Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baryon 122

Baryon 122 as been sent to Pete for posting on the web. I have also emailed it to everyone on the list.

If you haven't received a copy and would like one, please email me at with Baryon 122 in the header.

More new stuff is on the way but meds still have me weird and flaky at the moment.

Baryon 122

I have sent the new Baryon to Pete for posting on the web. I have also emailed copies to everyone on the mailing list.

If you would like me to email you a copy, please email me at

There's some more reviews coming soon. Meds have me groggy and

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a terrific 2012.

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a terrific 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I've Learned This Year

Thanks to Michael Bishop for the following.

As we progress toward the end of the year, I want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over all of 2011. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, or have the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public restroom.

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, for the same reason, I now I have to scrub the top of every can I open.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl, the infamous Penny Brown, who is about to die for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish.

I can't have a drink in a bar because I'll wake up in a bathtub full of ice chips with my kidneys gone.

I can't eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet, or feathers.

I can't use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern, I no longer drink Coca-Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so that a serial killer won't crawl into my back seat while I'm filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

And thanks for letting me know that I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the movies because when I sit down I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy cookies from Woolies since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $2.00 coin dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next-door neighbour's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's best friend's beautician.

Oh, by the way . . .

A German scientist from Argentina, after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their email with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now; it's too late.

P.S. I now keep my toothbrush in the living room because I learned via email that water droplets splash over six feet out of a flushing toilet.


More from Harriet

Mack Dunston’s Inferno
Paul Collins
iUniverse Publishing, $12.95
ISBN: 9781462032761

Mack “Max” Dunstan the actor dies. He will be remembered for his starring roles in The Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes and Ben-Hur, etc. but also for his rigid stand on gun rights as an NRA spokesman and president.

He enters the spirit world where the “Supreme Court” rules him unworthy though he has problems understanding why. He meets the ancient Roman poet Virgil who will serves as his tour guide of Hades before Max’s day in Judgment Court overseen by Judge Satan. Max’s journey introduces him to a capitalist loan shark and other burning traveling sinners ranging from the infamous like Manson, Dahmer and the Ripper to the sex revolutionaries like Heffner and Flynt to the holier than God pseudo religious like Swaggert, Robertson and Graham. The dead actor also encounters those who died because people like him and his NRA cronies blocked gun control. This group condemns him for enabling violence as people may kill people but guns is an easily available enabler.

Modernizing Dante’s Divine Comedy while also mindful of Billy Joel’s "We Didn’t Start the Fire” with Max as Heston and other twentieth century personal like General Powell and Rowlings making appearances in Paul Collins’ powerful satirical lampooning of righteous American society. The journey into the inferno is filled with mockery and biting humor as Max meets the obvious infamous and a horde of the famous he never would have guessed would be inside the fires. However, it is the victims of guns who bring the poignancy to the parable as they never got to speak when alive; but the muffle of the Second Amendment advocates no longer applies (except as a condemnation) inside of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno. Harriet Klausner

The Traitor's Daughter
Paula Brandon
Spectra, $15.00
ISBN: 9780553583809

On the Veiled Isles, the eighteen year old daughter of affluent Faerlonnis Overlord the Magnifico Aureste Belandor, Jianna travels to the home of her fiancé Magnifico Tribarri. However, she never completes her journey; highwaymen capture the spoiled Jianna and take her to a rebel stronghold.

Jianna quickly realizes she is prisoner to her Aunt Magnifico Onarto. Estranged from her brother the family patriarch, Onarto plans to use her niece to help her take control of the Berlandor fortune and to keep Aureste under her thumb. Though the teen hears horrible tales accusing her father of atrocities, she rejects them as she believes he is a kind person. Meanwhile only rebel sympathizer Falaste Rione the physician is nice to her. As she begins to see her privileged lifestyle though the eyes of the lower classes, Jianna reconsiders what she knows about life on the increasingly treacherous Veiled Isles.

The key to the complex coming of age fantasy is the intricate society that is becoming unglued with one of the cornerstones (magic) beginning to fail. Jianna emulates the changes that are occurring to the veiled isles as open rebellion has begun. With a strong cast including the fully developed Brandon world, sub-genre readers will enjoy visiting the Veiled Isles. Harriet Klausner

Shock Wave
John Sandford
Putnam, $27.95
ISBN: 9780399157691

Three weeks ago a bomb at the Michigan headquarters of the chain PyeMart left Executive Assistant Kelly Brown dead although CEO Willard Pye escaped unscathed. In Butternut Falls, Minnesota, townsfolk are angrily divided over the superstore company setting up shop there. Environmentalists know the poor record of the firm when it come to anything interfering with the bottom line profits while the small town’s storeowners know they will be driven out of business as has happened elsewhere.

A bomb ignites at the superstore’s construction site killing construction superintendent Gilbert Kingsley. ATF investigates both explosions that have left PyeMart's leadership shaken and behind on the Minnesota project. Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Agent Virgil Flowers also looks into the homicide at Butternut Falls, but finds many townsfolk remain defiant and hostile towards the company’s “invasion”, but who would take the opposition to such deadly lengths remains hard to determine.

The fifth Virgil Flowers police procedural (See Rough Country and Bad Blood) is a great whodunit as the state cop makes inquires using modern technology and inductive reasoning to try to solve a case with too many suspects. The town already tense before the deadly explosion brings a profound look at development vs. preservation/environmentalism, but does it inside a well written investigation starring the amusingly self deprecating Minnesota cop. Harriet Klausner

Done Awakenings
Edward Lazellari
Tor, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765327871

Married with children NYPD officer Cal MacDonnell loner photographer Seth Raincrest seemingly have nothing in common. Yet both share something critical in which neither can remember anything about their lives beyond the past thirteen years. The past just seem to never exist for either man.

They soon share a second problem when otherworldly essences stalk them. These malevolent seem to know what happened to Cal and Seth thirteen years ago. Leilani the centaur arrives and asks the two beleaguered males to trust her as she will help them learn what they forgot and why. She escorts them to Aandor, where they performed a major duty thirteen years ago before the amnesia curse made them forget and now must begin a quest for the lost heir who can save the kingdom.

This is an entertaining quest fantasy that starts off as an urban fantasy when the two Manhattan residents are being hunted by paranormal creatures on the streets of the city. Part of the fun is the reaction of secondary characters especially in the city like Cal’s twenty first century wife Cat having doubts that their Kindergarten aged daughter Bree marrying a minor medieval mindset is reasonable for her. Although Aandor is more typical of the genre, readers will relish the two heroes struggling with remembering what happened on their last visit while dodging some nasty beings who are also searching for the lost heir in two realms. Harriet Klausner

Mercury Rises
Robert Kroese
AmazonEncore, $15.95
ISBN: 9781612180861

Banner religious reporter Christine Temetri had become indifferent to the frequent End of Times until she met even more indifferent than her Mercury the Fallen Angel who believes Rice Krispy Treats is heaven. They teamed up with others to delay Karl Grissom the Antichrist leaving his mom’s attic to start Armageddon (see Mercury Falls) though much of the Banner staff died in the Anaheim earthquake. Meanwhile author Eddie Pratt the demon has a book to write; a tale about a rogue angel and Armageddon.

After negotiating with a heavenly and hellish bureaucracy that makes Congress look proactive, the angel and the journalist have no time to rest on their laurels. While FBI Agent Slater investigates the Anaheim destruction that has ties to Africa, billionaire Karl Grissom using the scientific method prepares them to learn the secret of the universe by smashing the universe to see what happens. At the same time, Ancient Ones claim a higher order than angels and demons. Temetri and Mercury first must stop the end of the universe in the name of the tree of knowledge experiment from occurring and if successful must find a compromise with the Ancient bureaucracy that makes heaven, hell and congress seem cooperatively active.

Once again Robert Kroese satirizes the commercialization and cynical claims of owning heaven while demonizing others with mocking shots at industry, politics, science and religion making sure everyone lives a hellish life. The story line is amusingly fast-paced as time has begun ticking down to the self-fulfilling prophecy of the End of Times. With a nod to Travolta’s Michael inside of Smith’s Dogma, fans will appreciate Mercury Rises as the reporter demands the angel stop snacking on sugared treats as that is bad for your health. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reviews from Harriet

Black Light
Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan, and Stephen Romano
Little, Brown/Mulholland, $25.99
ISBN: 9780316196710

Years ago when he was seven Buck Carlsbad lived a normal happy childhood until the Horrible evil murdered his parents and left him dead too. Instead he came back but with a skill from the beyond that enables him to be the exorcist of last resort. However, in spite of his success at ingesting malevolent spirits like normal people eating candy, Buck remains obsessed with finding the Horrible who ended his childhood; so far he has failed at the one objective that keeps him alive.

In July 2012, Buck and the voices only he hears are disturbed by a high speed rail from Los Angeles through the California desert to Las Vegas in under an hour. The train will go through a spot at over four hundred miles an hour where Buck knows personally how paranormally dangerous it is. He prefers not to ride the Jaeger Laser on its maiden voyage, but Buck feels he has no choice but to return to where his parents were murdered and he changed. Thus he agrees to keep the evil away from the Jaeger Laser as top celebrities and politicians take to the rails.

Black Light is an exciting noir urban fantasy horror novel starring an intriguing yet somewhat underdeveloped hero. The story line is as fast as the speeding Jaeger Laser while the audience anticipates the desert devastation as Buck battles some vicious opponents. Sub-genre fans will enjoy this entertaining thriller as Buck learns you can go home but do you want to risk that as the screenwriters of some of the Saw movies provide an engaging tale. Harriet Klausner

Cosmic Forces
Gregory Lamberson
Medallion, $14.95
ISBN: 9781605424088

Private investigator Jake Helman has successfully fought against the darkest Cosmic Forces. Mrs. White better known as Marla Madigon wife of the corrupt New York City mayor, wants to hire him to prove her spouse Myron is cheating on her. His NYPD time tells him to stay out of a domestic dispute, but she tosses the kids card at the softy and besides her spouse is a vindictive vicious piece of trash so he accepts the case. That inquiry leads to influential Karlin Reichard.

Joyce the girlfriend of his former partner Edgar the Raven asks Helman to speak with her angry teenage son Martin. He follows a raging Martin to the Dreamers Castle. Helman investigates the Dreamers only to find the trail leads to abuses of power. Meanwhile his late wife Sheryl Agent of the Sphere of Light asks Helman to do her a favor. She wants him to locate the Destroyer of Souls who may be involved in her missing boyfriend Abel of bible fame.

The third Helman hard-boiled urban fantasy horror tale (see Personal Demons and Desperate Souls) is an exciting entry as the tough sleuth with a heart fights monsters from the otherworld and from this plane. Readers will enjoy his three investigative cases as all roads lead to those who abuse power whether they are from hell, earth or otherwise. With a nod to Dresden, readers will appreciate the case load of kick butt softy Jake Helman. Harriet Klausner

Floating Staircase
Ronald Malfi
Medallion, $14.95
ISBN: 9781605424361

With the success of The Ocean Serene, bestselling horror writer Travis Glasgow and his wife Jodie buy a house in rustic Westlake, Maryland near where his brother Adam resides. Travis feels good to reconnect with his sibling and believes he will finally move past the guilt he has felt since he was thirteen and his other brother Kyle, the actual star of his novel, drowned.

Travis learns that a previous resident’s son Elijah Dentman drowned in the nearby lake. The tragedy reminds him of what happened to Kyle; that and other clues lead the author to conclude the death is being covered up. Feeling an obsessive need to learn the truth and a sense of something, perhaps the essence that wakes him with bumps in the night, is prodding his out of control need. Thus, Travis investigates what happened to Elijah believing the truth will set him free of his compulsion.

This is a super haunted house ghost story starring an interesting protagonist and a great final turn of the screw twist. The story line is fast-paced as tension mounts while Travis begins to learn much more than he expected. This is a must read for horror fans. Harriet Klausner

Shadow Highlander
Donna Grant
St. Martin’s, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312533489

In 1603 Galen, the Druid-created Highlander warrior is sent to an isolated Scottish loch to find a key powerful artifact that should enable the Castle McLeod forces to defeat their enemy Deirdre, the evil Druid. There instead of the arcane relic he came to retrieve, Galen meets Reaghan the Druid without any magical power.

Both are stunned by their immediate attraction to one another. She and her villagers join Galen as he returns to Castle MacLeod to help defend the Druids from Deidre’s malevolent assaults. Her horde attacks the travelers severely injuring Reaghan, the focus of the assault. As Reaghan heals and she and Galen fall in love, they will learn the dark powerful reason Deirdre wants her captive.

The latest Dark Sword historical romantic fantasy (see Untamed Highlander, Dangerous Highlander and Wicked Highlander) is a terrific tale that deftly merges early seventeenth century Highlander tidbits inside of Donna Grant’s Druid mythos. The story line is fast-paced but driven by the lead protagonists and their dangerous adversary. Readers will enjoy this strong thriller as Galen and fans wonder if love can overcome insidious evil. Harriet Klausner

Night of the Living Dead Christian: One Man's Ferociously Funny Quest to Discover What It Means to Be Truly Transformed
Matt Mikalatos
Tyndale, $14.99
ISBN: 978141433880

Chief Officer of the Neighborhood Watch Matt Mikalatos is on patrol when he encounters mad scientist Doc Culbertson. Doc tells Matt that he constructed a gizmo that gets into a werewolf’s head. Matt ridicules the claim insisting there are no monsters until he observes a horde of zombies pursued by a werewolf. Fearing the neighborhood will become unsafe,, Matt accompanied by Doc trace the Lycan to the home of Luther Martin whose wife left him a week ago when she noticed the changes.

Luther wants to rid himself of his inner beast so he can become a normal human. He knows transformation to Christianity is the king of conversion, but he is not a Christian having turned away from his father’s rigid religious doctrine. Matt and his new friends want to help Luther. They visit a church filled with a flock of zombies, a vampire who like Luther wants to revert to pure human, and a psychiatrist who counsels them. The despondent werewolf asks a pastor for answers. The response is simple, but Luther wonders how he failed to grasp the Word before; as he and his friends comprehend a transformed life starts with faith.

In his follow-up to the Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos provides a thought-provoking parable insisting there are monsters amongst us disguised as Christians claiming to be faithful yet unable to control their inner beast. Focusing on converting those beastly desires to become the type of person God wants of us takes different paths for different people at different times in their lives. Readers will appreciate Mr. Mikalatos’ profound Christian morality tale. Harriet Klausner

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dark Tower News

Welcome to issue #75 of the Donald M. Grant Newsletter

19 December 2011





We are now accepting advance orders for both the Deluxe and Artist Editions of THE DARK TOWER: THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE at:

Please read the rest of this Newsletter before placing your order.


Because of the state of the economy if your order totals over $300 we are willing to accept a 1/3 deposit with your order, 1/3 a month later the final 1/3 will be charged when the order is shipped. If you wish to send checks you may send three post-dated checks. For foreign orders we will put the full shipping amount in the final charge.


There is a 5,000 copy Artist Edition signed by Jae Lee and issued in a stamped slipcase. Retail price is $75.00 plus shipping. Unlike the Artist Editions of the DARK TOWER 5, 6 & 7 there is no limitation on who may buy this edition.


Stephen King has agreed to sign only 800 copies of a Deluxe Edition which is also signed by Jae Lee and issued in a stamped clamshell tray case. Retail price is $350.00 plus shipping.

As usual there is a much greater demand for our Deluxe Editions than copies available, so in keeping with our policy of supporting our long time customers, the S&N Deluxe Edition can be ordered only by those who have a S&N THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA below # 801 (you must still own it when we ship THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE or your order will be cancelled and any deposit/payment refunded and the Deluxe Edition sold to the new owner.).

We will then do a lottery drawing approximately six weeks after the Deluxe Editions are shipped for remaining available copies but as we expect there to be very few copies available the lottery will be restricted to owners of Numbered THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA between 801 and 1,250.

LOTTERY: Send us a POSTCARD (NOT an email or letter) which reads:

“Please put me in the lottery to purchase a copy of the signed & numbered Deluxe The WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE. I have # ____ of THE Little Sisters of Eluria.” Includeyour name, address, phone number, and if you wish, email

REMEMBER, only send in ONE post card per copy of The Little Sisters of Eluria that you have. If we receive more than one request from anyone we will throw them ALL away. We want everyone to have an equal chance.


Scribner has announced their release of a trade hardcover edition of THE DARK TOWER: THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE on April 24, 2012.


We will be producing a slipcase for the Scribner Trade Edition which will match the three slipcases we produced for the first seven Dark Tower books:

This will not be shipped until 6-8 weeks after the Trade Edition is released so that we can be sure it will fit properly. Cost is $30.00.


We are doing our usual full-color printed flyer but felt it made more sense to mail it in January rather than just before Christmas.


If you send a check and the check is cashed we have received your order. If you sent an order via our website you will receive as confirmation an email titled “RE WWW Form Submission”. As we expect to receive 1,500 or more email orders within 24 hours of sending this Newsletter you may not receive your confirmation for several weeks. If you call or email us this will only delay getting orders ready.

We have a small staff and will be hiring extra help but it will take time to process orders, especially for people expecting a specific numbered copy. We appreciate your patience.

Please do not call or email us for further details as we will just refer you to our web site and suggest you remain subscribed to our email newsletter.

We will send out another Newsletter when we know when shipping will begin.

Thank you.

Robert K. Wiener, President
Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Arthurian Novel Coming in 2012

From book editor to knight in an afternoon! Abaddon Books transformed one of its staff in an unusual photo shoot for the cover of its next blood-thirsty Arthurian novel.

Editor David Moore donned the hand-made armour owned by Rebellion CEO and professional jouster, Jason Kingsley, for the photo shoot as an Oxfordshire car-park was temporarily turned into mythical Camelot!

The photos have been turned into the cover for the latest novel in the Malory’s Knights of Albion series, Dark North written by Paul Finch and due out next year, by photographer and designer Luke Preece.

Jason has himself modelled for the covers of the two previous books in the series, The Black Chalice and The Savage Knight. But with Dark North set in the wild north of Arthurian England, a somewhat … different face was needed for this cover.

Representing stories from the true Dark Ages, Malory’s Knights of Albion brings the dark underbelly of the Arthurian dream to life with tales of blood-thirsty revenge, Godless wastelands and unholy missions.

In Dark North, a new Empire has risen in Rome, and the Emperor, Lucio Bizerta, is determined that Britain shall kneel before him as they once did to the Caesars. As Lucio’s forces mass in France and his ambassadors come to Camelot, Arthur hurriedly convenes his court to meet them. Sir Lucan, one of Arthur’s most stalwart supporters, comes from his cold northern home with his squire, Alaric.

Lucan’s beautiful wife Trelawna has come as well, for among the Italian delegates is her lover, the noble Rufio. The world stands poised on the brink of a terrible war, in which the fates of lives and hearts will play as great a role as those of nations...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Abaddon Announces an Ebook Only Release

Abaddon Books is to publish its first ever ebook-only title, while capitalising on the recent success of its series omnibuses.

The next book in the Twilight of Kerberos series – The Wrath of Kerberos by Jonathan Oliver – will be the first time the imprint has published a brand new title as only an ebook.

The Twilight of Kerberos is a shared-world fantasy series set on a planet inhabited by the remnants of lost civilisations, orbiting the gas giant Kerberos. The Wrath of Kerberos will be the series’ ninth book.

With its READ ANYTHING campaign and commitment to producing first rate genre fiction, the Abaddon Books team are firm believers in new forms of publishing. The Twilight of Kerberos series is a perfect fit for experimenting with an ebook only release.

And with the success of the recent series omnibuses – including the The Best of Tomes of the Dead and Afterblight: America – and capitalising on the growing US readership who are finding our shared-worlds through them, Abaddon Books has decided to focus the Twilight range on this format.

The long-awaited third book of the Lucius Kane Trilogy by Matthew Sprange, Legacy’s Price, will see print in March 2012 as part of the first Twilight of Kerberos Omnibus, with two more omnibuses in the series to collect the titles by Mike Wild and Jonathan Oliver.

Jonathan Oliver said: “It’s great to be part of this experiment in publishing, and Wrath of Kerberos is a perfect fit.”

“A remarkably creative debut.”
– Un:Bound on The Call of Kerberos

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Infection has flared up again. Not feeling well. More later.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Terrific Reviews

Within the Flames
Marjorie M. Liu
Avon, Nov 29 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062020178

Dirk and Steele Detective Agency operative pyrokinetic Eddie nearly flamed out when he somewhat lost control of his fire. He remains shaky at his near death and at his struggle to contain his skill.

The Agency’s Roland orders Eddie to go to New York to find and protect Lyssa the dragon shifter on the run from the Cruor Venator witches who she witnessed murder her parents. Eddie locates the frightened orphaned shifter in the city sewers where she has taken refuge. Though he was reluctant to take on the assignment as his talent remains unreliable and he knows to fear the powerful adversary, Eddie bonds with Lyssa over their flaming problems as orphans.

The latest Dirk and Steele Detective Agency paranormal suspense (see In the Dark of Dreams) is a great thriller due to the neurosis of the lead couple; both are PTSD sufferers. Readers will feel the danger of confronting the powerful enemy whose name denotes nightmares for victims. However, it is the tenuous mental states of the lead characters who make this super action packed story line into a profound tale. Harriet Klausner

77 Shadow Street
Dean Koontz
Bantam, Dec 27 2011, $28.00
ISBN: 9780553807714

In the nineteenth century, Pendleton built the luxurious Shadow Hill. After the tycoon died, his palatial abode was broken into apartments in which only the one tenth of one percent of the affluent can afford to reside there. In 1888 the disappearances of his wife and their two children broke Andrew North Pendleton’s spirit. Every thirty-eight years since, people simply vanish from this grandiose building never to be seen or heard from again.

In the 1970s, the impossible begins again with fluctuations that enable the current residents to glimpse into the history of this imposing edifice. The security cameras pick up images that cannot exist and communication in tongues that seem arcane as no one understands them. The cycle of darkness that has engulfed this magnificent mansion has begun once again in 2011and those inside will soon feel abandoned as hell has come to them.

This exciting haunted mansion thriller rotates perspective between several characters so that the reader obtains a variety of views as to what is happening inside their current residence. However that technique proves somewhat confusing as the transitions are choppy and no one stands out except for 77 Shadow Street until late in the story line. Still Dean Koontz provides his fans with a tense horror thriller as fans will wonder who will be left standing on this plane and why those who are not were chosen. Harriet Klausner

Death Benefit
Robin Cook
Putnam, Dec 27 2011, $26.95
ISBN: 9780399157462

Nobel Prize winner, molecular geneticist Tobias Rothman, who worked with virulent strains of typhoid-causing salmonella, concentrates on organogenesis, growing fully functional entire organs from stem cells. He notices the energy and intelligence of Columbia Medical School student Pia Grazdani so Tobias brings the troubled twenty-six years old onto his team.

Avaricious board chair of LifeDeals Inc. Edmund Mathews uses his firm’s assets to buy life insurance policies from the sick and elderly on the cheap. However, if Rothman’s work succeeds making organs cheap, Mathews and his partners would go bankrupt and potentially face criminal charges of fraud and embezzlement. An accident at the safe lab shakes up Pia who soon realizes someone caused the lethal incident and wants her dead too. She turns to Columbia medical student George Wilson, who loves her, for safety.

Although an exciting medical thriller, Death Benefits is over the top of Morningside Heights; thus requiring readers to ignore their plausibility measures. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the lab incident occurs and never slows down. Robin Cook shines a fascinating spotlight on the multitrillion dollar insurance commodity market inside an engaging Manhattan tale. Harriet Klausner

D.C. Dead
Stuart Woods
Putnam, Dec 22 2011, $26.95
ISBN: 9780399157660

At Elaine’s New York City lawyer Stone Barrington believes his son Peter does not need him (see Son of Stone) though his best friend NYPD Lieutenant Dino Bacchetti insists otherwise. However, their daddy discussion ends when CIA Assistant Deputy Director Holly Barker joins them. She reminds them they are consultants on call who need to go to DC though she cannot reveal why; she explains they will need credentials to visit the White House.

In Washington, CIA Director and First Lady Katharine Rule Lee greets them while they wait for her husband to arrive from the West Coast. President Will Lee wants them to investigate the murder suicide of the First Lady’s social secretary Mimi Kendrick by her husband Brixton Kendrick the White House manager of the physical layout investigated last year by the FBI and Secret Service.

This is an engaging Barrington-Bacchetti investigative thriller though the reason for the inquiry makes a strong case that the First Lady should not be a CIA director as she states the “FBI agents are not awfully good at investigating homicides.” The story line is fast-paced from the onset though Stone has time for a tryst with Holly. Over the top of the Washington Monument and containing an unnecessary subplot involving a former agent, fans of the series still will enjoy D.C. Dead. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Solaris Press Release

Lovegrove signs up for “man vs. the gods” military SF sequel

Solaris is delighted to announce that it has signed up James Lovegrove to write another book in his best-selling military science-fiction Pantheon Series.

Age of Voodoo is due for publication in 2013 and will continue the killer blend of high-octane action set in worlds dominated by religion, but not necessarily ones we would find familiar.

The series, including New York Times bestseller The Age of Odin, sets itself in alternative histories that can be read as stand-alone novels or enjoyed as a collective. Deities of old are rewritten and revitalized by Lovegrove, a talented writer who creates some truly gripping adventures.

2012 will see the publication of the next in the series, Age of Aztec, along with the ebook-only novella, Age of Anansi. The series focuses on the central question of ‘what if the Gods of Mythology were not only real but played a direct role in mankind’s lives?’

In Age of Aztec, the Aztecs' reign is one of ruthless oppression and regular human sacrifice, but in the jungle-infested city of London, one man defies them: the masked vigilante known as the Conquistador. As the apocalypse looms, the Conquistador must assassinate the mysterious, immortal Aztec emperor even as he is pursued by police inspector Mal Vaughn.

The Age of Odin remained on the New York Times bestseller list for several weeks earlier this year and the series also includes Age of Ra and Age of Zeus.

"It's fantastic to have another book from James in The Pantheon Series,” said Jonathan Oliver, Solaris editor-in-chief. “This is military SF like you've never seen it before: clever, funny, action-packed and epic in scope."

“The kind of complex, action-oriented SF Dan Brown would write if Dan Brown could write.”
– The Guardian on The Age of Zeus

About the Series

A thematic trilogy of related, but stand-alone novels, the Pantheon series addresses the theme of “men versus the gods” in three different worlds, with three different pantheons, offering three different takes. All high-action military SF books, the series has presented an armed uprising against distant but powerful Egyptian divinities, a high-powered slugfest between battle-suited humans and super-heroic Greek gods, and a gritty, intimate firefight between an infantry company and an army of ancient Norse giants.

About the Author

James Lovegrove published his first novel at the age of 24 and has since had more than 20 books out. He has also produced a sequence of teen fantasy novels, the Clouded World series, under the pseudonym Jay Amory. He is a regular reviewer of fiction for the Financial Times and lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England with his wife Lou, sons Monty and Theo, and cat Ozzy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Darrell K Sweet, 1934-2011

Artist Darrell K. Sweet, 77, died December 5, 2011. Sweet’s first illustrations were for Ballantine Books in 1975, and when the Del Rey imprint was formed in 1977, he produced many of their covers. Since then he has created illustrations for most of the major SF publishers, including Berkeley, Ace, and Tor. He is perhaps now best known for his illustrations of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, but he also produced memorable covers for Stephen R. Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Xanth series by Piers Anthony, and novels by Jack L. Chalker, Terry Brooks, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., and many others.

Sweet was born in 1934 in New Brunswick NJ, and graduated from Syracuse University in 1956 with a degree in fine arts. He already had a reputation as a painter of animals, still lifes, and pastoral scenes when he started illustrating SF. He was nominated for a professional artist Hugo in 1983, and was a Chesley Award finalist many times. Reposted from

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dan Biggers

Long time educator, friend and part time actor, Dan Biggers has left us. He may not be that well known outside the Rome area for his accomplishments. He is probably best remembered as the Coroner on IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and had 50 or more movies to his credit as well. He was a wonderful person, a good friend and will be missed. My best to his family.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two Books for the Christmas list

The Thirteen Hallows
Michael Scott and Colette Freedman
Tor, Dec 6 2011, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765328526

Twentyish Londoner, Sarah Miller hates her life. Her tedious job goes nowhere, but she cannot afford to quit as Sarah supports her widowed mom while living together.

Having heard of the murder of her long time friend Millie and an apparent Good Samaritan, septuagenarian Judith Walker fears what the old man warned them seven decades ago not to bring the Hallows together is happening. Millie, Tommy, Georgie, Nina and Bea have been tortured and murdered for the artifacts they protected as Keepers. She expects to be next as she possesses Dyrnwyn, the broken sword of Rhydderch. She is proven right when Skinner assaults her. However, Sarah intervenes and between them they batter her mugger. She pleads with Sarah to deliver her Hallow sword to her American nephew, Owen. The Dark Man is furious with his first setback, but takes his fight to Sarah with a gas leak explosion. He will soon realize she is not just a minor irritant as an angry Sarah with Owen at her side prepare to fight the evil Dark Man and his malevolent mistress while the cops seek her and the Yank for questioning in a string of murders.

As Nicholas Flamel takes a deserving respite, Michael Scott and Colette Freedman provide a strong exhilarating urban fantasy. This tale is fast-paced from the moment Judith defends herself and never slows down and fans will enjoy the adventures of the newly drafted Keepers against an amoral psychopath with paranormal powers and no compunctions to use them. Filled with twists and a vile villain, readers will enjoy touring London with Sarah and Owen as their guides.
Harriet Klausner

Sisterhood of Dune
Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
Tor, Jan 3 2012, $27.99
ISBN: 9780765322739

Over eight decades ago, humanity defeated the tyrannical sentient cybernetics at the key Battle of Corrin. Debate rages over the use of safe machines in the everyday lives of people.

First Reverend Mother of the Sisterhood Raquella Berto-Anirul opens the Bene Gesserit School on the rainforest planet of Rossak as a place to teach women to use technology to improve their lot. The Venport descendants deploy mutated Navigators to fly early versions of Heighliners. On the other side of the argument is the Butlerian opposition, led by Manford Torondo and Swordmaster Anari Idaho, against technology as being dangerous. Soon everyone will have to pick a side as a human civil war over machinery seems imminent.

This is an exciting, fast-paced but thin //as in not long enough// Dune science fiction thriller as two diametrically opposite visions of the future surface even eighty plus years since the war against the machines. With what is going on in DC, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson provide a timely tale built on the premise that idealism without pragmatism can turn into uncompromising tyranny. Harriet Klausner
//This is a wonderful and fantastic addition to the saga. I've wondered for many years how the Bene Gesserit started and became the controlling power of the original series. Can't wait to see the next installment. Barry Hunter//

Friday, December 2, 2011

Be on the Lookout for These

Here are three titles that you need to consider for your Christmas wish list; or, just plan to pick them up yourself. They are well worth the reading.

The Demi-Monde: Winter
Rod Rees
Morrow, Dec 27 2011, $26.99
ISBN: 9780062070340

In 2018 British develop ABBA, which can create a realistic nineteenth century cyber-world. The American military applies ABBA to simulated military training in which units enter the Demi-Monde; a place where ABBA is the supreme God, war and racism are constant parts of society. To enhance the combat experience by real soldiers, avatars of history’s most psychopathic genocidal mass murders like Beria, Heydrich and Torquemada etc. are part of the mix of normal cyber people whose only quirk is a need for blood as a critical sustenance; the prime sources are banks and the black market selling of drained real soldiers’ blood.

Shutting down ABBA will fry the brains of any real person trapped inside; although the soldiers are expendable, First Daughter Norma Williams is not. Teenage jazz singer Ella Thomas is trained to enter Demi-Monde to bring Norma out. Inside of Noirville on the cyber world Ella learns the frightening metamorphic truth about Demi-Monde as a “millennia” has passed since the creation.

This exciting science fiction thriller is owned by the richly textured cyber world in which a glossary is a necessity. The famous and notorious from history are part of the structured caste system while landmarks enhance the sense of a distorted image of nineteenth century Earth as a millennium has passed since Demi-Monde was created; ergo this world has changed somewhat from the original model. Thus Ella learns that fact the hard way as her training missed critical information. Readers see Rod Rees’ world though Ella’s eyes as The Demi-Monde: Winter is a fascinating creative futuristic thriller. Harriet Klausner

Left Hand Magic
Nancy A. Collins
Roc, Dec 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464309

Metal artist Tate Eresby the purebred human and Hexe the Kymeran sorcerer are in love. They reside together in the Lower east Side’s supernatural ghetto Golgotham. However, a drunken riot has the supernatural, especially the Kymera, raging and the humans ready for a fight.

The heir to the Kymeran throne, Hexe is angry at his acrimonious Uncle Esau who pushes a-human cleansing endeavor, as he demands interracial relationships banned. At the same time the Sons of Adam want to cleanse the Kymerians from Manhattan. Meanwhile Tate is under suspicion for murder as people on a project she works on are being killed. Tension is stratospherically high between the two species even before someone murders two Kymerans. Tate and Hexe know they must act to prevent deadly riots, but neither know how to defuse the enflamed situation.

The second Golgotham urban fantasy (see Right Hand Magic) is an excellent tale as racial prejudice fuels anger. Hexe and Tate are a wonderful couple who wonder if love is enough to overcome the taboo of mixed species relationships. However, it is the vivid description of the Golgotham that will send readers joining other tourists visiting this ghetto. Harriet Klausner

Robert Asprin & Jody Lynn Nye
Ace, Nov 29 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9781937007072

Having competed for the presidency of M.Y.T.H. Inc., Skeeve the Klahd magician and Aahz the Pervect eliminate each other leaving more capable Bunny running the show (see Myth-Chief). Samwise the Impish salesman offers a deal to Skeeve and Aahz to join in on making a fortune with the construction of a pyramid in Aegis.

The three visit the site where accidents have slowed down the work. The Imp eventually sells his memorial stones concept to Aahz. They soon see first hand the accidents that hinder the building of the pyramid, but must return to the M.Y.T.H. Inc. office to attend Bunny’s weekly staff meeting. They explain the contract to Bunny who approves the deal with the Imp. While Aahz dreams of eternal memorial at the top, Skeeve seeks the source of the accidents that seem deliberate.

This is an amusing entry, apparently the last one in which the late Robert Asprin was involved as (the extremely) capable Jody Lynn Nye takes over the reins solo. The pyramid scheme story line is fast-paced though the plot is thin even with Skeeve giving readers a tour of the kingdom. Filled with the usual fun satirizing, fans will enjoy Myth-Fortunes, a fitting homage to Mr. Asprin. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, December 1, 2011


ARCHON, Sabrina Benulis, Harper Voyager, $22.99, 400 pages, ISBN: 9780062069405, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

In this fascinating, well written first novel, Sabrina Benulis has created a world where it’s hard to tell the demons and angels apart. Be prepared to read this one in one sitting because it’s one of those rare novels that grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Angela Mathers is a bloodhead (she has red hair) and is sent to Luz where the Vatican runs West Wood Academy. This is a secret enclave wherein the bloodheads are encouraged to discover any special abilities or powers that they may have. The question is who really has control at West Wood? Is it the coven run by Stephanie? Is it the demons or angels that walk the streets?

It seems that they are all interested in the arrival and identity of the ARCHON (a human who possesses the soul of a pissed off Angel), who is to open The Book of Raziel and assume the throne of Lucifel in Hell.

Angela has had a hard life and is unable to kill herself and her last attempt caused the death of her parents. She is the new girl and Stephanie has plans to bend Angela to her will because Stephanie is certain that she is the ARCHON.

Sabrina Benulis has created a magical world where things are not as they seem and keeps the action flowing and leaves it open for a sequel. This is one of the best first novels I have read and Sabrina is off to a wonderful start. I want to see more from her and after reading this, I’m sure you will too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Door Gunner

THE DOOR GUNNER and Other Perilous Flights of Fancy, A Michael Bishop Retrospective, edited by Michael H Hutchins, Subterranean Press, $45, 528 pages, ISBN: 9781596063747, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

So far, I’ve read this fantastic collection of Michael Bishop stories twice (which, including the first time I read them over the years, means some of them are on the fourth or fifth reading), and I have yet to find a bad word in it anywhere, Each word is exactly where it needs to be and is the best word for its context. Michael Bishop is that good, and his stories are memorable and thought provoking. He is one of those writers that will be remembered and appreciated in the future.

I first read Michael Bishop in 1975 with the publication of A FUNERAL FOR THE EYES OF FIRE, and have done my best to read everything he has written since. He is one of the few writers who have been nominated for almost every award in the field, and he has won the Nebula twice (“The Quickening”, 1981 and NO ENEMY BUT TIME, 1982, The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award (UNICORN MOUNTAIN, 1988), The Shirley Jackson Award (“The Pile”, 2008), and a Rhysling Award for poetry (“For the Lady of a Physicist”, 1979).

Every word in this volume is golden. From the Preface by Michael Hutchins and the Introduction by Jack McDevitt to the stories (starting with “Piñon Fall”, 1970 and concluding with “The City Quiet as Death” written with Steven Utley, 2009) and the author’s Story Notes, this collection belongs in every true science fictions fans library. The stories show Bishop’s range of subject matter and growth as a writer; they give us alien worlds as seen by humans and Earth as seen through alien eyes. The writing prompts not so much a sense of wonder as much as a sense of awe at the messages one takes away from reading the collection.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from the twenty five stories presented here. Each elicits varying thoughts and emotions, and I’m sure they will affect the new reader similarly. Stories that hold a special place are “Blooded on Arachne”, “Within the Walls of Tyre”, “The Door Gunner”, “Bears Discover Smut” and “The Pile”. Bishop bears his soul in some of the Story Notes, and several times these brought a tear to my eye, especially the comments about his children, Jamie and Stephanie. In complete fairness, Mike and I have been friends for many years, but the friendship is separate from my role as a reviewer. He is a tremendous writer and the review is solely based on the writing. Don’t let this one get by you. I don’t know of a better way to spend a few dollars to get maximum enjoyment from a book.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Awake At Dawn
C.C. Hunter
St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.99
ISBN: 9780312624682

This has been a particular difficult summer for Kylie Galen who recently discovered she had previously dormant special abilities inherited from her biological father. However having been adopted she had no one to mentor her on using these powers. Instead she is learning the extent of her new found skills the hard way through trial and error with an emphasis on the latter.

Shadow Falls Camp caters to those with supernatural powers. The counselors try to determine what Kylie can do, but they are concerned as she keeps manifesting new skills at an alarming unheard of rate. A female ghost haunts Kylie; the spirit insists the teen has the ability to save a friend. Kylie is heartbroken that shapeshifter Derek leaves her but upon his return he wants to pick up where they were as if he did not dump her. She has Lucas the werewolf in her life but he demands she prove she no longer thirsts for Derek. Meanwhile a rogue vampire wants her, but she refuses to have anything to do with this killer and an ancient vampire stalks her with evil plans to use Kylie’s skills.

The protagonist is a complicated individual struggling to understand who she is ever since her late dad made an unexpected visit (see Born At Midnight). Her two roommates are a vampire and a witch, but perhaps the heroine’s greatest power is her ability to get along with both of them. Kylie uses her innate abilities to help others though that makes her stand out further as new skills arise leaving everyone in her circle and her to wonder what species she is. C.C. Hunter writes an engaging young adult coming of age urban fantasy. Harriet Klausner

Aloha From Hell
Richard Kadrey
Harper Voyager, $23.99
ISBN: 9780061714320

Lucifer the Fallen Angel has left Hell for Heaven. His abdication fails to eliminate sin as the monotheistic churches claimed it would, but instead leaves behind an even more dangerous power struggle to sit on his former throne.

Avenging Nephilim James “Sandman Slim” Stark recently killed Mason Faim the magician who exiled him to Hell where he became Lucifer’s bodyguard for over a decade. Mason finds he owes his “friend” for sending him to Hell were he plans his new gig to deploy the faithful on an invasion of Heaven. Kissi the demon encourages Mason to take the war to the enemy as his evil essence has plans to take over regardless of who survives the end of days combat.

Stark ponders why God remains on vacation instead of acting to prevent the war that could end the universe. He understands the Lord’s free will doctrine, so expecting no divine intervention; he decides to enter Hell on a Heavenly cause; besides which he prays he can bring his murdered girlfriend back with him if he escapes to Los Angeles.

The third Sandman Slim urban fantasy (see Sandman Slim and Kill the Dead) is a delightful dark humorous noir starring an antihero who will persuade readers that Los Angeles is as hellish of a place as Hell is. The support cast on all sides of the conflict is developed to enhance an exhilarating violently over the top of the Tower of Babel plot. Fans will enjoy Richard Kadrey’s latest contrary satirical spin with his fabulous twisting End of Days. Harriet Klausner

Death Island
Joan Conning Afman
Camel Press, $16.95
ISBN: 9781603818490

In 2020 Congress passed a law that created the ultimate prison for those convicted of capitol punishment offences: a one way ticket to Death Island. No one escapes from this rock as the masses of TV viewers can tell who watch each week this true reality show.

A jury of his peers convicts Danny Manning of being the notorious serial killer Axe Murderer. He insists he is innocent having murdered no one, but he is sent to Death Island for killing five women including his wife Katie. Danny is dropped from a copter along with obese fiftyish financial thief Tom Koranda. He survives the aptly named island for now due mostly to psychopath Martin Sicilia adopting him and an obsession to escape in order to find the real killer; Tom is murdered in less than a week.

Danny’s next door neighbor in Northington, Connecticut Charlie Adjavon believes he is innocent especially when a sixth victim is found in New Haven. She would like to help him, but has no idea how. Besides she believes her husband Reverend Paul is having an affair with her very tall married friend Heather Waverly, but begins to wonder whether her BFF who threw the first stone at very tall Heather is the other woman.

Death Island mixes together an adult Lord of the Flies and Roman Coliseum premises with Survivor rules inside of the Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man. The story line is at its best on the island where plants and animals, especially two legged, stalk. Although suddenly emotional Charlie trying to help Danny (not the retired basketball star) seems over the top of Mount Frissell, fans will enjoy wondering whether the protagonist will escape from Death Island. Harriet Klausner

Monday, November 28, 2011

More From Harriet

Sins of the Angels
Linda Poitevin
Ace, $7.99

When Toronto Homicide Detective Alexandra Jarvis was nine years old her insane mother murdered her father in a violent slashing rage. She is currently working a serial killer case in which the violence at the crime scene reminds her of the violence in her family home on that fatal day. The latest victim had his chest ripped open and his throat sliced while posed in a seemingly ritual way.

Working on caffeine, Alex is unaware that the brutal culprit is Caim the fallen angel who escaped from Limbo incarceration. His motive is Apocalypse now to include the immediate capture of Alex’s soul. Aramael the Guardian Angel teams up with Alex to prevent his brother from ending the world. Neither the angel nor the confused mortal (from glimpsing what looks like wings) is prepared for an attraction that shakes heaven, hell, and earth.

Although not to read on an empty stomach due to extremely graphic murder scenes, Sins of the Angels is an exhilarating serial killer urban fantasy. The investigation and the Armageddon compete for top billing as the two subplots do not fully merge until late. Still sub-genre fans who enjoy a police procedural fantasy will want to read the teaming up of the cop and the angel as she wants to end the terror reign of a vicious serial killer while he tries to prevent the final war between heaven and hell on battlefield earth. Harriet Klausner

Nancy Holzner
Ace, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441021000

In Boston shapeshifter Victory Vaughn is the only professional demon exterminator in town. After dispatching a particular nasty Peccatum 24/7 sinful demon, with permits Victory and her boyfriend Kane the werewolf lawyer head from Deadtown to her sister Gwen’s house in Needham through check points manned (loose definition) by zombies who accept junk food bribes and humans who accept nothing from the paranormal especially if the guard is a Human First zealot.

Her niece Maria is starting to have the pre-shifting dreams, which alienates the two sisters as one is forced to live in Deadtown while the other resides in the human burbs. Meanwhile Victory worries about her roommate Juliet on the run from The Old Ones and the action of the South End Reaper serial killer has the paranormal and the normal on the edge of vigilante justice and rioting. If that is not enough to take her off her food, Kane becomes stuck in his wolf persona.

The third Deadtown urban fantasy (see Deadtown and Hellforged) is a terrific thriller in which Vaughn’s personal and professional lives deftly intertwine. The fast-paced story line grips the audience but also makes a strong case against a prejudicial society that uses de jure and de facto means to keep a group locked away as second class citizens. Filled with action even when waiting to get through ID card checkpoints, Bloodstone is a terrific taut thought provoking thriller. Harriet Klausner

Matthew Costello
Dunne, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312680077

NYPD police officers Jack Murphy and David Rodriguez work a Brooklyn beat. The global drought and food shortages left the planet on the brink of pandemic disaster; that was until a miraculous manna was distributed. However, soon afterward the feral cannibalistic Can Heads began appearing. Politicians, refusing to accept blame, insisted to the human masses that a survival war between us and them requires patriotic measures. This night the Can Heads attack the two patrol cops; leaving David dead and Jack injured.

Needing to heal, Jack, his wife Christie and their two kids (Kate and Simon) go on Vacation to the Upstate fortified Paterville Family Camp where people eat old fashion real food, drink pure water, and have fun. When Jack helps with preventing a Can Head assault, he is rewardeed with a job offer and a permanent move into Paterville with his family, who all vote yes. However, Jack will soon learn the truth about the miracle of Paterville.

In an already bleak world in which the Yankees are no longer in the Bronx as the Can Heads own the borough, the atmosphere turns brighter in Paterville when soon afterward it drops to its darkest. Readers will think trice about vacationing in idyllic rural areas as Jack and his family learns that Paterville has a nasty side under the glitter of a Vacation oasis as it is the Eagles Hotel California with a gruesome addition. This is a gripping post apocalyptic horror thriller. Harriet Klausner

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Dunne, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312680275

In 2004 Sweden Anders and Cecilia take their six year old daughter Maja from their home in Gavasten to tour the nearby icebound lighthouse off the archipelago Domaro Island. Precocious Maja likes to lead but she vanishes as her parents lose sight of her. The frantic adults search everywhere for their precious child, but fail to find her. The conclusion they make is somehow she fell under the thin but solid iced channel, but no evidence of holes or weak spots are found.

Though they have been an entry since being young teens twenty years ago, their marriage falls apart as Cecilia tries to move on passed her grief while Anders becomes an alcoholic who is unable to let go of his guilt for not watching his offspring closer. Two years since the tragedy, Anders returns to Domaro believing he will find his beloved Maja. Instead he begins to hear whispers of ritual sacrifice by the indigenous islanders including his mother to the nearby sea.

Harbor is a dark thriller in which the audience will wonder whether the sacrifices are to a supernatural being or just superstitious island mythos induced murders. The fast-paced story line is character driven by the seemingly insane Anders, but owned by the villagers; similar in tone to Anthony Shaffer’s The Wicker Man. Though one must wonder why he (and Cecilia) had not thought of what seems to be common knowledge, readers will relish this tense suspense. Harriet Klausne

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Virtue and Vice
Megan Hart
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425242988

New King Jarron Bydelay of the Second Province, requests the Order of Solace send him a Handmaiden. The Order assigns Sister Redemption to bring solace to him.

The royal fails to recognize the Handmaiden but she knows who he is. A decade ago, Sister Redemption was Notsah a kitchen maid who was caught stealing by the Captain of the King's Guard Erekon. To escape she ran into the chambers of the then prince who showed her mercy. Erekon recognizes her as the ragged thief and plans to use her to further his agenda with the new monarch. Meanwhile Redemption falls in love with her regal client, but Jarron, who is also in love, has bigger political intrigue issues to cope with than that of his heart.

The latest Order of Solace (see the Pleasure And Purpose three novellas, Selfish Is the Heart and No Greater Pleasure) is an engaging erotic thriller. The heated romance is more of a support subplot as the political intrigue and the unique culture of Hart’s world take center stage. The lead couple is a fabulous pairing of a king and a Handmaiden who were once the “prince and the pauper”. Love may not be enough to keep them together. Harriet Klausner

Pay Me In Flesh
K. Bennett
Pinnacle, $6.99
ISBN: 9780786026241

One year ago lawyer Mallory Caine was murdered. She returned as a zombie but obviously does not smell of rotting flesh as Judge Darnell hits on her though she thinks of him as a potential sick meal and chooses contempt. Mallory knows she must find the person who killed her before she dies again or her missing soul will end up in hell. LAPD has filed it as a cold case.

Her former law school boyfriend who broke her heart years ago Aaron Argula has come home from San Francisco where he works for the Office of the District Attorney. He pays her contempt fine and admits he made a big mistake dumping her and wants to start over, but she has doubts though he is good for her zombie image.

Etta Johnson calls Mallory, Zombie at Law, to represent her granddaughter Traci Ann; Detectives Richards and Strobert arrived to arrest Traci Ann on a murder charge. The evidence is overwhelming that Traci Ann burned to death a cop in his car. Though there is a slight conflict of interest, Mallory defends her vampiric client while Aaron prosecutes the case.

This is an entertaining dark urban fantasy starring a delightful zombie who retained intelligence and her thirtyish looks though she dines on fresh human flesh. The story line is action-packed but with plenty of humor. Using the law to defend a vampire makes for a fun legal thriller as the defense demands night court and challenges the arrest of a corpse. Readers will relish this grim yet jocular opening tale of the zombie lawyer. Harriet Klausner

Must Love Lycans
Michelle Bardsley
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451234506

After a near death experience with mommy dearest, empathic psychotherapist Kelsey Morningstone tries to start over at the Dante Clinic in Broken Heart, Oklahoma. However, her latest problem in counseling patients is that the well endowed hunk is naked. She wants this Damian, but prides herself over no personal involvement especially of the sex kind with a client.

Damian cannot sit still as he struggles with amnesia having been hurt during an incarceration. He also insists he is a werewolf and his shrink is his mate. Still salivating though she thinks Damian is a lunatic, Kelsey changes her opinion when he marks her as his life mate as she discovers paranormal activity in the Sooner State is the norm. As the hero regains his memory, he knows he must protect his beloved as those who captured him still stalk him and now his soul mate.

As the original characters and their offspring have gotten older over the eight years of Broken Arrow time, Michelle Bardsley keeps her saga fresh with a jocular werewolf (and more) entry as readers learn much about the Lycan culture. The story line is fast-paced even with Kelsey in a perpetual state of heat that Damian makes even hotter. As Marisol says “he’s one taco short of a combo plotter” yet Doc loves him. Harriet Klausner

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

No shopping for me. Gonna sleep.
Rest and Recovery on my mind.

Hope everyone had a great Turkey Day and looking forward to the coming Holidays.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2012

Things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving Day

My wife, Kathy, who has been part of my life since I was 16. Through all the ups and downs, she has been there and pulled me through some hard times. I can never repay her for being on this long, hard journey called life that we have ventured together.

My brother with different parents, Jim Brock, who I met the first day of college and the mold was cast for Operation Enduring Friendship. No matter how hard I try or what I do, I will never be able to repay him for what he has done for me and has meant to me.

My brother, Jon. He is always there for me. He’s always there to talk with and keep me grounded in my family roots. He inherited the best from Mom and Dad and that’s a good thing.

My son, Scott. He is special in more ways than I can name. He has grown into a fine young man and father.

My daughter, Kimberly, who became our Angel before we got to know her.

Robert A. Heinlein – for answering a fan letter from a twelve year old and cementing a love for reading.

Michael Bishop – for being as wonderful a friend as he is a writer.

Jean Goldstrom, my editor - for reading and buying every story I’ve ever submitted.

Peter Horwath, my military brother – without whom life would be even stranger than it is. Thank you for the years of friendship and hard work on the website. Thank you for the honor of being the Godparents to Julie – she has grown into a beautiful, successful woman.

The Broken Soldiers Facebook group – for allowing me to rant when I need to, for their support and understanding (because they have been there).

The Doctors who performed my Heart Surgery, for without them I might not be here to write this.

The Beatles (together and separately), John Fogarty, Jackson Brown, Linda Ronstadt, Sarah McLachlan, Stevie Nicks and the other artists who created the music for the soundtrack of my life.

All of the Publishers, Publicity Directors and Agents, and Writers who have supported Baryon for the last 35 years.

I’m thankful for all of you who take the time to read the reviews and ramblings on the blog and website.

Happy Thanksgiving, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anne McCaffrey Takes Flight

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

SFWA Grand Master Anne McCaffrey, 85, died November 21, 2011 of a massive stroke at home in Ireland.

McCaffrey is best known for her long-running Pern series of SF novels and stories. She was the first woman to win both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards, with “Weyr Search” (1968) and “Dragonrider” (1969) respectively. Pern novel The White Dragon (1978) was the first hardcover SF novel to make the New York Times bestseller list. Many of the later books in the Pern series were written in collaboration with McCaffrey’s son Todd. In all she authored or co-wrote more than 100 titles, beginning with first novel Restoree (1967).

Her other works include the Freedom series, the Doona series (with Jody Lynn Nye), the Dinosaur Planet series (with Jody Lynn Nye and Elizabeth Moon), the Crystal Singer series, the Brain & Brawn Ship series (with Margaret Ball, Mercedes Lackey, S.M. Stirling, and Jody Lynn Nye), the Petaybee series (with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough), the Talent series, the Tower & Hive series, the Acorna series (with Margaret Ball, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, and various other authors), and the Coelura series.

Anne Inez McCaffrey was born April 1, 1926 in Cambridge MA. She attended Radcliffe College, graduating in 1947, and worked as an advertising copywriter while directing and performing in stage productions. She married H. Wright Johnson in 1950, and had three children. She divorced Johnson in 1970, and moved to Ireland, where she opened a stable and began raising horses.

Her many honors include being named a SFWA Grand Master (2005); induction into the SF Hall of Fame (2006); and a Robert A. Heinlein Award (2007).

Medical Update

Sorry to have been away but was in the hospital in Decatur. Went to the Clinic in Rome, send to the ER and admitted on Thursday. Had a massive staph infection that the first round of antibiotics didn't touch. Basically three different pockets of staph deeper than expected. Reopened incision and put me on massive IV antibiotics. Am now home on Bactrin and a Home Health Nurse checking on me for three weeks. I feel better but my chest looks like the chest buster from ALIEN just escaped.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book News

The Afterblight Chronicles: Blood Ocean

by Weston Ochse

Released on 16th February in the UK and 14th February in US & Canada

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-87-2
$9.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-87-2

Also available as an ebook

In a world reduced to ruin by all-consuming plague, one young boy embarks on a mission of revenge after one of his friends is found dead … harvested for his blood!

Kavika Kamalani is a Pali Boy on Nomi No Toshi, the floating city. The post-plague heir to an ancient Hawai’ian warrior tradition that believes in overcoming death by embracing one’s fears and living large, Kavika’s life is turned upside down when one of his friends dies – and he sets out to find the killer.

When he is kidnapped and subjected to a terrifying transformation, Kavika must embrace the ultimate fear – death itself. It is the only way if he, his loved ones, and the Pali Boys are to survive.

This stand-alone title is the latest pulse-pounding story of post-apocalyptic survival in The Afterblight Chronicles series from Weston Ochse – a writer who pulls no punches.

“Weston Ochse is an artist whose craft, stories and voice are so distinct and mesmerising that you can’t help but be enthralled.”

– Dani Kollin, Prometheus Award-winning author of The Unincorporated Man


11/22/63, Stephen King, Scribner, Nov 8 2011, $35.00, ISBN: 9781451627282, Harriet Klausner.

In Lisbon Falls, Maine, Al Templeton, owner of Al’s Diner, discovers a temporal portal that enables a traveler to go back fifty-three years to September 9, 1958 at 11:58 a.m. Each time a person enters the time hole, they go to that same moment, but no matter how long they remain in the past, they return to the present having lost only two minutes while history is altered.

High school English teacher Jake Epping tests Jake’s theory, but when he returns he finds his previously healthy friend dying from lung cancer and admitting he has gone back in time trying to prevent the JFK assassination. With no family to speak of, a lonely Jake agrees to complete Al’s mission though he assumes Oswald did not work alone. Jake tests the concept by intervening in the family of a night student of his who faced a tragedy back in 1958. He soon learns history prefers to return to the original reality though he tries to prevent 11/22/63 from happening.

This is an engaging time travel thriller in which Stephen King makes a strong case that Oswald worked alone, a key element in the plot for conspiracy believer Jake to accept. The story line is action-packed with the changes in history such as cigarette smoking attitudes cleverly devised. Part of the fun is debating the possibility of the changes being reasonable as Mr. King provides an entertaining tale.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time's Arrow


Less than a month left for readers to vote on next installment of novel

Readers now have less than a month to vote on the direction the exciting new novel from Abaddon – Time’s Arrow.

In a unique experiment, readers themselves will get to decide on the fate of our hero Ulysses and where the Time’s Arrow story will take them.

Time’s Arrow is the latest book from the world’s longest continuously running Steampunk novel series, Pax Britannia. Set in a world where the Victorian age never ended, Pax Britannia is an insane world of high technology and rip-roaring adventure.

Time’s Arrow
puts the reader in charge and merges the best of print and online. Each instalment is published as an ebook and, at the end of each of the first two, readers will be able to vote on where THEY want the story to go. Once all three instalments have been published, they will be bound together into a print edition.

In the next thrilling installment of Time's Arrow, Black Swan, our hero – wanted by the French Police for murder – will battle his way across Paris, from the Louvre to Notre Dame, in order to prove his innocence. But how that happens is up to the reader to decide.

Votes are closing on December 11th:

“Pax Britannia is one of Abaddon’s most established series,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon Books, “so it seemed like the natural choice for such a unique venture in publishing. This adventure is sure to reach out to new readers while giving established fans a say in the rich universe they have come to love.”

“I am passionate about the whole Steampunk milieu, and the world of Pax Britannia in particular, while my first forays into writing professionally were adventure gamebooks,” says Jonathan Green. “To marry elements of both is a fantastic opportunity for me as a writer and I, for one, can't wait to see how the story pans out!”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More Reviews

One Grave at a Time
Jeaniene Frost
Avon, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061783197

Fabian the friendly ghost introduces his buddies to his peer Elisabeth. She explains that in 1489 when she was twenty-seven years old, a magistrate and Heinrich Kramer accused her of witchcraft; though she was not a witch only a midwife, the zealous lunatic burned her at the stake. As a ghost she spooked his horse which led to the “Hammer of Witches” being tossed to his death. However, the story does not end there as Heinrich became a ghost who over the centuries every Halloween when he gains a body he continues his inferno homicides. She wants to execute this vile ghost.

Cat agrees with Elisabeth’s assertion that this abomination needs total extinction as Kramer selects three females to haunt as a ghost before he tortures and kills them when he obtains his annual body. Cat and Bones work up a plan to destroy the medieval ghost and his human sidekick, but also still must deal with her dead Uncle Don hanging around at the Lasting Peace Cemetery in Garland, Texas and Jason Madigan’s plans for them and their team.

One Grave at a Time
continues the fresh exciting adventures of Cat and Bones. This time in the Jeaniene Frost Night Huntress urban fantasy realm, the protagonists work on killing a dead spirit as well as her Uncle who remains on This Side of the Grave. As always in this strong series, there is plenty of action while Cat evolves further as now she is full “blooded” vampire. Readers will want to join the dynamic duo as they cope with the good, the bad and the ugly ghosts and Jason.
Harriet Klausner

The Hour of Dust and Ashes
Kelly Gay
Pocket, $7.99
ISBN: 9781451625479

Atlanta Detectives Charlie Madigan and Hank the Siren earn R&R after their successful confrontation with the Sons of Dawn in the Underground. Charlie wants to spend time with her daughter Emma and her sister Bryn, but the battle may have been won, but the war remains heated.

The two sleuthing partners have information that implies the addictive “ash” enables the otherworldly to possess the human host, which has led to deaths that some say are homicides and others insist are suicides. To Charlie she fears for Bryn who is addicted to ash and acts as if a dead Sons of Dawn zealot possesses her. Mysterious Alessandra suggests Charlie seek the sylphs since there is no exorcist is in town. However as she tries to prove her worthy of the sylphs, she realizes in order to save her sister she must go to hell and back; next stop is Charbydon which is easy to enter and impossible to leave.

The third Charlie Madigan urban fantasy (see The Better Part of Darkness and The Darkest Edge of Dawn) is an exciting thriller as the beleaguered heroine and her partner (along with another ally) struggle to save her sister as time runs out. Filled with action inside of the complicated Kelly Gay world, fans will enjoy this strong entry as Charlie makes decisions that she loathes to do knowing the likely outcome of what she chooses. The Hour of Dust and Ashes is an excellent character driven tale. Harriet Klausner

So I Married a Demon Slayer
Kathy Love, Angie Fox and Lexi George
Kensington Brava, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758263155

“Hot!” by Kathy Love. Wannabe photographer Charlie Brown joins the mailroom of At Hot! Magazine with hope to show his work to the professional staff. However, he is unprepared for the dynamics of a demon CEO, a mailroom of undercover demon slaying Feds, and supermodel Ava Wells whose soul belongs to the devil and whose heart belongs to Charlie.

“What Slays In Vegas” by Angie Fox. In Vegas Damien the demon slayer targets the employer of hybrid succubus Shiloh. Instead the slayer and the succubus break a prime taboo when they end up married.

“The Bride Wore Demon Dust” by Lexi George. Sweet Home Alabama native Bunny the librarian is irate when demons controlling guests wreck havoc on her wedding. Her new husband is a slayer, but she is not one to sit idly by while he throws out the unwanted gatecrashers.

These three lighthearted paranormal romances star male demon slayers and the females who possess their hearts. The story lines are emaciated even considering these are novellas, but the lead characters in each entry brings marital bliss to the tales. Harriet Klausner

Monday, November 14, 2011

Some Unusual Reviews

Simon Toyne
Morrow, $25.99
ISBN: 9780062038302

Near Ruin, Turkey, high on the side of a mountain is the Citadel Church where the Sancti monks guard "the Sacrament" as the sect has done for millennia. Brother Samuel escapes from a cell in this oldest known abode still in use. He climbs a ledge and leaps to his death while civilians and the media catch his suicide.

American newspaper reporter Liv Adamsen is shocked to learn the dead monk learns that her phone number was found etched onto a leather strap inside Samuel's stomach. She realizes that Samuel is her brother who she lost contact with years ago when he abruptly vanished. Needing to understand why he disappeared to become a monk and killed himself, Liv travels to Ruin. She and others will find out that the Sancti will kill to protect the “Sacrament”.

This exciting Brownian thriller hooks the reader from the moment Samuel begins his escape from the Sancti knowing there is only one way out and never slows down as the religious sect risk all to keep the secret safe while the outsiders demand the truth. Fast-paced with several stunning twists, readers will wonder whether the monks are truly evil as they die for the Sacrament; just like Jews did to save Torahs from the Nazis. Harriet Klausner

The Dog Who Knew Too Much
Spencer Quinn
Atria, $25.00
ISBN: 9781439157091

Autumn suggested Anya Vereen asks always broke private investigator Bernie Little to accompany her to parents' weekend at Big Bear Wilderness Camp, where her son, Devin, is a camper. Anya fears her former husband Guy Wenders will cause a stink at the event; so she hopes having Bernie with her will keep the louse in line. As he needs money, he and Chet accept a gig that he prefers to avoid as he loathes the mountain air although his partner looks forward to the smells.

When Devin disappears from the Big Bear Wilderness Camp, Bernie, Chet and wilderness guide Turk Rendell search for the missing child in what looks like a parental abduction. When Turk is murdered the Laidlaw clan enforces the law arresting Bernie. Chet continues to investigate with only trusting Suzie, who smells good, to assist him.

The fourth Chet and Bernie mystery (To Fetch a Thief and Thereby Hangs a Tail) is once again a superb whodunit as the canine provides a unique perspective on human and canine culture. Chet works the case alone and Dog Gone It makes an entertaining sleuth. Meanwhile criminal Dylan McKnight, the former boyfriend of Bernie’s sort of girlfriend Valley Tribune reporter Suzie Sanchez and a puppy that looks like Chet add depth to an exciting canine criminal caper. Harriet Klausner

The More the Terrier
Linda O. Johnston
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425243794

Dante De Francisco owns national HotPet Stores. He hires Lauren Vancouver to be the director of HotRescues no kill animal shelter. The complex will be one of the biggest of its kind once construction is completed. When Lauren’s former mentor, Mamie Spelling, frantically calls her; Lauren is concerned and rushes over having not seen her friend in a long time. Lauren is appalled at the condition of Mamie’s house, and poor quality of the animals from overcrowding as if this is a run down ghetto. Mamie fears she faces prison time for animal cruelty; something that would not have occurred if Bethany Weber, CEO of The Pet Shelter Network, had not tried to blackmail her.

Bethany made a lot of enemies inside the industry with practices including blackmail and extortion of other shelter owners. The police believe Mamie killed Bethany as she had the motive and the opportunity having been at the victim’s home when the latter was dead. Other evidence condemns Mamie further. Lauren does not believe her mentor would kill, so she doggedly investigates the homicide; unaware the killer watches her every move.

The second Pet Rescue Mystery (see Beaglemania) is an exciting cozy that sub-genre readers, especially animal lovers, will enjoy. Dante and his lover Kendra make cameo appearances that connect this series to the author’s Pet Sitter amateur sleuth novels. There are plenty of suspects as the victim was almost universally loathed. Although having an amateur sleuth investigate the murder of a queen of mean while the killer observes her actions is an overly used technique, readers still will enjoy the entertaining The More the Terrier. Harriet Klausner

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Reviews of Vampires and more

In Memories We Fear
Barb Hendee
Roc, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464224

Many vampires remain in hiding afraid to come out in the open out of obedience to the first commandment that thou shalt not kill a human though thou can dine on one. Thus vampires remain concealed so they can take human blood with impunity by erasing the encounter from the mind of their prey.

Eleisha offers a safe haven for her Undead peers to reside in once she finds them. Portland based vampire lovers Eleisha Clevon and Philip Brante and Wade Sheffield the human try to find the lost vampires and bring them to their new home. Elisha adheres to the first rule and mentors others to do likewise. When she finds a lost soul she tries to persuade him to move to the sanctuary but Jeremy wants to kill him just like he committed genocide on his own race. His desire is to drink and kill those he drinks from. They learn of an apparent feral rogue vampire killing humans in England. The trio travels there where they meet centuries old Maxim living in a forest with no memory of human skills. She wants to bring him in safely, but Julian wants him dead.

The Vampire Memories urban fantasy novels (see Blood Memories and Hunting Memories) is a strong series that enable the audience to believe that vampires live amongst us in places like London and Portland. Elisha and Philip are an interesting pair of lovers as he is her protector but he becomes frustrated with her obstinacy that she can save Maxim who he believes should be executed. Barb Hendee provides a spellbinding vampire thriller with a touch of romance and a lot of intrigue as the undead rescue squad disagrees on what to do with the latest Lost Vampire found.
Harriet Klausner

Dead Alert
Bianca D’Arc
Kensington Brava, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758247339

Although zombies ripped his skin, Green Beret Lieutenant Sam Archer survived the conversion infection due to an experimental vaccine. With the zombie threat somewhat muted, at Fort Bragg, unit Commander Matt Sykes (see A Darker Shade of Dead) assigns Sam to go undercover as a pilot at Praxis Air; Sam is to investigate whether the charter airline is trafficking in the black market sale of the zombie virus to foreign interests.

Pilot Emily Parkington co-owns Praxis Air. She loves her airline with a passion. The newcomer assumes she is party to the moving of questionable cargo though he prays not as he is attracted to her. When he is exposed as an agent, Sam, trusting his heart, turns to Emily for help to end the illegal zombie virus trade. Emily is stunned with what she learns as Praxis is her life.

This is an exhilarating romantic urban fantasy (see Once Bitten, Twice Dead) though the threat has diminished due to the anti zombie virus drug. The story line is fast-paced as the lead couple fall in love while fighting an insidious scheme to use her charter to spread the virus elsewhere. Like Sam, readers will wonder how the heroine could not know what is going on her airline even accepting she did not want to know. Readers will agree Wichita will never look the same after reading this entertaining thriller. Harriet Klausner

Spirit of the Wolf
Vonna Harper
Kensington Aphrodisia, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758242266

In Oregon, ranch owner Matt Yaye grieves the loss of his friend Santo who along with his wife Addie took him in under their wings. Cat Alward trains horses and people to ride them. When Matt and Cat first met in a bar, they could not keep their hands off one another. That attraction remains intense though neither wants to explore why.

Meanwhile the Fish & Wildlife Commission has begun repopulating the desert area with wolves in an attempt to balance the shaky ecosystem. The Feds are unaware that the packs are led by angry Ghost Wolf, the spirit of a Paiute Indian who wants to kill all the whites who have destroyed the land. As Ghost Wolf sends his wolves to attack of humans while Matt, Cat and others hunt the alpha.

Spirit of the Wolf is an exciting erotic romantic fantasy built upon a Native American legend. Although the story line is at times difficult to follow with abrupt changes, readers will enjoy the adventures of Matt and Cat as they deal with something they don’t quite believe exists, raging Ghost Wolf. Harriet Klausner

Cosmic Storm
Dom Testa
Tor, $16.99
ISBN: 9780765321114

For a year the spaceship Galahad carries hundreds of teens fleeing a dying earth. The crew heads to the Eos star system where two earth-like planets exist. The plan is to colonize the new world. However the trip through the earth’s solar system so far has proven dangerous and difficult as the teenagers have run into a series of trouble. Some like the asteroids was expected though worse other problems arise including sabotage from within and aliens from without were not anticipated by the adults who sent them into space as a last hope to save humanity (see The Dark Zone and The Cassini Code).

Now there is a leadership gap since Council President Triana without consulting others entered a wormhole that closed with her inside. The space travelers need to hold an election to replace her as the assumption is dead or alive she is not coming back soon. Council member Gap is the favorite. However, a second candidate emerges dividing the crew at a time a lethal cosmic storm strikes the Galahad whose radiation shields are failing.

The teenagers run the gamut of personalities, but need cohesiveness during a major crisis compounded by Triana’s vanishing leaving a leadership gap at a critical moment. However the election between frenemies divides the crew during a crisis but also allows the teens to worry less about their leader. Gap believes his opponent runs to get back at him for dumping her. There is plenty of action though more inside the vessel than the previous journeys from earth, but it is the strong characterizations that fuel Cosmic Storm as a fabulously exciting science fiction thriller. Harriet Klausner

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More Reviews

Erin Kellerson
Zebra, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420118964

The Shadowman as a dark fae resides in the Twilight between mortal life and the Afterlife. As a watcher he cannot enter either locale. He diligently remains at his lonely outpost as an observer who can watch but not leave.

However though a shadow fae, he is still a man. When he falls in love with human Kathleen O’Brien he would move heaven and hell for her. She reciprocates and becomes pregnant carrying his hybrid daughter. When Death comes for her even as she gives birth to Talia whom she cannot hold, Kathleen vows to find a way back to the two loves of her life while her weeping sister Maggs vows to take care of her newborn niece. However, their breaking of the rules with their forbidden love and his trespass rips an opening in the veil allowing evil creatures to enter realms banned to them.

The third dark fae Shadow romantic urban fantasy (see Shadow Fall and Shadow Bound), Shadowman is a superb thriller as the refreshing different look at the paranormal laws of physics makes for an entertaining read. Fans will learn a lot about Shadowman obsessed with love and the woman he cherishes who obstinately refuses to blithely cross over as she fixates over remaining because she needs to be with the fae and hybrid she loves with all her soul. Shadowman will be on the short list of best romantic urban fantasies of the year. Harriet Klausner

Resistance: A Hole in the Sky
William C. Dietz
Del Rey, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345508430

In 1948, the alien Chimera landed in Russia. A year later Europe is overrun. By 1952, 160 million Americans are dead with survivors living underground. In July 1953, the President of the United States, former Undersecretary of Agriculture, Tom Voss and a small unit are in New York. They need to take out a tower that cools down the atmosphere enabling the ruthless adversaries to acclimate and escort Russian expatriate Dr. Maliken to a safe house as he has created a vaccine against the Chimera toxin that either kills humans or turns them into monsters.

In Deep Home, Colorado, Alvin Locke hires former Army Lieutenant turned runner Joseph Capelli to escort him to his sister’s home in Haven, Oklahoma. Considered a traitor for assassinating hero Nathan Hale, Capelli believes he did the right thing as his mentor was turning. However, Hale is inside his mind making Capelli believe he is a head case. Capelli, his dog Rowdy and Locke begin a suicidal journey in which the chimera, their human monsters and humans are lethal.

In the Lucky Buckle Mine, Colorado, inmate 26301 has a plan to rescue other convicts trapped inside a cave in. Her overseer Boss Cooper takes her to the top gun vicious Brewster who tells Inmate Susan Farley to see him after she finishes her rescue mission. Farley plans to kill him and escape.

The novelization prequel to the Resistancetm 3 videogame is a terrific alternate historical thriller that obviously ties to the game, but reads like an independent novel with three major subplots. Besides the clever post-apocalyptic landscape filled with destruction, there is romance that brings hope. Loaded with action, game fans and other readers will relish the Resistance. Harriet Klausner

Real Vampires Don’t Wear Size Six
Gerry Bartlett
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 978-0425241356

In Austin, the Vampire Council wants vampire Glory St. Clair to leave town as she has caused issues for the secretive species. First her Vintage vamp’s Emporium puts a light on vampires and worse a demon possessed her. Ancient vampire Damian “Casanova” Sabatini, brother to Glory’s BFF recently married artist Florence da Vinci, offers her a chance to redeem herself. Since the shapeshifter Rafe Valdez has moved out of her place but not before her angry boyfriend Jeremy Blade ended their relationship, Damian suggests she mentor a rookie vampire like she did rock star Israel “Ray” Caine.

She agrees to take on Penny Patterson though her first impression of the scowling brilliant female makes her want to leave Texas. Meanwhile Lucifer wants Glory and her special blood collecting souls for him in exchange for a size six figure and Ray needs her to help him deal with addiction. Finally there is Jeremy and a killing goddess for her to deal with.

Although the heroine’s centuries’ old obsession over her weight has become a bit weary, fans of the real Vampire adventures of Glory (see Real Vampires Have More to Love) will enjoy her latest Texas tornado as she is the epicenter of paranormal tsuris. The fun tongue in cheek story line is loaded with action from the visits of Lucifer, Damian, Ray and Penny to Glory hoping to start anew with Jeremy. Harriet Klausner

Lisa T. Bergren
David C. Cook, $9.99
ISBN: 9781434764294

For years teenagers Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini accompanied their parents on archeological digs. However recently the pair has seen the ruins in their original state as they have traveled back on the River of Time to a few years ago in which they saved their father’s life (see Waterfall) and to 1332 Siena, Italy (see Cascade).

Gabi loves Lord Marcello Forelli and Lia loves Captain Luca Palmucci. As such the Betarrini family of four returns to 1333 Siena in which the war continues even with Rossi exposed as a traitor and Marcello now a member of the Nine. The family from the future also knows the plague is coming soon to Siena and the rest of the Italian Peninsular. If they find their men alive, Lia and Gabi have decisions to make about their future; if not they consider going back a year to intervene.

The final tale in the entertaining young adult River of Time allegory is a superb entry as decision time is upon the teens. The story line is cleverly anchored in the past with little things like when dad tries to understand how and when his pacifist wife became a warrior and his first awkward meeting with Marcello. There are also big events from the annals of history as well. The cast is strong especially the three prime couples and Father Tomas as Lisa T. Bergren provides a suspenseful taut thriller in which she makes a case that time flows like a river gently soothing even when turning into a Cascade or a Waterfall, but that same mild flow can become violent when it turns into a raging Torrent. Harriet Klausner