9 New Covers (Brody, Clark, Despain, Garner, Kang, Peacock, Silver)

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[SPOTLIGHT] Kelly Meade

This is a spotlight on Kelly Meade’s books, as part of a blog tour. (P.S. You may know her better as Kelly Meding.)

Kelly Meade
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29th July 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Bailey Cunningham
Path of Smoke (Parallel Parks, Book 2)
Penguin Ace (US & CA: 29th July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

In Wascana Park, they’re ordinary university students. But after midnight, when the park transforms into the magical kingdom of Anfractus, they become warriors, bards, and archers in a real-life role-playing game… The company of heroes has thwarted the plan of the power-hungry basilissa to conquer Anfractus, but not without a cost. Andrew’s character, Roldan, died, leaving him cut off from the mystical realm without any memory of its existence. If the others reveal the park’s magical nature to Andrew, his banishment will become permanent. So they must hide their nighttime adventures – and hope that his memory returns. Pursued by the basilissa’s forces, the rest of the group keeps a low profile in Anfractus until they uncover an unholy alliance between their enemy and the silenoi, satyrlike creatures who hunt humans – an alliance that threatens to cross the barrier into the real world. And while his friends struggle to prevent an invasion in both worlds, Andrew receives a visitor determined to restore his memory of Anfractus by leading him down a very dark path…

Kim Harrison
The Undead Pool (Hollows, Book 12)
HarperCollins Voyager (US & CA: 29th July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever-after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now, strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the Inderlander and human races is shattering. Rachel must stop this dark necromancy before an all-out supernatural war breaks out. Rachel knows of only one weapon to ensure the peace: ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils. And no one knows better than Rachel that no good deed goes unpunished…

Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Summer Prince
Scholastic Arthur A. Levine (US: 29th July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

The lush city of Palmares Três shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of its heat, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold, new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than dark chocolate eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist. Together, June and Enki will create art that Palmares Três will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Richelle Mead
The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, Book 4)
Penguin (US & CA: 29th July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And she made a decision that shocked even her… But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure – and re-education – looms larger than ever.

Richelle Mead
Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, Book 5)
Penguin (US, UK, CA & AU: 29th July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists. Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him… Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour where all bets are off.

August 2014 Releases

Done with July 2014 Releases? Here are August 2014 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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24th July 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

M. D. Waters
Prototype (Archetype, Book 2)
Penguin Dutton (US: 24th July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Emma looks forward to the day when she can let go of her past – both of them. After more than a year on the run, with clues to her parents’ whereabouts within her grasp, she may finally find a place to settle down. Start a new life. Maybe even create new memories with a new family. But the past rises to haunt her and to make sure there’s nowhere on the planet she can hide. Declan Burke wants his wife back, and with a little manipulation and a lot of reward money, he’s got the entire world on his side. Except for the one man she dreads confronting the most: Noah Tucker. Emma returns to face what she’s done but finds that the past isn’t the problem. It’s the present – and the future it represents. Noah has moved on and another woman is raising their daughter. Emma battles for her life and her freedom, tearing down walls and ripping off masks to reveal the truth. She’s decided to play their game and prove she isn’t the woman they thought she was. Even if it means she winds up dead. Or worse, reborn.

[REVIEW] Such a Pretty Girl – Laura Wiess

Laura Wiess
Such a Pretty Girl
Simon & Schuster MTV (US & CA: 2nd January 2007; AU: 20th February 2007; UK: 4th September 2008)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Such a Pretty Girl depicts a community where the tension doesn’t simmer; it’s explosive. The only way to protect the community is to provoke the offender into re-offending, and Meredith offers herself up as the sacrificial lamb. She’s in no way reluctant, though she must battle her fears to complete the task.

The romance is believable: victims, survivors banding together, trying to cope with their tortured pasts…and now their troubled present. Paralysis and religion thread their connection with conflict and salvation. The theory of a “victim soul” is fascinating.

Meredith’s mother is representative of unfortunate women with internalised – and maybe externalised – misogyny, who only value themselves if they have a man. It’s sad, frustrating, and definitely frightening that Meredith’s mum puts herself before her daughter.

This is a true psychological thriller, which I read in one sitting in the dark, wee hours of the day. It’s sinister, scary, and fully engrossing, and cements Laura Wiess as one of my new favourite writers. She’s an expert at crafting layered, hard-hitting stories. Both books I’ve read by her (the other is Me Since You) are five-star quality, which I highly recommend to fans of contemporary, realistic young adult fiction.

22nd July 2014 Releases

Happy Release Day to:

Stephanie Diaz
Extraction (Extraction, Book 1)
Macmillan St. Martin’s Griffin (US: 22nd July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her 16th birthday when she’ll be tested for Extraction, in the hopes of being sent from Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life. What she finds initially at the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface – it’s free of hard labour, gun-wielding officials, and the moon’s lethal acid – but life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet’s leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers – and that means Logan, too. Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet’s leaders don’t want her running – they want her subdued.

Laurie Faria Stolarz
Welcome to the Dark House
Disney-Hyperion (US: 22nd July 2014)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

What’s your worst nightmare? For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams. And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up…at least for now. Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group – the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting. Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.