Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sleeping with the Fishes

I genuinely cannot remember the last time I laughed as much, out loud, to the disturbance of other commuters, as I did reading this book.

The author, the incredibly talented Mary Janice Davidson, has managed to create one of the best female "paranormal" characters I've had the honour to meet.

This is the blurb from Amazon:

Fredericka Bimm - Fred - is a mermaid. But she is not the stuff of legends. A marine biologist, she knows what's in the water so chooses not to expose herself to those toxins. She's allergic to shellfish. The sea creatures she can communicate with won't do her bidding. She doesn't have long blonde hair or a perfect body. And she's definitely not perky! Fred's life is mostly spent trying to conceal her origins - and lately she's been trying to figure out just why there are weird levels of toxins in the local seawater. Then two strangers come into her life. Her new colleague is a sexy - if over-curious - hunk with a mermaid fixation. The other claims he is Artur, the high prince of the black seas - and Fred's rightful ruler!

If, just reading that doesn't crack you up, your heart is stone. Fred is tough, funny, kick-ass and has a very interesting time fending off the advances of the two unexpected men in her life. It is written in a light and engaging way, the dialogue genuinely works very well, is never put upon and is rilly, rilly, cool.

Fred is an engaging main character because she doubts herself, she worries constantly about being found out, about flying under the radar. Importantly she tries to hide herself from everyone, whilst trying to find out exactly what she is, as she is a hybrid. As at home in the sea as she is on land and this is where her identity crisis comes in - she gives Artur a stern telling off, and it resonates with truth. It deals with pollution in a non-preachy way, and with human / Sea Folk relationships in a very direct manner. And please, this is at least an 18 rating book - the language is tough, but funny, the situations real and hilarious.

I will definitely find the other books by the author to read. Thanks Piatkus for sending this along.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I looked through last week's The Bookseller and fell back in astonishment when I saw a double page advert for Piatkus - they publish, among other things, a bit of paranormal literature - chick lit, vampire fiction and werewolf paranormal slant fiction - and I am thrilled to the bone. So I emailed them and received a copy of a book to review - between trying to make potatoe rostis and feeding the dog, I've read the first few pages and I laughed out loud with such gusto I set the dog off on a barking fit. Result!

It is going to be a good read - Sleeping with the Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson. I will report back but am just so incredibly thrilled to a) receive a freebie and b) to see the type of fiction I so love "urban modern fantasy" being advertised in a solid magazine such as The Bookseller. And for adults too - no YA here, thank you very much.

So, to prove how thrilled I am, up goes the Piatkus website on the linky section.


Barb & JC Hendee

JC and Barb have got a winning streak going - they write exceedingly well in a fantasy genre that can so easily become dull, boring and disillusioning.

They have chosen to portray the vampire myth in a fantasy setting - two things which shouldn't go together, yet they do, very successfully.

I enjoy the characterisation - the interplay, the quests, the fact that there is an overall story and that each book deals with each chapter of the overall story in complete parts - so that, eventhough you are waiting to read the next book, you are satisfied enough with the story you've just completed.

Magiere and her ways is a very strong, moody female character which is the prefect foil for the Elvish rogue Leesil who on the surface appears to be the nice guy...yet he harbours a darker side which the authors seem to relish in describing and hinting at.

But mostly, this is written for a genre of readers who enjoy intelligent writing. They have gone out of their way to create a tangible world, with actual politics, wars, people and dirty grubby peasants. I would recommend the entire range of books from them, naturally start with the first, Dhampir.

Their site is: