More Thanksgiving What We’re Reading

Joanna, back again with more What Wenches are Reading for November.

Who was it who said, "I hold the buying of more books than one can peradventure read, as nothing less than the soul's reaching towards infinity; which is the only thing that raises us above the beasts that perish?" Whoever it was, I agree with him.  

A. Edward Newton

 

Anne here.Wench kearsley

I've had three stand-out reads this month β€” Susanna Kearsley's The Firebird, Deborah Smith's Crossroads Cafe, and a new-to-me Irish writer called Ciara Geraghty, of which more to come.

Susanna Kearsley's stories weave the past and present together in a magical, intriguing way that I always enjoy and admire. The Firebird was a wonderful read, about a young woman with a gift she's been taught to keep hidden, and a man who shares her abilities. It starts in England, with a small Russian firebird, and the journey takes us to St Petersburg, past and present. It's romantic, but it's also an adventure. Highly recommended.

Deborah Smith is a writer I've mentioned here before β€” I discovered her books this year and have been slowly reading my way Lifesaving-for-beginnersthrough her backlist β€” slowly because I want to savor the treat. The Crossroads Cafe is another excellent story, set mainly in a small Appalachian village. The tale of an actress who has everything, then loses itβ€”or so she thinks. A story full of heart and pain, rediscovery and joy.

I read Ciara Geraghty on the recommendation of a friend, starting with Becoming Scarlett, which I really enjoyed. Then I read Lifesaving for Beginners and was blown away.  Told from the point of view of two characters, one a ten-year-old boy, one a woman hiding from her own history, it's funny, dark, romantic and honest. Fabulous book. I'm so pleased to have discovered a new, wonderful writer. I've ordered the rest of her backlist.

 

And Mary Jo brings us:

Wench shinn mystic riderI began November reading Sharon Shinn's new book, Royal Airs, second in her Elemental Blessings fantasy series.  As always, I loved her voice so much that I had to read more.  So I reread the first book in that series, Troubled Waters.

Then I started in on a great wallowing re-read of Shinn's wonderful earlier series, The Twelve Houses.  Sharon is a terrific world-builder, and great storyteller, and she does very romantic romances.  Her country of Gillengaria has "mystics"–people with different magical abilities, like controlling fire or shapeshifting or healing.  The bad guy forces of greed and hate are whipping up lethal animosity toward mystics so they can grab power for themselves, and the first four books of the series are set against that arc of action.

Wench shinn royal airsBut each book is a strong story in its own right, with a powerful romance at the core.  In the first, Mystic and Rider, six people are sent by the benevolent king to learn how much danger there is to the kingdom, and we follow the group through the four books.  Each of the main characters falls in love with the most improbable, impossible person imaginable.  It's great fun. <G>  Wenches lucky dog

 I've finish rereading Mystic and Rider, The Thirteenth House, and I'm halfway through the third book, Dark Moon DefenderThe fourth book, Reader and Raelynx, is my very favorite of the series, and there's a fifth book, Fortune and Fate, which is set in the aftermath of the war.  Sigh.  Then I'll have to wait a while before I can reread them. 

I've also been enjoying light, humorous women's fiction, including Beth Kendrick's The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Trisha Ashley's Magic of Christmas.  I'll probably reread her Twelve Days of Christmas as well.  Ashley's books are English chicklit set in villages in Lancashire, and they feature slightly frazzled heroines who are food writers, or gardeners or wedding cake makers or some such.  They are surrounded by charming eccentrics, and in the course of the books, they fall in love.  Works for me. <G>

 

Several Futuristic and Paranormal reads this month.  Is this something you enjoy?  Who are you reading in this field?

40 thoughts on “More Thanksgiving What We’re Reading”

  1. Mary Jo–I, too, am a Sharon Shinn fan! You’ve probably read this one, but in case you haven’t, have you read Summers at Castle Auburn? It has a lovely dash of romance, and a first-person lead with a lot of personality. Although it has plenty of castle drama and some political intrigue, somehow it’s still one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to read something familiar and comforting. I’m a sucker for a happy ending (clearly, haha!) and it definitely has one.
    I’m sure authors are very cautious about critiquing other authors work, especially publically, but I’d love to hear what you thought of the Thirteenth House. Kira was my favorite of the group of adventurers; I’m not dissatisfied with her adventure (in fact I’ve reread it twice) but I always finish it sad she wasn’t granted her happy ending. Not that I think Mr. Married could necessarily be her happy ending either. I guess I have mixed emotions about never getting a buildup in the romance with her stalwart companion. He’s a dog/wolf/bird for most of the book, so…I don’t know. Not exactly hugely romantic, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I enjoyed Kira’s redemptive ending, but mixed emotions on her happily ever after.
    But it was great to read a Sharon Shinn plug. She’s fantastic, and writes great fantasy-romance. Great to see what you’re reading in her catalog :-)!

    Reply
  2. Mary Jo–I, too, am a Sharon Shinn fan! You’ve probably read this one, but in case you haven’t, have you read Summers at Castle Auburn? It has a lovely dash of romance, and a first-person lead with a lot of personality. Although it has plenty of castle drama and some political intrigue, somehow it’s still one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to read something familiar and comforting. I’m a sucker for a happy ending (clearly, haha!) and it definitely has one.
    I’m sure authors are very cautious about critiquing other authors work, especially publically, but I’d love to hear what you thought of the Thirteenth House. Kira was my favorite of the group of adventurers; I’m not dissatisfied with her adventure (in fact I’ve reread it twice) but I always finish it sad she wasn’t granted her happy ending. Not that I think Mr. Married could necessarily be her happy ending either. I guess I have mixed emotions about never getting a buildup in the romance with her stalwart companion. He’s a dog/wolf/bird for most of the book, so…I don’t know. Not exactly hugely romantic, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I enjoyed Kira’s redemptive ending, but mixed emotions on her happily ever after.
    But it was great to read a Sharon Shinn plug. She’s fantastic, and writes great fantasy-romance. Great to see what you’re reading in her catalog :-)!

    Reply
  3. Mary Jo–I, too, am a Sharon Shinn fan! You’ve probably read this one, but in case you haven’t, have you read Summers at Castle Auburn? It has a lovely dash of romance, and a first-person lead with a lot of personality. Although it has plenty of castle drama and some political intrigue, somehow it’s still one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to read something familiar and comforting. I’m a sucker for a happy ending (clearly, haha!) and it definitely has one.
    I’m sure authors are very cautious about critiquing other authors work, especially publically, but I’d love to hear what you thought of the Thirteenth House. Kira was my favorite of the group of adventurers; I’m not dissatisfied with her adventure (in fact I’ve reread it twice) but I always finish it sad she wasn’t granted her happy ending. Not that I think Mr. Married could necessarily be her happy ending either. I guess I have mixed emotions about never getting a buildup in the romance with her stalwart companion. He’s a dog/wolf/bird for most of the book, so…I don’t know. Not exactly hugely romantic, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I enjoyed Kira’s redemptive ending, but mixed emotions on her happily ever after.
    But it was great to read a Sharon Shinn plug. She’s fantastic, and writes great fantasy-romance. Great to see what you’re reading in her catalog :-)!

    Reply
  4. Mary Jo–I, too, am a Sharon Shinn fan! You’ve probably read this one, but in case you haven’t, have you read Summers at Castle Auburn? It has a lovely dash of romance, and a first-person lead with a lot of personality. Although it has plenty of castle drama and some political intrigue, somehow it’s still one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to read something familiar and comforting. I’m a sucker for a happy ending (clearly, haha!) and it definitely has one.
    I’m sure authors are very cautious about critiquing other authors work, especially publically, but I’d love to hear what you thought of the Thirteenth House. Kira was my favorite of the group of adventurers; I’m not dissatisfied with her adventure (in fact I’ve reread it twice) but I always finish it sad she wasn’t granted her happy ending. Not that I think Mr. Married could necessarily be her happy ending either. I guess I have mixed emotions about never getting a buildup in the romance with her stalwart companion. He’s a dog/wolf/bird for most of the book, so…I don’t know. Not exactly hugely romantic, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I enjoyed Kira’s redemptive ending, but mixed emotions on her happily ever after.
    But it was great to read a Sharon Shinn plug. She’s fantastic, and writes great fantasy-romance. Great to see what you’re reading in her catalog :-)!

    Reply
  5. Mary Jo–I, too, am a Sharon Shinn fan! You’ve probably read this one, but in case you haven’t, have you read Summers at Castle Auburn? It has a lovely dash of romance, and a first-person lead with a lot of personality. Although it has plenty of castle drama and some political intrigue, somehow it’s still one of my ‘go to’ books when I want to read something familiar and comforting. I’m a sucker for a happy ending (clearly, haha!) and it definitely has one.
    I’m sure authors are very cautious about critiquing other authors work, especially publically, but I’d love to hear what you thought of the Thirteenth House. Kira was my favorite of the group of adventurers; I’m not dissatisfied with her adventure (in fact I’ve reread it twice) but I always finish it sad she wasn’t granted her happy ending. Not that I think Mr. Married could necessarily be her happy ending either. I guess I have mixed emotions about never getting a buildup in the romance with her stalwart companion. He’s a dog/wolf/bird for most of the book, so…I don’t know. Not exactly hugely romantic, but maybe it wasn’t supposed to be. I enjoyed Kira’s redemptive ending, but mixed emotions on her happily ever after.
    But it was great to read a Sharon Shinn plug. She’s fantastic, and writes great fantasy-romance. Great to see what you’re reading in her catalog :-)!

    Reply
  6. Mary Jo, the audiobook of Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” is part of the big sale going on at Audible for the next few days. (I bought it, of course.)
    I do love all these recommendations, wenches!

    Reply
  7. Mary Jo, the audiobook of Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” is part of the big sale going on at Audible for the next few days. (I bought it, of course.)
    I do love all these recommendations, wenches!

    Reply
  8. Mary Jo, the audiobook of Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” is part of the big sale going on at Audible for the next few days. (I bought it, of course.)
    I do love all these recommendations, wenches!

    Reply
  9. Mary Jo, the audiobook of Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” is part of the big sale going on at Audible for the next few days. (I bought it, of course.)
    I do love all these recommendations, wenches!

    Reply
  10. Mary Jo, the audiobook of Sharon Shinn’s “Mystic and Rider” is part of the big sale going on at Audible for the next few days. (I bought it, of course.)
    I do love all these recommendations, wenches!

    Reply
  11. Elle–I have all of Sharon’s YA novels, including Summer’s at Castle Auburn, which is great. I think my most go-to Shinn book is probably Reader and Raelynx, where all the threads come together, including the last powerful romance.
    As for The Thirteenth House, it is bittersweet, but it is a terrific story, and I feel I can’t ask a fantasy writer to follow the exact romance tropes a romance writer does. Kirra is wonderful, and at the end is truly heroic. I’ve asked Sharon to write a novella showing in detail how she finds her happy ending. *G*

    Reply
  12. Elle–I have all of Sharon’s YA novels, including Summer’s at Castle Auburn, which is great. I think my most go-to Shinn book is probably Reader and Raelynx, where all the threads come together, including the last powerful romance.
    As for The Thirteenth House, it is bittersweet, but it is a terrific story, and I feel I can’t ask a fantasy writer to follow the exact romance tropes a romance writer does. Kirra is wonderful, and at the end is truly heroic. I’ve asked Sharon to write a novella showing in detail how she finds her happy ending. *G*

    Reply
  13. Elle–I have all of Sharon’s YA novels, including Summer’s at Castle Auburn, which is great. I think my most go-to Shinn book is probably Reader and Raelynx, where all the threads come together, including the last powerful romance.
    As for The Thirteenth House, it is bittersweet, but it is a terrific story, and I feel I can’t ask a fantasy writer to follow the exact romance tropes a romance writer does. Kirra is wonderful, and at the end is truly heroic. I’ve asked Sharon to write a novella showing in detail how she finds her happy ending. *G*

    Reply
  14. Elle–I have all of Sharon’s YA novels, including Summer’s at Castle Auburn, which is great. I think my most go-to Shinn book is probably Reader and Raelynx, where all the threads come together, including the last powerful romance.
    As for The Thirteenth House, it is bittersweet, but it is a terrific story, and I feel I can’t ask a fantasy writer to follow the exact romance tropes a romance writer does. Kirra is wonderful, and at the end is truly heroic. I’ve asked Sharon to write a novella showing in detail how she finds her happy ending. *G*

    Reply
  15. Elle–I have all of Sharon’s YA novels, including Summer’s at Castle Auburn, which is great. I think my most go-to Shinn book is probably Reader and Raelynx, where all the threads come together, including the last powerful romance.
    As for The Thirteenth House, it is bittersweet, but it is a terrific story, and I feel I can’t ask a fantasy writer to follow the exact romance tropes a romance writer does. Kirra is wonderful, and at the end is truly heroic. I’ve asked Sharon to write a novella showing in detail how she finds her happy ending. *G*

    Reply
  16. RevMelinda, the funny thing is, we love the recommendations, too. We wenches usually go off to buy the books another wench recommends, as well and then as we read them, we often discuss them. It’s a lovely cross-fertilization process.
    We’re all passionate readers as well as writers. *g*

    Reply
  17. RevMelinda, the funny thing is, we love the recommendations, too. We wenches usually go off to buy the books another wench recommends, as well and then as we read them, we often discuss them. It’s a lovely cross-fertilization process.
    We’re all passionate readers as well as writers. *g*

    Reply
  18. RevMelinda, the funny thing is, we love the recommendations, too. We wenches usually go off to buy the books another wench recommends, as well and then as we read them, we often discuss them. It’s a lovely cross-fertilization process.
    We’re all passionate readers as well as writers. *g*

    Reply
  19. RevMelinda, the funny thing is, we love the recommendations, too. We wenches usually go off to buy the books another wench recommends, as well and then as we read them, we often discuss them. It’s a lovely cross-fertilization process.
    We’re all passionate readers as well as writers. *g*

    Reply
  20. RevMelinda, the funny thing is, we love the recommendations, too. We wenches usually go off to buy the books another wench recommends, as well and then as we read them, we often discuss them. It’s a lovely cross-fertilization process.
    We’re all passionate readers as well as writers. *g*

    Reply
  21. Oh, thank you! πŸ™‚ I–and probably loads of others–would buy that novella in a heartbeat. But I do agree, it isn’t fair to expect a fantasy writer to follow romance tropes. It’s still a beautifully written book, perhaps all the more because she trusts the readers to accept the ending. And honestly, as much as I love a happy ending (so much!) I love a sad, or bittersweet ending nearly as much. Roman Holiday is one of my absolute favorite movies ever, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (another stellar book, pick up a copy if you haven’t read it!) has a dash of heartbreak in the end, and yet I read it over and over again. But thank you soo much for asking Shinn to write a little novella for Kirra, I would be delighted if she went through with it!

    Reply
  22. Oh, thank you! πŸ™‚ I–and probably loads of others–would buy that novella in a heartbeat. But I do agree, it isn’t fair to expect a fantasy writer to follow romance tropes. It’s still a beautifully written book, perhaps all the more because she trusts the readers to accept the ending. And honestly, as much as I love a happy ending (so much!) I love a sad, or bittersweet ending nearly as much. Roman Holiday is one of my absolute favorite movies ever, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (another stellar book, pick up a copy if you haven’t read it!) has a dash of heartbreak in the end, and yet I read it over and over again. But thank you soo much for asking Shinn to write a little novella for Kirra, I would be delighted if she went through with it!

    Reply
  23. Oh, thank you! πŸ™‚ I–and probably loads of others–would buy that novella in a heartbeat. But I do agree, it isn’t fair to expect a fantasy writer to follow romance tropes. It’s still a beautifully written book, perhaps all the more because she trusts the readers to accept the ending. And honestly, as much as I love a happy ending (so much!) I love a sad, or bittersweet ending nearly as much. Roman Holiday is one of my absolute favorite movies ever, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (another stellar book, pick up a copy if you haven’t read it!) has a dash of heartbreak in the end, and yet I read it over and over again. But thank you soo much for asking Shinn to write a little novella for Kirra, I would be delighted if she went through with it!

    Reply
  24. Oh, thank you! πŸ™‚ I–and probably loads of others–would buy that novella in a heartbeat. But I do agree, it isn’t fair to expect a fantasy writer to follow romance tropes. It’s still a beautifully written book, perhaps all the more because she trusts the readers to accept the ending. And honestly, as much as I love a happy ending (so much!) I love a sad, or bittersweet ending nearly as much. Roman Holiday is one of my absolute favorite movies ever, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (another stellar book, pick up a copy if you haven’t read it!) has a dash of heartbreak in the end, and yet I read it over and over again. But thank you soo much for asking Shinn to write a little novella for Kirra, I would be delighted if she went through with it!

    Reply
  25. Oh, thank you! πŸ™‚ I–and probably loads of others–would buy that novella in a heartbeat. But I do agree, it isn’t fair to expect a fantasy writer to follow romance tropes. It’s still a beautifully written book, perhaps all the more because she trusts the readers to accept the ending. And honestly, as much as I love a happy ending (so much!) I love a sad, or bittersweet ending nearly as much. Roman Holiday is one of my absolute favorite movies ever, and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (another stellar book, pick up a copy if you haven’t read it!) has a dash of heartbreak in the end, and yet I read it over and over again. But thank you soo much for asking Shinn to write a little novella for Kirra, I would be delighted if she went through with it!

    Reply

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