My Bookish Ways

Read This: Cane and Abe by James Grippando

Cane and Abe by James Grippando (Harper, Jan. 20th, 2015)-Miami State Prosecutor Abe Beckham is a newlywed, but he’s still mourning the death of his previous wife, Samantha. His new wife, Angelina, is an old flame, and although they have history, she struggles with the vestiges of Samantha that still remain, most notably her bipolar adult brother JT, who Abe still supports. When Abe becomes involved in the investigation of a serial killer dubbed the “Cutter”, it hits close to home. The killer seems to be targeting white women that were dating African American men. However, when a prominent African American lawyer is found murdered in a similar way, and it’s someone that Abe knew, he’s horrified. Samantha was African American, and Gabe is white, and the sugar cane fields where the bodies have been dumped is part of Samantha’s history. Her father worked those fields for the Cortina company in the 40s, enduring horrible, cruel conditions, but what, if anything, does Cortina have to do with the murders? As events spiral out of control, Angelina herself goes missing, and Abe becomes a suspect. With nothing to lose, Abe sets out to find the truth, no matter the cost.

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The 2014 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot has been announced!

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) has announced Preliminary Ballots for the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards®! Con (the final ballot will be announced on Feb. 23rd) Congrats to all of these folks and be sure to keep an eye on this space for not only the final ballot, but the winners, which will be announced on May 9th at the 25th Anniversary World Horror Convention 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia!

Superior Achievement in a Novel
Tim Burke – The Flesh Sutra (NobleFusion Press)
Adam Christopher – The Burning Dark (Tor Books)
Michaelbrent Collings – This Darkness Light (self-published)
Lawrence C. Connolly – Vortex (Fantasist Enterprises)
Craig DiLouie – Suffer the Children (Gallery Books of Simon & Schuster)
Patrick Freivald – Jade Sky (JournalStone)
Chuck Palahniuk – Beautiful You (Jonathan Cape, Vintage/Penguin Random House UK)
Christopher Rice – The Vines (47North)
Brett J. Talley – The Reborn (JournalStone)
Steve Rasnic Tem – Blood Kin (Solaris Books)

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Interview and Giveaway: Rebecca Scherm, author of Unbecoming

rebeccaschermPlease welcome Rebecca Scherm to the blog! Her new novel, Unbecoming, will be out this week, and she kindly stopped by to answer a few of my questions about the book, and more! Also, the lovely folks at Viking have offered one copy of the book to one lucky winner (US only), so be sure to check the giveaway details at the bottom of the post.

Also, be sure to check out the awesome book club kit that’s available for Unbecoming.

Congrats on the new book! Will you tell us a bit about Unbecoming and what inspired you to write it?
Most first novels are, I think, a thick stew of everything the writer has absorbed up to that point. I grew up watching Hitchcock films and reading noir and noir-ish fiction, and one of the houses we lived in during my childhood was across the street from a historic home that gave tours. Everything you encounter just seeps into your consciousness. But writing fiction is a way for me to work out difficult psychological knots, and one of those in Unbecoming was the reader’s expectation of the redemption narrative. You know, the criminal either gets caught and punished at the end or she reforms, settles down (think the end of American Hustle). That’s what we’re trained to expect from a “bad” protagonist. In truth, those endings often disappoint me. Without giving too much away, the ending of Unbecoming is in many ways the reason I needed to write Grace’s whole story.

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Hidden Huntress (Malediction Trilogy) by Danielle L Jensen

Hidden Huntress, the followup to Danielle L Jensen’s Stolen Songbird, will be out in June from Angry Robot, and I’m thrilled to be part of the cover reveal! Also, courtesy of the always lovely folks at AR, we’ve got 2 copies of Stolen Songbird to give away to 2 lucky winners (US/Canada)!

Check out the gorgeous cover after the jump!
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Read This: Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Judd Trichter (Thomas Dunne, Feb. 3rd, 2015)-I’m not sure how eager I’d be to live in the future that Judd Trichter depicts in his new book. Robots are the norm, and while some are free roamers, most work for humans and the “life” of a free roamer is usually desperate and hardscrabble. Trichter’s LA is a dark and seamy place, and a former nannybot named Lorca is stirring up a revolution. No longer content to be slaves to humans, robots are rising up, and violence is at its peak. Amidst this darkness, however, there is a spot of light, and that’s in the love that Eliot Lazar has for his girlfriend, Iris Matsuo. They only have one problem: Iris is a bot, and Eliot is desperate to find a way to get to the island where his mother has retired, a place where human/bot couples are rumored to be accepted, and not seen as an abomination, but first he’s got to wrap a few things up. He needs a boat, and his brother comes through on that front, but before he can tell Iris the wonderful news of their impending escape, he discovers she’s been kidnapped and sold for parts. Now it’s time to put Iris together again, but it’s not going to be easy, and he begins to wonder, as he tracks down each of her parts, if the sacrifice will be worth it. Will Iris even be the same? On his trail is a dying and dogged detective that has nothing to lose, who comes into play when Eliot delves into some dark, and very dangerous, territory.

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For the Weekend Crowd: Kindle Deals under $5 (SFF & Horror)

You know the drill, kids! All under $5, but they may not last, so doublecheck that BUY button before committing, and have a wonderful weekend, hopefully with a great read!


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Angry Robot Backlist Boost: Catching up with Mike Shevdon (Courts of the Feyre)

mikeshevdonI don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for Angry Robot to return this year, better than ever, with some great new authors and tons of great new books, and with that in mind, a few of us have been catching up with AR’s current authors, because there’s a whole lotta awesome already out there, and of course, much more to come!

So, please welcome Mike Shevdon back to the blog! I adore his Courts of the Feyre series, and if you haven’t discovered it, there’s no time like the present (also, psssst, you can get most of the series for under $5 on Kindle right now…just sayin)!

For those that haven’t read your wonderful Courts of the Feyre series, will you tell us a little about it?
Hi Kristin, and it’s lovely to be back on My Bookish Ways. The Courts of the Feyre is an Urban Fantasy series set in England which melds history with fantasy to create a world where the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred, and the reader is invited to believe that ancient rituals have hidden purpose, that certain authorities know more about what’s been going on than they are prepared to admit, and that living alongside humanity are a race of creatures we once knew as the fair folk, or the others. It follows the story of Niall, an ordinary commuter on his way into work, and Blackbird, a woman who is far older than she appears. Through the series, the worldview expands until we finally see the consequences of events set in motion a thousand years ago emerge into the present in ways that could affect the future of humanity.

What do you enjoy most about writing it? What have been some of the challenges?
I write in my head. I know that’s what everyone does to some extent, but I write whole plots, whole stories in my head and then try and write them down. What I enjoy most is when the thing in my head, which isn’t always made of words while it’s there, transforms into words that re-create what was in my head on a page – not just the spatial sense, or the dialogue, but the emotional charge that comes from well-chosen words that translate into a sensory experience for the reader. I want the reader to feel like they are there, part of the story, and that somehow if they weren’t there then the story wouldn’t happen.

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The Kings of London (Breen and Tozer #2) by William Shaw

The Kings of London by William Shaw (Mulholland, Jan.27th, 2015)-In The Kings of London, William Shaw rejoins DS Cathal “Paddy” Breen and policewoman Helen Tozer as they investigate a series of deaths joined by fire. Breen is a bit adrift after his father’s death, after caring for him for so long and he’s still feeling the fallout after forcing a fellow officer out after discovering he was on the take. Someone is leaving threatening messages in his inbox and even worse in his desk drawers, but Breen is determined to stay quiet and do his job, even if there are those that would prefer to see him fired, or worse. Tozer is two weeks away from heading back to her family’s farm to help care for her father, and Breen finds himself conflicted about this. He thinks she’s a good cop, but she keeps insisting it’s not the job for her, and even though they have a bit of a romantic entanglement, Tozer seems to be much more casual about it than Breen. So, it’s with some heavy weight that Breen attempts to get to the bottom of the death of a man that appears to have been mutilated before an attempt to burn down the evidence, after finding another burned body, assumed to be a derelict. Unfortunately, further investigation begins to lead to people in high places (the mutilated man turns out to be the free spirited son of a prominent government official), but Breen’s concern is with the dead, and finding out the truth, at any cost.

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Daniel Josè Older narrates his new book, Half-Resurrection Blues: An audiobook sampler

Courtesy of the lovely folks at Audible, I’ve got an audio sample of Daniel Josè Older narrating his new book, the awesome Half-Resurrection Blues. Enjoy!

Interview: Alan Finn, author of Things Half in Shadow

alanfinnThings Half in Shadow, the new book by Alan Finn, is addictive. Trust me on this. That said, of course I’m thrilled to welcome Alan to the blog to talk about the book, and more!

Congrats on the new book! Will you tell us a bit about Things Half in Shadow and what inspired you to write it?
Things Half in Shadow is a supernatural historical mystery full of murder, séances and spirits. It’s about a reporter named Edward Clark who gets assigned to expose some of the fake mediums that have descended on Philadelphia in the wake of the Civil War. In the process, Edward encounters Lucy Collins, a fraudulent medium with a checkered past who learns about his checkered past. So they team up, only to be suspected of murder when a very real medium named Lenora Grimes Pastor dies during a séance they attend. To clear their names, they must band together and solve Mrs. Pastor’s murder.

Now, I’ve always been intrigued by séances, Spiritualism and mediums. It’s a subject that fascinates me, and, being the history nerd that I am, I read a lot about it just for kicks. What finally inspired THINGS HALF IN SHADOW was a book from the turn of the century about all the different tricks fake mediums used at the time. Some of them were so brazen and ingenious that I just had to put them in a novel. The rest of the book bloomed from that.

Why do you think readers will root for Edward and Lucy?
On the surface, Edward and Lucy seem like complete opposites. He’s very by-the-book and preoccupied with social standing. She just doesn’t give a damn about any of that. Yet, deep down, they’re very much alike. Both of them have tragic pasts, which have forced them to live under fake identities. Both fear what will happen if their true identities are exposed. Although they start out as adversaries, they eventually form a dynamic partnership. And as for Lucy, I’ve got a feeling readers are going to adore her. After they first hate her, of course. Just like Edward does.

Why 1869 Philadelphia? What fascinates you most about that time period?
Philadelphia is an amazing city. There’s just so much history there, a lot of which gets overshadowed by the city’s justifiably famous role in the American Revolution. As for the time period, that also gets overshadowed a bit. In school, we were taught the Civil War and then World War I, essentially skipping about fifty years of history, even though that time period is so interesting. America had just gone through years of war and upheaval and had to pick up the pieces and learn to be a unified nation again. At the same time, there were major advances in science, medicine and industry. It was a scary, thrilling, dizzying time.

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