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.

J.R. Ward Spoiler Zone…

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I wasn’t sure about the etiquette of posting this, but I figure as long as I link back to the original Facebook source it should be ok? J.R. Ward did a signing in Cincinnati recently, and she dropped some spoilers about the BDB, Fallen Angels…and maybe something new on the horizon. Consider yourself warned….

Spoilers be ahead! Final Warning!

This is a transcript of what seems to be a Q&A session…and it sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Cincinnati Q&A April 5, 2014

Q: So what’s the next book?
A: The Shadows….and it’s about Trez and iAm…but, even better, guess who’s coming home???? MURHDER!!!!

Q: What’s going on with Selena?? What’s wrong with her joints???
A: She has a disease of the Chosen.

Q: Can they fix it?? What’s the disease???
A: Why would you read the book if I told you about it? (It’s genetic, but you’ll find out more in the book!)

Q: The Queen of the Shadows is pregnant. Who’s the father?
A: The father is s’Ex.

Q: Are Rhage and Mary going to have a baby?
A: I know the answer but…Keep reading!!! Can’t say but wouldn’t surprise me if it came soon!

Q: Could you provide pronunciations of the words.
A: Ok, you ready? F-*-C-K is F*ck…

Q: Is there anything you’d like to know from us??
A: Yeah, is Kentucky going to lose in the final four?

Q: Can you include a family tree?
A: Yeah that would be a good project…Wrath…son of Wrath…baby daddy Wrath….baby daddy Wrath…

Q: What’s going on with the Scribe Virgin?
A: She needs something to re-engage her. It wouldn’t be a surprise if she just came back to only to date Des…(laughter..nudge, nudge Desmond Hall…)

Q: Will we get another Insider’s Guide.
A: Right now, I’m so hot-to-trot to get the next three books…and I know who they are about, they’re so clear…But I would definitely like to do another one, it’s just the timing.

Q: Can the boss lady leave (JR’s publisher was here and put the gag on certain Qs)
A: Laugh…sorry, Kara…

Q: I love Xcor!!!
A: Xcor is wrapped around Layla’s finger.

Q: Will JM ever know he’s Darius.
A: No, it would de-stabilize the world. I get asked that a lot. But I don’t think so…

Q: One of the next three books, would it be Payne’s story??
A: Honey, that’s been done. I think it was called…Lover Unleashed?? (Laughter)

Q: I think I’m the only one that cares, but…are you going to write a novella about the symphaths in that little camp?
A: Oh, no the symphaths are going to be trouble in the future.

Q: When’s my boy (John Matthew) going to become a Brother?
A: The timeline is a funny thing…it’s hard to show things that happen at the same time. The timelines get wonky sometimes. Tohr’s book was an entire year. Some books only take like…ten days. I think there needs to be something extraordinary that happens to get more Brothers in…that’s what she said…

Q: What about the lie with Vishous???
A: Oh, God…that again… and my editor said, if you put that in the book, you’ll be asked about that over and over…and she’s right…but I’m not answering…

Q: I have a shoe covered in parts of V’s book…
A: Oh my God that’s so cool…

Q: You killed off my favorite character. (Wellsie)
A: I don’t kill people off. I really don’t have control over the stories or the characters. I knew from day one that she was going to die.
Oh..sh!t…you’re not talking about Wellsie???(laughter) (Reader suggests a Darius prequel.) Hey..that’d be a good idea.

Q: Darius merchandise?
A: Lucy Campbell…you’re fired…(and Lu begged for her job and promised merch by Tuesday) LOL

Q: Also…prequels for all Brothers (AND FRITZ!!!)
A: That might be a good idea!

Q: Fan brought a Kentucky Wildcat pillow pet because JR lost the bet when UK beat Louisville.
A: JR had a pic taken holding the blue-and-white pillow.

Q: Is Doc Jane rooting for the UK Wildcats?
A: Yes.

Q: Is Boo bonded to iAm???
A: (and JR does a selfie of the crowd before answering…) Absolutely. One of my favorite lines in the books was, “Goddamn cat”. And Fritz saying, we don’t have seafood in this house. And I know where you’re going with this…no, iAm is NOT banging the cat…geez…The reason the next book is called The Shadows is because iAm gets his HEA, too. iAm gets banged. (Lots of inappropriate comments related to cats…er…edited for good taste lol)

Q: Is the Lassiter part of the FA world.
A: Lassiter was awesome was he not? He’s firmly in the BDB world.

Q: Last year you said Boo was not exactly a cat. What is he exactly?
A: You’ll find out…maybe

Q: Is Immortal the last FA book.
A: Yes. There is something after but what we might find is how the FA and BDB intersect.

Q: What was the most emotional part of the book for you?
A: When Beth went into labor… (there were some tears and curse words for making JR teary) And there are some things that are hard, like going back to Z’s story. I want there to be more for him, but I don’t know what there is…

Q: In the Insiders’ Guide there’s the scene about Phury and Aghony, will we get to see Aghony? (Phury’s child not father.)
A: Oh yeah, we will see Aghony. He’s adorable. I don’t do well writing girls. Dudes are my strength. So, here’s the thing, I’m not as interested in writing women…one of the challenges I have is writing about the Chosen when someone ends up with one of them, because they were raised in a cult environment. A lot of these women are, because of years of a specific role, they’re penned it. So, one of my challenges is to show that there’s more to them. Like, Selena has a distinct path from Layla, who has a distinct path from Cormia. So, I’d like to show that Cormia has her own path and has things of value. I’d like to show Cormia, and Phury and Aghony. But I feel like showing the women’s strengths is hard for me.

Q: When you were here last year, you told us a little secret about Tohr and Xcor…
A: I did? What did I say? (That they’re brothers…) I did??? I forgot that…. (Laughter from crowd at JR’s forgetting she’d spilled those beans…) That will be coming out soon. The way Xcor and Layla’s situation is maturing, that’ll come to a head. (Q: What is it?) I know, but I’m not telling. But yes, Murhder is coming back in the next book.

Q: Is Michael from The Story of Son going to come into the BDB world?
A: I could see how but it wouldn’t be any time soon.

Q: What’s your favorite sex scene?
A: I don’t really have one. It’s very voyeuristic. I don’t wanna see it but I do…

Q: In the King, does iAm end up with Abalone’s daughter?
A: She’s lovely. Nice try, but no. (Laughter)

Q: What happens when someone dates a Brother’s daughter?
A: I’d love to see that.

Q: What about Saxton? Does he have an HEA?
A: Yes, you’ve met him. And no, it’s not iAm. iAm ends up with a chick, and Saxton ends up with a guy.

Q: Does Lash come back.
A: Yes…and he gets a girlfriend…and it’s Devina. (Room goes crazy)

Q: Will you go back and do snippets for each Brother.
A: I was just talking to my editor about wanting to do more slices of life. The series needs to move or it dies. But it is something I’d like to do, to show small pieces of the Brothers’ lives.

JR introduced another writer, Laura Kay, and talked about her book.

Q: About your writing method…do you have dreams about the stories?
A: I’m blonde, I’m not very smart….it comes through me, I write it down, I give it to my editor…(someone behind the questioner said… “I do”…laughter from room) (JR spoke about being in the zone while running, and using that time to write in her head, and see the stories from different perspectives.) So it becomes like a sense memory, and it’s not really a dream. It’s kind of like that, but with a rewind function. “Wrath is naked…Wrath is naked…Wrath is naked…I love my job…I love my job…” So, it’s like a dream, but it downloads more like movies.

Q: So was the lie because you saw something different than V saw?
A: The reason he hates my a$$ is because I didn’t tell everything I saw.

Q: What about the foremen and his family?
A: Wasn’t he lovely? His family and he were just lovely.

Q: Did Tohrment get his HEA?
A: Tohrment did get his HEA that was he was supposed to. He was meant to be with Autumn.

Q: Will we see more of Qhuinn’s brother Lucas? What’s the deal with him?
A: We will see more of him. Yes, he will get better, but he has a long road.

Q: If Wrath were to die, would Butch be the next in line (to the throne)?
A: Yes, Butch would be the next in line under the old ways. But that’s not the way we do it anymore.

Q: Blay and Qhuinn: do they have endearments for each other, like the other Brothers?
A: I would say, “Bend over” and “Drive.”

Q: Why did they notify V about Payne’s fighting Wrath, rather than Manny?
A: I would say it’s like someone from a foreign country. Manny is not from this context, so, it was V who would take it harder and take it personally, as an insult.

Q: Where are the Hos…er…Chosen????
A: The Chosen go between the Great Camp and the Sanctuary. (Why??) Because they can. (Laughter)
There are number of areas that are floating out there: The Chosen are one, the future of the training program is another. In the next few books, I’m hoping we’ll find out.

Q: What is Assail?
A: He is one hot mother*cker. (Hoots.) He’s a drug dealer. He’s a full-fledged vampire.

Q: Besides Laura Kay, are there other authors you’d like to read?
A: I have a hard time reading fiction now, but I do love Darynda Jones. I’m a big Suz Brockmann fan, for forever. Karen Marie Moning is tremendous. Christine Feehan is another one. Charlaine Harris is another one I love. Though, when I met Charlaine H Harris, and she looks like this kindly grandmother, and I was like…OMG, you write this s!it???

Q: Xcor and Throe, will there be a knockdown, drag out, fight between them?
A: When I met Throe, I thought he was such a good guy, but the more I get to know him…I think he has some bad juju. He’s beginning to make my skin crawl. At the end of the King, Xcor was softening. But Throe is ramping up.

Q: Is there a reason the Bloodletter doesn’t have a bloodline written?
A: It’s because they’re all such assholes…Well, okay, there’s always a reason for everything. The coffins in the garage, Boo…there’s always a reason, I just don’t know what it is.

Q: After you wrap up the Angels, will we get two books a year?
A: Nope…they’re exhausting….the issue is they’re exhausting to write. They’re really complex. I used to write two a year, but I was burning through the world so fast…but there will be another series instead of The Fallen Angels. (Will it be a spinoff?) Nope, because I think that would deconstruct the Brotherhood world. I don’t think I could cleave off parts and compartmentalize that.

Q: So, you have Qhuinn and Blay…will they do the traditional ceremony and get each other’s names on their backs.
A: Or Qhuinn has had Blay…but I think they will, it’s just not important to them.

Q: About JM…how will Wrath give him his scar, since he’s blind?
A: It will work out. JM will definitely have one.

Q: Will Lucas end up with Abalone’s daughter?
A: I don’t know. I know Abalone will hook up with someone, I just don’t know who.

Q: Have we met iAm’s woman?
A: You have not.

Q: Payne was so depleted at the end of Lover Unleashed.
A: She probably has to go to the Otherside to replenish. She’s like a get-out-of-jail free card, but it wouldn’t surprise me that she eventually has to stop.

Q: Is anything going to happen to Havers, cause I wanted to chuck the hell out of him.
A: I wanted to throw my computer after that scene when he treated Layla like a vessel. One of the criticisms of the series is that it’s misogynistic, but I think it’s changed and grown.

Q: My girl Xhex…will we see more of her?
A: I love her. Remember when she rejects JM, and he comes out of the bathroom stall? I love her and would to see more of her, and to see her fight. (How is she going to handle Murhder coming back.) She’s not but JM might skin him.

Q: Is Autumn Throe’s sister?
A: No, but his sister is the lynchpin around which two of your favorite characters spin.

Q: Will we see of Rehvenge and Ehlena?
A: I would love you to see more of Rehvenge and Ehlena.

Q: Is wrath 6’6” or 6”9”
A: He’s 6’9” and I’m dyslexic. (Laughter)

Q: Will there be a movie?
A: I write books not screen plays. If the right deal came along, I would consider it. But my job is to write the books. When you’re lucky like I am, you have to work and focus and do what makes you people like these books. I’m a writer, I’m not very interesting. So, I have to keep my focus on what keeps you liking the books.

Q: Are we going to hear from the glymera?
A: Yes, but they’ve really had their c*ck and b*lls cut, but they really have great ideas (eyerolls) and I’m looking forward to see what they are.

Q: Why didn’t we see that scene between Wrath and Tohr, at the pool house?
A: I know as a writer it’s my job to write but that scene was too personal which I know sounds weird, but I really think that sometimes there are things I can’t show…

Q: What’s the difference between the S’Hisbe, the Moors, and the Shadows?
A: The S’Hisbe, the Moors and the Shadows are all the same. It’s different traditions referring to the same people.

Q: Will the fact that Xcor carved up the lesser have anything to do with José and Butch crossing paths again.
A: Jose and Butch will have closure. So, the one thing that hasn’t happened in the new world is that humans haven’t figured out that vampires exist. There’s a trajectory there that will tie it all together.

Q: Will Manny become a vampire?
A: Manny will never be turned. Payne can keep him young and perma-preserve him, and keep him alive. And the risk of turning is too high.

Q: Can vampires convert a human? If not, how did Butch become a vampire?
A: Butch’s father was a vampire, so it wasn’t turning or converting, it was more like jumpstarting. We don’t know how close a relation to Butch that Manny is…he might be a cousin, or nephew…

Q: Will we ever find out who Manny’s father is?
A: I don’t know, but I hope so.

Q: Can you tell us about Lassiter? Will he fall in love?
A: He will fall in love. We will find out his purpose. It’s in the last scene in Immortal.

Q: I was like hoping that Lassiter would end up with the SV (Scribe Virgin) so V had to call him “Daddy.”
A: (Laughter.) That would almost be worth it.

Q: Are you a WWE (wrestling fan)?
A: Nope.

Q: What about the Brothers’ and a graphic novel.
A: That’s not up to me, but my publisher.

Q: Jane is a ghost. How does she have sex?
A: She remains corporal when she’s touched. (And that’s the clean version, folks…we’re still blushing from that one!)

Q: Who the f*ck was that chick with Wrath…in the beginning of the book?
A: It was his mom, Anha….

Q: What’s in the lockbox?
A: I can’t tell you. I’m not sure if it’s a KR or an “I don’t know.”

Q: Is Wrath’s eyes from inbreeding or because of the poison when his mother was pregnant?
A: I don’t have an answer. The inbreeding makes sense. But I can’t say for sure. When I saw his mother get poisoned, that made sense, too, and I wondered. But Little Wrath doesn’t have that. It’s ironic that Beth being half-breed is what threatened his throne, but is what strengthened the gene pool. (Can Payne heal him?) I’ve never seen Payne anywhere near his eyes, so I don’t think so.

Q: Are you going to tie in the Lessers and the FA series?
A: The Creator in the FA series is the Father of the SV and the Omega.

Q: What happens if the mansion gets raided?
A: The mhis covers the mountain but isn’t as thick at the bottom, and that’s one of the questions I’ve had. And, I think that’s where we’re going.

Q: How did you come up with the barbs on the male symphaths?
A: I didn’t think that sh!t up! That’s just what happened. That’s what he has in his pants! (Were you drunk?) I don’t drink…aren’t you glad? Maybe medication would be a good idea. (Laughter)

Q: Will see more of the O’Banyon brothers?
A: I would love to, but it’s whether I can carve out time for those.

Q: I loved the scene when Wrath’s mother comes to him in the dream. Will he ever get a glimpse of Little Wrath?
A: That was one of my favorite scenes. It was really cool, but really weird. I thought it was so great when he saw his mother. I was wondering if he was going to be preoccupied by whether his offspring would have the eye problems, but that wasn’t the issue at all. I think it would be wonderful for him to see Little Wrath, but I thought there would be an emotional issue if Little Wrath had his eyesight. And he was okay with it, he was all, I’m fine, so I don’t think it’s that important to him.

Q: Does Lassiter end up with a male or a female? And if it’s a male is it Saxton.
A: No, Lassiter likes girls.

Q: Assail is selling drugs to the enemy and contributing to the Lessers. Does that make him the BDB enemy?
A: It’s a difficult situation. He sees it as using the Lessening society for his own purposes. But if sh!t goes down, he’s screwed.

Q: On your website, there are interviews with the Brothers. Would we ever see interviews with the BoB?
A: That would be cool.

Q: Can Xcor get his face fixed?
A: He absolutely can. He feels like, I’m ugly, and I don’t give a f*ck. So I don’t know that it’s his priority.

Q: Authors will have contests where you can auction off the right to have your name in a book.
A: The problem is that’s not how it works for me. The world comes to me as is, so I can’t f*ck with it.

Q: Could we have video of the Q& A.
A: I don’t think that would work because I roam, and they’d have to have multiple cameras following me.

Q: Do the BDB & FA intersect?
A: Yes! The Creator in the FA series is the Father of the SV and the Omega.

Q: What about the twins?
A: I love the twins. I went somewhere very bad. I LOVED Sola’s grandmother. Are you familiar with ghost peppers? Have you seen those Youtube videos about a$$holes who think it’s a great idea to eat them? And their faces go red? One of my favorite scenes is when the twins start eating these things and they have no reaction. And that’s Vovó’s first clue that there’s something weird there. Yeah, I think they’ll have HEAs…but NO! Not the same one!

Q: How far do you see the series extending?
A: The series is open-ended so as long as you want to read and the Brothers’ speak to me, I’ll keep writing!

Q: Will you be back in Cincinnati?
A: As long as my boss doesn’t fire me, and the Millennium will have us back…yes!!!

Q: How do you write the books?
A: I take some verbs, some adjectives, a set of fangs, some chains…a Kleenex box…

Q: Have you ever downloaded a scene that went too far and that you couldn’t write?
A: The Lie, about Vishous, that’s the only one I can think of.

Q: Will we ever find out the relationship between Rehvenge and the Shadows.
A: Yes, absolutely.

Q: Will Lassiter save Eddie.
A: No! (Does Eddie get saved?) You’re going to have to read the book!

Q: Has Layla had her baby yet?
A: You’ll have to read the next book!

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?

April BotM and Giveaway…

giveaway bannerBy what can only be described as a monster margin, you chose J.R. Ward‘s The King as April’s book of the month. I know a lot of people are not fans of the hardcovers, so lets work it like this. If you would like to enter the giveaway, just leave a comment in the comment section. Mention if you would like the hardcover version, or the Kindle edition. I am not quite sure how “gifting” works through Amazon, so if you can hold my hand through the procedure and tell me what to do I will give the e-book format thing a shot (scary). We can see how that goes. If you wish to chose one of the OTHER books from the book of the month poll, that is ok, too.

Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s shut this puppy down, say, Wednesday at midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

the kingSynopsis…

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them.

–Black Dagger Brotherhood reading list HERE

Happy April Fools Day!

Cover Lover – Immortal

October 7th is the release date for the 6th and final book from J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, Immortal. I was expecting 7 books, because of there being 7 deadly sins and all, but looks like I was wrong. Maybe when this series is over, I can finally pull a marathon and read them all.

immortalWhat is your take on the Fallen Angels? How does it stack up to the Black Dagger Brotherhood for you?

The Book Depository…Discount No More

question-markOne of my long winded, probably pointless rants ahead. Be warned.

Way back in probably 2010, I discovered the online book retailer The Book Depository. Not an earth-shattering event for most people, but as one who buys books on a very regular basis, finding a site where there was not only a significant discount but also free shipping was a cause for celebration, especially since I live in Canada. At my usual 7-8 books a week (between my books and those I also buy for my father), the savings was great. In the good old days, the savings was easily $20-25 a week.

Those days are gone.

In 2011, it was announced that Amazon had bought out The Book Depository. I wasn’t happy, but I figured that any changes would be slow in coming. And for the most part, I was right. Pricing stayed low, shipping was fast (and free), and everything seemed to chug along as usual. It was probably around the beginning of 2013 that I started to notice a slow but steady price increase – things went from a standard 25% off, to maybe 20%, to now where it is maybe 10% off, if we are lucky.

For example, take Shelly Laurenston‘s Bite Me. Amazon.ca lists it for $12.24…and the “bargain” Book Depository price is $18.12. Nearly 1/3 more. J.R. Ward‘s The King? Amazon.ca is $16.47. The Book Depository? $27.77…over $10 more. For the once-in-a-while book buyer, it is doable. As a steady book buyer? That hurts. Barnes and Noble does ship to Canada, but with a $3.99 per order and a $2.49 per item charge, it just doesn’t make sense for me, personally. Amazon it is.

This is an older graphic, I know, but I thought it was interesting. It shows the stranglehold Amazon has over not just online book buying, but online shopping in general (click for larger scale)…

amazon's strangleholdHave you found yourself gently herded back to Amazon? Mine was a gradual process, but I can honestly say that I went from buying only a couple of books from Amazon in 2010 to 95% of my purchases being through them today. I do still manage to get my paperbacks from The Book Depository, not because the discount is that great but because the base price seems to be set on the American standard rather than the Canadian, which is quite a bit higher.

For me, the good news is that I had totally forgot about Chapters. I am not sure if they exist outside of Canada, but they have become a viable option for my book buying needs. I had bought from them years ago, before the Book Depository, and when I dusted off their website I discovered that they price themselves the same as Amazon. I have decided to not buy from Amazon wherever possible. Am I boycotting? No. I just would like to have a viable alternative. Now I just have to hope Amazon doesn’t notice and buy them, too.

Where do you buy the bulk of your books? Or at least those of you who still are on the dead tree bandwagon, like me. Have you found another way to get your fix, or does Amazon meet all of your needs?

 

Reading Roundup…

bookWell, while I didn’t manage to keep my three-books-a-week pace up for this week, I still consider it a major, major win. That is because I finally made it through a monster book that has been uneasily sitting on the top of the TBR mountain…Lover at Last. Potential Spoilers ahead…

Lover at Last – Good lord, I have a complicated relationship with this latest one from J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood. The thing is, as much as I have been invested in the series over the years, a male/male story has never really interested me, and that is pretty much why it took me almost a year to get to it. Once I started, though, I dove back into the world pretty quickly and found myself quite involved with the story.

The thing is, though, that the long-awaited Qhuinn and Blay story ends up playing such a small role in the book overall that sometimes it was hard to remember that it was actually their book. I have always been a Qhuinn fan, and he did steal every scene he was in, but there were so, so many other threads and storylines going on that it almost got hard to keep track of. I actually had to write them down to keep track of what was going on. There was Blay and Saxton, Qhuinn and Layla and her pregnancy, Layla and Xcor, Xcor and the Bastards, Assail and the Lessers, Assail and Sola, Trez and his destined mate, Trez and Selena, and the return of Luchas. Add onto that the starting of Wrath and Beth’s next storyline, and it was a very full book. It wasn’t one that you breezed through, for sure, and I found myself liking some parts more than others.

I enjoyed Qhuinn coming to terms with who he is, but I found Blay a bit of a non-entity. Layla was more of a nuisance (until her last scene with Xcor), and Xcor and the Bastards just slowed things down. The whole drug-angle with Xcor/Lessers/Assail seemed a bit pointless, too. I did really enjoy Assail and Sola’s story – I think for me it was one of the highlights of the book. Trez’s angle definitely has potential, and I found myself very much liking the Shadows. Another highlight for me was the Brotherhood itself. The original gang played a large part in the story, and I realized I had missed V, Butch and the gang. I was especially happy to see Phury back as not only as the Primale, but as a full part of the Brotherhood. I thought he got a raw deal being shuffled off to deal with the Chosen, but he was very much a full Brother again in Lover at Last, and that made me happy.

After having read this one, I do have questions about featuring Wrath and Beth again in the next book. At where it stands now, to me it would make more sense to go either the Xcor/Layla, Assail/Sola, or Trez/Selena route. Wrath and Beth feels like a step back rather than ahead. Although, if The King follows the path of Lover at Last, all of the other storylines will get more than their share of time. In summary, after wimping out for months, I was glad I finally got around to Lover at Last. It was a bit of a roller-coaster, with both highs and lows, but things were never, ever boring.

Howling for You (novella) – This Chicagoland Vampires e-novella featured Jeff Christopher and Fallon Keene, and the shifter side of things. I enjoyed this fast little read, and I would love to see more from the shifter world. Jeff has always been a favorite, and I was glad to get to know him a bit better. He has always been the sweet, geeky nerd, but here we also get to see the strong, lethal predator he is. I was expecting to see at least a cameo from Merit and company, but this story was vampire-free. You don’t miss anything vital to the series if you don’t pick this one up, but it is a fun addition to Chloe Neill‘s world.

So, what did you read this week? Anything exciting? What did you think of Lover at Last and Howling for You?

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?

Pick of the Week…

Another week, another book I am looking forward to. I have read the first three Dragonfury books from Coreene Callahan, and as I have said before  they have a very strong early Black Dagger Brotherhood vibe (which is not a bad thing, at all). I would say that if you were a fan of the first books in J.R. Ward‘s mega-series, you would probably enjoy Fury of Desire, too.

fury of desireSynopsis…

Of all of the warriors in the Nightfury pack, none is more complicated or more damaged than Wick. Emotionally scarred from a childhood of slavery and torture, Wick can barely stand the touch of another person. But all bets are off when he meets newcomer J.J. Solares. When J.J. is unjustly imprisoned, Wick agrees to help rescue and return her to the family fold. But Wick lives a life of self-imposed isolation, even among his beloved brothers in arms. Venturing into the world to seek justice for J.J. may be more than he can bear.

Meanwhile J.J. fights for her life at the hands of brutal prison guard Griggs. When she winds up in the hospital she sees no hope for things getting better. But events take a dramatic turn when she and Wick encounter each other. The connection they share is unlike anything either has felt before. J.J. believes she is hallucinating when she sees the majestic dark-haired god sweep in to save her, and Wick is shaken to his core by the attraction he feels for J.J. For the first time in his life, he finds himself wanting to get close to a woman.

After J.J.’s rescue, the two retire to Wick’s mountain home, where J.J. recovers from physical injury while attempting to help Wick recover from his emotional ones. But neither is out of harm’s way yet. And when they find themselves in the center of a Dragonkind war, they are forced to make the ultimate choice between surrendering to their fears or each other’s love.

Any other fans of the Dragonfury books? Did you get the Ward vibe like I did, and what did you think of it?