Strap yourself in—it’s a wild ride this week, with lots of new releases! (And…next week’s a killer, too!)
Also, there’s still time to leave a comment over at the Writer’s Digest website (at Chuck Sambuchino’s blog), where I’ve listed seven things I’ve learned on the way to publication. I’m giving away your choice—a copy of Royal Street, or a rare ARC of River Road. And I mean rare. Those things are scarcer than hen’s teeth.
(As Jeff Foxworthy might say, if you understood that analogy, you might just be a redneck. It’s okay. So am I.)
Now…Reader’s Choice! As always, leave a comment telling me the book here you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. International…true dat.
Now, here we go….
Bared Blade (A Fallen Blade Novel), by Kelly McCullough (June 26, Ace) Former temple assassin Aral Kingslayer has a price on his head and a mark on his soul. After his goddess was murdered, Aral found refuge in the shadow jack business, fixing problems for those on the fringes of Tien’s underworld. It’s a long step down from working for the Goddess of Justice, but it gives Aral and Triss—the living shadow who is his secret partner—a reason to get up in the morning. When two women hit a rough spot in the tavern Aral uses for an office, he and Triss decide to lend a helping hand — only to find themselves in the middle of a three-way battle to find an artifact that just might be the key to preventing a war. And with so many factions on their trail, Aral and Triss are attracting a lot more attention than anyone featured on ten thousand wanted posters can afford.
We are not alone. The alien protomolecule is clear evidence of an intelligence beyond human reckoning. No one knows what exactly is being built on Venus, but whatever it is, it is vast, powerful, and terrifying. When a creature of unknown origin and seemingly impossible physiology attacks soldiers on Ganymede, the fragile balance of power in the Solar System shatters. Now, the race is on to discover if the protomolecule has escaped Venus, or if someone is building an army of super-soldiers. Jim Holden is the center of it all. In spite of everything, he’s still the best man for the job to find out what happened on Ganymede.
After barely escaping a madman’s attempt to annihilate all MetaHumans, Kelly Meding’s supernatural crime fighters have banded together to take back the streets of war-ravaged Los Angeles. Dahlia “Ember” Perkins still feels like an outsider among her new Meta friends, despite everything she’s been through since coming into her miraculous ability to absorb heat and extinguish fires. But when the police need help investigating human skins discarded like slipcovers on the street, the Metas’ youngest team member quickly finds her place. Evidence points to a murderer the likes of which they have never encountered but who inexplicably seems to be gunning for Dahlia—and who may be neither human nor Meta.
Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible. As if the streets weren’t scary enough, the looming war between the two men in her life explodes, taking even more casualties and putting Chess squarely in the middle.
Half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones can enter the realm between life and death, and she can see the Reapers who collect the souls of the dead. Now, she is using her gifts—and the investigative know-how of a man who broke her heart—to find a cabal searching for the power to control time, reality, and fate. And this is besides her work for the Vampire Council, half of whom want her dead. But for now the Council needs her alive. Someone is killing blood-whore addicted vampires, and Risa must find the guilty party.
Callie LeRoux lives in Slow Run, Kansas, helping her mother run their small hotel and trying not to think about the father she’s never met. Lately, all of her energy is spent battling the constant storms plaguing the Dust Bowl and their effects on her health. Callie is left alone, when her mother goes missing in a dust storm. Her only hope comes from a mysterious man offering a few clues about her destiny and the path she must take to find her parents in “the golden hills of the west.” Along the way she meets Jack, a young hobo boy who is happy to keep her company. And there’s also an otherworldly threat to Callie. Warring fae factions are very aware of the role this half-mortal, half-fae teenage girl plays in their fate. Young Adult.
A creature of the other world, an unnatural entity bent on chaos and carnage, has come to stalk the nighttime streets of the Galicien city of Davillon. This couldn’t possibly have come at a worse time. Not for Davillon, and not for a young thief who calls herself Widdershins. She has tried to keep out of trouble, away from the attentions of the Davillon Guard and above the secrets and schemes of the city’s new bishop. But she’s in way over her head, with no idea which way to turn. The Guard doesn’t trust her. The Church doesn’t trust her. Her own Thieves’ Guild doesn’t trust her. Young Adult.
Egil and Nix, adventurers and swords for hire, are pulled into the dark schemes of a decadent family with a diabolical secret.
Talyn of the Vaerli purchased survival by working as the Hunter for the Caisah, the smiling monster who crushed the Vaerli in ages past and who dominates the world even now. Talyn’s existence comes at the cost of her soul and alienation from her people. Tale-spinner Finn makes himself the Hunter’s next prey with a seditious performance. Evading the Hunter’s peculiar gifts is nearly impossible, but their inevitable encounter ends not in death but hope for both Talyn and the Vaerli.
The invulnerable, super-strong warrior Infidel has a secret: she’s lost her magical powers right at the moment when she needs them most. To keep a promise to a fallen friend, she must journey to the frozen wastelands of the north. Her quest leads her through the abstract realms of the Sea of Wine, where she uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all life. Hush, the primal dragon of cold, has formed an alliance with the ghost of a vengeful witch to murder Glorious, the dragon of the sun, plunging the world into an unending winter night.
Driven by the fierce god within him, highlander Ian Kerr is sworn to fight for the land he loves—and the brother he lost. But when he’s transported four centuries into the future, he finds himself fighting his own desires—for a beautiful, bewitching woman who could hold a warrior spellbound. Danielle Buchanan has heard the legends. She has felt the power of Druid blood in her veins. But she has never known a man as fearsome—or as haunted—as the warrior Ian. With her magic, Dani must help him fight an ancient evil. With her heart, she must join him in his quest.
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire, Vlad Tepesh.
From a hidden city deep in the Ural Mountains, they walked the world as the coldest of Cold Warriors, under the command of the Kremlin and under the power of their own expansive minds. They slipped into the minds of Russia’s enemies with diabolical ease, and drove their human puppets to murder, and worse. They moved as Gods. And as Gods, they might have remade the world. But like the mad holy man Rasputin, who destroyed Russia through his own powerful influence, in the end, the psychic spies for the Motherland were only in it for themselves.
Tanyana has chosen to help the Keeper, to stand against the Puppet Men, but has she bitten off more than she can chew?
Jane’s not happy. She’s been packed off to England to fight in a war, when she’d much rather be snogging her new boyfriend. Unfortunately, Jane’s enemies have been busy stirring up some major trouble—the kind that attracts a lot of attention. In other words, they’re not making it easy for Jane to get any alone time with Anyan, or to indulge in her penchant for stinky cheese. Praying she can pull off a Joan of Arc without the whole martyrdom thing, Jane must lead Alfar and halflings alike in a desperate battle to combat an ancient evil.
Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed nearly too dangerous, too ruthless … and if he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred from his missions, at any cost—until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he’s never known before. Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel, the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell, is her only hope for survival.
Now…what do you want to read? Leave a comment and tell me, and I’ll draw one name to win his or her choice. International, as always. And if the book is in a series you haven’t started, you can always pick the first one in the series instead. If there’s a new release in another genre this week you’d like to read, leave that in your comment. If I’ve missed a speculative fiction release, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it in—it’s eligible for giveaway.
As always, four entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book (any book) you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest. This contest is international. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Books unclaimed after a month will go into a general giveaway pile.