Fiction Affliction: Diagnosing November Releases in Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Romance

Fiction Affliction is a monthly column written by Royal Street author Suzanne Johnson that examines upcoming releases by genre or sub-genre. Check back every day this week for coverage of November releases in fantasy, young adult paranormal, and science fiction. Today’s column examines new releases in URBAN FANTASY & PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

The Symptoms: It’s an epidemic! There are wolves roaming New Orleans, vampire riots in West Virginia, demons overtaking Manhattan and Chicago, preternatural fight clubs in California, and a blood-sucking cult in Savannah. Mostly, though, there are demons. And lots and lots of love, paranormal style.

The Diagnosis: Forty new urban fantasy (24) and paranormal romance (16) books creep down the mean streets in November, including 12 demons and their hunters, nine wizards and witches, five vampires, five werewolf tales, two dragons, three faeries, and a griffin in a pear tree. Oh, and three really cool anthologies. [Note: Unsure if a book is an urban fantasy or a paranormal romance? Check out the cover. Usually, half-naked woman=urban fantasy; half-naked man=paranormal romance.]

The Cure: Hell hath no fury like a demon scorned, and demons are busting out all over urban fantasy and paranormal romance in November. Because, you know, they’re hot.

Touch of Temptation, by Rhyannon Byrd (Nov. 1, HQN)
Lycan shapeshifter Kellan Scott needs to salvage his reputation—even if it means letting himself be captured by his enemies in order to save empath Chloe Harcourt. Love, lust and redemption—what more can a shifter want? PNR

The Taming of the Wolf, by Lydia Dare (Nov. 1, Sourcebooks)
Lord Dashiel Thorpe isn’t very good at controlling the beast that emerges on full moons, which is how he ended up biting the Scottish witch Caitrin McLeod. Cait might be bound to him metaphysically, but she doesn’t have to hang around, and Dash has no choice but to chase her to Scotland and convince her he can be tamed. PNR

Luck of the Wolf, by Susan Krinard (Nov. 1, HQN)
Cast out from his werewolf clan, Cort Renier is in San Francisco and out for revenge. In Aria, he finds a mysterious woman who’s willing to play along with his plans, except she has some dark secrets of her own. PNR

The Shifters, by Alexandra Sokoloff (Nov. 1,  Nocturne)
Charged with overseeing the shapeshifters of New Orleans, Caitlin MacDonald has her reasons for being wary when charismatic bounty-hunting shifter Ryder Malloy blows into town claiming to be on the trail of a horde of malevolent entities called Walk-Ins. But as tourists start dropping dead from supernatural possession, Cait must team with Ryder to navigate his shadowy, ephemeral world. UF

Blood Spells, by Jessica Andersen (Nov. 2, Signet)
The fifth in the Night of the Final Prophecy series brings the modern magic-wielders, the Nightkeepers, closer to the Mayan prophecy that Dec. 21, 2012, will bring about a global cataclysm. Patience White-Eagle, destined from birth to fight with both wits and magic, and husband Brandt team up to face an ancient Aztec god to save their world—and their family. UF

Rebel, by Zoe Archer (Nov. 2, Zebra)
The first Native American attorney in Vancouver, Nathan Lesperance has never fit in—and not just because of cultural differences. When he meets a kindred spirit in Astrid Bramfield, trained as one of the Blades of the Rose, he begins a journey to uncover his hidden skills and help her heal a long-dormant heart. Third in the Blades of the Rose series. PNR.

Spun by Sorcery, by Barbara Bretton (Nov. 2, Berkley)
Just when Chloe settles down in Sugar Maple with her soulmate, her fae enemy Isadora strikes and the whole town disappears. To find it, she must crank up the old Buick and head back to Salem for family secrets that might help her find her town—or lose her life. PNR

Gilded Latten Bones, by Glen Cook (Nov. 2, Roc)
Garrett, P.I. is back on the job in TunFaire, although his stab at a happy home life is imperiled by intruders trying to abduct his bride and an attack on his best friend. All Garrett knows is, he better figure out the connection before his turn comes. This is the thirteenth in Cook’s noir-style series set in the fantasy world of TunFaire. UF

Living Nightmare, by Shannon K. Butcher (Nov. 2, Signet)
The Sentinel Nika and her younger sister have survived for nine years through their psychic bond. But now, as that bond fades and time runs out, can Nika survive the one man who can unlock the power inside her? This is the fourth in Butcher’s Sentinel Wars series. PNR

Marked by the Moon, by Lori Handeland (Nov. 2, St. Martin’s)
In the ninth Nightcreature release, Alexandra Trevalyn is a werewolf-hunter going rogue after killing Julian Barlow’s wife. Except that Julian takes the most devious revenge imaginable—by making her a member of his pack. Now, she finds him not only evil, but irresistible. UF

Devil at Midnight, by Emma Holly (Nov. 2, Berkley Sensation)
For years, mercenary captain Christian Durand has done everything he can to protect his men. When a beautiful ghost appears to offer comfort, he assumes the strain has finally pushed him over the edge. All he knows for certain is that this woman tugs at both his heart and desires. But now that a vampire queen has set her immortal sights on Christian, he must choose between his darker urges and a powerful love that spans centuries. PNR

Firewalker, by Allyson James (Nov. 2, Berkley Heat)
Janet Begay’s Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernatural ever since it opened in the first book of this Stormwalker series. But a new, dark power is rising—inside Janet herself. Her boyfriend Mick, a dragon shapeshifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, knows what terrifying magic is threatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. First, though, they must prove her innocent of murder. PNR

Afterlight, by Elle Jasper (Nov. 2, Signet)
Savannah’s most unconventional tattoo artist, Riley Poe goes over the edge when her younger brother is taken by a sinister vampire cult. Her only ally is hot-tempered vampire Eli Dupre, attracted to Riley’s beauty and rare blood type. In the first of a new Dark Ink Chronicles series, Riley races to save her brother from certain un-death. UF

Trolls in the Hamptons, by Celia Jerome (Nov. 2, DAW)
Willow Tate is a graphic novelist who earns enough money at her craft to keep her rent-controlled Manhattan apartment and put food in the fridge. But when she decides to write about a ten-foot-tall troll who’s a superhero, one suddenly appears, causing mayhem in Manhattan—except no one can see it except Willow and the strange agent from the Department of Unexplained Events. UF

Game Over, by Taylor Keating (Nov. 2, Tor)
Sometimes, legends are based on truths, and fairy tales don’t always end happily ever after. Just ask video game designer River Weston. When she unwittingly sells her soul for her latest creation to work and unintentionally taps into a parallel dimension while doing so, only one man—Guardian Chase Hawkins—has the ability to help her buy it back. But will the price they have to pay pit Earth against a dangerous Dark Lord, or will they discover a way to reclaim her soul and save her own world before it’s Game Over? Taylor Keating is the pseudonym of a writing team featuring newcomer Paula Altenburg and erotic romance author Cathryn Fox. UF

Carousel Tides, by Sharon Lee (Nov. 2, Baen)
Kate Archer needs to find her missing grandmother. But in her new job as guardian of Fun Country, an amusement park in Archers Beach, Maine, whose carousel animals are exiled fae criminals, things go south fast. There also might be demons and a couple of drug-smugglers lurking about. UF

In the Company of Vampires, by Katie MacAlister (Nov. 2, Signet)
If only a broken heart were all Francesca had to deal with…but there are Viking ghosts, gods, werebeings, and one sexy-as-sin vampire on her case. And her biggest trouble is Loki, the trickster god. When Fran arrives at Goth-Faire to deal with him, things go from bad to worse, for her immortal ex, Benedikt, is there with a new girlfriend. Eighth in the Dark Ones series. UF

Magic at the Gate, by Devon Monk (Nov. 2, Roc)
Allie Beckstrom’s lover, Zayvion Jones, is a Guardian of the Gate, imbued with both light and dark magic and responsible for ensuring those energies don’t mix. But Zayvion lies in a coma, his soul trapped in death’s realm. And when Allie discovers the only way to save Zayvion is to sacrifice her own magical essence, she makes a decision that could have grave consequences. Fifth in the Magic series. UF

Crossroads, by Moira Rogers (Nov. 2, Samhain)
Second in the Southern Arcana series, Crossroads finds turned-wolf Derek Gabriel fighting an inferiority complex next to his born brethren. It only grows worse as he falls for Nicole, the daughter of the country’s most powerful werewolf. Suddenly, Nicole has to play by the wolf conclave’s rules if she has any hope of saving her wolf. PNR

Play of Passion, by Nalini Singh (Nov. 2, Berkley Sensation)
In this newest entry in the Psy/Changeling series, SnowDancer pack tracker Drew Kincaid must rein in rogue changelings who’ve lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing some of them. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite, and who threatens to enslave his wolf. PNR

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here, by Christine Warren (Nov. 2, St. Martin’s)
The newest in The Others series finds half-fae P.I. Mac Callahan tangled with a stiletto-wearing Manhattan attorney prowling headlong into business that could bring them to the attention to the Unseelie Court. Mac and Danice might find “happily ever after” ending sooner than they think. UF

In Dreams Begin, by Skyler White (Nov. 2, Berkley)
From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist, instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through hell and across history, or destroy it. PNR

Bitten in Two, by Jennifer Rardin (Nov. 8, Orbit)
In this seventh Jaz Parks novel, Jaz and Vayl arrive in Morocco to secure an ancient artifact, only he wakes up calling her by another woman’s name. Like any good assassin, Jaz does whatever it takes to fix things…even if it means returning to hell again. Orbit was said to have an eighth Jaz Parks book completed when author Jennifer Rardin died unexpectedly on Sept. 20. It will be released in 2011. UF

The Way of the Wizard, edited by John Joseph Adams (Nov. 16, Prime)
Thirty-two wizards’ tales, a combination of new fiction and reprints, whose release is timed to coincide with the release of the latest Harry Potter film. Authors include George R.R. Martin, Susanna Clarke, Jeffrey Ford, Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, Mike Resnick, Cinda Williams Chima, Simon R. Green, T.A. Pratt, Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin and Marion Zimmer Bradley. UF

Songs of Love and Death: All Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love, edited by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin (Nov. 16, Gallery)
Seventeen stories of warped-out love are featured in this multi-genre anthology from some of the best in the business, making this a must-have. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth-century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate. New stories from: Peter S. Beagle, Jo Beverley, Jim Butcher, Jacqueline Carey, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Yasmine Galenorn, M.L.N. Hanover, Robin Hobb, Cecelia Holland, Tanith Lee, Marjorie M. Liu, Mary Jo Putney, Linnea Sinclair, Melinda Snodgrass, Lisa Tuttle, and Carrie Vaughn. UF/PNR

Night of the Vampires, by Heather Graham (Nov. 23, HQN)
The president has had a horrific premonition, and it’s up to Cole Granger to make sure it doesn’t come true—even if it means staying close to Megan Fox, who claims to be his comrade’s sister yet ends up in the center of vampire riots in West Virginia. Trust and attraction don’t always go hand in hand. PNR

Midsummer Night, by Freda Warrington (Nov. 23, Tor)
Decades ago, in a place where the veil between our world and the world of the Aetherials—the fair folk—is too easily breached, three young people tricked their uncle by dressing as the fey. But their joke took a deadly turn when true Aetherials crossed into our world, took one of the pranksters, and literally scared their uncle to death. Many years later, at the place of this capture, a young art student stumbles on a portal to the Otherworld and releases a handsome young man seeking asylum—or is it vengeance? UF

Captive Spirit, by Anna Windsor (Nov. 23, Ballantine)
In this newest novel of the Dark Crescent Sisterhood, Bela Argos has found saving humanity from the supernatural a challenge lately. And now comes Duncan Sharp, an NYPD detective who seems perfect—except for the part where he could turn into a demon and devour Bela in her sleep. UF

Counterfeit Magic, by Kelley Armstrong (Nov. 30, Subterranean)
This limited-edition novella featuring illustrations by Maurizio Manzieri finds witch detective Paige Winterbourne going undercover to investigate a series of deaths in a supernatural fight club in California. Will be released in two formats: 1,000 leather-bound signed and numbered hardcovers as well as 5,000 unsigned clothbound hardcovers. UF

Silver Zombie, by Carole Nelson Douglas (Nov. 30, Pocket)
Paranormal investigator Delilah Street has fled the dangers of Vegas and retreated to her Kansas birthplace with partner Ric and half-wolfhound Quicksilver. But trouble comes calling in the form of zombie cowboys and spectral cattle drives, witchy weather girls and a deadly—and quite possibly dead—lookalike named Lilith. UF

Eternal Flame, by Cynthia Eden (Nov. 30, Brava)
This is the third in a series featuring the Night Watch, an agency of paranormal bounty hunters. Hybrid demon Zane Wynter specializes in tracking the most lethal criminals, whether human or Other. But Jana Carter is nothing like his previous targets. She’s an Ignitor, able to conjure and control fire. She’s also being set up by Project Perseus, a secretive group that plans to rid the world of paranormals by any means necessary. PNR

Vicious Grace, by M.L.N. Hanover (Nov. 30, Pocket)
Jayne Heller is enjoying a pretty normal life, except for that occasional demon-killer business. But as patients begin disappearing from a Chicago hospital and research subjects start sharing dreams, it’s clear there’s something evil lurking underfoot—literally. This is the third in the Black Sun’s Daughter series from Hanover, a pseudonym of author Daniel Abraham. UF

Black Wings, by Christina Henry (Nov. 30, Ace)
In this new fantasy series set in Chicago, Maddy Black is an agent of death who really needs to get a life. Escorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing—until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscuro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy’s front lawn, she realizes there’s more to her new tenant than meets the eye. UF

Devoured by Darkness, by Alexandra Ivy (Nov. 30, Zebra)
Ivy returns with the seventh in her Guardians of Eternity series featuring bodyguard vampires. Tane is a Charon, sworn to hunt and kill rogue vampires. His new assignment seems like a waste of his talents until he catches up with the jinn he’s been sent to capture—the half-demon, half-jinn Laylah, who’s spent her life in hiding. PNR

Bone Gods, by Caitlin Kittredge (Nov. 30, St. Martin’s)
In this latest Black London novel, Pete Caldecott is just trying to get by after her teacher and best friend Jack is turned demon and sent to hell.  But the Black is rife with turf wars between mages and necromancers, the witch-hunting Order of the Malleus has resurfaced, and Jack reappears as the head of hell’s army—giving Pete a decision she isn’t sure she can live with. UF

In the Dark of Dreams, by Marjorie M. Liu (Nov. 30, Avon)
This is the tenth in Liu’s Dirk & Steele series of paranormal romantic thrillers. Jenny is a marine biologist who still dreams of the silver boy she saw on the beach when she was 12. But from his empire beneath the sea, Perrin has found her again, and he’s all grown up too. Together, they face a danger that could separate them permanently. PNR

Vampires Not Invited, by Cheyenne McCray (Nov. 30, St. Martin’s)
The newest title in the Night Tracker series finds half-human, half-drow private eye Nyx tracking down sprites all over Manhattan, which seems innocuous until she finds out master vampire Volod is pulling their strings, along with every other paranormal type in the city. Suddenly, the whole future’s at stake (pun intended). UF

The Other Side, by J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Kay McComas and Ruth Ryan Langan (Nov. 30, Jove)
Five New York Times bestselling authors of women’s fiction cross over to the paranormal side of the bookstore with original stories of ghosts and vengeance-seeking spirits, from modern-day New York to historic England. UF

Hungry for You, by Lynsay Sands (Nov. 30, Avon)
It’s Argeneau Vampire time again, and one of the most ancient, Cale Valens, has given up on finding a mate. Too bad his family didn’t get the memo. Enter Alexandra Willan, a restaurant owner with a serious need for a new chef. Can a vampire be a chef if it means finally finding love? Cale’s cooking up the answers. PNR

Every Zombie Eats Somebody Sometimes: A Book of Zombie Love Songs, by Michael P. Spradlin (Nov. 30, Harper)
From the author who brought us last year’s It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols, we now have the ever-popular collection of zombie love songs, becausebig dead shuffling folks have feelings, too. This soul-stirring collection of more than two dozen classic love songs is just the ticket for zombie romantics everywhere. Just in case you can’t wait, a couple of titles to look forward to: “You’re the One That I Chomp,” “50 Ways To Eat Your Lover,” and, of course, “You Blight Up My Life.” UF

Urban fantasy author Suzanne Johnson is a bonafide book geek. Her new urban fantasy series, scheduled to begin with the release of Royal Street in April 2012 by Tor Books, is set in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina. Find Suzanne on Twitter and Facebook.


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