Rockin’ Reads Giveaway Hop

Rockin Reads Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Rockin’ Reads Giveaway Hop. This hop is organized by The Herd Hops and hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup.

Everyone needs a Rockin’ Read! Stop by Sept 23rd to 30th and find out which reads have rocked 2015 for us! There will be a giveaway on each blog so don’t forget to visit them all!

With a picture like that,I can’t help but think of Rock Star romances that have rocked my world this year. (And one that I’m very much looking forward to this year!)

rock redemption by nalini singhMy current rock star romance addiction is Nalini Singh’s Rock Kiss series. I got into it because I love her Psy-Changeling series, and wanted to see how she did with a completely contemporary romance. I love Psy-Changeling, but her Guild Hunter series (the one with the angels) just didn’t wow me for some reason. Rock Kiss, on that other hand, is a marvelously guilty pleasure. I really liked Rock Addiction and Rock Courtship and absolutely loved Rock Hard . I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Rock Redemption next month.

For other variations on the rock star romance theme, there’s Olivia Cunning’s incredibly hot Sinners on Tour series, starting with Backstage Pass. For a view of the rock stars when they get back home, Lauren Dane’s Hurley Boys are a real treat. (Start with the marvelously titled (The Best Kind of Trouble)  And for the rock star romance with a mystery twist, you can’t go wrong with Rhys Ford’s Sinners series, starting with Sinner’s Gin.

There’s even a paranormal rock star romance series. (Probably more than one). But my favorite bite at this particular apple is Nico Rosso’s Demon Rock series, starting with Heavy Metal Heart.

So what’s your favorite rock star romance, or which book rocked your world this year?

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For more fabulous bookish prizes, be sure to check out the other stops on the hop!

15 for 15: My Most Anticipated Books for 2015


I took a look at last year’s list, and was surprised and pleased to discover that I read almost everything I was looking forward to, and even better, liked them! (I have the other two books, but just haven’t gotten a round tuit yet. This is what TBR piles are made of.)

It’s also hard not to miss the trend. The books I’m looking forward to are sequels to things I read last year or new pieces of ongoing series. It is difficult to anticipate something if you don’t know that it exists.

And even though these books aren’t being released until sometime in 2015, I already have arcs for a few of them, and have even read a couple. So far, the stuff I’m looking forward to is every bit as good as I’m hoping it will be.

Speaking of hopes, the dragon book is for Cass (Surprise, surprise!) She adored the first book in the series, liked the second one a lot, and has high hopes for the third one. Because, dragons.

So what books can’t you wait to see in 2015? 


Most anticipated in 2015:
Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch #3) by Ann Leckie
Dreaming Spies (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #13) by Laurie R. King
The End of All Things (Old Man’s War #6) by John Scalzi
Flask of the Drunken Master (Shinobi Mystery #3) by Susan Spann
The Invasion of the Tearling (Queen of the Tearling #2) by Erika Johansen
Last First Snow (Craft Sequence #4) by Max Gladstone
Madness in Solidar (Imager Portfolio #9) by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Obsession in Death (In Death #40) by J.D. Robb
A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford #7) by Charles Todd
Pirate’s Alley (Sentinels of New Orleans #4) by Suzanne Johnson
Ryder: American Treasure (Ryder #2) by Nick Pengelley
Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14) by Nalini Singh
The Talon of the Hawk (Twelve Kingdoms #3) by Jeffe Kennedy
The Terrans (First Salik War #1) by Jean Johnson
The Voyage of the Basilisk (Memoir by Lady Trent #3) by Marie Brennan

Review: Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Rock Addiction by Nalini SinghFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Rock Kiss, #1
Length: 356 pages
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Date Released: September 9, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

My Review:

I love Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series, but I’ll admit to being ‘meh’ about the Archangels series. So I picked up Rock Addiction to see how I would feel about her writing in a non-magical contemporary romance.

The story gets jumpstarted in a way that left me wondering if my ebook had lost a few pages in the beginning. Molly and Fox’s romance begins with the instantest insta-lust I’ve read in a long time, maybe ever.

They see each other across the proverbial crowded room, and he decides to pick her up. He waylays her in the elevator and talks her into a one-night stand. It doesn’t take much talking, either. Fox is a rock star on an epic scale, and Molly is a librarian.

Being a librarian myself, the whole concept of this story has elements of wish fulfillment/fantasy; mild-mannered librarian sweeps rock god off his feet, and he whisks her away to his sex, drugs and rock and roll, over-the-top lifestyle of the rich and famous.

We librarians aren’t all mild-mannered, and neither is Molly. Also Fox doesn’t do drugs, and the life of a rock star who intends to be good to the music requires a lot more rigor and dedication than an outsider might imagine, at least according to this story.

It’s hard work to be good at anything, and that includes music. Also, the constant touring is exhausting and draining, no one ever gets to really relax or be offstage and out of reach. But it’s the price they pay for the music.

Fox and Molly connect instantly on every level, including (especially including) sex. Molly gives her virginity in a one-night stand with a rock star that she never expects to see again. While Fox makes it obvious to the reader that he intends more than just one night, Molly doesn’t know that. It took way too little convincing for Molly to jump into bed with Fox under those circumstances, unless it was all about his status and not the connection.

There are a lot of sex scenes in this book, in every chapter and seemingly multiple times. To the point (for this reader) that the sex got in the way of the story. These are two people who both carry a TON of emotional baggage, and for their relationship to go even half as smoothly as it did, there seemed to be a lot of communication missing until the second half of the book.

Fox’s abandonment by his mother is only one part of the tragedy. The scandal that surrounded the end of her father’s political career, criminal prosecution, and death left Molly with scars so bad that she changed her name to escape the relentless harassment and bullying.

In between all of the sex, it is sweet the way that Fox and Molly manage to overcome the scars they both have, and create a loving relationship that is capable of withstanding the relentless pressure of the media. They are attacked and hounded, and yet they still find a way to forge something strong and beautiful.

The second half of the book, showing the way that they manage to find a way through, together, was both hot and extremely romantic.

Escape Rating B+: The second half of the book is stronger than the first. By that point, Molly and Fox are actually communicating enough out of bed for the reader to believe that they are building a relationship. We see them work through their issues and the adversity that threatens them, and are able to root for them to make it together.

We are also able to see the way the Molly and Fox’s relationship builds a family for his entire band, and see just how much the members of Schoolboy Choir care for each other, and rely on each other. The glimpses into the relationship between drummer David and Molly’s sister Thea are tantalizing. I can’t wait to read their full story in Rock Courtship.

I also hope that we will someday get the full story behind whatever is going on with Molly’s best friend Charlie and her boss, T-Rex. While a relationship between a boss and his admin is a classic trope, it’s classic for a reason.

As far as Rock Addiction goes, I love the concept of normal girl gets rock star. It has a wish fulfillment aspect that is irresistible. I wish that their relationship had a little more communication in it, and not quite as many sex scenes. Each scene was individually good (terrific) and very hot, but they got in the way of the plot.

I was surprised that there was no “big bad” or truly scary and possibly break-up worthy crisis. There’s a crisis, but Molly and Fox weather it with a bit too much ease. I was glad they did, but it just didn’t seem like as much of a test as I would have expected.

But their happy ending was very special and very much earned. And I raced through the book in an afternoon in order to get there!

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

A Look Forward: My Most Anticipated Reads for 2014

2014 numbersWhat a difference a year makes!

It was surprisingly easy to pick the books for this list. I know exactly which books I’m dying for this year. Well, the first ten, anyway. I wasn’t planning on fourteen, but Cass jumped in and rounded out the list. (Thanks, Cass!)

Then I took a look back at last year’s list, and my eyes crossed a bit. There are two repeaters. I don’t mean series where the next book in the series is on the list, although that happens too, but two books that were delayed in publication. So I’ve waited a whole year longer than originally planned. (Not that I didn’t find plenty to read instead)

And a couple of things I thought I would read as soon as they came out, I didn’t. (Best laid plans, etc., etc.)

So here’s this year’s set of newly laid plans. Let’s see how it goes. Why do I hear a “bwahahaha”, coming from somewhere in the shadows?

skin game by jim butcherSkin Game by Jim Butcher is the 15th Harry Dresden book. I can’t believe the series has been going on that long. I fell in love with Harry because he started out as a hapless and frequently luckless wizard in my favorite former hometown, Chicago. But I still love his trademark snark, even as Harry has gone from being a two-bit wizard-for-hire to the Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness.

Damnation by Jean Johnson is the fourth book in her Theirs Not to Reason Why military science fiction series. I heard her read from Damnation at WorldCon in San Antonio, and I can’t believe I have to wait until August to finally get the next chapter in Ia’s story. There have been moments in this series that have sent chills down my spine. This entire series has been awesome.

guild by jean johnsonThe Guild, also by Jean Johnson, is the third book in her Guardians of Destiny fantasy romance series. Her military sf is kick ass, but I found her through her fantasy romance, and she’s utterly marvelous. The second book in this series, The Grove, was on my 2013 best list. She does fantasy romance where the fantasy worldbuilding is top notch and her heroines are always the absolute equals of her heroes. Her women have friends who talk to each other, and the plot of the fantasy is as important as the romantic happy ending. Her stories are always a treat!

Cast in Flame by Michelle Sagara is the tenth of the Chronicles of Elantra, and I can’t wait for Kaylin to get back to the city. She belongs there. Removing her from the city and the Courts for two books was interesting and told a lot about her friends among the Barrani, but took away from Kaylin as the center point. I want Kaylin back where she belongs!

silver mirrors by aa aguirreSilver Mirrors by A.A. Aguirre is the second book in their (A.A. Aguirre is the joint pseudonym of Ann and Andres Aguirre) Apparatus Infernum series. The first book, Bronze Gods, was one of my best of 2013. The world is just such an awesome mixture of steampunk and “magic goes away”, with an urban fantasy/detective duo that is something special.

Death Defying by Nina Croft has been the biggest tease for the end of December. It’s also the third book in her Blood Hunter series. I loved the first two books (Break Out and Deadly Pursuit) in that science fiction romance series so damn much that I gave Break Out an SFR Galaxy Award. I’ve been waiting since then. Death Defying almost made it into 2013, but not quite. What is so cool about the Blood Hunter series is that Croft figured out a plausible way for vampires and werewolves to make it into space. So along with a science that has granted immortality to a privileged few, there are vampires, who are also immortal. And it makes sense.

shield of winter by nalini singhShield of Winter by Nalini Singh is lucky 13 in her Psy-Changeling series. I still love this series, but it’s pretty obvious that the overall arc of the worldbuilding is drawing to a conclusion. The Silence Protocol will fall, the questions revolve around what is going to take its place; order or anarchy. I think I’ve become as or more fascinated with the big story than the individual romances. And I simply can’t express how grateful I am that the cover design has improved with Heart of Obsidian and Shield. The previous US covers were simply abominable.

Lock In by John Scalzi. Honestly, I wouldn’t care what the summary said on Goodreads. It’s by Scalzi, and I’m going to get the eARC from Edelweiss as soon as it pops up. But seriously, it sounds cool, but not one of his funny ones. This looks like one of his big idea books mixing virtual-reality, epidemiology and the misuse of power. Wow!

And now for those books that I hoped to see last year, but were delayed in publication…

written in my own hearts blood by diana gabaldonWritten in My Own Heart’s Blood is the eighth doorstop in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The Outlander series has been described, and it sounds about right to me, as “historical fiction with a Moebius twist”. The past and the future intertwine in a way that has to be read to be believed. Her 18th century is like you are there, and in a way you are, because you are experiencing it through the eyes of a 20th century woman who found the love of her life in 18th century Scotland. Outlander is the standard by which all other time travel historical fiction and romances are judged. I can’t wait to lose three days in the next one.

One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear is the continuation of her completely splendiferous Promethean Age series. They are portal fantasies, where Faerie exists next door to our world in a way that means events can, and do, affect both us and them, usually to the detriment of one or the other. And whoever scored last has a nasty tendency to strike back. The original cover sucked, and it went back for a better one. At least, that’s what the author said at WorldCon. (The first cover really, really does suck, we’ll have to see about the second one when it gets here. I just want the damn story)

Two books I should be anticipating but aren’t exactly…

Wicked After Midnight by Delilah S. DawsonWicked After Midnight by Delilah S. Dawson and Rex Regis by L.E. Modesitt Jr. These two books have nothing to do with each other, except that they are both January books, and I would normally be chomping at the proverbial bit to get at them. However, I have ARCs. I’ve already read Rex Regis, and can’t recommend it, and the entire Imager Portfolio series, highly enough to anyone who loves epic fantasy.

I started Delilah S. Dawson’s Blud series after I met her at Dragon*Con in 2012. The series is steampunk with a slightly creepy twist to it, but they are darkly enchanting and I scoop up each book as soon as they are available. I know Wicked After Midnight is going to be a treat.

And now for a few words from the Alaskan delegate. Here’s Cass!

tropic of serpents by marie brennanThe Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan! Clearly. I invented a new rating system for Book #1 Then I preordered Serpents 6 months before it’s release. I’ve NEVER preordered something so far in advance. I have no idea what edition it is (hardcover? paperback?), what the cover art looks like…nada. Doesn’t matter. Don’t care. WANT BOOK NOW.

Symbiont by Mira Grant. Argh! I have to see what is happening with the Tapeworm Uprising! And then find some anti-parasitcs to ingest, thus purging my body of our future Tapeworm Overlords.


Wyrd-Sisters by Terry Pratchett new coverThe Discworld Collector’s Library. Holy shit these covers are gorgeous. ( I’ve read the covers off several of my favorite Terry Pratchett books, and I upgrades. Particularly the Death, Cultures of Discworld, and Witches Collections. I am only interested in certain Unseen University and City Watch books.

Untitled by Connie Willis. Connie read the first chapter from an untitled (and as yet unfinished) book at WorldCon and I have no idea when it is coming or what it will be called by I am waiting. Credit card in hand. Just give me a sign Connie…..

And there you have it. A few of the books we are looking most forward to in 2014. Of course, there will be more. Lots, lots more.

Which books are you looking forward to the most in 2014?

Review: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini SinghFormat read: ebook purchased from Amazon
Formats available: ebook, hardcover, paperback, mass market paperback, audiobook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #12
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Date Released: June 4, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.

A woman whose very existence has been erased.

A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.

A deadly price that must be paid.

The day of reckoning is here.

My Review:

As many reviewers have already stated, it is almost impossible to review Nalini Singh’s Heart of Obsidian without giving at least some spoilers about the story. The author has posted the first two chapters of the book on her website, so the identities of the hero and heroine are well-known by this point.

I’m going to try to not to spoil the rest of the story too much, but I’m also waiting a week to post this review. Those of us for whom the Psy-Changeling series is an auto-buy (and yes, I’m waving my hand enthusiastically at this point) have had a chance to devour it by now.

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh UK CoverIf you enjoy multi-layered paranormal romance, and have not started the Psy-Changeling series yet, go out and get a copy of the first book in the series, Slave to Sensation. What are you waiting for?

About those layers, the Psy-Changeling series has three, at least. Or at least three that keep twining through each book. There is always a love story, and the couple who find their HEA make or break each book.

But, because the overall future setting of the Psy-Changeling series starts out with three variations on the human race that don’t necessarily interact much, one of the underlying threads of the series is the increasing amount of inter-racial harmony, and the level of backlash that some reactionary elements incite as a result.

There is probably something fitting that the story takes place in a future version of the San Francisco area.

When the whole series begins, the three “races,” the shapeshifter changelings, the emotionless but psychically powerful Psy, and the original recipe humans, don’t interact much. To say that there is a circle of misunderstanding, mistrust, and fear is not an exaggeration. Both the Psy and the Changelings believe that they are superior, for totally different reasons. Us poor average humans have the short end of the stick.

292px-Spock,_2267But the emotionless Psy are a lot like Spock in Star Trek, it’s not that they don’t have emotions, it’s that they are ruthlessly taught to suppress them, through something called the Silence Protocol. The third leg of this series-long story is that the century-old Silence Protocol is rotting from within.

After all, emotionless beings do not commit mass murder in order to defend the belief that their race should remain emotionless. That level of fanaticism is just another emotion.

Escape Rating A-: This story centers on the love story and the continued rot of the Silence Protocol.

The love story was intense on a number of levels. Because the hero is a telekinetic, he quite literally made the earth move, or at least made all the furniture fly around. It made for one of the neatest expressions of sexual intensity I’ve read in a long time. All the glass breaks…in the entire house. Wow!

The exact nature of the heroine’s psychic talent was kept secret for at least half the story. This was partially because she had forced herself to forget it during torture, but it ended up torturing me as the reader. The hero knew, as it was the cause of her capture and their separation.

The identity of the “The Ghost” is revealed, and it was anti-climactic. I think most readers have guessed by now. We’re pretty much running out of still sane and still living options by this point in the overall story.

There’s a big political story going on. The Silence Protocol has been failing for several books now, so that’s not a secret. The question that is asked over and over in this book is what is going to happen when it finally collapses and who or what (and how much) is going to control the Psy afterwards. That part of the story fascinated me even more than the love story.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Review: Wild Invitation by Nalini Singh

Wild Invitation by Nalini SinghFormat read: print book borrowed from the Library
Formats available: ebook, paperback, mass market paperback, audiobook
Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #0.5, #3.5, #9.5, #10.5
Length: 353 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books
Date Released: March 5, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Experience the explosive series hailed by #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan as “a must-read for all my fans.”

In Beat of Temptation, innocent Tamsyn has always had a place in her heart for Nathan, a blooded DarkRiver sentinel. But is she ready for the fierce demands of the mating bond?

In Stroke of Enticement, a wary young teacher, skeptical about love, arouses the man–and the animal–in an aggressive leopard changeling who must prove his affections are true.

In Declaration of Courtship, Grace, a shy submissive wolf, finds herself pursued by the last man she ever would have imagined: a SnowDancer lieutenant said to be “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”

In Texture of Intimacy, SnowDancer healer Lara discovers the searing joys–and unexpected challenges–of being mated to quiet, powerful Walker, a man used to keeping his silence.

My Review:

I read Wild Invitation mostly to tide me over until Heart of Obsidian comes out in June. I’m probably not alone. I will say that for once the US cover doesn’t suck. I think the UK cover is prettier, but there’s a chance that the US cover might have something to do with the plot of the book for once. Mostly I’ve detested the US covers, so this one is definitely a major improvement.

Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Heart of Obsidian US Cover


Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh
Heart of Obsidian UK cover









Back to Wild Invitation…or inviting you to step back to Wild Invitation. Bad pun, no cookie. Beat of Temptation, Stroke of Enticement, and Declaration of Courtship all have similar themes. The male is in the dominant position either by age in the case of Beat, by species in the case of Stroke, or by hierarchy in the case of Declaration, and uses that dominance to make decisions for the female, with varying degress of success. Eventually, these couples reach an HEA. They may start down the path because the male in each case realizes that they are mates, but they get there because they find that they love each other, AND because the male gets it drummed into his head that they are equals.

In some cases that takes more thumping than others.

Beat of Temptation Escape Rating B-: The summary is not quite right. The story isn’t about whether Tamsyn is ready, the story is about whether Nate is ready to accept that she’s ready. When the bond snapped in place, Tamsyn was 15, and Nate was 25 or so. That’s a big difference. He kept trying to give her a chance to have a bit of freedom, but didn’t take into account that part of her freedom needed to be asking her what she wanted and needed. He kept on deciding for her instead of with her, until things reached a crisis point.

Stroke of Enticement Escape Rating B: Annie, the human in this story, is skeptical about love for more than one reason. Too many people see her slight physical handicap, and not her hard-won independence, especially since her mother emphasizes Annie’s shortcomings at every turn. And Annie has to live with the example of her parents’ marriage, a relationship where her mother adores her father, but he barely remembers that she exists. So when leopard changeling Zach strides into her life, she can’t believe that this handsome creature could possibly want her for more than a fling, and he doesn’t understand why their mating bond won’t snap into place.

Cry Wolf by Patricia BriggsDeclaration of Courtship Escape Rating C+: This story reminded me too much of Patricia Briggs Cry Wolf, the first book in her Alpha and Omega series. I just couldn’t get the similarities out of my head.

Texture of Intimacy Escape Rating B+: This story was different from the others, and dropped a few hints about Heart of Obsidian. At least I hope they were hints. The difference was that this story was about Lara and Walker settling in after they were mated. Walker Lauren is Psy, and Lara is a wolf shifter. Walker is discovering what it is like, not just be mated, but to experience real emotions for the first time in his life. They have a long and occasionally rocky road ahead of them. The story of how they begin to navigate it is quite affecting, and made Texture of Intimacy my favorite story in the book.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

13 for 2013: A Baker’s Dozen of My Most Anticipated Reads

“Love looks forward, hate looks backward, and anxiety stalks NetGalley and Edelweiss for early review copies.” That is not the way the saying goes, but it works for me.

I’m also hoping that there will be review copies of the Spring books at least on the American Library Association Midwinter Exhibits floor–especially since I won’t need to worry about what I carry home with me. I’ll be home. The conference is here in Seattle this year.

So, what books are at the tippy top of my wishlist for 2013?

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris, otherwise known as Sookie Stackhouse’s last hurrah. Even though the last few books in the series haven’t been quite up to the high bar set by the early entries, I have to know how Sookie’s story ends. Don’t you?

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon is the 8th doorstop in her giant, world-traveling, era-spanning Outlander series. The series has been described as “historical fiction with a Moebius twist,” and that’s the best short summation I’ve read for the damn thing that makes any sense. What they are is the best way to lose about three days, every time there’s a new one–and I can’t wait.

The Second Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay. I’ll confess that I have this one because I did stalk NetGalley for months after reading The First Rule of Ten, but the official date of publication is January 1, 2013, so it’s on the list. Tenzing Norbu is interesting as a detective because he is just different enough to see the world slightly askew, and it helps him solve crimes. The world he solves crimes in is itself slightly askew. Of all the places for an ex-monk to end up, Hollywood? Really? Marvelous!

Cast in Sorrow by Michelle Sagara will be number 9 in her Chronicles of Elantra. I just finished book 8, Cast in Peril, last week, and I’m already jonesing for my next fix. It doesn’t help that Cast in Peril ended in the middle of a very dangerous journey, not that Kaylin ever manages to stay out of trouble for long. So this wait is even more cliffhanger-esque than normal.

Imager’s Battalion by L.E. Modesitt Jr. When I finished the first trilogy in Modesitt’s Imager Portfolio, I thought he was done. The story was marvelous, but his hero’s journey was over. Little did I know he had a prequel in mind. Quaeryt’s journey from bureaucratic aide to military leader reads a bit like Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. And that’s not bad company at all.

Untitled Psy-Changeling #12 by Nalini Singh. I hate this. The publisher and the author are being particularly coy about this one. Even the title is supposed to be a huge spoiler for some shocking secret mystery. As annoyed as I am about this, I adore the Psy-Changeling series, so I can’t wait for the book. Whatever it’s called.

Tuesday’s Gone by Nicci French is the second book in French’s new mystery series featuring therapist Frieda Klein. Something about the first book, Blue Monday, absolutely grabbed me. I think it had to do with how much Klein wanted to keep the case at arm’s length, and how personal it all turned out to be.  Blue Monday was chilling and I want to see if Tuesday’s Gone is just as good.

One-Eyed Jack by Elizabeth Bear is something I’ve wanted for a long time, but never expected to see. It’s a continuation of her utterly wondrous Promethean Age series. The Promethean Age books were urban fantasy of the crossover school, something that isn’t done well nearly often enough. In the Promethean Age, Faerie exists alongside our world, and events can effect both, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Wicked as She Wants by Delilah S. Dawson is the second book in Dawson’s absolutely yummy Blud series. The first book, Wicked as They Come, was dark, creepy, sensual and extremely eerie. At the same time, the love story was hauntingly beautiful. And I want to see more bludbunnies. Any writer who can come up with piranha rabbits has to have more tricks up her sleeve.

Calculated in Death  and Thankless in Death by J.D. Robb. I still want to know how Nora Roberts does it. Calculated and Thankless are the two In Death books scheduled for 2013. I have a hard time believing that they are numbers 36 and 37 in the series. Odds are that one will be close to awesome, and one will be a visit with old friends, which is still not bad. I’m going to buy them both anyway and read them in one gulp the minute I get them.

The Human Division by John Scalzi is Scalzi’s first novel in his Old Man’s War universe since Zoe’s Tale in 2008. Old Man’s War is military science fiction, with a slice of social commentary, and just a hint of a love story. It’s also just plain awesome. And anything new by Scalzi is automatically great news. Even more fascinating, The Human Division is going to be released as a digital serial, starting in January. So the only question is whether I get it in bits, or do I wait for the finished novel? Or both?

Heart Fortune by Robin D. Owens is the twelfth book in Owens’ Celta series. In Celta, Robin D. Owens has created the kind of world that readers want to live on, as well as experience vicariously through her stories. I’ve read the entire Celta series, and they are one of the few romance series I’ve read that manages to make the “fated mate” concept work–probably because she occasionally subverts it.

Blood and Magick by James R. Tuck. This is the third book in the Deacon Chalk series, and I love them. I found Deacon because it’s getting to be too long a wait between Dresden Files books (and it looks like 2013 will be a year without Harry). Deacon Chalk mostly takes out his demons with guns. Lots and lots of guns. But he knows some on the side of the righteous, too. Deacon Chalk is urban fantasy of the purely kick-butt fun school.

River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay will be my birthday present this year, or close enough. Kay writes fantasy mixed with a large helping of historical fiction. The result is a magical blending of history as it might have been. Beautiful, complex, breath-takingly poignant. Kay writes worlds of awe and wonder. I can’t wait to be awestruck again.

These are the books. For 2013 it seemed fitting to choose a baker’s dozen, or 13, books that  I’m looking forward to the most.

If you’re curious about what happened to last year’s “Anticipateds” stop by Book Lovers Inc. on Thursday.

What books are you looking forward to the most in 2013?

On My Wishlist #11

What’s on my wishlist this week?

Okay, I’ll confess, the number one thing on my wishlist is to figure out what’s going on with the “On My Wishlist” meme.

It used to be hosted by Book Chick City and they did a fantastic job with it. At the end of March, they passed the torch to Cosy Books. And everything seemed to be going, well, quite cosily all through April.

But May 3 was the last On My Wishlist post that the new host posted. This is such a terrific meme, I hope that it continues. Or that the torch gets passed.

There are still books On My Wishlist. There are ALWAYS books on my wishlist!

I found out this week that the third book in Kendra Leigh Castle’s Dark Dynasties series, Shadow Rising, will be coming out on July 31. I loved the first two books, Dark Awakening  (review) and Midnight Reckoning (review). They’re paranormal romances, but with some interesting twists. And I always adore the interesting twists. For one thing, it’s about the resurrection of a dynasty, the Cait Sith. She had me right there, it’s the cat shifters. But the politics are convoluted and cool, too. I hope Shadow Rising pops up on NetGalley soon.

Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changeling book, Tangle of Need (UK cover at right), releases on Tuesday. I’ll probably be waiting for it at midnight-oh0one to download. Almost certainly. And yes, I know I’ve said that before. This is my wishlist. (So there!)

And did anyone else notice how huge the list of Tuesday new releases is? And how wonderfully full of paranormal romance? Take a look at the Sunday Cravings post tomorrow at Book Lovers Inc. for the very full list.

I’d love to know what’s on your wishlist this week. Maybe we can make each other’s TBR stacks get taller? What do you think?

On My Wishlist #9

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted at Cosy Books. Book Chick City started the meme. It’s where we share the books that are still on our wishlists, but that we have so far managed to resist the temptation to add to our TBR stacks.

For some of us, temptation can only be resisted for so long.

The book at the top of my wishlist is Nalini Singh’s Tangle of Need. Let me put it this way. I need this book. I’ve needed it ever since I finished the last book in her Psy-Changeling series (Kiss of Snow) last November. I don’t know what it is about these, because the description of the first book, Slave to Sensation, really didn’t grab me. But a friend made me read it anyway, and she was right. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Something in the combination of near-future earth, shapeshifters, ESP, convoluted politics, and that slight touch of SFR gets me every time.

However, I still think the US covers are abominable. Absolutely horrible. And Tangle of Need takes the prize for worst of the litter. Which I know I’ve said before.

Speaking of science fiction, or one of its cousins, urban fantasy, I really want to read The Minority Council by Kate Griffin. What I actually want is to read the whole Matthew Swift series. Minority Council is book four. This series starts with The Midnight Mayor, and it’s about an alternate London, in a way like Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and Simon R. Green’s Nightside. A supernatural London that requires preternatural defenses and a mayor with extra-special powers. After all, even in our world, there are legends that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, the kingdom will fall.

So, that’s my wishlist. Well, that’s a bit of my wishlist. It keeps growing and growing. This was just a teaser. After all, I have to save some for next week!

What’s on your wishlist?


12 for 2012: My most anticipated books in 2012

It’s very difficult to figure out what books I’m looking forward to most in 2012. I mean when I started to look at lists, I realized that most of what I was anticipating were the next books in series, or new books from authors I already knew. But when I looked at the list of my best reads from this past year, most of them turned out to be authors who were new to me. It’s a puzzle, isn’t it?

This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the series books that I read. I certainly did. But it’s the discoveries that turned out to be the most memorable. Maybe that’s because they were such surprises.

Just the same, these are the books I am planning to stalk NetGalley for review copies. And if I can’t get a review copy? Well, then I’ll just have to buy a copy and review it anyway. There’s even a reading challenge about reading one book a month just for fun!

But the books I’m looking for in 2012 are…drumroll, please!

When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris will be the next book in her Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. What Angels Fear is the first book, and St. Cyr is a detective of the amateur and aristocratic variety. He should be the hero of a Regency romance, and in other circumstances, he might have been. But his service in Wellington’s army has left him much too tormented for that. His personal life makes him a tragic hero; the demons that drive him make him an ideal detective, if only to keep him from becoming a criminal. March can’t come soon enough on this.

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb. This is Eve Dallas’ 34th outing. I’ve read all of them. Usually in one sitting. I still can’t figure out how she does it, but Robb/Roberts does it really, really well. This book means there will be one warm night in February.

Restless in the Grave by Dana Stabenow. I think I will always have a fondness for Alaska stories. Heck, I still tell Alaska stories, and it’s been 6 years now since I left Anchorage. But living in Alaska is something that changed my perspective, probably forever. The situations Dana writes about in her novels are always a tiny bit familiar, even the ones set in the Bush. Because Alaska is possibly the world’s biggest small town, and there weren’t six degrees of separation, there were three at most. Even for cheechakos like us. Dana writes damn good mysteries, but I always read them for a taste of the place we almost called home.

Master and God by Lindsey Davis. I love Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco series. The whole idea of a hard-boiled detective operating in Imperial Rome has always been utterly delicious. And Falco’s wife Helena Justina is made of awesome. Master and God is not a Falco book. It’s historical fiction set in the same time period. Davis wrote one other work of historical fiction set during the Falco period, The Course of Honor. I read it years ago and it was fantastic. If Master and God is half as good, it will be well worth reading. Come to think of it, I hope people re-discover The Course of Honor. It was incredibly good and I don’t think it got half the attention it deserved.

The Bride Wore Black Leather by Simon R. Green. This one has been teasing me every time I look at Amazon. The recommender can figure out I want to read this, so it sorta/kinda looks like it’s available, but it’s not. January 3, 2012. Come on already. For those fans of the Nightside, John Taylor is finally going to marry his long-suffering (in more ways than one) girlfriend, Suzie Shooter. He just has one last job to finish up before he meets her at the altar. But no job in the Nightside is ever easy, especially not for John Taylor.

Redshirts by John Scalzi. This sounds like it’s going to be really cool. And really, really funny. And yes, the redshirts in the title are those redshirts. Like in Star Trek. The ones that always get killed at the beginning of the mission. What happens if a bunch of them figure it out? And decide that they are not going to let it happen to them? This sounds like something only Scalzi could possibly do justice to. In June, we’ll all find out.

An Officer’s Duty by Jean Johnson is the next installment in her series, Theirs Not to Reason Why. I loved the first book, A Soldier’s Duty (reviewed here), and I can’t wait to see where Johnson next leads her time-travelling heroine, Io, in her quest to save the human race from utter extinction. July 31 is way too far away for this one.

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz. I knew that someday the Krentz was going to link the Victorian era Arcane Society of her Amanda Quick novels to her contemporary Jones & Jones psychic investigations to her futuristic romances under her Jayne Castle pseudonym. I read them all, but the links make for an added twist that I love. In January Copper Beach starts a new subseries, Dark Legacy.

Crystal Gardens is the start of a second subseries, Ladies of Lantern Street, that Krentz is starting in April under her Amanda Quick name. That means it’s a Victorian era story, at least for the first book. All of the Arcane Society books, both contemporary and Victorian, have been excellent romantic suspense.

Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh is the 11th book in her Psy-Changelings series, and the first to be published in hardcover. Although her Archangel series hasn’t wowed me, the psy-changeling books have never failed to please. I only wish that the release date was earlier than May. And I wish the US version had a better cover. The UK cover is awesome. (UK on left, US on right.)

Dragon Ship by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I want to go back to Liaden. I want to catch up on the books in between (there are several) that I haven’t read, and I want to finally find out how things are going. Liaden is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, space opera science fiction romance universes of all time. Dragon Ship is due Labor Day. I think I have enough time to get caught up. It will be so worth it.

This last book is an absolute flyer. It sounds really cool, but who knows.

The Yard by Alex Grecian. What if, after Scotland Yard failed to capture Jack the Ripper, they started a Murder Squad? 12 detectives specifically charged with investigating the thousands of murders in foggy, grimy, crime-filled London. How much luck would they have? When one of their own is murdered, the Yard’s first forensic pathologist is put on the track of the killer. I love historic mysteries, and this sounds very, very cool. In May, I’ll find out.


These are the books I’m looking forward to this year. I wonder how many will end up on my “best books of 2012” list.

What are your most anticipated books for 2012?