Reading Roundup…

It has been a while since I did a reading roundup post, so I thought maybe we could go over what we thought of the good, the bad and the ugly of some recent releases. Spoilers are possible, so proceed with caution if you haven’t read any of these.

night's honorNight’s HonorThea Harrison‘s latest Elder Races book almost read like a stand-alone title to me. We have only briefly seen Xavier in the past, and next to nothing about the Nightkind demense has been featured in previous books, so it was interesting to see inside another branch of the Elder Races. I liked the world-building, but I found myself a bit underwhelmed by the romance side of things, and dare I say it, but I found the characters a bit on the dull side. I didn’t really connect with them, especially with Tess, who was just too bland to hold my interest. Final Thoughts: Here’s hoping that things pick up again for the next one, Midnight’s Kiss.

dark bloodDark Blood – Hm, this one is a bit tricky. Christine Feehan is one of my guilty pleasures, but you go into her books knowing exactly what you are going to get (and this one was no different). I am glad to see this Lycan angle wrap up. I didn’t enjoy is the whole Carpathian language thingy (which grates on my nerves every book now), but it was especially distracting here. I don’t mind a small phrase or two in the Carpathian, but whole sentences followed by their translations gets awkward and takes me out of the flow of the story. Also, believe it or not, I found myself thinking a time or two that things were, well, unrealistic (ha!). I rolled my eyes at the Xavier/Xavion/Xav-something triplets angle, and the whole climactic battle scene actually struck me as funny. But I did like the characters, the acceptance of their mating early on, and I liked seeing so many old favorites, no matter how briefly. Plus – no flower scene! Bonus. Final Thoughts: Ok, not bad, not great. Hopefully on to another angle for the Carpathians.

shifting shadowsShifting Shadows – This collection of short stories from the world of Mercy Thompson is actually turning out to be quite interesting. Not all, or even most, feature our well known leads of Mercy, Adam, Charles or Anna, but they are set within the same world and have the same tone. I am enjoying reading one here and there before bed when I don’t want to get too involved in a full book and then stay up all night reading. The short story Alpha and Omega is what got me reading Patricia Briggs in the first place, and I loved reading it again in Shifting Shadows (for something like the 5th time, I’m sure). Final Thoughts: A nice collection, which looks great on the shelf with its pretty cover. Now, if only we could get a Kate Daniels world collection like this, I would be extra happy.

visionsVisions – The second book in Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series was one of my most anticipated reads, and it lived up to my excitement. Book one read like a mystery with some paranormal aspects, but book two has much more of a supernatural feel to it. I liked the slow progression of the story, the development of the characters, the growing bond between Olivia and Gabriel (and, well, I like Gabriel). Final Thoughts: Great book. Great series. Looking forward to the re-read, and can’t wait for the next one.

We are now heading into the last few months of 2014, but there are some much-anticipated books that should keep me warm this winter. The absolute top pick for me is Ilona AndrewsBurn for Me (since I already read Archangel’s Shadows, that is). Seventh Grave and No Body from Darynda Jones should be intense, and Gena Showalter‘s long-awaited Torin story, The Darkest Touch, is also on the list. And while anthologies are not usually much to get excited about for me, the Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh entries in Night Shift make this a biggie, too. Add in a few young adult titles that I am eying, and the rest of the year isn’t shaping up too badly at all.

Which of these have you read, and what was your take on them? Did you come across anything exciting (or disappointing, for that matter) recently, and what are you most looking forward to for the last quarter of the year?

September’s BotM and Giveaway…

giveaway banner

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

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

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

the witch with no nameSynopsis…

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

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

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

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

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

Cover Lover – Fangirl Edition

Finding a cover from a favorite author or a much anticipated book makes my day…finding a few on the same day is even better. So, to find  covers for Christine Feehan, Patricia Briggs and Lora Leigh on the same day was a total bonus. Sometimes, when it is a much-anticipated book, I don’t even care if I like the cover – I am still excited.

Let’s start with Patricia Briggs‘ next Alpha and Omega book, Dead Heat. I have to say, Charles might frighten me a bit on this one. It is due out on March 3rd.

Dead HeatPurchase at Amazon.com

I next stumbled on the covers for the next two Lora Leigh Breeds books. This first one is called Overcome, and it is a compilation of 3 previously released novellas which is due out on February 3rd.

overcomePurchase at Amazon.com

That one will be followed by Gideon’s story, Bengal’s Quest, on March 3rd.

Bengal's QuestPurchase at Amazon.com

It has been a long, long time since the last Ghostwalker book from Christine Feehan, but it looks like things are getting back on track. Viper Game, featuring Wyatt Fontenot, will be out on January 27th.

viper gamePurchase at Amazon.com

Amber Benson starts a new series next January with the release of The Witches of Echo Park.

the witches of echo parkPurchase at Amazon.com

The third book from Robin D. Owens‘ Ghost Seer series, Ghost Killer, will be out on February 3rd.

ghost killerPurchase at Amazon.com

Yasmine Galenorn‘s next Otherworld novel, Panther Prowling, is due out on January 27th.

panther prowlingPurchase at Amazon.com

And this last one for today is from Amanda Hocking. Frostfire is part of her Kanin Chronicles series, and it is due out on January 6th.

frostfirePurchase at Amazon.com

So, what do you think? Likes? Dislikes? Don’t like it but can’t wait to read it anyways? Which ones of these are on your must-read list?

Cover Blurby Goodness…

I have been doing some updating, and I thought I would share a couple of the blurbs that I came across from some much anticipated upcoming books.

the shadowsSince the last post was the cover reveal for J.R. Ward‘s The Shadows, let’s start with that blurb. PhoenixFyre was kind enough to send a copy of it over from where she found it on Ward’s Facebook page…

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…

vision in silverUp next is another blurb from a newly released cover – Anne Bishop‘s Vision in Silver…

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

bound by flamesThe final book of Jeaniene Frost‘s Night Prince series, Bound by Flames, sounds like it is going to be intense…

Play with fire, pay the price.

Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

And wrapping up this little batch is Christine Feehan‘s long (LOOOONG) awaited Ghostwalker book, Viper Game. I had wondered if Wyatt would end up with the girl he helped rescue in Gator’s book, Joy, but it doesn’t sound that way…

GhostWalker Wyatt Fontenot knows the price he paid for the secret military experiments that gave him his special catlike abilities. After all, he left his home a healer and came back a killer. While Wyatt and his GhostWalker brother Gator may have known exactly the sort of game they were getting into, Wyatt never anticipated where it would lead – or to whom.

The swamps hold many mysteries, but few are as sinuously seductive as Le Poivre de Cayenne. The woman the locals call Pepper is every bit as enigmatic as the three little girls she’s desperately trying to protect. From what, Wyatt is soon to discover. Right now Pepper needs a man like Wyatt. Passionately. But her secrets are about to take them both deeper into the bayou than either imagined-where desire is the deadliest poison of all.

As nerdy as it sounds, I love to get the official blurb. Even though you have a good idea what direction the story might go in, reading that little synopsis always gets me more excited for the book.

 

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?

Spotlight on…Christine Feehan

spotlight_logoIn a couple of previous posts, I have noted how Christine Feehan has kicked her writing into high gear lately. She has updated her “currently working on” section on her website to give a little more detail, too…

GHOSTWALKERS

Viper Game: Viper Game is the story of Wyatt Fontenot. His story takes place in the bayou. He and two of his fellow Team Four members are recovering from wounds received in battle and have gone back to the bayou because Nonny, Wyatt’s Grandmother, has been assaulted and needs help. The mental hospital that burned to the ground has been rebuilt into a plastic’s company. But the fences are high and something from that facility has escaped into the swamps.

LEOPARD’S PREY

Cat’s Lair: Catarina Benoit had been sold to the biggest criminal in the bayous when she was just a child. He never tried to hide the ugly things he did, or the brutal ways he ended those who opposed him. She finally escaped and lived as off the radar as possible, knowing if he found her, he would kill the people that meant something to her, or anyone who helped her. She knew he wanted something from her, but she was never certain what it was, only that he was waiting and he wanted her close at all times as she matured. She knew he would come to find her and she worked very, very hard to be ready. Falling in love wasn’t part of her plan. Finding people she cared about and a job that meant something wasn’t a good idea. Not for someone like her…

SEA HAVEN SERIES

Earthbound: Gavriil Prakenskii was beyond all saving. He knew that and had known it for a long time. His brother Viktor and he had made a deal with the devil in order to keep their youngest brother safe. The devil broke their agreement and it was up to Gavriil to warn Ilya he was no longer safe and to lure any assassins away from his brother. He didn’t expect to find a young woman as broken as he was. He didn’t expect to find a savior. A miracle. He didn’t expect to find Lexi Thompson and fall under her spell so deeply that nothing else mattered to him but that he lay his claim to her.

DARK SERIES

Dark Ghost: Andre–the ghost–had traveled through the long range of the Carpathian Mountains to the forbidden monastery where ancients without lifemates who were far too dangerous to live among humans or Carpathians had banded together in an effort to live out their remaining days until they could leave the earth with honor. Along the way he came across the path of a master vampire and decides to go down taking out one of the undead.

Teagan Joanes has come to the Carpathian Mts to search for a particular stone to help cure her grandmother’s insanity. Grandma Trixie has lately been muttering nonsense about a man named Gary, a monastery and vampires. She even bought a vampire killing kit off the internet. Teagan’s friend from school agrees to guide her into the mountains. Too bad he’s a serial killer. She has a tendency to get into trouble wherever she goes and she’s not eager to tell Grandma Trixie about that or the fact that she’s falling madly in love with a man who sleeps in the ground and needs blood to survive!

Dark Promises: Gary Jansen has been in love with Gabrielle for a very long time. He did the honorable thing and let her go, because she was Carpathian and there were so few females to become lifemates to those who had waited for so long. But he is fully Carpathian, and a Daratrazanoff. Over the years he’s honed his fighting skills and has fought beside the warriors of the Carpathian people as well as working on solutions to their problems. Everything has changed. The ritual words are imprinted in him, given to him the ancient, long dead warriors of the Carpathian people. Who is the mysterious male courting Gabrielle. Is she truly his lifemate, his other half?

Trixie Joanes has gone to the Carpathian Mts in search of her wayward granddaughter. Teagan has a track record of getting into trouble and she’s fallen in love and says she wants to get married. Trixie is not about to allow some foreigner to carry off her beloved granddaughter. She’s come to fight a battle and she has every intention of winning. But then who is this mysterious ancient who doesn’t seem to notice her biting (but witty) sarcasm. And at her age, what was she doing finding a man like that hot???

I haven’t made any secret of the fact that I have been impatient for another Ghostwalker book, so news of Viper Game is very welcome. Apparently, it will be followed by Spider Game, also featuring someone from team four and set in the bayou. I sort of hoped that Andre would be the next Carpathian featured in the Dark series…he has been quietly moving to the forefront in the last couple of books. Gary and Gabrielle has been teased for a while, but I was surprised that they will apparently be sharing their story…with someone’s grandma. The Cat’s Lair blurb confuses me a bit, for some reason it reminds me of a Lora Leigh synopsis.

Which of these are you looking forward to? Are you still on the Feehan bandwagon, or have you moved on?

Site Updates…

Just a quick note to say that I have updated and re-upped the character guide for Christine Feehan‘s Sisters of the Heart series. I was hoping to go back and do all of the Drake Sisters books and make one big guide, but that didn’t happen. Yet. I thought that with the release of the third book, Air Bound, on May 27th, I might as well just put up what I already had in case anyone needs a refresher of who’s who.

Not all of the guides are completely up to date, and it will be a while before they are. I am planning on starting one for Ilona Andrews‘ Kate Daniels series tonight, and I am really hoping to have it done before Magic Breaks comes out in July. It sounds like a long time, but actually I will be pushing it trying to get it finished. Can’t wait for a re-read of the series, I must admit. After that, I will catch up on what I am behind. Promise.

Teasers and Excerpts…

air boundI have a love/hate relationship with excerpts. On one hand, I am greedy and can’t wait to get my grubby hands on a piece of a much-anticipated book. On the other hand, sometimes having just a tease makes me want the book even more. There are a few new excerpts available, if anyone is interested in checking things out…

  • The first chapter of the upcoming third Sisters of the Heart book from Christine Feehan, Air Bound, is available in the author’s member’s section, HERE. The book will be released on May 27th.
  • I don’t think there is anyone who isn’t excited about getting their hands on Nalini Singh‘s Shield of Winter on June 5th, but if you would like to sneak a peek at chapter one you can find it HERE.
  • I think I have bored pretty much everyone with my anticipation for Ilona Andrew‘s upcoming Burn for Me (due on October 28th). There have been several teasers already released, but another snippet has been upped at the author’s blog, HERE. If you head over, you can check out their snazzy new site design, too.
  • Aaand, Jeanine Frost is starting a New Adult series on August 26th with the release of The Beautiful Ashes, the first book of the Broken Destiny series. If you are interested in checking the excerpt out, head over to Jeaniene’s blog, HERE.

Site Updates…

There are a lot of new releases to be added over the coming days, like most of what I listed in the post below, and some of them are on my most anticipated list, which is always a bonus. Also, it is almost time for another go over of the Series Reading List pages, and another update of which series are finishing up soon.

There has been an idea I have been toying with, but I am not sure if I could actually pull it off (both time wise and talent wise). I would love to have something like a “The Story So Far” section, where there was a relatively brief but quite detailed book-by-book summary of what has happened in some of the most popular series. It would be a lot of work, and like I say it might not be possible, but I think it would be very useful. Does anyone know of anything like that around already?

On the character guide front, I will have The Mortal Instruments guide updated quite soon. I have finished the re-reads of the three books I was behind, and now I just have to add the info. My goal was to get it finished before the final book comes out in May, so I am actually well ahead of schedule. I was thinking of then finishing up the Fever series guide, but I have decided instead to do one for Kate Daniels. If I work at it, I should be able to get it finished before Magic Breaks comes out at the end of July.

PhoenixFyre is finishing up guides for both the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and the Fallen Angels series from J.R. Ward, and then she plans on hitting the Dark Series from Christine Feehan. Two of those are monsters, and they should all come in very handy.

That is about it. Nothing else much to report from this side. As always, if you can think of something that needs work, just drop me a line and let me know.

This and That…

There has been a bit of info coming out on some upcoming releases lately, so I thought I would do a little post showing some of the tidbits going around…

  • For some reason, I had thought that Christina Henry‘s Black Wings series was wrapping up, but it looks like a new book will be out on October 28th. This one is called Black Spring.
  • Thanks to everyone who sent me the links to J.R. Ward‘s appearance in Cincinnati, where she shared some major spoilers. One of them was that the next BDB book will be called The Shadows, and it will feature both Trez and iAm.
  • Laura Resnick‘s next Esther Diamond book, Abracadaver, will be released on November 4th.
  • Also on November 4th is the second book from Chris Marie Green‘s new Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series. This one is called Another One Bites the Dust.
  • Well, Kim Harrison‘s final Rachel Morgan book is coming soon. The Witch With No Name is due out on September 9th.
  • The long delayed Walker Papers book by C.E. Murphy, Shaman Rises, will finally be released on June 24th.
  • November 25th is the release date for the Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin and Milla Vane (Meljean Brooks) novella, Night Shift. Nalini’s story is about Mercy’s brother Bastien, and Ilona’s is about Jim and Dali.
  • The next Sandra Hill Deadly Angels book will be called Vampire in Paradise, and it is due out on November 25th.
  • A new Deadtown novel from Nancy Holzner is also coming this year. Firestorm is due out on November 25th, as well.
  • Aimee Carter‘s second YA Blackcoat Rebellion book, Captive, will be out on November 25th.
  • It doesn’t have a title yet, but the 16th Love at Stake book from Kerrelyn Sparks will hit the shelves on December 31st.
  • Fans of J.D. Tyler‘s Alpha Pack will be glad to know that book 6, called Wolf’s Fall, will be out on December 2nd.
  • December 2nd is also the release date for Darkness Falls from Keri Arthur. It is the final book in her Dark Angels series.
  • Universal Alien from Gini Koch will also be out on December 2nd.
  • Kate Elliott starts a new series next February called The Black Wolves Trilogy. The first book is called The Black Wolves.
  • Book one of Kelley Armstrong‘s new Age of Legends series just comes out this week, but it looks like the second book will be called Empire of Night. It is due out sometime next year.
  • I have been keeping an eye out for info about Anne Bishop‘s The Others, and I finally scored. It looks like book three will be called Vision in Silver…bad news is it is due out next year. Sometime.
  • Also coming sometime in 2015 is the 4th Alpha and Omega book from Patricia Briggs. It looks like this one will be called Dead Heat.
  • The third and final book from Alexandra Bracken‘s The Darkest Minds trilogy will be called In the Afterlight, and it is due out on September 16th. She will follow it up with a new YA time travel duology, with book one being called Passenger, and book two being called Wayfarer.
  • Way off next February is Chaos Choreography, the fifth book from Seanan McGuire‘s InCryptid series.
  • Kerstin Gier will have another of her series translated into English next year with the release of Silver: The First Book of Dreams. It is due out on January 6th.
  • And the UK version of Amazon has a new Christine Feehan listing. It shows the next (and very, very long awaited) Ghostwalker book, Viper Game, as a January 25th release. I am starting the countdown as we speak.

Anything interesting? Which ones are you most excited for?