Read anything good lately?

 

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and I thought I’d share some of the gems I’ve come across:

Racing the Devil, an Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

No Shred of Evidence, an Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd

An Unmarked Grave, a Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd

Yes, I’m on a Charles Todd kick. Charles Todd is the nom de plume [well, sort of] of an American mother-and-son writing team, Caroline and Charles Todd. The two series are set during and just after World War One.

Bess Crawford is a nurse who works on the front lines in France during the war, and who stumbles across mysteries and murders. I love the layered background of her life, with a childhood in India, a mysterious father and his aide, and her willingness to get grubby to bring justice to bear.

After the war, Inspector Ian Rutledge returned to Scotland Yard a changed man. Suffering from PTSD, he now lives with a voice in his head of a soldier he executed for refusing a direct order. This damaged man clings to his work as his only salvation.

I’ve also been reading some excellent science fiction and fantasy, all with a mystery bent:

Company Town, by Madeline Ashby, was shortlisted for the most recent Canada Reads contest, in which five famous Canadians champion a different Canadian book. This is how the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which org
anizes the contest every year, describes it:

Canada Reads is a “literary Survivor,” with celebrities championing books. Books are voted “off the bookshelf,” one each day, until one book is chosen as the title the whole country should read this year.

Set off the Canadian east coast, Company Town tells the story of the fearless Hwa, a young woman who works as a bodyguard on the city-sized oil rig they all call home. There are death threats, alternate timelines and a series of interconnected murders, and Hwa must choose between protecting herself and protecting those in her charge.

Loved, loved, loved the story. I gobbled it up.

And finally, I’ll finish off with a novella, Death by Effigy, by my friend, Karen L. Abrahamson.

I know I could be biased, but I’m not. This is a lovely, lovely story featuring a murder mystery set in exotic 19th century Burma. It features anold singer and a magical Burmese puppet, the impish, ancient Yamin, who so desperately wants to be taken seriously by the humans and the members of his puppet troupe. Fascinating culture and unusual, endearing characters.

The one thing all these books have in common are strong, engaging characters, characters that the reader wants to follow on their adventures. It’s something I strive to do in my own writing.

Okay, now it’s your turn. What stories have you read lately that you would recommend? Any non-fiction?

(Originally published on Not Your Usual Suspects, May 31, 2017)

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First Glimpse of Fantasy Secondary Worlds

One of my favourite novels, Jilimar, is part of a new bundle from Bundle Rabbit, curated by Barbara G. Tarn. While it will be released on May 26 over at Bundle Rabbit and all other e-booksellers, it’s available now for pre-order at Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Here’s the Table of Contents:
1. The Crystal Courtesan by Karen L. Abrahamson
2. The Mage’s Grave by Timothy L. Cerepaka
3. Firehearted by Sabrina Chase
4. Singer by Brigid Collins
5. Rider by Diane J Cornwell
6. Jilimar by Marcelle Dube
7. Al-Kabar by Lee French
8. The Path of Water (Quests Book 1) by Barbara G. Tarn
9. Elf Saga, Book 1: Doomsday by Joseph Robert Lewis
10. Twice Against the Dragon by Stefon Mears
11. The Last Giant by Mario Milosevic
12. Dragons’ Choice by Debbie Mumford

 

 

New bundle!

Backli’s Ford is being offered in another bundle: Out of this World, from Bundle Rabbit. For three weeks–Monday, August 15 to Monday, September 5–you can get six novels and anthologies for $3.99, or all 16 for $9.99 on Bundle Rabbit. Then the bundle will become available on all sales channels (Kobo, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, etc.) from September 5 to October 5 with a full bundle price of $9.99.

Out of This World Bundle

For the minimum price of $3.99, you get six fabulous titles:

Interlude Beyond by Rebecca M. Senese

The Science Officer (Science Officer Vol 1) by Blaze Ward

Of Myst and Folly by Leah Cutter

Grim Repo by Mark Fassett

The Cat’s Meow by Jamie Ferguson

Hydrogen Sleets by Michael Warren Lucas

But if you pay $9.99, you get all 16 titles, including:

Alien Influences by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Tales of Tomorrow by Debbie Mumford

Invasion by J.D. Brink

Scream Angel by Douglas Smith

Magician’s Choice by Stefon Mears

Backli’s Ford by Marcelle Dubé

The Dark Zone by Rita Schulz

The Crystal Courtesan by Karen L. Abrahamson

Mary Celeste Adrift by J.A. Marlow

Morning Song by Dean Wesley Smith