Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wittig's Witches!

Okay.  So in China’s second investigation, Witches' Bane, rumors of witches and devil worshipers have taken over the small town of Pecan Springs, Texas.  These rumors are exacerbated by the suicide of a local teenager and homeless individual.  So the townsfolk are on edge and, most sincerely, this includes a local religious group led by Reverend Billy Lee Harbuck.  Harbuck has taken it upon himself to put an end to the madness, beginning with rounding up his followers to picket the local metaphysical gift shop propertied by China Bayles’ best friend, Ruby Wilcox.  The hitch is that the gift shop and China’s herb shop are connected.  Thus, of course, infecting both Ruby and China's businesses.  The situation and local stirrings get worse when a wealthy socialite named Sybil Rand is found murdered in her home.  The catch, one of Ruby’s athame blades are stuck in her body.  Further investigation uncovers the Death tarot card and a voodoo doll in Sybil’s possession.  With the walls closing in on Ruby, China, alongside her ex-cop boyfriend Mike McQuaid, set out to prove Ruby’s innocence.  Particularly before the whole town loses its damned mind!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What? Some Fantasy Novels...?

I told myself “what the hell” today and grabbed these two fantasy novels out of the library used bookstore for a $1 apiece.  As mentioned in the past, the fantasy genre isn’t my strong suit; Urban Fantasy I can nail, given the right ingredients.  Nonetheless, high fantasy–as I’ve learned in the past–takes me an unbelievable amount of energy to focus and survey my way through.  Seriously, with high fantasy you’re thrown into a whole different world of concepts, systems, and ecospheres that allows you little to no reference points to consider.  So I find it troublesome when I attempt to unfold the author’s imagination through my own–at the same time.  Or at least that’s how it feels to me when an author is pounding descriptive exposition of a fantasy empire built onto a water way; congregated by humanoids and humans with varied ascetics not remitting my needing a visual clue.  So it always feels like a gamble when I take on these books.  A gamble of cohesion and comprehension of the events and narrative flow through an author's particular style.
Yet, there’s a wall I want to break to get into these alien and fantasy worlds.  And that’s how I browsed my way to Jude Fisher’s Sorcery Rising (Book One of Fool’s Gold) and the infamous Mercedes Lackey’s The Serpent’s Shadow.  Both their selling points: they feature female leads.  Nonetheless, The Serpent's Shadow's lead is a half-Indian woman named, Maya Witherspoon.  Which really caught my attention.  Other than that, both leads partake in an adventure of some sort.  Oh, and magic will be had.
So it’s going to take some patience keeping up with their respective world-building, politics, and rules of etiquette.  As well as the patience I’ll need to roll my tongue/mind in attempts to correctly pronounce names like “Sanctuarii”, “Arahai”, and “Fotheringay.”
Oh, boy.
But here goes!
Should I jump ship for whatever reason, everyone will be the first to know.
Share your thoughts on high fantasy and these authors.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Why I'm SUDDENLY in Love with China, Herbs, Wittig Albert...

So listen (err, read) to this: I’m addicted to Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles cozy mystery series.  (Say that three times fast.)  Such revelations shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, though.  Those who frequent this blog has seen me profusing this through a few past posts, since picking up the second book in Albert's series for #MarchMysteryMadness.  

Nonetheless, my infatuation happened kind of incidentally.  I just happened to pick up China's first case, Thyme of Death, at a used bookstore.  The purchase was a recourse to another on-going series I was reading.  But I was missing an entry, and it wasn't available in store.  However, seeing Albert’s sleuth is a herbalist/ex-lawyer located in the syrupy Southern town of the fictional Pecan Spring, Texas; I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into as I stood there reading the blurb, after the book caught my attention a stack high from where I stood.  

Approaching middle-aged woman with an interesting name.  "China Bayles" has a kick-ass ring to it.  Ex-lawyer now herbalist.  Hmm, I sniff some interesting parallels.  No children.  Little family to call upon.  Dating.  

Rubbing my chin and deep in thought, I asked myself: Was China going to give me cool lady tease?  Will she serve me candor and dry wit with an "over it all" attitude about life (my spirit was calling for this, by the way)?  Or was she going to be a stuffy planter?  Someone stuck in a straw hat while carrying a basket as she pooh-pooh'ed around keeping her hands marginally clean while solving murders (I need a girl who's willing to break glass to get into an office)?  In either case–given the series' herbalist hook–I kind of suspected finding a body in somebody's kitchen garden would eventually ramp up the fun.  So I took the bait and went to McDonald's for some fries.

Friday Reads ~ #SaveOurCozies

“Harper Connelly heads to Doraville, North Carolina, to find a missing boy–one of several teenage boys who have disappeared over the last five years.  And all of them are calling for Harper.  She finds them–buried in the frozen ground.  All Harper wants is to get out of town before she’s caught in the media storm, until she herself is attacked.  Soon, Harper will learn more than she cared to about the dark mysteries and long-hidden secrets of Doraville–knowledge of the dead that makes her the next in line to end up in an ice cold grave…”
~ An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris
Let’s see.  In 2009 I stopped reading this book on page 61.  Last I remember, dead-body-‘voyant-finding Harper Connelly (per finding herself struck by lightning to gain her abilities) was left in the hospital of the small town of Doraville.  As mentioned in the blurb, she was attacked.  I’ve never figured out what happened on forward, and can’t exactly recall why I stopped on page 61 and never came back.  Until now, I’ve never picked up the book since.  But, going along with the #SaveOurCozies readathon (from midnight today till midnight tomorrow), it appears I’ll finally get the answers I abandoned seven years ago.  That’ll be my Friday Reading.
Any hints as to what's in store?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#SaveOurCozies | Extended Haul


Because I’m so excited about #SaveOurCozies, I had to stock up on a few new titles.  Many listed has always been on my radar, but never quite made it home.  These are books I’ve noticed time and time again in stores, but have yet to slide into.  Until now!  But to be extra, extra clear, I had to be sure they were each the first in their respective reading order.  Never trusting the read order placed inside the first few pages of any given series, I took my time investigating these suckers.  Nothing’ll piss me off more than picking up a new series midway through; a personal aggravation of mine, if you will.  So let me list and share what each series (as well as their individual hooks) is about.  At least for those who are new to them like myself.  And no, the Nora Roberts Public Secrets (1990) book isn’t a cozy.  Though there is a kidnapping and possible murder involved.  I’ve just always wanted to read the damn book and found it for 25 cents!  (For those who have read it, please share your thoughts.  I’m an on/off Roberts reader outside of her J. D. Robb series.)
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