Sunday, November 29, 2015

Heroes Reborn Ebook Series

eBook and Audiobook Series Based on Heroes Reborn

Filling in gaps between the wildly popular NBC series Heroes and successful reboot of the franchise, Heroes Reborn, German publisher Bastei Lübbe AG, in a joint multi-platform venture with Imperative Entertainment, is releasing the entire eBook and audiobook series based on Heroes Reborn on November 20, 2015. This series answers many of the burning questions in the Heroes universe and gives fans the unique opportunity to stay connected to Heroes Reborn during the show¹s brief hiatus after the November 19 midseason finale. 

To celebrate the release of the entire eBook and audiobook series and the midseason finale of the Heroes Reborn TV series, the first eBook in the series, Brave New World, by former editor of the UK comic 2000AD David Bishop, will be made available as a free eBook download on on November 19th and 20th. Brave New World, is a novelization of Tim Kring¹s original draft script of the first episode of Heroes Reborn.

The other books in the series include A Matter of Trust by New York Times bestselling author Timothy Zahn, which focuses on Father Mauricio, a priest who befriends a teenager with a secret and devastating power. Stephen Blackmoore¹s Dirty Deeds is an action-packed tale of police corruption, featuring a young Captain James Dearing, a canny and cruel survivor who exploits the social upheaval surrounding Evolved Humans. Duane Swierczynski contributes Catch and Kill, a classic cat-and-mouse thriller about Luke and Joanne Collins, the lethal husband and wife killing team, who meet their match. Keith DeCandido¹s Save The Cheerleader, Destroy The World tells the full story of what has happened to everybody¹s favorite cheerleader, Claire Bennet, and answers many of the burning questions fans have. A Long Way From Home is an original tale by New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson and Peter J. Wacks set at Camp Hale, the first ³Temporary Assessment Camp² for Evolved Humans with non-threatening powers, where a motley crew of misfits join forces to pool their supposedly Œtrivial¹ abilities.

Released as eBooks and audiobooks, the six thrillers address many previously unanswered questions about the overall story, offer new information about the characters, and treat readers to a deeper examination of the Heroes universe.

 Heroes Reborn creator Tim Kring explains, ³What you see on TV is just a piece of the Heroes universe we've created. These stories give existing and new fans a chance to learn the fates of some of their favorite characters, and to dive deeper into the rich Heroes mythology. Plus they're a lot fun to read."

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Banquet Of Consequences by Elizabeth George

When the renowned feminist author, Clare Abbott, is found dead in her hotel room, the first thought was that it was a heart attack.  After further investigation it was determined that instead she had been poisoned with a deadly compound.  Who would want Clare dead?  Was it her editor, Rory, whose friendship with Clare had had its ups and downs.  Was it her assistant, Caroline Goldacre, who had wormed her way further and further into Clare's life until she was impossible to remove?  Was it even possible that Caroline was the real target, opening up further suspects such as her husband and the woman he was having an affair with or the woman who had lived with Caroline's son and who blamed Caroline for that son's death?

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers start the investigation.  Both have outside issues that complicate their work.  Lynley is attempting to find an easy working relationship with his new superior officer, and also to see if what he feels for the new woman in his life is serious.  The new officer has an intense dislike of Havers and her propensity to play fast and loose with the Scotland Yard procedural rules and this case is supposed to convince her not to transfer Barbara.  As always, there are lots of threads floating around to be tied up.

Elizabeth George fans will be glad to read this twentieth novel about this detective pair.  This novel is closer to the early ones on which George's reputation was created.  Lynley is working to put his personal tragedy behind him and Barbara is back to work, determined to get back in everyone's good graces.  The interplay between the two is one of the series appeals and this novel does not disappoint.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Booksie's shelves, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving has rolled around.  Everyone on Facebook is writing this month about all the things they are thankful for.  I have a lot to add to this list.  I have a wonderful family, with a husband who has stuck with me through thick and thin for forty-two years and a beautiful daughter in her senior year.  My son and his lovely wife have four gorgeous children, my grandchildren.  We are all healthy.  I also have the luxury of being retired and doing as I please.  That means lots of reading which has been my favorite activity since I was a child.  Publishers and authors help me feed my habit and I'm thankful for them also.  Here's what's come through the door lately:

1.  The Fox And The Star, Coralie Bickford-Smith, children's book, sent by publisher
2.  Written On My Heart, Morgan Callan Rogers, literary fiction, sent by publisher
3.  The Song Of Hartgrove Hall, Natasha Solomons, historical fiction, sent by publisher
4.  A Dictionary Of Mutual Understanding, Jackie Copleton, historical fiction, sent by publisher
5.  Year Of Yes, Shonda Rhimes, memoir, sent by publisher
6.  Boston Harbor Murders, James Mullen, mystery, sent by author
7.  If You're Lucky, Yvonne Prinz, Young Adult, sent by publisher
8.  The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club, historical fiction, sent by publisher
9.  The Precious Ones, Marisa De Los Santos, literary fiction, sent for book tour
10.  Food Whore, Jessica Tom, literary fiction, sent by publisher
11.  The Muralist, B.A. Shapiro, literary fiction, sent by publisher
12.  The Last Witness, Denzil Meyrick, mystery, sent by publisher
13.  The Ramblers, Aidan Rowley, literary fiction, sent by publisher

Here's what I'm reading:

1.  The Path Of The Storm, James Maxwell, Kindle Fire
2.  A Brave Man Seven Stories Tall, Will Chancellor, Kindle
3.  A Banquet Of Consequences, Elizabeth George, hardback
4.  Mystery Walk, Robert McCammon, Kindle Fire
5.  The Silent Girls, Eric Rickstad, Kindle Fire
6.  Identity, Ingrid Thoft, paperback
7.  Thorn Jack, Katherine Harbour, audio

Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Fox And The Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

If you are looking for an absolutely charming picture book for a toddler or younger child, look no further.  The Fox And The Star tells the story of a scared, lonely little fox who is terrified of the forest he lives in and who has no friends.  At least, no friends except one.  When he looks up at night, he has one friend, a star that shines brilliantly and gives him the courage to navigate his environment.

When the star disappears, the fox is distraught.  After mourning, he finds the courage to go looking for his friend.  The story of his search and the wonderful ending he finds are wonderful fare for little ones to hear.

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous and readers will enjoy each page.  They are mostly black and white with wonderful vibrant orange and red to make the pictures pop.  This is a book that young readers will reach for again and again and it is highly recommended.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Times, The Age Of Elizabeth II by A.N. Wilson

A.N. Wilson is an English writer and commentator.  He has written a series of books explaining Britain's history, memorable biographies as well as a series of fiction novels.  This book, Our Times, covers the time period from the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 to the present.  While it is set during her reign, this is not a biography of the Queen and in fact she is not even a main focus of the book.

The focus is a wide survey of all that makes up Britain.  Each political faction and leader is portrayed, with their rise to fame and their accomplishments and shortcomings explored.  The book also covers other areas of British life.  Britain's role on the world stage is covered as well as its waning influence in world affairs.  The economic life of the country is explored with a realization that the country is currently in better shape than the years after the World Wars when Britain was brought to poverty by the enormous amount of money and lives that it took to be victorious.  The loss of the colonies and the end of the British Empire has occurred.

There are chapters that explore the Irish rebellion and the world of the IRA.  Unions and the breaking of the coal miners strike is a topic covered in depth.  There are chapters on literature, the rise of rock music, the changing sexual mores and women's liberation.  The changes that have occurred with the rise of immigrants from Middle Eastern and Asian countries is covered.  The book ends with a highly relevant look at the rise of militant Islam and how it will affect all our lives going forward.  Although the book is focused on the period of Queen Elizabeth's reign, the royal family is not a main focus, although there is a chapter on the story of Princess Charles and Princess Diana.

As an American, it is interesting to see how the English view their world and the world around them.  The focus is not on America, but the inevitable influence of the American culture is discussed in depth.  We don't come off that well, but then again, A.N. Wilson seems to not think that well of anyone.  His sharp, witty exposure of various persons and their motivations for their actions on the world stage is cutting and sometimes malicious.

A.N. Wilson was educated at Oxford.  Although he was originally focused on joining the religious life, he later became an atheist and spent thirty years mocking religion.  In his later years he has returned to religion and now uses his sharp pen to jab those who are against religion.  His writing has won accolades.  In 1988, he won the Whitbread Award for best biography and has written biographies on C.S. Lewis, Walter Scott, Hilaire Bellloc, Tolstoy and Iris Murdoch.  This book is part of a three part history of Britain.  The others in the trilogy are The Victorians and After The Victorians.  This book is recommended for history readers.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Life And Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan

Don't get in a comparison match with Libby Miller for the worst day ever.  Libby visits her doctor and finds out that the tumor she just had removed was not benign as he expected, but instead is a fast-growing aggressive cancer.  He estimates that she has six months.  When she goes home to be comforted by her husband, Tom, whom she has loved since high school, he blurts out the news that he is in therapy because he is pretty sure he is gay. 

Reeling from the news, Libby is not sure what to do.  Her mother died of cancer when she and her twin brother, Paul, were ten, and she is determined not to put her brother and father through that misery again.  She decides she will not do treatment, but will instead live for as long as she feels healthy, then end things before they get bad.  She divorces Tom, sells her furniture and apartment, then flies off to Puerto Rico after her father tells her that he and her mother visited there and it was the happiest time of their lives.

While in the Caribbean, she meets several people who start to change her mind.  Her landlord, Milagros, is a vibrant woman in her sixties with a unique view on life.  Shiloh, the pilot who flew her charter to the island, becomes a lover and friend.  Each encourages her to fight for her life and when Paul flies down, he makes the third person who is determined to change Libby's mind.  Will she give up to spare her friends and family the agony of watching her fight, or do her best to beat the cancer?

Camille Pagan has created a heroine in Libby whom readers will not soon forget.  As a cancer survivor, I was very hesitant to read this book, but it is utterly positive and charming and leaves the reader with much to think about.  What do we owe those who surround us and are we ever better to be self-centered?  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those interested in relationships.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Great news for Deborah Harkness fans!  On Tuesday, November 17th, Penguin is releasing a free, e-book only, richly illustrated real-time reading guide  that brings to life the world created by Deborah Harkness in A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night, retracing the events of these two bestselling novels with illuminating behind-the-scenes details and real-life events that figure into the books. It’s available for pre-order now.

The All Souls Trilogy began with A Discovery of Witches and continued with Shadow of Night. Now, as The Book of Life has brought Deborah Harkness’s #1 New York Times bestselling trilogy to its conclusion, re-immerse yourself in the enchanting fantasy world she has created and enrich your experience of the heart-stopping finale.

Deborah's next novel is coming in 2017 and is also set in the All Souls Universe.  It's called The Serpent's Mirror.  You can read about it here  Lots of excitement in the All Souls world!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Dangerous Age by Ellen Gilchrist

The attacks on 9-11 changed things for most Americans.  In this novel, Ellen Gilchrist explores how things change in the lives of several women, all cousins, after this time in our country's history.  The Hand family has been through several wars in their long history.  This generation has strong females and most are affected in some way.

There is Olivia, who has Cherokee blood mixed with the Southern blood of the Hands.  Olivia is a newspaper editor in Oklahoma, too busy for love and marriage.  That all changes when she meets Bobby, marries him and becomes pregnant.  He is in the military but safely in the States, where he flies drones whose actions take place overseas.  He takes information from those on the ground and finds and targets insurgents.  Louise is married to a recruiter who travels the country talking to young men and women and persuading them to consider joining the Army.  Winnie meets and marries a wounded soldier, several years younger than herself but someone she feels a connection with instantly.

There are other cousins, like Tallulah, who is a tennis coach on the college circuit.  There are fathers and grandparents, a whole web of family that encircles the cousins.  But this is their story, how they live their lives, find love and start families and how they deal with war.  What is it?  Is it ever an appropriate response?  What does a country do when attacked?  Each of the women must work through their own thoughts and ideals to determine how they feel about the war and the degree to which being married to a military man affects their outlook.  This book is recommended for those interested in strong family relationships and those interested in reading about how events affect those who live through them.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

"Our private lives are like a colony of worlds expanding, contracting, breathing universal air into separate knowledges.  Or like several packs of cards shuffled together by an expert anonymous hand, and dealt out in a random, amused way."
--Gregory Maguire, After Alice

In this novel released 150 years after the publication of Alice In Wonderland, Gregory Maguire gives us a further look into the world of Alice, Oxford and the wonders that surround us that we aren't aware of.  While there are characters from the original such as Alice herself, the Cheshire Cat, the Queen, the Mad Hatter and the rabbit, there are also many new characters through whose eyes we see what transpired that day that Alice fell down the rabbit hole.

There is Alice's big sister, Lydia, charged with watching over her but much more concerned with her newly maturing outlook on life at fifteen.  When Alice disappears, she tends to be blase, sure that Alice will eventually reemerge.  There is Ada, Alice's best friend, who also falls down the rabbit hole while searching for her friend.  There are many other characters such as Siam, an escaped slave boy from America, Miss Armstrong the governess and Mr. Winter who has helped Siam escape and has brought him to England.

We also get a glimpse of Oxford in the 1860's.  It is a rigid world started to have its strictures broken by the explosion of new scientific breakthroughs.  Charles Darwin plays a part in the story and we also see the social boundaries between servant and master and between the genders start to stretch and become a bit more flexible.

Maguire is interested in beginnings and in how something may not be what it seems but what is needed at the moment.  There are themes of being lost and then found and of myriad starts and stops as a new trail is forged and new understandings are reached.  All are served up with a liberal dose of the whimsy and humor found in the original novel.  This novel is recommended for Gregory Maguire fans, fans of the original Alice and readers ready for some lighthearted fun.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pig Island by Mo Hayder

Joe Oakes and Malachi Dove have known each other for years but the relationship was never a pleasant one.  Joe is a journalist and he investigated Malachi and his cult in its early days.  Malachi got into Joe's head and he barely escaped with his sanity.  But Joe's article made the American Southwest too uncomfortable for Dove, and he and his followers disappeared.

Now Joe has a lead on Dove.  It's rumored that he is the person behind the secretive cult on Pig Island off the western coast of Scotland.  Not that people have seen him.  No one sees the people on the island.  There is just one supply boat that comes to the mainland occasionally.  But people are getting curious and very uneasy. There are rumors of Satanic rituals.  A video has been leaked that shows a humanoid figure with a tail lurching through the undergrowth.  Joe's editor wants someone to find out what is going on, and Joe sees a chance for a book and to settle his score once and for all with Malachi.

Joe is given permission to visit the island.  Once there, he finds a small group of people, no more than thirty or so and deep divisions between them.  No one wants to talk about Malachi and no one wants to hear about the figure in the video.  In fact, it's pretty obvious that no one wants Joe there at all.  Before he leaves, he sets loose an evil that destroys everything in its path.  Joe barely escapes, taking Dove's daughter, who has never seen civilization, with him.  But the evil follows Joe, as it is rumored that Malachi also escaped.  Who will win the ultimate showdown between the two men?

Hayder is one of the finest crime/suspense novelists currently working. Her series about Detective Inspector Jack Caffery is regarded as one of the premier series available.   This is a stand-alone novel but it will give the reader uneasy nights and plenty of surprises along the way.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.