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?

Advertisements

Reading Wrap Up

This should probably be sub-titled “new to me and a change of heart”, since that is pretty much what I have been up to. I have been on a bit of a roll with some new to me authors, which has been great. I picked up the first two books in the Guardian series from Rayanne Haines, Fire Born and Magic Born, and ended up liking both of them. Honestly, I grabbed them strictly for the covers, but ended up sticking around for the story. Definitely looking forward to whatever comes next.

real men howlAlso new-to-me are Celia Kyle and Marina Maddix, the authors of the Real Men Shift series. Again, shallow as it is, the cover for the first book caught my eye and made me do the “one-click” thing before I really thought it through, but it was another success. Both Real Men Howl and Real Men Snarl are quick, easy reads and I found myself finishing each of them in one sitting. There is one brother’s story left to tell, (Real Men Growl – due out this August) but I do hope the series continues on after that.

hunt the moonAnother great find was author Kari Cole. I picked up the first book of her Mated by Fate series called Hunt the Moon, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. I liked the world building and both the main and supporting characters, and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the second book, Touch the Sky, when it comes out in September.

I had decided not to pick up the latest Gena Showalter book, The Darkest Warrior, not because I was mad about who Gilly ended up with or anything but just because I didn’t really have any big excitement for the book. I think my enjoyment of the Lords books is really hampered by the fact that I just don’t remember much about the series at this point. I always seem to enjoy them when I read them, but then I promptly forget everything as soon as I close the Kindle. Well, that didn’t hamper me at all this time around, and I very much enjoyed The Darkest Warrior. It felt almost stand alone (except for William, who is the only character I seem to remember), so I just got to happily read a really good story without trying to remember who is who and what happened before. Definitely glad I changed my mind on this one.

rough justiceAaaand I might’ve been pretty quick to grab up Rough Justice from Kelley Armstrong. Anything Cainsville related is an automatic win for me, and this decent length novella story is no exception. I am very glad that there wasn’t any Olivia-and-Gabriel relationship drama…well, not much and not serious, anyways. Ideally, I would love to see a spin-off or something featuring Ricky getting his HEA, but I am not sure that is in the cards.

iron and magicFinally, though, there is the jewel of the lot, and that is Iron and Magic from Ilona Andrews. I don’t have much to say about this one other than that I absolutely loved it. Love love love. Loved Hugh. Loved Elara. Loved the fact that the whole world-building felt different enough from Kate Daniels to really stand on its own while still making me giddy thinking of future crossovers (Hugh and Elara must show up in Magic Triumphs, right?). I so need a re-read of this one since I was a greedy brat who devoured it way, way too quickly, but that won’t be a chore at all. Not sure where or when the next book will be, but I will be there.

Your turn. What have you been enjoying lately? Anything exciting?

Cover Lover – 2 New Titles

On a totally unrelated note, I have been playing around with the on-site fonts. I can’t really find one that works for me – either too chunky or too blocky or too meh – so let me know what you find easier to read.

Now for the covers. I only found a couple to share, but they are both for series that I actually read, so that is a bit of a bonus. Ilona Andrews‘ upcoming Hidden Legacy novella, Diamond Fire, is a big old must read, and I was happy to find the pretty cover.

39320167.jpg

And Christine Feehan also released the cover for her next Leopard People book, Leopard’s Run. It will be released November 6th.

36188722_10157537628422598_9214164022109143040_n.jpg

There you have it. What do you think of these covers?

New Series Alert

Yep, I am pretty sure that this is the most useless new series alert post I have ever done – like nobody knows that The Iron Covenant is starting up this week. Anyways, Ilona Andrews‘ newest book is Iron and Magic, and it is a spin-off of the Kate Daniels series that will feature bad-boy Hugh d’Ambray.

iron and magicSynopsis…

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

I probably should stop being such a fan-girl…when you get to my age, it’s just plain weird. Eh, whatever. I am going to be so very, very strong and not even take a peek at this until my day off on Saturday, which I plan to completely devote to reading Iron and Magic and doing absolutely nothing else. My idea of heaven.

Usually, this is where I would ask who is planning on picking this one up. Instead, maybe I should ask who isn’t? And who else wants to snatch the wig off of the model dude? No? Just me then?

Hugh-Character-Poster_A-374x500.jpg

 

Iron and Magic Review

I am doing the evil-cackle thing sitting here typing this, because this post means that Iron and Magic is almost here. Like only a few short days away almost here. Ilona Andrews is flat out an all time favorite, and somehow with each new release, new story, new world, my enjoyment only grows. Doug Meeks was kind enough to send over his early review for this one, and surprising probably no one, it sounds damn good.

iron and magicWhat Doug said…

I remember watching Wayne’s World the movie many years ago and watching Wayne and Garth bow down and yell “I’m not worthy”, kinda the way I feel after finishing “Iron and Magic”.  You know Hugh as the horrible right hand of Roland and could never be redeemed right?  If they did it would be some cheesy epiphany where he realized what a horrible person he was and decided to do better ……. Nope, this is Hugh and he becomes the ultimate anti-hero in this book and while mellowing a bit by the end he is still Hugh but not controlled by Roland anymore.

I kept expecting Kate Daniels to make an appearance and maybe save the day and he would swear his undying loyalty …………. Not even close.  The relationship between him and The White Lady has to be the ultimate love/hate relationship with a lot of emphasis on the hate part.

What really keeps Hugh from being a monster aside from the removal of Roland’s evil influence which we get a LOT more information about that relationship than we ever knew from the Kate Daniels books.  He is loyal above almost everything else, those Iron Dogs of his are what keeps him from just killing himself and we see a lot of things about that relationship we never suspected.  He was not exactly a puppet to Roland but, in many ways, not far from it.  Part of what makes this an amazing story is getting to know Hugh who was not exactly who we thought.

I can’t tell too much about The White Lady since she has a lot of secrets and it is exciting to find out about them as they are revealed.  She is a match for Hugh in temperament and power.

There are several plots involved here as with most Ilona Andrews books and I won’t try to go into them since I feel a lot of it would border on spoilers so be careful about other reviews wanting to share too much, this is a book that is much better if you get surprised by the situations and solutions.

I can say that although I have seen nothing that says it will happen, I just can’t see any way to get the epic ending I want without Hugh and Kate teaming up in some way but since this is going to be a trilogy and Kate only has one book left I might be way off not to mention the fact that this is basically an indie type release where I am pretty sure that Kate Daniels belongs to Penguin/Ace publishers.

Bottom Line:  Only 5 Stars because that is all I can post, the fact that I was totally satisfied with the ending even though this is book 1 is an amazing feat within itself, the story was addicting, innovative, imaginative (where the XXX do they get these ideas??), and I can’t wait to read the next one and a testament to a great ending is the fact that I am not screaming at the moon to get it.  I am not worthy indeed …

I have a couple of days off next weekend, and one of them will be devoted to Iron and Magic. No work. No cleaning or running errands or doing crap. It is just going to be me, my cats, some take-out and Iron and Magic. And I cannot wait.

 

Ocean Light Review

Well, we are almost at one of my two big reading-related days this month (the other being the day Iron and Magic comes out, of course). Tomorrow is the official release of Nalini Singh‘s latest Psy/Changeling book, Ocean Light, and to mark the occasion Doug Meeks was kind enough to send over his review.

US Ocean Light Cover - CopyWhat Doug said…

Well one of the reasons I don’t write books (outside of that no talent and no imagination thing) is that I have no patience, I would have all bad guys dead by page 10 and wonder “where do I go from here”. Fortunately Nalini Singh does not suffer from any of those afflictions and we have a story that manages to have drama, romance, loyalty and my favorite, violence all thrown together in a story to warm the heart while making the blood boil for those who suffer and takes us along on a pace that changes to suit the scene.

First of all my memory is terrible and I spent several chapters while reading trying to remember if Bowen had been thought dead in any previous books but since I was too lazy to go back and research it I finally decided it really did not matter (and it did not). Suffice it to say he was pretty much dead when we start this book and some medical miracle are the only thing keeping him alive and those might not be enough.

Then Kaia enters the scene and pretty much hates him on sight which always makes for a good story in the hands of a talented writer. We have a slow romance with a touch of insta-love thrown in but not too heavy handed (meaning there is no “MINE” moment just minutes after they meet). He will have to work at this one IF he manages to live long enough which does not look all that promising.

Enter a subplot of some residents of BlackSea disappearing over the last few months and it looks like humans (specifically the organization Bowen heads up) might be behind it.

Throw in a couple of hints, some red herrings, a bevy of suspects with a good mystery and along with an excellent romance you have a 5 Star story (which I actually rated 4.5).

We do get a slight bit more than a cameo of our favorite Psy – Kaleb Krycheck (who I personally love because he pretty much kills anyone who ever did Sahara wrong in any way LOL) but we do get a cameo of Sahara also towards the end. They obviously add to any book they are mentioned. We also get a really short cameo of Hawke just to add a bit of flavor into the story in how outsiders actually see him which I found interesting since we all still have Kiss of Snow in our heads which warps out viewpoint a bit.

My only minor complaint (go back and read paragraph 1) is that everybody I wanted to kill was not dead at the end of the book . I am assured there will be justice for all since this is actually book #17 of this series it is also book #2 of a trilogy with a bit of an overarching plot, so I can hardly wait to see where it goes from here. I did love the way she handled everything so there is nothing that resembles a cliffhanger but does leave a thread or two to make you want the next book immediately.

Oooh, and I am so patting myself on the back right now. With a whole couple of hours to spare, I got the Psy/Changeling character guide updated with the info from Silver Silence before Ocean Light comes out. I might’ve cut things a little close, but I did get it done in the end. Yay me.

Blind Buys, Second Thoughts, and a DNF

booksRather than a reading wrap up, this post is more like a buying wrap up. Weird, but I am going with it. I have become a bit OCD in my book buying, or maybe I should say that it is getting worse, but I am determined to not build up the monster TBR pile again. The downside of that is that I struggle over every new series purchase like I am trying to decide whether or not to donate a kidney. The struggle is real.

I did realize that I had never read Ilona Andrews‘ Kinsmen books, but since the first story is impossible to find I ended up jumping ahead and buying the second one, Silver Shark. I have heard a lot of good things about it, and I ended up really enjoying it (which is not a surprise – I have never not liked an Ilona Andrews book. Ever). I can see where it might’ve contributed to the idea of the Hidden Legacy series, which is always a good thing. Hopefully Silver Blade will become available again soonish to finish this off.

And I broke down and picked up The Master from Kresley Cole. Not my usual thing, but all in all I quite liked it. Not sure I will be grabbing the other two books in the series right away, but maybe somewhere down the line if I feel like another change of pace. I liked it more than I thought I would, so I guess that counts as a win?

I did read Shadow Keeper from Christine Feehan, too, which all in all I liked. I did enjoy that the heroine was not a complete “oooh, honey, let me cook for you in my ruffled boots” doormat, which was a nice change of pace. She had some backbone, and some pride, which can be somewhat lacking in female leads. But this book did give me some second thoughts on what is still to come for the series. At first, Vittorio was the least interesting of all of the family, but I found he was my favorite part of Shadow Keeper. His story is up next in Shadow Warrior, and I am very excited for it. But as for Emme and Taviano’s stories? Not so interested now. I am over the abused young girl and her dominant but trying not to be older mate thing. And as much as I like Emme and Val, I lost interest in their story, too. I will probably be picking them up, who am I kidding, but my interest in both books has cooled.

There were a few really random blind buys, too, that just sort of saw and grabbed for no particular reason. I picked up Fire Born by Rayanne Haines after I added the info for the second book, Magic Born, to this month’s new releases. The reviews were good (and the cover was pretty), so I thought I would give it a whirl. I am about 15% in, and so far so good. It is pretty standard for me, but I am liking it.

And for something different, I saw an article where Stephenie Meyer had exited the television adaptation of The Rook by Daniel O’Malley that is being made for Starz. Paranormal spy thriller? Sounds interesting, so I picked it up as an impulse buy. Not my usual read, but it did grab my attention. Hopefully I will be getting to that one soon.

My last blind buy didn’t work out as I had planned. On the Alpha Showdown (which is going on now at the Vampire Book Club), I saw one of the contestants was a character named Secret McQueen, who was the main character of Sierra Dean‘s series of the same name. Sounds good, so I picked up the first story right away. Eh, didn’t work out as planned, since further research showed that there is a LOVE TRIANGLE. Nope. No way. Not happening. I deleted that sucker so fast I don’t even remember the name of it. I absolutely cannot handle a love triangle at all anymore, unless I am already involved in a series and one crops up, but I avoid those suckers like the plague if I can. That was a close call.

That about sums things up. New stuff from old favorites, blind buys, and a completely not-fair DNF. Have you tried the Secret McQueen series? Was I wrong to tank it before I ever cracked a page? What did you think of The Rook?

Bad Boy Syndrome

iron and magicWe are only days away (DAYS!) from getting our collective hot little hands on Iron and Magic from Ilona Andrews. I did consider threatening/bribing/injuring someone to get an ARC, but I held strong. I might have to call in dead to work on June 26th, because I won’t be any good to anyone knowing that it is waiting for me on my ipad. Like many others, I am hugely excited for Hugh’s story. Weirdly so. And it got me to thinking that there really haven’t been many bad boy/anti-hero/villain books that I have read. In fact, there are only two that I can think of at this point. But those two remain my absolute favorite reads from their respective series, which is saying something.

First up was Lothaire from Kresley Cole. He was one big, bad, manipulative dude, and I couldn’t see how he would be redeemed. At all. What I ended up loving was the fact that he never really was redeemed – we just got to see what made him tick. He was wicked, sexy and fun, and his story is the first one that comes to mind when I think of the Immortals After Dark series.

The only other one I can think of is Heart of Obsidian. Well, Kaleb wasn’t completely a bad guy/villain, but up until his book I didn’t quite know what he was. He came off as the big bad, but once again when you see the world from his perspective things fall into place. Once again, Heart of Obsidian is pretty much the pinnacle of Nalini Singh‘s Psy/Changeling series for me, and it is a hard one to top.

What are your favorite bad-guy based stories? Have you ever read a book where the “hero” pulled as much crap as Hugh has? What does it usually take for you to root for them in the end?

On a related note, there is a feature written by Nalini Singh over on Hypable, where she discusses the power of paranormal romance. I am heading over now to give it a read.

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?

A couple of steps closer to Iron and Magic!

Alright, I might have a small confession to make. For some reason, I didn’t really think Hugh’s story would ever be a real thing. It started out as an April Fool’s Day joke from Ilona Andrews, but from there it sort of took on a life of its own – and now I am counting down the days until the release of Iron and Magic. What makes it more real is that it now has a cover…and a preorder link. And even better? It is the first book of The Iron Covenant trilogy. TRILOGY. As in two more to come! So, lo and behold Hugh and Elara…

iron and magicSynopsis…

Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh is a shadow of the warrior he was, but when he learns that the Iron Dogs, soldiers who would follow him anywhere, are being hunted down and murdered, he must make a choice: to fade away or to be the leader he was born to be. Hugh knows he must carve a new place for himself and his people, but they have no money, no shelter, and no food, and the necromancers are coming. Fast.

Elara Harper is a creature who should not exist. Her enemies call her Abomination; her people call her White Lady. Tasked with their protection, she’s trapped between the magical heavyweights about to collide and plunge the state of Kentucky into a war that humans have no power to stop. Desperate to shield her people and their simple way of life, she would accept help from the devil himself—and Hugh d’Ambray might qualify.

Hugh needs a base, Elara needs soldiers. Both are infamous for betraying their allies, so how can they create a believable alliance to meet the challenge of their enemies?

As the prophet says: “It is better to marry than to burn.”

Hugh and Elara may do both.

It wasn’t just me, right, who thought that this might never come to be? I mean, I had hopes (since Kate Daniels is wrapping up this year, I am grateful for anything set in this world), but I thought at best we might get a novella. But a trilogy? With Hugh? Count me so in.

What do you want to see happen in Hugh’s arc? Do you want a Kate-and-Curran appearance, or do you hope that their paths don’t cross? Either way, I look forward to seeing how Ilona Andrews manages to redeem Hugh – ’cause as much as I personally enjoyed his part in Kate’s story, that dude was seriously messed up.