Angela Slatter: Corpselight (Review)

Angela Slatter's picture

Angela Slatter
Specialising in dark fantasy and horror, Angela Slatter is the author of The Girl with No Hands and Other Tales, Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, and Black-Winged Angels, as well as Midnight and Moonshine and The Female Factory (both with Lisa L. Hannett). She has won five Aurealis Awards, one British Fantasy Award, and a World Fantasy Award, as well as being a finalist for the Norma K. Hemming Award.

Angelas short stories have appeared in Australian, UK and US Best Of anthologies such The Mammoth Book of New Horror (Stephen Jones, ed.), The Years Best Dark Fantasy and Horror (Paula Guran, ed.), The Best Horror of the Year (Ellen Datlow, ed.), The Years Best Australian Fantasy and Horror (Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, eds.), and The Years Best YA Speculative Fiction (Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios, eds.).

She has an MA and a PhD in Creative Writing, is a graduate of Clarion South 2009 and the Tin House Summer Writers Workshop 2006, and in 2013 she was awarded one of the inaugural Queensland Writers Fellowships.

Her novellas, Of Sorrow and Such (from Tor.com), and Ripper (in the Stephen Jones anthology Horrorology, from Jo Fletcher Books) will be released in October 2015.

Angelas urban fantasy novel, Vigil (based on the short story Brisneyland byNight), will be released by Jo Fletcher Books in 2016, and the sequel, Corpselight, in 2017. She is represented by Ian Drury of the literary agency Sheil Land.

blog tour poster (2)

Corpselight  (2017)
(The second book in the Verity Fassbinder series)

book cover of Corpselight

Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead in takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful.

Review

Book one in this series was an utter delight and surprise, Something i hadn’t looked for or expected that fell into my lap and was an instant hit, a debut that you feel no fear in recommending to all, crossing genres as “just a great read”, with wonderful characters.

What the author needs to do after such a splendid debut is to follow it up, sounds obvious but often this is the hurdle where many fall. Slatter and Corpselight is not one of those. While the book is undoubtedly different to Vigil it is still a splendid piece of character writing with a plot that is both emotional and introspective and yet builds to a powerful, energetic, fast paced plot. Fastbender is as always no wallflower, even when heavily pregnant, add into the mix all the other characters near and dear to her and us the reader, and the Angela Slatter has so much more scope to delve into the emotional drivers and experiences of all her leading charcters, the plot and the world already exist, its just bringing it all to life that’s needed, and if you loved Vigil then you will not be disappointed at all with the highly charged action packed emotional roller-coaster. Myth and reality blended at its finest, right up there with my annual Aaronovitch treat.

recommended read

(Parm)

Series

Verity Fassbinder
1. Vigil (2016)
2. Corpselight (2017)
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Novels
Finnegan’s Field (2016)
Black-Winged Angels (2016)
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Collections
The Girl with No Hands (and Other Tales) (2010)
Sourdough and Other Stories (2010)
Willow Pattern (2012) (with Steven K Amsterdam, Christopher Currie, Rjurik Davidson, Nick Earls, Simon Groth, Krissy Kneen, Geoff Lemon and PM Newton)
A Ghostly Gathering (2012) (with Stephen Jones and Thana Niveau)
Midnight and Moonshine (2012)
The Bitterwood Bible (2014)
The Female Factory (2015)
Four Dark Tales (2015)
Four Horrifying Tales (2015)
A Feast of Shadows (2016)
A Feast of Sorrows (2016)
Winter Children and Other Chilling Tales (2016)
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2016 (2017) (with Nina Allan, Charlie Jane Anders, Aliette de Bodard, Tara Isabella Burton, Monica Byrne, Rebecca Campbell, Cixin Liu, P Djeli Clark, Indrapramit Das, Alix E Harrow, N K Jemisin, Margaret Killjoy, Melissa Marr, David Nickle, Laurie Penny, Daniel Polansky, Lettie Prell, Delia Sherman, Caighlan Smith, Lavie Tidhar, Rajnar Vajra, Genevieve Valentine, Carrie Vaughn and Alyssa Wong)
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Novellas
The Burning Circuis (2015)
Home and Heath (2015)
Of Sorrow and Such (2015)
Ripper (2017)
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Anthologies edited
Dead Red Heart (2011) (with Russell B Farr)
A Book of Horrors (2011) (with Stephen Jones)
Canterbury 2100: pilgrimages in a new world (2013) (with Dirk Flinthart)
Fearie Tales (2013) (with Stephen Jones)
Sprawl (2014) (with Alisa Krasnostein)
Corvidae (2015) (with Rhonda Parrish)
Damnation and Dames (2015) (with Liz Grzyb and Amanda Pillar)
Focus 2014 (2015) (with Tehani Wessely)
Cthulhu’s Daughters (2016) (with Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R Stiles)
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Filed under Angela Slatter, Fantasy

Ed McDonald: Blackwing (guest post)

Ed McDonald has spent many years dancing between different professions, cities and countries, but the only thing any of them share in common is that they have allowed him enough free time to write. He currently lives with his wife in London, a city that provides him with constant inspiration, where he works as a university lecturer. When he’s not grading essays or wrangling with misbehaving plot lines he can usually be found fencing with longswords, rapiers and pollaxes.

Ed’s debut novel Blackwing is the first part of The Raven’s Mark trilogy. Blackwing will be published on July 20th 2017 by Gollancz in the UK, and October 2017 by Ace in the United States. German, Spanish, French, Hungariann and Russian translations will be available from 2018.

 

Blackwing  (2017)
(The first book in the Raven’s Mark series)

Buy signed copy

book cover of Blackwing

The republic faces annihilation, despite the vigilance of Galharrow’s Blackwings. When a raven tattoo rips itself from his arm to deliver a desperate message, Galharrow and a mysterious noblewoman must investigate a long dead sorcerer’s legacy. But there is a conspiracy within the citadel: traitors, flesh-eaters and the ghosts of the wastelands seek to destroy them, but if they cannot solve the ancient wizard’s paradox, the Deep Kings will walk the earth again, and all will be lost.

The war with the Eastern Empire ended in stalemate some 80 years ago, thanks to Nall’s Engine, a wizard-crafted weapon so powerful even the Deep Kings feared it. The strike of the Engine created the Misery – a wasteland full of ghosts and corrupted magic that now forms a no-man’s-land along the frontier. But when Galharrow investigates a frontier fortress, he discovers complacency bordering on treason: then the walls are stormed, and the Engine fails to launch.

Galharrow escapes only because of the preternatural magical power of the noblewoman he was supposed to be protecting. Together they race to the capital to unmask the traitors and restore the republic’s defences. Far across the Misery, a vast army is on the move, as the Empire prepares to call the republic’s bluff.

Guest Blog:

Relationships in Fantasy & Toxic Male Sexual Identity in Media

 

Blackwing is a book about magic, swords and power.

It’s also a story about a relationship, love, and the need for closure. Hopefully, a reader will feel that the way that the characters interact over the course of the book is believable, given the situations that they find themselves in, and the way that life has treated them before. I wanted to write a relationship narrative that more accurately mirrors the way that I feel that adults behave. The key characters aren’t 15 years old, they’re people who’ve experienced life, and I wanted them to behave like those kinds of people. I also wanted to show a man with difficult feelings not acting like a complete and utter pillock.

When I was growing up in the 1990s, I learned about relationships from watching Friends on the TV. The best bit of Friends was Ross and Rachel and their on/off status, because it got across a lot of feeling. But, it’s only with hindsight that I can look back at Friends and see how damaging it was to my own sexual identity as a young man learning about how to behave around women, what women wanted from a heterosexual relationship, and how relationships form.

Friends eventually turned into British sitcom Coupling, then How I Met Your Mother (it’s incredible how many plots got reused) and then the same issues appear in Rules of Engagement and more besides. There’s an easy set of jokes that can be made that go like so:

Woman suggests remote possibility of sex. Man loses his head and falls over trying to get to the bedroom.

The message in these shows is that men are sex-obsessed and willing to do anything to get into a woman’s knickers. This wasn’t my experience of being a teen/adult male, and never has been. But I always kind of felt that to be a real man, that’s how I ought to feel. Even after I settled into a stable relationship in my late twenties, I felt that I had to be primed and ready to go at the shortest notice. It has taken a lot of reflection and honesty to realise that I’m not an over-inflated balloon ready to explode. A real man can barely control himself, right?

There’s a lot that’s wrong with this media picture. It tells men that it’s OK to be only just in control. It tells men that women are the gatekeepers and that they control everything about the flow of sex in a man’s life. It tells them that society expects them to be ‘horn dogs’ and that to behave like that is OK. It’s all very toxic. This is so often portrayed in fantasy books as well. A very silly bit in one book by an author that I greatly respect in all other ways involves a (mild mannered, polite, kind) character throws himself into a patch of stinging nettles because he’s just so horny. The villains of most books are portrayed in the same manner, and grimdark is often especially blatant for it. We absorb the messages that we read. We emulate our heroes. Getting this stuff right is important.

The second, opposite way that these stories lie to us about relationships is that they tell us that The Changing Friendzone is a real thing. It’s the idea that if you like someone, and they don’t fancy you, that their feelings will change over time, as long as someone performs lots of small acts of kindness. All of the men I grew up with at school seemed to believe this as well. Why not? We identified with Ross. It’s the plot of every rom-com out there. When I got to university, everyone believed it there too. But then, through life, I’ve yet to see a single example of this play out. I wasted years pining over girls that I thought I loved, imagining that they’d somehow change their minds about me if I was just a good friend for long enough. Fantasy is very guilty of this. One of the biggest books in the genre is effectively a big friend-zone story. It’s a device to draw out a romance into a long and tortured ordeal, where we can root for the characters over time. Maybe we enjoy this story because secretly we’ve all loved a friend in this way. But I’d so much rather read a story where someone goes through this and then meets someone that actually likes them instead.

To me, it’s all a little disingenuous. Our expectations of reality are affected by the stories that are told to us, and as an author, I wanted to write a relationship that I felt better matched my experiences of the way that experienced adults behave. People in their thirties are both honest and dishonest. Love is selfish; it’s also about giving. It’s hard, and it hurts at times, and you’re not always sure that you want it, even when you can’t bear to let it go. It takes into account that there are other things going on in life, and that much as you might want something, there are always going to be other concerns to get in the way.

For me, the human element of a fantasy story is what makes all those swords, magic blasts and doomsday weapons matter. Hopefully I pulled it off.

Raven’s Mark
1. Blackwing (2017)
2. Ravensworn (2018)

Buy a signed copy

 

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Jane Johnson: Court of Lions (Extract + Review)

AUTHOR

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer. She is responsible for the publishing of many major authors, including George RR Martin.

In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa, when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future. She returned home, gave up her office job in London, and moved to Morocco. She married her own ‘Berber pirate’ and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. She still works, remotely, as Fiction Publishing Director for HarperCollins.

book cover of Court of Lions

COURT OF LIONS

JANE JOHNSON 

Publication Date: 6th July 2017    Price £18.99

An epic saga of romance and redemption. Court of Lions brings one of the great turning points in history to life, through the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada.

 Kate Fordham, escaping terrible trauma, has fled to the beautiful sunlit city of Granada, the ancient capital of the Moors in Spain, where she is scraping by with an unfulfilling job in a busy bar. One day in the glorious gardens of the Alhambra, once home to Sultan Abu Abdullah Mohammed, also known as Boabdil, Kate finds a scrap of paper hidden in one of the ancient walls. Upon it, in strange symbols, has been inscribed a message from another age. It has lain undiscovered since before the Fall of Granada in 1492, when the city was surrendered to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Born of love, in a time of danger and desperation, the fragment will be the catalyst that changes Kate’s life forever.

Court of Lions brings one of the great turning-points in history to life, telling the stories of a modern woman and the last Moorish sultan of Granada, as they both move towards their cataclysmic destinies.

Extract:

It was approaching eleven by the time she’d walked up to the Calle Charca to drop her laundry off with Rosita, a cheerful, tubby Spanish woman whose husband made the deliveries to the bodega and who washed three times a week for those with no machines, like Kate. Picking up fresh laundry a day later was one of Kate’s pleasures. Nothing smelled as nice as sheets that had been dried in the Albayzín sun: it seemed to imbue them with a whiff of the incense of ages past, with bitter oranges and spiced brandy. Then it was on to the little supermarket on the Calle Panaderos and the market in the square for beautifully organic fruit and veg. And still Jess hadn’t rung!

As Kate was making her way back home with her groceries, she thought she heard the muezzin at the mosque, the Mezquita Mayor, just a few streets away, starting to call the Muslim faithful to prayer. She strained her ears toward the fragile sound, but a truck came rattling along the narrow street, making her flatten herself against the rough wall, and by the time its roar had passed, the muezzin had fallen silent. The mosque had been constructed less than twenty years ago, the city finally bowing to the pressure to provide its significant North African population with somewhere to worship other than out of sight in garages and private houses. Catholic Spain might have expelled its Moors at the end of the fifteenth century, but it seemed they had been allowed to return more than half a millennium later, and be woven back into the rich warp and weft of the country they had done so much to civilize. Even if they hadn’t been permitted to give the muezzin a loudspeaker.

She dropped into the Internet café to send Jess an email. Hicham, not Saïd, was on duty, and he did not meet her eyes when she greeted him, or hold his hand out for the money, but instead waited for her to put the coins down on the counter, as if her touch might contaminate him. The place was usually stuffed with young men, but when Saïd was here, she never felt uncomfortable coming in on her own. The way Hicham treated her, though, made her clumsy. Trying to fiddle her change back into her bag, she dislodged a slip of paper, which spun across the melamine countertop toward him. Hicham stopped its progress with a stab of his finger.

“Sorry,” she said automatically. Then added, “Perdón.” She reached out to take it back, but he put his hand flat over it. His black eyes challenged her.

“Why you have this?”

“What?”

He repeated the question. Flummoxed, she shrugged. “Sorry, it’s just a bit of rubbish. I should have put it in a bin. But there’s never one around when you need one, is there?” She laughed awkwardly. Had she unleashed some sort of obscure insult: dropping a bit of waste paper in front of a Muslim man? She had no idea.

“If it just rubbish, why you want it back?”

There was no answer to this. She watched Hicham pick up the paper to scrutinize it. Then she realized what it was. The scrap of paper that she’d winkled out of the wall in the palace gardens yesterday. “Oh. Please, I do want that back.”

Hicham’s lip curled. “I don’t think so. It not yours.”

For a brief, embarrassing moment Kate thought she might burst into tears. What on earth was the matter with her? When had she become so pathetic? He was only a local café worker playing a game with her. A rather nasty, dour little game, exercising a bit of power over a woman: she should recognize that sort of thing by now. And really, did it matter so much? All this fuss over a scrap of rubbish. She rallied herself. “Keep it, then.”

For a moment he looked confused. Then he shoved the paper back across the counter at her. “You don’t trick me like that.” He turned and made for the back room, his mobile phone already to his ear.

She slid the scrap back into her bag. Hicham had truly rattled her; how dare he be so rude? Saïd was always so nice, so easy to talk to, even a bit flirty. He had a Spanish girlfriend, though, a handsome woman called Pilar, who worked at a museum. At least, she thought Pilar was his girlfriend. Did men from his culture even have girlfriends, or were they expected to marry to have a relationship? Really, what she knew about Muslim men—indeed, any sort of men—she could fit on the back of that sweet wrapper, or whatever it was.

She found an unoccupied monitor along the back wall between a group of giggling teenagers and a quiet young man who swiftly angled his body to shield the screen of his monitor from her. As if she cared that he was looking at pornography at midday on a Friday. Except … it seemed she did care. Unwelcome images swam up from the depths of her memory, cutting through dark wate

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Review

I have been wanting to review a book for Jane Johnson for quite a long time, i make no secret of the fact that she is just the most helpful, kind and talented person i have met in the world of books, and has always helped out this woeful reviewer. But all that said i would do an injustice if i didn’t give the book a fully fair review at the same time (and i think she would tell me off)….. so phew… its brilliant. I’m not normally one for the mushy books…. and to be honest this isn’t. While its a romantic book, essentially a love letter to the city of Granada, it is also and more importantly a deeply insightful well researched passionate piece about the the Granada War of the 1400’s , its culture and the people who existed there.

The author expands the story further using multiple perspectives, differing opinions and understanding. The main perspective being a young woman (Kate) a lady who finds herself immersed in a mystery that allows her to escape her own life and her counter part, Blessings who loves the young Sultan.

Jane Johnson weaves her tale with exceptional skill and such a delicate touch, providing some exceedingly real and complex characters. The author uses a real talent for knowing people to push the plot back and forth between past and present taking the reader through a roller coaster of emotions.

As i suspected and hoped Jane Johnson has written something wonderful, handling a delicate cultural plot-line, doing so with such passion for all areas of the book and its people.

Very Highly Recommended

(Parm)

Series
Eidolon Chronicles
1. The Secret Country (2005)
2. The Shadow World (2006)
3. Dragon’s Fire (2007)
Legends of the Shadow World (omnibus) (2010)
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Moroccan
1. Crossed Bones (2008)
aka The Tenth Gift
2. The Salt Road (2010)
3. The Sultan’s Wife (2012)
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Novels
Maskmaker (2010)
Goldseekers (2011)
Pillars of Light (2016)
Court of Lions (2017)
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Simon Scarrow: Playing with Death (Review)

Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in UNDER THE EAGLE, and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series, including CENTURION, THE GLADIATOR and most recently INVICTUS.

Simon is also the author of the novels YOUNG BLOODS, THE GENERALS, FIRE AND SWORD and THE FIELDS OF DEATH, chronicling the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, and of SWORD & SCIMITAR, the epic tale of the 1565 Siege of Malta, and HEARTS OF STONE, set in Greece during the Second World War.

Simon has also co-written two bestselling novel with T.J. Andrews, ARENA and INVADER.

He lives in the historic city of Norwich.

For the most up to date info and news on Simon, visit his Facebook page

Author web site

Lee Francis worked for several years in the world of film, TV and advertising as a script reader and assistant director. PLAYING WITH DEATH, written with his former lecturer Simon Scarrow, is his first novel.

Buy a Signed Limited Collector’s Edition

Playing With Death

PLAYING WITH DEATH is a gripping, edge-of-your seat contemporary thriller that marks a new direction for legendary historical novelist Simon Scarrow, writing with exciting new talent Lee Francis. Not to be missed by readers of David Baldacci and Michael Crichton.

FBI Special Agent Rose Blake has faced evil and survived.

Haunted by a failed undercover mission, Rose is finding it hard to shake the memories of her close encounter with a ruthless serial killer – one who is still free, and could strike again without warning.

The call to investigate a suspected arson attack that’s left a man dead is a welcome distraction. It’s not the kind of case usually assigned to the FBI, but nothing about this crime is usual. As Rose digs deeper, she finds herself confronting the sort of imagination her son might see in the fantasy worlds of his video games.

But when your opponent is a killer, nothing feels like a game. . .

Review

I approach every Scarrow book with caution, Not because of the quality but because I’ve been fortunate enough to know both brothers for quite a few years and have really enjoyed their books. Simon’s books were among my introductory books into Historical Fiction and as such they have to have a special place in my reading and has helped define the reader i am now. So every new book has the potential as a voracious reader of the genre to find a fault, to pick holes and its never something i feel totally comfortable with. Fortunately Simon rarely offers me the opportunity.

So when something new comes along, Simon Scarrow doing Crime Fiction, i have to think, Hmmmm? ok! lets give it a go. Also a collaboration, and something adapted from a TV series idea…. this could have car crash all over it, and how do i review that?

Starting the book i have to say i was concerned, the writing didn’t have the feel of Simon’s usual work, the writing felt a little clunky and simplistic. But i think as much as anything that was the building of the concept, how to explain it to the reader, and so it came over as talking to the reader, and me projecting my concern onto the concept a little, also reading in bite sized morsels where this book needs to be read in large chunks to really absorb the concept.

In Playing with Death,  Simon and Lee tackle some really interesting concepts around modern society, social media and gaming.  Simon surprises and uses a female as his central figure (not something you would expect from the writer of Macro and Cato, but integral to this plot) and it works very well, if a little male in thinking occasionally, which can fit with the male orientated profession. But the concept of the books criminal and the “Skin” soon takes flight in the book, mixed with the backdrop of the chase for a deadly serial killer with a personal dislike for the lead FBI agent Rose Blake and the misdirection for the crimes happening. The chase gets more and more twisted, the concept of the tech and mix of social media more and more real and uncomfortable building to a thrilling conclusion. Wrapped around this is the family life of Agent Rose Blake, a family that gets drawn into the mix as inextricably as we all do to the world of the internet, caught up in the social media world and all its pit falls.

Simon and Lee shine an uncomfortable family light on our personal dependence on Social media and gadgets, that urge, desire to pull out your smart phone to check facebook, to check your email. The drug that is the internet has changed the world and we need to remember to turn it off, to disconnect and be part of a more realistic world, because the fake news, fake world and impossible world of photo shopped celebs and everything of its ilk on the internet all impact and shape our children and ourselves. Its that message that makes this book stand out, makes it a book that i really recommend and helps make this a very good crime thriller.

(Parm)

Other work from Simon Scarrow

Series
Eagles of the Empire
1. Under the Eagle (2000)
2. The Eagle’s Conquest (2001)
3. When the Eagle Hunts (2002)
4. The Eagle and the Wolves (2003)
5. The Eagle’s Prey (2004)
6. The Eagle’s Prophecy (2005)
7. The Eagle in the Sand (2006)
aka The Zealot
8. Centurion (2007)
9. The Gladiator (2009)
10. The Legion (2010)
11. Praetorian (2011)
12. The Blood Crows (2013)
13. Brothers in Blood (2014)
14. Britannia (2015)
15. Invictus (2016)
16. Day of the Caesars (2017)
Eagles of the Empire Series Book 1-5 (omnibus) (2017)
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Wellington and Napoleon
1. Young Bloods (2006)
2. The Generals (2007)
3. Fire and Sword (2007)
4. The Fields of Death (2010)
The Wellington and Napoleon Quartet (omnibus) (2015)
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Gladiator
1. Fight for Freedom (2011)
2. Street Fighter (2012)
3. Son of Spartacus (2013)
4. Vengeance (2014)
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Roman Arena (with T J Andrews)
1. Barbarian (2012)
2. Challenger (2012)
3. First Sword (2013)
4. Revenge (2013)
5. Champion (2013)
Arena (omnibus) (2013)
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Invader (with T J Andrews)
1. Death Beach (2014)
2. Blood Enemy (2014)
3. Dark Blade (2014)
4. Imperial Agent (2015)
5. Sacrifice (2015)
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Novels
The Sword and the Scimitar (2012)
Hearts of Stone (2015)
Invader (2016) (with T J Andrews)
Playing With Death (2017) (with Lee Francis)
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Novellas
Red Christmas (2014)
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HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown 2017 Longlist

Several Months ago i was shocked to be asked to be involved in the HWA Endeavour Ink Gold Crown 2017 as a Judge, it was without doubt an honor and i instantly started to suffer imposter syndrome….

The fellow judges are all …. well look at the list: Antonia Senior, Imogen Robertson, Amy Durant, Nick Rennison, Kate Atherton and Richard Foreman, all of these people are either industry professionals, writers or top reviewers for print publications… now you see while i felt like the token odd  bod in the room. Yet they all made me feel a big part of the day, my opinion mattered and well it was a fantastic day spent discussing our fav books after so long spent reading a veritable mountain of entries.

The result of the day is our longlist of 12…. I do hope you will read all of them, they all have earned the right to sit here.

Here in alphabetical order is the longlist. Congratulations to all twelve authors!

From the below we have also produced a fine short list that will be out in a couple of weeks…… how on earth we get a winner…..thats a hill yet to climb.

thank you to all my fellow Judges for making me feel so much a part of this.

You can find all 3 Lnog Lists here: You can see all three of the longlists here on the HWA website.

 

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James Wilde: Pendragon (Reviews)

James Wilde

James Wilde is a Man of Mercia. Raised in a world of books, James studied economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure. He was unable to forget a childhood encounter in the pages of a comic with the great English warrior, Hereward. Wilde returned to the haunted fenlands of Eastern England, Hereward’s ancestral home, where he became convinced that this legendary hero should be the subject of his first novel. Wilde now indulges his love of history and the high life in the home his family have owned for several generations, in the heart of a Mercian forest.

Author Website

book cover of Pendragon

Pendragon (2017)
(The first book in the Dark Age series)

Here is the beginning of a legend. Long before Camelot rose, a hundred years before the myth of King Arthur was half-formed, at the start of the Red Century, the world was slipping into a Dark Age…

It is AD 367. In a frozen forest beyond Hadrian’s Wall, six scouts of the Roman army are found murdered. For Lucanus, known as the Wolf and leader of elite unit called the Arcani, this chilling ritual killing is a sign of a greater threat.
But to the Wolf the far north is a foreign land, a place where daemons and witches and the old gods live on. Only when the child of a friend is snatched will he venture alone into this treacherous world – a territory ruled over by a barbarian horde – in order to bring the boy back home. What he finds there beyond the wall will echo down the years.
A secret game with hidden factions is unfolding in the shadows: cabals from the edge of Empire to the eternal city of Rome itself, from the great pagan monument of Stonehenge to the warrior kingdoms of Gaul will go to any length to find and possess what is believed to be a source of great power, signified by the mark of the Dragon.
A soldier and a thief, a cut-throat, courtesan and a druid, even the Emperor Valentinian himself – each of these has a part to play in the beginnings of this legend… the rise of the House of Pendragon.

Review

Pendragon…. the name just screams Arthur, Genevieve, Lancelot and all that goes with it. Well take that preconception and throw it out the window. Not since Bernard Cornwall took on the Arthur myth has any writer provided such a new and innovative view of the Arthurian story.

James Wilde takes us back to before Arthur, to a time when Rome still clings to power in Britain, but only by its finger nails. The barbarians that have been held back so long by the great wall of Hadrian  are probing, looking, change is in the wind, because they can sense a weakness in Rome, a chance to retake the land a chance that has not been there in all the year of Roman occupation.

In a book filled with the history of both Britain and Rome, James Wilde pulls on the tale of Mithras and also the burgeoning power and rise of the Christ religion to provide a back drop of conspiracy and intrigue wrapped around the ever present guidance of the Druids and Myrddin. How can the rise of Arthur be assured, who would be the ones to protect him, who will be his parents/ grandparents. So many questions and ideas are opened up by this story, so many surprises and all delivered with a fast paced action packed book brimming with wonderful characters. If you were making a tv series it has action, fights, love interest, bad guys a plenty, tortured heroes… sometimes mentally often physically, highs, lows, misdirection and utter surprises… so much packed into a book 1.

I love the Arthur myth but always approach a new book with low expectations because there are so very many bad books, this i’m glad to say is not one, its a wonderful tale and i honestly cannot wait for the next one.

Highly recommend this read.

(Parm)

 

Series
Hereward
1. Hereward (2011)
aka The Time of the Wolf
2. The Devil’s Army (2012)
aka The Winter Warrior
3. End of Days (2013)
4. Wolves of New Rome (2014)
5. The Immortals (2015)
6. The Bloody Crown (2016)
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Dark Age
1. Pendragon (2017)
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Filed under Historical Fiction, James Wilde

Sherrilyn Kenyon: Dead Men Walking (Blog Tour)

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Author Bio

About the author:

Writing as Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kinley MacGregor, she is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of several series: the Dark-Hunters; the Lords of Avalon; and the League. She lives with her husband and three sons in Nashville, Tennessee.

www.sherrilynkenyon.com

www.twitter.com/kenyonsherrilyn

www.facebook.com/AuthorSherrilynKenyon

Deadmen tell their tales . . .

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane – an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn – an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen: humanity’s last hope to restore the gates.

But things are never so simple. And one of Bane’s biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn’t just a vessel, she’s also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged – a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and watches humanity fall, or she puts her faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity? Let’s hope Bane can sway her favour. . .

Other titles by Sherrilyn Kenyon out in 2017

Dragonmark

Paperback | £8.99 | 2nd February 2017 | Dark-Hunter series

 

Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed – a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.

Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost – to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone – to see the entire  world burn . . .

Born of Vengeance

Hardback | £20 | 7th February 2017 | League series

 

Bastien Cabarro survived the brutal slaughter of his entire family only to have his wife pin their murders on him. Made Ravin by The League, he is now a target for their assassins-in-training to hunt and kill. The average life expectancy for such beings is six weeks. But defying the odds is what this Gyron Force officer does best, and Bastien won’t rest until he lays his betrayers in their graves.

Ten years later, he has one chance to balance the scales of justice, provided he relies on his former wingman – the very sister of the woman who testified against him.

** Born of Legend (paperback edition) will be published on the 6th April**

Intensity

Trade Paperback Original | £12.99 | 24th April 2017 | Chronicles of Nick series

 

It’s a demon-eat-demon world for Nick Gautier. Just when he thinks he’s finally gotten a handle on how not to take over the world and destroy it, Death returns with an all-star cast that is determined to end the Malachai reign and lineage forever. Worse? Death and War have found the one, true enemy Nick can’t find, and even if he did, it’s one he could never bring himself to banish or kill.

Now framed for murders he hasn’t committed, and surrounded by new friends who might be turncoats, Nick is learning fast how his father went down in flames.

The heat in New Orleans is rising fast, and Nick’s threat-level has gone into a whole new level of intensity. He’s learning fast that when War and Death decide to battle, they don’t take prisoners. They don’t negotiate. And they’re both immune to his biting sarcasm and Cajun charm. To win this, he will have to embrace a new set of powers, but one wrong step, and he will belong to the side of Darkness, forever

Series
League
1. Born of the Night (1996)
2. Born of Fire (2009)
3. Born of Ice (1994)
aka Paradise City
4. Fire and Ice (2001)
5. Born of Shadows (2011)
6. Born of Silence (2012)
7. Cloak & Silence (2013)
8. Born of Fury (2013)
9. Born of Defiance (2015)
10. Born of Betrayal (2015)
11. Born of Legend (2016)
12. Born of Vengeance (2017)
13. Born of Trouble (2018)
14. Born of Darkness (2018)
The League: Nemesis Rising (omnibus) (2016)
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Dark-Hunter
Fantasy Lover (2002)
House of the Rising Son (2016)
0.5. Phantom Lover (2003)
1. Night Pleasures (2002)
2. The Beginning (2002) (in Sins of the Night)
2. Dragonswan (2002)
3. Night Embrace (2003)
5. Dance with the Devil (2003)
6. Kiss of the Night (2004)
6.75. Fear the Darkness (2007)
7. A Dark-Hunter Christmas (2003) (in Dance with the Devil)
7. Night Play (2004)
8. Seize the Night (2004)
9. Sins of the Night (2005)
10. Winter Born (2004)
10. Unleash the Night (2005)
11. The Dark Side of the Moon (2006)
12. The Dream Hunter (2007)
13. Second Chances (2005)
13. Devil May Cry (2007)
14. Upon the Midnight Clear (2007)
15. Dream Chaser (2008)
16. A Hard Day’s Night-Searcher (2006)
16. Acheron (2008)
17. Until Death We Do Part (2006)
17. One Silent Night (2008)
18. Dream Warrior (2009)
19. Bad Moon Rising (2009)
20. No Mercy (2010)
21. Retribution (2011)
22. The Guardian (2011)
23. Time Untime (2012)
24. Styxx (2013)
25. Son of No One (2014)
26. Dragonbane (2015)
27. Dragonmark (2016)
28. Dragonsworn (2017)
Night Pleasures / Night Embrace (omnibus) (2005)
Shadow of the Moon (2008) (in Dead After Dark)
Dark-Hunter Boxed Set (omnibus) (2010)
Dark Bites (2014)
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B.A.D. (Bureau of American Defense)
1. Bad Attitude (2005)
2. Phantom in the Night (2008)
3. Whispered Lies (2009) (with Dianna Love)
4. Silent Truth (2010) (with Dianna Love)
Born to Be B.A.D. (2005)
A B.A.D. Collection (omnibus) (2011) (with Dianna Love)
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Dark-Hunter Manga
1. The Dark-hunters Vol. 1 (2009)
2. The Dark-Hunters Vol. 2 (2010)
3. The Dark-Hunters Vol. 3 (2010)
4. The Dark-Hunters Vol. 4 (2011)
Lords Of Avalon: Knight Of Darkness (2009)
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Chronicles of Nick
1. Infinity (2010)
2. Invincible (2011)
3. Infamous (2012)
4. Inferno (2013)
5. Illusion (2014)
6. Instinct (2015)
7. Invision (2016)
8. Intensity (2017)
Chronicles of Nick, (omnibus) (2016)
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Belador (with Dianna Love)
1. Blood Trinity (2010)
2. Alterant (2011)
3. The Curse (2012)
4. The Rise of the Gryphon (2013)
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Chronicles of Nick: Graphic Novel
The Dark-Hunters: Infinity, Vol. 1 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters: Infinity, Vol. 2 (2013)
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Dark-Hunters Omnibus
The Collection Thus Far (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 1-3 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 10-12 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 13-15 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 7-9 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 4-6 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 19-21 (2013)
The Dark-Hunters, Books 16-18 (2013)
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Dark-Hunter: Deadman’s Cross Trilogy
1. Deadmen Walking (2017)
2. Death Doesn’t Bargain (2017)
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Omnibus
Naughty or Nice? (2001) (with Carly Phillips, Patricia Ryan and Kathryn Smith)
Tapestry (2002) (with Madeline Hunter, Lynn Kurland and Karen Marie Moning)
Big Guns Out of Uniform (2003) (with Nicole Camden and Liz Carlyle)
Stroke of Midnight (2004) (with Amanda Ashley, L A Banks and Lori Handeland)
Love at First Bite (2006) (with L A Banks, Susan Squires and Ronda Thompson)
Dead After Dark (2008) (with Dianna Love, Susan Squires and J R Ward)
In Other Worlds (2010)
Winter’s Night (2015)
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Collections
Midnight Pleasures (2003) (with Amanda Ashley, Maggie Shayne and Ronda Thompson)
Man of My Dreams (2004) (with Suzanne Forster, Virginia Kantra and Maggie Shayne)
Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down (2005) (with Jaid Black and Melanie George)
What Dreams May Come (2005) (with Robin D Owens and Rebecca York)
Playing Easy to Get (2006) (with Jaid Black and Kresley Cole)
Blood Lite (2008) (with Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris)
Deadly Promises (2010) (with Cindy Gerard, Laura Griffin and Dianna Love)
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Series contributed to
Angel’s Touch
Daemon’s Angel (1995)
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Non fiction
The Character Naming Sourcebook (1994)
The Writer’s Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages(1995)
The Dark-Hunter Companion (2007) (with Alethea Kontis)
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Anthologies containing stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding (2006)
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