Tag Archive: Satire


All Hail Her Royal Spyness

cover_spyness_200In Her Royal Spyness, by Rhys Bowen, we meet one Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie Rannoch, daughter of the Duke of Glen Garry and Rannoch, cousin to George V, King of the United Kingdom and Emperor of India. Lady Georgiana has a few problems beyond a name and lineage too large for ordinary use. For example, she has . . .

  • . . . a rather nasty sister-in-law.
  • . . . a rather scandalous mother.
  • . . . a family that’s trying to set her up with fish-faced European princes.
  • . . . a responsibility to not get in the scandal pages.
  • . . . an interest in a somewhat inappropriate Irish nobleman.
  • . . . set of skills that includes French, walking while balancing a book on her head, how to seat a bishop at dinner, and absolutely no practical talents.
  • . . . absolutely no money.

That’s right. Lady Georgiana (you can call her Georgie) is flat broke. She might be 34th in line for the throne, but that and a shilling will get you a cup of tea. And sadly, even if she weren’t in the middle of the Great Depression, getting a job is simply out of the question. A royal working as a shop clerk? Imagine the scandal when the society papers found out! Continue reading

A pretty good description of me trying to read a random selection from the Paranormal Romance shelf.

A pretty good description of me trying to read a random selection from the Paranormal Romance shelf.

Most of the time, when someone refers to “romantic urban fantasy,” my brain starts turning off.

Now, I’m not opposed to chick lit; in fact, I’ve been so far to the other side that when I was a favorite target of schoolyard teasing, the one thing they never managed to get under my skin was that I avidly read Nancy Drew as far back as the fourth grade. I didn’t get why it was weird. I’d already read every Hardy Boys I could get my hands on, after all! But chick lit fantasy seems to mainly be a genre where you have mere variations on a woman swooning over a vampire, werewolf, or . . . well, no, just vampires and werewolves. Yeah. It’s gotten a bit stale out there.

Well, it turns out there’s a seven-book series that, while not exactly new (the first book came out nearly ten years ago), still brings new life to this particular sub-genre. Enchanted, Inc., by Shanna Swendson, kicks off a lighthearted romantic fantasy series staring one Katie Chandler, small-town Texan girl, who discovers that New York is weirder than most New Yorkers ever dream of. It’s smart, funny, enjoyable, and just a little addictive without ever coming close to “guilty pleasure” territory.

In fact, I suspect that many of my own readers would be interested in a romantic fantasy series that is 1) very fun to read, 2) cleverly described, 3) has no sex scenes, and 4) does not feature a vampiric or wolfish love interest. I welcome you all to prove me right.

contentI spent an enjoyable week and a half reading through the entire series, occasionally discussing it with my friend Lori, and generally just enjoying the change of pace from my usual fare. I wound up being a rather enthusiastic fan of the series by the end, and decided it was something to recommend far and wide. If, like me, you normally get your hackles up at the phrase “paranormal romance,” you owe it to yourself to check out this series.

I’ve got more stuff to say about it — this is a writing blog, after all, and there are some things to look at if you’re a writer yourself — but I’ll be splitting it off into a separate post because it ran long. For now, I’m concerned only with the review portion. Continue reading

Like High School, but with Video Games

VGHSImagine, if you will, an alternate world of the near future. A world where video games have become more popular than any other form of entertainment. A world where high school varsity teams revolve not around physical sports but instead around computer-generated scenarios. A world where every teen dreams of being accepted to . . . Video Game High School.

Okay, so that’s enough of me channeling Rod Serling.  Continue reading

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