Books & Blog: January 26, 2020

Books & Blog: January 26, 2020


  • Risk It All, Katie Ruggle
  • How to Survive a Horror Movie, Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Red, White & Royal Blue, Casey McQuiston
  • Broken Genius, Drew Murray
  • The Queen’s Bargain, Anne Bishop
  • The Fox’s Curse, Sarah Painter
  • Wicked Hour, Chloe Neill
  • Grave Importance, Vivian Shaw
  • Dead Ever After, Charlaine Harris
  • The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern
  • The Boatman’s Daughter, Andy Davidson
  • The Names of the Dead, Kevin Wignall
  • The Soul Summoner, Elicia Hyder

I read a lot over the holidays and on tour; in fact, I can’t talk about all the books in one group. Some will have to come next time, and some were re-reads. Tanya Huff’s The Enchantment Emporium was one of these, and it was just as much fun this time as it was the first.

I won’t say as much about each book this time.

Katie Ruggle’s newest, Risk It All, is the second in her Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters series. Cara Pax, who longs to teach elementary school, is instead helping her sisters in their bounty hunting business. She really needs to bring in some big money, so she goes after Henry Kavenski, wanted for murder. But Henry (who looks dangerous) is kind of cute . . .

How to Survive a Horror Movie is fun for any horror afficianado. If you want to know who to avoid to survive through the closing credits, or where to hide when the killer is hunting you, this is the book to read.

Casey McQuisten’s Red, White and Royal Blue is a charming romance that happens to be about two men. One of them is the son of the US President, and the other is a prince who’s not directly in line for the throne.  It’s oddly pertinent now that Prince Harry is swimming against the stream in his desire to get out of the royal treadmill.

Drew Murray’s first novel, Broken Genius, has an unfortunate title, but it’s an interesting book and well-written, too. The genius of the title is Will Parker, the young CEO of a tech company that’s raking in the money. Parker makes a mistake that costs a young woman her life, and in atonement he works part time for the FBI as a consultant. The plot involves the Dark Web, a plant that has blown up in Japan, and a science fiction con. It’s fun. Look for it in JUNE.

The Queen’s Bargain marks Anne Bishop’s return to her Black Jewels series. The three strands in the book belong to Jillian, a young witch who works for Lucivar Yaslana; Dillon, a young lord whose reputation has been ruined by a bad aristo girl; and Surreal, a powerful witch married to Daemon Sadi, a Warlord Prince. It all draws together in a satisfactory way, with some really pleasant and unexpected strokes. You can read it in MARCH.

Lydia Crow, at first uncertain and fearful of her place in the Crow Family of London, is coming into her own in The Fox’s Curse. One of the Foxes blackmails Lydia, a private investigator, into finding out why a lesser member of the Fox Family was murdered. Lydia’s personal attachment to a police officer is on the point of breaking, her ghostly tenant is getting more tangible, and a lot of people want Lydia dead. I am increasingly fond of this series.

Chloe Neill’s Wicked Hour features Elisa Sullivan, daughter of original hero Merit and her vampire husband. I really enjoy the change of personnel. Elisa is beginning a relationship with the son of the werewolf Apex, and he invites Elisa to investigate a troubled pack out in the country. Things are really, really wrong with this rural pack, and there are monsters in the woods!

Grave Importance is Vivian Shaw’s third Dr. Greta Helsing novel. These books are big on imagination, light on romance, and quite funny. Dr. Helsing accepts what seems to be a dream invitation to fill in as doctor at Oasis Natrun, a spa for mummies. Instead of learning the intricacies of bandaging, Greta is faced with a strange malady which spreads at the oasis.

Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea is simply brilliant. I loved The Night Circus, and this book is its equal. I can’t do the plot justice in a short form. Check it out!

The Boatman’s Daughter contains some great writing by Andy Davidson; it’s also unremittingly grim. The cover is marvelous. I would say that if you enjoy more sophisticated horror movies, this book is for you. It came out FEBRUARY 11

I’m very enthusiastic about Kevin Wignall, and The Names of the Dead was a great read. Released from prison in France, former CIA operative Wesley has a target on his back from the moment he walks out of the door. But he’s a man on a mission, since he’s just discovered he has a son. There are wonderful unexpected elements in this book.

The Soul Summoner was a fast-and-fun read from Elicia Hyder. Sloan has spent her short life suppressing her odd psychic talents. She realizes she should be using them for the good of others when she meets police officer Nathan, who’s searching for a serial killer who took his sister. Then she meets Warren, who is her opposite; he can make people die. I’m looking forward to finding out what happens with them.



I had a wonderful time (in spots) on tour, getting to spend time with other writers like Jeaniene Frost, James Born and Elaine Viets, who gave me a copy of her next Angela Richman book. I also had a great afternoon with friend-from-childhood Margaret, and met Elicia Hyder.

My readers are the best readers. Every bookstore that’s hosted me says so. I am so grateful that people will turn out even in cold or rainy weather, stand in line for a long time, and ask me fun questions. I hope they leave feeling as satisfied as I do!

But of course, it’s great to be back home. I’ve caught up with my husband and children, exchanged news with friends, and look forward to making my manuscript changes for my editor and writing two short stories. Then, I’ll start another book, though which book it will be has yet to be determined.

In the meantime, thanks for all the good words about A Longer Fall. I worked really hard on it, and I’m glad it’s out in the world.