Quick Question

This is just a quick character guide question. Does anyone use the breakdown that I put at the beginning of a lot of the guides? I mean the section that lists characters by groups, like for example in the Breeds guide, where I list all of the Wolf Breeds, the Coyote Breeds, that sort of thing. I am wondering if I should make a section of the Kate Daniels world guide to list all of the Iron Dogs and the Departed, but if it is something you don’t use I wouldn’t bother editing it all.

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New Series Alert and Pick of the Week

As I mentioned in the previous post, this week marks the debut of Chloe Neill‘s  Chicagoland Vampires spin off series, Heirs of Chicagoland. The first book is called Wild Hunger, and it will also double as my pick of the week for tomorrow’s post. Weirdly enough, I was rabidly excited for this one ever since I heard it was going to be a thing, but then a couple of months back my interest seemed to wane a bit. Not sure why, but I kind of lost interest for whatever reason. Lately, though, my interest has been picking up again. Like I said…weird.

wild hungerSynopsis…

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of an ambassador brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

Did you ever have your interest in a title swing back and forth like mine did, especially for no reason? I was probably just in a mood or something, but now I am getting back into the swing of things. Where do the Chicagoland Vampires books fall on your list of favorites series? For me, I liked it but never really loved it, so it stayed solidly in the middle of the pack along with the Lords of the Underworld and a few others.

Wild Hunger Question

Chloe Neill‘s Wild Hunger comes out this week, and since it is the first book of the Heirs of Chicagoland series I was wondering if you wanted me to do a character guide for it? I don’t have one for the Chicagoland Vampires (yet? maybe? someday?), but it doesn’t really take a lot to whip one up when only have one book to worry about. Let me know if it is something you would be interested in.

On a side note, the Psy-Changelings guide is current up to Ocean Light, and I should have Iron and Magic info added to the Kate Daniels world guide by Monday or Tuesday night. And on a side-side note, Iron and Magic is awesome. I think I could honestly do a re-re-read right now, but that is a bit weird. Even for me.

Last Minute Additions

For as far back as the blog has been a thing, I have been whining about keeping track of those books that seem to just appear for sale all of a sudden. Traditionally published books have months and months (usually) of pre-sale time, but independently published works? Not so much. So, my newest goal is to try and catch some of those last-minute releases (or the ones that I just missed for some reason), and at least give them a bit of a mention.

For August, I did find some that looked interesting. Ok. Fine. Mostly I picked those that had covers that I liked, but still it’s something. Let’s get started…

Felicity Heaton has the second book of her Cougar Creek Mates series coming out on August 18th, and it is called Captured By Her Cougar.

captured by her cougarSynopsis…

In the wake of an Archangel attack on Cougar Creek, Storm is seething with a need for revenge against the hunter organisation and the key to it might be the petite blonde mortal he’s locked in his cabin, one he’s determined to make sing for him. Only the beauty has a fiery temperament to match his own, and the more time he spends with her, the more she stokes a fire inside him. One that fills him with a startling and undeniable need to make her sing in another way—in his arms.

Gabriella isn’t going to take her captivity lying down. She’s going to give the pig-headed brute holding her against her will hell until he finally believes she’s innocent. He might be a cougar shifter, but she isn’t afraid of him. Or at least she isn’t afraid of what he is. The way he affects her, the flames that lick through her whenever they’re close, terrifies her though, because the longer she’s around the towering sexy-as-sin shifter, the hotter that fire blazes, and it’s only a matter of time before it burns away all her restraint.

With the mating heat and the attack bringing cougars back to the creek, Gabriella is a complication Storm doesn’t need, but she’s one that he wants… because she might just be his one true mate.

Juliette Cross‘s next release is called Darkest Heart. It is the first book of her Dominion series, and it will be out on August 20th.

darkest heartSynopsis…

Wrong side of heaven…right side of redemption.

Anya—a stoic, blue-winged angelic warrior— was bitten by a demon prince in battle, and now she has precious little time to find a cure for his deadly venom. But the only archangel with the power to stop the dark poison from corrupting her body and soul is missing. She’ll have to trust her guide, the outcast high demon Dommiel, who is as handsome as he is dangerous if she has any hope.

An outcast of his own kind, high demon Dommiel stays under cover while the war between angels and demons rages on. But when the only person who ever showed him kindness asks for his help, he has no choice but to try to save the angel. Venturing back into the dens he has avoided for so long, Anya makes him want and feel things he never thought possible.

But Dommiel knows there is no way an angel can ever love a demon…

Carrie Pulkinen also starts a new series this month. Werewolves Only is the first book of the Crescent City Wolf Pack, and it will be out on August 21st.

werewolves onlySynopsis…

When the alpha’s love for his fated mate is forbidden, he’ll risk everything to hold her.

Detective Macey Carpenter has been on the trail of a vicious attacker for weeks, with nothing more than a vague description of a red-eyed man to go on. She has no clue she’s hunting demons, and if the evidence doesn’t stop disappearing, she’ll never solve the case.

Before Luke Mason becomes alpha of the Crescent City Wolf Pack, he has to end the French Quarter’s demon infestation and keep the police from discovering the truth. But when he falls head over tail for the feisty detective investigating the crimes, supernatural secrets aren’t the only things at stake.

Luke has to mate with another werewolf or he’ll sacrifice his position as alpha. But as heat builds between the pair, he discovers Macey has a few secrets of her own. She may hold the key to ridding New Orleans of its demons, but his feelings for her could tear the pack apart.

I also found a book called Deadly Passion. It is the first book of the Heaven’s Heart series from Amanda Pillar, and it will be out on August 23rd.

deadly passionSynopsis…

Can two assassins outwit each other to claim the ultimate prize?

Dru is a blood-bound assassin, tied to Hell and her master for eternity — okay, not ‘eternity’, but it sure as Hell feels like it. She’s got a slight attitude problem, a strict no-touching rule and she has claws and knows how to use them. She’s also willing to earn her freedom at any cost, even if that means stealing from an angel.

Azrael was once a member of an elite unit in Heaven’s army, but after a priceless artifact was stolen on his watch, he was thrown out of Heaven. Now the fallen angel is on a mission: find Heaven’s Heart, save his missing comrades, and get even with the angel who took his wings.

The first time Azrael and Dru meet, she leaves him for dead. The second time, they’re tasked with the same mission — retrieve Odin’s Orb. Will their sparking passion derail their best-laid plans? Or will they play for keeps?

Also coming out on the 23rd is Shades of Fury from Heather Renee. It is the first book of the new Raven Point Pack.

shades of furySynopsis…

Taya’s just been named alpha-in-training. First order of business: avenging her twin brother’s death.

When Cord connected a rival pack to the disappearances of humans, he paid the ultimate price. Now it’s up to Taya to pick up where he left off and find justice for those who have been harmed.

As she closes in on her brother’s murderer, the threats only escalate. He wasn’t the only target, and now everyone she loves is in danger, further fueling Taya’s need for revenge.

With the help of an irresistible shifter named Liam, they set out in search of the only witch coven strong enough to set things right. Only Taya isn’t sure who to trust and if she doesn’t decide soon, she could lose not only her heart, but the people she loves most.

And my last last-minute addition comes from Jenn Stark. Demon Forsaken is the second book of her Demon Enforcers series.

demon forsakenSynopsis…

A Sin so great it cannot stand…

It’s not easy being the wittiest, sexiest, most devilishly handsome member of his elite team of Demon Enforcers, but Finn of the Syx has worked it his entire existence. The existence he can remember, anyway. While his fellow demons can recall their lives as Fallen angels–and the sins that got them condemned–Finn’s memory is a blank slate.

Which means his Sin was so horrible, not even the mind of a demon can handle it. Outstanding.

Now Finn is given his last chance for redemption: twenty-four hours to find an encrypted list of mortals marked for death. Unfortunately, the only person who can help him is Dana Griffin–the gritty, passionate, fiercely independent security expert who’s far more than she thinks she is, and definitely more than Finn deserves. Not to mention she’s being hunted by the worst of his kind.

Finn knows Dana is the key to his future and his past, but she’ll also be a dead woman if he can’t remember how to save them both before the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve. No pressure, though.

The life you’ve lost is all that can save you when you’re a Demon Forsaken.

Now, I’m not saying that I will be picking all of these up, but I have been having some decent luck with new-to-me authors lately. I guess I am branching out a bit, and so far, so good. Do any of these appeal to you?

 

Random Site Stuff

Hey all. I just thought that I would give a little site update, since it has been a while…

  • The new release dates have been checked and updated, and there have been a few titles that have been shifted around a bit. Most only changed by a week or two, but there were a few releases that faced a bit bigger pushback. Gena Showalter‘s The Evil Queen and Christine Warren‘s Your Lion Eyes were both pushed back to end of June release dates, for example.
  • On that note, I am going to also be adding some new titles to the new release pages, too. It is time to do some hunting and see what has been announced since my last check through. I should have everything up-to-datish by tomorrow night.
  • I also will be adding the info from Ocean Light to the Psy/Changeling character guide, which will bring my Nalini Singh stuff up to date. Now I am only like a dozen behind. Next up will be Iron and Magic for the Kate Daniels guide, so things will be set for the release of Magic Triumphs in a couple of weeks. I hope.
  • I also deleted the guide for J.D. Robb‘s In Death series. Honestly, I gave myself a head shake and realized that there was no way in hell I would ever get up to date on that sucker. None. And because it is so episodic in nature, I never found myself needing to know about characters from previous books. So, I didn’t feel it was a big loss.
  • Still not sure about the fonts that I have been using on the site. I might be playing around a little bit more with that, but it has been a bit of a challenge of finding one that I like the look of.

 

That is about it. Any suggestions? Have you seen anything around here that needs a tweaking?

New Series Alert

Happy end of July, folks. There is one new series to look forward to this week, and it comes to us from author Shannon Mayer. Aimless Witch is the first book of her new Questing Witch series.

aimless witchSynopsis…

From the world of Rylee Adamson and the Elemental Series comes a heroine with nothing to lose and everything to prove….

My name is Pamela, and I am a witch who has no equal.

Or so I thought.

It has been three years since the Destroyer sundered our world. The land is longer whole, but broken into pieces, most technology gone, and the continents shattered into an unrecognizable place.

New monsters have risen from the depths, adding danger on top of danger. Through it all the humans fight to survive as they compete not only with the supernaturals for food and resources, but their own kind as well.

And me? The caravans of humans I pass, they look to me to save them.

Only I am not the witch I once was. Bound by those who fear my power and my bloodline, I’m lucky if I can light a match with my magic, never mind protect anyone but myself.

Now, the darkness in me rises, offering me all that I want. Freedom from the chains I wear, and the power to make everything right. But if I embrace the darkness I will face a cost I could never have imagined…

You know, I keep meaning to pick up some of Shannon Mayer’s earlier books, like from the Rylee Adamson series, but I never seem to get there. I am going to add her to my wishlist on Amazon so I might actually get a book at some point in my life.

 

The Girl Who Sees Review

It is always nice when someone thinks to send something my way, and this time Monika was kind enough to share her review of The Girl Who Sees by Dima Zales.

the girl who seesWhat Monika said…

Minority Report meets The Mentalist: exciting new UF series with a quirky and snarky heroine set in NY.

It is always a risk to try a book by a new author, but I love the books of Dima Zales’ wife and I am really into UF, and boy am I glad that I took a chance on this one. There have been mumblings by industry insiders that Paranormal/UF are past their peak and are actually on the wane (I haven’t observed this myself), so I am doubly glad to discover a new and exciting UF series.

I also had some reservations about a guy writing a female POV heroine, but Anna Zaires (his wife) mentioned in a newsletter that they had in fact co-authored the book, and I have to say, I really liked the narrative voice, it’s a perfect combination of snarky and sweet, quirky and down to earth.

I also found the premise different enough to spark my interest: it can best be described as a kind of Minority Report meets The Mentalist. The heroine, Sasha Urban (ok, her surname does appear a tad corny) believes herself to be a quite ordinary person living in a normal world. By day she works as an analyst for an investment firm and though she admits to some natural aptitude she thinks it’s mostly hard work that makes her so good at her job, even if she doesn’t particularly enjoy it. At night she pursues her real passion and works as a magician/mentalist at a restaurant/club where she performs magic tricks that can all be explained rationally. One night she is approached by a TV show producer who offers her an appearance on a live show and she grabs it with both hands. While in the studio she has her first real vision and it is not a good one. And though her vision turns true, she refuses to believe that she has any supernatural ability and is looking for a rational explanation for the events. Unfortunately her TV appearance has also brought her to the attention of the supernatural community (the Cognizants) that has a strong mandate against exposing their world to normal humans. Soon different factions of Cognizants are after her while she is still looking for a rational explanation for everything that is happening and has difficulties coming to terms with her precognitive abilities, even though all her visions/dreams come true. But that only makes her question herself more as she is afraid that she is in fact enacting a self-fulfilling prophecy…

This first book in the Sasha Urban series has all the right ingredients: a quirky, likable heroine, great supporting characters, a good narrative voice, great (but not overwhelming) world-building, an urban setting (New York) that is an important part of the story (the perfect backdrop for a scooter chase), good overall pacing, an interesting slew of supernatural creatures (vampires, necromancers, zombies, patterners, precogs, truth seekers and other less common mythical creatures, including a domovoi, a type of Russian house elf). There is also the mystery of the heroine’s origins that is alluded to, and two mysterious men that promise to become even more important in the future.

I was wholly captivated by this first installment of the Sasha Urban series and would give it a solid 4 ½ stars. Can’t wait to get my hands on book 2, titled Misfortune Teller, set to be released on September 4, 2018.

So, any fans of this one? What new-to-you authors have you had luck with lately?

 

New Series Alert

This post might be a day late, but I guess it falls under the “better than never” category, maybe? There is one new series starting up today, and it comes from author Sarah Fine. The Serpent is the first book of her Immortal Dealers series, and it will be followed by The Guardian on October 23rd.

37647550Synopsis…

Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger has put her dreams aside to look after her eccentric mother. Case in point: saving her from a mysterious stranger who’s just stormed the terrified woman’s antique store wearing a rattlesnake tattoo, leveling threats, and brandishing the weirdest deck of cards Ernie’s ever seen.

When Ernie grabs some of the cards and runs, she’s launched into a world she never knew existed—one her mother may know more about than she’s revealing. With a handful of stolen cards, Ernie has just been made an unwilling player in a game of good versus evil. But she’s not even playing with a full deck, and its original owner is more than happy to kill to get his cards back.

Suddenly Ernie’s matching wits and plays with the supernatural Immortal Dealers, who can raise empires, damn souls, and shape the world’s destiny. It’s up to Ernie to defeat the most brutal member of their order. And if her roguish new ally isn’t bluffing, he can help. The mystery is all in the cards, and to save her life—and humanity—Ernie had better learn how to deal.

I am always on the lookout for something different, and this could fit the bill. I like that it isn’t vamp/were/witch, but still sounds like it has some action. Will you be checking out The Serpent?

No. Just No.

Ever see a book and think to yourself “self, there is no way in the holy blue hell you will ever, ever pick that puppy up”? This one is mine. It might be an awesome series, might be the best book ever, but there is absolutely no way I would ever admit to reading it. I will let the title speak for itself…

51jt2ENZNqL

So, that is my WTF book of the month. Any bad covers/titles unfortunate storylines turned you completely off lately?

Reading Wrap Up

This should probably be sub-titled “new to me and a change of heart”, since that is pretty much what I have been up to. I have been on a bit of a roll with some new to me authors, which has been great. I picked up the first two books in the Guardian series from Rayanne Haines, Fire Born and Magic Born, and ended up liking both of them. Honestly, I grabbed them strictly for the covers, but ended up sticking around for the story. Definitely looking forward to whatever comes next.

real men howlAlso new-to-me are Celia Kyle and Marina Maddix, the authors of the Real Men Shift series. Again, shallow as it is, the cover for the first book caught my eye and made me do the “one-click” thing before I really thought it through, but it was another success. Both Real Men Howl and Real Men Snarl are quick, easy reads and I found myself finishing each of them in one sitting. There is one brother’s story left to tell, (Real Men Growl – due out this August) but I do hope the series continues on after that.

hunt the moonAnother great find was author Kari Cole. I picked up the first book of her Mated by Fate series called Hunt the Moon, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. I liked the world building and both the main and supporting characters, and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the second book, Touch the Sky, when it comes out in September.

I had decided not to pick up the latest Gena Showalter book, The Darkest Warrior, not because I was mad about who Gilly ended up with or anything but just because I didn’t really have any big excitement for the book. I think my enjoyment of the Lords books is really hampered by the fact that I just don’t remember much about the series at this point. I always seem to enjoy them when I read them, but then I promptly forget everything as soon as I close the Kindle. Well, that didn’t hamper me at all this time around, and I very much enjoyed The Darkest Warrior. It felt almost stand alone (except for William, who is the only character I seem to remember), so I just got to happily read a really good story without trying to remember who is who and what happened before. Definitely glad I changed my mind on this one.

rough justiceAaaand I might’ve been pretty quick to grab up Rough Justice from Kelley Armstrong. Anything Cainsville related is an automatic win for me, and this decent length novella story is no exception. I am very glad that there wasn’t any Olivia-and-Gabriel relationship drama…well, not much and not serious, anyways. Ideally, I would love to see a spin-off or something featuring Ricky getting his HEA, but I am not sure that is in the cards.

iron and magicFinally, though, there is the jewel of the lot, and that is Iron and Magic from Ilona Andrews. I don’t have much to say about this one other than that I absolutely loved it. Love love love. Loved Hugh. Loved Elara. Loved the fact that the whole world-building felt different enough from Kate Daniels to really stand on its own while still making me giddy thinking of future crossovers (Hugh and Elara must show up in Magic Triumphs, right?). I so need a re-read of this one since I was a greedy brat who devoured it way, way too quickly, but that won’t be a chore at all. Not sure where or when the next book will be, but I will be there.

Your turn. What have you been enjoying lately? Anything exciting?