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happy release day!

Today is the official release date for Herb of Grace by Adina Senft, launching a brand new trilogy!

Senft is a talented author and her research on various herbs is a welcome surprise to readers. The story incorporates facts about herbs, what each of them can be used for and what will happen if used incorrectly. This sweet romance has a believable storyline with a lot of heart.

Amish widow Sarah Yoder knows her herbs, but she’s hesitant to work with the local Amish. Instead, she wants to concentrate on her two sons, whom she fears will soon leave the nest and leave her all alone. Henry Byler is back in Willow Creek only because he’s inherited the family farm. He left the Amish a long time ago. Should he stay in town and try to make a living with his pottery, or sell the property and go back to the world he’s been living in? Sarah and Henry share a common bond and help each other get over their fears, but will it be enough for them to see the true path God has planned for them? — RT Book Reviews, 4 stars

happy release day!

Today is the release day for the new Dresden Files novel SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher!

Butcher (Cold Days) brings back wizard Harry Dresden for his 15th adventure fighting a rogue’s gallery of supernatural villains, but this time in a caper story. Harry has recently taken on the mantle of the Winter Knight, servant to Mab, the Faerie Queen of Air and Darkness, and she has a job for Harry. Mab has a debt to pay to Nicodemus Archleone, Knight of the Blackened Denarius, so she is loaning him Harry’s assistance. As holders of one of Judas’s pieces of silver imbued with a fallen angel, the Knights are very bad news. Worse for Harry is that the job Nicodemus plans is a raid on the vault of Hades, Lord of the Underworld. Dresden is no cream puff himself, but something of an amalgam of his own intelligence and cunning mixed with Harry Potter-like devotion to his friends and the cause of good. VERDICT This is urban fantasy par excellence, with magical action, moral dilemmas, and a wonderful cast. Series fans will love this, and there is enough backstory for newcomers. — Library Journal, Starred Review

happy release day!

Today is the official release day for Valour and Vanity by Mary Robinette Kowal!

After Melody’s wedding, the Ellsworths and Vincents accompany the young couple on their tour of the continent. Jane and Vincent plan to separate from the party and travel to Murano to study with glassblowers there, but their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs while en route. It is their good fortune that they are not enslaved, but they lose everything to the pirates and arrive in Murano destitute.

Jane and Vincent are helped by a kind local they meet en route, but Vincent is determined to become self-reliant and get their money back, and hatches a plan to do so. But when so many things are not what they seem, even the best laid plans conceal a few pitfalls. The ensuing adventure is a combination of the best parts of magical fantasy and heist novels, set against a glorious Regency backdrop.

Kowal continues her creative Regency-set Glamourist Histories series with a clever, captivating plot that culminates in a magical heist storyline. Before we get there, though, we are treated to a touching examination of a loving marriage under duress and the connections and collaborations these extraordinary partners must create and reaffirm with each other and those around them in order to thrive. Combining history, magic and adventure, the book balances emotional depth with buoyant storytelling. — Kirkus Reviews

happy release day!

Today is the official release day for Steles of the Sky by Elizabeth Bear

Wrapping up Bear’s complex and beautifully rendered historical-fantasy trilogy (Shattered Pillars, 2013, etc.). Necromancer and blood-sorcerer al-Sepehr, head of the Nameless assassin cult, arranged to have his daughter Saadet impregnated by Qori Buqa, Khagan of the nomad horse-warrior Empire, whom he then murdered. Re Temur, Qori Buqa’s nephew and the true heir to the Khaganate, decides to raise his banner at Dragon Lake, site of the Khagan’s vast abandoned palace­but how to reach it? Perhaps his companions, the wizard Samarkar, Hrahima, a huge human-tiger Cho-tse warrior, and the silent monk, Brother Hsiung, can find a way through the magic doorways created by the extinct Erem Empire. But Erem magic is deadly poisonous­Brother Hsiung is already half-blind from attempting to study it. Edene, Temur’s woman, escaped from al-Sepehr by stealing a green Erem ring, which gave her command of the ghuls, a slave race created by Erem, and control of the toxic Erem magic and all poisonous creatures, but an evil presence within it whispers to her­and she’s carrying Temur’s child. She must also deal with a djinn who, appearing sporadically and unpredictably, sometimes offers help while admitting he’s bound, against his will, to al-Sepehr. Various other groups­wizards, warriors, empresses, survivors of the civilizations broken by al-Sepehr’s treachery­converge on Dragon Lake. These and other narrative strands progress and interact through fully realized characters whose personalities and motivations arise from the dazzlingly detailed cultures and landscapes from which they derive. If there’s a disappointment, it’s the bipedal tiger Hrahima, a vigorous presence whose background and motivations remain largely unexplored. Notably, apart from the hero and his antagonist, all the leading characters are women. It all adds up to an eminently satisfying conclusion. Considering the trilogy as a whole, the overused term masterpiece justifiably applies. — Kirkus, Starred Review

happy release day!

A nice stack of new books from my talented clients today!

Today is the official release date for Anne Bishop’s Murder of Crows, Book 2 of the Others series. Also available today: the mass market of Book 1, Written in Red.

Bishop excels at creating irresistible dark worlds…Her alternate America in which the natural world belongs to the Others and humans are interlopers is fascinating. –Library Journal

The world is described in fluid detail, set in an alternate reality of Earth, with characters that are complex and intriguing. A fantastic sequel to the first book in the series. –Booklist

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Want some YA adventure? Here’s Martha Wells’ Emilie and the Sky World.

When Emilie and Daniel arrive in Silk Harbor, Professor Abindon, an old colleague of the Marlendes, warns them that she’s observed something strange and potentially deadly in the sky, a disruption in an upper air aether current. But as the Marlendes investigate further, they realize it’s a ship from another aetheric plane. It may be just a friendly explorer, or something far more sinister, but they will have to take an airship into the dangerous air currents to find out. Emilie joins the expedition and finds herself deep in personal entanglements, with an angry uncle, an interfering brother, and an estranged mother to worry about as well as a lost family of explorers, the strange landscapes of the upper air, and the deadly menace that inhabits the sky world.

Currently there’s a GoodReads giveaway for this one — details here.

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And for a sweet and light romantic read, try Jo Ann Brown’s A Bride for the Baron, from the Sanctuary Bay series.

Vera Fenwick is everything a vicar’s sister should be—helpful, modest and sensible. She knows the perils of falling for a man above her station, but it does no harm to admire Edmund Herriott, Lord Meriweather—from afar. She’s perfectly content to help him restore the local rectory…and she’s much too reasonable to risk her heart. Working alongside Vera to rebuild the church and foil a smuggling ring is restoring the confidence Edmund lost in battle. Vera may be sure she’s not suited to be an aristocrat’s wife, but Edmund is utterly confident of one thing—that this unexpected love was built to last.

Sanctuary Bay: Where three war heroes find the healing power of love. Other books in this setting include: The Dutiful Daughter and A Hero for Christmas.