Sunday, September 30, 2012

Scene-Snippet Sunday: Jean Lafitte Makes a Date (& Weekly W*nners)

Check my "official website" today for a new snippet from RIVER ROAD (on sale November 13 in the US and two weeks later in the UK!)

In the meantime, here are our weekly winners. Please contact me with your mailing info. I'm slowly catching up with my mailings but am still running behind, so please be patient!

SUSIEBOOKWORM won the signed copy of Tonya Hurley's The Blessed. This is a print copy.

ROGER, SUSAN, SANDYG, RACHEL V, and ELLA GRAY won UK versions of Royal Street. These are print copies.

MARK HENWICK won the mystery book from the book club comment page--your choice of sci fi, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or YA paranormal. This is for print copy--just let me know your preferred genre!

BIOCHEMGUY won his choice of books from the ChiZine Publications catalog by commenting on the Q&A with Nick Matamas, author of Bullettime. I think these are primarily ebooks, so let me know your preferred email address and I'll send you the link to their catalog.

LRHUBBLE won the Reader's Choice and picked Anton Strout's Alchemystic. This is your choice of print or ebook.

Congrats, everyone! Come back tomorrow for another huge Reader's Choice week.

Scene-Snippet Sunday: River Road--Jean Lafitte Makes a Date

Welcome to Scene-Snippet Sunday, where I run a snippet from...something. Today, it's RIVER ROAD. I can't believe release day is only about six weeks away! Seems like it's been forever, and so of course I'm in the pre-release "what if everybody hates it" phase. I'm learning, slowly, that goes with the business and that some people will, indeed, hate it. But if more people love it than hate it, the world will continue to turn happily along.

So, in this snippet from the first chapter of the book, DJ has been summoned to Jean Lafitte's hotel room. Yes, the undead pirate has managed to obtain a plush suite in the Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street. This is the first time DJ has seen him since the end of Royal Street, where she made some rather rash promises to him. Now, she's afraid he's ready to collect. And he is.

       “Still, Drusilla, you owe me for saving your life. Why not repay me in a way that would be pleasing to both of us? You cannot afford to buy me a house, non?”
       I had no answer for that and I felt my moral high ground turning to mud, so I stood up and gave him a little finger wave, grabbing my purse and striding toward the door. “Gotta be going. See you at the meeting tomorrow.”
       “Jolie.” His voice did that deep, sexy dive again. “What if one simple thing would erase all of your obligations to me?”
       I stopped at the door with my back to the room, one hand on the knob, having an internal war. Jean was a devious pirate who always operated with an ulterior motive. On the other hand, he came from an era where favor begat favor. He wouldn’t let this drop, no matter how much I wanted it to go away. One way or another, I’d pay.
       “Okay, what?” I turned from the door and gasped. He’d followed me across the room on sneaky pirate feet and stood a scant few inches away. Heart thumping, I got a close-range view of his chin as he flattened his arms against the door on either side of my head, forming a big, warm cage.
       “Just a simple meal with me—what your modern people call a dinner date,” he whispered, leaning over to plant a light kiss on the side of my neck.
       I closed my eyes and inhaled his scent of tobacco and cinnamon for a moment before pushing him away and pinning him with my best steely glare. “Just dinner?
       He raised an eyebrow. “You wish there to be more?” 


RIVER ROAD is up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and through Indiebound. Did you know that preorders all get credited to sales on release day, and if there are enough it can propel a book onto a bestseller list? Just saying. LOL. Shameless, I know.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Last Call: Plotting for Pantsers Online Class

Tomorrow, Sunday, is the last day to sign up for the "Plotting for Pantsers" online workshop I'm doing in October. We'll start on October 1 and go though October 25, and I'll walk you through the step-by-step process I use to plot a novel. It's offered through the Southeast Louisiana chapter of RWA, but you don't have to be a member to take the course. You can get more info on it here.

Last Call: Weekly C*ntests and Plotting Class

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the last day to sign up for my "Plotting for Pantsers" online class, which begins October 1 and runs through October 25, or a little later if we need the time. I'll be plotting a new series book along with the class, so it should be a lot of fun (and, yeah, some work). If you're interested, you can find info here.

Tonight at midnight US Central Daylight Time, all the week's contests will end, so if you haven't entered, scroll on down--lots of interesting stuff this week!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Jean Lafitte Speaks Out (Uh-Oh)


A couple of housekeeping notes. Commenting on the sites below can win you a UK copy of Royal Street!

The pirate Jean Lafitte has a guest post over at the Serendipity Reviews blog--go over and see how obnoxious he can be!

I'm also telling secrets about the Royal Street characters at the Feeling Fictional website. Do you know why DJ is a wizard and not a shapeshifter?

And I'm getting sentimental at Book Chick City.


#YA Friday: W*n a signed copy of THE BLESSED by Tonya Hurley


A couple of housekeeping notes. Commenting on the sites below can win you a UK copy of Royal Street.

The pirate Jean Lafitte has a guest post over at the Serendipity Reviews blog today--go over and see how obnoxious he can be!

I'm also telling secrets about the Royal Street characters at the Feeling Fictional website today. Do you know why DJ is a wizard and not a shapeshifter?

Finally, go over to the Grave Tells website and vote for my alter-ego Susannah Sandlin and Redemption for the site's September Reader's Choice awards!

Now...

I’m excited about the book I’m bringing you today, because I had the chance to meet author Tonya Hurley at the Southern Independent Booksellers trade show a few weeks ago, and was able to get a signed copy of her new book, Blessed. It is one of the most unusual books I’ve heard about, YA or adult (and I’ve heard it’s really, really dark for YA). So don’t go into this one thinking it’s going to be a light and fluffy read…consider that it’s based upon three girls who were religious martyrs, brought into present-day settings. It’s getting quite a dust-up of mixed opinions on Goodreads, so you’ll have to see for yourself.

And there is something very, very cool about the book’s dust jacket, which I’ll share with you at the end of the post.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint. What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.

I’m looking forward to digging into this one. I like a dark story (which I guess is odd, since my own writing isn’t so dark at all), and this one sounds dark.

And here’s the thing about the dust jacket—it’s reversible!

You know the drill to be entered for the win, my non-martyred friends: one entry for comment, a second for blog follow, third for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a tweet or retweet.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

UK Release Day for ROYAL STREET--W*n a Signed UK Copy!


Okay, showing my age here, but I got up singing the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK” today because (drum roll) it’s release day for Royal Streetacross the wide Atlantic! So, yeah, I had to dig around and listen to it a couple of times, followed by the Clash’s “Hitsville UK” and the Kinks’ “Victoria.” So I’m in a proper mood this morning, even if I don’t have spiky blue-tinged hair anymore. (This is a good thing.)

Check out the website of my UK publisher, Headline, for a new blog post on how I got from Katrina to Royal Street. You can find it HERE

And I'm on the fabulous Book Chick City blog today, talking about the same story from a different angle. You can find it HERE.

I’ve always been a bit of an Anglophile, as everyone reminded me about ten years ago when I finally, finally, finally got to go to England and spend a week traipsing around London and environs. Note to self: If you plan to do something like buy the entire set of Harry Potter UK editions, best to do this at the END of your day’s sojourns, not the beginning. Man, those things got heavy.

I’m pretty well Scottish in ancestry—a few Irishmen and Englishmen and Native Americans thrown in…but not many thanks to my Scottish ancestors’ tendency to marry each other. So I really need to go to Scotland. Need to.

So, in honor of the unleashing of DJ and Jean Lafitte and Alex and the gang on the UK, today I’d like to give away five signed copies of the UK edition, courtesy of my UK publisher, Headline…You know you want one with the different cover (and the first chapter of River Road is at the end!).….Can you tell me other songs with UK in the title? (You don't have to name a song title to enter--just leave a comment.)

ROYAL STREET in the UK--It's Release Day!

Today is release day for Royal Street in the UK. I'm giving away five signed UK copies of the book over at my blog today, so head on over. You know you want one!

I have some blog appearances coming up in conjunction with the release and as soon as I get the URLs, I'll share them here.

And head over to the blog of my UK publisher, Headline, where I'm talking about the road that led me from Katrina to Royal Street. You can find it here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Preternatura Books Club: Native Americans in Urban Fantasy


Welcome back to the Preternatura Book Club! We'll be talking about topics that are related to the book we're reading but are general enough for you to pipe up and voice an opinion.

Each book read will last four weeks, which is a much faster schedule than we've done on previous books. Today, we tackle the next few chapters of SKINWALKER, book one in the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter.

Today’s giveaway will be a mystery unclaimed prize of your choice of genre: paranormal romance, urban fantasy, sci fi, fantasy, or YA. I’ll check to make sure you don’t have the book I pick so you’re guaranteed of getting something you don’t already have.

First, let me get my regular New Orleans complaint out of the way. There were a couple of things that I let slide, but I have to complain about the NOPD’s Officer Herbert. He makes a big deal of telling Jane his name is pronounced “A=bear.” Except that, no, it wouldn’t be. HERBERT would be pronounced “HER-BERT.” It’s the name HEBERT (no R in the first syllable) that is pronounced “A-BEAR.” Hebert (not Herbert) is a common name in Louisiana. Sorry, but stuff like that drives me nuts. If there hadn’t been several lines of dialogue specifically telling Jane how to incorrectly pronounce the name Herbert, I wouldn’t thought a thing about it.  So okay, got that out of my system.

The interesting things to me as I read this chapter is the Native American connection (in this case, Cherokee), and how Jane tracks the rogue vampire to the home of an Elder (who lives at the edge of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, no less!), and begins to have some flashbacks to the childhood she can’t remember.

I think Native Americans are often portrayed in urban fantasy as mystical or having powers. Mercy Thompson is an obvious comparison, and she’s a skinwalker as Jane Yellowrock is. In my Penton Legacy series, I have two characters, a child vampire named Hvresse, or Hannah, and Glory Cummings, who are descended from the Muscogee Creek tribe and who both have powers. (I live about twenty miles from the site of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, sort of the last gasp of the great Creek War, and this area was part of the Muscogee Creek lands.) Can you think of other series that have Native American characters, and do they have supernatural powers?

And as someone pointed out in last week’s post, this book is unusual (to me at least) in that Jane and her Beast are separate entities inhabiting the same body. She doesn’t so much turn into Beast when she shifts, but agrees to step back and let Beast take the forefront, so they have separate trains of thought that exist simultaneously. I really like this aspect, and it’s why giving Beast a point of view works so well.

Leo! I hope Leo becomes a major character in this series, because I’ve already found him very, very interesting. He has that whole evil-sexy imperious vampire thing going on, and appears to be the master vampire of New Orleans. So I assume Jane is going to have quite a bit of interaction with Leo. Those of you who are fans of this series, do you like Leo or hate Leo? I kind of get a Trent Kalamack vibe from him, to pull a character from another favorite series—essentially a bad guy, only maybe not all the time.

Share your thoughts on SKINWALKER to enter for the book drawing! Next week, we’ll continue with the next few chapters. I’m not reading as fast on this one as I’d hoped because of my own deadlines but I still hope to get through it by mid-October to keep the book club on schedule. The reading schedule for the book club can now be found on the righthand column of the blog page.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Q&A with #UF Author Nick Mamatas & W*n Your Choice of ChiZine Ebook!



Today, I’d like to welcome author Nick Mamatas to the blog. Nick is the author of the recent release Bullettime from ChiZine Publications, as well as four (and a half) previous novels, including The Damned Highway with Brian Keene, and Sensation. He recently coedited the Haunted Legends anthology with Ellen Datlow and The Future is Japanese with Masumi Washington. Nick’s a native New Yorker now living in California. You can find him at his website, on Facebook, and his blog.

Read on for more info on the great giveaway from ChiZine!

ABOUT BULLETTIME:  

David Holbrook is a scrawny kid, the victim of bullies, and the neglected son of insane parents. David Holbrook is the Kallis Episkipos, a vicious murderer turned imprisoned leader of a death cult dedicated to Eris, the Hellenic goddess of discord. David Holbrook never killed anyone, and lives a lonely and luckless existence with his aging mother in a tumbledown New Jersey town. Caught between finger and trigger, David is given three chances to decide his fate as he is compelled to live and relive all his potential existences, guided only by the dark wisdom found in a bottle of cough syrup. From the author of the instant cult classic Move Under Ground comes a fantasy of blood, lust, destiny, school shootings, and the chance to change your future

Now, let’s hear from Nick. Welcome!

Give us the "elevator pitch" for your book
Ugh, elevator pitches! A horrid movieism that has crawled into the book trade for little reason. We don't pitch books in elevators; we write query letters and have agents. But plenty of writers don't know how to succinctly describe their books, or even know that people don't want to hear more than a few sentences about their books, so I guess it serves some purpose. *Grin—This is Suzanne’s first snarl over this question…She would snarl at this question too, and perhaps refuse to answer it. Nick, however, does answer...*

Anyway: Nerdy high schooler Dave Holbrook has some problems—neglectful parents; a cough-syrup addiction; the attentions of Eris, the Greek goddess of discord; and the fact that he's trapped beyond space and time and is compelled to look through the endless alternative universes in which he either did or did not shoot up his high school.
How's that? *Awesome!*

Describe your favorite scene from the new book—and why is it your favorite?
I don't even think in terms of scenes, really. The book is a whole thing unto itself, designed to be read in a single sitting. I suppose I do like an early scene in which Dave, bleeding after an attack by a bully, is interviewed by the school nurse and school police officer. He's in a hydrocodone, so to represent his confusion I eliminated most of the speech tags in that three-way conversation. When the copy editor tried to insert some speech tags, I took them back out, and it's the scene I read at most events.

What was the hardest scene to write?
I wrote the first 15,000 words in 2004 and sent them to my agent along with a synopsis—but not an elevator pitch!—and waited for the offers to roll in. Instead what happened was a spate of school shootings and gun violence that turned editorial enthusiasm into unanswered phone calls. Finally, in 2010, CZP acquired the book based on the sample, and that first scene I had to write after a six-year absence from the material—in the six years I had moved across the country twice, had been through a few relationships and had gotten married, finished graduate school, and entered the workaday office job world after twenty years of bohemian poverty—was the hardest.

Favorite book when  you were a child.
Yobgorgle: Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario by Daniel Pinkwater. I also loved the first three Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. Also, Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs, which I read, or tried to read, way too early in life. All of them kept me from taking genre too seriously.

Book you've faked reading.
Books my friends write.

Book you're an evangelist for.
I must have purchased and given away seven or eight copies of Zod Wallop by William Browning Spencer—the White Wolf paperback—over the last few years. That's a great anti-fantasy fantasy. I'm also a huge fan of Strange Toys by Patricia Geary, and I assign it to my creative writing students frequently.

Book you've bought for the cover.
Speaking of White Wolf, I have almost all the Borealis paperbacks from the 1990s because I loved their covers. The line heavily informs my own idea of dark/urban fantasy and horror generally.

Book that changed your life.
Probably Naked Lunch, which I read too early, as I said. I spent a lot of my teens and early 20s just reading postmodern theory and radical literature—a big book at the time for me was Literal Madness: Three Novels by Kathy Acker—and found my way back into genre fiction and Lovecraft, thanks to The Starry Wisdom, a truly avant anthology that really blew open to the doors to the potential of genre fiction to me. I suppose all my writing is a way to get the essence of these three books onto the same page.

Not a book, but the fiction selections in Omnimagazine, which I had a subscription to for a few years in the 1980s, were also essential. Twenty years later, I was thrilled to co-edit Haunted Legends with Ellen Datlow, who had seemingly picked out stories for me personally to read when I was a snot-nosed eleven-year-old twerp.

Favorite line from a book.
A story, not a book:
Like in Riot in Cell Block 11, when Neville Brand gets shot at by the prison guard with a Thompson, he yells:

“Look out Monty! They got a chopper! Back inside!”

What the Cahiers people heard was:
“Steady mon frere! Let us leave this place of wasted dreams.”

That's from "French Scenes" by Howard Waldrop. I find myself thinking, and sometimes saying "Let us leave this place of wasted dreams" whenever I push back my chair to leave a restaurant at the end of a meal.

Book you most want to read again for the first time.
I never actually re-read, so I am perhaps not as anxious for that first-time experience as others, since I don't have very many second-time experiences. Maybe My Work Is Not Yet Done by Thomas Ligotti? Or Ask the Dust by John Fante?

Most horrifying moment while reading a book.
A roach crawled over my foot and that made me drop my mass market paperback copy of Anthony Shriek by Jessica Amanda Salmonson in the toilet back when I was living in a ramshackle high-ceilinged mansion in the slums of Jersey City. I was pretty horrified all around at that.

What's on your nightstand or TBR pile?
Books are all over the place.
Bathroom reading: Cosmpolis by Don DeLillo
Cell phone reading: When it All Comes Down To Dust by Barry Graham
Daily commute reading: Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D. T. Max
Back-up commute reading: Pages From a Cold Islandby Frederick Exley
Airplane reading: Broken Piano for Presidentby Patrick Wensick
On deck (will it end up in the bathroom, or my bag?): Ritual in the Dark by Colin Wilson.
Lots of dudes there, eh? Better fix that after this cycle. Probably Caitlin Kiernan's The Drowning Girl will be next.

Favorite book about books or writing.
When I teach, I only assign two books about writing. Samuel R. Delany's Seven Essays, Four Letters, and Five Interviews About Writing and Jack Cady's The American Writer. For writers in the US, virtually everything else is superfluous. An honorable mention should go to Lance Olsen's Rebel Yell, which was recently updated (but neither improved or ruined) and renamed Architectures of Possibility.

Thanks, Nick!

Want to win a copy of Bullettime or another ebook from the ChiZine Publications catalog? Your choice. One entry for comment (can you sum up your favorite book into a one-sentence elevator pitch? Me either.), another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Now...Go forth and comment!

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Releases Sept. 23-30 and Reader's Choice C*ntest


First, a commercial message. Will and Aidan, two of the vampires from my Penton Legacy trilogy (written as Susannah Sandlin) are over at the Grave Tells website today, being silly. Will's answering questions, and I'm giving away winner's choice of a Redemption print book, ebook, or audiobook. So head off to enter! (The contest says ebook, but it's your choice.)

Last week of the month, and here we go round in circles. Lots of releases this week, and next week? Holy cannoli, Batman!

Which book would you most like to read? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win (or the first in its series), and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. What do I want? I can only pick one? I’ll pick Alchemystic by Anton Strout and the new JR Ward, Rapture. And if I win, then I’ll decide. (You think I haven’t noticed you doing that, huh? LOL.)

Here we go….

Alchemystic (The Spellmason Chronicles #1), by Anton Strout(Sept. 25, Ace)
Alexandra Belarus is a struggling artist living in New York City, even though her family is rich in real estate, including a towering Gothic Gramercy Park building built by her great-great-grandfather. But the truth of her bloodline is revealed when she is attacked on the street and saved by an inhumanly powerful winged figure. A figure who knows the Belarus name... Lexi’s great-great-grandfather was a Spellmason—an artisan who could work magic on stone. But in his day, dark forces conspired against him and his, so he left a spell of protection on his family. Now that Lexi is in danger, the spell has awoken her ancestor’s most trusted and fearsome creation: a gargoyle named Stanis. Lexi and Stanis are equally surprised to find themselves bound to each other. But as they learn to work together, they realize that only united can they save the city they both love...

How to Marry a Warlock in 10 Days (10 Days #2), by Saranna DeWylde (September 25, Kensington)
Got Warlock?  Middy Cherrywood does. She’s got more warlock than she can hex with Dred Shadowins. He isn’t just a billionaire playboy and Weekly Warlock centerfold. He’s a spy for the High Chancellor, and he convinces Middy to pose as his fiancĂ©e for his latest mission. Too bad no one told his mother before she slipped Middy a potion that will make their sham engagement all too real in just ten days. Dred Shadowins already has his hands full with cursed objects, possessed nuns, and dreams where Merlin makes him pay for taking his name in vain by relating his sexcapades with Nimue. But by the end of the mission, he’s convinced his most difficult challenge is the hero’s cape Middy’s draped over his shoulders.

Immortal Surrender (The Curse of the Templars #2), by Claire Ashgrove (September 25, Tor)
Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again, he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him. Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty, but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her. As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice, his heart.

Sacrifice the Wicked: A Dark Mission Novel (Dark Mission #4), by Karina Cooper (September 25, HarperCollins)
Parker Adams has always done what’s expected of her, until a double agent with nothing to lose ignites a passion she doesn’t dare give in to. Mission Agent Simon Wells is everything Parker Adams has been trained to fight: manipulator, murderer, spy, witch. What makes Simon most dangerous is his mesmerizing sexual magnetism, powerful enough to tempt even the famed ice queen of the Mission. Each encounter with the deceptive agent leaves her craving more. Simon isn’t a man to let go of what’s his, and his pursuit forces Parker to make a stand that could destroy her. If they can work together, they might survive the politics that has enslaved their world, or fall victim to the pitfalls of desperation, bone deep mistrust, and a hunger that threatens to consume them.

Unleashed, by Crystal Jordan (September 25, Kensington)
It is a future few envisioned, humans with the ability to shape and shift into every imaginable predator on earth. This new world is dangerous, dark and filled with desire. Fox shifter Gea Crevan is a PI working a case deep in the underbelly of New Chicago. She relies on ruthless businessman and leopard shifter Quilliam North for good intel and even better sex, but resists taking him as her mate. Until she witnesses his carnal lust for another. Grifter Felicia Tamryn is half cheetah and all woman who always gets what she wants. Until the day she tries to con Constantine Breckenridge and instead finds her heart held tight in the talons of an eagle shifter. Felicia tries to run but her past and her body betray her, catching her in a sexual trap of her own making.

Armageddon is over. The demons won. And yet somehow…the world has continued. Survivors worship patron demons under a draconian system of tributes and rules. These laws keep the demons from warring among themselves, the world from slipping back into chaos.Noon Onyx grew up on the banks of the river Lethe, daughter of a prominent politician, and a descendant of Lucifer’s warlords. Noon has a secret—she was born with waning magic, the dark, destructive, fiery power that is used to control demons and maintain the delicate peace among them. But a woman with waning magic is unheard of and some will consider her an abomination. Noon is summoned to attend St. Lucifer’s, a school of demon law. She must decide whether to declare her powers there…or attempt to continue hiding them, knowing the price for doing so may be death. And once she meets the forbiddingly powerful Ari Carmine—who suspects Noon is harboring magic as deadly as his own—Noon realizes there may be more at stake than just her life.

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With the Respiration #2), by Lia Habel(September 25, Del Rey)
New Victorian society is fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, others can still control their ravenous new appetites. Nora Dearly and the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. Bram and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

Earth to Hell (Journey to Wudang #1), by Kylie Chan (September 25, Harper Voyager)
It is eight years since Xuan Wu, God of the Northern Heavens, living in Hong Kong as wealthy businessman John Chen, was exiled from the mortal realm. Emma and John’s daughter, Simone, are facing a new series of threats. Leo, their best fighter, is sitting in Hell, but when they journey below to persuade him home, nothing is as it appears. On Earth, Simon Wong, the Demon King’s son, is no longer around to trouble them, but his associates have taken over Simon’s underworld activities. The otherworldly stones are being targeted and are in danger of their kind being completely destroyed. It seems that the Demon King is the only one Emma can turn to for help.

Personal Demon (Laws of the Blood #6), by Susan Sizemore(September 25, Ace)
Vampire Enforcer Christopher Bell is in Chicago to investigate rumors of a revolution, but when he comes across vampire hunter Ivy Bailey being followed through dark streets, what he finds is a ghost from his past. Over a century ago, Christopher fought the vicious London serial killer Jack the Ripper, and won. But now, the Ripper’s tainted soul is back, on the hunt once more.

Rapture (The Fallen Angels #4), by J.R. Ward (September 25, NAL)
After reporter Mels Carmichael hits a disheveled man with her car outside the local cemetery, she pays a visit to the stranger in the hospital. The only thing he remembers of his past is seeing a name written on a headstone, that of Jim Heron, a fallen angel charged with rescuing souls from the seven deadly sins. Now, as Mels struggles to help this mysterious stranger rediscover himself, Heron himself returns to prepare for a battle between good and evil.

Scorch (Croak #2), by Gina Damico (September 25, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Sixteen year old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all, but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree? Young Adult.

Seduction’s Shift (The Shadow Shifters #2), by A.C. Arthur(September 25, St. Martin’s)
She was his first love, his only love. But trying to rescue his beautiful Ary from captivity is one wild risk no man should take. Luckily, Nick Delgado is no ordinary man. His work in the urban jungle as a high-powered litigator has only fueled his ferocity, enflamed his passion, and sharpened his claws, to protect his mate. Ary is a born healer who has devoted her life to the tribe, and her heart to Nick. But when the fierce and sadistic Sabar turns his jaguar eyes upon her, Ary becomes the unwilling pawn in a deadly game of shifting alliances. One man wants to use her talents to enslave humanity. The other wants to free her from their natural enemy. If Nick hopes to save Ary, he must unleash the beast within, and fight for the woman he loves.

Shadows (Ashes Trilogy #2), by Ilsa J. Bick (September 25, EgmontUSA)
Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she thought Rule was a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love. But she was wrong. Now she’s in the fight of her life against the adults who would use her, the survivors who don’t trust her, and the Changed who would eat her alive. Young Adult.

Something Witchy This Way Comes (Jolie Wilkins #5), by H.P. Mallory (September 25, Bantam)
For smart and sexy witch Jolie Wilkins, being Queen of the Underworld is a royal pain. Back from a round of time travel, Jolie must now protect her realm from the sinister Lurkers, a powerful breed of half-humans bent on conquering the undead. And if there’s one thing she knows, it’s that the supernatural never go down without a fight. At least Jolie has her soul mate (and finally official boyfriend), warlock Rand Balfour, by her side. Honorable, brave, and unbelievably handsome, Rand is everything Jolie wants in a man. So why can’t she forget the dangerously alluring vampire, Sinjin Sinclair? With her private life heating up and a battle boiling over, Jolie sets out to prove that in matters of love and war, the fairer hex has its own set of charms.

The Infects, by Sean Beaudoin (September 25, Candlewick)
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back. Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a tale that that’s a delight to read , whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten, and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us. Young Adult.

The Undead in My Bed (Midnight Liaisons #1.5), by Katie MacAlister, Jessica Sims, Molly Harper (September 25, Pocket Books)
In Shades of Gray, a TV crew is filming a paranormal reality show on the grounds of an imposing old Czech Republic estate. When Noelle, a Guardian, meets vampire Grayson, she awakens a hunger in him that only her touch can relieve. In Undead Sublet, after overworked Chicago chef Tess flips out, she rents a quiet house in Half-Moon Hollow. But when she finds the place occupied by a gorgeous vampire, Tess’s tastes become nearly insatiable. In Out with a Fang, when lonely were-jaguar Ruby consults a paranormal matchmaker, she hopes to finally move on from a heart wrenching breakup with her one true love. Nervously agreeing to a blindfolded first date with a vampire, she finds the spicy scent of him intoxicating, his voice low, sexy, and so very familiar.

The Wrong Goodbye (The Collector #2), by Chris F. Holm(September 25, Angry Robot)
Meet Sam Thornton, Collector of Souls. Because of his efforts to avert the Apocalypse, Sam Thornton has been given a second chance, provided he can stick to the straight and narrow. Which sounds all well and good, but when the soul Sam’s sent to collect goes missing, Sam finds himself off the straight-and-narrow pretty quick.

Thirst: The Vampire Legacy Series, by Karen E. Taylor (September 25, Kensington)
Vivienne Courbet may have lost her innocence over three centuries ago, yet in the eyes of those who sustain her with their blood, she is a young, desirable beauty. But the eternal life Viv has reveled in is now facing a dire threat, one that has separated her from her blood sister, Deirdre, and may mean the end of their kind. A dangerous cross breed known as the Others has declared war on the vampire fellowship. The fatalities have begun. Having fled to a small New England town, Deirdre Griffin and her lover, Mitch, have found a temporary respite. But when the Others close in, they won’t go down without a fight, the bloodier the better. And when the battle calls for Viv and Deirdre to join forces, they will have to summon every morsel of thirst to live another lifetime.

Redemption (Hearts of Stone #1), by Veronique Launier(September 28, Flux)
Guillaume: For five hundred years I’ve existed as a gargoyle. Perched atop an old Montreal church, I’ve watched idly as humanity wanders by. With the witch Marguerite gone, there is no one left to protect, nothing to care about. I never planned to feel again. But then a girl released me from my stone restraints, allowing me to return as a seventeen year old human boy. I must find out all I can about this girl’s power. Aude: Getting attacked twice in as many days is strange in itself, but even stranger is the intriguing guy I keep running into. There’s something so familiar about him, like a primal drum rhythm from my dreams. But spending time together only raises more questions—about my heritage, a native Mohawk prophecy, and an unearthly magic threatening our city. Young Adult. 

Bad Glass, by Richard E. Gropp (September 25, Del Rey)
Something has happened in Spokane. The military has evacuated the city and locked it down. Even so, disturbing rumors and images seep out. What they show is, or should be, impossible: strange creatures that cannot exist, sudden disappearances that violate the laws of physics, human bodies fused with inanimate objects, trapped yet still half alive. Dean Walker sneaks into the quarantined city. Hooking up with a group of outcasts led by a woman named Taylor, Dean embarks on a journey into the heart of a mystery. As he falls in love with Taylor, his already tenuous hold on reality starts to come loose. Dean, Taylor, and their friends must make their way through this ever shifting maze of a city that is actively hunting them down, herding them toward a shocking destiny.

Dodger, by Terry Pratchett(September 25, HarperCollins)
A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage, in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he’s Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London’s sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He’s not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl—not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England. From Dodger’s encounter with the mad barber Sweeney Todd to his meetings with the great writer Charles Dickens and the calculating politician Benjamin Disraeli, history and fantasy intertwine in adventure and mystery.

Redlaw: Red Eye, by James Lovegrove (September 25, Solaris)
The eastern seaboard of the USA is experiencing the worst winter weather in living memory, and John Redlaw is in the cold white thick of it. He’s come to America to investigate a series of vicious attacks on vampire immigrants, targeted kills that can’t simply be the work of amateur vigilantes. Dogging his footsteps is Tina “Tick” Checkley, a wannabe TV journalist with an eye on the big time. The conspiracy Redlaw uncovers could give Tina the career break she’s been looking for. It could also spell death for Redlaw.

The Hallowed Ones, by Laura Bickle (September 25 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community. What else is she bringing in with him?

The Moonstone and Miss Jones (Paranormal Investigator #2), by Jillian Stone (September 25, Kensington)
Phaeton Black returns to London only to get sucked into another unearthly scheme. Professor Lovecraft has been tinkering with the secrets of life and death, replacing body parts with the latest mechanical marvels. To succeed, he needs to tap the power of the fabled Moonstone, and he needs Phaeton’s help. Of course, Phaeton would prefer to investigate the more interesting body parts of Miss America Jones. The bewilderingly beautiful and gifted daughter of a Cajun witch, Miss Jones is always up for an adventure. When Phaeton is mysteriously shanghaied in Shanghai, America thinks he’s run out on her. Stranded in the Orient, she’s prepared to look under every stone for him.. This time, Miss Jones is on top and Mr. Black is at the bottom of a truly infernal plot.

The River of No Return (Jaguar Stones #3), by Jon Voelkel andPamela Voelkel (September 25, EgmontUSA)
A hurricane is brewing in the jungles of the Maya, and the ancient Death Lords are on the warpath. In Venice, Italy, hanging out with his blogger friend Nasty (Anastasia) Smith-Jones, Max Murphy thinks he is safe from their clutches. But when a rogue octopus pulls him off his gondola and tries to drag him down to the underworld, Max realizes that the Death Lords have not finished with him yet. Soon Max is back in Central America and reunited with the only ones who can help him in his battle, Lola, the mysterious Maya girl, and the howler monkeys Lord 6-Dog and Lady Coco. It’s up to the four of them to save the world. Max and Lola embark on a one-way journey down the blighted Monkey River. Max and Lola find themselves drawn into an ever more bizarre series of tests, culminating in a terrifying ballgame that they can never win. Young Adult.

We Are For the Dark, by Robert Silverberg (September 28, Subterranean)
These 10 stories were written between 1987 and 1990. In “The Dead Man’s Eyes,” a jealous husband goes on the run after the thoughtless murder of his wife’s lover. Anorexia is the means to a computer-obsessed boy’s end in “Chip Runner.” Hugo-winner “Enter a Soldier. Later: Enter Another” and “A Sleep and a Forgetting” explore the issues that might arise if scientists created the technology to recreate famous men from history. Alternate history is also represented; “To the Promised Land” considers what the 20th century would be like if the Roman Empire hadn’t fallen, and “Lion Time in Timbuctoo” examines a world where the Black Death has completely changed the fortunes of the world’s great empires.

Neal Barrett, Jr. has made a special effort to give us a number of dark, funny, and hopefully impossible views of the future. Present in this collection are “Under Old New York,” “Radio Station St. Jack,” and the much heralded “Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus.”

Helix Wars (Helix #2), by Eric Brown (September 25, Solaris)
The Helix, a vast spiral of ten thousand worlds turning around its sun. Aeons ago, the enigmatic Builders constructed the Helix as a refuge for alien races on the verge of extinction. Two hundred years ago, humankind came to the Helix aboard a great colony ship, and the Builders conferred on them the mantle of peacekeepers. For that long, peace has reigned on the Helix. But when shuttle pilot Jeff Ellis crash lands on the world of Phandra, he interrupts a barbarous invasion from the neighbouring Sporelli, who scheme to track down and exterminate Ellis before he can return to New Earth and inform the peacekeepers.

Phobos: Mayan Fear (The Domain Trilogy #3), by Steve Alten(September 25, Tor)
A doomsday rollercoaster ride of adventure that follows Immanuel Gabriel to the end of the world and back again for one last shot at salvation.  During Immanuel’s journey with his deceased grandfather, archaeologist Julius Gabriel, Julius reveals everything the Mayans knew and feared, from the secrets of creation that predate the Big Bang to the existence of extraterrestrials that have come to Earth to save our species. The universe is not what it seems, nor is human existence. The ticking clock of physicality that begins at conception and terminates with our final breath is neither the end nor the beginning, but an elaborate ruse constructed as a test. We are failing miserably.

The Heart of the Matter: Odyssey One (Odyssey One #2), by Evan C. Currie (September 25, 47North)
After an epic maiden voyage that introduced Earth to a larger universe, and a cosmos full of terrifying new enemies, Captain Eric Weston and the crew of the NAC spacecraft Odysseyhave spent months cooling their heels. But when Earth’s newest ally, the Priminae, strike a defense deal with the North American Confederacy, the Odysseyfinally receives her orders: return to Ranquil, the Priminae’s war-ravaged homeworld, and lend support against the invading Drasin. The Drasin are a formidable foe, but Weston suspects a powerful unseen force is waging the war. Determined to unmask the mysterious puppet masters, Weston and his crew defy NAC protocol and venture into deep space, where they will discover an enemy unlike any they have ever faced.

Welcome Home/Go Away (Kris Longknife #9.5), by Mike Shepherd(September 25, Ace, ebook only)
Kris Longknife is back home from her galactic adventures, but her entire Fleet of Discovery has been annihilated. Now, humanity finds itself at war with an alien race more monstrous than anyone could have possibly imagined. General Terrance “Trouble” Tordon, Kris’s great-grandfather, is given the task of calming the panicked politicians, some of whom blame Kris for the disaster and would like to eliminate the ever bothersome Commander Longknife. But as “Trouble” struggles to defend his Kris, the level of uncertainty among the civilians leads to more panic and a rush to judgment that makes him believe that he’s facing a fight he’s bound to lose.

Baba Yaga’s Daughter and Other Stories of the Old Races (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #4), by C.E. Murphy(September 28, Subterranean)
Dragonlord Janx and master vampire Eliseo Daisani are the threads upon which a tapestry of lives and loves are woven across the centuries. From the coldest Russian nights to the heat of Chicago’s greatest fire, nothing brings the immortal adversaries together, or tears them apart, like a woman. And there is always a woman. Vanessa Grey has been at Daisani’s side for decades, but the secrets borne by a witch may be her undoing. Baba Yaga’s daughter has plots that are decades in the hatching, but they may only succeed if Margrit Knight, named ’the Negotiator’ by Daisani and Janx themselves, will work with her. And there are others, the greatest vampire hunter mankind has ever known, and a woman for whom the Old Races are a wonder to walk away from.

Whew!

Now…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. If there’s a new release in another genre this week you’d like to read, leave that in your comment. If I’ve missed a speculative fiction release, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it in—it’s eligible for giveaway.

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 to any place Book Depository ships. Contests end at midnight CDT U.S. on Saturday, 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.

Now….go!