Friday, May 29, 2015

Recommended Reading: Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson


Book Description:

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond. Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters.

While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover. To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. 

Local author Suzanne Johnson's "Sookie Stackhouse meets Harry Dresden" series is a perfect choice for urban fantasy fans. Johnson uses the New Orleans setting to great effect, and she's created a realistically complex fantasy world around it. The heroine is more scientifically-minded than most heroines, but she's still fun and sassy. The writing is a little choppy in this first book -- the mystery elements can be overly obvious, and the romantic subplots unwieldy. Still, it's a strong and atmospheric first book, and in the sequel (River Road), those problems are solved!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Recommended Reading: Freakin' Fabulous by Clinton Kelly

Book Description:

Clinton Kelly won't just revamp your wardrobe -- he'll revamp your life! The huddled masses yearn to be fabulous, and finally Clinton Kelly is heeding their call. As co-host of TLC's popular What Not to Wear, he regularly transforms dumpy fashion disasters into traffic-stopping, get-an-instant-promotion, reignite-the-passion-in-that- relationship makeovers. But fabulousness doesn't stop with style. Let's face it: you might look good, but if you're chomping on that crudité with your mouth wide open, nobody at the party will talk to you -- even if you can explain to them what crudité actually is. Of course, the keys to being better than everyone else aren't always so obvious. Don't worry; Clinton's here to help.

Want to dress, speak, behave, eat, drink, entertain, decorate, and generally be better than everyone else? That's the subtitle of this book, so it's probably the one you're looking for! Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear fame may be sassy and funny, but he also gives great advice. This book covers all the basics, from fashion fundamentals to simple party recipes. He focuses on doable, easy-to-remember rules, throwing in a few "Wow, I never thought of that!" tips for good measure. Plus, the book is visually appealing with a great page design -- like a long, fun magazine. Find it in nonfiction!