BBAW: Unexpected Treasures

So for today’s Book Bloggers Appreciation Week 2010 (BBAW) discussion:

We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger. What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?

This time around, I’m not the only one getting in on the action – Jennifer and Lisa are adding their own experiences…

Jackie
I can’t remember exactly what was said, who said it, or pretty much any of the circumstances around it, but the one genre I would never had read if it hadn’t been for another blogger (or other bloggers) would have to be science fiction.  I was never a huge Star Trek fan and while I liked Star Wars, I never went looking for anything even remotely SciFi related.  In fact, I tended to steer clear of it because the whole alien romance or advanced technology storylines just didn’t interest me.  Honestly, some of the tech confused, rather than entertained, me and that’s not what I wanted out of book.

However, when Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace first appeared and started to generate a lot of buzz, I got interested.  So I started doing some digging and stumbled around her website until I found this jewel – Renegade.  It’s a free read involving one of the main characters from her series and I really liked it.  The tech wasn’t so far out there to be unrelateable and I really enjoyed the character.  So I went out and bought Grimspace and had it finished within hours.  Aguirre totally had me hooked and if I hadn’t seen the buzz, I never would have gone to her website and discovered Renegade.  Now, I don’t shy away from SciFi novels, but I will admit to still being a little picky with them.

Jennifer
This one is fairly easy for me. I’ve never thought to read a Historical Romance. I’ve always wholeheartedly agreed with the stereo type of this genre being antiquated. Basically, I thought that Historical Fiction was a recipe for boredom and ridicule on my part. One fateful day, however, Jackie needed Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty read and reviewed. No one was available for it but myself, so I decided to take one for the team.

Turns out though, that I ended up loving it. It was definitely a historical romance in every way, but it wasn’t the type where the soft spoken beauty falls head over heals for the dashing rouge. No, these two treated each other as equals, the romance was sexy, and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. Every preconceived notion that I had about the genre was smashed. Since then I’ve been slowly but surely exploring this genre, and I’m happy to admit at how wrong I was.

Lisa
This is going to sound silly because I do reviews for LE, but until then I had read almost nothing in the Urban Fantasy genre. My experience with it was in reading The Vampire Dairies back when I was in 8th grade (no I will not say how far back…lol) and Twilight. That’s pretty much it. However, when I took a job reviewing for LE, I decided to give UF a try. I’m not going to tell you the first book I tried, because you’ll be hearing about it on Thursday, but let me just say that once I read it my love affair with UF was official. I’ve since read a few more books in the genre and have enjoyed them and have tons more in my TBR pile.

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Contest Time! I did say there were going to be daily contests, so I’m going to add them to these posts.  Since I forgot to put up yesterday’s contest, I’m throwing the books in on this one.  So there’s one more prize pack to get your hands on.

Today’s giveaway is for a copy of Afterlife by Merrie Destefano and Born to Bite by Lynsay Sands to a lucky reader.  But that’s not all!  I’m also throwing in a shiny new copy of Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta and Twelve by Jasper Kent to another lucky reader.  All you have to do is Recommend a book in one of the genres mentioned above.  Do you have a favorite Historical Romance Jennifer might enjoy?  What about a Science Fiction novel that I simply must read.  Or better yet, what should Lisa check out now that she has cut her teeth on UF?

As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):

  1. Leave a comment answering the days questions. Yes, I’ll be asking everyone a question and it may be something inquiring minds want to know or it could be something random.  I have no clue yet, but you have to answer the question in order to enter. This is mainly so I don’t see “please enter me”.  That’s too easy.
  2. Post about the contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, share it with the world. You just have to let me know you did it in the same post as your answer to the question.
  3. Introduce someone new to Literary Escapism. Get them to leave a comment any where on the site, including this contest, and they’ll get entered as well as giving you one more chance to win (they must include in the comment that you sent them).

The contest will stay open until 12 noon on September 16th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer. (Although honestly, winners won’t be announced until this weekend)

I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.

About Jackie 3273 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

26 Comments

  1. No need to enter me in the contest. When I was in my teens and mid 20’s I was totally into sci fi and fantasy to the exclusion of everything else. The genre has grown in the past 20 / 30 years, but the older books still stand the test of time. I’m more into fantasy than sci fi and if you want to try someone different, try Charles De Lint.

  2. This is another great giveaway! Thank you for that.

    In Urban Fantasy I would recommend:
    Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
    Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
    Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh
    Chicagoland Vampires by Chloe Neill

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  3. If you like UF and want something a little weird and a little different Try Sergei Lukyanenko’s “Watch” series including night watch, day watch, last watch and twilight watch. He is a russian author who is well regarded but i think this is one of he’s few series that has made it to english. They made some movies of the series awhile back but skip those and read the books! The series has been around for awhile and is a nice departure from the current trends :D

  4. Two UF books I’d recommend for Lisa are Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep and Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy. Both are books that I had trouble putting down once I started them.

  5. When it comes to urban fantasy, I would recommend Jaye Wells and Red-Headed Stepchild. As for sci-fi, Robert Sawyer’s Flash/Forward was much better as a book than as a television series.

    I also Stumbled this for you (RabidFox) and Dugg it (wagthefox).

  6. Jennifer, have you tried The Pink Carnation Series by Lauren Willig?
    1. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
    2. The Masque of the Black Tulip
    3. The Deception of the Emerald Ring
    4. The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
    5. The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
    6. The Betrayal of the Blood Lily
    7. The Mischief of the Mistletoe, (Pub. Date 10.28.2010)

    So far I’ve read all but #6 & #7 – this is a great series about the “flower spies” of the Napoleonic Wars. The narrative switches back and forth between the historical story, and the current day grad student who is researching their stories. The historical portion is a little bit romance and a little bit thriller, and the modern portions are a little bit romance and a little bit comedy. I highly recommend this series often. If it sound interesting you can read a little more of my thoughts about the first novel here:
    http://sunnyreads.blogspot.com/2010/08/what-ive-been-reading-pink-carnation.html
    I hope you try it out!!

  7. I don’t read a lot of Historical Romance but one that everone should try is The Other Bolyen Girl by Philippa Gregory. It’s based on on what really happened to Anne Bolyen’s sister but is very heartbreaking.

    Science Fiction I would recommend would be The Ring by Stephen Baxter – one of my first Sci Fi books and still one of my favourites – after all how can you beat the end of the universe? :-)

    And finally in UF, I think most people are aware but Bitten by Kelley Armstrong is difficult to beat! The whole Otherworld series is brilliant – I love the way the main characters in teh series can change over time.

    Hope those aren’t books you’ve already read!

  8. For UF I recommend Touch The Dark by Karen Chance or Working For the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow

    For Sci-Fi I recommend Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury or the Host by Stephanie Meyers

    For historical I recommend The Grand Sophie by Georgette Heyer or Cross-Stitch (Outlander in USA) by Daina Gabaldon.

    I would also recommend any book by Anne McCaffrey or Mercedes Lackey too.

    • There are some fabulous UF recs here. I would have to agree with all of them – or at least the ones I’ve read. I really need to check out CE Murphy.

      Although, I do have to say, I’m not sure I would agree with the Dante novels. Not yet at least. They are really dark and if you’re just diving in, they might be a bit much. I read them when I first started and they were hard to get into. At least after the second novel. Now that I’ve been in the genre for awhile, I really should go back to them.

      I’ll have to check out some of the SciFi recs!

  9. for years and years and years I was a strict SF fan. Nothing I ever could ever be considered fantasy, never mind that I read tons of Charles deLint, tons of Neil Gaiman, plenty of Sheri S Tepper, and buckets of things that were most certainly fantastical. I’m still getting my feet wet, but I can now admit, that I am indeed, a fantasy fan, dragons and wizards and magic and all.

    If you’re just getting into SF, and don’t want something too heavy (but still engaging), here are some suggestions.

    Raising the Stones or SideShow, by Sheri S Tepper
    The Well of Souls series, by Jack Chalker
    The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers (history AND time travel!)

    Classics are always a great place to start, like Farenhiet 451, or Isaac Asimov’s Robot Series.

  10. Although it’s not of the tone normally thought of as urban fantasy, American Gods by Neil Gaiman is awesome. I also recommend the Marla Mason series by T. A. Pratt (and I’m so glad he serialized the fifth book on-line, since his publisher declined to publish it), Rob Thurman’s books with the Leandros brothers (I haven’t read her new Trickster series yet, though I assume they’re awesome), and of course, the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (though I’m sure you’ve read those already, right?).

    Science fiction: Iain M. Banks. I really enjoyed The Algebraist and Transition.

    I’m no help on the historical romance front, however, not having read anything aside from Georgette Heyer.

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  11. wow, great give away… (haunted honeymoon… please pick me!!)

    anyhoo, for sci fi i would recommend:
    The Host by Stephanie Meyer
    The Hunger Games (trilogy) by suzanne collins

    historical romance… you’ve got me there???

    urban fantasy i would recommend:
    Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

    thanks for the chance to win!

  12. Twelve looks like an interesting. There are several SF series I love, but I think, judging by your post, you might really enjoy Catherine Asaro’s work. If you want a little more romance, then check out Susan KEarney or Linnea Sinclair, or (even sexier) Kim Knox. For Harder SF, definitely read Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama series. :) I hope you find something you like!

    My favorite UF series would have to be Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty books, or Kim Harrison’s Hollows.

  13. If I was going to recommend urban fantasy for a romance fan– I’d start with Patricica Briggs Mercy Thompson series, then have them move on to Jeaniene Frost. IF they like dark fantasy or crime thrillers, that type of thing I’d recommend Dakota Banks books, and Kelly Gay.

  14. Oh, this is easy… Sci-Fi: I don’t read Sci-fi either, but I did read Helen Lowes’ Heir of Night and found it wonderful. There is no love stuff going on.

    Historical Romance: only one I’ve read is Outlander. From what I understand it is the gold standard for this sort of thing. It was really good. But I didn’t keep reading the series cause it just seemed so…epic

    UF: Where do I even begin . I would say the Kate Daniels series is a great one to start or The Night Huntress….

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  15. I don’t read a lot of SF or Historical romance but I have loads of UF recommendations :o)

    Shifters series – Rachel Vincent
    Mercy Thompson series – Patricia Briggs
    Riley Jenson / Spook Squad & the Nikki and Michael series – Keri Arthur
    Weather Warden series – Rachel Caine
    Vampire Academy series – Richelle Mead
    Otherworld series – Kelley Armstrong

    Hopefully there are some recommendations there that you haven’t tried yet :o)

  16. I think everyone’s got UF covered, and I don’t read SF these days, so I’m going to recommend historical romances. The first Regency I ever read was Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades. I just reread it and fell in love with it again. The sequel to it, Devil’s Cub is really good also. Heyer practically invented the modern Regency romance and her books stand the test of time.

    My second recommendation is anything by Laura Kinsale. My favorite is The Prince of Midnight, but all of hers are great. I’d also recommend anything by Loretta Chase, but specifically Lord of Scoundrels – this one is a classic and is usually on everyone’s top ten lists. The book strikes the perfect balance between laugh out loud funny, yet serious.

  17. Whoa, some great recomendations everybody. There are especially some good ones on the UF front. I’m definitely going to check out all of these HR’s. Thanks! =3

  18. historical – Jane Feather’s Rushed to the Alter is a good one I’ve read recenty
    Lessons in French by Laura Kinsdale is another enjoyable one that I’ve read this year
    for spicier historical – On these Silken Sheets by Sabrina Darby is a good one

    UF – CJ Barry’s BodyMasters was great, also like Patti O’sheas Light Warrior series
    for darker UF – Caitlin Kittredge’s Black London Novels

    I can’t think of much sci-fi offhand – sorry!
    Susan Kearney and Kim Knox have some pretty good ones out.

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  19. About UF, I recommend the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I read all four books in four days. They are great!
    My favorite Historical Romance is the Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. I read it years ago and it still remains my favorite.

  20. Great giveaway! I can’t wait to read Afterlife!! Let’s see for Historical Romance, Julia Quinn is a MUST READ IMO. She is funny, her characters rock, and I love her books! For Sci Fi, I’m a huge fan of Linnea Sinclair. Her books are fabulous!!

  21. I have a bunch of UF authors to recommend: Kelly Gay, Kelly Meding, Trent Jamieson, Chloe Neill, Rachel Vincent, Laura Bickle/Alayna Williams, Nancy Holzner, Jennifer Estep, Patricia Briggs, and Diana Rowland.

    And this one may be a bit more PNR than UF (it is often shelved there) but it’s still amazing: Richelle Mead’s Georgia Kincaid series. Also, Gail Carriger’s Soulless/Changeless/Blameless are historical and steampunk, but they definite resonate with UF too.

  22. Urban Fantasy:
    A MUST READ is Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniel series!
    Also, Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, Kelly Gay’s Charlie Madigan series, Richelle mead’s Dark Swan series and Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series.

    A sci-fi book i recently read and enjoy is Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

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