It’s Wednesday, so it must be Reader’s Choice day? Yeah, it’s usually on Monday but it’s a holiday week here so things are all out of whack.
First a reminder that the 99 cent Kindle sale continues for the first four Penton Legacy books and the STORM FORCE spinoff.! Also, ILLUMINATION is up for preorder now! You can find it here. Yes, there will be a print edition, which should be up by the weekend. I’m making corrections to the text and resizing the cover, which is the holdup. And yes, there will be an Audible version, although it will come a couple of months later.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, especially this week since it’s a holiday week in the U.S., 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…
Wicked Winter (Ivy Morgan #8) by Lily Harper Hart
Jack Harker is a nervous wreck. He has big Christmas plans for his girlfriend Ivy Morgan, and they involve a ring and house renovations all at one time. First, he has to make sure they both make it through a tense holiday season, though. …For Ivy, things are less clear. She knows Jack is hiding something but can’t figure out exactly what. Her problems are only compounded by the fact that her parents have delayed their usual winter travel plans, her brother is a terrible liar, and she feels as if everyone is in on a secret that she can’t quite grasp. …Things go from bad to worse during a shopping outing when a masked robber is shot in the back by his partner and left to die in Ivy’s arms. Ivy is determined to find the truth behind the man’s actions, and even Jack can’t talk her down when determination and desperation clash. …Jack knows Ivy is incapable of letting it go so it’s his job to make sure she doesn’t trip over trouble she can’t find her way out of. In the end, hearts and minds will collide when Ivy realizes she already knows the answer … but has to survive to share the truth.
It’s a race to the finish line, with Jack trying to give Ivy the best holiday gift ever and Ivy trying to overcome her own fear and let him. …Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it might not end with a happy holiday if Jack and Ivy can’t put together the pieces of a murder in time for peace, joy … and forever.
The Reluctant Queen (Queens of Renthia #2) by Sarah Beth Durst
Not long ago, Daleina used her strength and skill to survive those spirits and assume the royal throne. Since then, the new queen has kept the peace and protected the humans of her land. But now for all her power, she is hiding a terrible secret: she is dying. And if she leaves the world before a new heir is ready, the spirits that inhabit her beloved realm will run wild, destroying her cities and slaughtering her people. …Naelin is one such person, and she couldn’t be further removed from the Queen—and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Her world is her two children, her husband, and the remote village tucked deep in the forest that is her home, and that’s all she needs. But when Ven, the Queens champion, passes through the village, Naelin’s ambitious husband proudly tells him of his wife’s ability to control spirits—magic that Naelin fervently denies. She knows that if the truth of her abilities is known, it will bring only death and separation from those she loves. …But Ven has a single task: to find the best possible candidate to protect the people of Aratay. He did it once when he discovered Daleina, and he’s certain he’s done it again. Yet for all his appeals to duty, Naelin is a mother, and she knows her duty is to her children first and foremost. Only as the Queen’s power begins to wane and the spirits become emboldened—even as ominous rumors trickle down from the north—does she realize that the best way to keep her son and daughter safe is to risk everything.
An Oath of Dogs by Wendy Wagner
Kate Standish has been on Huginn less than a week and she s already pretty sure her new company murdered her boss. But extractions corporations dominate the communities of the forest world, and few are willing to threaten their meal tickets to look too closely at corporate misbehaviour. The little town of mill workers and farmers is more worried about the threat of eco-terrorism and a series of attacks by the bizarre, sentient dogs of this planet, than a death most people would like to believe is an accident. When Standish connects a secret chemical test site to a nearly forgotten disaster in Huginn s history, she reveals a conspiracy that threatens Standish and everyone she s come to care about.”
Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. This is how it happened. How I went from being Peter Pan’s first—and favorite—lost boy to his greatest enemy….Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter’s idea of fun is sharper than a pirate’s sword. Because it’s never been all fun and games on the island. Our neighbors are pirates and monsters. Our toys are knife and stick and rock—the kinds of playthings that bite….Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.
Out in the Open by Jesus Carrasco
A young boy has fled his home. He s pursued by dangerous forces. What lies before him is an infinite, arid plain, one he must cross in order to escape those from whom he s fleeing. One night on the road, he meets an old goatherd, a man who lives simply but righteously, and from that moment on, their paths intertwine….Out in the Open tells the story of this journey through a drought-stricken country ruled by violence. A world where names and dates don t matter, where morals have drained away with the water. In this landscape the boy not yet a lost cause has the chance to choose hope and bravery, or to live forever mired in the cycle of violence in which he was raised. Carrasco has masterfully created a high stakes world, a dystopian tale of life and death, right and wrong, terror and salvation.”
In Evil Times (Imperials #2) by Melinda Snodgrass
Thracius Tracy Belmanor and the Infanta Mercedes de Arango have graduated from The High Ground and have become officers in the Orden de la Estrella. Tracy s posting aboard a battleship leads him to further doubt the intentions of the Solar League, as he and his comrades are required to assimilate the settlers of a Hidden World. Meanwhile, Mercedes own posting and her difficult marriage to Beauregard Boho Cullen, made to assure her succession of the throne divides her loyalties. In a society where most humans and all aliens are second-class citizens, the two young officers will have difficult choices to make ”
A Fading Sun (Sunpath Cycle #1) by Stephen Leigh
In this new paranormal fantasy series, a powerful woman who can see the dead must choose whether to forge a new path for herself and her family…. “The problem with ghosts is that they don’t quite realize that they’re dead.”…Voada Paorach can see the dead. It is a family trait, but one that has had to remain hidden since the Mundoan Empire conquered her people’s land three generations ago. But this ghost isn’t the same as the others she has glimpsed, the lost souls she has helped to find their way to the land beyond life. This ghost demands that Voada follow a new path, one that will mean leaving behind everything and everyone she has known and loved. Voada will come to understand the power that her people possess, but she will also learn the steep price that must be paid for such a gift….Fast-moving and intense, A Fading Sun explores grief, sacrifice, ambition, and the forging of personality in the crucible of war.
The Cityborn by Edward Willett
The metal City towers at the center of the mountain-ringed Heartland, standing astride the deep chasm of the Canyon like a malevolent giant, ruled with an iron fist by the First Officer and his Provosts in the name of the semi-mythical Captain. Within its corroding walls lies a stratified society, where the Officers dwell in luxury on the Twelfth Tier while the poor struggle to survive on the First and Second, and outcasts scrabble and fight for whatever they can find in the Middens, the City’s rubbish heap, filling the Canyon beneath its dripping underbelly. …Alania, ward of an Officer, lives on Twelfth. Raised among the privileged class, Alania feels as though she is some sort of pampered prisoner, never permitted to explore the many levels of the City. And certainly not allowed to leave the confines of the City for any reason. She has everything a young woman could want except a loving family and personal freedom. …Danyl, raised by a scavenger, knows no home but the Middens. His day-to-day responsibility is to stay alive. His sole ambition is to escape from this subsistence existence and gain entrance to the City–so near and yet so far out of reach–in hopes of a better life. …Their two very different worlds collide when Alania, fleeing from an unexpected ambush, plunges from the heights of the City down to the Middens, and into Danyl’s life. …Almost immediately, both of them find themselves pursued by the First Officer’s Provosts, for reasons they cannot fathom–but which they must uncover if they are to survive. The secrets they unlock, as they flee the Canyon and crisscross the Heartland from the City’s farmlands to the mountains of the north and back again, will determine not only their fate, but the fate of the City…and everyone who lives there.
Lamentation of the Marked (Marked #3) by March McCarron
In the wake of Quade’s public failure, Accord becomes the lone safe haven in all of Trinitas. Ko-Jin, in his new capacity as general, works together with the royal siblings to safeguard and fortify the capital. But the citizens are afraid, and tensions between the Cosanta and the Chiona run high. Still, no one wishes to leave the refuge of those city walls. …No one save for Bray, who is determined to find Yarrow above all else. But the man she eventually tracks down does not know her—he does not know himself. Meanwhile, Arlow is drawn deeper into the fold of the Pauper’s Men, Peer is thrust into an unwanted leadership role, and Vendra plots revenge. …All the while, Quade Asher marshals his armies. War is coming. But long before his military forces arrive, he will make his enemies suffer for the humiliation of his defeat. He will sow fear, break spirits, and leave them bleeding. Quade will test the strength of those who oppose him: how much loss and suffering can they bear, and still fight on?
God of Malice (Fate’s Warriors #3) by J.C. Diem
Violet’s world has only recently recovered from being invaded, but it is now about to be subjected to an attack by aliens. Her angelic and human friends will need to step up once again to save their planet. They will be instrumental in helping Hellscourge and her fellow warriors save humanity from enslavement. …Bianca has felt like a pawn ever since she fell into Loki’s arms. When Fate contacts her directly and gives her a task, she realizes her hunch is correct. Her mission is monumental and she isn’t sure that she can pull it off. For the sake of humanity, she has to do the impossible; change the mind of a god. …Violet’s version of Loki has allied himself with creatures who are even more sly and treacherous than he is. His choice of partners will prove to be more of a danger than he’d anticipated, but he’d never expected the peril would be to himself.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday!