Stacking the Shelves #192

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Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
The Sinner (Graveyard Queen, 5) – Amanda Stevens

I am a living ghost, a wanderer in search of my purpose and place… 

I’m a cemetery restorer by trade, but my calling has evolved from that of ghost seer to death walker to detective of lost souls. I solve the riddles of the dead so the dead will leave me alone.

I’ve come to Seven Gates Cemetery nursing a broken heart, but peace is hard to come by…for the ghosts here and for me. When the body of a young woman is discovered in a caged grave, I know that I’ve been summoned for a reason. Only I can unmask her killer. I want to trust the detective assigned to the case for he is a ghost seer like me. But how can I put my faith in anyone when supernatural forces are manipulating my every thought? When reality is ever-changing? And when the one person I thought I could trust above all others has turned into a diabolical stranger?

City of Wolves – Willow Palacek

Alexander Drake, Investigator for Hire, doesn’t like working for the Nobility, and doesn’t prefer to take jobs from strange men who accost him in alleyways. A combination of hired muscle and ready silver have a way of changing a man’s mind.

A lord has been killed, his body found covered in bite marks. Even worse, the late lord’s will is missing, and not everyone wants Drake to find it. Solving the case might plunge Drake into deeper danger.

City of Wolves is a steampunk noir from debut author Willow Palecek.

Safe From Harm (Protect & Serve, 2) – Kate Serine

There’s something about prosecuting attorney Elle McCoy that Deputy Gabe Dawson just can’t get enough of. Even with Gabe’s family legacy in law enforcement and promising career, Elle’s smart, sassy rejection of all his charm makes Gabe want her even more.

But Gabe’s confidence is shaken when he’s shot on the steps of the courthouse, protecting Elle from a terrorist intent on revenge. Worse, Elle isn’t out of danger yet. But as they race to counter the terrorist’s next move, Gabe determines to prove to Elle—and himself—that he’s a man worthy of her.

 

Dracula Cha Cha Cha by Kim Newman

Anno Dracula, Book 3

Synopsis: Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda – his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion Geneviève. Finding herself caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner who is bloodily dispatching vampire elders in the city, Kate discovers that she is not the only one on his trail…

Review: I did not really know about the series although it’s true that I had the opportunity to see the covers as well as the name of the author on some blogs. I wondered for a moment if it would not be a problem to start with a third book but the summary let me think it would not be the case. Of course, I know that the synopsis is not everything but I can tell you that starting with the third volume is really not a problem. But it’s true that now I’m pretty curious to see what the first two parts present.

In this story, we discover three young female vampires, Genevieve, Kate and Penelope, who gathered for a funeral. Indeed, their former love, Charles is about to die and each appears to try to change his mind and to say goodbye. But the arrival of Kate in Rome coincides with the assassination of elder vampires and our heroine is determined to understand what exactly is happening. But these events also coincide with the future marriage of Princess Asa and Count Dracula that everyone seems to expect. Thus we follow all these people and their discoveries of the secrets of Rome.

I will not say much more for fear of revealing too much but it’s true that we are easily carried away by the writings of the author and I was really curious to see how the story would develop. Many events take place and we end up at the same time with some surprises that we don’t expect. I loved to discover Kate and the other characters and it’s true that I am curious to find them again. What surprised me the most was to see two different stories in this novel. In fact, we follow mainly the story of the murders, Dracula and three women, then after the conclusion we have a second story presenting Kate, ten years later trying to solve a murder. I was not expecting it at all especially when we see that finally the two are not related but it was interesting to discover more about this universe.

In any case it was a great find and it is true that I am eager to find out more about Kim Newman’s books now!

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Dracula Cha Cha Cha de Kim Newman

Anno Dracula, Tome 3

Résumé : Rome 1959. Dracula est sur le point de se marier en grande pompe avec la princesse moldave Asa Vajda. Mais cet événement mondain exceptionnel, qui rassemblera tout le gotha vivant et mort-vivant de la Ville éternelle, n’est que la première étape d’un ambitieux projet élaboré par le comte. Orson Welles est un agent secret vampire du nom de Bond sont également de la partie, ainsi qu’un mystérieux assassin, le Bourreau Écarlate, qui trouble la dolce vita de la cité en semant les cadavres derrière lui…

Avis : Je ne connaissais pas vraiment la série même si c’est vrai que j’ai eu l’occasion de voir passer les couvertures et bien sûr le nom de l’auteur. Je me suis demandée un moment si cela ne poserait pas un problème de commencer par un troisième tome mais le résumé laissait penser ce ne serait pas le cas. Bien sûr, je sais que le résumé ne fait pas tout mais je peux vous affirmer que commencer par le troisième volume ne pose vraiment aucun problème. Mais c’est vrai que maintenant je suis assez curieuse de voir ce que nous présentent les deux premiers volets.

Dans cette histoire, nous découvrons trois jeunes femmes vampires, Geneviève, Kate et Pénélope, qui sont réunies pour un évènement assez funèbre. En effet, leur ancien amour, Charles est sur le point de mourir et chacune se présente pour essayer de le faire changer d’avis et lui dire au-revoir. Mais l’arrivée de Kate à Rome coïncide aussi avec l’assassinat d’ainés vampires et notre héroïne est bien décidée à comprendre ce qu’il se passe exactement. Mais ces évènements coïncident aussi avec futur mariage de la princesse Asa et du comte Dracula que tout le monde semble attendre. C’est ainsi que l’on suit tout ce petit monde et leur découvertes des secrets de Rome.

Je ne vais pas en dire beaucoup plus de peur d’en révéler trop mais c’est vrai qu’on se laisse facilement emporter par les écrits de l’auteur et j’étais vraiment curieuse de voir comment le récit allait se développer. De nombreux évènements se déroulent et on se retrouve par la même occasion confronté à quelques surprises que l’on n’attend pas. J’ai adoré découvrir Kate ainsi que les autres personnages et c’est vrai que je suis curieuse de les retrouver. Ce qui m’a par contre particulièrement surprise c’est de voir deux histoires différentes dans ce roman. En effet, nous suivons principalement l’histoire des meurtres, de Dracula et des trois femmes, puis après la conclusion, nous avons un deuxième récit qui nous présente Kate, une dizaine d’années après qui essaie de résoudre un meurtre. Je ne m’y attendais pas du tout surtout quand on voit que finalement les deux ne sont pas liées mais c’était intéressant de pouvoir en découvrir plus sur cet univers.

Dans tous les cas c’était une bonne découverte et c’est vrai que je suis impatiente d’en découvrir plus sur les livres de Kim Newman à présent !

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Blog Tour: Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine (Interview)

Synopsis: Ever since Newton witnessed a bubble rising from his bathtub, mankind has sought the stars. When William III of England commissioned Capt. William Kidd to command the first expedition to Mars in the late 1600s, they proved that space travel was both possible and profitable.

Now, one century later, a plantation in the flourishing British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby. A tomboy who shares her father’s deft hand with complex automatons. Being raised on the Martian frontier by her Martian nanny, Arabella is more a wild child than a proper young lady. Something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

Arabella soon finds herself trying to navigate an alien world until a dramatic change in her family’s circumstances forces her to defy all conventions in order to return to Mars in order to save both her brother and the plantation. To do this, Arabella must pass as a boy on the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company with a mysterious Indian captain who is intrigued by her knack with automatons. Arabella must weather the naval war between Britain and France, learning how to sail, and a mutinous crew if she hopes to save her brother from certain death.

 

What draws you to writing science fiction? Do you think you’ll explore other genres in the future?

I’ve been an SF and Fantasy reader since I was a kid. I caught the SF bug from my dad, who read the pulps in the 30s and 40s and brought me up on tales of Barlennan and Gully Foyle. I started writing my own SF in middle school, and never stopped except for a 20-year break during which I was a technical writer in my day job and writing fiction was too much like work. As far as writing other fiction genres… though many of my SF and Fantasy stories incorporate horrific, humorous, mysterious, or romantic elements, I don’t ever see myself writing stories in those genres per se.

The cover of Arabella of Mars possesses a steampunk light. Can you find any of that in the book?

Heck yeah! The cover design was suggested by me and it expresses the « feel » of the book tremendously well. I describe Arabella of Mars as « steampunkish » rather than « steampunk, » because there is no steam power in it as such. However, steam power was in use during the equivalent period of real history, and Arabella does include coal-burning furnaces, the manufacture of charcoal, and plenty of clockwork automata. Finally, if you define steampunk as « science fiction based on obsolete technology, » Arabella has that in spades. So although I myself wouldn’t call the book steampunk, I don’t object if other people do. (Kim Stanley Robinson used the word « sailpunk » to describe it.)

Do you have a particular writing process or ritual that helped you write this book?

When starting a project, I open a new « notes » file and just begin typing as though I were talking out loud, working out the worldbuilding, character, and plot details. I will natter on for thousands and thousands of words before I begin drafting, always just adding to the end of the file in a continuous scroll. I outline the plot, sketch out characters, paste in bits of research, and write a lot of « what would happen if… » and « maybe he does this because… » statements. Eventually I begin drafting and the notes file becomes a diary of wordcount progress as well as a place for working out problems that arise during the writing and editing process. By the time the book is done, the notes file might be three or four times the size of the book itself.

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

July 8 – The Qwillery

July 11 – Dark Faerie Tales

July 12 – Sci-Fi Chick

July 13 – Powder and Page

July 14 – Ageless Pages Reviews

July 15 – Fantasy Literature

July 18 – Fantasy Book Critic

July 19 – Bookwraiths

July 20 – Between Dreams and Reality

July 21 – On Starships and Dragonwings

July 22 – The Arched Doorway

 

What the Dead Want by Norah Olson

Synopsis: 16 -year-old Gretchen takes photographs to understand the world around her, a passion her mother Mona fostered and encouraged when she was still around. Since her mom disappeared years ago, Gretchen and her dad have lived on their own in New York City, haunted by Mona’s absence.

When Gretchen’s great aunt Esther calls unexpectedly to tell her that she has inherited the pre-Civil War mansion on her mother’s side of the family in upstate New York, Gretchen understands nothing except that her aunt needs her help. But what she finds there is beyond her imagination. The house is crumbling apart, filled with stacks of papers and journals from decades, even centuries past, and it’s crawling with rodents. It’s also full of secrets and a legacy of racism and violence so reprehensible that the ghosts of the past are exacting revenge on the living.

Somehow the mystery of Mona’s disappearance and the atrocities that happened on the land during the Civil War are inextricably intertwined, and it’s up to Gretchen to figure out how…before even more lives are lost.

Review: When it comes to gothic romance and ghosts, I’m always up for that. I did not know this one but the summary and the cover were really appealing. I must say that the whole is quite intriguing, especially when it comes to photos, old houses and secrets.

By strange circumstances, Gretchen will be asked to visit her aunt she has never seen and who lives in a dilapidated old mansion. She thinks that she will help her move out knowing that she is the heiress of the house. Yet the girl really will not expect to face such events … and the first is none other than the death of one of her relatives. But from there, our heroine will understand that the house is home to many more things than she thought and many generations of her family tried to understand how they could free what is enclosed.

I really liked the format of the story, we go from one chapter to another between Gretchen and her story in the present but we also have the opportunity to read the diary of her great-grandmother, which is at the origin of all that. It is then in a history of racism, illiterate women, of Kux Klux Klan and terrible acts. I was really carried away by all the events and I also enjoyed the pictures that are found in the story even though I was a little disappointed not to have all of them in the non corrected version because I think they really bring a lot to the story.

I really enjoyed all the ideas of the author here because I confess I did not expect it at all. By cons I’m pretty disappointed by the end, I had to read it twice to see if I had not missed anything. It’s too simple, too easy and way too fast after all that has happened before, and I was surprised and a little disappointed by that conclusion. But hey it was still a very good discovery.

 

3-5

 

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What the Dead Want de Norah Olson (VO)

Résumé (traduction personnelle) : Gretchen, 16 ans, prend des photos pour comprendre le monde autour d’elle, une passion que sa mère Mona favorisait et encourageait quand elle était encore là. Depuis la disparition de sa mère, il y a des années, Gretchen et son père ont vécu seuls à New York, hantés par l’absence de Mona.

Lorsque la grand-tante de Gretchen, Esther, appelle de façon inattendue pour lui dire qu’elle a hérité de la maison du côté de sa mère dans l’État de New York. Gretchen ne comprend rien, sauf que sa tante a besoin de son aide. Mais ce qu’elle y trouve est au-delà de son imagination. La maison est en ruine, remplie de piles de papiers et de revues d’un siècle, et elle est infestée de rongeurs. Elle est aussi pleine de secrets, de racisme et de violence si répréhensible que les fantômes du passé exigent leur revanche sur les vivants.

D’une certaine manière le mystère sur la disparition de Mona et les atrocités qui ont eu lieu sur la terre pendant la guerre civile sont inextricablement liées, et c’est à Gretchen de comprendre comment … avant que plus de vies ne soient perdues.

Avis : Quand il est question de roman gothique et de fantômes, je suis toujours au rendez-vous. Je ne connaissais pas celui-ci mais le résumé et la couverture m’ont tout de suite attirée. Il faut dire que l’ensemble est assez intrigant, notamment quand il est question de photos, de vieilles maisons et de secrets.

Par d’étranges circonstances, Gretchen va être appelée à rendre visite à sa grande tant qu’elle n’a jamais vue et qui habite dans un très vieux manoir délabré. Elle pense l’aider à déménager tout en sachant qu’elle est l’héritière de la demeure. Pourtant la jeune fille ne va vraiment pas s’attendre à faire face à de tels événements… et le premier n’est rien d’autre que le décès d’un de ses proches. Mais à partir de là, notre héroïne va comprendre que la maison abrite bien plus de choses qu’elle ne le pensait et que cela fait des générations que sa famille essaie de comprendre comment libérer ce qui est enfermé.

J’ai vraiment beaucoup aimé le format de l’histoire, on passe d’un chapitre à l’autre entre Gretchen et son histoire au présent mais nous avons aussi la chance de lire le journal intime d’une de ses arrières grand-mères, celle qui est à l’origine de tout. On se retrouve alors dans une histoire de racisme, de femmes illettrées, de Kux Klux Klan et de terribles actes. J’ai vraiment été emportée par tous les événements et j’ai apprécié aussi les photos que l’on retrouve au cours de l’histoire même si j’ai été un peu déçue de ne pas avoir toutes les photos dans la version non corrigée car je pense qu’elles apportent vraiment beaucoup à l’histoire.

J’ai vraiment beaucoup apprécié toutes les idées de l’auteure ici parce que j’avoue que je ne m’y attendais pas du tout. Par contre je suis assez déçue de la fin, j’ai dû la relire deux fois pour voir si je n’avais pas manqué quelque chose. C’est trop simple, trop facile et vraiment trop rapide après tout ce qu’il s’est passé précédemment et j’étais surprise et un peu déçue de cette conclusion. Mais bon c’était tout de même une très bonne découverte.

3-5

 

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Stacking the Shelves #191

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Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

 

Mr. Darcy’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes, 1) – Amanda Grange

Monday 9th September
«  »I left London today and met Bingley at Netherfield Park. I had forgotten what good company he is; always ready to be pleased and always cheerful. After my difficult summer, it is good to be with him again. … » »

The only place Darcy could share his innermost feelings was in the private pages of his diary…

Torn between his sense of duty to his family name and his growing passion for Elizabeth Bennet, all he can do is struggle not to fall in love.

Mr. Darcy’s Diary presents the story of the unlikely courtship of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Darcy’s point of view. This graceful imagining and sequel to Pride and Prejudice explains Darcy’s moodiness and the difficulties of his reluctant relationship as he struggles to avoid falling in love with Miss Bennet. Though seemingly stiff and stubborn at times, Darcy’s words prove him also to be quite devoted and endearing – qualities that eventually win over Miss Bennet’s heart. This continuation of a classic romantic novel is charming and elegant, much like Darcy himself.

Pride and Prejudice has inspired a large number of modern day sequels, the most successful of which focus on the rich, proud Mr. Darcy.

Mr. Darcy takes a wife (Darcy and Elizabeth, 1) – Linda Berdoll

Every woman wants to be Elizabeth Bennet Darcy-beautiful, gracious, universally admired, strong, daring and outspoken-a thoroughly modern woman in crinolines.

And every woman will fall madly in love with Mr. Darcy-tall, dark and handsome, a nobleman and a heartthrob whose virility is matched only by his utter devotion to his wife.

Their passion is consuming and idyllic-essentially, they can’t keep their hands off each other-through a sweeping tale of adventure and misadventure, human folly and numerous mysteries of parentage.

Hold on to your bonnets! This sexy, epic, hilarious, poignant and romantic sequel to « Pride and Prejudice » is not for Jane Austen purists. Self-published in 1999 as « The Bar Sinister, » this sequel continues the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy through a sweeping tale of adventure.

Tout ce qu’on ne s’est jamais dit – Celeste Ng

Lydia est morte.

Lydia Lee, seize ans, est morte. Mais sa famille l’ignore encore…

Sa mère, Marylin, femme au foyer, rêve que sa fille fasse les études de médecine qu’elle n’a pas pu accomplir. Son père, James, professeur d’université d’origine chinoise, a tant souffert de sa différence qu’il a hâte de la retrouver parfaitement intégrée sur le campus.

Mais le corps de Lydia gît au fond d’un lac.

Accident, meurtre ou suicide ? Lorsque l’adolescente est retrouvée, la famille Lee, en apparence si soudée, va devoir affronter ses secrets les mieux gardés. Des secrets si longtemps enfouis qu’au fil du temps ils ont imperceptiblement éloigné ses membres, creusant des failles qui ne pourront sans doute jamais être comblées.