Monday, June 2, 2014

My June 2014 "Must Read" List

I have my list of "must reads" ready for the month of June. There's a little SF/F here and a little paranormal romance there, mainstream contemporary fiction,  historical fiction, and of course LGBT reads. What you won't find in this post are straight up mainstream contemporary or historical romance reads. I will be picking those up as the mood strikes.

Some of these books (like Shield of Winter and Cibola Burn) have been on my list since last year, but the rest are all recent additions.

Check out The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey, I read the extended preview and now I'm waiting anxious to read the novel. And, The Girls at the Kingfisher's Club by Genevieve Valentine caught my attention the first time I saw the cover and blurb -- a fairy tale with Roaring 20's flappers? Yes! With The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman, the cover didn't grab me, but the book summary caught and kept my interest.

I'm determined to catch up with Gabaldon's Outlander series and Written in My Own Heart's Blood is definitely on my list of reads this summer! Then there's favorite author Meljean Brook, reading Frozen is a given and the same thing goes for L.B. Gregg's Men of Smithfield series. I love it, so Sam and Aaron will be an automatic buy for me. And, last year Berman's Best Gay Stories 2013 anthology was filled with quality stories. I wasn't planning on missing the 2014 edition.
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SHIELD OF WINTER by Nalini Singh (Psy/Changeling Series)
Print Edition releases June 3, 2014/Digital edition releases June 5, 2014 (Berkeley)

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to suffocate her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey
Releases June 10, 2014 (Orbit)

The Girl With All the Gifts is a groundbreaking thriller, emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

THE GIRLS AT KINGFISHER CLUB by Genevieve Valentine
Releasing June 10, 2014 (Atria Books)

From award-winning author Genevieve Valentine, a "gorgeous and bewitching" (Scott Westerfeld) reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.

Jo, the firstborn, "The General" to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off.

The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.

With The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, award-winning writer Genevieve Valentine takes her superb storytelling gifts to new heights, joining the leagues of such Jazz Age depicters as Amor Towles and Paula McClain, and penning a dazzling tale about love, sisterhood, and freedom.

WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART'S BLOOD (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon
Releasing June 10, 2014 (Delacorte Press)

1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

The Frasers can only be thankful that their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in twentieth-century Scotland. Or not. In fact, Brianna is searching for her own son, who was kidnapped by a man determined to learn her family’s secrets. Her husband, Roger, has ventured into the past in search of the missing boy . . . never suspecting that the object of his quest has not left the present. Now, with Roger out of the way, the kidnapper can focus on his true target: Brianna herself.

THE RISE & FALL OF GREAT POWERS: A NOVEL by Tom Rachman
Releasing June 10, 2014 (The Dial Press)

Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still.

Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want? There was Humphrey, the curmudgeonly Russian with a passion for reading; there was the charming but tempestuous Sarah, who sowed chaos in her wake; and there was Venn, the charismatic leader whose worldview transformed Tooly forever. Until, quite suddenly, he disappeared.

Years later, Tooly believes she will never understand the true story of her own life. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers.

FROZEN by Meljean Brook
Releasing June 15 (Self-published)

For a year and a half, Olivia Martin has tried to forget Erik Gulbrandr, the glacial man who’d scorched her mouth with a single kiss. But when Olivia finds herself snowbound with Erik on the winter solstice, she discovers that the man who set her body aflame is cursed by abominable needs — and a desire that might destroy them both…
SAM and AARON (Men of Smithfield #5) by L.B. Gregg
Releasing June 16 (Carina Press)

With our family's legacy, Meyers B&B, in the flailing hands of me, Sam Meyers, and my sister Wynne, we're determined to revive the place. We've started a series of blind-date cooking classes, and taken on our first boarder. Granddad is even now rolling in his grave.

Signed up for the class is our new guest, Aaron Saunders, a Californian transplant who's distractingly handsome and clearly up to no good. I can't quite figure him out. He blew into town and has been relentless in his search for…something.

The sexy sneak is intriguing. And we've had a steamy moment. Or two. But now I can't stop wondering why he's searching in secret. From the library, to the historical society, to my own backyard, Aaron leaves no stone unturned or record book unopened. He's definitely gotten my attention. But that might not be the only thing he's after.

CIBOLA BURNS (The Expanse) by James S.A. Corey
Releasing June 17 (Orbit)

"An empty apartment, a missing family, that's creepy. But this is like finding a military base with no one on it. Fighters and tanks idling on the runway with no drivers. This is bad juju. Something wrong happened here. What you should do is tell everyone to leave."

The gates have opened the way to a thousand new worlds and the rush to colonize has begun. Settlers looking for a new life stream out from humanity's home planets. Ilus, the first human colony on this vast new frontier, is being born in blood and fire.

Independent settlers stand against the overwhelming power of a corporate colony ship with only their determination, courage, and the skills learned in the long wars of home. Innocent scientists are slaughtered as they try to survey a new and alien world. The struggle on Ilus threatens to spread all the way back to Earth.

James Holden and the crew of his one small ship are sent to make peace in the midst of war and sense in the midst of chaos. But the more he looks at it, the more Holden thinks the mission was meant to fail.

And the whispers of a dead man remind him that the great galactic civilization that once stood on this land is gone. And that something killed it.

BEST GAY STORIES 2014 edited by Steve Berman
Releases June 20, 2014 (Lethe Press)

In the 2014 edition, fiction, essays, and memoirs by: Michael Alenyikov, Richard Bowes, Michael Carroll, Lou Dellaguzzo, Michael Thomas Ford, L.A. Fields, Guy Mark Foster, James Gifford, Trebor Healey, Andrew Holleran, Ed Kurtz, Dmitry Kuzmin, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Sam J. Miller, James Powers-Black, Jason Schneiderman, Max Steele, Stefen Styrsky, Josef Winkler, Mario Alberto Zambrano.

The rest of my June reads will be a surprise (to you and me). How about you? Do you have a list of "must reads" for June?

2 comments:

  1. Shield of Winter definitively. ACtually, by this time I'm done LOL. Frozen sounds interesting. Going to wait for your review of The Girl with all the gifts ;P

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    1. Oh wow, you read Shield of Winter already! I'm saving it for the weekend. ;P I'll definitely be reading The Girl with all The Gifts and, check out The Girls at the Kingfisher Club. That one looks great too... I'm not reading the Kraken King yet, so I'm getting my Meljean fix by reading Frozen, lol!

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