Release Day Blitz: Air and Ash by Alex Lidell

We’d like to extend our thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for letting us participate in today’s release day announcement for Alex Lidell’s novel, Air and Ash! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post for your chance to win a finished copy of Air and Ash and a hardcover edition of A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas! =^.^=

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Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Date Released: May 2, 2017

Series: Tides #1

Master and Commander meets Tamora Pierce in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms. 

After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

AIR AND ASH is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and Naomi Novik.

Excerpt:

My breaths come quick, my side vision a blur of sand. The horses rear, showing their bellies and hooves. When Red turns to the beasts, I crash into him. The impact ricochets through me. I drop my rock.
Red staggers but remains standing.
I wrap my arms around Red and draw the other pistol from his waistline even as he throws me to the ground. I land in a heap and breathless, but my hands still clutch the gun.
Inconveniently, the bloody weapon is as much a danger to me as to the men. It bucks in my hand, yielding to the natural pulse of Clay’s uncontrolled magic. Rising to one knee, I move the barrel between Bald and Red. “Stop,” I command. “All of you.”
Three sets of eyes grip me. None give a sign of recognition. I little blame them—having spent most of my life aboard an Ashing ship, the only people who’d reliably recognize me are those I’ve served with. This Felielle trio is unlikely to recognize even Thad outside the throne room, or think twice if they heard my name absent salutation.
My palms are moist, but I know better than to let the fear slip into my voice. “I believe the man has understood your message,” I say.
Clay’s dog chooses that moment to run up beside me and bare its teeth. Its low growl leadens the air between us.
One heartbeat stretches after another, punctuated by the break of waves and the horses’ snorts. My breaths come quick and shallow. I’m unlikely to miss at this range, but the pistol is good for one shot only.
Bald squints. “What’s your stake in this?”
“A broken law and a bound man.” I shake my head. The constant foreign presence in Ashing is a necessary burden for now, but I hope to see it end after the war. “One pistol has fired already, gentlemen. I expect the Ashing patrols are en route to investigate.”
Red scowls at me, likely calculating whether he might knock me to the ground before I squeeze off the trigger or the horses scamper. He probably can.
I scowl back, hoping the thugs’ employer paid them too little to risk their hides so greatly. “I would wager you will pay with your horses and backs if the patrols come upon us now.”
Bald snorts and makes a decision. “Is the lady correct, Domenic? Has the message penetrated?” He lands a vicious knee in the man’s abdomen.
Domenic’s jaw tightens, and he has to draw a breath before he can speak. “I have a debt.” His voice is steadier than I had expected. “I will pay it.”
“Why, that is all we wished to hear in the first place.” Bald pats Domenic’s shoulder and turns away, then twists back and punches Domenic’s jaw as an afterthought. “A pinch of a memory aid.” He chuckles at his joke and, accepting the reins from Red, swings into the saddle. The horses neigh and pick up a gallop, eager to be away, and I raise my free arm to shield my eyes from the flying sand.

About the Author:

Alex Lidell is an avid horseback rider, paramedic and ice cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s lifelong love for YA fantasy books. Alex’s debut novel, THE CADET OF TILDOR, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards finalist. Her second book AIR AND ASH releases in May 2017.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win a finished copy of Air and Ash and a hardcover edition of A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2579

Quiet Love by Helena Rac – Excerpt & Promotional Post

In Helena Rac’s second novel, best friends become roommates and discover through sloppy towel tucks, stargazing adventures, and a very sexy photo shoot that sometimes love can be found in the most unlikely place: right in front of you. Fans of Christina Lauren’s Dark Wild Night won’t want to miss this exciting new release published by Tryst Books!

~*~

Publisher: Tryst Books

Date Released: April 24, 2017

Series: Chapters of Love #2

Daniel has been best friends with Rose since they were born. He’s been in love with her for years. The only problem? She has no idea, and he’s not about to tell her and ruin their friendship. The solution? Leave Chicago to travel the world, pursue his dream of becoming a photojournalist, and try to forget the red lips that he could kiss for hours. If only she’d let him…

Rose knows true love is out there somewhere; she just has to try hard enough to find it. That’s become more complicated, though, since her best friend Daniel has moved in with her after being away for two years. Somehow thoughts of him keep getting in the way, making her morning showers a little too hot for comfort. If only he’d see…

In Helena Rac’s second novel, best friends become roommates and discover through sloppy towel tucks, stargazing adventures, and a very sexy photo shoot that sometimes love can be found in the most unlikely place: right in front of you.

Excerpt:

The night is nothing short of perfect. The air is warm, there’s barely any wind, and the moon is young, so the sky is dark, laced with thousands of stars. We find our spot along the beach, well away from the other stargazers, and set down our sleeping bags, a couple of blankets, and our cooler.
Our eighties playlist is playing softly in the background while we enjoy the night. Daniel takes photos, and every so often he shows me an image he’s caught on camera. I’m in awe. He really is amazing. The way he sees the world is so different from how most of us do – angles and frames and visions that capture the beauty of everything that surrounds us, including the stars. Even in the dark, I can see a twinkle in his eyes, that same look he has when he picks up his camera. Confident. In charge. Sexy.
I squeeze in between Daniel and the telescope and lean into the eyepiece. I’m instantly fascinated by what I see. The star flickers like it’s dancing in the sky. There are hues of red and orange and gold, and it sparkles like a gem.
I’m equally distracted because Daniel is standing right behind me. He hasn’t moved an inch. His chest presses against my back, and I tense for a moment, unsure of his intent. His scent makes its way to me, and my eyes flutter closed for an instant. I inhale and savor the way he makes me feel. My initial tense reaction gives way to a new one – one that confuses me and excites me all at the same time. Goosebumps cover my arms, and my breath hitches in my throat. I can’t help but shiver from the sparks that travel through my body.
His response is not what I expect. Yet, even though I’m afraid to admit it to myself, it’s quite possibly what I hoped for. He wraps his arms around me so they criss-cross just above my waist. He starts to rub my arms, warming my skin and melting the goosebumps – and my whole body. My mind is screaming, Do not cross the friendship boundary! No good can come of it. Thank goodness for my sensible brain. Too bad I don’t always listen to it.
On that thought, I can’t help but relax into him. His strong, lean frame envelops me, and I’m aware of the contours of his body and the heat that radiates between us. I nestle into his shoulder and look up at the stars above us. He buries his nose in my hair and inhales deeply. Here, away from the city lights, it seems as though it’s just Daniel and me and our newfound closeness.
“Hey, there’s a shooting star.” I point to where it’s trailing across the sky. “Did you see it?”
“Hope you made a wish,” he whispers in my ear, and I swear his lips graze my skin. I shiver again, unable to control my reaction.

Copyright © Quiet Love 2017 by Helena Rac

For a limited time you can purchase Sweet Bliss for $0.99! Don’t miss out on this spectacular deal!

Publisher: Tryst Books

Date Released: November 30,2015

Series: Chapters of Love #1

From debut author Helena Rac, a sassy, sexy comic tale of second-chance romance and the many uses of icing. Tessa loves cupcakes. They’re tasty and comforting, and they’ve made her bakery a success. Men, on the other hand, are unreliable jerks who are bound to break her heart. Even if they’re hot enough to melt her frosting. Tessa is smitten with Luke after a less than graceful encounter on the streets of Chicago, and fate keeps reuniting them. She’s certain he’d be delicious in bed, but there’s just one problem: Tessa’s sworn off long-distance romances, and Luke lives in London. Besides, he’s proven himself to be bad news. Although Tessa’s sexy stranger swears to set aside his player ways after she carries out sweet revenge, she’s far too smart to believe in happily-ever-afters. Luke will need to use every weapon in his arsenal – including a spatula or two – to convince Tessa they’re meant to be together.

Now on Sale for $0.99 for a LIMITED TIME!

About the Author:

Life is sweeter with romance novels. That’s why Helena Rac writes contemporary romances about sassy, everyday heroines and swoon-worthy heroes – stories that warm your heart, put a smile on your face, and make you fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Helena loves spending time with her two lovely girls and her incredibly supportive husband. She plays adult by day; enjoys cooking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors; and reads way past her bedtime.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

***Giveaway***

Tryst Books is offering one (1) lucky winner a Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi! To enter, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29355

Sara’s Review of The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

I’d like to extend my thanks to St. Martin’s Press for not only letting me participate in this tour event, but also for providing me a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review, murr! =^.^=

~*~

Rating: 

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date Released: May 2, 2017

Series: The Cavensham Heiress #1

Goodreads Description:

IS MARRIAGE A BLESSING OR A CURSE?
A man of honor, Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, will not rest until he exacts revenge on the man who destroyed his family. Just one more piece must fall into place for him to succeed he needs to convince his enemy s fiancee, the tragically beautiful Lady Claire Cavensham, to marry him instead.

Lady Claire s curse has always left her one misstep away from social ruin her past three engagements have gone awry, and now her fourth is headed in the same direction. . .until Alex, a man she barely even knows, shocks the ton and Claire by announcing their engagement. What begins as a sham turns into something deeper, and more passionate, than either Claire or Alex could have imagined. But when their secrets are revealed, will the truth behind their union scandalize them both or is their love strong enough to break the curse and lead them toward their happily ever after?

Review:

The first in an all new historical romance series by a debut author, I enjoyed reading this novel, though I shall admit that I often found myself frustrated with both characters to the point where I wanted to throw my paws up and growl. That being said, this is a good start to what I feel is a promising series, and I believe fans of the genre will enjoy it. The writing is strong, the characters are varied and complex, and the plot twists enough to leave readers guessing. As a debut novelist, MacGregor’s got a great deal of talent and potential, and I can see this series getting better with each book that is released.

Claire’s lead a rough life, and being “cursed” hasn’t helped her. She’s a sweet soul who dreams of marriage and a family to call her own, but she’s tormented by a tragic event from her childhood and several failed engagements. I truly felt for her throughout most of the book. It’s not easy to overcome a fear that stems from such a terrible event, but Claire tries and knows that she has to overcome it, and so I have to give purrs of support for it. Yet I also was frustrated with her because of her strong belief in the curse. I wanted to smack her a few times with my paw in order to get her to realize that life happens, and just because three engagements failed doesn’t mean she’s cursed. It simply means they’re not the paths she was meant to travel. Yet she insists she’s cursed, and the ton doesn’t help quell that belief. Alex, meanwhile, is a man dedicated to protecting his family and avenging his sister, going so far as to not being concerned if others are hurt in the process. He’s charming, and while I feel that he genuinely cares about Claire, his behavior and actions made him unworthy of her in my eyes. He’s one of those characters whom I loved at times and despised at others, and by the end of the book I had a grudging respect for him…doesn’t mean that I don’t think he deserve a good swipe across the face with my claws.

As a romantic couple they are exactly what the other needs in the sense that Claire’s the guiding, gentle hand that drives Alex to realize his mistakes and actively work to repair the damage caused by them, and Alex is the one who helps Claire realize the curse is folly and helps soothe her fears, he’s patient with her while others aren’t or wouldn’t be. My biggest complaint about them as a couple is that neither of them actually talks about their problems. They dance around the issues, misunderstanding the other and sometimes even presuming the worst. By the time they finally do confide in the other I just shook my head and sighed because by then I felt any person lacking in patience would have walked away from the other a long time ago. Now I’m not saying that I disliked their relationship, they actually have a number of steamy, whisker curling moments together that left me purring in delight, but I do feel that theirs is one of the most frustrating relationships that I’ve read in a while.

For secondary characters, I’m rather curious about Emma, Will, and McCalpin, Claire’s cousins, and am looking forward to reading their stories when they come out. Lord Paul is a snake, and I didn’t find any real redeeming quality in him. As Claire says, no one held a pistol to Paul’s head, so as far as his actions and behavior goes, while some may feel he got the short end of the stick in this book, I believe he never would have made a good husband for Claire and he only would have used her in the end. Aileen is a spitfire sweetheart and I loved her immensely for her dedication to Claire. Would love to see more of her if possible. And Somerton, being the voice of reason, earned my respect, it’s just a shame Alex was too bull-headed to listen to him most of the time.

As I said, this was an enjoyable read. Yes, there were times where the story lagged and yes, I grew frustrated with the characters, but I had a great many moments where I found myself laughing, smiling, nodding in approval, and cheering. The book also took a few twists that I wasn’t originally expecting, certain things mentioned in the earlier chapters about Claire lead me to believe one thing when in fact the actual truth wasn’t something I’d thought to consider at all. In this I have to give a tail wave of approval to the author for keeping me guessing where Claire is concerned.

On the whole I would say that while I am not bowled over by this book, I did enjoy it enough to want to continue with the series and see how MacGregor improves as a writer. She has promise and potential, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what she has in store for everyone next, murr! =^.^=

Excerpt:

Alex smiled in earnest. “I would never allow you to be humiliated in front of society. I’m trying to help you.” Somehow, he had to convince her of that fact, then the idea of marrying him would be much easier to accept.
She blinked rapidly, then turned back to him and, for an instant, appeared startled to see him there. “That’s very gallant, my lord. Truly, thank you for the effort. But I must leave.”
This night could not end with her escaping, so he tried another tactic. “You need to protect your Wrenwood estate and your wealth from lechers who would feed upon your vulnerability. Not to mention stop that ridiculous curse.”
“I have two.” She held up two gloved fingers.
“Two? Two what? Curses?” No one at his club had uttered a peep about another curse.
“Estates. I have two estates, Wrenwood and Lockhart.” She returned his stare.
Her answer was unexpected, but his business experience had taught him to show nothing. The report from his private investigator had not mentioned additional properties. Thoughts were percolating if she chose to disclose this information.
A razor of lightning split the sky. She flinched and took a step closer to him, but her reaction had nothing to do with him. It was the storm.
Her gaze darted to the exit of the alcove, then she returned her attention to him. With a slight shrug of her shoulders, his evening jacket fell into her hands. She offered it to him. “My lord, good night.” Outside their hideaway, the voices of a man and a woman floated in the air.
Alex put his hand on her shoulder to prevent her escape. “Will you give me some assistance? I seem to have lost my valet.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Besides, if you leave now, whoever is out there will see us.”
She ventured a halfhearted grin and held his jacket in two hands. With a little persistence, he wrestled his way into the evening coat. Her hands smoothed the material across his shoulders and back, causing a pleasant sensation to cascade through him at the slight touch.
Claire took several steps toward the pathway. In a flash, he moved beside her and grasped her elbow. When he brought her close, something flared between them as he gazed into her haunted eyes. Whether the desire to keep her next to him was passion or the need to protect a vulnerable woman made little difference. He pulled her into the shadows and brought his mouth to her ear. “Wait until they pass.” The warmth from her skin beckoned.
A flash of lightning lit the gardens and the alcove.
With a gentle hand, he pushed her against the wall and stood to the side so he blocked her body from view.
A clap of thunder cracked as if the sky were breaking. It rolled into a loud rumble that refused to die.
“Please.” Her whisper grew ragged as she struggled for breath. In one fluid motion, she pulled the lapels of his evening coat toward her. She buried her face against his chest and pressed the rest of her body to his, almost as if she sought sanctuary inside. “Don’t leave me.” Her voice had weakened, the sound fragile, as if she’d break into a million pieces.
“I won’t. I promise.” Alex pulled her tight. One hand sank into the soft satin of her skirts while the other slid around the nape of her neck to hold her close to his chest. It was the most natural thing in the world to hold her. Her body fit perfectly against his.
With the slightest movement, she pulled away. Her eyes wildly searched his. For what, he couldn’t fathom.
He lowered his mouth until his lips were mere inches from tasting her. Madness had consumed him. All he wanted was to kiss her thoroughly until she forgot her fear—until she forgot everything but him.
Her breath mingled with his, and the slight moan that escaped her was intoxicating. Nothing in his entire life felt as right as this moment. He bent to brush his lips against hers.
“Pembrooke? Have you seen Lady—”
Claire leaned back and released his lapels. Without her warmth, he experienced a sudden loss of equilibrium. He turned with a snarl to greet the intruders.
Immediately, Lord Fredrick Honeycutt and his sister, Lady Sophia, took a step back as their eyes grew round as dinner plates.
The first to recover, Honeycutt announced, “I see you found Lady Claire.” He bowed his head slightly, then lowered his voice. “The Duke of Langham is looking for his niece and is directly behind us.”
A sense of wariness flooded Alex’s mind when Claire’s uncle strolled forward and came into sharp focus. As he stood, his feet spread shoulder width apart, the duke’s presence commanded everyone’s attention. His visage held the hint of a smile, but the two large fists resting by his sides were the real barometer of his mood. “Claire, are you all right?” The affection in his voice was at odds with the fury flashing in his eyes.

Copyright © 2017 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.

About the Author:

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. The Bad Luck Bride is her first novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Cover Reveal: The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova

We’d like to extend our thanks to Rockstar Book Tours for letting us share this amazing cover with you today! If you’ve not had a chance to read Elise Kova’s novels, we highly recommend you give them a try, murr! =^.^=

Title: The Dragons of Nova

Author: Elise Kova

Publisher: Keymaster Press

Series: Loom Saga #2

Cvareh returns home to his sky world of Nova with the genius crafter Arianna as his temperamental guest. The mercurial inventor possesses all the Xin family needs to turn the tides of a centuries-old power struggle, but the secrets she harbors must be earned with trust — hard to come by for Ari, especially when it comes to Dragons. On Nova, Ari finds herself closer to exacting vengeance against the traitor who killed everything — and everyone – she once loved. But before Ari can complete her campaign of revenge, the Crimson Court exposes her shadowed past and reveals something even more dangerous sparking between her and Cvareh.

While Nova is embroiled in blood sport and political games, the rebels on Loom prepare for an all-out assault on their Dragon oppressors. Florence unexpectedly finds herself at the forefront of change, as her unique blend of skills — and quick-shooting accuracy — makes her a force to be reckoned with. For the future of her world, she vows vengeance against the Dragons.

Before the rebellion can rise, though, the Guilds must fall.

***Pre-Order Today***

Excerpt:

“They’re coming from the front!” Nora screamed over the crescendo of the engine gaining speed. On cue, the train lurched as an endwig was splattered to a bloody mess on the point of the engine’s pilot.
“Bloody cogs,” Florence cursed. The Vicar Alchemist had sent her to protect the mission as the Revolver, but one of her wasn’t going to be enough. “I’m going to the engine.”
“What are we going to do?” The usually self-sure Nora had the face of a cornered hare.
“You’re going to fight.” Florence passed her a weapon.
“I’ve never shot a gun before.”
“Now is a great time to learn.”
“I’m an Alchemist!”
Seriously, Florence was a breath away from shooting the woman herself. “You’re dead if you don’t adapt! There’s three more bombs exactly like the ones you just used, right there. Just fend them off until the train gets up to speed. But don’t use any other disks.”
Florence had no more time to waste as the train lurched again. They just had to survive until the train reached full speed. For all the endwig were, they certainly couldn’t keep up with a locomotive.
She hoped.
The wind whipped her hair around her face as she stuck her head from the train car. Florence reached out for the ladder to the right of the door, scaling up before another endwig could emerge. She swung up just in time as an explosion nearly blew her foot clean off.
“By the five guilds, you two only had three bombs!” she screamed over the wind, not knowing if they could hear. “Ration them a bit!”
Standing, Florence looked in horror at the tracks ahead. Dozens of endwig lined the path, running eagerly to meet the train. She loaded six canisters at once.
Jumping to the tender, Florence lost her footing atop the moving train car. A nail snapped clean off as she sought a grip that would prevent her from being thrown to certain death. If she fell now, she would never get back on the vessel. She’d be torn limb from limb.
Gritting her teeth, Florence rose to her knees, shooting two endwig in the process. She wedged herself between two grooves on the top of the tender. Blood pooled around her shins as she dug them into the metal for a grip where there was none, but she was stable enough to take aim, and that meant she could open fire.
Five shots down, and Florence reloaded her gun. Endwig came relentlessly like a never-ending nightmare. But the train didn’t gain any more speed. She repeated the process, waiting for the vessel to be like her bullets, whizzing through the night at deadly speeds.
“Anders, now would be a great time to open her up!” she screamed.
There was no reply.
“Anders, Rotus, we need speed, get us out of here faster!”
Five long claws curled around the door of the engine in answer. Florence watched in horror as the white silhouette of an endwig, dotted in the black blood of a Chimera, pulled itself from the engine room. Florence swallowed hard.
They were without Rivet and Raven, stumbling through the darkness, enemies at all sides. She raised her gun slowly, looking fearlessly at the face of death itself. Her revolver was steady over the rocking of the train.
“You think I’m not used to this?” Her mouth curled into a mad grin. “I’ve been fighting my way out of the darkness my whole life. And you’re not going to stop me now.”
Gunshots echoed through the forest.

About the Author:

Elise Kova has always had a profound love of fantastical worlds. Somehow, she managed to focus on the real world long enough to graduate with a Master’s in Business Administration before crawling back under her favorite writing blanket to conceptualize her next magic system. She currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and when she is not writing can be found playing video games, watching anime, or talking with readers on social media. She is the USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens Series as well as the Loom Saga (Keymaster, 2017).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

***Giveaway***

If you would like to enter for your chance to win a signed advanced reader copy (ARC) of The Dragons of Nova, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/39698f6c19

Can’t Wait for Books of 2017 – May

With so many exciting books coming out this year, the felines thought it would be fun to do a monthly post showcasing titles that they are anxious to get their paws on. Here are their picks for this month. =^.^=

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Sarah’s Choice: Deadmen Walking (Deadman’s Cross Trilogy #1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Expected publication: May 9th 2017 by TOR

Hell On Earth

When the Chthonians brought the primal gods to a truce at the end of their great war, part of the pact they forged was that the worst of the evil the gods had unleashed against each other and mankind would be forever banished.

But forever is a long time. And nothing can contain those determined to find a way back.

To catch evil, it takes evil . . .

While Thorn is able to contain the demons unleashed on the ground, the ones who prey on the innocent sailors and sea faring travelers are beyond his reach.

For the sake of humanity, he makes a shaky alliance with an old foe, Marcelina. In the form of the ship they sail upon, she assembles a team under the command of Captain Devlyn Nathaniel Bane, one of the most notorious and bloodthirsty pirates to ever sail the high seas.

Damned and murdered by his own, Bane is out for revenge. With his own secret agenda, he agrees to take charge of the motley crew of pirates and brigands, and to protect the seas from the preternatural terrors that seek to devour every unwary soul they can take.

Theirs is a sacred and deadly task, as they are hunted by their prey and human authorities alike. If they fail, the world will fall to the ancient gods of chaos, and anarchy will reign. Most of all, the Southern gate, where the greatest, most powerful darkness is imprisoned, will be opened and there will be no stopping it.

It’s yo ho ho and a bottle of high seas stakes where the souls of all humanity are the ultimate prize and bargaining chip.

~*~

Dancer’s Choice: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Rita Stradling

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

~*~

Mimi’s Choice: White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews

Expected publication: May 30th 2017 by Avon

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

~*~

Sammers’s Choice: Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Expected publication: May 23rd 2017 by Harper

Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition. But when the paranoid and secretive Marsh becomes convinced that William is spying for his nemesis, Edwin Drinker Cope, he abandons him in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a locus of crime and vice. William is forced to join forces with Cope and soon stumbles upon a discovery of historic proportions. With this extraordinary treasure, however, comes exceptional danger, and William’s newfound resilience will be tested in his struggle to protect his cache, which pits him against some of the West’s most notorious characters.

A page-turner that draws on both meticulously researched history and an exuberant imagination, Dragon Teeth is based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Cope and Marsh; in William Johnson readers will find an inspiring hero only Michael Crichton could have imagined. Perfectly paced and brilliantly plotted, this enormously winning adventure is destined to become another Crichton classic.