Posts tagged ‘Patricia Briggs’

A Cover, a Video, some Excerpts, and an Update

Here are a few things I’ve come across recently:

Gail Carriger unveiled the cover for Blameless, the 3rd book in her Alexia Tarabotti series.
Blameless

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There’s also an awesome YouTube video of the cover’s creation. Being the complete non-artistic  person that I am, I love seeing creative processes like this one!

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Changes by Jim Butcher

Last week saw the release of the first of a four excerpts for Jim Butcher’s Changes (Dresden Files, book 12) to be released April 6, 2010. I’m really excited about this book, especially given the surprising developments in this one!

It feels like this will be quite a pivotal book for Harry, given the title and subject matter.

Silver BorneI somehow missed this awesome excerpt for Patricia Briggs’ Silver Borne, until I saw it posted somewhere (I forgot where) last week. It’s a really good excerpt, and I can’t wait for the book, which will be released March 30, 2010. I was hoping to see Patricia Briggs again on her book tour, but unfortunately she’s going to be in my area on April 6 at the  Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach. It’s on a Tuesday night, which just won’t work for me. Last year, I was able to talk my guy into making a day trip and we drove down to San Diego for her book signing at Mysterious Galaxy (an awesome SFF/Mystery bookstore). But, since this tour’s San Diego appearance is also mid-week, it won’t work either. Maybe next year!

There’s no cover yet, but Josh Lanyon has also released an excerpt for his spec fic novella, The Darkling Thrush to be released by LooseId next month (April 2010). Also, did you know that Josh Lanyon has an upcoming stand alone with Carina Press (Harlequin’s yet to be debuted ebook division)? Fair Game looks to be an m/m romantic suspense, and he’s already got an excerpt posted on his site. Carina Press is due to begin releasing books June 2010, so hopefully Fair Game will be released about that time.

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Catch Me if You CanLast weekend, I read the really fun and sexy Catch Me If You Can by LB Gregg. I won’t say too much here about it, since I’m planning a review of it for later this week. Caesar was charming and feisty (Dan’s word for him, which was so apt). It cracked me up how mad Dan made Ce when he’d say that! Caesar’s chemistry with Dan was wonderful, and I just loved how Dan revealed so much of himself emotionally during their love scenes.

Currently, I’m really enjoying the audiobook of Carrie Jones’ YA novel, Need. I’m loving Zara’s voice, which drew me into the book right from the beginning. Need by Carrie JonesHer way of using different types of phobias to mediate her world (and feel like she has some control over it, to my mind) is brilliant, and gives some great insight into her character. I won’t mind the Tues drive across town when I take the kid and his friend to and from choir practice during rush hour, half so much as usual this week!

Polar opposite to Need is Manna Francis’ Mind Fuck, an m/m  futuristic dystopian novel. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while, after reading Lesley’s post about it. (She didn’t steer me wrong about Jane Seville’s Zero at the Bone, so I listen closely to Lesley’s recommendations!)Mind Fuck

Mind Fuck‘s protagonist Val, is a fascinating character. He works for the Orwellian-type government in the Investigation & Interrogation division. He is a professional torturer, and he loves his job. Yet, not in a serial killer ott way.  He’s just a man who has lots of pride in being good at his profession. The moral implications abound. This is not a typical m/m or futuristic story. It’s not a romance, though it is about a relationship between Val and Warrick, a coolly composed corporate executive. The novel is dark and complex. It’s the type of book that needs a chunk of time to really delve in to, which I haven’t been able to do over the last few days, but I’m planning on rectifying that shortly, since I’m getting back to it as soon as I finish writing this post!

So, how is your week going so far? What are you reading or hoping to read that you want to share?

March 9, 2010 at 4:00 am 17 comments

We just finished reading . . . Hunting Ground (A buddy review)

One of my favorite things about keeping a blog, is the opportunity to chat with others about books. Recently, Nath, from Books, Books and More Books and the buddy-review site, Breezing Through Books, and I got a chance to have a VERY SPOILERY discussion of Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs. We both love Urban Fantasy, and had so much fun with our buddy review over at Breezing Through of Jim Butcher’s Turn Coat a few months ago, we were really excited to do it again!

This review can also be read over at Breezing Through Books.

WARNING: THIS CONVERSATION HAS MANY SPOILERS THROUGHOUT!!

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Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega series, book 2) by Patricia Briggs

Here is the book description:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be, either . . .
Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything . . .

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Nath: I really enjoy Hunting Ground. I love Anna and Charles together. I think they are a very interesting couple and I like how different their dynamics are from Adam-Mercy-Samuel.

Renee: I enjoyed to too, though it definitely was, imo, quite different from Cry Wolf, especially with regards to Anna and Charles’ relationship. They have definitely moved to the next step, and I loved seeing how they both are now opening up to each other.

Nath: Just to be sure, what do you mean by “quite different from Cry Wolf“? Are you talking about the atmosphere of the book, the characters, the relationship or everything? Personally, I don’t think it’s very different… simply, the relationship is progressing and it is reflected in the characters. I find it ironic a little how Anna is growing more confident, but Charles, more confused LOL.

Renee: What I mean is that a lot of the doubt about their relationship is gone. Especially on Anna’s part. There is much less of a, “What am I doing with this guy?” vibe to the story. She’s accepted that they are mates, and is now focusing on making their relationship work.

Seattle at nightNath: I like the timeline that Ms Briggs has chosen. Hunting Ground picks up only a few weeks after Cry Wolf and so readers get to witness every progress in Anna and Charles’ relationship. They’ve moved to the next step, but there are still some hesitations. However, what I like about Anna and Charles is that they work it out, talk it out and are determined to make it.  The relationship feels very real in my opinion. It’s not just that they’re opening up to each other, but there’s also a deep sense of acceptance between them that’s very endearing.

Renee: I was really struck with how Charles, especially is for the first time in his very long life opening himself up to another person and making himself vulnerable. So much of his life is spent maintaining a wall between himself and others so that his job as Bran’s executioner is never compromised.

Nath: In my opinion, this mating is a bigger step for Charles than it is for Anna.  I don’t think Charles expected to find a mate ever and then, opening himself and making himself vulnerable… It’s hard for him. As for Anna, her problems stem more from the fact that she was changed during an attack and then brutalized. She needs to learn how to trust again… but before her change though, I don’t see any reasons why she’d be afraid to get into a relationship. I wonder what would have happened if Anna was still human…

I find it surprising though that Charles had never had anyone during this 200 years… Perhaps his family was enough for him… Although he has walls up, I think it’s great to see that there are other people who cares for Charles asides from Anna and Bran. I like Angus testing Anna and being concerned about his choice of mate. It seems to me that although Charles has tried very hard to maintain his distances, he wasn’t completely successful :P By the way, Renee, did you ever wonder why Charles was the executioner and not Samuel? I mean, Samuel has been alive so much longer and by Bran’s side when he started his campaign to become the Marrock no?

Renee: Very good point, Nath. Really, I think that Samuel, being a healer, doesn’t have the ability to put his emotions in a box the way that Charles has been able to do. They really are very different. Even the issue with having family and a significant other. Samuel has had more than one wife and tried so many times over the years to have a family. I think his need for connection with others would make it impossible to take on the enforcer/executioner role. Charles is much more stoic, and seems to just do what needs to be done, in a way that Samuel doesn’t. Even with regards to Mercy, Sam defied Bran on more than one occasion. I just can’t imagine Charles doing that.

Anna, also grows in this book. She is really discovering her own power as wolf and as Omega. My only regret with Hunting Ground is that more time wasn’t spent with just Anna and Charles. But, maybe that’s just the romance reader in me. ;-)

Wolf at YellowstoneNath: I love Anna. She has this vulnerable side that makes her stand out. At the same time, she’s growing more confident and assured. I think that we’re seeing glimpse of who Anna was or would be if she hadn’t been brutalized. I love her protective side for Charles, very endearing.

Renee: Yes! I loved that whole “Mine!” scene with Dana.

Nath: Definitively. So far, she’s shown herself to be worthy of Charles, that’s for sure. As for the amount of romance, I actually think it was good given this was an urban fantasy novel. But then, that’s probably because my curiosity is being fed :) Of course, I wouldn’t complain if there’s been more.

I’m still not totally satisfied about what an Omega is LOL :) I guess I’m a bit like Anna and Ric… Speaking of Ric, he was funny. LOL, “You make us happy” and “You bring us joy” LMAO!!!

Renee: Yes, I’m really looking forward to this series exploring more about the role of the Omega wolf. I also liked that Anna could play a mentor role. It seems like she is always the one with the least amount of knowledge and information, so it was a nice switch.

Nath: What did you think of the plot?  I like the political games in this one as well, seeing the werewolves from so different factions was interesting. It was fun to see the power play and all the “conniving” and plotting. I especially liked that it took place in Seattle, so we got to see Tom and Moira, two characters that Ms Briggs introduced in her novella Seeing Eye.

My only complaint though is that I think the relationship and Arthur plot weren’t weaved well together… It really took a while before the “action” started and you could feel the separation between the two storylines. Also, I think that Arthur’s motive as well as Dana’s were kind of weak ^_^; But then again, no doubt that longevity and sanity don’t go well together, LOL :)

Renee: The suspense plot was really good, and I loved the inclusion of someone from Charles’ past. I bought Dana’s motive more than Arthur’s, but maybe that’s just because fae are so capricious, that they don’t seem to need much to act violently or vindictively.

Nath: LOL, somehow, it seems that Charles got around no? Isabella in Alpha & Omega and now, Dana :)

I thought that overall, the plot was quite clever. I didn’t see it coming… but then again, I didn’t get the villains motives LOL.  Hmmm, what can I say about Dana?  I dislike fae… I don’t get them and I think their capricious side is a reason. Also, I’m very unfamiliar with the King Arthur story… so that did not help.Faerie queen

Renee: Yes, there’s definitely something to be said about the detrimental effects of immortality on one’s sanity! :-P

I was a little disappointed to see so little of Bran. I’ve been hoping for more development on him, but since most of the book took place in Seattle, and he wasn’t there, it didn’t really happen. Hopefully, in the next book!

Nath: I definitively want to see more of Bran. He is such a mysterious character!! Perhaps soon.  I hope we get to see the werewolves from Seattle again soon. I was actually surprised at Angus. He was nothing like I imagined from “Seeing Eye.”

Renee: I still haven’t read that story. I really have to get through it, since it seems that Moira and Tom have a really interesting back story. Which anthology was it in? I like the idea of getting more info on the witches. They still seem pretty mysterious to me in this world.

Nath: The anthology is called Strange Brew and came out earlier this summer. I’m not sure how much I like the witches in this series, but I definitively liked Moira… and what she did to get more power took guts.

You know, there’s two things that are bothering me. First, the way Charles is written about – he’s very capable and strong… but somehow, in both Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground, he was “defeated” easily in my opinion and Anna had to save the day. Although it’s well explained and make sense in the plot, it annoys me. Having the heroine saving the capable and accomplished hero is okay, once or twice… but Ms Briggs does it also in the Mercy Thompson… I feel like she’s “dumbing” down the heroes to make her heroines look better :(

Renee: Hmm. . . I’m not sure about thinking Charles was “defeated.” Dana definitely tricked him.
Ok, so I had to really think about this for a bit. I see what you mean, but I think the dynamic of Charles and Anna’s relationship is based on his rescuing her in Chicago. In some ways, Anna being able to save him here feels more like evening things out as well as more of her finding her strength (away from Charles) and her abilities.

Also, I love that often Patricia Briggs brings resolutions to her stories that are based on  “thinking” solutions rather than using brute strength or firepower. It’s also something that happens with Mercys’ stories, too.

Nath: I get what you’re saying and I’m all for the heroine rescuing the hero… but when it happens in all the books by an author, it becomes annoying.

Strange BrewSecond, I don’t get why the werewolves mate. I mean, no love is required between them – look at Bran and Leah. I’d understand it if the mating was forever or necessary to breed, but it’s not. It’s like marriage kind of… in which case, why make a big deal out of it? I’m just wondering…

Renee: Yeah, it’s still a bit of a mystery to me, even after so many books in the two series. Again, I think that a nice in-depth look at Bran and his situation with Leah would be in order! ;-)

OK, so the hard part for me will be waiting till August 2010 for the 3rd Alpha & Omega book.

Nath: Me too. I’m definitively looking forward to the next book.

What grade are you giving Hunting Ground? Solid A- for me. I love Anna and Charles and enjoyed most of the plot. However, I did have a few complaints about it and so I can’t give it an A :( I hope those will be taken care of in the next book :)

Renee: I think I’m with you with an A-. I wasn’t totally blown away by the book, but it was a really strong addition to the series as well as the Mercy Thompson/Alpha & Omega world. I think there was a lot added to the big picture we have of the werewolves, and the relationship of Anna and Charles in particular.

Thank you, Nath, for such great insights into the story. It was so much fun shooting emails back and forth, having a conversation with someone who really loves to talk about books as much as I do.

Have you read Hunting Ground? If so, what did you think? If not, I hope that we whetted your appetite at least a little!

September 10, 2009 at 5:00 am 13 comments

OMG, have you seen this gorgeous cover for Silverborne?

A big thank you to Doug from SciFi Guy who brought this to my attention. He is always so on top of things in the SFF bookworld!

Silver BorneClick on image to enlarge it in a new window.

Silver Borne, book 5 in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs will be released March 30, 2010.

IDK, this cover is utterly gorgeous, and may replace Bone Crossed as my favorite. Dan DosSantos has outdone himself with the book cover art, once again.

When I attended Patricia Briggs’ signing for Bone Crossed at Mysterious Galaxy Books in San Diego back in February, she said that Silver Borne would deal a lot with Samuel. I can’t wait to read this one!

August 31, 2009 at 5:00 am 9 comments

A couple of new blurbs and excerpts . . . & a reminder!

Here are a few interesting things I’ve come across in the last week!

The titles for Kelley Armstrong’s next two Otherworld books have been announced: #11 will be Waking the Witch and #12 will be Spellbound. Savannah has grown up enough so that she will finally be the protagonist in these books.

Waking the Witch will be released Aug 2010. The blurb is already up at Amazon UK:

A kick-ass thriller with a magical twist. Meet SAVANNAH. She’s strong, smart, sexy . . . and supernatural. In book 11 of the Women of the Otherworld series, Kelley Armstrong tells the story of Savannah – a young witch with a dark heritage. As the orphaned daughter of a black witch mother and sorcerer father, she has powers far beyond a normal witch, and a dangerous addiction to trouble . . . Will she be able to resist the darker side of her powers, and more to the point, is she right to deny that side of herself?

Thank you to Jackie from Literary Escapism who brought the Tez Miler’s Tez Says post with this information, to my attention. Thanks, ladies, for the heads up!

I also came across the excerpt for Instant Temptation (Wilder Adventures, book 3) by Jill Shalvis, while writing my Top 5 Contemporary Romances post.

Instant Temptation

In disappointing news, I discovered the eagerly anticipated (by me, at least) next installment of the Rev Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne mystery series, Once was a Soldier has been postponed. It is still listed on author Julia Spencer-Fleming’s site (which is often out of date) as being released Fall 2009 or Winter 2010, but Amazon and Fantastic Fiction both now have an April 13, 2010 release date. :-(

Here is the description for Once was a Soldier:

At the Millers Kill Community Center, five veterans gather to work on adjusting to life after war. Reverend Clare Fergusson has returned from Iraq with a head full of bad memories she’s using alcohol to wipe out. Dr. George Stillman is denying that the head wound he received has left him with something worse than simple migraines. Officer Eric McCrea is battling to keep his constant rage from affecting his life as a cop, and as a father.
High school track star Will Ellis is looking for some reason to keep on living after losing both legs to an IED. And down-on-her-luck Tally McNabb has brought home a secret — a fatal one. Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne just wants Clare to settle down and get married — to him. But when he rules Tally McNabb’s death a suicide, Clare sides with the other vets against him. Russ and Clare’s unorthodox investigation will uncover a trail of deceit that runs from their tiny Adirondack town to the upper ranks of the Army, and from the waters of the Millers Kill to the unforgiving streets of Baghdad.

Man, I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

Lastly, Subterranean Press has done it again. Not only will they be releasing the original Kelley Armstrong Otherworld original novella, Angelic (featuring Eve Levine) at the end of the year, but later this fall they will also release a high end, signed, hardcover limited edition of Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega, the novella that was originally in On the Prowl. This novella is the story that introduced Anna of the Alpha and Omega series.

Angelic Alpha & Omega-Subterranean

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Don’t forget, time is almost up to enter my giveaway! Go to this post and enter to win TWO books from my Top 5 lists. I’ve gone ahead and added my Top 5 Contemporary Romances to the list of choices.

You have until Monday, August 31, 2009 to enter.

Good luck!

August 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm 6 comments

August 2009 New Releases

I was going to try to pick one or two books that are coming out this month that I’m most looking forward to, but I really couldn’t narrow it down. A few of my old favorites — Jeanne Stein, Patricia Briggs, Karen Marie Moning, Richelle Mead, and Kat Richardson, are releasing the latest installments on their series. Other, new to me authors — Victoria Dahl, Amanda Downum, and Sylvia Day, have some new releases that sound really interesting. I’m also excited that my recent discovery, Jill Sorenson, is releasing her second book, and that Rachel Vincent is debuting her new YA series

It used to be that I LOVED anthologies, but lately I just haven’t been able to  work through all the stories. However, an anthology to be release this month has so many good authors, I just couldn’t leave it off the list.

Here are all of the August releases I’m looking forward to:

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August 1, 2009: My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers series, book 1) by Rachel Vincent (YA)

Here is a book description:

She doesn’t see dead people, but . . .

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about the need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next . . .

My Soul To Take
  • Rachel Vincent’s site.
  • Excerpt on publisher’s site.

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August 4, 2009: Vanished (Greywalker series, book 4) by Kat Richardson

Here is a book description:

For Seattle investigator Harper Blaine, her own case may prove the most difficult to solve. Why did she, as opposed to others with near death experiences become a Greywalker? When Harper begins digging into her own past, she unearths some unpleasant truths about her father’s early death as well as a mysterious puzzle. She sets out to find his ghost but encounters only a void where he should be, leaving her with more unanswered questions.

Before she can continue her search, Harper gets an offer she can’t refuse to go to London and pursue an investigation on behalf of some very demanding vampires. But there are unpleasant surprises waiting for her, and Harper soon discovers her present trouble in England is entangled with her dark past back in Seattle and her ultimate destiny as a Greywalker.

Vanished

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August 4, 2009: One Week as Lovers by Victoria Dahl.

Here is the description from the author’s site:

THEY WOULD MAKE EVERY SECOND
COUNT . . .

Even after finding his betrothed in the arms of another man, Nicholas, Viscount Lancaster, knows he must wed. Propriety — and the dire state of his finances — decrees it. At least a visit to his country estate provides relief from playing the role of loving fiance, as well as a surprising encounter with Cynthia Merrithorpe. Once his childhood companion, Cynthia has grown into a lovely, alluring woman — one who’s undertaken a daring ruse to avoid being sold into a miserable marriage.

When Nicholas left for London to assume his new title, Cynthia was forced to put aside her girlish infatuation. Now he’s returned, more wickedly attractive than ever. And this time, Cynthia is determined to experience the pleasure she’s dreamed of for so long. But with a man like Nicholas, seduction is only the beginning of a sensual journey that will tempt them both to defy convention, and uncover the very heart of desire . . .

One Week as Lovers

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August 4, 2009: The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day (Mass market re-issue)

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

THEY WERE TOGETHER FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS . . .

They are London’s most scandalous couple. Isabel, Lady Pelham, and Gerard Faulkner, Marquess of Grayson, are well matched in all things – their lusty appetites, constant paramours, wicked wits, provocative reputations, and their absolute refusal ever to ruin their marriage of convenience by falling in love with one another. Isabel knows such a charming rake will never appeal to her guarded heart, nor will she sway his philandering one. It is a most agreeable sham . . . until a shocking turn of events sends Gerard from her side.

Now, four years later, Gerard has come home to Isabel. But the carefree, boyish rogue who left has been replaced by a brooding, powerful, irresistible man who is determined to seduce his way into her affections. Gone is the devil-may-care companion who shared her friendship and nothing more, and in his place is temptation itself . . . a husband who desires Isabel body and soul and who will stop at nothing to win her love. No, this is not at all the man she had married. But he is the man who might finally steal her heart . . .

Stranger I Married

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August 18, 2009: Dreamfever (Fever series, book 4) by Karen Marie Moning

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge . . .

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth—about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barron . . . and about the world she thought she knew.

Dreamfever
  • Karen Marie Moning’s site.

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August 25, 2009: Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega series, book 2) by Patricia Briggs

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be, either . . .

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything . . .

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

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August 25, 2009: Set the Dark on Fire by Jill Sorenson

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Shay Phillips knows her way around Dark Canyon. She’s handy with a gun and can track a wild animal with the best of them. It’s humans who give her the most trouble. And with a hormonally charged teenage brother to raise — and an admitted weakness for the wrong kind of man — they’re giving her plenty of trouble these days. Then there’s the matter of murder. As an expert on mountain lions, Shay knows to be skeptical when a local prostitute turns up mauled without a drop of blood near the body.

Now, together with the town’s newly arrived sheriff, Luke Meza — a Las Vegas city boy with his own dark secrets — Shay must navigate a dangerous valley filled with angry ex-lovers, unfaithful spouses, and poisonous snakes in a desperate search for the killer. But when suspicion falls on her own brother, and her attraction to Luke rages into a full-on erotic affair, can Shay quell the fires inside her long enough to uncover the truth?

Set the Dark on Fire
  • Jill Sorenson’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Scroll down linked page.)

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August 25, 2009: Unbound -Anthology with novellas by Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, and Jocelynn Drake

Here is a book description from the author’s site:


Not all hunters are bound by human laws . . .

Revisiting the paranormal realms they’ve made famous in their wildly popular fiction, New York Times bestselling authors Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson, and Jocelynn Drake—plus New York Times bestselling YA author Melissa Marr with her first adult supernatural thriller—unleash their full arsenal of dark talents, plunging us into the shadows where the supernatural stalk the unsuspecting . . . and every soul is a target.

Get ready for the ride of your life—because the wildest magic has just been unleashed . . . and evil is about to have its day.

Unbound anthology
  • Kim Harrison’s site
  • Melissa Marr’s site
  • Jeaniene Frost’s site
  • Vicki Pettersson’s site
  • Jocelynn Drake’s site

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August 25, 2009: Retribution (An Anna Strong, Vampire Novel, book 5) by Jeanne C Stein

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

With her partner out of town, her family abroad, and her mentor estranged, newly-turned vampire Anna Strong is keeping a low profile. But now young vampires are turning up dead, completely drained of their life force. And though Anna wants to say no when Williams, her former teacher and now leader of a supernatural enforcement squad, asks for her help, she can’t. But soon, she’ll wish she did.

Retribution
  • Jeanne Stein’s site.

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August 25, 2009: The Drowning City (The Necromancer Chronicles, book 1) by Amanda Downum.

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

Symir — the Drowning City. A lush subtropical port, home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who’ll stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government.

For Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy, the brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her Crown, and to forget the heartbreak that haunts her at home. All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries, and help topple the palaces of Symir. But the longer she stays in the monsoon-drenched city, the more factions and intrigues she uncovers — even the dead are plotting, and the monsters who live in the flooded canals. And the closer she grows to an Imperial mage, the more her loyalties are strained.

Betrayed by her allies, hunted by the people she meant to aid, and determined to save a man oath-bound to kill her, Isyllt must choose between her mission and the lives of thousands of people. But as the waters rise and dams crack, everything she’s worked for may still be swept away.

The Drowning City

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August 25, 2009: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy series, book 4) by Richelle Mead

Here is a book description:

Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse.

A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

grey-pearl-line1Lots of variety this month! There seems to be a little bit of everything: historical romance, uf, YA, fantasy.

Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?

For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page. For information about other books that were released in January thru July 2009, check out my Released in 2009 page.

August 3, 2009 at 5:00 am 16 comments

July 2009 New Releases

I got a little head start on reading this month’s releases, since I already read Branded by Fire over the weekend. There are a couple of new series debuts, as well as a couple of anthologies. While I find that I’ve come to prefer anthologies that feature novellas instead of short stories, the caliber of authors in Strange Brew, makes it worth tracking down.

Here are the July releases I’m looking forward to:

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July 1, 2009: Prey (Werecat series, book 4) by Rachel
Vincent

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

SOMETIMES PLAYING CAT AND MOUSE IS NO GAME…

Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father’s authority is in question, and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven’t laid eyes on Marc’s gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don’t exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays.  Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing, and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

Prey by Rachel Vincent
  • Rachel Vincent’s site.
  • Excerpt (PDF download) from author’s site.

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July 7, 2009: Skinwalker (Jane Yellowrock series, book 1) by Faith Hunter

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

A year ago Jane nearly lost her life taking down an entire blood family of deadly rogue vampires that preyed on the helpless local populace of an Appalachian town. Now, after months of recuperation, she’s back and ready to fight again. Except this time, she’s hired by those she’s trained to kill — vampires . . . Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind — a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. Back from hiatus, she’s hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katies’s Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who’s killing other vamps.

Amidst a bordello full of real “ladies of the night,” and a hot Cajun biker with a panther tattoo who stirs her carnal desire, Jane must stay focused and complete her mission — or else the next skin she’ll need to save just may be her own . . .

Skinwalker by Faith Hunter

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July 7, 2009: Branded by Fire (Psy-Changeling series, book 6) by Nalini Singh

Here is the description from the author’s site:

When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, must work together to track the young man — before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire. Branded by Fire
  • Nalini Singh’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Scroll down linked page.)

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July 7, 2009: Eyes Like the Stars (Théâtre Iluminata series, book 1) by Lisa Mantchev

Here is the description from the publisher’s site:

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents.She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.

Until now.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book — an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family — and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Eyes Like Stars

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July 9, 2009: Strange Brew edited by PN Elrod

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Today’s hottest urban fantasy authors come together in this delicious brew that crackles and boils over with tales of powerful witches and dark magic!

In Charlaine Harris’ “Bacon,” a beautiful vampire joins forces with a witch from an ancient line to find out who killed her beloved husband.

In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother — and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected.

And in Jim Butcher’s “Last Call,” wizard Harry Dresden takes on the darkest of dark powers — the ones who dare to mess with this favorite beer.

For anyone who’s ever wondered what lies beyond the limits of reality, who’s imagined the secret spaces where witches wield fearsome magic, come and drink deep. Let yourself fall under the spell of this bewitching collection!

Strange Brew

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July 21, 2009: Homecoming (Mercy Thompson graphic novel/trade edition) by Patricia Briggs

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Mercy Thompson is a walker, a magical being with the power to transform into a coyote. She lives on the fine line dividing the everyday world from a darker dimension, observing the supernatural community while standing apart.

When Mercy travels to the Tri-Cities of Washington for a job interview, she quickly finds herself smack-dab in the middle of a gang war between rival packs of werewolves. And as if fangs and fur weren’t bad enough, Mercy must deal with the scariest creature of all: her mother, who is convinced that Mercy is making a mess of her life and determined to set her daughter on the right course.

Homecoming cover
  • Patricia Briggs’ site.
  • Publisher’s site.
  • Preview on author’s site. (PDF download. This is a preview version which only has the art. No words.)

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July 28, 2009: Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega series, book 2) by Patricia Briggs

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be, either . . .

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything . . .

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
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July 28, 2009: Destined For An Early Grave (Night Huntress series, book 4) by Jeaniene Frost

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who has her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

Destined for an Early Grave

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July 28, 2009: Skin Deep (Laura Blackstone series, book 1) by Mark Del Franco

Here is a book description from the author’s site:

As the public relations director for the Fey Guild, Laura Blackstone can spin a story with ease. Across town, Janice Crawford works her magic as the druidess backup for the D.C. SWAT. Meanwhile as an operative for an international intelligence agency, Mariel Tate uses her beauty and brains to hunt down terrorists. Laura, Janice and Mariel have nothing in common — except they’re the same woman . . .
Being an undercover agent has its occupational hazards, but Laura makes it look easy. She uses her magical abilities to create disguises that are skin deep — glamours, or personas, that must never be compromised.

Now, while Laura publicizes a special fey exhibition at the National Archives, Janice is almost killed in a drug bust gone wrong, and Mariel investigates a connection between the drug raid and threats made against the exhibition’s debut. Laura’s different worlds are about to collide, and if she can’t keep it together, she’ll have more to worry about than having to retire an identity. She may lose her life.

Skin Deep
  • Mark Del Franco’s site.
  • Excerpt on author’s site. (Word doc download.)

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July 28, 2009: Thorn Queen (Dark Swan series, book 2) by Richelle Mead

Here is a book description from the publisher’s site:

Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she’s also become queen of the Thorn Land. It’s hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one — except Eugenie — seems willing to find out why. Eugenie has spilled plenty of fey blood in her time, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle, and nursing a very personal grudge. And the men in her life aren’t making things any easier. Her boyfriend, Kiyo, is preoccupied with his pregnant ex, and sexy fey king Dorian always poses a dangerous distraction. With or without their help, Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in an unpredictable power she can barely control. Reluctant queen or not, Eugenie has sworn to do her duty — even if it means facing the darkest — and deadliest — side of her nature . . .
Thorn Queen
  • Richelle Mead’s site.
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You know, I didn’t realize until I was almost finished putting this post together, that every book I have down for this month is either urban fantasy or paranormal romance. A lot of historicals that I’ve been looking forward to just came out this past week, but not much else is on my radar for the month of July.

Did I miss any books coming out this month that you’re looking forward to?

For information on other future releases, check out my Upcoming Releases page. For information about other books that were released in January thru June 2009, check out my Released in 2009 page.

July 1, 2009 at 8:27 am 7 comments

2009 Re-read Challenge (June): Bone Crossed

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson series, book 4) by Patricia Briggs

I had originally intended to read Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas for my re-read challenge book this month. But then, my Audible point became available (I have a monthly Audible plan that allows me 1 audiobook download per month) and I couldn’t resist ordering the Bone Crossed audiobook.

I read the Bone Crossed when it originally came out in February. But, as sometimes happens with books I’ve been really anticipating, I blew through it in a little over a day, devouring it all too quickly. When I do this — I really can’t help myself and slow down — the book doesn’t really “stick” the way it would have if I had read it at a more leisurely pace. This also explains why I neglected to review it, considering how much I’d hyped its release.

So, I decided to “re-read” Bone Crossed in audiobook format, and see how the different “reading” experience compared to the first one.

Here’s the description:

Car mechanic and sometime shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has learned, the hard way, why her race was almost exterminated. When European vampires immigrated to North America, they found Mercy’s people had a hidden talent — for vampire slaying. Unfortunately for Mercy, the queen of the local vampire seethe has discovered her true identity. She’s also furious when she learns Mercy has crossed her and killed one of her vampires. Mercy may be protected from direct reprisals by the werewolf pack (and her interesting relationship with its Alpha), but that just means Marsilia will come after Mercy some other way. So Mercy had better prepare to watch her back.

Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs

Here are some things that really stood out to me upon “reading” Bone Crossed for a second time:

An audiobook reader’s voice really impacts the way I enjoy a book.

Lorelei King is an extremely talented narrator. I know her best from her work on Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Over the course of the 14 books in that series, her voice “is” Stephanie Plum for me. So, it was with a little apprehension that I started listening to Bone Crossed.

I have to admit that for the first few chapters, it was disconcerting to hear “Stephanie” say “Mercy’s” words. However, about halfway through the book I realized I had completely forgotten about this issue, and hadn’t thought about it for hours. (The audiobook is just over 9 hours long.)

A funny thing about the audiobook, was that one of the characters that I saw so much more vividly, as a result of hearing him, was Bran. He only has 1 scene, but I got such a great mental picture of this youthful looking guy (who probably appears to be younger than his son, Sam) who is the toughest werewolf in North America. I think hearing his voice helped me fill in the image I had of him.

Another character the audiobook helped me “see” was the vampire, Stefan. He’s such a lover of pop culture (especially all things Scooby Doo) that I forget he’s Italian. Hearing him speak in an accent threw me at first, but when I thought about it, it made perfect sense.

So, on to the story!

I was actually really worried when Bone Crossed was released. Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite uf series, and the preceding book, Iron Kissed, is my favorite in the series. I was afraid my expectations would be unrealistically high, and BC would be a disappointment.

Luckily, that wasn’t the case, for either the first or the second read of Bone Crossed. Patricia Briggs is able to start the book on what would be considered a low note, picking up immediately after the tragic events of Iron Kissed, and launch the reader back into the action. BC isn’t just a wrap up of IK, however, because even as Mercy (and everyone around her) continues to process what has happened, she is thrust into a couple of new adventures.

One storyline, is actually a large part of the book, though it isn’t mentioned in the blurb. I really liked the mystery that involved an old college friend, and her son who is being terrorized by ghosts. It explored much more in depth another of Mercy’s abilities that have previously been touched on, her ability to communicate with ghosts.

At times, the story was quite creepy, and even gruesome. However, the connection Mercy makes with both the boy and the ghosts were really compelling.

Final thoughts:

Patricia Briggs has been able to take Mercy’s story past the Team Adam or Team Sam debate, and go deeper with Bone Crossed. I love how pack dynamics really come into play in this book, now that she’s chosen her mate. The road to acceptance within the pack isn’t easy for Mercy, but I love how PB takes us through not only her actions with in the pack but also her thought process of how rank and her being a walker come affect her position as the Alpha’s mate.

While Iron Kissed is still my favorite of the series, Bone Crossed did live up to the high bar I have set for books in this series.

June 30, 2009 at 11:31 am 8 comments

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