Obviously, I chose sleep on Sunday night. Last night, well, not so much. Still four or five hours of “day job” work to do as I type, hopefully to finish by 2 a.m. so I can sleep three or four hours before going back to the “day job.” I guess when the “day job” lasts 12 hours a day it’s not really a day job anymore, is it?
Anyway, it’s the third week of the month, which means…not a lot of new releases this week. See what you think. I kind of stretched it to find this many.
If you’re new around these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice is. Below are the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. I tended to cut out a lot of hard sci-fi and YA and some indies whose covers kind of went down the road to weirdtown. So, if you win a Reader’s Choice book this week and want one of these, great. BUT if you win and don’t want any of these, you can choose another book. Anything. Any format. You don’t even have to tell me what you want right now: just say “I’ll decide when I win!” If you do win, all I ask is that you select a book, print or digital, that costs less than US$15. Open internationally, of course, as long as you live somewhere Book Depository delivers.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing Feb. 16-22. If you’re an author and would like to have your book included, email me the relevant info!
Wedding Bells, Magic Spells (Raine Benares # 8), by Lisa Shearin
Name: Raine Benares
Job: Seeker, bride, peace talks referee
Problem: Back-stabbing diplomats, bride-hating mother-in-law
I’ve successfully destroyed the Saghred (AKA, a legendary soul-sucking rock)
I’ve sent an evil goblin demigod to the Lower Hells
I’m coming to terms with my burgeoning new powers
I’m marrying super sexy paladin Mychael Eiliesor
You’d think I could handle a wedding and meeting my soon-to-be mother-in-law without another calamity brewing
You’d be wrong!
The Great Detective, by Delia Sherman (digital only)
When Sir Arthur Cwmlech’s home is robbed and the Illogic Engine–his prize invention–stolen, it is only natural that he and his clever assistant Miss Tacy Gof consult with another inventor, the great Mycroft Holmes, about who has taken it. But it is really Mr. Holmes’ Reasoning Machine who they are there to see, for it is only fitting for one automaton to opine on a matter concerning the fate of another of its kind. This charming story by award-winning fiction writer Delia Sherman is a delightful romp set within an a slightly altered version of one of our most beloved literary universes.
Spider Game (GhostWalker #12), by Christine Feehan
The Cajun dive in the middle of the godforsaken swamps wasn’t exactly Trap Dawkins’ idea of fun. But the GhostWalker wasn’t there for a good time. He was looking for her. Cayenne. It’s where she found her victims. Poor suckers. Then again, who wouldn’t want to leave a place like this with a woman like her?…It’s not Cayenne’s fault. Locked up, experimented on and never knowing kindness, she was bred this way—with a heart of pure venom. Trap understands her. He survived his own dark past and he shares her desire for getting even. But now Trap’s greatest danger is Cayenne herself. Because what’s inside her is hard to control—especially when it’s aroused by a lover as reckless as Trap.
Highland Blood (The Celtic Blood Series Book 2), by Melanie Karsak
Scotland, 1032—When a marriage contract calls Gruoch away from Ynes Verleath, she leaves with the hope she’ll be reunited with Banquo. But fate has different plans. Lies, betrayal, and violence await her. Set on a collision course with destiny, Gruoch soon finds herself thrust into the arms of another man. Her dreams shattered and rattled by unexpected brutality, it becomes more than Gruoch can handle. The raven, however, is no stranger to carnage. Fierce power grows inside Gruoch, and more than anything, it craves bloody revenge….Fans of Outlander and The Mists of Avalon will relish this sweeping Scottish Historical Fantasy that tells the tale of Gruoch, a woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.
Sanctuary (Nomad # 2), by Matthew Mather
In the Day of the Nomad, oceans flooded the continents, the earth split open and poured darkness into the skies. Jessica Rollins survived, but at what cost? The key to humanity’s survival may lie in the backpack she recovered from her father, in data he collected more than thirty years before. Her father’s final words to her circle around and around in her head. What does the data mean? Who is the mysterious Ufuk Erdogmus? And what is…Sanctuary?
Through The Veil (Aisling Chronicles #1), by Colleen Halverson
Elizabeth Tanner is no Tinkerbell, and her life is no fairy tale. Broke and drowning in student loans, the one thing she wants more than anything is a scholarship from the Trinity Foundation. But after the ancient Irish text she’s studying turns out to be more than just a book, she becomes their prisoner instead. And when Trinity reveals Elizabeth is half-Fae, she finds herself at the center of a plot to save the magical races of Ireland from a brutal civil war….As Commander of Trinity’s elite warriors, Finn O’Connell isn’t used to having his authority challenged. He doesn’t know whether to punish or protect the infuriating young woman in his custody. When he discovers the Dark Fae want to use Elizabeth’s abilities to control the source of all power in the universe, he’ll risk everything to help her….At the mercy of Trinity and enslaved to the Dark Fae, Elizabeth finds herself alone on the wrong side of an Irish myth thousands of years in the making. Refusing to be a pawn in their game, Elizabeth has to fight her way back to the man she loves, but to do so, she must wage her own war against the magic that binds her.
The Immortals, by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Manhattan: The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone-just the way she likes it. She doesn’t believe in friends, and she doesn’t speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous…Murders: In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago. To protect the innocent-and to punish those who stand in her way….Gods: With the NYPD out of its depth, Selene vows to hunt the killer on her own. But when classics professor Theo Schultz decodes the ancient myth behind the crime, the solitary Huntress finds herself working with a man who’s her opposite in every way. Together, they face a long-forgotten cult that lies behind a string of murders, and they’ll need help from the one source Selene distrusts most of all: the city’s other Immortals.
Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free (Finn Fancy Necromancy #2), by Randy Henderson
In this sequel to Randy Henderson’s debut, Finn Fancy Necromancy, Finn Gramaraye is settling back into the real world after his twenty-five-year-long imprisonment in the otherworld of the Fey. He’s fallen in love with a woman from his past, though he worries she may love a version of him that no longer exists. He’s proved his innocence of the original crime of Dark Necromancy, and he’s finding a place in the family business. But Finn wants more. Or different. Or something. He’s figured out how to use the Kinfinder device created by his half-mad father to find people’s True Love, and he’d like to convert that into an Arcane Dating Service. It’s a great idea. Everyone wants True Love! Unfortunately, trouble always seems to find Finn, and when he agrees to help his friend, the Bigfoot named Sal, they walk right into a Feyblood rebellion against the Arcane Ruling Council.
The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor Lavalle
People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?
The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire #1), by C.J. Redwine
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic of his own—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman—and bring her Lorelai’s heart. But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected, and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman, Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight.
Riders, by Veronica Rossi
Young Adult. For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does. Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse. Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen—Conquest, Famine, and Death—are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.
Floodgate, by Johnny Shaw
After discovering explosive information that reveals corruption within the highest levels of the police department, Andy Destra is kicked off the force, framed and disgraced, left to wage a lonely one-man crusade against conspiracies he can’t prove. Andy’s investigation plunges him into a blackly comic maelstrom of one-armed gang members, slick pickpockets, criminal syndicates, hired mercenaries, escaped convicts, sewer dwellers and one sinister ice cream truck. At the same time, he must contend with a mystery closer to home: the true identity of his parents.
Carnal: The Beast Who Loved Me (Exiled #1), by Victoria Danann
The angel, Kellareal, stopped the genocide of a hundred and forty three human/animal hybrids, who’d been bred as a research experiment and spent their entire lives imprisoned. Against orders, he spirited them away to a dimension and gave them the job of protecting humans whose own hybrid experiment had escaped and become their nightmare. Rosie Storm thought she was getting a few weeks of tantrum-fueled asylum. The last thing she was expecting was someone like Carnal. Note: Victoria Danann will be a guest on the blog on Thursday!
The Cougar’s Wish (Desert Guards #4), by Holley Trent
A desperate entity trapped on the other side of an active hellmouth pleads for were-cougar Belle Foye’s help, and she can’t stop herself from running toward it, even though it means putting her own life in danger. As if that weren’t bad enough, Belle is currently in heat, which means her body is acting in all sorts of ways her brain wished it wouldn’t—particularly when it comes to her new babysitter. …Former soldier Steven Welch has been tasked with keeping Belle away from the hellmouth at all costs. It’s just his luck her inner cat has taken a shine to his human self. Not only is Belle a bit young in his world-weary opinion, but sticking close to her means he has no choice but to confront a fear of the supernatural he’d hoped he left in the Afghan desert….When the pair learns Steven could solve Belle’s problem and rescue the mysterious soul calling to her, their differences collide. Steven insists he’s no hero, while Belle wants to enter the hellmouth and end the trouble it’s brought on her family once and for all. Will Steven’s fears and stubbornness cause Belle to lose her fated mate and the one man she’s ever trusted enough to call “partner”?
Ghost Talker (Ghost Seer #4), by Robin D. Owens
An angry poltergeist is stirring up trouble at Buffalo Bill’s grave, and Clare and Zach have been hired to investigate. Assisting them on the case as usual is their ghost dog Enzo, but they’re also aided by the restless ghost of Bill’s friend, Texas Jack. Meanwhile, the most well-known psychic in Denver is angered by Clare’s involvement in the case and will do whatever it takes to stop her….Of course, facing threats both living and undead are nothing new for Clare and Zach. Their relationship has weathered many storms. But there is a growing danger inside of Clare that could tear them both apart…
Bad Boys of the Night (Boxed set of stories by Jennifer Ashley, Erin Kellison, Laurie London, Colleen Gleason, Felicity Heaton, Bonnie Vanak, Caris Roane, and Erin Quinn)
Eight sizzling paranormal romances by eight New York Times bestselling authors. Fulfill your darkest fantasies with alpha-male bad boys of the night in these stories about vampires, shifters, fallen angels, werewolves, demons, psychic warriors and ghosts. Eight New York Times Bestselling Authors Eight sizzling paranormal romance books 90% off retail when sold separately Only available for a limited time. Suzanne: This book comes out today at only 99 cents for Kindle, so here’s the link in case you want to grab it while it’s cheap!
Mated in Mist (Talon Pack #3), by Carrie Ann Ryan
As Heir to the Talon Pack, Ryder Brentwood carries the responsibility of not only protecting his Pack, but ensuring its future. Only no one knows that as he does this, he must also shield his people from their past. When a witch with no ties bursts into his life, he must decide if he can overcome the depravity of his secrets and trust the one person who could break the fragile hold on his control….Grieving over the loss of her twin and on the run from the unknown, Leah Helm knows she is far more alone than she thought possible. Her coven shunned her before she was born and the wolves she sought protection with are in a war of their own. When a wolf with a whisper of secrets is forced to work with her in order to protect their people, she finds she might not be so alone after all….The world knows more than they ever have before about those shrouded in darkness, while Ryder and Leah are thrust into the center of a conflict they never should have been part of to begin with. On their journey they must not only fight those against them, but the burning temptation that is flaring between them. Fate might have paved their path, but that doesn’t mean they have to follow.
Hunter Forsaken (Wild Hunt #2), by Nancy Corrigan
In the slice of a moment, Ian Callahan lost everything he cared about-a deed done by his own hand. He awakens on the edge of sanity, chained in his own personal hell. He is to be the newest rider in the Wild Hunt, if he can learn to control the rage and guilt that consume him….Then…a whiff of vanilla. The face of a lover he’s seen only in his dreams. He doesn’t know her name, only that she stirs the hungry beast within him….For a millennium, Tegan and her sibling riders of the Wild Hunt were imprisoned, suffering under a curse meant for the Unseelie Court. Though her body is free, she carries the curse with her-and the additional burden of finally knowing the name of her destined mate. A human named Ian Callahan….He’s her Trojan horse, the only one who can heal her heart. Just one last challenge stands in the way of claiming each other, once and for all. Failure means facing eternity the incomplete halves of a whole.
And there you have it–third week of the month usually means the list is heavy on romance. It should balance out again next week. In the meantime, if you win do you want one of these, or would you rather pick a book of your choice (up to USD$15) if you win? Just say so!