The Year So Far

There were a few stories that I was looking forward to in the early days of 2019, and since we are well-past spoiler time I would see what you thought of them.

prisoner of nightLast year, I really enjoyed J.R. Ward‘s Dearest Ivie novella from the Black Dagger Legacy series – and that made me excited for the next one, Prisoner of Night, which was released on January 7th. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect with this one. At all. I tried a few times to get into it, but it just didn’t happen and I DNF’d at about the half-way point. I plan on getting through it when I managed the BDB re-read at some point in my future, but right now I don’t feel any urge.

summoned to thirteenth graveSummoned to Thirteenth Grave was a biggie. The final book in any series has a lot of baggage with it, but I was all for Darynda Jones wrapping this one up. I have said before that as much as I like the Charley Davidson books, I did cool a bit on them once the whole God angle cropped up. It made the storyline more convoluted and hard to follow (at least for me), and didn’t flow as well. And I didn’t feel the connection as much between Charley and Reyes, either. But the supporting gang was great as always, and there was a ton going on. Maybe it was just me, but I almost felt that there was too much going on, and the wrap up felt…rushed? Not sure if that was what it was, but I am still on-board for a Beep and Osh spin off. Hopefully.

9780451490148_VengeanceRoad_FCO_mech.inddAnd my final big read for January was Vengeance Road from Christine Feehan. Yeah. This one is tough. I love everything Sea Haven based, but this story hammered home a couple of truths for me. One is that I am probably not a fan of MC stories. Not sure what doesn’t quite work for me, but the vibe feels off. And I completely, absolutely, utterly despise the term “old lady”. With a burning passion, I hate that expression. I know that in the MC world it is a thing, but it just comes off as so crude and disrespectful (even though it isn’t meant in that way – I think it is meant as a compliment). My father made the mistake of using it once – ONCE – in the presence of my mother, and if he didn’t know what he was before he said it he did when she got done with him. Let’s just say it was never, ever uttered again.

Another thing that I have been realizing for a while now is that I am kind of getting done with the tortured past storyline. I don’t mean something bad in a character’s backstory – that’s a given – but I mean the rape and torture since childhood thing like every Torpedo Ink character has (it was what finally made me give up my Dark-Hunter marathon, too). I am no delicate flower, but to see each character abused worse than the last is putting me through the ringer. And it is giving the characters hang-ups and kinks that I don’t usually go for in my reading, too. I don’t expect unicorns and rainbows, but I think I am hitting the point where enough is enough. Same with the whole human trafficking/kidnapped and raped kids that is going on in the background. I need a break.

But I am still on the Sea Haven train, even though it might not sound like it. I guess it is like an addiction that I just can’t shake – and there is something about them that I do like. But let’s just say I am not sad there there is only one book released a year. And give me a few months, and I will be looking forward to the next one, I’m sure.

Did you check any of these out? What did you think?

Cover Lover and Site Updates

I recently added the info for Summoned to Thirteenth Grave to the Charley Davidson Guide, so that is up-to-date, which is great. But what I noticed was how shoddy the guide actually was. I don’t try and include everything for every character, which is on purpose, but honestly, it read like I had left a ton of stuff out. It didn’t even make sense in parts. I had to do a ton of looking up character names on Kindle to try and make things read a bit better, so hopefully it will have a bit more flow than before. If you notice anything that should be there that I didn’t add, feel free to give me a shout. I would appreciate it.

Onto the cover portion of today’s entertainment. Let’s start with American Witch, the next book from Thea Harrison. Right now, it is scheduled for an end-of-March release date.

american witch

This next one is from Alexandra Ivy. She is going back to her Guardians of Eternity series this April with the release of Darkness Returns. There has also been a redesign of the covers for the original books in the series, too.

darkness returns

This final one is a young adult release from Gena Showalter. She is starting up a new fairytale retelling series this June called The Forest of Good and Evil, and the first book is called The Evil Queen.

the-evil-queen-by-gena-showalter-cover-reveal-and-excerpt

There you have it. Which of these new books will you be checking out? I don’t do YA anymore (or very, very rarely), but I will definitely be picking up the first two books on release day.

Pick of the Week

It seems hard to believe that it has been a whole week since my last post, and that means that it is another pick of the week situation. How strange is it that the last Charley Davidson book came out today? On one hand, I am always sad to see a series wrap up. But on the other hand, I like it when an author knows when to say goodbye. Whichever side of the coin you fall on, Summoned to Thirteenth Grave from Darynda Jones is my pick of the week.

summoned to thirteenth graveSynopsis…

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person starkraving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed Reyes and her daughter, Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

So, how are you feeling about the end of Charley? Any wishes for what will come next?

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave Cover and Blurb

So. Summoned to Thirteenth Grave. It is hard to believe that it will be the final Charley Davidson book, but I am also glad that Darynda Jones is wrapping it up while things are still good. Ever since the whole God angle was introduced, I found myself drifting off from the series a bit…actually, I was getting more interested in the secondary characters than Charley and Reyes. I do so hope that while this might be the end of Charley’s tale, it will lead to more stories set in this world.

summoned to thirteenth graveSynopsis…

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person starkraving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed her daughter, she’s missed Reyes, and Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

I do have a minor gripe, though. “She’s missed her daughter, she’s missed Reyes, and Beep…” Um, daughter = Beep, unless I am missing something? And did I block out something about her mother being murdered, because it honestly isn’t ringing any bells? Of course, it wouldn’t be the first thing I got hazy on. Who am I kidding?

 

A Bit of a Bummer

One my recent internet tour of all things book related, I discovered that there has been another pushback for the 13th and final Charley Davidson book from Darynda Jones, Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave. I believe it was originally scheduled for release in early 2018, then was pushed to October, and now it is showing a February 1st, 2019 date.

Part of me is a bit bummed, but the other part isn’t. At this point, as much as I enjoy the series, I agree that is feels like it might be time to wrap it up. I am way more interested in what comes after, like a Beep and Osh or Quentin and Amber spin off, that sort of thing. For that reason, I am sad things got pushed back because that means more of a wait to find out future plans. But the other part of me doesn’t mind because I don’t do well with a series ending.

Off of the top of my head, I don’t remember any of Darynda’s other books ever being rescheduled, so not one but two pushbacks comes as a bit of a surprise. But it really can’t be easy trying to wrap everything up, either, so I don’t blame her. Here’s hoping for a great end to a really good series, and the start of something new.

Charley Title Reveal

As I was scoping out things around Goodreads today, I saw the title reveal for the final Charley Davidson book, which will be called…drumroll…

Summoned to the Thirteenth Grave

I was getting a bit antsy about this one, honestly. The release date was pushed back quite a few months to the end of October, and it is the first time I remember than happening to a Darynda Jones book. And then when there was no title or blurb available, it made me think that maybe it would be pushed back even further. Hopefully that won’t be the case, since I am looking forward to seeing how the whole Charley Davidson storyline wraps up – and what comes next.

 

Reading Wrap Up and…Stuff

booksHey all. Let’s start with the stuff, shall we?

Dawn and I both got slapped with the notice that the next Breeds book from Lora Leigh, Cross Breed, has been pushed back. Gasp! I know, right, the shock is real! Eh, seriously – part of me expected it since it has happened to pretty much all of the Breeds books for the last few years, but part of me had hope that this one would come in on time. Nope. So no more March 27th for Cassie’s story, it will now be out on September 25th.

On the reading wrap up side of things, I have been playing catch-up since I finished my Jane Yellowrock marathon. I picked up Deborah Blake‘s Wickedly Spirited. It is a novella set in her Baba Yaga world, and it was a quick, fun read. It also got me back into things before the release of the next Broken Riders book next month. 3 out of 5.

And I also blew through The White Lily from Juliette Cross. This was my first “e-only” series I ever picked up way back when, and I really do like the fairy-tale retelling aspect and the new take on vampires and werewolves. From what I understand, there is only one more book planned for this series, which is a shame. I do see so much potential for several possible couples. 4 out of 5.

I was also behind on a couple of Christine Feehan releases. First up, I tackled Leopard’s Blood from the Leopard people series. I did quite enjoy it, but it is weird when you get to a character’s story and you don’t really recognize his personality from previous books. This time around it was Joshua Tregre’s turn, and I didn’t see much of the kind of goofy, playful Joshua I had seen before. He wasn’t a monster or anything, but his character had a different tone to me. I guess he was just “alpha’d up”, so to speak, as pretty much always happens. And now it looks like we have even more Russian Leopard shifters running around, too. I guess it makes sense since we are running out of team-members of Drake’s to focus on. 3.5 out of 5.

Then I picked up the latest Carpathian book, Dark…Something. Dark…Legacy (had to look it up). Yeah. It was fine. But what I realized while reading it is that for the last four or five books, I remember nothing about them. NOTHING. Not the names, not the characters or storylines or set up for future books. NOTHING. It is perfectly fine while I am reading them (nothing earth-shattering, but the usual Feehan Dark story which I pretty much always enjoy), but as soon as I put those suckers down, I forget everything that happened. As I was reading Dark Legacy (had to check for the name again), I had no clue who most of the characters were except for Tariq – and I remember nothing about his book, what I remember comes from when he was first introduced. And the introduction of even more baddest-of-the-bad from the monastery didn’t help, either, since they all got lost in the blur. I do remember the early books really quite well, but the last few have just become all jumbled and leave my brain the moment I am finished reading. Aaaand since I have no clue what happened and I just finished it a couple of days ago —-> 3 out of 5.

And wrapping things up was The Trouble With Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones (character guide has been updated and is being edited, too). As much as I do really enjoy this series, the God angle in the last couple didn’t work for me. It didn’t bug me as much this time around, which was great. And I liked having the whole band back together, too. It was action packed, but pretty much everyone got their page-time. Charley was her “old self” for me, too, which I had missed the last couple of books. But there was one thing that kept niggling at the back of my mind, and that was wasn’t Charley a bit TOO “her old self” for everything that was going on with Reyes? Jokes and quips and Mocha lattes were a lot of fun, but it didn’t quite suit the potential end-of-her-world that was going on. It might be a nitpick since I did really enjoy this one, more so than the last couple, but it just felt a little off to me. Great ending, though – and quite the set up for the final book. 4 out of 5.

There you go. What have you been up to? Any great reads lately, or any letdowns? Do you have any series that you find yourself going blank on? What do you see happening for Charley 13?

Be My Eyes And Ears?

question-markSo, I was wondering if any of you has heard anything about Lara Adrian? A month or so ago, she was scheduled to release Claimed in Shadows, but the release date for that came…and went…with no word or sign of the book. The only thing I found for it was over on Goodreads, which now just lists the release date as 2018. Lara’s official site just lists it as a summer release – last summer, that is. And I am getting the vibe the same thing is shaping up to happen with the first Hunter Legacy spin-off book, Born of Darkness. It is listed on Goodreads as being scheduled for release this December 1st, but it hasn’t shown up on any Amazon sites, and the official blurb is still missing.

I know Kresley Cole suffered a set-back when she broke her leg earlier this year, but did any of you get any dirt on why the big pushback on Shadow’s Kiss? It took a rather big jump, and now has a release date set for next December…which will mean the best part of two years between IAD releases. Ditto the fifth book of The Arcana Chronicles, The Dark Calling, which now is just showing as TBA. It makes me wonder if maybe she has something else in the works that I didn’t hear about, because it seems like a long time for no releases from a normally quite steady author.

And, have any of you heard anything about what Darynda Jones has in store? I just finished The Trouble with Twelfth Grave, and I am glad she will be wrapping things up with the next book. I would love to see an Osh-and-Beep centric series, or even an Amber-and-Quentin one – after a time jump for both, that is. I have been digging around to see what I can find out, but I haven’t had any luck yet. Have you? Any word of what’s going on?

Any gossip to share? I am not a fan of social media, so I think I might miss some info that you might have access to. Have you heard anything about what is going on with any of these authors? Or any excitement from any other authors?

October’s Book of the Month…Probably?

the-trouble-with-twelfth-graveOk, let me confess that I pretty epically bungled the book of the month poll. Seriously, I didn’t even notice that The Trouble With Twelfth Grave was coming out. I was in a hurry and just went through the release summary at the top of the month to pick the books rather than look at the full release schedule. In my case, I guess pictures=good. So I am making an executive decision and picking the new Darynda Jones book for the top spot. I am 99% sure it is what would’ve won had it been there anyways. Duh.

Sadly, even with all of that, I can’t say I am so so excited to grab this one. My interest in Charley herself has waned a bit since the whole God angle thingie has been introduced, and I don’t always find myself loving her and Reyes’s interactions anymore. What does keep me more than interested is the rest of the gang – Amber, Quentin, Cookie, Garrett, and especially Osh. I am already thinking ahead to a potential Beep/Osh series, which could be all kinds of great, yes?

In summary, I messed up. Then I took over. Then I whined a bit, then asked for more. Oh, and for the win, I am two days late posting this. That about covers it, I think. Go me.

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.