Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Interesting Sales to Nocturne

Erica Orloff's THE HALF-BLOOD COUNT, about a dhampir -- half vampire, half human -- and a comparative religion professor searching for her lost brother in Prague, who must help each other in order to survive a band of vampires, to Silhouette Nocturne, for publication in January 2007.

Lisa Renee Jones's THE BEAST WITHIN, in which the hero leads the Knights of White fighting in a battle of angels to vanquish the soulless Darkland Beasts who took his wife and his life before he was saved by an immortal, to Harlequin Nocturne.

Patrice Michelle's RESURRECTION, in a world where vampires are long thought extinct, a librarian's fictional novel opens the floodgates for the Sanguinas' return, to Ann Leslie Tuttle at Harlequin Nocturne, in a three-book deal.

Rhyannon Byrd's LAST WOLF STANDING, confronting the a fierce band of hunters and protectors, half-human and half-lycan, to Ann Leslie Tuttle at Harlequin Nocturne, in a three-book deal.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Paranormal Romance

The Grail King
by Joy Nash
Lovespell, August 2006
It's set in 130 AD Britannia, and features the clash between Druids and Romans. All of us readers that complain about the same old thing (regencies) over and over have got to pick this one up. The first in a new series, I hope it sells well enough that publishers will actually start picking up more interesting and varied stories like this one.

The Falcon's Bride
by Dawn Thompson
Lovespell, 29 August 2006
This looks interesting because it's not a historical/modern time travel, but a historical/historical one. A young woman in 1811 is transported to 1695 to meet that man she is told by a gypsy that she is destined to marry, and perhaps to save.

No Rest for the Wicked
by Kresley Cole
Pocket, 31 October 2006
I haven't yet read A Hunger Like No Other, but I have it in my TBR stack. I think Cole has a great concept with the merging of vampires and valkyries, and hope that the follow-through is equal to the idea.
Description: Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire -- a nightmare in his mind -- against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead. When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow -- accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings -- particularly lust -- emerge multiplied. For the first time, she's unable to complete a kill. The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity -- as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world -- to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she's falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

She's No Faerie Princess
by Christine Warren
St. Martin's, 31 October 2006
Description: Queen Mab's niece, Fiona, has long been bored to tears by the intrigues of Court life. She'd prefer to cut loose at a punk club, knock back a few Thai beers, and hook up with a likely lad of similar interests. But when Fiona goes AWOL, she only gets as far as Manhattan's Inwood Park before a nasty demon nearly puts a permanent crimp in her plans—and a dark stranger sparks her desire... All work and no play make Tobias Walker one cranky werewolf. After six months of doing his part to keep the peace during the delicate negotiations between the Others and humankind, he'd like nothing more than a good night's sleep—preceded by an enthusiastic mating session. The alluring woman he rescues in the park might be the answer to his most lustful prayers, but only if they can both stay alive long enough to find out who wants her dead and why. Now, Fiona and Tobias must unravel a tangled web of treachery that spans branches of the Fae, Other, and mortal worlds, all the while falling into a dangerous attraction that could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—or the end for them both...

Must Love Dragons
by Stephanie Rowe
Warner Forever, 1 November 2006
I thought that Date Me Baby, One More Time was a fun read, though I am never really blown away by humorous books, so I will definitely pick this one up. I can't miss something that has a dragon heroine.

Prince of Ice
by Emma Holly
Berkley, 7 November 2006
I am really looking forward to this book. I love Emma Holly and I think this one looks like it has an interesting premise. I also think Emma Holly is one of the few authors that I can believe will write about a real courtesan.
Description: A sensuous and dangerous world where a human courtesan becomes the flesh and blood property of a demon prince. Soulmates, lovers-and victims of an unnatural desire that could drive them both insane.

A Babe in Ghostland
by Lisa Cach
Pocket, 26 December 2006
One line (A heroine who can communicate with the dead, and a hero with a mansion full of ghosts.) is all the description I can find for this book, but I like Lisa Cach, who is willing to try something new in just about every outing. She is definitely not an author who will try to run a series into the ground.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Upcoming Fantasy/Paranormal

by Yasmine Galenorn
Berkley, 3 October 2006
Description: Meet the D'Artigo sisters: half-human, half-faerie, they're savvy-and sexy-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But their mixed-blood heritage short-circuits their talents at all the wrong times. Delilah shapeshifts into a tabby cat whenever she's stressed. Menolly's a vampire who's still trying to get the hang of being undead. And Camille is a wicked-good witch, except her magic's as unpredictable as the weather, as her enemies are about to find out-the hard way.

Eyes of Crow
by Jeri Smith-Ready
Luna, 1 November 2006
Description: She was born to die . . . again and again.
For Rhia was bound to the Spirit of Crow, gifted with the foresight of Death's approach and doomed to the isolation of one feared and set apart. There must always be one whose magic can ease the passage of the people of Asermos to the Other Side. But to be the guide her people require, to truly know the depth of her gift—her curse—Rhia must surrender herself to the wisdom of the Great Forest . . . and drink deeply of Death itself.
And though two powerful men stand ready to aid her, even to love her, the Aspect of Crow demands unthinkable sacrifices from the one who walks its path.

Jacob: The Nightwalkers
by Jacquelyn Frank
Zebra, 28 November 2006
Description: Since time began, there have been Nightwalkers, the races of the night who live in the shadows of the moonlight. Love with humans is absolutely forbidden, and one man makes certain to uphold this ancient law: Jacob, the Enforcer.
Jacob knows the excuses his people give when the madness overtakes them and they fall prey to their lust for humans. He's heard every one and still brought the trespassers to justice. Immune to forbidden desires, uncontrollable hungers, or the curse of the moon, his control is total, until the moment he sees Isabella on a shadowy New York City street. Saving her life wasn't in his plans. Nor were the overwhelming feelings she arouses in him. But the moment he holds her in his arms and feels the soft explosion of her body against his, everything changes. Their attraction is undeniable, volatile, and completely against the law. Suddenly everything Jacob has ever believed is inflamed by the heat of desire.

The Becoming
by Jeanne C. Stein
Ace, 28 November 2006
Description: Anna Strong is trained for anything-until she's attacked one night, only to awaken in a dark world that exists between the living and the dead. Here, Anna struggles with her love for the two men who inhabit the realms of each: Max, a human DEA agent, and Avery, a Night Watcher who joins Anna in pursuit of the vampire who changed her life. Now, as her two worlds collide, fate plunges Anna into the ultimate battle between good and evil where survival is not just for the living.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Interesting Paranormals to Look Forward To

Sylvie Kurtz's PULL OF THE MOON, SPIRIT OF A HUNTER, and HONOR OF A HUNTER, to Denise Zaza for Harlequin Gothic Romance (Pull of the Moon) and Harlequin Intrigues.

Eve Silver's THREADMASTER, about a deadly sorcerer battling both the threat without and the darkness within, and the woman who has the power to steal his magic and doom the world, to Warner.

Shiloh Walker's UNDER REALM, the launch of an edgy alternative fantasy series, to Berkley Sensation, in a two-book deal.

P.C. Cast's two more installments in her GODDESS SUMMONING series, a re-telling of Persephone's story and the legend of an Amazon queen and her love affair with Hercules, to Berkley.

Andrea Wilder's FEARLESS, amid Ireland's struggle for independence, an Irish chieftain and the daughter of a faery queen discover than in the face of treachery, love must be Fearless, to Dorchester LoveSpell.

Sharie Kohler's debut paranormal ONCE BITTEN, NEVER SHY, in which a mousy school teacher finds herself with a newfound aggression and a libido in hyper-drive after getting infected by a werewolf, to Pocket.

Dawn Thompson's THE BROTHERHOOD and THE RAVENING, in the Blood Moon series, and THE BRIDE OF TIME, to Dorchester Love Spell.

Gena Showalter's THE DARKEST PASSION, about a man who is cursed to die every night only to awaken knowing he'll have to die again and the woman who finally saves him, and two other books for the Lords of the Underworld series to Harlequin.

Joy Nash's books 2 and 3 in the Druids of Avalon series, sequels to The Grail King, in which Druid and Roman ancestors of King Arthur fight for the secrecy of Avalon, the magic Druid isle, Excalibur is forged, and a young Merlin explores the forgotten powers of the Old Ones, to Dorchester.

Maggie Award winner Helen Brenna's THE SUN HUNTER, about a beautiful antiques dealer, the man who disappeared from her life six years ago, and the mystical Incan statue that lands him back on her doorstep, to Harlequin.

Jeaniene Frost's HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, half-vampire, half-human, a woman out on a routine hunt to avenge her mother by killing vampires meets a different kind of vampire who manages to capture her, and they form an uneasy alliance to uncover the mysterious disappearances of young college girls, to Avon.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Urban Fantasy

Swarmthief's Dance
by Deborah J. Miller
Tor, 15 September 2006
Description: Long ago, there was war in Heaven. Rann, guardian of the Underworld, fought with the Nulefi, and in that battle the Nulefi were defeated. But though their bodies were destroyed, the spirits of the Nulefi remained, and they wander the world of Myr, cloaked in the shattered form of the Swarms, waiting for the moment of their revenge. Now they have re-awoken, remembering the glory and power of their ancient daysand one human boy, Vivreki, has witnessed that rebirth. The Swarm calls to him, pleads with him, whispers to him the secrets of a vanished age. To Vivreki this seems a miracle, but to his masters it is heresy. For very few now honour the elder gods, and those who still do keep silent about it. In fear of his life, Vivreki is hidden away from those that would kill him for his special knowledge. His memory is erased, his past denied, and a new life started for him half a world away. But the Nulefi have not forgotten Vivrekihe alone can hear them, and now he alone can save them. And as the Nulefi struggle to reach their only ally in the world, Herrukalfather of the godsdiscerns the rise of a new power on Myr. He will not tolerate another war, so even if the price of peace is the destruction of creation itself, then Herrukal will break the world. And only Vivreki can stop him.

Glass Houses
by Rachel Caine
Signet, 3 October 2006
Description: From the author of the popular Weather Warden series. Welcome to Morganville, Texas. Just don't stay out after dark. College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life. But they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood

by Kat Richardson
Roc, 3 October 2006
Description: Harper Blaine was slogging along as a small-time P.I. when a two-bit perp's savage assault left her dead. For two minutes, to be precise. When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring. But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker-able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift (or curse) is about to drag her into that world of vampires and ghosts, magic and witches, necromancers and sinister artifacts. Whether she likes it or not.

by Jeanie London
Tor, 3 October 2006
Description: Nina is dead and must make amends.In life she refused to use her unique ability to see whether a soul ascends to Heaven or descends into Hell. Now, as a guide through the Passage between the living and the dead, she steers departing souls to Purgatory. But peace is hard to come by, even in the afterlife. Good and evil are fighting for control over the Passage--and Nina is determined not to let Hell take over. Roman breaks the dead guy rules.With his devilish charm and angelic looks, the newly-dead Roman can rally souls to fight-but on which side? His new Soul Retrieval Unit sounds like a good idea, but even in death, temptation lures Nina farther from salvation . . . or is she choosing Heaven by placing her soul in her lover's care?

by Melanie Rawn
Tor, 17 October 2006
Description: There is magic in the big city...literally. New York City has a small, and by preference discrete, population of witches and wizards who live and love and go dancing just like everyone else. Holly McClure is one of them, a successful writer who tries to ignore her heritage, except when the local Magistrate needs her special gift in his coven. Holly is far more interested in Evan Lachlan, the handsome federal marshal who works with her best friend, assistant district attorney Susannah Wingfield.But trouble is coming to the City in the form of a black coven run by a murderous psychopath, and deputy marshals and ADAs are powerless to deal with that kind of crime. The danger to Holly is extreme, for her special gift is the power of her blood to strengthen and bind any spell, for good or for evil. Holly's passionate love affair will be derailed by those who want to drain her for their own purposes. In the end it will be magic against magic, and Holly McClure will have to risk all for life and love.

Watchers in the Night
by Jenna Black
Tor, 31 Oct 2006
Description: Vampires. They hunt in every major city, hidden by the crowds, shielded by disbelief. They are Killers, and their prey is human. Not all vampires are Killers. The Guardians of the Night sacrifice the superior physical and psychic strength that comes with feeding on humans to protect them. But the Guardians walk a thin line, for even a single kill could leave them helplessly addicted to murder.
When detective-turned-P.I. Carolyn Mathers was left at the altar, she never once thought her fiancé had been turned into a vampire. Two years later, Gray reappears, bringing murder, mystery, and an unbelievable tale of Guardians, blood-thirsty Killers, and his own transformation with him. And he's been accused of murder.
A first-rate P.I., Carolyn is determined to help. Gray won’t allow what he is now to taint her -- but Carolyn vows to never let him go again. But will helping Gray mean becoming a creature of the night?

by Faith Hunter
Roc, 7 November 2006
Description: In a novel filled with lush imagery and exhilarating action, Faith Hunter creates a near-future world caught in the throes of an ambiguous apocalypse-where a woman with everything to hide finds her true destiny revealed.
As humanity struggles with religious strife and seraphs and demons fight a never-ending battle, a new species has arisen. "Neomages" are human in appearance, but able to twist left-over creation energy to their will. A threat to both humans and seraphs, they are confined in luxurious Enclaves.
Thorn St. Croix is no ordinary neomage. Nearly driven insane by her powers, she is smuggled out of an Enclave and now lives among humans, channeling her gift of stone-magery into jewelry making. But when Thaddeus Bartholomew, a dangerously attractive policeman, tells her that her ex-husband has been kidnapped, Thorn risks revealing her identity to find him. And for Thorn, the punishment for revelation is death.
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Monday, August 14, 2006

Thoughts about this kerfuffle

Note: I haven't read the book in question, nor do I know the author or the reviewer AT ALL. These are just general thoughts about the discussion here and here.

A plot that involves a female cop going undercover as a stripper to discover her sexuality is not original or innovative, not one little bit. Am I the only person who thinks this is a huge cliche, inside and outside of romance? Telling me something that stupid just makes me think that you are stupid, or at least not very widely read.

Just because you're married to someone who happens to do something for a living doesn't mean you know anything more than the basics about it, no matter how proud you are of them or how much you identify with them or with what they do. Do you think my husband knows enough about how a library works to write it convincingly? NO. Do I know enough about how railroad companies work to write them convincingly? NO. My husband and I and his best friend were all in the Army together. Despite being surrounded all the time by three people who were all active-duty Army intelligence personnel for a number of years, how often do you think I get irritated by the way our friends sometimes misrepresent or misunderstand the things that we did? Frequently. Basically, having a connection to something ON ITS OWN does not mean you can write it well. That's why authors/writers should indulge in a little something called research.

The tsk, tsk attitude that people get (authors and readers) when they see an opinion that they don't like is really annoying. Luckily, I don't review books here that frequently (and this gives me one more reason not to), so I don't have to deal with it. But I get tired of seeing discussion about books hijacked by people who want to be everybody's mother or their priest. I've got both, thanks, and I'm sure most of the reviewers have one/both themselves.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I really like the trend that publishing houses are going to where they release an author's series with the early books close together, a month or two apart each. I wouldn't like it if the author has just rushed to get the books out, but when it is a new author, or an author who clearly knows her pace and is able to produce frequently and in quantity, then it is great.

These books come out closely enough to one another that it is easier to keep up with the stories. Sometimes when books come out a year or so apart, especially dense fantasy and urban fantasy/paranormal books, I feel like I have to reread all of the previous books just to remember what's going on. But when a new series begins with the books released together (like Naomi Novik's Temeraire series) then it is easy to keep up and I can read the next book while I am still interested in it.

These are three upcoming trilogies that have caught my eye.

The Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts
Morrigan's Cross, Dance of the Gods and Valley of Silence
August 29, October 3, and October 31, 2006
I don't read every Nora Roberts book because she has a very distinctive style that would permeate alot of my reading if I read every book, and I like variety too much. I think she's a great writer though, and so when I see something of hers that has a premise I find interesting, I will usually pick that up. This one alternates between 12th-century Ireland and modern New York and involves vampires, witches, and Irish mythology -- sounds great.

The Candace Steel Vampire Killer Series by Cameron Dean
Passionate Thirst, Luscious Craving and Eternal Hunger
October 31, November 28, and December 26, 2006
These books definitely have an Anita Blake feel (the series name, the titles, the covers) but they still look interesting. I do hope they aren't too much of a clone of the AB series, but I will definitely give the first one a try, if only in the hope that they will deliver what the AB series doesn't anymore. The covers are not bad, but they are a little on the lurid side, especially that second, red and yellow one, which is just awful.

Sara MacKenzie's Ghost Trilogy
Return of the Highlander, Secrets of the Highwayman and Passions of the Ghost
July 25, October 1, and December 1, 2006
These are time travel stories set in Scotland, so they could be terrible, but then they could be good as well. This is a new author (as far as I can tell) so I think I'll give them a chance. I'm not a fan of Outlander (more because I couldn't get into it than any real dislike) so I won't be comparing it to that, but I do hope these at least try to be somewhat accurate and don't go into the whole "Ooh, a big tough Highlander man is whisking me away, I will now swoon" type of story. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Oh, and the covers of the 1st and 3rd are terrible, but the second one looks okay (maybe because that guy has the most clothes on of the group), but really, what was the art department at Avon thinking when they came up with these?

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Silhouette Nocturne (and a couple Bombshells)

I'm really looking forward to the new Silhouette Nocturne line. I actually wonder a bit that it has taken Harlequin this long to establish a line like this. Paranormal romance is so HUGE right now, and has been for long enough, that it seems a little behind the curve to start a dedicated line now.

I know that they have had a few other paranormals published here and there in their other lines (a few in Bombshell, some Intrigues, one that I know of in Next, and the old Dreamscapes miniline), but I actually get frustrated trying to find the few paranormal needles in the haystack of all the Harlequin lines.

Harlequin doesn't provide a list of the paranormal titles that they occaisionally produce (at least, no list I've ever found), which means I'd have to look through the list every month trying to figure out which are paranormals and which I might be interested in. And honestly, with the number of books they now produce, that's just too time consuming. So I really like that they are going to finally have this line. I know there will still be a few here or there that I miss, and hopefully word-of-mouth will bring most of them to me, but the new line should mean that most paranormals will be sent to that line's editor. At least, let's hope so.

It will be two books a month for now, which I wouldn't mind seeing increase for more variety. Looking at the early books, I know McKenna, Korbel and Child are series staples. Hauf and Piniero have done some great paranormals in the past, so I look forward to their entries. And Lisa Childs is a name I don't think I've done before.

In October:

In November:

In December:

And some paranormals coming soon from Bombshell:
On September 12th:

On October 10th:

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