Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cover Art Coincidence?

Change the color, fiddle with the hair, adjust the dress and voila ! Anyone else seen any covers lately that are clones?

childrenofscarabaeus kittredge

Happy Halloween

A message that applies not just at Halloween...

[via Bookmans]

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Urban Fantasy Weekend Report #55


My fellow blogmate and reviewer Lisa Hurley offers the cute and the geeky in a series of videos on her LISA’s LINE section.

It seems that monthly book release lists are proliferating at various websites and blogs. With all the duplication out there I am considering suspending my own lists, but before I do that I would like subscriber and reader reaction. Do you find it useful and consider it an important feature here at Please take a moment to respond to the quick poll on the sidebar.

I have a new guest and a returning guest next week. First will be the Canadian duo of Cathryn Verge and Paula Fox writing as Taylor Keating who will be here for a joint interview to launch their debut paranormal romance Game Over on Thursday, November 4.

Video game designer River Weston is ready to sell her soul to smooth out the glitches in her latest project. When she unwittingly taps into a parallel dimension via cutting-edge technology, a Dark Lord is quick to take her up on her inadvertent offer. Trapped in the world she thought she’d created for her game, River finds herself in a very real alternate dimension that she must escape from before her soul can be used to unleash evil—upon this dimension and many others.

River’s only ally is the sexy and mysterious Chase Hawkins. A prisoner of the Dark Lord, Hawk is a man adrift—literally. His body safe at home under the watchful care of the Guardians’ scientists, his astral-traveling spirit has been enslaved by his people’s worst enemy, the Dark Lord. Clinging desperately to his sense of self, Hawk is determined to turn the tables on his captor before the connection to his body is lost. When the beautiful, achingly familiar River enters the picture, he vows he will do everything he can to save her from her bleak fate.

Drawn together with an inescapable force, Hawk and River must wrest her soul from the Dark Lord’s grasp before it’s too late.
Also returning guest Skyler White will be here to talk about her newest book In Dreams Begin on Saturday November 6. Last years and Falling Fly was amazing.

Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de siècle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.

With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.
Contests still active on the blog include -

Gail Z. Martin’s Days of the Dead blog tour continues. Read her post on high fantasy and romance and enter the giveaway where one lucky commenter will receive an advance review copy of The Sworn and an additional two readers will receive a bonus-pack of The Blood King, Dark Haven, and Dark Lady’s Chosen. I highly recommend this series.[ENDS Nov 3]

Lots of buzz about A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Win some promo buttons now and a copy of the book when it releases. {ENDS Nov 8]

James Knapp talks about his unique zombies and his thrillers State of Decay and The Silent Army. Read his post and enter the giveaway to win copies. [ENDS Nov 4]

Canadian science fiction and fantasy writer Edward Willett was interviewed about the first book in his new YA fantasy series, Song of the Sword. Enter the giveaway [ENDS Nov 1]

From October 18, young adult author Clare B. Dunkle talked about The House of Dead Maids, her ghost story prequel to Wuthering Heights. A pre-Halloween treat with a great giveaway [ENDS Oct 31]

See the Events and Interviews schedule posted on my left sidebar for the most recent updates. Contact me if you are interested in a guest or blog tour appearance.


FREE READS (or almost free):
LOL. Check out Ilona Andrews new fall theme at her blog. I like it. Whimsical. She says -
I was looking through the Shutterstock images, stumbled onto the sun background, showed it to Gordon, and he laughed.  So now the website has a new cute fall theme.  I even got all of our pets, with the exception of Sam, in the footer.
The Galaxy Express reports that three SFR authors have made sales in Germany and include Ann Aguirre, Eve Kenin (Eve Silver) and Linnea Sinclair. Check out the full story.

Dark Faeirie Tales has publishing news listing 9 book deals mostly from new authors.

In the “world is a strange place” category check out Maggie Stiefvater’s post on How NASA and I Came to Be Friends. She’ll be giving a speech to 1700 people plus video feed on November 4.

Stella Price at Authors After Dark has the complete list of Bookie Award Nominations.

Interview with Alyxandra Harvey author of the YA Drake Chronicles series.

Molly Harper had some exciting news to report about her humorous Jane Jameson series -
I can finally announce that there will be a fourth Jane Jameson book. The details, such as title and release date, are still being settled.
Apparently Trisha Telep, editor of many of the Mammoth books has another anthology coming out in September 2011 called Dark Fairy Romance.

Sean Cummings at the book launch for Funeral Pallor in Saskatoon.

Diana Pharoah Francis has an interesting  guest post on the topic of “Is Urban Fantasy Dead?” a theme which seems to have been floating around the blogosphere lately.

Pocket Juno has announced six titles for 2011.
  • rogue-oracle Jan 2011: Arcane Circle, Linda Robertson (Circle #4)
  • Mar 2011: Rogue Oracle, Alayna Williams (Oracle #2)
  • Jun 2011: Concrete Savior, Yvonne Navarro (Dark Redemption #2)
  • Aug 2011: Shadow Fall, Seressia Glass (Shadowchasers #3)
  • Sep 2011: Blood Sacrifice, Maria Lima (Blood Lines #5)
  • Dec 2011: Virtual Virgin, Carole Nelson Douglas (Delilah Street #5)
If you missed and vampire-themed releases recently, VampChix has a very thorough recap for September.

Wicked Scribes has some interesting publishing news -
  • Linda Thomas-Sundstrom‘s next book will be called Golden Vampire, with a release date of April 1st, 2011.
  • Sinful Slayer is the May 24th release in the Wing Slayer Hunter series from Jennifer Lyon.
  • Amanda Ashley‘s next paranormal release is called Bound By Twilight, and is scheduled for a release date of September 6th of next year.
  • Next up in the Dragon Kin series from G.A. Aiken (a.k.a. Shelly Laurenston) is Vigholf’s story, titled How to Drive a Dragon Crazy.  It should be available next September 6th.
ANITABLAKE I don’t think I have seen this reported anywhere , but Laurell K. Hamilton says the title of the next Anita Blake book is “Hit List”.

And in similar news I missed reporting this past week. Jaye Wells says book four in the Sabina Kane series will be called Silver-Tongued Devil.

C.E. Murphy announce good news about one of my favourite series. She says -
I am entirely delighted to announce that I have sold a collection of Old Races stories to Subterranean Press. Tentatively entitled BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER & OTHER TALES OF THE OLD RACES, it will include “From Russia, with Love”, “Five Card Draw”, “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” and three to five new stories centering around Janx, Daisani, Vanessa Grey and Baba Yaga’s daughter. And probably some other people. ;)


This week in fun and exciting things I've discovered around the web:

Just in time for Halloween, I give you John DeLancie (for us nerds out there, more commonly known as 'Q') performing Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven.

He does quite a good job of it, although I am partial to The Simpsons version, myself.

To follow up last week's Star Wars themed post, here are adorable children dressed as adorable Ewoks. Cute 'splode! 
And the AT-ST is just amazing. For more overwhelming cute, an adorable Jawa…

…and Sand Person.

Now, I know Christmas isn't here quite yet, but when I saw this gem over at Tor, I knew I had to pass along the absolute awesomeness of this trailer.

Basic premise: A group of archaeologists discover what is possibly the world's oldest burial mound in Finland. They of course, dig to find out what's buried there and why, and they find...Santa Claus. A creepy, evil, deadly, Santa Claus. Oh yes, I will see this move. I will see this movie.

I hope all of you have a fun and safe Halloween Weekend! As soon as I am dressed up in my Leia costume tonight I will take some pictures for the blog. My dog makes an excellent Chewbacca. I'd love to see some of the costumes you've come up with this year, so please post your pictures and/or describe how you've nerded out for this Halloween.

Stay tuned for my review of Robert Kroese's Mercury Falls this weekend!


Tor/Forge has a terrific David Weber Prize Pack. Contest open until November 22nd for US only.



imageThere’s still time to enter the giveaways at Dark Central Station.
Sharon Ashwood asks - “Which is your all time-favourite horror movie?” Send me an email and let me know and I’ll put the name of everyone who replies in for a book draw for a copy of the first two Dark Forgotten books (Ravenous and Scorched) !

For UK readers Random House has a great promo -
Win all the books featured in the rBooks Halloween Newsletter!  You could win: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Spook's Bestiary by Joseph Delaney, I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett, Torment by Lauren Kate, The Stuff of Nightmares by Malorie Blackman, Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K Hamilton, and The Spook's Stories: Witches by Josephy Delaney.


thegatesApparently it is official that ABC’s urban fantasy series The Gates has been cancelled after one season. It wasn’t up to the calibre of most urban fantasy novel series but it was still entertaining. Are there fans out there sorry to see it go?

Shelf Awareness reports on a new supernatural TV production from a YA novel -
Skyler Samuels (The Gates) will star in ABC Family's pilot Nine Lives, adapted from Celia Thomson's Nine Lives of Chloe King series of YA novels. reported that the pilot, "produced by Alloy Entertainment, centers on Chloe King (Samuels), a teenager with heightened abilities (super speed, agility, hearing... claws) who discovers she’s being pursued by a mysterious figure."
Vampire Diaries Preview, Season 2, Episode 8

Like werewolves? Watch Red tonight on SyFy.[via Loving True Blood in Dallas]

Are you a fan of the Harry Potter movies? Well apparently there is an amazing book coming for you.


In their newsletter Writer Space advises of a extravagant Halloween Event. Here are the details -
You're invited to join the fun at the 2010 Halloween Mash! Dozens of Writerspace authors will be chatting and giving away hundreds of prizes on Sunday, October 31st from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern!

Authors will be dropping in to chat all during the evening and we will be giving away tons of new books and other fantastic prizes — autographed, hard-to-find, advance copies plus special treats like chocolates, gift cards and more. We hope to see you Sunday night! You don't have to be present to win, but you must be registered.

For details on all participating authors and the prizes they're giving away, visit

Don’t forget about the Steampunk Fortnight on You can find a full summary of postings to date here



New covers discovered at author sites and other blogs. Click the source link to view additional information about the release.

bonded-by-blood Wicked Scribes red-mortal1Deidre Knight Newsletter
jasded Wicked Scribes demon-hunting-in-dixieWicked Scribes 
ofthruthandbeasts Barb Hendee sweetlyJackson Pearce 

Woohoo! Just in time for Halloween, Stumbling over Chaos has Misadventures in Stock Photography: Part the 46th (Vampires!)
Kim Harrison posted a lettered page from her forthcoming Hollows graphic novel. Here’s a panel with Ivy and some pixies. Check out her post for the full page.


The Infinite Shelf has a cover feature with designs featuring flowers.

Orbit Books has been having a lot of fun with their Parasol Protectorate cover contest all week. Gall Carriger says check it out.

All Things Urban Fantasy has cover coverage of 15 new titles here.

Cover art featured here at this past week included:


Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf has an extensive list of author’s offering definitions for what steampunk is… my favourite quote -
Steampunk is...that poor bastard shoveling coal in the belly of the gleaming leviathan
Vincent Pendergast author of “Otto’s Elephant” as seen in The Clockwork Jungle Book
The Story Siren has one of her excellent “Dear Publisher” articles up for Simon & Schuster. Must reader for book bloggers. She also recaps the links for previous articles posts covering many additional publishers.

KB at Babbling About Books brings this zombirific [Ed. Note – urban fantasy terminology] video just in time for Halloween. has a Create a Six Word Fantasy Story contest. Sounds like fun. They’ve posted a few submissions so far and my favourite is -
“Gone on quest. Found magic sword!” by @Pallekenl


This from Alyxandra Harvey -
Hearts at Stake has been nominated for the Ontario Library Association's White Pine Award! I'm so thrilled to be considered. Here's the full list, what great company to be keeping!
Friday, November 5
Cassandra Clare & Holly Black Signing
7:00 pm
1950 The Queensway
Etobicoke, Ontario, M9C 5H5
(416) 622-2838

Kelley Armstrong will be appearing November 6, 1:30 PM.
John Kenneth Galbraith Library.  Reading and Q&A*** YA focus **.  236 Shackleton St, Dutton, ON.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Here is the post-conference press release and some photos from the Toronto SpecFic event. By all accounts it was a great success.
SpecFic Colloquium Offers First Serious Discussion about Canadian Speculative Fiction

TORONTO, ON (October 25, 2010) – On October 23, 2010, Toronto hosted the first SpecFic Colloquium bringing authors, editors and readers together to explore the state of speculative fiction – horror, science fiction, fantasy – in Canada.

Opening Ceremonies - JoPrescott “The first rule of Canadian speculative fiction is we don’t talk about Canadian speculative fiction,” says co-organizer Helen Marshall. “We tend to get subsumed into the American market, and the purpose of this event was to get Canadians talking about who we are and where we are going.” The day-long event, sponsored by ChiZine Publications, included notable authors such as Peter Watts, Karl Schroeder, Michael Rowe, and Kelley Armstrong.

Karl Schroeder Reading - GaborBagi A range of topics were discussed including urban fantasy, cognitive science, and the spread of Canadian science fiction, but the overriding emphasis was on building a sense of community. Julie Czerneda, author of In the Company of Others, urged writers to promote one another and share market information. Michael Rowe and Gemma Files, on the other hand, discussed the politics of marginalized groups within the broader literary community in their joint panel "Queering the Genre." The standout talk of the day may well have been Peter Watts' who used Rule 34 (If it exists, there is porn of it) to suggest a way of hacking the brain to promote more environmentally conscious behaviour. The overwhelming consensus at end of the day was that Canadian speculative fiction offers more than an extra 'u' and the occasional hockey reference.

Book Table - JoPrescott The success of the event depended on its unique format: a series of forty-five minute talks by major authors in an intimate environment.
According to Montreal writer and journalist Claude Lalumiere, the academic-inspired structure allowed for “an effervescent environment for exchanging and playing with ideas.” Co-organizers Sandra Kasturi and Helen Marshall have already begun to plan for 2011.

The Toronto SpecFic Colloquium launched the Chiaroscuro Reading Series, a monthly gathering that will show off Canadian speculative fiction authors. The first meeting, on Nov. 10 at the Duke of York Pub, Toronto, boasts bestseller Robert J. Wiersema and Rio Youers. For more information on the Reading Series, visit

For videos and transcripts of the lectures, visit our website: For further information about the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, please contact Helen Marshall at or by phone at 416-550-4133.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

If you have an upcoming event in Canada,
i.e., speaking engagement, conference, convention, book signing or
other activity please contact me for coverage.


Gollancz H Party 2010 
Suzanne McLeod at Gollancz Halloween party.
castle2Carrie Vaughn  showing up Castle.
huff   graves 
Judith Graves (middle) with Tanya Huff at the 6th Annual Pure Speculation Festival in Edmonton

A LIttle Fun Until the Weekend Report is Posted

Ahhh... the passion of booklovers.

Cover Art - "Children of Scarabaeus" by Sara Creasy

Another fine cover by artist Chris McGrath was showcased by Sara Creasy for Children of Scarabaeus, the followup to her science fiction romance novel Song of Scarabaeus. Releasing March/April 2011.
No synopsis available.
Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, Edie's mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she's not entirely sure it's a bad thing . . . until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn's side, he dies. If she doesn't cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie's abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn as her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she'll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure . . . a world called Scarabaeus.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

UPDATE: Cover Art - Those Who Fight Monsters edited by Justin Gustainis

UPDATE: Thanks to editor Justin Gustainis, I have revised the TOC with full details about the stories and series (if applicable). Thanks Justin!

Here is the cover for Those Who Fight Monsters edited by Justin Gustainis, an anthology I am eagerly awaiting with a superstar line-up of urban fantasy writers. Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing will be releasing it in March 2011. TOC is below and if you happen to be able to fill in any of the gap, please leave a note in the comments.

  • Introduction: Down These Mean Crypts a (Wo)Man Must Walk
    by Justin Gustainis
  • An Ace in the Hole (a Sazi story)
    by C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
  • Running Wild (an Outcast Season story)
    by Rachel Caine
  • Dusted (a Casa Nostradamus story)
    by Laura Anne Gilman
  • Soul Stains (a Vampire Babylon story)
    by Chris Marie Green
  • The Spirit of the Thing (a Nightside story)
    by Simon R. Green
  • Deal Breaker (a Quincey Morris story)
    by Justin Gustainis
  • Impossible Love (a Piers Knight story)
    by C.J. Henderson
  • See Me (a Smoke and Shadows story)
    by Tanya Huff
  • The Demon You Know (a Demon-Hunter Soccer Mom story)
    by Julie Kenner
  • Hell Bound (a Hell on Earth story)
    by Jackie Kessler
  • Under the Hill and Far Away (a Black London story)
    by Caitlin Kittredge
  • Little Better than a Beast (a Marla Mason story)
    by T.A. Pratt
  • Holding the Line (a Jill Kismet story)
    by Lilith Saintcrow
  • Defining Shadows (a Detective Jessi Hardin story)
    by Carrie Vaughn

Giveaway – “A Discovery of Witches” by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches Viking Press advised me that there is a hot new urban fantasy book on the horizon called A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness which they describe as -
It’s the smart, sophisticated story of a witch and a vampire who overcome their differences to investigate a lost alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782.
Well that certainly sounds good to me. To promote the February release, they are running some excellent giveaways now and I have one for you here. Just fill out the form below and you will be eligible in a random draw to win 5 souvenir buttons now and a copy of the book as soon as it becomes available in January. Contest is open to residents of the US and Canada. The draw will be made on Monday, November 8.

Each button represents a race from the novel and the question, “Where is Ashmole 782?” is the central mystery.

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

You can find out more about Deborah Harkness at her website and at her award-winning wine blog which is no surprise after watching the book trailer.  :)

Cover Art – “Always a Witch” by Carolyn McCullough

Always a Witch by Carolyn McCullough is another fine moody cover for the follow-up to young adult urban fantasy Once a Witch. Releases in August 2011.

Since the gripping conclusion of ONCE A WITCH, Tamsin Greene has been having nightmares. Though she should be enjoying her new boyfriend, Gabriel, or discovering more about her newfound magical Talents, she's too busy dealing with her sister, Rowena's bride-zilla wedding demands and worrying about the resurgence of her enemy, Alistair Knight. But most of all, Tamsin is haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision. A choice so terrible, that it could destroy her family forever.

When Tamsin discovers that Alistair successfully went back in time to Victorian Era New York, in order to destroy the Greene family, she's forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the 19th century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, bustling about as a servant, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the lascivious advances Liam Knight. As times runs out, Tamsin's brash demeanour and sardonic wit place her in the center of the fray as both families square off in a thrilling display of action and magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice.

Cover Art – The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem

I really, really like this cover. Style and mood combined. This young adult fantasy releases in March 2011.

Medford lives on a neat, orderly island called—simply—Island.
  • Islanders like names that say exactly what a thing (or a person) is or does. Nothing less.
  • Islanders like things (and people) to do what their names say they will. Nothing more.
     In fact, everything on Island is named for its purpose, even the people who inhabit it. But Medford Runyuin is different. A foundling, he has a meaningless last name that is just one of many reminders that he's an outsider. And, to make matters worse, Medford's been keeping a big secret, one that could get him banished from Island forever.
    When the smelliest, strangest, unruliest creature Island has ever seen comes barreling right into his rigid world, Medford can’t help but start to question the rules he’s been trying to follow his entire life.
     A whimsical fantasy debut about belonging, the dangers of forgetting history, and the Usefulness of art, The Unnameables is one of the funniest stories of friendship you’ll ever read, with a cast of characters you’ll never forget.

Cover Art – The Mammoth Book of Dracula edited by Stephen Jones

Yet another Mammoth book, this time The Mammoth Book of Dracula edited by Stephen Jones. To be released March 2011. Of particular note is the inclusion of a new Charlaine Harris story. No word on whether it is a Sookie story or not.

Vampire tales offering a fictional history of the most memorable vampire of them all - Count Dracula.

How will the King of Vampires adapt to the social and technological changes brought by the twenty-first century? Could the Count’s condition be cured by modern medicine? How does the mythology perpetuated by literature and movies affect the existence of a real bloodsucker? What if Dracula found himself ruler of a world controlled by vampires? Or perhaps political and ecological catastrophe will result in the Count’s final destruction? This tribute to the world’s greatest vampire collects together more than 200,000 words of Dracula fiction by masters of dark fantasy such as: Hugh B. Cave, R. Chetwynd-Hayes, Basil Copper, John Gordon, Brian Hodge, Nancy Holder, Nancy Kilpatrick, Roberta Lannes, Thomas Ligotti, Paul J. McAuley, Nicholas Royle, Guy N. Smith and many more.

It also includes a brand new story from Charlaine Harris.

Cover Art - Those Who Fight Monsters edited by Justin Gustainis

Here is the cover for Those Who Fight Monsters edited by Justin Gustainis, an anthology I am eagerly awaiting with a superstar line-up of urban fantasy writers. Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing will be releasing it in March 2011. TOC is below and if you happen to be able to fill in any of the gap, please leave a note in the comments.

C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp
Rachel Caine
Laura Anne Gilman ("Dusted"” Costa Nostradamus)
Chris Marie Green (“Soul Stains” Vampire Babylon story)
Simon R. Green
Justin Gustainis (Quincy Morris)
C.J. Henderson
Tanya Huff
Julie Kenner (Shadow Keepers)
Jackie Kessler (“Hell Bound”)
Caitlin Kittredge
T.R. Pratt
Lilith Saintcrow
Carrie L. Vaughn

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day of the Dead Blog Tour with Gail Z. Martin

I am very pleased to have Gail Z. Martin with us today to help launch her Days of the Dead Tour. What is that you ask?. Gail has a new book, The Sworn, coming out in January, which begins a new cycle of the Chronicles of the Necromancer called The Fallen Kings. The early launch of this tour gives readers who haven’t read or discovered Gail Z. Martin an opportunity to catch up with the series to date  before the new book releases. And to help you do that, we have an exciting giveaway for this stop in the tour.

Fantastical Giveaway
One lucky commenter will receive an advance review copy of The Sworn and an additional two readers will receive a bonus-pack of The Blood King, Dark Haven, and Dark Lady’s Chosen.

Contest guidelines at the end of the post.

Gail’s Chronicles of the Necromancer fantasy series is an uncommon  genre crossover that will I believe greatly appeal not only to fantasy lovers, but urban fantasy and paranormal readers as well (readers who like Sharon Shinn's writing will likely love these as I do). The stories are strongly character driven and feature along with other races, spirits, vampires and shape shifters. There is a little romance, some heartache, some thrills and endless adventure. There’s lots more information about the books below Gail’s post.

Gail will be dropping in to respond to questions, so please make her welcome! 

You Can’t Do That in Fantasy!
by Gail Z. Martin

You can’t do that in fantasy! (Well, maybe you can!)

GailMartin2006 Folks who have read my books know that I write the stories that I want to read. For me, that usually means an action-packed book that is 95% adventure and maybe 5% romance. That seems to satisfy both male and female readers, and stereotypes aside, I’ve had many, many male readers (as well as female) confess that they’ve worried about the fate of the relationships among my characters, proving that even tough guys deserve a little love.

Another thing about books I like to read—they have vampires in them and ghosts and haunted places. So of course, the world I create has those things, too. That’s where I apparently broke another taboo about what can and can’t be done in fantasy.

vlad Apparently, conventional wisdom holds that vampires and werewolves are somehow out of place in an epic fantasy. Now, when a reviewer noted the “originality” of putting vampires (my vayash moru) in a medieval setting, I have to admit that I laughed for a good, long time. After all, good old Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Dracula) was a real Romanian prince who lived in the mid-1400s. Vampires and werewolves have figured in folklore the world over for thousands of years. If anything, shapeshifters and bloodsuckers are more authentically medieval than modern, even if Bram Stoker’s Dracula put a Victorian spin on the story and the tidal wave of urban fantasy has filled every major city with the undead.

DH_final_resized Unfortunately, when a lot of people talk about “fantasy” they really mean Lord of the Rings. Tolkien drew on a wealth of Northern European mythology, but he did not utilize all existing folklore themes. So you get elves and balrogs and orcs but not vampires and werewolves, even though the tales being told to medieval English and German children (as well as across Europe) included demons, witches, blood-drinking fiends, and people who could turn into animals. For me, all those folktales are part of the ancestry of high/epic fantasy, the original well of shared cultural consciousness that makes fantasy elements ring true.

To our medieval ancestors, not only was the real world a place of brutality and mystery, but the afterlife and the world of dreams were equally real and equally terrifying. Pre-science, pre-Enlightenment, every natural disaster and all illness was thought to be either the hand of God or the workings of evil forces. The forests teemed with beasts awful beasts, not just the packs of wolves that were known, but even more frightening monsters that could only be glimpsed. Dreams, visions and omens were seen as equally true as personal experience, and belief in magic, witchcraft and curses was pretty much universal. What we now refer to as folklore was the common understanding of how the world worked at that time, and it is full of supernatural elements. So for me, the inclusion of ghosts, magic and other supernatural elements is very authentic to the medieval time period.

magic In the end, we read what we like, and authors write what they enjoy creating. I truly hope that the world and characters that I live with in my head and share with you on paper become a familiar place you enjoy exploring.

Thanks for reading this post—it’s part of my week-long Days of the Dead blog tour, so please catch the rest of my posts, contests, giveaways and goodies at and my other partner sites. You’ll also find free downloads from my books, as well as freebies from some of my author friends as Trick-or-Treat favors.

Featured treat #3: Free download excerpt from ‘The King’s Bastard’ by Rowena Cory Daniells, plus a preview chapter of my new book, The Sworn.

Book Trailer for The Chronicles of the Necromancer Cycle

The Book Covers for The Chronicles of the Necromancer Cycle. These are a terrific covers and represent the books well.
If you would like to read my review of Dark Haven you can check it out here or read my interview with Gail from Fall last year.

Gail says that The Sworn can be read separately without prior knowledge of the first cycle of stories.  Here’s the cover and synopsis.
As plague and famine scourge the winter kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods.

Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders. Drayke must seek new allies from among the living – and the dead –- as an untested generation of rulers face their first battle.

Then someone disturbs the legendary Dread as they rest in a millennia-long slumber
beneath sacred barrows. Their warrior guardians, the Sworn, know the Dread could be pivotal as a force for great good or evil. But if it’s the latter, could even the Summoner-King’s sorcery prevail?

The Sworn is Book One of The Fallen Kings Cycle, and it picks up the adventures of Tris, Jonmarc and the Winter Kingdoms gang six months after the end of Dark Lady’s Chosen.  There are all new challenges, lots of dark magic and the biggest threat Margolan has faced in 400 years.

Giveaway Guidelines

  1. One signed copy of an ARC of The Sworn when available and two Chronicles book bonus-packs of The Blood King, Dark Haven, and Dark Lady’s Chosen to be awarded to commenters drawn at random.
  2. To enter, ask Gail a question or comment on the percentage blend of romance and adventure in fantasy for you. Is it 5% and 95% like Gail’s or something different. Give us your thoughts.
  3. Entries open to residents of US and Canada.
  4. Entries must be received by midnight (EST) on November 3.
  5. Ensure you leave a way for me to contact you.
  6. If you can (not a requirement), share the link of the interview/giveaway on your favourite social media website or blog.
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