First, we have two really fun stops on the River Road virtual tour today. 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 leave comments for the extra commenter prizes.
***I’m pondering tattoos at Romancing the Darkside today, or rather DJ is. I realized that I’d unintentionally given tattoos to a lot of my characters and DJ is trying to decide what she wants, and where to put it. She’s taking suggestions!
***And DJ, Alex, Jake, Rene Delachaise and Jean Lafitte are all coming to a holiday pot-luck dinner today at Tynga’s Reviews. It’s about as bizarre and chaotic as it sounds! And of course I get to go as well. See who brings the weirdest side dish! There's also a review up today at Tynga's.
And now…on to this week’s Reader’s Choice Contest….
December as a whole is a slow release month as publishers don’t want their new releases to get lost in the holiday gift-buying shuffle. Although what’s a better gift than a book? Still there are some interesting new titles here. I find the whole premise of Harry Turtledove’s Supervolcano series interesting (the second one is out this week), but haven’t had a chance to read it yet.
What do you want to read? 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….
When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet—despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together. After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal. Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection, one that threatens to consume them.
Ever since he saved Dr. Mackenzie Grant’s life, panther-shifter and sorcerer Kalen Black has had trouble keeping the beautiful doctor out of his thoughts, and his heart. The brush with death awakened an intense passion between them, one that for the first time had the notorious loner letting down his guard. With the Alpha Pack battling an evil Fae who is slowly gaining control over Kalen’s mind, Kalen can no longer trust his own actions, and he breaks off his affair with Mackenzie in order to keep her safe. But when Mackenzie learns that she is carrying Kalen’s child, no amount of danger will keep her away from the man she loves. To protect his mate and unborn child, Kalen will have to battle a terrible evil, unleash the full fury of his power, and risk destroying them all.
A volatile mix of both Lycan and Slayer, half-breed Falon is Alpha female of her pack, marked by both Lucien and Rafael, rival Alpha brothers that share equal hold on her heart. When Falon’s mysterious past completely unravels, it is revealed she is the daughter of the Master Slayer who murdered Lucien and Rafael’s parents. The revelation throws her relationship with both brothers into chaos. She realizes before her Alpha mates that they are destined to be one and pleads with them to accept the unusual triangle. If the brothers accept her as their mate then the Blood Law of an eye for an eye would be null and void. But if Lucien and Rafael cannot overcome their pride and accept their fate, the annihilation of the Lycan race waits within the shadow of the Blood Moon.
Deliver Me from Temptation (Paladin Warriors #2), by Tes Hilaire (December 4, Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Logan Calhoun is the last full-blooded Paladin, the future leader of a race of immortal warrior angels. The heavy responsibility of continuing the Paladin line falls to him, and the last thing he should do is get involved with a human. Then fate throws Jessica Waters, a homicide detective who doesn’t believe in fate or divine intervention, into his path. Her devotion lies in her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. Like Logan, she’s a warrior for her people, and she awakens within him something he’d never thought he’d feel. But she’s also as human as they come.
While the tattered remains of humanity huddle underground, Devi prefers living topside, making dangerous hauls through the demon-infested wasteland Earth has become. The wealth that comes from smuggling supplies to those shunned as summoner-born or demon-touched doesn’t hurt, either. The man she meets to arrange one of those under-the-table hauls is complicated, and handsome as hell. Zel’s first look at the wild-haired hauler threatens to distract him from his mission. As the leader of an outcast settlement, he can’t afford to trust too easily. Devi’s got a reputation for running a tight, disciplined crew, but her very willingness to deal with him means she has something to hide. Not to mention a tempting package like her could be the cleverest trap his enemies have ever set.
As a war wages between the immortals of Atlantis and those of the vampire realm, a Poseidon warrior fights to save his world, and the woman he loves. And no risk is too great. The desires of a high priest. Alaric, Poseidon’s High Priest, has made a vow to Quinn, the woman he loves and the leader of the Resistance: to save her friend Jack before his last bit of humanity has been drained. Should Alaric succeed, there’s one intimate danger: he may lose Quinn to the love of the man whose life he saved. But damn Atlantis to the nine hells, he’s willing to put Quinn’s wishes first, regardless of the consequences.
Since Jo “Surf” Tanis and her band of super-powered actors broke free of the government-sponsored superhero show, they’re all dealing with the aftershock of adjusting to reality. It doesn’t get more real than a mission to dig survivors out of what’s left of Erie, PA after a mysterious earthquake. Not to mention the soul-shaking feelings she has for Hunter, a team member whose past as an Agency Guardian casts a shadow over any possible relationship. One of the supers, an earth-warper named Ground Pounder, has gone rogue, using his freedom from the Agency’s brand of virtual slavery to put the “villain” back in supervillain. Failure to find him before any more innocent bystanders are hurt means the team could be back under the Agency’s thumb.
Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of grueling warrior training. But he has no future to offer Chris, the mortal woman he loves, without his own territory. When he learns of a lost Templar treasure, Jamys vows to possess it and win his lady’s heart. No one knows Chris Lang wants to be a tresora so she can live with Jamys, her secret love. Her superiors offer to make her dream come true, but only if she finds the lost treasure before Jamys can. Working together, Chris and Jamys track the jewels through a shadowy maze of priceless artifacts, decadent secrets, and one ruthless opponent who can possess an immortal’s mind, and will stop at nothing to have Chris.
Jeannie Carlyle is a caterer extraordinaire. When her client asks her to open a rare bottle of gin for a party, Jeannie is shocked when a guy in poofy pants pops out and she gets sucked inside. Trapped in the bottle, she uses her cell phone to search the term “paranormal” and finds the number for OOPS: Out in the Open Paranormal Support. Werewolf Sloan Flaherty isn’t keen on dealing with distraught women, especially since his sister-in-law Marty forced him to man the OOPS phones. When Jeannie calls, Sloan is the only one available to find Jeannie’s bottle. After giving it a good rub, Jeannie emerges and starts calling Sloan “Master.” They need to figure out how to break their unwanted bond, before the wishes Jeannie can’t stop granting get them into more trouble.
Reeling from her brother’s death, beautiful American spy Claire Brooks has vowed revenge on the member of The Company who she believes to be responsible: Stanton Howard. But when she chases the man to London, Claire is captured by the Wardens of the Realm and placed in the custody of the dashing Alistair Payne. Seeing the prospect of retribution slipping away, Claire convinces Alistair that she has defected and will help him take down The Company. As they travel, Claire and Alistair must pretend to be engaged. Claire can’t deny the growing attraction she feels for her pretend fiancé, but when Howard is finally within her reach, she will have to decide if her true loyalties lie with The Company or with her heart.
For brilliant paranormal profiler Sloan Skye, a reluctant trip into her past will bring her face to face with a killer who shouldn’t exist. Being a skeptic is somehow making Sloan Skye one of the best profilers in the FBI’s new Paranormal Behavioral Analysis Unit. Her so-called love life isn’t any less tangled, but she’s beginning to believe she’s found a place where her uber-geek smarts and her more out-there methods fit perfectly. Unfortunately, all the incredible things she’s seen can’t prepare Sloan for the ultimate horror show. Someone, or some thing, is draining blood out of local teenage girls while they sleep. And the only way Sloan can solve the case is to push past her training and surrender to powers beyond her formidable logic to root out one very elusive killer.
When Reverend Aiden Fleischer finds a hunchbacked vagabond named Clarissa Stark begging at his door, little does he suspect it’s the start of an adventure that’s literally out of this world. In wicked Whitechapel, the priest stumbles upon one of Jack the Ripper’s victims and becomes convinced that he himself is the notorious killer. Miss Stark is relieved when they are both posted to the far away Melanesian island of Koluwai, but here they encounter an even darker evil, one that transports them to another planet. Fleischer and Stark’s new home away from home is not safe. The Blood Gods will soon invade. If he is to defeat them and rescue the woman he’s come to love, Fleischer must first face his own inner demons.
Rising Sun, by Robert Conroy (December 4, Baen)
It is the summer of 1942 and the Incredible Victory in the Battle of Midway has become a horrendous disaster. Two of America’s handful of carriers in the Pacific have blundered into a Japanese submarine picket line and are sunk, while a third is destroyed the next day. Now the Pacific belongs to the Japanese. Alaska is invaded. Hawaii is under blockade. The Panama Canal is nearly plugged.The West Coast of America is ripe for destruction as Japanese bombers bombard cities at will. The U.S. begins to fight back. Limited counterattacks are made and a grand plan is put forth to lure the Japanese into an ambush that could restore the balance in the Pacific and give the forces of freedom a fighting chance once more.
In the aftermath of the supervolcano’s eruption in Yellowstone Park, North America is covered in ash. Farmlands cannot produce food. Machinery has been rendered useless. Cities are no longer habitable. And the climate across the globe grows colder every day. Former police officer Colin Ferguson’s family is spread across the United States, separated by the catastrophe, and struggling to survive as the nation attempts to recover and reestablish some measure of civilization.
It’s August 19, 1884. The consumptive Doc Holliday is awaiting his end in a sanitarium in Leadville, Colorado when the medicine man Geronimo enlists him on a mission. The one white man he’s willing to treat with is heading to Tombstone, a young man named Theodore Roosevelt. The various tribes know that Geronimo is willing to end the spell that has kept the United States from expanding west of the Mississippi. In response, they have created a huge, monstrous, medicine man named War Bonnet, whose function is to kill Roosevelt and Geronimo and keep the United States east of the river forever. And War Bonnet has enlisted the master shootist John Wesley Hardin. It does not promise to be a tranquil summer.
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. We know what those quarantines are, holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Escape is nearly impossible. Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices. As Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help. Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race.
Steampunk adventure with an environmental point. After a daring chase across the globe, Tim Barnabas and Clara Calland have brought Clara’s scientist father’s secret formula to Westralia. Here, much of Australia is simply too hot to be habitable by day. Duke Malcolm, of the Imperial Security Service, transports Claras rebel-father to a prison in Eastern Australia, hoping to bait her into attempting a rescue. Clara looks to Tim for help, only to find he has fled a racist incident into the desert. She takes a burrowing machine known as a “steam mole” in search of him. The two head to Eastern Australia, where they discover an invading force with plans to take Westralia.
The first short story collection by Russian-born Ekaterina Sedia as she explores the edge between the mundane and fantastical in tales inspired by her homeland as well as worldwide folkloric traditions. With foreword by World Fantasy Award-winner Jeffrey Ford, Moscow But Dreaming will appeal to fans of slipstream and magical realism, as well as those interested in the uncanny and Russian history.
Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man. It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder—and the crimes they believe may be connected to it, without calling too much attention to themselves.
Elemental Magic: All New-Tales of the Elemental Masters(Elemental Masters #9), edited by Mercedes Lackey (December 4, DAW)
Features seventeen new stories of Edwardian magicians, including an original story by Mercedes Lackey.
Jeff and Kitty Katt-Martini and the rest of the American Centaurion Diplomatic Corps are still recovering from their introduction to Washington, D.C., politics, parties, and conspiracies. So when compromising pictures arrive, no one’s too surprised. Evil androids running amok, birds of all kinds and from all places creating havoc, a senator trapped in a web of intrigue, and escalating international tensions all seem tough but manageable. The disappearance of Jeff Martini and Charles Reynolds during the International One World Festival signals more than the usual nastiness, though, and it looks like even ACE can’t help them.
Hundreds of years in the future, much has changed. But not everything. All her life, Lady Catherine Carletto (called Cat) has lived for nothing but the next party, the next lover, the next expensive toy. Until Imperial Princess Ophelia and her cadre of synth assassins murder her brother the emperor and go on to purge the galaxy of his friends and supporters, including Cat’s family. The Carlettos are known to be staunch supporters of the Emperor. Now Cat is on the run. She finds her sanctuary among the most dangerous of society’s misfits. Welcome to the Legion. Cat Carletto vanishes, and in her place stands Legion recruit Andromeda McKee. A woman with a mission, to bring down Empress Ophelia, or die trying.
After rescuing her star pilot husband and discovering the dark secret of her own past on Earth, Athena Hera Sinistra returns to space habitat Eden to start life anew.Thena and Kit are placed under arrest for the crime of coming back alive.The only escape from a death sentence: return to Earth and bring back the lost method for creating the Powertrees, the energy source of both Eden and Earth. That mission is secondary to a greater imperative. Thena must not get caught.If she does, suicide is to be the only option. Thena comes to understand what her accusers do not: it is not merely one woman’s life on the line. Thena realizes what is at stake is the fate of Eden and Earth, the continuance of the darkship fleet, and freedom for the Solar system and beyond.
Matt Lowell is the hottest new recruit in the Universal Union’s select group of pilots. Their job: control the supremely powerful biochemical robotic avatars known as Mecha. Now, the Prime of Universal Union herself has offered him an unprecedented opportunity: return to Earth to train a new elite force for a covert mission that’s imperative to the future of the Union. When he and his team embark on their mission, on a border world that may be a target for the anarchical Corsairs, Matt finds that everything is not as it seems. The world is home to a dark secret that underlies the very foundation of the Union itself, and suddenly Matt doesn’t know which side he and his mighty Mecha should be fighting for, or against.
Since it was founded, M.Y.T.H. Inc. has dealt with all manner of vile and evil creatures. But not even a magician of Skeeve’s caliber is prepared to face the most duplicitous monsters of all: politicians. Emo Weavil and his cousin Wilmer Weavil-Scuttil have been running for governor of the island of Bokromi, for five years. Their magickal mudslinging (literal and otherwise) strategies continue to postpone the election leaving the realm in a state of leaderless chaos. Hired to moderate a fair and balanced race between the candidates, Skeeve and Bunny attempt to clean up the dirty politics, only to become targets of the tabloids and paparazzi, who are more interested in innuendo than the facts.
All his life, Moon roamed the Three Worlds, a solitary wanderer forced to hide his true nature, until he was reunited with his own kind, the Raksura, and found a new life as consort to Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud court. But now a rival court has laid claim to him, and Jade may or may not be willing to fight for him. Beset by doubts, Moon must travel in the company of strangers to a distant realm where he will finally face the forgotten secrets of his past, even as an old enemy returns with a vengeance. The Fell, a vicious race of shape-shifting predators, menaces groundlings and Raksura alike.
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 the Book Horde list (see tab at the top of the page).
Now….go forth and comment!