Thursday, June 30, 2011

More from Harriett

The Map Across Time
C.S. Lakin
Living Ink Books, $14.99
ISBN: 9780899578897

In Sherbourne, heartbroken siblings Adin and Aletha are saying their final goodbyes to their dying loving mother, the queen. She gives her beloved children lockets containing a message in the ancient language that “Love is as strong as death”. The queen depends on Reya the nurse to love her children and to guide them as she knows she cannot rely on her spouse. While his wife dies, the cold king, who despises his cripple son, loses himself due to the avaricious and fawning of his councilors. Sherbourne is in trouble of imploding due to royal neglect and greed.

The young prince and princess know the saving of the Kingdom of Sherbourne is up to them. Heeding the mentoring of Reya, the regal pair obtains the magical Map Across Time guiding them to Sherbourne’s past. There to save their present, Adin and Aletha must believe in the ancient truths and bring them back across time.

Adin sums up this terrific allegorical drama when he muses about Heaven selecting the weak to achieve improbable great accomplishments. Thus it is the innocent who is the only hope to save a kingdom from the greed of their father. High school and older readers will relish this terrific tale filled with references from the Old Testament as two young siblings heroically set out to rescue their beloved people on an impossible quest. Harriet Klausner

Department 19
Will Hill
Razorbill (Penguin), $17.00
ISBN: 9781595144065

In 2007 in Kent, England, fourteen years old Jamie Carpenter and his mom Marie watched from inside his family house as his father Julian steps outside with a gun in hand only to be shot to death on the front lawn. Soon afterward the police informed stunned mother and son that Julian was caught selling highly classified information to a terrorist cell. The mail starts to arrive informing the pair that a family with a traitor is unwanted. They moved three times in two years.

The terror begins when pretty Larissa prepares to take Jamie but could not do it. He races home to find his mom missing and Alexandru with razorblade teeth coming for him when a giant Frankenstein saves the teen’s life. The “Monster” brings Jamie to the government’s extremely classified Department 19; the only unit without a title. He learns that over a hundred years ago Abraham Van Helsing and his team of survivors formed the cell to police the supernatural. Europe’s most powerful vampire since Dracula has captured Marie. Frank and Larissa join Jamie on a quest to find his mom.

Department 19 is a great urban and historical fantasy as the exciting story line rotates between the Department’s past escapades across Europe starting with that late Victorian war in Transylvania and London against Dracula and the young hero’s quest. Both subplots are well written while filled with suspense that grips the reader from the moment Julian is killed. Teens of all ages will relish Jamie’s run as Frank mentors him and Larissa keeps switching from wanting a bite of him to needing protecting him as readers will wonder whose side is she on. Harriet Klausner

The Woodcutter
Kate Danley
CreateSpace, $12.99
ISBN: 9781453876145

The Woodcutter patrols the woody expanse between the Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of Faerie. While performing his duty, he comes across the corpse of a pretty teenage female stranger. Putting down his axe, he searches for her death wound, but finds none. He concludes her spirit fled her body due to immense fear. He ponders what could have been so scary that it frightened the girl to death. He informs his dear Wife he must leave.

The Woodcutter begins his investigation learning the victim was Cinderella and the predator was an escaped from the Wild Hunt hellhound of Odin. He must capture and return the hellhound to the Wild Hunt pack before other innocents die. However this simple journey turns into a harrowing experience due to evil wanting to foster malevolence in all realms so that they can rule as the Gentleman and the Queen; yet he also meets caring folks assisting him on his mission.

The Woodcutter is a fantastic dark fantasy that turns classic fairy tales upside down in a serious quest thriller (the diametrically opposite tone form Shrek). Starting with the King of the Golden River and visits with other fairy tales, the Woodcutter cuts quite a heroic stoic path as he follows the deadly trail of a dangerous beast. Readers will enjoy trekking with the hero as Kate Danley provides an entertaining engaging thriller. Harriet Klausner

Blood Sin
Marie Treanor
NAL, $14.00
ISBN: 9780451232311

Scottish graduate student Elizabeth Silk struggles with what she caused in Dmitriu, Romania .while researching the legend of vampires. She accidently released Prince Saloman an ancient vampire (see Blood on Silk). They are attracted to one another and he is bound to her for freeing him, but Elizabeth also has learned that inside her arteries and veins, blood of vampire hunters flow; including her ancestor who “killed” Saloman.

However, his ancient sword becomes the heart of a blood bath between vampires and humans, as both sides want possession. While he refuses to allow either side to have the sword as he knows how vicious both species can be when in possession of power; Elizabeth trusts her beloved to do the right thing while she is pressured to choose sides.

The second An Awakened By Blood urban fantasy is an exciting action packed tale starring two engaging natural enemies in love. The story line starts slow, but accelerates once the Grand Master of the American order of Vampire Hunters makes his move and never looks back. With a fabulous twist and an apparent eternal set up for the next entry, sub-genre fans will enjoy Blood Sin wondering whether the Vampire Hunter will adhere to her DNA or her love. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Press Release from Stephen Hunt


71% of readers consuming e-books, finds new survey (with only 19% pirating them)

(London/New York—29th June 2011). In the largest e-book survey of its kind to date with 836 respondents, author Stephen Hunt polled readers about how they are using new e-book technologies such as the Kindle and Apple’s iBook software, with some startling results.

Headline figures

The majority of people are now reading e-books — 71% — but in a much more diverse way than the brand wars between Amazon, Apple, Sony etc. suggest; using multiple devices and software apps to read novels.

Of those who don’t yet read e-books, 69% are planning on getting one. This will take e-book penetration up to 91% — with a minority of 9% holding out and willing to read paper only.

Diverse platform support is paying dividends for Amazon — only 35% have Kindle hardware, but 53% are buying e-books from them.

Only 19% are pirating e-books through file sharing systems such as BitTorrent.

There is a direct selling opportunity for publishers and authors — 39% are currently buying direct from publisher web sites, and 25% from authors. The latter figure may rise, now that JK Rowling is supplying direct with PotterMore!

Commenting on the survey results, Stephen said, “The seismic shift in book publishing is continuing, with the majority of readers now consuming fiction in e-book format, a figure which looks like it’s going to top out at over 90% of market size in the near future. For the two main surviving bookshop chains – Waterstones and Barnes & Noble, this means that supplying digital demand will be key to their survival. There is excellent news here for both authors and publishers. The close relationship between authors and their readers is limiting e-book piracy to under 20%. There is also a healthy attitude to buying ‘direct from the farm’, with an appetite for purchasing e-books directly from both publishers and authors… a quarter purchasing direct from the author, and nearly 40% heading for the publishers’ web sites to buy.”

Stephen Hunt polled his readers online in June 2011 using his own websites as well as his FaceBook and Twitter followers. There were 833 completed surveys from 836 respondents. 88% of respondents were from the English speaking market (UK/USA/Canada/Ireland/New Zealand/Australia), with the majority of the balance from Europe and a couple of percent from Asia.

The full survey results can be found in Adobe PDF format (5.0mb download) at

Stephen Hunt is a best-selling writer of adventure, thriller and fantasy novels. His latest novel, Jack Cloudie, is published 6th July 2011 (from HarperCollins Voyager). His novels are published by HarperCollins in the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and by Macmillan Tor in the USA. They have appeared in translation in China, Japan, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Russia.

An online trailblazer, before becoming an author, Hunt was a digital publisher and editor for the Financial Times and launched some of the world’s first online magazines such as His own web sites can be found at and

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vampire Mine, Vampire Dragon, Haunting Desire, and The Demon and the Succubus

Vampire Mine
Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061958045

As he nears five hundred years old, vampire Connor Buchanan feels depressed. His work as a bodyguard to the Draganesti family is the only reason he has for living. He knows his problem is he does not care about anyone except the brood he keeps safe, but has no cure for the vampire blues.

Connor rescues exiled Marielle the angel condemned to mortality after being kicked out of heaven. The Banished One caused the death of a vampire under Connor’s protection so she must pay the price even if it was an accident. However, Connor and Father Andrew think the Fallen Angel can help the vampires. Marielle falls in love with her vampiric protector even as she feels divided and confused as she also wants to return to Heaven.

The latest Love At Stakes (see Eat, Pray, Love) takes an intriguing spin as the Sparks mythos expands with a Banished Angel falling into the Draganesti brood; as readers know where angels tread, demons follow. Besides the fresh romance, the overarching theme moves forward as the fight continues with some characters making their final live appearance. Vampire Mine is a strong urban romantic fantasy with a brisk new spark to the saga. Harriet Klausner

Vampire Dragon
Annette Blair
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425240526

The Roman legionnaires were fighting when Killian the crone of Chaos cursed them; changing them into dragons and propelling them into an alternate reality on the Island of Stars. They have waited for centuries to come home as humans. Two millennia after the banishment spell they finally gain a chance due to Killian's enemy Andra who enables one at a time to return to Earth as a human in search of his soulmate.

Darkwyn Dragonelli arrives on earth after entering the mist. He is euphorically shocked to see her as he manifests nude at Bronte’s club in Salem a hangout for vampires, undead hopefuls and tourists. Bronte’s friend Vivica the dragon liaison manages to keep her friend from calling the cops. Struggling to adapt, Darkwyn gets a position as a vampire master at Bronte’s club. He becomes close to his soulmate’s son Zachary and has hopes Bronte will know they belong together. However she has dark secrets and enemies while he has a crone insuring he fails.

The third Words Like Magic urban romantic fantasy is a terrific often amusing thriller as Darkwyn struggles to adapt to an earth much different from the one he was exiled from and to persuade Bronte they belong together. Because the Blair mythos is extremely complicated, newcomers should start at the beginning with Naked Dragon and Bedeviled Angel. The new readers will agree with fans that, even though the tone is similar to the Beauty and the taming of the Beast theme of its predecessors, that Darkwyn’s efforts to save his soul though love is a terrific tale. Harriet Klausner

Haunting Desire
Erin Quinn
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425238950

Seven years ago her mother died in a car accident, but the body was never found; her grave site in Ireland empty. Seeking closure Shealy O’Leary wants to come from Phoenix to visit the grave site though her father has a fit insisting it is unsafe for her to return to Ireland. As they argue, a man attacks her and her father. Almost immediately after a giant and a teen boy suddenly appear and her father vanishes.

The arcane Book of Fennore sent Shealy O’Leary and her father into an ancient mystical land. Fennore is a cursed place unsafe for either O’Leary. Separated, she must learn to use her innate sacred force that remained dormant until now in order to save her father from the likes of The Druid who wants to possess her power. She finds an ally in Tianan the Warrior as his enemy the Druid who cursed him is hers though his companion has doubts about her. Having failed his people, he sees the beautiful frightened female from the future as a chance to regain his honor if she believes in herself and her power. Neither expected love to come before trust.

The latest Haunting romantic fantasy (see Haunting Beauty and Haunting Warrior) is a wonderful tale that hooks readers from the onset as Shealy knows this isn’t Arizona anymore. Although the lead coupling of a contemporary and an ancient Celtic has been used before including this series, sub-genre fans will enjoy visiting Fennore as Erin Quinn provides a fast-paced time travel tale. Harriet Klausner

The Demon and the Succubus
Cassie Ryan
Berkley, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425239063

Amalya the succubus works successfully as an escort at the Sinners Redemption brothel in Nevada. Her job enables Amalya to feed and provide pleasure while, like her three sisters, pay off her debt to Queen Lilith.

Semiazas the demon escapes with one thought on his mind: revenge against the four Succubi. Queen Lilith hires Duke Levi Spencer to protect Amalya from the enraged demon who dispatched two of his vicious bounty demons, Pestilence and famine, to attack her. Levi knows he is part demon on his mother’s side, but wonders if his paternal roots are angel or human. He accepted Lilith’s deal to protect Amalya in exchange for the Queen providing him information re his sire. However, an instant attraction stuns both of them even as they begin to realize Semiazas has a bigger scheme than attacking the succubae; a scheme to destroy humanity.

The second Sisters of Darkness erotic romantic fantasy is an exciting tale due to the romantic subplot taking a backseat to the danger lurking throughout the Ryan universe of heaven, hell and points in between; just like in Jezebeth’s tale, Seducing the Succubus. The lead couple is a solid pairing while strong support characters like Jethro add depth to the perils confronting Amalya and Levi. Readers will relish Amalya’s adventures as the demons keep on attacking. Harriet Klausner

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deadworld, The Ale Boys Feast, The Trigger and Mercy Burns Reviewed

J.N. Duncan
Kensington, $6.99
ISBN: 9780758255662

Someone drained the blood of a woman in Wisconsin. Now, an unknown predator drains the blood of twelve years old Archibald Lane, leaving a corpse with bites and a few bruises in a Chicago park. FBI agent Jackie Rutledge leads the investigation in which her psychic partner Laurel sense something paranormal at the murder scene.

Law enforcement first focuses on private investigator Nick “Sheriff” Anderson as the predator, but Jackie quickly realizes he is innocent. Instead he offers to assist her and Laurel on the bizarre case in which he and his team add to the paranormal peculiarities. Soon the inquiry leads back to over a century ago.

Because of the paranormal in Chicago, there is an obvious nod to early Dresden, but the respective teammates of Jackie and Nick make for a much different fresh urban fantasy spin. The supernatural investigative story line is fast-paced and contains a strong twist in midstream. The cast is solid as the lead pair and the secondary players are fully developed though more of the highlight film of Nick’s 180 years of existence would have been helpful. Sub-genre fans will enjoy the brisk tour of J.N. Duncan’s Deadworld. Harriet Klausner

The Ale Boy’s Feast
Jeffrey Overstreet
WaterBrook, $14.99
ISBN: 9781400074686

Although the Cent Regus Beastmen have been defeated, the Seers of Bel Amica continue to destroy the beauty of the realm especially with the poisonous Deathweed. Jordam the Beastman tries to bring back the comatose near dead remains of House Abascar especially Rescue the firewalker ale boy as only he can lead them to salvation in the former hidden city of Inius Throan.

Milora leads others from tattered Abascar to the Promised Land Inius Throan. Also heading there is Abascar King Cal-raven who has lost his belief in the Keeper. The monarch’s former tutor Scharr Ben Fray the stonemaster mage tries to keep the true Expanse history from being overwhelmed by revisionists fabricating threads while hoping to see a New Abascar rise from the ruins of the old order. None can make it to the ancient city yet all can make it to the ancient city.

The fourth and final Aurelia’s Thread epic fantasy (see Raven’s Ladder, Auralia's Colors and Cyndere's Midnight) is a great finish to a strong allegorical journey. The Ale Boy’s Feast contains several rotating subplots that Jeffery Overstreet intertwines into a powerful tapestry as the key cast struggles with doubts while praying for a new start. Complicated and convoluted, this is a fitting climax to a fabulous multifaceted saga. Harriet Klausner

The Trigger
Hon Hoh
Believers Press, May 2011, $19.99
ISBN: 9780578071954

In 2032 Pastor Josh McGuire is in China preaching the Word to underground churches. He is a fervent believer that he rejoices that he converts the people to become children of God. Security forces arrest Josh; Shanghai Security Chief Yang interrogates the Westerner. Calmly Josh feels the Spirit moves him to rid the demon from his tormentor’s body. A dazzled Yang is impressed by what his prisoner accomplished and converts just like his wife as a devotee of Christ.

Josh leaves China for Australia to meet with the missionary who told him that he has visions of going to Yangon in Myanmar. This is the last populated place on earth where the Word has failed to arrive. Josh touched by Jesus and Gabriel knows he must head to Yangon as he believes that is where the Trigger for the second coming will begin. The French president manipulated by Appolyon the demon leads the opposition trying to prevent the Word from reaching Myanmar even if that means millions of believers and non-believers die.

Although the Trigger is an End of Times Revelations thriller, Hon Hoh provides a fresh different interpretation to the final days. Instead of Armageddon occurring near Jerusalem, destruction is global at the same time. When called upon by God to bring about the Second Coming, Josh feels sort of like Moses as the wrong man for the upcoming trials and tribulations; he depends on his belief in the Lord to enable him to achieve the impossible mission. Sub-genre readers will relish Mr. Hoh’s extrapolation of contemporary international relations with a unique but incise interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Harriet Klausner

Mercy Burns
Keri Arthur
Dell, $7.99
ISBN: 9780440245704

Mercy Reynolds trusts few people as she knows firsthand how treacherous others are especially towards a “Draman”. Recently, the half air dragon’s single digits were reduced by one when her best friend purebred sea dragon Rainey was murdered in a car incident in which Mercy was a passenger. Her BFF’s homicide is hard enough for Mercy to accept, but the death precluded the rituals needed to enable Rainey to move on as dragons dead at sunrise without the ritual cannot. Mercy knows that if she can find and bring the killers to justice she can perform the rituals for Rainey to pass; five days left and counting to achieve the impossible San Francisco mission.

Damon Ray is trying to do his job of killing rogue purebreds and dramon dragons who break the law. His current assignment has humiliatingly a draman helping him. However, worse is he is attracted to the half-breed while she refuses to back off as she is on a mercy mission for her beloved late buddy.

While Riley Jenson takes a deserved respite, Keri Arthur writes an engaging investigative romantic urban fantasy. Mercy is a terrific heroine whose objective is not vengeance but the purity of enabling her friend to move beyond this realm. Damon is more hard boiled even with his attraction as the audience will relish this paranormal tour of the streets of San Francisco in the second Myth and Magic thriller (see Destiny Kills). Harriet Klausner

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Press Release



Making Pulp History!

From the heart of Africa to the streets of Harlem, a new hero is born sworn to support and protect Americans of all races and creeds; he is Damballa and he strikes from the shadows. When the reigning black heavy weight boxing champion of the world agrees to defend his crown against a German fighter representing Hitler’s Nazis regime, the ring becomes the stage for a greater political contest. The Nazis’ agenda is to humble the American champion and prove the superiority of their pure-blood Aryan heritage. To achieve this end, they employ an unscrupulous scientist capable of transforming their warrior into a superhuman killing machine.

Can the mysterious Damballa unravel their insidious plot before it is too late to save a brave and noble man? Airship 27 Productions and Cornerstone Book Publishers are proud to introduce pulpdom’s first ever 1930s African-American pulp hero as created by the acclaimed author, Charles Saunders.

“Racism and sexism were a few of the ugly aspects of the pulps we’d all like to forget,” Editor Ron Fortier comments. “Minority groups based on race, sex and religion were ostracized and either ignored completely or denigrated in their outlandish portrayals. Since its creation, Airship 27 Productions has made it a goal to address these wrongs and help correct them within the context of providing top-notch action fiction to our readers. DAMBALLA is a major step in that direction and we are truly excited about its release.”

Praise for DAMBALLA and writer Charles Saunders has already begun. “Having revolutionized the genre of epic fantasy with the creation of Imaro, a black warrior easily equal to such classic characters as Tarzan and Conan, Charles Saunders has done it again. This time he has created DAMBALLA, a true hero in every sense of the word. Battling racism and evil in the 1930’s, DAMBALLA is no pale imitation of The Shadow or The Avenger. In fact, after reading this excellent book, I think that they would be proud to consider him a brother in the ceaseless war against crime and injustice.” Derrick Ferguson – “Dillon and the Voice of Odin”

DAMBALLA by Charles Saunders features a cover by Charles Fetherolf and interior illustrations by Clayton Hinkle, with book design by award-winning artist Rob Davis.

The publisher of “The Feasting” and “Weird Horror Tales”, Cornerstone Book Publishers also publishes Masonic and esoteric books, selected pulp fiction, art literature, limited children's books, and poetry collections. The braided novel, “Weird Horror Tales, is available on-line, at book stores, and from Cornerstone. For more information about Cornerstone, go to

Airship 27 packages and publishes anthologies and novels in the pulp magazine tradition.

In the past, Airship 27 has released “Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective”, a series of “Captain Hazzard” pulp thrillers, more pulp fiction in “The Green Lama” and “Secret Agent X”. For more information on Airship 27, go to

ISBN: 1-613420-12-9; ISBN 13: 978-1-613420-12-6

On-Line Shop

$3 Digital copy

Friday, June 24, 2011

June 24, -Today in History

On this date in 1947, pilot Kenneth Arnold reporting seeing nine UFOs over Mount Rainier, which he described as like "saucers skipping over the water." His sighting kicked off the modern UFO era and led the press to coin the phrase 'flying saucers.'

50 years later on June 24, 1997, the U.S. Air Force issued a 231-page report dismissing the long-standing claims of an ET crash near Roswell, New Mexico. They suggested that recovered bodies were not those of aliens but crash test dummies used in parachute experiments.

Only fifty years to come up with "crash test dummies". And this is "Military Intelligence?

Vampire Weenies and more

Attack of the Vampire Weenies: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales
David Lubar
Starscape (Tor), May 2011, $15.99
ISBN: 9780765323453

David Lubar has released another humorous horror anthology aimed at middle school readers. The thirty tales are spooky but contain no blood or slashing. The stories are short, but gripping as the young audience will enjoy the brisk reading experience.

The title entry stars a boy sick of the fake vampires especially his sister and her boyfriend and decides to teach the “undead” a biting lesson. “The Ride of a Lifetime” focuses on Zack who wants to ride the Titanium Tempest, but his family prevent him so he pulls off a stunt for a midnight ride only to know he wants off immediately. Particularly amusing is “Chirp” who turns into different birds when he says “Chirp”, but will soon make a potentially fatal mistake. Jacob is disgusted with the workers lazing around until he complains and learns what their “Roadwork” is missing. In “Lost and Found”, Dale and Kirby find an expensive handkerchief with a series of symbols sewn into it that has them take it a grateful Xantin who is euphoric and glad to have two boys inside his house of horrors.

The other contributions are as scary and funny whether it is in the school gym or running a train, as Mr. Lubar provides an amusing compilation. Harriet Klausner

Sex and the Single Vampire
Katie MacAlister
Avon, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062019325

Anton Melrose II, chief of the western division of the United Psychical Research Association, informs employee Summoner Alegra Telford that if fails again, she will return from London for the states unemployed. Alegra feels like a charlatan as she is in England because that is where many ghosts haunt and as a Summoner, she should be able to make contact.

Nine centuries old Moravian Dark One Christian Dante detests swinging London though he swings the scene in an attempt that seems futile to find his cherished one; only she can save his soul with her love. His nightmare wait suddenly turns to a blissful dream when he meets Alegra who thinks she has summoned him through the portals of the netherworld. He persuades her that he has never even visited the place, but as a vampire, he hopes that she will insure that he never does. When Alegra finally succeeds in summoning ghosts, she comes to the attention of worshippers of the dark and their malevolent evil spirit. Only with Christian's help can she hope to remain safe even as she finds herself reciprocating the love he feels for her.

A reprint of a 2004 book, Sex and the Single Vampire is an amusing paranormal romance starring two delightful protagonists, a horde of supernatural creatures that make the beyond seem real plus the return of Alegra's pals from A Girl’s Guide to Vampires (also Dante’s first appearance). The story line hooks the audience from the moment that Christian and Alegra meet because the reader feels the attraction that sets in motion the dangerous gathering of a deadly entity and his followers. Urban romantic fantasy readers will enjoy this one-bite sitting teeth in cheek (and neck) tale. Harriet Klausner

Rush of Darkness
Rhyannon Byrd
Harlequin HQN, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775583

In France, since her rescue from the evil Casus and Westmore the malevolent Kraven, half-breed (Deschanel vampire and Alacea psychic) Raine Spenser obsesses over destroying her former evil captors. Her vendetta is personal not just because of what they did to her, but because they murdered her sister. She plans to send them to a hell worse than the Meriden prison they escaped from.

Former vampire hunter Seth McConnell has enlisted with the Watchmen to prevent Westmore from succeeding with his dreadful schemes. Since vampires massacred his family, Seth loathes the undead. Still he has to reconcile his hatred with his need for Raine who soothes his troubled soul though she distrusts the hunter who rescued her and he distrusts the half-vamp he rescued.

The seventh Primal Instinct urban fantasy romance (see Touch of Temptation, Touch of Seduction and Touch of Surrender) is an engaging tale of star-crossed lovers as he hates her kind (at least half of her kind) and she hates loving him as that emotion interferes with her prime objective. Fans of the saga will relish this fine entry as Rhyannon Byrd keeps the overarching paranormal war theme moving forward while focusing on the romance between two essences who by nature and nurture should be mortal enemies. Harriet Klausner

Night Mares in the Hamptons
Celia Jerome
DAW, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756406639

A wall divides our world from a universe where magic exists and creatures from our mythos are real. Graphic novelist Willow Tate draws beings from that other realm; but what makes her unique is sometimes her depictions break through the barrier to her world. It is not a shocker that Willow is a Visualizer; as she comes from Paumanok Harbor in the Hamptons, a place where many residents possess psychic skills.

Three Night Mares arrive in the small Long Island village seeking a missing colt. They flicker in and out at night causing sleepless woes for the locals, but never appear in day light. People lack sleep and suffer from nightmares that has everyone irritable and over the edge. Minor irritants turn into full scale wars. The Department of Unexplained Events sends internationally renowned horse whisperer, Texan Ty Farraday to help the towns folk send the magical night mares home. He and Willow are attracted to one another and he make it known he wants her while in town. Willow focuses on the missing foal as she can sense the terror felt by the baby steed as people who possess the magical horse will kill to keep their prize.

With a nod to Xanth, the second engaging Willow Long island fantasy (see Trolls in the Hamptons) is a wonderful tale in which the fun story line never takes anything seriously. Willow is terrific holding the plot together through her courage and fear while the eccentric villagers enhance the purposely hyperbolized thriller. With a romantic subplot adding to the mix, Celia Jerome has written a charmer.
Harriet Klausner

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Phantom Evil, The Darkest Secret, and Bel-Air Dead

Phantom Evil
Heather Graham
Mira, $24.95
ISBN: 9780778329534

The wife of Louisiana State Senator David Holloway, Regina falls from the balcony of their mansion to her death. The New Orleans Police Department investigates and concludes Regina committed suicide as she still grieved the loss of her son Jacob due to a DUI several months ago.

Adam Harrison sends his special investigative team to New Orleans to look into the Holloway death. The unit is led by Jackson Crow, who used to work for the Fed’s Behavioral Sciences Unit. He, his team of five, and paranormal pragmatic Virginia police officer Angela Hawkins who can detect the supernatural arrive at the Holloway mansion in the French Quarters. Their mission is to determine whether the supernatural was involved in the woman’s fall. Soon they revise the objective to staying alive.

No one writes romantic urban fantasy better than Heather Graham does as she consistently blends suspense with the paranormal. Her latest thriller Phantom Evil uses the disturbing past of people who resided in what appears to be a haunted house with modern day supernatural happenings. Readers will hear the bumps in the night as Ms. Graham provides another powerful New Orleans paranormal romantic suspense thriller. Harriet Klausner

The Darkest Secret
Gena Showalter
Harlequin HQN, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775491

Amun was one of the twelve immortal warriors who opened Pandora's Box eons ago. Like his peers he was punished by absorbing one of the demons Secret as a Lord of the Underworld.

Meanwhile Strider and his demon Defeat capture Haidee, a demon Hunter whose ancestors were massacred by the Lords of the Underworld in ancient Greece. He takes her to the ancient warriors' fortress. There she meets in a cell Amun locked by his peers to keep his demon from manipulating the darkest emotions of his peers while the Warrior still recuperates from travel to Hell and back. Her touch calms the demon inside of Amun, but though attracted to one another, a hunter and a lord are as star-crossed as lovers can be.

This is an intriguing entry with a strong late twist as readers will wonder whether love conquers all includes demons and their hunters. The romantic urban fantasy story line continues to be extremely complex and convoluted so don’t dive in here as it behooves readers to peruse the previous tales. Not for everyone as Gena Showalter does not run away from the transgressions the Warriors have committed with rape and violence.Still fans will enjoy the tale of the hunter trained to kill the demon and his host. Harriet Klausner

Bel-Air Dead
Stuart Woods
Putnam, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399157363

In Southern California, elderly actor Vance Calder dies. He leaves his much younger widow Arrington his stock in Centurion Studios in Bel-Air. Arrington asks her former lover Manhattan based attorney Stone Barrington to travel to Los Angeles to represent her legally, as she battles over who controls the studio. Dropping everything to assist the mother of his son, Barrington makes Strategic Moves starting with reorganizing Arrington's shares; buying more stock for her; and finally forging partnerships with other holders in order for his client to have the controlling interest.

Known for playing hardball Terry Prince, CEO of Prince Investments, wants the choice property where Centurion Studios resides as he knows there is much more to be made from development. When someone murders stockholder Jennifer Harris, Barrington assumes his opponent raised the stakes. With his sidekick Dino Bacchetti having his back, Stone obtains local help as he plays chess with an amoral opponent.

With a twist that includes Ed Eagle territory (see Santa Fe Edge and Santa Fe Dead); fans will enjoy the Stone invasion of Hollywood as the East Coast hipster matches up against a West Coast shark. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Stone arrives in California until the climax as regardless of which coast the hero is in, he retains his usual unconcerned demeanor in the face of danger while also being a chick magnet. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Shadow Guard, Mermaid, The Shining City and Dak Enchantment reviews

The Shadow Guard
Diane Whiteside
Kensington Brava, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758225191

FBI interpreter Astrid Carlsen as a sorcerer also belongs to Shadow Guard; a top secret organization with strict rules governing the use of magic. When she mentally hears a psychic final scream of a woman murdered by magic, Astrid investigates.

Police officer Jake Hammond leads the official inquiry. He and Astrid are on-line gambling opponents. When they meet for the first time in person, she realizes he is Kubri, an essence who can recharge her magical energy to its acme with sex or for that matter destroy her through her libido. She hopes he desires an older woman as they team up on the case and in the boudoir where the magic they generate enables the pair to challenge the psychic serial killers more powerful than either of them.

The Shadow Guard
is a superb erotic urban fantasy police procedural that blends the elements from the various genres into a power paranormal page turner. With an entertaining investigation, the fast-paced story line heats up on the normal and paranormal planes as Astrid and Jake learn the whole is greater than the sum of the parts when it comes to this pair sexually charging up their prowess. Harriet Klausner

Carolyn Turgeon
Crown, $14.00
ISBN: 9780307589972

While her Northern Lands kingdom is at war, Princess Margrethe is safely concealed at the convent under the guise of Mira. Bored she escapes her cell to look out at the water only to see a mermaid drag a man onto the beach. The male turns out to be Prince Christopher, the son of the enemy of her father and their kingdom.

Lenia the teenage mermaid who saved Christopher’s life falls in love with him. Although she knows staying on land is fatal for her kind, she vows to remain with her beloved. At the same time Margrethe concludes that if she and the prince marry, the combat would end and unite their warring kingdoms. However, by the time she goes to the Prince to offer a marriage of political convenience, he seems to be in love with Lenia; though he fails to realize who she is. Margrethe plans to eliminate her rival by sending the ailing sea creature back to her watery home.

This is a terrific extremely dark twisting of the Hans Christian Andersen's classic The Little Mermaid as Carolyn Turgeon for the most part un Disney’s the tale. The story line is at its best when the two women compete for the prince as their methods are different. Although the Sea Witch subplot feels out of place with the rest of the strong adult fairy tale, fans will relish the political spin to the Mermaid. Harriet Klausner

The Shining City
Fiona Patton
DAW, $15.00
ISBN: 9781101479117

In Anavatan, the Gods walk among the people. Most of them pledge oaths to one deity or another. The more supporters a God has, the stronger that being is; and in turn the more that essence can do for his or her followers. The God of prophesy Incasa, the Chief God used the thousands of supporters especially the boys Brax, Spar and Graize six years ago to create the fledgling God Hisar.

While the seer Spar became young Hisar’s chief priest, Brax the warrior is pledged to the war god Estavia. In turn seer Graize became bitter enemies of his two former friends. He left for another land to fight against the warriors of Estavia while seeking allies to return in order to conquer Anavatan. He may get his wish as war is coming since Anavatan has hostile relations with neighbors Volinsk and Roctov, who were once adversaries but now are united against a common foe. Other counties jointhe planned invasion of Anavatan who lacks the military strength to prevent an invasion on several fronts. The only hope is for former friends turned foes to reunite behind Hisar, but Graize resents his two ex buddies and his homeland

The final Warriors of Estavia (see The Golden Tower and The Golden Sword) is an exciting climax that ties up all the major threads to a strong epic fantasy trilogy. Although readers may be disappointed with the way the invasion is given a short amount of pages Fiona Patton’s heroes insure a gripping entertaining High Noon finish. Harriet Klausner

Dark Enchantment
Anya Bast
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN 9780425240533

Desperate to free the Fae, Unseelie Kieran Aimhrea uses irresistible magic to propel accountant Charlotte Bennett to come to Piefferburg. He hopes her arrival will awaken ancestral memories that she unknowingly possesses, which should enable her to open the wards binding the city and its Fae residents.

Kieran is very careful to insure no one falls in love with him because of the curse in which those who do die. He knows Charlotte loathes him for the abduction that still frightens her so he feels somewhat assured she will not diee in some gruesome way. However, he had not calculated how he would feels towards her when he computed the odds of her loving him as zero.

The third Dark Magick urban fantasy (see Wicked Enchantment and Cruel Enchantment) is a superb entry as Kieran uses Charlotte though he detests that he does but rationalizes his actions are for the better good of many until he falls in love. His transformation and trepidation turn this tale into a terrific thriller. With the trademark jocularity side by side with betrayal, fans will enjoy the latest magical tour of the enchanting (though often dark) world of Bast. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


NO MAN’S WORLD: The Ironclad Prophecy by Pat Kelleher

21 July 2011 • £7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-15-5
12 July 2011 • $9.99/$12.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-16-2
Also Available as an eBook on 12 July

A corner of an alien field that is forever England?

It has been three months since the 13th Battalion of the Pennine Fusiliers vanished from the battlefields of the Somme. Stranded on an alien world by forces they cannot comprehend, this beleaguered band of Tommies must now try and find a way home...

In the action-packed follow-up to Kelleher's widely-acclaimed debut, No Man's World: Black Hand Gang, this genre-shattering tale of First World War soldiers fighting to survive on an alien world continues its blistering blend of historical detail, strong characters and powerful storytelling.

Corporal ‘Only’ Atkins and his Black Hand Gang return as the Pennines fight for their lives against the mounting horrors of No Man’s World, their only hope for survival – and a way home – lying in the psychotropic fuel-addicted crew of the ‘ironclad’ tank Ivanhoe... and its increasingly insane commander!

“I couldn’t put this one down... a thoroughly entertaining tale.”

– Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review on Black Hand Gang

About the Series

On November 1st 1916, 900 men of the 13th Battalion of the Pennine Fusiliers vanish without trace from the battlefield only to find themselves on an alien planet. There they must learn to survive in a hostile environment, while facing a sinister threat from within their own ranks and a confrontation with an inscrutable alien race!

No Man's World takes the conventions of horror and throws them out of the window in a series that pulses with action, tension and character. Pat Kelleher has created a unique world in which the so-familiar monochrome images of the trenches of Flanders are brought to vivid life in an alien environment.

“Abaddon are onto a real winner with this series.”
– Total Sci-Fi Online

About the Author

Pat Kelleher lives in Penury, Greater Manchester. He has written for a wide variety of TV licensed characters across a bewildering array of media, meeting one or two celebrities along the way. He has worked for BBC Magazines, Egmont, Marvel UK, and Panini amongst others. He has several non-fiction books to his credit. No Man’s World: Ironclad Prophesy is his second novel.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I had planned on doing some reviews to post in this space, but as it has been of late, something else hit me and I'm sharing them with you.

June 19, 2011

While looking through some old photographs the other day, I came across some that were taken when I was a child. It was wonderful to see the looks in my friends’ faces. Their youth, their joy, their love of life. Not the lines of old age, the gray hair, the harshness of life that was apparent when they passed over to whatever lies beyond.

I thought about the old Tarzan movies and the natives who thought that the camera took your soul and wouldn’t allow the photographer to live unless they destroyed the image. This got me to thinking, and Crom knows it’s not always a good thing for me to think too hard.

A photograph does steal your soul. It takes a piece of it and places it on a piece of paper for everyone to see. It steals the moment it was taken. It steals a moment of joy, a moment of sadness and keeps it constant. It will never change as each passing second changes the person in the picture.

As you grow older, you remember the youth and the things only the young can do. You wonder why you have to age and allow the miseries of age to rob you of the things you want to do, but cannot do. Age, illness and misery are the earmarks of a long life, while the image on paper stays the same and mocks you.

If you could live forever and not age another day, would you? Would you want to watch your friends and family age and wither until they die? Would you want your feet firmly planted on solid ground and never discover the mysteries beyond the veil?

No one knows what tomorrow will bring. If we did, we would all be happy and win the lottery and not have a care in the world. Or is it better to live each day to the fullest and enjoy your life? If we live each day as if it were our last and follow the original “golden rule” of treating each other as we wish to be treated, wouldn’t the world be a better place.

It seems there are too many today who live by the “Modern Golden Rule” in that he who has the gold, makes the rules. I’m sure there are more “modern” folks out there than “originals”. We all have our demons and angels in our lives.

There are some who allow the demons to rule their life and use them to obtain their goals. Every now and then, someone loses the control and allows the demon to reach out and touch someone else and in doing so end up as demons themselves.

Then there are those who feel the demons inside and use any means possible to keep them bottled up inside and lose themselves only to become a vessel of pain.

Sometimes one can keep the demon under control and keep it in a deep dark place in their soul, but know that it can break out at any time and wreak havoc. It becomes a constant ache or ringing in your ears to let you know it’s there waiting for that instant it needs to break out and go on a spree. You maintain the control, but become numb to the joys and, sadly, to the love that is in the world. You “live in your own world”, “march to the sounds of a different drummer”, or beat on the cells of a rubber room.

A home is said to be a place filled with familiar things, love, and safety. I would say it’s funny, but too many people have a home only in their mind. Too often the dust and the cobwebs build up there and they are afraid to shed the skin or the shell and grow and find their feelings again. They can’t bring themselves to open that door and escape into the sunshine.

Why do we stay this way? Are we happy to spend our lives in our own private Idaho or in one of the nine circles of Hell? Crom, I’m full of questions and I have no answers. BS, that’s not true. I’m full of answers, but no one ever asks me, or if they do, it’s the wrong one and they really don’t want an answer.

Do you really think the person that you pass on the street really wants to know “How are you?” No, they don’t, not any more than they want to know what you had for breakfast this morning. We go through life making the motions until they become habits.

Here’s an exercise for you. Make a list of your friends, I’ll wait.

Now look at that list and use your fingers to count those to whom you would tell your deepest, darkest secret. Use your other hand and count those who already know your deepest, darkest secret. I’ll bet you have at least two fingers left on your first hand. I’ll also bet that your other hand only has one finger outstretched at the most. If I’m wrong, you are a better person than I am, but I know who I trust and who I can talk to about anything and it makes me a better person.

I never said I was an exceptional person, not even a good one; but, I know it makes me a better person. I may be totally fubar, but I know it, my true friends know it and they accept me for who and what I am. No apologies needed or wanted - just honesty, truth and understanding. They are with you from the lowest low to the highest high, but yet they are an anchor to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.

Living is a lot harder than dying, especially these days. But living is always better than dying. We all will pass over one day and I would rather it be on my own terms than on someone else’s. Make peace with yourself, live life to its’ fullest, laugh often and love with all your heart.

I hope this little epistle gives you a new perspective on what’s going on. Let me hear what you think, I’m not going anywhere until the guys in the white coats drag me off kicking and screaming.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Interesting Titles from Harriet

Blood Wicked
Sharon Page
Kensington Aphrodisia, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758250940

In 1820 Vivienne Dare knows only one way to obtain the money pay for the medicine her child needs to stay alive. The former courtesan uses her body to bring in needed revenue. She especially services affluent males.

When she is directed to sleep with Lord Heath Winthrop, she emphatically refuses. She fears the Lord of Blackmoor will demand more than just a night and she will want to obey his desires. Instead she is ignorant of what Heath wants from her; as the vampire plans to interrogate Vivienne using seduction to obtain answers from her as to what happened to his missing brother Raine. He thinks she may have been involved or her father who made him ten years ago.

Blood Wicked is a terrific erotic Regency paranormal romance starring two individuals with similar needs and ultimately desires. Whereas she willingly would sell her soul to save her child’s life, he understands how she feels from his human days as a father whose daughter died. Character driven, Sharon Page provides another suspenseful Blood Deep historical romantic urban fantasy (see Blood Red and Blood Rose). Harriet Klausner

Enigmatic Pilot
Kris Saknussemm
Del Rey, $16.00
ISBN: 9780812974171

In 1844 in Zanesville, Ohio, clubfooted inventor Hephaestus Sitturd; his Seal islands Creole wife Rapture and their genius five year old son Lloyd receive an invitation to move to Texas. Hephaestus’s half-brother Micah claims they can make a fortune, but his message is enigmatic as he insists he cannot explain how on paper.

Although mystified by Micah’s odd note as war with Mexico seems imminent, the Sitturd family begins their odyssey across America. Lloyd a gifted inventor of oddities learns how to play poker from watching St, Ives a riverboat gambler with a mechanical hand containing a saber; they become partners. He works out the issue of humans flying and encounters robots masquerading as people after meeting the Professor and his two mute wives as ambassadors of Mars. It is Miss Viola who teaches him the ways of seduction as two ancient arcane societies continue their epochal war with one another over the future of humanity with each believing the brilliant Lloyd will be a tipping point. However it is teenage Hattie the escaped slave who teaches the lad how to love.

Starting in Zanesville but a couple of centuries earlier than Kris Saknussemm’s previous Zanesville dark futuristic thriller, preadolescent genius Lloyd holds the exhilarating but enigmatic tale together as he creates oddities and meets oddities. Lloyd learns from the masters while teaching his mentors as well. However, each time the audience feels comfortable, Kris Saknussemm throws a spitball that spins the moral code elsewhere. The author extrapolates the present values back to the nineteenth century arguing that the American dream is a nightmarish facade for most and a dream for few even as early as the Antebellum period. Harriet Klausner

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja
John Flanagan
Philomel, $17.99
ISBN: 9780399255007

In Toscana, the Aridi representatives led by Selethen negotiate a treaty with the Toscan Senate. The two nations have had wars in the past, but with wiser leaders each sees the benefit of trade and security even as they deploy different military strategies. At the same time that Will and Halt toss friendly insults at each other while watching the Toscan military perform under the leadership of General Sapristi, Alyss is part of the negotiating team.

Meanwhile their friend Horace fails to communicate with his comrades in arms as he has spent months in the Nihon-Ja Empire. However, something is not right as the popular Emperor Lord Shigeru is disposed of in a coup d’état. Knowing he should stay out of the internal squabble between those loyal to the Emperor and the Arisaka led Senji rebels, but he feels injustice has come to the eastern kingdom. Soon his worried Araluen friends (Selethen, Will, Alyss and Evanlyn) arrive in Nihon-Ja searching for him.

The latest Ranger’s Apprentice saga is a great thriller that grips the audience as all is quiet on the western front, but civil war has broken out in the east. The story line is loaded with action from the moment the story line shifts to Nihon-Ja and never slows down with heroes’ regretting they have only one life to give to their emperor. Fans will enjoy this powerful military thriller in the Flanagan realm as one person can clearly make a difference if he or she takes the risk.
Harriet Klausner

M.D. Lachlan
PYR, $16.00
ISBN: 9781616143572

King Authun leads his men on a raid of a village; but before they arrive at their destination he warns them they will all die. None are afraid as warriors prefer death in combat. The monarch’s mission is to find the royal heir to his throne as prophesied by the Queen of the witches. In a Christian church, Authun finds twin male babies. He takes the pair with him leaving behind his loyal soldiers except one to die. In the North Sea his last comrade raises his sword in combat before diving to his death as no one except the witch, the king and his wife will know the heir’s origin.

Several years later, one of the infants Prince Vali the heir lives with a rival ruler. He loves Adisla and prefers working the land rather than fighting for land. When raiders attack, Vali uses strategy to defend the village successfully though they capture Adisla. Those he saved from certain death loath Vali for using unacceptable tactics as the warrior credo insists on fighting to the death. Cerebral Vali and his feral brother Feileg raised by the Witch Queen as a warrior wolf join on a quest to rescue Adisla though neither realizes they are related. The adventures of the twins are just beginning.

Using Norse mythology, M.D. Lachlan tells a strong quest fantasy that contains two distinct yet related story lines. The first described above is a sword and sorcery thriller while the other subplot involved the intrusion of the Gods on the lives of mortals. Fast-paced and loaded with plenty of action while establishing the Lachlan world order and setting up future escapades; readers will be hooked as the twins chase after raiders to rescue Adisla. Interestingly even with long stretches without either of the polar opposite twin stars, Wolfsangel enchants the audience.
Harriet Klausner

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ebook available

15th June 2011 ***For immediate

Solaris eBook breaks into US top 100 free downloads chart!

A free eBook from SF great, Eric Brown, has broken into iTunes’ top 100 free downloads chart for America.

The Blue Portal is the short story upon which the award-winning author’s groundbreaking novel, The Kings of Eternity, is based.

More than 2,500 copies of The Blue Portal have been downloaded in the last four days alone – putting it at #73 in the US chart, above perennial “classics” such as Pride and Prejudice and The Jungle Book!

Download the .epub file from our website, or find the book on Apple’s iBookstore. If you haven’t got an e-reader, just read the book in PDF format

Brown is a major new voice in the world of science fiction, and The Kings of Eternity is his most ambitious novel to date. A major awards contender, it was released in April to widespread acclaim.

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris, said: “Eric Brown is one of the finest writers of SF in the business and The Blue Portal is a fantastic sampler of this author’s work. It’s encouraging to see it getting such a wide readership and leading new fans to the work of this remarkable author.”

1999, on the threshold of a new millennium, the novelist Daniel Langham lives a reclusive life on an idyllic Greek island, hiding away from humanity and the events of the past. All that changes, however, when he meets artist Caroline Platt and finds himself falling in love. But what is his secret, and what are the horrors that haunt him?

1935. Writers Jonathon Langham and Edward Vaughan are summoned from London by their editor friend Jasper Carnegie to help investigate strange goings on in Hopton Wood. What they discover there - no less than a strange creature from another world - will change their lives forever. What they become, and their link to the novelist of the future, is the subject of Eric Brown’s most ambitious novel to date. Almost ten years in the writing, The Kings of Eternity is a novel of vast scope and depth, full of the staple tropes of the genre and yet imbued with humanity and characters you’ll come to love.

The Kings of Eternity
UK ISBN: 978-1-907519-71-0
US ISBN: 978-1-907519-70-3

About the Author

Eric Brown is the award-winning author of a huge number of SF novels, children’s books, radio plays, articles and reviews, including Helix, The Bengal Station Trilogy, The New York Trilogy, Kéthani, Engineman, Guardians of the Phoenix and The Fall of Tartarus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Desdaemona Press Release

Desdaemona by Ben Macallan


£7.99 (UK), ISBN 978-1-907519-62-8
$7.99/$9.99 (US & CAN), ISBN 978-1-907519-63-5

Also Available as an eBook

New town. New girl. New job. That’s good, right?

Not really. Not when the girl can pretty much tear a vampire in two and the job is trying to find her kid sister, who’s in trouble with creatures even worse than the ones that have been trying to find you for how-many-years-has-it-been?!

In Ben Macallan’s terrifying, sexy, sinister urban fantasy debut, Jordan may look like a teenager but he treads the line between mundane reality and the supernatural in a world where vampires don’t glitter and runaways don’t just disappear – they’re hunted.

Macallan is not only a pseudonym of award-winning crime and thriller writer Chaz Brenchley, but has also appeared as a character in his books, Dead of Light and Light Errant. Brenchley has now let Macallan out to speak for himself in Desdaemona, a whole new kind of urban fiction. Dynamic and emotionally charged, Desdaemona will delight fans of Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker.

“One of the most innovative and sophisticated writers of horror fiction.”
– Tangled Web Books

About the Author

Ben Macallan is the boy your mother warned you about, the one with the motorbike and the cool clothes and the dangerous superpowers. He shoots round corners without looking, can put on his socks without bending and finds new planets as a Sunday afternoon hobby. He may be watching you, but you’ll never know.

More Urban Fantasy

Moon Cursed
Lori Handeland
St. Martin’s, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312389352

With the cancellation of her TV show the Hoax Hunters, Kristin Daniels knows she will need a miracle to revitalize her career. Not one to idly sit around waiting for divine intervention, Kristin believes proving a legendary monster is a fake is the ticket back to the small screen. She chooses the Loch Ness monster as her target.

Kristin arrives in Drumnadrochit, Scotland to begin her hoax busting. However, she finds the corpse of a drowned female who some locals insist was murdered by Nessie. At the ruins of Urquhart Castle, Kristin and Liam Grant meet and are attracted to one another though she feels he conceals something dark from her. Meanwhile, Edward Mandenauer offers her a lot of money to assist him on his obsessive quest to find Nessie.

The tenth “Moon” Nightcreature urban romantic fantasy takes a terrific twist as the village of Drumnadrochit seems cursed by Nessie. In the gloomy dark atmosphere, the Hoax Hunter sets out to prove the killer is human, not mythical. The predator (Nessie or human), Liam and Edward form the rest of the Moon Cursed inquiry into whom or what is the psychopathic serial killer (can Nessie be a psychopath?). Fans will Crave the Moon saga as Lori Handeland provides a great entry in a strong series. Harriet Klausner

Katherine Irons
Kensington Brava,$14.00
ISBN: 9780758261403

Thirtyish and a former Olympic team rider, Claire Bishop recently inherited Seaborne, an estate in Maine. Over the objections of her caring father Richard and her odious former husband Justin, she has decided to stay at Seaborne by herself. Since she suffered an injury in a boating accident, Claire has been wheelchair bound. Her dad fears for her safety; and her ex has other schemes in mind.

Off of Coastal Maine, Atlantean Prince Morgan senses Claire’s anguish. He comes out of the ocean and takes Claire with him into the sea where he escorts her around his undersea world and like magic her useless legs work perfectly. However, Morgan has broken the strict Atlantean legal code by mingling with the humans as his half-brother Caddoc witnessed and demands legal action. As they fall in taboo love, adversaries from each of their worlds want the star-crossed couple separated and death is the best means to achieve this objective.

This is a delightful oceanic fantasy as Katherine Irons makes the underwater realm of the Atlanteans seem real from the moment the blue man-dolphin rescues a human child and never slows down until the surprising brilliant final tidal wave. Although their two respective prime enemies have no redeeming qualities, readers will root for the lead couple as Ms. Irons provides a wonderful under the sea tour.
Harriet Klausner

Con and Conjure
Lisa Shearin
Ace, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441020188

Raine Benares has always been the black sheep of her family as the seeker of the lost while her blood relatives are thieves; in fact her kin are the most infamous criminal clan in the seven kingdoms. However, Raine turns to her family for help after she and the Saghred soul-stealing stone bond; not to de-link them but to help her pull off a necessary con to end the stalking by elves and goblins who want the power of the rock.

The King of the Goblins Sathik Mal’Salin and the darkest mage Sarad Nukpana each plans to use the Saghred for personnel gain at the cost of the kingdoms. The elven leaders Taltek Balmorlan and Magus Carnades Silvanus send her former fiancé Rache Kai the elven assassin to hunt her down as her powerful enemies have no monetary problems. With her allies Mychael and Tam and her con artist family, Raine sets in motion a diabolical counter scheme.

The fifth Benares fantasy is a terrific tale that moves forward the overarching saga theme of the apocalypse soon seemingly a certainty. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action while the wise cracking heroine learns the depth of her power at the same time eluding a horde of foes who want to use her to use the stone. Series fans will enjoy the latest entry (see Bewitched and Betrayed and The Trouble With Demons) as Con and Conjure is a sly family affair stone included.
Harriet Klausner

In the Arms of Stone Angels
Jordan Dane
Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210299

In Shawano, Oklahoma when Brenna Nash was fourteen years old, she came upon her best friend Isaac (White Bird) Henry rocking over the corpse of Heather Madsen in his hands and mumbling insanely. She called 911. Fearing retaliation from the townsfolk for her daughter doing the responsible thing, Mom takes Brenna with her as she moves to North Carolina leaving behind their family.

Two years later, Brenna’s maternal grandmother dies. Mom accompanied by a reluctant Brenna returns home to fix up the house in order to sell it. Unable to ignore White Bird, Brenna learns he is in a catatonic state in an asylum. Although she believes her Brenna was involved in the Madsen murder, Mom proves right about the town; Sheriff Logan also thinks Brenna was involved in the homicide and teens vandalize their home. However, though warned to stay away from White Bird, Brenna somehow communicates with him when she touches him at the mental hospital. The horror she “sees’ is the hell he resides in filled with demons and worse. Her only recourse is to turn to Joe “Spirit Walker” Sunne who does not trust her.

In the Arms of Stone Angels
is an engaging teen rural fantasy starring a strong cast who evolve as events happen, especially the young lead. Brenna at first is overwhelmingly filled with remorse for turning in her BFF, but knows she did the right thing though her emotional regret supersedes her defense mechanism logic. Although too many threads are left unanswered, readers will enjoy a stop at “A Town Without Pity” (Gene Pitney) as Native American mythos blends with a whodunit in Jordan Dane’s entertaining tale. Harriet Klausner

Monday, June 13, 2011

Three Urban Fantasies

Magic on the Hunt
Devon Monk
Roc, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451463913

Having done the impossible when they escaped death’s realm through the gate (see Magic at the Gate) lovers Allie Beckstrom and Zayvion Jones desperately need some R&R. However, being back in Portland does not denote safe recuperation. Instead Authority leader Sedra’s top assistant Dane Lanister arrives with weapons aimed to kill.

He threatens killing Jones and tearing Allie apart limb by limb until she informs him where Jingo Jingo took the kidnapped Sedra as he believes her father’s consciousness inside of Allie’s brain will know. At the same time, Dane threatens torture and death, magic practitioner Leander escaped from death’s realm, but needs a body to host his essence and believes he has found one in a prisoner locked in the Authority’s jail. No time for the weary as Beckstrom and Jones must find Sedra and prevent Leander from causing hell to come to Portland.

The sixth Magic urban fantasy is a superb tale that has the heroic duet running around trying to prevent two disasters from occurring. Without Sedra, the Authority Council will not just fall apart, but will fight for control. Leander poses a different but as dire a threat at a time when the Council is internally headless. Readers will enjoy trekking the streets of Portland with Beckstrom and Jones who believe they must have brought a bit of death back with them. Harriet Klausner

Shady Lady
Ann Aguirre
Roc, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451463258

Corine Solomon has the parapsychological skill of touching an object and learning its past. Following the Kilmer, Georgia visit home fiasco (See Hell Fire), Corine is euphoric to be back at her pawnshop in Mexico. She is about to touch the salt half of a salt and pepper shaker starring Eros and Psyche respectively. However, Kel Ferguson, who seemingly can’t be killed, enters her store and tells her not to touch Eros as it is hexed. Drug lord Montoya sent her the cursed object that would have killed her if Kel Ferguson had not intervened.

Corine knows that once again she owes her life to God’s Hand as this warrior, who believes if the Lord had given him the assignment he would have prevented the Holocaust, explains he is to protect her but must not interfere with free will. Corine wonders how much celestial debt she owes between Kel and Maury the demon who saved her soul. Kel explains Montoya is coming for her with everything in his arsenal, which includes warlocks and voodoo practitioners while she and the three males (Kel, Chance and Jesse) in her life must fight back to keep her loved ones safe.

The latest Solomon urban fantasy (See Blue Diablo) is a fabulous action-packed thriller that hooks grateful (except for the lack of sleep) sub-genre fans from the moment Kel rushes into Corine’s store and never slows down until the final confrontation with the Montoya mob of hit men and magical mobsters. Fast-paced, readers will fully enjoy Corine becoming mob enemy numero uno when all she wants is to go back to being a touchy feely proprietor. Harriet Klausner

Jeremy Robinson
Dunne, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312540302

Six months ago, Jack “King” Sigler received an urgent message from his late sister’s former fiancé George Pierce to meet him at the Siletz Reservation in Oregon. When he arrives, he finds the place in ruins with thousands dead. The one survivor of the attack thirteen year old Native American Fiona Lane has a note pinned to her shirt by Alexander Diotrephes, who the King believes is Hercules; he says he is going after the mass murderers. Sigler brings together the rest of the Chess Team (Queen, Rook, Bishop and Knight) to help him protect Fiona and to learn why the deadly assault happened and who is behind it.

In the present in family court, Sigler swears he will be a good parent to Fiona as the judge names him her foster father. However, as more people who speak dying ancient languages are systematically massacred, the Chess Team with President Duncan joining them must end the debacle, but struggle to learn who is behind the attacks. Instead, they face giant living granite statues, literally Neanderthals, genetic impossibilities, hydras and megaliths by someone who wants to checkmate the Chess team to prevent their intrusion. As they confront lethal enemies, none are aware of the danger from within as Fiona is kidnapped at Fort Bragg; fearing the Judge most of all, King and crew attempt a rescue.

As always the Chess Team is over the top of the stratosphere, but anyone who relishes an action urban fantasy thriller that combines science and mythology will want to join them for the exhilarating Pulse pumping ride. The story line is as always fast-paced so wear our seatbelts and set aside time as this heart thumper never slows down making it impossible to set aside as the Instinct of the audience is one sitting. Harriet Klausner

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rachel Vincent, Gini Koch, Catheryne Valente and L A Banks New Titles

My Soul To Steal
Rachel Vincent
Harlequin Teen, $9.99
ISBN: 9780373210275

While Nash suffers excoriating withdrawal pains from the Netherworld’s addicted Demon’s Breath his maybe girlfriend Kaylee feels betrayed by his actions (see My Soul To Keep). He knows she is not ready to talk while she misses him after two weeks of no Nash. However, Kaylee wants a serene spring term at school after the nightmarish previous semester that no sixteen years old girl, even a Banshee like her, should ever face.

However, their chance to reconcile their differences takes a tortuous spin towards hell when Nash’s former girlfriend Sabine the Mara transfers to their school. She has arrived with one goal: to win back her boyfriend and any means to achieve her end is acceptable. The Mara uses her skill to read fear and turn that trepidation into a nightmare. as subsistence. She turns up the fear factor to the point people especially her adversary Kaylee cannot sleep due to the nightmares that have their souls screaming for solace as increasingly their dreams are literally killing them.

The fourth Soul Screamers teenage urban fantasy (see My Soul To Save) is a fabulous complex relationship thriller as what Sabine wants Sabine gets. The fast-paced story line is driven by the relational triangulation as the female banshee struggles with her feelings made into something to fear by her vicious rival. My Soul To Steal is much more personal in nature than the powerful previous three tales. Harriet Klausner

Alien in the Family
Gini Koch
DAW, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756406684

Kitty Katt the human and Jeff Martini the Alpha Centaurian are in love and planning their wedding in Vegas. However, the human learns her hunk exiled from the nearest star has through attrition over the decades (time is relative) become the heir to the empire. Kitty who had trepidations now has Olympus Mons doubts that her résumé as an exterminator qualifies her as a future queen especially when she must pass the royal worthiness examination.

Besides the Martini royal horde invading Sin City, outer space Amazon terrorists plan to introduce the couple and their guests to the big bang theory. The CIA and the Centaurian Division are outraged by the audacity of testing Kitty. However she has one thankful thing going: whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

The third zany kill Kitty Katt science fiction tale (see Alien Tango and Touched by an Alien) is an amusing over the top of the combined miles of Animas, Hatchet and Chiricahua Peaks romantic sci-fi thriller. The jocular exciting story line is faster than the speed of light as the heroine struggles to get married while the universe seems to voice their opposition. Readers will enjoy this bizarre totally out of control yet fully entertaining adventures of a woman just wanting to marry her hunk from outer space. Harriet Klausner

Catherynne M. Valente
Tor, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765326300

The city has changed names several times over the past century, but currently is called St. Petersburg as everything goes full circle. On Gorokhovaya Street, Marya Morevna was six years old when she saw the bird turn into Lieutenant Gratch of the Tsar’s Personal Guard who came to take away her older sister Olga with him. Three years later Lieutenant Zuyok of the White Guard also changed as he came for Tatiana. Finally when Marya was twelve Lieutenant Shulan of the Red Army arrived for the third daughter Anna. Watching the birds change to men come for her older sisters leaves Marya musing over the type of bird her mate will be.

Koschei the Deathless Tsar of Life arrives for his woman, Marya. However, she must prove herself worthy as Koschei’s mate. In that regard Baba Yaga tasks Marya with three impossible assignments; failure to compete all three proves she is not the mate of the Deathless Tsar of Life. Marya begins her Herculean tasks, Marya starts to lose her humanity until she meets the innocent Ivan “The Fool” Nikolayevich, who pulls her back to Mother Russia; leaving her confused with one foot in Koschei’s realm and one in the land of her ancestors.

This is a terrific complicated retelling of a Russian folktale that uses The Revolution era as a backdrop to the saga; in fact Marya becomes a Major-General in the Red Army. Fast-paced with a strong protagonist who keeps the engaging story line focused; readers will appreciate this intriguing look at Bolshevik Russia through a fantasy lens. Harriet Klausner

Surrender the Dark
L.A. Banks
Pocket, $7.99
ISBN: 9781451607789

Besides being a chain smoker Celeste Jackson is a chain drinker and a constant abuse victim. However, in her mind, she believes she deserves punishment as she suffers from schizophrenia. Her mental illness culminates when her abusive boyfriend Brandon threatens to kill her and Celeste sees a demon residing inside him that he commands to leave; as the horned figure flees the human host, Brandon crumbles in death.

Fleeing for her life, Celeste does what she always does when she hallucinates; she stops at a bar for a drink or ten and a pack of Newports. Her thoughts are she has to get out of this place as Philly is not a safe haven for her. Azrael the Angel who left the Light to protect Celeste meets her at the bar. She thinks he is crazier than she is, which says a lot as he explains who she is and why opposing sides recognize she is critical in the war over humanity. She feels safe with him and he tries to obtain her trust. Celeste must serve as a rallying cry to gather her hybrid angelic-human peers the Remnant and other sensitive receptors to stop the evil dark from continuing their rule over humanity. However, Azrael’s attraction to his ward could cost him his wings and mankind their last chance for salvation; only Celeste’s addictions may prevent his obsession leaving him wingless forever.

This is a terrific urban fantasy with a throwback feel to when authors used the genre to spotlight social issues. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Celeste orders the demon out of Brandon and never slows down even while L.A. Banks looks deeply at what ails the country. Readers will appreciate the battle for humanity between angels and demons as a schizophrenic addict serves as the pivotal essence in a war for eternity. Harriet Klausner

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Den of Thieves and Lure of the Wicked Press Release

DEN OF THIEVES: The Ancient Blades Trilogy: Book One (Harper Voyager Mass Market Original, July 27, 2011) by David Chandler. DEN OF THIEVES is an astounding, extremely commercial and equally gritty new fantasy series of thieves and cutpurses, intrigue, knights and demons, in the bestselling vein of Brent Weeks and Scott Lynch.

Malden is born and raised in the slums, a cutpurse and thief whose one bad mistake indentures him to the cut-throat, deadly thieves guild. Croy is a knight, born to honor and nobility and the sacred charge of bearing an Ancient Blade. Cythera, the witch, holds a dark secret and powerful, forbidden magic that can kill with a kiss. A desperate choice to steal a crown will change Malden’s entire life, intertwine the lives of thief, knight and witch, and bring Malden to a destiny he could never imagine.

Author Bio

David Chandler was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1971. He attended Penn State and received there an MFA in creative writing. He works as an archivist for the United Nations in New York City. In his alter-ego as David Wellington, he writes critically-acclaimed and popular horror novels, and was one of the co-authors of the New York Times bestseller Marvel Zombies Return.

Karina Cooper’s second paranormal romance, LURE OF THE WICKED will be on-sale 6/28/11. It is an outstanding follow up to the highly buzzed about first in series, BLOOD OF THE WICKED.

Plucked from the no-frills interior of a stark jail cell, witch hunter Naomi West has been buffed, polished, and shined to topside perfection. Bitterly resentful, she is imprisoned within the city’s premier spa and resort and forced to pass as one of the topside elite to hunt down an agent gone rogue. The plan is simple: kill him, before the gilded cage she hates so much gets to her first.

Phinneas Clarke has put heart and soul into the spa, turning his family’s secrets and dreams into a successful business that hides the operation he runs behind the scenes. When the beautifully untouchable Naomi checks in, everything starts to unravel, and he must choose between protecting his investment, his family, or a woman too damaged to be any good for his heart.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Supernaturals, Galactic Adventure, Wizards, Elves, Werewolves and more

Home Made Haunting
Rob Stennett
Zondervan, $14.99
ISBN: 9780310321927

After years of teaching high school English, Charlie Walker, with his wife Rachel’s consent, quits. They sell their house in Boulder and accompanied by their kids move into a run down rental in Castle Rock. Charlie plans to write a horror novel. His first few chapters come quickly, but the next few fail to gel.

He realizes that like a method actor, he needs to feel first hand his subject that he knows nothing about. An atheist when it comes to the paranormal, Charlie buys an Ouija board not expecting anything to occur. Thus he is shocked when it works as he writes the next few passages. When Charlie hits another wall, he turns to the board again. He soon sees writings on the mirror in his bathroom. When he shouts out asking if anyone else is here, Rachel is thrilled to be living in a haunted house and delves onto the supernatural more deeply. He tries to stop, but the Dark has come and taken over his family. With a guardian angel at his back and a demon at his soul, the war between heaven and hell has brought the latest combat to a run down rental in Castle Rock.

The engaging story line switches in tone from humorous to poignant to frightening as immortal combat has come to disbelieving Charlie who never forgave God for ignoring his prayers to save his mom. It is only when he realizes that evil has attacked his loved ones, like soldiers in a foxhole, he turns to the Lord asking for a saving miracle for those he cherishes above his own soul. Rob Stennett provides a powerful inspirational thriller as heaven and hell fight over battlefield Homo sapiens. Harriet Klausner

To The Galactic Rim
Bertram Chandler
Baen, $12.00
ISBN: 978-1439134214

The Road to the Rim. Recently graduated Federation Junior Lieutenant John Grimes begins his career amidst the Rim Worlds. He plans to follow orders so he can advance. However, John learns the best laid plans of mice and Grimes often go astray when a beautiful damsel in distress is involved while he is directed to ignore the Waldegrenese Navy piracy.

To Prime the Pump. On El Dorado, men have become infertile though the reason is unknown. The women demand action, preferably of a sexual encounter. The Space Cruiser Ares arrives to provide humanitarian aid to this race that has gone from near immortality to near extinction. With Lieutenant Grimes and his horny naval mates on a mercy mission all is not lost.

The Hard Way Up. These seven short stories ("With Good Intentions", "The Subtracter", "The Tin Messiah", "The Sleeping Beauty", "The Wandering Buoy", "The Mountain Movers" and "What You Know") continue the maturing of John Grimes. The hero matures as he ignores orders from a distant bureaucrat who has no idea how to survive and complete the appropriate mission on the Galactic Rim.

The Broken Cycle. Grimes and police officer Una Freeman are lost in space. He is unconcerned as she is pretty; but she is frantic as she has a job to perform. Both are surprised to meet an essence claiming to be God and insisting the couple populate the Garden of Eden. Though he wants some R&R with Freeman, he is unprepared to battle serpents in a convoluted and complicated universe.

These are entertaining reprints of three novels and seven short stories from the 1960s and 1970s. Though aptly labeled as a Captain Horatio Hornblower sailing the Galactic Rim, Grimes is also a swashbuckling James Bond in space. Harriet Klausner

The Unremembered
Peter Orullian
Tor, $27.99
ISBN 9780765325716

In the Hollows, an Order of Sheason wizard and a beautiful elven Far order two orphans (Tahn, and his sister Wendra) and their friend (Sutter) to undergo a dangerous quest. Than is the key, but his sibling and his buddy are needed to protect his back if he to succeed on the dangerous impossible mission. None of the trio understands why they were chosen as they have no skills or experience and never been outside the Hallows. Although each doubts their worthiness they set forth on their mission.

They have hardly begun when a malevolent god sends his evil horde to kill them. Surprising themselves, Tahn, Wendra and Sutter survive assault after assault from the odious minion. At the same time an invasion adds to the chaos.

This is an entertaining coming of age quest fantasy starring a strong young trio. Although the story line is exciting, it comes across somewhat as standard sub-genre fare. However, what makes the plot brisk and fun is the changing relationships between the heroic threesome. Fans who relish an enjoyable epic adventure will want to join Tahn and his cohorts as they fight overwhelming evil in the first Vault of Heaven thriller. Harriet Klausner

Taste Me
Tamara Hogan
Sourcebooks, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402246012

At the Subterranean Club for werewolves, a homicide occurred. Sabastiani Security Lukas Sabastiani the Incubus is very concerned as changes to the ruling Council is happening and homicides could derail the presenting of other species to the humans. Making it worse, the victim is Were Andi Woolf, daughter of the Council’s biggest opposition to coming out to humanity, Krispin Woolf. However, Andi still lives barely.

Meanwhile rock star Scarlett Fontaine the Siren is worn out from an extended tour with her band. However, the assault on Andi and other deadly attacks on the band and those associated with the band places her at risk; especially as the daughter of a Council member Claudette. Lukas is assigned to protect Scarlett, the female he knows owns his soul; she feels the same way about him. Neither realizes who the serpent is destroying their Eden.

This is an exciting and spellbinding second chance at paranormal love urban fantasy. Readers will believe that the other species exist as sirens, incubus, weres and oh! my! seem genuine. Although the set up of the Hogan universe starts a bit slow, sub-genre fans will enjoy clubbing with Scarlett and Sebastian while wondering who the psychopath is and the motives for the killings and the attempted murders. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

$0.99 Steampunk Sampler

Three slices of steampunk for just $0.99

Pax Britannia short story collection becomes Abaddon’s first 99 cent eBook
Abaddon is delighted to announce the release of its first 99 cent eBook – the Ulysses Quicksilver Short Story Collection.

Now available to download for 99 cents through Kindle (69p) and iTunes (49p), fans of Boy’s Own adventure and insane steampunk shenanigans will love this thrilling collection of short stories following the dandy, detective and adventurer Ulysses Quicksilver – the perfect introduction to the acclaimed steampunk world of Pax Britannia.

In Fruiting Bodies a gruesome death leads Ulysses and his manservant Nimrod to the glasshouses of Kew, bringing them face to face with the horrors lurking within. A Hallowe’en séance leads our intrepid duo into a close encounter with the world beyond in Vanishing Point, while in White Rabbit Ulysses journeys into a world of madness and murder, meeting some sinisterly familiar characters along the way.

All titles in the Pax Britannia series are available as eBooks – part of Abaddon’s mission to bring the best of genre fiction to fans in new and exciting formats.

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon Books, said:
“Abaddon is committed to bringing the best genre fiction to the widest audience possible and it’s a great delight to be able to present these stories in this format at such an attractive price.”

About the Series

Pax Britannia was Abaddon’s fourth shared world, launching with Jonathan Green’s Unnatural History in February 2007. A steampunk alternative history set in a late twentieth century in which Queen Victoria – now nearing the end of her sixteenth decade on the throne, and wholly dependent on steam technology for survival – rules over the vastly wealthy, powerful and decadent Empire of Magna Britannia. Airships ply the skies overhead as gentlemen of leisure admire the dinosaurs in London Zoo, while the Empire has extended to the Moon. Across the pond, the United Socialist States of America, loosely allied with the might of Magna Britannia, is home to dreamers, poets, madmen, and heroes, poised to usher in a new era.

The series has included seven books by Jonathan Green, featuring the adventures of Ulysses Lucian Quicksilver, dandy and adventurer and agent of the throne; an omnibus collecting the first three is currently available.

About the Author

Jonathan Green is well known for his contribution to the Fighting Fantasy range of adventure gamebooks as well as his novels in Games Workshop’s world of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. The creator of the world of Pax Britannia, Anno Frankenstein is his seventh novel for Abaddon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Bones of Christ, a Headless Corpse, Shapeshifteres, and a Psychic

The Pope's Assassin
Luis M. Rocha
Putnam, Mar 31 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399156885

Like all the Popes before him in the past half a center, Pope Benedict XVI is given a top secret document to read. As the Pope reads, he becomes ill with worry. Five decades ago, Israeli archeologist Ben Isaac and the Status Quo team found the Dead Sea Scrolls, which included the Gospel of Jesus that if revealed would devastate the flock. Twice, twenty-five year agreements have been signed, but this year a third pact has not been renewed as rumors fly that the Scrolls are a hoax to conceal the truth.

Jesuits kidnap the son of Ben to demand he hand over the gospel and the bones of Jesus to them. At the same time, someone is assassinating the survivors of the Status Quo. London-based reporter Sarah Monteiro gets caught in the middle of a Christian power grab. Her beloved Vatican secret agent Father Rafael Santini is unsure where she fits in, but tries to keep her safe.

Loaded with action and an impressive body count (Hell is a growth industry), die hard fans of the Da Vinci Code will enjoy this derivative. The story line is fast-paced, but is too much a copy cat of the Brownian saga though much more graphic as if The Andalusian Dog (of Dali-Brunel) met Dan Brown. Still this is an exhilarating action-packed thriller as Sarah and Father Rafael are caught in the middle of a potential shattering hoax. Harriet Klausner

Heads You Lose
Lisa Lutz and David Heywood
Putnam, Apr 5 2011, $24.95
ISBN: 9780399157400

In California, Paul and Lacey Hansen are twentyish brother and sister whose parents are dead. The orphaned siblings grow pot to sell in order to earn some money.

However, their smoke hazed world is shook when they find a headless corpse in their land. The headless body places the siblings at odds with each other; a normal occurrence. The only thing they agree to is they cannot call the cops as they will be busted for growing weed. They relocate the corpse, but a few days later the headless body returns albeit a lot smellier. The pair decides after haggling to investigate who killed the person without a head and why their dump of a property is a dumping ground.

With a nod to the Spellman family chronicles and to Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry, Lisa Lutz and David Heywood collaborate (in the blind) on a jocular crime caper starring two siblings who humorously battle one another over who should do what. Simply put when it comes to pot or not, readers know what the Hansen duet choose without a flip of the coin. The Spellman crowd and any one who relishes a zany over the top crime thriller will appreciate the insanity of Paul and Lacey, the poster kids for keeping pot illegal. Harriet Klausner

Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 22 2011, $17.99
ISBN: 9780312599065

New Orleans high school student Nick Gautier has not had an easy laid-back life as he and his mom live in abject poverty while his father resides in prison convicted of murder. He attends a private school, but has no friends as he fails to fit in with the affluent social scene.

Until yesterday Nick assumed he was a normal disenchanted teenage outcast. His perspective was devastated when he learned that the supernatural exist. His boss is a Dark Hunter and near the place where his mom strips, shapeshifters surrounded him. Nick has powers though in the embryonic stage, but two sides want him, dead or alive. The Meloch, his Uncle Ambrose guides him to make the right choice. Nick fears what his Uncle Ambrose teaches him in the use of his powers. The demon Caleb and the Chthonian Xenon are Nick’s guardians who try to steer him to make the right choices. Xenon, known as Kody helps Nick try to stop a demon from slaughtering people. Now if they somehow survive he hopes she will be his girlfriend, but then again he hopes not.

The latest Chronicles of Nick in his teenage urban fantasy (see Infinity) is a creative intriguing off shoot of the Dark Hunter Saga similar in concept to the F, Paul Wilson’s Young repairman Jack series. Nick is a good soul, but the dark powers want to turn him to manipulate him to assault humanity. While unanswered questions remain, fans will want to know how his destiny plays out especially if this freshman finally get a girl who is not trying to kill him? With an action-packed story line, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s fans of all ages will enjoy Nick’s efforts to survive high school and a world turned paranormally upside down. Harriet Klausner

Hide And Seek
Allie Harrison
ImaJinn, Feb 4 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9781933417493

Ten years old, Tess Fairmont tells her mama she needs to say goodbye to her beloved Grandmama who died suddenly. Tess reaches into the casket to hold Grandmama’s hand one last time, but sees something horrible: her Uncle John suffocating Grandmama with a pillow to obtain her money. Shaken, Tess witnessed first hand the violent crime.

Although her psychic skill feels more like a curse than a gift, over the next eighteen years Tess uses it to help solve homicide cases. Chicago PD Detective Jake Williams meets Tess at the morgue where she loathes touching the dead but loves knowing Dr. Michael Adams is there. Tess dreams of Michael kissing her and he muses over what she would see if she touched a live person falling in love with her. Tess touches the twenty-something tortured victim and sees five females in the room with Raymond whose face fails to come in clearly as the deceased never looked at him in her final moments. However, this time for Tess is different as she feels the actual pain. Turning to the pathologist for comfort while trying to cling to her façade of No Fear, Tess knows Raymond will continue to kill.

Hide And Seek is an enjoyable paranormal police procedural with a supporting romantic subplot. The key to this entertaining serial killer urban fantasy is that Tess’s psychic ability seems real as a critical element in to the deadly game of Hide And Seek. Michael is supportive and protective of her while he and Jake never call a body “it” as each knows someone probably cares for the late human being, but even if no one did the victim deserves respect. Allie Harrison writes a compassionate psychic mystery. Harriet Klausner

Monday, June 6, 2011

Little Known Facts about the Vietnam Wall

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized.

It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968),

then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975.

Thus the war's beginning and end meet.

The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956.

His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

The largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old

3,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnan.

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers on the Wall attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.
I wonder why so many from one school.

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation.

There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam.

In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

That's 2,415 dead in a single month.