The Friends and Family

BOOK BLOG
 

Seventh page. List starts with the most recent at the top.  Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Joy read: THE ADVENTURES OF ALIANORE AUDLEY by Brian Wainwright
I had my eye on this book for years, so when it arrived in my mailbox and I saw how small it was (206 pages), I read it in one evening. Highly entertaining, energetic, humorous adventures of a noblewoman who makes a career of spying for Edward IV and Richard III. I barely put it down throughout. When I woke the next morning, my mind had left it behind and moved on.

Joy read: REGENCY SOCIETY REVISITED by Susanne Marie Knight
I read this because another of Knight's books was just listed as an EPPIE finalist, and I much enjoyed her COMPETITORS! a year ago. A cute time travel Regency romance.

Joy read: BEST IN SHOW by Lynne Cantwell
I worked on this story a year ago, and couldn't forget it. Marcy makes friends with a fellow quilter, and comes to find her quite disturbing. Lynne Cantwell has a talent for the cozy fantasy.

Joy read: KEVIN'S WATCH ANTHOLOGY by Members of Kevin's Watch
There's no reason I can't blog books I've read while working on them, I decided. I've found some real talent in the Kevin's Watch collections. These are fantasies by new authors.

Joy read: RECKLESS by Amanda Quick
Phoebe entices the Earl of Wylde to her aid, then discovers that life has changed him until he is unrecognizable. She does get Wylde's help, but just to serve his private purposes. Only love could tame a pair of the most reckless people the Ton has seen.

Joy read: RAVISHED by Amanda Quick
When Harriet discovers that her favorite fossil-hunting caves are being used by thieves she summons the heir to the earl who owns her family's land. Too late, she learns that the heir is nicknamed "the Beast," and that she may become the second vicar's daughter he has seduced and abandoned. This is a fun light read, as is every Amanda Quick I have read.

Joy read: EQUAL RITES by Terry Pratchett
A powerful wizard is attracted to the birth of the eighth son of an eighth son, and passes his powers along as the child is born. Only when it is too late does he learn that the child Esk is a girl. Girls are supposed to have witch powers, not wizard powers. While various powers squabble about what to do with her, Esk is training herself.
   This is my first Pratchett. I knew ahead of time about the humor, the appeal was a charming surprise to me. I usually -- but not always -- looked in vain for any depth.

Joy read: THE RUNES OF THE EARTH by Stephen R. Donaldson
Linden Avery has her own book. Covenant's lover in the Land in the the 2nd Chronicles, Linden now has to save the land in her own right, and I don't feel her reality as I did Covenant's. She has a very interesting set of allies, though -- mostly males, which means Donaldson gets inside their skins better.
   The first book of
The Final Chronicles of Thomas Covenant lacks the literary fireworks of the previous 2 trilogies. I reread it because the sequel came out, and I want to make sure I have the background. On to FATAL REVENANT.

Joy read: NOT POPPY, NOR MANDRAGORA by K.G. McAbee
Fantasy short story. A respectable villager loses his family to a ravaging beast. Determined to redress his wrongs, he offers himself as payment to a monster-slayer.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K. Rowling **The Harry Potter books are my most enjoyable series reread of the year

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by J.K. Rowling

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by J.K. Rowling

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J.K. Rowling

Joy read: BEAUTY IN THE BEAST by K.G. McAbee
Novelette.
I thought I was getting the old story with new characters, but the new characters required a new ending.

Joy read: BECOMING ELIJAH by Bob Meads
Novelette. A soul is shifting from body to body in a primitive world. I enjoyed peeling away the layers of motivation to the satisfying revelation.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling
I needed a Harry Potter fix.

Joy read: THE MAGIC WORLD by E. Nesbit
Children's fantasy short stories. The theme in this 1912 collection often seems to be about naughty people learning to be better. They don't usually have depth. One story asks us to look deeper into humanity: "The Related Muff".

Joy read: THE UNWANTED by Andrew Grainger
Novelette. A future where one tenth of the population breeds children to be adopted and raised by the other ninety percent -- those who are deemed fit to be parents. Where has the natural way gone? Joey and Donna are so alive that the system is suspicious of them, but I enjoyed their vibrance.**Most enjoyable short story of the year

Joy read: HEROES IN THE DUST by Jennifer Macaire
Sequel to TIME FOR ALEXANDER and 2nd in the
Iskander series. Alexander the Great's campaign against the mountain tribes is given a new kind of life, told from the viewpoint of a time traveling reporter who is married to Alexander. The innate humor of the author is rounded out with the personal triumphs and tragedies of the loving, appealing, sensual Ashley, who has made herself a new life and close friends 3,000 years in her past. An EPPIE finalist.

Joy read: LARCENY AND OLD LACE by Tamar Myers
The aged aunt of antique dealer Abigail Timberlake is murdered, strangled with an expensive old bell pull. Most of Abigail's fellow dealers have said they wanted to murder her aunt, but Abigail is convinced the wrong person has been arrested. LARCENY AND OLD LACE is very funny; it would have been more so if it hadn't been so catty. I will probably read more. Who could resist titles like THE MING AND I?

Joy read: SILVER MASTER by Jayne Castle
The 4th in the series of sci fi romances set on the world of
Harmony. Celinda and Davis are both trying to rebuild their lives after disgrace. Celinda's psi sense makes her an excellent matchmaker. Davis's makes him scary to potential partners. He isn't consulting Celinda, though, he is investigating her. She bought a stolen relic, one with unique and dangerous powers. Since this is a romance, they quickly come to understand each other. SILVER MASTER is more serious than the other books in the series, with less sex and more suspense. The light relief, as always in this series, is the dust bunny companions of Celinda and Davis. A pleasure of a read, tailor-made for a much needed mental vacation.

Joy read: DISREMEMBERING EDDIE by Anne Morgellyn
Gruesome novel in which Louise, morgue assistant, opens a body bag to find her old lover Eddie. For some reason, putting Eddie to rest is impossible. Not just for Louise -- Eddie's body gets caught up in the grim hi-jinx of a corpse-rights movement. Review.

Joy read: THE REINCARNATIONIST by M.J. Rose
Very fast paced suspense takes us to another level of thrillers by adding intellectual and psychological exploration. On the second page we are dropped in a cold panic into 4th century Rome, then teeter vividly back and forth between times.
   After dashing through the opening I paused for breath. I was amazed to discover I had already read 100 pages. I'm told THE REINCARNATIONIST is a major departure from the author's previous books, but haven't read any of the others -- yet. Review. **Most enjoyable contemporary mystery of the year

Joy read: RAINBOWS END by Vernor Vinge
In a world so tightly interwoven by the computer net, each Next Very Bad Thing has the potential to destroy civilization. Someone wants to be the be-all and end-all of Very Bad Things. His opponents include the normal government security officials, plus an anonymous trickster, plus genius Robert Gu, recovered from old age and trying to find a new place for himself in his transformed world. With so many interesting people doing such interesting things, it didn't matter much that none of the people were likeable until almost the end of the book.

Joy read: DELACROIX by Maurice SÚrullaz
One of those gorgeous, coffee table-sized art books in the
Library of Great Painters series. Delacroix painted in a combination of Classicist and Romantic styles, was eagerly claimed by the Romantics, and created a style which was a forerunner of the Impressionists. An innovator, he saw that color could give its own emotional messages, independent of form. He was hailed as a genius and a master in his own day.

Joy read: SPRING MAGIC by D.E. Stevenson
A rare gift this author had -- peace and emotional plenty. Romance meant something deeper in those days. During WWII, Frances escapes on holiday to a small Scottish village which unexpectedly becomes an army camp. She becomes involved with the lives of a few officer's wives and their families, especially the charming Guy. The philandering of one husband has broader consequences than anyone would have hoped.

Joy read: HIS MAJESTY'S ELEPHANT by Judith Tarr
Byzantium sends two gifts to Charlemagne, a medallion and an elephant. Both are deeply magical, to the dismay of Charlemagne's daughter Rowan, who is afraid of being charged with being a witch. But now her father needs her help. Rowan needs the help of the wise elephant and his magical keeper. Together they have a chance to win battles they would certainly lose otherwise. HIS MAJESTY'S ELEPHANT is targeted specifically for teenaged girls.

Joy read: PORTRAIT OF DELACROIX by Elspeth Davies
I've been talking with an artist friend about Eugene Delacroix, painting pioneer who lived in France in the post-Napoleonic decades. So I dug this biography out of the tbr's and enjoyed it thoroughly. Davies' study is expressed in such a way that I can feel both Delacroix's humanity and his genius. Partway through I bought another copy for the friend. **Most enjoyable nonfiction of the year

Joy read: VIN DIESEL XXXPOSED by Michael Robin & Todd Rone Owens
Written by and for fans, this gives an easy overview of Vin's career up to 2002. The authors quote Vin as often as possible. The pictures are many and luscious. Now I'm impatient for
Hannibal.

Joy read: DEATH BY SUDOKU by Kaye Morgan
Puzzles and codes surround a vast pattern of murder. I read late to finish reading it and working the puzzles. Sudoku lovers (like myself) will be delighted to see on the cover that this is the first of a series.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling
All the little things to treasure. I've never stopped laughing at the maturing mandrakes.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling
This makes a great bedtime reread. It's fun, familiar, and undemanding for those already acquainted with Harry's world.

Joy read: THE LAST COLONY by John Scalzi
When I finished THE GHOST BRIGADES, I broke a longstanding habit and went out in the evening. A bookstore down the street had the sequel.
   John Perry and Jane are back, this time leaders of a new human colony. Due to political skullduggery, Roanoke is intended to be a pivotal element in a major clash. Review. **John Scalzi's trilogy is my most enjoyable new series of the year

Joy read: THE GHOST BRIGADES by John Scalzi
The Ghost Brigades are a shadow military with special abilities and a secret technology. John Perry's Special Forces friend Jane is important here, but she is still secondary to the clone of Charles Boutin. Genius scientist Boutin allied with aliens to destroy humanity. Why? His clone Jared Dirac was created to learn that. In between times of remembering, Jared is a Special Forces soldier. Most soldiers don't get to make the tough decisions Jared does. **Tied for my most enjoyable science fiction of the year

Joy read: OLD MAN'S WAR by John Scalzi
John Perry doesn't have much left to live for in his old age, so he joins the military. The Colonial Defense Forces prefer recruits with plenty of life experience -- their worn out bodies don't matter. The ability to adapt to the un-heard-of is the most valuable characteristic in the CDF. John makes warm new friends and becomes a hero, and picks up something special to live for along the way. This was a Hugo nominee -- I would be glad if it had won.**Tied for my most enjoyable science fiction of the year

Joy read: CAPABLE OF MURDER by Brian Kavanagh
Belinda inherits her great-aunt's English cottage and a whole peck of trouble. Review.

Joy read: FACE TO FACE: A MOTHER'S ACCOUNT OF HER SON'S SUICIDE ATTEMPT AND ITS AFTERMATH by Judith Casey
Chris shot his face off, and then had to recover physically as well as mentally. The author adopted a reporter's style, but the people are all too recognizably human. It could be your neighbor, even your friend.

Carla read: NEFERTITI by Michelle Moran
Mutnodjmet, the sensible, loving and overlooked younger sister, tells the story of Nefertiti, the ambitious, selfish, glittering queen of Egypt as the Eighteenth Dynasty totters towards its end (1351-1335 BC).  If you enjoyed THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Philippa Gregory, you will love this. Review.

Joy read: THALIDOMIDE KID by Kate Rigby
Comment after reading a few chapters. Daryl was born without arms, and is determined to make his life as close to normal as he can make it. The focus seems to be not on the struggle for independence, as one would expect, but on the relationship between Daryl and his friend Celia. I was reluctant to start this review book, but so far it is a good surprise.
  
Comment after finishing: An excellent book! The issues sneak up on you, and they aren't what you would expect them to be. Recommended as a discussion book. Review. **My most enjoyable contemporary novel of the year

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K. Rowling
Harry fulfills the task for which he has been groomed. It is not the path he expected to walk.
   Actually, I read it twice, because I couldn't stop thinking about it after the first read. Review.

Joy read: THE CAT WHO WENT BANANAS by Lilian Jackson Braun
Qwilleran's cat Koko sees his chance to make a statement, when Qwilleran's doctor puts him on a diet. The elegant, educated Alden Wade must have hated slipping on a banana peel in the middle of his impressive performance, but too many women have died around Wade. If no one else will do anything about it, Koko will.

Joy read: THE CAT WHO TALKED TURKEY by Lilian Jackson Braun
Qwilleran and his two Siamese cats seem to be up against a serial killer. In the middle of the 200 year birthday celebration of the town of Brrr, a dead man is found on Qwill's property. It's a busy life: writing and performing a one-man show, and keeping track of a rich woman's very odd granddaughter. This cozy mystery series is always charming.

Joy read: REFLECTIONS IN THE SNOW by Lisa Marie Mercer
When Mariel's father dies in the World Trade Center, he leaves her his shares in a ski resort. Mariel moves to the Colorado town, where live some of the people she has met in the internet skiing community. While getting to know them, she is trying to come to terms with the unfaithfulness in her own and her husband's natures. Along with her intelligent personality exploration, author Mercer obviously knows and loves skiing.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by J.K. Rowling
Headmaster Dumbledore sees to it that Harry gets specialized training. There are some things Harry needs to know before he moves in for the kill against Voldemort, and they aren't in books. Dumbledore takes Harry along to help with a roundabout attack on Voldemort that has a tragic ending. Review.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by J.K. Rowling
Is the Ministry of Magic in deep denial about Lord Voldemort's return, or are key personnel supporting Voldemort? When the Ministry declares war on Dumbledore and Harry, they could be acting from either reason. This is my least favorite of the series, because for the first half of the book Harry responds to pressure with adolescent angst. But whoever in the Ministry declared that war obviously didn't reckon with the ultimate quality of their opponents. Review.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by J.K. Rowling
From Quiddich Cup to Triwizard Tournament, Dark wizards are making their moves. Harry is maneuvered into a deadly dangerous series of Triwizard tasks. Rowling has gotten more ambitious with this book. It is considerably longer, making room to raise questions about things like slavery and irresponsible journalism, all in the most engaging way. Is this the only YA book to win a Hugo Award? Top-class fantasy.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by J.K. Rowling
Escaped prisoner Sirius Black is coming after Harry. New teacher Remus Lupin helps as well as he can while keeping his own secrets hidden. This is the one that meddles with time -- one of my favorites.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by J.K. Rowling
Harry has to save a lot of people from the monster from the Chamber, while being blamed for the trouble himself. It's a good thing the story is such delightful reading. The Weasleys' home is great fun, and so are the mandrakes.

Joy read: HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling
With the last book and the fifth movie coming up on my schedule within the next two weeks, I decided to re-experience the book series again. Irresistible. There's no sleeping in our heat wave, so I finished the book around 3 AM.

Joy read: THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
Jake Barnes, an American in Paris after WWI, has one solid anchor, his love for the unattainable Brett, Lady Ashley. Brett has only one anchor, her love for the unattainable Jake Barnes. Their social lives wash them singly from one group of rootless friends to another. For a book written in such an emotionless style, relationships in THE SUN ALSO RISES have a lot of restrained drama. The most candid excitement comes from the bullfights in Pamplona.
   I wanted to learn about bull fighting, and I wanted to compare the book to the miniseries with Jane Seymour and Leonard Nimoy. Well, Leonard Nimoy's electrically played assassin count doesn't even exist in the book. I learned some things about bull fighting, though. Next step in the research will be Hemingway's THE DANGEROUS SUMMER.

Joy read: OLD SOLDIERS by Robert M. Penner
A new young resident doctor is having trouble dealing with death and mortality. Two patients at the hospital are veteran soldiers who have dealt with death in ways very different from his. Review.

Joy read: THE IMMACULATE DECEPTION by Charles R. Polonsky
The story of a Black Ops officer, written by himself after his "death". With his roving band of special forces, Colonel Richards assassinated enemies and rescued POWs in Southeast Asia. When he learned what his job was really about, it was too late for all but the harshest of countermeasures.

Kay read: THE SHARING KNIFE, VOL 2: LEGACY by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Sharing Knife, Volume Two: Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold is the second half of a romance/fantasy duology. Dag belongs to a race of sorcerers called Lakewalkers. Fawn belongs to regular humans, called Farmers. The two races are usually not allowed to intermarry, but these two greatly love each other and do so anyway, with the reluctant blessing of Fawn's family. Now they must face the much harder task of gaining acceptance by Dag's family and people. A touching romance between two very different but very likable characters, set on a rich fantasy world with the most unique form of necromancy I have ever encountered. The necromancy involves sharing, sacrifice, and the affirmation of both life and death.

Kay read: TIGERS ESSENTIAL by George Cantor
Tigers Essential by George Cantor is a book about the Detroit Tigers baseball team, through the decades, and especially in the year 2006 where they came from nowhere to win the American League Pennant. Lots of good historical trivia for fans of the team.

Kay read: TALL, DARK, AND HUNGRY by Lynsay Sands
Tall, Dark, and Hungry by Lynsay Sands is one of her fantasy romances about the Argeneau vampire family. These books are the literary equivalent of a chick flick. They are fast paced and fun. This one featured a romance that begins between the best man and maid of honor at an NYC wedding. The girl is a human and the guy is a very sexy vampire. The girl has already been through a lot in her life, and she is not sure she can go through more. While I enjoyed the story, the book was unfortunately marred by some pretty serious editing errors. And they have to be serious for me to notice them! While there were no obvious spelling errors, a lot of words were substituted for words that would have made a lot more sense (such as though for thou). And at one point, the names of two of the characters are mixed up!

Kay read: ANGELS & DEMONS by Dan Brown
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown is another of his thrillers about an ancient conspiracy theory. Lightning paced, it keeps you glued to the page, even while keeping your eyes off the wildly implausible plot and improbable characters. Pure popcorn beach read with no real literary or historic value, but still fast paced and engrossing.

Kay read: THE SPY WORE SILK by Andrea Pickens
The Spy Wore Silk by Andrea Pickens was an impulse buy. I loved the premise, where orphaned girl London street urchins in the Napoleonic War period, are brought to a special boarding school by a noble born British spy master. There the girls are raised safely and well, and given the skills of noble born ladies, assassins, courtesans, and spies. These young ladies are Britain's greatest secret weapon in the wars against Napoleon. In this novel, projected first of a series of historical romances, Siena must find a highly placed and wealthy traitor who is thought to belong to a group of wealthy book collectors. The prime suspect is a very sexy Lord. Will her duty towards England beat out her love for Lord Kirtland? Well written and fun romance novel, and a great premise.

Kay read: CREWEL WORLD by Monica Ferris
Crewel World by Monica Ferris is the first book in a mystery series. Unemployed and freshly divorced, middle aged Betsy Devonshire leaves California to live with her widowed sister in a small town in Minnesota. Margot owns and operates a very nice little needle work store named Crewel World. Everything is going really well until one night Margot, a true sweetheart who does not have an enemy in the world, is murdered in her store. Betsy frantically tries to find out who killed her kind sister...

Kay read: HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Hotel Transylvania by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is the first novel in a series written about a vampire called le Comte de Saint Germaine. While the Comte is a vampire, he is also a very good guy who spends the novel doing his best to defeat a bunch of nobly born (and extremely nasty and disturbing) Satan worshippers in Paris. A great adventure story, and a whole lot of fun to read. Someday I hope to track down more books in this series. And it was refreshing to read about a vampire who is a hero and who is not oversexed and angsty (yes, I have read too much Laurell K. Hamilton!).

Joy read: LINCOLN by Gore Vidal
A panorama of Washington, D.C. during the Lincoln administration. Shows the mysterious figure of Lincoln from the viewpoints of several main characters, while gradually exposing those characters to our view as well. Subtle and deep. Fascinating story development. The atmosphere has stayed with me after I finished the book. I am more and more impressed with Gore Vidal, to the point of buying two more before I finished reading this one. **My most enjoyable new historical novel read of the year

Kay read: The Galactic Mileu Trilogy by Julian May
Contains three novels by Julian May: Jack the Bodiless, Diamond Mask, and Magnificat
   These three novels fill in the gap between Intervention and The Saga of Pliocene Exile. Mankind has earned a provisional place in the Galactic Milieu, but has not yet gained Unity, the galactic master mind, where people are so mind and heart linked that they cannot even imagine harming each other.
   Many humans fear a loss of individuality in Unity, and wish to withdraw from the Galactic Milieu as a result. Others support the Milieu in every way, and work for Unity in every way they can.
   Both factions are led by members of the Remillard family. Two bothers, sons of Paul, grandsons of Denis, lead the two factions.
   Marc is the leader of the rebels. He wishes to be able to be free to work on a monstrous scientific project called Mental Man. And he doesn't mind murdering billions of people to gain that freedom.
   Jack, a horribly physically deformed man with huge mental powers and a kind heart, and Jack's wife, leader of the Scottish world Caledonia, work towards peace and unity. And they are willing to give their lives for that goal.
   Again, it is telling that, while we know what is coming from The Saga of Pliocene Exile, we are still glued to our seats. And it is very easy to love both Jack and his wife Dorothea the Diamond Mask, and to be frustrated at Marc, who has so much potential to do so much good but commits so much evil. Marc's story arc is that of one of the greatest anti-heroes and stories of redemption in all of science fiction.

Kay read: Intervention by Julian May
Consists of two novels: The Surveillance, Metaconcert
   During World War II, humans developed the power to destroy the Earth, so nature intervened in pushing humans towards the next step of evolution, the development of awesome mind powers.
   While the races of the Galactic Milieu quietly watch and hope, various people on earth are born with the powers; if enough people who value humanity and peace are born with the powers that they can come together in one mental voice of love and friendship then the Milieu can intervene in Earth affairs and bring Mankind into the Milieu.
   One of the key families is the Remillards, from New Hampshire, but of French Canadian ancestry. Twin boys, Rogatien and Donatien, are born with the powers. Don's children are born with even greater powers. Rogi is a decent man who does his best to help out Don's oldest son, Denis, but Don himself is an alcoholic rotter. And his second son, Victor, is a monster.
   It shows what a good author Julian May is in that we already know that the Intervention will happen, and that Mankind will become the sixth race in the Galactic Milieu, but you are still glued to these two books!

Kay read: The Saga of Pliocene Exile by Julian May
The Saga of Pliocene Exile which contains four novels: The Many-Colored Land, The Golden Torc, The Nonborn King, and The Adversary.
   This opening four novel series in the greater nine novel series spans some six million years and two galaxies in its breadth and scope.
   In Earth's future, Mankind has earned a place in the Galactic Milieu, a confederation of races who span the galaxy and exist together in peace and friendship. But since humans only recently entered the Milieu, there are still some individuals who simply cannot fit in with greater society for one reason or another.
   One of their options is to travel through a one way time gate to Pliocene France, some six million years in Earth's past. They are given survival training and allowed to take things back in time with them that will allow their survival and a simple living through a craft or trade. The women are rendered sterile.
   One group of refugees traveling back to the Pliocene has some remarkable individuals. One is a highly trained hospice worker suffering from burn out. Another once had galactic class mental powers, which she lost in a bad accident that had nearly killed her and did kill her husband. One is a teen aged girl who is crazy and violent, but has incredible latent mind powers. Another is a charming crook with vast latent mind powers. Yet another is a retired professor of geology.
   They receive the surprise of their lives when they go through the gate to find that Earth is under the control of a dimorphic alien race! And the aliens have a technology that can bring latent mind powers to life with the torques they fasten around the necks of the subject humans...and the aliens reverse the sterility of the women and use them for breeding...
   Some of the challenges they will face: simple survival under the control of the aliens in a world very unlike the one they left behind; trying to break free of slavery; trying to find a way to warn the people of future Earth to close the gate so that no more humans are sent back in time; trying to survive in between two warring brother races; and perhaps the greatest challenge - facing the greatest rebels in the historry of the Galactic Milieu in Marc Remillard and his followers who proceeded them into exile...
   Unique and wonderful, this is a series that should be read by all science fiction fans.

Joy read: A MOVEABLE FEAST by Ernest Hemingway
A memoir of Hemingway's life and friends in Paris in the 1920s. It has a curiously detached tone most of the time. Exceptions are his encounter with poet Ernest Walsh, whom he recognized as a con man; and F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose problems Hemingway willingly took on because he admired THE GREAT GATSBY so much. There are endearingly happy times with his wife and son, especially in the mountains. Enjoyable and interesting but not a reread, I didn't think. Here Hemingway sounds so involved with his own experience that all else is secondary.

Joy read: ORDINARY MAGIC by Michelle Royce
A 13-year-old girl learns to step outside the boundaries of her life, by finding unusual friends who help her fulfill her talents. A delightful read.

Joy read: THE TSARINA'S GRANDDAUGHTER by Holly Spence
Charles, Marquis of Neathe, former secret agent against Napoleon in Russia, unwillingly discovers back in England that his life has been saved by a Russian healer. He certainly wouldn't have agreed to the arrangement his grandfather planned to make with the healer. The story is interesting, with unusual character situations, and covers a part of the Napoleonic Wars that Regencies touch rarely if ever. However, it amazes me that the publisher sent it out to early reviewers in this condition. The "hero" is a brute, and the author used a disastrous number of words she doesn't know the meaning of. It will take a lot of editing to make this presentable. Publication scheduled for Aug 24.

Joy read: BY SLANDEROUS TONGUES by Mercedes Lackey & Roberta Gellis
Prince Vidal Dhu is forbidden by the Elf King Oberon to kill or capture Elizabeth, heiress to the Tudor throne. His new strategy is the murder of her beloved protectors, and the disgrace of Elizabeth. I have loved every book in this series. Review. **My most enjoyable read of the year

Carla read: The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart
THE CRYSTAL CAVE
THE HOLLOW HILLS
THE LAST ENCHANTMENT
Enthralling retelling of the King Arthur legend, narrated by Merlin. The son of an unknown father, Merlin's powers of prophecy and his search for his identity place him at the heart of the struggle for Britain. Review.

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