New-to-me Author Spree

So, I might maybe have gone on a bit of a blind-buying spree on some new-to-me authors. It started out as me finally taking the plunge and picking up a few of the books I mentioned in my TBR-OD post a while back. Then there were a few that you guys recommended which had to be considered. And that might’ve lead to a few more. And since I haven’t had an author spotlight in a while, I thought I would share…

Let’s start with the ones I have been meaning to try for a long time. Like Outlander from Diana Gabaldon. And A Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin. Neither of them have covers that I really like, but if they end up being keepers then I can edit them later. For now, they will do. And since you guys recommended Sarah J. Maas so strongly, I went back and bought the first two books of both of her current series. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses before, but Throne of Glass will be new-to-me. Even though I think this is the fourth time I have bought it. You also recommended The Vampires in America series from D.B. Reynolds, so I thought I would pick up the first book, Raphael. And now onto the more adventurous buys I made.

First up is Blood Huntress. It is the first book of the Ruled by Blood series from Izzy Shows. I think I might’ve read one of the books from her other series, but I can’t really remember. I am still going to call her new-to-me.

blood huntressSynopsis…

What does it say when vampires aren’t the thing most feared in the night?

Nina Rodriguez has become the most lethal weapon in the world. A blood mage trained by werewolves to hunt and kill with no remorse, no morality, and no hesitation. All that matters is the thrill of the kill, and the danger that comes with it.

When she’s given orders to infiltrate and observe the vampire court, she couldn’t turn it down anymore than she could cease to breathe.

The sweet taste of danger was enough to tempt her, and that only doubles when the vampire king chooses her as his own personal thrall.

He’s a temptation she wasn’t prepared for, but dangerous, and his attention could mean death if she doesn’t watch her mouth. Words are weapons in a vampire court, weapons she was not trained to use.

She can fight off any enemy, but no one prepared her to fight for her soul.

Next up, I stumbled across Smoke and Shadows from Katerina Martinez. It is part of her Order of Prometheus series.

smoke and shadowsSynopsis…

My name is Maxine Cartwright, and as of this morning, I’m a fugitive.

New Seattle is a Shining City, one of the few remaining oases of civilization left in the world, but it isn’t without it’s problems. That’s where I come in. I’m a hunter; a mage employed by the Faction to hunt down Fallen mages and bring them in dead or alive. It’s a good gig, and one I’ve been doing for years. I have a reputation, or notoriety, depending on how you see things, and more enemies than I can count. Now one of those enemies is trying to frame me for a terrible crime I didn’t commit, and the worst part is my own people can’t look me in the eye and tell me they know I’m innocent. My only choice is to run away from the only life I’ve ever known, and figure out who is going out of their way to put me down.

Cut off from my friends and the people I once relied on for backup, I reluctantly accept the help of a man wanted for questioning concerning his potential ties to the Fallen. How am I supposed to trust someone who could be a terrorist? Then again, how can he trust me? Proving my innocence will be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but before I can do that I’m going to have to learn the truth about the world I live in, and uncover the lies I’ve been told my whole life.

Witch’s Curse also found its way onto my ipad. It is the first book of the Bone Coven Chronicles from Jenna Wolfhart.

witch's curseSynopsis…

Wanted: Magically Armed and Dangerous.

Ever since my parents died in the demon war, I’ve paid my way through life by using magic to con people. It’s not right, but a girl’s gotta do what she can to survive.

Unfortunately, my latest con has left me smack dab in the middle of a murder scene. Now, a coven of angry mages thinks I’m the killer. In order to clear my name, I have to team up with an infuriatingly sexy warlock whose powers are far darker than he admits. Throw in a string of related murders and a vexed vampire clan, and I’m up to my eyeballs in danger.

But that’s not even the worst of it. When I get too close to the real killer, he casts a life-threatening curse on my grandmother. Before, I just wanted to save my own butt, but now I’ll do whatever it takes to track him down—even if it means following him through monstrous dimensions.

Because I don’t play nice with magic. And when you mess with Grandma, you become #1 on my sh*t list.

Another author you guys have been recommending lately in Dannika Dark, so I thought I would add her to the list. I ended up grabbing Keystone, which is the first book of the Crossbreed series.

keystoneSynopsis…

Raven Black hunts evildoers for fun, but her vigilante justice isn’t the only reason she’s hiding from the law. Half Vampire, half Mage, she’s spent years living as a rogue to stay alive. When a Russian Shifter offers her a job in his covert organization hunting outlaws, dignity and a respectable career are finally within her grasp. The catch? Her new partner is Christian Poe – a smug, handsome Vampire whom she’d rather stake than go on a stakeout with.

They’re hot on the trail of a human killer who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. One misstep during her probationary period could jeopardize Raven’s chance at redemption, and her partner would love nothing more than to see her fail. Will Raven find the courage to succeed, or will she give in to her dark nature?

And my last new-to-me purchase was from Devon Monk. For something a little different, I thought I would try out her Ordinary Magic series, so I picked up Death and Relaxation.

death and relaxationSynopsis…

Police Chief Delaney Reed can handle the Valkyries, werewolves, gill-men and other paranormal creatures who call the small beach town of Ordinary, Oregon their home. It’s the vacationing gods who keep her up at night.

With the famous Rhubarb Festival right around the corner, small-town tensions, tempers, and godly tantrums are at an all-time high. The last thing Delaney needs is her ex-boyfriend reappearing just when she’s finally caught the attention of Ryder Bailey, the one man she should never love.

No, scratch that. The actual last thing she needs is a dead body washing ashore, especially since the dead body is a god.

Catching a murderer, wrestling a god power, and re-scheduling the apocalypse? Just another day on the job in Ordinary. Falling in love with her childhood friend while trying to keep the secrets of her town secret? That’s gonna take some work.

Have you tried out any of my impulse buy authors? What did you think of them?

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Spotlight Wednesday – Juliette Cross

Last week, I made a “blind buy” of new-to-me author Juliette Cross after seeing a feature of her latest book over on Hypeable. So I went all one-clicky on Amazon and ordered the first two books in her Vampire Blood series, The Black Lily and The Red Lily (which was just released a couple of days ago). I am almost finished the first one, and so far, so good.

The books are vampire historical fantasy retellings, with The Black Lily loosely based on the story of Cinderella, and the second on Little Red Riding Hood. You get the retelling vibe, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with it which I like. I have been really hit or miss with retellings – I very much enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles from Marissa Meyer, but I haven’t been too successful on getting a series I really like that isn’t young adult. This one is off to a good start.

the black lilyBook one, The Black Lily

Cinderella like you’ve never seen before…

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…

the red lilyAnd book two, The Red Lily

When Red falls for the Big Bad Vampire…

The Black Lily resistance needs a larger army if they are to defeat the vampire monarchy. In order to do so, former lieutenant and traitor to the vampire Crown, Nikolai must seek help from the red-hooded temptress he needs to avoid at all costs. The secret he carries could prove dangerous for her if she gets too close…even though keeping her close—very close—is the only thing on his mind.

Sienna will do anything for the Black Lily, and when Nikolai asks for her assistance to gain the trust of the commonwealth, it’s the last thing she wants to do. The thought of leaving her woods and her wolves behind is terrifying…not to mention the danger being with Nikolai poses.

Ok, the covers are a bit cringy, I admit. Not in quality but in pose. But this is where I congratulate myself once again for going digital since the cover doesn’t really matter anymore. Yay me. If you are interested in checking out a different series by this author, the first book of her Nightwing series is free on Amazon, found HERE. You can also find exclusive extras over on Juliette Cross‘s website, found HERE.

Checking in on Hidden Legacy

I have been expanding the Hidden Legacy character guide to add a breakdown of known Houses, different magical abilities, that sort of thing. Things are a bit disorganized at the moment, but I will be proofing and editing it shortly.  I am almost finished with my re-re-re-read of White Hot, so I should have that info added in the next couple of days, too. So, like I did with the Elder Races series when I was updating it, I thought I would check in and see where you all stand with this latest Ilona Andrews series.

I haven’t made any secret of my raging love affair with it, and it seems pretty much everyone is feeling the love like I am. Did White Hot live up to your expectations? What would you like to see happen in Wildfire?

Blind Buy Spotlight

Every couple of weeks or so, I hope to randomly do a “One Click” buy on a completely new-to-me author, one that I probably wouldn’t have thought to order in print format. But since I have fully embraced the e-book love like a psycho, I figured it might be a good time to expand my horizons a bit, too. I no longer have a monster TBR pile guilting me into not starting anything new, either. I did do a couple of out-of-the-blue buys last week, but unfortunately they didn’t grab my attention enough for me to finish the books (or remember the author’s names, sadly). But let’s take a look at this week’s blind buy, which is The Black Lily from Juliette Cross.

the black lilySynopsis…

Cinderella like you’ve never seen before…

With the threat of the vampire monarchy becoming stronger every day, the Black Lily must take drastic measures. As the leader of the underground resistance, Arabelle concocts the perfect idea to gain the attention of the Glass Tower. Her plan? Attend the vampire prince’s blood ball and kill him. Fortunately for Prince Marius, her assassination goes awry, and Arabelle flees, leaving behind only her dagger.

Marius is desperate to find the woman whose kiss turned into attempted murder, hunting for the mysterious assassin he can’t push out of his mind. But what he uncovers could change the course of his life forever…

Most of my last few fairy tale re-tellings have been more on the young adult side of things, but since I can’t seem to stomach YA anymore this might work out better for me. Have you had any blind buys from new authors lately? Which ones worked and which ones not so much? I haven’t actually heard of Juliette Cross before – are there any fans of hers around?

New Release Spotlight

Well, it is time for the first official book-related post of the new year, and it focuses on author Anna Lowe. A while back, Anna was featured in our Author Spotlight series, and she checked in again to mention that she has a new book coming out this week called Deception. It is the fifth book of her Blue Moon Saloon series, and it will be released in digital format on January 5th.

bms5-750x500Synopsis…

Nothing is more dangerous than forbidden love.
She-wolf Summer Smith is desperate to make up for a past she can’t deny — and the best way to accomplish that is to take on a deadly mission for her new pack. She’ll sacrifice anything to clear her name and protect the people she loves. With the future of shifters across the Southwest resting in her hands, it’s the worst possible time to fall in love — with a bear, no less.

Burly bear shifter Drew Kovacs hasn’t traveled to the Southwest to look for trouble, and he sure isn’t looking for love. But the second he lays eyes on the she-wolf with a mesmerizing smile and haunted eyes, he knows she’s the one. There’s just one problem — Summer is about to plunge head-first into danger, and he sure as hell won’t let her go alone. But he can’t show up and blow her undercover mission, either. Unless…

From what I understand, while it is the fifth book in the series it is also stand-alone, so no getting lost without the backstory and no cliffhangers to drive you crazy.

I know there were several people from the last spotlight who mentioned they were going pick up one of Anna’s books…what did you think? Did you keep up with her series?

Spotlight Wednesday – Annie Bellet

On one of my random internet searches, I came across and article over on the Barnes and Noble Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog called ” 12 Highly Bingeable Urban Fantasy Series”. Any list that has Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop and Faith Hunter on it catches my attention. While there were several series mentioned that I knew, it was a completely unknown one that caught my eye and made me think of doing an author spotlight post.

Author Annie Bellet has an ongoing, seven book series (with the eighth due in December) called The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, which gets its start with the first long-novella length story, Justice Calling.

justice-callingSynopsis…

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.

As long as she doesn’t use her magic.

When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.

Except Jade knows that as soon as she does, a far deadlier nemesis awaits.

If you are interested in checking this one out, it can be found on Amazon.com for free by clicking HERE.

There is a print bind-up of the first four books called Level Grind, and one for the next three called Boss Fight.

Other books in the series:

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annie-belletAbout the author: Annie Bellet is a full-time speculative fiction writer. She holds a BA in English and a BA in Medieval Studies and thus can speak a smattering of useful languages such as Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Welsh. Her books include Avarice (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division: Book 1), The Gryphonpike Chronicles series, and the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. Her interests besides writing include rock climbing, reading, horse-back riding, video games, comic books, table-top RPGs, and many other nerdy pursuits.

Spotlight Wednesday – Ann Aguirre

Ann Aguirre might be a bit more well known than the usual authors featured in the spotlight Wednesday posts, but when Azteclady mentioned that she had a new series starting up, I thought it might work. And since the first book is due out today, it is even better.

This new paranormal romance series is called Ars Numina, and it will consist of six books. Things get started with today’s release of The Leopard King.

the-leopard-kingSynopsis…

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

The Leopard King will be followed by The Demon Prince, The Wolf Lord, The Shadow Warrior, The War Priest, and The Jaguar Knight.

Thanks again to Azteclady for pointing this one out. It is available in both print and e-format at Amazon.com and other retailers.

Are there any Ann Aguirre fans out there? She is another one on my “one day” list – which is actually a thing. I am not starting any new authors until I get my TBR pile dealt with, but when that is done I will be branching out.

Spotlight Wednesday – Lindsay Buroker

Thanks goes once again to Monika, who sent over her latest recommendation for a spotlight author. Monika gave Indie fantasy writer Lindsay Buroker a shot after seeing her works touted by none other than Ilona Andrews, and turns out she was hooked.

Lindsay has quite a few series on the go, but here will take a peek at the two Monika has already dove into – Dragon Blood and The Emperor’s Edge. The first book of the Dragon Blood series, Balanced on the Blade’s Edge, can be found for free on Amazon HERE.

balanced-on-the-blades-edgeSynopsis…

Colonel Ridge Zirkander isn’t the model of military professionalism – he has a tendency to say exactly what’s on his mind, and his record has enough demerits to wallpaper the hull of an airship – but as the best fighter pilot in the Iskandian army, he’s used to a little leniency from his superiors. Until he punches the wrong diplomat in the nose and finds himself issued new orders: take command of a remote prison mine in the inhospitable Ice Blades Mountains. Ridge has never been in charge of anything larger than a flier squadron — what’s he supposed to do with a frozen fortress full of murderers and rapists? Not to mention the strange woman who shows up right before he arrives…

Sardelle Terushan wakes from three hundred years in a mage stasis shelter, only to realize that she is the last of the Referatu, the sorcerers who once helped protect Iskandia from conquerors. Their subterranean mountain community was blown up in a treacherous sneak attack by soldiers who feared their power. Everyone Sardelle ever knew is dead, and the sentient soulblade she has been bonded to since her youth is buried in the core of the mountain. Further, what remains of her home has been infested by bloodthirsty miners commanded by the descendants of the very soldiers who destroyed her people.

Sardelle needs help to reach her soulblade — her only link to her past and her last friend in the world. Her only hope is to pretend she’s one of the prisoners while trying to gain the commander’s trust. But lying isn’t her specialty, especially when the world has changed so much in the intervening centuries, and if Colonel Zirkander figures out who she truly is, he’ll be duty-bound to sentence her to the only acceptable punishment for sorcerers: death.

The first book of The Emperor’s Edge series, also called The Emperor’s Edge, is another free read through Amazon. You can find it HERE.

51pojbdtyflSynopsis…

The adventure starts here…

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

Other Works to Consider:

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Wednesday Spotlight – J.T. Geissinger

Today’s author spotlight post was suggested by Monika, who recommended author J.T. Geissinger and her Night Prowler Series. It is a set of six books, with the last one being published in 2014, so you won’t be having any unresolved cliffhangers and endless waits for the next book, which is always a bonus.

Let’s go back to the beginning and check out the very first book, Shadow’s Edge. It is free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, or on for just $3.99 on Amazon.com if you don’t. To check out an excerpt, click HERE.

shadow's edgeSynopsis…

Leander McLoughlin is leader of the Ikati, an ancient tribe of beautiful, savage shape-shifters who live hidden in the forests of England. Their survival is rooted in secrecy, a secrecy threatened by the very existence of one raised outside the tribe. Charged with capturing her before she can expose their secret, Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California. The great warrior is prepared for a fight — but not for the effect the courageous young beauty has on his heart.

Jenna Moore spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from an unseen enemy. Now her mother is dead and her father has vanished without a trace, leaving Jenna alone to contend with sudden strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander McLoughlin appears, promising answers to all of her questions, she knows she shouldn’t trust him. But their connection is as undeniable as the dangerous destiny drawing her home…

Other books in the series:

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jt geissingerAbout the author: J.T. Geissinger is an Amazon #1 bestselling author of smart, sexy romance. Writing in the contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal romance genres, her eleven published novels all include a high level of sensuality, intense emotional connections, and plot twists galore. She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and was a finalist for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

. . . . .

Your turn again, everyone. Which great author do you think deserves a bit of a spotlight? Is there anyone you feel is an undiscovered gem? Just drop a line in the “Contact Me” and tell me who you would like to share with your fellow readers.

Spotlight Wednesday – Elizabeth Hunter

Because there is always so much good buzz around Elizabeth Hunter, and to celebrate her new release, Monika has put her up as this week’s spotlight author. As I have said anytime I have done a post about her work, I have never heard anyone say they weren’t a fan (and I can’t even say that about Nalini Singh or Ilona Andrews, which is something).

Elizabeth Hunter has quite a few releases under her belt, with her Cambio Springs books, the Irin Chronicles, and three separate series set in the Elemental World. But for this spotlight post, we are going to go way back to the beginning and the Elemental Mysteries series featuring Giovanni and Beatrice. The book that started it all is called A Hidden Fire, which was published in 2011.

a hidden fireSynopsis…

“No secret stays hidden forever.”

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he’d abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.

I did look around and try to find an excerpt, but I didn’t have any luck. It turns out, though that you can check this book out for free through Amazon right now, just click HERE. I have the paperback version on the TBR, but I am going to download the freebie in hopes that I will finally be able to move it up the reading list.

Also to consider:

elizabeth hunter banner

I nabbed the banner from google, so credit goes to whomever created it.

. . . . .

5251202About the author: Elizabeth Hunter is a contemporary fantasy and romance author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She currently lives in Central California with her son, two very ineffective canine assistants, and a pitifully empty fish tank. She is the author of the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series, the Irin Chronicles, the Cambio Springs Mysteries, and other works of fiction.

Ok, everyone. It’s up to you. How many other Elizabeth Hunter fans are out there, and if you haven’t tried her before do you think you will? What hidden gem of an author would you like to share with your fellow readers? Just send me an e-mail under the “Contact Me” button and we can maybe spread the word.