- - August 12th, 2014
When a rare Blue Moon upsets the magical balance in the city, Detective Kate Prospero and her Magic Enforcement colleagues pitch in to help Babylon PD keep the peace. Between potions going haywire and emotions running high, every cop in the city is on edge. But the moon’s impact is especially strong for Kate, who’s wrestling with guilt over her use of illegal magic.
When a rogue wizard steals dangerous potions from a local coven, Kate’s team must find the thief’s hideout before the vengeful coven catches him. But the investigation uncovers the rogue’s dangerous plot to unleash chaotic magic on the city. Once the Blue Moon rises no-one’s secrets will be safe. Not even Kate’s.
CURSED MOON (US | UK | AUS) by Jaye Wells is out today! I’m very excited as it’s the second book in the Prospero’s War series and when I read it (oh, a year ago?), I was blown away by what a fantastic writer Jaye is. So if you’re not familiar with Jaye Wells, DIRTY MAGIC might be a great place to start. It’s fun, with great pacing, tough characters and I would even go so far as to say that it’s like The Wire crossed with Wizards. We have a female cop, Kate Prospero, who came from what we would consider a drug family – but this is a world where potions are the new crack. And using dirty magic is the only way that people can get their hands on them. And whoa, do these potions have side effect.
What I wanted to get into is Jaye’s wickedly, lovely, and VERY twisted imagination. If you want more, then Jaye is your girl. I’ve selected a quick highlight from Cursed Moon to whet your appetite:
Aphrodite herself stood at the rear of the courtyard, bathed in a shaft of sunlight. I was pretty sure she’d planned the position for effect. When we entered the courtyard, she looked up and flipped the long side of her hair back over her shoulder. The left half wore a form-fitting red wiggle dress with red stiletto, while the right half wore half a collared shirt, slacks and a single black wingtip. As she moved forward, she led with the left side and a femme fatale smile.
“Kate—Oh, excuse me, I mean, Detective Prospero,” she said, giving me a once-over that left me feeling like I’d come up lacking. Her seductive voice twined through the room like smoke. She sashayed toward us on one high heel and one thick-soled men’s dress shoe. Read the rest of this entry »
- - October 22nd, 2013
“I loved this book from start to finish. Exciting and innovative, CHARMING is a great introduction to a world I look forward to spending a lot more time in.” – Seanan McGuire
I’m sure by now all of you have read and are as enthralled by Elliott James’s CHARMING (US | UK | AUS) as I am, anxiously counting down the days until book two comes out. If this sounds like you, then the release of the newest Pax Arcana short story, PUSHING LUCK, should help you bear the wait.
PUSHING LUCK is the third in a series of short stories from our wonderful author, Elliott James, introducing us to John Charming. John is a descendant of a long line Charmings—an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch finders, and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern-day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best—until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.
In PUSHING LUCK, while trying to make money off the grid, John Charming stumbles upon an underground poker tournament where the hors d’oeuvres are made of human flesh and the players are gambling with much more than their money. All bets are off.
“Loved it! Charming is a giant gift basket of mythology and lore delivered by a brilliant new voice in urban fantasy. Elliott James tells stories that are action-packed, often amusing, and always entertaining.” – Kevin Hearne, author of Hounded
PUSHING LUCK is out now in the US and releases in the UK on October 31st.
- - December 11th, 2012
This month Orbit UK digitally released two titles from an award-winning author. I can honestly say that these two novels have affected me so deeply, stayed with me so long, that I just want everyone to read them. EVERYONE. So it’s just darn lucky I work in publishing, meaning I can actually help bring these books to you . . . (And yes, this is the best job in the world).
The Hugo Award-winning Will McIntosh has already talked about his debut science fiction novel SOFT APOCALYPSE here, so today I wanted to focus on his other title released this month – HITCHERS.
HITCHERS is a hard book to define. Part horror story, part contemporary supernatural tale, part post-apocalyptic adventure, part touching tale of grief and redemption. But ALL compulsively readable. Chilling, amusing, sad, creepy, gripping, and deeply, deeply affecting.
To start with, the book has just about my favourite prologue ever. Read it here, and see a brief excerpt below:
“You don’t think she’ll get fired, do you?” Lorena had asked drowsily as we drifted. “I didn’t mean to get her in trouble, even though she was incredibly rude to me.” She was still ruminating about the argument she’d had with our waitress at the Blue Boy Diner. I was ruminating about the argument I’d had with my grandfather that morning, which had far greater implications for our future.
What I didn’t know at the time was that we had no future. We had about twenty-five minutes.
Someone is about to die . . . and this opening sets up one of the most fantastically-crafted and creepy tales you’ll read. In fact, in not too long, a terrorist attack is about to wipe out half the population of Finn Darby’s home city.
With all this destruction around, it’s expected that everyone would be pretty upset. But what isn’t expected is the mass phenomenon that starts to occur after the attack. People start to blurt out voices beyond their control. They appear to be taken over by a sinister unknown force, and can do very little about it. What’s so disturbing is that these voices sound freakishly similar to the voices of the recently deceased, that somehow the dead seem to be “hitching” onto the living . . .
If I say much more then I’ll be giving away too much, but what I really want to get across is how addictive this book is, how intelligent and multi-layered the writing, how intriguingly unsettling Will McIntosh’s view of the afterlife, how heart-wrenchingly attached you’ll become to his characters.
So the moral of the story is – you need to read this (and that’s not even with my publishing hat on).
You also need to look out for LOVE MINUS EIGHTY, which will be a big worldwide release from Orbit next summer.
And you also need to put pressure on Film4 to make sure that they actually make a film out of the rights they optioned for ‘Bridesicle’, the Hugo award-winning short story that LOVE MINUS EIGHTY is based on, because it would make the best, most wonderfully weird, chilling and entertaining movie ever.
Get mobilised people – let’s make this happen.
- - February 28th, 2012
Now available is DARKER ANGELS (UK | ANZ) – the second instalment in M. L. N. Hanover’s pacy, action-packed urban fantasy series The Black Sun’s Daughter.
After the dust had settled following the dramatic events in UNCLEAN SPIRITS (UK | ANZ), Jayné Heller was hoping for a bit of downtime to recover. As DARKER ANGELS proves, her supernatural enemies have other plans . . .
Reining in demons and other supernatural foes is a formidable task, but thankfully Jayné has a team of loyal allies as well as seemingly limitless wealth. She’ll need both to tackle a bodyswitching serial killer who’s taken up residence in New Orleans, a city rich in voodoo lore and dark magic.
Working alongside ex-FBI agent Karen Black, Jayné races to track down the demon’s next intended host before they become yet another victim. But the closer she gets, the more convinced she becomes that nothing in this beautiful, wounded city is exactly as it seems . . .
Here’s what reviewers have been saying about DARKER ANGELS:
DARKER ANGELS is an enjoyable second novel that’s even stronger than its predecessor . . . Recommended, especially for fans looking for a different type of Urban Fantasy” – THE BOOK SMUGGLERS
“So I guess I read Urban Fantasy after all. At least, I read it when it’s written by M. L. N. Hanover. This is great stuff” – READING THE LEAVES
“I’m hooked on this series . . . As a first foray into Urban Fantasy, I’m glad I chose M. L. N. Hanover to take me on a wild ride. If you enjoy fast paced stories brimming with demons, twists, and turns, you’ll love DARKER ANGELS. I highly suggest you get started!” – HOPELESS BIBLIOPHILE
There’s further good news for Jayné Heller fans – the third instalment of her adventures, VICIOUS GRACE, will be released in March, and the fourth title, KILLING RITES, will follow in April.
M. L. N. Hanover’s website is here, and he can be found on Twitter here.