Monday, September 11, 2006

Items Received

In the interest of disclosure, and a looming threat by the FTC to fine bloggers who do not disclose items received for review purposes, this blog will list all items received (from October 2009 forward) for review and/or giveaway on this site. The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay Atlanta: it's the promised city for the off-worlders, foreigners from the alternate dimensions of heaven-like Elysia and hell-like Charbydon. Some bring good works and miracles. And some bring unimaginable evil.... Charlie Madigan is a divorced mother of one, and a kick-ass cop trained to take down the toughest human and off-world criminals. She's recently returned from the dead after a brutal attack, an unexplained revival that has left her plagued by ruthless nightmares and random outbursts of strength that make doing her job for Atlanta P.D.'s Integration Task Force even harder. Since the Revelation, the criminal element in Underground Atlanta has grown, leaving Charlie and her partner Hank to keep the chaos to a dull roar. But now an insidious new danger is descending on her city with terrifying speed, threatening innocent lives: a deadly, off-world narcotic known as ash. Charlie is determined to uncover the source of ash before it targets another victim -- but can she protect those she loves from a force more powerful than heaven and hell combined? Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Proving that 2007's The Sword-Edged Blonde was no fluke, this sequel gives every evidence that Bledsoe's combination of sword and sorcery with hard-boiled detection will have a long and successful run. Eddie LaCrosse, a former noble who gave up his title and now works as a freelance sword-jockey, is flagged down by a damsel in distress, Laura Lesperitt. Before LaCrosse can get Lesperitt to safety, they are ambushed, an encounter that leaves her dead. When he recovers, LaCrosse's search for those responsible for the murder brings him into contact with powerful thug Gordon Marantz, the king's Special Office of Domestic Security and a dragon-worshipping cult. Bledsoe effortlessly draws readers into his created world and manages to stay true to both fantasy and mystery traditions. Beyond the Wall of Time by Russell Kirkpatrick The wall of time has fallen and the Gods are free to ravage the world. The few that know of their escape into mortal lands are under the control of the malevolent Husk. Stella, a queen in hiding, makes a deal with the Undying Man even though she knows his agenda comes first. Noetos seeks revenge for the deaths of his loved ones, not yet realizing the enemy is closer than even he can imagine. And the unconventional cosmographer, Lenares, is the only one with the power to prevent the Gods from destroying the world - if only the others would believe her. The queen, the fisherman, and the cosmographer must travel to Andratan to confront Husk. But whether they can break free of his hold on them, and defeat the Gods, is another matter entirely. Flesh Circus by Lilith Saintcrow The Cirque de Charnu has come. They will clean out the demons and the suicides, and move on. As long as they stay within the rules, Jill Kismet can't deny them entry. But she can watch--and if they step out of line, she'll send them packing. When Cirque performers start dying grotesquely, Kismet has to find out why, or the fragile truce won't hold and her entire city will become a carnival of horror. She also has to play the resident hellbreed power against the Cirque to keep them in line, and find out why ordinary people are needing exorcisms. And then there's the murdered voodoo practitioners, and the zombies. An ancient vengeance is about to be enacted. The Cirque is about to explode. And Jill Kismet is about to find out some games are played for keeps... Full Circle by Pamela Freeman Saker's ghost army is slaughtering those of the new blood, fueled by an ancient wrong. But while he'd thought revenge would be simple, he's now plagued by voices foreshadowing a calamity beyond his comprehension. Ash and Bramble raise the warrior spirit of Acton, mighty in life and powerful in death. Only he can stop Saker's rampage. But is Acton, Lord of War, murderer or savior? And why would he help strangers protect a world he's never known? Bramble has been marked as Saker's nemesis, but will be challenged by deeper powers than Saker can command - as well as by her own feelings for Acton. As the living fight the dead, strange forces will shape an uncertain future from pain and suffering. Plague Zone by Jeff Carlson Product Description After surviving the machine plague and the world war that followed, nanotech researcher Ruth Goldman and ex-army ranger Cam Najarro discovered that a new contagion is about to be unleashed. Review "Gripping. Jeff Carlson concludes his Plague trilogy with an epic struggle among desperate nations equipped with nano weapons...This book is an object lesson in my we'd better learn to get along before the next arms race." -Jack McDevitt, Nebula Award-winning author of The Devil's Eye "Jeff Carlson's Plague Zone is a high-octane thriller at the core-slick, sharp, and utterly compelling. Oh yea, and it's frightening. SF doesn't get much better than this." -Steven Savile, international bestselling author of Silver Sword of Avalon by Diana L. Paxson Marion Zimmer Bradley's legendary saga of Avalon's extraordinary women continues with a tale of fiery visions, a lost king, and a forthcoming destiny. Epic in its sweep and peopled by the remarkable women who have always inhabited Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword of Avalon expands the legendary saga that has enchanted millions of readers over the years and is sure to please Bradley's loyal readership and anyone who loves wonderfully told stories of history, myth, and fantasy. A boy raised in secret after traitors kill his parents will return to Avalon-and when he does, he'll be faced with a formidable task: to prove his worth as a son of the kings and priestesses of his land and lead his followers to victory, wielding the newly-forged sword Excalibur. Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder From award winning authors Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder comes a tale of two worlds-and one destiny. Sisters Serena and Meteora were once proud members of the high court of the Fairy Queen- until they played a prank that angered her highness. Separated and banished to the mortal realm of Earth, they must find a way to survive in a strange world in which they have no power. But there is more to their new home than they first suspect. A sympathetic Meteora bonds with a troubled young girl with an ornate tattoo on her neck. Meteora recognizes it as a magic symbol that will surely bring danger down on them all. Serena, meanwhile, takes in a tortured homeless boy whose mind is plagued by dark visions. The signs point to a rising power that threatens to tear asunder both fairy and human worlds. And the sisters realize that perhaps the queen cast them from their homes not out of anger or spite- but because they were the only ones who could do what must be done... The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas From Bookmarks Magazine Fantasy readers can be a bit, well, snooty about how they take their dragons (fans are rarely ambivalent about the works of George R. R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, and Naomi Novik, for instance), and Stephen Deas takes a chance by making those most misunderstood of fantasy elements the focus of his debut novel. Although Deas gives his imagination free rein in The Adamantine Palace and his short chapters (70 in a relatively brief book) keep things moving, critics call into question his world-building skills, as well as the SF/F penchant these days for trilogies, which only guarantees that nothing much will get resolved in the first installment. Still, there’s enough here to whet a fantasy reader’s appetite (the sequel, King of the Crags, is due in 2010), and we hope that experience will only make Deas stronger. Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop Return to the "intense...erotic...and imaginative" (Nancy Kress) world of the national bestselling Black Jewels novels in this sequel to The Shadow Queen. For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. Now that their land has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore it and prove her ability to rule. But even if Lady Cassidy succeeds, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land-and Lady Cassidy-forever... Spells of the City Edited by Jean Rabe and Martin H. Greenberg Venture into Spells of the City, where a troll may be your toll collector on the George Washington Bridge...Harry the Book will be happy to place your best in a spellbinding alternative New York...a gargoyle finds himself left to a lonely rooftop existence when he's forced to live by his creator's rules...and leprechauns must become bank robbers to keep up with the demand for their gold. Changing the World by Mercedes Lackey In March 1987, a young author from Oklahoma published her first novel, Arrows of the Queen. This modest book about a magical land called Vademar was the beginning of a fantasy masterpiece that would span decades and include more than two dozen titles. Now sixteen of today's hottest fantasy authors-including Tanya Huff, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Fiona Patton, and Judith Tarr-visit the world of Valdemar, adding their own special touches. Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis From Publishers Weekly Francis (Path of Fate) begins her high-energy, gritty new Horngate Witches series by introducing Max, a magical warrior forced to serve her ex-roommate, witch-bitch Giselle. When the ancient Guardians of Earth decide to destroy the mortal world and recover its magic, Max discovers that she has been prophesied to save both her coven home and all humanity, and she must put aside her anger at her servitude to soothe coven rivalries and lead her fellow Shadowblades against powers much bigger than themselves. Emotions run mercurial, flashy and unsubtle throughout, and Max's near-invulnerability, self-healing and possession of an unrestricted wishstone make her more of a superhero than a woman dealing with real internal conflicts. The tough, feel-good, grand-scale supernatural fights, however, will keep action fans coming back for book after book. Indigo Springs by A. M. Dellamonica Indigo Springs is a sleepy town where things seem pretty normal . . . until Astrid’s father dies and she moves into his house. She discovers that for many years her father had been accessing the magic that flowed, literally, in a blue stream beneath the earth, leaking into his house. When she starts to use the liquid "vitagua" to enchant everyday items, the results seem innocent enough: a “’chanted” watch becomes a charm that means you're always in the right place at the right time; a “’chanted” pendant enables the wearer to convince anyone of anything . But as events in Indigo Springs unfold and the true potential of vitagua is revealed, Astrid and her friends unwittingly embark on a journey fraught with power, change, and a future too devastating to contemplate. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends as Astrid discovers secrets from her shrouded childhood that will lead her to a destiny stranger than she could have imagined . . . Makers by Cory Doctorow From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In this tour de force, Doctorow (Little Brother) uses the contradictions of two overused SF themes—the decline and fall of America and the boundless optimism of open source/hacker culture—to draw one of the most brilliant reimaginings of the near future since cyberpunk wore out its mirror shades. Perry Gibbons and Lester Banks, typical brilliant geeks in a garage, are trash-hackers who find inspiration in the growing pile of technical junk. Attracting the attention of suits and smart reporter Suzanne Church, the duo soon get involved with cheap and easy 3D printing, a cure for obesity and crowd-sourced theme parks. The result is bitingly realistic and miraculously avoids cliché or predictability. While dates and details occasionally contradict one another, Doctorow's combination of business strategy, brilliant product ideas and laugh-out-loud moments of insight will keep readers powering through this quick-moving tale. The Good, the Bad and the Uncanny by Simon Green Things were going so well for P.I. John Taylor, that it was only a matter of time before everything hit the fan. Walker, the powerful, ever-present, never to-be-trusted agent who runs the Nightside on behalf of The Authorities, is dying. And he wants John to be his successor-a job that comes with more baggage, and more enemies, than anyone can possibly imagine. Boilerplate by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett Meet Boilerplate, the world’s first robot soldier—not in a present-day military lab or a science-fiction movie, but in the past, during one of the most fascinating periods of U.S. history. Designed by Professor Archibald Campion in 1893 as a prototype, for the self-proclaimed purpose of “preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of nations,” Boilerplate charged into combat alongside such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia. Campion and his robot also circled the planet with the U.S. Navy, trekked to the South Pole, made silent movies, and hobnobbed with the likes of Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla. You say you’ve never heard of Boilerplate before? That’s because this book is the fanciful creation of a husbandand-wife team who have richly imagined these characters and inserted them into accurate retellings of history. This full-color chronicle is profusely illustrated with graphics mimicking period style, including photos, paintings, posters, cartoons, maps, and even stereoscope cards. Part Jules Verne and part Zelig, it’s a great volume for a broad range of fans of science fiction, history, and robots. Dust of Dreams by Steven Erikson In war everyone loses. This brutal truth can be seen in the eyes of every soldier in every world… In Letherii, the exiled Malazan army commanded by Adjunct Tavore begins its march into the eastern Wastelands, to fight for an unknown cause against an enemy it has never seen. And in these same Wastelands, others gather to confront their destinies. The warlike Barghast, thwarted in their vengeance against the Tiste Edur, seek new enemies beyond the border and Onos Toolan, once immortal T’lan Imass now mortal commander of the White Face clan, faces insurrection. To the south, the Perish Grey Helms parlay passage through the treacherous kingdom of Bolkando. Their intention is to rendezvous with the Bonehunters but their vow of allegiance to the Malazans will be sorely tested. And ancient enclaves of an Elder Race are in search of salvation—not among their own kind, but among humans—as an old enemy draws ever closer to the last surviving bastion of the K’Chain Che’Malle. So this last great army of the Malazan Empire is resolved to make one final defiant, heroic stand in the name of redemption. But can deeds be heroic when there is no one to witness them? And can that which is not witnessed forever change the world? Destines are rarely simple, truths never clear but one certainty is that time is on no one’s side. For the Deck of Dragons has been read, unleashing a dread power that none can comprehend… In a faraway land and beneath indifferent skies, the final chapter of ‘The Malazan Book of the Fallen’ has begun… The Dragon Book Edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois Never before published stories by New York Times bestselling authors Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, and others. Whether portrayed as fire-breathing reptilian beasts at war with humanity or as noble creatures capable of speech and mystically bonded to the warriors who ride them, dragons have been found in nearly every culture's mythology. In modern times, they can be found far from their medieval settings in locales as mundane as suburbia or as barren as post-apocalyptic landscapes-and in The Dragon Book, today's greatest fantasists reignite the fire with legendary tales that will consume readers' imaginations. With original stories by New York Times bestselling authors Jonathan Stroud, Gregory Maguire, Garth Nix, Diana Gabaldon, Tamora Pierce, Harry Turtledove, Sean Williams, and Tad Williams as well as tales by Naomi Novik, Peter Beagle, Jane Yolen, Adam Stemple, Cecelia Holland, Kage Baker, Samuel Sykes, Diana Wynne Jones, Mary Rosenblum, Tanith Lee, Andy Duncan, and Bruce Coville. The Silver Mage by Katharine Kerr The Horsekin are assembling along Prince Dar's northern border, and the Deverry alliance simply does not have the men and resources to prevent their enemies from moving into the wilderness areas known as the Ghostlands. But suddenly, the Dwrgi folk and the dragons come to Dar's aid, tipping the balance in their favor and offering Dar's people a chance to defeat the Horsekin once and for all. Time Travelers Never Die "The logical heir to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke" (Stephen King) takes readers on a science fiction adventure tour through time. When physicist Michael Shelborne mysteriously vanishes, his son Shel discovers that he had constructed a time travel device. Fearing his father may be stranded in time-or worse-Shel enlists the aid of Dave MacElroy, a linguist, to accompany him on the rescue mission. Their journey through history takes them from the enlightenment of Renaissance Italy through the American Wild West to the civil-rights upheavals of the 20th century. Along the way, they encounter a diverse cast of historical greats, sometimes in unexpected situations. Yet the elder Shelborne remains elusive. And then Shel violates his agreement with Dave not to visit the future. There he makes a devastating discovery that sends him fleeing back through the ages, and changes his life forever. Elegy Beach by Steven R. BoyettA publishing event twenty-five years in the making: the long awaited sequel to the unforgettable post-apocalyptic fantasy, Ariel. Thirty years ago the lights went out, the airplanes fell, the cars went still, the cities all went dark. The laws humanity had always known were replaced by new laws that could only be called magic. The world has changed forever. Or has it? In a small community on the California coast are Fred Garey and his friend Yan, both born after the Change. Yan dreams of doing something so big his name will live on forever. He thinks he's found it-a way to reverse the Change. But Fred fears the repercussions of such drastic, irreversible steps. Deadtown by Nancy Holzner First in a brand new urban fantasy series that's "fresh and funny, with a great new take on zombies" (Karen Chance) and "full of dangerous magic and populated with characters so realistic, they almost jump off the page" (Ilona Andrews). If you were undead, you'd be home by now... They call it Deadtown: the city's quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its borders-but Victory Vaughn, Boston's only professional demon slayer, isn't exactly human. The Sapphire Sirens by John Zakour Zach Johnson, the world's last freelance detective, has been man-napped by the beautiful sapphire-haired Amazon Kiana. She's brought him to her home island of Lantis-where the women dominate men with their words-to discover who killed her mother, the Queen. But to save the day this time, Zach and his holographic A.I. sidekick HARV have to tangle with not just one gorgeous superwoman, but four. Each of Kiana's three sisters could have the motive and the means to pull off the crime-and now that you mention it, Kiana could too... Confessions of a Demon by S.L. Wright After accidentally stealing the life force of a dying demon, Allay became the only human-demon hybrid in existence. Demons feed on human emotions, so Allay decided the safest way to satisfy this need-and still retain some semblance of her humanity-was to open a bar. Here she can drink from, and ease, her patrons' pain, which has helped her to stay under the demon radar...until now. When Allay is attacked and nearly killed by another demon, a human comes to her rescue. Theo Ram is tall, handsome, and mortal-and Allay feels a connection to him she didn't think she'd ever know. But that bond is tested when the demon community in New York begins to rise up, and two opposing clans fight for power. Now Allay is caught in the middle, and she must decide where her loyalties lie. Torn by Julie Kenner Lily is in trouble of the deepest kind. Having been tricked by the forces of evil, she killed what she thought were "demons" at will. Now, she knows better, and with a little help from half-angel, half-demon Deacon Camphire, she must try to take down the bad guys from within as a double agent. Tainted by Julie Kenner Lily Carlyle has lied, cheated, and stolen her way through life. But in death, she'll really get to be bad... When her little sister is brutalized, a vengeful Lily determines to exact her own justice. She succeeds at the cost of her own life, but as she lies dying, she is given a second chance. Lily can earn her way into Paradise by becoming an assassin for the forces of good. It's the job Lily believes she can really get into-but she doesn't realize that she may not be able to get out. Keyholders #4: The Wrong Side of Magic by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones When Penny, Luke, Natalie and their links return home after rescuing Mr. Leery from the clutches of the evil Queen of the Boggarts, they find a lot of changes in Morgantown. Mrs. Bender, the principal, has decided on longer school days with no recess. The cafeteria ladies are serving up some extremely yucky food (even more than usual). And their teacher, Mr. Crandle, is giving them twice as much homework. What is wrong with all the adults in town? Could it be another scheme from the Boggart Queen? It’s up to the apprentice Keyholders to find out. Keyholders #3: Inside the Magic by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones Oh, no! Mr. Leery has been kidnapped by the evil Queen of the Boggarts. It’s up to the apprentice Keyholders Penny, Luke, and Natalie to rescue him. Together with their links, a unicorn named Kirin, a dragon named Dracula, and a rat named Buttercup, the three Keyholders cross the border to the land inside the magic—a place where anything can happen. Will they find Mr. Leery in time? Vampire Taxonomy: Identifying and Interacting With the Modern Day Bloodsucker by Meredith Woerner Vampires are all around-books, movies, TV, comics- infiltrating our culture like never before. But what happens if one should run into a real vamp on the street? Vampire Taxonomy is the best defense against a fatal encounter in the dark. For the reader's protection, Meredith Woerner reveals the truth about: •Sunlight sensitivity-Do vamps venture out in the day or stick solely to the evening hours? •Physiology-When ready to feed, do they change appearance or simply lure with the seductive flash of a fang? •Dress-Are they decked out in leather with aspirations of becoming the first vampire rock stars or do they cling to Gothic robes and ruffled collars? •Diet-Are they waging a never-ending struggle against the temptation of human blood or do they view the world as their personal blood buffet? Magic in the Shadows by Devon Monk Allison Beckstrom's magic has taken its toll on her, physically marking her and erasing her memories-including those of the man she supposedly loves. But lost memories aren't the only things preying on Allie's thoughts. Her late father, the prominent businessman-and sorcerer-Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities-and find a way to deal with her father... The Trouble With Heroes Edited by Denise Little These 22 all-new tales pay tribute to the true heroes-the people who enable and put up with heroes. From what it's like to be Hercules' wife )complete with an appearance by Hercules in drag) to the trials of H.P. Lovecraft's housekeeper, from the perils of being King Kong's girlfriend to the downside of dating a shapeshifter, this anthology turns heroism on its head, revealing the behind-the-scenes drama, as opposed to glorious rescues. From the Pied Piper's power trip to David acting like a giant you-know-what after slaying Goliath, these stories show heroes in all their ignominy and shine a light on the unsung faithful standing in their shadows. Dawnthief by James Barclay SOLATED, BETRAYED AND FACING THE END The Raven: six men and an elf, sword for hire in the wars that have torn apart Balaia. For years their loyalty has been only to themselves and their code. But, that time is over. The Wytch Lords have escaped and The Raven find themselves fighting for the Dark College of magic, searching for the location of Dawntheif. It is a spell created to end the world, and it must be cast if any of them are to survive. Dawnthief is a fast paced epic about a band of all-too-human heroes. Kris Longknife: Undaunted by Mike Shepherd Kris Longknife encounters some peaceful aliens who have come to warn humanity of an unidentifiable force that is roaming the galaxy, obliterating everything in its path—a path now leading directly toward the human worlds. The Clone Betrayal by Steven L. Kent Lt. Wayson Harris was born and bred as the ultimate soldier. But he is unique, possessing independence of thought. And when the military brass decide to blame the clones for the decimation of the U.A. republic, Lt. Harris decides to stop being the scapegoat, with all the firepower he can muster. Fade Out by Rachel Caine Without the evil vampire Bishop ruling over the town of Morganville, the resident vampires have made major concessions to the human population. With their newfound freedoms, Claire Danvers and her friends are almost starting to feel comfortable again... Now Claire can actually concentrate on her studies, and her friend Eve joins the local theatre company. But when one of Eve's castmates goes missing after starting work on a short documentary, Eve suspects the worst. Claire and Eve soon realize that this film project, whose subject is the vampires themselves, is a whole lot bigger-and way more dangerous-than anyone suspected. Imager's Challenge by L. E. Modesitt Jr. Imager’s Challenge takes up immediately after the conclusion of Imager. Still recovering from injuries received in foiling the plots of the Ferran envoy, Rhenn is preparing to take up his new duties as imager liaison to the Civic Patrol of L’Excelsis. No sooner has he assumed his new position than he discovers two things. First, the Commander of the Civic Patrol doesn’t want a liaison from the infamous Collegium, and soon has Rhenn patrolling the streets of the worst district in the city. Second, Rhenn receives formal notice that one of the High Holders, the father of a man Rhenn partly blinded in self-defense, has declared his intention to destroy Rhenn and his family. Rhenn’s only allies are the family of the girl he loves, successful merchants with underworld connections. In the end, Rhenn must literally stand off against gang lords, naval marines, Tiempran terrorist priests, the most powerful High Holder in all of Solidar, and his own Collegium—and find a way to prevail without making further enemies and endangering those he loves. Servant of a Dark God by John Brown The launch of a towering new fantasy series introduces an elaborate new world, a strange and dark system of magic, and a cast of compelling characters and monsters. Young Talen lives in a world where the days of a person’s life can be harvested, bought, and stolen. Only the great Divines, who rule every land, and the human soul-eaters, dark ones who steal from man and beast and become twisted by their polluted draws, know the secrets of this power. This land’s Divine has gone missing and soul-eaters are found among Talen’s people. The Clans muster a massive hunt, and Talen finds himself a target. Thinking his struggle is against both soul-eaters and their hunters, Talen actually has far larger problems. A being of awesome power has arisen, one whose diet consists of the days of man. Her Mothers once ranched human subjects like cattle. She has emerged to take back what is rightfully hers. Trapped in a web of lies and ancient secrets, Talen must struggle to identify his true enemy before the Mother finds the one whom she will transform into the lord of the human harvest. Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies Edited by Martin H. Greenberg and Kerrie Hughes From a farmer at war with Nature's creatures, to dangerous doings when the henhouse goes on-line, to the hazards of keeping company with a book wyrm, here are ingenious tales that will make readers laugh or cry-or double-check to make sure that their windows and doors are firmly locked against the things that prowl the night. Quatrain by Sharon Shinn Four original novellas, all set in the fantastical worlds of national bestselling author Sharon Shinn. National bestselling author Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses books have fascinated readers and critics alike with their irresistible blend of fantasy, romance, and adventure. Now in Quatrain, she weaves compelling stories in four of the worlds that readers love in Flight, Blood, Gold and Flame. Gwenhwyfar by Mercedes Lackey Gwenhwyfar moves in a world where gods walk among their pagan worshipers, where nebulous visions warn of future perils, and where there are two paths for a woman: the path of the Blessing or the rarer path of the Warrior. Gwenhwyfar chooses the latter, giving up the power that she is born into. Yet the daughter of a King is never truly free to follow her own calling. Acting as the "son" her father never had, when called upon to serve another purpose by the Ladies of the Well, she bows to circumstances to become Arthur's queen-only to find herself facing temptation and treachery, intrigue and betrayal, but also love and redemption.. Friday Night Bites by Chloe NeillTen months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But should people learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle-the citizens will start sharpening their stakes. So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them-someone with an ancient grudge... Unleashed by Jack Levitt Mason is an enforcer, keeping magical practitioners on the straight and narrow. His "dog" Louie, is a faithful familiar who's proven over and over that he's a practitioner's best friend. But this time, Louie's in the line of fire when practitioners in San Francisco accidentally unleash a monster into the world. Bite Marks by Jennifer Rardin Jaz Parks here. But I'm not alone. I'm hearing voices in my head - and they're not mine. The problem, or maybe the solution, is work. And the job's a stinker this time -- killing the gnomes that are threatening to topple NASA's Australian-based space complex. Yeah, I know. Vayl and I should still be able to kick this one in our sleep. Except that Hell has thrown up a demon named Kyphas to knock us off track. And damn is she indestructible! On the Edge by Ilona Andrews The Broken is a place where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is nothing more than a fairy tale. The Weird is a realm where blueblood aristocrats rule and the strength of your magic can change your destiny. Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, the place between both worlds. A perilous existence indeed, made even more so by a flood of magic-hungry creatures bent on absolute destruction. Ariel by Steven R. BoyettIt's been five years since the lights went out, cars stopped in the streets, and magical creatures began roaming Earth. Pete Garey survived the Change, trusting no one but himself until the day he met Ariel-a unicorn who brought new meaning and adventure to his life. The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines What would happen if a star writer went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie's Angels? What he'd end up with is The Mermaid's Madness-a whole new take on The Little Mermaid. And with Jim C. Hines, of Jig the Goblin fame, penning the tale, you canbet it won't be "They lived happily ever after." Hunting Memories by Barb Hendee Eleisha Clevon has begun a correspondence with fellow vampire Rose de Spenser. Both reluctant predators, they venture outside only when the hunger becomes unbearable, trying not to draw attention to themselves-and feel guilty when ending human lives. But Eleisha has learned a way to draw blood from her victims without killing them. She wants to share this knowledge with like-minded vampires and create a haven where they can exist together-and forge a united front against Julian Ashton, a vampire who has been hunting down and destroying his own kind... City of Fire by Lawrence Yep Sure to appeal to fans of Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer, this action-packed tale takes readers on an unforgettable journey through an alternate version of our world in 1941—a world filled with magical beings such as dragons in human form, tiny “lap griffins,” reincarnations of legendary Chinese warriors, Japanese folk creatures, and goddesses in disguise. When her older sister dies trying to prevent the theft of one of her people’s great treasures, twelve-year-old Scirye sets out to avenge her and recover the precious item. Helping her are Bayang, a dragon disguised as a Pinkerton agent; Leech, a boy with powers he has not yet discovered; and Leech’s loyal companion Koko, who has a secret of his own. All have a grudge against the thieves who stole the treasure: the evil dragon Badik and the mysterious Mr. Roland. Scirye and her companions pursue the thieves to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island being created by magic. There, they befriend Pele, the volatile and mercurial goddess of volcanoes. But even with Pele on their side, they may not be able to stop Mr. Roland from gaining what he seeks: the Five Lost Treasures of Emperor Yu. Together, the treasures will give him the power to alter the very fabric of the universe. Red Claw by Philip Palmer. Philip Palmer turns science fiction on its head in this breathtaking thrill ride through alien jungles filled with terrifying monsters and killer robots. Space marines and science heroes! Gryphons and Godzillas! It's all here in this gripping tale of man versus nature. Archenemy by Frank Beddor Discover the fate of Wonderland- and imagination itself- in this riveting conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy. The Heart Crystal’s power has been depleted, and Imagination along with it. The people of Wonderland have all lost their creative drive, and most alarmingly, even Queen Alyss is without her powers. There is some comfort in the fact that the vicious Redd Heart seems to be similarly disabled. Amazingly, she is attempting to team up with her enemy, Alyss, in order to reclaim Wonderland from King Arch. Alyss might have no choice but to accept Redd’s overtures, especially when she begins to receive alarming advice from the caterpillar oracles. Xombies by Walter Greatshell When the Agent X plague struck, it infected women first, turning them into mindless killers intent only on creating an army of "Xombies" by spreading their disease. Running for her life, seventeen-year-old Lulu is rescued by the father she has never known and taken aboard a refitted nuclear submarine that has one mission: to save a little bit of humanity. Playing With Fire by Derek Landy In this sequel to Skulduggery Pleasant (HarperCollins, 2007), 13-year-old Valkyrie Cain and her mentor, the living skeleton detective, are faced with the return of the evil Baron Vengeous, who has been freed from prison. Vengeous is trying to reanimate the Grotesquery, a monster made up of pieces of a variety of evil creatures. If his scheme is successful, the Faceless Ones, "the terrible dark gods, exiled from this world," will return. Faced with treachery within the ranks of good magicians, Valkyrie and Skulduggery must rely on their own Elemental magical powers and a few trusted allies to confront Vengeous's magic and helpers, such as the vampire Dusk and Billy-Ray Sanguine, who has the ability to tunnel underground. One magical action sequence follows another as Valkyrie must find the courage to face what seem to be insurmountable foes. Humorous conversations between Valkyrie and Skulduggery add flavor to this generally dark and often-violent novel, as does the girl's appreciation of the dichotomy between her evil-fighting life and that of a quiet student lived by her reflection while she's off saving the world. Scepter of the Ancients by Derek Landy When 12-year-old Stephanie's eccentric Uncle Gordon dies, a mysterious man bundled in an overcoat, scarf, sunglasses, and a hat shows up at both the funeral and the reading of the will. This man, as it turns out, is Skulduggery Pleasant, a walking, talking skeleton who rescues Stephanie when she is attacked while alone in the house that she has just inherited. It seems that a particularly evil person named Serpine is trying to obtain a scepter that will allow him to rule the world. Stephanie is swept into a world of magic, secrets, power, and intrigue as she and Skulduggery try to keep one step ahead of Serpine and various other nefarious folk. Deadly hand-to-hand combat, nasty villains, magical derring-do, and traitorous allies will keep readers turning the pages, but it is the dynamic duo of Stephanie and Skulduggery who provide the real magic. The girl eagerly jumps into this new, dangerous, action-packed life, but she isn't sure that she has the guts or the power to pull it off. The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy Valkyrie screamed, sprinting toward Skulduggery. He looked up and reached out to her, but it was too late. If you've read the other Skulduggery books by Derek Landy (and you really should have read them by now), you've seen it all before: Some bad guy wants to bring about the end of the world, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie fight valiantly to stop it from happening. A few people get hurt, sure, but everything's all right in the end. Well, not this time. At Empire's Edge by William C. Dietz In a far-distant future, the Uman Empire has spread to the stars and beyond, conquering and colonizing worlds, ruling with a benevolent-but iron-fist. The Pax Umana reigns, and all is well. But on one planet, the remnants of a violent, shape-shifting race called the Sagathis are confined, kept captive by xeno-cops, who have been bio-engineered to be able to see through their guises. Still, sometimes one manages to escape. Zak Cato is a xeno-cop. He's returning a fugitive Sagathi when things go horribly wrong. Cato- the only survivor after the rest of his men are slaughtered-must now figure out who betrayed them and bring the alien in, whatever the cost. Doubleblind by Ann Aguirre It’s not easy to tread lightly wearing steel-toed boots. Sirantha Jax isn’t known for diplomatic finesse. As a “Jumper” who navigates ships through grimspace, she’s used to kicking ass first and taking names later—much later. Not exactly the obvious choice to sell the Conglomerate to the Ithtorians, a people whose opinions of humans are as hard as their exoskeletons. And Ithiss-Tor council meetings aren’t the only place where Ambassador Jax needs to maneuver carefully. Her lover, March, is frozen in permanent “kill” mode, and his hair-trigger threatens to sabotage the talks—not to mention their relationship. But Jax won’t give up on the man or the mission. With the Outskirts beleaguered by raiders, pirates, and the flesh-eating Morgut, an alliance with Ithiss-Tor may be humanity’s only hope. Which has Jax wondering why a notorious troublemaker like her was given the job… Vigilante by Laura E. Reeve Amidst an uneasy peace between the Autonomists and the Terrans, Major Ariane Kedros and her partner, Matthew Journey, have discovered alien ruins on a remote planet-ruins that bear evidence to an ancient and highly advanced technology. But their discovery has drawn the interest of high stakes players from every corner of the universe-including that of the rogue leader of a fringe Terran sect. Ari must find a way to stop him, before they all become ancient history... Blood Bargain by Maria Lima Keira Kelly has settled in with handsome Adam Walker, but happy-ever-after is not so easy when your vampire lover seems determined to deny his true nature. With Adam starving himself of blood and growing weak, Keira needs to work out how to persuade him to take care of himself, something she's fi nding diffi cult to do -- even with the advice of her brother Tucker, a millennium-old ex-Viking shapeshifter. And people have started disappearing in the Rio Seco area, making Keira worry about what this could mean, both for her friends in Rio Seco and to the community she and Adam have been creating at the ranch. But her investigation only seems to bring more trouble, especially when a clue leads her to an abandoned cemetery that Keira knew well when she was younger...one that has always been extremely important to her magical family. Evil is defi nitely walking once again in the Texas Hill Country. Can Keira discover where the danger lies...before danger discovers her? The Dame by R. A. Salvatore The vast road network of Honce, completed a decade before, had brought great optimism to the people of the land. Commerce could travel more freely and so could armies, and those armies, it was hoped, would rid the land at long last of the vicious, bloody cap dwarfs and goblins. For the first time, the many individual kingdoms, the holdings of Honce, would be brought closer together, perhaps even united. For the last few years, those promises had become a nightmare to the folk, as two powerful lairds fought for supremacy of a hoped-for united kingdom. Bransen Garibond, the Highwayman, held little real interest in that fight. To him the warring lairds were two sides of the same coin. Whichever side won, the outcome for the people of Honce would be the same, Bransen believed. A journey north, however, taught Bransen that his views were simplistic at best, and that some things--like honor and true friendship-- might truly matter. In The Dame, Bransen’s road becomes a quest for the truth, of Honce and of himself, a quest to put right over wrong. That path is fraught with confusion and fraud, and a purposeful blurring of morality by those who would seek to use the Highwayman’s extraordinary battle skills and popularity among the commonfolk for their own nefarious ends. Traitor's Gate by Kate Elliott In Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate, Kate Elliott took readers to the fascinating world of the Hundred, a land teeming with an array of cultures, gods, and conflicts blighted by the shadow of chaos and destruction. Now, with the same intensity and dramatic sweep that has brought this epic to life, Elliott returns to the exquisitely crafted cities and landscapes of the Hundred, in a thunderous conclusion to the saga. In the darkness of war and destruction, forces gather to reclaim the peace: Those immortal Guardians who still serve justice seek a means to end the devastating reign of one of their own; a hired outlander army struggles to halt the advance of the horde that has despoiled vast lands and slaughtered countless people in its murderous wake, while still guarding against a burgeoning threat from an aggressively expansionist empire; and the eagle reeves who have long been the only law enforcers of the Hundred struggle to reorganize after a devastating massacre has decimated their numbers. But even as these forces give hope to those who would live in peace, a terrible danger looms: a traitor with Imperial ambitions, the most dreaded, least anticipated threat of all… The United States of Atlantis by Harry Turtledove As England tightens its control over the Atlantean colonies, Victor Radcliff and his band of revolutionaries resolve to make the English pay for each and every piece of land they dare to occupy and will stop at nothing to preserve the liberty of their people as a new nation is born—a nation that will change the face of the world... The Empress of Mars by Kage Baker When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet--only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars. This is the story of Mary Griffith, a determined woman with three daughters, who opened the only place to buy a beer on the Tharsis Bulge. It's the story of Manco Inca, whose attempt to terraform Mars brought a new goddess vividly to life; of Stanford Crosley, con man extraordinaire; of Ottorino Vespucci, space cowboy and romantic hero; of the Clan Morrigan, of the denizens of the Martian Motel, and of the machinations of another Company entirely, all of whom contribute to the downfall of the BAC and the founding of a new world. But Mary and her struggles and triumphs is at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars. Based on the Hugo-nominated novella of the same name, this is a rollicking novel of action, planetary romance, and high adventure. Fish Out of Water by MaryJanice Davidson Fred the Mermaid has taken the bait and chosen to date Artur, Prince of the Black Sea, over human marine biologist Thomas. And just in time. The existence of the Undersea Folk is no longer a secret, and someone needs to keep them from floundering in the media spotlight. Fred has all the right skills for that job, but has a hard time when her real father surfaces and tries to overthrow Artur’s regime. Crystal Healer: A Stardoc Novel by S. L. Viehl Genetically engineered interstellar surgeon Dr. Cherijo Torin, her husband Duncan Reever, and a handpicked crew journey to the planet oKia to locate a strange black mineral that is the source of an intergalactic epidemic. When one of the crew members becomes infected, his body slowly begins to crystallize. While Cherijo races to save the crew member, mercenaries arrive in the oKia system, wanting Cherijo's genes-and her near immortality. It will take all of her abilities to elude the mercenaries and discover the black crystal's secrets before it's too late. Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her? Cape Storm by Rachel Caine Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin and her new husband, the Djinn David, are running from a malevolent hurricane bent on destroying her. Joined by an army of fellow Wardens and Djinn onboard a hijacked luxury liner, Joanne has lured the storm into furious pursuit. But even their combined magic may not be enough to stop it—nor the power-mad ex-Weather Warden controlling it... Demon Inside by Stacia Kane Hanging out with demons can be hell....It's been three months since psychologist Megan Chase made the stunning discovery that the world is filled with demons, and once more the situation is too hot to handle. Ironically, Megan -- the only person in the world without a little personal demon sitting on her shoulder -- has become the leader of a demon "family," but now some unknown arcane power is offing her demons in a particularly unpleasant fashion. And while her demon lover Greyson Dante is still driving her wild with desire, he's also acting strangely evasive. Then there's the truth about Megan's past -- the truth she's never known. Caught between personal problems and personal demons, Megan is having one hell of a hard time. Will the help of her Cockney guard demons and her witch friend Tera be enough so that Megan can finally resolve the past, survive the present, and face the future? Brimstone Kiss by Carole Nelson Douglas From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Filled with kisses and kick-ass action, the second installment of this campy series (after 2007's Dances with Werewolves) finds paranormal investigator Delilah Street taking on her first case in an alternate 2010 Las Vegas. When Delilah and her boyfriend, ex-FBI agent Ric Montoya, find the bodies of two teens killed in Sunset Park in 1946, the girl's ghost appears and claims the killer was her father, werewolf mobster Cesar Cicereau. Vampire mogul Howard Hughes hires Delilah to learn the identity of the girl's vampire companion, and she also comes under pressure from albino vampire rocker Snow; television producer Hector Nightwine; and the Invisible Man, a zombie merged with Claude Rains's black-and-white film character. Douglas's dishy style compliments the twisty plot, and she helpfully includes references for the numerous nods to the silver screen, Egyptology and cocktails. Matters of the Blood If you thought your family was strange...Try being Keira Kelly. A member of a powerful paranormal family, Keira elected to stay among humans in the Texas Hill Country when the rest of the clan moved (lock, stock, and grimoire) to Canada. But family duty means still having to keep an eye on cousin Marty — a genetic aberration who turned out 100% human, poor guy. And recently Keira's been having violent dreams — or are they visions? — featuring Marty as the victim of a vicious murder. Something sinister seems to be brewing in little Rio Seco. Can Keira get to the bottom of it all while avoiding entanglement with her former lover, Sheriff Carlton Larson? And what does she plan to do about the irresistible and enigmatic Adam Walker? When this old friend shows up as the new owner of a local ranc and wants to get better acquainted, Keira is more than happy to be welcoming...until she suspects that Adam could be intimately connected to the dangerous doings in Rio Seco. The Stars Blue Yonder by Sandra McDonald Chief Terry Myell died and became a god. Now he’s back to life, careening around space and time at the behest of a voice that told him to save all of mankind. Helping and hindering this quest are his elderly wife, his young wife, grandchildren who haven’t been born yet, romantic rivals he hasn’t even met, a descendant from two thousand years in the future, and an alien nemesis who calls itself the Flying Doctor. Life in the military has never been so complicated. Commander Jodenny Scott would agree. She’s seven months pregnant and trying to come to peace with her husband’s death. When Myell reappears with tales of time travel, she’s not sure what to believe. But with an invading army bearing down on Earth’s last fleet of spaceships, there’s not much time for debate. When the dust clears Jodenny is stranded in an Australia she never imagined, and Myell’s more desperate than ever to rescue her—from aliens, from treachery, and from history itself. Intelligent Design by Denise Little (Editor) These ten original stories explore one of the most heatedly debated topics today. From a tale that examines whether life on Earth is an out-of-control science project, to one which reveals which species will inherit the planet, to a portrait of a scientist determined to discover the truth about God, the stories in this anthology tackle the big questions in ways that range from startling to satirical—and are always entertaining. The Sword of the Lady by S.M. Stirling The New York Times bestselling author continues his "epic of survival and rebirth" (Library Journal), chronicling a modern world without technology. Rudi Mackenzie has journeyed far across the land that was once the United States of America, hoping to find the source of the world-altering event that has come to be known as The Change. His final destination is Nantucket, an island overrun with forest, inhabited by a mere two hundred people who claim to have been transported there from out of time. Only one odd stone house remains standing. Within it, Rudi finds a beautifully made sword waiting for him-and once he takes it up, nothing will ever be the same... Land of the Dead by Thomas Harlan It’s a small change in our history: imagine that the Japanese made contact with the Aztec Empire. Instead of small-pox and Christianity, they brought an Imperial alliance, samurai ethics, and technology. By the time of these books, the Emperor in Mexico City rules not just the entire planet Earth, but a growing interplanetary Empire. But the Galaxy is not a hospitable place, and there are other powers, both new and very very old, who would stop the spread of the power in Anuhuac. A weapon of the Old Ones, from the time of the First Sun, has been found in a region of space. It must be investigated, then tamed or destroyed to keep it from the hands of opposing powers. Gretchen Anderssen, freelance archeologist and specialist in First Sun artifacts, has been hired by her old mentor Green Hummingbird, agent of the Mirror Service, to join him in the study. They will be joined by old friends, and some old enemies as well. The Storm Witch: A Novel of Dhulyn and Parno by Violette Malan The new fantasy adventure featuring Dhulyn and Parno. Mercenary Partners Dhulyn Wolfshead and Parno Lionsmane have returned to their Mercenary House to clear themselves of accusations of kidnapping and murder. But before they can resolve these charges, old friends are taken hostage by the Long Ocean Nomads, and they are forced to come to the rescue. And as they set sail, Dhulyn is convinced they are journeying to Parno's death, which she has foreseen in numerous visions of a drowning at sea. Flight of the Renshai by Mickey Zucker Reichert Prejudice against the Renshai is growing rapidly, fueled by their old enemies in the Northlands, who have convinced a faction in Erythane that the Renshai lands were stolen from them, forcing the King to banish the Renshai from the Westlands. Shunned by Westerners and hunted by Northmen, the Renshai will face many trials before rallying together against a common enemy determined to destroy them once and for all.

No comments: