Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guest Post: Stant Litore author of ~ Strangers in the Land

Stant Litore

In honor of Halloween and all its scary fun filled glory we have a guest post from Stant Litore author of the recently published Strangers in the Land.

So, zombie apocalypse. You’re ready?

I keep a Templar sword by the bed. Just in case. Actually scared to death of the hungry dead. On one of our first dates, my future wife and I rented Dawn of the Dead and about five minutes in, I quietly got to my feet, tiptoed out, and retrieved my wood-ax from the shed. Set it right against my armchair. Felt much better through the whole movie after that. The fact that Jessica was more amused than alarmed by this likely is one reason she and I now wear wedding rings.

Actually though, you have to understand that it’s not just one big outbreak we have to watch for. Zombies have been here all along, devouring our history from the inside. In every generation, there has been a plague somewhere. That’s what The Zombie Bible is about – how generations of our ancestors wrestled with the restless Strangers in the Landdead. How they fought for survival and for sanity in the centuries before electricity or guns or the CDC. Moviemakers like to freak me out with warnings of an imminent global collapse and a world rendered wasteland inhabited only by the dead gnawing on the last bones. But in fact tomorrow or the day after may only be the latest chapter in a long and grisly story.

I’ve been collecting these tales for a while. I have a place up in Colorado where there are few trees and you can see the dead coming from a long way off. I write each evening to scholars and archaeologists who can piece together bits of our half-eaten and half-forgotten memory. If you stop by or take a look in one of my books, I’ll tell you a few tales. How the prophet Jeremiah was left in a dry well three days with the dead tossed in after him. How Polycarp the martyr used to bring rest to dozens of the dead with a touch of his hand and his soul-searching eyes. How in the twelfth century BC Devora, an aging prophetess, led a tribal people against great herds of dead, her blade uplifted above her like a slice of moon against the night sky.

These are tales that will fascinate you and they are tales that will break the heart. Because whether today or three thousand years ago, one’s dead are never faced without terrible cost. Our ancestors understood that better than we, and we can learn from their stories.

This is a guest post by Stant Litore, author of Strangers in the Land (47North), a new entry in The Zombie Bible.  

About the book:   STRANGERS IN THE LAND retells one of our earliest biblical stories as an episode in humanity’s long struggle with hunger and with the hungry dead. These are the stories of our spiritual ancestors, who faced the dead without electricity or firearms or petroleum, often with little more than a prayer and a hatchet or a stick. It's the story of what they saw when they gazed into the unseeing eyes of the walking corpses, and what they did next.

Four will stand against the dead: Devora, who sees what God sees; the slave girl Hurriya; Zadok, a legend among warriors; and the widower Barak, fighting to keep his vineyard free of this new peril. But can they stand together? For the living fear each other—fear the strangers in the land—as much as they fear the hungry dead.

About Stant Litore:  Born a farmer's son in the Pacific Northwest, Stant Litore took the college road and eventually earned his PhD in English, but remains passionate for things that grow. He spent several years in a dim corner of a library, repairing bruised and battered books, before heading overseas to backpack through Europe. Haunted by the hunger and poverty he witnessed at home and abroad, he began spinning stories about the hungers that devour us and the hopes that preserve us. Today he lives in Colorado with his wife and their two daughters, writing about the restless dead and the restless living. He avoids certain parts of the mountains during the dark of the moon. STRANGERS IN THE LAND is his first published novel.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Incoming Books: October 26th, 2012


It’s our Incoming Books feature which includes books won and received for review for the month of October.

And as always – please let us know which book or books would you pick up and read first?

Tor – Macmillan

Ironskin ~ by Tina Connolly   (Tor Books; October 2012; Hardcover; 304 pages)

A steampunk, fantastical retelling of Jane Eyre – with an intriguing twist.

Jane Eliot wears an iron mask. It's the only way to contain the fey curse that scars her cheek. The Great War is five years gone, but its scattered victims remain—the ironskin.

When a carefully worded listing appears for a governess to assist with a “delicate situation”—a child born during the Great War—Jane is certain the child is fey-cursed, and that she can help.

Teaching the unruly Dorie to suppress her curse is hard enough; she certainly didn't expect to fall for the girl's father, the enigmatic artist Edward Rochart. But her blossoming crush is stifled by her scars and by his parade of women. Ugly women, who enter his closed studio...and come out as beautiful as the fey.

Jane knows Rochart cannot love her, just as she knows that she must wear iron for the rest of her life. But what if neither of these things are true? Step by step Jane unlocks the secrets of a new life—and discovers just how far she will go to become whole again.

bowl of heaven

Bowl of Heaven ~ by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven (Tor Books; October 2012; Hardcover;  416 pages)

A new hard science fiction collaboration from two masters of the genre.

A landing party is sent to investigate the Bowl, but when the explorers are separated—one group captured by the gigantic structure’s alien inhabitants, the other pursued across its strange and dangerous landscape—the mystery of the Bowl’s origins and purpose propel the human voyagers toward discoveries that will transform their understanding of their place in the universe.

In this first collaboration by science fiction masters Larry Niven (Ringworld) and Gregory Benford (Timescape), the limits of wonder are redrawn once again as a human expedition to another star system is jeopardized by an encounter with an astonishingly immense artifact in interstellar space: a bowl-shaped structure half-englobing a star, with a habitable area equivalent to many millions of Earths…and it’s on a direct path heading for the same system as the human ship.

three parts dead

Three Parts Dead ~ by Max Gladstone  (Tor Books; October 2012; Hardcover; 336 pages)

An urban fantasy set in an alternative world with crime and legal elements, including a strong female lead.

We currently have a giveaway on offer for one US or Canadian address.

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart.

Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith.

When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

Set in a phenomenally built world in which justice is a collective force bestowed on a few, craftsmen fly on lightning bolts, and gargoyles can rule cities, Three Parts Dead introduces readers to an ethical landscape in which the line between right and wrong blurs.

people of the black sun

People of the Black Sun (A People of the Longhouse Novel - North America's Forgotten Past # 20) ~ by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear  (Tor Books; October 2012; Hardcover; 384 pages)

The stand alone conclusion to the four book series - People of the Longhouse.

Dekanawida has become known as “The Sky Messenger,” a prophet of immense power, and Hiawento is his Speaker. Thousands now believe in the Great Law of Peace and have joined the League. But they are still being harassed by marauding warriors from the People of the Mountain who steadfastly refuse to adopt the Great Law.

Dekanawida has prophesied destruction if the warfare continues. As one by one, portents start coming true, Dekanawida has one last chance to convince the People of the Mountain to join the League and save their world from utter destruction.

forge of darkness

Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1) ~ by Stephen Erikson  (Tor Books; September 2012; Hardcover;
688 pages)

The first in a new dark epic fantasy series, and the prequel to the Malazan series.

Now is the time to tell the story of an ancient realm, a tragic tale that sets the stage for all the tales yet to come and all those already told...

It's a conflicted time in Kurald Galain, the realm of Darkness, where Mother Dark reigns. But this ancient land was once home to many a power. and even death is not quite eternal. The commoners' great hero, Vatha Urusander, is being promoted by his followers to take Mother Dark's hand in marriage, but her Consort, Lord Draconus, stands in the way of such ambitions. The impending clash sends fissures throughout the realm, and as the rumors of civil war burn through the masses, an ancient power emerges from the long dead seas. Caught in the middle of it all are the First Sons of Darkness, Anomander, Andarist, and Silchas Ruin of the Purake Hold...

Steven Erikson entered the pantheon of great fantasy writers with his debut Gardens of the Moon. Now he returns with the first novel in a trilogy that takes place millennia before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen and introduces readers to Kurald Galain, the warren of Darkness. It is the epic story of a realm whose fate plays a crucial role in shaping the world of the Malazan Empire.

Titan Books


Martian War ~ by Kevin J. Anderson  (Titan Books; Paperback: 352pp; 28 September 2012)

A re-publication of this re-imagining of The War of the Worlds.

What if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H. G. Wells's vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the Worlds as a warning? From drafty London flats to the steamy Sahara, to the surface of the moon and beyond, The Martian War takes the reader on an exhilarating journey with Wells and his companions.  




Remember Why You Fear Me ~ by Robert Shearman  (Chizine Publications; October 2012; Paperback, 425 pages) 

A collection of satirical horror short stories from an award winning author.

A woman rejects her husband's heart—and gives it back to him, still beating, in a plastic box. A little boy betrays his father to the harsh mercies of Santa Claus. A widower suspects his dead wife's face is growing over his own. A man goes to Hell, and finds he's roommate to the ghost of Hitler's pet dog. Giant spiders, killer angels, ghost cat photography, and the haunted house right at the centre of the Garden of Eden.

Deliciously frightening, darkly satirical, and always unexpected, Robert Shearman has won the World Fantasy Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Edge Hill Reader's Prize. Remember Why You Fear Me gathers together his best dark fiction, the most celebrated stories from his acclaimed books, and ten new tales that have never been collected before.


Every House is Haunted ~ by Ian Rogers  (Chizine Publications; October 2012; Paperback; 300 pages) 

A debut anthology of ghost stories.

"There are haunted places in the world, all existing in reality and every bit as tangible and accessible as the house next door. Sometimes it is the house next door."

In this brilliant debut collection, Ian Rogers explores the border-places between our world and the dark reaches of the supernatural. The landscape of death becomes the new frontier for scientific exploration. A honeymoon cabin with an unspeakable appetite finally meets its match. A suburban home is transformed into the hunting ground for a new breed of spider. A nightmarish jazz club at the crossroads of reality plays host to those who can break a deal with the devil...for a price. With remarkable deftness, Rogers draws together the disturbing and the diverting in twenty-two showcase stories that will guide you through terrain at once familiar and startlingly fresh. 

Signal 8 Press


Watering Heaven ~ by Peter Tieryas Liu   (Signal 8 Press; October 2012; Paperback, 206 pages)

A surreal and literary short story collection, from a debut author.

What would you do if you found out your girlfriend laid an egg every time she had sex? Who would you be if you were invited to a party in Beijing but had to make up a brand-new identity for six weeks?

Peter Tieryas Liu's Watering Heaven is a travelogue of and requiem for the American dream in all its bizarre manifestations and a surreal, fantastic journey through the streets, alleys, and airports of China. Whether it's a monk who uses acupuncture needles to help him fly or a city filled with rats about to be exterminated so that the mayor can win his reelection bid, be prepared to laugh, swoon, and shudder at the answers Liu offers in this provocative debut collection.

Random House


Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards ~ created by PC Cast and Colette Baron-Reid - Illustrations by Jena DellaGrottaglia    (Random House; October 2012)

A 50-Card Deck and Guidebook based on the very popular young adult series – House of Night.

For the fans of the best-selling House of Night series, the Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards provides a unique interactive experience with the vampyre Goddess Nyx. Packaged in a keepsake box with a guidebook, the deck contains fifty gorgeously illustrated cards, many of which are based on characters in the books.

To begin, simply ask Nyx a question: What should I do in this situation? What is going on with my relationship? What will result from my next action? Then select a card and consult the guidebook to discover the message that Nyx intends for you. Just like Zoey Redbird and the other fledglings of the House of Night, you will be encouraged to trust your intuition and make powerful decisions about your life!

The Wisdom of the House of Night Oracle Cards is an original divination system, created by P. C. Cast and oracle expert Colette Baron-Reid. It draws inspiration from the Tarot, Norse runes, and the I Ching, but no special expertise is required to use these cards. The illustrations are by digital artist Jena DellaGrottaglia.

Harper Perennial

judging a book by its lover

Judging a Book by Its Lover ~ by by Lauren Leto   (Harper Perennial; October 2012; Paperback; Pages 288)

A non-fiction guide book for the literary minded.

Want to impress the hot stranger at the bar who asks for your take on Infinite Jest? Dying to shut up the blowhard in front of you who’s pontificating on Cormac McCarthy’s “recurring road narratives”? Having difficulty keeping Francine Prose and Annie Proulx straight?

For all those overwhelmed readers who need to get a firm grip on the relentless onslaught of must-read books to stay on top of the inevitable conversations that swirl around them, Lauren Leto’s Judging a Book by Its Lover is manna from literary heaven! A hilarious send-up of—and inspired homage to—the passionate and peculiar world of book culture, this guide to literary debate leaves no reader or author unscathed, at once adoring and skewering everyone from Jonathan Franzen to Ayn Rand to Dostoyevsky and the people who read them.

cash out

Cash Out ~ by Greg Bardsley   (Harper Perennial ; October 2012; Trade Paperback; Pages: 400)

Side-splittingly funny and full of larger-than-life characters, Cash Out is like Office Space as reimagined by the creators of The Hangover—a sly caper gone outrageously, unforgettably awry.

It's 2008. In three days, family man and Silicon Valley speechwriter Dan Jordan will see his start-up stock vest. He'll cash out with $1.1 million, turn in his frenetic Valley life in for a slower one on the beach with his wife and two children, and finally live the life he's supposed to live. Or so he thinks. Before he can collect his cash and get outta Dodge, all hell breaks loose. Dan is kidnapped by a gang of tiny IT nerds who threaten to get him fired before the options can vest, stalked by a potentially murderous corporate security muscle man, and confronted with the possible disintegration of his marriage, all while his sociopath neighbor, Crazy Larry, threatens to ruin everything. . . .

Simon and Schuster

targets of deception

Targets of Deception ~ by Jeffrey S. Stephens    (Pocket Books; September 2012; Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages)


Old instincts die hard. Although CIA agent Jordan Sandor has left active duty and become a journalist, when the crack of automatic weaponry shatters the peace on a rural New York back road, his quick reactions save his close friend and a severely wounded police officer. But why did two strangers react to a routine traffic stop with deadly violence before speeding away? And what was their motive for torturing and then murdering the man Jordan was going to meet—a retired merc with a story to tell? Like it or not, Sandor has been called back into the service of his country.

From New York to Florida, Paris, and the Italian Riviera, the lethal trail reveals a complex plan linked to Al Qaeda—a wave of attacks putting millions at risk with poison nerve gas. And when Jordan discovers a rogue agent behind the plot, he realizes he is on his own. . . .

Graywolf Press

four new messages

Four New Messages ~ by Joshua Cohen   (Graywolf Press; August 2012; 208 pages)


A spectacularly talented young writer has returned from the present with Four New Messages, urgent and visionary dispatches that seek to save art, sex, and even alienation from corporatism and technology run rampant.

In “Emission,” a hapless drug dealer in Princeton is humiliated when a cruel co-ed exposes him exposing himself on a blog gone viral. “McDonald’s” tells of a frustrated pharmaceutical copywriter whose imaginative flights fail to bring solace because of a certain word he cannot put down on paper. In “The College Borough” a New York novelist exiled to the Midwest refuses to read his students’ stories, asking them instead to build a replica of the Flatiron Building. “Sent” begins mythically in the woods of Russia, but in a few virtuosic pages plunges into the present, where an aspiring journalist finds himself in a village that shelters all the women who’ve starred in all the internet porn he’s ever enjoyed.

Highbrow and low-down, these four intensely felt stories explain what happens when the virtual begins to colonize the real—they harness the torrential power and verbal dexterity that have established Joshua Cohen as one of America’s most brilliant younger writers.


the shortest way home

The Shortest Way Home ~ by Juliette Fay   (Penguin; Oct 2012; 416 pages)


Sean has spent twenty years in Third World war zones and natural disaster areas, fully embracing what he’d always felt was his life’s mission. But when burnout sets in, Sean is reluctantly drawn home to Belham, Massachusetts, the setting of Fay’s much-loved Shelter Me. There, he discovers that his steely aunt, overly dramatic sister, and quirky nephew are having a little natural disaster of their own. When he reconnects with a woman from his past, Sean has to wonder if the bonds of love and loyalty might just rewrite his destiny.

Completely relatable, The Shortest Way Home is another perfect serving of a slice of life from the irresistible Fay.

spy lover

The Spy Lover ~ by Kiana Davenport   (Thomas & Mercer; August 2012; 303 pages)

Thrust into the savagery of the Civil War, a Chinese immigrant serving in the Union Army, a nurse doubling as a spy for the North, and a one-armed Confederate cavalryman find their lives inextricably entwined.

Fleeing drought and famine in China, Johnny Tom arrives in America with dreams of becoming a citizen. Having survived vigilantes hunting “yellow dogs” and slave auction- blocks, Johnny is kidnapped from his Mississippi village by Confederate soldiers, taken from his wife and daughter, and forced to fight for the South. Eventually defecting to the Union side, he is promised American citizenship in exchange for his loyal services. But first Johnny must survive the butchery of battles and the cruelties inflicted on non-white soldiers.

Desperate to find Johnny, his daughter, Era, is enlisted as a spy. She agrees to work as a nurse at Confederate camps while scouting for the North. Amidst the unspeakable carnage of wounded soldiers, she finds solace in Warren Petticomb, a cavalryman who lost an arm at Shiloh. As devastation mounts in both armies, Era must choose where her loyalties lie—with her beloved father in the North, or with the man who passionately sustains her in the South.

A novel of extraordinary scope that will stand as a defining work on the Chinese immigrant experience, The Spy Lover is a paean to the transcendence of love and the resilience of the human spirit.

That’s all for October. Please – tell us which book(s) would you pick up and read first?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Sale for the Season ~ 99 cent ebooks from Uninvited

Uninvited Books Sale

A Spine Tingling Sale for readers interested in Literary Horror!

“I was not content to believe in a personal devil and serve him,” said Aleister Crowley. “I wanted to get hold of him personally and become his chief of staff.”

In honor of Aleister Crowley’s 137th birthday - October 12  - all e-books from Uninvited will be 99¢ through Halloween! Trick or Treat yourself to some of the finest contemporary dark fiction.

Stop by Uninvited’s sale page for the best deal for literary horror in 137 years!

I completely loved Robert Dunbar’s Willy and Wood. (Book titles link to my reviews.)

Check out what is being said about the publications from Uninvited Books:

WOOD by Robert Dunbar  “Literary Horror at its best.” ~ Layers of Thought

GARDENS OF NIGHT by Greg F. Gifune  “Dark fiction as it is meant to be written.” ~ Literary Mayhem

MARTYRS & MONSTERS by Robert Dunbar  “A masterpiece.” ~ Dark Scribe Magazine

LITTLE BOY LOST by T. M. Wright  “Brilliant.” ~ Horror World

WILLY by Robert Dunbar  “Profound.” ~ The Reading Review

DESCENT by Sandy DeLuca  “Not to be missed.” ~ Nights & Weekends

SHADOWS, Supernatural Tales by Masters of Modern Literature   “Required reading for all horror fans.” ~ Shroud Magazine

Giveaway: Three Parts Dead ~ by Max Gladstone

three parts dead

Giveaway:  One copy of THREE PARTS DEAD ~ by Max Gladstone for a US or Canadian address. Just released this October, it’s courtesy of Tor Books, and is a 336 page hardcover.

Here’s the blurb:

A god has died, and it’s up to Tara, first-year associate in the international necromantic firm of Kelethres, Albrecht, and Ao, to bring Him back to life before His city falls apart. Her client is Kos, recently deceased fire god of the city of Alt Coulumb. Without Him, the metropolis’s steam generators will shut down, its trains will cease running, and its four million citizens will riot.

Tara’s job: resurrect Kos before chaos sets in. Her only help: Abelard, a chain-smoking priest of the dead god, who’s having an understandable crisis of faith. When Tara and Abelard discover that Kos was murdered, they have to make a case in Alt Coulumb’s courts—and their quest for the truth endangers their partnership, their lives, and Alt Coulumb’s slim hope of survival.

MAX GLADSTONE went to Yale, where he wrote a short story that became a finalist in the Writers of the Future competition. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

This is an unusual urban fantasy set in a fantastical yet familiar world with legal and crime elements. Perfect for fans of urban fantasy and fantasy, and those who love strong female characters.  And just look at that gorgeous cover!

Now for the Giveaway!

Please be a reader or follower to enter this contest, and fill out the Google form:

You must do one of the three below:

  1. Google: via the blog’s side bar (I will follow back if I can find your blog) or
  2. Facebook: for updates in your feed and add me as a friend or
  3. Your Email Box

Optional ways to keep up to date on giveaways, reviews and more:

  1. Feed Reader
  2. Twitter (I will follow back, for any of these social media sites.)
  3. Google+
  4. Pinterest

Please remember that all your information is confidential and will be used for purposes of this contest only and will be deleted once the contest is completed.

Thank you for entering and good luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Giveaway: Spooktacular Hop ~ October 24th to 31st


Welcome to the 3rd annual Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!  From Oct 24th to 31st.

It’s hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (badge above links to our host’s site) and is co-hosted by The Diary of a Bookworm. This is a huge blog hop with over 500 blogs hosting bookish giveaways.

What a great way to celebrate the “scary season” – winning books!

We have one copy  (an ebook in your choice of format, so it’s international) of:  The Choir Boats (Longing for Yount #1) ~ by Daniel A. Rabuzzi.

It’s the first in this young adult two-book set, and part of the - Longing for Yount series, with the second book just published in September. Although it’s young adult it’s very appropriate and recommended for adult readers too. For more about the author and a wonderful guest post where he talks about the creative process please see: A Picture-Show in the Night-Kitchen. It’s a lovely post.

choir boats

Here’s a bit about the books in the series:

The Choir Boats

London, 1812 | Yount, Year of the Owl   What would you give to make good on the sins of your past? For merchant Barnabas McDoon, the answer is: everything.

When emissaries from a world called Yount offer Barnabas a chance to redeem himself, he accepts their price -- to voyage to Yount with the key that only he can use to unlock the door to their prison. But bleak forces seek to stop him: Yount's jailer, a once-human wizard who craves his own salvation, kidnaps Barnabas's nephew. A fallen angel -- a monstrous owl with eyes of fire -- will unleash Hell if Yount is freed. And, meanwhile, Barnabas's niece, Sally, and a mysterious pauper named Maggie seek with dream-songs to wake the sleeping goddess who may be the only hope for Yount and Earth alike.

Read an excerpt of The Choir Boats:

This book is not part of the giveaway, but here is a bit about it too:

The Indigo Pheasant

London, 1817   Maggie Collins, born into slavery in Maryland, whose mathematical genius and strength of mind can match those of a goddess, must build the world's most powerful and sophisticated machine -- to free the lost land of Yount from the fallen angel Strix Tender Wurm. Sally, of the merchant house McDoon, must choose either to help Maggie or to hinder her.

Together -- or not -- Maggie and Sally drive to conclusion the story started in The Choir Boat, a story of blood-soaked song, family secrets, sins new and old in search of expiation, forbidden love, high policy and acts of state, financial ruin, betrayals intimate and grand, sorcery from the origins of time, and battle in the streets of London and on the arcane seas of Yount.

Read an excerpt of The Indigo Pheasant:

Now for the Giveaway!

Please be a reader or follower to enter this contest, and fill out the Google form:

You must do one of the three below:

  1. Google: via the blog’s side bar (I will follow back if I can find your blog) or
  2. Facebook: for updates in your feed and add me as a friend or
  3. Your Email Box

Optional ways to keep up to date on giveaways, reviews and more:

  1. Feed Reader
  2. Twitter (I will follow back, for any of these social media sites.)
  3. Google+
  4. Pinterest

This hop and giveaway are now completed. Please come back and visit for our up coming giveaways.

The winner for The Choir Boats is  Michael V.  Congrats Michael!

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