Covers, Delays and a Look Ahead

I haven’t really had enough of any one thing to make a post for the last couple of weeks, so I figured I would just car-pool everything into one messed-up catch-all post instead. Let’s start with the bad news…

  • It looks like Wicked Bite has been pushed back. Jeaniene Frost posted that something wasn’t quite right with the book, and so she had to do extensive re-writes which lead to a new release date of January 28th, 2020. So, we have to wait an extra 6 months for Ian and Veritas, but it isn’t too long extra.
  • Christine Warren‘s next one is a bit of another story. Her next Alphaville book, Your Lion Eyes, was originally scheduled for an end-of-December 2018 release, then it was delayed until June 2019. Right now, though, Amazon is listing it as a December 2020 release. It is unfortunate, because I always seem to just get involved in one of her series, and then the long delays start and throw me off.

Oh, and I have the blurb for the next Black Dagger Legacy book from JR Ward, too. Blood Truth is due out on August 13th…

“As a trainee in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s program, Boone has triumphed as a soldier and now fights side by side with the Brothers. Following his sire’s unexpected death, he is taken off rotation against his protests—and he finds himself working with Butch O’Neal, former homicide cop, to catch a serial killer: Someone is targeting females of the species at a live action role play club. When the Brotherhood is called in to help, Boone insists on being a part of the effort—and the last thing he expects is to meet an enticing, mysterious female…who changes his life forever.

Ever since her sister was murdered at the club, Helaine has been committed to finding the killer, no matter the danger she faces. When she crosses paths with Boone, she doesn’t know whether to trust him or not—and then she has no choice. As she herself becomes a target, and someone close to the Brotherhood is identified as the prime suspect, the two must work to together to solve the mystery…before it’s too late. Will a madman come between the lovers or will true love and goodness triumph over a very mortal evil?”

And now onto the covers. I have four new ones to share, starting with the second Gods of War book from Gena Showalter, Frost and Flame. It has a release date of September 17th, 2019.

frost and flame

This second one is from JD Robb‘s In Death series. Vendetta in Death is the 49th book (yes, 49th), and it has a release date of August 1st.

vendetta in deathSynopsis…

The predator becomes the prey in the newest thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series featuring homicide detective Eve Dallas.

She calls herself Lady Justice. And once she has chosen a man as her target, she turns herself into a tall blonde or a curvaceous redhead, makes herself as alluring and seductive as possible to them. Once they are in her grasp, they are powerless.

The first victim is wealthy businessman Nigel McEnroy. His company’s human resources department has already paid out settlements to a couple of his young victims—but they don’t know that his crimes go far beyond workplace harassment. Lady Justice knows. And in one shocking night of brutality, she makes him pay a much steeper price.

Now Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, are combing through the evidence of McEnroy’s secret life. His compulsive need to record his misdeeds provides them with a wide range of suspects, but the true identity of Lady Justice remains elusive. It’s a challenging case, made even more difficult by McEnroy’s widow, who reacts to the investigation with fury, denial, and threats. Meanwhile, Lady Justice’s criminal crusade is escalating rapidly, and if Eve can’t stop this vigilante, there’s no telling how much blood may be spilled…

This 3rd one is from Jeffe Kennedy. The Orchid Throne is the first book of the Forgotten Empire series.

the orchid throneSynopsis…

Welcome to the world of Forgotten Empires from award winning author Jeffe Kennedy that begins with The Orchid Throne.

A PRISONER OF FATE

As Queen of the island kingdom of Calanthe, Euthalia will do anything to keep her people
free—and her secrets safe—from the mad tyrant who rules the mainland. Guided by a magic ring of her father’s, Lia plays the political game with the cronies the emperor sends to her island. In her heart, she knows that it’s up to her to save herself from her fate as the emperor’s bride. But in her dreams, she sees a man, one with the power to build a better world—a man whose spirit is as strong, and whose passion is as fierce as her own…

A PRINCE AMONG MEN

Conrí, former Crown Prince of Oriel, has built an army to overthrow the emperor. But he needs the fabled Abiding Ring to succeed. The ring that Euthalia holds so dear to her heart. When the two banished rulers meet face to face, neither can deny the flames of rebellion that flicker in their eyes—nor the fires of desire that draw them together. But in this broken world of shattered kingdoms, can they ever really trust each other? Can their fiery alliance defeat the shadows of evil that threaten to engulf their hearts and souls?

This final one for today comes from author Maxym Martineau. Kingdom of Exiles is the first book in the new Beast Charmer series.

kingdom of exilesSynopsis…

Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed in this epic, gripping fantasy romance from debut author Maxym M. Martineau.

Exiled beast charmer Leena Edenfrell is in deep trouble. Empty pockets forced her to sell her beloved magical beasts on the black market—an offense punishable by death—and now there’s a price on her head. With the realm’s most talented murderer-for-hire nipping at her heels, Leena makes him an offer he can’t refuse: powerful mythical creatures in exchange for her life.

If only it were that simple. Unbeknownst to Leena, the undying ones are bound by magic to complete their contracts, and Noc cannot risk his brotherhood of assassins…not even to save the woman he can no longer live without.

So, this post is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Do you have any tidbits to add?

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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.

Random Rambling

So, everybody. How is 2019 treating you so far? I have been on vacation since the first, and I am starting to get some of my usual time-off crap done, like cleaning and organizing. Not the most glamorous use of a vacation, but it makes me happy at the end. There is nothing I like more than purging a bunch of stuff that is just laying around getting in the way.

On the book front, I didn’t get rid of much – on the contrary, I have been adding a bit to the collection. I am only a couple of books away from finishing my Night Huntress Universe re-read for the character guide, and it has been going really, really well. When I originally started Jeaniene Frost‘s series, I liked it. I didn’t love it, but it stayed in the middle-of-the-road, solidly entertaining but not favorite category. I didn’t miss a release, but I didn’t do a countdown for the next book, either. Well, things changed.

With my re-reading marathon, I now love them. Love. I have gotten so involved with all parts of the world – Night Huntress, Prince, Rebel, Ian and Mencheres’s stories – that they have climbed up to favorite series status. There is something about doing a back-to-back read that just sucks me in and gets me so involved. I liked it enough to track down what I could in hardcover to add to my permanent collection, too – but the only downside is why oh why would the publisher make the change to hardcover on Vlad’s last book? Seriously? I could get it back at the first Night Prince book, but the fourth of four? That was weird. I still ordered it, along with Ian’s first book, but I would still love to see some of the earlier ones re-released in hardcover, too.

And while in the middle of my re-read, I took a break to read the newest Gena Showalter story, The Darkest Captive. And what I realized is that while Night Huntress went up my list, The Lords have gone down. I guess maybe tastes change, but I have a hard time enjoying her work lately. They aren’t bad, for sure, but the tone of them is rubbing me wrong. Like I said when I tried to finish Shadow and Ice, the constant puns and quips and snark got on my nerves. I like a good laugh, but one liner after one liner gets old, and I realized as well that every character of every book for the last little while sounds just like all the rest. The chicks all “preen” and “fluff their hair” (gag), the guys all grown then grovel. At this point, I am pretty much done – I will pick up William’s story just because, but then throw in the towel. I had originally planned to do a character guide for it at some point, but I just can’t see myself devoting a couple of months to re-reads – at least not the way I am feeling about it now.

And since I already sound completely unhinged, I would like to whine about Kresley Cole. I have seen a couple of times that she is releasing her next IAD book, Munro, in May. Of this year. As in in about 4 months. Yet there is no synopsis, cover, or preorder links. Is this going to an indie-publishing thing, too, because I haven’t seen a traditionally published major series hardcover book ever come out with so little prep-time? And since it will have been over two years since the last book at that point, too, things just seem weird to me. Eh, what do I know?

Have you had any series take a big climb – or fall – on your list of favorites recently? Have you heard anything about the IAD that I have missed?

Reading Wrap Up

It’s been a while since I was around, so I thought I might do up a reading wrap up post to see what you thought on some recent releases from the last month or so.

LionheartI picked up Lionheart from Thea Harrison, and it feels like it has been forever since there was anything new from the Elder Races world. I liked this one way more than I thought I would, which is always a plus. It wasn’t a book I was particularly excited for, for whatever reason, but it was another good, solid story that had a few decent cameos from the original Wyr gang back in New York. I just wish that we knew what was coming next.

shadow and iceAnd then there was Shadow and Ice from Gena Showalter. I mentioned this one before, and sadly things didn’t change. I had to DNF this one, which is something that I might do to a book maybe twice a year. The whole tone of the book rubbed me wrong. Quip quip quip. More quips. Hair flip. Growl. Quip. It was just a big no. What did surprise me when I looked on Goodreads to see if I was just being bitchy about is was how divided people were in their reactions. It seems like it is all either 5 star reviews…or DNF’s. And there are a lot of DNF’s for it, which I haven’t really noticed for a Gena Showalter book before. The sad thing is is that I really wanted to like it, but I guess you can’t win them all.

Shades of Wicked CR: Avon

So, Shades of Wicked from Jeaniene Frost. To say I was excited for Ian’s story would be a bit of an understatement, and I wasn’t disappointed. Sometimes, for me, when a side character I really like gets their own story it can become too much of a good thing, and some of the charm can wear off. Or their character gets watered down. Thankfully, that didn’t happen here at all – Ian was Ian, and it was great. Loved Veritas, too, which is a bonus. Now starting the countdown to Wicked Bite.

USA_Archangels_Prophecy_Cover_-_CopyArchangel’s Prophecy was a bit tricky. I know some were a bit miffed by the cliffhanger ending – that didn’t bother me. And I can’t say that I didn’t like it – but I didn’t love it, either. I can’t put my finger on why, but it felt like there were things going on that I just couldn’t get interested in. Like the Favashi and Harrison arcs – they weren’t bad, but I just wasn’t invested in them. Which meant that I big portion of the book didn’t really grab me. I didn’t skim, but there were times I was tempted. Still a solid book, but just not my favorite from Nalini Singh.

36188722_10157537628422598_9214164022109143040_nI also read the latest Leopard People book from Christine Feehan, Leopard’s Run. Not much to say about this one. It was ok. Maybe I was just in a mood, but there wasn’t much in way of story going on, just lots of mating issues. I did LOL at the cats having names – well, not the cats. Ashe’s cat – Godiva. Godiva? Seriously. I did a serious eye-roll every single time someone referenced Godiva. Lord. It was good for a cringe-laugh, though.

39320167And finally, there is my hands-down winner, Diamond Fire. This is only a novella, but it works so well as a transition from Nevada to Catalina’s story. Ilona Andrews‘ Hidden Legacy series is probably my favorite series going, which is saying something, but even so this was a great story. If this little story is any indication, I might even like Catalina’s character more than Nevada’s…and her powers are awesome. During the first three books, I kind of thought she got the dud magic, but that is a big no. Not at all. My most anticipated book by a long, long way for next year? Catalina’s first full book, Sapphire Flames.

Your turn. What did you think of some of the recent releases? Did anything stand out to you – good or bad?

Shadow and Ice Review

Welp, here goes. I was kindly provided an ARC from Netgalley for Shadow and Ice.

This is a review that I don’t even know if I am qualified to write, simply because I had to DNF the book at the 40% mark. And let me add that I hardly ever DNF. Like maybe half a dozen times in the last few years – and those I made myself read until the half-way point before I gave up. I tried. I mean, I really tried. If it wasn’t a Gena Showalter story I honestly would’ve pulled the plug after the first couple of chapters. I kept thinking that maybe I just wasn’t in a reading mood, so I would put the book down and start again a little later. Then again. Then again. I think I started and re-started half a dozen times before I made it through the second chapter.

I was intrigued by the idea of this new world. I thought that ancient warriors coming out of a sort of stasis into a modern world had tons of potential, and I liked the idea of something a little different from my usual witches, weres and vamps. And I still think that the world had definite potential, but I couldn’t get past the way the story was written to enjoy it. Bluntly put, I found it a bit silly. Vale finds a cavern of all of these warriors frozen in ice, and all she can think is “boy, he’s hot!”. No wondering what’s going on. No shock or horror or questions. Just “boy, he’s hot!” She ends up in the middle of a brutal, bloody battle a couple of minutes later, but what she thinks is “boy, he’s hot!”. Captured and held against her will? “Boy, he’s hot!” Nope.

But what drove me to quit the book was that I just couldn’t take one more quip. Not one. I love a good quip or snarky comment or sarcastic aside as much or more as the next gal, but when every second comment someone makes is a flip, hip, trying way too hard to be cool quip it just started to rub me wrong. When you are a normal human who has been kidnapped, held hostage and thrust into the middle of an immortal war, I doubt your first instinct is going to be to fluff your hair, mention how awesome you are, and throw out a series of one liners. Nope again.

So, in summary, I don’t like writing this review at all. I just don’t have anything positive to share. Maybe things picked up in the second half, but I couldn’t make myself go any further to find out. I can’t remember a book that just flat-out bugged me so much in a long, long time.

10 Second Update

No idea where that post title came from, but it works. I am having so, so much trouble trying to get into my ARC for Gena Showalter‘s upcoming Shadow and Ice. So much. I keep putting it down and heading over to Amazon to order other books. I don’t know if it is the formatting of the ARC (which is awkward), or the random attempts at smack-talking (which don’t quite fit), but I am actively trying to avoid reading it. I am hoping that changes, though. Soon.

This and That

blah-quote-300x300Well, a this or that post. Or it is probably better labeled the one where I ramble. First off, I did manage to get two guides up to date – the one for the Elder Races series, and the one for the Fever World. I was only behind one novella for the Elder Races one, so that wasn’t too much drama, but I did really enjoy my re-read of High Voltage for the Fever series. Part of it felt like an ending, but then there were so many things left that shouted more to come that I was a bit confused. I haven’t heard anything about upcoming stories, though, have any of you? And come to think of it, I haven’t heard much about more Elder Races, either. Sigh.

Will any of you be picking up Consumed from J.R. Ward? I did read the two free prequel novellas – and I liked them, such as they were. But for some reason I can’t work up much excitement for the book itself. Maybe because it is non-PNR and I am pretty much firmly entrenched? I only really follow Kelley Armstrong‘s Rockton books for a non woo-woo series, but maybe it is time to branch out?

Speaking of branching out, I went on a bit of a book-buying binge over the last couple of weeks. I took a tour through the Kindle freebies and new release pages and Netgalley and grabbed a bunch of stuff…

Yeah, I blew my buy-it-and-read-it technique out of the water, but whatever. Those were on top of my regularly scheduled pre-orders like Lora Leigh‘s Cross Breed, too. Hopefully I got that out of my system for a while, though, because I refuse to let the TBR take over. Again. I did already have Silver Shark, but I deleted it and re-bought it along with Silent Blade so I would have the new covers for both. And when I downloaded it? I got the old cover. I grumbled a bit, but it isn’t a big deal to fix it and send it as a document, but still. I grumbled. Have you been branching out any lately into the great unknown?

I have really been trying to watch some tv shows and movies lately. People always look at me funny when I say I don’t watch tv, but I honestly don’t. I will find a show that sounds interesting and pick up the first couple to try from itunes, and if I like it I will continue picking up an episode here and there. I have Netflix but I can go a month without even turning it on. If I watch 2 hours of programming a week, that would be about it. I did manage to drag myself through the whole first season of Westworld, but I kept trying to make myself like it more than I did so I gave up. Ditto for The Gifted. Iron Fist I only made maybe three or four episodes before it got annoying. I dropped The Walking Dead after Glen and Abraham, but I might go back again. Some day. The Punisher is going pretty well, I guess, but I still don’t feel the need to marathon. But the show I am binge watching? Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I kid you not. I can’t get enough. It is so weird, but I have a strange addiction. I might need help –  but not until I am caught up.

So, that’s me. What about you? Anything exciting going on (or, like me, not)?

Random Site Stuff

Hey all. I just thought that I would give a little site update, since it has been a while…

  • The new release dates have been checked and updated, and there have been a few titles that have been shifted around a bit. Most only changed by a week or two, but there were a few releases that faced a bit bigger pushback. Gena Showalter‘s The Evil Queen and Christine Warren‘s Your Lion Eyes were both pushed back to end of June release dates, for example.
  • On that note, I am going to also be adding some new titles to the new release pages, too. It is time to do some hunting and see what has been announced since my last check through. I should have everything up-to-datish by tomorrow night.
  • I also will be adding the info from Ocean Light to the Psy/Changeling character guide, which will bring my Nalini Singh stuff up to date. Now I am only like a dozen behind. Next up will be Iron and Magic for the Kate Daniels guide, so things will be set for the release of Magic Triumphs in a couple of weeks. I hope.
  • I also deleted the guide for J.D. Robb‘s In Death series. Honestly, I gave myself a head shake and realized that there was no way in hell I would ever get up to date on that sucker. None. And because it is so episodic in nature, I never found myself needing to know about characters from previous books. So, I didn’t feel it was a big loss.
  • Still not sure about the fonts that I have been using on the site. I might be playing around a little bit more with that, but it has been a bit of a challenge of finding one that I like the look of.

 

That is about it. Any suggestions? Have you seen anything around here that needs a tweaking?

My Not-Pick of the Week

the darkest warriorMy pick of the week is a bit of a duh, so I am going to do something different. I am going to spotlight a book that I almost bought – pre-ordered and everything – before I changed my mind and canceled. And that dubious honor goes to Gena Showalter‘s The Darkest Warrior.

This is nothing against Gena Showalter or The Lords of the Underworld. I don’t think I have missed an adult PNR new release of hers since I picked the first story up years ago, and I have dearly loved some of her books (Atlantis, Otherworld Assassin, Alien Huntress, even the Angels of the Dark) …just not so much the Lords. I tried. Really. I knew I should love them, so I kept plodding along, picking them up on release day. And for the most part, I always quite liked them, but the stories have never stuck with me. At this point, I only remember a handful of characters’ names, and next-to-none of the storylines, and I just can’t work up any excitement for this new book. I kept telling myself that I “had to” get it, until the light bulb came on and I finally thought to myself, nope, I don’t.

I know a few people were upset that Gilly and William weren’t going to be HEA’s, but I was kind of glad. William is one of the few characters I remember (mostly because I liked him so much), and I am finding myself less and less liking the “too young abused girl and the warrior waiting for her to grow up” thing. I will probably pick up The Darkest Warrior at some point, especially since William’s book is up next and that is a can’t miss for me, but it isn’t happening right now. This is the one series that I really feel I owe a re-read to, so I can either get into the spirit of it or decide to drop it completely, because right now it is just hovering in that “meh” stage that is just irritating.

So, your turn. Are you picking up The Darkest Warrior? Any weirdness about a Satyr as the hero, ’cause I am pretty sure that is a new one for me?

Bookish Bucket List

PrintIt’s funny how things change. Over the last few years, I have done pretty massive purges of my books (both read and unread), to the point that I couldn’t even begin to guess how many hundreds I have gotten rid of (probably around 1000, or pretty close to it). I was going over my bookshelves the other day, looking at what I had left, and it made me realize that I don’t really have a ton of stories left on my reading bucket list – or books that I want to read before I die.

My beloved Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong has wrapped. We finally got the Dani O’Malley/Ryodan story I had been waiting for for what felt like forever in the Fever series. I would’ve legit offed someone to get my hands on books two and three of the Hidden Legacy series a even a few days earlier. Another person (or two) would gladly have been sacrificed if it brought me closer to Heart of Obsidian. And any book that featured the Ghostwalkers was automatically on the list. I am talking about those books that I honestly was nuts about getting my hands on. But now, while I have several books I am very much looking forward to, I don’t have any that inspire that same kid-at-christmas feeling as I used to have. And I miss it.

Well, there are still a few that I would consider to be on my bucket list (and a few of them are already in the works). Jeanine Frost‘s next book will feature Ian, who has been on my wish-list since he was first introduced in the Night Huntress series. And William from the Lords of the Underworld will get his story in 2019 (and then I can pull the plug on the Lords). I have heard rumors that Ilona Andrews will be writing Roman’s book sometime after Hugh’s trilogy (another must read), but I still am whining about more Derek and Julie books, too.

At this point, the top 10 characters I would love to have stories about would look something like this (in no particular order):

1) Illium – Guild Hunter

2) Aodhan – Guild Hunter

3) Malachi – Psy/Changelings

4) Alexei – Psy/Changelings

5) Janvier – GhostWalkers

6) Dane – The Breeds

7) Ben – Mercy Thompson World

8) Roman – Kate Daniels World

9) Derek – Kate Daniels World

10) Lor – Fever Series

What does your bucket list look like? What were your original stories that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on?