I've decided to start writing all my titles Upworthy style. So always be prepared to REACH FOR THE TISSUES, HAVE YOUR HEARTSTRINGS TUGGED, and BE AMAZED.
I mean it.
Several months ago, my pal Nicole introduced me to author Taylor Stevens. Well, not INTRODUCED introduced, like a handshake and a butt-hug, but recommended, is what I mean to say.
Taylor has written a series featuring the character Vanessa Michael Munroe.
First of all, let me just say how much I love love love series. I get attached to the characters, I live with them, I think about them, I wonder what they'll be doing next.
I especially love series that are full of spies and espionage and bad-assery.
I love thrillers and detective stories and novels about assassins. And SEALS/Special Forces/Rangers. And covert operations/Black Ops. Crime solving psychologists and psychic government agents? Count me in!
I like the good guys better once they've got a little dirt on 'em. The ones who play outside the boundaries.
I love the Jason Bournes and the Mitch Rapps and the Jack Reachers and the Pike Logans and the Alex Delawares.
I love the ass-kicking women like futuristic cop Eve Dallas and ADA Alexandra Cooper and forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and brave youngsters like Katniss Everdeen and oh yeah, that fire-playing, hornet's nest-kicking chick with the dragon tat.
And Vanessa Michael Munroe.
She's a gatherer and seller of information. Her androgynous look lets her slip easily between the "Vanessa" and the "Michael". She has a hard, tragic, violent past that has shaped who and what she is, and has left her a little feral and a lot dangerous.
She wants to be good, but she's not afraid to do what needs to be done.
I love her.
The latest in the series, The Catch, was written to be a stand-alone book...and I suppose it is, but it offers only hints and teases about her background - which is important if you're to understand Munroe at all.
(I suggest you start at the beginning of the series and read your way through - all series are best read that way if you ask me. And even if you didn't ask me, it's still true)
I'm not going to give you a long, drawn-out plot synopsis - that's what Amazon and book blurbs are for.
But I will say that The Catch is deliciously full of piracy and double-crosses, hidden agendas, violence and bloodshed. (♥ ♥ ♥)
And the understanding that it only takes the slightest ripple to send a whole plot awry.
This particular book does seem to focus more on Munroe herself, her internal struggles between what's best and what's right, her thought processes, her actions, and mostly single story arc as opposed to having several offshoots with other past characters, friendships, and plot lines intertwined as they were in previous books.
I liked that about The Catch - it added some depth and layers to the already complex and complicated Munroe.
What it all boils down to is this: get familiar with Vanessa Michael Munroe and her author, Taylor Stevens.
You can start with The Catch (available in July!) - or use the time wisely between now and then to start at the very beginning. A very good place to start. (okay, how many of you just read that in Maria's voice from Sound of Music? HA! I KNOW YOU DID!)
Sometimes the good guys wear the black hats, not the halos.
***Disclaimer: YES, I was given - for freebies! - an advance review copy to read. NO, I was NOT told that I had to publish a review, nor what kind of review I should publish if I chose to do so. There were no promises, no threats, no bamboo spears under the fingernails, not even a passive/aggressive tweet suggesting I write any particular kind of review at all. My opinion is my own, and if you don't like my opinion, you can SUCK IT. I say that with love.