Weekly Wrap Up…

booksTime again to check in and see what everyone has been reading for the last couple of weeks. On my end, I have been sort of chugging along at a slow pace. My quest to get caught up on the character guides meant that I did a re-read of Thea Harrison‘s Midnight Kiss. This one is a stand-out for me, and is probably one of my favorite books in the whole series. I am usually notoriously fickle when it comes to the female leads of my books, but I thought Melly wasn’t a superhero chick, but she was fun and ingenious and really relatable. And I also remembered to check out Pia Does Hollywood, which is the second in a trilogy of novellas focusing on Dragos, Pia, and Liam. While the first in the trilogy is pretty much a must-read (there are quite a few new developments), this one isn’t. Not saying it was bad, but it doesn’t add a ton to the overall storyline.

Oh, and I also did a re-read of Deceptions from Kelley Armstrong. I am loving the Cainsville books, and this is one of the rare (like bigfoot rare) quasi-love triangles that doesn’t make me want to punch myself in the face. The only other one I can think of is Will/Tessa/Jem from Cassandra Clare‘s The Infernal Devices. What they both have in common for me is that there is no clear cut winner or loser. Not like an Edward/Bella/Jacob situation where you know damn well who she is ending up with and the third character ends up as little more than a plot device. Ok, I got off track – love me some Cainsville. There.

I have been less successful in my finishing up series plans. I am half way through Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s final Lux book, Opposition (well, final if you don’t count the upcoming alternate POV addition, Oblivion). I think the problem is that I really should’ve done a refresher on the previous books, because honestly, I was lost for a while. I did get back into the swing of things, but it isn’t quite grabbing me like I thought it would.

What great books did you read (or re-read) this week? Anything deserving of a special shout-out?


Nola StoryCon…

This sounds like a hell of a lot of fun.

A while back, Jeaniene Frost mentioned a “Super Secret Project” she has been working on (I immediately went to Ian’s book. Of course). Well, today details of that project have come out, and it is a biggie. Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, Ilona Andrews, Kelley Armstrong, and Jennifer L. Armentrout will be hosting an event called Nola StoryCon Friday, September 30th- Saturday, October 1st, 2016. Jeaniene described it as “A Mardi Gras for readers featuring book lovers and the Big Easy.” Now, even if the five authors mentioned above were the only ones there, it would be worth going. But it looks like they signed up a few friends, too. The guest authors include:

Lara Adrian, Jeanette Battista, Jenna Black, Rachel Caine, Kresley Cole, Zoraida Cordova, Cora Carmack, Jay Crownover, Kimberly Derting, Sonali Dev, Kami Garcia,   Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Wendy Higgins, Beverly Jenkins, Sophie Jordan, Laura Kaye, Katie McGarry, Chloe Neill, Jana Oliver, Pamela Palmer, Aprilynne Pike, Kristen Proby, Gena Showalter, Rachel Vincent, Jaye Wells, Sarah Wendell, Samantha Young, and Charlaine Harris.

This event will be taking place at the Wyndham Garden Baronne Plaza, and will include everything from book signings, panels, a dessert social, dinner, dancing, the whole shebang. Ticket prices range from $3.00 for the book signing to $125.00 for a full-access pass to the two day event. The full schedule includes:

Friday, September 30th, 2016 from 7:00pm – 9:30pm: “Sweet Mardi Gras.” For the first hour, enjoy a panel featuring the host authors, with special giveaways and prizes. Afterward, mix and mingle with the host authors and most of the guest authors while enjoying complimentary coffee, tea, and custom-made desserts with a bananas foster station and a strawberry shortcake station. Cash bar also available. Sweet Mardi Gras ticket holders will also receive a complimentary goody bag filled with books and swag, plus a “one hour early access” pass to the signing Saturday afternoon before it is open to the public. Host authors: Melissa Marr, Ilona Andrews, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and Kelley Armstrong.

Saturday, October 1st, 2016 from 9:00am – 10:00am: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Getting Published But Were Afraid To Ask. Special industry guests: agents Nancy Yost with NYLA and Merrilee Heifetz with Writers House. Special prizes for this panel only: agent “pitch” sessions for 20 winners with either Nancy Yost or Merrilee Heifetz, plus 10 winners will get the first five pages of their manuscript professionally critiqued by an agent from Writers House or NYLA.

Saturday, Saturday, October 1st, 2016 from 9:00am – 12:00pm: Multiple reader panels encompassing YA, NA, UF, PNR and more. Panelists, topics, prizes and more to come.

Saturday, Saturday, October 1st, 2016 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm: Special one-hour early access to book signing for Sweet Mardi Gras, Nola VIP, Big Easy and Nola High Roller ticket holders only.

Saturday, Saturday, October 1st, 2016 from 2:00pm – 4:00pm: Public signing, all levels of ticket holders welcome, plus open to the public for free. No more than 10 “books from home” allowed per person.

Saturday, Saturday, October 1st, 2016 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm: “Big Easy” event. From 7:00pm – 8:00pm, experience the Big Easy with a full buffet dinner which includes dessert, coffee and tea plus a cash bar. 8pm – 10pm: Let the good times roll at the After Party, where the host authors and most of the guest authors will keep the fun going with readers by leading games such as “Truth Or Dare”, “Marry, Date, Kill”, “Liar’s Game”, “Never Have I Ever” and more. Wear your favorite costume for a chance to win our Best Costume contest. Or, hit the dance floor. Make sure you stay until the end to see if you will be the grand prize winner of a $100.00 Murder By The Book gift card.

Man, that does sound like fun. Seriously, though? That line-up of authors? I think my mind would be blown. Of course, fate conspires against me and there is no way I can go (between it being three measly days away from my time off to being just too darn far away, and the Canadian dollar blows right now and the exchange would kill me). A girl can still dream, right? And maybe win the lotto. If you are interested in checking this out a bit more, the official site can be found at nolastorycon.com

Cover Lover – 3 New Titles

Cover reveals, or at least any that catch my eye, have been pretty scarce lately. I am finding some new ones, but not many that made me want to bother to post them, if that makes any sense. For this batch, I managed to get three. Let’s start with Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s companion to the Lux series, Oblivion. It is actually a retelling of the first book, Obsidian, but from Daemon’s point of view. This one will be released on December 1st.

oblivionI knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

This next one is from Ally Condie. Summerlost is apparently a middle-grade release due out on March 29th, but the cover was pretty so I thought I would share.

Summerlost_BOM.inddIt’s the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.

And wrapping things up is Wickedly Ever After from Deborah Blake. It is an e-release from her Baba Yaga series, and it is due out on January 19th.

wickedly ever afterKnown as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one…

Having triumphed over a powerful enemy and ended up with both a wonderful guy—Sheriff Liam McClellan—and an adorable adopted daughter to raise as a Baba Yaga, Barbara Yager is ready to welcome her happily ever after.

But first she must bring Liam to the Otherworld and get the Queen’s permission to marry him. The Queen, however, is not so easily persuaded. She gives them three impossible tasks to complete in two weeks’ time—and if they fail Barbara will have to watch Liam slowly age and die like all humans, and kiss her happily ever after good-bye forever.

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksGood Lord, this seemed like one long, long sucker of a week (my weekends begin on Sunday nights). I didn’t get a ton read, but I have been pretty good about my August goal of wrapping up a few one-book-left series.

It took quite a while, but I managed to get back into the swing of Rick Riordan‘s Heroes of Olympus series and finish off Blood of Olympus. I had totally lost track of the storyline heading into this one, and I have to admit that there were quite a few things mentioned from previous books that I didn’t remember at all. Even so, it was a fun read, and hopefully now I am ready for the start of the new Norse mythology series featuring Magnus Chase when it begins in October.

I also tackled a couple of books from favorite authors, with varying results. First up was Deceptions from Kelley Armstrong, which is the third book of her Cainsville series. This was one of my most anticipated books for the year, and I wasn’t disappointed. A lot questions are answered, which I wasn’t expecting this early on (there are two more books to come, after all). There are also some developments on the romantic front, and as much as I have come to dread the whole love triangle thing, for some reason I don’t mind it here. The only problem I have with it is that I just can’t tell which way it will go…Ricky or Gabriel? I preferred Gabriel going into this one, but Ricky has really grown on me. I guess I will just have to wait until next August to find out, since that is when Betrayals is scheduled for release.

My second book didn’t work out quite as well for me. In trying to branch out, I decided to pick up the young adult contemporary thriller, Don’t Look Back, from Jennifer L. Armentrout. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get into it. It seemed like an interesting story, but it just didn’t grab me at all. It has actually become one of my very rare Did Not Finish books, and I will be adding it to the donation pile. To be perfectly fair, though, I usually have trouble when I stray away from the PNR/UF genre, especially in terms of young adult or new adult. I know better, but I still try something different every now and then with disappointing results. I guess I should learn that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

What did you read this week? Did you start up any new series worth sharing, or did you manage to whittle down the TBR pile at all?

Pick of the Week

I don’t usually go to the young adult side of things for my pick of the week, but since Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s last Dark Elements book, Every Last Breath, is due out, I am making an exception.

every last breathSynopsis…

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

Purchase at Amazon.com

Jennifer is a solid favorite, so I always look forward to something of hers. And that reminds me that I have to pull a marathon and get some of her other series finished up. What will you be checking out this week?

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning has some epic covers (except for that one cheesy misstep, Burned), and this one is no exception. Actually, it was the covers that drew me in in the first place, and this one is a beauty, too. It has a different vibe than the previous ones, but it is pretty. Feverborn is due out on January 19th.

feverbornJenna Black has a new young adult release coming out next April called Nightstruck. I have to admit, I am tempted by the pretty cover on this one.

nightstruckThis next one is from Jennifer L. Armentrout and her New Adult Titan series. The Power is the second book to feature Seth, and it is due out on February 23rd.

the powerAnd the final one for today is from Rebecca Zanetti. Mercury Rising is the first book of the new Scorpius Syndrome, and it is due out on January 26th.

mercury risingI forgot about this one. The next Otherworld book from Yasmine Galenorn, Darkness Raging, is due out on February 2nd.

darkness ragingSo, which one is your favorite from this batch? I like Feverborn, even though I wish they had kept the same vibe as the earlier covers (those were awesome). To be honest, I actually am interested in getting all of these books, which is strange for me.

From the Author Pages…

Yep, a bit more info to pass on…

  • Alexandra Ivy might very well be a writing machine. She has nine titles scheduled for release between now and the end of December. NINE. Not only are pre-order links up at Amazon for the next Bayou Heat book featuring Michel/Striker, but she is also starting a new romantic suspense series called ARES Security. The first book is called Kill Without Mercy, and it will be released on December 29th. Here is a peek at the cover and blurb…

kill without mercyFrom the hellhole of a Taliban prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES Security.

Rafe Vargas is only in Newton, Iowa, to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist for ARES Security, he’s eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet, he can’t just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…

There’s a mysterious serial killer on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.

  • And speaking of writing machines, word is that the next Ghostwalkers book, Spider Game, will be released next January 26th. I really can’t complain about how fast Christine Feehan is cranking them out, but I do hope that the next Ghostwalkers book reads like a Ghostwalkers book and not a Breeds story like Viper Game did.
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout is also cranking out the books, and there are a few more to add to her long, long list of upcoming releases. There will be a companion novel to the Lux series called Oblivion, which will be a retelling of the first book, Obsidian, except from Daemon’s POV, and it is due out in December. Next February will see the release of the second Titan book featuring Seth, which will be called The Power. And to top things off, the cover and blurb have been released for the third and final book in her The Dark Elements series, Every Last Breath, which is due out on July 28th…

every last breathSome loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

  • This is actually the total opposite of an update…and that is the continued lack of info on the next Immortals After Dark book from Kresley Cole. After hyping the newsletter release that told nothing at all, there has been radio silence on what Kresley is working on. Has anyone else heard anything and I just missed it? Whatever it is, I guess it is supposed to be out on December 31st.

Ok, that wraps up my discoveries for a while. Time to turn the tables…have you heard of any new release dates, or found some great cover art or blurbs to share? If so, drop a line in the comments section.

Cover Lover – Two Kenyons and an Armentrout

Well, it is time for an updating of the new release date pages. I recently added quite a few new titles, and over the next couple of days I will be doing a date-check to make sure things are still coming out when they said they were going to. I try and do it every 6 weeks or so, just because publishers love nothing more than switching the dates around. So, if you see disarray for the next couple of days, you know what is going on.

These new covers remind me it is time to update the author pages. Again. Anyways, a while back I had posted what I thought was the final cover for Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s The Return, the first book of her Covenant spin-off series featuring Seth. Looks like there was a change of plans, though, and the new cover will be looking like this…

the returnThe Fates are cackling their bony asses off…

It’s been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they’ve given him have been violent and bloody–which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He’s got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy’s deal might be, but it’s a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And next up are two Sherrilyn Kenyon covers. This first one has actually been out for a few days, but I couldn’t find a decent sized version. It is from her League series, and it is called Born of Defiance. It will be out on May 12th.

born of defianceBorn an Outcast, Talyn Batur has spent the whole of his life fighting against the prejudice of his people. An Andarion without a father is not something anyone wants to be.

But when his companion’s brother draws him into a plot against the Andarion crown, he finds himself torn between the loyalty to their planetary government that his mother has beaten into him and his own beliefs of justice and right.

Now, he must decide for himself to remain a pawn of their government or to defy everything and everyone he’s ever known to stand up to tyranny. It’s a gamble that will either save his life or end it. And when old enemies align with new ones, it’s more than just his own life at risk. And more than just his homeworld that will end should he fail.

Purchase at Amazon.com

And this last one is from Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunter series. Dragonbane is #37412 of the series (or close to it), and it due out on August 4th.

dragonbaneOut of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames.

Purchase at Amazon.com

Yep, two more Kenyon’s to add to the pile. But, I have a plan. I am considering 2015 to be the “Year of Kenyon”, and I am determined to read all of the Kenyon books on Mount TBR…and do a character guide for the Dark-Hunters.

Cover Lover – 5 New Titles

Cover time again, and a couple of these are on my must-read list, which is always a bonus. Let’s start with The Ruby Circle, which will be the sixth and final book in Richelle Mead‘s Bloodlines series (even though you just know there will be a series about Eddie and Jill. Right?), which is due out on February 10th.

the ruby circlePurchase at Amazon.com

I was surprised a few weeks ago to see perennial favorite Jennifer L. Armentrout announce a new series she has in the works that will start on December 10th of this year. The series will be called A Wicked Saga, and the first book will be called Wicked.

wickedMarcella Burnard‘s next Living Ink book has a cover, too. Bound by Ink will be released in e-format on November 18th.

bound by inkPurchase at Amazon.com

Next up is Jennifer Ashley and Mate Bond, which is from her Shifters Unbound series. It has a release date of April 7th.

mate bondPurchase at Amazon.com

And wrapping things up for this post is Miss Mayhem, which is the second book in the Rebel Belle young adult series from Rachel Hawkins. Look for it on April 7th.

miss mayhemI have heard many people say that they find the Bloodlines covers ugly. I didn’t think they were amazing, but I never found anything particularly wrong with them, either. But Ruby Circle? Might be able to make a case for that one being a bit on the fugly side, honestly. And the Miss Mayhem one is a bit tacky looking, but it does fit the fun feeling of the series so I think it works. And a new series from Jennifer L. Armentrout is always something to look forward to. I swear that woman must write 24 hours a day, though.