Oct 20 2012 1:00pm

Day #2: First Blood

Sorry, this sweepstakes has ended.

Check our Sweepstakes page for more offers!

We'd like to thank all the authors and publishers that contributed to our 13 Days of Halloween countdown, including:

Penguin/Berkley Emily McKay Mindee Arnett
Signet Eclipse Roger Ma Cassie Alexander
Karen Chance Christine Feehan Dame Darcy
St. Martin's Press Charlaine Harris Paula Brackston
Faith Hunter Mike Carey A.C. Arthur
Ilona Andrews JR Ward Ann Aguirre
Kalayna Price Christina Dodd Chole Neill
Sourcebooks Lynn Viehl Kat Richardson
Avon Jessica Anderson Rachel Caine
Tor Books Amanda Bonilla Rob Thurman
Roc Books Bec McMaster MJ Scott
Ace Book Elisabeth Naughton Jim Butcher
Darynda Jones Karina Cooper Devon Monk
Sherrilyn Kenyon Jocelynn Drake Laurell K. Hamilton
Suzanne Johnson Marissa Meyer Patricia Brigss
Christina Henry Nancy Collins Anton Stout
Benedict Jacka Jill Archer Sandy Williams

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) October 20, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on October 27, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

In this fantastic paranormal starter pack from Signet Eclipse, you'll find a selection of first novels in seriesa great way to find something new!

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward (first in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series)

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed—leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate—Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead—a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

Covet by J.R. Ward (first in the Angel series)

Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that—until fate intervenes in the form of a tough-talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart—and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.

Storm of Visions by Christina Dodd (first in the Chosen Ones series)

When the world was young, twins were born. One brought light to a dark world; the other, darkness and danger. Their powers could not be denied, and they gathered others around them, men and women destined to use their gifts for good or evil. Today, their descendents walk the earth as the Chosen ... and the ultimate battle is about to begin.

Jacqueline Vargha has always run from her gift. Now Caleb D'Angelo forces his way into her life, demands his place as her lover, and insists she take her place as one of the Chosen. She flees, he pursues, but she can no longer deny her visions, or the dangerous man who is her downfall ... and her destiny.

Nightborn by Lynn Viehl (first in the Lords of the Darkyn series)

The High Lord of the Immortal Darkyn has sent his most trusted warrior, Korvel, to retrieve a coveted scroll that's rumored to contain maps to Templar treasures and the secrets to eternal life. Uniting with Korvel to recover the dangerous artifact is Simone Derien, the daughter of the scroll's guardian, and a woman with many deadly secrets...

Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen (first in the Final Prophecy series)

In the first century A.D., Mayan astronomers predicted the world would end on December 21, 2012. Modern scientists say dire solar flames and magnetic fluctuations will all occur on that exact day. In these final years before the End Times, demon creatures of the Mayan underworld—The Makols—have come to earth to trigger the apocalypse. But the Chajinal, descendants of the Mayan warrior-priests, have decided to fight back.

In Nightkeepers, a Makol uses a lost rite known as The Godkeeper to call a demon to earth. During the ritual, a sky god attempts to possess the demon’s human sacrifice, a narcotics detective named Leah Ann Daniels. The rite is unsuccessful, but gives Leah magical powers, and strands the god between planes. Warned by a cryptic message from an ally, King Jaguar Striker arrives just in time to save Leah…but is exiled when he breaks Chajinal law. Leah and Striker must bond together to defeat the embodied demon and gain support of the Chajinal army—all before the next solstice, when another demon will try to pass through.

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla (first in the Shaede Assassin series)

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...

To enter for a chance to win, make sure you’re a registered member of the site, and then simply tell us in the comments: It can be make it or break it with book one for new series. What does a first-in-series hero have to have to make you come back for more?

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Rebe WhiteheadSchwarz
1. RebeLovesBooks
For PNR, he definitely has to be an Alpha hero but he can't be an alphahole (it's a fine line). And he needs to be waaay hawt. Yup. Waaaay hawt.
Penni DePaul
2. penniloafers9
A kick-ass hero to me has to be confident in his abilities, capable to make a worthy decision in a tight fix, physically fit enough to carry out a plan and humorous enough to be able to laugh at himself when needed.
3. Marva
A first in series has to have a good set-up and be able to fill in the history without info dumping. I'm willing to wait for some information, which is a good hook to get me to read the second book.
Riley Moreland
4. ramore
The hero has to sexy, smart, complex, loving, caring, honorable - your typical hero qualities. Then he has to have several similarly heroic brothers or friends or cohorts that can be the heroes of the subsequent books!
Ann Sheiring
5. Annwitch
I like a bit of backstory and a lot of Alfa male. Of course I want him to find "the one" that he can't share. As always an obstacle that they must overcome in the book, exciting enough to want me to come back to see how the next book is progressing.
Stacy Scudder
6. chameleon68
A first-in-series hero has to have, above all, a heart. Even if it doesn't beat, he has to care. That's definitely a big alpha trait for me!
Jasmine Ray
7. JassyBaby
Way hot, an Alpha with a hard exterior and soft interior! Okay, he can be a little hard on the inside too, but those walls have to come down when it comes to the heroine.
Jennifer Denning
8. redheadedjen
The book has to grab me and with a hero I can like. Blade from Kiss of Steel is my new favorite.
Melissa Hulett
9. mchulett
The first hero in a series has to be a tough alpha, but willing to explore that softer side with the heroine.
Jena Briars
11. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
He has to be strong and funny. Karen Marie Moning's Highlanders are good examples, of course JR Ward's BDB, and there's a special place in my heart for Celeste Bradley's Liar's Club.
Maycee Majors
12. Keeyansmom04
Hmmm... Great question! As long as he makes an impression I'm all about coming back for more! I sure am a sucker for an alpha male with a vulnerable side and dry wit!
Kelly Mayberry
13. Keslynn
A first-in-series hero has to have a large pe...rsonality. ;-)

He needs to have chemistry with the heroine and not be jerk. He can start out a jerk, but he has to be awesome by the end of the book or show signs of becoming awesome as the series progresses.
Kimberly Perry
14. kppeachy
He has to be strong, sexy, smart, and complicated. He also needs to have some sexy friends, siblings, or enemies to draw my interest to follow the remaining books.
Jordan R
15. jrojrojro
To get me back for another book, I either want to be enthralled with the world building, or so impressed by the relationship between the H/h that I'm hoping the author can do it again! I especially love this is not insta-mating. But on the other hand, I love getting to see the H/h together in a stable before the very end of the novel.
17. MaryC
An alpha male who knows when to let the heroine handle things herself,
have a sense of humor and an interesting group of friends.
Maria Smith
18. TexasBookLover
A first in series hero has to have a great personality and a believable connection with the heroine and/or other hero. I want to see smoking hot chemisty burn up the pages, along with a great storyline, no matter what type of book I am reading. If those aren't working, the book doesn't work for me.
Nikki Hilton
19. nikkiphilton
While alpha heroes have to be smoldering hot and a bit dark, with a slew of brothers/cousins/friends, I like to also have a sense of humor.
21. barbed1951
A first-in-series hero has to have a compelling story that makes me want to see him succeed in his endeavors, a strong personality, and a sense of humor. Even in his darkest moments, if he can react with a smart aleck remark, I'll follow him anywhere. :D
Cynthia Weers
22. weerscs
My preference is for a hero whose character is revealed with glimpses of a back story and personal actions throughout the tale. Character should show strength, integrity and passion about the his world and those that surround him.
23. Emiley
Give me a strong, sexy, no nonsense man; and I'll follow the series. The Brotherhood of J.R. Ward, is a perfect example of to die for characters
Britney Cain
24. britc
enough world building without being boring and exposition heavy
Janie McGaugh
25. jmcgaugh
The hero has to have layers ("like onions have layers"!), tough on the outside but with a core of vulnerability, and he has to have a great chemistry with the heroine and, preferably, other characters, as well, that you'll want to see in future stories.
26. Karen H in NC
He is strong, sexy and sensitive. But he knows when to back off and let his heroine crack his hard, outer shell and find his soft side.
Allison Hickman
27. AllisonHickman
For me he needs to be conflicted about any number of things but also clearly deeply caring and loving. And if he can make me laugh it's even better!
Amy A
28. antonidis
An alpha hero who is extremely loyal to family and those he cares about....also very sexy!
29. Goldenmane
To make me want to come back and read more, he has to be an alpha hero who is generous, sexy, intelligent and not afraid to let women be heroines if they want to be.
Nicole Leapheart
30. BoxyFrown
He has to be a bad-ass. That's not to be confused with an alpha-hole. He has to have a heart of gold and LOVE his woman. I get weak when I think about Roarke and Bones. They have devotion, unwavering, for their women. Wrath wasn't looking for love and it hit him smack between the eyes!
Susan T.
31. kidsue99
An alpha who can command without crossing the line. He is loyal, strong and know what he wants. When they fall in love, it's forever.
angela smith
32. scorpion1169
he has to be strong and sensitive and not be a complete control freak and be willing to listen to the woman ideas and and loyal also
33. Heliyas
They must have snappy dialogue and some great friends. Oh, and a hunky love interest OF COURSE.
Roger Simmons
35. trainmanri
Something new and different. A twist to the usual Urban Fantasy read. Like secondary characters that add some fun to the story.
Stacey VanMetre
36. mmc123456
He has to have some sort of mysterious element that doesn't get resolved right away!
Tanya Contois
37. tanyac
The hero has to be an alpha male with a tough exterior but sensitive and sweet on the inside especially when it comes to his loved ones. Of course he has to be smoking hot and have at least one tattoo.
Chris Bails
38. Chrisbails
I love series. I love following along with the story. To make me come back the hero in the first story needs to be the leader or the alpha. He/she needs to be the hero and have a plan for fighting the evil/bad person. I love them to be strong, protective, and a not afraid of loving or being loved. Also the secondary characters help the story, because there story is usually next. Thanks for the great giveaway. A few new to me authors on that list of books.
Devon Mason
39. sully6189
He has to be be dark and dangerous, but softens up just for the one he loves
Eva Millien
40. evampire
Suspense! I love to read about the lives of every character as they overcome adversity, fall in love and deal with everyday stuff that draws you into their world. Ecsape from out world into theirs.
Poppy Arakelian
41. tezzkatt7
He needs to be complex, a little dark, sexy, smart, loyal and interesting in general.
Linda Pierce
42. antydragn2
te first book in any series has to have a story that requires more books. as proven by other authors, the series can focus on numberous heroes and heroines or just one and follow that one through. but it's the back story that pulls in the reader...wanting to know what happened or what will happen to the secondary players in the book. that's my opinion anyway.
Ashley Morris
43. LadyScandal
He needs to be dark and brooding, and have enough flashes of deep feelings/emotions to want me to try and figure him out more, a la Barrons in the Fever series.
44. RaonaidLuckwell
Strength of character. That does not mean physical sense of the word. Loyality, maybe a hint of a dark side.
45. nenssa
I love mysterious and intelligent men, so when I get a protagonist that can weave the plot around his finger, I can't help but keep coming back for more.
Karen Farb
46. Katafer
J.R. Ward definitely set the bar high with Wrath. Smoking hot, sensitive, slightly flawed, capable of great undying love, plus the capacity for self-improvement and growth. And his love for his dog (later on) - swoon! - that is the icing on the cake.
Allison Culver
47. aculver1
The first in a series has to have a good world set up, mystery,romance, intrigue, and an HOT ALPHA hero who has an occasional softer side for his one and only.
Suzann Schmid
48. Suzann9112
The hero needs to be in a situation that intrigues. Can be anything from hidden world to unknown powers, but they must be a bit funny as well as smart.
ramona glass
49. monag3
A great hero in a first has to have a cause and great supporting characters. I already have his story if I have number one and wanting to know someone else's story or follow the cause will make me get book 2.
Karen Ott
50. rnkott
The hero has to have a lot of mystery and sexiness.
Becky Hantsbarger
51. BeckyIA
A sense of humor, a piercing gaze, a sense of justice, a code of honor, and a sexy grin.
Taryn Ulrich
52. tgurich
Mine would be someone who holds my interest. I also go for the tall, dark, alpha type of man, but I have to enjoy the story more than just the characters.
Kristin Gromala
54. kristing74
Alpha, Alpha, Alpha!!!
It has to have a hot, dangerous, moody but sensitive Alpha.
BUT you also have to have a strong willed, stron minded female as his compliment. Nothing is worse than some pansy little girl that all but withers under the Alpha’s stare or presence.
Debbie McKelvey
58. ddmac58
He has to be an Alpha male that has a soft side, yet will show the Alpha side if his intended mate is in jeopardy. He also has to have a sense of humor even at his own expense.
karen prentice
59. tngal
Sexy, and not a jerk. So over jerks. I want a sense of humor and love to read about a character with character.
Thanks for the giveaway.
regina terry
60. santafan
hot-closet sensitive-and enough interesting friends/brothers to
warrant more
Alexandrea Ward
61. bookaholic86
For me, he has to cool and debonair but also leave some mystery to his background and romantic history. I wanna grow with the character and discover more about his past as I go along in the series, just like the other characters in the story will do as well.
Sean Holland
62. Akaihyo
To not be an idiot is an excellent start, I hate character who have to be stupid for the plot to work.
Pam Howell
64. phowell13
It has to have characters that I love and want to see more of.
Lisa Cox
65. vetteklisa
strong personality, brains, bit of the bad boy attitude
Michelle Levan
I love a man who knows what he wants. He decides the heroine is his (not stalker-like mind you, as the affection is returned) and pursues her!
S Tieh
67. infinitieh
Strength in whatever abilities he has and a sense of humor can't hurt.
Teresa AlSaraji
68. Teresaalsara
strong, sexy, funny and loyal. He fights for what he believes in.
Cerese Sanborn
69. flowerpower
In order for me to come back for more, the hero must be able to protect his partner and he has to be more than a mere man. To keep me reading the hero has to be very interesting and multi-faceted like all of Christina Dodd's Wilder men.
Jessica Whitfield
70. firebreathingmoo
A first-in-series hero has to make me like him. He has to be caring and an alpha male while not being obnoxiously cocky. It takes more than just a good hero for me to rearrange my " keeper" shelf, though. A strong heroine that still needs her man, a world that sucks me in, and a unique trial to overcome are all needed to make me a loyal fan. Once I find a book meeting all these qualities, I'm a loyal follower!
rachel sternberg
71. rae70
he needs to be a complex character and a history that you learn as his story evolves... he needs to be slightly flawed with a wicked sense of humor.. doesn't have to be all brooding and depressed all the time, that gets old.
Karin Anderson
72. AquarianDancer
I like to see a hero who is strong, but willing to bend. The intractible male hero is not what I enjoy reading.
Debbie ...
73. orchid7
I like a tough, rugged hero who is a bit of a bad boy. One who has intelligence,and who isn't afraid to show his emotions.
74. caseroo7
Honestly there isn't any one thing. But they do have to have depth! I can't stand to start reading a book only to discover that i can't get into a character because there is nothing to connect to!
75. Sarah Kozlowski
I like a strong , honorable man, who believes in what he stands for.
Catherine Lemanski
76. catedid
An alpha whose is sensitive but knows how to kick butt when needed.
Traci Bamber
77. self_conscious
i like alpha males, but they have to be more complex than just "me tarzan, you jane" types
a guy that is tough, strong but not afraid to let his vulnerabilites and tender side show with the right woman..
Cathy M. Runke
79. ccr0816
i love a hero that i? considerate and cares for his lady more than life itself.

80. kochouran
He has to show vulnerability. Perfect guys who never show weakness are great in theory, but they're too unreal. I want some angst and fear.
corey clancy
81. thsangeleyesr4u
Back story. If there is no reason why he is the way he is, there is no use in reading the book. You can always tell how a series will be from that first book. Wether the hero is an alpha, a geek, a fighter, a player, or whatever you want to use for classification, if there is no reasoning for him to be that way, the book will suck. I have read many 1st books of series and never looked at the author again because of poor character building.
Lindsey MacGown
82. Lindsey_N
A first in a series hero has to have it all. He has to have both looks and smarts, humor and the ability to be serious, be a hard ass able to show a little compassion, and can't be redundent. He also has to be human in his faults. No one is perfect.
Jason Steinmetz
83. steinmetz42
Someone who can capture my attention and keep me wanting more
Kayla Beck
84. kaylabeck
The first-in-series hero for me cannot be too terribly controlling of the heroine. Sure, I like him to be protective and have a little bit of that caveman thing going on, but if it's to the point of needing a restraining order, I'm out.
kathy green
85. kathyg
the first in series hero needs to be strong, sexy, funny and loyal....and needs to grab my attention and leave me wanting more....
Vilmarys Collado
86. vilmarys
To leave me wanting more, my hero has got to have loyalty, humor, and be able to hold his own in a fight! A great body wouldn't be bad either ;)
Julie Hennes
87. fallonsfreeway
My first in series hero has to be strong, loyal, honest, determined, have a sense of humor, and capable of protecting the ones he loves. I expect to find conflict and resolution, a well defined plot, and plenty of sensuality. The characters should be well rounded and the ones for the next in line book should be introduced as well.
88. Suelue
My hero must be sexy, honest, strong but gentle and caring. Leave me wanting more. Smart and inventive is always fun. Takes was given.
Heather Martin
89. CrystalMirror
I like a hero or heroine to have a great sense of humour. They have to have integrity. Some sense of conflict and a great back story. The background chracters have to be fun as well.
Axyl Oblivion
90. PsychoticHatter
I like a hero who is more than meets the eye. He would have to have some kind of issue as a backstory like Lachlain from Kresley Cole's "A Hunger Like No Other" Lachlain has an issue with vampires and the main woman Emmaline is part vampire. That was the first book I read by Kresley Cole and now I am addicted to the series.
Johanna Bouchard
91. Johanna
He has to be real... imperfect but strong enough to overcome his past. That's pretty sexy ;)
93. fire_dragon31
I like the struggles that goes on between the hero & others in the series. Stuggles that I can relate to and reading how they get through this issues that they face. The emotions they go through, the struggle for love and working through it.
Kristina Parmenter
94. paragurl1
Has to have a great personality--but also be a little bad, a little good, and a whole lot of sarcastic :)
Heather Rizzuti
95. heatherbartley
A first-in-a-series-hero has to be intelligent and he has to respect his lady. He also has to not be overly possessive or over-protective of his lady. A little bit is okay, but the Christine Feehan books are full of over-protective guys. So annoying!
I would love to win these books!
Shelly Estes
96. ShellyE
A first in the series hero needs to be self-confidant, but not a jerk. He needs to be hard on the outside and mooshy in the middle!
elaine fisher
97. elfette
paranormal let's me forget MY every day life for a little while ... cool!!
Kelly Mayfield
98. mmayfield
If I feel I have a connection to the hero, then you've got me, 110%. The hero has to be "relatable", have some depth, and true to their character.
99. hmt
I would rather my badass alpha not be handsome....then I could actually dream myself in the daydream! He must be able to laugh at himself though.
wendy hinrichs
102. wendyNwicket
It can definitely be a make it or break it. It depends on if when I'm done I want more. Is it keeping my attention? Do I not want to put it down? if yes then I'll read on.
Melissa Hughes
104. loves2read
A first-in-series hero has to be a kick-ass fighter, caring towards the woman he can't get out of his head, and has to be slightly brooding
Tatiana deCarillion
105. decarillion
Coming back for more, for me, isn't necessarily predicated on a cliff-hanger, but more likely wanting to see how a relationship progresses or the next clue in a mystery.
Jennifer Walter
106. jlc341
He has to be strong and protective with the right amount of kick-ass attitude. The tougher he is on the outside, the more amazing it is to see him be mushy with his lady.
Susan Finley
109. SuFinley
hard inside AND out but fierce-soft for the heroine
AnnMarie Bozek
110. changes2
he needs to be strong enough to hold my attention and soft enough with the heroine to not lose the romance angle
112. LButz2001
Wounded and part of a long line of family/ friends for plenty of sequel potential.
Post a comment