Thursday, March 19, 2009

Publishing news

STRANGE MYSTERIES edited by Jean Goldstrom is available from It has 26 stories, including one by yours truly, and is the first mystery story I've written. As soon as my copies arrive, I'll pass along more details.

Here are some more reviews from Harriet. The first one is a new book by Jody Lynn Nye who is an old friend and a terrific fantasy writer.

A Forthcoming Wizard, Jody Lynn Nye, Tor, Apr 2009, $27.95, ISBN: 9780765314345

After the events that occurred in AN UNEXPECTED APPRENTICE, smallfolk Tildi Summerbee possesses the Great Book. She knows the responsibly is awe-inspiring as the guardian of the tome that includes the Runes that control the Runes of every living thing or object; a species can be extinct with a simple written deletion. Tildi vows to keep the sacred icon safe while the Knights of the Word vow to keep the guardian from escaping their surveillance of her.

However though Tildi understands she holds something incredibly powerful, she remains ignorant of the awesome supremacy of the Great Book until a knight dies while trying to alter his individual Rune. Tildi’s so-called protector Abbess Sharhava wants to take the Great Book from her to bring to her order’s scriptorium while Knemet the Maker has other plans for using the tome; their motives vary as does their means, but both plan to take the Great Book from Tildi in some way. Although frightened with her responsibility and filled with doubts that a halfling smallfolk like her can do the job, Tildi surrounded by a loyal protective circle of friends especially Rin the centaur and her former mentor Serafina the wizard, refuses to yield the tome to anyone; instead she keeps the Great Book under her control to insure it is used with moral principles and not to further someone’s corrupt affluence.

Although this engaging fantasy takes a bit long to get past the introduction to Tildi’s new world order, A FORTHCOMING WIZARD is a fascinating thriller. Once the stage is set, the story line accelerates into a fast-paced read. Tildi remains the center holding the plot together as she has come a long way from her days disguised as her late brother serving as AN UNEXPECTED APPRENTICE to Serafina. Fans with some patience will appreciate Jody Lynn Nye’s second Great Book saga.

Dream Warrior, Sherrilyn Kenyon, St. Martin’s, Feb 2009, $7.99, ISBN: 0312938837

Angry Zeus punishes the lesser god Cratus for refusing a direct order. Cratus refused to murder a hybrid infant as Zeus demanded he do and expected of the offspring of Warcraft and Hate. His indiscretion led to the removal of his power and torture for several millennia. Cratus, known as Jericho, is consumed with rage and vows vengeance.

The baby he saved grows up to be Delphine, a half-human/Dream-Hunter. When two sibling original gods, Noir and Azura begin their plan to dominate the universe, Zeus needs help to stop them. He sends Delphine to bring Jericho back home because he figures they are connected by the once go saving her life. However Azura captures Delphine and bestows the half-breed as a gift to Jericho to ally him on their side or at worst stay neutral.

Although the plot is a bit thinner than the usual Dream-Hunter fantasy thriller, fans of the Sherrilyn Kenyan incredible saga will enjoy DREAM WARRIOR. Delphine is a fascinating heroine struggling to keep humanity safe when they sleep, but now deals with betrayal. She knows her only hope resides with the enigmatic brooding Cratus who saved her life when she was born and whom she needs even more so now if that is possible. Fans will enjoy their tale.

Plea of Insanity, Jilliane Hoffman, Vanguard, Apr 2009, $25.95, ISBN: 1593155077

In Miami twenty-eight year old Miami assistant state attorney Julia Vacanti leads the prosecution team in the highly visible homicide case of surgeon David Marquette. The doctor stands trial in the stabbing deaths of his wife and their two older children, and in the smothering thing of their baby. The defense team admits he killed his family, but plea insanity due to schizophrenia.

While the prosecution tries to prove Marquette knew right from wrong and is just faking a mental illness to elude the death penalty, Julia thinks of her sibling Andrew Citro, who when she was a preadolescent and he a teen was convicted of killing their parents. He remains locked away in an asylum for the criminally insane in New York. Feeling the cases are similar although the prosecutor also ponders if Marquette is a clever serial killer who committed homicides long before his mass murder of his family, Julia contacts Andrew for the first time since he killed their parents.

This excellent legal thriller focuses on the title subject, but does so with a fabulous creative twist as the heroine wonders if schizophrenia is genetic. The gripping courtroom scenes are top rate, but it is the communication between the siblings for the first time in over a decade and a half that grabs the audience. The former brings legal tension and insight into the trial process; but the latter brings greater tension and insight into the fears of Julia. Jilliane Hoffman provides an excellent character driven tale with a profound look at a PLEA OF INSANITY.

The Venetian Judgment, David Stone, Putnam, Apr 2009, $25.95, ISBN: 0399155732

In Venice, CIA "cleaner" Micah Dalton vows to kill the Serbian Mafioso who murdered his lover Cora Vasari. When an opportunity arises to assassinate one of the gangsters, Micah takes it as he focuses on Mirko Belajic, a peripheral player in the death of his beloved.

In London the CIA brass fears a well placed mole has killed elderly Mildred Durant, an adviser to the NSA decryption Glass Cutters team. The agency knows of Micah’s Cold War decoding experience and that the Soviets had going back to Stalin and probably still have an inside source. They draft Dalton to uncover the identity of the current traitor who killed Durant in her home.

The third Dalton espionage thriller (see THE ECHELON VENDETTA and THE ORPHEUS DECEPTION) is an exciting action-packed tale from the opening sequence in Venice where the hero is cleaning up the Serbian mob that killed his beloved and takes off from there. The story line is fast-paced as Dalton and his CIA partner travel to Istanbul and Florida in search of the traitor. Although his partner is a stereotype of the sub-genre, fans will enjoy Dalton’s latest tale, which contains an intriguing historical twist back to the FDR Administration.

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