New Book Releases, Week of June 3rd, 2012

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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