Spotlight on…Cassandra Clare

city of hevenly fireI am a sucker for anything Shadowhunter, and the first two series Cassandra Clare wrote set in this world are among some of my favorites (meh, discounting the let down of the movie, that is). The Infernal Devices remains one of my very favorite trilogies, and it has the distinction of, for me, having the perfect love triangle. Love triangles are usually cringe worthy, make me roll my eyes more than once, and leave me in no doubt from the opening scenes who the chick will end up with. But Will, Jem and Tessa? Not even close.

As we wait approach the release of the last Mortal Instruments book in a couple of months, we know that City of Heavenly Fire will set up and introduce the characters for the third Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices. The new series will start next March with the release of Lady Midnight, and it will be followed by Prince of Shadows in 2016 and Queen of Air and Darkness in 2017. Well, today some confirmation came about the mysterious fourth series, as well.

I had sort of thought that it was rumor, but Cassandra Clare gave some details about the next series. It will be called The Last Hours, and it is basically a retelling of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with the immediate families of Tessa, Will and Jem. She west so far as to provide a short synopsis, as well…

For as long as Lucie Herondale can remember, the Herondale family manor has adjourned the manor of the Blackthorns. It’s too bad that Tatiana Blackthorn, the matriarch of the family, has always been, as her father Will Herondale says, “mad as a mouse trapped in a teapot.” Since the day that her father Benedict murdered Tatiana’s husband, and was killed in turn by a group of Shadowhunters that included both her brothers, Tatiana has nursed a burning grudge against the London Institute and all its inhabitants, especially Will, Tessa and their children: Lucie and her brother, James …

Book one will be called Chain of Thorns, book two is Chain of Gold, and Chain of Iron rounds out the trilogy. Goodreads shows Chain of Thorns as having a 2015 release, but no official word has been forthcoming.

So, good news or are you over the whole Shadowhunter thing? I have heard a lot of grumbling over on Goodreads about yet another series set in this same world…why not write something else…yada yada. Personally, as long as the stories are good, I am happy to return to a favorite world. I am just hoping for a two-book-a-year schedule, or I will be too old to read anymore when these books finally make it to the shelves.

Spotlight on…Meljean Brook’s The Kraken King

Yep, this is a long-ass post, but I thought that I would put together a complete look at the upcoming serialized Iron Seas book from Meljean Brook. I think it will have a print-edition later on in the year, but for now The Kraken King is being split into 8 parts, and they will be released in e-format between April and May. Amazon is listing each release for $2.12.

Part one is The Kraken King and the Scribbling Spinster, which is due out on April 15th.

the kraken king part 1Synopsis…

A former smuggler and thief, Ariq—better known as the Kraken King—doesn’t know what to make of the clever, mysterious woman he rescues from an airship besieged by marauders. Unsure if she’s a spy or a pawn in someone else’s game, Ariq isn’t about to let her out of his sight until he finds out…

After escaping her fourth kidnapping attempt in a year, Zenobia Fox has learned to vigilantly guard her identity. While her brother Archimedes is notorious for his exploits, Zenobia has had no adventures to call her own—besides the stories she writes. But when she jumps at the chance to escape to the wilds of Australia and acquire research for her next story, Zenobia quickly discovers that the voyage will be far more adventurous than any fiction she could put to paper…

Part two is due out on April 22nd, and it is called The Kraken King and the Abominable Worm.

the kraken king and the abominable wormSynopsis…

As they continue their expedition across Australia, Ariq is determined to stay close to Zenobia and figure out what kind of game she’s playing—even as his admiration for the enigmatic woman starts to override his suspicion.

For Zenobia, revealing her identity to a man who once made his living outside of the law is out of the question—even though Ariq’s dashing looks and blunt manner are distractingly appealing.

But before anyone’s secrets or desires can be exposed, an unexpected attack threatens to destroy them all…

Coming in at number 3 is April 29th’s The Kraken King and the Fox’s Den.

the fox's denSynopsis…

After a harrowing escape, Zenobia, Ariq, and their company take refuge in a gold rush town—but their temporary port is just a respite before traveling to the dangerous smugglers’ dens. Ariq is determined to uncover the men responsible for the threat to Krakentown, even if it means confronting the notorious den lords.

But when he discovers evidence in Zenobia’s letters connecting her to the Horde rebellion, he realizes that the threat is far greater than he had suspected. His loyalties torn, Ariq must distance himself from the fascinating woman he desperately wants to hold closer.

Stunned and hurt by Ariq’s inexplicable coldness, Zenobia prepares to leave the dens and continue her journey to the Red City. But in the smugglers’ dens, danger lurks around every corner, and all of her protection is gone…

At the halfway point we have The Kraken King and the Inevitable Abduction, which will be out on May 6th.

the inevitable abductionSynopsis…

The Kraken King has declared that Zenobia Fox is under his protection—and with her identity revealed, she needs that protection more than ever. But it comes with a price when Ariq demands that Zenobia reveal her secrets in return.

Ariq wants nothing more than for Zenobia to trust him, and he knows exactly which sensual tricks will breach her defenses. But although she urgently desires the powerful governor, Zenobia isn’t a woman who will be easily won with a few passionate kisses.

When his ambush goes awry, Ariq discovers just how deeply he can hurt her—but the real danger to Zenobia is one that he never expected…

Coming out on May 13th is The Kraken King and the Iron Heart.

the iron heartSynopsis…

With their lives and the fate of an empire at stake, Ariq is forced to leave Zenobia behind. Held captive by their enemies, Zenobia can only pray that Ariq keeps his promise to come for her—until a terrible loss prods her to action.

Ariq has no intention of handing over the Skybreaker to the two men responsible for the marauders’ attacks against Krakentown—but without a ransom to give them, Ariq must risk everything to rescue Zenobia and stop the swarming forces bent on destruction…

The May 20th release will be called The Kraken King and the Crumbling Walls.

the crumbling wallsSynopsis…

Reunited, Ariq and Zenobia must journey over the red wall and make a desperate appeal to the one woman with enough power to halt the marauders’ plans—the Empress of Nippon.

But even the Kraken King cannot demand the attentions of an empress. Masked and quarantined, Ariq and Zenobia are forced to bide their time. Despite the fact that they are as physically close as two people can be, Zenobia is trying to keep the man she can’t help but love at a distance, terrified she’ll be hurt again. And all the while, the mysteries of the Living City grow around them…

Coming out on May 27th is the seventh part, The Kraken King and the Empress’s Eyes.

the empress's eyesSynopsis…

In the imperial city, nothing escapes the attention of the empress’s spies. After a visit from an old friend rekindles her every fear, Zenobia must decide whether to trust Ariq with her heart—and the Kraken King must decide whether he can ever let her go.

But when danger invades their lovers’ sanctuary, Ariq and Zenobia will have to put aside their troubled emotions. Outwitting their enemies and the Empress will be no easy feat. Luckily, they have a few allies waiting in the wings…

The 8th and final part will be out on June 3rd, and it will be called The Kraken King and the Greatest Adventure.

the greatest adventureSynopsis…

Arriving in Krakentown with their enemies in hot pursuit, Zenobia doesn’t know how they can even hope to win. Being terrified brings forth an undeniable truth: she loves Ariq and will do whatever it takes to stand by him.

But as their adversaries appear on the horizon, they realize that not all is lost. Drawing on the power of the terrible war machine, Ariq, Zenobia, and the entire town must put their lives on the line to protect what they love…

I know that there are a lot of fans of the Iron Seas series out there, so will you be picking up these e-releases or waiting for a print copy? Personally, I have never been much of a steampunk fan (to be honest, I have only read one or two steampunk short stories, but the one Iron Seas novella I did read I did really enjoy). On a shallow note, I am most impressed with the individual cover art for each part…I figured it was going to be just one generic cover with a different title for each release, but this looks great.

Release Day Spotlight…

This whole New Adult movement is something I have been trying to get a handle on, and I have still been trying to jam those books into either adult or young adult headings. Still, in an attempt to get with the times, author Alivia Anders is releasing her new NA Dystopian today, called Unwanted.

unwantedSynopsis…

She would be his freedom.
He would be her price.

In a world overrun with people and narrowing resources, the basis of life has turned to do or die. No longer does the balance of wealth and power apply. A strict split between the rich and poor has made the lines clear- the more money you have, the more power you control.

For seventeen year old Emily Beucant, life is an equal gift and curse. Having grown up pre- Unwanted society, she can still remember the days it was okay to play with children from the other side of the concrete wall, back when her father was still alive, and back when the Unwanted program was used to Mark and hunt criminals, not sign away the lives of ungrateful children or spouses with high insurance collections over their heads.

But since her father’s creation of the program, the government has taken control and made it into a lucrative monster. And as Emily is days away from her eighteenth birthday, and handsome inheritance, she will soon see just how badly it is to be Marked.

When her soulless aunt places Emily up to be Marked an Unwanted, she is forced to go on the run from all she has ever known. No where is safe for her, and no one will protect her, least they wish to have the same fate as her. It isn’t until she forms a tense, explosive alliance with a former doctor, Ben, that it looks like the tables may turn in her favor. Together they race against those searching for her, desperate to find a way to free her from an early death. But is it too late?

No one is safe.
No one is free.

Alivia Anders is the author of both the Illumine and the Black Symphony series.

Spotlight on…The Dark Elements

One of my favorite YA authors is Jennifer L. Armentrout. With not just one but two great series wrapping up within the coming months, word is starting to trickle out about her new project. Starting this December, we will be introduced to The Dark Elements. Starting with a novella called Bitter Sweet Love on December 1st, the first full book will be called White Hot Kiss. It has been pushed back to February 25th.

bitter sweet loveBitter Sweet Love…

In a sizzling prequel novella to her new series THE DARK ELEMENTS, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout draws readers into the extraordinary, irresistible world of Wardens and demons.

Dez wasn’t just Jasmine’s crush. A gargoyle Warden like Jas, he helped her come to terms with her destiny—fending off demons and maintaining balance between good and evil. He was her everything…right until the moment he disappeared without a trace. It didn’t help that Jas’s father had just announced that she and Dez would one day be mated. Hard not to take that personally.

And now he’s back, three years older, ten times hotter, ready to pick up exactly where they left off. But Jas isn’t taking that risk again. Dez has seven days to meet all her conditions and earn back her trust. Seven days filled with terrifying danger and sweet temptation. Seven days to win her heart—or shatter it all over again…

white hot kissWhite Hot Kiss…

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Are you looking forward to this one, too? I am always excited to see anything from Jennifer, but I am particularly interested in this one. Maybe because I haven’t read a lot of Gargoyle books, maybe because it is from a new publisher. Either way, this is an auto-buy for me.

On My Radar…

I hate to admit it, but I have never read Devon Monk. Heard good things, but she is another one on the “one day” pile (which is a monster, by the way). But her upcoming Allie Beckstrom two book spin-off series, Broken Magic, has caught my eye for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t remember actually reading anything UF lately where the main character is male, and the change would be interesting. There has been lots of PNR where the focus is on the hero, but for UF I am drawing a blank. Second, since I am mid-Ilona Andrews Magic Rises, I am in the mood for a magic-centric story. The first book is called Hell Bent, and it is due out on November 5th.

hellbentSynopsis…

Instead of the deadly force it once was, magic is now a useless novelty. But not for Shame Flynn and Terric Conley, “breakers” who have the gift for reverting magic back to its full-throttle power. In the magic-dense city of Portland, Oregon, keeping a low profile means keeping their gifts quiet. After three years of dealing with disgruntled magic users, Shame and Terric have had enough of politics, petty magic, and, frankly, each other. It’s time to call it quits.

When the government discovers the breakers’ secret—and its potential as a weapon—Shame and Terric suddenly become wanted men, the only ones who can stop the deadly gift from landing in the wrong hands. If only a pair of those wrong hands didn’t belong to a drop-dead-gorgeous assassin Shame is falling for as if it were the end of the world. And if he gets too close to her, it very well could be….

So, all you Allie Beckstrom readers, what is your take on this? Is it one you are looking forward to – or, for that matter, what are your feelings on the Allie series itself? Should it be moved to the top of the “one day” list? How does it rank with the other great UF series like Kate Daniels, Mercy Thompson, or Night Huntress?

On My Radar – Into the Dark

I am still on my YA binge, and while doing my usual updating I came across an upcoming new series from Bree Despain that grabbed my attention. The Shadow Prince is the first book of the Into the Dark series, and it is due out on March 11th.the shadow dark

         Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

The pretty cover caught my eye, and while the blurb does sound like a mash-up of a few other books I have read recently, it is one I will be definitely be adding to the TBR pile.

Spotlight on…Jennifer L. Armentrout

I have been waiting for this one, but today is finally release day for the cover of the 4th book in Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s Lux series, Origin, which is due out on August 27th…

originThe blurb was released a while ago, and things sound like they are going to get intense…

        Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

This is a great series that doesn’t really read as YA to me, and as this is the second-to-last book I will be both happy and sad to get my hands on it. But Jennifer is also in the process of starting a new series with a new publisher, Harlequin Teen, which sounds good, too. There will be a prequel novella for the Dark Elements series called Bitter Sweet Love released on December 1st, and the first full book called White Hot Kiss will come out on December 31st. Looks like the official blurb is making the rounds now for White Hot Kiss, too…

        One kiss could be the last

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

I am still on the cover hunt for both the novella and the first book, but I have high hopes for this one. I have made my reader’s frustration with Entangled (Jennifer’s usual publisher) so very plain on so many occasions that I won’t bore you here with another rant, but with the Harlequin Teen imprint there shouldn’t be any issues of push-backs, delays, or changes of print format, which is what every author deserves.

Spotlight on…Lora Leigh

Many thanks to Pam, who sent over the info she had found over on Lora Leigh‘s site about what is coming for The Breeds. Be warned, this is a bit long (and a bit awkwardly written), but it will give you the gist of what we might be seeing next. Lora says that these next five books will wrap up some ongoing storylines, which would be great, and exactly what the series needs. Because these are works in progress, they are subject to change.

From the upcoming Enthralled anthology, we will get The Devil’s Due, which will be released on July 2nd.

        What’s Gideon been up to?

Why is Cassie and Dash Sinclair joining Dane Vanderale on the remote New Mexico estate belonging to the lone wolf Lobo Reever? And what is the breed executioner, Wolf breed, Devil Black doing now that the Bureau of Breed Affairs polices the breeds?

Find out in The Devil’s Due.

An Irish lass only now realizing her breed genetics now also carries the proof of a little known breed phenomena, called ‘genetic flaming’. A fever that literally pulls recessed breed genetics from hiding.

She’s discovered in the worse of places, in Europe, where breeds are now required to submit to testing facilities or forced to those facilities once found. But breeds rarely leave the same way they enter.

If Kathleen ‘Katy’ O’Sullivan doesn’t find a miracle than no one can save her, even her adored Da, Barrett O’ Sullivan. Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable can save her from the fate her country would order her to.

Rescue comes in the form of the famed, Devil Black, a former Breed Rogue Executioner and now, her mate.

I recently posted the blurb for the upcoming Rule Breaker, which is due out on February 4th in hardcover, but to keep things organized I will post it again here…

        Lion Breed, Rule Breaker had just a few rules he didn’t break. Not for anything. Not for anyone.

#1. Never have sex with a woman outside his own subspecies, especially a human woman.

#2. Never, at any time, accept a mission concerning a female when Jonas Wyatt stinks of a lie.

#3. Run don’t walk, skip or stumble. Run, hell for leather away from any female, human or breed, when his desire for her appears, in any way, to have so much as a single sign of Mating Heat.

Now, the woman believes he’s mated, is too helpless, to fun loving and too full of life to ever be able to protect herself, let alone aide him in protecting her.

If the damned animal inside him insisted on a mate, then why pick the woman it did? One that could be struck out at, at any time?

But, what he suspected was a mating, may not be. No swollen glands? No heat? Just his animal instincts rioting, pacing, irritated whenever he’s away from her.

Okay, he could handle that.

What ensues is a fiery affair that breaks all the rules of mating heat and will eventually endanger his mate with the very rules designed to protect the breeds when Jonas learns she’s possibly been working against them.

The exact publication order of these next ones are not set in stone, but we have been hearing about Wake the Sleeping Tiger for a while now, and it will be Judd’s story.

        On a moonless Navajo night, the recessed Bengal Breed known only as Judd became Cullen Maverick, grandson to one of the Chiefs of the Six Tribes of the Native Americans.

Bengal genetics, usually so fierce as to be labeled primal, was recessed so deep inside Judd that no hint of it can be found. A phenomena so rare it’s been notated only a few times. And there’s no way, it’s believed, to force those genetics free once they’ve disappeared past the genetic level.

Now, as commander of the Navajo Covert Law Enforcement Division in Window Rock, New Mexico, Cullen leads his six agents in protecting the treasures of the Navajo Tribes by ensuring they remain safely in Navajo possession.

Secrets such as the location of the Tribal Genetic-DNA database where more than 70% of all known or suspected Native American’s have sent their genetic samples for safe keeping and to ensure any Breed searching for family members at least have a starting point to begin searching.

Secrets such as the events that occurred twelve summers before when two young girls who should have died, supposedly didn’t. The night Judd watched an ancient ritual, mourned for the children he’d watched over, and found a life he’d never imagined he could have. Secrets one renegade, revenge seeking Bengal will destroy, if left to his own devices.

But, as much as Judd and the Navajo are determined to keep their secrets, still others are determined to steal them or to use them to capture, the Primal rogue breed, Gideon Cross – the only breed Judd fears. Because if Gideon finds Judd, then it will only be a moment’s thought to identify and locate the young woman Gideon is determined to kill.

The young human who was a part of those experiments Judd, Gideon and Honor Roberts endured so many years before.

Forces are converging in and around Window Rock as Gideon draws closer. The Genetics Council units are being sighted more frequently and Bureau and Council skirmishes in the desert are happening more often.

Jonas Wyatt’s daughter, Amber is becoming more ill and even the information key’s provided by Liza Johnson, the young woman once known as Honor Roberts, and the keys Judd himself anonymous sent Wyatt, haven’t helped.

But those keys will only help when Gideon’s and especially Fawn’s are added to them. If either Gideon or Fawn are lost to them, then Jonas’ child may follow.

Added to this mix is none other than the delicate Window Rock police detective determined to stick her pretty little nose in his business.

And once Cullen realized the animosity that keeps flaming between them is far more than he imagined, then the Primal Breed that’s lurked inside him comes out to play. And when that beast decides to make itself known, Cullen suddenly remembers all the reasons it was better off sleeping.

I am looking forward to Gideon’s story probably even more than Cassie’s. We know his will be one of the big five, but the synopsis is..uh…looooong. And more than a bit convoluted.

        Gideon is amused.

For months he’s walked among the Breeds, somehow mistaken as a lion breed. Hell, he’s even gone on desert forays to search for ‘that fucking bastard primal, Gideon’. He’s befriended several of them, soothed one as she wept for her wounded sister, and all the while they’ve had him laughing his ass off.

Lion breed his ass. The secrets he learned in Brandenmore’s labs, and the drugs he stole when he left, were amazing little inventions.

The primal killing urges have receded, though he’d be damned if he knew why. For the first time in years he’s not besieged by that tormented, enraged creature he shares his body with. For the first time he can actually think, plot, plan.

Just because the creatures rage is no longer guiding him though, that doesn’t mean he’s no longer searching for Fawn. She did something with that transfusion she and Judd forced on him. It had created a monster. A ravening, revenge – seeking, brutal creature.

Poor little Fawn would have had not a moments breath to draw had he found her then. And sweet, proud little Honor. How she had begged and pleaded for gentleness for the rest of them, forced her father to  demand it, then sobbed until she had made herself sick. Those sobs had forced Gideon to drag his pain wracked body to her, to hold her hair as she was sick. She had been far too proud of the quickly growing tresses for him to risk having it cut off, only two days before she was allowed to shower.

Being the cherished generals daughter had ensured she wasn’t treated cruelly, but it had also not insured she was treated gently either.

God, how he had loved those girls. Fawn though, his heart was often left bleeding for the cruelties he’d been unable to protect her from and enraged at times, possessing such gut wrenching fury at the the horrifying experiments done on such a tiny, frail child as she had been.

Memories of her screams echoing in those cells had the power to tempt the primal creature still lurking within him, free once more.

If he closed his eyes and allowed his thoughts to center on the shy, always wary little Clair Martinez, then he can calm himself. For a while he had been certain she was Fawn, despite the physical differences between the two.

As a teenager Claire had been as wild as the wind, experimenting with drugs, running with the wrong crowd. Her father, Ray Martinez, President of the Navajo Nation always stank of shame whenever his daughter was near, leading Gideon to assume the rumors were true. She had made her mistakes as a child and left them behind her as she matured though. Many children were not as self – sufficient and independent as Clair. Ray should feel pride in her, not shame. Just as her grandfather Orrin feels pride in her. So much so that the scent is often tinged with a slight hint of arrogance when he speaks of her.

Her uncle, Terran Martinez, has the same scent of pride in her that’s scented whenever he talks of his own daughters, making the shame Ray feels tempt the animal Gideon now keeps carefully hidden.

He only allows the creature out to play occasionally now. Such as when the Coyote, Malachi, had his mate abducted by the man who had attempted to rape her, determined to turn her over to council loyal coyotes. When Gideon had scented her terror, scented the pain of another’s touch on her flesh, sensitive from the mating mark Malachi had placed on it, even in the crushing grip of insanity, Gideon had been unable to turn his back on her.

She was Malachi’s woman, and Malachi could never turn his back on Gideon. Now Gideon couldn’t turn his back on Malachi’s mate.

That didn’t mean the animal had released him. Hell no, fully primal and enraged, still held in that dazed placed where sanity was an uncommon occurrence and the animal rules his senses, Gideon had watched, satisfaction surging through him as he managed to finally wrest control from his instincts.

How strange those years had been. Even stranger was how the animal had just suddenly sat back, stilled and its rage had slowly calmed. As though to say ‘I’ll rest now, see if you can manage things alone for a while’.

The Bengal he harbored in his genetics still checked in occasionally, especially when Gideon went searching for council loyal soldiers or coyotes. He willingly allowed the animal out to play then, knowing that primal rage was, for the time being, stilled.

A good thing he had decided, because learning Claire’s secrets, her fears and her pleasures won’t always be as easy as drawing forth her timid little smiles.

As for Claire Martinez, she’s living on borrowed time and she knows it. Dreams and nightmare images are coming more frequently and now she doesn’t always have to be asleep.

She stares into the mirror but she doesn’t know herself for precious moments.

She hears chants.

She hears Joseph Redwolf ask if she knows why they are there.

Sometimes, she hears her own ragged screams and the dark, gentle voice soothing her fears.

She’s terrified, but refuses to allow anyone to see her fears.

Klah Hunter, a breed that’s worked with the Breed Underground Network she’s a part of was in her hospital room after an attack on her and her cousins. He’s returned and she sees him around often. He frightens her, because there’s something about him that makes those nightmares seem so much closer.

Then there’s Graeme, Lobo Reever’s head of security. He’s so smart, so strong. When he’s with her, she doesn’t feel so frightened, or so in danger of losing herself to the nightmares trying to overtake her.

Then the horrifying truth of her father is revealed, and Claire’s life is suddenly in more danger than it’s ever been. But, Claire knows she’s not Claire Martinez. The nightmares are becoming memories. Brief images, flashes of conversations and the horrifying realization that she can’t escape something she managed to escape when she was fifteen.

And how she longs for Graeme. Longs for him so much that she reaches out to him in dreams that aren’t really dreams. In images that feel far too real.

When she was little, her father once told her she could fly. The night she realized the secrets her father harbored, she stole his car, convinced a friend to ride with her. She flew that night, didn’t she? Or did she? Now she wonders, what was left of her when she landed?

Protective custody lasts only as long as it takes Graeme to find her, but once in his arms, will the woman she truly is emerge? And when that woman emerges, how much will survive a Bengal’s fury.

And the one that everyone has been waiting for is part of this arc, too. We will finally find out who Cassie’s mate is. Dog? Brim Stone? Cavalier?

        As yet untitled, the Mating of Cassandra (Cassie) Sinclair, and the breed she should have never dared –

Never dare a Coyote.

Never challenge a breed.

How many times in her life has Cassie heard those warnings? So what made her challenge a Coyote the night she felt the sights leveled on her head.

He should have killed her, because she could have handled that. She expected that. What she can’t handle? What she never expected?

The mating that occurred, the coyote destined to be her mate, and her father’s fury –

So, does this get you excited about the Breeds again? What do you hope to see, and where do you think the series will go after this arc is completed? Maybe Africa for the Leo’s Breeds (and Dane), or maybe on to some of the Winged Breeds? If you can decipher the rambling summaries, it does sound like the switch to hardcover might be worth it after all.

On My Radar…the Aftermath

sleeping with the entityA while back, I did a little “On My Radar” post about the first book of a new series from Cat Devon called Sleeping with the Entity. I thought it looked like a light, fun read.

It wasn’t.

In fact, it is a DNF for me. I made it half way through before I simply admitted that it had gotten the best of me. I literally couldn’t make myself read any more, and I wasn’t even interested enough to take a few minutes and skim through to see what happened. I just didn’t care. And this is from someone who has DNF’d maybe half a dozen books in my entire life. There were several things that didn’t work for me, like…

  • cheesy names. Vamptown? The Vamp Cave? Really?
  • air-head heroine who literally can only think about cupcakes. Life is like a cupcake. Cupcakes mean love! Everything will be ok if you only have a cupcake…and on, and on, and on. She was a ditz with a one-track mind.
  • poorly thought out and randomly placed info-dumps. Because the author wanted us to know how the vamps are getting their blood, she has one character explain the whole set up to the hero, Nick, in great detail. The problem is, he is the one in charge of the whole thing. It was like a bad episode of CSI when one investigator explains exactly how they are doing something to a co-worker…who already knows. There are better ways of letting the reader know what is going on.
  • the hero reminded the heroine of Mick Jagger. MICK JAGGER?!? Is there anyone, anywhere, who can seriously say that comparing anyone to Mick Jagger is a good thing? Seriously?
  • now, at this point I might just be getting picky, but I was grossed out by how they got their blood. Ew, seriously?

So, to summarize. Too cutsey. Too eye-rolley. I was thinking fun and light-hearted, but I got silly and annoying. Too bad I already have ordered the second one, ’cause this one scared me away big time. There is nothing I dislike more than slamming a book, since I feel so bad for the author, but since I made a point of spotlighting it in the first place, I figured I had to be honest about it. Did anyone else try this one, and what did you think if you did?

Spotlight on…Born in Blood

Word has been circling for a while now about a new series from Alexandra Ivy. The Sentinels got their start in a prequel novella in the Predatory anthology which came out on May 7th, but now both the cover and blurb have been released for the first full book, Born in Blood, which is due out on December 31st.

born in blood

        In a stunning new paranormal romance series—even edgier than her bestselling Guardians of Eternity books—New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy lures readers into the dark, seductive world of the Sentinels—humans outcast by their hidden abilities, treading the line between life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain…

Born In Blood

Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.

Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line…literally.

Did anyone check out the novella in Predatory? What do you think of this new series? I thought it had a harder, darker edge than the Guardians of Eternity, and I am looking forward to giving it a try.