.R. Ward’s books are always bestsellers, deservedly so; she’s a great world builder who can write characters that are really exciting and engaging. Rapture is the first book in her Fallen Angels series. Mels Carmichael, a reporter, hits a stranger while driving past a cemetery. Mels is conscientious and dedicated to her job, and she is confused about several things about her the man she’s hurt. For one thing, he doesn’t seem to know who he is. For another, he doesn’t seem to be as hurt as he ought to be. For another thing, Matthias is being cared for by a suspiciously friendly nurse. Of course, J.R. Ward fans are going to love this new world she’s created, and all the characters in it. It’s pure Ward.
This is a travel season for me. After Bouchercon in Cleveland (and the thrill of winning the Macavity and the Anthony for The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, I returned home to do laundry, try to write a few pages, and repack for the West Virginia Book Festival in Charleston, a small city I’d never visited. It’s located in a valley and crossed by two rivers, and I liked it a lot. All the people I met were friendly and obliging, and I had a good crowd at my signing and talk.
To my pleasure, I got to visit a bit with Craig Johnson, whose books have been made into the TV Series “Longmire.” Craig’s always fun to visit with, I envied his wife’s wonderful boots, and I was delighted to meet his mother. (It made me recall how proud my mother was when she was able to go to some special event with me.) I’ve enjoyed both Craig’s books and the TV show. It was also a pleasure to be introduced to Rahul Mehta, author of Quarantine, a collection of short stories about growing up in West Virginia as a gay Indian-American.
I’ve emptied out my suitcase from that trip. Next I go to Salt Lake City for the Utah Book Festival the weekend of the 27th. I don’t believe I’ve even flown through Salt Lake, which is one of the reasons I said “yes” to their proposal. After that, on Nov. 1, I’ll be at the Vegas Valley Book Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. This, too, is an area I haven’t visited at all in my book-signing career. (If you want any more details about these events, please see my Events Calendar, then click on the event.)
There’s nothing like a lot of air travel to make me aware of how much we are at the mercy of so many possible snafus when we’re in an airport. I wish Scotty could beam me up, with a passion. Last night, I encountered my old enemy Mechanical Problems. Now, obviously you don’t want to leave the earth in an unsafe airplane. They have to fix it. But the longing to get home can overwhelm your common sense, to the point where you’d like to scream, “I don’t care if that lightbulb works or not! Let us on the plane!!” Of course, that’s completely wrong-headed. What’s worse than waiting in the terminal (afraid to give up your seat and go to the Ladies Room for fear there’ll be an announcement while you’re gone) is getting on the plane, all gazillion of you, and then realizing there are more mechanical issues (there’s a workman in the cockpit) and that you are not going anywhere for a while . . . in fact, you may have to deplane.
Luckily, last night we were able to leave, only an hour late. (And the plane was fine all the way in. As far as I know.) The gentleman sitting beside me did not cough on me, no one cried, no one got drunk and belligerent. I count that a good flight! Just two more to go, and I’ll be home for a few months. Yahoo!
© 2012 Charlaine Harris