It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day? Or is it ILLUMINATION release week? Both!
First a reminder that the 99 cent Kindle sale continues for the first four Penton Legacy books and the STORM FORCE spinoff.! Also, ILLUMINATION is up for preorder now! You can find the whole series here. By the fluke of the Amazon gods, the print edition is already out and the Kindle edition will release on Tuesday. And yes, there will be an Audible version, although it will come a couple of months later. I’m looking for narrators now.
BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY
You can also participate in the ILLUMINATION blog tour, which will run this week and next. You’ll be enter for tour prizes at each stop. Today, I’m doing an interview over at Authors’ Secrets, which was fun, and there’s a spotlight stop where you can enter at Fang-tastic Books.
July 10-16 New Releases #Win a New #Paranormal, #UF or #Fantasy
Now, here’s how Reader’s Choice 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 next Monday when a new giveaway begins. The winner of last week’s giveaway is FAITH, who chose An Oath of Dogs. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know if you’d prefer a different book, and whether you’d prefer digital or print (if available in print).
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). We’re entering the publishing industry’s slower season, so I’m dipping farther into the indie pool than usual. Note that inclusion does not constitute my endorsement of any book…unless I say so. I’m picking them based on cover and blurb…. because in many cases, I do think you can tell a lot about a book by its cover…
A Kiss Before Doomsday (Dru Jasper #2) by Laurence MacNaughton
When sorcerers disappear off the streets of Denver, the only person to notice a pattern is Dru, proprietor of The Crystal Connection and newly-minted sorceress. Monstrous creatures are attacking and dragging off anyone with magical powers. Signs point to forbidden necromancy in the hands of someone trying to fulfill the prophecy of the apocalypse scroll….With the dead rising from the grave, Dru fears someone is picking up where the Harbingers left off half a century ago. Now more than ever, Dru needs half-demon Greyson and his infernal car, Hellbringer. Though Greyson is missing and presumed dead, Dru believes he’s alive—and trapped at the center of this evil. …Dru will need her friends—and her enemies—trusting in Rane’s strength, Opal’s wisdom, and her own crystal magic to infiltrate the mountainous fortress of a powerful sorcerer intent on bringing about doomsday. …Because the moment the prophecy is fulfilled, legions of undead will rise to consume the souls of everyone on Earth…
A Voyage Through Air (Queen of Dreams #3) by Peter F. Hamilton
War is coming – and every leader of every realm has sided with the War Emperor and pledged to fight the Karrak invaders – apart from Taggie, the teenage Queen of Dreams-to-be. Aided by an unusual band of allies, including a Karrak Lord, an elf and a feisty skyfolk captain, Taggie knows that the only way to stop the war is to find the long-lost gateway between our universe and the dark universe: the home of the Karrak people. But where do you begin to look for something that was deliberately hidden? And just how much is Taggie willing to lose in her desperate quest for peace?
At the Table of Wolves (Dark Talents #1) by Kay Kenyon
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy meets X-Men in a classic British espionage story. A young woman must go undercover and use her superpowers to discover a secret Nazi plot and stop an invasion of England…. In 1936, there are paranormal abilities that have slowly seeped into the world, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The research to weaponize these abilities in England has lagged behind Germany, but now it’s underway at an ultra-secret site called Monkton Hall…. Kim Tavistock, a woman with the talent of the spill—drawing out truths that people most wish to hide—is among the test subjects at the facility. When she wins the confidence of caseworker Owen Cherwell, she is recruited to a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall—who is believed to be a German spy…. As she infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of England’s fascist sympathizers, she encounters dangerous opponents, including the charismatic Nazi officer Erich von Ritter, and discovers a plan to invade England. No one believes an invasion of the island nation is possible, not Whitehall, not even England’s Secret Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and only one woman, without connections or training, wielding her talent of the spill and her gift for espionage, can stop it.
Besieged: Stories from the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
The Iron Druid Chronicles is a hilarious and action-packed urban fantasy set in a modern world in which all the gods of every pantheon are alive and well, as in American Gods; its hero is a smart-mouthed, buttkicking magician, like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. But it’s told in a smart, witty, unforgettable voice that’s all Kevin Hearne—a star in the fantasy world. This addictive and wildly imaginative series stars hero Atticus O’Sullivan: a handsome, tattooed Irishman who looks like a young rock star, but is in actuality a 2,000-year-old Druid with extraordinary magic powers. In Besieged, Atticus’ adventures throughout history are told in a collection of nine new and original short stories.
Dark Exodus (Demonist #2) by Thomas E. Sniegoski
John Fogg and Theodora Knight were widely known for their paranormal investigations—and the popular TV show about them. But then an episode went horribly wrong, and they disturbed a mysterious vessel that unleashed a host of demons into the world and left Theo possessed. They fought back the hellish incursion, and Theo has regained control of herself, but each moment see hers struggling to maintain dominance over the demons that still live inside her. …When John learns that the vessel they disturbed may have been planted on purpose, he sets out to investigate why. He soon discovers a web of ancient evil and a new pathway that the legions of hell hope to use to make our world into theirs. John and Theo must race to find allies to stop the coming flood, and find the strength within themselves to stand as humankind’s last hope.
Fury of a Phoenix (Nix #1) by Shannon Mayer
“I knew the sins of my past would call to collect what was left of my soul. If I’d known the price I’d pay, I would’ve sacrificed more to stay hidden from the magic.” In the middle of Wyoming–away from the abnormals of the world–I thought I was free and clear. I started a new life. Found a love I’d never known in a husband, and a son who was my everything. And in a blinding instant, that life was stolen from me. The rage of a grieving mother is an ugly beast. More so when she has the skills and killer instinct to back up the wrath and the knowledge that an accident was anything but. Once more, I will pick up my guns. This time to hunt those who took my husband’s and son’s lives. Let them see the assassin, trained to kill abnormals, stalk the shadows again. Let them see the Phoenix rise from the fragments of a broken life as she burns with a fury that cannot be contained. Let the killing games begin.
Illumination (The Penton Vampire Legacy #5) by Susannah Sandlin
He came to Penton seeking peace. Nik Dimitrou joined the Army to escape his family curse, only to have his psychic abilities exploited as a weapon. Now, as a civilian, he turns to the bottle to veil the images that come unbidden whenever he touches anyone–except vampires. With them, he has finally found a respite. But as Penton moves into open warfare with the Vampire Tribunal, Nik finds himself deep inside the conflict, not to mention fighting a transformation in his own body more frightening than anything he’s faced….She wanted to change the world. Shay Underwood watched her Peace Corps parents move from one third world country to another, helping others–until both died following an outbreak of fever. Driven to pursue a career in tropical medicine, Shay works in New Orleans to cure the disease that killed her parents–until a careless weekend outing draws her into a world far more dangerous than the diseases she studies: a desperate vampire society engaged in human trafficking….Two cities, two strangers, one world. With Penton rebellion leader Aidan Murphy making risky choices and chief vampire lieutenant Mirrren Kincaid forced to take a leadership role, it will fall to two outsiders, Nik and Shay, to find a way for Penton–and themselves–to survive. [Wait….however did that cover photo get so much bigger than the others??? LOL.]
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
- 1990. The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven’t seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter’s been dead for years…. The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting….With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kidstaps into our shared nostalgia for the books and cartoons we grew up with, and delivers an exuberant, eclectic, and highly entertaining celebration of horror, life, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.
Nights of the Living Dead: An Anthology, edited by Jonathan Maberry
In 1968 the world experienced a brand new kind of terror with the debut of George A. Romero’s landmark movie Night of the Living Dead. The newly dead rose to attack the living. Not as vampires or werewolves. This was something new…and terrifying. Since then, zombies have invaded every aspect of popular culture. But it all started on that dreadful night in a remote farmhouse…Nights of the Living Dead returns to that night, to the outbreak, to where it all began. New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry teams with the godfather of the living dead himself, George A. Romero to present a collection of all new tales set during the 48 hours of that legendary outbreak….Nights of the Living Dead includes stories by some of today’s most important writers: Brian Keene, Carrie Ryan, Chuck Wendig, Craig Engler, David J. Schow, David Wellington, Issac Marion, Jay Bonansinga, Joe R. Lansdale, John Russo, John Skipp, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Max Brallier, Mike Carey, Mira Grant, Neal Shusterman & Brandon Shusterman, and Ryan Brown. Plus original stories by Romero and Maberry!
Star Witch (Lazy Girl’s Guide to Magic #2) by Helen Harper
Ivy Wilde, the laziest witch in the West, is still entangled with the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. That’s not a bad thing, however, because it gives her plenty of excuses to spend more time with sapphire eyed Raphael Winter, her supposed nemesis. And when he comes knocking because he needs her to spy on the latest series of Enchantment, she jumps at the chance. Hanging around a film set can’t be hard … or dangerous … right?
Tales from Harborsmouth (Ivy Granger 0.0) by E.J. Stevens
Ivy Granger is a psychic detective with ties to Harborsmouth’s paranormal underworld. Too bad those ties tend to ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city’s teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries. FROSTBITE (Ivy Granger #0.5)
In this Ivy Granger prequel, join Ivy and Jinx on a disturbing case that leads down a dead end alley to a house ravaged by time and circumstance. Everyone knows that there’s no such thing as ghosts, but when a client claims that her house is being haunted, Ivy tries to keep her mind open and her weapons handy. If her psychic gifts and recent cases have taught her anything, it’s that you’re better off arming yourself for the unexpected. Anything is possible in Harborsmouth. BLOOD AND MISTLETOE (Ivy Granger #1.5) Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are undead vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly. Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common—they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind—a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim’s blood. The holidays just got interesting. CLUB NEXUS (Ivy Granger #2.5) A demon, a human, an Unseelie faerie, and a vampire walk into a bar…These four intertwining short stories are set in Club Nexus, the hidden haunt of Harborsmouth’s paranormal underworld. Iced: A bargain gone wrong leads a highborn Unseelie faerie to life as an enslaved bartender with a taste for revenge. Dusted: Being a highly skilled predator doesn’t necessarily put you at the top of the food chain at Club Nexus. A southern vampire with a hankering for blood and wanton violence may have bit off more than he can chew. Demonized: The demon attorney we love to hate has his eye on a certain rockabilly human. Too bad she’s brought a crossbow loaded with holy water dipped bolts for this night on the town. Jinxed: Just when Jinx needs a carefree girl’s night out with Ivy, a smoking hot demon tries to buy her a drink. She really is the unluckiest human on the planet. THRILL ON JOYSEN HILL (Ivy Granger #5.5) Few places are as rife with opportunity or as fraught with danger as Harborsmouth’s notorious Joysen Hill. Vampires own the real estate, and even the most ruthless human thugs won’t venture there after dark, but when Torn gets stuck babysitting, he can only think of one place in Harborsmouth interesting enough to take a demon toddler, a teenage bridge troll, and a grouchy hearth brownie. What happens next substantiates the city’s advertising slogan. No matter who or what you are, no matter how young or old, you can find your thrill on Joysen Hill.
The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files #8) by Charles Stross
Bob Howard’s career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat with indescribably repellent creatures of pure evil. It has also involved a wearying amount of paperwork and office politics, and his expense reports are still a mess. …Now, following the invasion of Yorkshire by the Host of Air and Darkness, the Laundry’s existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organization has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a British government looking for public services to privatize. There’s a lot of potential shareholder value in the Laundry’s “knowledge assets.” … Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.
First Watch (Fifth Ward #1) by Dale Lucas
Humans, orcs, mages, elves, and dwarves all jostle for success and survival in the cramped quarters of Yenara, while understaffed Watch Wardens struggle to keep its citizens in line. Enter Rem: new to Yenara and hungover in the city dungeons with no money for bail. When offered a position with the Watch to compensate for his crimes, Rem jumps at the chance. …His new partner is less eager. Torval, a dwarf who’s handy with a maul and known for hitting first and asking questions later, is highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem. …But when Torval’s former partner goes missing, the two must consort with the usual suspects — drug dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, and humans being typical humans — to uncover the truth and catch a murderer loose in their fair city.
The Lost City (Lost Prophecy #5) by D.K. Holmberg
Brohmin heads south to understand how he can stop the Deshmahne before they attempt another attack where he encounters a new ally on a surprising mission. As he tries to learn more, he discovers not all is as it seems, and is forced to work for an enemy to save someone he deeply cares for. …Isandra searches for the groeliin breeding grounds with the Antrilii, needing to learn skills she never imagined while still struggling with the loss of her Magi abilities. She must come to terms with who she is to help her companions and a surprising enemy. …The fibers are restored, and Raime stopped once more, but Jakob knows he must push onward so that he can defeat Raime before he finds power again. Doing so takes him from his brother, now healed from the madness. He searches for his purpose along the fibers but finds only more questions. Somehow he must find the answers he seeks, but doing so means he needs to understand what he has become—and the power he now possesses—before Raime steals it from him.
The Rift by Nina Allan
Selena and Julie are sisters. As children they were close, but as they grow older, a rift develops between them. There are greater rifts, however. Julie goes missing aged seventeen. It will be twenty years before Selena sees her again. When Julie reappears, she tells Selena an incredible story about how she has spent time on another planet. Does Selena dismiss her sister as a the victim of delusions, or believe her, and risk her own sanity?
Scourge (Darkhurst) by Gail Z. Martin
Epic new fantasy from the bestselling author of The Summoner. In a city beset by monsters, three brothers must find out who is controlling the abominations. …The city-state of Ravenwood is wealthy, powerful, and corrupt. Merchant Princes and Guild Masters wager fortunes to outmaneuver League rivals for the king’s favor and advantageous trading terms. Lord Mayor Ellor Machison wields assassins, blood witches, and forbidden magic to assure that his powerful patrons get what they want, no matter the cost. …Corran, Rigan, and Kell Valmonde are Guild Undertakers, left to run their family’s business when guards murdered their father and monsters killed their mother. Their grave magic enables them to help souls pass to the After and banish vengeful spirits. Rigan’s magic is unusually strong and enables him to hear the confessions of the dead, the secrets that would otherwise be taken to the grave. …When the toll exacted by monsters and brutal guards hits close to home and ghosts expose the hidden sins of powerful men, Corran, Rigan and Kell become targets in a deadly game and face a choice: obey the Guild, or fight back and risk everything.
The Seventh Element (Elemental Guardians #1) by Rosalie Lario
Magic. Mystery. Forbidden romance. …When ordinary college student Jewel Harris has an explosive run-in with Luc Zain, the sexiest guy on campus, she realizes she’s not that ordinary after all. She is an elemental from another dimension, gifted with the ability to bend light to her will. And Luc Zain? He’s an elemental guardian, one of the few beings preventing the dark lord of the Nether world from gaining total domination over Earth. …Somehow, Jewel is at the center of it all. …Betrayed by those closest to her, Jewel must partner with Luc to uncover the mystery of her legacy. But Luc has his own secrets. And they’re running out of time. …The dark lord will stop at nothing to get what he wants … and he wants Jewel.
The Sweetest Burn (Broken Destiny #2) by Jeaniene Frost
Conquering a supernatural realm turned out to be easier than getting over a broken heart. But her initial victory has made Ivy a target for revenge, forcing her to reunite with the dangerous—and dangerously sexy—Adrian. Ivy isn’t sure which will be harder: finding the hallowed weapon that will repair the crumbling walls between the demon and human realms, or resisting Adrian, who’s decided that come hell or high water, he will make Ivy his. ….At first, Adrian tried to resist his feelings for Ivy. Now, determined to break the curse that dooms their love, he’s vowed to save her and to have her. If only he can persuade her to forgive his past sins. But defying destiny—and surrendering to the smoldering desire between them—will bring consequences and sacrifices they never imagined…
The Traitor (Hunter Circles #2) by Jessica Gunn
I’m Krystin Blackwood, and one week ago my father’s murderer courted me with dark magik. I’m still dealing with the effects of Giyano’s power and no amount of demon hunting seems to get rid of it. Never mind that I’ve been tasked with training Shawn, the newest member of our team of Hunters and the other half to the Alzan prophecy. …But Boston has bigger problems. After an attack at Hunter’s Guild, a place of neutrality and peace in this war, leaves countless dead on both sides, no place in the city is safe. And the only clue to the perpetrator points directly at the Fire Circle’s most-wanted and most powerful criminal. …If my team can’t track them down, the demon might destroy the Fire Circle… and the entirety of Boston with it.
Tropic of Kansas by Christopher Brown
The United States of America is no more. Broken into warring territories, its center has become a wasteland DMZ known as “the Tropic of Kansas.” Though this gaping geographic hole has no clear boundaries, everyone knows it’s out there—that once-bountiful part of the heartland, broken by greed and exploitation, where neglect now breeds unrest. Two travelers appear in this arid American wilderness: Sig, the fugitive orphan of political dissidents, and his foster sister Tania, a government investigator whose search for Sig leads her into her own past—and towards an unexpected future….Sig promised those he loves that he would make it to the revolutionary redoubt of occupied New Orleans. But first he must survive the wild edgelands of a barren mid-America policed by citizen militias and autonomous drones, where one wrong move can mean capture . . . or death. One step behind, undercover in the underground, is Tania. Her infiltration of clandestine networks made of old technology and new politics soon transforms her into the hunted one, and gives her a shot at being the agent of real change—if she is willing to give up the explosive government secrets she has sworn to protect….As brother and sister traverse these vast and dangerous badlands, their paths will eventually intersect on the front lines of a revolution whose fuse they are about to light.
Victorious Dead (Asarlai Wars #2) by Marie Andreas
In the Warrior Wench, Captain Vaslisha Tor Dain, lost her ship, her memories, and some crew. But she was sure things would get better. She was wrong.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday!