Weekly Wrap-Up

booksI was a total, utter failure this week, reading a grand total of zero new books. Nada. I did manage to re-read the very, very short first book of Christine Feehan‘s Drake Sisters series, Magic in the Wind. Keep in mind, that one clocks in at only a little over a hundred pages, so I can barely even count it as a book. But what the re-read did do was really highlight the differences between the “old” Christine Feehan style and the new. I have been joking that Christine is morphing into Lora Leigh, but the tone and the vibe, for want of a better word, between her latter books and the earlier stuff really is different. I can’t say that I disliked the last Ghostwalker or Leopard books, not really, but they just read differently.

So, that was my pretty epic failure of a week. How did yours shape up? What is your take on the “new” Feehan style versus the tried and true stories of old?

Giveaway x 2 Winner

winner bannerIt is time once again to hit Random.org to see who will be the winner of…something. Either Christine Feehan‘s Earth Bound and Jennifer Estep‘s Spider’s Trap. Or one of them and something else. Or just something else. Maybe winner’s choice? Anyways, there were 21 entrants, and the randomly chosen winner was #19…

Jennings Teri

RANDOMCongratulations! I will be contacting you shortly for your info.

July BotM and Giveaway…x 2

giveaway banner

Well, I was so not interested in the polling this month I didn’t even check to see who the winner was until about 5 minutes ago – where I promptly noticed that things had ended up in a tie between Christine Feehan‘s Earth Bound and Jennifer Estep‘s Spider’s Trap.

Huh.

Well, looks like the only solution is to offer both for the giveaway. Or, if you haven’t yet read either one of these series, let me know and maybe we can switch it for the first book of the series rather than trying to jump in at the middle. Or…whichever books you want. Meh, I have no excitement for this one. At all.

Anyways, if you would like to win a copy of Earth Bound and Spider’s Trap (or the first book of the series, or something else), just leave a comment below. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random on, uh, Friday night at Midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

earth boundEarth Bound

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Air Bound returns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past…

After escaping from a cult, Lexi found refuge with her sisters on the farm that more than sustained her body—it nurtured her soul as well.  But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.

Lexi was discovered and threatened—only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he’s awestruck by the woman he’s rescued. She is destined for him. He can feel it in his soul. But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?

spider's trapAnd Spider’s Trap

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…

From the Author Pages…

It has been a while since I did one of these, since info has been coming out in a trickle for the last few months. Anyways, here’s what’s going on…

  • If you can’t wait to get your hands on The Veil, the first book of Chloe Neill‘s new Dark Isle series, it is up for review on NetGalley. You can find it HERE.
  • I upped the blurb for Dark Promises, the 98th Carpathian book by Christine Feehan (well, 28th, but it feels like more), but a couple of days ago the cover made its grand debut. I have to say, not bad. Not bad at all, considering some of the hideous disasters this series has seen in the past…

dark promises

  • As I mentioned in passing before, the first book of the Jane Yellowrock spin-off series by Faith Hunter, Blood of the Earth, has been pushed back to late 2016. Doug Meeks did some digging, and word is that Faith wasn’t happy with the book. I would rather see someone take longer than put out something they feel could be better, even if waiting longer is a bummer.
  • On the Gena Showalter front, there is finally word about the next Lords of the Underworld book. It looks like Baden is up next, and his story will be called The Darkest Torment. As of right now, no specific release date has been nailed down and it is just showing for 2016. There is talk of another Lords book next year, too, or maybe another Angels of the Dark, things haven’t been decided on.
  • Another author whose next release is being pushed back is Jeaniene Frost. The second book from her Broken Destiny series, The Sweetest Burn, will now be released February 23rd, 2016. I believe it was originally due out this October. And it looks like the paperback re-release of the first book, The Beautiful Ashes, has undergone a design change…

the beautiful ashesUgh, not really a fan. Dude’s head looks wonky, for starters. And you know that where there is a design change for the paperback, a design change usually follows for the rest of the series.

  • For some reason, I had it in my head that Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series was winding down, but it looks like #14 will be coming our way next February 23rd, and it will be called Bitter Bite.

Ok, that about wraps things up for this little update. Have you got anything to share from some of your favorite authors?

Pick of the Week…

I was planning on making the new Alexandra Ivy book my pick of the week, because spin-off + dragons is a win, but I was annoyed by the whole lack of print copies outside the U.S. So, that means that I am making my pick of the week the other book I was looking forward to, and that is Heat of the Moment by Lori Handeland. I read the first book a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised, so I am glad that there isn’t a big wait for this second release.

heat of the momentSynopsis…

A spell that tore three sisters apart is broken four hundred years later, when the magic in their blood reunites them. Now, one of them will discover her gift—and reignite a love long thought lost…

Flame-haired Becca Carstairs was born to be a veterinarian. Since childhood, her affinity for animals has been special, and her healing touch nothing short of magic. But only Becca knows the truth—that she alone can hear the creatures’ voices. She’s always trusted her sixth sense…until a string of missing pets, an attempted murder, and a face from her past converge into one explosive mystery, with her at its center. Is haunted Owen McAllister, the boy who broke her heart ten years ago, related to the sinister crimes that have peaceful Three Harbors, Wisconsin, on its guard? Or is his reappearance part of the answer to questions that have troubled her all her life? As Becca delves into her strange heritage, she’ll have to fight for her life…and the man she will always love.

It was actually my first Handeland book, and I was happy with it. Have you read any of her stuff? What do you think of it?

New Series Alerts…

This new series alert is also a whine alert. Alexandra Ivy wrapped up her Guardians of Eternity a couple of months back, but she is consoling us with her new Dragons of Eternity books. The new series makes its debut this week with the released of Burned by Darkness, but the whiny part is that it is only available in print format through Amazon.com, but us non-Americans are looking at an e-book release only. I will be ordering it from the US, but I am going to hold off and wait until there are a couple I want to make the shipping worthwhile.

burned by darknessSynopsis…

The Dragons of Eternity were once creatures of mist and legend. Now they’ve returned to the world, prepared to claim what’s rightfully theirs…

Tayla is desperate for a place to call home. After years on the run, the young imp impulsively buys a teahouse and is determined to build a new life. Unfortunately, she’s barely opened the doors when she’s tracked down by the dragon who purchased her from troll slave-traders. He demands she pay off her debts…in his harem.

Baine has devoted a quarter of a century to tracking down his beautiful concubine. And now that he has her in his grasp, he’s not about to let her go. But it’s soon apparent that he isn’t the only demon hunting her. He must uncover her secrets or risk losing her forever.

Are you looking forward to trying out the Dragons of Eternity? Do you get bugged by the limited print books like I do?

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksAnother week, another weekly wrap up. This one was a bit on the slow side, with only a few reads under my belt. I finished up a re-read of Air Bound by Christine Feehan for the character guide. I had forgotten much of the storyline, so I am glad I did a refresher before the next book comes out next week, but there were a few technical issues. There were a few changes, or omissions, of details from the previous books, and that makes me nuts. Especially something like when the main character’s name changes between one book and the next. Airiana Rydell suddenly became Airiana Ridell, for example. They are only little details, but it takes me out of the flow of things and makes me start hunting for more issues.

I finished up the young adult Darkest Powers series from Kelley Armstrong. I really enjoyed the whole series, but I was wishing that Derek would connect somehow with Clay and Elena and the pack, but that wasn’t to be. If anything, though, it didn’t read like a last book. It ends with not much resolved, and between that and no pack interaction, it felt like there was a lot of story left to be told.

Potential spoilers…

And my other read of this week was Bengal’s Quest by Lora Leigh. On the upside, there were fewer typos and errors in this one, which is always a bonus. On the downside, though, there were some out-of-the-blue developments that make me wonder if I missed something. Like, Cat? Seriously? Where the hell did Cat come from? There was Fawn Corrigan, who became Claire Martinez. There was Gideon, who became Graeme. Here, there was no mention of Fawn, no reference to a Fawn at all. There was Cat, there was Claire, there was Cat AND Claire, and there was Catarina (?) I have learned to read each book as a stand-alone, which helps my OCD issues, but when I have to update the guide things get wonky and hard to manage. One character, one name, dammit! Other than that, I am glad to finally get Gideon/Graeme’s story, and I am hopeful that whole arc will wrap up shortly.

So, that wraps up my week. How was yours? What did you think of Bengal’s Quest, if you checked it out? Did the whole sudden appearance of “Cat” make you wonder what you had missed, too? And the whole Claire and Liza developments? Ooookay…

Site Updates…

Just a quick note to let you know that the new release dates have once again been updated. There actually weren’t that many that shifted around, surprisingly (and for a nice change). The only one that really stands out is Blood of the Earth by Faith Hunter, which is the first book of her Jane Yellowrock spin-off series, Soulwood. It moved from I believe October of this year to August of 2016. Bummer. I was looking forward to that one for a while now, but on the plus side it gives me more time to get caught up on Jane’s series.

Oh, and the Sisters of the heart guide has been updated in time for the next book, Earth Bound, which comes out on July 7th. Christine Feehan is sliding closer to Lora Leigh every day, since I caught a few things in my Air Bound re-read that seemed to totally change from the previous backstory of the main character, Airiana. First off, she was Rydell in the first couple of books, but in her own book she became Ridell. And I believe that in the backstory she was a dog trainer, but in her own book there isn’t a dog mentioned (or in sight). Strange. Anyways, still looking forward to the next one.

In the next couple of days, I hope to get the guides updated for both Lora Leigh‘s Bengal’s Quest (oi, is that one tricky to organize), and Nalini Singh‘s Shards of Hope. I have all of my notes for both of them, I just have to add the 20+ pages of info for both (and hope they make sense).

July’s Book of the Month…

Well, June was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Nalini Singh would win, it was just a matter of by how much. This month, I actually had a hard time trying to find 10 to chose from. The upside is that I can continue to whittle down the TBR pile. If you have another pick just click on “Other” and leave your selection in the comments section below. A complete list of July’s releases can be found HERE.

Just a note. Books like Lara Adrian’s Bound to Darkness, Alexandra Ivy’s Stolen and Forgiven, and Elizabeth Hunter’s The Scarlet Deep are only available in print format through Amazon.com, so I can’t offer them as a selection because this giveaway is international. Between not-in-print and e-book only selections, there isn’t much to choose from this week.

As always, the title picked as the book of the month will be offered as the next giveaway item.

Spotlight on…Christine Feehan

Right now, I am doing the updating for the Sea Haven Character Guide to get caught up (of course) before the release of the fourth book, Earth Bound. As I was nosing around online trying to find out if I actually missed the names of the sixth and seventh brothers (Viktor and Casimir), I found out some info on what is in the works.

Now, to say that Christine has been keeping an insane release schedule would be putting it mildly. After a long couple of years where her “secondary” series – GhostWalkers, Leopard people and Sea Haven books – took a back seat to the Carpathians, it seems she has been on a roll. For the Dark books, this year alone there is a novella in the Edge of Darkness anthology called Dark Crime, and the usual September release, Dark Ghost. Next March is yet another Carpathian story, this time featuring two couples (rumor said there may NOT be any lifemates in this book, but that seems like a fake-out), and the official blurb was just recently released for it. This one will be called Dark Promises

Lovers challenge destiny and risk their lives in the new Carpathian novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance.”*

Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing Gary Jansen, the man she loves nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once he was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and desires and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger.

And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown….

Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled into the path of a desperate man and a woman in love and on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.

I am still not sure about having grandma in a story, but what do I know? And finally for the Dark series, we know that after that will be Tariq’s turn, and it will be called Dark Carousel (of the lost Dark Book. You can find the excerpt of it HERE)

The Ghostwalkers are a long, long time favorite of mine. They were actually the first books I read that got me into reading again after a years-long break, and the ones that hooked me on Paranormal Romance. I do have to admit that the last one left me feeling like I was reading a different series, and I expect that to continue in the next one, Spider Game. It has a release date of January 26th, and the blurb for it recently came out, too…

The Cajun dive in the middle of the godforsaken swamps wasn’t exactly Trap Dawkins’ idea of fun. But the GhostWalker wasn’t there for a good time. He was looking for her. Cayenne. It’s where she found her victims. Poor suckers. Then again, who wouldn’t want to leave a place like this with a woman like her?

It’s not Cayenne’s fault. Locked up, experimented on and never knowing kindness, she was bred this way—with a heart of pure venom. Trap understands her. He survived his own dark past and he shares her desire for getting even. But now Trap’s greatest danger is Cayenne herself. Because what’s inside her is hard to control—especially when it’s aroused by a lover as reckless as Trap.

I didn’t not like Viper Game, it just had such a different tone to it that it didn’t feel Ghostwalkery. I figure Viper Game will continue in the same vein, then hopefully we can get back to the basics. I hope. And maybe even a return to the original teams, if we are really lucky.

For the Leopard series, we finally have Elijah’s story coming our way this November in Wild Cat. And by finally, I mean he has been the character I have been most interested in since the start. But there is at least one more book after Wild Cat, since Leopard’s Fury has recently been announced as the title of the ninth book. No idea on who it will be about, but it must be Joshua’s turn by now. Right?

And then we head back to Sea Haven. There are two more books after next month’s Earth Bound. Fire Bound will feature Lissa and the as-yet unmentioned Casimir, and it should probably be released sometime next year. And it will be followed by Blythe and Viktor, in the as-yet unnamed book probably coming out in 2017. And I figured that would wrap up the Sea Haven stories.

Nope.

Christine has announced that there will actually be more stories set in Sea Haven. The hows and whys haven’t come up yet, whether it will be yet another magical branch or a return to couples we have already seen (or even a fast-forward to the magical kiddies). There hasn’t been any indication as of Air Bound where things would go after the Blythe and Viktor’s story, so that will remain a mystery for a while to come.

And as if all of that weren’t enough, there is a rumored new series on the horizon. Yep, I said it. Not only is Sea Haven NOT wrapping up, but there is talk of expanding into a fifth series. FIFTH. SERIES. Holy crap. Ok, this one is supposed to be called The Shadow Walkers, and according to Wikipedia it will feature an “Ancient race of Shadow Walkers from Sicily – GQ style, who live by their own set of rules.” Huh. Didn’t see that one coming. The first book is tentatively called Death Shadow.

That should catch us up on Christine Feehan for the next couple of years, at least. Feehan and Lora Leigh are the two authors firmly in my “guilty pleasure read” category, even though I know pretty much how every story will go and I will laugh at things that just weren’t meant to be funny. I look forward to them every time, even as I am shaking my head as I reading them. Have you stuck by Feehan through the years? Which is your favorite series? Did you expect to see a new series in the works, because I sure didn’t.