Cold Burn of Magic Giveaway Winner

winner banner

Just a quick note to say that all of the author pages have been updated, as well as the new release dates. There were a few dates that shifted around, but not as many as usual. A couple of books disappeared into the mid-2016’s, so if there was something you were really looking forward to you might want to check and make sure it is still on schedule.

On to the giveaway. I was really surprised by the interest in this new one from Jennifer Estep. I thought that there might be half a dozen who signed up for a copy of Cold Burn of Magic, but there were 34 entrants in all. The randomly chosen winner (through Random.org) was #14…

Kathy L.

random.orgCongratulations, Kathy. I will contact you shortly for your info.

New Series Giveaway…

giveaway bannerMy plan this year was to try and do more giveaways for new series starting up from authors I have featured in my author pages, but I am a bit behind on that. I guess this next one is as good a place to start as any. Jennifer Estep wrapped up her young adult Mythos Academy last year, making way for her new Black Blade series. The first book is called Cold Burn of Magic, and it has a release date of April 28th.

cold burn of magicSynopsis…

It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call—get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her…

Purchase at Amazon.com

If you are interested in winning a paperback copy of Cold Burn of magic, just drop a line in the comments section. Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random (through Random.org). Let’s end this one Monday night at Midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

Cover Lover – 8 New Titles

Just a quick note to say that all of the new release dates have been updated, and as always there were a few pushbacks (an a few disappeared all together). Pretty much normal.

On the cover side of things, I have seven for today’s batch. Let’s start with the second book from Jennifer Estep‘s new Black Blade series, Dark Heart of Magic, which is due out on October 27th.

dark heart of magicPurchase at Amazon.com

This next one is from M.L. Brennan. Dark Ascension is the fourth book of the Generation V series, and it is due out on August 4th.

dark ascensionAfter a lifetime of avoiding his family, Fort has discovered that working for them isn’t half bad—even if his mother, Madeline, is a terrifying, murderous vampire. His newfound career has given him a purpose and a paycheck and has even helped him get his partner, foxy kitsune Suzume, to agree to be his girlfriend. All in all, things are looking up.

Only, just as Fort is getting comfortable managing a supernatural empire that stretches from New Jersey to Ontario, Madeline’s health starts failing, throwing Fort into the middle of an uncomfortable and dangerous battle for succession. His older sister, Prudence, is determined to take over the territory. But Fort isn’t the only one wary of her sociopathic tendencies, and allies, old and new, are turning to him to keep Prudence from gaining power.

Now, as Fort fights against his impending transition into vampire adulthood, he must also battle to keep Prudence from destroying their mother’s kingdom—before she takes him down with it….

Purchase at Amazon.com

Book two of the Blackthorn and Grim series by Juliet Marillier, Tower of Thorns, is due out on November 3rd.

tower of thornsDisillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.

As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Tall, Dark and Immortal from Cat Devon. It has a release date of September 1st.

tall dark and immortalHE’S TAKING A BITE OUT OF CRIME.

Alex Sanchez is more than just an ordinary detective. He’s on the prowl—as a vampire. Alex uses his unique gifts to police the mean streets of Chicago like a natural predator. But when he learns that local blood banks are being robbed, he’s not sure what rattles him more: the bizarre crime wave or the stunningly beautiful journalist who’s reporting it…

SHE’S RISKING HER NECK FOR A STORY.

Keira Turner is dedicated to her job—and determined to uncover the truth. Dangerously, out-of-this-world handsome Detective Sanchez seems oddly fascinated by the crimes—and obsessed with Keira. Alex might not have a clue who’s stealing blood but he’s sure of one thing: Keira is no mere mortal. She’s descended from a long line of vampire hunters. And if they try to solve this case together, he’ll have to fight the urge to kiss her…or kill her.

Purchase at Amazon.com

J.D. Tyler continues her Alpha Pack series with the release of Chase the Darkness, due out on August 4th.

chase the darknessBelieved dead by his Pack mates, Micah Chase, a wolf shifter and Dreamwalker, was held captive for months, subject to tortures that left him physically scarred and emotionally unsettled.

Now under the care of the Alpha Pack’s doctors, he’s been prescribed an experimental healing drug, but he still can’t shake the nightmares. Even more damning is that Micah’s problems pose a danger to his team, and if he doesn’t get himself under control, they’ll all suffer a terrible fate.

There is a key to his salvation. Jacee is a beautiful coyote shifter, and though her kind is hated, she’s falling in love with a man whose very future is in her hands. Together they’ll face his personal demons as well as a deadly enemy—and for both of them desire has never come with such risk.

Purchase at Amazon.com

The third and final book in the Goddess Wars series from Kendare Blake, Ungodly, will be out on September 22nd.

ungodlyAs ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers in the final Goddess War novel by the acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood

For the Goddess of Wisdom, what Athena didn’t know could fill a book. That’s what Ares said.

So she was wrong about some things. So the assault on Olympus left them beaten and scattered and possibly dead. So they have to fight the Fates themselves, who, it turns out, are the source of the gods’ illness. And sure, Athena is stuck in the underworld, holding the body of the only hero she has ever loved.

But Hermes is still topside, trying to power up Andie and Henry before he runs out of time and dies, or the Fates arrive to eat their faces.

And Cassandra is up there somewhere too. On a quest for death. With the god of death.

Just because things haven’t gone exactly according to plan, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost. They’ve only mostly lost. And there’s a big difference.

Purchase at Amazon.com

This one is from Cassandra Clare and Holly Black. The Copper Gauntlet is the second book from The Magesterium series, due out on September 1st.

the copper gauntletPurchase at Amazon.com

And finally, there is Tell the Wind and Fire from Sarah Rees Brennan. It is due out sometime in 2016.

tell the wind and fire

Cover Lover – 9 New Titles

It looks like the covers are starting to come out again heading into the new year, which is great. Scary that this year is almost a wrap, though. Let’s start this batch with some art from upcoming new series. Katie MacAlister‘s Dragon Fall will be the first book of the Dragon Fall series, and it is due for release on July 28th.

dragon fallYOU FLIRT WITH FIRE…

For Aoife Dakar, seeing is believing-and she’s seen some extraordinary things. It’s too bad no one else believes that she witnessed a supernatural murder at an outdoor fair. Returning to the scene for proof, Aoife encounters a wise-cracking demon dog-and a gloriously naked man who can shift into a dragon and kiss like a god. Now thrust into a fantastical world that’s both exhilarating and terrifying, Aoife is about to learn just how hot a dragon’s fire burns.

WHEN YOU DATE A DRAGON

Kostya has no time for a human woman with endless questions, no matter how gorgeous or tempting she is. He must break the curse that has splintered the dragon clans before more of his kind die. But his powerful attraction to Aoife runs much deeper than the physical-and there may be more to her than even his sharp dragon eyes can see. To survive the coming battle for the fate of his race, he needs a mate of true heart and soul . . .

Purchase at Amazon.com

This next one is from Lilith Saintcrow. Trailer Park Fae is the first book of her upcoming Gallow and Ragged series, and it is due out on June 23rd.

trailer park faeNew York Times bestselling author Lilith Saintcrow returns to dark fantasy with a new series where the fairy world inhabits diners, dive bars and trailer parks.

Jeremy Gallow is just another construction worker, and that’s the way he likes it. He’s left his past behind, but some things cannot be erased. Like the tattoos on his arms that transform into a weapon, or that he was once closer to the Queen of Summer than any half-human should be. Now the half-sidhe all in Summer once feared is dragged back into the world of enchantment, danger, and fickle fae – by a woman who looks uncannily like his dead wife. Her name is Robin, and her secrets are more than enough to get them both killed. A plague has come, the fullborn-fae are dying, and the dark answer to Summer’s Court is breaking loose.

Be afraid, for Unwinter is riding…

Purchase at Amazon.com

The second book from Lori Handeland‘s upcoming The Summer of Witches series will be called Heat of the Moment, and it is due out on June 30th.

heat of the momentA spell that tore three sisters apart is broken four hundred years later, when the magic in their blood reunites them. Now, one of them will discover her gift—and reignite a love long thought lost…

Flame-haired Becca Carstairs was born to be a veterinarian. Since childhood, her affinity for animals has been special, and her healing touch nothing short of magic. But only Becca knows the truth—that she alone can hear the creatures’ voices. She’s always trusted her sixth sense… until a string of missing pets, an attempted murder, and a face from her past converge into one explosive mystery, with her at its center.

Is haunted Owen McAllister, the boy who broke her heart ten years ago, related to the sinister crimes that have peaceful Three Harbors, Wisconsin, on its guard? Or is his reappearance part of the answer to questions that have troubled her all her life? As Becca delves into her strange heritage, she’ll have to fight for her life… and the man she will always love.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Jennifer Estep‘s next Elemental Assassin book will be called Spider’s Trap, and it will be out on July 28th.

spider's trapKeep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…

Purchase at Amazon.com

For some reason, I had thought I had heard that Jessica Sims had wrapped up her Midnight Liaisons series, but Goodreads is listing Between a Vamp and a Hard Place as a new one. The blurb doesn’t read like it is part of the series, but what do I know? Either way, it will be released on August 25th.

between a vamp and a hard placeIn the wickedly funny spirit of bestselling authors Kerrelyn Sparks and Molly Harper, this sexy paranormal romance features an estate broker and a 600-year-old vampire out for revenge.

Lindsey Hughes loves antiques and couldn’t be happier to make a living in the estate sale business. But when her assistant accidentally buys an entire estate without her approval, Lindsey is forced to clean up the mess herself.

Lindsey travels to the newly purchased, age-old house in Venice, Italy, and soon discovers more than she (never) bargained for. While digging through the hoarder’s trove that fills every floor, she finds a secret staircase behind a wall that leads to a strange coffin…with an even stranger inhabitant.

Vampire Rand FitzWulf has been in his coffin for 600 years. But now that he’s awake, he’s ravenous, and there’s a delicious-smelling woman with a rare blood type in his basement. Luckily, Lindsey has more to offer than blood: she agrees to travel throughout Europe with Rand to help him get revenge on the one who turned him. But as the unlikely pair grows closer, will the billionaire vampire be overtaken by his thirst for blood—or his thirst for love?

Purchase at Amazon.com

It has been a while since there was any Dianne Duvall stuff to share, but it looks like her next Immortal Guardians book, Shadows Strike, will be released on August 25th.

shadows strikeThe Immortal Guardians protect the innocent in secret. Sometimes the secret gets out…

U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.

Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Donna Grant continues her Dark Kings series with Soul Scorched, which is due for release on June 30th.

soul scorchedDarcy was floating on a cloud of pure passion. Everywhere he touched, Warrick was leaving a mark on her, forever changing her. She could feel it through her skin and muscle, through bone and into her soul. It was as if he was changing her. And she welcomed it…Her power is a blessing.

Born on the Isle of Skye, Darcy is a beautiful woman of many gifts. Fortune-telling is her forte, and she remains the only Druid who could unlock the secrets—and desires—of a Dragon King. His name is Warrick. And now that Darcy’s seen into his dragon heart, nothing will ever be the same…

His passion is a curse.
Warrick never intended to put Darcy in harm’s way. But ever since she revealed a shocking truth, Darcy has been hunted by the Dark Fae, who want to use her powers for their own evil purposes. Now it’s up to Warrick to do whatever it takes to keep the woman who sets his soul on fire safe. But protecting Darcy means putting himself—and his entire race—in jeopardy. Is his desperate longing for one woman worth the risk of losing everything…for eternity?

Purchase at Amazon.com

Kitty Saves the World, which is the 14th title in the Kitty Norville series from author Carrie Vaughn, will be released on August 4th. And from what I am seeing, it looks like it will be the final book in the series, too.

kitty saves the worldIt’s all come down to this, following the discoveries made by Cormac in Low Midnight, Kitty and her allies are ready to strike. But, when their assassination attempt on the evil vampire Dux Bellorum fails, Kitty finds herself running out of time. The elusive vampire lord has begun his apocalyptic end game, and Kitty still doesn’t know where he will strike.

Meanwhile, pressure mounts in Denver as Kitty and her pack begin to experience the true reach of Dux Bellorum’s cult. Outnumbered and outgunned at every turn, the stakes have never been higher for Kitty. She will have to call on allies both old and new in order to save not just her family and friends, but the rest of the world as well.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And wrapping things up for today is Night of the Highland Dragon, which is the 3rd book in the Highland Dragon series from Isabel Cooper. Look for it on June 2nd.

night of the highland dragonAcclaimed author Isabel Cooper’s thrilling paranormal romance series continues with a sexy Highland dragon shapeshifter and an inquisitive hero…

William Arundell is a detective working for a secret branch of the English government. When a young man is found dead, William’s investigation leads him to a remote Highland village and the intoxicatingly beautiful lady who rules MacAlasdair Castle.

The charismatic Judith MacAlasdair is not what William expected. The only daughter in a long line of shape-changing dragons, Judith is wary of William and his unrelenting questions. However, when William’s investigation takes an interesting turn, they must put aside years of bad blood and a mutual distrust of outsiders to band together to save the British Islands from its deadliest foe…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Do you have any favorites from this batch? What is your take on the new MacAlister, Saintcrow and Handeland series? Do they sound like something that might interest you? I am going to try the Handeland books, I figure, and maybe the MacAlister one, too. They would both be new-to-me authors, and a new series is a good place to jump in.

From the Author Pages…

I am trying to be good and keep up with the author pages, and this recent updating brought a few new bits of info…

  • Alexandra Ivy might be winding down her Guardians of Eternity series (or at least through traditional publishing), but she will still be busy. There is a new shifters series in the works, co-written with Carrie Ann Ryan, which starts up next year. Stories 1 and 2 are book one, called Stolen and Forgiven, which is due out on July 14th. It will be followed by Abandoned and Unseen on September 15th. You can find the series overview and cover art HERE.
  • After a couple of year wait, Christine Feehan is returning to the world of the Ghostwalkers (thank God – love those books). Viper Game comes out in just over a month, and Christine has upped a first-chapter preview over on her website member’s section. The great thing about the preview is that it begins to answer a few questions I have had since way back in Gator’s book…like when exactly did Wyatt become a Ghostwalker, and how did he end up not being with Joy after she was rescued? There is also a new book trailer available, as well…
  • Fans of the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep will be happy to know that the 13th book will be called Spider’s Trap, and it will be out on July 28th.  I don’t know when it was released, but I did find the blurb today (Potential spoilers…maybe?)

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld—by default, not by choice—a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…

Hidden Legacy Character Guide

Just a quick note to say that I have started a Character Guide for the new Ilona Andrews‘ series, Hidden Legacy (it is easier to start when the series is new than to go back later and try and do 6 or 7 books). I also removed the guide for the Mythos Academy series from Jennifer Estep, because I really just didn’t think anyone, me included, ever actually used it.

Oh, and does anyone think they want a guide for Nalini Singh‘s new Rock Kiss series? I have done her two previous series, so I wouldn’t mind keeping up and adding another, but I am not sure it is something many would actually use. Let me know if you think I should add it, since it wouldn’t take long.

Cover Lover – Cold Burn of Magic

On a quick side note, I had grand plans to add image galleries and blurbs to all of the listings in the Series Reading List section, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. I was chugging along a little at a time, and I had almost finished all of the “A” authors, when things went wonky. It seems that it was just too much for the blog to handle, and it was resulting in both really, really slow loading times and difficulty updating. It is too bad, too, since I liked the idea of it, but at least I am going to update and reformat everything. I am really sorry it didn’t work out, but at least it was worth a shot.

Back to business. Jennifer Estep recently wrapped up her Mythos Academy series, but we won’t have long to wait for another YA series from her. Cold Burn of Magic is the first book of her upcoming Black Blade series, and it is due out on April 28th.

cold burn of magicPurchase at Amazon.com

On the Horizon…A New Jennifer Estep Series

A while back, I did a little post that mentioned that author Chloe Neill will be starting a new series in 2015 called Devil’s Isle, where Supernatural beings have been forced into a walled community after an uprising. Now, it looks like Jennifer Estep is also firing up a new series next year.

The first book of the Black Blade series will be called Cold Burn of Magic, and it has a release date of April 28th. There will be at least two more books, as well. There is a bit of a breakdown on the author’s official site…

The Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series focuses on Lila Merriweather, a 17-year-old thief who lives in Cloudburst Falls, West Virginia, a town dubbed “the most magical place in America.” Tourists come from around the world to tour all the magic-themed shops and attractions, as well as see monsters like tree trolls, copper crushers, and more in their natural habitats.

Lila has a Talent for sight, along with transference magic — in other words, magic makes her stronger. To survive, she does odd jobs for her pawnbroker friend. Lila also does her best to stay off the grid and avoid the Families — or mobs — who control much of the town. But when she saves a member of the powerful Sinclair Family during an attack, Lila finds herself caught in the middle of a brewing war between the Sinclairs and the Draconis, the most powerful Family in town.

I have read the Mythos Academy series, but the Elemental Assassin books are still languishing on Mount TBR. Does this sound like something you will be looking forward to?

Doug’s Review…Poison Promise

review iconDoug Meeks is getting back into the swing of things, and he sent over a second review to tide us over for this week. This time around, he tackles Poison Promise, the 11th book of Jennifer Estep‘s very popular Elemental Assassin series. Doug got his hands on this one a bit early, but the rest of us have to wait until July 22nd. On a truly shallow note, I do love the covers on this series – they have stayed consistently great from the first book right on through, and not a lot of series can make that claim.

poison promiseWhat Doug said…

Poison Promise

Jennifer Estep

Well this is the 11th book in the Elemental Assassin series and they show no signs of getting stale.  This installment is more of a warm-up for the next one I fear though since we actually get to meet MM Monroe for a few pages but that is not the villain for this novel but it does give you an idea of what Gin is going to be up against.

Let us get back to what THIS book is about, Gin through a series of somewhat seemingly random events runs afoul of a local drug lord named Benson and while he is a vampire and commands a large criminal army it is a special power of his that make him a dangerous foe for Gin.

This book we see a bit of family strife between Bria and Gin, a new friend and what looks to be a new permanent addition to Gin’s entourage.  I can’t say too much more than that without being spoilerish and I stay away from spoilers.

There is a new drug on the streets called Burn and it is making Benson a lot of money, Gin and Bria are both looking to put an end to him and his business.  The job is easier said than done, trust me, it is not going to be neither easy nor painless.

This may be the first novel in awhile that her love life seem to be actually approaching something normal and steady which I think is long overdue since her love life has been in shambles in most of the novels in this series.

Bottom Line:  It is the Elemental Assassin, bad guy shows up, threatens somebody she cares for; little blood on both sides and bad guy has a really, really bad day.  This novel is saved from reading like a formula from other books by some interesting side interests and the addition of a couple of interesting new characters.  The manner of the culminating conflict is a bit new also, I liked it; hope to see more of it.  I have to give it 4.5 Stars and almost want to lower it to 4 because I suspect the next one is going to be really great and I am running out of stars but that would not really be fair to this book.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your take on the Elemental Assassin series? STill holding strong, or are you ready to see things wrap up for Gin and company?

May’s TBR Challenge…

Important-Books-on-Cloud-ComputingI think I have bored everyone already with my love/hate relationship with Mount TBR. To make things less overwhelming, and to finally make myself pick up some of the books that I tend to skip over time and again, I have set myself TBR reading challenges. As I find myself getting into the swing of it…it seems to be working. And, it is kind of fun.

Just in case anyone wants to play along, my goal for this month is to see how many series I can get caught up on. Because I have six (full) bookcases, my goal is to try and catch up on one series from each, or six series. For example…

Case 1 – Larissa Ione’s Reaver

Case 2 – Cecy Robson’s Cursed by Destiny

Case 3 – Jessica Sims’ Must Love Fangs

Case 4 – Amanda Carlson’s Hot Blooded and Cold Blooded

Case 5 – Jennifer Estep’s Killer Frost

Case 6 – Chloe Neill’s Biting Bad and Wild Things

What series would you most like to get caught up on soon-ish? Anything that you can see yourself getting into in May?