**Christmas in July! Sale prices good thru 7/31/16**
The entire Penton Vampire Legacy series (REDEMPTION, ABSOLUTION, OMEGA, ALLEGIANCE) is available for Kindle download for $7.20 for all four books. All four books must be downloaded at once, so if you’ve previously bought one or more of the books, the sale price isn’t available. (Sorry!) If you haven’t tried the Penton world and would like to try it at a big discount, click here.
LOVELY, DARK, AND DEEP, book one in the two-book Collectors duology, is on sale for 99 cents for Kindle! This is the 2015 winner of the Holt Medallion and the Booksellers Best Award for romantic suspense. You can find it by clicking here.
The print edition of WILD MAN’S CURSE is on sale this month for $6.99 (down from regular price of $9.99). Click here to take advantage of the sale.
OK, commercial over. Happy Monday! Oh yeah, and Happy 4th of July aka Independence Day! Just think, if we’d lost the Revolution, we’d be trying to figure out what it meant to leave Europe instead of pondering a potential defection to Canada, our lovely and peaceful friends to the north.
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, you might wonder what Reader’s Choice is. Below are some of 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 all but the most intriguing (to me) of the bazillion indies being released that I know of. I’m sure there are another bazillion of which I have no knowledge but them’s the breaks.
Leave a comment as to which one of these you’d most like to read.
If you win this week and want that book, great. BUT, on Sunday when I announce the winner, you can also change your mind and pick a different book—anything, print or digital, as long as it costs less than US$15. You also can pick any one of my books if you prefer, regardless of cost. Open internationally, of course, as long as you live somewhere Book Depository delivers. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada and want one of my books, I’ll be happy to sign it.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing this week. Your mileage may vary. And HOLY COW but there are a pile of them!
Arctic Dawn (Norse Chronicles #2), by Karissa Laurel, July 5, Red Adept. Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks. The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction forces Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life. Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.
Beyond the Woods: Fairy Tales Retold, edited by Paula Guran, July 5, Night Shade. Once upon a time, the stories that came to be known as “fairy tales” were cultivated to entertain adults more than children; it was only later that they were tamed and pruned into less thorny versions intended for youngsters. But in truth, they have continued to prick the imaginations of readers at all ages. Over the years, authors have often borrowed bits and pieces from these stories, grafting them into their own writing, creating literature with both new meaning and age-old significance. In the last few decades or so, they’ve also intentionally retold and reinvented the tales in a variety of ways—delightful or dark, wistful or wicked, sweet or satirical—that forge new trails through the forests of fantastic fiction. This new anthology compiles some of the best modern fairy-tale retellings and reinventions from award-winning and bestselling authors, acclaimed storytellers, and exciting new talents, into an enchanting collection. Explore magical new realms by traveling with us, Beyond the Woods . . .
Billionaire in Wolf’s Clothing (Billionaire Wolf #1), by Terry Spear, July 5, Sourcebooks Casablanca. Real estate mogul werewolf Rafe Denali didn’t get where he is in life by being a pushover. When sexy she-wolf Jade Ashton nearly drowns in the surf outside his beach house, he knows better than to bring her into his home and his heart. But there’s something about her that brings out his strongest instincts…Rafe has good reason to be suspicious. Jade Ashton and her baby son are pawns in an evil wolf’s fatal plan. How can Jade betray the gorgeous man who rescued her? But if she doesn’t, her baby will die, and her own life hangs in the balance…To get to the truth, Rafe is going to have to gain Jade’s trust. If he can do that, he just might be her last—and best—hope…
City of Shadows (London Fae #2), by Pippa DaCosta, July 7, Bloomsbury Spark. Alina knows she is not real – the fae queen spun an evil web to create her – but she wants more than to spend her days feeding off humans’ energy to survive. She isn’t content to lose herself in the dangerously attractive Reign. She wants a life of her own making. Desperate to help the man who saved her life, Alina vows to find his missing sister. Alina is convinced that the general of the Fae Authority plays a part in her disappearance. She infiltrates the organisation and gets close to their strongest fighter. But while Samuel’s tormented soul and masterful touch stirs in Alina a feeling of being human again, her loyalty to Reign makes her Samuel’s enemy. Who should she trust? This New Adult urban fantasy is packed with action and suspense and will have you yearning for more forbidden fae romance.
Decadent Moon: The Complete Series, by Shona Husk, July 1. Decadent Moon is a resort where alien species come together for pleasure and business. There are only three rules: No interspecies hate. No violence. No debts. Enjoy your visit to Decadent Moon. Lunar Exposure: A bounty hunter on a mission and a socialite with a secret–both of them are hunting the same man. Lust and ambition clash, but to save Decadent Moon they will have to trust each other. Lunar Reunion: Six years ago they made a mistake. Can they reclaim what they thought lost? Lunar Dancer: A courier desperate to reclaim her daughter delivers a message to prince masquerading as a dancer, unaware she is delivering the order that will get him killed. Now they must find a way to save him and her daughter.
Edge of Control (Edge #3), by Megan Crane, July 5, Swerve. Riordan is a ruthless warrior whose foes tremble before him in his drowned and ruined world. The last thing he wants to do is go undercover as a weakling to spy on his clan’s enemies. Much less with Eiryn – a fierce warrior in her own right and the only woman Riordan’s never been able to forget. He knows that a single touch will throw them straight back into that same old uncontrollable fire. But this time, he might just let them burn. Eiryn has been betrayed too many times. An escape into a dangerous mission where she can pretend to be the soft, biddable female she’s not seems like the perfect solution. She’s sure she can control the fiery passion that simmers between her and Riordan, the man she’s spent years pretending to hate. After all, the unquenchable lust that flares between them now is all for show… isn’t it?
Flameout (Souls of Fire #3), by Keri Arthur, July 5, Signet. Emberly and her red hot partner, Jackson, have hit an impasse in their battle against the crazed humans infected by a plague-like virus derived from vampire blood. Their quest to unearth the leader of the group leads them into an ambush—and leaves Emberly at odds with her former lover, Sam, who’s pressuring her to join his Paranormal Investigations Team. To make matters worse, three local witches have been kidnapped—and if their spells fall into the wrong hands, Emberly’s powers could end up smothered. With time ticking until the virus consumes the world, Emberly and Jackson must race to save the witches, find a cure, and smoke out their nemesis—or go down in a blaze of glory…
Kingdom at Sea (Kinsman Chronicles #2.1), by Jill Williamson, July 5, Bethany House. In the second volume of Jill Williamson’s Kinsman Chronicles, a remnant has escaped the destruction of the Five Realms and now lives on several hundred ships adrift at sea. As a flock, they sail north into the unknown in hopes of finding land that might become their new home. As the king’s illness worsens, Sâr Wilek takes authority over the expedition and struggles to rule the disjointed people, while assassination attempts, vicious serpents, and dark magic endanger his life. One prophecy has come to pass, but another looms dauntingly in the future. Who is this Deliverer? And if the Magonians have him, what might that mean for the realm of Armania?
Nearest Night (Plague Wars #5), by David VanDyke and Ryan King, July 1, Three Kings. When a friend disappears, Skull must track him down. When Spooky’s family is sent to a death camp, he proposes a suicidal rescue, and only Reaper can lead it. Bogged down in a war with the rebel state of Alaska, at odds with Canada and meddling in Mexico’s politics, the Unionist-controlled USA proceeds down an ugly path toward fascism, tyranny, and genocide. Politics, assassination and propaganda form the backdrop for a race against time to rescue hundreds of dying Edens held deep within the American heartland.
Panacea, by F. Paul Wilson, July 5, TOR. Two secret societies vie for control of the ultimate medical miracle–Panacea–in the latest novel by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson….Medical examiner Laura Hanning has two charred corpses and no answers. Both bear a mysterious tattoo but exhibit no known cause of death. Their only connection to one another is a string of puzzling miracle cures. Her preliminary investigation points to a cult that possesses the fabled panacea–the substance that can cure all ills–but that’s impossible….Laura finds herself enmeshed in an ancient conflict between the secretive keepers of the panacea and the equally secretive and far more deadly group known only as 536, a brotherhood that fervently believes God intended for humanity to suffer, not be cured. Laura doesn’t believe in the panacea, but that doesn’t prevent the agents of 536 from trying to kill her….A reclusive, terminally ill billionaire hires Laura to research the possibility that such a cure exists. The billionaire’s own body guard, Rick Hayden, a mercenary who isn’t who he pretends to be, has to keep her alive as they race to find the legendary panacea before the agents of 536 can destroy it.
Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2), by Rachel Caine, July 5, NAL. With an iron fist, The Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion, forbidding the personal ownership of books in the name of the greater good….Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower and doomed to a life apart. Embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London. But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, or the Library willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…
Roaring Dawn (Gardella Vampire Hunters #10), by Colleen Gleason, July 5, Avid. The third and final installment in the Macey Gardella: Vampire Hunter trilogy, set in Prohibition era Chicago. Macey finds herself facing the violent and malevolent Nicholas Iscariot without two of her most devoted allies and friends.
Sheer Madness, by Laura Strickland, July 8, Wild Rose Press. All her life, Topaz Hathor has denied her ability to see the spirits of the dead. She despises her father’an infamous spiritualist’for exploiting his wealthy patrons and the souls that flock to him. But when the spirit of an attractive man appears in her bedroom claiming he’s been drawn to Topaz rather than her father, she sits up and takes notice. Though not dead, Romney Marsh has been banished from his body while confined to an asylum and can’t remember much besides his name. Yet he can feel Topaz’s spirit calling to his, and he’s not leaving until she agrees to help him. Through an increasingly violent spiral of danger and their discovery of unspeakable undertakings, they bond ever more closely. But can Topaz be in love with a man she’s never touched, or would that be sheer madness?
The Burning City (Siren Song), by Megan Morgan, July 5, Lyrical. Tattoo artist June Coffin has another, more hidden talent: she’s a Siren who can influence people with the sound of her voice. But in the wake of a murder and shake-up at the Institute of Supernatural Research, her own powers are starting to kill her. The only chance she has of saving herself—as well as her kidnapped brother and best friend—is to become a vampire. But joining the ranks of the vengeful vamp, Occam Reed, is the last thing June wants to do. Occam isn’t the only danger June needs to worry about. Power hungry telepath Robbie Beecher will stop at nothing to gain control over Chicago. He’ll destroy anyone who gets in his way—and June’s lover, Sam, is high on the hit list since his bid for Mayor. With the city and June’s heart being pulled in different directions, it’s only a matter of time before the powder keg explodes…and time isn’t something June has much of left. With a city on fire, can she rise from its ashes?
The Conclave of Shadow (Missy Masters #2), by Alyc Helms, July 5, Angry Robot. The line between enemy and ally is thinner than a shadow’s edge….Ever since she saved the spirit guardians of China by selling out to her worst enemy, Missy Masters — a.k.a. the pulp hero Mr. Mystic — has been laying low. But when knights serving the Conclave of Shadow steal secret technology from a museum exhibit on the Argent Aces, everyone looks to Mr. Mystic for help. If Missy doesn’t want her masquerade blown, she’d better track down the thieves, and fast. But stolen tech turns out to be the least of her problems. Recent events have upset the balance of power in the Shadow Realms, removing the barriers that once held the ravenous Voidlands in check. Their spread threatens destruction in the mortal realm as well… and only the Conclave stands ready to push them back. In a world of shadow, telling friends from enemies is easier said than done. But if she wants to save San Francisco, Missy will have to decide who to trust. Including her own instincts, which tell her that something is stalking her with murder in mind…
The Devil’s Evidence (Thomas Fool #2), by Simon Kurt Unsworth, July 5, Doubleday. Hell is burning out of control. Thomas Fool, Hell’s first Information Man tasked with investigating the endless stream of violence in Hell, has been promoted to the head of the newly expanded Information Office. Now in command of a legion of Information Men, his new position finds him hated by demons and almost revered by humans. He alone has survived the wrath of demon and angel alike, but he stands alone and at the center of a brewing crisis. New on the scene is the Evidence, a shadowy department whose officers do not investigate; they punish and spread fear. And its leader, Mr. Tap, is gunning for Fool….Fool is ordered to accompany a political delegation to Heaven, and his arrival coincides with an impossible—and sinister—discovery. A dead body. Murder in Heaven. Violence, corruption, and fear are the currency of Hell, and how does one investigate a crime where these concepts are paradoxes? As the bodies pile up, Fool sees disturbing connections between Heaven and Hell. He must follow clues in a strange land where nothing is as it seems and danger can present itself in any form.
The Dinosaur Knights, by Victor Milan, July 5, Tor. “It’s like a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones.” –George R. R. Martin…Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often cruel world. There are humans on Paradise but dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden, and of war. Armored knights ride dinosaurs to battle legions of war-trained Triceratops and their upstart peasant crews. Karyl Bogomirsky is one such knight who has chosen to rally those who seek a way from the path of war and madness. The fact that the Empire has announced a religious crusade against this peaceful kingdom, the people who just wish to live in peace anathema, and they all are to be converted or destroyed doesn’t help him one bit. Things really turn to mud when the dreaded Grey Angels, fabled ancient weapons of the Gods who created Paradise in the first place come on the scene after almost a millennia. Everyone thought that they were fables used to scare children. They are very much real. And they have come to rid the world of sin…including all the humans who manifest those vices. THE DINOSAUR KNIGHTS is the second in Victor Milan’s lush, exotic tale about knights. Knights riding dinosaurs.
The Eden Conspiracy (Liberty Box Trilogy #2), by C.A. Gray, July 1, Wanderlust. The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far….The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace….Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?
The Emperor’s Arrow, by Lauren D.M. Smith, July 1, Carina. The bride candidates have been summoned. Their numbers are many, yet only one is an Amazzi warrior. Only one would give her life to protect him. Evony of Aureline, warrior of her people, has no intention of becoming a hideous old man’s bride. Though her people have sworn their loyalty to the legendary emperor Galen, Evony knows little of courts and intrigue. It’s simply not her world. Yet it’s on the palace training grounds where Evony’s archery skills gain her the respect of soldiers and legates alike. The emperor himself takes notice of the beautiful, ruthless warrior. In turn, the young, steely eyed Galen is nothing at all what Evony expected. This man could very well conquer her heart. But does he feel the same? As the rivalry among the remaining bride candidates intensifies and the plot for the throne unfolds, Evony must make a grave choice: fulfill her destiny and protect her people or follow her heart and pursue true love. Either way, the honor of the Amazzi people and the future of the empire now rests with Evony of Aureline. For she is the Emperor’s Arrow.
The Harrows of Spring (World Made by Hand #4), by James Howard Kunstler, July 5, Atlantic Monthly. From renowned social critic, energy expert, and bestselling author James Howard Kunstler, The Harrows of Spring is a moving and gripping novel that completes the story of the quaint upstate New York town of Union Grove, thrown into a future world that in many ways resembles the nineteenth century….In Union Grove, early spring is a challenging season, known as the “six weeks want,” a time when fresh food is scarce and the winter stores are dwindling. The town is struggling in particular this year as the Hudson River trade route to Albany has been halted by the local plantation tycoon Stephen Bullock, who has deemed it too resource-intensive and is now striving for self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, after returning from his travels around what is left of the United States, Daniel Earle is intent on resurrecting a newspaper for the community, and finds an interesting story to cover when representatives of a group of anti-establishment, hyper-liberals known as the Berkshire People’s Republic arrive in the town. The thrilling conclusion to Kunstler’s beloved series, The Harrows of Spring is a powerful, moving tale of insurrection, survival, and what it means to be human.
The Hatching, by Ezekiel Boone, July 5, Atria/Emily Bestler. Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C., laboratory. Something wants out. The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.
The High Ground (Imperials #1), by Melinda Snodgrass, July 5, Titan. Emperor’s daughter Mercedes is the first woman ever admitted to the High Ground, the elite training academy of the Solar League’s Star Command, and she must graduate if she is to have any hope of taking the throne. Her classmate Tracy has more modest goals — to rise to the rank of captain, and win fame and honor. But a civil war is coming and the political machinations of those who yearn for power threaten the young cadets. In a time of intrigue and alien invasion, they will be tested as they never thought possible.
The Interminables, by Paige Orwin, July 5, Angry Robot. It’s 2020, and a magical cataclysm has shattered reality as we know it. Now a wizard’s cabal is running the East Coast of the US, keeping a semblance of peace. Their most powerful agents, Edmund and Istvan — the former a nearly immortal 1940s-era mystery man, the latter, well, a ghost — have been assigned to hunt down an arms smuggling ring that could blow up Massachusetts….Turns out the mission’s more complicated than it seemed. They discover a shadow war that’s been waged since the world ended, and, even worse, they find out that their own friendship has always been more complicated than they thought. To get out of this alive, they’ll need to get over their feelings, their memories, and the threat of a monstrous foe who’s getting ready to commit mass murder…
The Last Adventure of Constance Verity, by A. Lee Martinez, July 5, Saga. Constance Verity has been saving the world since she was seven, and she’s sick of it. She sets off on one last adventure to assassinate her fairy godmother and become the one thing she’s never been: ordinary….Ever since she was granted a wish at birth by her fairy godmother, Constance Verity has become one of the world’s great adventurers. It all began at her seventh birthday party when she defeated a snake. She has become a master of exotic martial arts, a keen detective, and possesses a collection of strange artifacts gathered from her adventures. But Constance has spent the past twenty-eight years saving the world, and she’s tired of it. All she wants is to work in an office and date a nice, normal guy. And she is finally figured out a way to do it: she’s going to kill her fairy godmother and reset her life. The only problem, though, is that saving the world is Constance’s destiny. She’s great at it, and there are forces at work to make sure she stays in the job….Then again, it’s also her destiny to have a glorious death.
The Transference Engine, by Julia Verne St. John, July 5, Daw. A fantastical steampunk novel of magic and machines set in an alternate 1830s London. Madame Magdala has settled comfortably into her new life in London, as the proprietress of the Book View Café, a coffee shop and extensive library. Her silent partner is Ada Lovelace, who will one day become the world’s first computer programmer—but who now is simply the young woman for whom Madame Magdala was a nursery maid. Ten years ago, Ada’s father, Lord Bryon, was known as a great writer. But few knew of his powers as a necromancer. Upon his death, his devoted followers tried to repair the Transference Engine—a device that would allow Byron’s soul to claim the body of its choice. Magadala, along with Mary Godwin—a.k.a. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley—had to stop them. While the original Transference Engine was destroyed, they were unsure whether they truly stopped Bryon and his followers. Together, they fled to safety in London, and built new futures for themselves. Now, Magdala and Mary care for the Book View Café’s community, leading fashion, following gossip, and reading the latest periodicals. But when members of the café’s community mysteriously disappear, and rumors of a threat of royal assassinaton grow, Magdala finds herself with new mysteries to solve. The more she learns, the clearer it becomes that this is the same mystery returned—the Transference Engine is back with a vengeance.
The Waking Fire (Draconis Memoria #1), by Anthony Ryan, July 5, Orbit. Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds, Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness them—known as the blood-blessed. But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it….Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered blood-blessed, who finds himself pressed into service by the protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted territories in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin, facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an ironship, whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world….As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.
The Wolf Road, by Beth Lewis, July 5, Crown. True Grit meets The Road in this postapocalyptic psychological thriller–narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim….In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn’t her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires–everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements–and each other. Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents. But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won’t be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she’s going to survive, she’ll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he’s turned her into.
The Year’s Best Science Fiction (#33), edited by Gardner R. Dozois, July 5, St. Martin’s Griffin. In the new millennium, what secrets lay beyond the far reaches of the universe? What mysteries belie the truths we once held to be self evident? The world of science fiction has long been a porthole into the realities of tomorrow, blurring the line between life and art. Now, in The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection, the very best SF authors explore ideas of a new world. This venerable collection brings together award-winning authors and masters of the field. With an extensive recommended reading guide and a summation of the year in science fiction, this annual compilation of short stories has become the definitive must-read anthology for all science fiction fans and readers interested in breaking into the genre.
Threading the Needle (Erenthrall #2), by Joshua Palmatier, July 5, DAW. The Nexus the hub created by the Prime Wielders to harness the magical power of the ley lines for the city of Erenthrall, the Baronial Plains, and the world beyond has Shattered, the resultant pulse cascading through the system and leaving Erenthrall decimated, partially encased in a massive distortion. …The world has fared no better: auroral storms plague the land, transforming people into creatures beyond nightmare; silver-white lights hover over all of the major cities, the harbinger of distortions that could quicken at any moment; and quakes brought on by the unstable ley network threaten to tear the earth apart. The survivors of this apocalypse have banded together in desperate groups, both in the remains of Erenthall and in small enclaves beyond the city, scrounging for food and resources in an ever more dangerous world. …Having survived the initial Shattering, Wielder Kara Tremain and ex-Dog Allan Garrett have led their small group of refugees to the Hollow, a safe haven in the hills on the edge of the plains. But the ley system is not healing itself. Their only option is to repair the distortion that engulfs Erenthrall and to fix the damaged ley lines themselves. To do that, they ll have to enter a city controlled by vicious bands of humans and non-humans alike, intent on keeping what little they’ve managed to scavenge together. …But as soon as they enter the streets of Erenthrall, they find themselves caught up in the maelstrom of violence, deception, and betrayal that the city has descended into, including the emergence of a mysterious and powerful cult calling themselves the White Cloaks, whose leader is known as Father…. He is the same man who once led the terrorist group called the Kormanley and brought about the Shattering that destroyed the world.”
Until Death We Do Part, by Sherrilyn Kenyon, July 5, St. Martin’s Press. Previously published in anthologies, Until Death We Do Part is now available as a standalone e-novella. The only thing worse than being Dracula’s only daughter is betraying him by marrying his bitterest enemy– a dark sorcerer warlord whose powers make a mockery of the legendary monster known for impalement and massacre. Forced to flee her father’s wrath over her secret marriage, Esperetta is willing to sacrifice anything for Velkan Danesti, until she learns that he’s tied their immortal souls together without her permission– something she doesn’t discover until after her father kills them and her husband sells both their souls to a Greek goddess for vengeance against him and makes them eternal Dark-Hunters sworn to protect mankind from the demons who prey on them.
Vigil, by Angela Slatter, July 7, Jo Fletcher Books. Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us. But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane. And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.
So…what do you want to read? Which of these appeals to you most? Remember, regardless of what you say in your comment you also can pick a different book or any one of my books (except the two that are currently out of print, The Consort and Christmas in Dogtown), without regard to the $15 limit. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada, I will sign the books.