Pick of the Week…

I have been really looking forward to my pick of the week for a while now, even though it isn’t quite my usual fare. Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series is more of a mystery with paranormal elements rather than a full-on PNR like I usually read. This week the second book, Visions, comes out.

visionsSynopsis…

As #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s new Cainsville series continues, Olivia’s power to read omens leads to the discovery of a gruesome crime with troubling connections to her new hometown.

Omens, the first installment in Kelley Armstrong’s exciting new series, introduced Olivia Taylor-Jones, daughter of notorious serial killers, and Gabriel Walsh, the self-serving, morally ambiguous lawyer who became her unlikely ally. Together, they chased down a devious killer and partially cleared her parents of their horrifying crimes.

Their success, however, is short-lived. While Olivia takes refuge in the old, secluded town of Cainsville, Gabriel’s past mistakes have come to light, creating a rift between the pair just when she needs his help the most.

Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder?

Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your pick of the week? Did you like the first book of the Cainsville series, Omens? My only complaint is that the Canadian covers aren’t the same as the American ones, which I thought were great.

Wonky Blog…

Not sure what exactly is going on with the blog, but either WordPress or Wicked Scribes is acting pretty wonky. Things aren’t opening for me to update or post on the main computer, so I am just managing to post on the tablet for some reason.

*Yay, me. Fixed. I think.

Behold…The Beauty of the ARC

Nalini Singh is one of my two absolutely favorite authors, so when I get a surprise package in the mail from her, I get more than a little excited. Once again, I wasn’t expecting it, but today I got the wonderful surprise of an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows. Behold the beauty…

imageThe saddest thing is that I have only read the first 50 pages, but I am already more involved in the story than I have been after 250 pages of Dark Skye.

Cover Lover – Rock Addiction

Word recently broke that Nalini Singh is releasing a New Adult contemporary book called Rock Addiction, which was to be the first book of what was called The Schoolboy Choir series. Well, now it seems the series name has changed to Rock Kiss, and the cover is just now heading our way…

Rock Addiction coverYes? No? No and you are excited anyways? What is your take on Rock Addiction, will you be following Nalini into her new venture? Look for this one in both print and e-format on September 9th.

Still Alive…

question markThis week has been a total crap-fest in terms of finding anything interesting to post. Not much news, no really interesting covers. No new series started up to highlight, and I didn’t even have a pick of the week since new releases were pretty thin. So, I thought I would see would be interesting to see what everyone found to read this week, and what you thought of it.

I am still reading Kresley Cole‘s Dark Skye. I started just straight reading it, but then I thought I might as well go back and start over and make notes to update the Immortals After Dark character guide. I am liking it so far, but I also have had no problems putting the book down and walking away for a couple of days, which for me is unheard of for an IAD book. Not sure why, since I have wanted Thronos and Lanthe’s story ever since they were introduced, but I had a hard time mustering my normal excitement before it was released, and it has carried over to reading it. It is usually a “count the days” series. Hell, I have even made the four hour round trip drive to buy them on release day before, but this time? Not so much.

What are you reading, and what did you think of it? Any surprises, good or bad?

Adding to the Author Pages…

question markBecause I like to try and keep things interesting, I was wondering who you would like to see added to the author pages? Lorraine mentioned Lynsay Sands, but are there any others you find tricky to keep track of and would like to see organized into their own section?

Also, I have pretty much limited the info on the authors I have already done to cover only their paranormal/urban fantasy series, but would you like it to expand to cover the other genres? For example, Cynthia Eden has added romantic suspense to her works, Kresley Cole has gone to some more erotic types, and Nalini Singh has a New Adult series in the works. Let me know if expanding is something you would find useful, and I will see what comes up.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide…

Let me start this off by saying that I had absolutely nothing to do with this – all of the time and effort was put in by PhoenixFyre. All I did was copy and paste all of her work, and I owe her a big thanks. Guides are fun to do, but they are very time consuming – especially when you are doing a series as big and as detailed as J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Not to mention, she also lost all of her notes at one point and had to start over again at the beginning.

Alright everybody, behold the monstrous Black Dagger Brotherhood Character Guide. Enjoy!

This and That…Covers, Release Dates, and Other Stuff

Yep, I have been snooping around and come across a little new info…

  • One thing I do NOT like is when a series I like shows an upcoming release with “End” in the title. Nope. Alexandra Ivy‘s next Guardians of Eternity book will be called When Darkness Ends, and it has a release date of May 26th.
  • The Chicagoland Vampires novella from Chloe Neill featuring Merit and Ethan now has a title. Lucky Break is due out on February 3rd.
  • Rumor has it that there will indeed be another Charley Davidson book from Darynda Jones, and it will be called Eighth Grave After Dark, and it is tentatively scheduled for next May.
  • I have to admit, I had my doubts it would ever come our way, but it looks like The Return from Jennifer L. Armentrout is a go. I thought (wrongly) that it was from Entangled Publishing, which meant I had pretty much decided that it would never see the light of day. I love being wrong sometimes. This Seth-centric spin-off from the Covenant series will be out on February 17th.
  • I had also (wrongly) gotten it into my head that Shannon K. Butcher‘s Sentinel Wars series must’ve ended, mostly because there hasn’t been any word on new titles for a while. Wrong again, since Binding Ties is due out on March 3rd – and there is both a cover and blurb available…

binding tiesThey are the Sentinels. Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes: the Synestryn. Now a warrior must protect his onetime enemy—without succumbing to his darkest desires.

Lyka Phelan is a Slayer, sent to live among her enemy to guarantee lasting peace with the Theronai. Yet she has a secret—and it could make her a slave to their power. But when a pack of Synestryn destroys her home and captures her packmates, Lyka realizes her freedom is a small price to pay for the safety of her people. So she strikes a bargain with the leader of the Theronai—one that reveals her true identity and binds her to him forever.

Joseph thought he knew better than to tangle with the beautiful, hot-blooded Lyka. One misstep could send their races straight back to war. But now he has no choice other than to help her. Forced to protect her with his life, Joseph finds himself increasingly drawn to Lyka. As they risk everything in their fight against the demons, he realizes he must convince her to surrender to him completely—otherwise she will never truly be his.

  • Sherrilyn Kenyon has co-authored the previous four Belador books, but it looks like number five will be a solo effort for Dianna Love. Demon Storm is due out this October, but here’s a quick peek at the cover…

demon storm

  • Devon Monk is starting up a new series soon called House Immortal, but word is already coming about the second book. Infinity Bell will be released on March 3rd, and yep, it’s cover time…

infinity bellSo, that about wraps things up for now. Are any of these tidbits something you are looking forward to?

Monika’s Review…Rock Addiction

review iconI have to admit, I love it when people give me reviews to post, partly because I suck at reviewing myself, partly because I am nosy and I like to get honest opinions on what others are reading without having to search through the masses at Goodreads and Amazon. And when the book in question is from a favorite author, it is even better. Monika sent over a review for the upcoming (and very much a surprise) Rock Addiction from Nalini Singh, which from what I understand is being classed as New Adult.

What Monika said…

Wow, I’m still fanning myself! Nalini Singh succeeds in striking the perfect balance between scorching hot eroticism and sweet romance. The hero is an alpha male with hidden vulnerabilities and the heroine innocent but with an adventureous streak. It’s a case of instant lust and they have intense chemistry but need to come to terms with what it means to have a relationship in the spotlight.

I used to read a lot of romance novels, both historical and contemporary, although these days I am mostly into Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. The Psy/Changeling and the Guild Hunter series range among my favorites and I consider them some of the best writing in the genre, so I was very excited when I discovered the unexpected announcement on Nalini Singh’s blog that she had branched out into contemporary romance. The whole rock music scene is not really my thing, but the blurb sounded very promising and struck a chord with me.

Synopsis: At a party hosted by her publicist half-sister cute librarian Molly Webster comes face to face with Zachary Fox, sex god and lead singer of the famous rock group Schoolboy Choir. She has been fantasizing about him for some time, so when he follows and propositions her, she throws all caution to the winds and decides to indulge in one night of pleasure. Fox has been captivated by her artless and likeable nature, so there is no way he will be satisfied with one night and he proceeds to convince her to give him the whole month he is vacationing with his band in New Zealand. Afraid of the intensity of her feelings and haunted by traumatic events in her childhood Molly nevertheless agrees since she feels she will at least always have the memories of the time she spent with Fox. After the month is up, Fox, who was playing for keeps from the beginning, asks Molly to come back with him to California. Taking the biggest chance of her life Molly leaves her job and her friends behind to be with Fox in his Santa Monica home. Although she can slowly establish herself as a freelance editor and researcher, she has to come to terms not only with beautiful Hollywood actresses dropping by unanounced, but also with pushy groupies groping her man and intrusive papparazzi. Plagued by demons in his own past Fox has a tendency to try to control Molly, and not only inside the bedroom. While on tour an incidence occurs that plays on Molly’s worst fears and that will put their fragile love and trust to the test…

What I didn’t like about it: Nothing against a heroine that is sweet and inexperienced, but a virgin at 24? And then she considers a one-night stand, even if the hero is gorgeous and she’s had a crush on him for the longest time. Also, though probably many (female) readers can identify with Molly, she is a bit ordinary and bland. And I don’t mean only her looks (she is described as pretty), but also her personality and her whole life. To have a gorgeous, sexy, famous hunk fall madly in love with one has at one time or another probably been the secret fantasy of every woman, but even with the suspension of disbelief I find it hard to swallow. So does Molly, actually, and at the beginning of their relationship that is a source of insecurity for her. It wouldn’t be so bad if Fox, in contrast, weren’t so perfect in every way: hero with a tortured past, great body, ribbed, golden skin all over (why does this remind me of a certain cat), sexy voice, talented, great in the sack and loaded. Really, why am I complaining? But he seems just like too much of a good thing. Oh, and the name oft he band “Schoolboy Choir” does so not hit the right note for a supposedly gritty rock band.

What I did like about it: Even though it’s in the “didn’t-like-section” I actually loved Zachary Fox, because who wouldn’t? He is very likable beneath his rough edges and although he is quite controlling and demanding in bed he isn’t too bad outside of it and Molly stands up to him if he tries to be. Recently I have started to read some erotic romance, but disappointingly most of it is written very badly, with inconsistent character development and very repetitive. I would also label “Rock Addiction” erotic romance, but that’s where all similarities end. Nalini Singh is a superb story writer and her main protagonists are well developed. I liked the local color she used for the scenes in New Zealand and Santa Monica. She also finds a good balance between romance, intense emotion and explicit love scene and the narrative has a good rhythm. The sex is intense, with some kink (light and playful bondage). The cast of secondary characters is also well drawn and I’m looking forward to future stories featuring the other band members, Molly’s half-sister Thea and her best friend Charlotte.

If I had to rate this book, it would very much depend on what I compared it to. On its own merit as an erotic romance I would give it five out of five stars, because it’s so well written and by far the best of its genre I’ve read. Compared to Nalini Singh’s PR / UF writing I would only give it 4 stars, because I feel that the complex world building accounts for a large part of the appeal and what I am willing to believe in a story set in a fantasy world it not necessarily the same as in one set in the “real” world. Having said that, I will certainly check out Thea’s and David’s story, which is coming up next.

Rock Addiction will be hitting the shelves on September 9th, and it will be followed by the novella Rock Courtship in October.