Happy Monday! First off, today kicks off the launch tour for my book as Susannah Sandlin, WILD MAN’S CURSE. Unfortunately, the tour gets off to a not-so-great start with a missing guest post and only a spotlight at Zenny’s Awesome Book Reviews. There is a review up now at Cubicle Escapee. (Thanks for the great review!) You can still enter for the tour prizes both of those stops.
A huge thanks to Steph at Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust for the great review today (and I’ll be back there with a guest post and a giveaway on Wednesday). Check back here each day for the new tour stops, when the things that are scheduled might actually show up.
On a more pleasant note, it’s the first Monday of April, which means there are a MONSTROUS number of new releases this week, one of the biggest Super Tuesdays outside politics. And we won’t talk about those because, don’t get me started.
Anyway, if you’re new around these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice Monday is. Below are the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. I tend to cut out a lot of hard sci-fi and YA and some indies whose covers, sadly, 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. Pick your favorite. BUT, on Sunday when I announce the winner, you can change your mind and pick a different book—anything, print or digital, as long as it costs less than US$15. Open internationally, of course, as long as you live somewhere Book Depository delivers. Please note that my novel WILD MAN’S CURSE is not eligible for a win during the month of April because, well, I need people to actually buy copies instead of waiting to win one. Sorry!
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing March 28-April 3.
A TIME OF TORMENT (Charlie Parker #14), by John Connolly. Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized. But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade. Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war. Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder. All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King. UK. Hodder and Stoughton.
BLAZING EARTH (Stone Circles #3), by Terri Brisbin. Tolan of Durlington is a farmer whose ancestors have tended the same lands for centuries with astonishing success. His hope for the future is that his son—and his sons yet to come—will carry on the traditions. But, his carefully laid plans are shaken by the village healer he’s come to love. Unable to bear children, Elethea can offer Tolan only companionship and physical comfort. When hidden powers in their blood—powers to command the fertile earth, to draw from the healing sun—explode into being, their world and lives are changed forever. Soon, the fate of humankind is in their hands as the wrathful goddess grows closer to escaping her prison and destroying the world as they know it. Battling the goddess’ followers and their own fears, can these two lovers protect mankind and still survive to find their own future? Signet.
BURNED (Alex Verus #7), by Benedict Jacka. Diviner Alex Verus finally made one too many enemies on the Council of Mages, and now one of them is angry enough to have him executed. Fighting for his life is nothing new, but this kill order also calls for the death of Alex’s dependents—and there’s no way that he’ll let Luna, Anne, and Vari take the heat. With only a week before he’s history, Alex will have to figure out how to disassociate himself from his friends, scrounge up allies on the Council, and hopefully keep his head attached to his body. But saving himself is going to bring him into direct opposition with his former master and the Dark mages surrounding him. And, this time, escaping with his life might mean losing his soul. TOR.
CLOCKWORK PHOENIX 5 (anthology), edited by Mike Allen. The ground-breaking, boundary-pushing, award-nominated series of fantasy anthologies returns for a fifth incarnation, triumphantly risen from the ashes after another successful Kickstarter campaign. This is the largest installment yet, holding twenty new tales of beauty and strangeness. Each story leads you into unmapped territory, there to find shock and delight. With fiction from Jason Kimble, Rachael K. Jones, Patricia Russo, Marie Brennan, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Rob Cameron, A. C. Wise, Gray Rinehart, Sam Fleming, Sunil Patel, C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez, Holly Heisey, Barbara Krasnoff, Sonya Taaffe, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Shveta Thakrar, Cassandra Khaw, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Rich Larson, and Beth Cato.
DEAD SLEEP, by T. Lynne Tolles and Tina Winograd. The past and present collide when a newly wed doctor gives up his very soul to save his wife by suspending her in time allowing her body to heal. One hundred and fifty years later, when an outsider literally falls into her presence awakening her from her slumber, the good doctor is none too pleased setting a scene of deadly revenge. The results of which blur the lines between love and hate with misgivings and deceit for all involved.
EVERY HEART A DOORWAY, by Seanan McGuire.
Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else. But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children. Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world. But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter. No matter the cost. Tor.com.
FOREST OF RUIN (Age of Legends #3), by Kelley Armstrong. The empire rests on the edge of a knife, and sisters Ashyn and Moria are the handle and the blade. Desperate to outmaneuver the evil Alvar Kitsune, whose hold on the people grows stronger every day, Emperor Tatsu begs Moria to put aside past grievances and ally with Gavril—at least long enough to make an attempt on Alvar’s life. Meanwhile, reunited with her long-lost grandfather, Ashyn discovers that she is the key to a ritual that could reawaken an ancient dragon and turn the tide of the coming battle in their favor. But with lies and betrayal lurking around every corner, Ashyn and Moria will have to decide once and for all where their allegiances are. And it may not be where their hearts would lead them….In this breathtaking final book in her epic trilogy the Age of Legends, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong blends fantasy, action, and romance to give readers the unforgettable ending they’ve been waiting for. HarperCollins.
FREEDOM IS SPACE FOR THE SPIRIT, by Glen Hirshberg. Freedom is Space for the Spirit by Glen Hirshberg is a fantasy about a middle-aged German, drawn back to Russia by a mysterious invitation from a friend he knew during the wild, exuberant period in the midst of the break-up of the Soviet Union. Upon his arrival in St. Petersburg, he begins to see bears, wandering and seemingly lost. Tor.com
I DREAM OF DRAGONS (Boston Dragons #1), by Ashlyn Chase. THE HEAT IS ON…When Rory Arish and his two fiery dragon siblings are run out of their ancestral Irish home, it seems their luck has run out-until they arrive in Boston and find a paranormal-friendly apartment building. Finally, Rory has a place to call home. There’s only one problem: Rory’s new lair has simultaneously been rented to an infuriating woman who is as stubborn as she is beautiful and will not leave ‘her’ apartment matter how steamed he may be…AND SPARKS FLY…Amber McNally is a down-on-her-luck flight attendant. She needs this apartment, and not even a fire-breathing dragon with his Irish charm and scorching good looks is going to scare her away. Holing up in their respective corners, a battle of wills ensues. Who will be the first to blink…or give in to their off-the-charts chemistry and decide to make this unorthodox living arrangement a little more permanent?
JERICHO, by Alex Gordon. In this follow-up to the masterful debut Gideon, a young witch must risk death and damnation to defeat a powerful ancient evil. In unearthing her father’s secret past, Lauren Reardon discovered a shocking truth about herself. She is a Child of Endor, a sect of witches who believe they are the guardians of the “thin places”—areas across the globe where evil can seep through the divide between the worlds separating the living and the restless dead. At any time, she can be called upon to close one of these breaches and prevent demons from infiltrating our realm. When Lauren has a disturbing vision of an Oregon forest, she is drawn back to the familiar woods of the misty Pacific Northwest to investigate. Locals had long whispered about an abandoned logging camp known as Jericho—of the strange disappearances and eerie sounds heard in the woods deep in the night. But these ghost stories only hint at the true evil lurking within the camp’s dilapidated buildings, a primeval malevolence far more terrifying than Lauren’s darkest imaginings. And now, Lauren must face this evil, even if it takes her life . . . even if it costs her soul. HarperVoyager.
IN THE LABYRINTH OF DRAKES, by Marie Brennan. The thrilling new book in the acclaimed fantasy series from Marie Brennan, as the glamorous Lady Trent takes her adventurous explorations to the deserts of Akhia. Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent’s expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries. As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet. TOR.
NIGHTSTRUCK, by Jenna Black. The start of a paranormal horror series from Glimmerglass author Jenna Black. The night is the enemy, and the city of Philadelphia is its deadliest weapon. Becket is an ordinary teenage girl, wrestling with the upheaval of her parents’ divorce. Her biggest problems to date have been choosing which colleges to apply to, living up to her parents’ ambitious expectations of her, and fighting her secret crush on her best friend’s boyfriend. That all changes the night she tries to save an innocent life and everything goes horribly wrong. Becket has been tricked into opening a door between worlds. As dark magic trickles into Philadelphia, strange creatures roam the streets and inanimate objects come to life, all of them bloodthirsty and terrifying. The city returns to normal when the sun rises each morning. The moment the sun sets, most citizens shut themselves in their houses and stay there no matter what they hear. The magic is openly hostile to most mortals, but there are some it seems to covet, trying to lure them out into the night. While Becket struggles to protect her friends and family from predatory creatures of the night, she is constantly tempted to shrug off her responsibilities and join them. TOR.
PAYABLE ON DEATH (Jax Rhodes #1), by Rachel Rawlings. A deal with the Devil. Demons haunting your every step. When an Angel offers you the chance to redeem yourself, you take it. Because eternal damnation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But the Devil always gets his due. On the streets of Baltimore redemption is….. Payable On Death.
SAINT’S BLOOD (Greatcoats #3), by Sebastian de Castell. How do you kill a Saint? Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they’ve started with a friend. The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors – a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he’ll still have to face him in battle. And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win. Jo Fletcher Books.
SHADOW RITES (Jane Yellowrock #10), by Faith Hunter. Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep. A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war. Roc.
SPIRA MIRABILIS (Wave Trilogy #3), by Aidan Harte. In the 1347th year of Our Lady the engineers of Concord defeated the fractious city-state of Rasenna using the magical science of Wave Technology. The City of Towers fought back, and for a while Concord’s plans for domination were halted. But First Apprentice Torbidda regrouped, and reformed Concord to his own design. Now he is in absolute control, and plotting the final battle that will pacify Etruria… permanently. Contessa Sofia Scaligeri could rally her people once again, but she is far away in the Crusader Kingdom of Akka, trapped with her son by the tyrant Queen Catrina. Darkness is falling. The final battle must be fought and the tide must be turned, lest evil reign forever.
THE BEAST (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14), by JR Ward. Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from..NAL Books.
THE DEMONISTS, by Thomas E. Sniegoski. It was supposed to be a simple exorcism, a publicity stunt to firmly establish John and Theodora’s thriving paranormal investigation empire in the public eye. But something went wrong, leading to an on-air massacre that unleashed a malicious host of demons and left Theodora catatonic, possessed by countless spirits. John sets out on a desperate quest to find a cure for his wife, but his obsession brings him face-to-face with an even more terrifying problem: Theodora’s possession is only one piece of a deadly plot that is threatening the entire world. Because an ancient evil is about to make Earth its battlefield—and without John and Theodora’s intervention, there is no chance for salvation. Roc.
THE EDGE OF WORLDS, by Martha Wells. An expedition of groundlings from the Empire of Kish have traveled through the Three Worlds to the Indigo Cloud court of the Raksura, shape-shifting creatures of flight that live in large family groups. The groundlings have found a sealed ancient city at the edge of the shallow seas, near the deeps of the impassable Ocean. They believe it to be the last home of their ancestors and ask for help getting inside. But the Raksura fear it was built by their own distant ancestors, the Forerunners, and the last sealed Forerunner city they encountered was a prison for an unstoppable evil. Prior to the groundlings’ arrival, the Indigo Cloud court had been plagued by visions of a disaster that could destroy all the courts in the Reaches. Now, the court’s mentors believe the ancient city is connected to the foretold danger. A small group of warriors, including consort Moon, an orphan new to the colony and the Raksura’s idea of family, and sister queen Jade, agree to go with the groundling expedition to investigate. But the predatory Fell have found the city too, and in the race to keep the danger contained, the Raksura may be the ones who inadvertently release it. Night Shade.
THE GLITTERING COURT, by Richelle Mead. For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea. After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him. Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else’s property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths. Razorbill.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A MAX, by Michael R. Underwood. A hero is missing. The post-apocalyptic wasteland is awash with violence and injustice, and the genrenaut’s own King must step in and show precisely why There Will Always be a Max. Tor.com.
TRIDENT’S FORGE (Children of a Dead Earth #2), by Patrick S. Tomlinson. The Ark and her thirty-thousand survivors have reached Tau Ceti G and begun the long, arduous task of building their new colony by the sea. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Tau Ceti G’s natives, the G’tel, are coming to grips with the sudden appearance of what many believe are their long-lost Gods. But the first official greeting ceremony between humans and g’tel goes catastrophically wrong, visiting death on both sides. Rumors begin to circulate that the massacre was no accident, and the Ark’s greatest hero, Bryan Benson is told to stop coaching his new love of American football and tackle the mystery. Paired up with native ‘truth-digger’ Kexx, against both of their better judgment, Benson finds himself thrust into the heart of an alien culture with no idea whom to trust, how to speak the language, and how to tell who wants to worship him from who wants to kill him. Together, Benson and Kexx will have to find enough common ground and trust to uncover a plot that threatens to plunge both of their peoples into an apocalyptic war that neither side is prepared for or can afford to lose. Angry Robot.
VISITOR (Foreigner #17), by C.J. Cherryh. It’s been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron’s return from space–a year since he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos. Now, at last, things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track, and Bren hopes that life may soon become much more tranquil. But something is coming, quietly, stealthily–just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens…
WHISPERS OF THE SKYBORNE (Devices of War #3), by S.M. Blooding. The world has changed. The Great Families are no longer in power. Queen Nix of the Hands of Tarot has been stripped of her title and incarcerated. The League of Cities has been formed to provide a new line of defense to the smaller tribal nations. Not without consequences, though. Another of the original Great Families has been destroyed. As the new leaders rise from the ashes, a new threat comes to light; something no one saw coming, something that had been lurking under the surface of their society for generations. The Skyborne. As they discover just how deep the Skyborne’s influences are, they realize the war they thought they’d been fighting wasn’t the real one.
WHITE TIGER (Shifters Unbound #8), by Jennifer Ashley. For twenty years, Kendrick, a white tiger Shifter, has been the Guardian of un-Collared Shifters who spend their lives living in secret—and in fear of being shunted into Shiftertowns. When Kendrick’s group is discovered and forced to flee, Kendrick is more desperate than ever to protect them….In a diner in the middle of nowhere, lonely waitress Addison Price has seen a lot of unusual drifters come and go, but none has ever captivated—and intimidated—her like the imposing fugitive who wields a broadsword with incredible skill. But when he risks all to protect her, Addison’s fear turns to empathy—and empathy to desire as she learns more about her savior. Soon she’s more than willing to help the crushingly sensual white tiger and his cubs in a passionate bid for freedom. Whatever the cost.
WILD MAN’S CURSE, by Susannah Sandlin. The bones said death was comin’, and the bones never lied. While on an early morning patrol in the swamps of Whiskey Bayou, Louisiana wildlife agent Gentry Broussard spots a man leaving the home of voodoo priestess Eva Savoie—a man who bears a startling resemblance to his brother, whom Gentry thought he had killed during a drug raid three years earlier. Shaken, the agent enters Eva’s cabin and makes a bloody discovery: the old woman has been brutally murdered. With no jurisdiction over the case, he’s forced to leave the investigation to the local sheriff, until Eva’s beautiful heir, Celestine, receives a series of gruesome threats. As Gentry’s involvement deepens and more victims turn up, can he untangle the secrets behind Eva’s murder and protect Celestine from the same fate? Or will an old family curse finally have its way? From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the first book in the Wilds of the Bayou series. Montlake.
So…what do you want to read? Which of these appeals to you most? Remember that if you win, you can choose a different title!