Spotlight on…J.R. Ward

Every year, Pheonix goes to the annual book signing J.R. Ward holds in Cincinnati, and she is kind enough to share the info with us. I have to admit, I have a read it/don’t read it reaction to them, because I really want to know what is going on, but I don’t want spoilers. Or, should I say, I want some spoilers but not huge ones. You just can’t win with me.

Anyways, this can’t be said enough…there are spoilers here. I mean it. BIG. TIME. SPOILERS. Especially for The Shadows, so if you haven’t read it, proceed at your own risk.

Final warning – Spoilers! Spoilers! Spoilers!

 

2015 Cincinnati Immortal Q & A

Q: Who is the next BDB book about?

A: The title is “The Beast” ….I bet you know who that is about. We were going to do a short story, but there was too much to fit…he was too big to fit in a small….story. (crowd shouts: That’s what she said!)

Q: Can you elaborate on anything that’s going on with Rhage?

A: Ummmmm. He has some survivor’s guilt going on there, and there are some issues that he and Mary have to work out. There’s also one aspect of their life that will come to fruition. (crowd yells: BABY!!!)

Q: It’s more of a comment that a question. There were a lot of haters for The Shadows. For the way it had to happen, you did it perfectly.

A: Well, thank you! I totally understand people’s reactions.

Q: Are we going to see a lot more of s’Ex, the executioner?

A: Oh, yeah, I’m totally in love with s’Ex, too. (Crowd laughs at double entendre.) I want him to have his own book, his own love. I think he’s going to be protective of Trez, and s’Ex probably won’t be going back to the Territories, but I think iAm will definitely be going back and forth.

Q: What’s going on with Rhage? Is he going to be pardoned by the Scribe Virgin and have his curse repealed?

A: B**ch can’t get out of her own head long enough to fix anything. You’re going to have to KR on that.

Q: Can you or will you elaborate on how Xhex became an assassin?

A: I’m not sure what there is to elaborate on. She just came out that way.

Q: How do the Brother’s get the golden retriever hair off them?

A: Can you imagine the doggen? Just wrap one of them in duct tape and rolllllllll.

Q: With the demise of Mr. C., will Lash be coming back?

A: Yes, but we have to get through the next book and we have to get to Xcor and Layla. So, it just means getting to the point where he returns.

Q: With women coming in to the training program, will find out that women were already included, back in the day?

A: There is no back in the day for women (being involved). This is something new.

Q: When are humans finding out that there are vampires?

A: It’s coming. Remember when the sh*t was hitting the fan (Crowd: Which time?) So it’s going to come out that people have been videotaping and posting on Youtube. There was a scene, way back in one of the books, where the kid was videotaping, and it happens this time. So, yeah, that sh*t’s going to get

Q: Back in the day, before they lived in the sanctuary, there were Chosen breeding with the Brothers. Could we find out that the Chosen had offspring by different Brothers?

A: Originally they were only to breed with the Primale. Eventually, they were serving the Brothers with blood and sometimes, they would fall in love and have children. The breeding program is no longer in progress. It is possible that the Chosen had children by more than one Brother.

Q: Have we met Assail’s sibling?

A: That’s a Keep Reading.

Q: Will we find out Craeg’s parentage and is it significant?

A: That’s a Keep Reading, too.

Q: After the introduction of the training program, will there be shellans who want to enter?

A: Probably not, because those who can and want to, like Xhex and Payne, already are.

Q: Are we going to hear more about Payne’s ability to heal?

A: We’re going to learn that her ability to heal costs her more each time she uses it. And, I’m not sure what the answer is, whether she needs to refresh by going to the Sanctuary. Or there’s other consequences.

Q: Are Adrian and Eddie going to be Lassiter’s next assignment?

A: Yes, and Lassiter will get his own book.

Q: I get the drift that Bloodletter is his calling and his handle, but is that his name?

A: Bloodletter is his handle but not his real name. Can you imagine that on his birth certificate? His driver’s license. Why, sir, perhaps you shouldn’t drive….

Q: Was Bloodletter one of the Brothers guarding Wrath the Fair, in The King?

A: Maybe….

Q: Is he related to the Original Brother, who had two lines: Wrath, and perhaps an aristocrat of whom The Bloodletter is of the line?

A: Yes, he was.

Q: Selena said that she would be waiting for Trez and whomever he falls in love with.

A: I think some day that Trez will find someone to love, but it will be a long way off. You have to remember that vampires live five or six hundred years. And Serena gives him permission, says to him that if you find someone, to fall in love and live his life.

Q: Will Devina be in Lassiter’s book?

A: I think she will be in Lash’s book. Even assholes deserve love.

Q: Is Throe the new Havers (as the most hated character)?

A: Oh yeah he has bad juju. There are definitely some things to work out with Throe.

Q: What happens when Throe runs into Xcor?

A: That’s a Keep Reading.

Q: Is Layla going to have both twins?

A: She needs to have those babies. We need to move along because there’s so much more to come after that.

Q: Will De La Cruz be part of the “humans finding out”?

A: Hmm, I think he needs to see Butch again.

Q: You always write about how the males bond and give out their scent, but can it be unrequited?

A: I’m sure that happens.

Q: Now that Selena talked with Luchas about being lucky to alive, does he have a better will to live?

A: I think he does. And I’m sure we’re going to be seeing more of him, I’m just not sure right now which series he’s going to track in, whether it will be the BDB or the Legacy Series.

Q: Since Rhage is all up in his estrogen-fueled feelings, why is not the Beast all, dude, there’s nothing wrong with us, calm the eff down…

A: The Beast is non-verbal. So, not like he can just say that. (crowd laughs at image)

Q: Why is it that the Brothers can’t scent Xcor on Laila and know she’s lying.

A: It’s because she’s pregnant, and it would be disrespectful of them to get close enough to scent her.

Q: About Saxton’s HEA (Happily Ever After), can you tell us the when and who and what book?

A: Cannot answer that. Keep Reading.

Q: If feeding from humans doesn’t give vamps enough strength, like when Z was trying to survive on just human blood, how does Payne keep going feeding from Manny?

A: Payne goes to the other side and that rejuvenates her.

Q: Do we know for sure that Butch and Manny are connected?

A: Yes, they have the same father, and that guy didn’t keep it in his pants, so there may be more of them out there.

Q: I’m curious about the sympaths and if we will learn more about them?

A: Weird six finger things. If humans become aggressive toward the Shadows and sympaths, it may become a case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Because there is some serious sh*t coming. There is also a penal colony out west that may come into play. To keep the action going, more people have to come into the story. So, I think we’ll see all of those groups getting more involved.

Q: You had said that in honor of the tenth anniversary of Wrath’s release, there would be some sort of party or celebration?

A: With the release schedule for this year, we just couldn’t make it happen. But, maybe next March to celebrate Rhage and the Beast? We’re going to work on something.

Q: I love Godd*mn Cat. Will we find out more about Godd*amn Cat? (This is what iAm calls Boo.)

A: We will, yes.

Q: Will we see more of Fritz and his personal life?

A: He loves his job, but I can’t imagine writing his sex life. Nope….imagine a basset hound…nope…nope.

Q: Will there be a resolution to the death rate amongst females and births?

A: I don’t think so because it’s just part of nature.

Q: Throe went to Xcor to avenge his sister’s death, and the one who saved Tohr was shot in the head, so how can Throe be Autumn’s brother? (This was a confusing question, and the transcriber may not have gotten the whole thing correct, but the answer is the same.)

A: Keep Reading.

Q: Will we see more of the next generation? (Little Wrath, Nalla, Aggie, etc.)

A: I would love to see what happens when Z finds out Nalla has a boyfriend. But I don’t know how that would work. Would they be set in the future? Not sure yet.

Q: Will there be weeding out of the Bastards?

A: Oh, yeah, there will be. Leaky, messy, with a weed eater weeding.

Q: What’s with all the twins?

A: There are a whole lot of twins. I’m interested in what’s going on. Just the other day, I was like, wow, there’s a whole lot of twins in here. I know, I know, I is slow.

Q: Can we get a pronunciation guide?

A: Maybe, we’ll have to think on that.

Q: I thought John Matthew knew about Butch and Xhex? (having slept together)

A: I think JM is going to have a hard time with it.

Q: Is JM a Brother?

A: Not yet but he will be; I just don’t know when.

Q: Is wrath ever going to see his son?

A: No, he’s blind and there’s no fixing it.

Q: Layla is having twins. Will that be a problem with the birth and one won’t be ready?

A: Welll…(there was a lot of side chatter that ended with): But I promised I was finished killing people and that both would make it…

Q: Now that iAm and Boo are BFFs, now that iAm’s not at home as much, will Boo go Ninja cat?

A: Boo will have separation anxiety.

Q: Why did Qhuinn only see one twin? (In his vision)

A: I would answer that, but I can’t.

Q: The Scribe Virgin has been missing. Why did she decide to make herself known when she did? (In The Shadows)

A: I think because she knew the suffering Selena’s death was causing, and that she felt motivated which I find interesting. Someone said that if, as a deity, if no one is worshipping you, then you are as good as dead. So maybe she’s realizing that. And you know the most logical person for her to end up with??(Crowd shouts: Lassiter) Right, so Vishous would be his stepson. That sh*t is hysterical. Call me Daddy!

Q: Vampires usually have one mate, so when Tohr goes to the Fade is it going to be like Sister Wives?

A: Yep, just like Sister Wives. Tonight is your night, tomorrow’s yours. I’m gonna divorce you to give the fourth wife healthcare….(laughter)

Q: Saxton’s HEA, could it be one of the recruits?

A:You’re just trying to get me to say! I know who it is. Just not telling you.

Q: With Layla, Xcor, and the twins, will they break the kids up?

A: Hell no. The solution is there, it’s just going to take us a while to get there.

Q: Can you tell us if there is one boy one girl?

A: I’m not saying.

Q: What is going on with the Scribe Virgin? We saw her for a hot second but what’s going on with her?

A: She needs to get laid in the worst way. She needs to run off to the Bahamas with Lassiter and watch Beaches and Maury.

Q: About the Legacy series and opening with Blood Kiss. Will there be a signing event?

A: Yes.

Q: Did I hear that Phury and Cormia have a son?

A: Aggie is Phury and Cormia’s son, yes.

Q: Process question: Do you write scenes down as they come, if they’re for the future?

A: No, it stays in my head. I also have a research assistant who helps keep things straight. Occasionally, we make mistakes but I don’t write it down.

Q: We know Butch and Manny are brothers. Could they be related to Michael in the Story of Son?

A: It wouldn’t surprise me if Michael was related to Murhder, with the hair. And it wouldn’t surprise me if Clare and Michael’s kids come into the BDB stories sometime in the future.

Q: Does Layla make it through the pregnancy?

A: Yes, she does.

Q: Are Cormia and Phury ready to have a baby?

A: Yes, they are.

Q: Are we going to get more Brothers coming through the training program and how?

A: Chosen will fall in love and have more children.

Q: So about the V, Lassiter, Throe conflict?

A: I can’t say anything about that.

Q: Layla’s babies, could one be Xcor’s and one be Qhuinn’s?

A: No, that’s not possible.

Q: Does Butch get sick of V’s music?

A: You wouldn’t win an argument with V over the lint in your own bellybutton, so Butch has gotten over it. And is probably deaf now.

Q: Butch needs a vampire little sister.

A: He’s great with kids, but I don’t see a sister right now.

Q: So, in the Legacy Series, we’ll have basic training flashbacks?

A: Yep, basically.

Q: I was glad that Trez got closure (by getting to see Selena in the Fade).

A: I knew that Trez had to go through the Cleansing, but I didn’t realize the purpose when I saw the scene. I thought it was wonderful that Trez was talking to Selena, even after she was gone. And, Trez had to come back in order for iAm to have his moment with maichen.

Q: Will we see a cure for this genetic disease?

A: I don’t know but this is the problem with a breeding program that has a limited gene pool.

Q: Will we see Butch and Marissa in Blood Kiss?

A: Yes, but we won’t see them have kids yet.

Q: Will Paradise be the only female in the training program?

A: Nope.

Q: Will we ever get movies?

A: The rights have been purchased for The Bourbon Kings and the BDB is being looked at again.

Q: Will JM and Blay be inducted into the BDB?

A: Yes but I don’t know when.

Q: Would you build the mansion, based on the images in your head?

A: I would love to have a miniature model built someday.

Q: Could you do more Slices of Life?

A: I don’t know about that or another Insider’s Guide. There just isn’t time.

Q: There will be a signing for the Bourbon Kings, and for The Training Center Legacy Series?

A: Yes, end of July for The Bourbon Kings, possibly something in Nashville and sometime in December for Blood Kiss.

Q: They consulted with Havers about twins and that sometimes the second twin develops late. You

slipped a line in about triplets being rare…is she going to have trips?

A: Nope.

Q: Will there be sisters inducted in BDB?

A: Yes.

Q: Back to Rhage’s mood issues. Could it be his dragon curse and the Chosen’s moods?

A: Nope, it’s survivor’s guilt. It’s almost impossible for him to get over the fact that Mary was saved and these other shellans weren’t. There is some sh*t for Mary and him to work out…but it will be fine. Women are really attracted to him. He sees no one but Mary, but if it were a matter of he’d been with another woman when they first got together, and for her there’s a kernel of insecurity, that’s going to have to come out.

Q: iAm is going to spend a lot of time in the Territory and Trez will be with the Brothers. Is it possible that Trez will become a Brother?

A: I think that might be a great solution for him. He’s definitely going to need something to focus on.

Q: You said that the Legacy series would be more focused, and you mentioned Butch and then Paradise and Craeg, so where’s the focus?

A: It would be split between Butch and then Paradise and Craeg. The Legacy series is a great opportunity for more traditional HEA (Happily Ever After) and to focus on the original Brothers and more details of their lives that I just can’t show in the bigger books.

Q: Do you have any advice for writers?

A: Runnnnn! Save yourself!!! Seriously, though, don’t listen to anyone. Write what’s in your head. I don’t believe in critique groups or creative writing classes. Don’t listen to anyone, including me. When in doubt write. Write even when you thinks its crap. Next piece of advice: educate yourself. Pick books you like and deconstruct them. Get a pad and pen and go through these books and decide what did you like. What worked? What did you like? What didn’t you like? This develops your inner editor, then apply that to your own work. The voices in your head and the pictures in your head will always be there. Don’t worry.

Q: How are Butch and Manny related?

A: They are half-brothers. They have the same father.

Thank you to everyone who came today!

Vote! Vote! Vote!

O.K. everyone, time to show Ilona Andrews some love – a couple of times. The final four voting is on at dabwaha, and both Burn for Me and Magic Breaks are up. When I picked the brackets at the beginning, since there were no Nalini Singh books to pick from, I had both of Ilona’s books as the final two. It could still happen.

If you have a moment, pleas vote HERE. Oh, and as a bribe, Ilona has upped a Twitter conversation between Kate and Curran. It involved laundry.

Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

Well, there are six new covers for this post, and I can honestly say that there isn’t a one that actually grabs my attention. Usually, there is one or two that interests me, but in this batch? Nada. Let’s see what you think.

This first one is from Donna Grant. Passion Ignites is the seventh book of the Dark Kings series, and it is due out on November 3rd.

passion ignitesHe consumed her with that kiss, leaving no question that whatever was happening between them was meant to be—that it had always been meant to be…

HE LOVES FOR ETERNITY
Thorn is the bad boy of the Dragon Kings, a gorgeous, reckless warrior whose passions run wild and fury knows no bounds. When he sees the brave, beautiful Lexi being lured into the Dark Fae’s trap, he has no choice but to rescue her from a fate worse than death. But by saving this tempting mortal, he exposes himself to his fiercest enemy—and darkest desires. As the war between Dragons and Fae heats up, so does the passion between Lexi and Thorn. And when love is a battlefield, the heart takes no prisoners…

SHE LIVES FOR VENGEANCE
Lexi is on a mission of justice. Every day, she searches for the monster who murdered her friend. Every night, she hides in the shadows and plots her revenge. But the man she seeks is more dangerous than she ever imagined. He is one of the Dark Fae who preys on human life, who uses his unearthly power to seduce the innocent, and who is setting a trap just for her. Nothing can save Lexi from a creature like this—except the one man who’s been watching her every move…

Purchase at Amazon.com

This second one is from the upcoming series from Nora Roberts. Stars of Fortune is the first book in the series of the same name, and it is due out on November 3rd.

Untitled-1To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces…

Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the fire star. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.

Sasha is the one who holds them together—the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.

But Sasha and Bran are just two of the six. And they all must all work together as a team to find the fire star in a cradle of land beneath the sea. Over their every attempt at trust, unity, and love, a dark threat looms. And it seeks to corrupt everything that stands in its way of possessing the stars…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Cover three is from D.L. McDermott. Blade Dance is the fourth book of the Cold Iron series, and it is due out on September 21st.

blade danceBoston schoolteacher Ann Phillips knows better than to trust the Fae, but when one of her second graders turns up to class with both arms covered in magical tattoos, she has no choice but to turn to Finn MacUmhaill, the dangerous and charismatic Fae crime lord who controls Charlestown, for help.

Finn MacUmhaill, leader of the Fianna, has had his eye on Ann Phillips for months, but a recent showdown with an old enemy has left his house broken. Between the crippling blow dealt to the Fianna and his son’s recent defection, he hasn’t had time to woo the pretty redhead. When she turns up on his doorstep asking for his help, he thinks he’s found the way to win her, but before he can act, the child goes missing, kidnapped by a rogue Druid who has discovered the key to destroying the wall between worlds.

Now, Finn and Ann must ally themselves with an old adversary—the treacherous Prince Consort—to save the boy, or risk the destruction of the wall that keeps the corrupt Fae Queen and her Court at bay…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Jan DeLima‘s third Celtic Moon novel, Autumn Moon, will be released on September 29th.

autumn moonFor centuries, Cormack has lived between worlds—a man trapped in the body of a wolf, shunned by humans and shifters alike. Only one person has ever welcomed his company: Elen, a kindred outcast who is feared by others of her ancient Celtic race for her strange healing abilities. Cormack has always valued Elen’s kindness and understanding, but after a desperate act of friendship causes Elen to free him from his curse, he realizes he wants more. He wants all of her—completely and forever.

Except before Cormack can win Elen’s heart, Pendaran, the evil leader of the Guardians, captures her, determined to manipulate her incredible power to aid him in his twisted war against the shapeshifting tribes. Now Cormack must use all of his skills as a warrior and a wolf to save the woman he loves—before Pendaran’s vile schemes destroy them all…

Purchase at Amazon.com

These last two are young adult. It looks like Andrea Cremer‘s The Inventor’s Secret series has fallen victim to the dreaded “second book design change” syndrome. Which of course carries over to the paperback re-release of the first book of the series, just to make me nuts. Pick a design and stick with it, people. Anyways, The Conjurer’s Riddle will be released on November 3rd.

the conjurer's riddleIn this sequel to The Inventor’s Secret, Charlotte and her companions escape the British Empire, but they haven’t left danger behind. In fact, if they go against the revolutionaries, they face even greater peril.

Charlotte leads her group of exiles west, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans. But as Charlotte learns more about the revolution she has championed, she wonders if she’s on the right side after all. Charlotte and her friends get to know the mystical New Orleans bayou and deep into the shadowy tunnels below the city–the den of criminals, assassins and pirates–Charlotte must decide if the revolution’s goals justify their means, or if some things, like the lives of her friends, are too sacred to sacrifice.

This alternate-history adventure series asks the questions: What would have happened if America had lost the Revolutionary War? And what would people be willing to do to finally taste freedom?

Purchase at Amazon.com

And wrapping this batch up is Julie Kagawa‘s next Call of the Forgotten novel, The Iron Warrior. Look for it on October 27th.

the iron warriorThe Iron Prince—my nephew—betrayed us all.

He killed me.

Then, I woke up.

Waking after a month on the brink of death, Ethan Chase is stunned to learn that the Veil that conceals the fey from human sight was temporarily torn away. Although humankind’s glimpse of the world of Faery lasted just a brief moment, the human world has been cast into chaos, and the emotion and glamour produced by fear and wonder has renewed the tremendous power of the Forgotten Queen. Now, she is at the forefront of an uprising against the courts of Summer and Winter—a reckoning that will have cataclysmic effects on the Nevernever.

Leading the Lady’s Forgotten Army is Keirran himself: Ethan’s nephew, and the traitor son of the Iron Queen, Meghan Chase.To stop Keirran, Ethan must disobey his sister once again as he and his girlfriend, Kenzie, search for answers long forgotten. In the face of unprecedented evil and unfathomable power, Ethan’s enemies must become his allies, and the world of the fey will be changed forevermore.

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, did any of these catch your eye? No slight against any of the books or series, but I could do without any of these covers. Which of them will you be picking up?

 

Cover Lover – White Hot

If you read this blog at all, there are a few “jokes” (totally true) that I always make. One is that I have authors that I am rabidly devoted to. Another is that I can be a bit, uh, stalkery, when I am looking for something. If you put the two together, you have me checking both Goodreads and Amazon several times a day for info about Ilona Andrews‘ next Hidden Legacy book, White Hot. And moments ago, I finally hit paydirt with the cover reveal on Amazon. Yes! White hot is an October 27th release, and now maybe I can go down to checking for info on other books once a day. But then, there IS the cover for Thea Harrison’s Shadow’s End to find…

white hotNevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill – she knows when people are lying — and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime -the highest rank of magic user-and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent”. But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice…

Purchase at Amazon.com

I truly wouldn’t care if this one was only called “Book two” and came with a blank page for the cover. It is actually my most anticipated book for this year, bar none. How does it fall on your list?

 

April’s BotM and Giveaway

giveaway bannerUsually, I keep an eye out on the Book of the Month polls to keep tabs on who is winning, whether my pick is the top pick, that sort of thing. But for this poll? I didn’t even check until today. No disrespect towards any of the books up for April’s choice, but there just wasn’t anything that got me excited. Well, of the lot Dark Heir would be my pick, but since I am still on the second book of the series I have a ways to go before I will be needing it.

Anyways, the book of the month was indeed Faith Hunter‘s Dark Heir. If you would be interested in winning a print copy, just leave a comment below. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s wrap this up on…Friday night, Midnight (Atlantic Time). Good luck!

dark heirSynopsis…

For centuries, the extremely powerful and ruthless vampire witches of the European Council have wandered the Earth, controlling governments, fostering war, creating political conflict, and often leaving absolute destruction in their wake. One of the strongest of them is set to create some havoc in the city of New Orleans, and it’s definitely personal.

Jane is tasked with tracking him down. With the help of a tech wiz and an ex-Army ranger, her partners in Yellowrock Securities, she’ll have to put everything on the line, and hope it’s enough. Things are about to get real hard in the Big Easy.

The Unleashing Review…

I actually got an ARC of Shelly Laurenston‘s new offering, The Unleashing, almost a month back. But for some reason I have tried a few times and just can’t seem to get into it, and I have no clue why. Doug Meeks sent over his review, though, and hopefully it will prompt me to actually dive in.

the unleashingWhat Doug said…

Let me get this out of the way, I really liked this book, it sets up the background for the series while still getting a bit of action and the typical insanity we expect from Shelly Laurenston.

Now that is out of the way, lets talk. Compared to her other paranormal series book 1 this one probably comes in third behind DragonKin and The Pride while not being as totally insane as Magnus Pack BUT you are going to see a lot of things in this book that will remind you of those series.

Now let me say that the long term story for this series looks to be superior to those other series and I can’t wait to get to the next book. this one ends nicely with a decent conclusion while letting you kinda know where the next book will be going and leaving you gasping for more but this story has so many threads that she could have written 1000 pages and it would still leave you that way. There is just a LOT to be told and a host of barely sane characters to match up :)

Interestingly, the author made a point in her forward to let anyone know that this is NOT a rewrite or revision of The Gathering (which I gleamed will likely never see another sequel), that this is an original series that The Gathering just gave her the basis to write. I gather this is a touchy subject but if you think this is some kind of sequel to that book, forget it.

Less I forget to mention it, the romance between Kera and Vig was more like watching professional wrestling to see how they would ever get from point A to point B and it was entertaining in the same vein that the romances in DragonKin and Pride books are, kinda a ultra-violent love affair. You got to love Shelly Laurenston or none of these books will appeal to you. What I am not sure about is how large a part Kera /Vig will play in the next book, there are things that have to include them yet to be solved and yet she seems to be pushing a few of the characters in the direction of becoming couples.

Bottom Line: I liked it but I did not love it. It shows a ton of promise for future exceptional books but she had to do the requisite world building and introduce a cast of about a dozen people or more so I think a 4 Star rating for this novel is ultimately fair. Still highly recommended but while she gives good closure to most of the actions in this book you will be left wanting more.

Who else has or will be picking up this new series from Shelly? I did enjoy Hunting Season, the original book set in this world, so I have hopes that I can finally get off my butt and get through this one.

My Sort-of Pick of the Week

Yes, I know, the title is not the most glowing recommendation for a pick of the week, but there is a reason. For some reason, I am having a bit of a hard time working up my excitement level for the Black Dagger Brotherhood book, The Shadows. But, on the other hand, it is a Black Dagger Brotherhood book, which pretty much makes it a pick of the week. You see the issue? As I have said numerous times before, J.R. Ward‘s BDB books are a solid favorite of mine, but I have to be in the right mood to read one since they are so…full. So many storylines and characters and plots going on at the same time that I have been known to wait months before I get myself psyched up to read one. It is looking like The Shadows might be on Mount TBR for a while, too…

the shadowsSynopsis…

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…

So, that is my convoluted logic. What is your biggie for this week?

Random Updates…

Just a few quick updates:

  • Chicagoland Vampires number 12 from Chloe Neill has a title now. Midnight Marked will be released in March, 2016.
  • Jeaniene Frost has confirmed that her next trip into the Night Huntress world after Vlad and Leila’s fourth book will feature Ian. I have been whining for that one for a while, so good news all around.
  • I am very happy to say that there will be at least two more books in the Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong. Since this is a favorite of mine, it is good news all around.
  • G.A. Aiken will release a Dragon Kin novella on October 27th called Dragon on Top. It will be Ghleanna’s story.
  • Lidayne sent over a note about Jacquelyn Frank. There will be one more book in the Nightwalker/Bodywalker series, but it will be released in e-format only. She also has stated that the book Seduce Me in Shadows, the third book of the Three Worlds series, probably won’t be released at all.

New Series Alerts…

Well, it was close for a while, but both Burn for Me and Magic Breaks advanced to the final four of the dabwaha contest, making my prediction of an all Ilona Andrews final a possibility. Not sure when the rest of the voting will start up, but I will be keeping an eye out.

On the subject of new series, there are a few to look forward to this week. Let’s start with the new one from Shelly Laurenston, Call of Crows. The first book is called The Unleashing, and I have been really trying to get into this one for a few weeks now, but I just can’t seem to make myself get interested in the story.

the unleashingSynopsis…

Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.

In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.

But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Shannon Mayer also fires up a new series this week with the release of Recurve, the first book of The Elemental Series.

recurveSynopsis…

I’ve been accused of attacking the queen, my wicked stepmother, and my life is suddenly on the line. I have only two options left to me: banishment, or training to become one of the King’s Elite Guards, an Ender.

Option one will kill me.
Option two is meant to break me, but is the only way to survive.

Did I mention I have no power like the rest of the elementals, and my connection to the earth is worth next to nothing?

Could things get any worse? Of course they can. Welcome to being an Elemental.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And this final one is a young adult release from Kady Cross. Sisters of Blood and Spirit is the first book in the series of the same name.

sisters of blood and spiritSynopsis…

Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living.

Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn’t exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she’s not ready to join her sister in the afterlife.

Now the guy who saved Lark’s life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Which of these will you be trying out? I am a bit bummed by The Unleashing, but I am going to try and pick it up again in the next few days. Here’s hoping I was just too distracted the other times and I can actually give it a full read.