Tag Archives: what I’m reading

News!

I am happy to announce, that Bloody Murder #4 is now in revisions. This means that the (very) rough draft of #5 is complete as of last week. I do not have a publication date as of yet. There is a lot of work on my part, and the parts of my loyal editors Kimberly and Fae before #4 will be ready for your curious eyes. I hope you’ll patient when it isn’t exactly a year from Snow Job’s publication.

Meanwhile, I have developed the Bloody Murder Royal Street Irregulars Facebook page, and I hope you take a moment to pop over there and like the page. While there are not in-depth details and me ruminating on various subjects, there is plenty of randomness, sarcasm, and muffins. I may begin to include mystery/thriller book recommendations. Laura Lippman’s latest Tess Monaghan novel is fantastic, for example. JD Rhoades has a new Jack Keller book out, and there is both a Junior Bender AND a Poke Rafferty out from Tim Hallinan. There’s also a new Prey book due out soon.

I promise not to let all the reading I want to do get in the way of editing. Lucky for all of us I don’t get NESN, the New England Sports Network on my cable provider. Otherwise, Red Sox games would be causing more delays and a severe lack of sleep.

Next post: on creating evil.

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What I’m Reading and What I’m waiting for

May and June have been great months for books so far. I treated myself to another one of Kerry Greenwood’s  Phyrne Fisher novels, this one called Queen of the Flowers. Phyrne and her family are up to their necks in mystery and not a little drama. One of  her adopted daughters goes looking for her biological father, Phyrne is Queen of the Flowers in an annual parade and one of her handmaids disappears. An old love appears, a scandal brews and I can’t wait to see how this one ties together.

May has been a favorite month for a while because May is when John Sandford’s newest Prey book starring Lucas Davenport gets released.  Stolen Prey is a wonderfully  complex mystery, not just a whodunit, but howdunit, and there are conspiracies several levels deep. I love Sandford’s series–the Kidd books and the Virgil Flowers book are wonderful as well.

If you’ll pardon a couple of fangirl moments, I am having a ton of fun with Sabrina Chase’s The Long Way Home, which begins a trilogy with a promise of action, adventure, excitement, really wild things and a big dose of “how did I get eighty years in the future?”

For my other fangirl moment, I am eagerly awaiting Libriomancer,the first in a new series by Jim C. Hines. A magic system based on books, with a secret society going back to Gutenbery. I can’t wait. Hines has great style, his tongue firmly in his cheek and his characters manage to be appropriately wise without being preachy.

Speaking of book magic, at the recommendations of a couple of different people, I started on Jasper Fforde’s Thusday Next series. These are a whirlwind of literary action and espionage. My only complaint here is the Kindle versions are more expensive than the paperbacks.

Back on the mystery front, I recently picked up another Tess Monaghan book by Laura Lippman. Lippman adores Baltimore with the same passion I love New Orleans, and I just love the character of Tess. I’m several books into the series and Tess has managed to grow and change in a realistic fashion while sharpening her skills as an investigator. I’m up to In a Strange City. If you’d like to get started, Baltimore Blues is the first in the series.

A couple of indie authors have caught my eye. I”ll let you know if I consider them a good find in a future entry. Thank you for reading!

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Indie Find: Dani Amore

I spent many of the intervening years between 1987 and 2007 working part-time in bookstores belonging to various chains. Besides the hefty discounts, we also had borrowing privileges, which I made liberal use of. I developed a bad habit of buying books the day they hit the market (called a “street date”). As intended, the more reading I did, the better I was at selling books. “Oh, you like this? Then you’ll love. . .XYZ.”

If you like sarcasm, you are going to love Mary Cooper in Death by Sarcasm. Her mind works quickly and she’ll keep you on your toes. She is decidedly hard-boiled, which I admire. Some of my favorite detectives are hard-boiled. Philip Marlowe, the Continental Op, Sam Spade. The private detective in a hard-boiled novel is tough. He or she has seen it all and almost nothing comes as a surprise. Well, except maybe creative use of a Richard Nixon mask, but I will not spoil any further. There’s a world-weariness, a cynicism because life can royally, truly suck. Yet, there’s sensitivity too, and hope. You’ll like Mary. I’ll definitely be checking out more of Amore’s books. You can visit her website here. Tell her you like her book. Tell her the author of Bloody Murder sent you.

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Where I’ve been, Where I’m going, What I’m reading

In the immortal words of Zonker Harris, Heeeeeeeeeewack! She’s back!

A lot has been going on, much of it very exciting. I found an experienced and inexpensive editor through a colleague at my day job. We’re hitting a bit of a snag, however. She prefers to work from paper copy. I have no issues with this, it will actually be easier for me to make corrections. So, I figured I’d just send the large print job to Kinko’s FedExOffice and ship it from there.  Um, not for $160 I won’t. That’s a couple weeks worth of groceries if I buy the expensive cuts of meat (My food blog, Knives, Fire and Fun is also suffering from benign neglect, but I digress). So, the printer needs setting up.

My sweetie, who I’ll call Nexx to protect his privacy somewhat, is the one who sets up the network hardware. We moved last weekend, and while our Macbooks are on the internet, as is the Windows box I use for my day job, the server and the networking and the printer aren’t set up yet. I haven’t done any networking in over a decade, I’m embarrassed to say. I’m sure I could figure it out, but the cursing might disturb the new neighbors.

In reading lately, I’m currently adding to my Phryne Fisher collection. I was turned on to this series a long time ago by an Australian friend before they were available in the US, and wasn’t able to get very many of them (shipping from Down Under is quite expensive). The Hon. Phryne Fisher is a fascinating woman. Born dirt poor in Australia, her father inherited a title when multiple heirs perished in World War 1. Phryne ran off to Paris, spent some time as an ambulance driver and later as an artist’s model before returning to Victoria where she wreaks havoc not just by solving mysteries, but by doing such unladylike things as wearing pants and flying an aeroplane. The series is by Kerry Greenwood, and they are a delightful read with a fascinating supporting cast ranging from a Chinese lover to a couple of communist taxi drivers.

I’ve also fallen hard for Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century books, having just finished the second one. Her America is quite unlike our own. The Civil War (or if you prefer, “that unpleasantness with the North”) has been raging for years. In the Washington territory, part of Seattle is sealed off because of a toxic gas, though if you refine the gas, you can contribute to the drug trade. Technology is steampunk–dirigibles, clockwork machinery. Where I really admire Priest’s style is she’s not afraid to have a female protagonist over the age of thirty (Zofia is 32 is Bloody Murder). Both books feature a pair of perspectives that join together by the end of the story. Wonderful stuff that stretches the imagination and touches the heart as well.

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What I’m reading

I wasn’t really bit on non-fiction as a kid, unless it had to do with animals and nature.  My parents had a Time-Life series of books about the natural world as it was known mumble years ago. I did read some, but mostly I looked at the pictures.

Most recently, at my boyfriend’s urging, I downloaded 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus which I’m really enjoying. Charles Mann discusses a lot of the history my generation was taught and some new and interesting facts about the native cultures in North, South and Central America. I didn’t know, for example, that the Inka had a road system that covered most of the continent’s west coast. What’s fascinating, is they were built for a culture that used llamas (watch out, they spit), so they could build roads that were literally steps in the mountains. Pizarro and company had a hell of a time leading horses over these.

I’m also on the verge of finishing The Jew in the Lotus, which is a fascinating story of a group of rabbis who travel to India to meet with the Dalai Lama for a sort of cultural exchange. What commonalities were there with these exiled cultures? It’s a great read, no matter what your religion.

For fiction, I’m hanging out in Asia these days. Since I never read the whole series, and in fact lost track of where I was, I stared Laura Joh Rowland’s Sano Ichiro books again. The series takes place in the seventeenth century, mostly in the district of Edo. Sano is a samurai with an academic background who is charged with solving murders. He has to navigate through a world of politics and class distinctions,  and be blunt where normal behavior is very polite and often indirect.

If you want to escape to more modern Asia, there are a variety of ways you can visit Thailand. Google any of the following names; Jimm Juree, Vincent Calvino, Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Adventures galore!

In the fantasy realm, I’m currently reading Mistborn: the Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. I really like the metal-based magical system, and the main character who was supposed to be dead at the hands of the Lord Ruler is planning a revolution that just might work. Might. I don’t want to give any spoilers.

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll follow me on Twitter @katekulig. When I reach 100 followers, I will release the title of the second Bloody Murder novel.

Thank you for reading!

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What I’m reading

If you’re also following me on Goodreads, you know that I generally have  anywhere from three to seven books in progress.  I am a little embarassed to say I mislaid my copy of Les Miserables during a move and when I got it back, the bookmark was gone. I have no clue where I was in the book. It was about 70-80% of the way through, but I can’t for the life of me find where the prose is familiar and where it is new. I think I will start it over, eventually. Meanwhile, sweetie, you were right. I should have bought the abridged edition.

My love of mysteries and my love of fantasy & science fiction go hand in hand. Sometimes you can get some great combinations of each–Asimov’s Elijah Bailey books, Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden, Mike Resnick’s John Justin Mallory. 

I finished Sabrina Chase’s The Last Mage Guardian last night and immediately went back to her Amazon page to find something else she’d written. The characters were believable–I would have happily sat down and had a beer with most of the characters. The protagonist, Ardhuinn takes a bit of reading to get to know. It takes much of the tale to get her to realize her own worth, and I found the development made me like her quite a bit.  Pick it up. I think there will be a sequel or two, at least I hope so.

Thanks to my friend Sarah, I am hooked on John Burdette’s Sonchai Jitpleecheep novels, and the latest one, Vulture Peak, is shaping up to be fantastic. If you’re not familiar with the series, Sonchai is the last honest cop in Bangkok. Pick up Bangkok 8 in your format of choice, and you will be plunged deep into the sex, seediness and corruption that is the city. 

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