2020 Releases

The Rock Star's Familiar
The Vampire's Familiar
The Witch's Familiar
Phantasia: Bad Day On Olympus
Ice Cave
Destiny, Desire & Murder
Close to the Truth

Friday, 14 January 2011

What We Are Reading

The DarkSiders sharing what they are or have been reading are: Jess Anastasi, Shona Husk, and Maree Anderson. Thanks ladies. Oh and there's something from me (Eleni) too.

Jess Anastasi

I'm reading The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant.

Although, I would like to say, the 'hero' is too damn perfect. He's the son of what used to be the USA's top militray leader, an olympic athlete, an extreme sports athlete, made the top 10 most eligible bachelors list, the top ten most extreme sports stars list, is a trained SEAL and treasure hunter who goes searching the world for old tombs and relics... Ms Grant. I think you went a bit overboard, becuase I just can't believe he's ALL THAT. Makes me want to puke. And hope the heroine will get with the other guy.

Sigh. OCD says "FINISH IT!... and then read the second one.

Shona Husk

I’ve just finished reading Blood Rites by Jim Butcher. I love this series. They are my reward books, so yeah, I’m behind but I don’t mind as I know that when I do read them they will be awesome. They are urban fantasy revolving around Harry Dresden a (very unlucky) Wizard PI in Chicago.

I’m currently reading Jazz Baby by Lorelie Brown. I’m about 1/3 of the way through this 1920s set romance. I’m really enjoying the unusual historical setting as well as the chemistry between Kate (a speakeasy owner) and Micah (the Prohibition Agent). Can’t wait to see the sparks fly when Kate learns the truth!

The next book on my towering TBR pile is The Silver Mage by Katherine Kerr. I started reading these when I was about 15 (They’d already been out a few years for those of you trying to do math). This is the 15th and final book in the Deverry series. To say I’m invested would be an understatement; all I can say is Rori had better get un-dragoned and get a HEA or I am going to be well burned. That aside I love the way Kerr weaves the past lives with the present life and the way repercussions from misdeeds play out.

Maree Anderson

I won’t list all the books I’ve read lately, because:
1) there would be a list a mile long -- 31 in December alone!
2) I already post a monthly Recent Reads breakdown on my website.
But I would like to recommend one of my November reads: Shapeshifter by Holly Bennett.

I’m ashamed to say I almost passed on reading a little gem of a book because I judged the book by its title.... And cover. And blurb. *ducks head* I’d recently read a heap of paranormal romances featuring shapeshifters and were-beasties and vampires and the like, and I’d reached overload for the moment. So the title was not something that rocked my boat. The cover was not enough for me go “Oooh! Must check this out!” either. And the blurb? I just wasn’t in the mood to read this kind of a story:

“A woman trapped in the body of a deer. A dark sorcerer in relentless pursuit. A mysterious child, found alond on the slopes of a great mountain. Set in the wild, magical landscape of iron-age Ireland, Shapeshifter is a tale of rapacious evil, quiet courage and the healing power of love.”

But daughter had grabbed it specifically because of the title -- she loves all things shapeshifty -- and insisted it was “unexpectedly different”. She begged me to read it. I gave in to her pleas -- as we parents tend to do when one of our kids makes that woebegone little face.

Shapeshifter was inspired by the legend of Sive -- an episode in the ancient legends of Finn mac Cumhail, famous leader of the Fianna. In the original legend, however, we never find out what happened to Sive after the sorcerer takes her. In Shapeshifter, Holly Bennett gives us her version of Sive’s story, seamlessly interwoven into the bones of the original legend.

This book was beautifully written. It drew me in and in a gentle, sneaky way, compelled me to keep reading. I could almost see myself huddling by a fire at night, listening to a storyteller telling Ms Bennett’s story, and every time he paused, begging him to continue. And when I turned the last page of this little book, I sighed with pleasure and regret that the story had ended. Even DH -- he who reads The Economist to relax -- commented that it was beautifully written.

To summarise: Please don’t be put off by the title. Give Shapeshifter a try. It’s an “unexpectedly different” beautiful tale that’s been masterfully told.

Maree Anderson

Eleni Konstantine

This past week I read one book without reading any others at the same time. Very unusual for me and my CFS brain.  It was Maggie Shayne's At Twilight, which consists of her Books 4 (Beyond Twilight) & 5 (Born in Twilight) from the Wings of The Night series. I had brought a book a year or so ago (Lover's Bite) and didn't realise it was part of a series. But according to her website, you can jump in anywhere. So off to the library - no book 1, 2, or 3 (don't you hate it when that happens?) but there was 4 & 5. So I thought why not? 

It's true you don't really need to read the others to understand what is going on. There's little bits of information that is repeated, such as certain mortals having a rare gene that allows them to become vampires. And characters that reoccur but you don't really need their back story to follow it. I quite enjoyed the two stories. I enjoyed the conflict the notion of vampirism brings to those who don't know this world - that they are still the same people but their physical abilities are what have changed. I also liked the fact that while they have heightened senses, they also have a heightened sense of pain. This ups the ante against the secret government agency (there's always one somewhere *grin*). 

In Born in Twilight, a baby is born to two vampires. It's not a simple as that but let's say there is experiments, bloodlust, fertilisation, a virgin birth, accusations, kidnapping, lust, betrayal, guilt, and love.  Beyond Twilight follows agent 'Ramsey' as he realises the woman who he has been having erotic dreams for months is actually his vampire quarry. 

This series started with Silhouette Books in 1993. So 18 years later, it is still going. So is it true that vampires are dying out? (excuse the pun). It doesn't look like it to me. 


So there you go, four DarkSiders with their reading. Hope you enjoyed.


  1. Fantastic reviews, everyone! I love reading this sort of thing to get an idea of what lovers of the genre like and why.

    Jess, I've read the Susan Grant book you reviewed an have to agree with you. It was a tough one to read because of the hero and I have to say I didn't read any more in that series because of that.

    Eleni, I started reading Maggie Shayne's series way back in 1993 and loved it and every book since. Certainly a different take on vampires (at the beginning of the series). Now though a vampire book better have a good hook to even get me to look at it because of the number of them out there.

  2. Great insight into even more books ladies!!

  3. Hi Jess! I read that same novel a month or so ago. I adored Prince Kyber. And he wasn't the designated love interest. This is why I don't connect well with most romances - the female protags and I clearly don't have the same taste in men. I like to think I have higher standards ;-)

    Finished Book 2 in the 2176 series a couple of days ago. Set in Canada, so I should've loved it. But I didn't. Three stars at best.

    Still, I have high hopes for Book 3 - set in Australia and written by Liz Maverick. Fingers crossed it serves me well...

  4. You know Kylie, I don't mind that there are a lot of vampire stories out there because I mix and match my reading it doesn't get to the point where I've gotten sick of them.