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?

Upcoming E-Anthologies…

It seems like there is a growing trend lately to publish a collection of e-novellas put together for one bargain price. Doug Meeks did his review of one such collection called Darkly Dreaming, and September and October have several collections to choose from (that I still have to add to the new release pages, as well. Ugh). I am linking to the Amazon.com listings, since Goodreads doesn’t have all of these as yet.

For September, we start things off with Tall, Dark and Paranormal. Authors include Stephanie Julian, Lori Handeland, and Opal Carew. It was released on September 16th.

tall, dark and paranormalSynopsis…

CRESCENT MOON – From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lori Handeland

FOREVER FREED by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Laura Kaye

SPELLBOUND by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Opal Carew, writing as Amber Carew

SINS OF THE FLESH by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Caridad Pineiro

SPELL BOUND by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Stephanie Julian

HAUNTING A COWBOY – A Brand New Story from USA Today Bestselling Author Randi Alexander

HUNTRESS FOR HIRE by USA Today Bestselling Author Terry Spear

DEAD SEXY by USA Today Bestselling Author Paige Tyler

ASMODEUS: DEMON OF LUST by Bestselling Author Sara Humphreys

BEAUTY AND THE BEST by Bestselling Author, Judi Fennell

Next up is Thirst: Tales of Vampire Romance, which was also released on September 16th. It features authors Shirl Anders, Yvonne Anthony, and Anita Dobs, and it has a limited-time-only release. Get it before its gone.

thirstSynopsis…

Vampire Berserker by Carl East: A vampire that needs to feed on other vampires in order to survive.

The Vampire and the Rose by Yvonne Anthony: Rose’s mother has often warned her to stay away from dark places—especially at night, but curious Rose will ignore the warnings, jumping headlong into danger with startling consequences.

Dark Velvet by Lisa Carlisle: Savannah is thrilled for her residency at an art colony where she meets the sculptor Antoine. She discovers his dark secret, putting her life in jeopardy.

Vampire Lords of Blacknall by Shirl Anders: Only a creature of the night can save her. Lady Beth never stays home in the evenings. She fears her evil stepbrother. Then a monster stalks her in the dark and she cannot tell beast from savior.

The Vixen Torn by J.E. & M. Keep: Anjasa has been through the worst parts of hell and come back from it wounded but stronger. A trained assassin and courtesan, she’s seen the worst in others… and herself.

When Comes the Night by Anita Dobs: Trying to leave a troubled past far behind, Stacy escapes to England, but gets more than she bargained for when she meets Rafe Hawkins, the mysterious C.E.O at the renowned Sirius Advertising Agency.

Ash: Before Dawn by Skye Eagleday: Ash drank deeply of the blood of his enemies at Custer’s Last Stand. Now the beautiful Native American Vampire hunts in the gay bars of Seattle, where he will face an ancient Vampire far more deadly than the troops at Little Big Horn. Will he and his new human lover be able to use his powers of seduction and warrior skills to survive until dawn?

Love Blind by Claudia D. Christian: 1978. Rio de Janeiro. Josephine made a desperate bargain with a vampire named Julio Alberto. Her life for another. Kept in a gilded cage, will she ever allow herself to truly love her charming captor?

Another September release is Highland Shifters, featuring Michelle Fox and Red Phoenix.

highland shiftersSynopsis…

Her Scottish Alpha by Tabitha Conall: In the midst of trying to figure out their mating, Alpha werewolf Lachlan and dragon slayer Keira have to find Keira’s missing sister, fight a war and save Lachlan’s life.

Liulf by Victoria Danann: For two thousand years the Scotia werewolves have enjoyed the protection of the Fae Monarchy, but the world is changing and the tribe must adapt or face extinction. Or move.

Highland Wolf Pact by Selena Kitt: Englishwoman Sibyl Blackthorne escapes her arranged marriage to a cruel Scot only to find herself in the arms of something even more dangerous – and discovers only one wild heart can claim another.

Kiss the Dragon by Michelle Fox: A cursed dragon finds his maiden is already claimed by the future. If he can’t save her, she can’t save him.

By the Light of the Scottish Moon by Red Phoenix: Bryn, the pack leader, is so lost in his own pain he can’t see beyond it. Freya is dying & has come home to Scotland.to say goodbye. Her fate lies in his hands – but to save her he must kill her.

The Highlander’s Mate by Liliana Rhodes: Centuries after an ancient curse on his clan tore werewolf Bran MacCulloch away from his mate Ainsley Drummond, he catches her scent on the breeze. But how can it be her?

Highland Moon Rising by Sarah Makela: When wereleopard Caitlyn returns home to see her werewolf half-brother after he’s rescued from scientists, she’s imprisoned by the Pack. Will the Alpha who hungers for her be the protector she needs?

Knights of Stone by Lisa Carlisle: Gargoyles, tree witches, and shifters have divided their Scottish isle. When a witch breaches into another territory, she’s tempted by a forbidden attraction that may affect the future for all.

The Zrakon’s Curse by Linda Barlow: Sea dragon shifter Colin Malloch’s need for a mate draws a woman from another world into grave danger. How can he keep her safe when his own brother demands her life?

To Tame a Highlander by Adriana Hunter: Curvy nurse Aspyn Montgomery’s night takes a sudden turn when a patient she watched die suddenly turns up at her apartment desperately needing help. Can fated love triumph over the threat of war?

Roots and Fang by Skye Eagleday & Ripley Sage: When McKay takes a male Fae lover it triggers the deadly jealousy of the powerful Pooka shape-shifter the Fae abandoned. Can love conquer all when only one of you is human?

Midnight Hunt by Arial Burnz: As Broderick unravels the mystery of why Monika reminds him of his late wife, his quest for answers causes a chain of events, starting a witch hunt, dooming them both to the fiery stake of judgment.

October 28th is the date for Twelve Shades of Midnight, featuring authors Liliana Hart, Darynda Jones, Shea Berkley, and Dakota Cassidy, among others.

twelve shades of midnightSynopsis…

12 authors…12 unforgettable stories

The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 best-selling and award-winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.

Liliana Hart: The Witch Next Door

Darynda Jones: A Lovely Drop

Shea Berkley: Dark Secrets: Stone Cold Dead

Dakota Cassidy: Witched at Birth

Claire Cavanaugh: Midnight Renegade

Rachel Grant: Midnight Sun

Trish McCallan: Spirit Woods

Angi Morgan: Bodyguards in Heels: Hit and Run Hallie

Robin Perini: Night of the Jaguar

Robyn Peterman: Switching Hour

Ann Voss Peterson: The School

Jenn Stark: Getting Wilde

October 7th is the date for Enchanted Lover: Tales of Everlasting Love. It will feature authors Margaret Ethridge, Maddie James, and J.C. Warden, plus a few others.

enchanted loveSynopsis…

PARAMOUR by Margaret Ethridge (ghost)
Two men: one living, one dead, and both vying for her love. Camellia Stafford has never been alone in her room. For twenty years, she’s been engaged in a fierce power struggle with her bedroom’s previous tenant, Frank DeLuca, the ghost trapped in the light fixture above her bed.

ENTRANCED by Maddie James (time travel, reincarnation)
Jack and Claire set out on a wild search through time, not only for the resolution to a powerful attraction between them, but also for a historical artifact that holds the key to their future happiness–the coveted silver-plated chalice made from Blackbeard’s skull.

MYSTIC THUNDER by JC Wardon (witch, mystic)
Millennia of tempestuous ancestral history forewarn Rayne Cavanaugh to hide her ability to communicate with ghosts. But– When the nephew of the man she just can’t resist goes missing in the mountains of Mystic Waters, West Virginia, she must decide between self-preservation and love.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME by Cheryl Norman (time travel)
When Stacy Webber travels to Germany for her best friend’s wedding, she loses more than her luggage and purse. She lands in a different time, fifty years ago, with no idea how to return to her world.

TIMELESS by Jan Scarbrough (psychic, ghost, reincarnation)
When Beth Abbott receives a surprise inheritance from her birth mother, she travels to the family’s nineteenth century mansion in Old Louisville, KY, now a bed and breakfast. There she meets the resident ghost, a little girl whose crying not only scares, but also intrigues guests.

MAN OF HER DREAMS by Cat Shaffer (dreams, parallel times)
Jessi Flint has a perfectly good life with a successful business and the perfect man. So, he’s only in her dreams…until her flaky assistant goes to a New Age fair and Jessi suddenly begins receiving gifts with love notes signed by a mysterious Damian.

ALMOST MAGIC by J.M. Kelley (magic, witch, gifts)
When it came to Vivian Burroughs’ unique connection with nature, her grandmother always said, ‘Mediocrity may not burn as bright as a firecracker, but it seldom blows up in your face.’ But the old woman never advised her on what to do when a sexy new neighbor stokes the flames of attraction.

October 7th is also the release date for Wicked Hot Reads, featuring Shoshanna Evers, Cathryn Fox, and Sarah Makela.

wicked hot readsSynopsis…

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by NYT & USA Today bestseller Shoshanna Evers: The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…

Knocking on Demon’s Door by NYT & USA Today bestseller Cathryn Fox: When Michelle discovers what’s really going on at the resort, will her trust in a demon turn her in to one of the missing, or will he save her from the real monsters?

The Wolf Who Played With Fire by NYT & USA Today bestseller Sarah Mäkelä: Mia’s mistakes have forever changed the lives of those close to her, but when her soldier boyfriend, Ethan, goes missing on duty, she harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

Fallen Ever After by NYT & USA Today bestseller A.C. James: Arie wanted Holly from the very first moment he met her, but the long-standing feud between the faeries that run the Chicago Crew puts Holly and other fledgling vampires in danger. Can they stop a vampire-fae war that’s been brewing for nearly a century?

Bared to Him by NYT & USA Today bestseller Jan Springer: Human by day, and a tentacle shapeshifter by night, sexy Gray Wagner, is the last male that Miranda Bolton dreams of falling in love with, until she begins to fantasize about all the naughty things he can do to her…

A Mate’s Bite by USA Today bestseller Milly Taiden: After an explosive night of passion, Karla is sure she’s a one-night stand for the man she’s wanted for years, but Nate has marked Karla. Only true love and a wolf’s promise can hold together a relationship created with a bite and a hope for tomorrow.

Archangel Rafe by Lisa Hughey: Angelina’s only respite from her overwhelming life is in her dreams with a stunningly hot angel, but when an unexpected threat puts both the Angelic Realm and Earth in jeopardy, Angelina will need to accept her destiny before it’s too late…

Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan: Rescued from a prison for magic users, Kiarra is now a wanted criminal and must rely on a mysterious Brit to help her evade capture. Before long, her handsome rescuer becomes much more than just her trainer…

Mark of the Serapath by Titania Ladley: After a catastrophe unleashes Josie’s Serapathian witch magic, she suspects her sexy, mysterious lover is a Kynthian vampire ordered to kill all Serapaths. Despite the risks, passion explodes between them, threatening the future of the entire world.

Dragon’s Honor by Mina Carter: Bodyguard duty. Undercover. As human. Simple. Until shadow-dragon Baron realizes the woman they’re protecting is his mate. Add in a crazy warlock…and Baron might have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

And yet another October 7th release is Alpha Immortals, featuring Kate Perry, Michelle Rowen, and Stella Cameron.

alpha immortalsSynopsis…

They’re strong, seductive, and supernaturally sexy badboys. Now, in this special box set of seven sizzling novels, meet the hottest immortal beings in this world-or any other . . .

TEMPTED BY FATE by Kate Perry: Pursued by a relentless evil, Willow seeks help from San Francisco’s most dangerous detective.

FANGED & FABULOUS by Michelle Rowen: Made into a vampire by the worst blind date ever, Sarah now finds her sizzling-hot, fanged friend Quinn trying to turn her self-defense lessons into make-out sessions.

DARKNESS BOUND by Stella Cameron: A werewolf who fights his animal nature, Niles prowls the woods to stop an ancient evil-and to find the woman who stirs his primeval lust.

DARK AWAKENING by Kendra Leigh Castle: Shapeshifting vampire Tynan is ordered to find a human Seer with the power to secure victory for his clan. But when he has Lily in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he’s never known.

RENEGADE by Nancy Northcott: Top sheriff Valeria must hunt down Griffin, a traitor trained in dark magic. But when the fugitive mage suddenly risks his life to save the beautiful cop, both will find themselves running for their lives.

THE LOST by Caridad Piñeiro: When paranormal enemies hunt Adam for his lethal gifts, he must escape with Bobbie, a sexy woman who makes him feel more human than he ever imagined.

SEX & THE IMMORTAL BAD BOY by Stephanie Rowe: Cursed by Satan, Paige will lose her soul unless she can convince shadow warrior Jed to sneak her past the pearly gates.

Which of these will you be trying out? I can’t believe how popular these collections are becoming, and I am really going to have to try and keep an eye out for more of these listings.

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?

Darynda Jones on Sale!

DarkDeadlyDivine-DJBlackFinal-2

Just another quick post to let everyone know that the first five books from the Charley Davidson series from Darynda Jones are all available over at Book Outlet. Books one and two – hardcover – are only $1.49 each. Three is $4.99, four is $5.99, and five is $6.99. There are paperback versions available, too. It is a good chance to build up the collection if you are new to the series, and the hardcover prices are better than a paperback!

The Darynda Jones sale page can be found HERE

Happy shopping!

Sixth Grave on the Edge Blog Tour…

blog tourWicked Scribes is one stop on the Darynda Jones Sixth Grave on the Edge Blog Tour. Since it was chosen as May’s Book of the Month, it has already been done as a giveaway, so Doug Meeks kindly offered to do up a spoiler-free review. And, as an added bonus, there is an excerpt, too.

sixth graveWhat Doug said…

“What can you say about these books, they are high on entertainment in all aspects. The mix of humor and action is amazing coupled with a host of characters you love to see, what’s not to love.

Once again Charley is messing in places she probably should not be messing, she is playing matchmaker, researching Reyes background, trying to get a prophesy interpreted (not to mention a well endowed ghost of a dead guy who does not talk in her car). All in a day’s work for Charley the reaper.

While this installment in the series has a LOT of very serious things happening, it may be the one I laughed the most while reading (including those little tidbits at the start of each chapter).

We find out a lot more about Reyes background and we add yet another recurring character to the series it looks like. Can’t be sure about his motives but he does come in handy and lest I forget, the last 2-3 pages will throw you for a loop. Enjoy reading, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.

The romance with Reyes is stepping up a notch, people breaking into her apartment (she really needs a security system by now), people threatening her life, this book has a bit of everything. I loved it so I have to give it 5 Stars for chaotic entertainment at its best.”

I already have my shelf-space cleared out for this one, and have my eye on Seventh Grave and No Body, which is due out on October 21st. And now, for an extra treat, an excerpt from the first chapter was included in the media kit I was sent. And since I like to share…

Chapter One

A blank is the only thing I draw well.

T-shirt

          “A girl, a mocha latte, and a naked dead man walk into a bar,” I said, turning to the naked dead man sitting in my passenger’s seat. The elderly naked dead man who’d been riding shotgun in my cherry red Jeep Wrangler, aka Misery, for two days now. We were on a stakeout. Sort of. I was staking out a Mr. and Mrs. Foster, so I was definitely on a stakeout. No idea what Naked Dead Man was on. Considering the fact that he looked about 112, probably blood thinners. Cholesterol medication. And, judging from the state of his manhood, which I couldn’t stop seeing every single time I turned toward him, Viagra. If I were to hash-tag that moment, my status would read something like #impressed.

I gave him two thumbs up, then looked back at the house again, happy to be sitting in Misery. The Jeep, not the emotion. I’d just picked her up from the car hospital two days earlier. She’d had several surgeries to fix her broken girlie bits because a raving lunatic rammed into her. He’d knocked her into a state of mangled disrepair and me, as I was in the driver’s seat at the time, into a state of oblivion. I stayed in that state long enough for Mr. Raving Lunatic to cart me off to a deserted bridge to kill me. He failed and died in the process, but Misery had paid a high price for his nefarious machinations. Why did bad guys always try to hurt the ones I loved?

And this one had succeeded. Misery was hurt. Bad. No one wanted to work on her. Said she couldn’t be saved. Said to give her over to the scrap yard. Thankfully, a family friend with a body shop and a few incriminating photos, which just happened to have found their way into my possession, agreed with great reluctance to try.

Noni kept her for two long weeks before calling to tell me that he’d almost lost her a couple of times, but she’d pulled through with flying colors. When I got the green light to go pick her up, I tore out of my apartment so fast, I left a dust trail behind me, along with a flummoxed best friend, who’d been telling me about the couple in 3C. They were apparently newlyweds, if their energy to do it—her words—all night every night was any indication. I hurried back to her, however, because I didn’t have a car and I needed a ride.

When we picked up Misery, Noni tried to tell me everything he’d had to do to her to get her up and running, but I held up a hand to stop him, unable to bear it. This was Misery he was talking about. Not some random Wrangler off the streets. This was my Wrangler. My best friend. My baby.

Holy cow, I needed a life.

I had to hand it to Noni, though. Misery was good as new. Better than I was, anyway. Ever since that night, I’d been having problems sleeping. I suffered from debilitating nightmares that left me screaming into my pillow, and I jumped every time someone dropped a feather.

But at least Misery was okay. Like, really okay. It was weird. Her cough was gone. Her sluggish response time was no longer an issue. Her reluctance to wake up in the mornings as she sputtered in protest every time I tried to fire all engines was nonexistent. Now she started on the first try, no groaning or whining, and she purred like a newborn kitten. How Noni had managed to fix her insides as well as her outsides I’d never know, but the guy was good. And Noni was my new best friend. Well, after Misery. And Cookie, my real best friend. And Garrett, my kind of, sort of best friend. And Reyes, my. . . my . . .

What was Reyes? Besides the dark and sultry son of evil? My boy toy? My love slave? My 24/7 booty call?

No.

Well, yes.

He was all those things, but he was also my almost-fiancé. All I had to do was say yes to the proposal he’d written on a sticky note, and he would be my fiancé for reals. Until then, however, he was my almost fiancé.

No, my soon-to-be fiancé.

No! My nigh fiancé.

Yeah, that’d work.

I turned back to the naked dead man, stuffed a couple of Cheez-Its into my mouth, and confessed my latest sin.

“I’m just kidding,” I said through the crackers, regretting the fact that I’d tempted him and now had no follow-up. No punch line. “I don’t know any ‘girl, mocha latte, dead man’ jokes. Sorry to get your hopes up like that.” He didn’t seem to mind, however. He sat staring straight ahead as always, his gray eyes clouded and watery with age, oblivious of my charm, my clever repartee, and my intellectual wit. He was ignoring me!

It happened.

“Cheez-It?” I offered him.

Cover Lover – Seventh Grave and No Body

Well, and a couple of others, too. But that was a bit too long for the title. But Seventh Grave! From Darynda Jones, which will be released on October 21st.

seventh graveNext up is the paperback re-release cover for Shelly Laurenston‘s second Pride book, The Beast in Him. I like the new feel for these covers, I must say, and you can get your hands on this one on September 2nd.

the beast in himBeth Cato‘s The Clockwork Dagger, a new fantasy romance, will be released on September 16th.

the clockwork daggerOn the young adult side, this next cover is the second book of the Goddess War series from Kendare Blake. Mortal Gods will out on October 14th.

mortal godsAnd I was a bit bummed by this last one. I bought the first two books from Lish McBride‘s Necromancer series purely based on the epic covers (and they are beauties), but this cover for the third book is…meh. Anyways, Firebug will be released on September 23rd.

firebugJust for fun, I thought I would post the first two Necromancer covers to show you the difference…and they are shiny, too. Book one is called Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.

hold me closer necromancerAnd book two is Necromancing the Stone. Still shiny, too.

necromancing the stoneDefinitely not a step up in the third book, but hopefully the paperback version will switch over to this design.

What are you most excited for? Mine is Seventh Grave, which probably isn’t a huge shock for most.

Charley Davidson Free Stories…

presentAs I was doing my bi-weekly author page updates, I found a treat from Darynda Jones. I don’t know how I missed it, but she has upped two short stories from her Charley Davidson series – or one story from two points of view, rather. A rather spicy Christmas scene from both Charley’s and Reyes’ POVs. As usual, they are both fun and hot…but there is a spoiler if you haven’t yet read Fifth Grave Past the Light.

Charley’s side of things is called Shimmer…HERE
Aaand Reyes’ is called Glow…HERE

From the Author Pages…

Just a couple of quick little bits I found while updating the author pages and new release pages the last couple of days…

  • The fifth and final Jennifer L. Armentrout Lux book, Opposition, will be coming our way this August, and it looks like there will be a bit of a change in cover design. Gone are the two trademark models who have been on all of the covers so far – they are popping up on more and more covers of late, and so the Armentrout team has decided to go in a new direction. They will also be re-releasing the first four Lux books (with the new cover design) in two duologies. Lux: Beginnings (Obsidian and Onyx) and Lux: Consequences (Opal & Origin) will be out on June 3rd.
  • After a couple of years of suffering some health issues, Christine Feehan seems to be back up to speed (and then some). She is gearing back up to a four book a year schedule, and maybe even five. Right now, she has Dark Wolf on January 7th, then the third Sisters of the Heart book, Air Bound, on May 27th. Dark Blood will be out in September, and she has already written the next two (!) Sisters of the Heart books, Earth Bound and Fire Bound. Right now, she is working on a Ghostwalker book (and it sounds like it is Wyatt Fontenot’s story).
  • Good news from Darynda Jones, too. There will be another Charley Davidson book released on October 21st, called Seventh Grave and No Body.
  • I don’t know why, but I sort of had it in my head that Reaver was the end of the line for Larissa Ione‘s Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series. Nope. Revenant (featuring Revenant and Blaspheme) will be out late next winter.
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s next Belador book will be called Demon Storm, and it will be released sometime in 2014.
  • A while back, I had re-rumored that the next Thea Harrison Elder Races book was to be Graydon’s. That is what I like to call…WRONG. In a surprise twist, the hero of the upcoming Night’s Honor will be Xavier del Torro (Nightkind king Julian’s right hand man). Look for it sometime next year, as well.
  • And finally, next December, Eileen Wilks will release World of the Lupi #11, which will be called Unbinding.

So, that about wraps that up. Any of them on your must buy list?

From the Author Pages…

I just want to start this post by saying thanks. Many of you have been sending me e-mails and leaving comments about the site, and I much appreciate you taking the time to drop a line. I plan on FINISHING adding the recommendations to the 101 Series page this set of days off – what is taking so long is the fact that I suck at trying to summarize a whole series into a paragraph. Especially one I haven’t read myself.

Oh, the character guides are pretty much up to date now. I am only behind on adding Endless Knight (up next), Archangel’s Legion (hopefully by next week), and Kinked (haven’t gotten my copy yet). I am also still plugging away on the Fever Series guide, but not in a rush since Burned was pushed back to July. And PhoenixFyre is working on both of J.R. Ward’s series, which is a huge undertaking.

There are a few random tidbits that came up from updating the author pages, too. For example, the blurb was released for the second book of Cynthia Eden‘s upcoming Phoenix Fire series, Once Bitten, Twice Burned.

once bitten twice burnedSynopsis…

Blood–And Lust

Ryder Duncan keeps his secrets. With a twisted scientist starving him in a 10 x 12 cell, it’s not easy to conceal the abilities that set him apart from other vampires, or his plans for escape. But survival–and revenge–are worth waiting for. Until the so-called doctor tempts his appetites with something special: a woman, with a soft Southern accent and a scent like flowers. Sabine.

Sabine Acadia didn’t volunteer to be dinner. She was kidnapped and tossed into the cage of a monster. A monster with fierce green eyes, a body that speaks of ruthless power–but a touch gentle as a caress. Ryder knows things about her, secrets Sabine needs to learn fast. Because while they might soon escape this prison, she’s fighting an urge to set all her desires free. . .

Oh, and the synopsis for Charley Davidson #6 from Darynda Jones also went public last week. Sixth Grave on the Edge is due out on May 20th.

sixth graveSynopsis…

Few things in life can come between a grim reaper and her coffee, but the sexy, sultry son of Satan is one of them. Now that Reyes Farrow has asked for her hand, Charley Davidson feels it’s time to learn more about his past, but Reyes is reluctant to open up. When the official FBI file of his childhood abduction lands in her lap, Charley decides to go behind her mysterious beau’s back and conduct her own investigation. Because what could go wrong?

Unfortunately, another case has fallen into her lap—one with dangerous implications. Some very insistent men want Charley to hunt down a witness who is scheduled to testify against their boss, a major player in the local crime syndicate. If Charley doesn’t come up with an address in 48 hours, the people closest to her will start to disappear.

Add to that a desperate man in search of the soul he lost in a card game, a dogged mother determined to find the ghost of her son, and a beautiful, young Deaf boy haunted by his new ability to see the departed as clearly as he sees the living, and Charley has her hands full. The fact that Reyes has caught on to her latest venture only adds fuel to the inferno that he is. Good thing for Charley she’s used to multi-tasking and always up for a challenge…especially when that challenge comes in the form of Reyes Farrow.

Gena Showalter has announced the title of her third White Rabbit Chronicles book, too. The Queen of Zombie Hearts will be out in September 2014. That will be followed by Torin’s Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Touch, in November. Torin, Torin, Torin. Please let this one be good. Please…

Of course, after I had posted this update, I then came across the blurb for the next Sisters of the Heart book from Christine Feehan. Air Bound will be released on May 27th.

Synopsis…

For as far back as she can remember, Airiana Ridell has always been aware of her extraordinary gift. She can intuit revealing and illuminating ‘patterns’ in the air around her-whether in a spray of mist, in billowing clouds, or in the dense swirls of an impenetrable fog. Her abilities led to her placement in a secret government training facility when she was a child, but everything changed after her mother was murdered.

Airiana fled the program, but she couldn’t outrun the desperate members of a shadowy cabal who want her, who need her, who will kill to get her. Kidnapped and held aboard a ship bound for dangerous seas, her only chance for rescue is Maxim Prakenskii. He has his reasons for helping her, but he isn’t about to reveal them to Airiana. Not yet. Not as the two are drawn together as moth to flame. Not when there are so many secrets yet untold that could shatter the quaint community of Sea Haven and all who reside there…

I am still haunting Ilona Andrews‘ blog for snippets of their new Avon series, and a new brief one was released today. I am ridiculously excited for this (especially based on a couple of snippets, but it looks damn good), but that doesn’t mean I have forgotten Kate. The blurb for Magic Breaks is out…and it sounds great too.

magicbreaksSynopsis…

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

I know there was a bit of confusion about the Elemental Assassin series from Jennifer Estep. I had heard questions of whether the upcoming tenth book, The Spider, would be the last. Turns out there will be at least two more books, with Poison Promise being released next June 24th.

Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s great The Covenant series recently ended with the release of Sentinel (I haven’t read it yet, because if I don’t read it, it isn’t done. Simple logic). She is also wrapping up the even better Lux series next year, but we have a new series to look forward to. The title of the second full book in her upcoming The Dark Elements series has been released, and it looks like Stone Cold Touch will be out sometime next fall.

I haven’t been able to track down much J.R. Ward info lately, but it does appear that the sixth Fallen Angels book is in the works. Immortal should be out next September or October, if she holds to her current release schedule.

Just today I found a new listing for Kresley Cole over on Amazon called Dark Skye. This pre-order link shows a release date of August 5th, and as a 384 page hardcover book, that can only mean IAD. Which can only mean Lanthe and Thronos…which can only mean almost a year to wait.

Lara Adrian‘s next Midnight Breed book, Crave the Night, has been pushed back quite a ways. Originally slated for a February 25th release, it is now being listed for August 5th. Nearly 6 months, which is a bummer.

There was a Q&A session with Nalini Singh on Facebook recently, and she has stated that she thinks the next Guild Hunter book will feature Ashwini and Janvier (thanks to Lidy who pointed it out, too). I do love me some Janvier and Ash, and you just know their story will be a great addition to the series. From what Nalini said, there will be some overlap between the events in their book and Archangel’s Legion, so we may get a ground-level take on the huge battle. And more Nassir. Nice. And as a bonus, she said there is a good chance the next Psy/Changeling book after Shield of Winter will be about Aden (and Alice. I swear it is).

That about wraps it up. Anything catch your eye? What are you most looking forward to heading into 2014?