It’s the last Reader’s Choice contest of the year! And we have a pretty good list this week, so see what you’d like to read. Of this list, there are lots of releases in long-running series that I haven’t read, so I’m going kind of off my normal path this week and picking as my most-wanted The Hermetic Millennia by John C. Wright, which sounds fascinating.
What do you want to read? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. If you’d prefer the first book in a series listed here, that’s okay, too.
As a vampire and a warrior, Leto Distra is deadly. But after years of being forced to drink dying blood, he is now part beast, a wild savage thing lurking beneath the surface. With war on the horizon, Leto is determined to help the Guardians of Ascension destroy the enemy who turned him into a monster. And there’s only one woman who can help him. Grace Albion is certain that she’s meant to be with Leto, but their future may be cut short by the impending battle. Now Grace must embrace her obsidian flame powers, and bind her powers with Leto’s, if they’re ever going to survive. With the fate of the world at stake, they must tap into powers they never knew they had, and unlock their deepest passions.
The newest member of the elite Feral Warriors brotherhood, Fox is eager to prove himself on the frontlines of battle against the Daemons. When paired with the legendary Ilina warrior, Melisande, he expects the fierce beauty to quickly fall under the spell of his quite considerable charm. Instead, he finds himself spellbound by a woman who’s his match in every way. Beneath Melisande’s brittle exterior lies centuries of pain and a violent hatred of all shape-shifters, a hatred that slowly crumbles after they’re caught in a deadly and cunning Mage trap and she glimpses a surprising depth in her far-too-seductive partner. Their survival demands unconditional trust, and their salvation surrender to a wild, untamed love.
A lycan generations old, Darius roams the earth seeking redemption as he hunts the one responsible for his terrible curse. The last thing he expects, however, is to find a tantalizing woman beneath the demon witch who’s as desperate for redemption, and love, as he is. For more than 1,000 years, Tresa, an enslaved demon witch who has spent her long life tormented by the devastating mistakes of her past, has roamed the earth fleeing her demon, trying to make amends and avoid unleashing further evil upon the world. Although she feels deserving of the torment she has brought on herself, in Darius’s arms she begins to feel the most dangerous thing of all: hope that maybe passion can burn hotter than the evil hunting her.
In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady. Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family’s legacy. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie, to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt, to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.
Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems, she’s his. Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different, he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him, and he’ll be put to a killer test.
Five years ago, Xavier escaped from the Ofarian Plant. Today he calls a Colorado mountain town home. It’s there he buries himself in his work, swearing off magic and relationships, until a woman threatens every promise he’s made to himself. Cat has always known she is different. Water speaks to her on an uncanny level, and she channels this gift into beautiful painted waterscapes. Now, a gallery is debuting her work in Colorado, and it’ll reveal far more about her than she imagined. The spark between Cat and Xavier is enough to throw both of them off balance. Dangerous because Xavier comes to suspect that Cat is an Ofarian, his people’s enemy. But they’re both about to discover a far greater, more malicious power at play.
Kat Redding’s life is dangerous enough when she’s hunting the rogue vampires who prey on Pureblood humans. But now that Kat is thinking of getting out of the killing business, she’s faced with a slew of new problems. Like the demon Beligral, who offers help at an escalating cost, and the werewolf cult with whom she’s entwined professionally and personally. And then there’s Countess Baset, the terrifying vampire who wants Kat to become her personal assassin. It’s no wonder that Kat has been seeking refuge in the mysterious town known as Delai. Even in this haven, something feels askew. Delai is a little too serene. And the more she discovers, the more Kat realizes that the only choice left to her is not whether to do battle, but which side she’ll risk her life to defend.
Since the beginning of time, the archangels have longed to know true love. When four female angels were created for the four archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Azrael, a chaos spurred by jealousy erupted, and the archesses were secreted away to Earth. The four archangels followed. As the Angel of Death, Azrael could never be like his brothers. While the others fell to Earth in human form, Azrael descended as a vampire. At his brother Gabriel’s wedding, Azrael set his golden eyes on Sophie Bryce. He is certain she is his destined mate. But Sophie is haunted by unspeakable demons of her own. When supernatural forces emerge from the shadows, threatening Sophie, Azrael is the only one who can protect her. But to do it, he must reveal his true, savage self.
My name is Hedi Peacock. I’m not human, and I have the pointy Fae ears and Were inner-bitch to prove it. My childhood was damn near perfect, all fur and magic until a werewolf killed my father and the Fae executed my mother. I’ve never forgiven either side. Especially Robson Trowbridge. He was a part-time werewolf, a full-time bastard, and the first and only boy I ever loved. Until he became the prime suspect in my father’s death. Today I’m a half-breed barista working at a fancy coffee house, living with my loopy Aunt Lou and a temperamental amulet named Merry. But when a pack of Weres decides to kidnap my aunt and force me to steal another amulet, the only one who can help me is the last person I ever thought I’d turn to: Robson Trowbridge.
Winter is coming to Montana and Shadowblade warrior Max is expecting trouble. People are banding together, many flocking to the congregation of Sterling Savage, a fire-and-brimstone preacher. Unbeknownst to him, the “divine” voice he’s been hearing isn’t God but a demon that feeds on hate, death, and destruction. Max and her people at Horngate are all that stand in its way. Savage starts a war between his congregants and two other powerful gangs in the city. When he manages to capture Max’s niece, brother, and several teenagers from Horngate, Max tries to free them. Going undercover in the cult compound, Max swiftly realizes just how seductive Savage is. But courage, loyalty, and friendship are powerful forces, and Max doesn’t like to lose.
Young Adult. There’s nowhere left to hide. I thought vampires were our enemies, they controlled our lives, isolated our cities, and demanded our blood, until I met Victor. With Victor taking over as the new Lord Valentine, things were supposed to get better. Instead, they’re worse than ever. Day Walkers, a new breed of vampires who can walk in the sun, are terrorizing the city. Blood supplies are low, and if Victor’s vampires don’t get enough, they will become infected with the Thirst—a disease that will turn them into mindless killers. To stop it, I must journey across the desolate wasteland to the very place where the sickness began. I can only hope that the answers that await me are enough to save us all, before it’s too late.
A rising star on the Covent Garden stage, Bianca Parrino believes she has everything she wants. When her close friend, Adam, is murdered, and Bianca is suspected in his death, she is unwittingly drawn into the search for his killer. A member of the mysterious race of shape-shifting Imnada and part of an elite military unit, Captain Mac Flannery gathered intelligence during the Napoleonic wars. As a result of a savage massacre, Mac and the men he served with are cursed. One of them has been found murdered, and Mac suspects the existence of the Imnada has been discovered. His only link to unearthing the truth is the actress who turns up at Adam’s funeral. Mac has more to contend with than Bianca’s overt mistrust. Because Adam’s killer is back, and Mac is next on his list.
The team-spirit sign by the side of the highway seems a good omen to loner Morgan Walsh. Then he wakes naked in the woods, surrounded by wolf tracks and a ring of suspicious cops. The situation only gets worse when he’s bailed out by Alpha-elect Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers, her terrifying enforcer and mate. Disappointed that such a promising young werewolf risked exposing them, Elena isn’t expecting anything from the pesky retrieval job except some much-needed alone time with Clay. Instead, she finds a different kind of evil stalking the streets and forests of Westwood, New York. Trapped in town by a snowstorm and sabotage, Elena, Clay and Morgan must find the mysterious threat before it sets its sights on them.
There’s only one thing more lethal than a vampire. A Black Fallen. Rather, a fallen angel engulfed in the blackest of magic. Tattoo artist, Riley Poe, has changed. After surviving the bites of three potent Strigoi, she has acquired traits from each that parallel those of the most lethal of vampires. Her strength, speed, hearing are unmatched. She’s about to put those powers to good use. Riley, along with her guardian vampire, Eli Dupre, Riley’s brother, Seth Poe, and Eli’s brother, Phin Dupre, and Strigoi vampire Victorian Arcos agree to join Jake Andorra’s elite WUP team. Worldwide Unexplained Phenomenon takes cases too dangerous for humans to handle. There are unholy, lethal disturbances in the ancient city of Edinburgh, and Riley and the others accept the mission.
Kara Gillian is in Deep Trouble. Kara is the prisoner of the demonic Lord Mzatal, but quickly discovers that she’s far more than a mere hostage. He has his own plans to use Kara and keep her from Rhyzkahl, the demonic lord she is sworn to serve. Intrigue and treachery run rampant amongst all lords, and Kara is hard pressed to keep her wits about her. Her abilities as a homicide detective are put to the test as she seeks the truth about FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff, Rhyzkahl, and herself. She soon discovers that she has her own history in the demon realm, one that goes back farther than she could have ever imagined. She’s going to need all the strength and tenacity she’s developed as a cop and a summoner, or the hell she endures may well last forever.
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parachute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed Ack-Ack Macaque. The trouble is, Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey, and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence. A century later, in a world where France and Great Britain merged in the late 1950s and nuclear-powered Zeppelins encircle the globe, ex-journalist Victoria Valois finds herself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who butchered her husband and stole her electronic soul. In Paris, after taking part in an illegal break-in at a research laboratory, the heir to the British throne goes on the run. And all the while, the doomsday clock ticks towards Armageddon.
Doktor Glass, by Thomas Brennan (December 31, Ace)
The Transatlantic Span is the industrial marvel of the nineteenth century, a suspension bridge stretching from Liverpool to New York City. It’s a work of art…until a faceless corpse is found in its shadows. Inspector Matthew Langton, tortured by grief for his late wife, takes charge of the investigation, believing the faceless man a part of a conspiracy to assassinate Queen Victoria on the upcoming Inauguration Day of the Span. But the truth is far more bizarre. There are chilling rumors of the Jar Boys, soul snatchers who come under cover of night. Most frightening of all is the mythic and elusive Doktor Glass, who may not only be behind the illicit trade in souls, but who may hold the key to what happened to the inspector’s own beloved wife on her deathbed.
Dinosaur Thunder (Thunder #3), by James F. David (December 24, Forge)
Eighteen years ago, the prehistoric past collided with the present as time itself underwent a tremendous disruption. Neighborhoods, towns, and cities were replaced by dense primeval jungles and modern humanity suddenly found itself sharing the world with dinosaurs. In the end, measures were taken to halt the disruptions and the crisis appeared to be over. Until now. New dinosaurs begin to appear. As time begins to unravel once more, Nick Paulson, director of the Office of Security Science, finds a time passage to the Cretaceous period where humans, ripped from the twenty-first century, are barely surviving in the past. As the asteroid that ends the reign of dinosaurs rushes toward Earth, Nick and his allies must survive a war between species and save the future as we know it.
Menelaus Illation Montrose, Texas gunslinger, idealist, and posthuman genius, has gone into cryo-suspension following the discovery that, in 8,000 years, a powerful alien intelligence will reach Earth to assess humanity’s value as slaves. He is awakened repeatedly throughout the centuries to confront the woes of an ever-changing and violent world, witnessing millennia of change compressed into a few years of subjective time. The result is a breathtaking vision of future history like nothing before imagined. Montrose’s immortal enemies and former shipmates from the starship Hermetic harness the forces of evolution and social engineering to continuously reshape the Earth in their image, seeking to create a version of man the approaching slavers will find worthy.
Captained by former Detached Guerrilla Forces Colonel R.A. “Rags” Cutter, the Cutter Force Initiative is one of the best. A specialized team consisting of both aliens and humans, the Cutters offer services ranging from fight training and protection to extraction and assassination, as long as the target deserves it and their employer makes good on payday. When they’re hired to find and rescue Indira, the soon-to-be-married daughter of the Rajah Ramal of New Mumbai, the teams’ first task is to identify the kidnapper. The obvious suspects are insurgents who want to overthrow the rajanate, but as other forces enter the game and an assassination attempt is made on Ramal, the Cutters realize that their in-and-out extraction job is about to get a lot more interesting, and a lot more lethal.
Bryce is summoned to Xanth as part of a wager between the Demons Earth and Xanth. To his surprise, he has left behind his home and family and eighty-year-old body forever, in exchange for youth and magic, and a quest. He must court and marry Princess Harmony, who is anything but willing to be courted!
Laela Redguard was born with the black hair of the Northern kingdom and the blue eyes of the Southern people, forever marking her as a hated half-breed child of both. The fierce and strong-willed Laela decides to leave her adoptive father’s home in the hopes of finding acceptance in the North, where the ruthless King Arenadd and the dark griffin Skandar rule. She cannot avoid falling victim to a pair of common thugs. When a stranger saves her life and gives her a place to stay, Laela is shocked to learn he is Arenadd himself. Arenadd is unsure what compels him to help this girl, but there is something about her that seems familiar, something he cannot remember, something that may rise up to banish the darkness forever.
Five hundred years ago, the famed Witchbreaker, Lord Stark Tower, launched a war against the cult of witches, nearly wiping them out. Today, only a handful of women still practice the craft in secret. A young witch named Sorrow has dedicated her life to changing this reality. She bonds her soul with Rott, the primal dragon of decay, giving her nearly limitless powers of destruction. Tapping this power comes at the cost of her humanity, leading her on a quest to find the greatest witch of all time, Avaris, in hopes of mastering her dark magic. Hunting Avaris, fate throws her into a partnership with a man who wants to be the new Witchbreaker. Can either of them survive their quests when their journey leads them into battle with Tempest, the primal dragon of storms?
Jewel A Terafin has become the target of assassins and of a demon beyond her ability to defeat. No place within Averalaan remains safe, when elemental forces can change the very structure of the city, when the old ways are opening to release wild magic, when former enemies become uneasy allies and longtime allies are called into question.
Aisling of Bruadair has lived a provincial life, heedless ofthe evil creeping over her land. That ordinary existence changes forever when she is sent to the opposite end of the world to find a master swordsman. If she fails, her life, and her country’s safety, will be forfeit. She just never expected that swordsman to be a wounded elven prince masquerading as a simple soldier. Rùnach of Ceangail has spent years in obscurity, ignoring battles he can no longer fight. And although he has been drawn back into the world, he fully intends to live an unremarkable life far away from events he knows he cannot change. Until Rùnach meets Aisling and realizes that she is far more than what she seems, that their alliance has attracted unwelcome notice, and that some battles must be fought.
Barely escaping the city of Calm Seatt, and the assassins hunting them, Magiere, Leesil, and the elven dog Chap sail south to continue their quest to find the powerful Orb of Air before their enemies do. The aging elven assassin Brot’an has forced himself on them by offering his protection. Chap doesn’t believe this ruse, however, and seeks to uncover the assassin’s true agenda. Meanwhile, Magiere struggles with her own dark nature, using Leesil’s love as an anchor to keep her grounded. For the personal price she paid to procure the Orb of Fire was more than she thought. But that is exactly what the cunning Brot’an wants to know. And he is willing to do whatever it takes, even if he must reveal his own dreaded secrets that may cost the entire party their lives, and their very souls.
Five entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest, +1 for a Facebook follow. This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. 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 the Book Horde list (see tab at the top of the page).
Now….go forth and comment!