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Karen Ostertag's blog

New Romance Fiction for January 2016

(X= Holiday title)

In paperback:

The Best Laid Wedding Plans by Lynnette Austin (1, Magnolia Brides) C
Mastered by Maya Banks (1, Enforcers) C, E, BDSM
The Warrior Vampire by Kate Baxter (2, The Last True Vampire) C, S
Hard Beat by K. Bromberg (7, Driven) C, M
Wild Cowboy Ways by Carolyn Brown (1, Lucky Penny Ranch) C, W
Make Me Stay by Jaci Burton (5, Hope) C
The Muse by Anne Calhoun (2, Irresistable) C, E
An Amish Christmas Gift by Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin
      (2.5, Amish of Bee County) C, I, X (Pbk-Romance Amish)

New Speculative Fiction for January 2016

New to our shelves:

Death Wave by Ben Bova (16:3, Planet: The Grand Tour of the Universe: New Earth) SF, M
Corsair by James L. Cambias SF
Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole (15, Immortals after Dark) F, H, R
A Wild Swan: and Other Tales by Michael Cunningham with Yuko Shimizu F (Fantasy Cunningham)
Skyborn by David Dalglish (1, Seraphim) F, A
A Daughter of No Nation by A. M. Dellamonica (2, Stormwrack) F
Beyond Redemption by Michael R. Fletcher F, H
Dead Ringers by Christoper Golden H, F
The Geomancer by Clay & Susan Griffith (4:1, Vampire Empire: Gareth and Adele) F, H, A
Ruin by John Gwynne (3, The Faithful and the Fallen) F

Loathe at First Sight

"What, my dear Lady Disdain! are you yet living?"
-Benedick, Much Ado about Nothing, Act I, scene 1

Beatrice and Benedick. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Leia and Han. Swoon-worthy couples and romances for the ages, all of them, but what else do they have in common? At the beginning of their stories, each of these couples absolutely detested each other.

To be clear, I'm not referring to impersonal enmity, here-- these are (for the most part) not people placed at odds by warring nations, class conflicts, or clan feuds. (You'll note Romeo and Juliet didn't make this list-- they had family problems, sure, but they loved each other straight away). No, I'm talking about couples who pretty much do the opposite of "hitting it off" when they first meet. This is the classic "enemies-to-lovers" trope, and it's one of my personal favorites.

New Romance Fiction for December 2015

(X= Holiday title)

In paperback:

Forever with You by Jennifer L. Armentrout (5, Wait for You) C, NA
You Are Mine by Jackie Ashenden (3, Nine Circles) C, E, M
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley (8, Highland Pleasures) H
His Kind of Trouble by Terri L. Austin (2, Beauty and the Brit) C, E
Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks (10, KGI) C, M
One Wild Winter's Eve by Anne Barton (4, Honeycote) H, M
One Touch More by Mandy Baxter (3, U.S. Marshals) C
Just One Spark by Jenna Bayley-Burke (1, Just One…) C, X
Wicked for You by Shayla Black (10, Wicked Lovers) C, E, M

New Speculative Fiction for December 2015

New to our shelves:

Yarrick by David Annandale (Warhammer 40K: Imperial Creed) SF
Killing Titan by Greg Bear (2, War Dogs) SF, M
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen (a.k.a. Delilah S. Dawson) (1, Shadow) F, H
Severance by Chris Bucholz SF, M
The Dread Wyrm by Miles Cameron (3, The Traitor Son cycle) F, M
The Devious Dr. Jekyll by Viola Carr (2, Electric Empire) F, A, SF, M, R
The Way into Chaos by Harry Connolly (1, Great Way trilogy) F, M
Night Music by John Connolly (2, Nocturnes) H
Undead and Unforgiven by MaryJanice Davidson (14, Queen Betsy) H, R
The King's Justice: Two Novellas by Stephen R. Donaldson (1-2, The King's Justice) F, M

Seeking a New World

First LandingsThanksgiving is over, but the leftovers will be with us for awhile yet.  If you're not quite ready to give up on this holiday before diving into the next one, I've got some lovely Thanksgiving-themed SF titles to go with your cranberry turducken sandwiches.

"Wait," I hear you cry, "Thanksgiving-themed science fiction!?"  Well, sure.  You don't imagine that the settlers of Plymouth and Jamestown colonies were the last travelers to boldly go into a new world, do you?

New Romance Fiction for November 2015

X= Holiday title

In paperback:

Running Wild by Susan Andersen C, M
Just a Summer Fling by Cate Cameron (1, Lake Sullivan) C
Made for Us by Samantha Chase (1, Shaughnessy Brothers) C
Nuts by Alice Clayton (1, Hudson Valley) C, E
Wild Horses by B. J. Daniels (1, Montana Hamiltons) C, W, M
Facing Fire by HelenKay Dimon (3, Bad Boys Undercover) C, M
Christmas Bride at Pinecraft by Shelley Shepard Gray (4, Brides of Pinecraft) C, I, X
Falling into Bed with a Duke by Lorraine Heath (1, Hellions of Havisham) H
A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter (1, Hawthorne House) H, I

New Speculative Fiction for November 2015

New to our shelves:

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015 by John Joseph Adams and Joe Hill, eds.
    (1, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy) SF, F (SF/Fant Best 2015)
Brother by Ania Ahlborn H
Led Astray: The Best of Kelley Armstrong by Kelley Armstrong F, H, R
Nod by Adrian Barnes H, SF, M
Twelve Kings in Sharakhai by Bradley P. Beaulieu (1, The Song of Shattered Sands) F
The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher (1, The Cinder Spires) F, SF, M
The Monstrous by Ellen Datlow, ed. H, F (Horror Monstrous)
Last Light by Troy Denning (10, Halo) SF (SF Halo v.10)
Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due H

Wounded Warriors

Man Holding Purple Heart War MedalAre you holding out for a hero?  I know many of you are looking forward to a weekend of spooky delights, but it's worth remembering that Veteran's Day is less than two weeks away, on Nov. 11th.  In honor of our veterans, the romances I'm spotlighting this month all feature characters who have earned the title of "hero" or "heroine" -- wounded warriors who not only saw combat, but shed blood on the battlefield in service to their country.

A Little Dark Reading

Skull and bookWhat are you afraid of?  I don't mean your day-to-day worries and trepidations-- what truly scares you?  What things freeze you in your tracks and twist your stomach, make your breath come short, your heart race, your limbs tremble, your blood run cold?  Come now, even the bravest of us have things that they fear.  (As John Wayne used to say, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.") 

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