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I've got a shameful secret to share

My Secret ShameIT’S GETTING HARD TO HOLD MY HEAD UP …

This is like peeking inside someone’s messy bedroom and unmade bed. This is the shame I hide close to my chest. The books I should have read by now but haven’t. In most cases the books I WANT to read, and somehow the time has just slipped away. Mostly, to be fair, because I am writing my own stories. But also to be fair, reading is how authors continue to grow and learn. So, it’s important to my craft that I don’t neglect reading. Yet I have … and now you’ll know why I’ve been keeping it a secret.

 
My list of shame

The Hobbit

1. THE HOBBIT

Oh, I can hear the groaning now. Just watch the movie, right? Well I’ve read The Lord of the Rings, and yet I’ve never tackled The Hobbit. And I felt silly reading it right before the movie came out. So this book is actually on my desk, staring at me. I’ve started it, and I am hoping that I will finish it in not too much time.

2. THE PRINCESS BRIDE

Another one where the movie is great, wonderful, a cult classic . . . but I have heard the book is so much better. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Goldman and The Princess Bride. So there it is. On the list. I have it staring at me. With narrowed eyes as if to tell me to hurry the hell up. As….you….wiiiiiish….

3. THE GAME OF THRONES SERIES

I will be COMPLETELY honest. After being a lover of the Wheel of Time series (that is a monstrous series, 14 books) there is a part of me that cringes at the thought of a big ass ole book/series. I have so little time and I like to feel accomplished. Yes, it’s still on my list . .. but maybe I will wait until Mr. Martin completes the series. Which should allow me a couple more years to procrastinate at least. 

  His Majesty's Dragon

4. TERRY PRATCHETT

Pretty much anything by him is on my TBR list. He’s a master of the fantasy genre and up until now, I haven’t read a thing by him. Shame. Shame on me. Bad author.  

5. NEIL GAIMAN

(Don’t hit me!) I’ve actually bought one of his books, a physical book that stares at me. Mocking me. Damn it, I’m not superwoman, I can’t read for hours every day and still get my own work done. The thing is, I know Gaiman’s good, and he’s not going anywhere. I hope. So I have time, right?

6. THE FINAL TWO BOOKS IN THE DIVERGENT SERIES

Yes, I read the first one. Yes I loved it. But damn it I haven’t gotten to the final two. And no, I’m not going to see the movies until I do!

7. HIS MAJESTY’S DRAGON by NAOMI NOVIK 

I actually just downloaded this one to my kindle. Its been on my list for YEARS and every time I see it I think . .. I should grab that, it looks awesome. Now its there, waiting for me a little easier to grab.

There it is, my List of Shame. Honestly, there is more but I can only handle so much confession at once. One step at a time, my friends, one step at a time.

6 reads to try urban fantasy

WHAT IS URBAN FANTASY?

Obviously I’m a bit biased here. I will FULLY admit that I write urban fantasy novels, I love creating characters and worlds within the genre, and I love reading it. But the thing is, when people ask me what I write and I say “Urban Fantasy”, I often get a blank look and an “Oh, that’s nice, dear.” So let me do my best to not only tell you exactly what urban fantasy is, but somehow convince you to give it a try.

“I love a strong female lead and we were delivered that in spades with Larkspur . . . This story is fast paced and exciting right from the start. I can’t wait to see what comes next!”

Urban Fantasy is at its core set in the real world, either a city (hence the urban) or a rural setting where the magic or supernatural abound. Think of it like an alternate universe, the world IF magic were to be a part of it. Usually there is some romance involved, but not necessarily. If the romance gets too heavy, then you’re getting into Paranormal Romance which is a whole other article.

So that’s the definition, but why should you try it out?

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?

Get ready to watch the best spells get flung at the bad guys, things you’d never believe possible if you hadn’t just read about it. Get ready to watch the best spells get flung at the bad guys, things you’d never believe possible if you hadn’t just read about it.

Did you love “The Chronicles of Narnia” when you were growing up? Or maybe you loved “Harry Potter” and his adventures. Maybe as a child you believed that if you opened that closet door, or stepped onto a train at a certain platform you’d be swept away into another world. A magical world where your favorite characters waited. That feeling? You can find it as an adult in urban fantasy. The thought that we live side by side with the monsters and the magic, that if we look hard enough or the right way that it DOES exist. It’s pretty cool to have that as an adult, especially when we are faced every day with the reality of life.

LIVING THE DREAM: Did you love The Chronicles of Narnia when you were growing up? Or maybe you loved Harry Potter and his adventures. Maybe as a child you believed that if you opened that closet door, or stepped onto a train at a certain platform you’d be swept away into another world. A magical world where your favorite characters waited. That feeling? You can find it as an adult in urban fantasy. The thought that we live side by side with the monsters and the magic, that if we look hard enough or the right way that it DOES exist. It’s pretty cool to have that as an adult, especially when we are faced every day with the reality of life.

IT AIN’T EPIC: What does this mean? That you aren’t going to find a 900 page urban fantasy novel. (Okay, maybe one or two but it isn’t common). Most urban fantasy books can be picked up on a Friday after work and finished by Sunday. They aren’t going to take you two weeks to finish (unlike something like Robert Jordan or Brandon Sanderson, both of whom I adore, but you have to set aside a good chunk of time for those boys and their words).

CHASE SCENES AND POTTY MOUTHS: Yeah, get ready for chase scenes, fight scenes, and a pace that will often leave you breathless with the action.

It’s so worth it to find yourself riding with a character by dragon back!
It’s so worth it to find yourself riding with a character by dragon back!

Seriously, if you want a good heart pounding that doesn’t involve running up and down ten flights of stairs, go grab an urban fantasy novel. And if you’re tired of the young adult fantasy where the worst word that pops out of their mouth is a single usage of the cuss word “shit” then you need an urban fantasy. Because they are more adult in context, you’re going to get adult language. Which for me is a good thing.

MONSTERS AND MAGIC!: Oh man, if you want monsters that aren’t JUST vampires and werewolves, then you’ve got to dive into this. Don’t think about sparkling vampires, don’t think about brooding werewolves. Urban fantasy is so much more than that. Think harpies, elementals, griffins, gargoyles, demons, goblins and unicorns. Trust me, it’s so worth it to find yourself riding with a character by dragon back! And the magic? Get ready to watch the best spells get flung at the bad guys, things you’d never believe possible if you hadn’t just read about it.

HEROINES: The majority of urban fantasy is written from a female heroines perspective. With all the books out there written from a man’s point of view, urban fantasy is close to 90% from a female perspective. Strong, powerful women who are out there saving the day, changing the world, being bad ass.

SERIES ANYONE?: That’s right, most urban fantasy is written as a series. The longer the better in a lot of cases. It isn’t uncommon to find an urban fantasy series running ten books or more. Which for a voracious reader is a blessing. Especially once you are invested in the story, the characters . . . why would you want it to end?

RECOMMENDATIONS…

Really, you’ve got nothing to lose. And to show you I mean well, here’s a list of some of my favorite urban fantasy reads. Yes, a couple of my own books are in here too, seeing as I do write urban fantasy….

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