My Bookish Ways

This week’s Kindle deal round up in SFF and Suspense (all under $5!!)

All of these Kindle titles are under $5 (Redshirts is right at $5)! A whole lotta deals and a whole lotta awesome! Get ‘em while they’re hot, and don’t miss the chance to fatten up your TBR without breaking the bank.

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Catching up with Michael Logan, author of Wannabes and Apocalypse Cow

Michael Logan is the author of APOCALYPSE COW (winner of the Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize), and his new book, WANNABES, just came out! He kindly answered a few of my questions about the new book, what comes next, and more!

michaelloganYou just released Wannabes a few months ago! Will you tell us about it?
Wannabes is a genre mash-up: horror, fantasy and thriller stitched together with satire. There are three interwoven stories: that of Jackie Thunder, a washed-up pop star who does something incredibly dumb in an attempt to regain fame; Gareth Jones, a talentless drifter who is killing celebrities and taping their tattoos to his body because he thinks he can thereby gain their power, and thus stop himself turning completely invisible; and Murmur, a demon working to destroy great music with the intention of eroding humanity’s creativity, and therefore its ascension to a more divine state. Satan also has a part to play and I portray him as a depressed bureaucrat, struggling with his workload, bitter at his break from God and obsessed with humanity for reasons that become clear later in the book.

Why do you think readers will root for Jackie Thunder?
Jackie is, as one of my friends put it, ‘a self-obsessed twit’, but he is fundamentally a good man who has lost his way, and there is always the sense that he will come good. A key theme of the book is artistic integrity: doing what is right for your art rather than working for fame or commercial success. Jackie forgets this, trying to recapture the fame he once had by producing music he thinks the market wants, and forgetting that when he started out all that mattered was the process of creating and losing himself in the music. 20 years after his career started to go tits-up, he will do whatever it takes to regain fame. Through his attempts to get attention (he deliberately sets out to make himself seem one of Gareth’s potential victims), he gets sucked into Murmur’s shenanigans. Jackie is then faced with the choice of truly selling out or re-finding his mojo and opposing the demonic plot.

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Don’t Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz

dontlookbackDon’t Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz (St. Martins Press, Aug. 2014)-Sometimes I need a straight up, scary as hell thriller to get me out of a reading slump, don’t you? Don’t Look Back scratched that itch, and then some. This is the first book by Gregg Hurwitz that I’ve read, and it won’t be my last.

Eve Hardaway is devastated at the news of her husband’s affair, and quietly goes about the process of divorce, one complicated by her young son, but they’re a good team, and they’re getting by. Before her husband’s revelations, however, she’d bought two tickets to Oaxaca, hoping to rekindle their marriage. So much for that, but she decides a trip like this may be just the thing she needs to make a fresh start, and after leaving her son with a trusted nanny, she sets out for paradise. Sure enough, the Dias Felices Ecolodge is beautiful, and its surroundings even more so. It doesn’t hurt that a handsome fellow lodger seems to be interested in Eve. The bright, sun drenched beauty surrounding the Ecolodge turns dark, however, when Eve discovers that the last person to stay in her room, a journalist by the name of Teresa Hamilton, had gone missing not too long ago, and she continues to find evidence of foul play. Soon it becomes obvious that the group is being targeted by a man that seems more than human, and the lengths that he’ll go to in order to obliterate evidence of his crimes are legion.

As Eve discovers more and more about the missing journalist, her first instinct is to call the authorities, but in Oaxaca, “authority” doesn’t mean the same thing that it means in the states. The people more or less police themselves, and any “official” police are miles away. Hurwitz sets up the eventual cat and mouse expertly. With the ubiquity of cell phones, calling for help is usually just a button touch away, but not in the jungles of Oaxaca, where possession of a satellite phone is considered a must, and finding a cell signal could involve climbing to the top of the highest ruin.

This book is just pure, very scary fun, and its fast pace will keep you very distracted, probably until you finish. The situation that Eve and her adventure group find themselves in is terrifying, and the book’s villain isn’t one that you’ll forget anytime soon. Eve isn’t perfect, but she’s smart and capable, and perhaps most importantly, she’s determined to get home to her son. If you missed finding your perfect beach read this summer, this is it. Eve becomes something akin to a jungle Ripley, and I rooted for her every step of the way. Don’t Look Back is everything you’d want in a thriller. It also didn’t hurt that Megan Abbot, one of my favorite authors, blurbed this. It’s cinematic, blazingly paced, clever, and very satisfying. Like I said, pure fun. Don’t miss it.

Giveaway: The Brothers Cabal by Jonathan L Howard

Thanks to the lovely folks at St Martins Press, I’ve got a copy of THE BROTHERS CABAL by Jonathan L Howard to give away to one lucky US winner, so check out the book, fill out the widget, and good luck! I’ll pick a winner on Sept. 12th!

thebrotherscabalAbout THE BROTHERS CABAL:
Horst Cabal has risen from the dead. Again. Horst, the most affable vampire one is ever likely to meet, is resurrected by an occult conspiracy that wants him as a general in a monstrous army. Their plan: to create a country of horrors, a supernatural homeland. As Horst sees the lengths to which they are prepared to go and the evil they cultivate, he realizes that he cannot fight them alone. What he really needs on his side is a sarcastic, amoral, heavily armed necromancer.

As luck would have it, this exactly describes his brother.

Join the brothers Cabal as they fearlessly lie quietly in bed, fight dreadful monsters from beyond reality, make soup, feel slightly sorry for zombies, banter lightly with secret societies that wish to destroy them, and—in passing—set out to save the world.*

*The author wishes to point out that there are no zebras this time, so don’t get your hopes up on that count. There is, however, a werebadger, if that’s something that’s been missing from your life.

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7 Prime Crime Mysteries from Mysterious Press are $1.99 for a limited time!

All of these Mysterious Press titles are $1.99 for a limited time on Kindle (and other ebook platforms)! Get ‘em while they’re hot!

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Interview: Mark Edwards, author of Because She Loves Me

Please welcome Mark Edwards to the blog! His brand new book, BECAUSE SHE LOVES ME, is out today, and he stopped by to answer a few of my questions about it, and more!

markred (2)I’m very excited about your new book, BECAUSE SHE LOVES ME! Will you tell us a bit about it?
Thank you! Because She Loves Me is a psychological thriller with the theme of romantic jealousy and obsession. After a run of bad luck, graphic designer Andrew meets gorgeous, edgy Charlie and they embark on an intense affair. But then Charlie starts to display signs of the green-eyed monster…and increasingly scary and disturbing things happen to Andrew’s friends and loved ones. He has to find out if Charlie is really the girl of his dreams – or his nightmares… It’s been described by one reviewer as Fatal Attraction meets Misery, which I’m pretty happy with!

You have a long list of books written with Louise Voss (and I love the story about how the two of you became writing partners), as well as a few you’ve penned on your own. You have a background in marketing, but have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, I’ve been writing for a very long time. Like almost all writers, I was the kid at school who got top grades for my stories, even though my teachers were taken aback by some of my stories about werewolves and demons. After I left university, I wrote my first novel (in long hand) but decided it was dreadful so wrote another. I then entered a long period of submitting to agents and, later, publishers without much success. It’s not an understatement to say I was utterly obsessed with the desire to be a published author. I was even on a BBC documentary about it, being filmed getting rejections passed on from my agent!

After a decade or so of this, I decided enough was enough and gave up. I couldn’t take it any more. But when Amazon launched KDP, Louise and I decided to self-publish our two co-written thrillers. They got to No.1 and 2 on Amazon UK, which led to a deal with HarperCollins and then Thomas & Mercer. After so many years of wanting it, the day I first saw my book in a store was pretty emotional…even if the reality of being a published author isn’t quite what I imagined! It’s a lot better than having a day job though.

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The Kills: The Massive by Richard House

thekillsThe Kills: The Massive by Richard House (Picador, August 2014)-The US release of The Kills is actually four books in one, and after starting off with a bang with Sutler, it’s time to move onto Book 2: The Massive. The Massive is the “city” at Camp Liberty that all that money that disappeared in Sutler was supposed to fund. It’s Iraq, it’s hot, bullets are flying, IEDs are par for the course, and while the work pays well (if you can get it), it can also be backbreaking and emotionally difficult. House’s introduction to The Massive is grueling, detailing the lives, and deaths, of a group of men called Unit 7, operating under Rem Gunnersen (recruited by old Geezler himself.) It’s a grim opener, but a nonetheless fascinating rundown of lives ruined by HOSCO and their own bad decisions, and it goes far in setting up the main story itself.

Rem’s marriage is stagnating and his business is failing. He owes employees money and is reeling after one of them commits numerous thefts while on the job. Cue Paul Geezler. He’s got an offer that Rem finds hard to refuse, and although Rem has done contract work in Kuwait before, this is a different animal. But, the money is good and he wants to make things right with not only his employees, but also his wife, Cathy, who’s having issues of her own. Geezler, however, wants more than just to give Rem a job. He wants Rem to keep an eye on the operation and report back to him. Rem agrees. After completing a questionable bit of “training”, Rem is sent to Amrah City, more specifically, the Amrah City Section Base (ACSB) and spends quite a bit of time there before finally ending up, with the team that he hand picks, at Camp Liberty, aka Camp Crapper. This is where the burn pits are, and every manner of substance is burned there. The team is in a remote area of Iraq, with substandard equipment, no clear instructions as to what exactly they’re supposed to be doing, and among some of the most dangerous substances known to mankind.

Then Stephen Lawrence Sutler shows up with plans for The Massive…

Sutler, the first book, dealt with Sutler’s flight from Southern-CIPA during an explosion and subsequent frame job for the theft of millions of dollars. The Massive is the story that leads up to that flight, but we’re not in Sutler territory anymore. This is Rem’s story. I’m sure you probably think that the work of US contractors in the Middle East isn’t very interesting. You’ll think differently after reading this book.  It’s fascinating. The narrative alternates between Rem and his men at Camp Liberty, and his wife, Cathy, back in Chicago. Cathy, to her dawning horror, does some digging of her own into the kinds of substances that her husband is burning in Iraq, and eventually begins corresponding with family members of Rem’s team.

Hieronymus Bosch has got nothing on these burn pits. This is not the stuff of fiction, and they’re just now starting to recognize the health horrors that might be a very real consequence of manning these open pits, that use jet fuel, and other things, in the burning of toxic substances. Do a search online for Iraq burn pits and you can find some mind blowing photos. But, I digress…

Rem is a man who cares too much doing a job where one can’t really afford to care, and after Sutler arrives, he feels everything start to slowly slip through his fingers. To him, the idea of building a city out in the desert, from scratch, is a ridiculous notion and struggles to understand his team’s place in this seemingly outlandish scheme, while his wife does her best to understand what might be happening to Rem and his men, and as a gulf widens between them that’s more than just physical distance.

This is heady, intense, sometimes melancholy stuff, made even more so by its basis in reality. Big themes like the aftermath of war, government responsibility, and just generally things that can sometimes be so big, so awful, that our eyes just skim right over them, come together into one fantastic, very tense narrative, and he does all this without sacrificing a bit of his characters’ humanity, while never underestimating their capacity for greed. It was also quite interesting to see Sutler from a completely different point of view. Of course, House continues his sly references to events in the other three books. These books are very smart,very scary, and very cool. Richard House, frankly, should be a household name. Stay tuned for Book 3: The Kill.

September 2014 New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

Here are the new releases in SF, Fantasy, and Horror for September 2014. You’re sure to find something to fatten up your TBR list! 

September 1st-8th, 2014:

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September 2014 New Releases in Mystery, Suspense, and Fiction

Here are the new releases in Mystery, Suspense, and Fiction for September 2014. Look at all the pretty covers!! 

September 2nd-8th, 2014:

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It’s time for the weekly Kindle deal round up (they’re all under $5)!

Lots of great deals, all under $5! As always, double checking before you click the Buy button is always in order, because sometimes these deals don’t last long. Lots of great stuff here, just in time for the holiday weekend!

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