New Releases May 30—June 5 and Readers Choice Contest

The new releases for this week include the last couple of days of May as well as the first five days of June. Let’s just say that the number of new releases this week is over the top. Another fifty or so new books from which to pick and choose, including a new book by Stephen King.

What do you want to read this week? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. If you’d prefer the first book in a series listed here, that’s okay, too.

straubPerdido, by Peter Straub, (May 31, Subterranean)
Tells the story of a troubled family: a discontented husband and wife and the teenaged son who was, but is no longer, a musical prodigy. It is the story of the isolated Norwegian resort known as Perdido, and of the impossible, dreamlike things that happen there. Perdido is a place where the rules of ordinary life no longer apply, where reality is malleable and infinitely strange. It is a place where ”you get what you didn’t know you wanted” and where lives are altered forever. For the unhappy couple invited to attend, and for the teenaged son awaiting their return, it is the place where a marriage ends and a life filled with alternate possibilities begins.

mccammonThe Border, by Robert McCammon, (May 31, Subterranean)
A saga of an Earth devastated by a war between two marauding alien civilizations. It is not just the living ships of the monstrous Gorgons or the motion-blurred shock troops of the armored Cyphers that endanger the holdouts in the human bastion of Panther Ridge. The world itself has turned against the survivors, as one by one they succumb to despair and suicide or are transformed by otherworldly pollution into hideous Gray Men, cannibalistic mutants driven by insatiable hunger. Into these circumstances comes an amnesiac boy who names himself Ethan, a boy who must overcome mistrust and suspicion to master unknowable powers that may prove to be humanity’s last hope. Those powers make Ethan a threat to the warring aliens, long used to fearing only each other, and thrust him and his comrades into ever more perilous circumstances.

vanceThe Defiant: An Unbeaten Path (The Defiant Series #2), by John W. Vance, (May 31, Amazon Digital)
Two weeks have passed since the lights went out and in that time, Nicholas McNeil has assembled the equipment, a team of devoted survivors and has located a safe place to go bunker down, the catch is that it’s over a thousand miles away. He is ready for a tough journey but as the miles grow longer he discovers he’s not quite as prepared for what mankind is capable of until he’s face to face with it. He discovers the once picturesque landscape has been replaced with brutality and barbarism. Can the defiant few make it and if they do, will they only find more of the same there? (ebook only)

livingstoneHero Born (Seeds of Destiny #1), by Andy Livingstone, (June 1, Harper Voyager)
At the darkest hour, when all hope is lost, a hero is born. When Brann is wrenched from his family home after witnessing its destruction and the death of those he holds dear, he is thrust into a life of slavery. Miles away, a deposed and forgotten Emperor seeks an instrument to use in his bid to rise once again to power. Ruthless and determined, nothing and no one will stand in his way. Brann might be the Emperor’s tool, but heroes can be forged in the most unlikely of ways. (ebook only; print available Dec. 2015)

maetaniInk and Ashes, by Valynne E. Maetani, (June 1, Tu Books)
Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met. Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father, until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed. So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life.

manney(R)evolution (Phoenix Horizon #1), by P.J. Manney, (June 1, 47North)
Scientist Peter Bernhardt has dedicated his life to nanotechnology. As the founder of Biogineers, he is on the cusp of revolutionizing brain therapies with microscopic nanorobots that will make certain degenerative diseases become a thing of the past. After his research is stolen by an unknown enemy, seventy thousand people die in Las Vegas in one abominable moment. He turns to an old friend, who introduces him to the Phoenix Club, a cabal of the most powerful people in the world. Peter infuses his brain with experimental technology, exponentially upgrading his mental prowess. Peter’s sense of reality begins to unravel. Do the club members want to help him, or do they just want to claim his technology? While he’s already evolved beyond mere humanity, is he advanced enough to take on such formidable enemies and win?

tremblayA Head Full of Ghosts, by Paul Tremblay (June 2, William Morrow & Co.)
The lives of the Barretts, a normal family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. The doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. They turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. The family agrees to be filmed, and find themselves the stars of The Possession, a reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. Fifteen years later, a writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. Long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface. A mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the nature of evil.

andersonBlood of the Cosmos (The Saga of Shadows #2), by Kevin J. Anderson, (June 2, Tor)
An epic space opera of the titanic conflict of several galactic civilizations against a life-destroying force of shadows, a dark cosmic force that has swept through the undercurrents of the human interstellar empire. The humans and Ildirans, having narrowly escaped annihilation at the hands of the Shana Rei and their robot allies in Book One, are desperate to find a way to combat the black cloud of antimatter of the Shana Rei. The mysterious alien Gardeners, who had helped them previously, turn out to be a disaster in disguise and because of them, the world tree forests are again in danger. The allies believing they have found a way to stop their dreaded enemies, a new weapon is tested, but it’s a horrible failure, throwing the human race and its allies to the brink of extinction.

harbourBriar Queen (Night and Nothing #2), by Katherine Harbour, (June 2, Harper Voyager)
Serafina Sullivan and her father left San Francisco to escape the memory of her older sister Lily Rose’s suicide. Soon after she arrived in Fair Hollow, New York, Finn discovered a terrifying secret connected to Lily Rose. The placid surface of this town concealed an eerie supernatural world, and at its center, the wealthy, beautiful, and terrifying Fata family. Though Jack Fata tried to push Finn away to protect her, their attraction was too powerful to resist. To save him, Finn banished a cabal of malevolent enemies to shadows, freeing him from their diabolical grip. The rhythm of life in Fair Hollow is beginning to feel a little closer to ordinary. A chance encounter outside the magical Brambleberry Books will lead her down a rabbit hole, into a fairy world of secrets and legacies, straight towards the shocking truth about her sister’s death.

schumacherChildren of the Earth (End Times #2), by Anna Schumacher, (June 2, Razorbill)
All thirteen of the Children of Earth have arrived and taken root in town. Together at last, they can perform the series of rituals necessary to awaken their father, a wrathful entity known as the God of the Earth. Daphne protects their identities from Pastor Ted and the God-fearing locals out of love and allegiance to Owen. But when people start disappearing from town and Daphne begins receiving visions from God, her allegiance, and even her love, is brought into question.

owenDawn of the Dragons: Here, There Be Dragons; The Search for the Red Dragon (The Age of Dragons #1), by James A. Owen, (June 2, Saga Press)
In Here, There Be Dragons, a murder brings together three strangers, John, Jack, and Charles, in London during the first World War. An eccentric man called Bert tells them that they are now the Caretakers of the Imaginarium Geographica, an atlas of the Archipelago of Dreams, which contains all the lands that have ever existed in myth and legend, fable and fairy tale. These adventures will help shape two of these men into the greatest fantasists of their generation: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In The Search for the Red Dragon, it has been nine years since John, Jack, and Charles had their great adventure in the Archipelago of Dreams. Someone is kidnapping the children of the Archipelago. Their to save the world from a centuries-old plot is to seek out the last of the Dragonships, the Red Dragon, in a spectacular journey that takes them from Sir James Barrie’s Kensington Gardens to the Underneath of the Greek Titans of myth.

dockterDeadly Design, by Debra Dockter, (June 2, G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR)
Genetically engineered identical twins Kyle and Connor McAdams were born two years apart. Their parents figured it was safer that way, to increase their odds of survival. Connor was born first, paving an impossibly perfect path for Kyle to follow. He was the best at everything. Kyle never thought he’d be able to live up, so he didn’t even try. When Connor, 18, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, and Kyle learns of other genetically modified kids who’ve also died on their eighteenth birthdays, he’s suddenly motivated, to save his own life. Kyle was conceived at the Genesis Innovations Laboratory, where the mysterious Dr. Mueller conducted experiments on them. Kyle searches for answers. He must unravel the clues quickly, before, he too, becomes another perfect, blue-eyed corpse.

lee_millerDragon in Exile (Liaden Universe #18), by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, (June 2, Baen)
Star-trading Clan Korval, known to Terrans as the Tree-and-Dragon Family and to the locals simply as “the Dragon”, has been convicted of crimes against the homeworld. The Dragon’s allies conspired to impose a mild punishment for saving the world: banishment. Now relocated to the world of Surebleak, the Dragon is under contract to back the New Bosses in imposing law and order. All goes well until Korval discovers that the enemy they’d sought to destroy wasn’t and is more determined than ever to eradicate Korval. The clan’s efforts to stealthily recruit new allies is going haywire, and a secret death toll is rising. An active portion of Surebleak’s native population liked the Old Ways just fine, and are conspiring to take the New Bosses, and the Dragon, down. The exiled Dragon has to make an urgent choice, accept an alliance with criminals or face down each and every enemy in person, one by one.

estepFandemic (Bigtime #5), by Jennifer Estep, (June 2, Jennifer Estep)
Piper Perez has always wanted to be a superhero. There’s just one problemPiper doesn’t have any superpowers. So she focuses on other things. Facts, figures, memorabilia. Piper knows and collects it all, about both the superheroes and the ubervillains who roam the streets of Bigtime, N.Y. Piper’s friends jokingly call her a fandemic, someone who is a superfan of all things superhero. Piper can’t stop thinking about Swifte, the speedy hero who broke her heart months ago. Someone has been killing off Bigtime’s heroes and villains. When one of Piper’s friends is murdered, she vows to do whatever she can to help bring the killer to justice. All the clues and information she gathers lead her to believe that Swifte is the killer’s next target. Piper will have to use all of her fandemic knowledge to save the man she loves, or die trying. (ebook only)

kingFinders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2), by Stephen King, (June 2, Scribner)
“Wake up, genius.” begins this story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel. Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

greenFrom a Drood to a Kill (Secret Histories #9), by Simon R. Green, (June 2, Roc)
Some call me Shaman Bond, but I was born Eddie Drood, the latest in a line of folks who chase monsters out of closets for a living to keep humanity safe, We’ve made our fair share of enemies over the centuries, and made some questionable bargains. In exchange for the power to fight the forces of darkness, my parents signed over their souls. The bill’s due for several big names in the supernatural community. Including my girl, Molly. She, my parents, and other major players have been kidnapped so they’ll pay up, or participate in the “Big Game.” The rules are simple: get from one side of the pocket dimension to the other and kill your competitors. The winner’s debt is paid in full, and the losers get themselves permanently lost. To save my loved ones, I’ve got to become a ringer in this contest that’s undoubtedly rigged by the Powers That Be.

lackeyFrom a High Tower (Elemental Masters #11), by Mercedes Lackey, (June 2, DAW)
The newest adventure in the Elemental Masters series, featuring a retelling of Rapunzel’s not-so-happily-ever-after ending.

jensenHidden Huntress (The Malediction Trilogy #2), by Danielle L. Jensen, (June 2, Angry Robot)
Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation. Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high. To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted.

handelandIn the Air Tonight (Sisters of the Craft #1), by Lori Handeland, (June 2, St. Martin’s)
With her blue-black hair and dark eyes, Raye Larsen has never fit in with the Scandinavian community of New Bergin, Wisconsin. Being adopted is part of the reason she feels like an outsider, but what really sets Raye apart is her ability to see dead people. She’s learned to keep her visions to herself, until she stumbles onto the ghost of a murder victim who needs Raye’s help. Enter Bobby Doucet, a distractingly handsome homicide detective who has been tracking a killer all the way from New Orleans. Could this be the break in his case he’s been looking for all along? Meanwhile, the deeper Raye gets involved with the case, and with Bobby, the closer she comes to unlocking the mystery of her own origins. What she discovers about herself could destroy everything she knows, and everyone she loves. Is finding the truth worth the risk?

frenchIn the Blood (Outlands Trilogy #1), by Jackie French, (June 2, Harper Collins)
Danielle has always been ‘linked’ to others so when her links were cut and she was banished from the city it was a shock in more ways than one. She no longer had fast access to information, food, friends, anything. She will fend for herself and she is notorious for having been part of an experimental type of linking with 3 others. They are either dead or dead to Danielle anyway. Then, an injured young girl turns up on her doorstep, the girl soon dies and Danielle cannot let go of the mystery of her death. With Neil, who lives in a neighbouring commune, she begins to make enquiries at places all over the countryside and starts suspecting that someone is making illegal modifications to humans, could it be that vampirism is becoming a trait in some humans from this illegal activity. Can Danielle find the source before they are all dead? (U.S. Release)

mccuneInvisible Monsters (Talker 25 #2), by Joshua McCune, (June 2, Greenwillow)
Finally free after spending three months locked in a secret government facility where she was forced to torture and assassinate dragons for the popular television series Kissing Dragons, all Melissa Callahan wants is a quiet recovery. Hiding in an Alaskan cave with fellow escapee Allie (known as Talker 21), Melissa does her best to stay out of the dragon politics. However, when a group of rebels called the Diocletians discovers their hideout and captures Allie, Melissa soon realizes she must finally choose who she’s fighting for, the humans or the dragons.

habershawIron and Blood (Saga of the Redeemed #2), by Auston Habershaw, (June 2, Harper Voyager Impulse)
After Tyvian Reldamar gets double-crossed by his business partner, he is affixed with an iron ring that prevents the wearer from any evildoing. Not one to be deterred by this setback, he quickly puts into motion a plan for revenge, one that will use every dirty trick in the book. But things are never simple for mastermind Tyvian, especially not after he uncovers a sinister plot: evil wizard Banric Sahand is planning to decimate the city of Freegate. Now Tyvian must learn to work with, and rely on, his motley crew of accomplices, including an adolescent pickpocket, an obese secret-monger, a fearsome gnoll, and a Mage Defender, who is also trying to get him arrested. Time is running out for Tyvian’s plan for revenge, while the fate of the city hangs in the balance. (ebook only)

deCastellKnight’s Shadow (Greatcoat’s #2), by Sebastien de Castell, (June 2, Jo Fletcher Books)
Falcio val Mond is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom and then began fighting among themselves. The horrifying murder of a duke and his family sends Falcio in a deadly pursuit to capture the killer. But Falcio soon discovers his own life is in mortal danger from a poison administered as a final act of revenge by one of his deadliest enemies. As chaos and civil war begin to overtake the country, Falcio has precious little time left to stop those determined to destroy his homeland. A dark, daring tale of idealism and betrayal in a country crushed under the weight of its rulers’ corruption. (U.S. Release)

coreyNemesis Games (Expanse #5), by James S.A. Corey, (June 2, Orbit)
A thousand worlds have opened, and the greatest land rush in human history has begun. As wave after wave of colonists leave, the power structures of the old solar system begin to buckle. Ships are disappearing without a trace. Private armies are being secretly formed. The sole remaining protomolecule sample is stolen. Terrorist attacks previously considered impossible bring the inner planets to their knees. The sins of the past are returning to exact a terrible price. And as a new human order is struggling to be born in blood and fire, James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante must struggle to survive and get back to the only home they have left.

fortuneNova (Nova #1), by Margaret Fortune, (June 2, DAW)
Lia Johansen was created for only one purpose: to slip onto the strategically placed New Sol Space Station and explode. Her mission goes to hell when her clock malfunctions, freezing her countdown with just two minutes to go. With no Plan B, no memories of her past, and no identity besides a name stolen from a dead POW, Lia has no idea what to do next. Her life gets even more complicated when she meets Michael Sorenson, the real Lia’s childhood best friend. Lia starts learning what it means to live and love, and to be human. It is only when her countdown clock begins sporadically losing time that she realizes even duds can still blow up. She must find a way to unlock the secrets of her past and stop her clock. With the fate of not just a space station but an entire empire hanging in the balance, Lia races to find the truth before her time runs out.

grossPathfinder Tales: Lord of Runes, by Dave Gross, (June 2, Tor)
Aristocratic Pathfinder Varian Jeggare and his hellspawn bodyguard Radovan (Pathfinder’s answer to Holmes and Watson) return for their fifth standalone novel. When Varian is bequeathed a dangerous magical book by an old colleague, he and Radovan are pulled into a mystery and set on the path of a powerful necromancer seeking to become the new avatar of an ancient and sinister demigod, one of the legendary Runelords. But in saving the world, will Varian and Radovan lose their souls?

childs_deebsPowerless (The Hero Agenda #1), by Tera Lynn Childs and Tracy Deebs, (June 2, Sourcebooks Fire)
Kenna is tired of being “normal”. The only thing special about her is that she isn’t special at all. Which is frustrating in a world of absolutes. Villains, like the one who killed her father, are bad. Heroes, like her mother and best friend, are good. And Kenna, unlike everyone else around her, is completely ordinary, which she hates. She’s secretly working on an experiment that will land her a place among the Heroes, but when a Villain saves her life during a break-in at her lab, Kenna discovers there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to good and evil and who she can trust. After all, not all strength comes from superpowers.

birminghamResistance: Dave vs. the Monsters (David Hooper #2), by John Birmingham, (June 2, Del Rey)
Holed up in Las Vegas after the tumultuous Battle of New Orleans, Dave is enjoying the VIP perks afforded a champion monster-slayer. He may be a superhero and the toast of the town, but if some fire-breathing dragons have their way, odds are everyone will soon be toast. As the hordes from the UnderRealms regroup for their next attack, Dave parties with celebrities, lunches with A-listers, and gets his ass lawyered up, because his ex is looking for a piece of that sweet, sweet action. It’s all good, until new monsters roll in, looking to parley with “The Dave.” When things go to hell at warp 10, a suit from a shadow operation swoops in to offer Dave a deal he can’t refuse. Dave’s about to face off against an opponent who makes battling bloodthirsty behemoths look like child’s play, a ravishing Russian spy with a few superpowers of her own. (U.S. Release)

singhShards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14), by Nalini Singh, (June 2, Berkley)
Awakening wounded in a darkened cell, their psychic abilities blocked, Aden and Zaira know they must escape. When the lethal soldiers break free from their mysterious prison, they find themselves in a harsh, inhospitable landscape. Their only hope for survival is to make it to the hidden home of a predatory changeling pack that doesn’t welcome outsiders. A shadowy enemy has put a target on the back of the Arrow squad. Aden will cross any line to keep his people safe for this new future. Zaira has no such hope. She knows she’s too damaged to return from the abyss. Her driving goal is to protect Aden. Aden’s passionate determination may not be enough, because the emotionless chill of Silence existed for a reason. For the violent, and the insane, and the irreparably broken, like Zaira.

weberSiren’s Fury (The Storm Siren Trilogy #2), by Mary Weber, (June 2, Thomas Nelson)
Nym has saved Faelen only to discover that Draewulf stole everything she valued. Now he’s destroyed her Elemental storm-summoning ability as well. When Nym sneaks off with a host of delegates to Bron, Lord Myles offers her the chance for a new kind of power and the whispered hope that it may do more than simply defeat the monster she loathes. But the secrets the Bron people have kept concealed, along with the horrors Draewulf has developed, may require more than simply harnessing a darker ability. They may require who she is. Set against the stark metallic backdrop of the Bron kingdom, Nym is faced with the chance to change the future. Or was that Draewulf’s plan for her all along?

schowSpelled, by Betsy Schow, (June 2, Sourcebooks Fire)
Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day. Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks, like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future. Talk about unhappily ever after. Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse, before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

revellStonebird, by Mike Revell, (June 2, Quercus)
When eleven-year-old Liam moves house to be closer to his grandma, he’s thrown into an unfamiliar place, with a family that seems to be falling apart. Liam doesn’t remember what Grandma was like before she became ill with dementia. He only knows the witch-like old woman who snaps and snarls and eats her birthday cards. He desperately wants to make everything better, but he can’t. Escaping the house one evening, Liam discovers an old stone gargoyle in a rundown church, and his life changes in impossible ways. The gargoyle is alive. It moves unseen in the night, acting out Liam’s stories. And stories can be dangerous things. But Grandma’s illness is getting worse, Liam’s mum isn’t coping, and his sister is skipping school. What if the gargoyle is the only thing that can save Liam’s family? (U.S. Release)

wellsStories of the Raksura: The Dead City and The Dark Earth Below (Stories of the Raksura #2), by Martha Wells, (June 2, Night Shade)
“The Dead City” is a tale of Moon before he came to the Indigo Court. As Moon is fleeing the ruins of Saraseil, a groundling city destroyed by the Fell, he flies right into another potential disaster when a friendly caravanserai finds itself under attack by a strange force. In “The Dark Earth Below,” Moon and Jade face their biggest adventure yet; their first clutch. Even as Moon tries to prepare for impending fatherhood, members of the Kek village in the colony tree’s roots go missing, and searching for them only leads to more mysteries as the court is stalked by an unknown enemy. This world is a dangerous place full of strange mysteries, where the future can never be taken for granted and must always be fought for with wits and ingenuity, and often tooth and claw.

sprunkStorm and Steel (The Book of the Black Earth #2), by Jon Sprunk, (June 2, Pyr)
An empire at war. Three fates intertwined. The Magician. Horace has destroyed the Temple of the Sun. He finds his slave chains have been replaced by bonds of honor, duty, and love. Caught between two women and two cultures, he must contend with deadly forces from the unseen world. The Rebel. Jirom has thrown in his lot with the slave uprising, but his road to freedom becomes more dangerous as the rebels expand their campaign. He feels his connection with Emanon slipping away with every blow they strike. The Spy. Alyra has severed her ties to the underground network that brought her to Akeshia, but she continues the mission on her own. With Horace’s connection to the queen and the rebellion’s escalation of violence, she finds herself treading a knife’s edge between love and duty. Old alliances are shattered, new vendettas are born, and all peoples, citizen and slave alike, must endure the ravages of storm and steel.

stirlingThe Change: Tales of Downfall and Rebirth, edited by S.M. Stirling, (June 2, Roc)
In this anthology, S. M. Stirling invites the most fertile minds in science fiction to join him in expanding his rich Emberverse canvas. Here are inventive new perspectives on the cultures, the survivors, and the battles arising across the years and across the globe following the Change. In his all-new story “Hot Night at the Hopping Toad,” Stirling returns to his own continuing saga of the High Kingdom of Montival. In the accompanying stories are fortune seekers, voyagers, and dangers, from the ruins of Sydney to the Republic of Fargo and Northern Alberta to Venetian and Greek galleys clashing in the Mediterranean. Contributing authors include: A.M. Dellamonica, Kier Salmon, Lauren C. Teffeau, M. T. Reiten, John Jos. Miller, Victor Milán, Terry D. England, John Birmingham, Walter Jon Williams, John Barnes, Harry Turtledove, Jane Lindskold, Jody Lynn Nye, Emily Mah Tippetts, and Diana Paxson.

helmsThe Dragons of Heaven, by Alyc Helms, (June 2, Angry Robot)
Missy Masters inherited more than the usual genetic cocktail from her estranged grandfather. She also got his preternatural control of shadows and his enduring legacy as the legendary vigilante superhero, Mr. Mystic. After a little work, the costume fits OK, but Missy is far from experienced at fighting crime, so she journeys to China to seek the aid of Lung Huang, the ancient master who once guided her grandfather. She becomes embroiled in the politics of Lung Huang and his siblings, the allegedly mythical nine dragon-guardians of all creation. When Lung Di, Lung Huang’s brother and mortal enemy, raises a magical barrier that cuts off China from the rest of the world, it falls to the new Mr. Mystic to prove herself by taking down the barrier.

clinesThe Fold, by Peter Clines, (June 2, Crown)
The folks in Mike Erikson’s small New England town would say he’s just your average, everyday guy. That’s just how Mike likes it. The life he’s chosen may not be much of a challenge to someone with his unique gifts, but Mike is content with his quiet and peaceful existence. Until an old government friend presents him with an irresistible mystery, one that Mike is uniquely qualified to solve: it seems that a team of DARPA scientists has invented a device that could make teleportation a reality. Something is very wrong with the project. The personalities of the scientists who work on it are changing. People are dying. Reality itself seems to be, warping. Mike learns that the machine is not at all what it appears to be, and that its creators may have opened a doorway to something horrible that lurks just outside our world’s borders.

dietrichThe Hummingbird’s Cage, by Tamara Dietrich, (June 2, NAL)
Everyone in Wheeler, New Mexico, thinks Joanna leads the perfect life: the quiet, contented housewife of a dashing deputy sheriff, raising a beautiful young daughter, Laurel. Joanna’s reality is nothing like her facade. She lives in constant fear of her husband. She’s been trapped for so long, escape seems impossible, until a stranger offers her the help she needs to flee. Joanna and Laurel stumble upon the small town of Morro, a charming and magical village that seems to exist out of time and place. A farmer and his wife offer her sanctuary, and soon, between the comfort of her new home and blossoming friendships, Joanna’s soul begins to heal. Her past, and her husband, aren’t so easy to escape. Unwilling to live in fear any longer, Joanna must summon a strength she never knew she had to fight back and forge a new life for her daughter and herself.

higsonThe Hunted (The Enemy #6), by Charlie Higson, (June 2, Disney-Hyperion)
The sickness struck everyone sixteen and older. First it twisted their minds; next it ravaged their bodies. Now the sickos roam the streets, crazed and hungry for young flesh. Ella’s friends had told her that the country would be safer than the city. They were wrong. Now they’re dead and Ella’s all alone, alone, that is, except for her silent rescuer, Scarface. But she doesn’t even know if he’s a kid or a grown-up. Back in London, Ed is determined to find Ella and keep his promise to Small Sam that he will reunite sister and brother. But getting out of town has never been more dangerous. It seems that every sicko in the country is coming from all directions, almost as if they’re being summoned to the capital. Will anything be able to stop the invading horde? (U.S. Release)

baxterThe Last True Vampire (True Vampire #1), by Kate Baxter, (June 2, St. Martin’s)
He is the last of his race. The one true king of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of L.A. after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The last of the Ancient Ones, he alone has survived the destruction of his race at the hands of the slayers. He is forced to hunt and feed like a common vampire, a creature of lust. Nothing in this world can fulfill his needs, until he meets a woman who’s everything he’s ever wanted. Her name is Claire Thompson. Her blood is so sweet, so intoxicating, the smell alone draws Michael to her like a moth to the flame. Claire seems to be the only mortal who can satisfy his craving and seal his fate, forever. Can she be trusted? From their very first kiss, the last true vampire sweeps Claire into a world in which darkness rules desire, and where falling in love is the greatest danger of all.

lawrenceThe Liar’s Key (The Red Queen’s War #2), by Mark Lawrence, (June 2, Ace)
The Red Queen has set her players on the board. Winter is keeping Prince Jalan Kendeth far from the longed-for luxuries of his southern palace. And although the North may be home to his companion, the warrior Snorri ver Snagason, he is just as eager to leave. For the Viking is ready to challenge all of Hell to bring his wife and children back into the living world. He has Loki’s key, now all he needs is to find the door. As all wait for the ice to unlock its jaws, the Dead King plots to claim what was so nearly his, the key to the underworld, so that his dead subjects can rise and rule.

holmbergThe Master Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #3), by Charlie N. Holmberg, (June 2, 47North)
Throughout her studies, Ceony Twill has harbored a secret, one she’s kept from even her mentor, Emery Thane. She’s discovered how to practice forms of magic other than her own, an ability long thought impossible. While all seems set for Ceony to complete her apprenticeship and pass her upcoming final magician’s exam, life quickly becomes complicated. Emery sends her to another paper magician for testing, a Folder who despises Emery and cares even less for his apprentice. A murderous criminal from Ceony’s past escapes imprisonment. Now she must track the power-hungry convict across England before he can take his revenge. With her life and loved ones hanging in the balance, Ceony must face a criminal who wields the one magic that she does not, and it may prove more powerful than all her skills combined.

griffithThe Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key #1), by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith, (June 2, Del Rey)
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield. After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane, but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

beeThe Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath (The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq. #1), by Ishbelle Bee, (June 2, Angry Robot)
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human. John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr. Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree. Now Mr. Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down.

boeckerThe Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter #1), by Virginia Boecker, (June 2, Little, Brown BYR)
Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake. Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that’s been laid upon him. But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past, if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she’s thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

drake_afshariradThe Year’s Best Military SF & Space Opera, edited by David Drake and David Afsharirad, (June 2, Baen)
The Year’s Best of Military and Adventure Science Fiction Stories. Book One of a new Series featuring the best stories of the year from the top magazine and online venues with a military and adventure science fiction theme. PLUS: Interactive Reader Voting. The collection will contain one story chosen via on-line voting from readers. The award will be presented at a major science fiction convention in Summer 2015. With an introduction by best-selling military science fiction author David Drake and selected by editor David Afsharirad from the top short story markets in the field, here are the most thrilling, pulse-pounding, and thought-provoking stories of the past year. Stories of future military men and women, space opera on a grand scale, and edge-of-your-seat adventure tales in the pulp tradition, from giants of the genre to brilliant up-and-comers.

alamedaTrigger: A Tor.Com Original (Shutter #0.5), by Courtney Alameda, (June 3, Tor)
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat, a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. Now she’s facing one of her most challenging ghost hunts ever. Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a ride. (ebook only)

brooksDark Run, by Mike Brooks, (June 4, Del Rey)
The Keiko is a ship of smugglers, soldiers of fortune and adventures. Travelling Earth’s colony planets searching for the next job, and nobody talks about their past. Until now. Captain Ichabod Drift is being blackmailed. He has to deliver a special cargo to Earth at a specific time and place, and no-one can know they’re there. It’s what they call a dark run.

saxonThe Almost King (Take Back the Skies #2), by Lucy Saxon, (June 4, Bloomsbury)
Aleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. Aleks doesn’t want to work in his father’s shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. When he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave. He heads south to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army. Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he’s signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who’s already hurt Aleks’s beloved horse. After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. There, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all, if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him.

The small print: This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners will be announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info.

Now….go forth and tell me what you want to read!

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Scene-Snippets and Weekly Winners

Happy Sunday! The rains have finally stopped and my backyard no longer looks like a lake—no harm, no foul. My thoughts and prayers are with my friends and former colleagues back in Houston, where I lived for seven years, and in the rest of Texas.

First off, I have some winners to announce! Working backward from Friday…If you see your name, please email me at suzannej3523@gmail.com or via the contact tab at the top of the page with your format preference and address, if applicable.

CELESTE K won Tim Lees’ DEVIL IN THE WIRES. Loved loved loved this book—hope you do as well. Let me know if you prefer print or digital.

BN100 won Peter Orullian’s TRIAL OF INTENTIONS. Again, preference of print or digital.

JOLENE A won some mystery books from my TBR mountain range (I swear, the “Hoarders: Buried Alive” cast is going to show up at my door any day now). These will all be print books, so I’ll need snail mail.

MIKI won last week’s Readers Choice contest, and requested the first book in the Blackwell Pages series, LOKI’S WOLVES.

And…drumroll…congratulations to DAVINA BELL, who won the Jean LaFeet tote bag from the May issue of the newsletter. Stay tuned for a new newsletter-only giveaway in the June 15 edition!

Now…

How about, instead of a scene snippet, an intro to the hero and heroine of my current work-in-progress, WILD MAN’S BLUFF? I don’t have a release date on it yet but it will be either late this year or early 2016, and it will come out under the Susannah Sandlin name.

THE HERO

Gentry Broussard, age 32, a senior enforcement agent for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, working in Terrebonne Parish. 6-2, dark curly hair, dark brown eyes, native of Dulac, Louisiana (in Terrebonne Parish). LDWF enforcement agents are highly trained in not only the hunting/fishing/water resource management laws of the state but are also trained in advanced search-and-rescue, paramilitary tactics, and working in extreme-weather conditions. When I evacuated at the last second before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, I ended up in a fleabag hotel in the Shreveport, La., area (all the hotels were full of evacuees), and the hotel was jam-packed with LDWF agents waiting for the hurricane to make landfall so they could head down for search-and-rescue operations. They, and not the US Coast Guard, are the state’s official first-responders for marine rescues. While the state and federal officials were arguing over who was responsible for what, the state’s game wardens just went in with their trucks and boats and got to work rescuing people from their flooded homes.

Here’s model/actor Walter Savage, who will be playing Gentry in the movie version (LOL). Can I hear a “yummy”?

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THE HEROINE: Celestine (aka Cele) Savoie, age 28. A curvy, feisty 5-3, with a dark complexion that reflects her Cajun/Creole/Native American heritage, with light blue eyes. Cele’s a singer/songwriter trying to break into the business in Nashville until she learns her great-aunt Eva Savoie has been brutally murdered back in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, where she grew up and left ten years ago. As Eva’s only surviving heir, Cele goes back to the parish to claim her inheritance and reassess her life, but soon learns that whatever Eva’s killer was looking for, he hasn’t yet found it.

And here’s Cele, as played by actress Denise Vasi!

Denise-Vasi-14

THE VILLAIN: Sorry, that would constitute a spoiler!

Have a great day—catch you tomorrow for a new Readers Choice giveaway.

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