Happy Monday, and Happy June! Sorry to have been absent this weekend, but I’m deep inside my writing cave, finishing up the second Collectors book. It’s almost there. So next Sunday I’ll have two weeks’ worth of giveaways to announce.
But TODAY starts the official book launch tour for ALLEGIANCE. Yep, Penton #4 is only a week away…seems like it has taken forever, right? I’m excited about the book. It takes the series up to a real turning point where it could go in any number of directions. I can’t wait to see what you think! Remember that at each stop on the tour this month, you can either sign up for the tour-wide giveaways, win one of special prizes for that tour, or both. And always international. So I hope you’ll follow along!
First up, I’m over with Annie at Booked and Loaded today. I met Annie back in 2012 after Royal Street first came out. I was at a bookstore in Dallas, it was on a Sunday, it was raining, nobody else was there, and she here she came, tugging along a friend. So it was fun to just sit and talk with them. She was also at RT a couple of weeks ago, so it’s always great to visit her blog. Stop by; I’m talking about how the whole idea of blending the Penton world and the Storm Force world came about.
Some other things to look for.
If you’re on Facebook, I’ll be participating on Tuesday night, June 3, from 8:15-8:30 p.m. CDT (9:15-9:30 p.m. EDT) in the launch party for Lissa Trevor’s new erotic paranormal romance Shifting Currents. There are authors, there are giveaways. I’ll be giving away a choice of an audiobook of ALLEGIANCE or of LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP or a set of the first three Penton books.
AND….drum roll….also if you’re on Facebook, I’ll be hosting a two-hour launch party for ALLEGIANCE on release day, Tuesday, June 10, 8-10 PM EDT (7-9 p.m. CDT). I will have a cool roster of guest authors (details to come) giving away their own books, and I’ll have special swaggishness to give out as well. I hope you’ll join me. Leave a note in the comments if you aren’t currently following me on FB and want to join in the fun. And…don’t worry, my non-FB fans. I’m working on ways to get you in on the fun. Look for details in the next few days.
Now, how about some new releases? And a new Stephen King book!
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.
Reap & Repent, by Lisa Medley, (June 2, Harlequin)
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets: yellow is happy, green is peaceful, red is aroused. She can even see the brilliant white light that glows just before death. Then she meets Deacon Walker. This beautiful stranger has no aura. Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth, and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory and battling demons, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. He’s a Reaper. What, he wonders, is Ruth? A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. Wielding her newly awakened and untested powers is the only way to save herself, and the Reaper she can’t live without. (ebook only)
Wicked Ink, by Misty Simon, (June 2, Harlequin)
Garrett Blackwell is not a superhero, and his tattoos aren’t just ink. They’re the weapons he uses to hunt those who hurt the innocent as he tries to atone for his dark past of violence and crime. He pays a price every time he uses his gift to summon the darkness around him. Dory Miller has lived beside Garrett for two months and is torn by her feelings toward her sexy, reclusive neighbor. As more women in her building become targets of a stalker, she doesn’t know who she can trust, especially after she finds Garrett bleeding from a knife wound. She feels compelled to help heal his wounds. Garrett reluctantly lets her, and is shocked to discover that she can heal not only his physical wounds, but also the darkness brought by his powers. If letting her in means putting her in danger, Garrett may have to keep his distance to keep her safe. (ebook only)
1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies (Ring of Fire #14), by Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon, (June 3, Baen)
Eddie Cantrell is sent by Admiral Simpson to the Caribbean to secure access to the most valuable commodity on that continent: the oil which up-time machines and industry need. The admiral has also provided Eddie’s small task force with the new steam-powered frigates. An obstacle stands in his way: the Spanish presence in the New World. So a diversion is needed: grab the oil fields on Trinidad, and so distract the attention of Spain’s New World governors. Commander Cantrell’s steam sloop will make a run to the Louisiana coast. Her crew will wind their way up the bayous to the real New World prize: the Jennings Oil Field. Cantrell’s plans could be wrecked in a multitude of ways. Eddie will discover that the Spanish aren’t the only enemies who will be coming against him in a fateful Caribbean show-down.
A Barricade in Hell (Delia Martin #2), by Jaime Lee Moyer, (June 3, Tor)
Delia Martin has been gifted with the ability to peer across to the other side. Since childhood, her constant companions have been ghosts. She used her powers and the help of those ghosts to defeat a serial killer terrorizing San Francisco. Now it’s 1917 and Delia lives a peaceful life with Police Captain Gabe Ryan. That peace shatters when a strange young girl starts haunting their lives and threatens Gabe. Delia tries to discover what this ghost wants as she becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding a charismatic evangelist who preaches pacifism and an end to war. As young people begin to disappear, and audiences display a loyalty and fervor not attributable to simple persuasion, that message of peace reveals a hidden dark side. As Delia discovers the truth, she faces a choice, take a terrible risk to save her city, or chance losing everything?
A Shiver of Light, (Merry Gentry #9), by Laurell K. Hamilton, (June 3, Berkley)
Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses. When she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, because they will do anything to have babies of their own. Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it. She will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They will face down the high courts of faerie, while trying to keep the war from spreading to humans in Los Angeles.
Blood Red (Elemental Masters #10), by Mercedes Lackey, (June 3, DAW)
Rosamund is an Earth Master in the Schwarzwald, the ancient Black Forest of Germany. She has lived with her teacher, the Hunt Master and Earth Magician of the Schwarzwald Foresters, a man she calls “Papa.” Her adoptive Papa rescued her after her original Earth Master teacher was brutally murdered by werewolves. Rosa becomes the first woman Hunt Master and the scourge of evil creatures, with a deadly specialty in werewolves and all shapeshifters. Rosa meets a pair of Elemental Magicians from Hungary who have come looking for help. Rosa agrees to help them. One of the two men asking for aid is a hereditary werewolf. Some insist that certain of these hereditary werewolves are benign. Rosa has never encountered a benign werewolf. Can she trust this Hungarian werewolf? Or is the Hunter destined to become the Hunted?
Death’s Redemption (Eternal Lovers #2), by Marie Hall, (June 3, Forever Yours)
Mila is a human with a secret: she can see the future. Working alongside a San Francisco task force her identity was supposed to remain a secret and in return she’d use her powers to bring about justice on the supernatural baddies gone rogue. Someone’s found her out and leaked the information to a sect of vampires that want her for more than just her blood. Frenzy, is a grim reaper of legend and part of The Morrigan’s personal retinue. He wasn’t supposed to be working the streets of San Francisco but he finds himself staring into the eyes of a woman who reminds him fiercely of a lover he’d once known in the seventeenth century. He’ll do anything to make her his, even if that means becoming the monster the world had once feared.
Descent (Kissed by Death #3), by Tara A. Fuller, (June 3, Entangled Teen)
Easton doesn’t believe in love. He believes in Death. Darkness. Sin. As a reaper for Hell, it’s all he’s known for over four hundred years. When he gets slapped with the job of training the boss’s daughter, an angel who knows nothing but joy, he knows he’s in for a world of trouble. Though he’s made it clear he wants nothing to do with her outside of work, Gwen would do anything to get closer to the dark and wounded reaper, even taint her angelic image and join the ranks of her father’s team of reapers. She forgot to factor in one thing, how far the demons Easton doomed to hell would go to get revenge. When the dangers of the Hell threaten Gwen, Easton will do whatever it takes to save her. But as the darkness closes in on them both, will he be able to save himself?
Essence, by Lisa Ann O’Kane, (June 3, Strange Chemistry)
Neutrality is the key to longevity. This motto has governed 16 year-old Autumn’s life in the mid-21st century Centrist cult, which believes that expressing emotions leads to Essence drain and premature death. Autumn’s younger brother’s death casts her faith into question. While sprinting through a park in violation of Centrist teachings, she encounters Ryder Stone, an Outsider who claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic. She agrees to join his Community, a utopia of adrenaline junkies living in the abandoned remains of Yosemite National Park. Autumn learns about sex, drugs, and living life to the fullest. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realizes that this illusion of paradise could be shattered. (ebook only)
Fire Rising (Dark Kings #2), by Donna Grant, (June 3, St. Martin’s)
Tristan, the newest Dragon King, is having a tough time fitting in. Despite his ability to transform into a dragon at will, no one knows where he came from or how he became a Dragon King. When trouble arises, Tristan is going to have to band with the other Dragon Kings to protect Dreagan. He is about to find something worth fighting for more important than the Dragon Kings. Sammie Miller, pub owner in Oban, has been scorned by her business partner and former lover. Sammie is in great danger once she realizes what has happened. When Tristan swears to protect her, Sammie thinks his efforts will be in vain. The closer she gets to Tristan, and the more he learns his secrets, Sammie can’t deny that having a Dragon King who worships you, body and soul, isn’t such a bad thing.
Gasp (Visions #3), by Lisa McMann, (June 3, Simon Pulse)
After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and people around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the visions passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then they must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved. That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. Once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy, that the images are of something real. As the danger escalates more than ever before in the conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening, before it’s too late to prevent disaster.
Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties #2), by Jenn Bennett, (June 3, Berkley)
Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated. Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything, or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction, or the desire, it’s about to stir up.
Hungry, by H.A. Swain, (June 3, Feiwel & Friends)
In the future, food is no longer necessary, until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry. In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food, everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that’s what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he, the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.
Justice (The Tainted Realm #3), by Ian Irvine, (June 3, Orbit)
The once beautiful land of Hightspall is being carved up by warring armies led by figures from out of legend. One army is headed by the charismatic brute, Axil Grandys, and the other by Lyf, resurrected sorcerer-king and Axil’s ancient nemesis. Only the escaped slave Tali and her unreliable magic stand in their way, but Tali’s gift grows more painful every time she uses it. As the armies converge on the fateful peak of Touchstone, Tali and her ally Rix must find a way to overcome Lyf and prevent Axil from using the Three Spells that will destroy Hightspall forever. (U.S. Release)
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel, by Stephen King, (June 3, Scribner)
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. A lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. They have no time to lose. Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Night Shifters , by Sarah A. Hoyt, (June 3, Baen)
Urban fantasy with were-creatures and intrigue. First two books in Sarah A. Hoyt’s Shifter series together for the first time: contains Draw One in the Dark, and Gentleman Takes a Chance. There are those living secretly among us who have the power to change their physical form from that of a human to an animal, even animals thought to be mythical, such as dragons. Throughout out the ages, these shape shifters have come together to protect themselves from humans, and other shape shifters. One of those places they’ve come together is the town of Goldport, Colorado.
On Her Watch (Don’t Tell #2), by Rie Warren, (June 3, Forever Yours)
The year is 2071 and all hell has broken loose. As the government tries to control the territories that were once the United States, an armed rebellion erupts. AWOL from her military post, Lieutenant Liz Grant will do anything for the rebels she now calls friends. Her latest mission: return to the Beta Corps army and obtain classified information that could turn the battle in the revolutionaries’ favor. There’s only one problem: Commander Linc Cutler. Strong, coldly handsome, and always in control, Linc is perplexed by the beautiful soldier brought in for questioning. He doesn’t know if he believes her explanation for why she went missing. He only knows his intense sexual desire for her cannot be denied.
On the Steel Breeze (Poseidon’s Children #2), by Alastair Reynolds, (June 3, Ace)
Chiku Akinya, great granddaughter of the legendary space explorer Eunice and heir to the family empire, is just one among millions on a long one way journey towards a planet they hope to call their new home. For Chiku, the journey is a personal one, undertaken to ensure that the Akinya family achieves its destiny among the stars. The passengers travel in huge self-contained artificial worlds, holoships, putting their faith in a physics they barely understand. Chiku’s ship is called Zanzibar, and over time, she will discover it contains an awesome secret, one which will lead her to question almost every certainty about her voyage, and its ultimate destiny. (U.S. Release)
Prince of Fools (The Red Queen’s War #1), by Mark Lawrence, (June 3, Ace)
The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. She has fought the long war against the powers that stand behind nations. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister, unseen by most and unspoken of by all. The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth, drinker, gambler, seducer of women, is one who can see The Silent Sister. He pretends that the hideous crone is not there. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. The two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell. Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war, and the Red Queen controls the board.
Property of a Lady Faire (Secret Histories #8), by Simon R. Green, (June 3, Roc)
Call me Drood, Eddie Drood. Some know me as Shaman Bond and most simply don’t want to know me at all. My family has been keeping the things that lurk on the darker side of existence as far away as possible from humans like you, without you even knowing we’re there. Not everybody appreciates what we Droods do. I personally managed to survive yet another attempt on my life, but the rest of my relatives weren’t so lucky. My parents are missing in action. My grandfather has been murdered. And the future of my family lies in the iron grasp of the Lady Faire, an incredibly seductive, mysterious, and powerful being. She possesses an ancient object that can save them. I have to steal it from her. Easy enough to say, difficult, and very, very dangerous, to do.
Rebellion, by Ken Shufeldt, (June 3, Tor)
Bailouts and ambitious plans for recovery have failed to rescue the United States’ crumbling economy. The president takes a desperate gamble and strikes a bargain with China to write off America’s debt. It seems a brilliant move, until the Supreme Court is destroyed by a cruise missile in a shocking attack and Manhattan is invaded. China has come to claim what’s theirs. With American captives executed daily in national broadcasts by the attackers, the government in disarray, and US military forces shattered into local militias, all seems lost. Deep in the heart of Texas the American spirit lives on. John David Drury, a young, untried, but highly qualified “four-star general” of a scrappy militia, along with Molly Spitz, a highly-ranked graduate of the Air Force Academy, prepares to lead a strike against New York City.
Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia (City of Indra #1), by Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner, (June 3, Gallery Books/Karen Hunter)
Lex lives down below, close to rock bottom. She grew up in the orphanage, alone, and now is training to be a Special Op so she can finally destroy the rebels. Livia lives miles above everything on a floating island in the city of Indra. She is training too, but for a life that she doesn’t want. She wants to be free and to run with her beloved horse until she can’t run any longer. There’s Kane, Lex’s only friend, whom she would walk through fire for. When she finds that Kane is in danger, she doesn’t hesitate to leave her post and blast her way to the top of Indra to save him. She just needs to get one stubborn, clever airgirl to tell her where he is first. Lex and Livia team up to save Kane after discovering that they share a mysterious identical mark, not realizing that their biggest danger is in each other.
Rescue Mode, by Ben Bova and Les Johnson, (June 3, Baen)
The first human mission to Mars meets with near-disaster when a meteoroid strikes the spacecraft, almost destroying it. The ship is too far from Earth to simply turn around and return home. The eight-person crew must ride their crippled ship to Mars while they desperately struggle to survive. On Earth, powerful political forces that oppose human spaceflight try to use the accident as proof that sending humans into space is too dangerous to continue. The whole human space flight program hangs in the balance. And if the astronauts can’t nurse their ship to Mars and back, the voyagers will become either the first Martian colonists, or the first humans to perish on another planet.
Robert A. Heinlein, Vol 2: In Dialogue with His Century Volume 2: The Man Who Learned Better, by William H. Patterson, Jr., (June 3, Tor)
Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988) is generally considered the greatest American science fiction author of the twentieth century. His most famous and widely influential works include the Future History series published in the years covered by this volume. He was a friend of admirals, bestselling writers, and artists; became committed to defending the United States during the Cold War; and was on the advisory committee that helped Ronald Reagan create the Star Wars Strategic Defense Initiative in the 1980s. Heinlein was also devoted to space flight and humanity’s future in space, and he was a commanding presence to all around him in his lifetime. Given his desire for privacy in the later decades of his life, the revelations in this biography make for riveting reading.
The Sea of Time (Kencyrath #7), by P.C. Hodgell, (June 3, Baen)
Kothifir the Great, ruled by an obscenely obese god-king, peopled with colorful, dueling guilds, guarded by the Southern Host of the Kencyrath. Here Jame arrives, only to find that the turbulent city claims more of her attention as the Talisman than the Host’s training fields do as a second year randon cadet. Someone in the Host’s camp is trying to get Jame killed. In order to save the present, Jame must search the past, be it fifteen years ago when as a boy her brother Torisen arrived here, or three thousand years ago when the Wastes were a great sea ringed with rich civilizations. Tori survived. The cities of the plain were destroyed in one catastrophic night. Kothifir’s gods have lost their power and its proud towers are falling. What curse out of the past has struck it? Jame, a potential Nemesis, must try to stop the destruction, without undoing time itself.
Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling #13), by Nalini Singh, (June 3, Berkley)
Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch, if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. Vasic must complete the simplest and most difficult mission of his life. For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake. Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. She’ll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. Even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold darkness.
Take Back the Skies (Take Back the Skies #1), by Lucy Saxon, (June 3, Bloomsbury USA)
Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged, she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever. So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all.
Talent to Burn , by Laura Welling, (June 3, Samhain)
Cat Wilson grew up a misfit among misfits. She couldn’t read minds, see the future, or start fires like the other Talented kids inside the Grey Institute. Finally she ran, leaving her beloved brother, Eric, behind. When she learns that Eric has escaped, leaving deadly fires in his wake, Cat is torn between fear for her brother, and attraction to the messenger, a charming, Talented ex-con. Jamie Murphy is sure his group of outcast Talents can help Eric if they can get to him before the cops or the Institute. Cat s aversion to Talented bad boys is like a wall of ice, but to his surprise, he doesn’t have to use an ounce of his own unique gift to find a way through it. Locating Eric is only the beginning. Cat must find the courage to unlock a fearsome Talent of her own. And pray the psychic backdraft doesn t destroy everyone she loves. (ebook only)
The Dark Between the Stars (The Saga of Shadows #1), by Kevin J. Anderson, (June 3, Tor)
Twenty years after the elemental conflict that nearly tore apart the cosmos in The Saga of Seven Suns, a new threat emerges from the darkness. The human race must set aside its own inner conflicts to rebuild their alliance with the Ildiran Empire for the survival of the galaxy. Galactic empires clash, elemental beings devastate whole planetary systems, and factions of humanity are pitted against each other. Heroes rise and enemies make their last stands in the climax of an epic tale seven years in the making.
The Endless Lake (Survivors #5), by Erin Hunter, (June 3, Harper Collins)
Lucky and his Pack were able to defeat Terror’s dogs, but their new world still holds many dangers. Now the Pack has come to the edge of a strange lake that seems to stretch on forever, and Lucky discovers that there is barely enough food to survive. As winter approaches and Lucky struggles to keep his friends safe, he is haunted by visions of a storm of dogs-and a terrible battle that seems to loom closer every day.
The Girls at the Kingfisher Club: A Novel, by Genevieve Valentine, (June 3, Atria Books)
Jo, the firstborn, “The General” to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. They elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off. The girls continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher. Until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.
The Heir of Khored (The Seven Petaled Shield #3), by Deborah J. Ross, (June 3, DAW)
For Shannivar, warrior of the Azkhantia Steppe, the future is grim. She faces twin threats: the mighty Gelon empire, ruthessly conquering independent nations like her own, and the malevolent entity of Fire and Ice, unleashed from its prison in the Far North. And she must face them alone. After meeting Zevaron, an exiled prince in search of aid from Azkhantia, Shannivar and Zevaron had traveled together and fallen in love. But their journey to the north to investigate dangerous omens failed when Zevaron was enthralled by the monstrous Fire and Ice. Now Zevaron’s hatred for Gelon, the empire that destroyed his kingdom and killed his mother, threatens to consume not only him, but all the living world.
The Merchant Emperor (Symphony of Ages #7), by Elizabeth Haydon, (June 3, Tor)
The war that they had feared is now upon them. Ashe and Rhapsody, leaders of the Cymrian Alliance, are gathering their allies to combat the machinations of Talquist, who will soon be crowned emperor of Sorbold. Rhapsody has been forced into hiding to protect the life of her infant son. The Merchant Emperor of Sorbold has unintentionally allied himself with a pair of demons and has begun targeting the dragons that remain on the Middle Continent. Talquist will stop at nothing until the Cymrians are wiped out and the entire continent and the rest of the Known World is under his rule. Rhapsody is left with one undeniable truth: if their forces are to prevail, she must join the war herself, wielding the Daystar Clarion, an ancient weapon whose power is nearly unparalleled. A danger far more devastating than Talquist is stirring beneath the surface of the land itself.
Veil of the Deserters (Bloodsounder’s Arc #2), by Jeff Salyards, (June 3, Night Shade)
Captain Braylar Killcoin and his retinue continue to sow chaos amongst the political elite of Alespell. Braylar is still poisoned by the memories of those slain by his unholy flail Bloodsounder. The Syldoonian Emperor Cynead has solidified his power base in unprecedented ways. Braylar must decide if he can trust his sister, Soffjian, with the secret that is killing him. She has powerful memory magics that might be able to save him from Bloodsounder’s effects. Arki and others in the company try to get Soffjian and Braylar to trust one another. Deposed emperor Thumarr plots to remove Cynead, and Braylar and his sister Soffjian lie at the heart of his plans. Arki will chronicle the true intentions of Emperor Cynead and Soffjian. Old enemies in Alespell may prove to be surprising allies in a conflict no one could have foreseen.
Head Full of Mountains, by Brent Hayward, (June 4, ChiZine)
When Crospinal’s ailing father finally dies, he is left utterly alone in the pen, surrounded by encroaching darkness. The machines that tended to him as a child have long ago vanished, and the apparitions that kept Crospinal company are now silenced. Struggling with congenital issues, outfitted in a threadbare uniform, he has little choice but to leave what was once his home, soon discovering that nothing in the outside world is how he had been told it would be. In his quest for meaning and understanding, and the contact of another, Crospinal learns truths about himself, about his father, and about the last bastion of humanity trapped with him at the end of time.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014 Edition, edited by Rich Horton, (June 4, Prime Books)
This sixth volume of the year’s best science fiction and fantasy features over thirty stories by some of the genre’s greatest authors, including Yoon Ha Lee, James Patrick Kelly, Ken Liu, Robert Reed, Lavie Tidhar, Carrie Vaughn, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, F&SF, and other top venues, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.
Haunt, by Curtis Jobling, (June 5, Simone and Schuster)
When Will finds himself in hospital, but unable to make anyone see or hear him, he realizes that he never made it home from his first date with the school hottie. Knocked off his bike in a road traffic accident, Will is now officially dead, and a ghost. But somehow his best mate, Dougie, can still see him, and, once they’ve exhausted all the comic possibilities of being invisible, they decide to delve into the truth behind a school rumour, whether there really is an unhappy spirit haunting the ruins in the school grounds, and if so, why? What they discover is a long-buried mystery, which stretches its fingers right into the present. (U.S. Release)
The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy #3), by Amish Tripathi, (June 5, Jo Fletcher Books)
Today, Shiva is a god. But four thousand years ago, he was just a man, until he brought his people to Meluha, a near-perfect empire founded by the great king Lord Ram. There he discovered he was the Neelkanth, a barbarian long prophesied to be Meluha’s saviour. But in his hour of victory fighting the Chandravanshis, Meluha’s enemy, he discovered they had their own prophecy. Now he must fight to uncover the treachery within his inner circle, and unmask those who are about to destroy all that he has fought for. Shiva is about to learn that good and evil are two sides of the same coin. (U.S. Release)
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!