January Wrap Up…

As the first month of the new year comes to a close, it is time to take a look back and see what we liked…and what we didn’t. I had a decent reading month, between favorites that I re-read and long awaited new additions to favorite series. That isn’t to say that there weren’t a few bumps in the road, though…

my life next doorMy Life Next Door – I have heard pretty much all great things about this one from Huntley Fitzpatrick, and since I was feeling like something a little different I thought I would give a young adult/new adult contemporary a try. It made me realize that I am just not a fan of the genre. I like young adult paranormal, sure, but the contemporary stuff bores me for the most part. The tensions always feel forced, for some reason, and that makes me frustrated. I have tried to like them, especially since some favorite authors of mine have or are publishing series in this genre, but it is a no go. Gena Showalter, you are on your own with your new series. I will be taking a pass.

you slay meAisling Grey: Guardian – I started off the year reading the first three books in the series by Katie MacAlister. They weren’t bad, they were entertaining and a fast, fun read, but I didn’t get invested enough in the world to keep on. Katie MacAlister was on the list of new-to-me authors that I wanted to try, and maybe I will give another series a shot down the road. As for now, though, I won’t be picking up any more for a while.

hungry like the wolfHungry Like the Wolf – This new one for Paige Tyler has been quite well received, and most of the reviews I have read have been positive. I was really looking forward to it…and then it happened. My absolute least favorite trope is the intrepid female reporter character. Or, I should say, the completely human intrepid female reporter who sticks her nose into supernatural business and ends up needing rescuing over and over and over again, a la Lois Lane. Completely drives me nuts. Turns out the main character of Hungry Like the Wolf is, you guessed it, Lois Lane lite. I have been trying to get through it, but three weeks in and I haven’t hit the half way point. Slow going.

bound by flamesBound by Flames – The latest Vlad and Leila book by Jeaniene Frost was, um, not bad. Not great, but not bad. Even though a lot goes on, and there is some decent action, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this one felt like a filler book. I liked it enough while I was reading, but I could put it down for a day or more and not need to read more. I guess it just didn’t quite grab me.

I already rambled on about Viper Game and Burned, which were the highlights of my month, so how did your reading shape up? Anything you loved, loathed, or wished had just plain been better?

Bound by Flames Giveaway Winner…

winner bannerOnce again, I blanked out and forgot to put a cut-off to enter the giveaway, so I figure now is as good a time as any, since there haven’t been any new entrants since yesterday. There were 34 who signed up for a chance to win a copy of the third Night Prince book by Jeaniene Frost, Bound by Flames. The randomly chosen winner (through Random.org) was number 16…

Shelly L. Meadows

RANDOM.ORG_-_True_Random_Number_Service_-_2015-01-07_15.42.04Congratulations, Shelly. I will be contacting you shortly for your info.

2015’s First Book of the Month and Giveaway…

giveaway bannerFirst off, Happy New Years to everyone. I have had a crazy December work wise, so hopefully I can get back to some posting routine now that the insanity is kaput for another year.

I have to admit, I was a bit surprised that Jeaniene Frost‘s Bound by Flames was chosen as January’s first book of the month. It isn’t because I don’t love Vlad as much as the next girl, but I figured that more might lean towards Burned or Viper Game, since it has been so very, very long since the last book for both of those series. But if you are interested in winning a print copy of Burned by Flames when it is released on January 27th, just leave a note in the comments section. Winner to be chosen at random, contest open to all. Good luck!

bound by flamesSynopsis…

Play with fire, pay the price.

Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

Purchase at Amazon.com

–Night Prince reading list HERE

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.

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?

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

There really hasn’t been anything going on in the book world, lately, or if there has been, I just haven’t noticed. The most exciting thing I came across was the news from Jeaniene Frost that there would be a fourth Vlad and Layla Night Prince book, rather than ending at three this January with the release of Bound by Flames. Nice…and I still want Ian.

On the cover front, there hasn’t been much excitement, either. I did manage to dig up five relatively new ones to take a peek at, though, starting with the next one from Charlaine Harris. Day Shift is the second book in her Midnight, Texas series, and it is due out on May 5th.

day shiftPurchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Fury of Obsession by Coreene Callahan, which has a release date of February 24th.

fury of obsessionPurchase at Amazon.com

Paige Tyler‘s X-Ops series continues with the release of Her Wild Hero on May 5th.

her wild heroPurchase at Amazon.com

This next one is from Kathleen Collins and her Realm Walker series. Blood Slave is due out on January 28th.

blood slaveAnd the final one for today is the from the new young adult series from Julie Kagawa. Rogue is the second book of the Talon series, and it is due out on April 28th.

roguePurchase at Amazon.com

So, feeling the love for any of these? I for the life of me can’t remember if I read the last Dragonfury book – my list says yes, but my memory says no. Strange. Also, not sure about the Rogue cover. Hopefully it is one of those that look better in person, because it wouldn’t make me pick it up from the shelf at all. And what do you think about a fourth Night Prince book? Were you like me, happy but quietly whimpering “but, but…Ian?” under your breath?

New Series Alerts…

As another Monday rolls around, we take a look at the new series starting up this week. Jeaniene Frost‘s new Broken Destiny series gets its start with the release of The Beautiful Ashes.

the beautiful ashesSynopsis…

In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second new series is from Alexandra Adornetto. Ghost House is the first book of the Ghost House Saga.

ghost houseSynopsis…

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And finally, we have the prequel novella from Claire Legrand‘s new young adult series called Winterspell. Summerfall is available in e-format only.

summerfallSynopsis…

Rinka is a faery, passionate and powerful, determined to maintain the tenuous peace between faeries and humans.

Alban Somerhart is a human, a reluctant king trapped in an arranged marriage, desperate to prevent war.

Their love could save the kingdom of Cane . . . or shatter it forever.

In this captivating novella, prequel to the upcoming Winterspell, Claire Legrand weaves a story of magic, political intrigue, and forbidden love that sets the stage for the rise of a wicked queen and the journey of a human girl named Clara . . .

Purchase at Amazon.com

Of course, the biggie for this week is The Beautiful Ashes. I have been trying to remain spoiler-free, so my browsing of reviews has been limited, but I am interested in seeing what everyone thinks of this. You just know the comparisons to the Night Huntress books are inevitable, but I hope it stands well on its own.

 

August’s Book of the Month Giveaway…

giveaway bannerThere was another landslide victory this month, even though there were some great books to choose from. Jeaniene Frost‘s The Beautiful Ashes, Kelley Armstrong‘s Visions, and Lara Adrian‘s last traditionally published Midnight Breed book are all heading our way, but August belongs to Kresley Cole and Dark Skye.

If you are interested in winning a hardcover copy when it is released on August 5th, just leave a comment in the section below.

Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s end this Sunday night at midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

dark skyeSynopsis…

Eternal Obsession

As a boy, Thronos, Lord of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

Endless Yearning

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

Can the heat of desire burn brighter than vengeance?

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

 

A New Take on an Old Favorite…

For something a little different, if you wander over to Jeaniene Frost‘s blog, you can read an alternate version of the middle of Destined For an Early Grave. It seems that there was originally a very different direction planned for the middle section of the book, covering about 30,000  words, and Jeaniene will be posting it over the course of four weeks.

I really enjoyed this first part…it was a nice look back at characters we haven’t seen for a while (or at least it feels like it has been forever), and I liked the different storyline. Warning, though…it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. You can read the first part HERE.

Cover Blurby Goodness…

I have been doing some updating, and I thought I would share a couple of the blurbs that I came across from some much anticipated upcoming books.

the shadowsSince the last post was the cover reveal for J.R. Ward‘s The Shadows, let’s start with that blurb. PhoenixFyre was kind enough to send a copy of it over from where she found it on Ward’s Facebook page…

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…

vision in silverUp next is another blurb from a newly released cover – Anne Bishop‘s Vision in Silver…

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

bound by flamesThe final book of Jeaniene Frost‘s Night Prince series, Bound by Flames, sounds like it is going to be intense…

Play with fire, pay the price.

Leila’s years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn’t learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin…

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn’t like Vlad to feel fear, but he does…for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad’s greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad’s love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both…

And wrapping up this little batch is Christine Feehan‘s long (LOOOONG) awaited Ghostwalker book, Viper Game. I had wondered if Wyatt would end up with the girl he helped rescue in Gator’s book, Joy, but it doesn’t sound that way…

GhostWalker Wyatt Fontenot knows the price he paid for the secret military experiments that gave him his special catlike abilities. After all, he left his home a healer and came back a killer. While Wyatt and his GhostWalker brother Gator may have known exactly the sort of game they were getting into, Wyatt never anticipated where it would lead – or to whom.

The swamps hold many mysteries, but few are as sinuously seductive as Le Poivre de Cayenne. The woman the locals call Pepper is every bit as enigmatic as the three little girls she’s desperately trying to protect. From what, Wyatt is soon to discover. Right now Pepper needs a man like Wyatt. Passionately. But her secrets are about to take them both deeper into the bayou than either imagined-where desire is the deadliest poison of all.

As nerdy as it sounds, I love to get the official blurb. Even though you have a good idea what direction the story might go in, reading that little synopsis always gets me more excited for the book.