Tuesday, July 31, 2007

News, Reviews and Whatnot

Well, I'm not going to review the last Harry Potter just yet. Maybe not at all. I'm still in mourning.

However, I also recently read the following:

LAMB, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BIFF, CHRIST'S CHILDHOOD PAL by Christopher Moore, which managed to be hysterically funny and poignant at the same time. The story is as the title would suggest, the "untold tale" of Jesus' boyhood narrated by his childhood friend Levi, aka "Biff." Though there were a couple of places I felt dragged a bit, overall, Moore's writing style is so smooth that I was pulled along with the flow of the story and was sorry when it ended. I highly recommend this one as long as your religious sensibilities aren't easily offended. In fact, I think the quote by Voltaire in the beginning of the book is excellent: "God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh." It made me wish the story were true.

ASHES TO ASHES by Jennifer Armintrout. This was the third in her "Blood Ties" series about a doctor turned vampire, and I've liked them all so far. I like that her heroine, Carrie, is not always perfect--she makes some questionable choices at times, but Armintrout sets up the background and characters in such a way that her choices are not only believable, you can sympathize with them even if you think it may not have been the wisest thing. Overall, I recommend the series if you like horror, romance and erotica all in one book. :)

THE UNFORTUNATE MISS FORTUNES by Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, and Anne Stuart. I picked this book up about three magical sisters, expecting it to be neatly divided into the three sections by the three different authors, but to my surprise, it was told as one tale. It was a credit to the authors and editors that this book unfolded so seamlessly. Recommended if you like romance, humor and magic.

Now, in the "shameless self-promotion" category, Cimorene at Enchanting Reviews read my story and had this to say:

Unmasked – Kate Sterling

4 Enchantments

When Morgan receives an invitation to the ball on Arcadia Island, she knows the wish she wants granted: to have one more night with the love of her life… without hurting his wife.

The goddess Aphrodite sees fit, however, to throw a stumbling block in Morgan's way. She has to find Derek before midnight, at a masked ball!
Instead, Morgan finds Brianna and Marcos, a married couple whose relationship is on the skids, and Morgan wants to help them spice it up. But when the couple is unmasked the next morning, Morgan has to decide if she's going to run, or live with her new love.

I'm not much into erotica myself, but Ms. Sterling handles it excellently, making this story tastefully spicy. While there seemed to be a bit of a flow issue in the beginning, it quickly straightened out after Morgan and Brianna met.
Ultimately, this is a good read and definitely adds to the character of the book!

....My overall opinion of the book is that it is a fabulous collection of works by some very talented authors. I can't wait to read more of the Masquerade Series, and see what other gods make their debuts.

A must-read for anyone who wonders what the ancient ones might be up to today!

Enchanting Review

When I have the link to the full review, I'll post it.

On my current, ever-growing "to be read" shelf are: "Industrial Magic" - Kelley Armstrong; "Swords of Talera" - Charles Allen Gramlich; "High Seas Cthulhu" - Stewart Sternberg; "Apocalypse Woman" - Tyree Kimber; and "Hellblaze" - Yolanda Sfetsos.

So, what have YOU been reading lately?


Stewart Sternberg said...

Lamb is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It's so hard to pull off flat out comedic literature. Too often people try and just pull out all the stops as opposed to setting things up and delivering a story along with larfs. In Lamb, the relationship between Jesus and Biff is magical. It's what moves along the readers and has such an impact at the end.

The problem with this novel, is that apart from friendship, I can't see any broader theme. I think that was its one weakness.

Kate S said...

Oh, I don't know, Stewart. There was self-sacrifice for love and the greater good. But then again, I'm not a stickler for themes and deeper meaning - make me laugh, make me cry, make forget that stack of unpaid for a while and I'm yours. ;)

Kate S said...

PS: along the same lines as my earlier comment - I saw this quote today.

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine.
Everybody drinks water.” Mark Twain

See, I'm a simple, water kinda gal. But I think you've already had the great literature vs. entertainment debate at your blog a few times. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Great review. Congrats. I haven't read the other three books you mentioned but I know Sphinx Ink has been posting about Jennifer Cruise.

avery said...

Anything with a promo from Voltaire at the beginning has my immediate thumbs up. He's the Vanna White of the alternative set.

That was a great review you were given. Congratulations.

Marcia Colette said...

Hey Kate. I'm hearing some wonderful things about Christopher Moore's books. I've got his latest on my TBR mountain.

Congrats on the review too. Awesome! Guess that means I'll be adding another book to my mountain side. :)

Steve Malley said...

I've got Industrial magic sitting in my holding pen too. Also one about a ghost private eye or some such (I can't see it from here without waking Butler) and John Connolly's The Unquiet.

I'm in the middle of Resurrectionst, the sequel to James McGee's Ratcatcher, and I just finished the last of Neil Stephenson's Quicksilver trilogy and Dean Koontz's The Good Guy.

Next in the batting cage is Lee Child's The Hard Way.

Thought of you when I watched 'Monster', Dylan Moran's standup routine on DVD. Of course, in our house one has only to say 'piss midget' to evoke storms of laughter. 'Head butt you into a fine paste' is also good for the odd giggle!

Kate S said...

Thanks, Charles.

Avery - "the Vanna White of the alternative set" MWAHAHA

Marcia - thanks for stopping by! I'd heard only good things about Moore, too, so decided I should check him out. Glad I did.

Steve - Only cat lovers would understand the importance of not waking a sleeping kitty. Especially after they just got warm and comfy. :)
I was in the bookstore the other day and almost bought the entire collection of Moran's series "Black's Books" but I was nearly broke and decided to wait a bit. :P I can think of a few piss midgets I'd like to head butt into a fine paste... :)

cs harris said...

Congrats on the review! And I love the Mark Twain quote. I'm still on a Martin Cruz Smith binge. Unfortunately, I've only two left. I haven't enjoyed discovering a writer this much in decades.

Kate S said...

Thanks, Candice. I'll have to check out Smith's books. I haven't read them before, though I've heard of a couple of them.