In a Fix ~ by Linda Grimes; Tor Books; 9/4/2012; Trade Paperback; 336 pages.
Snagging a marriage proposal for her client while on an all-expenses-paid vacation should be a simple job for Ciel Halligan, aura adaptor extraordinaire. But when her island resort bungalow is blown to smithereens and her client’s about-to-be fiancé is snatched by modern-day Vikings, Ciel begins to suspect that getting the ring is going to be a tad more difficult than originally anticipated.
Going from romance to rescue requires some serious gear-shifting as well as a little backup. Her best friend, Billy, and Mark, the CIA agent she's been crushing on for years—both skilled adaptors—step in to help, but their priority is, annoyingly, keeping her safe. Before long, Ciel is dedicating more energy to escaping their watchful eyes than she is to saving her client's intended.
Trucker Ghost Stories ~ edited by Annie Wilder; Tor Books; August 2012; Trade Paperback; 256 pages.
In a uniquely entertaining book by a rising star, here are uncanny true tales of haunted highways, weird encounters, and legends of the road.
These are true stories from the highways and byways of America. These firsthand accounts are as varied as the storytellers themselves—some are detailed and filled with the terror and suspense that made people feel they had to share what happened to them with others; others are brief and straightforward retellings of truly chilling events.
Here is a chupacabra attack on the desert highway between L.A. and Las Vegas; ghost trains and soldiers; UFOs; the prom girl ghost of Alabama; a demon in Texas, and other accounts of the creepy, scary things that truckers and other drivers and passengers told to editor Annie Wilder.
Fate of Worlds ~ Larry Niven and Edward M. Learner; Tor Books; 8/21/2012; Hardcover; 320 pages.
For decades, the spacefaring species of Known Space have battled over the largest artifact—and grandest prize—in the galaxy: the all-but-limitless resources and technology of the Ringworld. But without warning the Ringworld has vanished, leaving behind three rival war fleets.
Something must justify the blood and treasure that have been spent. If the fallen civilization of the Ringworld can no longer be despoiled of its secrets, the Puppeteers will be forced to surrender theirs. Everyone knows that the Puppeteers are cowards.
An Echo Through the Snow ~ by Andrea Thalasinos; Forge Books; 8/21/2012; Hardcover; 368 pages.
Rosalie MacKenzie is headed nowhere until she sees Smokey, a Siberian husky suffering from neglect. Rosalie finds the courage to rescue the dog, and—united by the bond of love that forms between them—they save each other.
Alternating between past and present, telling of a struggling Chukchi family and a young woman discovering herself, An Echo Through the Snow takes readers on a gripping, profound, and uplifting dogsled ride to the Iditarod and beyond, on a journey of survival and healing.
Simon and Schuster
Ghost Town ~ by Jason Hawes, Grant Wilson, and Tim Waggoner; Gallery Books, October 2012; Trade Paperback, 320 pages.
WELCOME TO EXETER, THE “MOST HAUNTED TOWN IN AMERICA,” thanks to a deadly flood that unleashed an army of ghosts decades ago. And when ghost trackers Amber, Drew, and Trevor attend a conference during Exeter’s spookiest week of the year, the ghouls grow restless. First, an innocent bookstore worker is mysteriously killed, setting off a string of strange deaths that point to a shadowy spirit known as the Dark Lady.
With a paranormal revolution ensuing, the team must stop the twisted bloodbath. But a past horror involving the death of a former teammate has them spinning faster than a specter in a storm, especially when they learn that it’s his ghost who awakened the Dark Lady. Now, with their lives on the line and the entire town at stake, the three must decide whether to trust the spirit of their old friend or to finally put a stake through his heart.
Something Red ~ by Douglas Nicholas; Atria/Emily Bestler Books, September 2012; Hardcover, 336 pages.
During the thirteenth century in northwest England, in one of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable yet charming Irish healer, Molly, and the troupe she leads are driving their three wagons, hoping to cross the Pennine Mountains before the heavy snows set in. Molly, her lover Jack, granddaughter Nemain, and young apprentice Hob become aware that they are being stalked by something terrible. The refuge they seek in a monastery, then an inn, and finally a Norman castle proves to be an illusion. As danger continues to rise, it becomes clear that the creature must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die. It is then that Hob discovers how much more there is to his adopted family than he had realized.
Advent ~ by James Treadwell; Atria/Emily Bestler Books, July 2012; Hardcover, 464 pages.
1537. A man hurries through city streets in a gathering snowstorm, clutching a box in one hand. He is Johann Faust, the greatest magician of his age. The box he carries contains a mirror safeguarding a portion of his soul and a small ring containing all the magic in the world. Together, they comprise something unimaginably dangerous.
London, the present day. Fifteen-year-old Gavin Stokes is boarding a train to the countryside to live with his aunt. His school and his parents can’t cope with him and the things he sees, things they tell him don’t really exist. At Pendurra, Gavin finds people who are like him, who see things too. They all make the same strange claim: magic exists, it’s leaking back into our world, and it’s bringing something terrible with it.
Deception ~ by Kris Kennedy; Pocket Books, July 2012; Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages.
A dashing con man Breaking and entering to reclaim her corrupt late father’s ledger comes surprisingly easily to Sophia Darnly. But is it mere coincidence that her misdeed unexpectedly reunites her with Kier, the outlaw lover who abandoned her years ago?
A lady skilled in trickery Time has not erased Sophia from Kier’s heart, nor tamed her fiery spirit. She boldly insinuates herself into his plans. But Kier is on a mission of revenge, and can’t allow even the woman he once loved to stop him.
A game that could get them both killed The danger mounts as they lure the leader of a powerful consortium who needs the fabled Darnly ledger—and all its damning details about the wealthiest merchants of England— to execute his nefarious plan. Their rekindled passion burns hot, but when they discover they too are the targets of a deadly deception, the fate of their love, and of England itself, lies in the balance.
Misc. Publishers and Indie Authors
The Twenty Year Death ~ by Ariel S. Winter; Titan Books; Hardback: 672pp; August 3, 2012.
1931— The body found in the gutter in France led the police inspector to the dead man’s beautiful daughter—and to her hot-tempered American husband.
1941— A hardboiled private eye hired to keep a movie studio’s leading lady happy uncovers the truth behind the brutal slaying of a Hollywood starlet.
1951— A desperate man pursuing his last chance at redemption finds himself with blood on his hands and the police on his trail...
Three complete novels that, taken together, tell a single epic story, about an author whose life is shattered when violence and tragedy consume the people closest to him. It is an ingenious and emotionally powerful debut performance from literary detective and former bookseller Ariel S. Winter, one that establishes this talented newcomer as a storyteller of the highest caliber.
The Salt God’s Daughter ~ by Illie Ruby; Soft Skull Press, Inc.; 9/4/2012 ; Pages: 352.
Set in Long Beach, California, beginning in the 1970s, The Salt God’s Daughter follows three generations of extraordinary women who share something unique—something magical and untamed that makes them unmistakably different from others. Theirs is a world teeming with ancestral stories, exotic folklore, inherited memory, and meteoric myths.
Impeccably narrated in two powerful and distinctive voices, The Salt God’s Daughter puts a feminist spin on a traditional Scottish folktale about the selkies—a provocative, timeless story that explores our ability to transcend the limitations of a world that can be hostile to those who are different, and to find joy and belonging even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
The Cottage at Glass Beach ~ by Heather Barbieri; 320 pages; Harper (May 15, 2012)
Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm.
Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters—Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve—and takes refuge on Burke's Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides.
Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades—not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea. One night while sitting alone on Glass Beach below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean. Days later she finds an enigmatic fisherman named Owen Kavanagh shipwrecked on the rocks nearby. Is he, as her aunt's friend Polly suggests, a selkie—a mythical being of island legend—summoned by her heartbreak, or simply someone who, like Nora, is trying to find his way in the wake of his own personal struggles?
Telegraph Avenue ~ by Michael Chabon; 480 pages ; Harper (September 11, 2012)
As the summer of 2004 draws to a close, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe are still hanging in there—longtime friends, bandmates, and co-regents of Brokeland Records, a kingdom of used vinyl located in the borderlands of Berkeley and Oakland. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are the Berkeley Birth Partners, two semi-legendary midwives who have welcomed more than a thousand newly minted citizens into the dented utopia at whose heart—half tavern, half temple—stands Brokeland.
When ex–NFL quarterback Gibson Goode, the fifth-richest black man in America, announces plans to build his latest Dogpile megastore on a nearby stretch of Telegraph Avenue, Nat and Archy fear it means certain doom for their vulnerable little enterprise. Meanwhile, Aviva and Gwen also find themselves caught up in a battle for their professional existence, one that tests the limits of their friendship. Adding another layer of complication to the couples' already tangled lives is the surprise appearance of Titus Joyner, the teenage son Archy has never acknowledged and the love of fifteen-year-old Julius Jaffe's life.
Lizard World ~ by Terry Richard Bazes; 263 pages; Livingston Press (October 31, 2011)
A certain . . . a certain noble earl had need of a handsome, young, female carcass -- for which specimen I would be excellently paid provided it be fresh and that the feet were shapely and unblemished . . . . By nightfall, when I set about my work, it was raining. Gratefully, this inclemency of weather favoured the expedition of my efforts: for not a single hackney passed to retard the steady progress of my digging. Indeed, so quickly did I work, that I had broke into the box, bagged my quarry, replaced the soil, and rode off in my cart, ere I bethought myself to see whether the feet of the poor creature would answer the intent of my commission.
Thus begins the long association of a young medical doctor and his hilariously depraved American descendants with the notorious Earl of Griswold, a 17th-century libertine and connoisseur of smells whose discovery of an elixir in the Florida swamps will keep his evil presence alive for the next three-hundred years.
The Toadhouse Trilogy ~ by Jess Lourey; 300 pages; Toadhouse Books (July 17, 2012)
Aine believes herself to be a regular teenager in 1930s Alabama, but when a blue-eyed madman named Biblos attacks, she discovers that the reclusive woman raising her isn't really her grandmother, she's been living inside a book for the past five years, and fairies are real. With her blind brother Spenser, she flees the pages of the novel she's called home, one terrifying step ahead of Biblos and his black magic. Their only chance at survival lies in beating Biblos to the three objects that he desires more than life.
With dangerous adventures into THE TIME MACHINE, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and the Indian saga THE RAMAYANA, this series aims to do for classic literature what the PERCY JACKSON series did for Greek mythology. In the words of Anthony and Agatha Award winning author Chris Grabenstein, "Lourey's wonderful way with words will whisk readers away to an amazing new world!"
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap ~ by Paulette Mahurin; 202 pages; Blue Palm Press; (March 23, 2012)
The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.
The Speculative Edge, Issue 1, August 2012.
A digest of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all things speculative. Each month, they feature a wide variety of material including short stories, poems, essays, interviews, book and movie reviews, and more.
Including works by authors Shane R Collins, D L Chance, C T Hart, Kyle James Kernan, John Carney, Matthew Sideman, Christian Riley and interviews with C R Rollinger, George Wilhite.
Please note that each of the covers links to the author’s or publisher’s page for the book, just in case you would like more information.
Now for the most fun - dear readers, fellow bloggers, and friends: which of these publications would you choose to pick up and read first?