Most Anticipated Books of 2015

A new year means a new round of “best of” and “most anticipated” lists. This year, there’s been some noise about those lists being (as usual) too large a percentage of the White and Male variety. So out of my own curiosity, I thought I’d look at my wishlist so far for the upcoming year and see how my stats fell out.

In no particular order:

  • Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear – Steampunk in the wild west. Release date: 2/3/15.
  • Liesmith by Alis Franklin – Norse god gets an IT job. Gay main couple. Out now.
  • The Diamond Conspiracy  by Tee Morris and Philippa Ballantine – More steampunk. Part of a series. 3/31/15
  • Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – Alternate world fantasy. Part of a series. 3/3/15.
  •  The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber – Victorian fantasy. New series. 2/3/15.
  • Hunting the Dark by Karen Mahoney – Part of a series. Out now. (1/1/15)
  • The Hellsblood Bride by Chuck Wendig – NYC UF with demons and mobsters. Technically released 12/30/14.
  • Hit by Delilah Dawson – New series. Young adult. About a teenage indentured assassin trying to pay off her mother’s debt. Just in time for tax day in the US – 4/14/15.
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – I honestly have no idea what this one’s about, but I want to read it anyway. 8/4/15.
  • The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs  – Nonfiction. About feminism in geek spaces, written by and for geek girls. 5/15/15. 
  • The Skull Throne by Peter V Brett – Epic fantasy. Part of a series. 3/31/15.
  • Kin by Lili St.Crow – Young adult. Part of a series of retold fairy tales. 3/3/15.
  • Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch – Part of a series. Has a male PoC protagonist. 1/6/15.
  • Servants of the Storm by Delilah Dawson – YA horror. HC is already out but I’m including because I’m waiting for the paperback releasing 6/2/15.
  • Pocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire – Part of a series. Go read it. Read it now. 3/3/15.
  • Dark Heir by Faith Hunter – Part of a series about a Cherokee shapeshifter. 4/7/15.
  • Gemini Cell by Myke Cole – Militiary UF. It’s billed as military sci-fi, but there’s not that much science in it. I think the UF label is shied away from simply because that’s seen as a “female” genre. (Tell that to Jim Butcher. I dare you.) 1/27/15.
  • Prudence by Gail Carriger – Technically I’ve already read an ARC of this but I’m including because everyone else needs to read it. Victorian UF. 3/17/15.
  • Unbound by Jim C Hines – Part of a series. Librarian mages. 1/6/15.

I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I have bookmarked right now. So there are 19 books on that list. 7 of them are written or co-authored by men. So my list is 58% female. That’s not bad, but I had honestly expected it to be overwhelmingly female, and it’s not. I see 2 authors that I’m aware of that aren’t heterosexual. That’s a little under 12% of the list. That’s kind of disappointing, honestly. And though there are 2 books about PoC, I only see 1 book where the author is a PoC (to my best knowledge). That part is… really disappointing, actually.

I have N.K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor on my radar, but I don’t know of any upcoming releases from the former and the latter’s previous work is still on my TBR list. Somewhere, I have bookmarked a list of fantasy works by PoC and I am going to go now and put my hands on it because honestly this is just pitiful.

Sometimes we have to actively SEEK OUT diversity. Sadly, some aspects of our current system mean that great books by people Not White and/or Not Straight (and yes, Not Male also) aren’t put in front of us to see them. It is our own responsibility to find these books and to be widely read. I have, obviously, not been doing a very good job of that. I hadn’t been looking for this when picking up new books. And sometimes “not seeing” race, or sexuality, or gender identity is just another way of saying you’re ignoring those people different from yourself. (Often times. Most times. 99.99999% of the times.)

I will be sure and share the list when I find it. In the meantime, if you have an upcoming or recently released fantasy or sci-fi novel on your radar by someone Not Straight/White/Male**, please share it in the comments section so we can all be aware.

**Written by someone other than yourself, please. This is a space for awareness, not self-promotion. 

[P.S. – I am also looking for suggestions for authors with non-binary gender identities, but I have personally not seen anyone in the SF/F genres “advertising” this information. So if you know of any, please list them. Thanks.]

Review Revisited: DARKER STILL by Leanna Renee Hieber

You may remember back in December when I reviewed Leanna Renee Hieber’s newest novel, Darker Still. At the time, I had one lingering question that had bothered me.

A Novel of Magic Most Foul

If I could ask the author one question, though, I would want to know why Natalie needed to be a mute. Maybe that’s a factor that comes to play more of a role in the sequels, but our heroine’s background at a Victorian-era “school for the deaf” is mentioned several times but seems not to make much of an impact on the story line itself.

Yes, this really bothered me at the time because it seemed like an arbitrary handicap thrown in for possibly non-story-telling reasons. Well, I’m happy to tell you that I recently found out that I’m a complete idiot (about that anyway).

Here’s a quote from a recent guest post from Leanna at WORD for Teens:

The fact that my heroine Natalie suffers from a disability, Selective Mutism, proves another hurdle in a time period full of brick ceilings. Her condition is, I dearly hope, a reminder for all women, no matter what age, to literally and figuratively “find your voice” amidst a patriarchal society where women still struggle for equal pay, equal rights, equal power. 

Click the link above to go read the rest of the article, which has a lot more insight into the book than just this bit.

Now: about me being an idiot. Well. There’s not much I can say, I guess. I wasn’t expecting a metaphor that serious in a YA novel. I failed to make the connection, in a way that would make my AP English teacher very disappointed in me.

That said, this revelation makes me even happier and more excited for the next installment in the series, which incidentally is called The Twisted Tale of Miss Natalie Stewart and is scheduled for US release from Sourcebooks Fire on November 1st according to Goodreads.

Good Dilemmas

I have three ebooks all pre-ordered and ready to download to my Nook first thing in the morning (if Barnes & Noble is on the ball, that is). I thought I’d take a moment to share them with you, because I’m super excited about all of them.

The first is a book I’ve been waiting a long time for:

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, one man fights to hold on to his humanity–and his honor. . .
Life on the frontier is full of deceit and danger, but bounty hunter Cedar Hunt is a man whose word is his bond. Cursed with becoming a beast every full moon, Cedar once believed his destiny was to be alone. But now, Cedar finds himself saddled with a group of refugees, including the brother he once thought lost.

Keeping his companions alive is proving to be no easy task, in part because of the promise he made to the unpredictable Madder brothers—three miners who know the secret mechanisms of the Strange. To fulfill his pledge, Cedar must hunt a powerful weapon known as the Holder—a search that takes him deep into the savage underbelly of the young country and high into the killing glim-field skies defended by desperate men and deadly ships.

But the battles he faces are just a glimmer of a growing war stirring the country. To keep his word Cedar must navigate betrayal, lies, and treacherous alliances, risking everything to save the lives of those he has come to hold dear… [Goodreads]

  • I adore Devon Monk’s writing, and have been waiting for this forever. This is the sequel to Dead Iron, which I review here. And don’t miss Devon’s blog tour, complete with free fiction and multiple giveaways for a free copy of the book, a Tin Swift magnet, and a hand-maid steampunk bookmark! 

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right–the zombie mafia.
Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower–and maybe a brain smoothie as well–in order to get through it without falling apart. [Goodreads]

  • This is the second book in Diana Rowland’s White Trash Zombie series, which have the absolute most rockin’ cover art I have EVER SEEN on a zombie novel. If you like campy horror (think: Shaun of the Dead) then you absolutely must read this. I reviewed the first one over here.
  • The third and final book on my list is different from both of these. In fact, it’s a little bit of a departure from my normal reading habits – so much so that I’m wondering if I’ll end up loving or hating it. (I hope I don’t hate it.) Usually when I read fantasy, I stick to off-world fantasy. I have had mixed luck with historical fantasy. (Gail Carriger? GOOD. Other things? VERY, VERY BAD.) But I’ve heard so much about this book, and I’m so fond of this writer‘s non-fiction blogging over at Magical Words that I couldn’t help but pre-order it, from sheer wondering how all those plot elements ended up working out.  (Full disclosure: I read one of this author’s other, more traditional fantasy novels and, while I liked it, I still haven’t found the time to pick up the next book in the series. So many books, so little time!)

Boston, 1767: In D.B. Jackson’s Thieftaker, revolution is brewing as the British Crown imposes increasingly onerous taxes on the colonies, and intrigue swirls around firebrands like Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty. But for Ethan Kaille, a thieftaker who makes his living by conjuring spells that help him solve crimes, politics is for others…until he is asked to recover a necklace worn by the murdered daughter of a prominent family.
Suddenly, he faces another conjurer of enormous power, someone unknown, who is part of a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of power in the turbulent colony. His adversary has already killed—and not for his own gain, but in the service of his powerful masters, people for whom others are mere pawns in a game of politics and power. Ethan is in way over his head, and he knows it. Already a man with a dark past, he can ill afford to fail, lest his livelihood be forfeit. But he can’t stop now, for his magic has marked him, so he must fight the odds, even though he seems hopelessly overmatched, his doom seeming certain at the spectral hands of one he cannot even see. [Goodreads]

 

  •  Which means I have some very hard decisions to make tomorrow. Since I have to work, I can’t read them all. Which should I start with first? (Feel free to vote more than once or for more than one book!)

Guest Post: 5 Things to Look Forward to in Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber

A Novel of Magic Most FoulA Note from Kia: You’re in for a treat today, kiddies. Our dear friend Leanna Renee Hieber has stopped by to give us an exclusive look at all the things we are eagerly awaiting in the next Magic Most Foul novel. (And oh, YES, we certainly are, aren’t we?) Said novel even has a name now: THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART

Edit: Also there is a giveaway! Post comment here to win copy of Darker Still! Rules over here

So now without any further chit-chat, let’s let Leanna have her say! 

Five things to look forward to in the next Magic Most Foul novel (Releasing this November!) In no particular order:

  1. Adventure! On Trains! Natalie and Jonathon as heroine and hero continue to lead the series. Our brave young lovers escape from New York City to dodge the after-effects of magic but have to dodge some additional problems along the way.
  2. There’s an homage to Frankenstein in a most disturbing way.
  3. There’s an homage to both The Exorcist and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in one new character.
  4. A Victorian Goth club. AKA “Her Majesty’s Association for Melancholy Bastards” – And I, the author, am a card-carrying Goth and member, so there.
  5. Making out in train cars and carriages. Enough said.

Stay tuned at http://leannareneehieber.comhttp://facebook.com/lrhieberhttp://twitter.com/leannarenee

Reasons to check out DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul if you haven’t already:

  1. There’s a haunted painting. A British Lord is trapped inside. And he’s really good looking. (See, that’s three reasons just in one).
  2. Natalie Stewart, a spirited and opinionated young woman everyone can cheer for, overcomes danger, incredible personal odds and adversity to save lives and save the day.
  3. It will give you the shivers. Lots. Promise. I’ve been told that Natalie’s dreams aren’t to be read right before bedtime.
  4. It’s full of danger, intrigue, mystery, curses, magic, nightmares, disguises and pretty dresses!
  5. It was chosen as an INDIE NEXT recommended book by the American Booksellers Association and it’s a trilogy, so you’d best start now…

Cheers!Leanna’s website: http://leannareneehieber.com and Twitter: http://twitter.com/leannarenee and FB: http://facebook.com/lrhieber

About Leanna

[Source] Author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories. She graduated with a BFA in Theatre from Miami University, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted works of 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays such as FavoriteLady have been produced around the country. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in the genre of Futuristic, Fantasy, or Paranormal Romance.

DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, first in Leanna’s Gothic Historical Paranormal trilogy for teens (Sourcebooks Fire), hit the Kid’s/YA INDIE NEXT LIST as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association. Seventeen Magazine said of DARKER STILL: “This chilling tale will draw you in and keep you guessing until the very last page!” The book has been praised by Shelf Awareness, The Chicago Tribune, Pixie Magazine and more. DARKER STILL will also be translated into several languages.

Signal Boost! A Walker Papers Kickstarter Campaign

If you’re a CE Murphy Walker Papers fan – or just want to toss a great author an extra few bucks, then check out this Kickstarter campaign for a new novella and possibly extras!

It’s been 24 hours and the campaign is already fully funded but you still have a few weeks to jump in and get this story if you’d like to be included.

In other WFF news – don’t forget to add a comment to this post to win a digital copy of L.J. McDonald’s newest book!

Upcoming Author Guest Post & Giveaway!

One week from today, on October 1st, Waiting for Fairies will be hosting Dorchester author L.J. McDonald. She is the author of the Sylph series, consisting of The Battle Sylph, The Shattered Sylph and the recently released Queen of the Sylphs. L.J. will discuss with us how she chooses names for her characters, the likes of which are Solie and Heyou. WFF will also be giving away a download code for a digital copy of Queen of the Sylphs to one lucky commenter – so stay tuned!

If you’ve never heard of L.J. McDonald before, that’s okay. I hadn’t either until I was contacted for this guest blog. Since that time, I’ve read The Battle Sylph, courtesy of Dorchester, and I thought it was pretty darned nifty. This is a fantasy romance about a girl who escapes being used as a virgin sacrifice by a rescue from the very demon whose summoning was supposed to be completed by her death.

Regular readers here will know that if there’s one genre I’m prejudiced against (At least I’m self-aware and working on my flaws, okay?), it would be romance. I find most romance novel plots weak, contrived, and the sugary-sweet HEAs (Happily Ever Afters) nauseating. If you’re like me, I think The Battle Sylphs would be a pleasant surprise. (And if you’re not like me, then you’ll probably enjoy this series even more than I did.)

The world was original; the plot was engrossing. Secondary characters were more than mere cardboard cut-outs. The best part? Reading the series digitally means there are no “man-candy” covers to be embarrassed about if you’re reading in public!

This series reminds me of Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, with less focus on the military aspects and more on the relationship and human interactions. It also, unexpectedly, says quite a bit about misconceptions and prejudice, if you’re paying attention. And if you’re not, it’s still an entertaining read that left me frankly shocked at how late it kept me up. I’ve come to the conclusion that Dorchester publishes some damned good stuff!

Review: Brains, A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker

Having a fascination with unique, humorous zombies (Shaun of the Dead), I was pleased when I recently had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker.

Brains is an autobiographical accounting of the “undeath” of Professor Jack Barnes, who is bitten by a zombie during the outbreak of an unusual man-made virus. When Jack comes back to himself after his death, he realizes that he still possesses one of the talents he had when he was alive: Zombie Jack can write.

So he sets out on a journey to recruit others like himself and track down their creator, Howard Stein, inventor of the zombie virus. Once there, his plans are to use his written words to persuade the humans to give zombies equal rights. “The pursuit of life, liberty, and brains,” Jack writes.

On his journey, he meets Joan, a nurse with a deft hand for repairing zombie afflictions; Guts, a boy who can run like the wind (an unusual feat in a crowd of undead shufflers); Ros, a former soldier who has the unique ability (for a zombie) of speech; and Annie, a teenage girl with a pair of pistols and the aim of Annie Oakley.

At 192 pages, this book shouldn’t have taken me the several days that it did to finish; but somewhere in those several days I came to realize that Jack’s story isn’t just a zombie story. The zombies’ limitations speak not only to the plight of the undead, but also to the elderly, the infirm, and the mentally or physically impaired. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Perhaps I am. My maternal grandmother died very quickly of ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) when I was 16, and the mental image I have of her possessing a perfectly sound mind while her body deteriorated around her has haunted me ever since.

“The pursuit of life, liberty, and brains,” Jack writes. It sounds humorous – and it is. But written between the lines are the further pursuits of open communication with other sentient beings, the ability to be cared for, of having ones needs met when one isn’t able to do for oneself. Of not being hated, feared, or mocked for what one looks like, or for being impaired physically or mentally.

I had no idea when I picked it up that I would read this short, humorous, light-hearted story so seriously. But I have, and I think that the plight of Professor Jack Barnes, zombie author, will be staying with me for a very long time.

[xrr rating=4/5]

Kiaras Festivus: Author Focus – Jaye Wells

Well, we’re up to our final post in our Kiaras Festivus party. In less than a week, the Dreaded Event* will occur and I will console myself with red meat, margaritas, and fried cheesecake. But before that, I would like to introduce you all to the talented Jaye Wells.

Urban fantasy author Jaye Wells is a self-proclaimed ‘plantser‘¹ who lives in Texas with her “saintly husband and devilish son”, the latter of which she fondly refers to as ‘Spawn’. Read the rest of her bio here. Ms. Wells’ second book will be released on April 1st, 2010. Amazon has it listed as March 30th – which is why she fits in with our February/March party. That, and because it’s my birthday and I’ll invite whoever I want!

I very recently re-read the first book in the Sabina Kane series: Red-Headed Step Child, and – while my husband still pokes fun at the title – it’s still quite possibly my favorite vampire story of all time. In Sabina’s world, vampires are descended from Lilith and carry the mark of Cain in their red hair. Continuing with the Biblical theme, these vamps are highly allergic to apples (Much more pleasing to the nose than garlic, in my opinion!) and can be killed with a stake of apple wood to the heart.

There also seem to be (so far) three other varieties of supernatural creatures in this world: fairies of assorted flavors, mages, and demons. The mages are the vampires’ rivals; any unions between the two races are forbidden. Which explains why half-vampire, half-mage Sabina Kane has such a terrible temper.  (You can read what I thought of Red-Headed Step Child here.)

My final word on this series? It’s worth the read just for Giguhl, the sarcastic, home shopping addicted, shape-shifting demon in (hairless) cat form.

*The ‘Dreaded Event’ being my 25th + n birthday.
¹ A correction, with a hat tip to the author herself.

A look at RHSC:

In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina doesn’t really fit in. And being an assassin – the only profession fit for an outcast – doesn’t help matters. But she’s never brought her work home. Until now.

Her latest mission is uncomfortably complex, and threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races. As Sabina scrambles to figure out which side she’s on, she uncovers a tangled political web, some nasty facts about her family and some unexpected new talents. Any of these things could be worryingly life-changing, but together, they could be fatal …

This time, it’s personal.

Read the 1st chapter of RHSC here.

But at Indiebound or Barnes & Noble.

The new release: Mage in Black

Sabina Kane doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to family. After all, her own grandmother, leader of the vampire race, wants her dead. So when she arrives in New York to meet her mage relatives, the reunion puts the fun in dysfunctional. Not only is mage culture completely bizarre, but everyone seems to think she’s some kind of ‘Chosen’ who’ll unite the dark races. Sabina doesn’t care who chose her, she’s not into destiny.

But the mages aren’t Sabina’s only problem. In New York’s Black Light District, she has run-ins with fighting demons, hostile werewolves and an opportunistic old flame. Sabina thought she’d take a bite out of the Big Apple – but it looks like it wants to bite back.

Pre-order Mage in Black at Barnes & Noble.

And check out the cover for the next release at Jaye Well’s blog.

Follow the author on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jayewells

And just for fun follow Giguhl the demon, too. http://twitter.com/giguhl

Don’t forget that you can comment on this post for an entry into our Kiaras Festivus giveaway! Details on this post.

Kiaras Festivus: Author Focus – Rob Thurman

With seven books and an anthology under her belt – and 2 of those books releasing this year – you’d think that Rob Thurman would almost be a household name by now. But nay, gentle reader, this is far from the truth. Ms. Thurman – and it is Ms. Thurman, sorry to disappoint you – needs our help! I’d say this is probably the most under-rated author in the urban fantasy genre today. She does amazing work, folks, and she’s not getting the exposure she so justly deserves – so spread the word!

She’s also offering a sneak peek at chapter 1 of the next book (currently in progress), #6 of Cal & Niko, if you purchase book 5 at a brick-and-mortar store between the release date on March 2nd and March 6th. Jump on this, folks. It’s exceedingly rare to get a peek at a work that hasn’t even made it to the galley stage yet! Also remember that you can win a copy of book 5, Roadkill, from me at the end of our Kiaras Festivus contest!

Please note that if you win my contest and choose Roadkill as your prize, I will do my utmost to make sure the book is purchased from a brick-and-mortar store and to provide a receipt so you’ll be eligible for the sneak peek! (No guarantees, sometimes life gets in the way. But I’ll try my best.)

Now, let’s take a look at her back list, shall we?

Book #1 of the Cal & Niko Leandros Brothers series: Nightlife

There are monsters among us.   There always has been and there always will be.  I’ve known that since I can remember, just like I’ve always known I was one…


…Well, half of one, anyway.


Welcome to the Big Apple. There’s a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park,  and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse  on  the  Upper  East  Side—and  that’s  only  the beginning.  Of  course,  most  humans  are  oblivious  to  the preternatural nightlife around them, but Cal Leandros is only half human.


His  father’s  dark  lineage is the stuff of nightmares—and he and  his  entire otherworldly  race  are after Cal.  Why?  Cal hasn’t exactly wanted to stick around long enough to find out.

Click here to read blurbs for books 2, 3 and 4. You can also read the blurb (and chapter 1!)  for Thurman’s Trickster novel, Trick of the Light here.

Now that we’re all introduced. Here’s the blurb for Book 5 – Roadkill. Releasing March 2nd!

Niko could have died because of her.  I don’t forget things like that…not ever.  I wanted a little payback for those she’d cheated in the past.  For those she’d cheat in the future.


For what she’d allowed to happen to my brother.


For good old fashion revenge.


Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing.  They barely made it out alive.
Now, as their P.I. business teeters on insolvency, guess who shows up with a job?


The gypsy crone wants them to find a stolen coffin. Cal would rather help her into one, but this coffin contains an evil known as the Plague of the World–and it makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory.
But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road.


And if they’re very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip…

So, as you can see, there’s some awesome stuff here to read. I’ve personally been pushing the series on all my Supernatural fan friends. With the disclaimer that I’ve never seen more than 2 episodes of the show myself, I have been assured that though both stories have two brothers who kick some evil monster ass (and both are “awesome!” says my friend), the books really aren’t that similar to the show. (In my experience, Cal is much snarkier and foul mouthed than anything they could show on TV. Which just makes it better, in my opinion!) But my point is: fans of the one have been known to be fans of the other. Just sayin’.

Other items of interest: My review of Trick of the Light.

*Remember! You can comment on this post for an entry into our Kiaras Festivus contest!

Kiaras Festivus: Author Focus – Diana Rowland

We’re overdue for our first Kiaras Festivus post, folks, so let’s get started! To refresh your memory, this February we’re focusing on three brilliant but under-appreciated authors who have new releases in February and March. And remember – at the end of the month, I’ll be drawing three winners to receive a book of their choice from any of these authors!

This week we’re shining the spotlight on Diana Rowland. Ms. Rowland is the lovely & talented author of Mark of the Demon and the upcoming Blood of the Demon. You can find her on Twitter here. She also has a blog here, and you should read it.

Hailing from Louisiana, Ms. Rowland has accomplished all the things a Southern woman should: a black belt in Hapkido, a marksmanship award while working as a police detective, and the performance of multiple autopsies. What? These aren’t the things every gentlewoman aspires to? [Read the full bio on her website here.]

Now, let’s get to know the books!

Mark of the Demon blurb

(My review is available here.)

When Homicide Detective Kara Gillian finds traces of arcane power on a body, she quickly realizes that this is no ordinary murder. The serial killer known as the Symbol Man is a nightmare that Beaulac, Louisiana thought had ended three years ago, but now he’s back for an encore and leaving every indication on the flesh of his victims that he is well-versed in demonic lore.

However, Kara is a Summoner of Demons, and may be the only cop on the city’s small force who can stop the killer. Able to see and interact with a world most people can’t, Kara must draw on her skills as a police officer and master of the arcane to stop the Symbol Man from killing again and possibly summoning something even she can’t control.

But with a demonic lord of unearthly beauty and power haunting her dreams, and a handsome yet disapproving FBI agent dogging her waking footsteps, she may be in way over her head….

Buy Mark of the Demon at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Indiebound or your favorite local book shop!

Blood of the Demon blurb

(Available February 23, 2010)

The serial killer known as the Symbol Man has been dealt with, the demonic lord Rhyzkahl is no longer invading her dreams, and Detective Kara Gillian is doing her best to get her life back to normal after being kind of dead for a while.

Unfortunately, there’s little about Kara’s life that is ever normal or simple. As a skilled summoner of demons, she’s hoping to use her arcane abilities to retrieve her aunt’s essence and restore it to her body. But when Kara discovers that FBI Agent Ryan Kristoff is somehow known to the demonkind–and not in a good way–old doubts surface and new problems emerge. Moreover, her investigations into the deaths of several seemingly unrelated victims reveal disturbing links to the arcane, with unsettling similarities to her own situation.

But matters get more complicated when she discovers other links between the victims, leading her into a morass of political corruption. And it doesn’t help that Rhyzkahl has asked her to be his own summoner, a commitment that could have quite a few advantages and plenty of pitfalls. Politics–whether among humans or demons–is a dangerous game with very high stakes, and Kara is learning that lesson the hard way.

Buy Blood of the Demon at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Indiebound or your favorite local book shop!

Don’t those sound nice? So, please, if you have a bit extra in your book-buying budget this month or if you’re looking for a great new author, try picking up Mark of the Demon. You won’t regret it!

**Remember – you can comment on this post for another entry into our giveaway!