(Gilman) paints a vivid picture of a hidden, magical New York, and keeps fantasy in the forefront. Demons, angels and other fairy creatures, or Fatae, live there, but are mortal and face the dangers every other living creature has to contend with, including bigotry and hatred. And since magic is still a secret for most of the world, powerful shadow organizations operate under (above?) the radar, monitoring and oftentimes recruiting Talented individuals. Yes, there is the start of something big between the two lead characters, but Ms. Gilman manages to keep this particular form of character development from overwhelming the story... Keeping folks interested in the story, and making them believe the mythology she spins is the main point."Wren of course is a Talent and her particular skill is retrieving or finding lost objects. The jobs she takes are arranged by Sergei and are not always legal. I like to think of the series as a supernatural variant of It Takes a Thief. As all good things must, Laura Anne Gilman wrapped up the Retrievers series last year with the sixth book Blood and Stone which is my personal favourite. The series long story arc of Sergei and Wren's romance ends on a sweet and satisfying note.
-- Denise Dutton, Green Man Reviews [Staying Dead]
Fortunately Larua Anne Gilman has not abandoned her world of the Cosa Nostradamus. In just over two weeks, Hard Magic, the first book in the new Paranormal Scene Investigations spin-off series releases. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review! To celebrate this new release, I have a very special giveaway of the complete Retrievers series (six books in all) to be won by one lucky entrant. Many thanks to Laura for providing this incredible prize package!
- A complete set of the Retrievers series (mmpb), six books in all, to giveaway courtesy of Laura Anne Gilman. The winners name will be a random draw from among the commenters.
- I love cover art and I think the Retrievers series has very unique and original designs that stand out from the crowd. To enter the giveaway, tell me which cover you like best and why, or simply tell me why you would like to win and read this series.
- Open internationally.
- Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
- Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
- Giveaway open until Midnight, April 30, 2010 EDT.
OVERVIEW OF THE RETRIEVERS SERIES
It starts as a simple job - but simple jobs, when you're dealing with this magical world, often end up anything but. As a Retriever, Wren Valere specializes in finding things gone missing - and then bringing them back, no questions asked. Normally her job is stimulating, challenging and only a little bit dangerous. But every once in a while. . . Case in point - a cornerstone containing a spell is stolen and there's a magical complication. (Isn't there always?) Wren's unique abilities aren't enough to lay this particular case to rest, and so she turns to some friends: a demon )minor), a mage who has lost her mind, and a few others - including Sergei, her business partner (and maybe a bit more?) Sometimes what a woman has to do to get the job done is enough to give even Wren nightmares...
Read an Excerpt
Once more Wren Valere's game plan has taken an unexpected direction. She'd agreed to a bargain with one supersecret magic-watching outfit to protect her partner and herself on their last job. But now the Silence is trying to wedge them apart.
On the one hand, ever since she and Sergei began to talk about their "relationship" things have been tricky. On the other, though . . . Well, no one better try to stand between Wren and Sergei when danger is near!
So now they are off to Italy in search of a possessed parchment (or maybe not possessed - all they know is that whoever reads it disappears). Still, when compared to what's going on at home (lonejacks banding together, a jealous demon, tracking bugs needing fumigation, etc.) maybe disappearing won't be so bad... As if!
Read an Excerpt
Now? Her relationship with Sergei is even more complicated (sex will do that). Her fellow lonejacks are trying to organize against the Mage's Council. The nonhuman population of Manhattan is getting fed up with being ignored and abused. And the Council? Well, they have an agenda of their own, and it's not one the lonejacks are going to like.
And Sergei is far too involved with the Silence, his former employers, for Wren's liking.
When it comes down to choosing sides, the first rule of the lonejack credo is "Don't get involved." But when friends are in danger, and the city you love is at risk, sometimes getting into the thick of things is all you can do.
Recent attacks against nonhuman Fatae have escalated into hate crimes against magic users in general-humans included. With the Mage Council distracted by internal power struggles, Wren is guilted into stepping up as a spokesperson for the fragiley united Fatae and lonejack communities...
And, because the cosmos deems her without enough complications, her partner-lover Sergei is drowning in his own problems. But not only can't she help him-she's the cause.
With lives on the line-including her own-Wren's going to have to break the lonejack credo, ditch her long-cherished invisibility and take a stand. But burning bridges can be deadly...
Read an Excerpt
Hoping to keep herself occupied, Wren takes a job— but what should have been an ordinary Retrieval instead forces her to realize that it is time to do more. It is time for the Cosa to take the battle to the enemy.
But she'll do it her way. The Retrievers' way. Sneaky, smart—and with maximum damage possible. What was lost will be found, what was stolen will be Retrieved. And this war will be ended, once and for all.
Wren Valere always finishes the job. Always.
Read an Excerpt
Because when you're good, trouble always finds you. Wren's next assignment puts her on the wrong side of a child-snatcher—and a collision course with her past. But to save a friend—and protect her future—Wren must pull off the most important Retrieval of her life…and for once magic isn't on her side.
OVERVIEW OF THE PARANORMAL SCENE INVESTIGATIONS SERIES
Read an excerpt.Publishers Weekly Starred Review: Spinning off a minor character from the Retrievers books (Staying Dead, etc.), Gilman launches an entertaining new series set in her Cosa Nostradamus world of magic-using Talented humans. Following up on a mysterious job lead, college grad Bonita Torres joins the Private Unaffiliated Paranormal Investigations (PUPI), a freelance CSI-style unit for Talent-related crimes. The puppies refine and practice spells until they get their first big case: an apparent double suicide. As they follow the evidence, trail and interrogate suspects, and defend themselves against attacks, the investigators develop comfortable and engaging team dynamics and create the field of forensic magic. Gilman's deft plotting and first-class characters complement her agile blend of science and spell craft, and readers will love the Mythbusters-style fun of smart, sassy people solving mysteries through experimentation, failure, and blowing stuff up.
Hard Magic will be followed by Pack of Lies in Spring 2011.
About Laura Anne Gilman
Laura Anne is the author of the popular Cosa Nostradamus books for Luna (the "Retrievers" and "Paranormal Scene Investigations" urban fantasy series), and the award-nominated The Vineart War trilogy from Pocket. She is a member of the on-line writers consortium BookVew Cafe, and continues to write and sell short fiction. She also writes paranormal romances as Anna Leonard.
Follow her on Twitter: @LAGilman