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Trudi Canavan Interview  

Posted by Scott Wilson




Scott Wilson recently caught up with local author Trudi Canavan to chat about her new book The Ambassador’s Mission, which was published by Orbit in May at $32.99, (author photo courtesy of Paul Ewins)

Scott: You have some pretty impressive credentials to your name, nominations for the Aurealis Award, Ditmar Award, wining the Aurealis Award in 1999 and having three books in the Australian top 10 SF bestseller lists. Can you tell us about these experiences and if the nominations still thrill you or is it just a routine now?

Trudi: The first award - the Aurealis Award for my first ever short story - completely floored me. Having it accepted for publication reassured me that I could actually write, but to win an award for it told me that people might actually like and enjoy what I write.

Being involved in the awards at the periphery (when I worked for Aurealis magazine) or knowing judges showed me that being shortlisted is the big achievement. Sometimes the winner is clear to the judges, but often the selection involves some compromise and negotiation. So I'm flattered whether my book wins or not.

The Ditmar I won was lovely in a whole other way, because that award is structured differently so it's like having friends pat you on the back. The Aurealis Award for The Magician's Apprentice was a huge surprise for me. I'd written it during a particularly difficult and depressing time, often struggling to write at all, so I had all these bad associations with it. I'd even considered changing my career to something other than writing. For that book to have won an award... it made the struggle worthwhile and convinced me it was worth pushing on. I'm glad I did, because I'm having so much fun writing the sequel to the Black Magician Trilogy. I've got my mojo back.

Having a book on a bestseller list is very different. Finding out how they work can have the opposite effect to finding out how awards work - you value them less except as selling tools. You hear that some bookshops chains make them up, to push the books they have plenty of. Or there are odd little variables that skew the statistics. I have also accepted that there'll always be a big release around the same time as mine that dominated the lists: first it was Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter and now it's Twilight.

Scott: Which of your characters was your favorite to write? The most challenging?

Trudi: I don't really have a favourite, though some were more fun to write than others. Emerahl in the Age of the Five trilogy was a really enjoyable character, and Stara was a nice surprise in The Magician's Apprentice. Currently I'm enjoying writing through Lorkin, the main protagonist in the Traitor Spy Trilogy, though the old favourites from the original series threaten to take over now and then.

Scott: What advice would you give young writers wanting to get their first novel published?

Trudi: Be humble, because you must be able to take on board feedback and work hard to make the book as good as possible. Be resilient, because you won't get anywhere if you can't bounce back from rejection. Be savvy, because knowing as much as you can about ALL aspects of the publishing industry (and not giving publishers bad reasons to remember you) will only increase your chances.

Scott: Tell us about your typical day of writing, for example, how many hours/pages/words would you write per day?

Trudi: I've found that I write best in the afternoon. So mornings are for input (research, Twitter, etc.) and afternoons are for output. I used to write an average of 5,000 words a day but that's shunk to about 2,000, but with a lot less rewriting later. This is actually better for my back - bad backs being a writerly occupational hazard.

Scott: You’ve written two trilogies now, what is it about your stories that they come in this format?

Trudi: I don't really aim to write trilogies, and I'm not sure why the story ideas end up suiting a division of three. The Black Magician Trilogy was supposed to be one book, but it got big. When I considered how to divide it up, there were two obvious minor resolutions then the big one. The Age of the Five favoured the same pattern. I deliberately set out to mimic the format of the Black Magician Trilogy for its sequel. Publishers like trilogies and series, and I only got away with having The Magician's Apprentice as a stand-alone because it links in with other trilogies.

The series I plan to write next is also a trilogy. But I have two ideas for stand-alone books as well. One is a young adult novel, and YA doesn't seem as resistant to stand-alone books. The other is a very new idea, so it may develop into a series with time.

Scott: Do you have any plans to write outside the realm of the fantasy genre?

Trudi: The young adult novel idea I've had waiting in the sidelines for years is a horror novel, and I have some short story ideas that sit in the horror or science fiction genres. But most of my ideas are fantasy.

Scott: What book/s are you currently reading?

Trudi: I always have a non-fiction and fiction book on the go. At the moment I'm reading Clean: A History of Hygiene and Purity. It's fascinating to learn how different people's attitudes and beliefs were in the past. I've just got to the part where the first self-help health books were produced. I know that, if ever I was to write a steampunk story, I'd definitely keep this book in mind.

For fiction, I'm making my way through Legends of Australian Fantasy between reading manuscripts for friends. I've made an attempt to read books by Aussie writers I haven't tried yet before Worldcon. But there's so much talent here, and so many new writers on the scene, I'm a slow reader, and I have a manuscript due by the con. I may have to settle on buying lots of books instead.

Trent Jamieson Interview  

Posted by Scott Wilson



Scott Wilson recently caught up with Trent Jamieson to discuss Trent's novel Death Most Definitive; the first in a new series set in Brisbane.

Scott: Let me start by saying how excited I was to see your novel was set in Brisbane, and in particular, the Wintergarden. My first job was in the Wintergarden so I could relate to the setting immediately. How hard was it getting a book set in Brisbane published?

Trent: Thanks, Scott.
I worked for six years across the road from the Wintergarden, ate my lunch and wrote a hell of a lot sitting in its foodcourt, so, I guess it had to featurein my writing eventually.

As a setting Brisbane is as hard to sell as anywhere else, but I think it would have been harder, say, if I’d set the book in Sydney or Melbourne. I just don’t know those places as well. I think making a place real for the reader is the most important thing. If it’s vivid, if it feels real, if it works in the story, I don’t think it matters where you set it.

And Brisbane’s a great city, who wouldn’t want to read a story set here?

Scott: How many books do you plan on writing in the Death Works series? I see on your web page (http://www.trentjamieson.com/) you’re already working on book three.

Trent: I suppose it depends on how well these books work. I’m actually finishing up the first draft of book three today, and I think there’s plenty of room for the characters to move, and I have at least a couple more story arcs in mind. But book three resolves pretty much everything I set up in the first book – well, I think it does, I’ll find out when I get my edits back!

Scott: How much time would you spend writing on a typical day, (if a typical day exists for a writer that is)?

Trent: I tend to write in the mornings, about four hours then do other stuff in the afternoon. But it’s dependent on where I am in a story.Near the end of a draft, I can work up until the early hours of the morning. And there have been days when I’ve walked away from the keyboard in disgust after an hour – even in the face of deadlines.

Scott: What made you interested in writing and what was the first short story you had published?

Trent: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, not that I was a particularly precocious kid, I just wanted to write. I’ve loved speculative fiction since I was a child and the idea of writing my own stories has been endlessly appealing. It suits me, and I’ve been lucky that I’ve got a bit of talent – and a very supportive wife.
My first published story was called Threnody,it appeared in a wonderful magazine edited by Jeremy Byrne and Jonathan Strahan called Eidolon way back in 1994. I was 21, and (I love telling people this, makes me sound far better than I am) it was illustrated by Shaun Tan – how cool is that!

Scott: What are you reading at the moment?

Trent: Honestly, I’m reading Book Three trying to gauge whether or not it’s flowing as well as I’d like, and fixing up clunky sentences (far too many of those).
But, when I’m done I’m going to reward myself with some Kate Griffin, and Jeff Vandermeer (he’s got a new collection coming out called the Third Bear). I work at Avid Reader bookstore so there’s always plenty of stuff for me to read. I did just finish Justin Cronin’s The Passage, and really loved it. Nice to see so nasty vampires again.

Scott: I hear you like “gloomy music”. Who are some of your favourite groups and what do you usually listen to when writing?

Trent: Oh, where do I start!
I love Okkervil River they’re an amazing band, and great live. Tom Waits and Radiohead always cheer me up. I’ve been listening to Florence and the Machine lately. And the Clash, Tom Waits, and the Smiths are always dear to my heart. And I love me some Emo when I’m in the mood. Thanks to Kate Eltham, I went through a bit of a My Chemical Romance stage for a while.
As to the music I listen to when I’m writing, it varies, for Death Most Definite it was Okkervil River, Gotye and Spoon. For Managing Death it was Kill Switch Engage, The Afghan Whigs and Amanda Palmer. This last book has been a mix of everything – not all of it gloomy.

Scott: What advice would you offer to unpublished writers in approaching publishers for the first time?

Trent: Read a publisher’s guidelines, and then read them again.
Make sure your manuscript is as good as it can be. Be polite, and be patient. It’s a long journey from submission to publication: I approached Orbit with Death Most over two years ago.

Oh, and be brave. You can’t sell a novel if you don’t submit it. The worst that can happen is a publisher will say no.

Scott: How excited are you about the book launch? Quite an honor having legendary Aussie author Marianne de Pierres launching your first novel. Where and when is this launch?

Trent: I’m very excited. And not just because it’s my first novel, I can finally thank all those people who’ve helped me along the way. I love writing, and this is a dream come true, but it wouldn’t have happened without the support and encouragement of so many people. I’m nervous too, because so many of those people are going to be there.

I’m thrilled that Marianne agreed to launch the book. We’ve been great mates for over a decade, I love her writing and I admire her work ethos. And she had a hand in me finishing the first draft of the first book.
The launch is at Avid Reader on Friday the 13th of August from 6pm.
http://www.avidreader.com.au/index.php?option=com_registrationpro&view=event&Itemid=0&did=66&shw_attendees=0

It should be a lot of fun, and the more the merrier.
Well, I better get back to finishing book three.

Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Saga Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Plague of the Dead: The Morningstar Saga

By Z.A. Recht

This edition: Trade Paperback, 320 pages

List Price: $22.99

Description
THE END BEGINS WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED VIRAL OUTBREAK:
Morningstar. The infected are subject to delirium, fever, violent behavior...and a one hundred percent mortality rate.
BUT THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING:
The victims return from death to walk the earth. When a massive military operation fails to contain the plague of the living dead, it escalates into a worldwide pandemic.
NOW, A SINGLE LAW OF NATURE DOMINATES THE GLOBAL LANDSCAPE:
Live or die, kill or be killed. On one side of the world, thousands of miles from home, a battle-hardened general surveys the remnants of his command: a young medic, a veteran photographer, a brash private, and dozens of refugees -- all are his responsibility. While in the United States, an army colonel discovers the darker side of Morningstar and collaborates with a well-known journalist to leak the information to the public....
Review

Another good zombie novel in the same journal type format as many others around. The big differenct with this novel is that the zombie’s aren’t actually zombies until you kill them. The virus turns the victims into mindless, aggressive killers similar to 28 days later. Once they are killed, they reanimate as the more traditional type zombies, slow from rigor mortis, but no less relentless.


Fair warning: This is a very gruesome book with explicit zombie sequences. It is not as subtle as some of the other zombie novels in the market at the moment and probably won’t appeal to some readers due to the graphic nature of the writing. Not for the faint of heart. Or appropriate to read during a meal.
There were a lot of extensive descriptions of firearms and other weapons and less character development as some other zombie books, so it’s aimed at a different market really. I still enjoyed it because, well it had zombies in it.

Beyond Exile: Day by Day Armageddon Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Beyond Exile: Day by Day Armageddon

By J. L. Bourne

This edition: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
List Price: $22.99

Description

START INTERCEPT
Armies of undead have risen up across the U.S. and around the globe;there is no safe haven from the diseased corpses hungering for human flesh. But in the heat of a Texas wasteland, a small band of survivors attempt to counter the millions closing in around them.

INTERCEPT COMPLETE

Survivor,Day by day, the handwritten journal entries of one man caught in a worldwide cataclysm capture the desperation—and the will to survive—as he joins forces with a handful of refugees to battle soulless enemies both human and inhuman from inside an abandoned strategic missile facility.

But in the world of the undead, is mere survival enough?

Review

I was lucky enough to have this brilliant sequel to get right into after finishing Day By Day Armageddon, no waiting for a sequel to come out if great if the novel is this good. The story pick up right where the first novel left us and is an excellent continuation for fans of J.L’s first novel.

If you haven’t heard of this author then you must be a zombie, there’s even a hoard of followers with their own forum here at http://www.tacticalunderground.us/forum/. Like many of the followers of this series, the only issue I have with the second novel is that it is too short. I finished it in a single reading and now have to wait for Mr. Bourne to get the next novel to us; write a little faster please J.L, we are waiting.

“Beyond Exile” takes place immediately after the events of the first “Day by Day,” (so if you’re not all that familiar with the story line then go get both books and read them back to back and then this review will make more sense) where we see the assembled survivors of Hotel 23, after taking a beating from a group of post apocalyptic raiders and zombie hordes, regrouping and faced with the realities of the new found truth, that they may be the only ones left in the world.

Not far into the sequel we see the narrator, and his rag tag band of survivors grow into a highly affective and lethal unit, not to mention the fact that through a chance run in with a small group of stranded Marines, the narrator goes from being on the run to being in command. We also see the introduction of some other elements of danger added to the survivors list of things to worry about, besides the flesh eating zombies. A unique addition to this zombie novel is some zombie eating survivors. Nothing like getting a bit of your own back on those nasty flesh eaters.

A definite to read for all.

Day by Day Armageddon Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Day by Day Armageddon

By J. L. Bourne

This edition: Trade Paperback, 224 pages
List Price: $22.99
Product Details
Permuted Press, July 2010
Trade Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN-10: 1439176671

Description

May 16th. 1201 hrs. We are now under siege. Beyond the silo access doors, we have a small army of beaten and battered undead to contend with. They only want one thing...
Day by Day Armageddon is the handwritten journal of one man and his struggle for survival. Trapped in the midst of global disaster, he must make decisions that could mean life, or which could condemn him eternally to walk as one of them. Enter, if you dare, into his world. The world of the undead.

Review

This series is one of the best post apocalyptic, zombie novels I have read. It is clichéd in the sense it is written in journal format, like many other zombie novels, but I still loved it. The main character, whose name is never mentioned, is a survivor and a character that you just have to cheer for. His story often shows him as a good, honest and caring man who does his best to survive and help others do the same. Most of the novel sees others looking to the main character as a natural leader.

The story is well paced and very emotional at times, relying on character’s stories and their recently departed loved ones. You can’t help but feel for them, which says wonders for Mr. Bourne’s ability to write a believable tale.

The most impressive thing about this novel, and J.L. Bourne’s history, is that Day By Day Armageddon began as a self published, online story and grew into a monster that has now been followed worldwide. I can see this series being made into a movie or even better, a TV miniseries.

Play Dead Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Play Dead

By Ryan Brown

This edition: Hardcover, 352 pages

List Price: $29.99
Product Details
Gallery, July 2010
Hardcover, 352 pages
ISBN-10: 1439171300

Description

Today's #1 New York Times bestselling thriller writers agree: Ryan Brown's compulsively readable first novel is unbeatable—a darkly humorous, rich and pungent zombie shocker that melds our national obsession with football and the newest wave of fascination with the undead.

For the first time in Killington High School history, the Jackrabbits football team is one win away from the district championship where it will face its most vicious rival, the Elmwood Heights Badgers. On the way to the game, the Jackrabbits's bus plunges into a river, killing every player except for bad-boy quarterback Cole Logan who is certain the crash was no accident—given that Cole himself was severely injured in a brutal attack by three ski-masked men earlier that day. Bent on payback, Cole turns to a mysterious fan skilled in black magic to resurrect his teammates. But unless the undead Jackrabbits defeat their murderous rival on the field, the team is destined for hell. In a desperate race against time, with only his coach's clever daughter, Savannah Hickman, to assist him, Cole must lead his zombie team to victory

. . . in a final showdown where the stakes aren't just life or death—but damnation or salvation. Boundlessly imaginative and thrillingly satisfying, Play Dead gives small-town Texas an electrifying jolt of the supernatural, and is unquestioningly The Zombie Novel of the Year!

The Comeback Story of the Season . . .

Review

Zombies ( a genre I love) and football (a subject I loath). I was hoping that there would be an all out massacre where the football teams would be devoured by a hoarde of zombies. Little was I to know that the footballers were the zombies. Now that’s just not fair, turning something I hate into something I like. What a delemir. I had to read the book to see how it would pan out.

The beginning is creepy with the description of the undead preparing listlessly for the greatest game of their eternal afterlife. The main character is a punk kind of a kid (Cole Logan) who is bitter about her mother who gets around for the rent money.
The story is set in Texas where football is not just a pastime, it's a religion.

Like the Simpsons, there is strong rivalry between the two main towns of Killington and Elmwood. A new coach and a up and coming quarterback, Killington see the team just one game away from facing Elmwood in the district championships. Elmwood also seem to have found a new lease on life over the past year, and are coming into the districts undefeated. In order to prevent Killington from getting there, some of the Elmwood jocks decide to play a practical joke on the Killington team to prevent them from getting to the game. It goes disastrously wrong, and suddenly football really does become a religion. Unfortunately for Elmwood, Killington's biggest football fan is also a powerful witch, who won’t let death stop her boys winning.

I won’t say anymore, lest I ruin the rest of the surprises in store for you. Worth a read.

Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection

By Don Roff and Chris Lane
This edition: Trade Paperback, 144 pages
List Price: $29.99
Simon & Schuster UK, November 2009
ISBN-10: 1847377629

The year is 2011, and what starts as a pervasive and inexplicable illness ends up as a zombie infestation that devastates the world's population. Taking the form of an illustrated journal found in the aftermath of the attack, this pulse-pounding, suspenseful tale of zombie apocalypse follows biologist Dr Robert Twombly as he flees from city to countryside and heads north to Canada, where -- he hopes -- the living dead will be slowed by the colder climate. Encountering scattered humans and scores of the infected along the way, he fills his notebook with graphic drawings of zombies and careful observations of their behaviour, along with terrifying tales of survival. This frightening new contribution to the massively popular zombie resurgence will keep fans on the edge of their seats right up to the very end

Review

This is a short, diary style graphic book about life after a worldwide zombie outbreak. The journal entries of Dr Robert were quite entertaining, but unfortunately too short and too few, not in a bad way. I wanted the book to continue and was disappointed when page 144 came.

If you aren’t a big zombie fan then you won’t find anything particularly new to change your mind in this book. But if you love the genre, then you’ll find this one a good read.

The images in the book are quite graphic, so I wouldn’t leave this one on the coffee table for the kiddies to pick up, unless you want them to gain an intimate understanding of the inner workings of the human body? Overall, definitely worth a look in, excuse the pun, if you like a good zombie book.

Stories Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Stories
Gaiman, Neil & Sarrantonio, Al
ISBN (978-075-533660-9)
RRP $32.99 July 2010
Headline Fiction Paperback (C)

One hell of a huge book of great, exciting stories which will become a uniting force for readers of all forms of imaginative fiction.. Rather than being dictated by genre, for co-editors Gaiman and Sarrantonio there is only one true distinction in fiction: the one dividing realistic and imaginative fiction. STORIES is a collection of the very best original fiction from some of the most imaginative writers in the world, as well as a showcase for some of fiction's newer stars. .

Contributors include: Roddy Doyle; Joyce Carol Oates; Joanne Harris; Neil Gaiman; Michael Marshall; Smith; Joe R. Lansdale; Walter Mosley; Richard Adams; Jodi Picoult; Michael Swanwick; Peter Straub; Lawrence Block; Jeffrey Ford; Chuck Palahniuk; Diana Wynne Jones; Stewart O'Nan; Gene Wolfe; Carolyn Parkhurst; Kat Howard; Jonathan Carroll; Jeffrey Deaver; Tim Powers; Al Sarrantonio; Kurt Andersen; Michael Moorcock; Elizabeth Hand; Joe Hill.

Review

It is always hard to give an overall review of an anthology, some of the stories are worth the cover price alone, and some of the stories are not ones that you would choose to include if you were the editor. The good thing about this anthology is it gives you an insight into the mind of Neil Gaiman; what he likes reading himself.
This anthology is a real mixed bag. I totally enjoyed many of the stories, but did find it hard to piece together the link between each story. I kind of like a theme to a collection of stories, ones that are all likeminded or similar. Just couldn’t work out why these ones were bunched together.

That being said, on the whole I found this volume to be very entertaining. Some of the stories found in these pages are ones that I will remember for some time. My favorite tales in this collection were the ones by Joe Hill, Michael Swanwick, Chuck Palaniuk, Lawrence Block and Kurt Anderson.

Feed Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Mira Grant
Mira Grant is the open pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, a successful fantasy writer. She can be found online at www.seananmcguire.com

Feed
Mira Grant
ISBN 184149898X(978-184-149898-0)
RRP $19.99 June 2010
Orbit Paperback (PB - A)

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Sean Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them

Review

If you’ve never been interested in zombies before, then this one will convert you. Feed is Seanan McGuire's first novel to be published in the Newsflesh trilogy, written under the pen name, Mira Grant. Grant's writing is well thought out and thoroughly researched providing for a very convincing post-apocalyptic future.
The story is set in the year 2014, and though a clichéd plot of the scientific experiments to cure cancer and the common cold resulted in two viral strains that when mixed together, create a deadly zombie causing infection; it is new and original as there is no use of gore. It is also original as the virus turns both humans and large animals into Zombies.

Grant's world building efforts transport us to a very frightening and believable version of the future. The plot is set in the year 2039 and sensationalistic news reporting is a thing of the past. Blogging has replaced broadcast and print media-- bloggers of the future are considered the only reliable source where viewers and readers can get up-to-date news. Grant takes the blogging world that we know and elevates it to a very plausible future. Grant also breaks the tension and makes the characters believable by giving them a sense of humor.

Once again, I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. Why won’t they stop writing trilogies. Oh, the humanity of it all.

Feed Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Mira Grant
Mira Grant is the open pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, a successful fantasy writer. She can be found online at www.seananmcguire.com

Feed
Mira Grant
ISBN 184149898X(978-184-149898-0)
RRP $19.99 June 2010
Orbit Paperback (PB - A)

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Sean Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected. The truth will get out, even if it kills them

Review

If you’ve never been interested in zombies before, then this one will convert you. Feed is Seanan McGuire's first novel to be published in the Newsflesh trilogy, written under the pen name, Mira Grant. Grant's writing is well thought out and thoroughly researched providing for a very convincing post-apocalyptic future.
The story is set in the year 2014, and though a clichéd plot of the scientific experiments to cure cancer and the common cold resulted in two viral strains that when mixed together, create a deadly zombie causing infection; it is new and original as there is no use of gore. It is also original as the virus turns both humans and large animals into Zombies.

Grant's world building efforts transport us to a very frightening and believable version of the future. The plot is set in the year 2039 and sensationalistic news reporting is a thing of the past. Blogging has replaced broadcast and print media-- bloggers of the future are considered the only reliable source where viewers and readers can get up-to-date news. Grant takes the blogging world that we know and elevates it to a very plausible future. Grant also breaks the tension and makes the characters believable by giving them a sense of humor.

Once again, I can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out. Why won’t they stop writing trilogies. Oh, the humanity of it all.

Destiny's Rift: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 2 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Sam Bowring
Sam Bowring lives in Sydney and is a comedian and writer. As well as creating his own stand-up routines, he has written for Rove Live (Network Ten), The Mansion (thecomedychannel), The Big Bite (Channel 7) and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour (Network Ten). He lives in Sydney, Australia.

Destiny's Rift: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 2
Sam Bowring
ISBN 0733624340(978-073-362434-6)
RRP $19.99 April 2010
Hachette Aust Paperback (PB-AFormat)

The blue-haired man is prophesied to end the age-old conflict between the lands, but with his very soul divided in two, much remains uncertain. On the side of light, Bel sets forth on a journey to find the Stone of Evenings Mild, his only hope of reuniting with his darker half, Losara. But the Stone is lost, hidden away by an undead mage of mutable allegiance, in the lair of an insane dragon. Meanwhile Losara has his own problems. The Shadowdreamer wants him dead, but with war coming he must unite his people for the final battle. His plan is to build a weapon that is unstoppable. How can two men fulfil a fate meant for only one? Is hope lost, or is there a way to close destiny's rift?

Review

I was lucky enough to have this book to read after turning the final page of Prophecy’s Ruin. If you’ve read the first book in the trilogy, then you will truly enjoy the second installment. The seamless continuation of the story is impeccable and a riveting read.

Sam has developed an exciting and compelling storyline to keep the tale moving along in a smooth and easy reading novel. It is easy to be drawn into the fantasy world and I really am excited to know if their souls will be united and if so what will happen with each of the lives they are living now and their love interests? Will they ever be united into the one being, will he love both women equally or see them both from different perspectives and love neither? There are just so many questions I want answered now and don’t like the fact I now have to wait for the final novel to come out. I should have waited until all three were available before starting to read this brilliant series.

Destiny's Rift: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 2 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Sam Bowring
Sam Bowring lives in Sydney and is a comedian and writer. As well as creating his own stand-up routines, he has written for Rove Live (Network Ten), The Mansion (thecomedychannel), The Big Bite (Channel 7) and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour (Network Ten). He lives in Sydney, Australia.

Destiny's Rift: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 2
Sam Bowring
ISBN 0733624340(978-073-362434-6)
RRP $19.99 April 2010
Hachette Aust Paperback (PB-AFormat)

The blue-haired man is prophesied to end the age-old conflict between the lands, but with his very soul divided in two, much remains uncertain. On the side of light, Bel sets forth on a journey to find the Stone of Evenings Mild, his only hope of reuniting with his darker half, Losara. But the Stone is lost, hidden away by an undead mage of mutable allegiance, in the lair of an insane dragon. Meanwhile Losara has his own problems. The Shadowdreamer wants him dead, but with war coming he must unite his people for the final battle. His plan is to build a weapon that is unstoppable. How can two men fulfil a fate meant for only one? Is hope lost, or is there a way to close destiny's rift?

Review

I was lucky enough to have this book to read after turning the final page of Prophecy’s Ruin. If you’ve read the first book in the trilogy, then you will truly enjoy the second installment. The seamless continuation of the story is impeccable and a riveting read.

Sam has developed an exciting and compelling storyline to keep the tale moving along in a smooth and easy reading novel. It is easy to be drawn into the fantasy world and I really am excited to know if their souls will be united and if so what will happen with each of the lives they are living now and their love interests? Will they ever be united into the one being, will he love both women equally or see them both from different perspectives and love neither? There are just so many questions I want answered now and don’t like the fact I now have to wait for the final novel to come out. I should have waited until all three were available before starting to read this brilliant series.

Prophecy's Ruin: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 1 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Sam Bowring
Sam Bowring lives in Sydney and is a comedian and writer. As well as creating his own stand-up routines, he has written for Rove Live (Network Ten), The Mansion (thecomedychannel), The Big Bite (Channel 7) and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour (Network Ten). He lives in Sydney, Australia.

Prophecy's Ruin: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 1
Sam Bowring
ISBN 0733624332(978-073-362433-9)
RRP $19.99 April 2010
Hachette Aust Paperback (PB-AFormat)

For a millennium the lands of Kainordas and Fenvarrow have been at war, ever since the gods of shadow and light broke the Great Well of Souls. In the absence of victory, they have settled into an uneasy stalemate - until a prophecy foretells of a child of power who will finally break the balance. Each side races to find the child, and when they do, a battle ensues with unexpected consequences - in a terrible accident, the child's very soul is ripped in two. Each side retreats with their own part of the child, uncertain as to whether they now possess the one capable of finally ending their age-old battle. PROPHECY'S RUIN tells the story of the two boys as they grow to be men. Bel becomes a charismatic though troubled warrior, Losara an enigmatic and thoughtful mage. Both are powerful young men, yet incomplete. As they struggle to discover their place in the world and the shape of their destinies, inevitably each has to ask the ultimate question: will he, one day, have to face himself?

Review

For the breakthrough fantasy novel of an Aussie writer, you couldn’t ask for more. There are too few Australian writers of Fantasy published, especially ones that are this good. I loved the world building that happened in the start of the story. The book is thankfully broken into smaller pieces; the birth, the initial raising, the boy/man at his coming of age. The gaps in between are filled in with memories as the current plot arc continues. The world building is necessary although at times the difference between shadowdreams and reality can be confusing.
I enjoyed the development of the two main characters as they matured and became increasingly interesting as the novel drew me in. Can’t wait to see how their story continues through the next two books.

Sam’s characters are well built and the choice between Bel the Light Warrior and Losara the Shadow Mage to be difficult, each has elements that make the reader want to cheer for them. I want to see them each succeed and I want to see their halves united. The only bad part of this novel was the fact you have to buy the next two as they are addictive. Let’s hope that Sam doesn’t make his series into twelve book epic like David Eddings, (it cost me a fortune to feed that addiction).

Prophecy's Ruin: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 1 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Sam Bowring
Sam Bowring lives in Sydney and is a comedian and writer. As well as creating his own stand-up routines, he has written for Rove Live (Network Ten), The Mansion (thecomedychannel), The Big Bite (Channel 7) and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour (Network Ten). He lives in Sydney, Australia.

Prophecy's Ruin: The Broken Well Trilogy Bk 1
Sam Bowring
ISBN 0733624332(978-073-362433-9)
RRP $19.99 April 2010
Hachette Aust Paperback (PB-AFormat)

For a millennium the lands of Kainordas and Fenvarrow have been at war, ever since the gods of shadow and light broke the Great Well of Souls. In the absence of victory, they have settled into an uneasy stalemate - until a prophecy foretells of a child of power who will finally break the balance. Each side races to find the child, and when they do, a battle ensues with unexpected consequences - in a terrible accident, the child's very soul is ripped in two. Each side retreats with their own part of the child, uncertain as to whether they now possess the one capable of finally ending their age-old battle. PROPHECY'S RUIN tells the story of the two boys as they grow to be men. Bel becomes a charismatic though troubled warrior, Losara an enigmatic and thoughtful mage. Both are powerful young men, yet incomplete. As they struggle to discover their place in the world and the shape of their destinies, inevitably each has to ask the ultimate question: will he, one day, have to face himself?

Review

For the breakthrough fantasy novel of an Aussie writer, you couldn’t ask for more. There are too few Australian writers of Fantasy published, especially ones that are this good. I loved the world building that happened in the start of the story. The book is thankfully broken into smaller pieces; the birth, the initial raising, the boy/man at his coming of age. The gaps in between are filled in with memories as the current plot arc continues. The world building is necessary although at times the difference between shadowdreams and reality can be confusing.
I enjoyed the development of the two main characters as they matured and became increasingly interesting as the novel drew me in. Can’t wait to see how their story continues through the next two books.

Sam’s characters are well built and the choice between Bel the Light Warrior and Losara the Shadow Mage to be difficult, each has elements that make the reader want to cheer for them. I want to see them each succeed and I want to see their halves united. The only bad part of this novel was the fact you have to buy the next two as they are addictive. Let’s hope that Sam doesn’t make his series into twelve book epic like David Eddings, (it cost me a fortune to feed that addiction).

Caressed by Ice: Psy-Changeling #3 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Caressed by Ice: Psy-Changeling #3
Nalini Singh
ISBN 0575095709(978-057-509570-0)
RRP $22.99 June 2010
Gollancz Paperback (198 x 129)

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna... Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives...

Review

If you’ve read the first two books in this series then you’ll be happy with this one. The story continues along nicely and the characters develop further, as does the plot. If you haven’t read the first two books, do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum would say, and pick yourself up a copy.
Nalini Singh is able to make a character like Judd, cold, emotionally unavailable and still make him hot and sexy. The main characters, Brenna and Judd have become better developed and Nalini is really in full swing with her story in this third installment. I like the development of their relationship, so sweet and poignant. I like Judd’s quiet steadiness, Brenna’s stubborn strength, and most especially the powerful, almost inexplicable attraction between two unlike individuals who has fostered a strange friendship that will metamorphosed into a true bonding that will be their salvation.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes the urban fantasy/romance genre.

Caressed by Ice: Psy-Changeling #3 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Caressed by Ice: Psy-Changeling #3
Nalini Singh
ISBN 0575095709(978-057-509570-0)
RRP $22.99 June 2010
Gollancz Paperback (198 x 129)

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna... Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives...

Review

If you’ve read the first two books in this series then you’ll be happy with this one. The story continues along nicely and the characters develop further, as does the plot. If you haven’t read the first two books, do yourself a favour, as Molly Meldrum would say, and pick yourself up a copy.
Nalini Singh is able to make a character like Judd, cold, emotionally unavailable and still make him hot and sexy. The main characters, Brenna and Judd have become better developed and Nalini is really in full swing with her story in this third installment. I like the development of their relationship, so sweet and poignant. I like Judd’s quiet steadiness, Brenna’s stubborn strength, and most especially the powerful, almost inexplicable attraction between two unlike individuals who has fostered a strange friendship that will metamorphosed into a true bonding that will be their salvation.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes the urban fantasy/romance genre.

Unholy Ghosts Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Unholy Ghosts: Downside Ghosts Bk 1
By Stacia Kane
Price: $24.99
On Sale: 1/06/2010
Formats: B Format Paperback
ISBN: 9780007352814
Publisher Web Page: http://www.harpercollins.com.au/books/Unholy-Ghosts-Downside-Bk-1-Stacia-Kane/?isbn=9780007352814


Book Description

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen and constantly attack the living. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Consequently, there are many claims of hauntings from those hoping to profit.

Enter Chess Putnam, a fully-tattooed witch and freewheeling Debunker and ghost hunter. She′s got a real talent for nailing the human liars or banishing the wicked dead. But she′s keeping a dark secret from the Church: a little drug problem that′s landed her in hot and dangerous water.

Chess owes a murderous drug lord named Bump a lot of money. And Bump wants immediate payback. All Chess has to do is dispatch a very nasty species of undead from an old airport. But the job involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and crossing swords with enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls.

Toss in lust with a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump′s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

"Gripping... Vivid characters, superior world-building and a wonderful sense of pace... I was enthralled. The protagonist Chess is a treasure. The characters are complex and indelible, the plot is fascinating, and I can hardly wait for another book..." Charlaine Harris

Review

Unholy Ghosts is a really dark urban fantasy with a very original plot and cast of characters. If you’ve never read an urban fantasy before then Stacia’s trilogy is an excellent introduction in this new world.

The plot is about the Earth in the aftermath of a ghost invasion in 1997. A religious cult known as “the Church of Truth”, saved humanity, but at a great cost. All other current religions died out and the Church of Truth has taken on the role as government, army and salvation. The Church is based on the Truth and they practice it every day with magical rites like banishing and warding spells. Most of the magic is only allowed for church employees and one of those is the main character heroine Chess Putnam.

Chess is a broken woman with many flaws, including being a drug addict of the worst kind. She lives in a Triumph city in a district known as Downside, which is overrun by pimps, drug dealers and dozens of gangs. Chess owes money to a drug dealer and ends up working under the watchful eye of a hired thug called Terrible. Without giving away anymore, I’d say that the adventure and relationship between the two is most entertaining and believable.
The novel flowed so well that I finished it in a day and now have to eagerly await the next two books in the trilogy.

Unholy Ghosts Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Unholy Ghosts: Downside Ghosts Bk 1
By Stacia Kane
Price: $24.99
On Sale: 1/06/2010
Formats: B Format Paperback
ISBN: 9780007352814
Publisher Web Page: http://www.harpercollins.com.au/books/Unholy-Ghosts-Downside-Bk-1-Stacia-Kane/?isbn=9780007352814


Book Description

The world is not the way it was. The dead have risen and constantly attack the living. The powerful Church of Real Truth, in charge since the government fell, has sworn to reimburse citizens being harassed by the deceased. Consequently, there are many claims of hauntings from those hoping to profit.

Enter Chess Putnam, a fully-tattooed witch and freewheeling Debunker and ghost hunter. She′s got a real talent for nailing the human liars or banishing the wicked dead. But she′s keeping a dark secret from the Church: a little drug problem that′s landed her in hot and dangerous water.

Chess owes a murderous drug lord named Bump a lot of money. And Bump wants immediate payback. All Chess has to do is dispatch a very nasty species of undead from an old airport. But the job involves black magic, human sacrifice, a nefarious demonic creature, and crossing swords with enough wicked energy to wipe out a city of souls.

Toss in lust with a rival gang leader and a dangerous attraction to Bump′s ruthless enforcer, and Chess begins to wonder if the rush is really worth it. Hell, yeah.

"Gripping... Vivid characters, superior world-building and a wonderful sense of pace... I was enthralled. The protagonist Chess is a treasure. The characters are complex and indelible, the plot is fascinating, and I can hardly wait for another book..." Charlaine Harris

Review

Unholy Ghosts is a really dark urban fantasy with a very original plot and cast of characters. If you’ve never read an urban fantasy before then Stacia’s trilogy is an excellent introduction in this new world.

The plot is about the Earth in the aftermath of a ghost invasion in 1997. A religious cult known as “the Church of Truth”, saved humanity, but at a great cost. All other current religions died out and the Church of Truth has taken on the role as government, army and salvation. The Church is based on the Truth and they practice it every day with magical rites like banishing and warding spells. Most of the magic is only allowed for church employees and one of those is the main character heroine Chess Putnam.

Chess is a broken woman with many flaws, including being a drug addict of the worst kind. She lives in a Triumph city in a district known as Downside, which is overrun by pimps, drug dealers and dozens of gangs. Chess owes money to a drug dealer and ends up working under the watchful eye of a hired thug called Terrible. Without giving away anymore, I’d say that the adventure and relationship between the two is most entertaining and believable.
The novel flowed so well that I finished it in a day and now have to eagerly await the next two books in the trilogy.

Dracula: The Un-Dead Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Dracula: The Un-Dead
By Dacre and Holt, Ian Stoker

Price: $24.99
On Sale: 15/07/2010
Formats: B Format Paperback

Publisher Link http://www.harpercollins.com.au/books/Dracula-The-Un-Dead-Dacre-and-Holt-Ian-Stoker?isbn=9780007310340&HCHP=TB_Dracula:+The+Un-Dead


Book Description

The story begins in 1912, twenty-five years after the events described in the original novel. Dr. Jack Seward, now a disgraced morphine addict, hunts vampires across Europe with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school to pursue a career in stage at London′s famous Lyceum Theatre.

The production of Dracula at the Lyceum, directed and produced by Bram Stoker, has recently lost its star. Luckily, Quincey knows how to contact the famed Hungarian actor Basarab, who agrees to take the lead role.

Quincey soon discovers that the play features his parents and their former friends as characters, and seems to reveal much about the terrible secrets he′s always suspected them of harbouring. But, before he can confront them, Jonathan Harker is found murdered.

The writers were able to access Bram Stoker′s hand-written notes and have included in their story characters and plot threads that had been excised by the publisher from the original printing over a century ago.

Dracula is one of the most recognized fictional characters in the world, having spawned dozens of multi-media spin-offs. The Un-Dead is the first Dracula story to enjoy the full support of the Stoker estate since the original 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi.

Review

The big drawcard for this novel for many will be the name, and rightly so. The legacy lives on, in more ways than one.

Many people have played with the vampire milieu over the decades with varying degrees of success—giving their own parameters to the vampire worlds they create. I consider Bram Stoker a master of horror and fantasy, and appreciate the rules he set for his vampires. Many of these rule have survived to today's vampire tales, and when they are broken, people tend to get a bit upset. If someone wants to make changes to B. Stoker’s world and rules, it sure better be someone in the Stoker family who has what I consider the right to mess with his or her patriarch’s ideas.

Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of B. Stoker teamed up with a screenwriter, Ian Holt (more on Holt’s probable literary influence in a moment. When the band of heroes that included Mina and Jonathan Harker, Jack Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and Professor Van Helsing, battled the original Count Dracula 25 years before this novel’s opening, they became tainted in ways easy enough for a reader to accept. Jonathan became a raging alcoholic philanderer through his disappointment in Mina’s betrayal. Their marriage is a lifeless mockery of the institution, etc. Now we see what became of the survivors, be it through a decendant of the original author.

If you’re looking for a good vampire story, you can’t beat the original B. Stoker’s Dracula. This D. Stoker sequel is a decent book on its own merits, but the poor author won’t get the benefit of the doubt because he’s got “that name.” When your great-granduncle has a horror award named after him, you have a lot to live up to when you start rewriting pieces of the horror novel that propelled him to fame. From scattered, random gems of excellent writing to a fast-paced second half, D. Stoker has provided an entertaining story that has its moments of frustration and poor proofreading, and its moments of mystery and motion.

Dracula: The Un-Dead Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Dracula: The Un-Dead
By Dacre and Holt, Ian Stoker

Price: $24.99
On Sale: 15/07/2010
Formats: B Format Paperback

Publisher Link http://www.harpercollins.com.au/books/Dracula-The-Un-Dead-Dacre-and-Holt-Ian-Stoker?isbn=9780007310340&HCHP=TB_Dracula:+The+Un-Dead


Book Description

The story begins in 1912, twenty-five years after the events described in the original novel. Dr. Jack Seward, now a disgraced morphine addict, hunts vampires across Europe with the help of a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school to pursue a career in stage at London′s famous Lyceum Theatre.

The production of Dracula at the Lyceum, directed and produced by Bram Stoker, has recently lost its star. Luckily, Quincey knows how to contact the famed Hungarian actor Basarab, who agrees to take the lead role.

Quincey soon discovers that the play features his parents and their former friends as characters, and seems to reveal much about the terrible secrets he′s always suspected them of harbouring. But, before he can confront them, Jonathan Harker is found murdered.

The writers were able to access Bram Stoker′s hand-written notes and have included in their story characters and plot threads that had been excised by the publisher from the original printing over a century ago.

Dracula is one of the most recognized fictional characters in the world, having spawned dozens of multi-media spin-offs. The Un-Dead is the first Dracula story to enjoy the full support of the Stoker estate since the original 1931 movie starring Bela Lugosi.

Review

The big drawcard for this novel for many will be the name, and rightly so. The legacy lives on, in more ways than one.

Many people have played with the vampire milieu over the decades with varying degrees of success—giving their own parameters to the vampire worlds they create. I consider Bram Stoker a master of horror and fantasy, and appreciate the rules he set for his vampires. Many of these rule have survived to today's vampire tales, and when they are broken, people tend to get a bit upset. If someone wants to make changes to B. Stoker’s world and rules, it sure better be someone in the Stoker family who has what I consider the right to mess with his or her patriarch’s ideas.

Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of B. Stoker teamed up with a screenwriter, Ian Holt (more on Holt’s probable literary influence in a moment. When the band of heroes that included Mina and Jonathan Harker, Jack Seward, Arthur Holmwood, and Professor Van Helsing, battled the original Count Dracula 25 years before this novel’s opening, they became tainted in ways easy enough for a reader to accept. Jonathan became a raging alcoholic philanderer through his disappointment in Mina’s betrayal. Their marriage is a lifeless mockery of the institution, etc. Now we see what became of the survivors, be it through a decendant of the original author.

If you’re looking for a good vampire story, you can’t beat the original B. Stoker’s Dracula. This D. Stoker sequel is a decent book on its own merits, but the poor author won’t get the benefit of the doubt because he’s got “that name.” When your great-granduncle has a horror award named after him, you have a lot to live up to when you start rewriting pieces of the horror novel that propelled him to fame. From scattered, random gems of excellent writing to a fast-paced second half, D. Stoker has provided an entertaining story that has its moments of frustration and poor proofreading, and its moments of mystery and motion.

Blue Diablo Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Blue Diablo
Ann Aguirre

8 July 2010, Gollancz, $22.99, original paperback

Corine SolomonBook #1

Right now, I'm a redhead. I've been blonde and brunette as the situation requires, though an unscheduled colour change usually means relocating in the middle of the night. So far, I'm doing well here. Nobody knows what I'm running from.

Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border to Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover and her 'gift' – for Corine is a handler: she can touch something and know its history and sometimes, its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing – and that's why people never stop trying to find her. People like her ex, Chance.

Chance's uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep. He needs her help. Someone dear to them both has gone missing in Laredo, Texas and the only hope of finding her is through Corine's gift. But their search is going to get dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies – and the blackest of black magic.

Blue Diablo is the first in a new series. Devilishly fast-moving, sexy as hell, and with a darkly gripping story: this is paranormal fantasy at its best.

About the Author

Ann Aguirre is a rising star in the paranormal and urban fantasy field. Ann was the winner of the 2008 Pearl Award (Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature) for Best Newcomer. She has been a clown, a clerk, a voice actress and a saviour of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in America, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her family. As well as her bestselling paranormal fantasy and science fiction, she also writes high-octane romances under the pseudonym of Ava Gray.

Review

I liked the novel for what it was, a short urban fantasy in a new series. I think I would have liked this book more if it was stand alone, the new trend is for series of urban fantasy novels, leaving many issues unresolved.

This series centers around Corine Solomon, who is a Handler - someone who can touch an object and recall its past. This means she's really sought after for her skills, but they have a high price for Corine, physically and in other ways. At the start of Blue Diablo Corine is in Mexico, living as an expatriate and not using her special handler talent. The setting for this novel makes it more original than some of the others in the genre at the moment, so that was a big plus and refreshing for me.

I'm hoping that the next in the series will see a more complete story and not a bridge to the next book.

Blue Diablo Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Blue Diablo
Ann Aguirre

8 July 2010, Gollancz, $22.99, original paperback

Corine SolomonBook #1

Right now, I'm a redhead. I've been blonde and brunette as the situation requires, though an unscheduled colour change usually means relocating in the middle of the night. So far, I'm doing well here. Nobody knows what I'm running from.

Eighteen months ago, Corine Solomon crossed the border to Mexico City, fleeing her past, her lover and her 'gift' – for Corine is a handler: she can touch something and know its history and sometimes, its future. Using her ability, she can find the missing – and that's why people never stop trying to find her. People like her ex, Chance.

Chance's uncanny luck has led him to her doorstep. He needs her help. Someone dear to them both has gone missing in Laredo, Texas and the only hope of finding her is through Corine's gift. But their search is going to get dangerous as the trail leads them into a strange dark world of demons and sorcerers, ghosts and witchcraft, zombies – and the blackest of black magic.

Blue Diablo is the first in a new series. Devilishly fast-moving, sexy as hell, and with a darkly gripping story: this is paranormal fantasy at its best.

About the Author

Ann Aguirre is a rising star in the paranormal and urban fantasy field. Ann was the winner of the 2008 Pearl Award (Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature) for Best Newcomer. She has been a clown, a clerk, a voice actress and a saviour of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in America, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her family. As well as her bestselling paranormal fantasy and science fiction, she also writes high-octane romances under the pseudonym of Ava Gray.

Review

I liked the novel for what it was, a short urban fantasy in a new series. I think I would have liked this book more if it was stand alone, the new trend is for series of urban fantasy novels, leaving many issues unresolved.

This series centers around Corine Solomon, who is a Handler - someone who can touch an object and recall its past. This means she's really sought after for her skills, but they have a high price for Corine, physically and in other ways. At the start of Blue Diablo Corine is in Mexico, living as an expatriate and not using her special handler talent. The setting for this novel makes it more original than some of the others in the genre at the moment, so that was a big plus and refreshing for me.

I'm hoping that the next in the series will see a more complete story and not a bridge to the next book.

Night Life: Nocturne City #1 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Night Life: Nocturne City #1
Caitlin Kittredge

ISBN 0575093714(978-057-509371-3)
RRP $22.99 August 2010
Gollancz Paperback (198 x 129)

Nocturne City could be any big city in the US. Poor areas, rampant drugs and violent crime, witches, demons and were creatures. Homicide detective Luna Wilder is investigating the death of a drug addict and comes across a drug that is more a spell than a chemical. A drug that leads her to the centre of a vicious war being fought between witches, a war that threatens to unleash hell on Nocturne City. Backed by a gritty take on crime and a vivid look inside a police department leading a fight against crime out of our worst nightmares the nocturne city novels bring crime to Dark Fantasy

About the Author

Caitlin Kittredge is the author of the Nocturne City series, about a werewolf detective. She collects vintage clothes and lives in Olympia, Washington with her two cats. Previous Books: Pure Blood (Bfmt Sep 10 9780575093737); Night Life (9780575093713)

Review

With the glut of werewolf books on the market, Caitlin Kittredge manages to create a good, dark story that stands apart from the rest.

The main character in this novel, Luna, is well devloped and one tough cookie. Luna is a tough-as-nails cop, who's got a great mouth on her and a talent for landing herself in trouble. She does, however, know when she's gotten herself in a little too deep and isn't so headstrong she doesn't know when to call for help.

One of the areas that gets you thinking is the reference to "the Hex Wars", not enough in this book to let you know in detail what it's about, but does leave the possibility of a spin off novel later on. It is a well-crafted world that is rich with history and there's no point in bogging down the fantastic action with a whole lot of backstory when it's not needed.

My teenage daughter reaaly enjoyed this first installation in a new series and devoured it in one night. Now she's hanging out for the next one.

Night Life: Nocturne City #1 Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Night Life: Nocturne City #1
Caitlin Kittredge

ISBN 0575093714(978-057-509371-3)
RRP $22.99 August 2010
Gollancz Paperback (198 x 129)

Nocturne City could be any big city in the US. Poor areas, rampant drugs and violent crime, witches, demons and were creatures. Homicide detective Luna Wilder is investigating the death of a drug addict and comes across a drug that is more a spell than a chemical. A drug that leads her to the centre of a vicious war being fought between witches, a war that threatens to unleash hell on Nocturne City. Backed by a gritty take on crime and a vivid look inside a police department leading a fight against crime out of our worst nightmares the nocturne city novels bring crime to Dark Fantasy

About the Author

Caitlin Kittredge is the author of the Nocturne City series, about a werewolf detective. She collects vintage clothes and lives in Olympia, Washington with her two cats. Previous Books: Pure Blood (Bfmt Sep 10 9780575093737); Night Life (9780575093713)

Review

With the glut of werewolf books on the market, Caitlin Kittredge manages to create a good, dark story that stands apart from the rest.

The main character in this novel, Luna, is well devloped and one tough cookie. Luna is a tough-as-nails cop, who's got a great mouth on her and a talent for landing herself in trouble. She does, however, know when she's gotten herself in a little too deep and isn't so headstrong she doesn't know when to call for help.

One of the areas that gets you thinking is the reference to "the Hex Wars", not enough in this book to let you know in detail what it's about, but does leave the possibility of a spin off novel later on. It is a well-crafted world that is rich with history and there's no point in bogging down the fantastic action with a whole lot of backstory when it's not needed.

My teenage daughter reaaly enjoyed this first installation in a new series and devoured it in one night. Now she's hanging out for the next one.

Keys to the Repository: Blue Bloods Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Keys to the Repository: Blue Bloods
Melissa de la Cruz
ISBN 1907410325(978-190-741032-1)
RRP $16.99 July 2010
Orbit Paperback (Paperback B Format)

Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Exams. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there's oh-so-much more to know about the beautiful and powerful Blue Bloods. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, lies a wealth of revealing short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters about the vampire elite dating back through time. Won't you come inside?

Publisher's Site http://www.hachette.com.au/books/9781907410321.html

Review

This book is for the diehard fans of the Blue Blood series mainly. It has summaries of each character’s life, in different formats and is a bit hard to follow if you don't know the stories already. It would serve as a good summary if you need to revisit the series before the next book comes out. If you are a follower of Melissa's series then you will most likely find this a nice little appetizer while waiting for the next book to come out. There are some questions raised that get you thinking about where the story is going to go shortly.

I liked the short stories, particularly the sneak peek for Wolf Fact and Dylan’s Story. I did enjoy the new chapters that Melissa provided that hadn't been included in previous books. In the sneak peek of Wolf Fact, Bliss is there. Something about what she said got me thinking that something will happen to her in Misguided Angel.

Keys to the Repository: Blue Bloods Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson


Keys to the Repository: Blue Bloods
Melissa de la Cruz
ISBN 1907410325(978-190-741032-1)
RRP $16.99 July 2010
Orbit Paperback (Paperback B Format)

Lavish parties. Passionate meetings in the night. Bone-chilling murders. Exams. The day-to-day life of Schuyler Van Alen and her Blue Bloods friends (and enemies) is never boring. But there's oh-so-much more to know about the beautiful and powerful Blue Bloods. Below the streets of Manhattan, within the walls of the Repository, lies a wealth of revealing short stories, journal entries, and never-before-seen letters about the vampire elite dating back through time. Won't you come inside?

Publisher's Site http://www.hachette.com.au/books/9781907410321.html

Review

This book is for the diehard fans of the Blue Blood series mainly. It has summaries of each character’s life, in different formats and is a bit hard to follow if you don't know the stories already. It would serve as a good summary if you need to revisit the series before the next book comes out. If you are a follower of Melissa's series then you will most likely find this a nice little appetizer while waiting for the next book to come out. There are some questions raised that get you thinking about where the story is going to go shortly.

I liked the short stories, particularly the sneak peek for Wolf Fact and Dylan’s Story. I did enjoy the new chapters that Melissa provided that hadn't been included in previous books. In the sneak peek of Wolf Fact, Bliss is there. Something about what she said got me thinking that something will happen to her in Misguided Angel.

Infinity Book Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson





INFINITY
Chronicles of Nick: Book 1

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Published JUNE 2010 by Atom $29.99


With over 10 million copies of her books in print, Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the most popular paranormal authors. Now she turns her hand to young adult fiction with the first in an exciting new series - a spin-off series of her bestselling Dark-Hunter series.

<><><><><><>

Teenager Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is renowned. But his whole world is suddenly turned upside down on the night his best friends try to kill him.

Saved by a mysterious warrior, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters - immortal vampire-slayers who risk everything to save humanity - and he quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one that’s filled with all kinds of evil. However, before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students start turning into flesh-eating members of the undead.

Nick knows he’s in real danger and he soon has a lot more to deal with than starting high school: he’s under pressure to hide his new friends from his mother and his chainsaw from the principal while trying to impress the girl he has a crush on ? all without getting grounded, suspended...or killed.

INFINITY is the compelling, thrilling and unputdownable tale of one boy’s journey towards his ultimate destiny.

<><><><><><><>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and award-winning author of several series: the Dark-Hunters; the Lords of Avalon; and the League. She lives with her husband and three sons in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit www.sherrilynkenyon.com


Review

Well if you haven't heard of Sherrilyn Kenyon by now, you must be living under a rock. Her popular Dark Hunter series has been around since 2002, well before the popular fasination with lovely and conflicted vampires all teen girls seem to love these days.

This new series is aimed at a younger market, but still a great read for the older reader already familiar with the existing series.

The story flows along quite well and the pace is brisk. Definetly going to be a popular series for the YA market if the stories continue in line with this new storyline.

Infinity Book Review  

Posted by Scott Wilson





INFINITY
Chronicles of Nick: Book 1

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Published JUNE 2010 by Atom $29.99


With over 10 million copies of her books in print, Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the most popular paranormal authors. Now she turns her hand to young adult fiction with the first in an exciting new series - a spin-off series of her bestselling Dark-Hunter series.

<><><><><><>

Teenager Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is renowned. But his whole world is suddenly turned upside down on the night his best friends try to kill him.

Saved by a mysterious warrior, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters - immortal vampire-slayers who risk everything to save humanity - and he quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one that’s filled with all kinds of evil. However, before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students start turning into flesh-eating members of the undead.

Nick knows he’s in real danger and he soon has a lot more to deal with than starting high school: he’s under pressure to hide his new friends from his mother and his chainsaw from the principal while trying to impress the girl he has a crush on ? all without getting grounded, suspended...or killed.

INFINITY is the compelling, thrilling and unputdownable tale of one boy’s journey towards his ultimate destiny.

<><><><><><><>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and award-winning author of several series: the Dark-Hunters; the Lords of Avalon; and the League. She lives with her husband and three sons in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit www.sherrilynkenyon.com


Review

Well if you haven't heard of Sherrilyn Kenyon by now, you must be living under a rock. Her popular Dark Hunter series has been around since 2002, well before the popular fasination with lovely and conflicted vampires all teen girls seem to love these days.

This new series is aimed at a younger market, but still a great read for the older reader already familiar with the existing series.

The story flows along quite well and the pace is brisk. Definetly going to be a popular series for the YA market if the stories continue in line with this new storyline.

Rob Scott Interview  

Posted by Scott Wilson






Scott: Your new novel, 15 Miles, is very different from the Eldarn Sequence, the epic fantasy co-written with Jay Gordon, and collection of comedy stories – The Great M&M Caper. Tell us a bit about 15 Miles.

Rob:15 Miles is a crime/horror novel that takes place over a thirty-hour period one July fourth weekend near Richmond, Virginia. It’s a story about the myriad poisons that manage to get into our bloodstream and the paths our lives take afterward. Guilt, frustration, anxiety, lust, self-doubt and loathing, not to mention alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, OxyCodone, and even, sometimes, Yersinia pestis: old-time, knock-‘em-dead plague. Samuel “Sailor” Doyle, the novel’s flawed hero, is tragically addicted to most of this list. He drinks, smokes, sneaks pills, chases women and wrestles with enough self-esteem issues to leave him groping, nearly numb, through his rookie year as a Virginia State Police homicide detective. When the book opens, however, he doesn’t have the plague. Not yet.

During his first solo investigation, an apparent double homicide on a rural family farm fifteen miles outside Richmond, Sailor discovers an elderly couple, both grimly mutilated and interred in makeshift tombs full of cat litter. The bodies are surrounded by dozens of ravenous housecats, vicious sentinels ravaging the farm’s livestock. Missing is the couple’s fifty year-old daughter, Molly, a woman with a severe cognitive disability and a case of septicemic plague. Molly may be the innocent victim of an unfortunate pandemic, or she might be an oblivious biological weapon about to be unleashed on the Atlantic seaboard. Sailor’s job is to solve the murders and find Molly before she encounters anyone and kicks off a regional epidemic. Where Molly is traveling and how Sailor finds her is just the beginning for readers, however. Sailor’s weekend is complicated by the discovery of a forty-year-old connection between one of the mutilated bodies and a US senator and presidential hopeful, stumping through Virginia that very weekend. The murders end up being something else entirely and Molly’s disappearance only makes sense when Sailor comes to grips with the poisons flooding his own bloodstream.


Scott:How would you describe the process of writing a novel on your own compared to in collaboration?

Rob:The experiences are too different to compare. I worked on the Eldarn books as a way to keep Jay Gordon engaged while his body slowly succumbed to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Telling Stephen and Mark’s story was something Jay looked forward to most days, but that undertaking was just one of a variety of things family and friends did to help ease his suffering, particularly in his last months. Looking back on it now, it ranks among the most important and meaningful things I’ve done in my lifetime. It wasn’t Tuesdays With Morrie by a couple touchdowns, however. My mother-in-law simply refused to have any grief, negativity, or hopelessness in her house throughout Jay’s illness. The Eldarn books are a massive campfire story. When Jay and I were in the mood for mystery, we wrote mystery. When we wanted horror, we added horror. The process went on for so long, the books emerged as a quilt of styles and genres. We didn’t do much of it terribly well, though, and I owe Jo Fletcher at Gollancz for cleaning up those manuscripts.

Writing 15 Miles, I was more selfish, scribbling when I felt like it, researching and editing at my own pace, and keeping the manuscript under wraps until it was ready for my wife to pick it apart, start to finish. Writing The Eldarn Sequence, I’d scratch out a few paragraphs on a stack of cocktail napkins, and they’d make the family rounds before I had time to get them typed. So many people followed the Eldarn stories as they emerged, the conversations, questions, plans, research, and manuscript drafts were emailed around, passed back and forth, and shared with Jay’s visitors and nurses. It was fun process but quite different from the more traditional approach I’ve been able to take with Sailor Doyle and 15 Miles.

Scott:Did you find it restrictive writing a crime/supernatural story in the modern-day world as opposed to the shift between the fantasy world Eldarn and Earth?

Rob:Sailor Doyle is a character I’ve wanted to create for a few years but had no room for him in The Eldarn Sequence. Eldarn and all of Eldarn’s magic would have ruined him. He’d have got wind of the fact that there was magic about, solving or complicating problems, and he’d have wandered dejectedly away to sleep off a bender. Sailor has nothing special about him at all, certainly no magic. So when he succeeds, after numerous failures, we appreciate his fundamental good heartedness and his determination. Granted, on the surface, he’s a train wreck, but his resilient will to see the investigation through, despite its burgeoning complexity and danger, makes him a compelling character for me.

I especially enjoyed telling Sailor’s story, in Sailor’s voice. As a public school principal, I live about as far from Sailor’s world as one person can get. I’ve never snorted ground OxyContin, cheated on my wife, drank myself into a stupor before driving home, and I certainly never shot religious zealots with a Glock .45. Writing 15 Miles was a welcome change for me. I had spent nearly ten years wandering in Eldarn, writing the third-person, epic adventures of dozens of larger-than-life characters. Transitioning from The Eldarn Sequence, I was happy to trim the fat, to write in first person, and to narrow the story’s spotlight to a handful of characters. It forced me to focus on how I develop characters, simply because I had so few of them to carry the novel. Nearly a year after finishing the first draft, I heard from my publisher that she was interested in a sequel. Working on that manuscript now, I’m glad I took the time to ensure that each of the main players in 15 Miles made sense to me as a fleshed-out adult. It makes scribbling volume two of Sailor’s life that much easier.

Scott:Your story has been compared with Stephen King’s “The Stand”. Apart from the Yersinia pestis plague in “15 Miles”, and Captain Trips in “The Stand”, I think they are worlds apart. How do you feel about this comparison?

Rob:I think most horror/fantasy writers secretly long for the day when their work is compared with something from King’s laundry list of national, international, and intergalactic bestsellers. I’d be lying if I claimed I never considered it myself. Yet, apart from a few thematic elements, I find the books more different than similar. The Stand is an apocalyptic story about a superflu that wipes out most of the people on Earth. It’s epic, omniscient, and constructed on a scale to rival The Lord of the Rings. The Captain Trips virus is a varsity player in the novel. (Thirty years later my mother still describes the attack of the shivers she endured while reading the bit in the Lincoln Tunnel.) 15 Miles is a first-person story, told by a stoned, alcoholic cop. The plague bacteria, while a clear and incipient threat, remain in the background, waiting for Sailor to give up, to slink back to the bar, or to abandon his search for Molly Bruckner. The only reason much of the Atlantic seaboard isn’t wiped out by pneumonic or septicemic plague is Sailor’s dogged pursuit of justice for the Bruckner family. Sailor Doyle might have existed as a chapter in The Stand, a first-person snapshot of the devastation going on around the world. Personally, I think he would have gotten along well with Larry Underwood.

I read The Stand over twenty-five years ago, and then listened to the audio version a couple years back while training for a marathon. I love the story, and consider Randall Flagg one of the best villains I’ve encountered in my lifetime. One of my favorite chapters is when Mother Abigail sends Stu, Larry, Glen, and Ralph, on foot, from Boulder, Colorado to face Flagg and his followers in Las Vegas. They leave with nothing – no weapons, horses, food, money, or juiced-up NFL linebackers to protect them. I’m not sure why, but that directive always bothered me about Mother Abigail. Knowing they were probably going to get their asses kicked, she sent them anyway. And they went. As a fourteen year-old kid reading The Stand for the first time, I read Mother Abigail’s directive and felt like it was Christianity gone wrong. In 15 Miles, Sailor Doyle has a similar experience. After vomiting, having his head shaved, and trading his clothes for Old Testament robes (well, NY Mets surgical scrubs), Sailor travels, on foot, across fifteen miles of Virginia wilderness. On the way, he suffers significant trials, encounters zealots who try to convert him, rides a broken-down donkey (okay, an old farm truck), and maybe sees or maybe hallucinates a fireworks display in the skies over Ashland. He seeks knowledge from an elderly sage and redemption from his wife, and all of this before risking his life to save an innocent woman, to stop a plague, to bring closure to a restless soul . . . who the hell knows. Is Sailor’s journey Christianity gone wrong? I think so. Is it enough to draw a comparison to The Stand? Probably not, but I hope that doesn’t deter anyone from hustling out to get a copy!


Scott:As a high school principal, have you had any adverse reactions from parents about writing a horror/supernatural novel, with Part I titled: “OxyContin, Scotch, Cigarettes, and Sarah,” featuring an OxyContin-popping, obscenity-prone detective who rants about not caring about drug offenses and bemoans child pornography investigations because they make him feel “slimy”?

Rob: Not yet. But I’m worried about it. I fear that one chapter into Sailor’s adventures, parents in the community will say, “Wait a minute, the kids’ principal wrote this slop? Get the Superintendent on the phone!”

Most days I keep my life as a principal and my life as a scribbler separate. It’s easy to do in a high school. So many issues, phone messages, and emails come across my desk, by 9:00 am I’ve generally forgotten that I write novels at all. It’s one of the pleasant reminders I offer myself on the ride home: “Hey, wait a minute, I’ve got a story to tell. Life isn’t that bad!” The community and school board are supportive of me, and while parents may wince at some of Sailor’s antics, I’m confident they’ll recognize that I’m not chasing women around Richmond or beating illegal OxyContin out of street thugs.

Here’s hoping, anyway.


Scott:The basis of “15 Miles” came as the result of research of the legends of the haunted Jefferson Hotel. Tell us about this experience.

Rob: For anyone who hasn’t been to Richmond, the Jefferson is an imposing edifice that rises above Franklin and West Main Streets. I understand the Sunday brunch is an epicurean adventure, but my wife and I rarely have enough extra cash for quail’s egg soufflé, pheasant, and bobó de camarão– whatever the hell that is. Actually, most Sunday mornings, we either eat pancakes from a Styrofoam container or something that’s been microwaved – yup, it’s a verb at our house – to the consistency of a hockey puck.

We’d visited the Jefferson a few times, checking out the ice sculptures and reading the sundry placards noting which aristocratic family had donated what rare ceramic cereal bowl. On one trip, I grabbed a pamphlet describing a few of the legends, ghosts, fables and outright lies told about the old hotel. (Nope, neither Gone With the Wind’s stairway scene nor the community dance were filmed on site, much to my disappointment.) Sneaking upstairs or into a few of the Jefferson’s hidden nooks and crannies, I was hooked. I planned to use the hotel in the opening chapter of the fourth Eldarn Sequence novel. I imagined Stephen Taylor and Mark Jenkins attending Lessek’s funeral at the Jefferson and hearing a prepared testament the former Larion Senator had written before dying. They’d soon realize that his last words were a coded mystery leading the crew back to Eldarn to solve the puzzle, find the treasure, save the fledgling democracy, and discover an all-water route to the West Indies . . . who knows.

Anyway, on my way home from Richmond one afternoon, I tried to find a back way to Lake Anna, a weekend boating mecca about halfway between my house and the Jefferson. Fifteen miles outside the city, I was hopelessly lost and regretting my decision to trust my internal compass (I don’t have one). Staggered at the reality that I could be so close to the capital city and yet surrounded on all sides by nothing . . . let’s say that again: nothing . . . but tobacco and soybean fields, a pre-Columbian Calvary Baptist Church, and a block-and-tarpaper hovel that clearly doubled as a Satanic temple or a meth lab. I drove around for a couple hours, allowing my thoughts to leave Stephen and Mark in Eldarn and to modulate to Sailor Doyle, a rookie cop working his first solo gig, right here in antediluvian Goochland County (St. James County in the novel). I couldn’t resist the urge to add the Jefferson Hotel to 15 Miles, but used it instead as the site of a critical stump speech for a Republican presidential candidate with ties to the corpses on the Bruckner farm.

Scott: What was the decision behind leaving out the Vietnam Chapter?

Rob: I have a great agent and a talented, veteran editor. When only one of them tells me to cut something out, I might try to fight the issue, stand my ground, and maybe preserve a bit of my creative ego (Right: I keep it next to my internal compass).

When both of them tell me, in separate letters, that a chapter has to be rewritten, reworked, or simply bagged, burned, and buried, I’ve learned to shut up and follow along. Editing The Hickory Staff took a year and a half, partly because Jay and I didn’t know much about writing fiction, but mostly because I decided to fight my editor on so many miniscule and insignificant details that thinking back on it I’m embarrassed. The fact that Jo Fletcher didn’t beat me senseless is a damned miracle, and if she’d had the wiggle room on her expense account there were probably days when she considered flying to the US for just that purpose.

Editing 15 Miles I didn’t fight them on too many points. My one deal breaker, however, was that I needed readers to get to know Marie Doyle, Sailor’s sister, from a perspective other than Sailor’s first-person guilt. Early drafts of the manuscript had a third-person flashback scene in which Marie and her friends die in a car accident on the Columbia – Portland Bridge across the Delaware River and another in which Carl Bruckner loses his leg in the hills outside Pleiku, South Vietnam. I felt that they were two important chapters, both providing a third-person perspective on a key character influencing Sailor Doyle’s investigation. My editor and agent allowed me to keep the third-person look at Marie Doyle, but suggested that the Vietnam bit was too long and too distracting an interruption in Sailor’s tale.

Naturally, they were right. Again.

But I’ve posted the deleted chapter at www.sailordoyle.com as an ancillary bit of scribble. It’s not really a coda as much as it’s another perspective on Carl Bruckner. I strongly suggest reading the novel first, however. There are significant spoilers in that chapter.