Friday, February 26, 2010

Book review - R. L. LaFevers' Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus

Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
ARC Provided by Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: April 12th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Preorder

The official patter:
"Being able to detect black magic isn’t all tea and crumpets—and for Theodosia Throckmorton, it can be a decidedly tricky business! When Sticky Will drags Theo to a magic show featuring the Great Awi Bubu, she quickly senses there is more to the magician than he lets on, setting in motion a chain of events she never could have bargained for. Meanwhile, back at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, Henry is home for the spring holidays and makes an accidental discovery of an artifact that alchemists have been hunting for centuries. Soon, every black-cloaked occultist in London is trying to get their hands on it . . ."

With Will's brother in a mesmeric trance by the Great Awi Bubu he eerily repeats Theodosia's false prophecy to the Black Sunners: "The Black Sun shall rise up in a red sky before falling to earth, where a great serpent will swallow it." And as luck would have it, who is an even bigger thorn in her side than usual? The Black Sunners. But don't rule out The Serpents of Chaos... oh my, Theo does have her hands full. But the occultists are the least of her worries, when her parents have shut down the museum for two weeks to prepare for their gala opening to celebrate their recent discoveries from the Tomb of Amenemhab and The Chosen Keepers have oddly distanced themselves from her, forcing her to deal only with Fagenbush, who sadly, still appears to be a good guy. But Theo won't be having any of this imposed rank, she'll do whatever is necessary to deal with Wigmere himself and cut out Fagenbush and use only Will. Of course, her childish ways tend to cause more mayhem and somehow all that was made wrong must be righted. But could Theo herself be even more then she appears?

In the third, and most recent, installment of the Theodoisa series by R. L. LaFevers', we once again are immersed in the wonderful Edwardian England in the grip of Egypt fever. You would think that all those mummies moving around London in the previous installment would have calmed the ardor of the masses, but no. London loves their mummies, and I love this London. While this book is just as action packed as the previous installments, we don't get so many new plots as a resolution to those dangling threads from the previous books. The Black Sunners are creepier than ever, with a not quite right, almost inappropriate feel to them, that is thankfully quenched by Stilton and his redemptive character arc. But, it's the character of Awi Bubu that solidifies this book. At first I was hesitant with his caricaturish name and his almost stereotypical quality, but he was able to overcome this quite readily. In fact he brought with him an integration of two disparate elements. Before Awi, we had the ancient mystic artifacts and then Theo, who can somehow see curses... but now, we have Theo herself being woven into the Egyptian mythology. So much so that I can't wait for the next installment. I feel that there's this overwhelming urgency for these cults and their love of mystical powers to be stopped, while at the same time an inevitability that somehow Theo and the Keepers will fail, resulting in the first world war. I can't wait to see how everything plays out and just wish that Robin could write just a little faster.

Also make sure to enter my giveaway for an ARC of this book, Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus, thanks to Houghton Mifflin!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Review - R. L. LaFever's Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: November 10th, 2008
Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

So what did Theodosia really expect? She single handedly saves England by returning the heart of Egypt and in return her parts let her clean out the catacombs at the museum. In all fairness, they aren't "technically" catacombs, but they're creepy, dank, dusty, full of mummies and worst of all, dark magic Theo can't even begin to speculate on. She did at least get to attend a gala event due to her discovery of the hidden annex in the tomb of Amenemhab, of course she rather embarrassingly pointed out, in front of all and sundry, that the mummy that was the focal point of the evening was actually the missing miscreant from the British Museum, Tetley, last seen in Amenemhab's tomb. But the mundanties of daily life soon resume their pace, cataloging mummies and shabtis, avoiding Grandmother and her plethora of new governesses (where does she find them all), her parents hiring yet another slimy curator, Weems, and just the basic stopping of evil powers rising up out of the museum's artifacts. But all this doesn't really matter once Theo finds an interesting staff and a golden orb which leads to a jackal statue coming to life and all the mummies in London disappearing and mysteriously congregating at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities.

With her father being the center of the police investigation, because there really is no sensible explanation for all the mummies, how can Theo concentrate on learning from the horrid governess of the day (she's a pincher)? She must find out what is going on. She will need the help of her friends, The Chosen Keepers. But do the mummies have a connection to The Serpents of Chaos? And how can corpses that are almost dust help a group hell bent on world chaos? And who are these Black Sunners? Because the one thing Theo doesn't need is even more secret societies getting underfoot. And Will is acting cagey, and there's a mysterious man in death weeds who's shadowing Will. But at the center of this all is the might of the British Empire, a mighty boat... I mean ship, which proudly tells the world that England is great. But with a war looming ever closer... how long will that might last?

Building on the wonderful story of the first book, the second in the Theodosia series brings in even more Egyptian mythology while layering hilarious exploits of several secret societies with the more day to day trials and tribulations of a girl just trying to save England but being belaboured with an interfering Grandmother hell bent on her granddaughter becoming a lady, no matter what the cost or the final tally of governesses hired. While in the beginning we saw a more solitary Theo, she is slowly gathering more allies in the fight against evil. Of course the fight is having increasingly greater stakes. No longer is it just a restless soul trapped in a rope that brings about boils, but the fate of England and the world. And with greater allies come greater enemies. She is starting to get a list of men who would like nothing more then to see her dead. These men almost seem easier to deal with then those who would worship her as the goddess Isis... but nothing can ever go right. But what I find interesting is the expansion and inclusion of Egyptian history and myth. The idea of Gods walking the earth and leaving behind items of great power... scary to think what might happen if these were in the wrong hands... and I can't help feeling that with The Great War about to start, some things might just end up in the hands of Chaos.

I just can't get enough of this series. It brings back the feeling of what it's like to be a kid and read the perfect book and be totally absorbed in that world. To think about it long after you've shut the pages. To dwell on what might happen next and to hope for the next book as soon as possible. There is a magical quality to Theo, much like the feeling of watching Raiders of the Lost Ark when you were young. It's something different, wonderful and being played out right in front of your eyes and you feel like it's written just for you. A glittering world open for your exploration. I hope you pick up this series and get to have that connection that one longs for with a book.

Also make sure to enter my giveaway for an ARC of the 3rd book in the series, Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus, thanks to Houghton Mifflin!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Cat's Claw by Amber Benson
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2010
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Calliope Reaper-Jones is Death's Daughter. She owes a debt to Cerberus, the three headed dog that guards the gate's of hell-a debt that involves a trip to Purgatory, Las Vegas, ancient Egypt, and a discount department store that's more frightening than any supernatural creature she'll ever encounter."

Yeah! I love Amber Benson. She's so nice and sweet and was so wonderful as Tara on Buffy. I also love how she's parlayed her acting into something that really shows how talented and multifaceted she is! From writing and staring in movies, to web series, to books, she can do it all! I've been waiting for the follow up to her first Calliope Reaper-Jones novel, which is finally here! Plus, as she said on her official blog, "Yes, it's that time again. Time for weird old me to get in my car (then hobo hop a train & possibly a plane) and start trekking around the country schilling the latest installment of the Calliope Reaper-Jones series." That's right, she's doing a few book signings, so go check it out, I've met her twice and she's such a sweetie!

The Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego, CA
Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 at 7pm

Murder By The Book, Houston, TX *Where I've already ordered my book from!
Thursday, February 25th, 2010 at 6:30pm

Midtown Comics

Saturday, February 27th, 2010, 3-5pm
signing with the lovely & talented: Anton Strout

Black Magic Sanction, Rachel Morgan Book 8 by Amber Benson
Published by: Eos
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 496 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The eighth bewitching but overly dense Hollows adventure (after 2009's White Witch, Black Curse) updates the travails of Rachel Morgan, delectable magical jack of all trades. Having recently learned that Rachel is a witch-born demon whose children would be demons, a white magic coven is shunning her and accusing her of black magic. They offer her a terrible choice: sterilization or imprisonment in Alcatraz. Trent Kalamack, drug lord and elf in hiding, offers to get the coven off her back, but her double-crossing ex-rat ex-boyfriend, Nick, shows up and lands her in more hot water. As Rachel battles those she thought were on her side, her survival depends on a paranormal cornucopia of elves, demons, vampires, gargoyles, pixies, and even a leprechaun. This thrill ride celebrates the can-do spirit of one of urban fantasy's most charming witches."

New Rachel Morgan book, so fun! Go check it out!

Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2010
Format: Paperback, 416 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
Private investigator Isabel Spellman is back on the case and back on the couch -- in court-ordered therapy after getting a little too close to her previous subject.

As the book opens, Izzy is on hiatus from Spellman Inc. But when her boss, Milo, simultaneously cuts her bartending hours and introduces her to a "friend" looking for a private eye, Izzy reluctantly finds herself with a new client. She assures herself that the case -- a suspicious husband who wants his wife tailed -- will be short and sweet, and will involve nothing more than the most boring of PI rituals: surveillance. But with each passing hour, Izzy finds herself with more questions than hard evidence.

Meanwhile, Spellmania continues. Izzy's brother, David, the family's most upright member, has adopted an uncharacteristically unkempt appearance and attitude toward work, life, and Izzy. And their wayward youngest sister, Rae, a historic academic underachiever, aces the PSATs and subsequently offends her study partner and object of obsession, Detective Henry Stone, to the point of excommunication. The only unsurprising behavior comes from her parents, whose visits to Milo's bar amount to thinly veiled surveillance and artful attempts (read: blackmail) at getting Izzy to return to the Spellman Inc. fold.

As the case of the wayward wife continues to vex her, Izzy's personal life -- and mental health -- seem to be disintegrating. Facing a housing crisis, she can't sleep, she can't remember where she parked her car, and, despite her shrinks' persistence, she can't seem to break through in her appointments. She certainly can't explain why she forgets dates with her lawyer's grandson, or fails to interpret the come-ons issued in an Irish brogue by Milo's new bartender. Nor can she explain exactly how she feels about Detective Henry Stone and his plans to move in with his new Assistant DA girlfriend...

Filled with the signature side-splitting Spellman antics, Revenge of the Spellmans is an ingenious, hilarious, and disarmingly tender installment in the Spellman series."

Could be one of my most favorite series EVER! New book coming out in a few weeks, and if you haven't read it, it's time to do some catch up... unless you're waiting because you've been listening to the word on the street that's saying there's some major Spellman swag coming to this blog very soon... won't confirm or deny... but the street's not often wrong!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Doctor Who Trailer

Friday, February 19, 2010

Book Review - R. L. LaFever's Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: April 9th, 2007
Format: Hardcover, 344 Pages
Challenge: 1st in Series
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

In the Museum of Legends and Antiquities Theodosia is trying to control the forces of chaos that wish to harm others through the curses and hexes contained in the various items on display throughout the museum. She is beset with the forces of darkness and the feeling of beetles scurrying up and down her spine that doesn't seem to affect anyone else there... even her father who was injured by one such nasty curse with a tumble down the stairs. It doesn't help much that she spends every waking (and sleeping) hour within the museum. But with her trusty cat, Isis, by her side, and armed with ancient texts, she does what she can with cobbled together spells and wax, carnelian, linen, and other such supplies. But what is she to do when her galavanting mother comes home with the discovery of a lifetime from the tomb of Amenemhab, the Heart of Egypt, with a curse so strong it could bring down a nation. Not to mention there was a bit of a miscalculation with the purifying of a statue of Bastet and Isis is now more demon than cat, her annoying little brother is due back from boarding school any day, there's a sneaky little pick pocket named Will on the prowl, and Grandmother Throckmorton is insisting Theo gets a new governess.

But when the Heart of Egypt goes missing from a hidden vault within the museum things have never looked worse. It could be the end of Theo's parents' careers. Of course, it really is something far worse! After tailing shadowy men connected with the British Museum through the back alleys of London, Theo saves the life of a could be thief and stumbles upon a secret society run by Lord Wigmere who do what Theo does, but without her inborn curse breaking ability. The Heart of Egypt must be returned to it's final resting place in order to stop biblical plagues falling down on the British Empire... but how is Theo to get to Egypt? How did the Heart of Egypt even get stolen? Does she have a traitor amongst her compatriots at the museum? And can she ever get her cat back? Chaos seems inevitable.

Theodosia Throckmorton is just a sheer delight of precocious brains, without that saccharine touch that can be seen amongst others of her ilk. She's no nonsense and straight to the point. With wonderful detail and wit, R. L. LaFever's brings us this magical and wonderful Edwardian England on the brink of World War I where mysticism and magic from the land of the Pharaohs is just as real a threat as the Germans. From Theodosia's prepping of ingredients to back alley chases, the world that's created just sucks you in and you don't want to leave. I think the best way of describing Theo and her adventures is very much an Amelia Peabody mystery, but much more accessible to younger readers, or in fact all readers, who don't like their prose to be overly stylized. Of course, I'm a sucker for all things Egyptian, so when I first saw this book on the shelf it was a must read. I'm glad that I picked it up, because the gorgeous production value of the hardcovers, from turn of the century maps to deckled edges, just touches the surface of how wonderful the book is inside. When I picked up this book, little did I know that I'd find myself a new favorite author and a new favorite heroine. I wish that a girl like Theo was around when I was younger, but I'm glad to have found her at all!

Also make sure to enter my giveaway for an ARC of the 3rd book in the series, Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus, thanks to Houghton Mifflin!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Book Review - Elizabeth Peter's The Mummy Case

The Mummy Case, Amelia Peabody Book 3 by Elizabeth Peters
Published by: Warner Books
Publication Date: 1985
Format: Paperback, 327 Pages
Rating: ★★★
To Buy (different edition than one reviewed)

Amelia is finally off to Egpyt with her son (and of course his cat) in tow. They have been thwarted a few times due to Evelyn, but not this year. Emerson has promised Peabody pyramids, and pyramids she shall have... even if, at the end of the day, they get ones that are barely deserving of the name. Because once again Emerson is at loggerheads with the man who distributes the firman's... so to Mazghunah they must go, while De Morgan assigns himself the firman to the desirous pyramids of Dahshoor, just visible from the Peabody's camp. But before they can even leave Cairo, Amelia is convinced she has stumbled on the illegal antiquities trade and the reason for their being a surge of illegal antiquities on the market. There must be a "Master Criminal!" Abd el Atti, a not very reputable antiquities dealer, is found dead after Amelia offered him help following a hostile exchange she saw him having with a disreputable looking man. Amelia, logically, connects the murderer to the antiquities and no matter what Emerson says, Amelia knows she must root out the villainous thugs who are destroying valuable antiquities and not worrying about who or what they destroy in the process.

But once at Mazghunah they have more immediate concerns. There are missionaries! More hated by Emerson than thieves... missionaries hold a special place in his darkest of hearts. Men who actually believe God told them to try a sway someone away from their own beliefs! And if the concept behind missionaries isn't bad enough, the men doing the converting are the worst sort. The maniacal Reverend Ezekiel Jones and his indentured sister Charity, as well as the overly pretty David Cabot, of the Boston Cabots. They are stirring up trouble, not just with Emerson, but with the locals, who don't take kindly to conversion. With a rebellion brewing in town and a coveted excavation site nearby and a base camp supposedly accursed, it's not surprising that soon thefts start happening, eventually escalating to murder. But with Amelia nearby, she'll soon have everything sorted with her trusty tool belt and her parasol. Who knows... maybe Mazghunah will be better than Dahshoor... even with their "proper" pyramids.

While I enjoyed the continuing adventures of Amelia and her family, this installment didn't hook me as the previous two did. Perhaps it was the less than glamorous site, that the Emerson's themselves bemoan. Or perhaps it was the less than enticing mystery of a ring of antiquity thieves. But I was just not as smitten with this book. I understand that, from the point of an Egyptologist, there can be no worse crime then the wholesale theft of antiquities and the disruption and desecration of the sites. But compared to murder and mummies and curses... it seemed kind of blase and pedestrian. Also I was very hesitant as to the inclusion of Ramses as part of the expedition party. Ramses is an amazingly smart and precocious young boy... almost to precocious. I'm fine with his overabundant intelligence and his uncanny knowledge, it was his lisp that drove me up the wall. The replacement of "d" for "th" was just too cutesy and precious. Plus, as I'm sure Amelia would agree, it was a total affectation, and that's what made it all the more infuriating. But I'm very glad that Ramses did not get kidnapped and held for ransom. It was almost refreshing to not have the "child in peril" story, which looks like it could be the crux of the next book according to the dust jacket, sigh. Well, onto the next. I'm vastly enjoying these books as quick reads and as little havens of Egyptian warmth in the cold winter months, but I am also curious and apprehensive as to how Elizabeth Peters can sustain this series over the course of the vast number of books already in it. Only time will tell...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winner Announced!

Thank you to everyone who entered my author sponsored giveaway of Michael Palmer's newest book, The Last Surgeon. I hope that even if you didn't win you'll go out and pick up this great read and pay Michael Palmer a visit over on his site to celebrate the release of his newest book. I also hope that you won't be too downhearted if you didn't win, because I have one giveaway still going, for R. L. LaFever's Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus. Also, might I hint... March... oh yeah, there is going to be some major giveaway action next month, biggest yet... especially as a creep ever closer to 200 followers... I think there might be an extra something, something. Well enough about what's to come, what is? Well... the winner is... Alexa! Please check your inbox for an email, and good luck to everyone in the future!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 16th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Michael Palmer’s latest novel pits a flawed doctor against a ruthless psychopath, who has made murder his art form. Dr. Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder—spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless and disenfranchised in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his war buddy Umberto Vasquez, who was plucked from the streets by the military four years ago for a secret mission and has not been seen since. Psych nurse Gillian Coates wants to find her sister’s killer. She does not believe that Belle Coates, an ICU nurse, took her own life, even though every bit of evidence indicates that she did—every bit save one. Belle has left Gillian a subtle clue that connects her with Nick Garrity. Together, Nick and Gillian determine that one-by-one, each of those in the operating room for a fatally botched case is dying. Their discoveries pit them against genius Franz Koller--the highly-paid master of the “non-kill”—the art of murder that does not look like murder. As Doctor and nurse move closer to finding the terrifying secret behind these killings, Koller has been given a new directive: his mission will not be complete until Gillian Coates and Garrity, the last surgeon, are dead."

What's that you say? You haven't heard of my giveaway to win this lovely new book? It will be signed! Go enter already! What are you waiting for? The giveaway ends tonight!

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell
Published by: Knopf
Publication Date: February 16th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, writing at the height of his powers, now gives us an electrifying stand-alone global thriller.

January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene.

Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andréns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrén family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the nineteenth-century diary of an Andrén ancestor—a gang master on the American transcontinental railway—that describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjövallen murders, but Birgitta is determined to uncover what she now suspects is a more complicated truth.

The investigation leads to the highest echelons of power in present-day Beijing, and to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But the narrative also takes us back 150 years into the depths of the slave trade between China and the United States—a history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjövallen murders."

Ever since Kenneth Branagh brought the brooding Wallander to the English speaking world, people can't get enough of Henning Mankell. Lucky for us that Kenneth loves to brood, almost as much as he loves to pose and preen, and we love a wicked murder. Plus, Swedish writers... very "in" right now, you have all heard of Stieg Larsson right? Go check out what people are talking about! I know I will.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Great Linger Giveaway!

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic
Publication Date: July 20th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 368 Pages
To Preorder

The official patter:
"In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget."

Ok, so you probably notice that this book isn't coming out till midsummer... but you want it now you say? Well... Maggie Stiefvater is running a little giveaway over on her blog! But not just her book is up! How about Sisters Red!?! That's easily as exciting! So, enough from me, I'm sure you have been inundated with information from every blog in the sphere jumping for joy over this heartfelt Valentine from a great author. Just remember, the contest is only open till next Sunday!

Happy Valentine's Day

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose Worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom:
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cover Correction

So apparently, the repurposing of an image we fans of Lauren Willig know and love was not exactly intentional. So new cover! Or new, new cover... either way, I'm loving the new cover. While I was all happy to see the cover for the upcoming Christmas book I was a tad disappointed that it seemed to lack a little originality and also seemed to rely on Photoshop trickery to get it took work thematically. As Lauren said on her website: "Never say you don’t have an impact. After all the discussion here and on Facebook about the similarities between the covers of The Mischief of the Mistletoe and The Masque of the Black Tulip, the Dutton art department raced back to the drawing board and whipped up a whole new cover. (Apparently, the duplication was not actually intentional.)" So whew... they fixed it, and they have outdone themselves. Christmasy, mistletoey, and a muff. Cause nothing says winter weather and holiday cheer like a muff. Now I really can't wait!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Book Review - Elizabeth Peters' The Curse of the Pharaohs

The Curse of the Pharaohs, Amelia Peabody Book 2 by Elizabeth Peters
Published by: Mysterious Press
Publication Date: 1981
Format: Paperback, 285 Pages
Rating: ★★★★★
To Buy

Five years have passed since Emerson and Amelia were wed. Five years away from Egypt living dutifully in Kent raising their son Ramses. Five years amid the damp and the cold and the rain. It's not that they don't love their son's just that he can't really make up for the Egyptian sunrise or the thrill of a freshly unearthed mummy. For weeks the tabloids have been filled with the story of Lord Baskerville who died mysteriously while unearthing a new tomb in the Valley of the Kings, leaving an attractive widow, a second in command mysteriously scarpered and rumors of a curse. A story that Emerson and Amelia have eagerly read to vicariously live the life they've left behind. When one night, who should mysteriously appear on their doorstep but the bereaved widow herself, ostentatious weeds and all. She pleads with Emerson to return to Egypt and take up the tomb's Amelia points out, Ramses would be fine with Walter and Evelyn...for the winter...So off the two of them head to Egypt, parasol firmly in Amelia's hand. Upon their arrival there is the usual rigmarole with hiring the natives, working through governmental red tape and blasting away the rumors of a curse. But they didn't expect the press or such a cast of characters worthy of Agatha Christie herself.

In the villa overlooking Luxor and the Valley of the Kings an odd assortment of humanity has gathered. From the dregs of the previous expedition, Karl von Bork, a German archeologist, and the ailing Milverton, the photographer. Cyrus Vandergelt, an American millionaire and Egyptian enthusiast who covets the Baskerville Tomb and Lady Baskerville, who is also present. The fetching artist Mary with her delusional and often costumed and bewigged mother, Madame Berengeria. Not to mention various other servants from the superstitious to the oblivious. And a mysterious woman in white who wanders the plane. All caught in the keen eye and sharp pen of the journalist, Mr. O'Connell. But one person is conspicuously absent... Armadale... Lord Baskerville's second in command is still missing...which of course leads Amelia to assume, that despite evidence to the contrary, this man must have murdered his boss and took to the hills. But despite all the intrusions, from unwelcome houseguests to nosey reporters, the work must go on! And so it does till the first attack...and then the first murder...a servant who, the night before, claimed he saw the ghost of Armadale. The Emerson's think little of this, except in idle speculation, till even more attacks occur combined with more sightings of the woman in white. But what are a few murders and misdemeanors when a tomb has to be excavated before the looters get to it? Racing against the clock Amelia and Emerson have to sort out this mess and hopefully unearth a killer as well as a pristine mummy, preferably royalty.

I was uncertain if I'd like the second book in the series, because how many books can you successfully base around a curse and a tomb? Well...given how many books are in this series, the answer is several, but that doesn't mean they're all gems. Like mummies, you find the servants as well as the kings. But this book is definitively up there with the mighty pharaohs! I just devoured this book. It was very much in the vein of an Agatha Christie country house murder, only the house happened to be located in Egypt. Slowly secrets revealed until Poirot...I mean Emerson...gathered them in the drawing room to flush out a killer. There is also all the requisite Egyptological fun, but I find the cast of characters to be the true driving force of this mystery. A greater set of misfits there have never been. From the young men all pining after the put upon Mary, who has a few secrets herself. To the outspoken American, to the widow who had some sort of past with Emerson but is already on the prowl for her next mate. To the erstwhile Jimmy Olsen-esque reporter, who thought the idea of a curse would sell papers, and now he can't control the beast he's created. But my favorite character is Madame Berengeria. She believes in a past life she was Emerson's lover and that they should try to remember their past together, all while she dresses up as some Egyptian Queen. She is so fully realized and jumps off the page, you almost wish there was more of her...but that would almost be an impossibility!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Book Covers

Today must be the day for bookcovers! Two, count 'em, two! Books that I can't wait for had their covers revealed today. I'm sure by now you've all seen the new Suzanne Collins cover, seeing as everyone who's anyone is posting it. It makes the wait till August 24th a little harder, but at the same time the book is that much more real, plus how awesome is the title? We also got the new Lauren Willig cover for her Christmas themed book, The Mischief of the Mistletoe. The lovely lady look a little familiar to you too? Could that be here on the paperback of The Masque of the Black Tulip? Who knew her hair was that golden? I sure didn't...

Midsomer Murders!

Death and mayhem to continue in the most murderous fictional city in the world. And if you've been following the recent developments of this beloved show, you'll know, all was not right in Midsomer. After John Nettles announced his retirement from the show, which will culminate at the end of the upcoming 13th season, fans went into a frenzy. Who would replace the beloved Barnaby? John Nettles is worshiped by legions of fans, if you've seen the Catherine Tate Daniel Craig sketch, you know what I mean. His departure seemed like the end of an era... and for awhile it seemed like it might be the end of the show. ITV has been putting off announcing his successor for so long now, almost a full year, that fans have nervously been speculating if the show would just get cancelled. Could Midsomer Murders be the newest fatality, going the way of Tony Hill and Wire in the Blood? While the press speculated Philip Glenister or Peter Davison... you could also sense a rising sense of the shows demise. Sure Barry Jackson (Doc Bullard), Jason Hughes (Jones) and Kirsty Dillon (WPC Gail Stephens) had all been confirmed as being signed under contract. But I couldn't see Jones leading the show. In an ideal world, Troy would return, Cully would divorce her dud of a husband from Robin Hood and they'd lead the show into a new golden age... yeah, I know, wishful thinking... doesn't stop be from hoping though!

But ITV has put us out of our misery! Yes, that warrants an exclamation point, because it's good news. The show will go on! They waited until last night's episode, "The Sword of Guillaume" aired. Why you say? Because in it we are introduced to John Barnaby, the cousin of Tom, and the new star of our show. So who is John Barnaby? Well, you've seen him before in Midsomer, while Victoria Hamilton was dispatching people at the local tea room in "Garden of Death." From the show Life of Riley, to The Street, to The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries, he's been around for quite some time, and payed his dues. But Neil Dudgeon is an actor of the same ilk as John Nettles, and I can see why ITV waited for the announcement, because people could instantly see how he'll fit into the shows dynamic by watching tonight's episode.... which I must go watch right now! Of course, if you are one of those who is in mourning after 13 years of Barnaby and almost 30 years of John Nettles on our screens, read this lovely letter to John Nettles from The Guardian, and if John Nettles finds himself with spare time, remember, Elaine Figgis is waiting...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review Redux - Elizabeth Peters' Crocodile on the Sandbank

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
Published by: Grand Central
Publication Date: 1975
Format: Paperback, 262 Pages
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy

Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first in the beloved Amelia Peabody series. Literally for years every author I love and whose opinions I respect, from Charlaine Harris to Lauren Willig to Colleen Gleason to R.L. LaFevers, have said that these books are dear to their hearts. With so much to recommend it, along with the fact I love Egypt you'd think I'd have picked the series up sooner. Well you'd think that, but sometimes when everyone's on the bandwagon, I like to be over to the side, thinking, I'm sure I won't like it, the covers are so tacky, I'm sure everyone is wrong. Well those days of doubt are over. I love Amelia Peabody! While everyone says, it's basically a female Indiana Jones, I find the writing style is more reminiscent of Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone or The Woman in White, so moody and Victorian.

The book starts with our erstwhile heroine, Amelia, inheriting her fathers estate, which turned out to be quite significant. She's a no-nonsense, parasol wielding, intelligent woman of 32, which makes her think of herself as a spinster. She decides to embark on a grand voyage to see all that she and her father read about in books. From Rome to Egypt, she wants to see it all. She hires herself a companion, one who's a little frail because she likes to mother people, only to have her frailty leave Amelia sans companion by the time she's in Rome. She literally stumbles upon Evelyn, a once wealthy and beautiful girl brought to the verge of suicide by running away with an Italian drawing instructor. Well Amelia doesn't give a fig about the "ruined" label and takes Evelyn on as her companion as they travel to Egypt.

Once in Egypt they encounter the Emerson brothers. The sweet Walter and the gruff yet suspiciously Darcy-esque Radcliffe who are planning on excavating at Amarna on the banks of the Nile. Evelyn and Walter fall instantly and madly in love, though Evelyn vows to never burden Walter by marrying him, due to her despoiling. Before Amelia and Evelyn leave Cairo, Evelyn's cousin, Lucas, arrives to tell her of their Grandfather's death due to the shock of Evelyn leaving. Lucas declares that though he inherited the family fortune because of Evelyn's fall from grace, he would love her to become his wife and share the fortune that should have rightfully been hers. She rejects him but he vows to follow them down the Nile and convince her.

Amelia and Evelyn's journey down the Nile is brought to an abrupt halt when they reach Amarna. Walter meets them and tells them Emerson is deathly sick. Amelia, medical kit in hand saves his life and then saves his archeological discoveries. While Emerson convalesces Amelia is having the time of her life playing at archeologist and Evelyn is having the time of her life with Walter. But strange things start to happen when a mummy is discovered. First it disappears, then the hired locals desert the site saying it's cursed. Finally the mummy starts nighttime perambulations. But this spectre couldn't possibly be supernatural? Could it? And what does it want? Are they to abandon the dig site because it is possessive of it? Or does the mummy really want Evelyn? The strange happenings keep on coming, even after the arrival of Lucas. But despite injury and terror everything works out in the end for our protagonists.

While the plot was predictable to a certain extent and I was able to figure out what was happening long before the characters, this was by no means a flaw. The book is written in such an interesting first person narrative that despite being sure I knew what was going on I was still gripped to the edge of my seat. I found that Evelyn maybe fainted one too many times, but the women are by no means weak, especially if Amelia's parasol is nearby! (This has to be where Lady Gwen gets her parasol in Lauren Willig's books.) I also found it very helpful that I had studied Art History because I knew all about the dig at Amarna and the ruler who believed in the one true God, the Sun. Who knew that I could find such enjoyable entertainment from Ancient to Renaissance Art classes? I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Egyptology, even if your interest has only been The Mummy movies so far!

*Reposted to coincide with February's Desert Sands Month

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tuesday Tomorrow

Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
Published by: Harper
Publication Date: February 9th, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 400 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"A mysterious circus terrifies an audience for one extraordinary performance before disappearing into the night, taking one of the spectators along with it . . .

In a novella set two years after the events of American Gods, Shadow pays a visit to an ancient Scottish mansion, and finds himself trapped in a game of murder and monsters . . .

In a Hugo Award-winning short story set in a strangely altered Victorian England, the great detective Sherlock Holmes must solve a most unsettling royal murder . . .

Two teenage boys crash a party and meet the girls of their dreams—and nightmares . . .

In a Locus Award-winning tale, the members of an excusive epicurean club lament that they've eaten everything that can be eaten, with the exception of a legendary, rare, and exceedingly dangerous Egyptian bird . . .

Such marvelous creations and more—including a short story set in the world of The Matrix, and others set in the worlds of gothic fiction and children's fiction—can be found in this extraordinary collection, which showcases Gaiman's storytelling brilliance as well as his terrifyingly entertaining dark sense of humor. By turns delightful, disturbing, and diverting, Fragile Things is a gift of literary enchantment from one of the most unique writers of our time."

Ok, so I already have this in a signed hardcover edition... so I don't really need this edition... but what if I need an everyday copy to preserve the signed copy? But look, Neil's on the cover, how cool is that. Plus amorphous purple blobby thing. I'm sold!

Embrace the Night Eternal by Joss Ware (aka Colleen Gleason)
Published by: Avon
Publication Date: February 9th, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 384 Pages
To Buy

The official patter:
"Everything they knew is gone.

From the raging fires, five men emerge with extraordinary new powers. They must learn how to survive this dark, ravaged world . . . but they cannot do it alone.

Simon Japp will never forget his violent past. But when civilization is all but destroyed, he sees his chance for redemption. Blessed with a strange "gift," he's determined to help the resistance against the Strangers, the mysterious force that stalks them at every turn. He can't afford to get distracted, even by the stunning, soft-spoken woman fighting by his side . . . Sage Corrigan has learned to be careful where she places her trust. But she sees something good in Simon, even if he can't see it in himself. Posing as lovers to infiltrate a group key to their fight, they find that their staged affection soon develops into a desire that will leave them fighting for their lives in the night eternal . . ."

So, I'm not really a romance girl. But, the thing is, Joss Ware, it's really Colleen Gleason, of the fabulous Gardella the Vampire Chronicles. So I'm willing to give this new series, which started with Beyond the Night, out last month, a shot. Plus, can I just say how relieved I am that Joss Ware is Colleen Gleason, because when she originally did the announcements on her site of her new "writer friend" I was very confused and wondering why this author had a doppelganger. So at least I now know it's her and she doesn't have some weird uber fan who dresses just like her and wants to be her... cause that would be weird... but on the other hand, perhaps a good book?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Could Be The Greatest News Ever

And a sci-fi fangirls dream if it turns out to be true. But I'm not believing this rumor till I hear it direct from Neil Gaiman's mouth... or at least on his blog, oh, you know what I'm trying to say. The man himself must confirm the rumor to make me dance with joy. So to the rumor... This rumor has been swirling around for quite some time, and his been constantly fueled by Neil having had lunch with Steven Moffat or Neil making a comment about if he were to write for this show his episode would not be about that. In other words, Neil has been very good about sidestepping the issue as to if he is or isn't going to write an episode for the 11th Doctor. Whoa... that felt weird typing 11th Doctor, I'm not going to get used to that anytime soon. But yes, he has only ever issued statements to flatly deny things like rubbish titles, "I haven't denied that my Doctor Who episode "Faces in the Dust" will have Ice Warriors in it, because I'm not writing a Doctor Who episode called "Faces in the Dust" (which is a pretty rubbish title, who makes this stuff up?) and I've been having much too much fun not denying anything about Doctor Who, other than admitting to having enjoyed some nice dinners with Mr Moffat, as chronicled on this blog. (If I'd denied it, I would have denied it here, and as you might have noticed, I didn't.) But I'm denying this because it's said in that authoritative way that makes it look as if people know what they're talking about, when it's just people-making-stuff-up-bollocks."

But today an interesting twist. SFX claims that in a special message sent to them for Neil's acceptance speech, that Neil has confirmed he is writing an episode of the 11th Doctor (yep, still weird writing that): "As anyone who’s read my blog knows, I’m a big fan of a certain long-running British SF TV series. One that started watching -- from behind the sofa -- when I was three. And while I know it’s cruel to make you wait for things, in about 14 months from now, which is to say, NOT in the upcoming season but early in the one after that, it’s quite possible that I might have written an episode. And if I had, it would originally have been called “The House of Nothing”. But it definitely isn’t called that any more."

Hmm... could this be true? Or is it just people-making-stuff-up-bollocks? As I've said, due to lots of recent false information swirling, I'm not going to believe this till Neil tells me. After all, that New Yorker interview, not only badly written, but badly fact checked and misquoted. Also the news on the web that The Graveyard Book movie adaptation is DOA, totally false. There is so much out there that's not true about Neil right now I'm not going to get my hopes up till Neil goes: "Yes, I'm doing Doctor Who." Then, dancing will commence. Because what could be better? One of the greatest sci-fi writers writing for one of the greatest sci-fi shows... oh wait, if he had written for David Tennant. That would have made it perfect.

Emma Spotlight: Rupert Evans

Here we go... the man that had Highbury all under his spell!

Name: Rupert Evans

First Impression: North & South as that mutinous Frederick Hale.

Lasting Impression: He hasn't really made one on me yet... he's kind of skating in on the, "significant other" ticket. He's the companion piece to Jane Fairfax... you can't have Jane and not have Frank!

What else you've seen them in: Just your basic British fare... My Family, Shakespeare Re-Told... oh, but he DOES have an Andrew Davies' miniseries under his belt with Fingersmith.

Can't believe it's them: That was him in Hellboy? The one not in makeup that wasn't Selma Blair. Huh. Small world.

Wish they hadn't: Lexx. Could you get tackier than Lexx... nope, the vote is in, you can not. For someone like Craig Charles, it's ok, it's not Red Dwarf but the same sort of genre. For an actor wanting to be taken seriously? Hell no!

Bio: Kind of forgettable... Frank Churchill should be everything Ewan was with Gwenneth and then some!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Emma Spotlight: Laura Pyper

And as for the lady almost compromised and who will eventually marry a psychopath (how else can you really describe Frank Churchill?) I bring to you...

Name: Laura Pyper

First Impression: Hex, as Ella Dee, the girl who saved the show and made it awesome, and then they go and cancel it on us!

Lasting Impression: Hex! Really, this show was atrociously bad and I really wanted to like and once she took over I can honestly say I did!

What else you've seen them in: Bit roles here and there, a cameo on The IT Crowd, a run on Silent Witness, an episode of Demons, a one off on Spooks and finally a bigger role in Emma.

Can't believe it's them: In Emma I did not recognize her! No, honestly, I sat there for the longest time going, I know her... but I couldn't place her. Still can't believe it's her! So funny though that she's costarring with the woman she killed on Hex, aka Christina 'Cassie' Cole.

Wish they hadn't: Demons... the show that everyone involved wishes they could wipe off their permanent records. Sorry folks, with the Internet, bad shows will live forever!

Bio: A surprisingly effective actress who, you'd think on first looking at her, would be meek and not all there. But she's got the Buffy vibe, she could kick some serious ass.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Review - R. L. LaFever's The Basilisk's Lair

The Basilisk's Lair: Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist Book 2 by R. L. LaFevers
Published by: Houghton Mifflin
ARC Provided by a Friend
Publication Date: June 7th, 2010
Format: Hardcover, 150 Pages
Rating: ★★★★
To Preorder

The official patter:
"Nate Fludd, Beastologist, is back in the camel saddle in hot pursuit of a missing, deadly Basilisk—the King of Serpents. As if saving an entire Dhughani village from the Basilisk’s poisonous gaze isn’t difficult enough, Nate and Aunt Phil must begin to piece together the mystery of his parents’ disappearance and protect the lone copy of the Fludd Book of Beasts from a sinister man who always seem to be one step ahead of them. Pack your goggles, rue, and an extra pair of gloves and join Nate on another unbelievable adventure—there’s no rest for the world’s youngest beastologist-in-training!"

Nate can't believe it... they're lost. And it's all his fault. Aunt Phil relied on him to get them back to the plane with the compass she entrusted to him and he goes and gets them lost. But his navigation lessons are cut short by a band of men on the horizon. There is a telegram for Aunt Phil from Bamanko. The Basilisk has escaped! They are on the move again, but Nate feels not just the hesitation steaming from the fact he feels incompetent, but from the fact that the Basilisk, unlike the Phoenix, is very dangerous, or so he and Greasle learned from sneaking a look in the book. After a stop over in Egypt, where Nate attempts to jump ship, or plane, as it were, they are on their way to the Sudan. The villagers, as can be expected, are very afraid of the death and destruction that the Basilisk might bring... not only that, but if the creature gets to the river the water will be poisoned and all could die. Also, could the Basilisk's escape have anything to do with the mysterious red headed stranger who wishes to pilfer the Fludd's family secrets?

The second installment of R. L. LaFever's new Beastologist series picks up literally moments after the first book ended. Being more conventional than the first, I thought it was a wonderful bridge book, but lacked the originality of the previous installment, yet built up even greater expectations for the next. The first book set up Nate's past and the new journey and new friends he would make in this path his life was taking since the disappearance of his parents. He learned of the wonders of his family heritage and of the value of friends and relatives. He also learned of the dangers that his legacy contains and the threat from outsiders, particularity of red headed men. In this book, we don't get any further revelations, we don't learn any more about his mysterious nanny or about who the red haired man might be, but we do get a great adventure. While I'm a fan of the story arc, the greater movements of the pieces to come to the endgame, sometimes I know you need an interlude, a break from this, and that's what this book felt like.

Even though it is, or perhaps because of it being, only the second book, you can't have too much revelation, you can't have all the secrets revealed and the curtain lifted, because otherwise this would be a very short series, and that is something I don't want. Instead we have Nate learning that the Beasts can be not only very beautiful, but also very dangerous. Here we have a Basilisk, something slightly different, but still familiar to readers who loved Harry Potter. It's the immediate threat of the Basilisk that must be attended to, no matter how much I wanted them to be on their way back to England to get to the bottom of the Fludd's disappearance. I think that this book will really appeal to the younger age bracket for which it is written, versus, say, myself. I have my eyes on the end, where a younger reader will have their eyes on the immediate struggle. And while the way the Basilisk is handled is unique and original I still felt that perhaps this beast is a little overplayed... but then again the Phoenix worked... so perhaps it's just the lack of secondary and tertiary plots that made it fall a little flat for me. But you can count me in as a reader for the next installment, I can't wait to see where Nate goes and see how his friendship with Greasle grows. I just can't get enough of that morally ambiguous, oil eating gremlin, who is always there when you need her most.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When Technology Turns Against You

This week technology has had it in for me. From font corruption issues to modem and printer issues. Everything seems out to get me and making each successive thing to go wrong more likely to be first in line for a lovely pyre I'm planning for later. It's really cold after all, so it has a dual purpose... don't say I'm illogical. Anyway, here's just one of my issues. I have a Kindle, I love my Kindle, I hope it feels the same... but we just had our first fight. I love the search book function, so what should happen, but I'm reading a book and the function doesn't work. I think, this is odd, but it being a book I just downloaded, I thought that might be the reason. I checked another book... same problem. Ok, now I'm getting worried and pissed. So what do I do? I go to the manual. The lovely manual that is on my Kindle and that has all the answers. The search function doesn't work there either. So not only does my Kindle have a problem with it's indexing, but the only place where I can look for how to fix this can't be accessed because of the problem! I'm not going to read all the manual, all hundred some pages, when I'm sure the answer might not be in there. Anyway, after much swearing and some crying I turned to the web... dissolve to an hour later. I think I figured out that I just need to use the overall search function to look for indexed books and then index those that aren't indexed, ie, every book except two. So now it's doing it's merry indexing thing... hopefully this will work... hopefully... but amazon, do you think that maybe you could have some better support forums if you manual is on the machine that's malfunctioning. Crossing fingers it will all be well... I'm thinking my iPod will probably die later, that's the type of day I'm having.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Desert Sands Month - To the Valley of the Kings!

Right about now, yes, right now, at precisely this hour and minute every year, winter becomes, not so much fun, as, unbearable. All the really great holidays and presents have passed leaving us with lots of snow and slush without the pretty lights and garlands hung to distract us. Plus, don't forget, vacation is over and school does exist once more. We only have Valentines, and for the single surrounded by smug couples, it's not a holiday worth embracing. So I figured, lets escape! Let's find a nice warm place to read ourselves into and just live there all February and pretend the snow and sleet don't exist on the lovely desert plain. That's right, to Egypt we will go! I have always been fascinated by Egypt. The history stretching out thousands of years before Christ. Plus, what's not to love about a culture that openly worships cats!?! Pyramids, Peabodys, Parasols... what's wrong with that. So for this month, only books that have some, if not most, of their story set in Egypt will be reviewed. I'd also love to hear what your favorite Egyptian getaways are... are you also an Amelia Peabody girl? Or perhaps Theodosia Throckmorton is more your style? So sit back on the Dahabeeyah, grab your parasol and relax... but of course it's not a true vacation without that little remembrance, that special book you picked up to treasure always... found at a mysterious stall, secreted away in a back ally, which you couldn't find again if you tried... which leads me to my giveaway.


The Prize:

An ARC of R. L. LaFever's most recent entry in the Theodosia Throckmorton cannon: Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus, not available till APRIL 12th, 2010! So be the envy of all your Egyptologically inclined friends and enter to win! PLUS a Carnelian Scarab Necklace... you will need some protection if you're venturing into the unknowns of Egyptian Mysticism.

The Rules:
1. Open to Followers, but just because you haven't been following me all along doesn't mean you don't matter, just hit that handy little follow button and you are good to go.
2. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if your name is drawn, either your blogger profile or a link to your website/blog or you could even include your email address with your comment(s).
3. Contest ends February 28th, 2010 at 11:59PM CST
4. How to enter:

Answer me this: Do you believe that mummies are cursed?

5. And for those addicted to getting extra entries:

  • +1 for answering the question above
  • +2 for becoming a follower
  • +5 if you are already a follower
  • +10 for each time you advertise this contest - blog post, sidebar, twitter (please @MzLizard), etc. (but you only get credit for the first post, so tweet all you like, and I thank you for it, but you'll only get the +10 once). Also please leave a link!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


I know the last few hours while I wasn't running a giveaway were hard on you all. Don't worry, here's a pretty book you can win! Michael Palmer, himself, is donating this lovely signed first edition of his new book, The Last Surgeon. I'd love to tell you what a great book it is, seeing as Michael sent me a lovely personalized ARC for myself, and I was so looking forward to reading a great mystery... only I can't... my Mom stole it from me! Yes, she saw the book and that was that as they say. It was pinched, pilfered, purloined... any of those lovely words to disguise the fact my Mom was so desperate for the new Michael Palmer book she stole from her only daughter! I think that right there is a good enough endorsement: I book you're willing to commit a crime to read! I hope you'll enjoy it as I sure hope to in the near future! So enter away, the competition runs from now till the minute before the book's release day, wouldn't want you rushing out into the cold February snow only to find out you won the book later! That would be unconscionable... maybe a little wickedly fun on my part, but, I'm in a giving mood.


The Prize:
A Signed 1st edition of Michael Palmer's The Last Surgeon.

The official patter:
"Michael Palmer’s latest novel pits a flawed doctor against a ruthless psychopath, who has made murder his art form. Dr. Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder—spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless and disenfranchised in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his war buddy Umberto Vasquez, who was plucked from the streets by the military four years ago for a secret mission and has not been seen since.

Psych nurse Gillian Coates wants to find her sister’s killer. She does not believe that Belle Coates, an ICU nurse, took her own life, even though every bit of evidence indicates that she did—every bit save one. Belle has left Gillian a subtle clue that connects her with Nick Garrity.

Together, Nick and Gillian determine that one-by-one, each of those in the operating room for a fatally botched case is dying. Their discoveries pit them against genius Franz Koller--the highly-paid master of the “non-kill”—the art of murder that does not look like murder. As Doctor and nurse move closer to finding the terrifying secret behind these killings, Koller has been given a new directive: his mission will not be complete until Gillian Coates and Garrity, the last surgeon, are dead."

The Rules:
1. Open to EVERYONE, just because you haven't been following me all along doesn't mean you don't matter.
2. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if your name is drawn, either your blogger profile or a link to your website/blog or you could even include your email address with your comment(s).
3. Contest ends February 15th, 2010 at 11:59PM CST
4. How to enter: Just respond to this post.
5. And for those addicted to getting extra entries:

  • +2 for becoming a follower
  • +5 if you are already a follower
  • +10 for each time you advertise this contest - blog post, sidebar, twitter (please @MzLizard), etc. (but you only get credit for the first post, so tweet all you like, and I thank you for it, but you'll only get the +10 once). Also please leave a link!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winner Announced!

Well, I hope all you lovely people won't be seeing shades of red when the winner is announced for Shades of Grey. I hope you'll all join me in wishing the randomly generated individual joy and happiness with their new book. Also... as you well know, there is always a new giveaway right around the corner (that would be tomorrow AND Wednesday, yes, there are two new giveaways on the horizon)! New authors and new places to visit! Books are so wonderful, and with Fforde, you get books within books, for that much more bookishness! So lets go into the world of Jasper Fforde. Thursday Next kind of kicked everyones proverbial asses in the favorite character category. But props have to be given to Jack Spratt and Miss Havisham, with a special plock reserved just for Pickwick, plus, we must not forget the funniest character name ever, Jack Schitt, whose brother is Schitt Haus. Now on to the winner! They might be going to East Carmine and not Swindon, but whichwaydidshego is sure to enjoy the journey! That's right Michelle, you won! I don't think I know a more Ffordian crazy person out there (that's a complement by the way).

Also, I have to say I received a lovely bribe for this competition, resulting in a few extra entries for said person... aren't they adorable! Cure pictures of fluffy kittens are ALWAYS the way to go!

Now this little one, very cute, but I'm sorry, the tuxedo kitty wins for sheer adorableness!

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