Can’t Wait Wednesday: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months.

I love finding out about books which will publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

magic-triumphs-ilona-andrewsSeries: Kate Daniels #1o

Published by Ace

Publishing date: May 8, 2018

Genre: Urban Fantasy

352 pages

Synopsis: Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends and enemies. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

…………………….

One my very favorite urban fantasy series. Always so happy when I see there’s going to be another book in the series. I like this cover a lot, too!

Favorite urban fantasies since 2015

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed.

This week we’re talking about our Favorite Urban Fantasies. I don’t read as many urban fantasies as I did a few years ago, but I still have a few I’m enjoying. Since I’ve written posts about urban fantasies in the past this time I’m talking about my favorites since 2015.

One Good Dragon Deserves Another

by Rachel Aaron

Series: Heartstrikers #2

This is a self-published series and shows that an author can self-publish quality books and I hope make some money doing it.

Such a fun series! I love the dragons that Ms. Aaron has created. There are so many little touches–such as Julius’ mother, Bethesda, naming each clutch of the Heartstriker dragons with the same letter of the alphabet beginning with “A” (Amelia), “B” (Bob), “C” (Chelsea) and so on. Julius is from Bethesda’s 10th clutch and even Julius’ family–especially Julius’ family–thinks he’s a weak dragon–mostly because he’s “nice” and “good” and thinks dragons should cooperate with each other.

The characters are so much fun to read about and so unique plus the world building is well done.

Dark Alchemy

by Laura Bickle

Series: Dark Alchemy #1

Set in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park–a unique setting for a fantasy. There’s magic and alchemy involved and the main character is a geologist working for the federal government in Yellowstone. Yellowstone is the last area Petra had heard from her father many years ago so she wants to try to find out what happened to him. Strange things seem to happen in the Yellowstone area. Lots of interesting characters and an interesting premise.

I really like the western vibe in this book. And it has a great cover!

Tainted Blood

by M.L. Brennan

Series: Generation V #3

This series has four books in it and I would have loved for it have at least four more, but apparently the publisher decided the books didn’t earn enough.

I thought the books had a fresh take on vampires and were really fun to read. Fortitude (Fort) is a great main character as is his kitsune friend Suzume. Fort’s family is scary, but they’re his family and he’s part of them and has to deal with them. With each book we learn more about vampires and what they have to do to survive. A really good series.

And I feel like the kitsune could have their own series! I wish M.L. Brennan would write some more books.

Vision in Silver

by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #3

I’ve read a number of Anne Bishop’s earlier fantasies and really liked them.

This series is totally different from those earlier fantasies. The world building and characters are great. The Others are scary creatures–some of whom can shapeshift to human form. However, they’re not human and they are in control of the world. Some humans don’t like that and try to change the world, but they don’t really understand what some of the Others are and what they can do.

In the first book Meg finds her way to one of the Others’ compounds and they protect her because they understand what she is–a cassandra sangue or blood prophet. She and other blood prophets are used by humans for prophecy even though the cuts and blood used for prophecy eventually kills the blood prophet. However, the greedy humans who use them and make money from the cassandra sangue don’t care about that. That creates a clash between the Others and humans.

Vision in Silver really moves the action forward toward an ending we see from hints and ideas in the first two books, but there are also unexpected consequences.

In 2018 a new book about new characters set in the same world will be published!

Silence Fallen

Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson #10

I’ve read this series since these books were first published in 2006. I love them all, but this is one of my very favorites in the series. Things Mercy has come to trust and depend on fail her so she needs all her strength and cunning for what happens in this book.

Mercy is such a good character as is her husband Adam. I like that she’s a coyote shapeshifter and that Adam is a werewolf. She’s physically weaker than the werewolves, but just like coyotes she’s wily! And she’s smart and strong.

Foxglove Summer

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Peter Grant/Rivers of London #5

I really like this series. It’s like a police procedural urban fantasy with magic set in London! More and more keeps happening as these books move forward. Peter slowly learns about magic and wizardry and the dangers of the supernatural world. I especially like the concept of the rivers and streams–that they’re living entities.

In Foxglove Summer, Peter travels outside London to Herfordshire with Beverley Brook (remember the Rivers of London?!) Strange things are happening in Herfordshire and Peter is sent to try to straighten them out. He’s far from London and all the things he knows.

Sweep in Peace

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2

I’ve read Ilona Andrews books for years and love the Kate Daniels series.

However, this series–the Innkeeper Chronicles–originally written as a free serial on the Ilona Andrews blog is so different. The concept is really fresh. The idea of inns and innkeepers with their brooms used by aliens to come to neutral Earth to stay without any earthlings knowing they’re visiting is great.

Of course, Dina DeMille and her inn have all sorts of problems she must solve. Plus she’s trying to figure out what happened to her parents who disappeared years ago from their own inn. With each book we find out a little more about Dina, the inns, the rest of the universe, aliens and a few hints about her parents.

The Black Wolves of Boston

by Wen Spencer

Series: Black Wolves of Boston

I’ve read a lot of Wen Spencer books and really enjoy them. One of the great things about her books besides the world building and unique ideas is the way she writes engaging characters. They make you want to read more and more about them!

This book was published this year and looks like it’s the first book in a new series. It’s a great beginning and I hope Ms. Spencer writes a new book soon!

Do you read urban fantasies? Do you have favorite urban fantasies?

Review: One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

One-fell-sweep-by-ilona-andrewsOne Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews

Innkeeper Chronicles #3

E-book, purchased

Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

……………………..

Serial beginnings. One of the unique things about these books is that they’ve been available on the author’s website as a serial book as the author writes it. Once the book is finished it’s no longer available to read for free. The book gets edited, additional material might get added and it is then published. I always wait for the published version, because I don’t like to wait for new chapters! I want to read it all at once.

My thoughts. I’ve read the first two books in this series and love them all. This is a fun series and I like the characters a lot. The concept and world building are well-done. I like the idea of inns on Earth for aliens to come and vacation. There’s also more romance in this book than in the others and it didn’t detract from the fantasy which is a problem for me if the romance overpowers the story.

Some of the characters (mostly returning characters):

Dina with her broom is so much more than she seems at first glance. Throughout the three books we find out a little more about her and her family. I like that it unfolds slowly. I love the broom as part of Dina’s power. The broom doesn’t mean she’s a witch, it means she’s an innkeeper!

Beast, Dina’s Shih Tzu, is a fun character. He can definitely be more than he seems. At first, he doesn’t seem like much of a guard dog, however….

Arland, the Lord Marshal of a vampire clan, shows up again. He’s such a fun character to read about. Very powerful, ethical and proud.

Sean, Dina’s werewolf neighbor is also back. He’s been through hell, but managed to come back and though he’s haunted by experiences he’s also stronger because of them.

Caldenia, the inn’s permanent guest, has a huge bounty on her head and is a very dangerous character, but also very interesting. I’d like to find out more about her in future books.

Orro, the inn’s chef, is a Quillonian. “…Quillonians resembled terrifying monsters who stood upright, had hands armed with savage claws, muzzles filled with fangs, and backs covered with foot-long black quills….” However, he is a wonderful chef! He’s a Red Cleaver chef–one of the best of the best–but Dina can afford to employ him since he was disgraced because of a poisoning accident.

In this book we meet Dina’s sister, Maud, and that opens a whole lot more information about Dina’s family. We find out what she has done while Dina was opening an inn.

The book is action-filled and exciting right to the end. The heroes are often in peril and must learn to trust each other more than ever to survive. I like that each book is a complete story, but has tantalizing bits for future stories.  I like that Ilona Andrews writes these books because they are fun to write.

Rating: B+

………………….

Have you read any of the books in this series? How do you like them? Have you read other series by Ilona Andrews?

The rest of the short reviews from 2015

I’ve finally finished all my reviews for 2015 with these last six shorts. Three of these are short stories, one is a book of short stories and the other two are novels. I have two science fiction, three fantasies and one contemporary fiction. These are very short snippets of reviews…lol. At least I have a post about them which makes me happy!

“Earth and Fire” & Earth 2788 by Janet Edwards

  • Earth and Fire” is a prequel novella. It’s a story about Jarra when she learns to fly a plane (takes place before the trilogy Ms. Edwards wrote). I enjoyed the glimpse into Jarra’s life before the books began. Grade: B
  • Earth 2788–Eight prequel short stories about some of the characters in the trilogy who come from the colony worlds. I really enjoyed reading about how these characters ended up in the class with Jarra. Grade: B

Chasing Christmas Past: An Airship Racing Chronicles Short Story” by Melanie Karsak

  • Another short story–this one very short (only 30 pages)–but I thought it was a fun story that gave me a flavor for what the series is about. I haven’t read anything else by this author, but this science fiction steampunk has fun characters in an interesting alternate world. Grade: B

Magic Stars” by Ilona Andrews

  • A short story set in the Kate Daniels world about Derek (a shifter wolf) and Julie (Curran and Kate’s ward) both of whom we’ve seen grow up while reading the Kate Daniels books. Both are very likable characters so it’s fun to read a story about them. I loved this! Since this is listed as Grey Wolf #1 (and Kate Daniels #8.5) I’m hoping there are more stories about Derek and as well as Julie. Grade: A-

Radiance by Grace Draven (Wraith Kings #1)

  • I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected. It’s a fantasy romance and was a lot of fun to read. The characters are enjoyable and the story is good. I recommend it! Grade: B+

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose.

  • This book made me cry. I have to admit I didn’t like it very well. I had trouble finishing it. I don’t like sad books. I can find enough to cry about in real life.
  • I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator was great, but I thought the book was one sad scene after another. And I felt my emotions were manipulated some of the time. Grade: C+

Have you read any of these books? What’s your opinion?

2015 Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Audiobook Challenge
  • New Author Challenge
  • TBR Pile Challenge

The Leftovers–Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviews

Another set of mini-reviews from books I read in 2015

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambersthe-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet #1
  • Published 2014, 518 pages
  • Science Fiction (space opera)
  • Action-packed and fun, rollicking science fiction space opera.
  • I read this book as part of Sci-Fi Month 2015 and a read-along in November and even though the last part of November (Thanksgiving) kept me from participating in weeks 3 and 4 of the read-along I loved talking with others about this book. You can check out my week one and week two posts. However, if you plan to read the book watch out for spoilers!
  • Reminded me a little of the television series Firefly. The crew of the Wayfarer are all different–not only in looks, but also in their actions and interactions with each other. There are five humans, a sentient artificial intelligence and three other alien lifeforms on the ship. They work together as a crew, but some better than others…lol–for example, one of the humans doesn’t play well with anyone.
  • The Wayfayer is a space tunnelling ship creating black holes so ships can move to distant parts of the universe.
  • Also lots of action in the book as the Wayfarer travels in space to planets and space stations meeting many species.
  • Their ultimate goal is the small, angry planet to complete a tunnelling contract–and no one, but a few have ever seen it. The planet may be angry, but so are the species who claim it.

Grade: B+

Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrewssweep-in-peace

  • Innkeeper Chronicles #2
  • Published 2015, 237 pages
  • Urban Fantasy set in Texas
  • I love just about anything written by Ilona Andrews!
  • This is a great series–fun to read. I love the whole innkeeper idea.
  • Dina DeMille is the innkeeper and needs more guests to help keep her inn viable. Every other inn has turned down the opportunity to host a peace summit between three warring species because it’s so dangerous and has so many ways it can go wrong.
  • She agrees to the summit because she doesn’t have any other options–and then she has to make it work. And that’s not so easy!
  • Dina and her Shih Tzu named Beast are fun characters. Beast isn’t what he seems and is quite scary even among the many galactic scary characters. Dina is a very capable innkeeper.
  • I didn’t like this book as much as the first book–Clean Sweep

Grade: B+

2015 Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • New Author Challenge–hosted by the Literary Escapism blog

Have you read either of these books? How’d you like them?

Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews

magic-shifts-by-Ilona-AndrewsMagic Shifts by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: post-Shift Atlanta, Georgia
Published by Ace, 2015
Library book
342 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: After breaking from life with the Pack, mercenary Kate Daniels and her mate—former Beast Lord Curran Lennart—are adjusting to a very different pace. While they’re thrilled to escape all the infighting, Curran misses the constant challenges of leading the shapeshifters.

So when the Pack offers him its stake in the Mercenary Guild, Curran seizes the opportunity—too bad the Guild wants nothing to do with him and Kate. Luckily, as a veteran merc, Kate can take over any of the Guild’s unfinished jobs in order to bring in money and build their reputation. But what Kate and Curran don’t realize is that the odd jobs they’ve been working are all connected.

An ancient enemy has arisen, and Kate and Curran are the only ones who can stop it—before it takes their city apart piece by piece…

“Where were you? What happened?” I carved a chunk out of another lizard’s face.

“I just took the kids to fight some ghouls,” Curran said.

Oh, so it was fine, then . . . Wait. “You did what?”

He kicked a lizard. It flew into the others like a cannonball. “I called Jim before we left the house to talk about ghouls, and he said they found some in the MARTA tunnels. So I grabbed the kids and did a little hunting.”

I would kill him. “Just so I get it right, Jim calls you and says, ‘Hey, we found a horde of ghouls in the MARTA tunnels,’ and your first thought was, ‘Great, I’ll take the kids’?”

“They had fun.” A careful note crept into his voice. Curran saw the shark fin in the water but wasn’t sure where the bite would be coming from.

“You even took the dog.”

Grendel chose that moment to try to shove past me. I shoved him back into the Guild and he began running back and forth behind us, growling.

“He had fun, too. Look at him. He’s still excited.”

Initial impressions

  • It’s so good to get back to post-Shift Atlanta and Kate and Curran. I love this series. One of my favorite parts of summer–knowing a new book in this series is coming out.

Cheers

  • It’s interesting to see Curran and Kate now that Curran is no longer the Beast Lord.
  • I like the interchanges between Kate and her father. He’s a scary character and it’s hard to figure out his motives.
  • As always the humor is lots of fun–especially between Curran and Kate.
  • There’s lots of fighting in this book with lots of different and odd creatures. Curran and Kate also are involved with the Mercenary Guild in this book. I’m looking forward to more about the Guild in future books.
  • The characters still grow and change even though this is book 8. Kate and Curran have left the Pack, Kate has interacted with her father and lived and Kate claimed Atlanta as hers.
  • Have I mentioned I love the relationship between Curran and Kate?
  • We learn more about Mahon (who is a Kodiak bear shapeshifter) and Curran’s relationship. Mahon found Curran after his family was killed. He became a surrogate father to Curran and pushed him to become the Beast Lord. They have a complex relationship!

Jeers

  • As I mention below this book feels like a middle book.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • In a way, this book is a little like a middle book. The last book was the culmination of a long arc that had continued for a number of the books before–Kate preparing for and finally meeting her father in Magic Breaks.
  • This book shows the aftermath of the events in book 7. The overall story moves ahead a little, but a lot of the book shows Kate and Curran settling into their new lives.
  • I get the idea the next book (perhaps books) may have many important actions and changes. I can’t wait!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Ilona Andrews” is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)
  • Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Texas with their two children and many dogs and cats.
  • They have co-authored two NYT and USAT bestselling series, the urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge and working on the next volumes for both.

Reading Challenges

August books on my radar . . .

RadarEach month I write about the books I’ve noticed and think might be good. Sometimes they’re from favorite authors and other times by a new author I might try.

I don’t buy all the books (not during the month they’re released at least)–since I already have way too many books to read and sometimes these new books have high prices 😦

But the list I make each month helps me not forget books. The Goodreads links help me keep track of these books and I hope people reading my post may find some new books, too!

Note: This post is almost a week late. I had it almost complete last week before I traveled to Iowa, but lost the post. 😦

Then we left for the North Woods of Wisconsin for a wonderful long weekend, but we didn’t have internet access plus we were all too busy to spend time on the internet. 🙂

July 29

I thought this book came out in August so I missed it in my July list. However, I’ve already bought the book. Ilona Andrews is an auto-buy author for me and I love this series. I’m saving the book for a few days so I can savor it.

magicbreaksMagic Breaks

by Ilona Andrews

Series: Kate Daniels series #7

Published by Ace Hardcover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

381 pages

Synopsis: As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

August 5

This sounds very good. And it’s the first in the series. That’s always nice!

dust-and-lightDust and Light

by Carol Berg

Series: The Sanctuary Duet #1

Published by Roc Trade

Genre: Fantasy

464 pages

Synopsis: How much must one pay for an hour of youthful folly? The Pureblood Registry accused Lucian de Remeni-Masson of “unseemly involvement with ordinaries,” which meant only that he spoke with a young woman not of his own kind, allowed her to see his face unmasked, worked a bit of magic for her….After that one mistake, Lucian’s grandsire excised half his magic and savage Harrowers massacred his family. Now the Registry has contracted his art to a common coroner. His extraordinary gift for portraiture is restricted to dead ordinaries—beggars or starvelings hauled from the streets.

But sketching the truth of dead men’s souls brings unforeseen consequences. Sensations not his own. Truths he cannot possibly know and dares not believe. The coroner calls him a cheat and says he is trying to weasel out of a humiliating contract. The Registry will call him mad—and mad sorcerers are very dangerous….

Unlike Dust and Light (see above) this is book 2 of a series I haven’t started yet, but I’ve heard great things. Book 1–Masks–came out last August.

shadows03Shadows

by E. C. Blake

Series: Masks of Aygrima #2

Published by DAW Hardcover

Genre: Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: In Masks, Mara Holdfast’s life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: a quiet, ordered life in the capital, making Masks with her father and doing work important to the ruling Autarch. But when her Mask, specially made by her own father, cracked and fell to pieces during her Masking ceremony, Mara was exiled from everything she once knew. Soon, she becomes part of an underground rebellion, rejecting the unjust rules of a Masked society and uncovering a horrifying plot of mind control over the entire population of the empire.

In a moment of crisis, Mara finds herself possessed of a volatile magical power that neither she nor any of her allies can truly control. In Shadow, Mara faces terrifying new challenges and dangers as she struggles to understand her unprecedented ability to use all types of magic—and to tear magic from the living bodies of those around her. With the arrival of Chell, a young man from across the sea, the world beyond the borders of the Autarchy of Aygrima begins to make itself felt. Then an act of brutality tips Mara dangerously close to madness…and in the midst of a desperate and bloody battle, she discovers just how horrifying her power can be….

I enjoy this historical mystery series. It takes place in 1930’s Great Britain. The mysteries are fairly light-hearted and Georgiana is a fun heroine.  However, I’m not up-to-date with this series yet. 😦 So I will wait to read this one until I get caught up!

queen-of-heartsQueen of Hearts

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Royal Spyness #8

Published by Berkley Hardcover

Genre: Historical Mystery

304 pages

Synopsis: Lady Georgiana Rannoch, thirty-fifth in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal—but now she’s off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene …

My mother, the glamorous and much-married actress, is hearing wedding bells once again—which is why she must hop across the pond for a quickie divorce in Reno. To offer my moral support, and since all expenses are paid by her new hubby-to-be, Max, I agree to make the voyage with her.

Crossing the Atlantic, with adventure in the air and wealthy men aboard, Mother all but forgets about Max and matrimony—especially when movie mogul Cy Goldman insists on casting her in his next picture.

Meanwhile, I find myself caught up in the secret investigation of a suspected jewel thief. Lucky for me, the lead investigator happens to be my dashing beau, Darcy!

Mother’s movie and Darcy’s larceny lead everyone to Cy’s Hollywood home, where the likes of Charlie Chaplin are hanging about and there’s enough romantic intrigue to fill a double feature. But we hardly get a chance to work out the sleeping arrangements before Cy turns up dead—as if there wasn’t enough drama already…

August 12

I bought the first book in this series. It sounds like a good new urban fantasy series and I plan to read Dirty Magic (book one) this month.

cursed-moonCursed Moon

by Jaye Wells

Series: Prospero Wars #2

Published by Orbit

Genre: Urban Fantasy

400 pages

Synopsis: When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magical Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and everyone’s emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate who’s wrestling with guilt over falling off the magic wagon.

After a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from the local covens, Kate worries their suspect is building a dirty magic bomb. Her team must find the anarchist rogue before the covens catch him, and make sure they defuse the bomb before the Blue Moon deadline. Failure is never an option, but success will require Kate to come clean about her secrets.

August 14

I still need to read book 1–Between the Devil and the Deep Blue. They both sound good and I love the names.

betwwen-the-spark-and-burnBetween the Spark and the Burn

by April Genevieve Tucholke

Series: Between #2

Published by Dial

Genre: Gothic Horror, Romance, Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: Freddie once told me that the Devil created all the fear in the world.
But then, the Devil once told me that it’s easier to forgive someone for scaring you than for making you cry.
The problem with River West Redding was that he’d done both to me.

The crooked-smiling liar River West Redding, who drove into Violet’s life one summer day and shook her world to pieces, is gone. Violet and Neely, River’s other brother, are left to worry—until they catch a two a.m. radio program about strange events in a distant mountain town. They take off in search of River but are always a step behind, finding instead frenzied towns, witch hunts, and a wind-whipped island with the thrum of something strange and dangerous just under the surface. It isn’t long before Violet begins to wonder if Neely, the one Redding brother she thought trustworthy, has been hiding a secret of his own . . .

August 26

John Scalzi is already one of my favorite authors even though I read my first book by him in 2014. Every book I’ve read by him since then has been great!

lock-inLock In

by John Scalzi

Series: None

Published by Tor Books

Genre: Science Fiction

320 pages

Synopsis: Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

One per cent doesn’t seem like a lot. But in the United States, that’s 1.7 million people “locked in”…including the President’s wife and daughter.

Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore the ability to control their own bodies to the locked in. But then two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual-reality environment, “The Agora,” in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can “ride” these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse….

This sounds like a good start for a new series.

storm-sirenStorm Siren

by Mary Weber

Series: Storm Siren #1

Published by Thomas Nelson / Harper Collins

Genre: Fantasy

320 pages

Synopsis: “I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

 

The books I plan to buy this month:

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

Dust and Light by Carol Berg

Storm Siren by Mary Weber

Lock In by John Scalzi

What new releases are you planning to buy this month?

I own the most books from these authors…

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week we write about the ten authors I own the most books from. I have broken the authors down by e-books, audio books and paper books.

When I look at my list several things occur to me:

  • Of course, one of the reasons I have so many books by certain authors is that they’ve written a lot of books.
  • I used to read a lot of romances so the authors from whom I have the largest number of books are romances. I’ve kept the paper books by my favorite authors.
  • I used to get a lot of my books from the library, but now I read my books as digital editions now and the library has fewer digital editions.
  • The library tended to have more mystery and more science fiction/fantasy than romance.
  • Over the years I gave away or sold my books to used bookstores–in the past I read lots of sci-fi, fantasy and mysteries so I don’t have as many books from long-time favorite authors such as Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman and Anne McCaffrey.

Top Ten Authors

1. Jayne Ann Krentz — ever since I discovered her she’s been a favorite (obviously!) and a comfort read author–especially her older books which I spent a lot of time in used bookstores to find!

  • e-books – 4
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 53

–aka Amanda Quick — I love these historical romances…especially the older ones.

  • e-books – 0
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 17

–aka Jayne Castle — Jayne Ann Krentz uses this pseudonym for her futuristic romances. I haven’t liked these books as well.

  • e-books – 0
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 7

–Total — 82

2. Nora Roberts — I haven’t read any Nora Roberts books for a while, but I do like a number of her books.

  • e-books – 3
  • audiobooks – 2
  • paper books – 38

–aka J. D. Robb — I especially enjoy the In Death series though I haven’t read any for a couple years.

  • e-books – 9
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books -28

Total — 81

3. Mary Balogh — I still buy and read Mary Balogh’s books. I love the way she writes. I’ve searched for her out-of-print Signet regencies through the years and found them in used bookstores and even on Ebay!

  • e-books – 12
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 58

Total — 71

4. Jo Beverley – Another favorite historical romance author. Her older books are easier to find and I think I have almost all of them.

  • e-books – 7
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 34

Total — 41

5. Linda Howard — Another author whom I love to read and re-read especially her older books.

  • e-books – 3
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 40

Total — 43

6. Lois McMaster Bujold — I love the Miles Vorkosigan series though I haven’t read one for a while. I need to read some. I have some of her other books and need to read them, too.

  • e-books – 5
  • audiobooks – 2
  • paper books -27

Total — 34

7. Patricia Briggs — I’ve bought and read all of Ms. Briggs’ older books from before she started her Mercy Thompson series.

  • e-books – 4
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 16

Total — 20

8. Robert Heinlein — I used to own a lot more of Heinlein’s books, but I gave a few of them to my kids.

  • e-books – 1
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 17

Total — 18

9. Ilona Andrews — I love Ilona Andrews writing.

  • e-books – 12
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 5

Total — 17

10.  Dana Stabenow — I used to read all of Ms. Stabenow’s books until one book stopped me reading any for quite a while. I’ve bought a number of her digital releases and hope to start reading her newer books again.

  • e-books – 10
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 5

Total — 16

Honorable Mention

Archangel
Sharon Shinn–Archangel

Sharon Shinn – I love her writing, but her digital editions have tended to stay expensive plus some of her older books weren’t digitized. When I looked at her books this week I saw more books of her books digitzed and some of the books I’ve searched for are now available as e-books at lower prices. Yay!

  • e-books – 1
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 12

Total — 13

What about you? Which authors do you own the most number of books?

The characters I would want on a deserted island …

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

The topic this week is the characters I would want with me on a deserted island. At first I was thinking “desert” island and so I thought of characters who live in deserts! My first thought was of the book Dune by Frank Herbert which I read many years ago, but which sticks with me. Then I realized it was a deserted island so I had to rethink things!

By the time all these characters are on my deserted island it wouldn’t be deserted any longer!

1. Cassandra (Cass) from the Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Höst. Cass is transported to a deserted planet (except for animals) and manages to survive. She would be very useful!

2. Devi Morris from from the Paradox trilogy by Rachel Bach. Devi is very resourceful as well as irreverent. She would keep up our spirits as well as have anyNice Dragons Finish Last weapons necessary to protect us!

3. Julius from Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron. I just finished this book and it’s great! Julius is a dragon–very useful to have around–and since he’s a pretty nice dragon he wouldn’t eat us!

4. Jarra from the Earth Girl series by Janet Edwards. Jarra is brave, resourceful, knows a lot about history so she might be able to help us figure out where we are and how to get back home!

5. Ensign Andrew Dahl from Redshirts by John Scalzi. He would know not to volunteer to go on an away mission and remind us of the same thing!

6. Graham Keith in The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. So I could listen to his Scots accent!

7. Suzume from the Generation V series by M. L. Brennan. I wouldn’t pick Fortitude Scott, because he’s becoming a better vampire…not what you need on a deserted island! Suzume, on the other hand, is a kitsune…a very resourceful fox.

8. Shai from The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson. She is a forger–able to copy and recreate anything by rewriting its history with magic. That would be a magic-slaysgreat skill to have to help us get off the island.

9. & 10. Curran and Kate from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. We would need a very good leader and both these characters are great leaders. They’re very resourceful both with magic and when there is no magic.

Sorry I’m late getting this posted…by the time we got home last night I was too tired to finish this and get it read for today…and same problem this morning!

I chose all books I read this year. Not really intentional–they are all characters who would be great on a deserted island! What about you? What characters would you choose?

 

My summer reading list

toptentuesday2The Broke and the Bookish blog hosts Top Ten Tuesday.

The books I’m excited about reading this summer–a mix of books published this summer and books I already own and want to read–more than just ten!

New Books

Suddenly Last Summer by Sarah Morgan (June 24)

  • I read the first book (Sleigh Bells in the Snow) in this series around Christmas last year. Sarah Morgan is a favorite author of mine.magicbreaks

Bloodshifted by Cassie Alexander (July 1)

  • I finished the last book (Deadshifted) in this series about a month ago and am looking forward to this book since the last book ended in a cliffhanger.

The Escape by Mary Balogh (July 1)

  • Mary Balogh is an auto-buy author and I’m enjoying this historical romance series.

The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan (July 14)

  • Courtney Milan is another historical romance author I like a lot. Her books are very well written.

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews (Aug 5)

  • The Kate Daniels series is one of my very favorite series and this is my most anticipated book of the summer!

My TBR Books

Earth Star by Janet Edwards

  • I loved the first book (Earth Girl) in this series.medair

Sweet Disorder by Rose Lerner

  • I bought this book when it came out in March, but still haven’t read it. 😦  Rose Lerner is also a favorite historical romance author.

Medair by Andrea K. Höst

  • I’m loving Andrea K. Höst’s writing and I’ve had this book (actually two books–The Silence of Medair and Voice of the Lost) for a while so I hope to read it this summer.

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

  • I really like the first book in this series so I need to get busy and read this one!

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (audiobook)

  • I’ve had this audiobook for a long time and have heard lots of great things about it.

Extras

the-apple-orchardThe Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs (Library e-book)–if the library book comes in this summer

  • I love the cover of this book–it sure looks like summer! I have it on hold and hope I’ll get it sometime this summer.

River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz (Library e-book)–if the library book comes in this summer

  • This book came out in January and I’ve wanted to read it. I finally found it at my library so again I’ve got it on hold.

Harlequin books–light reads for summer

  • I enjoy reading Harlequin books sometimes. They’re great books for summer reading and I’ve found some good authors.

 

What books are you excited to read this summer?