First off, today’s stops on the PIRATE’S ALLEY tour:
–Hop over to Rainy Day Ramblings, where I’m talking about what we do and don’t know about the real Jean Lafitte; this isn’t a blog tour stop so it has its own $10 Amazon gift card giveaway (or equivalent from Book Depo if international).
–There’s a review at Leeanna.Me where you can enter via Rafflecopter.
–There’s a review at Bad Bird Reads where you can enter via Rafflecopter.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming….
Not much can match the excitement of last week and the release of Pirate’s Alley, right? But new releases march on. We wrap up the month of April this week and gently nudge our way into the first day of May. There are about thirty books on the list this week with a bigger week to come next week.
What do you want to read this week? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. If you’d prefer the first book in a series listed here, that’s okay, too.
Against a Darkening Sky, by Lauren B. Davis, (April 28, ChiZine)
Set in 7th-century Northumbria and follows Wilona, a seeress and healer whose life and way of being in the world are threatened by the coming of Christianity; and Egan, a young monk from Eire whose visions may have brought him to Christ, but whose experience of the sacred puts him at odds with the Roman church. Full of magic and mystery, this book explores what happens when one’s experience and beliefs clash with those of the people in power.
Alien Wars (Fenris #3), by Vaughn Heppner, (April 28, 47North)
Human pioneers fleeing Earth for the promised land of New Eden found hell instead, falling prey to the reptilian Kresh. But street-savvy Cyrus Gant escaped the aliens, rescued master telepath Klane, and began a desperate journey to head off the impending Kresh invasion of Earth. When the insectile Chirr and human cyborgs join the war, Cyrus suddenly faces a triple threat. Only by absorbing the powerful consciousness of the mortally wounded Klane does he stand a chance against the deadly enemies surrounding him. But when a malevolent alien entity invades his mind, Cyrus must do battle in both outer and inner space to save his soul and his sanity. Cyrus rolls the dice to win the biggest prize anyone has ever chased: the future of humanity.
An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir, (April 28, Razorbill)
LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution. ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier, and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor. When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
Be Not Afraid, by Cecilia Galante, (April 28, Random House BYR)
Marin spends a lot of time avoiding things. She avoids thinking about her mother’s suicide and what she could have done to prevent it. She avoids looking at people directly-because she can see their pain as bright, colorful shapes. And she avoids Cassie Jackson, who used her in a sinister ritual months ago, although Marin’s not exactly sure why. When Cassie stands up at school, screaming, raking her nails down her cheeks, and pointing a finger at Marin, whispering “YOU,” Marin’s days of avoidance come to an abrupt end. Cassie’s older brother believes that Marin holds the secret to Cassie’s illness. So they team up to solve the mystery of what Cassie has unleashed. But as they look deeper into the darkness and things begin to go bump in the night, can Marin trust what she sees?
Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1), by Jennifer Estep, (April 28, Kensington Teen)
It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power. I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick. But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call, get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her.
Darkened Blade (Fallen Blade #6), by Kelly McCullough, (April 28, Ace)
It’s been nine long years since the death of his patron, Namara, and exalted assassin Aral Kingslayer desperately misses the thrill and glory of being a higher power of justice. Now he is haunted by the ghosts of the past, and by the ghost of the lost goddess herself. When Namara calls upon Aral in a dream to seek justice for her death and the ruination of her temple, Aral must obtain the help of his fellow former Blades and his Shade familiar, Triss, to pursue the vengeance he knows Namara deserves. Even if it means attacking Heaven’s Son, and going against one of their own, in a bloody battle of epic proportions.
Deception’s Pawn (Deception’s Princess #2), by Esther M. Friesner, (April 28, Random House BYR)
Maeve, princess of Connacht, seems to have won her freedom. Her father, the High King, is finally allowing her to explore the world beyond his castle. But Maeve soon discovers that being the High King’s daughter doesn’t protect her from bullying or the attention of unwelcome suitors. Struggling to navigate a new court, she must discourage the advances of her father’s rival, who is vying with her host’s son for her hand in marriage. Maeve is a pawn trapped between these two boys. Her bold defiance will bring her to the brink of disaster, but her clever gamble may also lead to her independence. Though she faces danger and intrigue, Maeve will also discover what kind of person, and queen, she’s destined to become.
Emergence: Dave vs. the Monsters (David Hooper #1), by John Birmingham, (April 28, Del Rey)
Dave Hooper has a hangover from hell, a horrible ex-wife, and the fangs of the IRS deep in his side. The last thing he needs is an explosion at work. A real explosion. On his off-shore oil rig. But this is no accident, and despite the news reports, Dave knows that terrorists aren’t to blame. He knows because he killed one of the things responsible. When he wakes up in a hospital bed guarded by Navy SEALs, he realizes this is more than just a bad acid trip. Yeah, Dave’s had a few. This trip is way weirder. Killing a seven-foot-tall, tattooed demon has transformed the overweight, balding safety manager into something else entirely. A foul-mouthed, beer-loving monster slayer, and humanity’s least worthy Champion. (U.S. Release)
Hunted Warrior (Dragon Kings #3), by Lindsey Piper, (April 28, Pocket Books)
The head of the Five Clans of the Dragon Kings was raised among the privileged of his dying race, His influence is waning while the Dragon Kings must solve the puzzle of their slow extinction. When a captive escapes his compound in the Greek mountains, Malnefoley leaves nothing to chance. The woman is known as the Pet, a former associate of a doctor from the Asters, a human crime cartel. She claims to hold the secret to conception, an invaluable secret for a race unable to procreate. She’s a soothsayer, able to see glimpses of the future. Her quest is to find and save a Cage warrior, a young woman whose destiny is bound to a timeless prophecy. His goal is to return the Pet to his compound and use her knowledge for the betterment of their people. Her restless energy and raw sensuality are as intriguing as her predictions about the rise of the Great Dragon. As their treacherous chase turns passionate, can he even trust himself?
Kingdom of Darkness (Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase #10), by Andy McDermott, (April 28, Dell)
In Los Angeles, a desperate man seeks out renowned archaeologist Nina Wilde and her husband, ex, SAS soldier Eddie Chase, only to be gunned down in front of them. The assassin is soon identified as a ninety-year-old Nazi war criminal, with the body of a healthy forty-year-old. Nina and Eddie travel to Cairo to inspect the newly discovered tomb of Alexander the Great. The real find is hidden in one of its treasures, a mechanical guide leading to one of antiquity’s most tantalizing myths: a spring of water said to give eternal life to those who drink it. Nina, Eddie, and a team of Mossad agents realize that the myth is real, and that a group of former SS men who have tasted this water are now hunting for its source. Nina is kidnapped and spirited away to a secret Nazi enclave in Argentina, igniting a globe-spanning struggle in which her life hangs in the balance. A terrifying possibility emerges, that the world’s darkest evil could live on forever. (U.S. Release)
Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley, (April 28, HarperCollins)
Aza Ray is drowning in thin air. Aza has suffers from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak, to live. When Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name. Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. Something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world, and found, by another. Magonia. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. She has immense power, and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity, including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
MirrorWorld, by Jeremy Robinson, (April 28, Thomas Dunne Books)
Crazy has no memory and feels no fear. He’s locked away in SafeHaven, a psychiatric hospital, where he spends the days watching Wheel of Fortune and wondering what the outside world smells like. When a visitor arrives and offers him a way out Crazy doesn’t hesitate to accept. Outside, Crazy is faced with a world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, and finds himself relocated to Neuro Inc., a secretive corporation with strange government ties. When he discovers evidence of human experimentation he escapes with a syringe, the contents of which are unknown to him but precious to Neuro. Crazy makes himself indispensable by injecting the substance into his leg. His eyes are opened to a world beyond human experience. Crazy allies himself with the company he fled and begins peeling back the layers of his past, the brewing war between worlds, how he can stop it, and what he did to start it.
No One Gets Out Alive, by Adam Nevill, (April 28, St. Martin’s Press)
When Stephanie moves to the notoriously cheap Perry Bar neighborhood of Birmingham, she’s just happy to find an affordable room for rent that’s large enough not to deserve her previous room’s nickname, “the cell.” The landlord seems nice and welcoming enough. She impulsively hands over enough money to cover the first month’s rent and decides to give it a go. Soon after she becomes uneasy about her rash decision. She hears things in the night. Feels them. Things, or people, who aren’t there in the light. Her door is locked every night, and the key is still in place in the morning. Concern soon turns to terror when the voices she hears and presence she feels each night become hostile. It’s clear that something very bad has happened in this house. Stephanie has to find a way out, before whatever’s going on in the house finds her first. (U.S. Release)
Of Noble Family (Glamourist Histories #5), by Mary Robinette Kowal, (April 28, Tor)
Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some rest after their adventures in Italy when Vincent receives word that his father has passed away in the West Indies. His brother is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. The couple decide to go. Jane spends enough time unable to perform glamour that towards the end of the trip she discovers that she is with child. When they finally arrive at the estate, they realize that nearly everything they came expecting to find had been a lie. The entire estate is in disarray and tensions with the local slave population so high that they are close to revolt. Vincent cannot stand to leave an estate connected with his family in such a condition. They have survived many grand and terrifying adventures, but this one will test their skills and wits more than any before, this time with a new life hanging in the balance.
Omega City (Omega City #1), by Diana Peterfreund, (April 28, Balzer + Bray)
Gillian Seagret doesn’t listen to people who say her father’s a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to a cottage in the sticks, but Gillian knows he’s right and plans to prove it. When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg’s diary in her father’s office, she thinks she’s found a piece of the puzzle. Enlisting the help of her brother, Eric, her friend Savannah, and Howard, their schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of a doomsday bunker. They aren’t alone inside its dark halls. They must explore Omega City and find the answers they need. Gillian wants to save her dad’s reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg’s secrets to light, but there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried, forever.
Rolling in the Deep, by Mira Grant, (April 28, Subterranean Press)
When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth. This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench, and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Daughter Mary Shelley, by Charlotte Gordon, (April 28, Random House)
This dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley have each been the subject of numerous biographies, yet no one has ever examined their lives in one book, until now. This book reunites the trailblazing author who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the Romantic visionary who gave the world Frankenstein, two courageous women who should have shared their lives, but instead shared a powerful literary and feminist legacy. In 1797, less than two weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft died, and a remarkable life spent pushing against the boundaries of society’s expectations for women came to an end. Wollstonecraft’s daughter Mary was to follow a similarly audacious path. Both women had passionate relationships with several men, bore children out of wedlock, and chose to live in exile outside their native country. Each in her own time fought against the injustices women faced and wrote books that changed literary history.
SCHISM (Illirin Book One), by Laura Maisano, (April 28, MuseItUp Publishing)
Art therapy hasn’t helped Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight. Another student, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever. (ebook only)
The Arctic Code (Dark Gravity Sequence #1), by Matthew J. Kirby, (April 28, Balzer + Bray)
It is the near future, and the earth has entered a new ice age. Eleanor Perry lives in Tucson, one of the most popular destinations for refugees of the Freeze. She is the daughter of a climatologist who is trying to find new ways to preserve human life on the planet. Dr. Perry believes that a series of oil deposits she has found in the Arctic may hold the key to our survival. That’s when she disappears, but not before sending Eleanor a series of cryptic messages that point to a significant and mysterious discovery. Now it’s up to Eleanor to go find her. This search will launch Eleanor on a breathless race to unlock the mysteries of what has happened to our planet, solving the riddle of the cold that could be humanity’s end, and uncovering a threat to the earth that may not be of this world.
The Day Before (Jane Doe #1), by Liana Brooks, (April 28, HarperVoyager Impulse)
Agent Samantha Rose has been exiled to a backwater assignment for the Commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, a death knell for her career. But then Sam catches a break, a murder, that could give her the boost she needs to get her life back on track. There’s a snag, though: the body is a clone, and technically that means it’s not a homicide. And yet, something about the body raises questions, not only for her, but for coroner Linsey Mackenzie. The more they dig, the more they realize nothing about this case is what it seems, and for Sam, nothing about Mac is what it seems, either. This case might be the way out for her, but that way could be in a body bag. (ebook only)
The Deepest Poison (Clockwork Dagger Duology #0.5), by Beth Cato, (April 28, Harper Voyager Impulse)
Octavia Leander, a young healer with incredible powers, has found her place among Miss Percival’s medicians-in-training. Called to the frontlines of a never-ending war between Caskentia and the immoral Wasters, the two women must uncover the source of a devastating illness that is killing thousands of soldiers. But when Octavia’s natural talents far outshine her teacher’s, jealousy threatens to destroy their relationship, as time runs out to save the encampment. A journey into Octavia’s past, as well as an exclusive excerpt from the sequel, The Clockwork Crown. (ebook only)
The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1), by Melissa Grey, (April 28, Delacorte Press)
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known. Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but she’s fiercely loyal. When a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. If life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants, and how to take it. This job might just set the world on fire.
The Hercules Text, by Jack McDevitt, (April 28, Ace)
Revised from the original edition, and featuring a new foreword. From a remote corner of the galaxy a message is being sent. The continuous beats of a pulsar have become odd, irregular, artificial. It can only be a code. Frantically, a research team struggles to decipher the alien communication. And what the scientists discover is destined to shake the foundations of empires around this world, from Wall Street to the Vatican. (revised edition)
The Memory Painter, by Gwendolyn Womack, (April 28, Picador)
Bryan Pierce is a famous artist whose paintings have dazzled the world. There’s a secret to Bryan’s success: Every canvas is inspired by an unusually vivid dream. All his life, he has wondered if his dreams are recollections, if he is re-experiencing other people’s lives. Linz Jacobs is a neurogeneticist, absorbed in decoding genes that help the brain make memories, until she is confronted with an exact rendering of a recurring nightmare at one of Bryan’s shows. She tracks him down, and their meeting triggers Bryan’s most powerful dream yet: visions of a team of scientists who, on the verge of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s, died in a lab explosion decades ago. Bryan’s dreams begin to reveal what happened at the lab, as well as a deeper mystery that may lead all the way to ancient Egypt. A deadly enemy watches their every move, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that the past stays buried.
The Replaced (The Taking #2), by Kimberly Derting, (April 28, HarperTeen)
Kyra hasn’t been the same since she returned from her mysterious five-year disappearance. Now, on the run from the NSA, Kyra is forced to hide out with others who, like her, have been Returned. Yet she is determined to find Tyler, the boy she loves who was also abducted, all because of her. When her group intercepts a message that Tyler might still be alive but is in the hands of a shadowy government organization that experiments on the Returned, Kyra knows it’s a risk to go after him. What if it’s a trap? And worse, what if the returned Tyler isn’t the same boy she lost?
The Shattered Court (A Novel of the Four Arts #1), by M.J. Scott, (April 28, Roc)
The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth. Lady Sophia Kendall is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed, or perhaps cursed, with magic. When an attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guar. Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.
Grey (The Romany Outcasts Series #1), by Christi J. Whitney, (April 30, Harper Voyager)
Sebastian Grey thought he was a fairly normal teenager. He lives a pretty sweet existence in the small town of Sixes with his foster brother, tattoo artist Hugo Corsi. Though Sebastian can’t remember much of his past, he’s determined not to let it dictate his future. When Josephine Romany comes into town with her traveling band of gypsies, Sebastian realizes his world is nothing at all what he thought. After an encounter with Josephine, Sebastian can’t shake an urge to protect her. Sebastian is drawn into a hidden world of outcast gypsies, ancient superstitions, and tales of gargoyles. His foster brother appears to have answers, but suddenly, Hugo isn’t talking. Sebastian decides to figure things out on his own. With each passing day, Sebastian discovers he’s changing, transforming into something he doesn’t fully understand. Is he prepared to accept the consequences of his actions, especially when doing so may change him forever? (ebook only, paperback available October, 2015)
Tales of the Primal Land, by Brian Lumley, (April 30, Subterranean Press)
The Primal Land was in fact a primal continent, but that was so long ago, even before Uthmal and Mu, and before comparatively recent Atlantis, that a majority of today’s palaeoethnologists might never be persuaded of its existence. Now let it be known that there was in Primal Theem’hdra (the vast island continent’s name,) an hitherto unsuspected Age of Man. The Primal Land’s peoples were among the first human races. There was true, often dark magic in those times, while in our ”enlightened” age we have found different names for such as Magicians. Nature has never ceased her dabbling, and now we acknowledge such words as telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation and so on almost casually, haphazardly. These then are the surviving tales, or the ”fables” if you prefer, of an age of men and monsters, and of Wizards both black and white, in a time before Pangea and a world predating the dinosaurs.
Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic #1), by Melissa F. Olson, (May 1, 47North)
After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former US Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death, Lex’s death, that is. She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces, and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious, and undead, “fixer” Quinn to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.
Fire & Chasm, by Chelsea M. Campbell, (May 1, Skyscape)
Azeril is a ward of the Church, and their most cunning weapon. By day he hides in plain sight as a student, but with his beloved obsidian knife, he also kills wizards. Az has no memory of his life before the Church, until one night, when a wizard recognizes him from his past. The killer in Az never misses his mark, but he can’t destroy the only potential link to his life before this. For the first time, Az has a lead on who he used to be, if only he could escape the watchful eye of the High Priest long enough to investigate. Azeril discovers that the line between good and evil, the primal forces of the Fire and the Chasm, is as shifting as his own moral compass. And the truth about who he is will put his entire world in danger.
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!