In keeping with the tradition of the last few months, we’ve saved all the sequels to some much loved CQ series for you to enjoy in one day. This month sees the second installment in two series by Matthew Cox: The Roadhouse Chronicles 2: The Redeemed, and Temporal Armistice 2: The Shadow Collector. We also have the third book in Edward Aubry’s Mayhem Wave Series, the third – and final – book in Darin Kennedy’s Fugue & Fable series, and a spin-off anthology for Jason King’s Valcoria series.
The Redeemed, by Matthew S. Cox
The worst part about chasing one’s dream is catching it.
Six months ago, Kevin opened a Roadhouse of his own. No longer the idiot braving the dangerous post-nuclear highways of 2073, he thought he’d finally grow old and happy selling bullets, beds, and booze to those still foolish enough to get behind the wheel.
Then, he’d met her.
The white-haired outcast from the xenophobic Enclave crashed into his life, becoming the conscience he never wanted and everything he desired. She couldn’t save the world from the Virus, but she could save Kevin’s dream.
A biker gang calling themselves the Redeemed starts shooting up Roadhouses in flagrant disregard of the Code, shattering the serenity of his humble waystation. When the long-vaunted retribution of Amarillo’s army fails to materialize, Kevin feels more like a sitting duck than he ever did on the road―but it’s not his ‘house he fears losing.
Determined to protect her, he takes it upon himself to enforce the unwritten law of the Roadhouse.
Mayhem’s Children, by Edward Aubry
Eight years have passed since the Mayhem Wave forever altered the world to a blend of science and magic, and since Harrison Cody rescued twenty-eight teenage girls from human traffickers. Now they are disappearing, and he suspects their former captors, followers of an entity of ultimate power and evil, of an elaborate revenge scheme. An assistant director in the New Chicago Security Agency, Harrison puts his government resources to the task of protecting these women, and recovering the ones already lost. But Harrison did not just rescue them from villains those many years ago, he also adopted them, and that relationship holds the key to the true nature of their present danger.
Dorothy O’Neill, another of Harrison’s adopted daughters, though from very different circumstances, has taken five-year- old Melody Cody, Harrison’s only child by blood, under her wing. As the missing persons crisis intensifies, Dorothy discovers she and Melody are targets as well. When the NCSA headquarters are attacked by a dark wizard with a colony of giant bats, the two of them flee into the woods to evade capture.
Separated by hundreds of miles, and with no means of communication, Harrison and Dorothy become entangled in the schemes of a monster who hopes to alter the world once again at the cost of all they hold dear. And as Dorothy finds an inner strength and new abilities she never dreamed of possessing, she comes to suspect Melody may be something more than she appears.
Valcoria Awakenings Anthology, by Jason King
The battle for Amigus is over, and orphan-turned-hero, Yuiv, is settling into his life as junior lord of the house of Trauel. The loving family and peaceful life he’s so long yearned for seems to be within his grasp; that is until Yuiv starts having vivid nightmares. His glowing Kalyra eyes mark these dreams as supernatural, proof that he has the gift of Farsight—a power held only by the Al’Kalyra or Arch Sage.
As frightening as the idea of being Valcoria’s prophesied savior is, the terror of what Yuiv witnesses in his sleep is much worse. Pain, grief, blood and death descend upon him as he sees through the eyes of men, women, and even children who have been touched by the light of YaJiann.
The Children of the Crystal star are awakening, rising above turmoil and strife to embrace their destinies as defenders of Valcoria. But all light casts a shadow, and with the heroes come the horrors born of blood and shadow. A dark threat looms; monsters that are far closer than anyone realizes—anyone except for Yuiv. And the revelation is nearly too hard for him to bear as it can mean only one thing.
The battle with the darkness is not over. It has only just begun.
The Shadow Collector, by Matthew S. Cox
Brooklyn thought nothing would ever surprise her again after learning her father is an extraplanar being―until the police ask her for help.
For most of her life, the cops have been a thorn in her side, always in the way of a good time. By seventeen, she’d spent more time in police cars than some rookies. With age comes (a little) restraint, and she’s managed to avoid getting in trouble for six whole years. Working for the Philadelphia Fire Department offers a sense of belonging and purpose she never had growing up, even if the whole ‘adulting’ thing sucks.
After responding to a fire call eerily similar to the one that claimed her childhood home, a local detective seeks her out. He’s hunting a serial killer who preys on the city’s homeless, taking the lives of those no one cares to see. Every victim’s body has so far been stolen from the morgue, frustrating the investigation to the point he’s willing to rely on a psychic―even a former delinquent.
Brooklyn senses a connection between the recent fire, the murders, and a mysteriously guilty little girl, but her respect for the law only goes so far.
The Tchaikovsky Finale, by Darin Kennedy
Psychic Mira Tejedor lies comatose in the wake of her second battle with the devious Madame Versailles, but her sacrifice was not in vain. Though at great cost, her nemesis is no more, her love has returned to the land of the living, and twelve innocent girls are back with their families. Still, young Anthony Faircloth can’t escape the notion there must have been another way.
Obsessed with freeing Mira as Mira once freed him, Anthony works to rekindle their special link and soon meets with more success than he knows what to do with. Two distinct worlds, both forged in the imagination of Pyotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, threaten to consume his life.
By the still waters of Swan Lake, Anthony assumes the guise of a man named Benno and must help Prince Siegfried defend the Swan Princess, Odette, from the machinations of a dark sorcerer. In the Stahlbaum house, he takes on the role of a boy named Fritz who, under the command of the Nutcracker Prince, must save his sister Clara from the onslaught of the Mouse King and his army of rodent soldiers. At the intersection of the two disparate settings lies yet another mystery: both Odette and Clara wear Mira’s face. And these intertwining perils are but shadows of the real danger.
Back in the real world, a menacing figure from Mira’s past has escaped from prison and now stalks her on both sides of the veil of dream. Anthony must bring Mira out of her catatonic state so that she can fight one last time, or her life and the lives of all she loves will be lost.