Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

This cover batch is overwhelming young adult, for some odd reason, but let’s start with the adult one. The Shadow is the second book of the Florentine series by Sylvain Reynard, and it is due out on February 2nd.

the shadowFrom the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

Now on to the YA. Lauren Kate announced a surprise 5th book to her Fallen series a while back called Unforgiven. It will be released on November 10th.

unforgivenIt’s the book FALLEN fans have been waiting for: Cam’s story, the brooding, bad-boy dark angel readers love.

High school can be hell.

Cam knows what it’s like to be haunted. He’s spent more time in Hell than any angel ever should. And his freshest Hell is high school, where Lilith, the girl he can’t stop loving, is serving out a punishment for his crimes.

Cam made a bet with Lucifer: he has fifteen days to convince the only girl who really matters to him to love him again. If he succeeds, Lilith will be allowed back into the world, and they can live their lives together. But if he fails…there’s a special place in Hell just for him.

Tick-tock.

Spread your wings and cry as bad boy dark angel Cam finally reveals his anguished heart in the epic new FALLEN novel, UNFORGIVEN.

This next one intrigues me. Veronica Rossi will start a new series next February with the release of Riders, which focuses on the four horsemen YA style. Book two will be called Seeker, released in 2017.

ridersFor eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now—bound, bloodied, and drugged—Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he’s fallen for—not to mention all of humankind—he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

This next one is from the Twixt series by Dawn Metcalf. Insidious is the third book in the series, and it is due out on August 25th.

insidiousTrue evil is rarely obvious. It is quiet, patient.

Insidious.

Awaiting the perfect moment to strike.

Joy Malone finally knows who she is, where she comes from and how to live in two worlds at once. And now she can introduce her family and friends to her mysterious boyfriend, Indelible Ink. But when Ink’s twin sister, Invisible Inq, calls in a favor, Joy must accept a dangerous mission to find a forgotten door between worlds—a door hiding a secret that some will kill to keep.

Unseen enemies, treasonous magic and an unthinkable betrayal threaten both the Twixt and human worlds as Joy races to expose an ancient conspiracy and unleash the unalterable truth—some secrets cannot remain secret forever.

The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O’Brien is the second book of the Vault of Dreamers series, and it has a release date of February 16th.

rule of mirrorsAnd wrapping things up for today is The Mirror King, which is the second book in the Orphan Queen series by Jodi Meadows. It is due out on April 5th.

the mirror kingSo, there we have it for today. Any favorites or anticipated reads? Which of these will you be checking out?

New Series Alerts…

Ok, there is only one new series starting up this week, and it a young adult release from Megan Shepherd called The Cage. It is the first book of the series The Cage. I have to admit, I haven’t heard much about this one at all, but the cover is eye-catching.

the cageSynopsis…

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments–tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle–and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures and time periods, all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer appears–a handsome young guard named Cassian–they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken they five teenagers to an otherworldly zoo–where the exhibits are humans.

When a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer–though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so…what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

Purchase at Amazon.com

But for me the bigger story is that there is one taking its final bow (at least in traditionally published terms). Alexandra Ivy‘s last Guardians of Eternity book, When Darkness Ends, hits the shelves tomorrow, and I will be sad to see it go. On the plus side, there is a new dragon spin-off series to look forward to, but I don’t like a good thing to end.

when darkness endsSynopsis…

Cyn, the vampire clan chief of Ireland, is an unabashed hedonist whose beauty is surpassed only by his insatiable appetite for pleasure. It’s no wonder he’s furious when he’s transported from the magical land of the pureblooded feys to his desolate private lair—only to have his very existence thrown into a chaos that even he cannot charm his way out of…

Most women may be all but powerless against Cyn, but Fallon, a sharp-witted fairy princess, is less than beguiled by the silver-tongued vampire. She’s a serious soul with no time for the sort of games he plays—especially when they learn that someone is trying to close the veil that separates the dimensions. But seduction may prove the most powerful force of all, as attraction ignites between the unlikely pair even as worlds are colliding around them…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Anyone else a bit bummed about the end of the Guardians? It was never a series that I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for, but it was always a good, solid read that I consistently enjoyed. I do have high hopes for the Dragons of Eternity spin-offs, but I first have to see if they are going to be offered in print format in Canada (US is, but I don’t know about here). No print version will put a damper on things, though.

June’s Book of the Month…

It looks like we are closing in on the half-way point of 2015, which is really, really scary. On the positive side, there are some great books to look forward to. To be honest, I figure that the results of the book of the month poll for June is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but I have been wrong before. I have chosen 10 titles to choose from, but if you have another pick just click on “Other” and leave your selection in the comments section below. A complete list of June’s releases can be found HERE.

As always, the book chosen as June’s Book of the Month will be offered as a giveaway at the first of the month.

The Shadowhunters

I was totally surprised by the speed things are moving on the upcoming series, The Shadowhunters, which is based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. The show itself was announced last month (I think), and pretty much all of the casting has been announced in the last couple of weeks…and filming begins on Monday. This Monday. Compare that to the long rumored Sherrilyn Kenyon projects that are supposedly heading to tv and theaters, and you can see what I mean. Yep, chugging right along.

I didn’t make much secret of my disappointment in the City of Bones movie. I went into it with huge expectations, but I found it cheesy, which was really a shame since I was completely prepared to love it. When I found out that there was going to be a series, I was a bit surprised, but this is growing on me more and more. And just to get you interested, a few photos are starting to make their way around…

This first one is a behind-the-scenes training shot with Luke, Jace and Simon…

screen-shot-2015-05-16-at-3-37-57-pmAnd this next one might be a little wonky-angled, but it is the first shot of Clary and Jace…

cfeuh3yueaazqjs-e1432158538101Call me shallow, but one of the things that bugged me about the City of Bones movie was how terribly frail Jamie Campbell Bower was. Sweet, and excited to be in the movie, but just so very thin and frail. Totally can’t say the same about Dominic Sherwood, since he looks like he could actually throw a punch and not snap in half. I don’t care about whether Kat McNamara’s hair is red enough or if Luke is black or if every feature lines up with the book version, but I do want a tough guy to at least look like a tough guy.

Oh, and on a related note, there have been all new covers popping up for both the re-release of The Mortal Instruments (both for North America and the UK) and The Infernal Devices series. Behold…

The UK repackage:

uk coversThe North American repackage:

the mortal instrumentsAnd the Infernal Devices:

infernal-devicesPretty? Yes. But this had better not herald a change in the overall design for the upcoming books, namely Lady Midnight. The Shadowhunter books are most beautiful covers on my shelves, and I will be seriously grieved if there is a design change for the new series. And by grieved, I do mean pissed. Royally.

That is about it for the Shadowhunter world. What is your take on the show, the cast, and and the new covers?

Release Day Review – Eighth Grave After Dark

Thanks once again to Doug Meeks, who sent over his review for the newest Darynda Jones‘ Charley Davidson book, Eighth Grave After Dark. This one was actually my pick of the week, as well, so we are getting two posts in one.

Personally, the previous Seventh Grave was the weakest entry in the series. Not bad at all, but I found myself getting annoyed with some of the bone-headed moves Charley pulled. I did love Osh and his whole storyline, which saved it for me, but I am glad to hear things are back on track with this one.

eighth grave after darkWhat Doug said…

It was a close call at first as to whether or not to rate this 4 or 5 Stars. In the end I went with 5 because I could not get some of this stuff out of my head, I will probably be thinking about it for days and that is pretty much always the sign of a really good book (well, occasionally a really BAD book but obviously this was not the case)

Charley is still stuck on the ground of an old convent since she needs hallowed ground to keep her safe we learned in the last book.

Her step-mother who always kinda treated her like dirt shows up and starts trying to be the mother she never was, which makes you suspect all kinds of things (almost all of them will be wrong).

She has an actual detective case to work on but since she can’t go anywhere for various reasons (like being 9 months pregnant and can’t leave hallowed ground) it is kind of a tough thing but she has to save a kidnapped girl if possible.

All these things while interesting are more day-in-the-life for this series, the fireworks start towards the last few chapters (as she seems to have done in the last 2 books) and they will leave your head spinning BUT (and I don’t think this is much of a spoiler) after 7 books and most of the eighth one we FINALLY get to find out who Mr. Wong is, WOW talk about super power ‘ability to keep a secret”.

Bottom Line: I loved it, the last book was ok but forgettable (which made me have to stop and remember stuff I had forgotten) in this book the humor was great (you gotta love sarcasm and she is a smart a$$) the story kept you interested until it became a total “WTF just happened!!!” story. this is not a cliffhanger but she has gotten in the habit of leaving us with a huge hook for her next book and this is no exception. Surprises galore and I could hardly put it down, 5 Stars because I am still thinking about things that happened over 24 hours later so I think that means a really good book and I want the next one NOW!! (Ok, that may be a bit selfish since this one is not even released at this writing but it was great and I really look forward to the next one). Did I mention we have to get a baby delivered while all hell breaks loose? Fun times ahead folks.

My copy just came a half-hour ago, so I know what I will be doing this evening. I have to admit, reading the very spoilery blurb for Ninth Grave has made me even more excited for this one. Happy reading!

Cover Lover – Spider Game

Well, huh. This is…different. Christine Feehan upped the cover for her next Ghostwalkers book, Spider Game, to Facebook last week (yep, I missed it until just now). At first glance, I totally thought that the cover chick was pole dancing. On second glance, I still think she is pole dancing, but with spider webs. Got to admit, this one isn’t a favorite of mine, and I would so totally be mortified to be caught with it in public. I do hope this one goes back to old school Ghostwalker style, rather than the Breeds clone the last couple of books have been. We will find out when it is released on January 26th.

spider gameThe Cajun dive in the middle of the godforsaken swamps wasn’t exactly Trap Dawkins’ idea of fun. But the GhostWalker wasn’t there for a good time. He was looking for her. Cayenne. It’s where she found her victims. Poor suckers. Then again, who wouldn’t want to leave a place like this with a woman like her?

It’s not Cayenne’s fault. Locked up, experimented on and never knowing kindness, she was bred this way—with a heart of pure venom. Trap understands her. He survived his own dark past and he shares her desire for getting even. But now Trap’s greatest danger is Cayenne herself. Because what’s inside her is hard to control—especially when it’s aroused by a lover as reckless as Trap.

What is your take on this cover? Good, bad, or just plain ugly? I think this is the type of cover e-books were made for, but that might just be me.

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksI planned on making the Weekly Wrap up post a regular feature for posting either Saturday or Sunday, since usually the weekends are really busy for me and very little seems to happen to post. Well, I made it one week and totally spazzed out and forgot. I think that is a new record for me.

Anyways, this past week was pretty decent for me. I got back into Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld series after quite a long break, and finished up Clay and Elena’s arc with Frostbitten. I know there are many more stories left in the world, but it was the last full book featuring the two who started it all, and I was quite happy with how it ended up. Since I was still in an Armstrong mood, I started up Savannah’s first book, Waking the Witch, which is story 11 in the series, and begins the final arc of the series. I like it so far, and I am looking forward to seeing how Savannah and Adam’s story plays out.

Another very pleasant surprise was Thea Harrison‘s latest Elder Races book, Midnight’s Kiss. I was really underwhelmed by the last book, probably because I wasn’t a fan of the main character, Tess. Added to that was that it read more like a stand-alone than most of the other books, and I wasn’t a huge fan. That sort of colored my views heading into Midnight’s Kiss, but it ended up being a great read. The best part for me was that I ended up loving Melly, which was a real surprise. Heroines and I don’t always have the best relationship, but Melly was smart, funny, and completely relatable, and she made the book for me. It totally got me back in the swing of the series again, too.

The only downside for me was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. The reviews for this one have been glowing, but I just can’t seem to get into it. I put it down about a week ago, and haven’t picked it back up since. I am determined to give it another shot, so hopefully I will get involved and love it like everyone else seems to. Maybe I was just in a mood.

So, that is my week. How was yours? Did you start any new series, or finish up any old ones?

Cover Lover – 4 New Titles

I was waiting to see if anything new came out over the last couple of days, but it looks like there is only four covers for this batch. Let’s start with the upcoming novella from Eileen Wilks‘ World of the Lupi series. Human Nature will be released on August 18th. It was originally released in the anthology Inked.

human natureFBI Agent Lily Yu is turning twenty-nine—a milestone she’s decidedly ambivalent about. But her birthday celebration is cut short when the naked, heavily tattooed body of a man is found in a Northern California town. The victim was David Pruitt, and years ago, he was close friends with Rule Turner, prince of the lupi.

At first it seems like a bizarre ritual killing, but there’s more than magic afoot: David wasn’t human. And the killer isn’t finished…

This next cover is from Seanan McGuire. A Red Rose Chain is part of the October Daye series, and it is due out on September 1st.

a red rose chainOctober is still recovering from the discovery that Evening Winterrose is alive—but sadly, that doesn’t mean the rest of her problems have taken a vacation. When the King of Silences declares war on the Mists, it falls to Toby and her friends to try to prevent the conflict…a task that will require them to travel to another Kingdom, where old enemies and new will be waiting to ensure that her efforts will come to naught.

Purchase at Amazon.com

The third book in the Winner’s trilogy from Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Kiss, will be released next March 1st.

the winner's kissWar has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

Purchase at Amazon.com

And the final one for today is from Rachel Vincent. The first book of her new Menagerie series, also called Menagerie, will be released on September 29th.

menagerieWhen Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Chronicles of Nick Character Guide

chronicles of nickI have to start off by saying I can take absolutely no credit for this. My sole contribution was to hit the cut/paste buttons. PheonixFyre was kind enough to once again share with us one of her character guides, this time for Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Chronicles of Nick series. She has already contributed guides for Lara Adrian‘s Midnight Breed and J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood, and she is currently working on one for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter books (a.k.a. the series that shall not be named until I read it).

Guides are fun, as strange as it sounds, but they take a ton of time to do, and I really appreciate Pheonix sharing her efforts here. I would love to have more done than I do, but they can be slow going and sometimes having someone else help out can get me going, too. So, if you would like to check it out, you can find the Chronicles of Nick guide HERE.

Pick of the Week…

To say that it is a slow release week is a bit of an understatement, but at least there is one decent book I can be comfortable saying is my pick of the week. Sherrilyn Kenyon, my own personal TBR addiction, releases the eighth book of her League series today, Born of Defiance.

born of defianceSynopsis…

Born an Outcast, Talyn Batur has spent the whole of his life fighting against the prejudice of his people. An Andarion without a father is not something anyone wants to be.

But when his companion’s brother draws him into a plot against the Andarion crown, he finds himself torn between the loyalty to their planetary government that his mother has beaten into him and his own beliefs of justice and right.

Now, he must decide for himself to remain a pawn of their government or to defy everything and everyone he’s ever known to stand up to tyranny. It’s a gamble that will either save his life or end it. And when old enemies align with new ones, it’s more than just his own life at risk. And more than just his homeworld that will end should he fail.

Purchase at Amazon.com

I am proud to say that I have actually read a couple of League books (go me)! These ones are so pretty on the shelf that I just can’t resist grabbing them as soon as they come out. I think I will start back with the League series when I do finally get the nerve up to tackle my Kenyon shelves (yep, shelves. Plural). Anyone else looking forward to this one? What is your own pick of the week?