It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day!
First a reminder that the 99 cent Kindle sale continues for the first four Penton Legacy books and the STORM FORCE spinoff ends tonight at midnight PDT! You can find the whole series here and Penton 3.5, STORM FORCE, here, and pick them all up for Kindle for less than $10! The Audible version should be available by late October and will be narrated by Amy McFadden, who did the other books in the series (except Redemption).
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 CELESTE KELLER, who won her choice of books in her choice of format—either the first book in Melissa Olson’s Disrupted Magic series or another of your choice. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
And now for the new releases… It’s a pretty short list this week since the publishing world wilts like a drought-stricken bloom in late summer, but remember, you can pick any book you want—not just from this list. You just have to PICK one from this list you find most interesting. 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…
Hidden Magic (Ancient Court #2/Hidden Saga #8) by Amy Patrick
Macy Moreno has been through hell. She only survived because the guy she loved—Nicolo Buonaccorsi—sacrificed his own life to save her. Though she’s discovered there’s much more to the world than she ever imagined, as far as Macy is concerned, all its magic died with him. She’s alive, but her heart will never recover. …Macy goes back on the road, trying to outrun her painful past and the haunting memories of the love she’s lost– and trying to forget that the end of mankind is quickly approaching. If only Nic had survived. If only there were something she could do to stop the coming Plague. But she’s only human—as far as she knows. …The only bright spot in her life comes from an unexpected source—a traveling companion she didn’t want but can’t seem to get rid of. And just when she thinks she might find some semblance of happiness in her new life, everything changes again, and she’s caught in an emotional tug-of-war between her past and the present.
Copper Chain (Shifting Tides #3) by James Maxwell
When a desperate king threatens Dion and everything he loves, only dangerous magic can keep him safe….Dion, now king of Xanthos, is finally in command of the naval fleet he’s always dreamed of. But his hopes for peace are jeopardized when King Palemon, in dire need of ships to rescue his starving people from the frozen wastelands of the north, invades the Salesian city of Malakai. …Too weak to confront Dion directly, Palemon turns to magic: mysterious copper chains from the lost civilization of Aleuthea, which have the potential to control dragons…and Dion. …With the people he loves in danger, and his own freedom at risk, Dion’s only hope is Chloe and the power she struggles to tame.
The Vampire Prince (Vampire Wish #2) by Michelle Madow
Everything has been taken from Annika — her family, her friends, and even her freedom — by the vampires who enslaved her in the hidden kingdom of The Vale. But now she possesses a magical ring that contains Geneva, the most powerful witch in the world, and she’s ready for revenge. …When Prince Jacen invites vampire princesses from all over the world to the palace to compete for his hand in marriage, Annika finds her chance. By commanding Geneva to turn her into a vampire princess, she can try to win the cold heart of the prince who betrayed her and left her for dead. Can she keep the emotions she used to feel for Jacen in check? Because if her deception works and she becomes his bride, she’ll have full access to the palace… and she can destroy The Vale from the inside. …But with powerful players vying for control of the ring, and a dark magic rising outside the kingdom, there’s far more at stake than just the crown.
The Gates of Tagmeth (Chronicles of the Kencyrath #8) by P.C. Hodgell
Destruction is in Jame Knorth s nature. Literally. She is the avatarof the god Gerridon, also known as That-Which-Destroys, the god of chaos and ruin. Yet Jame is also a noblewoman within an ancient race, and the designated heir of her twin brother Torisen Knorth, High Lord of the Kencyrath. Jame s people are fleeing, world by world, from a terrible enemy that has pursued them through a multitude of universes. Its name is Perimal Darkling. …Obeying instructions from her brother, Jame sets out with a force of Southron warriors to reestablish the long-fallen castle keep of Tagmeth. By Jame s side is Lyra, a devious Kencyrath noble girl who is determined not to be forced into a marriage with a man she despises. Jame s old friends Mark and Brier Iron-thorn stand with her, as well: Marc, steward and organizer of Jame s household and Brier, the only captain under her command wholly sworn to support Jame no matter the cost. Jame finds more allies in the forest surrounding the ancient keep where the wild people of the woodlands, the Merikit, hold court. And Jame s adopted mother, Gran Cyd, matriarch and queen of the Merikit, may once again provide the voice of calm that Jame requires to survive her own tempestuous nature. …Jame sets about establishing Tagmeth as an outpost against the gathering power of Perimal Darkling. But Tagmeth hides a secret, a gateway to a mystery that may save this world from eternal darkness or plunge it to destruction and ruin all the sooner. It is up to Jame to find her way through Perimal Darkling s traps, and to come to terms with the god of pandemonium and destruction within her who grows stronger every day. If she succeeds it may be that Perimal Darkling can finally be defeated after eons of fear and flight. And if she fails, yet another world will fall to darkness forever.
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
In 1859, ex-East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall after sustaining an injury that almost cost him his leg and something is wrong; a statue moves, his grandfather’s pines explode, and his brother accuses him of madness. …When the India Office recruits Merrick for an expedition to fetch quinine—essential for the treatment of malaria—from deep within Peru, he knows it’s a terrible idea. Nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who’s made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is desperate to escape everything at home, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for a tiny mission colony on the edge of the Amazon where a salt line on the ground separates town from forest. Anyone who crosses is killed by something that watches from the trees, but somewhere beyond the salt are the quinine woods, and the way around is blocked. …Surrounded by local stories of lost time, cursed woods, and living rock, Merrick must separate truth from fairytale and find out what befell the last expeditions; why the villagers are forbidden to go into the forest; and what is happening to Raphael, the young priest who seems to have known Merrick’s grandfather, who visited Peru many decades before. The Bedlam Stacks is the story of a profound friendship that grows in a place that seems just this side of magical.
Ride the Storm (Cassandra Palmer #8) by Karen Chance
Ever since getting appointed the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up on the training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the pythian court. Catch up on the dangerous world of supernatural politics. Catch up on the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It’s been a trial by fire that has left her burned. …But now she realizes all that was just the warm up. …Ancient forces that once terrorized the world want to return, and Cassie is the only one who can stop them.
Sanctuary (Immortal Soulless #2) by Tanith Frost
Pushing papers at a werewolf sanctuary is the last assignment Aviva would have wished for. It’s the bottom rung of the career ladder for a vampire, a job that will leave her isolated from most of her kind as she watches over members of a species whose very existence threatens the secrecy of the supernatural world. Her only consolation is the promise of peace and quiet. After all, the werewolves may be troublesome, but they’ve kept their own secrets for a century. …But the situation at the sanctuary is not all it appeared to be when Aviva received her assignment. Age-old tensions between vampires and werewolves come to a head when a human in a nearby village is found brutally murdered and suspicion lands squarely on the sanctuary’s supernatural inhabitants. …When the pack leaders refuse to turn the killer in to face justice, Aviva knows her elders will do anything to keep their world safe from humans, even if it means wiping out the werewolves for good. With the help of a mistrustful female and a relentlessly tempting alpha male, it will be up to Aviva to overcome the instinctive hatred between their species and catch a murderer before the human world takes notice—and before the sanctuary turns into a battleground.
Reaping the Aurora (Erenthrall #3) by Joshua Palmatier
In a world torn apart by the shattering of the magical ley lines that formerly powered all the cities and towns of the Baronies, there are few havens left for the survivors. The uncontrolled distortions released by the shattering have claimed the main cities of the Baronial Plains. And many of the Wielders who controlled the ley died in the apocalyptic cataclysm their manipulation of the ley created….Wielder Kara Tremain and former Dog Allan Garrett, survivors of the city of Erenthrall’s destruction, have seized control of the new Nexus created at the distant temple known as the Needle, the stronghold of the White Cloaks and their leader, Father Dalton. With Father Dalton a prisoner, Kara intends to use the Needle’s Nexus to heal the major distortions that threaten to shake their entire world apart. …But while she and the remaining Wielders managed to stabilize Erenthrall, they have not been able to stop the auroral storms or the devastating earthquakes sweeping across the lands. Now they are hoping to find a means to heal the distortion at the city of Tumbor, releasing the nodes captured inside. If they succeed, the ley network should be able to stabilize itself. …But the distortion over Tumbor is huge, ten times the size of the one over Erenthrall. Kara will need the help of all of the Wielders at the Needle in order to generate enough power, including the rebel White Cloaks. But can Kara trust them to help her, or will the White Cloaks betray her in order to free Father Dalton and regain control of the Needle, possibly destroying any chance of healing the ley network in the process?
Kinglet (Gemeta Stone #1) by Donna Migliaccio
Kristan Gemeta has lost everything: his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name. …In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet. As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life. …But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go. As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession. …With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna. He could regain his birthright and his honor. But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.
Dragonsworn (Dark-Hunters #28) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
There is nothing in the universe the cursed dragon, Falcyn, hates more than humanity . . . and in particular, Greek humans. In a war he wanted no part of, they systematically destroyed everything he’d ever cared for. Now he lies in seclusion, away from the world and waits for the day when evolution will finally rid him of the human vermin. …Medea was born the granddaughter of the Greek god Apollo, and among the first of his people that he cursed to die. But she will not let anyone rule her life. Not even her notorious grandfather. And when Apollo sends a new plague to destroy what remains of her people, she refuses to standby and watch him take everything she loves from her again. …This time, she knows of a secret weapon that can stop the ancient god and his army of demons. Once and for all. However, said device is in the hands of a dragon who wants nothing to do with politics, the gods, humanity, demons or Greek Apollites. And especially not her. He is the immovable object. …My enemy’s enemy . . .When Apollo makes a strategic move that backfires, he forces Falcyn back into play. Now Medea either has the weapon she needs to save her people, or she’s unleashed total Armageddon. If she can’t find some way to control the dragon before it’s too late, Falcyn will be an even worse plague on the world than the one Apollo has set loose. But how can anyone control a demonic dragon whose sole birthright is total destruction?
Urban Enemies, an Anthology
Villains have all the fun—everyone knows that—and this anthology takes you on a wild ride through the dark side! The top villains from sixteen urban fantasy series get their own stories. Read works from Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, Kelley Armstrong, Jonathan Maberry, Jeff Somers, Steven Savile, Caitlin Kittredge, Sam Witt, Craig Schaefer, Jon F. Merz, Faith Hunter, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Lilith Saintcrow, Carrie Vaughn, Domino Finn. Edited by Joseph Nassise.
The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson
Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past…Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar’s loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.
Pack of Lies (Paranormal Scene Investigations #2) by Laura Anne Gilman
My name is Bonita Torres, and eight months ago I was an unemployed college graduate without a plan. Now I’m an investigator with the Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations team of New York. Pretty awesome, right?…The Cosa Nostradamus, the magical community, isn’t quick to give up its secrets, though. Not even to fellow members. Not even when it’s in their best interests. So we’ve been busting our tails, perfecting our forensic skills, working to gain acceptance. The team’s tight… but we have our quirks, too. And our Big Dog, Benjamin Venec…well, he’s a special case, all right. …But we can’t give up. We’re needed, especially when a case comes along that threatens to pit human against fatae. But one wrong move could cost us everything we’ve worked for…
Stone Wielder (Middengard Sagas #3) by June Wilson
Alice’s quest for the Second Stone has failed. Back in Melbourne once more, and staying in the home of her enemy Adrian Winter, Josh is her only ally in trying to outwit Adrian and return the Stone to its rightful place in Skellstor. Without it, she’ll never be able to get Toby home. …Daunted but not giving up, Alice takes heart when Isolde appears and delivers a message. And when Josh begins to remember what happened to him in Middengard, Alice takes the dangerous step of taking him with her into the Weald. Soon she’s playing a dangerous game of catch me if you can, with Adrian and Mathilde in pursuit as Alice faces her biggest challenge yet – an audience with Freya. …As Alice finally learns about her destiny, Toby and Iris continue in the battle against powerful new enemies. As Skellstor faces a siege that threatens to destroy the White City and all within its walls, the only question is, will Alice arrive in time to save them?
The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker
Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson’s father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family’s land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather’s betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising. …But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It’s not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather’s cruelty comes at the hand of her brother’s arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom. …Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.
Halls of Law (Faraman Prophecy) by V.M. Escalada
Seventeen-year-old Kerida Nast has always wanted a career in the military, just like the rest of her family. So when her Talent is discovered, and she knows she’ll have to spend the rest of her life as a psychic for the Halls of Law, Ker isn’t happy about it. Anyone entering the Halls must give up all personal connection with the outside world, losing their family and friends permanently. Just as Kerida is beginning to reconcile herself to her new role, the Polity is invaded by strangers from Halia, who begin a systematic campaign of destruction against the Halls, killing every last Talent they can find. …Kerida manages to escape, falling in with Tel Cursar, a young soldier fleeing the battle, which saw the deaths of the royal family. Having no obvious heir to the throne, no new ruler to rally behind, the military leaders will be divided, unable to act quickly enough to save the empire. And with the Halls being burned to the ground, and the Talents slaughtered, the Rule of Law will be shattered. …To avoid the invaders, Kerida and Tel are forced to enter old mining tunnels in a desperate attempt to carry word of the invaders to Halls and military posts that have not yet been attacked. But the tunnels hide a dangerous secret, a long-hidden colony of Feelers—paranormal outcasts shut away from the world for so long they are considered mythical. These traditional enemies of the Halls of Law welcome Kerida, believing she fulfills a Prophecy they were given centuries before by the lost race of griffins. With the help of these new allies, Kerida and Tel stand a chance of outdistancing the invaders and reaching their own troops. However, that is only the start of what will become a frantic mission to learn whether any heir to the throne remains, no matter how distant in the bloodline. Should they discover such a person, they will have to find the heir before the Halian invaders do. For if the Halians capture the future Luqs, it will spell the end of the Faraman Polity and the Rule of Law.
Sovereign’s War (Robin Hood-Demon Bane #3) by Debbie Viguie and James R. Tuck
A dramatically different telling of the Robin Hood legend, with dark magic, fantasy, and horror woven into the story.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday!