New Author Challenge and February mini-Challenge

One of the Fantasy review sites I have in my blogroll, Literary Escapism has issued a challenge to all comers: read as many new authors as you can in 2010. There are no restrictions on which books to read (novels greatly preferred), but the authors themselves must be new to you. But wait! There’s more! Once you have read them, you have to review them.

For me that is going to be the hard part: usually when I finish a book, I take a couple hours to let it percolate in my brain but then I start jonesing for a book in my hand and I have to grab something new from my TBR pile (bookaholism: it is not just a figment of my imagination).

Still, I have signed up and by golly I am going to do it! I challenge myself: 25 books. That’s right 25 books read – and more importantly 25 books reviewed. I can do it. I know I can. I just have to concentrate…

Literary Escapism takes on The League of Reluctant Adults in February
As a second part to this challenge, Literary Escapism is, for the month of February, doing a mini-challenge, asking folks to read new authors from the League of Reluctant Adults (another of my blogroll gang and the group I most want to join when I get published).

I personally think this is great because the League is full of amazing authors whose books kick UF/PR butt while also make you snicker at all their character’s wonderful snarkiness. I have read works by most of the Leaguers and discovered that, of those I hadn’t read yet – their books were already in my TBR pile just waiting for me to crack ‘em open. Literary Escapism’s challenge to read up to 5 different authors from the list of Leaguers should be a piece of cake! (Yeah, yeah, again, it’s going to be the review writing part that’ll get me).

I am going to do my darnedest to meet this mini-challenge too, though I hope you’ll forgive me if I end up reading a new-to-me book by a known-to-me member of the League. Not strictly kosher, I admit, but at least I am making the effort.

Here is the list of Leaguers:
Mario Acevedo
Stacia Kane
Kat Richardson
Michele Bardsley
Caitlin Kittredge
Michelle Rowen
Dakota Cassidy
Kelly Meding
Diana Rowland
Carolyn Crane
Richelle Mead
Jeanne Stein
Molly Harper
Nicole Peeler
Anton Strout
Mark Henry
Cherie Priest
Jaye Wells
Jackie Kessler
Jennifer Rardin
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TBR pile

I am slowly starting to master my To Be Read pile. And will be doing more reviews as a result. Yes, most of those books will have been out for a year or so, but better late than never. And as I am not well known enough to start getting ARCs, I can only review the books I purchase myself.

See? This is what happens when you get busy with other things IRL and neglect your blog. Bad Kat! Do better!

Books I have read recently that I cannot say enough good things about:

I will try and get reviews out about them, but I hope the ‘good recommendation’ will hold you for now.

Review, The Better Part of Darkness, Kelly Gay


Book Blurb:
Atlanta: it’s the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil….

Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She’s recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.’s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim — but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined?

Review
Charlie Madigan is a police officer in an Atlanta that is working hard to integrate the radically different off-worlders who are starting to make Earth their home. She’s tough, has a great partner and a supportive police Chief, but a little overworked as she struggles to balance a recent return from death, unruly off-worlders, being a single mom, and an ex who desparately wants back into her life. It is a precarious juggling act, one made harder by someone determined to stop her from solving her current investigation into an off-world drug. Someone who is more than willing to threaten her family, friends, partner and Charlie herself.

Kelly Gay has created a creative and detailed world full of diverse characters. I found her portrayal of Charlie’s rich family life both realistic and also something you don’t see often in urban fantasy, particularly a situation where the heroine is not only a mother but also the principal caregiver – in addition to being able to kick serious paranormal ass. The story moves at a brisk and exciting pace and Charlie’s challenging life leaves readers gasping for breath but definitely wanting more.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next in the Charlie Madigan series.

Find out more about Kelly Gay at her site or by following her on Twitter.

Rating
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Wow! Been a very bad blogger…

It’s been over a month since I posted something, and more than that since I posted something of consequence (why, yes, I DO suffer from delusions of grandeur. How did you know?).

I wish I could say that I have been busy doing lots of fantastically wonderful things, but really, most of my time has been spent trying to wrestle my To Be Read pile into something more akin to a hill than the mountain. Was actually making headway… and then all the books I had asked the library to hold for me came in at once. Augh! On the one hand my wallet heaved a sigh of relief, on the other I had a big pile of books with a definite ‘must be read by’ sign hanging over them. I managed most of them; some had to go back unread as they had other holds on them, and some I just wasn’t in the mood for any more. I have only one and a half library books left to read now and while a few more are, according to the library site, ‘in transit’ they haven’t gotten here yet so the pressure is down to a dull roar.

Though the already purchased TBR pile is still there… And there are a few books that just came out that I am desparate to get…

My name is Kat and I am a bookaholic.

Belly up to the bar…

And start watching the goings-on at The Odd Shots. It is the place to be if you want to follow some great urban fantasy and paranormal romance writers, namely: Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brooks, Nalini Singh, Patrice Michelle, and Jill Myles.

They are having a giveaway as part of the site launch: a copy of Must Love HellHounds. But back off… that puppy’s mine! (Kidding… or am I?)