What’s new on the shelves this week? A LOT, as we head into one of the busiest release months of the fall and winter.
Here’s what I considered the most interesting from among the new books releasing between Sept. 25 and Oct. 1. See what you’d most like to read and leave a comment to be eligible to win it!
A Charming Voodoo (Magical Cures #10), by Tonya Kappes, Sept. 26, Krew. Bubble. . . bubble. .Whispering Falls is abuzz with the new housing development and new shops popping up all over the magical village right before the annual All Hallow’s Eve celebration….Cures and trouble. . . June Heal’s intuition is on high alert and she just can’t shake that something bad is about to happen. …Magic stirs . . . June finds Violet Draper standing over a dead body in the new pumpkin patch hours before it’s supposed to open for hayrides….And trouble doubles . . . Once again, June has to put her sleuthing skills to work and figure out who the real killer is before the new citizens pack up and move right back out of town.
A Vampire’s Honor (Vampire’s Promise #3), by Carla Susan Smith, Sept. 27, Kensington. Rowan Harper thought being with a vampire would keep her out of harm’s way. But true evil lurks in the darkness, and not even her lover, Gabriel, knows all of its tricks. Rowan may be his Promise, the one woman who can save Gabriel’s soul, but the two of them have a long and complicated history that Rowan is only now discovering–complete with old enemies who will stop at nothing to make them suffer. When Rowan is abducted and forced to witness unspeakable violence, secrets of the past begin to unfold. Secrets that show Gabriel’s best friend Aleksei in a new light. Will the truth destroy all three of them or bind them more tightly together, and if evil prevails, will it be Rowans’s soul that ultimately needs saving?
Burned by Fire (Blood & Magic #3), by Danielle Annett, Sept. 30. Aria’s pyrokinetic ability has always been hard to control, and being pulled in so many directions, isn’t making it any easier. Now she has to help Inarus, a foe turned friend who is being targeted by the Human Alliance Corporation—the very organization he once worked for. But the HAC has more than just Inarus in their sights. Aria finds herself going deep into enemy territory to save a witchling child with never before seen powers, that the HAC has kidnapped to further their own ends. Aria has been hired to save a child once before, and she failed. That failure has haunted her even to this day and she won’t let herself fail again. With the HAC closing in, and complications between herself and the Pack rising, Aria has no choice but to succeed. A child’s life is on the line and Aria will risk everything to save that life.
Cloudbound, by Fran Wilde, Sept. 27, Tor. “As children, we learned early that the clouds were dangerous. Turns out the city wasn’t all that much safer.” After the dust settles, the City of living bones begins to die, and more trouble brews beneath the clouds in this stirring companion to Fran Wilde’s Updraft. When Kirit Densira left her home tower for the skies, she gave up many things: her beloved family, her known way of life, her dreams of flying as a trader for her tower, her dreams. Kirit set her City upside down, and fomented a massive rebellion at the Spire, to the good of the towers—but months later, everything has fallen to pieces. In Cloudbound, with the Towers in disarray, without a governing body or any defense against the dangers lurking in the clouds, daily life is full of terror and strife. Naton, Kirit’s wing-brother, sets out to be a hero in his own way—sitting on the new Council to cast votes protecting Tower-born, and exploring lower tiers to find more materials to repair the struggling City. But what he finds down-tier is more secrets—and now Nat will have to decide who to trust, and how to trust himself without losing those he holds most dear, before a dangerous myth raises a surprisingly realistic threat to the crippled City. In the sky-high city of living bone, to fall beneath the clouds is to be lost forever. But Nat Densira finds more in the grey expanse than he ever expected. To survive, he must let go of everything he believes.
Dishonored: The Corroded Man (Dishonored #1), by Adam Christopher, Sept. 27, Titan. More than a decade after she was restored to the throne, Empress Emily Kaldwin leads a dual life, fulfilling her duties as head of state while training with her father, Corvo Attano, learning his unique skills in the arts of stealth, combat, and assassination. When a strange, shrouded man appears in Dunwall, leading the Whalers and seeming to possess powers once wielded by Daud, Emily and Corvo are plunged into a life-and-death adventure. Should they fail to stop this mysterious enemy, the result could be destruction on a massive scale
Dragon’s Trail (Outworlders #1), by Joseph Malik, Sept. 30, Oxblood. In a world inhabited by creatures from Earth’s mythical past, the realm of Gateskeep faces a rising army led by the son of a great sorcerer, exiled to Earth as a child, who has regained his father’s throne by combining modern knowledge with his gift for magic. A young Gateskeep sorcerer, traveling to Earth in a quest to better understand their new enemy, stumbles across an unlikely prospect for a hero: Jarrod Torrealday, a former Olympic saber hopeful banned from competition for killing another fencer in a duel. Despondent, volatile, alcoholic, yet still one of the greatest swordsmen alive, Jarrod now works for third-rate fantasy films as a technical consultant and stuntman. He accepts appointment to an elite unit in the service of the king of Gateskeep, and with it, a shot at both knighthood and personal redemption. Swept into a treacherous and deadly world of intrigue and conspiracy, Jarrod learns that the enemy sorcerer has laid the foundations for a new kind of war, which Gateskeep and its allies stand no chance of surviving. Jarrod is forced to take matters into his own hands, embarking on a desperate mission to stop the brewing war before it destroys the realm he swore to defend. First, though, he must square off against his fiercest demons, for he knows that in order to save those he has come to love, he must allow himself to kill again.
Endless Flames (Surviving Ashes #4), by Kennedy Layne, Sept. 27. Berke Daniels has learned to live as if there is no tomorrow, because he knows firsthand it can all be taken away in a moment. His only family consists of those men he’d served with in the Corps, and he’s been thinking about leaving Texas and being closer to his brothers-in-arms. Maxie Denikin has lived up to her father’s expectations and more in her achievements thus far as a decorated police officer. She’s dedicated her life to the law, yet had little desire to raise a family after watching her own pull apart a piece at a time. Imagine her surprise when she became a surrogate mother to a one-year-old boy who’d basically been abandoned in her arms. Berke learned long ago to be prepared for anything, but an eruption at Yellowstone National Park hadn’t been on his top ten most likely list. He’d planned on getting out on his own and making his way to where his team had gathered, but Maxie made that impossible when she did the unthinkable–she took him into custody. Desire burns deep as they both do their best to protect a young child while eluding the fiery elements around them to reach a safe haven that isn’t as secure as they once thought.
Inheritance, by Rachel Adair, Sept. 30, Chimera/Ravenswood. Alhanna is devastated by the violent loss of her loving parents. Alone and submerged in a torturous grief she learns of an Inheritance. An estate in Northern Ireland, dominated by a monstrous Tower, what awaits inside may unlock her destiny. Yet a dark malevolent force pursues her as she begins on her journey of self discovery, into the world of the supernatural…There stands a delicate balance between the five elements, one which is in constant turmoil. What has once been forgotten, will again emerge, like a whisper from afar playing upon the autumnal winds….. Akasha.
Just Horsing Around (Willow Bay Witches #3), by Samantha Silver, Sept. 30, Blueberry. When vet clinic owner and witch Angela Martin is called to the farm which houses one of the most famous former racehorses in the country, she’s super excited. After all, it’s not everyday you get to meet a horse of Seabiscuit-level fame. But when the horses’ owner is killed only feet away from where Angela was working, that excitement quickly turns to horror. And worse – the patronizing police chief of the town next to Willow Bay thinks she’s one of the prime suspects. Angela has to find the murderer fast, before she finds herself in jail. But she also has to contend with Sophie trying to discover if she has more magical powers, and a mysterious new businessman in town who seems to be interested in buying up large parts of downtown Willow Bay. Not to mention finding time for that promised date with Jason Black. Angela has a tough week in front of her. But she has no idea how dangerous it’s about to get as she delves into the world of horse racing to try and find the killer.
Menagerie, by Rachel Vincent, Sept. 27, Mira. When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town. But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.
The Purloined Poodle (Iron Druid Chronicles #8.5), by Kevin Hearne, Sept. 30, Subterranean (novella). Thanks to his relationship with the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, Oberon the Irish wolfhound knows trouble when he smells it—and furthermore, he knows he can handle it. When he discovers that a prizewinning poodle has been abducted in Eugene, Oregon, he learns that it’s part of a rash of hound abductions all over the Pacific Northwest. Since the police aren’t too worried about dogs they assume have run away, Oberon knows it’s up to him to track down those hounds and reunite them with their humans. For justice! And gravy! Engaging the services of his faithful Druid, Oberon must travel throughout Oregon and Washington to question a man with a huge salami, thwart the plans of diabolical squirrels, and avoid, at all costs, a fight with a great big bear. But if he’s going to solve the case of the Purloined Poodle, Oberon will have to recruit the help of a Boston terrier named Starbuck, survive the vegetables in a hipster pot pie, and firmly refuse to be distracted by fire hydrants and rabbits hiding in the rose bushes. At the end of the day, will it be a sad bowl of dry kibble for the world’s finest hound detective, or will everything be coming up sirloins?
Of the Abyss (Mancer #1), by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Sept. 27, Harper Voyager. Citizens of Kavet generally give little thought to the afterlife- unsurprising, since the dominant religion of the country believes too much focus on the next world is directly responsible for strife in this one, and everyone knows idle curiosity about the other realms is the first step on a dangerous road to sorcery and madness. The only people allowed by law to even discuss such topics are the Order of the Napthol, a group of scholars responsible for giving counsel and advice when questions regarding the next world arise. They are the ones who study the three realms: the mortal one in which human beings live and die, and the two that follow, the Abyss and the Numen. Anyone outside their order is strictly forbidden from even discussing the other realms. Hansa Viridian is a respected captain in the elite guard unit tasked with protecting the population of Kavet from sorcery. When he arrests an abyssumancer, a sorcerer whose power comes from the infernal realm known as the Abyss, the man attempts to explain that the creatures of that realm have some kind of plan. The prisoner doesn’t get far before his own magic kills him, and Hansa’s attempts to investigate the supposed plot don’t get far. According to Sister of the Napthol Cadmia Paynes, the denizens of the abyss are creatures of violence and immediacy, incapable of planning. Everything she has ever been taught tells Cadmia she is right, but despite her assurances to Hansa and the others of his unit, she worries she has made a dreadful mistake. When the next report of sorcery implicates Hansa’s neighbor and friend Xaz, it triggers a series of events that force unlikely allies to question everything they’ve ever known about magic, morality, love, and even death itself.
Shadow Cursed (Shadow Accords #2), by D.K. Holmberg, Oct. 1, ASH. When Carthenne Rel first came to Nyaesh, she feared the A’ras. Now she trains with them, struggling to use the magic they teach, and cut off from the shadow blessing within her. Isolated for her differences, she has only a few friends among the other students. When the strange and powerful Master Invar offers to teach her to access the powers warring within her, Carth is isolated even more. As the deadly Reshian attack the city, Carth discovers a secret, one linked to the shadows she must suppress, and the combination of her magic is key to the A’ras survival. She needs to master her abilities as an even more dangerous threat appears, one that changes everything she’s become, and challenges everything she knows about her past.
Shadow Silence (Whisper Hollow #2), by Yasmine Galenorn, Sept. 27, Jove. Fifteen years ago, I ran away from Whisper Hollow, Washington, a small town on Crescent Lake in the Olympic Peninsula. But truth is, if you were born here, you can never really leave. I’m Kerris Fellwater, and I’m a spirit shaman. It’s my responsibility to drive the dead back to their graves, because around Whisper Hollow, people—and secrets—don’t always stay buried. My best friend Peggin finds herself under a curse after she is almost taken by the Lady of the Lake, and the Unliving are determined to drag her back to the hungry waters. As Bryan—my guardian and mate—and I work to break the hex, we uncover a dark and violent mystery from the past. One the Hounds of Cú Chulainn will do anything to guard—even if they must summon a legion of the dead to destroy Whisper Hollow.
The Bloodsworn (Bloodbound #3), by Erin Lindsey, Sept. 27. As the war between Alden and Oridia draws to its conclusion, the fates of both kingdoms rest on the actions of a select group of individuals—and, of course, the unbreakable bonds of blood…Unbeknownst to most of Alden, King Erik, in thrall to a cruel bloodbinder, is locked away in his own palace, plotting revenge. To save her king, Lady Alix must journey behind enemy lines to destroy the bloodbinder. But her quest will demand sacrifices that may be more than she can bear. Meanwhile, as the Warlord of Oridia tightens his grip on Alden, the men Alix loves face equally deadly tasks: her husband, Liam, must run a country at war while her brother, Rig, fights a losing battle on the front lines. If any one of them fails, Alden could be lost—and, even if they succeed, their efforts may be too late to save everyone Alix holds dear…
The Immortal’s Guide (Dark World #2), by S.C. Parris, Sept. 27, Ace. When the Great Vampire falls, his dark secrets rise. As a new breed of creature consumes all, Xavier Delacroix is thrown into the fray of The Dark World, while Christian Delacroix is kept maddeningly close to the mysterious Alexandria Stone. The Immortal’s Guide, the powerful book every creature wants to get their hands on, is lost. Xavier Delacroix is in a race to find it—and keep it from the clutches of a surprising new creature that is as familiar as she is deadly.
The Pendragon’s Challenge (Last Pendragon Saga #7), by Sarah Woodbury, Sept. 27. With only four days until Cade is to be crowned High King of the Britons, the combined might of gods and men are set to prevent his ascension. Once again the companions are scattered as the struggle against dark forces–both old and new–threatens to overwhelm them. The Pendragon’s Challenge is the seventh novella in The Last Pendragon Saga.
Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, edited by Janine Southard, Oct. 1. Almost everyone carries a smartphone these days. They sit in pockets and on tables. They sleep on headboards and are the first things their owners check in the morning. They’ve edged out more mundane equipment like calendars and MP3 players. They aren’t magical, of course. Or are they? In Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, 21 authors twist reality and call into question the mundanity we hold in our hands. They ask the question, “Is that smartphone completely explainable by science?” and they decide the answer is a resounding “No!” From award-winners and bold new voices, from experienced fantasists and professional technologists, these stories are fun, clever, and often positive about the power of technology. Enjoy new stories from: Rhiannon Held / Manny Frishberg / Edd Vick / H.M. Jones / Kris Millering / Raven Oak / Jon Lasser / Sarina Dorie / Jonathon Burgess / Jeremiah Reinmiller / C.S. O’Cinneide / Stevehen Warren / Aaron Giddings, Sr. / Amanda Hackwith / Dale Cameron Lowry / Dawn Vogel / Kyle Yadlosky / J.S. Rogers / Angela Dell’Isola / Stephanie Djock / A. Moritz. At the intersection of fantasy and technology, iPhones could go either way. Magic knows your number, and it’s calling you.
Witches Rule (Witch Chronicles #3), by Ann Gimpel, Sept. 26. Jenna’s a special witch, sort of, when her magic works, which it often doesn’t. One of three remaining demon assassins, she and her sister witches, Roz and Colleen, are Earth’s only hedge against being overrun by Hell’s minions. On the heels of Roz’s and Colleen’s weddings, Jenna is headed for the U.K. when a demon confronts her. Any other witch could teleport out of the plane, but not her. Frustration about her limited power eats at her. It would be pathetic to get killed for lack of skills a teenager could master. Tristan is a Sidhe warrior, but his primary gift is attunement to others’ emotions. He fell hard for Jenna, but hasn’t had an opportunity to act on their attraction beyond a few kisses because she returned to Alaska, and he’s been in the field fighting demons. As seer for the Sidhe, Kiernan is haunted by visions, particularly an apocalyptic sending that seems to be coming true. A confirmed bachelor, he doesn’t understand his attraction to Jenna, but it’s so strong he can’t fight it. After a while, he doesn’t even try, despite recognizing Tristan’s claim to her. Startling truths surface about Jenna’s magic, and then there’s the problem that she’s falling in love with two very different men. At first she believes she has to pick one of them, but her spirit refuses to walk away from either. It’s impossible to choose between a seer with dreams in his eyes and a beautiful man who intuits her every need. Standing on the verge of Earth’s destruction, will she defy convention and follow the song in her heart?
You probably know the drill, but if you’re new ’round these parts, 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.