New Releases! April 18-April 24 and Readers Choice Contest

Finally, the week we have been waiting for is here!! Pirate’s Alley (oh yeah, and more than twenty other new books) is being released this week.

Before the Big List, though, a reminder: The official Pirate’s Alley blog tour starts today! You can enter for the tour prizes of Amazon gift cards at every stop on the tour. I’ll post the links here every day. Today, you can find me at:

Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust, where I have a guest post about some of the new things Pirate’s Alley brings to the Sentinels series. Stop by and leave a comment!

There’s also a spotlight stop at Deal Sharing Aunt, so you can enter for the tour prizes there as well.

Finally, this isn’t a tour stop, but a big MERCI to Miki at Lecture toute une Aventure for her great review of the book!

What do you want to read this week? Don’t worry, if you’ve already ordered Pirate’s Alley (THANK YOU), or even if you haven’t, pick whatever you like. 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.

PiratesAlley-SmallPirate’s Alley (Sentinels of New Orleans #4), by Suzanne Johnson, (April 21, Tor)
Wizard sentinel DJ Jaco thought she had gotten used to the chaos of her life in post-Katrina New Orleans, but a new threat is looming, one that will test every relationship she holds dear. Caught in the middle of a rising struggle between the major powers in the supernatural world, the Wizards, Elves, Vampires and the Fae, DJ finds her loyalties torn and her mettle tested in matters both professional and personal. Her relationship with enforcer Alex Warin is shaky, her non-husband, Quince Randolph, is growing more powerful, and her best friend, Eugenie, has a bombshell that could blow everything to Elfheim and back. And that’s before the French pirate, Jean Lafitte, newly revived from his latest “death,” returns to New Orleans with vengeance on his mind. DJ’s assignment? Keep the sexy leader of the historical undead out of trouble. Good luck with that. Duty clashes with love, loyalty with deception, and friendship with responsibility as DJ navigates passion and politics in the murky waters of a New Orleans caught in the grips of a brutal winter that might have nothing to do with Mother Nature. War could be brewing, and DJ will be forced to take a stand. But choosing sides won’t be that easy.

kloosAngles of Attack (Frontlines #3), by Marko Kloos, (April 21, 47North)
The alien forces known as the Lankies are gathering on the solar system’s edge, consolidating their conquest of Mars and setting their sights on Earth. The far-off colony of New Svalbard teeters on the verge of starvation and collapse. The forces of the two Earth alliances have won minor skirmishes but are in danger of losing the war. For battle-weary staff sergeant Andrew Grayson and the ragged forces of the North American Commonwealth, the fight for survival is entering a catastrophic new phase. Forging an uneasy alliance with their Sino-Russian enemies, the NAC launches a task force on a stealth mission to breach the Lanky blockade and reestablish supply lines with Earth. Andrew and his fellow troopers could end up cornered on their home turf, This time, the struggle for humanity’s future can only end in either victory or annihilation.

roquelaureBeauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty #4), by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice), (April 21, Viking)
Now, twenty years after they were forced to leave the kingdom to return to their homeland, Beauty and her husband Laurent agree to travel back as its king and queen, to uphold the ways of complete sensual surrender, with a twist: they now insist on voluntary servitude in Bellavalten. Countless eager princes, princesses, lords, ladies, and common folk journey to Beauty’s new kingdom where she and her husband awaken their domain, ushering in a new era of desire, longing, and sexual ecstasy.

ryanDark Bride (Three Gates of the Dead #2), by Jonathan Ryan, (April 21, Open Road Media)
Following the Grinning Man’s resurrection, strange occurrences plague the city. After discovering a ritualistic animal sacrifice, Jen calls Aidan and Father Neal for help. When Father Neal deciphers a voodoo message with a dire warning, he reveals he is part of the Order of the Five Sorrows, a group dedicated to fighting evil with the use of holy objects present at Christ’s crucifixion, and Aidan is destined to become a member. Still reeling from Father Neal’s revelation, Aidan assists his friend Brian by investigating a series of unexplained events at his farm. After women with mysterious powers appear, who are hunting down a witch from the 1600s, the group embarks on a perilous journey to destroy the Dark Bride before the Grinning Man’s true purpose can come to pass. They will be drawn into a battle that some will not survive.

grantDesert Rising, by Kelley Grant, (April 21, Harper Voyager Impulse)
The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One’s four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective, one that just might be considered heresy, but that is catching on rather quickly. Sulis’s twin Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different sort of revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he’s willing to risk anything to get these people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped. (ebook only)

morrisonGod Help the Child, by Toni Morrison, (April 21, Knopf)
A searing tale about the way childhood trauma shapes and misshapes the life of the adult. At the center: a woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life; but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love until she told a lie that ruined the life of an innocent woman, a lie whose reverberations refuse to diminish. Booker, the man Bride loves and loses, whose core of anger was born in the wake of the childhood murder of his beloved brother.. Rain, the mysterious white child, who finds in Bride the only person she can talk to about the abuse she’s suffered at the hands of her prostitute mother. Sweetness, Bride’s mother, who takes a lifetime to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”

thompsonMy Fair Fortune (The Fortunes of Texas: Cowboy Country), by Nancy Robards Thompson, (April 21, Harlequin)
In the business world, Brodie Fortune Hayes is known as a man of no mercy. The all-work, no-play PR consultant is sure he’ll have no trouble correcting the image problems plaguing the Cowboy Country theme park. There’s just one complication: the green-eyed beauty sitting behind the boss’s desk who makes his pulse race like a roller coaster. Caitlyn Moore never imagined working side by side with Brodie after sharing a most out-of-character night of passion with him a few months before. And now, thanks to her dad’s absence-by-illness, she’s his boss. Brodie’s bottom-line mentality is as infuriating as his blue bedroom eyes are intoxicating, but Cait is convinced that there’s a heart lurking beneath his designer armor. Perhaps she can prove to him that love is the greatest Fortune of all.

wellingtonPositive, by David Wellington, (April 21, Harper Voyager)
The tattooed plus sign on Finnegan’s hand marks him as a Positive. At any time, the zombie virus could explode in his body, turning him from a rational human into a ravenous monster. His only chance of a normal life is to survive the last two years of the potential incubation period. If he reaches his twenty-first birthday without an incident, he’ll be cleared. Until then, Finn must go to a special facility for positives, segregated from society to keep the healthy population safe. When the military caravan transporting him is attacked, Finn becomes separated. To make it to safety, he must embark on a perilous cross-country journey across an America transformed, a dark and dangerous land populated with heroes, villains, madmen, and hordes of zombies. And though the zombies are everywhere, Finn discovers that the real danger may be his fellow humans.

crossSealed in Sin (The Vessel Trilogy #2), by Juliette Cross, (April 21, Samhain)
One demon prince may be festering in the bowels of the soul eater Cocytus, but Genevieve’s troubles are far from over. Prince Bamal, demon lord of New York City, still wants her. He wants her to control her inherent power as a Vessel of Light. With Jude Delacroix off searching for the prophecy, Thomas, a guardian angel, steps into the gap, offering her the power to protect herself. The transfer of that power comes through a kiss. While Gen’s love for Jude is true, Thomas stirs a desire where there should be none. Thomas also knows Jude’s darkest secret and plans to use it to win Gen for his own. While her Vessel power grows and more demon spawn creep from every corner of the world, one thing is certain, the Great War between the angels and demons is approaching. And Gen is in a race to awaken her full power before the storm breaks. (ebook only)

wilsonThe Affinities, by Robert Charles Wilson, (April 21, Tor)
To join one of the twenty-two Affinities is to change one’s life. It’s like family, and more than family. They’re the people with whom you can best cooperate in all areas of life, creative, interpersonal, even financial. Adam Fisk takes the suite of tests to see if he qualifies for any of the Affinities, and finds that he’s a match for one of the largest, the one called Tau. It’s utopian, at first. Problems in all areas of his life begin to simply sort themselves out, as he becomes part of a global network of people dedicated to helping one another. As the differing Affinities put their new powers to the test, they begin to rapidly chip away at the power of governments, of global corporations, of all the institutions of the old world. Then the different Affinities begin to go to war, with one another. What happens next will change Adam, and his world, forever.

wrightThe Architect of Aeons (Count to a Trillion #3), by John C. Wright, (April 21, Tor)
Menelaus Montrose, having forged an uneasy alliance with his immortal adversary, Ximen del Azarchel, maps a future on a scale beyond anything previously imagined. No longer concerned with the course of history across mere millennia, Montrose and del Azarchel have become the architects of aeons, bringing forth minds the size of planets as they steer the bizarre intellectual descendants of an extinct humanity. Ever driving their labors and their enmity is the hope of reunion with their shared lost love, the posthuman Rania, whose eventual return is by no means assured, but who may unravel everything these eternal rivals have sought to achieve.

schultzThe Blondes, by Emily Schultz, (April 21, Thomas Dunne)
Hazel Hayes is a graduate student living in New York City when she learns she is pregnant from an ill-advised affair with her married professor. More worrisome than the shock of this discovery is the apocalyptically bad timing; random but deadly attacks, all by women with light hair, have begun terrorizing the city’s inhabitants. As the days pass, it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange contagion that is transforming blondes from all walks of life, whether CEOs, flight attendants, students, accountants, television personalities, or academics, into rabid killers. Hazel, confused, desperate, almost penniless and soon visibly pregnant, flees the city and sets out to cross the border into Canada where she will find the one woman who just might be able to help her in a world gone awry. (U.S. Release)

christopherThe Machine Awakes (Spider Wars #2), by Adam Christopher, (April 21, Tor)
In the decades since the human race first made contact with the Spiders, a machine race capable of tearing planets apart, the two groups have fought over interstellar territory. With the failure of the Fleet Admiral’s secret plan, the commander is overthrown by a group determined to get the war back on track. When the deposed Fleet Admiral is assassinated, Special Agent Von Kodiak suspects the new guard is eliminating the old. When the Admiral’s replacement is also murdered, all bets are off as Kodiak discovers the prime suspect is one of the Fleet’s own, a psi-marine and decorated hero, a hero killed in action, months ago, at the same time his twin sister vanished from the Fleet Academy. The Jovian Mining Corporation is hiding something, a secret that will tear the Fleet apart and that the Morning Star, a group of militarized pilgrims searching for their lost god, is determined to uncover. Something else is hiding in Jovian system. Something insidious and intelligent, machine-like and hungry. The Spiders are near.

wexlerThe Mad Apprentice (The Forbidden Library #2), by Django Wexler, (April 21, Kathy Dawson Books)
When Alice’s mysterious Uncle Geryon sends her to help capture a rogue apprentice, a boy who has the same ability Alice has to Read himself into stories, she knows to expect a wild and unpredictable trip. But even though Alice has visited the magical realms inside libraries before, this adventure is far more dangerous. Because Torment, the magic creature holding this library together, has gone mad. But he might also have information about Alice’s missing father.

lettrickThe Murk, by Robert Lettrick, (April 21, Disney-Hyperion)
When a family member falls deathly ill, 14-year-old Piper turns to her classmate Tad for comfort. Tad, an amateur botanist, tells her there’s a Seminole legend of a cure-all flower found only in an unexplored section of Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. Desperate for any glimmer of hope, Piper convinces Tad to accompany her on a hunt for the flower. What awaits them in the country’s largest black water swamp is an entity the Creek Indians, now long gone, spoke of in hushed, fearful tones. The Seminole believed that the swamp’s first settlers, the mystical Tasketcha tribe, still existed as evil spirits, forever tethered to their burial mounds found in the dark heart of the waterlogged forest. If Piper has any chance of saving her loved one, she’ll have to do the impossible, find the miracle flower, face her past, and overcome an ancient evil.

brackstonThe Silver Witch, by Paula Brackston, (April 21, Thomas Dunne Books)
A year after her husband’s sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. The lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her, a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. She sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water. On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. When Tilda explores the lake’s ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives mirror each other’s, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren’s prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.

kadeThe Trials (Project Paper Doll #3), by Stacey Kade, (April 21, Disney-Hyperion)
After being on the run, Ariane Tucker finds herself back where she started, under the cruel control of Dr. Jacobs, head of the research facility that created her. Now she must participate in the upcoming trials; a deadly competition pitting her against other alien hybrids, each representing a rival corporation. But Ariane is no one’s weapon. She is prepared to die if it means taking down those involved in Project Paper Doll. They destroyed all that she holds dear, including Zane Bradshaw, the one person she trusted and cared for the most, the person she was forced to leave behind, bleeding and alone. As her plan takes shape Ariane will need to depend on, now more than ever, the other side of her heritage, the cold, calculated instincts born from her alien DNA. With Zane gone she has nothing left to lose.

martinWar of Shadows (Ascendant Kingdoms #3), by Gail Z. Martin, (April 21, Orbit)
Blaine “Mick” McFadden has scored a victory and restored the magic, but new threats rise from the wreckage of the kingdom of Donderath. While the magic remains brittle and undependable, warlords both mortal and undead vie for power, fighting for control of the ruined Continent. McFadden and his unlikely band of convict heroes must choose their allies wisely as renegade talishte take long-awaited vengeance and powerful mages seek to control Donderath’s next king. Blaine McFadden must protect those loyal to him against the coming storm, and find a way to bind magic to the will of mortals before it destroys him, because time is running out.

gaylordWhen We Were Animals, by Joshua Gaylord, (April 21, Mulholland Books)
When Lumen Fowler looks back on her childhood, she wouldn’t have guessed she would become a kind suburban wife, a devoted mother. In fact, she never thought she would escape her small and peculiar hometown. As a well-behaved and over-achieving teenager, she fell beneath the sway of her community’s darkest, strangest secret. For one year, beginning at puberty, every resident “breaches” during the full moon. On these nights, adolescents run wild, destroying everything in their path. Lumen resists. Promising her father she will never breach, she investigates the mystery of her community’s traditions and the stories erased from the town record. But the more we learn about the town’s past, the more we realize that Lumen’s memories are harboring secrets of their own.

ahlbornWithin These Walls, by Ania Ahlborn, (April 21, Gallery Books)
His marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback. When he’s promised exclusive access to notorious cult leader and death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Lucas leaves for the scene of the crime, a split-level farmhouse on the beach of Washington State, a house whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners; runaways who, thirty years prior, were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. Lucas wants to tell the story of Halcomb’s faithful departed. When Halcomb goes back on his promise to grant Lucas exclusive information on the case, he’s left to put the story together on his own. Except he is not alone. Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life, and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

malikThe Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn: A Tor.Com Original, by Usman T. Malik, (April 22, Tor)
A fantasy novella about a disenchanted young Pakistani professor who grew up and lives in the United States, but is haunted by the magical, mystical tales his grandfather told him of a princess and a Jinn who lived in Lahore when the grandfather was a boy. (ebook only)

seymourIgnite the Shadows, by Ingrid Seymour, (April 23, Harper Voyager)
Sixteen-year-old Marci Guerrero is one of the best teen hackers in Seattle. She’d give up all her talents to know she isn’t crazy. Marci feels possessed by what she perceives as shadowy spectres that take control of her body and make her do crazy things. While spying on the clandestine group known as IgNiTe, she’s confronted by the leader, James McCray. His presence stirs the spectres inside her brain into a maddening frenzy. Her symptoms and ability to control them don’t go unnoticed by James, who soon recruits her and shows her the awful truth. Half of the world’s population is infected by sentient parasites. They bind themselves to the human brain and replace the pathways for all thoughts and actions. The creatures then morph their hosts into grotesque monsters with extraordinary strengths. Winged, clawed, fanged half-humans become living nightmares. Now Marci wishes she was crazy, because the truth is worse. She’s infected. (ebook only, paperback available October, 2015)

newmanThe Vagrant, by Peter Newman, (April 23, Harper Voyager)
The Vagrant is his name. He has no other. Friendless and alone he walks across a desolate, war-torn landscape, carrying nothing but a kit-bag, a legendary sword and a baby. His purpose is to reach the Shining City, last bastion of the human race, and deliver the sword, the only weapon that may make a difference in the ongoing war. But the Shining City is far away and the world is a very dangerous place.

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! Don’t make me sic Jean Lafitte on you!

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Special PIRATE’S ALLEY Preview, Special Giveaway, Special Winners

pirate's alleyIt’s all special today. Sorry for the late posting. Apparently, my Internet provider believes that when it rains, my services do not need to work, so I’ve been cut off from civilization for the morning.

Okay, “special” stuff’s a’doing today in honor of it being the official start of PIRATE’S ALLEY release week! Read on to find where I’ve hidden a special excerpt and how to win a signed copy of the new book.

First, a few reminders:

* The official PIRATE’S ALLEY blog tour starts tomorrow. Official tour prizes are Amazon Gift Cards, but there are also some “unofficial” appearances planned for the next month that will have their own giveaways. So check in here every weekday for the day’s links. You can enter for the giveaways at each official tour stop, even if it’s just a spotlight stop and doesn’t have a guest post or review.

* I have a monthly giveaway now. Click the Contest tab above to win a signed copy of your choice of any of my books except PIRATE’S ALLEY. If you win and already have the books, I’ll substitute a swag pack.

* The giveaway at Fresh Fiction is still going on, if you haven’t yet entered. Gorgeous handmade earrings and a book.

* REVIEWS! OMG, you guys don’t know how important these are. Amazon won’t let you post reviews until the book is actually released, so anytime after Tuesday, please leave a review–even if you hated it. Sigh. I hope you don’t :-). Goodreads reviews are also welcome.

* The newsletter is back! If you missed last week’s edition, you missed out on entering for a cool giveaway. I’ll be doing newsletters on the 15th of every month. They’re short, they won’t clog up your mailbox, and will cover news for my books as both Suzanne Johnson and Susannah Sandlin. So if you didn’t receive Wednesday’s newsletter, click on the “Newsletter” tab above and sign up for the next one!

* If you missed reading “PIRATE ON A ROADTRIP,” a four part original story featuring Jean Lafitte, you can still scroll back through past posts to find it or click here for part one, here for part two, here for part three, and here for part four. I will leave the story up for another few days, then will pull it down to add to the story collection I’ll be releasing this fall.

* Congratulations to AURIAN, who won last week’s Reader’s Choice contest. She chose the new book from Jocelyn Drake! Come back tomorrow for a new Reader’s Choice giveaway.

* Okay, I have posted the first two ENTIRE chapters of PIRATE’S ALLEY, which you can find by clicking on the “Workshops” tab above. To win a signed copy of Pirate’s Alley, which I already have in my hot little hands, tell me what DJ picked out for Alex’s Christmas present (the gag gift, not the real one). Leave a comment here. I’ll announce the winner on release day, on Tuesday; open internationally.

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