This and That

blah-quote-300x300Well, a this or that post. Or it is probably better labeled the one where I ramble. First off, I did manage to get two guides up to date – the one for the Elder Races series, and the one for the Fever World. I was only behind one novella for the Elder Races one, so that wasn’t too much drama, but I did really enjoy my re-read of High Voltage for the Fever series. Part of it felt like an ending, but then there were so many things left that shouted more to come that I was a bit confused. I haven’t heard anything about upcoming stories, though, have any of you? And come to think of it, I haven’t heard much about more Elder Races, either. Sigh.

Will any of you be picking up Consumed from J.R. Ward? I did read the two free prequel novellas – and I liked them, such as they were. But for some reason I can’t work up much excitement for the book itself. Maybe because it is non-PNR and I am pretty much firmly entrenched? I only really follow Kelley Armstrong‘s Rockton books for a non woo-woo series, but maybe it is time to branch out?

Speaking of branching out, I went on a bit of a book-buying binge over the last couple of weeks. I took a tour through the Kindle freebies and new release pages and Netgalley and grabbed a bunch of stuff…

Yeah, I blew my buy-it-and-read-it technique out of the water, but whatever. Those were on top of my regularly scheduled pre-orders like Lora Leigh‘s Cross Breed, too. Hopefully I got that out of my system for a while, though, because I refuse to let the TBR take over. Again. I did already have Silver Shark, but I deleted it and re-bought it along with Silent Blade so I would have the new covers for both. And when I downloaded it? I got the old cover. I grumbled a bit, but it isn’t a big deal to fix it and send it as a document, but still. I grumbled. Have you been branching out any lately into the great unknown?

I have really been trying to watch some tv shows and movies lately. People always look at me funny when I say I don’t watch tv, but I honestly don’t. I will find a show that sounds interesting and pick up the first couple to try from itunes, and if I like it I will continue picking up an episode here and there. I have Netflix but I can go a month without even turning it on. If I watch 2 hours of programming a week, that would be about it. I did manage to drag myself through the whole first season of Westworld, but I kept trying to make myself like it more than I did so I gave up. Ditto for The Gifted. Iron Fist I only made maybe three or four episodes before it got annoying. I dropped The Walking Dead after Glen and Abraham, but I might go back again. Some day. The Punisher is going pretty well, I guess, but I still don’t feel the need to marathon. But the show I am binge watching? Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I kid you not. I can’t get enough. It is so weird, but I have a strange addiction. I might need help –  but not until I am caught up.

So, that’s me. What about you? Anything exciting going on (or, like me, not)?

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Reading Wrap Up

This should probably be sub-titled “new to me and a change of heart”, since that is pretty much what I have been up to. I have been on a bit of a roll with some new to me authors, which has been great. I picked up the first two books in the Guardian series from Rayanne Haines, Fire Born and Magic Born, and ended up liking both of them. Honestly, I grabbed them strictly for the covers, but ended up sticking around for the story. Definitely looking forward to whatever comes next.

real men howlAlso new-to-me are Celia Kyle and Marina Maddix, the authors of the Real Men Shift series. Again, shallow as it is, the cover for the first book caught my eye and made me do the “one-click” thing before I really thought it through, but it was another success. Both Real Men Howl and Real Men Snarl are quick, easy reads and I found myself finishing each of them in one sitting. There is one brother’s story left to tell, (Real Men Growl – due out this August) but I do hope the series continues on after that.

hunt the moonAnother great find was author Kari Cole. I picked up the first book of her Mated by Fate series called Hunt the Moon, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. I liked the world building and both the main and supporting characters, and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the second book, Touch the Sky, when it comes out in September.

I had decided not to pick up the latest Gena Showalter book, The Darkest Warrior, not because I was mad about who Gilly ended up with or anything but just because I didn’t really have any big excitement for the book. I think my enjoyment of the Lords books is really hampered by the fact that I just don’t remember much about the series at this point. I always seem to enjoy them when I read them, but then I promptly forget everything as soon as I close the Kindle. Well, that didn’t hamper me at all this time around, and I very much enjoyed The Darkest Warrior. It felt almost stand alone (except for William, who is the only character I seem to remember), so I just got to happily read a really good story without trying to remember who is who and what happened before. Definitely glad I changed my mind on this one.

rough justiceAaaand I might’ve been pretty quick to grab up Rough Justice from Kelley Armstrong. Anything Cainsville related is an automatic win for me, and this decent length novella story is no exception. I am very glad that there wasn’t any Olivia-and-Gabriel relationship drama…well, not much and not serious, anyways. Ideally, I would love to see a spin-off or something featuring Ricky getting his HEA, but I am not sure that is in the cards.

iron and magicFinally, though, there is the jewel of the lot, and that is Iron and Magic from Ilona Andrews. I don’t have much to say about this one other than that I absolutely loved it. Love love love. Loved Hugh. Loved Elara. Loved the fact that the whole world-building felt different enough from Kate Daniels to really stand on its own while still making me giddy thinking of future crossovers (Hugh and Elara must show up in Magic Triumphs, right?). I so need a re-read of this one since I was a greedy brat who devoured it way, way too quickly, but that won’t be a chore at all. Not sure where or when the next book will be, but I will be there.

Your turn. What have you been enjoying lately? Anything exciting?

Bookish Bucket List

PrintIt’s funny how things change. Over the last few years, I have done pretty massive purges of my books (both read and unread), to the point that I couldn’t even begin to guess how many hundreds I have gotten rid of (probably around 1000, or pretty close to it). I was going over my bookshelves the other day, looking at what I had left, and it made me realize that I don’t really have a ton of stories left on my reading bucket list – or books that I want to read before I die.

My beloved Cainsville series from Kelley Armstrong has wrapped. We finally got the Dani O’Malley/Ryodan story I had been waiting for for what felt like forever in the Fever series. I would’ve legit offed someone to get my hands on books two and three of the Hidden Legacy series a even a few days earlier. Another person (or two) would gladly have been sacrificed if it brought me closer to Heart of Obsidian. And any book that featured the Ghostwalkers was automatically on the list. I am talking about those books that I honestly was nuts about getting my hands on. But now, while I have several books I am very much looking forward to, I don’t have any that inspire that same kid-at-christmas feeling as I used to have. And I miss it.

Well, there are still a few that I would consider to be on my bucket list (and a few of them are already in the works). Jeanine Frost‘s next book will feature Ian, who has been on my wish-list since he was first introduced in the Night Huntress series. And William from the Lords of the Underworld will get his story in 2019 (and then I can pull the plug on the Lords). I have heard rumors that Ilona Andrews will be writing Roman’s book sometime after Hugh’s trilogy (another must read), but I still am whining about more Derek and Julie books, too.

At this point, the top 10 characters I would love to have stories about would look something like this (in no particular order):

1) Illium – Guild Hunter

2) Aodhan – Guild Hunter

3) Malachi – Psy/Changelings

4) Alexei – Psy/Changelings

5) Janvier – GhostWalkers

6) Dane – The Breeds

7) Ben – Mercy Thompson World

8) Roman – Kate Daniels World

9) Derek – Kate Daniels World

10) Lor – Fever Series

What does your bucket list look like? What were your original stories that you couldn’t wait to get your hands on?

Reading Wrap Up

this fallen preyIt has been a couple of weeks since I did a reading wrap up post, so it is time to check out what everyone has been enjoying lately. I picked up Kelley Armstrong‘s This Fallen Prey, which is the third book of her Rockton series. I am a big fan of pretty much everything she writes, and this series is no exception. The only slightly negative thing I can say about this one is that I found at the end that there were too many killers. Not a big complaint, but it just felt a bit too rushed for the wrap up. Still a great story, though.

baby i'm howling for youI also enjoyed Baby I’m Howling For You from Christine Warren. She was a favorite author from back in the day, but we broke-up a few years back when I found myself really not liking a few of her later Others books. Or rather, the characters. But when I saw her new series set in the Others world, I decided to dive back in – and so far, so good. That makes me happy, because the books of hers that I loved remain among my all-time favorites, and I would very much like to see a return to the stories that made me a fan in the first place.

the emerald lilyThe Emerald Lily from Juliette Cross was one I was quite looking forward to. It is the final book in the fairy-tale retelling Vampire Blood series, and I am sad to see this one wrap up. For me, it was probably the weakest installment in the series, but that could just be my inborn dislike of reading the final book in a series. Any series. I did like it, but while this arc is finished I feel like there are still a lot more stories that not only could be told, but should be told. Perhaps a spin-off series is in the works? I hope.

the last wolfAnd the last one for this batch comes from Maria Vale. I have been looking forward to The Last Wolf since I first saw the listing for this new series, and I wasn’t disappointed. It had a very different feel to it, both in terms of writing style and world building, and it is definitely one I will be keeping up with. In fact, the first four or five chapters of the second book were included at the end of this one, and I have a feeling I will like it even more than this one.

Add in a couple of re-reads, and that wraps things up for me. What have you been reading lately? Anything exciting, either good or bad?

 

Reading Wrap Up

origin in deathI have been steadily chugging though some pretty great books the last few days – some of which I liked more than I expected to, honestly. After a bit of a break, I got back into J.D. Robb‘s In Death series, picking up book #21, Origin in Death. It has been well over a month since I read the last one, and I missed it (which sounds weird, but there it is). This was another great installment, but at this point I expect nothing less.

blood furyNext up was Blood Fury from J.R. Ward. I was on the meh side of things heading into this one, but it was a very pleasant surprise. I ended up really liking both story lines (and all four main characters, which is rare). Wrath stole every scene he was in, there was enough Rhage to make me happy, no Layla (yes!) and only had to suffer through a glimpse of Qhuinn (I have not forgiven that turd yet, and may never. Bastard). This one was a winner for me all the way around.

ritualsAnd on the re-read front, I am about half-way through Rituals, the final full Cainsville book from Kelley Armstrong. I loved this series with an undying, unexplainable passion, so having it wrap up is bittersweet. On one hand, it was great to get to the Olivia and Gabriel coupledom, but on the other hand, who likes to say goodbye to a favorite? It is a great end to a great series, though, and I am loving the re-read even more than the original.

There you have it. What have you been reading lately? Any big winners (or losers) to share? How do the Black Dagger Legacy books stack up to the Brotherhood stories for you?

Book of the Month

Eh, November. Not a month I am really excited over. Honestly, there is only one new release this month that I will be picking up – well, one plus Kelley Armstrong‘s Nadia Stafford novella, Perfect Victim, but that doesn’t really count here. At least it will give me a chance to finish up my Jane Yellowrock world marathon (the only type of marathon I will ever be in, too). So, it is time to pick your book of the month for November. I have chosen 10 titles to list for the poll, but if you have something else you are anticipating just select “Other” and leave your choice in the comments section. Let’s hope I can not bungle this like I did for October. Anyways, a complete listing of November’s releases can be found HERE.

So, my pick will have to be Dangerously Divine by Deborah Blake (probably because it is the only new release I will be picking up this month). Come to think of it, I don’t remember there being a ton I am dying to get my hands on for December, either. I might be ending 2017 with a whimper.

Nadia Novella News

Usually, I stick pretty firmly to my rules of only spotlighting releases that have a paranormal or supernatural romance angle, mostly because if you start branching out it is hard to know where to start. But once in a while, a favorite author will do something a little different. Kelley Armstrong has several great series that I have very much enjoyed, and it looks like she has a novella in the works that will tie two of them together. Nadia Stafford #3.6 will be called Perfect Victim, and it will also feature a character from her Rockton books. Yay to crossovers – especially ones that make perfect story-line sense. And there isn’t much of a wait for it, either, since it will be released on November 1st.

perfect victimSynopsis…

Fifteen years ago, hit man Tyrone Cypher disappeared into the wilderness. Now he’s back with a job for his old “friend” Jack. While Jack doesn’t consider Cypher much of a friend, the job is ideal for Nadia.

There’s a killer in Honolulu, targeting those involved in the family court system. When no one else would take one victim’s cases, lawyer Angela Kamaka did, putting herself squarely in the killer’s cross-sights.

For Nadia, Angela is the perfect victim—an innocent person in danger for doing the right thing. So Nadia and Jack get an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii courtesy of Tyrone Cypher, who has his own reasons for wanting to keep Angela safe.

Do you have any favorite cross-overs? I liked seeing some of the BDB gang show up in J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series. And right now I am reading Easy Pickings from Faith Hunter and C.E. Murphy – which would probably be great if I had read C.E. Murphy before, but since I haven’t it isn’t a big deal for me. Are there any series that you would like to see get the cross-over treatment?

 

Pick of the Week

You know those books that you both can’t wait to get your hands on and dread getting at the same time? Rituals from Kelley Armstrong is like that for me. I love this series – more with every book, it seems – but it also the fifth and final book. I don’t like saying goodbye to a favorite, but I also appreciate when an author knows when to wrap things up. I did get my print copy a day early, though, and it is great so far – loving where things are going.

ritualsSynopsis…

The fifth book and the exciting conclusion to bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s “impossible-to-put-down” Cainsville series, in which she mixes hard-hitting crime writing with phenomenal world-building to create a brand of fiction all her own.

Olivia Jones must make a choice. Caught between two rival supernatural forces, Liv was granted a brief period in which to make her decision. Now that time has run out. Whichever side she chooses, someone she loves will pay. Her lover, Ricky. Gabriel Walsh, the man she knows she cannot, must not love. Her parents, already trapped in prison.And now there is a new, terrifying power rising – one that doesn’t distinguish between good and evil intentions. It feeds on chaos and destroys without mercy. Unless Liv acts fast, no one will survive. In this gripping thriller, international bestselling author Kelley Armstrong brings the Cainsville series to a powerful, richly rewarding climax.

Book of the Month

As July is crawling to a close, it is time to look ahead to see what will be coming our way in August. There aren’t a ton of books coming out for me, but there is one monster one that will be bittersweet. Kelley Armstrong‘s final Cainsville book, Rituals, will be out on the 15th, and as happy as I am to get another story, saying goodbye to a favorite series is never fun. I still hold out hope that this isn’t the end, though. Anyways, I have listed a few books that you might be anticipating, but if another title is your choice for book of the month, just select “Other” and leave your pick in the comments section. A complete list of August’s releases can be found HERE.

Cover Lover – This Fallen Prey

Usually, I quite strictly follow my own rule of only posting about PNR or UF books. But once in a while, a favorite author branches out to a different genre, and I break down and show a little tidbit. In this case, the favorite author is Kelley Armstrong, and she has released the cover and blurb for her third Casey Duncan/Rockton book, This Fallen Prey. From what she has said, the publisher has decided to change direction with the cover art, and I am not so sure that was the best idea. I really liked the first two, but this one is…dirt. And roots. But mostly dirt. Meh. And I still can’t wait to get my hands on it when it is released next February.

this fallen preyWhen Casey first arrived at the off-the-grid town, an isolated community built as a haven for people running from their pasts, she had no idea what to expect, with no cell phones, no internet, no mail, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. But the very last thing she expected was for the council to drop a dangerous criminal into their midst without a plan to keep him imprisoned, and to keep others safe.

Of course Oliver Brady claims he’s being set up. But the longer Brady stays in town, the more things start to go wrong. When evidence comes to light that someone inside Rockton might be working as his accomplice, helping him to escape, Casey races to figure out who exactly Brady is and what crimes he’s truly responsible for committing.

Having this to look forward to in no way diminishes the pain I will feel when Cainsville wraps up this fall, but it doesn’t hurt, either. What are your current non-PNR/UF favorite reads? Do you have any favorite cross-genre authors?