Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Joy of Discovery

In heaven, there will be a Books-A-Million (my personal favorite) that never closes, and every book I want is free. Authors are all hanging out in the coffee bar, ready to discuss each and every character to my hearts' content. Sounds a lot like Nationals, yes?

Well, some of my Fed Ex boxes have arrived, and I've made my way through two new (to me) titles so far. Neither is in my usual genre, and I have loved, loved each second of exploring the way they build their world and craft their characters.

"A Reason To Live", written by Maureen McKade, is a historical western set right after the end of the Civil War. Laurel Covey is the amazing heroine, a nurse who keeps a journal of her patients' last requests and then journeys to bring their final words to their families. Creede Forrester is the tormented hero who learns of his son's death from Laurel, and accompanies her to the families she must reach.

What a heartbreaking, compelling, sensual story. I sent off a note to Ms. McKade as soon as I returned home, letting her know her book kept me up one night until I reached the end.

The second book is "Every Which Way But Dead" by Kim Harrison. It's a play on Clint Eastwood, for pity's sake; that's an automatic buy in my house. Anyway, fabulous witch and bounty hunter Rachel Morgan lives with a vampire and a pixy, both her partners in a harsh alternate-reality Cincinnati teaming with crime and action. The world-building in this book is amazing. I would love to see the spread sheets Ms. Harrison must create in order to keep all these details straight. And the best thing of all--it's wickedly funny.

So yes, she gets a note as well.

I have quite a list of automatic buys, but there is real satisfaction in adding to that collection of names.

So what new treasures have you dug up lately? Have you finally read an author that's been turning out best-sellers for years? Or is a debut author rocking your world?

And yes, someone will win a book! Time to share this wealth. ;)


Kelly Krysten said...

I am always the last one to read the authors people say are "AMAZING!". And ya know I really don't know why I fight it,it never fails that when I avoid an author(maybe I just don't want to have to go to the UBS and buy a forty book backlist:)) I'll, inevitably, love them once I read them. Case in point Jo Beverley and Patricia Gaffney. Now that I've read them I've made way more visits to the UBS than is But God, I love their books!
I, btw, had read Kresley Cole's historicals , but was shying away from her paranormals. The minute I read the first line of A Hunger Like No Other I was hooked for the night!
Good topic Gillian! I really have to go find that Civil War book.Sounds like a real tear jerker.

Gillian said...

And see? I don't know about Patricia Gaffney, so there's another name I need to go investigate.... :)

Alice Audrey said...

I tripped over Tara Janzen in the book store a few months ago and have devoured everything from her that I can get my hands on. Which means I'm impatiently waiting for her to write more and very worried about where we will do after the Crazy series.

Christina said...

I hadn't sat down to read a book since January, now I am trying to read two and write. One is Shari Anton, I have never read any of hers before, and the second is Karen Ranney.

Gillian said...

Hi Alice, Christina! Thanks for the heads up, more authors to check out. And word of mouth really means more to me than any formal review.

Thanks for coming by! :)

Alice Audrey said...

I suppose I should warn you that Tara tends to read like a James Bond movie. Only sexier. It might be an acquired taste. I like Jackie Chan movies too.

Gillian said...

Oh, Alice, I cut my teeth on James Bond and Clint Eastwood movies growing up; it's the only thing we watched.

She'll probably be an automatic buy for me ;)