The month of February dawns with an avalanche of new releases this week. Which is awesome because we all love sifting through the new titles and adding to our TBR lists. And holy cow but there are a LOT of them, in just about every speculative genre from high fantasy to YA. And I’m seriously loving that Red Delicious cover.
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.
Mercy Taylor, the youngest member of Savannah’s preeminent witching family, was born without the gift of magic. She is accustomed to coming in a distant second to the minutes older, exquisite and gifted twin she adores. Hopelessly in love with her sister’s boyfriend, she goes to a Hoodoo root doctor for a love spell. A spell that will turn her heart to another man. Aunt Ginny, the family’s matriarch, would not approve. Mercy has more to worry about than a love triangle when Aunt Ginny is brutally murdered. Ginny was the Taylor family’s high commander in the defense of the bewitched line that separates humankind from the demons who once ruled our realm. Mercy must tap the strength born from being an outcast to protect the line she doesn’t feel a part of.
Their journey to Merakh should have made Errol and his companions heroes of the realm. Instead, much is changed on their return. In the wake of the king’s death, Duke Weir is ruling the country, and his intentions are to marry Adora to bring an heir. With Errol and the others imprisoned and the identity of the rightful heir to the throne still hidden in secrecy, Illustra is on the verge of civil war, and at growing risk from the armies of Merakh and Morgol. A dangerous mission to free Errol succeeds, but the dangers facing the kingdom are mounting with every passing moment. The barrier has fallen, ferals are swarming toward the land, and their enemies draw near. Will the revelation of Illustra’s next true king come in time or will all be lost?
Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. She’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. When Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Cara finds support in the last person she expected. Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Cara will be in for the fight of her life, not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and all died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding, but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them that change everything.
Enforcer Erin Flynn has dedicated her life to protecting her kind. But keeping her heart safe from Noah Campbell, the shifter who saved her life last year, is more difficult. She would love to sink into his arms and become his mate, but she knows she can’t, he must never know about her dark past. When Erin is sent to investigate the disappearances of pregnant shifters in New Orleans, Erin and Noah find themselves involved in a mystery more sinister than anyone expected. Chilling information about her own past is revealed. The people who wanted her dead in the first place are trying to finish the job, and Noah wants nothing more than to shield her from harm. Can Erin truly trust Noah and let him see the wounded beast she’s hidden for so long?
My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame, whatever that is. My superior Nightingale is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician’s apprentice. Mostly I’m just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends. A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man. I get word of something odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on an estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the desperate. I’ll be entering some tricky waters of jurisdiction with the local river spirits. The typical day for a magician constable. (U.S. Release)
The fate of the world is more fragile than ever as Pures battle Wretches and former allies become potential enemies. Inside the Dome, Patridge has taken his father’s place as leader of the Pures. His intent had been to bring down the Dome from the inside with the help of the secret resistance force led by Partridge’s former teacher Glassings. Perhaps if the world is to survive it needs the Dome, and Partridge, to rule it. Outside the Dome, Pressia and Bradwell continue piecing together the clues left to them by their parents from the time before the detonations. They will be able to help heal the Wretches, freeing them from their monstrous fusings and the Dome’s oppression once and for all. Can they still trust their friend and ally to see their plan through? Or will a new war begin?
Talulla has settled into an uneasy equilibrium. With her twins safely at her side, and the devotion of her lover, Walker, she has what appears to be a normal family life, except for their monthly transformation into werewolves hungry for human flesh. But even this hard-won, tenuous peace is undermined for Talulla by nagging thoughts of Remshi, the twenty-thousand-year-old vampire who haunts her dreams. Remshi can’t escape the feeling that he knows Talulla from many years before. Talulla is being pursued by a fanatical, Vatican-based Christian cult, and Remshi is following a trail of reckless feedings by a newly turned vampire bent on revenge. Talulla and Remshi are drawn to each other, and toward the moment when an ancient prophecy may finally come to pass.
These are exciting times in Archers Beach, Maine! An unprecedented Early Season has united townies and carnies in an effort to expand into a twelve-month resort, recapturing the town’s former glory. Kate Archer, owner-operator of the vintage wooden carousel, is caught up in the excitement. Kate leads a double life, as carny, and as Guardian of the land. Her recent return to the home she had forsaken has changed the town’s luck, for the better, and energized the trenvay, earth and water spirits who are as much citizens of the Beach as their mundane counterparts. The town’s new energy isn’t the only change afoot. Joe Nemeier, the local drug lord, whose previous magical consultant was vanquished by Kate, has acquired a new ally, and this one plays with fire.
Jessica Drake has dreamed of other worlds, some of them similar to her own, others alien. She never shares the details with anyone, save her younger brother Tommy. A strange woman has been watching her house. A visitor to her school attempts to take possession of her dream-inspired artwork. It becomes clear that whoever is watching her does not want her to learn the truth. Her house catches on fire, and when the smoke clears she discovers that her brother has been kidnapped. Following clues left behind on Tommy’s computer, Jessica and two of her friends embark on a journey that will test their spirits and their courage. They must leave their own world behind and confront the source of Earth’s darkest legends as well as the truth of their own secret heritage.
The orphan Phae has kept her innate ability secret since she was young. Not only does she possess the dangerous fireblood, but she can also steal the memories of anyone who looks into her eyes. Phae has no idea that her combination of powers is extraordinary. She is the unwitting key to discovering the secret origin of the plagues, and she is also now a target. The ruthless Arch-Rike of Kenatos has sent his most menacing servant, the Quiet Kishion, to destroy her. As Phae struggles to wield her powers and escape her pursuers, a team of allies has already been dispatched on a quest to end the plagues. The determined allies must square off against the Arch-Rike, who is ever steadfast in his aim to kill Phae, and let the plagues rage on.
Roger Ramius MacClintock was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of Man. It wasn’t too surprising that someone in his position should react by becoming spoiled, self-centered, and petulant. Warships of the Empire of Man’s worst rivals force his crippled vessel out of space and Roger is shipwrecked on the planet Marduk, whose jungles are full of deadly predators and barbarian hordes. All Roger has to do is hike halfway around the entire planet, then capture a spaceport from the Bad Guys, commandeer a starship, and then go home to Mother for explanations. Roger has an ace in the hole: Bravo Company of Bronze Battalion of The Empress’ Own Regiment. If anyone can get him off Marduk alive, it’s the Bronze Barbarians.
The airship Everness makes a Heisenberg Jump to an alternate Earth. Everett, Sen, and the crew find themselves above a plain that goes on forever in every direction without any horizon. There they find an Alderson Disc, an astronomical megastructure of incredibly strong material. They meet the Jiju, the dominant species on a plane where the dinosaurs didn’t die out. War between their kingdoms is inevitable, total and terrible. Everness has jumped right into the midst of a faction fight between rival nations, the Fabreen and Dityu empires. The airship is attacked, but then defended by the forces of the Fabreen, who offers the Everness crew protection. The crew of the Everness is divided in a very alien world, a world fast approaching the point of apocalypse. (U.S. Release)
Having finally reunited, and fought off The Deceiver for now, Mary and Michael race up the Michigan peninsula to meet Astra before police forces catch up with them. But the closer they get, the less Mary is willing to trust a woman who by her own admission will do anything to finish The Deceiver, even if it means killing Michael and Mary to try again in another life. As they face their final battle unsure if they can trust either side, Michael’s loyalties are tested, making him vulnerable just when Mary needs him most.
Sam Shao has found out too much about the haan, by accident. All humans have to get along with them, we owe them our lives, and Sam even counts a haan among her best friends. But the more she learns, the less she trusts them. It doesn’t help that the building of new haan colonies seems to be coinciding with a rash of missing persons cases. Sam and her hacker friends are determined to reveal the truth about the haan, before it’s too late. The aliens are still promising salvation, and they seem set to deliver, but with things already spinning out of control Sam is confronted with a possibility no one wants to admit, that what salvation means to humankind and what it means to the haan may be two horribly different things.
This can’t be happening to her. A random break down, an isolated mountain road, a seemingly chance meeting with a hotter-than-hot stranger. Tatyana is a modern gal who can handle any crisis, but before she knows what’s hit her, she’s sensing a hideous threat, not to her but to this man who draws her like a moth to flame. Hunter. “I know things…I saw it.” When the attack comes, she is his protection from a diabolical enemy, even as he initiates her into a startling world of magic, sorcery and sensuality. For in a moment of terrifying danger a spark has been struck, and neither can escape the erotic fire to come.
When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out, even visiting the Grey Man. Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls. Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?
For heiress Sheree West, vampires are more than a fantasy. They are an obsession. Night after night, she dresses in black and immerses herself in L.A.’s goth club scene. Searching for a lover who is more than a man. A creature of the dark who lusts for her blood. A legend who lives in the shadows and not just her dreams. Derek Blackwood is no ordinary vampire. Descended from a bloodline as old as Cleopatra, and blessed with unearthly powers of seduction, he is everything Sheree wished for. When he takes her in his arms, she is powerless. When he kisses her neck, she is his. When the full moon rises, something is unleashed in Derek that he’s never felt before. Something wild. Something dangerous. Something no vampire can control or stop, even for the woman he loves.
A one-night stand with a werewolf has unexpected consequences. After he is exiled from his pack, Tyee Grayson must learn to make it on his own. But one night with a beautiful stranger who has luminous blue eyes changes everything. Especially when his instincts shout that she is the one. All elementary school teacher Jessica Brierly wanted was a night on the wild side, but when she finds herself pregnant, all the rules change. Not only does her lover have more secrets than she ever imagined, but suddenly they’re both fighting off vampires. When vampires attack the town she dearly loves, Ty must work with his old pack to save them from a ruthless enemy who could kill not only his mate and his unborn child, but the entire human race.
My name is Jensen Murphy, and thirty years ago I was just an ordinary California girl. I had friends, family, a guy who might be The One. Ordinary, until I became a statistic, one of the unsolved murders of the year. Afterwards, I didn’t go anywhere in pursuit of any bright light,I stayed under the oak tree where my body was found, and relived my death, over an over. So when a psychic named Amanda Lee Minter pulled me out of that loop into the real world, I was very grateful. So I’m now a ghost-at-large, rescued by Amanda (I found out) to be a supernatural snoop. I’m helping her uncover a killer (not mine, she promises me we’ll get to that) which should be easy for a spirit. Except that I’ve found out that even ghosts have enemies, human, and otherwise.
In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and, if they survive, marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born. Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona, and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona, and will rewrite all their fates, forever.
Half-vampire, half-werewolf Siobhan Quinn survived her initiation into the world of demons and monsters. But staying alive as she becomes entangled in underworld politics might prove to be more difficult. When the daughter of a prominent necromancer vanishes, it’s up to Quinn to find the girl. But her search will land her directly in the middle of a struggle between competing forces searching for an ancient artifact of almost unimaginable power.
Lion Breed, Rule Breaker had just a few rules he didn’t break. #1. Never have sex with a woman outside his own subspecies, especially a human woman. #2. Never, at any time, accept a mission concerning a female when Jonas Wyatt stinks of a lie. #3. Run, hell for leather away from any female, human or breed, when his desire for her appears to have so much as a single sign of Mating Heat. What he suspected was a mating, may not be. Just his animal instincts rioting, pacing, irritated whenever he’s away from her. What ensues is a fiery affair that breaks all the rules of mating heat and will eventually endanger his mate with the very rules designed to protect the breeds when Jonas learns she’s possibly been working against them.
Eliza Hardison is determined to crusade for workers’ rights until her cousin Dexter, the Makesmith Baron, prevails on her to represent Hardison House in the American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally. The competition is fierce, but only one opponent really matters to Eliza. Dexter’s protégé, Matthew Pence, was always like a big brother to her. Matthew has made a break from Hardison House with his own business venture, and made his own entry in the rally. Matthew intends to win while keeping Eliza safe on the perilous route from New York to San Francisco. Eliza and Matthew must work together, discovering a bond deeper than either could have imagined, but is winning the rally more important than winning at love?
By her father’s wish, Lady Daylily is betrothed to the Prince of Southlands. Not the prince she loves, handsome and dispossessed Lionheart, but his cousin, the awkward and foolish Prince Foxbrush. Unable to bear the future she sees as her wedding day dawns, Daylily flees into the dangerous Wilderlands, her only desire to vanish from living memory. But Foxbrush, determined to rescue his betrothed, pursues Daylily into a new world of magic and peril, a world where vicious Faerie beasts hold sway, a world invaded by a lethal fey parasite. A world that is hauntingly familiar.
A bitter dispute over how the High King had been selected simmers in the dark halls of the royal family whose line had not been chosen. Finally one of their sons, Arkov of Garia, seized the throne through treachery and by force of arms. In his haste to see the king and queen slain, Arkov failed to confirm the death of the young prince, Reyer, who was spirited away to safety. On a distant island ruled by elves, where he was raised and trained by a trusted Captain of the slain High King, Reyer has now come of age. He has learned of his lineage, and those loyal to the bloodline of the true High King have rallied to his side. Reyer will gather an army and lead them against the Usurper, to gain back the crown and kingdom stolen from him and to restore Mithgar to its rightful rule.
After Julie’s grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark, a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit. When the two try to contact Julie’s grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.
Mia Morrissey has escaped: America, the Registry, and the role she was raised for, a perfect bride auctioned to the highest bidder. She’s enemy number one to the world’s largest power, and there’s no turning back now. From the moment she and her friends Andrew, and Carter cross the border into Mexico it becomes clear their troubles are only beginning. The young men are immediately picked up by a violent and omnipotent militia, The Collection, and it’s Mia’s turn to rescue them. With time running out, her ex-fiancé’s henchman on her trail, and a dangerous tide shifting back in America, Mia will do whatever she has to. Even if that means risking everything and putting herself back on an auction block. The price of freedom is never too high, but what if the cost is her life?
Private military contractors. They’re not just for foreign wars anymore. Jon Cantrell, a disgraced ex-cop, works for one such company. He’s a DEA agent paid on a commission basis, patrolling one of the busiest drug-hubs in the country: Dallas, Texas. When Cantrell confiscates the wrong shipment of drugs, he finds himself in possession of a star witness in a cartel trial that could destroy the largest criminal organization in the hemisphere. All he has to do is deliver the witness to the US Attorney in a tiny town called Marfa on the other side of the state. A group of competing DEA contractors and a corrupt Dallas cop want everybody involved dead. In this complex network of drug traffickers, cartels, politicians, and police, no one’s hands are clean.
Lord Scott Oken, a prince of Albion, and Professor-Prince Mikel Mabruke live in a world where the sun never set on the Egyptian Empire. In the year 1877 of Our Lord Julius Caesar, Pharaoh Djoser-George governs a sprawling realm that spans Europe, Africa, and much of Asia. When the European terrorist Otto von Bismarck touches off an international conspiracy, Scott and Mik are charged with exposing the plot against the Empire. Their adventure takes them from the sands of Memphis to a lush New World, home of the Incan Tawantinsuyu, a rival empire across the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Encompassing Quetzal airships, operas, blood sacrifice and high diplomacy, Three Princes is a richly imagined, cinematic vision of a modern Egyptian Empire.
With human civilization annihilated by a biological zombie plague, a rag-tag fleet of yachts and freighters known as Wolf Squadron scours the Atlantic, searching for survivors. Within every abandoned liner and carrier lurks a potential horde, safety can never be taken for granted, and death and turning into one of the enemy is only a moment away. One and two from lifeboats, a dozen from a fishing village, a few hundred wrenched by fury and fire from a ship. Now Wolf Squadron must take on another massive challenge: clear the assault carrier USS Iwo Jima of infected before the trapped Marines and sailors succumb to starvation. If Wolf Squadron can accomplish that task, an even tougher trial waits: an apocalyptic battle to win a new dawn for humanity.
Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn’t matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker’s father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can’t forgive Delaney until he knows why.
It’s 1941, and Wernher von Braun is ordered by his Fuehrer to abandon the V2 rocket and turn German resources in a new direction: construction of a manned orbital spacecraft capable of attacking the U.S. Work on the rocket, called Silbervogel,begins at Peenemunde. British intelligence discovers the plan, and brings word to Franklin Roosevelt. The American President determines that the U.S. must build a spacecraft capable of intercepting Silbervogel and destroying it. Robert Goddard agrees to head the classified project. So begins a race between two military programs and two scientists whose high-stakes competition will spiral into a deadly game of political intrigue and unforeseen catastrophes played to the death in the brutal skies above America.
Since Merit was turned into a vampire, and the protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House, it’s been a wild ride. She and Master vampire Ethan Sullivan have helped make Cadogan’s vampires the strongest in North America, and forged ties with paranormal folk of all breeds and creeds, living or dead, or both. But now those alliances are about to be tested. A strange and twisted magic has ripped through the North American Central Pack, and Merit’s closest friends are caught in the crosshairs. Gabriel Keene, the Pack Apex, looks to Merit and Ethan for help. But who, or what, could possibly be powerful enough to out-magic a shifter? Merit is about to go toe to toe, and cold steel to cold heart, to find out.
Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself. Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. The day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters. Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men, one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which.
Starring a heroic young woman named Kate Gordon, The Heartlight Saga collects three of Barron’s beloved novels into a single volume. The stories follow Kate as she travels to a distant galaxy to save the life of her astronomer grandfather in Heartlight, goes back in time to a lost Native American tribe in The Ancient One, and ultimately down to the very bottom of the sea in The Merlin Effect. Weaving together mystery, mysticism, and magic, and exploring themes of mortality, interconnectedness, and the fragility of the environment, The Heartlight Saga is a testament to the power that each of us has within us to make a difference in our world.
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. If you prefer to get an earlier book in a featured series, that’s okay, too!
Now….go forth and tell me what you want to read!