Monday, December 19, 2016

Peter McLean: Dominion



Peter McLean: Dominion


In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.
Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

Praise for Dominion:

“Dominion is mad, bad and glorious to read.”
- Edward Cox, author of the Relic Guild series

Peter McLean, vital stats:

Location:
Norfolk, UK

Interests:
Magic and the occult
Sharks
Tanith Lee
Fine ales
History

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Question for my Readers

If the world was ending at midnight tomorrow, what would your last act?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christopher Hinz: Binary Storm



Christopher Hinz: Binary Storm

Near the end of the 21st century, Earth is in chaos from environmental devastation and a vicious undeclared war against binaries, genetically engineered assassins. Composed of a single consciousness inhabiting two human bodies (tways), binaries are ruled by an alpha breed, the Royal Caste.

Nick Guerra, computer programmer and brilliant strategist, hooks up with Annabel Bakana, the savvy new director of E-Tech, an organization dedicated to limiting runaway technological growth. Together both romantically and professionally, they secretly assemble a small combat team to hunt and kill binaries.

But there’s a fly in the ointment, the mysterious team leader, Gillian. A tormented soul with an unseemly attraction to Annabel, his actions just might help the Royal Caste’s cause and draw the world closer to Armageddon.

Serving as both a stand-alone novel and prequel to Liege-Killer, Binary Storm is a futuristic tale of bold characters pushed to the brink in a dangerous world. Startling action, political intrigue and powerful themes that echo our contemporary era are fused into a plot brimming with twists and surprises.

Praise for Binary Storm:


“This is a fast-paced future thriller that delivers on the promise of its high-concept premise.”
- The B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

Christopher: vital stats

Location:
Reading, PA

Interests:
Philadelphia Eagles
Dune
His cat Avo
Railroad dioramas

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jen Williams: The Iron Ghost


Jen Williams: The Iron Ghost


Beware the dawning of a new mage…

Wydrin of Crosshaven, Sir Sebastian and Lord Aaron Frith are experienced in the perils of stirring up the old gods. They are also familiar with defeating them, and the heroes of Baneswatch are now enjoying the perks of suddenly being very much in demand for their services.

When a job comes up in the distant city of Skaldshollow, it looks like easy coin – retrieve a stolen item, admire the views, get paid. But in a place twisted and haunted by ancient magic, with the most infamous mage of them all, Joah Demonsworn, making a reappearance, our heroes soon find themselves threatened by enemies on all sides, old and new. And in the frozen mountains, the stones are walking…

Praise for The Iron Ghost:


“Williams has thrown out the rulebook and injected a fun tone into epic fantasy without lightening or watering down the excitement and adventure. Indeed, The Iron Ghost has its fairly brutal moments, like the best epic fantasy, but is shot through with a very contemporary sensibility. Highly recommended.”
- The Independent

Jen: vital stats

Location:
London, UK

Interests:
Dungeons & Dragons (the amazing 80s TV show)
Westworld
Sassy female heroines
Mead

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Numenera: The Poison Eater by Shanna Germain


Numenera: The Poison Eater by Shanna Germain

Poison never lies.

Tali was once one of the twelve martyrs of the forgotten compass, a prisoner of the unhuman creatures known only as the vordcha. She barely escaped that life with her body and soul intact.

Now she has a new life as a poison eater in the city of Enthait. Here she is hailed as one of the city’s protectors. No one knows her history. No one has asked about her past. She’s been here long enough that Enthait is her home now, these are her people. She loves them and they her.

But in the Ninth World, the past is a living, breathing thing. And when it hunts you down, you can run. You can fight. Or you can die.

Shanna will be available to talk exclusively about the world of Numenera and the game's tie in novels.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

James A Moore: The Last Sacrifice



James A Moore: The Last Sacrifice

Since time began the Grakhul, immortal servants of the gods who choose who lives and who dies when it comes time to make sacrifices to their deities, have been seeking to keep the world in balance and the gods appeased. When they take the family of Brogan McTyre to offer as sacrifice, everything changes.

Brogan heads off on a quest to save his family from the Grakhul. The decision this time is costlier than they expected, leading to Brogan and his kin being hunted as criminals and the gods seeking to punish those who’ve defied them.

Praise for The Last Sacrifice:


“Gripping, horrific, and unique, James Moore continues to be a winner, whatever genre he’s writing in. Well worth your time.”
- Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of the InCryptid and Toby Daye series

Location:
Massachusetts

Interests:
Riding his hog
Creating an excellent cup of coffee
Podcasting
Holding writing workshops

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW BY ROBERT EGGLETON




AN UPDATE ON RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW

The second edition of the novel was finally released on November 3, 2016, first as a paperback: http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-eggleton/rarity-from-the-hollow/paperback/product-22910478.html; and, this morning it became available for any eReader as a .mobi (i.e.,Kindle) or .epub (i.e., Kobo or Sony) file. It can be ordered from any book outlet, including Amazon. https:// www.amazon.com/dp/B017REIA44/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk.

The cover was changed to emphasize that it is a children's story for adults with a science fiction backdrop. A new blurb was written. Some of the stronger language was toned down, the political allegory was strengthened, and a formatting error which affected the internal dialogue in the first edition was fixed. The story reads so much more smoothly now. The first edition received 26 five star reviews and 43 four star reviews by book bloggers, but the second edition is so much better that some reviewers may upgrade their ratings of the novel. Two have already.

###########
RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW BY ROBERT EGGLETON

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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Church of Spilled Blood by Jesse Miles



"...I didn't see the plot twist coming."
--Mark Not-Twain, Kindle Reviewer


Church of Spilled Blood

Mystery & Thrillers
Jack Salvo teaches philosophy one night a week at a local community college, but he pays his bills by working as a Los Angeles private detective.

When a group of world-class Russian ballet dancers visits L.A., he signs on as a bodyguard. It's a piece of cake. All he has to do is hang out with beautiful women. Then one of his charges is kidnapped from under his nose.

In pursuing the kidnappers, he evades the FBI, finds bullet-riddled bodies near the Hollywood Sign, and dodges bullets. Drawn into a web of deceit and maniacal revenge, he finds himself in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Now he's a fish-out-of-water--an L.A. private eye in a strange land. The most popular historical site in town is called The Church of Our Savior Built on Spilled Blood . When Salvo tries to save the life of a ballerina with whom he has developed a close personal relationship, the church lives up to its name.

"Salvo is a little reminiscent of Elvis Cole in the books by Robert Crais..."
--Nicholas, Kindle Reviewer

"Reminded me of a good movie, and I just had to keep turning the pages."
--LeeZah, Kindle Reviewer

"The action is non-stop and the characters are fascinating."
--John E. Flatley Jr., Kindle Reviewer

"Salvo has a real mouth on him, and the writer
Jesse Miles gives us some real zingers."
--Fred L, Kindle Reviewer

"Makes you feel like you are there and
the dialogue sounds like real people talking."
--Mariba, Kindle Reviewer

"This is the 2nd book by Jesse Miles that I have read. Having recently
been to St. Petersburg, I could visualize exactly where the events
took place. I live in the southland and can say the same about
his knowledge of the LA landscape."
--Pat D, Kindle Reviewer


Jesse Miles currently lives in the Brentwood district of Los Angeles. His interests include classic films, pro football, pro bicycle racing, Russian ballet, and Formula 1. In his spare time he goes to the gym and hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains.

jessemilesbooks.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Unveiled



In between the lavish meals and family visits and assorted upcoming holiday festivities, there’s a lot of food coma recovery, travel, and binge-reading time that needs filling—and Ruth Vincent’s second Changeling P.I. novel, UNVEILED (on-sale 12/6/16), is a perfect book for that job! It’s got the great mystery and mythical creatures we've
all come to love so much about Urban Fantasy—but Ruth’s storytelling is fun and not overly dark (so, a perfectly engrossing holiday read). I’m including a widget for a review copy below, along with some more information, but I’d love to chat with you about including Ruth and UNVEILED in your upcoming books coverage.

Our heroine is Mabily “Mab” Jones, an average-seeming millennial New Yorker who works as a private detective. However, Mab is more than meets the eye; as the series name indicates, she’s a changeling, and her boyfriend, Obadiah Savage is a half-fey former bootlegger of fairy elixir. Still, despite their unique supernatural situation, Mab and Obadiah are in a good place—until Mab receives a summons to the airy world in the form of a knife stabbed into her pillow. And in the process of investigating her first solo case, Mab discovers the fairies are stealing joy-producing chemicals directly from the minds of humans in order to manufacture their magic Elixir, the dwindling source of their powers. Worst of all, Mab’s boyfriend Obadiah vows to abstain from Elixir, believing the benefits are not worth the cost in human suffering—even though he knows fairies can’t long survive without their magic. Mab soon realizes she has no choice but to answer the summons and return to the Vale. But the deeper she is drawn into the machinations of the realm, the more she becomes ensnared by promises she made in the past. And in trying to do the right thing, Mab will face her most devastating betrayal yet, one that threatens everything and everyone she holds most dear.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

THE DARK LORD by Jack Heckel,


Hi! Wanted to pop a quick note to let you know that THE DARK LORD by Jack Heckel, a hilarious parody of epic fantasy, is on sale today from Harper Voyager Impulse. In THE DARK LORD, a young man travels into a dark and magical world, where dwarves, elves, and sorcerers dwell, to restore the balance between good and evil. Kirkus Reviews called Heckel’s last title, Pitchfork of Destiny: “A rollicking, genuine fairy tale, told with great appreciation for the genre and a sly sense of humor,” and he brings that same sly wit to this standalone novel.

After spending years as an undercover, evil wizard in the enchanted world of Trelari, Avery hangs up the cloak he wore as the Dark Lord and returns to his studies at Mysterium University. On the day of his homecoming, Avery drunkenly confides in a beautiful stranger, telling her everything about his travels. When Avery awakens, hungover and confused, he discovers that his worst nightmare has come true: the mysterious girl has gone to Trelari to rule as a Dark Queen. Avery must travel back to the bewitched land and liberate the magical creatures . . . but in order to do so, he has to join forces with the very people who fought him as the Dark Lord.

Jack Heckel’s life is an open book. Actually, it’s the book you are in all hope holding right now (and if you are not holding it, he would like to tell you it can be purchased from any of your finest purveyors of the written word). Beyond that, Jack aspires to be either a witty, urbane world traveler who lives on his vintage yacht, The Clever Double Entendre, or a geographically illiterate professor of literature who spends his nonwriting time restoring an eighteenth-century lighthouse off a remote part of the Vermont coastline. Whatever you want to believe of him, he is without doubt the author of The Dark Lord. More than anything, Jack lives for his readers.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

ALTERED STARSCAPE (Harper Voyager; on sale Oct. 25; $7.99; ISBN: 9780062379191) by Ian Douglas.


ALTERED STARSCAPE (Harper Voyager; on sale Oct. 25; $7.99; ISBN: 9780062379191) by Ian Douglas.

The first in Douglas’ brand new, thrilling Andromedan Dark series, the book follows the crew and passengers of the Tellus Ad Astra, led by Lord Commander Grayson St. Clair. On a mission to the center of the galaxy, the ship never makes it. Sucked into a black hole en route, the ship emerges four billion years later. Earth is a distant memory, and the Andromeda Galaxy is drifting into the Milky Way. Oh, and St. Clair must keep more than one million souls aboard the Tellus safe from hostile brain-sucking, space-warping aliens who appear to be composed of dark matter.

Douglas’ wild imagination fused with his advanced scientific speculation elevates this new series to intergalactic heights! Packed with action and suspense, ALTERED STARSCAPE reminds fans—both new and old alike—why a Douglas novel is a must have for sci-fi readers.


Altered Starscape

Ian Douglas

October 25, 2016

Harper Voyager

Mass Market

Fiction / Science Fiction / Military

$7.99 USD, $9.99 CAD, £6.99 GBP


ABOUT Ian Douglas

Ian Douglas is the author of the popular military SF series The Inheritance Trilogy, The Heritage Trilogy and The Legacy Trilogy. A former naval corpsman, he lives in Pennsylvania.

ABOUT ALTERED STARSCAPE


2162. Thirty-eight years after first contact, Lord Commander Grayson St. Clair leads the Tellus Ad Astra on an unprecedented expedition to the Galactic Core, carrying more than a million scientists, diplomats, soldiers, and AIs. Despite his reservations about their alien hosts, St. Clair is deeply committed to his people—especially after they're sucked into a black hole and spat out four billion years in the future.

Civilizations have risen and fallen. The Andromeda Galaxy is drifting into the Milky Way. And Earth is a distant memory. All that matters now is survival. But as the ship's Marines search for allies amid ancient ruins and strange new planetary structures, St. Clair must wrap his mind around an enemy capable of harnessing a weapon of incomprehensible power: space itself.


Praise for Ian Douglas


“Douglas knows his SF.”—Publishers Weekly on Abyss Deep

“Well researched and quite imaginative.”—CNN.com on Europa Strike

“Ian Douglas is one of the masters of military science fiction.”—SF Revu on Deep Space

“The action is full-blooded and almost nonstop, yet the well-developed background is surprisingly rich and logical.
…As immersive as it is impressive.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Deep Space

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Christopher Hinz: Binary Storm






Near the end of the 21st century, Earth is in chaos from environmental devastation and a vicious undeclared war against binaries, genetically engineered assassins. Composed of a single consciousness inhabiting two human bodies (tways), binaries are ruled by an alpha breed, the Royal Caste.

Nick Guerra, computer programmer and brilliant strategist, hooks up with Annabel Bakana, the savvy new director of E-Tech, an organization dedicated to limiting runaway technological growth. Together both romantically and professionally, they secretly assemble a small combat team to hunt and kill binaries.

But there’s a fly in the ointment, the mysterious team leader, Gillian. A tormented soul with an unseemly attraction to Annabel, his actions just might help the Royal Caste’s cause and draw the world closer to Armageddon.

Serving as both a stand-alone novel and prequel to Liege-Killer, Binary Storm is a futuristic tale of bold characters pushed to the brink in a dangerous world. Startling action, political intrigue and powerful themes that echo our contemporary era are fused into a plot brimming with twists and surprises.

Praise for Christopher Hinz:


"A genuine page-turner, beautifully written and exciting from start to finish… Hinz presents this material with the assurance of classic sf and the vividness of the new masters… Don’t miss it.”
- Locus

Christopher: vital stats

Location:
Reading, PA

Interests:
Philadelphia Eagles
Dune
His cat Avo
Railroad dioramas

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Peter McLean: Dominion


Peter McLean: Dominion


In the tunnels deep under London, the Earth Elementals are dying.
Hunted by something they know only as the Rotman, the Elementals have no one trustworthy they can turn to. Enter Don Drake, drunken diabolist and semi-reformed hitman, and an almost-fallen angel called Trixie.

When Don learns that Rotman is actually the archdemon Bianakith, he knows this is going to be a tough job. The fiend is the foretold spirit of disease and decay whose aura corrupts everything it comes near, and even the most ancient foundations of London will crumble eventually. Now Don, Trixie and his ever-annoying patron the Burned Man have to hatch a plan to keep Bianakith from wiping out the Elementals and bringing down the city. But the Burned Man has other plans and those may have dire consequences for everyone.

The past never stays buried, and old sins must be atoned for. Judgement is coming, and its name is Dominion.

Praise for Dominion:


“Dominion is mad, bad and glorious to read.”
- Edward Cox, author of the Relic Guild series

Peter McLean, vital stats:

Location:
Norfolk, UK

Interests:
Magic and the occult
Sharks
Tanith Lee
Fine ales
History

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Megan E O'Keefe: Break the Chains


Megan E O'Keefe: Break the Chains


A year has passed since Detan set the skies above Aransa on fire, and the armies of Aransa’s new dictator Thratia are preparing to knock on the door of his aunt’s city, Hond Steading…

As the city that produces the most selium – that precious gas that elevates airships and powers strange magic – Hond Steading is a jewel worth stealing. To shore up the city’s defenses, Detan promises his aunt that he’ll recover Nouli, the infamous engineer who built the century gates that protect the imperial capital of Valathea. But Nouli is imprisoned on the Remnant Isles, an impervious island prison run by the empire, and it’s Detan’s fault.

Detan doesn’t dare approach Nouli himself, so his companions volunteer to get themselves locked up to make contact with Nouli and convince him to help. Now Detan has to break them all out of prison, and he’s going to need the help of a half-mad doppel to do it.

Praise for Break the Chains:

“I am so glad to say that this book lived up to my pretty high expectations perfectly. I loved it. Detan is back and just as cocky as ever.”
- Ever the Crafter

Megan, vital stats:

Location:
Bay Area, CA

Interests:
Making soap
Writing compelling cads
Scheming and con artistry

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Great Game by Lavie Tidhar


The Great Game by Lavie Tidhar


Smiley’s People meets War of the Worlds…

As a 19th century unlike our own comes to a close, Mycroft Holmes is found murdered outside his London club. It is up to retired shadow executive Smith to track down the killer – only to stumble on the greatest conspiracy of his life. Strange forces are stirring into life around the globe, and in the shadow game of spies nothing is certain.

In The Great Game, World Fantasy Award winning author Lavie Tidhar concludes his epic trilogy of a Victorian era that could never have been: filled with literary references galore, not to mention airship battles, Frankenstein monsters, alien tripods and death-defying acts. It is a world where nothing is certain – not even death.

And furthermore… venture deeper into the Lost Files of the Bookman Histories in this 2016 edition, as Professor Tidhar explores the ‘Dynamics of an Asteroid’!

Praise for The Great Game:
“Achieves moments of surprising depth and beauty, with real insights into human history and psychology as well as the immense and varied wealth of writing in the last half of the 19th century. It’s a virtuoso performance.”
- Locus

Lavie: vital stats

Location:
London

Interests:
Pokémon: Go
World Fantasy Awards
Combining art and literature
Pulp fiction and politics in Israeli fiction
Adding SF Easter Eggs into his work
Hitler as spy?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Ferrett Steinmetz: Fix



“America’s long sent its best SMASH agents overseas to deal with the European crisis. As of today, they decided dismantling your operation was more important than containing the Bastogne Broach. Now you’re dealing with the real professionals.”

Paul Tsabo: Bureaucromancer. Political activist. Loving father. His efforts to decriminalize magic have made him the government’s #1 enemy – and his fugitive existence has robbed his daughter of a normal life.

Aliyah Tsabo-Dawson: Videogamemancer. Gifted unearthly powers by a terrorist’s magic. Raised by a family of magicians, she’s the world’s loneliest teenager – because her powers might kill anyone she befriends.

The Unimancers: Brain-burned zombies. Former ‘mancers, tortured into becoming agents of the government’s anti-‘mancer squad. An unstoppable hive-mind.

When Paul accidentally opens up the first unsealed dimensional broach on American soil, the Unimancers lead his family in a cat-and-mouse pursuit all the way to the demon-haunted ruins of Europe – where Aliyah is slowly corrupted by the siren call of the Unimancers…

Praise for Fix:

“I’m so hooked to this series, but that’s hardly the half of it. Ferrett continues to shock and amaze and simply improve upon everything he’s accomplished so far.”
- Brad K Horner

Ferrett, vital stats:

Location:
Ohio, USA

Interests:
Magic: the Gathering
Pokemon Go
Setting people on fire (no, really. He teaches classes on it)
Overly elaborate puns

Saturday, October 8, 2016

K.C. Alexander: Necrotech

K.C. Alexander: Necrotech


Street thug Riko has some serious issues — memories wiped, reputation tanked, girlfriend turned into a tech-fueled zombie. And the only people who can help are the mercenaries who think she screwed them over.

In an apathetic society devoid of ethics or regulation, where fusing tech and flesh can mean a killing edge or a killer conversion, a massive conspiracy is unfolding that will alter the course of the human condition forever. With corporate meatheads on her ass and a necro-tech blight between her and salvation, Riko is going to have to fight meaner, work smarter, and push harder than she’s ever had to. And that’s just to make it through the day.

Praise for Necrotech:

“Necrotech bleeds with raw & unapologetic badassery. Riko is the cyberpunk heroine I’ve been waiting for, struggling with the truth that the tech we embrace to solve our problems just creates new ones, and no one has a chipset to fix humanity’s bugs. K.C. Alexander dials up the attitude, anguish, and adrenaline in this explosive debut, and I’m looking forward to Riko’s next run.”
– Kevin Hearne, NYT Bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

K C, vital stats:

Location:
Bellingham, just outside of Seattle

Interests:
Mass Effect
Pineapples
Feminism and kicking the patriarchy's ass

Friday, October 7, 2016

Andy Remic: Twilight of the Dragons



Andy Remic: Twilight of the Dragons


During a recent dwarf civil-war deep under the Karamakkos Mountains, the magick-enslaved dragonlords have broken free from centuries of imprisonment and slaughtered tens of thousands throughout the Five Havens before exploding from the mountain and heading in fire and vengeance for the lands of Vagandrak.

Two once-noble war heroes of Vagandrak – Dakeroth and his wife Jonti Tal, an archer and scholar, the Axeman, the White Witch and a Kaalesh combat expert find themselves in a unique position: for they have discovered the ancient dragon city of Wyrmblood, and a thousand unhatched dragon eggs.

Dakeroth and his companions must work with their enemies, Skalg and the Church of Hate, in order to bring down the dragonlords and save the world of men and dwarves. But there is no bartering with these ancient dragons; for they seek to hatch their eggs and rebuild the cruel Wyrmblood Empire of legend.

Praise for Twilight of the Dragons:


"Twilight of the Dragons is undeniably brutal and uncompromising, but it is also completely engrossing...Remic has successfully out Remic’ed himself. Most impressive."
- The Eloquent Page

Andy, vital stats:

Location:
Lincolnshire, UK

Interests:
Axes
Filmmaking
Writing ALL THE THINGS
Bunny rabbits

Monday, September 5, 2016

Donald M. Grant Newsletter


Welcome to issue #97 of the Donald M. Grant Newsletter

1 September 2016

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. PHIL HALE - LIFE WANTS TO LIVE
2. SIGNED DARK TOWER II LIMITED AVAILABILITY
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note - If your order is over $300.00 you may pay in 3 monthly
installments. Please say so in the Order Notes box when you
check out. Your order will be shipped to you after the final
payment is made.

Check out the re-vamped website at grantbooks.com

1. PHIL HALE - LIFE WANTS TO LIVE

This 8 x 8 inch 96 page hardcover book was published in an edi-
tion of 1,000 copies; 500 for United States distribution and 500
for European distribution. It is a joint Donald M. Grant,
Imbroglio and Allen Spiegel Fine Arts publication which pre-
miered at Phil's Gallery Show opening at Jonathan Levine's
Gallery in New York City on February 21, 2015 and contains all 15
paintings exhibited as well as pencil drawings, an introduction by
Michiko Oki and a conversation with Justin Mortimer.

All copies have been signed by Phil Hale.

If you buy a copy you can get a $10.00 discount buying a copy of
Double Memory (with Rick Berry), Urge Ourselves Under or
Mockingbird/Relaxeder (other Phil Hale books).

Retail price is $49.50 plus shipping and can be ordered at:

https://secure.grantbooks.com/product/life-wants-to-live/

To avoid high international shipping charges European customers
can order copies from:

www.imbrogliopublishing.com

2. SIGNED DARK TOWER II LIMITED AVAILABILITY

Once again Phil Hale visited the United States and stopped by the
office (he lives in London). He signed our remaining copies of the First Edition, First Printing of THE DARK TOWER II: THE 
DRAWING OF THE THREE which he illustrated in 1987.

These are available on a first-come-first serve basis. We are not
charging anything extra because of the autograph. He signed
copies for us last time he visited and these sold out very quickly.

You can order them at:
https://secure.grantbooks.com/books/dark-tower-ii-drawing-of-three/

Thank you.

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Lavie Tidhar: Camera Obscura





Lavie Tidhar: Camera Obscura


In the last decade of a 19th century unlike our own, Milady de Winter is called to the scene of an impossible crime. A gruesome murder on the Rue Morgue sets her against a ghostly serial killer, and on a voyage that leads from the catacombs of Paris to the wonders of the New World – where new horrors lie in wait.

In Camera Obscura, World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar combines the Victorian penny dreadful with exploitation cinema to create a wide-screen thriller of redemption: complete with mad scientists, secret societies, Shaolin monks and figures liberally borrowed from the literature of the era – as only he can.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! For the first time, the 2016 edition also includes ‘Titanic’, a short story from the Lost Files of the Bookman Histories.

Praise for Camera Obscura:

“Camera Obscura is dark, violent, and a fine steampunk thriller that’ll stick to your ribs in a way other thrillers don’t. It’s stuffed to the gills with action and plot … the world-building is deftly done. And Tidhar’s Milady de Winter is fantastic. If you like steampunk or just action in general, it’s well worth a read.”
– The Literary Omnivore

“A rollicking adventure…a maelstrom of pop culture and recursive fantasy.”
– Tor.com

Lavie, vital stats:

Location:
London

Of note:
World Fantasy Award winner
Has released six books already this year
Loves conventions and talking (will you be at NineWorlds? Lavie will be!)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Keith Yatsuhashi: Kojiki





Keith Yatsuhashi: Kojiki



Every civilization has its myths. Only one is true.

When eighteen year old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”

Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfil her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows and chaos envelops the city. As Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession – that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honour her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.

Praise for Kojiki:

“A unique spin on fantasy, a space where dragons and elementals war with each other over broken Tokyo – then this book is worth your time.”
– Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviews

“If you are looking for an exciting fantasy novel, I definitely recommend that you give Kojiki a try. You won’t be disappointed.”
– Masquerade Crew

Keith, vital stats:

Location:
Massachusetts

Interests:
Rollerblading (ask his broken arm!)
His family
Golf

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Andy Remic: Twlight of the Dragons



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Andy Remic: Twlight of the Dragons


During a recent dwarf civil-war deep under the Karamakkos Mountains, the magick-enslaved dragonlords have broken free from centuries of imprisonment and slaughtered tens of thousands throughout the Five Havens before exploding from the mountain and heading in fire and vengeance for the lands of Vagandrak.

Two once-noble war heroes of Vagandrak – Dakeroth and his wife Jonti Tal, an archer and scholar, the Axeman, the White Witch and a Kaalesh combat expert find themselves in a unique position: for they have discovered the ancient dragon city of Wyrmblood, and a thousand unhatched dragon eggs.

Dakeroth and his companions must work with their enemies, Skalg and the Church of Hate, in order to bring down the dragonlords and save the world of men and dwarves. But there is no bartering with these ancient dragons; for they seek to hatch their eggs and rebuild the cruel Wyrmblood Empire of legend.

Praise for The Dragon Engine:

“Remic manages to pace the opening of the story perfectly, dropping the reader enough context not to feel lost, then ramping up into moments of action which are genuinely gripping.”
– Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

“Remic is clearly a writer right at the top of his game.”
– BrainFluff

Andy, vital stats:

Location:
Lincolnshire, UK

Interests:
Axes
Filmmaking
Writing ALL THE THINGS
Bunny rabbits

Saturday, August 27, 2016

K.C. Alexander: Necrotech




K.C. Alexander: Necrotech



Street thug Riko has some serious issues — memories wiped, reputation tanked, girlfriend turned into a tech-fueled zombie. And the only people who can help are the mercenaries who think she screwed them over.

In an apathetic society devoid of ethics or regulation, where fusing tech and flesh can mean a killing edge or a killer conversion, a massive conspiracy is unfolding that will alter the course of the human condition forever. With corporate meatheads on her ass and a necro-tech blight between her and salvation, Riko is going to have to fight meaner, work smarter, and push harder than she’s ever had to. And that’s just to make it through the day.

Praise for Necrotech:

“Necrotech bleeds with raw & unapologetic badassery. Riko is the cyberpunk heroine I’ve been waiting for, struggling with the truth that the tech we embrace to solve our problems just creates new ones, and no one has a chipset to fix humanity’s bugs. K.C. Alexander dials up the attitude, anguish, and adrenaline in this explosive debut, and I’m looking forward to Riko’s next run.”
– Kevin Hearne, NYT Bestselling author of The Iron Druid Chronicles

“Necrotech is a tight, violent thrill ride in a fascinating cyberpunk world with one of the most interesting women protagonists I’ve read in a long time.”
– Stephen Blackmoore, author of the award-nominated noir urban fantasy Dead Things

K C , vital stats:

Location:
Bellingham, just outside of Seattle

Interests:
Mass Effect
Pineapples
Feminism and kicking the patriarchy's ass

Friday, August 26, 2016

Foz Meadows: An Accident of Stars




Foz Meadows: An Accident of Stars



When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.

Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?

Praise for An Accident of Stars:

“An Accident of Stars‘ interwoven, beautifully rendered cultures are filled with rich details, complex family bonds of all kinds, and deeply layered politics. To enter Kena and the surrounding lands is to be irrevocably and powerfully changed. Foz Meadows has created an epic adventure unlike any I’ve read before.”
- Fran Wilde, Nebula- and Norton-nominated author of Updraft and Cloudbound

“A portal fantasy for grownups, with grit and realism,
and characters I loved from the first page.”
- Trudi Canavan, author of the Black Magician trilogy

Foz, vital stats:

Location:
Queensland, Australia

Of note:
Can sing every line of the musical Hamilton
Loves 'shipping and Dragon Age
Has previously been nominated for a Hugo Award
Self proclaimed dork

Ferrett Steinmetz: Fix




Ferrett Steinmetz: Fix


“America’s long sent its best SMASH agents overseas to deal with the European crisis. As of today, they decided dismantling your operation was more important than containing the Bastogne Broach. Now you’re dealing with the real professionals.”

Paul Tsabo: Bureaucromancer. Political activist. Loving father. His efforts to decriminalize magic have made him the government’s #1 enemy – and his fugitive existence has robbed his daughter of a normal life.

Aliyah Tsabo-Dawson: Videogamemancer. Gifted unearthly powers by a terrorist’s magic. Raised by a family of magicians, she’s the world’s loneliest teenager – because her powers might kill anyone she befriends.

The Unimancers: Brain-burned zombies. Former ‘mancers, tortured into becoming agents of the government’s anti-‘mancer squad. An unstoppable hive-mind.

When Paul accidentally opens up the first unsealed dimensional broach on American soil, the Unimancers lead his family in a cat-and-mouse pursuit all the way to the demon-haunted ruins of Europe – where Aliyah is slowly corrupted by the siren call of the Unimancers…

Praise for Fix:

“This one-of-a-kind series … is what might result if you put Breaking Bad
and Reddit in a blender and hit ‘frappe.'.”
- Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi Blog

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ferrett Steinmetz’s Flex series is one of the most imaginative and unique urban fantasies I’ve encountered. If you’ve read the other books in the series, then I don’t need to recommend Fix to you–you’re going to pick it up anyway.”
- Bookaneer

Ferrett, vital stats:

Location:
Ohio, USA

Interests:
Magic: the Gathering
Pokemon Go
Setting people on fire (no, really. He teaches classes on it)
Overly elaborate puns

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nothing Short of Dying





In Nothing Short of Dying, debut novelist Erik Storey places drifter-with-lethal-skills and ex con Clyde Barr in the Colorado backcountry and then pits him against a ruthless meth kingpin and an army of killers in order to save his sister. Who’s going to make it out alive?

More information on the book at SimonandSchuster.com

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Paige Orwin: The Interminables


Paige Orwin: The Interminables



It’s 2020, and a magical cataclysm has shattered reality as we know it. Now a wizard’s cabal is running the East Coast of the US, keeping a semblance of peace.

Their most powerful agents, Edmund and Istvan — the former a nearly immortal 1940s-era mystery man, the latter, well, a ghost — have been assigned to hunt down an arms smuggling ring that could blow up Massachusetts.

Turns out the mission’s more complicated than it seemed. They discover a shadow war that’s been waged since the world ended, and, even worse, they find out that their own friendship has always been more complicated than they thought. To get out of this alive, they’ll need to get over their feelings, their memories, and the threat of a monstrous foe who’s getting ready to commit mass murder…

Praise for The Interminables:

“If you’re looking for an entertaining piece of dystopian fiction, with magic and heroes and..er..a cat, then this will suit you very well indeed.”
– SF & F Reviews

“Vivid worldbuilding of a fascinating alternate Earth, peppered with touches of whimsy. This is a promising debut!”
– Emmie Mears, author of the Ayala Storme series

Paige, vital stats:

Location:
Washington

Of note:
Loves Panchito, her writing netbook
Is a big fan of, and lived in, Chile
Is actually a battleship, disguised as a human

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Alyc Helms: The Conclave of Shadow

Alyc Helms: The Conclave of Shadow



The line between enemy and ally is thinner than a shadow’s edge.

Ever since she saved the spirit guardians of China by selling out to her worst enemy, Missy Masters – a.k.a. the pulp hero Mr. Mystic – has been laying low. But when knights serving the Conclave of Shadow steal secret technology from a museum exhibit on the Argent Aces, everyone looks to Mr. Mystic for help. If Missy doesn’t want her masquerade blown, she’d better track down the thieves, and fast.

But stolen tech turns out to be the least of her problems. Recent events have upset the balance of power in the Shadow Realms, removing the barriers that once held the ravenous Voidlands in check. Their spread threatens destruction in the mortal realm as well… and only the Conclave stands ready to push them back.

In a world of shadow, telling friends from enemies is easier said than done. But if she wants to save San Francisco, Missy will have to decide who to trust. Including her own instincts, which tell her that something is stalking her with murder in mind…

Praise for The Conclave of Shadow:

"Not only is the plot highly original, it is filled with fascinating characters."
– Crittermom

“If you are looking for a fresh urban fantasy with superheroes, Chinese folklore, realistic heroine and a great story, then you must try it out!”
– Bookworm Dreams

Alyc, vital stats:

Location:
San Francisco

Interests:
San Francisco (she loves it, she really does)
Theatre and costuming
Travel
Amigurumi

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jen Williams: The Copper Promise

Jen Williams: The Copper Promise


US/CAN RELEASE ONLY

There are some tall stories about the caverns beneath the Citadel – about magic and mages and monsters and gods.

Wydrin of Crosshaven has heard them all, but she’s spent long enough trawling caverns and taverns with her companion Sir Sebastian to learn that there’s no money to be made in chasing rumours.

But then a crippled nobleman with a dead man’s name offers them a job: exploring the Citadel’s darkest depths. It sounds like just another quest with gold and adventure … if they’re lucky, they might even have a tale of their own to tell once it’s over.

These reckless adventurers will soon learn that sometimes there is truth in rumour. Sometimes a story can save your life.

Praise for The Copper Promise:

“Williams’ fast-paced narrative never leaves room for a pause and captivates from page one.”
– Sci-Fi Now

“A fast-paced and original new voice in heroic fantasy.”
– Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time and the Shadows of the Apt series

Jen, vital stats:

Location:
London

Of note:
Loves mead and Star Wars
If not an author would be a paleontologist
Unusually good at finding things
Thundercats are the best, okay?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lavie Tidhar: Camera Obscura


Lavie Tidhar: Camera Obscura


In the last decade of a 19th century unlike our own, Milady de Winter is called to the scene of an impossible crime. A gruesome murder on the Rue Morgue sets her against a ghostly serial killer, and on a voyage that leads from the catacombs of Paris to the wonders of the New World – where new horrors lie in wait.

In Camera Obscura, World Fantasy Award winner Lavie Tidhar combines the Victorian penny dreadful with exploitation cinema to create a wide-screen thriller of redemption: complete with mad scientists, secret societies, Shaolin monks and figures liberally borrowed from the literature of the era – as only he can.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! For the first time, the 2016 edition also includes ‘Titanic’, a short story from the Lost Files of the Bookman Histories.

Praise for Camera Obscura:

“Camera Obscura is dark, violent, and a fine steampunk thriller that’ll stick to your ribs in a way other thrillers don’t. It’s stuffed to the gills with action and plot … the world-building is deftly done. And Tidhar’s Milady de Winter is fantastic. If you like steampunk or just action in general, it’s well worth a read.”
– The Literary Omnivore

“A rollicking adventure…a maelstrom of pop culture and recursive fantasy.”
– Tor.com

Lavie, vital stats:

Location:
London

Of note:
World Fantasy Award winner
Has released six books already this year
Loves conventions and talking (will you be at NineWolrds? Lavie will be!)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Keith Yatsuhashi: Kojiki

Keith Yatsuhashi: Kojiki


Every civilization has its myths. Only one is true.

When eighteen year old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”

Alone and afraid, Keiko travels to Tokyo, determined to fulfil her father’s dying wish. There, beneath glittering neon signs, her father’s death poem comes to life. Ancient spirits spring from the shadows and chaos envelops the city. As Keiko flees its burning streets, her guide, the beautiful Yui Akiko, makes a stunning confession – that she, Yui, is one of a handful of spirits left behind to defend the world against the most powerful among them: a once noble spirit now insane. Keiko must decide if she will honour her father’s heritage and take her rightful place among the gods.

Praise for Kojiki:

“A unique spin on fantasy, a space where dragons and elementals war with each other over broken Tokyo – then this book is worth your time.”
– Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reviews

“If you are looking for an exciting fantasy novel, I definitely recommend that you give Kojiki a try. You won’t be disappointed.”
– Masquerade Crew

Keith, vital stats:

Location:
Massachusetts

Interests:
Rollerblading (ask his broken arm!)
His family
Golf

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Foz Meadows: An Accident of Stars

Foz Meadows: An Accident of Stars


When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war.

There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex’Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

Pursued by Leoden and aided by the Shavaktiin, a secretive order of storytellers and mystics, the rebels flee to Veksh, a neighboring matriarchy ruled by the fearsome Council of Queens. Saffron is out of her world and out of her depth, but the further she travels, the more she finds herself bound to her friends with ties of blood and magic.


Can one girl – an accidental worldwalker – really be the key to saving Kena? Or will she just die trying?

Praise for An Accident of Stars:

“An Accident of Stars‘ interwoven, beautifully rendered cultures are filled with rich details, complex family bonds of all kinds, and deeply layered politics. To enter Kena and the surrounding lands is to be irrevocably and powerfully changed. Foz Meadows has created an epic adventure unlike any I’ve read before.”
- Fran Wilde, Nebula- and Norton-nominated author of Updraft and Cloudbound

“A portal fantasy for grownups, with grit and realism,
and characters I loved from the first page.”
- Trudi Canavan, author of the Black Magician trilogy


Foz, vital stats:

Location:
Queensland, Australia

Of note:
Can sing every line of the musical Hamilton
Loves 'shipping and Dragon Age
Has previously been nominated for a Hugo Award
Self proclaimed dork

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Health Update


As many of you know, i suffer from Diabetes and hearth disease and various other diseases caused by Agent Orange.

Recently I was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes caused by diabetic retinopathy and was scheduled for surgery to remove them.

Since then AO has raised its ugly head and now I have a large cataract on my left eye as well as macular edema and an ischemic bleed that makes it almost impossible to see.

The procedure consisted of an ultra sound of the eye, a retinal and corneal exam to make sure they were undamaged. as of today, they are fine, but I had to have a shot in my eye to try and remove the blood and stop the bleeder. He scheduled me for twelve treatments, once a month or until it's better. If that doesn't work, I will undergo laser surgery to stop it. When all that is done I can have my cataract surgery.

I will be erratic in posting on the blog and I hope you understand and I hpe to return as soon as I can.

Pete is working on the latest and possibly last Baryon depending on how things go.

Prayers, blessing, Wiccan rituals are all welcomed.

My best to all of you.

I hope to be back soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A RISING “STAR” OF SCI-FI/ FANTASY


A RISING “STAR” OF SCI-FI/ FANTASY:


With the forthcoming release of Nine of Stars, critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle is first author to transition from Harper Voyager’s digital-original line to traditional print!


New York, NY, June 2016 – Today, Harper Voyager, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is proud to announce a major milestone for its Harper Voyager Impulse e-book original line: on December 27, 2016, critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle will be the first author to transition from Harper Voyager’s digital-original line to the traditional print publishing Harper Voyager program. Her Harper Voyager print debut, Nine of Stars (mass market paperback, 12/27/2016, ISBN: 9780062437662; $7.99), will be the start of Wildlands, a Weird West-tinged Contemporary Fantasy series revolving around the adventures of geologist Petra Dee.

As the SFF industry begins to celebrate outstanding works of speculative fiction at the upcoming Locus and Hugo Awards, among others, Harper Voyager feels that Bickle’s books are equally outstanding and worthy of celebration! Says Harper Voyager Executive Editor, David Pomerico: “The critical attention of Laura’s work is what drew us to the books in the first place, and we feel Nine of Stars is a novel that showcases her talent at the highest level. Whether on the print or eBook list, Voyager is committed to publishing the very best speculative fiction, and with Laura’s writing, we felt we had a truly unique project we couldn’t wait to help find an even wider audience.”

Harper Voyager is incredibly proud and excited to be publishing Laura Bickle’s novels; her original contributions to the Harper Voyager Impulse line, Dark Alchemy and Mercury Retrograde, both received multiple starred and top-tiered reviews. Nine of Stars will revolve around many of the same characters that populated these prequel novels, although it will effectively function as the starting point for a great new series.

MORE ABOUT LAURA BICKLE:
Laura Bickle is an award-winning author of multiple works of YA fiction. She grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology - Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. More information about Laura’s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com.

MORE ABOUT NINE OF STARS:
Winter has always been a deadly season in Temperance, but this time, there's more to fear than just the cold…

From critically acclaimed author Laura Bickle comes the first novel in the Wildlands series

As the daughter of an alchemist, Petra Dee has faced all manner of occult horrors - especially since her arrival in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming. But she can't explain the creature now stalking the backcountry of Yellowstone, butchering wolves and leaving only their skins behind in the snow. Rumors surface of the return of Skinflint Jack, a nineteenth-century wraith that kills in fulfillment of an ancient bargain.

The new sheriff in town, Owen Rutherford, isn't helping matters. He's a dangerously haunted man on the trail of both an unsolved case and a fresh kill - a bizarre murder leading him right to Petra's partner Gabriel. And while Gabe once had little to fear from the mortal world, he's all too human now. This time, when violence hits close to home, there are no magical solutions.

It's up to Petra and her coyote sidekick Sig to get ahead of both Owen and the unnatural being hunting them all - before the trail turns deathly cold.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE




THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONC
E, Sarah Pinborough, Earthling Publications (Halloween Series), $35, reviewed by Jim Brock.

I try to walk 30 minutes most every morning. Over where I walk I often see a man with his dog. That dog is a small terrier of some sort. Its name is Cujo.

I’ve told you that to tell you this: not since Stephen King’s CUJO have I read a book whose ending was as strong a gut punch as is THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE. My gut is more ample than it used to be but Sarah Pinborough absolutely twisted and shocked and disturbed it (to my delight) as much King did all those years ago.

Anna is a 17-year-old dropout who, along with her Grandma, Mother, and 10-year-old sister have moved back to Grandma’s hometown. They have fled the city because Anna was involved in some internet/social media disgrace. Mom works the nightshift as a nurse. Anna waitresses at a diner and looks after her sister and Grandma at night. That is complicated by the fact that Grandma is slowly failing with Alzheimer’s.

When Grandma starts scratching at the door leading down to the basement in their creepy old house and begins speaking some strange thoughts, an already unsettled Anna becomes more and more unsettled.

THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE slowly builds the tension and suspense. Pinborough parcels out the clues and story slowly, and I found myself I was in the middle of a teen angst or a ghost story or a murder mystery when, in reality, I was in the middle of an incredible read that was all of this and so much more.

Much like the little dog I told you about earlier, the friendly little terrier whose character took on such a strong meaning due to being named Cujo, THEY SAY A GIRL DIED HERE ONCE is a short novel with a huge impact. And the last pages are incredibly creative.

Monday, June 13, 2016

VA WASTES TIME WITH OUTDATED PROCEDURES


#VAFAIL – VA WASTES TIME WITH OUTDATED PROCEDURES

By Emilye Bell

It is no secret that the implementation of the Veterans Choice Program, which is meant to give veterans quicker and more flexible access to health care, has been creating a whole new list of problems. Multiple private providers have taken to turning away Choice participants because they are not being paid by the VA.

The reason for this? Typical government bureaucracy and outdated procedures. Rather than taking advantage of technology such as computers or the internet, the VA is using paper filing systems for doctors to fill out when treating a Choice Program participant, as well as using regular mail to communicate back and forth with these doctors. Additionally, when the documentation, which can be up to 75 pages, is returned to VA facilities, “employees then feed the pages into consumer-grade scanners that only take a few pages at a time.” In other words, the VA is utilizing the slowest methods of completing benefit and payment forms during every step of the process.

The Daily Caller and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that in February “VA only paid 66 percent of doctors within a month of entering them into the system, while Medicare and Tricare manage to pay 99 percent of doctors in that time.” They also point out that this does not account for the backlogged claims, so the numbers are probably not painting the full picture.

The staff handling this information say that because of all the paperwork and veterans who are using the Choice Program, they are short staffed. Side note: there are allegations that some of these employees watch movies on the job, then charge overtime for the hours they are actually doing work.

While claims stay backlogged and doctors go unpaid to the point they are turning away patients, the VA is hiring more employees to meet its bureaucratic needs rather than implementing a system that would ensure quicker payment and claims processing. It continues to use a paper system for communicating and benefit processing, stating that it does not “have the capacity to accept medical documentation electronically from the providers.”

We can add VA’s inability to accept electronic documents to their inability to schedule an appointment within 30 days and their inability to fire bad employees.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

CARING FOR OUR HEROES IN THE 21ST CENTURY ACT: THE REFORM VA NEEDS

CARING FOR OUR HEROES IN THE 21ST CENTURY ACT: THE REFORM VA NEEDS

By Shaun Rieley

Just over two years have passed since it was revealed that numerous veterans died waiting for care on secret VA hospital waiting lists that had been intentionally manipulated, resulting in the resignation of then-VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. In the wake of that scandal, Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act of 2014, which took steps toward providing veterans with access and choice that are the hallmarks of good health care, and toward improving accountability for VA employees.

These reforms were a step in the right direction, but in the years since they were enacted, implementation of the Choice Program has proven less than satisfactory, and it has become clear that the accountability measures have failed to hold accountable many problematic VA employees. This is because the reforms failed to address certain systemic and structural issues in VA that serve to perpetuate a toxic culture which results, all too often, in failure to take care of the veterans that it exists to serve.

In fact, the independent assessment of VA care, mandated by the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act, found that true reform would require “no less than a system-wide reworking.”

Congress will now have the opportunity to bring those changes. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) has released a discussion draft of the Caring for Our Heroes in the 21st Century Act—legislation which would comprehensively overhaul the Veterans Health Administration.

Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ bill seeks to go to the root of the problems. It restructures VA, shifting the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to governance by a board of directors, allowing it to be run like a high-performance health care organization, rather than as a government bureaucracy, improving both accountability and access, while allowing the system to right-size itself, which is projected to save money over the long term.

Furthermore, it allows veterans increased choice on both private health care and VA providers. Thus allowing veterans who are satisfied with their care at VA to remain in the system with no cost-sharing, and those who prefer to leverage the resources in their local community can do so, while receiving premium support to help cover costs.

Despite the often-repeated assertion that VA’s problems stem from a lack of money, the VA budget has grown precipitously over the past decade. Yet, VA’s problems continue. Clearly increasing VA’s budget has not appreciably improved outcomes.

The plan is bold and real reform is never easy—even when it is clearly needed. But to provide veterans with the best care possible—care that they have earned through their service and sacrifice—we will need to think beyond the tired talking points and failed status quo. Honoring veterans means asking the hard questions and doing the right thing, even when it is difficult.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Our veterans deserve real reform at VA



Our veterans deserve real reform at VA
By LEO GARCIA


It’s been two years since the nationwide scandal at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs first erupted, yet veterans across the country still continue to face excessive waits for care. Las Vegas is no exception. No less than 13 percent of veterans with appointments scheduled last month were waiting more than 30 days for a medical appointment.

Meanwhile, administrators have continued to downplay the significance of the agency’s problem.

Recently, VA Secretary Robert McDonald even argued that Disney doesn’t use wait times to measure performance, so neither should his agency.

By any standard, however, wait times do measure performance. And the wait times for veterans reflect very poor performance — nearly half a million veterans nationwide last month faced that same, long wait of over 30 days.

But here in Las Vegas, wait times aren’t the only issue.

In January we learned that the North Las Vegas suicide hotline actually instructed veterans in crisis to hang up and try another number. It wasn’t a small glitch, either. The VA had been aware of the problem since at least May 2015 and did nothing.

With issue after issue, it’s no wonder that thousands of veterans have chosen to avoid the controversy at VA facilities and use their Choice Card benefits, which allow them to see outside health-care providers. But now these veterans, too, are facing issues due to VA incompetence.

Under the Choice Program, the agency is supposed to reimburse physicians who provide care to veterans outside of the VA system. Yet the agency has done so in an unreasonably slow process — they paid less than 70 percent of claims within 30 days, and some doctors have waited as long as six months for payment.

The delayed payments have led a number of private physicians to reschedule important surgeries while some have opted to deny appointments to Choice recipients altogether.

The VA’s constant failures certainly can’t be blamed on a lack of funding — its budget has increased 68 percent since President Obama took office. But this money isn’t necessarily going to health care. In fact, of the 39,454 new positions created at the agency between 2012 and 2015, more than 90 percent were non-medical jobs.

The agency has also spent money on a number of wasteful projects while our nation’s veterans continue to wait for care. Our new Las Vegas medical facility went $400 million over its initial budget. What’s more, we recently learned that $325,000 was spent on three guard booths at the hospital’s entrances that have gone unused.

The fact is, the VA continues to throw money away while veterans continue to suffer.

This trend of wasteful and inefficient spending is far too common in Washington. Our nation now has a record national debt of more than $19 trillion. Careless spending by Washington politicians and bureaucrats is even beginning to undermine the very security our veterans fought to protect.

Much of this debt comes from the Department of Defense itself. The department is rife with wasteful and inefficient spending, all the while the military often struggles to provide our troops with the supplies needed to perform their daily duties.

This is not what veterans deserve after putting their lives on the line for the safety of our country.

It’s time for Nevada veterans to demand real change.

We must make sure that VA administrators acknowledge the problems at the agency’s facilities. At the same time, we must urge our lawmakers to pass legislation to reform the VA by holding problem staff accountable for their actions and by providing our veterans with more options for better care.

Our veterans risked their lives for us. It’s time they receive the timely and quality care they deserve.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Remembering Harriett


It's been a strange week, three doctors visits and arrangement for two cataract surgeries later in the year.That's one of the reasons I'm not reading much; too many meds that cloud my mind; and, work.

There is a new Baryon ready and it will consist of Harriett's reviews only. It's my attempt at paying tribute to her memory and how much she is missed.

The following are a couple of articles written about her that some of you might have missed. he first is from the Wall Street Journal and the second is from Time when she was called one of the People of the year.


A Novel Heroine

Meet Harriet Klausner, Amazon.com's most prolific reviewer.


BY JOANNE KAUFMAN
Tuesday, March 29, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

Harriet Klausner read four books yesterday. Frankly, this was no big whoop for Ms. Klausner. The only days she doesn't read four books are the days she reads five. Her peregrinations through the printed word are charted in the critiques she posts on Amazon.com--she's been voted its No. 1 reviewer--and other online book sites.

Reviewing on Amazon isn't a singular achievement. The site welcomes all those eager to tap into their inner Orville Prescott, often posting multiple reviews of a single book. All that's required is literacy, a point of view--and, of course, adherence to the Amazon's stern fiats about profanity, spiteful remarks, and injudicious blabbing about crucial plot points.

Still, in terms of productivity (8,649 reviews as of mid-March) and the ability to turn out what the site calls helpful information, Ms. Klausner is in a league of her own.
More than 53,000 Amazon visitors have given a thumbs up to commentary like "the fast-paced story line contains intriguing heroes battling with one another as much as with their common foes." That was Ms. Klausner on the thriller "No Man's Dog" by Jon A. Jackson. "Exhilarating British police procedural" was her word on "Flesh Wounds" by John Lawton. "Daniel's Veil" by R.H. Stavis, meanwhile, was deemed "a fascinating and enthralling paranormal tale."

It would be overstating things to suggest that Ms. Klausner, 53, has never met a book she didn't like. It would be more on the money to say she's of the "if you don't have anything nice to write, don't write anything at all" school of literary criticism. "If a book doesn't hold my interest by page 50 I'll stop reading, which is one of the reasons I give a lot of good ratings," says Ms. Klausner, whose voice suggests she's taken more than a few nips of helium. "And why review a book to give it a low rating or to tear it apart? Nothing in that."
But rest assured she can cut the motor on her enthusiasm when necessary. "I give Ralph McInerny, the author of the 'Father Dowling' mysteries, a low rating and tell why I can't stand the books," says Ms. Klausner, who's contributed reviews to Amazon since 2000. "It's basically the same story over and over."
She has the same "been there, read that" problem with Cassie Edwards, a scribe of Native American romances. "It's either a half-breed Indian male or a full-breed Indian male and a white virgin," sighs Ms. Klausner, running down the essential plot of titles like "Savage Joy," "Savage Devotion," "Savage innocence," "Savage Hope," "Savage Courage" and "Savage Torment." "She gets kidnapped, returns to white society, then comes back to Native American society to be with her lover, who ends up as her husband.
"Her books individually are good," adds Ms. Klausner. "If she wrote five of them they would be great, but if you write 75 or 80, which she's written . . . enough is enough.
"I have one basic criterion: A book should entertain me and take me away from the rest of the world."
A recent day's entertainment comprised "The Hidden Quest," a fantasy by New Zealand-born author Alma Alexander; a novel Ms. Klausner describes as "a Christian legal thriller" by Randy Alexander ("I forget the title, but the book was very good"); "Hitler's Peace," a thriller by Phillip Kerr about Germany trying to negotiate a peace in 1943, and a mystery by Nevada Barr. "I can't remember that title either. Just look it up on Amazon." Aha: "Hard Truth."
As may be clear by now, Ms. Klausner's taste runs to fantasy, chick-lit romance--particularly the paranormal and supernatural variety--horror and science fiction. Pet authors include Laurell K. Hamilton, Jan Burke, Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz and particularly Patricia Cornwell. "I need a lot of variety. There's never enough for me to read," says Ms. Klausner, who has zero truck with poetry, westerns ("You put on a cowboy hat, place the story in the wild west and you have a police procedural") or nonfiction ("unless it's a subject I'm really into. Otherwise it's too time-consuming.")

While Amazon declined to comment specifically on Ms. Klausner to avoid the appearance of showcasing one particular reviewer, others in publishing were less demure. "I'm sure there are people who go online and think, 'I wonder what Harriet has to say about this book,' " notes Knopf publicity director Nicholas Latimer. He sends Ms. Klausner every fiction title his house publishes "because I'd like her to weigh in. There are authors she covers that don't get covered by a lot of major review outlets because of space limitations. Harriet's their champion."

It's not that Ms. Klausner is immune to the charms--and plot turns--of marquee names like Ms. Roberts and Ms. Cornwell, but "you'll see that I often review lesser-known names. Some of those authors are just as good as John Grisham," she says. "It's just that they don't have a publicity machine behind them. That's the whole purpose of my doing this on Amazon. It's a way of bringing writers to the attention of audiences who wouldn't otherwise buy their books. That's the whole purpose of my doing this on Amazon," continues Ms. Klausner, whose sole remuneration is the thanks of newly enlightened readers (they sometimes send appreciative e-mails) and grateful authors (they sometimes send promotional bookmarks).

More tangible compensation comes from Ms. Klausner's book reviews for periodicals like Affaire de Coeur and I Love a Mystery, the online 'zine Baryon, and from her work as an advance reader for the Doubleday Book Club. "It's like magic when you find that gem of a great new author," says Ms. Klausner, who claims she saw gold in a then-unknown Tess Gerritsen, now a perennial on bestseller lists. "People say I have influence over book sales, but I don't see it. If I thought about it, I would get nervous."

The elder of two children, Ms. Klausner grew up in the Bronx. Her father worked for the publisher McGraw-Hill, a bonanza posting for a young bookworm. "I got a lot of free books. I was very lucky," says Ms. Klausner, who worked her way through series like Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames with dispatch.

A master's degree in library science seemed like nothing short of manifest destiny. Subsequent gigs in bookstores catering to fans of horror and science fiction, and stewardship of various library newsletters, were good prep work for Amazon, a connection Ms. Klausner made simply because "it seemed like a good idea. I need to review."

On more than one occasion, she says, publishers have approached her to push the envelope--to write a novel of her own. "I think it's sweet as can be that they ask. It's just not something I could do."
Daily, books come by the cartload to Ms. Klausner's Atlanta home, putting her at odds with the mailman, the UPS delivery guy and her husband, Stan, a business analyst for the Army. "He says we have to get rid of some," says Ms. Klausner, who stacks the overflow on the kitchen table and in a shed out back--and makes covert online purchases of new favorites like legal-thriller author Christine McGuire. "But don't tell my husband."
Friends encourage her to get a hobby, to develop some new interests. One pal recently gave her a combination VCR-DVD player with the directive to "go to a new venue." "It was a great present," says Ms. Klausner. "It's still in the box."

Ms. Kaufman covers arts and entertainment for The Wall Street Journal.



Harriet Klausner
By LEV GROSSMAN Saturday, Dec. 16, 2006


Without the web, Harriet Klausner would be just an ordinary human being with an extraordinary talent. Instead she is one of the world's most prolific and influential book reviewers. At 54, Klausner, a former librarian from Georgia, has posted more book reviews on Amazon.com than any other user—12,896, as of this writing, almost twice as many as her nearest competitor. That's a book a day for 35 years.

Klausner isn't paid to do this. She's just, as she puts it, "a freaky kind of speed-reader." In elementary school, her teacher was shocked when Klausner handed in a 31⁄2-hour reading-comprehension test in less than an hour. Now she goes through four to six books a day. "It's incomprehensible to me that most people read only one book a week," she says. "I don't understand how anyone can read that slow." All TIME 100 Best Novels
Klausner is part of a quiet revolution in the way American taste gets made. The influence of newspaper and magazine critics is on the wane. People don't care to be lectured by professionals on what they should read or listen to or see. They're increasingly likely to pay attention to amateur online reviewers, bloggers and Amazon critics like Klausner. Online critics have a kind of just-plain-folks authenticity that the professionals just can't match. They're not fancy. They don't have an agenda. They just read for fun, the way you do. Publishers treat Klausner as a pro, sending her free books—50 a week—in hopes of getting her attention. Like any other good critic, Klausner has her share of enemies. "Harriet, please get a life," someone begged her on a message board, "and leave us poor Amazon customers alone."

Klausner is a bookworm, but she's no snob. She likes genre fiction: romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror. One of Klausner's lifetime goals—as yet unfulfilled—is to read every vampire book ever published. "I love vampires and werewolves and demons," she says. "Maybe I like being spooked." Maybe she's a little bit superhuman herself.

—Reported by Jeremy Caplan and Kathleen Kingsbury/New York, Susan Jakes/Beijing, Jeffrey Ressner/Los Angeles, Grant Rosenberg/Paris and Bryan Walsh/Seoul

Friday, May 27, 2016

Update


I'm about six months behind on getting Baryon out. Checking with Pete on it.

VA visit on Monday - shrink changed my meds - PTSD getting worse. Fitted for new diabetic shoes and getting appointments for cataract surgery on both eyes. Hopefully, this will allow me to start reading moree with out so much trouble.

It's hell to get old and physically unable to do things.

OH, by the way, Elvis is not dead, he's at the VA waiting for his appointment.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Op-Ed: How the VA devalues veterans By Cody McGregor Friday, May 13th 2016 As seen in the Dallas Morning News.


Op-Ed: How the VA devalues veterans


By Cody McGregor
Friday, May 13th 2016

As seen in the Dallas Morning News.


If you’ve fought to protect this country, you probably couldn’t be faulted for thinking this country isn’t quite as willing to do the same for you. After two full years, we’re still discovering shocking facts about how badly the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lets down those who need care. Recently published reports confirm that VA medical centers throughout Texas — including here in Fort Worth — used inappropriate scheduling practices that left veterans waiting too long for the treatments they needed.

Veterans’ biggest concern with the VA is whether it can be trusted with their lives. The short answer is no. This organization has fought to hide the truth and protect its image, even if it means letting veterans suffer and die.

And this is an ongoing trend in the way our country treats its heroes. Whether it’s unreliable, unaccountable healthcare or crippling debt that weakens the very national security we fought for, veterans’ sacrifices are constantly devalued.

After veterans died in Phoenix due to being put on secret waiting lists by the local VA center, similar allegations surfaced across the country. Yet internal investigations regarding how this happened are only just now being released to the public.

And that’s no thanks to the VA. It took Freedom of Information Act requests to get the VA to cough up their findings. That’s hardly the level of transparency veterans deserve, given the enormity of the VA’s failure.

The investigations confirm what we already knew: inappropriate scheduling practices were commonplace. The Fort Worth report by the VA Inspector Generals Office, for example, quotes staff who say that disregarding veterans’ desired appointment date was just “how things were done.”

As a consequence, veterans suffered.

Worse yet, an independent government watchdog is investigating the VA on the grounds that the investigations conducted in Texas by the VA Inspector General’s were “deficient and unreasonable.” In other words, there’s probably more tragedy buried beneath the surface.

It doesn’t take an extensive investigation, however, to show how badly VA care is deteriorating. One report conducted by independent consultants MITRE and Rand shows that care by VA hospitals is care mired in bureaucracy and inefficiency. And another government watchdog revealed last month that new VA patients nationwide now wait up to 71 days to see doctors.

As we’ve seen, quality and reliability in veterans’ care have deteriorated despite growth in the VA’s budget by roughly two-thirds since President Barack Obama’s first year in office. The VA is contributing to a rise in debt and wasteful or inefficient government spending.

Ultimately, the security veterans fought to protect is threatened by our nation’s massive debt. Earlier this year the national debt reached a record $19 trillion, which former defense officials adamantly warn will “undermine our economic growth, our military strength, and our global leadership.”

If the VA treated every one of its patients like the heroes we are, it would be worth every penny. But that’s far from the case.

One reason this happens is because Americans have assumed politicians will fix these problems on their own. That’s clearly not occurring. There’s no room for complacency—we must make sure those in power know that the poor treatment of veterans is the issue of our time.

Cody McGregor is a former army sniper and the national outreach director for Concerned Veterans for America.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Final Flight by Beth Cato


FINAL FLIGHT


Now on sale! FINAL FLIGHT, set in the same world as The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown, by bestselling author Beth Cato, who Publishers Weekly called “an author to watch

Full of magic, mystery, and romance, the Steampunk-themed FINAL FLIGHT is sure to resonate with fans across the board. This book contains charming, accessible fantasy with some of the same elements that fans have come to know and love from Cato’s Clockwork books.

Another breathtaking short story from the author of The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown, set in the same world…

Captain Hue hoped he was rid of his troubles once Octavia Leander and Alonzo Garrett disembarked from his airship Argus. But he was quickly proved wrong when his ship was commandeered by Caskentian soldiers. He is ordered on a covert and deadly mission by the smarmy Julius Corrado, an elite Clockwork Dagger.

Now Captain Hue must start a mutiny to regain control of his airship, which means putting his entire crew at risk-including his teenage son Sheridan. As the weather worsens and time runs out, it’ll take incredible bravery to bring the Argus down….perhaps for good.

Beth Cato hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair outside of Phoenix, Arizona. She is the author of The Clockwork Dagger and The Clockwork Crown. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham. You can follow her on Twitter @bethcato.

About the Book:

FINAL FLIGHT by Beth Cato

Harper Voyager Impulse, $3.99

e-ISBN: 9780062411280