Thursday, January 31, 2013

Time-Traveling with Catherine Bybee (& Amazon GC G*veaway)



Today, I’m pleased to welcome New York Timesbestselling author Catherine Bybee to Preternatura! Catherine is one of my alter-ego Susannah Sandlin’s fellow authors at Montlake Publishing (and Susannah is over at her blog today, in a divine irony of scheduling). A nurse before she turned to writing full-time, Catherine lives in Southern California. You can learn more about her at one of her sites:

Catherine’s here today to talk about her hot Vows trilogy—historical romances involving time-travel and hot Scotsmen and Druids (*fans self*)—and where and to what period she might travel if given a chance.

Read on for a chance to win an Amazon gift card! 

ABOUT Binding Vows: Duncan MacCoinnich’s task… Travel to the twenty-first century Renaissance Faire, deflower the Druid virgins, and go home. Only his job is not so easily accomplished with the virgin in question, Tara McAllister….Time is running out. The evil is closing in on them both….Tara finds Duncan irresistible after what was supposed to be a mock Hand-fasting binds them….When Duncan whisks her to his home in Scotland she could accept that. But, can she forgive him for taking away her modern life when she finds herself in the sixteenth century?...And is it love they feel? Or something else? 

About Silent Vows: Myra, a medieval virgin druidess, flees five hundred years into the future to escape death at the hands of a cursed witch and lands in the arms of a handsome but cynical twenty-first century cop….Officer Todd Blakely knows Myra is hiding something , but can't resist her innocent charms. Destiny throws them both into a world of intrigue and mysticism. Can Todd be the true white knight she needs? Or will magic and the winds of time tear them apart?

About Redeeming Vows: For her own safety, modern day, single mom, Lizzy McAllister is forced to bow to the medieval men who surround her when she's thrust back in time to the sixteenth century against her will. When Lizzy finds herself trapped in time with Fin, the one man she finds both irresistible and maddening, she agrees to combine forces with him to rid Scotland of the evil witch, Grainna. Finlay MacCoinnich's attraction to Lizzy sizzles the very air they breathe….Tearing down the solid walls the woman has built around her won't be easy, but he's willing to do anything to keep her by his side. When a spell cast by their deadliest foe throws them forward in time, will they manage to find their way back in time to save their family from peril? And will Lizzy willingly stay in his time, or abandon him altogether?
How hot does this trilogy sound? And now, let’s hear from Catherine…

5 PLACES & TIMES THIS AUTHOR
WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL TO AND WHY
by Catherine Bybee 

Let me begin by saying that much like rubbing the genie bottle and receiving three wishes, I’d need a very extended contract before sailing, sliding, or whizzing through time. On said contract it must be noted that in no time shall I be dirt poor, in bad health, or dropped on some land in which food, water, and shelter is not available.

Let us begin:

Number Five: The fifth place and time I’d consider traveling to…and mind you I must have all my memories and knowledge of my current life…and be able to get back to the 21stcentury…as in 2013 when need be: “Can you tell I’ve thought about this?” is…
High School. Yeah, boring… but… If I’m back in my body back in high school, and have the mind I have now… Holy crap, what fun I’d have. And of course I’d have my other self buy stock in say Apple or invest in Microsoft.

Number Four: The fourth place and time I’d consider traveling to would be Egyptduring the building of the pyramids. I’m thinkin’ I need to travel with the economy bottle of SPF 50, but I’d like to see with my own eyes how those things were built, and find out if in fact we were visited by aliens from outer space who ‘showed the Egyptians’ the way to build. Again…all rules of not being dirt poor and in bad health apply.

Number Three: The third place and time I’d consider traveling to… Regency Period England… yeah, cliché but take me to the ball Cinderella style, with all my snark? That would be fun. I’m thinking I’d have to pack a taser and perhaps a backup .38, but why not? I’d love to spread gossip among the ton and help liberate the women. I think I might have to add that on this trip I have to have a title…and not the title of mistress. Lady Catherine has a nice ring to it…don’t you think?

And a big box of condoms. Just sayin’. You know…for those spontaneous moments.

Number Two: The second place and time I’d consider traveling to would be medieval Scotland…You didn’t think I’d forget my own time period of travel…did you? And yeah, I’m thinking burly muscled kilt-wearing and kilt-worthy men who devour you with a smile and a nod… YUM! *slurp slurp* I’m going with the jumbo box of condoms on this trip.

Number One: And the first place on my list of places to go to and why would be the future. A couple of hundred years ahead… I’d love to know what’s going to happen outside of my predicted life span.

So, dear reader… where would you go and why… and with what stipulations? 

Okay, LOL. I’m still laughing about the giant package of condoms making the trip to medieval Scotland!

The giveaway: Tell us where you’d like to time-travel, and why (and your stipulations, of course). You’ll be entered to win a $10 gift card from Amazon. I’m thinking…maybe early 19th-century New Orleans, perhaps to meet my favorite French pirate. I’d have to be wealthy, of course, and be stooping far beneath my station to meet with said pirate. Who’d probably scare the crap out of me, but still…How about you? Enter the rafflecopter and leave a comment!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review and G*veaway: Ever After by Kim Harrison


First, a commercial break for today’s stop on the Susannah Sandlin Omega tour—Maghon at Happy Tails and Tales is interviewing Will Ludlam…and you know Will is going to misbehave. Because he always does! So check it out if you get a chance, and you can enter to win the great prizes, which are listed on the Susannah website.

I’m breaking away from Shop Talk this week because I’ve been having trouble finding a free blog day to review Ever After, Book 11 in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison.  I actually have my author friend Carole Remy to thank for ever discovering this series. She’d read an early version of Royal Street and said it reminded her of a book called Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison. Was that a good thing? Alarmed, I ran out and found a copy of the book and found out…what a compliment it was! I wasn’t convinced this would become a favorite series until Rachel turned herself into a mink, got caught and caged by Trent Kalamack, and ended up in the city rat fights. That is still one of the funniest series of scenes I’ve ever read, and this quickly became one of my favorite urban fantasy series, right alongside the Dresden Files.

So read on for my non-spoilerific thoughts about Ever After, then leave a comment to be entered for a copy! If you aren’t up to date on the series, you can also choose an earlier Hollows book. If you’ve read them all, you can substitute a book from the Book Horde (tab at top of page—I’ll be adding some new Book Horde additions this weekend).

ABOUT EVER AFTER: The Ever After, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. If it disappears completely, so does all magic. It's up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe and keep life from changing... for the worse.
While saving the world is important, it isn't Rachel's only motivation. There's also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place, setting off a chain reaction of unfortunate events. That little mistake has made her life forfeit unless she can fix it. It's also made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after—a terrifying entity who eats souls and now has an insatiable appetite for her. He's already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out, and if Rachel doesn't give herself up soon, they'll die.
But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own, and she isn't going to hand over her soul and her life without one hell of a fight. She's also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her—a prospect both thrilling and unnerving—she's going to return to the ever after, kick some demon butt, rescue her loved ones... and prevent an apocalypse before it's too late. Or, at least that's the plan.

A Scene I’d Read Twice: Oh, there are so many. Here’s a short list from memory:
            * Rachel tries a curse she’s concocted to restore Trent’s missing fingers, and ends up with a drunken Algaliarept and a Trent who’s been a little toorestored. I can’t say more, but the whole scene had me laughing aloud.
            * The uber-creepy Ku-Sox walking around with baby Lucy. OMG.
            * Rachel and Trent go flying. I can’t say more, but wow.

I Didn’t Quite Buy: It wasn’t at all that I didn’t buy it, but I did think the trial-and-error methods Rachel had to go through with Bis to learn how to fix the lines that Ku-Sox had corrupted went on in a little too much detail. Okay, so I have a short attention span. I understand why it was necessary—to show that this was something Rachel was having to learn and that it was hard. Her success wasn’t guaranteed, and she had to work slowly and carefully. And the whole idea was really cool. Still, there was a little drag for me.

The World: I’m not sure how much I can add since we’re on book 11, except that this is an extraordinarily rich, well-developed, and consistent world. Kim Harrison does a masterful job of keeping the vampire, werewolf, pixy, and other storylines simmering a little in the background even as, in this book, the Ever After, the demons, and the elves take center stage. Even as we learn more about the ugly history between the elves and demons, the factions are lining up: human, Inderlander, demon, elf, vampire. There are only two more books in the series. Who’ll ally themselves with whom?

The Characters: Rachel Morgan is a great character, and in Ever After I think I like her better than in any book previously. She’s grown up a lot, matured. She’s able to step back and look at her relationships and admit which ones don’t work, and why. She’s confused about her feelings for Trent, but mature enough to admit it and not just run away. Likewise, Trent is coming into his own. I think his is one of my favorite growth arcs in the series, going from an absolute murderous jackass in the first book, through a mire of moral ambiguity, to—finally—someone we can understand a little better and sympathize with, even if we don’t like his methods.

Trent also understands Rachel, and he’s willing to do some things he knows would haunt her if she had to do them. He doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty for a good cause.

Algaliarept becomes an ally for Rachel here, and he is forced to step up for his “itchy witch” and help in his own way. We see a depth to his character that’s really touching. Wait. This is AL. Oh, what the heck. I love Al. And Newt still scares me.

Ivy’s back with changes of her own, and I honestly have no idea what’s in store for her, with or without Rachel.

General Thoughts: Was this my favorite book of the series? I’m not sure I could say that, but I can say it is my favorite of the past three or four. I couldn’t put it down, and I read the final page anxious for the next one even though I know it’s bringing us closer to the end.

Want to win a copy? Leave a comment. Who’s you favorite character? If you’ve read Ever After already, what did you think? Do you think Rachel will end up with Trent when all is said and done?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Release Day with Lexi George & W*n, Y’all


The quick commercial—head over to the Susannah Sandlin website for today’s stops on the blog tour for Omega, and more chances to win big tour-wide prizes.

Now…drum roll…

Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar is out today! One of the great things about being an author is meeting other authors. I read Lexi George’s debut book, Demon Hunting in Dixie, before I met her, so I had envisioned her as this sassy Southern woman with a wicked sense of humor. And I was totally right. I was also surprised to learn she lived less than an hour away and spends her days as an appellate lawyer. Which, now that I think about it, probably requires a highly developed sense of the absurd. You can learn more about Lexi at her website

The Demon Hunting series (the second book is Demon Hunting in the Deep South) is set in the tiny (or as one might say in Alabama, tee-niny) town of Hannah, Alabama, so I asked Lexi if she could offer us a peek at things to see and do in Hannah. I also grew up in a tee-niny Alabama town (population, at its peak, was less than 3,000), so I can tell you she pretty well nails it, except for the part about sexy demon hunters who get drunk on chocolate. I only wish…

Take it away, Lexi!

Ten Things To Do If You’re In Hannah, Alabama

Lexi George

1.       Eat at the Sweet Shop Café and Grill, home of slap-’yo-Mama-good vittles made fresh from scratch every day. Del Williams makes the best barbeque in Behr County, and as for his fried chicken—mmmwah! It’s a religious experience. His lovely wife, Miz Vi, concocts a chocolate pie that will melt in your mouth, piled high with homemade meringue, the fluffy, white peaks lightly toasted under the broiler to sugary perfection. But look out if you see a demon hunter amongst the diners. Demon hunters can’t handle their chocolate. Get a Dalvahni demon hunter drunk on chocolate and look out.

2.       Visit the Kut ʾN Kurl and get your hair ‘did. ’ Jeannine carries a full line of Fiona Fix-it products that work magic on your hair. No, really. Magic. These products are fae-tastic.

3.      Stop by Flowers by Adara and say hey to Addy, the owner. Pay no attention to the tall, dark and handsome hunk of a demon hunter glowering in the corner. That’s just Brand. I’m not kidding.  Pay no attention to him. Brand is Addy’s husband, and she’s the tee-nin-siest bit jealous. Put the move on Brand, and Addy will open up a can of Behr County whoopass on you.

4.      Swing by Corwin’s Serenity Chapel and check out the action. Find out the latest gossip while mumbling politely over the dearly departed. Funerals are BYOSC: bring your own Solo cup. There’s always someone in the back parking lot with a cooler of beer and a bucket of fried chicken or a ham sammich to share. The funeral parlor has always been the place to find out what’s going on. For instance, did you hear about Shirley Farris? That old philandering husband of hers died and she removed his mister to keep him from messing around on her in the afterlife.

5.      On your way out of Corwin’s, stop by the office and make Miss Bitsy an offer. No, not that kind of offer. Offer to buy the place. Corwin’s has been up for sale ever since Shep, Bitsy’s son and Hannah’s sole undertaker, hooked up with an emotion sucking, intergalactic hoochie mama named Lenora. Bitsy blames Lenora for Shep’s decision to give up undertaking to follow his muse. Bitsy does not approve of Lenora or the muse. Lenora wears a string dress and does the hoochie coochie at the drop of a hat. Ladies do not wear strings dresses and they most certainly do not do the hoochie coochie. Ever. (See Rule 12 of the Bitsy Handbook on Southern Lady-tude).  As for the muse, Bitsy says it’s just a phase Shep’s going through. She hopes.

6.      Run the dunes out at the abandoned quarry in your pickup truck. But don’t stay after dark. That’s when the Sand People come out.

7.      Need to locate someone or something? Visit the Hannah art gallery and say hello to Mr. Collier. Mr. Collier can find anything with his contrabulator, especially demons. He made the device himself out of a couple of coat hangers. Interested in cigarette art?  Mullet Woman has an Elvis she’ll gladly sell you. Or maybe you’re interested in a tasteful nude. Shep Corwin has dozens of nekked pictures of his succubus girlfriend on display. But don’t tell Bitsy. Ladies don’t pose nekked. (See Rule 23 of the handbook.)

8.      Have a drink at Beck’s, a demonoid dive bar outside of town with a scenic view of the Devil River. Don’t bother going if you’re not a super. No norms allowed at Beck’s. You’d never find the place anyway. It’s equipped with a repel spell to keep out unwanteds, and a bouncer with a nose like a bloodhound. Toby Littleton can smell a norm a mile away. If you do make it inside, enjoy the music of Beelzebubba, the rockabilly band. But watch out for the Skinners. Look up the definition of ‘white trash’ in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of a Skinner. They’re shifters and mean drunks.

9.      Slip inside the sanctuary of Trinity Episcopal Church and enjoy the beautiful, unearthly music provided by the church organist, Junior Peterson. Junior is a ghost. He was forced to relocate when his family home burned to the ground. He’s looking for a new home. Interested? Make sure you have a grand piano, and that it’s properly tuned. Junior has a degree from Vanderbilt in music and very exacting standards.

10.  Drive out to Sardine Bridge at midnight and holler Ha-a-zel, three times and a watery ghost will rise from the creek. But don’t cuss. Hazel can’t abide foul language. Cuss and she’ll give you an ectoplasmic colon cleanse.

Those are just the highlights. There’s plenty more to do in Hannah, so y’all come. 

Thanks, Lexi, and Ha! I understood every word of that. Did you? Leave a comment telling me a Southernism you didn’t understand or hadn’t heard before, and we’ll explain the mystery of talking Southern.

Lexi’s offering copies of Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar (or an earlier book in the series if it’s new to you) to five lucky commenters. So, get to talkin’ y’all!

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Releases Jan. 26-31 and Reader’s Choice C*ntest


Some great releases this week, but first, a commercial.

My other half, Susannah Sandlin, starts the virtual tour today for Omega, the third book in the Penton Legacy paranormal romance series. The book was a 4-1/2-star “Top Pick” by RT Book Reviews this month, and there are some great prizes to be had (Kindle, Nook, gift cards, books…really, lots of stuff). So head over to http://www.susannahsandlin.comevery day to find the URLs for the day’s blog stops and chances to win!

Now….What do you want to read? As always, leave a comment telling me the book you’d most like to win, and maybe random.org will make your wishes come true. Your choice of print or digital unless otherwise stated. International? Of course! As long as Book Depository delivers to your country, please enter. If you’d prefer the first book in a series listed here, that’s okay, too.

’Til the World Ends: Dawn of Eden\Thistle and Thorne\Sun Storm (Blood of Eden #0.5) by Julie Kagawa, Ann Aguirre, andKaren Duvall (January 29, Harlequin Luna)
Dawn of Eden: The Red Lung, a virus determined to take out everything. Kylie, a doctor, witnesses endless suffering. Strange things are happening to the remains of the dead. She befriends Ben Archer, and wonders if a global pandemic is the least of her problems. Thistle & Thorne: A catastrophic spill turns the country into a chemical wasteland. For Mari Thistle, life is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with Thorne Goodman. They’ll face an evil plot that could destroy those on the outside for good. Sun Storm: After the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, Sarah Daggot becomes a Kinetic. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to halt the final onslaught of the sun. She’ll vow to convince Ian Matthews up until the world ends.

Immortal Craving (Dark Dynasties #4), by Kendra Leigh Castle, (January 29, Forever)
Wild, uncontrollable, and powerful, the lion-shifting Rakshasa were hunted down by vicious rival vampires who feared their dark, magical abilities. Somehow one survived, and now, after centuries of hiding, Tasmin Singh reemerges as fierce and fearless as ever at the door of the Lilim queen, seeking answers, and sanctuary. The human best friend to a vampire queen, Bay Harper, traded her quiet, comfortable life for a world filled with immortal assassins, warring werewolves, and this hauntingly sexy shifter. Only Bay’s gentle touch can subdue Tasmin’s inner demons. But when a bloody struggle threatens to tear them apart, can Bay risk everything on her faith in him, or will his dark side be stronger than even their all-consuming desire?

Boundless (Unearthly #3), by Cynthia Hand (January 22, Harper Teen)
Young Adult. The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Clara cannot deny that she was never meant to live a normal life. Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California, and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place. Clara discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

Ever After (The Hollows #11), by Kim Harrison (January 22, Harper Voyager)
The ever after, the demonic realm that parallels the human world, is shrinking. It’s up to witch-turned-daywalking-demon Rachel Morgan to avert catastrophe. While saving the world is important, it isn’t Rachel’s only motivation. There’s also the small fact that she caused the ley line to rip in the first place. It has made her more than a few enemies, including the most powerful demon in the ever after. He’s already kidnapped her friend and goddaughter to lure her out. But Rachel has more than a few impressive and frightening skills of her own. She’s also got a surprise: elven tycoon Trent Kalamack. With this unlikely ally beside her, she’s going to return to the ever after, rescue her loved ones, and prevent an apocalypse before it’s too late. Or, at least that’s the plan.

The Archived (The Archived #1), by Victoria Schwab (January 22, Hyperion)
Young Adult. Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

Between (The Between #1), by Kerry Schafer (January 29, Ace)
Vivian’s life is finally on track. She has a job she loves as an ER doctor and has just met, literally, the man of her dreams. But when her eccentric grandfather is murdered and designates her as his next of kin, she discovers that she is the last of a race of beings known as dreamshifters. It is her task to guard the doorways between waking and dreaming, which have already begun to unravel, spilling dangerous creatures from dream into the waking world. When she sets out to close the open doors and protect her town and the people she loves, Vivian confronts dragons, intrigue, and the dark secrets of her own family history. In the end she comes face to face with a sorceress seeking eternal life and ultimate power. Vivian must find a way to stop her, or reality will be forever altered.

Haunted Moon (Otherworld #13), by Yasmine Galenorn (January 29, Jove)
There’s a new Fae sorcerer in town, Bran, the son of Raven Mother and the Black Unicorn, and I’m the unwilling liaison between him and our new Earthside OIA. With cemeteries being ransacked and spirits being harvested by a sinister, otherworldly force, Aeval sends us to rescue the wife of a prominent member of the Fae nobility. Our search leads us to the Aleksais Psychic Network and, to face the Lord of Ghosts where Morio and I must undergo a ritual that will plunge us directly into the world of the dead.
  
Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier (Shadow Ops #2), by Myke Cole(January 29, Ace)
The Great Reawakening did not come quietly. Across the country and in every nation, people began to develop terrifying powers, summoning storms, raising the dead, and setting everything they touch ablaze. Colonel Alan Bookbinder is an army bureaucrat whose worst war wound is a paper-cut. Drafted into the Supernatural Operations Corps in a new and dangerous world, Bookbinder finds himself in command of Forward Operating Base Frontier. Now, he must find the will to lead the people of FOB Frontier out of hell, even if the one hope of salvation lies in teaming up with the man whose own magical powers put the base in such grave danger in the first place, Oscar Britton, public enemy number one.

Shattered Circle (Persephone Alcmedi #6), by Linda Robertson(January 29, Pocket)
After her werewolf boyfriend, Johnny, tried to kill her, Persephone Alcmedi finds herself in the comforting arms of powerful vampire, Menessos. She’s trying to sort out her feelings for the two men, but not even Seph is above the confusion of tangled emotions. All Johnny wants to do is mend their relationship and reveal the life-altering news he’s recently received, but his new responsibilities as the werewolf king take up most of his time. Meanwhile, unknown to Seph, her beloved foster daughter, Beverley, has been playing with a magical artifact and making dubious friends on the other side. When Beverley disappears, Seph must seek help from a supernatural being so potent that even Menessos fears him, and such aid always comes with a very steep price.

The Eldritch Conspiracy (Blood Singer #5), by Cat Adams (January 29, Tor)
Celia Graves was once an ordinary human. Now she strives to maintain her sanity and her soul while juggling both vampire abilities and the powers of a Siren. Not every bride needs a bridesmaid who can double as a bodyguard. But Celia’s cousin Adriana is no ordinary bride: she’s a Siren princess, and she’s marrying the king of a small but politically important European country. She’s getting death threats from fanatics who want to see the whole Siren race wiped out, including Celia herself. Celia is on duty when a trip to a bridal salon is interrupted by an assassination attempt, so everyone survives. Assuming the bride and groom both live to see their wedding day, this will be one royal wedding no one will ever forget.

What the Spell? (Life’s a Witch #1), by Brittany Geragotelis(January 29, Simon & Schuster)
Young Adult. Almost-sixteen-year-old Brooklyn feels invisible, but she desperately wants to be pretty, to be popular, to be adored by a cute guy. Luckily for her, she’s a witch about to come of age, so she’s only a few spells away from making it all happen. On her milestone birthday, Brooklyn’s conservative parents finally unbind her powers, which include the ability to magically match couples with a love spell. Brooklyn uses her special skills to get a makeover, new friends, and the attention of her crush, Asher. But the popular clique Brooklyn wants to infiltrate puts her in the same precarious position as her Salem ancestors: If she’s found out, she could be vilified, and lose Asher in the process. Can she make the most of her magic, or will she be luckless and loveless?

She Returns from War (Cora Oglesby #2), by Lee Collins (January 29, Angry Robot)
Four years after the horrific events in Leadville, a young woman from England, Victoria Dawes, sets into motion a series of events that will lead Cora and herself out into the New Mexico desert in pursuit of Anaba, a Navajo witch bent on taking revenge for the atrocities committed against her people.

Steampunk: H.G. Wells, by H.G. Wells, Zendko Basic (Illustrations),Manuel Sumberac (Illustrations) (January 29, Running Press)
No classic work lends itself better to steampunk illustrations than The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The Country of the Blind, written by H.G. Wells, who many consider to be the father of steampunk itself. Basic and Sumberac’s four-color illustrations spiked with Steampunk machinery, gadgets, and fashion accompany Wells’ original text.

The Prey (The Hunt #2), by Andrew Fukuda (January 29, St. Martin’s Griffin)
For Gene and the remaining humans, or hepers, death is just a heartbeat away. On the run and hunted by society, they must find a way to survive in The Vast, and avoid the hungry predators tracking them in the dark. Gene is haunted by the girl he left behind and his burgeoning feelings for Sissy, the human girl at his side. When they discover a refuge of exiled humans living high in the mountains, Gene and his friends think they’re finally safe. A strict code of behavior is the rule, harsh punishments are meted out, young men are nowhere to be found. As life at the refuge grows more perilous, he and Sissy only grow closer. In an increasingly violent world, all they have is each other, if they can only stay alive. U.S. release.

The Winter Witch, by Paula Brackston, (January 29, Thomas Dunne)
In her small Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana. She has never spoken, and her silence as well as the magic she can’t quite control make her a mystery. Concerned for her safety, her mother quickly arranges a marriage with Cai Bevan, the widower from the far hills who knows nothing of the rumors that swirl around her. After their wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving, but she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the rugged mountains that surround it, while slowly Cai himself begins to win her heart. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. Forced to defend her home, her love, and herself from all comers, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.

Salvage and Demolition, by Tim Powers, (January 31, Subterranean)
As far as Richard Blanzac is concerned, the mysterious poetry manuscript he’s found in a beatup cardboard box of junk once owned by San Francisco poet Sophia Greenwald is probably not worth much, but if it’s not, why are people suddenly desperate to get it? Then he finds that reading just a couple of lines is enough to send him back in time to 1957 San Francisco, where a bizarre cult is hoping to use the poem to achieve "non-existence.”

Six-Gun Snow White, by Catherynne M. Valente, (January 31, Subterranean)
A plain-spoken narrator relates the history of her parents, a Nevada silver baron who forced the Crow people to give up one of their most beautiful daughters, Gun That Sings, in marriage to him. With her mother’s death in childbirth, so begins a heroine’s tale equal parts heartbreak and strength. This girl has been born into a world with no place for a half-native, half-white child. After being hidden for years, a very wicked stepmother finally gifts her with the name Snow White, referring to the pale skin she will never have.

Prodigy (Legend #2), by Marie Lu (January 29, Putnam)
Young Adult. June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request, June and Day must assassinate the new Elector. It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood, what if the Patriots are wrong?

The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, by Cassandra Rose Clarke (January 29, Angry Robot)
“Cat, this is Finn. He’s going to be your tutor.” Finn looks and acts human, though he has no desire to be. He was programmed to assist his owners, and performs his duties to perfection. A billion-dollar construct, his primary task now is to tutor Cat. As she grows into a beautiful young woman, Finn is her guardian, her constant companion. and more. But when the government grants rights to the ever-increasing robot population, however, Finn struggles to find his place in the world.

The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1), by Megan Shepherd (January 29, Balzer + Bray)
Young Adult. Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London, trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s experiments. When she learns he is continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true. Accompanied by her father’s assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward, Juliet travels to the island. Her father has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. One of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius, and madness, in her own blood. U.S. release.

Imager’s Battalion (Imager Portfolio #6), by L.E. Modesitt Jr., (January 22, Tor)
Magical hero Quaeryt leads history’s first Imager fighting force into war. Given the rank of subcommander by his wife’s brother, Lord Bhayar, the ruler of Telaryn, Quaeryt joins an invading army into the hostile land of Bovaria, in retaliation for Bovaria’s attempted annexation of Telaryn. But Quaeryt has his own agenda in doing Bhayar’s bidding: to legitimize Imagers in the hearts and minds of all men, by demonstrating their value as heroes as he leads his battalion into one costly battle after another. Making matters worse, court intrigues pursue Quaeryt even to the front lines of the conflict, as the Imager’s enemies continue to plot against him.
  
The Last Apprentice: Slither (The Last Apprentice/Wardstone Chronicles #11), by Joseph Delaney (January 22, Greenwillow)
Young Adult. “My name is Slither, and before my tale is finished you’ll find out why.” The dark is full of terrifying creatures. And Tom Ward, the seventh son of a seventh son, and the Spook’s last apprentice, hasn’t seen all of them. Far from the county, one named Slither has lived for hundreds of years, hunting blood. But a dying father binds the monster to a bargain. If Slither will take his two youngest daughters safely to their family in the south, then the eldest daughter, Nessa, is his. For Nessa the nightmare is just beginning. And when Slither and Nessa cross paths with the feared witch assassin Grimalkin, they will become unwitting players in the quest to stop the Fiend once and for all.

The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle #1), by Miles Cameron (January 22, Orbit)
Twenty eight florins a month is a huge price to pay, for a man to stand between you and the Wild. Twenty eight florins a month is nowhere near enough when a wyvern’s jaws snap shut on your helmet in the hot stink of battle, and the beast starts to rip the head from your shoulders. Leading a company of men, or worse, a company of mercenaries, against the smart, deadly creatures of the Wild is even harder. It takes all the advantages of birth, training, and the luck of the devil to do it. The Red Knight has all three. When he hires his company out to protect an Abbess and her nunnery, it’s just another job. The abby is rich, the nuns are pretty and the monster preying on them is nothing he can’t deal with. Only it’s not just a job. It’s going to be a war. US release.

Asunder (Newsoul #2), by Jodi Meadows (January 29, Katherine Tegen Books)
Young Adult. Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls, and the newsouls who may be born in their place. Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves. Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

Dangerous Gifts (Babylon Steel #2), by Gaie Sebold (January 29, Solaris)
Babylon Steel, former avatar of the goddess of sex and war, has been offered a job; as bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, the latest candidate for the Council of Incandress; and as spy for the Diplomatic Section, the barely-acknowledged government of Scalentine. She doesn’t want it. Incandress is on the verge of civil war. Enthemmerlee represents the hopes or fears of a large portion of its population and is a prime target for assassination. On Scalentine racial tensions and economic stresses are boiling up, with Babylon’s lover, Chief Bitternut, trying to keep the lid on. Circumstances conspire to send her to Incandress. There, things become rather too interesting. And that’s before Babylon realizes that the situation is far worse than she thought.

Kalimpura (Green Universe #3) by Jay Lake (January 29, Tor)
Green is hounded by the gods of Copper Downs and the gods of Kalimpura, who have laid claim to her and her children. She never wanted to be a conduit for the supernatural, but when she killed the Immortal Duke and created the Ox god with the power she released, she came to their notice. Now she has sworn to retrieve the two girls taken hostage by the Bittern Court, one of Kalimpura’s rival guilds. But the Temple of the Lily Goddess is playing politics with her life.

Five entries possible: +1 for comment to tell me what book you want, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow, +1 for a Tweet or RT about the contest, +1 for a Facebook follow. 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 the Book Horde list (see tab at the top of the page).

Now….go forth and comment!