Special interview feature with author Barry Eisler + GIVEAWAY (part 3)

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Special interview feature with author Barry Eisler + GIVEAWAY (part 3)

January 11, 2012 – 7:17 am | 9 Comments

 Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the …

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Noa on the Good and the Bad of 2011 and the Bring on 2012!

Submitted by on January 5, 2012 – 9:00 am7 Comments

Like Day, I thought that 2011 was a bit of a Roller-coaster year. Some books were just sublime while others, some of which I had been looking forward to, left me feeling disenchanted and even angry. So much so that I just let my TBR pile collect dust while I went back to my favorites shelf and focused on rereading what I consider to be ‘classics’.

Do I have high hopes for 2012? Well, maybe not high hopes but I’m still quite hopeful. There are some fantastic authors out there, and some incredible-sounding books I can’t wait to get my hands on. So, here we go… The good, the bad and the Bring on 2012!


The Good…

1. Magic Slays, Ilona Andrews (genre: UF) – I think it has become quite obvious that Ilona Andrews is one of PBD’s favorite authors. Theauthor duo has been on almost every best of list we have come up with and almost all of us have included them in our favorites list for the past two years.

Magic Slays, the 5th installment of the Kate Daniels series was one of the books that made my 2011and proved that when the author cares enough to share the very best – awesomeness is the result. Some series get a bit tattered at the edges by the fourth or fifth book but Kate is going strong – with a heroine that will rocks your socks off and a hero that will make you purr (or purr himself, depends on the situation). Read our review of Magic Slays here

2. Where Shadows Dance, C.S. Harris (genre: Historical Mystery) – The Sebastian St. Cyr series is another one of those series that has made me smile this year. The mysteries keep you on the edge of your seat, and Sebastian’s story keeps the reader wishing there were at least another hundred or so pages to each book. Ms. Harris has never let me down. Read our review of where Shadows Dance here



3.Darkest Mercy, Melissa Marr (genre: YA) – Day introduced me to this series and I am so thankful to her that she did. I think the word that always comes to mind when I read it is: haunting. There is something simply haunting and just otherworldly about this series. The final installment in the Wicked Lovely series, it ties up all the threads from the previous books, but not with a big pink bow, it does so with more delicacy than that and while I might not recommend this books for young adults under the age of 16, I would urge anybody over 16 to pick up this series for something extraordinary. Read our review of Darkest Mercy here


4. Shadowfever, Karen Marie Moning (genre: UF) – This book was definitely one of the most difficult ones I reviewed in 2011. Like I said in my review, and like the past year, it was a roller-coaster of epic proportions. This book left me feeling completely bi-polar – I had waited so long for the Barrons-Mac train to come in and when it did – yowzer! But, my love-hate relationship with this book means I loved it to extremes and I also kind of disliked it. More on that later… Still, Shadowfever has to go in the favorites of 2011 list. Read our review of Shadowfever here


5. Silk is for Seduction, Loretta Chase (genre: Historical Romance) – I have long been a fan of historical romance books and well, recently I haven’t been able to get the “happy sigh” feeling when I finish them. You know, that “ahh” of joy when the Happy Ever After finally occurs? Then I picked up Loretta Chase’s Silk is for Seduction – it was perfect. The hero was lovely, the heroine sexy and intelligent all rolled into one. No silly miscommunication just romance at its best. In fact, I loved it so much I picked up each and every other Loretta Chase book I could find. Ms. Chase is the place to go if you want well written fun historical romances. Read more about Loretta Chase’s books here


Honorable mentions -

I couldn’t just do five books, and these were all awesome wonderful reads: Deanna Raybourn’s The Dark Enquiry (genre: Historical Mystery), Tasha Alexander’s The Crimson Warning (genre: Historical Mystery), Ilona Andrews’ Fates Edge (genre: UF), Ilona Andrews’ Silver Shark (genre: Sci-fi, Novella), Carol Carr’s India Black (genre: Historical Mystery), Jennifer Lyn Barnes’ Trial by Fire (genre: YA).

The Bad….

1. Iron Crowned and Shadow Heir, Richelle Mead (genre: PNR, UF) – I suppose I just wanted these books too much. I was so looking forward to reading more about Eugenie and Dorian (yes, I love Dorian) but all I could think as I was reading these two books was – why in the world would Dorian want to be with this woman? I wanted to warn him away from someone who constantly makes the wrong decisions and who then goes on to blame everyone else for her mistakes. She was the heroine of the series – but unlike every other character in these books, she failed to grow and develop.

I wanted to love these books so much, but I’m sorry. No. I also felt that the series ends in a place that is simply unfair. I realize we can’t always get perfect endings – I don’t even like them that way, but in this case? I just felt like once again an author was setting me up for another series – making me a captive audience if I ever want to get answers. Maybe I’m wrong, but that was just how I felt.

2. Shadowfever, Karen Marie Moning (genre: UF) Did I mention I was bi-polar about this book? I adored it, I loved it I was also very disappointed. Disappointed in the fact that once again, like in the previous entry, I felt like I was a captive audience – I was being set up, forced to start reading a new series simply to get answers for a series I invested so much time in, a series the author promised to end after five books – at the end of which she said we would get all the answers. Instead I was left with more questions and the promise of a new series. Not fair. So, this book gets to be on both lists. Read our review of Shadowfever here

Ok, so truth is, that is the issue that bugged me more than anything else in the past year – cliffhangers and cop-outs. I already said my piece about cliffhangers so I will only add – I wish I had endless funds to buy every book that was ever written. Not having that privilege, I have only one option – buy the books I love, the ones that won’t let me down – which ones are those? The ones where the author trusts the reader enough to buy the next book not because there’s a cliffhanger or a new series coming out but because the writing is so wonderful that the reader will squee with joy over everyone of that author’s new releases. If you’re on my favorites list, you’re that kind of author.

Bring on 2012!!!

So, which books am I looking forward to?

1. (genre: UF), pub. date July 31, 2012 – Get ready for Andrea’s book!!!
2. (genre: Historical Mystery), pub. date March 6, 2012 – Seriously, we fight over these books in my house… and we love to discuss them. Where will C.S. Harris take Sebastian next?
3. (genre: PNR) pub. date July 10, 2012 – The second book in the All Souls Trilogy following – the first book in the series was intriguing – vampires and witches oh my!
4. (genre: PNR) pub. date January 31, 2012 – The third book in the series brings back grim reaper Charley Davidson back – and I for one can’t wait! This is a seriously incredible series!
5. , Jennifer Lyn Barnes (genre: YA) pub. date May 22, 2012 – this series can best be described as Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson series for teens – yet it is so much more – I love Bryn, she is a strong heroine that would make anyone proud and Ms. Barnes writes a fast paced story filled with surprises that keep you wanting more.
6. (genre: PNR) pub. date October 2, 2012 – The third book in the Dorina Basarab series – what started out as a spin-off series from the Cassandra Palmer series has now become a firm favorite on my bookshelf. Yum!
7. There are two books I have to add here – but they don’t have publication dates yet! So, I’ll give them a mention – Deanna Raybourn‘s new book which will be a new standalone/series that is set in the 1920s (Historical Mystery) and Tasha Alexander’s newest Lady Emily mystery (Historical Mystery) …Did I mention Bring on 2012?

Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
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  • Mary @SweepingMe says:

    You have some great books listed. I haven’t read most of these but I do have them on my TRL. I have to check the others out.


  • Doll Day says:

    Wonderful list dear! I am excited for Andrea’s book too!!!

  • Karen says:

    “cliffhangers and cop-outs”

    OMG! That has to be the tagline for reading in 2011.

    I think authors see the entire story in their heads (or at least the loosely based story arc) but for us the reader, it’s being revealed over *years*.

    I’m not just reading your book, I’m reading over a 100 books a year, don’t leave me frustrated like that. If I invested 3+ years minimum in your world then yeah – I do expect a payoff. Especially if you promised that.

    I barely start series anymore. I just wait for the whole thing to be finished so I can read them all at once.

    I had a top 10 list for 2011 but I probably wouldn’t have been able to come up with a top 20, or even 15.

  • Doll Noa says:

    Day – well, thanks to you and Kitt and the other dolls I had some great recommendations! :)

    Mary – let me know what you think… I’m surprised at how many PNR and UF books I’ve been adding to my list…

  • Doll Noa says:

    “I’m not just reading your book, I’m reading over a 100 books a year, don’t leave me frustrated like that. If I invested 3+ years minimum in your world then yeah – I do expect a payoff. Especially if you promised that.

    I barely start series anymore. I just wait for the whole thing to be finished so I can read them all at once.”

    Karen – so true… And it really was hard to come up with top reads. I’m just happy i have my “old faithfuls” to lean on.

    Every time I want to pick up a book I realize there is a cliffhanger ending – I just put them down and wait now. Can’t deal with it anymore. Reading is my escape, my joy, my place to go when life is just too much – I don’t need stress there!

  • Doll Suz says:

    You described my feelings about the Fever series, and Shadowfever specifically, so much better than I could have, Noa.

    Lovely list, and several on it that I am going to add to my TBR! :)

  • Doll Suz says:

    And I have to agree with Karen – “Clff hangers and cop outs” is a suitable tag line for much of what was released in 2011. I tabled several series I have loved due to cliff hangers this year.

    Once an author does that I just can’t truth him/ her anymore and will wait until the series is finished to read the series in its entirety (if it still occurs to me to do so).

    They won’t stop writing them if we don’t stop buying them.