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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.

Uncategorized

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?

Uncategorized

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.

Review

Reading Wrap Up

booksIt has been a couple of weeks since my last Reading Wrap Up post, and I am interested to see what everyone has been checking out lately. I had some hits, some so-so’s, and one I can’t quite put my finger on.

Let’s start with a big winner for me, and that is Betrayals from Kelley Armstrong, the fourth book of her Cainsville series. As much as I was looking forward to this one, and it was one of my biggies for the entire year, I didn’t quite know what direction things were going to go in, especially on the Ricky/Olivia/Gabriel front. I figured there might be a bit of progression on the romance front (trying to keep things general, which I am not good at), but I was surprised by just how much there was. Especially on the Gabriel front. Gabriel has been so…oblivious? Stunted? Scared?…that I couldn’t see how Kelley could realistically start to bring him around, but she pulled it off. I like Olivia a lot, and Ricky too, but Gabriel stole the show. Seeing his POV was a real treat, but then so was finding out what was going on behind the scenes for Ricky, as well.

I have never made any secret of my general loathing of love triangles, but I can honestly say that this is one of only two series (the other being The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare) that has one that works for me. I think it comes from the fact that I like all three of the characters, and most importantly all three of the characters like and respect each other. There is only one book left to wrap everything up, and while part of me can’t wait to find out how things end, it is going to be hard to let this series go. Now just a year to wait for Rituals…let the countdown begin.

Also on the winning side of things, I flew through another Eve and Roarke book from J.D. Robb, this time Holiday in Death (book 7). Still enjoying these a lot – I am reading them quickly enough to keep details fresh, but not so quickly that I am burning myself out on them. I have had a string of other things that I had to read, and I find myself looking forward to picking up the next one – and it is great if you are still excited seven stories in.

This next one is a bit hard to put into words. I had to force myself to read the last Carpathian book from Christine Feehan, Dark Promises, for a couple of reasons. The most important one was that I cannot stand the female lead, Gabrielle. She bugged me from the start, so picking up a whole book devoted to her didn’t light my fire. I did end up making myself read (or skim) it, but it didn’t add anything to the overall series, and in fact it was bland enough for me that I have completely forgotten most of it in just a couple of weeks. The same cannot be said for the most recent release, Dark Carousel, which while not a perfect book does set up a whole new world for the Carpathians first brought to light in the Dark Crime novella. We move out of the jungles and mountains (and those damn caves) and this new branch is set in cities in the US, and it was a welcome change.

For me, though, this one was less the story of Tariq and Charlie and more a set-up for future books. There was a lot of things going on with a lot of different characters, and the two main leads got lost a bit in the shuffle, but Tariq was less ass-holey than a lot of her recent male leads, and Charlie actually managed to stand up for herself while acknowledging that this was Tariq’s world and he knew best in certain situations. She wasn’t completely stupid and borderline abused, which was a bonus. It made sense. But the bad guys were a bit over the top for me, and there is a lot of eye-rolling magic stuff that had me laughing. I mean, I started humming “Puff the Magic Dragon” when the triplets starting building the come-to-life stone dragons to fly around on. In terms of the Feehan Female Formula, though, Charlie does still speak with the same voice as most recent heroines what with her “honey” this and “honey” that. And she did get a smokin’ hot pair of ruffled boots, too, so all was well with the world. I like the new feel for the series, and I guess I can say I liked it for what it was, but hopefully now that the set up is done the stories will flow a bit better.

On the not-so-successful side of things was Kresley Cole‘s two recent Arcana Chronicles releases, Day Zero and Arcana Rising. I started out with Day Zero but quickly dropped it – it is great for adding info as a reference, but it didn’t grab my attention as a story. I did finish Arcana Rising, but not sure how I felt about it. Maybe my annoyance with the whole e-book only format changes and lack of info played a part, but this one was weird. For me, the tone was completely different than previous books, and I felt like I had missed a chunk of story that would bridge between the previous book and this one. It felt really short and rushed, and like important things had been skipped like in a badly edited movie. I guess I am trying to say that for me it felt like everything was just thrown in, so when there was a big reveal or twist, it just fell flat. There were parts I liked, but for me it didn’t really fit with the rest of the series. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t thrilled, either. Let’s just say I thought it felt self-pubbed, and not in a good way.

Ok, your turn. What have you been reading lately? Have you checked out any of the ones I did, and if you did what did you think?

Release Info

From the Author Pages

Ugh, I seem to be so far behind on pretty much every aspect of my online life. I was keeping up pretty well with everything, but in the last few weeks things have really gotten away from me. Anyways, enough whining. I did manage to get a full edit on the Psy/Changeling Character Guide done, which was a big one, and I will be working on catching up on a couple of others in the next few weeks.

Now, let’s see what’s new from the author pages…

  • Alexandra Ivy has a spin-off her Bayou Heat series written with Laura Wright starting up soon. The first book of The Pantera Security League 6 will be called One Down, and it will be out on August 29th. The cover was revealed on Facebook:

one down

  • I can’t remember if I posted this before or not, so here goes. I dug around a bit and found the official blurb for the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, Blade Bound. This series wraps up next April 25th…
quotation marksSince 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.
  • But before that, there will be a Chicagoland Vampires novella released on January 19th called Phantom Kiss
quotation marksVampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.
But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House-and targeting vampires- they realize they’re being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl- and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…
  • The cover is out for the re-release of Christine Feehan‘s novella, Dark Crime, which will be out on November 15th in e-format. I didn’t mind this one – it was a set up for the latest book, Dark Carousel, and it started some of the Carpathians off in a new location, which was a welcome change.

dark crime

Speaking of Christine Feehan, it looks like her next couple of releases have been made official. The next Ghostwalkers book will be called Power Game, and Amazon is listing it as a January 27th release – in hardcover. Yep. Hardcover. I thought that might be a mistake, but I checked around and it looks like the Ghostwalkers will be making the switch. The blurb is a little bland, but better than nothing…

quotation marksA mysterious woman with her own agenda rescues a captured GhostWalker soldier held by a secret enemy. Together they uncover a conspiracy that extends beyond the reaches of the US government and proves a deadly threat to national security…
  • Oh, and the final book in the Sisters of the Heart series, Bound Together, will be out on March 21st. And a bit more blurby goodness for you…
quotation marksThe Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life in a dramatic way. Viktor Prakenskii had always intended to come for Blythe after his work undercover was at an end, but with a dangerous enemy heading towards Sea Haven, he knows he cannot wait any longer or he will jeopardize the woman he loves. His arrival sets off an explosive chain of events, and everyone in the small community of Sea Haven, including the Drake family, will never be the same.

The books set in Sea Haven have become my favorite of all of Christine’s series – way more consistent writing than the other series have had lately, and way less of a power imbalance between the main couple. That might change heading into the Motorcycle club spin-off, but for now this is my most anticipated of her books.

  • Hope you are not tired of the blurbs yet, because this next one comes from Faith Hunter‘s next Jane Yellowrock book, Cold Reign. I am reading (and loving) Blood of the Earth, and it is making me want to go back and dive into Jane Yellowrock again. Hopefully I can get caught up before this next one comes out on May 2nd…
quotation marksJane 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…
  • Gena Showalter and Jeaniene Frost will be pairing up for a duology featuring two of their previously released works called Forbidden Craving, which will be released on March 28th. Gena’s story is The Nymph King, and Jeaniene’s is The Beautiful Ashes, and here is a peek at the cover…

forbidden craving

  • Aaand I finally tracked down the blurb for the next Black Dagger Brotherhood book from J.R. Ward, The Chosen. The (ugly) cover reveal was earlier in the week, and I don’t think we will be forgetting that puppy anytime soon…
quotation marksThe Black Dagger Brotherhood has won a major victory over the Lessening Society, but the threat to their way of life is ever-present and life for the brotherhood is as chaotic as ever. Xcor, a tortured soul and a member of the brotherhood’s rival group, is in custody waiting to be beaten and interrogated. They believe he is a major threat, but Layla knows the truth.
Although she has just given birth to two infants, thoughts of Xcor consume her. He has fallen in love with Layla, but they both know it is impossible to be together unless the brotherhood gives Xcor a chance to prove himself. Their connection could end Xcor’s lifetime of agonizing loneliness or tear apart everything Layla holds dear.
  • Immortal Unchained is a new one coming from Lynsay Sands, and it will be released on March 28th. To mix things up, here is both the cover and blurb at the same time…

immortal unchained

quotation marksEver since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…
Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…
  • This one is called Midnight Jewel, and it is the second book in The Glittering Court series from Richelle Mead. This one has a release date of April 25th…

midnight jewel

quotation marksA refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.
By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.

Welp, that was longer than planned, so I hope I didn’t bore anyone too much. Are there any of these that caught your eye? What are you most looking forward to?

Cover Lover

The Chosen Cover and Excerpt

I was going to label this as a “Cover Lover” post, but really, that is a no. I had seen this version of The Chosen floating around Goodreads a few days ago, but to be honest I thought it was a bad fan-made jobbie posted as a joke. But when I saw J.R. Ward link to the cover reveal on her site, I knew it was the real deal. Yeah.

ward_comp.indd

So, I might sound bitchy, but this is not pretty. If you put this one and Kresley Cole‘s Wicked Abyss side by side, maybe this one doesn’t look that bad, but it is close. The Chosen will be out on April 4th. If you would like to check out an excerpt, you can head over to Entertainment Weekly and check it out HERE.

Picks of the Week

Pick of the Week

I am pretty sure my pick of the week will not come as a surprise to anyone who has been around Wicked Scribes for a while, since I have made no secret of my somewhat odd and strangely intense love for Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series. I can’t tell you why, either – I can’t point to it and say “I like this and this and this…”, in fact, it isn’t my usual type of read at all, since the paranormal element in the first couple of books was only hinted at. But love it I do, and so my pick of the week is Betrayals

betrayalsSynopsis…

When Olivia’s life exploded–after she found out she was not the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers–she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois. Working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer with links to the town, she discovered the truth about her parents’ crimes in an investigation that also revealed the darker forces at work in the place that had offered her a haven. As if that wasn’t enough, she also found out that she, Gabriel and her biker boyfriend Ricky were not caught in an ordinary sort of love triangle, but were hereditary actors in an ancient drama in which the elders of Cainsville and the mysterious Huntsmen who opposed them had a huge stake.

Now someone is killing street kids in the city, and the police have tied Ricky to the crimes. Setting out with Gabriel’s help to clear Ricky’s name, Olivia once again finds her own life at risk. Soon the three are tangled in a web of betrayals that threatens their uneasy equilibrium and is pushing them toward a hard choice: either they fulfill their destinies by trusting each other and staying true to their real bonds, or they succumb to the extraordinary forces trying to win an eternal war by tearing them apart.

Kelley Armstrong has been quietly climbing my list of favorite authors for a while now, and in fact there is only one young adult series I don’t have – I have everything else she has put out, and enjoyed it all (no matter the genre). I can even say that weirdly enough, I am even enjoying the love triangle (eh, sort of triangle?) in the Cainsville series, so that means I really am a fan. Her Women of the Otherworld and YA spin-offs were good. So were the Nadia Stafford books, and her new Casey Duncan series set in Rockton, too. For me, so far, Kelley has been a can’t miss author.