For the most part, the blog is on hiatus until late August while I work on a big freelance job, but of course…It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day!
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 SARAH, who was interested in The Bedlam Stacks. Email me at email@example.com and let me know if you’d like that or another book, and your choice of format!
And now for the new releases… Again, this is a pretty short list 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…
Exiles (Illyon Chronicles #4) by Jaye L. Knight
Exiled after their defeat in Samara, the Resistance struggles to find allies in their quest to restore King Balen to his throne and put an end to the emperor’s tyranny. When the crete people refuse to lend their aid, Balen leads a group to Dorland to reason with them and win their support. However, enemies prove to be everywhere, and they find themselves in a fight to keep Dorland from becoming Daican’s latest conquest. …Back in Landale, the arrival of a new enemy forces Trask and Anne to tread more carefully than ever. Tensions are rising, and the enemy is determined to test Anne’s loyalty and root out the location of Trask and the Resistance once and for all. …Feeling trapped within the walls of Valcré, Prince Daniel must contend with an ever-eroding relationship with his father. As their clashes escalate, the situation becomes potentially life threatening when his loyalty is called into question. His sister seems bent on branding him a traitor and actively seeking to condemn him to the fate of those put to death in their father’s new arena. Daniel is certain his father would never execute his only son and heir, but with other forces at work, it might not be that simple. …One small misstep could prove fatal for all.
Mundane Magic by Rebecca Milton
Hidden within the world, disguised as mundane gifts and talents, magic rests. Though not wholly dormant, for the most part it has gone unnoticed. Until now. Now, one man is trying to change that: to fight for a world where mages can be open about their powers and the world can accept them for what they are. But trying to change people never goes smoothly, and the best intentions can fall away in the face of fear. Thomas Braddock has gone from hopeful revolutionary to wanted fugitive in a matter of days, earning the wrath of the British Army and their magical allies. For Braddock’s power is to be impenetrable, the ultimate defender; and the only thing that can pierce a magical shield is more magic. Of course, it is not that simple. Nothing is ever that simple. And for the young servant whose power holds the key to defeating Braddock, there are some difficult decisions to be made. Because Odette is not destined to defeat him – there is no prophecy that binds her life to his. She has a choice. And she doesn’t want to become a murderer.
Unleash the Darkness by Valerie Twombly
Sometimes even a reaper fears the darkness. Created from light and dark, Sephtis is bound to both Heaven and Hell. When he calls upon his reaper, he unleashes a power even demons grow to fear. Only Evangeline keeps him from crossing over to total darkness. His mate is the light that burns bright in his soul. … Being a guardian angel is all Evangeline ever wanted. Then a promise to a dying woman changes her life irrevocably. Finding herself trapped in a foreign land, she must fight for her life while searching for a way back to the man she loves. …When a stranger comes between the couple, the two angels become entangled in a web of evil that will put their love to the ultimate test. Hell hath no fury like a reaper determined to find the woman he loves. An Eternally Mated novella.
Crowns of Rust (Kingdoms of Sand #2) by Daniel Arenson
The noble House of Sela is shattered. Its five children, once heirs to a bustling port, are scattered around the Encircled Sea. Their kingdom, the ancient land of Zohar, lies in ruin following a devastating invasion. As the dust settles, new fires kindle. In a shattering world, the pieces are up for grabs. Here fleets clash at sea, and desert warriors battle among dunes and ancient ruins; cloaked conspirators gather in shadowy alleyways, vowing to slay their emperor; and a girl seeks the magic of light beyond guardians of shadow. In a land of sand and splendor, glory will go to those with the sharpest steel and the hardest hearts. One war has ended. Now the world will burn. When the Encircled Sea storms, kingdoms are no sturdier than sandcastles. Rulers and rebels battle for golden thrones, but will they find only crowns of rust?
The Tyrant’s Heir (Desertera #3) by Kate M. Colby
Lionel Monashe believes he’s a terrible king. After ordering his father’s execution and taking the throne, he struggles to reconcile his royal duties with his innate compassion. His insecurity and inconsistent ruling lead prominent subjects to challenge his authority….Chief among his adversaries is a self-proclaimed prophet, whose religious zealotry launches the kingdom into economic crisis and civil unrest. When Lionel attempts to make peace, he sparks even more discord and ignites the greatest tragedy in Desertera’s history….Blame for the disaster falls on the king, sending Lionel in a desperate pursuit to find answers before he loses his crown… and possibly his life.
Monster Born (Northern Creatures #1) by Kris Austen Radcliffe
Welcome to Alfheim, Minnesota. …I walked out of the Arctic and into Alfheim’s magic two centuries ago. The elves had no idea what to do with the giant, re-animated corpse in their midst other than to offer me what they had long offered all unloved and unwanted magicals — a home. Without elven magic, the Alfheim Werewolf Pack would descend into madness. Without the stability of the elves, the local vampires and witches would fall prey to their own evil natures. And without the elves, I would still be the rage-filled monster stitched together by my father’s genius and unholy hubris. …Now, I have a good life. I have family. Friends. A community that supports and protects me. But some ghosts from rage-filled pasts are more horrific than others. Some want to rip apart more than just my soul. …Some want my flesh. And now I must face a vampiric demon so powerful not even elven magic can stop it….
A Sword of Shadows and Light (Dare Valari #2) by Devyn Jayse
There’s a killer loose in the Blights. And it’s not the prince that’s hunting me. No, he only wants me dead. Women across the Blights are being murdered in horrific ways. I didn’t want anything to do with it, I have enough problems of my own, but when the killer targets someone close to me, it’s up to me to find the person responsible for those heinous crimes.
Crown of Betrayal (Wicked Kingdoms #2) by Graceley Knox
Now that the threat to Ever is imprisoned and gone for good, she can focus on what really matters: getting rid of the goblins living in her house as “protection” and getting back to work capturing rogue Fae for the Magical Enforcement and Containment Agency. Too bad fate doesn’t agree with her plans. …Ever’s mother is still missing, and Ever and her crew must find an ancient race long believed dead. As questions pile up and danger creeps closer, Ever can no longer deny the pull Dare has over her heart. And her body. As they forge a new bond, betrayal strikes, and it’s closer to home than either of them could have imagined. …Trouble stirs. Alliances fall. The only thing that binds them together is the trust they’ve put in each other and the emotions Ever refuses to name. Everything starts to crumble, and those Ever protects are no longer free from danger. Will she keep those she holds dear safe? Or will she be left to pick up the pieces?
Magpie’s Son (IronHeart Chronicles #1) by Allison Pang
In the slums of BrightStone, Moon Children are worth less than the scrap they must collect to survive. It doesn’t matter that these abandoned half-breeds are part-Meridian with their ancestors hailing from the technologically advanced city that floats above the once-thriving, now plague-ridden BrightStone. Instead they are rejected by both their ancestral societies and forced to live on the outskirts of civilization, joining clans simply to survive. Not to mention their role as Tithe, leading the city’s infected citizens deep into the Pits where their disease can be controlled. …Nineteen-year-old Raggy Maggy is no different, despite the mysterious heart-shaped panel that covers her chest. Or at least she wasn’t… Not until her chance discovery of a Meridian-built clockwork dragon—and its murdered owner. When the Inquestors policing the city find Maggy at the scene of the crime, she quickly turns into their prime suspect. Now she’s all anyone can talk about. Even her clan leader turns his back on her, leading her to rely on an exiled doctor and a clanless Moon Child named Ghost to keep her hidden. In return, all she has to do is help them find a cure for the plague they believe was not exactly accidental. Yet doing so might mean risking more than just her life. It also might be the only key to uncovering the truth about the parents—and the past—she knows nothing about.
Blackthorne (Malorum Gates #2) by Stina Leicht
In this sweeping sequel to the critically acclaimed Cold Iron—which NPR Books raved, “reminded me, pleasurably, of Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice series”—the Kingdom of Eledore has fallen and Nel and Suvi lead a diaspora of their people to safety, but the magic that has kept the demon forces away is dwindling, and they must find a new way to protect themselves. …The Acrasian army has swept through Eledore, nearly massacring the entire race in fear and hatred of the magic they possess. This same magic is all that was keeping the demon incursion at bay, but now the great evil that was banished is seeping into the world. Watchers are formed to warn of any sightings of the demons, but little can be done if one encounters them in shadow or at night. …Meanwhile, Nels leads a precious few hundred survivors of Eledore through the wilds, hoping to find solace and rebuild their civilization while his twin sister, Suvi, seeks allies at sea. …There is hope, born in the ashes of this devastation—a hope that Eledorian magic can grow, but only if they survive.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday!