Out Tomorrow

How in the world has the In Death series reached book #45?! Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb is out tomorrow.

I have really liked the In Death books I’ve read, but I’m nowhere near up to date with this series.

Secrets in Death (In Death #45) by J.D. Robb

A new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series: Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumours from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced.

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronise, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimised herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

The Week: 5th – 11th September

Spring Blossoms Canberra Australia Garden Flowers Blue Sky Sun Sonya Heaney 5th September 2016 IMG_0283

Spring!

The start of the week in Canberra was so bright and sunny. Perfect for walking, as we have so much bushland and nature threaded throughout the entire city.

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Canberra’s Saturday Sunset

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One of our friendly neighbours hanging out at the back door on Friday.

The only problem with an Australian spring is that we have magpie swooping season (if you look at the map on the link, I live in the middle of the worst part!). Around here, I know the magpies well enough that they come knocking at the door with their beaks (there aren’t many things funnier than hearing a knock, going to answer the front door, and there’s a bird standing there!), but I’m a little wary of walking on paths I’m not too familiar with!

The first Christmas present (I kid you not!) was purchased this week. A bit scary!!

Victoria – great costumes, terrible history?

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My review of The Earl’s Return (Marriage Mart Mayhem #7) by Callie Hutton

The Earl's Return (Marriage Mart Mayhem #7) by Callie Hutton

My review of The Governess Was Wicked (Governess #1) by Julia Kelly

The Governess Was Wicked (Governess #1) by Julia Kelly

What I’ve been reading…

Safe Harbor (Drake Sisters #5) by Christine FeehanDangerous Tide (Drake Sisters #4) by Christine FeehanTurbulent Sea (Drake Sisters #6) by Christine Feehan American Cover

Apprentice In Death

Apprentice in Death (In Death #43) by J.D. Robb

Apprentice In Death

How in the world did J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) get to book #43 in her In Death series? Wow! I haven’t read that many books in this (futuristic with a strong relationship at the centre) crime series, but what I’ve read, I’ve really liked.

Anybody still reading? I hear that she is one author who can actually keep the quality of her series going for this long.

Apprentice In Death (In Death #43) is out now.

Apprentice in Death (In Death #43) by J.D. Robb

Lieutenant Eve Dallas returns in a fast-paced new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author J. D. Robb.
 
Nature versus nurture…
 
The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…

 

Reasonable expectations of authors.

A lot of readers say they never start a book series until the final book is written, but the only times I’ve done that have been by accident, when I discovered a series later that other people did.

There are plenty of series, such as those by J.D. Robb and Robyn Carr, that you’d never experience if you waited until the end.

Sylvia Day Crossfire Series Books 1-4

However, then there are those series that were meant to be a certain length from the outset, and the author struggles to deliver.

Books take a lot of work, much more than most people give authors credit for. However, I think there’s a point you reach where it’s reasonable to be annoyed with an author when they drag their feet.

I am deeply in love with Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series, even though it’s not only not my usual sort of thing, but also has at least one subpar book to it. It was supposed to be a trilogy, but then Day dragged it out, and now it’s supposed to be concluded in five books.

Except – we still don’t have book five!

Day has had a busy year. She was here in Canberra for the convention in March, and then all over Australia on a book tour after that. As soon as she got back to America (I follow her Instagram) she was making appearances on television shows all over the country. Then there were more conferences and conventions to attend.

However, a brief glance at any reviews or discussion forums for this series reveal almost all her fans are frustrated, bordering on angry, or they’ve just given up entirely.

How long is it reasonable to expect your readers to wait for a promised book? Is it okay that the fifth book in this series was originally supposed to be released months ago, but as of October 2015 still doesn’t have a release date set? Worse, it was promised for 2015, and now even the release year has been revoked!

My guess is mid-2016 if we’re lucky, and by then a whole lot of fans will have jumped ship.

Of course Day isn’t the only author to put their readers through this, but this is the one I care about at the moment.

Fiction genres, and especially romance genres, are fickle and change fast. While I hate comparisons being made between Crossfire and Fifty Shades (because I love one and despise the other), they are from the same recent trend. It seems though that the trend is heading right on out of fashion.

Grey by E.L. JAMES2

The Fifty Shades movie was widely panned (and I can’t blame people with that awful cast!), and it seemed to spell the beginning of the end for the angsty-kinky-billionaire-romance fad. E.L. James’ attempt to rewrite her Fifty series from Christian’s perspective was not well-received.

Life and Death Twilight Reimagined (Twilight #5) by Stephenie Meyer

People are looking for something new. This is going out of fashion as surely as teenage vampires did; just look at how well Stephenie Meyer’s attempt last week to revive her flagging Twilight franchise went.

If we don’t get the final Crossfire book soon, Day will have missed the boat.

I can’t tell authors what to do with their lives, but when you’ve crafted a hugely popular series, I promise you, readers would rather have the next book than see you doing yet another publicity tour!

The Week: 3rd – 9th March

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Canadian Parliament flies the Ukrainian flag.

My week in books? Well I read the first FOUR books in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I want to read the rest!

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

I started two below-good Regency romances. One of them was written by a US author who clearly couldn’t stop her far right-wing political views from bleeding through into the book. Not exactly appropriate to fill a book set in England with NRA propaganda!

So I didn’t finish either of those books.

Instead, I picked up sweeter Regency by Theresa Romain.

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Pro-Ukrainian demonstrators in Canberra.

Scary week for the world. Missing aeroplane, Russia essentially declaring war on Ukraine. They’re forcing an illegal referendum on Ukraine in a few days, and there’s not a “No” option on the ballot form – they’re forcing Crimea to become part of Russia.

 Pro-Ukrainian Anti-Russian invasion protest Canberra Australia 5th March 2014 Russians taking photographs

Russian embassy staff photographing us for God only knows what reason.

We had a protest at the Russian embassy here in Canberra and were harassed by KGB-style Russian staffers. The Australian Federal Police actually told us to file a complaint against the Russian embassy. The Russians seem to think the USSR still exists – and even in Australia they treat people like that!

Naked in Death is still only $2.99

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

My review of The Returning Hero by Soraya Lane

The Returning Hero by Soraya Lane

My review of Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

Most Eligible Sheriff by Cathy McDavid

My review of Loving Lord Ash by Sally MacKenzie

Loving Lord Ash by Sally MacKenzie

My review of Turn Up the Heat by Kimberly Kincaid

Turn Up the Heat by Kimberly Kincaid

My review of Passionately Yours by Cara Elliott

Passionately Yours by Cara Elliott

Naked in Death: $2.99

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

This is worth picking up for this price. The first book in J.D. Robb’s epic thirty-nine or so book (so far) futuristic crime series, I’m sure many of you have already read this first one, first published in 1995. Eve Dallas is the brilliant heroine of the piece, but many people have heard of the series because of the iconic Roarke.

Amazon Australia

Amazon US 

Here is the novel that started it all – the first book in J. D. Robb’s number-one New York Times-bestselling In Death series, featuring New York City homicide detective Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.

It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.

When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washington politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome… and the leading suspect in the investigation.

RITA Awards 2013

What is this ‘RITA’ thing? It’s basically what you get when you hold an Academy Awards for romance writing and women’s fiction.

I’m not going to talk about everyone in every category. Yes, I’m familiar with a lot of the authors, and have read many of the books, but there’s one category I’m overjoyed about this year: Romantic Suspense.

Romantic Suspense is the best genre and the worst genre. There’s no other subgenre where the stakes are so high for the characters. When it’s good, there’s nothing better. When it’s bad, it makes you want to cry. Authors have to be willing to do a lot of research or rely on a lot of contacts to fill in facts in order to get stuff right. It’s murder mystery or military suspense combined with romance. You have to be able to write both the romantic and suspense themes realistically, running at the same time.

It’s hard.

And I’m going to be honest and say some past RITA nominees have been guilty of writing uninformed, ridiculously incorrect books, where everyone will drop everything for a few chapters of sex in the craziest places. Not all that long ago I thought about writing off the RITAs as a joke for including such poorly-researched, incorrect, lovey-dovey-even-though-the-terrorists-are-chasing-us books on their list of award nominees.

But this year… oh boy. This year is a FANTASTIC year for romantic suspense RITA nominees. Every author deserves to win.

Here they are:

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she’s managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of her famous cases. It’s a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody – drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director’s luxury building.

Talented but rude, and widely disliked, K. T. Harris had made an embarrassing scene during dinner. Now she’s at the centre of a crime scene – and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster, to step into the role she was born to play: cop.

Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry

Dead Heat by Bronwyn Parry

The national parks where Ranger Jo Lockwood works on the edge of the NSW outback are untamed stretches of dry forest cut through with wild rivers. She’s often alone and she likes it that way – until she discovers the body of a man, brutally murdered, in a vandalised campground.

Detective Senior Sergeant Nick Matheson knows organised crime and gang violence from the inside out. He’s so good at undercover work that his colleagues aren’t sure which side he’s really on. His posting to the north-western NSW district of Strathnairn is supposed to be an uneventful return to normal duties but the murder victim in the campground is only the first of Jo’s discoveries.

As Jo and Nick uncover drugs and illegal weapons stashed in the wilderness, the evidence points towards locals – young, rural men already on the wrong side of the law. But as far as Nick’s concerned, something doesn’t add up. When the bodies start mounting – each brutally punished before death – he becomes convinced that one person is behind the killings, one person is manipulating the lads to commit horrific crimes, forming them into his own private drug-dealing cartel.

Jo has seen the man’s face, and now she’s his next target. Nick’s determined to protect her, but trapped in rugged country in scorching summer heat, pursued by experienced shooters who can’t afford to fail, they’ll need all their skills and knowledge to survive.

Don’t Cry for Me by Sharon Sala

Don’t Cry for Me by Sharon Sala

A SOLDIER’S HOMECOMING 

Mariah Conrad has come home. Badly wounded on active duty in Afghanistan and finally released Stateside, she has no family to call on and nowhere to go-until Quinn Walker arrives at her bedside. Quinn…her brother-in-arms, ex-lover and now maybe her future.

Quinn brings Mariah to his log cabin in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky to rest and recuperate both physically and emotionally. While she’s incredibly grateful, Mariah is also confused and frustrated. She’s always stood on her own two feet, but now even that can literally be torture. She’s having flashbacks and blackouts, hearing helicopter noises in the night. She wants to push Quinn away-and hold him closer than ever.

But will she get the chance? Those helicopters are more than just post-traumatic stress; they’re real-and dangerous. Bad things are happening on the mountain. Suddenly there’s a battle to be fought on the home front, and no guarantee of survival.

Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan

Forged in Fire by Trish McCallan

Beth Brown doesn’t believe in premonitions. But her recent dream feels too real to ignore: a commercial airliner is hijacked, and a handsome passenger is shot dead. Beth hasn’t met the mystery man in her dream; she would never forget a gorgeous face like his. But she can’t deny the bizarre connection she feels. Now awake, and unable to allow for the violence she’s convinced is impending, she races to the airport…and comes face to face with the man of her dreams.

Zane Winters lives for his job, using his uncanny psychic powers to carry out missions for elite SEAL Team 7. Yet the constant adrenaline highs can’t drown out the numbness seeping into his life as he yearns to find a woman he can trust. All that changes when he meets a beautiful stranger who sets his soul on fire—and somehow knows he’s about to die.

To thwart the global crisis the hijacking will unleash, Beth and Zane join forces. But even amid the danger, they can’t deny the powerful force drawing them together. Is it merely attraction…or destiny?

Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard

Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard

The final ‘powerfully intense’  (Romantic Times) Black Ops, Inc. novel from New York Times bestseller Cindy Gerard, featuring a covert private security team and electrifying romantic suspense.

Black Ops, Inc. operative Joe Green is determined to bring to justice the man responsible for former team member Bryan Tompkins’s death. He’s convinced the ambush that killed Bryan was no coincidence, but a setup. Unsure of the consequences of the battle he’s about to start, Joe distances himself from both his Black Ops, Inc. team members and the woman he loves, Bryan’s sister, Stephanie Tompkins. But Stephanie knows there must be some reason Joe broke it off, and when she hears Joe’s charged with a murder in Sierra Leone, she wastes no time in breaking him out of prison. Then they must unravel the mystery behind the ambush, and bring resolution to a long-ago betrayal…

Scorched by Laura Griffin

Scorched by Laura Griffin

The sixth gripping novel in the series that is ‘the perfect mix of suspense and romance’  (Booklist).

Kelsey Quinn has travelled the world unearthing heartbreaking secrets, but nothing prepares her for the trauma of her latest discovery. While on a human rights dig in the Philippines, the forensic anthropologist uncovers a set of human remains, touching off a chain of deadly events back on American soil. After a terrifying attack, Kelsey goes into hiding while she tries to unravel the mystery of two seemingly unconnected murders. The odds are stacked against her, but Kelsey has the help of her colleagues at the Delphi Center crime lab.and the unexpected protection of the only man she ever loved.

Navy SEAL Gage Brewer knows his relationship with Kelsey is over and done. But when he learns she’s being targeted by a killer, he risks everything – including his career as a spec ops warrior – to keep her safe. Gage tracks down Kelsey and believes he’s accomplished his goal. But as the threats against her escalate, it becomes clear that the enemy they’re fighting is more lethal than anyone ever imagined. And their most dangerous mission is only beginning.

Twisted by Laura Griffin

Twisted by Laura Griffin

The fifth thrilling Tracers novel from bestselling author Laura Griffin features ‘the perfect mix of suspense and romance that made Catherine Coulter, Iris Johansen, and Tami Hoag popular with both women and men’  (Booklist).

Rookie detective Allison Doyle only has room in her life for one goal: to prove to everyone that she is every bit as capable as the men in her small-town Texas police department. But when a vicious murder sends shockwaves through her community, Allison finds herself at the epicentre of a bigger challenge than she ever imagined. Legendary FBI profiler Mark Wolfe arrives to consult on the case and puts forth a startling new theory – that the crime is not the handiwork of the police’s prime suspect, but of an elusive psychopath Mark has been hunting for more than a decade.

Teaming up with Mark puts Allison’s professional reputation – and her heart – in jeopardy, but she shoves these risks aside so she can tap into one of the FBI’s best assets. With Mark’s help, as well as the elite group of forensic scientists known as the Tracers, Allison uncovers the killer’s true identity. Or does she? As the net tightens around a psychopath, Allison begins to wonder if she and Mark have trapped a killer or become ensnared themselves…

Vortex by Cherry Adair

Vortex by Cherry Adair

The thrid book in Cherry Adair’s Cutter Cay series plunges into a Vortex of high-sea adventure and romance, where a long-lost treasure is a deadly lure – and love is the most dangerous current of all…

SWEPT AWAY
Searching for a sunken ship off the coast of Peru, treasure hunter Logan Cutter manages to pull a very different kind of prize from the sea – beautiful gallery owner Daniela Rosada. Dani claims she was thrown overboard by ruthless pirates and begs for his protection. But Logan is no stranger to a woman’s lies, and something about her story doesn’t add up.

IN TOO DEEP

With her knowledge of Peruvian artifacts, Dani offers to help Logan translate an ancient map that will lead them to a shipwrecked treasure – and into a carefully laid trap. But the closer they get, the deeper she falls for him, not realizing that Logan is hiding a secret of his own. By the time she learns the truth about his boat, his brothers – and his blood feud with pirates – it’s too late. By falling in love, they’ve set a course for disaster…

Recommended Christmas Reads: Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

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Because who doesn’t love Eve and Roarke, their tumultuous relationship and the near-future world they live in?!

This is book #7 in the series.

Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

No one likes to be alone during the holidays. For New York’s most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: all of the victims have been traced to Personally Yours. As the murders continue, Eve enters into an elite world of people searching for their one true love–and a killer searching for his next victim. A world where the power of love leads men and women into the ultimate act of betrayal…