Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: How To Drive A Dragon Crazy

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted byJill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights anticipated upcoming releases. This week my can't-wait to-read book is:

How To Drive  A Dragon Crazy (The Dragon Kin, #6) 
by G.A. Aiken
Drops September 4, 2012

Some things never go away, like vile enemies, bad ale, and annoying kin. Honestly, though, I thought I was finished with the one dragon I'd have done anything for: Éibhear the Blue, a big, gorgeous, blue-haired beast who thinks the world belongs to him. The world and, apparently, me. 

If Éibhear wants to play the caring hero and travel into the most forsaken of Gods forsaken lands to protect the one woman who doesn't need it -- namely me -- I'll let him. Because while I'm trying to fulfill a ridiculous quest for a pushy god, I'm going to draw this overconfident warlord much too close, rekindle his fires, and enjoy every minute of his delicious defeat...

Shelly Laurenston is one of my favorite authors, whether writing under the Laurenston or the G.A. Aiken name.  Her heroines are funny, tough and on occasion, violent... ahem, very violent.  (Most of them are shifters of some sort so that is to be expected.)  They all have strong female friends and a chicks-before-dicks attitude that is refreshing in a genre usually populated by loners or the one woman in a group of hot guys.  Laurenston also writes steamy heroes but her's actually have personalities that go beyond the smoldering, tortured dude and the stoic yet passionate dude.  Plus the books are funny.  Really funny.  As my mother-in-law would say, Such a mouth on that one!  And she'd say that about every character.

Laurenston has written quite a few series but The Dragon Kin series remains my favorite.  After several books where Izzy and Eibhear clashed and argued (romance code for - They're perfect for each other!),  we finally get their story.  I expect this tale to be chock-full of bloody action, hilarious hijinks, and some smoking hot sex.  Laurenston has done it before in previous books so I don't feel that my expectations are unreasonable.

If you've never read the Aiken books, I'd recommend, well, I'd recommend the whole series although my absolute favorite is What A Dragon Should Know.  Or try one of her books written under the Laurenston name like The Beast in Him, my second favorite.  

***Don't forget to leave a comment if you're participating in Waiting On Wednesday with a link to your can't-wait-to-read so I can swing on by!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadowlands

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted byJill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights anticipated upcoming releases. This week my can't-wait to-read book is:

by Violette Malan

Drops August 1, 2012

The war in the Land of the Faerie has finally ended. Prince Cassandra dispatches Stormwolf, formerly a Hound but cured by his prince’s magic and restored to the Rider he once was, to the Shadowlands to call home the People who remain refugees there. But Stormwolf finds the Hounds of the Wild Hunt now prey upon the souls of the humans, draining them of the magic which is the very lifeblood of the People. With the help of Valory Martin, a mortal psychic, Stormwolf must find the magic needed to defeat the Hunt before it’s too late.

As a fan of the Violette Malan's Dhuyln and Parno series, I've been eagerly anticipating the next installment - especially since it ended on a cliffhanger.  So far, no news on that front but at least Malan has something new coming out this summer.  Shadowlands is the sequel to Malan's  2006 novel, The Mirror Prince, a book I read years ago and thought a real gem.  

So check it out, see what you think, and, hey, if you came over from Breaking the Spine, leave a comment so I can come visit your blog and see what book has you in a state of dizzy anticipation.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book Newsy Stuff, Excerpts and More!

  • Jennifer Estep has just sold three more books in her Elemental Assassin series.  No info on release dates yet but there will be at least 10 books in the series.  I'm not sure how I feel about this news.  I like this series very much so more books should be a good thing but I am also getting tired of series that run their course and yet, still don't end.  At some point, this reader needs closure.
  • Speaking of series that don't deliver on closure, Harper Voyager has published the first four chapters of Kim Harrison's 10th entry into the Hollows series, A Perfect Blood, online.  You can read them here:  One, Two, Three, Four.  Chapter five is also supposed to be posted but all the links I try don't seem to work.  
  • Angelfall, the fabulous ebook by Susan Ee, is now available for purchase in print.  You can find it here at Createspace or over at Amazon.
  • One of things that impressed me about Angelfall was how well this self-published book was edited.  My (limited) experience with ebooks is that they are often riddled with typos, no matter who the publisher is. Kirkus Editorial has developed a book editing division for self-published and unpublished authors to help alleviate this problem and strengthen manuscripts before they are submitted to publishers.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

DNF : Bad Blood by Kristen Painter

So, I read Blood Rights, the first book in the House of Comarre series and really liked it.  Though there were some things that bothered me, they were far outweighed by all the things I did like.  An interesting, unique take on the supernatural world set in the near future.  I'm always on the lookout for a new series that can give a spin on the same old/same old and I thought I had found it with this one.
And then I read book two in the series.   
As much as I enjoyed the first, that is how little I liked the second.
So, one book I loved really liked and the other that annoyed the fuck out of me.  Third times the charm, I thought and started Bad Blood, the next book in the series.  
And I couldn't do it. 
I made it to page 166 and had to stop.  Now, it's rare for me to not finish a book.  My book obsession compels me to finish the books I start, even if it is only skim-reading them till the end.  But I couldn't even skim through this one.  I just knew that the problems I had with the characters were not going to get any better.  And I am incredibly disappointed.  I had such hopes for this series.
Below the jump, you can read what I thought about the first third of Bad Blood.

Bad Blood by Kristen Painter
House of Comarre, #3
ISBN 0316084751 
ISBN13: 9780316084758
Published December 1st 2011 by Orbit 
Grade: DNF
Blurb:  Samhain approaches, bringing with it the final melding of the mortal and othernatural worlds. No one knows just how much power the night holds...
Violent murders occur in Paradise City as counterfeit comarré are systematically hunted. The police and the Kubai Mata have more than enough trouble to keep themselves occupied. As war erupts at home, Malkolm and Chrysabelle head to New Orleans to recover the Ring of Sorrows. Chrysabelle is forced to make a life and death decision and will realize that her relationship to Malkolm may have fatal consequences.
The clock is ticking . . .

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Libriomancer

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights anticipated upcoming releases. This week my can't-wait to-read book is:

Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)


Isaac Vainio has spent the past two years working at the Copper River Library in northern Michigan, secretly cataloguing books for their magical potential, but forbidden from using that magic himself . . . except for emergencies. Emergencies like a trio of young vampires who believe Isaac has been killing their kind, and intend to return the favor. 

Isaac is a libriomancer, brilliant but undisciplined, with the ability to reach into books and create objects from their pages. And attacking a libriomancer in his own library is never a good idea.

But vampires are only the beginning. This was merely the latest in a series of attacks against members of Die Zwelf Portenære, a secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg to protect the world from supernatural threats. Among the casualties is Ray Walker, Isaac’s friend and mentor in magic.

Complicating matters further is the arrival of a dryad named Lena Greenwood. Lena packs a pair of wooden swords and proves to be quite adept at helping to beat down various magical threats. She also seems to be a little too interested in Isaac . . . not that he minds. Yet Lena’s nature could make her a greater threat than any vampire.

Along with a neurotic fire-spider named Smudge, Isaac and Lena set out to find and stop whoever is behind the attacks. But things are worse than Isaac imagined. An unknown killer of unimaginable power has been torturing and murdering humans and vampires alike. And Gutenberg, now more than six hundred years old, has disappeared. 

As Isaac searches for Gutenberg and the murderer, hoping they aren’t one and the same, he uncovers dark secrets about magic’s history and potential. Secrets which could destroy Die Zwelf Portenære and loose a magical war upon the world. If Isaac is to have any hope of preventing that war, he will have to truly master the magic of libriomancy.

Assuming he doesn’t lose control and wipe himself from existence first.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
I haven't read any books by Hines (I have read plenty of his blog posts though which are always entertaining and often illuminating), but this story sounds like a great place to start.  Book-based magic?  Right up my alley.  

Friday, February 10, 2012

Link Love

John Christopher has passed away. The first science fiction book I ever read was The White Mountains and I have such fond memories of it.  I had never read anything like it before.  It was imaginative in an exciting new way and influenced the type of reader I became.  Below, a link to Christopher Priest's obit for John Christopher.  Check it out.
(And then check out Superheroines in Comfy Pants...  oh, and 25 Reasons That Writers Are Bug-Fuck Nuts... hhmn, ya'know what? better just read them all.)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday: Discount Armageddon!

6678961893 f194d1e8ba o Desperatly Wanting Wednesday: The Sh*t List

Each week, Parajunkee.Com hosts Desperately Wanting Wednesday, a meme that spotlights books that you’ve been desperately waiting on.   Whether they haven't been published yet or you haven't had a chance to get to them, it's an opportunity to showcase the books you just can't wait to read.

I am really looking forward to this one.  I can't think of a better author to tackle cryptomythology than Seanan McGuire.

Discount Armageddon (Incryptid #1) by Seanan McGuire

Cryptid, noun:

1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E. Wall in 1983. 
2. That thing that's getting ready to eat your head. 
3. See also: "monster." 
The Covenant of St. George was founded to uphold one simple ideal: anything that was not present on the Ark—anything they deemed "unnatural"—needed to be destroyed. Monsters. Creatures of myth and legend. All of them would be wiped from the Earth in the name of Man's dominion. Unfortunately for them, not all the monsters agreed with this plan...and neither did all the human beings. 
After their rather abrupt departure from the Covenant, Alexander and Enid Healy found themselves alone in the world, but with a simple mission of their own: to protect the cryptids of the world from those who would harm them without just cause. It was a cause that would eventually claim both their lives, leaving their children, and their childrens' children, to take up the fight. Now in the modern day, their descendants struggle to stay beneath the Covenant's radar, while defending the cryptids from humanity—and humanity from the cryptids.
Drops March 6, 2012

No More Twenty Palaces

It bummed me out to learn that Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series will not be continuing. Sales have been decreasing and Connolly has decided to move on.  It's such a shame.  Child of Fire was one of my favorite reads of 2011.  It had a gritty, hardboiled feel to it that is unusual in urban fantasy.  Ray Lilly is a character out of the same mold as Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. His boss, Annalise - well, I don't know who I'd compare her to but she is brutal, scary, totally badass, and cool as shit.

I'm truly surprised that this series wasn't more popular.  I highly recommend it.  

Connolly also wrote a prequel to the series that tells how Ray and Annalise first met.  It's self-published and only in ebook form but you can buy it from Connolly direct.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hey, Lookee! More Upcoming Books!

Chasing Magic (Downside Ghosts, #5) by Stacia Kane
Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.
As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle. Downside could become a literal ghost town if Chess doesn’t find a way to stop both the war and the dark wave of death-magic, and the only way to do that is to use both her addiction and her power to enter the spell and chase the magic all the way back to its malevolent source. Too bad that doing so will probably kill Chess—if the war doesn’t first destroy the man who’s become her reason for living
Drops June 26, 2012

Ironskin (Ironskin, #1) by Tina Connolly
Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. 
It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain -- the ironskin.
Now Jane returns to the war-torn country to help a fey-cursed child. Helping the unruly Dorie suppress her curse is hard enough -- she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Mr. Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her own scars, and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio -- and come out as beautiful as the fey. 
Jane knows he cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane must unlock the secrets of her new life -- and discover just how far she will go to become whole again.
October 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012

Link Love

Well, I was gone for much longer than I expected.  I really thought my lull in posting would last a week, week and a half tops but work was all-consuming and my brain was too fried by the end of the day to do much more than stare blankly into space.  (There may have been some drooling involved, as well.)
Although much of January was a blur, somehow I still managed to acquire some nifty book links. Some of these are a little old but still worth reading.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

I first heard about this book when I was tooling around on Goodreads.  Several people I follow posted excellent reviews of Angelfall (reviewers I consider pretty tough so when they speak highly of a book, I take notice.), and although I'm not much of an ebook reader, I decided to check it out, especially when I saw that Amazon had it listed for 99 cents.  I figured, what's the worst that could happen?  I spend a dollar on something I don't like?  Big whup.  Well, it turns out, it was money well spent.  There's a lot of bang for your buck here.

Angelfall by Susan Ee
Penryn & the End of Days, #1
Published May 21st 2011 by Feral Dream
Grade: A
Blurb:  It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.