Guest Blogging at Geek Girl Authority

WritteninRedI am being featured over at the Geek Girl Authority blog today talking about five kick-ass women of the urban fantasy genre. The complex, compelling female characters–I hesitate to say “strong female characters” because that’s become a loaded term–are one of the reasons I was drawn to urban fantasy, both as a reader and as a writer, and I’m so glad I’m finally getting a chance to talk about some of my favorites. Check it out: 5 Kick-Ass Women of Urban Fantasy.

Special thank you to Audrey Kearns for giving me the opportunity to write for her blog.

Seeking Book Recommendations: Urban Fantasy Edition

I am in dire need of new urban fantasy books to read.

Here’s the deal: I’ve been reading urban fantasy since 2010.  What I’m finding now is that a lot of my favorite series are either nearing their end, or have already ended.  I’ve tackled many of the established favorites, but I haven’t found many new authors to read lately.  Between my own writing and my otherwise busy schedule, I just haven’t had the time to go out and explore blogs the way I used to.

But no more.  I’m seeking book recommendations, specifically urban fantasy, and here’s what I’m looking for:

LIKES: Strong, female protagonists; well-developed characters; well-developed, complex, unique worlds or paranormal creatures; slow-burning romances with lots of sexual tension; time travel (paradoxes be damned); historical elements (e.g. steampunk); dragons (they’re just awesome); ghosts (why don’t we see more ghosts in UF?).

DISLIKES: Damsels in distress; tired tropes (if I’m going to read about vampires, I’d better read something new or different about them); editorial or continuity errors; awkward writing (I want to concentrate on the story, not the writing); rape scenes (I know these are common in urban fantasy, but they’re a pet peeve of mine); asshole heroes.

It would be great if some of the suggestions already had more than one book in the series.

Some favorites of mine:

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews; the October Daye series and Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire; the Cassandra Palmer series by Karen Chance; the Downside Ghosts series by Stacia Kane; the Disillusionists trilogy by Carolyn Crane; the Jane True series by Nicole Peeler; the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong.  I’m sure there are tons more that I’m just not thinking of right now.

Ready…set…GO!

New Book Alert: Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Peeler-JinnandJuice-TP-200x300

I haven’t read this one yet, but this review caught my attention:

http://vampirebookclub.net/review-jinn-and-juice-by-nicole-peeler/

Here’s why it intrigues me:

Nicole Peeler is one of my favorite urban fantasy writers.  Her Jane True series about a half-selkie who slowly grows into her powers is smart and sexy.  But I think my favorite thing about it is Jane’s narrative voice.  Jane has a wry, self-deprecating sense of humor that urban fantasy narrators often lack.  Even during the worst of times, she doesn’t take herself too seriously.  Reading the books is like having a direct line into her inner voice–and all the unfiltered craziness that one’s inner voice often spews.  Jane also likes sex.  A lot.  It’s so refreshing to have a female protagonist who blatantly, unapologetically ENJOYS sex.

–The book is set in Pittsburgh, my once-and-forever hometown.  Who the hell would set a fantasy book in Pittsburgh?  It’s like, the least likely place a fantasy creature would want to live.  I mean…it’s Pittsburgh!

This is what Peeler says about it on her blog:

Everything I love about Pittsburgh, however, is what makes it not very….supernatural-y. I love that it’s kinda Midwestern and it’s an actively revitalizing city, which means it’s not chockablock with the trendiest hangs ever, like New York. I love that it’s most famous for fries on sandwiches and something about a towel and putting chairs out in front of your house to reserve your parking spot.

So, a delightful place to live for a nice girl from Illinois, but for an immortal creature with supernatural powers who could live anywhere it wanted…wouldn’t Paris be a more obvious choice? Or NOLA? Or Istanbul?

So, I was in the shower and I thought, “I would love to write a book set in Pittsburgh.” Then I laughed to myself and said out loud, “Yeah, but what sort of supernatural creature would live in Pittsburgh?”

From answering that question Lyla and her clan of misfit toys living in steel-soaked Pittsburgh came into being. Thank jeebus for the powers of the showers.

Well, I can’t argue with that.  Pittsburgh is covered in steel and iron, and it does put fries on everything.  (Seriously.  The city is a cesspool of saturated fat.)  But I’m also completely intrigued.  Sometimes it pays to go against the grain.  In many urban fantasies, the city becomes part of the story, and it looks like Peeler chose her setting well.  Plus, like it or not, I’m a hometown (hometahn?) girl.  One mention of the Terrible Towel, Eat n’ Park, or the late, great Myron Cope, and I’ll be hooked.  I just really hope no one uses the word “yinz.”  That particular colloquialism needs to die a slow, painful death.

I’m putting it on my “to-be-read” list.