Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vampire Instinct, The Surrender of Lady Jane and The Nightmare Thief

Vampire Instinct
Joey W. Hill
Heat, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425241264

In 1954 Elisa loves Willis as both are volunteer blood sources for vampires until Victor killed the latter and bit the former. Elisa’s mistress Lady Daniela directs her to escort the eight feral new vampires changed by the previous dead master but she finds them wildly out of control. Instead of an execution as normally done Elisa will escort them to Malachi who owes Lady Danny a favor. However one kills herself in a blood frenzy and Lady Danny kills another.

Native American vampire Malachi reluctantly mentors the remaining six wild cats who he believes should have been executed. He struggles to train the wild pups to control their urges but also helps Elisa heal from her attack. To his shock, she gets the mystic to open up his soul to her.

This is a great urban fantasy romance as the cast is fully developed and the poignant story line filled with plenty of action including erotic scenes that enhance the relationships. Readers will relish the trysts, but also wonder who if any of the six pups will survive the grueling transformation. Joey W. Hill writes a super angst-laden Vampire Queen thriller (see The Vampire Queen’s Servant). Harriet Klausner

The Surrender of Lady Jane
Marissa Day
Heat, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425241257

Hundreds of years ago, the faery Queen Tatiana rescued injured sailor Thomas Lynne. She made him a knight in her court and occasional lover. Her magic keeps him young and alive so he does whatever she asks of him.

Tatiana orders him to seduce Jane, an innocent human attendant to the pregnant Duchess of Kent. His actions will enable her and the fae to enter Kensington Palace where Tatiana plans to kidnap the infant when she is born. That baby is prophesized to become the Queen of England who will lead the mortals in defeating the fae for eternity. Thomas looks forward to his assignment until he falls in love with Lady Jane. If he betrays his queen, he literally will die; if he betrays his beloved, he will die of a broken heart anyway.

The Surrender of Lady Jane is an engaging paranormal historical romantic fantasy starring a wonderful heroine and a divided lead male. The story line is anchored nicely in time and place with references to real persona, which in turn insures the fae become a real threat to the court of England. Although a deeper look into Thomas’ past especially his ties to Tatiana would have explained his motives and doubts about where his loyalty lies, fans will enjoy this entertaining tale. Harriet Klausner

The Nightmare Thief
Meg Gardiner
Dutton, $25.95
ISBN: 9780525952213

In San Francisco reporter Evan Delaney (see Kill Chain) investigates the death of attorney Phelps Wylie as he finds some odd phenomena starting with the corpse found in the Sierras,. Needing help, Evan contacts forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett (see The Dirty Secrets Club) for help. Jo Informs Evan she will perform a psychological autopsy. She begins her analysis and she and her boyfriend Gabe Quintana visit the mine for further information.

In San Francisco, twenty-one years old Autumn Reiniger’s father gives her a birthday present of playing an Edge Adventures urban reality game. However, a different group abducts Autumn and her friends, demanding her father CEO of Reiniger Capital hedge fund pay twenty-million in ransom money for their safe return. Gabe and Jo collide with the kidnappers and their six spoiled offspring of wealth.

The first collaboration between the leads of Meg Gardiner’s two series is a terrific thriller though neither Delaney nor Beckett is the prime players. Instead spoiled overly indulged Autumn with her need to connect anyway she can with her distant dad is the star. Readers will enjoy this strong rescue mission attempt as even the affluent have emotional issues though it is difficult to feel much sympathy towards the six as money may not buy happiness but it eliminates the economic detractors that the impoverish face; which make happiness that much harder to obtain. Harriet Klausner

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rule 34, Heaven's Shadow and Autumn: Purification reviwed

Rule 34
Charles Stross
Ace, $25.95
ISBN: 9780441020348

In 2023, the police conduct 24/7 surveillance of the Internet as a crime prevention method in order to capture illegal porn peddlers. Edinburgh PD Detective Investigator Liz Kavanaugh heads the Rule 34 Crime Investigation Unit that monitors the Net for illegal activity usually extreme porn although she loathes her position.

Three similar homicides occur around the world. Because each is tied to BDSM and drugs, Kavanaugh leads the inquiry into the Scottish murder of dealer Michael Blair. To the DI, this is the case that will revise her dying career. However, her investigation seems to get increasingly murkier as she and her team discovers strange seemingly unrelated clues to the murder that ties to the felonious Toymaker and others with official protection as well as her former lover.

A few years have passed since the events of the Halting State, but if anything the Stross world has grown darker with a deeper nod to Huxley’s 1984. Vividly bleak while extrapolating the philosophy of those who want small government with a Big Brother “patriotic” morality oversight, the story line focuses on society monitoring and censoring the internet. The second case viewpoint adds to that sense of detachment and grimness but the key to this exciting unique police procedural is the enforcement of Rule 34 makes or breaks careers. Harriet Klausner

Heaven's Shadow
David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt
Ace, $25.96
ISBN: 9780441020331

Three years ago, the hundred miles wide object was spotted in the Solar System on a course to the sun. As the planetoid comes closer to its journey’s end, America and a combine of Russia, India and Brazil send a rival manned spacecraft to land on the projectile.

Instead of a rock or gases as expected, the object is an ancient space ship. As the astronauts search the vessel, their entrance turns on machines that have been dormant for eons. Even more eerie is the dead come to life as the earthlings struggle to survive increasingly lethal environs while trying to learn the purpose of the ship and its sentient passengers. On earth NASA officials stay in touch with the crew but grandstanding politicians do what they always do when it comes to effective governing by agencies; they interfere for personal gain.

Heaven's Shadow
is a faster than the speed of light science fiction that targets readers who prefer action to the nth degree. None of the cast is fully developed, but fans who relish an outer space potentially disaster thriller along the lines of movies like Armageddon will appreciate this exciting tale of first contact. Harriet Klausner

Autumn: Purification
David Moody
Dunne, Aug 16 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780312569990

It took under 24 hours for the germ or whatever it was to kill 99% of the world population. However, those who died did not stay dead but arose to move around aimlessly. The only time they stopped meandering was when they found human who were immune to the disease. People banded together in communities as a means of staying alive because isolation meant vicious death dealt by these undead. One pocket found an underground lab in a bunker in as their haven. Hiding is the only way to prevent these creatures from decimating what is left of mankind.

The British army keeps the living separated just in case any are contagion carriers like a Typhoid Mary. The undead are unable to reach humans in the facility until thousands arrive blocking the air ducts leading from the outside. Those trying to fix the problem fail as the corpses overrun the facility forcing the survivors to flee. They meet Richard, a helicopter pilot, who flies them to an airfield where they take shelter. On the isolated Island of Cormansey, the survivors kill the undead making the place habitable. The cadavers know people are in the airfield building and there is no way to fly to the island.

The undead are killers tearing apart live flesh, but are not cannibalistic zombies. Each character has a story to tell in the naked city that has become London, but the poignant tale is that of Michael and Emma who met and fell in love after the apocalypse destroyed civilization as we know it. The story line is fast-paced as the undead keep on coming while humans try to remain a step (make that a kilometer) ahead of them. Fans will enjoy David Moody’s third the Autumn mankind horror thriller (see Autumn and Autumn the City) as those undead survivors are beginning to learn how to use their senses. Harriet Klausner

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crystal Lyrics by Stevie Nicks

I've been hearing this song a lot lately and I don't know if it means anything or not but I'm reminded of the Soulsmith series by the late Tom Dietz wherein the main character received his daily guidance by the first three songs he heard every day.

Crystal by Stevie Nicks

Do you always trust your first initial feeling
Special knowledge holds truth bears believing
I turned around
And the water was closing all around
Like a glove
Like the love that had finally, finally found me
Then I knew
In the crystalline knowledge of you
Drove me thru the mountains
Thru the crystal-like clear water fountain
Drove me like a magnet
To the sea

How the faces of love have changed turning the pages
And I have changed oh, but you...you remain ageless
I turned around
And the water was closing all around
Like a glove
Like the love that had finally, finally found me
Then I knew
In the crystalline knowledge of you
Drove me thru the mountains
Thru the crystal-like clear water fountain
Drove me like a magnet
To the sea

Copyright Welch Witch Music

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Reviews of Spectre and Deadline

Philippa Ballantine
Ace, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441020515

In the land of Vermillion, the beings of the Otherworld are separated from the mortal realm by a barrier; the Order of Deacons insure the two groups remain apart. They are tasked with sending the geists back to the Otherworld.and Deacons Sorcha Faris and Merrick Chambers are investigating rumors of malevolent ghosts after the dangers they faced in their last mission as a punishment to not work independently of the Order. When the pair are given the chance to escort the Chioman delegation home to discuss the Emperor’s marital negotiations they eagely accept the chance to get away from make work.

Sorcha is ecstatic to reach the Hive city of Orithal because that is where her lover the Young Pretender Raed resides. He carries within him a geistlord so much of the time he is in the water where the parasite is relatively helpless. The people of Orithel are afraid due to a series of ghastly deaths. They need the talents of Sorcha, Merrick and Raed to investigate and catch the killer. The trio finds themselves in the middle of a war between the geistlord and the Goddess Hatipi who the Emperor's sister Zofiya summoned. However to catch a killer means dealing with the Otherworld and a Goddess.

The opening act in Philippa Ballantine’s Book of the Order (see Geist) is a great fantasy, but the second tale is even better. The three protagonists have bonded; this link embellishes their powers and enables them to deal with (and hopefully survive) the geists and Otherworld. Raed is the most sympathetic of the trio because he fears 24/7 that the geistmaster inside of him will overcome his sense of being and identity. Spectyr is a fantastic fantasy due to the unique relationships between individuals, species and worlds.Harriet Klausner

Mira Grant
Orbit, $9.99
ISBN: 97803916081061

In 2032 Georgia Mason became infected with the zombie Kellis-Amberlee virus (see Feed) that has run wild for decades. Humans have survived by following specific safety guidelines like extremely tiny windows in which a gnat would not find easy egress. However with all they did, the co-blogger of Postcards from the Wall caught the disease due to CDC infecting her and is now dead. Though almost a decade later, her blogging bother Shaun believes he might as well be too though what keeps him alive is talking inside his head to his dead sister; which he knows makes him certifiable even in a land filled with zombies.

CDC Dr. Kelly Connolly visits Mason. He muses the last time they met was when she delivered his sister’s ashes to him and the time before that was when the siblings were accused of amplification. George tells him to ignore history and talk with her. Kelly wants his blogging crew to investigate a new development in the Kellis-Amberlee; research as scientists are dying at an alarming rate. She faked her death to get to him and his news crew. As George orders him to lead the inquiry, Mason thinks his sister is unfair as he just wants the cause of death for CDC being Shaun Mason.

The second futuristic Newsflash Mason Zombie thriller is a fabulous suspense tale that grips the audience even before the prime story line begins. Aptly titled, Deadline contains a super twisting plot and a strong cast including the late Georgia. Readers will enjoy this dark biting thriller as readers wonder what the truth is when the media and the agencies charged with protecting the public manipulate, omit and often lie. Harriet Klausner

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Vietnam War Continues

The Vietnam War was over for me over forty years ago, or so I thought. In September 1970 I left Vietnam to return home. The horrors of war were replaced by nightmares and dreams. We were called "baby killers". We were spit on and treated as criminals by those who wanted peace at any cost.

Mostly we were ignored. We were told that Agent Orange had no side effects, no health risks, and our dreams would go away. The problem is there were side effects, there were health risks, and the dreams got worse.

An unknown number of veterans have died from wounds not suffered on the battlefield, but from the illnesses caused by Agent Orange. Many others carry the mental wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and too many of us don't or won't ask for help.

I've had type 2 diabetes for over twenty years; hypertension and PTSD for longer than that; and, now I've been diagnosed with Ischemic Heart Disease. All of these are related to Agent Orange exposure. I will have more tests and a heart cath in the near future.

Hopefully with treatment, I will not become another casualty of the Vietnam War for a long time. I know the day is coming and I'm doing my best to prepare for it.

Think of all the Veterans and keep positive vibrations heading their way. If you enjoy living in a free country, thank the vet - not the politician.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Summer of Steampunk

24 August 2011

The Summer of Steampunk

Longest running steampunk series raises the heat in fortnight-long genre celebration

Break out your top hats and holster your Tesla Mark Seven blunderbuss, the Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books is here!

To mark a major new direction for the world’s longest-running series of steampunk novels, Pax Britannia, Abaddon is running two weeks of steampunk shenanigans at the new dedicated Pax Britannia Facebook page.

From free eBooks and competition giveaways to debate and word from our authors about what makes steampunk so much fun, join us for two weeks of celebration of this most charming, exciting and ever-growing line of books.

The event will culminate in a major announcement about a surprising new book which throws away the rulebook of how genre publishing works.

A must for any fan of steampunk or pulp adventure action, Pax Britannia is set in a radically different version of the late 20th Century where the age of the Victorians never ended and Queen Victoria remains alive thanks to steampunk technology.

From Jonathan Green’s swashbuckling agent of the Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver, to Al Ewing’s ultra-violent El Sombra, Pax Britannia takes steampunk adventure to a new level.

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon Books, said:
““Pax Britannia is one of the longest running steampunk adventures in publishing, and our Summer of Steampunk will bring a host of goodies bound to appeal to new and old readers of the series alike.”

About the Series

The world’s longest-running series of steampunk novels, Pax Britannia launched 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 dependent on steam technology for survival – rules over the vast, powerful and decadent Empire of Magna Britannia. Airships ply the skies as gentlemen of leisure admire dinosaurs in London Zoo, while the Empire has even extended to the Moon. 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.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lou Anders Wins Hugo

Pyr Editorial Director Wins Hugo Award

Lou Anders Recognized

Amherst, NY–Pyr, a science fiction and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books, is proud to announce a 2011 Hugo Award win by Editorial Director Lou Anders.

Anders received the trophy for “Best Editor–Long Form” at a ceremony on Aug. 20 at the Peppermill Hotel and Casino in Reno, Nevada. Jay Lake and Ken Scholes presided as masters of ceremony, with additional presenters including Renovation Guests of Honor Tim Powers, Boris Vallejo, and Ellen Asher, along with leading genre writers George R. R. Martin and Robert Silverberg.

The Hugos are international, fan-voted awards. All members of the World Science Fiction Society are eligible to vote.

This was the fifth consecutive nomination and the first win for Anders in the category.

“Words cannot express what an honor this award represents to me,” Anders said. “But what I can express is how privileged I feel to work every day with the host of brilliant authors who have made Pyr what it is.”

“Lou’s taste, vision, and stewardship have been instrumental in shaping the Pyr brand,” said Prometheus Books President Jonathan Kurtz. “We’re extremely pleased and grateful for the tremendous reception Pyr has received since its inception.”

Prometheus Books, an independent publisher of thoughtful nonfiction, launched the Pyr imprint in March 2005. Since then, it has become a brand known for books with quality both inside and out, from rich, engrossing narratives to award-winning cover art and design. Although technically an imprint, Pyr was called “one of a very few publishers I know of who have no bad books to their name” by a BiblioBuffet writer, and “one of the most exciting publishers in the business” by Black Gate magazine.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Concrete Savior, The Night Circus, The Good & the Ghastly, and Everlasting reviewed

Concrete Savior
Yvonne Navarro
Pocket, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439191972

Brynna Malak the Fallen Angel wants to go home, which in her mind is Heaven. Thus, she goes out of her way to save mortals. However, her miraculous rescue efforts prove futile because everyone she saves is brutally murdered by Lucifer’s minion who wants her to return to their side.

Brynna realizes she needs help so she turns to her human boyfriend Chicago police detective Eran Redmond though she has doubts about turning to him. She trusts no one except perhaps the Creator, but especially a male of any species; as men cannot control themselves when she, even in human garb, is near them. As Eran demonstrates restraint and a willingness to help her, they investigate who is murdering her saved ones.

The latest Dark Redemption urban fantasy (see High Born) is a terrific tale that contains much more than just Brynna’s efforts for redemption though she is the focus of the Navarro mythos filled with angels, demons, nephilim and humans (some are Quislings). The whodunit is clever and the cast powerful as fans will relish a walk on the dark side of Chicago. Harriet Klausner

The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern
Doubleday, Sep 13 2011, $26.95
ISBN: 9780385534635

Five year old Celia is an untrained psychokinetic. Her father Hector Bowen who performs for Le Cirque des Reves as Prospero the Entertainer is unaware of her existence until his daughter is dropped off. He realizes his daughter has incredible innate magical skill and decides to deploy her ability in a death match against an adversary: Alexander’s tyro magician Marco. The loser will die.

Celia and Marco are unaware that the outcome of their contest is death. However, their respective handlers failed to anticipate the two young mages as they grow up will fall in love. All bets are off as to how this power game will end as the puppeteers struggle to get their marionettes to perform the death duet not the love tango.

This excellent gripping historical thriller is a character driven tale with a paranormal element. The four participants in The Night Circus forge a fighting rectangle that turns into a perilous perfect square as the avaricious handlers want power and domination while the mentees want love. Fans will enjoy a night at the Erin Morgenstern’s circus wondering whether years of negative nurturing overcome tender naturing. Harriet Klausner

The Good and the Ghastly
James Boice
Scribner, Jun 14 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 9781416575443

It took centuries but the world has somewhat recovered from the global nuclear war. Now the thirty-fourth century has caught up to life in the early twenty-first century though there are some differences; for instance history and science texts praise Sarah Palin for her theory of natural selection and deer is the pet of choice.

However, in spite of the heritage of mass destruction wars back in the twentieth and twenty-first, hate remains a viable option. While VISA owns the world now as it did then, Adoranso Horater pushes for the final solution as he blames the Jews for the nuclear holocaust. At the same time Alvarez rules the mobs with an iron fist, a victim’s mother stalks and murders gangster and human sacrifices to the statue of the cat God Garfield is practiced. Soon the former Good and the forever Ghastly will confront one another.

The Good and the Ghastly
is an engaging satire that rips into twenty first century values by extrapolating how the future will look at this era of phony hypocritical compassion. The story line is overall fun but the mocking of present day decisions by sound bites keeps the plot thin. Still readers who relish thought provoking lampooning will want to read the thirty-fourth century equivalent to Bill Mahler’ “New Rules” interpretation of Palinism. Harriet Klausner

Alyson Noel
St. Martin’s Griffin, Jun 7 2011, $17.99
ISBN: 9780312642075

Ever and Damen have one mission left before they can spend eternity as immortals in love. To save Ever’s life; Damon changed her into an Immortal and contains lingering poison in his body. Thus they cannot touch one another as has an allergic reaction to his beloved.

Their quest is to find the cure to the toxin. They also have to resolve a difference on location. Ever wants to complete her destiny and unravel the remaining secrets including why something seems to want to keep her and her beloved apart. To do this they must enter the darkest region of Summerland; while Damen prefers to continue his current lifestyle that her trek would end.

Everlasting is a strong finish to the Immortals saga (see Shadowland and Dark Flame) after a slight letdown with Night Star’s earth shattering secret. The story line combines a wonderful story line re the heroine’s destiny with the continuation of the relationship issues between her and Damen. Series fans will enjoy the end to the Ever tales as Alyson Noel soars with this one.
Harriet Klausner

Monday, August 22, 2011

2011 Hugo and Campbell Awards Winners

Winners for the Hugo Awards and for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer were announced at a ceremony during Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Reno, Nevada, August 17-21, 2011.

Looks like a good list of winners. Most of them are right on. I'll highligh my choice in italics if my picks were different.

Next years convention will be in San Antonio and dubbed LoneStarCon 3.


Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)

Cryoburn, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
Feed, Mira Grant (Orbit)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit)
The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Pyr; Gollancz)


The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang (Subterranean)

‘‘The Maiden Flight of McCauley’s Bellerophon’’, Elizabeth Hand (Stories)
‘‘The Sultan of the Clouds’’, Geoffrey A. Landis (Asimov’s 9/10)
‘‘Troika’’, Alastair Reynolds (Godlike Machines)
‘‘The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window’’, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer 2010)


‘‘The Emperor of Mars’’, Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s 6/10)

‘‘The Jaguar House, in Shadow’’, Aliette de Bodard (Asimov’s 7/10)
‘‘Plus or Minus’’, James Patrick Kelly (Asimov’s 12/10)
‘‘Eight Miles’’, Sean McMullen (Analog 9/10)
‘‘That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made’’, Eric James Stone (Analog 9/10)


‘‘For Want of a Nail’’, Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s 12/10)

‘‘Ponies’’, Kij Johnson (Tor.com 11/17/10)
‘‘Amaryllis’’, Carrie Vaughn (Lightspeed 6/10)
‘‘The Things’’, Peter Watts (Clarkesworld 1/10)


Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, Lynne M. Thomas & Tara O’Shea, eds. (Mad Norwegian)

Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century: Volume 1 (1907-1948): Learning Curve, William H. Patterson, Jr. (Tor)
The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing, Mike Resnick & Barry N. Malzberg (McFarland)
Writing Excuses, Season 4, Brandon Sanderson, Jordan Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
Bearings: Reviews 1997-2001, Gary K. Wolfe (Beccon)


Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, Phil & Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio (Airship Entertainment)

The Unwritten, Vol. 2: Inside Man, Mike Carey; art by Peter Gross (Vertigo)
Grandville Mon Amour, Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)
Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel, Howard Tayler (Hypernode)
Fables: Witches, Bill Willingham; art by Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)



Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
How to Train Your Dragon
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Toy Story 3


Doctor Who: ‘‘The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang’’

Doctor Who: ‘‘A Christmas Carol’’
Doctor Who: ‘‘Vincent and the Doctor’’
Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury
The Lost Thing


Lou Anders

Ginjer Buchanan
Moshe Feder
Liz Gorinsky
Nick Mamatas
Beth Meacham
Juliet Ulman


Sheila Williams

John Joseph Adams
Stanley Schmidt
Jonathan Strahan
Gordon Van Gelder


Shaun Tan

Daniel Dos Santos
Bob Eggleton
Stephan Martiniere
John Picacio



Weird Tales


The Drink Tank

Banana Wings
File 770


Claire Brialey

James Bacon
Christopher J Garcia
James Nicoll
Steven H Silver


Brad W. Foster

Randall Munroe
Maurine Starkey
Steve Stiles
Taral Wayne


Lev Grossman

Saladin Ahmed
Lauren Beukes
Larry Correia
Dan Wells

*All John W. Campbell Award finalists are in their 2nd year of eligibility.

The Big Heart Award went to Gay Haldeman.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Apologies and reviews

My apologies to the authors and publisher who have been waiting on reviews of books I received a while back. Here are some reviews to try to make it up to some of you.

ONE WITH THE SEA, Richard Daniel O’Leary, Jetty House, $27.95, 256 pages, ISBN: 9780982823651.

This is the story of a man’s dream and the opportunities given to the son of an Irish immigrant by following the American Dream. It is a rags to riches story of determination and hard work resulting in creating a company that grew from one man’s idea into a company that provides jobs for over 2500 employees.

O’Leary grew up in Maine and his career in the Navy, Merchant Marines, and assistant general manager of the port of Norfolk prepared him for his creation of Cruise Ventures, Inc. and its growth and success.

Most readers may not remember the Horatio Alger stories of the 1920s and 1930s, but O’Leary’s story could have come out of the pages of one of those books. This is an interesting and uplifting story that will make you feel good about yourself and The American Dream.

THE INVENTOR’S FORTUNE UP FOR GRABS, Suzanne G, Beyer & John S. Pfarr, Book Publishers Network, $16.95, 168 pages, ISBN: 9781935359531.

Here is a legal thriller of a different color, it’s based on the true story on the efforts of a group of cousins who band together to obtain their share of a fortune that is left in limbo when the last survivor of an intricate Trust died.

This is the story of Art Hadley and his invention of the expansion bracelet that evolved into the expansion watchband used the world over today. At his death, his fortune passed to his two children, Thomas and Sarah, and various trusts that remained in effect until Sarah’s death in 2002. Here begins the story of a six year court battle among cousins that had never met that resulted in a $1.8 million dollar settlement.

Pfarr is the attorney who took the case after being found on the Internet. Beyer is one of the cousins who hired him. They present a story that is made so much more interesting in that it is true and told from the participants’ point of view.

FROM THE CAULDRON, Fred Phillips, Hippocampus Press, $10, 136 pages, ISBN: 9780984480265.

Here is a slim volume of enchanting and horrific poetry. Phillips has been writing poetry since his high school days and this collection features sonnets and verse that a mastery that calls to mind the works of Clark Ashton Smith and Lovecraft’s Fungi from Yuggoth.

The poems are grouped by interest. Be they medieval fantasy like those of Clark Ashton Smith, sword and sorcery reminiscent of Robert E Howard, or the horrors of H P Lovecraft, Phillips has mastery woefully unseen in the poets of today.

“The House”, “The Street”, “The Pit”, “They Also Rule, Who Only Stand and Baste”, and “Ode to Asbjorn Gustavsson Haarfagr” show the depth of his wording and expression. Hopefully, this volume is still available for those with interest in poetry and the Mythos related style.

A WEIRD WRITER IN OUR MIDST, Early Criticism of H.P. Lovecraft, edited by S.T. Joshi, Hippocampus Press, $20, ISBN: 9780984480210.

This is a unique volume in the canon of works about Lovecraft and his writing. Herein we are given the commentaries on his work by those who knew him best and those who discovered his writings and saw fit to pass their opinions on to others.

From “Recollections of Lovecraft” by those who knew him; “Criticism in Lovecraft’s Lifetime” from those who were there as it happened; “Comments from Readers” featuring the fan letters to Weird Tales and other publications; “Criticism from the Fan World” feature articles by fans of his writing; and, “Notices from the Literary Community” are articles about his works after his death.

There are many familiar names ranging from Robert Bloch, Henry Kuttner, Don Wollheim, J Vernon Shea, and other members of the Lovecraft Circle to John Brunner, Sam Moskowitz, Vincent Starrett and other critics.

While not for everyone, this is an essential book for the Lovecraft aficionado and historian. As the former, it’s interesting to read how Lovecraft was thought of during his lifetime and shortly after his death. Congratulations to Hippocampus and Joshi for an interesting and informative book.

DID NOT SURVIVE, Ann Littlewood, Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95, 260 pages, ISBN: 9781590587454.

Here is an interesting murder mystery that is written by a former zookeeper and she has used her experience to create a very realistic and quirky novel. One can look for motives and reasons behind a murder in humans, but can an elephant have one?

Iris Oakley is a keeper at the Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington. Being pregnant and trying to rebuild her life since her husband’s death is hard enough without having to deal with an elephant killing her boss. She ends up in charge of trying to find a motive. And find motives she does; from the keepers to the veterinarian and animal rights activists to an ex-lover with an axe to grind and animals in an enclosed environment make for an interesting novel.

This is Littlewoods second Zoo Mystery and it is a fun quick read that entertains. What more could you ask for?

THE SEVERANCE, Elliott Sawyer, Bridge Works Publishing, $23.95, 238 pages, ISBN: 9780981617534.

Sawyer was a Captain with the 101st Airborne and served in Iraq and Afghanistan and this adds the real nitty gritty in his storytelling. His story telling is so realistic, you feel like you are there with Captain Jake Roberts.

Roberts and his band of misfits are a sort of “dirty dozen’ (sorry I know that is a cliché, but it fits) who are given the jobs no one else wants. On a patrol in the Afghan mountains that come across a trunkful of US currency that turns out to be hidden by a corrupt contractor. They plan to hide it and then smuggle it out of the country as their “severance” package from the Army.

The only problem is that someone finds out about the hidden booty. Jake and his men fight the Taliban by day and the other enemy at night. But who can it be? Is it one of their own, another soldier or contractor on the base or even Jake’s Nurse Girlfriend? These are the problems facing the Jake and his men as they try to survive long enough to get THE SEVERANCE home.

This is a good look at the war currently being fought and it reminds me of Vietnam where you had to be on constant vigil as someone may be a friend during the day and an enemy at night. You can almost feel the Post Traumatic Stress in this one.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Mandel Files, Lord of the Vampires andThe Shadow Wolf reviewed

The Mandel Files
Peter F. Hamilton
Del Rey, Aug 23 011, $19.95
ISBN: 9780345526359

“Mindstar Rising” - England like the rest of the world struggles to adjust and rebound from the insidious effect of global warming. In that environs Greg Mandel was once a member of the elitist Mindstar Battalion whose soldiers gained telepathic abilities through implanted glands. His enhanced intuition skill told Greg the time to leave the unit. Event Horizon CEO billionaire Phillip Evans hires Greg to investigate why a successful orbit operation is suddenly losing money. Phillip’s granddaughter teenage heiress Julia Evans believes amoral financier Kendric di Girolamo and vicious former country leader Leopold Armstrong are behind the failure.

“A Quantum Murder”
- Two years later Julia Evans assigns Greg Mandel to investigate the brutal murder of Dr. Edward Kitchener. The professor worked at Events Horizon researching quantum cosmology. Julia explains the crime scene was the somewhat paranoid former Cambridge professor’s locked lab at Laudne Abbey. Greg learns that the Physics peers of the deceased envied his reputation as the twenty first century Newton, but who killed him and how remains difficult to resolve.

These reprints of early 1990s futuristic investigative science fiction thrillers remain fun tales that seem timely with the trends in economics, politics, technology and global warming in circa 1990 extrapolated to 2030 or so as much of what Peter F. Hamilton predicted remains on the path he expected. The story lines are entertaining although the endings seem weak while readers will wonder why the last tale Nano Flower is not included (apparently it will be in a volume 2), these Mandel thrillers are enjoyable (now near) future whodunits in the Hamilton world.
Harriet Klausner

Lord of the Vampires
Gena Showalter
Harlequin Nocturne, Aug 23 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618668

In Elden, the Blood Sorcerer conducts a bloody coup killing the nation’s rulers. He made two critical mistakes when he failed to prevent the dying king from sending to his offspring an obsessed need to avenge their deaths; and the queen using her last breath of power sends their four children into hiding so they could buy time to complete her husband’s vendetta. Thus the Blood Sorcerer failed to kill the Crown prince Nicolai and his three siblings (Breena, Dayn and Micah).

Two Kingdom of Delfina princesses capture Nicolai who they turn into their sex slave. He uses magic to call out for help. In Oklahoma, scientist Jane Parker recovers from a car accident that killed her family. She “hears” Nicolai’s plea when she finds a tome by her door and reads it. She arrives but looks like the evil royal he killed. Nicolai plans to use Jane to escape but leave her behind. However he finds he cannot leave the intelligent woman behind even as he laments she may be the death of him.

The first Royal House of Shadows is an exciting romantic fantasy in which the paranormal supersedes the romance. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Jane enters the Nicolai universe without blinking. Although her humorous commentary fails to fit in with the sex slave themes (his and hers), fans will enjoy the Crown Prince of Elden’s tale while waiting for a sibling starring in Jill Monroe’s series entry. Harriet Klausner

The Shadow Wolf
Bonnie Vanak
Harlequin Nocturne, Aug 23 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618675

The Draicon Council has incarcerated shadow wolves on Shadow Island out of fear of the sub-species skill to turn invisible. Megan Moraine knows she cannot raise her two younger seven years old twin cousins (Jillian and Jennifer) from a prison cell; so using her invisibility power, she escapes with her young relatives.

Draicon Council Enforcer Gabriel Robichaux hunts escapees. Known for killing runaways as much as bringing them back to lockup, he stalks the three female shadows. However, his reputation for assassination proves false as he tries to take Megan and her wards to a safe house, but someone inside his support cell betrays Gabriel and the three females.

The latest Draicon wolf romantic urban fantasy (see The Immortal Wolf) is a terrific thriller due to the traits of the fearsome foursome while on the lam. Gabriel and Megan are falling in love, but most significant to both of them is getting the youngsters to safety. The twins make the tale as they are frightened but intrepid. This is an exciting entertaining read.

Bonus story: Darkness of the Wolf. For killing his Alpha, Guy Laurent was imprisoned for life in the Savage Kingdom Zoo. Phoenix offers him his freedom if he escorts Brianna the young Draicon girl and her guardian Kayla Morris to the youngster’s pack. He accepts the job while wondering why Kayla ignores her Draicon background. As the adults fall in love, neither loses sight of keeping their young charge safe from insidious enemies. This reprint of an e-byte novella is a fun Draicon urban romantic fantasy. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Deja Vu, The Vampire Who Loved Me, Demon and Dead on the Delta reviews

Déjà Vu
Lisa Childs
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618613

FBI agent Alaina Paulsen investigates serial killings. She suspects recluse bestselling horror author Trent Baines is the psychopath as he writes detailed books on homicides that are three decades old as if he was a witness to the murders.

Alaina and Agent Vonner meet with Trent to interrogate him and recognize they were once a married couple in a past life together. When an apparent copy cat begins killing, Alaina fears history repeating itself as she loved the killer and cop back then. However, her biggest consternation comes from her growing belief that the writer she loves today was the murderer then and is the psychopath now.

With a nod to Kenneth Branagh’s movie Dead Again, Déjà Vu is an exciting reincarnation romantic suspense. The fast-paced story line places the emphasis on the psychological tension that has Alaina wound tight; as she prays that her beloved Trent is not a serial killer although the evidence strongly affirms he is. The romantic subplot serves more to add to the Suspicion that Trent is the killer as Lisa Childs provides a taut paranormal police procedural thriller. Harriet Klausner

The Vampire Who Loved Me
Theresa Meyers
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618606

After vampires converted her loved ones, Dr. Rebecca Chamberlin hated the vile creatures. She works diligently on a vaccination in order to cure what she believes is a disease. When she is changed into the beasts she detests, she increases her efforts to find a cure.

Vampire clan security commander Achilles Stefanos watches closely the scientist in order to keep his species safe. Her financial supporters inject Beck with her serum only to find it fails. Achilles knows he must complete her transformation or Beck will die. As the pair begins to fall in love, someone modifies her vaccine in order to change vampires to their actual chronological age; which means vampire like Achilles an Ancient Greek will turn to dust.

The pairing of an ancient Greek warrior vampire and a modern day scientist make for a great tale as neither wants to love the other, but each learns you can’t always get what you want. The story line is fast-paced from the moment that Achilles fears the newest fledgling is archenemy Dr. Chamberlain and never slows down as the heroine seeks the cure for vampirism. Harriet Klausner

Kristina Douglas
Pocket, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439191934

Fallen angel Azazel mourns the death of his wife Sarah, a murder victim. Still in spite of his grief, he seeks Lilith the demon with plans to kill her to prevent the fulfilling of a prophecy that has them wedded.

When he finds her, she has no memory of being evil Lilith. Instead she insists she is Rachel Fitzpatrick who admits she has Grand Canyon size holes in her memory. He leaves allowing her to live for now. However, he comes back to Rachel-Lilith because the Fallen Angels like him need to find imprisoned Lucifer before Uriel does. If the latter gets to the former first, the Lord’s archangel will judge mankind as sinners and release his wrath on humanity; which in his narrow perspective means the extinction of mankind.

The exciting second Fallen Angels urban fantasy (see Raziel) is character driven though loaded with non stop action as readers anticipate the archangel and the fallen angel confrontation. Rachel is the focus between them as her memory is the key to locating Lucifer. Readers will appreciate the tale of the Fallen: Demon seeking to save the world. Harriet Klausner

Dead on the Delta
Stacey Jay
Pocket, 7.99
ISBN: 9781439189863

After being a mosquito size harmless species that adults assumed were mythological, the fairies changed. They became human blood seekers biting mortals. The Fey toxin leaves 75% of the humans insane; 10% physically misshapen before dying; and another 10% instantly dead. The remaining populace contains immunity, but so far no one knows why.

Following Katrina, New Orleans has become a breeding ground for the fairies. This does not prevent Fairy Control and Containment evidence collector Annabelle Lee from riding her bike and doing her job at often horrific crime scenes. Annabelle is one of lucky ones who are immune to the fairies toxin. She works with police detective Cane Cooper on the murder of a six year old girl just outside the fairie levees surrounding her town of Donaldson. Also inexplicably on the case is her former boyfriend and FBI Agent who should not be involved.

This is a super urban fantasy police procedural that intelligently extracts from real life to make the case of a Fey infestation. For instance, the Louisiana Governor is running for reelection on his hard on Fey crime platform. Although readers never learn what caused the Fairie plague, the fast-paced story line is action-packed as Cooper and Lee supported by others investigate gruesome murder on the Bayou. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Series from Eric Brown

16 August 2011
***for immediate release***

Abaddon announces major new SF series

Acclaimed SF author Eric Brown creates new epic world for imprint

Best-selling author Eric Brown has created a brand new shared world for Abaddon Books: Weird Space.

This thrilling space-opera series will begin in June 2012 with the release of The Devil's Nebula by the best-selling author of Helix, Engineman and The Kings of Eternity.

In the first book in this epic new series, Brown will introduce readers to the human smugglers, veterans and ne’erdowells who are part of the Expansion – and their uneasy neighbours, the Vetch Empire.

When an evil race threatens not only the Expansion, but the Vetch too - an evil from another dimension which infests humans and Vetch alike and bends individuals to do their hideous bidding, only cooperation between them means the difference between a chance of survival and no chance at all.

Brown has meticulously created a massive shared world of interstellar potential, which other writers will explore with each new book.

With the launch of this new SF epic, Abaddon is adding to its series of shared worlds which already include the post-apocalyptic The Afterblight Chronicles, the new take on Arthurian legend Malory’s Knights of Albion, the World War One soldiers marooned on an alien world in No Man’s World, steampunk adventure in Pax Britannia, the zombie-infested Tomes of the Dead and the fantasy quests of the Twilight of Kerberos.

Eric Brown said:

"It's great to be part of the team working for Abaddon on the Weird Space project, and it's a fantastic imaginative opportunity to be developing the background and working on the first novel, The Devil's Nebula. The Weird is vast in scope - borrowing on an age-old tradition of everything that's best is space-opera - and will allow the writers to tell exciting, human stories set against an eerie, thrilling, futuristic back-drop. I'm more than a little excited at being part of the team!"

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon, said:
“Eric is such a terrific writer that it's a great honour to be welcoming him to the Abaddon fold. The vast scope of this series and the richness of Eric's writing will mean that this will be a space-opera like no other.”

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.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Press Release

Malory’s Knights of Albion:

The Savage Knight
by Paul Lewis

Coming in September 2011
£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-33-9

$9.99/$12.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-34-6

Also Available as an eBook

Arthurian legend as you’ve never seen it before

Forget the quaint pageantry of Camelot and the noble knights of the Round Table – join Abaddon as we recast the legend of King Arthur’s court as a tale of blood, sweat and tears.

Sword and sorcery is back thanks to the Camelot and Game of Thrones TV series – now find out why they called it The Dark Ages...

Burdened with a terrible rage, Sir Dodinal the Savage turns his back on Camelot to find peace in a quiet Welsh village. But even here there is none. When his new home is struck by child-stealing raiders he must take up arms once again. But can a simple knight deal with the terrible secret hidden in the hills...?

An exciting, action-packed, and totally original Arthurian story, The Savage Knight is a new take on the well-known sub-genre, filled with savagery and knights who live and die by their bloodied swords.

“Lewis has a compelling and brilliant writing style and a great ability to create and maintain suspense and terror.” – The Alien Online on The Ice Maiden

About the Series

‘Uncovered’ in the parish church of St. Barbara and St. Christopher in the summer of 2006, the Salisbury Manuscript (British Library Add. MS 1138) is the only extant copy of Sir Thomas Malory’s The Seconde Boke of kyng Arthur and also His noble Knyghts, apparently written at Thomas Caxton’s request after Malory’s release from gaol. Deep controversy surrounds the book, which is claimed by some to be a contemporary forgery, possibly written by Caxton himself. In March 2010, Rebellion Publishing announced that it had secured exclusive rights to publish the modernisations of the stories.

Abaddon’s eighth shared world, Malory’s Knights of Albion will regale our readers with totally original stories set in King Arthur’s time, exploring the stories of the less well-known knights – like loyal Sir Alymere – or telling previously-unknown events from the lives of beloved characters close to Britain’s greatest king.

With courage and courtesy close to its heart, the series promises to deliver the best of heroic, chivalric adventure, often with a dark or surprising twist.

About the Author

Paul Lewis has written hundreds of comedy sketches for UK network TV, including Spitting Image, as well as radio sitcoms and plays. Paul co-edited the Cold Cuts horror anthology and is co-author of the novels The Ragchild and The Quarry, several novellas and numerous short stories including a Doctor Who contribution for BBC Books. Paul works as a journalist and lives with his wife and son in a village near Swansea, Wales.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Zombies and More

Raising Stony Mayhall
Daryl Gregory
Del Rey, Jun 28 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345522375

In 1968, a zombie plague exploded with the victims in a raged fever frenzy biting humans when they could find them. The Feds worked to kill the zombies by burning their bodies and thus preventing a pandemic. Once the fever ended forty-eight hours later the survivors became rational thinking non violent feeling people who formed an underground to help their own kind. Stony Mayhall was found as a baby by Wanda Mayhall, the latter raised him along with her three daughters. He never knew there were others like him as he grew up in isolation on a remote farm. His only friend was Kwang Cho.

One night Stony and Kwang went out but the former is recognized for what he is. The Diggers almost catch Stony, but an underground Zombie leader Delia takes him to a safe house. For years he lived in the underground safe house until a group of zombies prepare to give the Big Bite to the human race. Stony calls the Diggers on them, but is captured too and sent under extraordinary rendition to Deadtown Federal Medical Prison where experiments on zombies occur. He becomes a favorite of the director and the other prisoners as he gives them hope. Stony escapes but knows his life’s work has begun to save the zombies from the Government who wants to see them all destroyed.

This zombie thriller contains the twist that the species in many ways is better than many humans are as for instance the first commandment is not to bite a breather. Daryl Gregory has his zombies behave like Frankenstein as misunderstood beasts forced to reside in separate unequal government facilities. The Feds know of the forty-eight hour rule, but prefer keeping that classified as top secret. Readers will relish this zombie portrayal as fans will empathize with Stony and his brethren and adopted human family while hissing at cruel humans who claim security as their rationale. Harriet Klausner

Cat Star Chronicles: Virgin
Cheryl Brooks
Sourcebooks, Jun 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402251658

On Luxaria Twelve, Captain Jack lectures starship pilot Daxtronian "Dax" Vandilorsk, a Zetithian like her spouse, for remaining “The Great Virgin”. Dax understands the need to sire the next generation after the near extinction caused by the treacherous Nedwuts, but has found no one who entices him. That is until now. The waitress at the bar has Dax thinking erotic thoughts. However her abusive boyfriend Lars notices Sax staring at Avondia "Ava" Karon and warns the cat to stay away or else.

Sick of Lars who beat her and the dead end job on a backwater planet, Ava decides to go home to Acquerei where boring (Russ) supersedes vicious (Lars). She buys a one way ticket on Dax’s vessel. The Zetithian is euphoric as he now has the opportunity to smell his passenger and determine if she is his one.

This entry focuses almost entirely on the relationship between the lead couple as he is sort of like the Forty Year Old Virgin and she has become relationship-phobic. There is a secondary plot involving the heroine’s father, but that is minor in comparison to Dax’s amusing clumsy courtship of Ava assisted by his sidekick womanizing Waroun and Kots the droid matchmaker. Series fans will enjoy this heated Cat Star Chronicles (see Fugitive and Hero). Harriet Klausner

Heart of the Highland Wolf
Terry Spear
Sourcebooks, Jun 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402245527

Julia MacPherson and her friend movie assistant director Maria Baquero are staying at Baird Cottage just a short walk from Argent Castle where a movie is being shot. Better known at least back in the States as Julia Wildthorn, author of Highland werewolf romances, she expects her trip to Scotland will end her writer’s block and she hopes to find an ancient secret box her grandfather says the family hid there. The castle laird Ian MacNeill has been a pain in the butt but that is Maria’s problem muses Julia.

However, starting with flight delays, the trip goes awry. A car accident leads to Ian carrying Julia into the castle. MacNeill realizes the American he holds is a wolf just like he is. Since she hid her heritage, he distrusts her but to his chagrin the wolf wants her. She wants to reveal the truth though she is unsure what that is to her mate, but fears he will kick her back across the ocean.

This is a fun werewolf romance starring two likable leads and a strong support cast; mostly his clan. The story line is fast-paced yet the refreshing scenes occur when Wildthorn goes into writer’s mode. Fans will appreciate Terry Spear’s entertaining tale even though the wolves are more in the background than usual, but the romance between the writer and the laird is an enjoyable contemporary.Harriet Klausner

Demons Prefer Blondes
Sidney Ayers
Sourcebooks, Jun 1 2011, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402251740

Dominic Duvane of the Fore Demon Council informs senior demon Rafael Deleon that Hell’s northern region Prince Belial’s Infernati warriors attacked the guards protecting the chest. Belial captured Rafe’s sister Coby, but she bravely sent the chest to earth to buy time in order to prevent the enemy from obtaining it. Dominic orders Rafe to retrieve the chest while he rescues Coby from their adversary’s dungeon.

Cosmetologist Lucia Gregory has the chest; with her friend Serah Bear she attempts to open it; unaware that she would be freeing some nasty demons of the damned. Rafe arrives and realizes that Lucy is a succubus and that he wants her. Both are stunners to him as he never expected to meet a succubus or desire her. As a war begins, Rafe and Lucy fall in love. Each understands they must return the demons to their hell so he brings in his allies and she brings in her circle.

The opening Demons Unleashed romantic fantasy is a terrific often humorous thriller. The characterizations are superb and the Ayers universe deftly created inside an exhilarating story line. Sub-genre readers will appreciate the amusing romance between the demon and the succubus who also have a world to save. Harriet Klausner

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hippocampus Press Releases

Here is the line-up of books for Hippocampus press, the current publisher of all things Lovecraftian and Cthulhu Mythos related. They are also putting out some cutting edge horror from new writers as well. Visit their web site for all of their offerings. www.hippocampuspress.com

LOVECRAFT ANNUAL NO. 5 (2011) is now available! At 246 pages, it's the largest ever, with articles from Caitlín R. Kiernan, Robert H. Waugh, J.-M. Rajala, Alex Houstoun and others.


DEAD RECKONINGS NO. 9 (SPRING 2011) covers new releases in horror with 90 pages of reviews by Leigh Blackmore, Matt Cardin, Richard Bleiler, and many more. Free shipping as always. Subscribe today!


by Barry Pain
The latest release in our Lovecraft's Library series is a monumental 375-page collection of weird tales from the author of AN EXCHANGE OF SOULS, edited and with an Introduction by S. T. Joshi and featuring great cover art from Allen Koszowski!


: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H. P. Lovecraft
A revised and updated version of Schultz & Joshi's 1991 classic of Lovecraftian scholarship is now available in an affordable softcover edition.


DIM-REMEMBERED STORIES: A Critical Study of R. H. Barlow
This pioneering study by Italian scholar Massimo Berruti establishes Barlow as distinguished writer of fantasy, horror and thought-provoking poetry. In conjunction with this release we are offering a $5 discount on our Barlow collection EYES OF THE GOD: The Weird Fiction and Poetry of R. H. Barlow. Visit our website to order.


These forthcoming titles are available for pre-order now!

A MONSTER OF VOICES: Speaking for H. P. Lovecraft by Robert H. Waugh.
With this collection, esteemed scholar Dr. Waugh follows up on THE MONSTER IN THE MIRROR with more of his trademark erudition and insight into Lovecraft.

: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu
Edited by Gary William Crawford, Jim Rockhill and Brian J. Showers, this is the first book on Le Fanu to comprise classic and new scholarship and criticism, also featuring a Foreword by W. J. Mc Cormack.

: The Collected Weird Poetry of Ann K. Schwader
Forthcoming in October! "Ann K. Schwader's intoxicating poetry is as authentically Lovecraftian as it is brilliantly original. This is poetry that is truly transporting. Superb!"—W. H. Pugmire


: The Collected Poetry And Prose-Poems Of Donald Wandrei, now available for just $10 in an elegant, larger format (6 x 9 in.) with more white space in the margins.

LETTERS TO JAMES F. MORTON is still delayed but should be coming in a few weeks. We thank you for your patience.

We encourage all our newsletter subscribers to check out our Facebook page at

Friday, August 12, 2011

Out of the Waters

Out of the Waters
David Drake
Tor, Jul 19 2011, $25.99
ISBN: 9780765320797

In the city of Carse, Senator Gaius Alphenus Saxa sanctions a public religious production of Hercules creating a city on the Lusitania Sea. The play is well received as the audience enjoys the performance especially when a monster arises Out of the Waters and destroys the city.

Saxa’s bookworm son Varus and few others know the behemoth was not part of the drama. He believes what everyone at the theater witnessed was a vision of what is to come. Although he prefers his books to combat, a determined Varus, his resolute sister Alphena the Amazonian warrior and their tougher than Hercules stepmother Hedia confront a watery abomination that traces itself to the extinction of Atlantis.

The stupendous second Books of the Elements switches elements. The heroic trio battle water as opposed to fire like they did in the opening act The Legions of Fire. The cast is fully developed as they behave in accordance to their society’s culture. Using the Roman Empire as a base but enhancing it with the Drake mythos, David Drake provides a strong quest fantasy starring three kick-butt champions in an action-packed adventure. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Solaris presents The Recollection

Here's a special event for all of our readers in the UK. If you can, turn out to support Gareth and his book launch.

The Recollection

by Gareth L. Powell

Coming in September 2011

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907519-99-4

$7.99/$9.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907519-98-7

Also Available as an eBook

With the galaxy-spanning scope of The Recollection, Gareth L. Powell announces himself as a fresh new voice in science-fiction.

In modern-day London, a failed artist falls in love with his sister-in-law. When his brother disappears into a bizarre gateway on a London Underground escalator, the lovers must leave feelings aside to find him. Meanwhile, 400 years in the future, an ancient evil stirs as a woman tries to regain the trust of her family.

With the scale of Iain M. Banks and the intrigue of Alistair Reynolds, Powell’s first book for Solaris brings a stunning breath of fresh air into epic science-fiction – an astounding novel about both personal human relationships and their place in the vastness of time and space.

The Recollection will be launched at a special event on August 25th from 6pm – 7pm at the Forbidden Planet store on Clifton Heights, Bristol, BS8 1EJ.

“Utterly impossible to put down”
– Colin Harvey, author of Winter Song

“Gareth Powell is going to be a major voice in SF”
– Paul Cornell

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mind Games, Choice of One, The Darkest Heart and A Shot in the Dark

Mind Games
Taylor Keating
Tor, May 24 2011, $6.99
ISBN: 9780765365484

Game designer River Weston escaped the video prison of the Dark Lord along with another cell mate Chase "Hawk" Hawkins (see Game Over) but if she thought her troubles are over, she is wrong. Reality proves just as damning as virtual as she is wanted for the murders of her fellow game makers.

Hawk uses the dead body of River’s ex Nick as the pair investigates what her parents wrought and how to liberate their souls incarcerated for three decades in a hellish lab. Having been locked away much longer than his companion and determined to be her Guardian, he trusts no one as he tries to persuade her to allow him to escort her to the realm of her Fae mother before Nick’s soul reclaims the body.

Although this is a direct sequel so it behooves newcomers to read Game Over first, the focus is more on reality earth than in the virtual realm of the previous book. River made the first thriller work, but this time Hawk brings the freshness as he fights external demons and his adulation for his partner. That intense attraction is key as Hawk is unsure whether it is his heart or the remnants of the soul of the previous body owner. Loaded with excitement, fans will enjoy the game maker and her cell mate as they battle their deadly diabolical adversaries in an exciting amateur sleuth dark urban fantasy. Harriet Klausner

Star Wars: Choice of One
Timothy Zahn
Del Rey, Jul 12 2011, $27.00
ISBN: 9780345511265

Months have passed since Luke Skywalker blew up the death Star (see A New Hope), but he diligently practices to become stronger in the force. The war between the Empire and the Alliance continues with the former seeking to strike back at the rebels who desperately need allies, equipment and supplies. Empire Officer Thrawn warns Emperor Palatine that they are threatened by more than just the rebels. Nusoesva, a powerful warlord in the Unknown Region is conquering worlds in Wild Space and looks like he will soon make incursion into the Imperial sector. Palatine ignores the concern because the warlord is just an alien.

The rebels are offered a base on Poln Minor in the Outer Rim. Since the Empire won’t help them fight Nusoesva, the leaders of the planet turn to the Alliance asking for protection. The Emperor learns of two possible treasonous acts and deploys his Hand Mara Jade to determine the truth; if affirmed she is to kill the Governor of the Candoras sector, Bider Ferrouz and his accomplices. Han, Leia, and Luke head to Poln Major to find out if the governor’s offer is authentic or a trap. Also on the planet are the disgruntled Hand of Judgment storm troopers who work to root out evil in the Empire. All will converge with betrayal and death the common denominators

It is amazing to see caring good people like Mara and the storm troopers Hand of Judgment believe that the Emperor is a kind person who cares for his subjects. That soul searching element enhances an action-paced space opera. Readers will praise Timothy Zahn as he captures the original essence of the Lucas pantheon; not an easy mission to achieve since this would make a fine movie number 4.5 (in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back). Harriet Klausner

The Darkest Heart
Thea Devine
Gallery, Jun 21 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9781416562665

The inferno killed her heir Nicolai years ago leaving his mother Countess Lazlaric increasingly desperate to see her family heritage continue. Her remaining son Charles is a hedonistic wastrel, but he is all she has. The Countess believes luck has finally come her way when a missive from a distant relative Senna Landseth asks for help. The matriarch invites Senna to stay with her at Drom Manor hiding her plans for the biddable chit to wed Charles.

Unknown to her hostess, Senna is not her kin and she is pulling a con. However although welcomed by the Countess, the manor and the woman disturb Senna. For two decades Dominick Janau has impatiently waited to obtain revenge against the person who turned him into a vampire. However, he finds he wants Senna and vows to keep her safe as he also believes she might be the catalyst for his vendetta finally happening. Dominick rushes her to London to keep her safe even as Charles and his mother pursue them.

This entertaining gothic vampire romance engages the audience once the players are set. The complicated story line is fast-paced and the cast solid with a neat twist. However, it is the paranormal world that feels genuine, which sub-genre fans will relish as the heroine trapped in the center of an evil circumference learns that sometimes you get what you wish for. Harriet Klausner

A Shot in the Dark
K.A. Stewart
Roc, Jul 5 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464101

There are two kinds of demon hunters. The Catholic Church sanctions the Order of Saint Silvis and the others work for Grapevine. Jesse James Dawson is a champion though he has not one iota of magic; instead he relies on strength and cunning when battling a demon over a human’s soul. Needing a respite, he heads to the Colorado Mountains with his brother Cole who once sold his soul to a demon; Will the paramedic, Marty the Armorer, and Cameron the seminary school dropout.

Jesse almost changes his mind when powerful Axel the demon who craves his soul tells him he is glad to see the hunter on vacation. When the party arrives at the cabin, deformed hominoid creatures attack them; one bites the cabin owner’s son Zane who wears the mark of someone who sold his soul to a demon. Zane is dying but they cannot leave the cabin as they are surrounded by a horde of creatures. Jesse freaks when he realizes they are trapped by the Yeti who he has defeated before. The yeti demon bargains with Jesse for Zane’s soul. Axel arrives and seems on the side of Jesse and his friends; but the hunter knows how devious demons are when it comes to human soul harvesting.

K.A. Stewart’s second Jesse James Dawson thriller is an outstanding urban fantasy. The steadfast hero continues to remain duty diligent to protect the unsuspecting human race from demons that collect their souls. The protagonist knows never make a deal with a demon as it is like reading the fine print of a credit card contract in which A Devil in the Details will haunt the individual. The trapped vacationers will either male bond with trusting one another to protect their respective backs or become demon fodder in this super paranormal. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blood of the Wicked, The Neon Graveyard, Sinful Magic, Changling Moon, and Hexed

Blood of the Wicked
Karina Cooper
Avon, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062046857

Holy Order warrior Silas Smith is a true believer in the cause of hunting down and killing witches before they turn what is left of civilization that they original destroyed even deeper into the cesspool of hell. Jess Leigh tries to remain below the grid as a person who has done nothing wrong except be a witch.

In New Seattle at the Pussycat Perch strip jaunt, the hunter and the hunted meet. They are attracted to each other, but she knows his kind burn her kind at the stake. As Jess conceals her witch heritage, Silas reenlists her help as he goes after his target Caleb, a witch who happens to be her brother.

The first visit to the Dark Mission alternate earth is an exciting dark romantic urban fantasy in which Karina Cooper deftly constructs her mythos inside of the fast-paced and action-packed story line. The lead couple is a terrific taboo pairing as he hunts and kills her kind as being the Blood of the Wicked who destroyed the world; now as he falls in love Silas targets her sibling in Operation Echo Location. This is a superb first act as hot romance and dangerous adventure delightfully merge in the Cooper world. Harriet Klausner

The Neon Graveyard
Vicki Pettersson
Avon, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061456794

In Las Vegas, Zodiac Troop member Joanna Archer was the Kairos savior prophesized to win the war between the Light and Dark. Now she is a pregnant shell of herself lacking her paranormal powers and even her beloved Hunter Lorenzo, who sired her unborn; is one of many who she loved and trusted betrayed her.

Still she refuses to quit as she fears never seeing her beloved Hunter imprisoned in Midheaven by Solange the demented goddess.She has become a member of the Greys shadow warriors ready to take the battle to evil including her father the Tulpa who wants to control his grandchild when the kid is born. As Solange tortures Hunter for betraying her, the insane goddess schemes to destroy what is left of Joanna’s soul perhaps through the former Kairos’ child. In Vegas, Warren, the Light Troop Leader has determined that Joanna is evil and must die along with her allies, but he wants the child who he claims is the true Kairos; innocent lives dying is acceptable to him.

The Neon Graveyard
is a great finish to the strong Signs of the Zodiac urban fantasy. The story line is loaded with action, but it is the vivid contrasting descriptions of Vegas and Midheaven that makes the thriller enticing as the audience will want to know how it ends for Joanna and the Greys as the eternal enemies Light and Dark have a common cause to extinct these upstarts. Newcomers will not get the full savor of this terrific tense ending as it behooves the readers to have followed the five signs of the Zodiac before perusing the “Final Sign”. Harriet Klausner

Sinful Magic
Jennifer Lyon
Ballantine, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345520081

Having watched her mother the fertility witch use sex as a power enhancer Roxy Banfield rejects deploying her heritage as she prefers to be a polar opposite of her mom. Her preference is to live a simple loving life as a mortal. To achieve her objective seems simple enough to Roxy; as all she has to do is avoid her personal generator; the man who would ignite her fertility bewitching sexual skills that most likely would kill her bed mate.

In the Illusions bar, her concept is devastated when she meets fantasy comic book writer Wing Slayer Hunter Kieran “Key” DeMicca, who drew her as a witch before this encounter. He carries a dormant essence of Dyfyr the dragon who is the star of his comic books. Both are aroused by the encounter, but he learns that Liam his evil half-brother seeks the Dragon Tear which can kill the Wing Slayer god while Dyfyr awakens. Key and Roxy team up as the powers of each flow to the point of potentially killing them if they do not channel it properly.

The newest Wing Slayer urban romantic fantasy (see Blood Magic, Night Magic and Soul Magic) is a fabulous dark thriller loaded with action and romance. The Key to this engaging tale is the relationship between the witch and the artist as she fears her sex drive will kill her beloved while he fears that he will not live up to her sex drive. With an evil brother, awakening the dragon, and love; fans of the magical world of Jennifer Lyon will appreciate this superb entry. Harriet Klausner

Changeling Moon
Dani Harper
Kensington Brava, Jun 1 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758265142

Psychic Zoey Tyler moves to freezing Northern Canada when she accepts the position of editor of the Dunvegan Herald Weekly. Besides struggling to adapt to the icy weather and avoiding her otherworldly skills, Zoey has a new issue. Rogue werewolf Bernie Gervais attacks her.

However, his assault is part of diabolical master plan to destroy the local Changeling pack; besides which he wants control of the newcomer’s psychic power. The town’s veterinarian and pack member Connor Macleod rescues her, but must prevent her transformation at the next full moon or else Gervais’ scheme may happen. The only hole in Gervais’ logic is the loving bond between his enemy and the psychic whose blood he craves.

This engaging Canadian romantic fantasy is a great thriller due to the readers believing in the Harper paranormal realm. Zoey is terrific as she holds the plot focused while the two males make her the focus of their attention; this lead triangle makes for an exciting time as the audience anticipates the confrontation. The story line is fast-paced, but it is the strong cast in a believable realm that makes for a powerful opening act. Harriet Klausner

Kevin Hearne
Del Rey, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345522498

Over two millennia old Atticus O'Sullivan hid in Tempe, Arizona behind soccer and the Third Eye Books and Herbs store as he knew Celtic God Aenghus Og wanted him dead; However instead the Druid did the impossible, killing two Tuatha De Danann and survived his battle with the God Aenghus Og though Atticus needs time to heal (see Hounded) and train his new mentee Granuaile. Instead he is in demand by a horde of people who want him to kill a God or two, or sell him life insurance.

Making matters more complicated is the arrival of Nazi witches and their demons he knew from his WWII in Europe days. They come to kick his butt while his pact with the local coven is in trouble. Finally there is the matter of the Fallen Angel dining on the locals and the Celtic Goddess wanting to dine on Atticus.

The second Iron Druid urban fantasy is a tongue in cheek fast-paced frolic as the hero wonders what happened to his nice safe world. His asides are amusing as he watches all the paranormal activity that suddenly has surfaced in Tempe. Fans of satirical wise ass heroes will want to join Atticus as he feels Hexed with the brewing battle against the horde of illegal aliens. Harriet Klausner

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jaded, Kitty's Big Trouble, The Reluctant Vampire, and Devil Without a Cause

Anya Bast
Heat, Jun 7 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425241097

Powerful Magick Alek Chaikoveii is depressed so his friend Byron Andropov hopes to get him out of his funk. He asks Lilya Orensdaughter who has entered the Temple of Dreams to help. She agrees as she feels she owes Byron who saved her life following a vicious assault when she was eighteen by a madman.

Alek has wanted Lilya since he healed her from her injuries, but delayed showing his feelings. As he opens his heart to her, she feels fickle between loving Alek and Byron though her best friend Evangeline has two husbands (see Jeweled); while her personal predator who injured her stalks her as in his mind Lilya belongs to him, dead or alive.

The second Court of Edaeii ménage a trois erotic fantasy romance is an engaging heated but dark thriller that has a medieval and modern day (outdoor café in the downtown drinking coffee) Eastern Europe feel to the plot. The lead trio has suffered traumas, but love heals all wounds in their respective cases; while the obsessed villain acts maniacal in his belief that Lilya belongs to him. Jaded is an exciting character driven tale as readers anticipate a showdown over who controls Lilya. Harriet Klausner

Kitty's Big Trouble
Carrie Vaughn
Tor, Jun 28 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780765365651

Kitty Norville, alpha pack werewolf and radio show host of the talk show Midnight Hour, is curious as to what roles did the supernatural play in American History. At present she tries to prove that General William T. Sherman was a were, but all efforts to find answers seem blocked. She did learn from her vampire friend Rick that Wyatt Earp was a vampire.

She and her husband Ben go to Dodge City to see if they can verify the Earp claim, but encounter a vampire who dies in front of them. The deceased was wearing a Roman coin around his neck; which means he was controlled by the evil vampire Roman. Vampire Anastasia asks Kitty to visit her in San Francisco because Roman is there looking for the powerful artifact Dragon’s Tear. She needs Kitty, Ben and his cousin Cormac to distract Roman while Anastasia obtains the relic. When Kitty shows Anastasia the coin worn by the dead vampire, the Bay area vamp shows her the exact coin. She says Roman is close to possessing Dragon’s Tear, which will enable him to build an invincible army. Prevention is no longer an option; as they must risk their lives to take the artifact from the malevolent vampire.

Kitty’s latest adventures starts off with en entertaining look at history from a paranormal perspective, but quickly turns into a deadly threat to their well being. Gender bender role switches as Kitty is the alpha and Ben the submissive beta in their pack (and relationship); her confidence in her skills including leadership grows. Humans know that the others exist, but most keep their distance as the vampires and weres have their old alien cultures. Series fans will enjoy the latest urban fantasy entry (see Kitty Goes to War) as Kitty and cohorts battle evil. Harriet Klausner

The Reluctant Vampire
Lynsay Sands
Avon, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061894596

In spite of her objection against babysitting the new teen vampire Stephanie, Marguerite assigns protection of the tyro to rogue hunter Drina Argenis. Knowing her leader never does anything without a secret agenda, Drina wonders why her when she only does field cleansing.

Marguerite believes her niece Drina and Harper Stoyan are life mates, but knows the latter will be in denial as his life mate Jenny died under eighteen months ago when he tried to turn her. Drina has no problem with Harper being hers, but knows he cannot accept the concept of two life mates so shortly apart. However, the pair better focus on living because someone wants Stephanie dead and killing two other vampires is acceptable to this unknown renegade.

This is a terrific entry in the Argeneau saga (see Born to Bite) as Lynsay Sands deftly adds humor starting with Drina’s descriptions of Tall, dark and doorstop, and includes self deprecating commentary mostly by Harper to a taut suspense thriller. The fast-paced story line hooks the audience from the moment the heroine lands in cold Canada for the first time and never slows down as Ms. Sands provides a fabulous tale that hooks us grateful throughout. Harriet Klausner

Devil Without a Cause
Terri Garey
Avon, May 31 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061986390

In Atlanta, Georgia single mom Faith McFarland will do anything to save the life of her ailing preschooler child Nathan dying from brain cancer. She proves that when she makes a pact with the devil Sammy Divine who insists he can cure her son in exchange for her obtaining a ring that he wants.

Rock and roll superstar Finn Payne wears the ring that Sammy covets. Faith plans to seduce Finn, unaware that the rocker made his own Faustian deal symbolized by the ring. When the pair falls in love, that damnation ring remains between them.

Starting with Gabe’s visit to Sammy, fans will enjoy this spin off from the Nicki Styx saga (see Silent Night, Haunted Night). The story line is fast-paced with the lead couple struggling between their respective devilish deals and the Great Deceiver learning some stunning personal truths while asking questions about why the One allowed this son of his without prior warning to taste the forbidden fruit. Sammy proves he can star rather than play second fiddle to his Nicki as he learns some fascinating truths while the rocker and the despondent mother fall in love but the devil remains in the details. Harriet Klausner

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shadow Wlaker, The Falling Machine, Vampire in Atlantis, and Hunter's Fall reviews

Shadow Walker
Allyson James
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425241820

In a high speed chase Sheriff Nash Jones pursues Janet Begay. However his SUV and her motorcycle fall through a suddenly humongous sinkhole filled with magic and ghosts. With no storms nearby that she can tap into and with Nash apparently unconscious, she tries to mentally call out to her lover Mick Burns the dragon Firewalker and her Crossroads Hotel manager Cassandra the Wiccan for rescue.

Mick frees the trapped pair. Ted Wingate the new Hopi County safety inspector insists the historical hotel is unsafe. Hybrid Apache-hell goddess Gabrielle covets Janet’s Stormwalker power so she starts with an assault of the hotel. At the same time a Shadow Walker seeks her and Mick who apparently has become enthralled as a slave to an evil witch. Janet knows all the tsuris she and her friends suddenly face is caused by the Shadow Walker.

This is a great Stormwalker romantic urban fantasy though the emphasis is dramatically on the life and death struggles. Fast-paced yet very twisty, the story line bewitches the audience even more than the Shadow Walker does Mick. Set aside time as Allyson James provides sub-genre fans with one of the best entries of the year.

Harriet Klausner

The Falling Machine
Andrew P. Mayer
PYR, May 24 2011, $16.00
ISBN: 9781616143756

In 1880 New York as the bridge to Brooklyn is being built, members of the secret Paragon society are stunned with the murder of their chief, Sir Dennis Darby. However, even more frightening is his inventions have been stolen by the killer. Darby’s prize creation Tom the AI automaton is considered excess junk by the Paragon who internally squabble over replacing their leader.

Aware of what he is and what happened to his inventor, Tom unites with Darby's top mentee twenty year old Sarah Stanton to investigate what led to the homicide and who killed Darby. They distrust the cabal that they belong to as those loyal argue over positions of authority and the use of Fortified Steam; while they fear evil adversaries have gained access to the inner sanctum of the Society of Steam.

The opening act of the Society of Steam historical amateur sleuth fantasy sets the New York world from the beginning at the Brooklyn side of the bridge construction when Sir Dennis asks Tom the Automaton whether he is bored. Thus readers will believe from the start and never feel otherwise that we are in a late Victorian age NYC. Although very few subplots are ended, readers will enjoy the teaming up of the beautiful intelligent Sarah and Tom the brilliant AI Automaton as they investigate the murder of their beloved mentor. Harriet Klausner

Vampire in Atlantis
Alyssa Day
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425241790

Eleven millennia ago when Atlantis sunk beneath the sea, Daniel’s life figuratively ended with the death of his beloved Serai. Now the vampiric Night Guild mage is mentally wary and can no longer continue his existence after centuries of fighting his own kind and other evils on the side of the Warriors of Poseidon. He plans to die.

However, he is unaware that the leaders lied to him all those thousands of years ago. Instead to save the race, Serai and other chosen maidens were placed in voluntary stasis controlled by the Emperor jewel. The powerful gem was stolen and malevolent beings are deploying it. The jewel’s power awakens Serai who encounters her Daniel. Together, they must delay their reunion to recover the Emperor and save the other maidens.

The eighth Warriors of Poseidon romantic fantasy (see Atlantis Betrayed, Atlantis Redeemed and Atlantis Unmasked) is a fabulous entry that focuses as much on recapturing the jewel and freeing the maidens as it does the second chance at love between Daniel and Serai. The fast-paced story line contains a strong support cast and is loaded with action, but the tale belongs to the lead couple as they have thousands of years of separation that almost led to a Romeo and Juliet tragedy yet still somewhat delay their bedding for camping as they do what is best for their people. Harriet Klausner

Hunter’s Fall
Shiloh Walker
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425241806

Five centuries ago, Nessa the immortal witch held her lover Elias in her arms as he told her he would return to her just before he died. She became a member of the Hunters, whose mission is to control non-humans from attacking mortals. However, she has become wary of fighting and her beloved has not returned to her.

In Idaho Nessa suffers amnesia after a blow to the head during a brawl. Elias has returned as Dominic Ralston the vampire- hunter. He believes he is certifiable as he has spent a lifetime dreaming of the woman he loves but has not met. Now he knows his beloved is in trouble, if she is real, he would willingly would die to keep her safe. However, he must first find the woman who stars in his wet dreams even though he is unsure she exists.

The fifth Hunters romantic urban fantasy (see Hunter's Need and Hunter’s Salvation) is a terrific character driven thriller as Nessa and Dominic are psychically linked even before they meet at Excelsior for the first time in five hundred years. The story line is somewhat thin as the evil enemy wants both dead before they accept their intertwined fate; yet series fans will appreciate the well written second chance at love saga. Harriet Klausner

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Nightfall, The Vampire Narcise, The Last Werewolf, and Deeper than Midnight

Ellen Connor
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425241691

In the middle of the twenty-first century, the first power grid failed in Eastern Europe; soon others followed as the east coast of America went dark while the wave continued to cross the broken country. Some claimed the End of Days Rapture had begun; while others insisted nuclear meltdowns and WMDs as the causes.

Her late dad predicted the end of days as the demise of technology followed by the Change, but Jenna Barclay thought her father was a survivalist lunatic. In Oregon the grid still works, but for how much longer? Former Marine John Mason owes a life debt to Jenna’s late father and pays the first installment by kidnapping his deceased guru’s daughter to take her to safety in the remote wild just before the magical change begins. Jenna thinks her abductor is as crazy as her dad was until mutant dogs attack them followed by meeting three adults and two children fleeing violent inhuman predators. Neither Jenna nor John is prepared for the Change that comes to them.

The first Dark Age Dawning thriller starts off as a science fiction collapse of civilization but deftly switches into a post-apocalyptic survivor fantasy reminiscent of Sterling E. Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey. The story line is fast-paced from the moment John takes Jenna to the cabin her father prepared for her. Aptly titled as Nightfall has fallen putting out the lights of civilization though pockets of packs change yet retain the essence of what is human in the new lethal world. Harriet Klausner

The Vampire Narcise
Colleen Gleason
Mira, May 24 2011, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778329954

Lucifer supplicant Cezar Moldavi knows his strongest weapon in his war against other Dracule elements is his seductive sister Narcise who he once gave to his Master. Cezar takes pleasure watching her out-duel men in sword play while keeping her imprisoned. Only one male meant anything to Narcise, but a decade ago mercenary Giordan Cale betrayed her by selling out to her odious sibling rather then keep his promise to free her.

In 1803 in Paris, vampire hunter Chas Woodmore helps Narcise escape from her brother’s house of torture. He takes her to London where she encounters Giordan, who owns a club. Giordan never forgot the woman he cherishes and surrendered all to her brother to take her with him, but received nothing except a broken heart. They still want each other, but she never forgets so she uses the enthralled vampire hunter as her tool to get at her only beloved. At the same time an outraged Cezar and his horde invade London.

The third Regency Draculia romantic fantasy (See The Vampire Voss and The Vampire Dmitri) is a terrific thriller in which betrayal is the key element as once burned by something worse than the sun leaves no one trusting anyone else. Fast-paced, fans anticipate the war of the Dracule as blood may be thicker than water, but will hatred prove stronger than love. Harriet Klausner

The Last Werewolf
Glen Duncan
Knopf, Jul 12 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 9780307595089

Two centuries old Jake Marlowe is depressed in spite of the fact his physical health is good, he gets all the sex he craves and his high red meat diet is perfect for his metabolism as human fresh flesh is a delight. His despondency is caused by learning from his only friend Harley, who hacked into the World Organization for the Control of Occult Phenomena (WOCOP) database that the other remaining werewolf was just killed.

Jake considers suicide though that would make his species extinct. Meanwhile the vampires hunt him for a purpose that only a bloodsucker would comprehend; while a high ranking WOCOP official stalks him seeking vengeance for Jake dining on his father. Being hunted is not new to The Last Werewolf, but when backed to a cage wall the predator takes over as Jake hunts the hunters.

Jake is a fantastic intelligent and witty protagonist obsessed with the duo needs of sex and eat as he rarely psychologically moves above the Physiological lowest level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; except when his life is at stake he climbs to the next level of personal Safety. The biographical fiction story line is driven by the title character who turns beastly when he hungers for sex or food; preferably together. Harriet Klausner

Deeper Than Midnight
Lara Adrian
Dell, Jun 28 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780440246114

The vampire myth began when eight ancient outworlders came to earth and mated with those females who wore a Breed mark because they are capable of baring a Breed male offspring. In time, the sons turned against their evil and cruel sires, but one escaped their wrath and hid in hibernation.

In the present, Dragos imprisoned him and forced him to copulate with Breedmates. The Children of that union were Gen X warriors, who were more powerful than most of the breed. Dragos puts a slave collar on these children as he trains them to be amoral ruthless killers. Dragos’ enemy The Order liberates one of his killers Hunter who vows to kill his vicious jailer and his psychopathic brothers. The Order raid a compound and free Corrine Bishop held prisoner by their evil adversary for decades. When she and Hunter meet, there is an instant attraction, but neither can accept the soft feelings; he never knew love only hate and she had love tortured out of her. While fleeing from Dragos’ henchmen, Corrine resolutely wants to find her son Nathan, but conceals this from her escort until they make love. Hunter believes Corrine is setting herself up for heartbreak and perhaps death because like him her son is a trained ruthless killer. She persuades him they should try.

The ninth Midnight Breed romantic fantasy is a fantastic entry that is as great as its predecessors (see Taken by Midnight). The story is told from multiple viewpoints; readers will find especially refreshing and fascinating understanding how a breed feels when he enters the Bloodlust stage before he turns into a mindless Rogue who cares only about drinking human blood. The Adrian vampire mythos expands as series fans will appreciate the meaning of Home. Harriet Klausner

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reviews to catch your interest

Wiccan Shadows
Lori J. Schiel
ImaJinn, Mar 31 2011, $16.00
ISBN: 9781610260022

Before Celia, High Priestess of the Laurel Tree Coven, met Jen the veterinarian, she was unaware of how many strays are out there. Thus she agrees to help Jen catch feral felines. Leaving behind her familiar Gordy the dog, Celia is in the woods trapping when she hears a terrifying noise. Panicking she flees but the growl gets louder and her car is no where in sight. Calming herself down, Celia knows she went the wrong way deeper into the woods while peacefully waiting for whatever the beast is to come for her, but as the assault comes she screams in horror.

As she continues to dream of death recently, Alex Grisham wonders what that means even as she ponders whether she should continue to live with controlling Glenn. Jen calls her asking if she heard from Celia as she could not go trapping with their High Priestess due to babysitting issues. Leaving her Berkley’s Books, Alex goes to Celia’s house to find Gordy alone. She takes Gordy with her. Alex with her familiar Rune the Abyssinian, her Wiccan Sisters and mysterious animal control officer “call me Dan” Danielson search for Celia. An unknown adversary attacks Alex, she believes one of the two men in her life wants her dead though she is unaware that the motive is evil which has begun a doomsday scheme.

The key to this superb investigative urban fantasy is the background of the Wiccan Sisters who are moms, veterinarians, bookstore owners, etc.; this anchors the paranormal in a normal environs. The story line is fast-paced as Alex and crew hunt for Celia while the heroine is torn between love and death. The first Wiccan Sisterhood paranormal thriller is am entertaining tale. Harriet Klausner

Hunt the Moon
Karen Chance
Signet, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451413079

Cassandra Palmer abetted by Pritkin the Mage killed her maker Apollo (see Curse the Dawn) when the god caused trouble in his efforts to return to this realm. Cassie looks forward to R&R as she is mentally and physically exhausted from the war with her creator.

Her time with Master vampire Senator Mircea Basarab ends abruptly when supernatural Spartnoi assassins try to kill her. Cassie assumes the attacks are to prevent her from being crowned the Pythia as the world’s chief clairvoyant. However, a master mage hypothesizes that Apollo’s death has triggered the Ragnarok war of the gods. Either way, someone or thing rejects the concept of Cassie being crowned.

The latest Cassandra Palmer fantasy (see Embrace the Night) is an exciting entry as the heroine needs a breather, but her enemies keep the pressure on her. The story line is fast-paced but held together by the beleaguered heroine who battles against supernatural assassins and a fear that the first order effect of her and Pritkin killing Apollo is Ragnarok has begun. Readers will relish this thriller that uses ancient mythology as a strong foundation. Harriet Klausner

Storm Kissed
Jessica Andersen
Signet, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451233752

A decade ago in Denver, teenagers Snake "Dez" Mendez and Reese Montana met and fell in love while defeating Cobra. However, their relationship ends when insane winikin Louis Keban, who Dez had run away from before he hooked up with Reese, caught up to the teen. Keban cut him with a cursed blade that changed Dez, turning him into a demonic possessed felon.

The Nightkeepers recruit Dez and remove the shadow from his brain. He diligently works at fighting evil in New Mexico as he believes he has an IOU for all problems he caused as a criminal. However, recently Dez vanishes without a trace. In Cancun, Nightkeeper leader Strike hires private investigator Reese to find Dez who she thought was dead in an incident three years ago. Reese locates Dez; he explains to her that he searches for Keban, who is fulfilling a prophecy that will bring Lord Vulture from the underworld; what he fails to tell his beloved is his role in bringing hell to earth.

The latest Nightkeepers urban fantasy built from the Mayan end times (see Demonkeepers and Blood Spells) is a .superb thriller due to Dez’s convoluted and conflicting relationships with Reese and Keban. Fast-paced and character driven with perspectives changing, fans will relish this exhilarating tale as Dez is pulled in two directions which has an enthralled audience who will win his soul.
Harriet Klausner

Elle Jasper
Signet, Jun 7 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451233776

Savannah tattoo artist Riley Poe still recovers from her rescuing her younger brother Seth who released the strigoi vampires on a teen prank (see Afterlight). She owes guardian vampire Eli Dupre and his kin for their saving Seth and her from the vicious Strigoi Arcos siblings (Victorian and Valerian). The evil brothers injected her with their toxin. Although controlled somewhat by the intervention of Eli and his partners, Riley’s senses has been exponentially embellished including her need for sex, which Eli is glad to accommodate as he loves her and needs her unique special blood.

One other byproduct of the assault is she is psychically connected to maniacal Valerian as she witnesses the terror in the minds of his victims. Starting to understand the obsessive craving, Riley still needs help from an Undead expert; she knows the vamp she loves is the man for her. However, there is also a supernatural cleansing needed so she joins Eli and his team.

The second The Dark Ink Chronicles urban fantasy is an exhilarating thriller as vampires needing their fix run wild in the coastal southeast. Although over the top of Hartwell Dam as sex dominates the story line, fans will enjoy the changes in the life of Riley who has become sympathetic with the blood addiction of vampires.
Harriet Klausner