Review

Reading Wrap Up

american-english-idioms-book-with-wordsHey everyone, it has been a few days since last check in. It looks like Nalini Singh‘s Allegiance of Honor is going to be the big book for June (like that was a surprise), but I thought it would be a good time to take a look at what we have already read.

I finished up another In Death book by J.D. Robb, Rapture in Death (did I mentioned I am trying to memorize the titles in order as I read them? It will be fun to see how far I get before they all blur together). I am only four books in, but so far I find myself enjoying each new one more than the last. When a series is that darn long, you have to figure that things will get old and feel recycled after a while, but for some reason I have the feeling that I won’t get tired of this one at all.

And for something a little different, I picked up a non PNR UF book (gasp! Shocked myself with that one). Alexandra Ivy started her new romantic suspense ARES series at the end of last year with the release of Kill Without Mercy, and I finally got around to picking it up. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Hero was Alpha but didn’t fall into Alpha-hole territory, and the heroine was troubled by her past but not a complete wimp/doormat. Lots of action, some suspense, and great supporting characters, too. I even Kindled the All He Wants for Christmas e-collection so I could check out the series prequel novella, Sweet Rapture, which I liked, as well. I have only tried one other story, which didn’t really grab my attention, but there are still a few more to go.

That, sadly, wraps up my reading this week. What have you been reading lately? Any hidden jems to share?

Book of the Month

June’s Book of the Month

After a less than spectacular May in terms of anticipated reads, June is promising to be pretty solid. Or rather, there are a couple of monster reads with some other great books mixed in. I am pretty sure which one will run away with June’s book of the month title, but I have been wrong before. I have chosen 10 books from June’s new release page, but if there is something else you are looking forward to, just click the “Other” option and leave your selection in the comments section. A complete list of June’s books can be found HERE. Let’s get started…

Ok, personally I see this as an Allegiance of Honor blow-out, with Tenth Grave coming in second and maybe Feehan’s new one third. At least those are the three big ones for me this month, anyways.

Release Info · Uncategorized

Arcana Chronicles Book 4

So, the title of this post doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but the title, cover and blurb for the next Arcana Chronicles book from Kresley Cole have been released. And, Le sigh, now I want this style of cover for the previous three books, too. The pain! Strangely enough, there isn’t much of a wait for this one, either, since it is due out this August 15th. Behold, Arcana Rising:

arcana risingWhen the battle is done . . .
The Emperor unleashed hell and annihilated an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind–but Circe struck back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . .
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter’s reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future–and her chilling past–will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter’s ashes, stronger than ever before?

Book three left of with a pretty epic cliffhanger, so I will be glad to finally figure out what happened to whom – and hopefully we will see an end to the ever-loathsome love triangle trope, too. Please?

Spotlight on...

Spotlight Wednesday – Susan Ilene

I was lazy and skipped last week’s spotlight post, but it is time once again to showcase an author that maybe doesn’t get the recognition they deserve. This week we will be looking at another recommended read from Abra, who is a fan of Susan Illene and her Urban Fantasy Sensor series.

So far, there are six full books and some novellas to dive into, with a seventh book due out sometimes next year. There is a free prequel story available over on the author’s site called Nothing is Ever What it Seems, which can be found HERE, but the first full book is called Darkness Haunts.

darkness hauntsSynopsis…

Melena Sanders faced her fair share of danger with insurgents and terrorists when she served in the U.S. Army, but now she is about to go up against a new threat. Her best friend, Aniya, has disappeared while on a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska—a supernatural haven. Most humans have no idea darker races lurk amongst them. Mel knows better. If she wants to get her friend back, she’s going to have to go in alone—but not unarmed.

Melena has a few special skills the Army didn’t provide, but the odds are still against her. She’s got to come up with a plan fast that doesn’t involve her, or her friend, dying. But danger likes to play it rough. A war for power is about to rise in Fairbanks and if she wants to get Aniya back, she’s going to have to step right into the middle of it.

Other books in the series:

spotlight template.jpg

susan illeneAbout Susan Illene: Susan Illene served in the US Army for eleven years and worked as a human resources specialist and an Arabic linguist. She served two deployments to Iraq, and after leaving the army, she studied history at the University of Oklahoma. She and her husband currently live in Oklahoma with two high-maintenance cats doing their best to help her write her books.

. . . . .

Your turn, everyone. What other authors or series do you think deserve a little more attention? Just hit the “Contact Me” button on the top menu and drop me a line, and we can turn the spotlight on another hidden jem.

Cover Lover

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

Well, let’s take a peek at some covers  for upcoming releases, starting with a couple from Alexandra Ivy. This first one isn’t PNR, but instead it comes from her ARES series. Kill Without Shame is the second book of the series, and it will be released on December 27th.

kill-without-shameLucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.

Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves…

This second Ivy cover is actually an e-format re-release of Taken by Darkness, a story originally published in the Yours For Eternity anthology, and it is due out on December 6th.

taken-by-darknessThe daughter of a witch, Juliet Lawrence has inherited magical powers – powers that could be quite useful to Victor, Marquess DeRosa, London’s most powerful vampire. But that’s not all Victor desires of Juliet. He wants the unpredictable beauty in his bed – and he is accustomed to getting what he wants…

Lisa Shearin‘s next SPI Files book will be called The Ghoul Vendetta, and it will be out on January 31st.

the ghoul vendettaA vampire gangster’s nephew is abducted off his yacht by a bunch of low-rent Creatures from the Black Lagoon. A slew of banks are knocked over by what looks like the cast of Night of the Living Dead. All of this may seem like the movies, but, I promise you, it’s not.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and I know the culprits aren’t wearing disguises or makeup. They’re real. Deadly real. Especially their leader—an ancient shapeshifter who leaves a trail of chaos and blood in his wake. Now, he’s taken my partner, Ian—and his intentions aren’t pretty.

The worst part? This is only the beginning…

The beginning of the end of the human race.

This next one is from Paige Tyler and her SWAT series. Wolf Unleashed is the fifth book in the series, and it has a release date of December 6th.

wolf unleashedWolf shifter Alex Trevino has fallen hard for veterinarian Lacey Barton. Getting her to agree to a date is a lot of work—and winning her heart proves even harder.

Lacey can’t deny her crazy attraction to Alex, but she has no intention of letting herself fall for him. In her less than stellar experience, men don’t stick around.

When Lacey’s sister is kidnapped, it’s up to Alex to crack the case—and prove to Lacey that he isn’t going anywhere.

Sylvain Reynard‘s final book in The Florentine series will be called The Roman, and it will be out this December.

the romanRaven and her sister, Cara, are at the mercy of a small detachment of Florentine vampyres, who are delivering them as a peace offering to the feared Curia in Rome.

Though she’s unsure William survived the coup that toppled his principality, Raven is determined to protect her sister at all costs, even if it means challenging Borek, the commander of the detachment.

In an effort to keep Raven from falling into the hands of his enemies, William puts himself at the mercy of the Roman, the dangerous and mysterious vampyre king of Italy. But the Roman is not what he expects …

Alliances and enmities will shift and merge as William struggles to save the woman he loves and his principality, without plunging the vampyre population into a world war.

This next one is Born of Vengeance from Sherrilyn Kenyon, which is the part of the League series. Yeah, I am not feeling this style change in the last couple of books. They were awesome when they just had the sword on the front, but the addition of the dude really takes away from the design for me. Either way, this one will be out on February 1st.

born of vengeanceA fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy…

And this final one for today is from V.E. Schwab. A Conjuring of Light is the third book in her Shades of Magic series, and it will be released on February 21st.

a conjuring of lightLondons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

Do you like the change in the League cover design? Which one of these catch your eye?

Uncategorized

So, What’s Going On?

Yes, I was totally just rewatching that scene from Sense8 where they all start singing the 4 Non Blondes song and felt the need to start belting out “what’s going on” I think it is called What’s Up, but What’s Going On works better for me. So, what’s going on? There aren’t any new series starting up this week, and like last week I thought I would again do something a bit different. But instead of looking into what new series you have been enjoying, I thought we could look at what series you follow that have just sort of…stopped, leaving you waiting for the next book that never seems to come. Or is promised to come – someday.

Mine is actually from Shana Abe. I was really hit or miss on her Drakon series – loved some, totally didn’t dig others. It was really weird, actually. I haven’t had that type of reaction to any other series that I remember. Of course, there have been times when I haven’t liked a certain installment in a series as much as some of the others, but not from one extreme to the other and back again in the course of five books. But what I did love was her young adult spin-off The Sweetest Dark books. The setting, the writing, the characters – loved it all. What I am not loving so much? The endless wait for the third book, which has been in limbo for, oh, about three years now, with no end in sight. I do know it is supposed to be in progress, but no clue on when. I keep looking for info, but no luck so far. I understand that things happen, but I think it is the lack of updates that bugs me the most. Or maybe I am just too demanding?

That one is probably the worst for me, but there are other series that seem to have just died off somehow. Like has anyone heard anything about the Downside Ghosts series from Stacia Kane? I haven’t started that one yet, but I have heard such good things about it I am really looking forward to diving in – but there hasn’t been any news about it for ages. Ditto Dani Harper‘s Changeling series and Coreene Callahan‘s Dragonfury books. I keep looking for info, but no luck.

What book has kept you in limbo the longest? What series do you follow that has just sort of gone into indefinite hiatus? How long do you wait before you just lose hope and move on?

Review

Reading Wrap Up

Note to self – start doing this post on a book-by-book basis, then post it later, since maybe you would then be able to remember what in the blue hell you actually read – and what you thought of it.

Other note to self – quit whining.

american-english-idioms-book-with-wordsAhem. Now that that is out of the way, it is time to talk what we have all been reading. A while back, my very first Spotlight Wednesday post featured author Julie McElwain‘s A Murder in Time. I was very kindly sent a copy of this book, and I was pleasantly surprised. It is a time-travel police procedural where FBI profiler Kendra ends up mysteriously being sent back to 1815…and the hunting ground of a serial killer. Like I said, I liked this one. The only thing is that while it had romantic foreshadowing, there isn’t really a romance here. Now, if there is a sequel, then things should get kicked up a notch. And speaking of sequel, while there isn’t a cliffhanger ending, it would be logical for another book to follow. And I will be picking it up if there is.

What else? Hm, I got the latest Jennifer Ashley Shifters Unbound book, White Tiger. It was another solid entry in the series, but man, I am so mixing up characters. Broderick? Roderick? Ellison? And don’t get me started on the females. They are a complete blur. I am clear on Tiger. And Dylan. And now Zander. The rest are getting muddled together something awful. But even with that, I still enjoyed this one.

Oh, and the first couple of Southern Witch books from Kimberly Frost also were quickly devoured. I admit, I was totally suckered in by the covers, but I ended up enjoying them a lot in spite of a dreaded love-triangle. Well, sort of triangle. That would make me nuts usually, but here I didn’t mind at all. And there is quite a bit of humor, too, which was a treat. Can’t wait for the next one.

I know there were more, but honestly I just can’t remember. What have you been reading and loving lately? Anything new, or a great re-read to share?

Uncategorized

Back to Regularly Scheduled Programming

So, I have been radio-silent for the last couple of days, and I missed a couple of regular feature posts. I don’t even have a good excuse. To be honest, I was just in a crappy mood and didn’t feel like doing anything. I was a lazy blob, and everyone and everything seemed to get on my nerves. Not sure if you ever have days like that, but I usually don’t and it was a bit weird.

On the plus side, since I was unplugged from the computer and trying to hide out from the world, I did get some rare tv time. Or should I say Netflix marathon time. I even got to watch movies! On the tv show side of things, I got caught up on The 100, and I did a total rewatch of Sense8. Oh, and I finished Daredevil season 2 (loving that the Punisher gets a show, too). I still have to get caught up on The Originals, and I am waiting not-so-patiently for the third and sadly final season of Bitten on DVD. Unfortunately, there will be no blu-ray release, which kind of sucks, but it seems more shows are skipping it altogether nowadays.

What shows have you been catching lately? Anything interesting or different? Do you ever just check out and disconnect from the world, and if you do, what do you do with your time?

New Series Alerts

New Series Alert

There is just one new series to take a look at this week, and it is a young adult release from Evelyn Skye. The Crown’s Game is the first book of the Crown’s Game series.

the crown's gameSynopsis…

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Cover Lover

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

Happy weekend, everyone. It is time for a little cover lover post, this time looking at only 5 new titles. Let’s start with a new one from Elizabeth Hunter and her Irin Chronicles series. The Staff and the Blade will be released on July 12th.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00049]Lovers. Warriors. Enemies. Legends.

Damien and Sari. Their union became pivotal in Irin history. But to understand their ending, you must go back to the beginning. A young singer and a hardened warrior meet and mate, but their life is torn apart by violence, betrayal, and grief.

Yet no matter how much pain and anger stain their lives, bonds in the Irin race cannot be abandoned. Damien and Sari will never truly leave each other, because those who are destined cannot be ignored.

The Staff and the Blade is a novel in four parts. It is the fourth book in the Irin Chronicles.

This second one is from Sharon Shinn. Unquiet Land is part of the Elemental Blessings series, and it will be released on November 1st.

unquiet landLeah Frothen has returned home to rebuild the life she’s avoided for years. But she can scarcely catch her breath before she is summoned to meet with the regent, Darien Serlast, the man who made her a spy. Leah is reluctant to take on a new assignment, but Darien has dangled the perfect lure to draw her in…

Leah finds she enjoys the challenges of opening a shop catering to foreign visitors, especially since it affords her the opportunity to get to know Mally, the child she abandoned five years ago. Leah is simultaneously thrilled, terrified, hopeful, moved, and almost undone as she slowly attempts to become part of her daughter’s life.

But when the regent asks her to spy on ambassadors from a visiting nation, she develops a dangerous friendship with a foreign woman and finds herself falling in love with a man from her past. Soon Leah learns that everyone—her regent, her lover, and even her daughter—have secrets that could save the nation, but might very well break her heart.

Lets look at Susan Dennard‘s next book, Windwitch, which has a release date of January 31st. It is the second book in her young adult fantasy series, The Witchlands.

windwitch

Empire of Storms, the fifth book of Sarah J. Maas‘s young adult Throne of Glass series, will be released on September 16th.

empire of stormsThe long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

And this final one is from Veronica Roth. Her new duology will start up early next year with the release of Carve the Mark.

carve the markOn a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not — their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuve, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive — no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive — or to destroy one another.