Spotlight on…Bound to Darkness

Last year, Lara Adrian announced that she was leaving traditional publishing and striking out on the self-pubbed route. She assured everyone that nothing would change with her popular Midnight Breed series, except that it would no longer be offered in hardcover format. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical, but it looks like word is starting to come out about Bound to Darkness. The good news is that the initial release date of December 31st has been changed…to July 30th. It isn’t often that books get moved ahead, which is a bonus, and here is the cover and blurb to get you into the mood…

bound to darknessCarys Chase is accustomed to making her own rules and letting her heart lead the way–no matter what anyone else has to say about it. A rare Breed female and a daywalker as well, headstrong, beautiful Carys is one of the most powerful of her kind. She lives passionately and loves without limits, especially when it comes to the lethal cage-fighting Breed warrior called Rune.

Unbeatable in the ring, Rune exists in a brutal world of blood and bone and death. He’s made his share of enemies both in and out of the arena, and his secrets run as deep and turbulent as his past. A dangerous loner who has survived by his fists and fangs, Rune has never allowed anyone to get too close to him…until Carys. But when the bodies buried in his past rise up to threaten his present, Rune must choose between betraying Carys’s trust or putting her in the crosshairs of a battle neither of them can hope to win on their own.

Purchase at Amazon.com

So, if you are like me, you are glad to see that the overall cover design stayed the same, even if the format changed (this one will be out in trade paperback rather than hardcover). I actually decided to drop the series a couple of books back, but are you looking forward to checking this one out?

From the Author Pages…Bad News, No News, and Spoilers

Once again, it was time to do my duty and update the author pages. In the process, there were a few things that came to light. Beware, though, there will be what can be called major spoilers at the end, but it will be marked. Several times. You can’t unsee that sucker, much as I wish.

  • I actually put off doing up this little post for a few days because I was waiting for the big reveal of the next IAD couple by Kresley Cole. It has been teased for a while now, and today was the big day. And the couple is…still unknown. Huh. Turns out she is working on more than one story, and whichever one gets off the ground first will be it. Have to admit, that wasn’t quite the news I was expecting. I would rather it be “heh…it’s a surprise!” Rather than “uh, I dunno”, but that is probably just me.
  • On the other hand, there is no question about what Christine Feehan has going on, at all. I have said a few times that Christine Feehan is on a major writing roll lately, getting back to routinely putting out books for all of her series. I didn’t realize how much of a roll, though. Dark Ghost is due out the September, and it will be followed by Dark Promise in March, 2016. Then it will be Dark Carousel (Tariq from the Lost Dark Book is the hero), plus a novella in the Edge of Darkness anthology. There are two more Leopard books after Cat’s Lair (Wild Cat and Leopard’s Fury). The next Sisters of the Heart book, Fire Bound, is already complete, and from what I understand so is the next Ghostwalkers book, Spider Game (featuring Trap and Cayenne). Nice.
  • Thanks go to Lidy for this one. It turns out that Gena Showalter is devoting 2015 to her new contemporary romance series, The Original Heartbreakers. That means no word on any new Lords of the Otherworld stories for a while, or Angels of the Dark either, for that matter. That is a bummer. What is even more of a bummer is that it looks like both the Alien Huntress and Otherworld Assassin series are dead in the water, as Gena is no longer with that publisher. She has not completely ruled out new stories, but she would have to go the self-pubbed route for those and I just don’t see it myself. That means no Dallas story, and no finishing the Otherworld Assassin trilogy with John’s story. I know things happen, and I don’t get a vote, but I hate it when a series ends with literally only one story left to tell. Drives me nuts.
  • I already posted this one back a couple of days ago, but we now have an official release date for the second book in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews. There isn’t a title yet (other than one of my most anticipated reads for this coming year), but it will be ours on October 27th.
  • Kelley Armstrong will be releasing a collection of novellas from her various series called Led Astray. Not much info is known as yet, but it will be out on September 15th.
  • Bound to Darkness, the next book of Lara Adrian‘s Midnight Breed series (and the first to be self-pubbed) now has a release date. It is looking like a December 31st release, and it will be available in trade paperback, audio and e-format, from what I understand. Not ideal for physical book collectors, since now it covers mass market, hardback and trade, but what are you going to do?
  • Oh, and on to my 2015 target author (er, which I haven’t started. Yet. But I still have time!), Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her 7th Chronicles of Nick book will be called Invision, and it is due out on April 8th of next year.
  • This one was welcome news. Thea Harrison is working on Graydon’s story now, and it will be called Shadow’s End. Unfortunately, we just have to wait until December 3rd to get it.
  • Now, for the spoiler part of the post. While I was hunting for Darynda Jones info, I came across the blurb for The Dirt on Ninth Grave. Unfortunately, I can’t unsee that sucker, because I consider it major spoilery for what happens in Eighth Grave After Dark. I will post it here for those of you who, like me, have no control but wish you did…but be warned.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, CHARLEY DAVIDSON FANS!

In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she’s more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.

But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn’t help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she’s lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.

2014…A Year in Review

2014-Happy-New-Year-Free-HD-Picture-1As we head into another year, it is time to take a look back at what stood out in 2014. Most of my choices will surprise no one, since I have my favorites and I am not shy about going on, and on, and on about them, but it never hurts to give a shout out where it is due.

I am looking forward to seeing how my choices stack up with yours, too, and if there was any that I missed. For today, let’s just do the look back at 2014.

What was the best new series that started in 2014?
  • For me, hands down, it was Hidden Legacy by Ilona Andrews. I had high, high hopes, and it met every one. No one else even came close.
Best new-to-me series in 2014?
  • Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld. Loving the Cainsville series made me start it, but I like it now in its own right.
What second book in a new series was as good or better than the first?
  • This one is a tie between Visions by Kelley Armstrong and Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop. Sometimes the second book of a great series can be a bit of a let-down, but if anything I thought that these two both took things up a notch.
Best series finale?
  • As much as it sucks to say goodbye, a great finale is a bit of a consolation. My vote for best finale was City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, from her Mortal Instruments series. Loved that one, huge monster that it was. I like young adult, but it usually doesn’t rate as high as my adult books. This one did.
Most read author overall?
  • Mine was Kelley Armstrong, with 11 books (and still going). Ilona Andrews was next, since I re-read all of the Kate books for the character guide (and loved every minute of it).
Favorite authors of 2014?
  • Still the same – Ilona and Nalini. With Kelley Armstrong steadily moving up the list.
Best change of pace read?
  • I wasn’t going to do it, since I am not a huge New Adult fan, OR a fan of books where the main character is a famous musician (actor/athlete/model, etc), but because it was Nalini, I gave her new Rock Kiss series a try and liked it. Now, to be fair, I think my favorite part was the build up for book two featuring T-Rex and Charlie, but it still was a pleasant surprise.
Top 5 books of 2014?
What book did you find the biggest let-down in 2014?
  • I never thought Kresley Cole would ever, ever end up on the bad side of a list like this, but I found my biggest disappointment was Dark Skye. I didn’t find it was a terrible book, but it was just something I couldn’t get into. And after waiting years for the story, I went in planning an A+ read. It just didn’t happen. Runners up were The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost and Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison.
What author/series did you finally give up on, if any?
  • Mine was Lara Adrian. I was never a huge Midnight Breed fan (except for Darker After Midnight, which was epic), but I had even less interest in the new arc. I tried for years to make myself get more into them, but then I decided that it was time to let it go.

My reading goal was 150 books, and I fell quite a bit short of that. Like, way short. I also got way behind on the Character guides, which is a bit of a pain in the ass since I am now playing a major game of catch-up, but I have higher hopes for 2015. All in all, though, I can’t complain. There was a lot more good than bad, and even the bad might look better this time next year.

This and That…

Just a little bit of random book info…

  • If you were a fan of the recent C.L. Wilson release The Winter King, there is another book on the way called The Sea King. As of right now, it is scheduled for release on July 28th…

From the author of THE WINTER KING comes a breathtaking new tale of love and adventure, set in the mystical land of Mystral.

Summer Coruscate has grown up the daughter of royalty, a Princess of the Rose and a weathermage, but over the past three years of war, Summerlea has been rendered a shadow of its former self. Now, after the joining of her younger sister Khamsin and the Winter King in marriage, her kingdom is finally at peace.

A Calbernan warrior and seafarer, Dilys Merimydion has always possessed the ability to control the animals of the sea and uses their sight to chart his way through the dark, sometimes savage waters.

As she does it best, C.L. Wilson weaves a tale of war, love, and desire that will take you on a journey to lands many only dream of.

  • There has been some new info coming out about Karen Marie Moning‘s Fever series. Burned was originally to be the second book in the Dani O’Malley arc, followed by Flayed. Well, Burned is now told mostly from Mac’s POV, and Flayed is cancelled altogether. Fever #8 will be called Feverborn, and #9 is Feversong, and both as of right now are looking like a 2016 release. There will be at least one more book after that, as well. Not sure how I like that, changing in mid-stream and all, but we will see how it goes.
  • Both Larissa Ione and Lara Adrian are contributing a second title to the continuing 1001 Dark Nights series. Larissa’s next story will be Demonica #11.5 and features Hades, and it is due out on May 26th. Lara’s next installment will be called Stroke of Midnight, and it will be out next October 13th. Has anyone checked this series out yet? I was surprised to see just how many there are planned for the 1001 Dark Nights, and the variety of genres covered. Even Jennifer L. Armentrout has one coming up called Dream of You, which is part of her Wait for You contemporary romance series.
  • There isn’t any info out as yet, but J.R. Ward‘s first Bourbon Kings novel does now have a release date of July 28th.

That looks like it for today. Hopefully more info to come.

Love Them, Love Them Not…

question markFor the last little while, I have been noticing a slight change in my reading habits – or rather, in who I have been looking forward to reading. As I have bored everyone with for the last few weeks, my total disinterest in Kresley Cole‘s Dark Skye is something that I never, ever would’ve saw coming. Kresley Cole was always, ALWAYS tied for my favorite author, along with Nalini Singh. That was just a given. Now? I still like her work, but I have found myself not as excited as I once was.

Alyssa Day and Lara Adrian are two more that I find myself drifting away from. I was never a rabid fan of their stuff, but it was something that I enjoyed while reading then promptly forgot (with the exception of Lara’s Darker After Midnight, which was a brilliant, game-changing book). I have gotten to the point where I am happy saying goodbye to both the Warriors of Poseidon and the Midnight Breed, so I probably won’t be picking up any more of their books.

But, on the other side, my adoration for Ilona Andrews has only continued to grow, and now I can honestly say that Ilona has supplanted Kresley as tied for my favorite author. Like Nalini, I haven’t yet read anything by them that I didn’t love, and that shows no signs of changing soon. Burn for Me is my most anticipated book for this fall (since I have already read Archangel’s Shadows, that is), and Magic Breaks was one of the best reads of summer.

And a recent development is my obsession with all things Kelley Armstrong. The Cainsville books have me completely hooked, and when I finally took Amber’s recommendation to start the Women of the Otherworld series I was pleasantly surprised. I have even been reading her middle grade Blackwell Pages written with Melissa Marr, and liking that (sort of like Percy Jackson).

How about you? What authors have risen, and which have fallen, in your must-read list? Are any old favorites losing their shine, or is there any new author you can’t get enough of?

August’s Book of the Month Giveaway…

giveaway bannerThere was another landslide victory this month, even though there were some great books to choose from. Jeaniene Frost‘s The Beautiful Ashes, Kelley Armstrong‘s Visions, and Lara Adrian‘s last traditionally published Midnight Breed book are all heading our way, but August belongs to Kresley Cole and Dark Skye.

If you are interested in winning a hardcover copy when it is released on August 5th, just leave a comment in the section below.

Contest open to all, winner to be chosen at random through random.org. Let’s end this Sunday night at midnight (Atlantic time). Good luck!

dark skyeSynopsis…

Eternal Obsession

As a boy, Thronos, Lord of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body—and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

Endless Yearning

Lanthe, a once-formidable sorceress struggling to reclaim her gifts, searches for love and acceptance with all the wrong immortal suitors. But she’s never forgotten Thronos, the magnificent silver-eyed boy who protected her until she was ripped from the shelter of his arms. One harrowing night changed everything between them. Now he’s a notorious warlord with a blood vendetta against Lanthe, hunting her relentlessly.

Can the heat of desire burn brighter than vengeance?

With their families locked in conflict and battles raging all around them, will Thronos and Lanthe succumb to the brutal chaos that threatens everything they cherish? Or will the fragile bond they formed so long ago spark a passion strong enough to withstand even the darkest doubts?

 

Spotlight on…Lara Adrian

As most of you have probably heard by now, Lara Adrian‘s upcoming Midnight Breed book, Crave the Night, will be her last publishing house release. She has decided to go back to self-publishing whatever stories follow in the series, and also to branch out into other new worlds. One such new world is her new Phoenix Code series, written with Tina Folsom. The first book is going to be called Cut and Run, and it has a release date of November 17th. At this point, it looks like an e-book only release.

cut and run

Darkly gifted and dangerously skilled, they were once the nation’s most powerful asset. Betrayed by unknown enemies, unable to trust anyone–not even one another–the Phoenix hold the key to unmasking a conspiracy steeped in blood and fire. To survive, they’ll have to solve . . . The Phoenix Code.

CUT by Lara Adrian

Community college professor Ethan Jones is living a lie. A precognitive agent known as Zephyr, Ethan is part of Phoenix, a covert government ESP program with global influence and powerful, hidde enemies. He’s accustomed to subterfuge and deception, but when the Phoenix program is betrayed and shut down, Ethan is forced to cut all ties to the life he’s made and everyone in it–including smart, beautiful Tori Connors, the one woman who tempted the cold agent to let down his impenetrable facade.

A chance encounter years later and thousands of miles away thrusts the lovers together again, and this time Tori refuses to let Ethan deceive her. She hasn’t been able to forget him, or the scorching passion they shared. Although Ethan is a dangerous enigma, she still desires him, and soon their inconvenient reunion becomes a temptation too strong to resist. With assassins closing in from all sides, Ethan and Tori embark on a desperate race for their lives–one that will put their tentative trust to the ultimate test.

RUN by Tina Folsom

Motorcycle mechanic and biker Scott Thompson isn’t the laid-back loner he makes everyone believe. Three years ago, he was known as Ace, and belonged to an elite group of agents in a top secret CIA program. However, the preternatural ability that made him an invaluable asset to the government could now become his downfall, for he has to resist acting upon his premonitions, or risk exposing himself to the enemies reponsible for the destruction of the Phoenix program and the murder of his mentor. When his skill alerts him to a looming disaster bound to kill dozens of innocents, his compelled to take action.

To save her position from planned budget cuts, Phoebe Chadwick needs to prove to her editor that she is a brilliant journalist with a knack for sniffing out a juicy story. When the mysterious Scott prevents a tragic accident which could have killed her and many others, she tries to interview him. But the handsome stranger is a reluctant hero unwilling to answer her probing questions.

Bad boy Scott instantly feels the sizzling chemistry between him and the persistent reporter and makes a decision that he fears will bit him in the ass soon: He allows Phoebe to get close–not only to his body, but also to his heart, always wondering when somebody will find out his secret.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to something different from Lara Adrian, or do you wish that she would focus more on wrapping up the Midnight Breed series? Crave the Night had a couple of significant push-backs (if I am not mistaken I believe it was originally due out last fall, then this past January, and now it is due this August), but hopefully things can get back to a more steady schedule.

Sin City Collectors Novella Series…

Earlier this year, word came out about the 1001 Dark Nights series of novellas, featuring such authors as Shayla Black, Lara Adrian, and Larissa Ione. They are stand-alone serialized stories, releasing roughly one every month, based around a central premise. It turns out there is another series in the works, too.

This time around, the series is called the Sin City Collectors, and the authors involved include Kristen Painter, Amanda Carlson, Shawntelle Madison, Sara Humphreys, and Angie Fox. You can find the first two covers and blurbs on their Facebook page.

Story #1 is Amanda Carlson’s Aces Wild, which is due out on June 2nd…

aces wildSynopsis…

Welcome to Vegas. Home of the Sin City Collectors. The job description is easy: Bring the offending supernatural in to the Boss and don’t ask any questions.

Nevada Hamilton has learned a few things since becoming a Sin City Collector, and staying away from vampires is one of them. After botching her first Collection, the vamp getting away after causing as much damage as possible, she hasn’t been assigned to another one since.

But when she receives her next playing card, she’s in for a surprise. Not only is a vampire her next target, but they’ve paired her up to make sure she gets the job done right. Refusing a Collection is not an option, but when she discovers who she’s working with, making the mission as difficult as possible for her new partner becomes her top priority…

Being a hellhound isn’t enough to protect Jake Troubadour from Nevada Hamilton, no matter how thick his skin is. Finding out he has to work with the beautiful dhampir, after not seeing her for three years, is a low blow—but Jake is a professional. He takes his Collections as seriously as he does running his bar. He’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done, but after that, he’s out. No more chances for the girl who wrecked his bike and scarred his soul so long ago. But even with his heart dead set against it, this hellhound quickly finds he’s not immune to love after all.

What’s Collected in Vegas, stays in Vegas…

And it will be followed by Kristen Painter’s Queen of Hearts on July 1st.

queen of heartsSynopsis…

Welcome to Las Vegas, home of the Sin City Collectors. The job description is easy: Bring the offending supernatural in to the Boss and don’t ask any questions.

Feline shifter Claudette Marchon traded life as a showgirl to become a Sin City Collector, giving up the glamour to earn some serious cash in order to buy her own business. Mission accomplished, she now runs a pawn shop specializing in gems and jewelry.

Life is good until a Collection job requiring her specific skill set lures her back in. The Queen of Hearts, a museum-worthy ruby and diamond necklace has been stolen from the Boss’s private collection and she’s his last hope to do what two other Collectors have already failed to do. Bring in the necklace. And the thief.

But gargoyle Jason Tennant isn’t quite the dangerous criminal Claudette expects. In fact, he’s not a thief at all. He’s former Special Ops and being set up by the real mastermind, forcing her to decide between the man she’s falling for and the man she works for. Proving Jason innocent may risk the Boss’s wrath, but Claudette’s heart says it’s a gamble worth taking.

What’s Collected in Vegas, stays in Vegas…

They sound like a fun read, and I like the idea of a continuity world. It is a good way to start authors that you haven’t tried yet, but where they are stand alone you don’t really miss anything vital if you skip one. There is no word yet on word count or price, but I will keep an eye out for it. Will you be giving them a shot?

Cover Lover – 5+1 New Titles

It looks like there is a little something for everyone this time around – a couple of adult, some young adult, and even a novella cover. I didn’t know Lara Adrian had another novella in the works, but it looks like the next story from her Midnight Breed world will be called Marked by Midnight, and it will feature Mathias Rowan. Look for it on June 30th.

marked by midnightCoreene Callahan continues her Circle of Seven series with the release of Knight Avenged on July 15th.

knight avengedHeather Demetrios starts a new series on October 7th with the release of Exquisite Captive.

exquisite captiveWord has finally come down about the third Raven Cycle book from Maggie Stiefvater.Blue Lily, Lily Blue will be released on October 28th.

blue lily, blue lilyJust for kicks, I thought I would up both the North American and UK versions of the cover for Heir of Fire, the third book in the Throne of Glass series from Sarah J. Maas. First up is the US version…

heir of fire…and next up is the UK version. Heir of Fire will be out on September 2nd.

heir of fire ukI like both Heir of Fire covers. Usually one is great and the other bites, but it looks like both versions turned out really well. I love the Maggie Stiefvater cover – I bought the first two books in the series mostly because of the great covers, and this one is even better. Any of these something you are looking forward to?

Spotlight on…Lara Adrian

crave the nightLara Adrian‘s newsletter went out in the last few hours, and it seems like there are some big changes coming from the Midnight Breed author. Big changes…

  • We all know that Crave the Night had some major pushbacks. Originally scheduled for a February 2014 release, it now will not be out until August 5th. She goes into a bit of detail as to why, siting health and life issues rather than difficulties with the book or publishers as I usually assume when there is a significant delay in publication.
  • In some huge news, Lara also states that while Crave the Night will NOT be the last of the Midnight Breed, it will be the last traditionally published books for the series. Yep, she is going indie. She has nothing but kind words for her former publisher, Random House, but she says she believes it is the right move for her professionally. I have to admit, I have seen other authors make the decision to self publish, but usually it has been a case them carrying on on their own after their publisher pulled the plug on a series that hasn’t lived up to sales expectations. I haven’t heard of a series of this success level going that direction, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • Lara also goes on to say that there will be six more full Midnight Breed books, and several novellas. It sounds like there won’t be more hardcovers heading our way (with the self publishing), but they will be available in trade paperback, e-book and audio book format. Also sometime in 2014, you will be able to purchase books directly from Lara’s website, laraadrian.com.
  • She goes on to talk a bit about the 1001 Nights e-book series I mentioned a couple of posts ago (HERE). It turns out there are going to be 11 novellas in all, they are inspired by The Arabian Nights: Tales from 1001 Nights.
  • While all of that would keep anyone busy, Lara also will be teaming up with Alexandra Ivy, Laura Wright and Donna Grant on the Masters of Seduction series. The four novellas will focus on four succubus heroes, and should be available next summer.

Wow, so what do you think about the turn to self publishing? Lara says that she wants to have more of a say in the behind-the-scenes business of putting out a book, and that authors have little to no say in things like cover art, release dates, formats, that sort of thing. The only thing that annoys me, I admit it, is purely aesthetic. Once a series makes the jump to hardcover, I buy in hardcover. Now it will mean the early books are mass market, the middle books are hardcover, and the latter books will be trade paperback. Add into that a probable change in cover design, and it makes my OCD twitch. I can only imagine how much work it would be to be responsible for every aspect of putting a book out, but if she feels it is the right move for her career, I wish her the best.