April is quite the month for our corner of the blogosphere! I’ve listed some great books and short stories below. Also, I’m guest-blogging at Smart Pop Books today, asking, “Do You Dare to be Different?” Will you go leave a comment, please? Make me look good?
And if you’re interested, my essay is available for free, for one week: The Domestication of a Vampire Executioner. You can comment on that, too, if you like. The comment form is waaayy on the bottom. I joked on Facebook that they clearly don’t know my commenters are smarter than I am.
In alphabetical order, here are some reads not to miss out on:
Chimes: Charles Gramlich
Chimes is a short horror story, available at Damnation Books. About the book: She should have brought her wind chimes in, she thought, when she heard them ringing in the first gusts of the approaching hurricane. She was sitting on the edge of the bed with her feet fishing for slippers when she remembered. She had brought the chimes in. They were hanging downstairs in her living room, where there was no wind to move them.
Charles’ blog, Razored Zen, is not to be missed, either, and I just ordered his book on writing, Write with Fire.
Eight for Eternity: Eric Mayer & Mary Reed
Eight for Eternity is an awesome read! The history is just fascinating.q I’m almost done with it, so I’ll probably give a more extensive review later. For now, here’s the blurb from Publisher’s Weekly:
Reed and Mayer’s excellent eighth John the Chamberlain mystery centers on the real-life Nika riots, which nearly destroyed Constantinople in A.D. 532. When two prisoners escape police custody, each a member of the two main factions who supported the opposing chariot teams at the races in the Hippodrome, Emperor Justinian sends John, his trusted chamberlain, to investigate. John soon finds the young men’s bodies in the chilly waters of a cistern. Meanwhile, two nephews of a former ruler may provide a rallying point for General Belisarius should he opt to stage a coup as rival political factions wreak havoc throughout the city. Subtle, well-drawn characters, from the ascetic John to the capricious and enigmatic Justinian; deft descriptive detail revealing life in the late Roman Empire; and sharp dialogue make this another winner in this outstanding historical series.
The Tavernier Stones: Stephen Parrish
I just ordered my copy of The Tavernier Stones, by Stephen Parrish. If you’ve read his blog, you know it has to be good! Here’s a shortened bit of what it’s about, but go here for a better overview. And go to tavernierstones.com to win a real diamond!
When the well-preserved body of 17th century mapmaker Johannes Cellarius floats to the surface of a bog in northern Germany, and a 57 carat ruby rolls out of his fist, treasure hunters from around the globe race to find the Lost Tavernier Stones of popular European folklore.
The race spans two continents. The finish line is in Idar-Oberstein, the gemstone capital of Germany. There, in chambers beneath an old church, where unspeakable events took place in centuries past, winners and losers alike find answers to age-old questions about the Lost Tavernier Stones.
Managing Maggie: Kate Sterling
I feel rather unjustifiably proud of this book, because I convinced Kate to submit it in more than one place, LOL. (I’m sure she would’ve gotten there on her own.) Managing Maggie was a bestseller at Cobblestone when it was released!
Maggie was devastated when her husband divorced her because she couldn’t have children, but she eventually moved on and started her own graphic design business. When her business partner Jason indicates he wants their relationship to be personal, Maggie is tempted by the sexy young designer, but she thinks she’s too old for him.
Yet an unexpected encounter featuring fuzzy handcuffs and a pink flogger leaves Maggie feeling he may just be “The One”. She’s riding a wave of happiness until a younger woman shows up claiming to be pregnant by Jason. Can Maggie and Jason’s relationship handle the strain?
The Fallen: Mark Terry
I read The Fallen in an earlier incarnation and loved it. Mark Terry has recently been on a blog tour that’s worth checking out. Some of his greatest blogs ever! From Booklist:
A summit of world leaders convenes at a beautiful Colorado resort just in time to encounter a former government agent gone rogue. Threatening to kill a world leader every hour unless his demands are met, the madman and his team seem impossible to stop. It falls on Derek Stillwater, an agent working undercover at the resort as a maintenance guy, to stop his former colleague. Unfortunately, because most of the people he used to work for believe he is dead and was a traitor, Stillwater must work alone and avoid being seen by both bad guys and good. Tense from the first page, The Fallen maintains its intensity up to the very end, and Stillwater is both a sympathetic and believable hero. Readers of previous Stillwater novels will eagerly wait to see him in action again, and those new to the series will seek out his earlier adventures (including The Serpent’s Kiss, 2009). –Jeff Ayers
Have you read any good books lately? Any favorites?