Release Day: Morningside Fall by Jay Posey (Legends of the Duskwalker, Book Two)

Last summer, Durham narrative designer, author, and screenwriter Jay Posey’s debut novel Three was published by Angry Robot Books, introducing the titular Three: a lone gunman in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of isolated towns walled against the Weir, a horrifying nocturnal menace of hunting creatures. Three is “The Duskwalker”, a man who can travel at night unseen by the Weir and who (against his better judgement) finds himself the guardian of a woman and her gifted young son, Wren, on the run from a more mundane — yet just as deadly — foe: her estranged, violent lover and his gang of brain-hackers. With no other safe harbor in sight, Three endeavors to guide the pair to Morningside in search of Wren’s father. Years later we pick up with the events in Morningside Fall, published today in original paperback and e-book. “The lone gunman Three is gone. Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted. They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world. New threats need new heroes…”

 

Congratulations, Jay, on the release of book 2! (And a note: I really enjoyed the audio edition of Three, read by Luke Daniels for Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio. Via Twitter, it looks like an audiobook edition for Morningside Fall may yet be in the works. Stay tuned!)

RELATED EVENT

May 3 (Saturday) 1 pm — B&N of Southpoint hosts Jay Posey for a reading and signing of Morningside Fall. More info: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4684887

May 5 (Monday) 10 am — Carolina Book Beat interviews Jay Posey about Morningside Fall. More info: http://carolinabookbeat.com/


Release Day: Pull Down the Night by Nathan Kotecki

Tuesday October 8, 2013: Durham author Nathan Kotecki’s first novel, last year’s The Suburban Strange, introduced Suburban High and its supernatural conflicts through the eyes of newcomer Celia. Today, Kotecki’s standalone sequel, Pull Down the Night, is out and available in hardcover and ebook [Kobo|Nook|Kindle] from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. Pull Down the Night welcomes a new newcomer, Bruno, to Suburban High, for the school year following the events of The Suburban Strange — which, I should add, was recently released in paperback, from HMH imprint Graphia. Celia and the rest of the Rosary, at least those which haven’t already graduated, are a year older; also back are the alt-rock musical influences and the sensibility of self-discovery and self-acceptance that so thoroughly inhabited the first book.

EVENTS: Kotecki will launch the book at Flyleaf Books tonight at 7 pm, preceded by hors d’oeuvres at 6:30. There are giveaways and even a raffle for a “Pull Down the Night” gift basket. Then, next week, at Quail Ridge Books on Tuesday October 15th, Kotecki will participate in the latest “kid lit” roundtable hosted by Piedmont Laureate John Claude Bemis, also at 7 pm.


Release Day Triple Feature: Ariel Djanikian, Tony Daniel, and PT McHugh

Three books by local authors make for a crowded release day today, with post-apocalyptic fiction, a Star Trek novel, and a YA time-travel historical fantasy book as well. And! Each author has at least one upcoming event to check out:

The Office of Mercy: A NovelStar Trek: The Original Series: Devil's BargainKeeper of the Black Stones

The Office of Mercy: A Novel by Ariel Djanikian (Viking Adult, February 21) — Debut novel for this new Chapel Hill author: “Weaving philosophy and science together into a riveting, dystopian story of love and adventure, The Office of Mercy illuminates an all-too-real future imagined by a phenomenal new voice in fiction. Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five—a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha’s allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it.” (Chapel Hill) — Audiobook coming in March from Tantor.

Star Trek: The Original Series: Devil’s Bargain by Tony Daniel (Pocket Books/Star Trek, Feb 26) — “Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise are sent to evacuate the Federation mining colony Vesbius, a frontier settlement that is on the brink of an extinction-level event, threatening the lives of all the colonists and the disruption of ore production vital to Starfleet. However, the colonists refuse to abandon this settlement, not wanting to leave their claims. It is after these irrational decisions that Spock suggests that perhaps an unexpected ally could aid the colony and help complete the mission….” (Wake Forest)

Keeper of the Black Stones (Stone Ends) by PT McHugh (Glass House Press, Feb 26, 2013) — “Awkward in his own skin, shy around girls and worried about anything and everything, Jason Evans is just like a million other teenage boys in high school, with one very large exception: he has been given a gift that allows him to jump through time. A set of stones has fallen into his lap that gives him access to any place – and any time – that he chooses. But along with that gift comes the responsibility of stopping the man who is using those very stones to travel through time and change history for his own purposes. A man who is now holding Jasons grandfather hostage, and threatening the worlds very existence. Jumping through time with his best friend and body guard, Jason must enter the world of Medieval England, learn its customs, navigate unimaginable danger, and help Henry VII win the Battle of Bosworth, in the name of finding his grandfather, rescuing a beautiful girl from the clutches of a corrupt church, and destroying the one man who pledges to turn history inside out.” (Raleigh)

RELATED EVENTS:

FEBRUARY 2013

NEW: 26 (Tuesday) 7 pm — Flyleaf Books hosts Ariel Djanikian reads from her science fiction novel The Office of Mercy. Author Djanikian now calls Chapel Hill home, so let’s get out to welcome this new local author! Here’s a Facebook event to pass around: https://www.facebook.com/events/539125676117811/

MARCH 2013

NEW: 2 (Saturday) 11 am — McIntyre’s Books hosts Ariel Djanikian discusses her dystopian love story, The Office of Mercy.

NEW: 9 (Saturday) 3 to 4 pm — Quail Ridge Books hosts: “Two NC authors share their visions of the strange with us on Saturday, March 9, at 3 p.m. Nathan Kotecki brings us The Suburban Strange. Celia discovers girls at Suburban High are having near fatal accidents on the eve of their 16th birthdays. Can 15-year-old Celia solve the mystery before her own next birthday? For ages 14+. PT McHugh presents Keeper of the Black Stones: Stone Ends, the first book in a new series. It’s a thrilling combination of fantasy and historical fiction with a likable, funny hero in Jason Evans. For ages 12+.” More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/301390523317829/

APRIL 2013

NEW: 9 (Tuesday) 7 pm — B&N of Cary hosts Tony Daniel and David Drake for The Heretic. More info: http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/78969


Release day: Six Heirs (The Secret of Ji #1), translated by Matthew Ross

Well, we’ve had release day posts for quite a few books now, but this is still a first for Bull Spec. It’s not an author or artist or editor, but rather one of the translators whose local ties warrant the book’s mention here. So, without further adieu…

Six Heirs (The Secret of Ji, #1)

Six Heirs (The Secret of Ji, #1) by Pierre Grimbert, Matthew Ross (Translator), and Eric Lamb (Translator) — in print/ebook from AmazonCrossing — narrated by Michael Page for Brilliance Audio. Here’s the publisher copy:

From France’s most celebrated author of fantasy. The Known World is a sprawling region ruled by mortals, protected by gods, and plied by magicians and warriors, merchants and beggars, royals and scoundrels. Here, those with the gift of the Erjak share a psychic bond with animals; a far-reaching fraternity unites criminals of every persuasion in a vast army of villainy; and upon the mighty river Alt, the dead will one day sail seeking vengeance on the enemies of their descendants. But for all the Known World’s wonders, splendors, and terrors, what has endured most powerfully is the strange legacy of Ji. Emissaries from every nation—the grand Goranese Empire; desolate, frozen Arkary; cosmopolitan Lorelia; and beyond—followed an enigmatic summons into the unknown. Some never returned; others were never the same. Each successive generation has guarded the profound truth and held sacred the legendary event. But now, the very last of them—and the wisdom they possess—are threatened. The time has come to fight for ultimate enlightenment…or fall to infinite darkness. The first book in the highly acclaimed Ji series, available for the first time in English.

First of all, a big tip of the hat to Tyler Curtain for bringing local translator Matthew Ross to my attention. I’d seen the book when browsing forthcoming listings, but had no idea that Ross was translating from the local area. Look for more coverage of this book (and the rest of the series) soon, but for now I’ve only just added it to the 2013 Local and Regional Author Preview listings. Unfortunately I don’t see the book on Kobo or Nook listings (I hadn’t expected either, as an Amazon-published title) but the print book and audiobook are also available from IndieBound, Powell’s, and B&N, along with the Amazon, Kindle, and Audible/iTunes editions.

Anyway: Congratulations, Matthew!


Release day: Witchbreaker by James Maxey

James Maxey‘s Dragon Apocalypse series has been a lot of fun so far — and yet every time I say that I feel remiss in focusing on the fun, and not enough on how creative these books are. Shapeshifters, incredible and bizarre powers, awesome relics, and of course mountain-sized primal dragons. The series started with Greatshadow in January — of 2012, just 11 months ago — and introduced our narrator, Stagger, briefly, before killing him. And then allowing him to continue to narrate the book, as well as the second book, Hush, which came out in late June, though it’s Infidel who gets the cover treatment on both:

Greatshadow (Dragon Apocalypse, #1) Hush (Dragon Apocalypse, #2)

And now, before 2012 is even over, a third book in the series is here just in time for your holiday gift card pleasure. First, the publisher copy for Witchbreaker: “Book Three in the stunning Dragon Apocalypse Trilogy — Five hundred years ago, the famed Witchbreaker, Lord Stark Tower, launched a war against the cult of witches, nearly wiping them out. Today, only a handful of women still practice the craft in secret. A young witch named Sorrow has dedicated her life to changing this reality, vowing to wipe out the Church of the Book and launch a new golden age of witchcraft. In pursuit of her goals, she bonds her soul with Rott, the primal dragon of decay, giving her nearly limitless powers of destruction. Unfortunately, tapping this power comes at the cost of her humanity, leading her into a desperate quest to find the greatest witch of all time, Avaris, in hopes of mastering her dark magic before it destroys her. But she’s not alone in hunting Avaris, as fate throws her into an uneasy partnership with a man who wants to be the new Witchbreaker. Can either of them survive their mutual quests when their journey leads them into battle with Tempest, the primal dragon of storms?”

Witchbreaker: The Dragon Apocalypse 3

Right away we know the series has moved to a new chapter. Gone is Stagger as narrator (for readers of Hush, we know his fate, but I’ll omit it here for those new to the series) and we are following the continued storyline of Sorrow, a young witch who featured large in the second half of Hush. She’s been using the technique of nailing various primal materials into her skull to gain mastery over the materials, and may have bitten off far more than she can chew with her latest nail. We’re in for more inventive powers, creative magic, and of course Maxey’s deeply human characters, with their flaws, passions, goals, mistakes, and costs. So! Whether you’re new to the series (in which case, welcome to the story of Stagger, Infidel, Menagerie, the primal dragons, and all the rest) or have been following along so far, it’s a Merry Christmas indeed as today sees the release of book 3, Witchbreaker. Get out those gift cards!

Listings for the physical book:

And listings for ebooks:


Release Day: The Collected Kessel

When Baen associate editor Laura Haywood-Cory sent me the following, my first response was an expletive. Not only has Baen re-released John Kessel’s novels in DRM-free ebook formats, which would be noteworthy enough, they’ve also just published a huge collection of Kessel’s short fiction, The Collected Kessel, comprising 42 of Kessel’s stories including Nebula winners “Another Orphan” (novella, 1982) and “Pride and Prometheus” (novelette, 2008), and brand new story notes. My favorite of these so far comes from his notes on “Pride and Prometheus”, which after giving the germination of the idea behind the Austen/Shelley mashup novelette, also says something quite interesting: “My career, in retrospect, has been to cross the sensibilities of literary fiction with those of pulp fiction, and this story is one way in which that impulse has expressed itself.” Well, here are 42 stories (and the novels, too) which are the career, so far, of one of our American writing treasures. Cheers, John, and one of these days I’ll get somebody to give me a little warning when something like this is coming…

Here’s the press release from Baen: Read the rest of this entry »


Double-Feature of Local Author Releases

In non-fiction, Geek Mom: Projects, Tips and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st Century Families is out today, with local author Natania Barron a contributor, and local writer Alex Granados is now a published author as his debut novel, Cemetery Plot, has been published by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing.

Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families Cemetery Plot

First up, the non-fiction: “It’s fast becoming a geek world out there, and all moms need to show off their tech smarts and superhero-like skills in order to keep their savvy kids entertained and engaged. Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st-Century Families explores the many fun and interesting ways that digital-age parents and kids can get their geek on together. Imaginative ideas for all ages and budgets include thrifty Halloween costumes, homemade lava lamps, hobbit feasts, and magical role-playing games. There are even projects for moms to try when they have a few precious moments alone. With six sections spanning everything from home-science experiments to superheroes, this comprehensive handbook from the editors of Wired.com’s popular GeekMom blog is packed with ideas guaranteed to inspire a love of learning and discovery. Along the way, parents will also find important tips on topics such as determining safe online communities for children, organizing a home learning center, and encouraging girls to love science. Being geeky is all about exploring the world with endless curiosity. Geek Mom is your invitation to introducing the same sense of wonder and imagination to the next generation.” [Goodreads | IndieBound]

And now the fiction, just in time for Halloween: “Vanessa Hawthorne is a zombie…at least, that was the plan. Miserable with her life, she agreed to participate in a fatal ritual that would transform her into one of the Living Dead. Instead, she wakes up decades later alive, unaged and living in a world overrun with graveyards. But when a real estate tycoon finds out about Vanessa, he will stop at nothing to discover how she cheated death. He hopes that this knowledge will give him the power to resurrect the dead. The money he stands to make is incalculable. And he is willing to do whatever it takes — kidnapping, assault and even murder — to get the job done. Luckily for Vanessa she has Mark Nimocks and his friend Emily to protect her but at what costs? A zombie apocalypse is in the works, and it will take a medium from the future to find a way to undo the end of the world. But can he actually help change the past? Or is the world fated to be destroyed no matter what?” So far the book seems to only be available through Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle. But it should be available from other stores and in other formats soon, along with several opportunities to catch Alex at a reading event in November (see below). [Goodreads]

Congrats to Natania and Alex!

—-

RELATED EVENTS:

NOVEMBER:

4 (Sunday) 2 pm — Alex Granados reading and signing Cemetery Plot at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. (See above for book info.)

9 (Friday) — Granados at The Storetellers Bookstore in Wake Forest, during the town’s Art after Hours event.

13 (Tuesday) 7:30 pm — Granados at Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books.

15 (Thursday) 7 pm — Granados at Durham’s The Regulator Bookshop.

DECEMBER:

15 (Saturday) 4 to 7 pm — Chapel Hill Comics hosts a Geek Mom book event with local contributor Natania Barron.


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