Waiting on Wednesday: Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are being eagerly anticipated.

Dirty Magic (The Prospero's War #1) by Jaye Wells

Dirty Magic (The Prospero’s War #1) by Jaye Wells – Goodreads

Out on January 21st 2014 by Orbit

The first in an all-new urban fantasy series by USA Today bestseller Jaye Wells.

The last thing patrol cop Kate Prospero expected to find on her nightly rounds was a werewolf covered in the blood of his latest victim. But then, she also didn’t expect that shooting him would land her in the crosshairs of a Magic Enforcement Agency task force, who wants to know why she killed their lead snitch.

The more Prospero learns about the dangerous new potion the MEA is investigating, the more she’s convinced that earning a spot on their task force is the career break she’s been wanting. But getting the assignment proves much easier than solving the case. Especially once the investigation reveals their lead suspect is the man she walked away from ten years earlier—on the same day she swore she’d never use dirty magic again.

Kate Prospero’s about to learn the hard way that crossing a wizard will always get you burned, and that when it comes to magic, you should be never say never.

Jaye Wells is an auto-buy author for me. I loved her Sabina Kane series, and pretty much trust her with any genre of UF. If she can handle vampires, her take on witches and werewolves is going to be brilliant. Can’t wait to nab this one!

A weekend at the library – October Re-cap

In this month’s recap: I visit the glorious Gladstone Library, get some serious reading done and decide to feed my ebook addiction.

The Gladstone Library

This month, I spent a wonderful weekend at the glorious Gladstone Library in Wales. This is the UK’s only residential library (or so I’m told), so I actually got to sleep with all the books. It was bookworm’s dream come true. You could take books up to your room, visit in the wee hours, have a glass of wine in their honour bar, and dinner in their dining hall. I wanted to move in forever.

Gladstone Library - Image by Dead Book Darling

The primary Gladstone collection is made up of Prime Minister Gladstone’s books, so they date from the 1800s and cover mainly theology and politics. However, the Library is also living collection, with a special fund established by Gladstone to buy new books. So while I didn’t spend too long perusing the theology section, I was able to find plenty of fiction and non-fiction to satisfy my tastes.

Gladstone Library - Image by Dead Book Darling

The historic element of the Library did, however, allow me to handle original copies of the Strand magazine that featured the first publication of the Sherlock Holmes stories. It was insanely exciting for me.

- Image by Dead Book Darling

Original Strand magazines from the 19th century. These featured the first publications of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.

Feed My Reader

Book blogging has had a serious impact on my shelves. I buy/receive/am gifted more books than I will ever read. Even though I always try to get rid of the copies I don’t need or want, space has become a serious issue.

So, I’ve made the executive decision to expand my e-book collection. Though you will still see “real” book hauls, I’m going to be doing many more e-book hauls on Dead Book Darling: they’ll be entitled “Feed My Reader”. Though still not my preferred method of reading, I do love the convenience and manageability of e-books.

Readathon Season

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

I took part, once again, in the glorious Dewey’s 24-hour readathon. It was an absolute blast and really helped break me back into the reading habit! I loved the hourly challenges, my favourite, of course, being my own. Check out the Show it Off! Challenge I hosted for a peek at some bookish treasures that participants shared!

The Books

This month was a pretty good one (thank you readathon!). I read:

  • Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee (review here)
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2) by Patricia Briggs
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp (Sabina Kane, #5) by Jaye Wells
  • Rush (The Game, #1) by Eve Silver

My favourite was – surprise surprise – Briggs’ Hunting Ground. That woman can do no wrong (though her publishers can, a fact I covered in #Publisherfail). I was slightly disappointed by Blue-Blooded Vamp, which wasn’t quite as fierce as its predecessors. The Adventures of Superhero Girl wins the title of “most unexpectedly awesome book”. It was unexpectedly awesome – a fierce, feminist, generation 2.0 read. Loved it.

May TBR: the final books in my favourite series

May TBR pileOne of my resolutions for 2013 was to “read my favourites” – the books from series I loved that I hoarded away for a “rainy day”. What’s the point in keeping those books if I am not going to read them, you ask? … Fair point.

So this month, I am going to read the final books from the trilogies and series that I’ve loved. A lot of these books are going to elicit the reaction “OMG YOU HAVEN’T READ THAT YET?!” but… don’t judge me! As I mentioned in my resolutions post: I kinda have a problem.

The ones that have been on the shelves… a while:

  • Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – This is one of those series I loved so much I physically couldn’t pick it up. Instead, I checked out spoilers when it came out because the Rose/Dmitri/Adrian thing was too painful to sit through. I should really know better by now!
  • Forever by Maggie Stiefvater – Again, stop it with the judging.
  • Endgame by Ann Aguirre – I don’t want it to end!!!!
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells – As above!

The new releases:

  • With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent – Why no spin-off? Why??
  • The Rising by Kelley Armstrong (not pictured) – I don’t know what my life is going to be like without a Darkest Powers/Darkness Rising release every year. No, really. I am rather at a loss.

Just putting this list together has made me rather emotional. Why must things end?? Why can’t writers just keep going and going and going? Why can’t my book series just continue on forever like Eastenders?? Why??

Michael Fassbender knows my pain

Michael Fassbender knows my pain.

To be honest, these aren’t even all my last-in-a-series books… I have more that I haven’t gotten to that I’ve left out out of fear of this post becoming a “confessions of book blogger”. On a happier note, if you are looking for a series/trilogy that I whole-heartedly recommend, check out any of these. They are all 5 star reads that deserve all the love they can get!

Review: Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells

Review: Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye WellsSilver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
Series: Sabina Kane #4
Published by Orbit on January 5th 2012
Pages: 405
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Source: Received for review from publishers
Add to Goodreads
Rating:
Also in this series: Red-Headed Stepchild, The Mage in Black, Green-Eyed Demon

Spoilers for the first 3 books! 

Life is looking up for Sabina Kane. Now that her scheming grandmother is dead, the threat of war has passed and the rulers of the dark races are about to sign a treaty to ensure ongoing peace. Her relationship with sexy mage Adam Lazarus is strong and all her friends are around her. Even her magic training is progressing further than she ever expected. The only two dark spots in her otherwise settled life are her guilt over her sister Maisie's fragile mental state and Sabina's own sinking sense that she's got unfinished business with Cain, the mysterious cult leader she let get away months earlier.

When a string of murders rock the New York dark races community and threatens to stall the peace negotiations, Sabina finds herself helping to find the killer. Her investigation leads her down troubling paths that have her questioning everything - and everyone - she knows. And the closer she gets to the murderer, the more Sabina realises this is one foe she may not able to kill.

Thoughts: Silver-Tongued Devil was brilliant. I expected great things from Jaye Wells, but truth is that Green-Eyed Demon left me wondering where she could go with the series. Everything had ended so happily that I couldn’t really work out why Wells needed two more books.

The reason? Because there is no such thing as a happy ending, not even in fiction! In real life, people don’t just go from being a ruthless assassin for 50 years to being a warm-hearted softie overnight. And in real life, love and friendship aren’t the only ingredients to lasting relationships. So while Sabina might want to ride into the sunset, that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. And to honest, I am so very grateful for that!

Let’s start with Sabina. She’s one of my favourite characters in fiction, she is a take-no-prisoners woman who has a panache for violence. It’s fabulous and depressing at the same time. But in the third book in the series, it felt like she was trying to be someone she wasn’t. Luckily, that attempt is dealt with head-on in Silver-Tongued Devil. Not only did she deal with her own demons, she dealt with the way people around her were treating her too. *cough* Adam. *cough*

And while all the inter-character relationships were fantastically done, it was the gargantuan plot twists that made this book stand out. Jaye Wells is not afraid to “go there”. She made some pretty big revaluations in this book and made her characters suffer through pretty horrific consequences because of them. What was especially gratifying was the way the plot built on existing scenes – Wells has been laying the groundwork for the events of Silver-Tongued Devil over the entire series. Now that? That’s a real writer.

While the first half of the book was good, the second half was fantastic. The pace and the plot just grew more and more intriguing with each page – I found myself thinking about the book whenever I’d put it down. This book made going about my day a very frustrating venture, as all I wanted to do was read!! The only reason it isn’t getting 5 stars? Well, it’s not quite as funny as its predecessors. Other than that, it was perfection.

Bottom line? Silver-Tongued Devil was everything I didn’t even know I wanted. It was a gripping installment to an already brilliant series. Go forth and read it!

Covers, Deals and UK events

Book Notes - Featuring News and Gossip at DeadBookDarling
Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

New Book Deals

  • Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired two books (Arcanum and an untitled novel) by Ransom Riggs, the New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Arcanum, a new young adult novel, begins in the attic of an old, forgotten rural museum, where secret objects from the distant past lie in dust and in wait. When a group of teens discover this cache of sinister curiosities, they unsuspectingly unleash hell in their sleepy town. Magic, mystery, and evil intertwine in this dark, creepy, and frightening story, which is set for a spring 2014 publication. I haven’t had the chance to read Ransom’s first book yet, but it is on my TBR pile!
  • Vicki Pettersson, Sign of the Zodiac series author and one-time showgirl, sold a new series to Harper Voyager/Morrow. The three book deal begins with The Taken, and is scheduled as a paperback original for June 2012.
  • Rachel Caine has sold a stand-alone novel to NAL built around the character of Benvolio, from Romeo and Juliet. She’s also sold 3 new books in her YA Morganville Vampires series to NAL. I’m starting to wonder when these books will ever end.
  • Bloomsbury/Walker Books for Young Readers bought a new trilogy by recent Columbia-grad  Yelena Black; book one is called Diabolical. The book is a tale of a 15-year-old who starts witnessing spooky goings-on at her prestigious ballet school. When she becomes suspicious of the controlling choreographer at her academy, she stumbles upon the fact that he is staging a performance in which the school’s dancers become pawns in a world of demons. The first book in the series will be published internationally in English—in the U.S., U.K., and Australia—in winter 2013.

UK signings and events

  • Jeffrey Eugenides. Jeffrey – bloodyEugenides. Be still my heart. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Jeffrey is the world-renowned, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Middlesex (which is one of my favourite novels). He is going to be at Waterstone’s Picadilly, London, on Friday, 4 November 2011, 7:00PM. This is a proper meet-and-greet event, so you do have to buy tickets. They are £5 (or £3 for Waterstones card holders). You can buy them online here.

New Book Covers

  
  • Blue-Blooded Vamp by Jaye Wells –  This is the final book in the fantastic Sabina Kane series. In case you somehow missed it, I am a BIG Jaye Wells fan. She epitomises everything that is brilliant about the Urban Fantasy genre and, in short, rocks.
  • Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – There is a reason bloggers everywhere dedicated posts to the release of this book. Because OMGSDFSHKFHS BITTERBLUE!
  • Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan – This is the gorgeous US cover to the next book in Cate’s Immortal Beloved series. I liked the first book but I LOVE this cover!
  
  • Partials by Dan Wells – I had heard nothing about this book until the cover came out… and what a cover! Now it’s way up on my 2012 wishlist!
  • Revived by Cat Patrick – Cat’s novel, Forgotten, has gotten nothing but brilliant reviews. Although I haven’t read her work yet, this cover is making me want to run out and buy her work. I just adore the cover of Revived – it’s actually pretty damn original!
  • Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock – I found this book on goodreads way back when, and was very excited when it finally got a cover (even one I’m not too keen on!).

See your art on a book cover!

Faber and Faber and The Guardian are hosting a fantastic initiative for artists aged 13 to 16… putting their cover art on seminal novel The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It’s a terrifying novel, and I can’t wait to see what scary images contestants come up with. Here’s some more detail about the competition (and info about how to enter!):

Faber and Faber and Guardian News & Media are calling on young artists to create a brand new look for one of the world’s most famous books: Lord of the Flies by William Golding. One talented artist will be selected by a team of expert judges and will have the chance to watch as their work is transformed by the Faber design team into a cover for the new educational edition of Lord of the Flies.

The winning illustration will be unveiled at a special exhibition showcasing the best of the entries. The winner and other featured entrants will be invited to the opening of the exhibition at the Guardian’s offices in London in February 2012.

The competition is open to young artists aged 13 to 16, and submissions are welcome in any medium. The closing date for entries is 20 January 2012. The competition is hosted on its own site, which also features exciting additional content for aspiring illustrators. Please visit: http://lordofthefliescover.com/

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