Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 5/20/17

This weekly installment is intended to help readers find out the news in the book world.  Pull up a chair and get in on the fun.

I have news!  Several updates from authors that adore.

Quincy makes another appearance in this new Harker novella.

TitleDevil Inside 
AuthorJohn G. Hartness
SeriesQuincy Harker, Demon Hunter #9
Genre:  Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Release Date:  May 19, 2017
Publisher’s Description:  Quincy Harker is back!

The Quest for Glory continues as Quincy Harker travels to Charleston looking for a missing Archangel and becomes embroiled in local magical turf wars and potentially murderous politics. Things really heat up when an evil wizard tries to burn the city to the ground, with Harker at ground zero in the conflagration!

Glory gave up her wings to save the world, now Harker and the Shadow Council are working to get them back. To do that, they have to locate eight AWOL Archangels and convince them to go back to work. But not all these angels want to get back to the business of Heaven, and not all of them even remember who they are.

 

Kris Michaels is one of those writers that I have to buy everything she writes.  She is releasing the next in the series of The Kings of Guardian. Watch for the review here after release date.

Title:  Chief 
AuthorKris Michaels 
Series: The Kings of Guardian
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
Release Date:  May 30, 2017
Publisher’s Description:  Cloaked in the identity of David Xavier, a billionaire player in multiple world theaters, Mike White Horse worked to enter the Russian Mafia’s lair, by stalking a shadowy creature named “The Concierge.” The Russian woman brokered young innocents into slavery, and Mike meant to destroy her and the organization she worked for. He should have despised her for the atrocious crimes she facilitated, but too often love and hate are the flip sides of the same coin, and what Mike felt for Taty was not hate. It didn’t matter. He’d destroy the Bravata and all its associates–even if it meant part of his soul sat in prison for the rest of her life.

Driven by heartbreak, Tatyana Petrov joined the elite British M16 unit, and for eight years, wormed her way into the trust of the Bravata as she strove to identify the human filth selling those innocents to billionaires like David Xavier. She’d found it easy to loathe the wealthy men who bought her “toys”–until David. For reasons that she wouldn’t acknowledge, she wanted to protect this one man from the retribution rapidly approaching.

Neither knew the other’s true mission but even as mortal adversaries, they’d each given the other a part of their soul, and now only devastation and sorrow waited.

 

Look at this cover!  Isn’t it awesome!  That’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone with that many weapons.

Title:  Lawless Lands
Anthology
Release Date:  June 15, 2017
Publisher’s Description:  The cry of coyotes at moonrise. The whistle of the eastbound train. The heat of the desert sun. The western is the quintessential American literary genre, and now we’re turning it on its head. From sentient tumbleweeds to time-traveling schoolmarms, desert demons to werejaguars, space-faring herd drivers to gunslinger justice, there’s something for everyone.

Look for this anthology on June 15, 2017 with contributions from starring authors:

Desert Gods by Aubrey Campbell
Railroad by Matthew J. Hockey
Pixie Season by Seanan McGuire
The Men with No Faces by Alexandra Christian
Lost Words by David B. Coe
Boots of Clay by Laura Anne Gilman
Trickster’s Choice by Jo Gerrard
Wolves Howling in the Night by Faith Hunter
To Hear a Howling a Howling Herd by Gunnar De Winter
Calliope Stark:Bone Tree Bounty Hunter by Edmund R. Schubert
Cards and Steel Hearts by Pamela Jeffs
Bloodsilver by A. E. Decker
Volunteered by B. S. Donovan
The Stranger in the Glass by Dave Beynon
Belly Speaker by Nicole Givens Kurtz
Walk the Dinosaur by John G. Hartness
The Time Traveling Schoolmarms of Marlborough County by Barb Hendee
Rainmaker by Margaret S. McGraw
Out of Luck by Jeffrey Hall
Rollin’ Death by Jake Bible

 

CALLING ALL NATHANIEL CADE LOVERS!

It’s been awhile and I have been waiting and waiting for any news on The President’s Vampire , Nathaniel Cade, by Christopher Farnsworth.  

I loved the series and then it just stopped.  I got a feeling that the author got involved with another series but that’s ok because we still get to indulge in Farnsworth’s writing.  Anyway, the point of the story is this:  Nathanial Cade is BACK!  Christopher Farnsworth created a novella called Deep State.

Description:  It’s been four years since a new president ascended to the White House. Zach Barrows has not seen Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire, since being fired from his position as Cade’s handler and sent to a small, cramped office in a government building in Nebraska.

Once, he and Cade fought a shadow war against the monsters, spies, and demons that threatened the United States. Now Zach pushes papers and listens to conspiracy theories from people who have no idea how dark the real world can get.

Then Zach is summoned to the Situation Room by President Lester Wyman, who is both the commander-in-chief and a possible traitor. 

But he and Cade are bound to follow Wyman’s orders. They are told to find out why a top-secret missile silo has gone offline. If they fail, a nuclear warhead will launch, and the world will die in a hail of fire.

In other words, it’s just another night on the job.

After a long absence, Cade and Zach are back in action together — for what might be the last time.

Sounds great, right?  Well, there is a catch.  A person can’t get Deep State unless Farnsworth’s book Flashmob is pre-ordered.  That is the sequel to Killfile.

Description:  Arriving at the wedding of Kira Sadeghi, a reality television celebrity he recently saved from kidnappers, Smith witnesses a group of gunmen open fire, hitting the bride and others. Though he’s unarmed, Smith cripples one of the killers and is able to pry one word from his mind: “Downvote.”

Eager to learn more, Smith hacks into the brain of an FBI agent to discover the Bureau has been investigating a nefarious new threat called “Downvote,” an encrypted site on the dark net that lists the names of celebrities and offers a hefty bounty for anyone who can kill them—unleashing an anonymous and deadly flashmob with a keystroke.

Finding a mastermind on the internet is like trying to catch air—unless you’re John Smith. Motivated by money and revenge, he traces a series of electronic signatures to a reclusive billionaire living at sea, accompanied by a scary-smart female bodyguard who becomes Smith’s partner in his quest. The hunt for their prey will lead from Hong Kong to Reykjavik to a luxury gambling resort deep in the Laotian jungle. Yet always this criminal mastermind remains one step ahead.

The only way Downvote’s creator can stop Smith is to kill him . . . because while this diabolical genius can run, there’s no hiding from a man who can read minds.

BUT WAIT – There’s more!  If you pre-order the book, you have to send in the receipt to flashmobpreorder@gmail.com , you’ll get on the list for the June 27 release of Deep State.  There are also more hooks in this deal.  You will also get excerpts from Codename: Nightmare Pet and a deleted scene from Red, White and Blood.

Here’s my opinion.  It’s really a winning deal all the way around.  The books KillFile and Flashmob both sound very interesting plus there’s the fact of the Cade add on.  It’s a deal that I can’t refuse.

 

 

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Cold Reign by Faith Hunter

Yellowrock Clan is back to battle revanants, European Vampires, traitors, spies and conspirators.  Another day in the life of Leo’s NoLA Enforcer and her people.

Title:  Cold Reign
Author: Faith Hunter
Series: Jane Yellowrock #11
Publish Date:  May 2, 2017
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Source:  Reviewer purchased book and audio

Publisher’s Description:

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker…and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official enforcer to Leo Pellisier, Master of the City. But Leo’s reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions.

But there’s another danger to the city. When she hears reports of revenant vampires, loose in NOLA and out for blood, Jane goes to put them down—and discovers there’s something unusual about these revenants. They never should have risen.

Jane must test her strength against a deadly, unnatural magic beyond human understanding, and a ruthless cadre of near-immortals whose thirst for power knows no bounds… 

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


 

Nervous Nellie says…

Dang ninja vamp.

This is an urban fantasy with hints of sex – nothing descriptive, lots of blood and gore.  Plenty of scheming and manipulation – vamps are good at that and magic.  The ending isn’t a cliffhanger but the game has changed dramatically so it will be impossible to stay away from the next installment. There is only one word for this book and it has to be “EXCELLENT” or how about two words..”Solid Gold”.

I have loved this series since it began.  Jane Yellowrock has grown and grown into a force that no one can deny.  Even the fangheads have to respect her because she CAN and much to her independent nature WILL take them out.

This story threw me into the action right away with Jane and Eli fighting a revenant.  There are NCIS investigations into dead sailors and since the dead sailors were drunk dry, Yellowrock Securities or rather Leo Pellissier’s Enforcer were called.  That had me hooked from the get-go.  Seriously? NCIS and Jane Yellowrock in the same paragraph? I am SO in.

The action doesn’t stop there.  Nope.  Not even close.  The revenants are the main story line and why they are all of a sudden digging themselves out of their graves 200 years after they were put there is the million dollar question.  And then comes the riots.  And then the storms.  And then the attacks on Leo and his HQ.  The suspense and treachery reach a friendzied pitch and then back down just as I was on the edge of my seat.  When I finally relax a bit, here goes the action and mayhem all over again.  Jane and her team get thrown in head first time and time again while Leo sits back with his drink and his toys just waiting for Jane to fix things.  He’s such a jerk.

Leo doesn’t come out of this adventure unscathed, however.  He suffers some loss although the loss isn’t as great to a vamp as to normal people. They have games not relationships.  Now, I may be a bit biased because I don’t like Leo much.  I will concede that he does seem to treat his people well and he pays Jane well.  I hate the vamp politics and the long game they play to one up each other.  He’s just too devious for his own good.  And pretty.  And a schmoozer.  And a liar.  And just plain fangy.

Relationships expand in Jane’s household in this book.  She gets herself a Primo, a Secundo and to top it all off – an Enforcer.  Jane has worked dang hard for her place in vamp hierarchy and she deserves happiness.  Enter Bruiser.  *Swoon*  Yes, he is pretty and romantic as ever.  I think they make a super pair.  It makes me all warm and melty.  Of course I couldn’t get comfortable with that because THEN things so a bit sideways because Ricky Bo makes an appearance.  He makes it known that he wants Jane back and (this is the part that is cool) Jane is the one that tells him to…um…go jump in a lake.  Bruiser is not the one flexing muscles here and going all alpha protective over Jane because Jane can take care of herself.  Go Jane!

I cannot rate this any higher than 5 stars though I’d want to give it 20.  Faith Hunter’s writing is out of this world and her story line is one that is original and engaging.  Go Faith!

 

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Soulwood series by Faith Hunter

 

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A Dream of Ashes by Orlando A. Sanchez

Ava James has been framed for murder – and the real culprit behind the Mystic deaths is drawing closer to home with every kill.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

TitleA Dream of Ashes 
Author: Orlando A. Sanchez
Series: Chronicles of the Modern Mystics 
Publish Date: April 27, 2016
Publisher: OM Publishing
Genre: Urban fantasy
Source: Provided by the author & Wordslinger.

Publisher’s Description:

Mystics. Magic. Murder.

A Rogue Mystic. A Ruthless Killer. A Dark Secret.

Ava James is a fire mystic with the Mystic Investigative Division. As a branch of the Enclave, a worldwide mystic organization, the MID is feared, respected and reviled. When the half-charred body of a Mystic is found, the Enclave sends her to investigate the strange death. Ava finds that all the clues point to the killer being a fire mystic, one of her own. Accused by the Enclave of working with the killer she must solve the case before a secret buried in her past is revealed and destroys her world.

Can she save herself? Will she find the murderer?

If you like hardcore, fast-moving action, complex mystical powers and an unstoppable heroine, then you’ll love Orlando A. Sanchez’ thrilling new series: Chronicles of the Modern Mystics. Buy A Dream of Ashes and join Ava on her adventure today!


Kat Mandu says…

In A Dream of Ashes, readers are introduced to Ava, a mystic with the ability to create and manipulate fire. Right from the beginning of the book, she’s been framed for several vicious murders she didn’t commit, not to mention she’s being hunted by a group of obviously wicked mystics trying to kill her. As she tries to navigate her way through a unique New York City without getting caught or killed, she’s gotta figure out where her uncle is and just who he was taken by. But getting mixed up in the affairs of mystics much more powerful than her is not what she intended, so she’ll need every ally and skill she can get.

Likes: This really is full of action and cool visuals, so it reads like a fast-paced movie with lots of awesome graphics. Plus, you know, the majority of the characters are Japanese, so ninjas. Either way, I really loved the easy-to-read flow of the book and I was quite fond of the quirky one-liners Ava gets to dish out.

What didn’t grab me: Like my fellow reviewer, this book was lacking in that really strong world-building that really would have made this a five for me. I had the feeling that the more the author wrote, the more ideas he came up with, which is nice but makes the beginning lackluster compared to the final moments. I would get caught up in the action but was left wondering just what Enclaves were and what Enforcers did and how everything worked out. Even if the info isn’t dumped at the beginning and spread out in hints throughout the book, it would have improved that clear structure of Ava’s New York/Japan aka “Mystic world.” I just didn’t get much that would help me really understand how everything works.

The only other thing is that there is quite a few organizations that come into play, plus numerous allies. I wish I could have gotten some more details on them as well, so I didn’t have to go back and ask myself “Okay, what did these guys do again?”

I just think this needs a clearer focus, but overall, I was impressed and give this three stars.

Luna Lovebooks says… 

“Go lick your wounds. When I see you next I will erase your existence.’ He turned and walked away as the sphere turned opaque and shifted us away from Nezu. We are going to die.”

Likes: This book is fast paced and action packed! Much like poor Ava, the reader doesn’t get to stop and rest. The characters and world are interesting, if not fully developed. Ava was resilient, but still vulnerable and had moments of weakness.  I love the fact that she is strong but not super woman. The mysterious Ghost and his daughter are two characters I’d like to get to know better. I would also love to know more about warders and mystics in general. This may slow down the book a bit, but it would also back up the world building.

Dislikes: I feel there are too many unanswered questions, even if this is the first book in the series. The cover is part of what drew me to pick up this book. But when I received my copy the cover is very pixilated and loses some of its beauty. I’m am sure that as a writer Sanchez knows the world he is creating. It feels solid, but as a reader I was lost.  There isn’t much information given about enclaves, mystics, or those special sticks. I feel that the plot should have slowed down to give some more world building to the readers.

Over all I give this book 4 mystics. 

 

Other recommendations…

If you like magic with unique systems and spins, we’d recommend Brandon Sanderson, J. F. Lewis, and M.K. Hobson. 

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Chasm by L.K. Kuhl

What do you do when your children are missing and your world crashes?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Title: Chasm
Author: L.K. Kuhl
Series: Stand-alone.
Publish Date: May 5, 2016
Genre: Romantic thriller
Publisher: Clean Reads Publishing
Source: Provided by the author.

Publisher’s Description:

What happens when you’re in love with your children’s abductor?

Taylor Vine thinks she can fight off the demons of her past when she moves back home to Estill Springs, Tennessee, but it doesn’t take long to see that things aren’t quite that easy. The bumps she hears in the night soon escalate, keeping her up at nights, and it isn’t long before her most precious possessions, her children, get abducted. She finds herself in a race against time to try to find them before it’s too late. One wrong move and the outcome could be disastrous.


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: One of the qualities of a good book is the setting. Kuhl hit the success button with this novel. The symbolic desperation and gloom that fill many of the characters’ lives is also symbolically represented by the setting. I did like the characters. Their emotions were described with gut-wrenching detail and seemed very honest and very real to me.

Dislikes: The plot and sub plots were not brought to satisfying conclusions to me. It almost seemed like the author knew where she wanted the story to go but it fell short and seemed like there was still something left to be settled. While I did like the characters, they seemed to make the wrong decisions even after talking themselves out of making it in the first place. There were spaces in the story that were oddly verbose and overly descriptive.

There was so much going on it this one that I was both intrigued and deterred by everything that was going on. For this reason I give the book 3 rocking horses. 

Other recommendations…

Check out these other romantic thrillers: Naked in Death by J.D. Robb, Don’t Tell by Karen Rose, Lone Wolf Rising by Jami Brumfield.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Beast by Megan Crewe

What do you do when your best friend becomes a monster?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

TitleBeast 
Author: Megan Crewe
Series: Stand-alone.
Publish Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Another World Press
Source: Provided by the author.

Publisher’s Description:

“You think you have it all figured out, Max, but this isn’t your game anymore.”

Max Weston knows that life is a game: Turn on the charm, say what people want to hear, and whatever you want is yours for the taking. What do a few lies matter if everyone ends up happy? His best friend, Davey, can’t look a cute girl in the eye and barely scrapes by in school, so yeah, Max hassles him sometimes. But he always has the guy’s back—even when a strange beast attacks Davey in the woods.

As Davey heals, something awakens inside him. Something with razor-sharp teeth, vicious reflexes, and no patience for Max’s ploys. Suddenly Davey is challenging Max, getting smarter, stronger, faster—and harder to control. Max plunges into a series of schemes to save his friend, but with each move he makes, Davey lashes back twice as hard. The monster inside him is calling the shots now, and the game it wants to play has deadly consequences for everyone Max loves.

If Max forfeits, he’s giving up on his best friend. But winning might mean losing even more.

Teen Wolf meets Pretty Little Liars in this edge-of-your-seat supernatural thriller.


Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: Beast reads like a 90s bubblegum horror movie…AND I LOVE IT! Yes, it can be cheesy in parts and it’s not remotely horrifying, but it works. Now don’t get me wrong there is bloodshed – and it can get graphic, but again it works. I love the development of the main character Max and the realizations he comes to. I also like the fact that readers get the sense that Davey is a werewolf but never specifically comes out and says that he is in fact a werewolf. I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

Dislikes: It can be a little cheesy. The plans the kids come up with make you want to pull your hair out because you know it isn’t going to work – but honestly I’m glad they didn’t and that it ended the way it did. While these didn’t bother me, there are some graphic scenes and scenes that involve teenage drug usage.

I give this book 5 howls.

Other recommendations…

Checkout these other must read werewolf tales: The Wolfman by Nicholas Pekearo, The Wolf’s Hour by Robert R. McCammon, and The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.