Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tea and a Little of Everything and Review of the Jane True Series…

I suffer, greatly, from writer’s block. I’ve got a ton of stuff on my mind, but it never seems to come out when I need it to. However, that does not mean I haven’t been reading. I have. Tons. Here are some of the books I’ve been reading.

Since it’s the release day for Jeaniene Frost’s This Side of the Grave, the fifth book in the Night Huntress series, let me start with that. Happy release day, Jeaniene!

Danger waits on both sides of the grave.
Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance...
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing.  A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"--the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war. ...to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of it last week and let me tell you it delivers. Now that’s all I’m going to say about it for now since my darling friend, Trader, has agreed to yet again review Jeaniene’s work for the blog.

If you haven’t read it yet, here’s the trailer for it to tide you over.

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Nicole Peeler’s Jane True Series

I have several new book obsessions. Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series is one of them. If you’ve read Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series you’ve probably come across teaser chapters from Nicole’s books. So far the series consists of Tempest Rising, Tracking the Tempest, and Tempest’s Legacy. The fourth book, Eye of the Tempest, will be released later this year.

Title: Tempest Rising

Author: Nicole Peeler

Publisher: Orbit

Date of Publication: November 1st, 2009

ISBN: 9780316056588


Living in small town Rockabill, Maine, Jane True always knew she didn't quite fit in with so-called normal society. During her nightly, clandestine swim in the freezing winter ocean, a grisly find leads Jane to startling revelations about her heritage: she is only half-human.

Now, Jane must enter a world filled with supernatural creatures alternatively terrifying, beautiful, and deadly- all of which perfectly describe her new "friend," Ryu, a gorgeous and powerful vampire.

It is a world where nothing can be taken for granted: a dog can heal with a lick; spirits bag your groceries; and whatever you do, never-ever-rub the genie's lamp. (www.amazon.com)

Title: Tracking the Tempest

Author: Nicole Peeler

Publisher: Orbit

Date of Publication: July 1st, 2010

ISBN: 9780316056571


Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and Ryu - Jane's bloodsucking boyfriend - can't let a major holiday go by without getting all gratuitous. An overwhelming dose of boyfriend interference and a last-minute ticket to Boston later, and Jane's life is thrown off course.

Ryu's well-intentioned plans create mayhem, and Jane winds up embroiled in an investigation involving a spree of gruesome killings. All the evidence points towards another Halfling, much to Jane's surprise... (www.amazon.com)


Title: Tempest’s Legacy

Author: Nicole Peeler

Publisher: Orbit

Date of Publication: January 1st, 2011

ISBN: 9780316056601


After a peaceful hiatus at home in Rockabill, Jane True thinks that her worst problem is that she still throws like a girl - at least while throwing fireballs. Her peace of mind ends, however, when Anyan arrives one night with terrible news . . . news that will rock Jane's world to its very core.

After demanding to help investigate a series of gruesome attacks on females -- supernatural, halfling, and human -- Jane quickly finds herself forced to confront her darkest nightmares as well as her deepest desires.

And she's not sure which she finds more frightening. (www.amazon.com)


I have a tendency to buy books just because of the cover. However, in this case I’m sad to say I actually judged a book by it’s cover, without even reading the description first. Shame on me. The covers reminded me a little too much of manga. A co-worker told me he thought they were manga. A regular at the store I work at wanted me to order Nicole’s books for her and I thought I’d give them a go as well. I’m so glad I did.

To me the novels read like a bildungsroman. With each novel we see how Jane True turns into a well-rounded young woman. With the help from other supernatural creatures, glimpses into her childhood, supporting friends (few as they are), and an understanding father Jane discovers and embraces her new life as a halfling. Although she has to go through an awful lot of hardships, she comes out on the other side wiser and stronger, both mentally and physically.

The plot in each book is well developed, yet two things I really appreciate in the books are the language and the humour. Nicole writes with incredible wit and control of contemporary jargon without making it seem forced.

One of my favourite parts of Tempest Rising is in the very first chapter. Jane’s archenemy, Linda, comes into Read It and Weep, the book store Jane works at, to expand her collection of romance novels.

She liked a very particular kind of plot: the sort where the pirate kidnaps some virgin damsel, rapes her into loving him, and then dispatches lots of seamen while she polishes his cutlass. Or where the Highlander clan leader kidnaps some virginal English Rose, rapes her into loving him, and then kills entire armies of Sassenachs while she stuffs his haggis. Or where the Native American warrior kidnaps a virginal white settler, rapes her into loving him, and then kills a bunch of colonists while she whets his tomahawk. (Tempest Rising, p. 12)

I had to buy a new copy of the book after reading that. Drinking coffee while rolling on the floor from laughing is not good for a book. I’ll be the first to admit I love romance novels (especially the ones taking place in Scotland). Nicole’s books are full of gems like this.

It was pure joy to read Nicole’s books. The fact that the books aren’t you’re regular vamp fiction readers of this genre is used to is only a plus. I’ve re-read them a few times since I first was introduced to Jane’s world.

Do yourself a favour and read Nicole’s blog and follow her on twitter.



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