Eighth Grave After Dark Giveaway Winner…

winner bannerDarynda Jones has quickly risen to the top of many readers’ favorite series lists, and usually it is a pretty safe bet that when one of her books is up for book of the month it will be near the top of the voting. It is hard to believe that we are already on number eight, though.

Anyways, there were 39 entrants for the Eighth Grave After Dark giveaway, and the winner was #3…

Judy V

random.orgCongratulations, Judy. I will be contacting you shortly for your details.

May’s BotM and Giveaway…

giveaway bannerYep, May is shaping up to be a really decent reading month, all things considered. Your choice for book of the month went to Darynda JonesEighth Grave After Dark, which wasn’t a huge surprise. The quirky, fun series has gone to the top of a lot of readers favorites list, and from the blurb I read for the next one it looks like things are going to get very, very interesting in the next couple of books.

If you would like to win a hardcover copy of Eighth Grave After Dark, just leave a comment in the comments section. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random (through Random.org). We have a little time since this one isn’t due out until May 19th, so let’s say the giveaway wraps up on Tuesday night, Midnight (Atlantic Time). Good luck!

eighth grave after darkSynopsis…

With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there,  Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….

From the Author Pages…Bad News, No News, and Spoilers

Once again, it was time to do my duty and update the author pages. In the process, there were a few things that came to light. Beware, though, there will be what can be called major spoilers at the end, but it will be marked. Several times. You can’t unsee that sucker, much as I wish.

  • I actually put off doing up this little post for a few days because I was waiting for the big reveal of the next IAD couple by Kresley Cole. It has been teased for a while now, and today was the big day. And the couple is…still unknown. Huh. Turns out she is working on more than one story, and whichever one gets off the ground first will be it. Have to admit, that wasn’t quite the news I was expecting. I would rather it be “heh…it’s a surprise!” Rather than “uh, I dunno”, but that is probably just me.
  • On the other hand, there is no question about what Christine Feehan has going on, at all. I have said a few times that Christine Feehan is on a major writing roll lately, getting back to routinely putting out books for all of her series. I didn’t realize how much of a roll, though. Dark Ghost is due out the September, and it will be followed by Dark Promise in March, 2016. Then it will be Dark Carousel (Tariq from the Lost Dark Book is the hero), plus a novella in the Edge of Darkness anthology. There are two more Leopard books after Cat’s Lair (Wild Cat and Leopard’s Fury). The next Sisters of the Heart book, Fire Bound, is already complete, and from what I understand so is the next Ghostwalkers book, Spider Game (featuring Trap and Cayenne). Nice.
  • Thanks go to Lidy for this one. It turns out that Gena Showalter is devoting 2015 to her new contemporary romance series, The Original Heartbreakers. That means no word on any new Lords of the Otherworld stories for a while, or Angels of the Dark either, for that matter. That is a bummer. What is even more of a bummer is that it looks like both the Alien Huntress and Otherworld Assassin series are dead in the water, as Gena is no longer with that publisher. She has not completely ruled out new stories, but she would have to go the self-pubbed route for those and I just don’t see it myself. That means no Dallas story, and no finishing the Otherworld Assassin trilogy with John’s story. I know things happen, and I don’t get a vote, but I hate it when a series ends with literally only one story left to tell. Drives me nuts.
  • I already posted this one back a couple of days ago, but we now have an official release date for the second book in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews. There isn’t a title yet (other than one of my most anticipated reads for this coming year), but it will be ours on October 27th.
  • Kelley Armstrong will be releasing a collection of novellas from her various series called Led Astray. Not much info is known as yet, but it will be out on September 15th.
  • Bound to Darkness, the next book of Lara Adrian‘s Midnight Breed series (and the first to be self-pubbed) now has a release date. It is looking like a December 31st release, and it will be available in trade paperback, audio and e-format, from what I understand. Not ideal for physical book collectors, since now it covers mass market, hardback and trade, but what are you going to do?
  • Oh, and on to my 2015 target author (er, which I haven’t started. Yet. But I still have time!), Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her 7th Chronicles of Nick book will be called Invision, and it is due out on April 8th of next year.
  • This one was welcome news. Thea Harrison is working on Graydon’s story now, and it will be called Shadow’s End. Unfortunately, we just have to wait until December 3rd to get it.
  • Now, for the spoiler part of the post. While I was hunting for Darynda Jones info, I came across the blurb for The Dirt on Ninth Grave. Unfortunately, I can’t unsee that sucker, because I consider it major spoilery for what happens in Eighth Grave After Dark. I will post it here for those of you who, like me, have no control but wish you did…but be warned.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, CHARLEY DAVIDSON FANS!

In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.

Updates From the Author Pages…

Yep, I have been using my time off so far to get some catching up done, including updating the author pages. While updating, there has been a few new tidbits to share.

  • Thea Harrison will have a new novella from her Elder Races series out this spring called Dragos Goes to Washington. No official release date has been announced, but the cover has made an appearance…

dragos goes to washington

  • G.A. Aiken will release Feel the Burn on November 24th, which I believe is part of her Dragon Kin series. If there was ever a series that needs a character guide, this is it.
  • If you would like to check out the first five chapters of The Ruby Circle from Richelle Mead, you can find them HERE.
  • There is no fear of the Mercyverse ending any time soon, thankfully. Patricia Briggs has released some contract news recently, and it looks like there will be at least one more Alpha and Omega book after the upcoming Dead Heat. There will also be at least three more Mercy Thompson books, plus a Tom and Moira book. Now, call me stupid, but I can’t remember who Tom and Moira are. I must investigate. I have moved on from wanting a Sam book, since the short stories in Shifting Shadows did him justice, but now I want a Ben book.
  • I have both good news and bad news on the Lora Leigh front. The next Breeds book, Bengal’s Quest, has been pushed back three months from its March 3rd release date to June 2nd. The upside of that is March 3rd is a completely, totally insane day for new books so you might not even notice. If anything, I wish a couple of more from that day would get moved around to spread things out a little better.
  • I am not actually sure if I have mentioned this one before, but Darynda Jones‘ Ninth Charley Davidson book, The Dirt on Ninth Grave, will be released on October 13th. Aaaand, there will be at least two more books after that, both of which are due sometime in 2016. I had sort of thought that maybe the series was winding down soon, for some reason, but glad to see I was wrong. Again.
  • I was surprised for some reason to see that Christine Feehan will be contributing a Carpathian story in the upcoming Edge of Darkness anthology. Her story will be called Dark Crime, and it features a character named Blaze…

Blaze knows who killed her father and she has merciless plans for payback. Until a phone call from a seductive stranger pleads with her to wait. Retribution is in his blood, too. Now, he and Blaze will be united in the blood of the guilty. Tonight, vengeance is theirs.

So, that wraps things up for this post. I am going to start soon-ish on adding author pages for Kerrelyn Sparks, Lynsay Sands, Anne Bishop and Kelley Armstrong, to start. That will keep me busy for a while, anyways.

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.

October Wrap Up…

Well October was a big, big month for some great books, both existing and new series. I thought since we probably all managed to tear through them, we could maybe give our impressions.

Archangel’s Shadows: Nalini Singh‘s latest Guild Hunter novel featured Ashwini and Janvier, with a big helping of Elena and Raphael. I actually was lucky enough to have Nalini send me an ARC, which was awesome, but I still loved the book. Ash and Janvier were long-time favorites, so to finally get their story was a real treat. But not only did I like their arc, but the developments for several other characters, as well. Just when I think I have a favorite of the seven a new one pops up and steals the show, and this time around it was the mysterious Naasir. I can honestly say that at this point, I just can’t choose who I like more. Another great installment of a favorite series.

Seventh Grave and No Body: Darynda Jones‘ latest was a bit different for me. I liked it, but can’t say I loved it. There was a lot going on, a lot of development for the characters, and a ton of action, but there were times Charley just didn’t do it for me. I think it is like Doug said in his review – she skimmed the border of TSTL in a few cases. As always, her heart was in the right place, but she still needed to calm down a bit in a few cases. I do have to say that it is a pivotal book, and definitely not one to miss if you are a fan of the series, but it isn’t one I will grab for a re-read.

Burn For Me: What can I say? This new series from Ilona Andrews‘ was one I have been anticipating for months and months, and I was starting to worry that maybe I had built it up too much in my head and it couldn’t live up to my expectations. Totally wrong – I really, truly loved it. Great characters, lots of action, very cool world-building that wasn’t bogged down like I found the first Kate Daniels book. It hit the ground running, and didn’t need a ton of set up to make you understand what was going on. I am notoriously hard on female characters, but Nevada became an instant favorite. Ditto Mad Rogan. I know I sound gushy, but it was one of my top reads of the year, and I am stoked for the next one (whenever it may be). I have already read it twice, actually, and it was just as good the second time around.

What did you think of your big reads this month? Anything stand out for you, good or bad? Did October’s releases live up to the hype, or leave you wanting more?

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body

Thanks once again to Doug Meeks, who sent over his review of another much anticipated October release – Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones. Now, anyone who has read Sixth Grave On The Edge knows that it ended with quite the unexpected development. To those who have not read it yet…PROCEED NO FURTHER! Warning!

spoiler bannerseventh graveWhat Doug said…

WARNING!!!!! If you have NOT read Sixth Grave on the Edge then STOP reading, this will be a spoiler that you don’t want to read.

Now that I have your attention I should mention that you do not want to read the synopsis of book 8 either until you finish this book

OK, on the last page of Sixth Grave on the Edge we find out that our favorite Grim Reaper Charley is pregnant (which kinda came as a surprise to everyone), in this book keep herself and the baby alive have become a primary mission for Reyes(and Charley to a somewhat lesser extent it seems at times). 12 hellhounds have been released from Hell and they want Charley, Reyes does not know how to kill them (and neither does anyone else), add to this plot, Charley’s Dad is missing, add to that people who are writing suicide notes but leaving no body (hence the title). It is a real party for Charley and crew.

While Reyes would like nothing better than to lock her in her apartment with him as 24 hour guard, Charley is having none of it because she will go crazy if she even tries. Unfortunately, it does lead to some moments of TSTL for Charley which does not really help her cause.

A newswoman is getting a bit too close to Reyes for her comfort and jealously looks bad on almost anyone, Charley is no exception. Reyes wants her to stay away from the newswoman because he feels something is “not right” about her but when it comes to scummy reporters how do you tell.

I can tell you that I laugh more at this book than the last one which I thought was hilarious, the beauty is that Darynda Jones manages to do this without taking the edge off of the serious parts of this book, takes a clever touch to accomplish that piece of writing.

There are several surprises in this book, a couple are held to the last chapter, you will have a few questions that obviously are not going to get answered until next book.

The overarching story is for all practical purposes being serialized and while i have no problem with that it DOES mean that you cannot even read the synopsis for future books or you WILL get some spoilers that should be discovered while reading the book.

Bottom Line: This is a 5 Star novel, I will subtract a half a star just because I already knew a big spoiler just from reading the synopsis for the next book Eighth Grave After Dark. Still you gotta get this but again, books 6-7-8 look like they HAVE to be read in order or you will not be able to appreciate them as much as previous novels (which still should be read in order but was not a 100% requirement). There are a couple of quick plots that Charley takes care of that add to the entertainment level of this book. So 4.5 Stars and highly recommended.

I just ordered my copy, so I have a bit of a wait…and I just remembered that I still need to update the character guide for the previous book, too. Crap.

Psy-Changeling and Charley Davidson Blurbs…

So, I spent the last 12 hours adding titles to the new release pages, updating all of the covers and blurbs on them, and double-checking all of the new release dates (which are all correct, according to Amazon, as of today). Imagine my surprise when I decided to pull my head up and find info on both the next Psy-Changeling book, and the eighth Charley Davidson book. Beauty.

First up, Nalini Singh has announced the title of Aden’s book will be Shards of Hope, and…and…the blurb…

Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. But when the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape far from civilization. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders.

And they must survive. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad, an enemy that cannot be permitted to succeed in its deadly campaign. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future, where even an assassin might have hope of a life beyond blood and death and pain. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden, protect the only person who has ever come back for her no matter what.

This time, even Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough—because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken…like Zaira.

Dammit, I don’t remember Zaira! Calm myself, this is why I am an OCD nerd who made a character guide. Yes. According to, well, me…

Zaira – Psy

  • first appearance in Tangle of Need
  • defected Arrow
  • born in Jordan
  • raised in an Arrow training facility in Turkey
  • believed to be lost in action 5 years ago
  • presumed dead
  • leading the Psy defectors in Venice
  • continues to struggle being outside Silence
  • late 20’s
  • petite
  • softly curved, icy coal black eyes

Yes. Niiice. I was hoping to get into the defected Arrows more (like the Forgotten). Amazon.uk lists the next Psy/Changeling book as a June 4th release, but no other official word, as yet.

And, as an added bonus, is anyone interested in checking out the maybe-spoilery blurb for Darynda JonesEighth Grave After Dark? Spoilers if you are not up to date…final warning…

With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there,  Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley’s been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….

Eighth Grave After Dark has a release date of May 19th.

So, did anyone else get a pleasant surprise from Aden’s heroine? I had swore for quite a while it would be Alice, but that theory was shot down a while ago so I had no clue. Either way, let the countdown begin.

Cover Lover – 10 New Titles

It has been a while since I have done a cover post, and it looks like we have 10 to take a peek at today. This first one is from Darynda Jones and her Charley Davidson series. Eighth Grave After Dark is due out on May 19th.

eighth grave after darkPurchase at Amazon.com

Bite at First Sight by Brooklyn Ann has had a couple of different release dates, but now it is looking like an April 7th release.

bite at first sightPurchase at Amazon.com

Another one that had a release date push back was Casually Cursed by Kimberly Frost. It is now due for release on February 3rd.

casually cursed

Purchase at Amazon.com

Karina Cooper has continued to release her St. Croix Chronicles series, but puts them out now in e-format. Transmuted is the sixth title, and it is due out on January 26th.

transmutedPurchase at Amazon.com

I don’t know much about this one, but Rook by Sharon Cameron will be released on April 28th.

rookPurchase at Amazon.com

These next 5 are all young adult. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl‘s Beautiful Creatures spin off, Dangerous Creatures, continues with the release of Dangerous Deception on May 19th.

dangerous deception

Purchase at Amazon.com

Rosamund Hodge has another fairytale retelling on the way called Crimson Bound. It will be out next May 5th.

crimson boundPurchase at Amazon.com

Strange Skies is the second book of the Burn Out series by Kristi Helvig, and it is due out on June 9th.

strange skiesPurchase at Amazon.com

It looks like the upcoming Orphan Queen series from Jodi Meadows will get its start with a series of prequel novellas, the first of which is called The Hidden Prince. It is due out on June 2nd.

the hidden princePurchase at Amazon.com

And finishing things off for today’s post is The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings. It is the second book of the Murder Complex series, and it is due out on April 21st.

death codePurchase at Amazon.com

Any likes, loves, or loathes? I must admit that I was a huge fan of the early Charley Davidson covers, the ones that featured the model wearing “reaper wear”, but the last few haven’t been quite as stand-out. Either way, the book promises to be a blast, though.

Reading Roundup…

It has been a while since I did a reading roundup post, so I thought maybe we could go over what we thought of the good, the bad and the ugly of some recent releases. Spoilers are possible, so proceed with caution if you haven’t read any of these.

night's honorNight’s HonorThea Harrison‘s latest Elder Races book almost read like a stand-alone title to me. We have only briefly seen Xavier in the past, and next to nothing about the Nightkind demense has been featured in previous books, so it was interesting to see inside another branch of the Elder Races. I liked the world-building, but I found myself a bit underwhelmed by the romance side of things, and dare I say it, but I found the characters a bit on the dull side. I didn’t really connect with them, especially with Tess, who was just too bland to hold my interest. Final Thoughts: Here’s hoping that things pick up again for the next one, Midnight’s Kiss.

dark bloodDark Blood – Hm, this one is a bit tricky. Christine Feehan is one of my guilty pleasures, but you go into her books knowing exactly what you are going to get (and this one was no different). I am glad to see this Lycan angle wrap up. I didn’t enjoy is the whole Carpathian language thingy (which grates on my nerves every book now), but it was especially distracting here. I don’t mind a small phrase or two in the Carpathian, but whole sentences followed by their translations gets awkward and takes me out of the flow of the story. Also, believe it or not, I found myself thinking a time or two that things were, well, unrealistic (ha!). I rolled my eyes at the Xavier/Xavion/Xav-something triplets angle, and the whole climactic battle scene actually struck me as funny. But I did like the characters, the acceptance of their mating early on, and I liked seeing so many old favorites, no matter how briefly. Plus – no flower scene! Bonus. Final Thoughts: Ok, not bad, not great. Hopefully on to another angle for the Carpathians.

shifting shadowsShifting Shadows – This collection of short stories from the world of Mercy Thompson is actually turning out to be quite interesting. Not all, or even most, feature our well known leads of Mercy, Adam, Charles or Anna, but they are set within the same world and have the same tone. I am enjoying reading one here and there before bed when I don’t want to get too involved in a full book and then stay up all night reading. The short story Alpha and Omega is what got me reading Patricia Briggs in the first place, and I loved reading it again in Shifting Shadows (for something like the 5th time, I’m sure). Final Thoughts: A nice collection, which looks great on the shelf with its pretty cover. Now, if only we could get a Kate Daniels world collection like this, I would be extra happy.

visionsVisions – The second book in Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series was one of my most anticipated reads, and it lived up to my excitement. Book one read like a mystery with some paranormal aspects, but book two has much more of a supernatural feel to it. I liked the slow progression of the story, the development of the characters, the growing bond between Olivia and Gabriel (and, well, I like Gabriel). Final Thoughts: Great book. Great series. Looking forward to the re-read, and can’t wait for the next one.

We are now heading into the last few months of 2014, but there are some much-anticipated books that should keep me warm this winter. The absolute top pick for me is Ilona AndrewsBurn for Me (since I already read Archangel’s Shadows, that is). Seventh Grave and No Body from Darynda Jones should be intense, and Gena Showalter‘s long-awaited Torin story, The Darkest Touch, is also on the list. And while anthologies are not usually much to get excited about for me, the Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh entries in Night Shift make this a biggie, too. Add in a few young adult titles that I am eying, and the rest of the year isn’t shaping up too badly at all.

Which of these have you read, and what was your take on them? Did you come across anything exciting (or disappointing, for that matter) recently, and what are you most looking forward to for the last quarter of the year?