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Ace/ROC Spring Preview and Giveaway

Update: This contest will close on Saturday, April 2, at 9:00 pm CST.

Welcome to Ace and Roc's fantastic forthcoming spring books preview and giveaway. The weather is slowly but surely warming up, and we've got a lot of great books to talk about (and give away) to keep you entertained, inside or out!

Thanks again to Dear Author for giving me this opportunity to let you know about some of our terrific upcoming titles. As always, there are too many good books for me to mention all of them, so you can visit our site ( or our Facebook page to see what other books we're publishing (

March 2011

RIVER MARKED by Patricia Briggs

This is the latest in the Mercy Thompson series, and it's wonderful. Mercy is half-Native American, but was not raised in that culture and tradition. So I was really excited when Patty told me she would be exploring more of Mercy's heritage in this book.

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind.

Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River, one her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help . . .

TWILIGHT'S DAWN by Anne Bishop

Anne made her name with the original Black Jewels trilogy, and has gone on to write other tremendous novels set in the violently passionate and darkly erotic world of the Black Jewels. This realm is a fascinating land ruled by the Blood, a race of witches and warlocks whose power is channeled through magical jewels.

TWILIGHT'S DAWN is a collection of four original Black Jewels novellas, including "Winsol Gifts," "Shades of Honor," "Family," and "The High Lord's Daughter". Some of the events are controversial, but I think that makes the novellas all the more powerful and thought-provoking!


I am cheating a bit by including this as it is published by Penguin's imprint NAL rather than by Ace or Roc, but as I'm the editor and I write this preview, well- FALLING UNDER is a debut YA paranormal. On the surface you may think it's a familiar story-‘girl who feels like she doesn't fit in meets a mysterious boy who is hiding a paranormal secret-‘but you'd be missing out if you don't give this a try. It's the voice, the writing, the emotion, the fantastical dream sequences, and the surprising and unexpected twists and turns the plot takes that make this one of my favorite first novels this year.

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she's ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she's seen Haden before-‘not around town, but in her dreams.

Theia doesn't understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels toward him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure whether she wants to resist him-‘even if the cost is her soul.

April 2011

AMONG THIEVES by Douglas Hulick

A thrilling fantasy debut, this is an action-packed novel about thieves and mercenaries, magic and swordplay, loyalty-and betrayal. It's readable and engaging, with a morally ambiguous hero who is part of the criminal underground of a wonderfully realized fantasy city. (Plus great fight scenes!) Full disclosure: there is not a lot in the way of romance, just a few hints of a possible future development. But I noticed a fair amount of interest in the K. J. Taylor traditional fantasy we gave away last season, so I thought there may be more traditional fantasy readers on Dear Author than I realized. And it's another of my favorite first novels, so I couldn't resist sharing!

Ildrecca is a dangerous city, if you don't know what you're doing. It takes a canny hand and a wary eye to run these streets and survive. Fortunately, Drothe has both. He has been a member of the Kin for years, rubbing elbows with thieves and murderers from the dirtiest of alleys to the finest of neighborhoods. Working for a crime lord, he finds and takes care of trouble inside his boss's organization-‘while smuggling relics on the side.

But when his boss orders Drothe to track down whoever is leaning on his organization's people, he stumbles upon a much bigger mystery. There's a book, a relic any number of deadly people seem to be looking for-‘a book that just might bring down emperors and shatter the criminal underworld.

A book now inconveniently in Drothe's hands-

CON & CONJURE by Lisa Shearin

Lisa writes traditional fantasy with a modern-day attitude and her Raine Benares novels are a riot.

Raine Benares is a Sorceress Seeker of average powers-‘a finder of things lost and people missing. But then she is accidentally linked to the Saghred, an ancient soul-stealing stone with limitless power to destroy, and she starts developing all kinds of powers. Now Raine is the most popular girl in town, and everyone wants to get their hands on her-‘and the power she controls.

A goblin black mage, for one. He’s figured out that by killing Raine, he can get revenge and take the Saghred’s power for his people in a 2-for-1 deal. But to get Raine, the goblins first have to go through the paladin Mychael: Raine’s significant other and self-appointed protector. They’ve hired the best assassin (living, dead, or otherwise) to handle the job-‘and Raine should know, she used to date him-until she found out what he did for a living.

Now Raine and her friends must thwart the assassin and stop the goblin black mage before he gets his hands on the Saghred. Because it may have limitless power, but that power is fueled by one thing: souls. And if the goblins take control of it, they intend to use it-‘and the slaughter will be horrific.

SHADY LADY by Ann Aguirre

This is the latest in the fantastic Corine Solomon urban fantasy series, with a strong voice and a unique setting.

Corine Solomon has tried her best to flee her past, her lover, and her “gift”-‘but she can never completely escape. Corine is a handler, and when she touches something, she knows what’s happened to an item, who’s owned it, and where it’s been. Using her gift, she can find the missing-‘and that’s why people never stop trying to find her.

Corine is just trying to get back to her old life, to her pawn shop in Mexico and her own bed. But then she gets a visit from a past acquaintance. Kel Ferguson, heavily muscled and covered with tattoos, looks like a convict but calls himself a holy warrior. And he has a warning for Corine.

The Montoya cartel is coming for her. And in Corine’s world of magic and strange gifts, cartels don’t just come packing automatic weapons. No, the Montoyas use warlocks, shamans, and voodoo priests-‘any advantage to get their merchandise to market and crush their rivals. Corine interfered in the Montoyas' plans, and they won’t rest until she’s dead-

May 2011

WARCRY by Elizabeth Vaughan

This is me cheating a little again. WARCRY is published by Berkley Sensation, but I'm the editor, so here goes. Elizabeth Vaughan’s novels are a rare hybrid, combining the powerful love story of a romance with the world building of a fantasy novel. WARCRY picks up after the conclusions of DESTINY’S STAR and WARLORD (with appearances from Lara and Keir of WARPRIZE).

Atira of the Bear is a fierce Plains warrior who lives for battle-‘and values freedom above all else. But when she encounters a former enemy from the land of Xy, she finds herself wanting something more than her own independence.

Heath of Xy has traveled to the Plains to serve his Queen-‘but also because he cannot resist the hunger he feels for Atira. Now that the Queen and her Warlord are returning to Xy, he has one more chance to convince this beautiful, proud warrior to share her life with him.

But all is not well in Xy. There is a faction of nobles who are plotting against the Queen and her barbarian Warlord. As cultures clash and tempers flare, Heath and Atira must come together to fight the conspiracy-and to search their hearts for something deeper than raw passion.

Here's what we're giving away:

  • River Marked by Patricia Briggs (two advance reading copies)
  • Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop (three advance reading copies)
  • Falling Under by Gwen Hayes (three advance reading copies)
  • Blackout by Rob Thurman (three advance reading copies)
  • Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick (three advance reading copies)
  • Con & Conjure by Lisa Shearin (three advance reading copies)
  • Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre (three advance reading copies)
  • Magic on the Hunt by Devon Monk (three advance reading copies)
  • Warcry by Elizabeth Vaughan (three advance reading copies)

Anne Sowards is an executive editor at Penguin Group (USA) Inc., where she primarily acquires and edits fantasy and science fiction for the Ace and Roc imprints. Some of the great authors she works with include Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, Ilona Andrews, Karen Chance, Jack Campbell, and Rob Thurman. When she’s not reading, she listens to Chinese rap and spends way too much time playing video games. Follow her at

If you are a winner, enter your contest information here:

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


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