parker & winthrop: a prologue

So, you’re wondering (again). What’s all this?

All this, as you might say, is part of the novel we’ve been writing, Parker & Winthrop. Actually, it’s the prologue of our second draft. Yes, you read that correctly: second draft! Since we’re halfway through this second draft and getting even more excited about sharing this story with you, we decided to give you a proper taste of what we’ve created this year. 

We hope you enjoy it. Let us know what you think, and stay tuned: you’ll be hearing more from us–and more about Parker & Winthrop–soon.

 

Rosie always refers to the Coleridge as a “she” rather than an “it.”

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sorcery and cecelia, or: the enchanted chocolate pot

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The Facts

Sorcery and Cecelia, or: The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Basia rates it: 5/5
Connor rates it: 5/5

basia

I normally am very wary when I approach an epistolary novel because I can never quite get into them. They always bother me in that the characters writing to each other act as if they’ve never met before, and they give long and rambling details of backstory purely for the reader’s benefit, which real people writing letters to one another obviously wouldn’t do.

That’s why I loved this novel so much. Not only was it delightful, I felt, for once, like the characters really knew each other. They was no clunky delving into backstory that we didn’t need; everything we did need to know was cleverly revealed, so that I never felt like the novel was suddenly self-aware that it had readers who needed explanations.

Also, “Are you bamming me?” has got to be one of the best phrases I’ve ever read, and I think I’ll be using it in the future.

connor

I first read this novel years ago when I discovered Patricia C. Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles and wanted to try her other books. I devoured it (and the sequels, which are not quite as delightful but still Quite Good).

Sorcery and Cecelia is the account of two outrageously fun cousins, Cecelia and Kate, and their even more outrageous adventures as they accidentally stumble into a world of magic and intrigue.

… Well, somewhat accidentally, anyway. Cecy and Kate are prone to these things (see also: the goat incident). Their letters do an excellent job of expressing their wit, their frustration, and their single-minded determination that they “simply must Do Something,” a phrase I’ve happily adopted for my own purposes since I first read it, and I wholeheartedly recommend this to fans of fantasy and magical realism alike.

the clockwork scarab

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The Facts

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Cleason
Basia rates it: 3.5/5
Connor rates it: 3.5/5

basia

This book had so much potential. I loved the premise–it is exactly the sort of thing that speaks to my sensibilities. It sounds like it’s going to be so much fun. And it was, to be fair–Evaline and Mina are wonderful, and several other characters became favorites, but my lower-than-expected rating comes down to one thing: Dylan. At best, he’s bothersome. At worst, he’s a nuisance the likes of which you want to squash with the world’s largest flyswatter. I never felt that he was necessary or useful; his subplot is too contrived; it tries too hard to fit into a story that, quite frankly, doesn’t need him. Everything his two-dimensional self was there to do could have been handled in another, less clunky, less annoying manner. That being said, I do plan to pick up the next book. The protagonists’ budding friendship, their grudging respect for one another, is a story I’ll follow to the deepest vampire den–even if it means putting up with Dylan.

connor

I slipped the rating down to 3.5 for the ending, which I found to be rather short and sudden, and for Dylan (who, as Basia mentioned, is both unnecessary and annoying). While I’ll definitely pick up the next one, his was one plot line too many in a convoluted tale. Still, the main narrative was fun and the characters of Mina and Evaline (and a smattering of favorites in cameo) kept matters lively enough to make this steampunk novel a witty enough matter of crime solving to keep me interested. In all honesty, I was biased towards this from the start: not only is mystery my favorite genre of choice, but I’m usually a fan of the steampunk aesthetic as well. The premise–creating a partnership between Bram Stoker’s teenage sister and the teenage niece of Sherlock Holmes–captivated me, and the development of their friendship and a slow, begrudging respect for the other’s talents kept me reading even when Dylan was at his most obnoxious.

#GETWRECD: pride & prejudice

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Well, we’ve done it! Our first-ever book drop has taken place at Dunn Brothers Coffee in Addison, Texas (3725 Belt Line Rd). You can find this copy of one of our favorites, Pride and Prejudice, lurking on their bookshelf! If you pick it up, don’t forget to tweet at us and/or tag a photo on Instagram!

got w(rec)’d?

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When Basia was part of book club in high school (known charmingly and appropriately as the Bookworms), they decided to start leaving books around for strangers to find: books they thought people should be reading, books they wanted to share with others but lacked a way to do so short of walking up to a stranger and shoving a book into their hands. Each book had a sticker inside with a tracking number, so presumably the individual who picked up the book would follow the link written on the sticker to a library-run tracking service, plug in the tracker, and see where the book had been before. We here at W(REC)’D want to do something like that.

If you’ve ever seen the Instagram Books on the Railway, it’ll be something very similar: every now and then, one of us will leave a book somewhere (on a park bench, in a café, on the train) with a W(REC)’D sticker on the cover/inside. There won’t be any tracking numbers, but we’ll be using the hashtag #GOTWRECD to follow these books. We’ll post a photo on our Instagram when we’ve left a book somewhere, as well as a short post here, detailing where we’ve left the book, a quick summary, and even a handy-dandy Google map picture of where the book is (this last is mostly because we like maps).

Whomever picks up the book is encouraged to let us know that it’s been found, and, once they’ve read it, are also encouraged to continue the chain by leaving the book somewhere for another reader to find! When you’ve left your book somewhere, write in–either on Instagram or Twitter or in the comments section on our website–and we’ll add a marker to the Google map for where the book has now been left.

We’ll be kicking this off in a couple of weeks, book TBD, when Basia is in Dallas for a long weekend. Keep an eye on the page and on our Instagram for what book we’ll be dropping and where you can find it!