Fresh Meat: February 18 to 24 — 22 Speculative Fiction Releases

Posted February 19, 2018 by Carmel in Fresh Meat / 0 Comments

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Urban Fantasy / Mystery / Horror

Deborah Wilde
What doesn’t kill you …

seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions than answers.

And someone doesn’t appreciate them getting close to the truth.

Go figure.

On top of that, a demon known only as Candyman has unleashed a drug that’s harming users in extremely disturbing ways.

Nava vows to take this demon down. But will life as she knows it survive this mission, or will this be the one time she should have looked before she leapt?

Happily-ever-after? Barring death, she’s got a real shot at it.

Get it now.

Keith Thomas
For fans of Black Mirror and True Detective, a visceral high‑concept thriller about a psychologist who must protect the life of an eleven-year-old girl whose ability to remember past lives makes them both targets of a merciless killer.

Are the Night Doctors coming for you?

Dr. Matilda Deacon is a psychologist researching how memories are made and stored when she meets a strange eleven-year-old girl named Ashanique. Ashanique claims to harbor the memories of the last soldier killed in World War I and Matilda is at first very interested but skeptical. However, when Ashanique starts talking about being chased by the Night Doctors—a term also used by an unstable patient who was later found dead—Matilda can’t deny that the girl might be telling the truth.

Matilda learns that Ashanique and her mother have been on the run their whole lives from a monstrous assassin named Rade. Rade is after a secret contained solely in memories and has left a bloody trail throughout the world in search of it. Matilda soon realizes Ashanique is in unimaginable danger and that her unique ability comes with a deadly price.

Fast-paced and suspenseful, The Clarity is a chilling blend of science and danger—a compelling take on the possibilities of reincarnation and life after death.

Kelly Barnhill
When Mrs. Sorensen’s husband dies, she rekindles a long-dormant love with an unsuitable mate in “Mrs. Sorensen and the Sasquatch.” In “Open the Door and the Light Pours Through,” a young man wrestles with grief and his sexuality in an exchange of letters with his faraway beloved. “Dreadful Young Ladies” demonstrates the strength and power—known and unknown—of the imagination. In “Notes on the Untimely Death of Ronia Drake,” a witch is haunted by the deadly repercussions of a spell. “The Insect and the Astronomer” upends expectations about good and bad, knowledge and ignorance, love and longing. The World Fantasy Award–winning novella “The Unlicensed Magician” introduces the secret magical life of an invisible girl once left for dead—with thematic echoes of Barnhill’s Newbery Medal–winning novel, The Girl Who Drank the Moon.

With bold, reality-bending invention underscored by richly illuminated universal themes of love, death, jealousy, and hope, the stories in Dreadful Young Ladies show why its author has been hailed as “a fantasist on the order of Neil Gaiman” (Minneapolis Star Tribune). This collection cements Barnhill’s place as one of the wittiest, most vital and compelling voices in contemporary literature.



Romance

Charlie Adhara
A former FBI agent is partnered with the enemy in this suspenseful male/male shifter romance from debut author Charlie Adhara

Hunting for big bad wolves was never part of Agent Cooper Dayton’s plan, but a werewolf attack lands him in the carefully guarded Bureau of Special Investigations. A new case comes with a new partner: ruggedly sexy werewolf Oliver Park.

Park is an agent of The Trust, a werewolf oversight organization working to ease escalating tensions with the BSI. But as far as Cooper’s concerned, it’s failing. As they investigate a series of mysterious deaths unlike anything they’ve seen, every bone in Cooper’s body is suspicious of his new partner—even when Park proves himself as competent as he is utterly captivating.

When more people vanish, pressure to solve the case skyrockets. And though he’d resolved to keep things professional, Cooper’s friction with Park soon erupts…into a physical need that can’t be contained or controlled. But with a body count that’s rising by the day, werewolves and humans are in equal danger. If Cooper and Park don’t catch the killer soon, one—or both—of them could be the next to go.

This book is approximately 90,000 words

Carina Press acknowledges the editorial services of Mackenzie Walton

Jean Johnson
Synod gathers, tell them lies:

Efforts garnered in your pride
Lost beneath the granite face.
Painted Lord, stand by her side;
Repentance is the Temple’s grace.

The Guardian of the Fountain of Mendhi is dying, and her successor must step up to the task. Disciplinarian Pelai is ready to accept the burden of managing the powerful magics, but the timing is inconvenient. She has one last Disciplining to perform: assigning the punishment of the three Puhon brothers–men whose lives are entwined with a prophecy of a cataclysmic demonic invasion.
 
Six months of travel have given Puhon Krais time to reflect on, regret, and repent his many mistakes. But the worst lies just ahead: defying the leadership of Mendhi means suffering harsh punishments at the hands of the Disciplinarians once he comes home. Commanded by his Goddess, the proud Painted Warrior must find the strength to submit to his destiny…or find himself, and his whole world, on the wrong side of history.
 
For in the end, one brother is destined to save humanity, one will betray humanity, and one will walk away from his humanity.

Rebecca Zanetti
His only goal was survival until he met her…

With nothing to lose, former cop Damon Winter agrees to an undercover op, infiltrating a cult in the dangerous post-Scorpius world. After one look at his new partner, he knows she belongs far away from not only the cult, but from him. She’s sweet and kind and has no business being in peril, but she’s determined to help. Suddenly, the part he’s playing as her man explodes into a passion neither of them had expected.

She hadn’t purposefully faced risk until she met him…

April Snyder has survived loss, pain, and uncertainty. Now she’s ready to live again. There’s nothing left but to make a difference for others, so why not go undercover in the cult? Now all she has to do is keep it professional and ignore her handsome, deadly, overbearing partner, who’s too sexy for her peace of mind. Intrigue, risk, and danger make for an irresistible temptation–until enemies close in, threatening everyone they’ve sworn to protect.



Science Fiction / Fantasy

Myke Cole

“Cole weaves a fantasy world that feels comfortably familiar, then goes to places you’d never expect. You won’t stop turning pages until the stunning finish.” —Peter V. Brett

Myke Cole, star of CBS’s Hunted and author of the Shadow Ops series, debuts the Sacred Throne epic fantasy trilogy with The Armored Saint, a story of religious tyrants, arcane war-machines, and underground resistance that will enthrall epic fantasy readers of all ages.

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

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

John Gwynne

Acclaimed epic fantasy author John Gwynne with the first book of a new trilogy.
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient enemy may not be as crushed as they thought.
In the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests – a sign of demonic black magic.
In the south, Riv, a young, tempestuous soldier, discovers a deadly rift within the Ben-Elim themselves.
Two individuals with two world-changing secrets. But where will they lead? And what role will Drem and Riv play in the Banished Land’s fate? Difficult choices need to be made.
In the shadows, dark forces are gathering, waiting for their time to rise. . .
For more from John Gwynne, check out:
The Faithful and the Fallen
Malice
Valor
Ruin
Wrath

Richard Phillips

The fight against primordial evil continues, and the stakes have never been higher…

Kragan, wielder of dark magic, has failed to vanquish the light in Lorness Carol Rafel, the woman prophesied to destroy him. Now Kragan has leveled a new threat against her: an unholy order of foul priests enlisted to storm her stronghold and destroy her and her companions once and for all.

Lorness Carol is waiting.

In the valley of Misty Hollow, she’s finally conquered her fear of her magic. She has awakened a new power within her: the ability to manipulate minds. But even Carol is unprepared for where this new battle will take her.

For her brother, Lord Alan, is unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy as well. As the Chosen of the Dread Lord, he is amassing an army of feared soldiers—a battalion that could save the world, or pitch his sister’s legacy into everlasting darkness.

William C. Dietz
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned® novels comes the final volume in the postapocalyptic military science fiction trilogy about America warring with itself and the people trying to keep it together…

The Second Civil War continues to rage as Union president Samuel T. Sloan battles to keep America whole and, more than that, to restore the country to its former greatness.

“Wanted Dead or Alive.” Following a fateful battle between Union Army major Robin “Mac” Macintyre and her sister, the New Confederacy places a price on Mac’s head, and bounty hunters are on her trail.

But there’s work to be done, and Mac is determined to help Sloan reunify the country by freeing hundreds of Union POWs from appalling conditions in Mexico and capturing a strategic oil reserve that lies deep inside Confederate territory.

However, to truly have peace it will be necessary to capture or kill the New Confederacy’s leadership, and that includes Mac’s father, General Bo Macintyre.

Kaethe Schwehn
A chilling yet redemptive post-apocalyptic debut that examines community, motherhood, faith, and the importance of telling one’s own story.

When 95 percent of the earth’s population disappears for no apparent reason, Mira does what she can to create some semblance of a life: She cobbles together a haphazard community named Zion, scavenges the Piles for supplies they might need, and avoids loving anyone she can’t afford to lose. She has everything under control. Almost.

Four years after the Rending, Mira’s best friend, Lana, announces her pregnancy, the first since everything changed and a new source of hope for Mira. But when Lana gives birth to an inanimate object–and other women of Zion follow suit–the thin veil of normalcy Mira has thrown over her new life begins to fray. As the Zionites wrestle with the presence of these Babies, a confident outsider named Michael appears, proselytizing about the world beyond Zion. He lures Lana away and when she doesn’t return, Mira must decide how much she’s willing to let go in order to save her friend, her home, and her own fraught pregnancy.

Like California by Edan Lepucki and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Rending and the Nest uses a fantastical, post-apocalyptic landscape to ask decidedly human questions: How well do we know the people we love? What sustains us in the midst of suffering? How do we forgive the brokenness we find within others–and within ourselves?

Gareth L. Powell
From BSFA Award winning author Gareth L. Powell comes the first in a new epic sci-fi trilogy exploring the legacies of war

The sentient warship Trouble Dog was built for violence, yet following a brutal war, she is disgusted by her role in a genocide. Stripped of her weaponry and seeking to atone, she joins the House of Reclamation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress. When a civilian ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of loners, captained by Sal Konstanz, are sent on a rescue mission.

Meanwhile, light years away, intelligence officer Ashton Childe is tasked with locating the poet, Ona Sudak, who was aboard the missing spaceship. What Childe doesn’t know is that Sudak is not the person she appears to be. A straightforward rescue turns into something far more dangerous, as Trouble Dog, Konstanz and Childe find themselves at the centre of a conflict that could engulf the entire galaxy. If she is to save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight…

W. Michael Gear
From the bestselling co-author of the People novels comes a riveting science fiction adventure on a planet with danger around every corner

Donovan is a world of remarkable wealth, a habitable paradise of a planet. It sounds like a dream come true. But Donovan’s wealth comes at a price.

When the ship Turalon arrives in orbit, Supervisor Kalico Aguila discovers a failing colony, its government overthrown and the few remaining colonists now gone wild. Donovan offers the chance of a lifetime, one that could leave her the most powerful woman in the solar system. Or dead.

Planetside, Talina Perez is one of three rulers of the Port Authority colony—the only law left in the one remaining town on Donovan. With the Corporate ship demanding answers about the things she’s done in the name of survival, Perez could lose everything, including her life.

For Dan Wirth, Donovan is a last chance. A psychopath with a death sentence looming over his head, he can’t wait to set foot on Port Authority. He will make one desperate play to grab a piece of the action—no matter who he has to corrupt, murder, or destroy.

Captain Max Taggart has been The Corporation’s “go-to” guy when it comes to brutal enforcement. As the situation in Port Authority deteriorates, he’ll be faced with tough choices to control the wild Donovanians. Only Talina Perez stands in his way.

Just as matters spiral out of control, a ghost ship, the Freelander, appears in orbit. Missing for two years, she arrives with a crew dead of old age, and reeks of a bizarre death-cult ritual that deters any ship from attempting a return journey. And in the meantime, a brutal killer is stalking all of them, for Donovan plays its own complex and deadly game. The secrets of which are hidden in Talina Perez’s very blood.



New Adult / Young Adult / Middle Grade

Deborah Schaumberg

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Deborah Schaumberg’s gripping debut takes readers on a breathless trip across a teeming turn-of-the-century New York and asks the question: Where can you hide in a city that wants you buried?

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t.

Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than listening to secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city.

Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why.

Kim Liggett
“A sweeping, scary, and entertaining paranormal read.” -School Library Journal

Ash may have escaped the immortal-worshipping cult that killed her mother, but the love of her life is still under its thrall. Dane has been possessed by his diabolical ancestor Coronado, a man who’s fabulously wealthy, dripping with fame, and the leader of Europe’s most dangerous immortal network. Dane begs Ash to join him at Coronado’s castle in Spain, and swears that his blood bond with Ash is stronger than Coronado’s hold over him. Ash is desperate to help Dane vanquish Coronado without having to sacrifice herself to the darkness. But when you’re all in, blood and salt, the only way to hold on to the light might just be by setting everything on fire.

Courtney Alameda

From Courtney Alameda, the author of Shutter, this thrilling, sci-fi horror and space adventure will be sure to stay with readers long after the last pages.

Lost to time, Tuck Morgan and his crew have slept in stasis aboard the USS John Muir for centuries. Their ship harbors a chunk of Earth, which unbeknownst to them, is the last hope for the failing human race.

Laura Cruz is a shipraider searching the galaxy for the history that was scattered to the stars. Once her family locates the John Muir and its precious cargo, they are certain human civilization is saved.

When Tuck’s and Laura’s worlds collide—literally—the two teens must outwit their enemies, evade brutal monsters that kill with sound, and work together to save the John Muir . . . and the whole human race.

Rhoda Belleza
War tears the galaxy apart, power tests the limits of family, and violence gives way to freedom in this exhilarating sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies.

Empress 
With a revolution brewing, Rhee is faced with a choice: make a deal with her enemy, Nero, or denounce him and risk losing her crown.

Fugitive 
Framed assassin Alyosha has one goal in mind: kill Nero. But to get his revenge, Aly may have to travel back to the very place he thought he’d left forever—home.

Princess 
Kara knows that a single piece of technology located on the uninhabitable planet Wraeta may be the key to remembering—and erasing—the princess she once was.

Madman 
Villainous media star Nero is out for blood, and he’ll go to any means necessary to control the galaxy.

Vicious politics and high-stakes action culminate in an epic showdown that will determine the fate of the universe.

Gwendolyn Clare

Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother—a noted scriptologist—constantly alters and expands their reality.

But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology—and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In debut author Gwendolyn Clare’s thrilling Ink, Iron, and Glass, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created—and only she can stop it.

An Imprint Book

“The novel samples historical figures the way a hip-hop album might sample a classic riff: it opens a window to European history, lets in fresh air, and sends facts flying… This novel is a source of serious fun.” —School and Library Journal (starred review)

“This debut novel is fully realized steampunk-fantasy, offering an alternate history that deftly and creatively adopts the politics of 19th-century Italy to create a compellingly unique world…. Exciting and original.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“Clare’s debut is built upon an intriguing premise… A solid series starter featuring a competent, flawed heroine that’s built for sf fans.” —Booklist

“There’s much more to uncover in the political machinations of each world, and a gasp-worthy ending ensures a sequel.” —BCCB

Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas

Evelyn and her friends face ever greater dangers as they navigate tense battles, stunning revelations, and the limits of their own powers in this epic final novel in the These Vicious Masks trilogy.

England, 1883. On the run with the grieving Sebastian Braddock, Evelyn wants two things: to be reunited with her friends, and to get revenge on the evil Captain Goode. Not only has he misused his and Sebastian’s powers to rack up a terrible death toll, but he’s also completely destroyed any hope of Evelyn or her friends regaining the life they once knew.

Evelyn is determined to make Captain Goode pay for what he’s done, but is her revenge worth risking the lives of Sebastian and her friends? Or is it better to flee the city and focus on staying alive? And with the Captain spreading lies about Sebastian in an attempt to flush them out of hiding and turn the populace against them, does she even have a choice at all?

You won’t want to miss These Vengeful Souls, the thrilling conclusion to the These Vicious Masks trilogy by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas from Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads.

Praise for the These Vicious Masks trilogy:

These Ruthless Deeds:

Utter brilliance.” —BookCrushin

“It is a romance, a suspense, a comedy, a fantasy, an adventure.” —thebookcorps

These Vicious Masks:

“This is a perfect pick for someone who wants a little magic in their Victorian novels, and its combination of historical fiction and mysticism will remind readers of Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy.” —Booklist

“This tale has brisk pacing, plenty of action, and a heroine with more than her fair share of girl-power confidence.” —School Library Journal

Rachel A. Marks

In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.

Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.

Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.

As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

Brad McLelland, Louis Sylvester

A band of orphan avengers. A cursed stone. A horde of zombie outlaws.

This is Keech Blackwood’s new life after Bad Whiskey Nelson descends upon the Home for Lost Causes and burns it to the ground.

With his home destroyed and his family lost, Keech will have to use the lessons he learned from Pa Abner to hunt down the powerful Char Stone. Luckily, he has the help of a ragtag team of orphans. Together, they’ll travel through treacherous forests, fight off the risen dead, and discover that they share mysterious bonds as they search for the legendary stone. Now it’s a race against the clock, because if Bad Whiskey finds the stone first…all is lost.

But Keech and the other orphans won’t hesitate. Because they’re more than just heroes.
They’re Lost Causes.

Legends of the Lost Causes marks the thrilling start to an action-packed middle grade series by debut authors Brad McLelland and Louis Sylvester.

Praise for Legends of the Lost Causes

A Junior Library Guild selection

“This is a fun and exciting story, written with the utmost respect for the Osage culture.” —Wah-Zha-Zhi Cultural Center

“A rip-roaring adventure in the Wild West, filled with cowboys, magic, and a horde of undead villains that’ll have you hunkered down in your bedroll, turning pages long after the campfire has died down.” —Heidi Schulz, author of the New York Times bestselling Hook’s Revenge

“I don’t get to use the word rollicking enough but there’s no other word for this book: a rollicking adventure filled with mystery and magic that crackles like a brush fire.” —Emma Trevayne, author of The House of Months and Years

“Thrilling, dark, and full of heart, this is a Western like none I’ve ever read. I loved it.” —Stefan Bachmann, author of The Peculiar and The Whatnot

“McLelland and Sylvester imbue the adventure with a Louis L’Amour-esque flair refreshed for today’s readers by the thoughtful incorporation of American frontier history and Osage culture. This is an easy read for fans of Westerns like Bowman’s Vengeance Road.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



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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