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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.

50 Women from History –
Mothers, Grandmothers, and Godmothers – Who Lived
Fully, Brashly, and Boldly and Changed the World.

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.

Dale Highland thought life was complicated when she ran from town to town and struggled with inexplicable murderous blackouts.  Discovering the truth about her heritage as the half-demon daughter of the powerful Amara forced her into a complex world of angels and demons, all of whom want to find Dale.  In the opening chapters of Beth Woodward’s second installment of Dale’s story, Embracing the Demon, the young woman clings to what she knows best: uninspired jobs that allow her to fade into the woodwork and run when the past catches up with her. Escaping the supernatural world is no easy task, though, and a deadly disease and powerful human threat draw Dale back to confront her prejudices and internal conflicts.

Having read Horror Library Volume 6 recently, Eric J. Guignard proved himself a talented editor and publisher. Now, with this collection of short stories in That Which Grows Wild: 16 Tales of Dark Fiction, this reviewer can confirm that he is also an incredible writer and storyteller.

Right off: this is an official Rush publication, in case you were wondering. Basically, instead of trying to find a guy in a white-and-red-stripped sweater, you are looking for Rush band members – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart – in 14 different Rush worlds. Each world represents a Rush album and the three band members in their coordinating time period fashion and appearance.

Una Salus Victis Nullam Sperare Salutem!

At the end of The Marriage of Gryphons, Penny agreed to marry her human suitor, police officer Peter, but it may not be as simple as a few words of agreement.  James continues to suffer the consequences from his daring ploy to win the gryphon hunt, and Penny receives an offer to return back to her post in Lloegyr despite her disapproval of child labor.  Raven’s reappearance complicates the situation further, highlighting the stark differences between the two males’ love styles; however, the biggest change is the birth of Morey and Taryn’s first clutch, five boisterous baby gryphons with personalities and carnivorous needs, infusing youthful energy into Penny’s (mostly) calm life.

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