New Series Alerts…and Pick of the Week

Because I am a total dufus who can’t remember what day of the week it is, I forgot to do the New Series Alerts post yesterday. So, I figured I would just combine it with today’s pick of the week post and call it done. There are actually four new series to look at, starting with Deborah Blake‘s Baba Yaga. The first book is called Wickedly Dangerous, but there was a recently released prequel novella called Wickedly Magical, too, if you want to check that out first.

wickedly magicalSynopsis…

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them….

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned by a woman desperate to find her missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Up next is Birthright, a prequel novella from Jean Johnson‘s new Flame Seas series. My history with Jean Johnson is spotty, but it does sound interesting.

birthrightSynopsis…

Who is entitled to the Flame Sea throne? For twin beauties Arasa and Kalasa, the question of their royal birthright has driven them both to find the answer by any means necessary. But to determine the rightful heir means that they must discover who was born first. So begins a legendary pilgrimage for the twins, each accompanied by a man of their most sensual dreams. For Kalasa it’s her devoted fiancé; for Arasa, it’s the handsome sorcerer Elrik.

But the legendary odyssey is not without its dangers—for one of them is not at all whom they appear to be, and their true motives are in question. Now, as treachery and desire become one, the truth of the birthright could be as perilous as the very future of the Flame Sea itself.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Also new this week is Devon Monk‘s House Immortal, which is from the series of the same name.

House Immortal.inddSynopsis…

One hundred years ago, eleven powerful ruling Houses consolidated all of the world’s resources and authority into their own grasping hands. Only one power wasn’t placed under the command of a single House: the control over the immortal galvanized….

Matilda Case isn’t like most folk. In fact, she’s unique in the world, the crowning achievement of her father’s experiments, a girl pieced together from bits. Or so she believes, until Abraham Seventh shows up at her door, stitched with life thread just like her and insisting that enemies are coming to kill them all.

Tilly is one of thirteen incredible creations known as the galvanized, stitched together beings immortal and unfathomably strong. For a century, each House has fought for control over the galvanized. Now the Houses are also tangled in a deadly struggle for dominion over death—and Tilly and her kind hold the key to unlocking eternity

The secrets that Tilly must fight to protect are hidden within the very seams of her being. And to get the secrets, her enemies are willing to tear her apart piece by piece.…

Purchase at Amazon.com

And for something a little different, Cherie Priest‘s The Borden Dispatches starts this week with the release of Maplecroft.

maplecroftSynopsis…

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Purchase at Amazon.com

This week’s only young adult newbie comes from Josephine Angelini. Trial by Fire is the first book of the Worldwalker Duology.

trial by fireSynopsis…

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Purchase at Amazon.com

And since I am at it, I thought I would add my pick of the week. The choice this week is particularly hard, since there were tons of great books coming our way. In the end, I kept coming back to Thea Harrison‘s Night’s Honor, so I am going with that.

night's honorSynopsis…

In USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison’s latest Novel of the Elder Races, a woman finds herself in need of protection—and seduced by honor…

On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, that is how things are shaping up. What was your pick of the week? there are so many great ones I am hoping that they don’t all get delivered at once because I just won’t know where to start. Since I have zero self control, I usually end up reading a few pages of one, then another one, then off to a third. Makes me nuts, but I want to do everything at once.

September’s BotM and Giveaway…

giveaway banner

This is the first month where the winner of the book of the month title came as a surprise to me. Even though it is a month that is packed with great new releases, I figured either Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Son of No One or Christine Feehan‘s Dark Blood would come in on top. Nope, instead it is the final book in the Rachel Morgan/The Hollows series from Kim Harrison, The Witch With No Name.

If you would like to win a hardcover copy of The Witch With No Name when it is released on September 9th, just drop a line in the comments section.

Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s end this Tuesday night at midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

the witch with no nameSynopsis…

At long last… The final book in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series by Kim Harrison!

Rachel Morgan’s come a long way from the clutzy runner of Dead Witch Walking. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witchs, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. That time is now.

To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything.

Are you sad to see this one wrapping up, or are you glad it is ending on a high note?

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

It has been a while since I have come across a biggie cover, one that I have been eagerly anticipating…and this batch doesn’t change that. But I guess they can’t all be the big one.

Let’s start with a newbie from Donna Grant. Night’s Blaze is from her Dark Kings series, and it is due out on March 31st.

nights blazePurchase at Amazon.com

Rebecca Zanetti continues her Sins Brothers series with the release of Total Surrender on March 31st.

total surrenderPurchase at Amazon.com

Lexi Blake takes her Thieves series in a different direction in the first book of a spin off series called Hunter. Ripper is due out on January 20th.

ripperPurchase at Amazon.com

Christine Warren‘s Gargoyles series continues on March 31st with the release of Hard as a Rock.

hard as a rockPurchase at Amazon.com

These next three are all young adult. Maria V. Snyder is starting up her Study series again, and Shadow Study will be released on February 24th.

shadow studyPurchase at Amazon.com

Suzanne Young is putting out a companion novel to her Program series. The Remedy will be released on April 21st.

the remedyPurchase at Amazon.com

And the final one for today comes from Sarah Fine. Marked is the first book of the Servants of Fate series, and it will be released on January 1st.

markedPurchase at Amazon.com

That wraps things up for this batch. Anything catch your eye? There wasn’t a stand-out for me from this batch, but maybe better luck next time.

Reader Reaction – Dark Skye

dark skyeAs we get ready to pick the book of the month for September, I thought we might take a look back at this month’s book, Dark Skye. Kresley Cole‘s 14th Immortals After Dark book was released on August 5th, and I figure we have all dove in already.

I didn’t make any secret of the fact that I was underwhelmed by it, but I still can’t figure out why. I didn’t dislike it, nothing like that, but I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t like the backstory of Thronos and Lanthe – well, I liked when they were children together, but I didn’t like how Thronos suffered in the centuries after. That really took me out of the story, and I ended up not liking Lanthe much because of it.

If I am going to be completely honest, I didn’t have much excitement going into it. I don’t know if I was having a premonition that I wasn’t going to be too excited by the book, or my lack of interest made me not enjoy the book as much, but it wasn’t meant to be. I had no problem putting the book down, and it ended up taking me almost a week to read. Unheard of for me.

What did you think of the long-awaited Thronos and Lanthe book? Were you happy with it, or did it leave you wanting more?

September’s Book of the Month…

book of the monthHard to believe how fast a month goes by, but once again it is time to vote on which book you are most looking forward to for the month of September. Some months, I have to scramble to try and come up with 10 books that I think have a chance of competing, but this month the problem is narrowing it down to just 10. There are a lot of biggies (and most of them are due out on the magic day of September 2nd).

You know what to do. Pick your most anticipated read for September, and the winner will be the book up for the next giveaway. I have listed 10 upcoming releases, but as always if your choice isn’t there just select “Other” and leave your pick in the comments section. A complete list of September’s releases can be found HERE.

 

I don’t actually know which one to pick for this month. I am torn between Shifting Shadows, Dark Blood, and Night’s Honor. Going to have to put some thought into this one.

New Series Alerts…

As another Monday rolls around, we take a look at the new series starting up this week. Jeaniene Frost‘s new Broken Destiny series gets its start with the release of The Beautiful Ashes.

the beautiful ashesSynopsis…

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second new series is from Alexandra Adornetto. Ghost House is the first book of the Ghost House Saga.

ghost houseSynopsis…

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And finally, we have the prequel novella from Claire Legrand‘s new young adult series called Winterspell. Summerfall is available in e-format only.

summerfallSynopsis…

Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans.

Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war.

Their love could save the kingdom of Cane . . . or shatter it forever.

In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming Winterspell, Claire Legrand weaves a story of magic, political intrigue, and forbidden love that sets the stage for the rise of a wicked queen and the journey of a human girl named Clara . . .

Purchase at Amazon.com

Of course, the biggie for this week is The Beautiful Ashes. I have been trying to remain spoiler-free, so my browsing of reviews has been limited, but I am interested in seeing what everyone thinks of this. You just know the comparisons to the Night Huntress books are inevitable, but I hope it stands well on its own.

 

So…This Quick/Krentz/Castle Thing is Out of Control

I am working on changing the links for the Series Reading List pages over to Goodreads, and since I am stripping everything down I decided I might as well update as much as possible while I am doing it. I have added some, deleted some, and updated a lot, and things were chugging along until I hit IT. I have been hearing more and more lately how much you all like Jayne Ann Krentz and her alter egos Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, so I thought I better check and make sure I had everything covered.

Nope.

I can honestly say it took a good, solid couple of hours to figure this monster list out, and I thought I would post it here to see if you all can make sense of it. Not only are there three author names to contend with, but so much series overlapping it boggles the brain. What do you think?

Arcane Society (Series Complete)

Curtain (Jayne Castle)

Dark Legacy (as Janye Ann Krentz)

Dreamlight Trilogy (Series Complete)

  • #1 – Fired Up (Arcane Society #7 – as Jayne Ann Krentz)
  • #2 – Burning Lamp (Arcane Society #8 – as Amanda Quick)
  • #3 – Midnight Crystal (Arcane Society #9, Harmony #7, Curtain #8 – as Jayne Castle)

Ghost Hunter (as Jayne Castle – Series Complete)

Gift Series (as Jayne Ann Krentz – Series Complete)

Harmony Series (as Jayne Castle)

Ladies of Lantern Street (as Amanda Quick)

Looking Glass Trilogy (Series Complete)

Lost Colony (as Jayne Ann Krentz – Series Complete)

Rainshadow (as Jayne Castle)

St. Helen’s (as Jayne Castle – Series Complete)

Whispering Springs (as Jayne Ann Krentz – Series Complete)

Can you follow it, or is it just a jumble? I can’t really figure out another way to do it without color coding, diagrams, and perhaps flow charts.

Cover Lover – 2 New Titles

Hard to believe how long it has been since any new covers came my way, and there is only two to break the ice. This first one is from Jacquelyn Frank‘s upcoming Immortal Brothers series. Cursed by Fire is due out on February 24th.

cursed by firePurchase at Amazon.com

This second is from Paige Tyler‘s upcoming SWAT series (Special Wolf Alpha Team). Hungry Like The Wolf is due out on January 6th.

hungry like the wolfPurchase at Amazon.com

 

Doug’s Review – Evernight

review iconSometimes I think that I spend too much time writing about books and not enough time reading them, because there are so very many series that I say “one day” about. And that list just keeps growing. One of the series on that list is Kristen Callihan‘s Darkest London, which I can honestly say I have never heard anyone say less than glowing things about. Even a friend of mine who doesn’t like PNR or UF loves it, which is a good sign in itself. Doug Meeks reviewed the lasted book, Evernight, which is due out on August 26th. As Doug pointed out, however, it is one of those titles caught in the Amazon/Hachette battle, so pre-ordering through Amazon isn’t available at this time.

evernightWhat Doug said…

Kristen Callihan seems to excel at bringing together couples who really don’t like each other at the start of these novels in the Darkest London series (which seems to get a bit darker as this series progresses).
 
William Thorn and Holly Evernight are a extreme example of that talent since their first meeting in this novel he is trying to kill her, not a great opening line in most instances since her feelings are close to his,  but this is Darkest London and it only raised the bar a bit higher than the others in this series.
 
You also do not get wilting flower heroines; the women are strong but still vulnerable.  Holly Evernight is possibly one of the strongest of these heroines and still the author was able to build a believable romance here.
 
What you get is a soaring romance that is wrapped in a mystery with a couple of subplots being moved along at the same time.  The lack of the legion of secondary characters that you saw in some previous novels is pretty much missing here and the emphasis is mainly on the main couple which is understandable since the distance from trying to get a couple from “I want to kill you” to “I love you” is an awful long way but Ms Callihan pulls it off right nicely but not without dragging the reader through some pretty emotionally gut wrenching situations and a surprising twist of an ending, throw in an almost Cinderella vibe and you have an amazingly great reading experience that will stay with you for a long time.  I would warn you to take nothing for granted in this story and the last page leaves you with a inkling for what I expect will be a series changing next novel along the lines of Acheron (sorry if you don’t know that reference).
Bottom Line:  An exceptional novel, well written, a romance that will roll around in your mind for days or longer, an alpha male, a exceptionally strong heroine and it all works together.  I only had one complaint, you left us in the dark on the maid, I expect some detail next novel.  The ending was a bit of a dark premonition for the next novel and left me a bit unsettled but I guess that was the purpose, hold on to your seat for the next one.  This may be the best book of the series to date so don’t miss it, the previous novel would give you some better background but is not a requirement I do not believe since most of the important things are revisited.
So, who else loves this series? There is at least one more book, Soulbound, which is due out next February, to look forward to.

This and That…Things Are Changing Edition

Not a biggie this time, but there are a few little things to mention…

  • Many thanks to Alexandra, who let me know that some info has come to light from Karen Marie Moning and her Fever series. It seems that the originally planned three-book Dani arc and two-book Mac and Barrons arc has in fact been condensed to three books in total, but that’s not all. Burned will actually be a return to Mac’s narrative, with some Dani POV, as well. I wondered why the official blurb hadn’t come out yet, but here it is…

Sidhe-seer MacKayla Lane may have finally managed to locate and bury the Sinsar Dubh, an ancient book of deadly black magic, but its hold on her has never been stronger, as it threatens to destroy the worlds of man and Fae alike. Meanwhile, a whole new breed of evil is being unleashed in Dublin, and the city is fast becoming a war zone. The only thing keeping Mac grounded is the unshakable, undestroyable Jericho Barrons, until a secret about their relationship forces her to question who she can trust if not the man she loves.

I have to admit, I am a bit bummed by this. I didn’t mind a condensing the five into three, actually, but I wanted at least one more to focus on Dani. And by Dani I mean Ryodan and the Nine. According to the author, the storylines themselves won’t be changing, just the way they are told.

  • As I said a while back, whenever I see the word “End” in a series I like, I get nervous. Such was the case the next Guardians of Eternity book, whose title is When Darkness Ends. I decided to go to the source, and Alexandra Ivy shot me back a quick answer.
“Right now I am finishing up the series with Kensington, but I promise that I have many more stories I intend to set in the Guardian world, although they will probably be self-pubbed.”

 

It was great of her to get back to me about it, but I was hoping I was just being negative. I don’t usually follow the self-pubbed as well as the traditional, but I will make a definite effort to on this series.

  • On the young adult side of things, author Kiera Cass has announced that her Selection trilogy…isn’t. It turns out that there will be two more full novels coming out, starting next May with The Heir.

So, that about covers it. Less than planned for one, a change of plans for the second, and more to come for the third. Things are a changing…