Some books on my 2014 Want To Read list

I thought today was going to be a very productive writing day, but it’s turned into a stare-out-the-window-and-daydream day. Going out for a walk didn’t help. I went to my local café (where I usually write at the weekend) but it was too noisy. Someone please tell parents to give their kids headphones if they are going to allow them to watch movies in a public place. It’s really annoying when the kids have the volume up so loud that you can’t concentrate. Several people asked the parents to turn down the volume, but the parents only replied, “But the kids are having so much fun…” Hmm…so much for teaching your kids to show consideration to others. I’m sure those kids were having fun, but that doesn’t mean the parents couldn’t adjust the volume to a more acceptable level. Grrr!

Anyway, enough about silly parents who try too hard to be their kids’ best friends, I’d much rather talk about books I want to read. And today I thought I’d post a list of some of the books I am looking forward to reading in 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 23.20.47The Fortune Hunter – Daisy Goodwin: Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved reading anything about Empress Sissi of Austria. Goodwin’s soon-to-be-published novel revolves around the love affair of the empress and cavalry captain Bay Middleton.

I’ve already pre-ordered this for my Kindle, and I will also order a hardback copy. I loved Goodwin’s debut novel, The American Heiress (also known as My Last Duchess) and I’ve been looking forward to her new novel.

If you like historical fiction, make sure you add The Fortune Hunter to your Want to Read list on Goodreads.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 23.43.15Cress – Marissa Meyer: I usually prefer standalone novels but Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles is a page-turning roller coaster ride that takes some of the fairy tales we grew up with and sets them in a dystopian world… well, I love them.

Cress takes the story of Rapunzel and has her trapped on a satellite, held prisoner by an evil queen. I’ve just ordered it for my Kindle. I think this will be one of my February reads. Now the Lunar Chronicles series is originally a YA book that has become a crossover hit. Check out Marissa Meyer’s website for a sneak peek. I think you’ll like it.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 00.01.07The Widow File – S.G. Redling: I’ve already downloaded The Widow File for my Kindle. It’s a juicy techno thriller written by a fellow brainstormer S.G. Redling and, as always, she doesn’t disappoint with her fast-paced story about a data analyst who may or may not have some very sensitive information in her possession that people are willing to kill for.

Snappy, tight and exciting–and I’m only 100 pages into the book. I think I’ll get lost in it tomorrow. I love a good thriller. 🙂

That’s it for now! You know this list is a work in progress, so there will definitely be more books to come!

Happy reading!

 

A new take on a fairy tale: Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is a page-turner

ImageAs much as I love stories about dystopian societies, it’s not very often that I read them. Then I saw the cover for Cinder and I was intrigued. I asked around and then one of the staff at Science Fiction Bokhandeln in Gamla Stan told me he was convinced I ought to read it. He’d read an advance copy and was hooked. Needless to say, I was even more intrigued. And I have to say–he wasn’t wrong.

Cinder is based on the fairytale, Cinderella. Instead of being set a long time ago in a far away land, Cinder takes place in New Beijing, the capital city of Eastern Commonwealth, after World War IV. Cinder is a cyborg and, because of her non-human status, she is seen as a second-class citizen. She has no rights and is considered the property of her legal guardian, Adri, and her daughters, Peony and Pearl. She earns money for the family through her work as a mechanic at a stall in the local marketplace. One day, the Crown Prince of the Eastern Commonwealth, Prince Kai, shows up at Cinder’s market stall and asks if she can repair his android. Later, when Cinder’s step-sister, Peony, contracts the plague, which has claimed thousands of victims in New Beijing and for which there is no cure, Cinder’s guardian blames Cinder and “volunteers” her for research. From that point forward, Cinder and Prince Kai become intertwined–by the threat of war and by a forbidden attraction.

Though Cinder is YA fiction, it is a novel that will appeal to people of all ages. It’s a real page-turner that is full of intrigues and just enough romance to keep you hooked. I finished reading Cinder last night and I’m already longing for the next book in the series. So if you like your sci-fi with a fairy tale twist and a dash of romance, you need to read Cinder. You won’t be disappointed.

Stockholmers, buy a Christmas tree and support Stockholms Stadsmission

mission treeI already told you about my mission for the month of December–to donate all the profits from December sales of Linger: a short story and The Melanie Chronicles to Stockholms Stadsmission. Now I’ve found out that those of us in the Stockholm area can buy Christmas trees in Kungsträdgården and help support the mission at the same time. I think this is a great way to support Stockholms Stadsmisison‘s endeavors in helping the homeless, substance abusers, and at-risk women and children.

If you purchase a “typical” Swedish tree, 135 kronor will be donated to Stockholms Stadsmission. If you splurge and get the King Spruce, 185 kronor will go to the mission. Stockholmers can even order their tree online from hemgran.se and have the tree delivered to their door. But then the amount that goes to the mission is 50 or 95 kronor, depending on which type of tree you order.

For more information, click here. Note: this information is in Swedish only but you can use the translate plug-in on the website to see the info in English.

For those of you who don’t live in Sweden, I hope you’ll do something to support your local charities this holiday season. Donate old clothing that’s still in good condition to the Salvation Army or a homeless shelter. Help out at a soup kitchen or food bank. Volunteer at a senior citizen center. Volunteer at your local library and start a story hour for kids or offer to be a homework helper.

Remember the message of this season: It’s better to give than to receive. And giving doesn’t have to cost a dime.

By the way: I’m near done reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer, so later I’ll be posting a review of it and Santa Maybe by Scarlett Bailey, whom I interviewed for the blog last Christmas.

Might be time to check in with Scarlett again and see what she’s got planned for Christmas.

Happy First Advent!