happy release day + book giveaway!

Today is the official release day for Twilight’s Dawn: A Black Jewels Book by Anne Bishop

Bestseller Bishop fills out her popular Black Jewels dark fantasy universe (Daughter of the Blood, etc.) with this entertaining novella collection. Daemon Sadi, a black-jeweled Warlord Prince, deals with friends, family, and holiday celebrations in “Winsol Gifts,” while his brother, Lucivar Yaslana, has to thwart a traitor and his deadly trap in the richly entertaining “Shades of Honor.” A mother and her sons are threatened by a dangerous, twisted enemy in “Family,” while Daemon becomes a father and finds a new lease on life and love in “The High Lord’s Daughter.” Fans of the series will enjoy revisiting some favorite characters and mourn the loss of others; new readers may be initially confused by the myriad names and titles, but Bishop’s accessible writing style and interesting world-building will soon draw them into her web. –Publishers Weekly

The previous book in the series, Shalador’s Lady, is now available in paperback.


Also, today is the paperback release of Changes (Dresden Files, Book 12) by Jim Butcher

The twelfth Dresden Files novel (following Turn Coat, 2009) finds the licensed PI and professional wizard Harry Dresden confronted with some shocking news: he has an eight-year-old daughter, and she’s been kidnapped by Red Court vampires. Harry is willing to risk everything to rescue her, even if it means turning his own life upside down. At more than 500 pages, this is one the longest books in the series, but it doesn’t move slowly; in fact, the entire novel takes place over only a few days as Harry races to rescue his daughter before she is sacrificed in a powerful black-magic rite. The taut and sometimes twisty plot is full of surprises and changes for Harry and his friends and family. Changes is a compelling installment in what continues to be an outstanding series. All the regulars (including cop Murphy; Harry’s half brother, vampire Thomas; Sanya the Knight; and Harry’s apprentice, Molly) are featured, as they, too, risk everything to save Harry’s daughter. After the cliff-hanger ending, readers will be clamoring for the next book. A can’t-miss entry in one of the best urban-fantasy series currently being published. –Booklist, Starred Review

ETA: Read an excerpt of the first chapter of GHOST STORY, forthcoming in July. Pre-order available.


Through the vagaries of delivery dates, I read Twilight’s Dawn and Changes fairly close together and what an irony that turned out to be. Not that I can explain without being spoilerific. And please, if you know why, don’t say so. Let other readers find out for themselves.

In both cases, I knew ahead of time what I was getting, and both stories still put me through the wringer. To celebrate (some might suggest that is not the word I want)….

I am giving away a trio of Black Jewels books!

To win a set of hardcover copies of The Shadow Queen, Shalador’s Lady, and the new collection Twilight’s Dawn, comment on this entry and tell me about a novel that turned out to be one of your most intense reads ever. Something that made you cry or laugh out loud, left you gasping for breath, turning pages like your life practically depended on it. Tell me about the power of the story.

One entry per person, please. Winner will be randomly selected Midnight EST, Thursday, March 3rd.

22 responses to “happy release day + book giveaway!

  1. I’m pretty sure every Harry Dresden book makes me lose sleep, forced to turn pages into the wee hours. But recently, I read Liar by Justine Larbalestier and found myself overwhelmed by the story. For all-time, I can’t stop reading, I’m going to laugh/cry/scream out-loud and scare my cats, the Game of Thrones by GRRM wins for me.

  2. The Hunger Games triology, hands down. I finished all three books during a two-week period, nearly screamed at the end of every chapter, and shrieked at the end of Mockingjay, waking up my husband and Ninjakatz at two o’clock in the am on a work night. The stakes were constantly being raised, the protagonist is in constant danger, while the first-person present tense voice made events intensely immediate to the tune of “OMG how is Kat going to get out of THIS one?!” Also, just like Kat, we forget who the ultimate bad guy is in the changes of perception as to who the antag is. I was breathless by the end, and emotionally exhausted.

  3. Heather Davis

    ROOM by Emma Donoghue. I’ve read a lot other books since, but I can’t get this one out of my mind. It’s told from the perspective of a young boy; a trick I wouldn’t attempt. At one point, I was so emotionally involved, I couldn’t stand to read what I thought was coming and so skipped ahead. Then I saw the author had taken the plot in a different (and much better) arc than I had anticipated. The book is suspenseful and the characters fleshed out with incredible psychological insight. I had to go back and reread sections, just to try and figure out how the author managed it all.

  4. World War Z by Max Brooks. First, because it was impeccably detailed and researched, and because he covered all possibilities. (No spoilers, but– the space station? How many novels have you seen that incorporated into?) Second, I have never, ever had a nightmare because of a movie, etc. until this book. Which is probably what I get for reading about zombies into the wee hours.

    … Although now I feel obliged to mention In the Woods by Tana French, which is also amazing and might’ve given me nightmares if I’d given it the chance.

  5. It’s perfect place to speak about my book – or rather a trilogy – the original Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop that has made a permanent stamp on my heart. I bought that in omnibus edition, and when I started reading it, I didn’t stop until I finished the third book. Since then, I have read those stories so many times that I can’t count. The power of the characters’ emotions sweeps over me even when I think about it, and the beauty of Anne Bishop’s words makes me envious. I love all her characters, but Daemon Sadi and Saetan, father and son, same but different, they are the men I think dreams are made of. Every page they are on, I can feel their presence. Daemon’s overwhelming love for his Witch, it just makes me sigh, you know one of those wistful, thank-god-they-got-together kind of sigh.

    To win these books, that would be one of the best presents I have ever received. I certainly cannot wait to find out how Daemon and Jaenelle deal with parenting. 🙂

  6. I first read “Watership Downs” when I was 12. And to this day, every time I read it, I weep, I laugh, I shudder in horror. It’s the most amazing book, and sometimes I can’t believe I first read it as a child. It has such layers, and I learn something new every time I pick it up. It truly changed my life, and still keeps changing me.

  7. I think CHANGES would fit that bill nicely. My husband & I always argue over the newest Dresden book. (The compromise? I read until I fall asleep, then he gets it until I wake up, then I take it back. Of course, he’s usually finished before I wake up again…)

    After reading CHANGES in print, I also got the audio book from Audible. I recently did a re-listen and I think it’s even *more* powerful the second (or was it the third?) time through. Especially with Marsters doing the reading. I was quite literally breathless and teary-eyed (at work, no less).

    I can’t wait to dive into TWILIGHT’S DAWN and find out what the parallels are.

  8. Book #7 of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, White Witch, Black Curse was one of those books that just made me bawl like a baby. I’ve only ever listened to it on audio but I think this makes the emotions so much more intense. Marguerite Gavin does the reading and she instills so much emotion into the characters that it just wrenches my heart. Even after multiple listens, this book still makes me an emotional wreck.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Oh, I have to do “Daughter of the Forest” by Juliet Marillier. At first the book was good, but not gripping–until I got about a third of the way through it. I always read on my lunch breaks, but I HAD to take this book home and finish it THAT NIGHT, because I knew if I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to work–it had gotten to the point where my mind lingered so intently on that novel that I couldn’t focus at the task at hand.

    This book had the most perfectly crafted and subtle love story wound throughout it, though that wasn’t the focus of the book. I felt so heartsick for the protagonist, her life, and her brothers I thought I would cry. And I did–I BAWLED at more than one scene (more at the happy ones than the sad ones). Good thing I was home alone. I was a wreck. And I absolutely LOVED this story.

    I actually forbade myself from reading any more books in the series until I had read something else by a different author, because Marillier left me so hazy. I felt like a drug addict looking for my next fix. It was -that- good.

  10. @Kara, I love Watership Downs. I still keep it in my library.

    Mystic River by Dennis Lehane was wonderfully written. With all the hints along the story I still did not see the killers until almost the end. Through out the story I’m thinking Dave committed the murders. When I realized he had been betrayed by his wife, and killed by his friends in error my heart broke. Although the killers were found, Dave’s innocence, and struggle, made me genuinely feel for him.

  11. The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold completely snared me and didn’t let me go. Caz starts the book as a broken man, much older than he seems. Then he begins to come to life, slowly, and just when everything is going well some dark magic and politics comes into play. I loved the world Bujold created, with five gods who play such an integral everyday role. To my delight, the second book in the series was just as captivating.

  12. I would have to say that any of Anne Bishop’s books cause an emotional response from me. The characters are well written and feel like old friends and new. I have cried for Daemon and Janelle; Sebastian and Belladonna.

    When I read Ms.Bishop’s books I know that I have to give myself enough time in the day to finish the entire story. I can’t put the books down until the story is complete. Daemon and Janelle’s story line is heat-wrenching and I can’t wait for the next installment of their continuing life. The way she brings them into most of the books set in their world makes it even better to keep in touch with them.

    All of the ‘regulars’ in her books make me come back for more each time and keep me reading them over and over again.

    Thanks for a chance to make the Hard copies find a home with me, as I’ve ever read them in e-format.

  13. I recently started reading Ash by Malinda Lo and got completely sucked in. The world building is fantastic. I love the mix of the traditional Cinderella story with fairies and pagan-style religion.

  14. Andrea Leech

    I loved The Shadow of the Wind by Ruiz Zafón’s. The characters were were so interesting and crazy. The main character started as a boy who was trying to find his place in the world and he ended up learning about life and love. I also loved the library of lost books where he first falls in love with the novels that are being tracked down and burned.

    I know we are only supposed to comment on one book, but can I also say I was really touched by Looking for Alaska. Not only were the characters done well, but I learned to be a better writer after reading that book. I got a better sense for how relationships are more engaging if they are inconsistent.


    • Heather Davis

      My, this is turning into a place to trawl for great reads. I second the motions on The Shadow of the Wind, The Curse of Chalion (her Vorkosigan saga is wonderful too), Hunger Games (at least the first two books), Watership Down, anything by Marillier. The others are going on my list. Not to be part of this contest, but I recently read Blindness by Jose Saramago – it breaks a lot of the writing rules I set for myself, but it works! Oh and, Never Let Me Go, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Glass Room. Okay, I’m stopping now.

  15. CHANGES was the most recent one that put me through the ringer. I read it on release day in one pass and had to talk to friends reading it as soon as I finished. I was SO happy to read chapter 1 of GS today!

    Watership Down is a great book, too. One of the children’s books I still have.

  16. WIZARDS FIRST RULE by Terry Goodkind was a book I completely underestimated. I had seen the TV series, but when I read the book, I was blown away. The story was right up my ally with magic and battles that made you turn the pages to see the outcomes. The characters were vividly displayed with personalities unmatched in any book I’ve ever read. This was a book that can give someone hope in accomplishing the unthinkable.

  17. Pingback: book giveaway update | Et in arcaedia, ego.

  18. Recently, Maria Snyder’s POISON STUDY leapt up and snagged me. It took a few chapters, but suddenly I couldn’t breathe without knowing what would happen next, and when I wasn’t reading I was puzzling over the characters and their circumstances. It obsessed me!

  19. Okay, Let’s give it a shot.

    Power of story.

    I’ll go with a dark one: Dan Simmons’ Drood.

    Strongly atmospheric, dark and almost overwhelming.

    The opening sequence in the novel is a train accident that sets the stage for further deep darkness as,every time Simmons took Dickens and Collins into the undercity, the ratcheting tension and frisson of psychological horror became more and more intense.

    I felt like I had been put through a wringer by the time I finished it.

  20. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – I couldn’t put it down. I laughed, I cried, my heart beat fast. An amazing book.

    – Rena

  21. THE HERO OF AGES, the third book in Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I think it was the unexpected brilliance of this book that made it so hard to put down. He makes you fall in love with his world and it’s characters, then he puts them in as much danger as possible – so much danger that you can’t stop thinking about how Vin will save the day. And making the whole thing somewhat bittersweet is the fact that she is responsible for the destruction the world now faces. Vin finds the courage to prevail and that courage seeped into me as I read the book. Excellent stuff.

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