Top Ten Tuesdays: New-to-Me Authors of 2014

Trying to get back into the swing of blogging, here’s this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list, as hosted by The Broke & The Bookish, the top ten new-to-me authors I read in 2014 (in alphabetical order, because I just can’t pick favorites).

1. A. C. Gaughen: Even as a huge Robin Hood nerd, I did not expect to like this novel too much, but the characters, plot, and the author’s treatment of Scarlet (and her relationships) have bumped Gaughen up to my ‘buy in hardcover’ list.

2. Elizabeth George: Gritty, honest murder mysteries that don’t romanticize their protagonists’ lives but let you see them as humans. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of this series.

3. Kevin Hearne: Ridiculous but fun urban fantasy, heavy on the Celtic myth. Although Hearne’s female characters leave something to be desired, he’s definitely on my tbr list.

4. Elliott James: Fun snark, plenty of action, and a love interest who is, in fact, a Valkyrie. The Pax Arcana is plenty of fun, so far.

5. Heather Rose Jones: Fantasy set in an alternate 1800s Europe featuring lesbians? You had me at hello.

6. Aimee Kaufman & Megan Spooner: A cool science fiction world with two protagonists

7. Mary Robinette Kowal: Jane Austen with magic? Yes, please.

8. Camilla Lackberg: Scandinavian murder mysteries that sit comfortably between cozy and gritty.

9. Sarah J. Mass: If you read book blogs on a regular basis and haven’t heard of the Throne of Glass novels, get thee to a bookstore.

10. Andy Weir: The Martian is probably the best science fiction novel I’ve read in five years, and his short stories aren’t bad either.

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The Weekend Rec: A Winter Wrong

A Winter Wrong by Elizabeth Ann West

Bored this weekend? Have a book rec!

If you liked my previous rec of Darcy and Anne, you might enjoy A Winter Wrong by Elizabeth Ann West. Jane Austen profic is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I can be a bit picky about it. However, I can heartily recommend A Winter Wrong, which, at novella length, is perfect for a cozy sit-down read to relax with after a long day at work.

The story is an AU of Pride & Prejudice rather than a sequel; it follows the Bennett girls after a tragedy strikes and their father passes away, leaving Mr. Collins in control of Longbourn. The story naturally focuses on the relationship between Lizzy and Darcy, though Jane and Bingley have a romance in the background that is left open, presumably for the sequel(s). I particularly enjoyed watching Lizzy process her feelings for Mr. Darcy while dealing with grief over her father’s death, and the way the story resolves itself is certainly not one I have seen in other profic. It’s a sweet story with some moments of genuine sadness but a hopeful ending, and I highly recommend it for romance fans looking for a quick, satisfying read.

Assorted Link Roundup

Hello again! Sorry I’ve been away from the blog; I had some health problems crop up unexpectedly and was unable to post last week. I’m glad to be back :).

In lieu of last week’s rec post, have some links!

1. Here’s a giveaway hosted by Of Spectacles & Books to bring awareness a kickstarter for the North Texas Teen Book Festival. Take a look and consider donating, if it pricks your interest :).

2. I’d never heard of Traitor’s Blade before this weekend, but this review makes it sound fab. I’m a sucker for a take on the musketeers, but this sounds interesting even without my bias. It releases in the US on July 15.

3. Not a full-length rec, but if you like Jane Austen profic I can heartily recommend Darcy and Anne, which follows Anne de Bourgh after Darcy and Elizabeth have settled down. It’s entertaining and features an excellent characterization of Anne, although part of the ending (what Lady Catherine does near the end) seemed a bit unlikely.

The Weekend Rec: The Fairy Godmother

Just in time for the weekend, have a book rec!

The Fairy Godmother
This week’s pick is The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey. Fans of light fantasy, cute romance, or fairy tales might enjoy this novel, the first in a loose series set in the Five Hundred Kingdoms verse, where magic tries to herd people into specific destinies and fairy godmothers are required to make sure there are happy endings. While this story is a sort of retelling of Cinderella, the plot veers sharply into original territory and follows our heroine, Ella, as she trains to become a fairy godmother. Although the romance is a bit light, and Ella’s love interest isn’t introduced until far into the story, it is cute, and watching Ella become a cool, confident godmother more than makes up for it.

Perfect for anyone who needs a story with a little magic and a happy ending.

The Weekend Rec: Edenbrooke

Just in time for the weekend, have a book rec!

This week’s rec is Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson. Edenbrooke is a breezy yet charming standalone Regency romance featuring a genuinely likable (and resourceful) heroine and plenty of romance and adventure. The friendship (and eventual affection) that springs up between Marianne, the protagonist, and her love interest is adorable, and although a tropey plot twist later in the book causes the story to stumble a bit near the end, Edenbrooke is, overall, a perfect beach read with a PG rating.

Perfect for Jane Austen or fans who want something sweet you can read in one sitting.

The Weekend Rec

Just in time for the weekend, have a book rec!

Today’s rec is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. If you’re not familiar with the Discworld, the verse which Pratchett has used as the setting for several dozen novels, Going Postal is an excellent (and hilarious) entry point.

A light fantasy about a con artist named Moist von Lipwig (yes, really!), Going Postal’s plot revolves around Moist’s attempts to rehabilitate the postal service in exchange for not being executed for his crimes. Moist’s flailing flounders at this difficult task, as well as his wooing of a chain-smoking cynic named Adora Belle Dearheart (yes. Really.) are hilarious, and Moist’s growth is as cute as it is well-written.

Perfect for those seeking some amusing escapism from the work drudge.