Fresh Meat: January 8 to 14 — 23 Speculative Fiction Releases

Posted January 9, 2017 by Carmel in Fresh Meat / 5 Comments

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Urban Fantasy / Mystery / Horror

Seanan McGuire

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day is a new standalone urban fantasy novella from New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Genevieve Cogman
Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another “tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure,” (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.
 
Never judge a book by its cover…
 
Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency to find both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…
 
Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.
 
With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Matt Wallace

Everyone loves a well-catered event, and the supernatural community is no exception. Enter Sin du Jour, the expert caterers to demons, goblins, faeries, and everything in between.

In their first month on the job Lena Tarr and Darren Vargas, the newest line chefs at the supernatural catering agency, have had to approximate angel meat, evade amorous lizards, and provide craft sacrifices for a Hollywood debut. Their coworkers have contended with zombified clowns, fought off the Easter Bunny’s hit squad, and captured a golden fish for a goblin royal wedding. And as if their new jobs weren’t weird enough, now they have to deal with a very personal transformation on the behalf of their mysterious employer. As if surviving as a New York City chef weren’t hard enough.

This omnibus collects in a single edition the first three Sin du Jour Affairs, Envy of Angels, Lustlocked, and Pride’s Spell, and the bonus short story “Small Wars”.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery, Margaret Dunlap

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy.

Originally presented serially in 16 episodes, this omnibus collects all installments of Bookburners Season One into one edition.

R.L. Naquin

Fans of the Monster Haven series by R.L. Naquin will love this beguiling spin-off, featuring a trapped djinn caught in a hot mess of lost souls, fast food and otherwordly murder. 

Kam is a soul chaser for the Hidden Government, a much harder job now that the Hidden look like everyone else. Broke, out of magic and sick of playing waitress in a pirate-themed dive bar, Kam jumps at a chance for an out-of-town mission. 

A reaper—and his loaded soul stone—have gone missing. The stone contains souls that might get permanently stuck if Kam doesn’t find it, like, yesterday. She tracks the reaper down to a food truck outside Kansas City, only to find a dead reaper and no soul stone in sight. Which means that someone who should be dead killed the reaper and is running around with a powerful magic item. Not good. 

And apparently the killer is targeting food-truck owners that also happen to be Hidden. So the only thing to do is open her own truck and go undercover—goodbye Kam the Djinn, hello Mobile Food Entrepreneur—and hope that she and her new runaway friend won’t be the next targets… 

This book is approximately 65,000 words 

Karen White
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Karen White invites you to explore the brick-walked streets of Charleston in her fifth Tradd Street novel, where historic mansions house the memories of years gone by, and restless spirits refuse to fade away…
 
With her extended maternity leave at its end, Melanie Trenholm is less than thrilled to leave her new husband and beautiful twins to return to work, especially when she’s awoken by a phone call with no voice on the other end—and the uneasy feeling that the ghostly apparitions that have stayed silent for more than a year are about to invade her life once more.
 
But her return to the realty office goes better than she could have hoped, with a new client eager to sell the home she recently inherited on South Battery. Most would treasure living in one of the grandest old homes in the famous historic district of Charleston, but Jayne Smith would rather sell hers as soon as possible, guaranteeing Melanie a quick commission.
 
Despite her stroke of luck, Melanie can’t deny that spirits—both malevolent and benign—have started to show themselves to her again. One is shrouded from sight, but appears whenever Jayne is near. Another arrives when an old cistern is discovered in Melanie’s backyard on Tradd Street.
 
Melanie knows nothing good can come from unearthing the past. But some secrets refuse to stay buried….



Romance

Dianna Love
New York Times Bestseller Dianna Love’s Beladors are back and the surprises keep coming in an action-packed urban fantasy.

The Treoir dragon holds the fate of the Beladors in one hand … and his own in the other.

The Beladors finally have a true leader in Daegan, their new dragon king, but life is far from secure now that they’ve inherited his enemies. As their Maistir, Vladimir Quinn played a risky role in freeing the dragon from the lair of their enemy, the Medb. Quinn now faces a heavy price for his part. The Medb queen is out for blood. Vigilante killings erupt among Atlanta’s secret preternatural community and all fingers point to the Beladors. The dragon king has his first real test as a ruler when he has to choose between protecting his people and entering a hostile realm full of deities capable of killing a dragon. But as a two-thousand-year-old warrior, Daegan has never shied away from any battle. Quinn, Evalle, Storm and friends race to discover who is trying to turn the entire VIPER coalition against the Beladors before war breaks out. With the clock also ticking down for Quinn, who has been ordered to hand over Kizira’s body to the Medb queen, Daegan reveals an even greater reason to prevent the queen from using necromancy on the body beyond the secrets Quinn protects.

Freedom is never free. Not when the powerful gods and goddesses poised to decide Quinn’s fate see an opportunity to also destroy a threat to their existence – the last dragon shifter.

“When it comes to urban fantasy stories, Dianna Love is a master.” ~~A. Richards, Always Reviewing

Jeff Somers
Learn the Words. Get the blood. Rule the world. A stand-alone short story in the Ustari Cycle—the gritty supernatural series that includes We Are Not Good People from the “exhilarating, powerful, and entertaining” (Guardian) storyteller of the Avery Cates series.

For blood mages, the twenty-first century means hiding in the shadows, keeping society unaware of their incredible powers. The power-hungry sort plot quietly to manufacture tragedies bloody enough to give them the gas they need to cast monumental spells. Lem is a little lower down the ladder than that, bleeding nobody but himself, skating by on small Cantrips, cons, and charms.

Lately though, his days have taken a strange turn, always the same and yet minutely different. Since hooking up with this group that wants to utilize his uncanny ability to write and alter spells for their Big Heist, Lem’s constantly feeling like he’s forgetting something, like something is calling to him from the beyond. Perhaps most bizarre of all, his best friend Mags is nowhere to be found—and the police seem to want to help Lem locate him. The po-po being helpful to a Trickster like him? Now he knows something is up.

This ebook also contains an excerpt of We Are Not Good People.



Science Fiction / Fantasy

Katherine Arden
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A magical debut novel for readers of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Neil Gaiman’s myth-rich fantasies, The Bear and the Nightingale spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

Praise for The Bear and the Nightingale

“Vasya [is] a clever, stalwart girl determined to forge her own path in a time when women had few choices.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Stunning . . . will enchant readers from the first page. . . . with an irresistible heroine who wants only to be free of the bonds placed on her gender and claim her own fate.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Utterly bewitching . . . a lush narrative . . . an immersive, earthy story of folk magic, faith, and hubris, peopled with vivid, dynamic characters, particularly clever, brave Vasya, who outsmarts men and demons alike to save her family.”Booklist (starred review)

“Arden’s supple, sumptuous first novel transports the reader to a version of medieval Russia where history and myth coexist.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Radiant . . . a darkly magical fairy tale for adults, [but] not just for those who love magic.”—Library Journal

“An extraordinary retelling of a very old tale . . . The Bear and the Nightingale is a wonderfully layered novel of family and the harsh wonders of deep winter magic.”—Robin Hobb

“A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”—Naomi Novik

“Haunting and lyrical, The Bear and the Nightingale tugs at the heart and quickens the pulse. I can’t wait for her next book.”—Terry Brooks

The Bear and the Nightingale is a marvelous trip into an ancient Russia where magic is a part of everyday life.”—Todd McCaffrey

“Enthralling and enchanting—I literally couldn’t put it down.”—Tamora Pierce

Al Ewing
THIS IS THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD!
In the quiet Mexican town of Pasito, the future is born. A man dies; a fool and braggart, best forgotten. In his stead, a legend arises: the man in the bloodstained mask, the Saint of Ghosts. El Sombra!
Yearning for justice against the Nazis that plundered his home, El Sombra will cut a swath across the world. He will hunt his enemy to the streets of Manhattan – home of the mighty Doc Thunder, the terrible Blood Spider, and all the monsters and gods who fight beside them – and finally into the heart of the Ultimate Reich itself!
Thrill at the legend! Follow a story as vast as the whole world, from the beginning of the human race to the end of the time!
He defies man! He defies death! Nothing can stop him!
VIVA EL SOMBRA!

‘Al Ewing’s imagination is an unleashed force of nature.’
Kieron Gillen

‘One of the best superhero pastiches I’ve ever read… not something I ever expected to find outside of an Alan Moore graphic novel.’
Pornokitsch

‘The creative appropriation and relentless inventiveness never flags… From the opening pages to the overall theme (which surprises and delights), this is a book where ingenuity meshes with smart pulp fiction.’
SF Site



Young Adult / Middle Grade

Susan Dennard

Susan Dennard returns with a follow up to New York Times bestselling novel Truthwitch.

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Breeana Shields
A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive—like a poison kiss—and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.
 
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It’s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya—a poison maiden—is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.
 
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she’s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.
 
This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

A. G. Howard
This YA novel from New York Times bestselling author A. G. Howard marks the beginning of a new era for fans of the Splintered series. Rune Germain moves to a boarding school outside of Paris, only to discover that at this opera-house-turned-music-conservatory, phantoms really do exist. RoseBlood is a Phantom of the Opera–inspired retelling in which Rune’s biggest talent—her voice—is also her biggest curse. Fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the Splintered series will find themselves captivated by this pulse-pounding spin on a classic tale.
 
Rune, whose voice has been compared to that of an angel, has a mysterious affliction linked to her talent that leaves her sick and drained at the end of every performance. Convinced creative direction will cure her, her mother ships her off to a French boarding school for the arts, rumored to have a haunted past.
 
Shortly after arriving at RoseBlood conservatory, Rune starts to believe something otherworldly is indeed afoot. The mystery boy she’s seen frequenting the graveyard beside the opera house doesn’t have any classes at the school, and vanishes almost as quickly as he appears. When Rune begins to develop a secret friendship with the elusive Thorn, who dresses in clothing straight out of the 19th century, she realizes that in his presence she feels cured. Thorn may be falling for Rune, but the phantom haunting RoseBlood wants her for a very specific and dangerous purpose. As their love continues to grow, Thorn is faced with an impossible choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or save her and face the wrath of the phantom, the only father he’s ever known.
 
A. G. Howard brings the romantic storytelling that Splintered fans adore to France—and an entirely new world filled with lavish romance and intrigue—in a retelling inspired by a story that has captivated generations. Fans of both the Phantom of the Opera musical and novel, as well as YA retellings such as Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, will devour RoseBlood.

Elly Blake
The Frost King will burn.


Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating–yet irresistible–Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her–and from the icy young man she has come to love.
Vivid and compelling, Frostblood is the first in an exhilarating series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies…but together create a power that could change everything.

Kim Liggett

Kim Liggett draws on her childhood during the Satanic Panic for a chilling tale of magic in The Last Harvest.

“I plead the blood.”

Those were the last words seventeen-year-old golden boy quarterback Clay Tate heard rattling from his dad’s throat when he discovered him dying on the barn floor of the Neely cattle ranch, clutching a crucifix to his chest.

Now, on the first anniversary of the Midland, Oklahoma, slaughter, the whole town’s looking at Clay like he might be next to go over the edge. Clay wants to forget the past, but the sons and daughters of the Preservation Society—a group of prominent farmers his dad accused of devil worship—won’t leave him alone. Including Ali, his longtime crush, who suddenly wants to reignite their romance after a year of silence, and hated rival Tyler Neely, who’s behaving like they’re old friends.

Even as Clay tries to reassure himself, creepy glances turn to sinister stares and strange coincidences build to gruesome rituals—but when he can never prove that any of it happened, Clay worries he might be following his dad down the path to insanity…or that something far more terrifying lies in wait around the corner.

At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Laura Anne Gilman
In the anticipated sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is riding circuit through the Territory as the Devil’s Left Hand. But when she responds to a natural disaster, she learns the limits of her power and the growing danger of something mysterious that is threatening not just her life, but the whole Territory.

Isobel is the left hand of the old man of the Territory, the Boss—better known as the Devil. Along with her mentor, Gabriel, she is traveling circuit through Flood to represent the power of the Devil and uphold the agreement he made with the people to protect them. Here in the Territory, magic exists—sometimes wild and perilous.

But there is a growing danger in the bones of the land that is killing livestock, threatening souls, and weakening the power of magic. In the next installment of the Devil’s West series, Isobel and Gabriel are in over their heads as they find what’s happening and try to stop the people behind it before it unravels the Territory.

Alex Flinn

#1 New York Times bestselling YA author Alex Flinn is back with magical twists on four fairy-tale favorites, each featuring a little help from Kendra, the witch from Beastly, as she searches through cities and centuries for her lost love.

Being a powerful witch, Kendra has survived it all. Since she first beheld James over three hundred years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks. But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she had met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Featuring retellings of favorite fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling, Alex Flinn’s latest young adult novel, Beheld, is fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.

Nick Cutter
An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down…old-school horror at its best.”

From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.

Chandler Baker

Cassidy Hyde is NOT having a good year. Her boyfriend cheated on her, killed her best friend’s date during homecoming, and was then murdered in turn by a serial killer, and that’s without counting the thing that no one knows about. (But Cassidy doesn’t like to think about that.) The point is, anyone would be a little depressed and no one can blame her for looking for a little bit of help. That’s where Sunshine comes in. This new experimental drug makes Cassidy feel like everything is good and she’s the golden girl once again. A little memory loss feels like a small price to pay to get her life back. And the fact that boys are once again going missing (boys who Cassidy does NOT want to remember) has NOTHING to do with anything! Right?

Thus begins Chandler Baker’s contemporary twist on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying.

Kate O’Hearn
Freya searches for a missing Valkyrie in this second book of an exciting new series that School Library Journal described as perfect for “those looking for Rick Riordan read-alikes.”

Valkyrie: Norse Goddess. Reaper of Souls. Defender of the Weak. But could she also start a war?

In the world of Asgard, living among Odin, Thor, and Loki are the Valkyries of legend. Norse goddesses, reapers of souls from human battlefields—they have the power to cause death with just one touch.

Freya is a Valkyrie—but she has not followed in the footsteps of the legends before her. She has been to the World of Man to befriend humans—and not to reap their souls.

Now she must return to the human realm on a new quest to track down the runaway Valkyrie of legend. There she will discover a dark secret that leads her to the Land of the Frost Giants where she must take on new enemies. But this time she has friends to rely on, and lots more to gain.

Kristin Bailey

In shepherd boy Elric’s tiny village, people think children like his younger sister, Wynn, are changelings—left by fairies and doomed to curse all around them. As a baby, Wynn was born with developmental delays, and according to the rules, she was supposed to be abandoned in the woods.

Instead Elric’s mother saved his sister and hid her away for eleven years. They live in secret and fear of being discovered, yet their home is full of love, laughter, and singing. Wynn and Elric’s favorite song is about the Silver Gate, a beautiful fairy realm where all children are welcome.

But when their long-absent father returns to sell Wynn to the Lord’s castle as a maid, Elric realizes that folk songs and fantasies can’t protect them from the outside world. They have to run away. Still Wynn believes there’s only one place they’ll ever be safe, and it lies beyond the Silver Gate.

The road to freedom is long and treacherous. If they have any hope for survival, Elric and Wynn must learn to depend on each other above everything else—and discover the magic that always reveals itself when it seems like all is lost.

Elise Kova
Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.



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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5 responses to “Fresh Meat: January 8 to 14 — 23 Speculative Fiction Releases