Friday Booktalk (and a contest)

Today is my wedding anniversary so I’ll be scarce – my dude and I are getting away for the evening to do adult stuff and eat at a restaurant without paper tablecloths and crayons, nary a chicken tender from the children’s menu in sight!

But I haven’t done a booktalk in a while, mainly because I’ve been writing like crazy – and I wanted to do one today. First so I can talk about Megan Hart’s fantastic new release, Selfish is the Heart

This is Megan’s third book in her Order of Solace series – a fabulous melding of several genres – historical/fantasy/futuristic – into what I think might be my favorite book of the three published so far.

To escape an arranged marriage, Annalise Marony finds a way out of her plight by becoming a Handmaiden of the Order of the Solace. Raised in the faith but long fallen away in its practice, Annalise is determined to play the part of a dedicated novitiate for as long as it takes to nullify her betrothal.But not just anyone is accepted into the Order, and Annalise finds herself thwarted at every turn — particularly by a man who deliberately misleads her as she tries to gain entrance to the Motherhouse. It is all a ruse to test her dedication, for Cassian is an ex-priest who teaches classes on the faith.

Older than most of the girls, Annalise knows that she will be expected to please a patron in pleasures of the flesh—and she is not shy about teasing Cassian. But it is in matters of belief that he challenges her. And as both play out the game of master and student, the secrets in their souls will either tear them apart—or bind them together forever…

Now, Cassian is just, well, broody is a good word, dark. The scenes between Cassian and Annalise are beautiful. Sexy. Taut. They have great energy and back and forth. Annalise is one of my favorite sorts of heroines, she knows what she wants and she is going to have it. The writing, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Megan Hart’s work, is amazing. Tight. Gorgeous.

You can read an excerpt at Megan’s website

I love this series. I wish there was more like it out there! I love it so much I’m going to give away a copy of SELFISH IS THE HEART to one lucky winner. You’ll just need to comment here with your favorite kind of heroine and if you have an example, toss one out (because I love reading what other readers like and getting new recommendations for great reads). I’ll choose a winner tomorrow, Saturday October 9 at 5 pm pacific.

The second book I’m going to talk about today is Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke. This book is blowing me away. Part steampunk, part cyberpunk, a little paranormal and a great deal of amazing writing works together to make this book incredibly hard to put down. Truly it’s another book I really can’t recommend highly enough. I’ll review it next Friday – but wanted to urge you all to run out and grab not only Megan’s wonderful Selfish is the Heart, but Meljean’s The Iron Duke.

Grab some chocolate, some hot tea or iced if you’re still dealing with the heat and settle in – both of these books are truly fabulous.

17 comments to “Friday Booktalk (and a contest)”

  1. Babs
    October 8th, 2010 at 6:57 am · Link

    I prefer heroines who stand up for themselves…are strong, capable, funny, sure of themselves, etc. My mind is completely blanking on examples at the moment…’cause ya know, it is Friday and apparently my brain has started the weekend already. Gesh.

  2. mMm
    October 8th, 2010 at 7:07 am · Link

    I’m going to buy The Iron Duke! 🙂


  3. CrystalGB
    October 8th, 2010 at 7:12 am · Link

    I like strong, gutsy heroines who go after what they want but also have a vunerable side.

  4. Elaine
    October 8th, 2010 at 7:24 am · Link

    I love heroines who are strong, have a sense of humour, are happy to take a risk and stand up for themselves and others as well as being able to admit when they are wrong. It also helps if they are a litle bit different in their own right e.g. they don’t behave the way you would expect them too. Just finished reading ‘A Little Bit Wild’ by Victoria Dahl and loved the heroine Marissa OR Tarian in ‘Master of Torment’ by Karin Tabke.

  5. Melanie S.
    October 8th, 2010 at 7:24 am · Link

    I like my heroines to be strong and confident, who know what they want and how to get it 🙂
    have a great weekend

  6. Jen X
    October 8th, 2010 at 7:39 am · Link

    I like heroines who are mentally strong, can handle a difficult situation but not so tough and hard that they can’t show vulnerabilty.

    I read The Iron Duke and it is just so fabulous! Mina is a great heroine, I would like to see more like her. Eve Dallas is another fascinating heroine.

    I am dying to read Selfish Is The Heart, the Order of Solace series is very beloved to me. I feel like I’m in a trance when I read them. I don’t know why, I guess I just get so absorbed into that world. Plus, add in a yummy brooding teacherman and I’m a goner!

  7. Loni Ice
    October 8th, 2010 at 11:48 am · Link

    Congratulations on the wedding anniversary! I hope you can get through an entire dinner without wondering if you’ll come home to rubble. I know I always worry about that whenever we get an evening away. These both sound like really good books, though I think I’ll like the Iron Duke a bit better. Steampunk gets me every time. As far as what kind of heroine I like, I always go for the heroines who aren’t thinking of themselves. Too many heroines seem to be “posing for the camera” as though their author has to work to make them cool. I like heroines who just are who they are and don’t waste too much time angsting about how they could be better, faster, stronger or cooler because they’re too busy doing heroic-type stuff.


  8. Marlene Breakfield
    October 8th, 2010 at 12:48 pm · Link

    I like my heroines strong and intelligent. I think Elizabeth Bennett is a good example.

  9. Meg
    October 8th, 2010 at 3:48 pm · Link

    I love strong heroines who know who they are but, still have a vulnerable side. They usually are snarky intelligent and adventurous!

  10. Jolene Allcock
    October 8th, 2010 at 4:55 pm · Link

    I love a strong heroine who can take care of herself and is independent. Someone who has maybe given up on love and is just living life to the fullest, so when she is knocked off her feet by the hero, I’m that much more invested in their relationship as she’s struggling with her emotions, feelings and giving up a part of herself admiting she needs this person like she needs breath

  11. Amy Kathryn
    October 8th, 2010 at 6:12 pm · Link

    I have both of these books on my wishlist. I am reading the Fading Lands books right now by CL Wilson in preparation of the release of the last book later this month. I love Ellie and how she discovers her strength and learns to appreciate her talents as the books go on. I love to see character growth and a heroine who comes to love herself.

  12. Diane Sadler
    October 8th, 2010 at 6:31 pm · Link

    I enjoy heroines who have some backbone and don’t cower in front of their men. Right now I’m admiring the heroine Elene in Nalini Singh’s Angel series.

  13. Scorpio M.
    October 8th, 2010 at 7:48 pm · Link

    I like heroines who express need. I mean isn’t that a big part of wanting and needing affection & love? 😀

  14. Cathy C
    October 9th, 2010 at 7:59 am · Link

    My favorite type of heroines are the ones that are damaged and that are now finding themselves. Their hero might be the catalyst for their transformation or maybe they’ve healed themselves enough to be their own catalyst. Anyway, my favorite heroines have to have an element of humanity (reality) and something in them that I can relate to – and they cannot, absolutely cannot, be “perfect” or “pricesses” – not interested. Something that you, Megan Hart, Richelle Mead, Laurell K. Hamilton …. do exceptionally well.

  15. Corinne
    October 9th, 2010 at 8:01 am · Link

    I really liked Erin Brown as a heroine….strong, loving, knows what she wants….too many characteristics to name….& also Ella, although I haven’t read “Inside Out” yet, I know from what happened to her in “Laid Bare” she has got to be a strong cookie!! Have a great weekend/anniversary!!

  16. Heather U
    October 9th, 2010 at 8:02 am · Link

    I like a heroine who is confident in what she wants in a relationship, and what she needs from a partner – both sexually and emotionally. Angelina from Sweet Temptation by Maya Banks and Erin in Laid Bare come to mind. They know what they want, are comfortable with themselves and their needs, and aren’t afraid to demand what they deserve.

  17. Lissa
    October 9th, 2010 at 11:45 am · Link

    My favorite heroines are the ones who have been been hurt in the past – emotionally/physically – but who rise beyond that to find their HEAs (not without struggle and heartache) and create a “family” of their own – whether conventional or not.

    Among my favorites are Abbie in Relentless, Erin in Laid Bare, Sasha in Slave to Sensation, Elena in the Guild Hunter novels and Xhex in Lover Mine.