There’s a review of Allegiance over at Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock today–it’s your last chance to enter for the Allegiance blog tour prizes. Then we’ll start all over again tomorrow as the Lovely, Dark, and Deep tour commences with a new set of prizes! And a big THANK YOU to those of you who’ve followed along on the tour.
June ends and July begins with a gigantic list of new releases. If you are looking to add to your summer reading list, this week is for you!
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.
The Adventure of the Ring of Stones, by James P. Blaylock, (June 28, Subterranean)
The secret log of a murdered lighthouse keeper falls into the hands of the immensely wealthy Gilbert Frobisher, who discovers encoded within it a stunning and dangerous mystery. Against all odds Langdon St. Ives and his companions set sail in the dark of night for the West Indies aboard Gilbert Frobisher’s steam yacht, pursued by murderous pirates and bound for an uncharted volcanic island on the verge of eruption. There they undertake the perilous search for a hidden treasure protected by an unspeakable pagan god, and in the process unleash a power that will ultimately threaten the devastation of London.
Born to Fear: Interviews with Thomas Ligotti, edited by Matt Cardin and Thomas Ligotti, (June 30, Subterranean Press)
Considered in sequence, the interviews herein both complement and extend statements that Ligotti has offered in other formats, including essays as well as his nonfiction work The Conspiracy against the Human Race (2010). While the running themes in this volume are not unlike those proffered by most authors, including compositional practices, sources of inspiration, and biographical revelations, Ligotti manages for the most part to reveal how idiosyncratic he is as an interview subject and as a writer of supernatural or weird horror tales. In both genres, the very title Born to Fear condenses the provenance of Ligotti’s personal experiences and insights.
The Spectral Link, by Thomas Ligotti, (June 30, Subterranean Press)
Throughout Thomas Ligotti’s ‘career’ as a horror writer, many of his stories have evolved from physical or emotional crises. And so it was with the surgical trauma that led to the stories in The Spectral Link, an event that is marginally mentioned in the first of these stories, ‘Metaphysica Morum.’ In the second story, ‘The Small People,’ Ligotti returns, although not precisely in the usual fashion, to his fixation with uncanny representations of the so-called human being. Having nearly ceased to exist as he lay on the surgeon s table, the imposing strangeness of the nature and vicissitudes of this life form once again arose in his imagination.
Witchlight (Magic Born #2), by Sonya Clark, (June 30, Carina Press)
Councilwoman Elizabeth Marsden is a powerful player in New Corinth politics, but a closely guarded secret could destroy her life, she’s a hidden Magic Born. Her family has gone to great lengths to erase all her magic-related records, until a trancehacking outlaw discovers the last remaining one. Vadim Bazarov smuggles Magic Borns through the underground railroad and threatens to reveal Elizabeth’s secret unless she helps him access blank ID cards. Vadim initially sees her as a political ice queen, but is intrigued by her suppressed magical abilities. He trains Elizabeth to use her magic, and before long finds himself falling for her. But their newfound love may be shortlived; an anti-magic ordinance forces one of them to make a choice that will change both their lives for good. (ebook only)
A Vision in Velvet (A Witchcraft Mystery #6), by Juliet Blackwell, (July 1, Signet)
Lily Ivory hopes to score some great vintage fashions when she buys an antique trunk full of old clothes. She may have gotten more than she bargained for. As soon as Lily opens the trunk, she feels strange vibrations emanating from a mysterious velvet cloak. When she tries it on, Lily sees awful visions from the past. And when the antiques dealer who sold her the cape is killed, Lily suspects a supernatural force might be behind his death. Then Lily’s familiar, Oscar the potbellied pig, disappears. Lily will do anything to get him back, including battling the spirit of a powerful witch reaching out from the past. But even with the aid of her grandmother, unmasking a killer and saving Oscar might be more than one well-intentioned sorceress can handle.
All Those Vanished Engines, by Paul Park, (July 1, Tor)
An extraordinary, intense, compressed SF novel in three parts, each set in its own alternate-history universe. The sections are all rooted in Virginia and the Battle of the Crater, and are also grounded in the real history of the Park family, from differing points of view. The first section is set in the aftermath of the Civil War, in a world in which the Queen of the North has negotiated a two-nation settlement. The second, taking place in northwestern Massachusetts, investigates a secret project during World War II, in a time somewhat like the present. The third is set in the near-future United States, with aliens from history.
Artful: A Novel, by Peter David, (July 1, 47North)
Oliver Twist is one of the most well-known stories ever told, about a young orphan who has to survive the mean streets of London before ultimately being rescued by a kindly benefactor. But it is his friend, the Artful Dodger, who has the far more intriguing tale, filled with more adventure and excitement than anything boring Oliver could possibly get up to. Throw in some vampires and a plot to overthrow the British monarchy, and what you have is the thrilling account that Charles Dickens was too scared to share with the world. Artful is the dark, funny, and action-packed story of one of the most fascinating characters in literary history.
Awakened (The Belladonna Agency #2), by Virna DePaul, (July 1, Bantam)
Ex-soldier Barrett Miles had no idea that vampires were real, until Belladonna recruits her to serve as a covert agent and infiltrate a murderous sex ring run by the most depraved of immortals, those who feed on the purity and blood of innocents. Their latest victim: a young girl whom Barrett promised to protect. Forced to team up with her former lover, Nick Maltese, an undercover sniper, Barrett is caught between fulfilling her personal mission and shielding her heart from the man who betrayed her. Nick’s hunting a new breed of vampires and harboring a terrible secret when Barrett finds him. Can he save the girl and reclaim Barrett’s heart? Nick knows he has only one chance to prove himself to her, and their love forces them to embrace the darkest places in their souls.
Bloodshifted (Edie Spence #5), by Cassie Alexander, (July 1, St. Martin’s)
Edie Spence must race against time to save herself and her baby, from the nightmare that flows through her veins. As a nurse in the hospital’s secret Y4 ward, Edie has seen her share of daytimers. Once-ordinary humans who’ve tasted vampire blood, daytimers are doomed to serve their nighttime masters. Forever. Edie has to face something even more horrifying: she’s become one too. Abducted by the vampire, Raven, Edie is taken to the catacombs beneath the Catacombs, an ironically-named L.A. night club that supplies fresh blood and other favors for its vampire Masters. If she and Asher, her shapeshifter fiancé, can’t figure out a way to bleed Raven’s power, they may never get out of this plasma-soaked pleasure palace, undead or alive.
Born of Fury (The League #7), by Sherrilyn Kenyon, (July 1, St. Martin’s Press)
The war is on. Counted among the fiercest Andarion warriors ever born, Hauk is one of the five founding members of the Sentella: an organization that has declared war on the League. They rule the Ichidian universe with an iron fist and terrify it with an army of well-trained assassins. Hauk’s enemies are legion, but he fears nothing and no one. He will do whatever it takes to survive and protect his Sentella brethren. Sumi Antaxas is one of the best assassins the League has ever trained. In her world, failure is not an option and she has never met a target she couldn’t execute. When she’s assigned Hauk, she believes it’ll be a quick and easy mission. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and Hauk is far better skilled than any she’s faced before.
Cold Hard Secret (Secret McQueen #7), by Sierra Dean, (July 1, Samhain)
Ever since her near-death experience at the hands of the villainous Dr. Kesteral, Secret McQueen hasn’t been the same. Secret has no time to lick her wounds. She and Desmond embark on a whirlwind quest for revenge that takes them to the sewers of Paris to put an end to Alexandre Peyton. Before she can stop him, Peyton rips the veil off her deepest secret. An eye-opening confab with Sig in the Big Apple leaves her wondering if she s ever been in control of her own life at all. A cryptic postcard sends her racing back to her Manitoba hometown, fearing for her “grandmere.” With the Council holding the power of life and death over her head, Secret s circle of friends is shrinking, while the pool of enemies looking for payback is widening like a pool of her own blood. (ebook only)
Conversion, by Katherine Howe, (July 1, Putnam Juvenile)
It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. The media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Colleen, who’s been reading The Crucible, comes to realize that Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago.
Copper Magic, by Julia Mary Gibson, (July 1, Starscape)
The year is 1906, and twelve-year-old Violet Blake unearths an ancient talisman, a copper hand, beside the stream where her mother used to harvest medicine. Violet’s touch warms the copper hand and it begins to reveal glimpses of another time. Violet is certain that the copper hand is magic, and if anyone is in need of its powers, it’s Violet. Her mother and adored baby brother are gone, perhaps never to return. Her father can’t seem to sustain the failing farm on the outskirts of Pigeon Harbor, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Surely the magic of the copper hand can make things right for Violet and restore her fractured family. Violet makes a wish. Her ignorant carelessness unleashes formidable powers, and her attempts to control them jeopardizes herself, and the entire town of Pigeon Harbor.
Desolation Angels (Deathlands #117), by James Axler, (July 1, Gold Eagle)
A hundred years after the nukecaust, the tortured landscape of postapocalyptic America offers a brutal fight for survival. Yet tech secrets lie hidden, useful to those brave and strong enough to believe that hope can carry them toward ever-elusive peace. Violent gangs, a corrupt mayor and a heavily armed police force are the hallmarks of former Detroit, a mutie-infested, rubble-strewn metropolis. When Ryan and the companions show up, the Desolation Angels are waging a war to rule the streets. After saving the companions from being chilled by gangsters, the mayor hires Ryan and his friends to stop the Angels. Each blow toward victory proves there’s no good side to be fighting for. As Motor City erupts into bloody conflagration, the companions are caught in the crossfire.
Elisha Magus (The Dark Apostle #2), by E.C. Ambrose, (July 1, DAW)
Elisha, a barber-surgeon from the poorest streets of fourteenth-century London, has come a long way from home. Elisha accepted the offer of Lucius, serving under Lucius as a battle surgeon of the king’s army. Elisha soon found that he had a talent for a surprising and deadly sort of magic, and was drawn into the clandestine world of sorcery by the enchanting young witch Brigit. Beneath the politics of court and castle are those of power in its purest form: magic. There are the magi, those who have grasped the secrets of affinity and knowledge to manipulate mind and matter. There are indivisi, thought mad by the rest of the magical world. There are the necromancers, whose methods, motives, and very existence remain mysterious. As Elisha begins a journey to help rebuild the country he shattered, will he be able to overcome the darkness inside himself?
Enslaved By the Others (H&W Investigations #6), by Jess Haines, (July 1, Zebra)
Vampires, werewolves, magi and worse, the Others, have joined the mortal world, and there’s no turning back now. As a New York P.I. and Other specialist, Shiarra Waynest has been in plenty of trouble before. But waking up in a windowless room the prisoner of a vampire slave trader is a shock for anyone. Shia has her wits, her bravado, and a couple of used staples, so maybe she can take on a mansion full of serious evil. But although she’s desperate to escape, Shia needs some answers too. Her friends are in danger. There are betrayers and spies among them. And even if she can figure out what’s going on and somehow get a message out, she’s still a captive of the worst kind.
Fatal Fortune: (Psychic Eye Mystery #12), by Victoria Laurie, (July 1, NAL)
When police show Abby surveillance video of her best friend and business partner, Candice Fusco, shooting a man in cold blood, she can’t believe her eyes. And when the cops tell her they think the victim has ties to the Mob, and perhaps Candice does too, she can’t believe her ears. Surely there is a logical explanation. But Candice is nowhere to be found. Abby decides the only way to find out the truth is to go to Vegas herself, which may be the biggest gamble of her life. Once in town she begins to uncover a rigged game of dirty double-dealing where the stakes are no less than life and death. And if she’s not careful, Abby can forget about ever leaving Las Vegas, alive.
Find Me Where the Water Ends (So Close to You #3), by Rachel Carter, (July 1, Harper Teen)
Lydia has been trained into a person she might have once feared: focused, fierce, deadly. Although she never wanted the life of a Montauk Project recruit, the Project has captured someone she loves-someone she’ll do anything to save. Then Lydia glimpses a world in which the Montauk Project never existed. The Project has taken so much from Lydia already, but she knows that she will sacrifice everything to make her vision of a world without the Project a reality.
Fireborn (Souls of Fire #1), by Keri Arthur, (July 1, Signet Select)
Meet Emberly Pearson, a phoenix capable of taking on human form, and cursed with the ability to foresee death. Emberly has spent many of her lives trying to save humans. When her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a plague-like virus, the Crimson Death, a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. All those infected must be eliminated. When Emberly’s boss is murdered and his research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames.
From Fear to Eternity (Immortality Bites Mystery #3), by Michelle Rowen, (July 1, Signet)
Newlywed vampires Sarah and Thierry de Bennicoeur have their whole undead lives ahead of them. Sarah was hoping the honeymoon would literally last forever. When Thierry receives an invitation to an auction held in an old Beverly Hills mansion, it’s time to get back to work. Thierry hopes to win a powerful amulet containing a wish-granting djinn that has eluded him for centuries. Atticus Kincade, head of the vampire council, also has his eye on the item. When the auction’s host reveals his unpleasant history with Thierry, and Sarah discovers a talking head in the freezer, things get even weirder than usual. When the amulet goes missing, and everyone is suddenly trapped inside the mansion, the undead guests find themselves in mortal danger, and Sarah had better be careful what she wishes for.
Ghosts of Time (Blood of the Heroes #4), by Steve White, (July 1, Baen)
Special operations officer Jason Thanou of the Temporal Regulatory Authority must once again plunge into Earth’s blood-drenched past to combat the plots of the Transhumanist underground. The transhumanists are attempting to use the chaos of the American Civil War to escape the Observer Effect: the immutable law that recorded history cannot be changed. It is the last days of the Confederacy, and the Fall of Richmond looms. In the Shenandoah Valley, in the region later known as Mosby’s Confederacy, insurgency brews, and the time travelers must join the raiders to prevent a transhumanist trap from dooming the mission. The leader of a secret slave underground fighting for liberty possesses a secret that may change Jason’s fate, and that of the future itself, forever.
Gilded Lily (Steam and Seduction #3), by Delphine Dryden, (July 1, Berkley)
Frederique Murcheson’s introduction into society hasn’t gone smoothly. Her scheme to become a makesmith has gone off flawlessly. The only thing that could upset her plans would be if someone discovered that brilliant tinker Fred Merchant is a lady in disguise. Wooing a spoiled heiress is not Barnabas Smith-Grenville’s idea of high espionage. Considering his brother disappeared on the job, he cannot expect much better. At least the assignment will afford him time to search for his brother, whom he suspects is in spy-related trouble rather than a drug-addled haze. When Freddie proves to be irresistible and the key to the answers he seeks, Barnabas finds himself entwined in a mystery involving lethal submersibles and deranged dirigibles, but also in a dangerous game of the heart.
Hot on the Hunt (ICE: Black Ops Defenders #3), by Melissa Cutler, (July 1, Harlequin)
This ex-ICE agent has one last chance with the one who got away, if he can protect her long enough. Black-ops agent Alicia Troy spent years plotting the perfect revenge on the man who left her for dead, until her plan is foiled by her ex-teammate, and ex-lover, who taught her the meaning of betrayal. She can’t trust John Witter, so why can’t she stop wanting him? For John, it’s a race to get to Alicia’s intended victim before she does because he’s the only one who can prove John’s innocence, but the race turns into a battle of wits against the woman who believes he deceived her. When their former agency turns on them both, labeling them “armed and dangerous,” John has a new mission: keep his woman alive.
How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back (White Trash Zombie #4), by Diana Rowland, (July 1, DAW)
Our favorite zombie Angel Crawford has come a long way from her days as a pain-pill-addicted high school dropout with a felony record. After a year highlighted by murder, kidnapping, and the loss of her home, all she wants to do is kick back, relax, and maybe even think about college. But when key members of the “Zombie Mafia” go missing, she has no choice but to get involved. Angel is certain Saberton Corporation is behind the disappearances, yet she can’t shake the sense that a far deeper conspiracy is at work. With the small band of friends she can trust, Angel strikes out to track down the missing zombies. When unexpected danger threatens to destroy her, all the brains and bravado in the world may not be enough to keep her from going to pieces.
Hurricane Fever, by Tobias S. Buckell, (July 1, Tor)
Prudence “Roo” Jones never thought he’d have a family to look after, until suddenly he found himself taking care of his orphaned teenage nephew. Roo, a former Caribbean Intelligence operative, spends his downtime on his catamaran dodging the punishing hurricanes that are the new norm in the Caribbean. An unexpected package from a murdered fellow spy shows up. Roo is thrown into the center of the biggest storm of all. Using his wits, and some of the more violent tricks of his former trade, Roo begins to unravel the mystery that got his friend killed. When a polished and cunning woman claiming to be murdered spy’s sister appears, the two find themselves caught up in a global conspiracy with a weapon that could change the face of the world forever.
Monster Hunter Nemesis (Monster Hunter International #5), by Larry Correia, (July 1, Baen)
Agent Franks of the U.S. Monster Control Bureau is a man of many parts, parts from other people, that is. He’s animated by a powerful alchemical substance and inhabited by a super intelligent spirit. Sworn to serve and protect the United States of America from all monsters by one of the country’s founding fathers, Franks has only one condition to the agreement: the government is never, ever allowed to try and make more like him. Project Nemesis: in a secret location, using sophisticated technology and advanced genetic engineering, the director of the very agency Franks works for is making more like him. Hell hath no fury like a monster betrayed. Particularly if that monster happens to be an undying killing machine capable of taking out vampires and werewolves with one hand tied behind his back.
Night’s End (Indigo Court #5), by Yasmine Galenorn, (July 1, Berkley)
Eons ago, vampires tried to turn the dark Fae in order to harness their magic, only to create a demonic enemy more powerful than they could have imagined. Now, in a final push, Myst returns with a vengeance to bring the Golden Wood forever under the rule of the Indigo Court. Newly crowned Fae Queens Cicely and Rhiannon have embraced their destinies and claimed their thrones. But Myst is rising once more, and now, at the helm of her armies, she begins her final assault on the Golden Wood. As Fae, vampires, and magic-born alike fall under the tide of blood, Cicely and her friends must discover a way to destroy the spidery queen before they, and their people, face total annihilation.
Perfected, by Kate Jarvik Birch, (July 1, Entangled Teen)
I was bred to be the perfect pet. I was bred for my beauty and grace, to be a showpiece, an ornament to sit upon the couch, to sing, to dance, to play the piano and paint. I was bred to willingly put my owner’s happiness before my own. Until Penn. The handsome and rebellious son of the congressman who owns me, he’s the only person who’s seen past my perfect exterior to the girl underneath. Falling for him is forbidden. There’s a dark underworld lurking beneath my pampered life. The only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is escaping it, because if I fail, I face a fate far worse than death. A chilling look at what it means to be human, as well as a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous. and dangerous, bow.
Premonitions, by Jamie Schultz, (July 1, Roc)
Two million dollars. It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of, enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her. The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting, and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out. Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister. Karyn’s crew, and even Sobell himself, are about to find out just how powerful it is, and how powerful it may yet become.
Rebel Nation(Viral Nation #2), by Shaunta Grimes, (July 1, Berkley Trade)
Sixteen years ago, a plague wiped out nearly all of humanity. The Company’s vaccine stopped the virus’s spread. Those remaining live behind impenetrable city walls, taking daily doses of virus suppressant and relying on The Company for continued protection. Clover Donovan didn’t set out to start a revolution. That was before they forced her into service for the Time Mariners. Before they condemned her brother to death. Before she discovered terrifying secrets about The Company. Clover and the Freaks, her ragtag resistance group, are doing their best to spread the rebellion. When their hideout is discovered, they are forced, once again, to run. Only this time, The Company has special plans for Clover, plans that could risk her life and stop the uprising in its tracks
Reborn (A Dead Man Adventure), by Kate Danley, Phoef Sutton, Lisa Klink, Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin, (July 1, 47North)
Tanis Archer is facing a miserable twenty-fifth birthday. She’s a part-time barista in her sixth year at Dallas Community College. On her way to work, she loses control of her car and is killed in a horrific crash. Days later, she wakes up on a cold morgue slab and soon learns that miraculous resurrections have brutal side effects. There are people around her who look as if they are decomposing from the inside out. What she is seeing is real, a shadowy part of the world where the bloody battle between good and evil is being fought every day by an ax-wielding “dead man” and his rag-tag army of supernatural freaks. She’s being asked to join him. She’d rather party with her new-found abilities, but an unimaginable horror is rising from the Black Sea, and she might be the only person who can save humanity from an agonizing, never-ending nightmare.
Reckoning (Silver Blackthorn #1), by Kerry Wilkinson, (July 1, St. Martin’s Griffin)
In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of- age test not only decides her place in society, Elite, Member, Inter or Trog, but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor. These are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide? Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out.
Shattering the Ley, by Joshua Palmatier, (July 1, DAW)
Erenthrall, sprawling city of light and magic. At the heart of the city is the Nexus, the hub of a magical ley line system that powers Erenthrall. The Prime Wielders control the Nexus with secrecy and lies, but it is the Baron who controls the Wielders. The Baron also controls the rest of the Baronies. The rebel Kormanley seek to destroy the ley system and the Baron’s chokehold. Two people find themselves caught in the chaos that sweeps through Erenthrall and threatens the entire world: Kara Tremain, a young Wielder coming into her power, who discovers the forbidden truth behind the magic that powers the ley lines; and Alan Garrett, a recruit in the Baron’s guard, who learns that the city holds more mysteries and more danger than he could possibly have imagined, and who holds a secret within himself that could mean Erenthrall’s destruction, or its salvation.
Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5), by Maggie Stiefvater, (July 1, Scholastic Press)
Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret, his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved? A standalone companion book to the Shiver Trilogy.
Some Enchanted Éclair (A Magical Bakery Mystery #4), by Bailey Cates, (July 1, Signet)
When Hollywood invades Savannah’s historic district to film a Revolutionary War movie, magical baker Katie Lightfoot, and her witches’ coven, the Spellbook Club, take a break from casting spells for casting calls. One of the witches snags a part as an extra, while Katie’s firefighter boyfriend, Declan, acts as on-set security. Katie and her aunt Lucy decide to stay out of the action, but after the movie’s “fixer” fires the caterer, the Honeybee Bakery comes to the rescue, working their magic to keep the hungry crew happy. But when someone fixes the fixer, permanently, and a spooky psychic predicts Katie will find the killer, the charming baker and her fellow conjurers step in to sift through the suspects, before someone else winds up on the cutting room floor.
The City: A Novel, by Dean Koontz, (July 1, Bantam)
The story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, it encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes. The saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him. Illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.
The Devil’s Chord (Rogue Angel #49), by Alex Archer, (July 1, Gold Eagle)
A pair of art thieves loses a priceless, stolen Lorraine cross to a Venetian canal’s waters. Suspecting a connection between the cross, Joan of Arc and da Vinci, Annja Creed’s former mentor, Roux, sends the archaeologist to oversee the search for the missing artifact. Despite several vicious attacks during their underwater expedition, Annja and Roux’s hired diver recovers the cross. When the diver’s loyalties are called into question and he disappears, along with the treasure, Annja is certain there’s more to the ancient object than Roux is letting on. She soon discovers the cross is only one piece in an intricate enigma, a key that, when combined with a series of musical notes, may unlock one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most fantastical inventions. The price Annja must pay to stop this key from falling into the wrong hands may be her life.
The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files #5), by Charles Stross, (July 1, Ace)
As a newly appointed junior manager within the Laundry, the clandestine organization responsible for protecting Britain against supernatural threats, Bob Howard is expected to show some initiative to help the agency battle the forces of darkness. Shining a light on things best left in the shadows is the last thing Bob wants to do, especially when those shadows hide an occult parasite spreading a deadly virus. Traders employed by a merchant bank in London are showing signs of infection, an array of unusual symptoms such as superstrength and speed, an uncanny talent for mind control, an extreme allergic reaction to sunlight, and an unquenchable thirst for blood. Bob digs deeper into the bank’s history, only to uncover a bloodcurdling conspiracy between men and monsters.
The Rods and the Axe (Desert Called Peace #6), by Tom Kratman, (July 1, Baen)
Marathon. Malta. Gallipoli. Balboa’s Patricio Carrera has driven the Tauran Union from his adopted country, driven them out with appalling loss and worse humiliation. To finish his enemies, Carrera needs to draw them back for a more telling defeat. When they return, they don’t plan to come alone; they insist on having someone else do most of the bleeding for them. That’s why Carrera has provoked the Zhong Guo mercilessly, infuriating their ruling Empress. He needs the Zhong in the war, to buck up the Taurans to continue the war to its bitterest end. To get to Carrera, the Zhong must take the Isla Real, the strongest island fortress on two worlds. They’ll learn why Marines never forget those other names. Gallipoli, Malta, Marathon. Carrera’s enemies are about to learn why the expression “blood-stained water” is not just a literary allusion.
The Seat of Magic (The Golden City #2), by J. Kathleen Cheney, (July 1, Roc)
It’s been two weeks since Oriana Paredes was banished from the Golden City. Police consultant Duilio Ferreira, who himself has a talent he must keep secret, can’t escape the feeling that, though she’s supposedly returned home to her people, Oriana is in danger. Adding to Duilio’s concerns is a string of recent murders in the city. Three victims have already been found, each without a mark upon her body. When a selkie under his brother’s protection goes missing, Duilio fears the killer is also targeting nonhuman prey. To protect Oriana and uncover the truth, Duilio will have to risk revealing his own identity, put his trust in some unlikely allies, and consult a rare and malevolent text known as The Seat of Magic.
The Shadow Throne (The Shadow Campaigns #2), by Django Wexler, (July 1, Roc)
The ailing King of the Vordan lies on his deathbed. When he dies, his daughter, Raesinia Orboan, will become the first Queen Regnant in centuries, and a target for the ambitious men who seek to control her. Most dangerous of these is Duke Orlanko, Minister of Information and master of the secret police. He knows an arcane secret that puts Raesinia completely at his mercy. Raesinia is determined to find a way to break herself, and her country, out of Orlanko’s iron grip. She finds unlikely allies in the returning war hero Janus bet Vhalnich and his loyal deputies, Captain Marcus d’Ivoire and Lieutenant Winter Ihernglass. Marcus and Winter help Janus and Raesinia set in motion events that could free Vordan from Orlanko’s influence. They intend to protect the kingdom with every power they can command, earthly or otherwise.
The Spirit is Willing (Ophelia Wylde Paranormal Mystery #2), by Max McCoy, (July 1, Kensington)
While investigating a “spirit photographer” accused of fraud in the Old West, psychic detective Ophelia Wylde makes contact with the ghost of Angus Wright, who was murdered nearly 20 years ago during the Gold Rush, and discovers that the living are far more dangerous than the dead.
The String Diaries, by Stephen Lloyd Jones, (July 1, Mulholland)
A mother frantically drives through the night, her daughter asleep in the back seat, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied through generations with string. The diaries hold the secret to the man, or thing, that has finally found and attacked them. But how can you fight an enemy that you cannot recognize? How can you escape, let alone destroy, a beast when that beast can assume the likeness of anyone, even your gravely wounded husband? Your daughter? The family friend who has entrusted you with the string diaries themselves? A sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a boy from an ancient royal family, a boy who can change his shape, and make terrible things occur. (U.S. Release)
The Vanishing Season, by Jodi Lynn Anderson, (July 1, Harper Teen)
Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell. The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I’m the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I’m tied, it seems, to this house, this street, this town. I’m tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because death is coming for one of them, or both. All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.
Three Tales from the Laundry Files: A Tor.Com Original, by Charles Stross, July 1, Tor)
Enjoy two short stories and a novella from the Laundry Files. Originally published on Tor.com, these stories by Charles Stross continue the adventures of the Laundry, a secret division of the British government dedicated to tracking down and containing breaches of reality by occult and otherworldly threats. (ebook only)
Tower Lord (Raven’s Shadow #2), by Anthony Ryan, (July 1, Ace)
Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. He comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target. The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. Something moves against the Realm and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.
Unwept (The Nightbirds #1), by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman, (July 1, Tor)
Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself. Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals insist that she simply needs to recuperate, that her memories may return in time, but refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state. Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who among them can she trust? What of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory or a figment of her imagination? Only her lost past hold the answers she seeks, if she can uncover it before she falls prey to an unearthly killer.
Wolfsbane (Rebel Angels #3), by Gillian Philip, (July 1, Tor)
It’s tough being the foretold savior of your race. Rory MacGregor, kept a virtual prisoner in his own father’s dun and hunted by the Sithe queen, needs a break now and then, and what better fun than tearing the Veil no one else can tear and escaping to the Otherworld? In that dangerous Otherworld, Hannah Falconer is as trapped by circumstance as the strange wild Sithe boy whose horse nearly kills her. When Rory tricks her into crossing the Veil and entering his world, she’s sure it can’t be any worse than her usual home life. Meanwhile, Seth MacGregor is fighting to keep his clan safe from the malevolent queen Kate. When an attack comes after years of stalemate, he is shocked to discover who is leading it, and who else is conspiring against him. (U.S. Release)
A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon a Star: A Tor.Com Original, by Kathleen Ann Goonan, (July 2, Tor)
The daughter of a rocket scientist in the post 1950s who wants to go to the moon, despite being discouraged because “girls don’t do that.” A novelette that’s science fiction by association. (ebook only)
Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, edited by Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall, (July 2, ChiZine)
Imaginarium 2014: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing is a reprint anthology collecting speculative short fiction and poetry (science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, etc.) that represents the best work published by Canadian writers in the 2013 calendar year.
The Devil in the Details: A Tor.Com Original, by Debra Doyle and James D. McDonald, (July 2, Tor)
A new adventure of Peter Crossman, special agent of the Knights Templar, a man prepared to administer last rites with one hand while wielding a flamethrower with the other. Now an ancient manuscript of peculiar power has surfaced, and Crossman’s assignment is simple: Get it for the Temple at all costs. This will lead to conflict with entities secular and otherwise, and to a new encounter with Sister Mary Magdalene of the Special Action Executive of the Poor Clares. (ebook only)
The Great Glass Sea, by Josh Weil, (July 2, Grove Press)
Twins Yarik and Dima have been inseparable since childhood. They labor together at the Oranzheria, a sea of glass erected over acres of cropland and lit by space mirrors that ensnare the denizens of Petroplavilsk in perpetual daylight. Now the twins have only work in common, stalwart Yarik married with children, oppressed by the burden of responsibility; dreamer Dima living alone with his mother, wistfully planning the brothers’ return to their uncle’s land. An encounter with the Oranzerhia’s billionaire owner changes their lives forever and soon both men find themselves poster boys for opposing ideologies that threaten to destroy not only the lives of those they love but the love that has bonded them since birth.
The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014 Edition, edited by Paula Guran, July 2, Prime Books)
No matter your expectations, the dark is full of the unknown: grim futures, distorted pasts, invasions of the uncanny, paranormal fancies, weird dreams, unnerving nightmares, baffling enigmas, revelatory excursions, desperate adventures, spectral journeys, mundane terrors, and supernatural visions. You may stumble into obsession, or find redemption. Often disturbing, occasionally delightful, let The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror be your annual guide through the mysteries and wonders of dark fiction. Contributing authors include: Laird Barron, Elizabeth Bear, Neil Gaiman, Joe R. Lansdale, Tanith Lee, Sarah Monette, Brandon Sanderson and Carrie Vaughn.
The Child Eater, by Rachel Pollack, (July 3, Jo Fletcher Books)
On Earth, the Wisdom family has always striven to be more normal than normal. But Simon Wisdom, the youngest child, is far from normal: he can see the souls of the dead. And now the ghosts of children are begging him to help them, as they face something worse than death. The only problem is, he doesn’t know how. In a far-away land of magic and legends, Matyas has dragged himself up from the gutter and inveigled his way into the Wizards’ college. In time, he will become more powerful than all of them, but will his quest blind him to the needs of others? For Matyas can also hear the children crying. But neither can save the children alone, for the child eater is preying on two worlds.
The Seal of the Worm (Shadows of the Apt #10), by Adrian Tchaikovsky, (July 3, Tor)
The Empire stands victorious over its enemies at last. With her chief rival cast into the abyss, Empress Seda now faces the truth of what she has cost the world in order to win the war. The Seal has been shattered, and the Worm stirs towards the light for the first time in a thousand years. Already it is striking at the surface, voraciously consuming everything its questing tendrils touch. Faced with this threat, Seda knows that only the most extreme of solutions can lock the Worm back in the dark once again. But if she will go to such appalling lengths to save the world from the Worm, then who will save the world from her?
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!