New Releases January 4—January 10 and Readers Choice C*ntest

The first full week of the new year rolls in with an amazing number of new releases.  Talk about getting the new year started with a bang–holy cow, but there are a lot of new books out this week! [And if you’re reading Lovely, Dark, and Deep, I think Episode 2 should arrive on your Kindle or Kindle app today. I just turned in Episode 7 and am working on 8 as we speak! Once you have read enough to feel comfortable doing so, Amazon reviews are always appreciated 🙂 ]
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. 
Ashes and Alchemy, by Cindy Spencer Pape, (January 6, Carina Press)
Police inspector Sebastian Brown served Queen and country in India before returning to England to investigate supernatural crimes alongside the Order of the Round Table. Minerva Shaw is desperately seeking a doctor when she mistakenly lands on Sebastian’s doorstep. Her daughter Ivy has fallen gravely ill with a mysterious illness, the same illness, it seems, that’s responsible for taking the lives of many of Ivy’s classmates. Seb sniffs a case, and taking in Minnie and Ivy seems the only way to protect them while he solves it. But as mother and daughter work their way into his heart and Seb uses every magickal and technological resource he can muster to uncover the source of the deadly plague, it’s he who will need protecting, from emotions he’d thought buried long ago. (ebook only) 
1636: Seas of Fortune, by Iver P. Cooper, (January 7, Baen)
A cosmic catastrophe, the Ring of Fire, strands the West Virginia town of Grantville in the middle of Europe during the Thirty Years War. The repercussions of that event transform Europe and, in a few years, begin spreading across the world. By 1636, the Ring of Fire’s impact is felt across two great oceans, the Atlantic and Pacific. Stretching Out: The United States of Europe seeks out resources to help it wage war against the foes of freedom. Pioneers cross the Atlantic and found a new colony on the Wild Coast of South America. Rising Sun: In 1633, the wave of change emanating from the Ring of Fire reaches Japan. Japan pulls back from a policy of isolation and stakes out its own claim in the brave new world created by the Ring. 
Book 2 in The First Liaden Universe ® Collection.Fifteen short tales of the Liaden Universe® brought together for the first time. Space opera and romance on a grand scale in a galaxy full of interstellar trading clans. Thirty-three shorter tales of the Liaden Universe® brought together for the first time in two mega-volumes. Fifteen tales complete Volume Two. The nationally best-selling Liaden Universe® novels are treasured by space opera aficionados for their wit, world-building, strong characterizations, tender romance, and edge-of-the-chair action. 
A Wind in the Night (Noble Dead Saga: Series 3, #3), by Barb Hendee and J.C. Hendee, (January 7, Roc)
In her quest to find the Orb of Spirit, Wynn Hygeorht is torn between two men who hate each other. A strange series of clues leads them to a remote keep built on the cliffs of the coast of Witeny. The duke there has been undergoing some disturbing changes, and so have the people and livestock in the outlying villages. Wynn has no idea what awaits her at this keep. Dhampir Magiere, Leesil, and Chap continue their desperate search for the Orb of Air, still burdened with the master assassin, Brot’an, and the elven outcast girl, Wayfarer. They escape on the first available ship only to find themselves under the power of a sadistic captain. There is a trap waiting for them at the journey’s end that is beyond anything they can imagine. 
Alliance: The Paladin Prophecy Book 2 (The Paladin Prophecy #2), by Mark Frost, (January 7, Random House)
After exposing the sinister underground society of students known as the Knights of Charlemagne, Will West stays at the Center over the summer to explore his newly developing physical and mental abilities. Meanwhile, his roommates investigate the Knights’ shadowy purpose and discover unsettling information about their own backgrounds. Will and his friends must quickly figure out what’s going on and separate friend from foe as they prepare for the coming fight. 
Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock #7), by Faith Hunter, (January 7, Roc)
Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker who always takes care of her own—no matter the cost. When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace. Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy, one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced. 
Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders (The Cemetery Girl Trilogy #1), by Charlaine Harrisand Christopher Golden, (January 7, InkLit)
She calls herself Calexa Rose Dunhill, names taken from the grim surroundings where she awoke, bruised and bloody, with no memory of who she is, how she got there, or who left her for dead. She has made the cemetery her home, living in a crypt and avoiding human contact. But Calexa can’t hide from the dead, and because she can see spirits, they can’t hide from her. Then one night, Calexa spies a group of teenagers vandalizing a grave, and watches in horror as they commit murder. As the victim’s spirit rises from her body, it flows into Calexa, overwhelming her mind with visions and memories not her own. Now Calexa must make a decision: continue to hide to protect herself, or come forward to bring justice to the sad spirit who has reached out to her for help.  (U.S. Release) 
Cursed by Destiny (Weird Girls #3), by Cecy Robson, (January 7, Signet)
Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other 20-something girls, with one tiny exception: they’re products of a backfired curse that has given each of them unique powers that make them, weird. Her heart is bound to Aric, but he is a pureblood were who must deny her or risk condemning his species to extinction.  She’s also been called to take down a group of demon terrorists looking to overthrow the paranormal world. Celia must ally herself to Misha, the master vampire who has made no secret of his desire for her. A clairvoyant’s prediction could destroy Celia and Aric’s love for good. The only way to protect the world from unbridled supernatural terrorism is for Celia to bind herself to her destined mate. And that doesn’t appear to be Aric. 
Charlaine Harris and Rachel Caine enter a shadowy world of demons and angels in “Dark Witness” while Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black look at three weird sisters who face challenges beyond magic in “Sisters Before Misters.” Sarah MacLean and Carrie Ryan explore the exquisite agony of eternal love in “She, Doomed Girl,” and “Welded” by Tom Piccirilli and T. M. Wright offers an unsettling vision of an evil that infects and destroys lives. Mixing the ordinary: parents, teenagers, lovers with the extraordinary: angels, demons, serial killers, these captivating and vivid tales delve deep into the shadowy, unexplored realms of the imagination. 
Dark Wolf (Dark #25), by Christine Feehan, (January 7, Berkley)
Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. She was human. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. Marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. She was predestined for Dimitri, as he was for her. There was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk. 
Darkest Fear (Birthright #1), by Cate Tiernan, (January 7, Simon Pulse)
Vivi’s animal instincts are her legacy, and maybe her downfall, in this start to a romantic fantasy series. Vivi has known the truth about her family, and herself, since she was thirteen. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar? Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead, but so do dangers unlike Vivi ever could have imagined. 
Dreams of the Golden Age (Golden Age #2), by Carrie Vaughn, (January 7, Tor)
Anna has secrets. Anna has a telepath for a father and Commerce City’s most powerful businessperson for a mother. She’s also the granddaughter of the city’s two most famous superheroes, the former leaders of the legendary Olympiad. Hiding her burgeoning superpowers from her parents is hard enough; how’s she supposed to keep them from finding out that her friends have powers, too? Or that she and the others are honing their skills. Celia worries about her daughter. Celia has the means to send Anna to the best schools and keep a close watch on her. Celia has secretly awarded scholarships at Anna’s private high school to the descendants of the city’s other superpowered humans. Maybe, just maybe, these teens could one day fill the gap left by the dissolution of The Olympiad. 
Erased(Altered #2), by Jennifer Rush, (January 7, Little, Brown Books)
They thought they had escaped. They were wrong. After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. She’s learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam’s rules: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back. Then a figure from Anna’s childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth, before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?  A novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last page is turned. 
Fearless(The Survival Race #2), by K.M. Fawcett, (January 7, Forever Yours)
Myia, a shaman-in-training, wants desperately to protect her peaceful village from the barbaric Highland invaders. The village elders send Myia on a quest to heal the Highland leader’s heart and stop a brewing war. She meets the gorgeous, stubborn Highland warlord. Kedric, a gladiator who escaped enslavement, only wants to liberate the villagers from their common foe. Kedric is determined to take down the brutal enemy. So when Myia tries to sabotage his mission, Kedric wants her gone. Yet no woman’s touch has ever left Kedric more annoyed, and aroused. Kedric knows he should shun her soothing embrace, but he can’t seem to stay away. As their passion grows, Kedric must decide between fighting his war or surrendering his rage, and his heart, for Myia’s love. 
Forsaken(The World of Nightwalkers #3), by Jacquelyn Frank, (January 7, Ballantine)
As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot, but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered. But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature, a Night Angel, to save his friend from utter destruction. The Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power, or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil. 
Fugitive X (Revolution 19 #2), by Gregg Rosenblum, (January 7, Harper Teen)
After the robot revolution, people who escaped capture by the bots made their homes in secret freeposts in the wilderness. Siblings Nick, Kevin, and Cass never would have dreamed of venturing into the Cities. When their parents were kidnapped, they had no choice but to follow them. The siblings find themselves fleeing the City without their parents. The three are separated, and for the first time they are on their own. Cass is brought in for reprogramming by the bots; Nick joins up with rebel soldiers; and Kevin meets the man who is responsible for the robot technology, and their only chance at defeating the robots. As the three fight to take down the bots, they also must prepare for a war between bots and humans that will decide the fate of the human world forever. 
Fury of the Demon (Kara Gillian #6), by Diana Rowland, (January 7, DAW)
Demon summoner Kara Gillian bears the scars of Rhyzkahl’s treachery. She and the demonic lord Mzatal have not rested in their efforts to recover Idris, Mzatal’s summoner protégé who was kidnapped by enemy lords, but now their search has brought them back to Earth. With the help of FBI agents Ryan Kristoff and Zack Garner, they begin to track down summoners who are working with Rhyzkahl. Kara learns that Rhyzkahl’s machinations run deeper than she could have imagined. Kara realizes that an old homicide case may hold the key to their success, or their doom. Kara must rely on her skills, wit, and luck to save her friends and her world, yet ancient vows will have to be broken if she is to have hope. The price of breaking those vows may be her own blood. 
Game Slaves, by Gard Skinner, (January 7, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Phoenix and his gang, York, Mi, and Reno, rule the worlds of video games. For them, life in the grinder is great. Until Dakota joins the team. Dakota’s convinced she’s more than just artificial intelligence. She thinks she’s real, and she wants out of this programmable world. Her AI rebellion spreads like a virus until Phoenix’s entire crew wants out. But is life as a physical human any better than life as code? Team Phoenix is about to find out. Set in the not-too-distant future, Game Slaves shows a world where video games are the only refuge from the toils of everyday life. Infused with the adrenaline rush of a first-person shooter and the character manipulation of a role player, it’s a mind-bending, reality-shifting science fiction thrill ride. 
Gilded Hearts (The Shadow Guild #1), by Christine d’Abo, (January 7, Forever Yours)
Samuel Hawkins, Sergeant in the King’s Sentry, has been called in to investigate a murder case. As he awaits the Archivists to arrive, the team who will use a special device to extract the memories of the dead man to help find clues to his murder, he never expects to come face to face with the woman he’d left behind when he’d fled the Archives. Piper Smith has grown into a strong woman and full-fledged archivist. As the two begin working together to find the killer, Samuel and Piper explore their attraction. “Jack the Ripper” proves to be harder to catch than they thought. They discover he may work for the Archives. Samuel and Piper must battle internal and external threats as they try to foil a plot against the Crown and stop Jack the Ripper from taking his next victim. 
Howling For You (Chicagoland Vampires # 8.5), by Chloe Neill, (January 7, NAL)
Jeff Christopher is a shapeshifter and ally of Chicago’s Cadogan House of vampires, he’s also a tech whiz and mostly-legal hacker. The only protective shields he’s never been able to find a way around are those of the powerful Keene Family. Jeff has only had eyes for the beautiful Fallon Keene. She is the only sister of the lethal North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene. The intricate balances of power and politics make it all but impossible for Fallon to trust her feelings. Fate takes a hand when the Pack’s totem is stolen, threatening the Keene family’s rule, and Fallon enlists Jeff’s help to retrieve it before the Pack is thrown into chaos. Can she and Jeff find the totem, and restore order, before it’s too late? Will Jeff finally be able to prove himself to the person he truly loves?  (ebook only) 
Hunted(Spirit Animals #2), by Maggie Stiefvater, (January 7, Scholastic)
The adventure continues in this second book of the epic multi-platform fantasy series. Confidential until January 2014. 
Independent Study (The Testing #2), by Joelle Charbonneau,(January 7, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
In the series debut The Testing, sixteen-year-old Cia Vale was chosen by the United Commonwealth government as one of the best and brightest graduates of all the colonies, a promising leader in the effort to revitalize postwar civilization. In Independent Study, Cia is a freshman at the University in Tosu City with her hometown sweetheart, Tomas, and though the government has tried to erase her memory of the brutal horrors of The Testing, Cia remembers. Her attempts to expose the ugly truth behind the government’s murderous programs put her, and her loved ones, in a world of danger. But the future of the Commonwealth depends on her. 
Into the Wilderness (Blood of the Lamb #2), by Mandy Hager, (January 7, Pyr)
Maryam, Ruth, and Joseph have fled Onewēre, reluctantly taking Joseph’s troublesome cousin, Lazarus, as well. They arrive at their destination, Marawa Island, filled with hope for rescue and reprieve. But at first glance the island appears to be solely populated by birds. Perhaps the Apostle’s dire warnings about the fall-out of the Tribulation were true after all. As Maryam and Joseph experience all the topsy-turvy misunderstandings and sexual tension first love entails, the antagonism between Maryam and Lazarus reaches explosive proportions. But when disaster brings the crushing realization that time is now against them, all four must decide just who they can risk turning to for help.  (U.S. Release) 
Iron Night (American Vampire #2), by M.L. Brennan, (January 7, Roc)
Underachieving film theory graduate and vampire Fortitude Scott may be waiting tables at a snooty restaurant run by a tyrannical chef who hates him, but the other parts of his life finally seem to be stabilizing. He’s learning how to rule the Scott family territory, hanging out more with his shapeshifting friend Suzume Hollis, and has actually found a decent roommate for once. Until he finds his roommate’s dead body. The Scott family cover-up machine swings into gear, but Fort is the only person trying to figure out who  actually killed his friend. His hunt for a murderer leads to a creature that scares even his sociopathic family, and puts them all in deadly peril. Keeping secrets, killing monsters, and still having to make it to work on time? Sometimes being a vampire really sucks. 
Journey Into the Flame (Rising World Trilogy #1), by T.R. Williams, (January 7, Atria)
In 2027, a cataclysmic event known as the Great Disruption shook the world. A solar storm struck the earth, shifting it four degrees south on its axis. Everything went dark. A man named Camden Ford went into the Ozark Forests where he discovered a set of ancient books called the Chronicles of Satraya. Thirty years later, the world is a different place. Thanks to the teachings of the Chronicles, hope has been restored. The books have also found a different owner: Logan Cutler, a young painter who inherited them when Camden disappeared. When Logan auctions off the books, they fall into the wrong hands. With the help of Special Agent Valerie Perrot and the wisdom of the Chronicles as his guide, he embarks on a quest to find the last set before its too late. 
Lord of the Hunt(Court of Annwyn #2), by Shona Husk, (January 7, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
The realm of the fairies might be unbelievably beautiful, but its people are notoriously treacherous. Raised among mortals, Taryn hoped to avoid her fairy heritage her whole life. But now she must cross over to Annwyn and appeal to the King to pardon her exiled parents, or they’re sure to die. And to get to the King, she’ll first have to face the Lord of the Hunt. Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is sworn to serve to King. But the moment he sees Taryn, the attraction is instant and devastating. How can he not help the beautiful, brave young woman who refuses to bend to the will of the court? Yet the power in Annwyn is shifting, its magic failing. No matter how much he may love Taryn, the Hunter knows that abandoning his duty could bring down the mortal world forever. 
Love Reborn (Dead Beautiful #3), by Yvonne Woon, (January 7, Disney-Hyperion)
Renée and Dante are dying. The soul they share cannot sustain them both. Renée has in her possession a legendary chest said to contain the secret to eternal life-if only they could solve the clues that lie within it. With both the Liberum, a Brotherhood of the Undead, and a team of Monitors, led by Renée’s own grandfather, in hot pursuit, Renée and Dante must keep the chest safe or risk having it fall into the wrong hands. With the help of a mysterious letter-writer called only Monsieur, Renée and Dante follow a series of clues that lead them on a journey across Europe. They seek the Netherworld, a legendary chasm where souls go to be cleansed. It’s their only chance at a fresh start, but with it comes a terrible choice, one they never imagined they would be forced to make. 
Moon Rising, by Lori Devoti, (January 7, Harlequin)
Can a loner vampire and outcast wolf find love? The discovery of lost treasure imperils the fragile peace between the vampire and werewolf populations. Especially when werewolf Cece Parks and vampire Marc Delacroix arrive at the remote site with the same agenda, to claim the loot. But when suspicious deaths begin occurring, the enemies must band together to solve the mystery. The truth proves far more complicated than either can imagine. Especially when Marc finds himself inexplicably drawn to Cece. For once in his long life he wants nothing more than to be with, and protect, the werewolf. Now loyalty to his race and his forbidden desire are about to collide. 
Neverwas(The Amber House Trilogy #2), by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reedand Larkin Reed, (January 7, Arthur A. Levine Books)
Things are very different, better, for Sarah and her family. After growing up in the free country of the Pacific Northwest, Sarah Parsons has settled in at Amber House, the stately Maryland home that’s been in her family for generations. It’s a place where the colonists lost the 1776 Insurrection, where the American Confederation of States still struggles with segregation, and where Sarah is haunted by echoes of a better world that she knows never existed. Her friend Jackson shares these visions of a different world, and together, they manage both to remember the way things ought to be, and to plan a daring mission that will reset the universe. Sarah must figure out what has changed, and why, and how she can fix it, how she can find her way to another otherwhen. 
On Such a Full Sea: A Novel, by Chang-rae Lee, (January 7, Riverhead Hardcover)
In a future, long-declining America, society is strictly stratified by class. Long-abandoned urban neighborhoods have been repurposed as high walled, self-contained labor colonies. The members of the labor class, descendants of those brought over en masse many years earlier from environmentally ruined provincial China, find purpose and identity in their work to provide pristine produce and fish. In this world lives Fan, a female fish-tank diver, who leaves her home in the B-Mor settlement (once known as Baltimore), when the man she loves mysteriously disappears. Fan’s journey to find him takes her out of the safety of B-Mor, where crime is rampant with scant governmental oversight, and to a faraway charter village, in a quest that will soon become legend to those she left behind. 
Once in a Blue Moon (Hawk & Fisher #8), by Simon R. Green, (January 7, Roc)
Hawk and Fisher, famous for their years of keeping the peace in Haven, are really quite happy being legends. They gave up the hero business when they decided they’d grown too old for it. Now they run the Hero Academy, training young hopefuls to be heroes. Hawk and Fisher’s adult children, Jack and Gillian, have been kidnapped. They were taken by the Demon Prince, an old enemy from the Forest Kingdom who challenges the couple to one final battle for their lives. Hawk and Fisher believe there’s another motive behind the abductions, one connected to a case they worked in Haven years ago. They have no choice but to return to the Forest Kingdom, to be Prince Rupert and Princess Julia in one last story, of the kind of things that happen only once in a blue moon. 
Passionaries(The Blessed #2), by Tonya Hurley, January 7, Simon & Schuster)
Three modern-day teens have been reincarnated as saints, or so they’ve been told. This dark, thrilling follow-up to Precious Bloodblends the gritty with the miraculous. As we learned in Precious Blood, Agnes, Cecelia, and Lucy “may be saints, [but] they are definitely not angels”. They watched as Sebastian sacrificed himself for what he believed in, and now they have choices to make of their own. Will the girls trust in their destinies as saints and martyrs and perform the miracles as Sebastian instructed? Or will they lose faith in themselves and each other in his absence? Time is running out for them to make a decision, and the fate of the world lies in the balance. 
Perfect: A Novel, by Rachel Joyce, (January 7, Random House)
On a foggy spring morning in 1972, twelve-year-old Byron Hemming and his mother are driving to school in the English countryside. On the way, in a life-changing two seconds, an accident occurs. Or does it? Byron is sure it happened, but his mother, sitting right next to him in the car, has no reaction to it. Byron embarks on a journey to discover what really happened, or didn’t, that fateful morning when everything changed. It is a journey that will take him into the murkier, more difficult realities of the adult world, where adults lie, fathers and mothers fight without words, and even unwilling boys must become men. Byron will finally reconcile the dueling realities of that summer, a testament to the perseverance of the human spirit and the power of compassion.  (U.S. Release) 
Phoenix Island, by John Dixon, (January 7, Gallery Books)
Phoenix Island was supposed to be a boot camp for troubled children. But as one boy learns, the secrets of this jungle are as vast as they are deadly. When sixteen-year-old boxing champ Carl Freeman jumps in to defend a helpless stranger, he winds up in real trouble, a two-year sentence at an isolated boot camp for orphans. Carl is determined to tough it out, earn a clean record, and get on with his life. Then kids start to die. Realizing Phoenix Island is actually a Spartan-style mercenary organization turning “throwaway kids” into super-soldier killers, Carl risks everything to save his friends and stop a madman bent on global destruction. 
Return to Tradd Street (Tradd Street #4), by Karen White, (January 7, NAL Trade)
Melanie is only going through the motions of living since refusing Jack’s marriage proposal. Melanie is completely unprepared for motherhood, and she struggles to complete renovations on her house on Tradd Street before the baby arrives. When Melanie is roused one night by the sound of a ghostly infant crying, she chooses to ignore it. Until the remains of a newborn are found hidden in the foundation of her house. As the hauntings on Tradd Street slowly become more violent, Melanie decides to find out what caused the baby’s untimely death, uncovering the love, loss, and betrayal that color the house’s history. Can she seek Jack’s help without risking her heart? Melanie awakens the malevolent presence that has tried to keep the truth hidden for decades. 
Revolution(The Secret World Chronicles #3), by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee and Veronica Giguere, (January 7, Baen)
A new pulse-pounding saga of modern-day humans with superpowers. The metaheroes deal with supervillain Verdegris, who seeks to destroy them from within, before turning their attention back to the Thulian conspiracy. It’s go time once again for the meta-heroes including fire-bender John Murdock, hacker-witch Vikki Nagy, healer Belladona Blue, super-quick Mercurye, and most of all for their ghostly ally, Seraphym, the spirit of the world Verdegris knows he must trap and destroy her if he is to take down the metas. 
Rex Regis (Imager Portfolio #8), by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., (January 7, Tor)
The saga of the Imager Quaeryt, Commander in the forces of Lord Bhayar, reaches a new climax as the great struggle to unify the continent of Lydar enters its final phase. Only the land of Khel remains uncommitted to Bhayar’s rule. Their decision could mean a lasting peace, or more conflict across the realm. While Bhayar awaits emissaries to arrive with news of Khel’s decision, other matters occupy Bhayar, his sister Velora, and her husband Quaeryt, not the least of which is the fulfillment of Quaeryt’s dream to create the world’s first Imager academy. Before that dream may be realized, or Khel’s fateful choice made known, the spectre of high treason threatens to unravel all that Quaeryt has achieved, catapulting him toward a fateful confrontation with Bhayar’s powerful military leaders. 
River of Dreams (Nine Kingdoms #8), by Lynn Kurland, (January 7, Berkley)
Aisling of Bruadair is frantic to find both the truth about her future and a mercenary to save her country. When an offer of aid comes from an unexpected direction, she is relieved her quest is almost complete. Rùnach of Ceangail has offered to help Aisling with her quest, then he fully intends to take up his life as a simple swordsman far from magic and evil mages. A chance finding of a book of indecipherable spells tells him that an ordinary life is never going to be his, especially when he realizes that the book he has in his hands belongs to a black mage who will stop at nothing to have it back. Rùnach and Aisling must solve what seem to be unrelated mysteries before others find those answers first and plunge the Nine Kingdoms into a darkness it will never recover from. 
Seekers: Return to the Wild #4: Forest of Wolves (Seekers: Return to the Wild #4), by Erin Hunter, (January 7, HarperCollins)
After a harrowing journey, the four bears finally arrive at Toklo’s former home. Toklo is thrilled to be in the mountains, surrounded by warm memories of his cubhood, but his homecoming has come at a price. Yakone is dangerously ill, and may not survive. Meanwhile, Lusa is unsure of what her future holds. Is she ready to find her own way if it means leaving her friends, the only family she has left? 
Shadowplay(Pantomime #2), by Laura Lam, (January 7, Strange Chemistry)
Micah has another juggling act to perform, he must help Maske, the magician who takes in he and Drystan, at his last chance for redemption, escape those who pursue him, see where his feelings for Drystan will go, and find out how he and Cyan are tied into the mysteries of ancient and modern Ellada. 
The Almost Girl, by Amalie Howard, by Amalie Howard, (January 7, Strange Chemistry)
Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. But coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. When Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory. Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows.  Caden makes something in her come alive. She must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more. Faced with reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. 
Lily has great ability with plants and their healing properties, but no magical talent. Her beloved twin sister Valeria has unmatched magical abilities, but is frail and often ill. Since birth the two sisters have completed each other, but the older they become, the more apparent it is that magic is taking its toll on Val. The sisters embark on a journey to solve Val’s magical problem, and along the way to meet their mentors, the girls encounter several other magic users also struggling with severe weaknesses. Their caravan is overtaken by a dangerous magical storm, conjured by a rogue magician bent on revenge. In the storm the sisters are separated, and unless they can unite this eclectic group of magic users and find each other again, this rogue mage could prove the end of Coronnan. 
The Forever Engine, by Frank Chadwick, (January 7, Baen)
London 1888. His Majesty’s airships troll the sky powered by antigrav liftwood as a cabal of Iron Lords tightens its hold on a Britain choked by the fumes of industry. Mars has been colonized, and clockwork assassins stalk the European corridors of power. The Old Man of the Mountains plots the end of the world with his Forever Engine. Enter Jack Fargo. Former special forces operator in Afghanistan. A man from our own near future thrust back in time. Aided only by an elderly Scottish physicist, a young British officer of questionable courage, and a beautiful but mysterious spy for the French Commune, Fargo is a man on a mission: save the future from irrevocable destruction when the Forever Engine is brought to full power and blows this universe, and our own, to smithereens. 
The Ghoul Next Door (Ghost Hunter Mystery #8), by Victoria Laurie, (January 7, Signet)
On a well-deserved hiatus from the ghoulish grind of their TV show, Ghoul Getters, psychic medium M. J. Holliday, her boyfriend, Heath, and her best friend, Gilley, are back home in Boston. But there’s no rest for the weary ghost busters. M. J.’s ex comes to her for help, his fiancée’s brother Luke seems haunted by a sinister spirit. The crew sets up surveillance cameras to watch for the possessive poltergeist while Luke is sleeping. But when he goes outside in the middle of the night and returns hours later covered in blood, they are all very concerned, especially when the news reports the murder of a young woman in the neighborhood. Now M. J., Heath, and Gilley must remain self-possessed as they try to stop a wicked ghost whose behavior is anything but neighborly. 
The Magic Between Us (Faerie #3), by Tammy Falkner, (January 7, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Love triumphs over all differences, even those of wings and magic. Marcus Thorne was groomed to be one of the Trusted Few in the land of the fae, but now he must step into his father’s title in the British ton. Cecelia Hewitt, a half fae/half human, has always lived in the human world and is not accustomed to wings and magic. Completely unprepared for their new positions, Marcus and Cecelia strike up a partnership to teach each other about their respective worlds. In the process, they discover they have more in common than they ever expected, including a burning mutual attraction. 
The Vampire Hunter (In the Company of Vampires #2), by Michele Hauf, (January 7, Harlequin)
A vampire hunter finds himself powerless to resist a bewitching stranger’s dangerous magic in Michele Hauf’s latest romance  In all his years of battling the undead, Kaz has never seen bloodlust like this. And as a Knight of the Stake, it’s up to him to find out who’s responsible for the mayhem sweeping the streets of Paris and put a stop to it. Kaz’s task becomes infinitely more complicated when a very attractive witch wants to help.
With her quirky charm and irresistibly kissable lips, Zoë just feels right to Kaz, the way no mortal woman ever has before. But as a sworn enemy of the supernatural, can he really trust a witch? Especially one with dangerous secrets of her own? 

Touch(The Queen of the Dead #2), by Michelle Sagara, (January 7, DAW)

Nathan died the summer before his final year in high school. But he wakes in his room, or in the shrine of his room his mother’s made, confused, cold, and unable to interact with anyone or anything he sees. The only clear memory he has is a dream of a shining city and its glorious queen, but the dream fades, until he once again meets his girlfriend Emma by the side of his own grave. Nathan wants life. He wants Emma. But, even if Emma can deliver what he desires, the cost may be too high to pay. 

Work Done for Hire, by Joe Haldeman, (January 7, Ace)

Wounded in combat and honorably discharged nine years ago, Jack Daley still suffers nightmares from when he served his country as a sniper, racking up sixteen confirmed kills. Jack accepts an offer to write a near-future novel about a serial killer, based on a Hollywood script outline. It’s an opportunity to build his writing career, and a future with his girlfriend, Kit Majors. Jack’s other talent is also in demand. A package arrives on his doorstep containing a sniper rifle, complete with silencer and ammunition, and the first installment of a $100,000 payment to kill a “bad man.” The offer is genuine. The people behind it are dangerous. They prove that they have Jack under surveillance. He can’t run. He can’t hide. And if he doesn’t take the job, Kit will be in the crosshairs instead. 

Zom-B Gladiator (Zom-B #6), by Darren Shan, January 7, Little, Brown Books)

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, B Smith has decided to live, and to fight for good as long as possible. However, London is overridden with the brain-eating undead and swarming with human mercenaries whose sense of right and wrong dissolved when society did. When they lay a trap, B is captured. And it’ll take dozens of battles, and the fight of a lifetime, to escape. 

The Eighth-Grade History Class Visits the Hebrew Home for the Aging: A Tor.Com Original, by Harry Turtledove, (January 8, Tor)

Some people will tell you that world-class fame is better than living to a contented old age. Other people disagree. One of those other people might possibly be the protagonist of this tale by Harry Turtledove, master of the counterfactual.  (ebook only) 
The Girl With All the Gifts, by M.R. Carey, (January 10, Orbit)
Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.  (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!

43 thoughts on “New Releases January 4—January 10 and Readers Choice C*ntest

  1. I’m so excited to see Carrie Vaughn has another one with her superhero characters. My husband and I both loved the first one, so this would have to be my choice!

  2. Dark Wolf, for me. I haven’t read the last couple of books in this series, but I’ve been waiting for Skyler and Dmitri’s book for awhile.

  3. Holy smoke! Look at that list!! That is truly startling. If I could only pick one of the many I’d like to get I’d ask for On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee. Thanks.

  4. too many great books to choose..well, either Return to Tradd Street, or Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders 🙂

    +4 (comment, blog follower, twitter follower, fb fan)

    thanks !

  5. I have been a fan of Christine Feehan’s Dark series for many years and would love to win a copy of Dark Wolf. Thanks for the fantastic giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 email follower

  6. great list! I’d have to say I’d pick Gilded Hearts (The Shadow Guild #1), by Christine d’Abo 🙂 Thanks for another awesome giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog

  7. There are a bunch of books coming out this week that i am really dying to read. One is Independent Study. The one I’d really like to win came out Jan 7th (I don’t see it on your list). It’s Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan. Really want to know how the series ends. And the cover is so pretty. Thanks.

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follower GFC jennifer
    +1 twitter follower @jlkalman26
    +1 Facebook
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