Pick of the Week

There isn’t really much mystery as to what my pick of the week will be, I’m sure. Wild Country, from author Anne Bishop, is the seventh book of the incredibly popular The Others series. Strangely enough, though, I stayed up late late (LATE) night to get a start on this one, and weirdly enough, I am finding it a bit slow going so far. Might’ve just been that I was tired, but I will be giving it another go this evening. Either way, my pick of the week is Wild Country.

wild-country-anne-bishopSynopsis…

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

 

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Wild Country Review

Many thanks one again to Doug Meeks for sending over one of his reviews. This time, it is for Wild Country from Anne Bishop, the second book from her World of the Others series.

wild-country-anne-bishopWhat Doug said…

When it comes to “The Others” I find it next to impossible to stay unbiased since this is one of the most unique series being written today. The mix of characters and the way you are brought into the mindset of each of them draws you deep into these stories and you wish they would never end.

This book as with the previous one is in a new locality, Bennett is not 100% new since we have heard of it before in the original books. It is a bit less settled than any of the other books and while it is almost a “day-in-the-life” telling for a lot of the book, it is uniquely addicting (and sometimes humorous) to watch Others, humans, Intuits and the blood prophets all learn to work together.

As with most of these books there are always a few humans that think they can do what they want and that becomes part of the endgame plot and things are not exactly like you thought they might be since you somehow get the idea that all of these Others are something close to Superman and are invulnerable, you find that that is not exactly the case.

I had heard that this might be the last book at least for awhile and that the author was going to work on another series.  While I hated to hear that the ending to this does give a good place to stop and figure out where it goes from here, I hope it is not THE END but just a break to get a direction.

Bottom Line: This still remains one of the most entertaining, well written, captivating and unique series in urban fantasy and no list of superlatives really capture it for me. So 5 Stars since that is all I can give and still wish they have a class of books you could just label as Masterpiece Class and put those very few books like this one in it.

So, the rest of us only have to wait until this Tuesday to get our copies. Originally I was really dreading March 6th, which sounds weird, but there were so many books I was looking forward to coming out on the same day that it was too much of a good thing. I think originally there were four of my once-a-year (or longer) releases, but because of scheduling shifts and push-backs, Wild Country stands alone for next week. Just the way I like it.

 

Cover Lover – Wild Country

Thanks go to Phyllis Mayes, who pointed me in the direction of the HEA cover reveal for Wild Country. This is the next book in The Others series from Anne Bishop, and this time the story takes us to the town of Bennett.

wild-country-anne-bishopSynopsis…

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side…without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

I really liked the last book, which was the first non-Lakeside story, and I was kinda bummed that Wild Country wasn’t a continuation of that one. Still looking forward to this one, though, since the world as a whole is just so darn well done.

This and That

I have been doing my usual cruise through of my “sources”, but for a while there wasn’t a ton of new info coming out to share. I did find a couple of little tidbits, so here goes…

  • the next book of Anne Bishop‘s The Others series now has a title. Book number seven will be called Wild Country, and it will be released next March. This one will be set in Bennett.
  • Shelly Laurenston‘s second Honey Badger Chronicles book will be called In a Badger Way, and it will be out on March 26th.
  • Yes, the In Death series continues. J.R. Robb‘s 48th Eve and Roarke story will be called Connections in Death, and it has a release date of February 5th.
  • Even though the first book of Jennifer Estep‘s new Crown of Shards hasn’t been released yet, there is already info on the second. Protect the Prince will be a May 15th release.
  • Lara Adrian also has more in store for us. Hour of Darkness is the second book of her Hunter Legacy series, and it is just showing as “coming summer 2018”. Midnight Breed #16 will be called Break the Day, and it will be released this winter.
  • I stumbled across quite a bit of Christine Feehan news, too. She has quite the full schedule, and love her or not she is not an author to not deliver on time. Vengeance Road (January 29th) will be Steele’s story. The next Ghostwalker’s story will be called Toxic Game (March 19th), and it will feature Draden and Shylah. September 3rd of next year will see the release of Dark Illusion (Dark Series), and it will be followed by Leopard’s Wrath (Leopard People) in November.
  • When Alyssa Day said she was going to write one story a month for her Poseidon’s Warriors series, I had my doubts (which sounds awful, but it’s true), but I really hoped she could pull it off. January in Atlantis came out on schedule, but February in Atlantis got pushed back to the middle of March. March, April, and May’s books were pushed back several time and don’t have set release dates as of right now, so I have pulled them off of the New Release pages. I will keep an eye out for them and try to add them as they become available, though.
  • And this last one is pure speculation on my part, but I am getting a weird feeling about Kresley Cole‘s next IAD book. Well, about its release date, I should say. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I am getting the vibe that Shadow’s Kiss might be delayed. Goodreads and the publisher both still show it as having a November release date, but Amazon’s listing for it is a bit wonky. That usually happens when the date is up in the air. Again, it is just a feeling I have, and I hope I am wrong. It has already had a pushback or two, and it will be over a year and a half since the last IAD book. As much as my love for this series has cooled, I still hope things stay on track.

There you have it. Anything to add? Any news (good or bad) to share?

The Others Arc II – Lake Silence

lake silenceMarch is like the mega-load month for great, anticipated books for me. Last week, there were three of my top reads for the ENTIRE YEAR released on the same damn day. Karen Marie Moning‘s High Voltage was great, and I really enjoyed Patricia BriggsBurn Bright, too. But for me the big surprise was just how much I liked Lake Silence.

It isn’t like I didn’t think I would like it, but when Anne Bishop said she was wrapping things up with Meg and Simon and the gang in the Lakeside Courtyard to focus on new stories, I was a bit…meh. I was hoping for maybe a Vlad spin-off, or even Henry, but a totally new set of characters didn’t really get me excited. Glad I was so wrong.

I loved Lake Silence – just as much as the first five books. I bonded pretty quickly to the new cast of characters, and I really enjoyed the storyline. Usually a book without a pretty strongly defined romance (or romantic potential) doesn’t really click for me, but this one did. I can honestly say that I didn’t even miss the Lakeside crew after about the second chapter, and that is saying a lot.

Now the problem is that the next book is supposed to be set in Bennett, so does that mean we won’t get any more stories about Vicki, Julian and Wayne? Not to mention Ilya and Natasha, who were complete scene stealers. That would just be wrong, on so many levels.

What did you think of this new spin on The Others? Were you happy with it, or did you still miss the originals?

Pick of the Week

Yeah, this really shouldn’t be hard. But what happens when you have not one, not two, but three monster releases coming out on the same day? There are other great books as well, but I am talking about the wait-a-whole-year, read in one sitting books that you have counted down the days for. For me, the big three are Burn Bright from Patricia Briggs, Lake Silence from Anne Bishop, and High Voltage from Karen Marie Moning.

But for me, High Voltage just managed to edge past the other two books to become my pick of the week. In a way, I think that part of my excitement is that Mac and Barrons’ POV in the Fever world finally seems to be over, and we now get to focus on Dani/Jada. I liked Mac, sure, but I thought her story needed to wrap up a couple of years ago, and I was a bit disappointed when the original plan to focus on Dani got pushed back. Until now. And more Dani means more Ryodan, which is what makes it my win.

high voltageSynopsis…

There is no action without consequence…

Dani O’Malley was nine years old when the delusional, sadistic Rowena transformed her into a ruthless killer. Years later, she’s tough, hardened, yet achingly vulnerable and fiercely compassionate, living alone by her own exacting code. Despite the scars on her body, driven by deeper ones carved into her soul, no one is more committed to protecting Dublin. By day, she ensures the safety of those she rescues, by night she hunts evil, dispensing justice swiftly and without mercy, determined to give those she cares for the peace she has never known.

There is no power without price…

When the Faerie Queen used the dangerously powerful Song of Making to heal the world from the damage done by the Hoar Frost King, catastrophic magic seeped deep into the earth, giving rise to horrifying, unforeseen consequences–and now deadly enemies plot in the darkness, preparing to enslave the human race and unleash an ancient reign of hell on Earth.

There is no future without sacrifice…

With the lethal, immortal Ryodan at her side, armed with the epic Sword of Light, Dani once again battles to save the world but her past comes back to haunt her with a vengeance, demanding an unspeakable price for the power she needs to save the human race and no one—not even Ryodan who’d move the very stars for her—can save her this time…

So, your turn. Which one of the too many to be true great books is your favorite for the week? Do you have a hard time trying to decide which one to read first? One sitting or do you try to make it last, since it is a year until the next one?

Cover Lover – 10 New Titles

It used to be pretty standard to do a cover lover post a week, but I find for the last while it is more like one a month or so. Not sure why, but it just feels like there isn’t as much info on new books coming out, either. At least for this batch, I found 10 covers to take a look at. Let’s start with the biggie of the group, which comes from Anne Bishop. Lake Silence is the 6th book set in The Others world, and it has a release date of March 6th.

lake silenceIn this thrilling and suspenseful fantasy, set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, Vicki DeVine and her lodger, the shapeshifter Aggie Crowe, stumble onto a dead body . . . and find themselves enmeshed in danger and dark secrets.

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others—vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe—one of the shapeshifting Others—discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous—and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.

Next up is Perfect Gravity from Vivien Jackson. It is the second book of the Tether series, and it has a release date of November 7th.

perfect gravityKellen Hockley usually keeps quiet about his past, but once upon a time he loved a girl named Angela. He hasn’t seen her in a decade, but now he has to break the news to her that his team of rogue treasure hunters accidentally killed her husband. He’s had better days…

It’s not the news that’s delivered to Angela Neko that breaks her apart–it’s the rumbly, Texas drawl delivering it. She can’t believe she’s hearing Kellen’s voice again. But there’s no time for distractions. When Angela’s own life is threatened, yielding up all of her lies and secrets, she and Kellen must figure out how to reverse the geopolitical firestorm she lit to save the world, to save Kellen’s cat…and just maybe to save each other.

And Isabel Cooper has a new one due out also on November 7th. Highland Dragon Rebel is the second book of the Dawn of the Highland Warrior series.

highland dragon rebelMadoc of Avandos is on a journey to cement alliances. Targeted by an assassin, he needs a companion who can fight. When dragon shifter Moiread MacAlasdair returns from war, he knows she’s the best woman for the job. Duty and political strength compel Moiread to agree, but when they cross into the otherworld and Madoc’s life is threatened, Moiread jumps into protection mode-and will do whatever it takes to keep the man of her dreams alive.

This next one is from Kerrelyn Sparks. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon is the third book of The Embraced series, and it will be released on March 27th.

eight simple rules for dating a dragonGwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. But when the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

This is another one on my “one day” list. Eileen Wilks‘ 14th World of the Lupi book will be called Dragon Blood, and it will be out on December 5th.

dragon blood

January 30th is the release date for Baby I’m Howling For You, which is the first book of the Alphaville series from Christine Warren.

baby i'm howling for youRenny Landry is a wolf on the run. Pursued by a shapeshifting stalker and his slobbering pack of killer coyotes, she is forced to flee her job as a librarian to find sanctuary in the wooded hills of Alpha, Washington. A well-secluded safe space for troubled shifters, Alpha is Renny’s last hope. But the first person she meets there is a gorgeous alpha male with fiery eyes, fierce tattoos, and one ferocious appetite—for her…

Mick Fischer thought he left his past behind when he moved to Alpha. But fate has a way of biting him in the tail when a female wolf shows up on his property. Wounded, desperate—and disarmingly hot—Renny brings out the snarling, protective alpha beast in Mick like no other woman he’s known. Can these two haunted, hunted wolves manage to mate for life…even as the deadliest past demons howl at their heels?

This next cover is for Aliens Abroad, the 16th book of the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series from Gini Koch. It will be out on December 5th.

aliens abroad.jpgWith the human population growing and alien refugees pouring in from around the galaxy, Earth is becoming too overcrowded to sustain itself—and the solar system is filling up with the alien overflow. Advanced technology from the Alpha Centauri and Vatusan systems offers one possible solution. It’s time to explore new planets and see if any uninhabited ones can be claimed.

The President and First Lady, aka Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini, aren’t supposed to be on this mission, but what looks like a snafu during a political photo op on the newly christened Distant Voyager spaceship turns out to be a call for help from a planet that might be Earth’s salvation…or its destruction.

The discovery of a world at the opposite end of the galaxy that seems like it could be a twin to Earth creates the usual issues for Kitty & Company. It also raises questions of Z’porrah and Ancient influence—not to mention cloning, the multiverse, and, scariest of all, whether or not the Black Hole Universe Police are starting to take too much of an interest in this particular universe.

For some reason, I thought this next one was young adult, but apparently I was mistaken. Bannerless, the first book of the Bannerless Saga from Carrie Vaughn, is an adult dystopian. It is due out this July 11th.

bannerlessDecades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn’t just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.

Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She’s young for the job and hasn’t yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him?

In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid’s world and make her question what she really stands for.

These next two are both young adult, starting with Inferno from Julie Kagawa. It is the 5th book of the Talon series, and it will be released on April 24th.

inferno

And the last one for today is from Kristen Simmons. Pacifica is a stand-alone young adult science fiction release which is due out on March 6th.

pacificaMarin is cosario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him. Sailing the ocean to chase adventure is in her blood. But these days no one cares that the island town her people call home is named after her grandfather. They have a new leader, one who promises an end to their hunger – and one who thinks that girls are meant for the kitchen or the brothel. Marin knows she’s meant for more than that, and with the sudden influx of weapons on the island, and rumors of a pending deal with the enemy oil nation in her wake, she knows a big score to gain the council’s favor is the only way to save her people, and herself.

Ross lives a life of privilege. As the president’s son he wants for nothing, but he longs for a life of adventure. On a dare, he convinces his best friend Adam to sneak out to the Docks, the site of local race riots between the poor Shorlings and the upper class. But when Adam is arrested along with the other Shorlings, and not even the president is willing to find him, Ross finds himself taking matters into his own hands. He journeys back into the Docks, ready to make deals with anyone, even a beautiful pirate, if it means Adam’s safe return.

When Marin and Ross meet in dangerous Shoreling territory he sees a way to get his friend back and she sees her ticket home. The ransom a president’s son would command could feed her people for years and restore her family’s legacy. But somewhere in the middle of the ocean, Marin must decide if her heart can handle handing over the only person who has ever seen her as more than a pirate.

There you have it. Any standouts for you? I admit that I like Lake Silence – it echoes the first five, but still has its own vibe. It is my favorite of the batch, for sure.

Lake Silence Blurb

I do so love it when info on a much-anticipated book comes out – makes me weirdly happy. I get particularly happy when they get listed on Amazon, since it makes them feel like real, in-the-works books. Well, the pre-order for the next Others book from Anne Bishop, Lake Silence, was put up a couple of days ago…complete with blurb.

In this thrilling and suspenseful fantasy, set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, Vicki DeVine and her lodger, the shapeshifter Aggie Crowe, stumble onto a dead body . . . and find themselves enmeshed in danger and dark secrets.

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shapeshifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget . . .

After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence, in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki’s have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what’s out there watching you.

Vicki was hoping to find a new career and a new life. But when her lodger, Aggie Crowe–one of the shapeshifting Others–discovers a dead body, Vicki finds trouble instead. The detectives want to pin the man’s death on her, despite the evidence that nothing human could have killed the victim. As Vicki and her friends search for answers, things get dangerous–and it’ll take everything they have to stay alive.

Hm, sounds interesting – more mystery based than the first five books were. Now we just have to wait until March 6th to find out. I am very much looking forward to seeing the cover for this one, too.

Reading Wrap Up

I swear, I have been trying to make the reading wrap up a regular Sunday feature, but it just seems that I keep missing the mark. On the bright side, though, I did get both Silence Fallen from Patricia Briggs and Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop done. With varying degrees of success.

silence_fallen_layout.inddSilence Fallen was up first, and I really liked it. I enjoyed seeing Mercy on her own, fighting her own battles (and winning), but I liked seeing Adam without Mercy even more. I don’t remember any other books in the series where Adam played such a large role – or was seen more as pack Alpha than Mercy’s mate. I liked seeing that side of him, and I liked how much faith he had in Mercy to get herself out of whatever situations were thrown at her. And Bran? So didn’t see that coming. It was definitely a winner for me.

I know that there is a Tom and Moira book in the works, and next March is the fifth Alpha and Omega release, but I would be so happy to see stories for Bran, Ben, Honey. I know it might be too much of a good thing, but I always find myself wanting more of them.

etched in boneAnd I am just finishing up Etched in Bone. Unfortunately, though, I can’t quite tell how I feel about it. Is it good? Yep. Is it end of the story arc, resolve everything good? I don’t think so. There was a pretty good sized chunk of story in the middle of the book where I was just waiting for…it. Something. The set up for the big finale. The progression of Simon and Meg. Hell, someone to get killed. And it didn’t happen. It was still a good book, and the ending kicked the drama up, but I guess I expected more of a finale for this arc. More of a “last book” feeling.

Ok, that wraps things up for me. What have you been up to? I am sure most of you already picked up both of these – what did you think?

Book of the Month – Etched in Bone

Even though March continues to be a pretty epic release month, I’m sure that there aren’t many of us who are surprised that the new Others book from Anne Bishop was quite definitively chosen as the book of the month. Etched in Bone is the final book in this first arc featuring blood prophet Meg and the Lakeside Courtyard, but there are thankfully more stories set in this world to come. Some series are hard to let go of, and this would be one.

etched in boneSynopsis…

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.