Never mind Sookie—Atticus is back! Despite the early death knell for All Things Paranormal, there are twenty-eight new urban fantasies sinking their fangs into readers this month, including new additions to series by Michelle Rowen, Simon R. Green, Keri Arthur, Kevin Hearne, Cassie Alexander, Amanda Hocking, Nina Bangs, James Swain, Ken Scholes, Pamela Palmer, and J.A. London, to name but a few.
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.
Right after their wedding in Las Vegas, Sarah and Thierry get their next assignment: Three vampires have gone missing in Salem, Massachusetts, and they need to find out why. Their contact in Salem turns out to be a local lothario with a penchant for witches, but before he can help them, he suddenly goes up in smoke, leaving behind nothing but a stain on the ground and a seemingly impossible mystery. Did a witchy ex-mistress cast a deadly spell, or is there something even more sinister happening to the vampires of Salem?
My name is Drood, Eddie Drood, aka Shaman Bond. For generations my family has protected you ordinary mortals against things that lurk in the darkness, just out of sight, but not at all out of mind. Unfortunately, I’ve had a falling out with my near and dear (some of whom were trying to kill me), so my true love, and powerful witch, Molly Metcalf and I are now in the employ of The Department of the Uncanny. We’ve been given an Extremely Important Assignment: attend Casino Infernale, an annual event held by the Shadow Bank, financiers of all global supernatural crime. Our mission: rig the game and bring down the Shadow Bank. But at Casino Infernale, the stakes are high indeed, winner takes all and losers give up their souls.
Shortly after her fight on the astral plane, Risa receives a phone call from Madeline Hunter, the leader of the vampire council, ordering her to investigate the death of Hunter’s close friend and lover, Wolfgang Schmidt. His body has been discovered wrapped in a web-like substance and has been completely drained. As the body count continues to grow, Risa must summon her gifts to find the dark spirit before it strikes again. Meanwhile, as the search for the keys that keep the gate to Hell closed grows more intense, Risa begins to unravel mysteries that will have startling consequences for her.
Young Adult. A stalker ghost, misguided Seers, and spellbinding wraiths, Amelia Ashley has faced them all. Now her greatest hope is to spend the rest of her afterlife with her living boyfriend, Joshua. But the demonic forces return to give her an ultimatum: turn herself over to the darkness or watch them murder one living person per week until she does. Amelia fears she might really be doomed, until the forces of light give her another option. She can join them in their quest to gather souls, with a catch: Once she joins them, she can never see Joshua again.
When Edie was fired from her paranormal nursing job at County Hospital, her whole world came crashing down. Now she is once again shaken to her core. Her mother is deathly ill and there’s only one thing that will save her: vampire blood. With the paranormal community shunning Edie, where can she obtain it without losing her own life in the process? Edie hopes to procure it at her new job at the clinic across town, where the forces of evil loom large. Vampire gang wars are rampant. Old underground enemies are rising to the surface. And Edie’s zombie ex-boyfriend has arrived at the scene. What should she make of the enigmatic doctor with whom she shares an unexpected connection? All hell is about to break loose, literally, and time is running out.
Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times. At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of the shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s the ultimate hunter, vanishing into another time after each murder, untraceable—until one of his victims survives. Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the ex-homicide reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on the impossible truth. (U.S. Release)
With Penn and Lexi determined to kill Gemma and replace her with another siren, Gemma’s life is in grave danger, unless she can break the curse before it’s too late. With the help of Harper and Daniel, she’ll delve deep into her enemies’ mythical past, and their darkest secrets. It’s her only hope of saving everything she holds dear: her family, her life, and her relationship with Alex, the only guy she’s ever loved.
As a null, Scarlett Bernard possesses a rare ability to counteract the supernatural by instantly neutralizing spells and magical forces. She has used her gift to scrub crime scenes of any magical traces, helping the paranormal communities of Los Angeles stay hidden. After LAPD detective Jesse Cruz discovered Scarlett’s secret, he made a bargain with her: solve a particularly grisly murder case, and he would stay silent. Two dead witches are found a few days before Christmas, and Scarlett is again strong-armed into assisting the investigation. She finds a connection between the murders and her own former mentor, Olivia, a null who mysteriously turned into a vampire.
Thorn Mackenzie was a young Viking when he met Sparkle Stardust. She used him and then abandoned him. Over a thousand years later, he has finally found a way to repay her. He assembles a team that can create the ultimate fantasies and illusions. The group will work together in Nirvana, the amazing amusement park Thorn has built, right across the street from Sparkle’s Castle of Dark Dreams. To fight back Sparkle must hire a spy. Kay Stanley agrees to do some sneaking and peeking for Sparkle. But as she gets closer to Thorn, she discovers they have a lot more in common. With an evil force working to destroy their city, they may not survive long enough for her to help him overcome his Wicked Memories.
Young Adult. Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium ever.
Young Adult. Araby’s world is in shambles, betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city. Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves, or it could turn her into a hero.
During a séance Peter is confronted by a group of evil spirits called shadow people, beings who have the power to kidnap a person’s soul. Peter is taken to another plane, where he confronts a serial killer about to claim his next victim. It’s a harrowing encounter that Peter only barely manages to survive. Peter soon realizes that the shadow people are connected to the serial killer, and that he is a member of the Order of Astrum, a group of evil psychics who murdered his parents years ago. He must find the serial killer in real time before he claims his next victim. To save many lives, Peter may have to tap into a legacy that he has always dreaded, and a power that may consume him.
Life for Kirsty d’Arc might not be perfect, but it’s far from hellish. She likes her job, has a great BFF and truly admires Conrad, her boss. When she dives in front of a lunatic’s blade to save him from certain death, she finds out Conrad isn’t so admirable after all. He’s traded her soul to the Devil. While her body lies comatose on the Mortal Coil, Kirsty’s spirit is dragged straight to Hell. The place is quirky, wacky, and not without charm. She seeks out allies, earning the friendship of a powerful drag demon, a psychic server and most importantly, Hell’s civil servant. Stuck in the netherworld, Kirsty vows she’ll do everything on her postmortem bucket-list, starting with getting her life back and ensuring that Conrad has Hell to pay. Ebook.
Young Adult. Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want, including a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. When Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay.
Who is the Crimson Empress, and what does her conquest of the Named Lands really mean? Who holds the keys to the Moon Wizard’s Tower? The plots within plots are expanding as the characters seek their way out of the maze of intrigue. The world is expanding as they discover lands beyond their previous carefully controlled knowledge. Hidden truths reveal even deeper truths, and nothing is as it seemed to be.
Revivers. Able to wake the recently dead, and let them bear witness to their own demise. Twelve years after the first reviver came to light, they have become accepted by an uneasy public. The testimony of the dead is permitted in courtrooms across the world. In the United States, that responsibility falls to the Forensic Revival Service. Despite his troubled past, Jonah Miller is one of their best. Daniel Harker, the first journalist to bring revival to public attention, is murdered, and Jonah finds himself involved in the hunt for answers. Working with Harker’s daughter Annabel, he becomes determined to find those responsible. They uncover long-hidden truths that call into doubt everything Jonah stands for, and reveal a threat that if not stopped in time, will put all of humanity in danger.
Rogue Touch, by Christine Woodward, (June 18, Hyperion)
Young Adult. Twenty-year-old Anna Marie was just fired for the third time, this time from a bakery. Her skin, her touch, is a deadly weapon that must be concealed. She accidentally put her boyfriend, Cody, in a coma when they kissed. Horrified, she ran away to Jackson, Mississippi, where she’s been living alone. She meets otherworldly James and everything changes. He’s just like her, completely alone and also on the run. To elude James’s mysterious and dangerous family, the pair takes to the highway. James reveals that his true name is Touch and he christens Anna Marie Rogue. With danger at their heels, they know they can’t run forever. Rogue must decide if she’ll unleash her devastating powers once again in order to save the only person who seems truly to understand and accept her.
For thousands of years, Cross has wandered the earth, a mortal soul trapped in the undying body left behind by Christ. Now he must play the part of reluctant hero as an angel comes to him for help finding the Mona Lisa, the real Mona Lisa that inspired the painting. Cross’s quest takes him into a secret world within our own. He’s haunted by memories of Penelope, the only woman he truly loved, and he wants to avenge her death at the hands of his ancient enemy, Judas. The angel promises to deliver Judas to Cross, but nothing is ever what it seems.
When Ann LeSage was a little girl, she had an invisible friend, a poltergeist, that spoke to her with flying knives and howling winds. She called it the Insect. With a little professional help, she contained it. The nightmare was over, at least for a time. The nightmare never truly ended. As Ann grew from girl into young woman, the Insect grew with her. It became a thing of murder. As she embarks on a new life married to Michael Voors, a successful young lawyer, Ann believes that she finally has the Insect under control. There are others vying to take that control away from her. They are the ’Geisters. And in pursuing their own perverse dream, they risk spawning the most terrible nightmare of all.
One of the few humans who managed to escape the deadly twilight world of Vamp City, Quinn Lennox, vows to never return. But the vampires want her back, for only she has the power to renew the magic of their crumbling world, and free the vampires trapped within. When the handsome, dangerous, and all too seductive Arturo Mazza comes for her, Quinn knows she can never trust him after the betrayal she suffered at his hands. But with her beloved brother’s fate hanging in the balance, and her own power beginning to emerge, she chooses to risk all on yet another perilous journey back to Vamp City.
Young Adult. Dawn grew up behind a wall, terrified of the vampires outside who controlled the lives of humans and demanded their blood. But when she became a delegate for her city and met Victor, she realized that not all vampires were the same, that maybe one could be trusted. Now Day Walker Sin is infecting his followers with a disease that turns them into mindless killers. Dawn and Victor will have to convince humans and vampires to band together to stop him, because alone they will all die.
Ten years ago, Audrey MacLaren chose to marry her human lover, making her an exile from the Dragon Kings. Audrey and her husband managed to conceive, and their son is the first natural-born Dragon King in a generation. In the year since her husband was murdered, Audrey and her little boy have endured hideous experiments. Leto Garnis is a Cage warrior. Only through combat can Dragon Kings earn the privilege of conceiving children. Leto uses his superhuman speed and reflexes to secure the right for his two sisters to start families. After torture reveals Audrey’s astonishing pyrokenesis, she is sent to fight in the Cages. Leto is charged with her training. Leto and Audrey learn that in a violent underground world, love is the only prize worth winning.
Tina Clancy is adapting to her new life as one of Saturn’s Daughters while living in the toxic part of Baltimore known as The Zone, and occasionally acting as a champion of the downtrodden, the weird, the innocent, and the sometimes not-so-innocent. Just when she finally lands a real law job, the Zone is blasted by poisonous gas and her sometimes boyfriend starts receiving visitors from Hell. He’s none too pleased about that, or in Tina having sent his granny to Hell in his place. For that matter, neither is granny.
Callie LeRoux has put her grimy, harrowing trip from the depths of the Dust Bowl behind her. Her life is a different kind of exciting now: she works at a major motion picture studio among powerful studio executives and stylish stars. Still nothing can distract her from her true goal. With help from her friend Jack and guidance from the great singer Paul Robeson, she will find her missing mother. But as a child of prophecy and daughter of the legitimate heir to the Seelie throne, Callie poses a huge threat to the warring fae factions who’ve attached themselves to the most powerful people in Hollywood, and they are all too aware that she’s within their reach.
Young Adult. For as long as Ebony can remember, she’s been sheltered. Confined to her home in a secluded valley, home-schooled by her protective parents, and limited to a small circle of close friends. It’s as if she’s being hidden. But something is changing in Ebony. Something that can’t be concealed. She’s growing more beautiful by the day, she’s freakishly strong, and then there’s the fact that she’s glowing. Ebony still doesn’t know that she’s a stolen angel, but now that the heavens have found her, they want her back. (U.S. Release)
For a two-thousand-year-old Druid, Atticus O’Sullivan is a pretty fast runner. Good thing, because he’s being chased by not one but two goddesses of the hunt, Artemis and Diana, for messing with one of their own. Atticus, Granuaile, and his wolfhound Oberon are making a mad dash across modern-day Europe to seek help from a friend of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His usual magical option of shifting planes is blocked, so the game plan is, run like hell. Crashing the pantheon marathon is the Norse god Loki. Killing Atticus is the only loose end he needs to tie up before unleashing Ragnarok, AKA the Apocalypse. Atticus and Granuaile have to outfox the Olympians and contain the god of mischief if they want to go on living, and still have a world to live in.
Young Adult. On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building. There’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? When she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they’ll both be targets. Katie never wanted to move to Japan, now she may not make it out of the country alive.
The World of the End, by Ofir Touche Gafla, (June 25, Tor)
As an epilogist, Ben Mendelssohn appreciates an unexpected ending. When that finale is the untimely demise of his beloved wife in a bizarre accident, Ben is incapable of coping. Marian was more than his life partner. Ben is willing to end his own life and enter the beyond if it means any chance of getting her back. One bullet to the brain later, Ben is in the Other World, where he discovers an existence unlike anything he could have imagined, and where the deceased live an eternal second life. Ben finds everyone from his grandparents to Marilyn Monroe. He can’t find Marian. Ben hires an unconventional afterlife investigator to track her down. Evidence mounts that Marian is alive and living in Tel Aviv. Ben also uncovers unexpected truths that will haunt him throughout eternity.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series is published by Tor Books. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.