Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WWW Wednesday 09|17|14

 
A weekly event where you answer these three questions
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you'll read next?

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you'll read next?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

[Review]: Premonitions by Jamie Schultz

Title: Premonitions
Author: Jamie Schultz
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 1, 2014

I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:  It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of—enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her, leaving her unable to distinguish the present from the mess of certainties and possibilities yet to come.

The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting—and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Sobell is almost certainly condemned to Hell for a magically extended lifetime full of shady dealings. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out.

Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister.

Karyn’s crew and even Sobell himself are about to find out just how powerful it is… and how powerful it may yet become.

Thoughts:
Exciting read! I hadn't heard of Premonitions until the author emailed me, but I'm glad I decided to read it. I really enjoyed the crew, especially Anna (and not just because we share a name), she's a great character. I actually liked Anna more than the main character Karyn. Premonitions is dark and gritty. A mixture of suspense and fantasy.  The heists will have you on the edge of your seat. Set in Los Angeles, made for a nice change of scenery.  I think urban fantasy fans will loved this one.

Score: 4 Stars

Author Website: http://www.jamieschultz.net/

Upcoming titles:
Splintered - July 2015

Monday, September 15, 2014

Guest Blog with Jamie Schultz

Urban Fantasy - Noir, Horror, and the Literature of Hidden Worlds

Jamie Schultz

          Here’s an exercise: Imagine a world that coexists with ours invisibly. It has somehow, by design or neglect, fallen down in the cracks of regular society, where its denizens—possessed of strange capabilities and often dubious morality—can work their mischief out of sight of most of humanity. Where they rub up against regular folks, conflict abounds.

          That description pretty accurately lays out the setting for countless urban fantasy novels. Vampires living in plain sight, creatures of the fae trying to get by waiting tables and keeping their heads down, all manner of terrible and sometimes wondrous worlds existing entwined with our own. These are staples of the genre, so deeply-rooted at this point that they are accepted as routine.

          A funny thing, though: I never said anything about magic. The same description in the first paragraph above could easily apply to the setting of a hard boiled crime or detective novel. Just slot a criminal underworld in place of the magical one. Gangsters instead of vampires. Both inhabit a murky between-world that would greatly prefer to stay out of sight and ply its influence behind the scenes.

          It’s probably no wonder then, that urban fantasy is thick with the stylistic markers of noir and hard boiled fiction. The jaded detective who travels a seamy underworld nobody else can—is that Philip Marlowe, Harry Dresden, or October Daye? Hardened enforcer for organized crime—Luca Brasi, or Chuck Wendig’s Mookie Pearl?

          Urban fantasy and hard boiled fiction live comfortably together in what I think of as the literature of hidden worlds. Both hold out the possibility that your worst fears are true—that malign forces are moving invisibly behind “regular” society, warping it to their own terrible ends.

          Which brings us to a third point of the hidden world triumvirate—horror. I tend to think of horror as not so much a genre as an effect, but regardless, those hidden worlds lend themselves to horror as much as anything else. The nature of the hidden is to be mysterious and, as a result, often threatening, and the tropes and devices used to create horror are thick with hidden worlds. The vampire and the werewolf, let’s remember, were horror icons long before this thing we call urban fantasy incarnated. Both were terrible monsters that could pass for human, hiding terrible, destructive secrets.

          It makes sense that the hidden worlds of hard boiled fiction and horror have been raided liberally and put to use in urban fantasy. They traffic in the same darkness. It’s almost like wish fulfillment in some sense: “Oh, this is why everything is so screwed up!” Get it out there on the page, where it feels like you’ve got a handle on it.

          Given the similarities between the three, and urban fantasy’s heavy duty hard boiled and horror influences, the tonal differences are interesting. Despite borrowing many hard boiled markers (a wisecracking, world-weary, first-person narrator chief among them), a lot of urban fantasy tends to be a somewhat lighter in tone than noir or crime fiction. I think it can get away with this because the metaphor is a step removed from reality—vampires, you see, not loan sharks. Nothing that might actually be happening right down the street. Similarly, the lurking monsters of horror have been changed subtly, so that instead of incarnations of subconscious terror, they often become fantastic monsters to be bested.

          Urban fantasy also holds out the hope that not all of what is hidden is terrible. Somewhere, lurking back in those shadows, is a magic trick or a down-and-out angel or a well-meaning werewolf to help fight the good fight. It’s a nice thought.

          When I wrote Premonitions, I had all three genres in mind. I read them all, obsessively, because as much dread as there is in the hidden, the mystery begets fascination as well. Urban fantasy, since it to some extent incorporates the other two, was the natural place to start. I wanted to write about machinations, skulking, and awful happenings going down in places you don’t see on your way to work in the morning. To wade into an entire occult underworld that entwined itself intimately with a criminal underworld, and see what lived down there.

          Karyn Ames, the main character of the novel, ended up entering her hidden world the same way many denizens of those places do—desperation, combined with a sort of curse. She sees the future in hallucinations, symbolic and literal, overlaid on and often indistinguishable from reality, and the only way to keep them from drowning her perception of the real world is by taking an expensive, rare black market concoction. One of the cool things about Karyn’s character is that it allowed me to bring all three of my hidden worlds together. Her constant need for cash has led her to an odd criminal career, working with her crew to steal bizarre objects of ostensible occult power—a neat intersection that plants her squarely at the crossroads of the book’s occult and criminal underworlds. Her visions themselves supply plenty of horror, both the immediate, visceral horror of some of the terrible things she sees, and the constant looming threat of insanity.

          At first glance, crime, horror, and urban fantasy might seem like odd bedfellows, but I think you don’t have to look very hard to see the dark undercurrents that connect the three different kinds of hidden worlds. In any case, I had a hell of a lot of fun putting them all in the same book.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter
_______________________________________________________________
Premonitions
By Jamie Schultz

Out Now!

It’s the kind of score Karyn Ames has always dreamed of—enough to set her crew up pretty well and, more important, enough to keep her safely stocked on a very rare, very expensive black market drug. Without it, Karyn hallucinates slices of the future until they totally overwhelm her, leaving her unable to distinguish the present from the mess of certainties and possibilities yet to come.

The client behind the heist is Enoch Sobell, a notorious crime lord with a reputation for being ruthless and exacting—and a purported practitioner of dark magic. Sobell is almost certainly condemned to Hell for a magically extended lifetime full of shady dealings. Once you’re in business with him, there’s no backing out.

Karyn and her associates are used to the supernatural and the occult, but their target is more than just the usual family heirloom or cursed necklace. It’s a piece of something larger. Something sinister. Karyn’s crew and even Sobell himself are about to find out just how powerful it is… and how powerful it may yet become.

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Book Haul [100]

What did you get this week? Leave your links in the comments to your Book Hauls, IMM, Stacking the Shelves etc... and I'll check them out. Happy Reading!

Here is what I got the last two weeks:


Review:
Chained By Night- Larissa Ione
His Road Home- Anna Richland
Premonitions- Jamie Schultz
Her Lone Wolf- Paige Tyler

Thank you to Anna Richland, Jamie Schultz, Simon & Schuster and Sourcebooks.

Paperback Swap:
Rebel Nation- Shaunta Grimes
Ultimate X-Men Vol. 1- Millar|Kubert|Raney|Derenick

Bought:
Vampires Of Manhattan- Melissa De La Cruz

Midnight Seduction- Donna Grant
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods- Rick Riordan & John Rocco

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spotlight: The MoonBound Clan Vampires by Larissa Ione

BOUND TO BE UP ALL NIGHT WITH
THROW BACK THURSDAY’S BOUND BY NIGHT!
Book I of The MoonBound Clan Vampire series


Bound by Night was a fantastic start to this very promising new series…
a very tasty treat from a must be read author.  Happy reading everybody…you’re bound to love it.
Night Owl Reviews for Bound by Night

“The exceptionally entertaining Ione kicks off a sexy new vampire series…
Ione does what she does best: deliver paranormal romance with a sexy and dangerous bite!
RT Book Reviews ****HOT Review for Bound by Night

PREORDER CHAINED BY NIGHT
AND SAVOR YOUR TASTY TREAT ON 9/30!
Book II of The MoonBound Clan Vampires series

“Ione’s second MoonBound Vampires paranormal deftly uses a mixture of complex rivalries, primal violence, and sex to portray a society in which frequent vampire enslavement provokes a civil-rights dispute…Ione’s characters are relatable and sympathetic both because of and despite their id-drenched setting, and Ione’s flavor of vampirism produces a fascinating mixture of authoritarianism, atavism, and compassionate humanity that works on multiple levels.”
Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW August 25th
“Ione has created a fascinating vampire world steeped in Native American traditions and lore and developed a path to happiness for Hunter and Aylin that is fraught with potent and poignant internal and external conflicts. The action-packed plot and creative worldbuilding keep us enthralled; the romance and sexual tension keep us emotionally invested.”
Kirkus Reviews August 28th online, Sept. 15th print

“Major talent Ione is back with the second installment in her gritty new MoonBound Clan Vampire series, where vampires live under the threat of enslavement and torture by humans.  Ione’s vampire world is made up of sometimes warring clans who fight against each other as well as humans.  Uniting the clans may be the vampires’ best hope for survival in the upcoming war with humans.  With so much at stake, these excellent character relationships are fraught with intense and conflicting emotions.  Hang on tight, as this is one exciting and dangerous world!”
—Romantic Times ****1/2 HOT
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday [67]: The Vines by Christopher Rice

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post started by Breaking the Spine.
A feature showcasing upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.


Title: The Vines
Author: Christopher Rice
Release Date: October 21, 2014

Book Description:
The dark history of Spring House, a beautifully restored plantation mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans, has long been forgotten. But something sinister lurks beneath the soil of the old estate.

After heiress and current owner Caitlin Chaisson is witness to her husband’s stunning betrayal at her birthday party, she tries to take her own life in the mansion’s cherished gazebo. Instead, the blood she spills awakens dark forces in the ground below. Chaos ensues and by morning her husband has vanished without a trace and his mistress has gone mad.

Nova, daughter to Spring House’s groundskeeper, has always suspected that something malevolent haunts the old place, and in the aftermath of the birthday party she enlists Caitlin’s estranged best friend, Blake, to help her get to the bottom of it. The pair soon realizes that the vengeance enacted by this sinister and otherworldly force comes at a terrible price.

Titles by Christopher Rice:
A Destiny of Souls
The Snow Garden
Light Before Day
Blind Fall
The Moonlit Earth
The Heavens Rise
The Vines
The Flame (11/11/14)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Giveaway: First To Burn by Anna Richland

This month I'm giving away a paperback copy of First to Burn by Anna Richland - plus a swag pack from the author. I reviewed this one a few months ago and loved it. To enter: leave a comment along with your email address. Open to US/CA. The winner will be announce on September 19th.



A soldier with secrets.

Immortal Viking Wulf Wardsen once battled alongside Beowulf, and now serves in Afghanistan. He trusts the mortal men on his elite special operations team to protect his secret, until an explosion lands him in a place more dangerous to him than a battlefield: a medevac helicopter.

A doctor with questions.

Army captain Theresa Chiesa follows the rules and expects the same from others, even Special Forces hotshots like Sergeant Wardsen. She’s determined to discover the secret behind his supernaturally fast healing, and she won’t allow his sexy smile to distract her.

An enemy with nothing to lose.

Even as Theresa’s investigation threatens to expose him, Wulf dreams of a normal life and a future with her. But the lost Viking relic needed to reverse his immortality is also being hunted by an ancient enemy who won’t hesitate to hurt he woman Wulf loves.

Anna Richland: Website | Facebook

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