Monday, July 23, 2012

SM Johnson ~ Bloody Monday ~ Dark Fiction

Ahh, it feels so lovely to take time to read. Now that I'm working hard to tap out more words per day, I do my reading in bits and pieces, but this week I've gone the more devour-and-I'm-not-stopping-until-this-book-is-done route. Partly because I've been getting up early to work on my new book, which almost feels like giving myself permission to screw off the rest of the day.

And to nap.

Laura's site
One of my recent reads was Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Weiss. Whoa, talking about the dark... I'm not going to say much, because this is a short YA novel, but even though it's a super quick read, the story's going to stick with you. It's a dive-into-the-dark story, and you can't hep but root for fifteen year old Meredith.

And the ending was just... so perfect. And not in a trite, yeah, I totally expected this way, either. There was one part of the climax that I saw coming, but I was not at all prepared for the aftermath.

That being said, it wasn't a let-down or a piss-me-off ending. It left me feeling sad that my time with Meredith was finished.

Everything that Laura Weiss has written is now on my need-to-read list.

YA or not, Weiss travels down into the dark, and I will happily follow, trusting her to show me the redemption, show me the justice, and then to show me a safe way home.

All right, I've been teasing you guys about Wicked as they Come for a good, what, three weeks now? Oh, the cruelty. I know, I know - it was on my wish list for several months, so I know all about the tease. I mean, I know what they say about covers and all, but the cover ALONE had my heart thudding with that whole I NEED TO HAVE THIS vibe.

Delilah's blog
I'm posting the book cover in as large a size as Blooger will allow, because, oh, dear God, it just must be done that way.

Now that's Criminy Stain, and he is an intriguing and wholesome villain. One who says things like (loosely quoted) "I'm trying to look harmless and safe. Is it working?"

Oh, such fun!

A wholesome villain, yes, how odd. Criminy has cast a spell designed to bring his true love, Letitia Everett, to him in the freakishly bizarre and dangerous land of Sang.

This is a different kind of vampire, and a character as deliciously wicked as Rice's Lestat.

A good thing happened to me, somewhere in the middle of this book. I had to put it down to ride a Harley out to a little bar in the boondocks for a fabulous breakfast of steak and eggs... I was riding bitch, because I'm way too pussy to actually be the driver of a motorcycle (took the class, failed the test)

...and so I was just hanging out on the back of the bike and wham! The seagull of inspiration dropped a load on my head.

Image from
I've told ya'll about my muse, right? She appears in seagull form, typically flying over my car while I'm driving to somewhere important - to work, or to pick up my offspring - and my eyes go wide open and I say (almost every time) - "Damn! I can never remember to buy a voice recorder to keep in the car."

So yes, my sweet seagull muse shit on my head and flew away laughing, leaving me to do all the work. Because that's what she does.

And as usual, I have yet to have had time to really play with the new idea, what with having DeVante's Choice to edit and starting the new het porn book, The Highly Fictionalized Tale of Ian and Piper.

So the new idea stews and brews, more images and conversations at this point than anything else. And it won't be porn, and it won't be vamipre - it's going to something new for me. And of course, it has nothing to do with Criminy Stain or the land of Sang whatsoever.

Whoops, I got side-tracked here.

What I want ya'll to know about Wicked as They Come is that I was not disappointed. This was quite a satisfying journey to another world, a world of magic, and traveling carnivals, and bunnies that will drink your blood.

The plotting was good, the world nicely drawn, the icky bad people (who were NOT wholesome villains) were suitably icky. The use of magic comes with a price. Criminy Stain is highly entertaining, somewhat manipulative, often jealous, and rather powerful. Letitia is not the strongest bad-ass dark fiction heroine I've ever met, but she's not a wimp, either, and she gets the job done.

I'll be toying with Ian and Piper, and I've finally bitten the bullet and am reading Laurell K. Hamilton's Bullet. But I'll save my thoughts on that one for a different day.

Happy Monday. I hope your work week is kind to you, the weather is beautiful, and all your books suck you in with sharp literary teeth and refuse to let you go.


  1. I adored this book! Thanks for the post. I hear shampoo is great for Seagull poo. ;-)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Steph! I shelved Wicked at home for the moment, unsure if I'm ready to donate it to the library. I'm going to see what more of Sang Dawson has in store for use before I give it away. It got all dog-eared - like in the old days, as I dragged it with me daily wherever I went.

    As for my muse the seagull - at east she drops startling new ideas on my head, rather than real poo. That would be fishy, I think.

  3. The seagull thing cracked me up! I had no idea you had a seagull muse...good to know. And the book sounds interesting. I liked your excerpt from the character, paraphrased or not.