Tag Archive | publishing

Kiss of….

I’ve heard people say that traditional publishing is dead. That no one wants to read books any more. And then I come across something that reeks of the normal big guy publishing houses, but is in actuality from a small press that I’ve never heard of.

Kiss of Steel, by Bec McMaster. Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Kiss is a genre mash-up: paranormal romance/steam punk / alt history fun. Yup, it’s a fun book. It was also nice to read a new author in the romance vein that wasn’t, well… A little more than romance.

I admit it. I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to my reading tastes. While I don’t mind sex scenes, they need to be in there for a reason other than to flip the reader’s switches. I think I was 2/3 through the book before the main character’s did anything more than kiss. That’s not to say the romance wasn’t there—but rather that the romance had more going for it than just the act.

I forget the book it was in now, but the very best sex scene I ever read almost didn’t happen. Because the heroine kept hitting the hero in the most… painful places. Not on purpose, but more because she didn’t know how to move her body. Very funny, moved the plot along nicely and in the end was very steamy (as soon as he caught her hands above her head).

What I want to know is this, though. In 2012, 11 of their titles have ended up either on the NYT or the USA Best Seller List (which is not necessarily saying that any of them hit the top ten, stil…). With so many titles of a much smaller list on the bestseller lists, it makes me think this.

They must love books.

There are some publishing houses out there that still love both books and readers. Some will chase the elusive dream of what they think will be the next best seller. Some will chase the books they love and hope the praise will follow. I like the second kind much better.


Hopefully, next weekend, I’ll have either a Q&A with Rie Sheridan Rose or a guest post from her. She is one of my favorite fantasy authors, and she has a new story out for Halloween. I also have the one and only title that I’ve read for the spooky season, Death of a Neighborhood Witch, to catch up on this week.

Until then, my lovelies!


The Alchemist of Souls, Anne Lyle. Published by Angry Robot. (Yes, the publisher name is real—ain’t it great?)


Buying a new author is always interesting. The last time I went to the store, I picked up two that were not only new to me, but new to publishing. Oddly enough, the publishers were new to me as well. I thought I knew most of the Fantasy publishers but apparently not. One was a total waste of time & money, and due to the rules I will not devote any more time to it here. Unless I inadvertently pick it up again and go on a rant about how new authors should NEVER be paired up with inexperienced editors.

Thankfully, I had a lot more luck with The Alchemist of Souls. Oh lord almighty, did I have more luck with this one. Set in the latter years of Queen Elizabeth the first’s reign, it is an alternate history/reality that pulls you in gradually. It didn’t pull me in by the neck from the get go, but it started out solid and only got better.



Mal has a lot of problems. He has a twin in Bedlam, whom he can’t protect. A best friend he can’t trust. A job he doesn’t want, until he does. And way more going on over his head than he can get a handle on quickly. Set among theatres, the infamous Tower, and court, this novel takes you places. The details in the theatre and mannerisms among the troupe were riveting. As a girl with a Master’s Degree in English and more than a few semesters spent with Shakespeare, I hate it when people take on this particular era then get it wrong.

But when they get it right, as does Lyle, it is so lovely. Those details were so good, in fact, that the fantasy element (Skraylings, magic), were completely believable within the story. That takes true talent.

Now on to the publisher! Yes, I know, it is rarely advisable to take on a publisher based on one book. However! I finished Alchemist while in a doctor’s waiting room and read the back jacket copy (don’t ask why I didn’t do it to begin with, it’ll make your head hurt). Love the little sign up on top of it. Then, while flipping through the book, came across a surprise quote on the back inside cover of the book. Oh! And the ad for the other books? I love their tag line “wake eat read sleep repeat.”

They get it.

Now I just got to figure out how to get my hands on more of the same from them!

Sweet reading, my lovelies!