Behold…The Beauty of the ARC

Nalini Singh is one of my two absolutely favorite authors, so when I get a surprise package in the mail from her, I get more than a little excited. Once again, I wasn’t expecting it, but today I got the wonderful surprise of an ARC of Archangel’s Shadows. Behold the beauty…

imageThe saddest thing is that I have only read the first 50 pages, but I am already more involved in the story than I have been after 250 pages of Dark Skye.

Cover Lover – Rock Addiction

Word recently broke that Nalini Singh is releasing a New Adult contemporary book called Rock Addiction, which was to be the first book of what was called The Schoolboy Choir series. Well, now it seems the series name has changed to Rock Kiss, and the cover is just now heading our way…

Rock Addiction coverYes? No? No and you are excited anyways? What is your take on Rock Addiction, will you be following Nalini into her new venture? Look for this one in both print and e-format on September 9th.

Adding to the Author Pages…

question markBecause I like to try and keep things interesting, I was wondering who you would like to see added to the author pages? Lorraine mentioned Lynsay Sands, but are there any others you find tricky to keep track of and would like to see organized into their own section?

Also, I have pretty much limited the info on the authors I have already done to cover only their paranormal/urban fantasy series, but would you like it to expand to cover the other genres? For example, Cynthia Eden has added romantic suspense to her works, Kresley Cole has gone to some more erotic types, and Nalini Singh has a New Adult series in the works. Let me know if expanding is something you would find useful, and I will see what comes up.

Monika’s Review…Rock Addiction

review iconI have to admit, I love it when people give me reviews to post, partly because I suck at reviewing myself, partly because I am nosy and I like to get honest opinions on what others are reading without having to search through the masses at Goodreads and Amazon. And when the book in question is from a favorite author, it is even better. Monika sent over a review for the upcoming (and very much a surprise) Rock Addiction from Nalini Singh, which from what I understand is being classed as New Adult.

What Monika said…

Wow, I’m still fanning myself! Nalini Singh succeeds in striking the perfect balance between scorching hot eroticism and sweet romance. The hero is an alpha male with hidden vulnerabilities and the heroine innocent but with an adventureous streak. It’s a case of instant lust and they have intense chemistry but need to come to terms with what it means to have a relationship in the spotlight.

I used to read a lot of romance novels, both historical and contemporary, although these days I am mostly into Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. The Psy/Changeling and the Guild Hunter series range among my favorites and I consider them some of the best writing in the genre, so I was very excited when I discovered the unexpected announcement on Nalini Singh’s blog that she had branched out into contemporary romance. The whole rock music scene is not really my thing, but the blurb sounded very promising and struck a chord with me.

Synopsis: At a party hosted by her publicist half-sister cute librarian Molly Webster comes face to face with Zachary Fox, sex god and lead singer of the famous rock group Schoolboy Choir. She has been fantasizing about him for some time, so when he follows and propositions her, she throws all caution to the winds and decides to indulge in one night of pleasure. Fox has been captivated by her artless and likeable nature, so there is no way he will be satisfied with one night and he proceeds to convince her to give him the whole month he is vacationing with his band in New Zealand. Afraid of the intensity of her feelings and haunted by traumatic events in her childhood Molly nevertheless agrees since she feels she will at least always have the memories of the time she spent with Fox. After the month is up, Fox, who was playing for keeps from the beginning, asks Molly to come back with him to California. Taking the biggest chance of her life Molly leaves her job and her friends behind to be with Fox in his Santa Monica home. Although she can slowly establish herself as a freelance editor and researcher, she has to come to terms not only with beautiful Hollywood actresses dropping by unanounced, but also with pushy groupies groping her man and intrusive papparazzi. Plagued by demons in his own past Fox has a tendency to try to control Molly, and not only inside the bedroom. While on tour an incidence occurs that plays on Molly’s worst fears and that will put their fragile love and trust to the test…

What I didn’t like about it: Nothing against a heroine that is sweet and inexperienced, but a virgin at 24? And then she considers a one-night stand, even if the hero is gorgeous and she’s had a crush on him for the longest time. Also, though probably many (female) readers can identify with Molly, she is a bit ordinary and bland. And I don’t mean only her looks (she is described as pretty), but also her personality and her whole life. To have a gorgeous, sexy, famous hunk fall madly in love with one has at one time or another probably been the secret fantasy of every woman, but even with the suspension of disbelief I find it hard to swallow. So does Molly, actually, and at the beginning of their relationship that is a source of insecurity for her. It wouldn’t be so bad if Fox, in contrast, weren’t so perfect in every way: hero with a tortured past, great body, ribbed, golden skin all over (why does this remind me of a certain cat), sexy voice, talented, great in the sack and loaded. Really, why am I complaining? But he seems just like too much of a good thing. Oh, and the name oft he band “Schoolboy Choir” does so not hit the right note for a supposedly gritty rock band.

What I did like about it: Even though it’s in the “didn’t-like-section” I actually loved Zachary Fox, because who wouldn’t? He is very likable beneath his rough edges and although he is quite controlling and demanding in bed he isn’t too bad outside of it and Molly stands up to him if he tries to be. Recently I have started to read some erotic romance, but disappointingly most of it is written very badly, with inconsistent character development and very repetitive. I would also label “Rock Addiction” erotic romance, but that’s where all similarities end. Nalini Singh is a superb story writer and her main protagonists are well developed. I liked the local color she used for the scenes in New Zealand and Santa Monica. She also finds a good balance between romance, intense emotion and explicit love scene and the narrative has a good rhythm. The sex is intense, with some kink (light and playful bondage). The cast of secondary characters is also well drawn and I’m looking forward to future stories featuring the other band members, Molly’s half-sister Thea and her best friend Charlotte.

If I had to rate this book, it would very much depend on what I compared it to. On its own merit as an erotic romance I would give it five out of five stars, because it’s so well written and by far the best of its genre I’ve read. Compared to Nalini Singh’s PR / UF writing I would only give it 4 stars, because I feel that the complex world building accounts for a large part of the appeal and what I am willing to believe in a story set in a fantasy world it not necessarily the same as in one set in the “real” world. Having said that, I will certainly check out Thea’s and David’s story, which is coming up next.

Rock Addiction will be hitting the shelves on September 9th, and it will be followed by the novella Rock Courtship in October.

That Sneaky Nalini Singh…

So, totally out of left field, Nalini Singh announced a bonus book today – that is due out in SIX WEEKS. Yep, only six weeks to wait. And, it is a contemporary romance with a rock-star hero. Niiice. Rock Addiction will be out in both print and e-book format in September, and there will be at least two more books and two novellas in the series (which is called The Schoolboy Choir). The cover release will be done shortly.

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh stuns with a sizzling contemporary romance…

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

So, yesterday word broke about a contemporary from J.R. Ward, and today it is Nalini’s turn. And the best part? These new books have absolutely no impact on the release schedule for the Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series. It is really a total bonus.

Nalini Talks Psy/Changeling Future…

Some of you may not be as, uh, devoted, to keeping an eye on the blog of Nalini Singh (and Ilona Andrews) as I am. I swear, I only check two or three times a day. So, on my last stalking visit, I found this very informative post on the future of the Psy/Changeling series. It is a must read for fans, and you can find it HERE.

Share your thoughts. I am thrilled to see that there is a plan for the single SnowDancer Lieutenants, since I was worried the storyarcs were moving away from them recently. I have loved the Psy and Silence arc, but I do miss some good old wolf stories, too.

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?

Reader Reaction – Shield of Winter

shield of winterI know it has only been a couple of days since Nalini Singh‘s Shield of Winter was released, but I am pretty sure everyone has dived in by now. I read this one about a month ago, since Nalini was kind enough to send me my very first ARC (advanced reader copy). I was actually going to do a giveaway for the ARC, but I got greedy and kept it (it has its own shelf). And thank god she did, because my hardcover copy is still in the mail. THAT might’ve gotten ugly. Very ugly. I do not wait well. So, without further ado…

“What did you think of Shield of Winter? Vasic has been an intriguing character right from the start, so did you think the story did him justice? How does Ivy rank among your Psy/Changeling heroines?”

 

This one packed a punch. There is a lot going on, but the tone is a bit different than other books. They are all intense, but the stakes in the last couple of books have risen significantly. And while I am notoriously fickle when it comes to the female leads, I loved Ivy. She never gave me a Psy vibe, no hiding behind a cold mask, even though she struggles just as much (or more) as any other of the Psy race does. One of the bonuses for me was because it was Vasic, there was of course more Aden. Following the amazing Heart of Obsidian wasn’t easy, but Nalini pulled it off. Again.

Thoughts? Feelings? Spoiler zone in the comments section, so beware if you haven’t finished it yet…or are still waiting for your copy (like me).

Shield of Winter Giveaway Winner…

winner bannerYep, looks like we are coming in just under the wire for this one. Shield of Winter is released tomorrow, and since this latest from Nalini Singh was chosen as the Book of the Month for June it is also the latest giveway. There were 36 entrants, and the randomly chosen winner (through Random.org) is #27…

Claire Tern

Congratulations, Claire. I will contact you shortly for your info. Thanks to all who took the time to enter.

June BotM and Giveaway

giveaway bannerSurprising precisely no one, I figure, Nalini Singh‘s Shield of Winter was chosen as June’s book of the month. What was a surprise was that it had 132 votes…and Laurell K. Hamilton‘s A Shiver of Light came in second with a total of 10 votes. Heh. Month of Shield is right.

If you are interested in winning a copy when it is released on June 3rd, just leave a comment in the section below.

Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s end this Monday night at midnight (Atlantic time), so you will know before the official release. Good luck!

shield of winterSynopsis…

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness…