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message 1: by Werner (last edited Jan 22, 2018 06:51AM) (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Note: See message 90 for an important update!

This is the thread where we feature a Recommendation of the Month from your group moderators, an action-heroine book that the person doing the recommending particularly liked, and wants to share with others. (The thread was originally open to recommendations from volunteers from the group as a whole, but not enough members were interested in volunteering to make that approach viable.) Each of the three moderators will take responsibility for posting the monthly recommendation about four times during the year. Recommendations will be posted below on this thread, preferably as early in the month as possible.

Below, I'll post a schedule for the benefit of the moderators, so we know who's responsible for what months.. I'll edit this comment to update the schedule as it changes from year to year.)

2017
July --Danielle
August --Werner
September --E.G.
October --Werner
November --E. G.
December --Danielle

2018
January --E.G.
February --
March --
April --
May --.
June --


message 2: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments I'll take September.


message 3: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Marked accordingly, E.G. Thanks for your willingness to help out!


message 4: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments My thanks as well, E.G.


message 5: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments For July, I'll start our Recommendation of the Month feature off with a plug for what I think is one of the best epic fantasy works that American literature has produced, The Deed of Paksenarrion (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1-3) by Elizabeth Moon by Elizabeth Moon. This is the omnibus volume of a trilogy, containing Sheepfarmer's Daughter (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #1) by Elizabeth Moon , Divided Allegiance (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #2) by Elizabeth Moon , and Oath of Gold (The Deed of Paksenarrion, #3) by Elizabeth Moon ; but the three are actually so closely connected as to form one masterwork, like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I reviewed Sheepfarmer's Daughter by itself, here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . But after reading the second book, I realized that the trilogy had to be reviewed as a unit to do it properly, so that review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... .


message 6: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Danielle just agreed, in a personal message to me, to take responsibility for the October and December recommendations. Thanks, Danielle! This seems to be shaping up nicely.


message 7: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Excellent choice, Werner. I'm sad only because I've read the series and don't have the pleasure of discovering them for the first time.


message 8: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Werner wrote: "For July, I'll start our Recommendation of the Month feature off with a plug for what I think is one of the best epic fantasy works that American literature has produced, [bookcover:The Deed of Pak..."

Yay! It's available on Apple.


message 9: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Thanks, Jon. (I hear you about the joy of discovery!)

Glad you can get it in your preferred format, E.G.!


message 10: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Dominique just volunteered (by personal message) to take responsibility for the recommendation next March. Thanks, Dominique!


message 11: by Laura (Kyahgirl) (new)

Laura (Kyahgirl) (kyahgirl) Hi Werner, I know I don't participate much in the group but I do love those action heroines! I will gladly take next February if you still need someone.


message 12: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Laura, we certainly did need someone to take February; thanks for volunteering! And a big thanks to Bethany also for volunteering (by personal message) to take June. I've marked both of you ladies down for those months, and we'll look forward to your recommendations.

Now, the only months we don't have covered are April and May of 2017. Who else has a favorite action heroine book you'd like to bring to others' attention?


message 13: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Thank you Laura, Bethany and Dominique, plus E.G. and Danielle. My turn is next month. Can one get virtual stage fright?


message 14: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Jon wrote: "Thank you Laura, Bethany and Dominique, plus E.G. and Danielle. My turn is next month. Can one get virtual stage fright?"

Only if your prospective audience is likely to throw virtual rotten eggs and tomatoes at you. :-) But we promise that we'll behave better than that, cross our hearts!


message 15: by Laura (Kyahgirl) (new)

Laura (Kyahgirl) (kyahgirl) I agree Werner! We all thrive on recommendations from our GR friends who have similar likes so it will all be fine Jon!


message 16: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Okie Dokie, Smokie. I won't duck.


message 17: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Schooled in Magic Schooled in Magic (Schooled in Magic, #1) by Christopher Nuttall , by Christopher Nuttall, is the first of a YA / fantasy / coming of age series that now reaches 10 books. I give this book 4 stars; I give the series 5 stars overall. I recommend it, and the series, because of the action heroine with plenty of agency and great imaginary world building.

The premise: Emily, a young woman, is pulled from modern Earth to an alternative world with medieval-like features, due to a mistake as to her identity by a bad guy. Rescued within a day/chapter by a wizard, she is promptly dispatched to a special school, Whitehall, for young but untrained magicians. [Not everyone in the society has magical talent, and everyone's is different in scope or strength.] Run like a combination coed boarding school / performing arts academy / vocational school, each student takes courses each year in 6 or 7 of 15+ magical disciplines.

As with any school, there are: mean and bad, mean and knowledgeable, unapproachable, wise, so-so, and mentor-ish teachers. Bullies and pranks – using magic. Turning someone into a toad is … not unthinkable. Pranks at Whitehall can literally kill. Best friend(s). Roommates and dorm proctors. The students are human, mostly, but include others who we might label gorgons, et al. Cliques. Students who detest each other yet are forced to work together to pass, or both will fail. Too much homework, and punishments (not a focus) for slacking off or bad behavior. Areas that are out-of-bounds. Boring courses: History of Magic!

Emily arrives at the school on the back of a dragon. As anyone who was once young knows, anything that sets you apart from other students can cause … distrust, angst, fear, or hero-worship. It did. On top of all the usual things that might roil a young person’s life, forces for evil outside the school know she’s there. Then, too, her knowledge of how-to-do-things a la 21st century Earth gives her all sorts of ideas about how to “improve” the Allied Lands. Guess what: people in power generally oppose change.

Why I like it: Emily has lots of agency. She acts, and usually she thinks before she acts. She learns from her mistakes. Smart. She is written well, so that I care about her and what happens to her next, and later I care about the students who gradually accumulate around her.

The imaginary world is very well developed, both in this initial book and as the series develops. Magic is not treated as a generic, one size fits all, process. That is, what it takes to create potions (alchemy) successfully, requires a different set of skills from those needed to heal a person, or to create a spell … or to use magic on a battlefield, which is one subject Emily begins in this book.

I am not a fan of short stories. I like to know everything about a character and her world. This series satisfies that need.

While this is a series, each book resolves the major plot line, so there are no cliffhangers.

Look, why I suggest Schooled in Magic is not because, by itself, it is terrific. I reread it to write this review. 4 stars. Nuttall’s writing and proofing have improved considerably since it was written. There are too many glitches. There are many references and some similarities (about the school) to Harry Potter; fortunately, these vanish quickly in the next books. (Potter, book one, is better than Schooled, book one.) The story jumps around a bit too much. However, if an author has a whole world of stories / adventures for the hero/heroine, it is necessary to plant some plot seeds early on that will germinate later in the garden / series.

No sex or anything close.


message 18: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Thanks Jon,

I'm not a huge fan of YA, but I'll pick it up occasionally. And I do like a bit of magic. Added to my TBR.


message 19: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 32 comments I will be glad to do April. My birthday month. If you still need it.


message 20: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 32 comments EG. What is the September read. I do not see it listed. Thanks pam


message 21: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Pending. I'll have it up this weekend.


message 22: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Yes, Pamela, we sure did still need someone for next April! Thanks for stepping up to the plate; we'll look forward to seeing what you recommend.

The slot for May is still open!


message 23: by E.G. (last edited Sep 05, 2016 07:22AM) (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments SEPTEMBER RECOMMENDATION

I had a little trouble settling on a recommendation for this month, debating among several of my favorite heroines. In the end, I chose

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs .

The first in an Urban Fantasy series set in the US Pacific Northwest featuring auto-mechanic/coyote shifter Mercy (Mercedes) Thompson.

‘I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first. My nose isn't at its best when surrounded by axle grease and burnt oil ...’
Mercedes Thompson runs a garage in the Tri-Cities. She's a mechanic, and a damn good one, who spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. Her next-door neighbor is an alpha werewolf - literally, the leader of the pack. And Mercy herself is a shapeshifter, sister to coyotes. As such, she's tolerated by the 'wolves but definitely down the pecking order. As long as she keeps her eyes down and remembers her place, the pack will leave her in peace.


The first in the series, Moon Called is good, but not the strongest. The writing gets tighter with each book, the mysteries more well-developed. That said, this first book is still well worth reading for action heroine aficionados.

Mercy is tough, a bit of a loner, but not isolated. She has friends, a mentor (who is some kind of fae), and two men who care about her. What intrigued me ten years ago – and does today – is the character’s combination of grit and vulnerability. As a coyote among wolves, she has always been included but an outsider. She works as mechanic – a field dominated by men although she is a woman. She is clever, resourceful, and although not prone to violence, she can take care of herself. When Mercy is drawn into the mystery, her profound sense loyalty and honor drive her to action. She makes mistakes, but she owns them. She’s also a bit quirky. A practicing Christian, she wears a gold lamb on a chain rather than a cross, preferring to focus on the loving nature of Jesus rather than the violent death.

An enjoyable blend of Urban Fantasy, Mystery, and Romance, I recommend Moon Called.

Note: Although there is a hint of romance in this first book, it does not contain adult content. Later books do contain some sexual content, but Ms. Briggs tends to ‘fade to black.’


message 24: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Werner wrote: "Yes, Pamela, we sure did still need someone for next April! Thanks for stepping up to the plate; we'll look forward to seeing what you recommend.

The slot for May is still open!"


I'll do May.


message 25: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Great, E.G., I've put you down for May. Thanks for volunteering! Now we're all set for 2016-17. (And to all members out there, be thinking about whether you'd like to volunteer for 2017-18!)

I really liked Moon Called; if anyone's interested, my review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . The only reason I didn't pursue the series is because I'm juggling such a LOT of series --but I might re-think that sometime.


message 26: by Laura (Kyahgirl) (new)

Laura (Kyahgirl) (kyahgirl) E.G. wrote: " SEPTEMBER RECOMMENDATION

I had a little trouble settling on a recommendation for this month, debating among several of my favorite heroines. In the end, I chose

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs.
..."

That's a great recommendation E.G.! I have read and re-read and listened to this whole series more than once. It's an all time favorite and I hope the members of the group check it out.


message 27: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 32 comments I have also read Moon Called and read the entire series. Great pick for those not familiar with this series, need to be. Loved it. I'm sure I have done a review, if not I'll grab it again and do one.


message 28: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Earlier today, I discovered an interesting (at least, to me!) factoid about the series cover art. There, Mercy is always depicted as heavily tattooed; but in the books she only has one tattoo, of a paw print. The artist who does the covers has explained that he doesn't see them as a literal image of what Mercy actually looks like. Rather, he uses the tats (which vary from cover to cover) as a signal for the types of adversaries she'll face in the book (for instance, bat wings for vampires, etc.).


message 29: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Werner wrote: "Earlier today, I discovered an interesting (at least, to me!) factoid about the series cover art. There, Mercy is always depicted as heavily tattooed; but in the books she only has one tattoo, of a..."

Cool. I've wondered about that.


message 30: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments What a great recommendation, E.G. My only disappointment is that I've read it ... and the rest of the series. I'm envious of any one who has it ahead of them.

As to Werner's factoid, Mercy is always depicted as heavily tattooed; but in the books she only has one tattoo, of a paw print, someone or someones (artist, publisher, editor?) should be hung out with the wash. If the cover features a MC, then the art should follow the words; at worst, it should not contradict the words. IMHO


message 31: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Jon, personally, I agree with you; and if I were doing the cover art for this series, I'd lose the heavy tattooing!


message 32: by E.G. (last edited Sep 14, 2016 04:43AM) (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Jon wrote: "What a great recommendation, E.G. My only disappointment is that I've read it ... and the rest of the series. I'm envious of any one who has it ahead of them.

As to Werner's factoid, Mercy is al..."


I debated for a while over this month's recommendation because I thought a lot of the group might have read it. In the end, I went with Mercy because she remains such a fascinating character and the books are consistently 4 and 5 star reads.

I agree with you (and Werner) about the excessive tattoos being annoying. They weren't as noticeable in the first cover as they are in later ones, such as -

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5) by Patricia Briggs

If the cover is going to feature a character, I prefer the model be as close to the book description as possible.

That said, now that I know there is a rationale, it doesn't bug me as much as it did.


message 33: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments E. G. wrote: "I debated for a while over this month's recommendation because I thought a lot of the group might have read it. In the end, I went with Mercy because she remains such a fascinating character and the books are consistently 4 and 5 star reads."

E. G., your reasoning was exactly right, IMO. I'd say, recommend books on their merits, even if they do happen to be well known. We never know how many group members have actually heard of a good book; new readers, or readers new to action heroines, come into the group all the time. (You'd be amazed at how many well-known books show up on the "Books I Wouldn't Have Discovered Without Goodreads" list!) And even readers who have heard of Mercy haven't necessarily read the books, and might benefit from the nudge in that direction.


message 34: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments What he said, E.G. Your recommendation was spot on.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Hello Action Heroine Fans! My October Recommendation is The Great Zoo of China by Matt Reilly. I recommend it because I think its heroine is a commendable character. CJ Cameron is a veterinarian and a crocodile specialist who gets chosen to visit a top secret zoo in China that has some very special inhabitants. She is intelligent, adaptable, couageous, steps up to the plate to be a hero, and is a heroine in her own right. While this book is bloody and gruesome, it's also enthralling and a lot of fun. As a a reader, I really rooted for CJ. I am at a work conference right now, so I am posting this on my phone, thus unable to post a Goodreads book link. Don't you just love the Goodreads mobile app?

Check out CJ and The Great Zoo of China by Matt Reilly, one of personal favorite authors!


message 36: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Danelle, here's the Goodreads book link: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly . And I'll add the book to our group's bookshelves, if it isn't added already!


message 37: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments I've downloaded the sample and I'm ready to try it out.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Werner wrote: "Danelle, here's the Goodreads book link: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly. And I'll add the book to our group's bookshelves, if it isn't added already!"

Thanks! I'm sorry I'm so late getting back over here. I've had an insane week.

Does anyone have any questions about the book?


message 39: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments For November, my recommendation of the month is a book action heroine fans might not typically stumble across: Daughter of the Eagle (Spanish Bit Saga, #6) by Don Coldsmith by Don Coldsmith. (His Spanish Bit Saga, of which this is the sixth installment, is a multi-generational series; most of the individual novels, including this one, can be read as standalones.) Neither the author or the series is typically associated with the action heroine motif, but we happen to have a bona fide kick-butt female protagonist in this particular book!

Set in the late 1500s on the Great Plains of what would later become the U.S., this is the story of a young woman whose name will become Running Eagle, and whose choice of the path of a warrior will eventually make her a legend on the Plains. (The characters are fictional, but the author is well versed in Native American culture, and the plot is plausible and realistic.) If you like clean historical fiction with a fighting heroine, this one might be up your alley. My five-star review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... , and should give you a fair idea of whether or not you'd want to give the book a try.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Winter Frost Queen)  (gatadelafuente) | 360 comments Okay, so December is my month to recommend a book. I want to apologize for posting this late. I decided to recommend Running from the Devil by Jamie Frevellitti.

This is my recommendation because the lead is a woman and she has some good action moments. No, she's not a Rambo, but she saves the day. I like that she's essentially a normal woman (albeit a scientist) who is put in an extranormal situation and saves the day. Readers who like survival situations, will appreciate this book. Emma is put in a situation where she uses her knowledge base to survive in the jungle and shows a lot of integrity and courage despite her dangerous situation. I read this from my library, but it encouraged me read the other books in a series, and I will when I am able to.

Here's my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 41: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Sounds promising, Danielle! And thanks for adding this one to our group bookshelves.


message 42: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Thank you for the recommendation.


message 43: by Laura (Kyahgirl) (last edited Jan 30, 2017 06:17PM) (new)

Laura (Kyahgirl) (kyahgirl) Hi group. I am responsible for recommending the February book of the month. I am a big fan of action heroines and usually read about them in UF , PNR, and Sci-fi books. However, this month I am going to recommend a book to you that is in non of those genres.
The book, Code Name Verity, is one I read a couple of years ago and I still think of the main characters.

There were many women who played important roles in the Second World War and this is a story of two young women, a pilot and a spy, who had tremendous courage, loyalty, and intelligence. But more than that, it is the story of of friendship and love. I don't think you will regret checking this book out.
Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1) by Elizabeth Wein
Here is my review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

P.s. I must be in a time warp because I just noticed that I wrote my review 5 years ago!


message 44: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Laura, thanks for the recommendation (and nothing wrong with posting it a day early!). I'd read and liked your review some time ago, and put the book on my "maybe to read" shelf as a result of that.

Jon's had to be mostly offline for the last couple of months through no fault of his own. However, he's told me (by personal message) that he hopes to post January's recommendation sometime today.

Just as a friendly reminder to all of the authors in the group, this thread, as I mentioned in message 1, isn't intended as a place to recommend or promote your own books. But promotional posts in the Authors folder are always welcome!


message 45: by Tom (new)

Tom Holzel | 40 comments Roger, wilco!


message 46: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) | 333 comments Laura (Kyahgirl) wrote: "Hi group. I am responsible for recommending the February book of the month. I am a big fan of action heroines and usually read about them in UF , PNR, and Sci-fi books. However, this month I am goi..."

This looks really good. Added to my TBR. Do you know if it's available at the library or kindle lendable?


message 47: by Laura (Kyahgirl) (new)

Laura (Kyahgirl) (kyahgirl) I got my copy from the library. Most city libraries should have it. I hope you do check it out. I normally read escapist literature but some books are just worth being put through the wringer.


message 48: by Jon (last edited Feb 05, 2017 01:53PM) (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Depression, a certain November event, and my efforts towards "pre-tirement" contributed to my absence from this wonderful group and GR for too long. I missed my opportunity to share a recommendation of an AH book for January.

First, Laura's recommendation of Code Name Verity is excellent, and I join her to suggesting it. If you feel a hunger for another action heroine, I going to post my tardy January idea:

Red Helmet Red Helmet by Homer Hickam by Homer Hickham. Hickham grew up in the coal fields of West Virginia. Although he went away and learned rocket science, he has become the unofficial author in residence for the state of WV. His books about the war (WWII) in the South Pacific, Alaska and the East Coast from the eyes of a Coast Guard officer, are all excellent, albeit with a male MC.

I have read Red Helmet three times just to savor again the story of Song, a tough Asian-American woman who, as her father's right hand woman, "fixes" troubled companies he has purchased.

She, New Yorker, meets and (too) quickly marries the manager of a coal mine. Neither wants to move. Through a chain of circumstances, she assigns herself the task of going to WV and learning to be a coal miner ... in order to find out why the mine is under-producing. Her almost-ex by this time is about to be fired.

It is the details of how to mine coal, details that reek of authenticity, and which are mixed with the stubborn will of Song to master a man's trade, that sing. She is definitely a woman of agency. And action.

If you don't relish the first part (their brief trip to an altar), or the 2nd quarter of the book - why they need to sign divorce papers - skip lightly through them, but pause on the descriptions of the supporting cast as you do. You will want to know about those characters for the second half of the book, Song's effort to earn her Red Helmet as a newbie miner. By the way, there is a mystery to solve, a mystery with a killer.


message 49: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments A dividend recommendation (previously posted on GR) for January, as recompense for 'my bad'.

Lady Gone Bad Lady Gone Bad (Gone Bad, #1) by Sabine Starr (Gone Bad, #1) by Sabine Starr is a romance/western/adventure about a woman saloon singer in the West in the 1880's. She's been done wrong and she's using her wiles (but not actual sex) to track down a special horse as part of her quest to get revenge. There is a reward for her capture and a lawman - a Ranger- comes to the saloon where she is singing to arrest her.

He fails spectacularly, she gets away and the plot is on. Warning for those of you who need it. There is some erotic play.

What makes this book much better than average, besides great word play, is the historical research that Ms. Sabine did to get the locations for this specific story exactly right. Unlike many westerns, IMHO.


message 50: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1528 comments Jon, I've just added Red Helmet to my "maybe to read" shelf. (Lady Gone Bad was already there, on your recommendation. :-) )


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