It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day! I also have the winners from last week; thanks to “the trifecta,” I wasn’t able to post yesterday. (Trifecta=surprise houseguests, emergency cleaning, and the continual struggle with bronchitis.) Argh!
You know how it works. Just let me know in the comments 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 post the winner on Sunday, barring another trifecta. Look at the end of this post to see if you won this past week.
And now for the new releases…(not ALL of them, mind you, but the ones I thought might be of most interest to readers of this blog!)
A Fire in the Blood by Amanda Ashley
-I see a man. He is old. Very old. He will come into your life in a moment of danger. He will watch over you and protect you.- The gypsy’s hand gripped Tessa’s tighter. -He will bring you death, – she whispered, her voice like the rustle of dry leaves. -And life.- Ten years later, when Andrei Dinescu saves Tessa from a vicious attacker, she has no idea that the handsome stranger the gypsy fortune teller predicted is not a hunter but a seven-hundred-year-old vampire. Darkly powerful, unbelievably compelling, he is obviously pursuing Tessa, but is it her love he’s after or her blood?
A Time for Grief by Adrian Tchaikovsky
A new collection of stories that shed fresh light on the dangerous and complex world of the insect-kinden, including three that are previously unpublished. The Tales of the Apt series provides a different perspective on the fantastic realm first encountered in the author’s best-selling Shadows of the Apt series, gathering together short stories from disparate places and supplementing them with a wealth of new tales written especially for these books. A must read for any fan of the Shadows of the Apt books, where epic fantasy meets steampunk, science, and so much more.
Blade Bound (Chicagoland Vampires #13) by Chloe Neill
Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side….When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves….The final book in the series.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
In a ruined, nameless city of the future, a woman named Rachel, who makes her living as a scavenger, finds a creature she names “Borne” entangled in the fur of Mord, a gigantic, despotic bear. Mord once prowled the corridors of the biotech organization known as the Company, which lies at the outskirts of the city, until he was experimented on, grew large, learned to fly and broke free. Driven insane by his torture at the Company, Mord terrorizes the city even as he provides sustenance for scavengers like Rachel….At first, Borne looks like nothing at all—just a green lump that might be a Company discard. The Company, although severely damaged, is rumoured to still make creatures and send them to distant places that have not yet suffered Collapse….Borne somehow reminds Rachel of the island nation of her birth, now long lost to rising seas. She feels an attachment she resents; attachments are traps, and in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet when she takes Borne to her subterranean sanctuary, the Balcony Cliffs, Rachel convinces her lover, Wick, not to render Borne down to raw genetic material for the drugs he sells—she cannot break that bond….Wick is a special kind of supplier, because the drug dealers in the city don’t sell the usual things. They sell tiny creatures that can be swallowed or stuck in the ear, and that release powerful memories of other people’s happier times or pull out forgotten memories from the user’s own mind—or just produce beautiful visions that provide escape from the barren, craterous landscapes of the city….Against his better judgment, out of affection for Rachel or perhaps some other impulse, Wick respects her decision. Rachel, meanwhile, despite her loyalty to Wick, knows he has kept secrets from her. Searching his apartment, she finds a burnt, unreadable journal titled “Mord,” a cryptic reference to the Magician (a rival drug dealer) and evidence that Wick has planned the layout of the Balcony Cliffs to match the blueprint of the Company building. What is he hiding? Why won’t he tell her about what happened when he worked for the Company?
Dark Screams Volume 6
Stephen King, Lisa Morton, Nell Quinn-Gibney, Norman Prentiss, Joyce Carol Oates, and Tim Curran plunge readers into the dark side in this deeply unsettling short-story collection curated by legendary horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar. THE OLD DUDE’S TICKER by Stephen King: Richard Drogan has been spooked ever since he came back from Nam, but he’s no head case, dig? He just knows the old dude needs to die. THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT by Lisa Morton: Even though she made her name revealing the private lives of the rich and famous, Sara Peck has no idea how deep their secrets really go . . . or the price they’ll pay to get what they desire. THE MANICURE by Nell Quinn-Gibney: A trip to the nail salon is supposed to be relaxing. But as the demons of the past creep closer with every clip, even the most serene day of pampering can become a nightmare. THE COMFORTING VOICE by Norman Prentiss: It’s a little strange how baby Lydia can only be soothed by her grandfather’s unnatural voice, ravaged by throat cancer. The weirdest part? What he’s saying is more disturbing than how he says it. THE SITUATIONS by Joyce Carol Oates: There are certain lessons children must learn, rules they must follow, scars they must bear. No lesson is more important than this: Never question Daddy. Or else. THE CORPSE KING by Tim Curran: Grave robbers Kierney and Clow keep one step ahead of the law as they ply their ghoulish trade, but there’s no outrunning a far more frightening enemy that hungers for the dead.
Dark Wine at Midnight (Hill Vampire #1) by Jenna Barwin
Orders from the Lux can’t be ignored—a fact Dr. Cerissa Patel truly loathes. She’s a scientist, not a secret agent, and doesn’t want to spy on the vampires she’s trying to help. But her duty to obey the Lux leaves her no choice, not with the fate of humanity on the line. Her cover story seems easy as pie: become a vampire’s envoy, move to Sierra Escondida, and sign-up investors from among the secret vampire communities to finance her biotech research lab. At least, it looks easy until an assassination attempt leaves the Hill vampires suspicious of her arrival. They don’t want her—or her research lab—in their small town. Worse, she must ignore her growing attraction to Henry Bautista, a vampire winemaker with eyes the color of dark bourbon and just as intoxicating—who’s hiding his own deep secrets. He’s rich, dangerous, and as complex as the wines he makes, and he will do anything to stop her from hurting his town. With him watching her every move, she must uncover who’s behind the vampire movement to enslave mortals—before Henry discovers what’s hidden beneath her skin…
Deathless (Vein Chronicles #2) by Anne Malcom
My life was never black and white.
Heck, it wasn’t even black, white and gray.
Lines were not drawn between good and evil, and if they were, I would have jumped those suckers for fun.
But now it was simpler. It wasn’t black and white. Or gray. It was only one thing.
A crimson-tinted world. That was all I needed.
All I wanted.
Despite the war raging around us, or the secrets between us, there was nothing simpler than blood.
It didn’t matter that it would be fatal.
After all, it’s the things we’re not undead without that will kill us in the end.
Echoes of Ice (Bringer and the Bane #4) by Boone Brux
Once the king of his people, Gregory’s hold over his rule is tenuous now that the true king has been found. Handing over control is unthinkable since his half-brother, the true Bringer king, is one of the most feared Demon Bane, second only to the demon king himself. In order to stop the demon king from breaching the Mystic Arch, a passage between two worlds that has been sealed for centuries, Gregory and his followers must travel to the Frostlands and find and defend the second doorway. With his second in command, Juna, by his side, he will do anything to save his people—anything but risk her life. As the war between the Bringers and the Bane escalates, the choice between the future of his people clash with his desire for a future with the woman he secretly loves. …From the time Juna was a girl, Gregory hovered over her like an overprotective brother. Despite the fact, she’s proven herself time and again, he still doesn’t fully trust her skills, but she’s determined to change that. As her group heads into the icy unknown, nothing is going to stop her from fulfilling her destiny to put an end to the Demon Bane—not even the growing affection for Gregory she stubbornly ignores. …Together the Bringers must risk life, love, and freedom to prevent the demon king from gaining control of the crown and launching two worlds into eternal darkness and suffering.
Fur Fox’s Sake (Shifters Uncovered #2) by Milly Taiden
Marika Paters has an energy coursing through her that others can’t explain. Maybe it’s the curious fox that lies within that gives Marika joy in her work as a geneticist for the only forensic laboratory for animals. But while her research unravels mysteries—like startling new data that threatens to dismantle everything science knows about shifters—Marika has always felt incomplete, just another lonely shifter looking for her mate….Following a family tragedy, Fellowship Agent Devin Sonder believes he will never find love. But the panther inside knows his mate is out there somewhere—and he can’t give up. When the bodies of a senator and a mysterious dead wolf lead Devin to kind, playful Marika, he feels a powerful, magnetic attraction…even though their personalities clash….With more dead wolves found, Marika makes a revolutionary discovery about the origin of the beasts. Together with Devin, she races to find out who could be creating shifters—and why. But can the fierce alpha panther and the fiery, driven fox put their carnal desire aside to hunt down the mastermind before more shifters die?
King (Space Gypsy Chronicles #4) by Eve Langlais
Destroyer or King, which prophecy will prevail? Rafe thought once he found all the artifacts, he’d finally understand, and the prophecy would set him free. Instead, he finds himself leading what remains of the Rhomanii clans into the far reaches of the unknown, looking for…he doesn’t know what. But the pirate in him sure hopes it involves treasure. So much is riding on this gamble he’s taking, and the voices in his head aren’t helping matters. Compounding the problem? Not everybody wants him to succeed. What will happen when they reach their final destination? Will this be the start of a new Rhomanii life, or the end of everything they’ve ever known?
Sharpen the Blade (VV Inn #6) by C.J. Ellisson
Vivian’s enemies are gaining strength and making plans—plans she’s determined to stop. Our master vampire returns to Alaska to uncover valuable information she’s hidden for centuries. And while they’re home, Rafe and Jon hone skills they’ll need before tracking down the only people who might stand with them: Vivian’s previous turns. …A magical ward of protection around the resort will be laid before the trio leaves, a new arrival discovers long-lost family, and an alpha werewolf must master an ability that could change pack relations forever. Sounds doable, right? Until a plane crashes, filled with those Vivian has sworn to protect. Journey along on this next installment of the V V Inn–where those we trust are tested, and not all of them will survive.
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
Pyrre Lakatur doesn’t like the word skullsworn. It fails to capture the faith and grace, the peace and beauty of her devotion to the God of Death. She is not, to her mind, an assassin, not a murderer–she is a priestess. At least, she will be a priestess if she manages to pass her final trial….The problem isn’t the killing. Pyrre has been killing and training to kill, studying with some of the most deadly men and women in the world, since she was eight. The problem, strangely, is love. To pass her Trial, Pyrre has ten days to kill the ten people enumerated in an ancient song, including “the one you love / who will not come again.”…Pyrre is not sure she’s ever been in love. If she were a member of a different religious order, a less devoted, disciplined order, she might cheat. The Priests of Ananshael, however, don’t look kindly on cheaters. If Pyrre fails to find someone to love, or fails to kill that someone, they will give her to the god….Pyrre’s not afraid to die, but she hates to quit, hates to fail, and so, with a month before her trial begins, she returns to the city of her birth, the place where she long ago offered an abusive father to the god and abandoned a battered brother—in the hope of finding love…and ending it on the edge of her sword.
Snared (Elemental Assassin #16) by Jennifer Estep
If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines….Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl….My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive….A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.
Tempted by Fate (Bad Things #6) by Cynthia Eden
Leo is used to having power. After all, he carries the title Lord of the Light for a reason–he’s a supernatural powerhouse and his job is protect all of the “light” paranormals in the world. He’s used to snapping his fingers and getting anything–or anyone–he wants. But when he fell for Fate, Leo learned that power didn’t get a man everything. In fact, it didn’t even get him the one woman he wanted most…Fate…AKA Mora (that’s the name she prefers to use–a lot less weighty on her shoulders) has spent centuries hiding from her supernatural ex-lover, Leo. Most people fear Leo and rightly so. He’s got immense power and a definite date with an unfortunate end-of-the-world calamity. When Leo seduced Mora and promised to put the world at her feet, she actually thought the guy had fallen for her. Too late, she discovered he was just using her in an attempt to change his destiny….And Leo’s destiny? It’s not pretty. Some very, very bad things are coming for him. Mora shouldn’t care about the danger he faces. She should turn her back on her ex. His heart is ice cold, she knows that, but her own heart…it’s still a little weak where Leo is concerned. …Leo has tried to walk on the side of good for a long time…but his sins are coming back to haunt him. A darkness is trying to consume him, and if Mora can’t help him…then it’s not just Leo who will pay the price for his past. The whole world will change. …You think you know the Lord of the Light? Think again.
The Black Tempest (Time Shift Trilogy #2) by Ryan Dalton
It’s summer in Emmett’s Bluff, and the ice is spreading. Six months after confronting an enemy from the future, Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert have returned to their normal teenage lives. Or, they’ve tried to. During the battle to save their town, a mysterious force awoke inside the twins. Time calls to them, and it’s growing too strong to be ignored. When warriors from a mysterious ancient kingdom appear, they bring warnings of an unstoppable foe—one whose control of the ice is powered by Time itself. But ice is far more than the Black Tempest’s signature. As the twins uncover the truth behind it, they realize their town is only the beginning. If the Black Tempest is not stopped here, his corruption will threaten the very course of history. As cold advances and doom draws near, the twins’ only hope lies in learning to wield Time itself, and in trusting their strange new friends—even if those friends have secrets of their own.
The Dragon Soul (Vagrant Souls #2) by Samuel E. Green
The wraiths have come to Aernheim. A powerful sorcerer is calling them to his forest stronghold. Only a skinwalker and a dragon-riding priestess can stop him. Fryda sets out from Indham to find the man she loves. The only problem is that he is a skinwalker capable of tearing her limb from limb. And outside the safety of Indham’s walls, she’s just one woman against a tide of skinwalkers. When a blood-hungry skinwalker hunts Fryda, two forest dragons come to her aid. But their price is far greater than she could have imagined. What the dragons desire could doom not only her but all the land.
The Ship by Antonia Honeywell
London burned for three weeks. And then it got worse…Lalla has grown up sheltered from the chaos amid the ruins of civilization. But things are getting more dangerous outside. People are killing each other for husks of bread, and the police are detaining anyone without an identification card. On her sixteenth birthday, Lalla’s father decides it’s time to use their escape route–a ship he’s built that is only big enough to save five hundred people….But the utopia her father has created isn’t everything it appears. There’s more food than anyone can eat, but nothing grows; more clothes than anyone can wear, but no way to mend them; and no-one can tell her where they are going.
Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years: an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death. Hubert Vernon Rudolph Clayton Irving Wilson Alva Anton Jeff Harley Timothy Curtis Cleveland Cecil Ollie Edmund Eli Wiley Marvin Ellis Espinoza—known to his friends as Hubert, Etc—was too old to be at that Communist party. But after watching the breakdown of modern society, he really has no where left to be—except amongst the dregs of disaffected youth who party all night and heap scorn on the sheep they see on the morning commute. After falling in with Natalie, an ultra-rich heiress trying to escape the clutches of her repressive father, the two decide to give up fully on formal society—and walk away. After all, now that anyone can design and print the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, shelter—from a computer, there seems to be little reason to toil within the system. It’s still a dangerous world out there, the empty lands wrecked by climate change, dead cities hollowed out by industrial flight, shadows hiding predators animal and human alike. Still, when the initial pioneer walkaways flourish, more people join them. Then the walkaways discover the one thing the ultra-rich have never been able to buy: how to beat death. Now it’s war – a war that will turn the world upside down. Fascinating, moving, and darkly humorous, Walkaway is a multi-generation SF thriller about the wrenching changes of the next hundred years…and the very human people who will live their consequences.
Wicked Abyss (Immortals After Dark #18) by Kresley Cole
This fairy tale doesn’t end with a kiss… A spellbinding Immortals After Dark tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole!…The terrifying king of hell…As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster—just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell. Meets his match. Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for aeons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good. Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after? As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?
Within the Sanctuary of Wings (Lady Trent Memoirs #5) by Marie Brennan
After nearly five decades (and, indeed, the same number of volumes), one might think they were well-acquainted with the Lady Isabella Trent–dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field….And yet–after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana, and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard The Basilisk, and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia–the Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds. This concluding volume will finally reveal the truths behind her most notorious adventure–scaling the tallest peak in the world, buried behind the territory of Scirland’s enemies–and what she discovered there, within the Sanctuary of Wings….Final book in series.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.
Did you win a book last week? If you see your name or handle here, email me at the contact tab on this page or at my suzannej3523 gmail account, and let me know the pertinent details.
BOOKLADY won the first book in Viola Carr’s awesome Electric Empire series. Let me know if you prefer digital/format or print. If you already have the books in this series, you can substitute a $10 Amazon gift card. Just let me know!
SUZANNE BOYD won last week’s Reader’s Choice giveaway. You selected Deborah Blake’s Veiled Menace; let me know if you prefer that or a different book of your choice from Book Depository up to USD$15.
Thanks for reading!