How I Spent My Summer Vacation…

question markYou know when you have time off and you make big plans to get a ton of stuff done? Things that you have been putting off for months, that you tell yourself “I will get ALL of that done when I am off”, but the list has gotten so damned big that you can’t possibly get to it all? That was me, this week. Here is how my reading/blogging to-do list looked at the start of my vacation…

  • reformat all author pages to include all of their non-PNR/UF series, change the links and do new graphics for the character guide links.
  • add a couple of new Featured Author pages.
  • finish re-doing the links for at least three pages of the Series Reading List pages.
  • check to make sure all of the new release dates were current, and add all new cover art and blurbs to the monthly summaries.
  • add the new releases I have gathered over the last couple of weeks.
  • get at least 4 character guides up to date.

Yeah, most of that didn’t happen. I did get the new release dates double checked and covers and blurbs added, so things are current as of September 1st. Surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of shifts in release dates this time, so mostly what you were looking forward to should still be on schedule.

I did also manage to get the character guide updated for Gena Showalter‘s Angels of the Dark series, and half of the Dark Skye info added for the Immortals After Dark one, too. I am half-way through the re-read of Rule Breaker, so the Breeds one should be done soonish, as well. That means I am only behind on 8 or 9 now. Beauty.

As for the author pages, I got a grand total of two done. The Alexandra Ivy and Cassandra Clare sections, to be precise. Things are pretty much the same, but I have added a few new things. I dropped the biographical stuff, for the most part, but I did add a listing of all of their series and what genre they were on the front page (like adding Alexandra Ivy’s historicals written under the name Deborah Raleigh, that sort of thing). I also added a little “On the Horizon” section for those upcoming titles where there isn’t much info yet. If you find it awkward or confusing, just let me know.

The biggest thing I did manage to get done was all of my bookshelves cleaned and organized, and all of my books vacuumed. Individually. One. By. One. It is at those moments that I really hate my love of book hoarding. But see…the pretty…

hardcoversoftcoverHow did you spend your summer vacation? Any excitement, action, or drama? Or were you like me and it blew by before you knew it?

Pick of the Week…

This week’s pick of the week took more than a bit of thought, actually. I am always happy when Christine Feehan has a new release, so that put Air Bound in the running. And I have been anticipating Roke and Sally’s story, Hunt the Darkness, ever since they were introduced in Alexandra Ivy‘s last Guardians book. But my vote has to go to Cassandra Clare‘s final Mortal Instruments book, City of Heavenly Fire. Yep, this one is going to be a whirlwind.

city of hevenly fireSynopsis…

ERCHOMAI, SEBASTIAN HAD SAID.

I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in the world can defeat him — must they journey to another world to find the chance? Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last installment of the Mortal Instruments series!

What is your pick of the week? Are you looking forward to seeing how the Mortal Instruments series ends, or are you excited for something else this week?

Release Day Review…The Kraken King

review iconDonna Grant is doing it. So is A.C. Arthur. Lynn Viehl. And Cassandra Clare. It seems like a new trend is developing, and that is to serialize a new release over the course of a few weeks (or months) before the print release. Meljean Brook has entered the fray with her new Iron Seas story, The Kraken King, which has been divided into eight separate parts to be released over the next eight weeks. Doug Meeks got his hands on the first three installments, and did up a quick review.

the kraken king part 1What Doug said…

Meljean Brook sent me the first 7 parts of her new serialized novel The Kraken King and it may be the best thing i have read in a very long time and I am only through part 3.  Thought I would send this along since it releases tomorrow and she will release another book each week at $1.99, this isn’t my best work but writing a review on what seems to the reader to be a work in progress is difficult at best :)

dcm

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The Kraken King Part 1

I am giving this 5 Stars because I loved the story and this first installment just gives you the basics of a great story and several mysteries.

The heroine has many secrets and you the reader will only know a few of them, the Kraken King (one of his many titles) is more of a mayor of a town that kills a lot of the krakens.

There is the beginning touches of a good romance but this short story only gives us the very basics, these stories being serialized and released about a week apart might prove to be a source of frustration because this has all the earmarks of a really great story and romance.

I will have to see who I can beg/bribe/threaten to get the rest of these as soon as possible :)

NOTE: Maybe it was just me but the first few chapters brought up memories of Romancing the Stone (the movie) but now that I have finished I think that was a misconception on my part since our heroine has a LOT of secrets.

The Kraken King Part 2

Well there is only so much I can write about this continuing story without injecting spoilers but this second part moves the story along nicely and some unforeseen problem.

Ariq is determined to stay close to Zenobia for reasons that he does not allow himself to believe at times. They are a perfect couple as far as a opposites attract couple. The secrets they both are holding start to come out just a small bit but it muddies the water more than provides clarity plus the story takes a sudden turn towards the end of this part that sends us off the intended track a bit.

The romance is still not moving along as hoped but I am sure it will eventually but some misconceptions need to be cleared up and of course that constant threat of death always messes up a good romance :)

Still 5 Star addiction and so I will be grabbing Part 3 soon and continuing on in this addicting story. If you can’t enjoy this you need to get counseling :)

The Kraken King Part 3

So many of my favorite series seem to have a third book that stands above the rest and this is no exception, of the three books so far this one knocks my socks off as far as progress, action, romance, and a bit more info for the reader,

Zenobia and Ariq (the Kraken King) end up in a smuggler’s den due to circumstance in the last book and as you might think there is danger everywhere.

Our heroine manages to find trouble as you might expect but things will happen that will leave you smiling and a good place for me to take a break before moving on with book #4 since I have other reviews to write :)

I haven’t really gotten into the whole steampunk genre, myself. I have read precisely one story…which was the first novella from this series…but I found I very much enjoyed it. Not sure actually why I didn’t continue, but now I just might have to give it another shot.

What do you think of the serial idea? Do you read them as they come out, or do you hold off and wait for the entire release in print form? I think the idea of the serialized story is actually quite brilliant – and profitable. At only $1.99 per entry, you are still getting almost $16.00 for that one story before it ever makes its print debut. Not bad at all.

Will you be checking out The Magisterium?

question markAuthors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare are teaming up for a 5-book series called The Magisterium, which will focus on reluctant but magically gifted Callum Hunt. At first glance, one can’t help but draw comparisons to the other magical boy sent to a magic school. You know the one I mean. So, the question is, will you be giving The Magisterium series a try when the first book, The Iron Trial, is released on September 9th, or is this just too Young Adult?

the iron trial

From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will — is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It’s a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

Sometimes I struggle a bit with what actually to include here on the blog. The Adult fiction is easy enough to classify, but the whole Young Adult/New Adult thing can get a bit tricky, and now I wonder what YA is just too young to bother with. Personally, while I haven’t read Harry Potter, I did very much enjoy the Percy Jackson books which are aimed at this same demographic. Will the fact that is it by two very well known authors sway you to try it, or will you be giving it a pass?

Cover Lover – 4 New Titles

I have a bonus day off from work today due to snow…sucks on payday, but love it today. It looks like there is only 4 new covers for today’s post, but better than nothing. This first one is actually from Serena Gilley‘s Forbidden Realm series – By the Magic of Starlight is a novella that will be released on October 7th.

by the magic of starlightI am pretty sure this next one for Cassandra Clare‘s The Bane Chronicles is no surprise, since the monthly-released e-stories had sections of this one as their covers. But if you are looking for the print version of this one, it will be out in hardcover on November 11th.

the bane chroniclesRick Yancey‘s The Fifth Wave was a big hit last year, and the cover for the follow-up The Infinite Sea was just made public. It is due to hit the shelves on September 16th.

the infinite seaI have to admit, this last one intrigues me. Author Cherie Priest starts a new series called The Borden Dispatches on September 2nd with the release of the first book, Maplecroft. Borden. As in Lizzie Borden. I thought the blurb sounded very interesting, so I added it, too…

maplecroft

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.

Is it strange to think that a book about an axe-wielding supposed killer sounds like it might be fun?

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.

This and That…

After a great few days for finding new cover art, I thought I would do just a random post about some info I also came across. This is a bit of a mixed bag, but hopefully you will find something interesting…

  • many thanks to Darchelle M., who let me know that Christine Feehan has announced that there is another Ghostwalker book on the horizon. Viper Game, from all indication, will be Wyatt Fontenot’s book (Raoul’s brother and member of the mysterious team four). If the schedule holds, then we could have our hands on this in her usual December/January release spot.
  • I am not sure how many of you followed the recently wrapped up e-serial Bane Chronicles from Cassandra Clare, but the pre-order links are now up for the hardcover release as well. It will be out on November 11th.
  • I had seen a couple of references around to Gena Showalter‘s next Lords of the Underworld book (The Darkest Touch, due out November 25th), and someone called “the Red Queen”. I had no clue what that was about until I found the cover blurb earlier today…

From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes the long-awaited story of Torin, the most dangerous Lord of the Underworld yet….

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

  • also from blurb-landia comes the one for Night’s Honor, which is the next Elder Races book from Thea Harrison that is due out on September 2nd…

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…

  • fans of Robin D. Owens will be glad to know that the second book of her new Ghost Seer series, Ghost Layer, will be out on September 2nd. But, really? Ghost Layer?

That is about it. What about you, have you heard or seen anything interesting about upcoming releases?

Reading Roundup…

Hard to believe another week has gone by, and we are staring at the end of the first month of the new year already. My goal this year is to read 150 books, including novellas, which I have never been able to hit. I think last year I topped out at 130, or somewhere in that range, but I will give it another shot this year.

This past week, I didn’t get as much done as I had thought I would, but I enjoyed everything I did get to.

the coldest girl in coldtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown – This stand alone from Holly Black is actually a carry over from last week…and it will be carried on to next week, too, since I am only about half way through. I have heard raves for this one, but I have to admit that it was rough going for about the first 100 pages. I can’t say it was bad, but it was dry. There was a lot of world-building to do, and I found myself having to go back quite often to figure out the whole cold/infected/immune/vampire dynamic, and that took me out of the story (hell, not sure I am clear on it now, but I am just going with it). Things do pick up as soon as they hit the Coldtown, which is like a quarantine area for vampires, those who might be infected, and some rather sad humans. I should be able to fly through the last half of the book, since things are getting quite interesting.

city of ashesCity of Ashes – This one was a re-read for the Mortal Instruments character guide that I want to get done before the final book is released. As always, it always amazes me how many details I have forgotten, or just missed altogether, from the original reading. I bought this series for the pretty covers, but I ended up being a huge fan of Cassandra Clare‘s world. Can’t wait for the last one…but I can’t help wondering who will live. And who won’t.

the weird girlsThe Weird Girls and A Cursed Moon – I am trying to get caught up on the e-novellas I am behind on, and I somehow missed not one, but two, from Cecy Robson‘s Weird Girls series. This series is surprisingly good, and reading the prequel novella cleared up some questions about how and why the sisters were cursed in the first place. But the recent second novella…wow, you don’t really want to miss that one. The main character is Bren, but there are some developments that impact pretty much everyone else. They were both great, quick reads.

clean sweepClean Sweep – This one was the highlight of my week. I didn’t read Clean Sweep when it was offered as the free serial on Ilona Andrews‘ blog (not sure why), and I am not a huge fan of e-books, so I skipped that version, too. But when I finally got my hands on a print copy that I had to order through Create Space, I devoured it in one setting. It was fun, original, and over way too soon. I am actually on my second reading, and going to whip up a quick character guide so I will be reading for the next installment.

So, what did your reading week look like? Any great one, or any big fails so far?

City of Heavenly Fire Cover…

The big cover reveal for the sixth and final book in Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series was today, with a lot of fanfare. City of Heavenly Fire is due out on May 27th.

city of hevenly fireWhat do you think? Clary out front, Sebastian (?) in the background sporting some wings. I am looking forward to seeing Jem and Tessa make an appearance, and get an introduction to the characters for the next series, The Dark Artifices.

Cover Lover – 12 New Titles

Well, looks like a few new covers to add to the pile. Some of these have been out for a while, but I just discovered them myself during my last updating thingy.

Starting with the adult titles, it looks like Elizabeth Hunter is starting a new series this month called The Irin Chronicles. The Scribe will be released on October 15th.

the scribeSteal the Day is a new one coming from Lexi Blake‘s Thieves series, which will be released on October 22nd.

steal the dayHm. My first reaction to this next one was “Pretty. But what the hell is he wearing?!? And…is that a squid tattoo?” Eternal Echoes is part of Anastasia Virgas‘s Sisters of the Divine series, and it was released on October 7th.

eternal echoesDemon Creed, the third book from Paula Altenburg‘s Demon Outlaws series, will be released next May 27th.

the demon creedI had pegged Stephanie Tyler‘s new Defiance series as adult, but I am starting to see it listed as the dreaded “New Adult” here and there. So, that means I have no clue. Either way, Redemption will be out on November 18th.

redemptionThese next few are all Young Adult. I thought the cover for Endless by Amanda Gray was pretty. It was released on October 8th.

endlessI have seen good reviews for Reboot by Amy Tintera, and now the cover for the second book has been revealed. Rebel will be out on May 6th.

Rebel JKT HC des3.inddErin Bowman‘s Stolen, which is a prequel novella from her Taken series, will be released in e-format on February 4th.

stolenThis one is the cover for one of the e-novellas from Cassandra Clare‘s The Bane Chronicles. The Fall of the Hotel Dumort will be released on October 15th.

the fall of the hotel dumortThe second book in Eve Silver‘s The Game series, called Push, will be released on June 10th.

pushBook three of Joelle Charbonneau‘s The Testing series, Graduation Day, will be released on June 3rd.

graduation dayAnd this final one is from Lisa McMann. Gasp is the third book in her Visions series, and it will be out on June 3rd, as well.

gaspWell, what do you think? Anything catch your eye? As usual, the YA covers out do the adult ones (probably explaining why I am buying more YA lately. Shiny covers).