A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

John read the first few pages and told me that he thought I would like it because it was like Francis Hamerstrom but with dragons.  He wasn’t wrong exactly… except that not even fiction can do Francis Hamerstrom justice. (In the event that (unlike me) you did not have the good fortune grow up with her as a household name, reading books like Is She Coming Too and Strictly for the Chickens and then eventually got to work with her grumpy, old, great-horned owl, I recommend you find yourself a book of hers and become acquainted!)

But, to John’s point, the main character is a woman set out to study wildlife in an era when women don’t do such things, and she does have some unorthodox ways of solving problems. So it is a bit reminiscent, it’s just that instead of prairie chickens, the wildlife she chooses to study is dragons. This puts dragons in a light that most books don’t. Not as evil treasure hording monsters (think Smaug) or amazing magical beings (think Saphira) but as fascinating and poorly understood, bits of wildlife. Alibeit one that sometimes eats people and has breath with interesting properties, as well as being a severe nuisance to the shepherds.

Would I recommend it? Would I recommend a book with a female character pushing the boundaries, dragons, a mystery and a bit of natural science? In a heartbeat!

 

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The Two Lines That Sparked Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose (Guest Post and Book Review!)

I was just two pages into Georgia Rose’s new thriller romance and she had me hooked. I knew her main character was living some sort of lie. But what was it? And when did I get to find out? And what was going on?  From that point on it was hard to put down but, I have this life that does exist outside the written word, so I put it down. And then spent much of the time until I could pick it back up again pondering all the lies and foreshadowing the love and sneakiness the twists and turns the story had taken. I thought long about the supporting characters- I loved the supporting characters. They could each have a book, in fact I’d bet that with the amount of secret backstory they must all have to be so substantial that there are already a book’s worth of material floating around for each of them. I marveled at the complexity of it all and wondered how she came up with such a thing…

And then, lo and behold, look what I found in my inbox. A guest post from Georgia herself answering that very question! Read and enjoy!


Where do your ideas come from? Is a question I have often been asked. Again, it wasn’t until I took up the pen (overly poetic, I know, but indulge me) and started talking to non-writing people (there should be a name for them, don’t you think?) that I found out that non-writing people do not have this crazy imagination stuff going on in their head all the time. Which is weird.
I can’t speak for everyone but my ideas come from many things, something I read, watched, a random thought, an overheard phrase, some wild fantasy that passed through my mind when I was relaxed and daydreaming… ahem… moving on…
Sometimes those tiny thoughts don’t let me go and sometimes they want to be more.

This is what happened with Parallel Lies. I had a thought, an imagining, years ago. Well before the Grayson Trilogy ever popped into my mind. A place, a person, a situation and it stuck with me. This…

‘I hear it, behind me, and to the left. The snap of a twig underfoot and a sharp intake of breath at the indiscretion.’

… was all I had and it was the first line I wrote. I was going to start the book with it and do some sort of time jump back and forward thing. But changed my mind. It’s now where it should be in the natural course of time progression and, so that you’re not just left with that, here is the rest of that paragraph.

‘I hear it, behind me, and to the left. The snap of a twig underfoot and a sharp intake of breath at the indiscretion. He’s here, just as I knew he would be, but I allow myself a small smile of satisfaction knowing he’ll be cursing his mistake. I have no intention of making this easy for him so leave him to come and find me. I still, and although my heart is pounding, blood pumping in my ears until I’m sure he’ll be able to hear it too, I concentrate on making myself small and silent. I am one step ahead of him and plan on keeping it that way.’

The possibilities captured my imagination when I first had that thought, but I did nothing with them for years. Two lines expanded to become a 95K novel (which wasn’t as easy as I just made that sound) and

if it is in anyway intriguing to you the rest of those words are available for you to download right now.

Pre-order Parallel Lies by Clicking Here
But wait! There’s also a Giveaway for you to enter, should you wish!

So where do your ideas come from? I’d love to hear from any writing people (or non-writing, I’d hate to be discriminatory) who come this way with what has made their creative juices flow.

Thank you for inviting me on Behind the Willows, Jessie, it has been a pleasure to visit you and get to chat to your readers.


Thanks for guest posting, Georgia! I don’t know about anyone else but I have my own little narrator who likes to comment on my life as I go through my day, occasionally she makes up a story as well. Sometimes when the narrator is particularly fond of a story she repeats it over and over until I consent and sit down at the keyboard- and suddenly I’ve been blogging for seven years!

P.S. Would I recommend this book? This is the sort of book that I doubt John really wants to read. Bit heavy on the romance, not exactly his jam, but I liked it so much I told him about the whole thing anyway. If you are any kind of romance reader, or like a light thriller with a bit of drama and a bunch of suspense, you’ve got to get your hands on this book!


Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favorite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon.
Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone to be released on 12 September 2017, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre.
Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her overactive imagination!
Awards have never been showered upon Georgia but she is the proud holder of a silver medal gained in swimming at the tender age of ten and won Miss Rally Young Farmer (with a sash and everything!) more years ago than she cares to remember.
Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage!


 

Perfiditas by Alison Morton

Years have passed since the events in Inceptio but our main character Carina is no less awesome for it.

It’s possible she’s quite a bit more awesome, or maybe it was because this book dives a bit deeper into the culture of Roman Nova (the society founded by Ancient Romans and ruled by women ever since) but regardless I enjoyed this book even more than the first.

Carina continues to overcome obstacles by being a general kick-ass lady, and yet stays remarkably human and even, dare I say, feminine when dealing with controversy as she finds herself thrown into the middle of a conspiracy to overthrow the government.

Would I recommend it? This book certainly earned the “thriller” in it’s series title (Roman Nova Thriller Series). I had a terrible time walking away from it once I was a few chapters in. Which is basically the best problem one can have with a book. But, of course, start with book one.  Starting midway through a series has the potential to upset the natural order of the universe. Consequences can be dire, don’t risk it!

You can find a review of the first book here: https://behindthewillows.com/2017/08/02/inceptio-by-alison-morton/

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Inceptio by Alison Morton

If you are looking for insight into what it might be like to live in an alternate reality in a civilization founded by Romans and ruled by women, this book will touch on that.

If you are wondering how it would be to step from a nobody into the top tier of society, this story flirts with that.

If what you really want is to read a book where, when circumstances get scary and difficult, a woman trains hard, becomes awesome and then kicks butt, this is your book


Would I recommend it? I was almost disappointed there wasn’t more insight into the different culture the main character finds herself in. Almost. But I couldn’t be at all disappointed because I was too busy turning pages. This story had me hooked!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Courageous Cain by D.J. Davis

I read this book and I was torn.

The romantic in me loved the sweetly developing romance.
The dog lover in me wants to be the main character.
The mystery lover in me loved watching the plot unfurl.
And the scaredy-cat in me is afraid I’m going to have nightmares for months…

…but I think it’ll be worth it!

Would I recommend it? No really, I started reading this one, decided it would scare me too much, stopped and then finished it almost a year later. It is good…in a serial killer sort of way…

The Spirit Tree by Kathryn M Hearst

I have found a book that may be just what you are looking for!

(Okay, that’s not actually true. Rosie Amber found it.  I just read it. She’s a great helper of book finding and you should go look at her blog!) 

-If you are fan of the supernatural, this book may be for you.

(You know, like shape shifting, Native American magic sort of supernatural that comes at you all fast paced and crazy.  No napping in this book! There are also  a few… hundred… snakes in this book as well. Just in case you are one of those people who will string me up by my toes if I don’t warn you about such things.)

-If you are fan of the buxom girl meets older, like really, seriously, supernaturally, older man, this book may be for you.

(Yes, it’s been done… lots… because it works. So, go ahead roll your eyes, get it out of your system and then just enjoy the whole older man love triangle thing. Yup, there are two love interests, go ahead and get over that too. If we all stopped reading and enjoying books with such things, authors would probably stop writing them. But, that’s not really happening now is it?)

-If you like a bit of nudity in your books, this may be for you.

(That’s right nudity, not sex.  I think I can safely say that this book has the highest amount of nudity for the least amount of sex I’ve ever read.  I find this to be unusual and note worthy and you may do with that information what you will.)

-If you like some older sassy female characters, this book may be for you.

(The main character has an aunt and a grandma that are the sort of older conniving women we may not prefer to have meddling in our own lives but that we all secretly aspire to be.)

Would I recommend it? Maybe, do you fit any of the above criteria? This book was fun, fast read. It’s not for everyone but it’s an enjoyable book if you are a paranormal action romance reader. (Which is a mouthful of a genre, and possibly not really a genre… but it should be, it really should be.)

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

 

 

A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

I confess.

I did it.

It was an accident, but still, I broke a cardinal rule of book reading.

I read the last chapter first.

I blame it on the e-book format and I should probably have to re-shelve library books for the next week as penance. 

Would I recommend it? Don’t read the last chapter first because that will spoil everything but also don’t let the first few chapters get you down. Give it a little time and you’ll fall in love with the grumpy old Swedish man called Ove, I did.