Reading Roundup…

Time again to bore everyone with what I have been reading, and what I thought of it. I have been a bit more eclectic than usual, even branching out into non paranormal (god, been a while since I can say that).

the beautiful ashesThe Beautiful Ashes – Might as well start with the hard one. I picked up the first book of Jeanine Frost‘s new Broken Destiny series as soon as it was released, but I didn’t really have any burning desire to dive right in. As I took a non-spoilery peek at some reviews, I found they veered wildly from “OMG Awesome!!!!” to “DNF”. I fall somewhere in the middle.  Well, it was…ok. I should say up front that I was not one of those looking for another Cat and Bones, either – it didn’t have to “live up” to the Night Huntress books, for me. I didn’t hate it, I made it through to the end, but I finished more out of duty than desire to see how it all ended. I guess the easiest way to say it is that I didn’t connect to it – characters, world-building, none of it drew me in. Will I pick up the next book? Probably, just because I already have the first one. If I had read it on my i-pad and didn’t have the physical copy of the first one? Probably not. Unless the reviews were stellar. All in all, a disappointment. On a ratings scale, I would say…2 out of 5.

the iron trialThe Iron Trial – This one is the first book of a new middle grade series from authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare called The Magisterium. The most common thing I have heard about this one is “Harry Potter rip-off”. In fact, some were quite up in arms about that. Well, since I am about the last person in the world who hasn’t read Harry Potter, I can’t comment on that. Personally, I liked it. It was a fast, fun read with quite a bit of action and a few twists and turns that should lead to some very interesting storylines in coming books. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rock Addiction coverRock AddictionNalini Singh is my favorite author, and I have never made a secret of that (along with Ilona Andrews, but that is a debate for another day). That said, however, I still really wasn’t driven to pick up Rock Addiction for one strange reason…I have never liked books where one of the characters is supposed to be famous. Models, actors, athletes, race car drivers…rock stars…they have never done it for me. And the strange reason is that I find them unrealistic. Yep, I said it. A chick who reads pretty much all PNR and UF finds a book about famous people more unrealistic than vampires and dragon shifters. If it was written by anyone other than Nalini I wouldn’t have given it a second look even if it was free. But because it is Nalini, I did take the plunge – and I liked it. I know that a lot of people didn’t like the insta-love or the abundance of sex scenes, but neither bothered me. I think, for me, there was enough story to balance that out. I didn’t even mind the rock star angle, which for me was a big hurdle. I do have to admit, though, that I thought Gabriel and Charlie completely stole the show, and I cannot wait to get my hands on their story. That one is going to be fun. So, I can say I am glad I overcame my bias against famous characters and tried this one, and I am first in line for Charlotte and Gabriel’s turn. Rating: 4 out of 5.

How has your reading been stacking up? Any standouts, good or bad? What was your take on any of these relatively new releases?

From Page to Screen…TV Style

Confession time…I don’t watch tv. Nope. If I see a series that I think will interest me, I download the first episode, check it out, and then wait and pick it up on blu-ray and pull a marathon. My shows include Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals (which I haven’t seen even 5 minutes of, but bought anyways), and True Blood. But, it looks like my collection might be soon growing, since there is a whole crop of book adaptations hitting the small screen that I just haven’t gotten to. Yet.

Bitten is what actually made me write this post. I had heard something about Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld books making the jump to tv a few months ago, but it promptly slipped my mind. I only recently started reading (and really liking) the series, so I decided to take the plunge and pick up season one.

From Page…
bitten

Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

To Screen…

And who hasn’t heard about the Outlander adaptation, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon? This is another series I have been hesitating to pick up – not because of the length of the books, but because I have an iffy relationship with historical romance. It used to be all I read back in my college days, but I find historical with a paranormal bent is really hit or miss for me. However, the buzz I am hearing is so good for this one I just might have to break down and start buying both the show AND the books.

From Page…

outlanderThe year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life…and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

To Screen…

Now, to be honest, I hadn’t heard of either the book or the show for this next one until the author, Brian McGreevy, sent over a request for a review. Hemlock Grove is a Netflix original series that already has a couple of seasons under its belt (where have I even been?!?).

From Page…

hemlock groveThe body of a young girl is found mangled and murdered in the woods of Hemlock Grove, Pennsylvania, in the shadow of the abandoned Godfrey Steel mill. A manhunt ensues—though the authorities aren’t sure if it’s a man they should be looking for.

Some suspect an escapee from the White Tower, a foreboding biotech facility owned by the Godfrey family—their personal fortune and the local economy having moved on from Pittsburgh steel—where, if rumors are true, biological experiments of the most unethical kind take place. Others turn to Peter Rumancek, a Gypsy trailer-trash kid who has told impressionable high school classmates that he’s a werewolf. Or perhaps it’s Roman, the son of the late JR Godfrey, who rules the adolescent social scene with the casual arrogance of a cold-blooded aristocrat, his superior status unquestioned despite his decidedly freakish sister, Shelley, whose monstrous medical conditions belie a sweet intelligence, and his otherworldly control freak of a mother, Olivia.

At once a riveting mystery and a fascinating revelation of the grotesque and the darkness in us all, Hemlock Grove has the architecture and energy to become a classic in its own right—and Brian McGreevy the talent and ambition to enthrall us for years to come.

To Screen…

And the final one that comes to mind is Melissa de la Cruz‘s Witches of East End. This is another one that slipped under my radar, for some reason (and here I thought I was more in touch than that). This one is part way into its second season, but I haven’t heard much about it either way.

From Page…

witches of east endThe three Beauchamp women–Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid–live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret–they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there’s Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.

For centuries, all three women have been forced to suppress their abilities. But then Freya, who is about to get married to the wealthy and mysterious Bran Gardiner, finds that her increasingly complicated romantic life makes it more difficult than ever to hide her secret. Soon Ingrid and Joanna confront similar dilemmas, and the Beauchamp women realize they can no longer conceal their true selves. They unearth their wands from the attic, dust off their broomsticks, and begin casting spells on the townspeople. It all seems like a bit of good-natured, innocent magic, but then mysterious, violent attacks begin to plague the town. When a young girl disappears over the Fourth of July weekend, they realize it’s time to uncover who and what dark forces are working against them.

With a brand-new cast of characters, a fascinating and fresh world to discover, and a few surprise appearances from some of the Blue Blood fan favorites, this is a page-turning, deliciously fun, magical summer read fraught with love affairs, witchcraft, and an unforgettable battle between good and evil.

To Screen…

What is your take on this “new” batch of book-to-tv adaptations? Any fans so far? How faithful have the shows stuck to the source material, and does liking one mean you automatically check out the other? I do know starting the Women of the Otherworld books made me interested in the show, and the good reviews of the Outlander series have made me consider getting the books, but do you do the same?

New Series Alerts…

Happy Monday everyone, if there is any such thing. Time once again to take a peek and see what new series are starting up this week, and all three of them are from the world of young adult. First up is Heather Demetrios with Exquisite Captive, the first book of her Dark Caravan Cycle series.

exquisite captiveSynopsis…

Jinni. Empress. Warrior. Slave.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more dangerous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince Malek that she truly loves him.

Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia must make choices that betray everything she believes in and choose between the jinni who has unexpectedly stolen her heart and the dangerously persuasive master who wants to own it. Soon, Nalia realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Purchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Lailah, the first book of the Styclar Saga from Nikki Kelly.

lailahSynopsis…

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And wrapping things up for this week’s new series is The Young Elites from Marie Lu. It is the first book of The Young Elites series.

the young elitesSynopsis…

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood plague: marked by a jagged scar, snow-white hair and lashes. Cast out by her family, Adelina has finally found a place to belong within the secret society of Young Elites. To some, the Elites are heroes, here to save innocents in desperate situations. But to the Inquisition Axis, the white-robed soldiers of Kenettra, they are monsters with demonic powers who must be brought to justice.

As Adelina learns more about this perilous world where politics and magic clash, she soon realizes that her own powers may be in danger of bringing on an era of panic such as the world has never seen.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Are you checking out any of these newbies? I still have to read the third and final book in the Legend trilogy, which I think I will do before I start this new series.

Double Giveaway Winner…

winner bannerWow, the response to this giveaway was, I think, the biggest to date with 57 entrants. It won’t be long now before we all get a chance to pick up both Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Shadows and Ilona AndrewsBurn For Me, and I can’t wait. The randomly chosen winner (through Random.org) is #40…

Terri

Congratulations, Terri. I will be contacting you shortly for your info.

Guest Review – Into Darkness

review iconLast week, Morgan was kind enough to offer a copy of the final book in the J.T. Geissinger Night Prowler series, Into Darkness, for a giveaway at Wicked Scribes (I feel like I am talking about myself in the third person). Well, while Monika didn’t win that one, she also got her hands on an early copy and sent over a review (which is doubly great because I was just hunting for something to post, and I am lazy tonight).

into darknessWhat Monika said…

Dark, intense, heart-wrenching, sweet, tragic and poignant are just some of the adjectives to describe the roller coaster ride of feelings this book will take you on. The latest (and unfortunately last) installment of the Night Prowler series provides a gripping and emotional finale to this outstanding shapeshifter saga. Geissinger’s voice is both, lyrical and distinctive, and imbues her writing with a special quality.

The story takes place roughly twenty-four years after the cataclysmic events in Darkness Bound. The world has changed, become a dark and dreary place. People live in perpetual fear of the Phoenix corporation and the Imperial Federation, its military arm. This is the world that Lumina Bohn has grown up in with her father as her only family. All her life she has tried to be normal, to fit in and not to stand out, but when she gets angry or upset her powers manifest in strange and disturbing ways. On top of that she hears a female voice in her head that tells her to wake up and embrace her powers before it is too late and her dreams are haunted by a gorgeous man with yearning in his beautiful chocolate eyes. In this dreamworld they are lovers but he calls her by another name.

After another incident at the hospice where she works the Grand Minister (a type of inquisitor) is coming to discover whether there are any Aberrants hiding there. When Lumina is unmasked she finally lets go of the control she has over her inner beast and manages to flee. After she literally escapes down the rabbit hole she awakens again in the presence of the man of her dreams, only he seems strangely aloof. Lumina has to discover she is not who (or even what) she thought she was. To save her family and her people she has to trust in the powers that she has supressed for so long and in the man who seems almost a stranger…

I’ve loved this series from the start and Into Darkness is a fitting end. If possible, it is even darker than the previous books, set in a bleak, post-apocalyptic world in which the sun is hidden by toxic clouds. It’s great to meet the characters from previous books again, but in a way also sad to see how some of them have suffered over the years. The love-story is in turn sweet and heart-wrenching as the love between the hero and the heroine seems doomed almost before they have a chance to acknowledge their feelings for each other. But after all the suffering there finally is a happy ending not only for the main protagonists, but also for two other pairs of lovers and the Ikati.

Another fan of the series, and another series I have started on Mount TBR. I know, I know…it is a crowded, crowded place. But one day. I swear. What was your take on this one? A good ending, or are you still wanting more?

October BotM…and a Double Giveaway

giveaway bannerOctober had just too many good books to pick from for the Book of the Month, but Nalini Singh once again takes the title with her Guild Hunter release, Archangel’s Shadows (as she does every month she has a new book come out). But, October is also the month for Ilona AndrewsBurn For Me, which I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on.

So, I thought that this month, I would offer BOTH Archangel’s Shadows and Burn For Me for the giveaway. If you would like to win a paperback copy of each of these great books, just leave a comment in the comments section. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s end this Friday night at midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

archangel's shadowSynopsis…

In the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot— should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

burn for meSynopsis…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Since I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows, Burn For Me is my biggie. And the little teasers Ilona has been posting have been great fun. Nalini and Ilona are my two absolute favorites, so October is a great month, for sure.

Deceptions Cover Reveal…and a Reader Question

First off, I have a quick question sent over by Peggy. She is heading to the Immortal book signing by J.R. Ward (lucky), and she was wondering if the books sold there were offered at discount or full price? I haven’t been to a book signing, so I had no clue. Can anyone else help Peggy out and tell her how things work?

I thought I had dug up most of the new covers, but Amber sent over a link to the new cover for Deceptions, the third book from Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series. I haven’t made any secret of my love for this new series, and I am excited to get my hands on this one when it comes out…next October. Ugh. There has been a big design change for the US version, and that makes me wonder what the Canadian one will look like. I really liked the US covers for the first two, but this one looks very interesting, too.

deceptionsAnd a little blurby goodness to go along with the cover reveal…

Olivia’s life has exploded. She’s discovered she’s not only adopted, but her real parents are convicted serial killers. Fleeing the media frenzy, she took refuge in the oddly secluded town of Cainsville. She has since solved the town’s mysteries and finds herself not only the target of its secretive elders, but also her stalker ex-fiancé.

Visions continue to haunt her: particularly a little blond girl in a green sundress who insists she has an important message for Olivia, one that may help her balance the light and darkness within herself. Death stalks Olivia and the two men most important to her, as she desperately searches to understand whether ancient scripts are dictating their triangle. Will darkness prevail or does Olivia have the power to prevent a tragic fate?

Cover Lover – 11 New Titles

Usually Tuesday is the day I do my pick of the week post, but to be honest there isn’t much this week that I am too excited about. So, instead, I will do a cover lover post. Let’s start with the young adult books, for a change. The Winner’s Crime is the second book from Marie Rutoski‘s The Winner’s Trilogy, and it is due out on March 3rd.

the winner's crimePurchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Rogue Wave, which is the second book of the Waterfire Saga from Jennifer Donnelly . It is due out on January 6th.

rogue wavePurchase at Amazon.com

Nil Unlocked is the second book from Lynne Matson‘s Nil series, and it is due out on May 12th.

nil unlockedPurchase at Amazon.com

Elizabeth May‘s The Vanishing Throne, which is the second book from The Falconer series, is due out early next year.

the falconer's throneThe final young adult release is from Eve Silver‘s Game series. Crash is due out on June 9th.

crashPurchase at Amazon.com

Now for the adult covers, we start with Gini Koch‘s Universal Alien. It is from the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, and it is due out on December 2nd.

universal alienPurchase at Amazon.com

This next one is from Caris Roane. Savage Chains will be released on March 31st.

savage chainsPurchase at Amazon.com

Faith Hunter‘s next Jane Yellowrock book, Dark Heir, will be released on April 7th.

dark heirPurchase at Amazon.com

And staying with the color scheme of the last couple of covers is Pure Blooded from Amanda Carlson. It should be out early 2015.

pure bloodedThe next Grimm Agency book from J.C. Nelson, Armageddon Rules, will be released on February 24th.

ArmageddonRules.inddPurchase at Amazon.com

And the final one for today is from Chris Marie Green. Every Breath You Take is from the Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire series, and it is due out on April 7th.

every breath you takePurchase at Amazon.com

Are any of these something you are looking forward to? Every time I see a Jane Yellowrock cover, I kick myself for not starting the series yet.

New Series Alerts…

Another Monday, another New Series post. We only have one for this week, and it comes from Claire Legrand. Winterspell is the first book of her young adult Winterspell series.

winter spellSynopsis…

New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor’s ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother’s murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes.

Her home is destroyed, her father abducted–by beings distinctly not human. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they’re to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets–and a need she can’t define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won’t leave Cane unscathed–if she leaves at all.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Into Darkness Giveaway Winner…

winner bannerThanks again to Morgan and J.T. Geissinger, who offered up a copy of the final book of the Night Prowler series, Into Darkness, for a giveaway. There were 9 entrants, and the randomly chosen winner (through Random.org) was number 7…

michellewillms2013

 

Congratulations, michelle! I will contact you shortly for your info, which well then be sent over to Morgan so she can send you your copy.