My Most Anticipated New Books of 2014 – Part 2

Way back in frigid January, I posted a list of new book releases I was most looking forward to this year.  Now, here we are, entering the hot and humid sauna that is July (with a possible tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane coming to celebrate The Fourth with us, no less!), and I realized that that was where the list ended with today’s release of The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick here in the US.  But there are several books that my brain is practically drooling over coming out this fall.  So, here are my most anticipated new books of 2014 . . . Part 2:

The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory
Release Date:  September 9

I’ve always thought Margaret Pole has been seriously overlooked by historians and novelists.  Her story is filled to the brim with drama and tragedy.  The death of her mother, her self-destructive father’s all too convenient drowning “in a butt of malmsey,” the execution of her poor brother, and the delicate, dangerous tight-rope she walked throughout her life in the Tudor Court.  And, finally, the farce of her own execution at the age of 67.

The Blurb:

Curse_GregoryThe final novel in the Cousins’ War series, the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries, The White Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author and “the queen of royal fiction” (USA TODAY) Philippa Gregory tells the fascinating story of Margaret Pole, cousin to the “White Princess,” Elizabeth of York, and lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon.

Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter—Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret’s contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted adviser and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.

After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret’s world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and “holiest” woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
Release Date:  October 21 January 27, 2015

Prince Lestat by Anne Rice
Release Date:  October 28

A bit of nostalgia.  Back when I was in high school, I loved Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  I even went so far as to write an English paper based on them.  Just so you know, I was supposed to be writing about something by John Steinbeck or Edith Wharton.

The Blurb:

A stunning departure, a surprising and compelling return . . . From Anne Rice, perennial best seller, single-handed re-inventor of the vampire cosmology—a new, exhilarating novel, a deepening of her vampire mythology, and a chillingly hypnotic mystery-thriller.

“What can we do but reach for the embrace that must now
contain both heaven and hell: our doom again and again and
again . . .” —from The Vampire Lestat

Prince-Lestat_RiceThe novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned . . . Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco.

As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles—Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Boticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures—come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who—or what—the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why . . .

And, at the book’s center, the seemingly absent, curiously missing hero-wanderer, the dazzling, dangerous rebel-outlaw–the great hope of the Undead, the dazzling Prince Lestat . . .

Archangel’s Shadows by Nalini Singh
Release Date:  October 28

Ashwini and Janvier finally get their own story.  I’ve been looking forward to this from the beginning.

The Blurb:

Return to New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s sensual and painfully beautiful Guild Hunter world in her new novel of sacrifice, loyalty, and the choices of love that can shatter the heart.

Archangel-Shadows_SinghIn the wake of a brutal war, the archangel Raphael and his hunter consort, Elena, are dealing with the treacherously shifting tides of archangelic politics and the people of a battered but not broken city. The last thing their city needs is more death, especially a death that bears the eerie signature of an insane enemy archangel who cannot—should not—be walking the streets.

This hunt must be undertaken with stealth and without alerting their people. It must be handled by those who can become shadows themselves…

Ash is a gifted tracker and a woman cursed with the ability to sense the secrets of anyone she touches. But there’s one man she knows all too well without a single instant of skin contact: Janvier, the dangerously sexy Cajun vampire who has fascinated and infuriated her for years. Now, as they track down a merciless killer, their cat-and-mouse game of flirtation and provocation has turned into a profound one of the heart. And this time, it is Ash’s secret, dark and terrible, that threatens to destroy them both.

The Tiger Queens:  The Women of Genghis Khan by Stephanie Thornton
Release Date:  November 4

On her blog, Ms. Thornton says that this book was inspired by Jack Weatherford’s Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens.  I loved both, especially the former.  If you haven’t read them, you should.

The Blurb:

Tiger-Queens_ThorntonIn the late twelfth century on the sweeping Mongolian grasslands, following a violent feud between blood brothers, the victor Temujin ascends to power, declaring himself Genghis Khan. But behind one powerful man stand many strong women…

After her mother foretells an ominous future for her, darkness looms over Borte’s life. She becomes an outcast among her clan and after seeking comfort in the arms of an aristocratic traveler, she discovers he is the blood brother of Temujin, the man she was betrothed to years ago but who abandoned her long before they could marry. And he will only leave her behind again.

Temujin will make Borte his khatun, his queen, yet it will take many women to safeguard his fragile new empire. Their daughter, a fierce girl named Alaqai, will ride and shoot an arrow as well as any man. Fatima, an elegant Persian captive, seeks revenge against the Mongol barbarians who destroyed her city and murdered her family, but in the end will sacrifice everything to protect the Golden Family. Demure widow to Genghis’ son, Sorkhokhtani positions her sons to inherit the Empire when it begins to fracture from within.

As Genghis Khan sets out to expand his conquests and the steppes run red with blood, Borte and the women of the clan will fight, love, scheme, and sacrifice, all for the good of their family and the greatness of the People of the Felt Walls…

Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash
Release Date:  November 18

Ever since the first time I read Serena, Ron Rash has been on my must have list.

The Blurb:

The New York Times bestselling author of Serena—the basis of the Fall 2014 movie starring Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper—illuminates lives shaped by violence, passion, and a powerful connection to the land in this haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia.

Waterfall_RashLes, a long-time sheriff nearing retirement, contends with the ravages of poverty and crystal meth on his small Appalachian town. Nestled in a beautiful hollow of the Appalachians, his is a tight-knit community rife with secrets and suspicious of outsiders.

Becky, a park ranger, arrives in this remote patch of North Carolina hoping to ease the anguish of a harrowing past. Searching for tranquility amid the verdant stillness, she finds solace in poetry and the splendor of the land.

A vicious crime will plunge both sheriff and ranger into deep and murky waters, forging an unexpected bond between them. Caught in a vortex of duplicity, lies, and betrayal, they must navigate the dangerous currents of a tragedy that turns neighbor against neighbor—and threatens to sweep them all over the edge.

Echoing the lapsarian beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates the prodigious talent of an author hailed as “a gorgeous, brutal writer” (Richard Price); “one of the best American novelists of his day” (Janet Maslin, New York Times). Lyrical and evocative, tragic and indelible, it is a breathtaking achievement from a literary virtuoso.

Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean
Release Date:  November 25

Chase’s story, finally.  And, from the blurb, I was right about her identity.  🙂

The Blurb:

She is the most powerful woman in Britain,
A queen of the London Underworld …
But no one can ever know.

He is the only man smart enough to uncover the truth,
Putting all she has at risk . . .
Including her heart.

Judge_MacLeanThe fourth book in New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean’s incredible Rule of Scoundrels/Fallen Angels series. These four dark heroes will steal the hearts of their heroines and the readers alike! This is the last in the Rules of Scoundrels series—Chase’s story

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a Duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking—in London’s darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city’s most legendary gaming hell. For years, her double identity has gone undiscovered . . . until now.

Brilliant, driven, handsome-as-sin Duncan West is intrigued by the beautiful, ruined woman who is somehow connected to a world of darkness and sin. He knows she is more than she seems and he vows to uncover all of Georgiana’s secrets, laying bare her past, threatening her present, and risking all she holds dear . . . including her heart.

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