It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day! 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.
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). Note that inclusion does not constitute my endorsement of any book…unless I say so. I’m picking them based on cover and blurb….
Where Loyalties Lie (Best Laid Plans #1) by Rob J. Hayes
Everybody knows Captain Drake Morass is only out for himself. As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate Captains under his flag and claim a crown for himself. If he is to succeed, he will need allies and the Oracle named Keelin Stillwater, the best swordsman in the isles, as his right hand. With enemy ships sailing his waters and setting fire to his cities, and the sinister Tanner Black threatening to steal the throne before Drake even has a chance to sit upon it, Drake Morass must somehow convince the other Captains that his best interests are also theirs. Where Loyalties Lie is the first book in the Best Laid Plans duology and is a new standalone series set in the same world as The Ties that Bind trilogy.
The Merqueen (The Witching World #3) by Lucia Ashta
A demonic satyr. Rogue pixies. Diminutive dragons. Phoenixes and imps.
No one ever said magic would be boring. Clara barely survived the dark force that attacked Irele Castle. One of her teachers didn’t. But the number of dark magicians hunting her and her friends has only increased. She still doesn’t understand the extent of her powers, and her foes are cutting off every opportunity for her to discover it. As if the immortal count weren’t terrifying enough, now Clara’s former fiancé and a magician she believed dead have combined their efforts to kill her. And it gets worse. The Merqueen’s already stolen three years of Clara’s life. But she wants more, and she’s as powerful as the count. They’re racing to claim her soul. Will Clara, who’s still new to the magical world, be able to find the way to stop them in time, when the many forces of darkness are converging on her?
Into the Storm (Thunderbird Chronicles #2) by Amy Quick Parrish
Janey Santiago gained her powers the night her father was killed. The criminals who discovered his undercover identity are certain to come after her next. Until she learns to control her formidable abilities, she is in danger. As Janey unravels her boyfriend Augusto’s disturbing past, she embarks on a harrowing journey to the desert, where she discovers a long-hidden family secret that, once unleashed, will either defeat her father’s killers once and for all or claim both her life and her family’s legacy.
The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter
In a thirsty, drought-stricken Australia, the country is well and truly sunburnt. As the Eastern states are evacuated to more appealing climates, a stubborn few resist the forced removal. They hide out in small country towns – where no one would ever bother looking. Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are united in their disregard of the law. Aussie larrikins, they pass their hot, monotonous existence drinking at the barely standing pub. When strange lights appear across the Western sky, it seems that those embittered by the drought are seeking revenge. And Bill and Tobe are in their path. In the heat of the moment secrets will be revealed, and survival can’t be guaranteed.
Midnight (The Romany Outcasts #3) by Christi J. Whitney
The final volume in this YA trilogy, which will see Sebastian and Josephine’s fates finally sealed… Sebastian Grey’s sole purpose is to be a guardian for secretive gypsy clans and to protect the girl he loves, Josephine Romany. But what happens when your guardian is the one in trouble? When Kari Corsi is found dead in his trailer, all evidence points to him being killed by a shadow creature. This is a threat to the entire clan: frightened, rumours begin to spread among them, and Sebastian becomes the main suspect. Josephine must risk everything to find the inner strength to save Sebastian and uncover the true killer. Then, and only then, can they be together. Can they prove that love is stronger than stone?
Cast Away (Spellbound #6) by Annabel Chase
Witch-in-training Emma Hart is preparing for one of the worst days of her life…the marriage of fallen angel Daniel Starr to the spoiled fairy, Elsa Knightsbridge. Fortunately for Emma, distractions are easy to come by in Spellbound when a troll is found dead near a bridge and an overzealous werewolf is arrested for indecent exposure. Will these incidents be enough to keep Emma from falling apart? Or will one of these situations be her undoing?
No Sanctuary (No Sanctuary #1) by Mike Kraus
A nationwide terrorist attack has left the country in shambles and the country’s transportation capabilities are crippled beyond repair. Frank Richards barely escapes with his life when he watches his truck explode in front of his eyes. As chaos descends across the country, Frank’s home-grown survival and preparedness training and the help of a mysterious stranger he meets are the only things he can rely on to see him safely across the thousand miles separating him and his loved ones. …Frank Richards has been an accountant for most of his life, but when the economy took a turn for the worse he was forced to take the only job he could find – driving tractor-trailers cross-country. Thanks to his parents being dyed-in-the-wool prepper and survival experts he’s learned enough to keep him alive. If he wants to make it from Maine to Texas, though, he’ll have to figure out how to get along with the mysterious stranger that he’s picked up along the way. With skills as strange as her background, Linda’s far more prepared than Frank to survive in a fallen world. But in a world with no safety, no security and no sanctuary it takes more than one person to survive.
Where Shadows Rise (Sanctuary #1) by Amy Laurens
The fairies have a secret they’re just dying to protect…Emma knows breaking the rules can get you into trouble; it nearly got her sister killed. That’s why Emma’s stuck in backwater Nowra, Australia, under temporary witness protection with no friends—and no life. So when Emma has to break the rules to retrieve the runaway family dog, she decides the fairy she sees is clearly a guilt-induced hallucination. Problem is, hallucinations don’t usually send you invites to Fairyland—and shadows don’t usually chase you home…It would be easy to ignore the invite. …It would be sensible to avoid the shadows. …But when Emma’s only new friend is snatched by the shadows in the middle of the night, Emma knows she has a decision to make: stick to the rules and leave her friend and dog to die, or risk her own life to save them.
River of Teeth (River of Teeth #1) by Sarah Gailey
In the early 20th Century, the United States government concocted a plan to import hippopotamuses into the marshlands of Louisiana to be bred and slaughtered as an alternative meat source. This is true….Other true things about hippos: they are savage, they are fast, and their jaws can snap a man in two….This was a terrible plan….Contained within this volume is an 1890s America that might have been: a bayou overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe. It is the story of Winslow Houndstooth and his crew. It is the story of their fortunes. It is the story of his revenge.
The Wandering Mage (Convergence #2) by Melissa McShane
The convergence is over, but Sesskia’s role in preventing it has left her far from her friends and husband Cederic. As she tries to travel north to rejoin them, events keep interfering. The mad God-Empress of Castavir is in control of an army that threatens to sweep over the newly rejoined countries of Balaen and Castavir. Men and women who use magic like Sesskia’s have sprung up after the convergence, and Balaen’s ineffectual king wants to use them for his personal protection. New friends, and new enemies, broaden Sesskia’s horizons and challenge her loyalties. Though Sesskia wants only to be reunited with Cederic, she is drawn into the political conflict between two countries lying intertwined with each other, and finds within herself leadership abilities she never could have guessed.
A Queen from the North by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese
It may be the 21st century, but in a not-so-united kingdom the wounds of the the Wars of the Roses have never healed. The rivalry between the Yorkish north and Lancastrian south has threatened to pull the nation apart for over 500 years. …While the modern world struggles with fractures born of ancient conflict, Lady Amelia Brockett faces far more mundane problems. Known to her family as Meels, this youngest daughter of a Northern earl is having the Worst. Christmas. Ever. Dumped by her boyfriend and rejected from graduate school, her parents deem her the failure of the family. …But when her older brother tries to cheer her with a trip to the races, a chance meeting with Arthur, the widowed, playboy Prince of Wales, offers Amelia the chance to change her life — and Britain’s fortunes — forever. Hunted by the press — and haunted by Arthur’s niece who fancies herself the kingdom’s court witch — Amelia finds herself adrift in a sea of paparazzi, politics, and prophecy. …With few allies beyond her allergic-to-horses sister-in-law, her best friend who has a giant crush on the prince, and the cute young receptionist at Buckingham Palace that calls himself her Royalty Customer Service Representative, Amelia must navigate a perilous and peculiar course to secure Arthur’s love and become A Queen from the North.
Mark of Truth (Wicked Kingdoms #1) by Graceley Knox
Ever Leath, leader of the deadliest crew within the Magical Enforcement and Containment Agency’s ranks, has always known she’s a half-breed—until a visit from her estranged mother changes everything. She’s determined to marry Ever off for political gain, no matter the consequences—even if it means Ever’s life. …Searching for the truth leads to disturbing doubts about Ever’s heritage, and just as answers appear, so does Dare Fitzpatrick. Captain of the Royal Goblin Guards and son to the current Goblin King, he claims he knows who Ever’s real father is and that she could be in danger. Ever doubts Dare, until he helps her escape the clutches of her would-be suitor and grants her shelter within the Goblin Kingdom. …Staying in Goblin, which has previously been off-limits to half-breeds, is a risk Ever has to take to keep everyone she loves safe. Neither of them planned on the fiery heat between them, but Dare won’t take no for an answer. Ever knows she can’t risk losing her heart to the cocky goblin, despite her attraction to him. At least that’s the plan. …Until it all falls apart.
Scepter of Fire (Mirror of Immortality #2) by Vicki L. Weavil
She’s the ugly duckling in a family of swans. But Varna Lund is determined to live a life that matters. Ridiculed by the young men of her village, Varna vows she’ll become the finest healer in the land. The skills she’s learned from her ancient mentor prove vital when she encounters Erik Stahl, a young soldier who deserted the battlefield to carry an injured friend to safety. Aided by her sister Gerda, she cares for the soldiers in secret. When betrayal catapults the four young people into life on the run, Varna encounters her former mentor—now revealed as the sorcerer, Sten Rask. Seeking an enchanted mirror that offers unlimited power, Rask appears determined to seduce Varna to his side. To protect their country, Varna and her companions form an alliance with a former Snow Queen, a scholar, and an enchantress. But when Rask tempts her with beauty and power, Varna’s heart becomes a battlefield. Caught between loyalty to her companions and a man whose kisses ignite a fire on her lips, Varna must choose—embrace her own desires, or fight for a society that’s always spurned her.
Cry Wolf (Silver Hollow #4) by Leighann Dobbs and Traci Douglass
A mysterious death brings Deputy DeeDee Clawson to the scene of a movie being filmed at an old mansion in Silver Hollow. Tucker Rockwood, the star of the movie, is found dead, a stake through his heart. Lots of people might have wanted to kill Tucker, but when DeeDee’s investiga-tion points in the direction of the movie’s producer, Caine Hunter, she thinks she has her man….As if investigating this murder isn’t enough, DeeDee has something else hanging over her head. As the daughter of a werewolf pack leader, she has agreed to an arranged marriage. She hasn’t even met her intended yet, but she’s already starting to regret her agreement to enter into a love-less marriage…especially when her feelings toward Caine turn from suspicion to romance. …Caine Hunter has been smitten with feisty deputy Clawson since day one, but since DeeDee seems determined to arrest him for murder, he’s pretty sure the feeling isn’t mutual. Yet, he can’t help but sense that DeeDee is fighting an inner attraction to him that she won’t admit even to herself. Too bad that once she discovers his secret, she’ll want to have nothing further to do with him. …As the investigation heats up and DeeDee’s wedding day approaches, she turns to her four close witch friends, the Quinns, and their quirky familiars. There’s only one way to get out of the loom-ing marriage without risking being ostracized by her pack, and Gray Quinn is the only person that can help. …But when things take a dangerous turn with a surprise twist, will DeeDee risk it all and discover that love can be even more powerful than magic?
How Knot to Marry a Vampire (Nocturne Falls Universe) by Laurie London (Foreword by Kristen Painter)
Note: This is one of about a dozen stories in the Nocturne Falls Universe releasing on May 23rd. Do a Nocturne Falls Universe search for the full list….Penelope Bechtel comes from a long line of mediums, so she shouldn’t have been surprised to see a ghost for the first time at the Waffle Emporium. But the gift he gives her puts her in terrible danger and sends her on the run…right back to where she started: Nocturne Falls and— Is that a nearly naked, gorgeous vampire? Luka Cavanaugh lost a bet, and now he’s stuck modeling at a wine and painting party where he meets a beautiful woman who threatens to untie the knots around his cold, dead heart. The problem is, he doesn’t date supernaturals. Too many secrets. Too much baggage. And Penelope is no exception. With danger looming and things between them heating up, maybe some rules are meant to be broken…
Gone with the Ghost (Murder by Design #1) by Erin McCarthy
Bailey Burke has had a rough six months—it’s not easy thinking your romantic overtures toward your best friend caused him to kill himself. Except that’s exactly what happened. Ryan is very much dead, having shot himself with his own police-issued gun. Guilt and grief shouldn’t cause hallucinations though, but six months after Ryan went into the ground, Bailey is freaking out and swearing his ghost is standing in her kitchen. Which he is…Ryan claims he didn’t commit suicide, but was murdered, and he needs Bailey to help him find his killer so he can earn his ticket out of purgatory. Ryan’s counting on a stairway to heaven, as opposed to wings, since that might be a little unmanly for a cop, even a dead one….An expert in home design, with her own staging business, Bailey can tell you where to place a couch to improve flow and comfort, but solving a crime? Not her area of expertise. But with help from Ryan’s former partner, Marner, she is unraveling the mystery of what happened to Ryan that day… and unwittingly putting herself in grave danger.
Lion’s Claim ( Shifter Chronicles #6) by Crissy Smith
Annabelle Sanchez has lived her entire life in the shadows, watching the world from the outside. Having grown up in foster care until she ran away at the age of fourteen, Annabelle doesn’t trust anyone except for the ragtag group of shifters who have become her family. Cold, scared and alone on the streets, Annabelle stumbles across Mac Gordon, the only person to ever tell her why she’s so different from other people. Mac brings her into his family—the bar he owns and the underground network where he helps shifters disappear when they need to. Annabelle is furiously loyal and she will not let anyone hurt her family….When an agent from the Coalition starts sniffing around, Annabelle knows there is more to the gruff shifter than what’s on the surface. The way she responds around him is both frightening and exciting. Family bonds are tested when Annabelle starts spending time alone with Logan….Logan Coldwell has lost everything when he joins a new shifter organization looking for law enforcement agents for its ranks. Logan jumped at the chance to start over after being rejected by his birth family. He puts everything he has into his job, the only thing he has left….For two years Logan has had one goal—to protect innocent shifters and make those who break the law pay. His latest assignment leads him to a small northern California town that is chock-full of all kinds of shifter species. Several shifters have come before him and have never been seen or heard from again. Logan is determined to find out what is going on, no matter how much he’d really like to be investigating the beautiful and sweet Annabelle.
Bound by Darkness (Eternally Mated) by Valerie Twombly
He mated to protect her. She used him for revenge. As their worlds collide, their feelings for each other grow. But, when his dark secret is revealed, it may be more than she can forgive….Lyzander has done many distasteful things in his life. One in particular has haunted him for the past twenty years. Now, the little girl he sheltered from the ones who killed her family has become his savior. When she seeks to avenge the murder of her loved ones, he finds himself saving her all over again….Kelana has an agenda, and if mating with the angel warrior Lyzander will bring her closer to completing her mission, then she will gladly take him to her bed. When her father discovers the abomination he created is still alive, he proves more powerful than she imagined and it will take everything at her disposal to survive.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner on Sunday.