Fresh Meat: May 28 to June 3 — 24 Speculative Fiction Releases

Posted May 29, 2017 by Carmel in Fresh Meat / 2 Comments

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Urban Fantasy / Mystery / Horror

Shannon Mayer
“What a fantastic start to a new fantasy series! I love a strong female lead and we were delivered that in spades with Larkspur . . . This story is fast paced and exciting right from the start. I can’t wait to see what comes next!”
-Boundless Book Reviews

From HiJinks Ink Publishing and Shannon Mayer comes The USA Today Bestselling ELEMENTAL SERIES beginning with RECURVE (Book 1). With over 1.4 million books sold, Shannon Mayer proves, once again, she can dominate her genre right out of the gate.

“My name is Larkspur, and I am an Elemental.”

My people use the power of the earth to sustain life and defy our enemies. I should be at my father’s side as a royal princess. But as a half-breed, bastard child, that isn’t going to happen.

Taken away by the last Spirit Walker, I am meant to train with him so that I can finally stop the false mother goddess and her plans to rule both humans and elementals. I am meant to train so that I can meet her on even ground, but training takes time.

Time is not something we have. The world is coming apart at the seams as the humans rain down destruction upon their own kind and the supernatural world. The false mother goddess is hunting down the most powerful elementals to take the last of their power, and through it all, the secrets of who I truly am begin to spill upward.

I must find the strength to stop the mother goddess, and to save our world, but which aspect of my heart will hold me up and what will it cost me in the end?

Blood of the earth. . . .
Child of Spirit. . . .
Bastard Princess . . .
Ender . . .
Protector . . .

Destroyer.

Kit Reed

MORMAMA is a riveting supernatural, southern gothic tale from Kit Reed, the author of Where.

Dell Duval has been living on the street since his accident. He can’t remember who he was or where he came from. All he has is a tattered note in his pocket with an address for the Ellis house, a sprawling, ancient residence in Jacksonville. He doesn’t know why he’s been sent here.

In the house, Lane and her son Theo have returned to the ancient family home—their last resort. The old house is ruled by an equally ancient trio of tyrannical aunts, who want to preserve everything. Nothing should ever leave the house, including Lane.

Something about the house isn’t right. Things happen to the men and boys living there. There are forces at work one of which visits Theo each night—Mormama, one mama too many.

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

Chris Vola

A vampire who is confined to Brooklyn gives up his immortality to save the human love of his life and unknowingly wades into a much larger supernatural conspiracy.

Ryan Driggs has lived in Brooklyn for 128 years, 96 of them as one of the last members of a tribe of blood-eating immortals who have called the borough home since before colonial times. Besides the occasional hard-to-control thirst, his life in the twenty-first century is uneventful, until he meets Jennifer, a human from Manhattan with whom he falls in love.

Unable to leave Brooklyn without reverting back to his original, cancer-stricken human state, Ryan knows he must tell Jennifer who and what he really is. But before he can find the words, she is kidnapped by a tribe of Manhattan vampires—and Ryan discovers that, for a reason unknown to him, he is a target too. After contacting the oldest member of his tribe, a former slave named Frank Lafayette, and after an attempt on their lives that leaves two of Frank’s employees dead, Ryan realizes he’s been thrust into a world that is more dangerous than anything he’d imagined.

As he travels to Manhattan to rescue Jennifer, forsaking his immortality, he gets caught up in a roller coaster of violence, lies, manipulation, and a power struggle that stretches back thousands of years. Chris Vola’s Only the Dead Know Brooklyn takes place in a world where conspiracies are more than just theories—where Ryan must decide to fight, or forsake both of the species he’s called his own.



Romance

Donna Grant

His strength, his masculinity brought out something primal within her. In his arms, she felt like the Amazon warrior she’d once pretended to be as a little girl.

Anson is a fierce Dragon King, a dragon shapeshifter born and bred to protect his own. But when a rogue tech company hacks into their world, he must join forces with the unlikeliest of allies: a human female. Her name is Devon Abrams. A rising star at the firm, she has no idea that her boss is in league with the sinister Fae and their secret war against humanity. If Anson gains her trust, he can defeat the enemy from within. But first he must fight his own attraction—to this exquisitely beautiful mortal…

Devon loves her job at the firm. But sometimes she wishes she could find a man—a real man—who isn’t threatened by her success. When she first meets Anson, she’s overwhelmed by his powerful masculine presence and disarmingly gorgeous smile. But when he reveals his true mission—and his ability to transform into a dragon—she’s irresistibly drawn into an epic battle between humans and immortals, magic and technology, danger and desire. Anson vows to protect her from the Fae. But can he control the flames of passion that blaze within his heart, in Blaze, the next sexy Dragon romance in the Dark Kings series from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant.

Christine Feehan
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Christine Feehan returns to her scorching-hot series starring a Chicago crime family that has built its empire in the shadows…
 
Billionaire playboy Ricco Ferraro knows no other life. Being a shadow rider is in his blood—but so is a haunting desperation stemming from the secrets of his dark past. His recklessness puts not only his life at risk, but also the future of his entire family. To save them all, he must find a woman who can meet his every desire with a heat all her own…
 
Just when Ricco has given up hope, he meets her—a mysterious woman whose shadow connects with his. She’s someone looking for a safe haven from the danger that has stalked her over the last several months. In Ricco’s embrace, she finds one. But the darkness in which they so often find sanctuary can also consume them…

Ilona Andrews

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

 

An Avon Romance

Heather Graham
Dying Breath by Heather Graham released on May 30, 2017 is available now for purchase.



Science Fiction / Fantasy

Jason M. Hough
Part one of a thrilling action-adventure sci-fi duology featuring indomitable characters, incredible worlds, and plenty of rip-roaring action and thrills!

Rescue operation—or suicide mission?

Skyler Luiken and his ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers have a new mission: a long journey to a distant planet where a race of benevolent aliens are held captive behind a cloud of destructive ships known as the Swarm Blockade. No human ships have ever made it past this impenetrable wall, and Skyler knows not what to anticipate when they reach their destination.

Safe to say that the last thing he expects to find there is a second human ship led by the tough-as-nails captain, Gloria Tsandi. These two crews—and their respective captains—initially clash, but they will have to learn to work together when their mutual foe closes in around them and begins the outright destruction of their vessels—along with any hope of a return to Earth.

Rachel Vincent

In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent’s acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind… 

When their coup of Metzger’s Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of “exotic wildlife.” Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle’s owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price. 

But Vandekamp’s closely guarded client list isn’t the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.

Emily R. King

In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood in the ancient Tarachand Empire, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.

Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda has only one hope for escape, and it lies in an arcane, forbidden power buried within her.

Marie Brennan

Once, there was a call—a binding—and so, a woman appeared, present in body but absent in knowledge of her past self.

Making the ultimate journey of rediscovery was not without its own pitfalls—or rewards—and now Ree, a roaming archon, spirit of legend and time and physically now bound to her current form, has yet to fully uncover her true identity.

Ree has spent her last innumerable seasons on the move—orbiting, in some sense, the lands of her only friend in this world, Aadet, who has become intricately involved in the new post-revolution politics of his people. Swinging back from the forests surrounding Solaike, Ree falls in with another wandering band, some refugees accompanied by their own archon, who seems to know much more about Ree’s own origins than she ever dared to hope.

Lushly woven against a foreign, and yet familiar, fantastical setting, Lightning in the Blood is the second epic adventure in Marie Brennan’s novella series with Tor.com.

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

Jillian Kuhlmann
The stunning sequel to The Hidden Icon, perfect for readers of Bradley Beaulieu and NK Jemisin.

“Lyrical and luminous—a great read.” —Laura Bickle, author of The Hallowed Ones and The Outside on The Hidden Icon

In the rival kingdoms of Ambar and Aleyn, gods walk among mortals in the form of human icons, carrying out their whims and waging untold chaos.

Having decimated the city of Jhosch, Aleynian icon Eiren flees to the wilderness of the Ambarian north. She finds solace in a distant sanctuary, trying to make peace with the knowledge that she embodies Theba, the goddess of destruction.

Soon, though, there is more devastation on the horizon: an imposter has declared herself the Dread Goddess in Eiren’s place and rallied the Ambarian army to destroy Aleyn. Traveling to cut them off and save her family’s kingdom, Eiren works to uncover the secrets of her past and keep Theba in check—all while consumed by memories of Gannet, the Ambarian icon she left behind.

Eiren’s journey takes her back to the haunted ruins of Re’Kether, an ancient city at the heart of a kingdom their warring peoples once shared. Now she must reconcile who she knows she is—a gentle-souled storyteller—with the monstrous Dread Goddess who dwells within.

Craig A. Munro
The Night Guard walk the streets of the old kingdom of Bialta seeking out threats that are beyond the abilities of the common soldier. Nial is one such threat—a girl changed into something “other” and on the hunt for human souls. Salt, a sailor recently rescued by the Night Guard, has been inducted into their ranks. He’s a quick study, but as new threats multiply all around them, will he have what it takes to survive?

Bialta is not alone in its woes. Sacral, a city that vanished in the distant past, has reappeared where it once stood at the heart of the Wastes. Like many of Sacral’s people, Maura is content living a quiet life, ignoring the outside world. But she finds herself desperately fighting to save her home as war comes to the city returned.

Meanwhile, across the Great Desert, creatures are stirring. Carver, the last living master of the magic known as fleshcarving, has won the support of the tyrant of Tolrahk Esal. Together they will unleash his twisted creations to sweep across the land and forever disrupt the balance of power.

In this epic tale, there is no good and evil. Armies march, demons feed, and deities unleash their powers on a world that will never be the same.

James M. Thompson
The author of The Elijah Pike Vampire Chronicles and Anthrax Protocol unleashes a terrifying tale of medical science gone awry—and a horror beyond imagining unleashed . . .

Dr. James Wilcox is one of the nation’s foremost pediatric neurologists. Yet his expertise is useless in the face of his own brain tumor. Removing it will cause James to lose his senses of smell and taste and suffer from mood disorders for the rest of his life.

Then a miracle arrives in the form of Dr. Albert Stern, lauded for his achievements in sensory augmentation in primates. Dr. Stern is more than willing to apply his radical procedures in an attempt to cure James’ condition. The surgery is a success. In fact, it has the unprecedented result of heightening the rest of the patient’s senses to superhuman levels.

But there are side effects that no one could have predicted. Something slipped into Stern’s chromosome matrix. Something with a homicidal disposition and an appetite for fresh-killed meat. Something that hunts by night . . .

“If you read one horror book this year, read this one!” —William W. Johnstone on Night Blood

“A terrifying mix of real medical science and vampire folklore.” —Fred Bean, author of “The Hangman’s Tree” on Night Blood



New Adult / Young Adult / Middle Grade

Jenna Black

Jenna Black returns to the quarantined city of Philadelphia, where an unsuspecting seventeen-year-old has unknowingly unleashed a dark power that transforms the city into a monstrous hellscape in Night Magic.

Philadelphia is locked in the grip of an evil magic that transforms its streets into a nightmare landscape the minute the sun sets each night. While most of the city hunkers down and hopes to survive the long winter nights, Becket Walker is roaming the darkened streets having the time of her life.

Once, the guilt of having inadvertently let the night magic into the city—and of having killed her onetime best friend—had threatened to destroy her. But now she’s been Nightstruck, and all her grief and guilt and terror have been swept away—along with her conscience. So what if she’s lost her friends, her family, and her home? And so what if her hot new boyfriend is super-controlling and downright malevolent?

Mesmerized by the power and freedom of not having to care about anyone but herself, Becket is sinking ever deeper into the night magic’s grasp. But those who love her refuse to give up on her—even if she’s given up on them. If they can’t find a way to help Becket break the night magic’s hold, the entire city might soon find itself shrouded in perpetual night. But the last thing Becket wants is to be “rescued” from her brand new life, and she will fight tooth and claw to stay exactly where she is.

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

Thomas E. Sniegoski
Sidney and her friends might have survived the storm that came to the small island of Benediction, but now the storm has reached Boston, and the city isn’t prepared for what’s coming in this sequel to the “unpredictable” (VOYA) and “fast-paced” (School Library Journal) Savage from New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Sniegoski.

The horrors that began in Savage continue in Boston as Sydney and her friends work to protect the city from the newly crazed rampage of animals and try to figure out the origin of the storm and its power.

Christina Bauer
“Of the 3 books in the series, this one is my favorite!”Reads and Reels
“Amazing story that continues to grip and entice the reader.”The Archeolibrarian
“Chemistry is there from the start..I really enjoyed the romance.”Functioning Insanity Reviews

For Elea, there’s never been a better time to turn away from witch life. The Tsar is in exile. The Vicomte is dead. And Rowan? Falling for him only broke her heart. Instead of casting spells, Elea spends her days running Braddock Farm and enjoying the flirtations of the very handsome and non-magical Philippe. Everything is going perfectly, except for one problem.

Someone’s trying to kill her.

Shujaa is a Changed One, a Creation Caster mage whose mutated form makes him invincible in battle. Now that the Tsar and Vicomte are gone, Shujaa wants to rise and rule. To do so, he must eliminate all those powerful enough to oppose him, and Elea is top on his list. Anyone who offers her aid quickly ends up dead.

In the end, there’s only one person who can keep Elea safe while helping her defeat Shujaa: Rowan. Like it or not, Elea must team up with her old love. With Philippe along for the ride, Elea plans to team with Rowan without losing her heart this time. But that’s when all her plans fall apart…

“My favorite part of this series is the attraction between Rowan and Elea. They have a forbidden romance that I’m addicted to.” Cloud 9 Books

Read all the series from author Christina Bauer:
•Angelbound Origins (YA Dark Fantasy)
•Angelbound Offspring (YA Dark Fantasy)
• Beholder (YA Dark Fantasy )
• Dimension Drift (YA Urban Fantasy )

and coming soon…

Fairy Tales of the Magicorum (YA Urban Fantasy)

Sara B. Larson
On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless. But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected.In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake — a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

Jane Washington, Jaymin Eve
Willa Knight: Dweller? Bad-ass? Notorious pet to five magical beings?

In Blesswood, there are rules, and someone is trying to teach her how to follow them. The only problem is Willa. Which shouldn’t be anything new, since she has been a problem since birth—something her pseudo-sister Emmy would agree on.

So it definitely shouldn’t be new … but it is.

Because things are starting to happen that have never happened before.

Things are starting to get …chaotic.

This is a full novel, 90,000 words. Book 2 of 5 in the Curse of the Gods Series

Andrew Shvarts
Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children. At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children. Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness. Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead–with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery. The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart–if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey . . .Includes an exclusive Q&A with Andrew Shvarts, author and a designer/writer on the hit mobile game Choices: Stories You Play!

Stephanie Burgis
Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family’s mountain cave . . . if only they’d let her leave it. Her family thinks she’s too young to fly on her own, but she’s determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.

But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she’s transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she’s the fiercest creature in these mountains–and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won’t she?

A classic fantasy with terrific girl power, perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Jessica Day George.

Praise for Kat, Incorrigible
Bank Street Best Books of 2012
A Spring 2011 Kids’ Indie Next pick
A 2012 ALA/ALSC Notable Children’s Book
A Top 40 Pick for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

Scarlett Thomas
“This middle grade series starter is tailor-made for Harry Potter’s fans.” —Kirkus Reviews

For fans of the Land of Stories and the Wings of Fire Series, this first enchanting adventure from acclaimed novelist Scarlett Thomas is set in a wondrous realm where magic most decidedly exists, a growing evil lurks, and a group of children is destined to save the world.

Effie Truelove believes in magic, as does her grandfather Griffin (although he refuses to do any magic, let alone teach Effie how to use it). After a mysterious incident leaves Griffin close to death, Effie is given an unusual silver ring and told she must look after her grandfather’s library of rare and powerful books. But then the books fall into the hands of shady scholar Leonard Levar, and Effie is propelled into the most dangerous adventure of her life.

Now, Effie and her friends—nerdy Maximilian, rugby-mad Wolf, helpful Lexy, and eccentric Raven—must discover their true powers if they are to get the books back. And Effie alone will have to travel to the Otherworld, where she will uncover the true meaning of the strange old book called Dragon’s Green

Laura Martin

Perfect for fans of Jurassic Park and Jurassic World! Code Name Flood is the electrifying sequel to The Ark Plan, which School Library Journal praised by saying: “Nonstop action, marauding dinosaurs, and kids on the run: What’s not to like?”

Last week, twelve-year-old Sky found a cryptic message from her dad, who mysteriously fled the safety of their underground compound five years ago. The note said the fate of the world depended on her going topside, to a lost world that’s ruled by dinosaurs.

Today, after a treacherous journey through the wilderness, Sky and her friends have made it to their destination: Lake Michigan. There they discover a hidden underwater lab, and with the help of its scientists, Sky will finally learn the truth about her father’s secret mission.

Tomorrow, it will be up to Sky and her friends to save humanity from the very edge of extinction.

Readers who enjoy middle grade adventures by Brandon Mull and Rick Riordan will love this action-packed story, which takes the premise of Michael Crichton’s bestselling classic to a whole new level, envisioning a postapocalyptic future where cloned dinosaurs have taken over and the world’s only hope is one group of courageous kids.

Laurel Snyder

A National Book Award Longlist title!

“A wondrous book, wise and wild and deeply true.” —Kelly Barnhill, Newbery Medal-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

“This is one of those books that haunts you long after you read it. Thought-provoking and magical.” —Rick Riordan, RickRiordan.com

In the tradition of modern-day classics like Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Lois Lowry’s The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?



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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