April 27, 2011

Wednesday Wishes

Hunting for books is one of my favorite things. Finding a new title is my equivalent of "getting rich." Whether the titles been around for a while, brand spanking new, or just not that common Wednesday Wishes is here for me to share them with you.

If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I’ve been on a bit of a Valdemar binge.  I’ve finally decided it’s time to finish one of my favorite Epic Fantasy series.  Which means I have to make sure I own all of them. 

After going through my books I found out I needed 5 more to complete my collection, which is way more then I thought it was going to be.

Exile's Valor (Valdemar)Exile's Valor by Mercedes Lackey

The Barnes and Noble Review
Mercedes Lackey's sequel to her 2002 release Exile's Honor delves deeper into the life of the legendary weaponsmaster Alberich, the former heroic Karse army captain now living in exile in Valdemar. Once an archenemy of Valdemar's white-clad Heralds, the hardheaded soldier now teaches young Valdermarans the art of warfare.

In Exile's Valor, Alberich works double duty protecting the young Queen Selenay from power-hungry Council members who would like to usurp her power and from foreign spies who have infiltrated Haven and are looking for potential weaknesses in the young queen's administration. By day, Alberich works as weaponsmaster to the students at the Collegium; by night, he goes undercover into the city's dark and potentially deadly backstreet taverns and brothels. While incognito, Alberich uncovers a terrible plot that includes young Valdermaran nobles, a troupe of actors, and elaborately coded messages.

As usual with every novel in the series, this new offering sheds light on yet another facet of the extensive history and culture of the literary gem that is Valdemar -- one of the most fully realized realms in all of fantasy. And while much more is learned about familiar characters -- like Alberich, Myste, and Talamir -- Lackey keeps the novel fresh by introducing great new characters like Norris, an egomaniacal actor/spy who enjoys espionage almost as much as seducing women, and Mical, a spirited student of Alberich's at the Collegium whose enthusiasm gets him into big trouble.

Exile's Valor is classic Mercedes -- top-of-the-line fantasy. Paul Goat Allen
Had no idea that Alberich had two books instead of the one.  He's one of my favorite Heralds, and crushes, so all the juicy bits are needed!!

Owlsight (Valdemar: Darian's Tale, Book 2)Owlsight (Valdemar: Darian's Tale, Book 2)by Mercedes Lackey

It has been four years since the village of Errold's Grove, on the border of Valdemar, was sacked and burned by barbarians. Four years since the rebellious orphan boy Darian escaped into the vast Pelagiris Forest, finding sanctuary with the mysterious Tayledras Hawkbrothers. During his stay with the Hawkbrothers, Darian has found his calling and has begun training with them to become a Healing Adept. Born a Valdemaran, but now steeped in the mystical ways of the Tayledras, it is his dream to become their emissary - forging an alliance and providing a diplomatic link with his own people. Keisha Alder has taken over the workshop left empty when the wizard Justyn was murdered by the barbarians. With no formal education, working with only the natural instincts of her inborn Healing Gift, this young woman has devoted herself to the care of the people of Errold's Grove. She knows that she should leave the village and seek proper training at the Healer's College in Haven, the capital city of Valdemar - but how can she? She is solely responsible for the medical care of her now bustling community. Yet with the heightened empathy of a Healing Gift, and the inability to shield herself because of her lack of training, it is becoming harder and harder for Keisha to bear the strains of everyday life. And then Darian returns to Errold's Grove with a small contingent of Hawkbrothers to warn the townsfolk that another tribe of barbarians is approaching their village and advises them to evacuate their homes. But Keisha and some of the villagers refuse to flee. As a Healer she knows she will be needed if there is bloodshed, and her Gift dictates that she stay, even if it puts her life in jeopardy. Yet how can one small band of Hawkbrothers and two Valdemaran teenagers with partially trained Gifts stand against the destructive might of a barbarian horde?
The first book in this trilogy was the last Valdemar book I purchased.  What can I say, I'm more in thralled by the Herald's and their Companions then giant owls.
Owlknight (Valdemar: Darian's Tale, Book 3)Owlknight (Valdemar: Darian's Tale, Book 3) by Mercedes Lackey

From fantasy legends Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon comes the third and final volume in a powerful saga charged with war and magic, life and love....

Two years after his parents disappearance, Darian has sought refuge and training from the mysterious Hawkbrothers. Now he has opened his heart to a beautiful young healer. Finally Darian has found peace and acceptance in his life. That is, until he learns that his parents are still alive-and trapped behind enemy borders....

Praise for the Owl trilogy...

"Owlsight will bring new fans into the fold and please those who already love the land of Valdemar."-Starlog

"Vintage Mercedes Lackey."-Voya

"A pleasing coming-of-age adventure featuring an appealing set of characters."-Romantic Times

And for Lackey and Dixon...

" Suspense never lags, action is fast and furious, and their imaginings are totally credible." -KLIATT

* 3rd in the national bestselling Owl trilogy, following Owlflight and Owlsight
Hmmm . . . all the praise makes me think I'll like it more then I'm expecting.

Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novel Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles: A Valdemar Novelby Mercedes Lackey

Mags had been working at the Pieters’ mine, slaving in the dark, cold seams, looking for sparklies, for as long as he could remember. The children who worked the mine were orphans, kids who had been abandoned, who had lost their parents, or were generally unwanted. But Mags was different. Mags was “Bad Blood,” because his parents were bandits who had been killed in a raid by the Royal Guard. “Bad Blood” because he’d been found in a cradle in the bandits’camp. Blood so bad that no one had wanted to take him in except Cole Pieters. When he was big enough to see over the sides of the sluices he had gone to work at the mine. Mags knew nothing of the world beyond the mine, and was unaware of how unusual his paltry existence was. Then some strangers on huge white horses forced their way past the Pieters family and carried him away to Haven to become a Herald Trainee. Suddenly the whole world opened up for him. He was warm and well fed for the first time in his life, and he had Dallen, his Companion, who seemed more miraculous than an angel. But the world of the Collegium was not all heavenly. There was political upheaval in Valdemar’s capital, for the court had been infiltrated by foreign “diplomats,” who seemed to be more interested in seeding discontent than in actual diplomacy...and Mags seemed to be the only one who’d noticed...
Always wanted Misty to go back to the beginning when Valdemar was first forming.  Where the Herald system was first put in place, enough so that it wasn't right when the first horse stepped out of thin air.  Here's my answer.  For some reason I thought this one was a collection of short stories.

Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel)Intrigues: Book Two of the Collegium Chronicles (A Valdemar Novel) by Mercedes Lackey

Mags was an orphan who had slaved in a gem mine for all his young life. Found in a bandit camp when he was an infant, he was taken in by Cole Pieters, who owned the mine. Pieters constantly told him that he had “bad blood” and would never amount to anything. Had he not been Chosen by his Companion, Dallen, and taken to Haven to be trained in the new Herald Collegium, he probably would have died before he reached adulthood.

Now, Mags was never hungry and never cold. He slept in a real bed in his own room and, most importantly, he had Dallen, who was like another part of himself. And yet, aside from Lena and Bear, both loners like he was, he couldn’t relate to most of the Herald, Healer, or Bard trainees. He was the only trainee who came from what—to the others—was unimaginable poverty. Even the poorest shepherd was appalled when he heard about the conditions Mags and his fellow mine workers had endured. And Mags had no tolerance for the chronic complaining of his fellow students. The others had no idea how good they had it, and even though, when he thought about it, Mags was glad—no one should have to live like he had lived—this kept him feeling like an outsider, despite the fact that he was part of an elite corps of students.

But there were other factors that contributed to his isolation. Foreign assassins had been at court masquerading as envoys, and when they were discovered, and fled from the Guard, one of them, a man he had never seen in his life, had seemed to “recognize” Mags. Now, Mags was an object of suspicion among his fellow students, and even some of his teachers. He had always been curious about his parents, but after this incident it seemed far more urgent to discover exactly who his parents were. And at Haven, he had access to the extensive Archives.

Poring through the Archives, day after day, Mags finally got some answers, but they were
incomplete: his parents, found dead in the bandit camp, had been two of a number of hostages, some of whom had survived. These survivors had told the Guard that Mags’ parents spoke a language that no one understood or even recognized. So Mags’ parents were foreigners, though from what country no one seemed to have any idea.

But rather than help his situation, this information did just the opposite, for ForeSeers had been having visions of the king being assassinated by “one of foreign blood” and some had even Seen Mags with blood on his hands.

How could Mags defend himself against a crime that hadn’t yet been committed?
Mags story really sounds promising!!

April 25, 2011

Author Gossip(2) and Cover Coveting(14)

As a reader I always want the download on what's going on with authors. Do they have new books coming out, how the latest tour going, any thing juicy! So, I decided to bring the news to my readers. I'm lurking around all of those author blogs anyway, might as well do something productive.

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 4)A

re you reading Neill fans?  It’s almost time for the release of Hard Bitten so you know what that means . . . Tour time baby!!  Here’s both the book store signings, and for those of us you can’t get to any of those places blog tours are ready!



The following is a current list of scheduled booksignings.

(Have more questions about booksignings?
Check the FAQ page.)

Release Day Booksigning!
Barnes & Noble - Oakview Mall
Omaha, Nebraska
May 3, 2011 | 7:00 p.m.

Booksigning with Christina Henry
Challengers Comics
Chicago, Illinois
June 3, 2011

Printer's Row Literary Festival
Chicago, Illinois
June 5, 2011
Details, TBA

Contagion Outbreak
June 10-12, 2011
Omaha, NE
Details TBA

San Diego, CA
July 21-24, 2011
Details TBA

April 18, 2011
Paperback Dolls

April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011
The Book Bundle

April 19, 2011
Tales of a Frumpy Mocha Princess

April 20, 2011
Romancing the Darkside

April 20, 2011
Bewitched Bookworms

April 21, 2011
Lore Lush Book Reviews

April 21, 2011
Snarky Mamma

April 21, 2011
Mysterious Books

April 22, 2011
Fang-Tastic Books

April 23, 2011
The Fiction Fairy

April 25, 2011
The Allure of Books

April 26, 2011
I Read to Relax

April 26, 2011
Mystifying Paranormal Reviews

April 27, 2011
A Book Obsession

April 27, 2011
Urban Fantasy Investigations

April 28, 2011
Nina Reed

April 29, 2011
Paranormal Kiss

April 29, 2011
Book Addict

April 30, 2011
Addicted 2 Novels

May 1, 2011
The Romance Reviews

May 1, 2011
Booking It With Haley G

May 2, 2011
Bibliophilic Book Blog

May 3, 2011
Bitten by Books

May 7, 2011

Vampire Academy Signature Edition: A Vampire Academy Novel

S traight form Richelle Mead’s blog:

Hot news today! USA Today has an exclusive peek at the Vampire Academy graphic novel. Along with pictures of some of the amazing art, there are also interviews with me and artist Emma Vieceli. The article also has the info on when the graphic novel comes out. This one will be available in both comic book stores and regular bookstores in the U.S. As always, release abroad is unknown at this point. Sorry about that--it's not in my control! But various places will ship internationally, including autographed copies from University Bookstore (see richellemead.com for that).
Anyway, here's the link to the article and art. Hope you enjoy!

Not all cover art is final.

Netherland Cover for Robin Hobb

Source:  Robin Hobb

Shera’s Thoughts:  Hobb didn’t label which book was which.  Yet I still love looking at the artwork, you can kind of get the gist which book, is which.  But I”m not posting the US covers in case I match them up wrong.

Hobb-Zoon-vd-Krijger-1-Overgangsritueel-Gebonden-192x300 Hobb-Zoon-vd-krijger-2-Woudmagie-gebonden-180x300       
Hobb-Zoon-van-de-Krijger-3-Magisch-eindspel-192x300 Hobb-Regenlanden-1-Drakenhoeder-195x300
Hobb-Regenlanden-2-Drakenziel-195x300 Hobb-Regenlanden-3-Drakengebieder-197x300
Hobb-Zieners-2-227x300 Hobb-Zieners-3-227x300


Author’s Thoughts:

As an author I've been blessed with the good fortune of having amazing cover artists for my books.  And this goes back all the way to my very first US cover for my very first book, Harpy's Flight.  Kinuko Y Kraft was not as well known then as now!  This was my very first cover ever.


Previous Books:

Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye


Source:  Dead Book Darling

Shera’s Thoughts:  Her hair just gets cooler and cooler with every cover!!  Plus this has to be one of my favorite kind of “gun” poses. It just screams badass-babes from the roof tops!


Author’s Thoughts: N/A

Previous Books:

Red-Headed Stepchild (Sabina Kane)The Mage in Black (Sabina Kane, Book 2)Green-Eyed Demon (Sabina Kane)

Stormlord's Exile by Glenda Larke

Source:  Glenda Larke

Shera’s Thoughts:  This is the Australian version of Stromlord’s Exile.  It’s very soothing on the eyes, and I usually love the artsy look more.  However the bold covers from the US version just pop more. Sometimes dramatic flare wins!


Author’s Thoughts: N/A

Previous Books:

Stormlord's Exile

Adam by Jacquelyn Frank

Source:  Wicked Scribes 

Shera’s Thoughts:  Wow!  Just think of the sheer briliance of mind power it had to take to think up to put a naked chest on a cover. Oh, excuse me, a half naked chest.  With color . . .


Author’s Thoughts: N/A

Previous Books:

Jacob (The Nightwalkers, Book 1)Gideon (The Nightwalkers, Book 2)Elijah (The Nightwalkers, Book 3)Damien (The Nightwalkers, Book 4)Noah (Nightwalkers, Book 5)

Eye of the Tempest by Nicole Peeler

Source:  Wicked Scribes

Shera’s Thoughts:  These covers are sooooooo much fun!!  It’s nice to really see another character on the covers.  How awesome is the octopus though? Insanely!  Plus I love the new heart design above the title.  It’s funs seeing what new design pops up there.  Though the title keeps making my head play “Eye of the Tiger.”


Author’s Thoughts: N/A

Previous Books:

Tempest Rising (Jane True)Tracking the Tempest (Jane True)Tempest's Legacy (Jane True)

That Old Black Magic by

Michelle Rowan

Source:  Wicked Scribe

Shera’s Thoughts:  It’s like the guys on these covers are slowly getting dressed.  First book gets the naked chest.  The second one gets an open shirt.  Finally a t-shirt.  This guy should feel super-duper special.


Author’s Thoughts: N/A

Previous Books:

The Demon in Me (A Living in Eden Novel)Something Wicked (A Living in Eden Novel)