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Karen Ostertag's blog

Hearts of Fire

Firefighters in fire training exerciseAre you looking to meet your perfect match, the one who makes you feel that bright spark of connection?  Maybe your last relationship lacked sizzle, and you're burning for a lover with passion.  Or perhaps you're still carrying a torch for an old flame?

If you're looking for a really hot romance, the heroes in this month's featured titles will certainly light your fire.  (And then put it out again, before anybody gets hurt.)  In honor of the 4th of July holiday, I'm featuring romances this month starring America's Bravest: firefighters.

New Romance Fiction for June 2016

In paperback:

Rocky Retreat by Vivian Arend (7.5, Six Pack Ranch) C, W, E
Rivals of Fortune / The Impetuous Heiress by Jane Ashford H
      (contains Rivals of Fortune and The Impetuous Heiress)
Every Bride Has Her Day by Lynnette Austin (2, Magnolia Brides) C
Rival Forces by D. D. Ayres (5, K-9 Rescue) C, M
Only Beloved by Mary Balogh (7, Survivor's Club) H
Dominated by Maya Banks (2, Enforcers) C, E
Lady Sarah's Sinful Desires by Sophie Barnes (1, Secrets of Thorncliff Manor) H
At Any Cost by Mandy Baxter (4, U.S. Marshals) C, M
Big Easy Temptation by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake (3, Perfect Gentlemen)

New Speculative Fiction for June 2016

New to our shelves:

The Last Wall by David Annandale (4, Warhammer 40K: The Beast Arises) SF
The Sorcerer's Daughter by Terry Brooks (3, Defenders of Shannara) F, M
Titan's Fall by Zachary Brown (2, Icarus Corps) SF
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin (3, The Passage trilogy) SF, A, H
Bloodline by Claudia Gray (3, Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens) SF, F, R
All Fixed Up by Linda Grimes (4, Ceil Halligan/In a Fix) F, M, R
The Pier Falls and Other Stories by Mark Haddon F, H, SF, A
The Map of Bones by Francesca Haig (2, Fire Sermon) SF, M
Night Shift by Charlaine Harris (3, Midnight, Texas) H, M
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix H

Close to Home

By Alex Bellink from Westchester County, New York (Tappen Zee), via Wikimedia Commons

Call it the "Sleepy Hollow" effect.

Lately I've noticed a minor spate of locally-set titles appearing in the two genres I order for the library-- romance and speculative fiction.  What I find the most curious about this current crop of novels is that, as far as I've been able to determine, none of the authors are local to our area.  (Thomas Olde Heuvelt isn't even from this continent-- he's Dutch.)

New Romance Fiction for May 2016

In paperback:

Rocky Mountain Shelter by Vivian Arend (8, Six Pack Ranch) C, W, E
His To Keep by Terri L. Austin (3, Beauty and the Brit) C, E
How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell (1, The Disgraceful Dukes) H
Wrapped in You by Jules Bennett (1, Monroes) C
The Viscount Needs a Wife by Jo Beverley (16, Company of Rogues) H, M
In Bed with the Duke by Annie Burrows (Harlequin Historicals) H
Calendar Girl v. 1 (January-February-March) by Audrey Carlan (1, Calendar Girl omnibus) C, E
I Dream of Dragons by Ashlyn Chase (1, Boston Dragons) C, F
Love Walks In by Samantha Chase (2, Shaughnessy Brothers) C
Good Dukes Wear Black by Manda Collins (3, Lords of Anarchy) H, M

New Speculative Fiction for May 2016

New to our shelves:

Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie (World of the First Law) F
The People in the Castle: Selected Strange Stories by Joan Aiken F, M
The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel (1, Central Corps) SF, M, R
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan (4, Memoirs of Lady Trent) F, M, R
Ghosts of Bergen County by Dana Cann H, M
Fellside by M. R. Carey (2, The Girl with All the Gifts) SF, H, M
Visitor by C. J. Cherryh (17:2, Foreigner 6) SF, M
The Way into Magic by Harry Connolly (2, Great Way trilogy) F, M
Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt H, F
In Shining Armor by Elliott James (4, Pax Arcana) F, M
The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey F, H

"I was born in a small town..."

house porch
With the publication earlier this week of Best of My Love, number 20 in her Fool's Gold series, author Susan Mallery has brought the most extensive and popular small-town romance series since Robyn Carr's Virgin River to a close.  With 22 novels (two Christmas titles were considered "in-betweeners"), 6 e-only novellas, and a storified cookbook, Mallery has given us plenty of opportunities to get to know the residents of Fool's Gold, California, that small (fictional) town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada that couldn't seem to hold on to its men... until they started falling in love with them.  To my surprise, I discovered that Fool's Gold hasn't actually been around that long-- Mallery only started the series in 2010, but made up for lost time by publishing an impressive 4 to 5 titles per year. 

New Romance Fiction for April 2016

In paperback:

Wed to the Texas Outlaw by Carol Arens (2, Harlequin Historicals: The Walker Twins) H, W
The Rogue by Katharine Ashe (1, Devil's Duke) H, M
Kidnapped by the Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden (4, Nine Circles) C, E, M
Tall, Dark, Billionaire Texan by Mandy Baxter (1-4, Billionaires' Club) C, W, M
      (contains The Billionaire Cowboy, The Billion Dollar Player, Rocked by the Billionaire,
      and The Billionaire Sheriff)
A Reckless Desire by Isabella Bradford (3, Breconridge Brothers) H
Drive by Sidney Bristol (1, Hot Rides) C, M
One Texas Cowboy Too Many by Carolyn Brown (3, Burnt Boot, TX) C, W

New Speculative Fiction for April 2016

New to our shelves:

The Spider's War by Daniel Abraham (5, Dagger and the Coin) F, M
Overfiend by David Annandale (Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Battles) SF, F
Borderline by Mishell Baker (1, Arcadia Project) F, A, M
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop (4, The Others) F, H, A, R
The Return of the Witch by Paula Brackston (5, Witch) F, H, A, M, R
Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs (9, Mercy Thompson) F, H, R
Dark Promises by Christine Feehan (29, Dark/Carpathians) F, H, R
New Blood by Matt Forbeck (8, Halo) SF (SF Halo v.8)
The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster F
Transgalactic by James Gunn (2, Transcendental) SF, M

Welcoming Our Robot Overlords

Cthulhu 2016 - When you're tired of choosing the lesser of two evilsAre you trepidatious about Trump? Not happy with Hillary? Over your crush on Cruz? Are you just not "feeling the Bern"?  You may not be alone.  A lot of people have been expressing their disenchantment with the American political process of late.  Happily, Speculative Fiction is here to remind you... things could always be worse.

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