Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Been hanging out with the lady writers these days

Ready to read at a moment's notice

Just today I decided to make a list of my new favorite authors and was surprised to find that they were all women. What's up with that?  All my past favorites have been largely men, or in some cases women using male pen names. Same question applies. I suppose I'll have to think on that, but for now, I thought I would just highlight these ladies of writing. To avoid any favoritism, I am following the alphabetical rule.

Kim Headlee – she writes a series of books that is steeped in Arthurian legend. Her characterization is strong and ties nicely into the legend without being strangled by it.  The female characters are strong as are the male which is what I like to read as it really bothers me when generally one gender is more capable, intelligent and sensible than the other.  She is a skilled writer, and especially so in this particular series.  For more specific details on Headlee see my post of Learning from the Masters on Headlee.

L. A. Hilden – I tumbled onto Hilden's writing via Goodreads. It's been a while so I can't really say if I read a book by her first or started chatting with her first. But they were not far apart in either case.  I have enjoyed her time travel regency romance series.  She is particular about her research down to the tiniest details.  I am a sucker for good research as I love the marriage between fiction and history.  It has been quite some time since I focused largely on reading romance, so Hilden's books are actually a step away from my current interest, but not too big a step as I have lately run almost exclusively to time travel in my reading and this particular series of hers anchors itself in the main character's stumble back and sometimes forward in time. She's working on another novel laced with time travel that I have been treated with a glimpse at.

Marcy Peska – another author I have become close friends with. We met on Twitter via our dog interests and blossomed into sharing our writing interests.  Peska has two books out that are urban magic/legend stories imbedded in Alaskan landscapes. I am not much for urban legend, but throw in some magic and I am ready to take the leap. Leap I did and I met a strong woman character who is finding her way through unexpected elemental magic, friendship and danger. The characters are genuine and full of spark, particularly Vivian who shares the journey in quips and quarrels that show her depth of character and struggle to deal with the unexpected magic she finds all around her.  Remember, you promised a bunch of people (not just me) a book 3, Marcy.

Veronica Roth – the author of a dystopian series. At this point in time, she hardly needs me to tell about what she has written. I enjoyed her books because I found her created society a reasonable evolution and its ultimate breakdown also well supported. Her characters are easy to connect to, in fact, easy to feel possessive about.  I found I was arguing with the play of events, but one cannot control the world he or she lives in, so how can readers expect everything to flow as they wish. This did not stop me from "Whatting!" at particular events, but I prefer my flabbergasted rampage to a predictable read any day.

Jodi Taylor – Her St. Mary's time travel novels have quite hooked me.  I wait for the February publication of her fifth book in the series. (I also read her Nothing Girl standalone novel and loved it as well.) What I appreciate most about this series is Max's humor and internal dialogue. She is the main character and tells the story with wit, flawed wisdom and loads of emotional baggage. After reading four of the series books, I know that when there is a moment for me to rest my tense expectations, something bad is about to happen and Max is going to be stretched to the limit of her imaginative escape powers, and emotional scars are going to tear, a marathon to the end.

Rysa Walker – The Chronos Files series.  I have read the first two books of the series and am waiting on the third. It is sort of a YA/NA time travel mix or perhaps it is a YA evolving over time into an NA. In any case, I am thoroughly enjoying the time travel "training" of Kate by fire and confabulation. Poor girl. It's not enough to have her losing lovers every time the history takes a flip, but she has to stop her grandfather from thoroughly destroying the world as she knows it (or keeps knowing it more than one way), while deciding who to trust/distrust/retrust/untrust and work the darn hourglass thingy that moves her through time.

April White – I will tell you right now, I avoid vampire and werewolf books purely on principal.  I have no explanation for that other than if everybody is writing about vampires, I am probably going to get annoyed. (Go ahead and shake your head, I keep reading time travel. I know, I know. I didn't say I was logical just avoiding a particular genre for some reason.) The point in bringing this up is that White's Immortal Descendants series includes a vampire or two.  And the main character is in love with a vampire. But that is not the focus of the series. Time Travel is the focus as is getting back alive, figuring out how it all works, protecting people important to her and avoiding all the interference that comes her way when she is just trying to save her mother, and then her lover, and then her friend, and his friend, and everybody else who gets pulled in. I hope book three comes out soon.

The immortal Connie Willis – I could blame her for getting me hooked on time travel if it wasn't for Heinlein who gets the blame for just about everything I do related to reading or writing.  However, I had been on hiatus awhile reading a lot of literary stuff (Jane Austin about killed me) and then I read Blackout, Bellweather, Doomsday Book, and…..  You get the picture. She was just trolling along, and I took the bait and been hooked ever since. Because I like time travel and nonstop up and down, breath-stopping difficulties and general lost in time stuff!

So there you are. That is what I have been reading lately. Yes, I have read other non-time travel books in between and several by men, but these are the ladies I keep checking up on and packing my Kindle with. They are the reason my files are now sorted by author rather than book title.

Who are you reading?  Is there a common factor?  Are any of these ladies on your list? If not, why not?


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