My Haul

For the last few weeks, I have been randomly getting print ARCs in the mail. I didn’t sign up for them or ask for them, but for some reason I have been put on some sort of glorious mailing list and voila! As someone who never really had access to ARC copies very much, it is like Christmas – I never know what’s coming, and they are all books I have been excited to get. But guess what? I am the most horrible person in the world, because I haven’t even read one of them yet. Yes, you heard that right. NOT ONE. I start to take a peek, then I catch myself reading little bits here and there which will just ruin the story, so I slap some sense into myself and put them down. Then do it again. Sigh. I really am weird.


I have them very prettily organized on my keeper shelves, all ready to go. But between my diving into a Mercy Thompson series re-read and my determination to get the In Death series caught up by the end of the year, I haven’t gotten around to much else. Isn’t it always the way, though? When you are desperate to get your hands on a book early, you just can’t pull it off. But when you do? You don’t get around to reading them. Or is that just me?

What upcoming books are you on the hunt for ARCs for? Anything you would sell your soul to get your hands on early?

Cover Lover – Two New Titles

I only have a couple of new covers to show for this post, but it’s better than nothing. This first one is from Lynsay Sands. Immortal Born is the 30th Argeneau Vampires book, and it will be released on September 24th.

immortal bornSynopsis…

A simple promise to protect her friend’s infant son has turned Allie Chambers’ existence upside down. Caring for—and feeding—an orphaned vampire baby has been tricky enough. But as little Liam grows, so does his appetite. He needs more blood than she can personally supply. And when her attempts to steal from a blood bank go awry, Allie wakes up surrounded by doctors, cops…and the gorgeous, mesmerizing Magnus, who she can neither trust nor resist.

Magnus never expected to find his life mate breaking into a blood bank. Clearly, Allie is already entwined with his world—in deeper, more dangerous ways than she realizes. A band of vicious rogue immortals is in pursuit, and Magnus’ first task is to keep her safe. His second: to awaken her to mind-blowing pleasure, and hope she’ll accept the life, and the passion, that only he can offer.

And this second one is from Faith Hunter. Shattered Bonds is Jane Yellowrock #13, and it will be out on October 29th.

shattered bondsSynopsis…

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker, and vampire killer-for-hire, but her last battle with an ancient arcane enemy has brought her low. She seeks retreat in the Appalachian Mountains to grieve the loss of her friends, and to heal–or to die–from the disease brought on by her magic.

But malevolent elements in the paranormal community still seek to destroy Jane, and the younger Son of Darkness stalks her, even into the safety of the hills. With nowhere to run and her body failing, the rogue-vampire hunter and her inner Beast must discover a way to defeat this new threat, and find a form that gives her a chance to fight another day.


Pick of the Week

For whatever reason, I just couldn’t keep it in my head that the next Soulwood book was due out this week. Don’t ask why, but it just kept slipping my mind – and that is weird, because I am always up for another Faith Hunter book. So, my pick of the week is Circle of the Moon.

circle of the moonSynopsis…

Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately she’s been using it to help the Psy-Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned–and to find true friends.

Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank–he’s naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there’s a dead black cat, sacrificed in a witch circle and killed by black magic, lying next to him.

Then more animals turn up dead, and team rushes to investigate. A blood-witch is out to kill. But when it seems as if their leader is involved in the crime, the bonds that hold the team together could shatter at any moment.

I so need to browse the end of the last book, because details are fuzzy about how things left off. I do remember it was a biggie ending, though, so this one should be pretty action-packed.


Circle of the Moon Cover and Blurb

This one makes me happy. The cover and official blurb for the next Soulwood book from Faith Hunter has been released, and it is a beauty. The Soulwood series is a big favorite of mine, and now I can begin the countdown until Circle of the Moon is released…next February 26th. Ugh.

circle of the moonSynopsis…

Nell can draw magic from the land around her, and lately she’s been using it to help the Psy-Law Enforcement Division, which solves paranormal crimes. Joining the team at PsyLED has allowed her to learn more about her powers and the world she always shunned–and to find true friends.

Head agent Rick LaFleur shifts into a panther when the moon calls him, but this time, something has gone wrong. Rick calls Nell from a riverbank–he’s naked, with no memory of how he came to be there, and there’s a dead black cat, sacrificed in a witch circle and killed by black magic, lying next to him.

Then more animals turn up dead, and team rushes to investigate. A blood-witch is out to kill. But when it seems as if their leader is involved in the crime, the bonds that hold the team together could shatter at any moment.

I tore through the last book so quickly that I really need to do a re-read. Actually, a re-read of all three books is in order. I get so much more out of a little series marathoning that it is definitely worth the time. And it isn’t like it is a hardship…


Dark Queen Review

It has been a while since there has been anything approaching a review on the blog, but Doug Meeks was kind enough to send his over for the next Jane Yellowrock book from Faith Hunter, Dark Queen. It took me a while (and a couple of false starts) to get into the series, but when I did I didn’t look back. I have had this one pre-ordered for a long while now, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

dark queenWhat Doug said…

Ok, where to start … probably unknown to most people is that this was originally thought to be the last Jane Yellowrock book (a crime beyond comprehension). The series got a reprieve and there will be at least 2 more books BUT according to the author most of this book was written by that time and so it does some things that you might not like (I can think of several of them). In the long term I am sure it will be fine but you can see it was lining up for a finale and then the story turns a corner and starts down a new road.

Pretty much everything that has been happening for the last several books (and the series in a couple of places) is coming together for a final battle. There are some serious surprises here and a story that is addicting, we have what seems to be a requirement in recent books to have a lot of pages of “naval gazing” and while not boring you keep wondering what is happening while she is doing all this self introspection with the almost non-stop action in this book.

There are a couple of new characters, some more revealing things about some old characters and some side stories that left me a bit depressed. I was never really bored but Jane’s reaction to some things got somewhat redundant if not a small bit irritating.

The book starts with a bang and after release day you can read the teaser that Amazon shows (WARNING: You better be ready to buy the book if you do LOL). The action only lets up a few times which makes the quieter parts seem slower than normal.

I don’t dissect plots in my reviews, more of a feeling when I finished and this one kept me thinking about it long after I went to bed and the sorta cliffhanger ending (I am still considering if it is a true cliffhanger since you can mostly guess at the general direction of the plot). All I can say is she better write fast, I want to know what happens next ! I should add there is actually 2 sorta cliffhangers (HATE THAT)

Bottom Line: Loved it, mixture of emotions, love, hate, rage, warmth, and my favorite …. revenge. Obviously this is NOT a place to start this series at book 12 and one of the few series that the random short stories/novellas released along this journey DO matter. Jane is the hand of justice and while she might not love many of the aspects of that responsibility, she does not shirk them. These last few books have had a multitude of plots and subplots, this one is no different so hang on and don’t even try to scan through or you will miss something that might leave you confused later. Jane Yellowrock and Kate Daniels still sit atop the world of urban fantasy genre in my opinion and always will I am sure.

I am still more team Nell rather than team Jane, but the gap has been closing a bit with the last couple of Jane books. I think it is my love for the supporting cast that is helping that along. Who do you most love – or loathe – in Jane’s world?

Oh, and totally off-topic, but I need to vent. I haven’t been able to go to the movies for something like a year now because of my wonky work schedule, but I figured I would make an exception for The Avengers – just so I wouldn’t get spoiled as to any major deaths. I did watch a spoiler-free review on Youtube, though, which was great. What wasn’t so great? The douche-bag top commenter who listed the three who get killed. Seriously?!? What a bastard.


Reading Wrap Up – Repeat Edition

wildfireYep, so it has been a bit since my last reading wrap up post, and things haven’t been too bad. I dove into Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter, and I loved it. Totally worth staying up all night for, and I can’t wait to see where things go from here. Love Nell, love Occam, and love seeing their potential coupledom take a few big leaps forward, too. I also got back into the In Death series from J.D. Robb after a couple months long break, and that was welcome, too. The great thing is that it is like coming back to old friends, and with this series I never feel lost even after a bit of time away from them. Works out well. And I finally did my re-read of Wildfire from Ilona Andrews. I seriously can’t even tell you just how much I love the Hidden Legacy books. They are absolute favorites – like top 5 series of all time – and I do so hope for more.

I also tackled a new to me series I have been meaning to get to for forever, with…interesting results. I read a couple of Jennifer Estep‘s young adult offerings over the years, and actually quite enjoyed them. But I am having a little bit of an issue with the Elemental Assassin books. I mentioned in a post from last week that I thought I was nitpicking, but that the constant repetition of everyone’s eye color was getting on my last nerve. I liked pretty much everything else, but that one detail bugged the crap out of me. Once, twice, three times… I am fine with that. Repeating a characters eye color more than 40 times in one book – sometimes multiple times on a page – was over the top. Well, that was what I found in the first book, and my issue has expanded a bit.

Now, I have learned to basically skip the eye color thing. I might roll my hazel eyes a few times, but I was dealing. Until the rest of the repetition reared its ugly, ugly head. Descriptions and phrases are said pretty much word for word, over and over (and over) again, without end. The repetition was never ending.

I repeat: the repetition was never ending.

Gin’s 5 point weapons arrangement. Finn’s love of chicory coffee. Bria’s shaggy blonde hair. JoJo’s painted toenails. Sophia’s monosyllabic grunts. Over and over and over. But the one that really bugged me was weird. It was the way she referred to Sophia – long time friend, co-worker, helper, basically extended family member. She is either called The Dwarf or the Goth Dwarf 90% of the time, and for me it became insulting. Saying what she is a few times is fine, but she has a name. Use it. One of my friends is a bit older than me, and French, but I call her by her name, not the “old French chick”. I believe there was one page where she was referred to as the dwarf or the goth dwarf four times. ON ONE PAGE. I REPEAT – ON. ONE. PAGE. It got to the point where I was mixing up the names of the “Dwarf sisters” because Sophia’s name was so rarely used.

The problem is that I do like the storyline, and pretty much all of the characters – except Gin. Because the story is told from her first-person POV, I keep hearing her repeating everything so my annoyance has transferred to her. But I do like Finn, The “Goth Dwarf” and her sister, and Owen seems like he has potential (I am only on the third book, Venom). I really do want to keep going with the series, but I find myself skimming a bit when the verbal replays get too much. And as one of you warned me in the previous Nitpick post, apparently Gin picks up a nick-name for what I will assume is Owen that will really push me over the edge. Sigh. Something to look forward to. I repeat….eh, never mind.

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.


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.

Flame in the Dark Review

Flame in the Dark is my last really big release of 2017, and since I have finally gotten caught up on all of Faith Hunter‘s Jane Yellowrock world releases recently my anticipation has only gotten stronger. Nell is a favorite, and everything about the Soulwood series just works for me. Doug Meeks kindly sent over his early review for this one, and I so glad to see that it is as good as I thought it would be.

flame in the darkWhat Doug said…

WOW! First off let me point out that while I LOVE Jane Yellowrock and this whole world, she is pretty unique BUT there has never been another heroine like Nell, she is the most original character in urban fantasy in many years.

This time she seems to be up against something they can’t even identify and add that to the normal trials and tribulations of a woman who had spent her whole life as a “churchwoman” in a near cult-like existence, she is proving to be one heck of a strong heroine.

Nell is in touch with the world around us like no other heroine ever and that has some serious pros and cons, add more into the mix that her sister is exhibiting signs of being like Nell.

This story has a lot going on and you can’t scan any pages or you might miss something important and a lot of it is just Nell learning how to be normal as she can.

I won’t drone on and repeat the synopsis but, this was just an absolutely exceptional story and while it seemed to be written like it could be the last one in the series, I am assured that there will be at least 2 more in this exceptional story.


Welp, we have less than a week to wait since it will be released on December 5th. Let the countdown begin.


December’s Book of the Month

heartInstead of running the poll like I have been doing lately (which is a giant pain to add since WordPress started playing around with things behind the scenes), I thought maybe we could all just list our top couple of picks for the month. My big, huge, honkin’ number one pick is Flame in the Dark from Faith Hunter. It is the third book of the Soulwood series featuring Nell Ingram, and since I have just recently finished my complete Jane Yellowrock world marathon I am more than ready. Love me some Nell and company.

Coming in at number two would be Fury of Denial from Coreene Callahan. It is the third book of the Dragonfury; Scotland series, which I think I enjoy more than the US based one, honestly.

So, your turn. Which book or books are your most anticipated for the last month of 2017? Any genre goes.

Reading Wrap Up – New Author Edition

alpha betHey all. Everyone getting ready for the Christmas/Holiday season? I can’t believe we are looking at wrapping up the year in a few weeks, honestly. It seems like it was September, then December, with nothing in between. Anyways, ever since I finished up my Jane Yellowrock world marathon, I managed to get caught up on all of the new releases I was behind on. And even better, I got back into J.D. Robb‘s In Death series after a couple of months break (and did I ever miss them).

I decided to try out a couple of new-to-me authors, too, with varying degrees of success. The first one was Milly Taiden. I have seen her around for a while, and so I decided to pick up her newest release, Alpha Bet. It was a fast, fun story about a brilliant half-human, half-shifter who has been mistreated by her full-shifter packmates all of her life. Just when she finally gets the chance to strike out on her own in her dream job far away from pack life, the new Alpha starts to make his interest in her known. I really quite enjoyed this one, and while I didn’t immediately “One click” all of Milly Taiden’s other works, I will definitely keep an eye out and see what she comes out with next.

Unfortunately, though, I didn’t have much luck with my other new-to-me author. I was sure – and I mean SURE – I would love Devon Monk‘s Death and Relaxation. Not sure why, but I just was. I figured it was the safest bet in all of the authors I am looking to try, but it didn’t quite work out that way. I ended up DNF’ing the book at about the 25% point. I just couldn’t get into it, and I found myself starting to skim through looking for something to grab my attention. When I realized that I just couldn’t get interested, I decided to pull the plug. I did a bit of review-reading on Goodreads to see if maybe things would pick up and I should keep going, but not much on there made me want to change my mind, either, so I did the dreaded delete (so much easier than making myself toss a print book, though). I still might check out the Allie Beckstrom series, but it will be a while before I get there.

So, any new-to-you authors you have discovered lately? How far do you read before you decide to give up the ghost on a new author or series? Do you make yourself finish the whole thing, or do you cut your losses and move on?