Is it just me…?

caught in timeI was double-checking some of my listings for upcoming new releases tonight and doing a little pre-ordering when I saw something that made me scratch my head a bit. Tell me if I am being weird or just plain cheap, but one of the listings made me do a double take (and then some). I really enjoy the Kendra Donovan mysteries from author Julie McElwain – think time traveling police procedural romance – and I have the first two books both in hardcover and e-format. But when I went to order the third book, Caught in Time, I was hit with sticker shock.

On the Canadian version of Amazon, Caught in Time is $34.95 for the hardcover (which is pretty much the norm now). But the Kindle version? It’s $23.79. TWENTY THREE SEVENTY NINE freakin’ bucks. I am used to paying in the 15 or 16 dollar Canadian range for a new release that is offered in hardcover, but I have never seen one that high. It is over $18 on the US Amazon site, too, but it works out about the same when you consider the exchange rate. Wow.

Of course, the author has absolutely no control over pricing, so I am not throwing any jabs at Julie McElwain at all. It just seems a shame that some people might be turned away from picking up a good book by that kind of price tag. Me? I will pick up either the hardcover or the kindle copy this time around, but not both (and I always get both for series where hardcover is an option). Even though I drop money like crazy, I can’t justify spending $60 on them. I guess I really do have my limits.

So, am I weird? I don’t usually pay attention to pricing all that much, but this one really jumped out at me. What is your spending max for an e-format book?

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New Series Alert

Since another Monday has rolled around, it is time to take a look at what new series are starting up this week. There is only one, and it comes from author Kelly Meding. Stray Magic is the first book of the Strays series.

stray magicSynopsis…

Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

I am on a bit of a new-to-me author kick, and this sounds like something that I could get into. Just might have to break down and pick this one up, too. Will you be checking this new one out from Kelly Meding?

 

Reading Wrap Up

US Ocean Light Cover - CopyHey everyone, time to talk books. I am pretty sure that most of you dove into Nalini Singh‘s Ocean Light as soon as possible…what did you think? How did you like Bo and Kaia’s story? Personally, I really liked it. I loved getting more of a look at how BlackSea works, since it is so very different from all of the other Changeling groups. And it was nice to have a human-based story again, too, for a change of pace. Like Doug said in his review, though, I finished this one with no clear idea of whose story would be up next. Maybe Malachai?

magic bornI also picked up a couple of books from a new-to-me author, which ended up being a successful blind-buy. Rayanne Haines started her Guardians series last September with the release of Fire Born, but I only picked it up last week (totally for the cover, too). I quite enjoyed it – enough so that when I was done I immediately ordered the second book, Magic Born. I only really have one gripe for these – and it makes me sound like someone’s English teacher – but there were times that the editing errors threw me a bit. I am still looking forward to the upcoming third book, but the errors were there. In Fire Born, it was, the strange use, of commas, that would distract me. Quite a lot at times. That seemed to be resolved by the second book, but then it became more a matter of spelling issues. Knew instead of new, clam instead of calm, little things like that. Not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it did make me stop and go back to see if I had read something wrong.

How has your reading been? How would you rate Ocean Light? Have you picked up any new authors lately? How much does editing errors take away from your enjoyment of a book?

 

Ocean Light Review

Well, we are almost at one of my two big reading-related days this month (the other being the day Iron and Magic comes out, of course). Tomorrow is the official release of Nalini Singh‘s latest Psy/Changeling book, Ocean Light, and to mark the occasion Doug Meeks was kind enough to send over his review.

US Ocean Light Cover - CopyWhat Doug said…

Well one of the reasons I don’t write books (outside of that no talent and no imagination thing) is that I have no patience, I would have all bad guys dead by page 10 and wonder “where do I go from here”. Fortunately Nalini Singh does not suffer from any of those afflictions and we have a story that manages to have drama, romance, loyalty and my favorite, violence all thrown together in a story to warm the heart while making the blood boil for those who suffer and takes us along on a pace that changes to suit the scene.

First of all my memory is terrible and I spent several chapters while reading trying to remember if Bowen had been thought dead in any previous books but since I was too lazy to go back and research it I finally decided it really did not matter (and it did not). Suffice it to say he was pretty much dead when we start this book and some medical miracle are the only thing keeping him alive and those might not be enough.

Then Kaia enters the scene and pretty much hates him on sight which always makes for a good story in the hands of a talented writer. We have a slow romance with a touch of insta-love thrown in but not too heavy handed (meaning there is no “MINE” moment just minutes after they meet). He will have to work at this one IF he manages to live long enough which does not look all that promising.

Enter a subplot of some residents of BlackSea disappearing over the last few months and it looks like humans (specifically the organization Bowen heads up) might be behind it.

Throw in a couple of hints, some red herrings, a bevy of suspects with a good mystery and along with an excellent romance you have a 5 Star story (which I actually rated 4.5).

We do get a slight bit more than a cameo of our favorite Psy – Kaleb Krycheck (who I personally love because he pretty much kills anyone who ever did Sahara wrong in any way LOL) but we do get a cameo of Sahara also towards the end. They obviously add to any book they are mentioned. We also get a really short cameo of Hawke just to add a bit of flavor into the story in how outsiders actually see him which I found interesting since we all still have Kiss of Snow in our heads which warps out viewpoint a bit.

My only minor complaint (go back and read paragraph 1) is that everybody I wanted to kill was not dead at the end of the book . I am assured there will be justice for all since this is actually book #17 of this series it is also book #2 of a trilogy with a bit of an overarching plot, so I can hardly wait to see where it goes from here. I did love the way she handled everything so there is nothing that resembles a cliffhanger but does leave a thread or two to make you want the next book immediately.

Oooh, and I am so patting myself on the back right now. With a whole couple of hours to spare, I got the Psy/Changeling character guide updated with the info from Silver Silence before Ocean Light comes out. I might’ve cut things a little close, but I did get it done in the end. Yay me.

Cover Lover – Lionheart

Thea Harrison released the cover for her next Moonshadow book, Lionheart, which is due out this December. So, yeah. The cover. Welp, I’ve got nothing. Dude is…mature. And…unusual. Not your standard cover model (my expression right now kind of looks like the lion in the top corner, honestly). So, your thoughts?

Lionheart

Blind Buys, Second Thoughts, and a DNF

booksRather than a reading wrap up, this post is more like a buying wrap up. Weird, but I am going with it. I have become a bit OCD in my book buying, or maybe I should say that it is getting worse, but I am determined to not build up the monster TBR pile again. The downside of that is that I struggle over every new series purchase like I am trying to decide whether or not to donate a kidney. The struggle is real.

I did realize that I had never read Ilona Andrews‘ Kinsmen books, but since the first story is impossible to find I ended up jumping ahead and buying the second one, Silver Shark. I have heard a lot of good things about it, and I ended up really enjoying it (which is not a surprise – I have never not liked an Ilona Andrews book. Ever). I can see where it might’ve contributed to the idea of the Hidden Legacy series, which is always a good thing. Hopefully Silver Blade will become available again soonish to finish this off.

And I broke down and picked up The Master from Kresley Cole. Not my usual thing, but all in all I quite liked it. Not sure I will be grabbing the other two books in the series right away, but maybe somewhere down the line if I feel like another change of pace. I liked it more than I thought I would, so I guess that counts as a win?

I did read Shadow Keeper from Christine Feehan, too, which all in all I liked. I did enjoy that the heroine was not a complete “oooh, honey, let me cook for you in my ruffled boots” doormat, which was a nice change of pace. She had some backbone, and some pride, which can be somewhat lacking in female leads. But this book did give me some second thoughts on what is still to come for the series. At first, Vittorio was the least interesting of all of the family, but I found he was my favorite part of Shadow Keeper. His story is up next in Shadow Warrior, and I am very excited for it. But as for Emme and Taviano’s stories? Not so interested now. I am over the abused young girl and her dominant but trying not to be older mate thing. And as much as I like Emme and Val, I lost interest in their story, too. I will probably be picking them up, who am I kidding, but my interest in both books has cooled.

There were a few really random blind buys, too, that just sort of saw and grabbed for no particular reason. I picked up Fire Born by Rayanne Haines after I added the info for the second book, Magic Born, to this month’s new releases. The reviews were good (and the cover was pretty), so I thought I would give it a whirl. I am about 15% in, and so far so good. It is pretty standard for me, but I am liking it.

And for something different, I saw an article where Stephenie Meyer had exited the television adaptation of The Rook by Daniel O’Malley that is being made for Starz. Paranormal spy thriller? Sounds interesting, so I picked it up as an impulse buy. Not my usual read, but it did grab my attention. Hopefully I will be getting to that one soon.

My last blind buy didn’t work out as I had planned. On the Alpha Showdown (which is going on now at the Vampire Book Club), I saw one of the contestants was a character named Secret McQueen, who was the main character of Sierra Dean‘s series of the same name. Sounds good, so I picked up the first story right away. Eh, didn’t work out as planned, since further research showed that there is a LOVE TRIANGLE. Nope. No way. Not happening. I deleted that sucker so fast I don’t even remember the name of it. I absolutely cannot handle a love triangle at all anymore, unless I am already involved in a series and one crops up, but I avoid those suckers like the plague if I can. That was a close call.

That about sums things up. New stuff from old favorites, blind buys, and a completely not-fair DNF. Have you tried the Secret McQueen series? Was I wrong to tank it before I ever cracked a page? What did you think of The Rook?

Circle of the Moon Cover and Blurb

This one makes me happy. The cover and official blurb for the next Soulwood book from Faith Hunter has been released, and it is a beauty. The Soulwood series is a big favorite of mine, and now I can begin the countdown until Circle of the Moon is released…next February 26th. Ugh.

circle of the moonSynopsis…

Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately she’s been using it to help the Psy-Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned–and to find true friends.

Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank–he’s naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there’s a dead black cat, sacrificed in a witch circle and killed by black magic, lying next to him.

Then more animals turn up dead, and team rushes to investigate. A blood-witch is out to kill. But when it seems as if their leader is involved in the crime, the bonds that hold the team together could shatter at any moment.

I tore through the last book so quickly that I really need to do a re-read. Actually, a re-read of all three books is in order. I get so much more out of a little series marathoning that it is definitely worth the time. And it isn’t like it is a hardship…

 

New Series Alert

Happy June, everyone, which is the weirdest thing to type. I can’t believe how fast this year is chugging along so far. We have one new series starting up this week, and it comes from Alexis Morgan. In Darkness Transformed is the first book of the Paladin Strike Team series.

in darkness transformedSynopsis…

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Paladin series returns with this sexy, original title featuring a man discovering the paranormal world of the paladins.

Dying hurts…but not as much as living.

Eli is lucky to survive the helicopter crash that killed the rest of the passengers. But when he notices his wounds healing before his eyes, it seems like his survival may have come from more than luck.

Safara knows what Eli does not—Eli is a paladin, a mortal enemy of someone like Safara, someone from Kalithia.

Still, after Eli saves Safara’s life, and Safara introduces Eli to a whole new world, they just can’t seem to treat each as enemies.

It is nice to see Alexis Morgan return to paranormal romance, since her last release was way back in 2015. Are you a fan of her Paladins series? Are you glad to see this spin-off

Weird Kindle Question

Like the title says, this is a weird question. I think. Anyways, I got my pre-ordered copy of Shadow Keeper this week, and it was delivered automatically to both my Kindle and my Kindle for ipad. The weird part is that everything is fine on the regular Kindle end, but the book showed up with the old place-holder cover on the ipad. When you open the book and look up the cover, the official cover art is there, but the image that shows up on the home page is a plain gray rectangle with Christine Feehan’s name and the book title, like this…

419yRhSI+ML

That is weird, right? I have removed it from the app and redownloaded and all that crap, but the image above stays. Any ideas?

Bad Boy Syndrome

iron and magicWe are only days away (DAYS!) from getting our collective hot little hands on Iron and Magic from Ilona Andrews. I did consider threatening/bribing/injuring someone to get an ARC, but I held strong. I might have to call in dead to work on June 26th, because I won’t be any good to anyone knowing that it is waiting for me on my ipad. Like many others, I am hugely excited for Hugh’s story. Weirdly so. And it got me to thinking that there really haven’t been many bad boy/anti-hero/villain books that I have read. In fact, there are only two that I can think of at this point. But those two remain my absolute favorite reads from their respective series, which is saying something.

First up was Lothaire from Kresley Cole. He was one big, bad, manipulative dude, and I couldn’t see how he would be redeemed. At all. What I ended up loving was the fact that he never really was redeemed – we just got to see what made him tick. He was wicked, sexy and fun, and his story is the first one that comes to mind when I think of the Immortals After Dark series.

The only other one I can think of is Heart of Obsidian. Well, Kaleb wasn’t completely a bad guy/villain, but up until his book I didn’t quite know what he was. He came off as the big bad, but once again when you see the world from his perspective things fall into place. Once again, Heart of Obsidian is pretty much the pinnacle of Nalini Singh‘s Psy/Changeling series for me, and it is a hard one to top.

What are your favorite bad-guy based stories? Have you ever read a book where the “hero” pulled as much crap as Hugh has? What does it usually take for you to root for them in the end?

On a related note, there is a feature written by Nalini Singh over on Hypable, where she discusses the power of paranormal romance. I am heading over now to give it a read.