05 May
“Sabella, or The Bloodstone: A Science Fiction Vampire Novel” by Tanith Lee

“Sabella, or The Bloodstone: A Science Fiction Vampire Novel” by Tanith Lee

Sabella is a science fiction vampire novel written by Tanith Lee.  Sabella is your stereotypical vampire: she drinks blood, is sensitive to sunlight, and is beautiful and seductive.  Much like Anne Rice’s vampires, Sabella struggles with regret because she is a predator by nature.  She doesn’t want to kill people, but finds it difficult to stop herself.  And yet, she’s also motivated by survival, and does what she has to in order to get by. Near the beginning of the novel, Sabella travels to her aunt’s funeral, only to receive a cryptic note from her aunt’s will stating that she knows what Sabella is, and that God will judge her.  Sabella is emotionally thrown off by the note, and as she’s trying to work through her thoughts and feelings, she stumbles upon the handsome Sand Vincent, upon whom she feeds.  She tries and tries to get rid of Sand, but he […]

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03 May
“The Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons” by Michael Witwer

“The Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons” by Michael Witwer

Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons is a stylized biography of the man behind the popular roleplaying game known as DND.  (You can blame him when I decline Thursday night happy hours because my hipster cleric is trying to save the princess, rescue townsfolk, and convert all the ogres of Rokugan.) Despite having played Dungeons & Dragons for several years now, my knowledge of Gygax’s life was sorely lacking.  Empire of Imagination tells the story behind the story, and the story behind all of the stories that players create on a daily basis. Ernest Gary Gygax was born to an working class immigrant family in Chicago, but grew up in the idyllic small town of Lake Geneva.  Empire of Imagination begins with Gary’s childhood adventures, inspired by Robert E. Howard and similar authors of pulp fiction, and then progresses to his marriage, early career, and burgeoning […]

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30 Apr
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New Acquisitions: Arlington FOAL Book Sale

My #bookhaul from the Arlington Friends of the Library Book Sale #bookstagram #bookaddict #toomanybooks #booklife A photo posted by Grace Troxel (@gtroxel) on Apr 24, 2016 at 8:20am PDT I went to the Friends of the Arlington (FOAL) book sale a couple weeks ago on opening night, telling myself I wouldn’t buy too many books.  But as I told the nice man in the checkout line, it was really a false promise, because there’s no such thing as too many books.  (There is such a thing as not enough bookshelves, but that’s another story entirely.) My book haul: Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Engdhal Wolfskin by Juliet Marillier Thief With No Shadow by Emily Gee Shadow’s End by Sherri S. Tepper Hild by Nicola Griffith War for the Oaks by Emma Bull A Stranger in Orlondria by Sofia Samatar Moral Heart by Robin LaFevers Rebellion by Karen Sandler Have you […]

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27 Apr
Cover Reveal – “Clown Wars: Blood & Aspic” by Jeremy Drysdale and Joseph D’Lacey

Cover Reveal – “Clown Wars: Blood & Aspic” by Jeremy Drysdale and Joseph D’Lacey

You know that giddy feeling that you get when an author you’ve read is about to release something dark and creepy and totally awesome?  That was me when I found out that Joseph D’Lacey was about to release a new book.  This one’s indie and is co-written by screenwriter Jeremy Drysdale. When I read D’Lacey’s Book of the Crowman, I was impressed by his gritty post-apocalyptic world and the way he used it to warn us what might happen if we don’t protect the environment.  I was drawn in by the characters as they struggled to reconnect with both nature and themselves.  And so I’m very much looking forward to reading D’Lacey’s newest creation, which should be released as an e-book within the next week or two.  Be sure to keep an eye out for it! For as long as anyone can remember, the Clowns and Humans of Blueville have […]

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26 Apr
“The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley

“The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley begins as a woman awakens with amnesia. She is standing in the middle of a ring of dead people wearing rubber gloves, and is extremely confused. Then she finds a note in her pocket that begins to explain what’s going on. The letter is from Myfanwy Thomas, the original occupant of the body that the protagonist finds herself in. Myfanwy-from-the-past explains through a series of letters that she was part of a secret paranormal government agency–think Men in Black meets X-Men. Old Myfanwy knew that someone was going to try to kill her, and that someone new would wake up in her body, and so she prepared for the inevitable.  She offers new Myfanwy a choice–to escape from her pursuers and create a new identity, or to become Myfanwy and take her place in the Checquy.  Myfanwy chooses the latter. Her new life is not an easy one, […]

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24 Apr
Giveaway: “All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders

Giveaway: “All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders

Today I’m offering a giveaway of All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.  All the Birds in the Sky is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy about a pair of childhood friends who meet again in a pre-apocalyptic world.  Here’s the description from Goodreads: Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn’t expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during high school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one’s peers and families. But now they’re both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who’s working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention into the changing global climate. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world’s magically […]

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23 Apr
Dewey’s 24 Hour #Readathon Progress Post

Dewey’s 24 Hour #Readathon Progress Post

Hi everyone! It’s morning, and I’m psyched to be participating in my first #readathon.  I’m getting cozy in my book nook with some orange juice, my books, and a fuzzy blanket. Book #1 on the agenda is “The Doll House” edited by Ellen Datlow.  It’s a super creepy collection of short stories of horror and the macabre, all of which are centered around dolls.  But unlike most doll-related horror, the dolls themselves aren’t evil, but rather the humans around them.  I expect to finish this one pretty quickly, because I’ve already started the book and will be starting close to the end. First book of the #readathon: The Doll Collection edited by Ellen Datlow. #bookstagram A photo posted by Grace Troxel (@gtroxel) on Apr 23, 2016 at 5:12am PDT 9:00 am update – Finished “The Doll Collection.” Next up, “The Empire of Imagination,” a biography of Gary Gygax, who invented […]

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21 Apr
Dewey’s 24 Hour ReadaThon

Dewey’s 24 Hour ReadaThon

I’ve been seeing posts about Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon every since I started, and I’ve been curious (like the oysters).  Earlier this week I was on Twitter and noticed that the next Readathon takes place on April 23.  It’s the first weekend in ages that I don’t have Saturday plans, so I’m going to give it a go! I’m planning on doing the Readathon somewhat casually, because I’m turning into a crotchety old person and become rather cranky if I don’t stick to my regular sleep schedule. But my goal is to spend as much time as possible reading on Saturday, in the hopes that I can finish a couple books.  I’ll be updating this post with my progress as the Readathon progresses. Potential TBR: Sabella by Tanith Lee The Doll Collection edited by Ellen Datlow The Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip

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19 Apr
“Little Red Riding Crop” by Tiffany Reisz

“Little Red Riding Crop” by Tiffany Reisz

Nora Sutherlin is a world-famous dominatrix who works for the dead sexy Kingsley Edge.  She’s been working pretty much non-stop, and is in desperate need of a vacation.  Kingsley promises to give her two weeks off to go to Europe, but first, she has to visit a rival BDSM club called The Black Forest that’s been poaching Kingsley’s best employees.  As she twirls around her little red riding crop for courage, she enters the club and encounters Brad Wolfe (and the Big Brad Wolfe pun is totally intended), who will only let her meet the person in charge of the club if she submits to him for an hour first. Little Red Riding Crop is a short story that’s part of the Original Sinners series, and takes place before the events of Book #1.  It’s meant to be light-hearted and isn’t connected to the main plot.  Brad was cool and […]

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14 Apr
“Masks and Shadows” by Stephanie Burgis

“Masks and Shadows” by Stephanie Burgis

Masks and Shadows is a historical fantasy novel set in Hungary in the 1770s.  The Hapsburgs currently reign, but there is constant court intrigue as scheming courtiers try to shift the balance of power.  The novel opens as Charlotte von Steinbeck, the newly widowed sister of Prince Nikolaus’ mistress, arrives at Eszterhaza.  Charlotte is prim and proper and very repressed, and she doesn’t approve of her sister’s entanglements with the Prince.  But Charlotte soon finds romance of her own as she develops feelings for Carlo Morelli, a castrato singer who has also just arrived at the palace.  Charlotte and Carlo slowly unravel a Freemason plot to assassinate the Emperor and Empress, and must do everything in their power to set things right. While Charlotte and Carlo are at the center of the novel and are ultimately our heroes, there isn’t really one main protagonist, as you would find in most novels. […]

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