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Monthly Archives: February 2013

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A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz

Elle wants nothing more to be a simple pilot, flying her small air freighter Water Lily and ignoring social mores. But there is nothing simple about the package her French contact Patrice wants her to carry to London. Within minutes of taking possession of the small box, she is attacked and robbed, saved only by the intervention of Patrice’s associate Marsh. Simple is going to become a very rare word in Elle’s vocabulary as she is pulled deeper and deeper into Marsh’s world. In a world of divided Light and Shadow, where Absinthe faeries flit through bars and Alchemists move through the shadows, a deadly plan has been set in motion. And Elle may just be the key to it all.

If you think you might enjoy your steampunk with a dash of ancient Greek myth for spice, this is the book for you. Toss in enough romance to get my attention without any of the posturing and fussing that generally drives me to drink as a reader and the book, and its wonderfully well rounded characters, caught and held my attention.

A Conspiracy of Alchemists is a fantastic mix of steampunk and sleuthing. Ms. Schwarz has built a world that is rich with familiar fantasy denizens  as well as some nightmares and magic that is purely her own and breathes new life into the genre. It will appeal to fans of Gail Carraiger. It is a fast read- mostly because I was unwilling to put the book down.

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Cover Reveal- 13 British Horror Stories by Rayne Hall

13BritishHorrorStories cover 16Feb13C

I have the distinct privilege of hosting the cover reveal for Rayne Hall’s Thirteen British Horror Stories. And what better way to host a cover reveal than to sit down and chat with the artist, Nadica Boskovska.  For more information on Thirteen British Horror Stories, please visit Rayne’s author page. Enjoy, and happy reading!

1. How long have you been an artist, Nadica?

– I’ve been painting ever since I can remember. There isn’t a long-standing artistic tradition in my family, but I’ve been blessed to have the support and understanding from my loved ones.
Painting is a truly important part of my life and it’s the best media to express my feelings. I paint the way some people write their autobiography and journals. It’s the movement of painting that interests me, the dramatic movement from one effort to the next, even if those efforts are perhaps not pushed to their ultimate end. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages of my journal, and as such they are big part of me.
2.You have a good number of book covers under your belt – how did you get started with this form of art?
– It was completely spontaneous. I love to paint and despite some side roads I’ve taken along the way, trying to make a career in other areas, I’ve always been brought back to my painting. Thanks to the love of art I’ve met so many inspiring people that share the same passion, but also some wonderful writers, who needed me to translate their thoughts and emotions and to create artworks, that will be complimenting and praising their books.
3. When a person commissions artwork from you, what sorts of details about the artwork do you need to create it? How closely do you work with the commissioner?
 I always dedicate time to my clients and have a brief conversation for their book. First of all, I need to know what genre the book is and what kind of theme it is elaborating. I also ask the writer for their personal opinion about how they imagine the cover to look like and once I have that base, I work around it and try to enhance it, so that it’s appealing for the readers and makes them want to get the book and read it.
4. Where can people find out more about you and your artwork?
– The best way to find out more about my artwork is to visit my deviantART gallery:

Strange Fates by Marlene Perez

Nyx Fortuna is the son of Lady Fortuna, the only son of the House of Wyrd. His Aunts, the Fates murdered his mother and have been hunting him ever since. Before she died, Fortuna hid Nyx’s thread of Fate, leaving him out of the reach of his Aunt’s gold scissors. Immortal, and long since grown underwhelmed with his condition, Nyx has traveled to Minneapolis to confront his Aunts and settle the score.

He did not intend on meeting a girl in a bar, or getting stabbed by her (current) boyfriend. He has always done better as a loner, keeping things simple, keeping anyone he could start to care about away from the attention of his ruthless Aunts. But here, in the city they call home, things are about to get a bit complicated.

Urban fantasy with a decidedly Greek flourish, Strange Fates is a fun and fast read. Nyx is quite the likable protagonist, and the book happily avoids the urban fantasy trope of everyone falling into bed with each other. That is not to say there is no sexual tension, it is just masterfully managed. Strange Fates is rotten with water hags, harpies, sorcerers, and necromancers. Double crosses, bar fights, and part time jobs.

Fortune’s Son has a rather full plate.

 

Available March 5, 2013. Orbit/Hachette books