Checking in on the Elder Races

I have gotten the Character Guide updated for The Elder Races series by Thea Harrison, and it is now up-to-date as of the latest release, Moonshadow. I thought it might be interesting to check and see what all of you think of the series now.

I still enjoy it, but to be honest my interest dropped off a bit around Night’s Honor. I loathed the main female character of Tess so much that it soured me a bit. Part of it was the crap-ton of novellas, too, which threw me off, since at that time I wasn’t e-reading and it was kind of a pain. I am at my best with the series when they are full-length stories focused on the Wyr, I guess. I am still liking the series a lot, but maybe not quite as much as before. I did like Moonshadow, but I’m not doing a countdown until I can get my hands on the next one, Spellbinder. I’m sure I will enjoy it, but right now it isn’t even on my radar.

So your turn. Are you still big into it, or has your attention drifted away at all? Have you found any changes since it went self-pubbed? How do you like the focus switching to England?

Site Updates

As I am sure you are familiar with by now, one of these site updates posts usually starts with me whining about being behind on one thing or another. This time it is the character guides. A few of you have been messaging me to ask when certain ones will be updated, and I am slowly working my way through.

I know several of you have asked about the Black Dagger Brotherhood guide, but that one is out of my hands. I just host it for PhoenixFyre, along with the one for the Midnight Breed and Chronicles of Nick series. Last time I had heard from her, she was in the process of updating them, so more info should come later.

On my side, I just figured I would start with the first one on the list that needed updating and work my way down. Of course, that meant beginning with the bane of my existence, The Breeds. By tonight, I should have Wake a Sleeping Tiger added and the entire thing edited, if I don’t go nuts first. Claire Martinez who is actually Fawn Corrigan, but was born Catarina Greymore who decides to change her name to Cat? Sure. And lets not forget the REAL Claire Martinez’s spirit who is now in the body of some female Breed. Sure. Of course, Cat/Fawn/Catarina/Faux Claire is mated to Gideon Cross who is also now Graeme Parker. Or Liza Johnson/Honor Christine Roberts, who has the body of one but the memories of the other. No problem keeping them straight. And then there are the ones who had one name in a novella, and a different but connected name in a main book. Of course. I need a drink.

Don’t Do It!

noI might’ve been cruising around Amazon.com today, and I might’ve noticed that Nalini Singh‘s upcoming Silver Silence is showing up with a blue cover I haven’t seen before. And I might’ve clicked on that cover for some reason – AND IT MIGHT’VE TAKEN ME TO THE LOOK INSIDE FEATURE. Holy hell, if you are absolutely, positively desperate to get a monstrous “sneak peek” – aka a crap ton of the entire book, it is there in all its glory. I hope you are stronger than I am, because I so accidentally spoiled myself on a bit of the plot while I was stupidly trying to figure out if I was really seeing what I thought I was. I have done my job…you have been warned. Let’s see who has way more control than I did.

Do you like to be spoiled on a much-anticipated book, or do you want to go in completely blank? I fall somewhere painfully in the middle, usually wanted to go in clueless but too weak to avoid snippets and advanced reviews. And if it is a particularly huge nail-biter, I will sometimes jump ahead just to make sure everything works out ok. But it never fails – I will usually randomly open to a page and the first thing I see is “I can’t believe so-and-so died!” or some game-changing piece of info like that. I am a weak, weak woman.

Happy Happy Happy

Just as I was doing a semi-annoying whine/rant to myself about all of the shows I am behind on, I found this… and nothing else matters. Nothing. Not even my ongoing Eric Northman/True Blood marathon.

I’ve Turned to the Dark Side

heartsIf you have checked out Wicked Scribes for any length of time, you have probably heard me rant about several things – but the big one is probably e-books. Yep, I have always been a die-hard physical book lover, but over the last year or so I have gone from barely contained disdain, to a grudging admission that perhaps they are not the devil’s handiwork, to a cautious foray into all things digital. But all that has changed.

Yep, I have gone to the dark side over the last month or so. Honestly, I have been loving my e-books. I mean loving. I would never, EVER have thought it possible, but there it is. I ended up with both a physical and an e-book copy of the same book a couple of weeks ago (duh, it happens more than you would think), and I found myself reaching for the digital copy. I mean that I never even cracked the spine of the print book at all. That was a bit eye-opening, I have to admit.

On top of that, I spent all day yesterday cleaning my books. I actually don’t mind doing that, but what I did notice was that my paperbacks were not faring well. Even though most only had one read, a lot of them were looking shabby. Dirty and discolored, with the pages turning brown and the covers getting scuffed. I don’t like scruffy, and it was probably the final shove that pushed me over the edge. That and my recent dislike of clutter didn’t help, either.

And the best part is like what you all said all along…no worrying about format changes, crap covers, nothing like that. I have been picking up some duplicates for a while now, and I have been having fun editing the books to have covers I like, organizing them into collections, that sort of thing. My plan is to keep getting physical copies of my hardcover series and my UK book versions, but other than that? I am making the switch to e-book. I plan on swapping out all of my mass markets over time, and I am having fun keeping an eye out for Kindle sales. I got the first couple of IAD books (with pretty new covers) for only a couple of dollars each. Beauty.

I figured that since I was so vocal about my dislike, it would only be fair to say that I had changed my mind. Never thought I would see the day, but there you go. Now if I could only get a handle on my Blu-ray collection, too.

E-Mail Weirdness

bang-head-hereFor the last couple of weeks, my “Contact Me” email function has been acting a bit wonky and I think I missed quite a few of the private messages you sent me. If you did drop a line and I didn’t get back to you, I think your messages somehow ended up in my spam folder (along with those from that charming Nigerian prince who keeps trying to give me millions of dollars). Hope nobody thought I was being rude. Oh, and adding images is also being a giant pain in my ass for some reason, so maybe not too many image posts until Amazon gets that sorted out, too.

My Review – How To Tame a Beast in Seven Days

review iconKerrelyn Sparks has long been an author on my “one day” list. As in, one day, I will actually get around to picking up one of her books. And when I saw she was starting a new series called The Embraced, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dive in. I was excited when I got a review copy of How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days from NetGalley, but  unfortunately it didn’t work out quite as well as I had hoped.

In another time, and another place, there are five kingdoms that make up the world of Aerthlan. Four of these kingdoms are ruled by kings who worship the sun, and anyone who does not follow the faith is subject to death. But the fifth kingdom, made up of two small islands, worship the Goddesses of the Moon. Twice a year, the two moons align, and children born on those nights are called The Embraced. Because they are often born with supernatural powers, they are considered abominations against the God of Light, and to escape certain death, often these children are smuggled to safety on the islands.

It is into this world that Luciana was born. As one of the Embraced, she has spent her entire life in an island convent, believing she was an orphan. She has lived a happy life, making her own family with her fellow “orphaned” Embraced and worshiping the Moon Goddesses. But her entire life is turned upside down when her father arrives, needing Luciana to take the place of her murdered twin sister. If Luciana does not become Tatiana – and marry the man known as The Beast of Benwick – her father will be killed on orders of the king, his lands and property seized for the crown. But to do so means leaving behind everything Luciana has ever known.

While I liked the idea of the book, I had a hard time with it, too. If it hadn’t been a review copy, I probably would’ve DNF’d it at about the 10% mark. It wasn’t that it was bad at all, but it just didn’t engage me at the start. Things did get better as I went on, but my main problem was just that everything was too…easy. I liked Luciana, I liked “the Beast”, I liked them together, but there just wasn’t any sense of drama. Long-lost father shows up, and within a couple of pages they have a strong father/daughter bond and Luciana changes her whole life for him. No anger, no hurt, just one conversation and all is well. And that just kept happening. Everything just kept falling into place way too easily. Even the dramatic showdown at the end was anti-climactic because everything for everyone is perfectly wrapped up in literally a couple of pages. It was too perfect, too happy, too quickly.

So, in summary, I can say I liked the main characters and i enjoyed their relationship, but there wasn’t anything that grabbed my attention, either. Maybe I am used to darker and more dramatic stories, but for me this one was just too light. Am I sorry I read it? Not really. Do I feel the need to pick up the next one? No. It was a fast, uncomplicated read that unfortunately didn’t live up to the potential I thought it had, and sadly it will probably be the only Kerrelyn Sparks book I end up picking up. I would give it 2 stars out of 5.

I know Kerrelyn Sparks has a lot of fans out there, so this is probably not going to be a popular review. Is her work usually so…easy? No drama, no sense of urgency or danger, just light and breezy romance? Just curious, since it is the first book of hers I have ever tried.

New Series Alerts

It looks like there are just a couple of new series to look at this week, starting with one from Wen Spencer. Black Wolves of Boston is the first book of the Black Wolves series.

black-wolves-of-bostonSynopsis…

REBUILD A LIFE, SAVE A CITY

Silas Decker had his world destroyed when he was attacked by vampires outside of New Amsterdam. He rebuilt his life a dozen times in the last three hundred years—each time less and less successfully. Now he lives alone, buried under a hoarding habit, struggling to find some reason to wake up with the setting of the sun.

Eloise is a Virtue, pledged to hunting evil.  What she doesn’t know is how to live alone in a city full of strangers who know nothing about monsters.

Seth is the sixteen-year old Prince of Boston, ward of the Wolf King.  Now he is left in a city that desperately needs his protection with enemies gathering all around.

Joshua believes he is a normal, college-bound high school senior.  His life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered with blood, and the prom committee scattered in pieces about him like broken dolls.

These four must now come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who lost everything struggle to save Boston by saving each other.

And the second new series comes from Melissa F. Olson. Midnight Curse is the first book of the Disrupted Magic series, but it comes in as number ten in the whole Scarlet Bernard/Boundary Magic World.

midnight-curseSynopsis…

Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Melissa F. Olson is new to me, but I did read some of Wen Spencer’s Elfhome series after a recommendation from Nalini Singh (like you can go wrong with that rec). Have you tried any of these authors before? What did you think?

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

It has been less than a week since my last cover lover post, but I am going to go for it anyways. Plus, there is a big one (for me), so that makes me even happier. Let’s start with the fifth and final (crap) Cainsville book from Kelley Armstrong, Rituals. I am not looking forward to seeing this series wrap up, I have to say. But then it is one among many this year, so I better get used to it. Anyways, Rituals will be released on August 15th.

ritualsWhen Olivia Taylor-Jones found out she was not actually the adopted child of a privileged Chicago family but of a notorious pair of convicted serial killers, her life exploded. Running from the fall-out, she found a refuge in the secluded but oddly welcoming town of Cainsville, Illinois, but she couldn’t resist trying to dig out the truth about her birth parents’ crimes. She began working with Gabriel Walsh, a fiendishly successful criminal lawyer who also had links to the town; their investigation soon revealed Celtic mysteries at work in Cainsville, and also entangled Olivia in a tense love triangle with the calculating Gabriel and her charming biker boyfriend, Ricky. Worse, troubling visions revealed to Olivia that the three of them were reenacting an ancient drama pitting the elders of Cainsville against the mysterious Huntsmen with Olivia as the prize.

In the series’ fifth and final novel, not only does Gabriel’s drug addict mother, who he thought was dead, make a surprise reappearance, but Kelley Armstrong delivers a final scary and surprising knock-out twist. It turns out a third supernatural force has been at work all along, a dark and malevolent entity that has had its eye on Olivia since she was a baby and wants to win at any cost.

These next two are a bit different. They are the covers for the first and second book in Juliet Lyons‘ new V-Date.com series. Book one is called Dating the Undead, and it will be released on May 2nd.

dating the undead.jpgIt’s Bridget Jones with vampires in this fresh and funny paranormal romance from debut author Juliet Lyons.

When Silver Harris kisses sexy Irish vampire Logan Byrne on New Year’s Eve, she knows other humans just won’t suffice. Convinced she’ll never see him again, she joins the uber-popular vampire dating site, V-Date.com.

What Silver doesn’t know is that the site is more dangerous than she could ever imagined, and soon she’s in over her head. When Logan returns, sparks fly and attraction sizzles, but they’ll have to escape some very real demons if they have any chance of lasting forever.

And it will be followed by Romancing the Undead on October 3rd.

romancing-the-undeadMila Hart’s first experience with the vampire dating site V-Date.com is a complete disaster–her date is wanted for murder! But things turn around when she’s rescued by dashing vampire cop Vincent Ferrer. Dangerous and devastatingly attractive, he’s just the undead hottie Mila was hoping for.

Haunted by his past, Vincent can’t risk falling in love again–even if Mila charms him more than anyone he’s ever met. But when the killer from Mila’s date seeks her out, Vincent is the only one who can protect her. Protecting his heart is a different story…

Terry Spear‘s 22nd Heart of the Wolf book will be called SEAL Wolf Undercover, and it will be released on August 1st.

seal-wolf-undercoverNavy SEAL wolf turned PI Vaughn Greystroke has always worked alone. But when a string of attempted shifter murders put him in the path of an alluring–and potentially dangerous–she-wolf, having a partner doesn’t sound so bad…

This cover looks so familiar to me, but it could just be a matter of reusing the image, I guess. Either way, Never Dare a Dragon from Ashlyn Chase, the third book in her Boston Dragons series, will be released on August 1st.

never-dare-a-dragonJayce Fierro is part of a legendary Boston firefighting family of phoenix shifters. Hiding his true form makes being in a relationship rather difficult. Meeting the beautiful Lieutenant Kristine Scott of the New York City Fire Department and knowing he can’t have her only makes things worse.

Dragon shifter Kristine can’t stop thinking about fun, flirty Jayce and his teasing smile. A relationship could never work-not with the distance between them, and definitely not with her shifter secret. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble and secrets are revealed, Jayce will do whatever it takes to help-whether or not the feisty, stubborn New Yorker wants him to.

And Paige Tyler has a new one coming out, as well. Her Dark Half is part of her X-Ops series, and it will be out on September 5th.

her dark half.jpgCoyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they’re going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side…

The final one for today comes from Gini Koch. Alien Education is the 15th book of her Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, and it will be published on May 2nd.

alien-educationDue to Earth and its solar system becoming a favorite location for disaffected aliens of all kinds, problems with integration of all Earth-bound alien children into schools becomes a major issue that ends up becoming First Lady Kitty Katt-Martini’s new official cause—and one that’s taking up more of her time than is good for anyone. At the same time, moving the school-aged children out of the American Centaurion Embassy Daycare and into regular schools highlights some students and parents who seem suspect to Occasional Room Mom Kitty and Career Day Jeff. As things become the 1960s all over again, all over Earth, the discovery of a plot to mind control the next generation surfaces, and a race against time for the hearts and especially the minds of all Earth’s children begins…including the mind of Jamie Martini.

Ok everyone, which is your good, your bad, and your just plain ugly? Does the different look of the Juliet Lyons covers grab your attention in a good way or a bad? Can you believe Terry Spear is over 20 books in on just one of her series, because I seriously had no clue.

February’s Book of the Month and Giveaway

I don’t think it is much of a surprise that Jeaniene Frost‘s Into the Fire was chosen as February’s book of the month, and it will be nice to get back into the Night Huntress World (and get the set up for Ian’s book). It feels like it has been so long since I have read any Jeaniene Frost (I didn’t get into her New Adult Broken Destiny series), and it will be nice to see Vlad finally get his happily ever after. I am a bit fuzzy on the details of the last book, so I just might have to work a quick re-read into my plans, too.

into the fireSynopsis…

In the wrong hands, love can be a deadly weapon.

For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.

A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them…and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.

And on to the giveaway…

If you would like to win a paperback copy of the final Vlad and Leila book, Into the Fire, just drop a line in the comments section. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through Random.org. Giveaway ends Sunday night at midnight, Atlantic time.

Just a quick update on my idea to giveaway e-format books. I looked into it a bit, and I think that it is just too grey an area. I guess I will just have to wait until Amazon.ca comes up with the same options our American counterparts have.