Spotlight on...

Spotlight Wednesday – Ann Aguirre

Ann Aguirre might be a bit more well known than the usual authors featured in the spotlight Wednesday posts, but when Azteclady mentioned that she had a new series starting up, I thought it might work. And since the first book is due out today, it is even better.

This new paranormal romance series is called Ars Numina, and it will consist of six books. Things get started with today’s release of The Leopard King.

the-leopard-kingSynopsis…

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

The Leopard King will be followed by The Demon Prince, The Wolf Lord, The Shadow Warrior, The War Priest, and The Jaguar Knight.

Thanks again to Azteclady for pointing this one out. It is available in both print and e-format at Amazon.com and other retailers.

Are there any Ann Aguirre fans out there? She is another one on my “one day” list – which is actually a thing. I am not starting any new authors until I get my TBR pile dealt with, but when that is done I will be branching out.

New Series Alerts

New Series Alerts

There is only one new series to look forward to this week, and it is a young adult release from Rosamund Hodge. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire is the first book of the Bright Smoke series.

bright smoke cold fireSynopsis…

When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong—killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy . . . and perhaps turn against his own clan.

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city—but she’s the only one who believes it’s in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death—and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara.

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. . .

Book of the Month

October’s Book of the Month

Ah, October. It is one of my favorite months, but it does look like it will seriously lack a punch in terms of new books for me to pick up. On one hand, yay! More time to tackle the two monster series I already have on the go (In Death and Dark Hunter), but on the other hand I like to have something new to look forward to. Let’s see what all of you are looking forward to. As always, I have chosen 10 titles to list in the poll, but if you have another release in mind, just select “Other” and leave your choice in the comments section. A complete list of October’s releases can be found HERE.

*EDIT – Dammit! For some reason, I can only select eight books for the poll, so that sucks. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Crimson Death and Lara Adrian’s Midnight Untamed won’t add.

Personally, I am going with Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – but with a disclaimer. I liked the Baba Yaga series that this one is spun off from, but it has one of my least favorite story line devices in the blurb. I have never been a huge fan of the heroine being pregnant to start out a story, especially if the male lead isn’t the father. Not sure why, but it just never seems to work for me. So I am looking forward to it, but not completely sold yet.

Release Info

Up Next From Thea Harrison

It has been a long, long time since we have had any news on the publication front from Thea Harrison. Her last traditionally published Elder Races releases came out in December 2015 – and then there was nothing. We did hear that she was making the jump to Indie publishing, but there was no word as to what or when or how…until today. The official cover and blurb reveal was done over on RT Book Reviews.

It looks like Thea has moved things over to the UK for her next three-book arc, which will start on December 13th with the release of Moonshadow

moonshadowSynopsis…

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

Moonshadow will be followed by Spellbinder and Lionheart, but no release date has been announced for them as yet. I have to say, on the cover side of things, I like this one. It is way better than many other Indie covers I have seen. I am not sure about any format other than e-book, but hopefully us print-edition people will be in the loop, too.

I know the trend right now seems to be for authors with long-running series to put out books focused on completely new characters, but I am not sure how I am feeling about that. It is taking already large and involved worlds, with many known and loved characters begging to get their stories told, and making them even bigger. And it means we have to wait longer for stories for characters like Grim or Alexander, or even Eva. Maybe things will cycle back to the US crew after this trilogy, who knows?

Review

Magic Binds Review

With less than a day until its official release (although I got my copy in the mail today), Monika sent over her review for Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews, the ninth book in the Kate Daniels series. Doug already sent over a review a couple of weeks back (which can be found HERE), now let’s check out another POV.

magic bindsWhat Monika said…

Fate and Father issues: Turning inward.

To readers familiar with the series it does not come as a surprise that Kate Daniels is having father issues; after all the overarching story arc has been all about finding ways and the means to defeat Roland, who in the past has seemed far too powerful to go up against. Now dear old dad has relocated to outside of Atlanta and is building a residence there, right outside the territory that Kate has claimed (quite unwillingly) as her own in order to protect it from his grasp. For a short time Kate and her dad had an uneasy ceasefire going, that is, until Roland has Saiman abducted. Although Saiman is no particular friend of hers, Kate cannot have people taken from her sphere of influence if she wants to appear credible as a leader.

Her father troubles are all the more inconvenient as Kate is trying to plan her wedding with Curran. In fact, that is were the book starts: Kate and Curran are trying to gain entrance into Roman’s magically protected home to ask him to officiate at their wedding. Roman is delighted as normally – because of his position as a priest of the Dark God Chernobog – he never gets asked to officiate at happy occasions. When it turns out that Kate is busy with other stuff he takes over as the wedding planner, with hilarious results.

And if that weren’t enough the Oracle has a vision of Kate’s future if she does indeed go through with her marriage to Curran and it is bleak, though not marrying him could be even worse. Thus faced with two impossible choices Kate tries everything to change her destiny and the outcome the Oracle predicted. The question whether one’s fate is ordained or whether one can shape one’s own destiny is at the core of many belief systems. Kate seems to be more on the side of taking fate into her own hands, even if the consequences turn out to be unpredictable.

Having broken off from the pack Kate and Curran also have to establish their new roles and redefine the parameters of their relationship, thinking about the lines in the sand that cannot be crossed. Kate is also trying to strengthen the bonds with her allies and to gain new ones in order to have a chance at defeating her father.

But between all the the myriad responsibilities, her relationships with Curran, family and an ever growing circle of friends and planning the wedding, the most important struggle that Kate has to fight is an internal one. As her quest to cheat fate progresses she comes to realize that the greatest danger does not lie in being defeated by her father, but in becoming like her father: a powerful godlike being that cares nothing for the lifes and emotions of others and rationalizes his actions, even the most heinous ones, as serving the greater good…

Verdict: a great UF read, fast-paced, full of action and urgency, at times hilariously funny and displaying quite some philosophical depth.  I cannot wait to see where Ilona Andrews will take this series next!

I managed to get most of my crap done today so I can dive into Magic Binds tonight and read right through. Can’t wait.

New Series Alerts

New Series Alerts

Both of the new series starting up this week are young adult releases, starting with the new one from Kendare Blake. Three Dark Crowns is the first book of the series of the same name.

three dark crownsSynopsis…

Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

And this second one is from Jessica Cluess. A Shadow Bright and Burning is the first book of the Kingdom on Fire series.

a shadow bright and burningSynopsis…

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.

Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.

Thrust into the glamour of Victorian London, Henrietta is declared the chosen one, the girl who will defeat the Ancients, bloodthirsty demons terrorizing humanity. She also meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, handsome young men eager to test her power and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her.

But Henrietta Howel is not the chosen one.

As she plays a dangerous game of deception, she discovers that the sorcerers have their own secrets to protect. With battle looming, what does it mean to not be the one? And how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

Exhilarating and gripping, Jessica Cluess’s spellbinding fantasy introduces Henrietta Howel, a powerful, unforgettable heroine, and an entertaining world filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.

Challenge

Magic Binds Predictions and Spoilers

Hey everyone. Today, I thought we could try something new and maybe see how a predictions and spoilers post would work out, focusing on next week’s Magic Binds. I figure from now until release day, we can theorize and prophecize about what Ilona Andrews‘ has come up with this time, and after that we can re-hash and discuss.

Like, for example, I have been trying to figure out who is going to die.

Yep, morbid as that sounds, you just know someone is going to get taken out. I just can’t quite put my finger on who. You know (hope/pray) that Kate and Curran are ok (or at least alive at the end. Ditto Julie. And I refuse to believe Derek will die. Just no. But it still has to be a character that will make an impact not just on the other characters but on us readers, too. I figure the rat alphas and Desandra should be safe just because one of them dying would be sad but not traumatic. The same goes for George, Eduardo, and that type. And surely people like Andrea/Raphael and Jim/Dali are safe, because it would be evil to kill characters who have had their own book. I think. And I am still on the “Roman gets his own book” train, so I refuse to think it is him.

The next level up would be those like Doolittle, Barabas, Christopher, Ascanio, Mahone. Any one of them dying at this point would be even more impactful than when Aunt B was killed, and leave an even bigger hole. Doolittle has probably suffered enough in the last couple of books, so I am going to call him safe (ish). Ascanio is young, so I am going to skip him, too. I don’t know if Christopher has reached his full potential yet, so I am going to call him safe as well. That leaves me fearing for the future of Mahone and Barabas – and as much as I hate to think it, I am going with Barabas dying in Magic Binds. And if I am right, which I hope I’m not, that will hurt.

Dammit! I just realized I agreed to go to movies this Tuesday night. What the holy hell was I smoking? Did I not have a clue that this is supposed to be delivered on Tuesday? Duh.

So, what do you predict will happen in Magic Binds? Or, what would you like to see? Roland taken down? Some word on Hugh? More development for Julie and Derek? Do you figure someone is due to die, and if so, who? Doug has already sent over his spoiler-free review, which can be found HERE, and Monika seconded the love in a recent comment. The lucky ARC people already know what happens, but now it is your turn.

Just remember…

Spoiler Free Until Release Day!

Uncategorized

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

It feels like it has been a while since I have done a cover lover post, and there still isn’t a lot to post but here goes anyways. For a change, let’s start with the young adult books. This first one is from Kate Elliott. Buried Heart is the third book of her Court of Fives series, and it is due out on July 25th.

buried-heartIn Buried Heart, the country is in disarray, as the Commoner class are in the midst of a revolt against their Patron overlords. But the real enemy is approaching from foreign lands, and Jessamy must find a way to unite the country and save the people she loves. In this thrilling conclusion to the trilogy, Jessamy finds herself in a war against her beloved Prince Kalliarkos.

Next up is One Blood Ruby, the next book in the Seven Black Diamonds series from Melissa Marr. This one will be out on February 28th.

one-blood-rubyNow that Lilywhite Abernathy is the heir to the Hidden Lands, everything is about to change.

The Queen of Blood and Rage wants Lily to help broker peace with the human world, but Lily knows that harmony won’t come easily. After decades of waging war on the humans, who cost the queen her firstborn daughter, the fae are struggling to accept Lily, a half-human monarch. And the humans, while no match against faery affinities, will hardly agree to the queen’s détente without resistance.

Lily wants to be a fair ruler but fears having to abandon the life she’s known to do so. Now that she and Creed are more than just fellow Black Diamonds—operatives for the queen—her priorities have shifted. But her worries about assuming the throne are derailed when it becomes clear that someone—or some fae—is masterminding violent attacks to discourage peace.

Author Wen Spencer is starting up a new series early next year, and the first book is called The Black Wolves of Boston. It has a release date of February 7th.

the black wolves of boston.jpgSilas Decker had his world destroyed when he was attacked by vampires outside of New Amsterdam. He rebuilt his life a dozen times in the last three hundred years—each time less and less successfully. Now he lives alone, buried under a hoarding habit, struggling to find some reason to wake up with the setting of the sun.

Eloise is a Virtue, pledged to hunting evil.  What she doesn’t know is how to live alone in a city full of strangers who know nothing about monsters.

Seth is the sixteen-year old Prince of Boston, ward of the Wolf King.  Now he is left in a city that desperately needs his protection with enemies gathering all around.

Joshua believes he is a normal, college-bound high school senior.  His life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered with blood, and the prom committee scattered in pieces about him like broken dolls.

These four must now come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who lost everything struggle to save Boston by saving each other.

The second book from Bec McMaster‘s Dark Arts series will be called Hexbound, and it will be released this October 18th.

hexboundVerity Hastings has a little trick; she can find anything, no matter where it’s hidden. It’s a skill that’s kept her safe and fed all the way from the orphanages and workhouses of her youth. But when she steals a mysterious item for a masked man, she knows the con is on her this time.

In order to protect herself from his associates, she can turn to only one person: Adrian Bishop, the sorcerer she stole the relic from.

Scarred recluse, Adrian Bishop, is rarely surprised anymore. But when a rather enticing little handful turns up on his doorstep claiming to be his mysterious thief, he doesn’t know what to think. He needs the relic back, no matter the cost, and he’s not above using Verity to find it. But as Verity begins to sneak under his guard, for the first time in years there’s a ray of light in his dark world. He will do anything to protect her–anything–but can Verity ever love him once she learns the truth of his darkest secret?

And the final one for today comes from Gini Koch. Alien Nation is the 14th book of her Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, and it will be out on December 6th.

alien nation.jpgIt’s a typical day of bureaucracy and stress for President and First Lady Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini, made more stressful when alien spacecraft are spotted making a beeline for Earth, none of them from the Alpha Centauri system…or, what Kitty calls Wednesday.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much here for me to get excited about, either in terms of how they look or how much I want to read them. Will you be picking any of these up?

Movie News

Throne of Glass News

throne-of-glassI don’t know how many of you have seen the news, but it looks like Sarah J. Maas‘s super-popular Throne of Glass series is the latest title to get the adaptation treatment.

According to Hypable, the pilot will be written by Kira Snyder (The 100), and directed by Anna Foerster (Outlanders). There hasn’t been any word yet on anything like casting, but it could go one of two ways – either the super fast route that Shadowhunters took, or the “what ever became of that pilot” route that most of the other shows went. Shadowhunters was incredibly quick from announcement to casting to filming, and was great about keeping fans updated during the whole process. The show itself wasn’t the most amazing, but that is another story.

But speaking of “what ever happened to”, what ever happened to most of the other announced adaptations? Have any of you heard any word about Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunters or Chronicles of Nick, or Kresley Cole‘s Arcana Chronicles? Not to mentioned Tahereh Mafi‘s Shatter Me series, which was announced the same time as her husband Ransom Riggs‘ Miss Peregrine movie? I have tried to find release info about Lauren Kate‘s Fallen movie, too, with no luck. It has already been filmed, and from what I can tell it has been finished for quite a while, but there has been absolutely no word on release date at all. Weird.

So, yes or no on the Throne of Glass series? What other book-to-series titles are you waiting for?

Uncategorized

Seriously?!?!

So, this is what I did this evening. I hope it is right, ’cause I ain’t going back to redo it. Ever.

– Dark Hunter World Reading List

  • Fantasy Lover – DHW #1 (Julian of Macedon and Grace Alexander)
  • Dragonswan – DHW #1.5/ WH #.5 (Sebastian Kattalakis and Channon MacRae): also found in In Other Worlds, Tapestry and Dark Bites
  • Night Pleasures – DHW #2 (Kyrian of Thrace and Amanda Deveraux)
  • Night Embrace – DHW #3 (Talon and Sunshine Runningwolf)
  • Phantom Lover – DHW #3.5/ DRH #.5 (V’Aidan and Erin McDaniels): found in Midnight Pleasures and Dark Bites
  • A Dark Hunter Christmas – DHW #3.6 (Simi and James Gallagher): found in Dark Bites
  • Dance With the Devil – DHW #4 (Zarek of Moesia and Astrid)
  • Kiss of the Night – DHW #5 (Wulf Tryggvason and Cassandra Peters)
  • Night Play – DHW #6/ WH #1 (Vane Kattalakis and Bride McTierney)
  • Winter Born – DHW #6.5/ WH #1.5 (Dante Pontis and Pandora): found in Stroke of Midnight and Dark Bites
  • Sieze the Night – DHW #7 (Valerius Magnus and Tabitha Devereaux)
  • Sins of the Night – DHW #8 (Alexion/Ias and Dangerereuse St. Richard)
  • Second Chances – DHW #8.5 (Acheron and Styxx): found in the Dark Hunter Companion and Dark Bites
  • Unleash the Night – DHW #9/ WH #2 (Wren Tigarian and Marguerite D’Aubert Goudeau)
  • Dark Side of the Moon – DHW #10/ WH #3 (Ravyn Kontis and Susan Michaels)
  • A Hard Day’s Night-Searcher – DHW #10.5 (Raphael Santiago and Celena D’Arcy): found in My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding and Dark Bites
  • Until Death Do We Part – DHW #10.6 (Velkan Danesti and Esperetta): found in Love at First Bite and Dark Bites
  • The Dream Hunter – DHW #11/ DRH #1 (Arik Cantranides/ V’Arik and Geary Kafieri)
  • Fear the Darkness – DHW #11.5 (Nick Gautier): found in Dark Bites
  • Devil May Cry – DHW #12 (Sin of Sumeria and Katra Agrotera)
  • Upon the Midnight Clear – DHW #13/ DH #2 (Aidan O’Connor and Leta Skotos)
  • Dream Chaser – DHW #14/ DRH #3 (Xypher Skotos and Simone Dubois)
  • Acheron – DWH #15 (Acheron Parthenopaeus and Soteria Kafieri)
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread – DHW #15.5/ HC #.5 (Zeke Jacobson): found in Blood Lite and Dark Bites
  • Shadow of the Moon – DWH #15.6/ WH #3.5 (Fury Kattalakis and Angelia): found in Dead After Dark and Dark Bites
  • One Silent Night – DHW #16 (Stryker and Zephyra)
  • Dream Warrior – DHW #17/ DRH #4 (Cratus/Jericho and Delphine Iole)
  • Bad Moon Rising – DHW #18/ WH #4/ HC #1 (Fang Kattalakis and Aimee Peltier)
  • Infinity – DHW #19/ CoN #1 (Nick Gautier)
  • No Mercy – DHW #20/ WH #5 (Dev Peltier and Samia Savage)
  • Invincible – DHW #21/ CoN #2 (Nick Gautier)
  • Retribution – DHW #22 (William Jessup Brady/Sundown and Abigail Yager)
  • The Guardian – DHW #23/ DRH #5/ WH #6/ HC #3 (Seth and Lydia Tsakali)
  • Redemption – DHW #23.5/ DRH #5.5/ WH #6.5 (Seth and Lydia Tsakali): found in Dark Bites
  • Infamous – DHW #24/ Con #3 (Nick Gautier)
  • Time Untime – DHW #25/ WH #7/ HC #4 (Ren Waya and Kateri Avani)
  • Inferno – DHW #26/ CoN #4 (Nick Gautier)
  • Styxx – DHW #27 (Styxx of Didymos and Bethany Agriosa)
  • House of the Rising Son – DHW #27.5 (Aricles and Bathymaas): found in Dark Bites
  • Illusion – DHW #28/ CoN #5 (Nick Gautier)
  • Son of No One – DWH #29/ WH #8/ HC #5/ LoA #3 (Cade Maboddium and Josette Landry)
  • Instinct – DHW #30/ CoN #6 (Nick Gautier)
  • Dragonbane – DHW #31/ WH #9/ HC #6/ LoA #4 (Maxis Drago and Seraphina)
  • Invision – DWH #32/ CoN #7 (Nick Gautier)
  • Dragonmark  – DHW #33/ LoA #5/ DR #1 (Illarion Kattalakis and Edilyn Kattalakis)
DHW = Dark Hunter World
DRH = Dream Hunter
WH = Were Hunter
HC = Hellchaser
CoN = Chronicles of Nick
LoA – Lords of Avalon
DR – Dragons Rising

Seriously?!? The Guardian is Dark Hunterverse book #23, Dream Hunter #5, Were Hunter #6 AND Hellchaser #3? Ok.

Yeah. This. I am not sure where the first couple of the Lords of Avalon books fall, since the first one listed as connected to the Dark-Hunter world is #3. And I can’t figure out why Dragonmark is the first book of the Dragons Rising series and not Dragonbane. Aaaand I imagine the upcoming Deadman’s Cross trilogy will have to be added somewhere, too.

I might need a drink.