Your Kindle is hungry, so you should feed it with these SFF titles, which are all under 5 smackaroos! As always, doublecheck the price before you click buy, and get ‘em while they’re hot!
To celebrate the release of the newest book in Charlie Higson’s phenomenal (yes, it’s really, really good) Enemy series, THE FALLEN (out today!!), Disney Hyperion and Charlie Higson have put together a very (very) cool book tour giving you a behind the scenes look at Higson’s zombie apocalypse, and the world that it encompasses. Also, if you’d like to read an excerpt of the first book, THE ENEMY, you can do that HERE.
Each stop has a new location, and as an added bonus, we’ve got ALL 5 BOOKS in the series (THE ENEMY, THE DEAD, THE FEAR, THE SACRIFICE, THE FALLEN), to give away to one very lucky winner (US only.) So, check out the post, the giveaway, and that awesome map, and good luck!
The first book in my Enemy zombie series tells the stories of two rival gangs of kids who have to team up and cross London to get to a safer place of refuge – Buckingham Palace. Why not? All the adults in London have either been killed by a mystery disease or are so badly infected they behave like classic cannibal zombies, so the surviving kids can effectively go wherever they want. Who hasn’t visited somewhere like the Palace and fantasized about living there. I was lucky enough to visit Buckingham Palace as a guest of the Queen in 2006 and had wanted to set a story there ever since.
For her official birthday party that year (the Queen has 2 birthdays, her actual birthday and her official birthday. Why? Because she’s the queen, I guess, and can do what she likes) it was decided that she would have a big garden party themed around British children’s books. Children’s books are one thing we do quite well in this country and they were considered worth celebrating. In fact, sorry America, but I think the British write the best children’s books in the world, from Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island and Peter Pan, through Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, The Hobbit, The Jungle Book, Roald Dahl, Alex Rider, Artemis Fowl, Northern Lights and Harry Potter and… well, you get the picture. So the party was a celebration of those books but it was also a party for children.
The queen is famous for her ‘garden parties’, but her garden is something else. It’s more of a small park, really, with lawns, woodland, a lake, you name it. On that day the palace grounds were filled with hundreds of kids and many of our best children’s authors – J.K. Rowling, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo, Philip Pullman… and me. I was writing the Young James Bond books at the time and was very lucky to get an invite. I met the Queen and it was all huge fun. During the afternoon there was a big show, on a stage that had been specially built in the grounds, featuring many children’s authors acting out parts from British children’s literature as well as the main cast of Harry Potter.
Strange Country by Deborah Coates (Tor, May 27th) Note: No spoilers for this one, but it’s 3rd in a series, so there might be tidbits from the first 2 books)-It’s 3am when sheriff’s deputy Boyd Davies gets a call about a possible prowler. When he arrives at the woman’s house he makes sure that the house is clear of intruders, and they talk a bit. The woman knows that Boyd has certain talents, and asks for his help, albeit in a vague way. Even though Boyd has an odd feeling about the situation, he realizes that there’s really nothing for him to do, and starts to leave. Unease soon turns to shock, though. As Boyd and the woman stand on the front porch, Boyd can only watch in horror as a single shot from an assassin’s high powered rifle hits the woman in the head, killing her instantly.
If you’re caught up with this series, then you know what Hallie Michaels has been through, and she’s still a little on edge from a certain risky decision she made in order to save the man she loves, which happens to be Boyd Davies. As Boyd starts his own investigation into the shooting, Hallie is having problems of her own. Someone is leaving notes just outside the hex ring around her property, saying things like “It’s time to face your fear” and a set of map coordinates, and phone calls of the same nature. Hallie thinks this is odd, because if Hallie is anything, it’s someone that has no problem facing her fears. In fact, when there’s a problem, she runs headlong into it. Since actually dying while in the service in Irag, she’s been able to see ghosts, and she’s also been asked, by Death himself, for a “favor” of sorts. He’s going to want an answer soon, but Hallie doesn’t really think the notes and calls have anything to do with Death, so this is just another strange thing add to her growing list of worries.
As Boyd digs deeper into the murder investigation, he comes across stones that seem to be able to store magic, and when the body count begins to grow, he must find out what links the dead and of course, why someone would want them dead to begin with.
Courtesy of the awesome folks at St. Martin’s Press, I have an early reader’s copy of THE GODLESS, the upcoming fantasy by Ben Peek, to give away! It doesn’t come out until August, but you can get your hands on it now! Take a look at the book and the giveaway details, and good luck!
About THE GODLESS:
The Gods are dying. Fifteen thousand years after the end of their war, their bodies can still be found across the world. They kneel in forests, lie beneath mountains, and rest at the bottom of the world’s ocean. For thousands of years, men and women have awoken with strange powers that are derived from their bodies. The city Mireea is built against a huge stone wall that stretches across a vast mountain range, following the massive fallen body of the god, Ger. Ayae, a young cartographer’s apprentice, is attacked and discovers she cannot be harmed by fire. Her new power makes her a target for an army that is marching on Mireea. With the help of Zaifyr, a strange man adorned with charms, she is taught the awful history of ‘cursed’ men and women, coming to grips with her new powers and the enemies they make. Meanwhile, the saboteur Bueralan infiltrates the army that is approaching her home to learn its terrible secret. Split between the three points of view, the narrative of The Godless reaches its conclusion during an epic siege, where Ayae, Zaifyr and Bueralan are forced not just into conflict with those invading, but with those inside the city who wish to do them harm.
Please welcome Hunter Shea to the blog! His new creature feature, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, just came out, and he kindly answered a few of my questions about it, and more!
Your new book, THE MONTAUK MONSTER, just came out this week! Hostile, ravenous creatures, a spreading virus, Plum Island…I’m in! Will you tell us a little more about it and what inspired you to write it?
Montauk, New York is a sleepy little beach town right next to the Hamptons – a real popular tourist spot. Strange, horrid creatures are rising from the Atlantic Ocean, ripping into any living thing they come into contact with. Over the course of just a few days, the entire town of Montauk is overrun with monsters on the prowl, the CDC, FEMA, NSA and military, all trying to keep what’s gotten loose a secret –not to mention finding the cure for a deadly contagion the creatures are spreading. Two local cops are in the center of the storm, drawing the connection between strange animals washing up on their shores with the ulta-private government facility off the coast, Plum Island. To say mayhem ensues is an understatement.
When I was going back and forth with my editor on story ideas, I showed him pictures of this strange animal dubbed The Montauk Monster. We’re both huge Roger Corman fans, and we wanted to do a Corman-esque story with monsters, conspiracies and plenty of action. These strange bodies that wash up on Long Island fit right in with what we wanted to accomplish.
FaceOff, the brilliant new anthology featuring popular suspense characters squaring off against each other (or working together), just came out this week, and Ian Rankin, author of the Inspector Rebus series, answered a few questions about his story with Peter James (the DS Roy Grace series)!
What was it like collaborating with Peter James on In the Nick of Time?
It was fun, as well as challenging. Peter and I have known one another for years. Our biggest problem was how to bring together two quite different cops who work 500 miles apart in different countries! Once we had nailed that, the ride got more comfortable.
The characters Roy Grace and John Rebus are like night and day. Was it difficult to create a connection between two very different people?
Rebus and Grace come from different backgrounds, have different philosophies of policing, so we knew they wouldn’t exactly be best buddies when they met. But that is always interesting – as a writer you want relationships that provide sparks. Of course, they share one crucial imperative – they want to put away the perpetrators. Doesn’t matter where your cops are from or in what ways they differ – they’ll have that in common.
Explain why you chose Brighton as the setting for the story.
Well, we had to get Rebus to Grace’s jurisdiction or vice versa. Brighton made sense because Rebus is a big fan of The Who and in their album Quadrophenia they sing about the fights that used to take place in Brighton in the early 1960s between rival gangs. That gave us the inkling of a plot, and we found a way to make it work!
The awesome Vicki Pettersson (I can say that ’cause I’ve met her, and she’s one of the nicest ladies in the biz) just wrapped up the Celestial Blues series with The Given, and she stopped by to answer a few of my questions about what’s next, and more!
Welcome back to the blog! Will you tell us about the new, and final, installment of your Celestial Blues series, The Given?
The Given is the book that finally answers the longstanding question that has been driving this series from the very beginning: who killed my PI-turned-angel, Griffin Shaw, back in 1960.
Additionally, though torn apart by events at the end of The Lost, Grif is once more compelled to work with Kit Craig – my intrepid, modern-day girl reporter – in order to find a woman who will lead them through fifty years of entanglements in efforts to discover the truth.
Is it bittersweet for you to close out this series? Do you plan on more stories in this world.
I don’t have plans for any more stories in this series. Grif and Kit stopped talking to me the moment I wrote ‘The End.’ And while it was sad and strange not to hear their voices in my head after years of hearing them almost daily, I ended the trilogy in the exact way I intended to do so at the start. So there is satisfaction in that, and my hope is that the reader feels this, too.
What did you enjoy most about writing Griffin and Kit’s story?
The interplay between the two of them, their chemistry, was so much fun to play with. They started out loosely based on Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy – that witty repartee, that battle of the wills and sexes, the push/pull of the male and female when going toe-to-toe with an equal, and of dueling with someone who gets under your skin in just the right way. I loved watching how bemused Grif was by this mouth, and cheery, modern-day woman. I loved how he could make her melt with just a look.
The Plague Forge (Dire Earth Cycle #3) by Jason Hough (Del Rey, Sept 2013)-Note: No spoilers for this one, but might be spoilers for the first 2 books. If you’re not caught up, read at your own risk)-Skyler is still shaken from the events in The Exodus Towers and he’s also still a little conflicted about his feelings for Tania, who risked her life to save his. It turns out that the alien Builders have something else up their sleeves, but what? Skyler and Tania do know that they must find the remaining keys, and they’re hoping that the towers will lead them to the artifacts needed to complete the Builder puzzle. They decide that two groups will go in search of the artifacts, with Tania leading one, and Skyler leading the other, but Tania isn’t an immune, so she’ll be limited in what she can do on the mission, since exposure to any area beyond the auras that surround the space elevators could result in her contracting Subs:the dreaded disease that has wiped out so much of the world’s population and driven the rest mad. Luckily, the portable towers do provide protective auras, but the danger is still great. Meanwhile, back in Nightcliff, Samantha is having her own struggles with Grillo’s fanatic Jacobites and her own part of the mission, which is also to get one of the keys back to the Builder ship, and hopefully save her friend Kelly from his clutches in the process.
The danger level is as high as ever, and it doesn’t help that Tania must not only fight her way through hoardes of SUBS infected humans, alongside Vanessa and Pablo, but she’s got to wear a protective suit to do it, and Skyler and Ana are toting Russell Blackfield along with them, ostensibly to help them with any and all info pertaining to Grillo and his operation.
The Collini Case by Ferdinand von Schirach (Penguin, Aug. 2013)-Fabrizio Collini, already into his sixties and recently retired, has led a blameless life, so it’s a shock when he calmly confronts industrialist Jean-Baptist Meyer, a man in his eighties, in his hotel room in Germany, shoots him four times in the head, and stomps on him repeatedly. Collini then calmly informs the front desk that the man in Room 400 is dead. He’s of course promptly arrested for the murder and makes no attempt to defend himself. Soon he’s assigned a defense lawyer by the name of Casper Leinen, and this is to be Leinen’s first murder case. Leinen is determined to get a not guilty verdict, but the evidence is too great to overcome, or so he first thinks. There’s no doubt that Collini killed Meyer, but why did he do it? Leinen also discovers that he has ties to the victim, but the information that he eventually finds point to a very different man then the one he knew so many years ago, and go far toward explaining the why of the murder, but will it be enough?
Sometimes it’s nice to slip a bite sized read between heavier endeavors, and for this reason, The Collini Case more than fit the bill. The prose is spare, but still manages to convey the melancholy in which Collini is mired in while pursuing the truth behind Meyer’s murder. The truth, in fact, leads back to Italy, the country of Collini’s birth, and a people under the Mussolini led Italian Social Republic, made possible by Hitler himself. You can probably imagine where the story leads, but it certainly doesn’t lesson the impact of the horrors that Nazi Germany perpetrated. While short and very lean, The Collini case is not only a glimpse at the great evil of the Third Reich, but it’s also about Leinen’s loss of childhood innocence, as the truth comes to light. The author packs quite a bit of punch into such a short volume, and the straightforward prose only serves to highlight the horrors lurking underneath a veneer of civility. This is a quick, but entertaining diversion for those that are fond of courtroom intrigue and filler-free narrative.
The new suspense anthology, FaceOff, just came out this week, and it’s such a great concept, with a ToC made up of some of the biggest names in suspense. Luckily, I’ve got a copy to give away to one lucky winner (US only)! So, check out the book and the giveaway details, and good luck!
Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci and including stories by Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, and more, this one-of-a-kind anthology pulls together the most beloved characters from the best and most popular thriller series today. Worlds collide!
In an unprecedented collaboration, twenty-three of the world’s bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers have paired their series characters—such as Harry Bosch, Jack Reacher, and Lincoln Rhyme—in an eleven-story anthology curated by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). All of the contributors to FaceOff are ITW members and the stories feature these dynamic duos:
So sit back and prepare for a rollicking ride as your favorite characters go head-to-head with some worthy opponents in FaceOff—it’s a thrill-a-minute read.