Review

Reading Wrap Up

american-english-idioms-book-with-wordsHey everyone, it has been a few days since last check in. It looks like Nalini Singh‘s Allegiance of Honor is going to be the big book for June (like that was a surprise), but I thought it would be a good time to take a look at what we have already read.

I finished up another In Death book by J.D. Robb, Rapture in Death (did I mentioned I am trying to memorize the titles in order as I read them? It will be fun to see how far I get before they all blur together). I am only four books in, but so far I find myself enjoying each new one more than the last. When a series is that darn long, you have to figure that things will get old and feel recycled after a while, but for some reason I have the feeling that I won’t get tired of this one at all.

And for something a little different, I picked up a non PNR UF book (gasp! Shocked myself with that one). Alexandra Ivy started her new romantic suspense ARES series at the end of last year with the release of Kill Without Mercy, and I finally got around to picking it up. I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Hero was Alpha but didn’t fall into Alpha-hole territory, and the heroine was troubled by her past but not a complete wimp/doormat. Lots of action, some suspense, and great supporting characters, too. I even Kindled the All He Wants for Christmas e-collection so I could check out the series prequel novella, Sweet Rapture, which I liked, as well. I have only tried one other story, which didn’t really grab my attention, but there are still a few more to go.

That, sadly, wraps up my reading this week. What have you been reading lately? Any hidden jems to share?

Cover Lover

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

Well, let’s take a peek at some covers  for upcoming releases, starting with a couple from Alexandra Ivy. This first one isn’t PNR, but instead it comes from her ARES series. Kill Without Shame is the second book of the series, and it will be released on December 27th.

kill-without-shameLucas St. Clair’s prestigious family had a political future neatly planned out for him—one that didn’t include his high school sweetheart, Mia Ramon. Under their pressure, Lucas gave her up. But since surviving captivity, he’s a changed man—and a crucial member of ARES Security. When he discovers a dead man clutching a picture of Mia that bears a threatening message, his fiercest protective instincts kick in, and he knows he must go to her.

Mia has never forgiven Lucas for breaking her heart, and she’s convinced her feelings for him are in the past. But it’s soon clear that isn’t true for either of them. Now, determined to solve the crime and keep Mia safe, with his ARES buddies backing him up, Lucas will have to reconstruct the murder victim’s last days—and follow a lethal trail that leads right back to the fate of the woman he still loves…

This second Ivy cover is actually an e-format re-release of Taken by Darkness, a story originally published in the Yours For Eternity anthology, and it is due out on December 6th.

taken-by-darknessThe daughter of a witch, Juliet Lawrence has inherited magical powers – powers that could be quite useful to Victor, Marquess DeRosa, London’s most powerful vampire. But that’s not all Victor desires of Juliet. He wants the unpredictable beauty in his bed – and he is accustomed to getting what he wants…

Lisa Shearin‘s next SPI Files book will be called The Ghoul Vendetta, and it will be out on January 31st.

the ghoul vendettaA vampire gangster’s nephew is abducted off his yacht by a bunch of low-rent Creatures from the Black Lagoon. A slew of banks are knocked over by what looks like the cast of Night of the Living Dead. All of this may seem like the movies, but, I promise you, it’s not.

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and I know the culprits aren’t wearing disguises or makeup. They’re real. Deadly real. Especially their leader—an ancient shapeshifter who leaves a trail of chaos and blood in his wake. Now, he’s taken my partner, Ian—and his intentions aren’t pretty.

The worst part? This is only the beginning…

The beginning of the end of the human race.

This next one is from Paige Tyler and her SWAT series. Wolf Unleashed is the fifth book in the series, and it has a release date of December 6th.

wolf unleashedWolf shifter Alex Trevino has fallen hard for veterinarian Lacey Barton. Getting her to agree to a date is a lot of work—and winning her heart proves even harder.

Lacey can’t deny her crazy attraction to Alex, but she has no intention of letting herself fall for him. In her less than stellar experience, men don’t stick around.

When Lacey’s sister is kidnapped, it’s up to Alex to crack the case—and prove to Lacey that he isn’t going anywhere.

Sylvain Reynard‘s final book in The Florentine series will be called The Roman, and it will be out this December.

the romanRaven and her sister, Cara, are at the mercy of a small detachment of Florentine vampyres, who are delivering them as a peace offering to the feared Curia in Rome.

Though she’s unsure William survived the coup that toppled his principality, Raven is determined to protect her sister at all costs, even if it means challenging Borek, the commander of the detachment.

In an effort to keep Raven from falling into the hands of his enemies, William puts himself at the mercy of the Roman, the dangerous and mysterious vampyre king of Italy. But the Roman is not what he expects …

Alliances and enmities will shift and merge as William struggles to save the woman he loves and his principality, without plunging the vampyre population into a world war.

This next one is Born of Vengeance from Sherrilyn Kenyon, which is the part of the League series. Yeah, I am not feeling this style change in the last couple of books. They were awesome when they just had the sword on the front, but the addition of the dude really takes away from the design for me. Either way, this one will be out on February 1st.

born of vengeanceA fate worse than death . . .

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her team were left on an outpost to die under the barrage of enemy…

And this final one for today is from V.E. Schwab. A Conjuring of Light is the third book in her Shades of Magic series, and it will be released on February 21st.

a conjuring of lightLondons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies.

Do you like the change in the League cover design? Which one of these catch your eye?

Release Info

From the Author Pages

Time for my weekly check into the authors that have their own sections of Wicked Scribes, and that means time to post an update, as well. There isn’t a ton for this one, but there are a couple of tidbits to share…

  • The cover has been released for the next Branded Packs book from Alexandra Ivy and Carrie Ann Ryan, which is called Buried and Shadowed. It will release on July 12th…

buried and shadowed

  • Oooh, title alert! Title alert! The 11th Charley Davidson book from Darynda Jones will be called Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, and it is due out next January.
  • Speaking of title alerts, it was just hours ago that Kresley Cole confirmed that Immortals After Dark #18 will be called Wicked Abyss. Ok, seriously. Can anything with Abyss in it be about anyone other than Furie? I guess we will find out…when it is released next March.
  • Oh, and the cover has also been released for the next novella in Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series, Unwanted. It is due out on July 18th…

unwanted

  • And on the Black Dagger Brotherhood front, J.R. Ward‘s next book will be called The Chosen, and it will feature…Layla. Hmmm. Not my favorite character. Probably my least, actually. I care about her so little, I don’t even know if I spelled her name right. Bummer. If everything holds to the usual schedule, it should be released next March.
  • Totally neither PNR or UF, but the next Casey Duncan book from Kelley Armstrong will be released next February 7th, and it will be called A Darkness Absolute.
  • Ok, this isn’t an update, but a rant about lack of updates. I wish authors all the best, and I want them to do whatever works for their careers so that we will continue to get the books we love, but why is it when some authors go self-pubbed that you just can’t seem to find out any info on upcoming releases? Seriously. Alexandra Ivy is great about keeping her readers in the loop about what she has coming out, but so many others seem to just fall right off the radar. I want to do my little part by maybe making a post, or at least putting their upcoming works in the new release pages, but I can’t find any info. Ok, I needed to vent before I go back to trying to find out what Thea Harrison is working on now. Oy.

So, which of these are you looking forward to the most? Who do you predict the next IAD book will be about?

Review

Reading Wrap Up

booksI figured it was time for a reading wrap up post…but then I realized that I didn’t really remember much I had read since the last time. I got caught up on the Jennifer Ashley Shifters Unbound novellas I had been behind, and I also read a couple of Alexandra Ivy e-books from her Dragons of Eternity series. I am part way through The Beast by J.R. Ward (which is great so far, but not finished yet), but I dropped that one to read the Allegiance of Honor ARC from Nalini Singh (of course).

So, I thought maybe I could give a few small, completely spoiler free thoughts Allegiance of Honor. When I first heard that there was to be an ensemble book, I was excited but a bit hesitant. The cast of characters in the Psy/Changeling world is huge, and to see all or even most of the previous couples in one story could easily have become chaotic and overcrowded, or sheer volume of people could’ve come at the cost of a cohesive plot. Of course, since it is a Nalini Singh book, none of that happens. Everything is flowing along, no one feels like they are just “thrown in” to make an appearance, and there are a couple of very strong storylines. If I had to pick a main couple, I would say it is Lucas and Sascha, but all of the couples from previous books and novellas have their time, too. I was especially happy to see Max Shannon and Devraj Santos again, because they haven’t really been seen much since their stories.

Even with everything going on, Nalini also seemingly has begun to plant some seeds for future books, as well. Two characters who seem to be poised for their own stories are Silver Mercant and Pax Marshall. Both of them have small roles in Allegiance of Honor, but both of them stood out for me and made me very interested in the role they will play in a post-Silence world.

Ok, that wraps things up for me. What have you been reading the last couple of weeks? Any surprisingly good stories, or are you in a dry spell?

Picks of the Week

Pick of the Week

I am a day late with this, but does that actually surprise anyone? I think not. My pick of the week comes from Alexandra Ivy and her Dragons of Eternity series. Usually, I find when a traditionally published author turns to self-pubbing, it is so hard to keep track of their new releases. Updates can be scarce, and then all of a sudden there is a new book I had no idea about. But the great thing about Alexandra is that she keeps her readers really well updated on what she is working on and when it will be out. This week’s release is called Scorched by Darkness.

scorched by darknessSynopsis…

As a half-breed dragon, Torque never had the luxury of choosing his future. Not only did his father barter him to the highest bidder, but a rare Shinto fey claimed to see him in a vision that involved recovering a lost treasure for the powerful dragon, Synge. A destiny that might have been bearable if the vision hadn’t included a mating with Rya, Synge’s half-breed daughter. Who could blame him for being resigned rather than thrilled with his fate?

Rya had enough of being treated like an unwanted burden by her betrothed. So when she learns her mother is missing, she doesn’t hesitate to leave the harem to try to find her. The last thing she expects is Torque to track her down. Or the explosive chemistry that ignites between them. Now they must work together to discover the dark threat that not only traps her mother, but has the potential to spread evil throughout the world.

Release Info

From the Author Pages

So, there aren’t any new series to spotlight this week (or any book of the week pick, either, but more on that in a bit). Instead, I thought I would do a little updating in things I found while updating the author pages. And maybe whine a bit…

  • Alexandra Ivy will have a third Dragons of Eternity book coming out this December, and it will be called Taken by Darkness.
  • This isn’t directly book related, but it looks like Shadowhunters, the Freeform show based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, has officially been released for a second season. I have to admit, I am surprised. I have been faithfully watching it, but it can be a bit painful at times. I actually don’t mind most of the changes from the books, and most of the cast is pretty good, too. Jace doesn’t have quite the snark and arrogance of Jace from the book, but I can deal with that – what is throwing me off is the actress playing Clary. She just isn’t working for me. I find myself rolling my eyes a lot when she is on, which isn’t ideal, but hopefully she will come more into her own in season two.
  • Chloe Neill will release a Chicagoland Vampires novella next January, which will be the second to last story before March final book. Scary thought.
  • On a personal note, Christine Feehan‘s Dark Promises comes out tomorrow – and it is the first Feehan book I haven’t bought. Seriously, I have never before not pre-ordered one of her new releases, but I just didn’t feel like it this time. Between the fact that I have two great books waiting for me (Fire Touched and Marked in Flesh), my disappointment with her recent stories, and my strange distaste for Grandma Trixie (not to mention my dislike of Gabrielle in the excerpt that I read), nothing made me want to pick this one up. At least not yet. If I have a free week coming up somewhere down the line I might break down and get it, but I am in no hurry at all.
  • On the publishing front, it appears that Nora Roberts / J.D. Robb is switching publishing houses. Recent behind-the-scenes changes at Random House prompted  the move, and now Roberts/Robb will be signed with MacMillian-St. Martin’s Press. I guess sometimes that I forget that books are not only pleasure, but a business, too, and in business things sometimes need to change. While there might be some tweaks to the publishing schedule, it looks like everything will pretty much carry on as before. So, no end to Eve and Roarke in sight, thank God.
  • Ok, I gave myself a concussion rolling my eyes on this one. Last December, J.R. Ward published the first book of her new Black Dagger Legacy spin-off series, Blood Kiss, in paperback format. There was a whole write up before it was published about how it was a return to the old-school mass market romance style of the first Black Dagger Brotherhood books. And I really enjoyed it. Fast forward to book two, Blood Vow, which is due out on December 6th in – wait for it – hardcover. Yep. Unless Amazon has totally screwed up, this one is going to be hardcover. So, one whole book in paperback, then a format switch. Unless they re-release the first book in hardcover, I am going to be annoyed. Seriously.
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s next Women of the Otherworld collection will be called Otherworld Chills, and it will be released on October 6th.
  • The cover for the upcoming Rachel Morgan/Peri Reed novella mash-up from Kim Harrison has been released. Waylaid will be available on April 4th.

waylaid

  • Also on the cover front, the art and blurb for the 24th Argeneau Vampires book from Lynsay Sands, called Immortal Nights. It will be released on September 20th.

immortal nightsAbigail Forsythe’s life hasn’t been easy lately. Still, if there’s one thing guaranteed to take her mind off an empty bank account and abandoned dreams, it’s a naked man locked in a plane’s cargo hold. A very big, incredibly gorgeous naked man. And when instinct prompts her to free him, Abigail must rely on this stranger for survival…a stranger who leaves her thrumming with need every time they touch.

Tomasso Notte knows he’s found his life mate in Abigail. Now he just has to hold on to her. They’re miles from civilization, hunted by his kidnappers. Abigail has no idea of Tomasso’s abilities, or of how intensely pleasurable their unique connection can be. But he’s about to show her, beginning with one wild, hot, immortal night…

So, that’s about it for this batch. Are you watching Shadowhunters? Are you surprised it got picked up for a second season? What do you think about the new Ward books going to hardcover already?

Cover Lover

Cover Lover – 4 New Titles

The last weekend of my time off is coming to a close. On the plus side, once I get back to work I might actually know what day of the week it is. Totally lost.

Anyways, just four covers for today. Let’s start with an upcoming Jennifer Estep release. Unraveled is the 15th book of the Elemental Assassin series, and it has a release date of August 30th.

unraveledAs the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

I might be crazy, but I think this is a re-design for the cover of Alexandra Ivy‘s Scorched by Darkness. Either way, the second book of her Dragons of Eternity will be out on March 22nd.

scorched by darknessAs a half-breed dragon, Torque never had the luxury of choosing his future. Not only did his father barter him to the highest bidder, but a rare Shinto fey claimed to see him in a vision that involved recovering a lost treasure for the powerful dragon, Synge. A destiny that might have been bearable if the vision hadn’t included a mating with Rya, Synge’s half-breed daughter. Who could blame him for being resigned rather than thrilled with his fate?

Rya had enough of being treated like an unwanted burden by her betrothed. So when she learns her mother is missing, she doesn’t hesitate to leave the harem to try to find her. The last thing she expects is Torque to track her down. Or the explosive chemistry that ignites between them. Now they must work together to discover the dark threat that not only traps her mother, but has the potential to spread evil throughout the world.

October 11th is the release date for All Your Wishes from Cat Adams. It is the latest installment of the Blood Singer series.

all your wishes

And this last one is a new young adult fantasy stand alone from Beth Cato. Breath of Earth is due out on August 23rd.

breath of earthIn an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer Wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

When assassins kill the Wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.