Wednesday, July 27, 2011

This is me cackling.

Why am I cackling?

Because yesterday, I sat down and read Ghost Story. And then I read Choices of One.

Cackle, cackle, cackle.

I won't spoil anyone for these, but let's put it this way:

Ghost Story - A-
Choices of One - A

When does the next Jim Butcher book come out?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: Quicksilver and In Too Deep

Krentz, Jayne Ann. In Too Deep. New York: Putnam, 2010. Hardcover. +339 pages. $25.95

Quick, Amanda. Quicksilver. New York: Putnam, 2011. Hardcover. +342 pages. No price.

So I've been meaning to review these for a week or so, and so today, I'm finally going to get around to the first two books in Jayne Ann Krentz's new Looking Glass trilogy. She does keep coming up with new powers for people in her Arcane Society series--glasslight is something completely new, and to be honest, it doesn't make a terrible lot of sense. I understand that she's had objects imbued with power before, but mirrors apparently just soak up psychic energy and there are some who can read this glasslight.

So, let's start with the first book in the trilogy: In Too Deep. It really wasn't a bad book, but I was a little disappointed. Fallon Jones has been part of the Arcane Society since Krentz began writing about it, and really, it was his turn to find a girl. Isabella was raised to be paranoid, her grandmother is missing, and she's been set up as the seller of psychic weapons. The plot basically revolves around catching a serial killer using glasslight and some Victorian era curiosities made by a Mrs. Bridewell, as well as finding and taking care of a cache of these kinds of weapons that have been hiding in town for years.

The story is good enough, but what stuck out to me was the fact that there wasn't a lot of backstory. It seemed like Fallon and Isabella just flat out jumped into bed with each other without any kind of thought whatsoever. I could even understand it if there was some explanation that their psychic abilities told them that they were perfect for each other or something like that, but there isn't any of that. Fallon and Isabella are just suddenly, inextricably, in love. Bang. There's no buildup to the romance, and there's no real crisis in their relationship. As a romance novel, it wasn't Krentz's best.

Quicksilver, on the other hand, was really good. First of all, we get to meet one of the Sweetwater family, the family that takes on the job of doing what no one else can and putting down the truly dangerous arcade talents. Owen Sweetwater rescues Virginia Dean, a glasslight talent, from being framed for murder, as he's tracking down who might be responsible for killing a number of other glasslight talents around London. This is, of course, set in Victorian era England, so the relationship necessarily has to go more slowly than it did in In Too Deep. They end up finding the Quicksilver Mirror, a powerful psychic weapon, and it turns out that the murderer has been killing glasslight talents in order to make some mirrors more powerful.

The one thing that did disappoint me about Quicksilver was that we got to meet Mrs. Bridewell, just briefly, but then she disappeared. I have a feeling that a lot could be done with her as a character--why is she making psychic weapons? She's not doing it to terrify people--she lets people rent them to take care of small matters, like a cheating husband. The person who has out and out bought the last few of her curiosities worries even her, and I would have liked to have read more of that.

The final book in this trilogy, Canyons of the Night, comes out 30 August and is set in Krentz's futuristic world of Harmony, and I'm desperately looking forward to it.

Overall grades:

In Too Deep: C
Quicksilver: B+


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Grr, part 2.

I did get up this morning to find that GoodReads had imported most of my books ahead of schedule. There was a list that they weren't able to put into things, but I'm manually inputting those as I write.

I don't like GoodReads as much as I did LivingSocial. For one thing, the review pop-up is irritating. I don't want to leave reviews on all of these. That's what my blog is for. No, I want to simply add books.

This is also not to mention the continual 502 errors. And, it's slow.

Really slow.

But it does have a nice date function, so it's easier to tell how many books you've read in a year, I think.

Not all of my books have transferred over--a few wouldn't transfer. So, GoodReads has 568 books listed for me right now. Don't know what happened to the other four or where they went, but whatever. In any case, 20 of them are from this year. So my starting point for 2011 on GoodReads will be 548 books. Just for reference. (I have no idea when I started becoming OCD about how many books I read, but apparently, I am.)

But speaking of that, it's time to go read some more--on today's agenda-Pamela by Samuel Richardson (more preliminary exam studying) and finishing up The Sun Also Rises for class. Fun times to be had by all.

ETA: I should also note that GoodReads counts books for you on separate lists--so I can have a "want to read" list that doesn't get counted in my "read" list, which LivingSocial didn't have for this. So another benefit. We'll see how this works.

Friday, July 22, 2011


So, LivingSocial is shutting down its Facebook application where it allows you to keep track of the books you've read.

This is disappointing.

I've been keeping track of my reading habits for the last three and a half years (I had to go back and check LiveJournal to figure out exactly how much I'd read). I kept track of all the new books I'd read, not any of the books I'd re-read. Nor does any of this include all of the articles I read for school. I read comparatively few full books, and I only count books I've read the whole way through--right now, that is 572 total.

In 2008, I read 267 books.
In 2009, I read 187 books.
In 2010, I read 99 books.

According to LivingSocial, that means I've read 19 books this year.

It's July. That can't be right. I can only see 15 on the first page, because apparently, functionality has gone by the wayside, and, well, yeah.

Of course, I've only talked about 12 via my blog (these would be fun books, rather than schoolbooks). And while I know I've been re-reading a lot...I know I've read more than this.

In any case, LivingSocial suggested importing collections to GoodReads. Right, I have a .csv file, so it shouldn't take long for it to put this up, should it?

time to completion (loose estimate): 3763 min, 16 seconds

Wait, what? It's going to take two and a half days? I could upload the books manually faster than that. IF LivingSocial would let me see the rest of my collection!

Oh, right. LivingSocial apparently said "Screw you" to the Facebook app some point last week. Now that I've logged in to the main site....apparently, they've said screw you to that as well.

Okay. Fine. Maybe I've only read 19 books so far this year, which in and of itself is somewhat horrifying to me, because I can't remember when I've read so little for pleasure--I know it's not because I wasn't reading for school. But then, I had French last semester, rather than a literature class, and the literature class I did have was mostly focused on poetry. Then in May, when I did have time to read, I didn't. So, 19 books might not be too bad.

It does seem that GoodReads is backlogged with people importing, and it does seem to be importing without me needing to have the import thing open--I think? I have no idea. I'm not leaving the thing open for two and a half days, much less leaving my computer on, especially considering the heat it puts out and the weather we're having.

So, let this be a record of how many books I have read, if not the actual books (though I do have the .csv file if I get really, really bored one day) should GoodReads fail me in adding books.

And actually, it's 20 books, gosh darn it. The first book to be manually added to Good Reads will be Linnea Sinclair's Gabriel's Ghost. Which is awesome. And you should go read it. Because it's awesome. And definitely worthy of the RITA award it won.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lead me not into temptation....

....especially bookstores.

There's a reason I have shirt that says that. It's always dangerous to take me in a book store, because quite honestly, I want everything.

Today, however, I was in search of one book in particular--Timothy Zahn's newest Star Wars book, Choices of One, which I will not start until this evening at the earliest, because I have to get through my homework first and if I don't read my homework first...I'll end up Sparknoting it instead. Bad English graduate student!

But the problem with bookstores is that you then realize that there are more books that you want. For instance, Sherrilyn Kenyon is coming out with a new Dark-Hunter book on 2 August--Retribution--and apparently, another one comes out in paperback in November--The Guardian.
And then Joanna Lindsey has a new book out, When Passion Rules, set in the Regency era. Julie Garwood is coming out with The Ideal Man, Mary Balogh just released The Secret Mistress last week, Stephanie Laurens has two new books,Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue in August, and In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster, due in September (The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae comes out in January 2012), Nora Roberts has one set for November, The Next Always, and Catherine Coulter just put out a new FBI thriller today, Split Second.

Oh, but wasn't my last Catherine Coulter review abysmal? Yes, it was, and I found the next book, now in paperback while I was at Barnes and Noble and looked at the blurb in the cover. Here's the blurb listed on Amazon, attributed to Publisher's Weekly:

In Coulter's fab 14th FBI paranormal romantic thriller (after KnockOut), FBI special agents Dillon Savich and his wife, Lacey Sherlock, look into the possible haunting of a U.S. senator by his dead wife as well as a more earthly crime: Germany's Schiffer Hartwin Pharmaceutical, which has its U.S. headquarters in Connecticut, might be deliberately withholding an inexpensive cancer fighting drug, Culovort, to force cancer patients to require the far more expensive Eloxium, in short supply. The FBI probe dovetails with one by PI and part-time ballet teacher Erin Pulaski, who's hired by a Yale professor worried about his cancer-stricken father being affected by the shortage. In a wild coincidence, Bowie Richards, the FBI special agent in charge of the New Haven field office, also hires Erin—to babysit his daughter, a ballet student of hers. The attraction between Bowie and Erin grows as they help Dillon and Lacey crack a complicated double case. Coulter fans will want to see more of this new crime-fighting duo.


So, Whiplash has been taken off the wish list. I don't want to read it anymore. And as for Split Second:

A serial killer is on the loose, and it's up to FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock to bring him down. They soon discover that the killer has blood ties to the infamous and now long-dead monster Ted Bundy. Savich and Sherlock are joined by agents Lucy Carlyle and Cooper McKnight, and the chase is on.

At the same time, Agent Carlyle learns from her dying father that her grandfather didn't simply walk away from his family twenty-two years ago: he was, in fact, murdered by his wife, Lucy's grandmother. Determined to find the truth, Lucy moves into her grandmother's Chevy Chase mansion. What she finds, however, is a nightmare. Not only does she discover the truth of what happened all those years ago, but she faces a new mystery as well, a strange ring that holds powers beyond her ken.

As the hunt for the serial killer escalates, Savich realizes he's become the killer's focus, and perhaps the next victim. It's up to Lucy to stop this madness before it's too late.

That sound you hear is me banging my head against the wall.

Oh, and then I got home, and UPS brought Twilight's Dawn and Gabriel's Ghost. I finish The Reef tonight, and then start in on The Sun Also Rises for class. I'm editing a novella for a friend. I'm buried in books and books that I want to read.

Just the way I like it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Quick Update

I finally managed to finish The Ambassadors for class--I have to start Edith Wharton's The Reef tomorrow. Before dinner, I picked up Anne Bishop's Shalador's Lady, which I've had for a while but haven't had the time to read. Spare minutes to read--unrelated to school--have been very rare, so I've been treasuring them over the last several days, not to mention treasuring the fact that I seem to have gotten over my reading slump that hit mid-May.

I won't go into a long review, but Shalador's Lady was excellent. I've always appreciated Bishop's world, which is a universe unto itself, and the novelty and detail does much to keep a reader's interest. It was definitely an A read. Checking out Anne Bishop's website, I discovered that she had just released Twilight's Dawn, another collection of novellas in the Black Jewels universe (following the first collection, Dreams Made Flesh).

And my brother had given me an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday....

So I ordered Twilight's Dawn and the first Linnea Sinclair's Dock Five novels, Gabriel's Ghost (as well as a cross-stitch pattern book, but that is neither here nor there). I could have bought Twilight's Dawn for my Kindle and saved two dollars, but to be honest, I didn't want to. Reading a real, physical book is so much better than an e-reader, and two dollars wasn't enough for me to give up the real book. So I'm looking forward to those being here in a few days.


In other news, I had been contemplating a long post about writing, in general, but the more I think about it, the more I draw back from writing about writing. Odd, I know, considering that I'm a writing teacher, but I wasn't planning on talking about academic writing--I was going to talk about fiction writing.

But I keep not writing about it. I suppose I should just make myself write about it--force myself to become more comfortable talking about my writing process...but I can't. Anyone else have this problem?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair

Sinclair, Linnea. Finders Keepers. New York: Bantam, 2008. Paperback. 2005. +453 pages. $6.99

I meant for this to be a review of In Too Deep and Quicksilver, but I picked up Finders Keepers at lunch today, and it was just dying for a review. So In Too Deep and Quicksilver will have to wait, because this was just too good not to review.

To be honest, I almost put it down when I picked it up. For several reasons. First of all, I had a sneaking suspicion that Sinclair had read too many Star Wars book. Why?

Well, the ship our heroine, Trilby Elliot, owns is called the Careless Venture. Now, Trilby makes some illegal runs. Her ship is falling apart. Doesn't sound like anything we know, right? Like a Imperial Star Destroyer that Booster Terrik conned out of Airen Cracken and renamed the Errant Venture?

Then there's this, the second paragraph of the book: "She bolted for her freighter's rampway. Overhead, a nest of sleeping bloodbats burst out of the rocky crevices like small, leathery missiles. The panicked bats spiraled in front of her. Screeching, they fled through the wide mouth of the cavern into the lavender twilight" (1).

That didn't remind me of a mynock at ALL. (I wish I could find the video from The Empire Strikes Back, but I gather that Lucasfilm allows no Star Wars material to survive on YouTube.) Then there's an overly talkative droid (spelled with an apostrophe before the word - 'droid- doubtless to also keep from ensuing the Wrath of Lucas who copyrighted the term "droid").

About seventy pages in, I declared to my husband that I wasn't sure that I could go on. There was too much "freighter lingo" that Sinclair was trying far too hard to get across. First, while a certain amount of lingo would be acceptable, we aren't short order cooks. Second, when I hear the word "trike," I don't think of a span of three days, and when I hear the word "deuce," I most certainly don't think of a two-day span. Surely, the Romance Writers of America had to be joking by naming this book as a finalist for the Best First Book prize, or 2006 had been particularly bereft of good first romance novels.

My husband convinced me to keep reading, at least just to enjoy how bad it was. So I kept on.

And realized that the book was actually pretty damn good.

Once you get past the lingo and the first Star Wars-like moments (not that there aren't other moments, but we'll get to those), what you have is a distinctively original (at least, I thought so, though there could be something else she's riffing on that I'm not familiar with) universe with a complicated power struggle. The plot is incredibly dense, so I won't outline it here, but I was impressed with the detail (including a new language, which does, at times, also become distracting, like the freighter lingo). And the romance was incredibly understated, which was somewhat confusing to me, given how this was marketed (as a paranormal/sci-fi romance). It was far more sci-fi than romance.

More than this, it was populated with very memorable secondary characters. The military officers that work for our hero, Rhis Vanur, are amazingly intricate in their own motivations and personalities, and I really wanted to know more about them (sometimes more than our heroine, though not our hero). I really felt drawn into this very detailed universe that Sinclair had created.


There were a few places where I was pulled out. One was another Star Wars reference: DZ-9 (Dezi), Trilby's droid, was blasted into pieces and put back together by Vanur. Dezi is C-3PO without a doubt:

"They made the first landing of stairs before Mitkanos could insert a comment. 'You built this 'droid, Tivahr?'

Rhis shook his head, grinning in spite of his pain. 'He's Trilby's. I was just putting him back together for her after he had a slight accident.'

Mitkanos grunted. 'Did you have to hook up his mouth?'" (418).

On the VERY NEXT PAGE, a 'Sko, an alien, who apparently doesn't speak Standard very well addresses Trilby, and we understand why her last name is Elliot. It's so Sinclair can make this joke:

"'El. Li. Ot'" (419).

Yes. That's right. It's an E.T. joke. It's an E.T. joke that was bad enough that it not only threw me out of the novel, but I got up from where I was sitting, came into the office, and pointed it out to my husband. Who immediately understood why I had gotten up.

Now. To be fair, I liked the book a lot. And it's clear that this was Sinclair's first novel, so I'm willing to be more forgiving that I might otherwise have been. And I decided that I definitely wanted to read more of her books, if for no other reason than to see what would happen in the universe she'd created. The events of the novel had to have repercussions, and I could see lots more happening.

So off I went to Sinclair's website. First of all, my comments regarding Jayne Ann Krentz's website stand? Sinclair's website could use an upgrade, as it was hard to navigate and needs some real design help. But imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Finders Keepers is the only novel Sinclair as written (at least as far as I understand) in this particular universe. She does have one series (known as Dock Five), but that's it. Everything else is a one-shot. And I do find that disappointing, because someone as gifted in world-creation as Sinclair is really needs to fully explore the universe they've created, and this one was particularly compelling.

I do intend to start Sinclair's Dock Five series when I have more time and money--since the Kindle version is the same price as the paperback (which infuriates me since there is no additional outlay for the publisher once the book is put into ebook format)--I will go get a hard copy. That way, when I get tired of them, I can make at least some small money from Half Price selling it back.

In the meantime, however, this hard copy is going to do something else hard copies are good for--and go visit our favorite Snarky Writer, as I'd like to see what she has to say about it.

Linnea Sinclair's Finders Keepers: B


In other news, I would like to blame Snarky Writer for some of my confusion. Her recent posts on the internet traffic her blog gets caused me to look at mine for the first time. And I do not know where some of these links came from, and I cannot find links on those sites to my blog to discover! Arg!

I also have a post about writing that I'd like to put up, and of course, the upcoming reviews of In Too Deep and Quicksilver. But out of respect for everyone's news feeds, I'll leave it for another day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Roundup!

So, I scored majorly in the book department this weekend. My mother decided that a shelf full of hardcover romance novels could go, so off they went (most of them to my house, but some of them to Half Price because I either had them already or had no desire to read them again).

While I was at Half Price, I saw Quicksilver by Amanda Quick sitting on the new releases shelf. Mine! Ten dollars definitely well spent. I also managed to obtain John Wain's biography of Samuel Johnson, which I think will be helpful as I transition over the summer into my Restoration and 18th Century class, given how influential Johnson was during that era. (But Quicksilver! YAY!)

So, what did I manage to obtain from Mom? The list follows:

By Julie Garwood:
Slow Burn
Murder List

By Jayne Ann Krentz:

All Night Long (signed!)
Light in Shadow
Smoke in Mirrors
Falling Awake
Sizzle and Burn
White Lies
(Arcane Society)
Truth or Dare
Harmony (Jayne Castle)

By Amanda Quick (JAK's pseudonym)

Don't Look Back
The Paid Companion
Second Sight
(Arcane Society)
The Third Circle (Arcane Society)
Late for the Wedding
The River Knows
Lie by Moonlight

By Elizabeth Lowell

Innocent as Sin
Always Time to Die
The Color of Death
Die in Plain Sight
Tell Me No Lies
Running Scared
Blue Smoke and Murder

By Mary Balough
Simply Unforgettable
Seducing an Angel
(which I think was mine to begin with)

By Joanna Lindsey
A Loving Scoundrel

So, I've read most of these (if not all of them) already. But I'm looking forward to reading them again, and I may institute an "Oldies but Goodies" review tag for some of these. At the moment, however, I must run and begin Henry James' The Ambassadors for my American Expatriates class.

Though I think there's a cat waiting for me to give her scritches first.

I should note that I also borrowed James' Patterson's 10th Anniversary from my Gran, so I have to get through my copy of The 9th Confession. I also borrowed U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton from my dad (and I have to get through my copy of T is for Trespass too). Yes, I know I'm really behind.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Burning Lamp and Midnight Crystal Review

Quick, Amanda. Burning Lamp. New York: Jove, 2011. Paperback. +423 pages. $7.99.

Castle, Jayne. Midnight Crystal. New York: Jove, 2010. Paperback. +406 pages. $7.99.

I might call this review Jayne Ann Krentz, part 2. In any case, I'd been looking forward to these two books since I'd picked up Midnight Crystal earlier this week, and today, after completely and utterly bombing a 17th Century Poetry and Prose final, I decided it was about time to settle down with something fun to read and that wasn't going to make me crazy. So I picked up these two wonderful books and read them this afternoon. (Stop looking at me like that. Yes, I realize that I read faster than any human being alive. It's a survival trait among English majors.)

Burning Lamp gets a B. It's definitely above average, and quite a page turner. I didn't want to put it down and sped right through it. It was definitely a worthy follower to Fired Up and I appreciated the way that things were meshing together.

There are two main families competing in the Arcane Society. The Joneses, whose investigative branch, Jones and Jones, does much of the dirty work of policing the psychic community for the Arcane Society, and the Winterses, who often hold themselves outside of the psychic community. The Jones ancester, Sylvester, tried to supplement his psychic power through chemistry and something called the founder's formula, which has the lovely effect of making people who use it go crazy. The Winters ancester, Nicholas, decided dealing with metal and crystals through alchemy would be the way to do and he would destroy the Jones family. A curse goes down through his family, hitting generations here and there, and unless the heir can find the lamp and a woman who can work dreamlight energy (a special form of psychic energy), well, they're screwed.

The Dreamlight Trilogy (Fired Up, Burning Lamp, and Midnight Crystal) all have to do with Winters heirs and their individual searches for the lamp. Burning Lamp brings in some previous characters from other Arcane Society novels who play slightly more than a bit part, and gives a good look at the somewhat seedy underside of Victorian society. It's entertaining and page turning. There were a few places where I felt like the plot jumped ahead without any real logical reason--characters making assumptions that they really didn't have the information to make. Hence the B.

Midnight Crystal, however, gets an A. I'm giving it an A for one particular reason. Krentz's world of Harmony is one of the best exercises in world building I've seen in a romance novel. For those unfamiliar, Harmony is a world colonized by Earth, but which lost contact with the planet not long afterwards. There are alien ruins which put forth psychic energy--everyone on Harmony has some sort of psychic power which they can use through a substance they call amber. But some people on Harmony have an additional power that has been hinted at in books not affiliated with the Arcane Society--but which is the psychic power of the Arcane Society nonetheless. The story itself is fairly straightforward--Winters heir looking for the lamp and the dreamlight reader being a Jones. The plot fairly writes itself. But there is a lot of humor involved.

Part of this humor comes from the world-building. Each book, we discover something new about the alien civilization that once lived on Harmony long before humans arrived and who left lots of psychic ruins. We also learn more about the intricate society Harmony developed in its separation from Earth, including an interesting way to deal with marriages, and a complicated Guild system that operates outside of the government with extraordinary power due to their members' ability to shut down energy storms known as "ghosts." It follows its own rules regarding psychic energy--use too much and you have between an hour and a half hour before you conk out dead asleep to recharge.

But the best humor comes from the dust bunnies.

Well, here. Watch this trailer for one of Krentz's other Harmony novels, Silver Master.

First of all....aren't they CUTE? Second, the dust bunnies aren't only cute. They're also devious little troublemakers who pick out their own people. You don't go to the pet store and get a dust bunny. A dust bunny finds you and decides you belong to it. They're also hunters. When danger comes around, their fur flattens out, their first set of eyes (which are blue) close and their second set open (amber). And they can get mean.

They also have their own distinct personalities. Some like to dress up. Others don't. They like to entertain others. Each of the Harmony books, however, ends on the book's dust bunny doing something hysterical. In the case of Midnight Crystal, Gibson, Marlowe's dust bunny, steals energy bars out of the cookie jar and distributes them to all of his dust bunny friends. Then he takes the wrappers and collects them. Because they're shiny.

How do you not love that?

Perhaps I am a little biased. But the dust bunnies are hilarious, and they alone are worth buying the book. But Midnight Crystal also tied up several loose ends quite neatly, ended up with a great romance, and again, was an absolute page-turner.

I know I've railed against some paranormal books before, most notably Catherine Coulter's KnockOut. Here's the difference. Krentz actively markets her books now as paranormal. If you pick up a book that says it's an Arcane Society novel, you know what you're getting into. There hasn't been a massive change from one series to another. Characters who were quite mundane aren't suddenly showing up as psychics. That's why this works--we expect it, so disbelief is suspended at the beginning of the book, not halfway through. It's why Janet Evanovich can get away with her Between-the-Numbers Stephanie Plum novels--we expect those to be a little kooky (not that the regular Stephanie Plum novels aren't kooky, but these are kooky in a paranormal way).

Anyway, it's getting late. Final grades:

Burning Lamp - B
Midnight Crystal
- A

And on to In Too Deep. I can't wait to get started.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Author Websites

I have to say, author websites with clear demarcations of what books are in what series are delightful.

Case in point? Jayne Ann Krentz's website.

Let me back up a moment. I haven't written in a while because I've been inundated with a 17th Century Poetry and Prose class that has been taking up quite a lot of attention and most of my time. While I've read a great deal (and learned a surprising amount about alchemy and John Donne), I haven't had time for anything fun, and my recent acquisition of Midnight Crystal (written under one of Krentz's pseudonyms, Jayne Castle) meant (I thought) that I had all three of the Dreamlight trilogy books and I could happily settle down to read an entire trilogy. I had In Too Deep (Jayne Ann Krentz), Burning Lamp (Amanda Quick) and the aforementioned Midnight Crystal. (Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of all, but each name connotes something different. Krentz is contemporary, Quick is historical, and Castle is sci-fi/fantasy. All of it is romance.)

I picked up In Too Deep ready to dig in when I noticed a little phrase on the front: "Book One of The Looking Glass Trilogy." It is, indeed, an Arcane Society novel. It's just not the one I was looking for. Off to the site I went, where I happily discovered that the first book in the Dreamlight trilogy was Fired Up, which I've already read. (I thought the dreamlight stuff was vaguely familiar!) A website that is well ordered (especially when the author is juggling three different pseudonyms) is delightful.

So, I have two books in the Dreamlight trilogy to read, the first of the Looking Glass trilogy, and the second in Looking Glass is out--the third will be out at the end of August and since it's written under Jayne Castle, it should be in paperback. I'm thinking that the Amazon gift certificate my brother gave me for my birthday may go towards Quicksilver (Amanda Quick).

After my last post, I was kind of bummed out about reading, but something about having several book to read (or thinking I had all the books in a series) means that I have something to genuinely look foward to. Since I'm also reading Pamela (and oh, there will be an epic post on how much this book frustrates me later) and need to start The Ambassadors for my American expatriates class because Henry James is SO long-winded, something light and fluffy is called for.

Also important to note what is coming out/has come out recently. Kim Harrison's came out in February, and I didn't know about it until my favorite Snarky Writer published a review of it. (Did you buy it for your Nook or did you buy a hardcopy, because I'd like to borrow it if the latter is true?) Also this month, Timothy Zahn's Choices of One and Jim Butcher's Ghost Story. I can barely wait. Lots of fun reading ahead, and I hope I can get some of it done before things get crazy this summer again.