Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Finds

Posted by Simcha 4:50 AM, under | 3 comments




Weird Things People Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Jen Campbell is a book seller who often shares on her blog some of the funny comments that she receives, or overhears, at her bookstore. Apparently this feature is so popular that she has been commissioned to write a book, which will include annecdotes of her own as well as those of other booksellers. This sounds like a really fun book one that I definitly intend to get my hands on as soon as it becomes available.




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Did you know that Punky Brewster grew up and wrote a book!? (and that her name is Soleil Moon Frye!) OK, maybe I'm totally behind the times but I had kind of forgotten about the former child-star that I had spend so many hours of my childhood watching on the TV, and it's a bit of a shock to see her all grown up, and with kids. So now I have to read this book and find out what she's been up to all these years. Plus the book has a really cute trailer.

Happy Chaos: From Punky to Parenting and My Perfectly Imperfect Adventures in Between by Soleil Moon Frye

Enthusiastic, spunky, and positive, Punky Brewster was the quintessential eighties kid. Nearly thirty years later, Soleil Moon Frye-the adorable girl who played her on TV-is all grown up. Now she's a married mom of two, an entrepreneur who parlayed her successful kids' clothing line into a partnership with Target, and a social media whiz with millions of followers. Many of the same girls who watched Soleil on television are now grown up with children of their own, too, and they look to her as a go-to source for realistic, in-the-trenches parenting advice, inspiration, and fun. Happy Chaos invites those women into Soleil's world, and makes them revel in the chaos of their own lives, too.

Soleil believes that "happy chaos" is the sign of a family operating at its best-when parents accept that they'll make mistakes, that there will be messes, tears and skinned knees. She learned to love a jumbled life during her own childhood, when her own mom created an atmosphere that was thoroughly unconventional. Their house in Los Angeles was a haven for many young stars of Soleil's generation, often far from home and looking for a safe place to hang out. In this book, she shows how her happy but chaotic childhood informed her parenting: Each chapter begins with a telling reminiscence before moving into insightful advice and fun stories about life with her husband and two adorable daughters.



Internet Finds

I find most flash mobs to be kind of awkward and embarrassing to watch, especially if they are done on a small scale,  but this one in, in a Jerusalem outdoor mall, is really awesome. It even includes belldancers! (wish I had been there because I've never seen anyone bellydance in real life)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Doomsday Vault (Clockwork Empire #1) by Steven Harper

Posted by Simcha 5:52 PM, under | 4 comments


All across the world, zombies roam the streets at night, infecting those they touch with the Clockwork Plague. Most of the infected die horrible, drawn-out, deaths, but some people are affected differently and instead of destroying their brains the plague enhances them. These people are called Clockworkers and they are responsible for creating the greatest inventions of the time. Unfortunately the disease eventually causes them to go mad.

In Victorian England, Alice Michaels lives with the horrible knowledge that it was because of her that her family was infected by the Clockwork Plague, leading to death of her mother and brother. Alice will therefore do whatever it takes to bring her father the happiness he deserves, even if it means attending balls in order to capture for herself a wealthy husband. Unfortunately Alice's social standings have dropped so far that no one in Society is interested in having anything to do with her, until Mr. Norbert Williamson shows up. Mr. Williamson is new to London and a bit of a mystery, but Alice doesn't much care as long as he is willing to provide for her and her father, even if he doesn't excite her the way the romance novels and poetry describe.

But Alice's resolve to go along with her father's plans wavers when she gets her first taste of excitement and adventure, after helping quell a zombie attack. Alice's loyalties to her father, and propriety,  are strained even further when her path crosses that of a young man who makes her feel the excitement that she never felt with Mr. Williamson. But despite her own desires Alice knows that her duty to her father comes first. Though when a new Clockworker appears, stirring the zombies to attack the populace, Alice may be the only one who can stop it because for some reason it keeps seeking her out.

Gavin Ennock is a seventeen year-old cabin boy, on the USS Juniper airship, with a talent for playing the violin. Gavin can't imagine any other life other than that on an airship, but after his ship is attached by pirates Gavin finds himself alone and destitute on the streets of London. By playing his violin in the park Gavin manages to make enough money to feed himself, and hopefully enough to eventually get him back home. But Gavin's talent gains him unwanted attention and once again he finds himself captured, and at a stranger's mercy. Though this time Gavin is saved by a beautiful young woman who helps direct him onto a new path of adventure and excitement, working for a secret government organization, fighting zombies and capturing Clockworkers.


I'm not sure what it is about Victorian England but for some reason I really enjoy reading stories that take place in that time and setting and The Doomsday Vault was no exception. The Doomsday Vault was a fun and thrilling fast-paced adventure full of engaging characters and plenty of surprises. The premise of the story was unique, with all of biggest inventions of the time being credited to this rare form of the zombie Plague that enhances the inventor's skills, before leading them to madness. I particularly enjoyed all the interesting and unexpected twists that kept popping up, just when I thought I had the story figured out, particularly towards the end.

Alice is great character, and one who I was easily able to sympathize with. Her run-in with the zombies has given her a taste for adventure and the desire to use her skills to make a difference in the world, even as she struggles to stay on the path of propriety for the sake of her father. She is constantly in fear of becoming one of those wild Ad Hoc women that she has heard so much about, even though this is exactly the kind of woman she really longs to be.

One of my favorite interaction between Alice and Gavin comes right after she assists him in capturing a crazed Clockworker, which leads them to spending the night together unchaperoned. The next day Alice insists they come up with a cover-story so that no one will suspect her of impropriety.

    “Speaking of which,” Alice put in, “how are we going to handle the travel and explanations?” 
    Gavin looked puzzled. “I don't understand.”  
    “Gavin,” she said gently, “as a traditional woman, I can drive about London with a man who isn't my husband or father as long as we are in public. But I can't go overnight with him. Even an Ad Hoc lady couldn't do that. I'm not even coming back in my own clothes.”  
    “Oh. Right. It's always something stupid,” He scratched his cheek, which was growing raspy. “Look, I don't think anyone saw you leave London with me....If anyone does know you left town overnight, we'll tell him Baron captured you. I, an agent of the Crown, rescued you in a daring raid at dawn, and now I'm seeing you home. Your dress was badly torn in the rescue so you bravely donned a spare set of man's clothes. How's that?” 
    “Why am I the one who gets captured?”  
    “You're the traditional lady.”
So while Alice would love to run around, battling zombies and saving the day she feels bound to follow of the role of a traditional lady, because that's what's expected of her.

What I found interesting about Gavin was that he's so different from the kind of male protagonist that are usually featured in these kind of stories. Usually the male is a real Alpha personality, a larger-than life character who is confident, handsome and overly protective of his female counterpart, whom he is often in a constant battle of wills with. Some examples that come to mind are Lord Maccon from Gail Carriger's Soulless, James Easton from Y.S Lee's Agency series and Alexi Rychman from Leanna Renee Hieber's Strangely Beautiful series. 

Gavin, though, was a lot more, well, normal. While he was handsome, as a good male lead should be, he wasn't overly confident, or brave or of superior intelligence . But he was more of an average guy, though a very nice and talented one. It was also unusual that he was actually a few years younger then Alice. While I thought it was rather nice to have this unconventional kind of hero, I was also a bit disappointed because I do like those Alpha males. I kept expecting him to be more forceful whenever Alice pulled away, and to chase her a bit more, but this wasn't the case. I wonder if the fact that the author is a male gave him a different perspective in creating Gavin. I don't think any of the other similar book that I've read were by male authors.

I usually enjoy reading about the different steampunk inventions in these books but I didn't find the ones in The Doomsday Book very convincing. Alice's robots seemed strangely independent for mechanical creations and there is a huge mechanical tree that shows up though I couldn't imagine why anyone would create a huge tree as a means of transportation. It seemed very impractical to me.

The Doomsday Book has almost everything I like in a good book including adventure, romance, some humor and a strong female protagonist. It was a lot of fun and can't wait for the next installment in the series.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guest Post: Michael Sullivan on Friendships vs. Romance

Posted by Simcha 6:14 AM, under | 11 comments

I'm pleased to welcome Michael Sullivan today to SFF Chat, as part of his blog tour for the release of the first book in his Riyria Revelations series, Theft of Swords


Michael's story is a really interesting one, from how he got started on the road to self-publishing, with help from his wife (who even started her own publishing company), to how his novels gained in popularity, eventually being bought by Orbit publications. I was looking forward to getting the chance to interview Michael myself, but the problem was that he has already done so many interesting interviews and blog posts that I couldn't come up with any new questions to ask him. Well, I did have one question for Michael, which was on a subject I had been thinking quite a lot about lately, and which tied in very well to his books.

One of the things I really enjoyed about The Crown Conspiracy (the first book in the original series) is the deep friendship between the book's two protagonists, Royce and Hadrian. Shortly before reading The Crown Conspiracy I had read another book in which the friendship between the hero and his friend was also the main relationship in the story. These two books got me thinking about how unusual it is to find a fantasy book that focuses on a friendship rather than a romance, and how refreshing this was. So I decided to ask Michael about his thoughts on friendships in fantasy and why he chose to focus on this kind of relationship in his own books.

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Michael Sullivan on
Friendships vs. Romance in Fantasy



Hello, my name is Michael J. Sullivan and I’m the author of The Riyria Revelations which was originally a six-book epic fantasy that is now hitting the street as a trilogy (2 books in each volume) published by Orbit. My wife and Simcha have been corresponding about the possibility of an interview or a guest post and during through that conversation Simcha brought up a very good topic. While we may do an interview later down the line as schedules permit, I’d like to answer the question raised.

I love questions that make me think about my motivations. As a writer I take in influences from all kinds of sources, digest them, and am never 100% sure why one thing emerges rather than another. For the record there is romance in the series—but it occurs late (Books 4 – 6 to be exact). Two things come to mind…the first is that I wanted the relationships to develop over time (I hate when to people fall instantly in love just because they happen to be around each other for an extended period of time). And the other is I wanted the reader to get to really know the people before introducing the love interest to any huge extent.

Okay, now that the disclaimer has been made, let’s get back to the topic at hand…friendship. There is no doubt that Royce and Hadrian are the best of friends. Their loyalty to one another has no bounds. Upon first meeting I think people get a sense of just how much they respect one another, but as the series progresses you’ll learn aspects from their past that helps to explain how those bonds formed.

If I were to determine my biggest influence on Royce and Hadrian it would probably be Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When it came out in 1969, the country had been going through some really tough times: Vietnam, race riots, assassinations of some of our best and brightest—and a lot of the books and movies reflect a dark and brooding atmosphere. Butch and Sundance was the first movie I had seen for a long time which really celebrated a close connection between two men, and they were cool, and fun, and now that I think about it, they also operated outside the law.

Because they spend their time doing less than admirable things it’s important to show that they’re not all bad. That there are reasons that they got to where they are, and under it all there is a desire to strive to be better people. Using a duo allows me to explore situations from very different perspectives. I like playing the idealism of Hadrian against the backdrop of Royce’s cynicism. 

As for why this isn’t done more often…I don’t know. The “buddy-picture” is a pretty popular trope in films. Usually involving cops or thieves, but now that I think about it, it doesn’t come up often in fantasy writing. There is of course Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, but I did not know about these books when I started writing Riyria. What I was influenced by was the friendships of the hobbits from Lord of the Rings (not only Frodo and Sam, but Merry and Pip as well). Once again we see that willingness to walk through fire (literarily) for a friend so it is a theme that I’m obviously drawn to. It could be that without the passion of sexual tension the bonds between friends are forged at a deeper level.

So there you have it…I don’t think I have all the answers but these are some of the things that influenced me when writing the series. Royce and Hadrian have very defined voices in my head and in general I find them just great people to hang out with. My hope is that others will spend a little time with them (I have a free short featuring them called The Viscount and the Witch) and after doing so hopefully some will follow Hadrian and Royce’s exploits into The Riyria Revelations. After all you do have to eventually get to the romance…friendship is indeed an important bond, but nothing compares to finding the love of your life. I count myself to be one of the fortunate few who have done just that and it is through her love and support that all things are possible.

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Aww, that's sweet. And now I think I'll have to ask Michael about Robin's own influences on the romantic parts of the book (once I get there, of course).

Well thanks so much Michael for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about friendship in fantasy and I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series (especially since it's now available through The Book Depository!).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Scifi & Fantasy Releases: Week of November 27

Posted by Simcha 3:42 PM, under | 5 comments

Science Fiction



Star Wars: Shadow Games
Michael Reaves & Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
Publisher: LucasBooks
Release Date: November 29

SOME GAMES ARE PLAYED FOR LIFE OR DEATH.

Javul Charn is the most famous pop star in the galaxy—and the runaway bride of a violent lieutenant in Black Sun, the crime syndicate commanded by Prince Xizor. Or so Javul says. Soon after Dash Rendar, broke and desperate, agrees to be Javul’s bodyguard, he realizes that openness is not her strong suit—and that murder is stalking her tour. Between the discovery of dead bodies in a cargo hold and an attack by an unidentified warship, Dash and co-pilot Eaden Vrill desperately try to understand who is terrorizing Javul’s tour and why. When Han Solo suddenly joins Javul’s road show, the stakes are raised even higher. Now Dash, who has a history with Han and an even worse history with Prince Xizor, follows his instincts, his discoveries, and Javul herself—straight into a world that may be too dangerous to survive.


Theme Planet
Andy Remic
Publisher: Solaris
Release Date: November 29

Welcome to Theme Planet, an entire alien world dedicated to insane rides, excessive hedonism and dangerous adventure. Operated by the Monolith Corporation, Theme Planet is the No. 1 destination for fun-seeking human holidaymakers Galaxy-Wide! 


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Fantasy


Broken Blade
Kelly McCullough
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: November 29

Once a fabled Blade of Namara, Aral Kingslayer fought for justice and his goddess alongside his familiar, a living shadow called Triss. Now with their goddess murdered and her temple destroyed, they are among the last of their kind. Surviving on the fringes of society, Aral becomes a drunken, broken, and wanted man, working whatever shadowy deal comes his way. Until a mysterious woman hires him to deliver a secret message-one that can either redeem him or doom him.  



Honor Among Thieves (Ancient Blades #3)
David Chandler
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: November 29

When allies become enemies, to whom can a clever thief turn?

Armed with one of seven Ancient Blades, Malden was chosen by Fate to act as savior . . . and failed dismally. And now there is no stopping the barbarian hordes from invading and pillaging the kingdom of Skrae. Suddenly friends and former supporters alike covet the young hero’s magic while seeking his destruction—from the treacherous King and leaders of the City of Ness to the rogue knight Croy, who owes Malden his life.

It will take more than Malden’s makeshift army of harlots and cutpurses to preserve a realm. Luckily the sorceress Cythera fights at his side, along with the ingenious, irascible dwarf Slag. And the wily thief still has a desperate and daring plan or two up his larcenous sleeve . . .



The Hunter from the Woods
Robert McCammon
Publisher: Subterranean
Release Date: November 30

The Hunter from the Woods marks the much-anticipated return of Michael Gallatin, the lycanthropic hero of Robert McCammon's 1989 classic, The Wolf's Hour. These all-new, interlinked stories offer a full measure of McCammon's trademark narrative excitement, and comprise a fascinating composite portrait of a unique fictional creation.

The volume opens with a pair of brief glimpses into Michael's early life in Russia and his initial recruitment into the British Secret Service. It ends with a haunting vision of the werewolf at twilight. In between, McCammon gives us three stellar novellas depicting different phases of Michael's long, brutal war against Nazi Germany. 'Sea Chase' is a nautical tale about the hazards of transporting a defecting German scientist to a place of sanctuary in England. 'The Wolf and the Eagle' is the account of an unlikely friendship between rival 'men of action' and a harrowing portrayal of a lethal forced march through the North African desert. 'The Room at the Bottom of the Stairs' tells of an impossible, ultimately tragic love affair set in the embattled city of Berlin during the latter stages of the war.

Erotic, visceral, and filled with moments of desolating horror and unexpected warmth, The Hunter from the Woods is a triumph of imaginative storytelling. Like the best of McCammon's earlier work, it offers intelligent, world-class entertainment. In the process, it shines a welcome new light on one of the most uncommon heroes in contemporary fiction.



The Scottish Prisoner: A Novel (Lord John)
Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: November 29

London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising.

Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again.

Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious danger. Time is of the essence as the investigation leads to Ireland, with a baffling message left in “Erse,” the tongue favored by Scottish Highlanders. Lord John, who oversaw Jacobite prisoners when he was governor of Ardsmiur prison, thinks Jamie may be able to translate—but will he agree to do it?

Soon Lord John and Jamie are unwilling companions on the road to Ireland, a country whose dark castles hold dreadful secrets, and whose bogs hide the bones of the dead. A captivating return to the world Diana Gabaldon created in her Outlander and Lord John series, The Scottish Prisoner is another masterpiece of epic history, wicked deceit, and scores that can only be settled in blood.

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Urban Fantasy


Acquainted With the Night
Piper Maitland
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: November 29

The pages of history are written in the blood of the undead…
A woman’s quest for the truth…
A medieval icon that holds the clues…
An ancient book with the power to shake Christianity—and humanity itself…

Caroline Clifford’s bland life as a London tour guide flips upside down when her beloved uncle is brutally murdered at a Bulgarian archeological site. While traveling to recover his remains, she meets a man who corresponded with her uncle. Jude Barrett is a biochemist on a mission—to eradicate the world of vampires…
At first, Caro is dismissive of Jude’s beliefs, but she can’t ignore the signs around her—the human bites on her uncle, the strange men following her, the anguished cries after sundown. Strange anagrams on her uncle’s passport lead her and Jude to a cliff-top monastery in Greece, where a shattering revelation connects a relic Caro inherited from her parents to an age-old text on immortality—and an enigmatic prophecy that pits the forces of darkness and light in a showdown that could destroy them all…

Acquainted with evil…


Fate’s Edge (The Edge, Bk 3)
Ilona Andrews
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: November 29

Audrey Callahan left behind her life in the Edge, and she's determined to stay on the straight and narrow. But when her brother gets into hot water, the former thief takes on one last heist and finds herself matching wits with a jack of all trades...

Kaldar Mar-a gambler, lawyer, thief, and spy-expects his latest assignment tracking down a stolen item to be a piece of cake, until Audrey shows up. But when the item falls into the hands of a lethal criminal, Kaldar realizes that in order to finish the job, he's going to need Audrey's help...



Virtual Virgin (Delilah Street #5)
Carole Nelson Douglas
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: November 29

For a red-blooded male, Las Vegas offers a virtual smorgasbord of temptation: sexy showgirls, vampy vampires, zombie starlets, you name it. But paranormal investigator Delilah Street isn’t worried about losing her man to these vixens. Especially when the one woman with a soft spot for the guy also has a hard-shelled exterior. . . .
She’s a robot—or a CinSim, to be exact—a near-perfect simulation of the silver-metal robot Maria from the classic science fiction movie Metropolis. Part innocent teenage actress, part depraved sex goddess, the new Maria is hooked on Delilah’s partner, Ric, who raised her from the dead. She also happens to be the perfect secret weapon for a demonic drug lord. Which could be one hell of a problem. Delilah’s not the jealous type, but this tin-can temptress must be stopped—even if it forces Delilah to forge a dangerous alliance with her wicked mirror-twin, Lilith. If robo-girl goes ballistic, every player in Vegas loses. . .


Killing Rites (The Black Sun's Daughter, Bk 4)
M.L.N. Hanover
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: November 29

Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers; something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful.

Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.


Vampires Dead Ahead (Night Tracker, Bk 5)
Cheyenne McCray
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: November 29

With zero tolerance for bloodsuckers, Nyx and the Trackers have made the streets safer for warm-blooded New Yorkers. Unfortunately, they didn’t drive a stake through the problem nationwide. Vampire attacks are on the rise. Proctors are dropping like flies. And Volod—New York’s ousted Master Vampire—is trying to make a comeback…

Nyx is worried—about her city, her job, and her neck. But mostly she’s concerned about her former lover, Rodán, a Proctor who’s gone missing. Scarier still, Volod is capturing and “turning” paranorms to help him paint the town red. Which sucks. Because some of these new vampires are Nyx’s old friends. But hey—if she can stake them here, she’ll stake them anywhere…


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Young Adult


Falling (Fade, Bk 2)
Kailin Gow
Publisher: theEdgeBooks
Release Date: November 28

What is Celestra Caine? Who is she and did she ever existed? The Faders and the Others clash at the Underground, sending everything into a tailspin. Celestra is pulled into more intrigue, more danger, and more romance, as she discovers who she is and why everyone wants to get her in Book 2 of the FADE series.



Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2)
Jennifer Estep
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: November 29

Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle...

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...



Legend
Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: November 29

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.



The Hedgewitch Queen
Lilith Saintcrow
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: December 1

Vianne di Rocancheil is a lady waiting at the Court of Arquitaine, where she studies her books, watches for intrigue, and shepherds her foolhardy Princesse through the glittering whirl. Court is a sometimes-unpleasant waltz, especially for the unwary, but Vianne treads its measured steps well.

Unfortunately, the dance has changed. Treachery is afoot in gilded and velvet halls. A sorcerous conspiracy is unleashed, with blood, death, and warfare close behind. Vianne must flee, carrying the Great Seal of Arquitaine with her. This is the one thing the conspirators need to rule, and they won’t rest until they have it. A life of dances, intrigues, and fashion has not prepared Vianne for this. Nor has it prepared her for Tristan d’Arcenne, Captain of the King’s Guard and player in the most dangerous games conspiracy can devise. Yet to save her country and avenge her Princesse, Vianne will become what she must and do whatever is required.

A Queen can do no less.


The Spider Goddess (Pandora English #2)
Tara Moss
Publisher: Pan Macmillian Australia
Release Date: December 1

It's been two months since Pandora English left her small hometown to live with her mysterious great-aunt in a haunted mansion in Spektor – the fog-wreathed suburb of Manhattan that doesn't appear on any map. With the help of her great-aunt and the beautiful – but dead – Lieutenant Luke, Pandora is beginning to understand the significance of the Lucasta family heritage her late mother kept secret from her. Pandora is heir to a great gift. And with that comes frightening responsibility...

Meanwhile, she seems doomed to be forever underestimated in the mortal world. Her fashion editor boss doesn't seem to know she exists. But New York needs Pandora's special gifts. There is a new designer in town, and her ambitions extend far beyond taking over the fashion world one knit at a time...


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Paranormal Romance



Angel of Darkness
Cynthia Eden
Publisher: Brave
Release Date: November 29

As an angel of death, Keenan’s job is to collect the souls on his list. He’s carried out his duty for two thousand years and never faltered once. Until he meets Nicole St. James. When the moment of death comes, Keenan hesitates, and instead of taking Nicole, Keenan touches the vampire who’s attacking her.

Cast out of heaven for disobedience, Keenan plummets to earth. Six months later, he finally manages to track Nicole to a bar in Mexico. He’s stunned to discover that the woman he remembers has undergone a dramatic change—she’s become a vampire. And when he realizes that she’s the target of all manner of enemies—other vampires, demons, even shifters—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her, even if all hell breaks loose…



Beyond the Darkness
Jaime Rush
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Release Date: November 29

They live ordinary lives, but they are extraordinary. They are the Offspring, children of a mysterious experiment gone awry—and they are in terrible danger.
Cheveyo: a name that stirs Petra like no other, reviving deep feelings of pleasure . . . and pain. Despite her rare psychic gifts, the beautiful half-human Offspring doesn’t know why the magnificent shapeshifter walked out of her life when the bond they shared was powerful . . . and intensely passionate.
But Cheveyo is not gone. From the shadows, he watches over his beloved, determined that the malevolent enemies he hunts with fang and claw will not invade her world. But now, suddenly, the stakes are getting higher—as an insidious evil plots the destruction of Petra’s race. Cheveyo can remain hidden no longer from the lover who completes him but could destroy him . . . if his own inner darkness doesn’t destroy her first.



Bound By Darkness (Guardians of Eternity #8)

Alexandra Ivy
Publisher:
Release Date: November 29

The Sylvermysts have a reputation as sinister cousins to the fey, and none are more mysterious than Ariyal and his tribe. To save his people from banishment, he faces a new challenge: Jaelyn, an elite vampire warrior sent to capture him. By rights, he should kill her on sight. Yet he cannot bring himself to hurt her—or to resist her…

Jaelyn is stunningly beautiful, utterly lethal—and always alone. Until Ariyal. From their first encounter, she knows that what's between them is more dangerous than simple lust. And as they unite to thwart a terrifying prophecy that will mean the end of his clan and of the world they know, she will risk everything to fulfill her destiny by his side…



Hunter of Shadows (Moonlight, Bk 5)
Nancy Gideon
Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: November 29

The secrets he knows about her could get him killed.
Transferring to the New Orleans Police Department, Detective Silas MacCreedy has a hidden agenda: to secure his clan’s place once again in the Shifter hierarchy. What he didn’t count on was stumbling upon a sexy assassin who could shred his best intentions and lead him into a dangerous dance that threatens to engage his heart.
But the ones he doesn’t know . . .
Monica Fraser knows just how to make a man beg—for his life. But she has no clue how to fight her attraction to the fiercely intense detective who seems determined to get in her way, both professionally and intimately.
. . . could kill them both.
When emotional attachments to the past and an unexpected glimpse of a different future have her questioning her deadly purpose, Nica must discover the truth about her secret abilities in order to free herself from the forces that control her. But that freedom comes with a price—trusting those she’s been ordered to eliminate.


Within the Flames (Dirk & Steele #11)
Marjorie Liu
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: November 29

A pyrokinetic and former car thief, Eddie cannot refuse an assignment to cross the continent in order to rescue an extraordinary woman in peril…even though he fears losing control of the destructive power of flame at his fingertips. The last of her shape-shifting kind, Lyssa hides in the abandoned tunnels beneath Manhattan. Like Eddie, fire is her weapon, her destiny…and her curse. For beneath Lyssa’s extraordinary beauty are dangerous secrets…and even darker, nearly irresistible urges…


Devil's Kiss
Zoe Archer
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: December 1

1762. James Sherbourne, Earl of Whitney, is a gambling man. Not for the money. But for the thrill, the danger—and the company: Whit has become one of the infamous Hellraisers, losing himself in the chase for adventure and pleasure with his four closest friends.

Which was how Whit found himself in a gypsy encampment, betting against a lovely Romani girl. Zora Grey’s smoky voice and sharp tongue entrance Whit nearly as much as her clever hands—watching them handle cards inspires thoughts of another kind...

Zora can’t explain her attraction to the careless blue-eyed Whit. She also can’t stop him and his Hellraisers from a fiendish curse: the power to grant their own hearts’ desires, to chase their pleasures from the merely debauched to the truly diabolical. And if Zora can’t save Whit, she still has to escape him…

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