Happy New Year! (Okay, I’m a few days off.) We ring in the new year this week with quite a few more new releases than the past couple of weeks. (And then, get ready, because the week after that is huge!)
What do you want to read this week? 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.
A major new collection by Catherynne M. Valente, author of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and other acclaimed novels, now brings readers a treasure trove of stories and poems. In the novelette “White Lines on a Green Field,” an old story plays out against a high school backdrop as Coyote is quarterback and king for a season. A girl named Mallow embarks on an adventure of memorable and magical politicks in “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland—For a Little While.” The novella “Silently and Very Fast” is an ancient epic set in a far-flung future, the intimate autobiography of an evolving A.I. And in the title story, the history of a New England town and that of an outcast demon are irrevocably linked.
Lovely, Dark, and Deep, by Susannah Sandlin (December 28, Montlake Romance)
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes a heart-pounding romantic thriller that pits a quick-witted scientist and a scarred ex–combat diver against a ruthless billionaire treasure hunter with ties to the White House…..When biologist Gillian Campbell makes an offhand comment about a family curse during a TV interview, she has no idea what her words will set in motion. Within days, Gillian finds herself at the mercy of a member of the C7, a secretive international group of power brokers with a dangerous game: competing to find the world’s most elusive treasures, no matter the cost, in money or in lives. To save her family, Gillian teams up with Shane Burke, a former elite diver who’s lost his way, navigating the brutal “death coast” of the North Atlantic to find what the collector seeks: the legendary Ruby Cross of the Knights Templar, stolen by Gillian’s ancestor and lost at sea four hundred years ago. *Oh, it’s HER again!* [Editorial note: In the name of all fairness, this is not a paranormal title. However, it is my blog so I can include it. Right? Right!]
As part of her devil’s bargain with the industrial steam barons, Evelina Cooper is finally enrolled in the Ladies’ College of London. She’s attending as the Gold King’s pet magician, forbidden contact with even her closest relation, the detective Sherlock Holmes. The Baskerville Affair is finally coming to light, and the rebels are making their move to wrest power from the barons and restore it to Queen Victoria. Missing heirs and nightmare hounds are the order of the day. That’s what Dr. Watson is telling the press. Their plans are doomed unless Evelina escapes to unite her magic with the rebels’ machines. A sorcerer has awakened a dark hunger in Evelina’s soul, and only he can keep her from endangering them all. The only problem is, he’s dead.
Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful dancer is found murdered in her home, no suspect, no motive. There’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro, one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures. Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift. When she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line, literally.
Dark Craving: Fueled by magic, the Dragon King known as Hal can transform himself at will into one of the winged creatures he is sworn to protect. One thing he can never do is fall in love. Night’s Awakening: The immortal warriors were never meant to experience human desire. When Guy meets Elena, a mere mortal whose beauty and blind ambition shakes him to his core, all bets are off. Dawn’s Desire: The Dragon Kings have hidden their shapeshifting powers from the world. When a mortal enemy threatens to expose them, the warrior Banan must leave his lair in the Highlands to risk his life for the dragons within. Passion’s Claim: Banan has been waiting for centuries for someone like Jane. Guy knew it was love at first sight with Elena. Can two Dragon Kings commit to two immortal women for eternity? Or does fate have something else in store?
Edie Spence just wanted a vacation. A nice, relaxing, stress free, non-adventure away from the craziness that’s dominated her life since becoming a nurse for paranormal creatures. But from the start, her trip on the Maraschino, a cruise ship bound for Hawaii, has been anything but stress free, especially when Edie’s boyfriend Asher recognizes someone he used to know. Someone from his not-so-nice past. With their lives in the balance, will Edie and Asher be able to save their growing family or will this adventure be their end?
Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. As normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people, and her powers in check, while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. How is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum’s terrace suddenly comes to life? Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn’t a vision; he’s a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Ella triggered his reawakening. The fate of the world isn’t carved in stone…yet.
The stunning follow-up to Ack-Ack Macaque, which featured the Spitfire pilot monkey hero of a computer game who turned out to be real. The first book was met with wide acclaim upon release.In order to hide from his unwanted fame as the spitfire-pliot-monkey who emerged from a computer game to defeat the dangerous coporation who engineered him, the charismatic and dangerous Ack-Ack Macaque is working as a pilot on a world-circling nuclear powered Zeppelin. But when the cabin of one of his passengers is invaded by that passenger’s own dying doppelganger, our hirsute hero finds himself thrust into another race to save the world – this time from an aggressive hive mind, time-hopping saboteurs, and an army of homicidal Neanderthal assassins.
Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger only to discover he’s really a werewolf. Lycanthropes don’t faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she’s known in years. Hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham, that’s a risk. Caleb employs his lupine tracking abilities as a not quite legal bounty hunter. She’d like to stay far, far away from anybody with connections to the law. Caleb seems determined to keep her close. Are his intentions noble, or is he working a more predatory angle? Anna’s been dreaming of returning to a semi-normal life, but now she’s experiencing a strange new urge, to join Caleb in running with the wolves.
Sierra Brennan can inherit her great-uncle’s Chicago townhouse under one condition: She must live there for thirty consecutive days. As a writer and a ghost whisperer, Sierra has a vast imagination and a brave spirit. Not even she is prepared for the gorgeous vampire who greets her at the door. Ronan McCoy has spent the past century waiting to come home. The presence of the beautiful, brazen Sierra is one complication he doesn’t expect. The other is Hal, a dangerous ghost and original member of Al Capone’s gang who’s dead-set on revenge. All he knows for sure is that he must protect Sierra from Hal. Once he has her in his arms, can he ever let her go? Life, and love, is becoming stranger than fiction for Sierra, and more delicious than she and Ronan could have ever imagined.
“Heaven? Hell? There’s no difference. Angels, demons, we’re all a bit of both. This could be the most wondrous place you ever experience or so terrifying it makes you pray for death. Not that death would help you of course, there’s no escape from here…” Wormwood has appeared and for twenty four hours the gateway to the afterlife is wide open. But just because a door is open doesn’t mean you should step through it… Those who have travelled to reach the town are realising that the challenges they’ve already faced were nothing compared to what lies ahead. The afterlife has an agenda of its own and with scheming on both sides of reality, the revelations to come may change the world forever.
Marley Canton is done being a victim. A year and a half has passed since she discovered her ability to nullify power in those who aren’t supposed to have it. She’s now on a quest not only to stop the brats who’ve become addicted to goddess power, but also to find the source of their addiction. Gage Samargo is tracking down the goddess who went rogue decades ago. Insane with too much power from the sun, she’s selling that energy to Gage’s younger brother and his friends, who are no longer content to come into power naturally. Marley discovers that every time she nullifies someone, she takes on some of the goddess’s insanity. Gage falls for Marley’s sharp wit and intense desire to right wrongs. But once he discovers she’s turning into her enemy, is it too late to back away?
Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he’s gone forever. But there’s a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry’s healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.
Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief” to “killer”. Hired by a wealthy businessman, she heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at, but in her vision she sees him die by another’s hand and on the wall written in blood is a message just for Miriam. She’s expected…
When I moved to New York to become a journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out. Our cases are generally routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel, shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. With New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. If we don’t find him, and the organization behind him, by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.
Thirty years ago, the Iron Wolves held back mud-orc hordes at the Pass of Splintered Bones, and led a brutal charge that saw the sorcerer Morkagoth slain. This ended the War of Zakora, and made the Iron Wolves heroes. Now, a new terror stalks the realm. It is claimed the Horse Lady, Orlana the Changer, has escaped from the Chaos Halls and is building an army. Aged General Dalgoran searches to reunite the heroes of old for what he believes will be the final battle. Dalgoran discovers the Iron Wolves are no longer heroes of legend. The Iron Wolves travel to the Pass of Splintered Bones. General Dalgoran realizes his grave error. The Iron Wolves hold a terrible secret which has tortured them for three decades. Now, they only wish to be human again.
Arenadd Taranisäii, infamous leader of the Northern people, has vanished. Only his half-breed daughter Laela knows what happened to him. Left to rule her father’s Kingdom, Laela is all that stands in the way of the war her cousin Saeddryn wants to declare. But Laela faces a far more dangerous enemy: the Night God herself wants Laela dead. Faced by enemies on all sides, Laela must learn to rule, and survive, with her griffin partner Oeka by her side. As allies come from unexpected places, someone new will enter Laela’s life: the mysterious shapeshifter Kullervo. But soon the Night God will send the most dangerous enemy of all, the deadly Shadow That Walks, an invincible murderer created to fulfill only one mission: kill Laela.
McKenzie Lewis’s ability to read the shadows has put her, and those she loves, in harm’s way. After ten years of turmoil, the life McKenzie has always longed for may finally be within her grasp. No one is swinging a sword at her head or asking her to track the fae, and she finally has a regular, albeit boring, job. But when a ruthless enemy strikes against her friends, McKenzie abandons her attempt at normalcy and rushes back to the Realm. With the fae she loves and the fae she’s tied to pulling her in different directions, McKenzie must uncover the truth behind the war and accept the painful sacrifices that must be made to end it. Armed with dangerous secrets and with powerful allies at her side, her actions will either rip the Realm apart, or save it.
At the close of the twenty-fourth century, a series of revolutions has caused the galaxy to descend into chaos. With the Galactic Union Army stretched thin, mercenary units have arisen for those who have the need to hire them. Kay, the alien member of the Cutter Force Initiative, has returned to her brutal home world of Vast on a mission of mercy. Her skills are sorely needed. Hundreds of Vastalimi, including her blood-kin, are dying mysteriously. Is the plague a work of nature? Or is it a bioengineered virus, purposefully unleashed? Kay and Doc Wink will have to find out the hard way. With the Cutter Force light-years away, the two find the odds against them, and on a planet like Vast, where violence abounds and life is cheap, they may be facing a foe they can’t defeat.
A middle-aged realtor trying to get ahead any way she can. A bad girl pays for cheating with a married man. A wife with a dark past lives in fear of being exposed. The bad acts of a little old lady come home to roost. A young man with no direction finds power behind the wheel of a haunted truck. From behind the pretty drapes of the average suburban home, madness peers out. Stories of suburban darkness from the award-winning author of A Dry Spell, The Thirteen, and The Dwelling prove that life can turn on you, or you can turn on it. (U.S. Release)
“Ekaterina and the Firebird” is a new Tor.com short story by Abra Staffin-Wiebe. (ebook only)
The small print: This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners will be announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info.
Now….go forth and tell me what you want to read!