excerpt and a readers guide over on Gather.com. Meanwhile I'm working on more posts and interviews, coming soon. And, of course, I'm reading. So here, to accompany your morning or afternoon cup of coffee (isn't it morning coffee and afternoon tea?) are some more book reviews and coffee recommendations. The blue links will take you to longer reviews. The coffee ratings will take you to appropriately styled cups of coffee:
Starting with two teen adventures, these American young adult heroines discover magical skills and love in strange new worlds. Memoirs of a Gothic Soul, by Rebekah Armusik, is the start of a 13-book marathon, but it tells a complete enough story on its own. Darkly Goth Nadija escapes the misery of everyday life and her friend's drug addiction by taking study leave in Prague to investigate her favorite subject, vampires. What she finds tell her as much about her own heritage as well as revealing powers skills and mythology. Like many novels in the genre, it's a long slow read with lots of description and plenty of angst, but the mix of Catholicism and fallen angels is definitely intriguing. Enjoy with several long cups of 5-star dark intense coffee.
Next is Desiree Finkbeiner's Morning Star (Ethos), introducing readers to the mysteries of a parallel word called Ethos where magical technology and glorious creatures coexists, all intertwined with earth mythology. Another young adult heroine is bowled over by love while discovering her powers in a well-imagined and well-described alien world. Enjoy with a 4-star complex coffee and watch out for the fourth dimension.
Bag of Blood, by J. O. Osbourne heads back into a world of vampires, but sets them firmly and openly in the modern American school system. An intriguing and thought-provoking teen romantic suspense, this one's ideal for Halloween and lingers in the mind when the story's done. Enjoy with a well-balanced full-flavored 3-star coffee.
And now for my final book, set firmly in the real world: Play Him Again by Jeffrey Stone blends Chicago's gangsters with Hollywood's talking pictures in the 1920s. Fascinating details form the background to fascinating characters making this a really absorbing mystery as long as you share the author's interests. Pour yourself a 3-star well-balanced coffee and enjoy an excellent balance of fact and fiction.