Weekly Wrap Up…

booksTime again to check in and see what everyone has been reading for the last couple of weeks. On my end, I have been sort of chugging along at a slow pace. My quest to get caught up on the character guides meant that I did a re-read of Thea Harrison‘s Midnight Kiss. This one is a stand-out for me, and is probably one of my favorite books in the whole series. I am usually notoriously fickle when it comes to the female leads of my books, but I thought Melly wasn’t a superhero chick, but she was fun and ingenious and really relatable. And I also remembered to check out Pia Does Hollywood, which is the second in a trilogy of novellas focusing on Dragos, Pia, and Liam. While the first in the trilogy is pretty much a must-read (there are quite a few new developments), this one isn’t. Not saying it was bad, but it doesn’t add a ton to the overall storyline.

Oh, and I also did a re-read of Deceptions from Kelley Armstrong. I am loving the Cainsville books, and this is one of the rare (like bigfoot rare) quasi-love triangles that doesn’t make me want to punch myself in the face. The only other one I can think of is Will/Tessa/Jem from Cassandra Clare‘s The Infernal Devices. What they both have in common for me is that there is no clear cut winner or loser. Not like an Edward/Bella/Jacob situation where you know damn well who she is ending up with and the third character ends up as little more than a plot device. Ok, I got off track – love me some Cainsville. There.

I have been less successful in my finishing up series plans. I am half way through Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s final Lux book, Opposition (well, final if you don’t count the upcoming alternate POV addition, Oblivion). I think the problem is that I really should’ve done a refresher on the previous books, because honestly, I was lost for a while. I did get back into the swing of things, but it isn’t quite grabbing me like I thought it would.

What great books did you read (or re-read) this week? Anything deserving of a special shout-out?


Weekly Wrap Up…


My last weekly wrap up was in September. So, maybe this should be called my bi-monthly wrap up, instead?

I have been cutting back on my random buying, so I have been being good and tackling my ever dwindling TBR mountain. One book that had been on the pile for much too long is Light My Fire, the seventh book in the Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken. This one was a lot of fun, and got me back in the mood for the next one. I surprised myself by remembering almost all of the characters, and that is a definite achievement for this series. Now, on to Gaius!

I also managed to read Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini. It was a decent read – sort of middle of the road for me, but I still picked up the second one to see how things go.

Also on the young adult side of things, I read Gena Showalter‘s third and fourth White Rabbit Chronicles books, The Queen of Zombie Hearts and A Mad Zombie Party. I was all proud that I wrapped up another series on my pile, but I was left with the feeling that there is still more to come. Maybe a spin-off featuring Kat and River?

And I finally broke down and bought Dragos Goes to Washington, a novella in the Elder Races series by Thea Harrison. I am not a huge novella fan, since I will never be an e-book lover, but there was enough going on in this one that I am really glad I didn’t skip it.

That is about all that I can remember, since it has been so long. My “master plan” to tackle my TBR pile plods along, and I can proudly say that I have gotten that sucker down to under 200. Not only have I been reading out of it, but I am trying really hard to not add any new books to the pile by reading them as they come in. I did have a few slip by me recently, but the fight continues. My goal for 2016 is to get it down to under 100, but that might be pushing things. How has your reading gone lately? Discover any new treasure, or find any new authors?

Not Quite as Loyal As I Thought I Was…

question-markAs I was doing my usual hunting/stalking of several authors recently, I came across a Facebook post by Kim Harrison where she announced a Barnes and Noble buy one, get one half off sale that featured her newest release, The Drafter. What really surprised me, though, was that Kim said it was a “Last ditch effort to sell this book (which has failed miserably.)” Reading that really caught me off guard, because I don’t think I have ever seen an author be quite that honest. It also got me thinking about a few things, like just how loyal I really am.

Kim’s The Hollows series was quite popular, yet it seems that maybe her fanbase didn’t follow her to her new work. For some reason, I just figured that they would, but then I realized that I don’t always follow that rule myself. There are a couple of authors that I follow, no matter what. Nalini Singh and Ilona Andrews, to be precise. They write, I read. It doesn’t matter what – subject, format, price – I am there. But after that, there are no guarantees. I faithfully read Thea Harrison‘s Elder Races books, but her Game of Shadows books are probably in the next pile I will be giving away still unread. Chloe Neill‘s The Veil is still on Mount TBR. Ditto for Larissa Ione‘s Moonbound Clan Vampires, and even the Fallen Angels series from J.R. Ward hasn’t grabbed me yet…and the Bourbon Kings doesn’t tempt me at all.

Are you surprised that Kim is calling The Drafter a failure? Do you follow an author from one world into the other without question, or are you more hit and miss, like me? What authors do you follow, no matter what?

Spotlight on…Thea Harrison

thea harrisonI owe a big thanks to Phyllis Mayes, who sent over some Thea Harrison news.  It looks like Shadow’s End, which is due out December 1st, will be the last traditionally published Elder Races book. The series, however, will continue with a new story arc and at least three more books. Thea is one of a growing list of authors that seem to be leaving big publishing and striking out on their own. According to her Facebook page…

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve committed to writing another three full-length novels in the Elder Races. I’ve developed a new story arc that I’m really excited about, and I can’t wait to share it with readers!

Unfortunately, I was unable to make a contractual match with my publisher Berkley. After deliberating long and hard, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to strike out and self-publish the upcoming new stories.

For the time being, what this means is:

The books will continue to be available through multiple e-book venues.

There will be both print and audiobook versions.

I have a continued commitment to getting my books into as many foreign translations as possible, either on my own or via a publisher.

They’ll continue to be available in libraries. I’ve worked out an agreement with the Nelson Literary Agency to achieve distribution to libraries. (Yay!)

For now, they will NOT be on the shelves in bookstores. Readers will need to buy them online. (While this may certainly change, it is the current reality.)

The really good news is:

I’ll be able to move much more quickly and put out stories in a much more flexible manner than a traditional publisher can. This means I can release more often and tell stories that didn’t fit well within contractual word limits. I’ll also be more involved in creating cover art, which is a personal favorite of mine.

I have to say, this one was even more of a surprise than when Lara Adrian made pretty much the same jump. In Lara’s case, it seems that there hasn’t been much activity on the Midnight Breed front (or at least, not yet), but Thea seems to have a plan for the Elder Races…

I’ll be releasing more information on the upcoming Elder Races stories in the near future, but for now I’ll let you know that I’ll be taking the new story arc across the big puddle to England. The set up for the new direction is in book #9, SHADOW’S END, which releases on December 1st.

Readers will get to fall in love with new characters, keep in touch with old ones, and discover just how much more there is to the Elder Races universe with a much wider story canvass. There will be more world-building, history, magic, and adversaries.

I’m also excited to explore more novellas in the Elder Races, for those story lines that are too delicious not to write yet don’t warrant their own full-length book.

It also looks like there is a new contemporary romantic suspense series on the horizon, as well. Sounds like she will be a busy gal.

Well, what is your take on this? Personally, I am not really a fan. Maybe I just don’t like change, but being in Canada means that most of the time books published this way are way more expensive and harder to get. Plus there is often a switch to a more trade-paperback size which buggers up my shelves (again). Ugh. I wish her well, but I liked things the way they were.

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?