Twenty-eight new releases in these mega-genres flower in May, much in the form of teen angst as they prepare to save the universe. Look for new adult series additions from, among others, Charlaine Harris (Midnight, Texas), Freda Warrington (Blood Wine), Ari Marmell (Mick Oberon), Linda Grimes (In a Fix), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Dangerous Creatures), Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson), and Alex Bledsoe (Tufa).
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.
After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former U.S. Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death—Lex’s death, that is. She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces, and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious, undead “fixer,” Quinn, to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.
When the sudden collapse of the Victoria Embankment uncovers a passage to an unknown realm beneath London, Langdon St. Ives sets out explore it, not knowing that a brilliant and wealthy psychopathic murderer is working to keep the underworld’s secrets hidden for reasons of his own. Assumed to be dead and buried deep beneath London, St. Ives lives secretly on the streets of the great city where he, Alice St. Ives, and their stalwart friends investigate a string of ghastly crimes: the gruesome death of a witch in a forest hovel, the kidnapping of a blind, psychic girl who can see into the human soul, and the grim horrors of a secret hospital where experiments in medical electricity and the development of human, vampiric fungi serve the strange, murderous ends of St. Ives’s greatest and most dangerous nemesis.
A wide range of fantastical stories from New York Times bestsellers Holly Black, Nancy Holder, Catherynne M. Valente and Carrie Vaughn, and critically acclaimed writers Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Tanith Lee, all of whom have left their indelible and unique stamps on the vampire genre. Whether they are undeniably heroes and heroines or bloodthirsty monsters (or something in between), the undead are a lively lot. This anthology offers short fiction by the “blood sisters” who know them best: stories you can really sink your teeth into.
There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous. Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular, and very wealthy, clients dies during a reading. Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight.
Young Adult. The only thing worse than being a witch is living with one. Camellia’s adopted mother wants Cam to grow up to be just like her. Problem is, Mom’s a seriously wicked witch. Cam’s used to stopping the witch’s crazy schemes for world domination. But when the witch summons a demon, he gets loose and into Devon, the cute new boy at school. Now Cam’s got bigger problems than passing algebra. Her friends are getting zombiefied. Their dragon is tired of hiding in the RV garage. For being a shy boy-band boy, Devon is sure kissing a bunch of girls. And a phoenix hidden in the school is going to explode on the night of the Halloween dance. To stop the demon before he destroys Devon’s soul, Cam might have to try a spell of her own. But if she’s willing to work spells like the witch…will that mean she’s wicked too?
1927: In the turmoil and glamour of 1920s Europe, vampires Karl, Charlotte and Violette face threats to their very existence. Fiery, handsome dancer Emil achieves his dream to partner the legendary ballerina Violette Lenoir, until his forbidden desire for her becomes an obsession. Rejected, spiraling toward madness, he seeks solace with a mysterious beauty, Leyla. But she too is a vampire, with a hidden agenda. Is Leyla more dangerous than the sinister activist Goderich Mann? When Karl and Charlotte undertake an exotic, perilous journey to rescue Emil, they unearth secrets that threaten disaster for vampire-kind.
Remember, never accept a gift without knowing the consequences. Set in the Tufa universe. (Digital)
From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate, and the fae, close in. Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem: Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love. (Digital)
Twenty-seven-year-old Jarrod Foster has hit a dead end. He spends his days disposing of hazardous waste and his nights wondering where it all went wrong. While gutting an abandoned roller rink, Jarrod discovers a bricked up video arcade still stocked with vintage games, which, three decades ago, was the site of the largest mass shooting in New York history. Jarrod’s boss lets him keep one of the arcade games, an oddity called Polybius that no one seems to have ever heard of. Jarrod hopes to sell it and start a new life, but one grim night, he drops a quarter into the game, and the game drops Jarrod right into a nightmare. As his life spirals into darkness, and his actions begin to mirror those of the long-dead spree killer, only one question remains, is Jarrod playing a game, or is the game playing him? (Digital Novella)
When Liz Drake’s best friend vanishes, nothing can stop her nightmares. Driven by the certainty he needs her help, she crosses a continent to search for him. She finds Blake comatose in a Vancouver hospital, victim of a mysterious accident that claimed his lover’s life. Blake’s new circle of artists and mystics draws her in, but all of them are lying or keeping dangerous secrets. Soon, nightmare creatures stalk the waking city, and Liz can’t fight a dream from the daylight world: to rescue Blake she must brave the darkest depths of the dreamlands. Even the attempt could kill her, or leave her mind trapped or broken. And if she succeeds, she must face the monstrous Yellow King, whose slave Blake is on the verge of becoming forever.
Young Adult. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all. When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?
The Spear of Lugh, one of the four Kingly Hallows of Ireland, is in Chicago. And everyone, everyone wants it, for it is said that he who carries the spear into battle cannot be defeated. Among those who seek it are an agent of the infamous Wild Hunt; a mobster who knows far more about these things than he should; and of course both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, the last people PI Mick Oberon would want getting hold of the spear.
Katherine Emerson was born to fulfill a dark prophecy centuries in the making, but she isn’t aware that this future awaits. There is one man who knows the truth: A killer stalking the women of New York, a monster the media dubs the “Sickle Man” because of the way he turns his victims into canvasses for his mesmerizing, twisted art. Unleashed upon Manhattan after lying dormant for centuries, the Sickle Man kills to harvest the precious hues of his victims. Every death brings him closer to the one color, and the one woman, he must possess at any cost… Katherine must decide what to do about two men who have entered her life: handsome and personable David, and alluring yet aloof Sael. Though she’s becoming increasingly torn between them, how well does she really know them? Why is she suddenly plagued by disturbing visions?
Young Adult. Life is a blast when you have your very own genie. But when Parker Quarry is shipped from sunny Los Angeles to live with relatives in a quiet New Hampshire college town and releases a 2,000 year-old jinn from an ancient canister “borrowed” from the university building where his uncle works, the biggest blasts comes from the millennia-old power struggle he reignites. Now it is up to Parker, his mild-mannered cousin, Theo, and their wiz-kid classmate, Reese, to stop a battalion of battle-ready jinn from re-starting an all-out war—one with humanity in the crosshairs.
Aura adaptor extraordinaire Ciel Halligan, who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients’ problems, is filling in on set for action superstar Jackson Gunn, whose snake phobia is standing in the way of his completing his latest Hollywood blockbuster. Seems like a simple enough job to Ciel, who doesn’t particularly like snakes, but figures she can tolerate an afternoon with them, for the right price. She doesn’t count on finding out that while she was busywrangling snakes for Jack, his wife was busy getting killed. When Ciel goes to break the sad news to the star, she finds out Jack was AWOL from her client hideaway at the time of the murder. Ciel begins to suspect Jack’s phobia was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi. Ciel calls on her best-friend-turned-love-interest Billy, and her not-so-ex-crush Mark, to help her set up the sting of a lifetime.
Young Adult. Some loves are cursed. Others are dangerous. Especially the love between wannabe rocker and quarter Incubus Wesley “Link” Lincoln, and Dark Caster Siren, and bonafide bad girl Ridley Duchannes. But now Ridley is missing, and Link was with her—right up until she vanished. Determined to find her, Link reunites with his New York bandmates and the mysterious Lennox Gates, who wants Rid for himself. Together they travel to the Deep South, find the crossroads where blues guitarist Robert Johnson made his deal with the devil, discover a menagerie of Casters locked in cages, and uncover an evil in New Orleans that threatens to destroy them all. This time, love might not be enough.
After the perilous retrieval of a long-dormant god from Iraq, Chris Copeland, professional god hunter and company troubleshooter, is about ready to quit his job. But his employers at the Registry have other plans, plans to build a power facility on the shores of Lake Michigan. Adam Shailer, a rising star at the Registry, thinks he can cage the god, drain its energy, and power the city. It’s Chris’s job to make sure nothing goes wrong. And at first, everything seems fine. Great, even. But when ecstatic devotees start leaving human sacrifices on the beach near the god-house, it quickly becomes clear that the god is not as contained as the Registry would have everyone believe. The devil’s in the wires, and there’s no turning back now. (Digital)
With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge on the grounds of an abandoned convent. A new case has captured her attention: a decades-old murder of the newly vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. Reyes grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine. While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. The mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her. The good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life.
Alone in a train station bathroom, Sophia Hernandez has no memory of who she is or how she got there. All she’s certain of are three things: her college ID is a lie, bad people are coming for her, and no one can be trusted. The only clue to her past is the fellow student who finds her. Although Sophia’s gut tells her Kyle is lying when he claims he can’t help her, his touch makes her heart race. Is it because of a red-hot natural attraction, or a missing memory of something far more dangerous? As two mysterious, menacing men chase them from the station, Sophia’s memories return in frustrating fragments. So do deadly skills she didn’t know she had. In the next forty-eight hours, a loved one’s life will be on the line as she sifts through a mounting tangle of secrets and lies. Including the most heart-wrenching secret of all. Not only isn’t she a normal college student, she isn’t even a normal human. (Digital)
John Charming. Ex knight. Current monster hunter. While trying to deal with a monster he can’t bring himself to kill, John Charming soon runs into another problem: Magic and technology don’t mix, so how is a phone-sex operation enchanting men through their cell phones? A short story from within the Pax Arcana world. (Digital)
This tale takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Barker’s most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time: The long-beleaguered detective Harry D’Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical, and malevolent crimes, faces off against his formidable, intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready?
Young Adult. Indie has spent the last few weeks searching for Paige. She’s tried every spell imaginable, but witchcraft has gotten her nowhere, and she’s going crazy with guilt. Despite what her warlock boyfriend, Bishop, tells her, Indie knows it’s her fault her best friend was kidnapped by the Priory. With the Priory destroyed, finding Paige feels more hopeless than ever, especially when Indie discovers that Paige isn’t even on Earth. She’s trapped in Los Demonios, an alternate dimension of Los Angeles filled with evil paranormals. No one who has gone there has ever come out. Indie is desperate to find a way into the underworld prison. Facing the dark world’s most dangerous witches and warlocks on her own means keeping her plan hush-hush, and forging alliances with some sketchy people, including a seriously sexy sorcerer.
In the wake of tragedy, John and Erma Scott are heading west in search of a new life. When car trouble strands them in sleepy Cavus, Montana, they decide to stay for a while, charmed by the friendly residents and the surrounding ambiance. Here, they hope, is the healing balm that their marriage needs. John and Erma find themselves in a fight not just to save their marriage, but their very lives. For this is no ordinary town. Its quiet streets conceal a dark and bloody secret that has slumbered for centuries. Now, that secret is awake, and it’s hungry. Evil is spreading through Cavus. Soon John and Erma, along with the local sheriff, an undocumented immigrant, a traumatized teenage girl, and an old man with terrible secrets of his own, must join together to battle an all-consuming force that has set its sights on its prey: the human race. (Digital)
In all the time the Tufa have existed, only two have ever been exiled: Bo-Kate Wisby and her lover, Jefferson Powell. Their crime? A love that crossed the boundary of the two Tufa tribes, resulting in the death of several people. Bo-Kate has found her way back. She intends to take over both tribes, which means eliminating both Rockhouse Hicks and Mandalay Harris. Bo-Kate has a secret weapon: Byron Harley, a rockabilly singer known as the “Hillbilly Hercules” for his immense size and strength, and who has passed the last sixty years trapped in a bubble of faery time. The only one who can stop Bo-Kate is Jefferson Powell. Released from the curse and summoned back to Cloud County, he isn’t sure what will happen when they finally meet. Will he fall in love with her again or will he join her in her quest or will he have to sacrifice himself to save the people who once banished him?
Young Adult. Seventeen-year-old Maggie Cunningham is tough, smart, and sassy. She’s also not like other girls her age because her family business is monster hunting. Maggie’s concerns in life slant more toward survival than fashion or boys. Maggie’s mother informs Maggie that she can’t get her journeyman’s license for hunting until she loses her virginity. Something about virgin blood turning vampires into pointy rage monsters. Maggie’s battled ghosts and goblins and her fair share of house brownies, but finding herself a boy proves a much more daunting task than any monster hunt. Normal girls can’t clean a gun blindfolded, shoot a crossbow, or exorcise ghosts from a house. Which means they’re lame and Maggie’s not. Because Maggie’s awesome. The Awesome, in fact. She’d be more than happy to tell you. After she finds herself a date.
Family is power. The Original Vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. Even when you’re immortal, promises are hard to keep. Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah Mikaelson had won it all, only to lose it again by 1788. Control of New Orleans is split between the vampires and the werewolves, much to Klaus’s displeasure. In a dangerous attempt to reclaim his home, Klaus decides to build a vampire army to take out the werewolves once and for all. Elijah lets his brother take the reins as he turns his attentions to a beautiful and mysterious witch. But Rebekah has had enough of her brothers’ love of bloodshed and begins a journey to find her first home and the key to her family’s immortality. As the battles rages on, the siblings must come together and fight for what they believe in most: family.
See the girl. Leah Wilde is twenty-four, a runaway on a black motorbike, hunting for answers while changing her identity with each new Central European town. See the man, having come of age in extraordinary suffering and tragedy in nineteenth-century Budapest; witness to horror, to love, to death, and the wrath of a true monster. Izsák still lives in the present day, impossibly middle-aged. He’s driven not only to hunt this immortal evil but to find his daughter, stolen from an Arctic cabin and grown into the thing Izsák has sworn to kill. See the monster, a beautiful, seemingly young woman who stalks the American West, seeking the young and the strong to feed upon, desperate to return to Europe where her coven calls. (U.S. Release)
Tells the story of a troubled family: a discontented husband and wife and the teenaged son who was, but is no longer, a musical prodigy. It is the story of the isolated Norwegian resort known as Perdido, and of the impossible, dreamlike things that happen there. Perdido is a place where the rules of ordinary life no longer apply, where reality is malleable and infinitely strange. It is a place where ’’you get what you didn’t know you wanted’’ and where lives are altered forever. For the unhappy couple invited to attend, and for the teenaged son awaiting their return, it is the place where a marriage ends and a life filled with alternate possibilities begins.