January 19, 2017

Review: Graced

Graced (Graced series, book 1) by Amanda Pillar

Graced  (The Graced Series #1) by Amanda Pillar

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Edition Reviewed: Ebook
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle
Goodreads: Graced (1)

City Guard Elle Brown has one goal in life: to protect her kid sister, Emmie. Falling in love–and with a werewolf at that–was never part of the deal.

Life, however, doesn't always go to plan, and when Elle meets Clay, everything she thought about her world is thrown into turmoil. Everything, that is, but protecting Emmie, who is Graced with teal-colored eyes and an unknown power that could change their very existence. But being different is dangerous in their home city of Pinton, and it's Elle's very own differences that capture the attention of the Honorable Dante Kipling, a vampire with a bone-deep fascination for a special type of human.

Dante is convinced that humans with eye colors other than brown are unique, but he has no proof. The answers may exist in the enigmatic hazel eyes of Elle Brown, and he's determined to uncover their secrets no matter the cost...or the lives lost.


Review:

Graced and I had a rocky start. The transition of changing POVs felt off and really frequent. With multiple points of views from first person that can happen, and at times I thought the timeline was just a smidge off. It didn't help that when I finally started to really sink into the story Elle and Clay were laying heavy on the paranormal romance tropes. Like Clay was in lust and her smell was soooooo good, but a girl with that bad ass of an attitude is too much work! Blah-blah, instalove/lust. It was silly. Thankfully the real meat of the story doesn't solely depend on them as a couple, though it does enough development later that it didn't bother me too much and I could actually see them become a reluctant item towards the end.

No. The real awesome-tacular thing about Graced was the other characters telling the story. Namely Dante!!! Oh my gosh! Dante. He's clearly evil at the beginning. He's the bad guy, but soon we realize that mentally he's a little off. An eccentric? Maybe. Or maybe he's just had evil parents and he just needed real people to make him more “human”. Dante was the perfect intro into why vampires are evil. Soon though he entered the realm of “grey”. More importantly an anti-hero. He does bad shit, but I love him. He's complex.

Even more complex is his romance in the book! Which made up for the other character's instalove. No really. The build up and humor of Dante developing emotions and feelings is epic.

In fact, the character development and story was so engaging as Graced continued on. Pillar really found her footing as the story kept going and I haven't been this engaged in a new Urban Fantasy book in ages. The true part is that all the grey areas have the characters meeting their “enemies” and finding a common ground. Some of the dialogue is hilarious! Especially as Dante does something despicable to Elle, but she totally ends up liking him. (Don't worry Elle, he's like Lokey. You should hate him, but you just can't.) I could go over each character, but I won't.

I also loved the idea of how Elle is protecting her kid sister. That she would do anything for her. The real villain actually ended up being Elle's grandmother. Who on occasion gave me goosebumps. It's also an intriguing concept of the Graced being hidden and that some of their powers are mentally intrusive. Those are scary powers, scarier to me then vampires or werewolves. At least they're up front monsters.

Oh, and the world! It's dystopian if you want to get down to it, or High Fantasy-ish. Basically there was a peak in technology, a great war among the races, and then boom they lost things. There's some technology, but most of it was lost. I like the prejudices and the minor details that Pillar has put in to make her world stand out. Very refreshing and I loved the history and look forward to seeing more of it outside of the current city that most of the story takes place in.

The truth is that Graced only missed being on my Shera's Top 10 Books of 2016 by a hair. Let me tell you I debated and debated. The anticipation of book 2 though, made it onto my Top 10 Anticipated Adult Books of 2017 list though! The characters are totally awesome! The nuances to them as Graced built up was brilliant! At times the dialogue was so clever I felt like I needed to give author Amanda Pillar a gold star of achievement! Even with a rough start it's hard to resist the addictiveness of Graced, and then it gets so good you forget everything else. If you've been looking for a new Urban Fantasy series—and are leery about self pub/indie pub—Graced is a pretty safe bet. It's been well edited. Besides a great story and I can't spam—err, recommend—it enough!

Content Warning: Homosexual themes, some sex scenes (not too crazy), and of course sexual humor! Murder and some human right issues. Some of the leads do bad things.

 
4/5 - A true obsession!


Previous book(s) in series:
Reviewed on BW: Amazon: Goodreads:
Graced (1)
Bitten (2) 

Graced (1)
Bitten (2)
Graced (1)
Bitten (2)

January 18, 2017

Top 10 Anticipated Young Adult Books of 2017

As promised my Young Adult list! Yeah! This year paranormal and urban fantasy are in short supply in YA as well. Poor steampunk is also hard to come by. Dystopian reads slowly went from paranormal to more sci-fi, and last year finally science fiction really started getting a foot hold. This year it looks like science fiction and space operas are the name of the printed word. High Fantasy has been on the rise and is still everywhere! (Though I'm hoping it's more High Fantasy less bad romance.)

This is definitely the year of Beauty and the Beast retellings. There were a lot last year, but this year it's cray-cray! Personally I think they're trying to feed off the hunger for Disney's live action remake. Retellings in general are still big, especially fusions.  Not to mention that there are a lot of dragon themed books! Yeah!

So I looked through A LOT of titles and I'm sure I missed some, and for this list I tried to not put too many auto buy authors on here. New and exciting is the goal!

There is no particular order to the list. All books are to be released in 2017 or expected to be. 


A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin  (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. MaasGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, book 3

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

So I confess I didn't read book 2 last year. I bought book 2 right away, but then realized that if I read it right away the wait for book 3 . . . would be too much! I know, I know. That means putting it off makes me have to wait for book 2 even longer. However, if I read it know the wait for the book 3 won't be so long.

Sorry my bookworm sense makes no sense.

Anywho, I loved the first book so much that my mind is in this much turmoil.

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Flame in the Mist  (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee AhdiehGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Flame in the Mist, book 1

Release date: May 16th 2017

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.

This cover is so pretty! Ah, the radiance.

That aside this just sounds amazing. Japan, samurais, and a gender bender!!!!!! YES! Sure I haven't read any great new gender benders, the classics seem to be the only ones able to do it, but I have faith! And hope. Lots of hope.

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

Heartstone by Elle Katharine WhiteGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Fantasy  
Series: N/A

Release Date: January 17th 2017

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

What finally sold me on this is the GR review from a friend who said it's not really a P&P copy cat and has small ties to the book it's supposed to be retelling. Which makes me happy! Come on dragons! they sell themselves.

Dragonriders? Oh, yeah. Though can the women fight too? It doesn't say it up front and there dang well better be female dragonriders darn it!

Of Blood & Promises by Rebekah Faubion

Of Blood and Promises by Rebekah FaubionGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult Romantic Fantasy 
Series: ?

Release Date: 2017

For fans of Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and Leigh Bardugo’s SHADOW AND BONE, the tortured romance, twisting mystery, and stunning island world inspired by Hawaii will capture imaginations and leave readers desperate for more.

For unruly Tree-girl Aliah, there is only one thing she loves more than scaling a Banyan’s trunk — Aiken. He’s her protector, her family by law, and the son of her power-hungry guardian. Loving him is allowed. Acting on that love is forbidden.

Aiken promised he would never leave Aliah, but his future lies with the King’s guard, not her. It is his only chance to escape the weight of his father’s control and the torment of loving a girl he can never have. But when Aliah is betrothed to the crown prince, his path to freedom becomes infinitely longer than the seven-day journey from the Great Forest to Capital City.

Thrust into claustrophobic castle life, their faith in each other begins to crumble beneath the pressure. Then the murder of one of Aliah’s friends within the castle walls sends them spiraling in opposite directions. Aiken turns spy for the King’s guard and plummets into the seedy underbelly of Capital City in search of the killer, while Aliah, trapped in the castle for her protection, uncovers a clue to the murderer’s identity and begins to unravel a dark secret at the heart of kingdom.

Bound by love. Torn apart by duty. Aiken and Aliah discover that some promises can never be broken and some secrets are better left hidden.

So this sounds awesome, and I love the unique setting for it all to take place in! I also like that up front it's stating it's a romantic fantasy! Thank you. (I still aspect and demand great world building.)

I love the idea of this also being a murder mystery! Ah, court politics and murder. Mwah-ha-ha.

Roar by Cora Carmack

Roar  (Stealing Storms #1) by Cora CarmackGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy 
Series: Stealing Storms, book 1

Release Date: June 13th 2017

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

When the general idea popped into the synopsis area on goodreads, I was intrigued. Then the real synopsis dropped, and then that cover. Well I'm obsessed! Just read it! Soooooooo awesome.

There are so many possibilities! I love that Aurora Pavan isn't willing to just accept the choices made for her to cover up her weaknesses. Not to mention that she's going to choose option 3!

Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland & Michael Miller

Shadow Run  (Kaitan Chronicles #1) by AdriAnne Strickland, Michael MillerGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction  
Series: Kaitan Chronicles, book 1

Release Date: March 21st 2017

"Firefly" meets DUNE in this action-packed sci-fi adventure about a close-knit, found family of a crew navigating a galaxy of political intrigue and resource-driven power games.

Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.

But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power—and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.

It still annoys me when synopsis say "blank meets blank"! In the case of this book ""Firefly" meets DUNE" his a potent combination. I'm very curious about it and I really wonder what the humor will be like. Because if you're tossing out Firefly, it better be clever and witty. Dune . . . there's a lot of room to pick and choose.

Either way ignoring the need to  suck people in with comparisons and mentioning other great things, the synopsis sounds pretty awesome.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer  (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini TaylorGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Strange the Dreamer, book 1

Release Date: March 28th 2017

A new epic fantasy by National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around— and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? and if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

In this sweeping and breathtaking new novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

This was supposed to release fall of last year, and was in fact on my list last year. Oh, well! I'm still lusting after it desperately this year! At least it's a first of the year release.

I'm still iffy about how the synopsis paints it, but then Daughter of Smoke and Bone had a lame synopsis too. Well that turned out awesome, so I'm really curious what kind of a whammy this book will pack. Not to mention surprises.

Summoner Rising by Melanie McFarlane

Summoner Rising by Melanie McFarlaneGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy  
Series:  Laws of Summoning, book 1

Release Date: March 28th 2017

Excerpt from, The Book of Summoning:

Law One: A summoner is responsible for all creatures it lets through from the netherworld.

Dacie Cantar wishes someone had explained the Laws of Summoning to her before she watched a shadowy creature crawl out of a painting at the local arcade. At least it explains the strange things she's witnessed since moving in with her great-aunt, after her mother’s untimely death. But who wants to be followed by shadows the rest of their life? Add that to being stalked by a strange boy at school, who just might be her Tovaros (aka soulmate), it’s about all Dacie can handle in her new life.

As she nears her seventeenth birthday, will she be ready for her new responsibilities, or will the shadows that stalked her mother until her death, finally consume Dacie, too? And then there’s Law Two…

Really, I love the sound of this. Except the whole soulmate thing. Instalove/lust anyone? Sigh.

Oh, well. I want to find out about Law Two.

The Dragon's Price by Bethany Wiggins

The Dragon's Price  (Transference #1) by Bethany WigginsGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy
Series: Transference, book 1

Release Date: February 21st 2017

Fans of Julie Kagawa’s Talon and Renee Ahdieh’s The Wrath and the Dawn will devour this action-packed fantasy adventure about a girl who chooses to surrender herself to a deadly dragon rather than marry an enemy prince.

When two warring kingdoms unified against a deadly menace laying waste to both their lands, they had to make a choice: vow to marry their heirs to one another, or forfeit their lives to the dragon.

Centuries later, everyone expects the sheltered princess Sorrowlynn to choose the barbarian prince over the fire-breathing beast—everyone, that is, except Sorrow, who is determined to control her own destiny or die trying.

As she is lowered into the dragon’s chamber, she assumes her life is over until Golmarr, the young prince she just spurned, follows her with the hopes of being her hero and slaying the dragon. But the dragon has a different plan. . . .

If the dragon wins, it will be freed from the spell that has bound it to the cave for centuries. If Sorrow or Golmarr vanquish the dragon, the victor will gain its treasure and escape the cave beneath the mountain. But what exactly is the dragon hiding?

There are no safe havens for Sorrow or Golmarr—not even with each other—and the stakes couldn’t be higher as they risk everything to protect their kingdom.

At least this time they fans of blank will enjoy this book. As it should be.

Okay, how awesome does this sound? Way awesome!! Kind of reminds me of this movie (Dragonslayer) where the Princess decided to sacrifice herself to the dragon . . . hope it goes better for Sorrow! 

Untitled by Becky Allen

Untitled  (Bound by Blood and Sand #2) by Becky AllenGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy
Series: Bound by Blood and Sand, book 2

Release Dates: September 2017

N/A

The first book, Bound by Blood and Sand, made my Shera's Top 10 Books of 2016! So I am super jazzed for the sequel.

The first book was an excellent Young Adult High Fantasy that fans of Tamora Peirce's work will love. Especially with all the high fantasy in YA basically being little world building with tons of instalove.

The true rebellion is coming! I can't wait to see where the cast ends up and the choices the lead will make after the huge sacrifice made.


To the honorable mentions! Yeah! This is where I always have to show restraint! (Well as best I can.)  There are so many exciting titles that I just know deserve a spot. So restraint. The ones with bullets at the bottom don't have covers. 

Cage of Deceit
by Jennifer Anne Davis
Cage of Deceit  (Reign of Secrets #1) by Jennifer Anne Davis
Caraval
by Stephanie Garber
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Daughter of the Pirate King
by Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Pirate King  (Daughter of the Pirate King #1)
Defy the Stars
by Claudia Gray
Defy the Stars  (Untitled #1) by Claudia Gray
Empress of a Thousand Skies
by Rhoda Belleza
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Frost blood
by Elly Blake
Frostblood  (Frostblood Saga #1)
Gilded Cage
by Vic James
Gilded Cage  (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James
Given to the Sea
by Mindy McGinnis
Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
Hunted
by Meagan Spooner 
Hunted  (Hunted #1) by Meagan Spooner
Pitch Dark
by Courtney Alameda
Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
Starfall
by Melissa Landers
Starfall  (Starflight #2) by Melissa Landers
The Alchemists of Loom
by Elise Kova
The Alchemists of Loom  (Loom Saga #1)
The Bone Witch
by Rin Chupeco
The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)by Rin Chupeco
The Edge of Everything
by Jeff Giles
The Edge of Everything  (Untitled #1)
The Love Interest
by Cale Dietrich
The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
The Valiant
by Lesley Livingston
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Time Weaver Heart of Cogs
by Jacinta Maree
Time Weaver Heart of Cogs  (Time Collector #1) by Jacinta Maree
Windwitch
by Susan Dennard
Windwitch  (The Witchlands #2)
Wintersong
by Jae-Jones
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
You Don't Know My Name
by Kristen Orlando
You Don't Know My Name (The Black Angel Chronicles, #1) by Kristen Orlando
 

Past posts:

January 16, 2017

Top 10 Anticipated Adult Books of 2017

So the big news is that I am now doing a Top 10 Anticipated books for Adult and Young Adult! Yeah! Toss confetti. Two separate lists!

I know not everyone likes both all the time, and I've gotten a few "Shera you're lists have too many YA titles!" So I decided to let them both have equal space to spread their wings. Plus, I technically get to choose 20 top 10s. He-he. (Not to mention that means more honorable mentions!) Yeah!

Though it's true I get super excited over YA titles more, but they're normally the ones that disappoint me the most.

This year was really tough for finding adult titles that really interested me. Oh, there's the usual suspects that are on my auto buy (which I will be popping to the bottom of the list so I don't get questioning emails about why I didn't put Briggs, or some other author on here.) The truth is the Urban Fantasy genre is slowing down, so is steampunk and paranormal in general. The odd thing is High/Epic Fantasies and Science Fiction adult titles are just not grabbing my attention. It also doesn't help that hunting and pecking doesn't work like it use to. The recommends features for both Goodreads and Amazon suck, especially considering a lot of the authors are moving to self pub.

There is no particular order to the list. All books are to be released in 2017 or expected to be. 


The Cold Light of Day by Kelly Gay

The Cold Light of Day  (Charlie Madigan #5)Get it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Charlie Madigan, book 5

Nothing Yet!! Ah!!!!!

Yeah, the Goodreads page still said 2016 when I grabbed the cover. Then poof! No more date. The reality is this may not even come out this year. The author posted that it would in 2016, but then a publisher actually "ordered" another series. So . . . it's a beig whenever for when this book will actually come out.

I'm keeping the faith.

This is still one of my favorite series!!! Yeah! I will wait, and pray to the book gods, FOREVER. So until this book releases for real I will forever put this bad boy on my list. (But really let's hope she self pubs it soon so that I don't have to wait for it year after year.)

Borrowed Souls by Chelsea Mueller

Borrowed Souls  (Soul Charmer #1) by Chelsea MuellerGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Soul Charmer, book 1

Release date: May 2nd 2017

Callie Delgado always puts family first, and unfortunately her brother knows it. She’s emptied her savings, lost work, and spilled countless tears trying to keep him out of trouble, but now he’s in deeper than ever, and his debt is on Callie’s head. She’s given a choice: do some dirty work for the mob, or have her brother returned to her in tiny pieces.

Renting souls is big business for the religious population of Gem City. Those looking to take part in immoral—or even illegal—activity can borrow someone else’s soul, for a price, and sin without consequence.

To save her brother, Callie needs a borrowed soul, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the money to pay for it. The slimy Soul Charmer is willing to barter, but accepting his offer will force Callie into a dangerous world of magic she isn’t ready for.

With the help of the guarded but undeniably attractive Derek—whose allegiance to the Charmer wavers as his connection to Callie grows—she’ll have to walk a tight line, avoid pissing off the bad guys, all while struggling to determine what her loyalty to her family’s really worth.

Losing her brother isn’t an option. Losing her soul? Maybe.

This was one of the few new series that I could find starting up in Urban Fantasy. Well, one of the few that captured my full attention. This sounds unique and exciting! I actually want to start it up not because I'm a Urban Fantasy junky who can't say no, but because it sounds TOTALLY FREAKING AWESOME.

I mean renting souls? What's the magic and the world going to be like? Will it take it's theme from mythology of some kind? What? WHAT!? I haven't been this curious about a series in so long.

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Etched in Bone  (The Others #5)Get it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy  
Series: The Others, book 5

Release Date: March 7th 2017

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves…

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave

Holy bookworms! This is the final book in one of my favorite series. The pain! I NEED it and yet it will mean it's over. At least Bishop will be writing in a new series in this universe. Because I totally want more of this world!

Even my fear of bad series enders can't stop me from obsessing about the release. (Hee-hee. I have a ARC!! Really exercising self control.) One more read of The Meg. ;_;

Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil

Graveyard Shift Michael F. HaspilGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy  
Series: ?

Release Date: July 18th 2017

Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.

Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they'll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodierthan any the world has ever seen.

Gritty urban fantasy and hard-boiled noir packed into a hand grenade of awesome! Mario Acevedo, author of Werewolf Smackdown

Um, hello! With "former pharaoh and mummy" in the synopsis describing the lead I was all over it. Firstly have we ever had a former mummy as a lead? Does this mean an adult UF might have Egyptian Mythology as a bigger role?

Either way this sounds awesome!

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Silver Silence  (Psy-Changeling Trinity #1)Get it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity, book 1

Release Date: June 13th 2017

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal...

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed...

Wow, it just hit me as I was adding Silver Silence to the list. First, yes I'm predictable! Another Psy-Changeling book made it—of course—onto my top 10 list. Hit the breaks though! This isn't a Psy-Changeling book. This is a Psy-Changeling TRINITY book. Singh described it as the Second Season of the series.

However, if you think about it the original series is over—beautifully done. This is technically a new series! Which means we probably won't be seeing much of the old characters from season 1. Or at least to the extant we're used to.

Or who knows! Singh said new characters would be explored outside of our comfort zone. (I'm paraphrasing here.)

It's scary as the characters are something that has totally driven the books, but the world and politics are a big factor. I'm super excited by the endless possibilities and the sheer awesomeness that can happen.

Souljacker by Yasmine Galenorn

Souljacker  (Lily Bound #1) by Yasmine GalenornGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance 
Series: Lily Bound, book 1

Release Date: March 7th 2017

Lily O'Connell, a succubus, has put her unique talents to work. She owns Lily Bound, an elite sex salon in the Blood Night District of Seattle. When a client turns up dead in her club, and she hears the news that the Souljacker--an old tattoo-artist friend-turned-vampire, who was institutionalized years before--has escaped to reclaim his "artwork," Lily knows she's next on his list. With one of his tattoos on her thigh and nowhere else to turn, Lily hires Archer Desmond, a chaos demon and PI, to track the vampire down before he tracks her. But she didn't expect to fall for Archer-and they say a succubus who falls in love will destroy the heart of the one she seeks to claim...

I'm super proud, and grateful, to all the authors who have been bravely making the jump to self pub. The reality is big publishers end or drop series before their time. Especially now with a lot of said big publishers merging and absorbing other publishers. A lot of midrange authors—who have won the title of multiple best sellers—are being dropped.

Galenorn is not one of the first to do so, but I think currently she's one of the best at it. Which is funny as 2016 was the first time she went self pub officially. But she does it right. Solid covers, STICKS TO HER RELEASE SCHEDULE, and still has solid editing/writing.

I get her newsletters and tend to stalk her else where and the instant I heard of this book I was all over it. A succubus lead seems like such an obvious lead for a Galenorn book, but she hasn't done it yet! I am so curious to meet Galenorn's succubus lead and this new world. Oh, and guys she has more books releasing this year continued favorites and new series. Keep your eyes peeled.

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

The Guns Above  (Signal Airship #1)Get it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Steampunk
Series: Signal Airship, book 1

Release Date: May 7th 2017

The nation of Garnia has been at war for as long as Auxiliary Lieutenant Josette Dupris can remember – this time against neighboring Vinzhalia. Garnia’s Air Signal Corp stands out as the favored martial child of the King. But though it’s co-ed, women on-board are only allowed “auxiliary” crew positions and are banned from combat. In extenuating circumstances, Josette saves her airship in the heat of battle. She is rewarded with the Mistral, becoming Garnia’s first female captain.

She wants the job – just not the political flak attached. On top of patrolling the front lines, she must also contend with a crew who doubts her expertise, a new airship that is an untested deathtrap, and the foppish aristocrat Lord Bernat – a gambler and shameless flirt with the military know-how of a thimble. He’s also been assigned to her ship to catalog her every moment of weakness and indecision. When the Vins make an unprecedented military move that could turn the tide of the war, can Josette deal with Bernat, rally her crew, and survive long enough to prove herself to the top brass?

Heck yes! I want her to show all those idiots how women do it! Mahwah-ha! Okay, kidding. Kidding. (Kind of.) Really looking forward to this one. I hope that this means the door will be open for other women in her crew! Even better to inspire other women!

Show top brass that woman are more than auxiliary. Boom.

Bitten by Amanda Pillar

Bitten  (The Graced Series #2)Get it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy  
Series:  The Graced Series, book 2

Release Date: January 2017

The city of Pinton has never been safe…and now a serial killer is on the loose.

Doctor Alice Reive is the city’s coroner, and she’s determined to help find the murderer. Enlisting the assistance of the Honorable Dante Kipling and city guard Elle Brown, they race to track down the killer, before another victim dies.

Hannah Romanov – Dante’s missing twin sister – has spent hundreds of years living on an isolated mountain. But her quiet life is thrown into chaos after she discovers a baby left in the wilds to die. Hannah will do anything to ensure the infant’s survival, even if it means travelling to the worst place in the world for her – Pinton.

The second full-length novel in the stunning Graced series is perfect for fans of Nalini Singh, Richelle Mead, and Anne Bishop.

So I haven't released my review of the first book—Graced—but I loved it. So much so that I really debated about putting it on my Shera's Top 10 Books of 2016!

The thing is the characters have been teasing the back of my mind. Especially Dante! I need more!

To Catch a Stolen Soul by R.L. Naquin

To Catch a Stolen Soul (Djinn Haven, #1) by R.L. NaquinGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: Urban Fantasy  
Series: Djinn Haven, book 1

Release Date: January 9th 2017

Fans of the Monster Haven series by R.L. Naquin will love this beguiling spin-off, featuring a trapped djinn caught in a hot mess of lost souls, fast food and otherwordly murder.

Kam is a soul chaser for the Hidden Government, a much harder job now that the Hidden look like everyone else. Broke, out of magic and sick of playing waitress in a pirate-themed dive bar, Kam jumps at a chance for an out-of-town mission.

A reaper—and his loaded soul stone—have gone missing. The stone contains souls that might get permanently stuck if Kam doesn't find it, like, yesterday. She tracks the reaper down to a food truck outside Kansas City, only to find a dead reaper and no soul stone in sight. Which means that someone who should be dead killed the reaper and is running around with a powerful magic item. Not good.

And apparently the killer is targeting food-truck owners that also happen to be Hidden. So the only thing to do is open her own truck and go undercover—goodbye Kam the Djinn, hello Mobile Food Entrepreneur—and hope that she and her new runaway friend won't be the next targets…

Okay, I am way behind on the Monster Haven series! But I LOVE the series so much! The idea of a spinoff just feeds my inner bookworm.

Not to mention Naquin writing a djinn for a lead. Must. Read. That!

White Hot | Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

White Hot  (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona AndrewsGet it: Amazon | Goodreads
Genre: New Adult High Fantasy
Series: Hidden Legacy, books 2 & 3

Release Dates: May 30th 2017
July 25th 2017

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

*     *     *

Book 3:
Just when Nevada Baylor has finallyWildfire  (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews 25th come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.

Finally! The much awaited sequels to Burn For Me! Yeah! The wait has been long, but the best part is that book 2 comes out in May and then 3 is released in July. Reminds me of the magical time the first 3 books in the Iron Druid series were released one month after another! Yeah!

However, the publisher promised a cover makeover/better covers. Tacky font doesn't make tacky covers better. It makes it worst. Dang are they lucky Andrew's sales no matter the horrible covers that they are cursed with.


So these ones are the honorable mentions! Yes, some are auto buy authors, however I didn't put all of my auto buys. (The list is scary long guys!) These are the ones that get my heart racing just a bit more.

Dawn Study
by Maria V. Snyder
Dawn Study  (Soulfinders #3) by Maria V. Snyder
Empire Games
by Charles Stross
Empire Games  (Empire Games #1)
Red Sister
by Mark Lawrence
Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1) by Mark Lawrence
Elevneth Grave
by Darynda Jones
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight  (Charley Davidson #11)
Cold Reign
by Faith Hunter
Cold Reign  (Jane Yellowrock #11)
Ride the Storm
by Karen Chance
Ride the Storm  (Cassandra Palmer #8) by Karen Chance
Silence Fallen
by Patricia Briggs
Silence Fallen  (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs
Snared
by Jennifer Estep
Snared  (Elemental Assassin #16)
Who's Afraid Too?
by Maria Lewis
Who's Afraid Too (Tommi Grayson #2) by Maria Lewis
     

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