A selection of recent recommended reads from the staff.
Mexican-American lawyer turned P.I., Tom Aragon, investigates the disappearance of Cleo Jasper, a young woman who is as beautiful as she is simple-minded. Her doting brother will stop at nothing to find his defenseless sister, but Aragon realizes that he has once again found himself in over his head when Cleo's friend turns up dead amidst a sea of somewhat dubious suicide notes.
Tom Aragon receives a strange visit at his law office: a 22-year-old woman named Cleo Jasper, self-described as mentally retarded, comes in to ask him about her rights. The visit lasts fifteen minutes, then Cleo wanders off. Two days later, Tom Aragon is visited by a different Jasper: Cleo's older brother, Hilton, her legal guardian. Cleo has disappeared and Hilton Jasper wants to hire the lawyer to find her and bring her back. Has Cleo, a legal adult, taken stock of her "rights" and run away? Or did someone take advantage of the simple, suggestible young woman, and something more sinister is afoot?
In this carefully-drawn character study, master of suspense Margaret Millar reveals hard and poignant truths about mental illness, the exploitability of those affected, and the challenges for their families, loved ones, and caretakers.
It all began with a line of Persian poetry . . .
Anna and Nouri, both studying in Chicago, fall in love despite their very different backgrounds. Anna, who has never been close to her parents, is more than happy to return with Nouri to his native Iran, to be embraced by his wealthy family. Beginning their married life together in 1978, their world is abruptly turned upside down by the overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Islamic Republic.
Under the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Republican Guard, life becomes increasingly restricted and Anna must learn to exist in a transformed world, where none of the familiar Western rules apply. Random arrests and torture become the norm, women are required to wear hijab, and Anna discovers that she is no longer free to leave the country.
As events reach a fevered pitch, Anna realizes that nothing is as she thought, and no one can be trusted…not even her husband.
Finalist for the r/Fantasy "Stabby" Award for Best Serialized Fiction
When stories break down, you send in the Genrenauts!
Struggling stand-up comic Leah Tang is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to join the Genrenauts, a secret organization of dimensional travelers. Leah learns that our world is just one of many, and every other world is the home of a story genre — Science Fiction or Romance, Fantasy or Western — populated by archetypal characters and constantly playing out familiar stories.
The Genrenauts’ mission: find and fix broken stories. If they fail, the ripples from the story worlds will cause havoc and devastation on their home world.
Leah joins the team and dives head-first into the adventure. But the stories are breaking faster and worse than ever before. Will Leah rise to the occasion, or will she end up as just another broken story?
An adventure science fiction series for all fans of Leverage, Quantum Leap, or Redshirts!
(Save 38% off cover price by purchasing this omnibus instead of buying each episode individually)
Contains all six novellas from Season One of Genrenauts:
The Shootout Solution
The Absconded Ambassador
The Cupid Reconciliation
The Substitute Sleuth
The Failed Fellowship (Part 1 & 2)
Brought to you by the support of hundreds of Kickstarter backers!
"Who hasn't wanted to imagine themselves parachuting into a story gone wrong and putting it back on track? It's storytelling as heroism, genre savviness as power. Endless fun. Catnip for genre geeks." — Marie Brennan, World Fantasy nominated author of A Natural History of Dragons
“A clever, exciting, and seriously fun twist on portal fantasy that sends a geeky stand-up comedian into the Wild West. Sign me up to be a Genrenaut, too!” —Delilah S. Dawson, author of the Blud series and Hit
Thea Harrison starts a new trilogy in the world of the Elder Races. Meet Sophie, “mostly” human witch with a blank slate for a past and Nikolas Sevigny is a broody Daoine Sidhe knight all out to protect his men and find a way back home before the enemy Queen wipes them out. They meet under violent circumstances and seriously get off on the wrong foot. Nikolas has no give in him and Sophie doesn’t back down, not even from a fight. The conflict is as tangible as the chemistry between them. But as they learn about each other they see that they may just be exactly what the other needs. Harrison does not disappoint with this latest offering hitting all the high points for a steamy, witty, action-filled must read. – Guest Reviewer, Ro
The great metropolis of Super City is the home of dozens of costumed heroes -- the Terrific Trio, the Bruiser, the Superior Six, the Cowboy, and many more -- who do battle against the super-villains who terrorize the citizenry. These aren't their stories ... When the heroes are done punching out the villains, it's left to the stalwart men and women of the Super City Police Department to restrain them, arrest them, and hope that this time there's enough evidence to actually convict them. Just another day on the job for the Super City Cops. BOOK 1 Amethyst, one of the most renowned and mysterious costumed heroes of Super City, is found dead on a rooftop. Detectives Kristin Milewski and Jorge Alvarado of the Super City Police Department are assigned to the case-but every answer they turn up with regards to who Amethyst is and how and why he died just gives them more questions. Complicating the investigation are the rest of the superheroic community, who are looking for revenge for their fallen comrade-plus there are reports of a new Amethyst! Same powers, same costume, but a much nastier attitude ...
Life can kick us when we are down.
In Shawn Speakman’s case, he is fighting back.
Lacking health insurance and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, Speakman beat the disease as well as the massive medical debt he amassed from its treatment. He did this by publishing Unfettered, an anthology featuring short stories donated by some of the best science fiction and fantasy writers working today.
The fight will not stop there. In an effort to pay forward the aid he received—and to memorialize his mother who passed away from stomach cancer in early 2016—Speakman has again collaborated with celebrated genre authors to publish Unfettered II. All proceeds from the anthology will either help eliminate medical debt for other authors or be donated to cancer research hubs around the world.
Twenty original new tales comprise this amazing collection and, as the title suggests, the writers were again free to contribute whatever they wished.
Here is the line-up for Unfettered II:
- Foreword by Terry Brooks
- Bradley Beaulieu (Song of Shattered Sands)
- Jim Butcher (Dresden Files)
- Rachel Caine
- Sarah Beth Durst (The Queens of Renthia)
- David Farland (Runelords)
- Charlaine Harris
- Mark Lawrence (Gunlaw)
- Erin Lindsey (Bloodbound)
- Seanan McGuire
- Aidan Moher
- Naomi Novik
- Peter Orullian (Vault of Heaven)
- J.A. Pitts
- Anthony Ryan (Raven’s Shadow)
- Brandon Sanderson (Stormlight Archive)
- Scott Sigler
- Shawn Speakman (Annwn Cycle)
- Michael J. Sullivan (The Legends of the First Empire)
- Django Wexler
- Janny Wurts (Wars of Light and Shadow
- Todd Lockwood (Cover Artist)
- Don Maitz (Interior Illustrator)
With the help of New York Times bestselling authors as well as talented newcomers, Speakman has taken the platform Unfettered created to not only confront medical debt but to support the battle against one of our gravest illnesses. Unfettered II is a fantastic sequel anthology but it is more than that; it is proof that we are stronger together than we are apart.
After all, isn’t that what genre fiction is all about?
Blending fresh new science fiction with a futuristic dash of magic, The Grimm Future is a unique anthology of reimagined Grimm fairy tales from some of today's most exciting authors—along with the original stories that inspired them. The Grimm Future examines our humanity and what that term might come to mean through the eyes of future generations as society advances into an age when technology consumes nearly every aspect of our lives or has ultimately changed life as we know it. How might these timeless stories evolve? Given the relentless onrush of technology, there is even greater need for fairy tales and Grimm magic in our future. Read on!
Table of Contents:
"Intrduction" by Erin Underwood
"Pair of Ugly Stepsisters, Three of a Kind" by Garth Nix, based upon multiple Grimm fairy tales, including "Little Brother and Little Sister," "Rapunzel," "Little Red-Cap," and "Cinderella"
"The Iron Man" by Max Gladstone, based upon "Iron John"
"Zel and Grets" by Maura McHugh, based upon "Hansel & Gretel"
"For Want of a Nail" by Sandra McDonald & Stephen D. Covey, based upon "The Nail"
"The Shroud" by Dan Wells, based upon "The Shroud"
"Long-Term Employment" by Mike Resnick, based upon "Death's Messengers"
"Swan Dive" by Nancy Holder, based upon "The Six Swans"
"The White Rat" by Dana Cameron, based upon "The White Snake"
"Origins" by Carlos Hernandez, based upon "The Star-Talers"
"Angie Taylor in: Peril Beneath the Earth's Crust" by John Langan, based upon "The Brave Little Tailor"
"The Three Snake-Leaves" by Jeffrey Ford, based upon "The Three Snake-Leaves"
"The Madman's Ungrateful Child" by Peadar Ó Guillín, based upon "The Bremen Town-Musicians"
"Stories of the Trees, Stories of the Birds, Stories of the Bones" by Kat Howard, based upon "The Juniper Tree"
"Be Still, and Listen" by Seanan McGuire, based upon "Little Briar-Rose"
In the Magic ex Libris series, Nicola Pallas is one of the most powerful magic-users in the world, able to overpower her enemies with little more than a whistle. She's also known for raising chupacabras in her barn.
This 5000-word short story introduces Nicola as a young girl, new to magic and unfamiliar with her potential. A woman brings a strange creature to Nicola's father, the local veterinarian. That injured animal--Nicola's first encounter with a chupacabra--leads her into a larger world of magical poachers, supernatural creatures, and danger.
It also offers the possibility of a life-changing friendship. Assuming Nicola survives.
The story is set approximately twenty years before the events of Libriomancer.
From Gretchen McNeil, the author of Ten and Possess, comes this teen horror novel perfect for young fans of Stephen King, and Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer.
For Annie Kramer, the summer before college is bittersweet—both a last hurrah of freedom and the last days she'll spend with her boyfriend, Jack, before they head off to different colleges. So she and her friends plan one final adventure: a houseboating trip on Shasta Lake, complete with booze, romance . . . and an off-limits exploration of the notorious Bull Valley Mine.
The legends of mysterious lights and missing persons on Shasta Lake have been a staple of sleepovers and campouts since Annie was a kid. Full of decrepit bridges that lead to nowhere, railroad tunnels that disappear into the mountains, and terrifying stories of unexplained deaths and bodies that were never recovered, Bull Valley Mine is notorious and frightening—perfect for an epic conclusion to their high school lives.
The trip is fun and light—at first. But when a deranged stranger stumbles upon their campsite, spouting terrifying warnings and pleas for help, it's clear that everyone is in danger. And when their exploration of the mine goes horribly wrong, Annie and her friends quickly discover that the menace of Bull Valley Mine doesn't stay at Shasta Lake—it follows them home.
As one by one her friends fall victim to this mysterious and violent force, Annie must do whatever it takes to discover the ancient secrets of the mine and save her friends . . . if she's not already too late.
Epic Reads Impulse is a digital imprint with new releases each month.
It’s tough to have a conscience when you kill for a living.
That's why six years ago, Mallory Jade gave up killing. Now she’s a fixer. Got a problem with a demon? She can help. Infestation of pixies? She’s got you covered. Kidnapped by an undead lich? She’s on her way. Anything you need, so long as she doesn’t have to kill. It’s her one unbreakable rule.
Aside from a few near-death experiences, her new life is good, until her job dumps her in the lap of the man she walked out on six years before. Law Stanger, her former partner and lover, wants her back in his life. He's not above playing dirty. But Mallory knows it can never work. She has secrets Law can never understand or forgive.
All Mallory wants now is to finish her job--track down an incubus and the precious box he stole--and get the hell out of town before Law shatters her heart again. But it wasn’t fate that drew her and Law together after all these years, it was cunning calculation. Now they must face an enemy more powerful than they can imagine, one that has no intention of leaving anybody alive.
From the moment she first learned the truth about witches she knew she was born to fight them.
Now, at sixteen, Iris is the lone girl on the Witch Hunters Special Ops Team.
But when Iris meets a boy named Arlo, he might just be the key to preventing an evil uprising in Southern California.
Together they're ready to protect the human race at all costs. Because that's what witch hunters do.
Welcome to Hollywood.
Praise for HOLLYWOOD WITCH HUNTER
"Valerie Tejeda's Hollywood Witch Hunter shines as bright as the Hollywood sign, with heart stopping intrigue and action and glamour, Tejeda weaves a witchy web worthy of Buffy comparisons, while building a new generation of fiercely compelling heroines and villains." - Danielle Paige,New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die
"Fast-paced and fun (and featuring a heroine who needs to be my new bestie), Hollywood Witch Hunter is everything I look for in a book! Where do I sign up to battle witches in Tinseltown?" - Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of the Hex Hall series
"Part Hollywood satire, part fast-paced action, Hollywood Witch Hunter infuses real-world glitz and glamour with conniving witches, swoony romance and some 007-worthy tech." - Cara Lynn Shultz, author of the Spellbound series
"Fast-reading, saucy, and delightfully fun." - School Library Journal
"The Mortal Instruments meets 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' set in the cutthroat world of Hollywood - all featuring a kick-ass Hispanic leading lady. That's enough to get my fingers over the 'pre-order.''' - MTV.com
"Valerie Tejeda makes a splash with her debut novel." - USA Today
"Valerie Tejeda's debut novel doesn't hit shelves until July 2015, but the creative premise already has diehard young adult fans on the edge of their seat." - Latina.com
"Any fan of Buffy or The Vampire Diaries could easily become obsessed." - Teen Vogue
Reporter Bertie Mallowan has a knack for finding trouble...or it that trouble has knack for finding her? Whatever, she's still reeling from being laid off from her job when she lands a job as a society columnist at a newspaper owned by multimillionaire Dillard Johnson--known as "The Big Johnson" among his employees. His friend, environmental activist Rowley Poke, is murdered at a party sponsored by Johnson and of course Bertie was one of the guests as part of her new job. The Big J tells Bertie to infiltrate The End, Poke's eco-conservation group, and report back to him. Being dangled before her is a job as an investigative reporter. Bertie must navigate the eccentricities of the Big J, his family, and the new head of The End, Buddy Laird, to solve the mystery. Funny, fast-paced, Snarky Park is another triumph from a writer to watch.
Cathy's previous book is Trashy Chic.
PRAISE FOR the Bertie Mallowan series and Cathy Lubenski
"What do a certain Mennonite innkeeper, and a reporter named Bertie Mallowan, have in common? Could it be that they are both highly intelligent women with a wry take on life, or could it possibly be that both possess tongues capable of slicing Swiss cheese? This is a surefire recipe for a winner in my book! Trashy Chic is pure gold." -- Tamar Myers, author of the Pennsylvania Dutch Mysteries and The Headhunter’s Daughter
“Don’t miss this utterly delightful mystery. Cathy Lubenski has a light but sharp touch, a wonderful eye for human types and human foibles, and she’s a natural entertainer. “Trashy Chic” has a perfect humor-to-heart ratio. Bravo!”--T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of The Jaguar and The Border Lords
“Fast and funny. Enjoy!” -- Parnell Hall, author of Caper
13 essays on the importance of representation in science fiction and fantasy, with an introduction by author Alex Dally MacFarlane. Proceeds from the sale of this collection go to support the Carl Brandon Society.
Full table of contents:
Introduction by Alex Dally MacFarlane.
“Parched” by Mark Oshiro.
“Boys’ Books” by Katharine Kerr.
“Clicking” by Susan Jane Bigelow.
“The Princess Problem” by Charlotte Ashley.
“Autism, Representation, Success” by Ada Hoffmann.
“Gender in Genre” by Kathryn Ryan.
“‘Crazy’ About Fiction” by Gabriel Cuellar.
“Evil Albino Trope is Evil” by Nalini Haynes.
“Options” by Joie Young.
“Non-binary and Not Represented” by Morgan Dambergs.
“Representation Without Understanding” by Derek Handley.
“Shards of Memory” by Ithiliana.
“I Don’t See Color” by Michi Trota.
“SFF Saved My Life” by Nonny Blackthorne.
Afterword by Jim C. Hines.
The door to the massive New York Times bestselling HOUSE OF NIGHT series has closed. Now, Kristin Cast kicks down a new door to welcome her millions of fans to her latest sizzling series.
There is a world that runs parallel to our own, a world in which the souls of the damned are caged, where they are looked over by the Furies, and where they spend eternity in torment, mirroring the devastation and mayhem they created when alive.
Someone has opened the cage.
The worst of terrors has crossed the barrier that separates our world from theirs, and the Furies send a great, albeit untested warrior—their only son, Alek—to try to bring those souls back. He is young and handsome, headstrong and impulsive, and he won't be able to do it alone.
Eva has grown up, beautiful and beloved, but surrounded by secrets. First, she will be hunted in an ancient feud that will threaten her life. Then, she will become the hunter.
With the police closing in and two worlds on the verge of crumbling around them, Alek and Eva must find each other, discover the limits of their powers, and work together to save everything they hold dear, including one another. Blending elements of mythology with the dazzling storytelling that her fans have devoured through the HOUSE OF NIGHT series, Kristin Cast weaves a spellbinding and passionate tale that starts a thrilling new series with an explosive charge.