Thursday, March 31, 2011

Let's Play Again: Who's Your Fictional Soulmate?

Welcome to day two of Preternatura fun and games. Let's talk about dark and dangerous alpha-male heroes. You know you want one. Question is, which one is your soul mate? You know, because chances are when you say "forever," chances are in these worlds it means literally for-evah. (And read on for the contest.)

This is a tough one for me because I generally have someone to crush on in any series I read, which is admittedly pathetic and probably goes a long way toward explaining things I'd rather not think about.

So, let's look at some candidates. I always start with the Brotherhood. Hm...Ah...Hm...Well, okay, my favorite brother is Vishous but I really should have thrown V in for BFF possibilities. He has too many issues for soulmate status, and talk about mother-in-law problems. Oy! I have too many of my own insecurities to handle Z; we'd be pathetic. Phury is too nice, although I'd like to play with his hair. Butch is too...Yankee..and if he likes those Chosen types, well, we aren't going to work. Wrath would scare the crap out of me. John Matthew and his buds are too young. I haven't figured out where Tohr's going to end up and he'd always be thinking about the one who died. So if I had to choose a bhrother, I'd go for Rhage, dragon curse and all. Hey, I can chain the man to a bed and give him antacids as well as the next girl. So Rhage stays in the candidate pool.

Harry Dresden's already my BFF, so I can't take him seriously as a soulmate. Wonder what an evening with Harry and Vishous and a bottle of Grey Goose would be like? I'm thinking FUN. I'd even watch baseball.

Eric Northman from the Soookie Stackhouse series,  who even though I prefer the books to the TV show, will now and forevermore be played by Alexander Skaarsgard. *drool* Eric would be fun but his favorite person would always be Eric, and that would get old in foreverland, so Eric's off the table. Vampire Bill is a wuss. Alcide has to, uh, sow his seed around for the good of the pack too often. Quinn....I loved Quinn...Quinn had purple eyes...Nah, his mama's nuts and his sister's a brat.

Adam Hauptman. Oh yeah. Adam's could be in the running. Although, on second thought, he has a seriously bossy streak and Mercy would beat me with a tire iron. So, I'm going to reluctantly, foot-draggingly pass on Adam.

Kisten would have been right up toward the top of the list but we know what Kim Harrison did to that daydream. Witch.

Who have I forgotten? I know I've forgotten someone major. But I can't think offhand of who that might be, so...

Soulmate: Rhage.

Play day contest is for another three-book mystery prize pack--no, not the same one as yesterday. Just tell me  your fictional soulmate to enter:  +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Soulmates, anyone?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's Play: Who's Your Fictional BFF? (& Prize Pack Giveaway)

We're all readers here, right? And we're a tad obsessive about our favorite series and genres. So let's play some games this week. Today: who's a potential buddy in the books you read? Who would you like to hang out with, have a drink with? No, get your minds out of the gutters--nothing sex-related here (uh, that's for tomorrow).

I started thinking about this and going through some of my favorite and/or regular series.

There's the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, which is on everyone's mind this week. I can't see me hanging out with Payne or the Scribe Virgin. I like Beth and Bella. I could be buddies with them. Especially if I had my own brothah to...oh, wait, no that's for tomorrow. Nah....too much temptation hanging around the mansion. Scrap Beth and Bella. Sorry, girlfriends.

Sookie would annoy me, what with reading my mind and all. Plus she has a bad habit of getting beat up, and you never know where the extra fists might fly. On the other hand, Eric might...oh, right. Tomorrow.

Anita...well, no. She's crabby, for one thing, not to mention she'd be off having sex with someone all the time and I'd be left to wander alone beneath the Circus of the Damned. With my luck, the Mother of All Vampires would be hanging around and then I'd be dead, and for what?

Bella Swann...Uh, no. I'd strangle her within the first hour for being too stupid to live, and then Edward's whole family would be after me.

Harry and Ron and Hermione are fun, but too young and prone for spells going awry. Plus I'm too old. First thing I knew, they'd be comparing me to old Toad-face and I'd be down in the cottage drinking with Hagrid and playing with dragon's eggs.

Rachel Morgan would be great fun. She's loyal and has an awesome sense of humor and likes to say "crap on toast," which never fails to make me laugh. But....sheesh, Algaliarept comes as part of the package and as amusing as I find our favorite demon on the printed page, I just don't want to hang with him, you know?

Mercy Thompson would be fun to hang with at the garage, but she, too, gets in too much trouble and has to have the werewolves come and save her. Plus, she's kind of intense and I don't want to get motor oil on my clothes.

So, here's who I've picked: Harry Dresden. Harry is funny. He's self-deprecating. He has the mad skills to get us out of whatever ridiculous situation he's gotten us into. He has a big brave dog, and one of his best friends is a Knight of the Cross. And he has Bob the skull and a sexy vampire brother. So Harry's my BFF.

Who's yours? I'm looking to unload some books this week, so a random player today will win a three-book surprise pack. I would tell you what's in the box, but then I'd have to decide right now. Heh.

So, for the BFF surprise pack, go forth and comment. +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Friends, anyone?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Part Two: New Releases March 27-April 2 & Reader's Choice Contest

Sure, I know you could skip right to the end and tell me you want a copy of the new Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Lover Unleashed. But then you'd miss out on 16 other new books that wrap up this week's mammoth list of new releases. So, another Reader's Choice contest today. See which of this group appeals to you...and, sure, you can still request Lover Unleashed. I shall be accosting the UPS man in the parking lot this morning when my copy arrives. Because I want this book, and besides, those brown UPS man-shorts are kinda hot. Contest details at the end.
The Kings of Eternity, by Eric Brown (March 29, Solaris)
1999, on the threshold of a new millennium, the novelist Daniel Langham lives a reclusive life on an idyllic Greek island, hiding from humanity and the events of the past. All that changes, however, when he meets artist Caroline Platt and finds himself falling in love. But what is his secret, and what are the horrors that haunt him? 1935. Writer Jonathon Langham and Edward Vaughan are summoned from London by their editor friend Jasper Carnegie to help investigate strange goings on in Hopton Wood. What they discover there – no less than a strange creature from another world – will change their lives forever. What they become, and their link to the novelist of the future, is the subject of Eric Brown’s most ambitious novel to date.

Lover Unleashed, by J.R. Ward (March 29, NAL)
(Okay, let’s just all stop and squeal like ghirls now that this one’s finally out!) Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them?

Master and Apprentice, by Sonya Bateman (March 29, Pocket)
Luck has never been on Gavyn Donatti’s side. Anyone else with magic abilities inherited from a distant genie relative would have it made, but not Donatti, descendant of a cranky, shape-shifting genie named Ian. The prince of a murdered kingdom, consumed with revenge and driven by an unbreakable curse, Ian is determined to hunt down and destroy every last one of his enemies in the power-hungry snake clan—at any cost, including his life. Or Donatti’s. Obsessed by his own rage, Ian has never really taught Donatti how to use his abilities. So when a powerful cult of magic-users captures Ian’s wife, the princess Akila, and then Ian himself, Donatti is left alone to take on dozens of half-djinn and their mysterious leader with designs on world domination.

Phantom Evil, by Heather Graham (March 29, Mira)
A secret government unit is formed under the oversight of Adam Harrison, famed paranormal investigator. The six members he’s gathered know a little of the otherworldly — each has honed a psychic talent of their own. Jackson Crow, part English, part Cheyenne, heads the group. Haunted by his experience with an ancestral ghost who saved his life as a child, Jackson can’t tell if Adam’s demoted him or given him an extraordinary opportunity. To counterbalance Jackson’s careful skepticism, Adam Harrison has paired him with Angela Hawkins, a young woman who learned the painful lesson of loss at an early age. The case: In a historic mansion in New Orleans’ French Quarter, a senator’s wife falls to her death from a balcony. Most think she jumped, distraught over the loss of her young son. Some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits that inhabit the house — once the site of a serial killer’s grisly work.

Ravenous, by VK Forrest (March 29, Kensington)
Welcome to the quiet coastal town of Clare Point, Delaware, where the Kahill vampire clan has made its home for centuries. . .and where one vampire's love for a human woman could put their entire world at risk. As a member of his clan's kill team, Liam McCathal helps rid the world of undesirables. It's the perfect job for a vampire of his talents--except that lately, Liam is getting a little too good at it. Which is why he's back home to "cool off" when Mai walks into his antique store and changes everything. Liam's not in the habit of making friends--least of all with beautiful, exotic human females. But something about Mai ignites a spark he hasn't felt in over a century. When Mai's uncle is killed and her father threatened, Liam takes on a ruthless crime boss and puts every vampire in Clare Point in danger of discovery.

The Return of Black Douglas, by Elaine Coffman (April 1, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
While visiting the Scottish tombs of her forebears, American archeologist Isobella Douglas encounters the ghost of her famous ancestor, Sir James, the Black Douglas. The matchmaking ghost seizes on her romantic fantasies, and before she knows it, Isobella and her twin sister, Elisabeth, a doctor, find themselves whisked to 16th-century Scotland, inappropriately dressed. When the dastardly Macleans capture Elisabeth, Alysandir Mackinnon, entirely fascinated by half-naked, strong-willed Isobella, offers to help her get her sister back. Bestseller Coffman spins a love story between her two intelligent, stubborn protagonists in a novel filled with period detail.

Rush of Darkness, by Rhyannon Byrd (March 29, HQN)
Raine Spenser is on the brink. Held prisoner because of her abilities, Raine—a powerful psychic as well as vampire desperately needed a savior. But the last one she expected was the green-eyed soldier who’d once hunted her kind. Since her rescue, she’s tried to forget Seth McConnell, unable to cope with the strange, simmering attraction that draws her to the compelling human. But their goals—find the Kraven who held Raine captive and destroy him—are the same. The ever-growing web of danger surrounding them draws these two unlikely allies closer together, and anger slowly turns into an explosive passion they’re finding harder and harder to deny.
Seaborne, by Katherine Irons (March 29, Brava)
Enter the realm of Seaborne. Shrouded in mist, the hidden shoreline near her family's Maine estate is a place of refuge for Claire Bishop. There, she can forget the physical limitations imposed by a tragic accident and escape judgmental eyes. Yet someone is watching from the depths of the sea, a being who senses her inner despair and is drawn to help her. Prince Morgan, risen from the waves and as perfect a man Claire has ever laid eyes on. She is sure she has dreamed him into existence--Morgan's masculine beauty and sensual tenderness cannot be real. Then the dream overtakes reality. . .With Morgan at her side, Claire is suddenly freed, swimming with him to a lost paradise, a fantastic underwater world with a sunken stone city at its heart. Soon the lovers find that their union has aroused the wrath of his warring clan--but Claire would rather die than return to her crippling life on earth.

The Shadow Guard, by Diane Whiteside (March 29, Brava)
The Shadow Guard. They are the darkest of Black Ops. A force operating outside the sphere of the CIA or FBI. Taking their mandate not from the U.S. government, but from magic. And sex. Sahir. Astrid Carlson is one of them, a mage on a mission. With her wispy blond hair and those long, long legs, she can make a man forget himself. Until it's way too late. Kubri. Jake Hammond is the only thing she needs, the human conductor who can focus all her strength, bringing her to a peak of power, or shattering her completely. Yeah, she's got a hundred or so years on him, but who's counting when there's an unstoppable assassin to take down--and unstoppable chemistry to take on.

Shiver of Fear, by Roxanne St. Claire (April 1, Forever)
Burned by a failed marriage, former FBI agent Marc Rossi wants back in the investigation game with no emotional strings attached. Taking an assignment for his enterprising Angelino cousins, he heads to Northern Ireland to pry a key piece of evidence from a missing socialite

any way he can. But when the ice queen turns out to be warm, beautiful, and on a secret mission of her own, the job becomes a passionate reminder of what happens when duty and desire mix. The daughter of an infamous fugitive, Devyn Sterling has survived betrayal only to find that her mother has mysteriously disappeared. When her search uncovers secrets, lies, and threats, Devyn and Marc must trust each other when every instinct says they can't, and a terrorist wants to make sure they won't live to try. Second in the Guardian  Angelinos series.

Surrender the Dark, by L.A. Banks (March 29, Pocket)
This new paranormal series is set in a sizzling world where Dark and Light are trapped in an eternal struggle for the fate of mankind. Celeste Jackson has fought all her life against a fog of hallucination and substance abuse, but it’s not until she meets her protector, Azrael, an angel who has left the safety of the Light, that she learns of the evil forces that have been trying to ruin her, and why. A fierce battle for control of the mortal realm is brewing, and only Celeste—with the help of the Remnant, her half-human, half-angel brethren—can stand in the way.

Tiassa (Vlad), by Steven Brust (March 29, Tor)
Once, Vlad Taltos knew his trade: he killed people for a living. That skill got him his foothold in House Jhereg, running the rackets for a chunk of urban Adrilankha. Later things happened, leaving Vlad a changed man, on the run from the Jhereg, and frequently involved in the affairs of Dragonlords, Empresses, and even Jenoine. Far more involved than the average short-lived human. Meanwhile in the very distant past, one of the gods fashioned an artifact

a silver tiassa. To Devera the Wanderer, it's a pretty toy to play with. To Vlad, it's a handy prop for a con he's running. To the Empire, it's a tool to be used against the Jenoine. And to the Jhereg, it's a trap to kill Vlad. As it happens, however, the silver tiassa has its own agenda.

Vampire Mine, by Kerrelyn Sparks (March 29, HarperCollins)
After 499 years of existence, Connor Buchanan has arrived at an inescapable conclusion: he is a cold-hearted SOB. He's been watching his friends—those poor romantic fools—plummet off the cliff into love like a dazed herd of sheep. But not Connor. He knows that love leads to nothing but heartache.
Until Marielle. She is an angel cast down from heaven for disobedience. Trapped in mortal form, she finds a protector in Connor, a Scottish vampire haunted by a dark past. Marielle hopes to heal his broken heart and earn her way back home, but suddenly she has these . . . feelings. Is this the work of a demon luring her into hell, or has this angel found heavenly bliss? Tenth in the Love at Stake series.

Vegas Knights, by Matt Forbeck (March 29, Angry Robot)
The two magicians came to take Vegas. Now Vegas is taking them back. When two college freshman decide to use Spring Break to wage a magic assault on the gambling tables of Las Vegas, little can they imagine that Vegas harbors a dark magical secret of its own

the whole place is run by magic, and an undead Harry Houdini's in charge. U.S. release. Described as “Harry Potter meets Oceans Eleven.”

Wake Unto Me, by Lisa Cach (March 31, Speak)
Caitlyn Monahan knows she belongs somewhere else. It's what her dead mother's note suggested, and it's what her recurring nightmares allude to. Desperate to flee these terrifying dreams, she accepts a spot at a boarding school in France, where she has amazing dreams with visits from an alluring, mysterious, and gorgeous Italian boy from the 1500s. Caitlyn knows they are soul mates, but how can she be in love with someone who exists only in her dreams? As her reality and dream worlds collide, Caitlyn searches for the real reason why she was brought to this school.

Waking Nightmares, by Christopher Golden (March 29, Ace)
Peter Octavian, once a vampire, now a powerful mage, has been living a quiet life in San Francisco. But when the barrier that used to prevent demons and monsters from entering the world have fallen, Octavian is compelled to do what he can to hold back the darkness. Fifth in the Shadow Saga series.

The White Luck Warrior, by R. Scott Bakker (March 31, Overlook)
In the second book in the Aspect-Emperor series, AnasĂ»rimbor Kellhus and his Great Ordeal march farther into the wastes of the Ancient North. Esmenet finds herself at war with not only the Gods, but her own family. Achamian, meanwhile, leads his own ragtag expedition to the legendary ruins of Sauglish, and to a truth he can scarcely survive, let alone comprehend. Into this tumult walks the White-Luck Warrior, assassin and messiah both. 

Whew! See anything to keep you away from the Brothers? You know the routine: +1 entry for comment telling me which book you'd want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Go to it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Releases March 27-April 2 & Reader's Choice Contest

Strap on your seat belts and hold on! We’re in for a wild couple of weeks with 34 new releases this week in urban fantasy, paranormal romance, epic fantasy and science fiction. Yow. And easily as many next week. I’m going to divide the new releases over two days, today and tomorrow, and will sponsor a Reader’s Choice giveaway both days. So….what do you want to read? Contest details at the end.
The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, 
by Molly Harper (March 29, Pocket)
Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stone’s throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans, the valley’s pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg. Maggie just can’t seem to convince Nick to leave . . . and even worse, she can’t convince herself to stay away from him. Second in the Naked Werewolf series.

Born at Midnight, by C.C. Hunter 
(March 29, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Kylie Galen has had a lot of crap tossed in her lap. Her parents are getting a divorce. Her boyfriend broke up with her because she wouldn't put out. Her grandmother died and now Kylie's acquired a stalker. Unfortunately, she's the only one who seems to be able to see the stalker. And that gets her sent to a psychologist's sofa. The kooky psychologist gets Kylie sent to Shadow Falls Camp. Kylie and her parents think it's a camp for troubled teens. They thought wrong. It's a camp of supernaturals: vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches and shape shifters. And if she believes the camp leader, Kylie is one of them, too. First in a new series.

Children of Scarabaeus, by Sara Creasy 
(March 29, Harper Voyager)
The crib is everywhere . . . Edie Sha'nim believes she and her bodyguard lover, Finn, could find refuge from the tyranny of the Crib empire by fleeing to the Fringe worlds. But Edie's extraordinary cypherteck ability to manipulate the ecology of evolving planets makes her far too valuable for the empire to lose. Recaptured and forced to cooperate—or else she will watch Finn die—Edie is shocked to discover the Crib's new breed of cypherteck: children.  Second in the Scarabaeus series.

City of Hope & Despair, by Ian Whates 
(March 29, Angry Robot)
Dark forces are gathering in the shadowy depths of Thaiburley, and the whole city is under threat. The former street-nick, Tom, embarks on a journey to discover the source of the great river Thair, said to be the ultimate power behind all of Thaiburley. Accompanying him are the assassin Dewar and the young Thaistess Mildra. It soon becomes evident that their journey has more significance than any of them realize. Second in the City of a Hundred Rows series.

Con & Conjure, by Lisa Shearin 
(March 29, Ace)
Raine Benares is a seeker who finds lost things and people. Ever since the Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that's given her unlimited power, has bonded to her, the goblin king and the elves have wanted to possess its magic themselves. Which means a goblin thief and her ex-fiancéan elven assassinare after her. To survive, she'll need the help of her notorious criminal family. Fifth in the Raine Benares series.

Dark Jenny, by Alex Bledsoe (March 29, Tor)
Freelance Sword Jockey Eddie LaCrosse is in the wrong place at the wrong time while conducting a undercover investigation on the island kingdom of Grand Bruan. When a poisoned apple kills a member of the Queens personal guard, Eddie becomes the prime suspect in the murder. He must do do some fast talking to keep his head attached to his shoulders. Trying to clear his name and find the real killer, Eddie becomes embroiled in a nasty political scandal. Someone is trying to ruin Queen Jennifer, and they don't care who they kill on the way. Third in the Eddie LaCrosse series.

The Darkest Secret, by Gena Showalter 
(March 29, Harlequin)
Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when new demons possess him, the immortal warrior must be chained and isolated to protect those he loves. Death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty… Haidee is an infamous demon assassin, raised to despise Amun’s kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her

Deathless, by Catherynne M. Valente 
(March 29, Tor)
Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the twentieth century as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei’s beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing.

Department 19, by Will Hill 
(March 31, Razorbill)
In a secret supernatural battle that's been raging for over a century, the stakes have just been raisedand they're not wooden anymore. When Jamie Carpenter's mother is kidnapped by strange creatures, he finds himself dragged into Department 19, the government's most secret agency. Fortunately for Jamie, Department 19 can provide the tools he needs to find his mother, and to kill the vampires who want him dead. But unfortunately for everyone, something much older is stirring, something even Department 19 can't stand up against.

Demons are a Girl’s Best Friend, by Linda Wisdom
(April 1, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer—that is, until she’s assigned to protect a teenager with major attitude and a sleazy boyfriend. A group of satanic Mayans priests has decided Courtney has a drop of divine blood in her—making her just the virgin sacrifice they need to release their God and rule the world. To prevent this catastrophe, Maggie must team up with half fire demon Declan, the proprietor of Damnation Alley, an underground club and busy demon portal. Declan will be damned if he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some evil Mayans. So he decides to seduce the sexy witch in an effort to discover what the law enforcement agency knows about the Mayan’s plans, but then things get more than a little hot, and Declan finds himself seriously entangled with the sexiest woman he’s ever met.

Embedded, by Dan Abnett 
(March 29, Angry Robot)
When journalist Lex Falk gets himself chipped into the brain of a combat soldier, he thinks he has the ultimate scoopa report from the forbidden front line of a distant planetary war, live to the living rooms of Earth. When the soldier is killed, however, Lex has to take over the body and somehow get himself back to safety once more... broadcasting all the way.

Entwined, by Heather Dixon 
(March 29, Greenwillow)
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.  The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation. Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest. But there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Equations of Life, by Simon Morden 
(March 29, Orbit)
Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor. He survived the bombs falling on St. Petersburg and made it to the London Metrozoneone of the last free cities. He's lived this long because he's a man of rules and logic. For example, getting involveda bad idea. But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking about it. Before he can stop himself, he's saved the daughter of the richest man in London. And clearly saving the girlgetting involved. Now, the equation of Petrovitch's life is looking increasingly complex. Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch. First in a new series.

Eternal Rider, by Larissa Ione 
(March 29, Grand Central)
They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.  Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can'tor won'tunderstand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life. First in a new Lords of Deliverance series.

Fury of the Phoenix, by Cindy Pon 
(March 29, Greenwillow)
The Gods have abandoned Ai Ling. Her mysterious power haunts her day and night, and she leaves home—with just the moon as her guide—overwhelmed by her memories and visions and an unbearable sense of dread. For Ai Ling knows that Chen Yong is vulnerable to corrupt enchantments from the under-world. How can she do nothing when she has the skill and power to fight at his side? A dream has told her where he is, the name of the ship he is traveling on, his destination. So she steals off and stows away on board. The ocean voyage brings with it brutal danger, haunting revelations, and new friendships, but also the premonition of a very real and terrifying threat. Second in the Kingdom of Xia series.

Haunted: Dark Delicacies III: anthology 
(March 29, Ace)
These twenty-one short works will examine and lay bare all the ways in which we are haunted—both literally and figuratively. With a new novella from David Morrell and a short story Chuck Palahniuk is writing as a teaching class on his blog. Also includes stories from Kevin J. Anderson, Clive Barker, Michael Boatman, Heather Graham, Richard Christian Matheson, Victor Salva and more.

Highlander’s Curse, by Melissa Mayhue 
(March 29, Pocket Star)
When Colin Macalister is cursed by the Faerie Queen and ends up in the bed of a 21st-century woman—who also happens to be the most beautiful creature he’s ever laid eyes on—he’s torn between anger and lust. Colin is determined to see Scotland free of English control and must return to the 14th century, yet he cannot forget the woman who haunts his dreams and stirs him with scorching desire. Abigail Porter can’t believe her luck. After making a wish to find her soul mate, she wakes up to find a gorgeous man in her bed! Can he really be a medieval Highlander summoned by her Faerie Magic, however? 

Are you dizzy yet? Which one appeals to you most in today's group? You know the drill: four entries possible: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT. Please include your email...and come back tomorrow for part two. Because you know tomorrow's giveaway will include the new Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Lover Unleashed...RAWR!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Read with me!

I love Stephen King's work. I cut my apocalyptic teeth on The Stand, and It scared the crap out of me. But somehow, I never read the seven-volume Dark Tower series, widely considered King's crowning masterpiece. How did that happen?
So...want to read it with me?

Beginning in May (I'll give you the start date when I have it),  I will be "publicly" reading the entire seven-volume series of Stephen King's The Dark Tower. We're going to read 1-2 chapters a week. It will take at least a year.

So, here's how it will work. Each week, I will read a chapter or two and post a recap on along with my inane ramblings, wonderings, and comments--which will give me a tremendous opportunity to humiliate myself before the legions of Stephen King fans who HAVE read The Dark Tower series. So I'll need some non-humiliating friendly faces--I hope you'll join me and read along. We'll start with the first one, The Gunslinger, which only has five chapters so I'll be doing one chapter a week.

I'm not reading ahead, which would be cheating, so I'll be responding to things in "real time" without any knowledge of what's going to happen.

In the meantime, any other Stephen King fans out there? Have you read The Dark Tower series? Want to join the fun?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's No Contest: We Have Winners!

Saturday means prizes, books, all kinds of goodies!

Coming up next week: TWO Reader's Choice days, because there are tons of new releases coming out March 29, so check it out Monday and Tuesday. On  Wednesday through Friday, I'll be doing random book giveaways and playing games in honor of April Fool's. It will be fun, so be thinking about who your fictional BFF might be; your fictional boyfriend, girlfriend or hot fling; your fictional alter-ego.

Now, for the goodies:

Congrats to SHE for winning this week's Reader's Choice award: she selected The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason.
Congrats to JOANNA and AMBER for winning copies of Tamara Hogan's great new urban fantasy/paranormal romance Taste Me.
Congrats to NOOBLING for winning an ARC of Mark Hodder's The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man.
Congrats to DIANA (aka THE LOVELY GETAWAY) for winning the ARC of Leah Clifford's A Touch Mortal.
Congrats to ANA LUCIA for winning Heather Graham's Phantom Evil.

I'll be contact everyone on Sunday or Monday for mailing info, or you can beat me to the punch by emailing me HERE. Congrats, everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Phantom Evil by Heather Graham

It's Friday (happy dance), and we're all thrilled about that, right? So how about celebrating Friday with a little ghost story set in my favorite city of New Orleans. Today, we're looking at a new paranormal romantic suspense (and first in a new series) by Heather Graham, Phantom Evil.

ABOUT PHANTOM EVIL: A secret government unit is formed under the oversight of Adam Harrison, famed paranormal investigator. The six members he's gathered know a little of the otherworldly—each has honed a psychic talent of their own. Jackson Crow, part English, part Cheyenne, heads the group. Haunted by his experience with an ancestral ghost who saved his life as a child, and the recent murders of two previous teammates, Jackson can't tell if Adam's demoted him or given him an extraordinary opportunity. Despite his link to the realm of spirits, he's well aware that the living commit the most heinous crimes, with spiritualist charlatans existing merely to fool and seduce the unwary.
     To counterbalance Jackson's careful skepticism, Adam Harrison has paired him with Angela Hawkins, a young woman who learned the painful lesson of loss at an early age. A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition in Virginia, she already has her hands full. But Adam's call to New Orleans is strong.
     The case: In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death from a balcony. Most think she jumped, distraught over the loss of her young son. Some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits that inhabit the house—once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.
      Whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion, greed and desire will cast the pair into danger of losing their lives…and their immortal souls.

MY THOUGHTS: This is the first in a new Krewe of Hunters series--as near as I can tell the next three will come out in June (Heart of Evil), July (Sacred Evil) and August (The Evil Inside). It was fun to read a romantic suspense with haunted houses as a break from the usual kickass women fielding demons story, so in that sense I really enjoyed Phantom Evil even though I'm not sure it would technically qualify as urban fantasy. The sense of New Orleans and its old houses is vivid, and each member of the 'Krewe' brings a different skill set to the paranormal team. The characters are well-drawn, and Jackson and Angela have a tense, understated chemistry. The Krewe's mysterious leader, Adam, is sort of left in shadows, although I suspect he'll become clearer as the series progresses.
     I guess my biggest adjustment from reading a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal romance to reading Phantom Evil was the pacing--UF and PNR tend to throw the reader into the middle of the action, whereas Phantom Evil progresses more like a mystery (or romantic suspense). There's a punchy prologue, after which the team forms, we're introduced to each member, and the tension builds. So it feels a little slow in the beginning but eventually ramps up once the stage is set. This is a good, fast read if you're looking for a break from the onslaught of UF and PNR.

Want to win a copy of Phantom Evil? Just tell me your favorite ghost, if you have one! I'm kind of fond of Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter series. As always, +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or Retweet.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review & Giveaway: A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Happy Chocolate-Covered Raisin Day. Seriously, it is. Which begs the question, why does a chocolate-covered raisin need its own day? Since I have no books about chocolate-covered raisins, instead I'll talk about a YA book that I recently finished, A Touch Mortal from debut author Leah Clifford.

ABOUT A TOUCH MORTAL: Eden didn't expect Az. Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings. Yeah. So long, happily-ever-after.
     Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven. She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own. And that's only the beginning of the end.

MY THOUGHTS: I love the idea of this book, which examines some of the issues facing today's young adults--self-mutilation and food issues and peer pressure and suicide. Clifford's portrayal  of what lies between heaven and hell (or, in this case, "Upstairs" and "Downstairs") is fascinating, and the emotions are intense. So yes, I liked this book even as it disturbed me and made me think (which ultimately is a good thing). It's really dark, so I have to warn you about that. Most books, even dystopian fiction, have some shred of positivity that shines through--a nobility of character or an unselfishness of spirit. A Touch Mortal didn't quite give that to me. It is, however, thought-provoking and intriguing and it did something not many books achieve--it honestly surprised me at the end. Clifford also did a great job of creating flawed and engaging, if not entirely sympathetic, characters.

If you've read A Touch Mortal, what did you think of it? I'm giving away an ARC of A Touch Mortal to one commenter. As always, +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or Retweet. Put away your razor blades!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review & ARC Giveaway: The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man--New Steampunk by Mark Hodder

First off, thanks again to Tamara Hogan for being on the blog yesterday and checking in from time to time! There's still time to enter for a copy of her great new paranormal romance, Taste Me--just scroll down....And now for a change of pace, let's talk Steampunk (with an emphasis on the punk)!

From its Jon Sullivan cover art to its mind-boggling finale, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man brings back Mark Hodder’s unlikely detective duo of Sir Richard Francis Burton, in the waning years of his exploring career and now a King’s Agent, and Algernon Charles Swinburne, the small flame-haired poet with a taste for alcohol and some occasional bondage.

In writings and interviews, author Hodder has said he wanted to keep the “punk” in steampunk, and after the inventive first book in the series, The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack, it was hard to imagine anything matching its clever blend of technological invention, topsy-turvy history and social awareness. (Just wait till you read about the carrier parrot system--which works great except the parrots have potty-mouth--LOL.) 

Hodder’s steampunk isn’t technology in a vacuum. It has consequences, from the miasma of London’s smoky air to the wildly divergent lifestyles of its class system. (And for those who didn't read Spring-Heeled Jack, it isn't necessary to read this one as this book is self-contained except for the presence of the main characters.)

I’m pleased to say Clockwork Man meets up to my expectations, taking another famous British mystery--the Tichborne Claimant--and turning it on its ear while Burton and Swinburne encounter haunted mansions, madhouses, and another assortment of famous people who, in this vastly different world of 1862 London, find their roles changed, from philosopher Herbert Spencer, now a homeless man, to Florence Nightingale. 

Clockwork Man is a wild, funny ride of a read that I hated to see end. If you think you already know don't.

Want to win an ARC of The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man? Just tell me what you think of steampunk--do you like it? Are you tired of it? Haven't dipped your toe in that pool  yet? Be sure to include your email. As always +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Drawing will take place very early Saturday morning, March 26. Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Q&A: Tamara Hogan & Giveaway of 'Taste Me'

I'm really pleased to welcome author Tamara Hogan to Preternatura today! Tammy's debut book, Taste Me, came out a few weeks ago with Sourcebooks Casablanca and I have to say here it is REALLY good--a nice blend of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Taste Me has beautifully complex worldbuilding filled with all kinds of preternaturals ruled by a joint council, and some dissention in the ranks. If you're a fan of multiple-species paranormal romances (the hero and heroine are an incubus and siren, respectively), you'll want to check this one out. And it's the first in a new series!

First, about Taste Me:   He Wants Her So Badly He Can Taste It…Ever since their tempestuous fling years ago, incubus Lukas Sebastiani has known that siren Scarlett Fontaine was meant to be his. But when you’re a sex demon with an insatiable desire, relationships are way more than complicated…Her Siren Songs Bring Men to Their Knees…Rock star Scarlett Fontaine desperately needs a break after a grueling tour. But with murder and mayhem surrounding her band, and the one man she never thought to see again put to the task of protecting her, life is going to be anything but peaceful…Every encounter between them creates more turmoil—and heat—until Scarlett pushes Lukas to the boiling point, and unleashes forces that go way beyond anything she can hope to control…

Q: Welcome!  I love the complexity of your world. What drew you to create a multi-paranormal world with a broad range of preternaturals―from vampires to weres to incubi to sirens, ruled by a sort of paranormal UN?
TH: Oh, a paranormal UN…I love the way you phrase that! While I was building the world, I kept circling back to two thoughts: “Mythological creatures are real” and “Winners write history.” I enjoyed wrapping my brain around an origin story that took both of these concepts into account. What if mythological creatures wrote the very mythology that humans know, so they could hide in plain sight? What if “first contact”— humanity’s first contact with extra-planetary intelligence—had actually occurred a long time ago, and humanity just wasn’t aware of it yet? What if they decided, based upon their observations of our behavior, that human civilization wasn’t yet advanced enough to deal with the news that they weren’t alone in the universe? 

Q: Which “race” is your favorite?
TH: Gotta say the sirens. Being a person grounded in the physical world, one of my goals for the species I created was to propose feasible biological origins for my preternaturals’ unusual skills, abilities and vulnerabilities. In the world I created, we share more similarities with them than differences; they simply sprouted from a different branch of our shared evolutionary tree. I like the idea that the gentle sirens, while not particularly physically strong, can control a room with their voices. I also liked exploring modern-day occupations at which sirens would excel. Scarlett is a singer, her mother Claudette is a politician, and her sister Annika is a voice-over artist. I explicitly crafted the conflict between Scarlett and Lukas so it would be exacerbated by their biology. What happens when you pair a control freak incubus who has to absorb emotional energy for survival with a pissed off siren who amplifies emotion with her voice? ;-)
Q: How did you go about creating Scarlett’s playlist? Did you sit around for months finding the sexiest music you could uncover? (Because I went and listened to some and it is smokin’!)  
TH: (Laughs) What does it say about me that all those songs were already on my iPod, just waiting for me to put them to work? Once I got the idea of Scarlett crafting a set list which would make Lukas writhe with frustration, it then became a matter of finding the right songs—so I went to my iTunes library and searched for songs with sexually-loaded titles. There were other songs that I knew had the lyrical content I needed to illustrate how Scarlett’s own emotional state changed through the show, and how her plan to drive her big, bad bodyguard to distraction ultimately boomerangs back on her.      

Q: Could you talk a little about your path to publication as a debut author? I know this manuscript won or was nominated for a couple of awards before you signed with Sourcebooks. How long had you been writing?  
TH: Though I earned a B.A. in English/Creative writing many moons ago, I came out of college with a crushing case of performance anxiety. It took me over twenty years after graduation to seriously tackle writing a manuscript. I started writing the story in 2006/2007. The manuscript, then called Underbelly, was named an RWA Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier paranormal contest finalist in 2009, winning the Daphne and then selling to Sourcebooks as part of a three book deal. So, I haven’t been writing long—but I like to think that, as a lifelong reader of romance, I was…in training. I absorbed a lot of craft knowledge from reading other people’s books.      

Q: What’s on your bedside table to read? Do you have a favorite author or series?
TH: Right now I’m finishing Eloisa James’s When Beauty Tamed the Beast. Also on my auto-buy list is anything and everything by Nalini Singh—I think her Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunters series are absolute bloody genius. I’ve read, and will continue to read, everything Nora Roberts writes. Anne Stuart makes me cackle with glee; Emma Holly always satisfies, and Lois McMaster Bujold can school me anytime.
Q: You explore two very different worlds in Taste Me—both high-tech security and the life of a rock star weary of a long tour. What kind of research did you do (unless you’re actually a gun-toting, computer-wielding chanteuse yourself)?
TH: Ha!! Though my day job is in technology, high-tech security is not my area of expertise. While a few authentic technical details can go a long, long way, one of the benefits of creating an alternate world is flexibility. I’m not necessarily bound to using technology that actually exists, or to using human processes and procedures. (The preternaturals are developing some pretty whiz-bang stuff at Sebastiani Labs.) Most of my music exposure comes from friends in the business, and decades of club hopping and concert-going. I live near Minneapolis, home of First Avenue, the nightclub Prince made famous in the movie “Purple Rain,” and a thriving live music scene. I have to admit that as I get older, I spend less time dodging elbows in the pit than I used to.
Q: What’s next in the Underbelly series? Will we be revisiting characters we met in Taste Me?
TH: I just typed THE END on Taste Me’s follow-up, Chase Me, which pairs archaeologist and Valkyrie council member Lorin Schlessinger with by-the-book werewolf geologist Gabe Lupinsky as they search for evidence of their ancestors. Chase Me is scheduled for a March 2012 release. Reformed computer hacker Bailey Brown will be featured in Underbelly Chronicles Book Three, Tempt Me. Most of the characters mentioned in Taste Me will ultimately be heroes and heroines in future books in the series. Readers are already asking when Lukas’s feisty sister Sasha will get her own story. Soon, I swear!
     Thanks so much for inviting me to spend some time with you and your readers today!

Read an excerpt! (mature readers only)  
Thanks, Tamara! Want to win a copy of Taste Me? The nice folks at Sourcebooks Casablanca are offering two for commenters today. Leave a comment, and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now...Go forth and comment!

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 20-26 New Releases & Reader's Choice Giveaway

It’s Monday, and you know what that means: new releases! There are a ton today, so just keep scrolling. A little bit of everything from SF to YA to Fantasy to Paranormal Romance this week, so see what gets your motor revving (and if you missed out on winning The Vampire Voss last week, here’s another chance). Reader’s choice giveaway details at end.

Black Halo (Aeon’s Gate 2), by Sam Sykes (March 22, Pyr)
THE TOME OF THE UNDERGATES HAS BEEN RECOVERED.....and the gates of hell remain closed. Lenk and his five companions set sail to bring the accursed relic away from the demonic reach of Ulbecetonth, the Kraken Queen. But after weeks at sea, tensions amidst the adventurers are rising. Their troubles are only beginning when their ship crashes upon an island made of the bones left behind from a war long dead. And it appears that bloodthirsty alien warrior women, fanatical beasts from the deep, and heretic-hunting wizards are the least of their concerns.

Crysis: Legion, by Peter Watts (March 22, Del Rey)
Welcome to the Big Apple, son. Welcome to the city that never sleeps: invaded by monstrous fusions of meat and machinery, defended by a private army that makes Blackwater look like the Red Cross, ravaged by a disfiguring plague that gifts its victims with religious rapture while it eats them alive. You’ve been thrown into this meat grinder without warning, without preparation, without a clue. Your whole squad was mowed down the moment they stepped onto the battlefield. And the chorus of voices whispering in your head keeps saying that all of this is on you.

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, by Mark Hodder (March 22, Pyr)
It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be...Time has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king's agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended. When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection—black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times.

The Enterprise of Death, by Jesse Bullington (March 24, Orbit)
As the witch-pyres of the Spanish Inquisition blanket Renaissance Europe in a moral haze, a young African slave finds herself the unwilling apprentice of an ancient necromancer. Unfortunately, quitting his company proves even more hazardous than remaining his pupil when she is afflicted with a terrible curse. Yet salvation may lie in a mysterious tome her tutor has hidden somewhere on the war-torn continent. She sets out on a seemingly impossible journey to find the book, never suspecting her fate is tied to three strangers: the artist Niklaus Manuel Deutsch, the alchemist Dr. Paracelsus, and a gun-slinging Dutch mercenary.

Fallen, by Michele Hauf (March 22, Nocturne)
Wanting to be a part of mankind, the angel fell—losing his halo, the prize that held his earthbound soul. Now Cooper must retrieve it. But wherever the Fallen walk, a Sinistari demon intent with slaying one is not far behind. Cooper knows he must be wary of this demon. But his first encounter with her leaves him curiously hungering for more... To reclaim her own soul, Pyxion must kill an angel. Not just any angel, but one who's fallen to earth and taken on an irresistible, seductive human form. She never expected that she would feel an attraction for the man she hunted—or that she might need his help.

Golden Vampire, by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom (March 22, Nocturne)
For former cop Jesse Stewart, giving herself—mind and body—to sexy vampire Lance Van Baaren meant losing her soul. Hired by the government to find a senator's missing daughter, she instead found a haunting link to her past. And now something is drawing her to the one man she should despise….Once a knight, Lance had sworn to protect the innocent. And one of those young innocents had been Jesse. Now face-to-face with the alluring woman she has become, he's determined to help Jessie solve her case and make her his own. But would finding the truth of her past—and the Blood Moon—push her further away?

Hidden Cities, by Daniel Fox (March 22, Del Rey)
The mythic beasts and glorious legends of feudal China illuminate a world at war in this, the conclusion to Daniel Fox’s critically acclaimed series. More by chance than good judgment, the young emperor has won his first battle. The rebels have retreated from the coastal city of Santung—but they’ll be back. Distracted by his pregnant concubine, the emperor sends a distrusted aide, Ping Wen, to govern Santung in his place. There, the treacherous general will discover the healer Tien, who is obsessed with a library of sacred mage texts and the secrets concealed within—secrets upon which, Ping Wen quickly realizes, the fate of the whole war may turn.

In the Arms of Stone Angels, by Jordan Dane (March 22, Harlequin Teen)
Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend--the first boy she ever loved--of being a killer.  Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand. Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own.

Invincible: Chronicles of Nick, by Sherrilyn Kenyon (March 22, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul. His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him. But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them.

Kings of the North, by Elizabeth Moon (March 22, Del Rey)
Elizabeth Moon returns to the fantasy world of the paladin Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter—Paks for short—in this second volume of a new series filled with all the bold imaginative flights, meticulous world-building, realistic military action, and deft characterization that readers have come to expect from this award-winning author. In Kings of the North, peace and order have been restored to the kingdoms of Tsaia and Lyonya, thanks to the crowning of two kings: Mikeli of Tsaia and, in Lyonya, Kieri Phelan, a mercenary captain whose royal blood and half-elven heritage are resented by elves and humans alike. 

The Neon Court, or The Betrayal of Matthew Swift, by Kate Griffin (March 24, Orbit)
War is coming to London. A daimyo of the Neon Court is dead and all fingers point toward their ancient enemy - The Tribe. And when magicians go to war, everyone loses. But Matthew Swift has his own concerns. He has been summoned abruptly, body and soul, to a burning tower and to the dead body of Oda, warrior of The Order and known associate of Swift. There's a hole in her heart and the symbol of the Midnight Mayor drawn in her own blood. Except, she is still walking and talking and has a nasty habit of saying 'we' when she means 'I.' Now, Swift faces the longest night of his life. Lady Neon herself is coming to London and the Tribe is ready to fight.

Night Magic, by Jennifer Lyon (March 22, Ballantine)
Ailish Donovan is a witch ready to do battle. Raised unaware of her powers, she is just sixteen when her mother tricks her into binding with the demon Asmodeus. Pure-hearted Ailish escapes with the connection incomplete but pays a heavy price: For the next eight years, she is shunned by her earth sisters and tormented by Asmodeus’s lust. After hardening her body and mind as a champion kickboxer, Ailish returns home to break the bond—or die. The Wing Slayer Hunter Phoenix Torq is sworn to protect earth witches, but he is shaken by Ailish’s fierce independence—and his own forbidden cravings. Dark, impulsive, and haunted by his troubled past, Phoenix likewise arouses Ailish in ways she finds disturbing—and irresistible. Torn between mistrust and desire, each must go to hell and back to seek the magic that could set them both free.

Seduce Me in Dreams, by Jacquelyn Frank (March 22, Ballantine)
Dark. Mysterious. Sensual. When Bronse Chapel, the commander of a specialized unit of the Interplanetary Militia, begins to dream about a beautiful and exotic brunette, he wants to dismiss it as being induced by lack of sleep . . . or perhaps lack of sex. But his instincts tell him it’s something different, something far more dangerous. Ravenna is the leader of the Chosen Ones, a small group of people from her village born with extraordinary powers. She doesn’t know that draws her to Bronse’s dreams night after night, but she senses that he and his team are in jeopardy. Ravenna can help him, but first Bronse must save the Chosen Ones from those who plan to use their powers for evil. First in a new series.

Those That Wake, by Jesse Karp (March 21, Harcourt Children’s)
New York City’s spirit has been crushed. People walk the streets with their heads down, withdrawing from one another and into the cold comfort of technology. Teenagers Mal and Laura have grown up in this reality. They’ve never met. Seemingly, they never will.  But on the same day Mal learns his brother has disappeared, Laura discovers her parents have forgotten her. Both begin a search for their families that leads them to the same truth: someone or something has wiped the teens from the memories of every person they have ever known.

The Vampire Voss, by Colleen Gleason (March 22, Mira)
Regency London - a dizzying whirl of balls and young ladies pursued by charming men. But the Woodmore sisters are hunted by a more sinister breed: Lucifer's own. Voss, also known as Viscount Dewhurst, relishes the sensual pleasures immortality affords. A member of the Dracule - a cabal of powerful, secretive noblemen marked with a talisman that reveals their bartered souls - the mercenary Voss has remained carefully neutral...until Angelica. Angelica Woodmore possesses the Sight, an ability invaluable to both sides of a looming war among the Dracule. Her very scent envelops Voss in a scarlet fog of hunger - for her body and blood. But he is utterly unprepared for the new desire that overcomes him - to protect her.

Wolfsangel, by M.D. Lachlan (March 22, Pyr)
The Viking king Authun leads his men on a raid against an Anglo-Saxon village. Men and women are killed indiscriminately, but Authun demands that no child be touched. He is acting on prophecy—a prophecy that tells him that the Saxons have stolen a child from the gods. If Authun, in turn, takes the child and raises him as an heir, the child will lead his people to glory. But Authun discovers not one child, but twin baby boys. After ensuring that his faithful warriors, witnesses to what has happened, die during the raid, Authun takes the children and their mother home, back to the witches who live on the troll wall. And he places his destiny in their hands. So begins a stunning multivolume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king down through the ages.

Hmm…Ya? Para-rom? Scifi? Steampunk? What are you in the mood for? Leave a comment and tell me your heart’s desire from this week’s new releases and I’ll pick one winner to win his or her book of choice. International, as always. Contest ends at 6 a.m. my time (CDT) on Saturday, March 26. As usual, +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, +1 for Tweet or RT of the contest. Read on!