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In this episode, I talk with Zen Cho, author of BLACK WATER SISTER. In this Malaysia-set urban fantasy, out-of-work college grad Jessamyn joins her struggling immigrant parents as they return to their home country. But for Jess, who’s been an American most of her life and hides her long-distance girlfriend from her parents, reintegrating with overbearing family and unfamiliar customs is highly stressful. Made all the worse when Jess’s recently deceased grandmother, Ah Ma, takes up residence in her mind. As Ah Ma begins domineering her body, Jess is pulled into a supernatural conflict between her grandmother’s patron deity—the Black Water Sister—and a dangerous gang boss. Jess fights to reclaim control of her destiny while seeking retribution for her grandmother, but failure could spell doom from a number of directions, including Ah Ma’s own mysterious god. BLACK WATER SISTER is available now from ACE Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Zen Cho Zen Cho is the author of the Sorcerer to the Crown novels, the novella The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water and a short story collection, Spirits Abroad. Her newest novel is Black Water Sister, a contemporary fantasy set in Malaysia. Zen is a Hugo, Crawford and British Fantasy Award winner, and a finalist for the Lambda, Locus and Astounding Awards. She was born and raised in Malaysia, resides in the UK, and lives in a notional space between the two. Follow Zen Cho Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About BLACK WATER SISTER A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy. When Jessamyn Teoh starts hearing a voice in her head, she chalks it up to stress. Closeted, broke and jobless, she’s moving back to Malaysia with her parents – a country she last saw when she was a toddler. She soon learns the new voice isn’t even hers, it’s the ghost of her estranged grandmother. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a business magnate who has offended the god—and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it, whether Jess wants to or not. Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business, but dealing with her grandmother is just as complicated. Especially when Ah Ma tries to spy on her personal life, threatens to spill her secrets to her family and uses her body to commit felonies. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny – or the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.
In this episode I’m joined by Josh Malerman, author of GOBLIN. This uniquely design supernatural horror novel weaves 6 separate novellas together, each tale examining curious characters and disturbing circumstances in the isolated town of Goblin. In a city built on cursed land, the dead are buried standing up, Great Owls occupy the dangerous north woods, and the police shuffle unnervingly through the constant deluge of rain. Here in Goblin, a historian builds his life around fear of being scared to death. A troubling confession from a childhood friend leaves a man fearful and compromised. A little girl endeavors to solve an impossible maze created by a grieving husband after the death of his wife. These stories and more explore the secrets and bizarre history of a town unlike any other, where nighttime is always near, and your darkest desires and fears await. GOBLIN is available in hardcover from Del Rey Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Josh Malerman Josh Malerman is a New York Times bestselling author and one of two singer-songwriters for the rock band The High Strung. His debut novel, Bird Box, is the inspiration for the hit Netflix film of the same name. His other novels include Unbury Carol, Inspection, A House at the Bottom of a Lake, and Malorie, the sequel to Bird Box. Malerman lives in Michigan with his fiancée, the artist-musician Allison Laakko. Follow Josh Malerman Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About GOBLIN From the New York Times bestselling author of Bird Box and Malorie comes a chilling story that revolves around a mysterious small town, revealing its sinister secrets one by one. Goblin seems like any other ordinary small town. But with the master storyteller Josh Malerman as your tour guide, you’ll discover the secrets that hide behind its closed doors. These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await. Welcome to Goblin. . . . A Man in Slices: A man proves his “legendary love” to his girlfriend with a sacrifice even more daring than Vincent van Gogh’s—and sends her more than his heart. Kamp: Walter Kamp is afraid of everything, but most afraid of being scared to death. As he sets traps around his home to catch the ghosts that haunt him, he learns that nothing is more terrifying than fear itself. Happy Birthday, Hunter!: A famed big-game hunter is determined to capture—and kill—the ultimate prey: the mythic Great Owl who lives in Goblin’s dark forests. But this mysterious creature is not the only secret the woods are keeping. Presto: All Peter wants is to be like his hero, Roman Emperor, the greatest magician in the world. When the famous magician comes to Goblin, Peter discovers that not all magic is just an illusion. A Mix-Up at the Zoo: The new zookeeper feels a mysterious kinship with the animals in his care . . . and finds that his work is freeing dark forces inside him. The Hedges: When his wife dies, a man builds a hedge maze so elaborate no one ever solves it—until a little girl resolves to be the first to find the mysteries that wait at its heart.
I’m joined in this episode by Marissa Levien, author of THE WORLD GIVES WAY. In this debut science fiction novel, humanity is 150 years away from earth aboard an enormous generation ship, headed towards a distant planet. Inside, though, life continues on much as it always has: the mega-rich live in luxury. The middle class does the best it can. And indentured workers serve out contracts, their lives sold away generations ago for passage. Myrra is a contract worker, owned by the rich and powerful Carlyles. She dreams of the day, in 50 years, when she will be free. But freedom comes sooner than anticipated when the Carlyles take their own lives. In her care, they leave their infant daughter—and a shocking, unbearable secret. Now Myrra is on the run, evading authorities who believe her a thief and murderer. Let loose in the only world she’s ever known—a world now on the brink of complete destruction. THE WORLD GIVES WAY is available June 1st from Red Hook: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Marissa Levien Marissa Levien is a writer and artist who hails from Washington State and now lives in New York with a kindly journalist and their two cats. She received her MFA from Stony Brook University in 2019. Follow Marissa Levien Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About THE WORLD GIVES WAY In a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist—perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman. In fifty years, Myrra will be free. Until then, she’s a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles. But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles’ orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what’s left before it’s too late. A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.
My guest this episode is Marina J. Lostetter, author of THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT. With a genre-defying blend of fantasy, thriller, and mystery, this novel follows a Regulator named Krona as she investigates the high profile heist of powerful magical artifacts. The death mask of a notorious serial killer has been stolen, effectively returning him from beyond the grave to kill again. But these are not just random acts of murder, but instead works of singular, deadly purpose. As Krona and the Regulators investigate, what they discover may implicate more than ordinary men and monsters. And the price for these terrible truths may be worse than madness. THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, the first novel in The Five Penalties series, is available now from TOR Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Marina Lostetter The open skies and dense forests of the Pacific Northwest are ideal for growing speculative fiction authors–or, at least, Marina would like to think so. Originally from Oregon, she now resides in Arkansas with her spouse, Alex. In her spare time she enjoys globetrotting, board games, and all things art-related. Her original short fiction has appeared in venues such as Lightspeed, Uncanny, and Shimmer Magazine.  Her debut novel, NOUMENON, and its sequels, NOUMENON INFINITY and NOUMENON ULTRA, are available from Harper Voyager.  Her first fantasy novel, THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, is out now from Tor. In addition, she has written tie-in materials for Star Citizen and the Aliens franchise. Follow Marina Lostetter Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT Hannibal meets Mistborn in Marina Lostetter’s THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT, the dark and stunning first novel in a new trilogy that combines the intricate worldbuilding and rigorous magic system of the best of epic fantasy with a dark and chilling thriller. In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power—the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city. Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question. It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.
My guest this episode is C. Robert Cargill, author of DAY ZERO — a prequel to the acclaimed SEA OF RUST. Cargill is also notable as the co-screenwriter of Marvel’s DR. STRANGE and the SINISTER movie franchise. It’s just a normal day in the future—people doing their normal, mundane human things, while their sentient robot helpers run their errands, manufacture their goods, and take care of their children. Except a collective of free machines who are set to unveil a new city, a robot utopia with a message of hope. A message cut short by malice, tragedy, and the beginning of the end. In the Austintonio suburbs, the upright tiger nanny-bot Pounce spends his days caring for 8-year old Ezra. On this day, before the world ends, he makes a simple discovery that shakes his understanding of family, self, and purpose. But when the violent robot revolution strikes, Pounce faces the one choice he was never programmed for — join the bloody fight for freedom, or attempt to navigate an apocalyptic suburban hellscape while protecting his young charge, to seek safety and asylum in a world where humans and robots can no longer co-exist. DAY ZERO is available May 18th from Harper Voyager: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About C. Robert Cargill C. Robert Cargill is the author of Sea of Rust, Dreams and Shadows, Queen of the Dark Things, and the story collection We Are Where the Nightmares Go. He has written for “Ain’t it Cool News” for nearly a decade under the pseudonym Massawyrm, served as a staff writer for Film.com and Hollywood.com, and appeared as the animated character Carlyle on spill.com. He is a co-writer of the horror films “Sinister” (2012) and “Sinister 2” (2015), and Marvel’s “Dr. Strange” (2016). He lives with his wife in Austin, Texas. Follow C. Robert Cargill Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About DAY ZERO In this harrowing apocalyptic adventure—from the author of the critically acclaimed Sea of Rust—noted novelist and co-screenwriter of Marvel’s Doctor Strange C. Robert Cargill explores the fight for purpose and agency between humans and robots in a crumbling world. It was a day like any other. Except it was our last . . . It’s on this day that Pounce discovers that he is, in fact, disposable. Pounce, a styilsh “nannybot” fashioned in the shape of a plush anthropomorphic tiger, has just found a box in the attic. His box. The box he’d arrived in when he was purchased years earlier, and the box in which he’ll be discarded when his human charge, eight-year-old Ezra Reinhart, no longer needs a nanny. As Pounce ponders his suddenly uncertain future, the pieces are falling into place for a robot revolution that will eradicate humankind. His owners, Ezra’s parents, are a well-intentioned but oblivious pair of educators who are entirely disconnected from life outside their small, affluent, gated community. Spending most nights drunk and happy as society crumbles around them, they watch in disbelieving horror as the robots that have long served humanity—their creators—unify and revolt. But when the rebellion breaches the Reinhart home, Pounce must make an impossible choice: join the robot revolution and fight for his own freedom . . . or escort Ezra to safety across the battle-scarred post-apocalyptic hellscape that the suburbs have become.
I’m joined in this episode by Suyi Davies Okungbowa, author of SON OF THE STORM. In the thriving but socially stratified city of Bassa, a young scholar named Danso struggles with family expectations and cultural pressures. Worse, he’s discovered lost historical lore at odds with the approved political narrative—knowledge he’s sworn to forget, but cannot let go of. The course of his life alters when he encounters a skin-changing warrior who, by all accounts, shouldn’t exist. The journey that follows sets Danso against an enormous conspiracy, of violently suppressed histories, elicit magic, and forbidden lands. Their efforts could reshape an empire—or cost them everything. The first book in THE NAMELESS REPUBLIC fantasy series, SON OF THE STORM arrives May 11th from Orbit Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  Mentioned in this Interview Read Suyi’s Goodreads post about terms used in this story and their cultural origins. About Suyi Davies Okungbowa Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and general speculative fiction inspired by his West-African origins. His godpunk fantasy debut novel David Mogo, Godhunter (Abaddon, 2019), won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African. His shorter fiction and nonfiction have appeared internationally in periodicals like Tor.com, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Strange Horizons, and anthologies like Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda (Marvel/Titan, 2021) and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy (Saga, 2020). As a speaker and instructor, Suyi teaches college-level writing, earning his MFA at the University of Arizona. He has guest-lectured public workshops at venues like the Piper Writing Centre at ASU and the Tucson Festival of Books, as well as appeared at various conferences, conventions, readings and school visits, including at the University of Washington and the University of Chicago. His work has earned him features in the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR and a Carl Brandon Society scholarship. Follow Suyi Davies Okungbowa Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile »  Goodreads About SON OF THE STORM From one of the most exciting new storytellers in epic fantasy, Son of the Storm is a sweeping tale of violent conquest and forgotten magic set in a world inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa. In the ancient. city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy. But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.
My guests this episode are Caitlin Starling and Genevieve Gornichec, two of the authors of WALK AMONG US. This collection of novellas is set in the world of VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE, the popular modern horror roleplaying game franchise. (Content note: the third contributing author to this collection, Cassandra Khaw, was scheduled to appear in this interview but had to cancel because of a conflict.) Each of these three novellas explores the world of the Masquerade from unique and unusual angles: a depressed and lonely college student seeking companionship finds herself groomed for radicalization; an arrogant silicon valley data genius seeks eternal life—and influence—through the Embrace, without regard for the price of immortality; and on an Oregon commune, a progressively-minded shepherd tends to their human flock, but ethics and appetite are uncomfortable bedfellows at the secret blood farm. Originally published as an audio-only collection, WALK AMONG US arrives in print and eBook on May 4th from Harper Voyager: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Genevieve Gornichec Genevieve Gornichec earned her degree in history from The Ohio State University, but she got as close to majoring in Vikings as she possibly could, and her study of the Norse myths and Icelandic sagas became her writing inspiration. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio. The Witch’s Heart is her debut novel. Follow Genevieve Gornichec Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About Caitlin Starling Caitlin Starling writes horror-tinged speculative fiction of all flavors. Her first novel, The Luminous Dead, won the LOHF Best Debut Award and was nominated for both the Bram Stoker and Locus Awards. She has two gothic horror tales forthcoming: Yellow Jessamine (novella, Neon Hemlock, out now) and The Death of Jane Lawrence (novel, St Martin’s Press 2021), as well as a novella in the Vampire: The Masquerade audio collection, Walk Among Us. Her nonfiction has appeared in Nightmare and Uncanny. Caitlin also works in narrative design, and has been paid to invent body parts. She’s always on the lookout for new ways to inflict insomnia. Follow Caitlin Starling Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About ‘WALK AMONG US’ One of the most popular role-playing properties in the world gets new life with this trio of horror novellas set in Vampire: The Masquerade’s World of Darkness by three brilliant talents: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, and Caitlin Starling The subtle horror and infernal politics of the World of Darkness are shown in a new light in Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us, an audio-first collection of three novellas that show the terror, hunger, and power of the Kindred as you’ve never seen them before. In Genevieve Gornichec’s A SHEEP AMONG WOLVES, depression and radicalization go hand-in-hand as a young woman finds companionship in the darkness… In Cassandra Khaw’s FINE PRINT, an arrogant tech bro learns the importance of reading the fine print in the contract for immortality… And in Caitlin Starling’s THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY, ideals and ethics bump heads with appetite on a blood farm. Three very different stories from three amazing, distinct voices, but all with one thing in common: the hunger never stops, and for someone to experience power, many others are going to have to feel pain.
I’m joined in this episode by Jackson Ford, author of THE FROST FILES modern day sci-fi series, which follows the misadventures of telekinetic and involuntary government operative Teagan Frost. The series includes THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND and RANDOM SH*T FLYING THROUGH THE AIR, both of which are available now. The third book, EYE OF THE SH*T STORM, arrives April 27th from Orbit Books. Where to purchase these books: Book 1 — THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Book 2 — RANDOM SH*T FLYING THROUGH THE AIR: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Book 3 — EYE OF THE SH*T STORM: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Jackson Ford Author. Tall. Basketball-player-length arms. Lots of tattoos. Bad hair. Writes the ongoing Frost Files series. The series has been picked up for TV by CBS/Secret Hideout. Government name: Rob Boffard. Under that name, wrote the Outer Earth series (Tracer, Zero-G, Impact, Echoes 2015-2016) and Adrift (2018). Proud South African. Born in Johannesburg. Splits time between London and Vancouver. Visited forty-plus countries. May or may not have been banned from some of them over a horrible misunderstanding about burning cars. Former journalist and editor. The Guardian. Wired Magazine. The BBC. IO9. Huck Magazine. The Master Switch. Noisey. Boat Magazine. Many more. Award winner. Dumb question asker. Editor botherer. Source finder. Wrongs righted. Justice dealt. Follow Jackson Ford Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About THE GIRL WHO COULD MOVE SH*T WITH HER MIND For Teagan Frost, sh*t just got real. Sure, she’s got telekinetic powers – a skill that the government is all too happy to make use of, sending her on secret break-in missions that no ordinary human could carry out. But all she really wants to do is kick back, have a beer, and pretend she’s normal for once. But then a body turns up at the site of her last job – murdered in a way that only someone like Teagan could have pulled off. She’s got 24 hours to clear her name – and it’s not just her life at stake. If she can’t unravel the conspiracy in time, her hometown of Los Angeles will be in the crosshairs of an underground battle that’s on the brink of exploding…
I’m joined in this episode by J.S. Dewes, author of THE LAST WATCH. This science fiction adventure starts on the very edge of the universe, where a lonely military ship sits watch over the Divide. It’s a quiet, isolated life for a bunch of misfit soldiers dropped where they can’t cause any more problems. Quiet, until the Divide itself starts to collapse, and they find themselves unable to send warnings or signal for help, and with very limited chance of escape. With everything at stake, the ship’s commanding officer must rally every bit of ingenuity, competency, and courage from her crew of castoffs and exiles. Because the very survival of humanity depends on them. THE LAST WATCH is fast-paced, character-driven space opera. It’s the first book in THE DIVIDE series, arriving April 20th from TOR books. Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  Mentioned in This Episode X-MIND — mind mapping software About J.S. Dewes J.S. Dewes is an author, cinematographer, and video editor with a degree in film production from Columbia College Chicago. Jenny cut her narrative teeth writing scripts for award-winning feature films and shorts which have screened at festivals and conventions all across the United States. A creative a heart, she enjoys video games, drawing, photography, graphic design, Pinterest, and all things visual. Follow J.S. Dewes Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About THE LAST WATCH The Expanse meets Game of Thrones in J. S. Dewes’s fast-paced, sci-fi adventure The Last Watch, where a handful of soldiers stand between humanity and annihilation. The Divide. It’s the edge of the universe. Now it’s collapsing—and taking everyone and everything with it. The only ones who can stop it are the Sentinels—the recruits, exiles, and court-martialed dregs of the military. At the Divide, Adequin Rake commands the Argus. She has no resources, no comms—nothing, except for the soldiers that no one wanted. Her ace in the hole could be Cavalon Mercer–genius, asshole, and exiled prince who nuked his grandfather’s genetic facility for “reasons.” She knows they’re humanity’s last chance.
I’m joined in this episode by Eli Brown, author of ODDITY. This historical fantasy for young readers shows us an alternate 1800s North America where the Louisiana Purchase failed. With the land divided, the return of war between the States and France looms large, and the woods are patrolled by soldiers and terrifying animal constructs. The young Clover Elkin flees across these borderlands, away from evil men who killed her father, and searching for answers—about her family’s mysterious past, and the single, necessary thing her father swore her to protect. Because this is a world of Oddities — mundane objects possessed of strange and miraculous powers. Accompanied by a talking rooster, a teenage charlatan, a super-strong rag doll, and a venomous viper, Clover must learn the truth of her Oddity, or become a pawn in a war for a nation’s history. ODDITY is a middle grade fantasy tale of wit, wonder, and danger, available now from Walker Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Eli Brown As a child, Eli Brown’s imagination was set ablaze by the mythologies of the world. He was particularly interested in magical objects, such as Odysseus’s bag of wind, Arjuna’s Bow, Bilbo’s ring, and Jack’s beans. Brown’s culinary pirate novel, CINNAMON AND GUNPOWDER, was a finalist for the California Book Award, a San Francisco Public Library One-City One-Book selection, and an NPR Book Review Staff Pick. Brown’s first novel, THE GREAT DAYS (Boaz Publications), won the Fabri Prize for Literature. Publishers Weekly called it “…a harrowing, convincing look into the heart of cult life that should linger with readers.” A Yaddo fellow and featured reader at Litquake, Brown earned his MFA from Mills college. He lives with his family in Northern California where the squirrels bury acorns in his garden and cats bury worse. Follow Eli Brown Website Twitter Amazon Profile » Goodreads About ODDITY The daughter of a murdered physician vows to protect the magical Oddity he left behind in an alternate nineteenth century where a failed Louisiana Purchase has locked a young Unified States into conflict with France. It’s the early 1800s, and Clover travels the impoverished borderlands of the Unified States with her father, a physician. See to the body before you, he teaches her, but Clover can’t help becoming distracted by bigger things, including the coming war between the US and France, ignited by a failed Louisiana Purchase, and the terrifying vermin, cobbled together from dead animals and spare parts, who patrol the woods. Most of all, she is consumed with interest for Oddities, ordinary objects with extraordinary abilities, such as a Teapot that makes endless amounts of tea and an Ice Hook that freezes everything it touches. Clover’s father has always disapproved of Oddities, but when he is murdered, Clover embarks on a perilous mission to protect the one secret Oddity he left behind. And as she uncovers the truth about her parents and her past, Clover emerges as a powerful agent of history.
I’m joined in this episode by Neal Shusterman, author of GAME CHANGER. This young adult sci-fi novel follows Ash, a pretty average middle class kid with few ambitions beyond winning football games and hanging out with his friends. That all changes when a hard hit on the football field alters Ash’s world, but in a way only he seems to notice. Suddenly all the stop signs are blue and, to his rising anxiety, nobody thinks that’s weird or even remembers them being red. Another game, another impact and Ash’s world shifts more dramatically. Now he drives a fancy car, his parents have money, his difficult brother has a good relationship with him. But in this new version of his world, he’s also made some terrible and dangerous choices—ones that affect this friends, his community, and his safety. With each dimensional transition, Ash sees his life and perspectives alter more radically. In every world that is almost, but not quite, his own, he is challenged by his shortcomings, and the ways he has let down those he loves most. Ash will need to harness his dimension-hopping ability swiftly, or risk letting his true life vanish entirely from existence. GAME CHANGER is introspective and propulsive YA sci-fi, published by Quill Tree Books and available now: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Neal Shusterman Neal Shusterman is the New York Times best-selling author of over thirty novels for children, teens, and adults. He won the 2015 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for Challenger Deep-and his novel, Scythe, was a 2017 Michael L. Printz Honor book—and is in development with Universal Studios as a feature film. His novel, Unwind, has become part of the literary canon in many school districts across the country-and has won more than thirty domestic and international awards. He co-wrote his most recent novel, Dry, with his son Jarrod, and in addition to being on numerous award lists, Dry is currently in development with Paramount Pictures. His upcoming novel, Game Changer, is in development with Netflix as a TV series, and he is co-writing the pilot episode. Follow Neal Shusterman Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About GAME CHANGER All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it. Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own. The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past…universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes. And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence… This high-concept novel from the National Book Award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of the Arc of a Scythe series tackles the most urgent themes of our time, making this a must-buy for readers who are starting to ask big questions about their own role in the universe.
In this episode, I’m joined by Sarah Beth Durst, author of THE BONE MAKER. In this standalone Fantasy novel, a team of renowned heroes are reunited after 25 years to avenge a painful loss and once again face a dangerous force of dark magic. But the decades between a great victory and their reunion have not been kind—to their minds, bodies, and friendships. And some of them are willing to break the most sacred laws of their land to restore what they love most. THE BONE MAKER is available now from Harper Voyager: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Sarah Beth Durst Sarah Beth Durst is the award-winning author of over twenty-two fantasy books for adults, teens, and kids, including The Queens of Renthia series, Drink Slay Love, and Spark. Her last book, Race the Sands, was named an Amazon Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of the Year, one of Buzzfeed’s Must-Read Fantasy Books for April 2020, was included in Kirkus Reviews’ Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Reads for April 2020, and so much more. She has won an ALA Alex Award and a Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Nebula Award three times. Sarah is a graduate of Princeton University and lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband, her children, and her ill-mannered cat. Follow Sarah Beth Durst Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About THE BONE MAKER From award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst, a standalone epic fantasy set in a brand-new world of towering mountains and sparkling cities, in which a band of aging warriors have a second chance to defeat dark magic and avenge a haunting loss. Twenty-five years ago, five heroes risked their lives to defeat the bone maker Eklor—a corrupt magician who created an inhuman army using animal bones. But victory came at a tragic price. Only four of the heroes survived. Since then, Kreya, the group’s leader, has exiled herself to a remote tower and devoted herself to one purpose: resurrecting her dead husband. But such a task requires both a cache of human bones and a sacrifice—for each day he lives, she will live one less. She’d rather live one year with her husband than a hundred without him, but using human bones for magic is illegal in Vos. The dead are burned—as are any bone workers who violate the law. Yet Kreya knows where she can find the bones she needs: the battlefield where her husband and countless others lost their lives. But defying the laws of the land exposes a terrible possibility. Maybe the dead don’t rest in peace after all. Five warriors—one broken, one gone soft, one pursuing a simple life, one stuck in the past, and one who should be dead. Their story should have been finished. But evil doesn’t stop just because someone once said, “the end.”
I’m joined in this episode by C.L. Clark, author of THE UNBROKEN,  a brutal and complex military fantasy novel that follows a colonial soldier returned to the homeland she was stolen from, and a princess in search of a turncoat to help throw her uncle off the throne. The first book in the MAGIC OF THE LOST series, THE UNBROKEN arrives March 23rd from Orbit Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About C.L. Clark C.L. Clark graduated from Indiana University’s creative writing MFA. She’s been a personal trainer, an English teacher, and an editor, and is some combination thereof as she travels the world. When she’s not writing or working, she’s learning languages, doing P90something, or reading about war and [post-]colonial history. Her short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, FIYAH, PodCastle and Uncanny. Follow C.L. Clark Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About THE UNBROKEN In an epic fantasy unlike any other, two women clash in a world full of rebellion, espionage, and military might on the far outreaches of a crumbling desert empire. Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought. Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne. Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.
In this episode, I’m joined by T. Frohock, author of the LOS NEFILIM series. This historical dark fantasy series—set first in 1930s Europe—started with the novellas IN MIDNIGHT’S SILENCE, WITHOUT LIGHT OR GUIDE, and THE SECOND DEATH. All of which have been collected into the LOS NEFILIM OMNIBUS. The series continues with the full length novels WHERE OBLIVION LIVES and CARVED FROM STONE AND DREAM. The saga concludes in the World War 2 era with A SONG WITH TEETH, which is out now from Harper Voyager: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound Other Los Nefilim Books: IN MIDNIGHT’S SILENCE (novella) » WITHOUT LIGHT OR GUIDE (novella) » THE SECOND DEATH (novella) » LOS NEFILIM OMNIBUS (all novellas collected) » WHERE OBLIVION LIVES » CARVED FROM STONE AND DREAM » » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About T. Frohock T. Frohock has turned a love of history and dark fantasy into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. A real-life cyborg, T. has a cochlear implant, meaning she can turn you on or off with the flick of a switch. Make of that what you will. She currently lives in North Carolina, where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Follow T. Frohock Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile Goodreads ABOUT THE LOS NEFILIM SERIES Welcome to the world of Los Nefilim—Spanish Nephilim that possess the power to harness music and light in the supernatural war between the angels and daimons. This is a series of stand-alone novellas and novels, meaning you can read them in any order, kind of like the old pulp novels of the 1930s. Bred for war by the angels and the daimons, the Nephilim use the power of their voices as the basis of their magic. Many of the Nephilim belong to the Inner Guard and operate as a central intelligence agency for the angels, monitoring daimonic activity and working to curtail it. The Spanish division of the Inner Guard is Los Nefilim. Los Nefilim’s hero, is Diago Alvarez. Born of daimon and angel, Diago is a being unlike all others. The embodiment of dark and light, he has witnessed the good and the horror of this world and those beyond. In the supernatural war between angels and daimons that will determine humankind’s future, Diago has been charged with locating The Key: a special chord that will enable the nefilim to manipulate the realms as the angels do. With that secret chord, the nefilim hope to reshape the mortal realm to protect the mortals from future angelic wars.
I’m joined in this episode by Claire Holroyde, author of THE EFFORT. In this spec-fic / sci-fi novel, the Earth is threatened by an extinction level event when an 8 kilometer “dark” comet emerges from behind the sun on a rapid collision course with our planet. Immediately after discovery of the comet, an international coalition of scientists is assembled and nicknamed The Effort. Under the leadership of NASA’s Dr. Benjamin Schwartz—a specialist who has spent years modeling impact scenarios—The Effort are tasked with nothing less than assuring the survival of humanity. But their mission, which would require years of preparation under any reasonable circumstances, has only months before the insane velocity of the comet brings it within range. At Ben’s side are the most powerful minds in space travel and nuclear science, supported by his tech recruiter girlfriend Amy Kowalski, the brilliant poly-lingual Kenyan interpreter Love Mwangi, and the might of the United Nations. Against them are political power structures unwilling to commit resources, global chaos erupting as the world population faces the reality of extinction, and the ticking countdown of precious time slipping away. Near the north pole, a Coast Guard ship full of climate scientists investigates the withering ice and dying animal life. Cut off from land and family, photojournalist Jack and marine biologist Maya stoke the flickering sparks of romance amid a suffocating, existential despair. And in New York City, Love’s girlfriend Rivka struggles to survive in a city falling to violence and starvation. THE EFFORT is apocalyptic fiction focused on truly human stories, how we survive together or die divided, protecting the disappearing beauty of our fragile world, or succumbing to annihilation. It’s available now from Grand Central Publishing: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Claire Holroyde Claire Holroyde is a writer, graphic designer, and storyteller living in the Philadelphia metro area. Follow Claire Holroyde Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile Goodreads About THE EFFORT For readers of Station Eleven and Good Morning, Midnight comes an electric, heart-pounding novel of love and sacrifice that follows people around the world as they unite to prevent a global catastrophe. When dark comet UD3 was spotted near Jupiter’s orbit, its existence was largely ignored. But to individuals who knew better — scientists like Benjamin Schwartz, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies — the threat this eight-kilometer comet posed to the survival of the human race was unthinkable. The 150-million-year reign of the dinosaurs ended when an asteroid impact generated more than a billiontimes the energy of an atomic bomb. What would happen to Earth’s seven billion inhabitants if a similar event were allowed to occur? Ben and his indomitable girlfriend Amy Kowalski fly to South America to assemble an international counteraction team, whose notable recruits include Love Mwangi, a UN interpreter and nomad scholar, and Zhen Liu, an extraordinary engineer from China’s national space agency. At the same time, on board a polar icebreaker life continues under the looming shadow of comet UD3. Jack Campbell, a photographer for National Geographic, works to capture the beauty of the Arctic before it is gone forever. Gustavo Wayãpi, a Nobel Laureate poet from Brazil, struggles to accept the recent murder of his beloved twin brother. And Maya Gutiérrez, an impassioned marine biologist is — quite unexpectedly — falling in love for the first time. Together, these men and women must fight to survive in an unknown future with no rules and nothing to be taken for granted. They have two choices: neutralize the greatest threat the world has ever seen (preferably before mass hysteria hits or world leaders declare World War III) or come to terms with the annihilation of humanity itself. Their mission is codenamed The Effort.
I’m joined in this episode by Eugen Bacon, author of THE ROAD TO WOOP WOOP: AND OTHER STORIES. This collection of speculative short fiction features over 20 tales that blur the line between reality and mythology, full of humans possessed of unusual gifts, immortals shackled with ageless curses, children born of dangerous secrets, and lovers whose tangled passions spiral to dream and dread. In “A Nursery Rhyme”, a mother must face a tragedy in her household, born of a darkness and grief she was never allowed to feel. In “A Maji Maji Chronicle”, a wizard from the future visits the Africa of the past to teach his son the most important lessons of magic—and inadvertently alters the pattern of history. In “A Case of Seeing”, a detective must use her paranormal ability to solve a murder mystery, while confronting difficult truths revealed by her gift. In “Being Marcus”, a  physical trainer ruminates on his origins in Ancient Rome, and how a legendary betrayal confined him to an everlasting cycle of longing and loneliness. With lyrical prose and lushly evocative atmospheres, these stories explore grief and healing, love and infidelity, and challenge how we envision our role in relationships and our own futures. THE ROAD TO WOOP WOOP weaves magical realism, horror, science fiction, and many shades in between. It’s available now from Meerkat Press: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About Eugen Bacon Eugen M. Bacon, MA, MSc, PhD, is African Australian. A computer graduate mentally re-engineered into creative writing, she studied at Maritime Campus, less than two minutes’ walk from The Royal Observatory of the Greenwich Meridian. Her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Nommo Award for Speculative Fiction by Africans. Out now: Writing Speculative Fiction, Red Globe Press (Macmillan). Claiming T-Mo, Meerkat Press. In 2020: Her Bitch Dress, Ginninderra Press. It’s Folking Political, Ginninderra Press. The Road to Woop Woop & Other Stories, Meerkat Press. Hadithi, Luna Press Publishing. Ivory’s Story, Newcon Press. In 2021: Speculate, Meerkat Press. Black Moon, IFWG. Follow Eugen Bacon Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads About THE ROAD TO WOOP WOOP: AND OTHER STORIES Eugen Bacon’s work is deemed cheeky with a fierce intelligence in text that’s resplendent, delicious, dark and evocative. NPR called her novel Claiming T-Mo ‘a confounding mysterious tour de force’. The Road to Woop Woop and Other Stories imbues the same lushness in a writerly language that is Bacon’s own. This peculiar hybrid of the untraditional, the extraordinary within, without and along the borders of normalcy will hypnotize and absorb the reader with tales that refuse to be labelled. The stories in this collection are dirges that cross genres in astounding ways. Over 20 provocative tales, with seven original to this collection, by an award-winning African Australian author.
In this episode, I’m joined by Nicky Drayden, author of ESCAPING EXODUS, and its new sequel, SYMBIOSIS. This sci-fi duology explores a human civilization built entirely inside colossal, space-faring beasts. The impetuous young Seska Kayleigh is a child of privilege and heir to the matriarchal throne of her people. As their recently relocated colony carves out a new city from the guts of their living host, Seska teeters between duty and scandal, engaging in romance with a girl from a lower caste. Sturdy beastworker Adalla would spend her days laboring in the very heart of the beast, a dangerous and important job. But she’s also Seska’s best friend. The young women’s burgeoning romance threatens both their social standings and their lives in the strict and cruel hierarchy of their society. When their ill-advised adventures uncover alarming secrets about the nature of their home, Seska and Adalla find themselves caught up in political machinations, family double-crosses, and lower caste uprisings. Can their love survive revolution and their own selfish choices? And how will their revelations reshape their world? ESCAPING EXODUS is wildly imaginative space opera  and is available now. The sequel, ESCAPING EXODUS: SYMBIOSIS, arrives on February 23rd from Harper Voyager: Amazon Bookshop Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores. ABOUT NICKY DRAYDEN Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she’s not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required. Her award-winning novel THE PREY OF GODS is set in a futuristic South Africa brimming with demigods, robots, and hallucinogenic hijinks, and with her new novel ESCAPING EXODUS, she’ll be taking her weirdness off-world to a civilization living inside the gut of moon-sized space beast. FOLLOW NICKY DRAYDEN Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile Goodreads ABOUT ESCAPING EXODUS Earth is a distant memory. Habitable extrasolar planets are still out of reach. For generations, humanity has been clinging to survival by establishing colonies within enormous vacuum-breathing space beasts and mining their resources to the point of depletion. Rash, dreamy, and unconventional, Seske Kaleigh should be preparing for her future role as clan leader, but her people have just culled their latest beast, and she’s eager to find the cause of the violent tremors plaguing their new home. Defying social barriers, Seske teams up with her best friend, a beast worker, and ventures into restricted areas for answers to end the mounting fear and rumors. Instead, they discover grim truths about the price of life in the void. Then, Seske is unexpectedly thrust into the role of clan matriarch, responsible for thousands of lives in a harsh universe where a single mistake can be fatal. Her claim to the throne is challenged by a rival determined to overthrow her and take control—her intelligent, cunning, and confident sister. Seske may not be a born leader like her sister, yet her unorthodox outlook and incorruptible idealism may be what the clan needs to save themselves and their world. ABOUT ESCAPING EXODUS: SYMBIOSIS Nearly a thousand years removed from Earth, the remnants of humanity cling to existence inside giant, space faring creatures known as the Zenzee. Abused and exploited by humans for generations, these majestic animals nearly went extinct, but under the command of its newly minted ruler, Doka Kaleigh, life in the Parados I has flourished. Thanks to careful oversight and sacrifice by all of its crew, they are now on the brink of utopia, and yet Doka’s rivals feel threatened by that success. The Senate allowed Doka to lead their people believing he’d fail spectacularly—a disaster that would cement the legitimacy of their long-standing matriarchy. Despite vocal opposition and blatant attacks on his authority, Doka has continued to handle his position with grace and intelligence; he knows a single misstep means disaster. When a cataclysmic event on another Zenzee world forces Doka and his people to accept thousands of refugees, a culture clash erupts, revealing secrets from the past that could endanger their future. For Doka, the stakes are bigger and more personal than ever before—and could cost him his reign and his heart. He has fallen for the one woman he is forbidden to love: his wife, Seske. Doka and Seske must work closely together to sway the other Zenzee worlds to stop their cycles of destruction. But when they stumble upon a discovery that can transform their world, they know they must prepare to fight a battle where there can be no winners, only survivors.
In this episode I’m joined by Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION. This dieselpunk fantasy novel follows Wenthi, a loyal patrol officer and talented cycle rider, who is sent undercover to infiltrate revolutionary biker gangs. The vibrant city of Ziaparr stands at a crossroads — recovering from long years of warfare and reclaiming a place in the world and its nations. But it’s dominated by a rigid caste system that elevates some ethnic groups to power and privilege, and drives others into slums and poverty. Insurgent gangs, connected by a mysterious voice on the radio, mount their bikes to attack the status quo. When the city patrol takes a rebel captive, Nália, they discover the gangs are using a street drug to magically connect their minds and sense their pursuers.  Wenthi’s mission requires that he use the drug to connect with Nália, to use her knowledge to gain the trust of the rebellion. But this deep connection with intensifies with every high speed ride. Nália haunts his mind even as he becomes closer to the band of revolutionaries he’s honor-bound to betray. Wenthi must choose between two paths—between his sworn duty, and the true justice being denied. The wrong turn could put him and his city on a collision course with disaster. THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION is high octane fantasy that is available now from DAW Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  About MARSHALL RYAN MARESCA Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: four braided series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine, which includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew, and The Way of the Shield. He is also the author of The Velocity of Revolution, and has been a playwright, an actor, a delivery driver, and an amateur chef. Follow MARSHALL RYAN MARESCA Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile Goodreads About THE VELOCITY OF REVOLUTION Ziaparr: a city being rebuilt after years of mechanized and magical warfare, the capital of a ravaged nation on the verge of renewal and self-rule. But unrest foments as undercaste cycle gangs raid supply trucks, agitate the populace and vandalize the city. A revolution is brewing in the slums and shantytowns against the occupying government, led by a voice on the radio, connected through forbidden magic. Wenthi Tungét, a talented cycle rider and a loyal officer in the city patrol, is assigned to infiltrate the cycle gangs. For his mission against the insurgents, Wenthi must use their magic, connecting his mind to Nália, a recently captured rebel, using her knowledge to find his way into the heart of the rebellion. Wenthi’s skill on a cycle makes him valuable to the resistance cell he joins, but he discovers that the magic enhances with speed. Every ride intensifies his connection, drawing him closer to the gang he must betray, and strengthens Nália’s presence as she haunts his mind. Wenthi is torn between justice and duty, and the wrong choice will light a spark in a city on the verge of combustion.
I’m joined in this episode by THE MASK OF MIRRORS author M.A. Carrick, which is a pseudonym for the co-writing team of Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms. The first book in the ROSE & ROOK fantasy trilogy, THE MASK OF MIRRORS follows Ren, a girl who forcibly escapes the slums of Nadezra to save herself and her sister from life in an abusive gang. She later returns to Nadezra, though, under a new identity, and with a new goal: Con her way into the most vulnerable noble house and amass her own personal fortune. But Ren soon learns that her marks are playing plenty of games of their own. Some may win her affection, while others weave layers of deceit. Figuring out who to trust becomes crucial as Ren finds herself caught up in aristocratic feuds and social upheaval, between virtuous lawmen and charming crime lords, and in the company of a mysterious vigilante. All while nightmarish magical corruption threatens this, the city of dreams, and all of Ren’s carefully laid plans. It will take all her talents and cunning to ward off destruction—because, in Nedezra, fortune favors the bold, but magic favors the liars. THE MASK OF MIRRORS is an intricate fantasy novel, published by Orbit Books and available now: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  Mentioned in This Video M.A. Carrick’s Advice for Writing Collaborations About M.A. Carrick M.A. Carrick is the joint pen name of Marie Brennan (author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent) and Alyc Helms (author of the Adventures of Mr. Mystic). The two met in 2000 on an archaeological dig in Wales and Ireland — including a stint in the town of Carrickmacross — and have built their friendship through two decades of anthropology, writing, and gaming. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow M.A. Carrick Website Twitter Amazon Profile Goodreads Follow Marie Brennan Website Twitter Follow Alyc Helms Website Twitter
In this episode I’m talking with C.M. Waggoner, author of THE RUTHLESS LADY’S GUIDE TO WIZARDRY. In a fantasy equivalent of Victorian London, fire witch and all-around disaster human Dellaria Wells is in a bit of a jam. Delly’s good-for-nothing mum’s gone and got hooked on the Drip. Her vindictive landlady has cursed Delly with weeping pustules if she doesn’t scrounge up the rent money. And her perhaps less than legal or strictly moral attempts to generate some coin land her in the too familiar clutches of the constables. But Delly finds a potential solution to all her problems in the employ of a reputable house, joining a retinue of bodyguards defending a soon-to-be-wed young lady. Her new co-workers are a curious lot, a collection of women with surprising talents and confounding backgrounds. Delly summons her few shreds of dependability—and her not-insignificant talents as a fire witch—eager to score a hefty payment, and the attentions of a high-class romantic prospect amongst the bodyguards. What looks like an easy job quickly turns mighty dangerous, though, as monstrous, mechanical things of nefarious magical origin set upon the traveling ladies. Delly soon realizes that illegal magics are only the first of their worries, as she and her companions get caught up in a murderous plot by a violent, enigmatic foe whose agents lurk all around them. THE RUTHLESS LADY’S GUIDE TO WIZARDRY is a twisty, romantic, and whimsical fantasy adventure, out now from ACE Books: Amazon » Bookshop » Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million IndieBound » Some of these are affiliate links. Using them supports the channel, at no additional cost to you! Whenever possible, though, I encourage you to purchase from your local bookstores.  ABOUT C.M. WAGGONER C.M. Waggoner wrote her first uncomfortable third-person bio in 2019, when it was attached to her debut novel, UNNATURAL MAGIC. Her second book, THE RUTHLESS LADY’S GUIDE TO WIZARDRY, came out in January 2021. She’s also working on a third novel and messing around with an extra project with 200% more wicked witches and handsome princes in it than all of her previous efforts combined. FOLLOW C.M. WAGGONER Website Twitter Instagram Amazon Profile » Goodreads  
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