eruthros: Delenn building the crystal machine in season 1  of B5, captioned "foreshadowing" (B5 - Delenn incredible foreshadowing)
[personal profile] eruthros
For rules of the game, take a look at part one. The basics are: claim as much or as little as you want. There are duplicates of some of these, so go ahead and ask even if someone else already has. Postage is free, too, but if you want to send us cookies we won't say no.

All of the books in this post are signed by the authors.

The Erotic Writer's Market Guide. The Circlet Press Collective. June 2006. So, a market guide plus the usual suggestions for writers -- the first half is all "writing about things you've never done" and "the basics of submission" and all that sort of thing, which most of y'all have probably seen before. The second half is the market guide: lists of book, magazine, and periodical publishers including some discussion of payment, contract, and submission guidelines.

The Dream Thief. Helen Rosburg. Medallion Press, which means historical fiction/romance novel. In this case, the historical context is the 1500s in Venice, and the plot concept is a killer of "young, beautiful women" who "seduces them... to death." (... no, really. That's from the back cover copy.) Paranormal romance, with stags and witches and dream thieves stealing souls and nutso fiances and the "magic of love." And, unfortunately, the word "loins," which always makes me giggle.

The Scroll of Seduction. Gioconda Belli, trans. Lisa Dillman. September 2006. I haven't read it, but this is what I know: first, that the basic plot concept involves a forty-year-old professor telling the story of Juana La Loca to Lucia, a seventeen-year-old Catholic boarding school student and, in the telling, attempting to solve the mysteries of Juana and getting caught up in her story as sort-of participants. "Manuel said he would tell me the story of the Spanish queen, Juana of Castile, and her mad love for her husband, Philippe the Handsome, but only if I agreed to certain conditions. ... Manuel's voice rose densely within me, like a surging tide on which gloated faces, furnishings, curtains, the adornments and rituals from forgotten times. 'What conditions?' I asked. 'I want you to imagine the scenes I describe for you in your mind's eye, to see them and see yourself in them, to feel like Juana for a few hours.'" That's the opening bit (except for the introducing-the-main-characters-sentences, which I skipped).

Sharp Objects. Gillian Flynn. October 2006. Thriller featuring Camille, a reporter whose first assignment has her returning to her hometown where, naturally, some sort of childhood tragedy occurred that still moves her as an adult. And, equally naturally, she must reconcile her past with the current murders. Of course there's a psychological puzzle, a bunch of clues, twists, turns -- your basic thriller material. Except this one has a kick-ass creepy ending, which it builds towards very effectively. (It has, btw, a strong blurb from Stephen King, if you go on for that sort of thing: “To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven’t read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris’s All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago, give or take. Sharp Objects isn’t one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. I found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave. An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights.”)

Provincetown Follies, Bangkok Blues. Randall Peffer. May 2006. This is the one that was billed as, "Drag queens. Murder. Provincetown, Massachusetts. Vietnam. Thailand." Still amusing, sorry. Tuki, born Dung, dances in a P'town club as a woman; she's accused of murder and arson and is in danger of being sent back to Thailand. Michael Decastro is her vaguely uncomfortable around gay people court-appointed attorney. I remain irritated by the way people kept calling Tuki a transvestite, even though she thought of herself as a "she," but I'll give it a pass because it's all done in dialogue and it's fairly clear that the author knows the difference. I find the flashback's to Tuki's youth boring, but YMMV. In any case, it's a decent mystery.

Knitting Rules. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. March 2006. Amusing book of knitting tips, tricks, anecdotes, and neat sidebars. Things like "it is important to select programming to suit your knitting. Assess your project, then choose the appropriate show" -- followed by statements like "Action: this requires actually seeing some of the show in order to follow the plot. Projects that allow you to look away without losing count ... are the ticket here." Some very helpful bits (how to calculate the decreases to knit a perfectly circular piece!) and some less-helpful bits, but then, isn't that always the way with craft books?

Murder Across the Map. Cindy Daniel, ed. October 2005. Twelve short murder mysteries, set mostly in the U.S., but still all over the place: Grand Central Station, the Thurber Peanut Festival, ancient Babylon, a Lingerie Festival in Germany, and so on. The typesetting is sadly rather poor, but while I grind my teeth at bad paragraph breaks and outsized type, I know most people don't notice them in the same way.

Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars: The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas. (This copy still uses "Walendas" throughout rather than Zalindas.) Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin. September 2006. Sherlock Holmes from the POV of the Baker Street Irregulars; it's not a retelling of a Doyle story, but that's still the concept. I have trouble guesstimating target ages for YA and children's books, but I'd put this as just pre-YA, or late elementary school, in terms of the language used. Clunky prose again. Lots of running around and figuring things out and making friends with gypsy children, though.

The Pale Blue Eye. Louis Bayard. June 2006. Cadet Edgar Allen Poe + West Point + body with stolen heart + a police detective with a secret = whee. Okay, yes, it's another historical mystery/thriller featuring a real person. But Louis Bayard does a great job with it, in part because he can actually write -- I mean, I can ignore awkward phrasing for really rip-roaring plot, but I'd rather not have to. The narrator is the ex-police detective, Gus Landor; Poe is seconded to him as a "spy" to help investigate the murder. This frees up the style rather a bit -- and leads to these hysterical "reports" Poe writes to Landor. Some of them in sonnet form. And it means that we don't "explore Poe's motivations" or any of that sort of crap. And Poe writes the love letters of his roommate! Because "'Oh, he's half literate at best. Wouldn't know an indirect object if it crawled up his nose. What he does have, Mr. Landor, is a neat hand. I merely hash out some billets-doux, and he transcribes them.' 'And she thinks they're his?' 'I'm always careful to throw in the--the awkward phrase--the rustic misspelling. I consider it an adventure in style.'" Also? Billets-doux -- I don't know if credit is due to Bayard or to his copy editor, but it still makes me happy. Honestly, though, I just enjoy the whole thing: "'May I ask you something, Mr. Poe? ... Is it true you're a murderer?' His face erupted then into the gaudiest smile I think I have ever seen. Imagine, Reader, a chorus line of lovely jewel-teeth, all dancing in their sockets. 'You'll have to be much more precise than that, Mr. Landor.'" Whee!

The Sea of Monsters. Rick Riordan. April 2006. YA. Haven't read it, but here's what I know: it's a sort of Olympian pastiche set in the more-or-less now; all the magical characters hide their powers except at "Camp Half-Blood." The main character, Percy Jackson, is Poseidon's son, and thus a demigod going to prep school in New York. (Also, if you didn't twig, he's actually Perseus.) Looks to be okay. The science teacher at school is Mrs. Tesla, which amuses me.

Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics. Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (of the Daily Kos). March 2006. Haven't read it, and you probably know more than I do anyway. Basic theme: "Democrats = ineffective! New way of doing politics -- netroots, grassroots, etc!" But, you know, lots of people say it's quite good, so.

The Floating Island. Elizabeth Haydon. September 2006. YA. Haven't read this one either; here's what I know: Ven is in a family of famous shipwrights, but he really wants to go exploring instead, and eventually he gets his chance on one of his family's ships. Pirate attacks, magic water that everyone wants, conspiracies. It looks decently written at a quick glance. Part third-person narrative, part diary entries as images, part images from Ven's sketchbook.

And there will be a part four, apparently, with some miscellaneous stuff (manga, Shakespeare quotations, books where an author insisted on signing one to me and one to [ profile] m_shell even if we said "no, we just need the one," that sort of thing).
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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)

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