Weekly Wrap Up…

booksFirst, I am totally going to pat myself on the back. I have only added one new book to my TBR pile in the last month. ONE. Along with not adding to it, I have continued to weed some out that I just know I am never going to get to and donated them. AND, I have been actively reading from said TBR pile for the last few weeks. What does all that mean? I have finally, FINALLY, gotten down to less than 200 books on the TBR pile (190 to be exact). That is down from the almost 300 mark, which was a bit embarrassing. The goal is to have it below 150 by the end of the year.

Anyways, this week’s reading. I started things off with the new one from Lori Handeland (a new-to-me author). In the Air Tonight is the first book of her Sisters of the Craft series, and all in all I liked it. It was fast paced, there was a good flow to the story, and I am a sucker for the whole separated at birth thing. I will definitely be picking up the next one when it comes out later this month.

I also read my first Kelley Armstrong young adult novel, The Summoning. It is set in the same world as her Women of the Otherworld series, but this time around it focuses on a young necromancer who has no idea what she is, or that vampires, werewolves and sorcerers actually exist until she is sent to a home for troubled teens. I flew through this one, and found myself liking it just as much as the adult books.

And finally I thought that since I am having so much fun keeping an eye on the goings-on for the upcoming Shadowhunters show based on Cassandra Clare‘s Mortal Instruments series, I might as well get caught up and read The Bane Chronicles. Eh, I can take it or leave it, to be honest. Some stories are pretty good, others seemed a bit pointless. Magnus himself isn’t quite enough to hold my interest, so I tend to like the stories that more heavily involve other characters I already know, like Tessa or Raphael. I am still glad I got it, but you don’t miss much if you skip it, either.

Ok, that was me. What did you read this week? Winners or losers? Unexpected surprises? How it your TBR battle raging on?

The Shadowhunters

I was totally surprised by the speed things are moving on the upcoming series, The Shadowhunters, which is based on The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. The show itself was announced last month (I think), and pretty much all of the casting has been announced in the last couple of weeks…and filming begins on Monday. This Monday. Compare that to the long rumored Sherrilyn Kenyon projects that are supposedly heading to tv and theaters, and you can see what I mean. Yep, chugging right along.

I didn’t make much secret of my disappointment in the City of Bones movie. I went into it with huge expectations, but I found it cheesy, which was really a shame since I was completely prepared to love it. When I found out that there was going to be a series, I was a bit surprised, but this is growing on me more and more. And just to get you interested, a few photos are starting to make their way around…

This first one is a behind-the-scenes training shot with Luke, Jace and Simon…

screen-shot-2015-05-16-at-3-37-57-pmAnd this next one might be a little wonky-angled, but it is the first shot of Clary and Jace…

cfeuh3yueaazqjs-e1432158538101Call me shallow, but one of the things that bugged me about the City of Bones movie was how terribly frail Jamie Campbell Bower was. Sweet, and excited to be in the movie, but just so very thin and frail. Totally can’t say the same about Dominic Sherwood, since he looks like he could actually throw a punch and not snap in half. I don’t care about whether Kat McNamara’s hair is red enough or if Luke is black or if every feature lines up with the book version, but I do want a tough guy to at least look like a tough guy.

Oh, and on a related note, there have been all new covers popping up for both the re-release of The Mortal Instruments (both for North America and the UK) and The Infernal Devices series. Behold…

The UK repackage:

uk coversThe North American repackage:

the mortal instrumentsAnd the Infernal Devices:

infernal-devicesPretty? Yes. But this had better not herald a change in the overall design for the upcoming books, namely Lady Midnight. The Shadowhunter books are most beautiful covers on my shelves, and I will be seriously grieved if there is a design change for the new series. And by grieved, I do mean pissed. Royally.

That is about it for the Shadowhunter world. What is your take on the show, the cast, and and the new covers?

Cover Lover – 14 Titles

These new covers have been trickling out for the last few days, but I waited until I had enough to do up a decent post. Let’s start with the redesign for the Dark Metropolis series from Jaclyn Dolamore. The paperback re-release of the first book, Dark Metropolis, will be available on May 12th.

dark metropolisPurchase at Amazon.com

And book two, Glittering Shadows, will follow in hardcover on June 16th.

glittering shadowsPurchase at Amazon.com

Leigh Bardugo‘s new The Dregs series starts up on October 6th with the release of the first book, Six of Crows.

six of crowsPurchase at Amazon.com

Even Vampires Get the Blues is the 6th book in the Deadly Angels series from Sandra Hill, and it is due out on August 25th.

even vampires get the bluesPurchase at Amazon.com

I was surprised to see that the paperback re-release of Dark Skye from Kresley Cole was undergoing a design change for its release on April 21st.

dark skyePurchase at Amazon.com

And speaking of paperback re-releases, it looks like the complete Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare is also being redone. I really don’t get it, since the original covers are absolutely beautiful, but what do I know. City of Bones should be available with the new design on September 1st.

city of bonesPurchase at Amazon.com

The 11th book in the Katherine “Kitty” Katt series from Gini Koch, Alien Separation, will be released on May 5th.

Untitled-10Purchase at Amazon.com

Next up is the cover for Ice Like Fire, the second book in the Snow Like Ashes series from Sara Raasch, which is due out on October 13th.

ice like firePurchase at Amazon.com

Gail Carriger‘s follow up to Prudence is called Imprudence, and it is the second book of The Custard Protocol. Look for it sometime in 2016.

imprudenceCrap, I didn’t realize how many covers I had to upload. This next one is The Immortal Heights from Sherry Thomas. It is the third book in her Elemental Trilogy, and it is due out on October 13th.

the immortal heightsPurchase at Amazon.com

Author Rae Carson starts up a new series called The Gold Seer Trilogy on September 22nd, and the first book is called Walk on Earth a Stranger.

walk on earth a strangerPurchase at Amazon.com

Vengeance of the Demon is the seventh book from the Kara Gillian series by Diana Rowland, and it will be out on April 7th.

vengeance of the demonPurchase at Amazon.com

Let’s wrap this up with the two Deceptions. The first Deception is from D.B. Reynolds and the Vampires in America series, and it is due out on March 31st.

deceptionPurchase at Amazon.com

I was a bit bummed to see that the Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong had gotten a design change for the third book, Deceptions. But it turns out that the Canadian version is keeping its design, which is great. I will be able to get my matching cover on August 7th.

deceptionsWhich one of these is your biggie? Mine is Deceptions, which I can’t wait for.

New Series Alerts…

There are only two new series starting up this week, and the first one is from author Carrie Ann Ryan. Tattered Loyalties is the first book of her new Talon Pack series.

tattered loyaltiesSynopsis…

When the great war between the Redwoods and the Centrals occurred three decades ago, the Talon Pack risked their lives for the side of good. After tragedy struck, Gideon Brentwood became the Alpha of the Talons. But the Pack’s stability is threatened, and he’s forced to take mate—only the one fate puts in his path is the woman he shouldn’t want.

Though the daughter of the Redwood Pack’s Beta, Brie Jamenson has known peace for most of her life. When she finds the man who could be her mate, she’s shocked to discover Gideon is the Alpha wolf of the Talon Pack. As a submissive, her strength lies in her heart, not her claws. But if her new Pack disagrees or disapproves of fate’s choice, the consequences could be fatal.

As the worlds Brie and Gideon have always known begin to shift, they must face their challenges together in order to help their Pack and seal their bond. But when the Pack is threatened from the inside, Gideon doesn’t know who he can trust and Brie’s life could be forfeit in the crossfire. It will take the strength of an Alpha and the courage of his mate to realize where true loyalties lie.

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second start-up is actually the first e-format installment of the next Cassandra Clare book, Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy, which is a compilation of short stories that will focus on new Shadowhunter Simon Lewis. The first release is called Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy.

welcome to shadowhunter academySynopsis…

Simon Lewis never thought he’d become a Shadowhunter…and now he has the chance. One of ten adventures in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.

After living as a Mundane and a Vampire, Simon never thought he would become a Shadowhunter, but today he begins his training at Shadowhunter Academy.

Purchase at Amazon.com

I know for sure I will be adding Cassandra Clare’s book to the collection, but I wait for them to be released in print format first. Are you checking out either of these?

Cover Lover – 8 New Titles

Just a quick note to say that all of the new release dates have been updated, and as always there were a few pushbacks (an a few disappeared all together). Pretty much normal.

On the cover side of things, I have seven for today’s batch. Let’s start with the second book from Jennifer Estep‘s new Black Blade series, Dark Heart of Magic, which is due out on October 27th.

dark heart of magicPurchase at Amazon.com

This next one is from M.L. Brennan. Dark Ascension is the fourth book of the Generation V series, and it is due out on August 4th.

dark ascensionAfter a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it….

Purchase at Amazon.com

Book two of the Blackthorn and Grim series by Juliet Marillier, Tower of Thorns, is due out on November 3rd.

tower of thornsDisillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.

As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Tall, Dark and Immortal from Cat Devon. It has a release date of September 1st.

tall dark and immortalHE’S TAKING A BITE OUT OF CRIME.

Alex Sanchez is more than just an ordinary detective. He’s on the prowl—as a vampire. Alex uses his unique gifts to police the mean streets of Chicago like a natural predator. But when he learns that local blood banks are being robbed, he’s not sure what rattles him more: the bizarre crime wave or the stunningly beautiful journalist who’s reporting it…

SHE’S RISKING HER NECK FOR A STORY.

Keira Turner is dedicated to her job—and determined to uncover the truth. Dangerously, out-of-this-world handsome Detective Sanchez seems oddly fascinated by the crimes—and obsessed with Keira. Alex might not have a clue who’s stealing blood but he’s sure of one thing: Keira is no mere mortal. She’s descended from a long line of vampire hunters. And if they try to solve this case together, he’ll have to fight the urge to kiss her…or kill her.

Purchase at Amazon.com

J.D. Tyler continues her Alpha Pack series with the release of Chase the Darkness, due out on August 4th.

chase the darknessBelieved dead by his Pack mates, Micah Chase, a wolf shifter and Dreamwalker, was held captive for months, subject to tortures that left him physically scarred and emotionally unsettled.

Now under the care of the Alpha Pack’s doctors, he’s been prescribed an experimental healing drug, but he still can’t shake the nightmares. Even more damning is that Micah’s problems pose a danger to his team, and if he doesn’t get himself under control, they’ll all suffer a terrible fate.

There is a key to his salvation. Jacee is a beautiful coyote shifter, and though her kind is hated, she’s falling in love with a man whose very future is in her hands. Together they’ll face his personal demons as well as a deadly enemy—and for both of them desire has never come with such risk.

Purchase at Amazon.com

The third and final book in the Goddess Wars series from Kendare Blake, Ungodly, will be out on September 22nd.

ungodlyAs ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in the final Goddess War novel by the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood

For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said.

So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and dies, or the Fates arrive to eat their faces.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere too. On a quest for death. With the god of death.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.

Purchase at Amazon.com

This one is from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. The Copper Gauntlet is the second book from The Magesterium series, due out on September 1st.

the copper gauntletPurchase at Amazon.com

And finally, there is Tell the Wind and Fire from Sarah Rees Brennan. It is due out sometime in 2016.

tell the wind and fire

If You Still Feel like Shopping…

This is just a quick little post to give any Kelley Armstrong fans (or anyone who wants to give her a shot) a heads up that The Book Outlet has added quite a few of her Women of the Otherworld books to its site. The trade paperback sized books are on for $6.00 – $7.00 dollars, which is a great deal. You can find the books HERE.

For the young adult readers, they have also recently added a lot of books from Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo, and Cassandra Clare, among others. You can find the newly added young adult fantasy books on sale HERE.

Happy shopping!

2015…A Look Ahead

Well, we took a look back at the year that was, so now let’s check out what is ahead for 2015.

What new series are you most looking forward to?
  • For this one, I am going to have to go with The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. I love the Shadowhunter world, and the main character of Emma got a great start in City of Heavenly Fire.
Most anticipated new-to-me series for 2015?
  • Yep, I am going to do my damndest this year to tackle Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunter series. There are a few others that I plan on getting into, too, but this monster is my main goal. Wish me luck?
Highest hopes for a second book in a series?
  • This one was a no-brainer – the as yet untitled second Hidden Legacy book from Ilona Andrews. When the first book makes your best of the year list, you just know the second book will be awesome. It isn’t like Ilona has ever let me down yet, either.
Most anticipated series finale?
  • I am lucky to be able to say that there is only one series wrapping up for me this year, and I am ok with it winding down. It is the Bloodlines series from Richelle Mead. I think I am ok with it ending because I suspect that there will be another series featuring Jill and Eddie down the line.
Top 10 most anticipated books of 2015?
Reading goals for 2015?

I have several, actually. I want to read the Dark-Hunter books, which is a monster goal on its own. I also want to finally finish the last book in a few series that wrapped up recently. My reading goal is going to be to read 120 books this coming year, or 10 books per month. I figure it is more reasonable than the 150 I had planned for this year, anyways.

2014…A Year in Review

2014-Happy-New-Year-Free-HD-Picture-1As we head into another year, it is time to take a look back at what stood out in 2014. Most of my choices will surprise no one, since I have my favorites and I am not shy about going on, and on, and on about them, but it never hurts to give a shout out where it is due.

I am looking forward to seeing how my choices stack up with yours, too, and if there was any that I missed. For today, let’s just do the look back at 2014.

What was the best new series that started in 2014?
  • For me, hands down, it was Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews. I had high, high hopes, and it met every one. No one else even came close.
Best new-to-me series in 2014?
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld. Loving the Cainsville series made me start it, but I like it now in its own right.
What second book in a new series was as good or better than the first?
  • This one is a tie between Visions by Kelley Armstrong and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop. Sometimes the second book of a great series can be a bit of a let-down, but if anything I thought that these two both took things up a notch.
Best series finale?
  • As much as it sucks to say goodbye, a great finale is a bit of a consolation. My vote for best finale was City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, from her Mortal Instruments series. Loved that one, huge monster that it was. I like young adult, but it usually doesn’t rate as high as my adult books. This one did.
Most read author overall?
  • Mine was Kelley Armstrong, with 11 books (and still going). Ilona Andrews was next, since I re-read all of the Kate books for the character guide (and loved every minute of it).
Favorite authors of 2014?
  • Still the same – Ilona and Nalini. With Kelley Armstrong steadily moving up the list.
Best change of pace read?
  • I wasn’t going to do it, since I am not a huge New Adult fan, OR a fan of books where the main character is a famous musician (actor/athlete/model, etc), but because it was Nalini, I gave her new Rock Kiss series a try and liked it. Now, to be fair, I think my favorite part was the build up for book two featuring T-Rex and Charlie, but it still was a pleasant surprise.
Top 5 books of 2014?
What book did you find the biggest let-down in 2014?
  • I never thought Kresley Cole would ever, ever end up on the bad side of a list like this, but I found my biggest disappointment was Dark Skye. I didn’t find it was a terrible book, but it was just something I couldn’t get into. And after waiting years for the story, I went in planning an A+ read. It just didn’t happen. Runners up were The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost and Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison.
What author/series did you finally give up on, if any?
  • Mine was Lara Adrian. I was never a huge Midnight Breed fan (except for Darker After Midnight, which was epic), but I had even less interest in the new arc. I tried for years to make myself get more into them, but then I decided that it was time to let it go.

My reading goal was 150 books, and I fell quite a bit short of that. Like, way short. I also got way behind on the Character guides, which is a bit of a pain in the ass since I am now playing a major game of catch-up, but I have higher hopes for 2015. All in all, though, I can’t complain. There was a lot more good than bad, and even the bad might look better this time next year.

Graphic Novel Adaptations…Yes or No?

question markDammit, I am needy this week. I am starting the overhaul of the Patricia Briggs author section, and I was slammed in the face with the fact that I have not included any graphic novel information for any authors. I know Cassandra Clare has some for her Shadowhunter world, and Patricia Briggs has several for her Mercyverse. So, my question is…

Do you consider a graphic novel as part of a series?

 

I never have. In fact, I never thought of them at all. But in a case like Patricia Briggs, she has both adaptations of existing books and totally new stories in graphic novel format. For example, the origins of how Mercy actually ended up as a mechanic and how she met Adam and the pack are available in a graphic novel called Homecoming. I think that would be great…I am just not personally into comic books. Or, would you say something with all new material counts while novels that have been adapted don’t? So. Confusing.

New Series Alerts…

Wow, there is a whole lot of not much going on this week in terms of new series – or new releases in general, this week. Meh, good week to hit mount TBR. The only new series this week is from Donna Grant, and it is the e-book LaRue series. The first book is called Moon Kissed.

moon kissedSynopsis…

BROUGHT TOGETHER BY CHANCE

For years, Addison Moore worked herself ragged to achieve her goals. Close to earning her degree, the contents of a shocking letter rip her world to shreds. In an attempt to forget, she wanders into a bar, unknowingly changing her life forever. Suddenly she’s surrounded by the supernatural she thought only myth and stalked by an evil priestess intent on her death. Her only chance is with an enigmatic man who makes her want to forget everything just to be in his arms.

BOUND TOGETHER BY CIRCUMSTANCE

Myles LaRue was content owning a bar and hunting evil in the French Quarter. He wasn’t looking for love, especially after the tragedy his family already experienced. But when the exquisite Addison Moore walks into his life, he can’t help but be charmed. Despite the dangers surrounding them, Myles comes to one conclusion – against the odds they found each other, and now that they have, he will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Hm, this is an honorable mention, I guess. It isn’t a new series, but rather a bind up of previously released short stories available for the first time in print. Cassandra Clare‘s The Bane Chronicles features 10 short stories featuring warlock Magnus Bane.

the bane chroniclesSynopsis…

Ever wondered about the enigmatic, mysterious warlock Magnus Bane? The only character to appear in every Shadowhunter book, Magnus has a past even more shrouded in mystery than his present. I’ve teamed up with acclaimed YA writers Maureen Johnson and Sarah Rees Brennan to create the Bane Chronicles, the back (and front) story of Magnus told in ten linked tales.

Look for short stories like Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale; The Rise and Fall of the Hotel Dumort; Saving Raphael Santiago and What To Buy The Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway). Each story will be available as an ebook on a monthly basis starting April 16 with the tale of What Happened In Peru.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What are you picking up this week? I will be getting The Bane Chronicles, although I didn’t bother to pre-order them, but that looks like it for me this week. Time to go back and order a few new books from older series – probably Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld.