Monday, June 04, 2007

Raine-ing Praises (on Magic Lost, Trouble Found)

I try to compete with Rowena Cherry's unparalled abilities for puns and turns of phrase and always feel I fall short (could be the differences in our heights as well...).

Be that as it may, Raine-ing Praises today is all about Raine Benares. She is a fictional character in Lisa Shearin's MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, a rip-roaring good fantasy novel that's also Shearin's debut book:

My name is Raine Benares. I'm a seeker. The people who hire me are usually happy when I find things. But some things are better left unfound...
The book has elves, it has goblins, it has sorcerers and sorceresses (sorceri?). It has smugglers and thieves and magic spells. It even has a strong romantic subplot--yay!

Not only is the book a terrific fun read, but Shearin's query letter to literary agent Kristin Nelson has obtained almost cult-status, as it's been quoted as one of the best queries around:

What if you suddenly have a largely unknown, potentially unlimited power? What if that power just might eat your soul for breakfast, lunch and dinner? What if every magical mobster and sicko sorcerer in town wants that power? And what if you can't get rid of it?

I had the pleasure of reading MAGIC LOST in ARC (Advanced Review Copy) form months back. I've been anxiously awaiting its release ever since so I could tell you all about it. Go buy this book. It's fun, fast-paced, kick-ass, snarky, beautifully written and exciting. And there's a sequel.

What this has to do with alien romances and what this has to do with exploring my recent theme of love across (or did I say beyond?) boundaries, is that MAGIC LOST is populated by every non-human paranormal being you could think of. How they relate-or don't--what their issues are, what their prejudices are, and what their loves, fears and failing are become underlying themes in this book.

Now, of course, you can read it just for fun. I highly recommend reading just for fun because it's not one of those angst-y, esoteric doom-and-gloom speculative fiction tomes that preach and lecture and make you feel miserable at book's end. It's a freakin' fun book. But the characters and their relationships form a huge part of the book's engine. If you want to see Intimate Adventure at work, you'll see it here. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have.


PS - FYI, I've reworked my website and added some new things to the Intergalactic Bar & Grille-including a chance to win free t-shirts! Check out my revamped website:


  1. I've added it to my list! Sounds like it fits into Alien Romances to me. Call it a Vulcan. Call it an elf.

    For the rest of yas, I'm reviewing an ARC of DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES by Linnea tomorrow at

    Speaking of love across boundaries, I was reading in ZOMBIE and laughing at Theo trying to pass Jorie off as his girlfriend from Canada. My husband wanted to know what was so funny and now he wants to read it too.

  2. Anonymous2:12 PM EDT

    Thanks for the heads up on what sounds to me like a great story. It is added to my wishlist (along with a wish for more book buying funds LOL).

  3. Ilona, Lisa Shearin has the first few chapters of the book up on her site. Free. ;-) I know, cruel punishment to be so tempting. But it will give you a grin for the day. ~Linnea

  4. Hey Kimber, glad you're getting a smile out of ZOMBIE. Looking forward to your blog. And do add MAGIC LOST to your list of books to read and review. You'll not regret it. ;-) And there's a sequel, which is something I'm way too guilty of NOT doing. (Reaspns being, powers that be hadn't shown an interest in same before, but that may change.) ~Linnea

  5. Anonymous10:10 PM EDT

    I'm reading it right now! I'm in chapter five of twenty-five and just loving it! What great characters! I love the narrative voice! And, there's a sequel? SQUEEE!! =)

  6. David, I'm so glad you're enjoying MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND!! I wrote the kind of book I wanted to read, with characters I'd want to hang out with -- except the evil ones. ; ) I just turned in the sequel (ARMED & MAGICAL), and it's gonna be a "hang-on-roller-coaster-ride" kind of book. Pop over to my site in the next few weeks as I'll be finally starting a blog of my own.