Summer is in full swing, and those planning to relax with a vacation (or staycation!) might need a book or three to keep them company. As always, we've got some recommendations. Use the chart below to figure out which summer romance best suits your vacay plans. You can enlarge the image by clicking on it, or using the link below. Happy reading!
Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the venerable prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
If Europe had a nightmare and someone could write it down faithfully, he/she would write this poem.
Plot: Humanity is fu****d.
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gatsby is alone, falls in love to not be alone anymore and becomes rich to get the absolute love. He will fail, because he can't succeed, but in great style.
Plot: Gatsby is great.
The Shadow Line by Josef Conrad
Every once in a while you stumble upon the perfect summer read. Lucky for me, I stumbled twice in a row after picking up review copies of two of Loveswept's new titles — Have Mercy, by debut author Shelley Ann Clark (out now), and Ruthie Knox's Truly, which comes out on August 5.
In Have Mercy, bass player and struggling bar owner Tom McKinney is fascinated by soulful singer Emme Hayes. When he joins her band and their state-to-state van tour, they make more than just beautiful music together. What follows is funny, heartfelt, and knock-your-socks off sexy, because Tom is a submissive, eager to have Em set the rules of their game — especially if said game keeps his mind off his troubles at home. The words "Yes, ma'am" have never been as electric as they are in Have Mercy, deployed by Clark's sharp and clever pen.
If that doesn't have your curiosity a bit piqued, then how's this for some fan-yourself-worthy dialogue? "You look good kneeling at my feet, sugar." "I'm always kneeling at your feet," Tom said. "Even when I'm standing."
Whew. Is it hot in here? If Have Mercy is Clark's first single, then I can't wait for the whole album!
Teamwork makes the world go round in most cases, and co-authors Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi have proven their partnership is a success. Writing as Noelle August, their first book, Boomerang, has quickly amassed a loyal readership, so clearly they're doing something right. Today, Lorin and Veronica discuss the ups and downs of co-authoring, and offer their tips for a successful parternship.
With a co-authored New Adult on the shelves and two soon-to-be-published, we've navigated a few ups and downs along the way that are unique to writing as a team.
Here are our best tips for smooth collaborative sailing:
Waiting for a book to come out is one of the most dreadful things. Ever. Luckily, we're here to help make the wait more bearable with a brand new exclusive advanced excerpt! This time, we're sharing an excerpt from Lori M. Lee's upcoming YA fantasy, Gates of Thread and Stone, which releases next month! In this exciting fantasy tale, seventeen-year-old Kai can alter the threads of time, an ability that could get her killed. When her protecter and "brother", Reev, goes missing, Kai must confront her past and Reev's secrets in order to save him.
An hour later, I gave up trying to sleep and rose from my cot to light the lantern, which cast a warm glow across the metal walls. My internal clock told me it had to be about seven. The only breakfast waiting for me in the cupboard was the leftover sandwich, which I had no appetite for, so I threw off Reev’s shirt that I liked to sleep in and pulled on a pair of worn pants and a belted tunic. Then I grabbed my toiletries and made a quick visit to the washroom. I hated it in there; the smell hit you like a roiling wall of fumes, and the staff only got around to cleaning it — not very well — once every couple of weeks.
When I finished and Reev had yet to appear, I began worrying in earnest.
In our September 2014 issue, I was lucky enough to catch up with celebrated science fiction author John Scalzi, who is a particular favorite of the RT staff. We chatted a bit about his September release Lock In, which centers on a chilling pandemic called Haden's Syndrome — a disease that leaves one percent of the population completely physically paralyzed, but still fully conscious and aware. As nearly 4.5 million people are "locked in" to their own bodies, a global crisis emerges, one that reshapes the world politically, economically and socially. Scalzi came up with some ingenious options for the "locked in" to move about: 1) remote-controlled androids known as Threeps, operated by signals sent by the brain and 2) Integrators — able-bodied folks whose brains allow the Haden's-afflicted to take over their bodies. We were curious to hear a bit more about Scalzi's take on the latter, as well as the background that informed this tense near-future murder mystery.
Here's a look at the titles we love that hit shelves this week.
When I heard the chatter about Molly McAdams’ latest New Adult, Sharing You, featuring a married hero who cheats on his wife with the heroine, my interest was immediately piqued. You all know how I feel about cheating in romance. I had to at the very least check it out, despite folks saying the wife was painted as a “crazy bitch,” something I can’t get behind. But I had to try it. Maybe this would be a book that pushed the boundaries of traditional monogamy. Just look at the title and the cover, no one is trying to hide what this book is about.
Well! Are we recovered from last week’s tentacle sex? I was a little nervous to watch this week’s episode because my mom is visiting — “What’s a recap?” she asks — but this episode was thankfully free of cephalopod loving, though never fear, there was still lots of beefcake to ogle! Frederick was particularly of interest to some.
Our own intrepid DJ volunteers his services.
Let’s get to it!
Jo’s worried about Ingrid — um, rightly so, mama! They find her passed out on the lawn, all beat up. Ingrid opens her eyes, unable to remember the tentacle sex. She feels totally rested and is starving. I can’t, you guys.
Jo tells the girls about Frederick and how she left him behind in Asgard — though Wendy insists it was Frederick’s choice to stay with grandpa, he who cursed them all. Jo still believes Frederick’s story that he escaped Asgard, with the helpful proof of his curing her poisoning. Ingrid points out that the being Wendy saw in the forest, who had escaped from the portal, was vicious and evil. Jo says they think that it was something other than Frederick, Wendy demurs.
Frederick bonds with his sisters and exposits that he and Freya are twins. Ingrid’s hair looks amazing, must be the tentacle sperm? She’s knocked up, right?!
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!
Mainsteram - In Jessica Tom’s Bad Taste, an aspiring cookbook author is thrown into the glamorous and, at times, not so glam New York restaurant scene when she’s hired as the ghostwriter and taster for a famous critic who’s lost his sense of taste.
Paranormal Romance - Jenn Bennett is back with Grave Phantoms, an upcoming story in her Roaring Twenties series that stars a flapper who falls in love with her bootlegging brother’s right hand man. Their lives take an unexpected turn when a long-lost boat reappears with people who shouldn’t be alive.
Thriller - James Rollins will continue his bestselling Sigma series with four additional installments. Release dates TBA.