Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Urban Fantasy - Guest Post by Margo Collins

Please help me welcome Margo Collins as today's Wednesday's Guest. She is here to tell us about her top five favorite urban fantasy series. Grab a scone fresh out of the oven and sit back and enjoy. Then let us know which book(s) snagged your interest.
 
Picture courtesy of Foodtastic Mom Cooking Blog
One of the things that I love best about paranormal fiction is its crossover potential. It’s not uncommon to find paranormal novels that have elements of mystery, romance, fantasy, or even science fiction. But because of this tendency, it’s easy to find a single novel filed under a variety of categories, and the catchall category for these kinds of novels is “urban fantasy,” a term that is even now being renegotiated (as I note in my review ofThe Urban Fantasy Anthology published by Tachyon Press. Terminology quibbles aside, though, the following books are the first in some of my favorite urban fantasy series.

Guilty Pleasures(Anita Blake, Book 1) by Laurell K. Hamilton 
This was probably the first book I ever heard called a “urban fantasy”—though the term Hamilton used for it was “paranormal mystery.” In the early novels of this series, Anita Blake, is based more on the gritty noir detective than the romance heroine. Though the series shifts toward the erotic later, the early novels are still among my favorite paranormal mysteries/urban fantasies.


Stray (Shifters, Book 1) by Rachel Vincent 
Stray is definitely one of the urban fantasy series that draws heavily from the romance-novel tradition. But I especially like the way Vincent deals with gender issues in the series—Faythe, the narrator, belongs to a race of big-cat shapeshifters that produces very few females, so she is a strong woman in a deeply misogynistic world.


Kitty and the Midnight Hour  (Kitty Norville, Book 1) by Carrie Vaughn  
The initial premise, a werewolf named Kitty, made me laugh out loud, and the first novel hooked me. I’m impressed by Vaughn’s continuing ability to keep the series going, despite moving beyond many of the romance-novel tropes that plague much urban fantasy. 


 Nightlife (Cal Leandros, Book 1) by Rob Thurman  
What I love most about Rob Thurman’s books is that she is so very adept at lulling the reader into complacency, into accepting the narrator’s version of events, and then twisting the story in ways that are shocking and delightful. Nightlife does this beautifully, but so does Trick of the Light, the first Trickster novel. That Thurman manages to do it again and again is part of what keeps me coming back to her work!


Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock, Book 1) by Faith Hunter 
I’m a fan of shapeshifter novels in general, and of this series in particular. I like Hunter’s twist on the shapeshifter standards—in these novels, Jane shares her body and her consciousness with a big cat she calls Beast. Watching the two of them negotiating their shared life is almost as much fun as watching them work through whatever mysteries and problems come their way because of Jane’s job as bodyguard to vampires.
 ____________________________________________

Margo's urban fantasy, Legally Undead, is due out in 2014 from World Weaver Press. I really enjoyed her paranormal mystery, Waking Up Dead, so I may have to try the new book. 

Waking Up Dead -available in  Paperback and Kindle from Amazon - Paperback from these booksellers:
_____________________________________________

Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.
 _____________________________________________

Connect with Margo
Email:    * Website:  * Twitter:   @MargoBondCollins * Google+  * Goodreads Author Page 


Book Trailer for Waking Up Dead:

3 comments:

Margo Bond Collins said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today! :)

Maryann Miller said...

You're welcome, Margo. Thanks for introducing me to some new authors, at least new to me. I love the cover of Skinwalker, but not sure I want to try a really dark horror story.

Margo Bond Collins said...

I don't know that I would call any of these "really dark horror." They all certainly have dark elements, but the heroines tend to lighten things up a bit. You might enjoy them more than you expect! :)