Reading Wrap Up

After a particularly brutish work weekend, I am for once sort of out of words. In person, I have been pretty much reduced to blink once for yes and twice for no, so I am not going to dawdle on the reading wrap up, either. Maybe.

craveI did tackle the second book in J.R. Ward‘s Fallen Angels series, Crave. And like the first one, I find it quite decent. A solid, middle-of-the-road book for me. Nothing I didn’t like, but honestly nothing that made me rabid to start the next one, either. Interesting premise, decent characters, and no guarantee that the good guys will always win is in its favor, but it doesn’t have that something-something to suck me in. I plan on keeping on with the series for sure, but it might take a while before I get it finished.

And then there was Shadow Reaper. It was vintage shadow-reaperChristine Feehan, and she seems pretty much back on track after the issues of a couple of years ago. Love it or hate it, she has a style that either works for you or doesn’t, and this one is no exception. I find myself quite liking this newest series, but the only thing that pulled my enjoyment down was the Shibari side story. Honestly, I am not that exciting, but even I found that part dull. I mean, how much do I really need to know about rope? So, I skimmed those parts to get back into the story, and that worked for me. Decent, non Feehan Female Formula lead (Blonde! Never cooked! Don’t think she said honey even once!) was a really nice change, too.

portrait in deathI also pulled a re-read of Moonshadow by Thea Harrison, which I mentioned a bit in a post below, so not going to go on about it. I think the highlight of this bunch, though is my continued trek through the In Death series from J.D. Robb. I finished up Portrait in Death (Roarke backstory. Niiiiice), and am almost through Imitation in Death. Still loving them, and I show no signs of getting tired of them at all. Honestly, I get excited when it is time for the next one (I space them out a bit), and I already have the next one ready.

Your turn. What have you been loving the last couple of weeks? Did you find anything to fill the days between last month’s White Hot from Ilona Andrews and this weeks’ Silver Silence from Nalini Singh?

Checking in on the Elder Races

I have gotten the Character Guide updated for The Elder Races series by Thea Harrison, and it is now up-to-date as of the latest release, Moonshadow. I thought it might be interesting to check and see what all of you think of the series now.

I still enjoy it, but to be honest my interest dropped off a bit around Night’s Honor. I loathed the main female character of Tess so much that it soured me a bit. Part of it was the crap-ton of novellas, too, which threw me off, since at that time I wasn’t e-reading and it was kind of a pain. I am at my best with the series when they are full-length stories focused on the Wyr, I guess. I am still liking the series a lot, but maybe not quite as much as before. I did like Moonshadow, but I’m not doing a countdown until I can get my hands on the next one, Spellbinder. I’m sure I will enjoy it, but right now it isn’t even on my radar.

So your turn. Are you still big into it, or has your attention drifted away at all? Have you found any changes since it went self-pubbed? How do you like the focus switching to England?

Cover Lover – 7 New Titles

Ah, first day back at work after my month-long vacation. Yay? Let’s not tax my poor traumatized brain with words and do a cover lover post instead, starting with the next one from Thea Harrison. Spellbinder is the second book in the Elder Races spin-off series, Moonshadow. It is scheduled for release this August.

spellbinderKidnapped while on tour, musician Sidonie Martel is transported to the mystical land of Avalon. A human without magical ability, she is completely vulnerable to the deadly forces surrounding her.

When she defies her captors and refuses to share her music, an act of violent cruelty leaves her broken, her ability to play silenced, maybe forever. Her only hope is a whisper in the dark, gentle hands that offer healing, and a man who refuses to show her his face yet who offers advice she dare not ignore.

One of the most feared and powerful sorcerers in history, Morgan le Fae serves a Queen he despises, Isabeau of the Light Court. Once a famous bard and an advisor to kings, Morgan has been enslaved to Isabeau for hundreds of years, acting as enforcer and the commander of her deadly Hounds.

Sidonie’s music touches Morgan in places he had abandoned centuries ago, and her fiery spirit resurrects feelings he had believed long dead. For Sidonie, trapped in captivity, passion offers a comfort she cannot resist.

But Isabeau holds Morgan bound in magical chains that only Death can break. And in the court of a cruel, jealous Queen, the only thing that burns hotter than love is betrayal…

This second one is from Alexandra Ivy. Charred by Darkness is the third book in her Dragons of Eternity series, but there isn’t any release date listed as yet.

charred-by-darkness

And Kate Baxter continues her Last True Vampire series with the release of The Lost Vampire on August 1st.

the-lost-vampireOnce one of the oldest dhampirs in existence, Saeed now faces a treacherously uncertain future as a vampire. He believes that the only thing that can restore his position within his coven and tether his lost soul is the flame-haired fae who is destined to be his mate.

Cerys Bain is a soul thief. She is feared by those who dwell in the supernatural realm and hopelessly bound to the ruthless mage Rinieri de Rege. The raw, sensual vampire who enters her world is both a threat and an intoxicating temptation: No one has ever made Cerys feel the way Saeed does. But to claim their fate as soulmates, Saeed must first find a way to free Cerys from Rin. Is their desire worth the risk of certain destruction and eternal doom?

For reasons I can’t explain, I thought this next one from Lilith Saintcrow was a historical paranormal romance. So totally not. Cormorant Run will be released on June 13th.

cormorant-runAliens meets Under the Dome in this new post-apocalyptic novel from New York Times bestseller Lilith Saintcrow.

It could have been aliens, it could have been a trans-dimensional rift, nobody knows for sure. What’s known is that there was an Event, the Rifts opened up, and everyone caught inside died.

Since the Event certain people have gone into the drift… and come back, bearing priceless technology that’s almost magical in its advancement. When Ashe — the best Rifter of her generation — dies, the authorities offer her student, Svinga, a choice: go in and bring out the thing that killed her, or rot in jail.

But Svin, of course, has other plans…

How far would you go and what would you risk to win the ultimate prize?

These next three are all young adult (or New Adult), starting with A Court of Wings and Ruin from Sarah J. Maas, which will be released on May 2nd.

a court of wings and ruin.jpgFeyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

The second book from the Nemesis series by Anna Banks will be called Ally, and it has a release date of October 3rd.

allyPrincess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria have formed an uneasy truce between their kingdoms since the deadly plague began to rip through Theoria. Since their feelings for each other are entangled in politics and power, they must use their own trusted resources to find common ground.

But when traitors with powerful allies arise from unexpected places, Tarik and Sepora face challenges that will change both of their kingdoms forever. Will they learn whom to trust—including each other—in time to save their kingdoms, their relationship and even their lives?

And wrapping up this batch is Fireblood from Elly Blake. It is the second book of her Frostblood saga, and it will be out on September 12th.

firebloodAgainst all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past….

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax–which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.

Which of these covers is your favorite, and does it match the book you are most looking forward to reading? I do have to say I can be a bit bitchy about covers when an author goes self-pubbed, but I quite like Thea Harrison’s recent ones. Might even be an upgrade on her traditionally published books.

New Series Alerts

It seems like so long since I have done a new series post, so let’s dive right on in. A big one for sure will be Thea Harrison‘s Moonshadow, which is technically part of the Elder Races series but also counts as the first book of the Moonshadow spin-off.

moonshadowSynopsis…

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

And this second one is from Milly Taiden. Bearly in Control is the first book of the Shifter Undercover series.

bearly in controlSynopsis…

For vet and animal whisperer Charli Avers, talking to bears is all in a day’s work. But when she finds a man—a very sexy, very alpha man—where a bear ought to be, the wild comes close to home. Charli is drawn to this mysterious stranger. She wants to help him piece together the past he can’t remember—even if that means shedding her human misgivings and embracing her more carnal desires.

After shifting from bear to man, Barry believes he’s finally found his mate. Now he just needs to find himself. He doesn’t know much about the animal within him, but his human heart aches for Charli. She ignites his instincts to protect her from all danger—including their electric attraction.

The stakes climb as Charli investigates the mystery behind Barry’s memory loss and how it may relate to strange sightings and thefts in this little corner of Oregon. Without answers, she may lose Barry—and herself—to the wild side forever.

So, Moonshadow is my very first Kindle pre-order. I was too cheap to shell out almost 30 bucks for the paperback version here in Canada, so e-book it is. Never thought I would admit it, but the e-book thing is growing on me. I have been playing around with my little e-book collection on my i-pad, and I realized I can edit and change covers and organize and that makes me kind of happy. Not that I am giving up on the dead-tree thing at all, but I no longer sneer when I have to go electronic. Beauty.

Up Next From Thea Harrison

It has been a long, long time since we have had any news on the publication front from Thea Harrison. Her last traditionally published Elder Races releases came out in December 2015 – and then there was nothing. We did hear that she was making the jump to Indie publishing, but there was no word as to what or when or how…until today. The official cover and blurb reveal was done over on RT Book Reviews.

It looks like Thea has moved things over to the UK for her next three-book arc, which will start on December 13th with the release of Moonshadow

moonshadowSynopsis…

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…

Moonshadow will be followed by Spellbinder and Lionheart, but no release date has been announced for them as yet. I have to say, on the cover side of things, I like this one. It is way better than many other Indie covers I have seen. I am not sure about any format other than e-book, but hopefully us print-edition people will be in the loop, too.

I know the trend right now seems to be for authors with long-running series to put out books focused on completely new characters, but I am not sure how I am feeling about that. It is taking already large and involved worlds, with many known and loved characters begging to get their stories told, and making them even bigger. And it means we have to wait longer for stories for characters like Grim or Alexander, or even Eva. Maybe things will cycle back to the US crew after this trilogy, who knows?

From the Author Pages

Time for my weekly check into the authors that have their own sections of Wicked Scribes, and that means time to post an update, as well. There isn’t a ton for this one, but there are a couple of tidbits to share…

  • The cover has been released for the next Branded Packs book from Alexandra Ivy and Carrie Ann Ryan, which is called Buried and Shadowed. It will release on July 12th…

buried and shadowed

  • Oooh, title alert! Title alert! The 11th Charley Davidson book from Darynda Jones will be called Eleventh Grave in Moonlight, and it is due out next January.
  • Speaking of title alerts, it was just hours ago that Kresley Cole confirmed that Immortals After Dark #18 will be called Wicked Abyss. Ok, seriously. Can anything with Abyss in it be about anyone other than Furie? I guess we will find out…when it is released next March.
  • Oh, and the cover has also been released for the next novella in Jennifer Estep‘s Elemental Assassin series, Unwanted. It is due out on July 18th…

unwanted

  • And on the Black Dagger Brotherhood front, J.R. Ward‘s next book will be called The Chosen, and it will feature…Layla. Hmmm. Not my favorite character. Probably my least, actually. I care about her so little, I don’t even know if I spelled her name right. Bummer. If everything holds to the usual schedule, it should be released next March.
  • Totally neither PNR or UF, but the next Casey Duncan book from Kelley Armstrong will be released next February 7th, and it will be called A Darkness Absolute.
  • Ok, this isn’t an update, but a rant about lack of updates. I wish authors all the best, and I want them to do whatever works for their careers so that we will continue to get the books we love, but why is it when some authors go self-pubbed that you just can’t seem to find out any info on upcoming releases? Seriously. Alexandra Ivy is great about keeping her readers in the loop about what she has coming out, but so many others seem to just fall right off the radar. I want to do my little part by maybe making a post, or at least putting their upcoming works in the new release pages, but I can’t find any info. Ok, I needed to vent before I go back to trying to find out what Thea Harrison is working on now. Oy.

So, which of these are you looking forward to the most? Who do you predict the next IAD book will be about?

Reading Wrap Up…

booksSo, this is probably my last reading wrap up for the year, which is darn scary when you think about it. Let’s start with one that I didn’t actually plan on getting to for a while. I had decided that Kresley Cole‘s Sweet Ruin just wasn’t worth the price tag, and I stuck with it. Sort of. A person I work with had gotten the Kindle version, and actually lent it to me. It worked out perfect, because the e-format version makes updating the guides a lot easier. Then, I found one on e-bay that only cost $22, shipping included. Great! And the same day I got a gift certificate from Indigo and used it to order Sweet Ruin. Wait, what? Yep, stupid ended up buying two copies. Oye.

Anyway, it wasn’t bad at all. I really liked the introduction of the Morior, and I can see them making some waves. Blace, Darach and Orion really grabbed my attention, and I look forward to finding out more about them. Also, seeing that much Thad was great. I didn’t mind Josephine and Rune, either, but I think I liked the rest of the book better than their story, if that makes sense. Like I said in the crack-pot theory post, I figure Orion will be hooked up with Nix, and that should be fun.

A while back, I finished up the fifth book in Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s Lux series. It was ok, but I found it hard to get into. Maybe I was too far removed from the last book, I am not sure, but it didn’t flow for me. But I was surprised that I enjoyed Oblivion as much as I did. It is a retelling of the first book, but from Daemon’s point of view. It was a fast, fun read, and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed the early books in the series.

I finished up the third Elder Races novella from Thea Harrison, too. Liam Takes Manhattan lacked the punch for me that Dragos Goes to Washington, but it was still good. I am interested to see how Liam’s story progresses once he heads to Europe, too.

There were also an emergency re-read done. I am not sure how, but I had forgotten to do Archangel’s Enigma for the Guild Hunter character guide. Ok, that was just wrong. I don’t forget Nalini Singh books. Ever. But the re-read was great – loved it. The whole series is just so well written and well thought out that you get something new out of it every time you pick it up. Can’t wait for the next one. And the one after that.

How did your Christmas reading shape up? Did you find anything exciting, or rediscover any favorites?

 

Predictions and Crack-Pot Theories…

I thought for something a little different, I would start a thread about what direction we see some of our popular series heading in for the next year. Sometimes, you just get a vibe about something, so let’s share our wild theories and predictions. Here are a few of mine…

  • Hm, not so much a wild prediction, I will admit, but I figure that the next Elder Races book from Thea Harrison (the first self-pubbed, and based in the UK) will feature King Oberon of the Dark Fae. Now, smart money is probably on the Magical dude, Morgan, but I am going with the King.
  • On the subject of wild speculation, I am taking bets that Kresley Cole has introduced Nix’s other half. My completely crack-pot theory is that Orion the Undoing ends up with Nix. I have been wondering who exactly could handle the Nixinator, and Orion is about the only one I have seen who stands a chance.
  • Even though there hasn’t been much (any) news on the Breeds front, I am still sticking by my prediction that Lora Leigh pairs Cassie with the Wolf Breed Rhyzan Brannigan. I know most people are thinking it might be Dog, but I am going with the Assistant Director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs. I just got the vibe the minute he showed up, out of the blue.
  • And I know that pretty much everyone figure that Nalini Singh‘s Venom will end up with Sorrow, but I am still going in a different direction. Even though Archangel’s Enigma gave me a very Illium/Aodhan vibe (I am not alone on that one, am I?), I have it stuck in my head that Illium and Sorrow will be a couple. Here is my theory – Illium loves mortals, which Sorrow is/was, and with her unknown status it is a bit more dramatic than Illium loving a human who then becomes vampire so they can have their HEA (its been done). And, with Sorrow’s terror of angels, there is a bit extra drama. My back-up plan is totally Illium and Aodhan, though.
  • Still on the Guild Hunter books, I was thinking that it could be a Suyin (Lijuan’s rescued niece) and Aodhan pairing, since they are both artists and all, but I have had a change of heart. I am thinking a nice novella of Kier and Suyin is in our future. Or at least I am hoping.
  • And I pretty sure I have mentioned this one before, but I am thinking that Jackson Deveau has a link to bad guy Evan Shackler-Gratsos in his past. In the Sea Haven books, Jackson’s father was a biker and he is being hunted by a biker gang, and Shackler-Gratsos runs a criminal empire biker gang, so I am thinking that the two are one and the same. It might be a way for Christine Feehan to link the two series together even further, I figure.

Ok, your turn. Any weird theories that you just can’t prove? Anything you are hoping to see, or rumors you have heard?

Pick of the Week…

For some reason, I didn’t actually get my pick of the week listed in the new releases. Meh, one reason why e-books annoy me is because they don’t have a lot of lead time before they are published, but to be fair I think I just missed it. So, long story short, Thea Harrison‘s novella Liam Takes Manhattan is released today, rounding out a trilogy of stories featuring Dragos, Pia and Liam. Usually I don’t find novellas to be considered a must-read, but the first two had some very interesting developments. Here’s hoping this one will be as good.

liam takes manhattanSynopsis…

Reeling from a deep loss, the magical prince of the Wyr, Dragos and Pia’s son Liam Cuelebre, turns inward and withdrawn as he struggles to come to terms with who he is, along with the challenges that lie before him.

Hoping to ease his heartache and offer comfort, a concerned Dragos and Pia offer him a gift, something he has desired for a long time. Liam’s response has a ripple effect across all of New York. Soon miracles of all kinds start arriving just in time for Christmas, along with a visit from a mysterious person who gives Liam hope and a vision of his future.

What is your pick of the week? Anything exciting on your radar?

 

Reading Wrap Up…

booksThat whole keeping track of what I read every week died a horrible death, so it looks like it is going to be a random post. Since there was no new series alert post, or even a pick of the week, now is as good a time as any.

Well, by this point, I am pretty sure we have all jumped on Magic Stars, the Derek and Julie-centric novella from Ilona Andrews. This one was an early Christmas gift, for sure. We have had Julie-based stories before, but this was the first time we really got anything from Derek’s POV. This story was short, but it was packed full of action (and more than a little romantic foreshadowing). Derek has always been a favorite of mine, and I was not surprised by how much I loved this novella. And the good news? The door was left open for more stories.

I also did a re-read of Viper Game by Christine Feehan. Not bad, but totally another one in the “Alphahole and the Doormat” series (which includes the latter Leopard series books). Ghostwalkers has been a favorite of mine since the beginning, but wow, yeah. This is the one that I consider to be more a breed story than a Ghostwalker book. It reads differently than the others in the series, but I am still holding out hope that the next one goes back to the old style.

And I also read Feel the Burn from G.A. Aiken. I really liked this one. In fact, I found myself getting more into the whole series with the last couple of books. I love the whole Daughter of the Steppes thing, and I so read their parts with a full-on Russian accent. I think that what held me back from full enjoyment before was that it was nearly impossible to keep track of all the characters. I liked them, but I missed a lot not being able to remember who was who, who was related to who, that sort of thing. I think I got a handle on it with the last couple of books, but it still desperately need a character guide. And I am so looking forward to a re-read of the series, which is a bonus.

Another good one was Thea Harrison‘s Shadow’s End, which was the long-awaited story of Graydon. Now, I have admitted in the past that I was a bit let-down when I found out that Beluviel was going to be Graydon’s mate, not because I didn’t like her, but because I have never been a huge fan of the whole second love storyline. I don’t mind when a character has been widowed and gets a second chance, but not usually when we have seen them as a couple. Also, I am not big on books where the couple has had a relationship in the past, mostly because it feels like we are missing out on half of the story. But to be honest, neither of my nitpicks came into play here. The relationship between Beluviel and Calondir didn’t really count for much, and we saw pretty much every moment of Graydon and Beluviel’s past so I didn’t feel like we didn’t get the whole of the relationship. This was a great book, and I ended up loving Beluviel for Graydon, which is a bonus. Not to say there isn’t a bunch of sad here, too, but it was still a terrific read. Now it looks like we are on to the European Elder Races for the next book. I am so thinking King Oberon.

That pretty much wraps up my recent reading. How was yours? What did you read and love recently? Or read and not love so much? How excited are you for more Derek and Julie books?