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New Releases: 8/13

Happy New Releases Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

Bright Star by Erin Swan

Paerolia has been at peace for two centuries, and all is well in the land—or so it seems. Beneath the surface, a tyrant is rising to power.

A traumatic experience in Andra’s childhood has left her mute and subdued, a servant in the Chief Judge’s manor. But when an assassination team, led by the secretive and alluring Kael, infiltrates the manor and makes a quick escape, she takes her chance and flees with them.

Andra is thrust into the ranks of a secret rebellion—a group of outcasts and believers seeking to overthrow the Chief Judge and replace the corrupt government with new members, ones who will restore and preserve the land they love. Now, the girl who was once an outcast must somehow become the leader Paerolia needs. But she is stronger than she believes—and with the help of a fiercely loyal dragon, she may just be the one to lead them all to victory.

Knaves Over Queens by George R. R. Martin

Developed by aliens and field-tested on Earth, the virus known as Xenovirus Takis-A was released in New York in 1946, changing the course of human history forever. Most of those infected die — and a tiny percentage become deformed beings known as jokers. A lucky few survivors become aces: superhumans gifted with amazing powers. Now the virus has reached Britain.

There, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, gifted with extraordinary longevity, together with the Enigma ace Alan Turing, set up a special organization named the Order of the Silver Helix. They will need all of the wild cards they can find if they are to deal with the terrifying mutations spawned by the virus.

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass, Knaves Over Queens features the writing talents of Paul Cornell, Marko Kloos, Mark Lawrence, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Emma Newman, Peter Newman, Peadar O Guilin, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Caroline Spector, and Charles Stross.

The Mage-Fire War by L. E. Modesitt Jr.

Once again, prejudices against the use of chaos magic force Beltur and his companions to flee their refuge in Axalt. The rulers of nearby Montgren have offered them sanctuary and the opportunity to become the Councilors of the run-down and disintegrating town of Haven.

Montegren lacks any mages—white or black—making this seem like the perfect opportunity to start again.

However, Beltur and the others must reinstitute law and order, rebuild parts of the town, deal with brigands—and thwart an invading army.

The Peaceful Valley Crime Wave by Bill Pronzini

Nothing much happens in Peaceful Valley, Montana. And that’s just how Sheriff Lucas Monk likes it.

Aside from the occasional drunken brawl or minor disturbance out on the reservation, he hasn’t had to resort to his fists or sidearm in years.

That is, until mid-October, 1914, when the theft of a wooden cigar store Indian sets off a crime wave like nothing Lucas has ever seen. Teenager Charity Axthelm goes missing, Reba Purvis’s housekeeper is poisoned with cyanide Reba is sure was meant for her, and Lucas’s gut tells him that this is only the beginning.

It’s not long before the first corpse shows up, bringing the peace in the valley to a thundering end.

The Retreat by Sherri Smith

Four women.
Four secrets.
A weekend that will change them forever…if they survive.

Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.

Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait “Where Are They Now?” articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother’s too-good-to-be-true fiancée invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie’s two best friends—one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship—Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.

Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.

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