Is your head spinning yet? Looks like Clarity was the big draw yesterday! Here we have the second bunch in this week's ridiculous list of 43 new releases in speculative fiction. Part three comes tomorrow. I'm doing a second Reader's Choice giveaway--just tell me what piques your interest out of this bunch. Details at the end of the list! As almost-always, open internationally and, remember, all prize drawings take place on the following Saturday.
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the map. Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves—which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once she arrives, she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends are demons too. Second in the Hex Hall series.
Rumplestiltskin is not his name and this hunk’s no gnarled old goblin. In his quest to land her a rich husband, Gwyneth’s father has gone one step too far and bragged to the king’s steward. Now she faces an impossible task: spin a room full of straw into gold by morning, or their lives are forfeit. She despairs, until a black-garbed figure offers to solve her problem for a price. One kiss. He returns the second night, and the third. With each sensual encounter, the stakes escalate, along with her attraction to her mysterious visitor. Then he claims the ultimate price—her child—and she realizes too late she’s made a deal with the king of the Underworld.
In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack that made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen to the death and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her—slowly. She’s also had her heart broken (twice) by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca. Perhaps the worst thing was the discovery that Celia’s life has been warped by a curse laid on her during childhood, the cause of everything from the death of her little sister to the murder of her best friend the same night that Celia became an Abomination. An ancient rift between the demonic dimension and our own, sealed during the destruction of Atlantis, begins to open, threatening to loose all the demons of hell on humanity—including the one personally bent on destroying Celia.
An Embarrassment of Riches, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (March 1, Tor)
The vampire Count Saint-Germain finds himself a virtual prisoner in the Court of Kunigunde in Bohemia in the 1600s. Rakoczy Ferancsi, as Saint-Germain is known, passes his days making jewels to delight Queen Kunigunde and trying not to become involved in the Court’s intrigues. In this, the vampire fails. Handsome, apparently wealthy, and obviously unmarried, he soon finds himself being sexually blackmailed by Rozsa, an ambitious lady-in-waiting. If he does not satisfy her, she will denounce him to the priests and he’ll be burned at the stake, resulting in his True Death.
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams. As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And when she discovers what Haden truly is, she’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.
As an angel, Remy possesses powers and skills only to be used if the situation calls for it. And the sudden reappearance of the Garden of Eden is just such a situation. Two opposing forces of immortals want the key to the Gates of Eden, so Remy must turn for help to a fallen angel who is sometimes friend, sometimes foe—and always deadly. Fourth in the Remy Chandler series.
Invasion: Book One of the Secret World Chronicle, by Mercedes Lackey,
Dennis Lee, Cody Martin and Steve Libby (March 1, Baen)
In book one of the Secret World Chronicle, created from the online, podcasted “braided novel,” the world has become used to the metahumans—people sometimes perfectly ordinary, but sometimes quite extraordinary in appearance—who mostly worked with their governments as high-powered peace officers fighting crime and rogue metahuman super-criminals. That comfortable world ended in one terrifying day. Suddenly, all world governments are simultaneously attacked by soldiers in giant robotic suits with the swastika symbol of the Third Reich on their metal arms. If these were Nazis, where had they been hiding since the end of World War II? And where had they gotten armor and weapons far in advance of anything on the planet—weapons against which even the metahuman heroes seemed to be helpless?
Feisty 19th-century battle-born witch Blaire Lindsay isn’t happy that her brother Aiden has inherited a musty old castle in the Scottish Highlands—she’d rather stay in Edinburgh with her coven mates and friends. But off to the Highlands they go, and in the castle Blaire discovers secrets her deceased witch mother never shared with her—like the fact that gentleman vampire James Maitland, Lord Kettering, is locked in the basement. James is glad to escape his prison, but finds he doesn’t want to escape Blaire.
Guided by the crazed visions of his adviser Merle, King knows that he must unite the opposing factions before the streets of Indianapolis erupt in all-out war. But how can he preach peace when even his own warriors are plotting against him? A mix of ancient myth and powerful gang action from the author of King Maker (2010). Second in the Knights of Breton Court series.
In the fourth book in the October Daye series, someone is targeting the nearest and dearest of “Toby” Daye, the half-human, half-fae who’s the only changeling to earn knighthood. Toby is still reeling from her encounter with Blind Michael but gradually beginning to recover—until her old enemy Oleander de Merelands returns to San Francisco, or so it seems. And with the Queen of the Mists involved, Toby must find a way to learn about her place in Faerie and sort truth from lies.
May feels her life drying up. The sea calls to her, but her parents forbid her from swimming. She longs for books, but her mother finds her passion for learning strange. She yearns for independence, but a persistent suitor, Rudd, wants to tame her spirited ways. Yet after her fifteenth birthday, the urge to break free becomes overpowering and May makes a life-changing discovery. She does not belong on land where girls are meant to be obedient. She is a mermaid. But not everyone is pleased with May’s transformation. Rudd decides that if can’t have May, no one will. He knows how to destroy her happiness and goes to drastic measures to ensure that May loses everything: her freedom and the only boy she’s ever loved. This is the second in Lasky’s Daughters of the Sea quartet.
The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was supernatural. With the help of the last registered wizard in England and the assistance of a beautiful jazz aficionado, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant, otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.
Kristin Daniels is passionate in her pursuit of the truth. As the host of the television show “Hoax Hunters,” she’s traveled the world to explore—and expose—life’s most enduring myths. Her latest undertaking is no exception: Kris is bound for Scotland, where she intends to get to the bottom of the Loch Ness monster legend. Instead, she encounters something far more mysterious, for in the ruins of the lake’s Urquhart Castle lies a sleek, muscled man with a seductive brogue named Liam. Is he for real? Or has the spell of the moon touched them both?
Welcome to Nevermore, Texas, population 503, where witches and wizards live side by side with humans, and where witch Lucy Rackmore is in trouble. Ever since her former lover snuffed out her magical abilities, everyone in town is looking to settle a score with her family. And Lucy’s only hope for survival may be the ex-brother-in-law her sister betrayed. A Wizards of Nevermore book.
For over half a century, Richard Matheson has enthralled and terrified readers with such timeless classics as I Am Legend, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Duel, Somewhere in Time, and What Dreams May Come. Now the Grand Master returns with a bewitching tale of erotic suspense and enchantment.…1918. A young American soldier, recently wounded in the Great War, Alex White comes to Gatford to escape his troubled past. The pastoral English village seems the perfect spot to heal his wounded body and soul. True, the neighboring woods are said to be haunted by capricious, even malevolent spirits, but surely those are just old wives’ tales. Aren’t they? A frightening encounter in the forest leads Alex into the arms of Magda Variel, an alluring red-haired widow rumored to be a witch. She warns him to steer clear of the wood and the perilous faerie kingdom it borders, but Alex cannot help himself. Drawn to its verdant mysteries, he finds love, danger…and wonders that will forever change his view of the world. Other Kingdoms casts a magical spell, as conjured by a truly legendary storyteller.
Which one of these do you most want to read—and would you most like to win? If it's part of a series, have you read others in the series and what do you think of them?
As always, to enter: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet/Retweet. Stay tuned Wednesday for even more releases—and one more giveaway!