Category Archives: Cheyenne McCray

June 2011 Releases

Done with May 2011 Releases? Here are June 2011 Releases. To see further dates, check Reading Wishlist.

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[REVIEW] Demons Not Included – Cheyenne McCray

Cheyenne McCray
Demons Not Included (Night Tracker, Book 1)
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 2nd June 2009; AU: 1st October 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Half-human, half-Drow Nyx Ciar may be Princess of the Dark Elves, but she’s currently living in New York as a paranormal private investigator by day and Tracker of demons by night. When fellow Trackers are killed, Nyx soon discovers that a Demon Apocalypse is nigh.

Cheyenne McCray has done such a good job with the secondary characters that I like them more than the primary ones. Nadia’s past in the Bermuda Triangle sounds exotic and intriguing, and Olivia DeSantos is undoubtedly awesome. Unlike Nyx, Olivia is all-human, and thus her fighting skills and whatnot are even more impressive because she doesn’t have magical genes and powers. But she has personality plus, and is great fun. However, the author overdoes it by having Olivia wear T-shirts bearing witticisms. The character is so vibrant that the hokey slogans aren’t needed, and thus make them seem lame.

Unfortunately, Olivia is not the main character here, and thus plays second fiddle to the annoying Nyx. At first the Princess’s voice is kind of fun, and she’s honest enough to admit that she’s spoiled. The problem, however, is that she doesn’t try to change that. Excluding the fighting scenes, nary a page goes by without a brand name appearing. Everything from clothes, coffee, chips and cat food. And her XPhone, let’s not forget. She doesn’t just pick up her phone; Nyx picks up her XPHONE, specified all the freaking time. Yes, the phone has more capabilities than just calling and texting, but the persistent and ever-present brand names just make her seem incredibly shallow.

Mind you, everyone consistently telling her how beautiful she is doesn’t exactly make Nyx get over herself. Beautiful in human form, beautiful in Drow form, and her skin isn’t purple – it’s AMETHYST.

And being Drow doesn’t mean just being Drow, because apparently that’s not enough. Nyx has several kinds of elemental power. The key to creating likeable characters is to make them more realistic, and if she’d only had power with ONE element, that would’ve been fine.

If the Night Tracker series has a different heroine for every book, this could actually be quite good – the world-building and plot certainly are page-turning – but if Nyx continues to narrate each novel, I don’t know if I could summon up the enthusiasm to stick with the Night Trackers.

Library Loot

This meme thing is from Marg at Reading Adventures.

Rarely go to the library nowadays, but since since I binge-reserved a stack of books recently, I collected five on Monday. And have been reading them, and thus spending less time reading blogs and Twitter feeds.

1. Amanda Marrone’s Devoured: Finished, and I loved it. Will review sometime later.

2. Jessica Verday’s The Hollow: Currently reading. Almost 100 pages in, and it’s been a bit slow thus far. When a book is over 500 pages long, it better be that long for a bloody good reason. I shall persevere…

After this I shall be reading:

-Justine Larbalestier’s Liar
-Cheyenne McCray’s Demons Not Included

September 2009 Releases

Done buying August 2009 Releases? Now time for September 2009 Releases. As always, I got my info from Amazon, publishers’ websites and authors’ websites, so if I’m wrong…blame them, not me 😉 If you know of more September releases that aren’t here, it’s either because I don’t know of their existence, or I’m not interested. I play favourites, and there’s no shame in that 😉

If you’re reading this in a feed, behind the cut you shall find my monthly summary. If you’re looking for stuff further into the future, check my Reading Wishlist.

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June 2009 Releases

Reading Wishlist has been updated with new release dates and titles. Done with May 2009 Releases? Now it’s time for June 2009 Releases. All covers, summaries and info were found on the websites of the authors, publishers and Amazon – so don’t shoot methe messenger 😉 US = USA. UK = UK. CA = Canada. AU = Australia. It’s all behind the cut…

Anya Bast
Witch Fury (Elemental Witches, Book 4)
Penguin Berkley (US & CA: 2nd June 2009)
Cover art by Tony Mauro
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Sarafina Connell is having the worst week of her life. It takes an even darker turn when an infamous playboy kidnaps her and reveals a world she never knew existed…It’s a world where magick is real, and where Sarafina is given a chance to join a secret cabal that is bent on gaining absolute power. They could use a woman like her – a witch with an untapped gift for creating fire. But she isn’t about to get in league with the devil. Rescued from her captors, Sarafina is introduced to a coven that is duty-bound to fight the forces of darkness. She’s pleased that her savior is the imposingly seductive Theo – until the trust between them goes up in flames. However, as the war between good and evil is waged, Sarafina and Theo realize they have no choice but to unite in the battle for supremacy – that’s getting hotter by the minute.

Rachel Caine
Carpe Corpus (Morganville Vampires, Book 6)
Penguin Signet (US & CA: 2nd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace – until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He’s kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants – the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

Laurell K. Hamilton
Skin Trade (Anita Blake, Book 17)
Penguin Berkley (US & CA: 2nd June 2009); Hachette Headline (AU: June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Anita Blake’s reputation has taken some hits. Not on the work front, where she has the highest kill count of all the legal vampire executioners in the country, but on the personal front. No one seems to trust a woman who sleeps with the monsters. Still, when a vampire serial killer sends her a head from Las Vegas, Anita has to warn Sin City’s local authorities what they’re dealing with. Only it’s worse than she thought. Several officers and one executioner have been slain – paranormal style…Anita heads to Las Vegas, where she’s joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward hiding behind his mild-mannered persona. It’s a good thing Edward always has her back, because, when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses tiger too strongly to ignore it. The were-tigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher…

Caitlin Kittredge
Street Magic (Black London, Book 1)
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 2nd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Her name is Pete Caldecott. She was just sixteen when she met Jack Winter, a gorgeous, larger-than-life mage who thrilled her with his witchcraft. Then a spirit Jack summoned killed him before Pete’s eyes – or so she thought. Now a detective, Pete is investigating the case of a young girl kidnapped from the streets of London. A tipster’s chilling prediction has led police directly to the child…but when Pete meets the informant, she’s shocked to learn he is none other than Jack. Strung out on heroin, Jack a shadow of his former self. But he’s able to tell Pete exactly where Bridget’s kidnappers are hiding: in the supernatural shadow-world of the fey. Even though she’s spent years disavowing the supernatural, Pete follows Jack into the invisible fey underworld, where she hopes to discover the truth about what happened to Bridget – and what happened to Jack on that dark day so long ago…

Cheyenne McCray
Demons Not Included (Night Tracker, Book 1)
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 2nd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Meet Nyx. This half-human, half–Drow private eye investigates paranormal crimes by day and is an elite Tracker of demons by night. She prefers working solo – and playing rough. So when a terrifying force starts murdering innocent humans and paranorms, and leaving strange demonic symbols burned into their buildings, it’s a case Nyx takes very personally…Meanwhile, Nyx’s fellow Trackers are being killed one by one – and a sexy new Tracker named Torin is shadowing her every move. Torin has powers Nyx can’t read, and sometimes she wonders whose side he’s on. Nyx’s instincts tell her something’s brewing in the city’s meanest supernatural streets, and that it’s ready to unleash hell on Earth. Who can she trust? Now it’s five minutes to permanent midnight…and Nyx’s last chance means risking everything – even her own life.

Kat Richardson
Greywalker (Greywalker, Book 1)
Penguin Roc (US: 2nd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Harper Blaine was your average small-time P.I. until a two-bit perp’s savage assault left her dead for two minutes. When she comes to in the hospital, she sees things that can only be described as weird – shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring. But Harper’s not crazy. Her “death” has made her a Greywalker – able to move between the human world and the mysterious cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night exist. And her new gift is about to drag her into that strange new realm – whether she likes it or not.

Neal Shusterman
Unwind
Simon & Schuster Children’s (US & CA: 2nd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them. Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed – but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

Jordan Summers
Scarlet (Dead World, Book 2)
Macmillan Tor (US: 2nd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

If you’re not afraid of the big bad wolf…you should be. Welcome to the near-future where prejudice is no longer tied to the color of your skin, but the purity of your blood. To be accused of taint is tantamount to a death sentence. Thrust into a world of creatures Gina ‘Red’ Santiago never knew existed, she does her best to fit in while trying to come to grips with the fact that she’s a werewolf. The transition from International Police Tactical Team officer to unpaid recruiter is not an easy one, especially when her new boyfriend, Morgan, is an alpha werewolf, the local sheriff of Nuria – and her new boss. Morgan Hunter is doing his best to ease Red into her new life. She’s only beginning to understand the ‘Others’ and the power that they yield. That’s why he hasn’t mentioned that he’s claimed her as his mate. Well, that and the fact he’s not exactly sure how she’d take the news. There are some things even an alpha werewolf fears. Their newfound happiness is about to be shattered by a past Morgan thought was long buried. Someone doesn’t want them to succeed at recruiting ‘Others’ for a rival tactical team. They will do whatever it takes to prevent a team from forming, even if that means killing off the new recruits and tearing the couple apart. Now along with trying to hold their relationship together, Red and Morgan must stop the killer before they strike again. If they survive, there is that little problem of a blood war looming on the horizon. Looks like it’s going to be a long, hot summer.

Richelle Mead
Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, Book 4)
Random House Bantam (UK: 4th June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Georgina Kincaid has been a bad, bad succubus…which should be a good thing. But lately, thanks to her foul mood over breaking up with bestselling writer Seth Mortensen, she’s been so wicked that Seattle’s über-demon, Jerome, decides to “outsource” Georgina to a rival – and have her spy for him in the process. Being exiled to the frozen north – okay, Vancouver – and leaving Seth in the cozy clutches of his new girlfriend is unpleasant enough. Then Jerome is kidnapped, and all immortals under his control mysteriously lose their powers. One bright spot: with her life-sucking ability gone, there’s nothing to keep Georgina from getting down and dirty with Seth – nothing apart from his girlfriend that is. Now, as the supernatural population starts turning on itself, a newly mortal Georgina must rescue her boss and figure out who’s been playing them – or all hell will break loose…

Laurie Faria Stolarz
Project 17
Hyperion (US: 9th June 2009)
Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients’ personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view. On the eve of the hospital’s demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it’s an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents’ diner. For the others, it’s a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

Vicki Pettersson
City of Souls (Signs of the Zodiac, Book 4)
HarperCollins Eos (CA: 19th June 2009; US: 30th June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

In Sin City, a little girl suffers from a strange and terrible malady. If she dies, the Light will die along with her. Joanna Archer has survived countless otherworldly terrors, and has found her rightful place among the agents battling the all-pervasive evil of Shadow…even as she struggles against the darkness within herself. A war is raging for the endangered soul of Las Vegas, one that catapults Joanna into a new world hidden from mortal sight in search of a cure to a devastating sickness. In this lethally seductive alternate dimension, the lines blur between good and evil, loyalty and treachery, and here lies the last hope for the Light. But Joanna’s price of admission is a piece of her own soul – and the odds of her escaping are slim…to none.

Diana Rowland
Mark of the Demon (Kara Gillian, Book 1)
Random House Bantam (US & CA: 23rd June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Cop and conjurer of demons, she’s a woman in danger of losing control – to a power that could kill…Why me? Why now? That’s what Beaulac, Louisiana, detective Kara Gillian was asking herself when an angelic creature named Rhyzkahl unexpectedly appeared during a routine summoning. Kara was hoping to use her occult skills to catch a serial killer, but never had she conjured anything like this unearthly beautiful and unspeakably powerful being whose very touch set off exquisite new dimensions of pleasure. But can she enlist his aid in helping her stop a killer who’s already claimed the lives – and souls – of thirteen people? And should she? The Symbol Man is a nightmare that the city thought had ended three years ago. Now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he, too, is well versed in demonic lore. Kara may be the only cop on Beaulac’s small force able to stop the killer, but it is her first homicide case. Yet with Rhyzkahl haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head…

Marjorie M. Liu
Darkness Calls (Hunter Kiss, Book 2)
Penguin Ace (US & CA: 30th June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Nomad born and bred, demon hunter Maxine Kiss has always relied upon herself to fight the darkness that surrounds her, the predators – human, zombie, and otherwise – who threaten the earth. But one man has penetrated her lonely life: Grant, the last of his kind. With music he is able to control any living creature…including demons. And now his life is in danger. Haunted by the past, determined to change the future, Maxine soon understands that to save Grant, she has only one choice – to lose control, and release her own powers of darkness…

Christine Warren, Marjorie M. Liu, Caitlin Kittredge & Jenna Maclaine
Huntress (Anthology)
Macmillan St. Martin’s (US: 30th June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

Christine Warren: Devil’s Bargain – Supernatural bounty hunter Lilli Corbin made a pact with the Prince of Hell: She agreed to recover a book of prophecies. When she learns it could trigger the apocalypse, Lilli is forced to make the ultimate choice: save her soul, or the man she loves? Marjorie M. Liu: The Robber Bride – Welcome to a post-apocalyptic world where women are fed on for their life forces. Now it’s up to Maggie, one of the last female survivors, to hunt down and destroy an army of darkness…Caitlin Kittredge: Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go – Ava is a demon slayer who needs help from mage Jack Winter to reach the demon underworld – a place of dark seduction…and, maybe, one of no return. Jenna Maclaine: Sin Slayer – London 1889. Jack the Ripper is killing off the city’s vampire population, and now it’s up to Cin Craven to hunt him down – and save the infected Michael, the love of her undead life.

Kelley Armstrong
Made to Be Broken (Nadia Stafford, Book 2)
Hachette Sphere (AU: June 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (CA)

To the outside world Nadia Stafford is a smart, good-looking, law-abiding citizen. Well, two out of three’s not bad…An ex-cop with a legal code all her own, Nadia has a secret life as a world-class assassin. She works only for one New York crime family, who pay her handsomely to bump off traitors. But when a troubled teenager and her baby vanish in the woods near her home, Nadia’s old detective instincts – and the memory of a past loss – compel her to investigate. With her enigmatic mentor Jack to support her, Nadia unearths sinister clues that point to an increasingly dark and deadly mystery. As her obsession over the case deepens, Nadia realises that the only way she can right the wrongs of the present is to face her own painful ghosts – or die trying. And so she sets off on the trail of a young woman no one else cares about – and a killer who is bound to strike again…

[COVER ART] The Sweet Scent of Blood (UK) – Suzanne McLeod; On the Edge; & Joey W. Hill

Cover for the UK paperback release of Suzanne McLeod’s The Sweet Scent of Blood, as found here. Due for release 30th April 2009. Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA)

The other day Joey W. Hill guest-blogged at Cheyenne McCray’s MySpace, and it turns out she has a genuine passion for Australia, our people…and apparently our accent. Strange, but true and heartwarming. Guest-blog

Fangs, Fur & Fey World-building Podcast

“Podcast” probably isn’t the proper term, because I didn’t download it (just listened from the website this evening), but you can find it here.

I knew before I listened that I’d love Ilona Andrews’ accent, and I do 🙂

Turns out I’ve been pronouncing Cheyenne McCray’s name incorrectly in my mind. I thought it was like Shane, but it’s actually like Shy-ann. I feel the need to apologise, even though I’ve never said her name aloud. Sorry, Cheyenne.

Since it was about world-building, I was particularly looking forward to hearing Jordan Summers. Just hearing the term “transgenic research” makes me want to read the Dead World series all the more. And when sunlight hits her vampires, they turn into “human shrapnel”. Just that term invokes vivid imagery…wow.

I was glad to hear that Kathryn Smith has a character, Marcus, who basically snarks at the vampires’ theatrics, rolls his eyes. Which is totally what I’d do.

[COVER ART] Demons Not Included – Cheyenne McCray; Cybils Nominations & Meme

Cover for Cheyenne McCray’s June 2009 release, Demons Not Included. The character’s hips are sticking out further in front than her tummy, which signals that it’s mealtime. (Well, that’s how I tell when I need to eat.)

The Cybils nominations have been released. Lot of stuff I haven’t read, a few I have, and a handful of stuff I own or want to own. Am mighty pleased that Mary E. Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Rachel Cohn’s You Know Where to Find Me are nomiees in the Science Fiction & Fantasy (Young Adult) and Young Adult categories, respectively.

Annoying when sites are made with Flash, so I can’t link directly to certain pages. Anyway, go to HarperTeen’s Pitch Black, click on “I’m a Fighter”, then click on “Which Evernight character are you?” Apparently, I’m Raquel. Having not read the book, I don’t know if it’s good to be like Raquel. And the quiz results don’t go into detail; just told me I’m Raquel. And they didn’t even provide HTML code, so you can share your results on your blog. Poor form, Pitch Black – but at least now I’ve told you where you can improve, and how.


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