Posts Tagged ‘david b. coe’

In all actuality, yesterday was new release day, and while I tweeted, finding time to post my blog was beyond me. Today, after an early start and multiple cups of coffee, I’m pleased to present this week’s new releases! (Although my own, Revamped, is technically a 4/30 release, so you’ll probably hear from me again next week!)

Anyway, this week seems to have a theme: blades and blood!

blade bound.png BLADE BOUND by Chloe Neill, Berkley (Amazon, B&N, Kobo)

“Major kudos to Neill for a series of unforgettable adventures!” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Star Top Pick! Rating

The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it might usher in the fall of Cadogan House….  

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation into a vampire, Merit has stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire who seems to be under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have imagined. As malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It is her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite

Friday Night Bites

Twice Bitten

Hard Bitten

Drink Deep

Biting Cold

House Rules

Biting Bad

Wild Things

Blood Games

Dark Debt

Midnight Marked

Blade Bound

* And stories: High Stakes (Luc & Lindsey Short Story), Howling For You (Jeff & Fallon Novella), Lucky Break (Ethan & Merit Novella), Phantom Kiss (Ethan & Merit Novella)

shadows blade SHADOW’S BLADE by David B. Coe, Baen Books mass market reissue (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo)

“Coe balances wit and drama, gives his female characters plenty of agency, and even throws in a bit of The Maltese Falcon via a powerful object everyone desires. This noir-tinged urban fantasy with real-feeling magic and multiple moral quandaries is highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly

Book #3 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, the critically acclaimed contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective fights dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste and a private detective. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. His battles with insanity have already cost him his job as a cop; he can’t afford to let them interfere with his latest case.

Phoenix has become ground zero in a magical war, and an army of werecreatures, blood sorcerers, and necromancers has made Jay its number one target. When he is hired to track down a woman who has gone missing with her two young children, he has a hunch that the dark ones are to blame. But then he’s also brought in by the police to help with a murder investigation, and all the evidence implicates this same woman. Soon he is caught up in a deadly race to find not only the young family, but also an ancient weapon that could prove decisive in the looming conflict. Can he keep himself alive long enough to reach the woman and her kids before his enemies do? And can he claim the weapon before the people he loves, and the world he knows, are lost in a storm of flame, blood, and darkest sorcery?

The Case Files of Justis Fearsson

Spell Blind

His Father’s Eyes

Shadow’s Blade

REVAMPED new cover REVAMPED by Lucienne Diver, Lore Seekers Press (Amazon, Barnes & Noble)

“This is a witty vampire romance/adventure with plenty of heart and action. Diver has written a supernatural sequel to Vamped that will attract even reluctant readers.”   —VOYA, reviewed by Ava Ehde

Revamped by Lucienne Diver was witty, sweet, and just dark enough to ignite my morbid taste buds.” —Bitten by Books

After surviving super spy club training, Gina, Bobby and their fanged friends are sent on their first mission—undercover at a New York high school where some seriously weird stuff is going down. As excited as Gina is to get out of spook central, she’s less than impressed with her new identity as goth-girl Geneva Belfry. No color palette to speak of—more chains than a bike rack—and don’t even get her started on the shoes. About the only thing she can say for her all-black wardrobe is that it’s great for hiding blood spatter and other fashion faux pas.

And there will be blood.

Kids at the high school are going crazy—sudden outbreaks of violence, kids sleepwalking through school or dropping out entirely. Serious magic surges have been detected in the area, along with a mysterious and nearly mythic figure . . . someone who should be long dead and at least thrice buried.

Some legends just won’t die.

Vamped series

Vamped

Revamped

Fangtastic (new edition forthcoming)

Fangtabulous (new edition forthcoming)

Fangdemonium (all-new novel forthcoming!)

David B. Coe won the William L. Crawford Memorial Award for best new fantasy author for his The LonTobyn Chronicles back in 1999. Since then he’s gone on to publish the Winds of the Forelands and Blood of the Southlands fantasy series with Tor Books, the Case Files of Justis Fearsson (SPELL BLIND, HIS FATHER’S EYES and SHADOW’S BLADE) with Baen Books and his Thieftaker historical fantasy series described as “Sam Adams meets the Dresden Files” under the pseudonym D.B. Jackson (also Tor). Kirkus Reviews calls his work “innovative and engaging” as well as “thoroughly engrossing”. His work has also been called “amazing” (Kat Richardson), “evocative and captivating” (AuthorLink) and “a tour de force” (Faith Hunter). I could, of course, go on and on.

David and I have worked together for lo these many years, and he’s recently come full circle with his very first novel, CHILDREN OF AMARID, just reissued and the sequels, THE OUTLANDERS and EAGLE-SAGE also in the works. Thus, I asked him, as a veteran of the industry, what he’s learned between then and now, and he’s here to share his insight!

__________

children-of-amerid I have recently edited and reissued my very first novel, Children of Amarid, the opening volume in my LonTobyn Chronicle. I call this reissue the Author’s Edit (like the Director’s Cut of a movie) because I took the opportunity to fix many of the first-novel flaws I saw in the book and have wanted to edit out since its publication. It’s not that the book as originally written was bad. Children of Amarid established me commercially and critically, and the series won me the Crawford Fantasy Award. But still, those rookie mistakes bugged me; fixing them has been great fun, not to mention satisfying. The Author’s Edits of the second and third books, The Outlanders and Eagle-Sage, will be released in October and December.

Children of Amarid was first published in 1997, which is a really, really long time ago. The person who wrote that book must be, you know, old. Not “Rime-of-the-Ancient-Mariner” old, but at least venerable. Perhaps even vintage. Certainly grizzled.

I’m not sure I was ever the Hot New Thing in Fantasy, but if I was, I’m definitely not anymore, and haven’t been for a while. On the other hand, at this point I’m a Survivor, someone who’s Been Around Forever and Seen It All. And I suppose that’s kind of cool.

The fact is, I have seen a lot. The publishing industry isn’t known for being particularly quick to change, and yet over the course of my career I’ve seen remarkable transformations touching on everything from stylistic norms of writing, to genre and subgenre categories, to the way books are sold and read.

I started writing Children of Amarid in 1993 and sold the novel to Tor Books in the spring of 1994, based on five chapters and an outline. (Because the book wasn’t finished, needed a good deal of editing, and then had to be slotted into Tor’s publication schedule, it took another three years for it to be published.) I bring up these dates because 1993 and 1994 were significant years in publishing in general and speculative fiction in particular.

But let me back up just a bit. When I first published my LonTobyn books, I did what every writer would do automatically today: I created a website. The thing is, when I did it websites were a big deal. I would tell people I was a writer and would get in response the 1990s version of “Meh.” But when I then added that I had my own website, people would be, like, “Oooohhhh! You have a website?!” As if I’d said, “I have a unicorn.” But already the world was changing. In 1994, as I was signing my contract with Tor and finishing my book, some guy out in Seattle was starting an online bookstore unlike any we’d seen before. The guy’s name was Jeff Bezos, and he called his store Amazon.

The LonTobyn Chronicle is alternate world epic fantasy, because back in 1993 when I started it, that’s what I loved to read and that’s what I assumed people meant when they talked about “fantasy.” But that same year a book came out that would change “fantasy” forever, and would influence profoundly the course of my writing career. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Guilty Pleasures, the first of her Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels, ushered in a new trend in speculative fiction, introducing readers to what we now think of as urban fantasy. Hamilton’s books combined horror, noir detective stories, and romance in a way that made possible the novels of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Faith Hunter, Patricia Briggs, and so many others, including my Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy series that I write as D.B. Jackson, and my Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy that I write under my own name.

What about those stylistic changes I mentioned? When I got into the business, editors and writers were just moving away from two things that authors used a ton in the 70s and 80s and use very little now: omniscient point of view and said bookisms. The former is a narrative voice in which the author gives readers access to the thoughts and emotions of several characters at a time, something we now refer to, and not kindly, as head-hopping. Said bookisms are those words we use in dialog attribution instead of “said” or “asked.” “He opined,” “she growled,” “he hissed,” “she inquired,” etc. Again, in today’s market, these are considered a sign of poor writing, of “telling” rather than “showing.” Looking through books published in the 80s and 90s, you’ll also find far more adverbs than you would in a book published today. Literary style, like car design and clothes fashion, changes over time.

In the early 2000s, bookstores decided that they wanted to fit more books on their shelves and keep book price points at a certain level, and so they told publishers that they preferred shorter novels. My first five novels — the three LonTobyn books and the first two volumes of my Winds of the Forelands series — each came in at over 200,000 words. Now my publisher wanted to know if I could cut the remaining two Forelands books in half. I couldn’t, but I was able to find a way to turn the two remaining novels in the series into three somewhat shorter books. My Blood of the Southlands books came in at 140,000 words. My Thieftaker and Fearsson novels are all between 100,000 and 110,000.

Of course, with the advent of ebooks, book length has become less of an issue. Big books are back in style — ask George R.R. Martin, or Patrick Rothfuss, or any number of others who are writing novels to rival the length of the epic fantasies I remember reading in my twenties. In many respects, digital books have brought on a publishing revolution that goes far beyond book length — widespread self-publishing, e-readers that can hold entire libraries and fit in a pocket, a resurgence in short fiction markets. And yet, in other ways, digital books have had less impact than one might have expected. According to some forecasts made a decade ago, paper books were supposed to be extinct by now. Just like vinyl records . . . Yeah, just like. Instead, they continue to make up more than half of all book sales in the United States. People, it turns out, like to read traditional books. Most readers are hybrids, using ebook readers for convenience, but maintaining a paper library for those books they truly love.

Charting the changes that have overtaken the publishing world in the past twenty years could fill a book of its own — a big one. And this post is already long enough. But I would leave you with a couple of thoughts. Despite the evolution of — and revolution in — publishing that we hear so much about, notwithstanding predictions of doom and gloom for the written word, several essential truths persist: Good stories continue to sell; compelling, well-conceived characters continue to drive every good story; and previously unpublished writers continue to fascinate us with new, exciting characters.

Books can take us everywhere, and with ereaders, we can do the same with them. But the written word isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay.

*****
 GIVEAWAY!

David is giving away a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card (winner’s choice), or one of two copies of CHILDREN OF THE AMARID. Open to US residents only. Click here for the Rafflecopter giveaway!

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Before I get to my Happy Book Birthdays, I wanted to boost a signal on a great list by BookRiot of 100 Must-Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors!  It’s not all-inclusive, but it’s a great place to start and lists, among others:

FLESH AND SPIRIT by Carol Berg

THE KILLING MOON by N.K. Jemisin

LUCK IN THE SHADOWS by Lynn Flewelling

SLAVE TO SENSATION by Nalini Singh

Highly recommended!

And now, the awesome new releases.  First up, a belated Happy Book Birthday for WHISPER OF SHADOWS by Diana Pharaoh Francis!

Whisper of Shadows WHISPER OF SHADOWS by Diana Pharaoh Francis (Bell Bridge Books, April 2016)

Book #3 in the Diamond City Magic series

Other series titles: TRACE OF MAGICTRACE OF MAGIC, EDGE OF DREAMS

“Good pacing, a complex and layered plot, and intriguing characters illustrate why the author delivers such amazing reads!” -Jill Smith, Rt Book Reviews on Edge of Dreams

“Wonderfully fun read! The perfect mix of magic, sleuthing, action, and romance—with a likeable, wise-cracking heroine in a dangerous, well-developed world. I couldn’t put it down.” —Barb Hendee, Co-Author of the Noble Dead Saga on Trace of Magic

War is coming . . .

When the FBI uses an antimagic law to arrest and torture Riley’s boyfriend, they have no idea what hell they are about to unleash. If Riley can’t rescue Clay before he breaks, the result will be a disaster of epic proportions.

With time running out, Riley and her family must rely on two people more likely to stab them in the back than actually help. And, even if Riley manages the rescue, she’s still got to deal with two kidnappings and the return of her dad from the dead-the same dad who’d been willing to see her dead to protect his secrets.

What’s a girl to do? Kick ass, take names, and protect those she cares about at all costs.

And today’s lovely new releases!

shadows blade SHADOWS BLADE by David B. Coe (Baen Books, May 2016)

Book #3 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson

Other series titles: SPELL BLIND, HIS FATHER’S EYES

“Coe balances wit and drama, gives his female characters plenty of agency, and even throws in a bit of The Maltese Falcon via a powerful object everyone desires. This noir-tinged urban fantasy with real-feeling magic and multiple moral quandaries is highly recommended.”—Publishers Weekly

Book #3 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, the critically acclaimed contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective fights dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste and a private detective. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. His battles with insanity have already cost him his job as a cop; he can’t afford to let them interfere with his latest case.

Phoenix has become ground zero in a magical war, and an army of werecreatures, blood sorcerers, and necromancers has made Jay its number one target. When he is hired to track down a woman who has gone missing with her two young children, he has a hunch that the dark ones are to blame. But then he’s also brought in by the police to help with a murder investigation, and all the evidence implicates this same woman. Soon he is caught up in a deadly race to find not only the young family, but also an ancient weapon that could prove decisive in the looming conflict. Can he keep himself alive long enough to reach the woman and her kids before his enemies do? And can he claim the weapon before the people he loves, and the world he knows, are lost in a storm of flame, blood, and darkest sorcery?

durotan WARCRAFT: DUROTAN: The Official Movie Prequel by Christie Golden, story by Chris Metzen (Titan, May 2016)

In the world of Draenor, the strong and fiercely independent Frostwolf Clan are faced with increasingly harsh winters and thinning herds. When Gul’dan, a mysterious outsider, arrives in Frostfire Ridge offering word of new hunting lands, Durotan, the Clan’s chieftain, must make an impossible decision: abandon the territory, pride and traditions of his people, or lead them into the unknown.

An original tale of survival, conflict and magic that leads directly into the events of Warcraft, an epic adventure from Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures, based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon.

I’ve been neck deep in contracts/legalese and foreign tax forms this week and so am a bit slow with my happy book birthdays and congratulations, though if you follow me on Twitter (@luciennediver) you’ll already be up-to-date.  But to catch you all up here…

CRUX paperback I’m thrilled to congratulate Ramez Naam for winning the Philip K. Dick Award for APEX, the amazing conclusion to his NEXUS trilogy.  NEXUS itself, the first book in the series, won Endeavor Award along with Ken Scholes’ novel REQUIEM and the Prometheus Award along with Cory Doctorow‘s HOMELAND.  There’s other wonderful news in the wind for this series.  Can’t wait to announce!

For those who haven’t seen it yet, the new Knight Agency newsletter is out with all kinds of good stuff, including our regular Agents of the Round Table feature.

I’m very pleased to wish happy book birthdays to Susan Krinard and to David B. Coe for their paperback publications this week of BATTLESTORM and HIS FATHER’S EYES respectively!  More info below:

battlestorm BATTLESTORM by Susan Krinard (Tor Books)

Battlestorm: an all-new urban fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Susan Krinard, author of Mist and Black Ice.

Centuries ago, the Norse gods and goddesses fought their Last Battle with the trickster god Loki and his frost giants. All were believed lost, except for a few survivors…including the Valkyrie Mist, forgotten daughter of the goddess Freya.

But the battle isn’t over, and Mist–living a mortal life in San Francisco–is at the center of a new war, with the fate of the Earth hanging in the balance. As old enemies and allies reappear around the city, Mist must determine who to trust, while learning to control her own growing power.

It will take all of Mist’s courage, determination, and newfound magical abilities to stop Loki before history repeats itself.

 

his father's eyes HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe (Baen Books)

Book #2 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective battles dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. He’s also a private detective, who can’t afford to take time off from his latest investigation while his sanity goes AWOL.

A legion of dark sorcerers has descended on Phoenix, wreaking havoc in the blistering desert heat. With the next moon phasing approaching, Jay has to figure out what connects a billionaire financier and a vicious drug kingpin to an attempted terrorist attack, a spate of ritual killings, and the murder of a powerful runemyste. And he has to do it fast. Because these same dark sorcerers have nearly killed the woman he loves and have used their spells to torment Jay’s father. Now they have Jay in their crosshairs, and with his death they intend to extend their power over the entire magicking world. But Jay has other plans, and no intention of turning his city, or those he loves, over to the enemy.

dead man's reachhis father's eyes

David B. Coe has had two new releases out in the past few weeks:

DEAD MAN’S REACH, his latest Thieftaker novel written as D.B. Jackson, which Bookish chose as one of the Week’s Hottest Releases: 7/19-7/25.

HIS FATHER’S EYES, second book in The Casefiles of Justis Fearsson, which Kirkus Reviews named one of The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books Coming Out in August.

In other words, David is a brilliant and prolific writer, and is here today guest blogging about…

“Point of View, Narrative, and My Newest Book,” by David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson

Many thanks to Lucienne for hosting me; it’s great to be here.

I am just completing what may be the busiest phase in my eighteen years as a professional writer. Two days ago, Baen Books released HIS FATHER’S EYES, the second volume in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy I’m writing under my own name. Two weeks before that, Tor Books released DEAD MAN’S REACH, the fourth book in the Thieftaker Chronicles, which I write under the name D.B. Jackson. And during the course of this summer I have also had three short stories published, all while attending conventions and teaching at writers’ workshops. As any author knows, busy is good, and I have been very fortunate.

The Fearsson series began with SPELL BLIND, which came out in January of this year. It’s a departure from my previous work in a couple of ways. It’s my first contemporary work. The Thieftaker books draw on my history background and are set in pre-Revolutionary Boston, and the epic fantasies I published before I began to write historical fantasy were all set in medieval worlds. The Fearsson books, on the other hand are set in modern day Phoenix. My magical private investigator hero drives a car and carries a firearm. He uses a cell phone and a computer, he speaks like you and I do, he swears occasionally, he has a girlfriend, he likes jazz and baseball and Mexican food. In other words, after writing point of view characters whose lives barely resembled mine at all, I finally have a protagonist I can relate to on all sorts of levels.

Which may be why Justis Fearsson — Jay, for short — is also the first point of view character for a novel that I’ve written in first person. When I started in the business, writing in first person point of view was frowned upon. Editors didn’t like it, so writers tended to stay away from it. In more recent years, though, with the success of first person novels (Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson books, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock books, C.E. Murphy’s Walker Papers, Susanne Collins’ Hunger Games books, just to name a few) this has started to change.

The truth is, I love writing in first person. I wouldn’t want to do it with all my books. It wouldn’t work in a big epic fantasy, with multiple point of view characters, nor was it the right choice for the Thieftaker books. For those, I chose close third person, which provided just enough narrative distance between protagonist and reader to allow me to explain key historical elements. These moments of brief exposition would have sounded awkward in first person.

With the Fearsson books, though, there is less to explain. And the intimacy of the first person narrative draws my readers in, allowing them to experience all that Jay experiences. This is particularly important for this series, which has an unusual magic system. Jay Fearsson is a weremyste. He is a runecrafter, who can cast a variety of powerful spells. But every month, on the night of the full moon and the nights immediately before and after, he goes temporarily mad, even as his power grows. So at the exact moment when he most needs to control his magic, he is least capable of doing so. Eventually the cumulative effect of these moon phasings will drive him permanently insane, as they have his father, who is also a weremyste.

The moon-induced madness that Jay goes through in the books would be compelling in any narrative voice, but in first person the phasings become a viscerally harrowing ordeal, which is exactly what I want. In addition, the immediacy of first person POV enhances the dramatic impact of Jay’s investigations of magical murders, enabling my readers to share in his discoveries and to experience “first hand” the twists and turns my plotting.

We writers have many tools at our disposal: metaphor and simile, dialog and internal monologue, misdirection and foreshadowing, to name just a few. To my mind, point of view is the most powerful. Using the perspectives of our POV characters — their emotions and perceptions and intellects — we guide our readers through our narratives, showing them not only what happens, but also the potential meaning of each new event. Point of view is, in essence, the point where narrative and character arc intersect.

This is why the choice of the proper narrative voice is so important. The Fearsson books would work in third person, rather than first, and I could probably rewrite the Thieftaker books in first person and they would remain good reads. But for reasons I’ve already covered, those are not the voices I chose for the two series, and I believe strongly that both set of books work best as written.

As writers we should be deliberate in choosing the proper voice for each story. We shouldn’t choose third person simply because the market might prefer it, as once it did, nor should we automatically gravitate toward first person just because that voice is in vogue right now. Rather, we need to consider several factors in choosing the right POV voice and, for that matter, the correct point of view character. Whose story are we telling? Is that person the logical choice to tell the story, or should it be told by someone close to that character? (See Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD.) Do we need several POV characters to tell the story effectively, or will one do? Will first person be the best choice, or will it be distracting? Does the amount of exposition we’ll need necessitate a third person approach?

These are the questions I ask myself when I begin a new project, either novel length or shorter. I would suggest that you ask yourself similar questions as you begin your next project. You might find that doing so helps you make optimal use of a powerful narrative tool.

*****

David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-winning author of eighteen fantasy novels. Under the name D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and, the newest volume, Dead Man’s Reach, was released on July 21. Under his own name, he writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books. The first volume, Spell Blind, debuted in January 2015. The newest book in the series, His Father’s Eyes, came out on August 4. He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

http://www.DavidBCoe.com

http://www.davidbcoe.com/blog/

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http://twitter.com/DavidBCoe

https://www.amazon.com/author/davidbcoe

So many new and exciting releases out today!!! Awesome to see them already garnering the attention they deserve. I’ve already mentioned about N.K. Jemisin’s THE FIFTH SEASON appearing on Kirkus Reviews’ list of “The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books Coming Out in August” and Barnes & Noble’s Bookseller’s Picks for August. Most recently, Book Riot called it one of The Best Books We Read in July!

ALICE by Christina Henry is not only on Kirkus’s list, but on Amazon’s Best Books of the Month: Science Fiction & Fantasy. NewInBooks also names it one of The Four Best Alice in Wonderland Inspired Books, along with another great Knight Agency novel ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND by Gena Showalter!

THE VEIL by Chloe Neill is one of Barnes & Noble’s Bookseller’s Picks for August (along with NIGHTWISE by R.S. Belcher, which comes out on August 18th)!

HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe is another great book on Kirkus Reviews’s list of The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books for August and the second in his Casefiles of Justis Fearsson series for Baen Books. (First is SPELL BLIND.)  BTW, David will be back here on Thursday talking about point of view and narrative, so check back then!

Karen Whiddon’s Colton’s book THE TEMPTATION OF DR. COLTON officially released over the weekend, but since I was out getting my geek on at Tampa ComicCon, I’m wishing her a Happy Book Birthday today as well!

More about these books is below! And just to be absolutely fair (or tricksy, however you’d like to look at it), I’ll do them in reverse order from above.

temptation of dr colton THE TEMPTATION OF DR. COLTON by Karen Whiddon (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

The Coltons of Oklahoma series continues…and for one Colton doctor, the prognosis is deadly…

After a hit-and-run, all the frightened victim can remember is the handsome Dr. Eric Colton, who rescued her. She has no identity and no memory, other than the flash of a gunshot and a man’s name. But she knows she’s in grave danger.

Eric can’t explain his irresistible attraction to the mystery woman who, in hours, transforms him from workaholic surgeon to vigilant bodyguard. He can’t let her out of his arms, not when danger stalks her. But why? What lies hidden in her mind? Eric doesn’t know what she’s forgotten, but he knows people will kill to ensure she never remembers…and it’s up to him to stop them.

his father's eyes HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

Book #2 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective battles dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a weremyste. He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. He’s also a private detective, who can’t afford to take time off from his latest investigation while his sanity goes AWOL.

A legion of dark sorcerers has descended on Phoenix, wreaking havoc in the blistering desert heat. With the next moon phasing approaching, Jay has to figure out what connects a billionaire financier and a vicious drug kingpin to an attempted terrorist attack, a spate of ritual killings, and the murder of a powerful runemyste. And he has to do it fast. Because these same dark sorcerers have nearly killed the woman he loves and have used their spells to torment Jay’s father. Now they have Jay in their crosshairs, and with his death they intend to extend their power over the entire magicking world. But Jay has other plans, and no intention of turning his city, or those he loves, over to the enemy.

the veil THE VEIL by Chloe Neill (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

A brand new series from New York Times bestselling author Chloe Neill.
Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil’s Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

As more and more Sensitives fall prey to their magic, and unleash their hunger on the city, Claire and Liam must work together to save New Orleans, or else the city will burn…

alice ALICE by Christina Henry (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside.

In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.

Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.

And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

fifth season THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin (Amazon, B&N, BAM)

THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS. FOR THE LAST TIME.

A season of endings has begun.

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world’s sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun.

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter.

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester.

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

A new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin.

I have to interrupt these blogs of my Ireland trip for amazing book news…after all, this is primarily a book blog!

mullinsnrca First, huge congrats to Debra Mullins, who brought home the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance for HEART OF STONE, the second in her TruthSeers series.  The first book, PRODIGAL SON, won first place last year in the Book Buyers’ Best Awards!  Plus, among other accolades, Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and said, “Suspense and romance are wrapped together in such a way that neither overwhelms the other—and they combine beautifully with intriguing secondary characters, sensual passion, and powerful themes of trust and loyalty.”  Take note, paranormal romance fans!

alicehis father's eyesfifth season Because I don’t believe a TBR pile can ever be TOO big, I’m excited to pass along Kirkus Reviews’ list of “The Must-Read Speculative Fiction Books Coming Out in August”, which includes ALICE by Christina Henry, HIS FATHER’S EYES by David B. Coe and THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin.  Such a great list!

the veilfifth seasonnightwise Barnes & Noble’s Bookseller’s Picks for August is also full of win!  B&N gives well-deserved nods to THE VEIL by Chloe Neill (first in a brand new series!),  THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin (also the first in an exciting new series) and NIGHTWISE by R.S. Belcher (his first contemporary fantasy)!

ShadesInShadow[2] In case you haven’t already taken the hint that THE FIFTH SEASON is among this fall’s must-reads, Bibliotropic just gave N.K. Jemisin 5/5 Stars and called THE FIFTH SEASON, “A legend in the making” and Publishers Weekly gave it a great starred review!  Incidentally, her Inheritance Trilogy triptych of stories, SHADES IN SHADOW, just released this week, and you should check that out as well!

spell blindCoeJacksonPubPic750

I asked the fantastically amazing David B. Coe to guest blog for me today to promote his new series, The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, and he came up with something just a little bit different…  In the past he’s done some great blogs for me as D.B. Jackson (author of the “tricorn punk” Thieftaker series).  Some of those include: Where Does the Author and and the Character Begin and History and POV.  He’s also a regular blogger for Magical Words, where I think he does some of the most helpful and informative posts for writers.

Today, though, he managed to wrangle a particularly reticent character into an interview.  I have to say that I think this is the first time anyone’s ever gotten a runemyste to speak publicly and it may very well be the last, so enjoy!  What’s a runemyste, you ask?  Well, I think I’ll let Namid speak for himself.

Interview with Namid’skemu

Welcome! Today we are most fortunate to have with us Namid’skemu, one of only thirty-nine runemystes in the entire world. Namid’skemu, who in life was a shaman in the K’ya’na-Kwe clan of the A’shiwi, or Zuni nation, gave his life centuries ago so that he could be transformed into a runemyste, a protector of magic in our world, and a teacher of those who would learn spellcraft. He is a somewhat reticent individual, and we are truly honored that he has consented to join us today.

Hello, Namid’skemu. Welcome.

N: Greetings.

Do you mind if I call you Namid?

N: Some call me this. You may as well.

Thank you. Can you tell us a bit about what it means to be a runemyste?

N: You have spoken of this already. I am a guardian of magic in your world, and I would train those who carry runeclave blood in their veins.

Of course, but I’m sure our readers would like some more details. What exactly does that mean?

N: Which of the words I used did you not understand?

It’s not that I . . . Never mind. From whom do you guard the magic?

N: There are some among the weremystes of the world who have turned to dark magic, who cast blood spells or seek to escape the effects of the moontimes by using forbidden magic. My fellow runemystes and I watch for signs of this dark magic, and we train weremystes of your world so that they might prevent such abuses.

The moontimes?

N: What runecrafters would call phasings. Each month, on the night of the full moon and the nights before and after, weremystes lose control of their minds, even as their magic is enhanced. It is the natural way of things, the price of the magic weremystes wield. But some seek to evade this law of runecrafting, and often their attempts to do so involve blood rituals, even murders. We cannot sanction this, but we also cannot interfere in your world. And so those we train act in our stead.

I see. And among those you train — you in particular, I mean — is one Justis Fearsson, a former police detective turned private eye.

N: What of him?

What can you tell us about him?

N: He is a runecrafter of limited ability but uncommon potential. He is also a most difficult man. He has an odd sense of humor which he displays at the most inopportune times. He is reckless and does not show enough discipline in his training.

So you don’t like him.

N: I did not say that. I am not sure what right you have to inquire about our personal interactions, but as it happens I consider Ohanko a good friend.

Ohanko?

N: It means “reckless one.”

Has he–

N: If you wish to ask questions about Justis Fearsson, perhaps you should speak with him.

Very well. Let’s move on. Your appearance is most unusual. You appear to be made entirely of water, and yet you have substance and form. How is this possible?

N: I am of the K’ya’na-Kwe clan, the water people. My line is now extinct, but we were a proud, powerful, spiritual people. Centuries ago, when as a living man I was sacrificed by the runeclave, the magic that transformed me into a runemyste allowed me to take my true spiritual form. And so I am as I appear before you: a shaman and the living embodiment of the water people.

So you’re sort of a ghost.

N: I am not a ghost! Why is it that humans of your world are so limited that they cannot conceive of a spirit being as anything other than a ghost?

Forgive me. I didn’t–

N: Justis Fearsson calls me a ghost as well, though he does this to annoy me. He knows better. But you . . . Ask your next question.

Are you immortal?

N: I am not. My kind can be killed, though it is most unusual — in all the hundreds of years since the runemystes were created, not one of us has perished. But we exist to fight those with dark magic, and so our vigilance cannot slacken.

Are all of your kind like you?

N: If you mean do they appear as I do, the answer is of course they do not. Each man and woman who was sacrificed by the runeclave took a form natural to his or her heritage — some are stone or wood, others are comprised of wind, of music, of soil, of light itself. They were drawn from all over the known world, and they are as diverse as the people who now inhabit the earth.

And are they as committed as you are to the protection of magic?

N: Why do you ask this? What have you heard?

I’ve heard nothing. I’m curious is all.

N: I probably should not speak of this, but the truth is, some are not as devoted in their opposition to dark magic. Some — one runemyste in particular — has chafed at the limitations placed upon our kind by the runeclave all those many years ago. He wishes to do more, to extend his influence beyond what is thought proper by the rest. He bears watching, this runemyste, for he may well be a threat to all that we hold dear.

Who is he? What’s his name?

N: [Shaking his head] I have already said more than I should. I know nothing for certain. I have heard rumors, whispers riding the wind. I will say no more on the matter. Indeed, I have tarried here too long. I must return to my kind. Farewell.

Thank you, Namid’skemu. This was a most interesting conversation, cryptic as it was. Good day to you.

*****

David B. Coe is the award-winning author of more than fifteen fantasy novels. His newest series, a contemporary urban fantasy called The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, debuts with the January 2015 release from Baen Books of Spell Blind. The second book, His Father’s Eyes, will be out in August 2015. Writing as D.B. Jackson, he is the author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and Dead Man’s Reach (coming in July 2015). He lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera.

Where he can be found: his blog, D.B. Jackson website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon.

In addition to the continuation of many awesome, popular series in 2015, like Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires, Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock, D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, Carol Berg’s Sanctuary, Diana Pharaoh Francis’s Diamond City Magic, Debra Mullins’s Truthseers, Vicky Dreiling’s Sinful Scoundrels, Susan Krinard’s Midgard and Nightsiders…the new year is going to be full of incredible new releases as well!  Over the next few days, some of my winter/spring release authors have taken time out of their writing schedules to do up guest blogs for me, and I’ll be posting them here, so stay tuned!  Specifically, I’ll have:

Iron Axe final Steven Harper, the author of the Norse-inspired novel IRON AXE, first in the Books of Blood and Iron.

spell blind David B. Coe, author of SPELL BLIND, first in The Case Books of Justis Fearsson, in which a former police detective has to battle his own mind and magic in order to take a special and sadistic serial killer.

invisible library Genevieve Cogman, debut author of THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY, which her publisher Tor UK calls, “Dr. Who with Librarian spies.”  (Right now available in the UK, but will keep you updated on when to expect it in the US.)

THE EXILE C.T. Adams, author of THE EXILE, a novel of conspiracy, magic, and most assuredly the Fae.

You’ll also be hearing a lot more about the following upcoming new authors/titles/series this year (listed below in order of publication)!  Some are already available for pre-order.

runaway lies RUNAWAY LIES by Shannon Curtis (Harlequin Australia, coming January 19th)

the hanged man THE HANGED MAN by P.N. Elrod (Tor Books, coming May 19… “Murder, mayhem and tea—a well-bred Victorian urban fantasy thriller. Prepare, o reader, to be enthralled.” says Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author of the Mercy Thompson series

inkandbone_FINAL INK AND BONE by Rachel Caine (NAL, coming July 7)…In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time.…

alice ALICE by Christina Henry (Ace Books, coming August 4)… A mind-bending new novel inspired by the twisted and wondrous works of Lewis Carroll…

the veil THE VEIL by Chloe Neill (NAL, coming August 4)… a new series by New York Times bestselling author set in a war-torn New Orleans, still recovering and now living in the shadow of Devil’s Isle, a walled district confining the paranormal powers that crashed into our world when the Veil fell.  Well, mostly confined…

nightwise NIGHTWISE by R. S. Belcher (Tor Books, coming August 18)…Featuring Laytham Ballard. It’s said he raised the dead at the age of ten, ripped off the Philosopher’s Stone in Vegas back in 1999, and survived the bloodsucking kiss of the Mosquito Queen. The legends are only a fraction of the truth.

On top of all THAT, I’m waiting on some firm publication dates for later in the year, like for a new series by Faith Hunter and a debut urban fantasy series by Michelle Belanger…  Watch this blog; it’s going to be an exciting year!!!  (And 2016 won’t be too shabby either!)

Happy New Year, all!  I hope your holidays were as wonderful and relaxing as mine.  You just can’t beat holding your new baby niece in your arms and having her tiny fingers clench yours.  Nope, you just can’t.

So much to celebrate this year, and I will in just a second, but I’m going to start off with a public service announcement.  GET YOUR EYES CHECKED.  Yes, seriously. If you’re anything like me, you put off taking care of yourself, especially for things that don’t seem massively urgent, like dental care, eye care, blood work, mammograms…  Well, the problem there is that sometimes you don’t catch things until they’re irreversible rather than early on when they can be more easily treated.  I usually order multiple boxes of contact lenses so that I don’t have to go back to the eye doctor for practically ever.  (The prescriptions themselves are only good for a year.)  So, it had been…far too long since I’d been in for an eye exam.  Luckily (not that I thought so at the time) my supply ran out in December, and I grudgingly went to the doctor, which is where I discovered that I didn’t have to suffer through the eye strain and fatigue that had plagued me for too long.  In short, I was having to work really hard to read.  The lettering all seemed too small, too faint, too fuzzy and by 8 pm, which is when I do a lot of my reading, my eyes wanted to give out.  They didn’t want to focus at all.  It was slowing me down, and as any of you who’ve read my blogs know, that’s just not an option.  Most days I’m tapdancing as fast as I can just to keep up with things.  The solution here was blessedly simple.  My prescription had changed, my astigmatism had changed, and I now needed to wear readers over my contacts.  Did I feel old?  Yes.  Did I get cute little reading glasses to make up for it?  You betcha.  So, no deep coded message here.  The take-away is that taking a little time can save a lot of time and strain and grief down the line, so, as Nike would say, JUST DO IT.

Now that we have that out of the way, I want to introduce some just-released books that you might want to feast those eyes on!

spell blind SPELL BLIND by David B. Coe (hardcover, e-book from Baen)

“Coe brings deep knowledge of both fantasy and mystery to his well-structured first urban fantasy novel.” – Publishers Weekly

Book #1 in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a new contemporary fantasy series from fantasy all-star David B. Coe. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective hunts a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justis Fearsson is a private investigator on the trail of a serial killer in Phoenix, Arizona. Justis is also a weremyste—a person with a wizard’s gifts and the ability to see into the paranormal world. Unfortunately, weremystes also tend to go crazy on the full moon—which is why Justis is no longer a cop. Hard to explain those absences as anything but mental breakdown. But now an old case from his police detective days has come back to haunt him, literally, as a serial killer known as the Blind Angel strikes again. His signature stroke: burning out the victims’ eyes with magic. Now the victims are piling up, including the daughter of a senator, and Justis must race to stop the Blind Angel before he, she, or it kills again. There’s only one clue he’s got to go on: the Blind Angel is using the most powerful magic Justis has ever encountered, and if he doesn’t watch his own magical step, he may end up just as dead as the other vics.

Iron Axe final IRON AXE by Steven Harper (mass market, e-book from Roc)

“Harper begins the Books of Blood and Iron series with an exciting and somewhat unusual quest… His reinterpretations of trolls, giants, and fae folk give this series opener a fresh feeling, while his nods to Norse mythology and folklore root it strongly in fantasy tradition. Readers will be eager to see what’s in store.” – Publishers Weekly

In this brand new series from the author of the Clockwork Empire series, a hopeless outcast must answer Death’s call and embark on an epic adventure….

Although Danr’s mother was human, his father was one of the hated Stane, a troll from the mountains. Now Danr has nothing to look forward to but a life of disapproval and mistrust, answering to “Trollboy” and condemned to hard labor on a farm.

Until, without warning, strange creatures come down from the mountains to attack the village. Spirits walk the land, terrifying the living. Trolls creep out from under the mountain, provoking war with the elves. And Death herself calls upon Danr to set things right.

At Death’s insistence, Danr heads out to find the Iron Axe, the weapon that sundered the continent a thousand years ago. Together with unlikely companions, Danr will brave fantastic and dangerous creatures to find a weapon that could save the world—or destroy it.

shades of the wolf SHADES OF THE WOLF by Karen Whiddon (e-book out now, 2-in-1 paperback out in March, Harlequin Nocturne)

Could she lead him to the one thing he’d missed when he was alive?

Ever since her husband died in Afghanistan, shape-shifter Anabel Lee has been haunted—by every ghost except the one she longs to see. But when Tyler Rogers appears, Anabel senses something different about him. It’s not just his piercing blue eyes or sexy voice. Even though he’s a ghost, Tyler is more real than anyone she’s met in years.

Tyler needs Anabel’s help. His sister has been abducted by a powerful warlock, and he can sense her light fading fast. Confined to the spirit realm, he needs to join his powers with Anabel’s to bring his sister back from the darkness. As they work together against time and magic, will they discover a passion strong enough to bridge this world and the next?

 

Happy reading!