Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Urban Fantasy, Paranormal and SFF Book Releases for January 2010

Well  here is the January 2010 release list of urban fantasy and paranormal romance along with a smattering of fantasy titles of related interest. Now we can all rush out and spend the Christmas loot and gift certificates - on books! There were quite a few titles released yesterday which you can check in the December list. I've added a couple to the January releases that I overlooked on the earlier list.

Reprints are not included unless indicated and generally the release dates listed are those quoted on Amazon.com. Apologies to any authors whose books I may have missed; feel free to let me know about any omissions or errors and I will be happy to update the list.

Last month I introduced a new section for Science Fiction Romance (SFR) releases! Let me know if this is of interest or if you have titles to suggest or add.

I'd also like to hear from anyone with suggestions on how I might improve the monthly Release Lists or about other coverage or features that you would like  to see.

Finally, for SFF releases for January, check out Mark Chitty's excellent Walker of Worlds sci-fi blog and also the detailed lists over at Fantasy Book Critic.


URBAN FANTASY and PARANORMAL ROMANCE

ANTHOLOGIES:

Bitten By Cupid
(Lynsay Sands, Jaime Rush, and Pamela Palmer)
01/12/10
Vampire Valentine by Lynsay Sands - Mirabeau LaRouche knew she had a job to do, but she never expected her assignment to take her through New York City's dark, dank underground-in her bridesmaid gown, no less! And when her partner turns out to be mortal private investigator Tiny McGraw, Mireabeau knows it's no ordinary Cupid's arrow that has struck her heart this Valentine's Day.
Hearts Untamed by Pamela Palmer - Ten years ago Zeeland left D.C. to join the Therian Guard, needing to put some distance between himself and the still-too-young Julianne. Now he's returned, in the midst of a Valentine's celebration to find Julianne more beautiful than ever, still angry at him for leaving, and up to her lovely eyebrows in an intrigue that threatens both of their immortal lives.
Kiss and Kill Cupid by Jamie Rush - Kat Morgan has no use for Valentine's Day, since hearing other people's thoughts puts a real damper on any kind of intimate relationship. When she overhears the Killer Cupid serial killer targeting her for his Valentine's Day murder, Kat is terrified. But is Adrian, the one man whose thoughts she can't hear, her savior, or killer?
Heart of Darkness
(Gena Showalter, Maggie Shayne and Susan Krinard)
01/01/10
The Darkest Angel (A Lords of the Underworld tale) by Gena Showalter - An iron-willed demon assassin, the angel Lysander has never known lust—until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of Lucifer, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the pure-hearted Lysander into temptation….
Love Me to Death by Maggie Shayne - Twenty-two years ago four teenage boys were convicted of a young girl's murder. Now, in the form of a beautiful woman, the "victim" is seeking vengeance. And only one man dares to dig into the past to uncover its secrets… and set her free.
Lady of the Nile by Susan Krinard - Lady Tameri believes herself to be the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian princess, and Leo Erskine has set out to prove her wrong…never dreaming that the two of them are about to discover a prophecy that will bind them together forever.
Inked
(Karen Chance, Marjorie M. Liu, Yasmine Galenorn and Eileen Wilks)
01/05/10
Four of today's hottest urban fantasy writers together for the first time! From today's most provocative authors come four tales of urban fantasy and paranormal romance exploring body art that is more than it seems-in a world of magic and mayhem that always leaves its mark. This captivating tattoo theme surrounds each author's popular characters and worlds: Karen Chance's war mage Lia de Croissets, Marjorie M. Liu's demon-hunter Maxine Kiss, Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld Intelligence Agency operative Camille D'Artigo, and Eileen Wilk's Lupi world.
NOVELS:
Bardsley, Michele
Come Hell or High Water
Broken Heart #6
01/05/10
Everybody makes mistakes-and my first one was named Connor, a heart- stealing Scottish hottie. I thought our night together was the beautiful beginning to a love story, which turned out to be my second mistake. I, Phoebe Allen, lifelong Broken Heart resident and vampire, am now mated to a half-demon. Thankfully Phoebe's four-year-old son Danny is safely away at Disneyworld with his human father. Because Phoebe's right in the middle of major paranormal drama, helping Connor and his rag-tag group of friends retrieve part of an ancient talisman in order to ward off Connor's vicious stepmother, an uber-demon named Lilith. Phoebe swears she isn't falling for any of Connor's demon charm. But still, he's willing to do anything to protect her and prevent demons from storming into Broken Heart. And her undead heart can't resist a bad boy with identity issues... They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
Bast, Anya
Wicked Enchantment
Dark Magick #1
01/05/10
When you’re a half incubus, your reputation precedes you… All eyes are on Gabriel Mac Braire the day he makes his first appearance in the Seelie Court, including those of Aislinn Finvarra. Despite deep bitterness over her last failed relationship, Aislinn cannot help but be curious about the half incubus who is known to possess dark magick, both lethal and sexual in nature. Rumors abound of the women who have become enslaved to his irresistible charms. So when the Summer Queen of the fae orders Aislinn herself to act as his guide in the court, she is understandably on guard. She’s fallen under the spell of far less persuasive men before. In addition, Gabriel might be more than he seems and his true mission is far from innocent. This time, Aislinn must protect not only her heart, but her very life…
Blair, Annette
Naked Dragon
Works Like Magick #1
01/05/10
For centuries, in the The Witch City, human magick has thinned the veil between the planes to a permeable mist, forming a portal into Salem, allowing more and more magickal supernatural ancients--time travelers and chameleons of the universe--to enter there. Bastian Dragonelli, once a Roman warrior turned dragon, is the first of his legion to be returned to earth, a man. There, so his brothers can also be saved and sent back, he must recover the magick of the sorceress Andra, Goddess of Hope, who gave her powers to transform him. To do so, Bastian must seek his heart mate at the sign of the crowned dragon and make her quest his own. But the dark and powerful Killian, Sorceress of Chaos, who turned his legion into dragons and skewed his transition back into a man, is lightning-hot and hailstone-swift on his heels. McKenna Greylock, the last non-magical descendant of Ciarra McKenna, a witch who survived the hanging times, needs a jack-of-all-trades to help turn her dilapidated Victorian into a bed and breakfast in time to pay her mortgage and meet the building inspector's approval, or she will lose her home and her family's centuries-old legacy. Enter McKenna's cousin, Vivica Quinlan--a highly evolved witch with the power of centuries behind her. Owner of the Works Like Magick Employment Agency, Vivica has a gift for matching human employers with magickal employees. Like her High-Priestess ancestors before her, Vivica knows when the magickal supernatural ancients are about to arrive, so she greets and acclimates them to life, and to making a living, in Salem.
Brennan Allison
Original Sin
01/26/10
Haunted by chilling memories of demonic possession and murder, Moira O’Donnell has spent seven years hunting down her mother, Fiona, whose command of black magic has granted her unprecedented control of the underworld. Now Moira’s global search has led her to a small California town that’s about to become hell on earth. Tormented by his own terrifying past and driven by powers he can’t explain, ex-seminarian Rafe Cooper joins Moira’s dangerous quest. But Fiona is one devilish step ahead. Hungry for greater power, eternal youth, and stunning beauty, the sorceress is unleashing upon the mortal world the living incarnations of the Seven Deadly Sins. Together with a demonologist, a tough female sheriff, and a pair of star-crossed teenagers, Moira and Rafe are humanity’s last chance to snatch salvation from the howling jaws of damnation.
Chance, Karen
Death's Mistress
Dorina Basarab #2
01/05/10
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing. Back home in Brooklyn after the demise of her insane uncle Dracula, Dory’s hoping her life is about to calm down. But then she gets some visitors. A friend wants Dory’s help in finding a magical Fey relic, and the gorgeous vampire, Louis-Cesare, is desperate to find his former mistress Christine. Dory and Louis-Cesare quickly discover that the same master vampire Christine is bound to is also rumored to be in possession of the relic. But when the master vampire turns up dead, they realize that there’s more at stake than a missing mistress. Someone is killing vampire Senate members, and if Dory and Louis-Cesare can’t stop the murderer, they may be next…
Durgin, Doranna
Sentinels: Wolf Hunt
01/01/10
A majestic wolf prowls the halls of power, protecting his pack of shape-shifters from those who would harm them. But a wolf is not meant to hunt alone… Nick Carter hides his wildness under expensive suits, but nothing can lessen the impact of what he is: alpha wolf. He leads his region's Sentinels, a duty he takes seriously. He is cautious, ready for anything—except Jet. The first time he sees the black-haired, golden-eyed beauty he recognizes a shape-shifter like himself—but like no Sentinel he has seen before. Jet has been trained by the Sentinels' dark counterparts for one mission: to take down Nick Carter. If she succeeds, her pack will be freed. If she fails… But the moment she meets the man with pale green eyes, she recognizes a kindred spirit, a male to match the wild nature of her soul. Together, they could be amazing… But if they do not betray each other, the people they are supposed to protect will die.
Estep, Jennifer
Spider's Bite
Elemental Assassin Book #1
01/26/10
My name is Gin, and I kill people. They call me the Spider. I'm the most feared assassin in the South — when I'm not busy at the Pork Pit cooking up the best barbecue in Ashland. As a Stone elemental, I can hear everything from the whispers of the gravel beneath my feet to the vibrations of the soaring Appalachian Mountains above me. My Ice magic also comes in handy for making the occasional knife. But I don't use my powers on the job unless I absolutely have to. Call it professional pride. Now that a ruthless Air elemental has double-crossed me and killed my handler, I'm out for revenge. And I'll exterminate anyone who gets in my way — good or bad. I may look hot, but I'm still one of the bad guys. Which is why I'm in trouble, since irresistibly rugged Detective Donovan Caine has agreed to help me. The last thing this coldhearted killer needs when I'm battling a magic more powerful than my own is a sexy distraction...especially when Donovan wants me dead just as much as the enemy.
Fox, Angie
A Tale of Two Demon Slayers
Demon Slayers #3
01/26/10
Last month, I was a single preschool teacher whose greatest thrill consisted of color-coding my lesson plans. That was before I learned I was a slayer. Now, it's up to me to face curse-hurling imps, vengeful demons, and any other supernatural uglies that crop up. And, to top it off, a hunk of a shape-shifting griffin has invited me to Greece to meet his family. But it's not all sun, sand, and ouzo. Someone has created a dark-magic version of me with my powers and my knowledge--and it wants to kill me and everyone I know. Of course, this evil twin doesn't have Grandma's gang of biker witches, a talking Jack Russell terrier, or an eccentric necromancer on its side. In the ultimate showdown for survival, may the best demon slayer win.
Franco, Mark del
Unperfect Souls
Connor Grey #4
01/26/10
In the Boston neighborhood known as the Weird, a decapitated body floats out of the sewer, and former Guild investigator Connor Grey uncovers a conspiracy that may bring down the city's most powerful elite. As the violence escalates, Connor is determined to stop it-with help from one of the most dangerous beings of Faerie. Even if it means unleashing the darkness that burns within him.
Frank, Jacquelyn
Hunting Julian
The Gatherers #1
12/29/09
As an Advocate for his colony, Julian Sawyer travels to Earth to bring back the Chosen—women who possess energy potent enough to help revitalize his people. The stunning, silver-clad beauty who strides into his club one night radiates a sensual magnetism unlike any he's encountered, and Julian realizes that Asia Callahan is not just Chosen, she is his kindra: his one true mate. For months, Asia has tracked the beautiful and mysterious Julian across the country, convinced that he's behind the disappearance of her sister and a dozen other women. She's prepared to believe he's a ruthless killer, but when she presents herself as bait, she discovers that the truth is far more shocking. Taken to a strange, hazardous realm she never knew existed, Asia will face the ultimate choice—between abandoning the life she's always known, and forsaking a passion as dangerous as it is powerful.
Galenorn, Yasmine
Bone Magic
Sisters of the Moon #7
01/05/10
We're the D'Artigo sisters: savvy--and sexy--operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah is a two-faced Were who turns into a golden tabby when she's stressed. And Menolly's a vampire who's still trying to get the hang of being undead. As for me? I'm Camille D'Artigo, a wicked-good witch who's learning death magic with my youkai-kitsune husband. Until now, the Moon Mother's pretty much ignored me, but she's about to take me on the Hunt of my life... Another equinox is here, and life's getting more tumultuous for the D'Artigo sisters. Smoky, the dragon of Camille's dreams, must choose between his family and her. Plus, the sisters can't locate the new demon general in town. And Camille's summoned to Otherworld, thinking she'll reunite with her long-lost soul mate Trillian. But once there, she must undergo a drastic ritual that will forever change her and those she loves.
Glass, Seressia
Shadow Blade
Shaowchasers #1
01/26/10
Kira's day job is as an antiquities expert, but her true calling is as a Shadowchaser. Trained from youth to be one of the most lethal Chasers in existence, Kira serves the Gilead Commission, dispatching the Fallen who sow discord and chaos. Of course, sometimes Gilead bureaucracy is as much a thorn in her side as anything the Fallen can muster against her. Right now, though, she's got a bigger problem. Someone is turning the city of Atlanta upside down in search of a millennia-old Egyptian dagger that just happens to have fallen into Kira's hands. Then there's Khefar, the dagger's true owner — a near-immortal 4,000-year-old Nubian warrior who, Kira has to admit, looks pretty fine for his age. Joining forces is the only way to keep the weapon safe from the sinister Shadow forces, but now Kira is in deep with someone who holds more secrets than she does, the one person who knows just how treacherous this fight is. Because every step closer to destroying the enemy is a step closer to losing herself to Shadow forever....
Green Simon
The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny
Nightside #10
01/05/10
Publishers Weekly - The gripping, suspenseful, and wry 10th tale in the Nightside supernatural detective series proves every bit the equal of Jim Butcher's better-known Harry Dresden books. The action picks up not long after 2009's Just Another Judgement Day as Lord Screech, an elf claiming to be a peace emissary who has just negotiated a treaty between powerful elvish rivals, enlists PI John Taylor's help in getting safe passage to a portal to another realm. Despite his misgivings about Screech's honesty, Taylor and Ms. Fate, a transvestite crime fighter who “might have heard of taste, but only as something other people had,” battle werewolves and Neanderthals to deliver Screech to his destination and tackle several other challenges. Longtime fans and first timers alike will applaud Green's blend of fantasy, mystery, and humor.
Hancock, Barbara J.
Hunger
01/05/10
Holly Spinnaker is a monster. Really. Fangs and all. Never mind the petite figure. Pay no attention to the once-bouncy blonde mane. When Jarvis Winters first encounters…it…he prepares to exterminate freak number one hundred thirty two without a flinch. Mistake number one: following it back to its lair. Mistake number two: watching and listening to her…it…replay voice mail messages from loving, clueless parents again and again and again. Mistake number three: having an actual conversation with a bloodthirsty fiend. “Make them see you as a person.” Holly remembers the advice from a self-defense class her mother made her take her freshmen year. She couldn’t save her own sister, who ended up a pile of ashes at her feet only one month ago. The night they both found out monsters were real. The night her sister embraced the change. And Holly began to fight it. “Make them see you as a person.” Kind of hard when you aren’t even sure if you are a person anymore.
Hunter, Faith
Blood Cross
Jane Yellowrock #2
01/05/10
The vampire council has hired skinwalker Jane Yellowrock to hunt and kill one of their own who has broken sacred ancient rules-but Jane quickly realizes that in a community that is thousands of years old, loyalties run deep…
Ione, Larissa
Ecstasy Unveiled
Demonica #4
01/26/10
DEMON ENSLAVED. Lore is a Seminus half-breed demon who has been forced to act as his dark master's assassin. Now to earn his freedom and save his sister's life, he must complete one last kill. Powerful and ruthless, he'll stop at nothing to carry out this deadly mission. AN ANGEL TEMPTED.Idess is an earthbound angel with a wild side, sworn to protect the human Lore is targeting. She's determined to thwart her wickedly handsome adversary by any means necessary-even if that means risking her vow of eternal chastity. But what begins as a simple seduction soon turns into a passion that leaves both angel and demon craving complete surrender. Torn between duty and desire, Lore and Idess must join forces as they battle their attraction for each other. Because an enemy from the past is rising again-one hellbent on vengeance and unthinkable destruction.
Jay, Stacey
Undead Much
Zombie Settler #2
(Young Adult)
01/26/10
Megan Berry—Zombie Settler extraordinaire—just wants Pom Squad to trounce Cheer Team in this freakishly funny follow-up to You Are So Undead to Me. But someone's turning coma victims into settler-resistant über-zombies—and everyone thinks it's Megan's fault! Well, except for super-creepy male cheerleader Aaron. (Ew!) Meg's also being stalked by a hot—albeit undead— seer named Cliff. Can Cliff's premonitions help Megan stop a zombies-on-ice deathscapade and discover who's really behind the coma-killer crusade before an entire army of undead rise up? And when Megan's boyfriend Ethan grows jealous of Cliff, will it end their intra-settler romance? Stacey Jay's snarky teen-speak is "dead"-on and hysterical! Ally Carter better get used to the smell of grave dirt . . .
Jones, Linda Winstead
Last Of The Ravens
01/01/10
This is no world for those who are other than human. But is it still a world for those who love? New York Times bestselling author Linda Winstead Jones presents readers with an evocative, sensual, emotional tale of a man who is one of a kind… Bren Korbinian is unique: the last of the raven-kind. He long ago accepted there was no future—no wife or children—for him. But when he sees the petite blonde woman entering the only other cabin on "his" mountain, something stirs inside him. Miranda Lynch speaks with ghosts, helping those in need of solace. The last thing she expects is to meet a man who speaks to something deep inside her, filling her dreams with erotic promise. But discovery and joy are touched with danger—there is an organization that wants the world free of "freaks" like Bren and Miranda. They will stop at nothing to ensure that Korbinian is the last of his kind. Including murder….
McCarthy, Erin
The Taking
Seven Deadly Sins #3
01/05/10
Nearly a century ago, Felix Leblanc made a deal with the demon of greed. Now he’s the most celebrated and powerful voodoo priest in New Orleans, able to enchant anything he wishes from wealthy, beautiful women. Until one client—beautiful and dangerous—brings his reign to a disastrous end, condemning Felix to servitude and a loveless eternity of never being wanted for himself… New Orleans, now. Heiress Regan Henry knows that passion can be an illusion, and she keeps her emotions in check—until she falls under the spell of the beguiling Felix LeBlanc. He’s knows that the rumors that her mansion is haunted are true, and that he’s the only one who can save her from the spirits residing there. But the only way he can do it is to sacrifice his last chance at redemption…or risk a love that could consign them both to an eternity of evil.
Morel, Melina
Smolder
Institut Scientifique #3
01/05/10
Vengeance has its price. But you pay for passion forever... Descended from werewolf hunters, Catherine Marais has vanquished countless of their vile kind-including the one that slaughtered her father. Her debt of blood and honor was fulfilled-but her heart is empty. The only one who ignites Catherine's passion is Ian-a handsome, elegant vampire whose seductive touch she cannot resist. But when he offers her the dark temptation of eternal commitment to each other, Catherine must look within her heart-and her truest desires-to find the answers she seeks...
Myles, Jill
Succubi Like It Hot
The Succubus Diaries #2
01/19/10
With a hot new figure, her dream job as an archaeologist, and two gorgeous boyfriends to scratch her seductive Itch — an angel and a vampire — Jackie Brighton is totally getting the hang of life as a succubus. Then she accidentally knocks the pizza guy unconscious with her touch. Great — she's cursed. After striking a deal to get the curse lifted by a crafty demon, Jackie and her best friend Remy take a road trip to deliver a cryptic message to the nation's oldest succubus. Unfortunately, neither of her jealous lovers is talking to Jackie right now, and due to the curse, she's desperate to get her Itch scratched very soon. Their journey gets weirder with every mile — demonic possession, a charming stalker, a cryptic warning — and when they get to New Orleans, Jackie discovers a dangerous catch to her supernatural bargain. Someone wants her dead — again. Can a brainy vixen in a miniskirt outsmart the forces of evil?
Neill, Chloe
Firespell
Dark Elite #1
(Young Adult)
01/05/10
A new series about a boarding school filled with something worse than homework. Lily's parents have sent her to a fancy boarding school in Chicago filled with the ultra-rich. If that wasn't bad enough, she's hearing and seeing bizarre things on St. Sophie's creepy campus. Her roommate, Scout, keeps her sane, but keeps disappearing at night. When one day Lily finds Scout running from real-life monsters, she learns the hard way that Scout is involved in a splinter group of rebel teens. They protect Chicago from demons, vamps, and dark magic users. It's too bad Lily doesn't have powers of her own to help. At least, none that she's discovered yet...
Resnick, Laura
Doppelgangster
Esther Diamond #2
01/05/10
Publishers Weekly - This gleeful, clever sequel to 2006’s Disappearing Nightly teams up actress and singing waitress Esther Diamond with the magic-savvy but utterly unworldly Max the Magician and his slobbering canine familiar, Nelli, to discover how and why New York’s mobsters are being magically duplicated. Complicating matters is Esther’s suspicious would-be boyfriend, handsome Irish-Cuban police detective Connor Lopez, who would prefer a straightforward investigation involving neither Esther nor magic. Resnick introduces a colorful cast of gangsters and their associates, including a thrice-bereaved mob widow and an attractive young priest, as she spins a witty, fast-paced mystery around her convincingly self-absorbed chorus-girl heroine. Sexy interludes raise the tension between Lopez and Esther as she juggles magical assailants, her perennially distracted agent, her meddling mother, and wiseguys both friendly and threatening in a well-crafted, rollicking mystery.
Rogers, Moira
Crux
Southern Arcana #1
01/05/10
Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire. New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs. When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating. With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past—and her destiny.
Ronald, Margaret
Wild Hunt
Hunt #2
01/12/10
Genevieve Scelan thought she was done with magic. She was wrong. Sure, six weeks earlier Evie—bike messenger, supernatural tracker, and avid Red Sox fan—had been instrumental in bringing down the Fiana, the organization of magicians that had ruled Boston's undercurrent for hundreds of years. But now they were gone, Boston could breathe easy again, the Sox had a chance at the pennant, and Evie was ready to relax. Except it turns out that when you take down the guy on top, everyone assumes you're going to fill his spot, and now Evie finds herself at the center of a whole lot of unwelcome magical attention. On top of that, a new client needs her to call up a family ghost and ask about a stolen inheritance; Evie's friend Nate has a supernatural problem of his own; and a legendary pack of hounds has been terrorizing Boston's undercurrent. And try as Evie might to deny the legacy that runs through her blood, when the Hunt is called, the Hound must run . . .
Showalter, Gena
Twice as Hot
Tales of an Extraordinary Girl #2
01/26/10
Set the world on fire? With Belle Jamison, it’s always a possibility. Literally. Planning a wedding is tough. Especially when the bride can shoot fireballs from her eyes and accidentally torches her dress, the groom returns from a dangerous mission with selective memory loss and the man responsible now desires Belle for his own. Any other time, Belle would turn to her ultra sexy fiancé Rome Masters for comfort. But the only thing he can’t remember is her – and now his ex is determined to win him back. With the help of her trusty empath sidekick, an optimistic Belle continues to plan her wedding, fight a new band of supervillans, and tries not to accidentally on purpose start too many fires... except when she gets Rome into bed...
Spear, Terry
Deadly Liaisons
01/05/10
Dark huntress and rare telepath Tezra Campbell treads a thin line between being a skilled criminal investigator and a renegade. She’s obsessed with finding the vampire who murdered her parents and with helping her traumatized sister. Prince of the American vampire clans, Daemon, sees Tezra as danger to herself and to his people if the serial killer vampire terminates her next. Concerned his own brother might be accused of the crime, Daemon takes Tezra into custody and intends to find the killer himself. Can they win the deadly game of fighting the ancient evil but keep their own hearts intact?
Vaughn, Carrie
Kitty's House of Horrors
Kitty Norville #7
01/04/10
Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life. The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in ... before it kills them all.
Ware, Joss (aks Colleen Gleason)
Beyond The Night
Awakening Heroes #1
01/12/10
A man with no future... When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift"—he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences. A woman with a past... Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one... until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart? If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that take them beyond danger. Beyond desire.

SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE


Brooks, Cheryl
Fugitive
Cat Star Chronicles #5
01/01/10
In book five of The Cat Star Chronicles, Drusilla Chevrault, a renowned wildlife painter drawn to Barada Seven by its fabulous birds, finds a far more interesting subject in Manx, a sexy Zetithian who has been on the run from his enemies for the past twenty years. Now that Manx has chosen Drusilla as his mate, others have tracked him down, and in the race to find the last Zetithian, the winner will determine whether he loves or dies. . .


FANTASY


Fisher, Catherine
Incarceron
(Young Adult)
01/26/10
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

Hendee, Barb & J.C.
Through Stone and Sea
Noble Dead #2 (Series 2)
01/05/10
Wynn journeys to the mountain stronghold of the dwarves in search of the "Stonewalkers," an unknown sect supposedly in possession of important ancient texts. But in her obsession to understand these writings, she will find more puzzles and questions buried in secrets old and new-along with an enemy she thought destroyed...
Kurland, Lynn
A Tapestry of Spells
Nine Kingdoms #4
01/05/10
The compelling start of a new fantasy romance trilogy set in the world of the Nine Kingdoms, from New York Times bestselling author Lynn Kurland. Return to the world of the Nine Kingdoms with New York Times bestselling author Lynn Kurland as a new evil, and a new passion, emerges. Sarah's brother has embraced the dark arts, vowing to destroy the Nine Kingdoms, and she doesn't have the power to stop him. Now she must risk everything to thwart his plans, even though she fears the quest will reveal the secret she's kept all her life. After seeing his entire family slain by magic, Ruithneadh swore never to use his power again. But when Sarah pleads for his help, he's thrust back into a life of enchantments and peril, and a quest capable of unraveling the entire fabric of the Nine Kingdoms.
Stross, Charles
The Jennifer Morgue
Laundry Files #2
12/29/09
Publishers Weekly - In this alternately chilling and hilarious sequel to The Atrocity Archives (2004) from Hugo-winner Stross, Bob Howard is a computer übergeek employed by the Laundry, a secret British agency assigned to clean up incursions from other realities caused by the inadvertent manipulation of complex mathematical equations: in other words, magic. In 1975, the CIA used Howard Hughes's Glomar Explorer in a bungled attempt to raise a sunken Soviet submarine in order to access the Jennifer Morgue, an occult device that allows communication with the dead. Now a ruthless billionaire intends to try again, even if by doing so he awakens the Great Old Ones, who thwarted the earlier expedition. It's up to Bob and a collection of British eccentrics even Monty Python would consider odd to stop the bad guy and save the world, while getting receipts for all expenditures or else face the most dreaded menace of all: the Laundry's own auditors. Stross has a marvelous time making eldritch horror appear commonplace in the face of bureaucracy.

Cover Art - "The Vampire and the Virgin" by Kerrelyn Sparks

I came across the cover today for the eighth book in the Love at Stake paranormal romance series by Kerrelyn Sparks. The Vampire and the Virgin releases March 9 , 2010.

Olivia's packing list:

1. Sunscreen
2. Bathing suit
3. Flip-flops

FBI psychologist Olivia Sotiris was looking for a cool ocean breeze, sand between her toes, and a break from her crazy, chaotic, and sometimes all-too-dangerous life. But when she escaped to the small Greek island of Patmos, all she got were meddling grandmothers trying to marry her off. Can't they see that none of the men around interests her—except Robby MacKay?

Robby's packing list:

1. Synthetic blood
2. More synthetic blood
3. Jogging clothes
(even vamps have to stay in shape!)

Robby needs to cool off, too, since all he can think about is revenge on the Malcontent bloodsuckers who once held him captive—but then he meets Olivia, the beauty with wild curls and a tempting smile. When a deadly criminal from a case back home tracks her down, Robby will have to save her life—along with giving her a first time she'll never forget . . .

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cover Art -- "Hard Magic" by Laura Anne Gilman

Laura Anne Gilman has posted the cover for Hard Magic, the first book in her Paranormal Scene Investigators series which is in turn a spin-off from her recently completed Retrievers series. The book is due to hit shelves May 1, 2010 to be followed by Pack of Lies in February 2011. The Retrievers series is one of my favourite urban fantasy series and I am really looking forward to the new series.



Cover Art - "Sympathy for the Devil" edited by Tim Pratt

Tim Pratt at the Magic District blog posted the cover for the theme anthology Sympathy for the Devil with an impressive line-up of SFF authors. Due for release in August 2010 from Night Shade Books.


The Devil is known by many names: Serpent, Tempter, Beast, Adversary, Wanderer, Dragon, Rebel. His traps and machinations are the stuff of legends. His faces are legion. No matter what face the devil wears, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL has them all.

Edited by Tim Pratt (HART & BOOT & OTHER STORIES, THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF RANGERGIRL, BLOOD ENGINES), SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL collects the best Satanic short stories by Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Stephen King, Kage Baker, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, Kelly Link, China Mieville, Michael Chabon, and many others, revealing His Grand Infernal Majesty, in all his forms.

Thirty-five stories, from classics to the cutting edge, exploring the many sides of Satan, Lucifer, the Lord of the Flies, the Father of Lies, the Prince of the Powers of the Air and Darkness, the First of the Fallen... and a Man of Wealth and Taste. Sit down and spend a little time with the Devil.

Urban Fantasy Collaboration Contest

C.E.Murphy, author of the Walker Papers and Negotiator urban fantasy series wrote an interesting post this week about fanfic and collaboration that got me thinking about a contest. In her post Murphy stated that she liked Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock (Skinwalker and Bloodcross) series so much that she was inspired to write a fanfic that included her own Joanne Walker with Jane Yellowrock. They are now talking about a collaboration novella based on the idea. You can read the excerpt here.

So here is the contest. What urban fantasy or paranormal romance authors would you like to see collaborate and which of their characters would you like to see appear together? Have a plot idea - tell me about it. Leave your suggestions in the comments.

The winner will be randomly selected and receive their pick of any book from the January 2010 UF/PNR releases that I will post this week. Contest ends Sunday, January 3rd. I'll ship anywhere that the Book Depository delivers.

Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Review – Smolder by Melina Morel

Synopsis:
Vengeance has its price. But you pay for passion forever...

Descended from werewolf hunters, Catherine Marais has vanquished countless of their vile kind-including the one that slaughtered her father. Her debt of blood and honor was fulfilled-but her heart is empty.

The only one who ignites Catherine's passion is Ian-a handsome, elegant vampire whose seductive touch she cannot resist. But when he offers her the dark temptation of eternal commitment to each other, Catherine must look within her heart-and her truest desires-to find the answers she seeks...
Smolder is the third book in Melina Morel’s Institut Scientifique urban fantasy series. I confess that I had not read the previous books in the series, Devour (2007) and Prey (2008), but found that to be no obstacle to easily slipping into the story. Smolder and the series is set in contemporary Europe, primarily France, which presents a refreshing backdrop from the usual North American backdrops. The Institut based in Geneva, researches the secret supernatural races and funds Hunters to protect humanity from the werewolves. Vampires and other shapeshifters are allies in the defense against the predations of the werewolves.

Catherine Marais is a Hunter, one of the most successful in Europe and a member of the aristocracy of France. In fact the majority of the members of the secret Institut are from aristocratic and privileged places in society. This creates an ambience that is both elegant and reminiscent of the Bruce Wayne style of honour and dedication to the cause. The pacing of the story moves along briskly, with a number of subplots running concurrently, each contributing to the build up of intrigue and tension.

The werewolves are themselves on the hunt for Catherine after a dying wolf helps create a sketch of Catherine after his deadly encounter. This puts Catherine at risk and forces increased security measures as attacks and encounters increase. Added to this mix, Catherine’s sixteen year old niece Solange is crushing on an older boy, Luc, a family acquaintance, whose connection to the their adversaries is unclear but may put her at risk.

I laughed out loud at this thought from Catherine as she contemplates her niece’s actions –
Dear God thought Catherine. Dealing with teenagers made hunting werewolves seem easy by comparison.
We further see the humour in the generational gap when Luc has an argument with his father –
"Your whole generation is too political," Luc said with a shrug. "All you guys care about it the pecking order. Who's sucking up to the boss. Who's going to win the prize for werewolf of the year. Jesus! You might as well be the werewolf branch of the chamber of commerce."
We are introduced to Ian Morgan, a 200 year old vampire and Catherine’s lover and protector, who while not exactly pressuring her, is encouraging her to be turned. She is not averse to the idea but retains many reservations and struggles with the irreversible changes it will mean to her life and family relationships. This is definitely where the Smolder of the title enters the picture. Un-surprisingly the erotic interludes are relatively low key and intimate.

Points of view shift frequently to give us insight into Catherine, her niece, her niece’s boyfriend, the werewolf leaders and numerous skirmishes involving different werewolves and members of the Institut. As a reader, I like to see the big picture and it again is a nice change from the more restrictive first-person POV. The many threads converge as the werewolves identify Catherine, Solange becomes ensared in events and the werewolves plan an ultimate act of revenge. The concluding scenes are quite dramatic with a cinematic quality to them that would be great on the big screen.

Although Smolder does not introduce a lot of new or original world-building, its strength is the delivery of a highly enjoyable action-oriented story with interesting, eclectic characters and a little paranormal romance. Smolder is the perfect panacea for readers looking to stir and warm the blood a little in the coming winter months.



AUTHOR AND BOOK SHOWCASE


Penguin Group (USA)
Published: January 5, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages (ARC): 313
ISBN-13: 9780451228802

Institut Scientifique Series:
  1. Devour (2007)
  2. Prey (2008)
  3. Smolder (Jan. 2010)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Crazy Classic Urban Fantasy Makeovers


Michele Hauf has author Michael James Ford as a guest at VampChix tomorrow. Michael's Jane Bites Back launches December 29. I missed this one in my December book releases list and it sounds like it might be pretty funny. I like this quote from Library Journal - "“In this clever paranormal tale…Ford has created warm, witty characters that will appeal to both Janeites and vampire fanciers. Literary humor and intriguing snippets from Jane's book are the icing on the cake. Two more books are promised in this series, so readers who fall under Jane's spell will be eagerly awaiting her next adventure.”

Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it's because she's the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.

To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?
Another Jane Austen "adaptation" released this past October that I haven't previously profiled is Vampire Darcy's Desire by Regina Jeffers.


In Austen's original novel, Darcy and Elizabeth are compelled to overcome countless obstacles — but that's nothing compared to what they face in Vampire Darcy’s Desire. This inventive, action-packed novel tells of a tormented Darcy who comes to "Netherfield" to escape the intense pressure on him to marry. Dispirited by his family's 200-year curse and his fate as a half-human/half-vampire dampir, Darcy would rather live forever alone than inflict the horrors of a vampire life on a beautiful wife. Destiny has other plans. Darcy meets Elizabeth and finds himself yearning for her as a man and driven to possess her as a vampire. Uncontrollably drawn to each other, their complex relationship forces them to confront their pride and prejudice like never before and to wrestle with the seductive power of forbidden love. Meanwhile, dark forces are at work all around them. Most ominous is the threat from George Wickham, the purveyor of the curse, a demon who vows to destroy each generation of Darcys and currently has evil intentions for the vulnerable Georgiana.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Urban Fantasy Weekend Report

INTERVIEWS and EVENTS at SciFiGuy.ca: 

Whew! A little quiet here at SciFiGuy as the year winds down. The report is a little briefer than most as you would expect as everyone gets caught up in the excitement and bustle of the holiday season.

Confirmed guests for January 2010 include Melina Morel (Smolder),  Nancy Holzner (Deadtown), Helen Scott Taylor (The Phoenix Charm), Charlene Teglia (Claimed by the Wolf) and Jill Myles (Gentlemen Prefer Succubi ). Remember to check my Author Events and Interviews schedule posted on my left sidebar for the most recent updates and additions.

I guest posted at the fabulous Book Smugglers in their Smugglivus Event yesterday where I talked about a few of my favorite books of the year and did a quick look forward to 2010.


AUTHOR and BOOK NEWS:

FREE READS:
INTERVIEWS:
The "G" indicates there is a giveaway or contest associated with the interview.
If you are looking to add to your TBR pile Tez Says has a list of January 2010 releases, RKCharron covers some pre-Christmas releases, Anna's Book Blog has young adult releases for 2010 and Patricia's Vampire Notes focusses on December vampire releases.

Book Trailer for First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost.


Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles website is now live with new content.

Marjorie Liu reports that the title for the Star-crossed Lovers anthology has changed -
Gardner Dozois and I are very close to delivering our original cross-genre anthology STAR-CROSSED LOVERS, to Pocket Books. We’re waiting for some minor revisions from one writer. Once those are in hand, the book will be delivered. Only it’s not STAR-CROSSED LOVERS any longer. Pocket’s sales force did not like that title, so the anthology has now been rechristened SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH. Got a great line up of writers for that one, including Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, M.L.N. Hanover, Peter S. Beagle, Marjorie Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, Robin Hobb, Neil Gaiman, and many more.
Bloody Bookaholic tracked down the book blurb for the forthcoming Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris. MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
If you think your family relationships are complicated, think again: you haven't seen anything like the ones in Bon Temps, Louisiana. Sookie Stackhouse is dealing with a whole host of family problems, ranging from her own kin (a non-human fairy and a telepathic second cousin) demanding a place in her life, to her lover Eric's vampire sire, an ancient being who arrives with Eric's 'brother' in tow at a most inopportune moment. And Sookie's tracking down a distant relation of her ailing neighbour (and ex), Vampire Bill Compton. In addition to the multitude of family issues complicating her life, the werewolf pack of Shreveport has asked Sookie for a special favour, and since Sookie is an obliging young woman, she agrees. But this favour for the wolves has dire results for Sookie, who is still recovering from the trauma of her abduction during the Fairy War.


CONTESTS:

WORLDWIDE:
  • Meljean Brook is having a contest to giveaway a complete set of her Guardian books plus the Must Love Hellhounds anthology over at The Oddshots. This is a flash contest and ends tomorrow night.
CHECK FOR DETAILS:
  • Dark Faerie Tales has a giveaway for a copy of Fallen by Lauren Kate and a writing journal. Ends December 27.
  • Jill Myles has a contest for signed copies of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi. Open until December 29.
  • Mari Mancusi has a hhuge young adult book giveaway. Ends January 15.
Abigail at All Things Urban Fantasy has a veritable explosion of contests and giveaways listed - count 'em 62!!!


MEDIA:

Individual Avatar reviews by Carrie Vaughn, John Scalzi, Jordan Summers, John Evans (at Tor.com)

Chris Marie Green guest posts on Supernatural at Selena Illyria's blog.

Rebeccas at Dirty Sexy Books has a Massive Movie Mash-up where she talks about her favourite romantic fantasy movies and upcoming holiday movies.including her take on Avatar.

John Scalzi discusses the most memorable scifi movies of the year at the AMC blog.

Here is the trailer for the forthcoming The Sorceror's Apprentice with Nicholas Cage. All I can think of when I watch this is that I wished the short-lived Harry Dresden series had had effects like these.



COVERS and ART:

Tez Says has been scouting again and has 10 new covers, domestic and international for the following books: Kylie Chan: Red Phoenix (US); Sara Creasy: Song of Scarabaeus; Vicki Pettersson: Cheat the Grave; Kim Harrison: Black Magic Sanction (US); Susan Beth Pfeffer: Life As We Knew It (UK); Susan Beth Pfeffer: The Dead and the Gone (UK); Jennifer Armintrout: Possession (UK); Kelley Armstrong: Bitten (UK); Kelley Armstrong: Stolen (UK) and M. J. Rose: The Hypnotist. Tez also rounded up the UK cover for Black Magic Sanction, the UK cover for Rachel Caine’s Kiss of Death.and the cover for Jes Battis’s Inhuman Resources.

On his blog Jes Battis says -
Inhuman Resources is Book 3 in the OSI series and  includes: More goblins, Baroque art, Cats, Interrogation scenes, Something wicked (and winged) shambling towards Vancouver....


Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings has the cover for The Evil Within by Nancy Holder, the second book in her Possessions series.

Angela at Dark Faerie Tales interviews one of my favourite cover artists - Tony Mauro.



Angry Robot Books unveiled the cover art for King Maker by Maurice Broaddus which is the first book in his urban fantasy Knights of Breton Court trilogy. March 2010 (UK/Australia), September 2010 (US/Canada). The other two books are King’s Justice – November 2010 (UK/Australia), December 2010 (US/Canada) and King’s War – Spring 2011 (everywhere). The art is by the talented Steve Stone who does the new Steven Boyett covers.


These books, if you recall, are a retelling of the King Arthur myths, set amongst the inner city gangs of Indianapolis. It’s dark, vicious and totally of the moment: like The Wire meets Excalibur.
Ilona Andrews does more humourous cover magic on The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook and Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles over at The Oddshots blog.

Cover art featured here this past week at SciFiGuy.ca included:

AROUND the BLOGOSPHERE:

Have your say at Lurv a la Mode's Supernatural Kitchen Sink poll.

Derek Tatum at Mondo Vampire gives us an interesting retrospective with The Vampire Decade in Review - Books

Heather Massey from The Galaxy Express gives us a Science Fiction Romance Linkfest Extra

RKCharron compiles some helpful advice from authors to aspiring-to-be-published writers.

2009 and 2010 Reading Lists:


CANDID CAMERA:

Diana Rowland and daughter earning blue and yellow kenpo belts


Maggie Stiefvater - what werewolf authors do when it snows


C.E. Murphy in her natural element


Leanna Renee Hieber
(Photo by Steven Rosen Photography, taken at the Dances of Vice Halloween Party, 2009)


Rachel Vincent's delicious looking gingerbread house. Candy used: mini-candy canes, cherry Andes mints, wingergreen Lifesavers, Twizzlers pull-n-peel, Holiday M&Ms, little round red and green peppermint hard candies, and yogurt-covered pretzels.