Twenty-six new tales of paranormal peril fill the shelves in September with several additions to popular series, including releases from Seanan McGuire (October Daye), J.D. Tyler (Alpha Pack); Eileen Wilks (World of the Lupi); Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark-Hunter); Shiloh Walker (The FBI Psychics); Yasmine Galenorn (Otherworld); Adrian Phoenix (The Maker’s Song); and Anton Strout (The Spellmason Chronicles).
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.
Things are starting to look up for October “Toby” Daye. She’s training her squire, doing her job, and has finally allowed herself to grow closer to the local King of Cats. It seems like her life may finally be settling down until dead changelings start appearing in the alleys of San Francisco. Toby’s efforts to take the problem to the Queen of the Mists are met with harsh reprisals. Toby must find a way to reverse the Queens decree and save her own life. There’s the question of the Queen herself, who seems increasingly unlikely to have a valid claim to the throne. October and her friends will have to travel from the legendary Library of Stars into the hidden depths of the Kingdom of the Mists. In faerie, some fates are worse than death. October Daye is about to find out what they are.
A group of former Navy SEALS, the Alpha Pack is a top secret team of wolf shifters with Psy powers combating the greatest dangers in the world. Ryon Hunter sees dead people, spirits that beg him for help. A beautiful spirit appears to him. The woman is wildlife biologist Daria Bradford, mortally wounded after encountering a white wolf. When Ryon locates Daria it is almost too late. Nursing her back to health at the Alpha Pack compound brings a new complication: Daria is his destined mate. Ryon is afraid of what will happen when she discovers what he is. The biggest threat of all is still loose in the forest. The Alpha Pack goes on the hunt for the mysterious white wolf, only to find that the most lethal creature of all is the one they can’t see coming.
Tara Mason wants more than tourist sights out of her trip to the city of dreams, something strange and off the beaten path. But is it her own curiosity that draws her to an ancient cemetery on the outskirts of Paris? Or is she lured by a dark, immortal force she is powerless to resist? When she realizes someone is chasing after her, a shadowy figure getting closer and closer, how quickly the dream becomes nightmare. He calls himself a guardian. He is sworn to protect the innocent from an evil most never see. Now that he has caught up to her in the abandoned ruins of a country estate, he insists Tara must trust him. She has carelessly exposed herself. The evil has seen her, but he vows it will not claim her.
On her 57th birthday, Lily’s mother suddenly loses all memory beyond the age of twelve. Lily knows her mother was attacked by something more than magic. More and darker. When Lily and Rule discover that others suffered the same, mysterious loss, at the same time on the same night, their investigation into the darkness begins. Joining them is someone Lily never thought she’d see again: Al Drummond, who once tried to destroy her. He also happens to be dead. But the mysterious attacks were caused by a power strong enough to affect matters beyond the world of the living. With some victims losing years of memory and others their lives, Lily must discover what on earth, or beyond, connects them.
Young Adult. There’s someone lurking the halls of Crescent Ridge High School with enough malice to unleash an epidemic of Soul Worms, supernatural larvae that feed on the very fabric of a victim’s humanity. After witnessing the death of one of the most popular kids at school, Julie Richaradson and boyfriend Marcus find themselves in a race against time to find out who is behind the attacks. All the evidence points to a plot at the City Weir during the Winter Solstice; the place where icy waters of the Bow River and a thunderous spillway will mean the deaths of more than a hundred of Julie’s classmates. If she has any hope of saving their lives, she’ll need a little help from a coven of white witches and an Aboriginal mage whose snarky attitude is matched only by her magical prowess.
Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge. As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother. The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other. When loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?
For Callie McFay, a half-witch/half-fey professor of folklore and Gothic literature, the fight to save the town of Fairwick is far from over. After a takeover by the Grove, a sinister group of witches and their cohorts, many of the local fey have been banished or killed. In place of the spirit of tolerance and harmony, the new administration at Fairwick College has fostered an air of danger and distrust. Callie is the only one who can rescue her friends and restore order, a task that requires her to find the Angel Stone, a legendary talisman of immense power. Callie risks her life to obtain the stone. When she encounters an incarnation of her lost love, she finds the greater risk is to her heart. Callie must make a choice: reclaim a chance for eternal passion or save everything she holds dear.
Agent Vaughnne MacMeans would do anything to avoid setting foot in Orlando again. Her new assignment, keeping tabs on a psychic kid who may or may not be in danger, is forcing her right back to the city where her sister was murdered. Protecting Alex is a priority for Gus, the boy’s guardian. Gus may not understand the young man’s “gift” but he knows that some people would kill for it. When a beautiful stranger moves in next door, his impulse is to take the kid and bolt. Gus has learned never to flee without a plan, and besides, she doesn’t exactly look like an assassin. When some dangerous people from Gus’s past do catch up to him and Alex, it’s too late to run. His new neighbor is the last person he thought he could turn to, but Vaughnne is only chance Gus and Alex have left.
Young Adult. When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks. Tom looks as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general. As Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind, memories of the two of them, together and in love. When she learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger, and much more terrifying and beautiful, than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
A novelette that takes place during the period of the dust bowl in the American Midwest. A teenage boy walks away from his father’s wasted farm to follow the other travelers heading west where there is a rumor of angels.
Young Adult. If there’s one thing Gavin Stokes knows, it’s that something unimaginably dangerous has returned to the world. A mad dog runs amok, a mermaid floats in the bay, and a wild beast stalks the countryside. He and others make the same strange claim: magic has returned. All signs point to it. Now, Gavin’s aunt has disappeared. A young girl who’s been accused of murder vanishes from a locked cell. She is at large somewhere in a vast wilderness. Meanwhile, a desolate child leaves the home that has kept her safe all her life and strikes out into the unknown. And a mother, half mad with grief for her lost son, sets off to find him. There is a place where all their journeys meet. But someone is watching the roads. (U.S.)
There was a time when Nathan Garrett was feared. When the mention of his name was enough to stop his enemies in their tracks. That time has long since passed. When Nathan’s friend asks for help investigating a pattern of horrific crimes, he reluctantly agrees. But his investigation leads to a serial killer who is something more, or less, than human, a creature of pure malevolence and hatred. There are some things that even a 1,600-year-old sorcerer hesitates to challenge. But when evil targets those Nathan cares about, his enemies will discover exactly who Nathan used to be. And why they will learn to fear him once more. (U.S.)
It’s been almost ten years since Nathan Garrett woke on a cold warehouse floor with nothing but a gun, a sword, and no idea of who he was or how he got there. His only clue, a piece of paper with his name on it. Since then, he’s discovered he’s a powerful sorcerer and has used his abilities to work as a thief for hire. But he’s never stopped hunting for his true identity, and those who erased his memory have never stopped hunting for him. When the barrier holding his past captive begins to crumble, Nathan swears to protect a young girl who is key to his enemy’s plans. But with his enemies closing in, and everyone he cares about becoming a target for their wrath, Nathan is forced to choose between the life he’s built for himself and the one buried deep inside him. (U.S.)
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls (Pax Arcana 0.6)—Elliott James (September 17, Orbit)
This is the second in a series of short stories by debut author Elliott James. The first of his novels, Charming, will be out in September 2013. Nothing with the Cunning Folk is ever free. When John Charming goes to Sarah White for help with a minor ghost problem, he soon finds himself dealing with a restless spirit on a completely different scale. And the last thing you want to be when hunting a water spirit is out of your depth. (Digital)
Is it possible to find love after you’ve died and gone to Hell? For oddball misfits Velvet and Brinkley, the answer might be yes. After Velvet hangs herself and winds up trapped in a bedroom she believes is Hell, she comes in contact with Brinkley, the man trapped next door. Through mirrors that hang in each of their rooms, these disturbed cinephiles watch the past of the other unfold—the dark past that has led to their present circumstances. As their bond grows and they struggle to figure out the tragic puzzles of their lives and deaths, Velvet and Brinkley are in for more surprises.
Young Adult. Since the night of her seventeenth birthday, Skye has been torn between two opposites: Light and Dark, the Order and the Rebellion, Devin and Asher. With the help of her friends, Skye forges her own path, setting out to gather an uprising of Rogues. The treacherous and elusive half-angels may be the key to maintaining the balance of fate and free will. Completing the mission is more difficult, and dangerous, than she could have imagined. Doing so comes at a cost: Her greatest love may now be a lethal enemy.
We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch with three sexy husbands. My sister Menolly is a vampire married to a wildly hot werepuma. I’m Delilah, a two-faced werecat and Death Maiden. The supe community is in danger and now it’s up to us to unravel a mystery. When two vampiric software engineers approach us about a missing colleague, we don’t expect to find much. Then Grandmother Coyote steps in and our simple missing persons case rapidly devolves into a nightmare. We must infiltrate and destroy an underground organization of influential men, led by the mysterious Lowestar Radcliff. One misstep puts our whole operation and our lives in peril.
Sophie Thibodeau has been on the run from the father of her son for more than fifteen years. Her son, Joshua, is changing, and her greatest fears are about to be realized. He’s going to end up being just like his father, a man who can change into a wolf. Dylan Black has been hunting for Sophie since the night she ran from him. Dylan controls Rhuddin Village, a town in Maine where he lives with an ancient Celtic tribe. One of the few of his clan who can still shift into a wolf, he must protect his people from the Guardians. Sophie and Dylan come together for the sake of their son and their reunion reignites the passion they once shared. Dylan’s lost family is within his grasp. Are Joshua and Sophie strong enough to fight alongside Dylan in battle? The fate of his tribe depends on it.
Charming (Pax Arcana #1)—Elliott James (September 24, Orbit)
John Charming isn’t your average Prince. He comes from a line of Charmings, an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chainmail and crossbows to kevlar and shotguns, he was one of the best. That is, until he became the abomination the Knights were sworn to hunt. That was a lifetime ago. Now, he tends bar under an assumed name in rural Virginia and leads a peaceful, quiet life. One that shouldn’t change just because a vampire and a blonde walked into his bar. Right?
Young Adult. Three seconds left to live. Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped. Two pawns thrown into a brutal underground reality game. Kira Jordan survived her family’s murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis. One reason Kira will never, ever trust Rogan. Even though both their lives depend on it. Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira’s psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan’s secrets prove evermore deadly, Kira’s only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can’t escape.
As Dante Baptiste’s true identity as both True Blood and Fallen ripples throughout New Orleans, he and Heather struggle for their lives against different foes. To free herself from her father’s treachery, Heather accepts help from an ally. Dante, lost to his brutal past, wavers between his own sense of self and the Bad Seed-programmed S that lurks within, between the never-ending Road and the Great Destroyer. Lucien searches frantically for the lovers, all too aware that time is running out. Dark forces continue to gather, eager to possess and manipulate the young vampire for their own ends. The fate of mortals, nightkind, and the Fallen pivots around Dante as he struggles to piece together his shattered psyche and gain control of his power before he rips all three worlds asunder.
Alexandra Belarus was an artist stuck working in her New York family’s business, until she discovered her true legacy, a deep and ancient magic. Lexi became the last practicing Spellmason, with the power to breathe life into stone. As her powers awoke, so did her family’s most faithful protector: a gargoyle named Stanis. When a centuries-old evil threatened her family and her city, Stanis sacrificed himself to save everything Lexi held dear. With Stanis gone, Lexi’s efforts to master Spellmasonry are faltering. She finds herself suddenly under the mysterious wing of a secret religious society determined to keep magic hidden from the world. The question of Stanis’s fate haunts her, and as the storm around her grows, so does the fear that she won’t be able to save him in her turn.
On both sides of the Mexican-American border, girls are going missing and bodies are beginning to surface, a epidemic of crime that plunges a small-town police chief into a monster of an investigation he’s unequipped to handle. Sherry Nichols is one of those disappeared girls. She’s managed to escape. Freeing herself was the easy part. Lost and alone, she’s got to make it through the desert. In a Mexican jail, an unjustly-imprisoned man named Galvan is offered a devil’s bargain. Freedom and the beloved daughter from whom he is estranged if he successfully carries a sinister package across the border in twenty-four hours. But there are more than coyotes roaming the desert in search of prey. An ancient evil has returned, and now everyone must face their deepest terrors.
Young Adult. When teenage Pen inherits the job of caretaker for a London building with no doors and only a secret entrance from the caretaker’s lodge, which she must never use, little does she know it will lead her into unbelievable danger. For Azmordis, also known as Satan, a spirit as old as Time and as powerful as the Dark, Immortality is running out. In the house with no front door, a group of teenagers are trapped in assorted dimensions of myth and history, undergoing the trials that will shape them to step into his cloven footwear, or destroy them. Assisted only by an aspiring teenage chef called Gavin and Jinx, a young witch with more face-piercing than fae-power, Pen must try to stop the Devil’s deadly game plan, before it’s too late.
The Incrementalists are a secret society of two hundred people with an unbroken lineage reaching back forty thousand years. They cheat death, share lives and memories, and communicate with one another across nations, races, and time. They have an epic history, an almost magical memory, and a very modest mission: to make the world better. Their ongoing argument about how to do this is older than most of their individual memories. Phil, whose personality has stayed stable through more incarnations than anyone else’s, has loved Celeste for most of the last four hundred years. Celeste, recently dead and very unstable, has changed the rules, not incrementally, and not for the better. The heart of the group must gather in Las Vegas to save the Incrementalists, and maybe the world.
In the pages of this latest collection of stories, you will encounter: two boys who discover an elaborate trap to capture fairies; a young musician haunted by the song “Moonlight In Vermont”; a small-time crook about to fall under the spell of London while, at the same time, rediscovering his wife; a family who happen across a store with a back door that takes you back to your favorite past; a Runyon-esque gambler with the strangest set of dice you ever saw; a couple jaded with their life together who are re-visited by their collective histories; an unusual visitor who rolls in one fall day under cover of a mighty thick fog just to touch base with someone he maybe once knew; a dying man who learns that most important of all lessons: his life has been more worthwhile than he realized; and a carnival come to visit the small turn-of-the-century Texas town of Gault, there to make a big impression on two young women on the cusp of so many things.
Author Suzanne Johnson is a book geek with a fondness for a good dystopia. Her Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series continued in August with the release of Elysian Fields. You can find Suzanne on Facebook and on her daily speculative fiction blog, Preternatura.