Friday, August 31, 2018

ISOLA, Vol.1 Arrives in Stores in October

Collects issues #1-5

PORTLAND, OR, 08/30/2018 — Gotham Academy creators Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, with colorist MSASSYK and letterer Aditya Bidikar, will release ISOLA, VOL. 1 this October from Image Comics.

An evil spell has been cast on the Queen of Maar, and her Captain of the Guard will do anything to reverse it. Their only hope lies on an island half a world away—a place known in myth as Isola, land of the dead.

This desperate quest is a breathtaking fantasy adventure two decades in the making.

ISOLA, VOL. 1 TP (Diamond code: JUL180153, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0922-7) will be available in comic book stores on Wednesday, October 24th. The final order cutoff for comics retailers is Monday, September 10th.

It will be available in bookstores on Tuesday, October 30th and can be pre-ordered via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Indiebound, and Indigo.
Select praise for ISOLA:

“Absolutely, positively breathtaking.” —

“ISOLA is brilliant! An atmospheric and intriguing story with masterful art.”
—Frank Quitely

“ISOLA is an example of the best fantasy storytelling that comics has to offer. Beautiful. Meaningful.” —The Oregonian

“This blew me away. Just amazing.” —Tula Lotay

“High fantasy with a colorful twist, imaginative and fresh.” —Paste Magazine

“Holy cow, folks, you are not going to want to miss this. Lovely and immersive.”
—Kurt Busiek

“A beautiful comic.” —Bleeding Cool

“Praise be to Karl KerschI and MSASSYK! ISOLA is one of the best-looking comics I've
seen in years. Engrossing, warm, inspiring work; I love it.” —Tradd Moore

“A visual feast, a puzzle, and a true journey into an otherworldly land.”
—Multiversity Comics

[click to embiggen]

Image Comics is a comic book and graphic novel publisher founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling artists. Image has since gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. Image currently has five partners: Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. It consists of five major houses: Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline Comics, Skybound Entertainment, and Image Central. Image publishes comics and graphic novels in nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable. It offers science fiction, fantasy, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit

Nintendo Download, August 30, 2018: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

This week’s Nintendo Download includes the following featured content:
  • Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch
    • The Messenger – As a demon army besieges his village, a young ninja ventures through a cursed world to deliver a scroll paramount to his clan’s survival. What begins as a classic action platformer soon unravels into an expansive time-traveling adventure full of thrills, surprises and humor.
    • Into the Breach – The remnants of human civilization are threatened by gigantic creatures breeding beneath the earth. You must control powerful mechs from the future to defeat an alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game from the makers of the FTL game.
    • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season – Play as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal, who has been given a second chance at life in a world devastated by the undead. With corpses returning to life and survivors stopping at nothing to maintain their own safety, protecting an orphaned girl named Clementine may offer him redemption.
Nintendo eShop sales:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Covers Revealed - Upcoming Works By DAC Authors

Here are some of the upcoming works by formerly featured DAC Authors. The year in parentheses is the year the author was featured in the DAC.

Ezekiel Boone (2016)

The Mansion
Atria / Emily Bestler Books, December 4, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 432 pages

In this white-knuckle thriller from the internationally bestselling author of the “apocalyptic extravaganza” (Publishers Weekly) The Hatching series, a family moves into a home equipped with the world’s most intelligent, cutting-edge, and intuitive computer ever—but a buried secret leads to terrifying and catastrophic consequences.

After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin outside an abandoned, crumbling mansion, young programmers Shawn Eagle and Billy Stafford have created something that could make them rich: a revolutionary computer they name Eagle Logic.

But the hard work and escalating tension have not been kind to their once solid friendship—Shawn’s girlfriend Emily has left him for Billy, and a third partner has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. While Billy walks away with Emily, Shawn takes Eagle Logic, which he uses to build a multi-billion-dollar company that eventually outshines Apple, Google, and Microsoft combined.

Years later, Billy is a failure, beset by poverty and addiction, and Shawn is the most famous man in the world. Unable to let the past be forgotten, Shawn decides to resurrect his and Billy’s biggest failure: a next-generation computer program named Nellie that can control a house’s every function. He decides to set it up in the abandoned mansion they worked near all those years ago. But something about Nellie isn’t right—and the reconstruction of the mansion is plagued by accidental deaths. Shawn is forced to bring Billy back, despite their longstanding mutual hatred, to discover and destroy the evil that lurks in the source code.

James L. Cambias (2014)

Arkad's World
Baen, January 1, 2019
Hardcover and eBook, 384 pages

Adventure and Excitement on an Alien World. Packed with exotic world-building and amazing characters, Arkad's World is a rollicking adventure story about growing up and the things we share that make us human, from celebrated author James L. Cambias.

Young Arkad is the only human on a distant world, on his own among beings from across the Galaxy. His struggle to survive on the lawless streets of an alien city is disrupted by the arrival of three humans: an eccentric historian named Jacob, a superhuman cyborg girl called Baichi, and a mysterious ex-spy known as Ree. They seek a priceless treasure which might free Earth from alien domination. Arkad risks everything to join them on an incredible quest halfway across the planet. With his help they cross the fantastic landscape, battling pirates, mercenaries, bizarre creatures, vicious bandits and the harsh environment. But the deadliest danger comes from treachery and betrayal within the group as dark secrets and hidden loyalties come to light.

Praise for the work of James L. Cambias:

"Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should."—Booklist, Starred Review

“An engaging nail-biter that is exciting, fun and a satisfying read.” —The Qwillery

''An impressive debut by a gifted writer.''—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

''An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut.''—Kirkus, Starred Review

"James Cambias will be one of the century's major names in hard science fiction.''—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

'Fast-paced, pure quill hard science fiction.... Cambias delivers adroit plot pivots that keep the suspense coming.''—Gregory Benford, Nebula Award-winning author of Timescape

John Hornor Jacobs (2011)

The Sea Dreams It Is the Sky
   A Novella of Cosmic Horror
Harper Voyager, October 30, 2018
eBook, 304 pages

They had escaped their country, but they couldn’t escape the past

Having lost both her home and family to a brutal dictatorship, Isabel has fled to Spain, where she watches young, bronzed beauties and tries to forget the horrors that lie in her homeland.

Shadowing her always, attired in rumpled linen suits and an eyepatch, is “The Eye,” a fellow ex-pat and poet with a notorious reputation. An unlikely friendship blossoms, a kinship of shared grief. Then The Eye receives a mysterious note and suddenly returns home, his fate uncertain.

Left with the keys to The Eye’s apartment, Isabel finds two of his secret manuscripts: a halting translation of an ancient, profane work, and an evocative testament of his capture during the revolution. Both texts bear disturbing images of blood and torture, and the more Isabel reads the more she feels the inexplicable compulsion to go home.

It means a journey deep into a country torn by war, still ruled by a violent regime, but the idea of finding The Eye becomes ineluctable. Isabel feels the manuscripts pushing her to go. Her country is lost, and now her only friend is lost, too. What must she give to get them back? In the end, she has only herself left to sacrifice.


How does someone simply give up their home...especially when their home won’t let them?

Middlewest Sneak Preview


“Very real. Very magical. Very amazing. Your favorite new comic book is here.” —Jason Aaron

"I was sucked in from page one and couldn't put it down." —Mark


PORTLAND, OR, 08/29/2018 — Image Comics is pleased to reveal a sneak preview from MIDDLEWEST, an all-new series from author Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, Deadpool) and artist Jorge Corona (NO. 1 WITH A BULLET, Feathers, Big Trouble in Little China: Old Man Jack), which will launch this November.

The lands between the coasts are vast, slow to change, and full of hidden magics. Mistakes have been made, and an unwitting adventurer searches for answers to quell a coming storm that knows his name. MIDDLEWEST is the tale of Abel, a young boy who must navigate an old land in order to reconcile his family's history.

MIDDLEWEST #1 will hit stores on Wednesday, November 21st. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, October 29th.

MIDDLEWEST #1 Cover A by Mike Huddleston - Diamond Code SEP180050
MIDDLEWEST #1 Cover B by Corona (Limited) - Diamond Code SEP180051
MIDDLEWEST #1 Cover C by Young (Limited) - Diamond Code SEP180052

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Out Now on Nintendo Switch in North America, Europe, and Australia

The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season 
Out Now on Nintendo Switch in North America,
Europe, and Australia

Episode one of The Walking Dead: The Final Season also available
today on Switch in Europe, following August 14 launch in North
America. The Walking Dead: Season Two and The Walking Dead: A
New Frontier coming to Switch later this year.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif., August 28th, 2018 -- Leading publisher and developer of digital entertainment Telltale Games, alongside Robert Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment, today launched The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season on Nintendo Switch, bringing the multiple 'Game of the Year' award-winning season to Nintendo's latest console.

The Complete First Season includes all five original episodes, as well as add-on anthology 400 Days. Both have been ported from last year's The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection, which offered substantial visual and performance enhancements over previous editions.

The full game, including all five episodes and 400 Days, is now available for download for $24.99 USD in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and most of Europe. Though audio is only available in English, all content has been subtitled in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian.

Additionally, episode one of The Walking Dead: The Final Season is now available for download on Switch in Europe. The Final Season launched on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC globally on August 14, as well as on Switch in North America that same day. New episodes of The Final Season will continue to launch on all four platforms throughout the remainder of 2018.

Exorsisters Sneak Preview


PORTLAND, OR, 08/28/2018 — Image Comics is pleased to reveal a sneak preview from EXORSISTERS, an all-new series by Eisner Award-winning writer Ian Boothby (The Simpsons, MAD Magazine) and artist Gisèle Lagacé (Ménage à 3, Archie Meets Ramones, Jem & the Holograms, Betty Boop), which will launch this October.

Readers meet Cate and Kate Harrow, twins who investigate the paranormal and take cases that no one else will. Did you sign a deal with the Devil? Has your fiancé been dragged to Hell? Then these identical twins will be the first ones you call for a timely soul retrieval. Part Ghostbusters, part Supernatural, readers will love joining the world of this crime solving duo.

EXORSISTERS #1 will hit stores on Wednesday, October 17th. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, September 24th.

EXORSISTERS #1 Cover A by Lagacé - Diamond Code AUG180029
EXORSISTERS #1 Cover B by Pia Guerra - Diamond Code AUG180030
EXORSISTERS #1 Cover C by Kari (Limited) - Diamond Code AUG180031
EXORSISTERS #1 Cover D by David Lafuente (Limited) - Diamond Code AUG180032

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Review: Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

Island of the Mad
Author:  Laurie R. King
Series:  Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes 15
Publisher:  Bantam, June 12, 2018
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 Pages
List Price:  US$28.00 (print);  US$14.99 (eBook)
ISBN:  9780804177962 (print); 9780804177979 (eBook)

Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are back in Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling series—“the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today” (Lee Child).

With Mrs. Hudson gone from their lives and domestic chaos building, the last thing Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, need is to help an old friend with her mad and missing aunt.

Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, since the loss of her brother and father in the Great War. And although her mental state seemed to be improving, she’s now disappeared after an outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital . . . better known as Bedlam.

Russell wants nothing to do with the case—but she can’t say no. And at least it will get her away from the challenges of housework and back to the familiar business of investigation. To track down the vanished woman, she brings to the fore her deductive instincts and talent for subterfuge—and of course enlists her husband’s legendary prowess. Together, Russell and Holmes travel from the grim confines of Bedlam to the winding canals and sun-drenched Lido cabarets of Venice—only to find the foreboding shadow of Benito Mussolini darkening the fate of a city, an era, and a tormented English lady of privilege.

Doreen's Thoughts

In her series about Mary Russell, Laurie R. King has partnered the infamous Sherlock Holmes with a wife that is his intellectual and deductive equal, despite being half his age. When asked by her best friend to investigate the disappearance of an aunt who has been voluntarily living in Bedlam, Mary would like to decline, but both she and Holmes agree that a trip to Venice, where Lady Vivian might be hiding, would be preferable to staying home.

Venice itself almost becomes a character itself, as King describes it. The islands, the waterways, the various inhabitants – all of them are described in great detail and reverence. It is obvious that King has done a significant amount of research about the city, both past and present, and has probably walked down the streets and perhaps attempted to row a gondola as Mary does in this novel.

The timeframe for the novel is the early 20th century, the start of the Roaring Twenties, when both Americans and Europeans gathered in Venice to party and forget the horrors of the Great War and the potential for another. As an added touch of verisimilitude, King adds the character of Cole Porter as a peer of Holmes. The description of Porter, his marriage, and his part in the trick that Russell and Holmes play in the end all jibe with what has been written in history about this musician.

As is usual with King, she has more to tell than just a mystery. She implies her political views by adding the fascist characters and describing their brutal actions and ways, in line with the takeover of Italy by Benito Mussolini. She also reaffirms her feminism by drawing on the ways in which most women were treated during this period, particularly those unprotected single female family members who had little to no money of their own and no place else to go. Including Mussolini’s wife as a patient at the mental hospital that Mary visits was another nice historic touch.

Overall, the mystery that King lays out is complicated enough to keep a reader interested, but she includes enough details that the conclusion makes total sense. The series just keeps getting better and better, with vivid descriptions, wry humor, and interesting history.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The 2018 Debuts I Am Most Looking Forward To - Part 4

The 8th year of the The Qwillery's Debut Author Challenge began on January 1, 2018. Here are the 8 debuts being published in September and October that I am most looking forward to.

Shaun Barger

Mage Against the Machine
Saga Press, October 9, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 512 pages

Harry Potter meets The Terminator in this action-packed adventure about a young man who discovers that everything he believed about his world is a lie.

The year is 2120. The humans are dead. The mages have retreated from the world after a madman blew up civilization with weaponized magical technology. Safe within domes that protect them from the nuclear wasteland on the other side, the mages have spent the last century putting their lives back together.

Nikolai is obsessed with artifacts from twentieth-century human life: mage-crafted replica Chuck Taylors on his feet, Schwarzenegger posters on his walls, Beatlemania still alive and well in his head. But he’s also tasked with a higher calling—to maintain the Veils that protect mage-kind from the hazards of the wastes beyond. As a cadet in the Mage King’s army, Nik has finally found what he always wanted—a purpose. But when confronted by one of his former instructors gone rogue, Nik tumbles into a dark secret. The humans weren’t nuked into oblivion—they’re still alive. Not only that, outside the domes a war rages between the last enclaves of free humans and vast machine intelligences.

Outside the dome, unprepared and on the run, Nik finds Jem. Jem is a Runner for the Human Resistance. A ballerina-turned-soldier by the circumstances of war, Jem is more than just a human—her cybernetic enhancement mods make her faster, smarter, and are the only things that give her a fighting chance against the artificial beings bent on humanity’s eradication.

Now Nik faces an impossible decision: side with the mages and let humanity die out? Or stand with Jem and the humans—and risk endangering everything he knows and loves?

Hester Fox

The Witch of Willow Hall
Graydon House, October 2, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

Victor Godinez

The First Protectors
Talos, October 23, 2018
Trade Paperback an eBook, 288 page

The last thing Ben Shepherd wanted was another war. But sometimes the universe won’t take no for an answer.

His body and spirit mangled by a lifetime of combat, Shepherd, a retired Navy SEAL, has retreated to the desolate desert of New Mexico to heal his wounds and dodge his demons. All he wants now is peace and quiet.

Both are shattered one starry night, when an alien ship crashes nearby. Out of the ship crawls the last, dying member of a conquered civilization. It’s been shot down by an extraterrestrial enemy, the vanguard of a ravenous force hunting for a new homeland. With its last gasp, the wounded alien injects Shepherd with a high-tech serum that gives him near superhuman powers.

Now, with a new body but a soul as fractured as ever, Shepherd becomes the reluctant leader of the human resistance against the coming invasion. With enemies on all sides, the man who couldn’t bear the guilt of seeing one more friend die in battle now finds himself charged with protecting the entire planet.

S.L. Huang

Zero Sum Game
Cas Russell 1
Tor Books, October 2, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

A blockbuster, near-future science fiction thriller, S.L. Huang's Zero Sum Game introduces a math-genius mercenary who finds herself being manipulated by someone possessing unimaginable power

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she'll take any job for the right price.

As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower...until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she's involved. There’s only one problem...

She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.

Derek Künsken

The Quantum Magician
The Quantum Evolution 1
Solaris, October 2, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 480 pages

The breathtaking debut from acclaimed short story writer Derek Künsken.


Belisarius is a Homo quantus, engineered with impossible insight. But his gift is also a curse—an uncontrollable, even suicidal drive to know, to understand. Genetically flawed, he leaves his people to find a different life, and ends up becoming
the galaxy’s greatest con man and thief.

But the jobs are getting too easy and his extraordinary brain is chafing at the neglect. When a client offers him untold wealth to move a squadron of secret warships across an enemy wormhole, Belisarius jumps at it. Now he must embrace his true nature to pull off the job, alongside a crew of extraordinary men and women.

If he succeeds, he could trigger an interstellar war… or the next step in human evolution.

Wayétu Moore

She Would Be King
Graywolf Press, September 11, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 312 pages

Wayétu Moore’s powerful debut novel, She Would Be King, reimagines the dramatic story of Liberia’s early years through three unforgettable characters who share an uncommon bond. Gbessa, exiled from the West African village of Lai, is starved, bitten by a viper, and left for dead, but still she survives. June Dey, raised on a plantation in Virginia, hides his unusual strength until a confrontation with the overseer forces him to flee. Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica, can fade from sight at will, just as his mother could. When the three meet in the settlement of Monrovia, their gifts help them salvage the tense relationship between the African American settlers and the indigenous tribes, as a new nation forms around them.

Moore’s intermingling of history and magical realism finds voice not just in these three characters but also in the fleeting spirit of the wind, who embodies an ancient wisdom. “If she was not a woman,” the wind says of Gbessa, “she would be king.” In this vibrant story of the African diaspora, Moore, a talented storyteller and a daring writer, illuminates with radiant and exacting prose the tumultuous roots of a country inextricably bound to the United States. She Would Be King is a novel of profound depth set against a vast canvas and a transcendent debut from a major new author.

Rena Rossner

The Sisters of Winter Wood
Redhook, September 25, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 464 pages

Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner’s debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.

In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami’s babka and the low rumble of their Tati’s prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell-despite their mother’s warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.

As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true…and could save them all.

“Mixes fairy tale, poetry, history, and heart to create an enchanting and mesmerizing tale of sisterly love. I adored this book!” — Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of The Queens of Renthia series

Sherri Cook Woosley

Walking Through Fire
A Misbegotten Novel 1
Talos, September 4, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

For fans of American Gods, a dark, humorous, and richly written, dystopian fantasy about the unbreakable bonds of family and the undying strength of a mother's love.

The end of the world begins as literal fire rains down from the heavens. Ancient gods are released from their prison, eager to reestablish their long-lost power. But Rachel Deneuve has bigger, more contemporary concerns than a divine war.

Her son Adam is in the middle of a fight against leukemia, and Rachel is determined to keep focused on that battle. But when humans begin picking sides and the fighting escalates, their home in Baltimore becomes a war zone, one she can’t ignore.

Desperate to stay away from the carnage—as well as the germ-ridden refugee center—Rachel and Adam flee to their remote mountain cottage, only to find their refuge marred by mutated, grotesque plants and animals. Eventually, the cancerous cells in Adam's body begin evolving as well, threatening his life and forcing Rachel to venture back into the eye of the storm. Left with no other choice but to sacrifice her own freedom for her son's safety, she must become an unwilling warrior in a battle unlike anything seen in millennia, or lose everything she holds dear.

Monday, August 27, 2018

The View From Monday - August 27, 2018

Happy last Monday in August!

This week from formerly featured DAC Authors:

Bloody Rose (The Band 2) by Nicholas Eames;

Exile's Throne (Empress Game Trilogy 3) by Rhonda Mason;


War Cry by Brian McClellan.

Clicking on a novel's cover will take you to its Amazon page.

Debut novels are highlighted in blue. Novels, etc. by formerly featured DAC Authors are highlighted in green.

August 28, 2018
Magic Triumphs Ilona Andrews UF - Kate Daniels 10
Echoes in the Walls V.C. Andrews Sagas - House of Secrets 2
Valiant Dust (h2mm) Richard Baker SF - Breaker of Empires 1
Straight Outta Tombstone (tp2mm) David Boop (Ed) F - Anthology
Hawk: A New Novel Vlad Taltos (tp2mm) Steven Brust F - Vlad 14
Eve of Destruction Sylvia Day
writing as S. J. Day
UF/P/PNR - Marked Series 2
Missing Signal Seb Doubinsky SF/Dys/LF
Bloody Rose Nicholas Eames F - The Band 2
Dark Legacy (h2mm) Christine Feehan PNR - Carpathian 31
The Alexander Inheritance (h2mm) Eric Flint
Gorg Huff
Paula Goodlett
Ahab's Return: or, The Last Voyage Jeffrey Ford M/Hist/Fabulist
The Salt Line (h2tp) Holly Goddard Jones LF/SF/AP/PA
Hollywood Dead Richard Kadrey UF - Sandman Slim 10
Stygian Sherrilyn Kenyon FR/P/UF - Dark-Hunter 22
The Flash: Climate Changeling Richard Knaak MTI/SF - Flash 2
Blade of Empire (h2mm) Mercedes Lackey
James Mallory
F - The Dragon Prophecy Trilogy 2
Nightflyers: The Illustrated Edition (h2tp) George R. R. Martin SF/AC/H
Exile's Throne Rhonda Mason CF/SF/SO - Empress Game Trilogy 3
War Cry Brian McClellan F
The Brightest Fell (h2mm) Seanan McGuire UF/CF/P - October Daye 11
The True History Of The Strange Brigade David Thomas Moore (Ed) MTI
Anno Dracula - Johnny Alucard (ri) Kim Newman H/HistF/P
Behind the Door Mary SanGiovanni H
Highway of Eternity (ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Enchanted Pilgrimage (ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
A Choice of Gods (ri) Clifford D. Simak SF
Garro (tp2mm) James Swallow SF - The Horus Heresy 42
Irontown Blues John Varley SF/Cr/SO - Eight Worlds 4
Mirror Gate Jeff Wheeler HistF - The Harbinger Series 2

August 29, 2018
The People's Republic of Everything Nick Mamatas H/F - Collection

August 30, 2018
The Wanderer's Tale (ri) David Bilsborough F
A Taste of Home (ri) C Derick Miller H - Home 1
The Fall of Gondolin J.R.R. Tolkien F

August 31, 2018
The Washingtonians Bentley Little
Richard Chizmar
Johnathan Schaech
Mick Garras
A Voice in the Night Jack McDevitt SF - Collection
Methods Devour Themselves: A Conversation Benjanun Sriduangkaew
J. Moufawad-Paul

D - Debut
e - eBook
Ed - Editor
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - reissue or reprint
tp2mm - Trade Paperback to Mass Market Paperback
Tr - Translator

AC - Alien Contact
AH - Alternate History
AP - Apocalyptic
CF - Contemporary Fantasy
Cr - Crime
CulH - Cultural Heritage
CW - Contemporary Woman
CyP - Cyberpunk
DF - Dark Fantasy
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
FairyT - Fairy Tales
FL - Family Life
FolkT - Folk Tales
FR - Fantasy Romance
GenEng - Genetic Engineering
Gothic - Gothic
H - Horror
HC - History and Criticism
Hist - Historical
HistF - Historical Fantasy
HSF - Hard Science Fiction
HU - Humor
LC - Literary Criticism
LF - Literary Fiction
LM - Legend and Mythology
MR - Magical Realism
MTI - Media Tie-In
MU - Mash Up
Noir - Noir
Occ - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PerfArts - Performing Arts
PI - Private Investigator
PNR - Paranormal Romance
PP - Police Procedural
PolTh - Political Thriller
Psy - Psychological
R - Romance
Sagas - Sagas
SF - Science Fiction
SH - Superheroes
SO - Space Opera
SP - Steampunk
Sup - Supernatural
SupTh - Supernatural Thriller
Sus - Suspense
TechTh - Technological Thriller
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
TTR - Time Travel Romance
TV - Television
UF - Urban Fantasy
VisM - Visionary and Metaphysical

Note: Not all genres and formats are found in the books, etc. listed above.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Melanie's Week in Review - August 26, 2018

Hello. I was wondering if any of you have a better excuse than I have for not reading very much this week? I am ashamed to admit that I have developed a unexplained obsession with watching Project Runway on Netflix (seasons 10-11 which are at least 5 years old now). I am fast forwarding past all the Heidi Klum bits and any parts where one of the contestants starts to cry about how hard it is. It means I am really only watching about 20 minutes of the show. The hubinator keeps asking me why I am watching it and I have no answer. It is digging into my book reading time which is WRONG! I did manage to read two books so what did I read?

I discovered that the 6th instalment of Suzanne Johnson's The Sentinels of New Orleans - Frenchman Street - had been released. I am not sure how I missed it as Amazon usually reminds me (more than once) when a new book in a series I am reading is about to or has been released. Not so this time but I didn't let that stop me from diving right in.

This instalment starts almost immediately after the events of Belle Chasse. The now ex-Sentinel DJ is still hiding out in the undead pirate Jean Lafitte's alternate New Orleans estate. When the evil Prince of Fairie intends to out the supernaturals at Mardi Gras and pitch the world into war DJ decides to make an uneasy alliance with her bondmate - Rand. DJ knows this is a fight they can't afford to lose and will do whatever it takes to help her friends survive.

The Sentinels of New Orleans has always been an 'OK' series for me. I like them but haven't loved them (apart from the covers, I have always LOVED the covers).  DJ is fairly likeable but rarely makes the truly tough choices and the big decisions seem to be left to other characters. It's almost as if she is a secondary character in her own story or that the whole series is missing a true lead character. It occurred to me when I was reading this book that Johnson seems to kill off characters who could interfere with DJ's current romance or a future potential love triangle. I didn't really realise, until DJ started counting, the number of characters that have been killed off throughout the series. She is a dangerous person to hang around. Despite this critique Frenchman Street wraps up the series quite nicely and there is a good balance between the characters and the action. I was glad to have all the various plot threads tied up and a HEA for DJ.

Book 2 is non fiction (shocking I know!)  - This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. Kay was a junior doctor in the NHS from 2004 - 2010, when a tragic experience caused him to reconsider his career. Kay wrote a diary about his experiences both in and out of the hospital and shares the highs and lows of the medical profession. The diary is interspersed with his views of the crisis hitting the NHS and, especially, junior doctors.

Dear reader - if you live in the UK then you MUST read this book. Especially if you have children and they were delivered in a NHS hospital. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to live in the UK, with it's wonderful nationalised healthcare (warts and all), there is still fantastic story for you to enjoy although you might not get some of the jokes. I laughed and cried throughout...but mostly laughed. In fact, I laughed soo hard at this one part that I was actually crying and the woman sitting across from me on the tube kept staring at me looking scandalised. It takes something especially funny for me to 'lol' on public transport. This is a real heart warmer and will make me appreciate the doctor a bit more the next time I have to go to the hospital.

That is it for me for this week. I hope you too have been able to find a book that has you 'lolling' on your commute! Until next week Happy Reading!

Frenchman Street
Sentinels of New Orleans 6
Suzanne Johnson, July 19, 2018
Trade Paperback and Kindle eBook 374 pages
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own

The uneasy truce between the preternatural species of New Orleans has shattered, with wizards and elves, shifters and vampires—not to mention the historical undead—struggling for ultimate control of the city, including the humans who still think they’re atop the food chain.

They aren’t, however—and the Summer Prince of Faerie wants them to know it.

Stuck in the middle? One unemployed wizard sentinel. For DJ Jaco, war makes for strange bedfellows as she finally embraces her wizard-elven heritage and strikes a deal with the devil so she and her ragtag band of allies can return to defend her hometown. After all, when the undead French pirate Jean Lafitte is working in the mayor’s tourism department, things could go horribly wrong.

War is coming to New Orleans just in time for Mardi Gras, with the elves and wizards lined up on opposite sides, the shifters with a new leader, the vampires promising loyalty to the highest bidder, and the soul of the Crescent City resting on the outcome of the civil war going on in Faerie between the rival princes of summer and winter.

Mardi Gras Day is approaching fast, the faeries have infiltrated almost every parade, and the line between friends and enemies grows thin as DJ tries to stave off open warfare on the St. Charles Avenue parade route.

Laissez les bons temps rouler…but be careful, or the good times might roll too close for comfort.

This Is Going to Hurt
Pan Macmillan, November 1, 2018
Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Hardcover and eBook, September 2017
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own 

Welcome to 97-hour weeks. Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships. Welcome to the life of a junior doctor. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, comedian and former junior doctor Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line (with a foreword attempting to explain the National Health Service to a non-UK audience). Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking by turns, this is everything you wanted to know—and more than a few things you didn't—about life on and off the hospital ward. And yes, it may leave a scar.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Guest Blog by Carina Bissett: Counting Beans

Please welcome Carina Bissett to The Qwillery. Carina's story "A Seed Planted" is found in Hath No Fury, an anthology published on August 23, 2018 by Outland Entertainment.

Counting Beans
by Carina Bissett

          Although there has been a renaissance of fairy tale retellings over the last decade, it isn’t the first time these stories have undergone a surge of popularity. In fact, my first experience with retellings occurred when I discovered a copy of the fairy tale anthology Snow White, Blood Red in my favorite used bookstore. Within those pages, I was introduced to the work of such notable writers as Tanith Lee, Charles de Lint, Gregory Frost, Jane Yolen, and Neil Gaiman. Edited by luminaries Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow, this series spanned six collections of tales that went back to their roots as stories told by adults for adults. I was hooked.
          As I child, I devoured books, but the one I kept returning to was a double-sided volume in The Companion Library series (1963), which featured Andersen’s Fairy Tales on one side and the Grimm Fairy Tales. As an adult, I turned to Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber (1979), which influenced a generation of feminist poets and feminist fantasy writers including my new heroine Terri Windling. I continued backwards moving through the familiar tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen to those told by Charles Perrault and Oscar Wilde. And then, I discovered the 17th century Parisian literary salons, where literary fairy tales were created from the fragments of oral tradition combined with literary influences such as medieval romance and classic myth.
          The term “fairy tale” actually comes from the English translation of the phrase conte de fée, which was coined in the French salons to describe the rise in popularity of these magical tales written with adult readers in mind. To my immense delight, I stumbled upon a whole host of gifted female writers who worked to encourage women’s independence from the gender barriers of the time. This included such writers as Madame d’Aulnoy (The White Cat), Henriette-Julie de Castelnau (Bearskin), Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier (The Discreet Princess), Catherine Bernard (Riquet of the Tuft), Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force (Persinette), and Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (Beauty and the Beast).
         In the past, I had attempted to tackle fairy tales in my voice, but they never quite worked. Just when I was ready to toss the notion of rewriting fairy tales for good, a few things happened in quick succession that lead to a dramatic shift in my approach: the publication of by Michael Cunningham’s literary fairy tales in his collection A Wild Swan and Other Tales (2015); the release The Turnip Princess and Other Newly Discovered Fairy Tales (2015), which were originally collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth in the 1850s, and the publication of an obscure academic paper “Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktales” published in Royal Society Open Science (2016).
          In his collection of literary fairy tale retellings, Michael Cunningham created a cast of characters that we know intimately—are fragments of ourselves and others, fragments many of us prefer not to face. Of all the stories in the collection, “Jacked”—a contemporary take on “Jack and the Beanstalk”—was the one that captured my interest the most as a deft and detailed commentary on the single parent, only child plight so prevalent among middle-class Americans. Cunningham stays faithful to the original plot in “Jack and the Beanstalk,” but then modernizes it with a series of witticisms of a sarcastic nature: “The mist-girl tells Jack that everything the giant owns belongs rightfully to him. Jack, however, being Jack, had assumed already that everything the giant owns—everything everybody owns—rightfully belongs to him” (26). Personally, I’ve never been particularly fond of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” And, after reading the story, I was left with the feeling that Cunningham wasn’t in love with the original fairy tale either, which is why he pushes the unlikeable character to even further extremes.
          When the Royal Society Open Science released the 2016 academic paper “Comparative phylogenetic analyses uncover the ancient roots of Indo-European folktales,” a few things clicked into place for me. Researchers Sara Graça da Silva, a social scientist/folklorist with New University of Lisbon, and Jamshid Tehrani, an anthropologist with Durham University, conducted a phylogenetic analysis on common fairy tales, which suggests that many of these stories have origins reaching back thousands of years. For instance, “Jack and the Beanstalk” can be traced back nearly 5,000 years ago when Western and Eastern Indo-European languages split. However, it wasn’t until the 1730s that the first literary version of “The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean” appeared on the scene. It made a brief reappearance in the early 1800s, but didn’t really garner much attention until Joseph Jacobs included a version of the tale in his collection English Fairy Tales (1890).
          Seeing as I’ve never liked “Jack and the Beanstalk,” I decided to rewrite it to suit my own taste. My fascination with Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” and the connection of Hawthorne’s character Beatrice to the poison girls in Hindu mythology provided a platform for my science fantasy retelling “A Seed Planted.” I decided to focus on the familial relationships in this piece about a dutiful, yet jealous daughter and the scientist who created her and her sisters as weapons. In the original draft, the science fiction elements were muted. However, under the guidance of my mentor Elizabeth Hand, it took a decidedly different turn as I worked to balance the early draft’s fairy tale components with scientific elements. I added a futuristic ecological angle and a dash of Arthurian legend, turning “Jack and the Beanstalk” upside down while retaining connections to the original story cycle.
          I’ve since sketched the stories of the other sisters introduced in “A Seed Planted,” which has led me down a path of self-discovery, a place where old tales provide only the barest of foundations to build upon. I think I tend to shy away from opportunities that will only come to fruition if I am willing to write from the hard places. I think it’s a fine line to walk, but I also think that this is why fairy tale retellings continue to evolve as a popular framework with which to view the world we live in. It isn’t just the more obscure tales that need to be told; it’s the true tales. It’s up to the writers to find new ways to reflect the deepest, darkest parts of themselves through the comforts of the familiar.

Hath No Fury
Outland Entertainment, August 23, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 550 pages

Mother. Warrior. Caregiver. Wife. Lover. Survivor. Trickster. Heroine. Leader.

This anthology features 21 stories and six essays about women who defy genre stereotypes. Here, it’s not the hero who acts while the heroine waits to be rescued; Hath No Fury’s women are champions, not damsels in distress. Whether they are strong, bold warriors, the silent but powerful type, or the timid who muster their courage to face down terrible evil, the women of Hath No Fury will make indelible marks upon readers and leave them breathless for more.

About Carina

Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of speculative fiction and interstitial art. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast (University of Southern Maine) and has studied with such popular writers and poets as Elizabeth Hand, Nancy Holder, David Anthony Durham, Theodora Goss, Ted Deppe, Cara Hoffman, and Cate Marvin. Her short fiction and poetry has been published in multiple journals including the Journal of Mythic Arts, Mythic Delirium, NonBinary Review, Timeless Tales, Enchanted Conversations, and The Horror ‘Zine. Her work can also be found in numerous anthologies including Hath No Fury, an anthology where women take the lead. She fosters her passion of fairy tale and folklore through creative non-fiction including her research work at the Mythic Imagination Institute and contributions to the three-volume set American Myths, Legends, and Tall Tales: An Encyclopedia of American Folklore.

Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter @cmariebissett