Holy Groundhog Day, Batman. There are a LOT of new books coming out this week. Gotta make up for that January slump. I could pick a good half-dozen of these I really NEED to read.
My other half, Susannah Sandlin, continues the virtual tour today for Omega, the third book in the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series. The book was a 4-1/2-star “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews this month, and there are some great prizes to be had (Kindle, Nook, gift cards, books…really, lots of stuff). So head over to http://www.susannahsandlin.comevery day to find the URLs for the day’s blog stops and chances to win!
Now….What do you want to read? 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.
Duncan MacNeill is on a mission: find gray wolf and former stockbroker Silverman who has stolen his family fortune and is purported to be living in the Grand Cayman Islands. As a Highland wolf, Duncan rarely leaves his native homeland, and taking a trip to an island paradise is not his dram of whiskey. But keeping the MacNeill’s ancestral castle depends on making Silverman pay. Silverman never believed that MacNeill would actually track him down, and he’s ready to run. But when a beautiful botanist catches Silverman’s and MacNeill’s attention, these two alphas realize they have even more to fight over.
Justine Hoffman has made a comfortable life for herself on the island of Friday Harbor. She is the proprietor of a successful boutique hotel. In spite of everything Justine has achieved, there is still something missing. Love. After years of waiting and dreaming, she is willing to do whatever it takes to change her destiny. What Justine discovers is that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate. Justine finds a way to break the enchantment, never dreaming of the dangerous complications that follow. When Justine meets the mysterious Jason Black, she accidentally unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threaten everything she holds dear. Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow.
In the wake of the Magister’s rampage, chaos rules. The Others and the humans scramble to create some sort of unity in the face of growing unrest and violence from anti-Other hate groups, and PR guru Molly Ryan is the witch who can do it. She’s lost her PR firm and her friends, and she’s decided to put all her fight toward aiding the Others in this dark new reality. Gage Garrity, one of the few Others who survived the massacre, fears that the crusade will expose Molly to greater dangers. Together, with magick on their side, Molly and Gage are on the road in a desperate struggle to unite a torn world. It’s bringing out a passion in both of them they never expected, one as volatile, intense and consuming as their relentless battle for world unity. A battle that could be their undoing.
For more than a decade, Caro Barrett has had doubts about the death of her husband, who disappeared while looking for a tribe of day-walking vampires in an African rainforest. Now, their daughter is struggling through her teenage years without a father. Waiting in the wings is an ancient vampire ready to possess Caro’s heart, and to protect them both from harm. And, with her husband declared legally dead, Caro feels it is finally time to move on. A hemisphere away in a windowless compound, an Ottoman vampire lies dying from a rare blood disease, which has made him vulnerable to the faintest bit of light. Yet he is determined to vanquish its power over him, to feel the sun on his face one last time. And in Caro’s darkest fears he will be lifted into the light of day.
Two novellas set in Mysteria, the beguiling little Colorado town where magic is in the air and passions run high. Hundreds of years ago, in the mountains of Colorado, Mysteria was founded by a random act of demonic kindness. Today, it’s a magnet for the supernatural, where magic quietly coexists with the mundane world. Two sisters are about to unleash a tempest of seduction.The Witches of Mysteria and the Dead Who Love Them: Genevieve is a witch with a bad case of unrequited love for a local bar owner. Is his sudden change of heart the result of a love potion, or a literally breathtaking passion? A Tawdry Affair: Glory, witch of love, wants her man. He barely knows she exists, until a magic pen brings her creative fantasies of seduction, sex, and revenge to life.
The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress: Omega. Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton’s humans. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal’s vicious leader, Will’s capture could doom the resistance. Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father, and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. As their enemies descend upon Omega, Will’s polished charm, and Randa’s guarded heart, finally give way to the warrior within.
While she hasn’t lived up to her family’s expectations, Xandra has come to terms with her latent magic and made a life for herself in Austin, Texas, running a coffee shop. Xandra is happy, until she runs into powerful warlock Declan Chumomisto. Xandra hasn’t seen Declan in years. When her own powers awaken one night and lead her to the body of a woman in the woods bearing the symbol of Isis, the same one that has marked Xandra since the day she met Declan, she’s filled with a terrible suspicion, soon confirmed: the woman is connected to him. Xandra doesn’t want to believe that Declan is capable of murder, but as the body count mounts, and Xandra’s own powers spiral out of control, she’s not sure she can trust her own instincts.
With his strong psychic ability, FBI Agent Joss Crawford longs for the woman he loved in a past life. A new case is drawing him into the last place he’d ever want to find her: an underground slave ring. Going undercover to infiltrate the network, he meets Drucella Chapman, the mastermind’s fiancee. Drucella has made it her personal mission to bring the slave ring down. The sadistic ringleader is even more careful than he is cruel. In order to gain information, Dru has had to get close to the very man she wishes to kill, psychically reading his memories bit by bit. Joss and Dru are both undercover, but nothing can disguise the sense of déjà vu when they meet. Neither can afford to be distracted from the mission, but perhaps their reunion is exactly what this mission needs.
My name’s Quinn. If you buy into my reputation, I’m the most notorious demon hunter in New England. But rumors of my badassery have been slightly exaggerated. Instead of having kung-fu skills and a closet full of medieval weapons, I’m an ex-junkie with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. Or the right place at the wrong time. Or, whatever. Wanted for crimes against inhumanity I (mostly) didn’t commit, I was nearly a midnight snack for a werewolf until I was “saved” by a vampire calling itself the Bride of Quiet. Already cursed by a werewolf bite, the vamp took a pint out of me too. So now, now, well, you wouldn’t think it could get worse, but you’d be dead wrong.
Young Adult. Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die. Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls, but her own life.
Necromancer is such an ugly word, but it’s a title Eric Carter is stuck with. He sees ghosts, talks to the dead. He’s turned it into a lucrative career putting troublesome spirits to rest, sometimes taking on even more dangerous things. For a fee, of course. When he left L.A. fifteen years ago he thought he’d never go back. Too many bad memories. Too many people trying to kill him. But now his sister’s been brutally murdered and Carter wants to find out why. Was it the gangster looking to settle a score? The ghost of a mage he killed the night he left town? Maybe it’s the patron saint of violent death herself, Santa Muerte, who’s taken an unusually keen interest in him. Carter’s going to find out who did it and he’s going to make them pay. As long as they don’t kill him first.
Young Adult. It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea, and God forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Mlle Geraldine’s trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and modern weaponries. Sophronia is going to have a rousing first year at school.
At the tender age of twenty-seven, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle, and her metal, tested like never before. It started with two. Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.
When her brother Val gets in over his head in an investigation of Half-Blood disappearances and goes missing himself, it’s up to Xandra, newly crowned Goblin Queen, to get him back and bring the atrocities to light. Xandra must frequent the seediest parts of London, while also coping with what she is, the political factions vying for her favor, and the all too-close scrutiny of Queen Victoria. Add this to a being a suspect in a murder investigation, a werewolf boyfriend with demands of his own, and a mother hell bent on destroying the monarchy, and Xandra barely knows which way is up. One thing she does know is that she’s already lost one sibling, she’s not about to lose another. She does know that nothing lasts forever, and immortality isn’t all its cracked up to be.
When you’re near the top of the Underworld Detection Agency, the claws really come out. Quick thinking and loyalty have taken human Sophie Lawson a long way in the UDA. When her old boss Pete Sampson asks for help after a mysterious two-year disappearance, she’s determined to find out what high-placed demon has put two ruthless werewolf killers on his tail. Sucking up to her icy vampire department head and negotiating a treacherous inter-office demon battle could easily get a “breather” way worse than reprimanded. Sexy fallen angel Alex is doing whatever it takes to heat up Sophie’s professional cool. Their investigation is about to uncover the Agency’s darkest secrets, and powerful entities happy to sign one inquisitive human’s pink slip in blood.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, it’s almost time for war. Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her, people with gifts, and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart, and Adam’s life.
Jocelyn’s life feels empty, devoid of passion and purpose. After she finds a journal written by her “doomed” great-grandmother, Caprice, she is spellbound by her story: the escape from a loveless marriage, her seduction by a nameless lover who is both “demon and savior.” Then, as if stepping out of a dream, Jocelyn meets Asa, her mysterious next door neighbor. Asa is charming, handsome, and daring and, as if by magic, she is drawn into his hedonistic lifestyle. Yet there is something unsettling about Asa. Luna is suspicious of this man, and although Jocelyn is dismissive of Luna and amused by her friend’s warnings, she can’t completely ignore them. She begins to wonder if things with Asa aren’t quite what they seem.
In an ancient Japan where the incursions of gods, ghosts, and demons into the living world is an everyday event, an impoverished nobleman named Yamada no Goji makes his living as a demon hunter for hire. With the occasional assistance of the reprobate exorcist Kenji, whatever the difficulty, ogres, demons, fox-spirits, for a price Yamada will do what needs to be done, even and especially if the solution to the problem isn’t as simple as the edge of a sword. Yet, no matter how many monsters he has to face, or how powerful and terrible they may be, the demons Yamada fears the most are his own.
For the first time in years, life seems settled for Tiger and Del. They run a school for sword-dancers in the South. They’re raising a two-year-old daughter. They collect income from their interest in a thriving cantina. Occasionally Tiger must dance against sword-dancers bent on killing him for forsaking the oaths and vows of the circle. Tiger’s twenty-five-year-old son accuses him of being “domesticated.” Challenged by his own flesh-and-blood to reclaim his legendary status, Tiger, accompanied by Del and his son, embarks on a journey northwards that will test his sword skill and resolve, and lead him and Del into danger from an old enemy. Though Tiger had forsaken his magic years before, he now faces the choice to reclaim it, and to wield it, in order to save those he loves.
James Bond adventure in the court of Queen Elizabeth. 1593: The dreaded alchemist, magician and spy Dr. John Dee is missing. Terror sweeps through the court of Queen Elizabeth, for in Dee’s possession is an obsidian mirror, an object of great power which legend says could set the world afire. And so the call goes out to celebrated swordsman, adventurer and rake Will Swyfte: find Dee and his looking-glass and return them to London before disaster strikes. But when Will discovers the mirror might solve the mystery that has haunted him for years, the fate of his lost love, Jenny, the stakes become acutely personal.
Young Adult. Have you seen me? Name: Scottish Play Doe. Age: 11. Last seen with twins Erno and Emily, their gargantuan housekeeper, Biggs, and an accountant named Merle Lynn who claims to be a scientist from the future or something. “Scott” is suffering from a sick delusion that your beloved Goodco Cereal Company is secretly run by a fairy named Nimue with a sinister plot to take over the world. That Goodco is selling cereals with NEW! Intellijuice in order to turn kids into a kind of zombie army. That Goodco has kidnapped the Queen of England and replaced her with two goblins in a queen suit. We at Goodco are not angry. We want only to see Scott get the help he needs before he hurts himself. Or gets hurt.
Anything is possible: people breed dogs with humans to create a servant class; beneath one great city lies another city, running it surreptitiously; an employee finds that her hair has been stolen by someone intent on getting her job; strange fish fall from trees and birds talk too much; a boy tries to figure out what he can get when the Rapture leaves good stuff behind. Everything is familiar; everything is different. Behind it all, is there some strange kind of design or merely just the chance to adapt?
Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp (Jacob Wonderbar #3), by Nathan Bransford (February 7, Dial)
Young Adult. Jacob Wonderbar must have hit a time warp on his way home after losing the election for President of the Universe, because fifty years have passed on Earth. What’s worse, during that time the entire Astral society has come under threat of destruction, and it’s up to Jacob to make things, including time itself, right. So, with the unlikely help of Mick Cracken, Jacob time-hops through the universe with Sarah Daisy and Dexter, encountering dinosaurs, Napoleon, and bad ‘80s fashion in their search for the one person who can help them, Jacob’s father.
Young Adult. California’s economy collapses, but Marcus’s hacktivist past lands him a job as webmaster for a politician who promises reform. His onetime girlfriend Masha emerges from the political underground to gift him with a thumbdrive containing a Wikileaks-style cable-dump of hard evidence of corporate and governmental perfidy. If Masha goes missing, Marcus is supposed to release it to the world. Marcus sees Masha being kidnapped by the same government agents who detained and tortured Marcus years earlier. He’s not sure that just dumping the archive onto the Internet, before he’s gone through its contents, is the right thing to do. People are beginning to shadow him, people who look like they’re used to inflicting pain until they get the answers they want.
A tough-as-nails hood with a heart of gold saves two alien children from assassination, and resets the balance of galactic power in the process. Sasha Naradnyo is a gangster in Crack City, a colony stuffed deep into the crust of the otherwise unlivable planet Peezgtaan. A pair of rich young Varoki under the care of a human nanny are fleeing Peezgtaan. Sasha is recruited to help. He’d rather leave the little alien lordlings to their fate, but certain considerations, make it beneficial for him to take on the job. Sasha discovers his choice has thrust him into the a political battle that could remake the galactic balance of power and save humanity from slow death by servitude. All he has to do is survive and keep his charges alive on a hostile planet undergoing its own revolution.
The kompani sees none as an enemy, and yet few as friend. Their private history is unwritten; their recall rooted in dance and dream. The humans of Clan Korval is in many ways the opposite of the kompani. The interstellar trading clan is wealthy in enemies, fortunate in friends. When representatives of Clan Korval arrive on the planet Surebleak where thekompani has lived secret and aloof, it seems to the kompani that they are borne by the very winds of change. But the arrival of Clan Korval, establishing itself upon Surebleak with its friends, its enemies, and, most of all, its plans, may bring catastrophe. The lives of three people intersect: Kezzi, apprentice to the kompani’s grandmother; Syl Vor, Clan Korval’s youngest warrior; and Rys, a man without a world, or a past.
As part of a program that requires humans to act as surrogates to haan infants, Sam Shao has been genetically enhanced to bond with them. When three soldiers invade her apartment and arrest her guardian for smuggling a dangerous weapon into the country, Sam can sense that something isn’t right. Racing through the city slums, trying to stay one step ahead of the mysterious haan soldier, Sam tries to find the man who has been the only father she’s ever known. Could he truly have done what he is accused of? Or did he witness something both human and haan would kill to keep hidden? Fighting the clock, Sam finds an ally in Nix, a haan envoy devoted to coexisting with humans. She really needs the answers. Or else everything she knows, and everyone she loves, will burn.
Two worlds, one enemy. Earth. An overpopulated world is under the brutal, high-tech thumb of the Committee. Towering robot shepherds, pain-inducers, and reader guns maintain control over zero-asset citizens. Twelve billion humans must die before the Earth can be stabilized. The Argus satellite laser network is almost ready. Waking in a crate destined for an incinerator, Alan Saul intends to stop Argus and get his revenge on the Committee. Mars. Abandoned by the Committee, the Antares Base faces extinction. They will run out of resources and be dead within five years. Varalia Delex finds herself caught in a power struggle with the base’s ruthless political officers who see everyone else as expendable. Var discovers that Mars holds very new and interesting ways to die.
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan (February 5, Tor)
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day. Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.
Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. When he is falsely condemned for the murder of his beloved wife, he is banished from the kingdom and cast upon the distant shore of Akrasia. Akrasia is a realm on the brink of a bloody revolution, as a sinister conspiracy plots against Akrasia’s embattled queen, and malevolent banes possess the bodies of the living. Draken lives only to clear his name and avenge his wife’s murder. Alone in a strange land, he finds himself sharing the bed of an enigmatic necromancer, while pressed into the service of a foreign queen whose life and land depends on the divided loyalties of an exiled warrior.
In a world beset by plagues, Tyrus of Kenatos has made it his life’s work to end the devastation. When he ventures into the Scourgelands to uncover the secret of the plagues’ origin, he barely makes it out alive after being ambushed. Tyrus knows the plagues will rise again and is determined to complete his mission. He summons his nephew Annon and his niece Hettie, both of whom possess an innate magic called the fireblood, and a pack of unlikely allies. As the group sets out on its journey, the ruthless ruler of Kenatos, the Arch-Rike, deploys a legion of minions who will stop at nothing to destroy them. For if they succeed, the truth will be revealed: about a Druidecht secret of a magical race, a deadly betrayal, and a hidden child who could be the key to banishing the plagues.
The evil sorcerer Arunis is dead, yet the danger has not ended. For as he fell, beheaded by the young warrior-woman Thasha Isiq, Arunis summoned the Swarm of Night, a demonic entity that feasts on death and grows like a plague. If the Swarm is not destroyed, the world of Alifros will become a vast graveyard. Now Thasha and her comrades, the tarboy Pazel Pathkendle and the mysterious wizard Ramachni, begin a quest that seems all but impossible. Yet there is hope: One person has the power to stand against the Swarm: the great mage Erithusmé. Long thought dead, Erithusmé lives, buried deep in Thasha’s soul. But for the mage to live again, Thasha Isiq may have to die.
The Silent Dragon: Children of the Dragon Nimbus #1, by Irene Radford (February 5 DAW)
Glenndon, son of witchwoman Brevelan and Jaylor, Senior Magician and Chancellor of the University of Magicians, has never spoken aloud because his telepathic talent is strong. He can throw master-level spells, but because he will not speak, Jaylor has refused to promote him. Then an urgent missive arrives from King Darville. The Council of Provinces is near rebellion over the king’s lack of a male heir. He orders his illegitimate son Glenndon to Coronnan City to become his successor. Glenndon’s world is in chaos. He must hide his talents even as he struggles to find his voice and his destiny. One slip could see Glenndon, Darville, Rosselinda, and even Jaylor doomed, for the lords of the people fear magic more than potential invasion, legendary monsters, and civil war.
Last Train to Jubilee Bay: A Tor.Com Original, by Kali Wallace(February 6, Tor)
After the sickness and quarantine almost destroyed the city, the traders arrived, creeping out from the sea to live off the memories of those people left behind; getting them addicted to the serum these strange creatures manufacture in return. But now it’s been more than five days since they have come for their daily visit. And Lucy is determined to find out why. Digital.
Five entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest, +1 for a Facebook follow. This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Books unclaimed after a month will go into the Book Horde list (see tab at the top of the page).
Now….go forth and comment!