We received some pretty bad news this last weekend regarding one of our cats. Through all the ups and downs, all the fostering and adopting in and adopting out of companions, our male cat population (a.k.a the boyos) has remained steady.
No longer, and it looks like we’ll see the summer in with one less cat in our household. This is horribly depressing. . .
. . . so i’m more than willing to distract myself with books.
In exciting book news: the proofs for From the Roaring Deep went out to the various contributors *waves hand* to do one last look at our various contributions, and should be moving further along in the publication process after the 8th. (How interesting, the 8th as a deadline for a Poseidon devotional). I contributed an article on prayer beads that I’m quite happy with. I’m tempted to read the whole damn thing NOW, but no, no, I’ll wait. I’ll wait for the real deal. Really. . . . maybe . . .
I’ve also — thanks to Rebecca Buchanan — discovered a nice handful of new authors with work to devour, and I want to talk about the two I’m most excited about (Read: the two whose works I’ve read out of the handful of new material waiting on my Kindle.)
First: Jordan L. Hawk’s work, specifically her Whyborne and Griffin series. I’ll admit I’ve only read the first book so far, but I’m putting off reading more merely because I want to make the series last. This series open in a steampunk-esque (does it count as steampunk if it’s not England?) Massachusetts. It’s alchemy and occulty and just . . . I want to go and visit the city they’re in. I want to sip tea and soak up the atmosphere. I love, love, love Hawk’s world crafting, and I love the character she creates with Whyborne. She uses dialogue as much as anything else to breathe life into her characters and does this very, very well.
From the author’s website: Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.
So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.
As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?
Second: Meghan Ciana Doidge’s work, specifically her Dowser series. I read the first book (available for free!) after I read Hawk’s book, and I have not stopped yet. I don’t know that I’d say I like it better than Hawk’s series, and I certainly can’t say it’s a lighter story, because it’s not that. I can’t even say that Doidge is a better writer — they are both fantastic writers whose worlds one can slip into seamlessly. There’s none of that “get used to a new to you writer” feeling that you sometimes have to get through. Her books aren’t even faster paced. Something about them (the chocolate, maybe?) makes them seem lighter in tone, even though both series deal with things like demons threatening the world and the danger of magic in the wrong hands. Maybe it’s that Jade (Doidge’s point of view character) is more sarcastic? Maybe it’s that it’s less of a period piece and thus easier to just sink into? I don’t know. It’s easier, for whatever reason, and with Bad Days Ahead, I really want easier.
From the author’s website: If you’d asked me a week ago, I would have told you that the best cupcakes were dark chocolate with chocolate cream cheese icing, that dancing in a crowd of magic wielders — the Adept — was better than sex, and that my life was peaceful and uneventful. Just the way I liked it. That’s what twenty-three years in the magical backwater of Vancouver will get you — a completely skewed sense of reality. Because when the dead werewolves started showing up, it all unraveled … except for the cupcake part. That’s a universal truth.
So far, the sex bits in these two series is a lot more explicit and steamier in the Whyborne series. For those of you who care about such things, Whyborne and Griffin have male/male pairing. (I don’t care about these things — give me a good story, and steamy sex is nice, too!) Oh! Maybe, just maybe, part of the reason I like the one better than the other is the potentially not-human romantic interest. Yes, that sounds like me, actually . . .