Like a Thief in the Night

Like a Thief in the Night
As soon as I realized yesterday was Bettie Sharpe’s release day, I headed over to Samhain and picked up my copy of this novella. And though I had other things I really needed to be doing, I sat down and read it right then.

Why? Well, if you’d read any of her work, you wouldn’t need to ask. See, Bettie has a visceral quality to her writing. She sinks a fist into your gut and won’t let go until the roller coaster stops. Yet she also possesses a certain literate elegance in her use of language. World-building? Check. She gives just enough detail in a novella that we have a sense of place, but without anything like an infodump.

But enough esoteric stuff.

In Like a Thief in the Night, neither protagonist is terribly likable. In fact, I suspect some readers might be put off by the level of violence and the way the hero and heroine relate to each other. I’m not going to give away any details that will spoil, but if you read it, you know exactly what I mean.

But it worked for me. This is a kickass futuristic story, no doubt about it. The action left me breathless, and the dialog is top-notch: quick, witty, and oh-so-smart.

I loved Arden. I also loved that Ms. Sharpe didn’t turn her hardcore heroine into a spun sugar princess, transformed by the power of love. The hero was a match for the heroine, but honestly, this was Arden’s book. Usually it’s the hero I’ll remember, but not in this case. Arden is fierce, people, downright feral in some instances, and Ms. Sharpe conveys the difference in her psyche with a deft, masterful hand.

She also imbues this hard-edged story with a surreal, almost mythic atmosphere. I can’t quantify anymore, except if I were giving it a series title, I might call it something like Grimm’s Cyberpunk. I find myself hoping she’ll write Jack’s story — Arden’s protégé is definitely intriguing.

In conclusion, Ms. Sharpe is an author to watch. If you like gritty, dark, dangerous stories where the threat is real, and things really do go thump in the night, then you want this novella.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go buy it!

I get around…

*hums the song for a minute*

Anyway! I’ll tell you how my weekend went.

I left insanely early on Friday morning, and by early afternoon, I was in San Diego. I could talk about my trek through Tijuana or write about San Ysidro, but I think I’ll skip over that.

I arrived at my hotel shortly after one, and I called my agent to let her know. Laura sounded mildly surprised, albeit in a good way, that I had managed to navigate the border and get to my destination on my own. See, she offered to come down there to pick me up but I didn’t want to impose. So I was happy with what I accomplished.

She picked me up about an hour later in Mission Valley and we proceeded immediately to the bank, where I took care of some long outstanding business. The long and the short of that is I’m all set. And very, very relieved. Traveling will now be a lot easier.

Afterward, we went to a long lunch at P.F. Chang’s. And it was sooo good. We started with crab wontons (served with plum sauce), and then she ordered Crispy Honey Shrimp while I got the Orange Peel Beef. But we shared between us, and it was delicious.

The server was super perky! We tried to leave without dessert, but then she told us about these dessert minis that were served in what looked like shot glasses. I got a lemon thing and Laura had the tiramisù. Tasty!

After that, we visited several bookstores, and I bought a huge amount, despite the fact that I had told my husband I probably wouldn’t get much, since I had just gone shopping in Schaumburg the week before. (Yes, I know, I get around, hence the post title.) Turns out he knows me better than I know me.

I really enjoyed meeting some of Laura’s friends, including one lady who said she was a big fan. Of mine! I never had anyone say that before. Insert gleeful squeal here. I also saw my ad in Romance Sells. Too cool.

We shopped until I was just too tired to go on. I was running on about two hours sleep and finally had to call it a night. But the booktastic shopathon continued the next morning. Laura bought me breakfast at…you know, I’m not sure of the name. Brian’s, or O’Brian’s maybe. It was a diner-style place, but the food was awesome. I had a Denver omelet as big as my head. Totally delish.

I also learned that Laura went to Antarctica with Liz Maverick, and they both worked at McMurdo for five months. It’s a kickass story, and if you haven’t heard it, you want to. I’ve seldom heard anything so cool in my life.

Then we stopped by her favorite used bookstore, Romance World. Everyone was super-nice, and I dropped a small fortune there. (I also found Briar Rose, which Marianne was kind enough to ID for me.) I got to admire my cover in various catalogs and then we pulled out cover flats to look at my cover alongside the other two with which it shares the BN display. Pretty cool to see how it’ll look at the end of next month.

I had bought so many books that we had to stop by Target and buy me a carry-on bag to stow them all. And it’s hot pink! Cute. I managed to stuff them all in there, and then I simply relaxed and read for the rest of the day. You can expect squeeing as I read.

My trip home was long, and it was late when I got home. But there was more excitement waiting in my office. My box of ARCs has arrived from Ace, so if you’ve been waiting for a signed copy, then know I’m dropping them in the mail today. It’ll take anywhere from two weeks to a month for you to get them, but that’s still before release, right?

How was everyone else’s weekend?

A quickie… for your pleasure

Not reviews, per se, but a review of my vacation books, a roller coaster ride of reading fun. I won’t go into detail, just my basic reactions.

I think you may be surprised by what I devoured in one short week. Ready? This’ll go fast. You sure you’re set? K, hang on tight, here we go!

Ebooks

By Bonnie Dee
The Warrior’s Gift Meh.

Moon Over Bourbon Street Fun. Gabriel Knight in book form. Recommend.

Home Bound Crazy-hot. And kinda wrong. But hot. Recommend.

Blackberry Pie Holy crap, was this hot. Too short. Wanted a whole damn book. So hot I got a sunburn. And so beautifully written it brought tears to my eyes. BUY THIS.

By Charlene Teglia
The Gripping Beast Good writing. Fun way to kill a few hours. Plus…VIKINGS. Minus points for weird title that made me think it had hentai in it.

By Lauren Dane
Giving Chase Fresh baked bread, wholesome. Great heroine. Minus points for making me fall in love with one brother, and then turning him into a dick. Kinda suffered from dual hero syndrome. But worth reading.

Taking Chase Great! But it wasn’t a keeper because Shane was such an ass in book 1 that I couldn’t forgive him too readily. If you read these back to back as I did you may have the same problem. Cassie’s issues were written beautifully. Warm chocolate chip cookies feeling from reading it and a happy sigh at the end. Even if I was still kinda mad at Shane.

Chased Not as powerful as book 2. Worth reading, though.

By Pepper Espinoza
Mad World Crap on a cracker, this is the shit. But dark, terrible, ugly, and dysfunctional. Hero is a corrupt cop just this side of insane vigilante and the heroine is a sociopathic hooker. KEEPER! Not for the faint of heart.

Rayne of Love Meh. Good idea, shaky execution. Writing was engaging, needed tighter editing.

New Frontier Hello, genuine frontier story. Outlaw, pioneer woman, Old West, hot sex? What could be better? I liked.

By Dee Tenorio
Betting Hearts Rocked me. SEP, look out. Fuckin’ loved this. Buy this one!

Paperbacks

Still Waters
Tami Hoag
Tired, dated. Everybody smoked. The only interesting character, well, I won’t spoil you. But meh. Yawn.

Moonshine
Rob Thurman
Better than the first one. Didn’t make me sing out in awed delight like Patricia Briggs, but readable.

The Scent of Shadows
Vicki Pettersson
Gack.

Private Arrangements
Sherry Thomas
A very pretty, artfully written historical romance. Clever. It was a sugar cookie, a Quinn, not a Kinsale. PS — haha! I have it and you don’t.

You Belong to Me
Patricia Sargeant
Good writing. Great hero. Romantic suspense, and I’m not prone to love those. But I enjoyed it.

Forever Odd
Dean Koontz
Love the characters, love his writing and sense of humor. Hated the plot/story. I won’t give up on Odd Thomas, but the first book was the best to date.

Got questions? You can ask in comments or email me. Feel free to disagree. As always, this is only my opinion, which doesn’t matter for shit.