Showing posts with label Ben Aaronovitch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ben Aaronovitch. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Review: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch


Broken Homes
Author:  Ben Aaronovitch
Series:  Peter Grant / Rivers of London 4
Publisher:  DAW, February 4, 2014
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
List Price:  $7.99 (Print)
ISBN:  9790756409609 (Print)
Review Copy:  Reviewer's Own (UK Edition)

My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame -- whatever that is.

Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.

Two out of three isn’t bad, right?

A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man -- a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.

But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.

Just the typical day for a magician constable.



Melanie's Thoughts:

Broken Homes is the fourth instalment in the Peter Grant story. Peter continues his magical apprenticeship under the watchful eye of his boss Nightingale while continuing as a constable in the covert arm of the Metropolitan police. Peter, Nightingale, Peter's and friend/colleague Lesley keep up the search for the evil Faceless Man, a magician straight from the dark side. The Faceless Man has been at the centre of every evil plot throughout all three books. Their first big clue to his next nefarious plan comes when a man ends up being BBQ'd from the inside out. This time Peter and Lesley end up going under cover, moving out of The Folly and into a run down tower block in the Elephant and Castle area of London to search for more clues. For those that aren't familiar with this less than salubrious part of London Aaronovitch paints the perfect picture of life in an deprived inner London borough.....well one that is magically enhanced with river goddesses and tree nymphs. The heat is on for Peter and his friends to solve this mystery before anyone else gets hurt and be back in time for tea at The Folly.

I waited a long time to buy Broken Homes as I thought it cost too much. It wasn't until a discussion with Qwill that I found out that the book had been released in UK months before it was released in the US. I thoroughly enjoy this series, nay love it but still didn't want to pay more than a tenner (£10) for the e-book version and don't normally buy hardcovers. In the end I am glad that I waited.

I have been enjoying Aaronovitch's unique brand of humour mixed with some pretty spot on observations of the life of a Londoner. While I enjoyed Broken Homes it didn't grab me as quickly as the other books in the series. Normally Aaronovitch has me sniggering, snorting, and generally tee heeing from the first few pages but in this book I had to wait until the final third of the book before I guffawed even once. One could say that humour isn't an essential requirement in any good UF novel but once you have introduced me to some truly hilarious lines then you can't just leave me with normal, mildly amusing prose.

I thought I would share with you one of the funnier lines from book
You don't get to be a senior investigating officer unless you have a degree in scepticism, an MA in distrust and your CV lists suspicious bastard under your hobbies.
or how about this one
Nightingale gave me the same long-suffering look he gives me when I accidentally blow up fire extinguishers, fall asleep when he's talking, or fail to conjugate my Latin verbs.
I could continue but then I would be repeating the latter third of the book! Suffice to say 'the funny' is still there just not as obvious as in previous books.

There wasn't a terrible amount of development of any of the lead characters throughout the story although there is a HUGE development at the very end of the book. One, I did not see coming and I am still shocked about. I kind of felt like Aaronovitch was holding off having anything significant happen to the characters throughout the story as he wanted to 'sock it' to the reader with the ending. This was kind of risky as I really wanted Peter to make some decisions relationship-wise or to have a big breakthrough magic-wise. Saying all of that it is still a great book, a great murder mystery with some laughs along the way. Bring on book 5....quick!

Monday, February 03, 2014

The View From Monday - February 3, 2014


Happy first Monday in February. The groundhog saw his shadow yesterday and predicted 6 more weeks of winter here. I think he was right for once - schools are closed today due to snow! There are 2 more snowstorms predicted for this week.






This is a very full release week with 3 debuts:

The Line (Witching Savannah 1) by J. D. Horn;

Three Princes by Ramona Wheeler;

and

Archetype by M. D. Waters.


From formerly featured Debut Author Challenge Authors:

Broken Homes (Rivers of London/Peter Grant 4) by  Ben Aaronovitch;

and

Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins comes out in Trade Paperback.


February 1, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
The First Last Unicorn and Other Beginnings Peter S Beagle F - Stories
Claimed by the Wolf (e) Saranna DeWylde PNR
The Line (D) J. D. Horn UF - Witching Savannah 1
A Hunter's Passion (e) Gwen Knight PNR
December Phil Rickman Oc /Su
Descending Son Scott Shepherd H
John Golden (e) Django Wexler Techno/F/Noir



February 2, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction (e) Charles L. Adler Science



February 4, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Broken Homes Ben Aaronovitch UF - Rivers of London 4
The Phantom Lover and Other Thrilling Tales of Thailand Jim Algie H - Stories
Night's Promise Amanda Ashley PNR - Children of the Night 6
Wings of Death James Axler
(Douglas P Wojtowicz)
SF - Outlanders 26
Tristano Nanni Balestrini Meta
A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent (h2tp) Marie Brennan F
The Reaver Richard Lee Byers F - D&D: Forgotten Realms: The Sundering 4
A Draw of Kings Patrick W. Carr F - The Staff and the Sword 3
Fallout James K. Decker SF - Haan 2
Reave the Just and Other Tales Stephen R. Donaldson F - Short Stories
Scarlet Devices Delphine Dryden PNR - Steam and Seduction 2
By Blood We Live Glen Duncan H - Last Werewolf Trilogy 3
Lynx Destiny Doranna Durgin PNR - Sentinels 8
1632 (Leatherbound Edition) Eric Flint AH/TT - Ring of Fire 1
Now Comes the Night P. G. Forte PNR - Children of the Night 3
Dreamwalker C.S. Friedman F
Only the Good Die Young Chris Marie Green UF - Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire 1
Falling Light Thea Harrison PNR - Game of Shadows 2
Wolfhound Century (h2tp) Peter Higgins AH - Wolfhound Century 1
Soul Deep Anne Hope PNR - Dark Souls 4
Blood Lines (ri) Tanya Huff UF - Blood/Victoria Nelson 3
Dust Devils Jonathan Janz H
Storm of Light Nate Kenyon F - Diablo III
Red Delicious Caitlin R. Kiernan UF - Siobhan Quinn 2
Mark of Evil (h2tp) Tim LaHaye
Craig Parshall
PA - End 1
Carousel Sun Sharon Lee UF/Th - Carousel 2
Rule Breaker Lora Leigh PNR - Breeds 29
The Best of All Possible Worlds (h2tp) Karen Lord SF/R
Stolen Crown Dennis L. McKiernan F - Mithgar 17
One Night with the Shifter Theresa Meyers PNR
The Tesla Gate John D. Mimms SF/P
Line and Orbit Sunny Moraine
Lisa Soem
SFR
Wild Things Chloe Neill UF - Chicagoland Vampires 9
Who Fears Death (ri) Nnedi Okorafor MR
Song of Ireland (ri) Juilene Osborne-McKnight HistF
The Flight of the Silvers Daniel Price SF/Adv
Avenger's Heat Katie Reus PNR - Moon Shifter 6
Magic Man (ri) Patricia Rice PNR - Magic 6
To Sail a Darkling Sea John Ringo SF - Black Tide Rising 2
Sword-Bound (h2mm) Jennifer Roberson F - Tiger and Del 7
Black Rose (ri) Nora Roberts R - In the Garden Trilogy 2
The Companions (h2mm) R. A. Salvatore F - The Sundering 1
Go Kill Crazy! Bryan Smith H
V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History Allen Steele AH 
Shadows of Falling Night (h2mm) S. M. Stirling UF - Shadowspawn 3
The Collection: A Registry Novel Shannon Stoker Dys - Registry 2
Definitely Maybe Arkady and Boris Strugatsky SF
Strange Bodies Marcel Theroux F/Th
Path of the Eldar Omnibus Gav Thorpe F - Warhammer 40,000
Annihilation: A Novel Jeff VanderMeer SF - Southern Reach Trilogy 1
Lover Enshrined (ri) J.R. Ward PNR - Black Dagger Brotherhood 6
Empire of Man David Weber
John Ringo
SF - Eveness 3
Dryad-Born Jeff Wheeler F - Whispers from Mirrowen 2
Three Princes (D) Ramona Wheeler AH



February 5, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Mad Maudlin: A Tor.Com Original (e) Marie Brennan F
No One Noticed the Cat (ri) Anne McCaffrey F



February 6, 2014
TITLEAUTHORSERIES
Doctor Who: Keeping Up with the Joneses (e) Nick Harkaway SF - Doctor Who
Archetype (D) M. D. Waters SF/Sus - Archetype 1



D - Debut
e - eBook
h2mm - Hardcover to Mass Market Paperback
h2tp - Hardcover to Trade Paperback
ri - Reissue or Reprint


Adv - Adventure
AH - Alternate History
Dys - Dystopian
F - Fantasy
H - Horror
HistF - Historical Fantasy
Meta - Metaphysical
MR - Magical Realism
Oc - Occult
P - Paranormal
PA - Post Apocalyptic
PNR - Paranormal Romance
R - Romance
SF - Science Fiction
SFR - Science Fiction Romance
Su - Supernatural
Sus - Suspense
Th - Thriller
TT - Time Travel
UF - Urban Fantasy

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - December 29, 2013




Wow! I can't believe this is my last Week in Review (WIR) of 2013. I also look like a reading hero as I get to tell you about ALL the books I read in the last two weeks. My last WIR was high in rhyming abilities and low in telling you what I read and I have plowed through quite a few books over the last fortnight. At least you have a lot of pretty book covers to look at this time! So what did I read?

Going back to almost two weeks ago I finished Sins of the Lost by Linda Poitevin (Intermix, October 15, 2013) which is the third in the Grigori Legacy. I got this instalment from the good people at NetGalley and it has taken me much longer than it should have to actually read it. You may know if you have read any of my other posts that I haven't been the biggest fan of angel series. I did however, warm to this series during book 2, Sins of the Son. I liked the fact that Poitevin did the unpredictable with her characters and didn't have the fated end up together. I  am not too sure about this instalment however, as I think that Sins of the Lost is a tad too dark. Odd  to say I know, especially given that this is a story about heaven vs hell but between Lucifer, Seth - who has given up his powers, The One who is dying, and the abused Alex there isn't much a reprieve. It is one major crisis after another. I had also forgotten quite a bit about what had happened in the previous books and was always going 'he/she did what?'. I like a book to be balanced, otherwise I end up wondering how it is possible for the lead character(s) to go on. Hopefully, something remotely nice can happen in the next book....fingers crossed.

I was trawling through Goodreads when I noticed that the fourth and final book of the Book of the Order series by Philippa Ballantine  - Harbinger  - had been released since July and I had never noticed. I could NOT believe that I had missed the release of the final book of a series that I have loved. This final book did not disappoint and I think it is the perfect ending to a fantastic series. Sorcha Farris is my favourite kind of heroine - strong, brave, conflicted and willing to risk everything to save those she loves. In fact, I loved all of the characters, even the baddies. You will know from my recent review of Kindred and Wings that I am a big fan of Ballantine's. So far there isn't a book of hers that I haven't really liked. That isn't an easy feat as I am quite fussy! She also has the most amazing book covers. Check out the cover of Harbinger...it is gorgeous. If you like fantasy then I urge you to start at book 1. Geist.

I then had a bit of a panic attack when I had a look at the results of the Goodreads  - 2013 Reading Challenge. Gulp! I was 4 books behind schedule and just over a week to go before the new year. How embarrassing! I almost ran to my iPad and brought up my Amazon recommendations to find something I could read quickly. I was soooo lucky as I came across Firelight by Kristen Callihan. This is the first novel in Darkest London series which is billed as PNR but is quite dark and has some quite gruesome parts. This is story of the star crossed lovers  - Miranda who is a very beautiful and talented fire elemental but is very, very poor. No one is no more surprised than Miranda when the extremely wealthy Lord Archer proposes. Archer wears a mask and it takes almost the whole book to find out what deformity is hiding behind it. This is just one of the many surprises in Firelight. Lucky for me the first four books have been released and it didn't take
long to get through Moonglow, Winterblaze and finally, Shadowdance. Apart from Shadowdance the other books of the series are the stories of Miranda's sisters, each of which have their own special, magical talents. There is a lot of suspense, intrigues and gory murders galore. Not your typical PNR. I'm not saying there aren't any heaving bosoms or throbbing  manliness but it didn't take precedence over the murder(s) mystery. Overall, I enjoyed this series but had a big problem with book 2 - Moonglow. I thought that the GIM (part clockwork, ghost fueled people) were overtly complicated and they didn't really make sense. I also thought it was illogical to have a immortal being brought low by a very mortal disease. In my mind, this plot device didn't work for me. Having said that I continued on and read books 3 and 4 and am really looking forward to the 5th book in the series, Evernight.

With only days left to go to reach my reading challenge goal I am reading not 1 but 2 books - Broken Homes (Peter Grant/ Rivers of London 4) by Ben Aaronovitch and Master of Crow by Grace Draven. Both books are excellent...very different but great in their own way. I am looking forward to finishing them and not just to make my reading challenge!

Well that is all for me for this week. The next time you hear from me it will be 2014 so until then Happy Reading.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 1


This is the first in a series of updates about formerly featured Debut Author Challenge authors and their upcoming books for 2014. This update covers some of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge authors. Look for What's Up for the Debut Author Challenge Authors in 2014? - Part 2  on The Qwillery tomorrow, which will cover more of the 2011 authors.




Please note that publication dates are subject to change and that The Qwillery uses U.S. publications dates. In addition, some cover images are not yet available.


Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes
Peter Grant 4
DAW, February 4, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages

My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame -- whatever that is.

Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast. With the new year, I have three main objectives, a) pass the detective exam so I can officially become a DC, b) work out what the hell my relationship with Lesley Mai, an old friend from the force and now fellow apprentice, is supposed to be, and most importantly, c) get through the year without destroying a major landmark.

Two out of three isn’t bad, right?

A mutilated body in Crawley means another murderer is on the loose. The prime suspect is one Robert Weil, who may either be a common serial killer or an associate of the twisted magician known as the Faceless Man -- a man whose previous encounters I've barely survived. I've also got a case about a town planner going under a tube train and another about a stolen grimoire.

But then I get word of something very odd happening in Elephant and Castle, on a housing estate designed by a nutter, built by charlatans, and inhabited by the truly desperate. If there's a connection to the Crawley case, I'll be entering some tricky waters of juristiction with the local river spirits. We have a prickly history, to say the least.

Just the typical day for a magician constable.





Jenn Bennett

Bitter Spirits
Roaring Twenties 1
Berkley, January 7, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

It’s the roaring twenties, and San Francisco is a hotbed of illegal boozing, raw lust, and black magic. The fog-covered Bay Area can be an intoxicating scene, particularly when you specialize in spirits…

Aida Palmer performs a spirit medium show onstage at Chinatown’s illustrious Gris-Gris speakeasy. However, her ability to summon (and expel) the dead is more than just an act.

Winter Magnusson is a notorious bootlegger who’s more comfortable with guns than ghosts—unfortunately for him, he’s the recent target of a malevolent hex that renders him a magnet for hauntings. After Aida’s supernatural assistance is enlisted to banish the ghosts, her spirit-chilled aura heats up as the charming bootlegger casts a different sort of spell on her...

On the hunt for the curseworker responsible for the hex, Aida and Winter become drunk on passion. And the closer they become, the more they realize they have ghosts of their own to exorcise…



Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties 2) will be published in June 2014.



Banishing the Dark
Arcadia Bell 4
Pocket Books, May 27, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The fourth book in Jenn Bennett’s critically beloved urban fantasy series, gutsy renegade mage and tiki bar owner Arcadia Bell faces the last danger standing between her old identity and the new future she desperately wants: herself.

Complicated does not begin to describe Arcadia Bell’s life right now: unnatural magical power, another brush with death, and a murderous mother who’s not only overbearing but determined to take permanent possession of Cady’s body. Forced to delve deep into the mystery surrounding her own birth, she must uncover which evil spell her parents cast during her conception…and how to reverse it. And fast. As Cady and her lover Lon embark on a dangerous journey through her magical past, Lon’s teenage son, Jupe, sneaks off for his own investigation. Each family secret they uncover is darker than the last, and Cady, who has worn many identities—Moonchild, mage, fugitive—is about to add one more to the list.







Sabrina Benulis

Covenant
The Books of Raziel 2
Harper Voyager, April 1, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.

A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.

The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.





Adam Christopher

Hang Wire
Angry Robot Books, January 28, 2014 (US/Canada and eBook)
February 6, 2013 (UK)
Trade Paperback and eBook

Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer.

Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.

Out in the city there are other new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!

File Under: Urban Fantasy [ Tensile Strength | Dual Identities | The Greatest Show | Bandits ]

 




The Burning Dark
Spider Wars 1
Tor Books, March 25, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Adam Christopher’s dazzling first novel, Empire State, was named the Best Book of 2012 by SciFi Now magazine. Now he explores new dimensions of time and space in The Burning Dark.

Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.

But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.

Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned space radio, only to tune in to a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?





Anita Clenney

Heart of a Highland Warrior
Connor Clan 3
Montlake Romance, June 3, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook

A bloodthirsty evil stalks the Connor Clan…

Brave, beautiful, and haunted by her past, demon hunter Anna MacKinley will do anything to help the Connors. Under divine orders, the headstrong warrior travels the world, slaying demons and vampires. When she stumbles upon a hidden stone fortress while searching for her clan’s lost Book of Battles, dark forces swiftly imprison her—and she discovers her cell mate is a gorgeous Scottish warrior who has no memories, but looks strikingly familiar.

And only a secret from the past can win the day…and her heart.


The warriors of the centuries-old Connor Clan search for their missing time-vault and the powerful relic within. What they find is a grave…and a kilt-clad body they fear is the long-lost Tavis Connor. But there may yet be more to the Highland warrior’s fate than a pile of bones. Desperate to save his brother and his clan’s Book of Battles from a demon hell-bent on destruction, Tavis begins a 150-year quest that will end in modern-day New York. But when he wakes, he discovers he’s the one in need of help. His only hope of rescue is a bonny lass who claims to be a warrior. A warrior waging war on demons…and his heart.





Karina Cooper

Tempered
St. Croix Chronicles 4
Carina Press, February 10, 2014
eBook, 333 pages

Forced out of London's coal-blackened streets, Cherry St. Croix is faced with her most difficult undertaking yet: sobriety.

At long last, my guardian, the enigmatic Mr. Oliver Ashmore, has revealed himself—and his order is clear: I am to be dried out at once, regardless of my wishes.

I loathe the country estate I am imprisoned within. Footsteps follow me, voices call for me, and my sanity wavers. In my fevered dreams, I am haunted by those I failed, while waking proves no protection from the ghosts of my reckless past. The craving for laudanum plagues me. I require a distraction.

To unravel the alchemical mysteries of my mother’s family, I must rely on Ashmore’s tutelage. I am lured to the art and drawn by the secrets my guardian possesses. Yet the deeper I delve, the more I believe that something dreadful disturbs these haunted corridors. In my madness, I fear that what it wants most...is me.

(Cover and description from the author's website.)



Ms. Cooper recently stated on Twitter:




Virna DePaul

Turned
The Belladonna Agency 1
Bantam, April 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.

Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.

But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.


Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.

When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.

Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?




Awakened
The Belladonna Agency 2
Bantam, July 1, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Ex-soldier Barrett Miles had no idea that vampires were real—until Belladonna recruits her to serve as a covert agent and infiltrate a murderous sex ring run by the most depraved of immortals, those who feed on the purity and blood of innocents. Their latest victim: a young girl whom Barrett promised to protect. She will be sold—unless Barrett can find her first. Forced to team up with her former lover, Nick Maltese, an undercover sniper, Barrett is caught between fulfilling her personal mission and shielding her heart from the man who betrayed her.

Nick’s hunting a new breed of vampires and harboring a terrible secret when Barrett finds him. Soon a seething underworld of strange desires threatens to engulf them all. Can he save the girl and reclaim Barrett’s heart? Nick knows he has only one chance to prove himself to her as the hunt begins—and their love forces them to embrace the darkest places in their souls.





Revealed (The Belladonna Agency 3) will be published in the Fall 2013.




Dani Harper

Storm Bound
Grim 2
Montlake Romance, March 18, 2014
Trade Paperback and eBook

Kidnapped on his wedding day in the twelfth century and forced into a thousand years of servitude by a cold-hearted faery princess, rugged blacksmith Aidan dreams of nothing but revenge on his captor. Then the spell of a beautiful witch awakens him to the present day—and a passionate desire. But to build a future, he must first confront his past…

Modern witch and magic-shop owner Brooke doesn’t think her life is missing anything, until a wayward enchantment lands a brooding medieval blacksmith in her spell room—and in her arms. Yet even after their passion proves to be truly magical, Aidan’s first commitment is to vengeance. Now Brooke must team up with friends and ancient warriors alike—and push her own powers to their limits—to save her love from the wrath of an evil fae.

From the bestselling author of Changeling Moon, this thrilling and sensual novel adds a new chapter to Dani Harper’s Celtic folklore–themed Grim Series.






Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Winner, Winner, Winners, Winner, Winner - March 30, 2011

Here are some winners of recent giveaways:

Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

Sinnaye who said


"I am totally in love with the waters in the Wicklow Mountains (Dublin), those little rivers who ens up in the big lakes are breathtaking. Especially the Guinness Lake

Would love to be there again... *sigh*"












Women Know Everything! by Karen Weekes

Bethany C. who said

Hmm, when you say women from 'history' I presume they have to not still be alive. I'll have to say Susan B. Anthony since she was so instrumental in the women's movement and suffrage.













Taste Me by Tamara Hogan (2 copies)

Book Groupie who said

I love all different sorts of music, but lately the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold and Arcade Fire have been especially inspirational. Great interview, I'd really like to read this book!

and

rissatoo who said

The music depends on what kind of 'inspiring' I need. Cleaning? Something I can bop around to and sing along (loudly!) with. The soundtrack to Mama Mia! works well for this. Driving? I love to listen to Country radio. Writing or just enjoying quiet time? Classical, like Pachelbel's Canon or Sleepsong by Secret Garden. Dancing? 80's alternative.


Bonded by Blood by Laurie London

KimberlySue who said...

My indulgence was applying for teaching jobs in every single state in order to try to get out of this miserable Pennsylvania weather....and my indulgence in sending my resumes out led to an awesome 8th grade Language Arts teacher in Arizona!













Sixty-One Nails and The Road to Bedlam by Mike Shevdon







Dolly who said...

I always find it irritating when people start complaining about a particular author's vision. There is a reason why these books are under "Fiction" - author has the right to change words or make them up.

What lurks beneath my city ...well, of course all creatures come and go, but a particular emphasis on shapeshifters, vampires, even some fairies and such - not the happy kind, but more the evil ones. Cities are good for predators. So many people to prey upon









Winners have been contacted and have until 11:59PM US Eastern Time on Wednesday April 6, 2011 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose another winner or winners.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Some Miscellaneous Stuff - Space Shuttles & Angry Brooks - March 7, 2011

This awesome video from NASA caught my eye today. I'm a huge fan of the space program and think the Shuttles are amazing. I also love Star Trek.


STS-133 "Star Trek" Wakeup Call
William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek television series, provided a special message to the crew of space shuttle Discovery during the Flight Day 12 wakeup call.

Something happened this morning that I do not recall happening before around here. School was canceled due to flooding. I stopped by Hop Brook today. Hop Brook is a very low and slow brook. Not today. It looks angry. I've thought of rivers, brooks, streams, etc. a bit differently since reading Midnight Riot / Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. Since Ben will be back at The Qwillery tomorrow, these photos are oddly appropriate.





Sunday, February 13, 2011

Giveaway Winners - February 13, 2011





The winner of Tempest's Legacy by Nicole Peeler is

Kristin who said... "I think I'd like to go out with a were, were-what?, not sure, but definitely a were something, lol!"



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The winner of the first 3 Envy Chronicles books by Joss Ware, Beyond the Night, Embrace the Night Eternal, and Abandon the Night, is

mbreakfield who said... "I would like to find food, water purification equipment, water, clothes, shoes, good camping equipment, and weapons."


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The winner of the first 2 Death Works books by Trent Jamieson, Death Most Definite and Managing Death, is

samantha35 who said... "great giveaway- love to be a paranormal handler"


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The winner of Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch is


tetewa who said... "I'm a follower and would go with the US covers!"











Winners have been notified and have until 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on February 27, 2011 to respond or The Qwillery will randomly pick a new winner or winners.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Interview with Ben Aaronovitch and Giveaway - February 2, 2011

Please welcome author Ben Aaronovitch to The Qwillery for the first in our 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Ben:  I wouldn't know about interesting but somewhat, shall we say, autistic about counting the words I write. I have an EXCELL spreadsheet on which I not only do a daily log (with a progress graph) but gives a percentage of each chapter completed, average writing speed (total) average writing speed (last 7 days) and estimated completion date based on both averages plus it constantly updates the minimum daily word count required for me to complete on time. Like I said, just a tad obsessive.

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Ben:  Generally my influences are quite wide; Andre Norton, Heinlein, Azimov, Moorcock, Ballard, Aldiss, Wyndham, LeGuin, William Gibson, Bujold, Cherryh, PKD and Sir Terry Pratchett (obviously). Non SFF, Umberto Eco, Bill Bryson, Rupert Graves, PD James, Jeremy Brett, Ed McBain (in particular for the Peter Grant books) and Elmore Leonard.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Ben:  I go with whatever is working at the time and give thanks when I reach my word target by the end of the day. It's always good to have at least a scaffold when you're writing but you mustn't mistake the scaffold for the final building. Also if you're writing anything with a mystery component than you must keep track of where your stories gone so far.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Midnight Riot / Rivers of London?

Ben:  I find ideas sort of sneak up on you. One minute I was happily ignorant of Peter Grant's existence and then - bang - he's taking over my life.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Midnight Riot / Rivers of  London?

Ben:  There are two directions for research. The first involves spotting something interesting in your travels, or reading or whatever and filing it away for future use. The second is more directed - for that I usually start with an internet sweep to establish what's available online and how reliable it is, if it's a location I try and visit the place, if it's an organisation I look for sources (official or otherwise), I buy books for preference, so I write in them, but if that's impracticable I have reading privileges at the British Library and the London Metropolitan Archive. Museums are also very useful since they also serve as research facilities, the London Museum particularly useful for me of course.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in the book?

Ben:  The ghost chase in Chapter 13.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Rivers of London series?

Ben:  I intend to write these books until I run out of ideas or they tell me to stop - whichever comes first.

TQ:  What's next?

Ben:  Cool jazz in Soho. A faceless man. Some old style London gangsters. Women who love music too much. Some history. Rooftop chases by moonlight.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Ben:  Very nice of you to have me.


Ben's Books

Midnight Riot / Rivers of London
Rivers of London 1
(Del Rey - February 1, 2011)
Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.


 
You can read my review of Midnight Riot / Rivers of London here.
 
 
Moon Over Soho
Rivers of London 2
(Del Rey - March 1, 2011)
BODY AND SOUL

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

Body and soul—they’re also what Peter will risk as he investigates a pattern of similar deaths in and around Soho. With the help of his superior officer, Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, the last registered wizard in England, and the assistance of beautiful jazz aficionado Simone Fitzwilliam, Peter will uncover a deadly magical menace—one that leads right to his own doorstep and to the squandered promise of a young jazz musician: a talented trumpet player named Richard “Lord” Grant—otherwise known as Peter’s dear old dad.

 
UK Covers 


About Ben
 
Ben Aaronovitch was born in 1964. He had parents, some brothers, some sisters and a dog named after a Russian cosmonaut. He also had the kind of dull childhood that drives a person to drink, radical politics or science fiction.
 
Discovering in his early twenties that he had precisely one talent, he took up screenwriting at which he was an overnight success. He wrote for Doctor Who, Casualty and the world's cheapest ever SF soap opera Jupiter Moon. He then wrote for Virgin's New Adventures until they pulped all his books.
 
Then Ben entered a dark time illuminated only by an episode of Dark Knight, a book for Big Finish and the highly acclaimed but not-very-well-paying Blake's 7 Audio dramas. Trapped in a cycle of disappointment and despair Ben was eventually forced to support his expensive book habit by working for Waterstones as a bookseller.
 
Ironically it was while shelving the works of others that Ben finally saw the light. He would write his own books, he would let prose into his heart and rejoice in the word. Henceforth, subsisting on nothing more than instant coffee and Japanese takeaway, Ben embarked on the epic personal journey that was to lead to Rivers of London (or Midnight Riot as it is known in the Americas).
 
At some point during the above, the most important thing in his life happened and he became a father to a son, Karifa, whom he affectionately refers to as 'The Evil Monster Boy'. The Evil Monster Boy will be reaching university age soon, so all donations will be gratefully received.
 
Ben Aaronovitch currently resides in London and says that he will leave when they pry his city from his cold dead fingers.

Ben's & Peter's Links:

The Folly: http://www.the-folly.com/
Twitter:  @Ben_Aaronovitch

Peter's Blog: http://westendblues.blogspot.com/
Peter's Twitter:  @PC_Peter_Grant

The Giveaway
 
THE RULES
 
What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback of Midnight Riot.
 
How:  Leave a comment telling The Qwillery whether you like the US Covers or UK Covers better? Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
 
You may receive additional entries by:
 
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
 
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
 
3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
 
There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
 
Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.
 
Who & When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Void where prohibited by law.
 
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review - Midnight Riot / Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch - 4 1/2 Qwills

Midnight Riot
Author: Ben Aaronovitch
Series: Rivers of London 1
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (February 1, 2011)
Price: $7.99
Language: English
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0-345-52425-6
Review Copy: Arc provided by Publisher

Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.



UK Cover and synopsis

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden ...and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.

My thoughts:

While Ben Aaronovitch has written some Doctor Who tie-in novels, this is his first original novel and his urban fantasy debut. Midnight Riot / Rivers of London is quite simply fabulous. It's a mystery, police procedural, and urban fantasy wrapped in a rich mythology of London's rivers.

I find it interesting that this novel has two different covers and two different titles. This is not the first time this has happened in the history of novels, of course. I find it interesting because the covers and titles reflect two different aspects of the same story.

"Rivers of London" seems to emphasize the fantasy construct underlying the story: a mythology of London's rivers. Peter Grant, the main character, has to deal with issues created by the rivers. He deals directly with the gods and goddesses of the rivers and streams - the rivers personified. "Midnight Riot" seems to emphasize the police procedural aspect of the novel. A terrible chain of events has been set off. The mystery underlying the crimes comes from London's past. These two themes of the novel intertwine sometimes in surprising, but satisfying, ways.

Themes aside, this is essentially a story about Peter Grant. I find Detective Constable Grant to be a likable, flawed character. He makes mistakes. He's sometimes foolish, but he's got a curious mind and a willingness to learn. He's also got a scientific mind which would seem at odds with his new assignment working with DCI Nightingale investigating crimes that involve magic. However, this serves him well as he starts to navigate the world of magic. It's incredibly fun to read about his attempts at magic and watch him begin his journey to wizardom. He's starting to grow into both his jobs - Detective Constable and wizard.

The characters both paranormal and normal are well written. The river gods and goddesses are particularly well drawn. I'm intrigued by DCI Nightingale and hope to learn more about him in future books. The pacing is well done. The police procedures are detailed and interesting. There is quite a bit of detail about London and environs, which I enjoyed. I love the understated humor that suffuses Midnight Riot / Rivers of London. I'm looking forward to Moon Over Soho (March 1, 2011).

I give Midnight Riot / Rivers of London 4 1/2 Qwills.