Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I want to wish a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year to everyone. The past couple of years have been rough on my health and 2013 appears to be another year of problems. I hope to be able to continue doing this on a daily basis. Thanks to everyone who supports Baryon Online and The Baryon Review.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rarity from the Hollow

This review was originally published in Baryon 103 and is being reprinted by a new publisher.

RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW, A Lacy Dawn Adventure, Robert Eggleton,, $6.95, 411 pages, ISBN: 0977644839, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Lacy Dawn is the last person you would pick to be the savior of the universe. She's in the fifth grade in the backwoods of West Virginia. Her best friend – Faith, is the ghost of a school mate that was beaten to death and lives in a tree. During recess she gives advice to her schoolmates about their future. Her boyfriend – DotCom, is an android that has lived in a cave for thousands of years keeping watch over her lineage from the first days of humankind.

Her dad - Dewayne is a disabled vet and her family is on welfare. Tom, the next door neighbor, grows "buds". Jenny, her mom does the best she can. Lacy and DotCom do some "reprogramming" on the parents to make them smarter and stronger and Lacy is up to college level in her studies with DotCom.

It turns out that in order for Lacy to save the universe; she must raise the prestige of Earth by becoming the greatest shopper of all time and negotiate the best deals for her services and those of her family on the planet Shptiludrp.

Eggleton has crafted a novel that deals with social commentary mixed with some eerie science fiction and a strange problem that Lacy has to solve to save the universe with the help of her family and her dog, Brownie. I can almost hear a blue grass version of Metallica while reading this. I expect to see more from Eggleton and Lacy Dawn. Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find."

It was just reprinted by Adam Lowe.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Monster Hunters, Demons, and a Stormdancer

Monster Hunter Legion
Larry Correia
Baen, $24.00
ISBN: 9781451637960

Two conferences converge in Las Vegas as many who attend the Top Secret first annual International Conference of Monster Hunting Professionals at the Last Dragon Hotel will also spend time at the SHOT shooting industry show to look at the latest in weaponry. After dealing with a vampire in Mississippi, Monster Hunter International operative Owen Zastava Pitt, his wife Julie Shackleford and his unit arrive at the hotel. MHO California based agents John VanZant and Green fume when they see unsavory Paranormal Tactical operatives led by Rich Armstrong. Owen and MHI employee Jason Lococo get into a fight that angers their superior Earl Harbinger. The warriors set the unwritten conference agenda.

Monster Control Bureau Chief Doug Stark introduces the conference, but it is Special Task Force Unicorn Chief Stricken who ends the war stories when he announces a ten million dollar bounty on a monster on the loose in Nevada. Private and government hunters race to be the one who bags the monster.

The latest Monsters Hunters International urban fantasy (see Monster Hunter Alpha, Monster Hunter International and Monster Hunter Vendetta) is an engaging thriller that starts slow but entertainingly as readers meet the various rival groups and players at breakfast. Animosity and affinity run high as caffeine is not needed with this testosterone laden (including Julie) group. Once Stricken proclaims the games begin, the storyline accelerates into a fast-paced, action-packed thriller as teams stalk a deadly monster and each other. Harriet Klausner

Personal Demon
Susan Sizemore
Ace, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425254721

In Chicago, demon Ivy Bailey the vampire hunter insures the city’s undead population strictly adheres to the “rules”. When someone breaks one of the edicts, she hunts the felon down.

In 1888 London Christopher Bell defeated the evil Jack the Ripper. The English vampire’s investigation leads him to Chicago. There he notices something that looks eerily familiar stalking Ivy. Christopher warns Ivy and offers to watch her back, but she declines. Meanwhile someone is magically murdering witches with demons as the most likely culprits. Ivy senses a connection as she hunts the serial killer while a malevolent creep stalks her; Christopher ignores Ivy’s bravado as he pursues their common Personal Demon.

The first Laws of the Blood urban fantasy (see Heroes) in several years is an engaging grim entry that brings the vampire enforcer road show to Chicago. A major reason this entry is fun is the diverse outlook on how humans, vampire, demons and others should co-exist as the Brit and the American define community differently. Readers will appreciate the triangle battle with the murderer as death stalks the Windy City. Harriet Klausner

Dark Light of Day
Jill Archer
Ace, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425257159

In a world in which the demons won the battle of Armageddon, human survivors worship demons as gods if they want to live. The demons established a strict code to insure no fratricide.

In this new earth, twins Nouiomo "Noon" and Nocturo "Night" are total opposites with an unheard of twist. She holds the power of a Magester that is never possessed by a female; while he contains the healing magic of the Mederi that almost always belongs to a woman. Noon conceals her magic as many would declare her an abomination against the laws of demons. She attends St. Lucifer’s where she meets powerful student Ari Carmine. While friend Peter Aster seeks the reversal spell to change Noon’s forbidden magic, Mederi disappear. Noon investigates the vanishings.

With a nod to James Blish’s Black Easter and The Day After Judgment, the first Noon Onyx urban fantasy establishes an earth where the demons rule after winning the war. Noon is a great protagonist as she knows the realm has rigid enforced rules that might mean a female Magester must die. The whodunit is engaging but it is the entrance into Archer world that casts a spell on readers. Harriet Klausner

Jay Kristoff
Dunne, $24.99
ISBN: 9781250001405

The Shima Imperium has left the isles on the verge of environmental extinction. The industrialization of the islands has polluted land, air and water as the powerful Lotus Guild worships the lotus that fuels the sky ships, but poisons the soil making it useless and pollutes the water with run-off and turns the air into smog from the ship’s exhausts. The four clans feel hopeless as the spirit animals are becoming extinct and their mad Shogun Yoritomo-no-miya expedites the Shima Isles turning into a wasteland.

Yoritomo tasks a team to capture an arashitora, a creature part-eagle and part-tiger. Sixteen year old Kitsune Yukiko and her father know the mission is impossible, but failure means execution in a horrific way. In the last wilderness, her father maims Buruu the arashitora. When Yukiko and Buruu meet, both are shocked that they understand each other. As they team up, the pair meets enemies of the Shogun and the Lotus Guild while battling to survive against underworld demons and the might of the Shima Imperium.

Young adult and older readers will appreciate this excellent feudal Japan steampunk fantasy starring a vivid dying landscape serving as a reminder of the long term impact of pollution and a strong cast trying to survive or thrive in the dying isles. Although the Shogun is not developed beyond being a malevolent mega maniac, fans will enjoy the coming of age adventures of a teen girl and an injured mystical spirit animal. Harriet Klausner

Friday, December 28, 2012

Romantic Fantasy Reviews

Something Witchy This Way Comes
H.P. Mallory
Bantam, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345531582

Life was easier when Jolie Wilkins was just a fortuneteller only caring what happened to her. Now she is Queen of the Underworld with subjects to include vampires, werewolves, fae, and witches. She could use a lot of R&R with her soulmate Rand Balfour the Warlock whom she almost killed back in the Victorian Era though she also considers a fling with Sinjin the vampire who vows to protect her.

However, the half-human Lurkers threaten her kingdom so loving rest and recuperation remains on standby, the story of her life. Thus she prepares for war with the Lurkers as no one will attack her already conflicted multi species (think of post Tito’s Yugoslavia) without her fighting back.

The latest Jolie Wilkins fantasy (see Toil and Trouble, and Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble) is a humorous thriller as the paranormal seem real in the Mallory mythos. Still a wisenheimer Jolie struggles with two winning males wanting her when she is used to being alone or with losers while she also learns to govern over diverse ethnic interests. Although the peril seems similar to Witchful Thinking, fans will enjoy the latest escapades in Queen Jolie’s reign. Harriet Klausner

Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone
Stefan Kiesbye
Penguin, $15.00
ISBN: 9780143121466

Retired Christian the widower comes home from Buffalo, New York to Hemmersmoor, Germany for the first time in years but it is too late to attend his mother’s funeral. When he was young, he had three close friends in the village, but over time the quartet grew apart. However, Martin, Christian, Linde and Anke knew geography, changing relationships and age were not the underlying cause of their separation four decades ago. Instead each looks back to the dark secrets that cursed them and Hemmersmoor.

This is a psychological horror tale in which the atmosphere haunts the older townsfolk (and readers) while the younger ones scoff at their alleged superstition. The quartet ironically realizes that forty years ago they were the ridiculing youth scorning their elders’ fears. Rotating perspective between the four protagonists as they look back to a period when they were changing from youthful innocents to fearful unwanted maturity, fans will appreciate this dark thriller. Harriet Klausner

Blood Riders
Michael P. Spradlin
Harper Voyager, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062023094

In 1876 in the Wyoming Territory, a terrorized young girl reaches Camp Sturgis near Deadwood screaming hysterically “blood devils”. U.S. Cavalry Captain Jonas P. Hollister leads his eleven troops in search of the child’s family. They find two overturned wagons in which all the people and horses are dead. Suddenly, blood-drinking demons rise and kill his unit; he escapes due to the sun rising.

For the next four years, Jonas resides at the prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas with no hope of ever leaving this place alive as no one believes his nightmarish fairy tale. Detective Allan Pinkerton obtains Hollister's release as the mass murder of Colorado miners match what happened to the captain’s men. Hollister and Pinkerton (accompanied by Chee the fellow-released prisoner, Oliver Winchester the gunsmith, Shaniah the strange woman on a quest, and the European Abraham Van Helsing) ride into hell.

Blood Riders
is a fabulous historical horror thriller that uses real events like the Battle of Little Big Horn, real persona (Custer, Pinkerton, etc.) and literary legends (Van Helsing) to excellent effect. Though a romantic subplot seems more an unnecessary requirement, the fast-paced storyline grips readers with the opening bloody assault and never slows as readers anticipate an undead and living OK Corral type confrontation. Harriet Klausner

Sacrifice the Wicked
Karina Cooper
Avon, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062127693

In Seattle, Mission Director Parker Adams the witch hunter catches Mission Agent Simon Wells the Witch in her home office holding a secret file. She calmly gives him a choice to either die now or place the file back on her desk. Though he believes she could not shoot, he puts down the folder. Parker demands he tell her about the GeneCorp human testing Salem Project and Juliet Carpenter (see All Things Wicked); Simon tells her to forget it or be buried as he will not always be there to protect her before he escapes.

Simon knows he wants Parker in a big way as his lower head seems to always testify when he sees her. To her chagrin Parker knows Simon melts her Ice Queen persona as she wants him but will do her duty even if that means breaking her heart when she kills the traitor. As they fall in love, they need each other to watch their back as enemies are everywhere and her persistent stubbornness re the Salem Project places both in peril.

The latest Dark Mission futuristic romantic fantasy (see Lure of the Wicked and Blood of the Wicked) is another wickedly dark thriller in the post-apocalyptic world of Karina Cooper. The lead couple is an intriguing pair as neither can afford the luxury of love especially with Parker continuing her diligent investigation as adversaries will assassinate the hunter if she gets too close to the truth. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jack Ketchum & Lucky mcGee, Kevin Anderson, Piers Anthony and Bentley Little

I’m Not Sam, Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee, Cemetery Dance, Dec 31 2012, $17.99, ISBN: 9781587673535, Harriet Klausner.

“I’m Not Sam.” Artist Patrick and forensic pathologist Samantha are a happily married couple deeply in love with one another. Both enjoy their respective work, each is very fond of Zoey the cat and still enjoy love-making after years together. Everything seems perfect in their shared world. In the middle of the night, Patrick awakens to a scream. He finds naked Sam in a corner crying and telling him not to touch her as he hurt her. However her other contention confuses and panics Patrick when his Sam insists she is Lily who knows Zoey but not Patrick while she wants her Teddy liberated from being locked amidst the Barbies. Patrick wants to know what happened to his Sam as the days pass and she continues to act like a young child.

“Who’s Lily?” She awakens knowing something is not right as she has a bandage on her foot though she knows not why, feels wet and sticky, and has two weeks of hair growth on her legs. She wakes up Patrick who calls her Lily. Sam asks him “Who’s Lily?”

I’m Not Sam is an exciting psychological thriller starring a perfect couple facing their first crisis. Fast-paced but character driven, readers will appreciate this dark novella; made even darker by the related stunning short story coda Who’s Lily?

Unnatural Acts, Kevin J. Anderson, Kensington, Dec 24 2012. $15.00, ISBN: 9780758277367, Harriet Klausner.

Residents of the Unnatural Quarter work dead end jobs trying to eke out a living especially during the graveyard shift. A golem, who like his compatriots cannot read, enters the office of Chambeaux and Deyer which includes African American lawyer Robin Deyer and her zombie private investigator partner Dan Shamble. He complains about sweatshop conditions at Smile Syndicate in order for Golems to make trinkets for the tourists to partners African American lawyer Robin Deyer and zombie private investigator Dan Shamble, and their office manager Cheyenne the tireless ghost. Learning his name is Bill as inscribed on his back, the golem demands human rights for the inhuman.

The Smiling Syndicate buys Goblin Tavern while a senator pushing the Unnatural Acts Act leads a crusade against the inhuman abominations with a protest against the production of Shakespeare in the Dark. While Robin works the rights issue and Cheyenne the office, Dan juggles his caseload between protection of an interracial couple and a madame mummy, and investigating something evil happening in the Unnatural Quarter; however his biggest concern is the renovation of Goblin Tavern.

The latest Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. (see Death Warmed Over) is a superb satirical paranormal thriller. Filled with jocularity, Kevin J. Anderson lampoons societal morality of discriminatory convenience with this delightful tale as the natural and the supernatural contain nasty unequal opportunity a-holes.

Luck of the Draw, Piers Anthony, Tor, Dec 24 2012, $25.99, ISBN: 9780765331359, Harriet Klausner.

Magic relocates ailing octogenarian widower Bryce from Mundania to Xanth where he becomes a twentyish person who can see the future. Princess Dawn informs the confused Bryce that Demons placed a bet on him and others over who will win the affection of sixteen years old Princess Harmony; he being a long shot. Furthermore she explains his quest is dangerous but he has no choice as he is compulsively spellbound to compete although he feels some remorse as an ex-geriatric with a young man’s bod but the mind of a geezer courting a teen.

Given the mighty weapon of a pen, Bryce on his mission with two allies; Rachel the talking German short-haired pointer and nineteen year old Mindy join him. However, as he enjoys his fountain of youth and loves to draw, the teen object of his desire rejects his and her other suitors.

The latest Xanth fantasy (see Well-Tempered Clavicle) is duh a fun pun filled entry. Fast-paced with amusing (and some awful) bon mots, fans of the series will enjoy the Luck of the Draw.

The Circle, Bentley Little, Cemetery Dance, Dec 2012, $19.99, ISBN: 9781587673009, Harriet Klausner.

“Helen” answers the knock at her door to find a strange child oddly dressed. The boy enters her house and goes to the bathroom where he releases a dump in the toilet. However, his excretion turns out to be diamonds. He enters her garage where he continues to drop gems from his butt to the exhilaration of his hostess and her spouse; until he begins releasing a horde of beetles.

“Frank” is an eighth grader whose family lives near Helen. He and his friend visit the backyard dump of a neighbor rumored to be a witch as allegedly her altar is there. They plan to make a request not understanding that the witch will demand remittance.

“Gil” is Frank’s father. A hysterical teen who accompanied Frank on their adventure tells him what happened. He goes to confront the obese lady professor who many believe is a witch.

This is a reprint of a dark graphic (you will never look at poop in the same way) horror thriller told in three related stories that flow in a Circle starting with the middle tale before shifting to how it began and ultimately climaxed.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reviews from Harriet

Bad Glass
Richard E. Gropp
Del Rey, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345533937

A biological incident leads the government to quarantine Spokane, Washington under military control. There is no information as to what has happened except for sporadic leaks out of the shutdown metropolis.

Photographer Dean Walker breaches the military sentry around the city to sneak into Spokane with plans to take shots of whatever he finds in order to tell the world and gain fame. He is unprepared for what he sees in the embattled city. Dean is fortunate to meet struggling survivors in a world turned grotesquely anti physics as time no longer flows in the same way and monsters are everywhere and people trapped at the subatomic level within solid items as Dean’s mission changed from informing the world to surviving this inner collapsing world.

This is an exciting cautionary horror tale that uses Dean’s photos to describe the grotesque state of Spokane. PTSD becomes a common link between those still clinging to their humanity and theorizing what happened though like readers not knowing for certain. Although a deeper look at the change in physics would have been appreciated, Bad Glass remains one of top horror thrillers of the year, as fans will relish this profound psychological drama of the end of civilization when a city collapses. Harriet Klausner

Jan Coffey
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $14.99
ISBN: 9781479104574

Teenager Killian feels alone as her mom died a few years ago and her dad ignoring her remarried. When she graduates from the Green Mountain Academy in Vermont, her maternal great Aunt Hannah Winthrop invites her to stay at Cuttylea Island with her; she accepts in spite of the isolation with Hyannis being three hours away by boat and limited electronic access.

In a storm, a frightened Killian, who cannot swim, sails in a small boat when the driver picks up Perth, an Olympic Gold medal quality swimmer. Hannah welcomes her niece who will work at the nearby inn. Killian is attracted to Perth, but as a wallflower accepts he is out of her league. When she hears a mother’s plea to rescue her children, Killian is confused as the woman is dead. Meanwhile Perth confuses her as he seems to like her before instantly turning into a grouch. However, Killian becomes concerned when Dr. Davenport and a team arrive ostensibly to study wind energy, but asks questions about Perth’s wheelchair bound father Walter. Wondering what is going on with elderly Lynx warning her to leave, Dr. Davenport’s inquiry and what the birthmark on her lower back has to do with pentagrams inside older abodes. Killian seeks the truth.

Aquarian is an exhilarating young adult paranormal mystery that will have the audience wondering like the heroine what is happening at Cuttylea Island. The storyline starts leisurely as the heroine’s personality and the island setting of “no cell phone service; no cable TV; no mall … and no Facebook” are established. Once done, the plot turns into a fascinating tale as Killian begins to learn the dangerous truth about her ancestry and that of Perth. Harriet Klausner

The Yawning Rabbit River Chronicle
J. L. Kimmel and David Ceccarelli
Spring Tree Press, $17.99
ISBN: 9780978500719

The animals living in the troubled forest called for an emergency meeting due to a life threatening water shortage. No river any longer flowed through their woodlands so the creatures depended on capture rain water and the groundhog’s sense of smell to build spring wells. However, in this drought, that is not enough as food has also dwindled. Leaving the forest is dangerous due to hunters with bows and horrible steel traps. Grandpa the ancient raccoon suggests some must leave permanently. Finn the healer bear reminds everyone the hunters wait just outside to kill them. As a reminder of the peril, injured Meeka the horse arrives sadly saying the beasts caught her mate Mercury. Sean the jackrabbit thief says he has a plan to bring the river to the forest, but everyone scorns and distrusts him as he has stolen from them. His plan based on a book he “borrowed” from the library is to race Violet the river goddess so that when he wins the river comes to the forest. Soon his odyssey will lead to others including humans in a battle against evil.

Using anthropomorphism (Gwen the mole wears glasses and uses a cane) enhanced by B&W drawings, J. L. Kimmel and David Ceccarelli provide a wonderful tweener good and evil saga. The storyline is fast-paced from the opening salvo (described above) and never slows down as several subplots filled with adventure merge into a final stand. A cautionary tale warning the audience (and their parents) of man-made destruction of the planet, young readers will appreciate The Yawning Rabbit River Chronicle as a thieving bunny speaks for the trees, animals and all of nature. Harriet Klausner

Faithful Shadow
Kevin J. Howard
Outskirts Press, $15.95
ISBN: 9781432794354

Emily Locke and Alex Boone were having sex in their tent when suddenly the tent with them inside begins being dragged. When the motion finally stops Alex goes outside to look only whatever pulled them yanked Emily away. Alex flees in terror. Other vanishings also occur in Yellowstone National Park.

Ranger Joe Rand eats sugary cereal with beer for breakfast as he uses alcohol to numb his brain following the recent death of his son Ryan in an automobile accident after they fought. Throughout the day he turns to his flask for further numbing of his guilt and pain

Billings Fire Department Lieutenant Dale Coffey and his crew fight a fire in the park. One of the firefighters Paul falls into a hole, but later is found at the Old Faithful Inn battered and drained of all bodily fluids. Joe knows his alcohol brain is not making up what has been happening, but he needs to stop drinking to focus on the investigation. Dale joins him as they find tunnels filled with smoke from the above ground wildfire and bones everywhere. A beast has apparently left its lair for the surface. The ranger and the firefighter conclude the killer has taken refuge inside the Old Faithful Inn.

This is an exciting thriller that comes across as a throwback horror tale of man vs. beast. The pristine Yellowstone setting is an ideal contrast to a monster forced out of its lair by mankind’s stupid recklessness. Fast-paced and filled with action, fans will anticipate the High Noon confrontation at a fabulous locale the Old Faithful Inn. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Blogs

My laptop's wireless card has gone out and I will be out of town and unavailble until after Christmas.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable time and a Marvelous Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Devils Necktie ebook

I am so pleased to share this fantastic EBook thriller from John Lansing, THE DEVIL’S NECKTIE (ISBN: 9781451698343; Karen Hunter EBook; December 31, 2012; available for a limited time at $.99, regular price $5.99).

In the vein of John Patterson and Patricia Cornwell, John Lansing taps into the real-live world of cops, crime, drugs and murder to deliver a sizzling whodunit. Retired inspector Jack Bertolino had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants. He worked in narcotics for 25 years and it was a line in the sand he never crossed. But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. After a passionate night together, Mia is found murdered—and Jack is the lead suspect. Facing threats from the LAPD, the 18th Street Angels, and a Colombian drug cartel, Jack Bertolino is forced to pull out all the stops to figure out exactly what Mia had gotten herself into and a way to clear his name. As Jack delves deeper into the world of drug dealers and murderers, he uncovers an international drug ring, and the top players in this game knew Mia personally. It is uncovered that Mia had a loving relationship with the son of a major drug lord, but she was never accepted into the family. Despite this, the relationship bloomed, and Mia became pregnant. Upon hearing this news, someone ordered her pregnancy terminated, forcibly.

Mia had spent the past few years getting revenge on the cartel family, right up until she got found out. It just so happened that she reached out to Jack on the day of her death. And now Jack is seeking revenge on behalf of his slain lover.

THE DEVIL’S NECKTIE will keep readers glued from scene to scene, page after page, alongside Jack Bertolino—delighting in every step of his relentless pursuit to uncover the truth.

John Lansing has spent the past two decades writing and producing network television. He was a writer and producer for five years on “Walker, Texas Ranger.” In the summer of 2010, he co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was Good Cop, Bad Money, a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. THE DEVIL’S NECKTIE is his first novel. A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Dragon, The Underworld and The Devil

Dragon’s Moon
Lucy Monroe
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN 9780425246627

In 1142 Scotland, three Chrechte, Faolwolf shifters (Galen, his twelve year old sister Ciara, and Luon) are on the sacred hunting grounds when they accost two young raven shifters. Galen and Luon threaten the frightened pair to the horror of Ciara when a roaring dragon kills the two males. A shocked Ciara rushes home but when she informs her mom that Galen is dead, her mother commits suicide. Grieving for her losses, Ciara vows to never love anyone again.

In 1149 Scotland, Ciara meets Ean Prince Eirik, the only known dragon shifter who she hates for killing her loved ones seven years ago. However, Ciara knows from her dreams she must find the lost wolves’ sacred stone or the Chrechte race will become extinct. To accomplish her quest she needs help, which only Eirik can provide.

The fourth Children of the Moon romantic historical fantasy (see Moon Craving and Moon Burning) is a superb medieval paranormal Scottish Highlands thriller. The quest is riveting while the romance between enemies gripping (including other couples). However, it is the deep look at shifter subcultures that make for a powerful thriller while more mall murders follow. Harriet Klausner

Brachman's Underworld
Vlad Vaslyn
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $17.13
ISBN: 9781463698911

Raging Delilah Brachman visits Lowell General Hospital to see her dying father the colonel; whom she has not seen in twelve years. He apologizes for pushing her away when she was twenty, but Del tells him to stuff his too late at being there for her. Still she gives him hope that she forgives him but sarcastically dashes it with euphoria that he is dying. Del leaves only to get caught with a little boy in a crossfire between cops and a felon; she shields the child with her body.

When Del awakens she learns the only decent thing she did in her miserable life has given her temporary in-betweener status with six days to find a way to avoid oblivion. Her ticket is to ride the Tuesday Train while awaiting judgment. In her take no prisoners style Delilah battles Noc the diabolical lonely demon and Honest Jack the torturer. Combating this pair and other hellish, heavenly and outside entities is child’s play for acerbic Del who holds all with contempt as she rips asunder horns and halos by tearing away their veneer. However, Del faces internal strife when she meets Lucy who offered her friendship and is attracted to Kevin as her manta is the only good relationship is no relationship.

Sarcastic Delilah brings freshness to the afterlife in Other Lowell and Lowell with her attitude towards others humans, demons, believers, etc. as she makes Don Rickles seem more like Mother Theresa. Readers will surprisingly go from believing Del gets what she wrought to empathizing with her as her emotional defense mechanism in life and death is hammering others. The acrimonious protagonist makes Brachman's Underworld a unique reading experience. Harriet Klausner

Devil Said Bang
Richard Kadrey
Harper Voyager,
ISBN: 9780062094575

Avenging Nephilim James “Sandman Slim” Stark sarcastically thinks what a hell of a way to escape from hell (the second time around). To his chagrin the monster killing monster has become a cosmic joke as the new Lucifer (see Aloha From Hell); a job with more paperwork than a government agency. Stark loathes being Hell’s top hell-raiser but also knows with his new armor comes a crosshair encouraging the wannabe horde (from heaven, hell and points in between and outside) to challenge for the filled leadership position.

To escape the bureaucratic work, Stark returns to Los Angeles, which can be more hellish than hell. He soon learns of a serial killing ghost terrorizing the city and worse his angelic side that he needs to become whole again has vanished inside of the lost days as a cabal rewrites reality. Maybe Milton is partially right that it is "better to reign in Hell than to serve” on earth.

The forth dark Sandman Slim fantasy is a fabulous sarcastic satire that humorously continues to mock society and organized religion though at a diminished rate compared to the end of days’ twister of Aloha From Hell; as nothing remains sacred inside of the Kadrey pantheon. Action-packed with a nourish feel to the storyline, Sandman Slim learns for the second time you can’t go home when someone can alter reality. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Dragon Ship, A Boyfriend from Hell, and The Undead in My Bed

Dragon Ship
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Baen, $22.00
ISBN: 9781451637984

Theo Waitley was expelled from the Academy due to Liadan Luck as the focus of violence (see Ghost Ship). Currently she pilots the Bechmio with a crew of one Boss Clarence O'Berin and her dying lover Win Ton surviving so far a deadly nano-virus because of the on-board medical technology. Clan Korval commissions Theo to find a trade route. However, she finds the Bechmio AI is independent as they forge a symbiotic relationship while battling for the dominant role.

At the same Theo pilots the Bechmio, Kamele journeys to Surebleak with plans to rescue Jen Sar Kiladi, who happens to be Theo’s dad. However her efforts to free her lover from the Korval are distracted from what greets her on Surebleak.

Although it behooves the audience to have read Ghost Ship, preferably recently, Dragon Ship is an exciting Liaden entry starring a heroine who knows that if she did not have bad luck she would have no luck as the heroine is the Joe Btfsplk of space opera. In fact her luck is so bad the Bechmio with a personality developed over the ages once again steals the show from Theo. The storyline starts slow as the symbiotic relationship merges, but accelerates once the pair moves past the storming and forming stages (of the Tuchman Model). Fans will enjoy this science fiction thriller although several major themes fail to move forward. Harriet Klausner

Boyfriend from Hell
Jamie Quaid
Pocket, $7.99
ISBN: 9781451656350

Law student Justine Clancy works for Andre Legrande in the chemically contaminated Zone of South Baltimore to pay her student fees. She has a record after an arrest while leading a protest that turned into a riot at the undergraduate school in Pennsylvania. As she goes to deliver the day’s receipts to the bank, someone knocks her down and robs her while a limo runs a light hammering crossing students. Liebowitz the reporter refuses to state the Senator ran over the kids and claims no one was near Tina. Her boyfriend Max accelerates her vehicle aiming to kill her as stunned Tina wishes he was in hell. Her wish comes true.

Tina as the Daughter of Saturn finds dormant powers awakening that require her to deal out justice. Meanwhile Max haunts her mirror, insisting to her that he is innocent. Max also warns her someone wants to harm her. With Milo the kitten who leads with a paw, a thief with the perfect M.O of invisibility, Cora of Discreet Detection and Andre, Tina investigates several recent situations as she concludes she is Queen and with her team “We are the champions.”

This is an exhilarating urban fantasy starring a beleaguered heroine who has doubts about the impact of her new powers as she fears for each use, a piece of her soul peels away (think of the puzzle of the owner in the movie Major Leagues). With references to Support Your Local Sheriff adding to the fun, fans will appreciate this brisk, at times amusing thriller as the first Daughter of Saturn is a winner.
Harriet Klausner

The Undead In My Bed
Katie MacAlister, Molly Harper and Jessica Sims
Pocket, $7.99
ISBN: 9781451656794

“Shades of Gray” by Katie MacAlister. Noelle the Guardian protects humans from the denizen of Otherworld. While on the set of a ghost-busting reality show in a Czech Republic haunted castle, she meets Grayson the vampire. They team up to stop a Master Demon from killing everyone on location.

“Undead Sublet” by Molly Harper. In Chicago, executive chef Tess goes berserk from fatigue. She rents a house in Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky to get away from the kitchen for a month. However, Sam the vampire occupies the home for the next three months although his ex-wife let the place to Tess. They argue, fuss and fight while falling in love.

“Out with a Fang” by Jessica Sims. Depressed over being alone, were-jaguar Ruby tries the paranormal dating service Midnight Liaisons. Her date is Michael the vampire, whom she knows intimately from when he was the human that she loved but dumped because of her pre-existing condition.

These are three amusing action-packed paranormal romances starring solid leads.
Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Military Fantasy, Telepaths and Archangels

A Kingdom's Fall
Douglas R. Brown
Rhemalda Publishing, $15.99
ISBN: 9781936850556

In their thirst for oil for their war machines, the ruthless Tek invaders brutally devastated Epertase and annihilated Lithia. Taking advantage of the chaos of the crippling victory, Gildonese King Fice annexes land with his goal to become the ruler of the kingdom of Epertase. Besides his army, Fice uses his uncanny otherworldly talent to sway others even enemies to support his royal claim.

Epertase Queen Alina finds her nation has no time to heal from the invasion as a revolt from within has split the kingdom. Alina barely survives assassination attempts from allegedly loyal trusted advisors and supporters. Her only hope for her country resides with the hero of the Tek War, Rasi the former Epertase warrior turned anti-war farmer.

The second Light of Epertase military fantasy is a superb thriller that grips fans (especially those who read the exciting Legend's Reborn from start to finish. Once again Douglas R. Brown makes a powerful case that war is hell and should never be glamorized especially by armchair chicken hawks who send others to die. Mindful of Harold of Wessex having fought a powerful enemy force just before the Battle of Hastings in 1066 (see, readers will relish the action-packed A Kingdom’s Fall. Harriet Klausner

The Annals of the Omega Project
Thomas A. Cahill
EditPros LLC, $19.95
ISBN: 9781937317034

University of California, Merced Physics Professor Ken O'Neal flies from Sacramento to Denver musing how he already misses his wife of thirteen years Jill who remained behind due to a seminar. On the flight he appreciates the flair and attention attendant Michelle Kolberg gives to everyone on board. Twenty-four years old Michelle likes people even as she muses over whether she is the only virgin flight attendant. However, she suddenly sees herself though his eyes and likewise he sees himself through hers. Both are stunned by this telepathic connection and begin to search for other sensitive souls.

The pair creates the Omega Project at Merced. However, their good intentions come to the attention by Covens who employ mind control to feed off the brains of telepaths. When the brain of student Bonny is assaulted, war explodes between the benign Omega and the ruthless Covens led by Emil who kills without a thought while the wild card is Gypsies.

The key to this exciting good and evil battle is that in war innocent pawns die as the not pure Gypsies learn the hard way. Each side is 200 proof of either pure goodness or vile evilness; as the bad guys have centuries of experience and no moral compass while the heroes suffer doubts and guilt. Fast-paced, readers will appreciate these two adversarial visions of telepathic use. Harriet Klausner

Archangel’s Storm
Nalini Singh
Berkley, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425246580

Overlooking the Hudson at the home of Raphael the Archangel, Dmitri the added almost millennium old vampire and Honor Archangel’s Blade the powerful Guild Hunter ancient language expert marry (see Archangel’s Blade for their adventure). During the reception, Raphael’s spymaster Jason the angel learns that Archangel Neha’s consort Eris was murdered. Compounding the horrific timing is Neha was already certifiable, but now grief further drives the archangel over the edge.

To prevent a Neha rage that would devastate earth killing the innocent, Jason offers to find the killer. Having been betrayed by her late consort and her sister years ago, Neha agrees with the stipulation that Jason blood vows to her niece, offspring of Nivriti and Eris. As Jason and Mahiya investigate though wary of one another, more homicides follow.

The latest Guild Hunter romantic urban fantasy (see Archangel’s Consort) is a terrific whodunit as two distrusting souls fall in love but never lose sight of the mission. Fast-paced from the moment Jason learns of the murder, readers will enjoy visiting the vivid Singh realm as time is running out on planet earth as we know it.
Harriet Klausner

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Potpurri of Reviews

Blood and Other Cravings: Original Stories of Vampires and Vampirism by Blood and Other Cravings
Ellen Datlow (editor)
Tor, Oct 16 2012, $16.99
ISBN: 9780765328298

This super seventeen short story collection focuses on paranormal compulsive obsessive disorder and codependency. Each of the excellent entries provides the reader with insight into deviant supernatural cravings. In Kaaron Warren's "All You Can Do Is Breath," the trapped miner witnesses a creature attacking a peer and after being saved sees that same beast outside the mine. The vampire struggles between instinctive hunger and maternal cravings in Elizabeth Bear's "Needles." The mother grieves her son while living only to keep his memory alive in "Keeping Corky" by Melanie Tem. The incarcerated vampire struggles with controlling his needs and his mind in Michael Cisco's "Bread and Water." "The Mulberry Boys" (by Margo Lanagan) know you are what you eat as their bodies convert into silk manufacturing plants. The other contributions are all top rate as Blood and Other Cravings affirms its claim of “Blood and Other Cravings.” Harriet Klausner

Body and Sold
William Levy
BlackWyrm, Jul 23 2011, $11.95
ISBN: 9781613181140

They arrived on Pree, an earth-like planet sixty light years from their home world. Their message to the technologically inferior cat-morphs is that we are from earth and come to help. When one of the aliens Barret and native Paum met, they fell in love. The Star-crossed pair found the road to a loving relationship devastated by their respective races proclaiming their mating taboo; even her loving older sister Col loathed having an earthling as a brother-in-law. Along the way they also confronted zombies, his military peers, vampiress, other ilk and his imprisonment to stay together.

Now Paum and Barret are on trial for crimes against nature. The Prosecuting Examiner goes for the jugular while in space feral invaders target Pree, earth and points in between as these deadly plundering warriors have done so before. Meanwhile mad geneticists crave time to study Paum and her cat-morph people as the trial goes badly for the dependents with increasingly the kept-apart star-crossed lovers realizing they have no hope to be together unless a miracle occurs.

The sequel to The Starcrossed is an exciting Pythonesque thriller in which a Romeo and Juliet couple confronts racism in a science fiction-fantasy stew. The action-packed storyline is fast-paced from the opening courtroom drama until the final clever denouement. Readers will enjoy Body And Sold as Paum and Barret face the most lethal species in the universe, lawyers. Harriet Klausner

Wolfishly Yours
Lydia Dare
Sourcebooks, Nov 6 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402263491

In 1820, Papa places his angry daughter Liviana Mayeux on one of his ships sailing from New Orleans to England where she will live with her grandfather. Worried about his Lycan wild child, he hopes her grandfather can teach her to behave like a proper British lady.

Grayson Hadley’s mother fears for her son, as she feels he is an out of control wild Lycan. She believes he needs to learn to behave like a proper London aristocrat before he gets into trouble. When Livi and Grayson meet, both know the other is a werewolf. Though attracted to one another each believes they can avoid falling in love even as they agree to use one another as a shield against high society and in her case to return to Louisiana as soon as she can.

Wolfishly Yours is a straightforward Regency romance between two werewolves. Although the Lycan elements are passive, fans will enjoy this engaging psychological tale as the Lycan protagonists try to tame the beast within themselves and with their beloved through love. Harriet Klausner

Friday, December 14, 2012

A New Babylon Steel Novel is Coming

A Babylon Steel novel:
Dangerous Gifts
By Gaie Sebold

The mercenary madame returns 29th Jan (US & Canada) and 31st Jan (UK)

$8.99/$10.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-78108-080-1
£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-079-5

Available as an ebook

A heroine who really gets up close and personal!

"Ingenious, gripping, and full of pleasures on every level. Exceptional."
– Mike Carey, NYT bestselling author on Babylon Steel

"A pacy fantasy romp... an adventure painted in primary colours."

– The Guardian on Babylon Steel

Gaie Sebold’s brilliant female character, Babylon Steel, returns in January – but has the warrior-turned-brothel-owner taken on a job too far?

Babylon has been offered a job. Two jobs, really: bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, a girl transformed into a figure of legend and spy for the barely-acknowledged government of Scalentine. A prime target for assassination, Babylon must somehow turn Enthemmerlee’s useless household guard into a fighting force, while dodging the oppressive Moral Statutes. All of which would be hard enough, were she not already distracted by threats to both her livelihood and those dearest to her...

Witty and fresh, Babylon Steel was the most exciting fantasy debut in years. With Dangerous Gifts, Sebold returns to her fascinating heroine and delves further into Babylon’s world of pleasure and business with a novel that will appeal to fans of action, fantasy, and pure adventure!

About the series

Babylon Steel
£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-907992-37-7
$7.99 (US & Canada) ISBN 978-1-907992-38-4

Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex... other things, runs The Red Lantern, the best brothel in the city. She’s got elves using sex magic upstairs, S&M in the basement and a large green troll cooking breakfast in the kitchen, and she’d love you to visit, except...

She’s not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, girls are disappearing, and if she can’t pay her taxes, Babylon’s going to lose the Lantern. She’d given up the mercenary life, but when the mysterious Darask Fain pays her to find a missing heiress, she has to take the job. And then her past starts to catch up with her in other, more dangerous ways.

About the Author

Gaie Sebold was born in the US but has lived in the UK most of her life. She grew up in a country village near Oxford and now lives in a moderately dodgy bit of South East London. She works for a charity, reads obsessively, grows vegetables and sometimes runs around in woods hitting people with latex weapons. She has won a few awards for poetry (her collection, Urban Fox, was published by Tall Lighthouse), has sold some short stories and has been known to commit performance poetry.

Gaie is a member of T Party Writers, a London-based genre critique group; she has the standard cat apparently issued to most fantasy writers, a very understanding boyfriend, and a large desk full of undone paperwork.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reviews from Harriet

Douglas R. Brown
Rhemalda Publishing, Jan 26 2012, $13.99
ISBN: 9781936850709

Bernard Henderson found his pet project on Sandalil Island off Costa Rica. He and his mercenaries catch one male though they lose part of the crew and kill other tribal members. He and his surviving team take him back to the States to begin a breeding program. Now he sells wergs as popular pets that he insists are safe and loyal to their owners in spite of these tamed animals more commonly known as werewolves. His WereHouse firm struggles to keep the supply equal to the demand.

Columbus, Ohio Fire Department emergency medical technicians Christine Alt and Billy are on call one day when a loose werg assaults them. Billy vanishes while badly cut up Christine goes to the hospital. The werg’s blood entered her system through her mouth so Christine begins to change, and now knows the truth about WereHouse’s commodity; Henderson and his crew stalk her.

Tamed is a fascinating, action-packed urban fantasy that grips readers from the opening scene off Costa Rica (mindful of Jurassic Park’s locale) and never slows down until the final confrontation. Along the way, Douglas R. Brown provides strong societal messages on consumer protection against the big bad capitalist werewolves and their advertisers who can sell dreck as the outcome of healthy nutrition to people, the prevention of animal and human cruelty. Although the entertaining storyline turns from a fresh take on the werewolf mythos into a more standard hunt theme, readers will enjoy werewolves as pets. Harriet Klausner

Girl of Nightmares
Kendare Blake
Tor Teen, Aug 7 2012, $17.99
ISBN: 9780765328663

Six months ago on mortal time, Anna Korlov dragged the lethal Obeahman through a portal to Hell she opened. Thus she saved the lives of her former boyfriend teenage ghost hunter Cas Lowood and his friends Thomas and Carmel, but sacrificed herself as to accomplish the feat of yanking the monster into Hell she had to go there too (see Anna Dressed In Blood).

Grief enhanced by survivor guilt and her sacrifice has Cas unable to accept Anna’s death. Cas believes his Anna deserves heaven, but fears she is trapped for eternity in Hell unless he can rescue her but has no idea how. Adding to his sense of trepidation is he sees and hears Anna when he dreams and even when he is awake. Persuading Thomas and Carmel to assist him, Cas begins a quest to free his Anna even though that means he will “march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause” (The Impossible Dream).

This sequel is a great horror thriller that deploys a radically different approach from the bump in the night Anna Dressed in Blood; as this time the storyline simmers with atmospheric psychological tension as Anna comes across (through Cas’ filter) frightened instead of infantry brave. Cas holds the tale together with his obsession that has his BFFs fearing for his emotional state and readers wondering whether he is projecting as a defense mechanism his fears about Anna leading to his seeing her. This is a deep thriller that fans will appreciate. Harriet Klausner

Primal Possession
Katie Reus
Signet, Sep 4 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451237781

Residents of serene Fontana, North Carolina are shocked by the hideous activity of the Anti-Paranormal League. The APL has invoked a campaign of hate crimes against the paranormal and terrorist attacks against human civilians who live in harmony with the supernatural residents of Fontana.

The APL target human December McIntyre for her acceptance of shifters although she still struggles with what one of them did to her sibling and with her attraction to Liam Armstrong; he realizes at first sight she is his mate. Knowing she needs protection from these home-grown terrorists, December turns to the shifter pack number two Liam. As they fall in love, Liam risks his life to keep his December safe.

The latest Moon Shifter romantic urban fantasy (see Alpha Instinct) is a superb take that makes the paranormal seem normal through the actions of the APL and several local allies. Action-packed, readers will empathize with December as her traumatic memory of what a shifter did to her family and other fears of their kind battle with her love and feeling safe with him. Katie Reus writes a wonderful winning thriller.
Harriet Klausner

Woodcutter’s Grim series Volume II
Karen Wiesner
Whiskey Creek, Sep 2012
ISBN: 9781105200663

“Moonlight Becomes You.” Lawyers Heather Rowe and Lance Shaussegeny have a one night stand before he leaves for his home Woodcutter’s Grim, a place he explains to her he will never be able to leave. Their tryst results in her giving birth to Gavin, a child with strange traits. He wishes his mate would come to him and believes she would not turn to his rival Eddie Underwood. When Gavin becomes ill Heather searches for Lance to help their son. Enthralling

“Bewitched.” The stranger seemed to come out of nowhere. Glynnis Shaussegeny is stunned by her attraction to Aric Sayer and him to her. However, her family is cursed so Glynnis plans on avoiding Aric; unaware that he has a terrible secret that he knows should make him avoid her. Exciting

“One Night of Eternity.” Gavin Shaussegeny knows how the family curse is deployed, but does the unthinkable when he cheats on his wife Marnie. He regrets his transgression as he loves his wife, but knows his tryst has activated the curse in which he will repeat his sin forever unless Marnie truly in her soul forgives him. Creative and poignant

“Beauty Is The Beast.” In an attempt to end his family curse, Ransom Shaussegeny turns into a werewolf trapped inside the beast. Tess Moore is the beauty he falls in love with, but deep in his heart believes she could never love a monster like him. Heartwarming.

The second Woodcutter's Grim anthology contains four excellent paranormal romances in which members of the cursed Shaussegeny family meet their beloved mates. Each tale is loosely based on a fairy tale as Karen Wiesner provides fresh adult renditions in a fabulous collection. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Krampus: The Yule Lord, Vampire Kisses, Witches and more

Krampus: The Yule Lord
Harper Voyager, $27.99
ISBN: 9780062095657

In impoverished Boone County, West Virginia on Christmas Eve, songwriter Jesse Walker is raging and depressed since his wife Linda, taking their child Abigail with her, left their trailer park home to move in with crooked cop named Dillard. Jesse wishes Santa would return his family to him. However, he stops his wish-making when he observes seven devilish looking people chasing a man in a red suit. All eight enter a sleigh pulled by eight reindeers; who take to the sky. Stunned Jesse hears screams in the sky followed by a red satin bag falling near him. To his shock, Jesse realizes he has Santa’s magical sack, which he plans to use to bring his family home to him.

The horned Yule Lord Krampus escapes from the cave that Santa incarcerated him in centuries ago. He wants vengeance but his top priority is to take back what Santa took from him as the Yuletide season belongs to him. That means obtaining the red satin sack that Jesses possesses. Father Christmas meets Jesse first and they agree to prevent the Yule Lord from achieving his objectives while also enabling Jesse to win back his wife and child. Not sure who to trust the troubled Jesse cannot fathom the hostilities between these ancient enemies who have him in their crosshairs.

Krampus is an exhilarating gory Christmas tale as Santa and Lord Yule battle each other while the mortal matures as he gains confidence and esteem while moving away from self-pity and debasement. Fast-paced from the moment Santa and the devils fight and never slows down, fans will appreciate this coming of age holiday horror thriller.
Harriet Klausner

Kissed By A Vampire
Caridad Pineiro
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373885589

Two millennia ago, a betrayal by her beloved turned Stacia into a vampire who trusts no one so she roams the night alone. While on the prowl for chow in South beach, she finds a mortal near death. Though she cannot fathom why, instead of biting what was left of his life, Stacia saved him (see Death Calls).

In Miami, DEA agent Alex Garcia works a human trafficking case that targets young girls. When he runs into Stacia, Alex is stunned as he assumed the beautiful female haunting his dreams was a fantasy caused by his near death experience. Stacia realizes why she saved Alex’s life as she is attracted to him just like he is to her.

The latest action-packed Calling paranormal romance (see Fury Calls and Blood Calls) is a fast-paced romantic urban fantasy starring an elder vampire and a DEA human. Fans will enjoy their Miami joyride as they team up in love to rescue the girls and take down the vicious criminals. Harriet Klausner

The Witch’s Initiation
Elle James
Harlequin Nocturne, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373885572

While attending college in Chicago, Aurai Chattox vanishes without a trace. While her four older sisters come to the Windy City, CPD undercover operative Cal Black investigates the disappearance of the sorority sister. To Cal, the case is personal as he was once engaged to the victim’s sister Deme until she left him without a word one year ago.

Deme prefers Cal to leave the quest to her and her siblings. However, dedicate cop that he is, Cal refuses to abide by the wishes of the woman who broke his heart. As they work together over her objections, Cal begins to see impossible things occur and soon learns Deme dumped him for fear of how he would react to learn the Chattox sisters are witches. When they find the darkness, the cop and the witch, realizing they remain in love, also know their chances of survival are slim at best.

The Witch’s Initiation is an exciting fast-paced romantic urban fantasy that will have readers believing in the paranormal in Chicago. The lead couple is fabulous second chance at love (after mission accomplished, if they live long enough) pairing. Although the climax is abrupt, fans will appreciate touring Chicago with Deme and Cal as our guides. Harriet Klausner

After Moonrise
P.C. Cast and Gina Showalter
Harlequin HQN, $14.95
ISBN: 9780373776481

“Possessed” by P.C. Cast. Psychic detective Kent Raef uses negativity to catch murderers. Lauren Wilcox asks for his help to find her twin sister’s murderer so her sibling, who communicates with her, can move on.

“Haunted” by Gina Showalter. Artist Aurora Harper believes she witnessed a vicious murder that her conscious mind repressed while subconsciously she paints the deadly scene. She turns to Detective Levi Reid, who struggles with memory lapses of unaccountable time, for help in finding the victim and the killer.

These are two engaging paranormal romantic investigate thrillers starring strong characters and a firm belief that the otherworldly essences exist. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

John Ringo, Meljean Brook and Anthony Huso reviewed

Queen of Wands
John Ringo
Baen, $25.00
ISBN: 9781451637892

In Algomo, Mississippi devout Christian Barbara Everette is a soccer mom raising three kids (Allison, Jason and Brooke) and a husband Mark who appears to be in charge. Barbara asks Mark if she can take a needed respite from the family, which he approves as he assumes she will take a few days in Gulfport to clear her head. Instead, the Foundation for Love and Universal Faith (FLUF) agent has been hearing voices and seeing demons riding on people unaware of them. Barb assigns her oldest offspring teenage Allison to run the house while she is away.

Barb consults with sexagenarian FLUF agent Sharice Rickels who tells her she has gained the Gifts of the Sight of demons and the Ear of the thoughts of demons and other creatures. FLUF operative and Special Circumstance FBI consultant Augustus Germaine asks Barb and Sharice to come to Chattanooga where Asatru priestess Doris "Janea" Grisham is near death because her ka has been removed from her body. FBI Agent Kurt Spornberger arrives from Atlanta working the Madness cases as he and the FLUF operatives head to Moccasin Bend Mental Health Facility where evil abounds with walking dead people who lost their ka and ba. As Janea fights for her existence, Barb and associates fight to prevent a zombie takeover.

The sequel to Princess of Wands is a fun urban fantasy starring two intrepid heroines fighting evil on different planes though the book comes across more like three interrelated satirical tales rather than a novel. Mindful of Julie Kenner’s amusing Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom but bloodier and gorier, fans will enjoy the adventures of Barb and Janea even with an odd ending. Harriet Klausner

Meljean Brook
Berkley, $16.00
ISBN: 9780425256046

Several years ago, Annika Fridasdottor inadvertently placed at risk Iceland when she revealed the mechanical secrets that protect the island from the Horde and other invaders. However, her sister Källa said she was culpable and was exiled from Iceland. Filled with guilt, Annika took a position on the airship Phaeton in search of her sibling.

Years ago an experiment went bad leaving David Kentewess without the use of his legs and a hand, and left his mother dead. Physically, David lives a normal life due to nanoagents and prosthetics while working as a volcanologist. Emotionally he misses his beloved mother; so for two decades David obsessively needed to complete her last request to return her to her home Hannasvik, but has lost hope of ever succeeding though he keeps trying. Booking passage on the Phaeton, David meets Annika and thinks he recognizes the accent he last heard so many years ago. However, instead of exposing her as he threatens to do, David and Annika are stranded on a fjord with an obsessed maniac in pursuit.

The latest Iron Seas romantic steampunk fantasy (The Iron Duke and Heart of Steel) is a superb thriller that grips the reader with the conflicting obsessive quests of the protagonists with each on a personal mission that makes them enemies who initially judge the other as unworthy. Filled with action on the ship and the glacier, fans will be Riveted by Meljean Brooks’ latest adventures. Harriet Klausner

Black Bottle
Anthony Huso
Tor, $27.99
ISBN: 9780765325174

Lovers Caliph Howl the blood mathematician mage and Sena Iilool adept of the Shradnæ witches control Stonehold. However, during the combat, Caliph died and soon afterward Sena, using an incantation from the ancient Cisrym Ta tome, brought him back to life.

Word spreads to the nearby empires in the south whose monarchs want the Cisrym Ta and will sacrifice anyone to obtain it. Arriving from Pandragor, Taelin Rae wants to establish the Nenuln Church in Stonehold but feels she must kill the evil Sena who is an affront to God. At a time when Caliph is expected to attend a regional leader summit, a plague has crippled Stonehold and there is the enigmatic Uncle Nathaniel, who works in mysterious ways as he assists his nephew with ancient enemies.

The sequel to The Last Page is an entertaining but convoluted high tech fantasy with much of the action occurring from passive sources like dreams and books. Caliph and Sena are courageous champions while the mystery of Nathaniel enhances the tale. Still not for everyone, fans who relish the convergence of math, science and fantasy in a complicated but difficult to follow thriller will enjoy Anthony Huso's blood magic. Harriet Klausner

Monday, December 10, 2012

Three from L. Ron Hubbard: THE BLACK SULTAN, ISBN: 9781592123537, THE DEVIL – WITH WINGS, ISBN: 9781592123094, THE DIVE BOMBER, ISBN: 9781592123117, each 132 pages, $9.95, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Hubbard was one of the most prolific authors of the Pulp Era and he was not limited to one genre. He wrote science fiction, horror, mystery, adventure and westerns. It really didn’t matter which genre was on the stands, they all sold well and Galaxy is bringing all of his pulp works out to show a new generation what their fathers and grandfathers had to entertain them in the time before video games and television.

THE BLACK SULTAN is the story of Eddie Moran, an adventurer being chase by the French Foreign Legion, when he comes to the aid of the US vice-counsel and El Zidan, a recently deposed Berber leader. As luck would have it, Moran is later captured by Abu ‘l Hasan, who overthrew El Zidan; meets a beautiful red haired girl destined to be Hasan’s latest wife; and, manages to reverse his fortunes and end up with the girl. There is plenty of action and while a bit predictable, is a fun read. “Escape for Three,” another adventure tale is included.

THE DEVIL – WITH WINGS is the story of a one man avenger fighting the Japanese invaders in China in the 1930s. Gary Forsythe has caused the Japanese so many problems that he has a $50,000 price on his head. Forsythe is more than a thorn in the side of the Japanese, he is much more and the story is interesting all the way through and the big reveal at the end is worth the trip to get there.

THE DIVE BOMBER is the new invention of Lucky Martin and he hopes to sell his design to the Navy. The design is so revolutionary, there are other, hostile powers out to do whatever it takes to steal the plans. They will do anything to sabotage the plane and kill whoever gets in their way to do so. This story, written in 1937, shows how Hubbard expects the war to come and how planes will be used to fight. Hubbard shows his mastery of his craft and his understanding of world events to predict the future as well.

All of the stories in the Stories of the Golden Age series are filled with adventure and action. Be sure to pick these up and be on the lookout for any you have missed and the future releases as well.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Devil's Necktie

John Lansing, THE DEVIL’S NECKTIE (ISBN: 9781451698343; Karen Hunter EBook; December 31, 2012; available for a limited time at $.99, regular price $5.99).

In the vein of John Patterson and Patricia Cornwell, John Lansing taps into the real-live world of cops, crime, drugs and murder to deliver a sizzling whodunit. Retired inspector Jack Bertolino had strict rules when dealing with confidential informants. He worked in narcotics for 25 years and it was a line in the sand he never crossed. But Mia had the kind of beauty that could make a grown man contemplate leaving his wife, his job, and his kids. After a passionate night together, Mia is found murdered—and Jack is the lead suspect. Facing threats from the LAPD, the 18th Street Angels, and a Colombian drug cartel, Jack Bertolino is forced to pull out all the stops to figure out exactly what Mia had gotten herself into and a way to clear his name. As Jack delves deeper into the world of drug dealers and murderers, he uncovers an international drug ring, and the top players in this game knew Mia personally. It is uncovered that Mia had a loving relationship with the son of a major drug lord, but she was never accepted into the family. Despite this, the relationship bloomed, and Mia became pregnant. Upon hearing this news, someone ordered her pregnancy terminated, forcibly.

Mia had spent the past few years getting revenge on the cartel family, right up until she got found out. It just so happened that she reached out to Jack on the day of her death. And now Jack is seeking revenge on behalf of his slain lover.

will keep readers glued from scene to scene, page after page, alongside Jack Bertolino—delighting in every step of his relentless pursuit to uncover the truth.

John Lansing has spent the past two decades writing and producing network television. He was a writer and producer for five years on “Walker, Texas Ranger.” In the summer of 2010, he co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was Good Cop, Bad Money, a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. THE DEVIL’S NECKTIE is his first novel. A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Edge of Infinity

Edge of Infinity
Edited by Jonathan Strahan

Out now!

$8.99/$10.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-78108-056-6
£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-055-9

Available as an ebook

“Easily the best original science fiction anthology of the year, by a good margin.”
– Locus

“A well-chosen and thoroughly engaging snapshot of the genre at its best.
” – SFX

“A spectacular mix of authors and stories ... a book that effectively lays down a marker for Fourth Generation Science Fiction. 4.5 stars” – SF Signal

The critics are already raving about Edge of Infinity – Solaris’s exhilarating new SF anthology, featuring some of the biggest names in SF today, including Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynolds, and Stephen Baxter.

Brought to you by the creators of acclaimed anthology Engineering Infinity, Edge of Infinity looks at the next giant leap for humankind: into the Solar System. From the eerie transformations in Pat Cadigan’s “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi” to the grandiose vision of Alastair Reynolds’ “Vainglory”; the thirteen stories span the whole of the human condition in its race to colonise Earth’s nearest neighbours.

Featuring stories by Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynolds, James S. A. Corey, John Barnes, Stephen Baxter, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Elizabeth Bear, Pat Cadigan, Gwyneth Jones, Paul McAuley, Sandra McDonald, Stephen D. Covey, An Owomoyela, and Bruce Sterling, Edge of Infinity is hard SF adventure at its best and most exhilarating.

About the Editor

Jonathan Strahan is an award-winning editor and anthologist. He co-edited The Year's Best Australian Science-Fiction and Fantasy anthology series in 1997 and 1998. He is also the reviews editor of Locus. He lives in Perth, Western Australia with his wife and their two daughters.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Play with Fire ebook

Morris & Chastain Investigations:
Play With Fire
by Justin Gustainis

An ebook exclusive

£3.49 (UK) $3.99 (US)
Available from 6th December

Epub ISBN: 9781849974745
Kindle ISBN: 9781849974752


“…an absolutely cracking read…” – Falcata Times on Sympathy for the Devil

“…the great characters … combined with the diabolical ambitions of an evil black wizard make Evil Ways a hugely readable book. ” –

Urban fantasy sleuths Quincy Morris, great-grandson of Dracula’s killer, and his partner, white witch Libby Chastain are back with another disturbing case…

The thrilling new occult investigation from best-selling author Justin Gustainis, Play With Fire, is the latest ebook exclusive from Solaris!

Houses of worship are burning all across the U.S., churches, synagogues and mosques alike; usually while full of people.. Usually while the places are full of people. The fires are initially dismissed as unconnected acts of violence, until Morris – freshly released from jail after their last case – and Chastain track down the terrible meaning behind the destruction, and the dark cause the arsonists seek to serve. A race against time ensues, to stop a ritual that will cause the deaths of hundreds... and bring about the end of the world.

Play With Fire
is available exclusively in ebook. Its twin novella Midnight at the Oasis, will be released in ebook at the same time as both are collected in paperback in April 2013.

About the series

Quincey Morris and his "consultant", white witch Libby Chastain, are Occult investigators in an electrifying series of supernatural thrillers following the exploits of occult investigators Quincey Morris and Libby Chastain, as they search out evil in the darkest corners of America. Previous titles include Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways and Sympathy for the Devil.

About the Author

Justin Gustainis is a college professor living in upstate New York. In earlier incarnations, he was an Army officer, garment worker, speechwriter, and professional bodyguard. In addition to 22 published short stories, he is author of the Haunted Scranton series (consisting of Hard Spell and Evil Dark, so far) and the Morris & Chastain Investigations series (consisting of Black Magic Woman, Evil Ways, and Sympathy for the Devil, as well as a standalone novel, The Hades Project). Mr. Gustainis is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cold City by F Paul Wilson

COLD CITY, F. Paul Wilson, Tor $25.99, reviewed by Jim Brock.

Two of my favorite series concepts are Repairman Jack and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Having earlier this year read NIGHTWORLD, Wilson’s conclusion of the massive Repairman Jack saga and having my enthusiasm for Jack Reacher dimmed by his being played by the diminutive Tom Cruise – my two favorite Jacks were about played out. On top of that, Keifer Sutherland tarnished the luster of 24’s Jack Bauer with the weakness of Touch. The only strong jack I had remaining was the one in the trunk of my car.

But there was F. Paul Wilson’s promise of a trilogy of Repairman Jack: the Early Years novels. COLD CITY is the first of those. Jack is a few months into his off-the-grid life in New York City. COLD CITY begins not with a bang but with a beating. Wilson is one of the better action writers we have and Repairman Jack is the perfect vehicle for action. Whether it’s Dominicans looking for some machete revenge against him for beating the crap out of their countrymen or murderous mobsters or the ramping up of the jihadist movements, Repairman Jack fights down and dirty.

COLD CITY’s novel is about Jack, his beginning relationship with Abe, the establishment of his nature (old movies, toys, etc.) and the necessity and desire for his living off the grid. And it is about the beginning of the development of Jack to the Repairman Jack I have so enjoyed. And to think, two more volumes to come, so for a while longer, we can know Jack.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Foretold by Jana Oliver

FORETOLD, Jana Oliver, St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.95, reviewed by Jim Brock.

FORETOLD is the fourth (and final) in Jana Oliver’s Demon Trappers series and continues her remarkable run of winners with me. She is one of the few authors who are automatic reads for me. When she publishes, I am more than ready to read and enjoy.

FORETOLD is perfectly placed in the quartet. The action in the first three books flowed forward. The characters grew and the story expanded as epic battles with demons and fallen angels became more intense and the stakes rose higher and higher. Riley Blackthorne’s relationship with fellow trapper Denver Beck was often frustrating and sometimes bewildering but mostly complicated. Their dangerous profession, his past relationship with Riley’s father, and his feelings for her were all boiling in the cauldron of his troubled past. For their survival and any future together that past had to be confronted and reach some sort of closure.

FORETOLD is that confrontation. Beck and Riley journey outside Atlanta to his small Georgia hometown where they face a different kind of “demon” and a different kind of danger. The “demon” is Beck’s abusive mother and the danger is a hostile town and a murder mystery. Growing up and living now in a small Georgia town, I can testify that Jana has nailed their reality.

Their reward for this undertaking is returning to Atlanta in time for a final battle with fallen angel Sartael, who is trying to take control of Hell from Lucifer. During this, Riley actually is taken to hell by the angel Ori for a meeting with Lucifer. Of course, the heat wouldn’t be that bad since she had already been to South Georgia.

It didn’t take a seer to foretell that I would love FORETOLD. Since the series began, I have wanted to know what made Beck tick – and now I know. I also wanted to know how Jana would conclude the epic struggle in which Riley played such a deadly role – and now I know. It is FORETOLD.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

WarMachine Novels Coming


Amherst, New York—Pyr®, an imprint of Prometheus Books, and Privateer Press®, the second-largest miniature games manufacturer in the world, have partnered to publish the first novels based upon the award-winning WARMACHINE® steam-powered fantasy wargame
and the world of the Iron Kingdoms™ Role Playing Game.

The Iron Kingdoms™ world takes classic fantasy concepts and gives them a new twist with a high-octane rush of steam power and industrial engineering. These tie-in novels will be action-packed, steam-tech, military fantasies that combine elements of epic wartime adventure with thrilling cloak-and-dagger espionage.

The first—IN THUNDER FORGED: THE IRON KINGDOMS CHRONICLES (The Fall of Llael Book One)—will be published in June 2013 in paperback and ebook editions. Author Ari Marmell has authored RPG materials for games such as Dungeons & Dragons® and the World of Darkness® line. He is also the author of the novel The Goblin Corps, as well as Thief’s Covenant and False Covenant in the Widdershins Adventures series for Young Adult readers.

In July 2013, BIG IRON: THE IRON KINGDOMS CHRONICLES (The Fall of Llael Book Two) will follow. Author C. A. Suleiman has contributed scores of books to the hobby games industry’s top properties, including Dungeons & Dragons and the World of Darkness. He is the developer for White Wolf’s Mummy line, the creator of the Hamunaptra setting, and the coauthor of Vampire: The Requiem®.

Pyr’s editorial director, Lou Anders, says, “I am extremely excited by this partnership with Privateer Press. Their reputation for excellence in the game industry matches our own reputation for quality fiction, while the unique ‘steam-powered fantasy’ setting of their WARMACHINE and Iron Kingdoms™ games pushed all my personal-narrative buttons. The Fall of Llael trilogy is everything an Iron Kingdoms fan could want, as well as a great introduction to the world for fantasy readers looking for new lands and new adventures.”

“People around the world have long been demanding novels that chronicle the epic tales of the Iron Kingdoms,” said Matt Wilson, founder of Privateer Press and creator of the Iron Kingdoms. “We are pleased to be working with Pyr on a series of novels that will be among the first of a vast library of fiction offerings coming next year that will explore the Iron Kingdoms setting and the sagas of WARMACHINE and HORDES™.”

Prometheus Books, an independent publisher of nonfiction based in Amherst, New York, launched the Pyr science fiction and fantasy imprint in March 2005 and it has since become a brand known for quality both inside and out, from rich, engrossing narratives to award-winning cover art and design. Editorial and art director Lou Anders won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Editor in 2011 and has been nominated six consecutive times.

Founded in 2000, Privateer Press is a privately held producer of entertainment and hobby brands, including the award-winning Iron Kingdoms setting, and the LEVEL 7®, Bodgers Games™, and Monsterpocalypse® brands. The WARMACHINE and HORDES hobby miniatures games, set in the Iron Kingdoms, are the fastest-growing miniatures games on the planet and are played by gamers around the world. Privateer Press has won over twenty-five industry awards for the Iron Kingdoms and the games set within them.

For more information, visit and

Monday, December 3, 2012

Graphic Novels and Trivia

NORMANDY, A Graphic History of D-Day, written and illustrated by Wayne Vansant, Zenith Press, $19.99, 104 pages, ISBN: 9780760343920, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Wayne Vansant is well known for his graphic tales of the Civil War, World War II, and Vietnam. He has shared stories about the German point of view as well as stories from the Russian front. He is meticulous in his research and his stories are very factual.

NORMANDY tells the story of the D-Day Invasion on June 5, 1944 as the Allies hit the five beaches and follows the action from there until the liberation of Paris in August.

It was not an easy fought campaign and there were many deaths on both sides. The art may be graphic in places, but it is necessary to make sure everyone knows the price that was paid in order to achieve the final victory. It also proves that war is not pretty.

The art and colors are vivid, the details of the story are accurate and this would be an exceptional tool to aid in the historical understanding of the times. It is works like this that can help us remember the horrors of war and the sacrifice made by our fathers and grand-fathers.

This book and other works by Wayne Vansant show why he is the premiere war artist in the business today. Highly recommended.

THE HAMMER AND THE ANVIL, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America, written by Dwight Jon Zimmerman and illustrated by Wayne Vansant, Hill and Wang, $24.95, 150 pages, ISBN: 9780809053582, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

This is the story of two men, who had a journey to destiny that neither knew they were on to a conclusion that led to an historical change in the direction of this country and the people that have lived since then.

Zimmerman has written the story from the point of view of both historical figures and shows how they grew and followed their own path that turned into a friendship as they both sought the equality of man and the Emancipation Proclamation.

Vansant has taken those words and turned them into a graphic history that will be a great teaching tool for history teachers and parents as well. It is a well-drawn story that uses color to let you know which storyline you are following.

It has often been said that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the picture here show that axiom at its best. As you follow the story and the art, you will learn more about the times of Lincoln and Douglass than from any written history.

Kudos go to Zimmerman and Vansant for another job well done. This is another great addition to the previous collaboration, THE VIETNAM WAR, A Graphic History, Hill and Wang, $19.99, published in 2009.

THE ILLUSTRATED STEPHEN KING MOVIE TRIVIA BOOK, Brian James Freeman, Hans Ake Lilja and Kevin Quigley, Illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne, Cemetery Press, $19.95 Trade Paper-ISBN: 9781587673115, $40 Hardcover-ISBN: 9781587573122, 442 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

Over 1,000 questions taken from over 50 Stephen King movies fill this volume with the type of questions trivia masters will love and use to confound contestants and movie goers alike.

I have watched a couple of King movies since I received this and have used the trivia questions as a way to enhance the viewing. The illustrations add to the enjoyment and helps tie in the questions with the movie. Chadbourne’s illustrations show a scene from the movie and add to the enjoyment.

Thanks go to the editors and the King fans who submitted questions to make this book an adventure in mind games and memory.

THE ILLUSTRATED STEPHEN KING TRIVIA BOOK, Revised & Updated Edition, Brian James Freeman and Bev Vincent, Illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne, $19,95 Trade Paper-ISBN: 9781587673153, 480 pages, reviewed by Barry Hunter.

In this revised second edition, it has been updated to include King’s latest works including the ebooks, other titles that were only available to Kindle, Dark Tower additions and comics.

The questions in this one are not so easily remembered and will give even the self-proclaimed King scholars a hard time in coming up with an answer.
The topics include biography, novels short stories, Bachman books, The Dark Tower and non-fiction works. It would be impossible to keep up with everything in order to know the answers to some of the questions. That may be why there are hints in the back of the book.

This revised and updated edition also has new illustrations by Glenn Chadbourne to augments those previously present in the first edition.

This is a wonderful volume and goes well as a companion to the movie trivia book reviewed elsewhere.

I would like to recommend both of these to you, “faithful reader” and the only bad thing is that they won’t be out until February 2013. You may be able to pre-order them from Cemetery Dance and give them as special Christmas presents.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Black Sun Reich

Black Sun Reich

Trey Garrison

December 18, 2012

Harper Voyager

Fiction / Alternative History

$0.99 US

Black Sun Reich: Part One of three in The Spear of Destiny, the first novel in a new steampunk, horror, alternate history, action-adventure series set in a 1920s where the Nazi’s have begun their subjugation of the world using the occult, advanced science, and a holy relic with awesome powers.

And don’t miss the other parts of this serialized novel - Part Two: Death’s Head Legion and Part Three: Shadows Will Fall.

Trey Garrison recaptures the unapologetic adventure, wonder and excitement of the classic pulp fiction of the 1930s and 1940s, blending elements of steampunk with deeply-researched historical fiction and a good dose of humor. The novel also explores major philosophical and moral issues relevant to our contemporary world: the trade-off between security and liberty, the morality of pre-emptive war, and what fundamentally separates good from evil.

The North American continent is made up of several rival nations, and a Cold War is building between them. The Nazis rose to power a decade earlier. People travel by airship and powerful organizations calculate with Babbage’s Difference Engine. The Nazis have hatched a plot to raise a legion of undead soldiers.

Enter Sean Fox Rucker, Jesus D’Anconia Lago, two Great War veterans and freelance pilots who are pulled into the quest. They are joined by a brash Greek merchant, a brilliant Jewish cowboy, and the woman who once broke Rucker’s heart. This ragtag band of reluctant, bickering, swashbuckling heroes soon is locked in a globe-spanning race against Nazi occultists, clockwork assassins, and a darkly charismatic commando. In a world where science and the supernatural co-exist, and the monsters of legend are as real necromancers who summon them from dark realms, our heroes alone stand before the rising darkness. But all their efforts may not be enough.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Story of X


An eBook from William Morrow

A.J. Molloy

On Sale 12/11/2012

ISBN: 9780062268518

Written by A.J. Molloy, this erotic tale is 50 Shades of Grey meets Eyes Wide Shut.

Shy American student Alexandra Beckmann—‘X’ to her friends—arrives in Naples desperate for adventures beyond the sheltered life she has led. She is there to study the infamous Italian crime organization, the Camorra. But on the sun-soaked, ancient city streets, her research leads her to a man like no one else she has ever met.

Lord Marcus Xavier Roscarrick is an Italian aristocrat, irresistibly handsome with a mysterious past. Yet, underneath his smooth exterior, X senses a man who is well-acquainted with danger.

Soon they begin a passionate affair, and X is drawn into Roscarrick’s world of ancient secrets and sexual experimentation. A world she never dreamed existed. But as she falls ever more deeply under Roscarrick’s spell, X must decide whether she dares to submit entirely to this shadowy world of dark desire.

Friday, November 30, 2012

New Ebook form Rowena Cory Daniels

From the best-selling world of King Rolen’s Kin:

The King’s Man
by Rowena Cory Daniells

An ebook exclusive

£3.49 (UK) $3.99 (US)
Available from 6th December

Epub ISBN: 9781849974721
Kindle ISBN: 9781849974738

Return to Rowena Cory Daniells’ best-selling fantasy world

“Page-turning, plot-twisting, breakneck adventure.” – SFX on The Kings’ Bastard

“Pacy and full of action and intrigue.” – Trudi Canavan on The Kings’ Bastard

Returning to the world she created for the best-selling series The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin, Rowena Cory Daniells has crafted a brand new novella – available next week from Solaris!

In the Chronicles of King Rolen's Kin trilogy everyone believed Garzik had been killed. This ebook exclusive reveals what happened to him.

When Dovecote estate fell, Garzik, younger son of Lord Dovecote, was captured and sent back to Merofynia as a prize of war. Feeling responsible for the fall of his father’s estate – and therefore, ultimately, the fall of the Kingdom of Rolencia – Garzik must set things right before he can return home.

He decides to turn his misfortune into opportunity, to spy for the rightful king, Byren, who yet thinks him slain at Dovecote. With fortune on his side, he may learn something that could change the path of the war, then escape, return home, find Byren and redeem himself. For Garzik is and always will be the king’s man.

With its explosive mix of political intrigue and magic, The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin remains the best selling Solaris series. Discover for yourself why with this new and exclusive ebook from Solaris.

About the series: The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin

Only seven minutes younger than Rolencia’s heir, Byren has never hungered for the throne; he laughs when a seer predicts that he will kill his twin. But the royal heir resents Byren’s growing popularity. Across the land the untamed magic of the gods wells up out of the earth’s heart, sending exotic creatures to stalk the wintry nights and twisting men’s minds, granting them terrible visions. Those so touched are sent to the Abbey, to learn to control their gift, or die. At King Rolen’s court, enemies plot to take his throne, even as secrets within his own household threaten to tear his family apart.

The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin
The King’s Bastard
The Uncrowned King
The Usurper

About the Author

Rowena Cory Daniells has been involved in Speculative Fiction for over thirty years -- as a reader and fan, independent press, graphic artist, bookshop owner and writer. She is published in both children and adults’ fiction. Her award-winning fantasy trilogy The Last T’En was published in Australia, the US and Germany. She also writes short stories, which have appeared in magazines and anthologies including Dreaming Downunder which won World Best Fantasy, and Dreaming Again. Rowena has a Masters in Arts Research and has taught creative writing to all ages. In her spare time she has devoted five years to studying each of these martial arts, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido and Iaido, the art of the Samurai sword.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fantasy Reviews from Harriet

Rogue Rider
Larissa Ione
Forever, Nov 20 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9780446574488

The angel Reaver removed Reseph’s memory of the terror he caused on earth as one of the Four Horsemen, Pestilence. Reaver sends Reseph back to Earth.

Jillian Cardiff fled Florida for blizzard conditions after the demon assault that left visible scars on her body and even worse on her soul. On her way back to her remote mountain cabin, Jillian finds a hunk lying naked in the snow. She helps him inside her lodging while learning he remembers nothing except he thinks his name is Reseph. The pair is attracted to one another, but their idyll ends when demons murder neighbors. As hunters arrive to kill the demons, Reseph reawakens to the paralyzing guilt of what he wrought as Pestilence.

The final Lords of Deliverance romantic fantasy (see Immortal Rider, Eternal Rider and Lethal Rider) is a superb finish to the strong The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse saga. The protagonists are star-crossed as lovers as he unleashed the demon horde that practically destroyed her. Fans will relish the climax as redemption seems a mountain too high for guilt-wracked Reseph with what he caused to humanity. Harriet Klausner

The Bones Of The Old Ones
Howard Andrew Jones
Dunne, Dec 11 2012, $25.99
ISBN: 9780312646752

In the eighth century Old Mosul is almost as ancient as the Assyrian ruins across the river. Seven Sebitti wizards have cast a spell on Persian aristocrat Najya binta Alimah to find The Bones Of The Old Ones, a source of great power. During a snowstorm blanketing the city, Najya escapes from these dangerous mages; and takes refuge in the home of Dabir ibn Khalil the scholar; also there is Dabir’s friend the swordsman Captain Asim el Abbas.

Dabir and Asim agree to keep Najya safe and liberate her from the Sebitti spell as her soul turns darker with a comingling spirit planning on an ice age like none before. As the pair begins their quest, the wizards send a lethal shapeshifting assassin to kill them. Meanwhile Asim increasingly acts as if Najya enchanted him while Dabir fears their beautiful charge may prove more dangerous to them and Mosul than the stalking killer or the wizards, they make a devil’s deal with their enemy Lydia the Greek necromancer.

The second thrilling eighth century Dabir and Asim sword and sorcery fantasy (see The Desert of Souls) is a great tale as the heroes struggle to stay alive while on their quest. Fast-paced and filled with action in a real locale, the cast makes the tale as Najya, Lydian, the assassin and the wizards provide depth to the adventures of the protagonists in the Jones mythology. Harriet Klausner

The Lady of Secrets
Susan Carroll
Ballantine, Dec 11 2012, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345502957

In 1605, healer Margaret Wolfe feels relief with the death of her mad mom Cassandra Lascelles the witch. Now the Lady of the Faire Isle following the death of her beloved mentor Ariane, Meg returns home, accompanied by Contessa Seraphine Beaufoy, knowing everyone is wary of her power due to her mother’s mad misuse. She plans to lay low and enjoy the sense of feeling safe at last.

King James dispatches Sir Patrick Graham and Dr. Armagil Blackwood to Faire Isle to escort Lady Meg to his court where a witch’s curse devastates the royals. Meg is attracted to the kind Sir Graham while keeping her distant from the sullen physician. Trusting no one especially anyone engaging her heart, Meg deploys her bewitching powers to identify the culprit behind a dangerous magical spell that has placed the monarch, his family and his retinue in peril.

Though the Dark Queen is dead, Susan Carroll superbly continues her historical romantic fantasy saga (see Twilight of a Queen) with a fabulous entry that follows the adventures in magic and love of the newest Lady of the Faire Isle. Fast-paced from the moment Graham and Dr. Armagil Blackwood come for Meg, readers will appreciate this deep thriller as the heroine knows the risk she takes by deploying her paranormal skills at a time when curse phobia has led to witch burnings. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Alien: Illustrated, The Listeners and Legends of Darkness

Alien: The Illustrated Story
Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson (Illustrator)
Titan Books, Sep 4 2012, $14.95
ISBN: 9781781161296

In outer space, the civilian mining ship the Nostromo completed its mission and is heading home with the crew sleeping in a cryo-frozen state. The Nostromo computer Mother wakes everyone up after receiving an alien distress message. They head to the source of the SOS and soon crewman Kane and others explore an alien ship where he finds an egg. At that moment humanity meets an Alien species.

This is a reprint of the great 1979 graphic comic book as Archie Goodwin brings the film’s plot to life while Walt Simonson’s fabulous illustrations enhance the tale with his pre computer generated art. Fans will appreciate this super adaptation of a fabulous horror science fiction movie. Harriet Klausner

The Listeners
Harrison Demchick
Bancroft, Dec 17 2012, $21.99
ISBN: 9781610880817

The plague struck the city with biblical proportions. Teenage best friends Daniel and Katie know very little beyond the quarantine that isolated them and that medical personnel were evacuated out early on. They also know what Katie’s dad said about the monstrous Listeners who cut off an ear as a ritual of joining. The police, including Katie’s dad, take over rationing supplies but those like Daniel and his mom are beneath the ladder so they receive little. It turns worse for Daniel when his mom went out to the store but never returned, and the broken window allows the airborne virus to enter their apartment.

With no hope, the Listeners, led by Adam the prophet, arrive and give Derek a reason to live and take what they insist should be his rather than hide until the disease turns him into an evil abomination before it horribly kills him. Giving up an ear is worth the price as Daniel joins the Listeners.

This is an exciting horror thriller with a fascinating premise that when civilization caves monsters come out of the holes in diverse packages. Fast-paced, the atmosphere grips the audience as Daniel struggles with adapting to the Listener morality that uses the concept of how young suicide bombers are recruited to die (purpose, food and shelter). Fast-paced fans will enjoy this dark thriller from the opening knock to the final decision Daniel makes. Harriet Klausner

Legends of Darkness
Georgia L Jones
BlackWyrm, Mar 1 2012, $15.95
ISBN: 9781613181218

While her husband Rob is away on business, cosmetologist Samantha Garrett drops her six year old son Chris off at school before driving to Springfield to pick up supplies for her shop. On the interstate heading home, an out of control car swerves across the medium crashing into Samantha’s SUV; her last thoughts before she dies are of her loved ones.

She awakens recalling her final moments. This Death proves confusing as she feels healthy while walking to a funeral in which the body inside the coffin is her and her loved ones deeply grieving their loss. However, her initial thoughts of this neo-existence could not be hell change when she learns what she has become in her afterlife. Samantha is Samoda a blood thirsty warrior in the army of Nuem though she refuses to give up on what she once was as a mom, wife, sister, daughter and beloved human; unaware that failure to move on leaves her, her loved ones and her new comrades like Drake in peril from an avarice traitorous avenger.

Legends of Darkness is a refreshing paranormal thriller that spins an intriguing afterlife premise. Sam is terrific as she holds the engaging storyline together while struggling to adjust to a new world order until she realizes the threat to humanity including her loved ones and to her new species. Fast-paced, fans will appreciate Sam’s efforts to save two realms from a sinister traitor. Harriet Klausner