First, a few bits of shameless self promotion. I’m over at Lady Scribes today, showing some of my recent artwork (okay, it’s being generous to call it that) and talking about right brains and left brains. Since that sounds boring, I’ve thrown in a gift card for commenters.
I’m also over at Ebook Escapes, kicking of a monthlong blog tour in honor of the paperback release of Elysian Fields (Sentinels of New Orleans) on May 13. Yay! Today, I’m picking out five of my favorite scenes from the Sentinels series. There are also tour prizes, as well as a blog-specific giveaway, so head on over! You also can enter for the tour-wide prizes at Diane’s Book Blog today.
Now, for Reader’s Choice. Better sit down and take a deep breath–this week is a doozy! Hm…and Charlaine Harris’ new series begins this week…
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 Creature of Moonlight, by Rebecca Hahn, (May 6, Houghton, Mifflin Harcourt)
As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile, but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.
A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel, by Catherine Linka, (May 6, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Avie Reveare has the normal life of a privileged teen growing up in L.A. After a synthetic hormone in beef killed fifty million American women ten years ago, only young girls, old women, men, and boys are left to pick up the pieces. The Paternalist Movement, begun to “protect” young women, is taking over the choices they make. Avie still mourns the loss of her mother, but she’s also dreaming about college and love and what she’ll make of her life. When her dad “contracts” her to marry a rich, older man to raise money to save his company, her life suddenly narrows to two choices. Her friend, Yates, urges her to run to freedom across the border to Canada. Running away is incredibly dangerous, and it’s possible Avie will never see Yates again. But staying could mean death.
After the End, by Amy Plum, (May 6, Harper Teen)
World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding. This is what Juneau has been told her entire life. When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie. Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. While she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.
Alien Collective, by Gini Koch, (May 6, DAW)
Despite not having run for office, nor wanting to remain in office, Representative Jeff Martini is being wooed as the vice presidential running mate for a charismatic senator who seems likely to win the campaign. While the Diplomatic Corps has to deal with the pressures of a political campaign sure to uncover secrets they don’t want shared with the world, Ambassador Kitty Katt-Martini has other worries, handling the reemergence of her most potent nemesis, thought dead and buried.
, by Tom Doyle, (May 6, Tor)
US Army Captain Dale Morton is a magician soldier, a “craftsman.” Dale is cursed by a Persian sorcerer and haunted by his good and evil ancestors. Major Michael Endicott, a Puritan craftsman, finds gruesome evidence that the evil Mortons, formerly led by the twins Roderick and Madeline, have returned, and that Dale might be one of them. Dale uncovers treason in the Pentagon’s highest covert ranks. He hunts for his enemies before they can murder him and Scherie, a new friend who knows nothing of his magic. Endicott pursues Dale, divided between his duty to capture a rogue soldier and his desire to protect Dale from his would-be assassins. They will discover that the demonic horrors that have corrupted American magic are not bound by family or even death itself.
Authority: A Novel (Southern Reach Trilogy), by Jeff VanderMeer, (May 6, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
For thirty years, a secret agency called the Southern Reach has monitored expeditions into Area X, a remote and lush terrain mysteriously sequestered from civilization. After the twelfth expedition, the Southern Reach is in disarray, and John Rodriguez (aka “Control”) is the team’s newly appointed head. From a series of interrogations, a cache of hidden notes, and more than two hundred hours of profoundly troubling video footage, the secrets of Area X begin to reveal themselves, and what they expose pushes Control to confront disturbing truths about both himself and the agency he’s promised to serve.
Chantress Alchemy, by Amy Butler Greenfield, (May 6, Margaret K. McElderry Books)
Lucy is the last Chantress, the only remaining girl who can sing magic into the world. Since she defeated the evil Lord Scargrave, England has changed, and not for the better. Lucy is called back to King Henry’s court. His Inner Council is convinced that making gold through alchemy will save England. A critical element to the alchemical process has been stolen. Lucy is tasked with finding it with her magic. Scargrave’s brutal Chantress-hunter has become King Henry’s closest advisor. Lucy’s beloved Nat has fallen out of favor and is shunned by his colleagues; their romance means trouble for both of them. Something goes wrong with Lucy’s magic. The palace is a labyrinth, and there’s a monster at its heart, a monster who may have the power to defeat Lucy once and for all.
Close Reach, by Jonathan Moore, (May 6, Hydra)
Kelly Pratihari-Reid and her husband sail their yacht into Antarctic waters, thinking their gravest concerns will be ice and storms, and their cracked marriage. A British girl shrieking across a short-range VHF frequency ends that illusion. It’s coming, she screams. It saw us and it’s coming back! Her voice is drowned by a tide of signal-jamming static, and Kelly sees a target on the radar screen: A ship is coming for them. Thus begins an unforgettable cat-and-mouse game across stormy polar seas and dire landfalls. Kelly’s pursuers will test her to the limits of her endurance, and beyond. For the ship in her wake is crewed by pirates, with a young leader trained to use the most sadistic tortures in pursuit of his ultimate objective, a goal as shocking as it is horrific. (ebook only)
Deadly Shores: Destroyermen, by Taylor Anderson, (May 6, Roc)
The long-planned raid on the heart of the Grik Empire has grown more ambitious, and dangerously ill defined. Only Matthew Reddy, commander of the old destroyer USS Walker, seems focused on its original intent. Many Lemurians see an opportunity to re-conquer their sacred homeland. Others, Lemurian and human, have their own agendas. Complicating matters further is Reddy’s suspicion that his task force is being stalked by a power bent on aiding the Grik. Reddy has no choice but to go all-in, risking everything in a desperate act that results in a sprawling, nightmarish battle on the beaches of “Grik City,” on the very decks of Walker, and in the labyrinthine passageways of the Celestial Palace itself. The cost could be more than Matt Reddy, or the Alliance, can bear.
Waterfire Saga, Book One: Deep Blue (A Waterfire Saga Novel), by Jennifer Donnelly, (May 6, Disney Hyperion)
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
Dragon Princess, by S. Andrew Swann, (May 6, DAW)
Frank Blackthorne’s most recent heist did not end optimally. The sacrificial virgin survived, but the whole incident left Frank, a respectable career thief, on the run from a kingdom full of evil cultists eager to replace their sacrifice. When the Court Wizard of Lendowyn, Elhared the Unwise, comes to him intending to hire someone to save Lendowyn’s princess from an evil dragon in return for riches, glory, and help with the bloodthirsty cultists problem, Frank is rightfully suspicious. Frank’s rescue fails, in an explosion of spectacularly misapplied magic. All parties involved find themselves body-swapped. Princess Lucille finds herself inhabiting the body of the dragon. They will have to team up and face down thugs, an evil Queen, and the hordes of the Dark Lord Nâtalc.
End Program (Deathlands), by James Axler, (May 6, Gold Eagle)
No one waits long for trouble in Deathlands, it’s everywhere in the remains of a nuke-altered civilization. The American dream was annihilated more than a century ago. Built upon a predark military installation in former California, a ville called Progress could be the utopia Ryan Cawdor and his companions have been seeking. A place where humanity and technology thrive, it’s the nucleus of a new hope for Deathlands. The successful replacement of Ryan’s missing eye with a cybernetic prosthetic nearly convinces the group that their days of surviving hell are behind them. They discover that the high tech in Progress isn’t designed to enhance human life, but to destroy it. The companions must stop Ryan from becoming a willing pawn in the eradication of mankind.
Feather Bound, by Sarah Raughley, (May 6, Strange Chemistry)
When Deanna’s missing friend Hyde turns up at his father’s funeral to claim his corporate empire and inheritance, she is swept into his glittering world of paparazzi and wealth. But re-kindling her friendship and the dizzying new emotions along for the ride are the least of her concerns. Because Deanna has a secret, and somebody knows. Someone who is out to get Hyde. And if she doesn’t play along, and help the enemy destroy him, she will be sold to the highest bidder in the black market for human swans. Now Deanna is struggling to break free from the gilded cage that would trap her forever.
Fire Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City, by M.J. Scott, (May 6, Roc)
I chose to stay with the humans when the Fae withdrew from the City. I am a healer. I know the odds are against them. I know they need reinforcements. But I never expected them to turn and seek aid from the depths of my past. Asharic is a powerful Fae, exiled by the Veiled Queen thirty years ago. Now the queen is dead and the throne is vacant, and Ash is returning to the City, my City, with his mercenary army. It would be false to deny that there is still a spark between us, but I will not be taken in again. And I’m not the only one disturbed by his return. A Blood lord is poised to conquer the Half-Light City, and other enemies new and old are gathering to eliminate the threat Ash poses. To save the City, we will have to join forces. And pray we’re not the ones who burn.
Gemsigns (Revolution), by Stephanie Saulter, (May 6, Jo Fletcher Books)
For years the human race was under attack from a deadly Syndrome, but when a cure was found, in the form of genetically engineered human beings, Gems, the line between survival and ethics was radically altered. Now the Gems are fighting for their freedom, from the oppression of the companies that created them, and against the Norms who see them as slaves. And a conference at which Dr Eli Walker has been commissioned to present his findings on the Gems is the key to that freedom. But with the Gemtech companies fighting to keep the Gems enslaved, and the horrifying godgangs determined to rid the earth of these ‘unholy’ creations, the Gems are up against forces that may just be too powerful to oppose. (U.S. Release)
Grendel’s Curse (Rogue Angel), by Alex Archer, (May 6, Gold Eagle)
Skalunda Barrow, Sweden, has been rumored to be the resting place of the legendary Nordic hero, Beowulf. And there’s something of Beowulf’s that charismatic and zealous right-wing politician Karl Thorssen wants very badly. Intent on getting his hands on the mythical swords Hrunting and Nægling, Thorssen puts together a team to excavate the barrow. A team that American archaeologist Annja Creed manages to finagle her way onto. With Nægling at his side, Thorssen could be invincible. What his followers don’t know, and Annja is beginning to suspect, is how far Thorssen will go to achieve his amibitions. When Thorssen marks Annja for death, she realizes that this is more than a political game. The only way to survive is to match Thorssen’s sword with her own.
Her Perfect Mate (X-Ops), by Paige Tyler, (May 6, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is picked for an assignment with the Department of Covert Affairs, he’s stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly, much less take down a terrorist. Ivy Halliwell isn’t your average covert op. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She isn’t thrilled to be paired with yet another military grunt, but Landon is different. He doesn’t think she’s a freak and he’s smokin’ hot. Soon they find themselves facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines, and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore.
Midnight Crossroad (A Novel of Midnight, Texas), by Charlaine Harris, (May 6, Ace)
Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town. There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own). Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth.
Mirror Sight: Book Five of Green Rider, by Kristen Britain, (May 6, DAW)
Karigan G’ladheon is a Green Rider, a seasoned member of the elite messenger corps of King Zachary of Sacoridia. King Zachary sends Karigan and a contingent of Sacoridians into the mysterious Blackveil Forest, which has been tainted with dark magic by a twisted immortal spirit named Mornhavon the Black. Karigan is jolted out of Blackveil Forest and wakes in darkness. She’s lying on stone. She realizes that the stone is not just beneath her, but above and around her as well. She’s landed in a sealed stone sarcophagus. Is this to be her end? Has the magical explosion transported her somewhere completely different? She must first win free of her prison, before it becomes her grave. Should she succeed, will she be walking straight into a trap created by Mornhavon himself?
Necropolis (Outlanders), by James Axler, (May 6, Gold Eagle)
The damnation and deception that enslaved humanity was exposed after the earth was razed by a nuclear holocaust. As immortal god kings continue to lay claim to the planet, the epic struggle to repossess Earth rages. The Cerberus rebels fight for mankind’s free will and enlightened purpose wherever the battle for freedom takes them. Nothing can prepare them for the bloodred shadows of a new, special hell. After blasting open the gates of the underworld, the Cerberus warriors face a fresh evil. Beneath the African continent, a city teems with bloodthirsty creatures ruled by a vicious queen. As her shape-shifting minions swarm to outmaneuver Kane and his allies, the rebels race to contain the horror. The warriors must escape a destiny far worse than they could ever imagine.
Omega Days, by John L. Campbell, (May 6, Berkley Trade)
When the end came, it came quickly. No one knew where or exactly when the Omega Virus started, but soon it was everywhere. When the ones spreading it can’t die, no one stands a chance of surviving. San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, as he watches helplessly as a zombie nun takes a bite out of a fellow priest’s face. University of California, Berkeley. Skye Dennison is moving into her college dorm for the first time. When her mother and father are eaten alive in front of her, she realizes the terror has just begun. Alameda, California. Angie West made millions off her family’s reality gun show. After she is cornered by the swarming undead, her knowledge of artillery is called into play. The world is overrun by the walking dead. Only the quick and the smart, the strong and the determined, will survive, for now.
Pandemic, by Yvonne Ventresca, (May 6, Sky Pony Press)
Lilianna’s circumstances are anything but normal. Only a few people know what caused her sudden change from model student to the withdrawn pessimist she has become. When people begin coming down with a quick-spreading illness that doctors are unable to treat, Lil’s worst fears are realized. With her parents called away on business before the contagious outbreak, Lil’s town is hit by what soon becomes a widespread illness and fatal disaster. She’s more alone than she’s been since the “incident” at her school months ago. As the disease rages on, so does an unexpected tension as Lil is torn between an old ex and a new romantic interest. The cause of her original trauma shows up at her door. Lil must find a way to survive not only the outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own demons.
People of the Morning Star (North America’s Forgotten Past), by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear, (May 6, Tor)
The city of Cahokia covered more than six square miles around what is now St. Louis. Cahokian warriors and traders roamed from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico. What force on earth would motivate hundreds of thousands of people to pick up, move hundreds of miles, and once plopped down amidst a polyglot of strangers, build an incredible city? A religious miracle: the Cahokians believed that the divine hero Morning Star had been resurrected in the flesh. To the astonishment of the ruling clan, an attempt is made on the living god’s life. It is up to Morning Star’s aunt, Matron Blue Heron, to keep it quiet until she can uncover the plot and bring the culprits to justice. If she fails, Cahokia will be torn asunder in warfare, rage, and blood as civil war consumes them all.
Monument 14: Savage Drift (Monument 14 Series), by Emmy Laybourne, (May 6, Feiwel & Friends)
The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible. But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.
Slightly Spellbound (A Southern Witch Novel), by Kimberly Frost, (May 6, Berkley)
With two kinds of magic at odds inside her and two men vying for her attention, Tammy Jo Trask is used to being pulled in opposite directions. Tammy Jo’s romance with the wizard Bryn Lyons is on hold while her ex-husband is in town trying to remind her of the good old days. Choosing between them isn’t easy, and it doesn’t help that a skeletal creature is spying on her, a faery knight is hunting her, and she just made friends with Evangeline Rhodes, a rich witch who thinks her own family is trying to kill her. When Evangeline disappears, Tammy Jo is determined to find out what happened. As she uncovers a secret more dangerous, and personal, than she could have imagined, she also discovers that, in both love and magic, you can’t stay neutral forever.
Sparrow Hill Road, by Seanan McGuire, (May 6, DAW)
Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross, a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running. They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up. She’s the angel of the overpass and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. It’s not like it can kill her. You can’t kill what’s already dead.
Starship Grifters (A Rex Nihilo Adventure), by Robert Kroese, (May 6, 47North)
A space-faring ne’er-do-well with more bravado than brains, Rex Nihilo plies the known universe in a tireless quest for his own personal gain. When he fleeces a wealthy weapons dealer in a high-stakes poker game, he ends up winning a worthless planet, and owing an outstanding debt more vast than space itself. The only way for Rex to escape a lifetime of torture on the prison world Gulagatraz is to score a big payday by pulling off his biggest scam. Getting mixed up in the struggle between the tyrannical Malarchian Empire and the plucky rebels of the Revolting Front, and trying to double-cross them both, may be his biggest mistake. His frustrated but faithful robot sidekick has the cyber-smarts to deal with it all, while still keeping Rex’s martini glass filled.
Sworn in Steel: A Tale of the Kin, by Douglas Hulick, (May 6, Roc)
It’s been three months since Drothe killed a legend, burned down a portion of the imperial capital, and unexpectedly elevated himself into the ranks of the criminal elite. As the newest Gray Prince in the underworld, he’s learning just how good he used to have it. Drothe is already being called out by other Gray Princes. When one dies, all signs point to Drothe as wielding the knife. As members of the Kin begin choosing sides for what looks to be another impending war, Drothe is approached by a man who not only has the solution to Drothe’s most pressing problem, but an offer of redemption. Drothe finds himself on the way to the Despotate of Djan, the empire’s long-standing enemy, with an offer to make and a price on his head. The grains of sand in the hour glass are running out, fast.
The Bees: A Novel, by Laline Paull, (May 6, Ecco Press)
Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. She is allowed to feed the newborns and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous. When Flora breaks the most sacred law of all, daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility, enemies abound. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society, and lead her to unthinkable deeds.
The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage Trilogy), by Brian McClellan, (May 6, Orbit)
Tamas’s invasion of Kez ends in disaster when a Kez counter-offensive leaves him cut off behind enemy lines with only a fraction of his army, no supplies, and no hope of reinforcements. He must lead his men on a reckless march through northern Kez to safety, and back over the mountains so that he can defend his country from an angry god, Kresimir. In Adro, Inspector Adamat wants only to rescue his wife. He must track down and confront the evil Lord Vetas. Tamas’s generals bicker among themselves, the brigades lose ground every day beneath the Kez onslaught, and Kresimir wants the head of the man who shot him in the eye. With Tamas and his powder cabal presumed dead, Taniel Two-shot finds himself as the last defense against Kresimir’s advancing army.
The Dead Man Vol 7: Crucible of Fire, The Dark Need, The Rising Dead, by Mel Odom, Stant Litore, Stella Green, Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin, (May 6, 47North)
Matt Cahill is part of a team of smokejumpers who are dropped into the heart of a raging forest fire that is fueled by a flamethrower-wielding madman under the sway of Mr. Dark. Almost every living thing in this hellacious Crucible of Fire, including Matt’s fellow firefighters, are falling prey to Mr. Dark’s evil touch. Matt is tracking a blood-sucking, shape-shifting killer through the icy Cascade Mountains when he encounters a mysterious woman who is on the same corpse-strewn trail who has an unspeakable lust for The Dark Need. In the blasted hell of the Arizona desert, Matt hitches a ride with a young couple who meet a terrible fate. The encounter leads him to a stranger who may know why Matt became part of The Rising Dead. They must survive in an unforgiving wasteland to do battle with a gang of smugglers who trade in human flesh.
The Eighth Guardian (Annum Guard), by Meredith McCardle, (May 6, Skyscape)
Amanda Obermann. Code name Iris. It’s Testing Day. The day when all juniors and seniors at The Peel Academy undergo a series of intense physical and psychological tests to see if they’re ready to graduate. Amanda and her boyfriend Abe are top students, and they’ve just endured thirty-six hours of testing. When the graduates are announced, the results are shocking. Amanda has been chosen. She receives the opportunity of a lifetime: to join a secret government organization called the Annum Guard and travel through time to change the course of history. In order to become the Eighth Guardian in this exclusive group, Amanda must say good-bye to everything, forever. Who is really behind the Annum Guard? Can she trust them with her life?
The Enceladus Crisis: Book Two of the Daedalus Series, by Michael J. Martinez, (May 6, Night Shade)
Lieutenant Commander Shaila Jain has been given the assignment of her dreams: the first manned mission to Saturn. The Chinese are vying for control of the critical moon Titan, and the moon Enceladus may harbor secrets under its icy crust. Project Daedalus now seeks to defend against other dimensional incursions. For Thomas Weatherby, it’s been nineteen years since he was second lieutenant aboard HMS Daedalus. Now captain of the seventy-four-gun Fortitude, Weatherby helps destroy the French fleet at the Nile and must chase a French ship from Egypt to Saturn, home of the unstable aliens who call themselves the Xan. In Egypt, alchemist Andrew Finch has ingratiated himself with Napoleon’s forces, and finds the reason why the French invaded Egypt in the first place.
The Goodbye Witch: A Wishcraft Mystery, by Heather Blake, (May 6, Signet)
Darcy’s closest friend and fellow witch, Starla Sullivan, hoped she’d never see her ex-husband, Kyle, again. Two years ago he tried to kill her, and he has been a fugitive ever since. Now Starla claims to have seen him back in Enchanted Village, but it seems she’s the only one who can see him. To everyone else, her ex is invisible. Darcy only wishes his motives were as transparent as the rest of him. Since the police can’t arrest someone they can’t see, it’s up to Darcy to find the secret behind Kyle’s latest disappearing act, before he does something they can’t see coming.
The Guild (Guardians of Destiny), by Jean Johnson, (May 6, Berkley Trade)
The mages of Mekhana have done their best to hide themselves and their powers from the needs of their so-called Patron Deity, Mekha. Greatest of their secrets is the Vortex, a Fountain hidden in the heart of the Hydraulics Guild. Even after the dissolution of Mekha and the freeing of his people, Alonnen isn’t ready to reveal his guardianship to outsiders. Particularly when the remnants of Mekha’s priesthood are looking for a new monstrosity to worship. Rexei has hidden more than her powers for most of her life. Only in the safety of the Hydraulics Guild’s innermost secrets can she be herself. Rexei struggles to trust just one man, the Guardian of the Vortex. The priesthood is desperate for any new source of power, even a demonic one that requires certain sacrifices to access.
The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Steadfast, by Jack Campbell, (May 6, Ace)
Geary and the crew of the Dauntless have managed to safely escort important alien representatives to Earth. Two of Geary’s key lieutenants vanish. The search for his missing men leads Geary to the one spot in space from which all humans have been banned: the moon Europa. Any ship that lands there must stay or be destroyed, leaving Geary to face the most profound moral dilemma of his life. Strains on the Alliance are growing as the Syndics continue to meddle. Geary is ordered to take a small force to the border of Syndic space. What he finds there is a danger much greater than anyone expected. As Geary spearheads a desperate battle to protect the Alliance against a shrewd and powerful enemy, he’s left with just one question: Who are they?
The Memory Garden, by Mary Rickert, (May 6, Sourcebooks Landmark)
Bay Singer has bigger secrets than most. She doesn’t know about them, though. Her mother, Nan, has made sure of that. But one phone call from the sheriff makes Nan realize that the past is catching up. Nan decides that she has to make things right, and invites over the two estranged friends who know the truth. Ruthie and Mavis arrive in a whirlwind of painful memories, offering Nan little hope of protecting Bay. But even the most ruined garden is resilient, and their curious reunion has powerful effects that none of them could imagine, least of all Bay.
The Oversight (Oversight Trilogy), by Charlie Fletcher, (May 6, Orbit)
Once the Oversight, the secret society that policed the lines between the mundane and the magic, counted hundreds of brave souls among its members. Now their numbers can be counted on a single hand. When a vagabond brings a screaming girl to the Oversight’s London headquarters, it seems their hopes for a new recruit will be fulfilled, but the girl is a trap. As the borders between this world and the next begin to break down, murders erupt across the city, the Oversight are torn viciously apart, and their enemies close in for the final blow. A tale of witch-hunters, supra-naturalists, mirror-walkers and magicians. Meet the Oversight, and remember: when they fall, so do we all.
The Sea Without a Shore (RCN Series), by David Drake, (May 6, Baen)
Cinnabar’s chief spymaster is a mother also, and her son is determined to search for treasure in the midst of a civil war. Who better to take the blows directed at him, than Captain Daniel Leary, the Republic of Cinnabar Navy’s troubleshooter, and his friend the cyberspy Adele Mundy? The only thing certain in the struggle for control of the mining planet Corcyra is that the rival parties are more dangerous to their own allies than to their opponents. Daniel and Adele face untold dangers, even before they can get to their business of ending the war on Corcyra. Only with planetary peace can the boy they’re escorting get on with his mission. The boy thinks the treasure he’s looking for is a thousand years old. If the treasure is real, it might be tens of thousands of years older than anyone imagines, and incalculably more valuable.
The Silk Map: A Gaunt and Bone Novel, by Chris Willrich, (May 6, Pyr)
Persimmon Gaunt and her husband, the thief Imago Bone, saved their child from evil forces at the price of trapping him within a pocket dimension. They will seek a way to recover their son. Allied with Snow Pine, a scrappy bandit who’s also lost her child to the Scroll of Years, Gaunt and Bone awaken the Great Sage, currently trapped by vaster powers beneath a mountain. The Sage knows of a way to reach the Scroll. The three must seek the world’s greatest treasure and bring it back to him. They tangle with Western treasure hunters, a blind mystic warrior and his homicidal magic carpet, a nomad princess determined to rebuild her father’s empire, and a secret society obsessed with guarding the lost paradise where the Moths are found, even if paradise must be protected by murder.
The Thickety: A Path Begins, by J.A. White, (May 6, Katherine Tegen Books)
When Kara Westfall was six years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic, except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island. It has many names. Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr’s Realm. But mostly it’s called the Thickety. The black-leaved trees swayed toward Kara and then away, as though beckoning her. The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. When an unusual bird lures Kara into the forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother. That is just the beginning of the story.
The Three Emperors: An Ethan Gage Adventure (Ethan Gage Adventures), by William Dietrich, (May 6, Harper)
Ethan Gage travels through the darkest and most superstitious realms of eighteenth century Europe, to the castles and caves of Bohemia to rescue his family and uncover a mysterious medieval device rumored to foretell the future. Having quick-wittedly survived the battle of Trafalgar, Ethan is rushing to rescue “Egyptian priestess” Astiza and son Harry from imprisonment by a ruthless mystic who seeks revenge for disfigurement, and an evil dwarf alchemist who experiments with the occult on Prague’s Golden Lane. Using death as his ruse, and a pair of unlikely allies, a Jewish Napoleonic soldier and his sutler father, Ethan must decipher clues from Durendal, the sword of Roland. Astiza uses her research to concoct an explosive escape and find a lost tomb.
The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation: Unmasked (The Vampire Diaries: The Salvation #3), by L.J. Smith and Aubrey Clark, (May 6, 47North)
Elena Gilbert is dying. When Damon Salvatore avenged his brother Stefan’s death, he broke the sacred deal he’d made with the Guardians, and put Elena’s life at risk. She should be dead, but instead, the Guardians are offering Elena a once-in-a-lifetime chance: to start over. Ever since she met the Salvatore brothers, Elena’s love for them both has caused endless death and destruction. If Elena can return to the beginning, when she first met Damon and Stefan, and prove that she can exist alongside them without either of them killing a human, then Elena can live. The only way for Elena to save everyone might be to give up the Salvatores forever. Will Elena be able to sacrifice her own desires for the greater good? Or is her path to tragic love already written in the stars?
The Wizard’s Promise (Strange Chemistry), by Cassandra Rose Clarke, (May 6, Strange Chemistry)
All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch, but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before. As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.
Vampire’s Thirst (The Awakening Series), by Cynthia Garner, (May 6, Forever Yours)
Duncan MacDonnough has assumed leadership of the local vampire conclave and changes are being met with resistance. Kimber Treat, the necromancer everyone (including her) blames for starting the zombie apocalypse in the first place. Duncan and Kimber are new in their love and the complications of zombies and hungry vampires puts stress on an already shaky relationship. Duncan wants to keep her safe, but Kimber still believes she can end the Outbreak. Will the cost be too great?
Witches in Red: A Novel of the Mist-Torn Witches, by Barb Hendee, (May 6, Roc)
Far to the north, the men of an isolated silver mining community are turning into vicious “beasts” that slaughter anyone in sight. The mines belong to the noble family of Prince Anton, ruler of Castle Sèone and Céline and Amelie’s patron, and Anton’s tyrannical father has ordered his son to solve the mystery. He has no choice but to send the witches to use their abilities to discover the cause of the transformations. The sisters have no choice but to accept. With the over-protective Lieutenant Jaromir, Célene and Amelie enter the dark world of a mining camp tainted by fear, mistrust, and haunted by men turning into mad wolves without warning. The two must draw upon strength and cunning they never thought they possessed not only to solve the mystery, but to survive.
Zombie, Indiana: A Novel, by Scott Kenemore, (May 6, Talos)
Zombie, Indiana explores the impact of an invading zombie horde on a trio of Hoosier protagonists, each of whom have some dark secrets to keep. When the governor’s daughter mysteriously disappears on a field trip, IMPD Special Sergeant James Nolan, scholarship student Kesha Washington, and Governor Hank Burleson must all come together not only to find the governor’s daughter, but also to undertake a quest to redeem the very soul of the state itself, all while under constant attack from the living dead. With humorous, memorable characters, tense action sequences, and brutal zombie violence, Zombie, Indiana will put readers in mind of some of the most compelling works of popular fiction. At once a mystery, a thriller, and a horror novel.
Haxan, by Kenneth Mark Hoover, (May 7, ChiZine)
Thermopylae. Masada. Agincourt. And now, Haxan, New Mexico Territory, circa 1874. Through a sea of time and dust, in places that might never be, or can’t become until something is set right, there are people destined to travel. Forever. Marshal John T. Marwood is one of these men. Taken from a place he called home, he is sent to fight an eternal war. It never ends, because the storm itself, this unending conflict, makes the world we know a reality. Along with all the other worlds waiting to be born. Or were born, but died like a guttering candle in eternal night.
Magic City: Recent Spells, edited by Paula Guran, (May 7, Prime Books)
Bright lights, big city, magic spells, witchcraft, wizardry, fairies, devilry, and more. Urban living, at least in fantasy fiction, is full of both magical wonder and dark enchantment. Street kids may have supernatural beings to protect them or have such powers themselves. Brujeria may be part of your way of life. Crimes can be caused (and solved) with occult arts and even a losing sports team’s “curse” can be lifted with wizardry. And be careful of what cab you call, it might take you on a journey beyond belief. Some of the best stories of urban enchantment from the last few years is gathered in one volume full of hex appeal and arcane arts. Authors include Holly Black, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Charles de Lint, Carrie Vaughn and more.
Camelot Burning (A Metal & Lace Novel), by Kathryn Rose, (May 8, Flux)
By day, Vivienne is Guinevere’s lady-in-waiting. By night, she’s Merlin’s secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It’s a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity. Vivienne longs to escape Camelot. When King Arthur’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. If Vivienne doesn’t have Merlin’s weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.
Whew! 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!