RT Daily Blog

The "Pulp Awesomeness" Of A. Lee Martinez's Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

BY Janine Johnston, MARCH 21, 2012 | PERMALINK

When I first laid eyes on the sci fi novel Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain by A. Lee Martinez, the first thing that struck me was the epic title and then the amazing cover. A mash-up of different fonts and colors and accompanied by a clean image of what one can only assume is Emperor Mollusk, it’s definitely striking.

RT reviewer Donna M. Carter describes the book as “reading like a cheap ‘50s sci-fi flick, filled with outrageous creatures such as a jelligantic (exactly what it sounds like), this is ridiculously fun.” With that in mind, it's worth noting that in a recent blog post, the author stressed that “ … this is not a silly novel. It is absurd, certainly, but no less absurd than John Carter’s Mars, Doc Savage’s bronze age, or any number of pulp realms … It is unapologetic pulp awesomeness.”

With references to 50s sci fi films and “pulp awesomeness,” I couldn’t help but think about how the cover of Emperor Mollusk is very reminiscent of the movie posters of some seriously fantastic early sci fi films, complete with equally long titles.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Science Fiction
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Video Interview: Amanda Stevens

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 20, 2012 | PERMALINK

Veteran author Amanda Stevens is gearing up for the second in her Graveyard Queen series, The Kingdom. The author captured our imagination with the series starter, The Restorer, which is a contemporary series with a Gothic feel. This is due in no small part to Stevens' unusual heroine, Amelia, a professional cemetery restoration expert (who got her job in a most unusual way). In today's interview with RT's Morgan, we get a special look at the series' unique heroine, the deliciously dark and emotionally damaged hero Devlin and how the pair interacts with the vampire-like ghosts that surround them!


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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On The Shelves Tuesday 3/20/2012

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 20, 2012 | PERMALINK

Here's a look at the titles we love that hit shelves this week.


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Isabel Cooper Shares Lessons Learned As A New Author — With Giveaway!

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 19, 2012 | PERMALINK

Last year author Isabel Cooper wowed readers with her debut novel No Proper Lady. This paranormal historical romance, which won RT's September 2011 Seal of Excellence, set itself apart from other stories by incorporating an innovative time tavel element. The author, who is about to release her much-anticipated series second, Lessons After Dark, joins us to talk about what she's learned between books one and two, which she jokingly calls, "Lessons after my Debut." And make sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for a chance to win this new book before it's in stores!

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1. There’s more to a story — even in a romance — than two people.

This is something I learned while working on No Proper Lady. Eleanor, the hero’s younger sister, was originally more of a motivating force than anything else.  Simon needed a reason to be angry at Reynell, angry enough that he’d be willing to work for the possible death and certain magical screwing-with of his former best friend. What reason would be good enough? Well, messing with his little sister seems pretty solid. Okay, then!

Except, as I wrote the book, I found that Eleanor needed to have more and more of a role in it,  that writing her with Simon and Joan (the heroine, from the future) brought out aspects of them — and aspects of the story — that might not have come out otherwise, and that she was interesting in her own right. I liked writing about her, and I liked how she had her own agenda and character arc. Likewise, Gillespie, though he only appears in one scene, was a lot of fun. 

So, in my latest book, Lessons After Dark, I have a whole host of secondary characters. The romance between Olivia and Gareth takes center stage, of course, but the rest of Englefield’s population gets a fair amount of time too. Their agendas and issues play a large role, both in establishing Englefield as the “weird” school for “gifted" children (aka children with supernatural abilities) it’s becoming, and in showing the characters, and the development of Olivia and Gareth as they get closer. 


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Romance
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Cover Chat: Riveted The Upcoming Iron Seas Novel By Meljean Brook

BY Whitney Sullivan, MARCH 19, 2012 | PERMALINK

Meljean Brook has created one of my favorite steampunk series with the Iron Seas. And in no small part that's because this series is accessible to both genre fans and readers who don’t normally go for stories set in this re-imagined Victorian era. Brook's series started with The Iron Duke, which won the October 2010 RT Seal of Excellence. The story was followed by November 2011’s RT Top Pick! Heart of Steel. And now the author has just announced that the series third, Riveted will be available this Fall.

This upcoming story's heroine is Annika Fridasdottor, an airship engineer. But that’s not all she does, according to the author Annika’s engineering skills are also put to work “in a troll’s belly.” Oh just, you know, working in a troll’s belly ... Right, RIGHT?!? And although it is unclear if this "troll" is of the animal or mechanical variety, I think we can all safely assume that Annika is going to be a fairly kick-butt heroine. A quick glance at her on the book cover makes it clear that this heroine does not put up with much horsing around. She’s got a guarded look on her face, like she’s ready to cause some serious damage with her ... okay, so I’m not quite sure what that is in her hand, but whether it’s a rapier, a jumper cable (or something that I simply have no knowledge of because I prefer to leave the fighting to my heroines), I do know that it’s not an object I’d want to have her use against me!


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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Forewords: The Books Before The Buzz

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 19, 2012 | PERMALINK

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!

NEW SERIES ALERT

Series Romance - If you love a your romances to have a bit of conflict, be sure to check out the upcoming Harlequin Desire from Andrea Laurence. An architect and a real estate tycoon face off over a piece of land she simply won’t sell to the millionaire. And then not too long after that yet-untitled books hits shelves in early 2013, it will be followed by a second story about a kind-hearted secretary who falls in love with a scarred — and scared — CEO! 

Mystery - Summoning the Dead begins the new mystery series from Michael Nethercott that follows a young P.I. and his bookish Irish partner during the 1950s. But as they investigate a machine with hazy origins, it becomes clear that there may be some paranormal elements to this new case. The series starter will be available in 2013.


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Weekly Web Wrap Up 3/16/2011

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 16, 2012 | PERMALINK

Did you spend the whole week wishing you were Back in the Soldier's Arms?

Here's what you missed on the RT website:

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HISTORICAL ROMANCE: Meet historical heroines with this unusual name. It's Minerva Madness >>

SERIES ROMANCE: Some big names are writing category length. Find Out Who They Are >>

YOUNG ADULT: Maggie Stiefvater discusses her new series starter. Discover The Raven Boys >>

THRILLER: Author Andrew Peterson gets attacked by an ATF K-9. Don't Worry, It Was Voluntary >>

PARANORMAL: Thea Harrison's Elder Races characters duke it out. It's A Face-Off For "Best Creature" >>


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Tags: RT Daily Blog
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Meet The New RT BOOK REVIEWS Magazine Editors!

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 16, 2012 | PERMALINK

We are very excited to share that we’ve added two new staff members to the RT BOOK REVIEWS family. You’ll be seeing their names in the magazine masthead, but today we are giving you a chance to “Meet the Editors” with a special guest blog post from our new Features Editor Mala and our new Associate Editor Audrey.

MEET MALA:

Hi, RT readers! I'm Mala, the new Features Editor, and I come to you from Soap Opera Weekly, Soap Opera Digest and Pixie. I spent seven years working as an entertainment writer and editor, and I've been a pop culture junkie my whole life. An avid reader in general, I started with romance in middle school — and never stopped! I'll read just about any genre, though I have a soft spot for historicals thanks to my early years reading Valerie Sherwood, Amanda Quick and Johanna Lindsey. I also love Indian movies (I speak Bengali and Hindi, as well as a little Spanish) and comic book films (I cannot wait for The Avengers to come out).


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Morgan And Whitney Dish: Seanan McGuire's Discount Armageddon

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 15, 2012 | PERMALINK

Seanan McGuire introduces readers to the feisty Verity Price in the clever new series starter Discount Armageddon. As this cryptozoologist and competitive ballroom dancer tries to juggle her family legacy and passion, she stumbles onto a mystery that is bigger than she ever could have imagined — and Verity has a BIG imagination. Will the new man in her life, Dominic de Luca, be an ally in unraveling this mystery or is his interference going to undo all of the good that Verity has done during her stay in New York City?

Morgan: This book has so many great one-liners that I could literally fill up this entire Dish with just quirky sayings that are used.

Whitney: You know Morgan, I was just thinking that author Seanan McGuire is certainly a clever, clever lady!

Morgan: And she does a great job giving her heroine Verity the gift of gab, too.

Whitney: Which is just one of the reasons that I am going to say, whether you are a long time Urban Fantasy fan, have never tried one before or don’t normally read books in this genre, you have to try Discount Armageddon.


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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Alison Gaylin's "Excellence" Adventure — RT's Liz French Meets The Author

BY Liz French, MARCH 15, 2012 | PERMALINK

RT Managing Editor Liz French (left) with author Alison Gaylin

Allow me to gloat just a little bit here. I love living in New York! Well, at least this week I do. I went to see March Seal of Excellence winner Alison Gaylin sign and read from her bestselling suspense novel, And She Was, Tuesday at NYC’s Mysterious Bookshop, and fell in love with the author's new heroine all over again.

Brenna Spector has some weird neurological condition, which Alison actually pronounced several times last night but I can’t wrap my mind around. I’m going to call it thingamajig syndrome. Here’s the gist: Brenna Spector remembers EVERYTHING, all five senses engaged, every damn detail. Of every day in her life since her sister disappeared one day when Brenna was 11. Yeah. Heavy! The good memories, the bad memories ... why her marriage broke up, the pain of childbirth, what kind of tie her therapist was wearing in 1985 ... so, perfect syndrome for a PI to have, right?


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
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