After finishing Stephanie Ahn‘s debut and Book 1 of her Harrietta Lee Series, “Deadline,” literally in a blink of an eye (novella length only), that left me wanting more (Harry’s ongoing adventures plus a certain demon!), I had to read Book 2 right away! Plus, I was dead curious about Ahn’s sophomore writing and storytelling skills. Needless to say, I devoured it at top speed and came out of it totally and completely entertained, satiated, satisfied, and more inspired and thrilled than ever! Ahn is most definitely a talented writer and tale-spinner of the wildest, most daring, uninhibited and imaginative kind in the world of urban fantasy!
“Bloodbath.” Yes, that’s the word Ahn used to title the 2nd installment of her Harrietta Lee series. And yes, it means what it means, literally and figuratively, and she made no qualms about it, whatsoever, in bringing that title to life in weaving the sequel to Harry’s adventures as a disgraced blood witch earning her keep as an “unofficial” P.I. in the streets of New York! Ahn definitely nailed the “sequel” formula perfectly, imo: BIGGER. BETTER. MORE. Much, much more.
Who is Stephanie Ahn? What is Harrietta Lee series about? Truth be told, I had no knowledge, whatsoever, about the existence of this author, let alone her series! That was until Lex‘s review of “Deadline,” Book 1 of Ahn’s Harrietta Lee series, showed up on my GR timeline recently! At first glance, the cover threw me a little bit because it looked like a manga book. Why? Because having been a fan of manga since I was a kid, I never thought I’d see the day where there would be manga in lesfic! Hence, my initial double-take! Then almost immediately, I was curious as to how this could be in lesbian fiction! See, when “Legend of Korra” finally gave us Korrasami, I finally dared to hope that manga would expand into lesbian fiction!
*Ha! I finally found a good reason to include Korrasami images on my blog! Fancy that! If it weren’t for the cover of this book and writing style, I prolly wouldn’t find any rhyme or reason to! So, cheers, Ms. Ahn!*
So far, though, I’m still a little “obsessed” with Korra and Asami so I haven’t actually actively looked for others in manga so I don’t know what the current situation is.
Oops, I digress!!!
Back to my point…. and I DO have one, mind! Wait…
OK, so back to Ahn’s “Deadline.” First and foremost, it’s NOT manga. Well…I’ll get back to this in a bit. Anyway, at Lex’s mention of a demon girl, Lilith, that was it. With my curiosity already spilling over because I kept wondering why the book cover was in manga art form, and now a demon girl in the mix?! I just HAD to read to find out more!
One word. Sandman. On the book cover. The text almost translucent, as if trying to hide in plain sight with its colour melding into the sandy beach with an ominous-looking sky looming above the troubled waters.
What is Sandman?
When I first heard about Tammy Bird‘s debut novel, “Sandman,” I was immediately curious. First, the cryptic title, which set my mind whirling trying to ascertain its meaning or symbolism. The aesthetically unsettling cover closed the deal for me. SOLD.
Then, the fact that the revealed plot from the blurb was twofold – a search-and-rescue effort post-hurricane and what was lurking in the sand dunes. I thought that was a fascinating approach to writing in the crime thriller genre in lesfic. Needless to say, I utterly enjoyed the story as a whole. I was glad to discover that there were more than met the eye, beyond the twofold-plotline blurb! Truth be told, I actually didn’t read the blurb before I read the book because I was so intrigued by the title that I wanted to find out for myself including what the case would entail. I must say, I was surprised when I went back to read the blurb afterwards when I saw the revelation of the title’s meaning! I wish the blurb didn’t mention that, though. Oh well, it didn’t affect me because, thank goodness, I didn’t read the blurb before delving into a book this time!
YES! Gerri Hill‘s crime/mystery/thriller bug is back in full force with her latest, “Moonlight Avenue!” I KNEW it!! Haven’t had THIS much fun since her Hunter, Ross & Sullivan and Johnston & Riley serials!! Read it in one swift sitting! I especially LOVED this latest one, which certainly could turn into a series if the ending (and a certain third MC in the book for that matter!) were any indication, which I’m dead chuffed by the sheer possibility of it!
The reason why “Moonlight Avenue” is now my favourite crime/mystery story and series (if it’s expanded into one, that is!) of Hill’s as opposed to her other serials of the same genre comes in threefold:
Wow. I never thought I’d one day find a true, unadulterated paranormal ghost story, NOT horror-focussed like my all-time paranormal/horror, “The Haunting of Hill House,” but a pure, spirit-filled, ethereal, metaphysical-induced, classic, gothic ghost story that carries a consequential historical background that ties to the present time, in lesbian fiction!
Caren J. Werlinger‘s latest, “A Bittersweet Garden,” was everything I was looking for in a good old-fashioned classic ghost story, with a hint of romance (an icing on the cake for me, really, because of how strong the main story was written and told!) to “sweeten” the deal, so to speak! The entire feel of the story – the visually stunning descriptions of the surroundings, the architecture, landscapes, animals and nature in a country that I’ve always felt a strange affinity to all my life (Ireland), its characters and most of all, the back story, the history of the ghost story which was so richly chronicled via a series of flashbacks that were effectively positioned throughout the present story – was so utterly mesmerising that I was completely spellbound from the first page onward until the very end! I couldn’t believe just how superbly well-researched, developed and well-executed Werlinger’s story was about Nora and her life-altering, life-changing journey of self-discovery and truth. Bloody well done, Ms. Werlinger!
**Sometimes a book cover sets up the mood, tells the story or raises the level of curiosity and intrigue. THIS cover satisfies all. The contrast. Beauty and ugliness. Calm and chaos. In the midst of beauty and calm illuminating the dark forest lies chaos. Its name is Spade and its mission? “Payback.” Can you feel it?**
If you haven’t read Charlotte Mills‘ latest, “Payback,” her first Ylva-published novel, and you’re a fan of crime/mystery (with a compelling romance, to boot!), you really ought to, imo!
Craftily original. Insidiously unassuming. Slyly-weaved web. Pure FUN.
Brey Willows‘ latest, “Spinning Tales,” was a bag of sorts….the fairy tale kind. Before reading it, I was told that the story would be about a fairy tale amongst fairy tales. Didn’t have to be convinced much with that description, mind! So, when I received me copy, I was ready to set out on me journey to experience Willows’ land of wonders…fairy tale wonders. So…. Well, as Cypher famously said, “Buckle up, Dorothy, cause Kansas is going bye-bye!” And down the rabbit hole I went!
First off, let me get this out of me chest…. Brey Willows does FUNNY, too! Wicked! I mean, I was chuckling the whole time I was reading the early chapters and then throughout where I found meself chuckling again! I loved Maggie’s hilarious inner thoughts. Her constant confusion about her mates’ colloquialism, always settling on her own assumptions or even just dismissing it rather than asking for an explanation, hence, saving herself from embarrassment! LOL! And then, those “Want Ads!!” Original! Brilliant! Speaking of, besides them sounding a bit mad and amusing, they also kept me on me toes the whole time because I couldn’t stop wondering….! And just so you know, Maggie’s cat also kept me wondering… So, well done, Willows!
And before I move on any further into the story, who can forget the end of the Prologue, eh? Well, I bloody can’t! I mean, when I read the last passage, I was like…”Whaaa?!” No way! Totally didn’t expect THAT! You got me there, Ms. Willows! Brilliant!