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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Speculative Fiction for December 2009

New to our shelves:

Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong (10, Women of the Otherworld) H, R
The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe (1, Eddie LaCrosse) F, M
Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe (2, Eddie LaCrosse) F, M
Servant of a Dark God by John Brown (1, Dark Gods) F
Child of Fire by Harry Connolly F, H
An Empire Unacquainted with Defeat by Glen Cook (Chronicles of the Dread Empire) F, H
At Empire’s Edge by William C. Dietz (1, Empire duology) SF
Crystal Nights and Other Stories by Greg Egan SF
Chaosbound by David Farland (8, The Runelords) F
High Bloods by John Farris H, SF

'Tis the season... for romance!

Glowing lights and cozy fires, sleigh rides and cold-pinked cheeks, evergreens and mistletoe and gifts under the tree... as soon as the last Thanksgiving float goes by, people's thoughts are already turning to the next holiday season.  Christmas holds a strong romantic appeal for many, regardless of religious inclination.  In Japan, for example, Christmas is not celebrated as a family holiday-- it's traditionally the season for lovers!  Since the Christmas season is all about anticipation, I thought I'd start early with a list of books full of the Christmas spirit.  As always, romance authors stand ready to get you in the mood!

New Romance Fiction for November 2009

In paperback:

Sliding Home by Kate Angell C
Twilight Magic by Shari Anton (2, Magic trilogy) H, S
Immortal Sins by Amanda Ashley C, S
Christmas Ball by Jennifer Ashley, Emily Bryan and Alissa Johnson H
Duke of Sin by Adele Ashworth (1, Duke trilogy) H
The Infamous Rogue by Alexandra Benedict H
Beloved Highlander by Sara Bennett H
A Rogue’s Game by Renee Bernard (3, Mistress trilogy) H
St. Raven by Jo Beverley (7, Company of Rogues) H
Stranger’s Kiss by Mary Blayney (3, The Pennistans) H
Something about Emmaline by Elizabeth Boyle (1, Bachelor Chronicles) H

New Speculative Fiction for November 2009

New to our shelves:

The Stoneholding by James Anderson and Marc Sebanc (1, Legacy of the Stone Harp) F
The Mammoth Book of Mindblowing SF by Mike Ashley, ed.  (shelved at SF Mammoth) SF
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi SF
Transition by Iain M. Banks SF, A, M
Snakeskin Road by James Braziel (2, Birmingham, 35 Miles) SF, A
The Child Thief by Brom F, H
Fire by Kristin Cashore F
Always Forever by Mark Chadbourn (3, Age of Misrule) F
Vengeance Child by Simon Clark H
And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer & Douglas Adams (Part 6 of 3, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) SF

BENEATH OUR FEET

We often look to speculative fiction to take us on journeys to distant galaxies, to transport us to far, fey kingdoms or realms of nightmare.  But there's a strange, lost land hiding much closer than we might suspect-- every day, in cities all around the world, humanity treads unthinkingly over it.  Those seemingly solid streets we drive on every day?  Hollow.  Buildings, sidewalks, even parks stretch over spacious caverns of air.  Although this sounds fantastical, I haven't even gotten to the "fiction" part yet-- read on! 

HAUNTING ROMANCE

Looking for something to stir your spirits on a dark and chilly October night?  You might think that supernatural romances aren't your cup of tea, but ghosts can turn up in almost any type of romance-- from sweets to Gothics to hard-boiled romantic suspense.  As phantom lovers, spectral matchmakers, or the ultimate in unearthly villains, ghosts can add something a little out of the usual way.  If the idea of a haunting romance intrigues you, check out one of these titles!

New Romance Fiction for October 2009

In paperback:

Sky Keepers by Jessica Anderson (3, The Final Prophecy) C, S
Neck & Neck by Elizabeth Bevarly (3, Kentucky Derby) C
Speak of the Devil by Jenna Black (4, Morgan Kingsley, Exorcist) C, S
Devil in My Bed by Celeste Bradley (1, Runaway Brides) H
Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle (7, Harmony World/Ghost Hunters) S, SF
Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare (2, Hunting Party trilogy) H
Storm of Visions by Christina Dodd (1, The Chosen Ones) C, S
Out of the Light, into the Shadows by Lori Foster, L.L. Foster, and Erin McCarthy C, S, F
Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost (4, Night Huntress) C, S

New Speculative Fiction for October 2009

New to our shelves:

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood SF
Queen of Oblivion by Giles Carwyn and Todd Fahnestock (3, Heartstone trilogy) F, R
Traitors’ Gate by Kate Elliott (3, Crossroads) F
The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan H, F
Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz (3, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein) H
Nine Gates by Jane Lindskold (2, Breaking the Wall) F
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger H
Purple and Black by K. J. Parker F
Elfland by Freda Warrington (1, Books of the Silver Wheel) F, R

In the paperback racks:

Bitter Angels by C. L. Anderson SF, M

DARKLING DAYS, CHILLING NIGHTS: SPOTLIGHT ON HORROR

October.  The days are getting shorter; the wind has turned chill.  Darkness falls upon us more quickly now as we creep slowly towards the end of the year.  Halloween approaches, a time when (some say) the boundaries between this world and the next wear thin.  When the restless dead might walk.  When we start to wonder... what else might be hiding out there, in the growing darkness?  Intrigued?  This month, I invite you to explore the darker side of fiction.  Check out... HORROR!

ROMANCE IS IN THE AIR!

Ahh, romance!  In fiction, as in life, it takes many forms.  Contemporary romance can be comfortable and familiar.  It might begin simply, such as: two people, vying for possession of a dryer at the local laundromat.  They argue, they talk, they make up over a cup of coffee, and then they find that opposites really do attract.  Or, as in romantic suspense, it can add another dimension to your standard thriller: she's a cop, he's the suspect with a mysterious past and eyes she can't forget... and a killer is out to finish them both, if they can't resolve their differences.

Historical romances can span many places and times: medieval Scotland, Qin dynasty China, the American Old West, and Renaissance Venice, just to name a few.  (There's even a subgenre for time-travelling lovers!)  The rarefied society of Regency London is one of the most popular historical settings: a rakish viscount, an intriguing young debutante, a crowded ballroom... and the forbidden waltz that brings them together

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