Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: PLANETFALL by Emma Newman

Planetfall - Emma Newman

Review by John for PLANETFALL by Emma Newman.

John’s quick take:    A novel and excellent story detailing a woman’s poignant struggle against mental illness, set within a science fiction tale of a fragile human colony struggling to survive and to uncover the truth of humanity’s place within the cosmos.

John’s description:   After Lee Suh-Mi had a vision of a world far beyond Earth that was calling out to humanity, her friend Renata Ghali and a large group of faithful followers gave up everything to leave the troubled Earth behind on a voyage of exploration, knowing that they could never return. Suh-Mi guided them to a distant planet where an advance party makes planetfall and finds a strange alien structure.  

Suh-Mi apparently disappears into the structure and consequently many of the following group are lost while trying to land on the planet. Renata and the other survivors set up a colony beside the enigmatic alien structure, believing that Suh-Mi is speaking to God and will return to them when she is ready. But now twenty two years have passed and it feels to Renata like a web of secrets and lies are crushing her. She is party to information which would surely destroy the colony, but feels like she can no longer bear the weight of that burden.

When a young stranger who bears a striking resemblance to Suh-Mi appears next to the colony, most of the colonists go into a frenzy of excitement believing this must be a sign of Suh-Mi’s imminent return. But for Renata the stranger’s appearance pushes her beyond her breaking point.

John’s thoughts:   I love good science fiction and this book fits the bill. But what I particularly like about it is that the intriguing science fiction story is just the backdrop and the real story is the struggle of Renata to maintain her grip on her sanity. Newman’s description of what Renata is going through and the demons that she is trying to keep under control is really powerful and it makes for a compelling read.

Apart from the science fiction aspects and the powerful character study, the novel also has a cast of believable supporting players that have some depth to them. All too often in science fiction novels I find that characters are rather two dimensional and that stories rely too much on the science and the novelty – I’m pleased to say that is not the case with this book.

There is one aspect of story that I feared I was going to find bothersome and that was the potential religious overtone. Thankfully that didn’t turn out to be an issue. The foundation of the plot was the search for knowledge and for answers from greater beings, but that didn’t result in a story that was overtly religious in nature – which is something that would have really have turned me off. So potential readers need have no fears on that front.

Did the novel have any negatives for me? Well, the ending came rather quickly and lots of things were wrapped up in a very small number of pages. That was mostly ok but I’m still not sure if I actually enjoyed and appreciated the ending. Don’t let my possible concerns on that front put you off though. This is a very good novel and I’d rate if four stars. 

Roc | Trade Paperback | $15.00 | 336 pages | November 3, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Review: PUNCH BOWLS by Kelley and Tenaglia

Puch Bowls & Pitcher Drinks - Kelley & Tenaglia

Review by Shellie of PUNCH BOWLS & PITCHER DRINKS by Jeanne Kelley and Sarah Tenaglia.

A sweet and tasty little book that has loads of punches with relatively easy recipes and great pictures.

A thing about trying and tasting punch recipes is that you either have to have a party, drink a whole punch bowl yourself, or break down the ingredients into smaller portions. To save my sanity and liver I resorted to the later - and regardless of the lack of a party I had fun doing so. How could you not, especially if the recipes are tasty?

I tried the authors’ versions of some classic drinks - Pimm’s Punch (a low-alcohol version of the Pimm’s Cup which I love and gives the drinker a taste of an English summer); the Old Fashioned Manhattan Punch (a delicious cross between the two classic cocktails which also uses orange juice as an ingredient); a Skinny Moscow Mule (a low-cal version of the Moscow Mule with diet ginger ale and vodka); and Jungle Juice (a variation on the potent College Punch that is a combo of six juices and four different kinds of booze). The last one really packed a punch (pun intended), but all of them were refreshing and delicious.

As for the book’s appearance and usability, it’s a hardcover and a small book so it’s easy to handle. It only has 112 pages. But it packs a wallop with 50 different punches. Almost every recipe has an additional corresponding page with a pretty idea-laden photograph of the punch. With each recipe there’s a short description, the ingredients listed logically, then simple yet specialized directions.The authors have also included tips for ice molds (which are suggestively and gorgeously pictured throughout the book) and directions on how to make the specialized simple syrups (a homemade water and sugar blend) needed for the punches. There is also a page that lists punches by types of alcohol and lastly an index that includes names of each punch as well as the individual ingredients so that you can find each punch by its name or content.

The recipes are broken down into Classic Cocktail-Inspired Punches (which includes the above punches that I tried), a section on wine called Sangrias and Champagne-Based Punches, Tropical and Exotic Drinks, Lazy Sundays (including a boozy iced tea called Palm Springs), Height of Summer (that has an interesting-sounding Spiked Spa Water), Fireside Cocktails (including Aztec Chocolate Punch which is a spicy hot chocolate drink with tequila), and Nonalcoholic Punches (which includes an orange juice and ice cream combo called Fifty-Fifty Punch) which are perfect for a children’s get-together.

As you can see that this is a fun book that I had a blast researching it. It’s a perfect gift for a host or hostess which can come in handy during the upcoming holidays or for any party or season. I give PUNCH BOWLS a 4-star rating.

Mar 03, 2015 | 112 Pages | Hardbound | Crown Books

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Giveaway: PLANETFALL by Emma Newman and Gratitude Hop

Planetfall - Emma Newman

We have a giveaway for PLANETFALL by Emma Newman. It’s science fiction. We have one copy to send to a US address.

This giveaway is attached to the Gratitude Giveaways Hop. The hops lasts from November 15 to 30. Please be a follower to enter.


Here’s a bit more about the book via the publicist:

A breathtaking combination of psychological suspense and science fiction, there are few novels like Emma Newman’s PLANETFALL. Beautifully crafted and heartbreaking, it’s a thought provoking look at the lengths people will go to keep secrets through the chronicle of a woman’s struggle against mental illness and fear of losing everything she loves in an alien landscape.

Renata Ghali and a small team braved the unknown and followed Le Suh-Mi to a new world. More than twenty-two years have passed and a colony has been formed at the base of a strange alien structure where Suh-Mi resides in isolation. As the colony’s 3-D printer, Ren creates the tools necessary for human survival while harboring a devastating secret. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall. And he bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

Emma Newman is the author of the Split Worlds series and has been nominated for two British Fantasy Awards for her work. In addition to writing, Newman is the host of the Hugo Award-nominated podcast Tea and Jeopardy which features “tea, cake, geekery and mild peril.”

Roc | Trade Paperback | $15.00 | 336 pages | November 3, 2015


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Incoming Books: October 22, 2015

Lost Ocean Johanna Basford

We have our Incoming Books post for October 22, 2015.


Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford

From the creator of the worldwide bestsellers Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, a beautiful new coloring book that takes you on a magical journey beneath the waves.

With Lost Ocean, Johanna Basford invites color-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden in the depths of the sea. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, and embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopi, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, discover intricate shells and pirate treasure. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest fans and newcomers alike will welcome this creative journey into an inky new world.

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $16.95 | Oct 27, 2015 | 80 Pages

Hilo - Judd Winick

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick

Introducing HILO—a funny, action-packed, full-color new middle-grade graphic novel series that Bone creator Jeff Smith calls “delightful.”

D.J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids. But that was before a mysterious boy came crashing down from the sky! Hilo doesn’t know where he came from, or what he’s doing on Earth. (Or why going to school in only your underwear is a bad idea!) . . . But what if Hilo wasn’t the only thing to fall to our planet? Can the trio unlock the secrets of his past? Can Hilo survive a day at school? And are D.J. and Gina ready to save the world?

HILO is Calvin and Hobbes meets Big Nate and is just right for fans of Bone and comic books as well as laugh-out-loud school adventures like Jedi Academy and Wimpy Kid!

Penguin Random House | Hardcover | $13.99 | Sep 01, 2015 | 208 Pages | Middle Grade (8-12)

Host - Robin Cook

Host by Robin Cook

The explosive new thriller from New York Times–bestselling author and master of the medical thriller, Robin Cook.

Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.

Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.

What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.

When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

Penguin Random House | Hardcover | $26.95 | Oct 20, 2015 | 416 Pages

The Moreau Quartet - S. Andrew Swann

The Moreau Quartet Vol. 1 by S. Andrew Swann

Combining the first and fourth novels of S. Andrew Swann’s genre-spanning series, The Moreau Quartet: Volume One centers on moreau private detective Nohar Rajasthan, and includes a new afterword by the author.

It’s 2053, and the U.S. has long since genetically engineered life successfully. “Moreaus,” humanoid and animal hybrids, and “frankensteins,” genetically manipulated humans, live as second-class citizens.

Nohar Rajasthan is a moreau, a humanoid of tiger stock. Raised by a human after his parents’ death, Nohar ekes out a career as a private eye. Mixing science fiction with detective thrillers, Nohar’s story leaps off the page with all the nonstop excitement and danger of an action blockbuster.

In Forests of the Night: When Nohar accepts a commission from a frankenstein to investigate the death of the campaign manager of a local politico, all hell breaks loose. Nohar finds himself targeted by everyone from local cops to federal agents to a drug-running gang to an assassin with a 100% kill rate.

In Fearful Symmetries: Nohar retired from the private eye business ten years ago, and just wants to spend his remaining time in the peace and quiet of his wilderness homestead. So when a human lawyer asks him to take on a missing moreau case, he refuses—and soon after is attacked by a paramilitary team. Now Nohar must find the missing moreau and discover why some- one wants him dead.

Penguin Random House | Mass Market Paperback | $8.99 | Aug 04, 2015 | 448 Pages

Maplecroft - Cherie Priest

Maplecroft by Cherie Priest

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks; and when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one….

The people of Fall River, Massachusetts, fear me. Perhaps rightfully so. I remain a suspect in the brutal deaths of my father and his second wife despite the verdict of innocence at my trial. With our inheritance, my sister, Emma, and I have taken up residence in Maplecroft, a mansion near the sea and far from gossip and scrutiny.

But it is not far enough from the affliction that possessed my parents. Their characters, their very souls, were consumed from within by something that left malevolent entities in their place. It originates from the ocean’s depths, plaguing the populace with tides of nightmares and madness.

This evil cannot hide from me. No matter what guise it assumes, I will be waiting for it. With an axe.

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $15.00 | Sep 02, 2014 | 448 Pages

Chapelwood - Cherie Priest

Chapelwood by Cherie Priest

From Cherie Priest, the award-winning author of Maplecroft, comes a new tale of Lizzie Borden’s continuing war against the cosmic horrors threatening humanity…

Birmingham, Alabama is infested with malevolence. Prejudice and hatred have consumed the minds and hearts of its populace. A murderer, unimaginatively named “Harry the Hacker” by the press, has been carving up citizens with a hatchet. And from the church known as Chapelwood, an unholy gospel is being spread by a sect that worships dark gods from beyond the heavens. 

This darkness calls to Lizzie Borden. It is reminiscent of an evil she had dared hoped was extinguished. The parishioners of Chapelwood plan to sacrifice a young woman to summon beings never meant to share reality with humanity. An apocalypse will follow in their wake which will scorch the earth of all life.

Unless she stops it…

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $16.00 | Sep 01, 2015 | 448 Pages

The Witch - Jean Thompson

The Witch and Other Tales Retold by Jean Thompson

Jean Thompson—author of the National Book Award finalist Who Do You Love and the New York Times bestseller The Year We Left Home—is a writer at the height of her powers. Capturing the magic and horror in everyday life, Thompson revisits beloved fables that represent our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longings for good to triumph over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). From the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood” to the beauty asleep in her castle, The Witch and Other Tales Retold triumphantly brings the fairy tale into the modern age.

Penguin Random House | Paperback | $16.00 | Sep 29, 2015 | 272 Pages

Shadows of Self - Brandon Sanderson

Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5) by Brandon Sanderson

The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of Mistborn with his first novel in the series since The Alloy of Law.

With The Alloy of Law, Brandon Sanderson surprised readers with a New York Times bestselling spinoff of his Mistborn books, set after the action of the trilogy, in a period corresponding to late 19th-century America.

The trilogy's heroes are now figures of myth and legend, even objects of religious veneration. They are succeeded by wonderful new characters, chief among them Waxillium Ladrian, known as Wax, hereditary Lord of House Ladrian but also, until recently, a lawman in the ungoverned frontier region known as the Roughs. There he worked with his eccentric but effective buddy, Wayne. They are "twinborn," meaning they are able to use both Allomantic and Feruchemical magic.

Shadows of Self shows Mistborn's society evolving as technology and magic mix, the economy grows, democracy contends with corruption, and religion becomes a growing cultural force, with four faiths competing for converts.

This bustling, optimistic, but still shaky society now faces its first instance of terrorism, crimes intended to stir up labor strife and religious conflict. Wax and Wayne, assisted by the lovely, brilliant Marasi, must unravel the conspiracy before civil strife stops Scadrial's progress in its tracks.

Shadows of Self will give fans of The Alloy of Law everything they've been hoping for and, this being a Brandon Sanderson book, more, much more.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover | 384 pages | $ 27.99

A Borrowd Man - Gene Wolfe

A Borrowed Man by Gene Wolfe

A Borrowed Man: a new science fiction novel, from Gene Wolfe, the celebrated author of the Book of the New Sun series.

It is perhaps a hundred years in the future, our civilization is gone, and another is in place in North America, but it retains many familiar things and structures. Although the population is now small, there is advanced technology, there are robots, and there are clones.

E. A. Smithe is a borrowed person. He is a clone who lives on a third-tier shelf in a public library, and his personality is an uploaded recording of a deceased mystery writer. Smithe is a piece of property, not a legal human.

A wealthy patron, Colette Coldbrook, takes him from the library because he is the surviving personality of the author of Murder on Mars. A physical copy of that book was in the possession of her murdered father, and it contains an important secret, the key to immense family wealth. It is lost, and Colette is afraid of the police. She borrows Smithe to help her find the book and to find out what the secret is. And then the plot gets complicated.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover | 304 pages | $ 25.99

Radiance - Catherine Valente

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

Radiance is a decopunk pulp SF alt-history space opera mystery set in a Hollywood-and solar system-very different from our own, from Catherynne M. Valente, the phenomenal talent behind the New York Times bestselling The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.

Severin Unck's father is a famous director of Gothic romances in an alternate 1986 in which talking movies are still a daring innovation due to the patent-hoarding Edison family. Rebelling against her father's films of passion, intrigue, and spirits from beyond, Severin starts making documentaries, traveling through space and investigating the levitator cults of Neptune and the lawless saloons of Mars. For this is not our solar system, but one drawn from classic science fiction in which all the planets are inhabited and we travel through space on beautiful rockets. Severin is a realist in a fantastic universe.

But her latest film, which investigates the disappearance of a diving colony on a watery Venus populated by island-sized alien creatures, will be her last. Though her crew limps home to earth and her story is preserved by the colony's last survivor, Severin will never return.

Told using techniques from reality TV, classic film, gossip magazines, and meta-fictional narrative, Radiance is a solar system-spanning story of love, exploration, family, loss, quantum physics, and silent film.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover | 432 pages | $ 24.99  

Against a Brightening Sky - Jaime Lee Moyer

Against a Brightening Sky (Delia Martin #3) by Jamie Lee Moyer

By 1919 the Great War has ended, peace talks are under way in Paris, and the world has been forever changed. Delia Martin, apprentice practitioner of magical arts, and her husband, Police Captain Gabriel Ryan, face the greatest challenge of their lives when fragments from the war descend on San Francisco.

As Delia prepares to meet friends at a St. Patrick's Day parade, the strange ghost of a European princess appears in her mirror. Her pleasant outing becomes a nightmare as the ghost reappears moments after a riot starts, warning her as a rooftop gunman begins shooting into the crowd. Delia rushes to get her friends to safety, and Gabe struggles to stop the killing-and to save himself.

Delia and Gabe realize all the chaos and bloodshed had one purpose-to flush Alina from hiding, a young woman with no memory of anything but her name.

As Delia works to discover how the princess ghost's secrets connect to this mysterious young woman, and Gabe tracks a ruthless killer around his city, they find all the answers hinge on two questions: Who is Alina...and why can't she remember?

Against a Brightening Sky is the thrilling conclusion to Jaime Lee Moyer's glittering historical fantasy series.

Tor Books | October 2015 | Hardcover |  336 pages | $ 25.99

One Year After - William Forstchen

One Year After by William Forstchen

New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen brings a sequel to his hit novel One Second After. Months before publication, One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at the dangers of EMPs. An EMP is a weapon with the power to destroy the entire United States in a single act of terrorism, in a single second; indeed, it is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. One Second After was a dire warning of what might be our future...and our end. Now, One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain, and the man who struggled so hard to rebuild it in the wake of devastation. It is a thrilling follow-up and should delight fans in every way.

Forge Books | September 2015 | Hardcover | 304 pages | $ 25.99


Updraft by Fran Wilde

Welcome to a world of wind and bone, songs and silence, betrayal and courage.

Kirit Densira cannot wait to pass her wingtest and begin flying as a trader by her mother's side, being in service to her beloved home tower and exploring the skies beyond. When Kirit inadvertently breaks Tower Law, the city's secretive governing body, the Singers, demand that she become one of them instead. In an attempt to save her family from greater censure, Kirit must give up her dreams to throw herself into the dangerous training at the Spire, the tallest, most forbidding tower, deep at the heart of the City.

As she grows in knowledge and power, she starts to uncover the depths of Spire secrets. Kirit begins to doubt her world and its unassailable Laws, setting in motion a chain of events that will lead to a haunting choice, and may well change the city forever-if it isn't destroyed outright.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Hardcover | 368 pages | $ 25.99

Forbidden - Cathy Clamp

Forbidden (Luna Lake #1) by Cathy Clamp

USA Today bestselling author Cathy Clamp reboots the Sazi universe in Forbidden, a tightly-paced, high-tension urban fantasy thriller.

Ten years have passed since the war that destroyed the Sazi Council and inflicted a horrible "cure" on thousands of Sazi, robbing them of their ability to shapeshift.

Luna Lake, isolated in Washington State, started as a refugee camp for Sazi orphans. Now it's a small town and those refugees are young adults, chafing at the limits set by their still-fearful guardians.

There's reason to fear: Sazi children are being kidnapped. Claire, a red wolf shifter, is sent to investigate. Held prisoner by the Snakes during childhood, Claire is distrusted by those who call Luna Lake home.

Before the war, Alek was part of a wolf pack in Chicago. In Luna Lake he was adopted by a parliament of Owls, defying Sazi tradition. The kidnappings are a painful reminder that his little sister disappeared a decade ago.

When Claire and Alek meet, sparks fly--but the desperate race to find the missing children forces them to set aside their mutual attraction and focus on the future of their people.

Tor Books | August 2015 | Trade Paperback | 352 pages | $ 14.99

Ultra Thin Man_9780765336958_TP.indd

The Ultra Thin Man by Patrick Swenson

In the twenty-second century, a future in which mortaline wire controls the weather on the settled planets and entire refugee camps drowse in drug-induced slumber, no one—alive or dead, human or alien—is quite what they seem. When terrorists manage to crash Coral, the moon, into its home planet of Ribon, forcing evacuation, it's up to Dave Crowell and Alan Brindos, contract detectives for the Network Intelligence Organization, to solve a case of interplanetary consequences. Crowell and Brindos's investigation plunges them neck-deep into a conspiracy much more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

The two detectives soon find themselves separated, chasing opposite leads: Brindos has to hunt down the massive Helkunn alien Terl Plenko, shadow leader of the terrorist Movement of Worlds. Crowell, meanwhile, runs into something far more sinister—an elaborate frame job that puts our heroes on the hook for treason.

In this novel from Patrick Swenson, Crowell and Brindos are forced to fight through the intrigue to discover the depths of an interstellar conspiracy. And to answer the all-important question: Who, and what, is the Ultra Thin Man?

Tor Books | July 2015 | Trade Paperback | 336 pages | $ 16.99

All Those Vanished Engines - Paul Park

All Those Vanished Engines by Paul Park

In All Those Vanished Engines, Paul Park returns to science fiction after a decade spent on the impressive four-volume A Princess of Roumania fantasy, with an extraordinary, intense, compressed SF novel in three parts, each set in its own alternate-history universe. The sections are all rooted in Virginia and the Battle of the Crater, and are also grounded in the real history of the Park family, from differing points of view. They are all gorgeously imaginative and carefully constructed, and reverberate richly with one another.

The first section is set in the aftermath of the Civil War, in a world in which the Queen of the North has negotiated a two-nation settlement. The second, taking place in northwestern Massachusetts, investigates a secret project during World War II, in a time somewhat like the present. The third is set in the near-future United States, with aliens from history.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Trade Paperback | 272 pages | $ 15.99

The Three-Body Problem - Cixin Lui

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

The Three-Body Problem is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple award winning phenomenon from China's most beloved science fiction author, Liu Cixin.

Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

Tor Books | November 2014 | Hardcover | 400 pages | $ 25.99

The Sleeping King - Dees & Flippin

The Sleeping King by Dees and Flippin

The Sleeping King is the start of a new fantasy series by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Cindy Dees.

Dees has won a Golden Heart Award, two RITAs for Category Suspense and Adventure and has also twice snared RT's Series Romantic Suspense of the Year. She is a great storyteller, and the adventures in her more than fifty novels are often inspired by her own life. Dees is an Air Force vet-the youngest female pilot in Air Force history-and fought in the first Gulf War. She's had amazing adventures, and she's used her experiences to tell some kickass stories.

But as much as she love romances, Cindy's other passion has been fantasy gaming. For almost twenty years she's been involved with Dragon Crest, one of the original live action role-playing games. She's the story content creator on the game, and wanted to do an epic fantasy based on it, with the blessing and input of Dragon Crest founder Bill Flippin.

The Sleeping King is the first in an epic fantasy series, featuring the best of the genre: near immortal imperial overlords, a prophecy of a sleeping elven king who's said to be the savior of the races . . . and two young people who are set on a path to save the day.

Tor Books | September 2015 | Hardcover | 496 pages | $ 25.99

Dead Man's Reach - D B Jackson

Dead Man’s Reach (Thieftaker Chronicles #4) by D. B. Jackson

Let the battle for souls begin in Dead Man's Reach, the fourth, stand-alone novel in D.B. Jackson's acclaimed Thieftaker series.

Boston, 1770: The city is a powder keg as tensions between would-be rebels and loyalist torries approach a breaking point and one man is willing to light the match that sets everything off to ensure that he has his revenge.

The presence of the British Regulars has made thieftaking a hard business to be in and the jobs that are available are reserved for Sephira Pryce. Ethan Kaille has to resort to taking on jobs that he would otherwise pass up, namely protecting the shops of Torries from Patriot mobs. But, when one British loyalist takes things too far and accidentally kills a young boy, even Ethan reconsiders his line of work. Even more troubling is that instances of violence in the city are increasing, and Ethan often finds himself at the center of the trouble.

Once Ethan realizes why he is at the center of all the violence, he finds out that some enemies don't stay buried and will stop at nothing to ruin Ethan's life. Even if that means costing the lives of everyone in Boston, including the people that Ethan loves most.

Tor Books | July 2015 | Hardcover | 368 pages | $ 28.99

The Drafter - Kim Harrison

The Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles #1) by Kim Harrison

In the first explosive book in the Peri Reed Chronicles, Kim Harrison, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Hollows series, blazes a new frontier with an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

Gallery Books | Hardcover | 432 pages | September 2015

A Crucible of Souls - Mitchell Hogan

A Crucible of Souls by Mitchell Hogan

An imaginative new talent makes his debut with the acclaimed first installment in the epic Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing tale of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

When young Caldan’s parents are brutally slain, the boy is raised by monks who initiate him into the arcane mysteries of sorcery.

Growing up plagued by questions about his past, Caldan vows to discover who his parents were, and why they were violently killed. The search will take him beyond the walls of the monastery, into the unfamiliar and dangerous chaos of city life. With nothing to his name but a pair of mysterious heirlooms and a handful of coins, he must prove his talent to become apprenticed to a guild of sorcerers.

But the world outside the monastery is a darker place than he ever imagined, and his treasured sorcery has disturbing depths he does not fully understand. As a shadowed evil manipulates the unwary and forbidden powers are unleashed, Caldan is plunged into an age-old conflict that will bring the world to the edge of destruction.

Soon, he must choose a side, and face the true cost of uncovering his past.

Harper Voyager | Trade Paperback | 09/22/2015 | Pages: 512 | $17.99

The Humanity of Monsters_FINAL

The Humanity of Monsters edited by Michael Matheson

We are all of us monsters. We are none of us monsters.

Through the work of twenty-six writers, emerging to award-winning, The Humanity of Monsters plumbs the depths of humane monsters, monstrous humans, and the interstices between:

Monstrous heralds of change, the sight of whom only children can survive. Monsters born of the battlefield, in gunfire and frost and blood, clothed in too-familiar flesh. Monsters, human and otherwise, born of fear, and love, and retribution all, wrapped tight and inextricable one from the other: the Fallen outside of time, lovers and monsters in borrowed skin, creatures from beyond the stars, and humans who have travelled to them.

In stories by turns surreal, sublime, brutal, and haunting, there are no easy answers to be found. Only the surety that though there be monsters, you will name them false. And when you meet those who truly are, you will not know them.

Paperback | 336 pages | November 10,  2015 | ChiZine Publications | $16.99 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Giveaway: INHERIT THE STARS by Tony Peak

Inherit the Stars - Tony Peak

Giveaway for INHERIT THE STARS by Tony Peak, attached to the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop. We have one copy for a US address. It’s the first in an action-packed space opera. Please be a reader of Layers of Thought to enter this giveaway. Ways to follow the blog are below.



Readers are introduced to Kivita Vondir, a girl who has always dreamt of salvaging. Now, it’s become an addiction, getting through pit stops filled with cheap alcohol, and even cheaper companionship.

But when she rescues an alien artifact, in the shape of a fabled gemstone, she finds far more than a lucrative take. Suddenly and inexplicably, she can hack computers and pilot starships by sheer force of will alone—a power that everyone in this galaxy (and the next) wants.

As she tries to avoid a massive galactic manhunt, Kivita teams up with two unlikely allies: Sar, her former lover turned rebel, and his enigmatic new girlfriend. Only, as the gem’s mysteries are revealed and danger draws near, Kivita begins to wonder if her ex has truly changed, or if he’s just waiting for the right moment to betray her once again…

Roc Mass Market | 464 pages | November 3, 2015 | Trade Paperback

Tony Peak’s work appears in eighteen different speculative fiction publications and anthologies. He is an Active Member of SFWA and an Affiliate Member of HWA. He possesses a keen interest in progressive thinking, wine, history, Transhumanism, and planetary exploration. Visit him online at



This giveaway is part of a blog hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer where you can link to a variety of other blogs to enter other giveaways. Links are at the bottom of this post. You can access our host’s web page by clicking on the hop’s badge.

To enter this giveaway please be a follower. There are a number of ways that you can keep up-to-date with Layers of Thought, including reviews, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more. But the best ways to keep up with all the blog posts are via Facebook or email, so I recommend those.

Ways to “Follow”

  1. Facebook (For blog updates in your feed add me as a friend.)
  2. Your Email Box
  3. Feed Reader
  4. Twitter
  5. Google+
  6. Pinterest
  7. Goodreads (Add me as a friend. However, there are no giveaway updates here only reviews and books received.)

Please fill out the Google form to enter the giveaway:

And now for the other blogs that are part of this blog hop. Click on the active links via the blog titles to access their posts. Have fun and good luck!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Giveaway: TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Stuck in a Good Book Hop

Twelve Kings in Sharakhai - Bradley P. Beaulieu

We have a giveaway for TWELVE KINGS IN SHARAKHAI by Bradley P. Beaulieu. It’s book one of the Song of Shattered Sands series. There is one copy for a US address. It’s epic fantasy.

This giveaway is attached to the Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway Hop. Please see more about the hop below. And to enter this giveaway please be a follower of Layers of Thought. Ways to follow are listed below.



Sharakhai, the great city of the desert, center of commerce and culture, has been ruled from time immemorial by twelve kings -- cruel, ruthless, powerful, and immortal. With their army of Silver Spears, their elite company of Blade Maidens and their holy defenders, the terrifying asirim, the Kings uphold their positions as undisputed, invincible lords of the desert. There is no hope of freedom for any under their rule.

Or so it seems, until Çeda, a brave young woman from the west end slums, defies the Kings' laws by going outside on the holy night of Beht Zha'ir. What she learns that night sets her on a path that winds through both the terrible truths of the Kings' mysterious history and the hidden riddles of her own heritage. Together, these secrets could finally break the iron grip of the Kings' power...if the nigh-omnipotent Kings don't find her first.

DAW | Hardcover | 592 pages | September 1, 2015


This giveaway hop is hosted by Stuck In Books and I Am A Reader which can be accessed by clicking on the above banner.

To enter this giveaway please be a follower. There are a number of ways that you can keep up-to-date with Layers of Thought, including reviews, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more. But the best ways to keep up with all the blog posts are via Facebook or email, so I recommend those.

Ways to “Follow”

  1. Facebook (For blog updates in your feed add me as a friend.)
  2. Your Email Box
  3. Feed Reader
  4. Twitter
  5. Google+
  6. Pinterest
  7. Goodreads (Add me as a friend. However, there are no giveaway updates here only reviews and books received.)

Please fill out the Google form to enter the giveaway:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Excerpt: BOOKBURNERS – Anywhere But Here by Brian Francis Slattery

Bookburners Episode 2 cover

We have an excerpt from BOOKBURNERS – Anywhere But Here. It’s Season 1 Episode 2 of Serial Box’s serialized book that is released in segments. And don’t worry there are no spoilers.

For more information about the series and how to read the entire publication, take a look at the information at the bottom of this post. But for now here is an early released excerpt to entice your interest in the book:


Anywhere But Here - Episode 2 by Brian Francis Slattery, Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty

“Where are we going?” Sal said.

“Madrid, it appears,” Asanti said. She was poring over a stack of papers at her desk.

“Though where exactly is unclear,” Liam said.

“We have the coordinates.”

“Yes,” Liam said sarcastically. “We have the coordinates.”

Menchú nodded. “Good.” He turned to Asanti. “Any idea what we might be facing?”

Asanti didn’t look up from her papers. “Madrid has been officially purged of magic for over five hundred years.” She gave a sad chuckle.

“The Inquisition?” Sal asked.

“Oh, no,” Asanti said. “The Inquisition was just a witch hunt, and not of real witches. Nothing to do with magic at all.” She turned a page. “But even so, Madrid seems dry. There was a brief flurry of magical activity during the Spanish Civil War, and the usual spotty records of underground societies during the Franco years and after. But they seem like dabblers. There’s no indication that any of them got hold of anything truly magical. No books or artifacts or anything else that I’m aware of.”

“So whatever we’re dealing with, it’s rogue,” Grace said.

“That’s right. Possibly predating the Inquisition, when they declared the place clean.”

“Arabic?” Liam said.

“Could be,” Asanti said. “But that’s a guess. Not even a hunch.”

“So we don’t know what we’re facing,” Grace said. “At all.”

“Afraid so,” Asanti said.

“This isn’t going to be like Eyjafjallajökull, is it?” Grace said.

Asanti looked up at last, slightly irritated. “No, this is not going to be like Eyjafjallajökull,” she said.

“The volcano in Iceland?” Sal said to Liam.

“Yep,” Liam said. “You know those eruptions in 2010? No one could fly in Europe for days? Apparently not entirely the result of natural forces.”

Grace interrupted. “There was a dragon. Seven stories high. Living under the volcano. Which had been there for over a thousand years, and was the subject of several local legends. But were we told any of this when we got on the plane?”

“My Icelandic was rusty,” Asanti said. “It won’t happen again. It’s certainly not going to happen in Madrid.” She said it with a sudden authority that made Sal believe her. Grace did, too. She backed down.

“Well, whatever is happening in Madrid,” Liam said, “I haven’t heard anyone call the police about it yet.”

“Thank God,” Menchú said.

“What happens if the police get involved?” Sal said.

“You’re a cop,” Liam said. “You should know. Things get a little messy. Let’s just say the sooner we get there, the better.” He sighed. “Why can’t they just take the books out to a barn up the back ass of nowhere and open them up there? Everything would be so much easier.”

“How’s your Spanish?” Grace said.

“I can order at a Mexican restaurant,” Sal said. “That’s about it.”

Grace shook her head. “Americans,” she said, under her breath.

They headed out to the airport.


Here’s a blurb about this serialized urban fantasy: 

Magic is real, and hungry—trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. Abruptly thrust into the battle between nefarious forces trying to unleash this power onto the world and those trying to stop them, she joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad: Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum. Together they stand between humanity and magical apocalypse. Some call them Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Here’s a bit more about the series:  

This September, new publisher Serial Box is bursting onto the scene and bringing the TV model of media production and delivery to the book world with BOOKBURNERS, an urban fantasy adventure following a black-ops anti-magic squad backed by the Vatican. Wandering from police procedural to New Weird and dabbling in most genres in between, BOOKBURNERS will keep you hungry for more, week after week.

Written by a team of authors including Margaret Dunlap (Eureka), Mur Lafferty (The Shambling Guide to New York City) and Brian Francis Slattery (Lost Everything), the group is led by rising genre star Max Gladstone (Three Parts Dead).

While the series officially launches on September 16th with the release of Episode 2, there is the first episode up for all to enjoy on

They aim to bring book lovers everything they like about television:

  • New episodes each week
  • Series are produced by a team of writers collaborating to create the most exciting, dynamic stories
  • Episodes are easily ingestible with a 40-minute average read-time
  • Each episode is an exciting adventure but together they build into a complete narrative—just like your favorite shows

Each episode will be available via and their iOS app (via Apple), as well as iTunes, Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, and B&N.

Bookburners Episode 2 cover

And here’s the blurb about the first episode:

Chapter 1: Badge, Book, and Candle

NYPD Detective Sal Brooks is no rookie—but even the most hardened cop would think twice when they see their brother open a book and become…well…something entirely not their brother.

When her attempts to solve the case cross paths with a mysterious team led by a priest, she starts to realize that the world is far more than what is seems, and, just maybe, magic is real—and hungry.

Follow along as Sal learns the life changing lesson: some books have teeth.

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?


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:


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.


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

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