This and That

sharpest stingI am still working my way through Patricia Briggs‘ Mercy Thompson world, and I find myself getting way behind on all of the other character guides because I am on a roll with Mercy and I don’t want to take a break. So, please ignore that everything looks unfinished – I will get there at some point. Most likely.

Anyways, as I am doing a quick update of things, I thought I might as well list a few of the things I found here.

  • Alyssa Day‘s next Tiger’s Eye Mystery, Eye of Danger, has been pushed back. Originally, it was due out in March, I think, then early July, then end of July, and now it is listed as an August 29th release.
  • Chloe Neill has sold the next two books of her Heirs of Chicagoland series, which is great news. If you are interested, she has posted the first chapter of the next book, Wicked Hour. You can find it HERE.
  • Not trying to sound bitchy, but I have been hunting for info on upcoming Kresley Cole releases with no luck. Has anyone else heard anything about Munro? Her last Facebook post was in February, and her website doesn’t have any new info, either. Goodreads still lists it as just 2019.
  • Jeaniene Frost has made available the prologue and first three chapters of her next Ian and Veritas book, Wicked Bite. You can find it HERE.
  • Jennifer Estep will release her 18th Elemental Assassin book on October 8th. It will be called Sharpest Sting

That’s about it for today. Do you have any info to share? Any updates or tidbits?

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Cover Lover – 6 New Titles

It has been a while since I did a cover lover post, but since I rounded up a few I thought it was time. This first one is from Chloe Neill. The Beyond is the fourth and final book in the Devil’s Isle series, and it will be released next June.

The BeyondSynopsis…

Sensitive Claire Connolly must journey to another world in the electrifying fourth installment of Chloe Neill’s post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series.

It’s been a year since the Veil between the human world and the world Beyond was torn apart, and war began again. Sensitive Claire Connolly and bounty hunter Liam Quinn have been helping their human and paranormal allies fight back against the ravaging invaders and save what’s left of New Orleans.

But a new enemy has arisen, more powerful than any they’ve seen before, and even Devil’s Isle cannot hold her. . .

When Claire learns of a new magical weapon–one built by paranormals themselves -she knows it could turn the tide of war. But to reach it, she and Liam will have to cross into the Beyond itself. In a world full of hostile magic and dangerous foes, she’ll have to channel the powers she once kept hidden in order to survive. New Orleans hangs in the balance, and the storm is growing closer…

The second book of Jennifer Estep‘s Crown of Shards series will be called Protect the Prince, and it will be released on July 2nd.

protect the prince.jpgSynopsis…

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

Also from Jennifer Estep is Spartan Promise. It is the second book of her Mythos Academy: Colorado series, and it will be out sometime next year.

spartan promise.jpgSynopsis…

Hunting for the bad guys has never been so dangerous . . .

My name is Rory Forseti, and I attend the Colorado branch of Mythos Academy, a school of warrior kids, powerful artifacts, and mythological monsters.

I’m a student, a fierce Spartan warrior, and a member of Team Midgard, a group of kids and adults tasked with stopping the evil Reapers of Chaos. There is one Reaper I’m determined to hunt down above all others: Covington, the man who murdered my parents.

So when the Midgard gets a tip that Covington is going to try to steal a dangerous artifact, I’m ready to fight. But the situation is far more complicated than it seems, and the Reapers aren’t my only enemies.

I’ll have to use all my Spartan strength and skills to survive this. And even then, it might be my blood that gets spilled…

Lisa Shearin continues her SPI Files series with the release of The Phoenix Illusion. It has a release date of November 6th.

the phoenix illusionSynopsis…

The agents of Supernatural Protection & Investigation (SPI) are used to dealing with the weird and the wacky, but even they are stunned when a building from another world suddenly appears on an empty lot in New York. . .

I’m Makenna Fraser, seer for SPI, and it’s just my luck that my birthday party is literally crashed by a building from another planet. And it’s not just any building—it’s my goblin boyfriend’s house from his home world. SPI’s mission, to keep the public clueless about the supernatural, has us scrambling to find who did this and why, not to mention how.

The deeper we dig, the more we realize this incident is the opening gambit to a much larger event. Old enemies have combined forces with an even older nemesis to develop the means to kidnap an entire building and everyone in it. But who, or what, is their ultimate target? Finding out and getting to the mark before they do will require all hands on deck, including some extraterrestrial help from the goblin home world. We’re running out of time, and if we can’t get our act together, we’ll have front-row seats for the end of the world as we know it.

That Ain’t Witchcraft is the 8th book in Seanan McGuire‘s InCryptid series, and it will be released on March 5th.

that ain't witchcraftSynopsis…

Crossroads, noun:

1. A place where two roads cross.
2. A place where bargains can be made.
3. See also “places to avoid.”

Antimony Price has never done well without a support system. As the youngest of her generation, she has always been able to depend on her parents, siblings, and cousins to help her out when she’s in a pinch—until now. After fleeing from the Covenant of St. George, she’s found herself in debt to the crossroads and running for her life. No family. No mice. No way out.

Lucky for her, she’s always been resourceful, and she’s been gathering allies as she travels: Sam, fūri trapeze artist turned boyfriend; Cylia, jink roller derby captain and designated driver; Fern, sylph friend, confidant, and maker of breakfasts; even Mary, ghost babysitter to the Price family. Annie’s actually starting to feel like they might be able to figure things out—which is probably why things start going wrong again.

New Gravesend, Maine is a nice place to raise a family…or make a binding contract with the crossroads. For James Smith, whose best friend disappeared when she tried to do precisely that, it’s also an excellent place to plot revenge. Now the crossroads want him dead and they want Annie to do the dirty deed. She owes them, after all.

And that’s before Leonard Cunningham, aka, “the next leader of the Covenant,” shows up…

It’s going to take everything Annie has and a little bit more to get out of this one. If she succeeds, she gets to go home. If she fails, she becomes one more cautionary tale about the dangers of bargaining with the crossroads.

But no pressure.

This final cover comes from Keri Arthur‘s Lizzie Grace series. The fourth book will be called Demon’s Dance, and it will be released next February.

Demon's Dance

Seasons of Sorcery

Back in the day, I used to look forward to a good anthology. I haven’t picked one up in a while, but I will be checking out Seasons of Sorcery when it comes out. Featuring stories from Jeffe Kennedy, Jennifer Estep, Grace Draven and Amanda Bouchet, it has a release date of November 13th.

41960984Synopsis…

WINTER’S WEB BY JENNIFER ESTEP
An assassin at a renaissance faire. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, if you’re Gin Blanco. This Spider is trapped in someone else’s icy web—and it seems like they don’t want her to leave the faire alive . . .

A CURSE FOR SPRING BY AMANDA BOUCHET

A malevolent spell strangles the kingdom of Leathen in catastrophic drought. Prince Daric must break the curse before his people starve. A once-mighty goddess trapped in a human body might be the key—but saving his kingdom could mean losing all that he loves.

THE DRAGONS OF SUMMER BY JEFFE KENNEDY

As unofficial consort to the High Queen, former mercenary Harlan Konyngrr faces a challenge worse than looming war and fearsome dragons. His long-held secrets threaten what he loves most—and he must make a choice between vows to two women.

A WILDERNESS OF GLASS BY GRACE DRAVEN

The stretch of sea known as The Gray rules the lives of those in the village of Ancilar, including widow Brida Gazi. In the aftermath of an autumn storm, Brida discovers one of the sea’s secrets cast onto the shore—a discovery that will change her world, mend her soul, and put her in the greatest danger she’s ever faced.

Are you a fan of a good anthology? The last one I picked up was Amid the Winter Snow, which was a winner, so hopefully this one will follow suit.

New Series Alerts

First off, just a quick note to say that I have gotten The Breeds character guide updated to include the info from the latest release, Cross Breed. I still have a few more to get caught up on, but it is chugging along.

Now onto the new series starting up this week. Jennifer Estep debuts Kill the Queen this week, which is the first book of the Crown of Shards series.

kill the queenSynopsis…

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Charlaine Harris also has a newbie this week. An Easy Death is the first book of the Gunny Rose series.

an easy deathSynopsis…

From the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and the inspiration behind HBO’s True Blood, comes an electrifying new thriller centered on a young gunslinging mercenary, Lizbeth Rose.

Set in a fractured United States, in the southwestern country now known as Texoma, this is a world where magic is acknowledged but mistrusted. Battered by a run across the border to Mexico, gunslinger Lizbeth Rose takes a job offer from a pair of Russian wizards.

She may be young, but Gunnie Rose has acquired a fearsome reputation and the wizards are at a desperate crossroads, even if they won’t admit it. They’re searching frantically to locate the only man whose blood they believe can save their tsar’s life.

As the trio journey through an altered America, they’re set upon by enemies. It’s clear that a powerful force does not want them to succeed in their mission. Lizbeth Rose is a gunnie who has never failed a client, but her oath will test all of her skills and resolve to get them all out alive.

The Dark Tower meets True Blood in this gritty and wildly entertaining tale of Gunnie Rose. A woman fighting unimaginable odds to keep her people alive after the disintegration of America, this is a surefire hit for fans of The Walking Dead or Westworld.

And on October 4th, L.E. Wilson will release Fire of the Dreki, which is the first book of The Sergones Coven series.

40869973Synopsis…

The beast is awake, and it burns for its mate.

Kohl Sergones knows there’s no place for a woman around a creature like him—half vampire, half dragon, and the only one of his kind. Taken in by a coven of vampires who make their home in the underground caverns of central Texas, he stays alive by keeping his head down while he fights to keep his volatile shifter side at bay. But that all goes to hell the night Kohl sees Devon dancing alone at The Caves. Her tawny skin begs for his touch, and her sweet scent ignites a blood lust he can’t control.

Devon Young never thought she would find herself on the witness stand of a notorious court case concerning her employer, Parasupe—a company created by the government to regulate supernatural creatures. Her testimony puts her boss in jail and makes Devon the target of malicious internet bullying. Forced to put that life behind her, she gives up her high paying job and relocates, determined to stay under the radar. Until the night she meets a sexy bartender whose tattooed appearance is in direct contrast to the sweet warmth of his brown eyes. The attraction is immediate and intense, and his hungry touch kindles a fire in her she thought was long dead.

Bringing Devon into his world will expose his coven, and put Devon in even more danger. If the beast inside of him doesn’t kill her, the coven master will.

But that isn’t enough to keep him away.

I am going to keep an eye on Fire of the Dreki and see how the reviews are. I have been having some really good luck with my unplanned purchases lately, and this might be the next one. How about you?

This and That

I have been doing my usual cruise through of my “sources”, but for a while there wasn’t a ton of new info coming out to share. I did find a couple of little tidbits, so here goes…

  • the next book of Anne Bishop‘s The Others series now has a title. Book number seven will be called Wild Country, and it will be released next March. This one will be set in Bennett.
  • Shelly Laurenston‘s second Honey Badger Chronicles book will be called In a Badger Way, and it will be out on March 26th.
  • Yes, the In Death series continues. J.R. Robb‘s 48th Eve and Roarke story will be called Connections in Death, and it has a release date of February 5th.
  • Even though the first book of Jennifer Estep‘s new Crown of Shards hasn’t been released yet, there is already info on the second. Protect the Prince will be a May 15th release.
  • Lara Adrian also has more in store for us. Hour of Darkness is the second book of her Hunter Legacy series, and it is just showing as “coming summer 2018”. Midnight Breed #16 will be called Break the Day, and it will be released this winter.
  • I stumbled across quite a bit of Christine Feehan news, too. She has quite the full schedule, and love her or not she is not an author to not deliver on time. Vengeance Road (January 29th) will be Steele’s story. The next Ghostwalker’s story will be called Toxic Game (March 19th), and it will feature Draden and Shylah. September 3rd of next year will see the release of Dark Illusion (Dark Series), and it will be followed by Leopard’s Wrath (Leopard People) in November.
  • When Alyssa Day said she was going to write one story a month for her Poseidon’s Warriors series, I had my doubts (which sounds awful, but it’s true), but I really hoped she could pull it off. January in Atlantis came out on schedule, but February in Atlantis got pushed back to the middle of March. March, April, and May’s books were pushed back several time and don’t have set release dates as of right now, so I have pulled them off of the New Release pages. I will keep an eye out for them and try to add them as they become available, though.
  • And this last one is pure speculation on my part, but I am getting a weird feeling about Kresley Cole‘s next IAD book. Well, about its release date, I should say. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I am getting the vibe that Shadow’s Kiss might be delayed. Goodreads and the publisher both still show it as having a November release date, but Amazon’s listing for it is a bit wonky. That usually happens when the date is up in the air. Again, it is just a feeling I have, and I hope I am wrong. It has already had a pushback or two, and it will be over a year and a half since the last IAD book. As much as my love for this series has cooled, I still hope things stay on track.

There you have it. Anything to add? Any news (good or bad) to share?

Cover Lover – 9 New Titles

It seems like it has been forever since I have done a cover lover post, and I have a few new ones to show. Let’s start with Of Blood and Bone from Nora Roberts. It is the second book in the Chronicles of the One series, and it will be out on December 18th.

of blood and boneSynopsis…

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

The next October Daye book from Seanan McGuire will be called Night and Silence, and it will be released on September 4th.

night and silenceSynopsis…

Things are not okay.

In the aftermath of Amandine’s latest betrayal, October “Toby” Daye’s fragile self-made family is on the verge of coming apart at the seams. Jazz can’t sleep, Sylvester doesn’t want to see her, and worst of all, Tybalt has withdrawn from her entirely, retreating into the Court of Cats as he tries to recover from his abduction. Toby is floundering, unable to help the people she loves most heal. She needs a distraction. She needs a quest.

What she doesn’t need is the abduction of her estranged human daughter, Gillian. What she doesn’t need is to be accused of kidnapping her own child by her ex-boyfriend and his new wife, who seems to be harboring secrets of her own. There’s no question of whether she’ll take the case. The only question is whether she’s emotionally prepared to survive it.

Signs of Faerie’s involvement are everywhere, and it’s going to take all Toby’s nerve and all her allies to get her through this web of old secrets, older hatreds, and new deceits. If she can’t find Gillian before time runs out, her own child will pay the price. One question remains:

Who in Faerie remembered Gillian existed? And what do they stand to gain? No matter how this ends, Toby’s life will never be the same.

This third one comes from Ashlyn Chase. More Than a Phoenix is part of her Phoenix Brothers series, and it will be released on October 2nd.

more than a phoenix

Jennifer Estep is branching out. She will be starting up her new Crown of Shards series with the release of the first book, Kill the Queen, on October 2nd.

kill the queenSynopsis…

Gladiator meets Game of Thrones: a royal woman becomes a skilled warrior to destroy her murderous cousin, avenge her family, and save her kingdom in this first entry in a dazzling fantasy epic from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Elemental Assassin series—an enthralling tale that combines magic, murder, intrigue, adventure, and a hint of romance.

In a realm where one’s magical power determines one’s worth, Lady Everleigh’s lack of obvious ability relegates her to the shadows of the royal court of Bellona, a kingdom steeped in gladiator tradition. Seventeenth in line for the throne, Evie is nothing more than a ceremonial fixture, overlooked and mostly forgotten.

But dark forces are at work inside the palace. When her cousin Vasilia, the crown princess, assassinates her mother the queen and takes the throne by force, Evie is also attacked, along with the rest of the royal family. Luckily for Evie, her secret immunity to magic helps her escape the massacre.

Forced into hiding to survive, she falls in with a gladiator troupe. Though they use their talents to entertain and amuse the masses, the gladiators are actually highly trained warriors skilled in the art of war, especially Lucas Sullivan, a powerful magier with secrets of his own. Uncertain of her future—or if she even has one—Evie begins training with the troupe until she can decide her next move.

But as the bloodthirsty Vasilia exerts her power, pushing Bellona to the brink of war, Evie’s fate becomes clear: she must become a fearsome gladiator herself . . . and kill the queen.

Next up is Aliens Like Us, the 17th book of Gini Koch‘s Katherine “Kitty” Katt series. It has a release date of February 5th.

aliens like usSynopsis…

Katherine “Kitty” Katt faces off against aliens, conspiracies, and deadly secrets in the seventeenth novel in the Alien series, where sci-fi action meets steamy paranormal romance.

When a call for help from an unknown entity comes to Kitty, she figures it’s just business as usual for her life. Only the call isn’t from someone in her own universe but from one of the many others, where her life is even more different than the one she discovered in Bizarro World. And, this time, it’s not just Kitty who changes universes.

The fate of the multiverse is now resting on Kitty and company’s shoulders, but they may not be able to save it alone–and the help Kitty’s come to rely on may not be able to intervene, assist, or even show up to watch.

Or, as the multiverse calls it: Game On.

And Sarah Fine will also start up a new series soon. The Serpent is the first book of the Immortal Dealers, and it will be released this July 24th.

37647550Synopsis…

Ernestine “Ernie” Terwilliger has put her dreams aside to look after her eccentric mother. Case in point: saving her from a mysterious stranger who’s just stormed the terrified woman’s antique store wearing a rattlesnake tattoo, leveling threats, and brandishing the weirdest deck of cards Ernie’s ever seen.

When Ernie grabs some of the cards and runs, she’s launched into a world she never knew existed—one her mother may know more about than she’s revealing. With a handful of stolen cards, Ernie has just been made an unwilling player in a game of good versus evil. But she’s not even playing with a full deck, and its original owner is more than happy to kill to get his cards back.

Suddenly Ernie’s matching wits and plays with the supernatural Immortal Dealers, who can raise empires, damn souls, and shape the world’s destiny. It’s up to Ernie to defeat the most brutal member of their order. And if her roguish new ally isn’t bluffing, he can help. The mystery is all in the cards, and to save her life—and humanity—Ernie had better learn how to deal.

Lipstick Voodoo is the title of the second Kincaid Strange book from Kristi Charish, and it will be available on January 8th.

32203755Synopsis…

Kincaid Strange cannot catch a break. After dealing with a spate of paranormal murders, there’s barely time to recuperate–let alone sleep in–before there’s a new problem in Kincaid’s world of paranormal activity.

When her roommate, Nathan Cade–the ghost of a grunge-rocker with a pathological lack of self-control–comes home bound to a dead body, it’s up to Kincaid to figure out how to free him. Ideally before her new mentor, Gideon, a powerful sorcerer’s ghost, discovers that Nate is trapped in the body he’d coveted for himself.

It looks like Cheryl Brooks will be doing a spin off of her Cat Star Chronicles. The first book of the Cat Star Legacy series will be called Maverick, and it should be out on September 4th.

51ySXlkKRALSynopsis…

Zetithians are back. And they’re hotter than ever…
Having the Zetithian feline gene gives Larry Tshevnoe awesome beauty, fearsome strength, sensuality and sexual prowess unmatched by any other males in the universe. But it can make the quest for true love…complicated.

Enter childhood friend and fellow Zetithian Althea Banadänsk. Her empathic powers make her the only one who can show Larry what he truly desires, and she’ll do anything to help…even if that means hiding her desperate craving for him.

But when a distress call sends them off course—and into danger—they find more than their hearts are at stake. Now it’s up to them to become the champions of truth and justice throughout the galaxy…or risk losing it all.

And finally, this last one comes from Terry Spear. A Billionaire Wolf for Christmas is part of her Billionaire Wolf series, and it will be released on October 2nd.

51VKyIu5vRL.jpg

So, there you have it. Anything you are looking forward to? If you were just going by the cover alone, would any of these make you want to read them?

 

Reading Wrap Up – The Purge Edition

Is-It-Time-To-Say-Goodbye-300x261Usually when I do a reading wrap up post, I blather on about all of the things I have read in the last couple of weeks, mostly so I can look back and get a refresher of my thoughts on the books. But for something different this time, I thought I might share what I have decided to purge from my Kindle in a recent unhaul. When I exclusively read print books, I got pretty good at culling Mount TBR down to the bare essentials. I figured it was time to be just as ruthless with the e-books, too.

I tried. I mean I really tried to get into Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series. It ticked all of the boxes of what I would usually love, but I just couldn’t connect with it. Well, I connected with part of it – like most of the supporting characters – but that was about it. I wasn’t a fan of Gin, and the constant repetition of details so prevalent in the early books (eye color, anyone?) colored my judgment of the whole series. So, to that end, I did a delete of the first 10 Elemental Assassin books and a couple of novellas, too. I am still toying with trying out her upcoming Kill the Queen, but I guess we will have to see.

I also dropped the couple of Lindsay J. Pryor books I had. I did give them a decent try, but once again it is just a matter of something that everyone else seems to love not working for me. I DNF’d both the first and second books of Blackthorn series at the 50% mark, and I really had to give my head a shake when I found myself over on Amazon ready to 1-click the third. Sometimes you just have to give up and move on.

And I finally pulled the plug on the last of my young adult books, too. Jennifer L. Armentrout has long been a favorite of mine, but I found that my interest in keeping up with her later books had waned. As much as I liked the Lux, Titan and Sentinel books, I am Ok with moving on. The same goes for The Royals series by Erin Watt. I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed the first four books – I devoured them one after the other over the course of a couple of days – but I don’t have any interest in picking up the next one, either.

Outlander from Diana Gabaldon and A Game of Thrones from George R. R. Martin also got deleted. I knew I was never going to get to them, so I decided to let them go. A couple of Sarah J. Maas books didn’t make the cut, either – I don’t usually have a lot of luck with paranormal stories that have a historical feel, no matter how good they are. I think it was like the fourth time I had bought them, but who’s counting?

So, that is my reading wrap up un-haul. Have you purged anything lately? Given up on any series – either ones you used to really like, or couldn’t get into no matter how hard you tried?

Covers and Blurbs and all that Stuff…Part 2

Yep, just like the title says, this is a continuation of yesterday’s post. Let’s jump right in with the next Elemental Assassin release from Jennifer Estep. Venom in The Veins is the 17th title in the series (and I believe the first to be self-pubbed), and it will be released on June 12th.

venom in the veinsBlood might be thicker than water, but venom is stronger than just about anything …

It was supposed to be a nice, quiet, simple dinner with friends—but nothing is ever nice, quiet, or simple when you’re Gin Blanco, the Spider, notorious assassin and current queen of the Ashland underworld.

This time around, someone seems to be targeting Stuart Mosley, the president of First Trust bank. Lots of people have grudges against Mosley, but the more I investigate, the more Mosley’s problems seem to be connected to some of my own, especially when it comes to the Circle, the evil, shadowy group that is secretly responsible for much of the crime and corruption in Ashland.

But when another blast from my dark and deadly past as the Spider comes to light, I wonder if I’ll be able to survive this dangerous new enemy, who has a burning thirst for revenge that will only be satisfied with one thing: my death.

I am quite looking forward to this next one. A Wolf Apart is the second title in Maria Vale‘s new The Legend of All Wolves series, and it will be out on August 7th.

a wolf apartWhen the Great North Pack is on the verge of falling apart, Pack wolf Elijah Sorensson wants to give up on his successful life in the human world to return home. But the Alpha says no–Elijah must continue to play his role to protect the Pack from those who want to destroy it.

Knowing he needs strength by his side, he seeks out human Thea Villalobos, a woman he’s admired from the moment he met her. He hopes she can help him break through his human shell before the ailing wolf inside him dies, and before the Pack is betrayed again. But can Thea accept who and what Elijah really is?

Kelly Meding has a new series firing up, too. Stray Magic is the first title in The Strays series, and it will be out on June 19th.

stray magicShiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

It has been a while since I have seen anything from Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files, but it looks like the dry spell is ending soon. Brief Cases is a collection of novellas, and it will be released on June 5th.

brief casesThe world of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue–and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you’ll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.

From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published “Zoo Day,” Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.

With twelve stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry’s funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.

Another novella comes our way from Gail Carriger, as well. How to Marry a Werewolf is from the Claw & Courtship series, and it has a release date of May 13th.

how to marry a werewolfGuilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

WEREWOLVES

The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge.

But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

AMERICANS

Backward heathens with no culture, Major Channing has never had time for any of them. But there’s something special about Faith. Channing finds himself fighting to prove himself and defend his species. But this werewolf has good reason not to trust human women.

Even if they learn to love, can either of them forgive?

Cecilia Lane has a new Shifters of Bear’s Den book due soon, as well. Runaway Mate will be released on May 9th.

runaway mateA bear prowling the edge of danger.
Gray Jennings has a problem. One that could get him put down by his alpha. It started when a rogue military commander laid siege to the town of Bearden and months later, Gray is still shifting in his sleep. His lack of control marks him as a hazard to both humans and other shifters.

He’s being watched.

He knows the danger he poses.

So when rich girl Meghan Wilcox comes to town, he vows to stay far away. The last thing Gray needs is a distraction. Even if Meghan’s curves and fragile beauty bring out his protective nature.

But the girl’s got a secret and worse, her sweet scent stirs his angry bear.

A girl hiding from her enemies.
Meghan’s on the run, hiding from a vengeful ex-fiance after she dumped him at the altar. He’s humiliated and hunting for her, intent on payback. Out of sheer desperation she seeks safety in the small town of Bearden. Tucked away in a secret cabin, Meghan feels the glimmers of hope. Finally. But a new threat soon arrives in the shape of a terrifying shifter.

A bear who has shifted in his sleep. Gray Jennings.

Meghan gentles him and they form a tentative truce. A bond links her to the formidable shifter, but he’s savage and unpredictable. Has she traded one danger for another?

Meghan’s past won’t stay quiet. Just when her heart is on the edge of loving this untamed shifter, danger looms, threatening all she holds dear. The only one who can save her is the wild and feral bear.

Gray Jennings…

There isn’t long to wait for the next Vampires in America book from D.B. Reynolds. Quinn is the 12th title in the series, and it will be out on April 27th.

quinnBrilliant and ambitious, Quinn Kavanagh was aiming for the top, even before he was turned. But now, as a powerful vampire lord, he’s driven by the demands of his blood, compelled to conquer and destroy, to defeat Ireland’s criminal ruler, and make the territory a better place for all its vampires and humans alike.

Smart and beautiful, Eve Connelly was a graduate student with life’s endless possibilities stretched out before her. She knew nothing of vampires and didn’t care . . . until she watched two of them murder her beloved brother. Now she’s driven, too. But she doesn’t want to help Ireland’s vampires—she just wants to kill them.

Bound together by love and hate, Quinn and Eve will risk everything to bring down the bloody regime of Ireland’s current vampire ruler. But in order to find revenge for Eve and the ultimate power for Quinn, they first have to learn to trust each other. And that might be the most dangerous thing of all.

And this final one is from Elizabeth Hunter. The Storm is actually a stand-alone re-release of the Irin Chronicles story that was first published in the Amid the Winter Snow anthology. Look for it on April 17th.

the stormOn the darkest night of winter, can he bring light to her wounded heart?

Scarred by loss, Irina warrior Renata has held the world at a distance. Fighting the Grigori and protecting humanity are her goals, but her heart remains frozen to the bonds of family and love. Only one scribe, Maxim of Riga, has managed to see through Renata’s armor.

On the darkest night of winter, in the halls of her ancestral home, Renata is forced to face her past. Can a fierce storm and a stubborn scribe coax her back to life, or will she retreat into duty forever?

Newly republished as a stand-alone with bonus novella Song for the the Dying.

When a letter arrives from a remote scribe house in Latvia, Leo and Max must return to their childhood home to face the father and grandfather who raised them. The past is inescapable, but can it be overcome? Is it possible to build a future of happiness from a foundation of pain?

There you have it. That wraps up some of the new stuff I stumbled across recently. What are you most looking forward to?

Reading Wrap Up

widow's webMy reading wrap ups usually follow the “I read this and I thought this what about you?” trend, but this time it is more a series specific post. The last couple of weeks, I have been doggedly reading Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series – and I still can’t tell you how I feel about it. Weird.

I think the thing is, I want to like it more than I do. Or, more specifically, I really like parts of it, but others I just can’t warm up to. I have already covered the repetition that annoyed me so much at the beginning – describing the same thing (eye color, weapons arrangement, etc.) over and over in the same book made my OCD twitchy. That has mostly been worked out, or at least I have moved on from it, but other things are starting to make me nitpick. Phrases used so, so much – not just within a book but from book to book – are having the same effect as the eye color. Mostly, it is the way the people in Gin’s life are constantly described. Owen is “my lover”. We get that, but you don’t need to say “my lover” every single time he is mentioned. Ditto with the almost belittling “Goth Dwarf” being tossed around every couple of pages for life-long friend Sophia. Once or twice is fine in a story, but every few pages is overkill.

Another thing I seem to be struggling with is that I am not the biggest fan of Gin. I can’t put my finger on why, but it just isn’t there for me. I don’t despise her or anything, but I can’t warm up to her, either. The sad thing is, I pretty much enjoy all of the side characters way more than I do her, and it is the side characters I keep reading for. I don’t think it is normal to skim over the main character parts searching for more of the secondary characters, but that is what I am doing. I like Finn, Sophia, JoJo and the gang a lot, and find myself wanting more of them. I just finished Deadly Sting, though, and my liking for Owen took a nosedive. Honestly? I thought he needed a good stiff boot to the balls for most of the last of books, so not sure I will be reading his parts anymore, either. Meh.

So, I guess where I am at is that there is enough I like to keep me wanting to read it, but it is hard to justify devoting my time to a series where I have started to skim over any sections involving the main character. I am “finishing” a book in a bit over an hour that way, and at $10 dollars a book…well, yeah. Not doing that math again.

What is your “trying so hard to love it” series? When do you throw in the towel and admit defeat? I already picked up the next two stories – both novellas – because they were only a couple of dollars each. Not sure after that, though.

 

Reading Wrap Up

Happy end of weekend, everyone. Time to take a little look at what we have all been reading this week.

hell's bellLast year, I read my first Keri Arthur book and quite enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to getting my hands on the next one, Hell’s Bell. It was a decent read – but maybe not quite what I hoped for. I was hoping that the romance angle only hinted at in the first book would be developed this time around, but it didn’t pan out as much as I would’ve liked. Decent storyline and world-building, but it did leave me wishing for a bit more.

9780451488510_JudgmentRoad_FCO_mech.inddAnd I just finished up the first Torpedo Ink book from Christine Feehan, Judgment Road. Sea Haven is one of my favorite fictional worlds, so I am always happy to get one of these stories. Judgment Road was a bit of a change of pace, though, since the “magical ability” angle that was so strong in the other books takes a back seat in this one, and it was a nice change. It was my first motorcycle-club based read, and while I am not a huge fan of the “property of” status and “old lady” handles, all in all I enjoyed it. It was Reaper and Anya’s book, but it was the secondary characters that made the story for me. But for the down side, while I don’t so much mind the bringing up the traumatic pasts of the Torpedo Ink gang, it is getting a bit old to have every book focus on rapists. It isn’t as bad as the Bound Together kiddie gang rape in progress scenes, but it is still a theme here, and I would like them to move on. There are other scum-bags to hunt – killers, terrorists, drug dealers – all while dealing with their own brutal pasts. So, I liked it for what it was, but I have hopes for some changes in future books.

thread of deathI picked up the Thread of Death novella in the Elemental Assassin series, too, which was a nice, quick read. It added a bit of closure to Mab and Gin saga, and while it wasn’t a necessary read, I was glad I picked it up. I am still annoyed by Jennifer Estep‘s constant references to Sophia and JoJo as the dwarves, but the eye-color thing has finally died a solid death (along with some of the other repetition that drove me nuts in the first couple of books), and that is a plus. Still chugging along on this one, and still enjoying it overall.

forbidden mateMy goal is to try at least one new-to-me author a month, and the one I picked for January was Cecilia Lane. I had been eyeing her Shifters of Bear’s Den series since it started last year, and I finally decided to take the plunge with Forbidden Mate. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me. I found it difficult to get into, and I had the urge to start skimming at about the 15% mark. That is never a good sign, and couple it with main characters that didn’t interest me and it is downhill from there. I probably would’ve kept going, but there are a couple of things that are a giant character no-no for me, and the female lead pulled one when she betrayed the trust of her HEA, then didn’t have the guts to come clean immediately, I was done. I don’t like to DNF a book, but I just wasn’t interested after that, so I might as well cut my losses and move on.

There, that wraps up my reads for this past week. What were yours? What story line situations make you give up on a book? Mine are main characters cheating on each other, a betrayal-then-cover up done by the female lead that puts everyone else in danger (it is always the females, honestly), and walking into in-progress rape scenes are getting there for me, too. They make me highly uncomfortable – as they should – and take away of my enjoyment of a story. And why else do we read if not for enjoyment? I get that it is a real-life thing, but it is becoming the recurring theme of pretty much every recent Feehan book, and I am finding it to be just too much. Sermon ends here.