Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!
I just finished reading Sarah Kuhn’s Haunted Heroine and Hollywood Heroine, both powerful installments in the adventures of superheroines Evie Tanaka and Annie Chang. In between battling demons, ghosts, vampires, and the Otherworld, the ladies confront their pasts in a frank appraisal of how dismissive and discriminatory encounters led to them becoming the people they are with all their attendant challenges. Brilliant way to spend the weekend!
Now I’m going to go back and read the earlier Heroine stories. This has been my pattern all year. Like a lot of people, I came out of the pandemic exhausted and haven’t worked up to jumping into embracing new series yet. Which is fine because there’s some good stuff to be had with the old.
One of my favorite stories is Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Meyer. It’s about Agnes who’s trying to throw a wedding without braining anyone else with her frying pan and Shane who’s there for a hit but hopefully not by the frying pan. Hysterically funny! And now Bob Meyer’s written Shane and the Hitwoman. In this follow-up, Shane is throwing the wedding and wishing for the simpler days of the frying pan as he weights the pros and cons of the ultimate solution to diplomatic intrigue. This one takes the definition of cutlery to a whole new level!
I took advantage of a free offer and read Meat Cute by Gail Carriger, the prequel to the Parasol Protectorate series, where Alexia Tarabotti attends what appears to be a very dull London party, until the new werewolf Alpha turns up to yell at her and sit on a hedgehog. Then I moved on to the sequel to that series, the Custard Protocol series or the story of Alexandra’s daughter, Prudence. One free turned out to be quiet lot of entertainment – new and old!
Free offers are great even if you don’t end up adopting the series, but two really stood out:
Manners and Monsters, the first of a series by the same name, starts off like a period romance but quickly segues into a monster mystery series worth of Mary Shelley’s Frankensteind. Tilly Wallace keeps an authentice period flavor even as she explores zombies, evil curses, and black dog guardians of the underworld.
Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens introduced Mystic Mayhem (Mystic Isle Mysteries) about a supernatural themed resort set in New Orleans. This cozy mystery series is rich with the flavor of the Big Easy and Cajun culture, complete from hoodoos to étouffée.
Probably the most noteworthy revisit of existing books is what Robyn Peterman did with her Magic and Mayhem series. This is actually a series I never got into, but Robyn She invited a slew of authors to set a short installment of their series in her universe and published the resultant wish-mash of fun! I’ve revisited:
So if someone asks you what you want for Christmas this year, take a good look at what you already have. Your next great read could already be on your bookshelves!