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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 3/25/18

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

Whew! It’s been a week! All sorts of news piled on my desk this week.  I have new releases to tell you about and a cover reveal and even updates on a series I love.  I should get right to it then.

Okay, first out of the chute today is Adam J. Wright.  You will have known him from the Harbinger, P.I. series.  If you don’t, you should go look him up.  His books are in print and audio.

  1.  Lost Soul
  2. Buried Memory
  3. Dark Magic
  4. Dead Ground

What I’m here to tell you about is the new release of Harbinger, P.I. #5!  Here are the deets:

Title:  Shadow Land
Author:  Adam J.Wright
SeriesHarbinger, P.I. book #5
Released: March 12, 2018
Publisher’s Description: When a child goes missing, his mother asks me to help. After all, she believes he was taken by a monster and that’s my field of expertise. The search leads to the storm drains of Dearmont; not a good place to be when you’ve seen as many horror movies as I have.

Turns out the monstrous kidnapper is also responsible for the mysterious disappearance of a patient from a psychiatric hospital nearby. And as I investigate further, I’m pushed into the waiting arms of an old nemesis.

Missing children, fishy creatures, and icy curses are all in a day’s work for Harbinger P.I. But when Mister Scary shows up, the hardest job is staying alive.  

 

New release for Jenn Stark!! It looks like it’s the last in the Immortal Vegas series, which I’m sad about.  This series is a rockin’ ride.  The last book is called Wilde Fire.  The characters are ones that a person cannot put away after finishing the story.  Here’s the new release info:

Title:Wilde Fire
AuthorJenn Stark
Series:Immortal Vegas #10
Release date: April 18, 2018
Publisher’s Descripton:  The war on magic is here, and Mistress of the House of Swords Sara Wilde has done everything she can to prepare. The Arcana Council has recalled its most powerful members to hold the line, and the Houses of Magic are frantically strengthening their defenses. Then the first volley hits: a plague of demons freed to ravage the earth. Scrambling, Sara discovers that the war will be fought not on one front, but three–while new threats emerge at a breakneck pace.

All the magic in the world may not be enough to save it.

From an ancient coven in Chicago to the sunbaked streets of Vegas to the frozen ice fields of Antarctica, Sara rallies her closest friends and fiercest enemies to protect the earth from the gods and monsters raining down from the dark side of the veil. To succeed, Sara must confront the truths she’s been avoiding her whole life, and take on forces that have kept the Connecteds powerless for far too long. But is she willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

When it comes to Armageddon, where there’s smoke there’s always Wilde Fire.

Now, folks, if that looks like fun listen to this:

While Wilde Fire marks the close of the first cycle of Wilde books, I plan to launch another series of books with many of the same characters in Fall, 2018 ~ Jenn Stark

Ok, now I’m really excited that Jenn Stark is starting a new series in the fall, HOWEVER, on May 15, 2018, she’s releasing another new series that I’m already standing in line waiting for at my book store.

I mean, look at that!! 6 books guaranteed in the series.  That is outstanding.  I only have details on the first book, Demon Unbound, but seriously, I would think that if Jenn Stark gave us deets on the whole series, our brains would probably explode.

Title: Demon Unbound
Author: Jenn Stark
Series: Demon Enforcers, Book 1
Release date:  May 18, 2018
Publisher’s Description:  None of us is without Sin…

After serving untold millennia as the leader of a demon special ops team with a brutal reputation for efficiency, Warrick of the Syx has seen it all, done it all, killed it all. Penance for his own damnation? Sure. But with the world running black with blood and magic, his skills are definitely in high demand.

This time, though…there’s a catch. And her name is Maria Santos. Beautiful, badass, and out for blood, Maria’s wrestling with her own dark secrets. The kind of secrets that call to Warrick’s twisted soul. A call he knows better than to answer.

Unfortunately, the dangerously tempting undercover cop is Warrick’s only ticket into the lockdown hellhole where a particularly vicious demon faction is boiling over, ready to unleash a new Armageddon on earth. If he wants to get at them, he’s going to have to take Maria with him.

But the second she gets caught in the crossfire between Warrick and the scum of eternity, well…

Hell hath no fury like a Demon Unbound.

James A. Hunter has created a new series that takes place in Yancy Lazarus time.  I am looking forward to checking it out.

Title: Two Faced
Author: James A. Hunter
Series: Legend of the Treesinger #1
Released: March 22, 2018
Publisher’s Description:  Ancient Demons. A Terrible Curse. Only one woman can save the day … though she’s not really a woman at all.

Winona Treesinger is a Bigfoot—and no, she doesn’t just have large feet. She’s literally an eight-foot tall walking myth, and the last great princess of the People of the Forest.

All she and her people want is to dwell in the deep places of the forest, well away from mankind and the destruction they bring to the land and the world. But when Winona hears about a string of grisly murders in the nearby city of Missoula, she knows in her gut it’s the work of an ancient evil, driven away from their lands long ago.

Against the wishes of her Father, Chief Chankoowashtay, Winona must leave the forest and venture into the world of men, disguised as a frail human, in order to set the balance straight and stop the killings. And with the help of a handsome, slick-talking city detective named Chris Fuller, she might be able to do it. But if Chris finds out what she really is, stopping the creature might be the least of her worries.

 

 

Here’s the last new release announcement for today:

Title:  Outbreak
Author: Melissa Olson
Series: Nightshades #3
Release date:  June 5, 2018
Publisher’s Description:  The Chicago field office of the Bureau of Preternatural Investigation is facing its deadliest challenge, yet—internal investigation! Alex and Lindy are on the hook, and on the run.

But when all of the BPI’s captive vampires are broken free from their maximum security prison, and Hector finally steps out of the shadows, Alex must use every trick to stay ahead of both the BPI and the world’s most dangerous shade.

Confrontation is inevitable. Success is not.

 

 

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Switchback by Melissa F. Olson

The Chicago pod of the Bureau of Preternatural Investigations faces its next big challenge. But will all the members make it out unscathed?

Title: Switchback
Author: Melissa F. Olson
Series: Nightshades, Book 02
Publish Date: Dec 1, 2017 by Brilliance Audio
Genre: Paranormal thriller, urban fantasy
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThe Bureau of Preternatural Investigations returns in the sequel to Melissa F. Olson’s Nightshades.

Three weeks after the events of Nightshades, things are finally beginning to settle for the Chicago branch of the BPI, but the brief respite from the horror of the previous few weeks was never destined to last.

The team gets a call from Switch Creek, WI, where a young man has been arrested on suspicion of being a shade. The suspect is held overnight, pending DNA testing, but seemingly escapes in a terrifying and bloody massacre. But is there more to the jailbreak than a simple quest for freedom?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested Ivana says…

Switchback is the second installment in the Nightshades series. I wasn’t aware the second book had come out and was pleasantly surprised to stumble across it on Audible, and to discover it is narrated by Luke Daniels, who is utterly brilliant! So I listened to Nightshades again before diving into Switchback.

The newly formed Chicago pod of the BPA is having its challenges, to say the least. The Special Agent in Charge is just returning from an extended time away, recovering from a disfiguring knife wound to the face and special hearings in Washington, when another major case hits their desk. The entire staff of a police station in a small Illinois town has been slaughtered, apparently by shades. The pod has to figure out what happened and why in order to stop the killers.

Fair warning to those who care—while the ending is not necessarily a cliffhanger, it made me sit up wide-eyed, cursing and loving Olson at the same time. It sure makes May 2018, the expected publication date of the next novel in the series, seem a LONG way away!

Switchback is another wonderfully entertaining story from Olson, whose previous series I have really enjoyed. Five stars.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

Olson’s previous series feel more straight-up urban fantasy than the Nightshade series but are definitely worth checking out if you like UF. They all take place in the same Old World universe. If you’d rather read more paranormal thrillers, check out the Harmony Black series by Craig Schaefer, the Nathaniel Cade series by Christopher Farnsworth, or the Order of the Sanguines series by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell.

Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

Scarlett Bernard is back! It’s been three peaceful years since we’ve seen her last, and she’s grown up a lot. Now she’s thrown into a plot to frame her former roommate, Molly, with the murder of twelve human women and overturn the fragile peace of the Old Word in LA.

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

midnight-curseTitleMidnight Curse
AuthorMelissa F. Olson
SeriesDisrupted Magic, Book 01/Old World Chronology
Publish Date: February 7, 2017 by 47North
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Source: ARC from NetGalley/Audio purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionScarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Midnight Curse is the fourth book featuring magical null, Scarlett Bernard and the tenth work of Olson’s set in the “Old Word,” yet it is the start of a new series called Disrupted Magic. I’m not yet sure where this new series is going, but I sure enjoyed the first book.

It’s been three years since the end of Hunter’s Trail, and I’m not sure how long since the end of Boundary Born. Scarlett and Eli have been living together as a couple, along with the dog-like bargest, Shadow. Jesse Cruz has quit the police force, married and divorced, and is living a depressed life out of his one-room apartment. The mystery of who is framing Molly, Scarlett’s former roommate pulls Scarlett and Jesse back into the dangerous side of the Old World in LA.

I’m impressed at where this series has taken Scarlett and Jesse. In the previous books, Scarlett had feelings for both Eli and Jesse, but Jesse saw Scarlet as someone who needed saving and protecting–from her enemies and her own choices. Though Scarlett goes to Jesse for help, their romantic relationship is not immediately rekindled, even when Scarlett’s relationship with Eli is in jeopardy. In fact, NOT having romantic feelings help each of them see the other more clearly, which is the strength of their newfound partnership. I don’t know if they’ll become involved in future books, but it was refreshing to see them just be friends.

One of the big themes of this book is accepting yourself and others for who they are–not who they were or could be. Ultimately, Scarlett likes who she is and her role in the Old World in LA. When being her fullest self conflicts with her relationship with Eli, she chooses no relationship over one that forces her to be something she’s not. I think this is a great message. No relationship, no matter how loving, will be successful if you can’t be yourself. Love isn’t always enough. It’s a very modern and mature message and I appreciate it being played out in my fiction.

And can I just say how much I LOVE Shadow. In fact, I love how big a role animals play in Olson’s work in general. She is obviously an animal lover and supporter of animal welfare.

badge5v5Amy McFadden is the voice actor for all four Scarlett Bernard books. I listened to the three original books in preparation for Midnight Curse and enjoyed them thoroughly. I remember the first time I listened to Dead Spots, I felt like Amy’s voice didn’t fit Scarlett and it took me a while to get used to her. Maybe it’s because I’ve just listened to her for about 42 hours over the last week, but she is now firmly Scarlett in my mind. Her voice is clear and expressive and I really enjoy her interpretation.

I’m excited about this new series and the return to Scarlett’s world. I’m very curious to see what happens next for Scarlett.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you haven’t yet, check out all of Melissa F. Olson’s work–the Scarlet Bernard series, the Boundary Magic series, the Old Word shorts, Nightshades (paranormal but not related to the Old World), and her non-paranormal Lena Dane mysteries.

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

Nightshades by Melissa F. Olson

The world knows that vampires, or shades, exist, but not everyone really believes it. The agency created to police shades, the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations, is a joke. But Alex McKenna wants to change both those things, while keeping the world as safe as possible.

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.

NightshadesTitle:  Nightshades
Author:  Melissa F. Olson
Series: stand alone (for now)
Publish Date:  July 19, 2016
Genre:  Supernatural thriller
Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionAlex McKenna is the new Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations—the division tasked with investigating crimes involving shades.

Or vampires, as they’re more widely known.

Children have been going missing, and agents are routinely being slaughtered. It’s up to McKenna, and some unlikely allies, to get to the bottom of the problem, and find the kids before it’s too late.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: So far, I’ve liked everything I’ve read from Melissa F. Olson. Nightshades looks very different than her other series, but it is still paranormal and the description sounds intriguing.

Why I kept reading: Nightshades is a good novella. I’d call it more of a supernatural thriller than a true urban fantasy, though it will appeal to fans of both genres. The story is told third-person from the perspective of several characters, most of them involved in an FBI-like mission to solve teen kidnappings and stop it.

Nightshades feels like the introduction to a new series.  In it, we see Alex McKenna and his right-hand man, Chase Eddy, take over the Chicago office of the Bureau of Paranormal Investigations, an office whose staff has recenbadge4v4tly been slaughtered by shade activity.  Alex and Chase choose their team, including an unconventional “consultant,” and go after the shade that is kidnapping teens and killing citizens in the Chicago area.

After this “origin story” and introductory mission, I hope we get to see more of Alex and his Chicago-based team.

Why I recommend it: This is a great novella to pick up for a quick read.  It is a complete story in itself, and hints there might be more to come.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 🙂

Nervous Nellie says…

This story is a mystery/thriller type supernatural read.  There isn’t a cliffhanger…not really.  The storyNervous_Nellie_100 is completed, but there is a seriously good lead in to hopefully the next book.  Please? Please? I’d love another book!! No sex, a little violence but nothing horrific.

Melissa Olson is a genius writer.  She has the flexibility to switch between series and the characters maintain their own individuality.  I have yet to read a book she’s written that I haven’t loved.

In this book, the protagonist that takes the lead is male where the author’s other series are female.  She does a good job writing for him and I can picture him as a suit and tie idealist. Typical Fed.  Less than Men in Black, but more than the Untouchables. The really cool thing is as she writes, she turns badge5v4him into an agent that actually might be worth his salt.  I got interested in him as an agent and then as a person. Sure, he’s looking for a promotion and the glory of the collar, but the author slowly has him evolve into an agent that’s willing to put his life on the line for everyone.

It’s interesting how the author introduces “shades” or vampires into the equation.  Shades are basically cast as a vampire. Kind of a Silence of the Lambs type of creature.  The author lured me into thinking they were all the same, but, just like humans, shades come in all shapes and sizes.  There are shade brown nosers that I’d like to squish under my shoe and then there are the psychopaths.  There are also those that just want to be left alone to live their life.  The zealots want humans as food and conservatives want to mainstream. Typical vampire propaganda.

The author takes the reader on a ride by feeding little bits of information and letting the reader’s mind run away with them.  When I think I’ve got it pegged, the author adds to the scenario and unbalances me again.  It’s an evolving story with a thriller aspect that is very hard to put down. Hats off, Ms. Olson.  You’ve done it again.

If you like this book…

…you might try the Harmony Black series by Craig Schaefer or 9mm Blues by Keith Melton.

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.

Boundary Born by Melissa F. Olson

I love the Boundary Magic series by Melissa F. Olson! The newest book, Boundary Born, gives us another great adventure in Boulder’s Old World community, and some personal history about Lex.

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.

Boundary BornTitle:  Boundary Born
Author:  Melissa F. Olson
SeriesBoundary Magic Book 03
Publish Date:  June 21, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Source: NetGalley

Publisher’s DescriptionSomething wicked is at work in Colorado’s supernatural community. Vampires are being paralyzed or killed with poison…a weapon favored by witches. This offense threatens to break apart the already-fractured alliance between witches and the undead.

The state’s cardinal vampire, Maven, summons boundary witch Allison “Lex” Luther to stop the killing before it ignites a war. Lex has barely started investigating when she gets another surprise: the biological father she’s never met arrives on her doorstep. He has answers to all of Lex’s questions about her bloodline, but getting those answers could mean betraying the life she’s already built.

Then the next vampire is poisoned—and this time it’s Maven herself. The new evil that hunts Lex is powerful and ruthless enough to stop the strongest supernatural creature in the state. In order to find such a killer, Lex will have to face down her own birthright and call on every ally—both living and dead.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


 

Nervous Nellie says……Nervous_Nellie_100

This is an urban fantasy with a strong female lead and a sexy vampire partner.  It’s a part of a series and the series should not be missed.  There is violence and blood but that usually always goes hand in hand when vampires are in the book.

I love this series.  Melissa Olson’s writing is so good, I feel like she is the narrator and I’m watching the story unfold through a crystal ball.  I don’t notice the descriptive parts of the scenes, I just see them.  I really like Lex.  I think she should follow her gut more.  If something doesn’t feel right, she should examine it – she made that error in judgment a couple of times in the book.

My favorite part of the book was where Lex was being totally honest about her mom.

And as much as I loved my parents, I was pretty sure my mother privately thought all my rescue animals should be put down before they ruined my house any further.

badge5v4That quote put me in a place where I could totally relate to Lex. Usually, these private thoughts are kept very private.  There is no negativity cast upon the “perfect” parents.  This was very refreshing, because parents are human too and they will always think they know best.

I learned a little more about the team, Simon, Lily, Quinn and boundary magic.  This was one of those books that made me forget about time and responsibilities.  I just had to get to the conclusion and find out what happened.  Trust me, when you start this series, you will not wish to stop.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

What drew me to this book: So far, I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Melissa F. Olson; but, her Boundary Magic series is by far my favorite.

Why I kept reading: This book deals with the origins of boundary magic and the blood family of the protagonist, Lex. Lex and her twin were adopted by the Luthers, a completely non-magic family. The previous two books mention this, but don’t pursue the question of Lex’s parentage. In Boundary Born, Lex’s birth family comes looking for her, bringing some answers, but even more questions, about the nature of boundary magic and the history of magic in general.

The friendship and teamwork among Lex, Quinn, Simon, and Lily is one of my favorite parts of this series. They love and trust each other, and accept each other,  faults and all.

I’m really liking Mavin, the vampire ruler of Boulder, as well. She has a good side to her, despite being a scary strong vampire. She’s honorable, at least, as well as ruthless and practical.

badge5v4Why I recommend it: The Boundary Magic series is really good urban fantasy, and Boundary Born in particular is a strong story. If you haven’t picked up this series, now is the time!

Our reviews in this series…

If you like this book…

… you might try the companion series about Scarlet Bernard. Scarlet and the supernaturals in LA are mentioned in Boundary Born. Olson also has several shorts set in the same universe as both Scarlet and Lex.

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.

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