Waiting on Wednesday: Black Iris by Leah Raeder

waiting on wednesday

black iris by leah raederBlack Iris by Leah Raeder
Release Date: April 28, 2015

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable.

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn’t worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She’s not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it’s time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She’s going to show them all.

Okay. I am a huge Leah Raeder fangirl. I’ve been looking forward to BLACK IRIS for what seems like fooooooorever. I almost had a heart attack yesterday when Atria approved me for the eARC. I’m frantically trying to finish everything else I have started so I can sit down and consume this. I’m pretty sure BLACK IRIS is going to wreck me.

Leah also did a fantastic interview with Dahlia Adler. She talks about a lot of stuff that’s near and dear to me, including sex in NA, queerness, and F/F in fiction. Read it if you’re interested in any of those topics… and even if you’re not. :D

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

waiting on wednesday

dead heat by patricia briggsDead Heat (Alpha & Omega #4) by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: March 4, 2015

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

If you like paranormal romance and you haven’t read Patricia Briggs’ Alpha & Omega series, read it now!. Seriously. I like it more than her Mercy Thompson series, which might be blasphemous, but damn, do I love Charles and Anna. And if you’ve been around here a while, you’ll know romance isn’t usually my thing. I enjoy how realistic their relationship is, and how the author doesn’t take the easy “oh, we’re werewolves and now we looooove each other” way.

In fact, I just reread the entire Alpha & Omega series, because of DEAD HEAT. My review of the book will be coming closer to release date, but for now, I wanted to get more people excited about this series. Because I think this book is the best yet in the series.

I reviewed CRY WOLF in 2009. 2009! I can’t believe it. I wish there were more Charles and Anna books, but each one is fantastic and really, I mean it when I say DEAD HEAD is the best one yet.

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Grave Matters by Lauren M. Roy

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grave matters by lauren m. royGrave Matters (Night Owls #2) by Lauren M. Roy
Release Date: February 24, 2015

Night Owls bookstore always keeps a light on and evil creatures out. But, as Lauren M. Roy’s thrilling sequel continues, even its supernatural staff isn’t prepared for the dead to come back to life…

Elly grew up training to kill things that go bump in the night, so she’s still getting used to working alongside them. While she’s learned to trust the eclectic group of vampires, Renfields, and succubi at Night Owls bookstore, her new job guarding Boston’s most powerful vampire has her on edge—especially when she realizes something strange is going on with her employer, something even deadlier than usual…

Cavale isn’t thrilled that his sister works for vampires, but he’s determined to repair their relationship, and that means trusting her choices—until Elly’s job lands all of the Night Owls in deep trouble with a vengeful necromancer. And even their collective paranormal skills might not be enough to keep them from becoming part of the necromancer’s undead army…

Last February, I reviewed the first book in the Night Owls series, NIGHT OWLS. I loved the idea of a vampire running a bookstore. I thought it was a solid urban fantasy debut, and so I was quite excited to see there’s another book coming at the end of this month, GRAVE MATTERS! Also, it’s probably horrible, but I’m eager to see what sort of necromancer the author has in store. Her supernatural creatures are pretty true to form, so no sparkly vampires here.

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

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the orphan queen by jodi meadowsThe Orphan Queen (Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows
Release Date: March 10, 2015

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

I’m a big fan of Jodi Meadows. I’ve been looking forward to THE ORPHAN QUEEN ever since it was announced. I really enjoyed her first fantasy series, Newsoul, and I’m curious to see what other worlds and characters she’ll create. Plus, this series is a duology, so I won’t have to wait 3 years for the whole story.

One more awesome thing? In the book, Wil is great at calligraphy. So Jodi decided to learn it too, and has been sharing tons of photos. I even got a card with quotes from her first series!

Thank you, @unicornwarlord! Even prettier in person.

A photo posted by Leeanna (@leeannadotme) on

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

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half the world by joe abercrombieHalf the World (Shattered Sea #2) by Joe Abercombie
Release Date: February 17, 2015

Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War.

Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.

Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior.

She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit.

Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon.

Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption.

And weapons are made for one purpose.

Will Thorn forever be a pawn in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?

Okay, so I’m cheating just a bit here, as I’ve already read HALF THE WORLD, but I want every fantasy fan to read this book! It’s earned a place on my future Favorites of 2015 list, just like HALF A KING, the first book in the Shattered Sea trilogy, made my Favorites of 2014 list.

Anyway. If you like fantasy (YA or adult), check out HALF THE WORLD. I mean, what’s better than a strong, bad-ass female main character (we know I love those!), a world that’s Viking inspired, and a fantasy series that feels epic without being 800 pages?

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear


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karen memory by elizabeth bearKaren Memory by Elizabeth Bear
Release Date: February 3, 2015

“You ain’t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I’m gonna tell you anyway. See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I’m one of the girls what works in the Hôtel Mon Cherie on Amity Street. Hôtel has a little hat over the o like that. It’s French, so Beatrice tells me.”

Hugo-Award winning author Elizabeth Bear offers something new in Karen Memory, an absolutely entrancing steampunk novel set in Seattle in the late 19th century—an era when the town was called Rapid City, when the parts we now call Seattle Underground were the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes bringing would-be miners heading up to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront. Karen is a “soiled dove,” a young woman on her own who is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts into her world one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, seeking sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper-type story of the old west with the light touch of Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

I first saw KAREN MEMORY on someone else’s Waiting on Wednesday post — sorry, I can’t remember who! I’m in the middle of watching Penny Dreadful right now, and this book sounds like a perfect fit to my mood from that show. Just the feel of it, y’know?

Anyway, I’ve wanted to read something of Elizabeth Bear’s for a long time, but I just haven’t. So KAREN MEMORY will hopefully be the first, because this seems like a perfect book for me. Steampunk? Check. A bordello? Check. Historical AU? Check. Tons of awesome things? Check.

Bring on February!

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Atlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig

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atlanta burns by chuck wendigAtlanta Burns by Chuck Wendig
Release Date: January 27, 2015

You don’t mess with Atlanta Burns.

Everyone knows that. And that’s kinda how she likes it—until the day Atlanta is drawn into a battle against two groups of bullies and saves a pair of new, unexpected friends. But actions have consequences, and when another teen turns up dead—by an apparent suicide—Atlanta knows foul play is involved. And worse: she knows it’s her fault.

You go poking rattlesnakes, maybe you get bit.

Afraid of stirring up the snakes further by investigating, Atlanta turns her focus to the killing of a neighborhood dog. All paths lead to a rural dogfighting ring, and once more Atlanta finds herself face-to-face with bullies of the worst sort. Atlanta cannot abide letting bad men do awful things to those who don’t deserve it. So she sets out to unleash her own brand of teenage justice.

Will Atlanta triumph? Or is fighting back just asking for a face full of bad news?

I’ve wanted to read something of Chuck Wendig’s for a while. His blog is awesome and I’ve heard his books are fantastic. So ATLANTA BURNS is coming along at a perfect time. This sentence in the summary is the one that did it for me: Atlanta cannot abide letting bad men do awful things to those who don’t deserve it. That’s all I need to know!

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

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golden son by pierce brownGolden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown
Release Date: January 13, 2015

With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown’s genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

AHHHH! I am SO bloody damn excited that I was approved for an ARC of GOLDEN SON. I absolutely loved RED RISING, and having to wait a year for the sequel was harder than usual. I’ve been in a reading slump, but I’m thinking GOLDEN SON might shatter it.

I cannot wait to dive back into Pierce Brown’s work and see what he’s come up with this time. If you haven’t heard of RED RISING yet, now’s the time to check it out if you like any of the books mentioned in the summary, or if you’re looking for some crazy cool fantasy/science fiction.

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– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno

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star wars: tarkin by james lucenoStar Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno
Release Date: November 4, 2014

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Bestselling Star Wars veteran James Luceno gives Grand Moff Tarkin the Star Wars: Darth Plagueis treatment, bringing a legendary character from A New Hope to full, fascinating life.

He’s the scion of an honorable and revered family. A dedicated soldier and distinguished legislator. Loyal proponent of the Republic and trusted ally of the Jedi Order. Groomed by the ruthless politician and Sith Lord who would be Emperor, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin rises through the Imperial ranks, enforcing his authority ever more mercilessly . . . and zealously pursuing his destiny as the architect of absolute dominion.

Rule through the fear of force rather than force itself, he advises his Emperor. Under Tarkin’s guidance, an ultimate weapon of unparalleled destruction moves ever closer to becoming a terrifying reality. When the so-called Death Star is completed, Tarkin is confident that the galaxy’s lingering pockets of Separatist rebellion will be brought to heel—by intimidation . . . or annihilation.

Until then, however, insurgency remains a genuine threat. Escalating guerrilla attacks by resistance forces and newfound evidence of a growing Separatist conspiracy are an immediate danger the Empire must meet with swift and brutal action. And to bring down a band of elusive freedom fighters, the Emperor turns to his most formidable agents: Darth Vader, the fearsome new Sith enforcer as remorseless as he is mysterious; and Tarkin—whose tactical cunning and cold-blooded efficiency will pave the way for the Empire’s supremacy . . . and its enemies’ extinction. (summary from goodreads)

In case you didn’t know, I am a HUGE Star Wars fan.

Evidence:
star wars bookshelf

That’s most of my Star Wars books. I haven’t liked every experiment the Expanded Universe has undergone, but books about classic villains? Yes please. I’ve always been intrigued by Grand Moff Tarkin, and so I’m super excited that he’s getting his own book. Fingers crossed that this returns the EU to a good place, like Luceno’s STAR WARS: DARTH PLAGUEIS did for me.

On a related tangent, I’ve been thinking of doing super short videos, on my favorite characters in books. Instagram length videos, so 15 seconds. Usually I don’t like to watch videos, but 15 seconds isn’t too bad. Any opinions? Cool idea, or silly?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna

Waiting on Wednesday: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

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fairest by marissa meyerFAIREST (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer
Release date: January 27, 2015

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series. (summary from goodreads)

So I might have actually squeed when I saw the announcement for FAIREST. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite series I’ve discovered while blogging, and while I haven’t read CRESS yet — I couldn’t deal with another long wait in between books! — I know I will love it, and the rest of the series. And I’m sure I’ll love just about anything Marissa Meyer writes.

Why FAIREST? Queen Levana is one of my favorite characters in the series. So to find out she would have her own book, hundreds of pages just about her, YES YES YES!!! Evil characters are usually the ones I like the most, but they get the least amount of attention. And Queen Levana? I’m sure there’s a great story there.

Give me this book now, please. If anyone I know gets an ARC, I might hunt you down. :)

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

– leeanna