Interested in audiobooks? Check out this new audio excerpt from Hellknight (written by Liane Merciel, read by Ilyana Kadushin), the latest in the Pathfinder Tales series:
Hexomancy by Michael R. Underwood
Fan-favorite urban fantasista Ree Reyes and her crew of Geekomancers—humans that derive supernatural powers from pop culture—take on their biggest foes yet in this fourth book of the Geekomancy series.
When Ree’s long time nemesis Lucretia is finally brought to trial and found guilty for the deadly attack on Grognard’s, the Geekomancer community breathes a collective sigh of relief. But Ree and her crew soon discover that Lucretia has three very angry, very dangerous sisters who won’t rest until Eastwood—a fellow Geekomancer—is killed.
What follows is an adventure packed with epic battles, a bit of romance, and enough geeky W00t moments to fill your monthly quota of adventure and fun.
Time to Face the Chiptune Music
Most months, the Midnight Market hosted a grand auction, where members of the Pearson Underground put up items of magical significance for sale. Bids came in the form of barter, and the process could get as nasty as the hotel queue for San Diego Comic-Con.
But tonight, with the trial supplanting the auction, the crowd was as big as ever. Bigger. Pearson had lost three of its own last month, and while people in the Underground seldom all saw eye to eye, they looked out for one another. Lucretia hadn’t done a great job of making friends along the way, even outside Grognard’s crew.
The steel-eyed and silver-haired Auctioneer stood atop the podium, still wielding her gavel like a badge of office. She’d preside over the trial, since she was as close as Pearson got to an impartial observer.
Eastwood took the lead, with Ree second and Grognard pulling up the rear. They strode down the aisle, making their way to the front table opposite Lucretia.
Ree still wasn’t sure why they couldn’t have just bound
16 Michael R. Underwood
Lucretia into fixing all the damage from Grognard’s and been done with it, but every community had their own method of self-policing.
Spider’s Trap excerpt #1:
“I really want to stab someone right now.”
Silvio Sanchez, my personal assistant, glanced at me. “I would advise against that,” he murmured. “It might send the wrong message.”
“Yeah,” Phillip Kincaid chimed in. “Namely that you’ve reverted back to your deadly assassin ways and are going to start killing people again instead of hearing them out like you’re supposed to.”
“I never really left those ways behind,” I replied. “Considering that I could kill everyone here and sleep like a baby tonight.”
Phillip snickered, while Silvio rolled his eyes.
The three of us were sitting at a conference table that had been dragged out onto the deck of the Delta Queen, the luxe riverboat casino that Phillip owned. Normally, slot machines, poker tables, and roulette wheels would have been set up on the deck in preparation for the night’s gambling, but today the riverboat was serving as a meeting spot between some of Ashland’s many underworld bosses.
Supposedly, this meeting was to be a peaceful mediation of a dispute between Dimitri Barkov and Luiz Ramos, two of the city’s crime lords, who were disagreeing about who had the right to buy a series of coin laundries to, well, launder the money that they made from their gambling operations. Not that there was anything peaceful about the way that Dimitri and Luiz had been standing nose-to-nose and screaming at each other for the last five minutes. Their respective guards stood behind them, fists clenched tight and shooting dirty looks at each other, as though they would all love nothing more than to start brawling in the middle of the deck.
Now that would be entertaining. I grinned. Maybe I should let them have at each other, gladiator-style. Winner take all. That would be one way to settle things.
Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.
One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld — by default, not by choice — a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.
My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…
To promote the paperback release of Frostborn by Lou Anders today, a new book trailer has been created!
My review of Frostborn can be read here: https://scifichick.com/2014/08/25/thrones-and-bones-frostborn/
EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM ZEROBOXER by Fonda Lee
Carr gripped the rungs and climbed. At the stadium entrance, the rumble of the crowd suddenly faded as the music and lights dimmed and blue spotlights began sweeping back and forth. The announcer’s bass voice bellowed, “Fighting out of the red corner, with a mass of seventy kilograms and a record of four wins, one loss, CAAARRR … ‘THE RAPTOR’ … . LUKAAA!”
Carr kicked off the final hallway rung and through the entrance. He somersaulted tightly, then uncoiled, reached, and landed in a dramatic crouch on the deck, gripping it easily with the balls of feet and fingertips. The crowd roared its approval, and as he straightened, Carr saw close-ups of himself on the huge screens hanging around the stadium.
Great stars, there were a lot of people. They filled the tiered stands that stretched in all directions, blurred into shadow beyond the stark, glaring lights. Carr’s pulse sped up, beating in his palms and the soles of his feet. Zeroboxing was the sort of thing people watched on screens at home; most planet rats couldn’t afford to travel beyond atmosphere very often, and even those that could generally liked their artificial gravity. These spectators were the really hard-core fans, the ones who would rather be strapped into seats, drinking beer from squeeze bottles and brushing away floating globs of spilled orange soda and candy wrappers in order to see the fight live. Tonight, there were thousands of them, some still pulling themselves along the guide-rails to their seats.
Below the deck hung the Cube, empty, like an enormous minimalist ice sculpture. The sweeping spotlight beams distorted on its transparent surface, tingeing its edges and corners with cool blue light. Even experienced zeroboxers got shivers looking at the thing. To willingly enter it was to be completely imprisoned and utterly exposed. It was the prism of truth. There was no hiding in the Cube, no angle from which you could not be seen, and no way out until you had been proven victor or vanquished.
The announcer, Hal Greese, had a thick neck and a gut that, without gravity, migrated upward from the region of his waist to fill out his torso in a kind of general bulbousness. He turned in a slow circle in the center of the deck, one arm raised in anticipation. “Fighting out of the blue corner, with a mass of seventy-one kilograms and a record of nine wins, three losses, JAY…‘DRACULA’… FERRRANNOO!”