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Site Updates

xSo, I have been busy the last couple of hours playing around with some behind the scenes stuff, and I thought I should let you know there have been a few changes. They won’t matter to most people, but I am mentioning it on the off chance you go looking for something and can’t find it.

First off, I mentioned that since I was quitting the Arcana Chronicles series from Kresley Cole, I was also giving up the character guide. That has been deleted, along with a couple of others that I enjoyed but just didn’t feel like updating anymore – one is the Shadowhunters guide for Cassandra Clare‘s multiple series, and the other is the Rock Kiss series guide from Nalini Singh. On the Shadowhunters front, I have moved on from YA and don’t want to “have to” read it if I don’t feel like it, and Rock Kiss doesn’t fit the overall PNR/UF theme I have going on so I let it go, too.

I also deleted a few author pages. Tastes change, interests change, and having almost 30 different pages to try and keep updated and edited on a weekly basis was a bit over the top. I did delete the Cassandra Clare page, again because I am not doing young adult too much anymore, and that same reason made me say goodbye to the Richelle Mead section, too. Larissa Ione hasn’t really had much to mentioned for quite a while now, so that one was just taking up space, and I stopped reading Lara Adrian way back when so her page is gone, too. PhoenixFyre has a great character guide for The Midnight Breed that I definitely didn’t want to go to waste, so I moved it HERE.

There was other stuff I could’ve dumped, too, but I decided to wait and see. Maybe I am getting lazy, or just more realistic, but I don’t want this blog to turn into work. I spend a lot of time on it, but it is time I enjoy. When there are things that I start to dread, or have to force myself to do, then it is time to let those things go. I still have plans to add other guides, maybe new authors as I find them, but for now this will keep me busy.

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Another One Bites the Dust

f58bece565008387c95ee25036b84ad3Welp, looks like I am dropping another series – I just wish I had done it before I had bought multiple copies of most of the books. Kresley Cole‘s Arcana Chronicles was one of the few young adult series that survived my recent book purges, but by the time I had finished reading the recently released Arcana Rising I had changed my mind.

With the publishing and format changes in the last couple of books, I found myself frustrated a couple of times. I had the first three books in hardcover, but when it looked like it was going to be paperback only from now on I bit the bullet and repurchased them in the new-look paperback format. Great. Except that didn’t work. I managed to pay a fortune for the mini-book Day Zero, but it is a completely different size than the previous books. And Arcana Rising? I was forced to pick it up in e-format since it wasn’t offered in print format at all for Canada – until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, it became offered in print – in HARDCOVER. No. Just no.

Add on to that my overall dissatisfaction with the direction and feel of the last book, and I think I am done. It felt like a filler book with a fanfic ending. It was choppy and didn’t fit with the rest of the series, at least for me. Sadly, I don’t even know if I care enough to pick up the final book when it is released. I might break down and pick it up, but at this point I really doubt it.

If anyone would like to take over the Character Guide I have for it, just let me know and the info is all yours. I know I won’t be updating it, but it would be a shame to let the effort go to waste.

Review

Reading Wrap Up

booksIt has been a couple of weeks since my last Reading Wrap Up post, and I am interested to see what everyone has been checking out lately. I had some hits, some so-so’s, and one I can’t quite put my finger on.

Let’s start with a big winner for me, and that is Betrayals from Kelley Armstrong, the fourth book of her Cainsville series. As much as I was looking forward to this one, and it was one of my biggies for the entire year, I didn’t quite know what direction things were going to go in, especially on the Ricky/Olivia/Gabriel front. I figured there might be a bit of progression on the romance front (trying to keep things general, which I am not good at), but I was surprised by just how much there was. Especially on the Gabriel front. Gabriel has been so…oblivious? Stunted? Scared?…that I couldn’t see how Kelley could realistically start to bring him around, but she pulled it off. I like Olivia a lot, and Ricky too, but Gabriel stole the show. Seeing his POV was a real treat, but then so was finding out what was going on behind the scenes for Ricky, as well.

I have never made any secret of my general loathing of love triangles, but I can honestly say that this is one of only two series (the other being The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare) that has one that works for me. I think it comes from the fact that I like all three of the characters, and most importantly all three of the characters like and respect each other. There is only one book left to wrap everything up, and while part of me can’t wait to find out how things end, it is going to be hard to let this series go. Now just a year to wait for Rituals…let the countdown begin.

Also on the winning side of things, I flew through another Eve and Roarke book from J.D. Robb, this time Holiday in Death (book 7). Still enjoying these a lot – I am reading them quickly enough to keep details fresh, but not so quickly that I am burning myself out on them. I have had a string of other things that I had to read, and I find myself looking forward to picking up the next one – and it is great if you are still excited seven stories in.

This next one is a bit hard to put into words. I had to force myself to read the last Carpathian book from Christine Feehan, Dark Promises, for a couple of reasons. The most important one was that I cannot stand the female lead, Gabrielle. She bugged me from the start, so picking up a whole book devoted to her didn’t light my fire. I did end up making myself read (or skim) it, but it didn’t add anything to the overall series, and in fact it was bland enough for me that I have completely forgotten most of it in just a couple of weeks. The same cannot be said for the most recent release, Dark Carousel, which while not a perfect book does set up a whole new world for the Carpathians first brought to light in the Dark Crime novella. We move out of the jungles and mountains (and those damn caves) and this new branch is set in cities in the US, and it was a welcome change.

For me, though, this one was less the story of Tariq and Charlie and more a set-up for future books. There was a lot of things going on with a lot of different characters, and the two main leads got lost a bit in the shuffle, but Tariq was less ass-holey than a lot of her recent male leads, and Charlie actually managed to stand up for herself while acknowledging that this was Tariq’s world and he knew best in certain situations. She wasn’t completely stupid and borderline abused, which was a bonus. It made sense. But the bad guys were a bit over the top for me, and there is a lot of eye-rolling magic stuff that had me laughing. I mean, I started humming “Puff the Magic Dragon” when the triplets starting building the come-to-life stone dragons to fly around on. In terms of the Feehan Female Formula, though, Charlie does still speak with the same voice as most recent heroines what with her “honey” this and “honey” that. And she did get a smokin’ hot pair of ruffled boots, too, so all was well with the world. I like the new feel for the series, and I guess I can say I liked it for what it was, but hopefully now that the set up is done the stories will flow a bit better.

On the not-so-successful side of things was Kresley Cole‘s two recent Arcana Chronicles releases, Day Zero and Arcana Rising. I started out with Day Zero but quickly dropped it – it is great for adding info as a reference, but it didn’t grab my attention as a story. I did finish Arcana Rising, but not sure how I felt about it. Maybe my annoyance with the whole e-book only format changes and lack of info played a part, but this one was weird. For me, the tone was completely different than previous books, and I felt like I had missed a chunk of story that would bridge between the previous book and this one. It felt really short and rushed, and like important things had been skipped like in a badly edited movie. I guess I am trying to say that for me it felt like everything was just thrown in, so when there was a big reveal or twist, it just fell flat. There were parts I liked, but for me it didn’t really fit with the rest of the series. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t thrilled, either. Let’s just say I thought it felt self-pubbed, and not in a good way.

Ok, your turn. What have you been reading lately? Have you checked out any of the ones I did, and if you did what did you think?

Cover Lover

The Chosen Cover and Excerpt

I was going to label this as a “Cover Lover” post, but really, that is a no. I had seen this version of The Chosen floating around Goodreads a few days ago, but to be honest I thought it was a bad fan-made jobbie posted as a joke. But when I saw J.R. Ward link to the cover reveal on her site, I knew it was the real deal. Yeah.

ward_comp.indd

So, I might sound bitchy, but this is not pretty. If you put this one and Kresley Cole‘s Wicked Abyss side by side, maybe this one doesn’t look that bad, but it is close. The Chosen will be out on April 4th. If you would like to check out an excerpt, you can head over to Entertainment Weekly and check it out HERE.

Release Info

Well, This is Unexpected

I was just browsing through Amazon.com, and the listing is up for the long-awaited second story from Kresley Cole‘s IAD spin-off series, The Dacians. Shadow’s Seduction will be released on January 30th, but I must say that the blurb was unexpected…

A night of debauchery
Prince Mirceo Daciano and his new friend Caspion the Tracker comb the streets of Dacia, drunkenly seeking out pleasures of the flesh. In what should have been a typical night, they coax a bevy of nymphs to bed. To impress their females, the demon and the vampire kiss on a dare.

Changes them forever
Once they finally break away from their soul-searing kiss, they find themselves alone—and shaken. Had they imagined their explosive chemistry? Obstacles—ranging from a death sentence, to exile on a war-torn dimension—threaten to destroy their lives, much less the vulnerable promise in that one kiss.

How long can they resist the fire that blazes between them?
Even if Mirceo can accept Caspion as his fated mate, the sensual vampire still must convince the stubborn demon that their bond is forever. And any royal Dacian union must receive the blessing of King Lothaire, an unpredictable and savage killer. . . .

Huh. Didn’t see that one coming at all. The first book was my favorite IAD-world story in quite a while, but I didn’t see her taking the next book in this direction. Plus, it is a “Valkyrie Press” release (so indie pubbed), and that means that right now it is showing a Kindle edition only, and it clocks in at 160 pages making it a decent sized novella.

Your thoughts? Does this seem to be sort of…random…to anyone else? Usually there is a hint of a paring before-hand, but I don’t remember any Caspion/Mirceo vibes from before. But then it has been a while, so maybe I have forgotten?

Cover Lover

Cover Lover – Wicked Abyss

I was responding to some comments in the previous post whey Lidy mentioned that the cover was out for the next Immortals After Dark book by Kresley Cole, called Wicked Abyss. Here is how the couple of minutes after that discovery went “Yes! Cover! Yes, yes, yes…No! Ew. Really?” So, yeah, I am just going to say it…I think this one is pretty not cute. At all. But hopefully it will look better in person? Nah, who am I kidding. Still not cute. Either way, the story will focus on Sian, and it has a release date of March 28th.

wicked abyssHe never wanted to be a beast…

As a boy, Abyssian ‘Sian’ Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has amplified his hell-demon blood, transforming him into an unrecognizable monster – just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian fantasizes about seducing and spurning her, but he can retain his former appearance for only one hour a day.

She never wanted to be a beauty…

When a beastly demon king abducts her, fey princess Liliana ‘Lili’ Barbot goes from one prison to another. The beast vows revenge for betrayals she can’t remember and punishes her with gruelling labour within his mystical castle. Her only solace is spending time with a fellow prisoner Bael, a devastatingly gorgeous male who is allowed to see her for only one hour a day.

Can they break the spell before it’s too late…?

In the guise of ‘Bael’, Sian toys with Lili’s heart and body. Yet as she falls deeper under his spell, Lili can’t help but respond to the beast’s vulnerability and pain, and her sympathy develops into something more. When truths from a far distant past are revealed and identities discovered, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit – and a looming supernatural war?

Seriously, does anyone else think of bad fan art when they see this? And as someone who used to do bad fanart, I am usually a bit more forgiving. I don’t know if it is the flat yellow font with the basic drop shadow or the tacked on little title, but this one looks like a self-pubbed jobbie. Not feeling the cover, but not quite sure where I stand on the Beauty and Beast/IAD mashup. What might be throwing me is that I have read a few fairytale retellings lately, and they can be hit or miss.

Question Time

What’s Up With the Arcana Chronicles? Updated…

day zeroHere is where I sound bitchy (and whiny) again. Has anyone heard what the blue-hell is going on with Kresley Cole‘s Arcana Chronicles? I have been staking out her Facebook and Web pages, where everyone is pretty much asking the same questions I am, but the questions have been glossed over and the lack of answers has been pretty much consistent. Here’s what I mean…

The first three books of The Arcana Chronicles were released in hardcover format by Simon and Schuster. Then, heading into the release of the third book, still with Simon and Schuster, there was a total cover redesign, which lead to a re-release of the first two books with the new cover style, in paperback. Ok, I am still following that. Now we are heading into the Day Zero novella (which is being called book #4 by some, or story #3.5 by others) and the fourth full book, Arcana Rising, under the publishing company Valkyrie Press. A reader here mentioned that Valkyrie Press is Kresley’s own self-pubbed company name, which makes sense. But did anyone hear she was going self-pubbed? It looks like her Gamemaker series went the same way – the first stories were published by Gallery, then the last one or two are from Valkyrie Press.

Here is my problem, though. The first three Arcana books were hardcover, albeit with an annoying cover design change. Fine. But Day Zero and Arcana Rising are showing up only as paperback and Kindle – and that is only through the American Amazon site. For me, in Canada? E-book only. Even the American Barnes and Noble website only has a Nook listing, so does that mean that the only place to get a print copy of either story is Amazon.com, and the rest of us are stuck with e-format only? Is there a physical copy in the future? I really don’t want to get stuck having to get the Kindle version and then find out that the print version was in the works. Since the novella is being released tomorrow and the next full book in a couple of weeks, I don’t think I am being unreasonable wanting to know what is going on already.

Lack of info bugs me, especially since Kresley is very active at promoting her works on Facebook. You can’t miss the constant repeat of the same questions I have asked in the comments sections in pretty much every post she makes, so how do we find out the answers? What really annoys me is no one else’s fault but my own, but I ended up re-buying the first three books in the new cover design so that things would match up, meaning I have two versions of each book  – hardcover and paperback – but now might be stuck with Kindle versions for the rest. Ugh. These things always (total exaggeration, I know) seem to happen when a super-successful author goes indie. I know it is a business and I wish them well, but is it really so hard to keep readers a bit in the loop?

Updated: So, I went to sleep around 6 o’clock this morning, the release date of Day Zero, and at that time it was still listed as Kindle only. When I finally dragged myself out of bed this afternoon, there is a paperback listing for it on the Canadian Amazon…at $19.22 for a novella. Bwahahaha…Still no info on Arcana Rising in print, but if you are like me and not willing/able to purchase through Amazon.com, it looks like you might be in luck. You just have to wait until the last minute to figure things out. It looks like it is from 3rd party sellers, but at least it is something.

Release Info

From the Author Pages

I don’t actually have much to post from my updating the author pages, but I did get my hands on a couple of little things…

  • The blurb is out for Kresley Cole‘s next Immortals After Dark book, Wicked Abyss, which is due out next March 28th. I swore it would’ve been about Furie (you know, caught underwater, in the abyss), but I was wrong…and can you say Beauty and the Beast?

He never wanted to be a beast…

As a boy, Abyssian ‘Sian’ Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has amplified his hell-demon blood, transforming him into an unrecognizable monster – just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian fantasizes about seducing and spurning her, but he can retain his former appearance for only one hour a day.

She never wanted to be a beauty…

When a beastly demon king abducts her, fey princess Liliana ‘Lili’ Barbot goes from one prison to another. The beast vows revenge for betrayals she can’t remember and punishes her with gruelling labour within his mystical castle. Her only solace is spending time with a fellow prisoner Bael, a devastatingly gorgeous male who is allowed to see her for only one hour a day.

Can they break the spell before it’s too late…?

In the guise of ‘Bael’, Sian toys with Lili’s heart and body. Yet as she falls deeper under his spell, Lili can’t help but respond to the beast’s vulnerability and pain, and her sympathy develops into something more. When truths from a far distant past are revealed and identities discovered, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit – and a looming supernatural war?

Oh, did anyone notice that it looks like Kresley Cole’s young adult Arcana series new release, Arcana Rising, will NOT be coming out in hardcover? How weird, and annoying, because you just know that means I will be tempted to pick up the first three in paperback to keep things matchy-matchy. Oy.

  • The next Call of Crows book from Shelly Laurenston will be called The Unyielding, and it also has a release date of March 28th…

the unyieldingStieg Engstrom, Angriest Viking Ever, has got big problems. The human Viking Clans of earth are in danger of being obliterated—along with the rest of the world—and the only one who may be able to save them is a super pain-in-the-ass Crow. Most people annoy Stieg, but this is the one woman he really can’t stand…

Erin Amsel loves being a Crow! Why wouldn’t she when the other Viking Clans are so hilariously arrogant and humorless? She’s not about to let all that come to an end! She just didn’t expect to be shoulder to shoulder in battle with Stieg. Then again, he’s so easy to torment—and also kind of cute.

With the future of the world riding on them, Stieg knows he’ll have to put aside his desperate need to kiss the smirk right off Erin’s face. Wait. What? He didn’t mean that—did he? No! They have one goal: To conquer the idiots. Because nothing bugs Stieg more than when idiots win. If only he can keep himself from suddenly acting like one…

  • And the cover is out for the next Lora Leigh Breeds book, Wake a Sleeping Tiger. It will be out March 21st. Meh, kitty in the background looks weird. It doesn’t really scream hardcover release, does it?

wake a sleeping tiger

Uncategorized

Looking Ahead

We are speeding towards the half-way point of 2016, and my most anticipated release for the first half of the year just came out (Nalini Singh‘s Allegiance of Honor). I thought maybe we could take a look ahead and share what we are all looking forward to in the back half of 2016. I have one or two biggies, but I thought I would go top 5, in no particular order:

Darynda JonesThe Curse of Tenth Grave: This is always a solid series for me, and I am really intrigued to see what direction things go in after the events of the previous book. If I was going in order, though, this one would probably come in at #5.

Kelley ArmstrongBetrayals: I am a huge fan of this series, it is one of my absolute favorites. And it is about the only adult series I can think of that has a love triangle that doesn’t make me want to gag. This is the second to last book, so I must enjoy every moment.

Ilona AndrewsMagic Binds: Yeah, like I have to explain this one.

Nalini SinghArchangel’s Heart: Probably don’t need to explain this one either.

Kresley Cole/ Gena ShowalterBlood Red Kiss: My dark horse pick, and solely based on the Gena Showalter entry. To finally, finally get Dallas’s story from the Alien Huntress/Otherworld Assassin after all these years? Priceless.

That is how my list shapes up, but what does yours look like? I figure Singh and Andrews will be on most people’s lists, but I am interested to see what comes up for the other three.

Release Info

Did You Know?

As I am doing some updating, I came across a couple of interesting (to me, at least) tidbits I thought I would share.

  • Kresley Cole is finally, finally returning to her Dacians series early next year. The wait has been long (like over four years long), but there will be a second story coming out next February called Shadow’s Seduction. I thought I had heard that this was going to be a novella, but Goodreads lists it as “book #2”. Either way, it has been way too long.
  • Oh, and it looks like Kim Harrison is returning to the world of The Hollows. There isn’t much detail as yet, but it looks like the 14th book of the series will be called The Turn, and it has a release date of January 26th.
  • Since she wrapped up her Love at Stake series, there has been hints that Kerrelyn Sparks was working on something new. Information has been pretty much non-existent until now, but it looks like the new series will be called The Embraced. The first book will be called How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days, and it will be out on March 7th. The series is described as follows…
“Game of Thrones meets The Princess Bride in this paranormal/fantasy series with romance, humor, action, adventure, more romance, suspense, swordfights, a medieval-type world, heroes who can parkour, lots of laughs, and even more romance.
The series is set on a different world—a world with humans, dragons, elves, shifters, and the Embraced. Who are the Embraced? This world happens to have two moons, and twice a year, the two moons eclipse (or as the people there say, embrace). Any child born on those nights will have some kind of paranormal power. They are called the Embraced.
The kings of this world consider them a threat. After all, the Embraced have powers that the kings can never have. So the kings dispatch assassins to kill them. Obviously, if you’re Embraced, you want to keep it secret! But what happens if you need to use your supernatural power?”

I have to admit, I never picked up the Love at Stake books. It was a matter of too many already published when I have so many other series to catch up on, but I am definitely going to be picking this one up. How about you?