It’s Monday, and I’m back in the blogosphere, so it must be Reader’s Choice Giveaway day! Here’s how Reader’s Choice works. Each week, 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 when I announce new winners on Monday! As is almost always true of my giveaways, this is open to international entries.
And now for the new releases up through Jan. 20ish… See what you think of these and let me know which one most floats your boat! The usual disclaimer: These are not ALL the new releases, just the ones I thought might most interest readers of this blog. Nor is it an endorsement of any listed book since I haven’t yet read them.
Burn (Underground Encounters #4) by Lisa Carlisle
A vampire on the run. A shapeshifting bounty hunter hired to capture her. Who will outsmart whom? Layla Black flees London, on the run from a master vampire. She reinvents herself as Angelica, the singer of an 80s metal cover band in Boston, but her past soon catches up to her. Devon St. Clair, bounty hunter extraordinaire, is in hot pursuit of a thieving vampire. Vampires, he hated them. Capturing Layla should be a satifsying gig that nets a nice profit. But Devon wasn’t counting on spitfire Layla being his target, distracting him from his mission. Besides, shapeshifters and vampires didn’t mix. And more bloodsuckers are on their tail. The hunt is on. But, who will be predator, and who will be prey?
The Poisoner’s Enemy (Kingfountain Prequel) by Jeff Wheeler
Before she befriended a frightened young boy in the palace of Kingfountain, Ankarette Tryneowy grew up during the shattering civil war that raged between members of the Argentine family. This is the story of how the only daughter of a lawyer and a midwife became the famed Queen’s Poisoner. …Recruited by King Eredur’s ambitious uncle, Ankarette is thrown into a world of double dealing, deception, and tangled loyalties. With the help of her mentor and friend, Sir Thomas, she must learn to trust her instincts and remember that others will not always be loyal, even when they are of the same blood. But involving herself in the machinations of the realm draws the eye of an enemy more dangerous than kings or dukes. How will she navigate the politics of the realm and the desires of her heart to become the woman she needs to become?
Imprinted (Magic ex Libris #4.5) by Jim C. Hines
Jeneta’s magic could give us the stars…or destroy everyone she cares about….Seventeen-year-old libriomancer Jeneta Aboderin is a prodigy, determined to move on from the horrors she’s faced and use her power to create a better future. To show the world that magic isn’t a threat to be feared, but a tool of hope. After eight months, she’s ready to present the Venture, a magically-created ship capable of reaching Mars within hours. It will mark a new phase of human exploration and discovery….But at a crucial moment, her spell is wrested from her control and twisted against her. As Jeneta recovers, whoever sabotaged her magic begins to strike down those around her. The attacker haunts her thoughts and dreams, reviving Jeneta’s past traumas. And the most powerful magic-users at New Millennium are unable to help….How do you stop an enemy who strikes from within your own mind? [This novelette is set after the events of Revisionary.]
Dark State (Empire Games #2) by Charles Stross
In the near-future, the collision of two nuclear superpowers across timelines, one in the midst of a technological revolution and the other a hyper-police state, is imminent. In Commissioner Miriam Burgeson’s timeline, her top level agents run a high risk extraction of a major political player. Meanwhile, a sleeper cell activated in Rita’s, the Commissioner’s adopted daughter and newly-minted spy, timeline threatens to unravel everything.
Storm Crossed (The Grim Series #4) by Dani Harper
The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series will delight old and new fans alike, transporting them to the ancient fae realm beneath the modern human world, where magic rules and menace abounds…Heir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world….Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”…Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?
Blood Fury (Black Dagger Legacy #3) by J.R. Ward
A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family’s traditions. And he thought he’d found his perfect match—until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the enemy endangers the life of another trainee, Peyton has to face the idea that his future, and his heart, actually lie with another….Novo, as a female in the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training program, feels like she has to prove herself to everybody—and she has no interest in being distracted by falling in love. But when Peyton proves to be so much more than a rich playboy, she is forced to confront the tragedy that has broken her soul and closed her off from love….As the two grapple with Novo’s past and Peyton’s present, another couple must contend with an erotic connection that is unparalleled—and potentially scandalous. Saxton, who has had his heart broken, discovers in himself a deep-seated attraction to Ruhn, a new member of the household. But will the other male explore the connection? Or will he close his mind and his heart to what could be true love . . . and cost Saxton everything?
The Infernal Battalion (Shadow Campaigns #5) by Django Wexler
The Beast, the ancient demon imprisoned beneath the fortress-city of Elysium for a thousand years, has been loosed on the world. It absorbs mind after mind, spreading like a plague through the north. The fell army it has raised threatens the heart of Vordan, and it is under the command of the Beast’s greatest prize: legendary general Janus bet Vhalnich….As Queen Raesinia Orboan and soldiers Marcus D’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass grapple with the aftermath of a hard-fought military campaign, they soon discover a betrayal they never could have foreseen. The news arrives like a thunderbolt: Janus has declared himself the rightful Emperor of Vordan. Chaos grips the city as officers and regiments are forced to declare for queen or emperor….Raesinia must struggle to keep her country under control and risks becoming everything she fought against. Marcus must take the field against his old commander, a man who has seemed an unbeatable strategist. And as Winter recovers from her injuries and mourns her losses, she knows the demon she carries inside her might be the only thing standing between the Beast and the destruction of everything in its path….
Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children) by Seanan McGuire
Beneath the Sugar Sky returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world. …Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.
First Package Causes Grief (Warren Antiques #1) by Mary Abshire
Life is peachy keen for Daisy Warren. Having dropped out of college, she decides to relax until her time comes to take over the family antique business. But when her eighty-nine-year-old great-grandmother, Lily, is kidnapped for a sacred artifact she took from the shop, Daisy learns the truth about the family profession. In a race against time, Daisy must find Lily and the priceless package while keeping the rest of the family in the dark about the relic and kidnapping. In less than twelve hours, Daisy’s life changes in ways she’d never imagined.
A Meddle of Wizards (Fledgling Magic #1) by Alexandra Rushe
Welcome to Tandara, where gods are fickle, nightmares are real, and trolls make excellent bakers . . .Raine Stewart is convinced she’ll die young and alone in Alabama, the victim of a chronic, mysterious illness. Until a man in a shabby cloak steps out of her mirror and demands her help to defeat a bloodthirsty wizard….Raine shrugs it off as a hallucination—just one more insult from her failing body—and orders her intruder to take a hike. But the handsome figment of her imagination won’t take no for an answer, and kidnaps her anyway, launching her into a world of utmost danger—and urgent purpose….Ruled by unpredictable gods and unstable nations, Tandara is a land of shapeshifters and weather-workers, queens and legends. Ravenous monsters and greedy bounty hunters patrol unforgiving mountains. Riverboats pulled by sea-cattle trade down broad waterways. And creatures of nightmare stalk Raine herself, vicious in the pursuit of her blood….But Raine isn’t helpless or alone. She’s part of a band as resourceful as it is odd: a mage-shy warrior, a tattered wizard, a tenderhearted giant, and a prickly troll sorceress. Her new friends swear she has powers of her own. If she can stay under their protection, she might just live long enough to find out . . .
Through a Dark Glass (Dark Glass #1) by Barb Hendee
On her seventeenth birthday, Megan of Chaumont discovers she’ll be sold as a bride to the brutish Volodane family—within hours. Her father grants only that she may choose which one of the ruthless, grasping lord’s three sons she weds:
~ Rolf, the eldest: stern, ambitious, and loyal?
~ Sebastian, the second son: sympathetic, sly, and rebellious?
~ Or Kai, the youngest: bitter, brooding, and proud?
As shy, horrified Megan flees the welcome dinner for her in-laws-to-be, she finds an enchanted mirror that will display how her life unrolls with each man, as if she were living it out in a breath. But there is no smooth “happily ever after” in her choices….Deaths and honors, joys and agonies, intrigues and escapes await her in a remote, ramshackle keep, where these rough but complex men reveal one side and then another of their jagged characters—and bring forth new aspects of Megan, too. But the decisions of one teenaged marriage-pawn reverberate much farther than any of them have guessed . . .
Dark Screams (Dark Screams #9) by Kelley Armstrong, Stewart O’Nan, Taylor Grant, Jonathan Moore, Peter Straub, Lee Thomas, edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard T. Chizmar
INVITATION TO THE GAME by Kelley Armstrong. Vivienne dreams of moving up in the company, and now she’s got her chance. All the company asks in return is that she prove her absolute devotion by playing a simple, silly little game….SUMMER OF ’77 by Stewart O’Nan. Suntanned and bleached blond, the boys and girls of summer never expect anything to interrupt their carefree days. They never see me coming until it’s too late. THE DEAD YEARS by Taylor Grant. Emma was the great love of his life, even after she vanished. So when she reappears at a cocktail party fifteen years later, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her from slipping away again. THE BLACKOUT by Jonathan Moore. When a body goes missing from the morgue, Detective Nakahara is called in to investigate. Despite the storm, it should be a simple case. After all, a dead body can’t just walk out on its own . . . right? VARIATIONS ON A THEME FROM SEINFELD by Peter Straub. At six years old, Clyde noticed that his reflection decided not to show up in the mirror. Whenever it happens, he just needs to go through the mirror and fetch him. The trick is making it back. TORN by Lee Thomas. Luther’s Bend is the kind of place where bad things just aren’t supposed to happen, but even the sleepiest towns have secrets . . . and the full moon can bring retribution for all manners of sins.
Heart on Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #3) by Amanda Bouchet
Who is Catalia Fisa? With the help of pivotal figures from her past, Cat begins to understand the root of her exceptional magic, her fated union with Griffin Sinta, and Griffin’s role in shaping her destiny. Only Cat holds the key to unlocking her own power, and that means finally accepting herself, her past, and her future in order to protect her loved ones, confront her murderous mother, and taking a final, terrifying step–reuniting all three realms and taking her place as the Queen of Thalyria. What doesn’t kill her will only make her stronger…we hope.
Ghostly Tricks (Harper Harlow Mystery #8) by Lily Harper Hart
It’s the most magical time of the year … for Harper and Zander, that is. Not Christmas, mind you, but Halloween….That’s right, Whisper Cove’s favorite ghost-hunting duo are decking out their house for their favorite holiday – and they’re only mildly fighting while doing it. All that comes to a screeching halt when Harper notices her neighbor acting odd and realizes he’s dead … leaving nothing but a cranky ghost and a lot of questions behind. …Henry Spencer wasn’t well liked (to say the least) and Harper is convinced he was murdered while her boyfriend Jared, who happens to be the police officer investigating the incident, is leaning toward natural causes. Unfortunately for Harper, Henry seems confused and can’t answer the obvious questions when it comes to his death. …In quick succession, Harper realizes not only is she right but Henry might be underselling the danger. She’s in trouble … again … and Jared has no idea how to get her out of it. …Between cantankerous ghosts, endless suspects and a teenage granddaughter who seems like a viable suspect despite her age, Harper has her hands full. She needs to solve the case, save the day and put Henry to rest … and she needs to do it before the Halloween season kicks into overdrive. …It’s all out mayhem for Harper and Zander, and the only thing they’re truly focused on is getting out alive.
Blood Dolls (Blood Vice #4) by Angela Roquet
Jenna thought becoming a Blood Vice agent would solve all her problems, but now she’s sworn to solve House Lilith’s problems, too. And there’s no shortage of trouble when dealing with the most regal vampire family in the United States. …The duke’s first assignment for Jenna and company is to locate Ursula, the estranged Duchess of House Lilith suspected of murdering her sire. It’s a tall order—a wild bat chase, some might say—and the long hours with half-sired agent Roman Knight soon drive Jenna to distraction, and possible destruction. Lusting after another vampire’s pending scion is a dangerous game, one with legal ramifications in Jenna’s brave new underworld.
Dragon Blood (Lupi #14) by Eileen Wilks
When a mission to rescue five children stolen by an Old One falls apart under the assault of a demon prince, Lily wakes up in a strange reality—and is immediately taken captive by the dragon spawn who rule there. Jumping worlds has fractured her party, and Cynna is her only companion. …Although the clock is ticking, time works differently, and Lily has miraculously gained a week. That means seven days to free herself, find Rule and the others, rescue the children, and make it home alive. All before the dragon spawn holding her hostage trade her to the Old One. It would almost be doable if this weren’t Lóng Jia—also known as Dragonhome: the birthplace of dragons.
Fallen Gods (Tides of War #2) by James A. Moore
Brogan McTyre and his compatriots are wanted, dead or alive. Preferably alive, so they can be sacrificed to the raging gods. All they can do is hire more mercenaries and turn them into a fearsome army. But warriors aren’t enough when the gods bring Armageddon to the world, unleashing storms and madness, and ceaseless attacks on Brogan’s men by increasingly demonic foes….Deep in the heart of the Broken Blades Mountains lies a sword containing the heart of a god slain in immortal combat, the one thing that might give Brogan an edge against the gods, but finding it isn’t going to be easy…
Magic Calls (Echoes #1) by Miriam Greystone
A war is brewing beneath the sidewalks of Washington, DC . . . and Molly just sang her way into the middle of it….Molly doesn’t know there’s anything unusual about her voice—she only knows that performing with her band makes her happier than anything else in the world….But everything changes on the night that Molly does more than just entertain her audience—she accidentally entrances them, and narrowly avoids setting off a riot….Now, she’s being hunted by a mysterious group that believes she is descended from the Sirens—and that she’s unworthy of the power she possesses….To survive, she must plunge into a secret world of human-Siren hybrids, where there’s no easy way to know who to trust….With time running out, Molly must learn to wield the power inside her, before the hunters can silence her forever.
Bloodlust (Nightshade #2) by Michelle Rowen
Jillian Conrad’s blood has killed the vampire king. Now an enemy to all vampires, she is targeted for elimination. So is the infant daughter of the dead king. If Jillian doesn’t stand in the way of her death, then everyone, living or dead, is in great peril.
Now, what do you want to win this week? Leave a comment, and the winner will be announced next Monday—plus a new chance to win. Coming tomorrow: Review: A Meddle of Wizards.