I haven't had time to read a lot of fiction lately, and while I've got dozens of books here in the office that I need to review for The Thunder Child, I was in the library and decided I'd do something that I'd been thinking of doing for decades, namely reading the books in the library from A to Z.
So I picked up an "A" book in the fiction section (which has mystery, SF, fantasy, and literature all intermixed), an "A" book from the biography section, and an "A" book from the Children's section.
So the fiction book I'm starting with is Out of Time, by Lynn Abbey, copyright 2000, Ace Books, and I'm actually enjoying it a great deal.
It's a "contemporary" or "real world" or "urban" fantasy. Heroine Emma Merrigan, librarian at a prestigious university, was abandoned by her mother shortly after she was born, and knows nothing about her. When she reaches her 50s (or however old she is, we're not really told) circumstances cause her to search her attic and find a box full of some things her mother left her... in particular a book that tells how to lift curses.
This comes in handy because Emma befriends a girl in the library stacks one day, who is haunted by invisible things trying to attack her.
Turns out Emma has the power to lift curses from an alternate universe, and she's going to have to start using that power.
Although written for a female audience, it's not a romance novel. More of a mystery-fantasy novel as Emma tries to figure out what's going on.
I'm only half-way through the book, actually, but I highly recommend it.
Turns out there are 4 books in the series:
Out of Time (2000)
Behind Time (2001)
Taking Time (2004)
Down Time (2005)
In looking at the covers for these books (viewable at http://www.ibdof.com/IBDOF-author-booklist.php?author=496) I've got to say I'm not too impressed with them. Center figure of a woman, smiling vapidly... might turn off any guy looking for a contemporary fantasy novel who thinks it will be a romance fantasy instead...)
Lynn Abbey, of course, has written several novels, in the Thieves World series, and at one point was married to Robert Asprin.