Monday, March 12, 2012

Discoveries Week: Marjorie M. Liu

The winner of the Discoveries Week: Jessa Slade giveaway is:

Allison, who wrote: I'm seconding Charlie Huston. I'm still blown away by the fifth book of his Joe Pitt novels, and I know it's 90% because of all the dominoes he set up in the first four books. I'm probably sixthing Jim Butcher, and I have to say, Terry Pratchett is still my favorite storyteller in long and short form. Until him, I didn't realize you could have so much fun with short stories.

Allison, when you have a chance please send your full name and ship-to address to LynnViehl@aol.com so I can get your package out to you. Thanks to everyone for exposing all the other storytellers out there with mad skills.

I've already mentioned how stressful things were while I was in production on Nightborn, what with the change of editor and the loss of my father and other unhappy events. I owe a tremendous debt to the family members, friend and colleagues who were kind, understanding, sensitive and did everything they could to help me during a very tough year. You guys were great, too; I got so many wonderful e-mails from you filled with the kind words and prayers I needed to keep me going.

No matter how miserable you are, books are always waiting to take you away, and give you something else to think about besides your problems. One set of novels I took with me everywhere last year was Marjorie M. Liu's Hunter Kiss series. Just before A Wild Light came out in August I decided to reread the entire series, and that's why Maxine and Grant and the boys were with me during the worst of times. They became like my own personal garrison of hope, and when things got bleak, they brought me comfort and kept despair from overwhelming me.

For these reasons I planned to give away a complete set of Hunter Kiss novels when Nightborn was released. I had hoped to make a quilt for the giveaway, too, but unfortunately my work schedule prevented me from committing to any big creative projects. So during my travels I kept an eye out until I found a 54" square lap quilt that reminded me of Marjorie and her characters, and how there is always beauty to be found out there, even in the dark.



If you'd like to win the lot, in comments to this post name an author or book you've read who has helped you get through the worst of times (or if you can't think of any, just toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner unsigned copies of Marjorie M. Liu's Hunter Kiss series: The Iron Hunt, Darkness Calls, A Wild Light, The Mortal Bone as well as the Wild Things anthology in which the very first Hunter Kiss short story appeared, a signed copy of my novel Private Demon, the beauty in the dark quilt, a Poetry mug from Author Outfitters, a BookLoop with a miniature of Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" along with some other goodies, all neatly stowed in a "See the Beauty in the Little Things" reusable shopping bag (once again, please note that the bowl of apples on the table are not included; they're for my kids.) This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something at PBW in the past.

50 comments:

  1. I think the life without a book to go to is a sad life. I don't know where I would be without reading. The first book that came to mind as my comfort book through bad time is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. I have read that book more than I have read any other book. As a child, as a teen and now as an adult, it never fails to take me away to a place of romance and adventure. It always reminds me that there is magic just around the corner if you're willing to take those steps.

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  2. Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts started me on this path of writing, but first it helped heal my first real, grown up heartbreak. Within three months I'd miscarried, lost one of my favorite people in the world (my aunt) and then he left me on Valentine's Day. To say this was a hard time in my life would be an understatement.

    Across the street there was this Veteran's thrift store and it sold books on the cheap. They had one full wall, practically, of Nora Roberts' titles and I picked of Jewels of the Sun. The heroine had so much heart and the hero was sigh worthy. But at the end of that book I felt hope again. A flutter of belief that I could endure, thrive and love again. At the time I didn't know it, but that book planted the seed of writing romance.

    Oh, I still love that book.

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  3. The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey. Lord Jaxom's struggles with his dragon, Ruth and the isolation of the trauma in his life really resonated with me. I read that book all through my seventh grade year when things were at their very worst in my life. Since then, I've picked up the book during every terrible moment in my life so I could escape for a little while.

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  4. My brain is so scattered right now that I can't settle on just one. It depends on what's dragging me down and what I need to pull me up. I've used anything from a ton of Harlequin authors to Jane Austen, to Christopher Stasheff for a kindhearted laugh. For years, I turned to Marion Zimmer Bradley, who started me on the road to reading with her Darkover series, but now the number of authors that can get me through a downer has grown tremendously :).

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  5. I read humor books. Calvin and Hobbes, Family Circus, Marmaduke, Hagar the Horrible, The Far Side.

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  6. Fran Kane6:02 AM

    I haven't had many rough patches thankfully but sometimes I need to cry and find it hard to let go. The first book I read after losing my Dad was a Dark Hunter novel by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Without going home and checking to be sure, I believe it was Bad Moon Rising, Fang's story and I cried buckets at then end when Aimee's parents died. It was liberating to let it all out. Obviously it took a while to finish the book once the jag had started but ..!

    I loved Marjorie's Dirk & Steele series and would love to try these, however it's that quilt I want! I really must get a book on quilting to see if I can try it. I wonder, do they do "quilting for all-thumbs dummies"?

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  7. A book saved me during a family holiday up during summer a few years ago around the time my parents were splitting up. Hush,Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Not so much because of what the book contained and how I related to it, but definitely because the story was grasping and perfectly usable as a distraction. I'm generally a pretty slow reader, and any other time it probably would have taken me about a month to read at least (I should also mention I was a lazy reader at that point in time), but Hush,Hush provided an excellent distraction for me and I read it within three days; the three days the family was stuck together in a little apartment away from home.

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  8. Anonymous8:22 AM

    I think of it as entering worlds, so if things are bad (or just boring) I can go to middle earth, or Westeros; Darkover or Amber.
    --LuAnn V

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  9. I go back to Watership Down when my life is in chaos. I read it on the plane home about 7 years ago when my grandmother passed away. I read it again 4 years ago when my cat had a tumor on his eye (luckily, the surgery was successful and he's still around).

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  10. I go back to "Morning Glory" by LaVyrle Spencer. So many things about Eleanor remind me of my grandmother, and so the story comforts me.

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  11. During the absolute worst of times, I've been afraid to read, for fear of associating that author with the bad experience. However, I've listened to the Harry Potter books as background noise so often that they're like comfort food for my brain.

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  12. Briana N9:13 AM

    I don't have a specific book that I turn to when I'm going through a rough patch. I usually immerse myself in the world of cartoons and then if I still need a lifeline, I'll reach for a Harlequin.

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  13. A book that really helped me was Night Road by Kristin Hannah. It dealt with hurt and eventually forgiveness. It also spoke to me as a parent. I love that book.

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  14. The third book in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series helped me when I was living alone in Boston, unemployed, going to grad school, and unable to afford a plane ticket home for my grandmother's funeral. Just something about Claire and Jamie's reunion made me feel that everything was going to be okay.

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  15. I can't think of a particular book at this time but as a teen/young adult whenever things got to hard I could always turn to books for a short escape to a different world.

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  16. clairecherven9:49 AM

    I reread Herman Hesse's SIDDHARTHA whenever I need a spiritual lift and a profound grounding. Its short, to the point and has lasted a lifetime for me.

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  17. Any romance novel will take my mind off problems.

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  18. I always go back to the first romance genre (historicals) I read when I need comforting. I can escape to another time and place in those books.

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  19. Instead of a book, recently it was a bookstore. I live in San Diego. When a family member back east died in January, my daughter and I found comfort wandering around Mysterious Galaxy, an independent bookstore here that specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and mysteries.

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  20. What a generous give away!!! I can understand losing your self in the comfort of a set of characters to give your mind a little break from your stresses. For me, recently!, it has been the Shelly Laurentson series-love her shifters-especially the bears!

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  21. I wish I could say something profound, but I am just going to put my name in the hat.

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  22. Anonymous10:56 AM

    My favorite comfort reads are David Eddings, Patricia Wrede or if I just need a laugh the Anguished English series.

    Cris

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  23. I usually turn to books by Nora Roberts when life throws me a tough curve. It just her feeling of family that helps me.

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  24. During a difficult period I read all of Jacqueline Winspear's historical novels which transported me to another place and era. This saved me.

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  25. Books are my salvation during strife and turmoil. Especially A Thread of Grace which was enthralling and unforgettable.

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  26. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Books in general help me deal with life. They are my escape from reality. A true blessing.

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  27. The two writers that I return to in bad times are Anne McCaffrey and David Eddings. I will reread the Crystal Singer books and the Belgariad/Mallorean/Elenium/whatever the 4th series is called (can't remember right now) over and over and over. Total comfort reads.

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  28. I've been fortunate not to have many rough patches. I do know that I discovered Laurell K. Hamilton during one of them, though.

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  29. One of the best things about books is that they come in variety and therefore there are many I turn to for different reasons. I find Susan Elizabeth Phillip's books to be meaningful and comforting. Kristin Hannah's books are ones I often connect with emotionally. I'm thankful for all the stories that have moved me in one way or another.

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  30. I agree with Anonymous about books in general being a blessing during hard times. Bits and pieces always seem to come back to me when I need them. At one point during a time of grief over a miscarriage, I thought of Cherijo and Marel and it made me feel better. When I am feeling unsettled, a good historical helps me regain my footing, I think it's something about the predictability of the HEA. ;-)

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  31. Anonymous2:02 PM

    Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey got me through high school. They also keep me sane when the kiddos decide the house is a race track lol. Holly Lisle is a recent discovery, both her courses and fiction. Full of motivation.

    Stephanie L

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  32. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my go to author for making me feel better during a hard time. I like her humor when I really need distrating because it gives me a reason to smile.

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  33. When I'm feeling a little low, I tend to look for something light and fun to read. In these cases, I turn to either Evangeline Anderson's Brides of the Kindred series or JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Both series have those characters that I can always count on the make me laugh and make me feel better about...well everything!

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  34. I'll be a traditionalist here and say that the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis were always my go-to books whenever I needed cheering up during my younger days. Still revisit the books every now and then, but of course by now my stable of authors has grown a lot bigger. ^_^

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  35. Atropa4:10 PM

    LOL! When I was little, I didn't have many friends, and everyone called me a "weirdo." While I've embraced that now, that was hard as a child. Of all the authors in the world, I have to give mention to Dahl. "Matilda" was a book I read over and over, along with many of his other books. Also Madeline L'Engle when I was a little older.

    Nowadays I more look for authors I've never read when I'm feeling low instead of ones I'm familiar with.

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  36. Ooooh! I haven't read anything by Marjorie M. Liu yet.

    Nancy Atherton's Aunt Dimity series has helped me out of bouts of depression. No matter how down my brain gets, those novels perk me up.

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  37. If I'm feeling down I'll pick up my copy of Jon Stewart's "Naked Pictures of Famous People."

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  38. I can't pinpoint an specific book that helped me through a rough time. However, I've been unemployed for 14 months now, and Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series and Jacquelyn Carey's Kushiel Legacy series have recently helped be forget (momentarily) the reality of my situation, Now, I'm saddened there aren't more books in these series already published.

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  39. Riley H.6:59 PM

    I don't have a go-to book but just being surrounded by them helps when I am feeling low. I've bought enough books over the years (upwards of 450) that as long as I am sitting in my room and I can see them, I feel better.

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  40. Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series helped me thru a divorce and JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood thru a few health issues. I go back to both of them on a regular basis when I need to escape the daily grind! :)

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  41. I don't have a particular go to book but anytime I am at the hospital with any family having surgery, I usually buy a book to take with me. I try to find a new author to keep me occupied. (I discovered Lynn Viehl this way!) Thanks for throwing my name into the hat.
    Jennifer

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  42. Books have always been my goto when I am down or sick. they've got me through the death of my parents though I couldn't tell you one book I read

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  43. Harry Potter got me through my Grandmother's death, but Nalini Singh's psy books get me through my daily crap. :)

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  44. Nora Roberts. Her books can really help me get though hard times. They give me hope that things will work out for the best and that happiness and the perfect guy can be found. And that is can happen at anytime, even when you get older.

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  45. Anne V.11:22 PM

    I don't have a go-to series, just general author shelves that I love to visit. I just raced through Ann Aguirre's Enclave (her first YA) while I'm recovering from a partial retinal detachment and removal of my eye jelly. Nothing like a little post-apocalyptic adventure to make me feel less sorry for myself. It also made me appreciate that I will still have my sight in that eye even if I have a blind spot. Many of the authors already listed can lift me up in the same way, nothing like hearing about a character's troubles to make me feel better about my own!

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  46. Lavryle Spencer's books were some I read and/or reread when my ex and I split up years ago. So many of her books were about relationships and families that went through - or put themselves through - a great deal, but were able to come through it in the end. That was what I needed to read, and believe, at the time.

    More recently, I read a book that I wish had been around for me to read then! It might have made a world of difference in my choices: This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness, by Laura Munson. Granted, she's not someone I'd like to know in person, and she comes across as shallow and self-centered, but some surprisingly clear insights shine despite her literary pretensions and obvious faults.

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  47. My father passed away almost 5 years ago now, and during that dark period I know I did a lot of escapist reading, not that I can recall any specific titles at this moment. Probably something from La Nora, she's always a comfort read for me.

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  48. I remember reading George Elliott's Middlemarch during a breakup with a long-ago boyfriend. Some of the lives and relationships in that were so messed up it made me feel better about mine!

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  49. I read Juliette Marillier's incredible Sevenwaters books at a time when I was just incredibly down and full of disappointment and anger at myself (ah, the dramatics of youth). Ten years later, Daughter of the Forest and Son of the Shadows (the first and second) remain my most beloved novels of all time. It helps that Ms. Marillier is an incredible writer, and the relationships she created and the emotions she invoked were just beautiful beyond words. I still remember how she made my heart sing.

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  50. When I was having a really hard time, I read the Eve Dallas series by J D Robb and it helped me get through. Eve is such a powerful, relentless, strong woman and I took a lot of comfort from her....

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