Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of March 18, 2012

Here’s a list of this week’s new scifi, fantasty and horror books. Click on the title to see the cover.

Released Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Born to Darkness, by Suzanne Brockmann

As the New York Times bestselling author of the Troubleshooters series and a “superstar of romantic suspense” (USA Today), Suzanne Brockmann has an acclaimed history of taking readers’ breath away with her novels of hot passion and high adventure. Now she takes her talent for sexy, action-packed storytelling in a thrilling new direction: forward—into a future, both fantastic and frightening, that only the brilliant Brockmann could envision.

Dishonorably discharged, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is down to his last ten bucks when he finally finds work as a test subject at the Obermeyer Institute, a little-known and believed-to-be-fringe scientific research facility. When he enters the OI compound, he is plunged into a strange world where seemingly mild-mannered scientists—including women half his size—can kick his highly skilled ass. Shane soon discovers that there are certain individuals who possess the unique ability to access untapped regions of the brain with extraordinary results—including telekinesis, super strength, and reversal of the aging process. Known as “Greater-Thans,” this rare breed is recruited by OI, where they are rigorously trained using ancient techniques to cultivate their powers and wield them responsibly. But in the depths of America’s second Great Depression, where the divide between the haves and the have-nots has grown even wider, those who are rich—and reckless—enough have a quick, seductive alternative: Destiny, a highly addictive designer drug that can make anyone a Greater-Than, with the power of eternal youth. The sinister cartel known as The Organization has begun mass-producing Destiny, and the demand is epidemic.

But few realize the drug’s true danger, and fewer still know the dirty secret of Destiny’s crucial ingredient. Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie knows the ugly truth. And as one of the Obermeyer Institute’s crack team of operatives, she’s determined to end the scourge of Destiny. But her kick-ass attitude gets knocked for a loop when she finds that one of the new test subjects is none other than Shane, the same smoldering stranger who just rocked her world in a one-night stand. Although Shane isn’t a Greater-Than like Mac, as an ex-SEAL, he’s got talents of his own. But Mac’s got powerful reasons to keep her distance from him—and reasons that are just as strong to want him close. She’s used to risking her life, but now, in the midst of the ultimate war on drugs, she must face sacrificing her heart.

The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matias Guili, by Natsuki Ikezawa

In this sweeping magical-realist epic set in the fictional south sea island Republic of Navidad, Ikezawa gives his imagination free rein to reinvent the myths of the twentieth century Japan. The story takes off as a delegation of Japanese war veterans pays an official visit to the ex-World War II colony, only to see the Japanese flag burst into flames. The following day, the tour bus, and its passengers, simply vanish. The locals exchanges absurd rumors— the bus was last seen attending Catholic mass, the bus must have skipped across the lagoon— but the president suspects a covert guerrilla organization is trying to undermine his connections with Japan. Can the real answers to the mystery be found, or will the president have to be content with the  surreal answers?

Darkest Knight, by Karen Duvall

“Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose.”

After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet—and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin’s humanity…and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue.

Someone—or something—is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice’s dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice—one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire….

Deadwind Sea, by Josh Wagner et al

No one could believe their eyes when Sergio, the unluckiest shepherd in the village, married Ivette, the most beautiful woman in medieval Europe. But when Ivette dies six days after their wedding, Sergio embarks on a fantastic voyage across the Western Sea to bring her back from the Land of the Dead. The story begins in 14th century Spain, making stops in Rome, Byzantium, and the North Pole before following the setting sun into the timeless Land of the Dead. On the way Sergio encounters a ship-full of lazy pirates, a monster hunter displaced in time, a psychotic Kris Kringle, and some seriously mind-bending cosmology. Arriving at last on the untouched continent that history would later call “America”, Sergio finds himself at the heart of a drama to liberate the new frontier from stagnation, a drama that takes him far beyond the world’s horizon. DEADWIND SEA’s narrative flows with the sort of innovation and levity that made “The Princess Bride” work so well, while at the same time treading a darker, more elusive undercurrent. DEADWIND SEA maintains an air of whimsy and imagination, while packing one heck of an emotional punch.

The Werewolf’s Wife, by Michele Hauf

The legacy he must obey…The child she must save…

The man who threatens to fulfill her every fantasy…

and break her heart.

Alpha wolf Ridge Addison left his wife in Las Vegas, vowing to put their one reckless night of passion behind him and return to his clan. Thirteen years later he needs a divorce so he can become pack leader. Yet he’s never forgotten the sensuous witch whose life he saved…or the knee-buckling kisses he still craves.

After they parted, Abigail tried banishing Ridge from her memory. Now her heart belongs only to her son. But when the boy is kidnapped, she knows she alone can’t save him. Though Abigail’s body still aches for Ridge, she’s willing to give him his freedom in exchange for his help. But who will shield her heart from the only man she’s ever let claim her, body and soul?

Ichiro, by Ryan Inzana

Ichiro lives in New York City with his Japanese mother. His father, an American soldier, was killed in Iraq. Now, Ichi’s mom has decided they should move back to Japan to live with Ichi’s grandfather.    Grandfather becomes Ichi’s tour guide, taking him to temples as well as the Hiroshima Peace Park, where Ichi starts to question the nature of war. After a supernatural encounter with the gods and creatures of Japanese mythology, Ichi must face his fears if he is to get back home. In doing so, he learns about the nature of man, of gods, and of war. He also learns there are no easy answers—for gods or men.

The Secret Circle: The Divide, by L. J. Smith

Keep your enemies close. . . .For the first time since moving to New Salem, Cassie Blake feels normal. She’s dating her soul mate Adam and making new friends in town. But between the secret coven of witches she belongs to and the incredible power she holds within her, Cassie is leading a far from ordinary life. When tragedy strikes the Circle, Cassie realizes being extraordinary can be a curse.The Circle is being hunted by an unknown enemy—and anyone could be the next victim. As they struggle to protect themselves, alliances are formed and relationships are tested. No one knows who to trust or who to fear. Will Cassie be able to save the Circle . . . and herself? Or will her choices break it apart forever?

A Temptation of Angels, by Michelle Zink

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance
When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world’s past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.
Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.

Traitor’s Son: The Raven Duet Book #2, by Hilari Bell

In Trickster’s Girl, when Kesla’s journey comes to an end, she passes the pouch and the quest on to someone else. She picks Jason, a native boy she thinks will be able to finish the job. But in fact, a family feud has cut Jason off from his traditional roots, and he is even more doubtful and resistant than Kesla was. But Raven, now a beautiful girl, is quite persuasive and manages to convince Jason this is something not only that he can do, but that he must if he wants to heal his family and the earth.

Wonder Show, by Hannah Barnaby

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step inside Mosco’s Traveling Wonder Show, a menagerie of human curiosities and misfits guaranteed to astound and amaze! But perhaps the strangest act of Mosco’s display is Portia Remini, a normal among the freaks, on the run from McGreavy’s Home for Wayward Girls, where Mister watches and waits. He said he would always find Portia, that she could never leave. Free at last, Portia begins a new life on the bally, seeking answers about her father’s disappearance. Will she find him before Mister finds her? It’s a story for the ages, and like everyone who enters the Wonder Show, Portia will never be the same.

Released Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Breathless, by Cole Gibsen

Obituary-reading emo girl Edith Small is broken – the end result of forcing herself inside a mold that doesn’t fit. All she wants is to conform to her strict sergeant stepfather’s rules long enough to make it to graduation day. But a boat accident threatens to unravel the life Edith has worked so hard to keep. After waking up in a hospital with a lacerated shoulder, Edith fakes amnesia. Because admitting she received her injuries from a blue-haired girl who breathes underwater is all the reason Sir needs to send Edith on the first bus to military school. Safe at home, Edith struggles to put the nightmare behind her. But the mysterious creatures that live in the ocean aren’t about to let her forget. After meeting Bastin – a strange boy with silver hair and black eyes – on a secluded dock, Edith learns about the war raging undersea to end human existence. A war that Edith, unwittingly, has become the key to winning. In a world where death is an ever-present shadow and motives are as dark as the bottom of the ocean, Edith must decide if her life is worth risking for a love that can’t survive past the shore.

 

Lists from Amazon.com

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of January 15th, 2012

Here’s a list of all scifi, fantasy and horror coming out this week. To see covers, click on title.

Released Monday, January 16th, 2012

The Emerald Maze: Long John Silver Vol. 3, by Xavier Dorison 

The bloody mutiny was a success, and Long John is now in command of the Neptune. Following their native guide, the survivors find the mouth of the Amazon and sail on towards Guiana-Capac. But after the dangers of the open ocean, it’s the unknown terrors of the jungle they must now face ??? with a damaged ship and a reduced crew. To what doom will the lush labyrinth of the Amazon lead Long John, Lady Vivian and Dr Livesey?

The Crystal Channelers and the Last Reincarnation, by Sharon Ann Rowland

There comes a time on Earth for all life to be renewed, and for past truths to be known. In THE CRYSTAL CHANNELERS, Sharon Ann Rowland’s wildly inventive, thought-provoking new science-fiction fantasy series, the time when all is revealed is 2018. And the place for age-old truths to shine forth is the majestic, yet unrelenting terrain of Australia. Following the lives of six seemingly normal Australians, this globetrotting, time-travelling set of books is certain to rivet anyone who relishes richly drawn characters, unrestrained imagination, abundant humour, and a dash of romance. Book 1, THE CRYSTAL CHANNELERS AND THE LAST REINCARNATION, introduces the six main characters of the series. These include the heroine Sam Everett, a beautiful forty-year-old psychiatrist with Queensland Health; Varnin Alemanni, a rugged twenty-seven-year-old cattle property owner from Longreach; Peter Sabar, a perpetually randy young medical student from Sydney; Maggie Edwards, a nurturing Alice Springs publican; York Long, a promiscuous police superintendent from Margaret River; and Doc Abysinnia, the mysterious aboriginal doctor who brings the six together and into their new roles as Crystal Channelers. Their ordinary lives disappear when the Earth is dealt a lethal blow from an unknown enemy, and all humans of mixed blood are wiped from the face of the planet. As they rebuild their lives and learn to love and trust one another, they must look to the past to forge a new, more tolerant future. In their dreams, each is able to inhabit a previous life, not always within the race and culture that they are now a part of in 2018. Sam recalls her past life as Deirdre in Ireland (967 AD) and France (1945), Maggie as Guanyin in China (1100 AD), Varnin as Heracles in Crete (1264 AD), York as Thunder Helper in the Americas (1800 AD), while Peter conjures his life as Hang Tuah in Malaysia (Fifteenth Century). Every good story must have a villain, and THE CRYSTAL CHANNELERS AND THE LAST REINCARNATION has many, including Hunter, Varnin’s twin brother; Kreug, the twin’s evil father; Billie, Varnin’s estranged wife; Father Brian and the Brothers of the Carbrook Community Christian Church; and Devon and his Mountain Men. As each of the Crystal Channelers taps into his or her primordial identity through the power of their crystals, they must embrace their new gifts, honour the Crystal Law, and adapt. Action-packed with nuanced characters and surprising twists of plot, THE CRYSTAL CHANNELERS AND THE LAST REINCARNATION is certain to enthrall anyone who has a wanderlust for faraway places and long-ago times – and the equalising power of friendship and love.

The Therapist’s Cat, by Stephanie Sorrell

This is a poignant, charming and amusing fiction story that raises very moral questions about our interaction with animals and how this may impact on us at a later date. Psychotherapist, Pete Shepherd’s life is changed dramatically when his new girlfriend, Emmie, presents him with a kitten called Moo. Not particularly fond of cats he is about to take Moo into an animal rescue centre when he discovers that she can both speak his language and read his thoughts. Moo has a mission: to educate Pete about the very dire state of the animal kingdom due to humanity’s mistreatment and mishandling of animals. Gradually she begins to educate Pete on animal evolution that is strange, fascinating and rather disturbing if this is true. Apparently, a race of animal beings, known as the Nasym, have forced their way into the human evolutionary chain in order to escape the cruelty. Moo’s deepest fear is of becoming human and losing her fur; because a life without the qualities of fur is unbearable and also what she believes to be humanity’s fundamental problem.

Released Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Fracture,  by Megan Miranda

Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine
-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she’s far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can’t control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she’s reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy’s motives aren’t quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

The Girl who was on Fire, edited by Leah Wilson

The Girl Who Was on Fire – Movie Edition includes three brand new essays to take readers even deeper into this challenging YA phenomenon.

Katniss Everdeen’s adventures may have come to an end, but her story continues to blaze in the hearts of millions worldwide . . . especially with the highly anticipated March 2012 release of the film version of The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence.

In The Girl Who Was on Fire, thirteen YA authors take you back to Panem with moving, dark, and funny pieces on Katniss, the Games, Gale and Peeta, reality TV, survival, and more. From the trilogy’s darker themes of violence and social control to fashion and weaponry, the collection’s exploration of the Hunger Games reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, protagonist Katniss’ world really is.

• How does the way the Games affect the brain explain Haymitch’s drinking, Annie’s distraction, and Wiress’ speech problems?
• What does the rebellion have in common with the War on Terror?
• Why isn’t the answer to “Peeta or Gale?” as interesting as the question itself?
• What should Panem have learned from the fates of other hedonistic societies throughout history—and what can we?

CONTRIBUTORS: Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Sarah Darer Littman, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, Diana Peterfreund (NEW), Brent Hartinger (NEW), Jackson Pearce (NEW)

Halflings, by Heather Burch

Split. After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

Hallowed (Unearthly), by Cynthia Hand

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn’t prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Immortal Longings: A Vampire Novel, by Diane Dekelb-Rittenhouse

Lauren and Kayla are the perfect high school couple–except they aren’t actually a couple. The cute, smart, sarcastic Lauren is secretly in love with her best friend, Kayla, the gorgeous bi-racial lead actress in the drama club. But Kayla, one of the most popular girls at school, changes partners (male and female) like other girls change shoes.

After seeing a play in Manhattan one autumn afternoon, the two 17-year-olds wander into a vintage clothing store, Deja Nous. Their impromptu shopping spree leads to a chance meeting with the mysterious and beautiful owner, Elizabeth Valiant. Despite strange, subtle warnings from Matt, another clerk at the store, both girls agree to take after-school jobs at the enticing shop. On the ride home to Queens, Kayla talks non-stop about the wonderful clothes, the fabulous Elizabeth and how much fun the girls will have working together.

Deja Nous–and the intriguing and sensual Elizabeth–soon becomes an obsession for Lauren and Kayla. Then, after being accosted at the subway by a strange man and overhearing a surprising conversation, Lauren accidentally discovers the secret behind the shop and the Valiant family. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she realizes that her life and that of her beloved Kayla are in danger–life-threatening danger–from a centuries-old curse.

Stolen Away, by Alyxandra Harvey

For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won’t comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife. . . Eloise’s aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan’s mysterious son, Eldric-who may or may not betray them.

The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #5: The Asylum, by L. J. Smith et al

The hunters become the hunted. . . .

Driven from their hometown of Mystic Falls, both Stefan Salvatore and his brother, Damon, arrived in Europe looking for a fresh start. But Samuel, a wealthy and cunning vampire, has other plans for them. First he ruined Stefan’s peaceful existence and now he’s framing Damon for the most gruesome murders London has ever seen.

United against their common enemy, Stefan and Damon are stunned when they realize that the source of Samuel’s rage lies in their past—tied up with the woman who forever changed their lives. Haunted by the memory of Katherine, the brothers find that their uneasy alliance is tested. Can they overcome their rivalry to defeat Samuel before he exacts his final revenge?

Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan’s Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.

Commandment, by Daryl Chestney

For years, Lakif has agonized over the timeless secret of the Arcanum, but at last her dream, the elusive Rare Earth Stone, is literally in hand. All she must do is liberate its eldritch might. It seems straightforward, but harnessing the Arcanum proves to be a task beyond all imagining. Is the answer in the fiery magma pits of the Vulcan? Or is it, as some locals whisper, guarded by an ancient figure that haunts the ruined city underneath Grimpkin? And, her interest in the forbidden relic has attracted some attention–a mysterious agent is now tracking her. There are many plaguing questions, not the least of which is disturbing new information that ties Torkoth, Lakif’s amnesic guard, to a series of violent murders. To sort it all out, Lakif must confront her own secret past, an odyssey that propels her into the dreaded underworld and further, to the threshold of a distant shrine with an unspeakable past.

Dark Victory, by Michele Lang

Magda Lazarus was a reluctant witch until the dire threat of Nazi Germany convinced her to assume the mantle of her family’s ancient powers. But though this young, beautiful Jewish woman has fought off Hitler’s SS werewolves and the demon who would rule through the Führer, she has been unable to prevent the outbreak of World War II.

As long as Magda can summon spirits, there is still a chance to save people from the dire threat of the Holocaust. Her family’s guardian angel, Raziel, stands beside her in the battle against the human and supernatural forces of evil arrayed against her people and all of Europe.

In Michele Lang’s Dark Victory, as the Nazis prepare to invade Poland, Magda and her beloved Raziel marshal their own army, a supernatural force that will battle Hitler’s minions to the death…or beyond.

Home Fires, by Gene Wolfe

In a future North America at once familiar and utterly strange, a young man and woman, Skip and Chelle, fall in love and marry. But Chelle is enlisted in the military, there is a war on, and she must serve her tour of duty before they can settle down. Earth is fighting a war with aliens in distant star systems, and Chelle’s months in the service will be years in relative time on Earth. She returns to recuperate from severe injuries, still a young woman but not necessarily the same person—while Skip is now a wealthy businessman in his forties. Still in love, they go on a Caribbean cruise that rapidly goes awry with spies, aliens, and battles with pirates who capture the ship for ransom. There is no writer in SF like Gene Wolfe and no SF novel like Home Fires.

In the Lion’s Mouth, by Michael Flynn

It’s a big Spiral Arm, and the scarred man, Donavan buigh, has gone missing in it, upsetting the harper Mearana’s plans for a reconciliation between her parents. Bridget ban, a Hound of the League, doubts that reconciliation is possible or desirable; but nonetheless has dispatched agents to investigate the disappearance.

The powerful Ravn Olafsdottr, a Shadow of the Names, slips into Clanthompson Hall to tell mother and daughter of the fate of Donovan buigh. In the Long Game between the Confederation of Central Worlds and the United League of the Periphery, Hound and Shadow are mortal enemies; yet a truce descends between them so that the Shadow may tell her tale. There is a struggle in the Lion’s Mouth, the bureau that oversees the Shadows—a clandestine civil war of sabotage and assassination between those who would overthrow Those of Name and the loyalists who support them. And Donovan, one-time Confederal agent, has been recalled to take a key part, willingly or no.

MM9, by Hiroshi Yamamoto

Reads L to R (Western Style).

Japan is beset by natural disasters all the time: typhoons, earthquakes, and…giant monster attacks. A special anti-monster unit called the Meteorological Agency Monsterological Measures Department (MMD) has been formed to deal with natural disasters of high “monster magnitude.” The work is challenging, the public is hostile, and the monsters are hungry, but the MMD crew has science, teamwork…and a legendary secret weapon on their side. Together, they can save Japan, and the universe!

Poor Richard’s Lament: A Most Timely Tale, by Tom Fitzgerald

Benjamin Franklin once wished it were possible…to invent a method of embalming drowned persons in such a manner that they [could] be recalled to life at any period, however distant; for, having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to any ordinary death [that of] being immersed in a cask of Madeira wine, with a few friends, till the [proper] time, to be then recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country.

Poor Richard’s Lament grants Franklin his wish.

Benjamin Franklin has been confined to a private apartment in the Plantation of the Unrepentant for the past two-plus centuries, and has recently received notice that his petition for final processing has at last been approved. In the company of two Intermediaries, Ben appears before a panel of examiners in the Celestial Court of Petitions to make his case. His examiners are three former arch-adversaries: John Adams, Alexander Wedderburn, and Reverend William Smith.

By the end of Ben’s examination, in which the sins of the Pater are brought devastatingly to light, Ben fully expects to be cast into the abyss. Instead, he’s invited to bear witness to what has become of America in the two-plus centuries of his absence. Ben’s odyssey of witness begins at his birth site in Boston, passes through New York (where Ben upstages a leadership conference at the Waldorf Astoria), and ends, with wrenching poignancy, at his gravesite in Philadelphia.

Interwoven into the main story is a second, beginning in the red-carpeted parlors of the West Wing and ending in the blood-stained streets of West Philadelphia. Eventually, the parallel stories collide, like tectonic plates, in a stunning series of shocks and aftershocks.

Following in the traditions of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, and Dante’s Divine Comedy, Poor Richard’s Lament, nine years in the making, is an intricately woven, ultimately uplifting, tale of revelation and redemption, written in close consonance with the avuncular and aphoristic persona of Benjamin Franklin, Printer.

Shadow in Flight, by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Shadow explores the stars in this all-new novel…

At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children–the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten–a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

For there in space before them lies a derelict Formic colony ship. Aboard it, they will find both death and wonders–the life support that is failing on their own ship, room to grow, and labs in which to explore their own genetic anomaly and the mysterious disease that killed the ship’s colony.

Taft 2012: A Novel, by Jason Heller

HE’S BACK.
AND HE’S THE BIGGEST THING IN POLITICS.

He is the perfect presidential candidate. Conservatives love his hard-hitting Republican résumé. Liberals love his peaceful, progressive practicality. The media can’t get enough of his larger-than-life personality. And all the American people love that he’s an honest, hard-working man who tells it like it is.

There’s just one problem. He is William Howard Taft . . . and he was already president a hundred years ago. So what on earth is he doing alive and well and considering a running mate in 2012?

A most extraordinary satire, Jason Heller’s debut novel follows the strange new life of a presidential Rip Van Winkle: a man who never even wanted the White House in the first place, yet finds himself hurtling toward it once more—this time, through the media-fueled madness of 21st-century America.

Tamed, by Douglas R. Brown

Werewolves are real.

And they make excellent pets.

Owning one of the legendary creatures is the latest fad. The WereHouse insists their werepets are loyal, docile, and 100% safe, but what happens when these gentle giants turn on their masters?

While on a routine EMS call, paramedic Christine Alt is attacked by a rogue werepet. She escapes with her life, but the encounter leaves her with more than just scars. As her body begins to change, she discovers the WereHouse is hiding a terrible secret, and they will stop at nothing to keep her from exposing them.

Tamed is a werewolf tale with a twist from the author of the The Light of Epertase trilogy.

Book News, Books, News

New Releases Week of May 2nd, 2011

Here’s a list of all of sci-fi and fantasy coming out this week.

Released Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Dawnbringer: A Forgotten Realms Novel, by Samantha Henderson

Battle the forces of darkness in the Forgotten Realms®

Two angels given mortal flesh are sent to guard two star-crossed lovers, born scions of rival merchant houses. At first, it looks as though love will conquer all, and the rift will finally be mended. But there are those who hate the word peace with a passion so much that it poisons everything they touch, corrupting house to turn against house, mother to turn against child, and angel to turn against angel.

Dawnbringer is the perfect meld between classic and contemporary fantasy, with shades of Romeo and Juliet, told from the perspective of guardian angels, in a world where sorcery and monsters are commonplace.

Hard Magic: Book 1 of the Grimnoir Chronicles, by Larry Correia

Jake Sullivan is a war hero, a private eye—and an ex-con. He’s free because he has a magical talent, being able to alter the force of gravity in himself and objects in his vicinity, and the Bureau of Investigation calls on him when they need his help in apprehending criminals with their own magical talents. But the last operation he was sent along to help with went completely wrong, and Delilah Jones, the woman the G-men were after, who just happened to be an old friend of Jake’s in happier times, had a lot of magical muscle with her, too much muscle for the cops to handle, even with Jake’s help.

It got worse. Jake found out that the Feds had lied to him about Delilah being a murderer as well as a bank robber, and they had lied about this being his last job for them—he was too valuable for them to let him go. And things were even worse than Jake imagined. There was a secret war being waged by opposing forces of magic-users, and Jake had no idea that he had just attracted the attention of one side, whose ruthless leaders were of the opinion that Jake was far too dangerous to be permitted to live . . .

Well of Sorrows, by Benjamin Tate

An epic tale of a continent on the brink of war, and a deadly magic that waits to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Colin Harten and his parents had fled across the ocean to escape the Family wars in Andover. But trouble followed them and their fellow refugees to this new land, forcing them to abandon the settled areas and head into unexplored territory-the sacred grounds of a race of underground dwellers and warriors. It was here that they would meet their doom. Driven to the borders of a dark forest, they were attacked by mysterious Shadow creatures who fed on life force. Only Colin survived to find his way to the Well of Sorrows-and to a destiny that might prove the last hope for peace in this troubled land.

The Council of Shadows: A Novel of the Shadowspawn, by S. M. Stirling

New from the New York Times bestselling author of A Taint in the Blood.

Adrian Brézé defied his own dark heritage as a near-purebred Shadowspawn for years, until his power-hungry sister Adrienne kidnapped his human lover Ellen.

Now, Adrienne is dead, and the Council of Shadows is gathering its strength. To stop the Council from launching an apocalypse, Adrian and Ellen must ally with the Brotherhood, a resistance group dedicated to breaking the Council’s hold on humankind…by any means necessary.

In the coming confrontation, Adrian must fight not only the members of the Council but also his own nature-and, as he will come to suspect, traitors within the Brotherhood itself…

The Inheritance & Other Stories, by Robin Hobb & Megan Lindholm

A treasure trove of tales from a master storyteller—the first to feature works written under both her pseudonyms, Robin Hobb and Megan Lindholm . . .

The Inheritance

Before she became an acclaimed New York Times bestselling author, Robin Hobb received resounding critical praise for work written under the name Megan Lindholm. Though they spring from the same imagination, Hobb and Lindholm are separate, diverse identities, each with her own unique style and perspective.

The Inheritance celebrates the boundless vision of Hobb and Lindholm, bringing together for the first time classic and new short works from both names. The collection is comprised of three generous offerings from Robin Hobb, including the title story, which makes its U.S. debut here, and a brand-new tale, “Cat’s Meat.” Megan Lindholm contributes her Hugo and Nebula Award finalist “A Touch of Lavender” and Nebula finalist “Silver Lady and the Fortyish Man,” as well as several classic and new gems.

Each piece is prefaced by a brief yet informative author’s note, offering insight into each story’s genesis. Fascinating, compelling, and wonderfully entertaining, The Inheritance reveals the full spectrum of skill and talent of one of the world’s finest fantasy writers.

Extremis, by Steve White & Charles E. Gannon

Once before, the sentient races in the known part of the galaxy—humans, Orions, Ophiuchi and Gorm—had united to defeat alien invaders. Decades later, the member planets of the alliance had grown complacent—until a huge fleet of ships, each ship larger than a city, arrived, fleeing the loss of their home planet when their star went nova.

They have traveled for centuries, slower than light, and now that they have arrived at the world they intend to make their new home. They regard the fact that the planet is already colonized by humans as a mere inconvenience, the more so since their mode of communication is so different from anything humans use that they do not consider humans and their allies to be truly intelligent. And the arriving aliens know—or, at least, they believe—that when they die they will be reincarnated, so they do not hesitate to attack humans and their allies with suicidal fury. And, if necessary, they will exterminate all humans and their allies, if that’s what it takes to occupy the planet.

That was their attitude on arrival, but the conquerors have learned from human technology. They now know all about reactionless drives, so much more efficient than rocket engines. And they have learned about the jump points which make faster-than-light travel possible. With that knowledge, they plan to conquer the entire inhabited region of the galaxy—unless the old alliance of humans and other being can stop them . . .

Shadow Raiders: Book 1 of the Dragon Brigade, by Margaret Weis & Robert Krammes

A new epic swashbuckling fantasy series-by New York Times bestselling author Margaret Weis and Robert Krammes.

The known world floats upon the Breath of God, a thick gas similar to Earth’s oceans, with land masses accessible by airship. The largest of these land masses are ruled by the rival empires of Freya and Rosia. Magic is intrinsic to the functioning of these societies, and is even incorporated into their technological devices. But now a crucial scientific discovery has occurred that could destroy the balance of power-and change the empires forever.

 

Scarlet Dream (Outlanders), by James Axler

The poisonous alien race masterminding centuries of calculated chaos and destruction for mankind underestimated the sheer tenacity of the human spirit. Now these technologically superior aggressors must contend with a dedicated group of warriors sworn to reclaim their planet. The odds against the Cerberus rebels are long, but the fight goes on.…

In the fetid swamps of Louisiana, the dead rise, commanded by their new queen. Her power lies in death and in its secrets—the sadistic culmination of the insane power unleashed during her fragmented rebirth from dark goddess Lilitu. Facing off against an army of zombies, Kane, Grant and Brigid must somehow kill the undead. If they fail, the crazed voodoo priestess will infect her minions with a pre-dark biological weapon designed to destroy all life on earth. And then the dead will truly rise.…

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 4), by Chloe Neill

“Neill creates a strong-minded, sharp-witted heroine who will appeal to fans of Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series and Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake.” –Library Journal

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals-and they’re camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are…tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn’t help that she can’t tell who’s on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who’s tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago’s supernatural society-a world full of vampires who seem ready to fulfill the protesting human’s worst fears, and a place where she’ll learn that you can’t be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands…

The Other Crowd (Rogue Angel), by Alex Archer

In a remote part of Ireland, two archaeological teams dig for the find of a lifetime—the legendary Spear of Lugh. Folklore claims the magical weapon was forged in the time of the ancient Tuatha de Danaan. But as the search intensifies, people begin disappearing from the dig. “Faeries,” whisper the locals. The Other Crowd…

Instructed to travel to Ireland and return with faerie footage, archaeologist Annja Creed figures it’s a joke assignment. But people have vanished and she soon realizes there’s more in play than mythical wee folk. With the unsettling notion that something otherworldly is in the air, Annja is torn between her roles as an archaeologist and a warrior. But can her powerful sword protect her from the threat of violence…or the Other Crowd?

Spellcast, by Barbara Ashford

When Maggie Graham lost her job and her apartment fell to pieces, she decided to flee New York City for a while and hide in Vermont, at the Crossroads Theatre. She hadn’t planned to audition, yet soon found herself part of the summer stock cast. But her previous acting experiences couldn’t prepare her for the theater’s unusual staff-and its handsome, almost otherworldly director.

 

 

 

 

Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old—when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries. Now the determined deity has tracked him down, and Atticus will need all his power—plus the help of a seductive goddess of death, his vampire and werewolf team of attorneys, a sexy bartender possessed by a Hindu witch, and some good old-fashioned luck of the Irish—to kick some Celtic arse and deliver himself from evil.

The Hot Gate: Troy Rising III, by John Ringo

The fight to free the Earth from alien domination began in Live Free or Die, and continued in Citadel. Now Tyler Vernon, and his troops aboard the gigantic battle station Troy, face a desperate battle with the forces of galactic tyranny. And the very survival of the Earth and its people is not all that is at stake. The galaxy itself must choose to live free or die—and if the tyrants win this battle, darkness will fall across the galaxy for millennia to come.

 

 

 

The Door to Lost Pages, by Claude Lalumiere

Step through the door to Lost Pages and escape a life you never wanted! On her tenth birthday, Aydee runs away from home and from her neglectful parents. At first, surviving alone on the streets is harsh, but a series of frightening, bewildering encounters with strange primordial creatures leads her to a bookshop called Lost Pages, where she steps into a fantastic, sometimes dangerous, but exciting life. Aydee grows up at the reality-hopping Lost Pages, which seems to attract a clientele that is either eccentric – or desperate. She is repeatedly drawn into an eternal war between enigmatic gods and monsters, until the day she is confronted by her worst nightmare: herself!

 

Night Mares in the Hamptons: A Willow Tate Novel, by Celia Jerome

Graphic novelist Willow Tate is a Visualizer, able to draw images of beings from the realm of Faerie, bringing them from their world to ours in the process. After a ten-foot-tall red troll follows her from Manhattan to Paumanok Harbor in the Hamptons, Willow realizes that many of her relatives and their neighbors possess psychic talents-truth- knowing, scrying, weaving wishes, picking lucky numbers, and more.

So when magic and mayhem return to Paumanok Harbor, and Willow is called upon to rescue the town, she enlists the local talent. Three magical mares are searching the Long Island village for a missing colt, and their distress is causing sleeping nights, bad tempers, and dangerous brawls among the gifted but peculiar residents.

Though the Department of Unexplained Events sends Willow a world-famous horse whisperer, Texan Ty Farraday seems more interested in whispering in her ear than in rescuing the kidnapped colt whose terror only Willy can feel. Even with help, she still has to struggle with snakes, drug dealers, tourists, hidden caves, a mad scientist-and the almost overwhelming distraction of that sexy cowboy…

Tainted Cascade (Deathlands), by James Axler

The blighted aftermath of a global nuclear showdown, Deathlands exacts a blood price. The living pay it; the dead don’t care. For one legendary band of warriors, this barbaric new world holds a chance for redemption: the secrets of the past. They roam a disfigured America, searching for pre-dark tech…seeking the path to a future worth living.

Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert remains a death pit of scorching heat, cannies and grim odds. Ryan Cawdor and his group survive the trek there, only to be drugged, robbed and left for the slave trade. Escaping their captors leaves them alive but stripped of their prized gear: their weps, J. B. Dix’s glasses, Dr. Mildred Wyeth’s medical kit and, worse, her secret codex. The companions must rely on each other to challenge their enemy and settle the score.

Eclipse 4: New Science Fiction and Fantasy SC, by Jonathan Strahan

World Fantasy Award-winner Jonathan Strahan delivers the fourth volume of this series, once again demonstrating his keen editorial eye. The multi-award winning Eclipse series (Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus, Aurealis) is the only on-going anthology for original non-themed science fiction and fantasy, and its contents have been regularly recognized as some of the most compelling stories of the year, both on awards ballots and on best-of-the-year lists. Eclipse 4 delivers new fiction by some of the genre’s most celebrated authors, including Peter Beagle, Emma Bull, Andy Duncan, Elizabeth Hand, Gwyneth Jones and Michael Swanwick and Many others.

 

 

Korval’s Game( Liaden), by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

The Liaden Universe® series has enthralled thousands of readers, and now two of its most exciting space adventure novels are combined in one popularly-priced Omni-trade volume.

Plan B: Val Con yos’Phelium is a fugitive. The heir of Clan Korval is wanted by the covert Liaden agency known as the Department of the Interior, whose rulers have declared unofficial war against the entire clan. With only his love, Miri Robertson, by his side, Val Con plans a desperate gamble by forming an alliance with Clan Erob on the planet where Miri was born.

But Val Con’s cousin, Shan yos’Galan, can’t wait for help that may never arrive. With enemy agents closing in, he invokes Plan B—setting in motion a series of events that will have dire consequences, not only for him and his life-mate, Priscilla Mendoza, but all of Liad . . .

I Dare: On the run from the agents of the Department of the Interior, Val Con has been separated from Miri. Shan, Val Con’s cousin, and Shan’s life-mate Priscilla, continue to search for him, believing that he’s the Clan’s last hope for survival.

But the DOI is attacking Clan Korval in a more subtle fashion. Pat Rin yos’Phelium—Val’s ne’er-do-well, nearly identical cousin, gambler and shooter—is offered control of the clan. The DOI believes they can manipulate him into serving their agenda.

They’re wrong . . .

Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse Book 11), by Charlaine Harris

New in the #1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series-the basis for HBO(r)’s True Blood!

With her knack for being in trouble’s way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte’s, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his “child” Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows…

 

Shift (Shade, Book 2), by Jeri Smith-Ready

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

 

Everfound (Skinjacker Trilogy), by Neal Shusterman

While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a fur-jacker—a skin jacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins, and has his own agenda. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.

 

 

 

Divergent (Divergent Trilogy), by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves… or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Bite Club (Morganville Vampires, Book 10), by Rachel Caine

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine is “a first- class storyteller” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris).

After discovering that vampires populate her town, college student Claire Danvers knows that the undead just want to live their lives. But someone else wants them to get ready to rumble.

There’s a new extreme sport getting picked up on the Internet: bare- knuckle fights pitting captured vampires against each other-or humans. Tracking the remote signal leads Claire- accompanied by her friends and frenemies-to discover that what started as an online brawl will soon threaten everyone in Morganville…

The Magnolia League, by Katie Crouch

When her free-spirited mother dies in a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is forced to leave her West Coast home and move in with a wealthy grandmother she’s never known in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful if unwilling member of the Magnolia League-Savannah’s long-standing debutante society. But white gloves and silk gowns are a far cry from the vintage t-shirts and torn jeans shorts she’s used to.

Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia League’s intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in their seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty and power…but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she discovers secrets-some deadly-hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer.

New York Times bestselling author Katie Crouch’s poignant and humorous voice shines in this enchanting and mysterious story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.

Illusions, by Aprilynne Pike

“I don’t do patrols, I don’t go hunting, I just stick close to you. You live your life. I’ll keep you safe,” Tamani said, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. “Or die trying.”

Laurel hasn’t seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life returns to normal, Laurel realizes that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

 

The Demon’s Covenant (Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy), by Sarah Rees Brennan

An undercurrent of wit and subtle sarcasm turns this dark story of demons, magic, and dysfunctional families into an affecting and fun read. Mae–don’t call her Mavis–and her brother Jamie, tortured Alan and his demon brother Nick, and other memorable characters are back in this sequel to Brennan’s excellent The Demon’s Lexicon (S & S, 2009). The book doesn’t disappoint as demons are summoned, duels are fought, and spells are cast throughout modern-day England. Jamie is being recruited by a magician named Gerald, head of the group that previously tried to kill him and Mae. Once again, she turns to Alan and Nick for help protecting Jamie. In exchange, Mae agrees to help Nick learn to act more human. The outcasts must navigate a path between rival magicians’ circles and demons hungry for human souls while trying to unlock the secret to Gerald’s newfound powers. Mae, a tough and sassy heroine, is torn by her attraction to three very different men. Conflicting loyalties push her to the breaking point as secret–and maybe Faustian–deals are struck. Danger and lies are everywhere as the story builds to a climactic battle. All is not resolved, leaving readers hungry for the trilogy’s final installment. A few passages are confusing but overall the writing is strong with lots of action and engaging characters. This book stands alone, but reading the first volume will make it even more enjoyable. Fans of Laurie Faria Stolarz, Casandra Clare, and Rosemary Clement-Moore will be enchanted.

Almost Final Curtain: A Vampire Princess Novel (Vampire Princess of St. Paul), by Tate Hallaway

Craving the spotlight is in her blood.

Ever since high school student Anastasija Parker discovered she was vampire royalty, her life has been sort of crazy. The half-vampire- half-witch just wants some normalcy, and trying out for the spring musical seems like the perfect fix.

But when the ancient talisman that stands between vampire freedom and slavery to witches is stolen, Ana has to skip rehersal and track down the dangerous artifact before someone uses it to make this year’s curtain call her last…

 

 

The Vampire Diaries: Stefan’s Diaries #3: The Craving, by L. J. Smith

Blood brothers . . .

After his brother, Damon Salvatore, betrays him in New Orleans, Stefan starts over in Manhattan. Vowing never to harm another human, he roams the streets, trying to disappear into the city’s chaos. But just when he thinks he’s left his past behind, Stefan discovers that he can never escape his brother. Damon has grand plans for the vampire Salvatore brothers—whether Stefan likes it or not. Together, they take New York by storm. When their exploits end up on the society pages, an old enemy resurfaces—one hell-bent on revenge.

Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan’s Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.

The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles), by Rick Riordan

In this exciting second installment of the three-book series, Carter and Sadie, offspring of the brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane, embark on a worldwide search for the Book of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are determined to stop them.

 

 

 

 

 

Released Friday, May 6th, 2011

The Chronicles of Kale: A Dragon’s Awakening, by Aya Knight

Kale Firehart is a young dragon, and the sole survivor of his race. As a tyrannical general and his massive bloodthirsty army close in on Kale, the most unexpected circumstance transpires. With time against him, Kale’s trusted friend, a veteran arcane sorcerer, transforms him into the one thing he despises most–a human. Kale must unwillingly live among human-kind as he embarks upon an extraordinary journey. With a band of unlikely friends by his side, can Kale overcome the obstacles before him and return to the life he once knew? The age of dragons is all but over…

 

 

 

 

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com

 

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of March 13, 2011

Here’s a list of all of the sci-fi and fantasy coming out this week.

Released Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Zombies!: An Illustrated History of the Undead, by Jovanka Vuckovic

The zombie phenomenon is unique in Western popular culture. From its origins in the voodoo beliefs of Haiti, it has become a key ingredient in today’s cinema, popular literature and comics. With one simple premise that the dead rise again to feast on the living and turn them into zombies, the undead have inspired a huge variety of artists to explore ideas of survival, morality, fear, humour and horror. ZOMBIES! is the first book to take a wide look at the whole phenomenon, from low budget cult movies to long-running comics and best-selling humour novels. With stunning imagery, and an authoritative and entertaining text from one of the worlds most distinguished experts on the genre, plus a foreword by master of horror George A. Romero, this tome will appall and delight the reader in equal measure.

Rocket Girls: The Last Planet, by Housuke Nojiri

Reads L to R (Western Style)

Yukari Morita is a high school girl on a quest to find her missing father. While searching for him in the Solomon Islands, she receives the offer of a lifetime–she’ll get the help she needs to find her father, and all she need do in return is become the world’s youngest, lightest astronaut. Yukari and her teen friends, all petite, are the perfect crew and cargo for the Solomon Space Association’s launches, or will be once they complete their rigorous and sometimes dangerous training.

When the Rocket Girls accidentally land in the yard of Yukari Morita’s old school, it looks as though their experiment is ruined. Luckily, the geeky Akane is there to save the day. Fitting the profile–she’s intelligent, enthusiastic, and petite–Akane is soon recruited by Solomon Space Association. Yukari and Akane are then given the biggest Rocket Girl mission yet: a voyage to the edge of the solar system and the minor planet of Pluto to save a NASA probe.

Escaping the Cataclysm: A Novel about the Origin of Geological Formations, by Keith A Robinson

Having travelled over four thousand years into the past, Rebecca Evans, her husband Jeffrey, and their companions find themselves stranded by a malfunctioning time machine just days before the greatest catastrophe in the history of the earth, the worldwide Flood! Accompanied by a technologically-enhanced language specialist; a mysterious, wolf-like giant; a hovering utility droid; and several others, Rebecca and Jeffrey fight against the odds to save their relationship, their lives, and their souls.

The travelers are caught in a race against time to fix the machine in order to escape the coming destruction. However, help proves difficult to find in this strange world that is both foreign, yet disturbingly familiar. Desperate, Rebecca and her companions seek out the one man who might be able to help them: the ancient Patriarch of all mankind, Noah.

Escaping the Cataclysm is the exciting conclusion to the Origins Trilogy. Filled with intense action, fascinating locations, spiritual warfare, frightening villains, and realistic characters, it keeps readers riveted while at the same time presenting scientifically-based and carefully-researched material about the Flood of Noah and its effects on the earth.

The Winds of Khalakovo, by Bradley P. Beaulieu

Debut novelist Beaulieu paints a detailed and realistic portrayal of individual fates bound up in social responsibilities as well-grounded cultures clash. Prince Nikandr Khalakovo, facing an arranged marriage, also suffers from a wasting disease plaguing the Anuskaya islands. When the rebellious Maharraht loose a fire elemental and kill the visiting Grand Duke Stasa Bolgravya, civil war erupts, and all factions seek to capture a mysterious autistic boy who straddles both the spirit and the material worlds. Beaulieu skillfully juggles elements borrowed from familiar cultures (primarily Russian and Bedouin) as well as telepathy, airborne ships, and magical gems. Viewpoint shifts are occasionally confusing, but the prose is often poetic—airborne skiffs under attack “dropped like kingfishers” and “twisted in the air like maple seeds”—and the characters have welcome depth.

Hellhole (The Hellhole Trilogy), by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Hellhole is a militaristic sf story of galactic proportions. The underdog, General Tiber Adolphus, had taken on the corrupted Constellation and lost as a direct result of choosing a moral high ground. The ruler of the Constellation, Diadem Michella Duchenet, does not have him executed but, rather, exiled permanently to a planet in the Deep Zone. The diadem is the powerful ruler of a system not unlike that of Louis XVI of France, a feudal system of nobility that tramples the common people for the benefit of the few scheming nobles at the top�a system teetering at the end of its useful life. In the time-honored footsteps of story arcs like Star Wars and Dune, Adolphus continues to plan a rebellion from his remote world of exile, hoping to eventually achieve the Deep Zone planets� independence from the Constellation. A brilliant strategist, lover of Old Earth history, and castoff of a now-defunct noble line, Adolphus is a Robin Hood for the galaxy to unite behind and support. The characters are easy for the reader to believe in, brought to life through not only their own emotions but also the responses and thoughts of the individuals around them.

The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Time Capsule: An Audio Exclusive Adventure, by Peter Anghelides

An exciting adventure for Sarah Jane Smith and friends, commissioned especially for audio, and following the already released “The Glittering Storm” and “The Thirteenth Stone.” Written by Peter Anghelides, and narrated by cast member Elisabeth Sladen.

Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women who Love Them, by Lynne M. Thomas & Deborah Stanish
In Whedonistas, a host of award-winning female writers and fans come together to celebrate the works of Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, Doctor Horrible s Sing-Along Blog). By discussing the impact of Whedon’s work, their involvement with his shows fandoms and why they adore the worlds he’s created, these essayists aim to misbehave in Whedon’s rich, fantastical worlds. Essay topics include Sharon Shinn (Samaria series) and Emma Bull (Territory) elaborating on the perfection of Firefly, Jeanne Stein (the Anna Strong Chronicles) revealing Buffy’s influence on Anna Strong, and Nancy Holder (October Rain, The Watcher s Guide) relating on-the-set tales of Spike menacing her baby daughter while Riley made her hot chocolate. Other contributors include Seanan McGuire (October Daye series), Elizabeth Bear (Chill), Catherynne M. Valente (Palimpsest), Maria Lima (Blood Lines), Jackie Kessler (Black and White), Mariah Huehner (IDW Comics), Sarah Monette (Corambis), and Lyda Morehouse (AngeLINK Series). Also featured is an exclusive interview with television writer and producer Jane Espenson.

Lady-Protector: The Eighth Book of the Corean Chronicles, by L. E. Modesitt

A new novel of Mykella, the young woman introduced in The Lord-Protector’s Daughter. Though a bloody coup has made Mykella ruler of her land, it has left her and her two sisters bereft of family and uncertain of their friends. Worse, an examination of the nation’s accounts reveals that their country is almost destitute. Plus, there are rumblings of war along the borders. With no money and few allies, Mykella is faced with the difficult prospect of rebuilding her nation while trying to hold off a potentially devastating invasion.

Fortunately for Mykella, an old magic has awakened in her; a power that gives her the ability to read the emotions of others and to spy on the movements of her enemies. But the resurgence of this power might herald the return of an ancient enemy, one that Mykella isn’t sure how to face.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. returns to the world of The Corean Chronicles with a novel filled with politics, adventure, magic, and romance.

The Ale Boy’s Feast: A Novel (The Auralia Thread), by Jeffrey Overstreet

The king is missing.
His people are trapped as the woods turn deadly.
Underground, the boy called Rescue has found an escape.

Hopes are failing across The Expanse. The forests, once beautiful, are now haunted and bloodthirsty. House Abascar’s persecuted people risk their lives to journey through those predatory trees. They seek a mythic city – Abascar’s last, best hope for refuge – where they might find the source of Auralia’s colors.

They journey without their king. During a calamitous attempt to rescue some of his subjects from slavery, Cal-raven vanished.

But his helper, the ale boy, falling through a crack in the earth, has discovered a slender thread of hope in the dark. He will dare to lead a desperate company up the secret river.

Meanwhile, with a dragon’s help, the wandering mage Scharr ben Fray is uncovering history’s biggest lie – a deception that only a miracle can repair.

Time is running out for all those entangled in The Auralia Thread. But hope and miracles flicker wherever Auralia’s colors are found.

The Rise of the Iron Moon, by Stephen Hunt

This campy postapocalyptic steampunk environmental morality tale brings together several characters from 2009’s The Court of the Air and 2010’s The Kingdom Beyond the Waves and takes them on a hair-raising rollercoaster of an adventure. When the Army of Shadows threatens the Kingdom of Jackals and the Quatérshift, the two countries must set aside their differences and work together against the monstrous and dangerous foe. The Shadows appear to be a completely unknown form of life, and their nature compels destruction of everything in their path. Molly Templar, Commodore Black, Duncan Connor, Coppertracks the Steamman, Oliver Brooks and a few new faces must race the clock to stem the tide of this horrendous evil. A dash of earth magic and a dose of environmental angst make this a bumpy but enjoyable ride.

Pathfinder Tales: Plague of Shadows, by Howard Andrew Jones
A fantastic new adventure of swords and sorcery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game! The race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only his old, half-elf mercenary companion Elyana has the wisdom – and swordcraft – to solve the mystery of his tormentor and free her old friend before three days have passed and the illness takes its course. When the villain turns out to be another of their former companions, the half-elf sets out with a team of adventurers across the Revolution-wracked nation of Galt and the treacherous Five Kings Mountains to discover the key to Stelan’s salvation in a lost valley warped by weird magical energies and inhabited by terrible nightmare beasts.

A Matter of Time, by Glen Cook

May 1975. St. Louis. In a snow-swept street, a cop finds the body of a man who died fifty years ago. It’s still warm. July 1866, Lidice, Bohemia: A teenage girl calmly watches her parents die as another being takes control of her body. August 2058, Prague: Three political rebels flee in to the past, taking with them a terrible secret. As past, present, and future collide, one man holds the key to the puzzle. And if he doesn’t fit it together, the world he knows will fall to pieces. It’s just A Matter of Time!

The Black Chalice (Malory’s Knights of Albion), by Steven Savile

Aspirant to the Round Table, Sir Alymere, fails on the Grail quest but in so doing, learns of the Devil’s Own Cup, “the Black Chalice” and of the Devil’s Bible the foul book that will lead him to it. On his quest he will face many obstacles and cunning enemies, but the ultimate threat is to his very soul.

Resurrection Code (Angelink Universe), by Lyda Morehouse

North Africa is in ruins after the Aswan dams collapse and a massive flood reclaims the Nile valley. The privileged and the sane have long since abandoned Egypt to the scavengers and the dregs of society. Christian El-Aref is a street rat, living hand-to-mouth. His life is going nowhere fast. Then he stumbles over a dead body carrying revolutionary shareware tech. Now he’s being hunted. And if he’s not careful, the next dead body may be his own. This action-packed cyberpunk thriller weaves its way through the slums of a flooded Cairo, encountering murderous cults of eunuchs, an assassination plot perpetrated by angels, and an enigmatic street urchin who may or may not be the reincarnation of the prophet Mohammed. Lyda Morehouse tells the anticipated story of how Christian became the Mouse, the father of the underground Internet and the technological hope of the disenfranchised in a dystopian theocratic near-future, in this standalone prequel to her acclaimed AngeLINK novel series. Also included: Morehouse s AngeLINK-related short story, ishtartu, from the Lambda Award-nominated collection Periphery.

Ice Trilogy, by Vladimir Sorokin

Sorokin’s epic trilogy, originally published between 2002 and 2005, expands the enigma of the 1908 Tunguska meteorite blast into an impressive merger of metaphysical fantasia and gritty conspiracy thriller. Following the impact, select humans realize they are actually cosmic entities and form a group called the Brotherhood in hopes of finding the way back to the Light. Though the relatively weak first book, Bro, is crippled by an excess of overwrought prose, Ice is a spectacular achievement, vividly exposing the eventual corruption and brutality surrounding even the noblest of goals, while 23,000 moves effectively outward to encompass those who fight to uncover and defeat the Brotherhood in a tense race against time. Though very slow to develop and marred somewhat by irritating redundancies and areas where disbelief is difficult to suspend, the trilogy builds into both a gripping story and an impressive metaphorical window into the 20th-century Soviet experience, offering substantial rewards to the patient and thoughtful reader.

Up Against it, by M. J. Locke

Compulsively readable and packed with challenging ideas, this hefty debut is set in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroid colony Phoecea survives by using nanotech to process huge chunks of methane ice, until sabotage by the Martian crime syndicate throws everything into jeopardy. Meanwhile, a feral AI is evolving within the colony’s computer net, intending to spread throughout the solar system. The humans who have to cope with these threats are competent, endearing, and believably frazzled: Resource Commissioner Jane Navio has to make life and death decisions while watching her public approval rating fluctuate, and teen Geoff Agre and his rocketbike-riding friends make heroic choices while squabbling with their families and each other. Locke has created a believable ecosystem of struggling, competing, sometimes uncomfortably interacting components, where trust is betrayed painfully, but allies appear unexpectedly. Most of all, this smart, satisfying hard SF adventure celebrates human resilience.

The Gravity Pilot, by M. M. Buckner

It is the polluted and gritty future, saved, sort of, by technofixes. Young skydiver Orr Sitka wants no more from life in future Alaska than he already has: a woman he loves and the chance to dive. When he makes a reckless, record-breaking jump that catapults him into celebrity, he’s courted by corporations that want to exploit his talent to make him a sports media star.

The dangerous jump that wins Orr infamy turns out to be a breaking point for his loving girlfriend, Dyce, who is wooed away by a promising job in the thriving underground city of Seattle, a world media center in a crumbling civilization. Separately, Orr and Dyce are sucked into nightmare lives that take a terrible toll on each of them. When Orr learns that Dyce has become addicted to virtual reality, controlled by an eccentric media billionaire and his decadent daughter, he does everything in his power to rescue her. But is Orr strong enough to get through to Dyce and break them both out of hell?

Shimmer: A Riley Bloom Book (Radiance #2), by Alyson Noel

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight, by L. J. Smith

The devil you know . . .

With the help of charming and devious Damon, Elena rescued her vampire love, Stefan, from the depths of the Dark Dimension. But neither brother returned unscathed.

Stefan is weak from his long imprisonment and needs more blood than Elena alone can give him, while a strange magic has turned Damon into ahuman. Savage and desperate, Damon will do anything to become a vampire again—even travel back to hell. But what will happen when he accidentally takes Bonnie with him?

Stefan and Elena hurry to rescue their innocent friend from the Dark Dimension, leaving Matt and Meredith to save their hometown from the dangerous spirits that have taken hold of Fell’s Church. One by one, children are succumbing to demonic designs. But Matt and Meredith soon discover that the source of the evil is darker—and closer—than they ever could have imagined. . . .

Steel, by Carrie Vaughn

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com

Book News, Books, News

Author L. J. Smith Fired from “The Vampire Diaries”

Yesterday, on author L. J. Smith’s blog, she confirmed that she was, in fact, let go from writing the ongoing, hugely successful series, The Vampire Diaries. Here’s what she had to say:

First, I want to thank my readers for all their messages of support. I’ve gotten far too many emails to answer, and I really appreciate the kindness and emotional sustenance you’ve given to me at this difficult time.

Second, if you’ve asked me a question about the future books or the endgame of The Vampire Diaries and I’ve been vague about what’s in store, I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize. I really wasn’t looking forward to the day when I would have to talk about this.

Third, and most importantly, I want to ask anyone who was thinking of it, not to boycott Harper’s or anyone. It just doesn’t make sense. Although I wanted and still want more than anything to be able to continue The Vampire Diaries series myself, there’s no point in not trying the new books. (And remember, for fans of Bonnie and Damon, and strict Stefan and Elena fans, the immediate dynamics may be more to your liking.) Besides which, Midnight, which is all mine, is coming out in March, and I believe there may be some of my writing in Phantom.

Thanks again to all the fans who have shown loving and loyal kindness to me.

If you, like me, are scratching your head, wondering why on earth publisher HarperCollins would fire a New York Times bestselling author from writing a New York Times bestselling series, Adam Whitehead, writer for The Wert Zone, explains:

The Vampire Diaries is unusual in that the series premise was (apparently, going by fan comments in this SpoilerTV link ) conceived by the publisher and given to Smith as a work-for-hire project. Whilst Smith conceived of the characters, the world, the rules and so forth, HarperCollins owned the project and its copyright in their entirety. Apparently, during the recent books Smith was moving away from the character interrelationships which HarperCollins considered the core of the series. Smith has thus been replaced.

The Vampire Diaries TV series is apparently unaffected by the news.

Oddly, the news comes on the same day that The CW has officially commissioned a pilot based on another work of Smith’s, The Secret Circle trilogy.

This is an odd situation. The first Vampire Diaries book was published twenty years ago, so the relationship between author and publisher goes back some time. Thanks to Smith’s work, the series became a bestseller and has spawned a hugely successful TV series. It’s unusual for a publisher to exercise this kind of power, though it’s also unusual for them to have it in the first place: in most cases the author retains copyright on their series, so this kind of move would be impossible to pull with most authors. Interesting to see if more information comes to light.

As to who will be completing the series, the only news now is that it will be completed, by another author who has yet to be named.

[via The Wertzone]

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of January 2nd, 2011

Here’s a list of all the fantasy, sci-fi, and horror books coming out this week.

Released Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Unearthly, by Cynthia Hand

As if adolescence isn’t enough, California girl Clara has recently begun to come into her powers as a Quartarius, a quarter-angel. Her half-angel single mother lends support, helping to puzzle through visions that reveal tantalizing portions of Clara’s “purpose.” The visions’ clues—a forest fire, license plate, and boy in a black fleece jacket—lead the family to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There, on Clara’s first day of school, she meets her destiny: A-list football player Christian, the boy of the vision. She also makes friends with two very different girls: easygoing, horse-crazy Wendy, and intense loner Angela. It’s Wendy’s twin brother, Tucker, though, who begins to drive the plot, unwittingly seeming to change Clara’s purpose. If some of this series starter seems overly familiar—the rural setting, the two love interests, the dark powers at work—the details about angels make up for it. The dynamics of flying, the intense shining of “glory,” and an unplanned trip to hell are all creatively addressed.

Night School (A Blood Coven Vampire Novel), by Mari Mancusi

After their parents’ shocking revelation about their fae heritage and an attack on their lives, the McDonald twins are forced to hide out deep in the Swiss Alps at Riverdale Academy, a secret vampire slayer training facility. And with no way to contact their vampire boyfriends for rescue, they’re going to have to play nice with the locals. But when Sunny starts acting strange, Rayne realizes that there’s more to fear at Riverdale than getting staked by the student body-leading to a showdown in Fairyland that may cost the twins their lives.

Shadowspell, by Jenna Black

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Awakened: A House of Night Novel, by P. C. and Kristin Cast

Exonerated by the Vampyre High Council and returned to her position of High Priestess at Tulsa’s House of Night, Neferet has sworn vengeance on Zoey.  Dominion over Kalona is only one of the weapons she plans to use against Z.  But Zoey has found sanctuary on the Isle of Skye and is being groomed by Queen Sgiach to take over for her there.  Being Queen would be cool, wouldn’t it?  Why should she return to Tulsa? After losing her human consort, Heath, she will never be the same – and her relationship with her super-hot-warrior, Stark, may never be the same either… And what about Stevie Rae and Rephaim?  The Raven Mocker refuses to be used against Stevie Rae, but what choice does he have when no one in the entire world, including Zoey, would be okay with their relationship?  Does he betray his father or his heart? In the pulse-pounding 8th book in the bestselling House of Night series, how far will the bonds of friendship stretch and how strong are the ties that bind one girl’s heart?

Slice of Cherry, by Dia Reeves

Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around. It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….

The Faeman Quest, by Herbie Brennan

Herbie Brennan’s popular and critically acclaimed Faerie Wars series is well known for its cast of magical characters, hilarious dialogue, and wildly inventive flights of fantasy. Now, with The Faeman Quest, Brennan returns to the world of Faerie to introduce a new character – Mella, the daughter of King Consort Henry and Queen Holly Blue. When Mella accidentally travels to the country of Haleklind, she discovers rebel forces preparing an invasion using a terrifying new magical weapon. This novel features old favorites-Brimstone, Pyrgus, and Lord Hairstreak’s head-but readers will identify immediately with Mella, whose stubborn streak and fiesty daring must save the Faerie realm from mass destruction.

Vampire Diaries: Stephan’s Diaries: Bloodlust, by L. J. Smith

A new beginning . . . When Stefan Salvatore’s first love turned him into a vampire, his world—and his soul—were destroyed. Now he and his brother, Damon, must flee their hometown, where they risk being discovered . . . and killed. The brothers head to New Orleans, looking for safe haven. But the city is more dangerous than they ever imagined, full of other vampires—and vampire hunters. Will Stefan’s eternal life be forever damned? Based on the popular CW TV show inspired by the bestselling novels, Stefan’s Diaries reveals the truth about what really happened between Stefan, Damon, and Katherine—and how the Vampire Diaries love triangle began.

The Lost Gate: A Novel of the Mither Mages, by Orson Scott Card

Card’s newest series opener can’t decide whether it’s a thought experiment featuring a nifty magic system, a YA urban fantasy, or a series of fantasy interludes, so it settles for performing all three tasks satisfactorily, if not spectacularly. Danny North, descendant of exiled mages from another world, is taken aback when he comes into his true powers as a gatemage. He could reconnect his people with their long-lost home world, but gatemages are usually killed to maintain a fragile peace among the exiled clans. Fleeing his home, Danny finds refuge and slowly explores his potential, planning to open the first Great Gate in 14 centuries. Meanwhile, on the far-off world of Westil, a young gatemage named Wad finds love, conspiracies, and betrayal in a remote castle while struggling to recall his hazy past. Though occasionally uneven and meandering, this ambitious tale is well crafted, highly detailed, and pleasantly accessible.

The Book of Elizabeth, by Darby Harn

Alice remembers the fall of the Berlin Wall. How she doesn’t know, because it never happened; there was never a Wall. There was never a Berlin. In their place is a new world, a new history unburdened and unfettered of the past except for a small few like herself, swept out of their proper places in time and stranded with their memories in the new now, people from every era, poets, gladiators, peasants and queens. Queen Elizabeth the First finds herself, for the first time in her life, free; free of the weight of her office, her world and the constraints of her time. She relishes the opportunity to establish her own personal identity, her own personal destiny but she cannot avoid being at the center of a great struggle. Some, like Alice, want to learn the truth of what happened, and if possible, put things back the way they were meant to be . . . but in embracing the virgin world, the queen has no intent to restore the past but to see it banished, even from her own mind, forever . . .

House Name: The House War book 3, by Michelle West

The House War series centers on the most popular character in The Sun Sword series: a young woman named Jewel, who survives both the everyday perils of being an orphan in the slums of the city of Averalaan, and the demonic dangers of the Undercity, and who rises to become a key figure in House Terafin, the most important of the Ten Houses of the Essalieyan Empire. At the close of The Sun Sword series, the House War is about to begin. Now, at last, that story can be told.

Secrets of the Demon, by Diana Rowland

Homicide detective Kara Gillian has a special talent: she can sense the “arcane” in our world, and there’s quite a bit of it, even in Beaulac, Louisiana. She’s also a summoner of demons, and works on a task force that deals with supernatural crimes. Her partners are attractive and smart FBI agents, but they’re not summoners, and they’re not telling Kara why they are on this special force with her. To make things worse, Kara has pledged herself to one of the most powerful of demons-a Demon Lord-who helped save her partner’s life, but now expects things in return. Meanwhile, she’s trying to solve a string of murders that are somehow tied together by money, sex, rock music and…mud. But how can she concentrate on the case when she’s not even sure who-or what-her partners are?

Boondocks Fantasy, edited by Jean Rabe

From vampires in the Appalachians and leprechauns in the Smokies to mermaids in the Mississippi and bloodthirsty trolls in an Alabama trailer park the South makes a unique setting for the 20 stories in this anthology of redneck vampires, werewolves, wizards, elves, and other creatures. Featuring original stories by Gene Wolfe, Timothy Zahn, Chris Pierson, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Steven Savile, Elizabeth A. Vaughan, Jay Lake, Anton Strout, and many more.

Restless Soul (Rogue Angel), by Alex Archer

In 1966, a group of battle-weary American GIs trekked through the Vietnamese jungle knowing each step could mean facing the enemy’s guns. But instead of ambush, they stumbled upon a hidden treasure beyond their wildest dreams. It was a discovery that exacted a terrible cost. A vacation spot picked at random, Thailand is intended to provide relaxation time for globe-trotting archaeologist Annja Creed. Yet the irresistible pull of the country’s legendary Spirit Cave lures Annja and her companions deep within a network of underground chambers—nearly to their deaths. The ancient burial sites have slumbered through the ages. Yet no rest is found there—just the voices of the dead. When the dead speak, will they help Annja uncover the perplexing past of a remarkable find or will they call her to join them?

Blood Bound, by Patricia Briggs

Jalopy mechanic Mercedes Thompson may not be a were-creature, ruled by phases of the moon, but she can change into a coyote whenever she wants to. Because she owes him a favor, Mercedes agrees to back up vampire friend Stefan when he confronts another of his kind. But, being demon-possessed, that vampire proves deadlier than most. Before she can so much as bark, Mercedes is up to her ears in vampires fighting vampires, werewolves fighting vampires, and humans in the middle. She aims to off the demon-possessed vampire before any more killings, but she can’t count on everyone who ought to be her ally because the local top vampire has schemes of her own. Briggs’ world in which witches, vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters live beside ordinary people is plausibly constructed; the characters are excellent; and the plot keeps the pages flapping. Those who haven’t read the first Mercedes Thompson tale, Moon Called (2006), may well want to after reading the second.

March in Country: A Novel of the Vampire Earth, by E. E. Knight

The race is on to claim the area between the Ohio River and Tennessee. What’s left of the resistance is hiding out in the tangle of central Kentucky hills- leaving the powerful, well-organized Kurian vampires the opportunity to fill the void. Major David Valentine knows there’s only one way for them to find help before the Kurians settle in: a desperate dash by hijacked rail, followed by a harrowing river journey. Valentine unites friends old and new in the effort- but the Kurian Order won’t easily yield the blood-soaked Kentucky soil.

Cobra Guardian: Cobra War Book 2, by Timothy Zahn

When the colony worlds Adirondack and Silvern fell to the Troft forces almost without a struggle. Outnumbered and on the defensive, Earth made a desperate decision. It would attack the aliens not from space, but on the ground—with forces the Trofts did not even suspect. Thus were created the Cobras, a guerilla force whose weapons were surgically implanted, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, yet undeniably deadly. And the Moreau family were the most famous of the Cobra warriors. Long after victory over the Troft was achieved, the Cobras made common cause against their former adversaries against a new enemy. Their reward was three planets that would be a home for the Cobras, who deadly powers made them too dangerous to feel at home on Earth. Now, years had passed and not everyone on the Cobra worlds thought that the Cobras were worth the cost of maintaining their existing built-in weaponry, let alone supporting research to improve the Cobra weapons, and possibly even put an end to the negative effects of that built-in weaponry, which caused Cobras to die much too young. Many who had never known interplanetary war were convinced that the Cobras were not needed at all. That was a grave miscalculation, because a Troft faction has decided to invade the Cobra planets in force, using a new strategy that even the formidable Cobra warriors may not be able to defeat . . .

Halo: Cryptum: Book One of the Forerunner Saga, by Greg Bear

100,000 years ago, the galaxy was populated by a great variety of beings. But one species–eons beyond all others in both technology and knowledge–achieved dominance. They ruled in peace but met opposition with quick and brutal effectiveness. They were the Forerunners–the keepers of the Mantle, the next stage of life in the Universe’s Living Time. And then they vanished. This is their story

Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting is a young rebellious Forerunner. He is a Manipular, untried–yet to become part of the adult Forerunner society, where vast knowledge and duty waits. He comes from a family of Builders, the Forerunners’ highest and most politically powerful rate. It is the Builders who create the grand technology that facilitates Forerunner dominance over the known universe.  It is the Builders who believe they must shoulder the greatest burden of the Mantle–as shepherds and guardians of all life. Bornstellar is marked to become a great Builder just like his father. But this Manipular has other plans. He is obsessed with lost treasures of the past. His reckless passion to seek out the marvelous artifacts left behind by the Precursors–long-vanished superbeings of unknowable power and intent—forces his father’s hand. Bornstellar is sent to live among the Miners, where he must come to terms with where his duty truly lies. But powerful forces are at play.  Forerunner society is at a major crux. Past threats are once again proving relentless. Dire solutions–machines and strategies never before contemplated–are being called up, and fissures in Forerunner power are leading to chaos. On a Lifeworker’s experimental planet, Bornstellar’s rebellious course crosses the paths of two humans, and the long lifeline of a great military leader, forever changing Bornstellar’s destiny …and the fate of the entire galaxy. This is a tale of life, death, intergalactic horror, exile, and maturity. It is a story of overwhelming change–and of human origins.  For the Mantle may not lie upon the shoulders of Forerunners forever.

A Hard Day’s Knight, by Simon R. Green

John Taylor is a P.I. with a special talent for finding lost things in the dark and secret center of London known as the Nightside. He’s also the reluctant owner of a very special-and dangerous-weapon. Excalibur, the legendary sword. To find out why he was chosen to wield it, John must consult the Last Defenders of Camelot, a group of knights who dwell in a place that some find more frightening than the Nightside. London Proper. It’s been years since John’s been back- and there are good reasons for that.

Downrigger Drift (Deathlands), by James Axler

The nuclear cataclysm that maimed America altered the rules of existence. The new reality guarantees a grim battle for survival, but the higher human instinct to exist in peace and good will lives on. Legends endure and Ryan Cawdor is a warrior of his time. When the good fight needs to be won, Ryan and his band take a stand. In the nuke-altered region of the Great Lakes, Ryan and his group face the spectrum—from the idyllic to the horrific—of a world reborn. Close to enclaves of peace and sanctuary, Deathlands’ most distorted spawn of humanity, cannibals, spread terror. Against the battered shoreline of Lake Michigan, an encounter with an old friend leads to a battle to save Milwaukee from a force of deadly mutant interlopers—and to liberate one of their own.

Of Truth and Beasts: A Novel of the Noble Dead, by Barb & J. C. Hendee

In this ninth Noble Dead novel, young Journeyor Wynn Hygeorht finds herself cast into the wilds on a dangerous quest for knowledge that may instead lead to her doom.

The Soul Mirror: A Novel of Collegia Magica, by Carol Berg

In a royal city beset by hauntings, plagues of birds, and strange sinkholes that swallow light and buildings, whispers of necromancy swirl about the queen’s volatile sorcerer. Scholarly, reclusive Anne de Vernase rejoices that she lacks magical talent. Her father’s pursuit of illicit sorcery has left her beloved family in ruins and her future bleak. But a plague of murders compels Anne to unravel a dead sister’s magical puzzle. With none to trust but a friend she cannot see, Anne must investigate matters beyond science – a centuries-old rivalry, the boundaries of death, and the most dangerous sorcerer in Sabria . . .

Soul Trapper, by F. J. Lennon

This is the debut novel by computer programmer F. J. Lennon, and it is the first novel to be adapted from an iPhone app.

Shortly after death, a soul will see a door of light leading to the afterlife. But sometimes, when there’s something or someone still pulling at them, souls turn their back to this door. Instead, they haunt the living . . . Hollywood native Kane Pryce isn’t your average twenty-something dabbling musician. Yes, he’s an occasional substance abuser with a distrustful nature and self-destructive streak. And yes, most people might take him for a down-on-his-luck slacker. But to those in a very small circle, he’s also known as a ghost-hunting legend. Delving deep into the supernatural isn’t a lifestyle that Kane chose for himself, however; it was thrust upon him when his father vanished under mysterious circumstances. Unbeknownst to anyone besides Kane, his father left instructions to his son that led Kane to the Soul Trap, a powerful supernatural treasure that allows him to hunt down, capture, and send ghosts from the earthly realm to the afterlife. For Kane, power over the supernatural has come with a price. Despite his attempts to do good with this power, his efforts often leave a path of destruction. So when his paranormal side-job attracts the attention of Eva Kells, a crack reporter intent on breaking his story, Kane is reluctant can he trust her? Soon, though, risking his heart on a snooping journalist is the least of Kane’s worries. He receives a call from a terrified priest whose church is haunted by the soul of a deceased little boy. Kane takes on the case, but as he begins to learn the strange details surrounding the boy’s death, he realizes that there’s much more at stake than he ever could have imagined. And to complicate things even further, he falls hard for the boy’s mother. The only problem is, she’s been dead for almost fifty years . . . Nail-biting and darkly humorous, SoulTrapper takes readers on a thrilling ride through the ghostly realm.

Mercy Blade (Jane Yellowrock, book 3), by Faith Hunter

Jane, a shapeshifting vampire-hunter-for-hire, crosses paths with a stranger who has arrived in New Orleans, enlisted to hunt vampires who have gone insane-or so he says…

Citadel: Troy Rising II, by John Ringo

Of all the hosts of Eurotas the Troias were the most fell. For they were born of Winter. Between the Solar Array Pumped Laser and Troy, the two trillion ton nickel-iron battlestation created by eccentric billionaire Tyler Vernon, Earth has managed to recapture the Sol system from their Horvath conquerors and begin entering the galactic millieu. But when the Rangora Empire rapidly crushes humanity’s only ally it becomes clear the war is just beginning. At the heart of nickel iron and starlight are the people, Marines, Navy and civilians, who make Troy a living, breathing, engine of war. Survivors of apocalypse, they know the cost of failure. If this Troy falls, no one will be left to write the epic. Citadel continues the saga begun in Live Free or Die, following the paths of several characters during the first years of The Spiral Arm Wars culminating in the First Battle of E Eridani.

Released Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor), by Mike Carey

The pulse-pounding pace never slackens as Carey’s superlative fifth supernatural thriller featuring London exorcist Felix “Fix” Castor picks up where its predecessor, Thicker Than Water, left off. Castor’s closest friend, Rafi Ditko, who’s possessed by the demon Asmodeus, has escaped from his jail cell and begun killing off people close to Ditko, starting with his former girlfriend, Ginny Parris. In order to thwart the evil spirit, Castor must be careful about his choice of allies, even as he struggles to predict his adversary’s next move. Amid the grimness, Carey manages to slide in flashes of humor, as in his portrayal of the difficulties the British legal system faces with the increasing numbers of the dead and the undead, whose civil rights also need protecting. At this rate, Carey could give Jim Butcher more than a run for his money as the best living writer of dark urban fantasy.

Hell’s Horizon (The City), by Darren Shan

Written before Darren O’Shaughnessy became a bestselling young adult author as Darren Shan, this gory companion to June 2010’s Procession of the Dead is a twisting, paranormal gangster mystery. Al “Algiers” Jeery works for the Cardinal, crime boss of the City. When Al’s new girlfriend, Nic, is brutally murdered in one of the Cardinal’s hotels, the boss asks Al to investigate. Al dutifully starts researching and quickly learns he knew nothing about Nic. Blind Incan priests, Nic’s weird friends, and the terrifying assassin Paucar Wami conspire as Al’s life unravels along with the mystery. Events occur in parallel to those of Procession of the Dead, but the stories are quite independent. Readers familiar with Shan’s teen titles might need to exercise a bit of patience with the pacing, but fans of dark urban fantasy will eagerly look forward toward City of Snakes, the next installment.

The Hammer, by K. J. Parker

Gignomai is the youngest brother in the current generation of met’Oc, a once-noble family exiled on an island for their role in a vaguely remembered civil war. On this island, a colony was founded seventy years ago. The plan was originally for the colonists to mine silver, but there turned out not to be any. Now, an uneasy peace exists on the island, between the colonists and the met’Oc. The met’Oc are tolerated, in spite of occasional cattle stealing raids, since they alone possess the weapons considered necessary protection against the island’s savages. Gignomai is about to discover exactly what it is expected of him, and what it means to defy his family. He is the hammer who will provide the spark that will ignite a brutal and bloody war.

List from Borders.com and descriptions/reviews from Amazon.com