November Wrap Up…

This might be a couple of days early, but since things have been so quiet around lately I thought maybe we could take a look back at the month that was.

Personally, November was a truly meh month. There were a couple of highlights, but I spent a good portion of it trying to drag myself through one book. I was too stubborn to give up on it, and too uninterested to keep going. Tricky.

Haunted – This fifth book in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong wasn’t bad. Not really. I just found myself unable to get into it. I don’t think I am  big on the whole ghost thing, I guess, since I found it rather dull. Maybe part of it was because there was so little interaction with the other characters that it read like a stand alone, too. It didn’t have the same feel as the other books for me, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just didn’t work for me here. Now it is time to dive back in and get caught up on the novellas.

Night Shift – To be fair, I am judging this one based on only reading half of the stories (yet), but I thought the Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh novellas in the Night Shift anthology were awesome. I don’t think I could pick a favorite between the two, but secretly I will admit that I was thrilled to finally see a softer side of Jim. This collection ended up being the highlight of my month.

And, other than a couple of random e-books that I don’t even remember the titles of, that was pretty much my pathetic reading for November. I am still waiting for my copy of Gena Showalter‘s The Darkest Touch and G.A. Aiken‘s new one, Light My Fire, but hopefully they will could towards a great December.

How did your November reading fare? Any standouts, either good or bad, surprises or excitements?

 

Pick of the Week…

Even though I couldn’t wait for my copy of Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews‘ new release, Night Shift, so I actually decided to order a copy through Kindle (and waited up until 4:00 am so I could read it), I am going with something different for my pick of the week. Getting Jim and Dali and Bastien stories in the same anthology is a real treat, but I think getting Torin’s Lords of the Underworld series is going to just edge it out for this post. Strangely enough, Gena Showalter hasn’t upped any info about upcoming Lords stories, which makes me wonder if she is going to concentrate on her two new series she is starting up rather than finish up what she already has going. Anyways, my pick is going to be The Darkest Touch

the darkest touchSynopsis…

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.

So, there it is. What did you think of the great books that came out this week? I loved Night Shift, and both Nalini and Ilona delivered. Next up for me is The Darkest Touch…has anyone else given it a shot yet? What did you think of the long-awaited story of Torin?

Whose Story Needs to be Told?

question markAs I was whining to myself annoyingly about Jeaniene Frost still not confirming Ian will have his story told in the Night Huntress World series, it got me to thinking about what characters are due to get their happily ever after already. Some might be in the works, but some are long, long overdue, too.

  • I already said it, but Ian. Seriously. Jeaniene Frost‘s Night Huntress series has wrapped up, both Spade and Mencheres had their stories, and Vlad is getting not just three books, but four. That leaves scene-stealing Ian as odd-man-out, and you just know his story would be a hoot. Definitely time for Ian, and once his story is told I can say that the series is done, but not a moment before.
  • Now I have been complaining epically about this one for what seems like forever, and that is Dallas from Gena Showalter‘s Alien Huntress series (or the spin-off Otherworld Assassin series). Dallas has been, for me, the most interesting one from way back at the start of the series, and he is the last main character left. Gena has said that she would like to write about him, but as of now there is no book in sight. In fact, the Otherworld Assassin series is wrapping up at a trilogy, and Alien Huntress hasn’t been mentioned in forever. And that sucks. Dallas! Dallas! Dallas! I can’t consider the series finished until he has his story told.
  • Dane Vanderale from The Breeds. Now, from what I understand, Lora Leigh has plans to write Dane’s story in the near future, and it is long overdue. His character has been around forever, and it seems with each story he plays an ever-larger role (not to mentioned the constant changes to his backstory, but that is another issue). Cassie is also in need of her story (and I am calling it now, that it is the new assistant director dude, Rhyzan Brannigan, or whatever his name was), but for me it is Dane’s turn.

Ok, those are the three that for me have been left hanging. Not having their stories makes things seem incomplete somehow. Whose story do you think is most overdue, and which ones do you think you have a shot of getting sometime in the future?

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?

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?

Happy Endings and New Beginnings…

Pheonix was kind enough to send me over her notes from the RT book convention about some PNR/UF series that are coming to a close soon, and that got me thinking about who is wrapping up one world, and starting on a new one. It is hard to let go of a favorite series, but when you have something new to look forward to it takes some of the sting out of it.

  • Kim Harrison‘s popular Hollows series is calling it quits with the release of the 13th book, The Witch With No Name, on September 9th. She went on to give a little bit of info on her new project, which will be about a slightly older female heroine, written from the third person point of view. “It’s a twist on what I usually write, and I’m so excited about it,” she added.
  • Larissa Ione is also wrapping up the Demonica/Lords of Deliverance series. She said “I didn’t want to keep adding new characters and I didn’t want to keep adding new sequel bait.” I haven’t seen anything listed after Revenant‘s book, so I wonder if that is the finale? Interestingly, she and Stephanie Tyler are returning to their Sydney Croft ACRO series with a couple of new novellas in the works.
  • P.C. Cast‘s House of Night series is finished this October with the release of Redeemed. No word yet on what is in store after that.
  • Not one but two series from Gena Showalter are wrapping up soon, with both The White Rabbit Chronicles and Otherworld Assassin stories finishing at a trilogy. And she is replacing them with two new series. She has a new four book YA series in the works, and a New Adult Contemporary trilogy + novella called The Original Heartbreakers. The novella will be called The One You Want, and the first full book called The Closer You Are will follow next March. It will be followed by The Hotter You Burn and then The Harder You Fall.
  • Apparently, the publisher has chosen not to go ahead with Cassie Alexander‘s Edie Spence series, so she has turned to a new series called Sleeping With Monsters. This one seems to be a bit more on the steamy side of things. Book one is called The Haunted, and it will be followed by The Hunted in August.
  • We have talked before about J.R. Ward finishing up her Fallen Angels books with the sixth title, Immortal, which is due out this October. Aaand I am still on the hunt for info about the rumored two new series heading our way. More to come on that one.
  • Chloe Neill still has at least three more full books and a novella in her Chicagoland Vampire series, but she is already looking ahead and planning a new series for 2015. No title is available as yet, but a bit of a teaser is out. “After humans overcome a shocking attack by supernaturals centered in the Crescent City—the Second Battle of New Orleans—supernaturals are forced into a walled community known as the District. It’s not good—or safe—to have magic, so Claire Connolly risks everything when she uses her secret magic to protect a friend. Claire quickly learns the world is more complicated than she ever knew . . . and allies are hard to come by.” Interesting…
  • Night Huntress has been done for a few months now, and the end is in sight for Night Prince, but we have Jeaniene Frost‘s New Adult Broken Destiny series to look forward to. The Beautiful Ashes heads our way at the end of August.
  • And Delilah S. Dawson ended her popular Blud series this past January, but has since turned her attention to more stand-alone (and varied) stories. Her YA paranormal Servants of the Storm comes out this August, and a very interesting book called Hit will come out next April. It is an alternate future/romantic suspense mash up where the United States was bought out by a Bank, and those in debt become the hunted. Or the hunters. Hm, like I said, interesting…
  • Oh, and on a positive note, both Kresley Cole and Nalini Singh have confirmed that their IAD and Psy/Changeling series have no end in sight. Nalini has said that the next book, featuring Aden, is the end of the second arc, but a new arc shall begin. Very, very good new indeed.

So, any you can add to the list? Anything new on the horizon from an old favorite?

Cover Lover – The Darkest Touch

Today is Monday. Not yesterday. If that fact would’ve occurred to me yesterday, I would’ve realized that I was a day early for the New Series Alerts post. Stupid extra day off threw my days out of whack. Anyways…

Torin!

Yep, Gena Showalter has released the cover for the next Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Touch, which is due out on November 25th. Torin is my favorite Lord, by far, and I so hope he gets a great story.

the darkest touchYes? No? Don’t care as long as you get the book? I was expecting long hair, but other than that I like it. Love the background.

Pick of the Week…

I know that there has been a bit of a change in the writing of Gena Showalter over the course of her last few books. From what I understand, some changes in her personal life and way of thinking led to a toning down in the steamier aspects of her books, but she has heard her fans and is heading back to more of the style that made her famous. No matter what, I always enjoy the worlds that she creates, and that makes her latest Angels of the Dark book, Burning Dawn, my pick of the week.

burning dawnSynopsis…

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Angels of the Dark tale about a winged warrior renowned for his ruthlessness, and the woman who becomes his obsession….

A tormented past has left Thane with an insatiable need for violence, making him the most dangerous assassin in the skies. He lives by a single code: no mercy. And as he unleashes his fury on his most recent captor, he learns no battle could have prepared him for the slave he rescues from his enemy’s clutches—a beauty who stokes the fires of his darkest desires.

Elin Vale has her own deep-rooted scars, and her attraction to the exquisite warrior who freed her challenges her every boundary. But Thane’s unwavering determination to protect her means she must face her greatest fears—and enter a world in which passion is power, and victory means breathtaking surrender.

What is your pick of the week? Is this one your must read, or has something else caught your fancy?

Cover Lover – 9 New Titles

Usually, when I do a cover lover post, I hope to find at least one that is a stand-out. I didn’t have much luck this time around. There isn’t anything that makes me gag, but then there isn’t much that would make me grab the book off of the shelf to read, either.

First up, we have the second book from the new Chris Marie Green Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series. Another One Bites the Dust will be released on November 4th.

another one bites the dustShona Husk is up next with To Love a King, which is from her Annywn series. It is due out on October 22nd.

to love a kingGena Showalter is re-releasing Tempt Me Eternally in e-format on June 2nd. It is #4.5 of her Alien Huntress series, and it was originally released in the Deep Kiss of Winter duology with Kresley Cole.

tempt me eternallyThe Winter Long, from Seanan McGuire, will be released on September 2nd. It is from her October Daye series.

the winter longThe third book from Sharon Shinn‘s Shifting Circle series, The Turning Season, will be released on November 4th.

the turning seasonJuliette Marillier starts her new Blackthorn and Grim series with Dreamer’s Pool. It is due out on November 4th.

dreamer's poolMolly Cochran revisits her Legacy series with a novella called Wishes. The e-book will be released on April 29th.

wishesJulie Kagawa‘s new YA Talon series gets its start on October 28th with the release of the first book, also called Talon.

talonAnd finally, we have Marie Lu‘s new The Young Elites. It is the first book of the series of the same name, and it is due out on October 7th.

the young elitesWhat do you think? I think that both Talon and The Young Elites are pretty, but they gave me more of a novella cover vibe rather than the first books of much anticipated new series from two successful authors.

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?