It’s Monday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day!
First a reminder that the 99 cent Kindle sale for WILD MAN’S CURSE, BLACK DIAMOND and DEADLY, CALM, AND COLD continues through June 30! Also, ILLUMINATION is up on Goodreads now; if you have a chance to mark it as “want to read” that always helps draw interest (and thanks to you who’ve done so already)! You can find it here. I hope to have the preorder link up at this site next Sunday!
Now, here’s how Reader’s Choice works. Just let me know in the comments which of these sounds most promising to you, and you could win it—or any other book of your choice up to US$15! I will post the winner next Monday when a new giveaway begins. The winner of last week’s giveaway is CELESTE KELLER, who chose Shattered Minds by Laura Lam. Email me at email@example.com and let me know if you’d prefer a different book, and whether you’d prefer digital or print (if available in print).
And now for the new releases…(not ALL of them, mind you, but the ones I thought might be of most interest to readers of this blog). We’re entering the publishing industry’s slower season, or at least that’s true of the big publishers, so I’m dipping farther into the indie pool than usual. Note that inclusion does not constitute my endorsement of any book…unless I say so. I’m picking them based on cover and blurb….because in many cases, I do think you can tell a lot about a book by its cover…
Beyond the Darkness (Blackwood Vampires #3) by E.J. King
Grace Hardwick has just witness her sister being taken by a dangerous Vampire, Drake Blackwood. She will stop at nothing to save her sister, but does she have what it takes to save herself?
Fates and Furies (The Sphinx #4) by Raye Wagner
The Olympian gods cause nothing but chaos…Hope escaped the Underworld with her life, but her memories are as blank as the Book of the Fates she brought back. Still determined to break the curse, she and Xan take an offering to the Olympian temple to solicit the goddess Artemis for aid. But the petition has disastrous results, and now the gods are hunting her….Athan sacrificed everything for Hope, but she’s leaving him behind to travel with Xan to Mount Olympus. But the closer they get, the more Athan’s mortality becomes a liability. Forced to seek refuge in mists and darkness, Athan tangles with deities that weave the very threads of fate. But these goddesses also wield the immortal blades that lay ruin to destinies….With everyone she loves damaged or destroyed by the blood of Olympus, Hope must face the power of the past to change the fate of the future…Fates and Furies is the fourth and final book in The Sphinx series.
From the Ashes (The Phoenix #2) by Eliza Nolan
It’s been three months since Julia Long discovered she’s a magical being called The Phoenix, and she still hasn’t mastered her ancestral powers. But when a mysterious visitor provides evidence that Julia’s birth mother has been kidnapped in Istanbul, Julia must try to save her….Meeting her mother’s family for the first time is wonderful, but discovering there are other kids her age with magic is better, even if one of them is infuriatingly dark and handsome….But not everyone is happy letting kids be kids. Some seek to use these gifted youth as pawns in a game of power and intrigue. And just by the nature of who she is, Julia’s now the most powerful piece on the board. But if she doesn’t play her part perfectly, she could lose everything, including her mother.
Garden of Graves (House of Royals #8) by Keary Taylor
The King has arrived in Boston. …Lexington confessed to a crime he didn’t commit to save Elle’s life. Now she’s summoned the one and only person who can spare him, but it comes at a dangerous price: confessing every one of her secrets to the King. That she is the one who has been curing the Bitten, and who the true father of her unborn child is. …Trying to do good comes with unforeseen consequences—a cured Bitten, one who should have just walked away and tried to forget, wants revenge. The cycle must stop, and the only way to do it is to expose all vampires to the world. …The decree has been made, the fate of Charles Allaway is sealed; he will die. But first they have to find him. No more hiding, Elle is ready to take her fate, and that of her child, into her own hands…
Light of Dawn (The Remnant #3) by Vannetta Chapman
For nine months, since a devastating solar flare caused a complete failure of the electrical grid, Shelby Sparks and her diabetic son, Carter, have been living at the ranch of Shelby’s high school sweetheart, Max Berkman….Mostly insulated from the chaos surrounding them, Shelby and Max discover that the Texas government has fled the capitol and is barely maintaining control of the state. The governor needs volunteers to search for the new federal government, but no one knows exactly where it might be located—if it even still exists—or what perils await those brave enough to take on the mission….Compelled by Carter’s desperate need for insulin and their God-given sense of duty, Shelby and Max answer the governor’s call and set out on a treacherous 600-mile journey, where they will experience the terrifying effects of unrestrained anarchy. If they have the faith and fortitude necessary to reach their destination, what will they find when they get there?…In this thrilling conclusion to the Remnant trilogy, America is left teetering between total collapse and the dawn of a new and vastly different reality.
Nuke Jersey (Exit Zero #2) by Neil A. Cohen
It has only been a couple of weeks since the events of Exit Zero, yet in the Garden State, life goes on as usual—except it’s with zombies. The state is still sealed off from the rest of the nation, but those trapped inside have learned to adapt and overcome. President Callahan and the Post Conflict Restoration Corp are firmly in charge at the new Cape May, New Jersey based White House. …A new mutation has emerged targeting those that have survived infection of the Skell virus without reducing them to the whole flesh eating, brain melting, stomach transforming into a brain thing. The Virus Infected Non-Necrotic Individuals(VINNI’s) appear as if they are just a more physically fit version of you or me, but they are now biologically different and for unknown reasons are highly sought after by Post Conflict Restoration Corp….The remainder of the Sullivan brothers are trying to find their own way in this new world. The prepper Ivan and his assassin wife Marifi are on the run and Gary Ragu is taking action to head the Jersey mafia. Dr. Woody has found new allies in his efforts to right the wrongs caused by his Modified Embryonic Animal Tissue (M.E.A.T), but can he trust them? …Welcome to Nuke Jersey, the future of America—and possibly the world.
Reach for You (Dark Heart #3) by Pat Esden
A world of deception and danger separates Annie Fremont from her mother–and from Chase, the enigmatic half ifrit with whom Annie’s fallen in love. But she vows to find her way back to them, before Chase succumbs to the madness that threatens his freedom. The only person who can help is the magical seductress, Lotli, a beautiful, manipulative woman . . . a woman who has disappeared….Annie must stay strong, even as the future she imagined is slipping away. With the help of family and friends, she discovers that Lotli is being held against her will, by those who want to exploit her powers. But though weakened, Lotli remains a powerful ally and adversary. A bargain is struck. And now Annie’s only chance to rescue Chase could also tear them apart . . .Loyalties will be tested, walls will be breached, and enemies will be fought, yet Annie’s greatest battle lies within her own heart–to trust her love for Chase to overcome its greatest enemy, and to save those she holds most dear from the terrifying realm of the djinn. For all of their lives depend on it.
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Fiction by Diana Gabaldon
A collection of seven short stories set in the Outlander universe, never before published together, including two original stories. This riveting, romantic collection includes: “Besieged” (original novella), “Survival” (original novella), “Virgins,” “The Space Between,” “Lord John and the Plague of Zombies,” “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” and “The Custom of the Army.”
Soul of the World (Ascension Cycle #1) by David Mealing
It is a time of revolution. in the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. and on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge. Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor. Arak’Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves. Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands. …Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them
The Bones of the Earth (Bound Gods) by Rachel Dunne
A mismatched band of mortals and their violent, secretive leader must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world in this second volume in the breathtaking dark epic fantasy trilogy, The Bound Gods, begun with In the Shadow of the Gods….To win the coming battle for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it, the cunning priest Joros secretly assembled a team of powerful fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law….But the war is only beginning for these disparate warriors and victory is far from certain when the enemy is a pair of vengeful gods. As the bound Twins strengthen in force against their parents—the Divine Mother and Almighty Father—who exiled them, a shadow begins to spread across the land, threatening to engulf all in its wake….As deadly magic takes hold, the tenuous bonds tying these uneasy allies begins to unravel. If they cannot find a way to keep their band together, each of their lives—and the entire world—will be lost to the darkness, leaving nothing but the bones of the earth. .
The Court of Broken Knives (Empires of Dust) by Anna Smith Spark
They’ve finally looked at the graveyard of our Empire with open eyes. They’re fools and madmen and like the art of war. And their children go hungry while we piss gold and jewels into the dust….In the richest empire the world has ever known, the city of Sorlost has always stood, eternal and unconquered. But in a city of dreams governed by an imposturous Emperor, decadence has become the true ruler, and has blinded its inhabitants to their vulnerability. The empire is on the verge of invasion – and only one man can see it….Haunted by dreams of the empire’s demise, Orhan Emmereth has decided to act. On his orders, a company of soldiers cross the desert to reach the city. Once they enter the Palace, they have one mission: kill the Emperor, then all those who remain. Only from ashes can a new empire be built…The company is a group of good, ordinary soldiers, for whom this is a mission like any other. But the strange boy Marith who walks among them is no ordinary soldier. Marching on Sorlost, Marith thinks he is running away from the past which haunts him. But in the Golden City, his destiny awaits him – beautiful, bloody, and more terrible than anyone could have foreseen.
The Fatal Gate (Gates of Good and Evil #2) by Ian Irvine
The cruel Merdrun, the greatest warriors in the void, have invaded Santhenar but their portal backfired and they’re stuck on the tropical Isle of Gwine. They’re desperately trying to regain contact with the Summon Stone so they can reopen the portal and begin the slaughter of humanity….The hideous Whelm hold Karan and Llian’s daughter, Sulien, in the frozen south and plan to sacrifice her to the Merdrun to gain their favor. Karan races south in a stolen sky ship but fears she will be too late. …Llian, hurled through another portal, sees the summon stone wake and knows the allies have but one chance to destroy the Merdrun – though it will involve an alchemical quest that has always ended in ruin, a mad invasion in untested sky ships with untrained pilots, then the most unequal battle in all the Histories.
The Furthest Station (Peter Grant/Rivers of London #5.7) by Ben Aaronovitch
There have been ghosts on the London Underground, sad, harmless spectres whose presence does little more than give a frisson to travelling and boost tourism. But now there’s a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line and these ghosts are frightening, aggressive and seem to be looking for something. Enter PC Peter Grant junior member of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Assessment unit a.k.a. The Folly a.k.a. the only police officers whose official duties include ghost hunting. Together with Jaget Kumar, his counterpart at the British Transport Police, he must brave the terrifying the crush of London’s rush hour to find the source of the ghosts. Joined by Peter’s wannabe wizard cousin, a preschool river god and Toby the ghost hunting dog their investigation takes a darker tone as they realise that a real person’s life might just be on the line. And time is running out to save them. ….With this new novella, bestselling author Ben Aaronovitch has crafted yet another wickedly funny and surprisingly affecting chapter in his beloved Rivers of London series.
The Legion of Flame (Draconis Memoria #2) by Anthony Ryan
Empires clash and a fell power stakes its claim in the second in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow Trilogy….For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it….Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire and for all of civilization.
The Mech Who Loved Me (Blue Blood Conspiracy #2) by Bec McMaster
Ava McLaren is tired of being both a virgin, and a mere laboratory assistant for the Company of Rogues. When a baffling mystery rears its head, it presents her with the opportunity to work a real case… and perhaps get a taste of the passion that eludes her….Blue bloods are dying from a mysterious disease, which should be impossible. Ava suspects there’s more to the case than meets the eye and wants a chance to prove herself. There’s just one catch—she’s ordered to partner with the sexy mech, Kincaid, who’s a constant thorn in her side. Kincaid thinks the only good blue blood is a dead one. He’s also the very last man she would ever give her heart to… which makes him the perfect candidate for an affair….The only rule? It ends when the case does….But when an attempt on her life proves that Ava might be onto something, the only one who can protect her is Kincaid. Suddenly the greatest risk is not to their hearts, but whether they can survive a diabolical plot that threatens to destroy every blue blood in London—including Ava.
The Queen of Swords (Golgotha #3) by R.S. Belcher
- Maude Stapleton, late of Golgotha, Nevada, is a respectable widow raising a daughter on her own. Few know that Maude belongs to an ancient order of assassins, the Daughters of Lilith, and is as well the great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Anne Bonney, the legendary female pirate.…Leaving Golgotha in search of her daughter Constance, who has been taken from her, Maude travels to Charleston, South Carolina, only to find herself caught in the middle of a secret war between the Daughters of Lilith and their ancestral enemies, the monstrous Sons of Typhon. To save Constance, whose prophetic gifts are sought by both cults, Maude must follow in the footsteps of Anne Bonney as she embarks on a perilous voyage that will ultimately lead her to a lost city of bones in the heart of Africa—and the Father of All Monsters.
The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries #2) by Kat Ross
Winter 1888. At a private asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who’s interviewed their patient and isn’t sure he’s a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she’s ever encountered….As Jack rampages through London, this time targeting rare book collectors, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he’s looking for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Julius Sabelline’s death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?…As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?
The Unlikeable Demon Hunter: Sting (Nava Katz #2) by Deborah Wilde
After a bumpy start as the only female demon hunter in the top secret Brotherhood of David, Nava Katz heads to Prague for her first undercover mission: unmasking a demon movie star. She’d be all kinds of thrilled if it weren’t for the fact that her fellow hunter-with-benefits, Rohan Mitra, has reclaimed his rock star status and assigned Nava the role of groupie. Rejecting her “be a good girl and follow orders” directive, Nava unleashes an alter ego guaranteed to hook their celebrity target and drive Rohan crazy. No downside–until she finds herself up against Rohan’s past, the Brotherhood’s antiquated thinking, and her own identity issues, turning her personal life into the bomb that could blow up the entire operation. Sparkly and deadly; it’s a plan.
The Witchwood Crown (Last King of Osten Ard #1) by Tad Williams
The Dragonbone Chair, the first volume of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, was published in hardcover in October, 1988, launching the series that was to become one of the seminal works of modern epic fantasy. Many of today’s top-selling fantasy authors, from Patrick Rothfuss to George R. R. Martin to Christopher Paolini credit Tad with being the inspiration for their own series….Now, twenty-four years after the conclusion of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Tad returns to his beloved universe and characters with The Witchwood Crown, the first novel in the long-awaited sequel trilogy, The Last King of Osten Ard….Thirty years have passed since the events of the earlier novels, and the world has reached a critical turning point once again. The realm is threatened by divisive forces, even as old allies are lost, and others are lured down darker paths. Perhaps most terrifying of all, the Norns—the long-vanquished elvish foe—are stirring once again, preparing to reclaim the mortal-ruled lands that once were theirs….
Twelve Days by Steven Barnes
A paranormal thriller from a master storyteller: A broken family struggles to hold itself together against a plot to unleash global genocide…Around the world, leaders and notorious criminals alike are mysteriously dying. A terrorist group promises a series of deaths within two months. And against the backdrop of the apocalypse, the lives of a small shattered family and a broken soldier are transformed in the bustling city of Atlanta….Olympia Dorsey is a journalist and mother, with a cynical teenage daughter and an autistic son named Hannibal, all trying to heal from a personal tragedy. Across the street, Ex–Special Forces soldier Terry Nicolas and his wartime unit have reunited Stateside to carry out a risky heist that will not only right a terrible injustice, but also set them up for life—at the cost of their honor. Terry and the family’s visit to an unusual martial arts exhibition brings them into contact with Madame Gupta, a teacher of singular skill who offers not just a way for Terry to tap into mastery beyond his dreams, but also for Hannibal to transcend the limits of his condition. But to see these promises realized, Terry will need to betray those with whom he fought and bled….Meanwhile, as the death toll gains momentum and society itself teeters on the edge of collapse, Olympia’s fragile clan is placed in jeopardy, and Terry comes to understand the terrible price he must pay to prevent catastrophe.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday!