Book Interviews, Books, podcast

Podcast Episode 10: interview with author Laurell K. Hamilton!

Episode 10 features author Laurell K. Hamilton, and it is one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever had. We talk about her newest Anita Blake Book, SERPENTINE, which hits shelves on August 7, 2018.

And we go deep: we muse on characters steering the book, address real relationship problems within the realm of her characters, examine emotional intimacy, discuss sexual preferences and how to have healthy sexual relationships, the impact your art can have on the lives of people in ways you never imagined, having the hard talks, what’s coming up in her writing life, and much more!

Plus, we’re giving away a copy of the new book SERPENTINE, scroll to the giveaway below!

BUT BEFORE YOU LISTEN…

There are some mild spoilers in the podcast, nothing huge, but I can’t say we don’t discuss a few conversations that happen. If that bothers you, read first and then come back and listen. Also, this is a sex-heavy discussion, so if that makes you uncomfortable you may want to pass.

If it doesn’t bother you, OR, if you know nothing about the Anita Blake books but want to listen, here’s the minimum you need to know so you know what we are talking about:

  • Anita Blake is our main character. Vampire Hunter and helps cops solve supernatural crimes.
  • Edward is her best friend, and an assassin. Anita never thought he’d let himself fall in love enough to get married. They have never slept together, more like brother and sister, though rumors have spread from co-workers jealous of their talents.
  • Anita is ‘dating’ lots of men, but there are three main ones:
    • Micah and Nathaniel, the three of them share a house and are a unit
    • Jean-Claude, a vampire she also loves and they all sort of share with.
      • They are going to do a ceremony so the four of them can be married.
  • Nathaniel feels like Micah (who runs a group for lycanthropes called furry coalition) and Anita are working too much and their sex life is suffering for it, which really worries him. He brings it up in Florida even though there’s lots of other shit going on (like murders and freakish lycanthropy victims). Also, Nathaniel wants a baby, which Anita doesn’t really want, and she’s struggling with the fact that he may go to someone else to be able to have one.

  • Damian is a vampire tied to Anita.

  • Richard is a werewolf Anita dated that is also still tied to her. He is afraid to face what he is and has some serious emotional issues.

We reference a few fun things in the podcast, below are the links:

Click here for the Merry Gentry series. 

Click here for the Anita Blake books.

*****

Listen to the podcast on iTunes, or if you don’t have iTunes, I’ve also posted a link to SoundCloud below.

Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, facebook, and twitter.

itunes link

GIVEAWAY:

We are giving away one copy of SERPENTINE!

US entries only.

Giveaway is open until 11:59 EST on August 14th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book News, Books, News

New Book Releases, Week of June 3rd, 2012

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

Released Monday, June 4th, 2012

Monster (Troubletwisters), by Garth Nix

Jack and Jaide Shield are determined to discover more about what it means to be a troubletwister, but their special powers remain untamed! Even troubletwisters have to go to school, but the twins remain vigilant for any sign of the Evil returning to Portland. The ancient instruments in the antiques store all register traces of Evil activity, even though nothing tangible can be found. Could it be something to do with the legendary Monster of Portland, which has apparently been spotted roaming the streets at night?

Released Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

 1636: The Kremlin Game (Ring of Fire), by Erik Flint et al.

#14 in the multiply bestselling Ring of Fire Series. After carving a place for itself among the struggling powers of 17th century Western Europe, the out-of-time modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must fight for its life in a war-torn Europe just emerging from medieval skullduggery.

1636. Grantville has bounced back and established its new mission and identity, but it seems some have been left behind—people like Bernie Zeppi, courageous in the battle, but unable to figure out what to do with himself in a world that’s utterly changed. Then Russian emissary Vladimir Gorchacov arrives in Grantville and hires Bernie to journey to Moscow and bring the future to a Russia mired in slavish serfdom and byzantine imperial plots. Bernie jumps at the chance. He figures it to be an easy gig, complete with high pay and hot-and-cold running women.

But one thing Bernie hasn’t counted on is the chance to find his purpose in Mother Russia, from fighting the needless death of children from typhoid to building the first dirigible in Russian history. And then there’s love. Just as Bernie realizes his feeling for a certain Russian noblewoman may have gone way beyond respect, he finds them both enmeshed in the deadly politics of Kremlin power struggles.

War with Poland is afoot and Russia itself is about to get a revolution from within–three centuries early. Bernie Zeppi, former Grantville auto mechanic, is going to have the chance to prove he’s not the loser he believed himself to be. For now Bernie’s task is to save the woman he loves and the country he has come to call his own from collapse into a new Dark Age.

Amped: A Novel, by Daniel H. Wilson

Technology makes them superhuman. But mere mortals want them kept in their place. The New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse creates a stunning, near-future world where technology and humanity clash in surprising ways. The result? The perfect summer blockbuster.

As he did in Robopocalypse, Daniel Wilson masterfully envisions a frightening near-future world. In Amped, people are implanted with a device that makes them capable of superhuman feats. The powerful technology has profound consequences for society, and soon a set of laws is passed that restricts the abilities—and rights—of “amplified” humans. On the day that the Supreme Court passes the first of these laws, twenty-nine-year-old Owen Gray joins the ranks of a new persecuted underclass known as “amps.” Owen is forced to go on the run, desperate to reach an outpost in Oklahoma where, it is rumored, a group of the most enhanced amps may be about to change the world—or destroy it.

Once again, Daniel H. Wilson’s background as a scientist serves him well in this technologically savvy thriller that delivers first-rate entertainment, as Wilson takes the “what if” question in entirely unexpected directions. Fans of Robopocalypse are sure to be delighted, and legions of new fans will want to get “amped” this summer.

Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon’s Children), by Alastair Reynolds

With his critically acclaimed Revelation Space novels, Alastair Reynolds confirmed “his place among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance.” (Publishers Weekly) WithBlue Remembered Earth, the award-winning author begins a new epic, tracing generations of one family across more than ten thousand years of future history—into interstellar space and the dawn of galactic society…

One hundred and fifty years from now, Africa has become the world’s dominant technological and economic power. Crime, war, disease and poverty have been eliminated. The Moon and Mars are settled, and colonies stretch all the way out to the edge of the solar system. And Ocular, the largest scientific instrument in history, is about to make an epochal discovery…

Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his long-running studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey’s family, who control the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans for him. After the death of his grandmother Eunice—the erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur—something awkward has come to light on the Moon, so Geoffrey is dispatched there to ensure the family name remains untarnished. But the secrets Eunice died with are about to be revealed—secrets that could change everything…or tear this near utopia apart.

The Broken Universe, by Paul Melko

Possessing technology that allows him to travel across alternate worlds, John Rayburn begins building a transdimensional commercial empire, led by him, his closest friends, and their doppelgängers from several different parallel universes. But not every version of every person is the same, and their agendas do not always coincide.

Despite their benign intentions, the group’s activities draw unwanted attention from other dimensional travelers who covet their technology and will kill anyone to control it, a threat that culminates in a nuclear standoff for dominance throughout the multiverse.

Dead Reckoning, by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill

Jett is a girl disguised as a boy, living as a gambler in the old West as she searches for her long-lost brother. Honoria Gibbons is a smart, self-sufficient young woman who also happens to be a fabulous inventor. Both young women travel the prairie alone – until they are brought together by a zombie invasion! As Jett and Honoria investigate, they soon learn that these zombies aren’t rising from the dead of their own accord … but who would want an undead army? And why? This gunslinging, hair-raising, zombie western mashup is perfect for fans of Cowboys vs. Aliens and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.

Home From the Sea: An Elemental Masters Novel, by Mercedes Lackey

New in the extraordinary series hailed as “a true frolic into fantasy” (Fantasy Bookspot) by a “Master Magician.” (Midwest Book Review)

In Edwardian Britain, magic is real. And Masters of the Elements control Fire, Water, Air, and Earth…

Mari Prothero has lived all her life with her father, Daffyd, in a tiny fishing village on the coast of Wales. Though Daffyd takes his boat out on the sea regardless of weather, Mari has learned not to fear for his safety, for her father is a Water mage, and always comes home safely with a large catch. Mari knows that in her family, children are expected to marry at eighteen, to an appropriate stranger. However, Mari is a fledgling Water Master with a rebellious nature. She has no intention of agreeing to any arranged marriage. But Mari has yet to learn the truth of the magical heritage that must be protected by these very marriages. For the Protheros are descended from Selkies—magical beings who are able to change from seals to humans—and to continue her line, she must marry a full-blooded Selkie…

How to Build an Android: The True Story of Philip K. Dick’s Robotic Resurrection, by David F. Duffy

The stranger-than-fiction story of the ingenious creation and loss of an artificially intelligent android of science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick

In late January 2006, a young robotocist on the way to Google headquarters lost an overnight bag on a flight somewhere between Dallas and Las Vegas. In it was a fully functional head of the android replica of Philip K. Dick, cult science-fiction writer and counterculture guru. It has never been recovered.

In a story that echoes some of the most paranoid fantasies of a Dick novel, readers get a fascinating inside look at the scientists and technology that made this amazing android possible. The author, who was a fellow researcher at the University of Memphis Institute of Intelligent Systems while the android was being built, introduces readers to the cutting-edge technology in robotics, artificial intelligence, and sculpture that came together in this remarkable machine and captured the imagination of scientists, artists, and science-fiction fans alike. And there are great stories about Dick himself—his inspired yet deeply pessimistic worldview, his bizarre lifestyle, and his enduring creative legacy. In the tradition of popular science classics like Packing for Mars and The Disappearing SpoonHow to Build an Android is entertaining and informative—popular science at its best.

Judgement at Proteus (Quadrail), by Timothy Zahn

The climactic novel of the star-spanning Quadrail space opera

In Timothy Zahn’s Judgment at Proteus, the Quadrail that connects the twelve civilizations of our galaxy has been the flashpoint of a battle for dominance fought mostly unnoticed by humankind. But Frank Compton of Earth, aided by the enigmatic woman Bayta, has fought on the front lines, using every bit of his human ingenuity and secret agent skills to outwit the Modhri, a group intelligence that would control the minds of every sentient being it can touch.

Following a trail of deception and death to Proteus Station, Compton has discovered a conspiracy that threatens all life in the galaxy: the Shonkla’raa, an ancient enemy thought to be long dead, is rising again. So serious is the danger that the Modhri, the enemy of his enemy, may now be his friend, as the burgeoning threat of a race of invincible soldiers emerges.

If Compton and Bayta can’t stop them, the Shonkla’raa will decimate all who oppose them, destroying the Quadrail and billions of lives throughout the galaxy.

Kiss the Dead (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter), by Laurell K. Hamilton

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

KOP Killer, by Warren Hammond

KOP Killer, a darkly dystopian science fiction thriller from Warren Hammond

Juno Mozambe once had a life. That was when he was a dirty cop, married to a woman who suffered such profound abuse that she murdered her vile, drug kingpin father. Juno loved his wife and did his best to help her survive her guilt, her drug habit, and her desire to end her life on the dead-end planet of Lagarto.

When she died, however, Juno’s life went downhill. And then his first partner, the corrupt chief of the Koba Office of Police, was murdered. The man responsible, Emil Mota, is using the KOP for his personal gain. Juno has been laying low, but now he’s ready to do whatever it takes to take down the bastard.

Rather than working from inside the system, he’s decided that the only way to take down the KOP is to create an independent base of power. So he gets involved with a team of dirty cops and starts working as a rent-a-thug for a whorehouse that needs protection.

Juno’s last partner knows that his risky plan has a purpose, but she’s that rarest of creatures on the hothouse planet of Lagarto: an honest cop. She can’t help him.

When Juno discovers a series of profoundly twisted murders, he faces a bleak possibility: in his desperate quest for vengeance against the man who targeted him for death, Juno may have placed himself beyond any hope of redemption….

Redshirts: A novel with Three Codas, by John Scalzi

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expendedon avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

Tales of the Dragon’s Bard, Book 1: Eventide, by Tracy and Laura Hickman

When a traveling bard stumbles into a dragon s den, he is forced to tell stories to the giant, fire-breathing menace or end up being eaten for lunch. When he runs out of stories to tell, he makes a deal with the dragon in exchange for his freedom, he will return with dozens more of tales of adventure, romance, and bravery. Reminiscent of Scheherazade and 1001 Arabian Nights, Tales of the Dragon s Bard is the story of a man s quest to collect the most exciting stories he possibly can, and Eventide is the first town he encounters. With Gossip Fairies, gnomes, a centaur farmer, and a blacksmith dwarf, those living in Eventide have enough going on to keep the Dragon s Bard busy and if he feels the need to liven up those adventures a bit with his own ridiculous plots . . . well, the dragon certainly won t mind, will he?

Undead and Unstable, by Mary Janice Davidson

“If you’re fans of Sookie Stackhouse and Anita Blake, don’t miss Betsy Taylor. She rocks” (The Best Reviews)—and she’s back once again as a vampire queen who finds herself an unlucky (but fashionable) passenger on the road to damnation… 

Betsy’s heartbroken over her friend Marc’s death, but at least his sacrifice should change the future—her future­—for the better. But it’s not as if Betsy’s next few hundred years will be perfect. After all, her half-sister Laura is the AntiChrist, Laura’s mother is Satan, and family gatherings will always be more than a little awkward.

What’s really bothering Betsy is that ever since she and Laura returned from visiting her mom in Hell, Laura’s been acting increasingly peculiar. Maybe it’s Laura’s new job offer: as Satan’s replacement down under. Unfortunately, the position comes at a damnable price: killing Betsy, her own flesh-and-blood.

Over Betsy’s dead body. And for that matter Marc’s, too, since he’s not quite as buried as everyone thought. Now a war has been waged—one that’s going to take sibling rivalry to a whole new level, and a dimension where only one sister can survive.

Arise (Hereafter), by Tara Hudson

New Orleans
Saint Louis
Number One Cemetery
A night there can change a life . . . or a death.

Increasingly worried that dark spirits will carry out their threats and hurt the people she cares for most, Amelia is ready to try anything to protect them. And for his own very different reasons, Joshua has come to this cemetery at midnight to join her in a powerful ritual.

Both know that once Amelia steps inside the Voodoo circle and the beautiful girl from the Conjure CafÉ begins the cere­mony, everything will change.

Tara Hudson’s enthralling sequel to Hereafter escalates the danger and excitement, bringing a new dimension to her already mesmerizing story of a haunted love.

Mirage, by Kristi Cook

Danger looms large in the sequel to Haven, which Booklist called “a blend of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, the Twilight saga, and Lois Duncan’s thrillers.”

Violet McKenna is back for her senior year at Winterhaven and thrilled to be with Aidan after a long summer apart. But while their love for each other is as strong as ever, their troubles are far from over.

News of a rogue vampire on a killing spree sets everyone on edge. While Aidan is determined to stop the killer, Violet is chilled by a horrifying vision she simply must prevent…for if she can’t, two people she loves will meet a violent end.

In the midst of Violet’s fear, a mysterious newcomer enters her life—and he has some vital information not just about her past, but about her future as well. Now everything Violet held as truth is upended, and she is left not knowing whom to trust, if she is in danger, and—worst of all—whether she and Aidan are really meant to be together.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy), by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

Shadows Cast by Stars, by Catherine Knutsson

Old ways are pitted against new horrors in this compellingly crafted dystopian tale about a girl who is both healer and seer.

Two hundred years from now, blood has become the most valuable commodity on the planet—especially the blood of aboriginal peoples, for it contains antibodies that protect them from the Plague ravaging the rest of the world.

Sixteen-year-old Cassandra Mercredi might be immune to Plague, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe—government forces are searching for those of aboriginal heritage to harvest their blood. When a search threatens Cassandra and her family, they flee to the Island: a mysterious and idyllic territory protected by the Band, a group of guerilla warriors—and by an enigmatic energy barrier that keeps outsiders out and the spirit world in. And though the village healer has taken her under her wing, and the tribal leader’s son into his heart, the creatures of the spirit world are angry, and they have chosen Cassandra to be their voice and instrument….

Incorporating the traditions of the First Peoples as well as the more familiar stories of Greek mythology and Arthurian legend, Shadows Cast by Stars is a haunting, beautifully written story that breathes new life into ancient customs.

Surrender, by Elana Johnson

The thrilling and seductive sequel to Possession puts love on the line in a dystopian struggle for independent thought.

Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

     Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn.

Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque….

Tempest Unleashed, by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Transcendence, by C. J. Thompson

When a visit to the Tower of London triggers an overwhelmingly real vision of a beheading that occurred centuries before, Cole Ryan fears she is losing her mind. A mysterious boy, Griffon Hall, comes to her aid, but the intensity of their immediate connection seems to open the floodgate of memories even wider.

As their feelings grow, Griffon reveals their common bond as members of the Akhet—an elite group of people who can remember past lives and use their collected wisdom for the good of the world. But not all Akhet are altruistic, and a rogue is after Cole to avenge their shared past. Now in extreme danger, Cole must piece together clues from many lifetimes. What she finds could ruin her chance at a future with Griffon, but risking his love may be the only way to save them both.

Full of danger, romance, and intrigue, Transcendence breathes new life into a perpetually fascinating question: What would you do with another life to live?

Elemental, by Emily White

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn’t mean she should… but she wants to. For ten years–ever since she was a small child–Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers. Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories? Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who’s destroyed?

Ghost Crown: The Tracks, Book Two, by J. Gabriel Gates

A priceless mystical treasure, a dark secret order, and a vengeful fallen angel—forces collide as the battle for Middleburg continues . . .

For gang members Raphael and Ignacio, plans for the homecoming dance are almost as harrowing as their recent victory against the demonic forces that threaten their town. Despite their tentative alliance, a fight breaks out between the preppie Toppers and the goth Flatliners when Topper girl Aimee shows up at the dance with Raphael, the rival gang’s leader. In the midst of an all-out rumble, the homecoming queen discovers a supernatural power that causes a potentially deadly catastrophe. Meanwhile, a charismatic half-angel, half-human arrives in Middleburg with plans to steal Aimee from Raphael.

To add to the bizarre circumstances surrounding the town, real-estate moguls begin buying up most of the Flats and evicting the tenants. These mysterious men seek a priceless treasure prophesied in ancient Chinese writings and will stop at nothing to find it. But Raphael and his friends vow to get to it first and use it to reclaim their homes.

As Raphael and the Flatliners and Zhai and the Toppers hone their supernatural abilities and search for the treasure, Aimee begins kung fu training, intent on using her new skills to locate and rescue her mother. When she discovers that the elusive treasure may be the key, the race to find it intensifies.

But there are others who seek the treasure too, and they have the power to reduce all of Middleburg, and perhaps the world, to ashes. . . .

All That Falls (A Novel of the Etherlin), by Kimberly Frost

The Etherlin muses have long served as the source of divine inspiration. Now their world stands between the forces of Heaven and Hell…

As his muse, Cerise propelled her musician boyfriend to the heights of fame, but when he dies under mysterious circumstances, her powers vanish. Now Cerise is plagued by disturbing half-formed memories of his final night…until she meets Lysander, who seems to hold the key to restoring her memories and abilities.

Fallen archangel Lysander is consumed by his quest for redemption until it leads him to the captivating Cerise. Now his thirst for revenge is rivaled only by his passion for the woman he can’t forget and won’t resist.

Bound by blood and stalked by a deadly enemy, will they pay the ultimate price for succumbing to their passion?

Chaos Burning (A Bound By Magick Novel), by Lauren Dane

From the “always fabulous Lauren Dane”* comes her new novel of a treacherous family legacy, a temptation just as dangerous, and an evil so depraved it can only be spoken of in whispers…

The life of Lark Jaansen, hunter in Clan Gennessee, has been shaped by violence and unrest—and it defines her future. Well-trained and resilient, she’s met her militaristic match in Simon Leviathan, a warrior not of this world. Locked in mutual admiration, and a desire so hot it burns, Lark and Simon have something else in common: they love the dark, and as a shadow is cast over their world, they’re each coming into their own.

A mysterious war has been waged among the Others. As witches and humans turn against each other, as faes retreat in fear, and as vampires rise, Lark and Simon discover that an unseen force is behind it. A single, hungry entity older than recorded history has returned to gorge on the magick of his victims. He is the Magister, nothing less than the end of time. Finding him is Lark and Simon’s first hope. Surviving him is their last.

The Craving (Pack), by Jason Starr

Manhattan thrives on desire—the longing for a better apartment…a higher-paying job…fame. Simon Burns ought to know, since he nearly lost it all: his job, his family, his home. But now things are turning around, thanks to the pack.

Just when he thought he hit rock bottom, Simon found a group of friends, daytime dads like himself. But there was something “off” about Michael, Charlie, and Ramon, and Simon found himself slowly changing into the kind of man he gave up trying to be a long time ago and rediscovering the most primal of hungers.

There were nights he made constant love to his wife, nights he roamed the city streets, nights he doesn’t even remember. And it’s one of those black-outs that’s going to come back to haunt him.

For Simon isn’t the man he once was. In fact, he’s not really a man at all anymore. He’s a member of the pack. And once you’re in, it’s impossible to get out…

Fascinated, by Marissa Day

Pleasure was an elusive dream…
Alicia Hartwell has never experienced the pleasure of passion. Despite all her efforts to comprehend the notion of romantic love, it has remained an utterly foreign concept to her. Resigned to the life of a spinster, Alicia is therefore stunned when she receives a marriage proposal from the highly eligible bachelor, Lord Carstairs.
…until she met him.
But Lord Edward Carstairs is not a normal nobleman. He’s a Catalyst—able to draw magical power from the natural world to use in spells by human Sorcerers. He senses that Alicia is a victim of enchantment, one that has suppressed her erotic urges. Powerfully attracted to her, he’s certain that he’s the one to help her experience pleasure for the first time. But as Edward and Alicia’s mutual passion burns hot, their fragile love and trust could be threatened by family secrets, and a new magical intrigue neither imagined.

Ghost Soldiers (The Nightfall Syndicate), by Keith Melton

Get in. Do the job. Get out. If only it were that easy.

The Nightfall Syndicate, Book 2

Vampire hit man Karl Vance has a new target: a rogue, charismatic sorcerer building an army of paranormal creatures in Eastern Europe. The stakes have never been higher, nor the odds so long, but he’s in too deep to turn back. If Karl fails to kill, the powerful Order of the Thorn will hunt down Maria Ricardi, the vampire he loves, and destroy everything he’s fighting for.

When Karl is cut off in enemy badlands, he’s reduced to survival mode, doing the kinds of things he’d sworn would never be part of his vampire existence. Things that will forever color his relationship with Maria…if he survives to see her again.

In Boston, Maria is haunted by disturbing dreams of Karl as she struggles to keep control of her mafia syndicate against a growing tide of threats—traitors, FBI agents, hostile crime families, and the fear that power will turn her into a creature like her hated Master, Delgado. Then she discovers Karl is walking straight into a deadly trap…and there may be nothing she can do to stop it in time.

Warning: This book contains explicit language and intense, violent content. Assassinations, betrayals, paranormal warfare, explosions, gangland slayings, chaos, calamity, rampant pandemonium, and an occasional fiery explosion.

Hex Appeal, edited by P. N. Elrod

Fall under the intoxicating spell of their hex appeal…

In the magical world that lies hidden beneath our own, witches and conjurers play deadly games. They know just the right spell to kill a man with one kiss—or raise him back again. And they’re not afraid to exact sweet revenge on those who dare to cross them. But what if you’re the unlucky soul who falls victim to a conjurer’s curse? And if you had the power to cast a magic spell of your own, would you use it?

In this bewitching collection, nine of today’s hottest paranormal authors tell all-new, otherworldly tales.  Spellbinding stories featuring bigfoot, albino vampires, professional wizards, resurrected boyfriends and even a sex droid from the twenty- third century named Silicon Lily.  But as our conjurers are about to discover, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hexed.  And sometimes, even the best spun spells can lead to complete and utter mayhem.

Includes Stories From:

Ilona Andrews

Jim Butcher

Rachel Caine

Carole Nelson Douglas

P. N. Elrod

Simon R. Green

Lori Handeland

Erica Hayes

Carrie Vaughn

Incarnate (The Portal Keepers), by A. C. Ruttan

For an innocent man, she’ll go to her grave. Again.

Cia is serving her sentence in the Canadian Arctic, guarding one of the many portals that seals off Earth from Heaven and Hell. She doesn’t mind the cold. What she does mind? Someone’s bumping off other Incarnates, the dual-souled beings who hold the Apocalypse at bay. And she’s next on the list.

Worse, she learns the prime suspect is Arthur, her ex. Arthur is many things, but despite their history, he’s no murderer. Cia has only thirty days to find him and prove it before the Wrath is unleashed to mete out justice.

It’s no relief when he shows up in her truck’s headlights on the side of the ice road. He stirs turmoil between her volatile old soul and the younger one that keeps it in line. Worse, he shows all the signs of turning into a demon.

The closer they get to Yellowknife, the more rogue demons pour out of Hell, dragging with them a past she thought would never haunt her again. Another murder, and the elders prepare to summon the Wrath ahead of schedule. A move that will, literally, let all Hell break loose. Unless Cia makes a soul-tearing choice.

Warning: Ice, frigid temperatures, lots of Poutine consuming and a mention of blubber. Many demons were harmed in the writing of this book, but the polar bear really is okay.

The Mage (Son of Destiny), by Jean Johnson

Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day—they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. Though no longer trapped in exile, their growing family faces new problems. The worst of those troubles now fall upon the last of the Sons of Destiny…

Hope, Morganen’s foretold bride, has finally arrived. But she hasn’t been entirely truthful about herself, and the consequences will stretch farther than even she anticipates. Just as Morg gets used to Hope’s revelation, new enemies arrive on the Isle, seeking to steal away the brothers’ chance at creating a new nation. During their attack, an old foe resurfaces and strikes amid the confusion, kidnapping the final bride-to-be.

Either Morg will rescue Hope and help his family complete the Prophecies of the Seer Draganna and the last Duchess of Nightfall, carving a new kingdom in the process…or their enemies will be free to slaughter them all…

The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, by Sean Wallace

An anthology focusing on newer elements of steampunk, one which deconstructs the staples of the genre and expands on them, rather than simply repeating them, with a greater spread both in terms of location and character.

This is steampunk with a modern, post-colonial sensibility. Contributors include: Jeff VanderMeer, Caitlin Kiernan Paul Di Filippo, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, Cherie Priest, Cat Rambo, Ekaterina Sedia, Catherynne M. Valente, Genevieve Valentine and many more

Samantha Moon, by J.R. Rain

Mother, wife, private investigator … and vampire. Six years ago, federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happened, an attack that changed her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire.

Samantha’s adventures as a night-roaming vampire and private investigator in Samantha Moon include …

Vampire for Hire #1) Moon Dance: Samantha is hired by Kingsley Fulcrum to investigate the attempt on his life, a horrific scene watched on TV around the country. But Kingsley isn’t exactly what he appears to be; after all, there is a reason why he survived five shots to the head.
Vampire for Hire #2) Vampire Moon: Samantha Moon hunts down a powerful crime lord and protects an innocent woman from her ruthless ex-husband—all while two very different men vie for her heart. As the stakes grow higher and her cases turn personal, Samantha Moon will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent and bring two cold-blooded killers to justice—her own brand of justice.
Vampire for Hire #3) American Vampire: Samantha receives a heartbreaking call from a very unlikely source: a five-year-old girl who’s been missing for three months. Using her considerable resources—including her growing supernatural abilities—to locate the missing girl before it’s too late, Samantha also receives devastating news on the home front, forcing her to make the ultimate choice of life and death.
Vampire for Hire #4) Moon Child: Samantha Moon is faced with an impossible decision that will change her life and those of the ones she loves forever—a decision that no mother should ever have to make. And through it all, Samantha finds herself in a lethal game of vampire versus vampire as a powerful and desperate enemy will stop at nothing to claim what he most desires.
Christmas Moon: With Christmas just around the corner, Samantha takes on a very strange case: A priceless family treasure has been stolen, something passed down through the generations and buried in secrets. And Samantha gets half of whatever it is … if she can find it first.
… and an all-new Samantha Moon short story by J.R. Rain.

Silver, by Rhiannon Held

Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more.

The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent.

Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other.

Spellcrossed, by Barbara Ashford

It’s not easy losing the love of your life…

But when Maggie Graham freed Rowan Mackenzie from the curse that bound him to this world, she took the first step toward her new life as director of the Crossroads Theatre. As a hectic new season begins, magic takes a back seat to ticket sales as Maggie balances the demands of her interfering board president and a company of actors that includes bewildered amateurs, disdainful professionals, a horde of children, and an arthritic dog. But magic is hard to banish from the old white barn, where memories lurk like ghosts in the shadowy wings and the unexpected is as time-honored a tradition as the curtain call. And when the tangled spells of the past turn Maggie’s life upside down, it will take more than magic to ensure the happy-ever-after ending she longs for.

The Spirit War (An Eli Monpress Novel), by Rachel Aaron

Eli Monpress is vain. He’s cocky. And he’s a thief.

But he’s a thief who has just seen his bounty topped and he’s not happy about it. The bounty topper, as it turns out, is his best friend, bodyguard, and master swordsman, Josef. Who has been keeping secrets from Eli. Apparently, he’s the only prince of a rather feisty country and his mother (a formidable queen who’s every bit as driven and stubborn as he is) wants him to come home and do his duty, which means throwing over personal ambitions like proving he’s the greatest swordsman who ever lived.

Family drama aside, Eli and Josef have their hands full. The Spirit Court has been usurped by the Council of Thrones and someone calling herself the Immortal Empress is staging a massive invasion. But it’s not just politics — the Immortal Empress has a specific target in mind: Eli Monpress, the greatest thief in the world.

 

All descriptions from Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Book News, Books, News

New Releases, Week of June 5th, 2011

Big week this week – almost 40 books are being released. Hope you find something interesting to read!

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

Released Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Everlasting (Immortals), by Alyson Noel

Their epic love story has captured the hearts of millions and enchanted readers across the world.  In this beautiful finale, their journey draws to a spectacular conclusion—where all will be revealed.

Their darkest enemies now defeated, Damen and Ever are free to embark upon their final quest—to free Damen from the poison lingering in his body.  If they can just find the antidote, they’ll finally be able to feel each other’s touch—and experience the passionate night they’ve been longing for.  But their fight to be together will lead them into the most formidable terrain yet…into the dark heart of Summerland.

Here in a land of scorched earth and endless rain, Ever and Damen will discover their relationship’s hidden origins, expose a secret history they never imagined…and come face to face with the true reason fate keeps tearing them apart.  Only then, when the final mystery is unraveled and the last secret revealed, Ever and Damen’s future will hinge on one ultimate decision that will put everything at stake….even eternity.

 

Sorceress, Interrupted, by A. J. Mendon

Though Megalopolis has many superheroes, none of them is quite like Fantazia. That’s no surprise, given her parentage. Forced to watch loved ones age and die, she would rather live in a pocket universe tending bar. It’s safer to remain cold and aloof, to not get attached to anything or anyone. So helping the Elite Hands of Justice defeat the Dragon was a mistake. Hanging around her her father’s band on do-gooders have given her a taste of camaraderie, but have birthed a new threat, something worse than the evil plot of the city’s newest supervillan. The true peril is Cyrus…for he threatens Fantazia’s heart.

 

 

Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel, by Karen Chance

Cassandra Palmer recently defeated a god, which you’d think would buy a girl a little time off. But it doesn’t work that way when your job description is Pythia-the world’s chief clairvoyant. Cassie is busier than ever, trying to learn about her power, preparing for her upcoming coronation, and figuring out her relationship with the enigmatic sexy master vampire, Mircea.

But someone doesn’t want Cassie to become Pythia, and is willing to go to any lengths to make sure the coronation ceremony never happens- including attacking her mother before Cassie is even born.

 

Jim and the Flims, by Rudy Rucker

Jim and the Flims is a novel set in Santa Cruz, CA… and the afterlife. Acclaimed cyberpunk/singularity author Rudy Rucker explores themes of death and destruction, in the wry, quirky style he is famous for. Jim Oster ruptures the membrane between our world and afterworld (AKA, The Flimsy), creating a two-way tunnel between them. Jim’s wife Val is killed in the process, and Jim finds himself battling his personal grief, and an invasion of the Flims. The process of battling the invading Flims leads him to the center of the afterworld, where the ghost of his wife just might be. Can Jim save earth with the help of a posse of Santa Cruz punks, and at the same time bring his wife back to life?

 

Hit List (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 20), by Laurell K. Hamilton

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

 

 

 

 

The Pack, by Jason Starr

When Simon Burns is fired from his job without warning, he takes on the role of stay-at-home dad for his three-year-old son. But his reluctance pushes his already strained marriage to the limit. In the nestled playgrounds of the Upper West Side, Simon harbors a simmering rage at his boss’s betrayal.

Things take a turn when he meets a tight-knit trio of dads at the playground. They are different from other men Simon has met, stronger and more confident, more at ease with the darker side of life- and soon Simon is lured into their mix. But after a guys’ night out gets frighteningly out of hand, Simon feels himself sliding into a new nightmarish reality.

As he experiences disturbing changes in his body and his perceptions, he starts to suspect that when the guys welcomed him to their “pack,” they were talking about much more than male bonding. And as he falls prey to his basest instincts, Simon must accept that werewolves exist if he is to turn the tides of his fortune…

Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson

In the not-too-distant future, robots have made our lives a lot easier: they help clean our kitchens, drive our cars, and fight our wars–until they are turned into efficient murderers by a sentient artificial intelligence buried miles below the surface of Alaska. Robopocalypse is a fast-paced sci-fi thriller that makes a strong case that mindless fun can also be wildly inventive. The war is told as an oral history, assembled from interviews, security camera footage, and first- and secondhand testimonies, similar to Max Brook’s zombie epic World War Z. The book isn’t shy about admitting to its influences, but author Daniel H. Wilson certainly owes more to Terminator than he does to Asimov. (A film adaptation is already in pre-production, with Steven Spielberg in the director’s chair and a release date slated for 2013.) Robopocalypse may not be the most unique tale about the war between man and machine, but it’s certainly one of the most fun.

Under the Crimson Sun: Dark Sun: The Abyssal Plague, by Keith R. A. DeCandido

Tharizdun, the Chanied God, has released the Voidharrow–a liquid crystal imbued with his will and all the chaos of the Abyss–into the universe, and with it comes a transformative engine of pestilence. When exposed to the Voidharrow, individuals look as though they’ve been stricken by disease as the Abyssal liquid twists and deforms them into chaotic demonlike creatures. Behold the Abyssal Plague!

When a trading caravan manned by grafters and con men comes across a dead man in the desert they open the door to an Abyssal realm long since destroyed. As the Voidharrow takes hold of one of their companions, he begins to morph into a beast like none they have ever seen.

When the stakes are raised in an attempt to defraud some of the more unsavory rulers of this cruel world, the Voidharrow comes to play a role in a move that could transform our heroes forever.

Doctor Who: Hunter’s Moon, by Paul Finch

Leisure Platform 9 – a place where gamblers and villains rub shoulders with socialites and celebrities. Not a place to cheat at the games table, or to beat the wrong player – as Rory is about to find out. The prize for winning the wrong game is to take part in another. And this game could be the death of him! With Rory kidnapped by the brutal crime lord Xorg Krauzzen, the Doctor and Amy go undercover. But can they infiltrate the deadly contest about to be played out in the ruins of Gorgoror? It’s only a matter of time before Krauzzen realizes the Doctor isn’t a vicious mercenary. It won’t be long before he discovers what Amy is up to.

 

 

Ancestor: A Novel, by Scott Sigler

In Sigler’s timely tale of science run amok, Genada, a renegade biotech firm, is striving to synthesize a proto-mammal similar to the prehistoric entity that all mammalian life sprang from as a source of transplantable organs that the human body won’t reject. Pressured for results before the government shuts down her lab, the firm’s lead medico, Liu Jian Den, introduces something unorthodox into the creature’s genome. The result: oversized and ravenously hungry embryos that eat their way out of the bovine wombs incubating them. A small band of scientists wind up trapped with the creatures on a Lake Superior island, where they become the prey of predators that pose a threat to life as we know it. Sigler (Contagious) stuffs his story with an overabundance of speculative science, but the cinematic pacing keeps the action relentless and suspenseful. Its many pulpy flourishes notwithstanding, this is that rare horror B-movie of a thriller that compels reading until the final page.

Dwarfs (A Warhammer Onmibus), by Nick Kyme and Gav Thorpe

The dwarfs are a stoic and long-lived race. Their unbending will and pride serve them as fearsome warriors on the battlefield and the greatest craftsmen across the Old World. But cross them at your peril, as a dwarf grudge is never forgotten, a quest for revenge handed down from generation to generation until the debt is settled in blood…

In this action-packed omnibus, the bravery and resilience of the dwarfs is brought to life as they wage war against the twisted powers of Chaos, vile skaven ratmen, brutal greenskins and their oldest adversaries, the mysterious and powerful elves. From the ancient dwarf holds to the killing fields of the Empire, war will be waged in the name of Grungni , Grimnir and Valaya, and no foe shall forget the day they met these unbreakable warriors in battle. Contains the novels Grudgebearer, Oathbreaker and Honourkeeper.

Doctor Who: Dead of Winter, by James Goss

In Dr Bloom’s clinic at a remote spot on the Italian coast, at the end of the 18th century, nothing is ever quite what it seems. Maria is a lonely little girl with no one to play with. She writes letters to her mother from the isolated resort where she is staying. She tells of the pale English aristocrats and the mysterious Russian nobles and their attentive servants. She tells of intrigue and secrets, and she tells of strange faceless figures that rise from the sea. She writes about the enigmatic Mrs. Pond who arrives with her husband and her physician, and who will change everything. What she doesn’t tell her mother, is the truth that everyone knows and no one says – that the only people who come here do so to die.

 

Hex, by Allen Steele

The two-time Hugo Award-winner expands the universe of his Coyote saga.

The danui, a reclusive arachnid species considered the galaxy’s finest engineers, have avoided contact with the Coyote Federation. Until, that is, the danui initiate trade negotiations, offering only information: the coordinates for an unoccupied world suitable for human life-a massive sphere, composed of billions of hexagons.

But when the Federation’s recon mission goes terribly wrong, the humans realize how little they know about their new partners…

 

Unnatural Issue: An Elemental Masters Novel, by Mercedes Lackey

A brand-new Elemental Masters novel from the national bestselling author Mercedes Lackey.

Richard Whitestone is an Elemental Earth Master. Blaming himself for the death of his beloved wife in childbirth, he has sworn never to set eyes on his daughter, Suzanne. But when he finally sees her, a dark plan takes shape in his twisted mind-to use his daughter’s body to bring back the spirit of his long-dead wife.

 

 

Untold Adventures: A Dungeon & Dragons Anthology, by John Shirley et al.

Your favorite award-winning, critically acclaimed, and best-selling authors unite to tell stories set in the Dungeons & Dragons world, filled with desperate dragons and cruel elves, honorable demons and fickle gods, wild magic and the sharpest of steel. You don’t want to miss this rarest of opportunities to get a glimpse into the D&D adventures created by some of the most brilliant fantasy writers of our age.

 

 

 

The Spectral Blaze: Brotherhood of the Griffon Book III, by Richard Lee Byers

Aoth and the Brotherhood of the Griffon have succeeded in rescuing Tchazzar, the lost king of Chessenta and a formidable red dragon, and are rewarded with a contract to aid in his war with a powerful dracolich. But the more Aoth sees of the war, the more suspicious he becomes that the Brotherhood may be just a pawn in a cutthroat draconic game that puts whole kingdoms at risk–a game played for stakes of gold and blood. And the more he sees the game play out, the more he realizes that he will have to become a player in this most dangerous of games if he wants the Realms to remain free.

 

 

Battle of the Fang (Space Marine Battles), by Chris Wraight

It is M32, a thousand years after the Horus Heresy. The Scouring is over and the Imperium at the height of its post-Crusade power. When Magnus the Red is tracked down to Gangava Prime, the Space Wolves hasten to engage the daemon primarch. Even as Great Wolf Harek Ironhelm closes on his ancient enemy, the Fang on the Space Wolves home world is besieged by a massive force of Thousand Sons. A desperate battle ensues as the skeleton forces of Wolf Lord Asvald Greylock attempt to hold back the attacking hosts before the last of his meagre defences gives in. Though a single Scout ship survives to summon Great Wolf Harek Ironhelm back to Fenris, none of the defenders truly realise the full scale the horror that awaits them nor what the Battle for the Fang will cost them all.

 

Doctor Who: Way through the Woods, by Una McCormack

England, today. Between the housing estate and the motorway lies an ancient wood. The motorway bends to avoid it. Last week, teenager Laura Brown went missing. Tonight, Vicky Caine will miss her bus and take a shortcut through the wood. And she will disappear too. England, 1917. Between the village and the main road lies an ancient wood. The old Roman road bends to avoid it. Tonight Emily Bostock and a man called Rory Williams will go to the woods. Investigating events in the present day and back in 1917, the Doctor and Amy are desperate to find out what’s happened to Rory. He was supposed to look after Emily – and now they’ve both vanished. Something is waiting in the woods. Something that’s been there for thousands of years. Something that is now waking up…

 

Hot and Steamy: Tales of Steampunk Romance, by Jean Rabe, Martin H. Greenberg

From the co-editor of Steampunk’d comes an all-new collection of adventure and romance amid Victorian steampunk settings. Sparks fly in these original stories of a steam-driven airship searching for a lost city, a crazy inventor in a powered wheelchair with a plot to take over the world, and a love story set in an alternate history version of America. Adventure abounds in these stories of love, loss, and danger- and there is plenty of steam!

 

 

 

For Heaven’s Eyes Only: A Secret Histories Novel, by Simon R. Green

The fifth Eddie Drood novel from the New York Times bestselling author.

After the murder of the Drood Matriarch, the family finds itself vulnerable to evil. This time, it’s a Satanic Conspiracy that could throw humanity directly into the clutches of the Biggest of the Bads…

 

 

 

 

Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles, by Kevin Hearne

Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty—when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II.

With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas with their special brand of deadly decadence, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt. But aided by his magical sword, his neighbor’s rocket-propelled grenade launcher, and his vampire attorney, Atticus is ready to sweep the town and show the witchy women they picked the wrong Druid to hex.

Lightborn (Darkborn Trilogy), by Alison Sinclair

Minhorne is a city divided. An ancient curse makes darkness anathema to the Lightborn, while a touch of sunlight kills the Darkborn. Thus its people share a home but live forever separate. Until a prince’s death turns Darkborn against Lightborn, earthborn against mage, as conspiracies and betrayals are revealed in both worlds…

The Lightborn, allergic to darkness, and Darkborn, allergic to light, uneasily face the threat of the mysterious Shadowborn in the complex and challenging sequel to 2009’s Darkborn. The previous book’s heroine, Darkborn Lady Telmaine Hearne, makes way for her husband’s first love, Lightborn Floria White Hand, to take center stage. After Lightborn Prince Isidore is murdered by magical means, his successor, Fejelis Grey Rapids, accuses Floria of the evil deed. The Darkborn grant her asylum, but intrigue in both the light and the dark, including an attempt on Fejelis’s life, make it clear that Floria and her allies are far from safe. Sinclair’s sometimes stiff Regency prose style and large cast can be a struggle for readers, but the promise of an exciting confrontation will encourage them to persevere through the trilogy’s conclusion.

Chicks Kick Butt, by Rachel Caine et al.

Chicks are awesome–and never more so than when they are kicking some serious vampire/werewolf/demon/monster butt.

Chicks Kick Butt is an anthology that features one of the best things about the urban fantasy genre: strong, independent, and intelligent heroines who are quite capable of solving their own problems and slaying their own dragons (or demons, as the case may be).

Edited by Kerrie Hughes and Rachel Caine, Chicks Kick Butt features original stories from thirteen authors, eleven of whom are New York Timesbestsellers:

– Rachel Caine (with a story from her bestselling Weather Wardens universe)

– L.A. Banks

– Rachel Vincent

– Karen Chance

– Lilith Saintcrow

– Cheyenne McCray

– Susan Krinard

– Jeanne Stein

– Jenna Black

– Susan Krinard

– Jeanne Stein

– Jenna Black

– Elizabeth Vaughan

– Carole Nelson Douglas

– P.N. Elrod

– Nancy Holder

Shadowborn (Darkborn Trilogy), by Alison Sinclair

From the author of Lightborn, the third book in a Regency- flavored fantasy series of magic and manners.

Magic dies with the mage, or so the Darkborn believe. That’s why Lady Telmaine Hearne has been condemned to death for sorcery. She’s escaped but is now bound with her mageborn allies for the Borders and war. Meanwhile, her husband, Balthasar, has learned of his family connection to the Shadowborn-and is fighting for survival and sanity as magic turns him against everything he holds dear.

 

 

Memories of Envy: A Vampire Memories Novel, by Barb Hendee

The dramatic third Vampire Memories urban fantasy (after 2009’s Hunting Memories) plays up the emo side of vampirism. Eleisha Clevon of Portland, Ore., and her maker, Julian Ashton, are both trying to reach Simone, a rogue vampire in Denver. Julian feeds “on blood and fear and life” and sees no reason to change. Working with humans Wade and Rose, teleporting ghost Seamus, and vampire Philip, Eleisha wants to teach all vampires to feed without killing. Despite his devotion to Eleisha, Philip is still secretly sneaking out to hunt and kill his victims. When Eleisha uncovers Simone’s location, Philip volunteers to bring her back to Portland, but he quickly falls under Simone’s manipulative spell, leaving El to fend for herself as Julian closes in. Part soap opera, part supernatural thriller, Hendee’s series will satisfy readers looking for blood-soaked pathos.

The Banshee’s Walk, by Frank Tuttle

No secret stays buried forever.

Markhat novel.

When patron of the arts Lady Erlorne Werewilk hires Markhat to identify the parties who are stealthily mapping out the Lady’s estate by moonlight, Markhat anticipates the usual—greedy relatives or rapacious neighbors plotting a land grab. After all, muses Rannit’s most feckless Finder, the Lady runs a colony filled with young artists. Aside from snits over color and perspective, how dangerous could a squabble over a backwoods house possibly be?

With new partner Gertriss in tow, Markhat takes the Lady’s case. Before the first night is done, the house is visited by murder, mayhem, and the haunting wail of what may be a genuine banshee, come to herald not just one death, but the deaths of all within. Trapped in a house under siege, Markhat must make a desperate gamble with an old enemy to win the race to unlock the secret that lies beneath the Lady’s lands. And find a way to turn that secret against the powerful forces converging on House Werewilk.

Warning: This Markhat adventure involves suggestions of impending matrimony, full-scale gluttony, and misuse of fermented beverages. Persons with weak constitutions or persons currently at the halfway mark of a thousand-meter tightrope walk above a crocodile-infested river should refrain from reading this work of fiction in dimly-lit drawing rooms, which should never be constructed above crocodile-infested rivers in the first place.

Thistle Down, by Irene Radford

Dusty Carrick lived in the small town of Skene Falls, Oregon, her entire life. And, like many of the local children, she played with “imaginary” Pixie friends in Ten Acre Woods.

But the Pixies are not imaginary at all, and Ten Acre Woods is their home. Now, the woods are in danger, and if it falls, the Pixies too will die. Only Thistle Down, exiled from her tribe and trapped inside a mortal woman’s body, can save her people-as long as she can convince Dusty Carrick to help her before it’s too late.

 

 

 

The Waking: Spirits of the Noh (The Waking Trilogy), by Thomas Randall

Kara Foster is finally starting to fit in at her boarding school in Japan—after all, nothing bonds you with your classmates like having an ancient demon put a curse on you. Hoping life can go back to normal now that the monster has been laid to rest, Kara joins her friends Sakura and Miho in putting on a play for the Noh drama club. It’s the story of the Hannya, a snake demon who inhabits the body of a beautiful woman. When a few members of the Noh club go missing, Kara fears that the real Hannya has been awakened by the curse. Then Miho is abducted, and Kara must find her before the Hannya exacts her terrible revenge. But the demon is wily and may be hidden in the last place anyone would think to look.

 

Hereafter, by Tara Hudson

Can there truly be love after death?

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won’t want to miss.

Septimus Heap, Book 6: Darke, by Angie Sage

In the sixth book of the Magykal series, Alther Mella has been Banished, a Darke Domaine engulfs the Castle, and a Darke dragon is on the loose. Septimus Heap must use all of his skills to save the Castle and the Wizard Tower from destruction: He must enter the Darke. But he cannot do this alone. With the help of Jenna, Alther Mella, Marcellus Pye, and Septimus’s estranged brother, Simon Heap, Septimus and Marcia Overstrand battle the spreading Darkenesse. Will Septimus succeed in protecting his Magykal world?

Written with Angie Sage’s characteristic humor, Septimus Heap, Book Six: Darke is a compelling fantasy adventure filled with surprises, thrills, and laugh-out-loud moments. Readers will revel in the action-packed story as they realize the wisdom of Magyk—that all things are meant to be part of a living whole.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen; The Stolen; The Chosen (Omnibus), by Liz Braswell

Chloe King is a normal girl. She goes to class (most of the time), fights with her mom, and crushes on a boy…or two. But around her sixteenth birthday, Chloe finds that perhaps she isn’t so normal after all. There’s the heightened night vision, the super fast reflexes – oh, and the claws.

As she discovers who she is – and where she comes from – it is clear she is not alone. And someone is trying to get her.

Chloe has nine lives. But will nine be enough?

 

Possession, by Elana Johnson

Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island.

An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Blood Red Road (Dustlands), by Moira Young

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Nyx in the House of Night, by P.C. Cast et al.

With more than 10 million copies sold internationally, and 7 million copies in print in North America alone, P.C. and Kristin Cast’s House of Night series, featuring fledgling teenage vampyre Zoey Redbird and her friends at the Oklahoma House of Night vampyre boarding school, is more than just another vampire series.

A big part of the reason is its strong mythological underpinnings. From Nyx, the goddess worshipped by the series vampyres, to the Cherokee legend that drives the plot, the House of Night series is infused with elements from multiple mythos and religious traditions to create a new, modern mythology all its own.

Edited by P.C. Cast, Nyx in the House of Night—a 2-color illustrated guide to the House of Night series—brings these rich mythological influences to life, providing the real-world stories behind the series and insight into the way those stories are used to create the captivating story of Zoey and the House of Night.

Chapters includes:

• Wiccan ritual
• The original story of Erebus and Nyx
• Cherokee mythology
• The historical significance of tattoos
• And more

The book also includes an original introduction and chapter on Scottish folklore by P.C. Cast herself.

Released Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Sirenz, by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when the fashionistas find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes-with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades, Lord of the Underworld himself. To make them atone for what they’ve done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld an individual whose unholy contract is up.

Finding that delicate balance between their fashion addiction and their new part-time job in the eternal hellfire biz turns out to be harder than Meg and Shar expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there’s the matter of the fine print in their own contracts…

The Quicksilver Faerie: The Scions of Shadow Trilogy, Book 2 (The faerie folk saga), by Gillian Summers

At the dazzling Fairy High Court—fraught with enchantments and trickery—Keelie Heartwood discovers that an imbalance in magic has created a colossal rift that can destroy the world. Keelie’s mixed blood (elf, human, and fae) makes her powerful, but this sixteen-year-old L.A. girl can’t fix things alone. The Grey Mantle elves aren’t helping at all, even though bizarre things are happening all around their village.

The more Keelie learns about the magical worlds of the Northwoods-where time is unruly, nasty goblins run amok, and an ancient (and handsome) forest god is pursuing her-the more she doesn’t know just whom to trust.

 

Released Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Fairy Bad Day, by Amanda Ashby

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy – and it’s invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she’s going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it’s going to be a fairy bad day?

 

 

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