Cover Lover – 4 New Titles

Since I don’t really have a pick of the week for today’s post, I thought I would put up a little cover lover post instead. Let’s start with the unexpected fourth book from Gena Showalter‘s White Rabbit Chronicles, A Mad Zombie Party, which is due out on September 29th.

a mad zombie partyThe battle rages on.

Ali Bell and Cole Holland’s crew of zombie slayers thought they’d won the war against Anima Industries, the evil company responsible for capturing and experimenting on zombies in an effort to discover the secret to immortality. In the last epic clash, the slayers lost many of their crew and closest friends. But Frosty, the ice man himself, has not recovered from one casualty in particular the love of his life, Kat Parker.

On the path to self-annihilation, Frosty receives a message from beyond Kat’s spirit returns, insisting he partner with rogue slayer Camilla Marks. Frosty will do anything for Kat. Except that. Camilla is the one who betrayed them all, leading to Kat’s death.

But when Anima rises from the grave to become a force the slayers may not have the strength to overcome, Frosty, Camilla and all the slayers will have to work together to survive. And one broken slayer will learn that sometimes, the line between hate and attraction is blurred…and the road to redemption isn’t through revenge, but in letting go of the past and grabbing hold of the future.

Next up is Bitter Bite, from Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series. It is due out on February 23rd.

bitter biteWhich is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

Shelly Laurenson‘s second Call of Crows book will be called The Undoing, and it will be out on March 29th.

the undoing A risk worth taking…

No one would ever accuse Jace Berisha of having an easy life—considering her husband…you know…killed her. But that was then! Now she fights for mighty Viking gods with the spectacular and vicious Crows.

But things are turning very bad, very quickly because a vengeful, ancient goddess has come into the world with just one thing on her mind—ending it. And the only way they can hope to stop her is if the Crows join forces with their one-time enemies, the Protectors. A Viking Clan created to do nothing but kill every Crow they see.

Thankfully, Protector Ski Eriksen is a peace loving kind of guy. Because the woman he is desperately trying to get close to is the beautiful and not-very-chatty Jace. Battling Nordic clans? Unkillable goddesses? Jace’s mean-spirited dog? None of these things would ever get in the way of a true Viking!

And the final one for today is from Victoria Aveyard. The second book of her Red Queen series will be called Glass Sword, and it should be out on February 9th.

glass swordIf there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: She is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

From the Author Pages…

It has been a while since I did one of these, since info has been coming out in a trickle for the last few months. Anyways, here’s what’s going on…

  • If you can’t wait to get your hands on The Veil, the first book of Chloe Neill‘s new Dark Isle series, it is up for review on NetGalley. You can find it HERE.
  • I upped the blurb for Dark Promises, the 98th Carpathian book by Christine Feehan (well, 28th, but it feels like more), but a couple of days ago the cover made its grand debut. I have to say, not bad. Not bad at all, considering some of the hideous disasters this series has seen in the past…

dark promises

  • As I mentioned in passing before, the first book of the Jane Yellowrock spin-off series by Faith Hunter, Blood of the Earth, has been pushed back to late 2016. Doug Meeks did some digging, and word is that Faith wasn’t happy with the book. I would rather see someone take longer than put out something they feel could be better, even if waiting longer is a bummer.
  • On the Gena Showalter front, there is finally word about the next Lords of the Underworld book. It looks like Baden is up next, and his story will be called The Darkest Torment. As of right now, no specific release date has been nailed down and it is just showing for 2016. There is talk of another Lords book next year, too, or maybe another Angels of the Dark, things haven’t been decided on.
  • Another author whose next release is being pushed back is Jeaniene Frost. The second book from her Broken Destiny series, The Sweetest Burn, will now be released February 23rd, 2016. I believe it was originally due out this October. And it looks like the paperback re-release of the first book, The Beautiful Ashes, has undergone a design change…

the beautiful ashesUgh, not really a fan. Dude’s head looks wonky, for starters. And you know that where there is a design change for the paperback, a design change usually follows for the rest of the series.

  • For some reason, I had it in my head that Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series was winding down, but it looks like #14 will be coming our way next February 23rd, and it will be called Bitter Bite.

Ok, that about wraps things up for this little update. Have you got anything to share from some of your favorite authors?

Gena’s New Series…One More Time

It looks like there was a bit of a mix up with the blurb for Gena Showalter‘s new series that I posted yesterday. Gena’s editor, Natashya, sent word over that Amazon had posted an early draft, and that in fact her new series, Everlife, will not have a love triangle.

I repeat: no love triangle!

This is the new blub for the first book, Firstlife, which is due out on February 23rd.

ONE CHOICE.

TWO REALMS.

NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

So, I am happy to realize there isn’t a much overdone love triangle. There has to be some other way to get some drama, and any series that doesn’t go that route gets bonus points from me.

A New Gena Showalter Series is On the Horizon

I was updating the new release pages yesterday, and I came across a totally random listing on Amazon for a new young adult series from Gena Showalter. I had heard last year that another one was coming, and it looks like details are starting to emerge. The series is called Everlife, and the first book is called Firstlife. It has a release date of February 23rd.

ONE CHOICE.

TWO REALMS.

NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms and the two boys who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

Hm, sounds different. I like the asylum angle…always was a sucker for a mistaken mental illness angle, but not sure on the religious side. I was hit or miss with Gena’s latest books because of the religious overtones, so I guess I will have to see how this one goes, too.

Does this sound like something you will be checking out? Did the religious overtones of her latter books change your enjoyment, or did you notice a difference?

The White Rabbit Chronicles Trilogy…Number Four?

So, this is a thing. Gena Showalter‘s White Rabbit Chronicles Trilogy…isn’t. A trilogy, that is. Not having read the third book (yet), I am no expert, but apparently there were things that were left unresolved in The Queen of Zombie Hearts, and Gena and her publisher decided to add a fourth book to the mix. A Mad Zombie Party will apparently be released this September. This seems to be a bit of a newish trend, with a couple of other series that were announced (or maybe just assumed) as being done suddenly show signs of life. Kiera Cass did it with The Selection books, for example. Interesting.

On a semi-related note, I don’t know what rock I was hiding under, but apparently Alexandra Ivy‘s Guardians of Eternity (I swear, I originally typed Guardians of the Galaxy) will be getting a spin-off/add on, of a sort. She has teamed up with Laura Wright on the Bayou Heat books, and it looks like they will be at it again in a new series set in the Guardians world. The first release will be called Marked by Darkness, and from the little I have heard it will feature a dragon hero? Laura Wright’s entry will be a story from her Mark of the Vampire series, as well. Man, on a selfish note, I would love to get my hands on a physical copy of this rather than e-book, but I guess we will have to see. Either way, it should be out this June-ish, and it looks like so…

marked by darknessHas anyone given their Bayou Heat series a try? I usually collect all of the series by authors I like, but I swear I am trying to tame Mount TBR, not throw more on top. But, you know, books seem to just follow me home. Honest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

November Wrap Up…

This might be a couple of days early, but since things have been so quiet around lately I thought maybe we could take a look back at the month that was.

Personally, November was a truly meh month. There were a couple of highlights, but I spent a good portion of it trying to drag myself through one book. I was too stubborn to give up on it, and too uninterested to keep going. Tricky.

Haunted – This fifth book in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong wasn’t bad. Not really. I just found myself unable to get into it. I don’t think I am  big on the whole ghost thing, I guess, since I found it rather dull. Maybe part of it was because there was so little interaction with the other characters that it read like a stand alone, too. It didn’t have the same feel as the other books for me, and while that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just didn’t work for me here. Now it is time to dive back in and get caught up on the novellas.

Night Shift – To be fair, I am judging this one based on only reading half of the stories (yet), but I thought the Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh novellas in the Night Shift anthology were awesome. I don’t think I could pick a favorite between the two, but secretly I will admit that I was thrilled to finally see a softer side of Jim. This collection ended up being the highlight of my month.

And, other than a couple of random e-books that I don’t even remember the titles of, that was pretty much my pathetic reading for November. I am still waiting for my copy of Gena Showalter‘s The Darkest Touch and G.A. Aiken‘s new one, Light My Fire, but hopefully they will could towards a great December.

How did your November reading fare? Any standouts, either good or bad, surprises or excitements?

 

Pick of the Week…

Even though I couldn’t wait for my copy of Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews‘ new release, Night Shift, so I actually decided to order a copy through Kindle (and waited up until 4:00 am so I could read it), I am going with something different for my pick of the week. Getting Jim and Dali and Bastien stories in the same anthology is a real treat, but I think getting Torin’s Lords of the Underworld series is going to just edge it out for this post. Strangely enough, Gena Showalter hasn’t upped any info about upcoming Lords stories, which makes me wonder if she is going to concentrate on her two new series she is starting up rather than finish up what she already has going. Anyways, my pick is going to be The Darkest Touch

the darkest touchSynopsis…

Fierce immortal warrior. Host to the demon of Disease. Torin’s every touch causes sickness and death—and a worldwide plague. Carnal pleasure is utterly forbidden, and though he has always overcome temptation with an iron will, his control is about to shatter.

She is Keeley Cael. The Red Queen. When the powerful beauty with shocking vulnerabilities escapes from a centuries-long imprisonment, the desire that simmers between her and Torin is scorching. His touch could mean the end for her, but resisting her is the hardest battle he’s ever fought—and the only battle he fears he can’t win.

So, there it is. What did you think of the great books that came out this week? I loved Night Shift, and both Nalini and Ilona delivered. Next up for me is The Darkest Touch…has anyone else given it a shot yet? What did you think of the long-awaited story of Torin?

Whose Story Needs to be Told?

question markAs I was whining to myself annoyingly about Jeaniene Frost still not confirming Ian will have his story told in the Night Huntress World series, it got me to thinking about what characters are due to get their happily ever after already. Some might be in the works, but some are long, long overdue, too.

  • I already said it, but Ian. Seriously. Jeaniene Frost‘s Night Huntress series has wrapped up, both Spade and Mencheres had their stories, and Vlad is getting not just three books, but four. That leaves scene-stealing Ian as odd-man-out, and you just know his story would be a hoot. Definitely time for Ian, and once his story is told I can say that the series is done, but not a moment before.
  • Now I have been complaining epically about this one for what seems like forever, and that is Dallas from Gena Showalter‘s Alien Huntress series (or the spin-off Otherworld Assassin series). Dallas has been, for me, the most interesting one from way back at the start of the series, and he is the last main character left. Gena has said that she would like to write about him, but as of now there is no book in sight. In fact, the Otherworld Assassin series is wrapping up at a trilogy, and Alien Huntress hasn’t been mentioned in forever. And that sucks. Dallas! Dallas! Dallas! I can’t consider the series finished until he has his story told.
  • Dane Vanderale from The Breeds. Now, from what I understand, Lora Leigh has plans to write Dane’s story in the near future, and it is long overdue. His character has been around forever, and it seems with each story he plays an ever-larger role (not to mentioned the constant changes to his backstory, but that is another issue). Cassie is also in need of her story (and I am calling it now, that it is the new assistant director dude, Rhyzan Brannigan, or whatever his name was), but for me it is Dane’s turn.

Ok, those are the three that for me have been left hanging. Not having their stories makes things seem incomplete somehow. Whose story do you think is most overdue, and which ones do you think you have a shot of getting sometime in the future?

Reading Roundup…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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