First, a few housekeeping notes… I’m at Love Romance Passion today with an interview that was really fun–some different questions than I usually field, including my idea for the most boring reality show ever! Hope you’ll stop by and say hello.
Now….as we begin to wrap up the month of June, the new releases pick up again. There’s quite the mix this week with some good choices coming out. If you crave a bit more variety, hang in there because the list next week is going to be epic.
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. AND tomorrow is the official release day for LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP–woo hoo! So even though it isn’t a speculative fiction book, you can add it to the list if you want.
A Better World (Brilliance Saga #2), by Marcus Sakey, (June 24, Thomas & Mercer)
Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we’d only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person’s most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional, and the rest of us. A terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive. Nick Cooper has fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he’s against everything the terrorists represent. Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose. His opponents have their own vision of a better world. To reach it, they’re willing to burn this one down.
Alien Shores(A Ferris Novel #2), by Vaughn Heppner, (June 24, 47North)
Humanity put all its hopes in New Eden, a pristine star system 230 light-years from the ravaged Earth. Upon arrival, the would-be colonists encountered the Kresh, a diabolical alien race who quickly captured the human starship and tortured its inhabitant in hopes of learning the coordinates of Earth. Cyrus Gant managed to escape, crashing to the surface of a nearby moon terraformed by the Kresh and inhabited by primitive humans. Cyrus pursues a desperate hope bound up in a single boy, a prophesized psionic named Klane, already in the clutches of the Kresh. He’s desperate to find a way back to Earth and warn them of this alien menace, only to discover an even greater danger to the future existence of the human race.
Baptism of Fire(Witcher #5), by Andrzej Sapkowski, (June 24, Orbit)
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times. But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries. While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It’s an impossible situation in which to find one girl, Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished, until a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor. Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands. (U.S. Release)
Better Homes and Hauntings, by Molly Harper, (June 24, Pocket Books)
When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business. Her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, sees more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the Whitney estate because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures are driving workers away. Nina shows no signs of being scared away, even as she experiences some unnerving apparitions herself. Deacon realizes that he’s found someone who doesn’t like his fortune more than himself, while Nina may have finally found the one man she can trust. Something on the island doesn’t believe in true love. If Nina and Deacon can’t figure out how to put these angry spirits to rest, their own love doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.
Child of a Hidden Sea, by A.M. Dellamonica, (June 24, Tor)
Sophie Hansa is in a San Francisco alley trying to save the life of the aunt she has never known. She finds herself flung into the warm and salty waters of an unfamiliar world. The world is Stormwrack, a series of island nations with a variety of cultures and economies, and a language different from any Sophie has heard. Sophie has just stepped into the middle of a political firestorm, and a conspiracy that could destroy a world she has just discovered. Sophie refuses to be cast adrift by people who don’t know her and yet wish her gone. With the help of a sister she has never known, and a ship captain who wishes she had never arrived, she must navigate the highly charged politics of Stormwrack, and win the right to decide for herself whether she stays in this world, or is doomed to exile.
Darkness Bound(Night Prowler #5), by J.T. Geissinger, (June 24, Montlake Romance)
Reporter Jacqueline “Jack” Dolan despises the secretive clan of shape-shifters known as the Ikati. After she writes an editorial arguing for their extermination and turns public opinion against them, the Ikati vow to fight back. They plot to send one of their own to seduce the reporter, then blackmail her into writing a retraction. Women practically fall at the feet of handsome Hawk Luna. The last thing he expects is to develop real feelings for her, but their liaison awakens a hunger in him that he cannot deny. He kidnaps Jack and brings her to his Amazon jungle colony. The two lovers are soon embroiled in deadly colony politics and threatened by a global species war. Jack and Hawk’s forbidden passion may build a bridge between two ancient enemies, or cost them both their lives.
Fire and Ice(Spirit Animals #4), by Shannon Hale, (June 24, Scholastic)
Strange things are happening at the frozen edge of the world. Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan have crisscrossed Erdas in their quest to stop the ruthless Conquerors. Only the four of them, supported by the gifts of their legendary spirit animals, have the power to defeat an evil takeover. While chasing down a lead in the cold North, the heroes arrive at a quiet village where not everything is as it seems. Rooting the truth out of this deceptively beautiful place won’t be easy, and the team is already out of time. The Conquerors are right behind them.
Forsaking Home(Going Home #4), by A. American, (June 24, Plume)
Morgan Carter has weathered the weeks after the collapse of the nation’s power grid, reuniting with his family and ensuring their safety, but his struggle isn’t over yet. Carter must focus on survival in an increasingly unstable society, but the challenges he faces are beyond his wildest imagination. Meanwhile, the enclosed quarters of the nearby government-run refugee camp make for an environment where injury, assault and murder are the norm. As Jess creates trouble within the camp, Sarge and his crew plot to take down the entire establishment.
In the End(In the After #2), by Demitria Lunetta, (June 24, Harper Teen)
It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby. Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival. One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.
Queen of Wands(Sanctify #2), by Katee Robert, (June 24, Entangled Select)
When Jenny O’Keirna gets a chance to slip her older brother, the new king of Hansarda’s, leash, she jumps at it, even if it means playing babysitter to a too-smart-for-his-own-good inventor. She’s not expecting the attraction that sparks between them, or that Sanctify is just as desperate to take him for their own. Never in Mac Flannery’s wildest dreams did he imagine Jenny would be the one sent for him. He sees beyond the mad grin the sexy princess of Hansarda presents to the world, and that combination of vulnerability and wicked humor is a siren call he can’t resist. Sanctify is always three steps ahead of them. Unable to keep their hands off each other, Jenny and Mac devise an insane plan: kidnap the leader of Sanctify, and stop this war. They’ve just played right into his hands.
Shaman Rises(Walker Papers #9), by C.E. Murphy, (June 24, Harlequin MIRA)
Joanne Walker has two choices: Defeat the enemy, or lose her soul trying. For over a year, Joanne has been fighting the Master, the world’s most abiding evil entity. She’s sacrificed family, friendships, even watched potential futures fade away. And now the Master is bringing the final battle to Joanne’s beloved Seattle. Lives will be lost as the repercussions of all Joanne’s final transformation into her full Shamanic abilities come to her doorstep. Before the end, she’ll mourn, rejoice, and surrender everything for the hope of the world’s survival. She’ll be a warrior and a healer. Because she is finally a Shaman Rising.
Spartans at the Gates: A Novel(The Warrior Trilogy #2), by Noble Smith, (June 24, Thomas Dunne Books)
The Peloponnesian War has begun. An army of merciless Spartan invaders have arrived at the gates of Plataea, bent on obliterating the city and its inhabitants. Plataea’s oldest allies, the Athenians, are spread too thin in their own campaigns to send help. Cut off and alone, the Plataeans dig in behind their high walls for the coming siege, while the ruthless Spartans gather outside. On a rugged mountain road a young Plataean warrior named Nikias rides to Athens on an urgent quest. He carries with him a bag of ill-gotten gold, hoping to raise an army of mercenaries to help defend his city from the coming Spartan assault. But in the sprawling stronghold of Athens, Nikias encounters perils that prove to be more dangerous than those he has faced on the battlefield.
Summoned(Redemption’s Heir #1), by Anne M. Pillsworth, (June 24, Tor Teen)
While browsing in a rare book store in Arkham, Sean finds an occult book with an ad seeking an apprentice sorcerer, from a newspaper dated March 21, 1895. The ad specifically requests applicants reply by email. Sean’s always been interested in magic, particularly the Lovecraftian dark mythology. Against his best friend Edna’s advice, he decides to answer the ad. The advertiser, Reverend Redemption Orne, claims to be a master of the occult born more than 300 years ago. Orne gives Sean instructions to summon a harmless but useful familiar, but Sean’s ceremony takes a dark turn, and he instead accidentally beckons a bloodthirsty servant to the Cthulhu Mythos god Nyarlathotep. Sean must find and bind the servitor, before it grows too strong to contain.
The Blasted Lands(Seven Forges #2), by James A. Moore, (June 24, Angry Robot)
The Empire of Fellein is in mourning. The Emperor is dead, and the armies of the empire have grown soft. Merros Dulver, their newly-appointed, and somewhat reluctant, commander, has been tasked with preparing them to fight the most savage enemy the world has yet seen. Meanwhile, a perpetual storm ravages the Blasted Lands, and a new threat is about to arise, the Broken are coming, and with them only Death.
The Hangman’s Revolution(W.A.R.P. #2), by Eoin Colfer, (June 24, Disney-Hyperion)
Young FBI agent Chevie Savano arrives back in modern-day London after a time-trip to the Victorian age, to find the present very different from the one she left. Europe is being run by a Facsist movement known as the Boxites, who control their territory through intimidation and terror. Chevie’s memories come back to her in fragments, and just as she is learning about the WARP program from Professor Charles Smart, inventor of the time machine, he is killed by secret service police. Now they are after Chevie, too, but she escapes, into the past. She finds Riley, who is being pursued by futuristic soldiers, and saves him. It is up to Chevie and Riley to find the enigmatic Colonel Clayton Box and stop him before he can launch missiles at the capitals of Europe.
The Madonna and the Starship, by James K. Morrow, (June 24, Tachyon)
It is New York City, 1953. The new medium of live television has been kind to young pulp-fiction writer Kurt Jastrow. Not only does he enjoy scripting a popular children’s space opera, Brock Barton and His Rocket Rangers, he also plays an eccentric tinkerer on Uncle Wonder’s Attic. Kurt’s world is thrown into disarray when two extraterrestrial crayfish-like creatures arrive at the studio. Certain that the audience for a religious program program represents “a hive of irrationalist vermin,” the crustaceans scheme to vaporize its two million viewers. Kurt and his co-writer have a mere forty hours to write and produce an explicitly rational and utterly absurd script that will somehow deter the aliens from their diabolical scheme.
The Shadow Master, by Craig Cromick, (June 24, Angry Robot)
In a land riven with plague, inside the infamous Walled City, two families vie for control: the Medicis with their genius inventor Leonardo; the Lorraines with Galileo, the most brilliant alchemist of his generation. And when two star-crossed lovers, one from either house, threaten the status quo, a third, shadowy power, one that forever seems a step ahead of all of the familial warring, plots and schemes, and bides its time, ready for the moment to attack. Assassination; ancient, impossible machines; torture and infamy, just another typical day in paradise.
Thorn Jack(Night and Nothing #1), by Katherine Harbour, (June 24, Harper Voyager)
They call us things with teeth. These words from Lily Rose Sullivan the night of her death haunts her seventeen-year-old sister, Finn, who has moved with her widowed father to his hometown of Fair Hollow, New York. Finn is invited to a lakeside party where she encounters Jack Fata, a member of the town’s mysterious Fata family. Finn finds her sister’s journal, scrawled with descriptions of creatures that bear a sinister resemblance to Jack’s family. Finn dismisses these stories as fiction. Jack’s family has a secret: the Fatas are the children of nothing and night, nomadic beings who have been preying on humanity for centuries. Finn begins to suspect that the Fatas are somehow tied to Lily Rose’s untimely death. Drawn to Jack, determined to solve the mystery of her sister’s suicide, Finn must navigate a dangerous world where nothing is as it seems.
Vicky Peterwald: Target, by Mike Shepherd, (June 24, Ace)
Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Victoria Maria Teresa Inez Smythe-Peterwald, daughter of wealth and power, was raised to do little except be attractive and marry well. Then everything changed, her brother, her father’s favorite and the heir apparent, was killed in battle by Lieutenant Kris Longknife, daughter of the Peterwald’s longtime enemies. Vicky vowed revenge, but her skill set was more suitable for seduction than assassination, and she failed. Her father decided she needed military training and forced her to join the Navy. Ensign Vicky Peterwald is part of a whole new world, where use of her ample charms will not lead to advancement. Her father is the Emperor, and what he wants he gets. What he wants is for Vicky to learn to be efficiently ruthless and deadly. Vicky masters the lessons, with help from an unexpected source: Kris Longknife.
Deadly Curiosities, by Gail Z. Martin, (June 25, Solaris)
Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670, acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.
The Color of Paradox: A Tor.Com Original, by A.M. Dellamonica, (June 25, Tor)
A science fiction story about one of a series of time travelers sent back to the past in order to buy more time for the human race, which in the future is on the verge of extinction. (ebook only)
The Garden of Darkness, by Gillian Murray Kendall, (June 25, Ravenstone)
Their families dead from the pandemic SitkaAZ13, known as Pest, 15-year-old Clare and 13-year-old Jem, are thrown together and realize that, if either of them wishes to reach adulthood, they must find a cure. A shadowy adult broadcasting on the radio to all orphaned children promises just that, to cure children once they grow into Pest. Against a hostile landscape of rotting cities and of a countryside infected by corpses and roamed by voracious diseased survivors, Jem and Clare make their bid for life. Their only weapon is Clare’s dog, Bear. They begin to find that friendship is as redemptive as anything they seek, that friendship has its own kind of healing power. And, at the end of their journey, in the face of the ultimate betrayal, they discover that out of friendship can come love.
Defector(Variants #2), by Susanne Winnacker, (June 26, Razorbill)
Tessa has finally made peace with her life as a Variant. She and longtime love Alec are a couple, and she has everything she wants. The air is tense at FEA headquarters. An agent has disappeared, and rogue Variant organization Abel’s Army is likely the culprit. When Tessa is summoned for her second mission, she is unexpectedly launched into a massive conspiracy. Her best friend Holly is kidnapped, and Tessa knows it was meant to be her. When the FEA’s efforts to rescue Holly don’t yield results, Tessa takes matters into her own hands. Tessa launches her own investigation, but nothing could prepare her for what she finds. Summoning all of her courage and strength, Tessa must decide who can be trusted and what is worth fighting for. Her final decision will leave readers breathless.
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!