Sunday, October 30, 2011


Checkup tomorrow. Will let everyone know how it goes tomorrow. Hope everyone is well.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Katusha by Wayne Van Sant

Katusha, written and drawn by Wayne Vansant,, 16.50Euros, 178 pages.

Wayne is an old friend who drew The 'Nam comic for Marvel and has many other historically accurate war comics to his credit. They include the Heritage series of Civil War titles, Battron, and stories of World War II and Korea.

Katusha is the story of the German attack on the Ukraine during World War II. The difference is that the story is told from the viewpoint of a young Ukranian girl who fights for herself and her country.

Although this volume is in Italian, the story can be understood by the drawings. There is an American edition under discussion, but contracts are still pending.

The art is fantastic and the story is historically accurate. Check out the website and if possible, order a copy of this interesting work.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Solaris News

Double Dead

by Chuck Wendig

Coming to life on 10th November in the UK and 15th November in US & Canada

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907519-44-4

$9.99/$12.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-41-4

You’re a vampire and you’ve just woken up. You’re hungry. It’s time to feed. The problem is that while you’ve been napping, the zombie apocalypse has broken out – and your food source is rapidly dwindling!

Introducing the freshest new concept in the undead – Double Dead, by debut author Chuck Wendig.

Coburn the vampire becomes an unlikely shepherd with a shotgun as he tries to look after his last remaining food supply in the face of a zombie onslaught.

A thrilling chase across a zombie-infested America – with a twist – Wendig’s first novel is a fantastically entertaining, blood-thirsty, brain-guzzling first novel.

As part of Abaddon’s READ ANYTHING campaign, a free preview of chapter one of Double Dead is available for download! Check out the epub version, the Kindle version or the .pdf version now, for free!

“A bloodthirsty ride through zombie-infested Route 66. Chuck Wendig gives horror fans EXACTLY what they need in this slick, cross-genre romp.”

– Wayne Simmons, author of the best-selling Flu and Drop Dead Gorgeous

Monday, October 24, 2011

Read Anything


Free epic fantasy hits iTunes

Continuing its commitment to digital publishing through its READ ANYTHING campaign, Solaris Books is delighted to announce a preview book now available on iTunes – for free!

The Wizard’s Coming is now available as a free ebook on iTunes, which serves as an excellent introduction to the brand new epic fantasy series, The Hadrumal Crisis, by Juliet E. McKenna.

Discover the fallout from the events in The Wizard's Coming in McKenna's Dangerous Waters, which was published in August and is also available on iTunes.

READ ANYTHING is the campaign by Solaris and Abaddon Books, two of the freshest genre publishers in the UK today, to encourage people to use their eReaders to explore genres outside of their usual comfort zones. The revolution in eReaders gives readers the freedom to read whatever they want – fantasy, science-fiction, horror, urban fantasy, Steampunk, historical action, ANYTHING. They’re perfect to explore genre fiction you never knew even existed!

The two imprints produce books that transcend lazy genre clichés: explore the Steampunk world of Pax Britannia on your iPad, the terrifying sink estate of The Concrete Grove on your Kindle, or soaring SF epics such as The Recollection and The Kings of Eternity.

The Wizard’s Coming is just the first of the free ebooks that will be made available on iTunes.

“Electronic publishing and e-books provide a whole host of opportunities for the publisher and reader,” said Jon Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon Books and Solaris. “We can get our books out now to an even wider audience and we’re looking forward to welcoming new fans to the world of genre.”

Links for The Wizard’s Coming:
... iTunes UK
... iTunes AU
1 ... iTunes CA
... iTunes US
... iTunes FR ... iTunes DE

Links for Dangerous Waters the first book in the The Hadrumal Crisis series:
... iTunes UK
... iTunes AU
... iTunes CA
... iTunes US
... iTunes FR
... iTunes DE


The READ ANYTHING campaign from Solaris and Abaddon Books aims to do away with judging a book, or rather its reader, by its cover. At last, content shall be king with whole new worlds of genre publishing opening up to readers.

Solaris and Abaddon don’t just release eBooks – we want to provide new and exciting material for readers. Both imprints will:

publish every new book as an eBook on multiple platforms on the same day as it sees prints

publish the first chapter of every new book online, for free, ahead of publication

publish selected future titles exclusively as eBooks introduce new ways to share eBooks with your friends and family.

Michael Molcher

PR Coordinator, Rebellion
Rebellion, Riverside House, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0ES
Tel: +44 (0)1865 792 201

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Getting better slowly. Some good days, some bad days.

Having biggest problem with my leg, still stiff and sore.

Chest itches, so it appears to be healing.

Biggest complaint is all this spare time and can't concentrate enough to read. Maybe that will change soon.

More later

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don Grant Newsletter

Welcome to issue #72 of the Donald M. Grant Newsletter

11 October 2011




In production, with an expected release in the Spring of 2012, is THE AVEROIGNE CHRONICLES edited by noted Clark Ashton Smith scholar Ronald S. Hilger with an introduction by Gahan Wilson, afterword by Donald Sidney-Fryer and illustrated by Brazilian artist Fernando Duval (illustrator of the Grant edition of H.P. Lovecraft’s AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS).

Containing the 12 short stories and 11 poems Clark Ashton Smith wrote about the imaginary French province of Averoigne, Ronald S. Hilger has researched Smith’s original manuscripts to produce the most authentic version of these works yet published.

To see one of the color illustrations go to:


Last November we sold our last copy of the Gift Edition of DESPERATION. Or so we thought. We just found a few cases of the book in our warehouse and while they last they are available at our original price of $75 plus shipping. Illustrated by Don Maitz it was released a week prior to the Viking Trade Edition:


In production, with an expected release in the Spring of 2012, is VISIONS - ROBERT MCGINNIS WOMEN, a 176 page full color art book celebrating the romantic vision of artist Robert E. McGinnis.

Best known for his art on the covers of over 1,200 paperbacks, ranging in subject matter from hard-boiled detective to historical romances, and iconic movie posters such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Barbarella and numerous James Bond films. Robert E. McGinnis has had successful gallery shows of his landscapes, portraits, nudes and western paintings.


4. We are currently scheduled to release the Limited Editions in February 2012. Our edition will have 6 full color plates and 11 Black & White illustrations by acclaimed artist Jae Lee. One of the Black & Whites is available for viewing at:

5. Stephen King has agreed to sign only 800 copies of a Deluxe Edition. In keeping with our policies of supporting long time customers, owners of Deluxe Edition copies of THE LITTLE SISTERS OF ELURIA numbered 1-800 will have the first option
to buy this Deluxe Edition.

We will initially have a “postcard lottery” for unclaimed copies (which we expect to be very few) eligible for those who have a Deluxe Edition of LSOE numbered higher than 800.

6. There will be a 5,000 copy limited “Artist” Edition which will be signed by Jae Lee and will be issued in a slipcase. There will be no limitation for purchasing this edition.

7. Scribner has announced their release of a trade hardcover edition of THE DARK TOWER: THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE on April 3, 2012.

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

We are not taking orders at this time and do not have prices. Please do not call or email us asking for more information than is in this newsletter. Updates will be announced in future issues of this newsletter. We also advise you to sign up for Stephen King’s newsletter at

When more information is available we will let you know through this newsletter and we will also post it at:

9. We are down to 4 copies of the slipcases for The Dark Towers 1-3 available for $30.00 plus shipping. If you are interested in buying one please email Karen French at:

Please put “DT 1-3 Slipcase” as the subject of your email. Karen will confirm if we still have copies and arrange with you for payment.

Thank you.

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

Solaris Rising

Solaris Rising
edited by Ian Whates

Landing on 25th October (US) and 1st November (UK)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-08-7
$7.99/$9.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-09-4

Also available as an eBook

Looking for science fiction of the highest order? Solaris Rising is the first in an exciting new series of anthologies set to reaffirm Solaris’s proud reputation for producing high quality science fiction.

In a book full of boundless variety, energy and imagination, award-winning editor Ian Whates gathers the most accomplished writers in the genre including Ian McDonald, Paul di Filippo, Stephen Baxter, Adam Roberts, Pat Cadigan, Eric Brown, Alastair Reynolds and Peter F. Hamilton.

From the imprint that brought you The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction series, Solaris Rising promises bizarre futures, gritty other worlds and strange realms, exemplifying the diversity and innovation that continue to make science fiction the most thrilling genre there is.

“A cliché it may be, but there really is something for everyone here... an ideal bait to tempt those who only read novels to climb over the short fiction fence.”
– Interzone on The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction, Vol. 2

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Health Update

Am home.
All went well, but weaker than I expected to be.
Will pass more along as I get to feeling better.
Thanks for all the prayers and best wishes.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I hope to be back soon

Going to Atlanta today to get ready for quad bypass surgery at 6:00am Tuesday morning.

I'll be back as soon as I can.

Everyone take care.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, John Lennon

Happy Birthday to John Lennon, one of the good guys who helped change the world.

Imagine, copyright by John Lennon

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Four from Harriet

The Black Lung Captain
Chris Wooding
Spectra, $16.00
ISBN: 9780345522504

It has been a tough year on the crew of the Ketty Jay even with their fame growing from the Retribution Falls' success and failure; much of both their victory and defeat was caused by the dysfunctional relationship between Captain Darian Frey and his former fiancée Captain Tranica Dracken of the Delirium Trigger.

After an embarrassingly failed attempt to rob an orphanage where Crake the tortured (over his niece’s death and reincarnation as a Golem) demonologist warned Frey they shoot back, the captain discusses a deal with the Storm Dog Captain Harvin Grist. Explorer Rodley Hodd found a downed aircraft filled with treasure on the dangerous isle of Kurg where killing beasts run amuck. After choking on his beer, Frey accepts the commission as he wisely assumes the lethal monsters in the hostile barrier island’s rain forest can’t be any worse than orphans who shoot at thieves.

The second Tales of the Ketty Jay pulp fantasy is a terrific quest thriller starring rogues and thieves. Backstabbing and double crossing are survival techniques. The story line continues some subplots from Retribution Falls as readers learn more about the inept crew especially Crake that cleverly tie into the prime theme of The Black Lung Captain. Ironically, all the swashbuckling on land, in the air and at sea brings plenty of exciting action; but also predictable expectations in a sort of Indiana Jones’ style. Still fans, especially those who read the opening act, will enjoy joining Frey and his motley crew on their latest adventures; just watch your back as anyone else doing so likely will stab you.
Harriet Klausner

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi - Ascension
Christie Golden
Del Rey, $27.00
ISBN: 9780345509161

Father and son Jedi Knights Luke and Ben Skywalker and Sith apprentice Vestara Khai search the galaxy for Aboleth, the most powerful practitioner of the dark force ever. The trio hunt the deadly dark force user amongst the haunting deserted planets that were once homes to the Lost Tribe of the Sith several millennia ago. What they find left behind leaves Vestara shaken while deciding her future.

On Coruscant, the removal of despotic Natasi Daala (see Vortex) has left a fight for control in which the Order of the Knights of Jedi take charge, but other forces of the Galactic Alliance distrust them due to their power grabbing misue of the Force (see Conviction). At a time when treachery and betrayal split the Galactic Alliance further while Sith undercover operatives work the schism and Daala remains a force, the Jedi try to maintain order.

The eighth Fate of the Jedi moves forward the two prime series overarching but related themes in exhilarating ways while also setting up the finish. The story line is fast-paced whether readers explore the eerie Lost Tribe of the Sith’s ghost-planets or the political intrigue on Coruscant. This is a super entry with a great twist that will shake the Force forty-three years after A New Hope Return of the Jedi. Harriet Klausner

The Taker
Alma Katsu
Gallery, Sep 6 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 9781439197059

At Aroostook County Hospital in St. Andrew, Maine, Dr. Luke Findley works the ER graveyard shift. Sheriff Duchesne brings in a handcuffed young person covered with blood and wearing no coat on a freezing night. The sheriff believes Lanore McIlvrae murdered Jonathan.

In the ER with only Luke present, Lanny insists she is innocent. She explains her family exiled her to Boston to give birth to an illegitimate child in 1817. There she met ancient alchemist Count Adair and his retinue. The Count saved her life when he gave her an immortality potion but at the cost of her becoming his mistress. Lanny accepted what her savior expected of her until now when he went after her true love Jonathan.

The merger of alchemy and love in Maine makes for a strong rural fantasy. The story line starts a bit slow as the key players are introduced directly and indirectly in the present and the past; once done the plot accelerates as skeptical readers and a doubting Luke become hooked believers. The key to The Taker is that the audience accepts as true Lanny’s Faustian cautionary tale of evil’s eternal energy to remain alive at all costs to others. Harriet Klausner

Night Born
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Harlequin Nocturne Bites, $2.99
ISBN: 9781459207417

Vampires attacked her mother the Slayer leaving her dying in the hospital. Danika Douglas knows when her beloved mom passes she will become the new Slayer though she lacks experience and understanding of her powers.

Seeking revenge Danika believes gallery owner Alexander Kent the ancient vampire killed her mother. She looks at paintings in which he appears including one at his gallery. Alexander sees her staring at the picture and is stunned as she is the first female in ages he desires; the last one tried to kill him. Danika the slayer and Alexander the vampire know they are fated to fight to the death, but he offers her an alternative of love with the elements of passion and support. If she accepts his terms of endearment, Danika fears her mom and their ancestors of slayers will turn in their graves.

Night Born is an enjoyable romantic urban fantasy E-book starring two interesting beloved enemies. Though the novella format limits plot development as Linda Thomas-Sundstrom’s focuses on the changing of the lead couple’s relationship from antagonists to potential protagonists. Still fans of the Vampire Moon saga (see Golden Vampire) will enjoy this fun Nocturne Bites as she begins to learn the job and he is unlike his species. Harriet Klausner

Friday, October 7, 2011

Bargains and Betrayals; Ghost Ship; and,Legacy of Kings reviews

Bargains and Betrayals
Shannon Delany
St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.99
ISBN: 9780312609160

To protect her boyfriend Pietr the werewolf, Jessie Gilmansen does not fight those like her father and Dr. Jones who takes her to the Pecan Place mental institution. As she ponders what to do since learning her blood is a key element in controlling lycanthropy and her lifespan s diminished because of it, Jessie realizes her present abode is a dangerous asylum.

Her ex boyfriend Derek the mind controller needs Jessie to spy on the Rusakova mob. Using his psychic skill, he makes her conduct surveillance though she tries not to do it. Meanwhile Pietr makes a desperation deal with the devil aka the Russian Mafia chief to free Jessie and his mother. He conceals what he has done because he believes his Jessie will angrily leave him. As the danger towards Jessie mounts with government and private entities wanting her blood, Pietr must complete his part of the contractual arrangement with the mob.

The latest 13 to Life young adult urban fantasy (see Secrets and Shadows) is an exciting thriller that rotates perspective with Jessie’s being the most frequent. There is a lot of violence especially against women (made more so by the age of the targeted audience) so much that the climax will have readers cheering. Fans will enjoy Jessie’s saga while wondering what comes next as seemingly Pietr like Derek before him has betrayed the heroine with the special blood that is internally and externally killing her. Harriet Klausner

Ghost Ship
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Baen, Aug 2 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 9781439134559

Theo Waitley was accepted as a student pilot at the Academy where she excels at flying but she suffers from Liadan Luck as she is the center of violent activity that is started by others. For the safety of her peers, faculty and staff, Theo is expelled from the school. She obtains work with Korval as they leave for Surebleak.

However, Theo’s Luck continues when she learns her in hiding scholarly father Jen Sar Kiladi is a deadly Korval Master Pilot and the Bechmio ancient technology on board the Arin’s Toss demands she become the ship’s captain. Theo declines until she learns her dying lover Win Ton may survive with on-board medical technology. On Tokeo the Federated Trade Commission is interested in her and her ship but Bechmio rescues her. Knowing she needs a co-pilot Theo obtains the services of Boss Clarence O’Berin who knows her father’s undead first wife. Assassins and the government want her as more frightening to Theo so does her mom.

Although newcomers will be lost in space as familiar heroes, agencies and customs are difficult to grasp for the tyro. For veterans of the Liadan Universe, Ghost Ship is a thrilling space opera adventure starring a female swashbuckling pilot who could star on Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ song Bad Luck. However, the key to this engaging entry is Bechmio who has developed a personality over the ages. Fans will enjoy the latest Balance of wrongs as the heroine remains in the eye of turbulence. Harriet Klausner

Legacy of Kings
C.S. Friedman
DAW, Sep 6 2011, $25.95
ISBN: 9780756406936

The Wrath of the Gods has imprisoned the Souleaters who devoured the life essences of mortals; causing the empires to dissolve into barbarism. In the present, a breach in the Wrath allows these monsters to return to the world they devastated forty generations ago. However, the Souleaters learned from the errors of their ancestors so these creatures are more cunning and smarter. Nobody knew they are back except for Witch Queen Siderea Aminestas who is linked to her Souleater queen.

The Witch-Queen Siderea intends to sue the Souleaters to destroy the Magister sorcerers who also use the life essence of mortals to fuel their magic. The former monk King Salvator Aurelius senses the Souleaters have entered his High Kingdom; he gets the queen killed, but knows the queen to the south still remains a major threat to all mortals.. Former enemies form an alliance to take down Siderea and her Souleater queen.

The Magister Trilogy (see Feast of Souls and Wings of Wrath) comes to a powerful glorious climax with all the major loose ends resolved while also revealing the origin of the Magisters. The story line of the Legacy of Kings is told from various viewpoints which enable the readers to get inside the heads of the different protagonists and antagonists without slowing down the tale. Filled with many twists, series fans will be shocked and enthralled with some of the subplot endings as C.S. Friedman provides a superb quest fantasy. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bloodlines, Crossroads and Shadow Kin reviews

Richelle Mead
Razorbill/Penguin, August 23 2011, $18.99
ISBN: 9781595143174

Four Alchemists arrive at the home of Sydney, her parents and her sister Zoe. Sydney assumes they will send her to a reeducation center for her assistance to Rose Hathaway the dhampir (see the Vampire Academy series). Instead they want Zoe, but her dad says his frightened youngest is not ready to protect other humans from vampires. He suggests Sydney instead. Reluctantly they agree so with a warning they will assign teenaged Sydney to protect Moroi vampire Queen Lissa Dragomir's half-sister Jill from an assassin. The plan is to hide the princess at Amberwood Prep, a Palm Springs, California exclusive school for humans while Sydney poses as Jill’s older sister.

Sydney knows this will not be an easy assignment as she has been indoctrinated with the belief that vampires are predatory monsters though her work has her dividing the undead into two sub-species, the evil Strigoi and the Moroi. The safe school includes sleazy Keith who blames Sydney for his troubles and her friend Adrian who helps her though she has a different kind of help in mind. She finds the prep school has unsafe secrets.

The start of a related to the Vampire Academy new series, Bloodlines is an engaging urban fantasy starring an intriguing heroine who keeps the exciting story line focused. Sydney accepts a job she does not want to protect her sister and to gain fatherly approval while hoping to get out of trouble with the Alchemist hierarchy. Besides the fun of crossovers like Adrian, Sydney brings freshness with her personality so different from the extroverted VA protagonists. Although this reviewer has a problem with teenage females dieting to size zero to obtain approval from family and friends, readers will enjoy Sydney’s Palm Springs adventures. Harriet Klausner

Jeanne C. Stein
Ace, Aug 30 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780441020775

In Mission Beach, SDPD Detective Harris visits Anna Strong over odd anomalies involving two hundred year old DNA found in the fiery death of his late boss Warren Williams. She knows she is the “Chosen One” (see Retribution). However, she needs a little time to accept her destiny and grieve the loss of her mentor and the betrayal of her late lover. However, the battle against Chael the vampire is still on as the ancient one challenges her position as he believes vampires belong at the top of the food chain not roaches scurrying for food.

Anna’s former human lover Drug Enforcement Agent Max asks for her help to end the murderous terror of a rogue vampire. This Undead transports people across the Mexican border, but once stateside he drains the blood from his human cargo. Her partner David has found out some information about his lost weekend that Anna would prefer he not remember. Anna confronts Chael who implies he knows how she can return to being human, her fondest desire. To do so Anna must locate a Navajo shaman living as a hermit on a reservation. Chael also makes Anna realize he knows shapeshifter Daniel Frey has a young son that Anna fears the vampire or something else will target.

This is an enjoyable Anna Strong, Vampire urban fantasy as the heroine’s life keeps getting increasingly complicated. Besides dealing with vampires like Chael, the human trafficker and the late chief’s wife, she also has issues with humans like Harris and David. However, this is nothing compared to what awaits the hero on the Navaho Nation. Harriet Klausner

Shadow Kin
M.J. Scott
Roc, Sep 6 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464040

Blood Lord Lucius orders the “soulless” wraith he raised as an assassin to kill human sunmage Simon DuCaine. Lily goes after Simon, but he defeats her. Instead of killing Lily, Simon lets her live though he is not being altruistic.

He and his Templar knight brother believe Lily is the proof that Lucius broke the City’s treaty signed by the Blood Lords, Beast Kind, the Fae and the Humans. He pleads with his captive to testify against the master who raised her. He is attracted to the “Nightseeking whore” who glides like a shadow between worlds. She believes joining him in the light is impossible though she is falling in love with the mage who showed her mercy though she knows he condemned her as being like his sister Edwina.

The Shadow Kin political fantasy is a fabulous tale as the world of Scott comes vividly alive through the competing machinations between the prime groups. Blood Lords and the Beast Kind rule the Night World; while Fae and human mages guard the rest of the Half Light City. Fast-paced from the onset, fans will relish this strong thriller though the romance never quite gels with the pasts of the two protagonists except when they curse at each other. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kultus is soon to be unlocked

by Richard Ford

Unlocked on 1st November (UK)
and 25th October (US & Canada)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-27-8
$7.99/$9.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-907992-28-5

Available as an ebook

Some keys should never be turned…

A steam-powered burlesque of brutal demonic action by the latest break-out talent from Solaris!

Thaddeus Blaklok – mercenary, demonist, bastard and thug-for-hire – is pressed into retrieving a mysterious key for his clandestine benefactors. Little does he know that other parties seek to secure this artefact for their own nefarious ends and soon he is pursued by brutal cultists, bloodthirsty gangsters, deadly mercenaries and hell spawned monsters, all bent on stopping him by any means necessary.

In a lightning paced quest that takes him across the length and breadth of the steam-fuelled city of Manufactory, Blaklok must use his wits and his own demonic powers to keep the key from those who would use it for ill, and open the gates to Hell itself.

Wrapped in a beautiful cover by famous Batman and Robin comic artist Fraser Irving, this is a sizzling mix of the occult and steampunk from a debut novelist that doesn’t leave the fun out.

About the Author

Richard Ford hails from the dark, windswept streets of Leeds in the grim north of England, but managed to escape to the idyllic Wiltshire countryside, where he can now be found frolicking by the Thames, drinking cider and singing songs about combine harvesters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

News and Reviews

Received a late afternoon call from the VA. Bypass surgery is postponed until October 11. Too many emergencies coming in so all "elective" surgery is being rescheduled. Told the Doctor I would try not to become an emergency.

Here are some more reviews from Harriet. Enjoy

Blood Cursed
Erica Hayes
St. Martin’s, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312624712

At the Unseeling Court nightclub in Melbourne, Jasper the dark fae pimps his girlfriend Emmy to the vampires. The Undead pay exorbitant amounts of money to taste the nectar of bloodfairy juice. The bloodwhore and her pimp rob the dazed bloodsucker. However, Emmy is emotionally hurt when she sees Jasper kissing ardently another female fae.

Glassfairy Diamond the gangster takes Ember under his wings as she has something he wants. Ember stole crystals from Kane who demands their return with a catch; whoever does so must enter hell to do so, but not entering hell would prove worse. Diamond knows Ember is an expendable pawn in a gangland war, but he loves her. Ember distrusts Diamond especially since she loves him, but if she wants to live he is her only chance.

This is an interesting Australian urban romantic fantasy in which the world of Erica Hayes is a dark, gloomy and bloody as the readers tours this alternate Melbourne mob underground. The story line is fast-paced even with a need to adapt to the butchered “speechified” way Diamond talks. Fans will enjoy the latest exhilarating Shadowfae Chronicles (see Poison Kissed, Shadowfae and Shadowglass).
Harriet Klausner

Blood Ties
Mari Mancusi
Berkley, $9.99
ISBN: 9780425241363

All she wanted was a normal life but Sunny McDonald was born to be a slayer; was actually a vampire for six days; and has a vampire Magus leader of the Blood Coven as a boyfriend. On top of that she is also a fairy princess who is second in line to the throne. Magnus heads to Japan with the other vampire covens that make up the Consortium to fight the Alphas a fanatical splinter group that once belonged to Slayer, Inc. The group broke off from the alliance that polices vampires.

Sunny, a vampire slayer talks Magnus into going to Glastonbury, England with her sister, a vampire and a slayer and her boyfriend Jayden so he can ask the Druid if he can drink a drop of blood from the Holy Grail. They arrive too late as the Alphas stole the Grail. Magnus leaves the pair in a safe house while he goes to Japan, but when she hears that her friend ordered Jayden poisoned, they escape and flee to Japan where Sunny plans to take the fight to the Alphas in order to retrieve the Grail and confront Magnus. Meanwhile a supernatural civil war has ignited between vampires and slayers.

This exciting teen urban fantasy (see Boys That Bite and Stake That) continues the bloody darker spin somewhat lightened by campy humor that started when the twins were sent to Night School in Switzerland for their safety. The dilemma Sunny faces is similar in potential consequences as that she confronted in Night School, fast-paced with the focus is mostly on her; she fears whatever she does will lead to the death of someone she cherishes or her own demise. Harriet Klausner

With Fate Conspire
Marie Brennan
Tor, $27.99
ISBN: 9780765325372

For over three centuries, the Onyx Court of the Fae has existed beneath London. Most humans living above ground are unaware of those residing underneath the city. However, several decades ago, the Industrial Revolution began a new iron age as pipes, bridges and rails run over and under the city; iron is lethal to the Fae whose species has become endangered with short term extinction a likely outcome as their magical realm rapidly diminishes. Only the resolute Queen Lune keeps at bay imminent extinctio, but she is dying.

Meanwhile Eliza O'Malley continues her seven years old fruitless search for her vanished best friend Owen who she insists was kidnapped by the fairy; people believe she is insane. Like Lune, Eliza refuses to quit as she seeks the dog man, Goblin Market head gangster Nadrett’s slave Dead Rick who betrayed her Owen. Ironically Dead Rick is perhaps the only one who empathizes with Eliza as he wants the return of his stolen memory that Nadrett, as he has done with humans and fae, took from him.

The fourth Onyx Court Victorian fantasy (see Midnight Never Come, In Ashes Lie and A Star Shall Fall) is a terrific tale anchored by one of the best sub-genre backgrounds in recent memory though that also slows down the start of the thriller. Described with dark Dickensian depth in the human and Fae realms, fans will envision the grim squalor of Goblin Court and mortal London as well as the hopelessness of the Onyx Court as urban development fostered by iron encroaches. The key cast is solid as readers anticipate a confrontation between the three determined antagonists as the new Iron Age is destroying Onyx Court and the Fae.
Harriet Klausner

Monday, October 3, 2011

More from Harriet

Prospero Regained
L. Jagi Lamplighter
Tor, Sep 13 2011, $25.99
ISBN 9780765319319

Miranda has successfully run the family business Prospero, Inc. However, though the firm has prevented some major disasters on earth, she is losing her power. She thinks someone in the inner circle has betrayed her and the family.

At the same time Prospero is caught in a hellish tempest in which avenging demons plan to execute him. Though pondering why that hack Shakespeare couldn’t find some other character and island for his play, Miranda, estranged from her famous deadbeat dad and her distrusting siblings, knows he needs rescuing. Thus Miranda enters the circles of Hell to gather her family so they can save the pickling of the patriarch in the Pit; ironically they share in common resentment of dearest dad.

The final Prospero's Daughter urban fantasy (see Prosper Lost and Prospero in Hell) is a brilliant finish to an engaging family drama. The story line is fast-paced as the family travels through Hell seeking the salvation of their father and the redemption of themselves as individuals yet a traitor appears to be amongst them. To paraphrase Alexander Pope: to err is human (and fairy), to forgive divine. Harriet Klausner

Veronica and the Vampire
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Harlequin Nocturne Bites, Jun 21 2011, $ .99
Barnes and Noble ISBN: 2940012882387; Amazon ASN: B0057AI6IQ

In Los Angeles, her cubicle mate at the legal firm Annie sends law clerk Veronica Davis to V.A.M.P. Inc. so the latter can choose an escort to take her to her nasty sister Charlene’s wedding. The choices of men reside inside coffins, but it is Christopher who she wants. Veronica does not believe Christopher is a vampire, but marvels with how he deals with her shocked sibling and her stunned mother. He is the reason she is not wearing the scarlet letter of L for loser.

However, Christopher wants more from Veronica than a “dead-end date” at her sibling’s wedding. As she begins to accept what he is, the vampire must persuade the law clerk they are destined soumatesl.

Veronica and the Vampire is a fun lighthearted paranormal romance starring a woman who find a male that like the Electric Company’s Letterman changes the meaning of L from loser to lover. Although the novella format leaves the plot thin, sub-genre fans will enjoy Linda Thomas-Sundstrom’s amusing frolic similar in tone to the author’s engaging Barbie and the Beast. Harriet Klausner

Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense
Edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers
Harper Voyager, Sep 6 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780061999710

In the Introduction, editors Nick Gevers and Jack Dann explain that the premise of this excellent anthology is to explore the “great paradox of the Victorian age” in which the Queen declared the enlightenment yet superstition and paranormal species still held a grip on the people. Perhaps Laird Barron's "Blackwood's Baby" is the best example of that unbalanced scale between enlightened understanding and suggestive fears of the unknown. Thus the Enlightenment is a transition into the modern world. All seventeen entries are excellent examples of “Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense”. “The Iron Shroud” by James Morrow opens the superior collection with Jonathan pondering insects and hell as his dead mentor remains interred. Just after Princess Maude married the future Sultan, four men living in a rooming house learn why Turks write down everything even “Music, When Soft Voices Die” by Peter S. Beagle. Margo Lanagan provides an engaging insightful focus on the changing class combat in "The Proving of Smollett Standforth." “The Curious Case of the Moondawn Daffodil Murder as Experienced by Sir Magnus Holmes and Almost Doctor Susan Shrike” (by Garth Nix) pays homage to the great Victorian detective and his sidekick in a razor sharp thriller. All the other entries are excellent as this may prove to be the historical fantasy (and horror) collection of the year climaxing with Jeffrey Ford's gloomy ghostly ruins of "The Summer Palace." Harriet Klausner

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Three from Harriet

Second Grave on the Left
Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s, Aug 16 2011, $22.99
ISBN: 9780312360818

Although he knows the potential consequence of awakening his BFF is a severe butt kicking, Cookie wakes up grim reaper private investigator Charley Davidson. He is upset because his friend Mimi Jacobs vanished without a trace so he pleads with Charley to find out what happened to her. After a few growls, Charley investigates only to quickly learn that several of Mimi’s former high school classmates have recently died.

At the same time Charley works the Mimi case, her frequent protector (though she insists he is a pain in the butt stalker) Reyes “Son of Satan” Farrow informs his sometimes lover from the astral plane that he is leaving his body behind to die at the hands of demons who want to use him to get to her. Charley thinks his suicide scheme is stupid and besides she needs his body to give her the best sex in town as she is not into corpses. She searches for where he concealed his corporal form before the demons get to it.

The second Charley Davidson paranormal private investigator (see First Grave on the Right) is a hilarious yet tense urban fantasy as the heroine works two missing persons’ cases in which she fears both will end when she finds the respective dead body. The jocular story line is fast-paced from the onset, but it is the three dimensional cast (including the dead and the astral) especially Charley who makes for a fun butt kicking thriller. Harriet Klausner

The Moon Maze Game
Larry Niven and Steven Barnes
Tor, Aug 16 2011, $25.99
ISBN: 9780765326669

In 2085 the colonized Moon hosts the latest Live Action Role Playing Game based on H.G. Wells’ classic First Men in the Moon. The contest will be broadcast live to the moon colonists and to those living on earth. The chosen ones to participate include famous gamemaster Xavier, Prince Ali of the African Republic of Kikaya whose father is President for Life and the royal’s bodyguard Scotty Griffin, and Xavier’s competitors Wayne Gibson and Angelique Chan.

However, the Live Action Role Playing Game turns deadly when Shotz leads his ruthless gang on an invasion of the moon landscape. His unit captures game participants killing some and holding others hostage as they demand the President for Life Abdul abdicates. The problem for Shotz and his professional mercenaries is they are gaming on Xavier’s turf.

The fourth Dream Park game theory based science fiction (see The Barsoom Project and The California Voodoo Game) is an entertaining thriller that extrapolates present economic and political trends seven decades into the future. The story line starts slow and in some ways repeats its predecessor even with the game base being radically different but fans of the saga will enjoy this action-packed lunar landing. Harriet Klausner

Into the Hinterlands
David Drake and John Lambshead
Baen, Sep 6 2011, $25.00
ISBN: 9781439134610

As part of the Harbinger Project, the three friends (Allen Allenson, Jem Hawthorn and Royman Destry) survey the mostly unexplored Hinterlands to the west of the Cutter Stream Colonies. They meet the barbaric Riders who carry heads as trophies and they take glimpses into the mysterious Continuum. Though the mission is incomplete, the three Brasilians agree to head home but make a slight side stop on Paragon where Destry can see his sister Lynsie and Allenson can say goodbye to her husband his dying brother Todd.

Allenson’s sister-in-law Lynsie persuades him to replace Todd as the Inspector General of the colonial militia. With the usual legal bribes given to the Governor, he conditionally has the position but must prove his worth by returning to the Hinterlands. There he will investigate rumors of Terran activity in an area where they are undesirables and renew the trade pact with friendly Rider tribes. Though a rookie at diplomacy and just about everything else; Allenson finds himself checked by various factions playing chess with the winner controlling the Hinterlands.

This is a fascinating clever outer space retelling of the French-English seventeenth and eighteenth century rivalry in North America (and elsewhere like India) ending with the first global conflict, the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indians War in the New World colonies). The imaginative story line is action-packed though stops on Paragon slows the pace but also sets in motion the convoluted confrontations in which the wannabe hero is caught in the crosshairs. Readers will enjoy young Allenson’s adventures Into The Hinterlands. Harriet Klausner

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Update from me and reviews from Harriet

Getting used to a new computer with Windows 7. Hated to give up XP, but time marches on.

I'm running around getting things set up for the surgery on Thursday and time is moving too fast. Can't get in a reading mood cause my mind is wandering through my experiences and recalling a lot of things that have been forgotten for years.

Here are some reviews from Harriet. Hope something catches your interest.

Masters of Shadows
Angela Knight
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425243671

For centuries La Belle Coeur understands her role is to help new vampire magekind to convert to their new lives by seducing them. Knight of the Round Table Tristan distrusts all females ever since his wife Isolde betrayed him (and his peers) ages ago.

A newly transformed vampire Davon Fredericks kills seventeen year old Jimmy Sheridan a Direkind werewolf, which ignites tension between the paranormal species to a point where a war seems likely. Davon claims King Arthur assigned him the sacred duty of executing the teen. Belle and Tristan team up on an investigation; as each suspects the sworn enemy of Arthur the evil werewolf wizard Warlock caused the lethal incident to provoke bloody combat that also would expose the magekind to humanity. While fighting their attraction to one another, Belle and Tristan try to prevent a war like none ever before.

The latest Mageverse romantic fantasy (see Master of Smoke and Master of Fire) is a terrific entry as Angela Knight provides a strong tale of a world on the brink. Warlock is at his diabolical best heating the growing rage of the Dire wolves who have had twelve dead at last count while Ms. Knight’s knights struggle to prevent the combat by seeking evidence to prove they are not the serial killers of werewolves. With a touching romance between a misanthrope and a whore, fans will relish Master of Shadows while also looking forward to what the warlock conjures next. Harriet Klausner

Monster Hunter Alpha
Larry Correia
Baen, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439134580

Monster Hunter International Chief Earl Harbinger conceals a secret from his subordinates. Born in 1900 as Raymond Earl Shackleford Jr.; a little under a hundred years ago, he became a werewolf. In spite of becoming a monster of sorts, Earl has dedicated his life to protect mankind just like his dad the greatest Hunter ever.

Earl becomes deeply concerned to learn former KGB werewolf Nikolai killed a deputy sheriff in Copper Lake, Michigan. He knows his long time adversary is ruthless and has nasty business for him to be in the States. The MHI leader also realizes that he and Stalin’s favorite agent must hunt each other until only one is left howling as the Monster Control Bureau will not be able to deal with this evil. However, Earl is unaware that the reason his deadly foe is in Michigan is the creation of a lethal werewolf species.

The third Monster Hunter urban fantasy (see Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta) is a fun thriller that is purposely hyperbolically over the top of Mount Arvon. The story line is fast-paced with the audience anticipating the confrontation between these former Cold war adversaries. Earl as a werewolf superhero holds the plot focused while Stalin’s Pet Nikolai is a fabulous supervillain enemy. Mano a Mano, fans will enjoy the fab High Noon combat in the aptly named Wolverine State. Harriet Klausner

C.E. Murphy
Del Rey, Sep 6 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345516077

Dafydd ap Caerwyn the elf from the Faerie Barrow-lands sought in the mortal realm a Truthseeker, a person who could tell veracity from lies. He finds her in Boston; Lara Jansen agrees to help him determine who killed his brother Merrick. A witness says he committed fratricide, but he knows he is innocent. It turns out that Merrick was responsible and the witness saw an illusion. A severely injured Dafydd is sent back to his world in the hopes that the healers there who use magic an cure his injuries.

Lara follows him from earth and discovers he was near death and the healers couldn’t help him so he was placed in the Drowned Lands in the vague hope he might heal. Lara and Aerin the elf woman go there to ascertain whether Dafydd was healed. Before they reach him the sea god Lyr informs her she might find her beloved if she passes the trials and when they do they find Daffyd alive he learns Merrick will go to any lengths to get what he wants. The trio must get back to Dafydd’s father before Merrick reaches him, but instead they find themselves back on earth.

The direct sequel to the Truthseeker is an outstanding urban fantasy that effortlessly moves back and forth between the two planes. In the Barrow-lands, the Seelie and Unseelie are on the brink of a civil war due to the latter believing the former drowned their lands. The stay in Boston is disastrous but they can’t fix what was destroyed as time is running out with Barrow-land royal rules dictating the politics. C.E. Murphy provides a strong voice as the truth may set Daffyd free but at what cost? Harriet Klausner

The Brahms Deception
Louise Marley
Kensington, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758265678

The competition to go back in time to 1861 Tuscany to observe Johannes Brahms is fierce. Thus Frederica Bannister, who badly wanted to go so much s she had her father arrange her selection, is euphoric when she is picked over her rival Kristian North. The musicologist is excited over seeing the legend perform and to solve the mystery of his relationship with older concert pianist Clara Schumann.

However, once in 1861 Frederica ignores the rules for time traveling. She is besotted with her hero and envious of his secret lover. Unable to move on, Frederica makes a decision that has potential repercussions in her future time as well as in Brahms’ era. Raging over not being selected, Kristian is sent to find out what happened to Frederica as the eight hours allotted of study time in the past passed.

The second time travel musical history thriller (see Mozart's Blood) is an entertaining look at the relationship between Brahms and his “muse” Schumann. The story line provides the reader a glimpse at the legend inside of an exciting story line. Although understanding Frederica is difficult as she is obsessive compulsive; harping at being ugly and infatuating over Brahms who is dead over a century before she was born. Still even with the researchers having no contingency plan if something goes wrong in the visited past except to send the runner-up student, fans will enjoy the trip back to the classical musical romantic period.
Harriet Klausner