Tour’s Books Blog

December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays

Filed under: Uncategorized — toursbooks @ 3:46 pm




Merry Christmas!


…….. or whatever holiday you might celebrate.   Eat, drink, and don’t drink and drive.  May you not receive any scary ‘It was just so cute!’ sweaters, may the turkey be moist,  may you enjoy your time with friends and family, and may the family fights be something you can laugh about in the future.  Be happy and be safe!

Tourmaline Groundhog

December 18, 2010

Book Reviews: New Releases in Paranormal and Romantic Suspense

As we all rush around getting ready for the holidays, be they huge celebrations or small quiet ones, we usually have less time to read, and even less time to write.  At least that’s true for me.  So I’m knocking out a few reviews before I get completely bogged down in an orgy of food, football, and family.

  • Title: Hungry for You
  • Author:  Lynsay Sands
  • Type:  Paranormal Romance
  • Genre:  Busy business owner gets attracted to her new business manager
  • Sub-genre:  Jayne Ann Krentz with fangs
  • My Grade: D+ to C- (2.5*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full novel 90,000 words for $7.99
  • Where Available:  Available online or at most book stores
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore (more…)

December 16, 2010

Paranormal – First in Series and Catching Up with Old and New

The first book in a series often determines how popular the whole group will be with the public and will most likely determine if I’ll buy book two.  A few series make a decent enough start, nothing special and take a bit of time to get established.  Then there are the special, like Lord of the Rings or the Rift War Saga,  which gather steam with each book.  Far too many just bog down in a morass of trite, overused plot elements like an endless replay loop that becomes more annoying than interesting or fun, or wander down bizarre side roads till the various plot  threads become lost in diversions. Whether it’s the Dragon Riders of Pern, the Vorkosigan Saga, or Sookie Stackhouse, series exist to get and keep readers over multiple books.

Most paranormal books these days have more in common with either mystery series, using a few core characters that are the center of each story, or sprawling romance series, where each book is about different pair of characters with certain recurring characters throughout, than they do with Lord of the Rings.  The first category would include books like the Simon Canderous series by Anton Strout or the Elemental Assassin books by Jennifer Estep which are more like Robert B Parker’s SPencer or Carolyn Hart Deadth on Demand series.  The second is Kerrelyn Sparks Love at Stake series or The Others by Christine Warren which has much in common with Elizabeth Lowell’s Donovan series or Tara Janzen’s Steele Street series.

For this look, I’m ignoring that second group and fixating on the paranormal heroines, mostly of kick-ass variety, in the first group.   Unlike most mystery series,  paranormals generally have an evolving plot, so books need to be read more or less in order to make sense of the ongoing story lines.  A few can be read out of order, for example, I read Kitty’s House of Horrors with no confusion and I’m only now getting to the earlier books.

There are so many series out there in the kick-ass-heroine genre, it’s impossible to read them all.  It’s hard just keeping up with the ones I like the most and leaving time for new series.   My top series of 2009/2010?

Chicagoland Vanpires – Chloe O’Neill (3 books)

Elemental Assassin  – Jennifer Estep (3 books)

Persephone Alcmedi – Linda Robertson (3 books)

Kara Gillian – Diana Rowland (3 books)

Alex Kraft – Kalayna Price (Only first book so far)

I also have lots of paranormal with male leads that I really enjoy, but today is Ladies Day – ladies who kick butt, take names, and often save the world.  The problem is with series started years back – it’s tough to impossible to catch up with them.  One of those is the Jaz Parks books by the late Jennifer Rardin.  Another is the Ester Diamond series by Lynn Resnick, Merdith Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton, and a whole bunch of others.

I waited to collect the Jaz Parks series mostly through book swapping, a few deeply discounted remainders, and finally buying the last 2 books in the series.  It took a long time to lay my hands on Disappearing Nightly, the first Esther Diamond book.  Out of print and used copies priced insanely high, I waited very patiently for one to become available on my book swapping site.  Kitty Noville I’ve been getting new and through book swapping even as I read the latest installment.  If you follow the blog, you’ll see a fair number of ‘first in series’ new releases and very few Book 10 in the series, unless it’s mysteries.  That’s why so many are new series and in many cases, new authors.  I stopped reading Sookie Stackhouse years ago and several others I gave up on, but this emergence of new crop of authors and new series has me back and enjoying paranormal and fantasy more than ever.

So here are four very different styles of paranormal heroines and my take on the books, starting with two ‘oldies’ and moving to 2 new series.

  • Title: Disappearing Nightly
  • Author:  Laura Resnick
  • Type:  Paranormal – UF; Esther Diamond Book #1
  • Genre:  A aspiring actress in NYC encounters magic, evil and a sexy cop
  • Sub-genre:  Reluctant heroine is drawn in a mystery surrounding disappearing assistants in magic acts when she’s up next
  • My Grade: B- (3.8*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full novel 90,000 words – out of print but likely to be re-released
  • Where Available:  Used online at Amazon, Alibris, etc
  • FTC Disclosure:  acquired book from book swapping site (more…)

December 1, 2010

Book Review: Worth Dying For by Lee Child

Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books blow hot and cold, but the last couple have been decent reads and this one delivers a well paced story that follows the typical formula for a Reacher story.  In most of his recent books, Reacher is the loner who lives by his own brand of right and wrong who ends up pitted against a local very bad guy – or guys in this case.  A single act of charity has far reaching effects because the bad guys are just too stupid leave the man alone.

  • Title: Worth Dying For
  • Author:  Lee Child
  • Type:  Action thriller
  • Genre:  Mid-west white slavers and local bad guys try to intimidate Reacher
  • Sub-genre:  Loner extracts his own justice
  • My Grade: C+ to B- (3.5*)
  • Rating:  PG-13 to NC-17 for violence
  • Length and price:  Full novel 90,000 words for $28.00 with 40-60% discounts available
  • Where Available:  book available at any bookstore
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased from online bookstore (more…)

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