Spotlight Wednesday – Annie Bellet

On one of my random internet searches, I came across and article over on the Barnes and Noble Sci-fi & Fantasy Blog called ” 12 Highly Bingeable Urban Fantasy Series”. Any list that has Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop and Faith Hunter on it catches my attention. While there were several series mentioned that I knew, it was a completely unknown one that caught my eye and made me think of doing an author spotlight post.

Author Annie Bellet has an ongoing, seven book series (with the eighth due in December) called The Twenty-Sided Sorceress, which gets its start with the first long-novella length story, Justice Calling.

justice-callingSynopsis…

Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress.

Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe.

As long as she doesn’t use her magic.

When dark powers threaten her friends’ lives, a sexy shape-shifter enforcer shows up. He’s the shifter world’s judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one, and he thinks Jade is to blame. To clear her name, save her friends, and stop the villain, she’ll have to use her wits… and her sorceress powers.

Except Jade knows that as soon as she does, a far deadlier nemesis awaits.

If you are interested in checking this one out, it can be found on Amazon.com for free by clicking HERE.

There is a print bind-up of the first four books called Level Grind, and one for the next three called Boss Fight.

Other books in the series:

spotlight-template

annie-belletAbout the author: Annie Bellet is a full-time speculative fiction writer. She holds a BA in English and a BA in Medieval Studies and thus can speak a smattering of useful languages such as Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Welsh. Her books include Avarice (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division: Book 1), The Gryphonpike Chronicles series, and the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series. Her interests besides writing include rock climbing, reading, horse-back riding, video games, comic books, table-top RPGs, and many other nerdy pursuits.

Cover Lover – Silence Fallen

It seems like every few days one of my much-anticipated releases has their cover reveal, and today’s book is Silence Fallen from Patricia Briggs. I already did the blurb reveal a while back, but might as well do it again, right? This one is dark and beautiful, and has a release date of March 7th.

silence_fallen_layout.inddIn the #1 New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson novels, the coyote shapeshifter has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack and her mate is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…”

This is one of my favorite covers of the whole series. Some of the previous Mercy covers, while all pretty, showed a little bit more of Mercy than I sometimes thought went with the character. Mercy never struck me as the plunging neckline and midriff baring type of gal, so this suits my version more. And I like the dark, intense vibe, too. So, are you a yes or a no on this one?

A Future Pick of the Week

Well, since this week’s pick of the week is so much a forgone conclusion it is laughable, I thought we could take a peek at the recently released blurb for a future pick of the week instead. Silence Fallen, from the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, just had the back cover copy come out, and it sounds pretty intense…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

Well, now we just have to wait until next March 7th to get our hands on this. Let the countdown begin.

From the Author Pages

Updating time again, and there are a couple of things to mention from the author pages…

  • The fifth (and I believe final) book in Anne Bishop‘s The Others series now has a name. Etched in Bone will be released next March.
  • And next March will also see the last Chicagoland Vampires book from Chloe Neill, which will be called Blade Bound.
  • Jeaniene Frost‘s third Broken Destiny book will be called The Brightest Flame, and it will be out next July.
  • There will be an Elemental Assassin novella from Jennifer Estep released this December, and it will be called Nice Guys Bite.
  • Nihcki sent over word that the second Black Dagger Legacy book from J.R. Ward, Blood Vow, will feature Axe and Elise. It has a release date of December 6th.
  • Probably coming as a shock to no one at all, Lora Leigh‘s next Breeds book has gotten a quite hefty push-back. Originally due for release on October 6th, it looks like Wake a Sleeping Tiger won’t hit the shelves until next March.
  • Ooooh, the official blurb for Nalini Singh‘s next Guild Hunters book, Archangel’s Heart, is now out. And wow…

One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.

Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…

Nothing will ever be the same again.

  • And finally, the title for the next Mercy Thompson book from Patricia Briggs has been announced, and it looks like the 10th book will be called Silence Fallen.

So, that wraps things up for today’s post. Are you looking forward to any of these (duh)? Have you got any new info to share?

Reading Wrap Up

booksThings have been pretty quiet around here for the last few days, mostly because there just wasn’t a lot to mention. I figure this is as good a time as any to share what we all have been reading, since it has been almost a month since my last wrap up post.

To be honest, I haven’t seemed to be able to get much done these last couple of weeks. I did manage to read Midnight Marked from Chloe Neill, which is the second-to-last full book in the Chicagoland Vampires series. It took me longer to finish than I thought it would, though. I do enjoy the books, but they don’t quite grab me like I wish they would. I have no problem putting them down and leaving them for a couple of days, which I did quite a few times on this one. I guess what I am trying to spit out is that like the rest of the books in the series, it was a good read, but it didn’t wow me, either.

I have two new releases on the go as I type, and those are Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs, and Lady Midnight from Cassandra Clare. For some reason, I am not totally feeling Lady Midnight, though. Maybe it is because I am reading it for the character guide, so it is more a fact-finding mission than a leisurely read, but I am not involved with parts of it. It isn’t bad, at all, but I am not really connecting with Emma or her story, which sucks since she is the main character. But surprisingly, Julian is a stand-out, which I didn’t expect. I figured he would be second fiddle to Emma, but that isn’t the case at all. And his story-arc is quite compelling. I am still slogging along on this one, but it is slow going.

Fire Touched is another story. I am at the half-way point, and it is flying by. These stories are once a year treats, so I do try and savor them, but it is hard to not just devour them in one sitting. I find myself forgetting a few of the background characters, though, which is a little annoying. Definitely time for a re-read of the series.

And on the subjects of re-reads, I got a few more novellas done for the Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken, along with another crack at the second In Death book from J.D. Robb, all of which I liked just as much the second time around. To my eternal shame, I still haven’t read Marked in Flesh – I know, I know. Like I said, ashamed. But it will be up after I finish Fire Touched. Too many books, too little time.

What have you been reading? What was your take on some of the big releases of March?

Pick of the Week – and a Bit of Drama

There were three monster books for me this week. THREE. Marked in Flesh, which is the book of the month for March, Lady Midnight, which I already mentioned in the New Series Alerts post yesterday, and Fire Touched. So, that make Fire Touched my pick of the week (the other two have gotten enough time already). Plus, Patricia Briggs only puts out one book a year, and that makes it a cause for celebration.

fire touchedSynopsis…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Apparently, Amazon.com might’ve temporarily screwed up on this one. It seems that there was not only a problem with pre-orders being cancelled, but with pricing guarantees, as well. Of course, that leads to not only angry fans venting to the authors, but people leaving 1 star reviews on Amazon, both of which I just don’t get. Patricia Briggs did her part in writing the book, so if there are issues with the selling people should contact Amazon directly. And the 1 star review thing is a monster pet peeve of mine. I know it is disappointing when you want something and can’t get it, but lowering the rating of a book over anything other than content just doesn’t work for me. On the other hand, I am also annoyed by the slew of 5 star ratings on Goodreads for books that aren’t out yet, so maybe I am just bitchy?

Anyways, I hope you got your copy of Fire Touched without trouble. Now we just have to wait a year for the next Alpha and Omega book.

From the Author Pages…

Updating time again, and I found a few new things this week that I thought I might share…

Is anyone looking forward to the second book in the Devil’s Isle series from Chloe Neill? I have actually heard precious little about the first book, and I haven’t gotten around to read it yet myself. The next book will be called The Sight, and it has a release date of August 16th. The cover and blurb have been released…

the sightThe paranormal war that engulfed New Orleans seven years ago is over. But the battle for the city is just beginning . . .

Claire Connolly is a Sensitive, infected with magic when the Veil that divides humanity from the world beyond fell. Magic can easily consume and destroy a Sensitive, and if Claire’s secret is discovered she’ll be locked into the walled district of Devil’s Isle along with every other Paranormal left in the city.

Bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered Claire’s secret, but refused to turn her in. Together they saved New Orleans from the resurgence of magic that nearly destroyed it. But now a dangerous cult is on the rise, and it will take both Claire and Liam—and magical allies within Devil’s Isle’s towering walls—to defeat the occult threat before magic corrupts them both…

And it looks like the “Lost” Dark book isn’t going to be lost for much longer. Dark Carousel from Christine Feehan will be the long delayed story of Tariq Asenguard, and it will be released next August 2nd.

dark carouselThe moment Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, Tariq Asenguard’s blood is set on fire. The ancient Carpathian had given up hope of finding his lifemate, but now he will do anything to make Charlotte his own. What Tariq doesn’t know is that Charlotte is using herself and her best friend as bait—to try to draw out the bloodthirsty killers who have already murdered Charlotte’s brother and mentor.

Charlotte is familiar with Tariq. Not only is he one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in the city, but he’s also a renowned collector of old carousel horses, which Charlotte restores. Their shared passion opens Charlotte up to trusting him with her life and with the desire she can no longer control. But it also makes her vulnerable to a centuries-old curse that will unite her and Tariq in a war against the enemies of humans and Carpathians alike…

I am really excited for this next one (well, duh). Ilona Andrews has written a Derek-centric novella called Magic Stars, and it will be released in a couple of weeks. See? Not even whining about an e-book. Progress, right? The exact date hasn’t been pinned down as of yet, but I believe around Christmas is the target. Derek. For Christmas. This works.

magic starsDerek Gaunt has no family and few friends. Scarred, solitary, he is the lone wolf who separated from his pack. When those close to him are murdered, he’ll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through magic-drenched Atlanta.

Soon Julie Olsen joins him and what begins as revenge turns into the race to save the city. Their search puts them against powers they never imagined and magic so old, it predates history. It may cost Derek his life, but there are things for which even he would risk everything.

Hm, just a quick Jennifer Estep note. It looks like her 15th Elemental Assassin book has undergone a couple of small changes. Originally it was to be called Deadly Web, and it had a release date of end of July. Now it has been re-named Unraveled, and it will be out on August 30th. No cover yet, but the blurb is out…

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight …

Oh, and there has been a blurb released for the next book in Kelley Armstrong‘s Cainsville series, too. Betrayals will be released on August 4th…

Liv Jones knows a lot about betrayal – most of her life has been a lie. On the eve of her wedding, she discovered she was adopted – and that her biological parents were convicted serial killers. Not only that, she has the power to read portents – ominous signs that she might be in danger.

In the last year Liv has adapted to a new life, solving crimes with her (sort of) friend and boss Gabriel Walsh – a lawyer with quick fists and a complex relationship with the truth. She’s also found love in the form of biker Ricky Gallagher. But this brief period of peace is soon shattered by murder. And when her friendship with Gabriel is tested to the limit, Liv finds she has been betrayed again.

Who can she trust? As the violence escalates, Liv’s powers pull her down a dark path – and make her question everything and everyone. Including herself.

And I guess the fears about Kim Harrison not being able to continue her new series due to the poor sales of the first book have been put to rest. The second book of the Peri Reed Chronicles will be called The Operative, and it will be out on September 1st.

Get well soon, Patricia Briggs. She suffered a badly broken jaw after being kicked by a spooked horse, and had to be air-lifted to a hospital in Spokane where she was operated on. You can read the full Facebook post HERE.

And finally, while there hasn’t been any official word yet on the next full Elder Races book by Thea Harrison, we do know that not only was Shadow’s End the last traditionally published story, but it was also the end of the current story arc. The next book will be featuring some of the United Kingdom Elder Races, but the original American gang will be back for future stories. Anyone else thinking King Oberon?

Anyways, that is it for this update. Are you excited for any of this? Have you heard any new info to share? If so, just drop a line in the comments section.

Cover Lover – Fire Touched

The cover for the next Patricia Briggs book, Fire Touched, has been released, and it has a different vibe from the others in the series. We will get to see it in person when it is released on March 8th.

fire touchedMercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

More Blurby Goodness…

It was author page updating time, and in doing so I found a couple of blurbs for long-awaited books. Just a quick note…March 2016 is going to be one expensive reading month. Just saying.

This first one is for Anne Bishop‘s Marked in Flesh, which is due out on March 1st.

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community…
 
Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…

We are counting down to the end of the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill, and the second last book will be called Midnight Marked. Look for it on Marh 1st, as well.

As the Chicagoland Vampires series continues, Merit and Ethan find themselves in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, where winning may require the ultimate sacrifice…

A vampire’s grudges don’t stay dead long…

Merit is one of Chicago’s most skilled vampire warriors; these days, she doesn’t scare easily. But she and Master vampire Ethan have made a new and powerful enemy, and he won’t give up until he owns the Windy City.

With his last plan thwarted, he’s more determined than ever to watch Cadogan burn. Ethan has put the House’s vampires on high alert, but their enemy will stop at nothing, including pitting vampire against vampire…

In this deadly game of cat-and-mouse, the stakes are life or death—and winning might mean sacrificing everything…

Oooh, and can’t forget the next epic Patricia Briggs‘ book, Fire Touched. This one has a release date of March 8th.

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

There are a few other biggies coming out next March, but the blurbs have been out for a while. This past March was a huge month, too. Too much of a good thing, I think, since I would rather spread out the reading goodness. How excited are you for any of these upcoming releases?

Dead Heat Review…

review iconThanks once again to Doug Meeks, who sent over his review for the new Alpha and Omega release, Dead Heat. Patricia Briggs is a solid, consistent favorite, and getting a Mercyverse release is always something to look forward to. The official release date for this one is tomorrow, so not long now to wait. Another great book in a week of great books.

Dead HeatWhat Doug said…

This series revolves around Charles and Anna (the Alpha & Omega of the series name) and they have all been done exceptionally IMHO. This one was no exception to this parade of 5 Star reading in this series.

The premise is basically that the Fae are beginning to turn loose some of the most vile creatures in their world upon the human world (due partly to events in previous novels) and one of the most vile is a creature that preys upon children. Obviously, this is something that our fearless couple must deal with regardless of any other loyalties.

The interaction between characters takes up a good bit of this novel which I many times find boring but not in this case, the rest is a combination of police procedural, mystery and of course an epic ending. The point that is subtly dropped on us is that this may just be the opening move in a war with the Fey.

There is also the usual pages devoted to Charles & Anna moving their relationship to a bit deeper level. I commend Ms Briggs for not taking the road that I see in many authors in filling pages with meaningless sex. I have no problem with sex in my novels but when it is used to do nothing more than add pages to a novel I tend to skip over those parts and wonder how many useless pages a reader paid for in such novels. Patricia Briggs always seems to know the perfect balance of such things.

While I will be rounding off this novel to 5 Stars I actually rated it 4.5 because in the last 25% of the book I did have to resort to some scanning due to:

A: Nothing was really happening
B: You KNEW something big was going to happen and you wanted to get to it.

Bottom Line: Amazing story, amazing characters (love the way the secondary characters have actual personalities and not cardboard cutouts) and of course the epic ending. 4.5 Stars only because of the scanning I did in the last 25%, highly recommended BUT I am not sure this is a series you can pick up in the middle, you really need to start from Alpha & Omega and proceed from there to Cry Wolf.

I already got my copy, and choosing whether to read Vision in Silver or Dead Heat first was hard. Vision in Silver just edged it out, but I am getting antsy to get into Dead Heat.