Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Phyl's 5 Phaves from September

Obligatory baseball note: ROY HALLADAY throws a no-hitter for my beloved Phils. How awesome was that?

I've been working on this post for several days. Which really means I've been busy sewing. And giving serious thought to taking Christine up on her idea to open an Etsy store. I must be insane, but truth is, I recently got laid off from a part-time copy editing job. It was very, very part-time and I made just enough to feed my fabric habit. But the publisher took the work in-house and all of us contractors were left out. Hubby & I figure if I replace those hours with sewing, I might be able to replace the income so that my fabric habit doesn't hurt the family budget. And at the rate I'm hitting up the Kindle store, I may need the revenue to cover that, too. So, we'll see.

Meanwhile, back to our late, but regularly scheduled phaves post.

In September I finished 12 books. I haven't gone back to verify this, but I'm pretty darn sure that's the lowest total since I began keeping this blog over 4 years ago. And while I did enjoy most of what I read (Sureblood was a disappointment), nothing had me locked into reading, despite the acquisition of my nifty new toy. I suspect  you can blame the baseball pennant races on some of my distraction (Yea! Phillies). Which means October may not be much better. I certainly won't be sleeping much thanks to baseball's east coast-friendly start times.

5. A Twist in Time by Susan Squires. I'm a fan of Squires' Companion series, one of the few paranormal series I still read. This book spins off in a slightly different direction, taking the time machine that was introduced in the last book and making it the focal point of this new book. ATIT was published last spring. Another book, The Mists of Time, also involving the time machine, was just released and I hope to be reading that one soon. Anyhow, ATIT is the story of Lucy who holds the key to using a time machine which is hidden away in a secret lab. When she uses it, she finds herself landing in the middle of a battle in tenth century Britain. She panics and returns back to the present immediately, but she accidentally brings back with her a Viking warrior named Galen. Lucy soon learns that she needs to hide Galen, and herself, from people who would use the time machine to manipulate history. While hiding, Galen learns how to cope in a time period so very foreign to him and he and Lucy fall in love. Eventually they take control of their circumstances to permanently keep the time machine out of the wrong hands. Time travel books like this one are often fun as the author imagines what it would be like to bring a medieval character into the 21st century. I enjoyed how Squires wrote Galen's character and his reactions to his new world. Lucy, who starts out as a doormat, has to be the one to protect Galen and keep them safely hidden. This was a nicely paced story and I enjoyed it.

4. Unspeakable by Laura Griffin. This is another winner from Griffin who writes tight, well-paced romantic suspense. I have quickly become a fan of her books. This book involves Elaina, a newly-minted FBI profiler who is eager to prove herself. She is assigned a case and reaches the conclusion that the serial killer she's investigating has been killing for years. And that another man may have been wrongly convicted for some of these murders. True-crime author Troy wrote a best-selling book about that man and he's very interested in Elaina's theory. If he was wrong about some of what appeared in his book, he wants to set the record straight. Only the local police don't believe Elaina and are not interested in her skills. Elaina races the clock to stop the killing, and in the process becomes a target herself. Elaina and Troy join forces, and of course fall in love in the process. If you like romantic suspense, I do recommend this one, or any of Griffin's previous books.

3. One Touch of Scandal by Liz Carlyle. Carlyle starts a new series at a new publisher with heroes who are members of a secret society, tasked with protecting certain individuals who share a common ancestor and possess rare psychic gifts. While still Victorian-set and still with a mystery sub-plot, this book is a departure for Carlyle with the inclusion of the paranormal elements. The hero, Lord Ruthveyn, keeps himself closed off from people because of his gift. Yet when he meets heroine Grace Gauthier he is inexplicably drawn to her. Grace has become the chief suspect in the murder of the man who had not only been her employer (Grace was governess to his children), but had also been Grace's fiance. As Grace gets to know Ruthveyn she realizes that she had been settling for less than she deserved by agreeing to marry her dead employer. And Ruthveyn learns to open up to Grace and embrace the future. I think this book lacks the emotional depth that some of Carlyle's earlier books have, but as might be expected, the book is well-written, the paranormal elements are interesting while not overwhelming, and I enjoyed the growth of the main characters.

2. Heart Journey by Robin D. Owens. I love these books and I especially love the world-building Owens has done over the years. While this isn't the best book in the series, I like that it has a number of elements that are different from previous books. This latest book gives us a heroine who lives outside the main city of Druida, is very independent, and has every expectation that her heart mate will drop everything and join her in her travels around Celta. In many of these books, the heroine is the character who is reluctant to accept her heart mate. This time, the hero Raz, an actor who is also a few years younger than heroine Del, is the one who is reluctant to meet his heart mate and settle down. He's a bit like a Regency rake, but he loves the energy that is part of his relationship with Del. The two of  them need to find a compromise as their careers are very different. The book also delves a little more into the original settlement of Celta and the history of their ancestors who made it their home. I think anyone who likes this series would enjoy the book, although I would not recommend it if you haven't read any of the previous installments.

1. The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne. Last month I finally read My Lord and Spymaster. So while I was enjoying Bourne's wonderful writing, I had to dive right into her latest book, which is actually a prequel to the two Spymaster books. It takes place in Paris during the Reign of Terror and is a fascinating look at an almost unfathomable era of history. It's also a wonderfully romantic tale of an English spy helping a young French woman who has been trying to save people from the guillotine. Once again I was just enthralled by Bourne's writing and her subtle use of humor. Her characters come alive to me and I know that just like with her other books, I'll want to re-read this sometime soon.

11 comments:

  1. Because I'm on the west coast, the Phillies game was well over by the time I left work. My Man got home JUST in time to see the final out. Sigh. But GO ROY! I think My Man's beleaguered Blue Jays heart cracked a bit, but he's happy for Roy to get that no-hitter in his first ever post season appearance.

    I don't know why I don't read more Susan Squires. I've sort of hopped around her Companion series (I think I've read books 1, 3 and 5?) and I've enjoyed all of them. She's got an interesting take on the whole vampire mythology. I know I have at least one more of hers in the TBR....uh somewhere around here.

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  2. I loved Roy's attitude after the game--the no-no was nice, but it was more significant to win the game. Tonight was butt-ugly, but I'll take it!

    As to Squires, I agree--she does have an interesting take on the Vampire thing. That's probably why I've kept reading.

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  3. Well Phyl, you are definitely going to be reading less in October if we go by the Phillie's performance. :) (And WOW Tampa Bay loss to the Rangers!, who would have thunk it?)

    Sorry you didn't enjoy Sureblood, you might like Moonstruck by her better -- I did. Anyway, I'd like to read Unspeakable by The Forbidden Rose from your list, they both look great!

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  4. Meant to say "Unspeakable AND the Forbidden Rose." I type to fast sometimes. :(

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  5. Janet here. As you know, I've been visiting with my recuperating mum up in Ontario. She's a huge Blue Jays fan and all of Canada was applauding as DocTober pitched the game of his life ... including my mum!! My heart is with the Rangers but if the Phillies were to trounce the dreaded Yankees, I'd survive :)

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  6. Hilcia--I think you're right! And I have to admit (don't hate me!), I'd love to see the Rangers & Phillies in the WS, just to see Cliff Lee pitch against the Phils. That would be some story given how well he pitched for us last year. Meanwhile, I did read Grant's Moonstruck, which I liked. I read a review (DA?) that mentioned how wishy-washy the heroine was in Sureblood, and I had to agree.

    And Janet, the Yankees are "dreaded" indeed. Amazing how they always step up this time of year. I'm glad Canada was celebrating Roy with us.

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  7. Hi Phyl!
    I'm so sorry I missed this post. It just showed up in my feeds today. How weird! Regardless, I should have popped over to see what was going on over here after not seeing a post in a couple of weeks!

    Glad to see that you thoroughly Joanna Bourne's latest. I hadn't realized it was a prequel to her other two spy books. I have yet to read My Lord and Spymaster, although I do have it.

    Hope you're enjoying your October reads! I cannot believe the month is half over already. Yikes!

    hugs!

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  8. LOL, Christine--I never understand the mystery that is my feed reader! I'm just glad to have it.

    Would you believe I'm only on my 5th book this month? Because guess what I'm busy sewing? And I'm thinking of branching out into ipad covers.

    Right now I'm reading Miranda Neville's The Dangerous Viscount and loving it!

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  9. I believe it! I'm still working on my 3rd book of this month. And the book is good, too! I'm just busy during the days and then falling asleep way too early! I'm determined to finish this book over the weekend, though.

    ipad covers, eh? Did you open your Etsy store yet? ; )

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  10. Oh, I missed your answer Phyl! It's okay, lol! I know how everyone feels about my Yanks, I don't take it personally. (Not any more) *g*

    Cliff Lee vs. Pettite tonight for us. And, your Phils took the game last night, congrats. 1-1 for both of us. I'M keeping my fingers crossed. :D

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  11. Tough loss last night, Hils. Part of me is really intrigued w/ a Lee vs. Phillies match-up. The larger part just wants to beat the Giants right now and worry about the WS later! Good luck to you!

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