Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Audio Book Review: Insomnia and Seven More Short Stories

Insomnia and Seven More Short Stories

By:  Jeremy Robinson

Publish Date:  May 1, 2011, Audiobook Release April 8, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 3 hrs 39 mins
Narrated By:  Dan Delgado

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  Stand-alone, Anthology of short stories

Impression:  Great short story collection!

Synopsis:
Insomnia is a collection of eight exciting short stories (plus one bonus story) that tackle several different genres including action, science-fiction, horror, noir, and thriller.

Written by best-selling author, Jeremy Robinson, these stories include all of the action, imagination, and twists that fans have come to expect, but they also contain experiments into subjects and voices not normally touched on in his novels.

Insomnia - In a world of super efficiency and equality, sleep is illegal and Feene keeps the masses going.

The Eater - Three children discover a writhing black puddle in the woods of New Hampshire.

Harden’s Tree - A group of teens visit a tree planted atop the ashes of a mass murderer from late 1800’s.

Star Crossed Killers - Two lovers, both deadly killers, compete for the same target.

Counting Sheep - A future terrorist gives an insomniac three minutes to fall asleep.

Hearing Aid - In the future, a deaf man is healed, but does he like what he hears?

Dark Seed of the Moon - Vampires live, and kill, in the eternal shadow of the moon’s polar crater.

From Above - In the future, a detective goes after terrorists who vaporized his city - and his arm - from space.

Bonus story:

Bought and Paid For - A brutal character sketch for Scott Sigler’s The Crypt.


Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This is a first for me listening to Dan Delgado as a narrator. I enjoyed his narration and got a chuckle out of him voicing the youngest of the boys in the second story. The nice thing about anthologies and a collection of short stories is, it's a way for Dan to voice different feelings. Dan gets to give a suspenseful feel, a youthful feel, and much more. I enjoyed and was impressed with his variety of performances here.

Jeremy has a collection of short stories here that are a variety of genre. I enjoyed all the stories, a few more than others, but the whole collection is a great addition to the shelf. I was not let down in a few cases as Jeremy has a way of giving a spin on the story I didn't expect. Very enjoyable collection! I got a feel for each story as I listened, something deeper than what is being told. I enjoyed hearing Jeremy's brief afterward with each story. He shared where he was or what he was thinking about when writing them. This description goes with the theme that was interlaced in the stories.

Insomnia
This was a nice short about a character that works and doesn't sleep, a whole society actually. Yet he still dreams, with his eyes open. And maybe that will get him somewhere...

Hearing Jeremy's afterward based on his story is very interesting. I enjoyed the story, but it also sheds an interesting light on the story as well.

The Eater
Quick short story that involves three brothers. Something terrifying happens, but might be a good thing it happened.

I had to chuckle when I heard Dan voice the young child here.

This felt true to how siblings interact. But I really like how things happen in this story. It's magical, in a way.

Harden's Tree
This is a creepy short story. It's super short, but it works wonderfully! There is history here along with a current event. It does leave me a little curious about the tree afterward though.

Star Crossed Killers
Assassins that seem to be attracted to each other yet are true to their jobs. A little like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, without the marriage part and with relics.

It's a romantic thriller. I love Shawn's view on their relationship. This one made me smile in the end.

Counting Sheep
This one seems rather far fetched. I know it's a science fiction story, but... it's out there with the demand to go to sleep in three minutes or an old woman and a young kid will die. Then I realize, with the characters realization, what is really meant by "go to sleep in three minutes." I smiled at his normal ritual for going to bed, we all have one.

Hearing Aid
This was a great story with a deeper meaning behind it. I really like how he projected the world being loud with advertisements and more. There are times that the world feels too full of sound for me as well.

Dark Seed of the Moon
This takes place on the moon, in a place that feels very fitting for vampires. Neat arrangement here. Jeremy has his own take on vampire-ism. It feels to fit as a history here. There is a turn of events, which I've come to expect from Jeremy in his stories, long and short.

From Above
It's a science fiction noir! I really like this story. It feels rich of history and story. He's a detective on the lookout for what removed his arm, and make them pay for it along with his suit. This has tough characters that are brilliant and go to the extreme. I love it!

Bought and Paid For
He'd lost all he loved, and he's determined to kill the man who took it from him. At any cost.

Very interesting short that creates a character and motive for all he's doing and about to do. This story will lead me to listening to The Crypt podcast of stories at Scott Sigler's site.


This collection adds to my growing shelf of Jeremy's works. I know he doesn't do short stories often, but he's done a great job at it.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mythical Monday #78: Exploring Another World

Art work by: @Burntlaughter on Twitter

It seems there are many books influenced by or based on Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are many different Mythology's and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

Exploring Another World
By Danielle Ackley-McPhail

This one is a bit about mythology, but also about culture and folklore and legend…not always the same thing. Long, long ago, many lifetimes gone by, I wrote a book. It was about Celtic myth and legend in the modern day. “Irish elves in New York City, fighting evil demigods,” is how I describe it. I had fun with it. (The title, if you are curious, is Yesterday’s Dreams. It has two brothers, Tomorrow’s Memories and Today’s Promise.) In the course of the tale I incorporated gypsies as they (or their traveler cousins) are a part of Irish culture. Please forgive the use of the term “gypsy,” the book was written in a time before cultural sensitivity became prevalent, it is in no way meant as the slur it actually is.


The book was also written before the outcry of cultural appropriation.

How is that relevant? My newest book, Eternal Wanderings, is an offshoot of the original trilogy and rather than taking place in New York or Tir na nOg, as the other three books do, this one takes place right in the heart of a Romani caravan. I wrestled with myself over this. Will the Rom take offense? Will others take offense on their behalf? In the end, I had no choice, this was the logical progression for the remaining storyline and the characters involved. And many other stories already written established the part the Rom play in this universe. To diverge would have omitted a vibrant part of the storyline and left gaping holes in the reality.

I plunged forward and the journey was fascinating.

There is so much history for the Romani people. Some is myth of another story. Some is legend grown out of ages of suffering and persecution. The Rom are a superstitious people with very strict rules of conduct. Family is very important as is cleanliness. Spirits are to be respected and evil guarded against. I incorporated as much as I could of the Romani essence. Their rituals and their beliefs, their day-to-day practices and even the discrimination they face to this day. I combed accounts and studied photographs and read as many Romani sites as I could find to respectfully and accurately portray these people. Any errors are strictly my own.

One of the Romani beliefs that played heavily into Eternal Wanderings is the muló. The vengeful spirit of the dead, also called a revenant or vampire, one who died of unnatural causes and will come back to haunt, torment, or kill one that has done them wrong. Because of this belief, there are many traditions surrounding death and the need to appease the deceased. When a member of the Rom passes no one of the clan may touch the dead body for fear of marimé, or contamination. The body is cleaned and dressed in the person’s best clothes and the nose packed with wax (by someone not of the clan). No one speaks until the dead is buried. Those of the clan dress in white (for purity) or red (protection against evil) and a grand procession takes place with much wailing and moaning to show proper mourning.

Another tradition is burning the person’s possessions to ensure there is nothing with a connection to them remaining (lest the object serve as an invitation or gateway for the person’s muló to return. Because this is a hardship for a people with financial concerns it is acceptable to sell certain items to those outside of the clan, but not for a profit. Horses were also excluded from being destroyed.

Because it is important to show respect to the dead and not to anger them, my character, Kara O’Keefe, is granted permission to travel with the clan, though outsiders generally are not welcome, because the clan must honor the wishes of one of their number who died in the original trilogy. Kara is the lens through which we observe the contrast between the world we know and the world the Romani have built for themselves.

Won’t you come explore with me and discover more of the rich, vibrant culture that is the Rom?


Author Bio:
Award-winning author and editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail has worked both sides of the publishing industry for longer than she cares to admit. In 2014 she joined forces with husband Mike McPhail and friend Greg Schauer to form her own publishing house, eSpec Books (www.especbooks.com).

Her published works include six novels, Yesterday's Dreams, Tomorrow's Memories, Today’s Promise, The Halfling’s Court, The Redcaps’ Queen, and Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, written with Day Al-Mohamed. She is also the author of the solo collections Eternal Wanderings, A Legacy of Stars, Consigned to the Sea, Flash in the Can, Transcendence, Between Darkness and Light, and Eternal Wanderings, the non-fiction writers’ guide, The Literary Handyman, and is the senior editor of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series, Gaslight & Grimm, Side of Good/Side of Evil, After Punk, and In an Iron Cage. Her short stories are included in numerous other anthologies and collections.

In addition to her literary acclaim, she crafts and sells original costume horns under the moniker The Hornie Lady, and homemade flavor-infused candied ginger under the brand of Ginger KICK! at literary conventions, on commission, and wholesale.

Danielle lives in New Jersey with husband and fellow writer, Mike McPhail and three extremely spoiled cats.

To learn more about her work, visit www.sidhenadaire.com or www.especbooks.

Websites: www.sidhenadaire.com, www.especbooks.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/DMcPhail and https://twitter.com/#!/eSpecBooks
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/danielle.ackleymcphail/
https://www.facebook.com/E-Spec-Books-768052066586116/
https://www.facebook.com/TheHornieLady/
https://www.facebook.com/TheGingerKICK/
Amazon author page http://www.amazon.com/Danielle-Ackley-McPhail/e/B002GZVZPQ/
Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/989939.Danielle_Ackley_McPhail
Blog: https://especbooks.wordpress.com/
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/dackleymcphail/


Kickstarter for In Harm's Way (funded and will happen).


You can find on Amazon:

Monday, May 6, 2019

Mythical Monday #77 - Here There Be Dragons

Art work by: @Burntlaughter on Twitter

It seems there are many books influenced by or based on Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are many different Mythology's and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.



Here There Be Dragons

The other night I had a conversation with my friend Greg. Cheryl and I planned to hike at Hanging Rock and Greg lived nearby, so we stopped to invite him along. But we were worried about his health. He’d been in the hospital, and at one point had nearly died. I hadn’t seen him since he’d gotten out. I remember feeling so happy to be talking to my best friend the way I’d used to. We instantly slipped back into the ongoing and ever-deepening conversation about every aspect of life that we’d started over thirty-five years when we met in college.

And then I woke up. I instantly felt grief because, in the waking world, Greg died years ago. At the same time I felt relieved, somehow, to have seen him again. No matter what my rational mind tells me, on a gut level I felt like I really had talked with him again, and it felt like a gift.

I’m not alone in having such dreams. Many people who’ve lost someone has similar dreams. Long before modern religions took form, it was universally believed that spirits of the dead carried on. The evidence was plain. Dreams were a gateway into the spirit world.

From the earliest days of mankind, we’ve lived a split existence, spending our days in the world of the living, and traveling at night through surreal, abstract lands where the lines between life and death are blurred.  We’ve evolved to see patterns and find meaning. The glimpses of the spirit world demanded explanation. They must have some purpose, some meaning. And in this search for meaning, myths were born.

In my novel Hush, a witch named Sorrow explains myths this way: “Myths are symbolic, resonant truth… They teach us about justice and love and courage. They help define who we are.”

Which is a somewhat long-winded introduction to explaining why I write so many books about dragons.

In my Dragon Apocalypse novels, where Hush takes place, dragons are beings of spirit as much as they are physical monsters. Each primal dragon rules over a land of the dead. Hush is the primal dragon of cold. She’s worshiped as a god by the ice-ogres of the frozen north, and through her icy jaws the spirits of dead ogres pass into the Great Sea Above. When ice-ogres look up into their aurora filled skies, they see the lapping waves of an ocean full of glowing krill. Individual stars are chunks of ice. Ice-ogres will spend their eternities traveling between these icebergs, paddling phantom kayaks as they hunt for ghostly whales. The dead ogres sing eternally, to call the spirits of newly deceased family members to them.

It is one of many lands of the dead my characters pass through during their efforts to stop the eponymous dragon apocalypse. They journey through the Sea of Wine, where the waves are stained red by an eternal sunset. Here the ghosts of sailors sail toward the Happy Isles that are forever just over the horizon unless they’ve lived spotless lives. My characters also visit the Realm of Roots, the spirit land of the jungle pygmies, where the souls of the dead eventually become entangled in vines and roots and get sucked back into the living world in new forms. And, at one point, they travel through Hell, across an every changing landscape that shapes itself to give each character’s worst sins and secrets a visible reality.

I don’t have my characters journey through these hellscapes simply because they are inherently dramatic settings. I take my characters to the lands of myth so I can explore those “symbolic, resonant truths” Sorrow talks about. In the first book in the series, Greatshadow, one of my characters is literally torn in two when she’s sent to the spirit world. She’s known as Infidel, and an old god peels her into the two halves of her personality: a frightened, delicate little princess, and a fierce, wild, forest dragon. Then, in a haunted forest, the dragon hunts the little princess, to destroy the scared child that’s held it back once and for all. I won’t reveal how that particular conflict ends, but it’s the sort of moment that makes me love writing fantasy. I get these cool fairy tale icons, the dragon and the princess, and I get to reveal my characters innermost soul via the conflict between these two aspects of her personality. I suppose I could write a non-magical story where a character talks about the unreconciled aspects of her psyche and tries to find peace via therapy or medication, but my approach is a bit more visceral. Like, literal viscera get spilt.  

The fact that so many scenes in these novels take place in the lands of the damned isn’t an opportunity I let go to waste. I hate it when dead people show up in novels and movies mainly to deliver plot points, like warnings or clues. When my characters meet their dead friends on the other side, they ask the obvious, most important question: Have you learned anything about life by dying? Just what was the point of all that struggle anyway? Did it mean anything at all? And is life beyond death a punishment, a reward, or something in between?

I like trying to answer these big questions, and it’s up to the readers to decide if I do a good job or not. But, succeed or fail, I don’t start a book until I know what grand theme is going to hold the book together. Yeah, my books are full of high adventure, with magic weapons and toothy monsters and quirky protagonists quipping their way through danger. I strive to make every page as entertaining as possible. But I also want my books to be thought provoking.

It’s said that you can’t really understand the country you live in until you travel to other countries. If that’s true, you can’t really understand the world you live in until you travel to other worlds. Until they finally get those rockets to Mars up and running, the only way to do that is to immerse yourself in the world of a book. Journeying into unknown lands isn’t without risk. Here there be dragons. But, there’s treasure as well.

After travelling through the mythic lands of my books, I hope the reader comes away feeling a bit like I did after my dream. I’d been to another world, and found something I thought was lost to me. If my readers are open to the journey, I hope they return from the dreamscapes I offer them carrying something priceless.



About James Maxey:
James Maxey’s mother warned him if he read too many comic books, they would warp his mind. She was right. Now an adult who can’t stop daydreaming, James is unsuited for decent work and ekes out a pittance writing down demented fantasies about masked women, fiery dragons, and monkeys. Oh god, so many monkeys.

​In an effort to figure out how Superman could fly, James read a lot of science, books by Carl Sagan and Stephen Jay Gould and Stephen Hawking. Turns out, Superman probably wasn’t based on any factual information. Who would have guessed? Realizing it was possible to write science fiction without being constrained by the actual rules of science proved liberating for James, and led to the psuedo-science fiction of the Bitterwood series, superhero novels like Nobody Gets the Girl, and the steam-punk visions of Bad Wizard.

​In 2015, James was honored as the Piedmont Laureate by the United Arts Councils representing Orange County, Durham County, and Wake County. This is almost certainly a sign of the ongoing cultural decay gripping the nation.

​James lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina with his lovely and patient wife Cheryl and too many cats. When not writing, you'll likely find him outdoors, biking, hiking, and kayaking.

Find James Maxey:
Website:  www.JamesMaxey.net
Twitter:  @JamesAllenMaxey

Pick up the complete Dragon Apocalypse series:

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Sunday Post #117


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's been a while since I've done a Sunday Post. Life has been moving forward and we've been busy on Sunday's. Lots happening. All good, of course. I don't even know where to start with what I've been doing. lol. There was Easter, which fell on my mom's birthday this year. So Easter was a little more than usual. Then I went for a photo walk last weekend at a local trail and took some flower photos. It was fun and I tried a few techniques that are new to me.

So, here I am today. Hope you are all doing well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I got a few walks in, but not twice a week this week.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Gunsmoke & Dragonfire edited by Diane Morrison


Current Audiobook:
Ancient Echoes by Joanne Pence


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.


Finished Last Week: 
Books:
No reads this week.


Audiobooks :
Relentless Souls by Ryan Kirk



Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new yet.


DNFed:


~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)




Guest Posts:


Posts:

Around the Internet...



Reviews:
In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

"I really liked this story for all the meanings and themes I felt pop into my mind as I listened. I really got drawn into Lundy and her story of wanting to be at the Market. In the end, I wanted more of the world and Lundy's life. I went searching to see if the books were on Audible, and they are! I'll have to save up to get them in the future."


King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist

"This book is an introduction. We meet all the players and learn the history. This sets us up to feel comfortable with our main characters, getting us ready for what's to come. Their personalities are set and they are ready to make the hard decisions with what's to come."


The Dysasters by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

"This book had a few moments where things could have gone as normal, but the characters had grown and didn't turn against each other in those moments. I enjoyed this as they took the better path. I enjoyed the book for these small moments."



Relentless Souls by Ryan Kirk

"I enjoy the neat and orderly writing of Ryan's. I find the story is easy to follow and things are not overly hidden in the story. The feel of an oriental influence in the story is strong and very nice to read/listen to."





Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:


I have two reviews scheduled for you this week.



~~~~~~~~~~

Received For the Last Week:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:



Audio Books Requested for Review:
Insomnia and Seven More Short Stories by Jeremy Robinson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
INSOMNIA is a collection of seven exciting short stories (plus one bonus story) that tackle several different genres including action, science-fiction, horror, noir and thriller. Written by top thriller author, Jeremy Robinson, these stories include all of the action, imagination and twists that fans have come to expect, but they also contain experiments into subjects and voices not normally touched on in his novels. 

INSOMNIA - In a world of super efficiency and equality, sleep is illegal and Feene keeps the masses going. 

THE EATER - Three children discover a writhing black puddle in the woods of New Hampshire. 

HARDEN’S TREE - A group of teens visit a tree planted atop the ashes of a mass murderer from late 1800’s. 

STAR CROSSED KILLERS - Two lovers, both deadly killers, compete for the same target. 

COUNTING SHEEP - A future terrorist gives an insomniac three minutes to fall asleep. 

HEARING AID - In the future, a deaf man is healed, but does he like what he hears? 

DARK SEED OF THE MOON - Vampires live, and kill, in the eternal shadow of the moon’s polar crater. 

FROM ABOVE - In the future, a detective goes after terrorists who vaporized his city--and his arm--from space. 

BOUGHT AND PAID FOR (Bonus Story) - A brutal character sketch for Scott Sigler’s THE CRYPT. 

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm by Kathryn Knight
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
After tragedy strikes, Callie Sinclair is left with a gift she never wanted—the ability to communicate with ghosts. But when a desperate widow begs for her help, she reluctantly agrees to investigate the strange occurrences at Hillwood Farm. She quickly realizes she’s dealing with a dangerous presence beyond anything she’s ever experienced, and something else becomes equally clear—the only other living person in the house, Mrs. Turner’s handsome grandson, thinks she’s a scam artist. While she’d prefer to just ignore him, her heart beats a little faster every time he’s nearby. 

Luke Turner doesn’t believe in spirits. He’s moved back to restore the family farm, but living on the property serves a dual purpose—he can watch out for his grandmother. He’s not happy about the sudden appearance of a self-described psychic, or his inexplicable attraction to her. His initial suspicions crumble as evidence points to an actual haunting, but he’s still determined not to fall for Callie—the past has taught him it’s best to avoid relationships. 

As Callie is drawn deeper into the mystery, she becomes the target of a vengeful spirit, and Luke can no longer fight his feelings for her. Unable to resist their desire, passion ignites…even as the paranormal activity escalates to a final deadly confrontation. 

Alter by Jeremy Robinson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Stranded in the Amazon rainforest, a lost man fights for survival and discovers that the root of evil doesn't just reside in the world's darkest corners, but inside the hearts of all mankind.

Dr. Gregory Zekser is on a mission to visit the furthest reaches of the Amazon, providing medical aid to recently contacted tribes. As a general practitioner and food pantry director, his life in Massachusetts can be chaotic, but serving people is what he does best, and he doesn't mind sacrificing his personal life to help others, at home or half way around the world.

But any hope of returning home to his wife, daughter, and comfortable life are eradicated when the small plane carrying him back to civilization plummets into the unknown depths of the jungle. Swallowed by endless green, with both pilots dead, Greg struggles to stay alive in a world that wants to infect his body, suck him dry, and eat him whole. Ravaged by illness and dehydration, and stalked by a ruthless predator, Greg's life teeters on the edge of oblivion until a scream lets him know that he is not alone.

His first encounter with an uncontacted tribe ends in death--the first of many. Driven to the brink of madness, and then beyond, Greg finds himself caught up in a feud that existed before his arrival, but will only end with his death--or his enemies'.



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
Siren's Curse by Katee Robert
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lorelei Fischer is cursed. A mermaid who can’t shapeshift, can’t create portals, and is no longer fully who she was meant to be. Too ashamed to admit how badly she failed to her sisters, she takes refuge in a small town in northern California and opens a used bookstore. With no way to regain what she’s lost, she resigns herself to a life half-lived. 

After nearly drowning under the dark of the new moon, there’s no escaping the truth. She’s being hunted, and this enemy will stop at nothing to take her. 

Lorelei must find a way to reclaim her birthright and her abilities before it's too late. Because the sea holds more monsters than she could have dreamed—and one of them wants her dead.

Edge of Duty by Ryan Kirk
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The spark of revolution has been lit. 

Jian is a powerful monk, sent by his masters to investigate rumors of a conspiracy that threatens the foundations of the empire. The Order of the Serpent wants to start a fire that will burn the old empire down, but Jian can’t let that happen. 

A peaceful man living in violent times, Jian knows the monasteries have never faced a threat as organized as this before. 

But he doesn’t know how much completing this assignment will cost him. 

Edge of Duty is a new novella, setting up the events in the standalone novel Relentless Souls.

Sworn to the Night by Craig Schaefer
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Marie Reinhart is an NYPD detective on the trail of a serial killer. When she sleeps, though, she dreams of other lives; she dreams of being a knight, in strange wars and strange worlds. On the other side of the city, Nessa Roth is a college professor trapped in a loveless marriage, an unwilling prop in a political dynasty. She's also a fledgling witch, weaving poppets and tiny spells behind closed doors.

When Marie's case draws her into Nessa's path, sparks fly. What comes next is more than a furtive whirlwind affair; it's the first pebbles of an avalanche. Nessa and Marie are the victims of a curse that has pursued them across countless lifetimes; a doom designed to trap them in a twisted living fairy tale, with their romance fated to end in misery and death.

They aren't going out without a fight. As they race to uncover the truth, forces are in motion across the country. In Las Vegas, a professional thief is sent on a deadly heist. In a Detroit back alley, witches gather under the guidance of a mysterious woman in red. Just outside New York, an abandoned zoo becomes the hunting-ground for servants of a savage and alien king. The occult underground is taking sides and forming lines of battle. Time is running out, and Nessa and Marie have one chance to save themselves, break the curse, and demand justice.

This time, they're writing their own ending.
 

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.


Audio:
The Darkwater Bride by Marty Ross
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Late Victorian London. When the most respectable of Scottish businessmen is pulled, dead, from the Thames, his daughter is drawn into an investigation which reveals a whole world of secrets and corruption and leads all the way to the tragic truth behind the ghostly legend of The Darkwater Bride.

An epic drama combining the genres of the Victorian mystery thriller with the equally classic Victorian mode of the ghostly tale.

Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers by Chris Grabenstein
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
What do you get when you add up

1 middle-school bully2 bank robbers57 dogs in peril4,000 missing dollarsand5 daring troublemakersled by the one and onlyRiley Mack?

1 crazy caper!

In this merry, mischievous romp, master storyteller Chris Grabenstein introduces Riley Mack a twelve-year-old hometown hero you'll never forget."

Alien III by William Gibson
PICK UP AT AUDIBLE
Audible Synopsis:
Audible is bringing William Gibson’s uncovered Alien III script to life in audio for the first time, to mark the 40th Anniversary of the birth of the Alien Franchise.  
Alongside a full cast Michael Biehn and Lance Henriksen reprise their iconic roles as Corporal Hicks and Bishop from the 1986 film Aliens.   
Father of cyberpunk, William Gibson’s original script for Alien III, written in 1987 as a sequel to Aliens, never made it to our screens, although it went on to achieve cult status among fans as the third instalment that might have been after being leaked online. 
This terrifying, cinematic multicast dramatisation - directed by the multi award-winning Dirk Maggs, is the chance to experience William Gibson’s untold story and its terrifying, claustrophobic and dark encounters between humans and aliens, as a completely immersive audio experience. 
The story begins with the Sulaco on its return journey from LV-426. On board the military ship are the cryogenically frozen skeleton crew of that film’s survivors: Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop. 
We travel aboard and hear an alarm blare. Our heroes are no longer alone....
Starring: Tom Alexander, Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, Cliff Chapman, Samantha Coughlan, Ben Cura, Dar Dash, Harry Ditson, Mairead Doherty, Graham Hoadly, Lorelei King, Laurel Lefkow, Martin McDougall, Sarah Pitard, Michael Roberts, David Seddon, Andrew James Spooner, Siri Steinmo, Dai Tabuchi, Keith Wickham, Rebecca Yeo



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Happily Ever After: A Romance Collection
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Three words: Happily. Ever. After. Love is everywhere in this swoony, combustible boxed set. You'll find it in small seaside towns and sprawling cities. In rich men's skyscrapers and on dark streets. In the fiery burn from enemy to lover and the sweet surrender into a second chance. 

Fall head over heels for billionaires, get swept away by a SEAL, and go home with a rockstar in this limited-time set from fifteen queens of romance! 

This set features FOURTEEN books, including: 
The Hostage Bargain by Annika Martin 
Taking a Chance on Love by Iris Morland 
The Prince & The Player by Tia Louise 
Until I Fall by Claudia Burgoa 
Charmed by the Bartender by Piper Rayne 
Betting on You by Jessie Evans 
A Kiss to Tell by Willow Winters 
Cold Brew by Amelia Wilde 
Legally Yours by Nicole French 
Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren 
Saved by the Mountain Man by Adriana Anders 
Black Edge by Charlotte Byrd 
Shameless by Nana Malone &; M. Malone 
Sweet Crazy Song by Theresa Leigh 

HAPPILY EVER AFTER is available for a very limited time. Come meet some of romance's hottest authors and find your HEA!

A Spell of Trouble by Leighann Dobbs
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Goodreads Synopsis:
When town trouble maker, Louella Drummond, drops dead in front of Isolde Quinn's pet store just minutes after threatening both Issy and her cousin Graeme, the police in the small lakeside town of Silver Hollow assume it's from natural causes. 

... Until it's discovered that Louella was murdered. 

Not just any murder, though. Murder by paranormal means. Dark magic that could only have been performed by a powerful witch. And every law-abiding paranormal knows that dark magic is forbidden and carries strict punishment at the hands of "the committee" - the mysterious entity that provides law and order within the paranormal community. 

Being witches, Issy and her three cousins fear they are at the top of the suspect list. To make matters worse, a secret division of the FBI has gotten wind of the happenings in Silver Hollow and sent two agents to ferret out paranormal activity. Even worse than that, Issy is annoyingly attracted to one of them! 

Armed with their unconventional posse of familiars, Issy and her cousins dodge the efforts of the "real" police and the special FBI agents while following a twisty path of clues that lead to a shocking betrayal.

Vindication by Rye Brewer
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Goodreads Synopsis:
The seventh book in the League of Vampires series brings you more witches, vampires, fae, shades, and sexy characters in swoonworthy romances and nail-biting action. 

When revenge is a being’s sole purpose in existence, does this soul burning passion for vengeance end after vindication is achieved?

All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo
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Goodreads Synopsis:
The award-winning, international bestselling page-burner about the secrets and lies of one man that lead another into a treacherous house of strangers…

When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.

The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.

Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend—and private confessor—from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.

But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman’s son—except that the town physician’s son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father’s wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years’ War has finally ended, and there hasn’t been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin.

Jakob Kuisl is charged with extracting a confession from her and torturing her until he gets one. Convinced she is innocent, he, Magdalena, and her would-be suitor race against the clock to find the true killer. Approaching Walpurgisnacht, when witches are believed to dance in the forest and mate with the devil, another tattooed orphan is found dead and the town becomes frenzied. More than one person has spotted what looks like the devil—a man with a hand made only of bones. The hangman, his daughter, and the doctor’s son face a terrifying and very real enemy.

The Dark Heart by Joakim Palmkvist
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Goodreads Synopsis:
A chilling true crime story of poisonous family secrets, love gone wrong, and a cold case that refused to stay buried…

In late summer of 2012, millionaire landowner Göran Lundblad went missing from his farm in Sweden. When a search yielded nothing, and all physical evidence had seemingly disappeared, authorities had little to go on—except a disturbing phone call five weeks later from Göran’s daughter Maria. She was sure that her sister, Sara, was somehow involved. At the heart of the alleged crime: Sara’s greed, her father’s land holdings, and his bitter feud with Sara’s idler boyfriend.

With no body, there was no crime—and the case went as cold and dark as the forests of southern Sweden. But not for Therese Tang. For two years, this case was her obsession.

A hard-working ex-model, mother of three, and Missing People investigator, Therese was willing to put her own safety at risk in order to uncover the truth. What she found was a nest of depraved secrets, lies, and betrayal. All she had to do now, in her relentless and dangerous pursuit of justice, was prove that it led to murder.

Infraction by Avery Cross
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Mysterious necromancers. Wicked summoners. Fierce witches. Occasional familiars. Military experiments. Secret councils. Forbidden alliances. The Academy of Ancients will suck you in. 

THE PENULTIMATE BOOK IN THE ACADEMY OF ANCIENTS SERIES! 

Spoiler Alert! If you haven’t read the series' prior books, stop now! 

Briar’s been accused of murder and she’s now firmly entrenched in the hands of the enemy! 

Warning: This series will hook you! Violence can be found in this series of action-packed fantasy, with necromancers, summoners, and badass witches. And occasional cliffhangers! 

Heist by Ell Leigh Clarke
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Working together has never been a strong suit for exiled gods. 

Particularly when it comes to working with new people.
Human people.
People who have their (now) mortal lives in their hands.
To make matters worse, when Bentley uncovers a plot that goes deeper than just the quick heist they’ve been hired for, things start to unravel fast.
A plot that could mean not just the enslavement, and death, of the ALF (Artificial Life Forms) they decide to rescue, but the human population at large.
But first she has to figure out who she can trust.

Will she be able to persuade everyone to work together?
Can she protect her team from an ensuing showdown of blasters and bullets?
And will she see the bigger picture before it’s too late?
Find out now.

Siren's Calling by Anna Santos
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Framed and disgraced by her ex, young siren Alayah needs to restore her honor and prove her valor. When the elders announce that there’ll be a contest to choose a commander who will leave on a quest to find a Legacy Stone, Alay jumps at the opportunity and signs up. 

Only the strongest of all participants will have the honor to search for the stone. The elders aren’t taking things lightly, and all the games are difficult. Plus, something dark is killing the participants and trying to stop the quest from being completed. 
The warrior siren’s young shoulders carry the burden and hopes of the region when she leaves with a team of warrior sirens to recruit a mage to stop the total destruction of the earth’s habitat. 

Recruiting the mage won’t be as easy has the elders foretold. Yet, in a turn of the events, Alay finds herself with two gorgeous mages vying for attention and willing to help her on her quest. 

Bonds will be forged, and trusts will be betrayed in this epic quest that leads sirens, humans, mages, and dark creatures into a race against time to find the powerful Legacy Stone and use it for either good or evil. 

Siren female warriors, sexy mages, and dark creatures live in this dystopian world where the Black Magic threatens to destroy an already dying world. If you are a fan of Hunger Games, The 100, and Divergent, you'll love this one! 

Siren’s Calling is a stand-alone, full-length, Reverse Harem, Dystopian novel in The Cursed Seas Collection.

Mafia Romance: TEN Love Stories of Danger and Desire
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Goodreads Synopsis:
TEN tales of violent passion from bestselling authors! Mafia capos, modern-day princesses locked in towers, and scorching hot scenes fill the pages of this limited edition boxed set.

"Absolute mafia hotness!" - New York Times bestselling author Anna Zaires

"OH. MY. GAWD! Sterling Sparrow is your next dark, delicious, mysterious book boyfriend. The page-turning suspense, blazing chemistry, and unexpected twists make this a must-read romance." - New York Times bestselling author Pam Goodwin

"Hot sensuality and gripping suspense. Brace yourself for a perfect romantic journey!" - New York Times bestselling author Angel Payne on RUTHLESS by Michelle St. James

BOOKS INCLUDED:
SECRETS by Aleatha Romig
TAKEN by Natasha Knight
A KISS TO TELL by Willow Winters
CAPTIVE OF THE HITMAN by Alexis Abbott
THE KING by Skye Warren
THICKER THAN WATER by Michelle St. James
RENATA VITALI by Parker S. Huntington
MAFIA DADDY by Renee Rose
ULTIMATE SURRENDER by Kaye Blue
DARK MAFIA PRINCE by Annika Martin

MAFIA ROMANCE is a limited-time boxed set as a gift to our readers and to introduce you to new series to love. Download your copy and tell a bookish friend who loves dark romance!

Absolution by Rye Brewer
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Book Three in the League of Vampires Series. This series is best read in order. 

Ancient enemies, newfound coalitions. 
Anissa’s not about to take Jonah’s decision to face his enemies alone. This former slayer isn’t your average sit on the sidelines kind of girl. 

New heroes, not so new archenemies. 
Fane wants forgiveness and allegiance, but not at the cost of the ones he loves most. Certainly, not at the expense of an new soul that is joining his cadre. 

Needs rarely line up with wants. 
Philippa’s feelings for Vance won’t be the end of her, but will they be the end of a loved one?

The Duke's Bride by Joanne Wadsworth
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Goodreads Synopsis:
A fiercely loyal lady, along with her brooding duke come head-to-head in a battle of wills! An unforgettable Regency romance from New York Times Bestselling Author Joanne Wadsworth.

He must steal a lady...then steal her love.

Desiring a man and never being noticed as more than his best friend's little sister has Lady Ellie Trentbury finally consigning herself to the truth. She must move on, and preferably with a man who lives far away from her home in London where she need never be reminded of the duke who stole her heart. An elopement with an honorable American shipping merchant sounds perfect.

The Duke of Ashten has no choice but to bound into his best friend's carriage when he discovers little Ellie is inside and intent on eloping with a man to Gretna Green who she barely knows. He can't allow her to make such a terrible mistake, yet convincing her might mean giving into his desire for the golden-eyed enchantress who has followed him around since he was a lad.

Her pouty lips and bountiful charms can no longer be ignored, only convincing her of the truth of his intentions will mean jeopardizing both his sanity and a lifelong friendship as well.

Masters of Deception by JC Kang
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Only a conman can save the world. 

For a millennium, the Dragonstone atop a vibrant port city’s pyramid has prevented the Orc Gods from returning to the world and re-enslaving mankind. 

Now, with the authorities and crime families teetering on the brink of war, only Cassius Larusso can recruit a team to keep the Dragonstone out of evil hands. A descendant of the Diviner who first banished the Orc Gods, he might be convinced to act— as long as it fills his coffers with gold, his stomach with delicious food, and his bed with a different type of delicacy. 

Unfortunately, his choice of companions is limited to the poor souls who come seeking his sometimes fraudulent divinations: 

A half-elf spy tracking an assassin.
A sorceress searching for a traitor.
A paladin pursuing his forbidden love. 

If he can trick coax them into putting aside their own agendas and taking up his own, Cassius might be able to stave off a war, secure his city, and write his own destiny. If not, what begins as a back-alley battle may bring about the downfall of humanity. 

In a game of deceptions, which side will you fight for?

Songs of Insurrection by JC Kang
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Only the lost art of evoking magic through music can prevent Cathay from descending into chaos. 

Blessed with an unrivaled voice, Kaiya dreams of a time when a song liberated enslaved humans from their orc masters. Maybe then, the imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool. 

When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan uncover a brewing rebellion, the court hopes to appease the ringleader by offering Kaiya as a bride. 

Obediently wedding the depraved rebel leader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.


Songs of Insurrection is a re-release of The Dragon Scale Lute

Winter's Captive by Robin D. Mahle & Elle Madison
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Goodreads Synopsis:
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the spot Princess Charlotte’s life was destroyed.

Her fiance taken and her kingdom on the brink of war because of it, Charlie refuses to be the damsel in distress and takes matters into her own hands. She can only trust a handful of people as hints of a conspiracy are uncovered.

Leaving her castle and everything she’s ever known behind, Charlie ventures into a place she only thought she knew -- her own kingdom. In the face of traitors and thieves and ruthless rebels, Charlie won’t be stopped on her mission to set things right and find her prince.

The only question is: Will she find him before it’s too late?

The Untold Prophecy by Jill Cooper
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Goodreads Synopsis:
For the love of books everywhere...A rebel girl with the hidden ability to read sets off to save the world one book at a time. 

One girl, Tarnish Rose rescues what was meant to be destroyed. Finding an occasional book long forgotten, those heart-warming tales speak to her very soul and could land her in the hands of the Dark Lord Creighton. 

Her ability to read is a closely guarded secret, but as the man she’s betrothed to is set to be killed for violating code of conduct, Tarnish finds her secret on the verge of being discovered. 

Unable to let this happen, Tarnish is about to launch on the journey of her life not only to free him but to stop the Dark Lord Creighton himself. With the hunter death squads on her tail, she’ll rush for a waiting train and discover the world is full of secrets and join forces with other rebel librarians. 

If the death hunters don’t get her first. 






~~~~~~~~~~
Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
The Books and Braun Dossier by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
Solomon Key by David Wood