Saturday, April 30, 2011

Winning Time Again

But first, a little preview of what's coming on Preternatura next week:

* The Preternatura Book Club (!) will start on Wednesday with the first two chapters of Dead Witch Walking, the first book in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. I’m kind of making this up as I go, so let’s get into it and see how it works. I’ll put up a summary of the first two chapters, get the discussion started and see what happens! Read with us, or just read the summaries and chat. I’ll archive the posts as well so if anyone joins late you’ll be able to click on the Book Club tab at the top and read the earlier posts.

* New releases for this week, plus a Reader's Choice giveaway. Because it's what we do on Monday!

* Reviews & giveaways of new books by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Colleen Gleason (and oh, do I have a hot vampire story for you), and more! Check in every day for something new.

*An interview with bestselling author Kristine Grayson and a chance to win her new book, Wickedly Charming.

Okay, what's new today? Why, we have new contest winners, of course. And here we go...

* Congratulations to KARLA VOLLKPF for winning the week’s first Reader’s Choice contest
she wants  Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Born of Shadows.
* Congrats to SPAZ_OL for winning this week's second Reader's Choice contest. She chose Chris  Wooding’s Retribution Falls.
* Congrats to LARRY GRAY and LINDA YOUNG for winning copies of Elaine Coffman’s The Return of Black Douglas.
* Congrats to BUDDYT for winning Daniel Abraham’s The Dragon’s Path.
* Congrats to RENEE REARDEN and SANDYG for winning copies of Linda Wisdom’s Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend.

Winners, I'll be contacting you next week for mailing info. If you want to beat me to the punch, you can
e-mail me!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Interview: Linda Wisdom & Win DEMONS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

Join me today in welcoming author Linda Wisdom to the Preternatura blog! Linda has published more than 70 novels with 13 million copies sold worldwide. Her bestselling books have been nominated for RT Book Reviews awards and the RWA RITA award. She recently won the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Hex in High Heels. Linda lives with her husband in Murrieta, Calif., where she is working on her next book, A Demon Does it Better, set to release in January 2012. For more information, please visit  

Linda’s new book, a paranormal romance called Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend, was released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 1, and let me tell you those fire demons are HOT! The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies, so read through to the contest info at the end!

First, about Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend:  A Bewitching Woman on a Mission…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 plenty of Mayan enemies.Maggie’s never going to survive this assignment without the help of a half-fire demon who makes her smolder…A Hotter-Than-Sin Hero with an Agenda…Declan is a proprietor of an underground club and busy demon portal. No way he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some crazy evil Mayans. But he’s already got his hands full when the sexy witch offers him a challenge he can’t refuse… 

Welcome, Linda! You seem to be partial to witches! What is it about the witch that attracts you as an author (as opposed to, say, a werewolf or a selkie)?

I’ve always been drawn to witches and never could figure out why. A pagan friend told me she strongly senses that I’m a natural born witch, so that’s perhaps why. I see a variety of personalities in witches that I don’t always see in the weres or vampires. And I see a diversity of power among them. They also talk a lot more inside my head. :-) 

How does writing Maggie and her world differ from the witches in the Hex books? Is writing a darker paranormal more difficult? 

Maggie’s world is a bit more compact since the story is set in the compound she lives in. You have an assortment of creatures there, not all of them members of the Guard but all working together. It’s also a close, almost family-like atmosphere, because they count on each other. Maggie also delves in the deeper bowels of magick, battling creatures that the other witches might not encounter. She is an ultimate protector. I don’t find writing darker paranormal more difficult. Maybe because I love horror movies or because there’s more meat, so to speak, in the dark. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters in the closet or under the bed. Not that I want to scare my readers, but I think in that element as I write along with looking to the past for bits and pieces I can bring into the present.  

Declan, a half fire-demon, is literally hot! Talk a little about your worldbuilding, and what role your demons and the Hellion Guard play. 

Demons are usually seen as the villains although they’re showing up as heroes more. I wanted a demon who was a half breed, who worked hard to climb up the ladder to achieve his dreams of owning his own business. Declan does what needs to be done along with protecting his sister from his father’s machinations for more power. Declan’s world deals with his plans and what he does with the demon world to hold onto what he has. The Hellion Guard is there to keep order. While the Guard has compounds all over the world, they still travel where they’re needed. Each time has a different character so that there’s a balance of power and gifts there. While the demons have never worked with the Guard before, they find themselves doing just that with some interesting results. 

What’s on your nightstand to read next? Do you read in your genre while you’re writing, or try to avoid it? 

I read a lot of urban fantasy, mystery, and young adult, so it depends on my mood at the time. I have read UF when I’m writing. Next is Anton Strout’s Dead Waters. 

What is your favorite scene in Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend? (I have to admit I'm still chuckling over an early scene where Maggie douses Declan with an isolated “rainstorm.”) 

LOL! And Declan deserved it, didn’t he? I wouldn’t say a favorite scene, but Courtney’s reaction every time she tries to use a magick word or say the word witch and something else comes out still makes me laugh. 

You have written more than 70 novels (I grovel at your feet!). Do you have a favorite? 

I think I have favorite characters and some books have meant more to me than others, but I don’t have one strict favorite. 

What’s next in the Demon series? 

A Demon Does it Better features Lili, who’s been mentioned in previous books. She’s a healer, a doctor, who returns to San Francisco to find out what happened to a friend who disappeared from the supe hospital here. Lili works in the asylum where she encounters a sexy demon named Jared who’s been labeled as very dangerous, but she’s convinced he’s not. Jared also has a demonish (hm, is that a word!) way of leaving the asylum for short periods of time. There’s also a preternatural community introduced along with new characters and creatures. Lili’s sidekick is a diva silver chinchilla-colored Persian cat named Cleo – yes THAT Cleo – who believes it’s her job to instruct Lili in her love life. The reader will get to see what a hospital for the supernaturals looks like and works. Basically, ER for the after dark set. 

Thanks, Linda! Want to win a copy of Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend? 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!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review & Contest: THE DRAGON'S PATH by Daniel Abraham

One of the biggest buzzes in fantasy this spring has been about The Dragon’s Path, the first in a new series by Nebula-, Hugo-, and World Fantasy-nominated author Daniel Abraham, who’s written the popular Long Price Quartet series under his own name and the urban fantasy Black Sun’s Daughter series under the name M.L.N. Hanover. Today, I welcome guest reviewer Christopher Pollard. As always, details about an international giveaway of The Dragon’s Path are at the end.

THE OFFICIAL BLURB: All paths lead to war...Marcus' hero days are behind him. He knows too well that even the smallest war still means somebody's death. When his men are impressed into a doomed army, staying out of a battle he wants no part of requires some unorthodox steps. Cithrin is an orphan, ward of a banking house. Her job is to smuggle a nation's wealth across a war zone, hiding the gold from both sides. She knows the secret life of commerce like a second language, but the strategies of trade will not defend her from swords. Geder, sole scion of a noble house, has more interest in philosophy than in swordplay. A poor excuse for a soldier, he is a pawn in these games. No one can predict what he will become. Falling pebbles can start a landslide. A spat between the Free Cities and the Severed Throne is spiraling out of control. A new player rises from the depths of history, fanning the flames that will sweep the entire region onto The Dragon's Path-the path to war.. 

CHRIS’ THOUGHTS: The Dragon’s Path, by Daniel Abraham is a long book, the first part of an epic novel. While a good story once into it, it took several chapters to find the story.  The first few chapters are used to introduce the characters. While important, they were a little disjointed without a common thread of place or time.
     About chapter five or six the common tread of the rebel-besieged city (to be put in its place by the army of the crown), the court intrigue at the capital, the last escaping caravan, and the girl who is secretly smuggling out the wealth of the city finally gets into place. How are the plots at court going to affect the army in the field and the disposition of the city when the rebellion is put down? What effect does all of it have on the fleeing caravan and what does the girl do with all that wealth in her care? All these questions and more are answered by the end of the book.
     Overall a good story, the characters are well fleshed out and the actions are believable. Unfortunately, there are so many main characters in so many places that don’t seem to have a common plot. I hope the next book will finally put these stories together. While each individual story is well told, I don’t see the tie-in yet.
     Unlike most epic novels where the main characters (while completing a major milestone) are still in the middle of the journey, the majority of the main characters here seem to have resolved their journey.  Only one mid-level (in this book) character on the last page gets a clue of momentous things to come. 
     Again, this was a good story and it kept my interest. I await the next book to finally tie the story lines and characters together.

Thanks, Chris! Want to win a copy of The Dragon’s Path? Tell me your favorite epic fantasy. I’m not a huge epic reader, so I have to go for the tried-and-true Lord of the Rings: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Fly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

INTERVENTION: A Story from the World of ROYAL STREET

Author’s Note: “Intervention” is a short story set in the world of Royal Street, a new urban fantasy beginning April 2012 with Tor Books. This story is a prequel to Royal Street, and features two primary series characters, Alexander and Jacob Warin.

amily. He loved them, but what a pain in the ass they could be. His cousin was cooling his jets in a New Orleans jail. Again.
     Ending the call with his mother, Alexander Warin massaged the residual throbbing in his temple and squinted through the slats of his living room blinds. His soon-to-be-ex girlfriend stalked around his car clutching a rumpled piece of paper. He recognized the “Dear Cindy” letter on FBI letterhead he’d slipped under her door after his early-morning jog. 
It had been a chickenshit move, but lately she’d gotten clingy and possessive. He’d never promised hearts and flowers. If the woman wanted a lapdog, she needed to date an accountant, or a vet.
He clenched his jaw muscles as she tested the lock on the driver’s-side door of his black BMW, polished to its habitual gloss. If she as much as thought about scraping her car keys across his custom paint job, she would see how handcuffs felt when she was fully dressed.
Hands on her hips, she stared at the front of his condo a few long moments before sticking up the middle finger of each hand in the classic gesture for things they’d already done upside down and sideways. Then she climbed back in her sissy little SUV and left skid marks on his driveway.
He grinned and let the slats flap shut. Perfect.
Alex returned to his bedroom, throwing clothes in the suitcase he’d begun packing halfway through his mom’s call. Norma Warin was not a force to be denied, and if she said drive to New Orleans and get your cousin out of jail, well, he’d be spending his long weekend dealing with Jake.
After a quick recon to make sure the newly liberated Cindy wasn’t lying in wait, Alex took his black overnighter, put it in the Beemer’s trunk, and climbed in for the four-hour drive from Jackson to New Orleans. He punched the key into the ignition, paused, and pulled it back out.
Jake was in trouble, and Alex wouldn't be a welcome sight. The cousins’ rivalry was legendary in their hometown of Picayune, Mississippi. Plus, New Orleans was a festering boil on the ass of crime—both human and preternatural. He needed weapons.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Interview: Elaine Coffman & Giveaway of THE RETURN OF BLACK DOUGLAS

Join me today in welcoming author Elaine Coffman to the Preternatura blog! Since her first publication in 1988, New York Times bestselling author Elaine Coffman’s books have been on the NYT, USA Today Top 50, and Ingram’s Romance bestsellers lists, and won four nominations for Best Historical Romance of the Year, Reviewers Choice, Best Western Historical, and The Maggie. Elaine lives in Austin, Texas, where she is working on her next book! For more information, please visit   

Elaine’s new book, a time-travel paranormal romance called The Return of Black Douglas, was released by Sourcebooks Casablanca on April 1there are a ton of new books out this week in our favorite genres (for the uninitiated, that’s urban fantasy, paranormal romance, YA paranormal, sci fi and fantasy). I have lots to get up on the blog this week so I’m going to try something differentand it is a really great read (because I, like, want my own 16th-century Scottish hunk). The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies so read through to the contest info at the end! 

First, about The Return of Black Douglas:  He’ll Help a Woman in Need No Matter Where She Came From… Alysandir Mackinnon rules his clan with a fair but iron fist. He has no time for softness or, as he sees it, weakness. But when he encounters a bewitching young beauty who may or may not be a dangerous spy, but surely is in mortal danger, he’s compelled to help… She’s Always Wondered if She Was Born in the Wrong Time…Thrown back in time to the tumultuous, dangerous Scottish Highlands of the 16th century, Isobella Douglas has a lot to learn about her ancestors, herself, and her place in the world. Especially when she encounters a Highland laird who puts modern men to shame…Each one has secrets to keep, until they begin to strike a chord in each other’s hearts that’s never been touched before…  

Welcome, Elaine! What drew you to writing historicals, and to Scotland specifically?

My love of research is what drove me to write Historical Romance over other genres, simply because I love history. I truly find great joy in it and take great pride in my research. As for what drew me to Scotland, I have Scottish ancestors that I’ve researched, so I had a strong bond with the country before I started writing. Of course, the logical reason might be because readers love books set there, but the true answer goes much deeper than that, for my reasons are a varied as the land itself. Even the coldest of hearts cannot help but be moved by Scotland’s tragic past, so full of forlorn causes, thwarted ambitions, heart-wrenching failures, and the ultimate humiliation by England. I have only to hear the mournful tune of a bagpipe to feel it even now, for theirs is one of the most widely known narratives in the world, for it is the nature of us all to retain the sad fragments of another’s past.  

I’ve read you’re a stickler for research, and you’ve used fascinating details about 16th-century archaeology and medicine in The Return of Black Douglas. What’s your research method? Do you have favorite sources? 

I do a couple of months of research before I start writing.  My number-one source is the Internet, but I also have many books. I spent over a week researching medicine in the early 16th century in Scotland before I learned there was actually a medieval hospital built in the Lowlands.   

Which came first: the Douglas sisters’ occupations (archaeologist and physician) or the plot that called for someone in those occupations—which I guess is a roundabout way to ask whether you come up with the characters first, or the situation/plot? 

I knew the twins’ occupations as soon as I decided to take the twins back in time. Knowing their occupations was a driving force for plotting when I outlined the book. 

One of the most fun scenes to read in The Return of Black Douglas is Alysandir, a 16th-century Scottish warrior, fiddling with an iPhone. What was the most fun scene to write? 

Truthfully, there were so many fun scenes in this book that I found myself laughing out loud frequently. From the first moment they met, the hero and heroine seemed to take over and define their relationship. I think it helped that the heroine was an educated woman, as was the hero, and that they were equally matched in the stubborn departmentthe perfect fodder for humor. I loved the wit born of their first meeting, her adventure with the thorns, and yes, the iPhone scene, because I had so much fun with Alysandir’s childlike awe, especially when he picked up her backpack and, handing it to her, asked if she had more. 

More than ten years passed between The Bride of Black Douglas and The Return of Black Douglas—numbers one and two in the Mackinnon-Douglas series, but you also have a long-running Mackinnon Brothers series. Can you talk about how all these are interrelated?    

The Mackinnon books came first and were supposed to be only three books, but when I finished them and put a note in the back that it was sad to see the series end, the readers flooded my mailbox (and Dell’s) with letters asking for books on the rest of the brothers, so I wrote five more books. At the end, I put another goodbye letter, and once again there was a flood of mail wanting the sister’s story. So, I gave them her story in If You Love Me, and they gave me my first New York Times bestseller. 

Then I began to get mail wanting me to write about the Scottish ancestors of the Mackinnons.  But other books were scheduled for me to write, until in 2000 I wrote The Bride of Black Douglas.  Immediately, I received mail to write more Douglas books, but I was writing another series.  After taking several years away from writing to see to the big weddings of two daughters and the arrival of four grandbabies, I was ready to write again. Wanting to give both the Mackinnon book lovers and the Black Douglas book lovers what they wanted, I decided to give them both an entirely new series on the ancestors of the 19th-century Mackinnons who will eventually learn how to put up with the mischief of the Black Douglas. 

What’s your favorite time period/place about which to write? 

I really enjoyed writing this book, for I always wanted to write about a knight.  I am, by no means, ready to be a one-knight writer! I also love Scotland as a setting, partly because I have several lines of Scots ancestors and because their history calls out to me to give it a voice. 

What’s next for the Mackinnon-Douglas series? Will we learn what happens to Elisabeth Douglas?   

Would I dare leave all of you in limbo, wondering what happened to Elisabeth?  I am busy writing her book now, Lord of Black Isle, which is a Summer 2012 release and, yes, the Black Douglas will be pestering Elisabeth this time. 

Thanks, Elaine! Want to win a copy of The Return of Black Douglas? (Don’t worry about the series order because this works great as a standalone.) 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, April 25, 2011

New Releases April 24-30 & Reader's Choice Contest

Holy cannoli, Batmanthere are a ton of new books out this week in our favorite genres (for the uninitiated, that’s urban fantasy, paranormal romance, YA paranormal, sci fi and fantasy). I have lots to get up on the blog this week so I’m going to try something differentmore books, shorter descriptions. Since I would normally split this into two Reader’s Choice giveaways, I’ll do TWO giveaways off today’s comments. So, see what you thinktake a deep breath and jump on in!

Abandon, by Meg Cabot (April 26, Point)
Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

The Alchemist in the Shadows,
by Pierre Pevel (April 26, Pyr)
Welcome to 1633 Paris, where dragons menace the realm. Cardinal Richelieu, the most powerful and most feared man in France, is on his guard. He knows France is under threat, and that a secret society known as the Black Claw is conspiring against him. To counter, Richelieu has put his most trusted men into play: the Cardinal's Blades, all of exceptional abilities and all ready to risk their lives. U.S. release. Pevel is one of the foremost writers of French fantasy.

Ascension, by Sable Grace (April 26, Avon)
The gates of hell have opened, and one woman will stand in the crossfire as the Dark Breed and mankind fight for survival. Kyana is half Vampyre, half Lychen, and the last of her kind. When the Order of Ancients entrusts her with a mission, she is furious to learn her assignment comes with an escort . . . Ryker, a demigod and fierce warrior who long ago found a way under her skin and stayed there.

As You Wish, by Gabi Stevens (April 26, Tor)
Born into a magical family, Reggie Scott is content to live her life as a normal human until the moment she’s informed that she’s a newly appointed fairy godmother. Jonathan Bastion is a man of power and wealth—and a dangerous secret. He desperately hopes Reggie's new powers will hold the answer to his problem and he isn't above using her to achieve his goals. What he doesn't expect is how much Reggie will affect him.

Black Magic Woman,
by Christine Warren (April 26, St. Martin’s)
Daphanie Carter is thrilled that her sister Danice finally found her Prince Charming—even though he’s not quite, well, human. Daphanie is trying to keep an open mind. Which is why she jumps at the chance to enter the hidden world of The Others when a friendly imp invites her to a non-human nightclub. Enter Asher Grayson. As a Guardian, it’s his job to protect humans who get mixed up in the affairs of Others. Like Daphanie.

Born of Shadows, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
(April 26, Grand Central)
For Caillen Dagan, a defiant soldier of fortune, survival isn't a right, it's a brutal daily battle. Moving through the Ichidaian universe like a wraith, his brushes with the law and death are legendary. But when an act of rare heroism reveals his hidden birthright, he's forced into a world much more dangerous and cold-hearted than the bloody streets where he was raised. Ferocious and determined, Desideria serves as an official bodyguard for her queen. With assassination contracts out on both of them, Caillen and Desideria must learn to fight together or die alone.

Bound by Darkness,
by Alexis Morgan (April 26, Pocket Star)
As the daughter of a Regent, Sasha has long known about the secret underworld of the Paladins and their work protecting her kind from the dark forces on the other side of the energy barrier. So when she is sent on her first solo investigation, on the path to becoming the first female Regent, she is determined to get the Seattle Paladins in line. But when she meets Larem, she is inexorably drawn to a dark and valiant warrior who is not at all what he appears to be.

Bumped, by Megan McCafferty
(April 26, Balzer & Bray)
When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children. Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and have never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Up to now, the twins have followed opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend, Zen, who is way too short for the job. 

Burn Down the Sky, by James Jaros
(April 26, Harper Voyager)
After the Wicca virus drove billions to madness and suicide, in the parched ruins of civilization, one commodity is more valuable than all others combined: female children. When well-armed marauders roll in at dusk to brutally attack a fiercely defended compound of survivors, Jessie is unable to halt the slaughter—and she can do nothing to prevent the ruthless abduction of innocents, including her youngest child. Now, along with her outraged teenage daughter, Bliss, Jessie must set out on a journey across a blasted landscape to storm the fortress of a dark and twisted religion and bring the children home.

Burning Skies, by Caris Roane
(April 26, St. Martin’s Trade)
A vampire warrior in exile, Marcus Amargi resists the call to return to the ranks of the Guardians who fight the death vamp armies. Here on Mortal Earth, Marcus has another battle on his hands—the seductive lure of Havily Morgan, a beautiful immortal with extraordinary powers,

Camera Obscura, by Lavie Tidhar
(April 26, Angry Robot)
Can’t find a rational explanation to a mystery? Call in the Quiet Council. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city, and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself.

The Cold Kiss of Death, by Suzanne McLeod
(April 26, Ace)
When sidhe-blooded Genny Taylor's friend is murdered and all evidence points to her, she goes on the run. But she's being pursued by some of the most powerful supernaturals in town-and one of them is most certainly the killer. A Spellcrackers novel.

Dark Descendant, by Jenna Black (April 26, Pocket)
Nikki Glass can track down any man. But when her latest client turns out to be a true descendant of Hades, Nikki now discovers she can’t die. . . . Crazy as it sounds, Nikki’s manhunting skills are literally god-given. She’s a living, breathing descendant of Artemis, who has stepped right into a trap set by the children of the gods.

Ember and Ash, by Pamela Freeman (April 26, Orbit)
The old ones will have their revenge. Two peoples have been fighting over the same land for a thousand years. Invaders crushed the original inhabitants, and ancient powers have reluctantly given way to newer magics. But Ember was to change all this with a wedding to bind these warring people togetheruntil her husband-to-be is murdered by a vengeful elemental god, who sees peace as a breach of faith.

Exile, by Anne Osterlund (April 28, Speak)
Crown Princess Aurelia stands in the face of exile. Behind her are the sister who tried to kill her and the father who ignored it. In front of her are the entire kingdom and Robertthe friend she can't help but fall in love with. When Aurelia and Robert are betrayed by the guards assigned to protect them, their expedition becomes a fight for survival.

Future Imperfect, by K. Ryer Breese
(April 26, St. Martin’s Griffin)
Ade Patience can see the future and it's destroying his life. When the seventeen-year-old Mantlo High School student knocks himself unconscious, he can see days and decades into his own future. Ade's the best of Denver's "divination" underground and eager to join the heralded Mantlo Diviners, a group of similarly enabled teens. Yet, unlike the Diviners, Ade Patience doesn't see the future out of curiosity or good will; Ade gives himself concussions because he's addicted to the high, the Buzz, he gets when he breaks the laws of physics.

Gods and Monsters, by Lyn Benedict (April 26, Ace)
Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual and unbelievable. When she finds the bodies of five women in the Florida Everglades, Sylvie believes them to be the work of a serial killer and passes the buck. But when the bodies wake and shift shape, killing the police, Sylvie finds herself at the head of a potentially lethal investigation.

Heaven’s Needle, by Liane Merciel (April 26, Pocket Star)
Unaware of the danger, two inexperienced Illuminers set out for the village of Carden Vale, at the foot of Duradh Mal, to minister to the people. The warrior Asharre, her face scarred with runes, her heart scarred by loss, is assigned to protect the young clerics. But in Carden Vale they find unspeakable horrors—the first hint of a terrifying ghost story come true.

The Hidden Goddess, by M.K. Hobson (April 26, Spectra)
In a mix of magic, history, and romance, M. K. Hobson moves her feisty young witch, Emily Edwards, from the Old West of 1876 to turn-of-the-19th-century New York City. Like it or not, Emily has fallen in love with Dreadnought Stanton, a New York warlock as irresistible as he is insufferable. Together they face confining couture, sinister Russian scientists, and a deathless Aztec goddess who dreams of plunging the world into apocalypse.

Hush, by Cherry Adair (April 26, Pocket Star)
Thrill-seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world’s highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death—where they don’t know the rules.

The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier:
Dreadnaught, by Jack Campbell (April 26, Ace)
The Alliance woke Captain John "Black Jack" Geary from cryogenic sleep to take command of the fleet in the century-long conflict against the Syndicate Worlds. Now, Fleet Admiral Geary's victory has earned him the adoration of the people-and the enmity of politicians convinced that a living hero can be a very inconvenient thing.

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti,
by Genevieve Valentine and Kiri Moth (April 25, Prime)
The Mechanical Circus Tresaulti travels the landscape of a ruined country under the spectre of war, but when two of its performers become locked in a battle of wills, the circus's own past may be the biggest threat of all.

Memento Nora, by Angie Smibert
(Marshall Cavendish)
A teen struggles to hold onto her memories—and her identity—in a world that wants everyone to forget—and keep on shopping.

The Noise Revealed, by Ian Whates (April 26, Solaris)
While mankind is adjusting to its first ever encounter with an alien civilization, black ops specialist Jim Leyton reluctantly allies himself with the mysterious habitat in order to rescue the woman he loves. This brings him into direct conflict with his former employers: the United League of Allied Worlds government. Truth is hidden beneath lies and there are games being played, deadly games with far reaching consequences.

Ocean of Blood, by Darren Shan (April 28, Little, Brown)
Before Larten Crepsley was a vampire general...Before he was Darren Shan's master... Before the War of Scars...Larten Crepsley was a teenager. And he was sick of the pomp and circumstance of fusty old vampires telling him what to do. Taking off on his own with his blood brother, Wester, Larten takes off into the world to see what his newly blooded vampire status can get him in the human world.

Phoenix Rising, by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
(April 26, Harper Voyager)
Londoners are vanishing, then reappearing, washing up as corpses on the banks of the Thames, drained of blood and bone. Yet the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences—the Crown’s clandestine organization whose bailiwick is the strange and unsettling—will not allow its agents to investigate. Eliza D. Braun, however, with her bulletproof corset and a disturbing fondness for dynamite, refuses to let the matter rest, and she’s prepared to drag her timorous new partner, Wellington Books, into the perilous fray.

The President’s Vampire,
by Christopher Farnsworth (April 28, Putnam)
For 140 years, Nathaniel Cade has been the President's Vampire, sworn to protect and serve his country. Cade's existence is the most closely guarded of White House secrets: a superhuman covert agent who is the last line of defense against nightmare scenarios that ordinary citizens only dream of.  When a new outbreak of an ancient evil comes to light, Cade and his human handler, Zach Barrows, must track down its source.

Retribution Falls, by Chris Wooding (April 26, Spectra)
Sky piracy is a bit out of Darian Frey’s league. Fate has not been kind to the captain of the airship Ketty Jay—or his motley crew. So when an opportunity arises to steal a chest of gems from a vulnerable airship, Frey can’t pass it up. It’s an easy take—and the payoff will finally make him a rich man. But when the attack goes horribly wrong, Frey realizes that they’ve been set up to take a fall. And the ultimate answer may lie in the hidden pirate town of Retribution Falls.

Savage Nature, by Christine Feehan (April 26, Jove)
Danger lurks in the shadows and desire shimmers in the sultry heat as leopard shifter Drake Donovan is sent to a Louisiana bayou to investigate a murder. He's ready for anything except the insatiable hunger that rocks him when he meets Saria Boudreaux, a woman with a compelling motive to distract him from the task at hand.

Tangled Threads, by Jennifer Estep (April 26, Pocket)
I’d rather face a dozen lethal assassins any night than deal with something as tricky, convoluted, and fragile as my feelings. But here I am. Gin Blanco, the semi-retired assassin known as the Spider. Hovering outside sexy businessman Owen Grayson’s front door like a nervous teenage girl. One thing I like about Owen: he doesn’t shy away from my past—or my present. And right now I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead.

Theories of Flight, by Simon Moren (April 26, Orbit)
Petrovitch has a lot of secrets. Secrets like how to make anti-gravity, for one. For another, he's keeping a sentient computer program on a secret server farmthe same program that nearly destroyed the Metrozone a few months back. The people of the OutZone want what citizens of the Metrozone have. Someone is trying to kill Petrovitch and they're willing to sink the whole city to do it.

Uncertain Allies, by Mark Del Franco (April 26, Ace)
After a night of riots and fires, the Boston neighborhood known as the Weird is in ruins. And when a body is found drained of its essence, ex- Guild investigator Connor Grey is drawn into the case against his will. And he has reason to be wary. Because the case will lead to an explosive secret that threatens to tear apart the city-and the world.

Untamed Highlander, by Donna Grant
(April 26, St. Martin’s Press)
Druid-born and magic-blessed, Isla is one of the deadliest she-devils ever to serve the forces of darkness. As an immortal Highland warrior, it’s up to Hayden Campbell to destroy her and her kind. But for Hayden, Isla is more than a sworn enemy. She is temptation…Taking Isla captive, Hayden hopes to avenge his kinsmen who died by Druid magic. But when he looks into Isla’s eyes, he sees the secrets of her past.

Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion (April 26, Atria)
R is a young man with an existential crisis--he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. After experiencing a teenage boy's memories, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and stragely sweet relationship with the victim's human girlfriend.

See anything you can’t live without? As much as I freak out over zombies, I’m hearing great things about Warm Bodies. But the one I want to read is The President’s Vampire. Because I love those undead bad boys. As always, four entries possible and please include your email: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow (click button below), and +1 for Tweet or Retweet about the contest. Now...go!