Fresh Meat: June 28-July 4th Speculative Fiction Releases

Posted June 30, 2015 by Carmel in Fresh Meat / 3 Comments

Urban Fantasy:

Prize of Night
Prize of Night (Parallel Parks #3)
by Bailey Cunningham
Urban Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]The author of Pile of Bones and Path of Smoke returns to the world of the Parallel Parks




In the city of Regina, they’re just graduate students. But after midnight—in Wascana Park—they are transported to a land where they can be anything: bards and archers, heroes or monsters….




In the nighttime world of Anfractus, the company of heroes has thwarted the basilissa’s plans to assassinate the queen of a neighboring city. Things seem somewhat back to normal, until Shelby learns that Anfractus isn’t what it seems. Wascana Park doesn’t take you to another realm; it just shows what’s beneath the surface of this one—and what’s there isn’t pretty.




Basilissa Latona is raising a new army, still determined to create her own empire. If she succeeds, both worlds will be in danger. Shelby knows she must rally the company of heroes against her, but, in the dark streets of Anfractus, telling friend from foe becomes harder than ever, as loyalties shift and shatter. Especially when the person who could do the company the most harm may be one their own…[/learn_more]


Ascendance: Dave vs. the Monsters
(David Hooper #3)
by John Birmingham
Urban Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Kids, there are no monsters under the bed. They’re in the front yard.




As a hardworking monster-slayer, Dave Hooper tries not to bring his work home with him. But nowadays it’s hard to keep them separate. Email, cellphones, empath daemons, they never let a guy rest.




The Horde has been raising hell and leveling cities from New York to Los Angeles, keeping Dave and his fellow monster-killer, Russian spy Karin Varatschevsky, very busy. But when the legions of hell invade the small seaside town his boys call home, Dave has to make a call. Save the world? Or save his family?




Not as easy a choice as you’d think, since Dave’s ex-wife expects to be saved too. And there’s no convincing her that the supersexy Russian spy isn’t his girlfriend. She’s just his sidekick—and an assassin.[/learn_more]


Indelible Ink
by Matt Betts
Urban Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]It’s What’s Inside That Counts




Something lurks inside Deena Riordan. She never once questioned her life in the criminal underworld as the star of Mr. Marsh’s illegal empire and his youngest assassin. Her ruthless demeanor and dark magical powers have kept her at the top of the heap for years. But one day she pushes the sorcery too far and something snaps. Only then does Deena realize she’s always been a puppet of that dark power with no true will of her own.




Now, in order to get out of the crime business for good, she needs to save her sister from Marsh’s angry clutches. It won’t be easy. She’ll have to make her way through friends turned foes, dodge determined federal agents, and stay out of a particularly stubborn fellow hitman’s sights. Worst of all, Deena will have to wrestle with the darkness inside to keep it from swallowing her up again. [/learn_more]


Angel Lover
Angel Lover (Angel Assassins #2)
by Tricia Skinner
Urban Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]The Nephilim are bound. Their powers cursed. But half-angel Kasdeja will do anything to free them from Heaven’s tyranny. When Kas is approached by a striking, mysterious woman, she tells him his greatest enemies hold the key to his freedom.




Mariel keeps herself shrouded in secrets, using them to hide her true self. For she is not just employed by the Renegades–enemy fallen angels—she is a double agent, working on the sly for Heaven. Her directive is to seduce the gorgeous Nephilim—despite her insecurity about such sensual acts.




For Mariel is playing a dangerous game, and falling for Kas could only cause trouble; her assignment isn’t just seduction. It’s destruction. [/learn_more]



Paranormal Romance:

Soul Scorched (Dark Kings #6)
by Donna Grant
Paranormal Romance
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Darcy was floating on a cloud of pure passion. Everywhere he touched, Warrick was leaving a mark on her, forever changing her. She could feel it through her skin and muscle, through bone and into her soul. It was as if he was changing her. And she welcomed it…




Her power is a blessing.




Born on the Isle of Skye, Darcy is a beautiful woman of many gifts. Fortune-telling is her forte, and she remains the only Druid who could unlock the secrets—and desires—of a Dragon King. His name is Warrick. And now that Darcy’s seen into his dragon heart, nothing will ever be the same…




His passion is a curse.




Warrick never intended to put Darcy in harm’s way. But ever since she revealed a shocking truth, Darcy has been hunted by the Dark Fae, who want to use her powers for their own evil purposes. Now it’s up to Warrick to do whatever it takes to keep the woman who sets his soul on fire safe. But protecting Darcy means putting himself—and his entire race—in jeopardy. Is his desperate longing for one woman worth the risk of losing everything… for eternity?[/learn_more]


Heat of the Moment
(Sisters of the Craft #2)
by Lori Handeland
Paranormal Romance
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]A spell that tore three sisters apart is broken four hundred years later, when the magic in their blood reunites them. Now, one of them will discover her gift—and reignite a love long thought lost…




Flame-haired Becca Carstairs was born to be a veterinarian. Since childhood, her affinity for animals has been special, and her healing touch nothing short of magic. But only Becca knows the truth—that she alone can hear the creatures’ voices. She’s always trusted her sixth sense… until a string of missing pets, an attempted murder, and a face from her past converge into one explosive mystery, with her at its center.




Is haunted Owen McAllister, the boy who broke her heart ten years ago, related to the sinister crimes that have peaceful Three Harbors, Wisconsin, on its guard? Or is his reappearance part of the answer to questions that have troubled her all her life? As Becca delves into her strange heritage, she’ll have to fight for her life… and the man she will always love.[/learn_more]


Burned by Darkness
(Dragons of Eternity #1)
by Alexandra Ivy
Paranormal Romance
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]The Dragons of Eternity were once creatures of mist and legend. Now they’ve returned to the world, prepared to claim what’s rightfully theirs…




Tayla is desperate for a place to call home. After years on the run, the young imp impulsively buys a teahouse and is determined to build a new life. Unfortunately, she’s barely opened the doors when she’s tracked down by the dragon who purchased her from troll slave-traders. He demands she pay off her debts…in his harem.




Baine has devoted a quarter of a century to tracking down his beautiful concubine. And now that he has her in his grasp, he’s not about to let her go. But it’s soon apparent that he isn’t the only demon hunting her. He must uncover her secrets or risk losing her forever. [/learn_more]


Possessed by the Fallen (Horsemen #4)
by Sharon Ashwood
Paranormal Romance
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]When his lover learned his darkest secret, she betrayed the elite vampire agent…




Now the beautiful fey Jessica Lark is back in Jack Anderson’s life. With the fate of a royal wedding and a high-stakes mission depending on his complete attention, Jack has no room for distraction. Especially the sort this temptress poses. A fey spy who also seems to be guarding dangerous secrets that aren’t her own.




The two agents don’t know if they can trust one another. But if they hope to unravel a dark plot and fight an evil queen, they’ll have to try. Their undeniable attraction might just save them…but first they’ll have to travel through a portal to a hidden, treacherous fairy-tale kingdom.[/learn_more]


Goddess of Fate
by Alexandra Sokoloff
Paranormal Romance
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Fate had granted him twenty-four hours to solve his own murder.




Not that undercover cop Luke Mars believed in fate. Especially when “fate” was supposedly a gorgeous goddess named Aurora, who claimed to be his guardian assigned from birth to watch over him.




But there was no denying Luke was shot. Dead. And he’s on borrowed time, a fact Aurora knows all too well. Her job is to protect her mortal charges, not fall in love with them. With Luke not believing who she is and time ticking away for his demise, Aurora has but a day to see if love really can alter fate.[/learn_more]


The Silenced (Krewe of Hunters #15)
by Heather Graham
Paranormal Mystery
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Where is Lara Mayhew?




Lara, a congressman’s media assistant, suddenly quits her job—and disappears on the way to her Washington, DC, apartment.




Novice FBI agent Meg Murray, a childhood friend of Lara’s, gets a message from her that same night, a message that says she’s disillusioned and “going home.” To Richmond, Virginia. Meg discovers that she never got there. And bodies fitting Lara’s description are showing up in nearby rivers… Could she be the victim of a serial killer?




Meg is assigned to work with special agent Matt Bosworth, a hard-nosed pro in the FBI’s unit of paranormal investigators—the Krewe of Hunters. They trace the route Meg and Lara took more than once in the past, visiting battlefields and graveyards from Harpers Ferry to Gettysburg. Places where the dead share their secrets with those who can hear… As Meg and Matt pursue the possibility of a serial killer, they find themselves in the middle of a political conspiracy. Is there a connection? If so, has Lara been silenced for good? And whom—besides each other—can they trust?[/learn_more]


Little Girls
by Ronald Malfi
Paranormal Mystery
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]From Bram Stoker Award nominee Ronald Malfi comes a brilliantly chilling novel of childhood revisited, memories resurrected, and fears reborn…




When Laurie was a little girl, she was forbidden to enter the room at the top of the stairs. It was one of many rules imposed by her cold, distant father. Now, in a final act of desperation, her father has exorcised his demons. But when Laurie returns to claim the estate with her husband and ten-year-old daughter, it’s as if the past refuses to die. She feels it lurking in the broken moldings, sees it staring from an empty picture frame, hears it laughing in the moldy greenhouse deep in the woods…




At first, Laurie thinks she’s imagining things. But when she meets her daughter’s new playmate, Abigail, she can’t help but notice her uncanny resemblance to another little girl who used to live next door. Who died next door. With each passing day, Laurie’s uneasiness grows stronger, her thoughts more disturbing. Like her father, is she slowly losing her mind? Or is something truly unspeakable happening to those sweet little girls? [/learn_more]


All Dressed Up and No Place to Haunt
(A Haunted Vintage Mystery #2)
by Rose Pressey
Paranormal Mystery
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]When a film crew wakes up a sleepy Georgia town, murder is in fashion…




Sugar Creek is all abuzz. A film is being shot on a historic plantation, and vintage clothing store owner Cookie Chanel is thrilled to provide authentic period outfits for its stars. When Cookie discovers the temperamental leading lady drowned in a pond, wearing a lovely vintage dress, she’s suddenly on location for a real-life crime scene. And when a ghost says the dress belongs to her, the number of clues Cookie has to investigate rivals the size of her shoe collection. With the supernatural support of her psychic cat, Cookie must find a killer in the cast of suspects, and avoid starring in her own final scene…




Don’t miss Cookie Chanel’s Fashion Tips.[/learn_more]



Science Fiction / Fantasy:

The Undying Legion (Crown & Key #2)
by Clay Griffith & Susan Griffith
Science Fiction / Steampunk
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead?




When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work.




But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and monstrous serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.[/learn_more]


Shades of Treason (Anomaly #1)
by Sandy Williams
Science Fiction
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Ash would have given her life to save her teammates.


Instead, they gave their lives to save hers.





Lieutenant Ramie Ashdyn is an anomaly, a person whose genetic makeup makes her stronger and smarter than the average human. She’s pledged her life to protect the Coalition, an alliance of thirteen planetary systems, but when a top secret operation turns bloody, she’s charged with treason and the brutal executions of her teammates.




The Coalition needs the information Ash’s team stole on their last mission, so they send in Commander Rhys “Rest in Peace” Rykus to get it. He’s the man who’s responsible for turning Ash into an elite soldier… and he’s a man who isn’t, never was, and never will be in love with the woman he trained. Or so he tells himself.




Ash wants nothing more than to clear her name and be the woman her former instructor wants her to be, but the enemy who killed her teammates did more than frame her for treason and murder: they telepathically silenced her mind, preventing her from saying anything that might point to the truth about what happened.




Now Ash is trapped and set to be executed, the truth dying with her. Unless she can prove her innocence. But taking that path could destroy the Coalition she’s sworn to preserve and protect…[/learn_more]


Artemis Invaded (Artemis Awakened #2)
by Jane Lindskold
Science Fiction
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]In Artemis Invaded, Jane Lindskold returns to the world of Artemis, a pleasure planet that was lost for millennia, a place that holds secrets that could give mankind back unimaginable powers.




Stranded archaeologist Griffin is determined to make his way back to his home world with news of the Artemis discovery. He and his gene-modified native companion, the huntress Adara, and her psyche-linked puma Sand Shadow, set out to find another repository of the ancient technology in the hope that somehow Griffin will be able to contact his orbiting ship.




In the midst of this, Adara wrestles with her complex feelings for Griffin-and with the consequences of her and Sand Shadow’s new bond with the planet Artemis. Focused on his own goals, Griffin is unaware that his arrival on Artemis has created unexpected consequences for those he is coming to hold dear. Unwittingly, he has left a trail-and Artemis is about to be invaded.[/learn_more]


The Map of Chaos (Trilogía Victoriana #3)
by Félix J. Palma
Science Fiction
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]When the person he loves most dies in tragic circumstances, the mysterious protagonist of The Map of Chaos does all he can to speak to her one last time. A session with a renowned medium seems to offer the only solution, but the experience unleashes terrible forces that bring the world to the brink of disaster. Salvation can only be found in The Map of Chaos, an obscure book that he is desperate to uncover. In his search, he is given invaluable help by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, and of course by H. G. Wells, whose Invisible Man seems to have escaped from the pages of his famous novel to sow terror among mankind. They alone can discover the means to save the world and to find the path that will reunite the lovers separated by death.




Proving once again that he is “a master of ingenious plotting” (Kirkus Reviews), Félix J. Palma brings together a cast of real and imagined literary characters in Victorian-Age London, when spiritualism is at its height. The Map of Chaos is a spellbinding adventure that mixes impossible loves, nonstop action, real ghosts, and fake mediums, all while paying homage to the giants of science fiction.[/learn_more]


First Light (The Red #1)
by Linda Nagata
Science Fiction
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Reality TV and advanced technology make for high drama in this political thriller that combines the military action of Zero Dark Thirty with the classic science fiction of The Forever War.




Lieutenant James Shelley, who has an uncanny knack for premeditating danger, leads a squad of advanced US Army military tasked with enforcing the peace around a conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. The squad members are linked wirelessly 24/7 to themselves and a central intelligence that guides them via drone relay—and unbeknownst to Shelley and his team, they are being recorded for a reality TV show.




When an airstrike almost destroys their outpost, a plot begins to unravel that’s worthy of Crichton and Clancy’s best. The conflict soon involves rogue defense contractors, corrupt US politicians, and homegrown terrorists who possess nuclear bombs. Soon Shelley must accept that the helpful warnings in his head could be AI. But what is the cost of serving its agenda?[/learn_more]


Ghost Fleet
by P. W. Singer & August Cole
Science Fiction
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]What will the next global conflict look like? Find out in this ripping, near-futuristic thriller.




The United States, China, and Russia eye each other across a twenty-first century version of the Cold War, which suddenly heats up at sea, on land, in the air, in outer space, and in cyberspace. The fighting involves everything from stealthy robotic–drone strikes to old warships from the navy’s “ghost fleet.” Fighter pilots unleash a Pearl Harbor–style attack; American veterans become low-tech insurgents; teenage hackers battle in digital playgrounds; Silicon Valley billionaires mobilize for cyber-war; and a serial killer carries out her own vendetta. Ultimately, victory will depend on blending the lessons of the past with the weapons of the future.[/learn_more]


The Philosopher Kings (Thessaly #2)
by Jo Walton
Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato’s Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of.




The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as “Pythias” in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it’s evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.




Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers–including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence–Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find–possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves “Greek.” What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.[/learn_more]


The Hollow Queen (Symphony of Ages #8)
by Elizabeth Haydon
Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Acclaimed author Elizabeth Haydon returns with a heartbreaking tale of love and valor in The Hollow Queen, the eighth installment of her USA Today bestselling Symphony of Ages series that began with Rhapsody.




Beset on all sides by the forces of the merchant emperor Talquist, the Cymrian Alliance finds itself in desperate straits. Rhapsody herself has joined the battle, wielding the Daystar Clarion, leaving her True Name in hiding with her infant son. Ashe tries to enlist the aid of the Sea Mages. Within their Citadel of Scholarship lies the White Ivory tower, a spire that could hold the key to unraveling the full extent of Talquist’s machinations. Achmed journeys to the reportedly unassailable palace of Jierna Tal, to kill emperor Talquist–all the while knowing that even if he succeeds, it may not be enough to stop the momentum of the war.




As they struggle to untangle the web of Talquist’s treachery, the leaders of the Cymrian alliance are met with obstacles at every turn. Rhapsody soon realizes that the end of this war will come at an unimaginable price: the lives of those she holds dearest.[/learn_more]


Letters to Zell
by Camille Griep
Fantasy
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?




In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.[/learn_more]



Young Adult:

Shadowshaper
by Daniel José Older
Young Adult
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.




Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.




With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.




Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction, and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.[/learn_more]


Storm (Paper Gods #3)
by Amanda Sun
Young Adult
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]After almost a year in Japan, Katie Greene has finally unearthed the terrible secret behind her boyfriend Tomohiro’s deadly ability to bring drawings to life—not only is he descended from Kami, the ancient Japanese gods, but he is the heir to a tragedy that occurred long ago, a tragedy that is about to repeat.




=Even as the blood of a vengeful god rages inside Tomo, Katie is determined to put his dark powers to sleep. In order to do so, she and Tomo must journey to find the three Imperial Treasures of Japan. Gifts from the goddess Amaterasu herself, these treasures could unlock all of the secrets about Tomo’s volatile ancestry and quell the ink’s lust for destruction. But in order to complete their quest, Tomo and Katie must confront out-of-control Kami and former friend Jun, who has begun his own quest of revenge against those he believes have wronged him. To save the world, and themselves, Katie and Tomo will be up against one of the darkest Kami creations they’ve ever encountered—and they may not make it out alive.[/learn_more]


Darkness Brutal (The Dark Cycle #1)
by Rachel A. Marks
Young Adult
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]Aidan O’Linn’s childhood ended the night he saw a demon kill his mother and mark his sister, Ava, with Darkness. Since then, every three years the demons have returned to try to claim her. Living in the gritty, forgotten corners of Los Angeles, Aidan has managed to protect his sister, but he knows that even his powers to fight demons and speak dead languages won’t keep her safe for much longer.




In desperation, Aidan seeks out the help of Sid, the enigmatic leader of a group of teens who run LA Paranormal, an Internet reality show that fights demons and ghosts. In their company, Aidan believes he’s finally found a haven for Ava. But when he meets Kara, a broken girl who can spin a hypnotic web of passionate energy, he awakens powers he didn’t know he had―and unleashes a new era of war between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness.




With the fate of humanity in his hands, can Aidan keep the Darkness at bay and accept his brilliant, terrifying destiny?[/learn_more]


Way Down Dark (The Australia Trilogy #1)
by James Smythe
Young Adult
[learn_more caption=”Book Description”]There’s one truth on Australia: You fight or you die. Usually both.




Seventeen-year-old Chan’s ancestors left a dying Earth hundreds of years ago, in search of a new home. They never found one.




The only life that Chan’s ever known is one of violence, of fighting. Of trying to survive.




But there might be a way to escape. In order to find it, Chan must head way down into the darkness – a place of buried secrets, long-forgotten lies, and the abandoned bodies of the dead.




Seventeen-year-old Chan, fiercely independent and self-sufficient, keeps her head down and lives quietly, careful not to draw attention to herself amidst the violence and disorder. Until the day she makes an extraordinary discovery – a way to return the Australia to Earth. But doing so would bring her to the attention of the fanatics and the murderers who control life aboard the ship, putting her and everyone she loves in terrible danger.




And a safe return to Earth is by no means certain. [/learn_more]



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Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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