Vote! Vote! Vote!

O.K. everyone, time to show Ilona Andrews some love – a couple of times. The final four voting is on at dabwaha, and both Burn for Me and Magic Breaks are up. When I picked the brackets at the beginning, since there were no Nalini Singh books to pick from, I had both of Ilona’s books as the final two. It could still happen.

If you have a moment, pleas vote HERE. Oh, and as a bribe, Ilona has upped a Twitter conversation between Kate and Curran. It involved laundry.

New Series Alerts…

Well, it was close for a while, but both Burn for Me and Magic Breaks advanced to the final four of the dabwaha contest, making my prediction of an all Ilona Andrews final a possibility. Not sure when the rest of the voting will start up, but I will be keeping an eye out.

On the subject of new series, there are a few to look forward to this week. Let’s start with the new one from Shelly Laurenston, Call of Crows. The first book is called The Unleashing, and I have been really trying to get into this one for a few weeks now, but I just can’t seem to make myself get interested in the story.

the unleashingSynopsis…

Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.

In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.

But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Shannon Mayer also fires up a new series this week with the release of Recurve, the first book of The Elemental Series.

recurveSynopsis…

I’ve been accused of attacking the queen, my wicked stepmother, and my life is suddenly on the line. I have only two options left to me: banishment, or training to become one of the King’s Elite Guards, an Ender.

Option one will kill me.
Option two is meant to break me, but is the only way to survive.

Did I mention I have no power like the rest of the elementals, and my connection to the earth is worth next to nothing?

Could things get any worse? Of course they can. Welcome to being an Elemental.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And this final one is a young adult release from Kady Cross. Sisters of Blood and Spirit is the first book in the series of the same name.

sisters of blood and spiritSynopsis…

Wren Noble is dead—she was born that way. Vibrant, unlike other dead things, she craves those rare moments when her twin sister allows her to step inside her body and experience the world of the living.

Lark Noble is alive but often feels she belongs in the muted Shadow Lands—the realm of the dead. Known as the crazy girl who talks to her dead sister, she doesn’t exactly fit in with the living, though a recent suicide attempt and time in a psych ward have proved to her she’s not ready to join her sister in the afterlife.

Now the guy who saved Lark’s life needs her to repay the favor. He and his friends have been marked for death by the malevolent spirit of a vicious and long-dead serial killer, and the twins—who should know better than to mess with the dead—may be their only hope of staying alive.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Which of these will you be trying out? I am a bit bummed by The Unleashing, but I am going to try and pick it up again in the next few days. Here’s hoping I was just too distracted the other times and I can actually give it a full read.

Time to Vote..

I am not sure how many of you follow the dabwaha book-thingy, but Ilona Andrews is part of the final eight competitors – twice. Magic Breaks has already made its way through to the final four, but if you are interested in showing your Ilona love Burn For Me voting is still open. Ditto for Meljean BrooksThe Kraken King.

So, if you have a couple of minutes, you can head over to the dabwaha site and vote.

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

As I keep an eye out for the White Hot cover from Ilona Andrews (which should be released soon), I came across a few others to highlight. Looks like shades of red is the theme of the day, starting with the next one from Jacquelyn Frank. Bound in Sin is part of the Immortal Brothers series, and it is due out on September 29th.

bound by sinAfter being chained to a star to burn endlessly as punishment for stealing immortality from the gods, Jaykun has been unshackled to wage war alongside his brothers. But his freedom comes with a price: Each night Jaykun must still suffer—his body burning from the inside out. One early morning, recovering from his torment, he encounters a beautiful stranger on the beach. Naked from her midnight-black hair to her sandy toes, she approaches him with starry-eyed innocence and the unmistakably full body of a woman.

Soon Jaykun is swept up with the force of a comet, his desire for this woman hotter than any sun. His brothers fear he is blinded by her radiant beauty, and that she has been sent by their enemies to seduce and destroy him. Jileana is indeed from another world—one Jaykun cannot begin to imagine. But will their passion burn brightly enough to light the way through the darkness that threatens to consume all in its path?

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second book in the Black Dragon series from Katie MacAlister will be called Dragon Storm, and it is due out on November 24th.

dragon stormAccording to some (including himself), Constantine is one of the greatest heroes of dragonkin who ever lived. Too bad he’s now lonelier than ever and his biggest adventure involves a blow-up sheep-until he has an opportunity to save his kind once again. All Constantine has to do is break into a demon’s dungeon, steal an ancient artifact, and reverse a deadly curse. The plan certainly does not involve rescuing a woman . . .

Bee isn’t sure whether to be infuriated or relieved when Constantine pops up in her prison. The broody, brawny shifter lights her fire in a way no one ever has before, yet how far can she really trust him? Their chemistry may be off the charts, but when push comes to shove, Constantine will have to make a crucial choice: to save the dragons or the woman he’s grown to love with fierce intensity.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Katie Reus will release a novella from her Moon Shifter series on May 19th called Protective Instinct.

protective instinctThe next book in the Dark Caravan Cycle series from Heather Demetrios will be called Blood Passage, and it is due out on October 6th.

blood passageA jinni who’s lost everything.

A master with nothing to lose.

A revolutionary with everything to gain.

When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek’s third and final wish she’s not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she’s in more danger than ever before.

Meanwhile, Malek’s past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what’s more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.

Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second instalment of the Dark Passage Cycle.

Purchase at Amazon.com

The odd man out from this batch is Down the Rabbit Hole, a novella collection featuring an Eve Dallas story from J.D. Robb. It has a release date of September 29th.

down the rabbit holeYou’re late for a very important date…

Enter a wonderland of mesmerizing tales. It’s a place that’s neither here nor there, where things are never quite as they seem. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s whimsical masterpiece, ranging from the impossible to the mad to the curiouser, these stories will have you absolutely off your head.

Don’t be afraid to follow them…Down the Rabbit Hole.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Updating…

Just a couple of quick notes for today. All of the new release pages have been updated to reflect current release dates, and as always there has been a bit of shifting around (and some have disappeared all together). If there was anything you had your heart set on, take a peek and see if things are still on schedule. Oh, and I finally got quite a few new titles added, as well, which was long overdue.

I also got the author pages updated during my last storm day, and there were a couple of little things that popped up…

  • Hidden Legacy #2 from Ilona Andrews now has a title! White Hot will be released on October 27th.
  • Kerrelyn Sparks has a new series in the works. Absolutely no clue about it, but details should follow soonish.
  • I had really thought that there would be another Vampire Academy/Bloodlines world series focused on Jill and Eddie, but it looks like I was wrong. Richelle Mead has said that The Ruby Circle was the end, which was a big surprise for me. But, she does have a third Age of X book in the works called The Eye of Andromeda, along with a YA fantasy stand-alone called Soundless which is due out on November 15th.
  • Not sure if I mentioned this before or not, but the next Mercy Thompson book by Patricia Briggs will be called Fire Touched. The downside? It is due out next March.

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.

2015…A Look Ahead

Well, we took a look back at the year that was, so now let’s check out what is ahead for 2015.

What new series are you most looking forward to?
  • For this one, I am going to have to go with The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. I love the Shadowhunter world, and the main character of Emma got a great start in City of Heavenly Fire.
Most anticipated new-to-me series for 2015?
  • Yep, I am going to do my damndest this year to tackle Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunter series. There are a few others that I plan on getting into, too, but this monster is my main goal. Wish me luck?
Highest hopes for a second book in a series?
  • This one was a no-brainer – the as yet untitled second Hidden Legacy book from Ilona Andrews. When the first book makes your best of the year list, you just know the second book will be awesome. It isn’t like Ilona has ever let me down yet, either.
Most anticipated series finale?
  • I am lucky to be able to say that there is only one series wrapping up for me this year, and I am ok with it winding down. It is the Bloodlines series from Richelle Mead. I think I am ok with it ending because I suspect that there will be another series featuring Jill and Eddie down the line.
Top 10 most anticipated books of 2015?
Reading goals for 2015?

I have several, actually. I want to read the Dark-Hunter books, which is a monster goal on its own. I also want to finally finish the last book in a few series that wrapped up recently. My reading goal is going to be to read 120 books this coming year, or 10 books per month. I figure it is more reasonable than the 150 I had planned for this year, anyways.

2014…A Year in Review

2014-Happy-New-Year-Free-HD-Picture-1As we head into another year, it is time to take a look back at what stood out in 2014. Most of my choices will surprise no one, since I have my favorites and I am not shy about going on, and on, and on about them, but it never hurts to give a shout out where it is due.

I am looking forward to seeing how my choices stack up with yours, too, and if there was any that I missed. For today, let’s just do the look back at 2014.

What was the best new series that started in 2014?
  • For me, hands down, it was Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews. I had high, high hopes, and it met every one. No one else even came close.
Best new-to-me series in 2014?
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld. Loving the Cainsville series made me start it, but I like it now in its own right.
What second book in a new series was as good or better than the first?
  • This one is a tie between Visions by Kelley Armstrong and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop. Sometimes the second book of a great series can be a bit of a let-down, but if anything I thought that these two both took things up a notch.
Best series finale?
  • As much as it sucks to say goodbye, a great finale is a bit of a consolation. My vote for best finale was City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, from her Mortal Instruments series. Loved that one, huge monster that it was. I like young adult, but it usually doesn’t rate as high as my adult books. This one did.
Most read author overall?
  • Mine was Kelley Armstrong, with 11 books (and still going). Ilona Andrews was next, since I re-read all of the Kate books for the character guide (and loved every minute of it).
Favorite authors of 2014?
  • Still the same – Ilona and Nalini. With Kelley Armstrong steadily moving up the list.
Best change of pace read?
  • I wasn’t going to do it, since I am not a huge New Adult fan, OR a fan of books where the main character is a famous musician (actor/athlete/model, etc), but because it was Nalini, I gave her new Rock Kiss series a try and liked it. Now, to be fair, I think my favorite part was the build up for book two featuring T-Rex and Charlie, but it still was a pleasant surprise.
Top 5 books of 2014?
What book did you find the biggest let-down in 2014?
  • I never thought Kresley Cole would ever, ever end up on the bad side of a list like this, but I found my biggest disappointment was Dark Skye. I didn’t find it was a terrible book, but it was just something I couldn’t get into. And after waiting years for the story, I went in planning an A+ read. It just didn’t happen. Runners up were The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost and Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison.
What author/series did you finally give up on, if any?
  • Mine was Lara Adrian. I was never a huge Midnight Breed fan (except for Darker After Midnight, which was epic), but I had even less interest in the new arc. I tried for years to make myself get more into them, but then I decided that it was time to let it go.

My reading goal was 150 books, and I fell quite a bit short of that. Like, way short. I also got way behind on the Character guides, which is a bit of a pain in the ass since I am now playing a major game of catch-up, but I have higher hopes for 2015. All in all, though, I can’t complain. There was a lot more good than bad, and even the bad might look better this time next year.

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?