Received in July

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in July for review and/or giveaways:

Frequency Blu-ray Edition
Outland Blu-ray Edition
Spawn Blu-ray Edition
Cellular Blu-ray Edition
Grimm Season 1 Blu-ray Edition

King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
An Officer’s Duty by Jean Johnson
Darklands by Nancy Holzner
Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews
The Lost Stars: Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell

Haven by Kay Hooper
Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway

Blood of the Emperor: The Annals of Drakis by Tracy Hickman
Shadowlands by Violette Malan

Del Rey:
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel

ECW Press:
Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson

Hachette Books / Twelve:
Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson

Harper Teen:
The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Harper Voyager:
Sin’s Dark Caress by Tracey O’Hara
Bloodstar: Star Corpsman: Book One by Ian Douglas
Carry the Flame by James Jaros

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s / Graphia:
The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

Kensington / Zebra:
Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson
Tainted Night, Tainted Blood by E.S. Moore
Stalking the Others by Jess Haines

Orbit Books:
Tempest’s Fury by Nicole Peeler

Penguin Teen / Dial:
The Slayer Chronicles: First Kill by Heather Brewer

Pocket Books / Gallery Books:
Widow’s Web by Jennifer Estep
Romeo Spikes by Joanne Reay
The Curse by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Shadows Before the Sun by Kelly Gay

Random House Teen / Delacorte Press:
The Kill Order by James Dashner

Roc Books:
Daughter of the Sword by Steve Bein
Two Weeks’ Notice by Rachel Caine
A Wolf at the Door by K. A. Stewart
A Hundred Words for Hate by Thomas E. Sniegoski
Seawitch by Kat Richardson

Scholastic Books:
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch
3 Below by Patrick Carman
Undead by Kirsty McKay
The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
Havoc by Chris Wooding

Titan Books:
Lord Tyger by Philip Jose Farmer
Time’s Last Gift by Philip Jose Farmer
Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Doctor Moreau by Guy Adams

Tor Books:
Wake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe
The Coldest War by Ian Tregillis
Energized by Edward M. Lerner
Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card
Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson
Queen’s Hunt by Beth Bernobich
Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero by Fred Chao

Syndrome E by Franck Thilliez

Book Giveaway and Spotlight: The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

Courtesy of Pocket Books, I have a copy of The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper (on sale July 31st) for one (1) lucky winner!

Set in the world of Half Moon Hollow, made famous in Molly’s Nice Girls Don’t… series, this stand-alone comedic novel features a daytime vampire concierge who helps the undead take care of errands and appointments during sunlight hours. Iris Scanlon’s only rule: relationships are for business, not pleasure. But when she finds newest client, Cal, poisoned on his kitchen floor, her quiet life gets turned upside down. Could it be that what she really needs is some intrigue and romance—and her very own stray vampire?

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 27. I’ll draw a name on July 28, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway and Spotlight: The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires

Exclusive Author Interview: SJ Kincaid

On this latest stop for the Dark Days of Summer tour, SJ Kincaid joins today to talk about her latest book Insignia.

Can you tell us a bit about Insignia in your own words?

Insignia is the story of Tom Raines, a teenaged video gamer who’s recruited to become a government weapon in a future world war fought over resources and territory in space.

Tom Raines is gifted at virtual reality gaming. Are you into gaming? Did you have to do much research for the subject?

I’m not a gamer myself, but my best friends in college were (and still are) very into videogames, so I definitely drew a lot of my inspiration from them. They spend a lot of their days playing games like league of legends and I know a few buy league of legends accounts, so I asked them lots of questions to learn about it. I had a lot of fun making up the scenarios for the videogames featured in the story.

In your future Earth, countries are at war in space, instead of traditional wars fought with a huge loss of life. How did you come up with this vision of the future?

I actually came up with it after reading the article that gave me the idea for Insignia. I was reading about likely future technological developments, and one development mentioned was the increasing use of unmanned drones, especially for warfare. This image came into my mind of two great powers fighting a vast battle with fleets of these unmanned drones, and it struck me that with the human element removed, it was almost like a videogame. I wondered exactly what two superpowers would have to fight over in the future, and immediately concluded it would have to be resources and territory in the solar system. Why? Because it makes sense, and because it’s much more awesome.

Are there any sequels planned for Insignia?

Yes! I have a contract for three books.

What’s next for you after Insignia? Any other stories on the horizon?

I get ideas now and then, but I’m someone who thinks obsessively about the manuscript I’m working on, and I can’t really put any mental energy into anything else until I’m done with my current love. I’m always writing, though, so I assume there will certainly be something after Insignia.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

It took me a while to get published-seven manuscripts in fact. I’m very grateful it was such a long, difficult road, because I feel I appreciate this opportunity far more than I would have, had I hit a homerun my first manuscript. I’m also far more confident about my writing than I was starting off.

What inspires you?

Everything does. A lot of the ideas I had for Insignia I had while studying the human brain in a class. When my brain’s occupied with something completely unrelated, I seem to have this steady stream of ideas for fiction.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

There are two authors I love above all else: Susan Kay, who wrote a fantastic Tudor novel called Legacy, and Joseph Heller, who wrote Catch-22. It’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s pure hilarity, and strangely moving, too. In YA, I’m enjoying the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, and I really enjoyed Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

What do you do when you’re not writing? In your spare time?

Waste tons and tons of time on the internet.

Thanks for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for featuring Insignia, SciFiChick!

Insignia releases from Harper Teen on July 10th.

Fantasy Book Review: The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer Omnibus

The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer by Jim C. Hines

Jim C. Hines’ charming and funny fantasy series, The Goblin Trilogy, is available today from DAW Books – including Goblin Quest, Goblin Hero, and Goblin War!

Below are the reviews previously posted on this site for the included novels:

Goblin Quest
Jig is a small, even for a goblin, and often gets ridiculed by his peers. While patrolling through neighboring tunnels, Jig stumbles upon a group of adventurers. Captured for his knowledge of the underground tunnel system, Jig is forced to join the group and their search for the Rod of Creation. Legend says that the Rod was made by a dangerous Necromancer and is now supposedly held in a dragon’s lair.

Join Jig on this fun journey of laughs, danger, and magic. In this distinctive fantasy, we get to view life from a goblin’s point of view. As Jig learns more about the world around him, he also begins to learn more about himself. And as Jig’s character develops throughout the story from the different situations and obstacles that he is forced to endure, I found myself growing more attached to the little goblin.

Goblin Quest is a cleverly written adventure fantasy with a not-so-ordinary goblin hero. Goblins are usually viewed as villains in most fantasy stories, so it was humorous to see the reversed roles where the humans are the greedy fortune hunters. I thoroughly enjoyed this fun and exciting fantasy debut and will definitely be following future episodes.

Goblin Hero
After recovering from his adventures in slaying the Necromancer and the dragon, Jig is now known as “Jig Dragonslayer.” Unfortunately for him, an invading army of pixies know about him too. When an ogre comes to the goblins (Jig specifically) for help with a pixie infestation, Jig is forced to lead a group to investigate. But Veka, a wizard-in-training, is jealous of Jig’s hero status, and decides to save the day herself. And she just may jeopardize everyone’s chance at defeating the invaders to their land.

I was surprised to find that I enjoyed Goblin Hero even more than its predecessor. With even more laughs and excitement, Jig becomes the reluctant hero once again. Every character is unique with wonderful quirks. From the brawny goblin who pretends to be dumber than he is to the hobgoblin warrior who faints at the sight of blood, this fantasy is cleverly written from beginning to end. I can’t recommend this series enough.

Goblin War

Jig has bested a dragon, necromancer, and pixies; but now he’s up against a powerful orc and her army. To make matters worse, Jig has to deal with an army of humans as well. As a long-lost secret is revealed about Tymalous Shadowstar’s forgotten past, can Jig trust his benefactor enough to stand against the most powerful being Jig has ever encountered? Humans and the “uncivilized creatures” lives all may hang in the balance as armies clash and a dark plot unravels.

As a fan of the first two installments, I had high expectations for Goblin War. And I wasn’t disappointed. There is plenty of adventure, humor, and magic contributing to make this a fantastic fantasy. Jig’s character has been slowly developing over the course of the trilogy. And big questions are revealed that have been looming since the beginning. The humor is the most wonderful aspect of this unique series, and this latest had me laughing out loud (especially a certain reference to a Shel Silverstein story). Each of these books has been better than the last. This series is a must-read and one of my all-time favorites!

Received in June

The following are the books, DVDs, and Blu-Rays I received in June for review and/or giveaways:

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Blu-ray Edition
Wrath of the Titans Blu-ray Edition

47North / Amazon:
No Peace for the Damned by Megan Powell
Technomancer by B.V. Larson

Ace Books:
Heaven’s War by Michael Cassutt
Blackhearted Betrayal by Kasey Mackenzie
Bared Blade by Kelly McCullough
Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Dark Horizons by J.T. Colan

Daw Books:
The Legend of Jig Dragonslayer by Jim C. Hines
Home From the Sea by Mercedes Lackey

Gallery Books:
Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade by Richard A. Knaak
This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs

Harper Teen / Balzer + Bray / Katherine Tegen Books:
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Erasing Time by C. J. Hill
The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

Harper Voyager / William Morrow:
Devil Said Bang by Richard Kadrey
Krampus: The Yule Lord by Brom
Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury by Sam Weller

Hodder & Stoughton:
Juggernaut by Adam Baker

Little, Brown for Young Readers:
Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Macmillan Teen / Feiwel and Friends / FSG / Henry Holt / Square Fish:
Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate
Crewel by Gennifer Albin
The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
Outpost by Ann Aguirre

Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass by Liane Merciel
Pathfinder Tales: Blood of the City by Robin D. Laws

Penguin / NAL / Viking:
Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Penguin Teen / Putnam / Dial:
The Vindico by Wesley King
Second Chance by Heather Brewer
The Legacy of Tril: Soulbound by Heather Brewer

Pocket Books:
Changeling by Kelly Meding
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Raise the Dawn by David R. George III

The Kingmakers by Clay Griffith

Roc Books:
Iron Gray Sea by Taylor Anderson
Tin Swift by Devon Monk
Grave Memory by Kalayna Price
Dead Mann Running by Stefan Petrucha

Signet Select:
Darkness Devours by Keri Arthur

Simon Teen:
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy The Assassination Game by Alan Gratz
Mothership by Martin Leicht

St.Martin’s Press:
Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Thomas Nelson:
Spirit Fighter by Jerel Law

Titan Books:
Anno Dracula: The Bloody Red Baron by Kim Newman
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer
Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter by Daniel Stashower

Tor Books:
KOP Killer by Warren Hammond
Redshirts by John Scalzi

Tor Teen:
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Underland Press:
Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand

Fantasy Book News: Ice Forged Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway!

Bestselling fantasy author Gail Z. Martin is holding a sneak peek for her new book, Ice Forged, and we’ve got the goodies! Gail Z. Martin is the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series, published by Solaris Books, and The Fallen Kings Cycle from Orbit Books. Her short stories have appeared in numerous U.S. and UK anthologies.

Gail is unveiling the new cover for Ice Forged (coming from Orbit Books in January, 2013), and throwing her annual Hawthorn Moon Online Sneak Peek Event, which includes more than a dozen partner sites with exclusive excerpts, author and character interviews, audios, and more!

Ice Forged will take readers to an entirely new world with completely new characters. “It’s a totally different series,” Martin says. “I’m having a lot of fun building it and I’m looking forward to sharing it with readers.

Here’s the story: Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.

Now, McFadden and the people of Velant decide their fate. They can remain in their icy prison, removed from the devastation of the outside world, but facing a subsistence-level existence, or they can return to the ruins of the kingdom that they once called home. Either way, destruction lies ahead…

Get your exclusive excerpt from Ice Forged here:

To get in on all the action, including the other three unique excerpts, find out more on Gail’s site,

Courtesy of the author, I have a copy of one of her backlist titles for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US only. No PO Boxes, please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends July 20. I’ll draw a name on July 21, and notify winner via email.

Good luck!

Read moreFantasy Book News: Ice Forged Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway!

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