First, we have today’s stops on the River Road virtual tour. Please see the column at right for the full list of prizes! Both stops are official tour sites so you can enter for the tour-wide prizes as well as comment for the extra commenter prizes.
***I’m at the Urban FantasyInvestigations website today, talking about twisting the werewolf and shapeshifter mythologies in my Sentinels series.
***I’m being interviewed by Beverly at The Wormhole today--find out one of my writing quirks!
And now…on to this week’s Reader’s Choice Contest….
What do you want to read? After a light release week last week, we have a bit more to choose from this week. As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. If the book is part of a series, you can request the first book in the series. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter.
Here we go….
As a fallen Angel of Death, Azrael is cursed to walk the earth alone in search of redemption. One night, as he wanders the streets of New Orleans, he discovers a woman surrounded by panther shifters. No longer able to contain the anger simmering within, Az summons his dark powers and attacks, determined to protect this innocent human from certain death. Only Jade Pierce is no delicate flower. She’s spent years learning to survive and fight the evil forces sent by her ex-lover who refuses to let her go. But after seeing Az in action, she figures she could use a little supernatural help. And so she plans a course of seduction guaranteed to arouse his interest and his angelic passions.
Tess Menzies can work a spell with a few blinks of her baby blue eyes. But this dedicated witch can’t summon up a single good reason for why she’s been made an envoy between her kind and Manhattan’s fiercest were-creatures. She’ll need every miracle in the book to broker any kind of truce. That means outwitting Council of Others leader Rafael De Santos. It doesn’t take a cat’s supernatural senses for Rafael to suspect that there’s something strange about this unexpected peace offering. And finding the truth is just as tempting as uncovering the secrets Tess is trying to conceal. She’s tantalizing enough to make this wandering were-jaguar think he’s found the perfect mate. But his stealth and her spells can’t guarantee they have a chance at survival, much less a future together.
It’s not easy being a Vampire Angel. No one knows that better than Trond Sigurdsson. In the centuries since he last went out drinking and wenching with his Viking buds, Trond has been a gladiator, a cowboy, a ditch digger, even a sheik. But now he’s the baddest of them all: a Navy SEAL kicking butts of terrorist immortals with the help of his hot female partner, police officer-turned-Special Forces operative Nicole Tasso. It’s not easy being a Vangel’s lover. The “cop” part of Nicole tells her there’s something bizarre about her gorgeous godlike teammate. Trond has secrets galore, but Nicole feels certain she can dig them out, and really get to the heart of this powerful, unnerving stranger whom she may be risking her soul to love.
For ten long years, Tara has been a woman on the run, hiding from the magic-wielding Warriors and Druids of modern-day Scotland. Now, as a tour guide at a remote Highland castle, she hopes to finally escape her past, until one impossibly gorgeous man enters her life and exposes her wildest secrets. For centuries, Ramsey MacDonald has concealed his strength and skill as part Warrior, part Druid, for fear of unleashing the full force of his power. But when he takes Tara into his arms, and seals their fate with a kiss, Ramsey will have to fight for her love, though it may mean losing control of the magic inside him.
After surviving a brutal vampire attack, Nurse Edie Spence is ready to get back to work, attending to supernatural creatures in need of medical help. But her nursing skills are put to the test when she witnesses a hit-and-run on her lunch break. The injured pedestrian is not only a werewolf, he’s the pack leader. With two rival packs fighting tooth and nail, Edie has no intention of crossing enemy lines. When she meets her patient’s nephew, a tattooed werewolf named Lucas with a predatory gleam in his eye that’s hard to resist, Edie can’t help but choose sides. The question is: can she trust this dangerous new ally? And can she trust her own instincts when she’s near him? Either way, Edie can’t seem to pull away, even if getting involved makes her easy prey.
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself, until he beholds Bettina. Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure. Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. Unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away, or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch.
It’s not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he’d like to lick. Howard is not like most men. For one thing, he’s a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp, and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive.
Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.
After being murdered by a mystery assailant and being brought back to the mortal world, Harry realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. He is no longer Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard. He is now Harry Dresden, Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Harry had no choice but to swear his fealty. Her word is his command, no matter what she wants him to do, no matter who she wants him to kill. Mab wants her newest minion to pull off the impossible: kill an immortal. Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent the annihilation of countless innocents, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own: his soul.
Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she’s now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door. Nat’s father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss’s deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected, or else risk losing everything.
In a devil’s deal, Jeremiah Hunt sacrificed his human sight in exchange for the power to see the hidden world of ghosts and all of the darker spirits that prowl the streets. Hunt uncovered a world of murder and magic that took his daughter from him and nearly cost him his life, but that was only the beginning. Now Hunt is on the run from the FBI, who have pegged him as a mass-murdering dark sorcerer. His flight from the law is diverted to New Orleans when his companion, a potent witch, has a horrific vision of the city under magical siege. When they arrive, they realize that the situation is more dire than they could have imagined: the world of the living faces a terrifying attack by forces from beyond the grave.
Young Adult. Harper only wanted a normal life. When her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, everything changes. Harper must face dangers unlike any she’s ever experienced to rescue Gemma. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a guy who’s immune to the girls’ dark powers. While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life. Gemma’s powers are growing. The longer she lives with her new “sisters,” the harder it is to resist entering their magical world. It’s a realm both dark and beautiful. As she’s drifting far away from her old life, Harper and Daniel find her. All she wants is to return to her family, but how can she do that when she’s become something else entirely? Will they still love her once they learn the truth?
Ciara’s con-artist parents taught her three keys to survival: keep low, keep quiet, and most of all, keep moving. But managing WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ’n’ Roll, not to mention becoming a vampire herself, has kept her in one place long enough to fall madly in love, adopt an undead dog, and make more enemies than she can shake a stake at. A psychotic DJ, a wannabe necromancer, and a posse of vengeful hippies would all love to see Ciara get her day in the sun, literally. To protect Ciara, her fiancé, Shane, has traded his flannel shirt and guitar for a flak jacket and crossbow. If she survives to walk down the aisle, will she recognize the man waiting at the altar? Ciara must decide who to trust, who to love, and who to kill.
Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. Even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again. Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan, and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. When his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive.
Months ago Sarah Gallagher woke from a coma with psychic abilities she couldn’t control. They changed her life and cost her the man she loved. And now, someone is playing games with Sarah’s mind. It begins with Sarah’s home being destroyed by fire, an act of arson that draws novelist Tucker Mackenzie into Sarah’s confidence. But he has other reasons for pursuing a woman who can see what others can’t. So does a mysterious enemy intent on eliminating Sarah, and everyone she cares about. Because it’s only a matter of time before her visions lead her and Tucker to a secret many will kill to hide. Only then will they begin to discover the scope of a terrifying conspiracy so deep and complex they can trust almost no one.
After twelve years of secret training, Atticus O’Sullivan is finally ready to bind his apprentice, Granuaile, to the earth and double the number of Druids in the world. But on the eve of the ritual, the world that thought he was dead abruptly discovers that he’s still alive, and they would much rather he return to the grave. Having no other choice, Atticus, his trusted Irish wolfhound, Oberon, and Granuaile travel to the base of Mount Olympus, where the Roman god Bacchus is anxious to take his sworn revenge, but he’ll have to get in line behind an ancient vampire, a band of dark elves, and an old god of mischief, who all seem to have “kill the Druid” at the top of their to-do lists.
Jace’s return to Kansas is an instant reminder that there really is no place like home. The tavern is still brimming with losers, practical jokers, and motorcycle chicks. Even the town’s only Goth is still wearing eyeliner. But just as Jace is about to click her heels and hightail out of there, she’s roped into a brand-new case. Somebody is possessed. And the bodies are piling up. They call him the Gallowsman. According to legend, he was sentenced to hang, though his crimes still have not been specified. When he was strung up to die, his spirit stuck around waiting for people to hang themselves, so he could steal their bodies. Now, with the undead rising up and going on a rampage, Jace must put her own neck on the line. Can she get the Gallowsman to give up the ghost?
This is the story Harry Ransom. If you know his name it’s most likely as the inventor of the Ransom Process, a stroke of genius that changed the world. Or you may have read about how he lost the battle of Jasper City, or won it, depending on where you stand in matters of politics. Friends called him Hal or Harry, or by one of a half-dozen aliases. If you’re reading this in the future, Ransom City must be a great and glittering metropolis, with a big bronze statue of Harry Ransom in a park somewhere. You might be standing on its sidewalk and not wonder in the least of how it grew to its current glory. Here is its story. It all starts with the day that old Harry Ransom crossed paths with Liv Alverhyusen and John Creedmoor, two fugitives running from the Line, amidst a war with no end.
“One giant leap for mankind.” Those were Neil Armstrong’s immortal words when he became the first human being to step onto another world. All at once, the horizon expanded; the human race was no longer Earthbound. Our destiny would now be to reach out to eternity. The thirteen stories in this anthology span the whole of the human condition in their race to colonise Earth’s nearest neighbors. Featuring stories by Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynolds, James S. A. Corey, John Barnes, Stephen Baxter, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Elizabeth Bear, Pat Cadigan, Gwyneth Jones, Paul McAuley, Sandra McDonald, Stephen D. Covey, An Owomoyela, and Bruce Sterling.
A physicist receives a mysterious paper. The ideas in it are far, far ahead of current thinking and quite, quite terrifying. In a city of “fast ones,” shadow players, and jinni, two sisters contemplate a revolution. And on the edges of reality a thief, helped by a sardonic ship, is trying to break into a Schrödinger box for his patron. In the box is his freedom. Or not. Jean de Flambeur is back. And he’s running out of time. (Currently available as an ebook release.)
Dr. Ingrid Seastrom was once a respected American physician. Whispr was once a streetwise thief. Now, in a world on the edge of catastrophe they are allies, thrust together by fate to unravel an impossible mystery, even as they are stalked by a relentless killer. They are bound together by a thread: a data-storage thread made of a material that cannot exist, yet somehow does. Their quest to learn its secrets has brought them to South Africa’s treacherous Namib desert. Beyond its dangers waits a heavily guarded research facility that promises answers. Getting there won’t be easy, not with Napun Molé on their trail. They’ve already escaped the assassin twice, and as far as Molé is concerned, finishing them off isn’t just a job anymore, it’s personal.
Bard’s Oath (Dragonlord #3), by Joanne Bertin (November 27, Tor)
For many millennia, the Dragonlords have been a blessing to the world, with their great magic and awesome power. Leet: a master bard of great ability and vaulting ambition, has his own darker magic. Years ago, death claimed the woman he loved, setting him on a course to avenge her death. Consumed by his thirst for revenge, Leet has set in motion a nefarious plot that ensnares the friend of a Dragonlord. Raven, a young friend of the Dragonloard Linden Rathan, is ensnared by Leet and under the bard’s spell, is one of the bard’s unwitting catspaws. When accused of a heinous crime, Raven turns to Linden. Linden comes to Raven’s aid. But Raven, and others victimized by Leet, are at the mercy of human justice. Can even a Dragonlord save them from a dire fate before it is too late?
For six years, former temple assassin Aral Kingslayer has been living as a jack of the shadow trades, picking up odd jobs on the wrong side of the law. But the past is never dead, and Aral’s has finally caught up to him in the beautiful, dangerous form of Jax Seldansbane, a fellow Blade and Aral’s onetime fiancée. Jax claims that the forces that destroyed everything Aral once held dear are on the move again, and she needs his help to stop them. But Aral has a new life now, with a fresh identity and new responsibilities. And while he isn’t keen on letting the past back in, the former assassin soon finds himself involved in a war that will leave him with no way out and no idea who to trust.
Archmage Planir and the wizards of Hadrumal have demonstrated their devastating powers and the corsair threat is no more. Will Tormalin’s Emperor make an alliance with Solura’s wizards who so openly covet Hadrumal’s secrets? Will he seek out that other mysterious magic, Artifice, to counter Planir’s magecraft? How will the aloof Aetheric adepts of the mountains answer such an appeal? Aldabreshin warlords have always forbidden wizardry. Now the Archmage has encroached so unforgivably on their domains, their laws demand a wizard’s shed blood to wash away the taint and the Aldabreshi have countless men and ships for such a quest. With many of the Wizard Council disputing Planir’s chosen course, he must look beyond the island city for allies.
A Fantasy Medley 2 (Quarters #4.5, October Daye .5), edited by Yanni Kuznia (November 28, Subterranean)
With “Quartered,” Tanya Huff returns with the story of the young bard Evicka, whose mission to spy on an assassin brings peril, tragedy, and, ultimately, revelation. In “Bone Garden,” Amanda Downum revisits Erisín. Deadly spirits are preying on the city’s most vulnerable citizens in this story of secrets and sacrifice. “The Sergeant and the General” finds Jasper Kent weaving a tale from the other side of the battle lines drawn in his Danilov Quintet, with a French veteran of Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign haunted by more than just memories. And in “Rat-Catcher,” Seanan McGuire travels into the past of the October Daye series to pull back the veils on both the world of 17th century London theater and the faerie Court of Cats as two worlds collide.
Five entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest, +1 for a Facebook follow. This contest is international to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Books unclaimed after a month will go into a general giveaway pile.