“And what you said about stories. I really get that now. You’d said they weren’t about filling time, entertainment. Not that that’s wrong, a story can be both meaningful and entertaining, you’d said, should be both for it to resonate. You told me that stories connected us, made us understand ourselves and each tear a little better. That stories made the world a better place because they are empathy engines.
I like that. Empathy engine. Vroom vroom.
It's a noble cause, storytelling, you’d said. Noble work.
So, here I go being noble.”
Ungent Draaf, the Grashardi ambassador to the Dralein, expected his assignment to be exceptionally ordinary. He’d make a few agreements with the locals, explore the new planet to discover the interests, and just hope that the Terran Protectorate wasn’t on his heels trying to broker disadvantageous power deals with the native species; however, the middle-aged crustacean life form finds himself assigned a role in a centuries-old conflict between creators and created that threatens to destroy everything he knows and perhaps the known universe.
With iconic films like Die Hard, Predator, and The Hunt for the Red October on his resume, John McTiernan may not be a household name, but most American households are very familiar with his work. Author Larry Taylor takes readers on a revealing and engaging look at the film director’s life, career, and eventual legal downfall in John McTiernan: The Rise and Fall of an Action Movie Icon, recently published by McFarland.
Back in 2014, I reviewed a bizarre spy thriller called The Spartak Trigger which I described as, “a good book disguised as a bad book.” Immediately after submitting that review, it occurred to me that that description might not sound as complimentary as I intended it, and I worried that it could be taken the wrong way; however, apparently, the author liked it, because he still tweets that line out as a pull quote every now and then.
Thomas “Awkward” Dante lives a life that very few people would envy. The disgraced fire elemental spends his days drinking alcohol laced with magic and trying to fly under the radar of the mystical powers that be. A murder covered up with fire at Awkward’s home bar, the Lost and Found, throws him back into the world of supernatural sleuthing, and he’ll have to use every bit of his knowledge of Mystixology (the art of casting spells with booze) to stay out of the clutches of the multiple groups who want to make him person of interest number one.
Penny White is embarking on a new phase in her life: With her wedding to Peter looms on the horizon, Lloegyr sends a vampire curate to her parish, and her various charges begin growing up and moving beyond complete dependence; however, the whiskey-loving reverend struggles with her increasingly strained religious convictions, plus the more practical tasks of keeping Lloegyr’s residents from crossing through the thin places into her backyard. (A manticore finds her weeds quite enticing.) When Sue Harkness requests her help in investigating the migration of vampires into England, Penny jumps at the opportunity to deal with a problem that doesn’t affect her personal life. But, will the answers she finds serve as another reminder of how cruel the world can be and how heartfelt beliefs can’t provide complete protection?
Nowhere, Kansas. Even the name sounds innocuous. A place you drive through without slowing and never think about again. The biggest problem is an occasional squabble at the local bar, and long-time resident and Sheriff Peter Holbrook likes it that way. In fact, the only thing that truly bothers him is his fear of the gray: the mysterious storms that plague Nowhere every year, blanketing the town in rain and fog.