It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day! Just let me know which of these sounds most promising to you, and you could win it—or any other book of your choice up to US$15! I will be posting winners on Sunday.
And now for the new releases…
Bastion of Sun (Ronin Saga #3), by Matthew Wolf
The Saga of the legendary Ronin continues… Gray and his friends have discovered they are reborn elemental heroes. Now, together, they must travel to the City of Sun and find the others like them – uniting the infamous Ronin in order to end a growing evil. …The City of Sun awaits – yet a plague, a missing sword, and a pact made in blood threaten to tear them apart. Will Gray and his friends unite the Ronin… or fall before they even begin? The next installment in the Amazon Bestselling series is sure to delight readers and show a whole new side to the magical realm of Farhaven.
Being Here, by Jennifer Lynn
Have you ever wondered if life is more than a series of random events? Or if invisible threads might weave together seemingly unrelated moments? Bree MacLeod – wise woman, shaman and Daughter of the goddess Bríghid – knows the Truth. …When her aunt and foster-mother falls into a coma of unknown origin, Bree is pulled back to Seattle, the city of her childhood. As the family Bean feasa, Bree must work with her Otherworldly Allies to reach Emily and convince her soul to choose – to make Transition or to return to life on This Side of the Veil. But, being back in Seattle puts her within reach of her uncle, the man from whom Bree fled for her life years ago. Can Bree and her Allies find the way?
Black Feathers: Dark Avian Tales, edited by Ellen Datlow
Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul….There’s definitely a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds (the shrike), destroy other birds’ eggs (blue jays), and even have been known to kill small animals (the kea sometimes eats live lambs). And who isn’t disgusted by birds that eat the dead—vultures awaiting their next meal as the life blood flows from the dying. One of our greatest fears is of being eaten by vultures before we’re quite dead….In each of these stories, you will encounter the dark resonance between the human and avian. You see in yourself the savagery of a predator, the shrewd stalking of a hunter, and you are lured by birds that speak human language, that make beautiful music, that cypher numbers, and seem to have a moral center. You wade into this feathered nightmare, and brave the horror of death, trading your safety and sanity for that which we all seek—the promise of flight.
Bloodborne (Night Shift #2), by Margo Bond Collins
With the help of vampire-hunting FBI Agent Scott Chandler, Lili Banta will brave the origin of the mysterious plague attacking the children of Houston—and her own dark desire. …As a youth, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings to avoid the Houston children outside their Filipino community, and when many of those children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers that a vampiric aswang walked among them. But Lili can ignore those rumors no longer. Returned as an adult to work for the Quarantine Station of the Centers for Disease Control, she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. And a strange yet familiar illness has attacked the city’s children. An illness only she might cure. …On temporary leave from the FBI’s vampire-hunting unit, Agent Scott Chandler accepts his friend and colleague’s request to help investigate a series of interlinked murders and illnesses in Houston. But the task will be harder than expected. The beautiful doctor from the CDC assigned to him is a distraction, both in body and heart, and a monster stalks the night—closer than they can possibly imagine.
Born of Vengeance (The League #10), by Sherrilyn Kenyon
A fate worse than death . . .Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves….Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman— the very sister of the woman who testified against him….Major Ember Wyldestarrin joined the outlaw Tavali the day Kirovar fell into the hands of a tyrant, and she and her team were left on an outpost to die under a barrage of enemy fire. The last thing she wants is to be involved in politics again. But if she doesn’t bring Bastien in, her sister will pay the ultimate price. Now she has to find some way to betray her former wingman (and fiance) before he catches on and kills her. Even so, treachery doesn’t come easy to a woman who took a loyalty oath to protect her homeworld and comrades-in-arms….Yet as she tries to do right by her family, she learns that Bastien doesn’t just hold the key to the fate of Kirovar, he is vital to The Sentella-League war, and to the entire Tavali nation. If she hands him over, three nations fall. If she doesn’t, her entire family dies. Their fates are all in her hands, and time for all of them is quickly running out.
Chest of Bone (Afterworld Chronicles #1), by Vicki Stiefel
As magical and mundane worlds entwine, empath and unawakened Mage Clea Reese must team up with the secretive James Larrimer to hunt her mentor’s killer and stop the forces of corruption from obtaining the Chest of Bone, the ultimate source of otherworldly power. Larrimer is a predator who stalks endangered-animal traders. Or so it appears. And none are prepared for the fusion of Clea’s and Larrimer’s song, a wild resonance which can bind one to the other. Powerful forces align against them, and only Clea, the singular Key, and Larrimer stand between these malignant entities and their ruthless quest.
Grave (Queen of the Dead #3), by Michelle Sagara
Emma and her friends have survived the Necromancers sent to the city to kill them. They’ve gone to ground in a cottage north of the city, but time is not on their side. There are no barriers that can keep the dead out, and the dead obey their Queen. It’s only a matter of time before they’re found. Nathan has been blessed by the Queen of the Dead. She has granted him a physical body. He can eat, he can breathe, he can speak and be heard. The Queen calls this resurrection. Nathan calls it Hell. The living think he’s alive. He’s not. He’s trapped in the citadel that the Queen of the Dead calls home….Emma wants to free him. To do that she has to survive long enough to reach the City of the Dead, and face its ancient Queen. But the city of the dead is the heart of the Queen’s stronghold—and her power. Emma can’t do it alone….She’s not alone. But even with hunters and her own dead at her side, what hope does she have against a woman who has lived so long, and grown so powerful, she’s almost a god?
Grave Holiday (Maddie Graves #9), by Lily Harper Hart
Christmas is almost here and Nick Winters has big plans for the love of his life, Maddie Graves. A proposal is imminent, but first death plays a visit to Blackstone Bay. It seems the town’s local Santa has been a naughty boy, dating multiple women without caring if they’re single or married. Age isn’t a factor – he likes them young and old – and the suspect list is long and twisty. Maddie finds herself dealing with a perverted ghost while trying to narrow the suspect list. The problem is, each time they clear one person another pops up. Santa was a terrible person in some ways and a charming one in others. Solving his murder is important to everyone, but Christmas is barreling down and everyone wants a happy holiday so they’re desperate to find answers before the first snowfall of the year. When Maddie finds out that her nemesis Marla was one of Santa’s favorite gift options, she can’t help but wonder if her oldest enemy could be a current threat. As things start to unravel, Maddie soon realizes that there’s more at stake than punishment for the guilty. There’s also salvation for the living to worry about. Nick is determined to deliver the perfect proposal. He just has to keep Maddie safe long enough to do it. Who is getting the gift of a lifetime? Spend Christmas in Blackstone Bay if you want to find out.
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles #5), by Christine Warren
The only male among four sisters, Michael Drummond is no stranger to women’s strength and formidable will. His Dublin pub, the Skin & Bones, is his refuge, a reassuringly masculine retreat. Until a fierce woman warrior from another realm bursts into his life, bringing with her a battle between good and evil…and an explosive dose of desire….The first and only of her kind, Ash is a lone female gargoyle, a creature destined to protect mankind from Demons determined to unleash their darkest forces. But her arrival on Earth is more confusing than she expected: her bone-deep instinct to do battle is matched only by her untamed attraction to stubborn, stalwart Drum. If they manage to keep the world safe, can they turn the passion crackling between them into a love that will withstand the test of time?
Hunting a Demon (Melantha Caldwell #2), by Sara C. Walker
When Melantha Caldwell suspects her friend and fellow spell-turner, Savion Lebrun, is following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a black magic sorcerer, she decides to find out exactly what he’s doing when he’s not attending high school or magic lessons. What she discovers surprises her: he’s spending time with another girl– a ballet dancer named Hope, who has suddenly developed sleep walking and seizures….Meanwhile, there’s a strange sickness affecting spell-turners everywhere. First Gran is infected, then Savion, leaving Mel no choice but to trust the new spell-turner in town to help her figure out what’s wrong with Hope. He calls himself Phoenix and he’s much more than he seems, but he’s willing to help Mel and teach her spell-turning while her tutor is honeymooning. …After Mel learns the truth about Phoenix and the real reason he’s in town, she’s not sure she can trust him. Then Mel realizes Hope has been possessed by a demon, she and Phoenix are the girl’s only hope of getting it evicted, and if they don’t work together, the demon will be free to carry out its own plan for the destruction of humankind— starting with the girl named Hope.
Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1), by Melissa F. Olson
Scarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost. On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all. Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death. With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.
Midnight’s Emissary (Aileen Travers #x), by T.A. White
Aileen has a few rules for her life. Do her job and go home safe. Keep the supernatural world away from her human family. Stay off the vampire radar. And, above all, don’t get involved in spook politics. But when Liam comes back into town bringing a mystery that threatens the life she’s built, she finds every closely guarded rule flying out the window as she sinks ever deeper into the supernatural world. Ultimately, it may be the people she loves the most who pay the price in the high stakes game that vampires call life.
Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, son of a giant, blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman, difficult with his beard and huge appetite, to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir, the most sagacious of gods, is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
One Wish Away (Djinn Empire #1), by Ingrid Seymour
Faris is a Djinn with a secret and Marielle the first master to give him hope. Will she be the one to break his curse? There is no telling. All he really knows is she’s ONE WISH AWAY from breaking his heart. When Marielle was little, she used to believe Grandpa about his wish-granting Djinn. But now that she’s older, her beliefs have changed, and things like lousy ex-boyfriends and alcoholic fathers have become her reality. Life isn’t done shattering her truths, though, and when Grandpa dies and the Djinn he warned her never to trust shows up at her doorstep, the world becomes a dangerous, magical place she never knew existed. Reeling for her once-normal life, Marielle soon realizes there’s no going back—not when she’s become part of a mortal conflict between two spell-bound Djinn. Faris—her handsome slave. And Zet—his vengeance-hungry brother. They both want something from her. One, her love. The other one, her life. Now she’s afraid she will die in love.
Retribution (Valentine Shepherd), by Shana Figueroa
V is for vengeance . . .Private investigator Valentine Shepherd plays by one set of rules: hers. She’s haunted by dark, cryptic visions of the future, not to mention an aching hole in her chest where her heart—and the love of her life, Max Carressa—used to be. But when Val’s search for a missing woman leads to her own night of terror, the only thing on Val’s mind is revenge….In the months since Val walked away from their relationship, Max has tried to move on. Yet, when she asks for his help tracking down her attacker, he knows resistance is futile; he’ll do anything for Val. Even sacrifice himself to save her.
Stolen Ink (Ink Born #1), by Holly Evans
I’m Dacian, a tattoo magician, and my life went from my biggest concern being finding a pretty guy to fall into bed with at the end of the week to everything falling apart around me. There are two problems in my life. Number one – I’m an ink magician, the thing of myths. A lot of very powerful people would love to get their hands on me, and I have no intention of letting that happen. Number two – A tattoo thief came to my city, and the magical community has decided that I’m the guy to stop them. Somehow, I have to catch the thief without letting my secret out of the bag, and that’s even harder than it sounds.
The Bear and the Serpent (Echoes of the Fall #2), by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Maniye, child of Wolf and Tiger, has a new soul and a new shape. But as Champion of the Crown of the World, does she represent an opportunity for the North – or a threat? Travelling as a bodyguard to the Southern prince, with her warband of outcasts, she hopes to finally discover her true place in the world….But if only it was that simple. Tensions rise, and new allies face up to old enemies as civil war threatens to tear the South apart. Royal twins can’t share a throne, so one must be chosen. And whoever rules the southern Sun River Nation will hold the fate of the world in their hands. As the protector of one potential heir, Maniye soon finds herself at the eye of a political storm. Yet all the while, an enemy from the most ancient of times prepares for conquest, and could destroy everything in their path…
The Black Wolves of Boston, by Wen Spencer
Silas Decker had his world destroyed when he was attacked by vampires outside of New Amsterdam. He rebuilt his life a dozen times in the last three hundred years—each time less and less successfully. Now he lives alone, buried under a hoarding habit, struggling to find some reason to wake up with the setting of the sun. Eloise is a Virtue, pledged to hunting evil. What she doesn’t know is how to live alone in a city full of strangers who know nothing about monsters. Seth is the sixteen-year old Prince of Boston, ward of the Wolf King. Now he is left in a city that desperately needs his protection with enemies gathering all around. Joshua believes he is a normal, college-bound high school senior. His life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered with blood, and the prom committee scattered in pieces about him like broken dolls. These four must now come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who lost everything struggle to save Boston by saving each other.
The Burning World (Warm Bodies #2), by Isaac Marion
Being alive is hard. Being human is harder. But since his recent recovery from death, R is making progress. He’s learning how to read, how to speak, maybe even how to love, and the city’s undead population is showing signs of life. R can almost imagine a future with Julie, this girl who restarted his heart—building a new world from the ashes of the old one….And then helicopters appear on the horizon. Someone is coming to restore order. To silence all this noise. To return things to the way they were, the good old days of stability and control and the strong eating the weak. The plague is ancient and ambitious, and the Dead were never its only weapon….How do you fight an enemy that’s in everyone? Can the world ever really change? With their home overrun by madmen, R, Julie, and their ragged group of refugees plunge into the otherworldly wastelands of America in search of answers. But there are some answers R doesn’t want to find. A past life, an old shadow, crawling up from the basement.
Veiled Intentions (Dragon’s Blade #2), by Michael R. Miller
Rectar has always had his sights set on conquering the human lands. His demonic invasion of the west is gaining momentum – an unrelenting horde unhindered by food or sleep. Now, only the undermanned Splintering Isles lie between the demons and the human kingdom of Brevia. If the islands fall, the rest of Tenalp will soon follow. The Three Races must work together if they are to survive, but they have another problem – Castallan. The traitorous wizard has raised a deadly rebellion and declared himself King of Humans. He believes himself safe in the bowels of his impenetrable Bastion fortress, but Darnuir, now King of Dragons, intends to break those walls at all costs. To face these threats, all dragons, humans and fairies must truly unite; yet old prejudices may undermine Darnuir’s efforts once again. And as the true intentions of all are revealed, so too is a secret that may change the entire world.
The Turn (The Hollows 0.1), by Kim Harrison
Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce fans and readers to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan’s world as they’ve never seen it before! Can science save us when all else fails? Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction. Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them. Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved. Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.
Wintersong, by S. Jae-Jones
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts. Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.
With Blood Upon the Sand (Song of Shattered Sands), by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Çeda, now a Blade Maiden in service to the kings of Sharakhai, trains as one of their elite warriors, gleaning secrets even as they send her on covert missions to further their rule. She knows the dark history of the asirim—that hundreds of years ago they were enslaved to the kings against their will—but when she bonds with them as a Maiden, chaining them to her, she feels their pain as if her own. They hunger for release, they demand it, but with the power of the gods compelling them, they find the yokes around their necks unbreakable….Çeda could become the champion they’ve been waiting for, but the need to tread carefully has never been greater. After the victory won by the Moonless Host in the Wandering King’s palace, the kings are hungry for blood. They scour the city, ruthless in their quest for revenge. Unrest spreads like a plague, a thing Emre and his new allies in the Moonless Host hope to exploit, but with the kings and their god-given powers, and the Maidens and their deadly ebon blades, there is little hope of doing so….When Çeda and Emre are drawn into a plot of the blood mage, Hamzakiir, they sail across the desert to learn the truth, and a devastating secret is revealed, one that may very well shatter the power of the hated kings. They plot quickly to take advantage of it, but it may all be undone if Çeda cannot learn to navigate the shifting tides of power in Sharakhai and control the growing anger of the asirim that threatens to overwhelm her.
Wolf Moon, by Lisa Kessler
As the last Pack member without a mate, Luke Reynolds has become an outsider. When he takes a job as the head horse trainer Sedona, Arizona, he’s looking forward to starting a new life. But everything changes the night he finds beautiful woman stranded on the side of the highway. Raven Wood has been bitten and turned against her will. Luckily, her spirit is stronger than most, and she has every intention of escaping the Sedona Pack. Somehow. The sexy lone wolf who rescues her might be just the answer she’s looking for. But the Sedona Pack Alpha has a mission, and unless Luke and Raven can stop him, they’ll lose everything.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce winners on Sunday.