Welcome to Smugglivus – Day 28!
Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2009, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2010.
Today’s Guest: Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) of the awesome Urban Fantasy/Paranormal/Romance/SF blog The Thrillionth Page and Little CJ.
Not only is CJ a prolific, witty, hilarious blogger – she’s also a soon-to-be published author! Her debut novel, Mind Games, comes out in March 2010. And the cover is preeeeeetty.
Please give it up, folks, for CJ!
Best of 2009 and looking forward to 2010, by Carolyn Crane of the Thrillionth Page, and Little CJ, her childhood portrait painted by an elderly aunt that hangs on her office wall.
Carolyn Crane: First up for fave books of the year: Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong, the mesmerizing, suspenseful prequel to the Women of the Otherworld series.
This book came out past January. Whoa! I’m not an anthology reader, but these four tales—great on their own—also bring hugely satisfying new depth to some of my favorite characters in all of paranormal literature; especially Jeremy and Clay Danvers
Little CJ: Character depth, riiiight. Carolyn likes this book because it satisfies her nosiness bone, which is huge.
Carolyn Crane: No, being interested in learning about characters means they’re great characters.
Little CJ: Oh, so Gabby Nelson, your high school nemesis, is a great character? That’s why you Google her all the time?
Carolyn Crane: Next up: Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole!
I loved super evil Sabine, who comes from a culture where bad is good and good is bad. She’s thrown in with uptight and noble Demon King Rydstrom. This was a hot, humorous book with prophecies, battles, characters dragging each other across a wasteland…
Little CJ: coughSexyDemonKingchainedinadungeoncough.
Carolyn Crane: *stony silence*
Little CJ: coughmindintheguttercough
Carolyn Crane: I wonder if there is a dungeon out there that needs a childhood portrait painted by an elderly aunt on chained to the wall?
Little CJ: *gulp*
Carolyn Crane: Another fave this year: Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran!
I loved everything about this story of Lydia, the prim Egyptologist, and the “silver-tongued Viscount Sanburne.” Great characters, a smart, intricately drawn relationship and all sorts of lovely play around the philosophies, societal fashions, and rages of the day. The Regency world came alive for me with this book as it never has before.
Little CJ: Yeah, especially during that steamy scene where Lydia and Sanburne were trapped on the roof, huh?
Carolyn Crane: Two other memorable fave reads: Bad to the Bone by Jeri Smith Ready, another installment in the fascinating WVMP vampire radio station series, and Made to be Broken, the second in Kelley Armstrong’s Nadia Stafford hitwoman series.
Little CJ: The year of morally dubious heroines.
Carolyn Crane is looking forward to:
Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne – Maggie and Doyle’s story. Does anybody else love the this smart, sturdy spy as I do?
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook – Steampunk story of a feared and powerful merchant mogul, a dead body, and a lady inspector. I’m dying to get my hands on this thing!
Switch by Megan Hart:
OMG, promises to be dirtier and more delicious than her previous ones. Yay!
Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead:
I love Georgina, and I’m such a sucker for this fabulous series! In this one, I understand she has to help plan Seth’s wedding. Nooooo!
Heart’s Blood by Gail Dayton
a master conjurer, a street urchin, a mystery fraught with danger and a wonderful writing voice. Psyched!
The Dead Travel Fast by Deanna Raybourn
A standalone novel of historical suspense by the author of the fabulous Lady Julia Grey series!!!!
Little CJ is looking forward to:
Carolyn Crane using less exclamation marks!! That will be super cool!!!
Predictions for 2010:
Carolyn Crane: Twitter users will double. And the amount of spam will triple.
Little CJ: Carolyn Crane will continue to be mystified by the dirty twitter porn girls who try to be her twitter friend, and naively shocked when they don’t want to discuss movies and JR Ward with her.
Carolyn Crane: Steampunk will greatly influence women’s fashion, and the frock coat, the monocle, and the pince nez will come back.
Little CJ: however, like all fashion trends, it will completely bypass Carolyn Crane, who will continue to remind people of Velma from Scooby Do, wearing baggy turtleneck sweaters and thick glasses.
Carolyn Crane: The Wolfman with Benicio del Toro will be the hugest movie ever!
Little CJ: Carolyn will spend most of this movie with her eyes shut tight, and popcorn grease-covered-fingers in her ears, humming because she can’t bear to watch her precious Benicio in distress. Then she will come out of the theater and act like it she actually watched it.
Carolyn Crane: Anita Blake becomes a celibate monk in a monastery in a remote island in Greece, and bored readers clamor for her to be slutty again. The Scribe Virgin hooks up with the Omega in the blockbusting finale Black Dagger Brotherhood, and they have an octopus child that kills Phury! Roarke travels back in time to rewrite the Mayan calendar to save Eve Dallas, thereby saving all of humanity. Also, Stephanie Plum accidentally blows up Joe Morelli and Ranger in a car, but a clever surgeon knits their many severed body parts back together to create a single man, Rangerelli, and Stephanie and Rangerelli marry and have a crime-solving octopus child.
Little CJ: Not.
Carolyn Crane: An author somewhere will behave in an unwise and hugely regretful way online, topping the last such scandal.
Little CJ: And Carolyn Crane is praying right now that it won’t be her, in one of her freak chocolate and PMS-fueled rages.
Carolyn Crane: A dungeon somewhere gets spruced up with a painting of young Carolyn Crane done by an elderly aunt. The spiders are gleeful.
Little CJ: Gulp
Next on Smugglivus: Amy of My Friend Amy