Cover Lover

Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

Time once again to see what some of our upcoming releases will look like. Hm, let’s start with the next Christine Feehan Ghostwalker book, Power Game, which will be released in hardcover (uh, yay? Maybe?) on January 24th. At least this female lead doesn’t sound like the “yes, honey” type. I hope.

power game

And this second one is from Faith Hunter. Cold Reign is the 11th book in the Jane Yellowrock series, and it will be released on May 2nd. It is my goal to be caught up on the series by then, too.

cold reignSynopsis…

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless of cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds…

Coming in at number three is the new one from the Belador series by Dianna Love. Dragon King of Treoir is the 8th book of the series that started as a collab with Sherrilyn Kenyon.

14138113_10154154201043801_2088278429960256410_o

I used to read Cecy Robson‘s Weird Girls books before they made the jump to self-pubbed, but for some reason I though the series had already wrapped up. This next one is called Of Flame and Light, and it will be released this October 16th.

of flame and lightSynopsis…

Taran Wird holds the unique ability to conjure fire and lightning. She is mated to Gemini, Second in Command to the Squaw Valley Pack of the Lake Tahoe Region, and the sole werewolf to possess the ability to split into two wolves. And although they are mates, Taran’s insecurities have driven them apart.

Devastated by an injury that left her with a zombie-like limb, Taran struggles to regain command over her magic. But when her arm and her power turn against her, lashing out on those she most loves, she knows she can no longer carry this burden alone. Not that she likes the alternative.

The only way to regain control of her magic is to align and learn from the local coven of witches―the very ones who sought to banish her when she and her three unique sisters first moved to the mystical region. But although Taran is trying, the teachings don’t come easy, and the tasks leave her weak and emotionally shattered.

Yet Taran must learn and learn fast. Time is running out. The fire she once mastered so easily has become her greatest adversary and is now slowly burning her alive . . .

Paige Tyler continues her X-Ops series with the release of Her True Match, which is due out on March 7th.

her true matchSynopsis…

After a long game of cat-and-mouse

Feline shifter Dreya Clark picks the wrong penthouse to rob and ends up arrested by sexy detective Braden Hayes. But Braden isn’t the only one who’s been watching the cat burglar. Agents from the Department of Covert Operations swoop in to offer her a deal. If she wants to stay out of jail, she’ll have to work with them—and pair up with the hot cop. Great.

Danger throws this unlikely pair together

Braden isn’t thrilled about the DCO meddling in his investigation. He’s been chasing Dreya for years. Thrown together on a dangerous covert mission, fur flies and temperatures flare. But when danger closes in on them, their game of cat and mouse turns deadly-serious, and they’ll have to rely on each other to make it out alive.

This final one is from Jennifer Ashley. Red Wolf is the 10th book in the Shifters Unbound series, and it will be released next May 2nd.

red wolfSynopsis…

Lupine Shifter Dimitri has always had to defend himself to other Shifters. As a red wolf, he’s not considered a “pure” wolf, and the battles have honed him into a tough fighter, a champion of the fight clubs. Jaycee Bordeaux, a leopard Shifter, is Dimitri’s staunchest defender and oldest friend. Dimitri is determined to turn that friendship into a mate bond.

Jaycee loves that idea, but she knows that a mate bond can’t be forced. And when Dimitri and Jaycee are called on to go undercover to protect collared Shifters, she knows the dangers ahead will make or break their future together.

That is it for this batch. Not sure how I am feeling about the Ghostwalker jump to hardcover, honestly. If you had asked me before the recent Feehan change in writing style (and a couple of disappointing Ghostwalker books), I would’ve been all over it like the fan-girl I have always been. Now? Not so sure it will be worth it, and that is painful to say.

Review

Magic Binds Review

Yes, we are on the final countdown for Magic Binds, the next installment of the Kate Daniels series from Ilona Andrews, which is due out on the 20th. Doug Meeks sent over his early review, and it sounds like it doesn’t disappoint. Not that any of us thought it ever would.

magic bindsWhat Doug said…

My head is still trying to grasp all the things that happened in this book and more importantly the question of “What happens next??” As for the question, I don’t know and trying to guess what the authors will come up with would be the textbook definition of “exercise in futility”.

OK, to get things started and to raise the stress level of the reader, we get an oracle who sees all kinds of horrible things in Kate’s future and almost no way to avoid them which sets this book off on a series of small adventures leading up to a middle sized adventure which leads to an epic battle, so what could we add?

Did you forget the wedding? Yes, the wedding which they choose the most unlikely priest who has never been asked to do a wedding and becomes a “wedding planner” and he and others pursue Kate all through the book to add some serious humor to a very stressful story. It is things like this that make this book rise above almost every other series in this genre, they can make you laugh at the best and worst times.

Let’s not forget about Roland, the loving Father and homicidal megalomaniac that has been the monster since book 1 pretty much but has become a mixed bag over the last few books. Is he the horrible monster or just a misunderstood psychopath? Well, you get a lot more information in this book and just when you think you know all the answers The Andrews Mafia give it a twist to make you run for your Advil. We do get a LOT more history of Roland in this book than we have in this whole series up until now.

One of the things in every almost every novel in this genre I have ever read is any character with enormous powers has to fight their own inner demons to avoid becoming a monster and this happens with Kate a lot in this book but it is SO subtle at the time that you don’t realize she has crossed a line until it is pointed out to you and THAT folks is just plain old good writing.

Another thing I have noticed in recent books is that a few characters I really liked have become somewhat unlikable but still remain uneasy friends. They take this small tidbit of a plot twist and blow it into the stratosphere in this one, you will not believe who Kate is bringing home for a visit.

You been wondering about Christopher you say? Answers will be forthcoming and it is just one of MANY surprises in this book.

I keep wondering about Julie and what the future plans for her are, she is still a bit of an unknown power and she is still spending time with Roland. When I think of this series ending it is more than a bit depressing but I can see this carrying on with Julie as the lead character in the future.

Let us get back to the wedding planning, it is pure chaos and in addition to all the “girly” stuff that Kate must suffer through Roland wants to attend and make it into a feast for the ages. Ya gotta love family LOL. If all the monsters and evil villains can’t kill Kate, this wedding might do it.

I think I will end this horribly long review with a question …. where is Hugh, we don’t see him at all in this book and I don’t believe for a minute that he is really gone. Is that April Fool joke about him getting his own book going to become a reality?

Bottom Line: WTF can I say that has not already been said, I get tired of saying how this one is better than the last. I have already run out of superlatives and to repeat how awesome/exceptional/amazing/[ fill in the blank ] this series is just makes me look inept. Let’s just call it in a class with maybe 3-4 other series at most and give it 5 Stars only because they don’t allow more.

My Favorite Line (and you have to read it in context to enjoy it): “My impersonation of a peacock is proceeding as planned.”

Since it would be stupid to ask if you are looking forward to this one, I will ask instead what you would like to see after this series wraps up. The mysterious Hugh book? More Derek stories? How about a Roman-centric series?

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Site Updates

Welp, I jumped in and removed all of the featured authors sections, and I have moved all of the character guides over to this blog. You can find the list of them over in the sidebar on the right ——>. I have left some re-direct links over on the author pages that had guides so people can update their bookmarks, if needed, but I will probably take them down in a few months.

Maria actually suggested that for the In Death guide, I could maybe change the format a bit and do a breakdown of the recurring characters at the beginning, then do a book-by-book listing for those one-shot characters that are never seen again. That sounds easy enough to do now because I am only like three books in, so playing around with the format is pretty easy at this point. Does anyone else have any suggestions they would like to see that could make things run a little smoother? I was toying with the idea of adding a forum section, but I will have to see how realistic that could be. I was thinking that maybe it would be a way to organize the various authors and series and have a place to chat, but not sure that would get used much. Let me know what you think.

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Dianne Duvall and Random Stuff

I am officially on my fall vacation, which doesn’t suck. I use it and my January vacation to do the things I was too lazy to do all year, like major cleaning. That does sort-of suck. One thing I do is tackle my dust-and-cat-hair filled books, and I usually take that opportunity to take stock and see if there are any TBR books that I have lost interest in. After many, many purges and concentrated effort to read off of my shelves, over the last couple of years I have managed to drop over 200 books off of mount TBR. Now I am pretty much down to the basics.

One of the series that has always escaped the chopping block is Dianne Duvall‘s Immortal Guardians. I don’t hear much mentioned about it, so I thought I would ask all of you…are you fans? How much did you like this series? Is it worthwhile for the TBR-sometime soonish shelf?

And on a related note as to my paring things down, I was wondering how much any of you use the author pages sections? Other than the ones that have character guides, they don’t provide anything you can’t get on Goodreads except for the fact that covers and blurbs for each series are all on the same page. I find myself using them less and less, and I am toying with the thought of just keeping the guides and moving them like I recently did for The Midnight Breed guide. Let me know if you have an opinion one way or the other. Not sure if I am getting lazier, or maybe just trying to be smarter with my time, but I am all about not having extra “stuff” lately. Physical stuff, online stuff, you name it, I have been getting rid of a lot of clutter. Not always easy to do, but it always feels so good afterwards.

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Cover Lover – Blade Bound

This was a surprise for a couple of reasons. One, I wasn’t expecting the cover for Chloe Neill‘s final Chicagoland book, Blade Bound, to be released this early. Second…is that Ethan I see?!? Really. This final full-book cover is the first to feature anyone other than just Merit, if I am not mistaken. Blade Bound will be hitting the shelves on April 24th.

blade boundSynopsis…

Since Merit was turned into a vampire at the tender age of twenty-seven, she’s become the protector of House Cadogan and saved the city of Chicago over and over again. Through it all, she’s had her lover, and friend, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

But then Ethan is violently attacked, seemingly by someone in the throes of a dark magic. And as that magic spreads across the city, Merit finds herself in a fight to the death for everything she loves.

Are you ready for this one to wind down? What direction do you think the new spin-off series will take? Shifters? Mages? Maybe something completely new?

Book of the Month

September’s Book of the Month

Yep, I do this post fully aware that it is a foregone conclusion as to which book will be the pick of the month. Hell, Magic Binds is probably the pick of the rest of the year if I am being honest. But we will go through the motions to choose which book is the most anticipated release for September. I have chosen 10 titles to list in the poll, but if you have a different book you are most looking forward to just select “Other” and leave your choice in the comments section. A complete list of September’s releases can be found HERE.

I have to admit, while I am chomping at the bit to get Magic Binds, I am almost equally as excited to get Blood Red Kiss. I have been waiting for Gena Showalter to write Dallas’s story for what feels like forever, and I am so grateful I don’t even mind it is a novella. You know those stories that you just don’t think you will ever get, then years later they are written? That is Dallas’s story for me. So excited.

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Site Updates

xSo, I have been busy the last couple of hours playing around with some behind the scenes stuff, and I thought I should let you know there have been a few changes. They won’t matter to most people, but I am mentioning it on the off chance you go looking for something and can’t find it.

First off, I mentioned that since I was quitting the Arcana Chronicles series from Kresley Cole, I was also giving up the character guide. That has been deleted, along with a couple of others that I enjoyed but just didn’t feel like updating anymore – one is the Shadowhunters guide for Cassandra Clare‘s multiple series, and the other is the Rock Kiss series guide from Nalini Singh. On the Shadowhunters front, I have moved on from YA and don’t want to “have to” read it if I don’t feel like it, and Rock Kiss doesn’t fit the overall PNR/UF theme I have going on so I let it go, too.

I also deleted a few author pages. Tastes change, interests change, and having almost 30 different pages to try and keep updated and edited on a weekly basis was a bit over the top. I did delete the Cassandra Clare page, again because I am not doing young adult too much anymore, and that same reason made me say goodbye to the Richelle Mead section, too. Larissa Ione hasn’t really had much to mentioned for quite a while now, so that one was just taking up space, and I stopped reading Lara Adrian way back when so her page is gone, too. PhoenixFyre has a great character guide for The Midnight Breed that I definitely didn’t want to go to waste, so I moved it HERE.

There was other stuff I could’ve dumped, too, but I decided to wait and see. Maybe I am getting lazy, or just more realistic, but I don’t want this blog to turn into work. I spend a lot of time on it, but it is time I enjoy. When there are things that I start to dread, or have to force myself to do, then it is time to let those things go. I still have plans to add other guides, maybe new authors as I find them, but for now this will keep me busy.

Picks of the Week

Pick of the Week

I am late on making my pick of the week post because, well, I was reading my pick of the week. There wasn’t much to choose from, but even if the release deck was fully stocked odds are I still would’ve picked Nalini Singh‘s Wild Embrace. To finally get the story of the mysterious Arrow-who-isn’t Stefan? And to find out what was going on for Jem and Kenji? Both in the same book? Beauty.

wild embraceSynopsis…

Echo of Silence
In a deep-sea station, Tazia Nerif has found her life’s work as an engineer, keeping things running smoothly. But she wants nothing more than to break down the barrier of silence between her and her telekinetic Psy station commander…

Dorian
A changeling who can never shift lives a life of quiet frustration—until he learns how to let his leopard come out and play…

Partners in Persuasion
Still raw from being burned by a dominant female, wolf changeling Felix will never again risk being a plaything. But for dominant leopard Dezi, he’s the most fascinating man she’s ever met. She just has to convince this gun-shy wolf that he can trust the dangerous cat who wants to take a slow, sexy bite out of him…

Flirtation of Fate
Seven years ago, Kenji broke Garnet’s heart. Now the wolf packmates have to investigate the shocking murder of one of their own. And the more Kenji sees of the woman Garnet has become, the deeper he begins to fall once more. But even his primal instincts are no match for the dark secret he carries…

It was great to get back into changeling stories – I hadn’t realized how much I missed them, what with the last few books being Psy based (although I think Stefan’s story was my favorite of the four included here). Two of the biggest lingering questions I had about the whole series was what was up with Jem and Kenji, and how Stefan ended up based on Alaris with a possible mate, so I was a happy reader.

This one falls story-line wise before Allegiance of Honor, but it is the last official release in the first Psy/Changeling chapter. Nalini has mentioned she is working on the next as we speak. Where do you think things will go? Will she start to delve into BlackSea or maybe RainFire? The Falcons? I know (believe-pray-hope) that Silver, Pax and Bo have to have their turns coming up, but I also really want to get more from SnowDancer in the form of Alexei, Tomas and the other un-mated Sentinels, plus Jamie from DarkRiver. Jamie was mentioned too much in Allegiance of Honor for it to be casual, so he must have something coming up. I think.

Review

On the Brighter Side of Things

Glossy Green Heart-256x256I have found that for the last couple of weeks, I have been coming off as negative in most of my posts. Between mocking some recent cover art (ok, they were totally ugly and deserved the pointing and laughing), and the whining about series I am dropping and recent disappointments in what I have read, I have decided to do a post about something I really liked.

That something is the new one from Faith Hunter, Blood of the Earth. It is the first book in the Jane Yellowrock spin-off series called Soulwood, and for me it did about everything right. I like the characters and the world-building in the Jane Yellowrock books, but the multiple potential romantic interests took me out of the story. I don’t mind if there is no romantic lead for a few books, but when there are a few different ones all the time then I can’t really get invested in the story. Weird, but true. I didn’t have that problem at all in Blood of the Earth. There is one potential love interest, period, and even that is only at the hinting-at stage in this first book. But because I wasn’t trying to play a guessing game figuring out who it might be, I was able to sit back and enjoy the story.

The world-building is great, and Nell was a fascinating character. Her situation is so unique that I don’t remember any other characters in any other series with her particular type of backstory or voice before. Add into that her very interesting and complex set of abilities, and you have a stand-out character. But there are others, too, who stood out – like Paca and Occam, Tandy and even Mud. I know there is a lot of Rick hate from the Jane Yellowrock books, but I didn’t get far enough into the series to see what for. At this point, I actually feel bad for him and the situation he seems to be stuck in, but that might change when I find out what he did that turned off so many readers.

And I will be finding out, because my enjoyment of Blood of the Earth did exactly what I was hoping it would do – it jump started my interest in Jane Yellowrock. See, now I have to go back and re-read the couple of books that I have already read, then power through the rest of the series, just so I can feel that I didn’t miss any backstory that will impact what is going on here. As a bonus, you all have mentioned that the romantic-whiplash thing does eventually get resolved, so I am in.

Did you check this one out? What did you think? Doug sent over his early review a while back, so hopefully you have had time to check it out by now. How does it compare to Jane for you? For those who loathed Rick heading into this one, was he redeemed at all?

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Another One Bites the Dust

f58bece565008387c95ee25036b84ad3Welp, looks like I am dropping another series – I just wish I had done it before I had bought multiple copies of most of the books. Kresley Cole‘s Arcana Chronicles was one of the few young adult series that survived my recent book purges, but by the time I had finished reading the recently released Arcana Rising I had changed my mind.

With the publishing and format changes in the last couple of books, I found myself frustrated a couple of times. I had the first three books in hardcover, but when it looked like it was going to be paperback only from now on I bit the bullet and repurchased them in the new-look paperback format. Great. Except that didn’t work. I managed to pay a fortune for the mini-book Day Zero, but it is a completely different size than the previous books. And Arcana Rising? I was forced to pick it up in e-format since it wasn’t offered in print format at all for Canada – until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, it became offered in print – in HARDCOVER. No. Just no.

Add on to that my overall dissatisfaction with the direction and feel of the last book, and I think I am done. It felt like a filler book with a fanfic ending. It was choppy and didn’t fit with the rest of the series, at least for me. Sadly, I don’t even know if I care enough to pick up the final book when it is released. I might break down and pick it up, but at this point I really doubt it.

If anyone would like to take over the Character Guide I have for it, just let me know and the info is all yours. I know I won’t be updating it, but it would be a shame to let the effort go to waste.