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October 1 New Releases: Aurora Blazing by Jessie Mihalik, The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss, and Hex Life, edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 | Posted by John ONeill

Aurora Blazing-small The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl-small Hex Life Wicked New Tales of Witchery-small

Welcome to October! It’s Release Day for a trio of terrific books, and I couldn’t decide which one to feature, so I’m going to cover them all. You’re welcome.

Let’s get right to it. The first one is the sequel to Jessie Mihalik’s debut novel, the space opera-romance Polaris Rising, which we covered back in February. Aurora Blazing (Harper Voyager, 400 pages, $16.99 trade paperback/$11.99 digital, October 1, 2019) is the second novel in The Consortium Rebellion.

As the dutiful daughter of High House von Hasenberg, Bianca set aside her personal feelings and agreed to a political match arranged by her family, only to end up trapped in a loveless, miserable marriage. When her husband unexpectedly dies, Bianca vows never to wed again. Newly independent, she secretly uses her wealth and influence to save other women stuck in dire circumstances. Information is power and Bianca has a network of allies and spies that would be the envy of the ’verse — if anyone knew about it.

When her family’s House is mysteriously attacked, Bianca’s oldest brother, the heir to House von Hasenberg, disappears. Fearful for her brother’s life, the headstrong Bianca defies her father and leaves Earth to save him. Ian Bishop, the director of House von Hasenberg security — and Bianca’s first love — is ordered to find and retrieve the rebellious woman.

Ian is the last man Bianca wants to see. To evade capture, she leads him on a merry chase across the universe. But when their paths finally collide, she knows she must persuade him to help her. Bianca will do anything to save her sibling, even if it means spending time alone on a small ship with the handsome, infuriating man who once broke her heart.

As the search takes them deep into rival House Rockhurst territory, Bianca must decide if she can trust Ian with the one piece of information that could destroy her completely…

The third book in the series, Chaos Reigning, is tentatively scheduled for May 2020. Read the opening three chapters of the first volume here.

[Click the images for October-sized versions.]

Aurora Blazing-back-small The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl-back-small

Back covers for Aurora Blazing and The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl

Next up is the final novel in Theodora Goss’s smash hit trilogy The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club. The opening volume, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and Nebula Award, and won the Locus Award for Best First Novel.

The third book is The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl (Gallery/Saga Press, 448 pages, $24.99 in hardcover/$7.99 digital, October 1, 2019).

Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice — and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club… especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucina van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished — and so has Mary’s employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends — and save England? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

We covered the first two volumes, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter and European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, here.

Finally, let’s look at something a little different: a brand a new anthology featuring stories by Sarah Langan, Helen Marshall, Angela Slatter, Kat Howard, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Amber Benson, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and many others. I’m always a sucker for spooky anthologies, and I was especially intrigued by this rave review at The Roarbots that appeared back in July:

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery (10/1) is an anthology featuring stories from some of the most famous names in fantasy and horror, edited by Christopher Holden and Rachel Autumn Deering. The theme? Why, witches, of course.

Some, like the witches in Angela Slatter’s “Widow’s Walk,” protect the young girls of the town in which they live, giving them hope when they would otherwise have none. Wendy, from Sarah Langan’s “The Night Nurse,” will give you what you think you want if you’re not careful. Swamp witch Audrey bakes her rage into her famous seven-layer bars in Hillary Monahan’s “Bless Your Heart.” The old woman in Tananarive Due’s “Last Stop on Route Nine” blames you for her pain, whether you caused it or not. And then there’s Theodora Goss’s Ermengarde who, I’m not going to lie, is my absolute favorite of the bunch. You’ll see why soon enough….

This collection is particularly well chosen for several reasons: the stories are from a variety of time periods (colonial American to modern), a variety of genres (fantasy to urban fantasy to historical fiction to horror), and written by authors with vastly different styles but arranged in such a way that the transitions aren’t jarring… Highly recommend.

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery (Titan Books, 384 pages, $14.95 in hardcover/$9.99 digital, October 1, 2019) looks like a great selection for anyone who wants to get a jump-start on Halloween. Here’s the description.

Brand-new stories of witches and witchcraft written by popular female fantasy authors, including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing in their own bestselling universes!

These are tales of witches, wickedness, evil and cunning. Stories of disruption and subversion by today’s women you should fear. Including Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine and Sherrilyn Kenyon writing in their own bestselling universes.

These witches might be monstrous, or they might be heroes, depending on their own definitions. Even the kind hostess with the candy cottage thought of herself as the hero of her own story. After all, a woman’s gotta eat…

EIGHTEEN TALES OF WITCHCRAFT FROM THE MISTRESSES OF MAGIC

ANIA AHLBORN
KELLEY ARMSTRONG
AMBER BENSON
CHESYA BURKE
RACHEL CAINE
KRISTIN DEARBORN
RACHEL AUTUMN DEERING
TANANARIVE DUE
THEODORA GOSS
KAT HOWARD
ALMA KATSU
SHERRILYN KENYON
SARAH LANGAN
HELEN MARSHALL
JENNIFER MCMAHON
HILLARY MONAHAN
MARY SANGIOVANNI
ANGELA SLATTER

BRING OUT YOUR DREAD

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

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