More Novella News

After finding out about the Ilona Andrews‘ Hidden Legacy novella-and-novel news earlier in the week, I was pretty happy. I was also glad to get some info on a couple of more novellas heading our way in the not-too-distant future, too. It looks like there is now an official blurb for Planet Dragos from Thea Harrison

planet dragosSynopsis…

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison comes the final novella featuring Pia and Dragos…

Pia’s latest pregnancy has become a daily challenge, her relationship with Dragos strained with argument. That hasn’t stopped them from achieving a compromise and traveling to Las Vegas to celebrate their friend Rune’s wedding to his mate Carling.

From the moment they arrive, the trip goes awry. Death walks in Vegas, and Pia is kidnapped as an ancient enemy makes a move to destroy the Great Beast once and for all.

But the Great Beast has other plans.

On Planet Dragos everything goes the way he arranges it—unless someone decides to cross him, and God help them then, because he doesn’t know how to back down, and he doesn’t ever, ever let up….

Planet Dragos will be released on May 14th.

Aaand, it looks like there will be one more Merit and Ethan story before Chloe Neill starts up her Heirs of Chicagoland series. Slaying It will be released on July 17th.

slaying itSynopsis…

Merit, the Sentinel of Chicago’s Cadogan House, is pregnant. She’s ready to meet her daughter, but also excited to see her feet again. But trouble always seems to find her…

Ethan and Merit have been married for eight months, and they’re preparing for life-with-baby. Ethan’s battling his overprotectiveness, while Merit’s hoping she can figure out how to be a loving parent given her family’s chilliness.

While out on an evening walk, Merit stops to help a man in need, only to find herself the victim of a kidnapping attempt. Someone with a serious debt to some very serious people thinks Cadogan House will pay a rich reward for Merit’s return.

Jonah, the handsome captain of Grey House’s guards, is on his way to a meeting at Cadogan–and if he’s honest with himself, to drop in on Cadogan’s gorgeous and brilliant chef, Margot–when he stumbles on the aftermath of the attack. He’ll stop at nothing to help the Cadogan vampires, including Margot, face down the threat.

Nice. I am more interested in Jonah and Margot than Merit and Ethan, honestly, but this one should still be fun. So, final novellas for both Pia and Dragos and Merit and Ethan? How times are changing.

 

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A Few Things That Have Caught My Eye

There are a couple of new series starting up this year that I am really anticipating – well, mostly they are spin-offs of old favorites – like Chloe Neill‘s Heirs of Chicagoland, Shelly Laurenston‘s The Honey Badgers, Christine Feehan‘s Torpedo Ink. And I can’t forget Jeaniene Frost‘s The Night Rebel (Ian! Yes!). But as I was taking a browse at what is coming up, a couple of new-to-me authors showed up and caught my eye.

My first newbie comes from Maria Vale. The Last Wolf is the first book of The Legend of All Wolves series, and it has a release date of February 6th.

the last wolfSynopsis…

For three days out of thirty, when the moon is full and her law is iron, the Great North Pack must be wild. Silver Nilsdottir is a lone runt with a crippled leg, facing a life of endless submission in the Pack.

Then Tiberius Leveraux stumbles wounded into their territory with a plea for protection. If Silver is to make a real place for herself, she must fight for Tiberius—her only chance at ever having a mate. And in the end, she is forced to shield all of them—the Pack, the land, and the man she loves—from ancient enemies.

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This next one is from Rhenna Morgan. Guardian’s Bond is the first book of the Ancient Ink series, and it will be released on March 12th.

guardian's bondSynopsis…

For decades, he’s been alone.
Now, she’s here. His fated mate.
His to win. To protect.
To provide for and pleasure.

Priest Rahandras has lived with the darkness trapped inside himself for years. Betrayed by his own brother and forced to watch his clan’s brutal annihilation, the only thing Priest wants more than to escape the curse that haunts him—as both man and beast—is to rebuild.

Until the mate he’s longed for walks into his life with an elder from his past. She’s everything he’s wished for, and the key to the clan’s very survival.

Kateri Falsen is a woman of logic and facts. While Priest’s cat can sense her arousal, telling her they’re fated won’t be enough. He’ll have to show her his love: with his words, with his actions, and with his body.

Protecting Kateri from the evil trapped inside him is paramount. But when lost clan members are systematically murdered, he’ll have to choose between exposing his mate to his black magic, or risking her as the next victim.

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And this last one is from Grace Draven. I have heard only good things about her, but I haven’t read anything from her myself. Phoenix Unbound is the first book of The Fallen Empire series, and it will be out on September 25th.

phoenix unboundSynopsis…

Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire’s capital–her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village’s tithe has been the same woman. Gilene’s sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses.

But this year is different.

Azarion, the Empire’s most famous gladiator, has somehow seen through her illusion–and is set on blackmailing Gilene into using her abilities to help him escape his life of slavery. And unknown to Gilene, he also wants to reclaim the birthright of his clan.

To protect her family and village, she will risk everything to return to the Empire–and burn once more.

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Have you found any new (or new-to-you) series that have randomly caught your eye lately? What spin-off series are you most excited for?

 

This and That

I don’t really have much to mention, but there are a couple of little things I found on a recent scouting party, and I thought I might share.

  • Ilona Andrews has finished writing the final Kate Daniels book, Magic Triumphs. They have been on a big push to get this one finished, and I am happy for them. But on the other hand, I am a bit bummed, too. I don’t believe that they are finished with the Kate Daniels world, but to see “final” in regards to a favorite series is always bitter-sweet. Although I am happy that they can concentrate on maybe more Hidden Legacy, or Innkeeper Chronicles. And I got the vibe a while back that they were plotting a new series, too. They have never written anything that I haven’t loved – nothing – so I am pretty much happy with whatever comes.
  • Speaking of something new, I noticed that J.R. Ward is apparently starting up another contemporary series since her Bourbon King trilogy recently wrapped up. I haven’t seen much in the way of detail yet, only that it will focus on Firefighters. The first as-yet-unnamed book will be released on September 27th.
  • And Gena Showalter also has something new in the works. Shadow and Ice is the first book of the adult Gods of War series, and it will be released on October 30th.
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout will start a spin-off of her Lux series that focuses on Luc. The Darkest Star is the first book of the Origin series, and it too will be released on October 30th.
  • And this next one is a bad news/good news situation. Chloe Neill has had to push back the release of Wild Hunger – but only by a month. Not too horrible, and the new release date is August 14th. The good news? She uploaded a small snippet from the prologue over on her Facebook page, which can be found HERE.

Have you heard any news on upcoming releases? Any changes or pushbacks or new series?

Pick of the Week

Yeah, I know. This post probably isn’t going to come as a big honkin’ mystery to most of you, but my pick of the week is Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter. I am about 20% into this one and loving it, and I find myself going back and re-reading sections as I go along. Not looking forward to the wait for the next one, but what can you do?

flame in the darkSynopsis…

Nell Ingram has always known she was different. Since she was a child, she’s been able to feel and channel ancient powers from deep within the earth. When she met Jane Yellowrock, her entire life changed, and she was recruited into PsyLED–the Homeland Security division that polices paranormals. But now her newly formed unit is about to take on its toughest case yet.

A powerful senator barely survives an assassination attempt that leaves many others dead–and the house he was visiting burns to the ground. Invisible to security cameras, the assassin literally disappears, and Nell’s team is called in. As they track a killer they know is more–or less–than human, they unravel a web of dark intrigue and malevolent motives that tests them to their limits and beyond.

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What is your favorite spin-off series? I think that this one is mine, but I have high hopes for Heirs of Chicagoland from Chloe Neill. I even hope to like it more than the original series, honestly.

Cover Lover – Wild Hunger

I wasn’t sad when Chloe Neill wrapped up her Chicagoland Vampires series. I liked it, enjoyed it when I read it, but for whatever reason it never made it to my favorites list. I guess I just didn’t connect with it like I do some others. But I am very excited for the spin-off Heirs of Chicagoland, and Wild Hunger is one of my most anticipated books of next year.

wild hungerSynopsis…

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill’s spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she’s a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he’s prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of an ambassador brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

How excited are you for the Heirs of Chicagoland? Are you like me and usually love the spin-off more than the original? What is your favorite spin-off series? Mine would probably have to be the Soulwood books from Faith Hunter, which I ended up liking so much that I even went back and got into the Jane Yellowrock series after giving up on it a few books in.

 

This and That

There isn’t a ton going on, but I do have a couple of tidbits to share about some upcoming books…

  • There is only a few days left until Gena Showalter‘s latest Lords of the Underworld book, The Darkest Promise, is released. But if you would like a sneak peek, there is an excerpt available on Hypable (HERE). I find myself saying this more and more, but honestly I can’t remember much of the Lazarus/Cameo set up from the previous books. Like, I remember something about Cameo being sucked into the Pairing Rod, then…nada. Sigh, getting old.
  • I just saw that Darynda Jones will be wrapping up her Charley Davidson series with the release of the as-yet untitled 13th book, which is due out next January 4th. Honestly, I am…ok with it. As much as I have enjoyed the series, the recent God angle didn’t quite work for me, and I found myself skipping over those parts. I have even been much more interested in the supporting gang – Osh, Beep, Quentin and Amber, Garrett – than in Reyes and Charley. And according to the interview Darynda Jones did over on Heroes and Heartbreakers (HERE) she is interested in exploring a spin-off series focused on Beep, which could be all kinds of interesting (like Chloe Neill is doing with her new Elisa Sullivan series).
  • Welp, from what I can tell, it looks like Kresley Cole‘s Dacian books will be absorbed into the larger Immortals After Dark series (kind of like what Gena Showalter is doing with her Angels of the Dark books merging with the LotU). Or, as the official write up states, Shadow’s Kiss will “bridge the world” between the Dacians and the IAD. It is also making the jump to hardcover. It looks like the heroine will be Mina, and I had thought that maybe just because of the age similarity she might’ve been paired with Thad, but it doesn’t sound like it is shaping up that way…

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes this highly anticipated romantic adventure that bridges the world of the Dacians to her “fresh and enthralling” (RT Book Reviews) Immortals After Dark series.

Overprotected vampire princess Kosmina “Mina” Daciano—part merciless swordswoman/part bashful, awkward damsel—has never been allowed to venture from her antiquated and isolated home realm of Dacia. But Lothaire, the half-mad king, overrules Mina’s older brother and uncles and dispatches her out into the mortal world, reasoning that she’ll either “broaden her horizons or die. As nature intended.”

If the shy Mina can survive life outside of a sun-protected vampire kingdom, where blood is always on tap, will she be able to navigate a modern-day relationship with a ruthless warrior hero?

There you have it. Any thoughts? I am not sure how much I am into the whole trend of merging spin-offs back into the main series thing. Even though I am now a proud e-book reader, I still collect many series in hardcover and it annoys me. You have a hardcover main series, and a mass market spin off – great. But after a book or two, the paperback series goes hardcover, too, and it is a pain. You end up with a gap in your collection. Like with J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Legacy, you have one random paperback to deal with, Kresley Cole’s Dacians is one a mass market and one trade paperback novella, and Gena Showalter’s Angels of the Dark is three paperbacks. If they were re-released in hardcover, it would be fine, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Ugh.

This and That

Meh, there hasn’t been a ton going on lately, and it has been a while since I have done one of these little update posts. Still, there are a couple of things to mention.

  • Ilona Andrews recently did a blog post where they answered some frequently asked questions. It looks like there is a Roman-based trilogy in the works, which might be headed our way next year. Oh, and Hugh’s book will be called Iron and Magic. But I totally have to confess that I broke down and emailed Ilona and asked about Hidden Legacy having more books. They were kind enough to answer back and say that if sales are good, the series would probably continue on with Avon, but if that doesn’t work out they will probably self-pub. The happy dance I did was not pretty, but I don’t even care.
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s third Rockton/Casey Duncan book has a title and release date. This Fallen Prey will be out on February 6th, 2018.
  • Dark in Death will be the title of the 46th In Death book from J.D. Robb, and it will be released next February.
  • Anyone like me who waited forever for Gena Showalter to write Dallas’s story was probably pretty happy with the Blood Red Kiss anthology. Dark Swan will be re-released as a stand-alone e-book this October 2nd.
  • The third book from Gena Showalter‘s young adult trilogy, Everlife, will also be called Everlife, and it has a release date of February 27th.
  • Christine Feehan‘s first Torpedo Ink story will be called Judgment Road, and it will out at the end of next January.
  • Christine Warren is starting up a new series called Alphaville, and the first book is called Baby I’m Howling For You. Look for it on January 30th.
  • Larissa Ione is one of several authors doing a sort of mash-up of their series with Lexi Blake‘s Masters and Mercenaries series, and her contribution will be called Her Guardian Angel. It has a release date of April 10th. I am going to dig around a bit more and see what I can find on these stories, since I think the concept is pretty interesting.
  • Chloe Neill‘s Chicagoland Vampires spin-off series featuring Elisa and Connor will get its start next March. The first book will be called Wild Hunger.
  • Next March will also see the third book of Kerrelyn Sparks‘s The Embraced series released, and this one is called Eight Simple Rules For Dating a Dragon.
  • Oh, and C.L. Wilson‘s delayed second book of the Weathermages of Mystral series, The Sea King, has been rescheduled for this October 31st.

Well, that was more than I thought, but it has been a while. Anything you are looking forward to?

Pick of the Week

Posts have been kind of scare for the last little while, but honestly there just hasn’t been that much to talk about. There have been a few young adult cover releases, but not enough for a full post. There hasn’t been much in the way of new release info, or any word on the countless upcoming spin-offs of soon-to-end series, either. Hopefully business will pick up soon.

Anyways, there were a couple of solid books released this week, including the final Merit-and-Ethan Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill. I figured it would be my pick of the week, but for some strange reason my interest in the newest Immortals After Dark book has grown over the last few days. I have been on a bit of a downwards slide with Kresley Cole‘s last few books, and honestly the thought of a beauty and the beast redo didn’t get me all that excited, either. But then I started to get a bit optimistic, and I found myself looking forward to Wicked Abyss. I am a couple of hours in, and so far I am enjoying it. Is my IAD rah-rah back yet? Not really. But it is a start.

wicked abyssSynopsis…

The terrifying king of hell…

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster—just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for aeons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

I would so love to go back to being IAD-obsessed rather than just mildly interested, and hopefully Wicked Abyss can help pull that off. What is the biggest-name series you have ever found yourself drifting away from, and did you ever manage to come back to your former level of enjoyment of it?

Reading Wrap Up

Hey everyone…time to check in and see what we all have been reading this past week (or so). Time is flying, ain’t it? Might be mild spoilers below, so proceed with caution.

blade boundI did get to Blade Bound from Chloe Neill, which I reviewed below. Not bad, but not as epic as I was hoping for. I did manage a solid liking for it, but then that was pretty much my feelings on the whole series right from the start. Good, but not one of my top picks. I am interested in checking out the upcoming spin-off, though, since I thought it looked like there were hints of who it would be about in the epilogue. Maybe. Does anyone else see a time jump with Connor and Elisa, or is it just me? I could be reaching, but finding out about the next series was what had me so interested to pick this one up. And I really like the idea of more about the shifters.

ward_comp.inddI also finished The Chosen from J.R. Ward. I went into it with a major case of the gags about Layla – she annoyed me to no end every single time she showed up in previous books. I went into her story prepared to loath every scene she was in…but I didn’t. I ended up liking her, honestly, which I never would’ve thought possible. But Qhuinn? Yeah, he was a tool who was in need of a really good beat-down, and Tohr rubbed me wrong with all of his woe-is-me crap for most of the book. And reading about V was like watching a train wreck. As much as I felt for him, he is straying into territory that you just don’t come back from. Ever. I am assuming his book is up next, and that could get ugly fast. I ended up really liking this one, even though the ending was a little heavy on the happy in happily ever after, but that was nice for a change. At least no one got a horrible wasting disease and died (cough*Selena*cough).

And for something a little lighter, I am just starting the newest Dragons of Eternity story from Alexandra Ivy, Charred by Darkness. I like these Guardians of Eternity spin-offs – they are fast reads, you don’t have to do a crash-course on past books to try and keep things straight, and you always get to see characters from previous books again. Of course, being a self-pubbed e-book, I had no clue it had even come out on March 28th. But no, I am not going to rant about trying to keep track of books for the new release pages that all of a sudden just appear. Nope. Not one word. Just read and enjoy.

What have you been up to this week? Anything new catch your eye, or are you working your way through any old favorites?

Blade Bound Review

I am still trying to get a handle on the whole reviewing thing, and this time around it is for the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, Blade Bound. I was kindly provided a review copy from NetGalley.

blade boundMy spoiler free review of Blade Bound…

After 13 books, the Chicagoland Vampires series is wrapping up – or more precisely, Merit and Ethan’s story is. In book time, it has only been a year since Merit was turned vampire against her will, and she and Ethan have packed a lot of living into those 12 short months. Not only have they waged pretty much non-stop battle against several supernatural baddies, and saved Chicago on more than one occasion, they have also had to fight the prejudices of the very people they try so hard to protect.

There is a lot going on in Blade Bound, both supernaturally and personally, for Merit and Ethan. But the weird thing is, for 90% of the story, it didn’t feel like a finale to me. There is tons of action, lots of drama, some humor and snark, and a long-awaited celebration, but most of it felt to me more like a step towards the end of the series more than the end itself, if that makes any sense. I only got a sense of “The End” in the prologue, which sort of left things feeling rushed. Granted, I really liked the prologue – it was my favorite part of the whole book – but it just didn’t give me the epic finale I was hoping for.

To be fair, I have a weird relationship with Chicagoland Vampires. I want to love it. I have tried to make myself love it. It has everything I like in an urban fantasy, it checks all of the boxes, but I could never get above a solid liking for it. I liked Merit and Ethan, but I enjoyed the supporting cast more. I can’t even blame a hotly debated even in one of the earlier books that turned a lot of people off – I was like that from the start. And it was no different for Blade Bound. I wanted to love it, I wanted to get really involved in Ethan and Merit’s last story, but I couldn’t get above a solid liking. I read most of the book hoping for a clue about who the spin-off will be about, and it might’ve been teased in the final few pages, but I can’t be sure yet. Kind of a let down, but if I am right it could be all kinds of fun.

So, to sum up, Blade Bound had lots going on, but it lacked a bit of the “big book” feel I was expecting. There are some epic events, but squeezing that much in made things feel a little rushed. I got what I was hoping for in the finale, but it was only in the last few pages. If I was doing the star review thingy, I would say a solid 3.

Where do you stand on the Chicagoland Vampires? Where does it rank on your “must read” series scale?