Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Baryon 122

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

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

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

Baryon 122

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

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

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

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

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

Merry Christmas

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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What I've Learned This Year

Thanks to Michael Bishop for the following.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oh, by the way . . .

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

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

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


More from Harriet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shock Wave
John Sandford
Putnam, $27.95
ISBN: 9780399157691

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

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

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

Done Awakenings
Edward Lazellari
Tor, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765327871

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

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

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

Mercury Rises
Robert Kroese
AmazonEncore, $15.95
ISBN: 9781612180861

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Reviews from Harriet

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

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

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

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

Cosmic Forces
Gregory Lamberson
Medallion, $14.95
ISBN: 9781605424088

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

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

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

Floating Staircase
Ronald Malfi
Medallion, $14.95
ISBN: 9781605424361

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 19, 2011

Dark Tower News

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

19 December 2011





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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Thank you.

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

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Arthurian Novel Coming in 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Abaddon Announces an Ebook Only Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 10, 2011


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

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Terrific Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Solaris Press Release

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Series

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

About the Author

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Darrell K Sweet, 1934-2011

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

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dan Biggers

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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two Books for the Christmas list

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Be on the Lookout for These

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 1, 2011


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

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

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

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

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

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