Fiction Affliction: December Releases in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy and Horror

Twenty-three offerings help deplete the holiday pocketbook this month. Look for new titles from, among others, Kristen Painter, Keri Arthur, Dorothy Hearst, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and Carrie Vaughn.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.


Black Knight (Witch World #2)—Christopher Pike (December 2, Simon Pulse)

Young Adult. Jessica Ralle thought the worst was over. The mindblowing revelations. The terrifying danger. The heartbreaking loss. Turns out, discovering Witch World was just the beginning. The Witch World saga continues in a sequel packed with even more shocking twists and sexy suspense than Book One.

City of Eternal Night (Crescent City #2)—Kristen Painter (December 2, Orbit)

Still coming to terms with their unexpected partnership, Augustine and Harlow have a tentative truce. With Harlow slowly working to accept being fae, Augustine still learning how to be Guardian, and feelings growing on both sides though, they do not have an easy road ahead. But when a young girl is stolen from the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball, the biggest far event of the year, Harlow and Augustine must put all their issues aside to bring her home alive. Harlow’s father, Braziano, is of course their number one suspect, but evil lurks in every corner of the city and time is running out. Their only choices: Either find a way to rescue the girl, or Augustine must die.

Darkness Falls (Dark Angels #7)—Keri Arthur (December 2, Signet)

The search for the last key to the gates of hell has begun, and half-werewolf, half-Aedh Risa Jones is in more danger than ever, and one misstep could prove ruinous. It’s only a matter of time before Madeleine Hunter, the dangerous head of the vampire council, begins her hunt for complete domination. And for Risa, that comes with an alarming ultimatum: hand over the last key to Hunter or, one by one, her loved ones will die. Now, it’s a race against time for Risa to save those she loves, and to stop Hunter’s apocalyptic plan to open the very gates of hell.

Gods and Monsters: MythbreakerStephen Blackmoore (December 2, Abaddon)

Growing up an orphan, Louie had conversations with “invisible friends,” could see patterns in the world that no one else could see. In other times he would have been a prophet, someone to make people believe in the gods. He grew out of the visions, and then into crime as a drug runner. Now thirty-five and burnt out, he’s had enough. He plans to go out in a big way. A broken down car, a missed flight; it’s bad enough being hunted by the mob, but the gods, kicked out of the Heavens need someone who can tell their stories, and they aren’t letting him go. There are new gods on the scene, gods of finance and technology, who want him too. Caught between the mob and two sets of rival gods, Louie hatches a plan that will probably get him killed if it doesn’t get him out.

Paradigms LostRyk E. Spoor (December 2, Baen)

An expanded and revised edition of Digital Knightm Paradigms Lost adds two brand new adventures for Jason and includes many chapters of additional material within the originals….Being an expert in information searches, image processing and enhancement, pattern matching, and data forensics earned Jason Wood a lot of money. Then an informant showed up dead on his doorstep, a photograph didn’t show someone who’d been in the viewfinder when the picture was taken, and Jason’s world is suddenly turned upside-down. Jason has only three weapons: his best friend Sylvie, his talent for seeing patterns and his ability to think beyond the pattern and see a solution that no one else imagined. The greatest weapon is the light of reason.

Ravencliffe (Blythewood #2)—Carol Goodman (December 2, Viking Juvenile)

Young Adult. Avaline Hall is no ordinary girl. She’s a student at Blythewood Academy, a boarding school that trains young women to defend human society from the shadowy forces that live among us. After the devastating events of her first year at Blythewood, Ava is eager to reunite with her friends, and with Raven, the compelling but elusive winged boy who makes her pulse race. She soon discovers that the sinister Judicus van Drood hasn’t finished wreaking havoc on Blythewood, and wants to use Ava and her classmates to attack a much bigger target. Ava’s the only one with any hope of stopping van Drood. To scuttle his plans, she must reveal her deepest secret to everyone at Blythewood. What’s she willing to sacrifice to do what’s right, her school? Her love? Or her life?

Seduction (Legacy #3)—Molly Cochran (December 2, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books)

Young Adult. Katy can’t stand the fact that her boyfriend, Peter, has changed so much since his wealthy uncle Jeremiah took him under his wing. In a fit of rebellion, she flies to Paris to attend cooking school. Lonely, she visits a schoolmate, Fabienne, who lives in a beautiful mansion in Paris. But it’s Peter who answers the door. Katy is devastated that Peter is in Paris, on business for his uncle, he claims, and didn’t tell her. Soon Katy is wrapped up in the mysteries of the strange house, which is occupied by only beautiful, shallow people. And they don’t seem to age. Then an accidental trip through the underground passages of Paris leads Katy to the discovery of an ancient book that just might hold the secrets to the mansion.

Skin In the Game: A Tor.Com OriginalSabrina Vourvoulias (December 2, Tor)

Three kinds of people live in Zombie City-La Boca Del Diablo: the zombies, los vivos, and the ghosts. Officer Jimena Villagrán, not truly at home with any of these groups, patrols the barrio for stalking monsters. Magic con men and discarded needles make this beat hazardous enough, but the latest rash of murders threatens to up the ante by outing the horrors of Jimena’s personal history. (Digital)

Spirit of the Wolves (Wolf Chronicles #3)—Dorothy Hearst (December 2, Simon & Schuster)

Kaala has one last chance. She leaves her home in the Wide Valley with her packmates, the human girl she loves, and an obnoxious raven. Together, they travel to the land outside the valley, only to discover that new challenges await them. Kaala’s mother has no answers, a faction of ruthless Greatwolves will stop at nothing to maintain control, odd little wolves seek to take Kaala’s place, and, in the village of Kaar, humans are undergoing a transformation that could destroy everything she is working for. Only by calling on all of her strength and on the bonds of love with her human, raven, and wolf companions can Kaala hope to succeed. Kaala will have to fight and sacrifice in ways she never imagined, and she must decide how far she is willing to go for peace.

Sustenance (Saint-Germain #27)—Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (December 2, Tor)

The powerful House Un-American Activities Committee hunted communists both at home and abroad. In the late 1940s, the vampire Count Saint-Germain is caught up in intrigue surrounding a group of Americans who have fled to postwar Paris. Some speak out against HUAC and battle the authorities. Saint-Germain swears to do his best to protect his friends, but even his skills may not be able to stand against agents of the OSS and the brand-new CIA. And he has an unexpected weakness: his lover, Charis, who has returned to Paris under mysterious circumstances.

The Tess Noncoire Chronicles: Volume IIP.R. Frost (December 2, DAW)

Tess Noncoiré is a successful fantasy writer. She was trained by the Sisterhood of the Celestial Blade Warriors to fight demonic incursions into our world. In Faery Moon, Tess visits Las Vegas with her mother for a writers’ conference and a vacation. When she attends a performance on the infamous Strip, Tess discovers that the “winged” dancers are actually faeries, held captive by the casino. Tess and her sidekick imp, Scrap, must try to save the faeries and help return them to their own dimension. In Forest Moon Rising, Tess is forced to make a deadly deal with supernatural beings, trading her own future dreams for the safety of those she love. She must also hunt down a dangerous demonic intruder from another dimension. Tess turns to several unexpected allies, including two men she swore she’d have nothing more to do with

The Vault (The Farm #3)—Emily McKay (December 2, Berkley Trade)

With Lily exposed to the vampire virus and lying in a coma, it’s up to Mel and Carter to search for the cure. Time is not on their side. With every passing heartbeat, Mel is becoming more and more purely vampire. Desperate, Carter and Mel decide to split up. Carter will recruit human rebels from the Farm in San Angelo to infiltrate the guarded kingdom of the vampire Sabrina and steal the cure. Mel will go back to her mentor, her friend, her betrayer, Sebastian, who is the only one who can access an underground vault that may house the secret to the cure. That is, if he’s still alive after she staked him to the ground. Now her worst enemy may be their best hope for curing Lily, and saving the human race.

Vacant (Mindspace Investigation #4)—Alex Hughes (December 2, Roc)

Nothing ruins a romantic evening like a brawl with lowlifes, especially when one of them later turns up dead and my date, Detective Isabella Cherabino, is the #1 suspect. My history with the Atlanta PD makes me an unreliable witness, so while Cherabino is suspended, I’m paying my bills by taking an FBI gig. I’ve been hired to play telepathic bodyguard for Tommy, the son of a superior court judge in Savannah presiding over the murder trial of a mob-connected mogul. The Feds believe he’s been targeted by the businessman’s “associates.” Tommy’s a nascent telepath, so I’m trying to help him get a handle on his Ability. It doesn’t take a mind reader to see that there’s something going on with the kid’s parents that’s stressing him out more than a death threat.

Wickedly Wonderful (Baba Yaga #2)—Deborah Blake (December 2, Berkley)

Beka Yancy is a powerful yet inexperienced witch who’s struggling with her duties as a Baba Yaga. She has her faithful dragon-turned-dog for moral support. A mysterious toxin is driving the Selkie and Mer from their homes deep in the trenches of Monterey Bay. Beka buys her way onto the boat of Marcus Dermott, a battle-scarred former U.S. Marine, and his ailing fisherman father. While diving for clues, Beka drives Marcus crazy with her flaky New Age ideas and dazzling blue eyes. She thinks he’s rigid and cranky (and way too attractive). Meanwhile, a charming Selkie prince has plans that include Beka. Only by trusting her powers can Beka save the underwater races, pick the right man, and choose the path she’ll follow for the rest of her life.



Dark Screams: Volume One—edited by Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar (December 9, Hydra)

A new anthology, including: WEEDS by Stephen King: When a meteorite lands on his property, Jordy Verrill envisions an easy payday. This is no ordinary rock, and the uncompromising force inside has found its first target. THE PRICE YOU PAY by Kelley Armstrong: Never pay more than you owe.For Kara and her childhood friend Ingrid, some debts can never be repaid, especially those tendered in blood. MAGIC EYES by Bill Pronzini: Edward James Tolliver has found a weary sort of asylum among the insane. He knows he’s not one of them, but how can he tell anyone about the invaders without sounding that way? MURDER IN CHAINS by Simon Clark: Imagine awaking to find yourself in an underground vault, chained by the neck to a murderous lunatic, a grunting goliath who seems more animal than man. THE WATCHED by Ramsey Campbell: Little Jimmy gets a glimpse of the cold truth when he finds out that it’s not always what you see that can get you into trouble; it’s who knowswhat you see. (Digital)



The Lost (Witch and Wizard #5)—James Patterson (December 15, Little, Brown)

Young Adult. Whit and Wisty Allgood have fought and defeated their world’s most pernicious threats: the evil dictator, The One Who Is The One, as well as his wicked father and son. But just as the heroic witch and wizard start to settle into their new roles in governance, a deadly crime wave grips their city, with all signs pointing to a magical mastermind every bit as powerful and heartless as The One. Now the siblings find themselves persecuted as the city turns against all magic users, and questioning everything, including each other, and, for the first time, their abilities. Can they confront the citizens’ growing hostility and their own doubts in time to face the new enemy barreling toward their gates?

A Secret to Die For (Secret McQueen #8)—Sierra Dean (December 16, Samhain)

Secret McQueen thought she’d seen it all, but that was before she, Desmond and Holden came home to find New York City burning and the streets overwhelmed with the walking dead. She must find out who is responsible for unleashing hell on Earth. She’s going to need a whole new team of vampire wardens to help round up the perpetrators, who turn out to be a gang that makes Sons of Anarchy look like toddlers on tricycles. Her quest across the city brings old friends and enemies out of the woodwork and reminds Secret once and for all why mercy and forgiveness are not always prudent. When the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same again. Can Secret survive long enough to stop the apocalypse, or is this the one challenge that will drown her in rivers of undead blood. (Digital)

The Ryu Morgue: A Jane True Short Story (Trueniverse #2)—Nicole Peeler (December 16, Amazon Digital Services)

Ryu Baobhan Sith, our favorite metrosexual bloodsucker, is suffering a crisis of confidence. First Jane dumps him, and now he’s let a human get under his skin. To top it off, the human in question, Maeve Henderson, wants absolutely nothing to do with him. They must each get over their personal prejudices, however, when they’re sent to the infamously dangerous Gold Court of San Francisco on a diplomatic mission. Confronted with both a mysterious magic that is killing humans and a partner who refuses to trust him, Ryu fears he’s met his match not only as an Investigator, but also as a man. (Digital)



Winter Falls (Twin Willows Trilogy #1)—Nicole Maggi (December 22, Medallion Press)

Young Adult. Alessia Jacobs is a typical sixteen-year-old, dying to get out of her small Maine town. Things look up when a new family comes to town. As she begins to fall for the hot, mysterious son, Jonah, her life turns upside down. Weird visions of transforming into an otherworldly falcon are just the beginning. She learns she’s part of the Benandanti, an ancient cult of warriors with the unique power to separate their souls from their bodies and take on the forms of magnificent animals. Alessia’s boring town is the site of an epic struggle between the Benandanti and the Malandanti to control powerful magic in the surrounding forest. Her relationship with Jonah intensifies. Suddenly Alessia witnesses two worlds colliding with devastating consequences.

Journey Through the Mirror (The Rising World #2)—T.R. Williams (December 23, Atria)

In 2030, after the Great Disruption brought humanity to the brink of a second dark age, the Chronicles of Satraya were discovered, restoring hope in the world. There were some who understood them. The Reges Hominum, the Kings of Men, a clandestine group influencing history from the shadows, sought to use their hidden gifts to regain world control. Their plans were foiled by an unlikely group: Alain Perrot, an eccentric old man and former member of the Council of Satraya; Special Agent Valerie Perrot, his daughter; and Logan Ford, a painter who discovered he was the son of one of the Chronicles’ original finders. Seemingly unrelated global events pull Logan and his allies into another contest with those enemies. The only things holding the world together are the Chronicles, connected to a series of scattered, hidden mirrors around the globe.

Transcendent (Starling #3)—Lesley Livingston (December 23, Harper Teen)

Young Adult. On a storm-swept terrace high above the streets of Manhattan, Mason Starling holds the fate of the world in her hands as her beloved Fennrys lies bleeding at her feet, his life hanging in the balance. The ancient Norse prophecy of Ragnarok stands poised on the knife edge of fulfillment. Mason’s transformation into a Valkyrie, a chooser of the slain and the one who will bring about the end of the world, is complete. She’s determined to thwart her father’s apocalyptic desires. Whatever is to come won’t happen because of what the prophecy foretold, or what Gunnar Starling has planned, or what the fates have already decided. What happens will be up to Mason and the Fennrys Wolf. The world better hope they haven’t reached the limits of what their souls and swords can survive.

Bounty Hunt (Otherworld Stories #13.2)—Kelley Armstrong (December 28, Subterranean Press)

After the Australian Pack murdered Reese William’s parents, the young werewolf fled and took refuge with the American Pack. Three years later, the Australians have tracked him down and dispatched a bounty hunter to bring him back. That bounty hunter, though, isn’t the lone wolf who owes them a debt, but his twenty-one-year-old daughter, Madison. Maddie is determined to bring in the rogue Reese for her ailing father. Now Reese has to show her the truth behind her client’s lies, and avoid being the cause of an all-out war for Elena and the rest of the American Pack.

Low Midnight (Kitty Norville #13)—Carrie Vaughn (December 30, Tor)

Spinning out of the series on the wave of popularity surrounding Kitty’s most popular supporting character, Cormac Bennett, a two-minded assassin of the paranormal who specializes in killing lycanthropes. In his first solo adventure, Cormac, struggling with a foreign consciousness trapped inside him, investigates a century-old crime in a Colorado mining town which could be the key to translating a mysterious coded diary, a tome with secrets that could shatter Kitty’s world and all who inhabit it. With a framing sequence that features Kitty Norville herself, Low Midnightnot only pushes the Kitty saga forward, but also illuminates Cormac’s past and lays the groundwork for Kitty’s future.

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.


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