First off, I’m hopping around the blogosphere today and would love to see you! I’m at fellow Paranormal Unbound author Celia Breslin’s blog today, or rather Shane and Jagger from Lovely, Dark, and Deep are there. Being, you know, guys. And I’m at my friend Ingrid Seymour’s blog today, talking about Royal Street and Katrina, and where the series might be headed. We’re giving away a copy of ROYAL STREET, but you can sub out another of my books (or a UK edition) if you want. Hope you’ll stop by!
Next, if any of you are in the Birmingham, Alabama, area on Friday, I’m taking part in a “Love in the Library” event at the Hoover Public Library. Bestselling historical romance author Lauren Willig will give a talk, then I’ll be on a panel with authors Abbi Glines (YA/NA) and Beatriz Williams (contemporary), representing all things fin, fur and fang! It’s free and begins at 7 p.m. Hope you can come by!
Can you believe that we are already wrapping up the month of July and moving into August? This week, we have twenty-five new releases available for your reading pleasure.
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.
Academic Exercises, by K.J. Parker, (July 28, Subterranean Press)
This volume gathers thirteen distinctive stories, essays, and novellas. The collection opens with “A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong,” a story of music and murder set against a complex mentor/pupil relationship, and closes with the novella “Blue & Gold,” which features what may be the most beguiling opening lines in recent memory. In “A Rich, Full Week,” an itinerant “wizard” undergoes a transformative encounter with a member of the “restless dead.” “Purple & Black,” is an epistolary tale about a man who inherits the most hazardous position imaginable: Emperor. “Amor Vincit Omnia” recounts a confrontation with a mass murderer who may have mastered an impossible form of magic. Rounding out the volume are three essays: “On Sieges,” “Cutting Edge Technology,” and “Rich Men’s Skins.”
Beautiful Blood, by Lucius Shepard, (July 28, Subterranean Press)
Richard Rosacher is a young medical doctor yearning for a better life when he is attacked and injected with a sample of Griaule’s blood. Rosacher uses more of the blood to create the drug mab, which brings him power and wealth while serving Griaule’s greater plans. Following him through several decades and almost as many changes in fate, the novel questions the role of ambition, placing Rosacher in juxtaposition to his various partners and rivals, from his early lover Ludie to the benevolent King Carlos. The bittersweet story never allows Rosacher the option of happiness, but happiness is not something he seeks. Instead, the question before Rosacher is whether his ambition and success can bring him contentment.
Blood Sworn (Last of the Shardyn #3), by Steve W. Vera, (July 28, Carina Press)
Veteran police chief Skip Walkins has really done it this time. After crossing realities to fight the onslaught of the Drynn, the spawn of the Underworld, he’s one of only a few motley survivors of an epic massacre. By his blood, he’s sworn to unite with Shardyn Knight Gavin Blackburn against the armies of Asmodeous the Pale, Lord of the Underworld and ruler of the Drynn. The two must seek resistance fighters in Vambrace, among those who killed Gavin’s father. Reformed sociopath Donovan Smith has traveled to Vambrace for his own reasons. Donovan’s secrets may hold the key to defeating the Drynn, but they may upset the alliance of the Blood Sworn. If Skip and Gavin can’t fight together as one, the Drynn will attain total victory over Earth and its magical twin, Theia. (ebook only)
Summoned Chaos (The Shifter Chronicles #2), by Joshua Roots, (July 28, Carina Press)
If there’s one thing Warlock Marcus Shifter hates it’s the Delwinn Council, the governing body of the magical community. Between the grudges many on the Council harbor because he walked away from magic, and his suspicions that someone is working to undermine a twenty-year peace with the non-magical Normals, they don’t get along. Marcus has spent months hunting the traitor. When he accidentally thwarts an assassination attempt at Delwinn HQ, the Council does the unthinkable: they appoint him the poster child for the peace movement. Marcus has to not only figure out how to control his resurging powers but also navigate the potentially fatal waters of fame. He’ll need more than a camera-ready smile to uncover the traitor and keep the peace. (ebook only)
Blightborn (The Heartland Trilogy #2), by Chuck Wendig, (July 29, Skyscape)
Cael McAvoy is on the run. He’s heading toward the Empyrean to rescue his sister, Merelda, and to find Gwennie before she’s lost to Cael forever. With his pals, Lane and Rigo, Cael journeys across the Heartland to catch a ride into the sky. With Boyland and others after them, Cael and his friends won’t make it through unchanged. Gwennie’s living the life of a Lottery winner, but it’s not what she expected. Gwennie makes a bold move, one that catches the attention of the Empyrean and changes the course of an Empyrean man’s life. The crew from Boxelder aren’t the only folks willing to sacrifice everything to see the Empyrean fall. Can the others be trusted? They’d better hurry. The Empyrean has plans that could ensure that the Heartland never fights back again.
Cast in Flame (Chronicles of Elantra #10), by Michelle Sagara, (July 29, Harlequin MIRA)
Any day that starts with dragon arguments is going to be bad. Kaylin returned from the West March in one piece. Now that piece is fraying. She’s not at home in the Imperial Palace, and she never intends to be. All she wants is normal garden-variety criminals and a place of her own. Of course, normal in her new life involves a dragon as a roommate, but she can handle that. She can’t as easily handle the new residents to the city she polices, because one of them is Nightshade’s younger brother. On a night when she should be talking to landlords in perfectly normal buildings, she’s called to the fief, by Teela. A small family disagreement has become a large, complicated problem: Castle Nightshade’s latent magic is waking. And it’s not the only thing.
Free Agent (Grimm Agency #1), by J.C. Nelson, (July 29, Ace)
Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. When your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with. Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. When the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. The prince gone missing and the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist. Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm, or give up hope of getting her happy ending.
Hardship (Theirs Not to Reason Why #4), by Jean Johnson, (July 29, Ace)
It began with a terrible vision of the future. Compelled by her precognitive visions, Ia must somehow save her home galaxy long after she’s gone. Demoralized, their ship destroyed, Ia’s Damned must fight their way out of a planet-bound blockade and back into space. But no sooner do they board the Damnation and re-enter the fight than a new threat emerges. After several centuries of silence, the Greys are back, and the Alliance must now fight against both a rapacious, sadistic enemy, and a terrifying, technologically superior foe. Ia has asked nothing of her crew that she herself has not been willing to give. But with two wars to bring to an end, and time running out, Ia must make and carry out the most terrible choice of all.
Jani and the Greater Game, by Eric Brown, (July 29, Solaris)
It’s 1910 and the British rule the subcontinent with an iron fist, and with strange technology fuelled by a power source known as Annapurnite, discovered in the foothills of Mount Annapurna. They rule but at the constant cost of their enemies, mainly the Russians and the Chinese, attempting to learn the secret of this technology. This political confrontation is known as The Greater Game. Into this conflict is pitched Janisha Chaterjee who discovers a strange device which leads her into the foothills of the Himalayas. Russians spies and the evil priest Durja Das find out about the device, the chase is on to apprehend Janisha before she can reach the Himalayas. She will learn the secret behind Annapurnite. What she learns will change the destiny of the world forever.
Kalona’s Fall (House of Night Novellas #4), by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, (July 29, St. Martin’s Griffin)
From the Sun and from the Moon, two winged brothers are born: golden Erebus, playmate and friend, and mysterious Kalona, Warrior and lover, companions of the Goddess Nyx. Nyx loves them both deeply, but differently. With Erebus, she can talk and laugh and dance, and take joy in the games he plays among the humans. With Kalona, the fire in her body burns bright, and she can rest in the solace of his strength and protection. For Kalona, Nyx’s nights are not enough. Every second he is not with her he is filled with doubt and longing. Every time he fails to please her, he cannot forgive himself. Kalona seeks the power to prove his worth, and to claim that Nyx eternally belongs to him. A Darkness is stirring, waiting for its chance, for the doorway in through a heart that it knows will welcome it.
Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7), by Ilona Andrews, (July 29, Ace)
As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe, especially those closest to Kate. As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the supernatural factions in Atlanta. One of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter. Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. This time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear.
Memory Maze (The Hypnotists #2), by Gordon Korman, (July 29, Scholastic Press)
Jax Opus knows he’s not like other kids. And it isn’t his skill on the basketball court or his test scores that set him apart. No, Jax is different because he can hypnotize people. In fact, he might be the best hypnotist the world has seen in a very long time. You would think Jax would be happy about this. But really, it’s ruining his life. He and his family are hiding from a master hypnotist who wants Jax out of the picture, forever. And the FBI is also starting to ask questions about Jax and his abilities. Jax thinks life might be getting a little better when a very rich, very powerful man asks him to help out with something. The reward will be great. And the price, well, the price is that Jax starts taking on the man’s memories. And some of them are pretty deadly.
One Night in Sixes, by Arianne “Tex” Thompson, (July 29, Solaris)
The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient earthly gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight. If he ever wants to go home again, he’d better find his missing partner before they do. But if he’s caught out after dark, Elim risks succumbing to the old and sinister truth that lives in his own flesh, and discovering just how far he’ll go to survive the night.
Path of Smoke (Parallel Parks #2), by Bailey Cunningham, (July 29, Ace)
The company of heroes has thwarted the plan of the power-hungry basilissa to conquer Anfractus, but not without a cost. Andrew’s character, Roldan, died, leaving him cut off from the mystical realm without any memory of its existence. If the others reveal the park’s magical nature to Andrew, his banishment will become permanent. So they must hide their nighttime adventures, and hope that his memory returns. The rest of the group keeps a low profile in Anfractus until they uncover an unholy alliance between their enemy and the silenoi, satyrlike creatures who hunt humans, an alliance that threatens to cross the barrier into the real world. Andrew receives a visitor determined to restore his memory of Anfractus by leading him down a very dark path.
Shifter’s Claim (The Shadow Shifters #4), by A.C. Arthur, (July 29, St. Martin’s)
Sebastian Perry, gorgeous shape-shifter, has tremendous guilt. Completely disarmed by his momentary hesitation to save a woman, he has fallen into despair. Bas aches to feel complete, to feel alive, to feel the love of a female. Priya Drake is tired of fending for herself. Growing up in a family that had nothing but problems, she’s made it to a top newspaper as a reporter. When she accidentally witnesses Bas shift, she knows she’s sitting on the scoop that will make her career. She needs to get her facts straight, and the mounting attraction between her and Bas isn’t helping one bit. Priya thinks she has everything under control. As the nights get hotter and danger continues to mount, Priya has to ask herself, can she betray the man she loves?
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5), by Richelle Mead, (July 29, Razorbill)
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists. Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour.
The Angel of Losses, by Stephanie Feldman, (July 29, Ecco)
When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God. When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather, and her family, comes undone. She embarks on an odyssey that takes her into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.
The Buried Life (Buried Life #1), by Carrie Patel, (July 29, Angry Robot)
The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate of Preservation, Ricoletta’s top-secret historical research facility. When a second high-profile murder threatens the very fabric of city society, Malone and her rookie partner Rafe Sundar must tread carefully, lest they fall victim to not only the criminals they seek, but the government which purports to protect them. Knowledge is power, and power must be preserved at all costs.
The Dawn of a Desperate War (The Godlanders War #3), by Aaron Pogue, (July 29, 47North)
Corin Hugh, left to die in the tomb of a dead god, now carries with him the burning memory of King Oberon’s betrayal at the hands of the tyrant god Ephitel. He also carries a secret weapon, Godslayer, the one sword in all Hurope that can bring Ephitel to his knees. He will need more than just a magic sword to draw Ephitel down from his throne. As Corin searches for allies in what may become his last, desperate stand against the gods, his quest takes him into the heart of two ancient orders: a reclusive race of druids and the long-lost elves of old Gesoelig. Corin must swallow his pride and look to his fellow humans for help as he plots his revenge against Ephitel. All his plans may crumble to ashes if Justicar Jessamine, Ephitel’s ruthless but beautiful champion, has her way.
The Hidden Relic (Evermen Saga #2), by James Maxwell, (July 29, 47North)
With the fate of their homeland still in jeopardy, siblings Ella and Miro must face the Primate’s evil as he discovers a new technique: a way to extract essence from human blood. The Primate has been temporarily defeated, but his home was once inhabited by the Evermen, and their ancient secrets still remain there. As the mysterious Evrin sets out to destroy everything he can, the Primate stumbles upon an ancient book that tells of a hidden relic with unfathomable power, and he will stop at nothing to find it. Realizing the solution to defeating the Primate and saving the Empire is tied to the hidden relic, Ella, Miro, Killian, and the desert prince Ilathor must race to reach the relic before the Primate, or suffer disastrous consequences. (U.S. Release)
The Path of the Storm (Evermen Saga #3), by James Maxwell, (July 29, 47North)
Two years have passed since the war. The Primate is dead, the machines at Stonewater have been destroyed, yet without essence the Empire’s economy has collapsed. In the midst of the growing unrest, Miro struggles to balance his life with Amber against his resolve to keep threats to the Empire at bay. His sister Ella helps to build the machinery the Empire desperately needs, but she longs to find Killian and believes his powers will be needed in the conflict to come. News of a wedding brings a much-needed ray of hope to the weary people. But as citizens and leaders gather from afar for the festivities, an evil threat shatters the fragile peace: one of the Evermen has returned. And he will not rest until he has completely destroyed the humans he despises. (U.S. Release)
The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral #1), by C.L. Wilson, (July 29, Avon)
Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when the prince of Summerlea steals Wynter’s bride and murders his young brother, Wynter calls upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart and marches against Summerlea. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth in his heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King. The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of whom he is not so fond. She is a fiercely passionate creature, with a temper as volatile as the forces of her weathergift, the power of storms.
The Young World (The Young World Trilogy #1), by Chris Weitz, (July 29, Little, Brown Books)
Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens. After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he’s secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind. The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park, and discovers truths they could never have imagined.
Skin of the Wolf, by Sam Cabot, (July 31, Blue Rider Press)
Father Thomas Kelly, art historian Livia Pietro, and scholar Spencer George shared shocking, life-changing events. Father Kelly learned of the existence of the Noantri, a community of vampires, and that Livia and Spencer were among them. All three are together again in New York City where Livia is attending a conference. When Spencer is attacked in Central Park by a wolf, the trio are thrown into a world where money, Native American lore, and the doctrines of the Catholic Church collide, revealing an alarming secret: the wolf is a Shapeshifter. He is searching for a sacred Iroquois mask with power that could destroy millions of lives. The three escape becoming the Shapeshifter’s prey. Will they be able to prevent catastrophe from rising with the next full moon?
The Fourth Wish (The Art of Wishing #2), by Lindsay Ribar, (July 31, Kathy Dawson Books)
Here’s what Margo McKenna knows about genies: She’s seen Aladdin more times than she can count; she’s found a magic genie ring and made her three allotted wishes; she’s even fallen head over heels in love with Oliver, the cute genie whose life she saved by fighting off another genie. None of this prepared her for the shock of becoming a genie herself. Everything Margo’s taken for granted: graduating high school, going to college, hating math, performing in the school musical, even being a girl, is in question. Just at a time when she’s trying to figure out who she wants to be, Margo is forced to become whomever her master wants. Margo is also coming into a power she never imagined she’d have. How will she reconcile the two? Where will she and Oliver stand when she’s done?
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!