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.

Reading Wrap Up

I am hoping to have a Weekly Wrap Up feature every Sunday, looking back at what we all read over the past week. At least, that is the plan. Maybe we can even have it as an open discussion thread for the books that were released in the past week, that sort of thing. At least, that is the goal.

eleventh grave in moonlightIt took a while, but I finally got around to Eleventh Grave in Moonlight from Darynda Jones. I find myself torn over this one, honestly, and it probably isn’t going to be the popular opinion. The first half or so didn’t really work for me. I didn’t feel the usual connection between Reyes and Charley – they came of more as adversaries than a couple, at least to me. Once they get back on the same page, I got more into the story, but it took a while.

I have found myself struggling a little bit with the Charley Davidson series the last few books, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally clicked when I was reading this one – I am not a huge fan of the God angle. I like Charley the reaper and Reyes the son of Satan, whose daughter is destined to save the world. I don’t even mind Charley with her “extra” powers. But God Charley and God Reyes and the Gods of Uzan and the bad God Eidolon and Gods in the God Glass and Reyes’ big brother the God Jehovah doesn’t quite do it for me. I find myself skimming all of those sections just to get back to the day-to-day of Charley and Reyes and the great supporting cast. Hopefully I can get more on board with it, since it doesn’t look like that storyline is going anywhere soon.

power gameNext up was Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the thirteenth GhostWalker book (and the first to be released in hardcover. The last two books were ok, but different. Like way heavy on the Alphahole and the Doormat scale of things. They didn’t feel like they belonged to the series at all, but Power Game seems to bring things back in line again. I liked this one quite a bit, and I have to say it was a relief to back to the “old style” GhostWalker books. In fact, Wyatt and Trap don’t even make an appearance, so it was like their two stories never happened.

I wasn’t completely thrilled when I knew this book was going to be a return to the swamp, but Power Game got me interested in team four again. I still miss the first teams, and I would like to see a return to some of the original girls like Cami, but I am ok with more of team four, too. All in all, I like this one. A few missteps and changes in tone gave my love of the series a few hits over the last couple of years, but things seem to be back on the right track.

betrayal-in-deathThere really isn’t much to say about Betrayal in Death from J.D. Robb. It is the twelfth book of the In Death series and I show no signs of slowing down on the series. I am still excited when it is time to pick up a new book, and I find myself compulsively devouring them.

The supporting cast is great in this one, and I so enjoy getting glimpses of Roarke’s past life. The bad guy in this one was a particular scum-bag, and his takedown made me very happy. I don’t always like Eve, honestly, and sometimes I think that Roarke gets the short end of the stick when it comes to where he falls in her life, but she is getting better at putting him first. I save these in the UK paperback version, and they look awesome on the shelf. Onto the next one!

how to tame a beast in seven daysI wasn’t too lucky with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days, though. It was my first Kerrelyn Sparks book, and since this is a new series I thought it would be a good chance to check one of the authors on my “must try” list off. Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t a big fan of the book. I won’t go into details since it was a NetGalley copy and I will be upping my full, rambling review probably next week, but it fell pretty flat for me. It wasn’t a bad story, and I liked the potential, but there wasn’t any tension, any drama, any sense of excitement. It was almost a DNF – not because I hated it, but just because I found it too easy. It is hard for me to get involved in the story when it seems like the characters themselves aren’t. I am probably going to be in the minority for this one, but I guess it just didn’t work for me. If you are looking for a light, breezy read with a decent love story, it might work out better for you.

I picked up A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings from George R.R. Martin, and I picked up e-book copies of The Sweetest Dark and The Darkest Night from Shana Abe, to go along with The Fiercest Joy. I already have them in hardcover, but I think the third book (which is supposed to be out this week) will be e-format so now they match. And I got Blade Bound, the final Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, as a review copy. Looks like I won’t be bored this week, either.

How about you? What did you manage to read this week? What did you think of any of the “big” releases from the last couple of weeks?

Cover Lover – The Trouble With Twelfth Grave

I just recently got finished with the last Darynda Jones book, but it looks like the cover and blurb have just come out for the next one, The Trouble With Twelfth Grave. It has a release date of October 31st, but I will warn you now…

If you have NOT read Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, there are major spoilers ahead!

Be Warned!

the-trouble-with-twelfth-graveEver since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?

Pick of the Week

January has been a pretty decent reading month so far, and this week continues the trend. There are a couple of books I have been looking forward to, but I am going to have to give the nod to an old favorite. Today is the release day for Christine Feehan‘s Power Game, the 13th Ghostwalker book (and the 1st one to be released in hardcover). A couple of years ago, this series was at the very top of my favorites list, but a few changes and inconsistencies over the last couple of stories has dropped it down my list a bit, but I still have high hopes. And I am interested to see what changes (if any) happen with the format change.

power gameSynopsis…

When radical terrorists take hostages in Indonesia, Captain Ezekiel Fortunes is called to lead the rescue team. Part of a classified government experiment, Zeke is a super soldier with enhanced abilities. He can see better, run faster, disappear when necessary, and hunt the enemy along any terrain. There are those in the world willing to do anything for power like that…

A formidable spy genetically engineered to hide in plain sight, Bellisia rarely meets a man who doesn’t want to control her or kill her. But Zeke’s different. His gaze, his touch, they awaken feelings inside her she never thought possible. He’s the kind of man she could settle down with—if she can keep him alive…

It was Power Game or Eleventh Grave from Darynda Jones, but I still have hopes that the Ghostwalkers can go back to the “old” style and climb back up to be one of my favorite series. Do you think it can pull out of hole it was in for the last couple of books, what with the total change in tone and style? Are you holding out any hope for a switchback?

This and That

After a couple of months where I have been letting things slide a bit, I am working on updating and adding new releases. In the process, I have come across a few little things to share…

  • It looks like the next Charley Davidson book from Darynda Jones will be called The Trouble With Twelfth Grave, and it will be released on October 31st.
  • And speaking of twelve, the twelfth Jane Yellowrock book from Faith Hunter will be called Dark Queen. No word on release date yet. But the third Nell book, Flame in the Dark, will be out next December.
  • The cover has been released for the third and final book in Jeaniene Frost‘s Broken Destiny series, The Brightest Embers. It has a release date of July 25th.

the-brightest-embers

  • December 5th, 2017 is the release date for the as yet unnamed third book of J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Legacy series.
  • I am looking forward to getting the next G.A. Aiken Dragon Kin book, Bring the Heat, when it comes out next August 29th. Here’s the blurb for this Brannie and Aidan book…
quotation marksI, Aidan the Divine, am, well divine. My name was given to me by the Dragon Queen herself! I’m a delight! Cheerful. Charming. And a mighty warrior who is extremely handsome with a very large and well-hidden hoard of gold. I am also royal born, despite the fact that most in my family are horrendous beings that don’t deserve to live. And yet, Branwen the Awful—a low-born, no less—either tells me to shut up or, worse, ignores me completely.
I’ll admit, I ignore Aidan the Divine because it annoys him. A lot. But, we have so much to do right now, I can’t worry about why he keeps staring at me, or why he always sits so close, or why he keeps looking at me like he’s thinking about kissing me. We have our nations to save and no time for such bloody foolishness…no matter how good Aidan looks or how long his spiked tail is. Because if we’re going to win this war before it destroys everything we love, we’ll have to face our enemies together, side by side and without distractions. But if we make it out alive, who knows what the future will hold…
  • The second book from Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s new Deadman’s Cross series will be called Death Doesn’t Bargain, and it will be released next October. And the hardcover re-releases for the Dark-Hunter series continues, and it looks like the next one up is Fantasy Lover. It will be out on November 7th.
  • Kerrelyn Sparks starts her new Embraced series this March with the release of How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days. Turns out, we won’t have long to wait for the second book, either. So I Married a Sorcerer will be out next August.

So, there you have it. Have you seen anything interesting lately? I have high hopes for 2017’s reading, and my ability to actually not get behind. Hopefully.

Reading Wrap Up

booksIt has only been a few weeks since I did my last reading wrap up post, but it seems like so much longer. That is probably because I managed to go through a decent number of books for a change, and I also managed to tackle some of my TBR pile, too. A win/win.

First things first, and this is a big one for me…

I did it. I finally, finally tackled some of my huuuge Sherrilyn Kenyon TBR pile. Her books make up just shy of HALF of my total books to be read – yes, almost half – and the pile staring at me had gotten so out of control that I figured if I didn’t jump in now I never would. Not quite sure where to start, I tackled the first five Chronicles of Nick books, and I ended up quite liking them. I figure it will give me a bit of a backdrop for when I do get to the Dark-Hunter books, too. The Nick books I read were fun, and I flew through them really quickly. I can’t say I will be caught up with all of Kenyon’s books anytime soon, but at least I have gotten a decent start.

Hm, what else…oh, yeah. I finally got to the latest from Darynda Jones, The Curse of Tenth Grave. I didn’t dislike this one, but it was…lacking, somehow. Maybe it was because of the distance between Charley and Reyes (both physical ad emotional) for the vast majority of the book, especially since it was based on what felt like soap-opera level drama. I think for me, just Charley isn’t quite enough to carry the book – she needs the gang around, and they weren’t around much. Things did pick up in the last quarter, so all is good again. But like I said, when Reyes, Garrett, Osh and the rest aren’t around, it doesn’t quite work as well for me. Still funny and all, but not quite as engaging.

Well, I also broke down and decided to borrow a book. Weird, for me, but there you have it. For quite a while, I have debated on picking up Dark Promises from Christine Feehan. There were a couple of issues I had – the biggest being that I loathed the character of Gabrielle since she was first introduced way back when. She just rubbed me wrong even in the little bit she had been seen in previous books, but I wasn’t stoked to read a whole book about her. I probably would’ve bitten the bullet and just picked the darn thing up anyways, but then I read the first chapter excerpt on Christine’s website, and I really couldn’t stand the way Gabrielle came off. Whiny, needy, demanding, and completely oblivious to pretty much everything going on around her, that one chapter completely turned me off her. Plus, I was strangely weirded out by the thought Grandma Trixie. Not sure why, but it just sounded odd. Add to that the less than stellar reviews I had heard, and negative reactions to the “hero”. So, not excited for the book. At all. But I do still have higher hopes for the next one.

However, I was thinking that if I didn’t give this one a try, I might miss some story set up for future books. You know, the introduction of new characters, possible leads on new lifemates, that sort of thing. But nope. I could’ve completely skipped this one and not missed a thing. I thought Gabrielle was a waste of page time, and to be honest I can’t even remember the name of her lifemate. Nope, no clue what his name was. Trixie wasn’t that bad – I ended up preferring her and Fane to Gabrielle and…unknown ancient dude…but I did roll my eyes a few times at nearly virginal, still incredibly hot and awesomely built, self sacrificing great grandma Trixie, but at least it was good for a laugh. And at least she was different. Gabrielle followed my “Feehan Female Formula” down to letter…but at least it was someone else who mentioned the “awesome boots” this time. Joy.

And I finished up Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Heart just last night. It has a different tone to it than previous books, but I liked it. It wasn’t my favorite by a long shot, but it is always great to get back into a favorite world. There is a lot of Aodhan, too, and he is making great strides towards taking back his life. I am still getting a Sparkle/Bluebell vibe, but I can’t be completely sure if it is just me.

So, what have you been reading lately? Have you managed to tackle any long-standing TBR monsters, or have you been hitting all new releases?

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight Cover and Blurb

Yep, you have to love it when one book comes out, and you get info about the next one a couple of weeks later. It makes the wait so much easier when you have something to look forward to. Darynda Jones is always great about keeping her readers updated, and now we have the cover and blurb release for Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, which is due out on January 24th.

eleventh grave in moonlight.jpgA typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

I will admit that I haven’t read 10th Grave yet, so I am not reading the blurb, but I am always happy to see signs of the next book. Not sure where things are going in the next few books, but it should be an interesting ride.

Pick of the Week

There are some good releases coming out this week, but I think for my pick I am going to have to go with The Curse of Tenth Grave from Darynda Jones. I am interested to see how things progress after the events in Ninth Grave.

the curse of tenth graveSynopsis…

Part-time PI and full-time grim reaper, Charley Davidson has asked a lot of questions throughout her life: Why can I see dead people? Who is the hot supernatural entity following me? How do I get gum out of my sister’s hair before she wakes up? But, “How do I trap not one god, but three?” was never among them. Until now. And since those gods are on earth to kill her daughter, she has little choice but to track them down, trap them, and cast them from this dimension.

But one of them stole her heart a very long time ago. Can a god of absolute death and destruction change his omniscient spots, or will his allegiance lie with his brothers?

Those are just some of the questions Charley must answer, and quick. Add to that a homeless girl on the run for her life, a man who’s been framed for murdering a woman who is still very much alive, and a pendant made from god glass that has the entire supernatural world in an uproar, Charley has her hands full. If she can manage to take care of the whole world-destroying-gods thing, we’re saved. If not, well…

I got my copy already, but I chose to read Shadow Riders by Christine Feehan first, which I have been quite enjoying. It reads like a “Feehan” book, unlike some of the past few stories have. All in all, this is a nice release week, I must say.

Looking Ahead

We are speeding towards the half-way point of 2016, and my most anticipated release for the first half of the year just came out (Nalini Singh‘s Allegiance of Honor). I thought maybe we could take a look ahead and share what we are all looking forward to in the back half of 2016. I have one or two biggies, but I thought I would go top 5, in no particular order:

Darynda JonesThe Curse of Tenth Grave: This is always a solid series for me, and I am really intrigued to see what direction things go in after the events of the previous book. If I was going in order, though, this one would probably come in at #5.

Kelley ArmstrongBetrayals: I am a huge fan of this series, it is one of my absolute favorites. And it is about the only adult series I can think of that has a love triangle that doesn’t make me want to gag. This is the second to last book, so I must enjoy every moment.

Ilona AndrewsMagic Binds: Yeah, like I have to explain this one.

Nalini SinghArchangel’s Heart: Probably don’t need to explain this one either.

Kresley Cole/ Gena ShowalterBlood Red Kiss: My dark horse pick, and solely based on the Gena Showalter entry. To finally, finally get Dallas’s story from the Alien Huntress/Otherworld Assassin after all these years? Priceless.

That is how my list shapes up, but what does yours look like? I figure Singh and Andrews will be on most people’s lists, but I am interested to see what comes up for the other three.

Spotlight Wednesday – Amanda Bouchet

Well, for something a little different, today’s spotlight Wednesday author is one who is recommended by…me. Yep, I am jumping in with a completely blind rec for a debut author, Amanda Bouchet, and her Kingmaker Chronicles.

It was on one of my updating binges that I came across the cover for A Promise of Fire, and while it was pretty it was the glowing author blurb from Darynda Jones that made me take a second look. A little bit of independent digging has turned up pretty much stellar reviews across the board for this fantasy romance, with one Goodreads reviewer even putting it in the league of an Ilona Andrews story. High praise indeed. I am not usually huge on the fantasy stories, but I will be picking this one up for sure. If you would like to check out an excerpt, one can be found HERE.

a breath of fireSynopsis…

Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

There will be at least two more books in the Kingmaker Chronicles series, as well. Breath of Fire will be out on January 3rd, and Heart on Fire will follow later in 2017.

amanda bouchetAbout Amanda Bouchet: Amanda Bouchet grew up in New England where she spent much of her time tromping around in the woods and making up grand adventures in her head. It was inevitable that one day she would start writing them down. Drawing on her Greek heritage for the setting and on her love of all things daring and romantic for the rest, her debut trilogy, The Kingmaker Chronicles, took form. She writes what she loves to read: epic exploits, steamy romance, and characters that make you laugh and cry.

Has anyone picked up one of the ARCs for A Promise of Fire yet? How big are you on the Fantasy Romance genre?