Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cover Reveal: Hound's Bite by E.J. Stevens

I am excited to reveal the cover for HOUND'S BITE, the fifth full-length novel in the Ivy Granger urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens.  We also have a giveaway and a sneak peek book excerpt to share!

Cover Reveal: Hound's Bite


Hound's Bite (Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective #5) by E.J. Stevens

Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab's creations behind when she escaped Faerie.  She thought wrong.

In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents.  Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force—The Wild Hunt.

Will the training Ivy received in her father's court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt?  She is willing risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death.  When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt's hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to
love most.

Release Date: July 12, 2016
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.

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Hound’s Bite Book Excerpt

     “Are you saying we should run?” I asked, eyebrows raised.  “Because you should know me better than that.”
     “What he’s saying, Princess is that you woke up something too big for the three of us to defeat alone,” Torn said.
     That made me pause.  We’d fought faerie queens, pyro demons, a lovesick necromancer, and a psychotic lamia, to name a few.  I may not have come through those battles unscathed, or with all my guts still on the inside, but with my friends at my side, and a new arsenal of wisp powers at my fingertips, I felt nearly invincible.  
     I looked to Ceff, hoping he’d grab his trident and join me for some quick monster cleanup.  I may not be on the clock for this one, but I didn’t let hungry fae prowl the streets of Harborsmouth.  And if Torn was right, I’d somehow let this one follow us out of Faerie.  No way was I turning tail, no matter how tired I was.
     But Ceff didn’t reach for his weapons.  
     “We need allies,” he said.
     “And larger weapons,” Torn said, with a wink.  
     The cat sidhe looked excited, which was a clue that I wasn’t going to like the answer to my next question.
     “And what monster do we need to gather our allies and weapons against?” I asked.
     “Haven’t you guessed yet, Princess?” Torn asked, eyes gleaming.  “We’re not just facing one howling beast.”
     Ceff turned to me, closing the space between us.  In the moonlight, I could see my reflection in the dark pools of his kelpie eyes—eyes that were tight with worry.
     “What are they?” I asked.
     Ceff’s voice was low and reverent, and tinged with the taint of fear.
     “The Wild Hunt.”

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About the Author
E.J. Stevens is the author of 14 works of speculative fiction, including the Hunters' Guild urban fantasy series, the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal series, and the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series.  She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

Connect with E.J. Stevens by following her on TwitterFacebookNewsletterBlogGoodreads, and Amazon.

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Hound's Bite Cover Reveal Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of the cover?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

From the Shelf to the Page: This Week in the Ruins

In case you missed any of it, here's what happened in the Ruins this week . . .


WTF Friday of Night Things - Dracula versus Frankenstein by Terry M. West

Waiting On Wednesday with Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell

A Fresh Take on Superpowers guest post by Cy Wyss


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Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday are a pair of weekly memes that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you've added to your shelves - whether they be physical or virtual, borrowed or bought, or for pleasure or review.

Freebies:

Reversion: The Inevitable Horror by J. Thorn
Published September 12th 2012
With a noose around his neck, Samuel arrives in a forest littered with caution tape and artifacts of the deceased. He struggles to regain his memory while fending off a pack of wolves and the mysterious visitors who seem to know more about this dying world than he does. Major, Kole, and Mara, new companions also trapped in the strange locality, realize they must outrun the ominous cloud eating away at reality. As their world collapses upon itself, Samuel must find a way to escape the Reversion.

The Girl in the Glyphs by David Edmonds &  Maria Nieves Edmonds
Published January 5th 2016 by Peace Corps Writers
THE GIRL IN THE GLYPHS is a powerful archaeological thriller that takes the reader from the Smithsonian Museum to Nicaraguan jungles and on into the darkness of a mysterious cave. It's also a magical exploration of the power of love!


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is another weekly meme, this time focused on what books are spending the most time in your hands and in your head, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf.

The Passenger: A Novel by F.R. Tallis
1941. A German submarine, U-471 goes rogue, and a series of shocking, brutal events occur. In the aftermath, disturbing things start happening on the boat. It seems that a lethal, supernatural force is stalking the crew, wrestling with Lorenz for control. A thousand feet under the dark, icy waves, it doesn't matter how loud you scream...

Interior Darkness: Selected Stories by Peter Straub
Peter Straub has spent forty years at the forefront of modern literary horror. The stories assembled here represent his astonishing range and his ability to terrify, transport, and hold a reader hostage. Each story cracks the foundation of our reality and opens our eyes, taking us further and further into the darkness that normally remains deeply, and safely, hidden. Interior Darkness is the gold standard of literary horror. 

Miasma by Greg Cox
Star Trek continues its fiftieth anniversary celebration in 2016 with an all-new enovella from New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox, set in the popular and blockbuster Original Series era!

What's topping your shelves this week?

Friday, February 5, 2016

WTF Friday: Night Things - Dracula versus Frankenstein by Terry M. West

Every once in a while, as the mood strikes me, I like to indulge in those titles that are a bit odd . . . a bit different . . . a bit bizarre . . . and a bit freaky. These are books that don't always get a lot of press, and which rarely benefit from any prominent retail shelf space.



They're often an underground of sort of literature, best shared through guilty whispers, and often with embarrassed grins. These are our WTF Friday reads!

Two years ago I had the great pleasure of being introduced to the dark world of Terry M. West through Monsters and the Magic Now. It was a dark, weird, perverse tale that crossed boundaries and obliterated taboos while achieving a perfect blend of genius and filth. It served to introduce us to a world where monsters are real and where men are monsters, with a story centered around the underground world of monster exploitation fetish porn. Yup, you read that right. It really went there.

With Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein, West delves into the consequences of that first novel, while also expanding its mythology to explore the centuries-old rivalry between two of history's greatest monsters.

Frankenstein's monster may be just that - a monster - but as Johnny Stücke he controls much of the city's human crime element above, while Dracula rules over the zombies, vampires, and shifters from below. The two were once allies, but a moment of human compassion on Johnny's part put them forever at odds with one another. Caught in between the two is Gary Hack, the heroin-addicted pornographer from the first tale, who proves to be the catalyst for an all-out war centuries in the making.

While I didn't find this quite as dark or original as the first book, it's still a solid horror novel that doesn't shy away from the darkness within us all. West's monsters are of the vintage variety, true to their literary origins, while the story itself forces you to think about the nature of good versus evil, and monsters versus man. Grounding it all (and bringing it all together) is the subplot involving Gary's daughter. Here we have a young girl forced to grow up far too fast, a man who can never live up to the title of father, and a transvestite vampire who can never be her mother, no matter how much she longs for it.

Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein is a story that's full of imagination, with a kick-ass finale, and a few surprise appearances from other vintage monsters.


Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 18th 2016 by Pleasant Storm Entertainment, Inc.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday - Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Saint's Blood by Sebastien de Castell
Expected publication: April 7th 2016 by Jo Fletcher Books

How do you kill a Saint?

Falcio, Kest, and Brasti are about to find out, because someone has figured out a way to do it and they've started with a friend.

The Dukes were already looking for ways out of their agreement to put Aline on the throne, but with the Saints turning up dead, rumours are spreading that the Gods themselves oppose her ascension. Now churches are looking to protect themselves by bringing back the military orders of religious soldiers, assassins, and (especially) Inquisitors - a move that could turn the country into a theocracy. The only way Falcio can put a stop to it is by finding the murderer. He has only one clue: a terrifying iron mask which makes the Saints vulnerable by driving them mad. But even if he can find the killer, he'll still have to face him in battle.

And that may be a duel that no swordsman, no matter how skilled, can hope to win.


While I had some challenges with Traitor's Blade,  Knight's Shadow was truly a must-read book, a title that I quite literally could not put down. It was the kind of historical fantasy that makes everything else pale in comparison, and it has me ridiculously excited for the next book in the series.

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Fresh Take on Superpowers (a guest post by Cy Wyss)

A Fresh Take on Superpowers
a guest post by Cy Wyss

After 80 years, how can anyone write about a superhero and keep it fresh and new? It sometimes seems like every power under the sun has been investigated. But what about circumscribed superpowers? By that I mean a power whose extent is fixed and known. In contrast, how powerful is Superman? The answer is, he’s always as powerful as he needs to be for the story.

There’s a scene in The Simpsons where the family is watching Knight Boat, a twist on the 80s show Knight Rider with David Hasselhoff. The bad guys are getting away…but then there’s a canal so Knight Boat can follow. Homer mourns, “Aw, there’s always a canal.” Bart pipes up, “Or an inlet.” Lisa adds, “Or a fjord.” That’s of course the problem with superheroes. They always have the strength to deal with the challenges they’re faced with, or some deus ex machina allows them to use their power to win.

Alternatively, I was interested in powers that have an a priori fixed extent. In Dimorphic, I posit the superpower of being able to use two bodies. Whenever the main character, Judith, falls asleep, she switches between her own and her twin brother’s braindead body. Other than that, Judith and her brother Ethan are normal people. True, Ethan is a gymnast and Parkour expert, but he ultimately can’t do anything that fit and practiced men can’t do. So the power is beyond what anyone has, but is relatively circumscribed. What does it boil down to? I think it boils down to information transfer. What one twin knows before they go to sleep, the other one wakes up knowing. No need for a cell phone.

What does that boil down to? The element of surprise. If one twin goes to sleep in the company of bad guys, the other can come and rescue them. And it would be a surprise, for how could the bad guys possibly prepare for the information transfer capabilities of the twins? On the other hand, all they have to do to thwart the superpower is put a bag over their captive’s head. This is a hallmark of a limited superpower. Like ordinary heroes, more guile is required. Of course, since my stories are about the hero, there needs to be some way they win. But with a limited superpower the stories depend less on the superpower than one might at first think. It all comes down to human resourcefulness. Ultimately, as Judith finds out, being a superhero is all about hanging in there when the going gets tough and making the most of your limited, human capabilities.

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About the Author

I live and write in the Indianapolis area. After earning a PhD in Computer Science in 2002 and teaching and researching for seven years, I’ve returned to the childhood dream of becoming an author. I better do it now because I won’t get a third life.

Behind me, I have a ton of academic experience and have written about twenty extremely boring papers on query languages and such, for example this one in the ACM Transactions on Databases. (That’s a mouthful.)

Now, I write in the mystery/thriller/suspense genres and sometimes science fiction. I know for some people databases would be the more beloved of the options, but for me, I finally realized that my heart wasn’t in it. So I took up a second life, as a self-published fiction author.

Online, I do the Writer Cy cartoon series about the (mis)adventures of researching, writing, and self-publishing in today’s shifting climate. I also love to design and create my own covers using GIMP.

author's website author's twitter author's facebook

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About the Book

Dimorphic by Cy Wyss

It's easy to become a superhero.

First, discover a superpower. It might take a while to get used to, though --- especially if it's something as weird as being your twin brother half the time.

Second, recruit a sidekick. Or, two. It'd be nice if they weren't a pyromaniacal sycophant and a foul-mouthed midget, but you get what you get.

Third, and most important, hire a mentor --- preferably not a vicious mobster with a God complex, however, this may, realistically, be your only choice.

Finally: go forth and fight crime. Try not to get shot, beaten, tortured, or apprehended in the process.

Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Published by: Nighttime Dog Press, LLC
Publication Date: November 4th 2015
Number of Pages: 338
ISBN: 0996546510 (ISBN13: 9780996546515)
Note: Dimorphic contains Strong Language
Purchase Links:
Dimorphic on Amazon
Dimorphic on Goodreads

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Giveaway

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Cy Wyss. There will be 1 winner of 1 $25 Amazon.com US Gift card. The giveaway begins on Jan 24 and runs through Feb 29, 2016.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

From the Shelf to the Page: This Week in the Ruins

In case you missed any of it, here's what happened in the Ruins this week . . .


The Ghost in the Machine . . . a guest post by Aldous Mercer

A Rant about Rude, Lazy, Ignorant Authors

Reboot? No, Re-imagine. a guest post by J Tullos Hennig

Fantasy Review of City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett

Horror Review of The Moon in Your Eyes by Adrian W. Lilly


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Stacking The Shelves and Mailbox Monday are a pair of weekly memes that are about sharing the books that came your way over the past week, and which you've added to your shelves - whether they be physical or virtual, borrowed or bought, or for pleasure or review.

For Review:

Freeze/Thaw by Chris Bucholz
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by Apex Book Company
The Shade, a set of micro-satellites designed to stop global warming, worked. A little too well. The Earth is icing over and no one knows how to shut the Shade off. Every attempt in the last thirty years has failed and humanity is nearly out of options to regain a world that isn’t covered in snow. Gabe Alfil may be the only person alive with enough expertise to solve the problem, but a group of eco-terrorists has other plans.

The Fireman by Joe Hill
Expected publication: May 17th 2016 by William Morrow
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe. 

 

The Devil's Serenade by Catherine Cavendish
Expected publication: April 19th 2016 by Samhain Publishing
Maddie had forgotten that cursed summer. Now she’s about to remember… She’s barely settled in the Gothic mansion she inherited from her auntbefore a series of bizarre events drive her to question her sanity. Aunt Charlotte’s favorite song shouldn’t echo down the halls. The roots of a faraway willow shouldn’t reach into the cellar. And there definitely shouldn’t be a child skipping from room to room. 

War God Rising by Tim Marquitz
Expected publication: January 31st 2016
Monty Python meets Gladiator! Sand is destined for greatness. Or so a pair of two-bit criminals would have him believe. After rescuing him from certain doom, Bess and Kaede embark on a scheme to game the War God Tournament. It’d be easier if Sand wasn’t an alcohol-soaked twit with a disturbing interest in mutton. Pitted against monsters, magic swords, and murderers galore, they soon realize winning the tourney is the least of their worries. 

 

Published December 1st 2015 by Meerkat Press, LLC
Twenty-six brilliant speculative fiction stories about love, and the pain that so often accompanies it. Enjoy a cornucopia of imaginative tales, wondrous settings, and unforgettable characters—such as the disillusioned time traveler who visits ancient Japan to experience a “Moment of Zen,” the young woman from planet Kiruna who can only communicate in song when the moonlet Saarakka is up, and the sorcerer who loses their happiness in a bet with a demon. 


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is another weekly meme, this time focused on what books are spending the most time in your hands and in your head, as opposed to what's been added to your shelf.

Dragon Hunters by Marc Turner
The sequel to When the Heavens Fall features gritty characters, deadly magic, and meddlesome gods. Once a year on Dragon Day the fabled Dragon Gate is raised to let a sea dragon pass into the Sabian Sea. There, it will be hunted by the Storm Lords, a fellowship of powerful water-mages who rule an empire called the Storm Isles. 

Night Things: Dracula versus Frankenstein by Terry M. West 
This novel spans several centuries, following the relationship of the two most iconic monsters in literary history. Once as close as brothers but now sworn enemies, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein meet for a final showdown beneath the streets of New York City. 


What's topping your shelves this week?