What’s On Your Wishlist?

question-markAt the start of the year, I did a post about your most anticipated reads for 2015. I thought that well over half of the year has flown by, it was time to do another check in and see what you are looking forward to in these last months of 2015.

For me, there is surprisingly few. Since I already got an ARC of Nalini Singh‘s Archangel’s Enigma, I am down to just a couple of books that I would say fall into the “can’t wait for” category. First up is Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong, and luckily it is due out next week so the wait is almost over. The second one is Winter from Marissa Meyer, which it the final book in the young adult Lunar Chronicles series. If there was one series that I would love to see a few more books from, this would be at the top of the list.

There are a couple that should be on the list but didn’t quite make it. J.R. Ward‘s Blood Kiss, for example, should have me excited. But for some reason I am more in a “whatever” mood about it. Ditto Kresley Cole‘s Sweet Ruin. Actually, I am past “whatever” and onto “meh” for Sweet Ruin, which is sad. Also, I have been waiting for Thea Harrison to write Graydon’s story for her Elder Races series for what seems like forever, but I can’t work any excitement up for his leading lady, so that took care of Shadow’s End.

So, what books are you still looking forward to for the rest of the year? Do you have any, like me, that you should be excited about but just aren’t for some strange reason?

Weekly Wrap Up…

booksI planned on making the Weekly Wrap up post a regular feature for posting either Saturday or Sunday, since usually the weekends are really busy for me and very little seems to happen to post. Well, I made it one week and totally spazzed out and forgot. I think that is a new record for me.

Anyways, this past week was pretty decent for me. I got back into Kelley Armstrong‘s Women of the Otherworld series after quite a long break, and finished up Clay and Elena’s arc with Frostbitten. I know there are many more stories left in the world, but it was the last full book featuring the two who started it all, and I was quite happy with how it ended up. Since I was still in an Armstrong mood, I started up Savannah’s first book, Waking the Witch, which is story 11 in the series, and begins the final arc of the series. I like it so far, and I am looking forward to seeing how Savannah and Adam’s story plays out.

Another very pleasant surprise was Thea Harrison‘s latest Elder Races book, Midnight’s Kiss. I was really underwhelmed by the last book, probably because I wasn’t a fan of the main character, Tess. Added to that was that it read more like a stand-alone than most of the other books, and I wasn’t a huge fan. That sort of colored my views heading into Midnight’s Kiss, but it ended up being a great read. The best part for me was that I ended up loving Melly, which was a real surprise. Heroines and I don’t always have the best relationship, but Melly was smart, funny, and completely relatable, and she made the book for me. It totally got me back in the swing of the series again, too.

The only downside for me was A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. The reviews for this one have been glowing, but I just can’t seem to get into it. I put it down about a week ago, and haven’t picked it back up since. I am determined to give it another shot, so hopefully I will get involved and love it like everyone else seems to. Maybe I was just in a mood.

So, that is my week. How was yours? Did you start any new series, or finish up any old ones?

Pick of the Week…

Usually, if Thea Harrison was releasing a new book, it would be my pick of the week. But to be honest, I don’t have a lot of excitement for this week’s Midnight’s Kiss. Maybe it was because I am sort of considering this one a continuation of the story in the last book, Night’s Honor, and I found it a little dull. Or maybe it is because I tend to like the Wyr stories more than the other races. Either way, I am meh about it.

So, it looks like my pick of the week will be from Christine Feehan instead. Cat’s Lair is part of her Leopard People series, and it introduces a couple of new characters as the leads. I am over half-way through, and it isn’t bad. I do tend to snicker a bit through a Feehan book, but that is pretty much the norm for me.

cat's lairSynopsis…

Cat Benoit has finally escaped the past—and the man who was the source of her nightmares. She’s off the grid, underground but watchful, and creating a new life for herself in Texas, far from the torrid dangers of her native New Orleans. She’s safe. He’ll never find her this time. Cat has to believe that. It’s the only thing keeping her sane.

Yet she can’t escape the attention of Ridley Cromer, the instructor at the martial arts dojo where Cat takes lessons. She arouses the animal in Ridley—and something feral comes to life when their body heat rises. Cat is in no position to let her guard down with anyone, especially someone who could be endangered by her past. But Ridley has secrets of his own—secrets only Cat would understand. If she dares to trust him.

Purchase at Amazon.com

What is your pick of the week? Are you reading anything exciting, either new or old?

Cover Lover – Shadow’s End

Of all of the characters in Thea Harrison‘s Elder Races series, Graydon is my favorite. I am not sure how thrilled I am with his HEA being with Beluviel, but then again I don’t get a vote. I got the vibe that she was going to be way back in Lord’s Fall, and I was hoping I was wrong. Nothing against Beluviel, but I wanted someone new for Graydon. Either way, Shadow’s End is due out on December 1st.

shadow's endFor Beluviel, consort to the Elven High Lord, and Graydon, gryphon and First Sentinel of the Wyr, even the slightest desire for each other is forbidden. But two hundred years ago, after a desperate play to save Beluviel’s stepson left them indebted to the cruel Djinn Malphas, they found their fates inexorably linked together—and the hunger between them growing too strong to ignore…

Two centuries later, with their debt to Malphas coming due, Beluviel and Graydon realize that, if they are to stand any chance of saving their souls, they must once again work together—this time more closely than ever before. But every moment they spend with each other brings them nearer to losing something even more vital—their hearts…

Well, I am a bit meh on this one. While the series really doesn’t have the greatest covers, this one is a bit underwhelming even for them. How excited are you to get to Graydon’s story? Do you think Beluviel matches up well with him?

Blurb Triple Play – Blood Kiss, Shadow Kiss and White Hot

As much as I love covers, I also get excited to finally see the official back cover blurb of a book. I figured I would round up three that caught my eye and post them for other nerds like me, starting with a brief one from the upcoming second book in Ilona Andrews‘ Hidden Legacy series, White Hot, which will be out on October 27th.

Nevada Baylor and Connor Rogan are back in the fight against corruption and the dark forces of Houston’s elite. Once again, they’ve been drawn together to fight a common enemy, but something is growing between them, too. Something that’s becoming more difficult to ignore with every heated touch and meaningful glance. But with new foes rising from all sides and danger ever present, they’ll have to work that much harder to protect one another – and any future they might have together.

Way back in Lord’s Fall, I believe, I figured Graydon’s mate was going to be Beluviel. Looks like I was right, and Thea Harrison‘s Shadow’s End will be their story. It has a release date of December 1st.

For Beluviel, consort to the Elven High Lord, and Graydon, gryphon and First Sentinel of the Wyr, even the slightest desire for each other is forbidden. But two hundred years ago, after a desperate play to save Beluviel’s stepson left them indebted to the cruel Djinn Malphas, they found their fates inexorably linked together—and the hunger between them growing too strong to ignore…

Two centuries later, with their debt to Malphas coming due, Beluviel and Graydon realize that, if they are to stand any chance of saving their souls, they must once again work together—this time more closely than ever before. But every moment they spend with each other brings them nearer to losing something even more vital—their hearts…

And finally, when J.R. Ward recently announced her new series would in fact basically be a continuation of the original Black Dagger Brotherhood stories, most people were quite excited, including me. The first book of the Black Dagger Legacy will be called Blood Kiss, and it too will be out on December 1st.

Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.

And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated–and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.

So, that is it for this batch. Not much news on the White Hot front, but I don’t care. That sucker is at the top of my wish list, and staying there. I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of Beluviel and Graydon as a couple, for some odd reason, but since Graydon is my favorite I still have high hopes. And I am excited to return to the “Old School” BDB world, too, so all in all things are looking good. Which of these has you most excited?

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.

Updates From the Author Pages…

Yep, I have been using my time off so far to get some catching up done, including updating the author pages. While updating, there has been a few new tidbits to share.

  • Thea Harrison will have a new novella from her Elder Races series out this spring called Dragos Goes to Washington. No official release date has been announced, but the cover has made an appearance…

dragos goes to washington

  • G.A. Aiken will release Feel the Burn on November 24th, which I believe is part of her Dragon Kin series. If there was ever a series that needs a character guide, this is it.
  • If you would like to check out the first five chapters of The Ruby Circle from Richelle Mead, you can find them HERE.
  • There is no fear of the Mercyverse ending any time soon, thankfully. Patricia Briggs has released some contract news recently, and it looks like there will be at least one more Alpha and Omega book after the upcoming Dead Heat. There will also be at least three more Mercy Thompson books, plus a Tom and Moira book. Now, call me stupid, but I can’t remember who Tom and Moira are. I must investigate. I have moved on from wanting a Sam book, since the short stories in Shifting Shadows did him justice, but now I want a Ben book.
  • I have both good news and bad news on the Lora Leigh front. The next Breeds book, Bengal’s Quest, has been pushed back three months from its March 3rd release date to June 2nd. The upside of that is March 3rd is a completely, totally insane day for new books so you might not even notice. If anything, I wish a couple of more from that day would get moved around to spread things out a little better.
  • I am not actually sure if I have mentioned this one before, but Darynda Jones‘ Ninth Charley Davidson book, The Dirt on Ninth Grave, will be released on October 13th. Aaaand, there will be at least two more books after that, both of which are due sometime in 2016. I had sort of thought that maybe the series was winding down soon, for some reason, but glad to see I was wrong. Again.
  • I was surprised for some reason to see that Christine Feehan will be contributing a Carpathian story in the upcoming Edge of Darkness anthology. Her story will be called Dark Crime, and it features a character named Blaze…

Blaze knows who killed her father and she has merciless plans for payback. Until a phone call from a seductive stranger pleads with her to wait. Retribution is in his blood, too. Now, he and Blaze will be united in the blood of the guilty. Tonight, vengeance is theirs.

So, that wraps things up for this post. I am going to start soon-ish on adding author pages for Kerrelyn Sparks, Lynsay Sands, Anne Bishop and Kelley Armstrong, to start. That will keep me busy for a while, anyways.

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.

Cover Lover – Midnight’s Kiss

Today was the big cover and blurb reveal for the next Elder Races book from Thea Harrison, Midnight’s Kiss. After the last book, I did figure that Julian and Melisande would be getting their own story, but I didn’t think it would be the next one. I was rather hoping for a return to the Wyr, actually, since I missed them in Xavier’s book. Either way, Midnight’s Kiss is due out on May 1st.

midnight's kiss

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two souls who have long buried their passions are about to be consumed …

Ever since their scorching affair ended years ago, Julian, the Nightkind King, and Melisande, daughter of the Light Fae Queen, have tried to put the past behind them — and distance between them. But when a war breaks out between Julian and Justine, a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind council, they find themselves thrown together under treacherous circumstances …

Kidnapped as leverage against Julian, Melly is convinced that her former lover won’t be rushing to her rescue. But when Julian gives himself up to save her, they both end up Justine’s captives. Armed only with their wits and their anger, Melly and Julian must work together to escape. But will they be able to ignore their complicated history, or will the fiery passion that once burned them blaze again?

Hm, not quite feeling the cover, to be honest. And I have a quirk about books where the couple was a couple before and end up getting back together. I like to see the whole relationship develop, rather than have their past alluded to, but we shall see.