Today is the official release date for these books by my clients:
A Year on Ladybug Farm by Donna Ball
Tired of always dreaming and never doing, Cici, Lindsay, and Bridget make a life-altering decision. Uprooting themselves from their comfortable lives in the suburbs, the three friends buy a run-down mansion, nestled in the picturesque Shenandoah Valley. They christen their new home “Ladybug Farm,” hoping that the name will bring them luck. As the friends take on a home improvement challenge of epic proportions, they encounter disaster after disaster, from renegade sheep and garden thieves to a seemingly ghostly inhabitant. Over the course of a year, overwhelming obstacles make the three women question their decision, but they ultimately learn that sometimes the best things can happen when everything goes wrong…
Anne Bishop’s new novel The Shadow Queen (and also the paperback release of last year’s Tangled Webs)
Theran Grayhaven, the darkest jeweled warlord prince in the kingdom of Dena Nehele, makes a final desperate bid to restore the kingdom to its former glory by traveling to the Shadow Realm to find a queen. Cassidy, a queen without a kingdom, knows that she isn’t beautiful and believes that she isn’t strong — and she’s not sure that she can convince the bitter, angry men of Dena Nehele to serve as they must. However, there is something about Cassidy that makes Theron’s damaged cousin, Gray, want to serve and makes him believe that he can be a man, not just a shattered shell of the boy who was tortured by the cruel and tainted queens who destroyed Dena Nehele. In this stand-alone novel set in the evocative Black Jewels world, Bishop tackles surviving various horrors head-on. The three main characters are all survivors and have to come to terms with their pasts before they can live the rest of their lives. It’s a difficult subject, but one that Bishop writes about sensitively, with compassion and without blinking or pulling punches. —Romantic Times, 4 1/2 Stars
The paperback release of Jim Butcher’s Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10)
Intricate yet accessible plotting and near-Arctic winter weather mark the 10th Harry Dresden adventure from bestseller Butcher (after 2007’s White Night). A friendly snowball fight opens the Chicago-based wizard-detective’s latest tale, but it’s not long before a host of more dangerous foes are out for Harry’s blood. A missing human mobster is said to be seeking greater influence among Chicago’s extranormal population, but the true threat proves both more subtle and of much greater consequence. Butcher smoothly manages a sizable cast of allies and adversaries, doles out needed backstory with crisp efficiency and sustains just the right balance of hair’s-breadth tension and comic relief. Encounters with a series of increasingly dangerous Billy Goats Gruff unfold with particular cleverness, and key developments involving Sgt. Karrin Murphy, Harry’s reluctant police liaison, will intrigue seasoned fans. —Publishers Weekly
Escapement by Jay Lake, now in paperback
This lively and thought-provoking sequel to 2007’s Mainspring expands Lake’s alternate 19th-century world of baroque politics and gothic clockwork. Paolina Barthes is a teenage scientific prodigy born in a small Portuguese fishing village at the base of the massive equatorial gear-wall. Determined to learn from English engineering “wizards” and understand the work of the great gears and wheels that move the universe, Paolina creates a homebrew chronometer, or “gleam,” and sets off toward London. When she discovers the gleam has astonishing magical properties that only she can evoke, she becomes a target of various political and philosophical factions. Her efforts to figure out what the gleam can do while evading capture and persevering on her quest recall Lyra and the alethiometer from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, but Paolina’s sharp engineer’s mind puts a very different spin on her journey. Lake effectively anneals steampunk with geo-mechanical magic in an allegorical matrix of empire building and Victorian natural science. —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Oooo, very nice.
I’m definitely going to have to go pick up Escapement, and The Shadow Queen sounds interesting as well.
A Year on Ladybug Farm is decidedly not very genre-y. How’d that sneak in? 😉
The Shadow Queen looks like something I’d love. The others less so, but I wish all the authors the best of luck!
Lady Bug Farm sounds interesting.
Just finished Shadow Queen. The formatting was a little tragic on my Kindle, but the book was so enjoyable I forgot about the one inch spaces between every single paragraph. I suppose that’s a fairly good sign. LOL
Ladybug Farm sounds great! I’m excited to read it.