As the townsfolk of the Welsh valley town of Llanelen settle in for the snowiest winter in twenty-five years, an American stranger arrives. Harry Saunders charms the ladies, one of them in particular: Evelyn Lloyd, the town's former postmistress, who was left comfortably off after the death of her husband. After Mrs. Lloyd invests a good deal of money with him, Harry goes missing, as does her money. His body is soon discovered outside the walls of Conwy Castle, and Mrs. Lloyd is implicated in the murder.
Although Penny Brannigan and her business partner, Victoria Hopkirk, are busy overseeing the grand opening of their new spa, that doesn't stop Mrs. Lloyd from desperately seeking Penny's help to prove her innocence. It's quite possible that Harry made other enemies while in Llanelen and Penny's investigation unfolds while she juggles her work at the spa, her growing relationship with Detective Inspector Davies, and the Christmas window competition that she signed up to judge.
With A Killer's Christmas in Wales, Elizabeth J. Duncan delivers a delightful holiday-themed mystery.
Het is bijna 3000 jaar geleden dat een wankel pact werd gesloten tussen de Magisters van de Vier Windstreken en de Imperator, waarbij werd afgesproken dat de vier machtige magiërs zich nimmer zullen mengen in wereldse zaken. Als dit Protocol ooit wordt geschonden, zal de wereld Pandemia volgens een oude voorspelling in geweld en chaos ten onder gaan.
In de stad Hub wordt de troon van het Impenrijk bezet door de oude keizer Emshandar, die langzaam aftakelt, maar ongehinderd door blijft regeren. Intussen is zijn zoon, prins Shandie, druk doende de toenemende dreiging van een grootschalige oorlog met de elfen af te wenden.
Elders, in het kleine koninkrijk Krasnegar, verschijnt een god aan koning Rap. Deze meldt de koning dat de voorspelling over de teloorgang van de wereld waarheid zal worden en dat hij, Rap, er de oorzaak van zal zijn. Want hij versloeg ooit de kwaadaardige dwergtovenaar Zinixio, waardoor de balans voorgoed werd ontwricht.
Onverwacht geraken de gebeurtenissen in een stroomversnelling. Keizer Emshandar overlijdt, en dat is voor Zinixio aanleiding om meteen en met alle beschikbare middelen een greep naar de macht te doen...
When we left the Brothers Magnus, they had assembled in Cardice to help Anton Magnus defend the castle from attack by a neighboring state with a significant military advantage and several officers who at any moment could request help from saints—or, depending on your perspective, from the devil.But Cardice has a secret weapon in the form of young Wulfgang Magnus, who can ask a few favors of his own from these devil-saints. The only problem is that Wulf is in love with Madlenka, the countess from Cardice who was forcibly married to Anton to explain why he’s suddenly leading the country.Even Wulf is unsure if family and political loyalty should override love. He’s also beginning to realize that the magical battle he’s stepped into has some serious rules that he doesn’t know, and has no way to learn. And when several wild cards in every battle can tap into nearly limitless sources of magic, who knows how far and wide the battle might range?This stunning continuation of the story begun in Speak to the Devil amps up the romance and intrigue, while letting readers spend more time with master fantasist Dave Duncan’s unique, complex, and ornery-but-delightful characters.
Canadian author Duncan offers plenty of swashbuckling fantasy adventure in this outstanding stand-alone novel, a follow-up to the three books in his loosely connected Tales of the King's Blades series (The Gilded Chain; Lord of the Fire Lands; Sky of Swords). Set during the reign of King Athelgar about a dozen years after the action of the previous volumes, the present story follows the binding of Sir Beaumont, one of the best of the King's Blades (swordsmen) in the land of Chivial, to the aged Lord Wassail, who must escort a royal princess from the court of the treacherous and insane Czar Igor and deliver a bride to the king. Along with fellow blades Arkell and Oak, Beaumont travels a narrow path in order to keep Wassail safe. Meanwhile, Igor desires his own blade and seeks the secrets of the rituals needed to gain one, aided by vicious ensorcelled dogs and the murderous strelsy. It's up to Beaumont, now disgraced and out of favor, to retrieve and stop a missing blade, Swithin, who's bound to the czar's brother-in-law, from reaching the czar's court. Rich, evocative language and superior narrative skills lift this mix of quest, swordplay, politics, love and honor high above the usual run of genre fiction. This book can only enhance Duncan's reputation as one of the leading masters of epic fantasy. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Bound by magic to serve the King or one of his chosen nobles, the King's Blades represent the epitome of loyalty and swordsmanship. Only Beaumont, once the finest Blade, brings disgrace to his calling. Duncan's latest installment in his popular "Tales of the King's Blades" series (The Gilded Chain; Lord of the Fire Lands; Sky of Swords) relates the truth behind the life and career of Ned Cookson, formerly Sir Beaumont of the King's Blades. Swashbuckling action and fantasy adventure add spice to a story of one man's struggle to find his own meaning of loyalty and courage. Recommended for most collections, particularly where the series is in demand. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Hello, readers! A little bit here about Deadworld in the hopes that I can encourage you to give it a try. I like to consider this story a paranormal thriller. Unfortunately, this is not a shelving category for books, and so it is classified as an Urban Fantasy. You'll likely find this book in the sf/f section of your bookstore.
Personally, I love stories with supernatural elements in them. As a writer it always sparks my imagination to wander in all kinds of directions. The possibilities truly are limitless here. The title for my story comes from my pondering what lies beyond the world of the living. What happens when we die? While this is not the focus of the story, it certainly forms the backdrop from which the ongoing story develops. This book is the first in a series, which will look into this world beyond, and how it might interact with our living world.
Jackie Rutledge is the protagonist for these novels. She's hard-nosed, a little abrasive, and struggling to cover a part of herself that threatens to undermine the tough, FBI agent lifestyle she has been leading. I like characters who have to really work to succeed. While this can obviously play out in the effort to take down villains, which it does in this story, it's more intriguing to me, to have characters struggle emotionally. And Jackie does, trust me.
So, if you desire to read a bit of thriller, crime fiction, paranormal, and an emotionally struggling heroine, I hope you'll give Deadworld a try, and subsequent books in the series too! Deadworld #2 will be out Oct. '11. Thank you. Enjoy!
From the Back Cover
She's as tough as anything haunting Chicago's streets. But to deal with an inhuman power that won't stay buried, this FBI agent needs help that comes at an immortal price... Jackie Rutledge has seen her share of supernatural killers. But her latest murder case is what recurring nightmares are made of. Brutally exsanguinated human victims, vanishing-into-the-ether evidence, and a city on the edge of panic mean that she and her psychic partner, Laurel, are going to need more than just backup ... So Jackie is fine with any help rugged P.I. Nick Anderson can give--even if that includes the impish ghost and sexy vampire who make up his team. But Nick is hiding secrets of his own. And Jackie's investigation has plunged them both into a vengeful game reaching back centuries--and up against a malevolent force hungry for more than just victory...
SUMMARY: In this third of an exciting series of riotous adventure fantasies, Toby Longdirk, bastard son of a Scottish lass and English invaders, must battle everything from kings possessed by demons to the attentions of seductive locals.Second in Command to the Flamboyant, Autocratic, and more-than-slightly-mad Don Ramon, the swash-buckling Toby Longdirk has -- by luck and fate -- been successful in defeating the forces of King Nevil of England at the Battle of Trent. Since this is the first military defeat of the demon king's forces, Toby's reputation is made as a commander.Reputation means nothing, however, when local politics rears its ugly head. King Nevil (a.k.a. "The Fiend" because his body is possessed by a demon) soon recovers from this loss and begins an invasion of Italy, but when Toby is engaged to handle the defense of Florence, protracted negotiations over the terms of service cause massive delays in his preparations. As if that weren't enough, Toby's trusted aide is off mooning after an English princess, his wizard is killed in an ill-fated adventure, and the seductive sister of a local power is after Toby, and she just won't take no for an answer. With The Fiend bearing down on the city gates with vengeance on his mind and a horde of fearsome soldiers at his command, can Toby pluck victory out of certain defeat?
In Paradise Lost, Milton set out to "justifie the wayes of God to men." In this novel, British author Duncan (Hope; Love Remains) attempts to justify the ways of Satan to the hip. God gives his evil subaltern a month in a human body, with an option to own, thus permanently casting off his pain-racked cosmological being. The grim alternative for Lucifer is to subsist in eternal nothingness. The vacant body belongs to Declan Gunn, a writer on the brink of suicide. Lucifer narrates his romps through escort service dates, cocaine-laced nights and, mostly, the thrills of the wondrous human sensorium. Lucifer options his life story-from his starring role with Adam and Eve to his struggles with an autocratic God-to a film producer and torments Declan's lover, Viola, with the promise of a juicy part in the upcoming movie. But for all his jauntiness, Lucifer must unexpectedly wrestle with Gunn's conscience, including Gunn's memories of Penelope, his alternately loathed and longed-for ex. When Lucifer makes the disastrous decision to see Penelope and forgive her for dumping him, he confronts the goodness of mercy, a battle that leaves him sick with nausea and cognitive disorientation. Lucifer tosses wisecracks around as if they were hand grenades. On the wickedness of a rival of Gunn's, he quips, "There's no murder in him, and only a very predictable dribble of lust. His soul, and billions like it, provide the cosmos with its muzak." Alas, Lucifer's wit doesn't often rise to this sharply satiric level: it's more like a series of outtakes from Bedazzled. This is the archetypal promising novel-the author's talent with words eclipses the substance of his story. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a craftily plotted, picaresque yarn. Here is Duncan, once again, forgoing the standard sword-and-sorcery devices and gifting us with a story wholely unpredictable, yet perfectly formed. This book should be required reading in Creative Tale-Telling 101. If you like it, also try Duncan's REAVER'S ROAD, from which the main character derives.
--Steve Palmer, Director of Production Mass Market
From the Inside Flap
A blizzard savaged the mountain peaks, but at an inn called the Hunters' Haunt, travelers found safe refuge, a cozy room, and a roaring fire. All but Omar, the Trader of Tales -- against whom the innkeeper had been nursing a grudge. But before he could pitch Omar out into the storm, his other guests proposed a contest: if Omar could top a roomful of their tallest tales, the storyteller could win his room and board.
For Omar the stakes were life and death. That gave the contest some spice.
So as winter winds whipped about the little inn, lies and truths and fabulous fabrications swirled before the blazing hearth. The innkeeper and his pretty sister; the merchant and his blushing bride; the dowager and the crusty captain of her guard; the scribe, the maid, the minstrel: they all poured out their tales, and Omar wove them together. Before they knew it, their very lives were intertwined, and their separate stories were spinning relentlessly to a single conclusion no human could have foretold!
Wallie Smith can feel the pain. He goes to the hospital, remembers the doctors and the commotion, but when he wakes up it all seems like a dream. However, if that was a dream how do you explain waking up in another body and in another world? Little Wallie finds himself in the physique of a barbarian swordsman, accompanied by both an eccentric priest babbling about the Goddess and a voluptuous slave girl. Is this a rude awakening or a dream come true? What in the world will Wallie do now that he's found himself stranded in a strange realm? Well it just so happens that the Goddess is in need of a swordsman. It won't be easy but if he succeeds he will have everything he wants. If he doesn't, things could get ugly. Wallie is reluctant but sees his chance. If only he had the faintest clue as to the adventure he is about to unleash! If only he could imagine the forces that will be out to vanquish him!
Wallie Smith is staring death in the face; only a miracle can save him. And then one does! The Goddess appears to preserve his soul, but she does much more than that. She promises to bestow upon him a new and powerful body, and, more important, to endow him with the fabled Sapphire Sword of Chioxin. But nothing in this world or any other comes without a price. The Goddess demands that for her services Wallie become her champion. It will be an honor to serve such a presence, to have the chance to be victorious over all challengers. But Wallie and his sword quickly find themselves outmatched in a world of high-stakes magic. Even the Goddess's priests cannot offer any resistance to the invading sorcerers and their quest to conquer souls for the Fire God. Wallie will need to find in himself and in the world the powers that will save all mortals. He will need to find The Coming of Wisdom