THE MERRY SPINSTER: Tales of Everyday Horror by Mallory Ortberg / Released March 13, 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.
From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from her beloved “Children’s Stories Made Horrific” series, “The Merry Spinster” takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and her best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg’s eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children’s stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.
Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg’s boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg’s oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.
Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.
Bed time will never be the same.
THE SEA BEAST TAKES A LOVER STORIES by Michael Andreasen / Fantasy / Released Feb 27, 2018 by Penguin Random House
Bewitching and playful, with its feet only slightly tethered to the world we know, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover explores hope, love, and loss across a series of surreal landscapes and wild metamorphoses. Just because Jenny was born without a head doesn’t mean she isn’t still annoying to her older brother, and just because the Man of the Future’s carefully planned extramarital affair ends in alien abduction and network fame doesn’t mean he can’t still pine for his absent wife. Romping through the fantastic with big-hearted ease, these stories cut to the core of what it means to navigate family, faith, and longing, whether in the form of a lovesick kraken slowly dragging a ship of sailors into the sea, a small town euthanizing its grandfathers in a time-honored ritual, or a third-grade field trip learning that time travel is even more wondrous–and more perilous–than they might imagine.
Andreasen’s stories are simultaneously daring and deeply familiar, unfolding in wildly inventive worlds that convey our common yearning for connection and understanding. With a captivating new voice from an incredible author, The Sea Beast Takes a Lover uses the supernatural and extraordinary to expose us at our most human.
BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART by Amanda Hocking / YA Fantasy / Released Jan 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
When the fate of the world is at stake
Loyalties will be tested
Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.
As one of Odin’s Valkyries, Malin’s greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.
This is the first Amanda Hocking book I have read and I must say that I am a FAN. My taste in books include Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Colleen Vanderlinden’s Home series and Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series so I am no stranger to the fantasy world. Ms. Hocking beautifully builds a world that is both familiar and fascinating and fills it with richly developed characters.
Familiar are the challenges of a college-aged daughter’s relationship with her mother, juggling an ex-girlfriend and a new heart-throb and having a pet. Fascinating is Malin’s role as a Valkyry, her questions about destiny and free-will and the fact her pet, Bowie, is a wolpertinger.
Seamlessly paced, BETWEEN THE BLADE AND THE HEART is a page-turner and I can’t wait for the second book in the series, FROM THE EARTH TO THE SHADOWS coming out in April 2018.
Come out, come out, wherever you are…
A fugitive from an evil sorcerer, GILLY hides among shadows, tortured by memories of the family she lost. Her twisted leg is both a hindrance and a reminder of her tragic past. For twenty-three years, she disguises herself as an eccentric goat herder and lives alone at the edge of an idyllic village. Who would notice her here?
Continue reading “Fantasy: HIDDEN: TALES OF RYCA by Shereen Vedam”
WAVE GOODBYE TO CHARLIE By Eric Arvin
Fantasy / Second edition released April 3, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press / (First edition published by Wilde City Press October 2014)
My name’s Charlie. I’m many things, though none of them having to do with any real talent. I’m a runaway, a hustler when I need to be, a ghost when I have to scare hoodlums away from my home, and a loner who maybe reads too much. But most of all, I’m the keeper of the carnival. That’s how I see myself. I look after the place ’cause even dying things need to be cared for. Maybe it’s illegal. Maybe that rusty metal fence around the carnival is supposed to keep me out too. Or maybe me and this place were meant to find each other. Truth is, I never felt at home anywhere but here, not even in all the foster families and orphanages I was placed in as a young shit. They don’t look for me no more, those places. I suspect I ran away so much they finally just said, “Fuck! Let him go.” I am a hangnail on society’s manicured middle finger. I’m older. One year past the age anyone gives a shit.
And this is my adventure…
I am an eclectic reader. I look for interesting stories of all genres. As a reviewer, I get a lot of emails from publishers on new releases. When I received an email from Dreamspinner Press about rereleasing WAVE GOODBYE TO CHARLIE I was fascinated by the amazing cover by artist John Coulthart. I just had to read the book.
Seriously, I mean WOW.
The fact that this is a M/M story is inconsequential. This is an adventure in this world and the next. A story of friendship, and loyalty and the power of love versus evil. A page-turner of epic standards full of twists and turns, none of which I saw coming.
Eric Arvin, I am a fan and this will not be the last book of yours that I read.
THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant, Kai, have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something – secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option – because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake,; it’s the nature of reality itself ….
BELOVED ENEMY By Hywela Lyn Spicy Sci-Fi Romance Released March 11, 2016 by The Wild Rose Press
Marooned on an inhospitable planet, Cat Kincaid and Kerry Marchant need to work together to stay alive, fighting not only unknown assailants, but their growing attraction. But how can they learn to trust each other when he has vowed never to get close to a woman again, and she made a solemn pledge to destroy him?
DEMON KISSED By Karilyn Bentley Urban Fantasy Released Feb 17 by The Wild Rose Press in print and ebook
Gin Crawford, the world’s latest demon huntress, has no time to mourn her dead lover as she’s called in to determine why a demon attack occurred at the local medical school. And not just any demon, but the one demon that gives her demon-killing bracelet the shivers. A dead professor, a lab full of missing anthrax, and a demon who turns good people into minions complicate her life. Can Gin and her mentor Aidan Smythe solve the mystery of the missing anthrax and the identity of the demon before someone else dies?
THE ORION PLAN By Mark Alpert Sci-Fi Adventure Released Feb 16, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books
Scientists thought that Earth was safe from invasion. The distance between stars is so great that it seemed impossible for even the most advanced civilizations. But now an alien species has found a way. When the government proves slow to react, NASA scientist Dr. Sarah Pooley realizes she must lead the effort to stop them before they become too powerful.