A bunch of exciting new releases out today for your reading pleasure!

resurrection game THE RESURRECTION GAME (A Shadowside Novel) by Michelle Belanger (Titan, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, Indiebound)

Speeding through the night, Zack Westland seeks to put his nightmares behind him, at least for the moment. Yet when he stops for gas, the chittering sounds of cacodaimons remind him that there is no escape.

Calling upon his abilities as one of the Anakim—a tribe of angels trapped on Earth—Zack dispatches the hideous creatures and seeks to depart before the police can arrive. Then he sees something that chills him to the bone… A man wearing his face.

When a connection emerges between Zack’s doppelganger and a series of ritualistic murders, Zack must call upon his every ally to find this murderer before he can strike again. For all of them are targets, and the sadistic serial killer won’t stop until all are dead.

 dangerously divine DANGEROUSLY DIVINE (a Broken Riders Novel) by Deborah Blake (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, Indiebound)

The author of the “wonderful” (Tamora Pierce) Baba Yaga novels and Dangerously Charming is back with a magically mesmerizing new tale about the dashing and daring Broken Riders…  

The Riders: Three immortal brothers who kept the Baba Yagas safe, now stripped of their summons to protect. But fate is not finished with them—and their new callings are even more powerful…  

Though his physical wounds have healed, Gregori Sun, the eldest of the Riders, remains in spiritual turmoil. His search for his mother, the one person able to heal his soul and save his life, is failing—until he crosses paths with a beautiful and fascinating librarian who might be the key to his salvation…

Ciera Evans’s bookish ways are just a guise. The product of a difficult past, she has dedicated her life to saving lost teens—by any means necessary. She works alone, but when a dark, brooding stranger proposes they team up to solve both their problems, she is tempted—in more ways than one…

After Ciera and Sun’s plans are derailed by dangerous enemies, they find themselves entangled in an ungodly affair—one that will force them to either find new strength together or be forever haunted by their pasts alone.

 

ST Titan Fortunes of War Star Trek: Titan: FORTUNE OF WAR by David Mack (Simon & Schuster, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, Indiebound)

An original spin-off novel set in the popular Star Trek: The Next Generation universe from New York Times bestselling author David Mack.

Death slumbers in the ashes of silent planets, waiting to be awakened and unleashed…

Twenty years have passed since the interstellar scourge known as the Husnock were exterminated without warning by a being with godlike abilities. Left behind, intact but abandoned, their desolate worlds and derelict ships brim with destructive potential.

Now a discovery by a Federation cultural research team has drawn the attention of several ruthless factions. From black market smugglers to alien military forces, it seems every belligerent power in the quadrant hopes to capture the Husnock’s lethal technology.

All that stands between the galaxy and those who have come to plunder the cruelest secrets of the Husnock are Admiral William Riker, Captain Christine Vale, and the crew of the Starship Titan.

mass effect initiation Mass Effect: Initiation by N.K. Jemisin and Mac Walters (Titan, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-million, Indiebound)

An original novel written by Hugo Award-winning author N. K. Jemisin and Mass Effect creative director Mac Walters

Lieutenant Cora Harper joined the Systems Alliance to develop and enhance her powerful biotic talents. She was assigned to the asari commando unit Talein’s Daughters, where she honed her abilities to become a skilled and deadly huntress.

Returning to Earth, Cora finds herself a stranger among other humans, and joins the Andromeda Initiative as Alec Ryder’s second-in-command. The mission will send 100,000 colonists on a one-way, 600-year-long journey into the unknown. When essential—and dangerous—tech is stolen, Cora is assigned to recover it before it can be used against the Initiative, and end the mission before it can begin.

 

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At the end of the new Justice League movie, Lois Lane does a voice over of the article she’s writing, in which she says, “The truest darkness is not the absence of light, but the fear that the light will never return.” This had me in tears, because it’s such a perfect description of depression. The hard part isn’t the sadness or the mourning or the pain, it’s the point at which all of those feelings stop, and you’re cut off emotionally from yourself and everyone around you. That’s when light and hope die.

But Lois Lane’s next words are equally true, “But the light always returns…Hope is real.”

It doesn’t feel like that at the time. Trust me, I know. A few years ago, drawing on personal experience, I wrote a book of my heart about a girl named Lisa who didn’t believe that things would get better, and about what her death did to those left behind. Her best friend, Vanessa, tries to make sense of things by reconstructing the last months of Lisa’s life. Someone takes a much more vengeful tack, taking on revenge against those who might have wronged Lisa. One death may very well beget others. This is fiction, of course, but it’s based on the real pain, loss and helplessness of those left behind when someone fails to hold onto the light.

When you’re at your worst, it can feel like you don’t matter and the world will be better off without you or that the pain is so great there’s no way to live with it. But you do matter to somebody. Very likely multiple somebodies. You touch more people than you know, and it does get better. It really does. It can be a long process, but that kind of darkness is no more sustainable than the blaring light.

I don’t have any magic formula. I wish I did, but I can tell you what I do to keep myself from falling into that abyss, after years of struggling with anxiety and depression.

-I give myself something to look forward to all the time. I love live music, theatre, costuming, and travel, not necessarily in that order. So whether it’s a concert, a festival, a play, or a gathering with friends, I make sure there’s always something on the calendar in the not too distant future that I look forward to, that I can’t bear to miss.

-I reach out to people. My inclination when I’m depressed is to go quiet, not to burden anyone with what I’m going through. This is dangerous. This is how you go down that rabbit hole of disconnect. I know that the best thing for me is to go out and do something. To distract myself and change my location to change my feelings. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes picking up the phone and going out are the hardest things in the world, but they’re important. And you don’t necessarily have to go out. You can talk by phone, you can have a friend or family member come to you, but DO NOT GO IT ALONE.

-Therapy. I never believed in therapy, probably because my first experience with it after a childhood trauma was so awful. But a good therapist, especially one versed in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), which is a kind of cognitive reprogramming to help take down trauma, is priceless.

-Meds, I’ll admit it. I know that some people don’t want to be medicated, and I get that. I really do. But a very wise friend of mine once said to me, “If you had diabetes, you’d take insulin, right? How is this different?” That’s what changed my mind on the matter, and it’s changed so much else for me as well.

-Focus on the areas of your life not causing you pain. Sometimes you have to cut out some things or people who are sheer poison. It’s difficult, and there are people who will judge you for it, but you can’t live your life for how other people will perceive you. That’s a clear path to unhappiness. Do not let anyone convince you that it’s selfish to stand up for yourself or do what’s right for you.

-Self-care is crucial. Back in college, I trained to participate in a big brothers/big sisters program. Unfortunately, they had more need of big brothers than big sisters, and I never did get matched with someone, but I learned a lot. One story particularly stayed with me. It’s the story of a woman with a barrel of apples. She reaches into it every time there’s someone in need, someone who’s hungry. After a while, she scrapes the bottom and there are no more apples, because she was so busy helping others, she never took time to refill it. We’re like that. We need to refill our apple barrels so that we continuously have something of ourselves to give. When you look at it that way, self-care is anything but selfish.

The holidays are often especially hard for people. I get that too. All I can say is that I care. And that’s magnified a million quadrillion times for anyone close to you. Please, please, please, #HoldOnToTheLight. I promise, no matter how it feels, you are loved and valued. Taking yourself out of world turns over everyone’s apple barrels.

HoldOnToTheLight Website and other Posts

Where to find help

 

I’m so, so excited that The Knight Agency has four authors in the final round of the GoodReads Choice Awards! I love these awards, which highlight worthy titles and always threaten to overload my TBR pile. I hope you’ll vote however your inclination, but I have to send a special shout out to:

Rachel Caine for STILLHOUSE LAKE up for Best Mystery/Thriller:  https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-mystery-thriller-books-2017

Christina Henry for LOST BOY up for Best Horror: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-horror-books-2017

N.K. Jemisin for THE STONE SKY up for Best Fantasy: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fantasy-books-2017

Nalini Singh for SILVER SILENCE up for Best Romance: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-romance-books-2017

I’m also pleased to announce the following new releases! (Yes, they’re from last week, but I was away, and so I present them to you now!)

all those explosions cover ALL THOSE EXPLOSIONS WERE SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT by James Alan Gardner (Tor Books, B&N, Amazon)

Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.

Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don’t think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.

Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger.

Kim Lam is an ordinary college student until a freak scientific accident (what else?) transforms Kim and three housemates into Sparks—and drafts them into the never-ending war between the Light and Dark. They struggle to master their new abilities—and (of course) to design cool costumes and come up with great hero-names.

Turns out that “accident” was just the first salvo in a Mad Genius’s latest diabolical scheme. Now it’s up to four newbie heroes to save the day, before they even have a chance to figure out what their team’s name should be!

ALL THOSE EXPLOSIONS made both Barnes & Noble and i09’s Recommended Reading lists for November!

Black Goat Blues cover (002) BLACK GOAT BLUES by Levi Black, #2 in the Mythos War series (Tor Books, B&N, Amazon)

Levi Black delivers in Black Goat Blues, the Lovecraft-inspired sequel to the dark fantasy Red Right Hand, which Jonathan Maberry calls “A perfect blend of old-school horror and modern storytelling sorcery.”

In Red Right Hand, Charlie Tristan Moore was thrust into a nightmarish world of lurking Lovecraftian horrors when The Man In Black, a diabolical Elder God, chose her as his unwilling Acolyte. Discovering her own power, Charlie ultimately defied The Man In Black, but at a cost.

Now armed with a magic coat made from the skin of a flayed angel, Charlie is out to destroy The Man In Black and save her boyfriend Daniel—and she doesn’t care how many bloodthirsty gods and monsters get in her way…

shades of memory SHADES OF MEMORY by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Bell Bridge Books, B&N, Amazon)

“Exceptional!” -Jill Smith, RT Book Reviews on The Diamond City Magic series

Riley’s lost the last damned thing she’s willing to lose. She’s declaring war and prisoners are optional.

After escaping the FBI, Riley and her family have become fugitives, and not just from the law. Every bad guy on the planet wants a piece of Riley. Gregg has been kidnapped. Worse than that, Price’s newly discovered magic is dangerously out of control, and her own is trying to kill her. She has little time to worry about any of that before all hell breaks loose in Diamond City, and she finds herself smack dab in the crossfire.

With the clock ticking down, Riley gathers her friends and family to execute a Hail Mary plan that will pit them against seven of the most dangerous thugs in Diamond City, a serial killer, Riley’s psychopath father, and a mysterious billionaire with plans of his own. If she succeeds, she makes herself an even bigger target. If she fails, everybody she cares about dies.

But the shadows hold danger even Riley will never see coming . . . .

Diana Pharaoh Francis is the acclaimed author of a dozen fantasy and urban fantasy novels. Her books have been nominated for the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award and RT’s Best Urban Fantasy. Shades of Memory is the fourth book in her exciting new urban fantasy series—The Diamond City Magic Novels.

vampire undone VAMPIRE UNDONE by Shannon Curtis (Harlequin Nocturne, B&N, Amazon)

Her cruelest temptation… 

A werewolf’s bite has just one cure, and vampire Lucien Marchetta intends to find it. But first he must convince Professor Natalie Segova to help him. Natalie once considered Lucien a friend and protector…until he abandoned her to a terrible tragedy. And yet she still struggles to resist his tantalizing allure and the intimate memories of their past.

Racing to locate the cure, Lucien and Natalie tangle in a seductive power play where every move ratchets up the intensity of their blistering attraction. But time is running out and the veil between death and life is shifting. If Lucien doesn’t reclaim Natalie’s heart soon, he could lose her—and everything he values—forever.

resurrection game In other news, Michelle Belanger’s THE RESURRECTION GAME, third in her Shadowside series, made Unbound Worlds’ list of Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books of November 2017! This one is out November 28th, so not long now!

Happy reading, everyone!

 

It seems like folks have started coming out with their holiday gift-giving guides, which are absolutely wonderful! I’m excited so far to see B&N recommending THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin and Star Wars: Battlefront II: INFERNO SQUAD by Christie Golden as Fantastic Gifts for Sci-Fi & Fantasy Lovers. I heartily agree!

I’ve got some recommendations of my own of wonderful novels coming out in the next months. Nothing says love like a pre-order!

First week of November:

all those explosions coverBlack Goat Blues cover (002)shades of memoryvampire undone cover

ALL THOSE EXPLOSIONS WERE SOMEONE ELSE’S FAULT by James Alan Gardner (B&N, Amazon)

Monsters are real.
But so are heroes.

Sparks are champions of weird science. Boasting capes and costumes and amazing super-powers that only make sense if you don’t think about them too hard, they fight an eternal battle for truth and justice . . . mostly.

Darklings are creatures of myth and magic: ghosts, vampires, were-beasts, and the like. Their very presence warps reality. Doors creak at their approach. Cobwebs gather where they linger….

BLACK GOAT BLUES by Levi Black (B&N, Amazon)

Levi Black delivers in Black Goat Blues, the Lovecraft-inspired sequel to the dark fantasy Red Right Hand, which Jonathan Maberry calls “A perfect blend of old-school horror and modern storytelling sorcery.”

SHADES OF MEMORY by Diana Pharaoh Francis (B&N, Amazon)

“Exceptional!” -Jill Smith, RT Book Reviews on The Diamond City Magic series

Riley’s lost the last damned thing she’s willing to lose. She’s declaring war and prisoners are optional…

VAMPIRE UNDONE by Shannon Curtis (B&N, Amazon)

Her cruelest temptation… 

A werewolf’s bite has just one cure, and vampire Lucien Marchetta intends to find it. But first he must convince Professor Natalie Segova to help him. Natalie once considered Lucien a friend and protector…until he abandoned her to a terrible tragedy. And yet she still struggles to resist his tantalizing allure and the intimate memories of their past…

Last Week of November:

resurrection gamemass effect initiationST Titan Fortunes of War

THE RESURRECTION GAME by Michelle Belanger (B&N, Amazon)

Speeding through the night, Zack Westland seeks to put his nightmares behind him, at least for the moment. Yet when he stops for gas, the chittering sounds of cacodaimons remind him that there is no escape. 

Calling upon his abilities as one of the Anakim—a tribe of angels trapped on Earth—Zack dispatches the hideous creatures and seeks to depart before the police can arrive. Then he sees something that chills him to the bone… A man wearing his face…

Mass Effect: INITIATION by N.K. Jemisin and Mac Walters (B&N, Amazon)

An original novel written by Hugo Award-winning author N. K. Jemisin and Mass Effect creative director Mac Walters.

Lieutenant Cora Harper joined the Systems Alliance to develop and enhance her powerful biotic talents. She was assigned to the asari commando unit Talein’s Daughters, where she honed her abilities to become a skilled and deadly huntress.

Star Trek: Titan: FORTUNE OF WAR by David Mack (B&N, Amazon)

An original spin-off novel set in the popular Star Trek: The Next Generation universe from New York Times bestselling author David Mack.

Death slumbers in the ashes of silent planets, waiting to be awakened and unleashed…

Twenty years have passed since the interstellar scourge known as the Husnock were exterminated without warning by a being with godlike abilities. Left behind, intact but abandoned, their desolate worlds and derelict ships brim with destructive potential…

For even more book-y goodness, check out these titles coming out in December!

FLAME IN THE DARK by Faith Hunter (Berkley)

WYOMING UNDERCOVER by Karen Whiddon (Harlequin)

KILLMAN CREEK by Rachel Caine (Thomas & Mercer/Amazon)

THE LOST PLOT by Genevieve Cogman (Macmillan UK, Berkley US)

Necronomicon is a local science fiction, fantasy and horror convention my family and I go to every year we don’t have a conflict. I’m very excited that we’ll be back this year and to see the special guests Shanna Swendson and Ken Mitchroney. For those interested, the conference is being held this coming weekend at the Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore and has a host of interesting events including the masquerade, where it’s just possible I’ll be sporting a classic Wonder Woman costume I put together myself. Aside from that, here’s my schedule, the better to find me, hopefully with scads of my books to be signed! (Although I’ll have some with me for the noon signing on Saturday.) I look forward to seeing some of you there!

Friday
5:00 PM: How to Know When You Need An Agent; Panelists: Ire, Diver, Labud
Saturday
11:00 AM: Steampunk Cosplay panel
12:00 PM: Signing (along with Elle E. Ire)
5:00 PM: Getting out of the Medieval Fantasy Rut; Panelists: Wilkerson, Hogarth, Swendson, Byers, Iriarte, Diver
Sunday
11 AM: Care and Feeding of your Creative Process; Panelists: Zelinski, Diver, Stark, Iriarte, Michroney

Sadly, I’ve been neglecting the blog recently. Partly, it’s because I’ve been insanely busy with everything else work-wise and not able to carve out the time from my personal life that I might have otherwise due to some family health issues I’ve been keeping off of social media. Partly, it’s because by the time I’m through crowing about everything on Twitter and Facebook, blogging feels redundant. And far more people follow me in those two arenas than read the blog, more’s the pity.

However, I can’t bring myself to abandon it. There are things that I can say here that I don’t have the space to say on Facebook or Twitter, and it’s crucial to me to have the forum should I need it.

So, I’m back, baby! And hoping to keep things up a little better now that we’re headed into fall and publishing tends to quiet down between Thanksgiving and the new year. Or would have, if I hadn’t just jinxed it. But that’s okay. I don’t really enjoy the quiet. I like things dynamic, exciting, busy!

Today I’m excited to post about two new releases out already this month, one as recently as yesterday: BRIMSTONE PRINCE by Barbara J. Hancock (Harlequin Nocturne) and BAYOU BORN by Hailey Edwards (Piatkus). Check them out!

 brimstone prince BRIMSTONE PRINCE by Barbara J. Hancock (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Harlequin)

A match made in hell 

The adopted daughter of the daemon king, Lily Santiago has lived her life in darkness. After one glimpse of desert sunlight, she begins to understand what she’s been missing.

Michael D’Arcy Turov might be heir to the throne of hell, but he has firmly rejected that legacy. All he wants is to play his guitar… Until he meets Lily, and her kiss awakens the Brimstone burn he’s long suppressed. A pawn in the war between her foster father and rogue daemons, Lily is determined to let Michael keep his freedom. But what if his desire for her is enough to take him back to hell?

Bayou born2 BAYOU BORN by Hailey Edwards (Piatkus, Barnes & Noble, Amazon)

Her beginning may be our end . . . 

Deep in the humid Mississippi bayou, a half-wild child is dragged from the murky waters. She has no memories, no family and is covered in mysterious markings. Adopted by the policeman who rescued her, Luce Boudreau follows him onto the force, determined to prove herself in the eyes of those who are still suspicious.

However, there’s more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one – including Luce herself – could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny . . .

Brand new urban fantasy series by Hailey Edwards, bestselling author of the Gemini and Black Dog series. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Estep, Darynda Jones and Ilona Andrews.

fifth season I keep wondering where on earth to start with all of the exciting news for N.K. Jemisin, and decided I couldn’t go wrong with the author’s own words. From Twitter, “OhdearGodIthoughtIwasgonnablowagasketholdingthisin. Big news re THE FIFTH SEASON! https://t.co/FslJC4OrpM“. If you followed the link (or have already seen the news all over social media), yup, you’ve read that right: “N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning sci-fi fantasy novel The Fifth Season is getting the drama series treatment at TNT.” (Read the whole article from Deadline.com.)

obelisk gate So, HUGE congratulations to N.K. Jemisin for the option and development. HUGE congratulations to her on her second Best Novel Hugo Award win last week for the sequel to THE FIFTH SEASON, THE OBELISK GATE, and HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY for her Tuesday release of the conclusion to the Broken Earth series, THE STONE SKY! For those of you who haven’t dipped into this incredible, riveting series yet, that means you can binge read the whole series. No waiting!

stone sky THE STONE SKY by N.K. Jemisin

The shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.

 

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

 

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

 

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

“Extraordinary.” – New York Times on The Fifth Season

For more from N. K. Jemisin, check out:
The Inheritance Trilogy

 

The Inheritance Trilogy (omnibus edition)
The Awakened Kingdom (e-only novella)

Dreamblood Duology