Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Press Release: THE STREETS by Robert Dunbar

The Streets - Robert Dunbar

THE STREETS has just been released. It’s the third novel in Robert Dunbar’s The Pines Trilogy.

It can be read independently of the other two novels THE PINES and THE SHORES. However, for an optimal reading experience you might want to start with the first two in the series. You can pick up all three books at Amazon in various formats.

If you enjoy dark and tasteful fiction then these are a must read. And even better they’re perfect for that obligatory feeling that we all desire in the Fall, since who doesn’t enjoy a thrilling read as the weather starts to cool?

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Here’s what the author says about his latest book:

THE STREETS is the final part of Robert Dunbar's THE PINES TRILOGY:

In a desolate city, as ravaged and dangerous as a post-Apocalyptic wasteland, horrors prowl the back alleys. Struggling to survive, a group of young people find themselves trapped in a decaying asylum ... where unspeakable evil lurks.

Do the streets offer escape? Or death?

And the prologue:        

Just as there are broken people, there are broken places on this earth.

Some have always been broken. 

All cities have such neighborhoods at their edges, and this city is all edges... block after block of bleakly hopeless outskirts.

People don't bury dead cities. They abandon them. They abandon them to the poorest of the poor, to the lost and the doomed.

A few streetlights may still glimmer, but the life of this city ebbed long ago.

It might resemble the site of some cataclysm or as though chains of time had tightened, crushing it. Yet it is not truly old, not as such things are measured. No true cataclysm occurred, and the extinct civilization that built it staggers on, even now unaware of its own demise.

Rot phosphoresces where wounds are deepest, and here decay is well advanced, but some form of life festers still. Things scurry. They twitch in shadows. They splash through flooded alleys and lurk along the docks.

And they travel in packs.

334 pages | Uninvited Books | September 1, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Giveaway: MAGIC BITES by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews mmpb

In honor of the publication of the 8th Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews we have three copies of the mass market paperback MAGIC BITES (the first in the series) for US addresses. They are courtesy of Penguin Random House publicity.

It’s urban fantasy/paranormal romance from an intriguing husband and wife writing duo penning under the name of Ilona Andrews.

I’ve read one of their recent books (BURN FOR ME) and enjoyed it a lot. It was fun, well paced, and had great romantic tension. So I was definitely excited to offer this giveaway to US readers of Layers of Thought as a way to introduce you all to this series. And the good news is if you enjoy the first book you can “binge read” up to book 8!

Now for the giveaway – you can read the publisher’s blurb about the first book in the Kate Daniels series below:

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Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t want it any other way…

Mass Market Paperback | Published by Ace | Mar 27, 2007 | 272 PagesMagic Shifts - Ilona Andrews

And here’s the cover for MAGIC SHIFTS (Kate Daniels #8):

Hardcover | Published by Ace | Aug 04, 2015 | 352 Pages

 

 

 

 

To enter this contest please fill out the Google form below. Good luck!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Incoming Books: August 7, 2015

The Monstrous - Ellen Datlow

We have our Incoming Books feature for August 7, 2015.

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The Monstrous edited by Ellen Datlow

From the best horror editor in the business comes a landmark horror anthology. Take a terrifying journey with literary masters of suspense, visiting a place where the other is somehow one of us. These electrifying tales redefine monsters from mere things that go bump in the night to inexplicable, deadly reflections of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s a seemingly devoted teacher, an obsessive devotee of swans, or a diner full of evil creatures simply seeking oblivion, the monstrous is always there—and much closer than it appears.

October 2015 | Trade Paperback | Tachyon Publications | 384 pages

Avelynn - Marissa Campbell

Avelynn by Marissa Campbell

This dazzling debut brings the Dark Ages to light and illuminates one Saxon noblewoman's romance with a Viking warrior and her struggle to find her path in a changing and dangerous world.

869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Ealdorman of Somerset, has lived in an environment of love, acceptance, and equality. Somerset has flourished under twenty years of peace. But with whispers of war threatening their security, Avelynn's father makes an uncompromising decision that changes her life forever.

Forced into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status, Avelynn's perception of independence is shattered. With marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik The Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed.

In a year of uncertainty that sees Avelynn discover hidden powers, stumble into a passionate love affair with Alrik, and lead men into battle, Avelynn must walk a fine line as her deceptions mount and Demas' tactics to possess her become more desperate and increasingly brutal.

Avelynn and Alrik are caught in the throes of fate as they struggle to find the way back to themselves and onwards to each other.

St. Martin's Griffin | September 2015 | Trade Paperback | 352 pages

End of All Things_9780765376077_HC.indd

The End of All Things (Old Man’s War #6) by John Scalzi

Hugo-award winning author, John Scalzi returns to his best-selling Old Man's War universe with The End of All Things, the direct sequel to 2013's The Human Division.

Humans expanded into space...only to find a universe populated with multiple alien species bent on their destruction. Thus was the Colonial Union formed, to help protect us from a hostile universe. The Colonial Union used the Earth and its excess population for colonists and soldiers. It was a good arrangement...for the Colonial Union. Then the Earth said: no more.

Now the Colonial Union is living on borrowed time-a couple of decades at most, before the ranks of the Colonial Defense Forces are depleted and the struggling human colonies are vulnerable to the alien species who have been waiting for the first sign of weakness, to drive humanity to ruin. And there's another problem: A group, lurking in the darkness of space, playing human and alien against each other-and against their own kind -for their own unknown reasons.

In this collapsing universe, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson and the Colonial Union diplomats he works with race against the clock to discover who is behind attacks on the Union and on alien races, to seek peace with a suspicious, angry Earth, and keep humanity's union intact...or else risk oblivion, and extinction-and the end of all things.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Hardcover | 384 pages

Chasing the Phoenix - Michael Swanwick

Chasing the Phoenix by Michael Swanwick

Chasing the Phoenix: a science fiction masterpiece from a five-time Hugo Award winner Michael Swanwick!

In the distant future, Surplus arrives in China dressed as a Mongolian shaman, leading a yak which carries the corpse of his friend, Darger. The old high-tech world has long since collapsed, and the artificial intelligences that ran it are outlawed and destroyed. Or so it seems.

Darger and Surplus, a human and a genetically engineered dog with human intelligence who walks upright, are a pair of con men and the heroes of a series of prior Swanwick stories. They travel to what was once China and invent a scam to become rich and powerful. Pretending to have limited super-powers, they aid an ambitious local warlord who dreams of conquest and once again reuniting China under one ruler. And, against all odds, it begins to work, but it seems as if there are other forces at work behind the scenes. Chasing the Phoenix is a sharp, slick, witty science fiction adventure that is hugely entertaining from Michael Swanwick, one of the best SF writers alive.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Hardcover | 320 pages

Dark Forest - Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest (Three-Body #2) by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen

This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion-in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy. Only the human mind remains a secret. This is the motivation for the Wallfacer Project, a daring plan that grants four men enormous resources to design secret strategies, hidden through deceit and misdirection from Earth and Trisolaris alike. Three of the Wallfacers are influential statesmen and scientists, but the fourth is a total unknown. Luo Ji, an unambitious Chinese astronomer and sociologist, is baffled by his new status. All he knows is that he's the one Wallfacer that Trisolaris wants dead.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Hardcover | 512 pages

The Philosopher Kings - Jo Walton

The Philosopher Kings (Thessely #2) by Jo Walton

From acclaimed, award-winning author Jo Walton: Philosopher Kings, a tale of gods and humans, and the surprising things they have to learn from one another. Twenty years have elapsed since the events of The Just City. The City, founded by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, organized on the principles espoused in Plato's Republic and populated by people from all eras of human history, has now split into five cities, and low-level armed conflict between them is not unheard-of.

The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as "Pythias" in the City, his true identity known only to a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it's evident, particularly to his precocious daughter Arete, that he is unhinged with grief.

Along with Arete and several of his sons, plus a boatload of other volunteers--including the now fantastically aged Marsilio Ficino, the great humanist of Renaissance Florence--Pythias/Apollo goes sailing into the mysterious Eastern Mediterranean of pre-antiquity to see what they can find--possibly the man who may have caused his great grief, possibly communities of the earliest people to call themselves "Greek." What Apollo, his daughter, and the rest of the expedition will discover…will change everything.

Tor Books | June 2015 | Hardcover | 352 pages

Time Salvager - Wesley Chu

Time Salvager (Time Salvager #1) by Wesley Chu

Time Salvager: a fast-paced time travel adventure from Wesley Chu, the award-winning author of The Lives of Tao.

In a future when Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humanity has spread into the outer solar system to survive, the tightly controlled use of time travel holds the key maintaining a fragile existence among the other planets and their moons. James Griffin-Mars is a chronman--a convicted criminal recruited for his unique psychological makeup to undertake the most dangerous job there is: missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. Most chronmen never reach old age, and James is reaching his breaking point.

On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets an intriguing woman from a previous century, scientist Elise Kim, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, James brings her back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, and discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Hardcover | 384 pages

Midian Unmade - ed. Joseph Nassise and Del Howison

Midian Unmade edited by Joseph Nassise and Del Howison

Clive Barker's Nightbreed has been controversial since the moment it was released in a version edited by the studio and roundly condemned by Barker, who wrote and directed the movie. A virtually instant cult film based on Barker's novella Cabal, it was nominated for three Saturn Awards and won several prizes at European film festivals.

Midian Unmade tells the stories of the Nightbreed after the fall of their city, Midian. Driven from their homes, their friends and family members slain before their eyes, the monsters become a mostly-hidden diaspora. Some are hunted; others, hunters. Some seek refuge. Others want revenge.

Contributors include: Karl Alexander, author of the classic novel Time After Time; actor, writer, and director Amber Benson (Tara Maclay on Buffy the Vampire Slayer); New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder; Hugo and John W. Campbell Award winner Seanan McGuire; Bram Stoker Award winner Weston Ochse; David J. Schow, winner of the World Fantasy Award and writer of the screenplay for The Crow; New York Times bestselling writer Stephen Woodworth; and many more--23 stories in all.

With an introduction by Clive Barker, this is an outstanding collection of original horror short stories in a dazzling variety of styles.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Hardcover | 304 pages

Dark Orbit - Carolyn Ives Gilman

Dark Orbit by Carolyn Ives Gilman

From Nebula and Hugo Award-nominated Carolyn Ives Gilman comes Dark Orbit, a compelling novel featuring alien contact, mystery, and murder.

Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate. Thora was once a member of the interplanetary elite, but since her prophetic delusions helped mobilize a revolt on Orem, she's been banished to the farthest reaches of space, because of the risk that her very presence could revive unrest.

Upon arrival, the team finds an extraordinary crystalline planet, laden with dark matter. Then a crew member is murdered and Thora mysteriously disappears. Thought to be uninhabited, the planet is in fact home to a blind, sentient species whose members navigate their world with a bizarre vocabulary and extrasensory perceptions.

Lost in the deep crevasses of the planet among these people, Thora must battle her demons and learn to comprehend the native inhabitants in order to find her crewmates and warn them of an impending danger. But her most difficult task may lie in persuading the crew that some powers lie beyond the boundaries of science.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Hardcover | 304 pages

The Hour of the Innocents - Robert Paston

The Hour of the Innocents by Robert Paston

1968. Vietnam. Social turmoil. Drugs. Music.

Four young musicians are determined to escape a ravaged industrial landscape by playing rock and roll...and they play it with a passion and brilliance that contrasts with their poverty. Music is the only hope they have.

Set against a fleeting age when music seemed about to change the world, Robert Paston's The Hour of the Innocents tells the story of the band known as The Innocents and captures the true drama of the late 1960s--not the glitter of famous names, but the yearning of the heartland guitarists and drummers who believed…and the lovers, friends, and lives crushed along the way.

Forge Books | June 2015 | Trade Paperback | 320 pages

Ultima - Stephen Baxter

Ultima (Proxima #2) by Stephen Baxter

On the planet of Per Ardua, alien artifacts were discovered—hatches that allowed humans to step across light-years of space as if they were stepping into another room. But this newfound freedom has consequences….

As humanity discovers the real nature of the universe, a terrifying truth comes to light. We all have countless pasts converging in this present—and our future is terrifyingly finite. There are minds in the universe that are billions of years old and now we are vulnerable to their plans for us….

It’s time to fight back and take control.

Hardcover | 512 Pages | 4 Aug 2015 | Roc Adult

Magic Bites - Ilona Andrews mmpb

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Mercenary Kate Daniels cleans up urban problems of a paranormal kind. But her latest prey, a pack of undead warriors, presents her greatest challenge.

Mass Market Paperback | 272 Pages | 27 Mar 2007 | Ace

Alice - Christina Henry

Alice by Christina Henry

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

Paperback | 304 Pages | 4 Aug 2015 | Ace 

The Price of Valor - Django Wexler

The Price of Valor (Book Three of the Shadow Campaigns) by Django Wexler

In the latest Shadow Campaigns novel, Django Wexler continues his “epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict”* following The Shadow Throne and The Thousand Names, as the realm of Vordan faces imminent threats from without and within.

In the wake of the King’s death, war has come to Vordan.

The Deputies-General has precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with the steadfast soldier Marcus D’Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.

As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends, only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle.
And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary…

Hardcover | 528 Pages | 7 Jul 2015 | Roc 

Queen of Fire - Anthony Ryan

Queen of Fire (Book Three of the Raven’s Shadow novels) by Anthony Ryan

In the thrilling conclusion to the “deftly and originally executed” (Booklist) New York Times bestselling trilogy, Vaelin Al Sorna must help his Queen reclaim her Realm. Only his enemy has a dangerous new collaborator, one with powers darker than Vaelin has ever encountered…

“The Ally is there, but only ever as a shadow, unexplained catastrophe or murder committed at the behest of a dark vengeful spirit. Sorting truth from myth is often a fruitless task.”

After fighting back from the brink of death, Queen Lyrna is determined to repel the invading Volarian army and regain the independence of the Unified Realm. Except, to accomplish her goals, she must do more than rally her loyal supporters. She must align herself with forces she once found repugnant—those who possess the strange and varied gifts of the Dark—and take the war to her enemy’s doorstep.

Victory rests on the shoulders of Vaelin Al Sorna, now named Battle Lord of the Realm. However, his path is riddled with difficulties. For the Volarian enemy has a new weapon on their side, one that Vaelin must destroy if the Realm is to prevail—a mysterious Ally with the ability to grant unnaturally long life to her servants. And defeating one who cannot be killed is a nearly impossible feat, especially when Vaelin’s blood-song, the mystical power which has made him the epic fighter he is, has gone ominously silent…

Hardcover | 656 Pages | 7 Jul 2015 | Ace 

The Clockwork Crown - Beth Cato

The Clockwork Crown (Clockwork Dagger Duology #2) by Beth Cato

Rich in atmosphere, imagination, and fun, the action-packed, magic-filled sequel to The Clockwork Dagger is an enchanting steampunk fantasy, evocative of the works of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Narrowly surviving assassination and capture, Octavia Leander, a powerful magical healer, is on the run with handsome Alonzo Garrett, the Clockwork Dagger who forfeited his career with the Queen’s secret society of spies and killers—and possibly his life—to save her. Now, they are on a dangerous quest to find safety and answers: Why is Octavia so powerful? Why does she seem to be undergoing a transformation unlike any witnessed for hundreds of years?

The truth may rest with the source of her mysterious healing power—the Lady’s Tree. But the tree lies somewhere in a rough, inhospitable territory known as the Waste. Eons ago, this land was made barren and uninhabitable by an evil spell, until a few hardy souls dared to return over the last century. For years, the Waste has waged a bloody battle against the royal court to win its independence—and they need Octavia’s powers to succeed.

Joined by unlikely allies, including a menagerie of gremlin companions, she must evade killers and Clockwork Daggers on a dangerous journey through a world on the brink of deadly civil war.

Harper Voyager | 06/09/2015 | Trade Paperback | Pages: 384

The Fifth House of the Heart - Ben Tripp

The Fifth House of the Heart by Benn Tripp

Filled with characters as menacing as they are memorable, this chilling twist on vampire fiction packs a punch in the bestselling tradition of ’Salem’s Lot by Stephen King.
Asmodeus “Sax” Saxon-Tang, a vainglorious and well-established antiques dealer, has made a fortune over many years by globetrotting for the finest lost objects in the world. Only Sax knows the true secret to his success: at certain points of his life, he’s killed vampires for their priceless hoards of treasure.

But now Sax’s past actions are quite literally coming back to haunt him, and the lives of those he holds most dear are in mortal danger. To counter this unnatural threat, and with the blessing of the Holy Roman Church, a cowardly but cunning Sax must travel across Europe in pursuit of incalculable evil—and immeasurable wealth—with a ragtag team of mercenaries and vampire killers to hunt a terrifying, ageless monster…one who is hunting Sax in turn.

Gallery Books | 400 pages | July 2015 | Trade Paperback

The Curse of Crow Hollow - Billy Coffey

The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves, the old widow who lives in the mountain. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse. Now a sickness moves through the Hollow. Rumors swirl that Stu Graves has risen for revenge. And the people of Crow Hollow are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves.

Paperback | 384 pages | August 4th 2015 | Thomas Nelson

Gold Throne and Shadow - MC Planck

Gold Throne in Shadow (World of Prime #2) by M. C. Planck

The continuing adventures of Christopher Sinclair, mechanical engineer turned priest of war.
Christopher, raised from the dead and promoted to a moderate rank, takes command of the army regiment he trained and equipped. Sent south to an allegedly easy posting, he finds himself in the way of several thousand rabid dog-men. Guns and fortifications turn back the horde, but Christopher has other problems that cannot be solved with mere firepower: a wicked assassin; hostile clergymen; dubious allies including a bard, Lalania, with a connection to a mysterious group of scholars; and worst of all his own impolitic tongue. But all of these pale into mere distractions once he discovers the true enemy: an invisible, mind-eating horror who plays the kingdom like a puppet-master’s stage. Lalania claims she can help—but will it be enough?  

325 pp | Paperback | October 2015 | Pyr

A School for Brides - Patrice Kindl

A School for Brides (Keeping the Castle #2) by Patrice Kindl

The Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy of Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire, has one goal: to train its students in the feminine arts with an eye toward getting them married off. This year, there are five girls of marriageable age. There’s only one problem: the school is in the middle of nowhere, and there are no men.  Set in the same English town as Keeping the Castle, and featuring a few of the same characters, here’s the kind of witty tribute to the classic Regency novel that could only come from the pen of Patrice Kindl!

Hardcover | 272 Pages | 14 Jul 2015 | Viking Books for Young Readers | 12 and up

my-grandmother-asked-me-to-tell-you-shes-sorry - Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s internationally bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

Hardbound | Atria Books |  384 pages |  June 2015

Still Procrastinating - Joseph R. Ferrari

Still Procrastinating by Joseph Ferrari

Find out why you put things off-and learn to conquer procrastination for good!

"What if I make a bad decision?" "What if I fail?" "I'm better under pressure." There are all sorts of reasons people procrastinate. What are yours? This book draws on scientific research on procrastination conducted over more than twenty years by the author and his colleagues, to help you learn what stops you from getting things done so that you can find the solutions that will really work.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, chronic procrastination is NOT about poor time management, but about self-sabotaging tendencies that can prevent you from reaching your full potential. This book gives you the knowledge and tools you need to understand and overcome these tendencies so you can start achieving your goals-not next week, next month, or next year, but TODAY!

Paperback | 256 pages | September 1, 2010 | Wiley

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015

    Giveaway: THE WILD GIRL by Kate Forsyth

    The Wild Girl - Kate Forsyth

    We have a giveaway for THE WILD GIRL by Kate Forsyth. There’s one copy for a US or Canadian address. It’s historical fiction with a fairytale theme. And for a sample of Kate Forsyth’s wonderful writing you can read an excerpt for THE WILD GIRL by linking on this text.

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    Here’s more about the book via the publisher:

    One of six sisters, Dortchen Wild lives in the small German kingdom of Hesse-Cassel in the early 19th century. She finds herself irresistibly drawn to the boy next door, the handsome but very poor fairy tale scholar Wilhelm Grimm. It is a time of tyranny and terror. Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer all of Europe, and Hesse-Cassel is one of the first kingdoms to fall. Forced to live under oppressive French rule, Wilhelm and his brothers quietly rebel by preserving old half-forgotten tales that had once been told by the firesides of houses grand and small over the land.

    As Dortchen tells Wilhelm some of the most powerful and compelling stories in what will one day become his and Jacob's famous fairy tale collection, their love blossoms. But Dortchen's father will not give his consent for them to marry and war, death, and poverty also conspire to keep the lovers apart. Yet Dortchen is determined to find a way.

    Evocative and richly-detailed, Kate Forsyth's The Wild Girl masterfully captures one young woman's enduring faith in love and the power of storytelling.

    Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of more than 20 novels. Her books have been published in 17 countries. Forsyth holds a doctorate in fairytale retellings from the University of Technology. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

    To enter this giveaway fill out the Google form:

    THE WILD GIRL BLOG TOUR BANNER

    Monday, July 27, 2015

    Excerpt: THE WILD GIRL by Kate Forsyth

    The Wild Girl - Kate Forsyth

    We have an excerpt for THE WILD GIRL by Kate Fosyth. It’s historical fiction about the untold love story of Dortchen Wild and the boy next door, who just happens to be Wilhelm Grimm, one of the brothers behind the famous fairy tale collection.

    I loved Kate Forsyth’s BITTER GREENS, the fairytale story of Rapunzel mixed with historical fiction. You can read my 4.5/5 star review by linking on this text. And I am just as excited by THE WILD GIRL as it’s getting many great reviews.

    Below is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of the book:

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    Wild by name and wild by nature,’ Dortchen’s father used to say of her. He did not mean it as a compliment. He thought her headstrong, and so he set himself to tame her.

    The day Dortchen Wild’s father died, she went to the forest, winter-bare and snow-frosted, so no one could see her dancing with joy. She went to the place where she had last been truly happy, the grove of old linden trees in the palace garden. Tearing off her black bonnet, she flung it into the tangled twigs, and drew off her gloves, shoving them in her coat pocket. Holding out her bare hands, embracing the cold winter wind, Dortchen spun alone among the linden trees, her black skirts swaying.

    It was Christmas Day. All through Cassel, people were dancing and feasting. Dortchen remembered the Christmas balls Jérôme Bonaparte had held during his seven-year reign as king. A thousand guests had waltzed till dawn, their faces hidden behind masks. Wilhelm I, the Kurfürst of Hessen, had won back his throne from the French only a little over a year ago. He would not celebrate Christmas so extravagantly. Soon the lights would be doused and the music would fade away, and he and his court would go sensibly to bed, to save on the cost of lamp oil.

    Dortchen must dance while she could.

    She lifted her black skirts and twirled in the snow. He’s dead, she sang to herself. I’m free!

    Three ravens flew through the darkening forest, wings ebony-black against the white snow. Their haunting call chilled her. She came to a standstill, surprised to find she was shaking with tears as much as with cold. She caught hold of a thorny branch to steady herself. Snow showered over her.

    I will never be free . . .

    Dortchen was so cold that she felt as if she were made of ice. Looking down, she realised she had cut herself on the rose thorns. Blood dripped into the snow. She sucked the cut, and the taste of her blood filled her mouth, metallic as biting a bullet.

    The sun was sinking away behind the palace, and the violin music came to an end. Dortchen did not want to go home, but it was not safe in the forest at night. She picked up her bonnet and began trudging back home, to the rambling old house above her father’s apothecary shop, where his corpse lay in his bedroom, swollen and stinking, waiting for her to wash it and lay it out.

    The town was full of revellers. It was the first Christmas since Napoléon had been defeated and banished. Carol-singers in long red gowns stood on street corners, singing harmonies. A chestnut-seller was selling paper cones of hot chestnuts to the crowd clustered about his little fire, while pot-men sold mugs of hot cider and mulled wine.

    At last she came to the Marktgasse, lit up with dancing light from a huge bonfire. Not one building matched another, crowded together all higgledy-piggledy around the cobblestoned square with its old pump and drinking trough outside the inn.

    Only the apothecary’s shop was dark and shuttered, with no welcoming light above its door. Dortchen made her way through crowds buying sugar-roasted almonds, gingerbread hearts, wooden toys and small gilded angels at the market stalls. She slipped into the alley that ran down the side of the shop to its garden, locked away behind high walls.

    ‘Dortchen,’ a low voice called from the shadowy doorway opposite the garden gate.

    She turned, hands clasped painfully tight together.

    A tall, lean figure in black stepped out of the doorway. The light from the square flickered over the strong, spare bones of his face, making hollows of his eyes and cheeks.

    ‘I’ve been waiting for you,’ Wilhelm said. ‘No one knew where you had gone.’

    ‘I went to the forest,’ she answered.

    Wilhelm nodded. ‘I thought you would.’ He put his arms about her, drawing her close.

    For a moment Dortchen resisted, but she was so cold and tired that she could not withstand the comfort of his touch. She rested her cheek on his chest and heard the thunder of his heart.

    A ragged breath escaped her. ‘He’s dead,’ she said. ‘I can hardly believe it.’

    ‘I know, I heard the news. I’m sorry.’

    ‘I’m not.’

    He did not answer. She knew she had grieved him. The death of Wilhelm’s father had been the first great sorrow of his life; he and his brother Jakob had worked hard ever since to be all their father would have wanted. It was different for Dortchen, though. She had not loved her father.

    ‘You’re free now,’ he said, his voice so low it could scarcely be heard over the laughter and singing of the crowd in the square.

    Dortchen had to look away. ‘It doesn’t change anything. There’s nothing left for me, not a single thaler.’

    There was a long silence. In the space between them were all the words Wilhelm could not say. I am too poor to take a wifeI earn so little at my job at the library…I cannot ask Jakob to feed another mouth when he has to support all six of us . . .

    The failure of their fairy tale collection was a disappointment to him, Dortchen knew. Wilhelm had worked so hard, pinning all his hopes to it. If only it had been better received…If only it had sold more…

    ‘I’m so sorry.’ He bent his head and kissed her.

    Dortchen drew away and shook her head. ‘I can’t…We mustn’t…’ He gave a murmur deep in his throat and tried to kiss her again. She wrenched herself out of his arms. ‘Wilhelm, I can’t…It hurts too much.’

    He caught her and drew her back, and she did not have the strength to resist him. Once again his mouth found hers, and she succumbed to the old magic. Desire quickened between them. Her arms were about his neck, their cold lips opening hungrily to each other. His hand slid down to find the curve of her waist, and she drew herself up against him. His breath caught. He turned and pressed her against the stone wall, his hands trying to find the shape of her within her heavy black gown.

    Dortchen let herself forget the dark years that gaped between them, pretending that she was once more just a girl, madly in love with the boy next door.

    The church bells rang out, marking the hour. She remembered she was frozen to the bone, and that her father’s dead body lay on the far side of the wall.

    She shook her head. ‘It’s too late.’

    At twenty-one years of age, she was an old maid, all her hopes of love and romance turned to ashes.

    ‘There must be a way. If the fairy tales would sell just a few more copies…’ His voice died away. They both knew that he would need to sell many thousands more before they could ever dream of being together.

    ‘One day people will recognise how wonderful the stories are,’ she said.

    He took her hand and bent before her, pressing his mouth into her palm. She drew away from him, turning to the gate in the wall. She was shivering so hard she could scarcely lift the latch. She glanced back and saw him watching her, a tall, still shadow among shadows.

    Happy endings are only for fairy tales, Dortchen thought, stepping through to her father’s walled garden. She raised her hand to dash away her tears. These days, there’s no use in wishing.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    From The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth, on sale July 7, 2015, from Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, LLC. Copyright © 2015 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press, LLC.

    Kate Forsyth is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of more than 20 novels. Her books have been published in 17 countries. Forsyth holds a doctorate in fairytale retellings from the University of Technology. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

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