Perhaps the greatest unexpected gift to romance readers this year has been Thea Harrison's Elder Races books. The May series starter, Dragon Bound, received a coveted Gold RT review and the subsequent stories continue to wow readers. These paranormal romances include passion, mystery and a delightful mix of truly unique characters. Within the pages of these books, Wyr creatures, immortal beings from the magical lands of an alternate universe, are sometimes treated like gods and in other cases feared for the devils they can become.
One of our favorite features of the e-revolution is the sheer amount of books you can pack into such a tiny digital device. But what do you do when the growing number of new reads causes your wallet to shrink uncomfortably? Shop the e-book deals, of course! In this column we highlight some of our favorite book buys that will cost you less than a medium-sized coffee. This week, special for the holidays, we're delivering a dozen reads that are absoloutely free!
The English Heiress by Roberta Gellis
Double Dare by Rhonda Nelson
Dreams Fall Down by Tabitha Summers
Fan-favorite paranormal erotica author (and the winner of RT's 2010 Career Achievement Award for erotica) Kate Douglas shares some inside information about her wolves and other "sexy beasts" with RT's Elissa. Find out how the Wolf Tales series grew because readers loved it so much, the many different ways the author thinks about romantic love and how she incorporates this into her writing. Plus, Douglas shares why she loves pushing the limits in erotica and discusses how far the genre has come since her career's beginning.
A big thanks to Bryan Thomas Schmidt for his blog post “16 Holiday Themed Science Fiction And Fantasy Stories” earlier this month. Here at the RT office, we had a great time going through each free story and getting a huge holiday dose of futuristic fun. The web team was especially excited by three stories by some very well known authors. If you are looking for some great Christmas reading, look no further than the following tales.
Looking to add a few books to your TBR pile? In our newest column "If You Like ... You'll Love" RT staffers and reviewers will pick one new read and then suggest three other books that hold the same appeal. Today we look at Allie Harrison’s Hide and Seek.
Author Allie Harrison penned her first novel in 1993. The award-winning Dream a Deadly Dream was followed by two more books before the author took a decade long break from publishing. Then, in 2008, Harrison returned with Blood in the Moonlight a story that delved into the world of paranormal romance. The author has since published two more books and collaborated on a third. However, it is with the newly reviewed Hide and Seek that Harrison truly showcases her skills. This tale pairs the talented psychic Tess Fairmont with coroner Dr. Michael Adams. Tess is able to touch the dead (or living) and see their last moments. But will Tess be seeing her own demise when she stumbles into the crosshairs of a serial killer or will the Michael be able to help keep her out of trouble?
RT reviewer Karen Sweeny-Justice says, “Harrison scores with a tale that combines elements of the paranormal and suspense genres into a good old-fashioned whodunit. The heroine is a fully developed and realized character readers will root for; the widowed hero is a doctor who cares deeply for the bodies entrusted to his morgue; and the contemporary setting and secondary characters flesh out the storytelling. More than Ghost Whisperer meets Quincy, M.E., this compelling narrative makes for a page-turner readers won’t want to put down.”
Yesterday we dissected a Steampunk-themed holiday e-anthology to help busy readers figure out which of the short stories in the collection perfectly suits their reading tastes. Today we are doing the same with four contemporary tales that make a familiar romance trope fresh again. Are you ready to be stranded in a snow storm or maybe try your hand (and heart) at some long distance love? Read on to find out which of the novellas in Carina Press' newest digital anthology, Holiday Kisses, is the perfect gift to give yourself!
With our column, Forewords, we let readers know the latest book news about some of the web team's most-anticipated upcoming releases across the genres — just as the projects are announced!
RETURNING FAVORITE SERIES
Historical Romance - Just what are they teaching ladies at the School for Brides in Cheryl Ann Smith's historical series? Certainly not to go after a dangerous highwayman to offer him a marriage of convenience. However, this is exactly what the heroine decides to do in the author’s third book, which will be on shelves next year.
Paranormal - What’s harder than saving a doomed marriage? Saving said marriage while also trying to destroy a demon from Hell. The couple from Kristen Callihan’s upcoming novel Winterblaze must to this and more as the author continues her historical Darkest London series.
NEW SERIES ALERT
Trees are trimmed, candles have been located, presents are wrapped and meals are planned. (Or if you’re like us, they haven’t yet, but by the time people are expecting holiday cheer, everything will be done.) After all of your hard work it’s time to get yourself a gift and what better than some terrific steampunk holiday stories? The newly released anthology A Clockwork Christmas contains four short stories that will certainly get you in the mood to celebrate. You can buy the e-collection from Carina Press, or purchase any of these tales individually. And because we know you don’t have a whole lot of spare time right now, we’ve broken down each story in the quartet so that at a glance you can see which of these terrific short stories might be right for you.
Title: “Crime Wave In A Corset”
Author: Stacy Gail
Setting: Boston at the turn of last century
Did you spend your whole week Craving the Forbidden?
Here's what you missed on the RT website.
Holiday Gift Guides
I admit it, I am a total sucker for short stories. I love that the happily ever after between characters can blossom in only a few pages. It is almost an instant gratification that, as readers, we can read a whole love story in under an hour. However, not all short stories are created equal. The condensed format makes them very difficult to write. There is so much to pack into a few pages that a lot of the time readers can feel cheated, like we missed out on fundamental world building or character development. But every once in a while, a short story is so well crafted, so well written that we just can’t forget it. That’s the way I feel about Marjorie M. Liu’s “Six” from the 2007 anthology Holidays Are Hell.
“Six” begins in the back room massage parlor in the heart of Shanghai. Our heroine, Six, is there working undercover for Squad Twelve, an elite secret military force. She’s investigating the murder of the Foreign Minister’s wife. Unfortunately, this puts her in the middle of some seriously intense trouble — something paranormal that her training has not prepared her for.