Cover Spotlight: 2014’s Most Wanted, Part 1

Traditionally, I’ve done Most Wanted posts at the end of each year as a list to feature what books I’m most looking forward to in the coming year. This year I thought it would be more fun to combine that with a Cover Spotlight post and feature the covers, their blurbs and thoughts on each (if any such thoughts exist on my part, that is). I’ve accumulated covers and info for the first few months and will, uh, hopefully remember to post more another time for later months. Hope with me! Together, maybe my brain will persevere.

Please share in the comments section what you’re most looking forward to, too. Might give me some more things to want! Book blurbs, unless otherwise noted, are from

Fury of the Demon by Diana Rowland, January 7, 2014:

Demon summoner Kara Gillian bears the scars of Rhyzkahl’s treachery, but she refuses to let them slow her down. She and the demonic lord Mzatal have not rested in their efforts to recover Idris—Mzatal’s summoner protégé who was kidnapped by enemy lords—but now their search has brought them back to Earth.

With the help of FBI agents Ryan Kristoff and Zack Garner, they begin to track down summoners who are working with Rhyzkahl. However, Kara knows Ryan’s true identity, and questions of loyalty threaten to tear apart this group of allies. When Kara intervenes to help a brilliant young computer expert and his bodyguard after an accidental shooting, she quickly learns that Rhyzkahl’s machinations run deeper than she could have ever imagined. The search for Idris takes on a desperate edge as their enemies increase in number, and Kara realizes that an old homicide case may hold the key to their success—or their doom.

With the very fabric of the universe at stake, Kara must rely on her skills, wit, and luck to save her friends and her world, yet ancient vows will have to be broken if she is to have any hope.

But the price of breaking those vows may be her own blood.

Kara went through some truly awful things in the last book – and I can’t wait to read this one as a result! I hope she kick some serious ass and we find out lots of mind blowing twists. I reviewed the previous book here. This is book 6 in the series and yep, you really must read them in order.

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison, February 25, 2014:

Supernatural superhero Rachel Morgan must counter a strange magic that could spell civil war for the Hollows in this sexy and bewitching urban fantasy adventure in acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now, strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. Rachel must stop this dark necromancy before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and all-out supernatural war breaks out.

Rachel knows of only weapon to ensure the peace: ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils. And no one know better than Rachel that no good deed goes unpunished . . .

This has been my number one most favorite series for several years now, and while the last installment or two hadn’t been all-out favorites in the series itself, I’m still very much on board and ready for the latest installment. Cannot wait! I reviewed the previous book here.

Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire, March 4, 2014:

When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn’t expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend–Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats–is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone…

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.

I was, though I hate to admit it still, really disappointed in the previous book in this series. BUT, I was still looking forward to the series heroine and her adventures. Turns out the series is going in a new direction lead-wise, though, so we’ll see how it goes!

Dawn’s Early Light by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris, March 25, 2014:

Working for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, one sees innumerable technological wonders. But even veteran agents Braun and Books are unprepared for what the electrifying future holds…

After being ignominiously shipped out of England following their participation in the Janus affair, Braun and Books are ready to prove their worth as agents. But what starts as a simple mission in the States—intended to keep them out of trouble—suddenly turns into a scandalous and convoluted case that has connections reaching as far as Her Majesty the Queen.

Even with the help of two American agents from the Office of the Supernatural and the Metaphysical, Braun and Books have their work cut out for them as their chief suspect in a rash of nautical and aerial disasters is none other than Thomas Edison. Between the fantastic electric machines of Edison, the eccentricities of MoPO consultant Nikola Tesla, and the mysterious machinations of a new threat known only as the Maestro, they may find themselves in far worse danger than they ever have been in before…

I have really enjoyed this steampunk series and while I didn’t get a chance to review the second book in the series, it carries on pretty well what the first book started. Looking very forward to keeping up with the series! Review of book one here.

Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran, March 25, 2014:

Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits—and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information.

Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him—even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love…and he cannot survive being fooled again.

Guys and gals, I’m so far off the historical romance reading wagon I’m not sure how I’ll ever get back on fully. There’s some author’s names that still ping my radar, though, and Duran is one, so I’m excited to give this one a try.

Stone Cold by Devon Monk, April 1, 2014:

Marked by Life and Death magic, Shame Flynn and Terric Conley are “breakers”—those who can use magic to its full extent. Most of the time, they can barely stand each other, but they know they have to work together to defeat a common enemy—rogue magic user Eli Collins.

Backed by the government, Eli is trying to use magic as a weapon by carving spells into the flesh of innocents and turning them into brainless walking bombs. To stop him, Shame and Terric will need to call on their magic, even as it threatens to consume them—because the price they must pay to wield Life and Death could change the very fate of the world…and magic itself.

Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series was in my top fave urban fantasy series its entire run, but now that’s over, we’re getting a shoot-off featuring two of the dude secondary characters. I admit up front that the very obvious undertones of some kind of gay relationship between the two was seriously engaging my interest, but the way it waffled back and forth in the Beckstrom books wasn’t ever for sure sure on that count. So…I guess we’ll see! I love the world the author created with the way magic is used, so hopefully I’ll enjoy this new series just as much.

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire, May 6, 2014:

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

Anything new under the Seanan McGuire name’s likely to get picked up. So that’s that!

Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone, July 15, 2014:

On the island of Kavekana, Kai builds gods to order, then hands them to others to maintain. Her creations aren’t conscious and lack their own wills and voices, but they accept sacrifices, and protect their worshippers from other gods—perfect vehicles for Craftsmen and Craftswomen operating in the divinely controlled Old World. When Kai sees one of her creations dying and tries to save her, she’s grievously injured—then sidelined from the business entirely, her near-suicidal rescue attempt offered up as proof of her instability. But when Kai gets tired of hearing her boss, her coworkers, and her ex-boyfriend call her crazy, and starts digging into the reasons her creations die, she uncovers a conspiracy of silence and fear—which will crush her, if Kai can’t stop it first.

I glommed the first two books in this series in 2014. I found the worldbuilding to be some of the most imaginative in recent fantasy book reading, personally, and I can’t wait to see where the author goes next with it. Book one review here, book two here.

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews, July 29, 2014:

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

Of course I want this book, right? Along with most of the urban-fantasy-reading universe. I am, however, peeved at the higher price due to a series move to hardback. Not going to lie, this may keep me from purchasing the Kindle version till the price drops to something more reasonable. AND…I’m still bummed over Curan’s behavior in the previous book and might need some review reading first to see if he improved in this one. Never thought I’d see two things that would hold me back from immediately buying a book in this series.

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