Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Debut Showcase: Amazon Ink

Amazon Ink (Amazon USA - UK - Canada)
by Lori Devoti (website - blog)
Juno Books (Pocket Books)
Mass-Market Paperback, $7.99
Excerpt (pdf)

Publisher's Blurb:
It’s been ten years since Melanippe Saka left the Amazon tribe in order to create a normal life for her daughter, Harmony. True, running a tattoo parlor in Madison, Wisconsin while living with your Amazon warrior mother and priestess grandmother is not everyone’s idea of normal, but Mel thinks she’s succeeded at blending in as human.

Turns out she’s wrong. Someone knows all about her, someone who’s targeting young Amazon girls, and no way is Mel is going to let Harmony become tangled in this deadly web. With her mother love in overdrive, Ms. Melanippe Saka is quite a force . . . even when she’s facing a barrage of distractions—including a persistent detective whose interest in Mel goes beyond professional, a sexy tattoo artist with secrets of his own, and a seriously angry Amazon queen who views her as a prime suspect. To find answers, Mel will have to do the one thing she swore she’d never do: embrace her powers and admit that you can take the girl out of the tribe . . . but you can’t take the tribe out of the girl.

Ok, I'm not really into tattoos, so when I saw the "ink" in the title, I had my doubts. Then, I read the blurb. Now I'm reading it. I brought up this novel in the comments on the review just below this post. The whole mother/daughter storyline seems very fresh in a genre full of kick-ass snarky protagonists. If you're going to kick ass, then I can't imagine a better reason to do it than to protect your daughter. I'm really looking forward to getting into this one.

Scooper really enjoyed this novel.


Kimber An said...

Good morning, Tia. After yesterday's post, I didn't even wait for you to tell me the title. I went and hunted this one down myself and the ARC's on the way!

Here's where the value of the blogging book reviewer comes in. I would have NEVER touched this book if I'd seen it in the store. The cover art is stereotypical Urban Fantasy Kick-Butt Heroine, which really makes me gag right now. I never would have even touched it. Probably would have rolled my eyes and kept going. I certainly wouldn't have picked it up and read the blurb and the first few pages.

So, authors, if you're reading, pay attention! There are readers out there who might love your books but will never know about them if you don't explore different methods of reaching them.
What method makes me gag might make the next reader squeee with delight. You just never know.

Tia Nevitt said...

That the same way for me with Patricia Briggs. Judging by her covers, it doen't look like something I'd be interested in. But Kristen over at Fantasy Cafe really loved her books, and we have very similar tastes.

I hope you like Amazon Ink! I read the opening pages and it doesn't seem snarky so far.

Chicory said...

Cool. A fantasy mystery with a strong parent-child relationship. We need more of these. (Will be keeping eyes open for this one...)

Paula Guran said...

One reason I think it is important that JUNO remain identifiable as an imprint even if it now part of Pocket Books is that savvy readers can say: "Oh, if it is a Juno title, then it is not going to be 'one of those.'"

The next book, VICIOUS CIRCLE, has a "family" situation, too. The heroine's grandmother has moved in with her and then she gets a foster daughter...

DEMON INSIDE is a sequel to a book that what reviewed several places as "original" and a "new take", etc...

I can go on. Point is: if it is a Pocket/Juno title, I cannot promise you will love it -- tastes differ -- but chances are it will NOT be the same old, same old.

Oh and the cover of AMAZON INK is NOT stereotypical--at least there's no tattoo showing:-)

Tia Nevitt said...

Thanks for popping in, Paula!

The discussion of this novel actually started in the comments of the previous post, a review of Sins and Shadows. It's been lively, and I think it generated a lot of interest in this title.

Raven said...

There's no tattoo showing on the cover of a book about a woman who runs a tattoo parlor... What is that if not ironic?


Kimber An said...

"the cover of AMAZON INK is NOT stereotypical"

Maybe it's because I'm a book reviewer, but I've seen more Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels with grim-faced women brandishing weapons in the shadows than Tribbles on a starship with Captain Kirk in the chair. At least, they're getting away from the bare tummies.

Not that I mind bare tummies, but, geez, a little variety is nice.

For the record, I don't mind tatoos either. It's just I figure multiple pregnancies in rapid succession is enough voluntary pain for me.

Tia Nevitt said...

The serpent around her wrist ALMOST looks like a tattoo, but you can tell it's not.

Since I've read the opening chapters, I know where the lead character's tattoos are, and I don't think they would be visible without baring flesh anyway.

I kind of expect an Amazon to wield a sword, so no surprise there.

This book is making it difficult for me to finish reading Ghost Story, my "dare" from the Book Smugglers.

Kimber An said...

"This book is making it difficult for me to finish reading Ghost Story, my "dare" from the Book Smugglers."

Don't you just love to hate it when that happens?

SciFiGuy said...

An interesting couple of days worth of comments. Regarding the overdone "kick-ass" heroine problem, I think that perhaps the right UF books aren't being recommended if you are not a regular UF reader. A large percentage of earlier books when the phenomenon took off may have seemed that way but there is incredible character diversity these days. Kind of like saying there are too many Detectives and P.I.'s in mystery fiction. Saying that, I think I'll do a post on a recommended reading list for people this weekend looking for non-kick-ass and non-snarky heroines in UF.

I'm quite surprised by the "judge-the-book-by-the-cover" discussion. I think we all know most authors have little input into their cover art. Seriously deep down has a bad cover stopped you from buying a book that is interesting? I can see the impact on impulse shopping of a bad cover but otherwise no. It's about branding. Having a kick-ass female on the cover makes it readily identifiable as UF in the same way as covers with couples in swoons or clinches proclaimm a book as romance. I think it helps not hinders. If the art turns out to be great - that's a bonus.

Tia Nevitt said...

Kimber, I adore it.

SciFiGuy, I'll look forward to reading that post! No, bad covers usually don't put me off, but then the title has to be good to lure me to look at the blurb. For example, "Moon Called" is an excellent title that will get me to look beyond almost any cover.

On at least one occasion, I used a bad cover as a way to ward off talkative seatmates on a crowded airplane! It was Running With the Demon by Terry Brooks. An entertaining book, plus I was left utterly alone!

Raven said...

SciFiGuy, that sounds like an interesting post. I'll look forward to it also. Some recommended books with interesting heroes would be nice, too. I get tired of reading exclusively about women.

The UF I've been reading lately is mostly debuts, so I can testify that there are still a large number of snarky, kickass heroines appearing on the market from first-time authors. Blood Blade was a nice change because it featured a non-kickass male as protagonist (he was a game programmer).

In regard to covers, I don't let them influence my buying decisions. The title and blurb do, though.