Received in August

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

DC Comics:
DC Comics: The New 52 #1

Aladdin / Simon Teen / McElderry:
The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Coming of the Terraphiles by Michael Moorcock
Torchwood: First Born by James Goss
Torchwood: Long Time Dead by Sarah Pinborough
Torchwood: The Men Who Sold The World by Guy Adams

Hodder & Stoughton:
Outpost by Adam Baker

Harper Teen:
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Random House:
Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Macmillan Teen:
The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson (audio version)
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (audio version)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson (audio version)

Tor Books:
The Moon Maze Game by Larry Niven
Cowboys & Aliens by Joan D. Vinge

Pocket Books / Gallery/ Simon and Schuster / Washington Square Press:
Dark Taste of Rapture by Gena Showalter
Blood Sacrifice by Maria Lima
Enemy Mine by Karin Harlow
Night Falls on the Wicked by Sharie Kohler
My Soul to Take by Tananarive Due
The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay
Star Trek: A Choice of Catastrophes by Michael Schuster and Steve Mollmann
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk

Daw Books:
One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
The Truth of Valor by Tanya Huff
Blood Spirits by Sherwood Smith
Coronets and Steel by Sherwood Smith
Legacy of Kings by C.S. Friedman
Vamparazzi by Laura Resnick

Roc Books:
Shadow Kin by M.J. Scott
The Tears of the Sun by S. M. Stirling

Ace Books:
Blood Rules by Christine Cody
Against All Things Ending: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson

Penguin / NAL / Dutton:
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill
Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane

Unnatural by Michael Griffo
Unwelcome by Michael Griffo

Bleedout by Mike Kennedy
Days Missing: Kestus #2 by Phil Hester
Old City Blues by Giannis Milonogiannis
Fraggle Rock: Tails and Tales by Tim Beedle
The Scrumps: Mooch Steps Up His Game Oneshot
Cyclops #5 of 8
Feeding Ground #6 of 6

Quirk Books:
Star Trek Book of Opposites by David Borgenicht

Grand Central Publishing / Hachette Book Group:
Pure by Julianna Baggott

Scholastic Books:
Tomorrow Girls: Behind the Gates by Eva Gray
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Harper / Voyager:
Ghosts by Gaslight: Stories of Steampunk and Supernatural Suspense by Jack Dann

Received in July

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

Angry Robot:
Dark War by Tim Waggoner
Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis

Random House/Crown Publishing:
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Simon Teen
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy: The Gemini Agent by Rick Barba

Harper Teen / Katherine Tegen Books:
Alex Van Helsing: Voice of the Undead by Jason Henderson
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

BBC Books:
Doctor Who and the Crusaders by David Whitaker
Doctor Who and the Daleks by David Whitaker
Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen by Terrance Dicks
Doctor Who and the Cybermen by Gerry Davis
Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion by Terrance Dicks
Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters by Malcolm Hulke

Penguin Teen/ Philomel:
Z. Raptor by Steve Cole

K Teen:
Torn by Erica O’Rourke
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Orbit Books:
Germline by T.C. McCarthy
Blood Rights by Kristen Painter

Roc Books:
Dead Iron by Devon Monk
Working Stiff by Rachel Caine
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
Dead Mann Walking by Stefan Petrucha

Pocket / Gallery Books:
Alterant by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Gears of War: Coalition’s End by Karen Traviss
Beauty Dates the Beast by Jessica Sims
Star Trek: Cast No Shadow by James Swallow
Bound By Moonlight by Nancy Gideon
Shadow Fall by Seressia Glass
Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

Penguin / Viking:
The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Harper Collins / William Morrow / Voyager / Avon:
Overbite by Meg Cabot
Aloha from Hell by Richard Kadrey
The Fire King by Marjorie M. Liu

Ace Books:
Heroes at Odds by Moira J. Moore
Theirs Not To Reason Why: A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson

Daw Books:
The Diviner by Melanie Rawn
Path of the Sun by Violette Malan
Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
Water to Burn by Katharine Kerr

Tor Teen / Fiewel and Friends:
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Tor / Forge:
The Unincorporated Woman by Dani Kollin
The Watchtower by Lee Carroll

Solaris Books:
Sympathy for the Devil by Justin Gustainis

Hodder & Stoughton:
Bricks by Leon Jenner

Relic Master Blog Tour: Catherine Fisher Guest Post

It’s very exciting to announce the publication of volume three in the RELIC MASTER quartet: THE HIDDEN CORONET. In this book I introduce a few new characters, and Raffi, Galen and the others finally start to learn some of the secrets of the mysterious Sekoi, and how to begin to correct the disintegration of Anara. Carys gets trapped in the Drowned Palace of Theriss, and Galen sees at last the face of one of the Makers, though perhaps not in the way he had wished. I hope readers who are still hanging on in this fast and furious journey will enjoy this installment!

In this blog I’d like to talk about characters. I notice when I get messages from readers there are two things they always respond to, and want to talk about. The first is concept- the big ideas of the book, the setting. This overall plan often gets people excited. But what engages readers, more than anything, I’m coming to think, is the way they relate to the characters, whether that’s liking them, hating them, finding them intriguing or just wanting to be them.

In the Relic Master set, I had my ideas for the two main characters from the start. The sorcerer and his (inept) apprentice is a really old idea; I wanted to take that and work with it a little, and see what would happen. Once I had the idea of the outlawed Order, and the powers of the keepers, I knew that Galen would be quite a bitter and haunted man. I liked that idea, because it would lead to a great deal of friction between him and Raffi. But it was only when a friend of mine suggested that Galen might have lost his magical abilities that I really saw him clearly. A proud, arrogant man, always secure in his beliefs, suffering such a terrible loss and doubt and then having to depend on a half-taught boy- he would really be interesting. So in the first book things are at their worst for him. And even the solution- his gaining the powers of the Crow- is a difficult one, because to have too much power might be just as hard to deal with as having too little. But Galen is more than bitter and reckless, I hope; he does have a great deal of compassion, and I wanted to bring that out a bit in Hidden Coronet, in the scenes after the Vortex in the town of Areto.

As for Raffi, he was pretty clear from the start. His fear, for one thing. He starts quite young; he is scared of death and torture, scared of the Watch, doubtful about whether he can ever live the life of a keeper. And yet something keeps him with Galen, when he might run away, and that must be some deep-seated love, and courage. Which I hope becomes clearer book by book, until in The Margrave….. But I can’t tell you about that yet! Raffi is also changed by his relationship with Carys, and the discovery that you can like someone who is completely opposite to you, and rubbishes all your deepest beliefs. I don’t think he’s ever come across someone like her before. Finally he becomes a strong, clear-sighted character, seeing Galen’s mistakes as well as his own.

Carys was a delight to write- I wanted to make her tricky, scheming, very determined; a high flyer but someone who pursues her own path. She doesn’t quite get the Makers, but she also is coming to loathe the Watch, and so she has to define her own truths. And of course she has a big dark hole at the centre of her life, because the Watch have taken her identity and her family, so she has to find something to replace them.

Finally, there’s the Sekoi. Inventing an alien race is the ultimate joy for a writer- anything is possible, as long as you can make the reader believe in it. The sekoi are cat-like, tall, seven-fingered, with a bizarre line in storytelling and their own, very secret lives. The sekoi in my story- whose name you never learn- is sardonic, world-weary and has a definite agenda of its own. It’s a great character to use to comment on the tangles that the humans get themselves into, and to have two very alien cultures confronting each other, with all their differences, and this comes to a climax at the end of the Margrave. (Again, can’t explain yet!) And where are the sekoi children, and why do obvious carnivores only eat fruit? Some mysteries remain, even to me!

Stories are told through people, their actions, their motivation, their hopes and fears. Readers link in with that, and I know from speculation about Incarceron and now Relic Master that they love to imagine further adventures for their favorite characters. Which is fine by me.

Enjoy book three. And next month, the final adventure, and the darkest most dangerous enemy of all- THE MARGRAVE!

Catherine Fisher

Read moreRelic Master Blog Tour: Catherine Fisher Guest Post

Book News: Book Country – For Readers and Writers

Book Country’s Who We Are:
Book Country is a place where readers and writers of genre fiction come together to read original fiction, post work or comments, and make a name for themselves. Our free community is a creative and supportive space where fiction writers and readers can give and receive constructive criticism, discover new and entertaining books, discuss and share tips and experiences, and learn about the publishing industry. Book Country aims to be useful, egalitarian, and merit-based while fostering an atmosphere of encouragement and creativity.

Later this year, Book Country will offer a convenient and affordable way to self-publish eBooks and print books. With a variety of services available, we want you to be able to put your book on the map. As Book Country grows, we will continue to offer additional features and services we think you will appreciate.

Book Country is a unique and helpful place for new writers. The community focuses on science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery, and thriller genres. Be sure to check it out!

Received in June

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

Sucker Punch Blu-ray Edition

Tor/Forge Books:
Chicks Kick Butt edited by Rachel Caine
Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader
First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader
The Plain Man by Steve Englehart
7th Sigma by Steven Gould

Harlequin Teen:
Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison

Night Shade Books:
The Best Horror of the Year Volume 3 edited by Ellen Datlow
Happily Ever After edited by John Klima
Jim and the Flims by Rudy Rucker
Miserere by Teresa Frohock
No Hero by Jonathan Wood
The Clockwork Rocket by Greg Egan

Pocket Books:
Lord of Shadows by Alix Rickloff
Warehouse 13: A Touch of Fever by Greg Cox
Star Trek: Vanguard: Declassified by David Mack

Berkley Boulevard/Obsidian:
Conan the Barbarian by Michael A. Stackpole
Vision Impossible by Victoria Laurie

New American Library/Penguin:
The Left Hand of God by Paul Hoffman

Ace Books:
Spectyr by Philippa Ballantine
Rule 34 by Charles Stross
Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer

Daw Books:
Song of the Dragon by Tracy Hickman
My Life as A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland
Citadels of the Lost by Tracy Hickman

Gallery Books:
Grave Expectations by Charles Dickens
World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects by Christie Golden

Shadow Mountain:
The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum

Orbit Books:
Hell Ship by Philip Palmer
The Final Evolution by Jeff Somers

Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Books:
Naamah’s Blessing by Jacqueline Carey

Little, Brown/Mulholland:
Flashback by Dan Simmons
The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen

Harper Teen:
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Fateful by Claudia Gray

Del Rey:
Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Penguin Teen/Penguin Children/Dial:
Relic Master: The Dark City by Catherine Fisher
Relic Master: The Lost Heiress by Catherine Fisher
Relic Master: The Hidden Coronet by Catherine Fisher
Relic Master: The Margrave by Catherine Fisher

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: Borrowed Time by Naomi Alderman
Doctor Who: Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris
Doctor Who: Paradox Lost by George Mann

Tor Teen:
Shadow Grail #2: Conspiracies by Mercedes Lackey
The Dark Zone by Dom Testa

Simon Teen/Children:
The Dagger Quick by Brian Eames
This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel

Blog Tour: Juliet Blackwell Guest Post

Hexes and HemlinesAuthor Juliet Blackwell joins today to talk about her latest release Hexes and Hemlines!

Bad Luck and Broomsticks

Have you ever noticed how most buildings skip the 13th floor?

Though we might think of ourselves as living in a scientific society, it’s amazing how superstitions still shape our lives: in Scotland there are no gates thirteen in airports; many airplanes have no row thirteen. Some streets skip over the address entirely. And there are lots of historic examples of bad luck being associated with thirteen: there were thirteen people at the last supper; Loki was the thirteenth fellow invited to a disastrous dinner at Valhalla; on Friday the thirteenth the Knights of the Templar were arrested and killed.

Read moreBlog Tour: Juliet Blackwell Guest Post

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