In My Mailbox for the past 3 weeks! (Nov. 8th 2009)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren ( inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie) and explores the content of your mailbox!  Or bookbox as they should now be called.

Although I haven’t posted in a while, I have been buying books like a crazy person.  Seriously.  I actually don’t know what I got this week because it has all blurred into one gigantic spending spree.  But there are a couple of gems from the past few weeks that I want to share!

Signed Copies of Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine and The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan:

How awesome is that?  I love both authors to death so was very happy to get signed editions!
I also got some great YA novels – and these are some of my favourites:
I got a bunch of others, but I didn’t want to overload my poor phone camera.  I actually won Strange Angels over at Wonderous Reads – Thanks again Jenny!
I also went a bit crazy for J.R. Ward (this week I bought the whole series after reading the first book!)  Got all of these from Amazon Marketplace and Ebay – new and for half the price.  Brilliant.

And a fair bit of fantasy and urban fantasy – half of these were found in charity shops/used bookstores…. which always makes for a more exciting find!

The list:
  • Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine
  • The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Parasite Positive by Scott Westerfield
  • The Hollow by Jessica Verday
  • The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Evermore by Alyson Noel
  • Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
  • Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
  • Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
  • Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
  • Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
  • Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
  • Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
  • Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn
  • Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
  • Already Dead by Charlie Huston
  • Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green
  • The Sweet Scent of Blood by Suzanne McLeod
  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  • Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance 

*wipes brow* That is insane, right?  What was I thinking?  I actually didn’t list all of them either… I just kinda gave up.

Oh well, should I ever have any time off I will not be short of reading material!

Review: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

Review: Midnight Alley by Rachel CaineMidnight Alley by Rachel Caine
Series: Morganville Vampires #3
Published by Allison & Busby, Penguin on 2007-10-02
Pages: 256
Genres: Paranormal YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Also in this series: Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Kiss of Death, Ghost Town, Bite Club

Morganville is such a nice place to live...and die. If you don't mind that sort of thing. When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy. Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire's past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

Rec for people who love: Buffy – aka action with a laugh and some love.

Thoughts: This series just goes from awesome to awesome.

Yet again, Caine delivers.  This book is my favourite in the series (at least books 1-5). In MA, she gets right down to business – dealing with Michael’s new vampireness, the implications of Claire’s contract and adds even more new twists along the way. Yet again, Claire is put through the ringer – and it changes her. Don’t get me wrong, she is still the Claire we all love to love, but she does a fair bit of growing up in this book.

As for her relationship with Shane, gosh.  It just gets better and better. It is hard to find a pairing where rooting for both sides just comes naturally – where you look at both sides of the relationship – but with Shane and Claire, it comes easy. It is quite a feat.

What makes this as my favourite in the series is the exploration of Claire’s intellect. Her education, and what she does with it, is pushed way past Hermione-like expectations. And let’s just say her interaction with her new teacher is… Mind-blowing.

Another thing I loved was how Caine dealt with the ever rising number of secrets that Claire is forced to keep. She hates keeping them, but knowing she has no choice, she does a really good job with giving vague answers. A definite change from the girl in the first book.

Caine also delves into the mythology behind Morganville – something that had been lacking in the first two books. Let’s just say it is more interesting than she had let on!

This book kept me up all night – again. So try to set aside a good chunk of time before you get started!

Waiting on Wednesday – Vegan Cookie Invade Your Cookie Jar

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are being eagerly anticipated.

Taking a break from fiction to highlight a… cookbook!  I LOVE the Post Punk Kitchen and can’t wait for this book!  Also check out Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The WORLD – an awesome and yummy book by the same authors.

To Be Released: November 9th 2009

Going vegan doesn’t mean giving up dessert. In this revolutionary cookbook, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s vegan world-domination mission continues with dairy-free, egg-free batches of everyone’s favorite treat—cookies!

From classic favorites to fancy delights, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar features 100 original recipes alongside beautiful color photographs. Chapters include mix n’ drop cookies, biscotti and bars, pipe-out cookies, copycat cookies (veganized versions of name-brands), frostings and fillings, and more. The book is armed with the authors’ signature advice on baking, decorating, even choosing which cookies to eat for dinner. When vegan cookies are invading your cookie jar, resistance is futile.

The lineup includes: Classy Classic Chocolate Chip • City Girl Snickerdoodles • Key Lime Shortbread • Butterscotch Blondies • Gingerpunks • Noreos • Nuttin’ Butterfingers • Pecan Dandies • Black & Whites • Cranberry-Walnut Thumbprints • Stained Glass Candy Cookies • Pumpkin Pie Brownies

Can I just reiterate the awesome that is this book??

TSS – Male Writers in Urban Fantasy

A couple of weeks ago, I had a post asking me what male authors I had on my TBR list – if any.  Well, I floundered.  I guess I did realise on some level that the urban fantasy genre was made up mainly of women… well, I just was not used to it.  When it comes to literary fiction, it is so easy to read only male authors – and I guess I was still used to that.  Because, when it comes right down to it, I believe men have an easier job of it at getting published.  Or, at the very least, have an easier job having their works recognised as “Great Works Of Fiction.” 

Publishers love to group genre with gender, and while there are always exceptions, urban fantasy is trending that way.  Personally, I am ok with that.  For decades sci-fi and fantasy was seen as a very male genre – and now, well, it is starting to even out.  As I am sure that, one day in the likely distant future, the romance genre will read by men and written by male writers.

So how about some urban fantasy written by men?  Well, here is an incomplete selection from my wishlist – if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Night Runner by Max Turner
Nightlife by Rob Thurman – Apparently he is a she, and is not even trying to deny it! Well, there goes another man off the list!
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Unshapely Things by Mark del Franco

Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Greene
The Devil you Know by Mike Carey

Waiting on Wednesday: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are being eagerly anticipated.

Maybe I am just going through Darkest Powers withdrawal, but I absolutely love the idea behind this book.  A girl with an affinity with dead bodies?   Awesome.  Add a little romance, and I have a feeling I am going to love this book!

The Body Finder (The Body Finder #1) by Kimberly DertingThe Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

March 16th, 2010 (I am so jealous of everyone who already has an ARC!)  
Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.
Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.
I have been looking for more YA reads to add to my TBR list, and have found quite a few that will be blogging about in the weeks to come.  It seems to me that YA has been getting a lot of attention from publishers as of late – especially books with a paranormal aspect.  While we all know it is the result of the “Twilight Effect” – I can’t help but be grateful!  I was reading Cassandra Clare and Sara Rees Brennan years ago when they were writing fanfiction – and even though they are brilliant writers, I don’t think they would have had as easy a time getting published had it not been for Twilight.  Same thing for a number of YA writers out there at the moment.
Anyways, my point is that Twilight – love it or hate it – has brought new life to the YA section of the bookstore.  Hell, I didn’t use to read YA when I was a YA – but Twilight brought me over with its’ sparkly addictiveness.


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