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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 1/28/18

Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

There are a lot of things I want to share with you today.

James A. Hunter has a new audiobook series coming your way.  It was introduced on Audible at the beginning of this month.

Title: The Artificier
By: S. R. Witt, James Hunter
Narrated by: Matthew Broadhead
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
Unabridged
Release date: 01-05-18
Language: English
Publisher: Shadow Alley Press Inc.
Genre:  LitRPG

Description: October, 2042

In two weeks, the world will die, murdered by a nine-mile-wide, extinction-level asteroid.

And Robert Osmark—billionaire and savvy tech-genius—couldn’t be readier for the fiery apocalypse.

Unlike the shortsighted masses, he’s been diligently preparing for this day from the moment the asteroid first appeared. Through his relentless efforts, digital salvation now awaits anyone bold enough to take the leap and permanently transition into the brand-new, ultra-immersive, fantasy-based VRMMORPG, Viridian Gate Online. And Robert Osmark will lead this new world he has created.

But even with every advantage skewed in his favor, Osmark faces powerful opposition. A rogue faction of global elites led by US Senator Sizemore isn’t content to merely survive the apocalypse. They have their sights set much higher, and are recruiting dangerous allies, undercutting Robert’s efforts at every turn, and hiring VGO’s most deadly assassins to get what they want. To win, Osmark will need to viciously crush all opposition before his plans turn to ash.  

While this book is released in audio, it’s also in print.  If audio is not your game, don’t worry, James A. Hunter has thought of you too.

Next up is:  Jennifer Estep

If you’ve not tried the series Elemental Assassin, you really should think about it.  I know, the heroine is an assassin and that may turn a person off of the story just like that.  But, give Gin a chance.  Here’s what Jennifer has to say:

Assassins might not be the most sympathetic characters or the easiest to identify with, but I think they are some of the most fascinating. Plus, I wanted to write a really smart, strong, tough female character, which I think that I’ve done with Gin Blanco.

Jennifer has introduced the next Elemental Assassin book.  It’s #17 in the series and it’s called:  Venom in Her Veins.

Venom in Her VeinsElemental Assassin #17 —Spring 2018 (no cover available at this time)
Gin and the gang will be back with a new adventure.

As of right now, after this book, there will be two more books in my Elemental Assassin series.
Also, starting with Venom in Her Veins, I will be self-publishing the series. I am hoping to release the book in spring 2018, but we’ll see what happens.
Note: The title of this book has been changed from Cold Sting to Venom in Her Veins.

 

NEXT: Lara Adrian

For us romance lovers, Lara Adrian has released Claimed in Shadows on January 23, 2018.  This is one series I haven’t tried although I want to.  You know, my TBR list is really, really long! 😉  Anyway, those that have a penchant for Vampire romances, check it out!

Title:  Claimed in Shadows
Author:  Lara Adrian
Series: Midnight Breed #15
Released: January 23, 2018
Description:  In this pulse-pounding new Midnight Breed vampire romance novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian, passion explodes between a daywalking member of the Order and a fiery female warrior whose shadowy past will test the bonds of both duty and desire. 

As the son of a formidable Breed warrior, Aric Chase has been devoted to the Order all his life. With his training completed, all he needs is one successful mission before he can join the fight to destroy the Order’s chief nemesis, Opus Nostrum. His rare ability to daywalk lands Aric an assignment in Montreal, where he learns he’s to be teamed with another new recruit, a beautiful, but tough-as-nails Breedmate named Kaya Laurent.

Independent and driven, Kaya wants nothing more than to become a full-fledged member of the Order. Having grown up in squalor and neglect on the streets of Montreal, she longs for the close-knit family she’s found during her training to be a warrior. Eager to prove herself, she is thrilled to be given the chance at a key operation—even if she must share the mission with an arrogant, far-too-seductive Breed male who’s practically Order royalty.

Their unwanted partnership soon erupts into a desire neither of them can resist. But when Kaya’s past reaches out from the shadows to call her back, she must decide between protecting a dark alliance that could shatter her dreams of joining the team and a truth that could not only forfeit Aric’s faith in her, but bring the enemy right to the Order’s door.

Another thing:  Lisa Shearin, author of SPI Files (just released #5, Myth Manifestation,  on January 16, 2018) and the Raine Benares series has released the titles of SPI’s best seer, Mac Frasier’s personal files that are upcoming:
SPI Files #6:  The Phoenix Illusion
SPI Files #7:  The Solstice Countdown
SPI Files #8:  The Pandora Predicament
SPI Files #9:  The Demon Directive

Obviously, there are no descriptions or covers yet.  Stay tuned.

 

Check in tomorrow for the cover reveal and description of Ken Lange‘s new book, Dust Walkers.  This is book #2 in the Vigiles Urbani series.

 

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Book Blast & Giveaway: Nice Guys Bite by Jennifer Estep

Whoop! Happy book birthday to Jennifer Estep for the novella, Nice Guys BiteNice Guys Bite takes place after the events of Unraveled (#15). It is told from the point of view of vampire Silvio Sanchez, Gin’s personal assistant. Does anyone else think that Silvio, on this cover, looks a lot like Sam Trammel? 🙂

Nice Guys BiteTitleNice Guys Bite
AuthorJennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin, Book 15.5
Publish Date: Dec 12, 2016, Pocket Star
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher’s DescriptionWorking for Gin Blanco (aka the Spider, the assassin who runs the Ashland underworld) doesn’t leave much time for romance, especially with Gin’s holiday party planning in full swing. But when he catches the eye of a charming gentleman, Silvio finds himself going out for coffee.

All’s fair in love and war, though. Just as Silvio is starting to enjoy himself, he realizes he’s being watched. His nice-guy date doesn’t sense the danger, and Silvio wants to keep it that way (and, well, keep the guy alive) so Silvio ends the date early—only to be abducted by some villainous giants.

Will Silvio survive the night and make it back to the Pork Pit in time for Gin’s holiday party? Only if he decks the hall with bodies …

Buy Links

Amazon B&N | BAM Google Play | iBooks | Kobo

Giveaway…

Jennifer has a $20 Amazon gift card giveaway for this book blast! Giveaway runs Dec. 12 – 19. Enter via Rafflecopter.


jennifer-estepAbout the Author…

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Jennifer writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. She is also the author of the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series, the Black Blade young adult urban fantasy series, and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.

For more information on Jennifer and her books, visit www.jenniferestep.com or follow Jennifer on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.

 

Unraveled by Jennifer Estep

Gin, Owen, Bria, and Finn take a “vacation” at an Old West theme park. In keeping with tradition, the “vacation” turns into a deadly showdown, with Gin and her friends playing the part of the white hats. Unraveled is another fun, fun adventure for beloved assassin.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

UnraveledTitleUnraveled
AuthorJennifer Estep
SeriesElemental Assassin Book 15
Publish Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
SourceNetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionAfter the shocking revelations of the previous book, Bitter Bite, the world of Ashland’s become even more sinister, and Gin Blanco (aka Ashland’s most fearsome assassin, the Spider) no longer knows who—or what—she can count on. Only one thing is for certain: danger and new enemies await Gin in Unraveled.

What could go wrong when you’re trying to unravel a decades-old conspiracy?

As the current queen of the Ashland underworld, you would think that I, Gin Blanco, would know all about some secret society controlling things from behind the scenes. I might be the Spider, the city’s most fearsome assassin, but all my Ice and Stone elemental magic hasn’t done me a lick of good in learning more about “the Circle”. Despite my continued investigations, the trail’s gone as cold as the coming winter.

So when Finnegan Lane, my foster brother, gets word of a surprising inheritance, we figure why not skip town for someplace less dangerous for a few days? That place: Bullet Pointe, a fancy hotel resort complex plus Old West theme park that Finn now owns lock, stock, and barrel. At first, all the struttin’ cowboys and sassy saloon girls are just hokey fun. But add in some shady coincidences and Circle assassins lurking all around, and vacationing becomes wilder—and deadlier—than any of us expected.

Good thing this assassin brought plenty of knives to the gunfight…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

God, I love this series! How much cheesier can you get than an Old West theme park as a setting?

Finn has inherited the theme park from his deceased mother. So he and Bria, Gin and Owen take off for the theme park. Finn wants to learn more about his mom and Gin wants to learn more about The Circle, a shady underworld organization who may be moving in on her territory. Along the way they go on a scavenger hunt for some valuable jewels and free the theme park from the clutches of The Circle, returning management of the park to one person who seems to really love it.

badge5v4Unraveled is a fun romp in the Western style. There’s even a showdown on Main Street, though it happens closer to midnight than high-noon. I’m not sure Gin has learned much more about The Circle than she knew before, but they are surely taking more notice of her. I can’t wait to see what the next novel has in store for Gin and her friends!

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unwanted by Jennifer Estep

Finnegan Lane like you’ve never seen him… full of doubt and self-loathing. What’s it going to take to get Finn’s cocky confidence and charm back after being so horribly betrayed by his long-lost mother? Taking down an Ashland baddie and saving an innocent family might do for a start.

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unwanted2Title:  Unwanted
Author:  Jennifer Estep
SeriesElemental Assassin Book 14.5
Publish Date:  July 18, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionThe New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series continues with a new e-novella–from the point of view of Finnegan Lane, the foster brother of Gin Blanco, and a fan favorite of readers of the series.

The fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.

But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.

Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: Oooh, twist my arm <said sarcastically>! Frequent readers will know that I LOVE the Elemental Assassin series. Love, Love LOVE!

Why I kept reading: It’s a little painful that, for the very first book from Finn’s perspective, he’s not his usual over-confident, cocky, charming self. Finn is still reeling from the events of Bitter Bite, where the mother he long-thought was dead used and tortured him to gain access to the vault at the massive bank where Finn works.

Guilt and self-loathing plague Finn’s every waking moment. Even Gin and Bria’s attempts to cheer him up don’t work. Finn’s boss seems to be doing everything in his power to make Finn suffer more—forcing him to go to the funeral services and memorials of the men who were killed during his mother’s heist. Finn does it, too, and faces the scorn and hatred of his co-workers every day, feeling he deserves every bit of it.

When Finn discovers one of the widows of a slain security guard is in trouble with an Ashland bookie, he decided he has to help, even against the widow’s wishes. Finn attacks the problem, Gin Blanco-style, and starts his journey back to himself.

badge4v4Why I recommend it: There are a lot of feels in this book—for Finn, for the family of those who died, for Gin and Bria. If you are invested in these characters, you’ll want to experience this part of their lives with them. I very much enjoy when the reader gets to see the consequences of actions that have taken place in a previous book, which is what this novella is all about. Bitter Bite was an amazing book, and this is the perfect follow-up. Also, the twist at the end is awesome and so perfectly fits the style of this series. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and it was super!

Our reviews in this series…

 

FTC Notice: This book was provided free in exchange for an honest review. This is no way impacts my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bitter Bite by Jennifer Estep

Gin’s loyalty to her family has been proven over and over again. But will they be just as loyal when push comes to shove? This is a great addition to the Elemental Assassin series!

Bitter BiteTitle:  Bitter Bite
Author:  Jennifer Estep
SeriesElemental Assassin Book 14
Publish Date:  February 23, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionWhich is stronger: blood ties or a battle-tested friendship?

It’s not easy being queen bee of an underworld abuzz with crooks and killers. Wielding my potent Ice and Stone elemental magic will only get me so far—my real secret is my tight-knit makeshift family, a motley crew of cops and criminals, dwarves and playboys. My foster brother Finnegan Lane is my right-hand man, but when his suddenly not-dead relative comes back into the picture, I’m the one on the outside looking in.

It’s funny how life works: one minute your best friend is rock-steady, and the next he’s doe-eyed and buying into this whole loving-relative routine to the point of ignoring you. I’d like to be happy for Finn, I really would. But all of my instincts are telling me that beneath the syrupy sweet demeanor and old-fashioned charm, this sudden interloper is planning something. The whole shtick leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. This person might have avoided the grave once, but I’ll put anyone who hurts Finn in the ground—for good.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

So… I’ve mentioned before how much I love Gin Blanco, right? Well, if I haven’t, I LOVE GIN BLANCO! I love that she can run a barbecue restaurant, make an awesome lasagna, and slit the throats of bad guys all in the same day with equal amounts of contentment.

In Bitter Bite, Gin’s adopted brother, Finn, meets the mother he thought long dead.  Gin suspects she’s a bad guy, and has to be the one that breaks the news to Finn.

BIG SPOILER HERE: I was kind of hoping Finn would save himself in this story.  It has to suck for Gin to be the bad guy all the time, first with Owen and his former girlfriend, and now with Finn and his mother.  I was hoping Finn, even though he *wanted* his mother to be good, would have prepared for the worst and had plans to take her down if she showed her true colors.  But, that’s not what happened.

badge5v4The more I think about and write about this series, the more I recognize the characteristics it shares with comic adaptations like Batman and Gotham— a highly stylized, highly corrupt town where a few honorable people are trying hard to fight the good fight.  Yes, there is some realism in the story, but in what other environment can you kill the bad guys so blatantly and often without consequence? I caught myself wondering, “Why hasn’t some kid come after Gin yet for killing his daddy, who was some underling in a crime family forced to work off debt, but deep down was just a good guy?  She’s killed enough people, there should be orphans everywhere!” But in a world like Ashland, or Gotham, minions don’t have families.  They’re expendable, nameless, and replaceable, but oh-so satisfying to pick off.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try the Immortal Vegas series by Jenn Stark, The Asylum Tales by Jocelynn Drake, or the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.