Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Book Wishes for 2013 – Authors, are you Listening?

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Book Wishes for 2013:

While everyone has been busy making New Year’s resolutions, I have been thinking about what I would wish for 2013 in books.  Turns out I have quite a few wishes, some  I would like to share in hopes they reach an author’s ear or more…..

❋I wish that 2013 brings a new book from JL Langley, this one to feature Sterling and Rhys, her wolf shifters…boy have we been waiting for their story.

❋I wish that 2013 brings another book in the Knitting series from Amy Lane *cough Jeremy cough*

❋I wish that 2013 brings Roan, Dylan, Holden, and the rest back with a fervor because Andrea Speed is killing me with anticipation over what the virus is going to do to Roan next.

❋I wish that Josh Lanyon is relaxed and happy from his sabbatical and ready to unleash some new books on his adoring fans.

❋I wish that I finally have time to start and finish JP Barnaby‘s Lost Boy series.

❋I wish that when authors are describing human eyes, the term “orb” doesn’t even come to mind as a word choice.  Really, people, you are making me mental with this one.  No more “his adoring blue orbs”.  Do you hear how dumb that sounds?  Magical orbs, alien orbs, fine.  Human orbs, no. Emphatically, unwaveringly, absolutely no.  See my Vocabulary Gone Bad series.

❋Ditto man tits.

❋I wish to that Abigail Roux doesn’t hurt Ty and Zane too badly in her next Cut & Run series, but that probably won’t happen.

❋I wish to see fewer instances of “instalove”, more measured steps towards a romantic relationship.

❋I wish that 2013 brings new stories about the Roughstock gang (BA Tortuga) and see Sam further along in his recovery.

❋I wish that Mary Calmes gives us another story in her werepanther universe and Domin Thorne and Yuri, really love those two.

❋I wish that I start taking my time reading books I have been waiting for instead of rushing through them (and then having to start over).  Patience, I need more patience.

❋I wish that when authors put their characters through hell (rape, savage attacks etc), there is no instant recovery without any effects from the abuse.  If you are going to go there, then at least make what happens to these people realistic all the way through.  No brutal multiple rapes and then joyful snowmobiling through the countryside. This makes me crazy too.

❋I wish that Andrew Grey is as prolific as he was in 2012.  I need more  Range stories and Taste of Love series.

❋I wish that 2013 let’s me finish and write the rest of the reviews for Charlie Cochrane‘s outstanding Cambridge Fellows series, really I have no good excuse for this one, time just got away from me.

❋I wish that RJ Scott continues to write in her Sanctuary series, love those boys and TJ Klune brings back more bad poetry from the Kid as well as the Kid himself.

❋I wish to see less rushed endings and more complete backstories.

❋My wish for Sarah Black is for the Pacific Northwest to be as big a muse as the American southwest has been in the past.

❋I wish for more great m/m science fiction.

❋I wish for more in the Wick universe from Megan Derr.

❋I wish for anything new from Laura Baumbach.

❋I wish to see Tucker Springs explode with stories from many of my favorite authors (Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan and LA Witt).

❋I wish for more of the Bellingham Mysteries from Nicole Kimberling and Bellski stories from Astrid Amara.

❋I wish that 2013 let’s me discover more new authors I can’t live without.  Thank you, 2012 for RC Cooper, Amelia C. Gormley, Rodney Ross, Shira Anthony, Poppy Denison, Marguerite Labbe, Joel Skelton, Katey Hawthorne, Piper J. Vaughn, Cardeno C, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane to name the ones that jump into my fogged brain this morning.

❋I wish to thank those authors whose stories I have been reading for sometimes for the continued enjoyment and hours of escape you have given me and so many other readers…..Ariel Tachna, Ethan Day, Anne Tenino, James Buchanan, SJ Frost, Josephine Myles, Willa Okati, Carole Cummings, Isabelle Rowan, Kate Steele, Lynn Lorenz, and so many others (again fogged brain from late night and Redskins game).

❋And a final wish for 2013 is for people to remember and rediscover the wonderful Home series by William Neale, an author who will truly be missed.

So that’s it, all my pathetic brain can spew out today.  I am sure there is much more trying to battle their way forward but they will have to wait.  A shout out to all the couples in Maryland that starting getting married at 12:01am this morning. Congratulations and a Happy New Year.  I will be leaving you all with a picture of Kirby in his New Year’s finest, please note the black leis, a nice touch don’t you think to go with his tiara?

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The Tin Star – My Favorite M/M Books

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Recently I was asked to name my all-time favorite book and I was stumped.  Not because I couldn’t come up with a name but because I came up with far too many and in a multitude of categories.

So we switched gears and was asked to name my top favorite book that I would recommend for someone to read.  Nope.  Still couldn’t do it.  But it was a smaller list this time.  Well, I spent the night mulling it over, then got up and toddled  over to my overloaded bookshelf (pre-Kindle days) for inspiration.  I didn’t have to look long as the stories I loved have the look of someone who stayed too long at the party.  You know the signs, they appear off color from too much wear and tear plus they are a little bent around the edges. Perfect.

The first one I grabbed will be the first I recommend.  The Tin Star by J.L. Langley.  I am so fond of this book that it is a comfort reread for me.  I am sure you have those.  You are home sick, have the sniffles so you haul out the hot tea and curl up in a chair with old friends in a favorite story.  Like Pooh and his Hunny Pot.

The Tin Star is the story of rancher Ethan Whitehall and James Killian, brother of one of Ethan’s best friends.  Ethan is from one of the oldest families in town and his ranch, The Tin Star, makes him one of the most respected and powerful men in town.  Ethan is gay but given the small town homophobic atmosphere, he keeps his sexuality under wraps.

Then Jamie comes out to his family and is promptly kicked off his home, the Quadruple J Ranch and out of the only life he had ever known.  Gone is his home and job as the ranch foreman.  Jamie turns to the one man he has always looked up to and secretly crushed on for years – Ethan Whitehall.  Now Ethan has a choice to make.  Does he stake all he has when it turns out that Jamie needs not only shelter but protection from those whose hatred and bigotry spell danger to Jamie and those around him.

J.L. Langley’s characters are so well written that they eat, breathe, and ooze so much sex appeal that they almost jump off the page.  Ethan and Jamie have their flaws, they are real people.  But the men here have the ability to make you laugh as well as they struggle towards a relationship.  The secondary characters surrounding them, such as John Killian (Jamie’s brother), Bill the foreman and even Spot, Ethan’s ornery horse become real to you as you move into the story.  This book has everything…..love, humor, suspense, and hot, hot men.  What’s not to love?

J.L. Langley has written two books in this series so far, the second is The Broken H which has crossover characters from this novel.  Published by Loose Id in 2006, it is still available from them as well as Amazon and All Romance Publishing.  And don’t miss the Christmas short, The Christmas Tree Bargain, as Jamie and Ethan celebrate their first Christmas together.

 

Winner of My Regelence Rake Contest

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I said I would be announcing it on Friday so here it is.  The winner of the free copy of My Regelence Rake is K Anderson.  K, I have your email address.  Please look for an email from me shortly that will tell you how to get your copy from Samhain.

Thanks to all who commented.  This was a great week.  My next contest will be as a part of the Howloween Blog Hop Tour.  How I love October!

Review: Ranch Series by JL Langley

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Rating: 5 stars for the series

We’ve looked at JL Langley’s wolf shifters and her Sci-Regency series, so let’s finish up back where I first started my love with all things JL Langley. And that would be with her cowboys which is fitting with an author who resides in Texas and has a state of imagination to equal it.  Tomorrow I will be talking about why I love The Tin Star, the very first Langley book I read.  I have always had a soft spot in my heart for cowboys.  I think it come along with my love for horses and never left.  I spent a summer as a junior wrangler at a dude ranch called Stupid Charlie’s in Colorado at the impressionable and yes, hormonal age of 15. And if I had had a dick, I would have had a raging woody all summer long from being in the middle of a crew of young,handsome (aren’t they all at that age wearing chaps and boots) cowboys more experienced than I was at that age.  I fell in love with a bay horse named Senagita and a cowboy (all of 16) named Lane and wanted to take both of them  home with me at the end of the summer.  Needless to say, my folks said no to both. Aw shucks was I heartbroken, although I can’t begin to tell you whether it was over the loss of the horse or the boy.  All I know is that I was inconsolable for the longest period of time until I found a local stable to hang out at,  Susan a fellow hunter,  and a horse we both loved called Tiptop. But I never stopped dreaming of cowboys and would go to the rodeo whenever it came to town (oh yes they did, even in DC).

JL Langley’s Ranch series gives me plenty of cowboys to love and hang out with, from Jamie and Ethan of The Tin Star to Grayson Hunter and Shane Cortez of The Broken H while bringing back so many fond memories of life on a ranch.  As she does with all her series, she populated her Ranch books with characters flawed, human and still memorable, ones we give our hearts and affections to easily and completely.  In addition to the cowboys, we also get wonderful idiosyncratic animals too.  There is a horse named Spot who plays keep away and a female dog called Fred who steals each and every scene they are in.  Gather them all together in a small town in  Texas surrounded by family and friends who comes across as equally authentic and realistic as the main characters and you have a series that will mean as much to you as your first cowboy hat and boots.

The Tin Star (Ranch Series #1) stars Jamie Killian as the youngest son of Jacob Killian of the Quadruple J and Ethan Whitehall, owner of The Tin Star ranch.  The Quad J borders The Tin Star and the two families have been intertwined their entire lives.  John, Jamie’s older brother has been Ethan’s best friend so as long as they can remember, even going off to college together.  And hopes had run high between the two fathers that one of the Whitehall boys would marry Julia, the Killian sister and bring the ranches together.  But Ethan’s brother was killed overseas on a tour of duty and  Ethan, well, Ethan found out he was gay, something the older Killians were fine with but that Jamie never knew.  Until Jamie comes out to his father and is kicked off the ranch he thought he would never leave.  When Ethan offers Jamie sanctuary and tells Jamie that he is gay as well, then the sparks really begin to fly as Jamie has harbored a crush on Ethan from the moment he knew he liked boys instead of girls.

Ethan has always been circumspect about his sexuality, neither hiding it or rubbing it in the face of their conservative town folk.  But when Jamie comes to the ranch to live, Ethan finds not only a friend but a lover for life in the form of his best friend’s brother.  But the sparks of hate are flying in town too.  Former ranch hands are looking to get even with Ethan for being fired and homophobia presents itself as stores won’t sell grain to the newly outed Ethan.  Langley makes us feel the hatred rising off Jacob Killian and other townspeople so far gone in their homophobia that all reason and humanity becomes lost.  But  where there is the worst of human beings on display, JL Langley is quick to show that others can come forward with their tolerance, and objectivity to welcome Ethan into the town’s fold, and Jamie too no matter their sexuality.  Powerful stuff made real by Ethan and Jamie’s situation as they work towards a loving relationship and a future together.  Great story, great characters, great book.

The Broken H involves several of the people we meet in The Tin Star.  Grayson Hunter was one of the sheriff’s investigation the crimes of hate on  The Tin Star.  The Broken H is Gray’s family ranch, owned by his parents and run by Shane Cortez.  Shane Cortez had been brought onto The Broken H by Gray’s father when Shane was a young boy.  Gray never knew the entire story but accepted Shane’s presence and was soon following him around everywhere, a clear case of puppy love.  But then one summer changed everything between the two men and Gray left the ranch and went to college.  His parents knew something had happened but never pushed either boy for answers.  Now Gray has returned to town and accepted a job in the Sheriff’s office.  It also means a return to his family, The Broken H, and to face the man he ran away from all those years ago,  Lovers reuniting after time spent apart draws me like a moth to a flame and JL Langley’s treatment of this theme will push all your buttons if you love it too.  There is misunderstandings, and one person trying to protect the other, and above all a deep abiding love between the two men involved.  That’s just so wonderful.

And lurking just behind all of this is the theme of the awful price GLBTQ youth pay for coming out to those who mean the most and won’t accept them, their families.  Over and over gay youth are kicked out of homes and families due to hatred concerning their sexuality.  Some survive when others intervene, some do whatever they can to exist on the streets, and some just don’t make it.  The plight of gay youth discarded because of who they love is brought home more forcibly when characters we have come to love have the same backstory as they do and we feel what they have gone through by the power of an author’s writing.  We see Ethan, Jamie, John, Aunt Margaret and many of the other townspeople we came to care for in the previous book and we get a glimpse of a possible couple that people want to see united.  That would be John and Royal.  JL Langley has put the cut pages from the book on her website and they will make you want more, so much more of John and Royal.  She tends to do that with her peripheral characters because they are bursting with life as much as the main couples to our continued appreciation and joy.

The Christmas Tree Bargain is the third story in the series.  It was published as a stocking stuffer by Loose id.  A heartwarming short story, it brings together all the cast of characters from the two novels at Christmas time.  We get to catch up in their lives on a very special occasion.  This story is not to be missed if you love the other two as much as I do.

So there you have it, the Ranch series by JL Langley.  Her fans have been screaming for more, especially John and Royal’s story but so far to no avail.  She says she’s busy with Sterling and Rhys, Trouble and Rexley, and Bannon and Lord Demon among others.  Since I want all those stories too I wouldn’t think of interrupting her.  If they start speaking to her, I know she will listen, eventually.  I’m good with that.  I have these books and all the rest to reread until a new one comes out.  Pick out a series and start from the beginning and I know you will feel the same.

Review of With or Without Series by JL Langley

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ating: 5 stars for the series

My first introduction to JL’s shifters came when I picked up the Hearts From The Ashes anthology and read With Love, the first in Langley’s shifter series.  It featured a young clutzy Omega wolf named Laine Campbell who was perpetually in hot water over things he said or creating chaos with the things he did.  Everything about Laine was adorable, from his hair to his manner of speech and I fell in love immediately.  So did Dev, the Alpha wolf moving to Ashton with his betas and business partners.  He was hooked on Laine and I was hooked on Dev.  I could not believe it when the story was over. I wanted more shifters, specifically I wanted JL’s shifters and I wanted them now. This is a reoccurring theme with JL Langley’s books so be prepared.

Then came Without Reservations in 2007 and my addiction was official.  Without Reservations is the story of Chayton Winston, a veterinarian living in New Mexico.  He is also a shifter and all his life he has been dreaming of a fair haired mate, much to his Native American  parents chagrin.  His entire life Chay has considered himself heterosexual until an injured wolf is brought into his office.  The wolf is a gorgeous male shifter and his mate.  He is also Caucasian something he is sure his mother will never accept.

Keaton Reynolds wakes up in a veterinarian ‘s office to find himself injured and being treated by his mate.  He should be overjoyed except he just got out of a relationship from a shifter who had a girlfriend on the side but also said he was Keaton’ mate.  Keaton is not one to repeat his mistakes and a hetero shifter is not someone he wants to take a chance on, no matter what his body and even his heart may think.  But Chay won’t give up on Keaton and finally Keaton agrees to get to know Chay better.  And slowly they start to build a relationship together.  But there is Chay’s mother’s disapproval to overcome and a power struggle in Keaton’s Georgia pack that threatens them both.  How will they overcome the odds to find the happiness they both deserve?

I reread this book all the time.  Chayton Winston and Keaton Reynolds are such wonderful creations that I return to their story time and again.  Chayton is one of the nicest people you will meet in the author’s novels.  He is both elementally patient and rock solid in his beliefs so that when presented with a man as a mate, he accepts it.  If it switches his sexuality over to gay, ok as long as he gets his mate, something no wolf shifter would ever turn down.  And you believe this paradigm shift absolutely as being in character for Chayton because he is so real from the moment we meet him.  Keaton also engages our hearts and affections with his prickly nature  and forceful personality packed into a slight build.  A small white wolf, he has the personality and power of an Alpha without needing to lead. Keaton would rather teach and help educate so the fact that his mate would be a healer, a veterinarian makes complete sense.  JL Langley surrounds these two with people as authentic and believable as they are and gives us a mystery to boot.  Just an outstanding novel.

With Caution came next.  It remains my favorite of the series and again one I read over and over again.  With the characters of Remington Lassiter and Jake Romero, JL brings a level of complexity and depth to her characterizations that I had not seen before.  And added to our main characters, she introduces us to the rest of the men who will become their pack.  Each man is a unique unforgettable creation as they sit astride their motorcycles and roar into our hearts.  Remy is a shifter we meet in Without Reservations and he makes a rather disastrous first impression upon us in that story.  But here we discover the dark background that surrounds him in shocking detail as well as the reasons for his actions.

There are parts of this novel so bleak and despairing your hearts will bleed for Remy and his brother Sterling  even as our hero bleeds out from the abuse.  Remy’s sexuality and his acceptance of a male mate is a huge part of this story and his past as well.  I cannot give Langley enough credit for the sensitive way she deals with child abuse and recovery as an adult.  There is also a murder mystery to be solved, and the exploration of a naturally submissive nature.  There is some mild bdsm that works beautifully within the plot of the story and the glimpses of new couples, mates, for future stories.  One couple in particular has had the fans clamoring for their story since this book was published.  This story has depth, multi-layered characters and a multitude of themes running through it, not the least of which is how Reservaton law can also isolate the members it is supposed to protect, control issues and child abuse.  Heavy themes indeed but this book is also packed with love and redemption.  With Caution is an incredible read you won’t want to put down.

Next comes a series of free stories that can be found on the Fiction With Friction website until JL Langley’s site is back up and running.  These are in order:

A Lot To Be Thankful For (With or Without Series 3.1) Sterling Lassister and Rhys Waya (the fans just wouldn’t shut up for their story)

A Sterling New Year (With or Without Series 3.2)  with Sterling Lassister and Rhys Waya (love, love these two and so will you, get on the bus)

With Abandon (With or Without #4) brings back Aubrey Reynolds and the rest of the Georgia pack that we met in Without Reservation.  Aubrey is Keaton’s brother and our introduction to him in Without Reservation was not exactly a positive one.  Matt Mahihkan, one of Gadget’s sons from With Caution is back and going to college in Georgia. Matt was a quirky young man who we got to know only superficially but JL Langley brings him together with  Aubrey Reynolds and that combination sparks all sorts of problems not the leasts of which is that Aubrey is not out to his family or the pack. And Matt is not only out and proud but turns out he is Aubrey’s mate. It took me a while to like Aubrey, perhaps some of that was left over emotions from Without Reservation.  But his reluctance to accept Matt officially as his mate made him hard to like.  He has to grow on you, something none of the other characters has had to do.  Matt, of course, is absolutely adorable and we entrust our affections with him from the get go.  And with Matt, comes some of the members of the New Mexico pack we have come to love as well.

Next come three free short stories in succession. I am convinced JL Langley thought the fans would be showing up on her doorstep if she didn’t at least throw them all several bones. I will admit to being one of them:

Christmas Dinner at Reynolds Hall (With or Without, #4.1)

Attack of the Killer Dust Bunnies (With or Without, #4.2) 

Christmas Cookies and Garland (With or Without, #4.3)

So what and who are coming next?  That would be Sterling and Rhys.  This is the story everyone has been yelling for, myself included. I believe JL Langley said it will be done in a few month from now but isn’t sure when it will be published. That will depend upon Samhain Publishing’s schedule.  Be still my heart.

Without Fear (With or Without series #5) – coming from Samhain Publishing.

So that’s JL Langley’s shifters in a nutshell.  I am not sure I did them justice.  Shifters of all species hit my buttons. Native American shifters hit them twice.  I don’t care if they are wolves, big cats or even weresloths of London (thank you, Charlie Cochrane for that memorable story).  But thinking back to the beginning, it all started with JL Langley’s wolves who come to life on the pages of the With and Without series, grabbed both my attention and my heart and have never let them go.  I have these books in paperback (prior to my Kindle) and I have them now in eBooks as well.  From their killer covers to their outstanding characters and plots, I return to them often.  To reacquaint myself with old friends and find comfort in their presence.

Some find JL Langley through her cowboys and others through her sci-Regency series.  I found her through her shifters.  If you are new to JL Langley as an author, try them all.  Start from the beginning of each series and work your way down.  You will find yourself with a new  addiction just as I did.  Write me. Let me know what you think. I will be waiting.

Review of My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3) by JL Langley

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Yes, I know this should have come later but I couldn’t help it.  I loved this book.  The contest winner will still be announced on Friday.  Enjoy.

Rating: 5 stars

Prince Colton Townsend has loved Lord Sebastian Hastings since he was fifteen.  The Captain of the Guard is everything Colton has ever wanted.  He’s handsome, dashing, and an excellent horseman.  His affections have never been returned by Hastings but Colton has never figured out if that was because the Captain sees him still as a young boy instead of a man or perhaps because Sebastian has declared never to remarry.  Still his crush  continued right up until the day he and his brothers spied Captain Hastings in a tryst in a garden during a ball.  Now  Colton decides to focus only on his horses and opening a racing stable will help him forget about his love for the Captain of the Guard.

Lord Sebastian Hastings’ schedule changed from busy to overwhelmed when asked by King Steven to provide security for all of the Royal Family on a constant basis, including Prince Colton.  Sebastian isn’t certain when exactly he became aware of how handsome the young man had become.  Sebastian knew the young Prince had a crush on him as the lad followed him around like a puppy when younger.  But lately, Colton has seemed distant, even downright curt and that bothered Sebastian more than he wanted to admit.  Then an argument with Colton over disobeying his orders flared into a kiss, and then another and all of Sebastian’s carefully erected barriers began to fall.

During a visit to Tattersalls to bid on horses for his stable, Colton and Sebastian find an abused horse and determine to save it.  The consequent events turn the horse’s abusive owner into a enemy who spreads rumors about the men and their relationship throughout society.  When the nasty gossip causes people to shun Colton at a ball, Hastings acts to quell the rumors by asking for Colton’s hand in marriage.  But instead of solving things, the marriage is only the beginning of the problems for the couple, as Sebastian is keeping secrets from Colton, an old flame reappears, and a family close to the Admiral and Sebastian have disappeared, perhaps murdered as part of the INS conspiracy against the throne. Colton  hopes that one day he will have a marriage like his fathers, one with two men deeply in love with each other.  Colton knows his marriage is only halfway there.  Now if only Sebastian would help make the rest come true.

With My Regelence Rake JL Langley has done it again.  She has given us a book not only worth the wait but one that leaves us immediately clamoring for the next in the series as soon as we have finished reading it.  All the elements that make this series so addictive are present and accounted for.  Great world building – check, outstanding characters – check, hot, hot sex – check, ongoing intrigue and mystery – check and finally romantic love – oh absolutely check.  Yes, all there and then some.  We are back on the planet Regelence after the events in The Englor Affair which took us off planet in search of more information about the political unrest being instigated between the planets.  Each subsequent book  finds new suspects in the sinister  happenings in the INS (the galactic navy)  and points to corruption at the highest levels of the service.  The royal Townsends of Regelence are being backed into a corner and no one is certain who is to be trusted.  And with each new piece of evidence that appears, another mystery surfaces to widen the scope of the investigation and make the infiltration of the royal family defenses an easier target.  As she builds the suspense, Langley ups our anxiety for the safety of the people we have come to care about greatly.  The terror of loss is never far from our thoughts when Aiden is giving chase down a alley way or Sebastian is attacked in the streets.  Is it part of the conspiracy or something entirely different?  Langley keeps us guessing and on the edge of our seats the entire time.

And then there are all those marvelous characters we have come to love over the series and new ones as well.  Everyone is present here, except perhaps for Simon and Payton.  Yes, this is Colton and Sebastian’s book and their romance is terrific.  We have watched Colton grow up in the last two books and the tantalizing glimpses we had of Sebastian come to fruition here.  Sebastian is a complex character.  His background is muddied and his marriage, which left him a widower, unhappy. Together they form a new endearing couple for us to cheer for. But we also get a closer look at the relationships of Nate and Aiden, and Steven and Raleigh.  We see clearly how well Nate and Aiden have settled into a marriage still so passionate and full of love but now time has allowed them a new security in with all things shared between them as a loving established couple.  Steven and Raleigh are here, demonstrating their love and passion in ways  both humorous and joyful while still exhibiting the strength of their feelings for their children and family.  How I love these two and I am thrilled JL Langley will give them their own story.  The real surprise here?  A closer look at Trouble and Rexley’s relationship.  Even now, I just feeling giddy over the scenes and revelations about them in MRR.  I will not spoil this for you all but trust me, it is worth the price of the book alone for these reveals!  Oh, and I have to mention Apollonia, the star of the stable and a new favorite character of mine.  I want one just like her.  She is adorable and a great addition to the family.  JL Langley’s characterizations never feel anything less than real, their emotions always come across as authentic as ours and their relationship issues ones we can relate to and understand.  All these and more are reasons why the author’s characters stay with us long past the end of the books.

Does this book, all hot and sexy, all romance and love have a happily ever after?  Why yes it does!  But JL Langley also raises some much larger questions about the INS and those arraigned against the Townsends and their allies.  She has left us some mystery concerning Sebastian and his family, given us a far more complex Rexley than I had imagined, and as to that missing family? Well, they too have a larger part in this conspiracy puzzle JL has created and now there is an encrypted computer chip to decipher.  So the mystery snowballs along with the romance.  How I love this series.  More please, JL, much, much more!

Cover:  Another hot cover by Angela Waters to go along with those of  My Fair Captain and The Englor Affair.  Definitely some of the hottest naked torsos in the business.

JL’s Sci-Regency Series Review

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JL Langley’s Sci-Regency series is such a wonderful creation. In it Langley  combines the extremely formal social rules, etiquette, manners, and dress of Regency England with science fiction’s space and galactic travel to create a universe both familiar and removed from our experiences. And she did it so well, so convincingly that it become a genre beloved by many.  I found  Regency England early on in my teens with Georgette Heyer, creator of the Regency romance genre and her fabulous heroine, The Grand Sophy. I loved her books and the world they presented. Heyer wrote books full of humor, delightful dialog, and of course romance. Her  women were strong willed and intelligent, trying to find their way in the very masculine world of England in the Regency Era (1795-1830).  Lord Byron was making women (and some men) swoon with his dark romantic poetry and sexy brooding image he projected. The fabulousBeau Brumnel was busy defining and shaping fashion in his own image, the Dandy promenaded through the balls, and authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens started writing works of social commentary in their fiction.

The Regency Era saw the rise of Almack’s as a marriage mart, Tattersall’s was the place to purchase  exquisite horse flesh, gentlemens clubs like Boodles, Brooke’s. the Four Horse Club and of course White’s were the places to be seen and heard.   There were duels on the Commons and the aristocratic young were strictly chaperoned in accordance with the rigid societal rules of the day.  To be discovered in flagrante meant a run to Gretna Green and a quickie marriage. Considering the short length of the Regency Era, it still projects a profound influence to this day upon so many areas of literature and society.  The gambling hells and with its rakes, the opera singers and Covent Gardens, the clothes, and oh the poets and artists creating then.  It is no wonder that era captures the hearts of so many authors and  readers to this day.

H.G.Wells was born in 1866 and helped usher in thoughts of time travel and alien worlds.  Science Fiction novels in every sense of the word and from almost every author you can imagine fills my bookshelves as well.  Alien societies, space travel, and yes, alien romance captured my imagination and my heart  too.  I love each and every new universe a author creates and the beings they fill it with.

So just consider the heart palpitations I experienced when I found JL Langley and My Fair Captain, the first in her Sci-Regency series. I had no idea what awaited me beyond that unbelievably sexy cover.  It teased us with a glimpse of a young man in Regency dress in back of a masterful, naked torso who dominates the design.  How perfect as submission to those older and higher in society was a given during the Regency Era.  My Fair Captain, published in 2008 by Samhain Publishing introduces us to the world of Regelence and it’s ruler King Steven and his Consort Raleigh, their four sons and ward.  Intergalactic Navy Captain Nathaniel “Nate” Hawkins has been chosen by the Admiral to act as an undercover agent investigating the disappearance of a huge cache of arms on the male oriented planet of Regelence.  On Regelence, male/male coupling is the norm with children born by genetically combining their parents DNA. Nate Hawkins comes from a planet where the opposite (m/f) holds true and homosexual acts are disgraceful to the point of disownment.  A youthful indiscretion with another young man ended in a duel and a death and saw Nate escaping his father’s influence as heir to his dukedom by entering the Navy. To go undercover, Nate must use his aristocratic background to get close to the rulers of Regelence  and their world caught up in political intrigue and suspence. What Nate doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with Prince Aiden, the middle son of King Steven. Prince Aiden is consumed by his art, and the thoughts of marriage to another well born son, as expected of him, leave him cold.  Then he falls literally into the arms of Nate Hawkins, and Aiden can think of no one else.  Amid court intrigue and intergalactic murder mystery, can a rakish Navy Captain and a virginal Price  find love among the stars?

Just thinking about this book makes me fan myself rapidly.  Langley’s characters are so utterly realistic, so believably hot and sexy that my pulse jumps just thinking about them.  And she sets them in a world that any fan of Regency fiction would recognize accompanied by elements any Science Fiction fan can identify, such as space ships and communication devices. But as great as her world building is, it is J.L. Langley’s characters that claim your affections, clamor for your attention, and grab onto your heart, never to let go.  And I am not talking about just the main characters either, although they are fantastic and sexy.  It not just Nate and Aiden (a favorite couple of mine), no it is all Aiden’s siblings, and their ward.  It is their fathers Steven and Raleigh who have a fan club as big as many of Langley’s other creations, and then there are the sons friends and well I am sure you are getting the picture.  No cardboard cutouts here, no  one dimensional portraits to spoil the reader’s enjoyment.  No, just a complete world occupied by addictive, compelling characters the reader just can not get enough of.  Lucky for us, JL Langley has promised each son a book as  well as one for their fathers and several of the other characters I have mentioned.

After My Fair Captain, we had a small wait until JL finished with other characters yelling for attention in her mind (they do that, you know) but April 2008 found the release of The Englor Affair and our love affair continued with Steven and Raleigh’s pack of boys, their friends and the continuing mystery behind the political shenanigans that threaten the stability of Steven’s rule.  The Englor Affair finds us transported to the planet Englor, birthplace of Nate Hawkins and the origin of much of the troubles occurring on Regelence.  Englor, another Regency oriented society is more typical of the times, and has just barely accepted some homosexuality.  Nate Hawkins returns to Englor after the events of My Fair Captain saw Aiden kidnapped by the conspirators behind the arms theft.  That kidnapping and Aiden’s rescue opened up the investigation to reveal a much larger conspiracy then anyone had imagined.  Now an Admiral, Nate works for Steven and Raleigh after his marriage to Aiden and he had returned to Englor to further their investigations as to who is directly behind the threat to Regelence.  Accompanying him is Payton, third in line to the throne of Regelence.  Payton is a genius at computers and Nate needs his gifts to break into the files on Englor.  Payton is hiding his true identity as he pretends to be the Admiral’s assistant.  A simple assignment turns complicated when Payton meets  Englor Marine Colonel Simon Hollister.  A virgin, as are all artistocratic youth, Payton is unprepared for the feelings Hollister engender in him.  A chanced kiss turns into something more and hidden identities are revealed to both young men’s horror and consternation.  For Simon Hollister is none other than the heir apparent to Englor.  His future mapped out for him as Englor’s future King.  He will marry a women and have the children needed to continue the line.  Into the murky waters of political intrigue and possible galactic war, two princes try to find love and the road to HEA.

With The Englor Affair, Langley delivers an outstanding story that furthers the theme of interplanetary conspiracy and subterfuge while giving us memorable characters that engage our affections from the very first page.  Nate, Aiden, King Steven and Consort Raleigh are back as are all their fascinating brood.  Payton is the focus here and we come to love him as much as Aiden.  A slight build hides a passionate nature and a quick highly intelligent mind.  Payton loves going undercover as he finds the limitation of being a crown prince repressing.  For all that, Payton is still sexually native and unpreparing for the lustful reactions he feels when meeting Simon Hollister.  Holliston is also attracted to Payton but thinks him just an Admiral’s assistant, perhaps the son of a lesser noble. So Simon acts upon his attraction and kisses Payton to Payton’s utter astonishment, for a such bold and disrespectful act would have heavy consequences would it be known.  Princes do not act that way nor do they receive such attention without the benefit of marriage or engagement bans on Regelence.  Their actions have far reaching consequences and are one of the real joys of this book.  We watch as sexual attraction grows into something much larger and Simon has to adjust his thinking not only about homosexuality but about himself as well.

One of the things that so impresses me about JL Langley’s stories is that all the elements are juggled perfectly throughout the story.  The focus may be temporarily on the romance contretemps of the couple but the mystery and mayhem of the terrorist group is never forgotten.  All threads are woven beautifully within the novel so we end up with a rich, colorful, and complex tapestry to enjoy.  And return to time and time again.

Lucky again for us that today sees the release of My Regelence Rake, the third in the Sci-Regency series.    It is the reason this post came out later than expected.  I couldn’t put that book down long enough to finish writing this.  My review will be up later in the week, but trust me, this is a 5 star read.  My Regelence Rake stars Prince Colton and you are going to love him as much as the others, I promise.

So if you haven’t already found this series, start with My Fair Captain.  It will introduce you to a cast of characters who breathe, bleed, love, and cause trouble across the galaxy.  You will have a universe you will never want to leave and a horizon of people whose stories are clamoring to be told.  What a wealth awaits you between the pages of these books.  Go and get them.  You will love them all.

Author Spotlight: An Interview with J.L. Langley

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Author Spotlight is on J. L. Langley.

I first wandered into JL Langley’s world with a story called With Love from the Hearts With The Ashes anthology.  Here I met her shifters Laine Anderson and his mate Dev and encountered JL’s wonderful blend of humor, vulnerablilltiy, angst and above all, heart that she  imbues in all her characters for the first time.  I read it once, and then promptly turned back and read it all over again.  I laughed and cried as much at the second reading as I did at the second and wanted so much more.  I wanted more of her shifters, more of JL Langley’s worlds.  Thank goodness there are plenty out there to  discover and journey through.

Next up came The Tin Star and JL Langley’s cowboys. Sigh.  How i loved them too.  You will hear more about them later on.  They will have their day, no worries.  My next love came with the wolf shifters.  That would be the  With and Without series.  Their fame has spread far and wide. Don’t speak too loudly or you will encounter the Sterling and Rhys bandwagon that careens around wildly, full of loud  fans screaming for Sterling and Rhys to be the next couple to get their own book.  One of them might even be me, uh hem.  And yes,  we will be talking more about all of them later in the week, so no fretting on the shifter front please!

Today is the day that My Regelence Rake is being released from Samhain Publishing so I know they are being bombarded by JL’s fan for theircopy of her latest  Sci-Regency novel.  Sci-Regency, what an unusual genre to be  sure.  Only JL would have thought to blend science fiction and the English Regency world and make it not only successful but downright addictive.  It all started with My Fair Captain and that delicious droll worthy cover.  This novel has remained a steadfast favorite of mine as it’s worn, dog-eared pages can attest to.

So this week, it’s all about the worlds of JL Langley and I will be giving away one copy of My Regelence Rake to one lucky commenter during the week.  The winner will be announced on Friday.  So to start off our week, let’s begin with a chat I had about how the term Sci-Regency came about.

MM:

Thank you, JL, for coming here today and participating in my first author interview. I have always been fascinated by the term Sci Regency.  Did you coin that  phrase?

JL:

“I did come up with the term and series name Sci-Regency. I’ve always loved Regency romance but wanted something different, unique. With the laws in the 1800’s being gay was punishable by law therefore it would’ve been very difficult to live openly as a gay couple. That seems so bittersweet to me. I wanted to be able to have my cake and eat it to, so to speak, so I combined Regency with Sci-Fi and wa la a truly happy ending was possible. Not to mention some cool technology and a way to bend the rules of society ever so slightly.”

MM:

I have a hard time picking out favorite characters of yours, I just love them all.  Do you have favorite characters?

JL:

“I love all the characters in this series but I have to say Steven and Raleigh, the King and King-Consort, are my favorites. I plan on doing a sort of prequel for the two of them eventually.”

MM:

My start with Regency fiction was Georgette Heyer and The Grand Sophy, a fondness that continues to this day. Do you have favorite Regency authors?

JL:

“I have several favorite Regency authors, but if I had to name one it would be Julia Quinn.”

MM:

I have to admit Georgette Heyer was my first introduction and I still love her. I love the way you blend such Regency mainstays such as horse racing, fencing, Tattersalls, and Regency dress with a science fiction setting. I love the way Regency social niceties and rules are given a m/m twist to them in your series. Here young unattached men are not allowed out without suitable escorts or chaperones. Do you ever find yourself just laughing out loud as you turn old ways on their heads in your stories? It’s such a great blend that you have achieved.

JL replies:
“I don’t know about laughing but I do love it. I really enjoy writing this series, it’s hands down my fave. I joke that I could gladly write this series and in this word for the rest of my life and be a happy woman, I really do love it.”

MM

I know you have told us but I can’t remember. Of course quite a few of us are shouting Trouble and Rexley at you! But I have to say I agree with you about Steven and Raleigh. I love their relationship and look forward to every scene with them in it. And you introduce a Cousin in this series, hmmm. Lord Demon? I know you had a recent excerpt with his name in it. Who is next in line for a book in this series?

JL:
“Blaise and Raleigh’s nephew, Dalton, (He’s the cousin “Lord Demon”), is next. After them will be Blaise’s little brother Bannon and then Rexley and Trouble. There are several guest appearances in this book by not only Steven and Raleigh, but Aiden and Nate and Rexley, Trouble and Muffin.”

Do you outline your books or have a story arc in mind when you start a new one? You are balancing so many elements in your Sci-Regency series from marriage proposals, intergalactic intrigue, and perhaps even genetic manipulation yet you still give us scenes full of passion, humor, mystery and love. What gives you the inspiration for each book?

JL:

“I do outline,but I loosely outline and leave room to change. In fact the last half of Colton’s book does not resemble the original outline at all. So it’s more of a guide than an actual outline because things are subject to change. Each book is a little difference. This one for example has less of the series plot with the IN than the others. It sort of depends on what the characters give me. For example in Dalton’s book, there is a pretty good look into Regelence government as well as Raleigh’s background. In Bannon’s book it’s very much back into the series plot. I do have an outline of sorts for each book in the series, but I am very character motivated in my writing, so things can and do change on occasion.”

Thank you, JL. I can’t wait to hear from you. I really appreciate your participation in my contest and Author Spotlight.

From the author’s website:

JL has been talking since she was about seven months old. To those who know her it comes as no surprise, in fact, most will tell you she hasn’t shut up since. At eighteen months, she was speaking in full sentences. Imagine if you will the surprise of her admirers when they complimented her mother on “what a cute little boy” she had and received a fierce glare from said little boy and a very loud correction of “I’m a girl!” Oddly enough, JL still finds herself saying that exact phrase thirty-some-odd years later.

Along with the motormouth, JL also displayed a very vivid imagination and artistic ability. The artist first surfaced in way of drawing and painting, then became more apparent with dance. JL was a member of the National Art Honor Society in high school and has won several regional and national titles in dance, specifically tap and jazz. In college she majored in Graphic Art, but chose to make dance her profession. She taught tap, jazz and ballet for fifteen years before settling into her career as a writer.

Today JL is a full-time writer, with over ten novels to her credit. Among her hobbies she includes reading, practicing her marksmanship (she happens to be a great shot), gardening, working out (although she despises cardio), searching for the perfect chocolate dessert (so far as she can tell ALL chocolate is perfect, but it requires more research) and arguing with her husband over who the air compressor and nail gun really belongs to (they belong to JL, although she might be willing to trade him for his new chainsaw).

This author also writes (m/f) under the name Jeigh Lynn.

JL Langley’s website is under construction but you can follow her through her  yahoo group, The Yellow Rose.

And her free short stories can be found at Fiction with Friction.

Why A Series Can Make My Heart Sing!

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It’s no secret that I love books and always have.  From my earliest memories of listening to someone read to me then transitioning to being old enough to pick up a book myself to while away the time. When I was younger, my family moved around every couple of years or more as my father’s job was to evaluate school systems. While not a hardship, it’s not conducive to the young who find it hard to leave friends and special places behind again and again.  As I got older and the moving proved more stressful, I turned to books for companionship.  Books, never far from me from birth (a given with parents as educators), became my constant companions. They became my escape from reality, an acceptable form of “invisible friend”, my Harvey. I was lucky in that one of my uncles, a great uncle really, worked at Charles Scribner’s & Sons. Uncle Wade sent us boxes of books of all types and genres, most of which were too old for me (Frank Yerby, really?) and that created its own special allure, to be old enough to read all those  books!  A new goal and easily fed addiction formed early in life – I was seven by then.

Have I said that books fascinate me? It was always just a matter of minutes before I lost myself in an author’s special universe. Their characters jumped to life on their pages waving swords or crawling through tunnels, the places they created became worlds whose paths I wished to tread and on whose seas I wished to voyage. Don’t you remember picking up a book and starting to read, and thinking please, please, never let it end?  That was me, out in the woods or under a blanket in bed, book in hand, eyes shut tight and wishing with all my might for a magic wand and horses with wings.

With some books, just one book is sufficient to satisfy your need for the world the author created.  You read it and are happy to have visited there.  They were great hosts, told you a marvelous story and fed you a meal that left you full if not completely replenished. When it came time to take your leave,you wished those characters well and felt that while you have enjoyed the visit other destinations were calling and you must be off. My Friend Flicka was one. Treasure Island was another.  So was Old Yeller, Dahlgren and National Velvet and hoards of nameless books of my youth. But then there are those books whose characters became friends or heros, the worlds they lived in were places I yearned to go, each and every element necessary and magical to me at the time. Those stories had multiple books called a series! From the mundane to the mystical, I gobbled up series with all the ardor and fervor of a zealot.

For me a series meant never having to leave your favorite characters behind or the universe they inhabited.  After you finished one story, you could look forward to a new adventure, a new challenge or a new journey taken with the same beloved people/beings you met in the first book.  Sometimes the characters stayed the same, they lived in their old house, had the same friends and stayed the same age.  I am thinking Nancy Drew here with Beth, George and Ned.  And sometimes the characters grew up like those in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.  But whatever the shape the narrative took, I knew that I would be visiting a familiar place but with unknown consequences. Oh the anticipation, the agony, the  time I spent daydreaming about what was to come next for my heros (of all genders and species).

Whether it was L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz books or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings , book series have been my affordable addiction. Not possible to own a herd of horses in a suburban backyard? Let’s substitute dragons for horses and scarf up Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern. My parents inform me that we are southbound, going to visit the relatives again this summer. My first reaction? OK, second reaction? Hide all of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover books in my suitcase to pull out at the cousins first suggestion to Dippity Do my hair and head out to the Dairy Queen. Series after series, genre after genre, my addiction grew and my bookshelves groaned.

Has my addiction to series dwindled as I have aged? Not on your life! Don’t look at me like that!  I know you have been there along with me. Haven’t you ever reached the end of a book that has kept you mesmerized from word one and wanted to scream out ‘Noooooooo, I don’t want it to end”?  Or had the characters in the latest book you were reading seem so real that the last sentence of the epilogue left you feeling bereft? Or maybe the world that came alive in between the pages was so vivid that you could smell the alien air and feel the magic in the landscape?   It still happens to me at 2 or 3 am in the morning (just like always) when I come to the end of a gripping saga I started earlier that day and never put down.  I scramble to get back to the pages in front and then in the back to see what else the author has written. If stymied, and who wouldn’t be  at that time of the morning, I turn on the computer (ok this part is new) and check for updates at their publishers or websites, never mind the dogs glaring at me because I have disturbed their sleep.  And when my search turns up that the book is a part of a series? Well, let’s just say I give the ol’ Rebel Yell a run for its money and make my Celtic ancestors proud!

Some of my favorite series?  Hard to separate them out as I have so many in different genre’s.  Mystery authors make it easy for me.  Love you Martha Grimes and Inspector Jury, same to you, P.D. James and Inspector Adam Dalgliesh, and on right to up Sarah Paretsky and her female private eye, V I Warshawski and Stieg Larsson and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Once a mystery author creates a character, a series is sure to follow.  Authors of the supernatural and fantasy are much the same.  Look at Laurell K Hamilton and Anita Blake.  Hit List is the 20th Anita Blake novel.  Or Terry Pratchett and his Disc World series that is comprised of 33 novels.  That could be a little daunting if not for the treasure that is Disc world.

Sooooo, where was I? Oh yes, my love for book series.  Today with the advent of eReaders and ePublishing, the novel and book series has never been more popular.  Especially with my m/m fiction, I have so many favorite series that I hardly know where to start.  Perhaps I will start with a series I began my m/m journey with.  That would be Carol Lynne’s Cattle Valley series, still going strong today at book no. 27. I love  Josh Lanyon’s Adrien English series and Kate Steele’s Bond of the Maleri books. Can’t go wrong there.  I would wave Jet Mykles Heaven Sent series at you, can’t miss those! Or JL Langley’s With or Without series with her wolf shifters that are so hot and memorable. So many that I need to start a list.  And just look at the books I have reviewed lately.  Some of my must read series are among them: Cut and Run from Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux (now just written by Roux), Infected by Andrea Speed (I groan just thinking about Roan – snicker), the Lost Gods series by Megan Derr, the Cambridge Fellows books by Charlie Cochrane, Katey Hawthorne’s Superpowered Love series and so many more.  I feel like one of those people at an awards show with a never ending list.  I could go on and on and on while a guy in the wings gives me the signal to shut up.

So here I am all these years later and nothing has changed.  OK, yes some things have changed.  Sheesh! You think you would let a girl get by with some things…but my love of books and a series of books?  Never.  A great series still fills me with excitement and the expectation of wonderful surprises just on the horizon.  I look forward to each new twist and turn the author can think up and that I never saw coming.  I can’t wait for the paths unexplored and the roads not yet taken by characters I love on worlds new and known.  And  that is why a series makes my heart sing.

Small list of my favorite series in no particular order and yes I know I left a lot out.  Please send us your favorites:

M/M Series (3 or more books):

Promised Rock series by Amy Lane
Lost Gods series by Megan Derr (fantasy)
Conquest series (rockers) by S. J. Frost
Heaven Sent by Jet Mykles (rockers)
Adrien English Mystery series by Josh Lanyon contemporary
Cut and Run by Urban and Roux, now just Abigall Roux – contemporary
Infected series by Andrea Speed (science fiction)
Sanctuary series by RJ Scott action/adventure
Faith, Love, and Devotion series by Tere Michaels contemporary
St. Nachos series by Z.A. Maxfield contemporary
Cattle Valley by Carol Lynne cowboys contemporary
With or Without series (shifters) by JL Langley
Sci Regency series by JL Langley
Cambridge Fellows series by Charlie Cochrane
A Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes
Warder series by Mary Calmes
Home series by TC Chase
Superpowered Love series by Katey Hawthorne

and all the series I have written about this week, Infected, Cambridge Fellows, Lost Gods, Dance with the Devil, The Sanctuary series…..

Bellingham Mysteries series by Nicole Kimberling  – last day to make a comment and be entered into the book giveaway contest for Primal Red.

Favorite Series Covers and Cover Artists!

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Book covers have always fascinated me.  Some repel me, others draw me in immediately.  Think “ooh, shiny, pretty…” lol.  Others intrigue me by their content or graphic design, while others leave me “meh” or confused. When I think of series covers that are successful, all they have some of the same elements incorporated into their design.  The first being I can tell the books belong together at a glance, they have a cohesive design element consistent in every cover.  The fonts stay the same.  Each cover contains the same overall design with small changes that  don’t affect the overall picture they present to the reader.

So we are looking for consistency, cohesiveness, clarity and recognition.  Designs that convey a sense of connectedness between the books. Look over my choices and see if you agree with me. Many of my favorites series also have some of my favorite series covers. Yes, I have let quite a lot out but I need something for the next cover post, don’t I? Lets get started.

1. Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban, now being written by Abigail Roux,cover design by Mara McKinnon:Simple and elegant.  The central object, which is prominent in each storyline, is changed out with each book.  I can tell a Cut &Run book in a heartbeat.

2. Lost Gods series by Megan Derr, design by London Burden. Each cover is a map of the kingdom the story is set in.  The color is important as it is a prime element for each kingdom and its culture.  Blue for the kingdom of Kundou, a land to whom the sea is all important.  It’s people have hair in all shades of blue and green, the color of water.  The orange/red cover of Burning Bright is self explanatory and so on. Subtle, expressive, simple on the surface yet contains hidden meanings just like the books.

3. Sanctuary Series by RJ Scott, artist/cover design by Reese Dante.  Each cover depicts the two men who will be the novel’s romantic couple, usually one is a Sanctuary op.  The design stays the same with the men being switched out.  The models are  consistent with the descriptions of the men inside.  Reese Dante  does the fantastic design.

4. Dance With The Devil series by Megan Derr, design by London Burden.  Effective use of a simple graphic design where the object floating in the center of a black cover is switched out for each new book. Again the main element is important  to the storyline. Effective, elegant, and easy to recognize that the books belong together without having to resort to the publishers note.

4. Cambridge Fellows series by Charlie Cochrane, cover design by Scott Carpenter: All the covers have a lovely vintage feel to them, sepia toned with elements such as furniture, buildings and mens clothing from 1900’s included on the design. Unfortunately, the last cover from Samheim had a more modern looking model which threw off the design. The newest title in the series has a completely different look as it was published at the different company. Can you pick it out?

3.  Superpowered Love by Katey Hawthorne, artist P.L. Nunn:  Just wonderful art by PL Nunn, the covers really set the stage for the stories within.  I just love these.  Again while the content changes, the style is the same and makes the books easy to identify.

4. Infected series by Andrea Speed, art by Anne Cain, cover design by Mara McKinnon: These covers blow me away.  Intense, dramatic, with that hint of menace.  Outstanding.  They are offered to download at Andrea Speed’s website.  I grabbed them, you will want to as well. Andrea Speed’s website http://www.andreaspeed.com.

5. Cattle Valley Series by Carol Lynne, art by Anne Cain.  It doesn’t matter if it is Book 2, Book 12 or Book 23, you can tell it is a Cattle Valley book immediately due to the great design and artwork by the wonderful Anne Cain.  This series is branded, folks! Total E Bound does more of a series branding than any other publisher or so it seems to me.

6. Sci-Regency Series by JL Langley, cover by Anne Cain.  Sigh!  I love Anne Cain and her artwork.  Especially her cover for My Fair Captain.  That one is so drool worthy that I have to bring out the towels. Yeah, I know TMI!  But just look at that chest!  And the same goes for the other two books in the series, the last of which, My Regelence Rake, is to be released in October 2012.

7.  Leopard’s Spots series by Bailey Bradford, artwork by Posh Gosh. What a lush, rich group of covers,  They are like a feast for the eyes, I just don’t know where to look next.  The design pulls your eye around the cover, so nothing is missed.  Just superb.

So that’s my short  list. What is yours? Yes, I see the same artists over and over on covers I like.  Anne Cain, PL Nunn, Reese Dante, Posh Gosh and London Burden.  Lately I have also noticed Alessia Brio too.  I know I have missed so many great artists, help me fill in the blanks.  And don’t forget to leave a comment and be entered in the contest.