It’s Monday, and you know what that means—a Reader’s Choice Giveaway!
What’s a Reader’s Choice Giveaway? Below are the new releases from this week that I thought would most interest readers of this site. I tended to cut out a lot of hard sci-fi and YA and some indies whose covers scared me away. So, if you win a Reader’s Choice book this week and want one of these, great. BUT if you win and don’t want any of these, you can choose another book. Anything. Any format. You don’t even have to tell me what you want right now: just say “I’ll decide when I win!” If you do win, all I ask is that you select a book, print or digital, that costs less than US$15. Open internationally, of course, as long as you live somewhere Book Depository delivers.
Now, here’s what I considered the “Best of the Best” from among the new books releasing Feb. 8-15. It’s not a huge list because here’s how the publishers tend to work: first and last Tuesday of the month—huge number of releases; second Tuesday of the month, primarily YA; third Tuesday of the month, more romance. I don’t know why this is and it’s not a written rule, but the big publishers tend to follow that pattern. Which means I skipped over a lot of YA this week and there are more indies than usual. So….
The Pawn of the Phoenix (The Memory Collector # 2) by Jamie McLachlan. Kindle only. Braxton, 1903. The serial killer known only as the Phoenix continues to roam the streets and a new victim falls prey. For Moira and Detective Keenan Edwards, still on the hunt for the Phoenix, the rules have changed. The killer remains beyond their grasp. Moira is willing to give into her fierce attraction to Keenan. However, the detective proves to be more reluctant despite a moment of heated passion. Then discovery of a secret Keenan never planned to share creates an unwelcome rift between the new lovers. Keenan isn’t the only one hiding something. In this continuation of the Memory Collector series, Moira makes a startling disclosure about her past. This revelation will not only test the boundaries of love, but might also prove to be the clue that will finally unravel the mystery of the Phoenix.
Angelus (The Books of Raziel #3), by Sabrina Benulis. In the heart-pounding conclusion to The Books of Raziel trilogy, Angela discovers that she holds the keys to both Heaven and Hell, and that angels, demons, and all the creatures in between will stop at nothing to possess her…The war started by three powerful angel siblings – Raziel, Lucifel, and Israfel – has divided the kingdoms of both Heaven and Hell. Now the destruction is spilling over into our world. The last hope for a crumbling world is the Archon, also known as the human Angela Mathers. Angela alone can successfully oppose Lucifel and open Raziel’s Book for the power of good rather than evil. But to do so would mean murdering her best friend, a fact Angela refuses to face. Now Angela sits on the throne of Hell, fulfilling a prophecy of ruin. But ruin does not always mean destruction…..sometimes it means revolution.
Dragon Hunters (The Chronicle of the Exile #2), by Marc Turner. Once a year on Dragon Day the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass into the Sabian Sea. There, it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule an empire called the Storm Isles. …Emira Imerle Polivar is coming to the end of her tenure as leader of the Storm Lords, but she has no intention of standing down graciously. As part of her plot to hold on to power, she instructs an order of priests known as the Chameleons to sabotage the Dragon Gate. There’s just one problem: that will require them to infiltrate an impregnable citadel that houses the gate’s mechanism — a feat that has never been accomplished before….But Imerle is not the only one intent on destroying the Storm Lord dynasty. As the Storm Lords assemble in answer to a mysterious summons, they become the targets of assassins working for an unknown enemy. And when Imerle sets her scheme in motion, that enemy uses the ensuing chaos to play its hand.
Silverthorn (Echoes of Eternity #2), by Sydney Bristow. Kindle only. Serena Sykes will need to gain control of her latest supernatural ability now that Darius Coyne, the last remaining master vampire will stop at nothing to kill her, so he can rule the world beside the love of his life, the ancient sorceress, Zephora. …And if they don’t destroy Serena, the tight-knit group of friends who fight alongside her might do it for them. Her tortured romantic relationship with Nolan, who takes away more from Serena than just pleasure each time they touch, may be more inclined to help Darius than he’s letting on. And her identical twin sister, Alexis, and her niece, Celestina, take turns playing both willing ally and potential enemy. …In a race against time, Serena must vanquish the enemies that attack her at every turn and fight to keep her friends alive, sane, and on good terms, while also trying to locate the mythic Book of Souls…if she hopes to defeat the ultimate power couple.
A Song for No Man’s Land (No Man’s Land #1), by Andy Remic. He signed up to fight with visions of honour and glory, of fighting for king and country, of making his family proud at long last….But on a battlefield during the Great War, Robert Jones is shot, and wonders how it all went so very wrong, and how things could possibly get any worse….He’ll soon find out. When the attacking enemy starts to shapeshift into a nightmarish demonic force, Jones finds himself fighting an impossible war against an enemy that shouldn’t exist.
Justice (NOLA Zombie #4), by Gillian Zane. [How have I missed this? Off to buy them now. I don’t like zombie books as a rule, but this is a local author so gotta go there!] There is unfinished business for the S-Island survivors and it centers around Lakeview. The New Orleans’ neighborhood has been taken over by a sadistic group of bikers called the Southern Clan. …Hannah Klink, who everyone calls Baby no matter how many times she punches them, is training her fellow survivors to defend themselves and work as a unit. The goal is to take back the refugee base at Lakeview and put the Army back in charge. It’s a daunting task as the group runs into hordes of the dead and encounters resistance when they attack. It’s just another day in the life of Baby, MJ Security grunt and zombie apocalypse survivor…until she meets Rebel….Rebel is an MC member by birth, but not by heart. By luck or bad karma he was home from college when the SHTF. Now he’s forced to be a part of the club’s ruthless plans for the sake of survival. The brothers know he’s not one of them, but he keeps his head low and his nose clean as much as possible. Until all hell breaks loose and Rebel is faced with a choice- loyalty to the club, or follow his gut and the cute blonde that likes to order him around….An action-packed continuation of the Amazon bestselling NOLA Zombie series. There is graphic violence, sexual encounters, bad language and a few zombies in NOLA Zombie Book Four.
Broken Banners (Reaper of Stone #2), by Mark Gelineau and Joe King. Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital. …Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them. …Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other. And woe to those who break that bond.
Deathly Magic (Here Witchy Witch #2), by A.L. Kessler. Zombies… When Abigail Collins heard Nick’s theory on their current case, she knew he had to be crazy, but when a zombie shows up in her apartment she has no choice but to believe him. A renegade necromancer bent on manipulating witches and murdering innocent people runs amok in town and Abby and Nick have to stop them before more bodies pile up. Further complicating matters two PIB agents step onto the scene, claiming a link between their case and Abby’s. To top it all off, blood starved vampires are causing chaos in the city. It’s just another day for PIB Agent Abigail Collins, full of blood, monsters, and explosions.
Enthralling Retribution (Empyrean Chronicles #3), by Theresa M. Jones. Lily has fought through the Ardeenes and all the creatures who lurk in the shadows of the trees. She has battled deep within the depths of Muricadia, despite the danger due to her very nature. Finally, she has the chance to see Vesuvius, the land of her mother, and the fire in her blood warms at the thought. But this will be no vacation. …Lynn has been captured and held hostage in Vesuvius for longer than any Sprite can handle. Mazes, snakes, and even dragons will impede her path. But together with her closest allies, Lily is determined to save Lynn, no matter the sacrifices that have to be made. …Until the sacrifices cut too close, and she has to choose between trying to save Lynn and the man she loves.
For a Dragon’s Seduction (Highland Dragons #8), by Charlie Richards. Kaiser of Pratt prides himself on his ability to do his duty. Being part of the black caste of dragons, he has performed tasks that range from infiltrating a clan’s inner circle, to escort duty, to acting as a herald for his people. He’s willing to use every weapon in his arsenal to get a job done, including his body. While visiting Clan MacDuffan, Kaiser catches the scent of the human Seumas Maxton. While he recognizes Seumas as an asda—a human able to bond with a dragon—he’s met asdas before and has always been able to resist the allure of their scent. This time, Kaiser finds his thoughts consumed by Seumas. Knowing the human has valuable information, Kaiser thinks a fun romp with him might be just the thing to glean what he needs and scratch his itch. Except Seumas somehow knows he’s already bedded another. What must he do to convince the human of the pleasure they could have together?
MACK (The King #4), by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff. Standalone Story. MY NAME IS MACK. And if I play my cards right, I will soon be dead. Permanently. Not even my powerful twin brother will be able to resurrect me. A good thing. Because a man like me has no business living. Not when I have killed. Not when I have betrayed everyone I have ever cared for. Not when I know I’m destined to do it again….This is why I have come looking for her–the only one capable of ending me once and for all. But will she think I’m just another insane patient? Or will she believe the truth? I am thousands of years old, my heart too dark to be salvaged. …MY NAME IS TEDDI, short for Theodora. My entire life has been a canvas of grays, whites, and black. I can’t feel, I can’t understand joy, I’ve never truly lived. Until now. His name is Mack, and though he believes he’s cursed, my degree in psychology tells me otherwise. Besides, someone who’s capable of bringing so much light into my life can’t be anything but good….But I can save him. If he’ll let me.
Carnal: The Beast Who Loved Me (Exiled #1), by Victoria Danann. The first book in the new series, EXILED. The angel, Kellareal, stopped the genocide of generations of hybrids, who had been bred for research and spent their entire lives imprisoned. Against orders, he spirited them away to a dimension where they would have freedom and purpose. …In a vindictive fit, Rosie Storm asked Kellareal for a place to hide out. He knew just the place for her to grow up, learn emotional control, and other things.
See something you want? Just say so. Or opt for “I’ll decide when I win.” Your choice!