Spotlight on…Bound to Darkness

Last year, Lara Adrian announced that she was leaving traditional publishing and striking out on the self-pubbed route. She assured everyone that nothing would change with her popular Midnight Breed series, except that it would no longer be offered in hardcover format. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical, but it looks like word is starting to come out about Bound to Darkness. The good news is that the initial release date of December 31st has been changed…to July 30th. It isn’t often that books get moved ahead, which is a bonus, and here is the cover and blurb to get you into the mood…

bound to darknessCarys Chase is accustomed to making her own rules and letting her heart lead the way–no matter what anyone else has to say about it. A rare Breed female and a daywalker as well, headstrong, beautiful Carys is one of the most powerful of her kind. She lives passionately and loves without limits, especially when it comes to the lethal cage-fighting Breed warrior called Rune.

Unbeatable in the ring, Rune exists in a brutal world of blood and bone and death. He’s made his share of enemies both in and out of the arena, and his secrets run as deep and turbulent as his past. A dangerous loner who has survived by his fists and fangs, Rune has never allowed anyone to get too close to him…until Carys. But when the bodies buried in his past rise up to threaten his present, Rune must choose between betraying Carys’s trust or putting her in the crosshairs of a battle neither of them can hope to win on their own.

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, if you are like me, you are glad to see that the overall cover design stayed the same, even if the format changed (this one will be out in trade paperback rather than hardcover). I actually decided to drop the series a couple of books back, but are you looking forward to checking this one out?

What was Your Take on The Shadows?

the shadowsIt has been a couple of weeks since the latest J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood book, The Shadows, hit the shelves, and I figured it might be time to see what everyone thought of this somewhat different story. No one can say Ward played it safe with Trez and iAm’s stories, and I was actually glad. I liked how the story unfolded, and I thought it ended on a high note, surprisingly. What did you think? Did the story work for you, or would you like to have seen things go in a different direction? And what about another Rhage book being next? I would’ve thought Assail or Layla and Xcor for the next book, with Rhage maybe playing a role in one of the spin-off Black Dagger Legacy stories. As much as I love me the Rhage, not sure how I feel about it.

Anyways, drop a line below, but beware that there could be spoilers and proceed at your own risk…

Shards of Hope. It is Mine.

shards of hope arcYes, this comes off as bragging, and probably seems sad to those who get ARC’s all the time, but I still get so excited to find one of these puppies in my mailbox. Nalini Singh has been kind enough to send over a copy of her last three books, with Shards of Hope being the latest. I am just over 200 pages in, and it is really, really good. I like the big, bold stories (Kaleb and Sahara), but I also like the quieter, more personal ones (Ivy and Vasic), and this one seems to fall in the middle.

What can I tell you without spoilers? Hmmm. It is longer than Shield of Winter, with the ARC clocking in at nearly 500 pages. It starts off with a bang, and Aden and Zaira are in trouble from the start. We have to play catch up along with them to figure out what is going on, and who is pulling the strings behind the scenes. Aden is the heart of the Arrows, and his story so far focuses more on the squad than Vasic’s did. Where Aden is calm, focused on the good of his people, and determined to see the Arrows find their way in a world where Silence has fallen, Zaira is a bit of a wild card. And I am not sure I would like to meet her in a dark alley.

On the Changeling side of things, there is a bit of DarkRiver, a bit of SnowDancer, and even a glimpse behind the scenes of the Russian wolf pack. But the star so far has been the RainFire pack, headed by Alpha Remi. I was a bit meh on a new pack being introduced until the remaining SnowDancer changelings had their stories told, but RainFire was a great addition. Now I can’t wait to get more into them. And there is a pack-member of RainFire we have briefly met before in another story, and I can’t tell you why but I was so excited to see them again it made me like RainFire even more.

So, that is how I am spending my evening, with Aden and his Arrows, and one very scary leading lady. How about you?

The Other Side of the Fairy Tale…

This is a bit of a different post than what I usually do, but hopefully it will be useful. In the cover lover post below this one, I put up the cover for the next Jean Johnson book, Dawn of the Flame Seas. In the comments section, Stephanie copied a post that had been upped to Jean Johnson’s Facebook page about her writing status, and asked if I would do up a post…

I am going to lose my house.

For some reason, my taxes are almost 50% higher than my roommates’ combined income, when my income is at most 75% of what their total is. Unless there was some mistake in all the accounting, I owe an additional 6.5k from what I’ve already paid in quarterlies. That completely wipes out my cushion. That wipes out most of my grocery bills. That wipes out ANY funds for an emergency. That wipes out GOING to a doctor even for a standard health checkup because I can no longer afford the copay.

I am going to lose my house.

At this point, I WANT to say, “Please go support my Patreon, please!” But there are only 14 people doing that…and I can’t even get feedback from them on whose biography to post next. I thank them all for the patronage, but I don’t know what to do to get anyone to notice me.

I am going to lose my house.

Maybe, MAYBE I can get money out of my parents. But the greatest likelihood is that I am going to lose my house. That is all I can see right now. My house. My independence. I worked for YEARS to get my writing up to a skill level that could be deemed worthy of publication, struggled hard to gain my independence…and I am going to lose my house.

Pieces of shhh writing are making millions out there. I can’t even get anyone to make me a Wikipedia page. Not that it would cure my finances, but at least it would prove that I exist. I’ve asked. Nobody has done anything.

I am crying, I am sick to my stomach, and I will owe an additional 3.4k in health insurance money this year that I don’t have. Because somehow I’m just not good enough. My writing isn’t good enough.

I am going to lose my house.

I am going to run out of time to write in even a semi-timely manner all the contracts I was too ill to fulfill, because I will have to try to get a job, and I am going to lose my house. The roof over my head. The roof I still owe money to my parents for. And I have been out of the employment sector for DECADES, which means my prospects of getting a job above the shit that is minimum wage are virtually nil…and minimum wage won’t pay the bills.

(Don’t point to the “living wage” increase everyone talks about in reference to my home state; that was for specific service jobs in the Seattle/Seatac area, and that’s entirely the wrong side of Seattle from me by an hour’s drive…and I cannot afford the bus fare, never mind the gasoline.)

I am going to lose my house.

Unless a miracle happens, my roommates (who have been slammed by financial problems of their own) won’t be able to stay here for relatively cheap rent. I can’t charge them anything more because they cannot afford it.

They are going to lose my house.

I have enough money right now to make house payments to June. IF no expenses crop up. Unless a frikkin miracle happens with my April royalty cheque, I probably won’t I’ll make it to the end of the year, because the only thing between me and bankruptcy is the October cheque, and the only way that could possibly overcome everything falling down around me is if my writing DOES go viral between now and JUNE, because the pay-period ends June 30th for the October royalties…and I write better–I KNOW I WRITE BETTER–than those pieces of shhh out there that have movie deals. And I. Am Going. To Lose. My House.

I am going to lose my beautiful home, my independence, my everything. My dreams of making a living as a writer are gone.

Now, so I don’t come off as a complete hypocrite, I have to mention as I have before that I am not personally a huge fan of Jean Johnson’s writing. Nothing bad about it, but her style just doesn’t work for me (same as Pamela Palmer and Alexandra Adornetto, among others), so I am not out trying to drum up business for a favorite author. I guess I just found it…sad. I don’t claim to understand the ins and outs of the publishing world, but I figured that a quite recognizable name author would not have those kinds of difficulties (but hey, I have totally supported myself working as a waitress for over 20 years and have always rented the homes I live in, plus I am debt-free, so what do I know?).

On a side note, I don’t know if loss of income from book piracy is a factor (and book piracy really, really bugs me), but I saw a post by another author breaking down just how much income they lost due to illegally downloaded books and it was staggering. Literally thousands of dollars. I get sent questions here on my blog sometimes about where someone could find a free copy of whatever book they are asking about to download, and I don’t answer them at all. But what I do know is that the more piracy there is, the less authors make, and the less they make the harder it is for them to put out the books I love. A lose-lose situation.

Jean Johnson has started a gofundme campaign to try and raise enough money to pay off her mortgage (aaand yes, I had no clue that was even a thing). She goes into a bit more detail about her goals and what got her to the point she is at there, and if you are interested you can read more HERE.

*LATE EDITION

I went back and tracked down the post I mentioned above that broke down exactly what piracy cost a writer. The author in question was Jennifer L. Armentrout, and the post can be found HERE. To break it down quickly, she listed off a few of her titles she had found available for illegal download, plus the number of times they had been downloaded, and what she would’ve made had they been bought through proper channels…

Disclaimer: The time frame is from when the link has been available on various sites and from systems that monitor the books.

Daimon: 395 (DUDE, THIS BOOK IS FREE. LE SIGH)
Half-Blood ($3.99)  1, 109  downloads. What would I have made off that? $1327
Pure ($5.99) 1,585 downloads. What would I have made off that?  $2848
Obsidian ($5.99) 2,267 downloads. What would I have made off it? $5431
Tempting the Best Man ($2.99) 978 downloads. What would I have made off it?  $1169

I didn’t look at Shadows, because at that point I wanted to punch someone.
So the grand total there is $10, 775.
So let’s say only 25% of them were actual sale since 75% doesn’t buy anyway.
That’s $2693 dollars. Hey, that’s not pocket change.

Also keep in mind, agents are paid out of that. And this was just what I could find today. This does not include the hundreds of times the books have been taken down (download counters restart each time its removed).

Spotlight On Suzanne Brockmann

I was supposed to post this last night, but I came home from work and passed out. I had a whole list of things I planned to do, and crapped out on all of them. Well, better late than never, I guess.

Mother/daughter duo Suzanne and Melanie Brockmann will make their first foray into young adult this October with the release of Night Sky, which is the first book of the Night Sky trilogy, which will be set in the same world as her Fighting Destiny series. There will also be a free prequel novella, Dangerous Destiny, which will be available on August 26th.

night sky

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Reid is thrown into a strange world when she discovers that she has unique telekinetic and telepathic powers.  After Sasha, the child she babysits, is kidnapped and believed to be murdered, Sky and her best friend Calvin are approached by Dana, a mysterious girl who has super-abilities similar to Sky’s.  With the help of Dana and her sidekick Milo, the four teens embark on a quest to discover who killed Sasha, and to bring the killers to justice.

With Dana as Skylar’s surly and life-toughened mentor, Sky attempts to harness her powers to aid them in their quest. Complicating an already complex relationship with the older girl, Sky starts to fall for the dangerously handsome and enigmatic Milo – and begins to suspect that the attraction is mutual. But then Sky realizes that Sasha might still be alive, and the unlikely foursome’s mission becomes one of search and rescue, pitting the heroic teens against a very deadly enemy.

Spotlight on…Lara Adrian

As most of you have probably heard by now, Lara Adrian‘s upcoming Midnight Breed book, Crave the Night, will be her last publishing house release. She has decided to go back to self-publishing whatever stories follow in the series, and also to branch out into other new worlds. One such new world is her new Phoenix Code series, written with Tina Folsom. The first book is going to be called Cut and Run, and it has a release date of November 17th. At this point, it looks like an e-book only release.

cut and run

Darkly gifted and dangerously skilled, they were once the nation’s most powerful asset. Betrayed by unknown enemies, unable to trust anyone–not even one another–the Phoenix hold the key to unmasking a conspiracy steeped in blood and fire. To survive, they’ll have to solve . . . The Phoenix Code.

CUT by Lara Adrian

Community college professor Ethan Jones is living a lie. A precognitive agent known as Zephyr, Ethan is part of Phoenix, a covert government ESP program with global influence and powerful, hidde enemies. He’s accustomed to subterfuge and deception, but when the Phoenix program is betrayed and shut down, Ethan is forced to cut all ties to the life he’s made and everyone in it–including smart, beautiful Tori Connors, the one woman who tempted the cold agent to let down his impenetrable facade.

A chance encounter years later and thousands of miles away thrusts the lovers together again, and this time Tori refuses to let Ethan deceive her. She hasn’t been able to forget him, or the scorching passion they shared. Although Ethan is a dangerous enigma, she still desires him, and soon their inconvenient reunion becomes a temptation too strong to resist. With assassins closing in from all sides, Ethan and Tori embark on a desperate race for their lives–one that will put their tentative trust to the ultimate test.

RUN by Tina Folsom

Motorcycle mechanic and biker Scott Thompson isn’t the laid-back loner he makes everyone believe. Three years ago, he was known as Ace, and belonged to an elite group of agents in a top secret CIA program. However, the preternatural ability that made him an invaluable asset to the government could now become his downfall, for he has to resist acting upon his premonitions, or risk exposing himself to the enemies reponsible for the destruction of the Phoenix program and the murder of his mentor. When his skill alerts him to a looming disaster bound to kill dozens of innocents, his compelled to take action.

To save her position from planned budget cuts, Phoebe Chadwick needs to prove to her editor that she is a brilliant journalist with a knack for sniffing out a juicy story. When the mysterious Scott prevents a tragic accident which could have killed her and many others, she tries to interview him. But the handsome stranger is a reluctant hero unwilling to answer her probing questions.

Bad boy Scott instantly feels the sizzling chemistry between him and the persistent reporter and makes a decision that he fears will bit him in the ass soon: He allows Phoebe to get close–not only to his body, but also to his heart, always wondering when somebody will find out his secret.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to something different from Lara Adrian, or do you wish that she would focus more on wrapping up the Midnight Breed series? Crave the Night had a couple of significant push-backs (if I am not mistaken I believe it was originally due out last fall, then this past January, and now it is due this August), but hopefully things can get back to a more steady schedule.

Spotlight on Terry Spears’ Jaguar Hunt

jaguar huntIt is almost time for the next Terry Spear book, Jaguar Hunt, and to get ready for the release on June 3rd, here is an “interview” with the main character, David.

Exclusive Interview with David from Terry Spear’s JAGUAR HUNT

David, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. If you weren’t here answering my questions, where would you be?

Trying to make jaguar points with Tammy, hot she-cat Enforcer. There’s just something about a she-cat that loves the jungle, is not about to take any nonsense from anyone, and who is damn good at her job that makes me want to take chase and get her to notice me.

When we first meet you in Jaguar Hunt, you are being taken to jail for starting a brawl. Does that mean you are a bad boy?

*David smiles. Or maybe it’s more of a sexy smirk.*

It’s all in the line of duty. Saving a couple of wayward jaguar shifter teens, protecting them, well, it had to be done. Of course, it kind of put me in a bad light with my new partner, but I figured she’d soon understand why I had to do it. It was all part of the plan, you see.

You are part of a special forces team made up of powerful jaguar shifters. How did you get involved?

If I tell you, you’ll be back to thinking I was a troublemaker. In truth, when my mother died, my father was grieving and stopped giving me and my twin brother, Wade, any direction. We were just—rambunctious, adventurous, dare-devils. But we still had the need to protect. We were sort of taken in by the director of the branch to ensure we worked for the right side of the law.”

Tell us about your newest partner Tammy Anderson.

Hot. Dedicated. Sexy. Smart. Talented. Hot. I was warned about her first off. She ditches her partners. She dates only humans. And my brother who married her relative warned me to keep my hands off her—which meant?

David smiles.

I love a challenge.

Does she bring out any changes in you?

Hell, yeah. Have you ever been with someone who makes you want to put your best foot forward? Who inspires you to have fun? To see the good in life? To want to make a commitment to? To spend all your time with? And to protect? That’s what Tammy does for me.

We met your brother in Jaguar Fever and you are featured in Jaguar Hunt. Are there any more family members we should watch out for?

Tammy’s got a couple of brothers who are in the JAG Branch, the Golden Claws. Huntley and Everett. They’re both great guys to work with. I’ve heard it rumored that Huntley is in Costa Rica. I believe a jaguar family became separated down there. Something about abandoned cubs? Not sure because I’ve been busy with dealing with a missing zoo cat. All I know is that if it were me, well, I’d have to hope Tammy was really good with little cubs. Wayward teens—I can deal with. I was just like them. Babies? Sounds like the perfect job for Huntley.

So, is a Terry Spear fan? She is another one on my TBR one day pile. I have always been a fan of how great she is at keeping her fans up-to-date with her work…much of the time, authors don’t keep their sites updated and info is hit or miss. I will be checking this one out soon.

Spotlight on…Christine Feehan

spotlight_logoIn a couple of previous posts, I have noted how Christine Feehan has kicked her writing into high gear lately. She has updated her “currently working on” section on her website to give a little more detail, too…

GHOSTWALKERS

Viper Game: Viper Game is the story of Wyatt Fontenot. His story takes place in the bayou. He and two of his fellow Team Four members are recovering from wounds received in battle and have gone back to the bayou because Nonny, Wyatt’s Grandmother, has been assaulted and needs help. The mental hospital that burned to the ground has been rebuilt into a plastic’s company. But the fences are high and something from that facility has escaped into the swamps.

LEOPARD’S PREY

Cat’s Lair: Catarina Benoit had been sold to the biggest criminal in the bayous when she was just a child. He never tried to hide the ugly things he did, or the brutal ways he ended those who opposed him. She finally escaped and lived as off the radar as possible, knowing if he found her, he would kill the people that meant something to her, or anyone who helped her. She knew he wanted something from her, but she was never certain what it was, only that he was waiting and he wanted her close at all times as she matured. She knew he would come to find her and she worked very, very hard to be ready. Falling in love wasn’t part of her plan. Finding people she cared about and a job that meant something wasn’t a good idea. Not for someone like her…

SEA HAVEN SERIES

Earthbound: Gavriil Prakenskii was beyond all saving. He knew that and had known it for a long time. His brother Viktor and he had made a deal with the devil in order to keep their youngest brother safe. The devil broke their agreement and it was up to Gavriil to warn Ilya he was no longer safe and to lure any assassins away from his brother. He didn’t expect to find a young woman as broken as he was. He didn’t expect to find a savior. A miracle. He didn’t expect to find Lexi Thompson and fall under her spell so deeply that nothing else mattered to him but that he lay his claim to her.

DARK SERIES

Dark Ghost: Andre–the ghost–had traveled through the long range of the Carpathian Mountains to the forbidden monastery where ancients without lifemates who were far too dangerous to live among humans or Carpathians had banded together in an effort to live out their remaining days until they could leave the earth with honor. Along the way he came across the path of a master vampire and decides to go down taking out one of the undead.

Teagan Joanes has come to the Carpathian Mts to search for a particular stone to help cure her grandmother’s insanity. Grandma Trixie has lately been muttering nonsense about a man named Gary, a monastery and vampires. She even bought a vampire killing kit off the internet. Teagan’s friend from school agrees to guide her into the mountains. Too bad he’s a serial killer. She has a tendency to get into trouble wherever she goes and she’s not eager to tell Grandma Trixie about that or the fact that she’s falling madly in love with a man who sleeps in the ground and needs blood to survive!

Dark Promises: Gary Jansen has been in love with Gabrielle for a very long time. He did the honorable thing and let her go, because she was Carpathian and there were so few females to become lifemates to those who had waited for so long. But he is fully Carpathian, and a Daratrazanoff. Over the years he’s honed his fighting skills and has fought beside the warriors of the Carpathian people as well as working on solutions to their problems. Everything has changed. The ritual words are imprinted in him, given to him the ancient, long dead warriors of the Carpathian people. Who is the mysterious male courting Gabrielle. Is she truly his lifemate, his other half?

Trixie Joanes has gone to the Carpathian Mts in search of her wayward granddaughter. Teagan has a track record of getting into trouble and she’s fallen in love and says she wants to get married. Trixie is not about to allow some foreigner to carry off her beloved granddaughter. She’s come to fight a battle and she has every intention of winning. But then who is this mysterious ancient who doesn’t seem to notice her biting (but witty) sarcasm. And at her age, what was she doing finding a man like that hot???

I haven’t made any secret of the fact that I have been impatient for another Ghostwalker book, so news of Viper Game is very welcome. Apparently, it will be followed by Spider Game, also featuring someone from team four and set in the bayou. I sort of hoped that Andre would be the next Carpathian featured in the Dark series…he has been quietly moving to the forefront in the last couple of books. Gary and Gabrielle has been teased for a while, but I was surprised that they will apparently be sharing their story…with someone’s grandma. The Cat’s Lair blurb confuses me a bit, for some reason it reminds me of a Lora Leigh synopsis.

Which of these are you looking forward to? Are you still on the Feehan bandwagon, or have you moved on?

Spotlight on…Dead of Winter

It never, ever fails. About an hour after I get the author pages updated, a new cover or blurb will become available for one of their upcoming books. This time around, it is both the cover art and official blurb for the third book in Kresley Cole‘s Arcana Chronicles, Dead of Winter. This one was originally supposed to be released this fall, but was pushed back to next January 6th.

dead of winter

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her—until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts…and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana—or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

The first two books in the series are being re-released in paperback with this new cover design, stepping away from the badly Photoshopped characters on the front. What do you think of this new design style? What is your take on the Arcana Chronicles? Did your Immortals After Dark love follow you into this series, or did you find her young adult books didn’t pack the same punch?

Spotlight on…Cassandra Clare

city of hevenly fireI am a sucker for anything Shadowhunter, and the first two series Cassandra Clare wrote set in this world are among some of my favorites (meh, discounting the let down of the movie, that is). The Infernal Devices remains one of my very favorite trilogies, and it has the distinction of, for me, having the perfect love triangle. Love triangles are usually cringe worthy, make me roll my eyes more than once, and leave me in no doubt from the opening scenes who the chick will end up with. But Will, Jem and Tessa? Not even close.

As we wait approach the release of the last Mortal Instruments book in a couple of months, we know that City of Heavenly Fire will set up and introduce the characters for the third Shadowhunter series, The Dark Artifices. The new series will start next March with the release of Lady Midnight, and it will be followed by Prince of Shadows in 2016 and Queen of Air and Darkness in 2017. Well, today some confirmation came about the mysterious fourth series, as well.

I had sort of thought that it was rumor, but Cassandra Clare gave some details about the next series. It will be called The Last Hours, and it is basically a retelling of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with the immediate families of Tessa, Will and Jem. She west so far as to provide a short synopsis, as well…

For as long as Lucie Herondale can remember, the Herondale family manor has adjourned the manor of the Blackthorns. It’s too bad that Tatiana Blackthorn, the matriarch of the family, has always been, as her father Will Herondale says, “mad as a mouse trapped in a teapot.” Since the day that her father Benedict murdered Tatiana’s husband, and was killed in turn by a group of Shadowhunters that included both her brothers, Tatiana has nursed a burning grudge against the London Institute and all its inhabitants, especially Will, Tessa and their children: Lucie and her brother, James …

Book one will be called Chain of Thorns, book two is Chain of Gold, and Chain of Iron rounds out the trilogy. Goodreads shows Chain of Thorns as having a 2015 release, but no official word has been forthcoming.

So, good news or are you over the whole Shadowhunter thing? I have heard a lot of grumbling over on Goodreads about yet another series set in this same world…why not write something else…yada yada. Personally, as long as the stories are good, I am happy to return to a favorite world. I am just hoping for a two-book-a-year schedule, or I will be too old to read anymore when these books finally make it to the shelves.