Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Royal Street Playlist, Part 1, & Last Chance to W*i*n

I've been posting bits and pieces of the playlist I've used for Royal Street but in honor of the book's impending release, thought I'd collect the whole thing in several posts, one today, one tomorrow, and one Wednesday--hopefully, you'll find something you enjoy! Those who comment, follow, etc., today will win an iTunes gift card (or Amazon, if you prefer) to purchase the songs.

First, there's still time to enter the other contests for this week: To win a signed copy of Royal Street or bookplate and swaggishness, click HERE. To win a copy of Alma Katsu's The Taker, click HERE. To win a copy of Eve Marie Mont's Breath of Eyre, click HERE. To enter this week's Reader's Choice contest, click HERE. Now, on to the music! If you don't want to listen, scroll down and see what the significance of the songs were :-)

Songs I couldn't find videos for:

Aaron Neville: Louisiana 1927. This Randy Newman-written song was about the 1927 Mississippi River flood, but it got played a lot after Katrina and can still make me cry. This song was done by Aaron (a New Orleanian) to open the first televised Katrina benefit concert while the city was still flooded. I watched it from my evacuation spot in Montgomery, Alabama, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room.

Lee Dorsey: Sitting in La-La. Fun New Orleans song by native son Allen Toussaint. I named the head of the Delachaise Mer clan Toussaint after Allen:

Michael Doucet: Jolie Blon. Actually, my fave version of the "Cajun National Anthem" is by Zachary Richard, but it isn't on YouTube. This version by Michael Doucet (Zachary's cousin, btw) of BeauSoleil is fine, too. The undead pirate Jean Lafitte calls my character DJ "Jolie" as a tribute to this song.

Benny Grunch and the Bunch: You Mom'n Em's. Benny Grunch is a New Orleanian who does funny funny stuff. But right after Hurricane Katrina, Benny did a series song based on a common phrase heard in NOLA. If you ask where someone was going and he was on his way to his mom's, the answer would be "over by your mom'n'ems." NOLA's Frank Davis explains it here, and you get to hear the NOLA accent.

Big Al Carson: Take Your Drunken Ass Home. I've run this one before from this classic NOLA artist. It just makes me laugh. I'm kind of like a 14-year-old boy, I guess. The word "ass" makes me laugh.

The Blind Boys of Alabama: Amazing Grace. Done to the tune of The House of the Rising Son. This song always gives me chills.

Buckwheat Zydeco: Crying in the Streets. This song was done by Buckwheat Zydeco as part of a Katrina benefit album in the year after the storm.

And now it's thundering like God's in heaven's bowling alley, so I'm off the computer. Enjoy the music! More coming tomorrow.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Oh, What the Heck: A Q&A with Myself for a Royal Street Prize Pack

At least two days a week, I put other poor authors through the mill with my ridiculous author questionnaire. So, today, I’ll be self-indulgent and interview myself. But there is a giveaway…there’s always a giveaway, right? Today, it’s a signed copy of Royal Street. Note: If you've already preordered Royal Street, THANK YOU. Publishers really pay attention to that sort of thing, and I appreciate it greatly. And since you've already ordered a copy, I have special goodies for you, so read on...

Give us the “elevator pitch” for Royal Street.
When Hurricane Katrina destroys the borders between modern New Orleans and the preternatural world beyond, it’s left to one junior-level wizard to find her missing mentor, avoid a vengeful undead pirate, cope with a new assassin partner, and figure out who’s committing voodoo-related murders around town.

Describe your favorite scene from the book--and why is it your favorite?
Okay, my real favorite has a spoiler in it, so instead I’ll say it’s when my wizard, DJ, meets her new partner Alex for the first time. She’s in the middle of a fight and has just gotten the upper hand (or so she likes to think) when he comes in with guns blazing and proceeds to order her around. None of this goes over well. I like it because DJ gets to butt heads with someone who is her true opposite in many fundamental ways—and they both make assumptions about each other that prove to be mostly false in the long run.

What was the hardest scene to write?
The scene where DJ comes back into New Orleans the first time after Hurricane Katrina and sees what has happened to her city. Because it was my city, too, of course, so I had to dredge up a lot of painful memories and draw on things that still hurt. The scene where DJ and Alex have to take a boat into still-flooded Lakeview was also really hard because I lived in that part of town when I first moved to New Orleans and had a number of friends who lost everything there.

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
Holy cow, my TBR “pile” is up to six double-stacked shelves. But I really, really want to read The Hunger Games trilogy, which I haven’t gotten to yet.

Favorite book when you were a child.
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, but I also loved The Five Little Peppers and Heidi. I used to pretend to be Heidi and try to drink milk out of a bowl until I finally realized I disliked milk.

Book you've faked reading:
Like most of the authors who’ve done this questionnaire, it’s Moby Dick, for a college class. I should change this question to: Have you read Moby Dick?

Book you're an evangelist for:
A series, actually: JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Not very original, I guess. I keep buying the first book for friends and get so frustrated because they won’t freaking read it! What kind of friends are those, I ask you.

Book you've bought for the cover:
I don’t think I ever have bought a book just for the cover—the back cover blurb or reviews or word of mouth is how I decide what to buy. However, I’ve refused to buy books because of covers I thought were distasteful or amateurish.

Book that changed your life:
Probably Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s a very complex bit of storytelling with a huge cast, a supernatural element, big themes.

Favorite line from a book:
Okay, this is cheating a bit because it’s from a poem, but it feels very relevant today: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” –From “The Second Coming,” WB Yeats

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Gotta go with The Stand again, although I am reading the Dark Tower series for the first time right now, and it’s the next-best thing.

Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
In terms of story: KISTEN. Enough said.

Favorite book about books or writing:
Stephen King’s On Writing, but James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-Editing comes in a close second. For sheer entertainment, you can’t go wrong with Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog.

That’s all, folks! Here's the deal. To win a signed copy of Royal Street, hot off the presses, leave a comment and tell me you're entering for the book. If you have preordered Royal Street, you can have your choice of another copy, signed to you or to someone else, or a signed bookplate and a box of assorted Royal Street swaggishness, including a poster of the new River Road cover, which is totally cool. You can see it HERE

You know the routine…one entry for a comment, one for following the blog, one for following me on Twitter @Suzanne_Johnson, and one for a Tweet or RT.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Royal Street Postman Only Rang Once

And look what he left for me! It must be almost release time, I think. Wonder what I should do with all of these pretty books...

Q&A with Author Alma Katsu & Win THE TAKER

Today, I’d like to welcome Alma Katsu, the author of a terrific novel called The Taker that was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by the American Library Association. The book was released in trade paperback on Tuesday (3/27) and is the first in a trilogy (the second book, The Reckoning, comes out in June). I think you’ll enjoy both the book and getting to know Alma. She lives in the Washington, D.C., area. You can learn more about her on her website.

Want a copy of The Taker for yourself? This is an international contest. Read on...

ABOUT THE TAKER  On the midnight shift at a hospital in rural St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley is expecting a quiet evening. Until a mysterious woman arrives in his ER, escorted by police—Lanore McIlvrae is a murder suspect—and Luke is inexplicably drawn to her. As Lanny tells him her story, an impassioned account of love and betrayal that transcends time and mortality, she changes his life forever. At the turn of the nineteenth century, when St. Andrew was a Puritan settlement, Lanny was consumed as a child by her love for the son of the town’s founder, and she will do anything to be with him forever. But the price she pays is steep—an immortal bond that chains her to a terrible fate for eternity

Now, let’s hear from Alma. Welcome!

Give us the “elevator pitch” for The Taker:
It’s the story of a young woman, from New England in the early 1800s, who makes a Faustian bargain to keep the love of her life with her forever, with frightening and tragic consequences.

What was your inspiration for the book?
I wanted to see if I could come up with a story that you couldn’t forget. One that would haunt the reader. Yup, it was as straightforward as that: I wanted to write a great big tragic story that would rip your heart out. I didn’t think I’d actually succeed but it seemed like a good way to develop my writing skills. 

Favorite scene:
In chapter 15. Lanny’s decided she’s not going to the convent to have her baby and so when her ship arrives in Boston, she runs away. She’s walking aimlessly, it’s getting late and she has nowhere to go… when a fine carriage pulls up and three aristocrats offer to give her a place to stay for the night. The scene is a riff on the scene in Pinocchiowhen the puppet is tempted by Mr. Fox and Mr. Cat. It was a lot of fun to write.

Hardest scene to write:
You’d think it would’ve been one of the more brutal physical scenes but no, it was the scene that happens after Jonathan has met Adair for the first time, and he see how vicious Adair is and understands the mess Lanny has gotten him into. Lanny apologizes to Jonathan the next morning and explains what drove her to betray him, and that scene was incredibly hard to write because it was so emotionally complex. She’s done a terrible thing to someone she loves but she’s also a victim, Jonathan feels betrayed and yet he knows the position she’s in—plus he’s wronged her in the past and feels guilty about that.

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile:
Fiction has been put on hold while I’m doing some research, so I’m looking forward to getting back to The Magician King by Lev Grossman.

Favorite book when you were a child:
A giant book of fairy tales. It had well-known fairy tales but also more obscure ones, and these versions were close to the originals so they were dark and violent. The illustrations were gorgeous and quite fantastical. The overall effect was that magical worlds seemed much more interesting than the real one and I really, really wanted to believe they existed.

Your five favorite authors:
This is a dynamic list. I tend to read widely and not to read everything an author’s written so if I’ve read more than one of an author’s works that usually means something. Going by that criteria, I’d say my favorite authors are David Mitchell, Adam Haslett, Tana French, Audrey Niffenegger, and Sandor Marai. And Thomas Pynchon.

Book you've faked reading:
Not to be a prig but I can’t recall doing this. It was probably something I was supposed to read for a class.

Book you're an evangelist for:
Casanova in Bolzano by the Hungarian author Sandor Marai. Or anything by Marai.

Book you've bought for the cover:
The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw. And the hardcover of The Gargoyle.

Book that changed your life:
Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice.

Favorite line from a book:
A question like this can stop me dead in my tracks for a week while I try to find the perfect line, so I’m going to just pick a line somewhat at random from The Solitudes by John Crowley: “They both laughed them, heads close together; her eyes—maybe it was the moon, which had come overhead and gone small and white but brighter than ever—her eyes glittered with moisture but didn’t seem soft; it was as though they were coated thinly and finely with ice or crystal.” Ah. You can’t go wrong with John Crowley.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Possibly The Echo Maker by Richard Powers.

Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
So here’s the thing: I’m really hard to scare. This is because I studied genocides and mass atrocities and horrible natural disasters as an analyst for the US government, and got to see, up close and personal, the terrible things that humans do to one another up. I didn’t think I’d ever be revolted or horrified by something fictional ever again, but it actually happened the other day and damn but I can’t remember what it was.

Favorite book about books or writing:
The Writing Life by Annie Dilliard though Bird by Bird, by Anne LaMott is also a favorite.

What’s next?
The second book in the Taker Trilogy is coming out June 19th. I’m writing the third and final book, The Descent, right now. There’s a book that’s sort of a spin-off but doesn’t have the same characters, and I’m hoping that if the Taker books do well enough, this one will see the light of day.

Many thanks, Alma! I was trying to remember my most horrifying book moment, and that’s a really hard question! The first one that comes to mind for me was not a scene that frightened me but one that simply horrified me. It’s in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series and I can sum it up in one word that will say all it needs to say if you’ve read this series: KISTEN. 

Do you have a horrifying book moment to share? You know the drill to win a copy of The Taker. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now...Go forth and comment!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Preternatura Book Club--and Win a Signed Copy of ROYAL STREET

A little business, first of all. Today, I’m over at the From the Shadows blog, where I’m giving away two signed copies of Royal Street! If you’ve preordered the book, I appreciate that more than you know, and I hope you’ll go over and enter to win anyway. For you, I’ll throw in some extra goodies :-)

You can find the Q&A HERE.

Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! Today, we’re looking at the final two chapters of the first book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Moon Called.

When we last left Mercy, she had sneaked into the place where the Columbia Basin pack alpha Adam Hauptman was being held, along with his daughter Jesse. Mercy is being helped by Adam’s mercenary ex-military colleague David and David’s grandsons. Adam is being heavily drugged with silver, and is in bad shape.

MOON CALLED, Chapter 15-16
Adam is having seizures, and they’re all afraid he’s about to shift—which would be bad because he would be mostly wolf and not under control. They’ve pumped so much silver into his system, that he’s sweating it out his pores. Mercy finally is able to get through to him, talking about silly stuff until he gets under control. She donates her sweatpants and Shawn, one of David’s guys, his shirt, so that Adam can get out of the silver-tainted clothes.

Mercy’s gotten complacent, so she doesn’t react when one of the kidnappers comes in. But Shawn shoots him. They manage to get Adam out of the building, but Mercy’s still trying to piece together why all this has happened and who's behind it. Along the way, Adam is jumped by another werewolf, but yet another were, a red wolf, intervenes—Adam's pack has arrived. Turns out the attacking wolf is the one who hurt Jesse, and Mercy’s able to kill him.

The plan is for Warren to take Mercy and Jesse out of there, but before they can leave Mercy senses magic on the air. Mercy had forgotten about Elizaveta, the Russian witch—who , strangely, had never cleaned up the scene after Mac was dumped on Mercy’s porch. If Bran takes the wolves public, the witch will lose a lot of business.

As Mercy tries to warn Adam, a shot rings out, intended for Adam, but the red wolf intercepts it. It was a tranquilizer dart, and Mercy’s shocked to learn the hero red wolf is Ben, the London wolf she’s convinced is a psycho-killer. In a really cool scene, Adam calls the wolves to him and, using the force of the moon and his alpha power, is able to force them to shift.

But there’s a death spell with Adam’s name on it, and Mercy throws herself in front of Adam in time to take it. She realizes the spell wasn’t cast by Elizaveta, but by her grandson Robert. Before she collapses, Mercy is able to tell Sam (who was alpha enough to resist Adam’s call to shift) and he runs after Robert. In the end, we learn, it was both Robert interfering magically and Gerry (the doc’s son), who was hoping to help his father. If his father would kill just once, he thought, he’d finally accept his wolf. After Gerry confesses, Samuel kills him. A few hours later, Bran and Gerry’s father go on a run as wolves, and Bran kills him.  Robert was turned over to his grandmother, although Mercy wasn’t sure if he was unhappy that Robert had gotten involved or that he got caught. Samuel decides to stay in the Tri-Cities as Mercy’s roommate for a while. And, in the end, Bran takes the wolves public, using David Christiansen as his poster child.

The final chapter is a nice little wrap up for Mercy and Adam and Jesse. Jesse, on behalf of her father, invites Mercy to dinner. Then she backs out, leaving it just Mercy and Adam on what turns out to be a date. I love this: “I discovered that underneath that overbearing, hot-tempered Alpha disguise he usually wore was a charming, overbearing, hot-tempered man. He seemed to enjoy finding out that I was as stubborn and disrespectful of authority as he’d always suspected.” They have a nice moment at the door before Samuel opens it, and a werewolf pissing match begins. Mercy leaves them to it and goes to meet Stefan at the garage to fix his van. They don’t even notice she’s gone.

I love the ending to this book. I thought the mystery got wrapped up too fast after all the time it took to put it in place, but the personal bits in the very last chapter won me over again, and I really like Mercy.

So, that’s it for this read! I’m going to put the book club on hiatus until early May, after my Royal Street book tour winds down. I’ll be doing Wednesday posts on DJ and her Royal Street pals on Wednesdays until the blog hits the road on April 7.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Q&A with YA author Eve Marie Mont & Win A BREATH OF EYRE

Today, I’d like to welcome Eve Marie Mont, the author of an interesting new YA release, which brings the classic story of Jane Eyre into the modern realm. It comes out today (3/27) from Kensington Teen and is the first book in a new Unbound series. Eve lives in the Philadelphia area, where she teaches high school English and creative writing. You can find out more about her on her website.

Want a copy of A Breath of Eyre for yourself? (I do!) This is an international contest. Read on...

ABOUT A BREATH OF EYRE  Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre. Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…

Now, let’s hear from Eve. Welcome!

Give us the “elevator pitch” for A Breath of Eyre:
A 21stcentury girl gets transported into Jane Eyre and must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story or in the unwritten chapters of her own.

What was your inspiration for the book? Are you a big Jane Eyre fan?  
I’ve had the idea for A Breath of Eyre rattling around in my head for years, long before literary retellings became a hot trend. Ever since I read Jane Eyre in eleventh grade, it has remained a favorite, one I return to again and again and that never loses its fascination for me. I’ve never found another story with such a restrained yet passionate romance. And Jane is the ultimate heroine: strong, intelligent, moral, and unafraid to speak her mind. I knew I wanted my protagonist, Emma, to step into her shoes as she awakens to first love and discovers her own strength of character.

Favorite scene in your book:
I think it would be the waterfall scene. It wasn’t in my original manuscript, but it came to me one night and resolved so many issues I was struggling with. Now I can’t imagine the book without it.

Hardest scene to write:
Probably the scene when Emma first wakes up in Jane Eyre. I wanted to make it fantastical yet believable. It was also important for Emma not to accept her strange fate too quickly. I rewrote this chapter many times.

What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?
Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavor. I’ve always loved Frankenstein, and the idea of a literary prequel that explains young Victor’s fascination with cheating death sounds amazing.

Favorite book when you were a child:
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, which taught me the power of character, setting, and simple storytelling.

Your five favorite authors:
I’m going to be a bit all over the place here, but throughout my life, these authors have figured more prominently on my bookshelves than any others: Dr. Seuss, Shakespeare, Kurt Vonnegut, Jane Austen, and Emily Dickinson.

Book you've faked reading:
Moby Dick in college, although I did go back and read it as an adult, and I really enjoyed it.

Book you're an evangelist for:
The Sky is Everywhere. Jandy Nelson writes gorgeous prose and even lovelier poetry. I’m quite in awe of her talent. And I’m a little in love with Joe Fontaine.

Book you've bought for the cover:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. That cover is so lush and mysterious, it’s irresistible.

Book that changed your life:
Well, since my young adult debut is based on it, I’d have to go with Jane Eyre! Plus, after all these years, it’s still in my top ten.

Favorite line from a book:
“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”--Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Probably Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. It was spare, haunting, surprising, and oddly beautiful the first time around.

Most horrifying moment while reading a book:
The basement scene of The Road.

Favorite book about books or writing:
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, as it gave me permission to write a crappy first draft. Without this advice, I would still be staring at that imperfect first page.

What’s next?
I’ve just finished a draft of A Touch of Scarlet, the sequel to A Breath of Eyre. As its title suggests, it is loosely based on The Scarlet Letter and has my protagonist, Emma, doing a lot of growing up as she navigates her way through secrets and scandal. Book 3 is inspired by The Phantom of the Opera and will take place in Paris; I’m hoping to work in a research trip for this one!

Many thanks, Eve! I was so excited to see her favorite childhood book was the same as mind, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. I read that book over and over as a kid, and now that I’m thinking about it, have an urge to dig up a copy and read it again. What was your favorite book as a kid? You know the drill to win a copy of A Touch of Eyre. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now...Go forth and comment!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Read the First Two Chapters of ROYAL STREET

The link to the excerpt from Royal Street is temporarily down while we do something SPECIAL. Stay tuned for an annotated version, with all the secrets behind the scenes. I'll put the link here as soon as it's available!

New Releases March 24-31 & Reader's Choice G*veaway

First off, for a fun, short read, check out the Wastepaper Prose blog today--Susan, one of my critique partners and brainstormer extraordinaire, has "10 Reasons to Read Royal Street." It's pretty funny! You can catch it HERE

AND...DRUM ROLL...If you'd like to read the first two chapters of ROYAL STREET, has it online at -- hope you enjoy!

Okay, new releases this week. I could just say Lover Reborn, Black Dagger Brotherhood, and leave it at that. Tohr finally gets his book. Sigh. 

But but but…there are a LOT of new books coming out this week, so it isn’t really fair to only talk about one. And, while it’s hard for me to understand, I do realize not everyone melts into a pile of goo at the mention of JR Ward’s ghuys. So…

What do you want to read? Leave a comment and tell me, and I’ll draw one name to win his or her choice. International, as always. And if the book is in a series you haven’t started, you can always pick the first one in the series instead.

The Outcast Blade (Assassini Trilogy, Book 2), by Jon Courtenay Grimwood (March 26, Orbit)
As the Byzantine and German emperors plot war, Venice’s future rests in the hands of three unwilling people: The newly knighted Sir Tycho, an ex-slave and trained assassin who defeated the Mamluk navy but cannot win the woman he loves; the grieving Lady Giulietta, who only wants to retire from the poisonous world of the Venetian court to mourn her husband in peace; and, finally, a naked, muddy girl who crawls from a paupers’ grave on an island in the Venetian lagoon and begins by killing the men who buried her. All love affairs are complicated at times but on this one hangs the fate of Europe’s richest city and two empires.

Armored, edited by John Joseph Adams (March 27, Baen)
From Starship Troopers and Iron Man to Halo and Mechwarrior, readers and gamers have long been fascinated by the idea of going to battle in suits of personal, powered combat armor or giant mechs. This anthology explores the range of what can be done with the trope, from the near-future powered exoskelton technologies we might be seeing just a few years from now, to the combat armors of Starship Troopers and Halo, to the giant bipedal mechs of Mechwarrior. Includes work by Ian Douglas, Jack Campbell, David Klecha and Tobias S. Buckell, Dan Abnett, Jack McDevitt, Simon R. Green, Michael A. Stackpole, Tanya Huff, Ethan Skarstedt and Brandon Sanderson, Carrie Vaughn, Lauren Beukes, Robert Buettner, and others.

Temptation Rising, by A.C. Arthur (March 27, St. Martin’s)
Washington police officer Kalina Harper still dreams about that night two years ago, when a huge catlike creature saved her from a crazed attacker. Although she kept the truth to herself, Kalina can never forget, especially after meeting Roman Reynolds. Muscular, magnetic, and all man, Roman is a high-powered attorney with a predatory smile and seductive charm. He is also a criminal suspect with suspicious connections to the Amazon jungle. But when Kalina discovers that Roman is linked to a secret race of shapeshifting jaguars—who hunt down maneaters—she is forced to put her trust in a man who unleashes her wildest fantasies and fears.

Deliverance(Mortal Path, Book 3), by Dakota Banks (March 27, Harper Voyager)
A demon’s assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she’s destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. Then her closest friends begin to disappear. Worse still, a beautiful, Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man’s land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t…and time is rapidly running out.

Back from the Undead (The Bloodhound Files, Book 5), by D.D. Barant (March 27, St. Martin’s)
Her job description is the “tracking and apprehension of mentally-fractured killers.” What this really means in FBI profiler Jace Valchek’s brave new world—one in which only one percent of the population is human—is that a woman’s work is never done. And real is getting stranger every day…Jace has been ripped from her reality by David Cassius, the vampire head of the NSA who needs her help in solving a series of murders of vampires and werewolves. An insane serial killer is a threat the NSA has no experience with. But Jace does. Stranded in a reality where Bela Lugosi is a bigger box office draw than Bruce Willis and every full moon is Mardi Gras, Jace must hunt down a fellow human before he brings the planet to the brink of madness.

Range of Ghosts, by Elizabeth Bear (March 27, Tor)
Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. He is now the legitimate heir to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son from a new wife. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards. These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war. First in a new series.

The Master of Heathcrest Hall (Mrs. Quent, Book 3), by Galen Beckett (March 27, Spectra)
As her husband is about to attain undreamed-of power, Ivy Quent fears for her family’s safety. With war looming and turmoil sweeping Altania, Ivy finds the long-abandoned manor on the moors a temporary haven. But nowhere is really safe. An even greater peril is stirring deep within the countryside’s green estates. As Ivy dares an alliance with a brilliant illusionist and a dangerous lord, she races to master her forbidden talents and unravel the truth at the heart of her land’s unrest—even as a triumphant, inhuman darkness rises to claim Altania for its own.

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, Book 2), by Aimee Carter (March 27, Harlequin Teen)
Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate Winters is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. Young Adult.

Jack of Ravens, by Mark Chadbourn (March 27, Pyr)
Jack Churchill, archaeologist and dreamer, walks out of the mist and into Celtic Britain more than two thousand years before he was born, with no knowledge of how he got there. All Jack wants is to get home to his own time where the woman he loves waits for him. Finding his way to the timeless mystical Otherworld, the home of the gods, he plans to while away the days, the years, the millennia, until his own era rolls around again—but nothing is ever that simple. A great Evil waits in modern times and will do all in its power to stop Jack’s return. In a universe where time and space are meaningless, its tendrils stretch back through the years ... Through Roman times, the Elizabethan age, Victoria’s reign, the Second World War to the Swinging Sixties, the Evil sets its traps to destroy Jack. First in the Kingdom of the Serpent series. U.S. release.

Wicked as They Come, by Delilah Dawson (March 27, Pocket)
When Tish Everett forces open the ruby locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world, where Criminy Stain, the proprietor of a magical traveling circus, awaits. At Criminy’s touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also foresees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil Blud-hating Magistrate. First in a new series.

Body, Inc., by Alan Dean Foster (March 27, Del Rey)
In a world wounded by centuries of environmental damage, two unlikely souls join forces: Dr. Ingrid Seastrom has stumbled into a mystery involving quantum-entangled nanoscale implants—a mystery that just may kill her. Whispr is a thief and murderer whose radical body modifications have left him so thin he is all but two-dimensional. Whispr has found a silver data-storage thread, a technology that will make him wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. He is also going mad with longing for Dr. Seastrom. Their quest to learn the secrets of the implant and the thread—which may well be the same secret—has led them to the South African Economic Combine, otherwise known as SAEC. Or, less respectfully, SICK. SICK, it seems, has the answers. Unfortunately, SICK has also got Napun Molé, a cold-blooded assassin whose genetic enhancements make him the equivalent of a small army.

The Unseen, by Heather Graham (March 27, Mira)
1800s. San Antonio, Texas: In room 207 at the Longhorn Saloon, a woman renowned for her beauty was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found. One year ago: In that same historic room, another woman vanished without a trace. Her blood was everywhere…but her body was never recovered. Now: In the last month, San Antonio has become a dumping ground for battered bodies. All young women, all long missing, almost all forgotten. Until now. Texas Ranger Logan Raintree cannot sit by and let his city’s most vulnerable citizens be slain. So when he is approached to lead a brand-new group of elite paranormal investigators working the case, he has no choice but to accept the challenge. And with it, his powerful ability to commune with the dead.

Omega Point (Richards & Klein, Book 2), by Guy Haley(March 27, Angry Robot)
The powerful artificial intelligence designated k52 has a plan to take over the world. If it were to create an artificial reality based on our own universe it could theoretically gain enough data to be able to alter reality itself, turning k52 into the ultimate arbiter of mankind’s fate. It’s down to Richards and Klein to stop k52—even though the alternative could be worse.

Slide, by Jill Hathaway (March 27, Balzer + Bray)
Vee Bell is certain of one truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered. Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body. Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer. First in a new series. Young Adult.

Costume Not Included (To Hell and Back, Book 2), by Matthew Hughes (March 27, Angry Robot)
Chesney’s efforts to Save The Day and Win the Girl make slow progress. Meanwhile, Boss Greeley’s deal with the Devil makes him ever-stronger and untouchable, while the Reverend Hardacre digs deeper and finds that not everything in reality is quite what it seems.

Secrets of the Fire Sea (Jackelian, Book 4), by Stephen Hunt (March 27, Tor)
The isolated island of Jago is the only home Hannah Conquest has known. Encircled by the magma ocean of the Fire Sea, it was the last bastion of freedom when the world struggled under the tyranny of the Chimecan Empire. But now this once-shining jewel of civilization faces an uncertain future as its inhabitants emigrate to greener climes. For Hannah and her friends, the streets of the island’s last occupied underground city form a vast, near-deserted playground. But Hannah’s carefree existence comes to an abrupt halt when her guardian, Archbishop Alice Gray, is murdered in her own cathedral. Someone desperately wants to suppress a secret kept by the archbishop, and if the attempts on Hannah’s own life are any indication, the killer believes that Alice passed the knowledge of it onto her ward before her saintly head was separated from her neck. U.S. release.

Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee, Book 2), by Stacey Jay (March 27, Pocket)
It’s only been three weeks since Annabelle helped solve the murder of Grace Beauchamp, and in the process, she discovered a secret world of invisible, magic-working people who have decided she might have what it takes to join their ranks. As best as she can determine, Annabelle’s attack by a group of fairies has infected her with paranormal ability she did not previously possess, including being able to mentally move objects and heal wounds. Her new abilities appear to have few negative side effects, aside from creepy dreams. But would that change if she stopped injecting herself with the mystery drug delivered to her by the even more mysterious Tucker, one of the Invisibles?

Three A.M., by Steven John (March 27, Tor)
Fifteen years of sunless gray. Fifteen years of mist. The line between right and wrong has long been blurred, especially for Thomas Vale. First came the sickness, followed by the orders: herd the healthy into the city, shoot the infected. The gates closed and the bridges came down…followed by the mist. Fifteen miserable years of the darkest nights and angry, awful gray days. Thomas Vale can hardly fathom why he keeps waking up in the morning. For a few more days spent stumbling along? Another night drinking alone? Another hour keeping the shadows at bay? But when Rebecca Ayers walks into his life, the answers come fast. Too fast.

Sacrificial Magic (Downside Ghosts, Book 4), by Stacia Kane (March 27, Del Rey)
When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess. Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

Nightfall, by Stephen Leather (March 27, 47North)
“You are going to Hell, Jack Nightingale.” Those are the words that ended Jack Nightingale’s career as a negotiator with the Metropolitan Police. But two years later, when Nightingale is a struggling Private Eye, the words come back to haunt him. Nightingale discovers that he was adopted at birth and that his real father, a confirmed Satanist, sold Nightingale’s soul to a demon from Hell. And on his thirty-third birthday—just weeks away—the demon is coming to claim its prize. First in the Nightingale series. U.S. release.

Age of Aztec, by James Lovegrove (March 27, Solaris)
The date is 4 Jaguar 1 Monkey 1 House—November 25th 2012, by the old reckoning—and the Aztec Empire rules the world. The Aztecs’ reign is one of cruel and ruthless oppression, encompassing regular human sacrifice. In the jungle-infested city of London, one man defies them: the masked vigilante known as the Conquistador. Then the Conquistador is recruited to spearhead an uprising, and discovers a terrible truth about the Aztec and thier gods. The clock is ticking. Apocalypse looms, unless the Conquistador can help assassinate the mysterious, immortal Aztec emperor, the Great Speaker. But his mission is complicated by Mal Vaughn, a police detective who is on his trail, determined to bring him to justice.

The Gathering of the Lost (Wall of Night, Book 2), by Helen Lowe(March 27, Harper Voyager)
Tarathan of Ar and Jehane Mor ride into the great city of Ij in time for its grand Festival of Masks. But soon after their arrival they witness a terrible slaughter as their fellow heralds are targeted and assassinated. They must flee for their lives across the city as they discover Swarm agents attempting to destabilize the River Cities network for their own ends. And five years after her great flight from the Derai Wall, Malian remains hidden to those who seek her. But she has not been idle. Her goal is to muster all Derai magic users that have fled into exile rather than face destruction.

The Alchemist of Souls, by Anne Lyle (March 27, Angry Robot)
When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods—and a skrayling ambassador—to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital? Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally—and Mal his soul. First in a new series.

Silent Voices (Concrete Grove, Book 2), by Gary McMahon (March 27, Solaris)
Twenty years ago three young boys staggered out of an old building, tired and dirty yet otherwise unharmed. When Simon returns to the Concrete Grove to see his old friends, things once buried begin to claw their way back. Bad dreams take on physical form and walk the streets of the estate. A dark, patient entity is calling once again from the shadows, reaching out toward three terrified boys who have now grown into emotionally damaged men. Welcome back to the Concrete Grove. The place you can never really leave.

In 1925, earthquakes and a rising sea level left Lower Manhattan submerged under more than thirty feet of water. Fifty years have passed, and now the Drowning City is full of scavengers and water rats, poor people trying to eke out an existence, and those too proud or stubborn to be defeated by circumstance. Among them are fourteen-year-old Molly McHugh and her friend and employer, Felix Orlov. Once upon a time Orlov the Conjuror was a celebrated stage magician, but now he is an old man, contacting the spirits of the departed for grieving loved ones. When a seance goes wrong, Felix is abducted by strange men wearing gas masks and rubber suits, and Molly finds herself on the run. Young Adult.

A Breath of Eyre, by Eve Marie Mont (March 27, Kensington)
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a longtime friend who adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre. Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. Young Adult.

Fair Coin, by E.C. Myers(March 27, Pyr)
Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she’d identified Ephraim’s body at the hospital. Among his dead double’s belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin that grants wishes. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he’s liked since second grade. But the coin doesn’t always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people’s lives as easily as it rebuilds his own. First in a new series. Young Adult.

Forgiven (The Demon Trappers, Book 3), by Jana Oliver(March 27, St. Martin’s Griffin)
The days are growing darker for 17-year-old demon trapper Riley Blackthorne. With her father’s reanimated body back safely, Beck barely speaking to her because of a certain hunky Fallen angel, and a freshly-made deal with Lucifer, she has enough on her hands. Though she bargained with Heaven to save his life, her ex-boyfriend Simon told the Vatican’s Demon Hunters that she’s working with Hell. So now she’s in hiding, at the top of everyone’s most-wanted list. But it’s becoming clear that this is bigger than Riley, and rapidly getting out of control: something sinister is happening in Atlantaor someone. Riley fears the final war is coming, and it may be closer than anyone thinks. Young Adult.

Sins of the Son (Grigori Legacy, Book 2), by Linda Poitevin (March 27, Ace)
When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis sees a photo of Seth Benjamin on a police bulletin, she knows Heaven’s plan to halt Armageddon has gone wrong. As the only mortal who knows of Seth’s true nature, only she can save him. Aramael was a hunter of Fallen Angels until a traitor forced him into earthly exile. Now, with no powers and only a faint memory of Alex, his mortal soulmate, he will stop at nothing to redeem himself—even if it means destroying Seth in the name of the Creator.

Spellcaster (Spellbound, Book 2), by Cara Lynn Schultz (March 27, Harlequin Teen)
After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems.’s not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate helps ease the pain—especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close. But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan’s deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma’s crash course in über-spells may not be enough to keep them safe. Young Adult.

Shadow’s Master (Shadow Saga, Book 3), by Jon Sprunk (March 27, Pyr)
The northern wastes...A land of death and shadow where only the strongest survive. Yet that is where Caim must go to follow the mystery at the heart of his life. Armed only with his knives and his companions, he plunges into a world of eternal night where the sun is never seen and every hand is turned against him. Caim has buried his father’s sword and found some measure of peace, but deep in the north an unfathomable power waits. To succeed on this mission, Caim will have to more than just survive. He must face the Shadow’s Master.

The Kingdom (Graveyard Queen, Book 2), by Amanda Stevens (March 23, Mira)
My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here. Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

Shadow’s Fall (Shadow World, Book 3), by Dianne Sylvan (March 27, Ace)
For three years, Miranda Grey-Solomon has kept her role as Vampire Queen of the South separate from her Grammy-winning music career. But now, her dual lives are starting to collide, threatening everything Miranda and David, her Prime, have worked for. The entire Signet Council has descended upon Austin for its ten-year summit, bringing with it Prime James Hart of the Northeast, a sworn enemy come to take his revenge on those who defied him. But Miranda and David receive an unexpected offer of help from David’s sire, an ancient and powerful vampire with knowledge that may be their salvationor their doom.

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood #10), by J.R. Ward(March 27, NAL)
Now back in the Brotherhood—and unrecognizable as the vampire leader he once was—Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams—trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld—Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he’s told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed. Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future—but can his heart let go and set all of them free?

The Rising (Department 19, Book 2), by Will Hill(March 29, HarperCollins)
Sixteen-year-old Jamie Carpenter’s life was violently upended when he was brought into Department 19, a classified government agency of vampire hunters that was formed to deal with a little problem—known as Dracula. But being the new recruit at the Department isn’t all weapons training and covert missions. Jamie’s own mother has been turned into a vampire—and now Jamie will stop at nothing to wreak revenge on her captors. Even if that means facing down Dracula himself. Young Adult.

As always, four entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book (any book) you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest. This contest is international. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S., and winners are announced on Sunday’s blog. It’s the responsibility of the winner to contact me with their mailing info. Books unclaimed after a month will go into a general giveaway pile.