Happy Monday! It’s that time again–
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, you might wonder what the weekly Reader’s Choice Giveaway is. Below are some of the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. It’s a pretty light week. Leave a comment as to which one of these you’d most like to read and one person will win it (or another book of their choice). International, as always. You also can pick any of my books if you wish except those that haven’t yet been released.
Now, here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing this week. Your mileage may vary.
A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1) by Amanda Bouchet, Aug. 2, Sourcebooks Casablanca. Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.
Blood and Sorcery (Coven Enforcers #2), by Ann Gimpel and Fiona Jayde, Aug. 1. Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men Who Live to Annihilate Evil Joshua committed his life to fighting Black Magick. Not sure who he hates worse, dark sorcerers or the clerics who tortured and mutilated his family, he lives on the road with his horse and his magic, working as a Coven enforcer. Breana Giraud is the only woman he’s ever loved, and until very recently she was married to someone else. Breana’s husband, Don, sold his soul to the devil, embracing dark practices. Along the way, he corrupted their daughter. While Breana could’ve turned him in to Coven justice without a second thought, she couldn’t bring herself to implicate her child. Still reeling from her daughter’s death at the hands of evil, and grateful her husband met the vicious end he deserved, she feels broken, damaged. The last thing on her mind is falling in love. Joshua tries to hold back, give Breana room to mourn her losses, but if he has his way, she’ll become his wife. With Don dead, and the path to his heart’s true love finally clear, he’ll do anything he can to make her his. Even if it means fighting his way past the dark mages’ leader, who wants her for his own.
Blood of the Earth (Soulwood #1), by Faith Hunter, Aug. 2, Roc. When Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she was almost alone in the world, exiled by both choice and fear from the cult she was raised in, defending herself with the magic she drew from her deep connection to the forest that surrounds her. Now, Jane has referred Nell to PsyLED, a Homeland Security agency policing paranormals, and agent Rick LaFleur has shown up at Nell’s doorstep. His appearance forces her out of her isolated life into an investigation that leads to the vampire Blood Master of Nashville. Nell has a team—and a mission. But to find the Master’s kidnapped vassal, Nell and the PsyLED team will be forced to go deep into the heart of the very cult Nell fears, infiltrating the cult and a humans-only terrorist group before time runs out…
Bone War (Books of Blood and Iron #3), by Steven Harper, Aug. 2, Roc. From their sacred Garden, the three fates control all life and maintain balance in the world. But one of the fates has been captured by the evil elf queen, placing the future of every being, including Death herself, in jeopardy. And only one hero can defeat the elf queen: Danr the half-troll. In order to rescue the missing fate, Danr must first acquire the fabled Bone Sword. Normally Danr would expect his companions to help. However, they are currently in pursuit of a mysterious creature who seems both oddly familiar yet dangerously unknown. But one thing is certain for all of the adventurers: failure is not an option.
Dark Carousel (Dark #30), by Christine Feehan, Aug. 2, Berkley. The moment Charlotte Vintage walks into his club, Tariq Asenguard’s blood is set on fire. The ancient Carpathian had given up hope of finding his lifemate, but now he will do anything to make Charlotte his own. What Tariq doesn’t know is that Charlotte is using herself and her best friend as bait—to try to draw out the bloodthirsty killers who have already murdered Charlotte’s brother and mentor. Charlotte is familiar with Tariq. Not only is he one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in the city, but he’s also a renowned collector of old carousel horses, which Charlotte restores. Their shared passion opens Charlotte up to trusting him with her life and with the desire she can no longer control. But it also makes her vulnerable to a centuries-old curse that will unite her and Tariq in a war against the enemies of humans and Carpathians alike…
Deep Roots, by Beth Cato, Aug. 2, Harper Voyager. From the author of The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crowncomes a compilation of short works set in the same world: The Deepest Poison, Final Flight, and the Nebula-nominated Wings of Sorrow and Bone. THE DEEPEST POISON: Octavia Leander, a young healer with incredible powers, has found her place among Miss Percival’s medicians-in-training. Called to the front lines of war, the two women must uncover the source of a devastating illness that is killing thousands of soldiers. WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE: After being rescued from the slums of Caskentia, Rivka Stout is adjusting to her new life in Tamarania. But when Rivka stumbles into a laboratory run by the powerful Balthazar Cody, she also discovers a sinister plot involving chimera gremlins and the violent Arena game Warriors. FINAL FLIGHT: Captain Hue hoped he was rid of his troubles once Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett disembarked from his airship, but then the Argus is commandeered by a Clockwork Dagger and forced on a deadly mission. Hue must lead a mutiny that might bring down his own ship…. perhaps for good.
Dragonmark (Dark Hunters #26), by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Aug. 2, St. Martins Press. Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved. Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn..
Enchanted Guardian/Lycan Unleashed/Camelot Reborn: A Harlequin-Nocturne Box Set, by Sharon Ashwood and Shannon Curtis, Aug. 1. ENCHANTED GUARDIAN by Sharon Ashwood. In another time, in a place once known as Camelot, they had been lovers. Torn apart by betrayal and lies, Lancelot Du Lac and Nimueh, the Lady of the Lake, had each suffered greatly. But the magic of the fae had reawakened a man once trapped in stone, and Lancelot was determined to find his long lost love. Only, Nim was desperate to hide her fae soul, as she was marked for death by their mutual enemy. Though centuries apart had not diminished their passion, they would once again face a dangerous test to prove each was the other’s destiny. LYCAN UNLEASHED by Shannon Curtis. On the hunt for his alpha’s killer, Lycan Matthias Marshall is willing to go to any lengths to end his quest. Even if that means kidnapping the enemy. Well-trained tracker Trinity Caldwell can take him back to her pack and their treacherous leader. Yet convincing Trinity to betray her kind won’t be easy. Nor will denying the pull his body feels toward hers.Matthias has buried his heart along with his mate. Desire…love…have no part in his plan. But when Trinity risks her life for his, Matthias must decide how much vengeance means to him.
Flight from Mayhem (Fly by Night #2), by Yasmine Galenorn, Aug. 2, Berkley. I’m Shimmer, a blue dragon shifter. Thanks to a mistake, I was exiled from the Dragon Reaches and sentenced to work for gorgeous, exasperating Alex Radcliffe, a vampire who owns the Fly by Night Magical Investigations Agency. Every time I turn around, somebody’s trying to kill us. But you know what they say: All’s fair in love and bounty hunting… A serial killer is stalking the elderly Fae of Seattle, draining their bank accounts before brutally murdering them. When Chase Johnson asks for our help, Alex and I discover that the sociopath is also a doppelganger—able to change shape to match his victim’s deepest desires. Our friend and colleague Bette volunteers to act as bait, but the plan goes dangerously awry. Now, unless we find her first, she’s about to face her worst nightmare.
Full of Briars (October Daye #9.3), by Seanan McGuire, Aug. 2. Chronological order 7.1, Daw. Meet Quentin Sollys. Squire. Hockey fan. Canadian. And Crown Prince to the entire continent of North America, known as “the Westlands” to the fae, currently ruled by his parents, High King Aethlin and High Queen Maida. Not that most people know that, since he’s a blind foster squired to a changeling—not exactly something that screams “hidden royalty.” But with a new Queen on the throne in the Mists, his parents have finally come to town to see how he’s doing…and to take him home with them. That’s going to be a problem, since Quentin doesn’t particularly want to leave, and his knight, Sir October Daye, doesn’t particularly want to let him go. Set after Chimes at Midnight and before The Winter Long, it’s finally time to meet the parents in our first-ever story narrated by Quentin himself.
Lure of Obsession (The Muse Chronicles #1), by Lisa Kessler, Aug. 1. The Prophecy – “Every generation the nine daughters of Zeus are reborn, and with their rebirth are also nine Guardians. They will be marked by the gods, and given gifts to protect his treasure. Their abilities will only be unlocked when they find their muse.” Melanie Jacoby teaches English at Crystal City High School. She’s also the reborn Muse of Tragic Poetry, but she isn’t prepared for the tragedy of finding her roommate dead at the bottom of the stairs. Nate Malone is the detective assigned to the case, but as the evidence points to an accidental fall, the visions begin. He sees a killer in a gold Kronos mask. Mel is the next target. The Order of the Titans are eager to bring about the return of the Golden Age of Man, and they’re prepared to kill the Muses to complete their mission. But Nate’s desire to protect Mel is almost as strong as his hunger for her. And tragedy isn’t part of his plan.
Secrets at Midnight (Psy-Changeling #12.5), by Nalini Singh, Aug. 2. Bastien Smith is frustrated. A changeling male should be able to track his mate anywhere—through fire and hail, snow and rain. But he keeps finding and losing her scent in the city streets, ever since he first became aware of it two weeks earlier, when the elusive fragrance awakened the leopard within him… Then Bastien is suddenly confronted with his prey. Kirby is an all-too-human woman who wants Bastien just as much as he wants her. But he can’t deny what his body and senses are telling him: there is a raging chaos inside of Kirby that he doesn’t understand, secrets that whisper awake at midnight and cause her terrible pain. If they’re to have any chance of forever, then he must solve the mystery that is Kirby…Secrets at Midnight originally appeared in Night Shift.
Spark (Clan of Dragons #1), by Nancy Lee Badger, Aug. 4. What can a young dragon do to prove to his older brothers that he is their clan’s best chance to save their species? In the Black Cuillin Hills, on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, Evan heads to the village of Morhban to find a way to interact with humans. To learn their language and customs, and to get close enough to a red-haired beauty to mate with her, the brown-winged purple dragon shifts into a copper-colored horse. When his new hooves protect her from Lord Toal MacMorgan’s inappropriate demands with a well-placed kick, she thanks Evan by brushing his silky coat. Things are looking up. When an unfamiliar horse kicks Toal into the creek, releasing Vika from his roaming hands, her appreciation turns to horror. A sputtering Toal demands that the animal die. Anger makes Vika agree to a wager. A three day hunt will determine the fate of the horse she names Spark. Failure will mean his death, and the loss of her freedom. Pirates, wolves, a wild boar, and a handsome stranger lead her on a wild ride. She discovers her heart is in as much danger as her life
Spiderlight, by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Aug. 2, tor.com. The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can remember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen. Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…
The Hike, by Drew Magary, Aug. 2. Viking. When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike. Once he sets out into the woods behind his hotel, he quickly comes to realize that the path he has chosen cannot be given up easily. With no choice but to move forward, Ben finds himself falling deeper and deeper into a world of man-eating giants, bizarre demons, and colossal insects. On a quest of epic, life-or-death proportions, Ben finds help comes in some of the most unexpected forms, including a profane crustacean and a variety of magical objects, tools, and potions. Desperate to return to his family, Ben is determined to track down the “Producer,” the creator of the world in which he is being held hostage and the only one who can free him from the path. At once bitingly funny and emotionally absorbing, Magary’s novel is a remarkably unique addition to the contemporary fantasy genre, one that draws as easily from the world of classic folk tales as it does from video games. In The Hike, Magary takes readers on a daring odyssey away from our day-to-day grind and transports them into an enthralling world propelled by heart, imagination, and survival.
The Judas Contact (Boomers #1), by Heather Long, Aug. 1. Doctor Ilsa Blaine; Codename: Doc; Abilities: Designs programmable bioware, enhanced understanding of brain chemistry: Mission: Research, analyze and troubleshoot the team’s active microchips. On the cutting edge of neuroscience, Ilsa is developing microchips that can be inserted into the brain and deliver information. The applications are endless, but her current goal is just to get dogs to return to their owners should they ‘become lost.’ When her college roommate turns up asking for lunch, she’s hardly prepared for the chaos that ensues or the revelation her chip changed the world, and the lives of five heroes from the future. And now they need her help…Garrett Fox. Codename: The Viper; Abilities: toxins, poisons and assassination, he can kill with a touch; Mission: Protect Ilsa Blaine. One of five desperate men sent back in time to save the future, Garrett volunteers to be the doctor’s guinea pig as she studies their neuro-chips. It’s not his first time being a lab rat. In close quarters, the unthinkable happens—an attraction that could kill Ilsa. Drawn together by science, and on the fast track to destiny, Ilsa and Garrett must save his team from their chips before they can end them, and maybe Ilsa can prove to Garrett he isn’t toxic to everything he touches…least of all her….Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. An alliance with the modern day Halo has given their leader a taste of hope. For these five lonely soldiers, the single emotion may prove their most dangerous threat.
The Two Torcs: Robin Hood (Demon Bane #2), by Debbie Viguie and James R. Tuck, Aug. 2, Titan Books. Evil is everywhere. Through terror and dark sorcery, Prince John wields the power of the throne. Lord and peasant alike meet violent ends as the Sheriff’s arcane beasts spread fear and death. A small group of rebels oppose John, striking from Sherwood Forest…the one place his creatures cannot pursue them. Though their numbers grow, so do the forces of darkness. Unless Robin and Marian fulfill the ancient prophecy of the Two Torcs, the forest will be overrun, and England will fall.
Thunderlord (Darkover), by Marion Zimmer Bradley and Deborah J. Ross, Aug. 2. Far in Darkover’s past, the Ages of Chaos were a time of constant warfare, when immensely powerful psychic weapons ravaged the land and slaughtered entire armies. Perhaps none was more dangerous and unpredictable than the mental Gift to sense–and control–thunderstorms. When the realm of Aldaran and their Scathfell cousins came to blows, that Gift turned the tide of battle, and Aldaran prevailed…A generation later, the heir to Scathfell, Gwynn, has grown up in the shadow of that conflict, his life shaped by the loss of his entire family. Now he plots his revenge for his family’s humiliating defeat by seeking to marry a woman who carries the storm control Gift, so that his sons will be able to wield the terrible power of storms against Aldaran. …Since childhood, Kyria has been able to sense approaching storms. She had never expected to marry a rich man; independent and athletic, she defied tradition by donning her brother’s castoff clothing and trapping small game to keep her family from starvation. When Gwynn’s emissary arrives with a marriage proposal that will secure her family’s financial future, she agrees. Along with her younger sister as her companion, she sets out for Scathfell, where she will be formally wed. …During their passage through rugged mountains, a blizzard drives them to seek shelter in a traveler’s hut, where they meet Edric, the young heir to Aldaran. …Edric has inherited the storm control, but he has never dared to use it. His whole life, he has been warned against the consequences, not just to his enemies but to everyone he loves. Now, disguised as an ordinary traveler, he journeys home after years of study, disciplining himself to control his powers….When he meets Kyria, he senses the presence of the same storm power, but unschooled and dormant. They know each other only as Edric and Kyria–for under shelter truth, all identities are concealed–and are drawn to one another. …Thus begins the saga of two kingdoms, divided by bitter history and present-day suspicions, one armed with devastating power and the other determined to overcome it, no matter what the price. Can their love and resourcefulness overcome even the overwhelming power of a Thunderlord?
Waking the Bear (Shifter Wars #1), by Kerry Adrienne, Aug. 1, Carina Press. Sexy shifter passion is awakened when two unlikely lovers are challenged by secrets, danger and an unstoppable need to claim one’s mate…For human Amy Francis, the secluded cabin in Deep Creek is the haven she needs to map out a fresh new start. She never expected her heart to be reawakened by a distraction like Griff Martin, commanding yet gentle, too ferociously sensual to ignore. It’s clear that patrolling the forest is more than a job to Griff—it’s a means of survival. But what Amy doesn’t realize is she’s reawakened the beast within him…Griff’s dormant hunger is stirred by this intoxicating woman…and threatened by the secret she must never learn. Duty-bound to defend his bear clan against an avenging pride of lion shifters, Griff’s entire world is upended when he meets Amy. His animal need to claim his mate has taken hold, but that very desire could seal her fate as an unwitting pawn in battle…Now, as a shifter war looms, Griff must decide between letting Amy go or following his most carnal instincts. To have her would change his life…but risk everything he knows and was born to protect. Previously published, newly revised by author.
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.