Fresh Meat: March 25 to 31 — 22 Speculative Fiction Releases

Posted March 26, 2018 by Carmel in Fresh Meat / 1 Comment

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Urban Fantasy / Mystery / Horror

Jonathan Maberry

“A waking dream, at once powerful and subtly sinister.” —Clive Barker, New York Times bestselling author

A chilling thriller that explores what happens when reality and nightmares converge, and how far one will go to protect the innocent when their own brain is a threat.

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry comes a novel that puts a bold new spin on the supernatural thriller.

Rain Thomas is a mess. Seven years an addict and three difficult years clean. Racked by guilt for the baby she gave up for adoption when she was sixteen. Still grieving for the boy’s father who died in Iraq. Alone, discarded by her family, with only the damaged members of her narcotics anonymous meetings as friends. Them, and the voices in her head.

One morning, on the way to a much-needed job interview, she borrows reading glasses to review her resume. There is a small crack in one lens and through that damaged slice of glass she sees a young boy go running down the aisle of the subway train. Is he screaming with laughter or just screaming? When she tries to find the boy, he’s gone and no one has seen him.

The day spins out of control. Rain loses whole chunks of time. She has no idea where her days went. The voices she hears are telling her horrible things. And even stranger things are happening. Unsure whether she is going insane, Rain sets out to find answers to long buried questions about an earlier life she has avoided for years—in what may be the most dangerous collision of all, that between reality and nightmare.

How far will one person go to save someone they love?

Read on at your own peril…



Romance

Eve Langlais
She left him at the altar, but the devil is making him keep his promise.

Destiny is calling Chris, yet someone forgot to give him an instruction manual on conquering the world. Being the Antichrist is all well and good, but how is he supposed to know how to bring about Armageddon? He’s still waiting for his army of minions, the glory, the riches. And where is the respect?

You’d think any woman would be ecstatic at the thought of marrying the future ruler of the world.

Not Isobel.

She keeps spouting things like “forced to get married,” “love me for myself, not because Daddy made you.”

It doesn’t help that his psychotic mother with a penchant for playing with dead things has taken an interest. However, having her henchman of the apocalypse attempt to kidnap him isn’t the way to get in his good graces.

Things are starting to get complicated on Earth. Dark forces are rising, Chris’s powers are still developing—and he’s pretty sure his dad, Lucifer, wants him dead. What’s the destroyer of the world to do?

Point him to the nearest bar. This calls for more beer.

Lara Adrian
New York Times bestselling author Lara Adrian introduces the first novel in a thrilling new vampire romance series set in the darkly seductive Midnight Breed paranormal story world.

As a former assassin in the Hunter program, Asher is one of a small group of Gen One Breed vampires who survived the horrors of a madman’s laboratory and the cruelty of the training that made him one of the most lethal beings in existence. Now, twenty years after his escape from those hellish origins, Asher is a loner whose heart is as cold as his skills are merciless. But when he thwarts a killing under way in the middle of the desert outside Las Vegas, Asher meets a beautiful woman who draws him into a deadly game against powerful enemies–one that will test both his skills and his tarnished honor.

Naomi Fallon is used to getting out of dicey situations. Orphaned as a child after her mother’s murder, she didn’t survive twenty-six years on the street without using up most of her nine lives. But when her latest caper lands her in the Mojave against a Vegas gangster’s henchmen, she’s certain her number is up. Then he appears–immense, brutal, and far from human. Naomi’s never needed anyone’s help, least of all one of the Breed. But after one risk too many, only a man with Asher’s skills can keep her safe. Yet the solitary, seductively handsome vampire has enemies of his own, and a secret that will not only shatter her faith in him but her heart, proving what she’s feared all along–that trust is only an illusion and love may be the sharpest weapon of all.

Book 1 in a brand-new Midnight Breed spin-off series!

Lynsay Sands

Thrilling, witty, and oh-so-sexy, Lynsay Sands’ Argeneau novel brings together a beautiful Immortal and the man who is her destiny…

For someone who’s been around for over a hundred and forty years, immortal Elspeth Argeneau hasn’t done a whole lot of living. Now that she’s moved away from her controlling mother, she’s tracking down rogue vampires and enjoying some overdue freedom. A fling would be fun. A life mate can wait. Yet to Elspeth’s surprise, her landlady’s hot grandson checks both boxes.

Wyatt fell instantly in love with Elspeth four years ago. He’s stunned to run into her again, especially as she has no memory of him. Then again, there are a lot of things about Elspeth that don’t make sense, like the miraculous speed with which her wounds heal. And the chemistry that transforms every touch into an explosion of desire. But with mysterious “accidents” besieging Elspeth, the ex-Special Forces soldier appoints himself her bodyguard. But time is running out to uncover the truth about her enemies—and rediscover the man determined to love her for eternity.

Kerrelyn Sparks


EIGHT SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING A DRAGON
“Deeply satisfying, delightfully swoon-inducing.”—Publishers Weekly on Kerrelyn Sparks’s Love at Stake series

TRUTH—OR DARE?

Gwennore is an Elf able to track down the cause of a certain illness and heal it—a valuable asset to her people. But when she is thrust into the realm of the dragons, she discovers a haunted place of power, passion, and magic—one that is plagued by an ancient curse. When she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, Gwen knows she’s entered a whole new world of trouble. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon. So why does making a deal with the devil feel so good?

Silas has no way of saving the royal family he’s served for years. But when a beautiful, innocent elf comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to desire in a way he’s never felt before. But how can he trust a sworn enemy. . .and how can he live without her, in Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by New York Times bestselling author Kerrelyn Sparks.

Shelly Laurenston
It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.
 
Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up . . .

Jacquelyn Frank
In a hidden desert lab compound, unwilling subjects are held for experimentation with an unthinkable goal—the genetic mutation of human beings . . .
 
All Amara knows is that the complete lack of freedom, the endless experiments and personal indignities have tested the limits of her sanity. But nothing prepares her for being locked away—naked—with a sexy ex-cop . . .
 
The department shrink always told Nick Gregory he had a hero complex that was going to get him killed one day, or worse. This is definitely worse. Even drugged so that his most basic animal instincts are uncontrollable, he is driven to protect the beautiful female with whom he’s supposed to mate.  One way or another, he will escape this hell . . . and take her with him.
 
“Jacquelyn Frank is a fresh new voice, a stunning new talent.  I look forward to the next book.”
—Sherrilyn Kenyon
 
“Jacquelyn Frank knows how to write an intense, rip-roaring good read!”
—Cathy Maxwell
Diana Palmer
New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer delivers an intergalactic tale of impossible love…and betrayal

The first time Mekashe, Captain of the Imperial Guard, meets blue-eyed human beauty Jasmine Donally, the two nearly come to blows. Forever devoted to the Cehn-Tahr, Mekashe is forced to sever ties with the object of his adoration. Years pass before their paths cross again, but Mekashe hasn’t forgotten what transpired—or the way she makes his heart race. But even if he can forgive the past, insurmountable barriers still threaten to keep them worlds apart. With their mutual attraction escalating quickly, they’ll have to find a way to bridge the gap—or be lost to each other forever.



Science Fiction / Fantasy

K. M. McKinley
War is coming to Ruthnia. As ancient, inhuman powers move against one another, Rel Kressind finds himself in the company of the fabled modalmen – giants who regard themselves as the true keepers of humanity’s legacy. Far out in the blasted, magical wastelands of the Black Sands where no man of the Hundred has ever set foot before, Rel comes face to face with the modalman’s deity, the Brass God. What Rel learns in the Brass God’s broken halls will shake his understanding of reality forever.
Magic and technology combine in an epic fantasy like no other, where lost science, giant tides and jealous gods shape the fate of two worlds, and the actions of six siblings may save a universe, or damn it.

Corey J. White

Corey J. White’s space opera Voidwitch Series continues: Mars Xi returns in Void Black Shadow, sequel to Killing Gravity.

Mars Xi is a living weapon, a genetically-manipulated psychic supersoldier with a body count in the thousands, and all she wanted was to be left alone. People who get involved with her get hurt, whether by MEPHISTO, by her psychic backlash, or by her acid tongue. It’s not smart to get involved with Mars, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying.

The last time MEPHISTO came for Mars they took one of her friends with them. That was a mistake. A force hasn’t been invented that can stop a voidwitch on a rampage, and Mars won’t rest until she’s settled her debts.

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

Kirsten Beyer
An original novel set in the universe of Star Trek: Voyager, from the New York Times bestselling author!

As the Federation Starship Voyager continues to lead the Full Circle Fleet in its exploration of the Delta Quadrant, Admiral Kathryn Janeway remains concerned about the Krenim Imperium and its ability to rewrite time to suit its whims. At Captain Chakotay’s suggestion, however, she orders the fleet to focus its attention on a unique planet in a binary system, where a new element has been discovered. Several biospheres exist on this otherwise uninhabitable world, each containing different atmospheres and features that argue other sentient beings once resided on the surface. Janeway hopes that digging into an old-fashioned scientific mystery will lift the crews’ morale, but she soon realizes that the secrets buried on this world may be part of a much larger puzzle—one that points to the existence of a species whose power to reshape the galaxy might dwarf that of the Krenim.

Meanwhile, Lieutenants Nancy Conlon and Harry Kim continue to struggle with the choices related to Conlon’s degenerative condition. Full Circle’s medical staff discovers a potential solution, but complications will force a fellow officer to confront her people’s troubled past and her own future in ways she never imagined…

™, ®, & © 2018 CBS Studios, Inc. STAR TREK and related marks and logos are trademarks of CBS Studios, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT
Blizzard Entertainment and Dark Horse Books are proud to present the third installment of their bestselling World of Warcraft Chronicle series!

Like its predecessors, Volume III features beautiful full-color artwork by Peter Lee, Emily Chen, Stanton Feng, and other fan-favorite artists, as well as intricately detailed maps and spot art by Joseph Lacroix. Bolster your knowledge of Warcraftlore with this striking third volume!

Tessa Gratton

Dynasties battle for the crown in Tessa Gratton’s debut adult epic fantasy, The Queens of Innis Lear.

Three Queens. One crown. All out war.

Gaela. Ruthless Commander.
I am the rightful heir of Innis Lear. No more will I wait in the shadows and watch my mother’s murderer bleed my island dry.

The King’s hold on the crown must end—willingly or at the edge of my sword.

Regan. Master Manipulator.
To secure my place on the throne, I must produce an heir. Countless times I have fed the island’s forests my blood. Yet, my ambition is cursed.

No matter what or whom I must destroy, I will wield the magic of Innis Lear.

Elia. Star-blessed Priest.
My sisters hide in the shadows like serpents, waiting to strike our ailing king. I must protect my father, even if it means marrying a stranger.

We all have to make sacrifices. Love and freedom will be mine.

“Amazing. Just Amazing.”–Robin McKinley

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



New Adult / Young Adult / Middle Grade

Amie Kaufman

From New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman comes the first book in an electrifying series about a brother and sister who must harness their powers and find their place in a sharply divided world.

Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives.

So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Family or not, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away.

To rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all.

Rosalyn Eves
Lost Crow Conspiracy is the dark, dazzling, action-packed sequel to Anna Arden’s explosive societal debut in YA fantasy trilogy Blood Rose Rebellion.

Sixteen-year old Anna Arden was once just the magically barren girl from an elite Luminate family. Now she has broken the Binding–and Praetheria, the creatures held captive by the spell, wreak havoc across Europe. Lower-class citizens have access to magic for the first time, while other Luminates lose theirs forever. Austria and Hungary are at odds once more.

Anna Arden did not know breaking the Binding would break the world.

Anna thought the Praetheria were on her side, content and grateful to be free from the Binding. She thought her cousin Matyas’s blood sacrifice to the disarm the spell would bring peace, equality, justice. She thought her future looked like a society that would let her love a Romani boy, Gabor.

But with the Monarchy breathing down her neck and the Praetheria intimidating her at every turn, it seems the conspiracies have only just begun.

As threat of war sweeps the region, Anna quickly discovers she can’t solve everything on her own. Now there’s only one other person who might be able to save the country before war breaks out. The one person Anna was sure she’d never see again. A bandit. A fellow outlaw. A man known as the King of Crows. Matyas.

Keira Drake
“Have we really come so far, when a tour of the Continent is so desirable a thing? We’ve traded our swords for treaties, our daggers for promises—but our thirst for violence has never been quelled. And that’s the crux of it—it can’t be quelled. It’s human nature.”

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two nations remain perpetually locked in combat. Most citizens lucky enough to tour the Continent do so to observe the spectacle and violence of battle, a thing long vanished in the peaceful realm of the Spire. For Vaela, the war holds little interest. As a talented apprentice cartographer and a descendant of the Continent herself, she sees the journey as a dream come true: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But Vaela’s dream all too quickly turns to nightmare as the journey brings her face-to-face with the brutal reality of a war she’s only read about. Observing from the safety of a heli-plane, Vaela is forever changed by the sight of the bloody battle being waged far beneath her. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, Vaela finds herself much closer to danger than she’d ever imagined—and with an entirely new perspective as to what war truly means. Starving, alone and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

Cole Gibsen

Fans of Vampire Diaries and Twilight will be thirsting for this latest vampire addiction…

My aunt has been kidnapped by vampires, and it’s up to me to save her. Only…I had no idea vampires existed. None. Nada. I’m more of a reader than a fighter, and even though I’d been wishing to escape my boring existence in the middle of nowhere, I’d give anything to have it back now if it meant my aunt was safe.

Then there’s the vampire Sebastian, who seems slightly nicer than most of the bloodsuckers I’ve run into so far. Yes, he’s the hottest being I’ve ever come across, but there’s no way I can trust him. He swears he’s helping me get answers, but there’s more to his story. Now I’m a key pawn in a raging vampire war, and I need to pick the right ally.

But my chances of surviving this war are slim at best, when the side I choose might be the one that wants me dead the most.

Roshani Chokshi
Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?

Melissa Ostrom

A debut YA American epic and historical adventure from Melissa Ostrom about striking out for your own destiny.

She’s not the girl everyone expects her to be.

Harriet Winter is the eldest daughter in a farming family in New Hampshire, 1807. She is expected to help with her younger sisters. To pitch in with the cooking and cleaning. And to marry her neighbor, the farmer Daniel Long. Harriet’s mother sees Daniel as a good match, but Harriet doesn’t want someone else to choose her path—in love or in life.

When Harriet’s brother decides to strike out for the Genesee Valley in Western New York, Harriet decides to go with him—disguised as a boy. Their journey includes sickness, uninvited strangers, and difficult emotional terrain as Harriet sees more of the world, realizes what she wants, and accepts who she’s loved all along.

Elizabeth Lim
What if Mulan had to travel to the Underworld? When Captain Shang is mortally wounded by Shan Yu in battle, Mulan must travel to the Underworld, Diyu, in order to save him from certain death. But King Yama, the ruler of Diyu, is not willing to give Shang up easily. With the help of Shang’s great lion guardian ShiShi, Mulan must traverse Diyu to find Shang’s spirit, face harrowing obstacles, and leave by sunrise–or become King Yama’s prisoner forever. Moreover, Mulan is still disguised as the soldier called Ping, wrestling with the decision to reveal her true identity to her closest friend. Will Mulan be able to save Shang before it’s too late? Will he ever be able to trust her again? Or will she lose him–and be lost in the Underworld–forever?

Chandra Prasad
Their survival is in their own hands…

Samantha Mishra opens her eyes and discovers she’s alone and injured in the thick of a jungle. She has no idea where she is, or what happened to the plane taking her and the rest of the Drake Rosemont fencing team across the Pacific for a tournament. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they find the others, they set up shelter and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the teens realize they’re on their own, stranded on an island with a mysterious presence that taunts and threatens them. Soon Sam and her companions discover they need to survive more than the jungle… they need to survive each other.

This taut novel, with a setting evocative of Lord of the Flies, is by turns cinematic and intimate, and always thought-provoking.



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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