Cover Spotlight: Upcoming Fantasy/Para Reads

This list is a mixture of young adult and adult titles as well as a mixture of romance, urban and straight fantasy. It’s a Fantapalooza!

Opal LaZelle is a special effects make-up artist, transforming actors into fantastical and grotesque creatures. Unknown to the casts and crews of the films she works on, Opal is gifted in the art of magic—and she applies more than make-up when altering an actor’s features.

Her latest job requires turning Corvus Weather into a dark god of the forest. But when Corvus’s performance becomes too convincing—on set and off—Opal realizes he’s not acting. Something has taken possession of Corvus. Something sinister tied to the town’s past, with the ability to absorb the very essence of life. Something Opal doesn’t have enough power to confront, much less drive from the man she has fallen in love with.

Sounds different. Is this a romance? I’m not exactly sure, but it sounds like it. Releases May 5, 2009.

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Young Adult

Steam trains and electricity are rapidly changing the world. Moth of Calio is obsessed with the airships developed by his friend Fiona’s grandfather Rendor, and dreams of taking to the air one day like his heroes, the Skyknights.

But not everyone is happy to see humans reach the skies. For thousands of years, the mysterious and powerful race known as the Skylords have jealously guarded their heavenly domain. But Moth and Fiona are about to breach the magical boundary between the world of humans and the world of the Skylords.

May 5, 2009. Visit the author’s site for more details. To read an advanced review, click on over to Graeme’s Fantasy Book and Review and SciFiGuy.

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Young Adult. This one is a reissue, but it sounds very interesting and therefore worth a mention:

Magpie Windwitch is not like other faeries, most of whom live in tranquil seclusion. When she learns that escaped devils are creeping back into the world, she travels all over with her faithful clan of crows, hunting them down. The hunt will take her to the great forest of Dreamdark, where she must unravel the mystery of the worst enemy her folk have ever known. Can one small, determined faerie defeat the forces that threaten to unmake the world?

Releases May 14, 2009. Original publication June 21, 2007.

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Young Adult

With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . .

Releases May 14, 2009. Previous book: Aurelia. See the author’s site for more details on the first book.

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In the first of a trilogy of the supernatural battle for WWII, Dr. Alice Doyle finds the power to fight evil comes from places she’d never believe…

At the height of the Battle of Britain, a lady doctor has more than enough trouble to keep her busy even in a sleepy hamlet outside London. But the threat is nearer home than Alice knows. German agents have infiltrated her beloved countryside – Nazis who can fly, read minds, and live forever. They’re not just fascists. They’re vampires.

Alice has no time for fantasy, but when the corpses start appearing sucked dry, she’ll have to accept help from a lowly Conscientious Objector, an able-bodied young man who says he’s no coward though he refuses to fight. And, of course, from her grandmother, a sane, sensible woman who insists that she’s a Devonshire Pixie. Indeed, whatever it takes to defend home and country from an evil both ancient and terrifyingly modern.

Me really likes the sound of this one. Releases June 2, 2009. The series has two more books coming out soon after this one, Bloody Awful and Bloody Right. To learn more about them, click here.

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Once there were great magicians born to the Maghuin Dhonn; the folk of the Brown Bear, the oldest tribe in Alba. But generations ago, the greatest of them all broke a sacred oath sworn in the name of all his people. Now, only small gifts remain to them. Through her lineage, Moirin possesses such gifts – the ability to summon the twilight and conceal herself, and the skill to coax plants to grow.

Moirin has a secret, too. From childhood onward, she senses the presence of unfamiliar gods in her life; the bright lady, and the man with a seedling cupped in his palm. Raised in the wilderness by her reclusive mother, it isn’t until she comes of age that Moirin learns how illustrious, if mixed, her heritage is. The great granddaughter of Alais the Wise, child of the Maghuin Donn, and a cousin of the Cruarch of Alba, Moirin learns her father was a D’Angeline priest dedicated to serving Naamah, goddess of desire.

After Moirin undergoes the rites of adulthood, she finds divine acceptance…on the condition that she fulfill an unknown destiny that lies somewhere beyond the ocean. Or perhaps oceans. Beyond Terre d’Ange where she finds her father, in the far reaches of distant Ch’in, Moirin’s skills are a true gift when facing the vengeful plans of an ambitious mage, a noble warrior princess desperate to save her father’s throne, and the spirit of a celestial dragon.

I can’t believe I’ve still not read one of this author’s books. Naamah’s Kiss releases June 24, 2009 and is the first in a trilogy. For more information, visit the author’s site.

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A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do…

Being a witch doesn’t pay the bills, but Persephone Alcmedi gets by between reading Tarot cards, writing her syndicated newspaper column, and kenneling werewolves in the basement when the moon is full–even if witches aren’t supposed to mingle with werewolves.

She really reaches the end of her leash, though, when her grandmother gets kicked out of the nursing home and Seph finds herself in the doghouse about some things she’s written. Then her werewolf friend Lorrie is murdered…and the high priestess of an important coven offers Seph big money to destroy the killer, a powerful vampire named Goliath Kline.

Seph is a tough girl, but this time she bites off more than she can chew. She needs a little help from her friends–werewolf friends. One of those friends, Johnny, the motorcycle-riding lead singer for the techno-metal-goth band Lycanthropia, has a crush on her. And while Seph has always been on edge around this 6’2″ leather-clad hunk, she’s starting to realize that although their attraction may be dangerous, nothing could be as lethal as the showdown that awaits them.

Me wants this one too. I’m a little worried about the model’s frontal lobe, though. It’s probably just the shadows on her face, but her forehead looks like it’s going to jump out and bite me. Someone has seriously pissed this woman off. First in a new series. Releases June 30, 2009. The second book, Hallowed Circle releases January 2010. Visit the author’s site for more details (and a closer look at that frontal lobe).

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They are called Feral Warriors—an elite band of immortals who can change shape at will. Sworn to rid the world of evil, consumed by sorcery and seduction, their wild natures are primed for release . . .

Kara MacAllister’s quiet small-town life is transformed forever the night a powerful stranger rips her from her home, claiming she is the chosen one—the key to his survival.

Spiriting her away into the rain-soaked night, Lyon reveals a truth Kara can barely credit. She’s immortal, and the only one who can save his race. And deep within her, he arouses a fierce, primal hunger beyond anything she’s ever imagined.

But only when their lives are threatened by an ancient evil will Kara and Lyon realize they have found a love they would risk their immortal souls to claim . . . and a powerful desire that could never, ever be tamed.

This cover is extremely…red. The blurb is a little uninspiring, but still, something about it makes me at least hope for a good story. Interest is somewhat piqued. Releases June 30, 2009. Will be followed up by Obsession Untamed (July 2009) and Passion Untamed (August 2009). For more information, click here.

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Not long ago, Scott Bryant would have described himself as an ordinary guy. But one act of heroism has changed his life forever—or at least until the apocalypse occurs. Because the end of the world is on its way.

Suddenly and inexplicably possessed of superhuman strength, Scott finds himself allied with the enigmatic and alluring Melanie Regan in a quest to find the mysterious Oracle in hopes of averting the absolute destruction that threatens.

Melanie herself has been falling into trances, sketching terrifying visions of future events—and she wants answers. She knows better than Scott where to look for help, but even she cannot fathom the powers that have thrust them together in an epic battle of good against evil.

The earth itself will soon turn against its inhabitants, and now mortal and immortal must join forces if any are to survive.

Releases July 1, 2009. Nice, subtle use of Carpe Diem font, guys. Seize that final Apocalyptic day.

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Springtime in Styria. And that means war.

There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.

War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso’s employ, it’s a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular – a shade too popular for her employer’s taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto’s reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die.

Her allies include Styria’s least reliable drunkard, Styria’s most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that’s all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started…

This one sounds very interesting. I must admit, Orbit has some great looking titles, more and more every time I look. Releases July 29, 2009. Visit the author’s site.

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Warning – the description below will spoil you for previous books. It sure did me; I’ve got a lot of them to catch up with.

Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin and her new husband, the Djinn David, are running from a malevolent hurricane bent on destroying her. Joined by an army of fellow Wardens and Djinn onboard a hijacked luxury liner, Joanne has lured the storm into furious pursuit. But even their combined magic may not be enough to stop it—nor the power-mad ex-Weather Warden controlling it…

Book 8 in the Weather Warden series. Releases August 4, 2009. Visit the author’s site for more details on the series.

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Symir — the Drowning City. Home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government.

For Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy, the brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her crown. All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries, and help topple the palaces of Symir. But she is torn between her new friends and her duties, and the longer she stays in this monsoon-drenched city, the more intrigue she uncovers — even the dead are plotting. As the waters rise and the dams crack, Isyllt must choose between her mission and the city she came to save.

Another excellent-sounding Orbit book. Awesome cover; very striking and it’s totally working for me. So is the blurb. Releases August 25, 2009. You can find out more here.

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15 comments

  1. OOOOOOO, really like the sound of Bloody Good and The Drowning City. I have Starfinder and will be reading it soon.

    Best Served Cold has a great title and great cover. But all of the books in this series (BSC is book 3) do. The first one The Blade Itself has been sitting in my TBR for ages. Not enough time!

  2. I didn’t realize BSC was part of a series. I iz dunce. I saw just now the author says it’s set int he same world – but does that make it a new series then, or part of the First LAw Trilogy. That would not make it a trilogy any longer. Me’s confused! I should go back to bed. *g*

  3. gaah!I should be the one going back to bed, you are right! Best Served Cold is not part of the trilogy! I got it confused with Last Argument of Kings . *blushes*

  4. LOL, no worries, Ana. It IS set in the same world, at least. But that still makes me wonder if you’d need to have read the trilogy first to understand events in the new book. Maybe I will email author and ask.

  5. KMont, all the covers look yummy, but I have to say that the one book that caught my eye, blurb and all was The Drowning City by Amanda Downum — must go check it out. Thanks!

  6. You are bad for my book lust.

    Or rather, you are good for my book lust and bad for my budget.

  7. You are the queen of discovering some great sounding reads. Now if only you could use your awesome powers to bring the book release dates forward so we didn’t have to wait for them.

  8. *blushes* Awwww, me? Queen? Thanks! *grabs crown and runs*

    Also, Azteclady, I am SO sorry. I would NEVER endanger anyone’s book budget. *innocent eyelash flutter*

    Katiebabs, plaz to read Desire Untamed soon. Kthx – signed, The Queen.

    Hils, I want that one the mostest too!

  9. Not sure where else to post this, I hope it’s ok that I posted here. I’m looking for book recs. Lately, I’ve been into a lot of PNR (Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, Larissa Ione) but I like Regency and Contemporary as well.

    Just finished Passion Unleashed and waiting for Branded by Fire so I need a few books to tide me over until then.

    Thanks!

  10. Some really interesting titles. Read Starfinder and it was great. Dreamdark has a great cover and sounds interesting. I will be getting that for sure and the Drowning City too. The Georgia Evans should be interesting as well and of course the new Carey. Dang that’s half the list.

  11. ooh…Vicious Circle, Best Served Cold and The Drowning City all sound great! And the covers, wow!

    Huh, guess I didn’t need to go any further than your post KMont to find good recs!

    Thanks! Off to the bookstore after work :)

  12. soooooo…

    didn’t pay attention to the release dates of these books, which means I have a lot of books to look forward to for July/August and still have nothing to read now. bummer!

  13. Mimi, never fear, there are a TON of new books coming out at the end of April! I wish I could list them all out for you, but try SciFiGuy’s site. I think he’s listed some upcoming April releases and I’ve seen some lists on other blogs too. Wish I could remember where. Ugh!

    SciFiGuy, lol, just get the whole list.

    Jory, it’s how I discovered Ghostland! It’s hard work, but worth it. :)

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