Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Potpourri of Reviews

Under Suspicion
Hannah Jayne
Kensington, $7.99
ISBN: 9780758258946

In San Francisco Underworld Detection Agency’s only human Sophie Lawson starts to report to her superior that three of her clients failed to make their appointment with her, but stops when she learns her new boss is Vlad LeShay as he is the latest vampire promoted to top management by Dixon Andrade. She decides to check up on Mrs. Henderson the demon and two teenage children, but finds blood and destruction at their home. Nauseous she calls fallen angel Alex Grace who is on his way to Buffalo

No one at UDA seems interested in the Henderson case or the fact that more demons have disappeared as Sophie fears paranormal ethnic cleaning. However, when someone tries to kill Sophie, her stiff necked guardian Will, peers and management finally take notice.

Jayne’s third adventure as the only human at UDA (see Under Attack and Under Wraps) is a fun tale though the non-reaction by the heroine’s peers seem unlikely and over the top of the Twin Peaks. The heroine is her usual mix of angst and West Coast shtick as she investigates what is going on amongst the supernatural beings. Fans will enjoy her escapades as she becomes the target of sinister adversaries. Harriet Klausner

In Dreams
Robert Logan
The Peppertree Press, $25.95
ISBN: 9781614930907

In the Boulder, Colorado area a serial killer murders victims using the same M.O. as a psychopath employed over four decades ago. BPD logically assumes a deranged copycat killer has surfaced.

Near Boulder, Magnolia Creek Middle School history teacher Jack Corbitt undergoes an experimental cancer treatment though the eight previous cases leave him wary. A byproduct of the life-saving technique enables the patient to open a portal to the past where he communicates inside the head of Chronicle beat reporter Maggie Roper, who is investigating the serial killings that occurred forty-one years before Jack receives his treatment. They team up as he begins to realize that the present day killer has the same skills he has and has made contact with a psychopath to commit the identical homicides.

With a nod to the movie Frequency, In Dreams is an exciting psychological suspense that uses telepathy to “merge” that the past and the present. Fast-paced, readers will feel Jack’s sense of foreboding as he fears once his treatment stops his paranormal skill ends too. Robert Logan provides a fabulous thriller. Harriet Klausner

Steven Brust
Tor, $14.99
ISBN: 9780765333063

After serving as a top rate assassin for the House Jhereg Vlad Taltos has fled for his life. He sneaks into his hometown to visit his family, but runs into dangerous imperial captain Khaavren of the Phoenix Guards.

Vlad has found the Tiassa singed feline silver statue that he plots to use in a con. Khaavren seeks the magical statue as the Empire plans to deploy it against their enemy the Jenoine. Meanwhile the Jherg schemes to employ the statue as a means to trap and punish their renegade former employee.

There are three interconnected subplots in the latest exciting Vlad thriller (see Iorich). There are the hero’s activities countered by Khaavren point of view re similar events. Finally, there is an interlude involving Vlad’s estranged wife Cawti. The cat and mouse encounter between the protagonist and the star of the 1990s tale The Phoenix Guards is a witty intelligent contest. The Cawti segue gives some insight into her dysfunctional relationship with her husband, but detracts from the prime chess match between two grandmasters. This Taltos tale is overall terrific as he competes against a worthy opponent. Harriet Klausner

Dog and Dragon
Dave Freer
Baen, $14.00
ISBN: 9781451638110

Seventeen years has passed since Fionn knocked down the South-Eastern tower that contained the void (see Dragon’s Ring). Over that time, paramatter has mixed with real matter.

The Earl of Carfon and Guardian of the Southern Marches Lord Alois demands the young woman identify herself even as he tries to kill her. Her screams lead to other men arriving at the anteroom who tackle Alois. With some of his guards dead outside the room, Prince Regent of Lyonesse Medraut ap Corrin asks the female who she is. She says she is called Meb but her true name is Anghared. Stunned Medraut has doubts until Alois states she used magic to get inside the impenetrable walls of Dun Tagoll. Meb points out her screams saved the prince’s life from Alois.

Medraut wonders if Meb is the prophesized Defender. She is taken to meet the Mage Aberinn, but he and Medraut are frustrated and confused with how she suddenly got inside the castle. At the same time, Fionn the black dragon and Dileas the sheepdog search for Scrap, the name they have given Meb as they head towards Lyonesse.

The second Lyonesse dragon fantasy is an action-packed thriller that grips the audience from the opening scene in which Meb cannot explain her arrival or how a window, which became a wall, reverts back to a window. From that entreating hook, the story line moves out nicely on two fronts as Meb tries to stay alive while Aberinn believes she is the enemy, and on the dangerous trek by Fionn and Dileas. Fans will feel dace Freer soars with this exciting tale. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Angels, Shifters, The Undead and Soul Seekers

A Temptation of Angels
Michelle Zink
Dial, $17.99
ISBN: 9780803737266

Sixteen-year-old Helen fell asleep to the sounds of arguing in the family library when her frantic mother awakens her while it is still dark outside. Her mom gives her strange directions to go to a house before sending her child through a hidden doorway in her bedroom that the teen never knew existed. As her house burns with her parents inside, a shocked Helen flees to the address her mother admonished her to go to for her safety.

Brothers Darius and Griffin Channing welcome Helen into their London abode. They explain to the stunned teen that she, like them, is responsible to protect the planet as Keepers are descendants of an angel species. The siblings further explain they are the last ones as an assassin has killed all the others and targeted Helen before she can be skilled. If their kind becomes extinct so will the earth.

Although this exciting young adult fantasy starts confusing due to the introduction of a horde of characters forcing readers to need a scorecard, once the Zink mythos and cast is established, the storyline turns into a fast-paced High Noon thriller. Helen is terrific as she has no time to grieve due to the demands of gruff Darius; she also has two men attracted to her, Griff and her childhood friend Raum. Vengeance may be the Lord’s domain, but the three remaining Keepers (the parents of the brothers suffered the same fate as those of Helen did) claim it as theirs.
Harriet Klausner

Temptations Rising
A.C. Arthur
St. Martin’s, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312549107

Two years ago, a strange cat like creature saved the life of Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department officer Kalina Harper from an assault. Confused by what happened, she still dreams of this beast, but has never told anyone about what she saw.

Her boss assigns Kalina to go undercover at Reynolds & Delgado law firm seeking connections between partner attorney Roman Reynolds and a South American drug cartel as he sends plenty of money to South America. Like all the women in the office, Kalina is attracted to Rome, but is unaware that as a jaguar he saved her life two years ago. However, his concern is with whom murdered Senator Mark Baines and his daughter three weeks ago as Rogues apparently have moved into his Faction as they have in the other zones too. Though he knows he must ignore Kalina to focus on the Rogues, Rome finds he cannot ignore her as he begins to believe she is his mate.

The first Shadow Shifters romantic urban fantasy is an exciting thriller as readers will feel the Arthurian paranormal DC world is genuine. Fast-paced with a courageous heroine struggling to accept what she is learning and a strong leader unsure whether to tell her the truth that residing amidst purebred humans are shifters. Harriet Klausner

The Blood of Heroes
Joseph Nassise
Harper Voyager, $14.99
ISBN: 9780062048752

The war fought in the trenches was the most brutal in history as men died to move the front inches. It became even more vicious when deadly gas was released onto the battlefield. However, the Germans, knowing they are losing, turn the combat evil when they deploy the ultimate weapon T Leiche; the “corpse gas” that reanimates dead soldiers to return to the western front. By late 1917, the Kaiser and his army of dead appear heading to victory.

His superior officers assign American Expeditionary Force Captain Michael “Madman” Burke with his artificial “clockwork” arm to rescue his estranged half-brother, legendary American ace Major Jack Freeman; captured behind the lines. Burke assembles a small team consisting of his top aide Sergeant Moore, big-game hunter Clayton Manning and Tesla protégé and supernatural expert Professor Dan Richards. To reach the prison where Freeman is held, the quartet must travel across land controlled by the shamblers, undead soldiers and other monstrous German creations. If they miraculously reach the prison, they will learn why the brass sent them on a suicide mission.

The first Great Undead War historical urban fantasy is a fabulous fast-paced thriller that never slows down throughout. Filled with action, readers will wonder what harrowing stuff Joseph Nassise will next toss at his heroes. The military gadgets enhance the fun of a terrific steampunk paranormal historical military thriller mindful of Lester dent’s Doc Savage. Harriet Klausner

Alyson Noel
St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99
ISBN: 9780312664855

Daire Santos struggles with being different. Animals follow her while crows mock her. Glowing strangers stalk her. Finally there is the boy with the blue eyes who stars in her dreams. Her widow mom Jennika is beside herself with worry. However, not as much as Daire’s paternal grandmother Paloma Santos who knows the danger to the last of her line.

Sent to visit her grandma in Enchantment, New Mexico, Paloma explains to Daire that like her and her late dad, she is a Soul Seeker who travels between the mundane world of the living and the surreal world of the dead. Fated to either save or destroy the world of the living, Daire trains to control her paranormal skills. However, as her grandma mentors her, she adapts reasonably well until she meets Dace, the star of her dreams. Although attracted to him even before they met, she wonders if he is her soulmate or her Judas.

The first Soul Seekers urban fantasy is a superb thriller starring a “troubled” young lady who learns she holds the fate of the world in her hands. The key to this absorbing tale is the heroine who makes the Noel mythos seems genuine as she enters the underworld in a soul searching rescue mission while wondering whom does she trust. Filled with twists, this is a winning opening act. Harriett Klausner

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dark Fantasy, Steampunk and Pixies

The Master of Heathcrest Hall
Galen Beckett
Spectra, $16.00
ISBN: 9780553807608

The old king of Altania is dead, and the coronation of his heir has been delayed by competing political and mage leaders coveting power. The Ashen see the chaos as an opportunity to overwhelm the kingdom, but the power brokers squabble over their role in the new government rather than insuring what is best for the country.

Ivy Quent feels euphoric over her husband the mage’s recent endeavors and her own in Evengrove. However, she will soon conclude her optimism is an illusion when her extended family is in peril from those willing to cause a civil war while an external threat intensifies; all for a little more power. Pregnant, Ivy tries to keep her family safe while dealing with betrayal. She finds allies in the mage Rafferdy and illusionist Garrit of the Theatre of the Moon.

The third Quent dark fantasy (see The House On Durrow Street and The Magicians and Mrs. Quent) super thriller with several stunning bit plausible twists. The key to this entry and its predecessors is the Beckett mythology feels genuine due to the fascinating eccentric cast and the title abode. Ivy is a brave fabulous heroine who earns the respect of the audience. Galen Beckett scores the hat trick with her third entertaining Mrs. Quent quirky thriller. Harriet Klausner

The Impossible Cube
Steven Harper
Roc, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464507

By 1857, the “clockwork plague” disease turned people into brainless zombies. A few of the inflicted become short-lived mechanical geniuses creating technological advances. England and China emerged from the calamity as superpowers, with both using clockwork geniuses to push their country to the top. However, in England a cure for the clockwork plague zombie syndrome was discovered but the government’s top secret Third Ward rationalizes that deploying it to save lives will destroy the kingdom as China would still have its mechanical gurus. They try to hide the cure in The Doomsday Vault, but Lady Alice Michaels and Gavin Ennock steal the elixir and begin releasing it while agents of the now defunct Third Ward led by Lieutenant Susan Phipps chase them in France.

Phipps and her goons (Glenda Teasdale and Simon D’Arco) catch Gavin who has caught the plague thanks to Alice’s late Aunt Edwinna. Alice, Click the Cat, Feng and Dr. Clef rescue Gavin. They flee to Luxembourg for supplies while on their way to China where they hope to find a cure for the clockwork mechanical genius syndrome before Gavin and Clef die. Using the new wireless communication technology invented by a clockwork genius, Phipps pursues the traitors.

The second Clockwork Empire steampunk alternate historical is an exciting adventure thriller that starts off with action and never slows down until a confrontation in the Ukraine. Fast-paced, readers will enjoy the escapes of the Bostonian and the lady as she is apt to rescue him even more than he does her. With a nod to Jules Verne’s Five Weeks in a Balloon (though an African crossing), readers will appreciate Steven Harper’s exhilarating trek across the European continent. Harriet Klausner

Chicory Up
Irene Radford
DAW, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756407247

Pixies are alive and well with a tribe residing in Ten Acre Wood. Many of the nearby human townsfolk of Skene Falls know Pixies exist and are responsible for their beautiful gardens. The Pixies banished Thistle Down from their community and soon afterward a magical spell changed her into a human. She and Dick Carrick fell in love and will marry as soon as a judge issues Thistle a birth certificate.

While the couple waits, there is trouble amongst the Pixies as the tribes are at war against each other egged on by the magic of the fairies who still want possession of Ten Acres Wood that hybrid Haywood Wheatland failed to obtain for them (see Thistle Down). Though young and inexperienced, Chicory knows a civil war will lead to the destruction of the Pixies replaced in the woods by the fairies. He and his followers form their own tribe living in the attic of Dick mother. Thistle Down returns to Pixie to end the belligerency, abate the out of control energy, and insure a new king is selected. Dick fears he is losing his beloved so he turns in to a Pixie due to Chicory’s magic. He enters the fray to insure Thistle Down’s back is covered.

Human or pixie, Thistle Down is a wise conscientious person who fulfills her obligations by going the extra kilometers. The Pixies bring plenty of amusing havoc unless you happen to be the human whose life is disrupted by the mischievous tribe. Filled with magic, intrigue and romance, readers will enjoy the latest entertaining lighthearted Pixie Chronicles woodland fantasy. Irene Tadford is one of my favorite authors. Harriet Klausner

Monday, June 25, 2012

Press Release

Book Two of The Outcast Chronicles:


By Rowena Cory Daniells

A new epic continues on 31st July (US & Canada) and 2nd August (UK)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-78108-012-2

$8.99/$10.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-78108-013-9

Available as an ebook

Time is running out for the Wyrds in the second in the latest thrilling trilogy from Rowena Cory Daniells, the creator of the best-selling Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin.

Solaris is releasing the three volumes of The Outcast Chronicles, each with a stunning cover from award-winning artist Clint Langley, over three months in what will be the fantasy event of the summer!

In the second title, Exile, the increasingly insane King Charald has passed his verdict on the mystic Wyrds: banishment, by the first day of winter. Their leader, Imoshen, believes she has found a new home for her people, but many are still stranded amidst violence and turmoil.

Whether the ships are ready or not, the Wyrds must battle to leave; those who remain behind will be hunted down and executed. Time is running out for all of them.

Daniells has spun another web of golden fantasy with a series that will keep fans of George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb or Gail Z. Martin enthralled over the summer of magic.

“The twists and turns in the plot are wonderful … would heartily recommend this.”
– on Besieged

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Poem from Adam Niswander

Adam Niswander is a friend of mine. He is also a comrade in arms as a Veteran of Vietnam.

He is the author of numerous books in The Shaman Cycle, a series of Southwestern Supernatural thrillers that feature the twelve tribes of the Southwest and include entities from the Cthulhu Mythos cycle created by H. P. Lovecraft.

He is currently in Hospice care at the Veterans Hospital in Phoenix and has been sharing his experiences with his friends on Facebook. Every now and then, he graces us with some poetry and has graciously allowed me to post them here and they will appear in Baryon Magazine and the website as well.

No one knows how much time we have on this Earth and Adam's time is winding down. He is sharing his time with us and showing all of his friends the grace and dignity he faces each day.

Thank you Adam, for being my friend and allowing me to share this with others.

This posting is Copyright 2012 by Adam Niswander and is printed by permission.

Death Poem

Strange. I am dying and one might think I’d have something beautiful to say about it.
But sitting here in my hospice room doesn’t seem to be causing the muses any discomfort.
They are snoozing quietly.

The words going through my mind are not flowery.
Of course, they are just words.
They aren’t my last words.
They probably aren’t my best words either.
But they are my words.

I have had some time to think. And I have thought.
I have had some time to write. And I have written.
Some right now are probably wishing I would shut up already.

What can you say as you watch the sands of your life run out?
Maybe that you wish they weren’t running so fast.
Or that you could keep up with it.
Sands in an hourglass, from one globe to another.

I would like to leave some wisdom behind,
some kind of written piece that would cause people in the future
to read the words and say to themselves
He was a wise man, that Niswander.
But I think that may be a bit foolish,
kind of the opposite of the intent.

Should a death poem rhyme?

As the sands run out
there is no time for doubt.
If unknown now,
will I suddenly understand how
to capture words profound?
(Or would they have a hollow sound?)

Is there an answer to the riddle?
Or am I doomed to fiddle
Until I’m dead
With wondering what lies ahead?

The questions can be asked
In simple terms without the need to rhyme.
And the answers found
will not be less impressive
simply because I didn’t clothe them in a pretty phrase.

Is death friend or foe?
It seems to me that it is both,
or neither,
for it will come for me
whether I welcome it
or struggle to escape it.

No matter that I can tell a tale better than some,
for this story does not require the suspension of disbelief.
It is simple truth.

I lived a good life.
Not everyone can say that,
so I feel fortunate.

I loved.
I found mates.
I was not old-fashioned enough to seek only one and stop.
I went down a path until it ran out,
and then crossed untrodden ground to find a new path.
When that ended, I hopped and skipped to yet another.

I shared uncertainty.
I took risks.
I made choices.
And I learned that choices hang around with consequences.
(Is one a bad influence on the other?)

I knew physical pleasures,
and discovered that real life survived all those little deaths.
I did not make a baby.
I chose not to.
I weighed the positives and negatives
and chose selfishness over responsibility.
It was possible I might regret that choice,
but I do not.
I am content to leave something else behind,
Dreams and visions set to paper
before the eyes of all who wish to see them.
Is it better to leave words than flesh?
I know how my words turned out.
I did not have to wait to see how they might develop.
They sprang from me full grown and realized.
Does a parent know as much?

I have been loved.
But I have seen disappointment in the eyes of some who loved me.
I was at times a miserly man, keeping the best of me for myself.
Yet there were some who loved me unconditionally, unreservedly.
To them I was perfect in the midst of my flaws,
perfectly flawed in my perfection.

Do I think there is something beyond this?
Do I believe that I will rise again in some way
and live again (or still)?
Yes, I do.
I do not believe that the complexity around me
was born of chance.
I do not believe that the light of mind
Is extinguished just because the body stops.
I do not believe that consciousness requires form,
that beauty disappears when eyes no longer see.
Could I be wrong?
Does that frighten me?
What is the worst to fear?
That there is nothing up ahead?
I do not fear nothingness.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Crash is Coming in 2013

Solaris announces second novel from breakthrough author, Guy Haley

Unalloyed greed, markets dictating the will of humanity – when The Crash comes, nothing will be left standing.

In a topical science-fiction take on the world’s current economic woes, breakthrough author Guy Haley envisages a society in utter thrall to commerce, which must constantly expand to sustain itself. When a mission to the stars begins to go wrong, the fragility of human society and progress is exposed.

The Crash is due for release in July 2013, it is Haley’s second book for Solaris.

His first, Champion of Mars, was released in May this year and was described by SF legend Stephen Baxter as “a novel with an ambition on the scale of Olympus Mons itself, and it delivers. Recommended.”

“Guy Haley’s SF invokes in me the same excitement I had when reading Ray Bradbury, Robert Silverberg and Arthur C. Clarke’s works for the first time,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “His fiction is packed full of ideas while maintaining a very human voice. Haley’s work is complex, exciting and vastly entertaining and I’m delighted to welcome him back to the Solaris fold.”

The Market rules all, plotting the rise and fall of fortunes without human intervention. Mankind, trapped by a rigid hierarchy of wealth, bends to its every whim. To function, the Market must expand without end. The Earth is finite, and cannot hold it, and so a bold venture to the stars is begun, offering a rare chance at freedom to a select few people.

But when the colony fleet is sabotaged, a small group finds itself marooned upon the tidally locked world of Nychthemeron, a world where one hemisphere is bathed in perpetual daylight, the other hidden by eternal night. Isolated and beset, the stricken colony members must fight for survival on the hostile planet, while secrets about both the nature of their shipwreck and Nychthemeron itself threaten to tear their fragile society apart.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three from Harriett

Blue Magic
A.M. Dellamonica
Tor, Apr 10 2012, $14.99
ISBN: 9780765319487

In Indigo Springs, Oregon, arrested Sahara Knax is on trial for treason. Her former best friend, Astrid Letherwood struggles to end the wild spread of magic into the mundane world caused by her discovery and subsequent abuse by Sahara of the underground blue Vitauga River. Astrid understands why her late father hid his use of magic and his source though she was his apprentice; as she saw how easily power corrupted Sahara; turning her ex buddy into a megalomaniac. Others, including the government, demand to use the echantments for their personal desires and needs.

As she attempts to return the world to its natural balance, Astrid has only one person she can rely on to help her. Ironically hostage negotiator Will Forest was her jailer, but now is her biggest ally as love and understanding changed their relationship. Now all they have to do is first rebuild the world and then rebuild a family.

The sequel to Indigo Springs is a profound psychological urban fantasy that explores the impact of a new source of power, magic, into a technological world previously governed by the laws of physics. The heroine is superb as she tries to make things right but finds second and third order effects that convolute her efforts. Readers will appreciate A. M. Dellamonica’s thought-provoking thriller as magic may be one person’s nirvana but someone else pays the price (sounds like the American corporacy). Harriet Klausner

Rebecca Zanetti
Kensington Brava, Apr 24 2012, $14.0
ISBN: 9780758259271

Moira Dunne the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter witch deploys quantum physics to move around in time and space. One century ago she had a one night stand, but though she immensely enjoyed the tryst that was in the “past”.

However, Moira is unaware that her rendezvous with Connlan Kayrs turned out to be much more when he marked her as his mate. He has patiently waited decades for her to mature before Conn can claims Moira as his. Now Conn is back in a stunned Moira’s life as he insists he needs her and by the way her family’s support against a vampire clan creating a customized virus to attack the mates of the undead.

The third Dark Protectors romantic urban fantasy (see Fated and Claimed) is an engaging thriller that moves forward the overarching theme of a pending war; which is a two edged sword as the motive for the paranormal hostilities is not very lucid. The action-packed storyline is fast-paced as Conn claims the witch he is fated to mate with while betrayal leaves their relationship and their family and friends in peril. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Rebecca Zanetti’s exciting novel as the vampire and the witch prove absence makes the heart (and other body parts) grow fonder. Harriet Klausner

Stolen Prey
John Sandford
Putnam, May 15 2012, $27.95
ISBN: 9780399157684

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension chief Lucas Davenport is determined to find and arrest the thin man and big woman who robbed him of $500 at an ATM and broke his wrist. He assigns his best detective Virgil Flowers to track down the pair. St. Paul leaders want Davenport’s team to locate the Naiads of the North valuable bronze statue before it is melted to sell as ore.

The case that garners media attention happens when they are called to the affluent Brooks family home in Deephaven. A husband, wife, two daughters, and their dogs are tortured and murdered. The father Patrick owned Sunnie software that would make an ideal money laundering locale. .Three Mexican thugs come from their country searching for their missing 22 million. At the same time a computer gamer and his female accomplice tries to convert money into gold. Nothing comes together, but Davenport and his team diligently work the cases.

Nobody writes a police procedural better than John Sandford consistently does. The glimpse into Davenport’s home life humanizes the super cop; as does his need to incarcerate the two thieves though he will learn revenge can turn humorously horse sh*tty. The prime murder mystery is a cleverly devised serpentine whodunit that twists like a Mobius band. It keeps readers up late to learn what happened. Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Eric Brown Coming in 2013

New Eric Brown SF title for Solaris announced for 2013

Solaris is proud to announce that bestselling SF master Eric Brown is to pen an original novel for the imprint in 2013.

The writer behind Helix, Guardians of the Phoenix, and The Kings of Eternity, Brown’s new title The Serene Invasion is due for release in May 2013.

The novel sees a chaotic and desperate Earth saved by benevolent aliens, the Serene. But not all humans are grateful for this intervention.

The Serene Invasion will combine both a moving message for our times and hope for the future with a vision of the basest of human emotion – yet again confirming Brown as a bold, strong, and authoritative voice in the world of science fiction.

“Eric is a writer of startling vision and depth and a new novel from him is always a cause for celebration,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “The Serene Invasion promises to show why Eric should be listed alongside such luminaries of the field as Iain Banks and Peter F. Hamilton.”

The year is 2025 and the world is riven by war, terrorist attacks, poverty and increasingly desperate demands for water, oil, and natural resources. Sally Walsh, working in drought stricken Uganda, is torn between the need to perform her duty as a doctor and the need to get out after four years in the field. Then she is kidnapped by terrorists and threatened with death...

What saves her life is the arrival of an extraterrestrial race from Delta Pavonis - the Serene, whose intervention in the affairs of humanity will change everything.

Some people, however, oppose the benign invasion of the Serene, and will stop at nothing to return to the bad old days.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coming Soon

Blood and Feathers
by Lou Morgan

Taking flight 2nd August (UK), and 14 August (US & Canada)

£7.99 (UK) ISBN 978-1-781080-1-84
$8.99/$10.99 (US & CAN) ISBN 978-1-781080-1-91

Available as an ebook

You’re not having the best of days: you got rained on, missed your bus, were late for work. So when two angels arrive, claiming your life so far is a lie, it all goes a bit epic…

In one of the most anticipated debuts this year, Solaris is proud to present Blood and Feathers by breakthrough author Lou Morgan.

The war between the angels and the Fallen is escalating, and innocent civilians are caught in the cross-fire. Hunted by the Fallen and guided by a disgraced angel with a drinking problem – our heroine will learn the truth about her own history and why the angels want to send her to hell.

Blood and Feathers is a storming debut from a fresh new writer whose work is both violent and incisive, acerbic and witty. Morgan draws you into a new world of gun-toting angels and timeless battles that will blow you away.

“A hell of a ride, but heaven to read: eerie, compelling and very funny.”
-Michael Marshall Smith

“Dark, enticing and so sharp the pages could cut you, Blood and Feathers is a must-read for any fan of the genre” - Sarah Pinborough

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day to all, especially those who are serving our country wherever they may be. Be safe.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More Unusual Titles

Shadow And Betrayal
Daniel Abraham
Orb, $17.99
ISBN: 9780765331649

A Shadow In Summer. The city-state Saraykeht depends on the magic of detained Andat spirit, Seedless, compelled to do the biddings of the sorcerer Heshai-kyo as long as his owner lives, but once his possessor perishes, he dies too. The Galts Empire conquers everything in its path except for Saraykeht in spite of the powerful thrusts of the invincible military. Using trade as a means to get small forces inside the city, the Galts plot the murder of Heshai-kyo, which subsequently would lead to the demise of Seedless and ultimately Saraykeht. Teacher Milah-Kvo catches student Otah Machi sneaking out of the city and suggests his pupil become a black robe bodyguard to an andat and its owner. As Otah learns about the assassination, Seedless works to destroy the mind of Heshai-kyo.

A Betrayal In Winter. In Machi the realm is ruled by the Khai and when a new leader is needed the ruler's sons fight to the death to win the throne. The last one standing is the new Khai. The Khai has more than three sons; he has given them to the poets who keep the cities at peace and bring in wealth from other countries. Otah Machi, the sixth son, refused to take the brand, rejected the post, and has made a life for himself as Itani Naygu a courier loved by inn keeper Kiyan. When the eldest son is murdered, the two younger sons go into hiding while the people (commoner and noble) believe Otah was behind the assassination.

This omnibus collection reprints the first two terrific tales in the superb Long Price Quartet fantasy saga. Fifteen years apart, the powerful cast makes everything in this strange magical world seem plausible and exciting. Harriet Klausner

Blood Secret
Sharon Page
Kensington Aphrodisia, $14.00
ISBN: 978075825095

Though irate at her foolish brother, Lucy Drake knows his gambling debts are a family obligation requiring repayment. Lucy has no money to make remittance, but has one item of value, her virginity. She offers her body to the man holding her brother’s markers Sinjin, the Duke of Greystone. He accepts her terms of a fortnight but conceals his real agenda from her.

Greystone has two causes, which Drake unwittingly abets. A vampire, he plans to seduce the information as to the whereabouts of kidnapped nephew taken by her father. Once he rescues his blood, he will fulfill his vow to kill shapeshifting dragons like Lucy Drake. Fourteen nights later, Greystone finds he craves more with Lucy.

The latest Blood Deep heated historical romantic urban fantasy (see Blood Deep, Blood Red and Blood Rose) is a fabulous paranormal thriller as the male protagonist hates that he thinks “I love Lucy.” He must decide between his heart’s oath and his heart’s desire. Fans will enjoy this fine entry as the vampire and the dragon shifter face dilemmas that could end tragic. Harriet Klausner

Three A.M.
Steven John
Tor Books, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765331168

Over fifteen years ago, a lethal pandemic breakout left millions dead; scientists failed to find the cause. Soon after the mass deaths, a fog engulfed the city; but this thick mist has never dissipated. No one can enter or leave the city as the fog is like a giant prison.

In spite of excessive use of alcohol and drugs to numb his overwhelming sense of hopelessness, having not seen the sun since he was twenty eight, private detective Thomas Vale, wakes up every morning at 3:00 AM. He never deviates from that time even though he could use more sleep and rarely has a reason to get up that early. He visits Heller to collect money owed him but accepts instead a tape of “Shoppin” (Chopin), Rebecca waits for Vale at his sh*hole office to retain him. Two to three weeks ago someone murdered Samuel Ayers. The police arrested Fallon Samson who she insists is innocent. He takes on the case though he assumes that Samson killed Ayers. His simple investigation twists into something more precarious involving the disease and the fog.

The atmosphere is thick as readers will feel they wander in the fogged bound city in which residents have given up on the present and future with survival the only objective and holding on to precious personnel relics from before as a token of what was lost. Thomas is a delightful hard-boiled detective though his opponents seem inept. Rebecca is more of a stereotyped of the femme fatale cotton candy rather than a full blooded slick user. Readers will enjoy this exciting noir as paraphrasing Carl Sandburg’s Poem Fog, “… It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches”, but never moves on. Harriet Klausner

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reviews from Harriett

Elisabeth Naughton
Sourcebooks, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402262128

Being a hybrid daemon-Argonaut Orpheus is a pariah. Scorned because of his daemon blood, Orpheus has become a rogue who lives down to the image others have of him. Ironically, he is also an Eternal Guardian whose duty is to protect those same people who loathe him. Orpheus is on a personal quest to rescue his twin brother Gryphon from the hell of Tartarus.

Zeus sends Siren Order Skyla to destroy Orpheus. When she meets him he is in his daemon form so she attacks until she sees the inscription on him that proclaims him to be an Eternal Guardian; daemons cannot belong to that elite warrior group. He explains his mission starting with retrieving an orb that the Pantheon of Gods and the Underworld daemons crave possessing; she joins him. On their trek into hell, the vivacious siren and the morbid hybrid become lovers, but she conceals from Orpheus her agenda to kill him.

The latest Eternal Guardians romantic fantasy (see Marked and Tempted) is an exhilarating thriller that stars seemingly personality opposites in love. The fabulous Naughton Greek mythology is vivid and deadly as wary Orpheus believes you are safer amidst your enemies rather than your allies; his beloved will prove him correct. Harriet Klausner

Sara Humphreys
Sourcebooks, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402258466

Most people including her family believe Amazonian Kerry Smithson suffers from an obsessive germ phobia. That is far from the truth as her fear of touch has to do with severe pain and a look inside the brain of the other person that enables her to determine whether they are evil.

Recently she was assaulted in spite of her size; so her BFF Samantha (see Unleashed) hires Inferno Securities Dante Coltari to protect Kerry as she goes to New Orleans on a modeling gig. They meet at Samantha’s wedding where Dante the Amoveo informs Kerry she will one day dance with him as he realizes from his dream walks that Kerry is his mate; however to avoid a breakdown she has erected barriers that prevent her from dream walking. Dante knows what attacks his beloved, but not who while the Punisher is also at the wedding for both of them. To her shock his touch brings peace and pleasure rather than pain and torment.

The second Amoveo Legend urban fantasy is an action-packed thriller starring two fascinating protagonists though her lack of knowledge is similar to Samantha. Filled with action as a deadly stalker hunts the lead couple, readers will enjoy the escapades of the Tarzan bodyguard and the no longer Untouched heroine while waiting for that first dance to occur. Harriet Klausner

The Wolf Who Loved Me
Lydia Dare
Sourcebooks, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402263460

In 1820, affluent ducal daughter Lady Madeline Hayburn has become wary of males as fortune hunters seem to do anything to force her to marry them. During a full moon, Maddie is shocked when she sees her new neighbor Mr. Weston Hadley turn into a wolf. However, Maddie is not half as stunned as Weston is that he carelessly let someone see him shift.

He believes they have no choice except to marry, but he expects her to decline his offer as he knows Maddy runs from the impoverished lords and besides beauty never marries the beast. Instead, Maddie accepts his offer but demands they immediately elope to Gretna Green. As they head to Scotland, there is plenty of pursuit and not all on her side.

The latest Team Dare Regency romantic fantasy (see Taming of the Wolf, Never Been Bit, It Happened One Bite and In the Heat of the Bite) is a bewitching historical. The storyline is a beguiling Lycan rendition of Beauty and the Beast with plenty of humor (mostly from the potential “mother of his mutts”) and danger (even her father who loves and spoils Maddy wants to cut off Weston’s head). Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Press Release

Second title in thrilling space opera series announced

Abaddon Books is very proud to announce the second book in its exciting new shared world space opera series, Weird Space.

Satan’s Reach is due for release in the summer of 2013.

Written by the series’ creator, Eric Brown, Satan’s Reach returns to world of the human smugglers, veterans and ne’erdowells who are part of the Expansion – and their uneasy neighbours, the Vetch Empire.

This second novel in the series is a rip-roaring space opera with the emphasis on starships, aliens, exotic worlds – and the perennial threat from the Weird.

“With Weird Space Eric has created a brilliant new space-opera for Abaddon Books,” said editor-in-chief Jonathan Oliver. “For years it had been my intention to do a solid SF series with the imprint and when Eric became available I knew that he was the man for the job. Up there with Iain M. Banks, Eric is one of the most exciting genre writers around.”

Den Harper is a telepath on the run from the Expansion authorities, and Sharl Janaker the bounty hunter chasing him across badlands of Satan’s Reach.

On a far-flung planet in the reach they must set aside their mutual enmity and face a foe that threatens not only the colonists of the Reach, but the entirety of the Expansion beyond.

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Victorian Novels

Crystal Gardens
Amanda Quick
Putnam, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399159084

On Lantern Street in Victorian London, Mrs. Flint and Mrs. Marsh are the respectable owners of an agency that provides companions to customers. There are two rules to become an employee of the agency which really deals with inquiries: the prospect must not be afraid of danger and must possess psychical powers; as the firm employs inquiry agents disguised as governesses and paid companions to find items and prople.

Agent Evangeline Ames recuperates from a brush with death in Little Dixby. A noise awakens her from a peaceful sleep and she instantly knows she is no longer alone in her rented cottage. She assumes the intruder wants to kill her so she runs to Crystal Gardens, the haunting old abbey filled with paranormal energy next door. Owner Lucas Sebastian is on alert when the stalker arrives, but flees into the night garden where deadly vegetation and flowers are everywhere. Sparks fly and Lucas realizes the killer will not haunt anyone anymore. Luca vows to protect Evangeline while using his paranormal skills to track down a psychic killer. Evangeline normally finds the good in people, and she is attracted to her rescuer, but cannot explain why she is a target as she has no known enemies.

This Ladies of Lantern Street thriller is an enthralling paranormal historical romantic suspense filled with danger and intrigue from the onset. Readers will like the fascinating protagonists and appreciate the mysterious Crystal Gardens, which brings a Gothic like feel to the exciting storyline. Amanda Quick has written a superb paranormal take on the Victorian romance suspense.
Harriet Klausner

Hide Me Among The Graves
Tim Powers
Morrow, $25.99
ISBN: 9780061231544

In 1819, John Polidori is part of the romantic writers’ inner circle led by Byron and Shelley as he writes a vampire tale. Two years later he is dead, allegedly a suicide victim.

In 1862 London the Rosetti siblings are very talented artists. Dante Gabriel Rossetti is a wonderful pre-Raphaelite painter and Christina is a well-regarded poetess. However, they fear their late Uncle John haunts them from the grave. Dante and Christina ask for help from former prostitute Adelaide McKee; her veterinarian lover John Crawford and Polidori’s romantic writing peer Edward John Trelawny. Polidori and his kin plan to terrorize London starting with those who share their blood.

This is an engaging refreshing vampire Victorian thriller with an incredible twist in which the siblings’ talent is at its “immortal” for the ages’ best when the vampire “controls” them. The time and place is incredibly developed so much so that readers will believe they meet a who’s who while walking the foggy streets of London; however that depth also slows down the pace of a wonderful loose sequel to The Stress of Her Regard. Harriet Klausner

Monday, June 11, 2012


The Werewolf’s Wife
Michele Hauf
Harlequin Nocturne, Mar 20 2012, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618804

Near the Twin Cities, werewolf Ridge Addison the lumberjack is the Principal of a dwindling pack. He and Jason are the only ones left on the compound while two pack members live with their spouses nearby. The rest of the pack died or fled after Ridge’s predecessors caused a war with the vampires.

Ridge needs a real wife to start a family so he decides it is time to divorce Abigail Rowan the witch he married thirteen years ago while intoxicated in Vegas. In Minneapolis he seeks her out only to learn she is on a desperate hunt to save her twelve year old son Ryan, who was abducted at the Detroit Airport while on his way home from Switzerland by a person claiming to be part of the Light. The kidnapper uses the tweener as a hostage chip to force his mom to rescue a vampire being used in a blood sport in exchange for her child. The werewolf agrees to help his spouse, who he claims placed a spell that has left him unable to procreate, as long as she signs the divorce papers.

Fast-paced from the moment Abigail receives the nightmarish call and never slows down until the final marital confrontation, fans will relish this engaging romantic urban fantasy. The lead couple is a delightful pairing as they argue, fuss and fight on their way to a second chance at love. Most women would cherish Abigail’s below the belt skill while men would cringe. Brilliantly refreshing common romance tropes, Michele Hauf provides a wonderful visit to the “Land of 10000 Lakes.” Harriet Klausner

Warrior Rising
Pamela Palmer
Harlequin Nocturne, Mar 20 2012, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373618811

In DC, computer company CEO Harrison Rand prepares for the war against the hated Esri Kingdom now that the Dark Gate and other portals between the realms have been breached. The few Sitheen humans with Esri blood are the last hope for mankind to prevent becoming enslaved by ruthless King Rith. Harrison has doubts he belongs with warriors like his brother Charlie who went through a gate to rescue Princess Ilaria (see A Warrior’s Desire) or Kaderil the Dark Esri who joined their side due to loving a human (see Dark Deceiver).

In fact the divorced Harrison prefers to protect his children, but his sibling needs someone he trusts to protect Ilaria. Although he loathes the Esri, Harrison finds himself attracted to the exiled royal and soon realizes she is caring and kind towards humans and worries about her people like he does for his. She seeks two stones to prevent Rith from completing the destruction of two worlds.

This is a terrific finish to a strong romantic urban fantasy saga as Harrison learns not to be a racist profiler when the Princess destroys his beliefs about her people. Fast-paced and filled with action and romance, fans of the Esri series will appreciate the wonderful magical ending. Harriet Klausner

Assassins In Love
Kris DeLake
Sourcebooks, Mar 6 2012, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402262821

Rogue Assassin Rikki struggles to toss dead Elio Testrial out an airlock when Guild Assassin Misha intrudes by taking charge of the situation but sets off alarms while disposing of the corpse. He pretends to be intoxicated and takes her with guard escort to the B Deck where he has a room.

He thinks she is an out of control amoral person; she thinks he is fool for adhering to the Guild’s rules. His goal is to get her to join the Guild; her goal is to get away from him. Rikki soon concludes the lone wolf is very ethical as she only hunts down those who are evil; Misha soon concludes he may be by the book, but stretches the rules with his antics. They begin to fall in love until she realizes who her fellow assassin is even as they get entangled with the Guild

The key to this entertaining Assassins Guild romantic science fiction tale is the generally accepted concept by society that assassinations are normal. The storyline is fast-paced and the diabolical scheme to set up Rikki brilliantly deployed. Readers will enjoy a visit to the Assassins Guild as Kris DeLake provides a fun thriller. Harriet Klausner

A SEAL In Wolf’s Clothing
Terry Spear
Sourcebooks, Mar 6 2012, $7.99
ISBN: 9781402258909

(Werewolf SEAL) Hunter and (human wildlife photographer) Tessa Greymere (see To Tempt The Wolf) are on a honeymoon; which his twin sister Meara feels liberating as seemingly forever her sibling focused on find her mate instead of his. Her plan is to rent the Oregon cabins her brother and her own to alphas in order to search for her mate.

However, assassins with insider information target Hunter, his SEAL mates and anyone they cherish. SEAL Finn Emerson arrives to keep Meara safe to her chagrin as she does not want a clone of Hunter interfering with her quest. However, instead of counting potential mates, corpses pile up. As he vows to keep his friend’s sister unharmed, he wonders who will keep Meara safe from his desire.

The latest Heart Of The Wolf werewolf romance is an engaging thriller as the protagonists sing I’m Not In Love” (by 10Cc) while also trying to prevent either joining the kill rate. Fast-paced, with a surprising villain and an unlikely hero refreshing the series, fans of the Terry Spear Lycan saga will want to read the twin falling in love with A SEAL In Wolf’s Clothing. Harriet Klausner

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Prometheus review

Just got back from the matinee of Prometheus. Ignore the negative reviews. It is a well-done, well thought out movie. It is not an actual prequel to Alien, but does touch base with the Alien Universe.

It was well acted and Noomi Rapace does a good job as the lead actress. Charlize Theron took a small role but fills it out well. Although old SF geezers will see a lot of the happenings coming, it's still fun watching them unfold.

While I was out, I picked up the John Carter dvd so I can watch it again tonight.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Shapeshifters and more

Bear Meets Girl
Shelly Laurenston
Kensington Brava, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758265203

NYPD Detective Lou “Crush” Crushek the polar bear shifter wakes up after eating too many shots of Jell-O pieces made with alcohol only to find a she-tiger in the bed with him. Smith Wolf Pack (New York) Marcella “Bare-Knuckles” Malone is a hockey player known for her belligerent style. Whereas he turns red, she smirks.

Cella blackmails a mortified Crush to pretend to be her boyfriend so her family leaves her alone. He investigates a serial killer who is murdering the punks he planned to get locked away. She investigates the predator hunting her species. They team up in a bare knuckles relationship as the pride of New York, the bear and the tiger fall in love.

The latest amusing kick tail Smith Wolf Pack and Friends romantic urban fantasy (see Big Bad Beast) is an engaging police procedural starring two opposites in demeanor falling in love; though at first both would rather be dead. The storyline makes the shifter species seem genuine but also has too many subplots detracting from the main bare knuckles crush plot. Still fans will enjoy a visit to the world of the Laurenston mythos. Harriet Klausner

The Shape Of Desire
Sharon Shinn
Ace, $25.95
ISBN: 9781937007171

For over a decade Maria Devane has loved Dante Romano and believes with all her heart that he loves her too. She accepts that he holds back his feelings out of fear that he would lose control of the beast and harm his Maria; especially when he has no control over his monthly change into the beast. Dante also fears the animal is taking over his soul as he spends longer time as a beast and wanders wider areas.

Although Maria knows she sees her mate through rose colored glasses, she believes he would harm no one. However, she becomes fearful that the animal has won when brutal assaults by a feral beast begin occurring in nearby parks. She needs to report him to the law, but her heart has been shattered as if claws ripped it into strips.

This is a great urban romantic fantasy as love seems not enough for this couple struggling with an increasingly dysfunctional relationship which also makes shapeshifting seem genuine. The protagonists are magnificent as each goes through their customized version of grief as if they buried what they have had for the last fifteen years. The mystery of the attacks engages the reader further as Maria knows all the evidence points to Dante, which leaves her in hell as Sharon Shinn provides another super paranormal thriller. Harriet Klausner

Gail Carriger
Orbit, $7.99
ISBN: 9780316127189

In London, the parents, friends, clan and servants of Prudence suffer from the wrath of the terrible two’s. Making matters more difficult for others the toddler can “borrow” the supernatural powers of people by touching them until her soulless mom releases the stolen skills. That is why her parents, Alpha of the Woolsey werewolf clan Lord Conall and Lady Alexia, use mostly drones as servants as well as their friend vampire Lord Akeldama, who actually adopted the baby to help. Still the doting mama and papa relish their domestic lunacy.

The Queen of the Alexandria Hive orders Alexia to come to her city. Knowing you never refuse a royal summons, Alexia, Conall, Prudence and actress Ivy Tunstell head to Egypt by steamer. However, in Egypt the God-Breaker Plague has erupted. The mysteries of the summons and the plague pale compared to how the world’s worst actress Ivy is an overnight sensation as the most popular actress in the British Empire.

The Parasol Protectorate Victorian fantasy ends with a great globetrotting fast-paced thriller. Once again, Gail Carriger combines humor with tense action while tying up the major threads from the previous entries in the series (see Soulless, Changeless, Blameless and Heartless). The females are superb while Conall looks foolish as he remains doubting Thomas (after all that has occurred including three years of marital bliss, you would think he would trust his wife). Still Alexia and her troupe provide a strong final curtain performance. Harriet Klausner

Caine's Law
Matthew Stover
Del Rey, $16.00
ISBN: 9780345455895

Professional Simon Faller begs Badlands Facility Director Administrator Gayle Keller to not make him do the mission as he is very afraid. Faller has seen first-hand what prisoner Chairman Hori “Caine” Michaelson can do to his enemies. Keller is scared even knowing that Caine is held in check by the Studio, but tells Faller their roles is to get Caine to try to kill them than those outside the facility. The two frightened men visit Caine in his cell. They inform him that the Board rejected his proposal on access to the Overwold in exchange for amnesty. Instead they counter with a fried brain wiring or accepting the oily elixir that insures total loyalty. With no real option especially after seeing what happened to a dedicated follower of his, he takes the chemical.

However, everyone underestimates the ruthless Caine; as he understands acting is to build off the sh*t that motivates you. His allies enable Caine to escape to the Overwold’ which he once saved from genocide by the ruling elite of Earth. Caine begins a time and space odyssey that will either bring him what he lost or eradicate the universe.

The latest Caine speculative fiction thriller is a gory yet intelligent and entertaining tale. The storyline is convoluted as time proves liquid (as Matthew Stover notes) with this entry in the Act of Atonement saga coming before, during and after the events of the previous novel Caine Black Knife; to further complicate matters, incidents that were real at one time vanish as if they never happened. Readers will appreciate this exciting complex thriller while wondering if the universe ended would anyone notice. Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury is Gone

News just in confirms that Ray Bradbury has died.One of the brilliant, understated writers that helped mold my childhood and gave me a different look at Mars and the world around me. He is also the one who convinced me never to get a tattoo after reading THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. Thanks for all the memories!

Press Release

Follow-up to much anticipated debut Blood and Feathers announced

Solaris is delighted to announce that it has acquired the follow-up to the much anticipated debut novel from Lou Morgan, Blood and Feathers, which is to be released in August of this year.

The sequel, Rebellion, is due to be released in August 2013.

Rebellion will continue in Morgan’s fresh post-Milton world of gun-toting angels, demonic plots, and a heroine whose life is torn apart in the battle between heaven and hell!

The angelic war has spread, and violence erupts across the globe as the Fallen's influence grows.

As an army of the Fallen walk the Earth, the Archangel Michael is determined to destroy Lucifer once and for all - whatever the cost... and Alice and the angels will be called on to sacrifice more than they ever imagined possible.

The Fallen will rise. Trust will be betrayed. And all hell will break loose...

Blood and Feathers is already garnering attention and praise from across the industry, with Sarah Pinborough describing it as “dark, enticing and so sharp the pages could cut you, Blood and Feathers is a must-read for any fan of the genre", while Philip K Dick award-winner Michael Marshall Smith said it was "a hell of a ride, but heaven to read: eerie, compelling and very funny”.

“When you discover a debut author of such strength and range, as I did with Lou, it’s always a great privilege to bring them to the wider world,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “Blood and Feathers is a brilliantly original novel, that is both affecting and witty. Rebellion promises to raise the bar even higher.”

Steampunk, Fantasy and More

The Seduction of Phaeton Black
Jillian Stone
Kensington Brava, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758268969

In 1889, Scotland Yard uses Phaeton Black to investigate those cases that defy logic as he is the best at solving the impossible. Known for his sex skills even in the brothel where he resides, Black uses opium and absinthe when the call of the paranormal overwhelms his brain.

A serial killer is stalking London. The predator drinks the blood of his or her victims leaving behind fang marks. Black thinks these murders are tied to the Ripper killings; but that the beast is an Egyptian goddess vampire. While investigating he meets America Jones several times. The daughter of a powerful Cajun witch, America is in London searching for the pirates who stole her sea merchant father’s ships. They team up on both cases as they need each other if they are to survive the supernatural and the natural monsters.

The first Black-Jones late Victorian romantic investigative fantasy is a lighthearted fun thriller that combines a tongue in cheek steampunk venue with an exciting paranormal whodunit. With a nod to Sherlock Homes: "When you have eliminated the impossible , whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth", the Devil and Muss Jones make a wonderful pairing as they battle pirates, mummies, Ripper and the vampire, but their biggest adversary is the Scotland Yard brass. Harriet Klausner

Kate Douglas
Zebra, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420110029

Lemurian Taron enjoys being an academic, but since the philosopher is partnered with the sentient sword CrystalFire, he must learn to act like a warrior too. He understands he must help the humans near Mount Shasta and his people deal with the demon invasion though CrystalFire feels his scholarly Lemurian is unsuited for combat against the Demon King, who plans his return from the abyss to breach the barriers between dimensions.

In combat with the Demon King, Taron is taken aback by a stunning side effect. Willow the sprite of the mists becomes a beautiful normal sized female though inside her is also Bumper the dog. Meanwhile the Demon King shows his adaptability when he possesses Ed Marks’ body while Eddy and her sentient sword DarkFire are trapped in the Void; a place her lover Dax the former demon knows firsthand and guiltily knows his calling her led to the demon King sending her there. While Dax works on rescuing his beloved human, Taron and Willow begin falling in love as they team up to prevent the Demon King’s diabolical scheme from happening.

The latest DemonSlayer romantic fantasy (see Starfire, Demonfire and Hellfire) is a super thriller that contains two strong prime subplots with each flowing nicely and converging to the delight of Kate Douglas’ fans. Fast-paced and filled with action yet a strong romance, CrystalFire is an entertaining twisting tale. Harriet Klausner

The Slayer
Theresa Meyers
Zebra, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420121254

In 1883, although he was trained from childhood like his siblings (Remington – to follow and Colt – see The Hunter) Winchester Jackson prefers being the sheriff of Bodie, California than fighting vampires and demons. His Vampiric Imperial Majesty sends Lady Alexandra Porter to persuade Winn to work with her in retrieving a part of the Book of Legend that his sire hid decades ago.

Though he has doubts as his mantra has been the only good vampire is a dead vampire who cannot rise from the grave, Winn agrees to join Alexa on her mountainous quest in Transylvania to save her people. With steam gadgets created by brilliant inventor Marley Turlock to assist them on their journey, the pair confronts many adversaries demonic, vampiric; gizmos and mortal, but the most challenging is love.

The second Book of the Legends Chronicles is a terrific steampunk historical romance starring a western sheriff and a vampire battling a variety of paranormal and normal foes. Fast-paced from the moment Winn thinks he is rescuing a damsel in distress and never slows down as the twisting exciting storyline will prove a fan favorite with the only subtraction being the wait for Rem’s entry.
Harriet Klausner

The Job
Cramer Louis Jackson
Outskirts Press, $8.95
ISBN: 9781432784584

Joe’s search for employment has turned into a frustrating full time job as he checks want ads, sends out résumés and shows up for announced vacancies; only to return to his walk up dumpy small apartment unemployed with his self-esteem dropping. After his latest humiliation, he opens the mail, which adds to his debasement with overdue bills.

However, the last letter is from a firm he never heard of, who offers him an interview. Instructions were sent to him by e-mail as this company provides no address or phone number. He goes on line, thankful he did not hock his computer, to obtain directions. Joe arrives for the interview and learns that if he takes the job, Joe Jamieson will no longer exist as he will have a new identity and compensation is one million annual. He agrees to become Zann General Morgan briefs him that his position and new identity ties back to 1947 Roswell and soon finds another perk when he rescues the other selectee Layone from some nasty folks who have other plans for the pair.

There is plenty of action in this thought provoking science fiction romantic novella. The story line starts with a depressed everyman struggling to pay his bills and keep a dilapidated ceiling over his head before the plot moves into an exciting thriller with its Life Energy connection to Roswell. Encouraging people to take a radically fresh look at their options reminds me of my husband’s re-engineering teaching and mentoring position in which he destroyed a zillion paper cups claiming they were not half full or half empty if you slice off the top the cup is filled. The Job is a quick engaging thriller. Harriet Klausner

Monday, June 4, 2012

Four from Harriet

Songs of the Earth
Elspeth Cooper
Tor, $24.99
ISBN: 9780765331656

Gair has been a dedicated holy knight who has devoted his life to the revelatory service of the Lady and the Church. However, his loyalty proves insufficient as he breaks the prime law of the Holy City when he hears the music of magic. Declared rightfully as a witch he expects to burn at the stake. Tormented by his taint though keeping his head up and looking at his accusers, Gair knows even if he wanted to escape, which he does not as he must die, the Church Knights led by the Witchfinder would hunt him down like an animal.

However, he is taken aback when Preceptor Ansel changes his death sentence to permanent exile from the parish. Leaving the Holy City to starve to death, a mysterious stranger Alderan of the Guardians of the Veil, who watched the court proceedings, escorts the shocked young man away. However, a dying Goran sends his Knights and a Witchfinder after them, but they escape as they begin their journey to a place where the lad can learn to control his magical skills as he learns that the Guardians of the Veil patrol the barrier that separates this realm from a hell; while being mentored by Aysha the shapeshifter.

This is an entertaining fantasy with several subplots, but mostly the trek, the school (especially the older woman younger man romance) and the search for answers by Ansel and Goran. The fast-paced but somewhat straightforward storyline will remind fans of E. Rose Sabin's "School For Sorcery" saga though the protagonist of Songs of the Earth is older. Readers will enjoy the opening Cooper mythos as a breach in the gate of hell gives a trainee a baptism of fire. Harriet Klausner

The Thirteenth Sacrifice
Debbie Viguie
Signet, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451236364

Boston PD Detectives Samantha Ryan and her partner Ed Hofferman arrive at the scene of coed Camille’s homicide in an off campus apartment. On the forehead of the victim is a bloody pentagram, but there is no blood anywhere else on the deceased or in the room. They interview the roommate Katie who claims to be a solitary practicing witch, but Samantha realizes she offers nothing not even emotion; while the victim’s new boyfriend Brad cries. George the coroner informs Samantha that the pentagram was drawn in nail polish several hours after the death.

The two cops head to St. Vincent’s Cathedral where Sister Mary Ellen has a waxed pentagram on her forehead. Next Katie’s former boyfriend Kyle is found dead by his roommates. Samantha believes Kyle’s death is a red herring by a clever killer who wants the cops looking at Katie as the killer. His girlfriend Tina arrives hysterical; which leads to Samantha hugging her. Soon afterward, Samantha loses her cross while subsequently more murders follow; she increasingly believes the vicious witches that she descends from have returned to Salem using sacrifices to embellish their power.

The first Witch Hunt urban fantasy police procedural is a terrific thriller due to a strong protagonist who converted from witchcraft practitioner to Christian believer. The whodunit is clever as Samantha has to return to her roots going undercover to ferret out the serial killer as she believes the motive is power. Readers will appreciate Detective Ryan affirming “You Can’t Go Home Again” (Thomas Wolfe) as she returns to a community she fled several years ago. Harriet Klausner

Alien Diplomacy
Gini Koch
DAW, $7.99
ISBN: 9780756407162

Newlyweds Jeff and Kitty Martini resign their positions as Centaurion Division exterminators-commanders to raise their infant Jamie. The family moves to Washington DC as head diplomats at the recently formed Centaurion Embassy.

However, they find the American capital as dangerous as some of their extermination missions were. A bomb blows up the limo that the Martini pair were supposed to be in. Additionally, Kitty learns of a major assassination plot planned at the upcoming Presidential Ball. Though POTUS is the most obvious target, Kitty has doubts though she remains clueless who else or why, but believes aliens are involved. Jeff, Kitty and their crew hunt for a killer and for a killer dress.

The latest Kitty Katt Alien satirical science fiction thriller (see Alien Proliferation, Touched by an Alien, Alien Tango and Alien in the Family) is a superb jocular entry that is filled with twists, spins and humor. Fast-paced, readers will believe the two species are real (as are other not quite as benign ETs); while the Jamie effect continues to nuke the lifestyle of the parents. With a sort of Mork in Men In Black lampooning, readers will enjoy this amusing action-packed tale in which nothing in alien (as observed by the rest of the country and the Centaurions) DC is sacred. Harriet Klausner

Magic Without Mercy
Devon Monk
Roc, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464484

In Portland, Hound Allie Beckstrom always was proud that she and her team rigidly adhered to the strict rules of the overseeing of magic Authority even when risking their lives and souls in support of the practitioners (see Magic at the Gate and Magic at the Hunt). However, to prevent a magical plague from spreading and end a serial killer’s reign of terror, Allie Beckstrom shot the new Authority Chief Bartholomew Wray (see Magic On The Line). Her dead dad keeps reminding her inside her head that she had no choice, but filled with Shame, Allie, her lover Zayvion Jones, and other friends have been declared outlaws for violating the rules even if their cause was just as the end never justifies the mean.

As Allie struggles with the Shame of the killing, she and her team elude the Authority and the cops while seeking a means to cleanse the poisoned magic and finally end the plague; the answer seems to rest with a lunatic. At the same, they must cope with the Veiled murdering people.

This is a great entry in a superior urban fantasy series, as conscientious Allie knows logically she did the right thing with Wray, but emotionally feels Shame as she broke the Authority rules, which run deep in her brain. Fast-paced and loaded with action, fans will relish this direct sequel (need to have read at least Magic On The Line) as guilt wracked Allie and her cohorts struggle with doing the right thing as hostilities turn heated with the doomsday clock striking the midnight hour.
Harriet Klausner

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Book View Cafe Grand Opening

(May 29, 2012) Book View Café (BVC), the professional author-run epublisher, is celebrating the launch of its new, completely-redesigned online bookstore with a Grand Opening promotion from June 1 to June 7. Readers will enjoy multiple chances to win a book of their choice, along with promotional discounts on BVC anthologies and selected titles. Readers can enter the giveaway both at the bookstore Grand Opening page ( and on the participating author web sites listed there.

The new bookstore makes it easier than ever before for readers to find, sample, and buy ebooks from a stellar line-up of authors. BVC's members include Hugo and Nebula award winners (Ursula Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, and Linda Nagata), NY Times bestsellers and notable book authors (Patricia Rice, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Lois Gresh, and Sarah Zettel), and Philip K. Dick award winner C.L. Anderson. BVC offers a growing number of genres in its catalogue, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mystery and has a substantial number of YA titles. The cooperative publishes not only books from its members' substantial backlist, but original titles as well.

"The software available to ebook vendors has improved tremendously since we launched Book View Café in 2008," says Linda Nagata, the Nebula and Locus award-winning author who spearheaded the redesign of the bookstore. "The new bookstore makes it much easier to browse and sample the books and short fiction available from BVC, and checkout has been vastly simplified." The new store also features an extensive coupon functionality.

"This gives members a lot more flexibility in pricing and promoting their books, which is important in the ebook market," Nagata notes.

To enter the giveaway, readers need only visit the Grand Opening page and leave a comment stating which book they'd like to win and why (omnibus editions are not included). Readers can also visit specified BVC author websites (e.g., blogs, Live Journal, Facebook) to enter, giving them multiple chances to win. In addition, BVC members will promote their own books via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media using the new store's coupon capabilities. During the promotion, most BVC anthologies are on sale at half price including the brand new Beyond Grimm: Tales Newly Twisted, which features new looks at classic fairy tales from the world's traditions. Other anthologies on sale span science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and writing advice.


Book View Café can be found online at BVC is a cooperative publishing effort of authors representing all genres, from science fiction to romance to historical to mainstream. Members share the tasks of editing, copy editing, formatting, and other publishing functions. BVC offers both reprints and new books, currently in e-form, with print options on the horizon.

For more information about the new bookstore, please contact Dave Trowbridge at

Friday, June 1, 2012

Press Release

Al Ewing takes a Philip K Dick look at LA in new SF title for Solaris

One of the freshest and most innovative writers in genre is to pen his first novel for Solaris.

The Fictional Man by Al Ewing, best known for his work on Judge Dredd for 2000 AD and Abaddon Books’ Pax Britannia series, will be published in May 2013.

A talent of terrific energy and wit, Ewing is one of the most distinctive writers working today. The Fictional Man channels the spirit of Philip K Dick but mixed with Ewing’s own brand of SF weird. In his first novel for the imprint, he proves himself to be a master of the genre.

“Al Ewing is one of those writers who never fails to surprise me, both in the quality of his prose and the depth of his imagination,” said Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Solaris. “Having worked with Al extensively on the Abaddon range of books, it’s a real thrill to bring him to Solaris and let him loose on a creation entirely of his own making. This promises to be a hugely exciting and unusual SF novel.”

Niles Golan is writing a remake of a camp-classic spy movie. The studio has plans for a franchise, so rather than hiring an actor, the protagonist will be 'translated' into a cloned human body.

It's common practice - Niles' therapist is a Fictional. So is his best friend. So (maybe) is the woman in the bar he can't stop staring at. Fictionals are a part of daily life now, especially in LA.

In fact, it's getting hard to tell who's a Fictional and who's not...

Ewing’s books for Abaddon Books’ Pax Britannia and The Afterblight Chronicles series revealed a writer whose complexity is not limited by genre, but who throws his readers into a story with wild abandon. Already breaking new ground in seminal comic book 2000 AD, Ewing’s SF visions are set to be revelatory.

“A poet of pulp.” - The Steampunk Scholar on El Sombra

“One of the best superhero pastiches I’ve ever read.” - Pornokitsch on Gods of Manhattan