Blog Watch Wednesday & Added This Week!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Reviews I've Posted:

Fortune' Fool and The Ice Queen by Mercedes Lackey (3.5 and 3 out of 5 respectively, fantasy, fairytale retellings, romance novel-ish)

Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine (3/5 - young adult, supernatural/paranormal)

Saving June by Hannah Harrington (3.5/5 - young adult, general fiction)

Theodora: Actress. Empress. Whore. by Stella Duffy (3.5/5 - historical fiction)

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter (3/5 - supernatural/paranormal fiction, romance novel-ish)

Awesomeness I've Culled From the Internet This Week:

Cracked Weekly Roundup:

This is an awesome flickr of people being scared in a Haunted House. Congrats, you're now a bad person for laughing! (io9)

The first lesbian science fiction novel was written in 1906. Here's the entire article on The Anglo-American Alliance. A Serio-Comic Romance and Forecast of the Future. (io9)

THIS is awesome. A town in England turns an unused red telephone into a lending library. The creativity of people is astounding. Couldn't think of a better use for it, either!

Interesting article about the pros of the PASSIVE voice in writing. It's not as bad as you may think and is occasionally necessary, even.

Have you ever wondered why Bellatrix Lestrange looks the way she does? Fandoms collide to inform you why

An awesome blogger, known as MarzGurl, is literally dissecting the Twilight novels chapter by painstaking chapter. Now, THAT is some dedication and a strong stomach. From now on, when asked why I loathe thesse books so much I will have these links handy:

 An awesome, amazing, astounding flowchart of NPR's 100 Best SF/F Novels. It's a beautiful thing. I just got sucked into it again for a further 10 minutes.

Another beautiful SF/F entry into the world wide web: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is alive

Have you seen the disturbing/amusing My Little Pony Fighting Game? All the explanations you could possibly need are in the title.

FUCK YEAH Disney Songs! is how I pronounce the name of this eponymous Tumblr. If you love Disney, definitely worth a gander. 

Robin Wasserman's new absorbing and addicting novel The Book of Blood and Shadow now has a cover.. and I LOVE it

THIS is a great article by Ekaterina Sedia up on about challenges in writing alternate history for other cultures - i.e. steampunk. 

Toilet paper couture? Oh yeah, it happened and it's already out there.

The cast of the widely beloved The Princess Bride reunited this week (sans Andre the Giant.) There's picture proof and it makes your heart smile. And your brain think, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You kill my father. Prepare to die."

Thoughtful post on the political possibilities of science fiction. An easy, quite quick read but interesting.

Know/read any Ken Follett? Best known for his hits The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, he is not without embarrassing publications from his past!  Everyone comes from somewhere!

Books Added This Week:

Love can never die.
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? 

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

From award-winning author Eva Stachniak comes this passionate novel that illuminates, as only fiction can, the early life of one of history’s boldest women. The Winter Palace tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power—as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.
Her name is Barbara—in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen—and to wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great. Sophie’s destiny at court is to marry the Empress’s nephew, but she has other, loftier, more dangerous ambitions, and she proves to be more guileful than she first appears.

What Sophie needs is an insider at court, a loyal pair of eyes and ears who knows the traps, the conspiracies, and the treacheries that surround her. Varvara will become Sophie’s confidante—and together the two young women will rise to the pinnacle of absolute power.
With dazzling details and intense drama, Eva Stachniak depicts Varvara’s secret alliance with Catherine as the princess grows into a legend—through an enforced marriage, illicit seductions, and, at last, the shocking coup to assume the throne of all of Russia. 

Impeccably researched and magnificently written, The Winter Palace is an irresistible peek through the keyhole of one of history’s grandest tales.


Tess and Lizzie are sisters, sisters as close as can be, who share a secret world filled with selkies, flying horses, and a girl who can transform into a wolf  in the middle of the night. But when Lizzie is ready to grow up, Tess clings to their fantasies. As Tess sinks deeper and deeper into her delusions, she decides that she can’t live in the real world any longer and leaves Lizzie and her family forever. Now, years later, Lizzie is in high school and struggling to understand what happened to her sister. With the help of a school psychologist and Tess’s battered journal, Lizzie searches for a way to finally let Tess go.

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

That's it for this time :) Have a great Wednesday + rest of this week!

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