We love a great alpha hero, the kind of guy who will do everything and anything to protect his loved ones. But at what point do these heroes become the fighters we all love? Today, bestselling romantic suspense authors Rebecca York, Lindsay McKenna, Lynn Raye Harris, Julie Ann Walker and Melissa Cutler discuss their heroes' turning points.
Retelling a classic fairy tale can be rather daunting, especially when it's a tale as timeless and beloved as Cinderella. But Tracy Barrett knocked her retelling out of the park with The Stepsister's Tale, an enchanting story that takes a closer look at the stepsisters' side of Cinderella's story. Today, Tracy shares her thoughts on her new book and what she did in order to make her retelling as compelling as possible.
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.
Post Mortem by Albert Caraco.
Caraco's mother taught him to hate women and he has learned so well to hate everything else too. "My hatred for this world is what I find more worthy of esteem," he says.
Plot: Caraco's mother dies.
Rating: 82 out of 100
Austerlitz by WG Sebald
An elegant and deep book that I read every month and stop after thirty pages. For the umpteenth time I ask myself: Is it good if you get bored?
Plot: Austerlitz speaks a lot.
Rating: 75 out of 100
Breaking free of past crimes and decisions can do a world of good for a person. Sometimes, it can even lead to love, as illustrated by this month's roundup of enchanting historical reads. This month, we're highlighting the latest releases from a few of your favorite authors and their new characters who find themselves embarking on new paths. Let's take a look:
In Grace Burrowes’s The Captive, Duke of Mercia, Christian Severn, has one thing on his mind: revenge. It’s the only thing keeping him alive while imprisoned in a French stronghold, and his desire to exact revenge against his captors may come true when he finds himself suddenly free. But Gillian, Countess of Greendale, has other plans and tries to persuade him to give up his thirst for revenge to allow his kindness to prevail to provide a better life for his daughter. As Gillian and Christian grow closer, his plans begin to pan out.
Margaret Stohl is no stranger to the YA spotlight. In addition to co-authoring the bestselling Beautiful Creatures series and the new spin-off series, Dangerous Creatures, Margaret has also struck out on her own with her Icons series. The second in the series, Idols, releases today and to celebrate, we have an exclusive Q&A with Margaret. Take a look:
Describe Idols in five words.
Heart-bruising-pounding-breaking. Aliens. Elephants. Vision-quest. Thailand.
What can readers expect to learn in the book?
Readers will learn that every love story is also a hate story and vice versa. So I guess to look for the one in the other. Readers will learn to start plotting their trips to Thailand immediately, and I hope going to volunteer in elephant preserves. Learning to give an elephant a bath was one of the most exquisite moments of my life. And I hope readers will learn that emotional relationships change and grow, just like characters and in fact people. We can't help it, none of us.
Which character has surprised you the most over the course of writing the series?
At last it’s time for season two of those campy witches with the amazing hair, the Witches of East End! First off, I’d like to thank Lifetime for moving the ladies to a 9 p.m. time slot because I am old and I appreciate them respecting my bedtime.
There’s tons of exposition this episode in addition to your usual supernatural hijinx, and then a sexy ending that had me clutching my metaphorical pearls.
So let’s get to it, shall we? We begin with a veritable clip show from season one: The girls found out they were cursed witches! Freya had two brothers fighting over her. There were lots of past lives and kicky flashbacks with wigs. Cat-shifter Aunt Wendy was awesome. The girls met their dad — and found out about their long lost brother, and the world, Asgard, their mom and aunt left behind. The portal opened.
And we’re off!
We open in a forest, with a cat skulking around, a shadow chasing behind. Aunt Wendy shifts into human form and looks around furtively. Be careful, Wendy, you’re on your last life!
Freya, in our first lingerie sighting of the season, casts a spell complete with green flame.
Oh! Kinky alert! (This will be a theme. Trust me.) Upstairs, Joanna is tied to the bed and Victor smolders as he takes off his belt. Wocka wocka. (Does EL James get a cut of this?) Except then Victor takes out a knife and cuts Jo. She screams.
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!
Young Adult - In Meg Kassel’s startling debut, Black Bird of the Gallows, a girl discovers that the boy next door is actually a harbinger of death. After learning that her town is destined to fall apart, she must fight for her life and find a way to survive before it’s too late.
Science Fiction - In Heroine Complex, Sarah Kuhn’s debut described as “The Devil Wears Prada with superheroes”, a personal assistant has to pose as her high maintance superhero boss. As she discovers and accepts her own special powers, she must save the world from a supernatural invasion. Yikes! Release date: TBA.
Mainstream - Shifting Colors by Fiona Sussman tells the tale of a mother and daugther separated by land and sea as they navigate life amidst apartheid in South Africa and late twentieth century Britain. Coming soon in 2015.
When Lydia Netzer's first book, Shine, Shine, Shine, was released, it was amazing, and quirky ... and it was at the forefront of a small recent trend of quirky, socially impaired characters.
I wasn't sure how well it would be received. It was smart — so smart it involved complicated equations as love notes — and super-quirky, and I wasn't sure of its mass market appeal in an industry that sometimes seems dominated with "more of the same."
Seeing how well that book did was great, but Netzer's sophomore effort (if we don't count June's novella "Everybody's Baby"), How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, is astounding. Netzer manages to take a blend of magical realism, the quirk factor of her previous novel, and her own unique voice to create a novel that stands out from the crowd being created by authors like Matthew Quick and Graeme Simsion.