The Geomancer


An epic end is near!

Later this month Worldshaker, the epic end to J. F. Lewis's Grudgebearer trilogy, comes out!  If you like your sword and sorcery with dragons, fae, and a world more detailed than our own, this series is for you.  Read on for an exclusive excerpt!

“ of the most uniquely layered and complex universes since Frank Herbert's Dune.”
Starburst Magazine

Uled, the originator of the carnivorous Aern, the plantlike Vael, and the reptilian Zaur, has completed his plan to return from the dead, unleashing an army of undead creatures on the living world.

Kholster, who only recently became the god of death, must work together with other new deities to bring balance to the heavens and stop Uled. Can he prevent Uled's undead army from ravaging the world in time to save Rae'en and those he still loves in the mortal realm?


Child tucked firmly against his chest, Striappa ran, his sharp black talons gouging furrows in the tile floor. Chaos erupted about them in a tortured reflection of the battles raging in the Guild Cities, outside the walls of the Long Speaker’s tower. The manitou’s fur-covered ears rang with the clamorous din within and without, raised voices combining to form another voice, a meaningless babble of aggression and fear . . . the dying, the injured, and the aggressors all becoming one cry. Music, he imagined, to the war god’s ears.
Clutching Caius Vindalius, the winged little son of the crystal-twisted young woman Kholster had entrusted to the Long Speakers’ care, even more tightly to his feathered and furred chest, Striappa shivered both at the tickling touch of the babe’s tiny hands on that warm band of thick fur where breast feathers met belly feathers and at the recalled sharing of his grandmatron. His surroundings, the sound of them, drew out remembered tales of the great wars before most manitou left the lands of the shape-locked and founded the Gathering Isles, far off to the west in the grand expanses of the Cerrullic Ocean, away from the violence of those melded sounds.
Noona shared the vibrations of this third voice, taught the clutches of her family and those who nested with them to recognize it, and, when they heard it, to migrate home. “The voice of war is one the manitou no longer wish to hear,” she’d told Striappa and his siblings as they’d curled near the fire pit, snatching at the flames with their claws to harden them and to learn the strength of the fire, how to resist it, how to let it move through them, how to feel the way it changed and flowed and perhaps apply that to their shapeshifting, if they could.
“But fighting is glorious, right, Noona?” Striappa had asked.
Noona’s face had morphed from the friendly beaked and feathered visage that had spat scrumptiously softened foods into his maw when he had been too young to hunt for himself to a spiny face of leathery skin, a mouth of sharp fangs. Great curling horns had erupted from her
brow, as tusks had sprouted from her morphing muzzle. The bands of alternating fur and feathers of her body had flattened into bony plates of armor, jutting spikes rising up from the ones she chose. Talons had become claws and seized him, forcing him down, head close to the flames. Solid black eyes like those of a shark had glared at him from a face no longer warm or comforting, making him ill inside.
“Am I glorious or terrifying?” Noona had growled, in the harsh tones of a non-avian throat.
“Both,” he’d answered squawkily.
“Yes.” She’d smiled, still ghastly in her aspect. “Both is right, my little one.” Releasing him with a grunt, she had turned her back to the flames, leathery wings stretching out to take flight.
“Where are you going, Noona?” Clohi, one of Striappa’s sisters had asked, but Striappa had known, even before Noona had spoken the words.
“To hunt, my lovelies.” The barb at the end of her long tail caught the light as she flew. “All change has its price, and most amount to blood in the end. I’ll be back soon.”
“Run, Striappa,” a grizzled voice snapped in his ears, “or fly or whatever it is you manitou do the quickest.”
“I am running, Master Sedric,” the manitou squawked back at the hazy smoke-formed image of the Elder Long Speaker. Sedric might know everything there was to know about Long Speaking—Striappa cer­tainly could not send his mind out across hundreds of miles as a being of smoke—but he knew more about shapeshifting than Sedric ever would, and it was hard to move quickly and change at the same time. Sedric was right, though; if Striappa was going to get Caius to safety, he knew he was going to need his wing-arms free at some point, so he was trying to create a belly pouch to hold him. “Pouches are hard.”
“You weren’t thinking about pouches, child.” Sedric’s smoky lips pursed. “You were brain-fogged by tales your Noona told you as a cub.”
“Hatchling,” Striappa corrected, before he could stop himself. He darted for the open doorway through which Sedric’s smoky sending had emerged, but Sedric waved him off toward the far stairway.
“Too much fighting that way; you’ll need to fly out of here.” Sedric groaned, then vanished, eyes ablaze with inner light, a ball of burning, crackling red manifesting at the center of his brow. He reappeared when Striappa paused halfway up the stairwell to get the pouch right. It had to be easier for girls, or surely they would never bother. Striappa kept losing the opening or making something more mouth-like, into which one would not want to place any infant one wanted to keep.
“Oh for Torgrimm’s sake, Streep. Why are you stopping now?”
Streep. Striappa’s hackles rose at the barb. Even a single-shaped human as enlightened as Master Sedric thought it was okay to drop in a nickname, despite how insulting that was to—
“I know exactly how insulting it is,” Sedric said with a sigh. “You keep stopping, and I can’t guide you much longer. The fighting at Castle-guard is getting worse, and Cassandra and I—”
“Then shut your changeless maw, ’dric, and let me finish!” Striappa growled, beak giving way to fang-filled muzzle. The anger, the desire to prove Sedric wrong, gave Striappa the extra bit of inner energy needed to complete the change, and he slid the quiet, almost contemplative, baby into his belly pouch. The weight took a brief adjustment to muscles and bones, so he wouldn’t be off balance when he flew or, Gromma and Xal-istan both forbid, if he needed to fight. He let the start of a barbed tail begin to sprout . . . just in case.
“Master Sedric,” Striappa began.
“Yes, yes.” Sedric waved away his comments with hands of wispy smoke. “We’re both sorry for insulting each other. Well, you regret insulting me in any case. Now move!”
At the top of the stair, the manitou looked out into the hallway. Near the top of the spire now, close to the Apex Chamber, there were supposed to be guards: at least one Far Flame and a Long Fist, plus a Master Long Speaker. Striappa was none of those things, just a Long Speaker, and a weak one by human standards, though quite strong when compared to the scant gifts most manitou Long Speakers possessed.
Two screams rang out, preceding a female Long Speaker in master’s robes, who poked her head down into the stairwell that opened up in the center of the chamber above.
“Striappa?” She ran down to meet him. Her face was wide and strong and well-fed. “I’m Arin. Master Sedric said I was to allow you access to the Overview.”
She held her hand out, calloused palm up so he could scent her if he wanted. Or was he meant to take it? He did, impressed by the strength of the muscles coiled beneath her skin. Exceptional for a human.
“What happened to the other guards?” Striappa asked, as he followed Arin up the stair and out into the Overview. From inside the walls of the vaulted chamber a thinly applied layer of mirror-smooth Aldite crystal allowed initiates of the Guild a panoramic view of the city below and granted them the option, if necessary, to focus and amplify their abilities . . . a secret the leaders of the surrounding cities had, in the opinion of the Long Speaker’s Guild Leadership, no need to know . . . and exactly the reason why no Long Speaker (or Far Flame, in particular) was allowed unaccompanied access to the Apex.
On a normal day, the top of the spire served as the point from which the strongest Long Speakers relayed messages from other Long Speaker schools and outposts, acting as hubs of information, collecting, recording, and relaying data as needed. A single door broke the seamless expanse, allowing access to a circular balcony where two more guards should have stood.
Striappa spotted the interior Far Flame and Long Fist guards, his neck feathers ruffling at the sight. They lay dead at the exterior doorway, each with a knitting needle poking out of their skulls. One still twitched, prompting Arin to kneel next to him with a gentle clucking of her tongue as she adjusted the angle of her knitting needle and stilled him forever.
“Poor things,” Arin explained, when she noticed his gaze lingering on the bodies. “I hope whomever is the god of death today is kind to them. They were loyal to the city rather than the Guild . . . and Master Sedric insisted there wasn’t time to argue the point with them.”
Striappa eyed her, still studying her scent, tail barb twitching. “Come. Come.” She straightened with a limberness better suited to a manitou her size than a human and gestured at the open exterior door. “Hurry along now.” Arin shooed him. “I can’t take my full attention
from the transmission flow, or I’ll miss something and risk a resend.” “Don’t resends happen all the time?” Striappa asked.
“Not when I’m on duty.” Arin’s eyes sparkled with pride and, perhaps, a trace of gentle madness. Or was that loyalty? It could be hard to tell with humans. “I have a perfect transmission record.”
“Ah.” A movement at Striappa’s belly drew his attention. Baby Caius peered over the pouch edge, looking at the dead men with inhuman blood-red eyes.
“Oh.” Arin beamed, eyes alight with delighted appraisal. “What I wouldn’t give to have an apprentice come to me with a look like that in his eyes.”
“You could take him,” Striappa offered. “You have a Matron Guard’s scent about you. You could—”
“He has no outward reach,” Arin told him. “He has gifts, but he’s thrifty with them, keeps them all directed inward. His body will be his weapon and his mind its architect. Reach out to him. Can you feel his thoughts?”
“No,” Striappa answered. “I thought it was because he was so soon out of the egg and my abilities are not very—”
“I can feel them.” The large woman reached out to the child and cooed at him, but the child’s eyes followed hers, ignoring the hand as if it were of no import. “But give him a few years and a little practice and to those of us with the Long Ways, it will be as if he doesn’t exist.” Her smile did not falter when she added, “We should kill him.”
“But Master Sedric told me—” Striappa bared his claws.
Caius laughed.
“Put your claws away, little manitou.” Arin laughed, too. “I’ll abide by Sedric’s will because I am so sworn. But you mind what I said. That one should have never been brought here. He’s a little sponge and they took him to the center of the Guild Cities where all manner of knowledge could slip into his mind and stick there. What seeds have been planted in that fertile brain amid all of this bloodshed, I shudder to think.”
At a loss for words, Striappa squawked a challenge at her, but Arin made no move to impede him. Fluffing up his feathers, the manitou walked out onto the scant balcony. The cities of Loom and Lumber were burning. Rioters streamed through Commerce, the central city. The standing guard of Warfare could be seen deploying throughout the con­joined Guild Cities, working in tandem with various members of the Long Speaker’s Guild. Bridgeward, the great Southern Gate stood closed,
its walls manned by Dwarves and the Aernese Token Hundred. Even if the Guild Cities fell, the Bridge would stand fast.
Mason, to the southwest, seemed quietest of the embattled metropoles, so Striappa flew in that direction. Once he was clear of the city, he could find a tree or a cave and sleep until dusk. He preferred trav­eling at night, particularly at the rising and setting of the suns, when he was more comfortable and his sight was better. He wasn’t alone in the sky. Bat-like Cavair swooped from place to place in the city, some assisting the guard, others taking part in the looting. Ignoring them as best he could, Striappa flapped toward the strong stone walls of Mason. As he drew closer, he could see the massive ever-open gates had been secured. Archers manned the arrow-slitted walls, taking shots at any who drew too near.
Turning circles in the sky, Striappa surveyed the flow. He didn’t like the look of those bowmen, and flying too high might endanger the baby. Humans did not do so well at high altitudes. Still . . . A few more revolu­tions took him higher and higher until he felt certain he was out of bowshot. It would have been stupid to die in the open having already escaped the Long Speaker’s tower and the violent divide that had, in the Guild Cities at least, spread even to those of the Long Talents. Initiate versus initiate in the absence of Master Sedric. How fared Sedric? he wondered. If Master Sedric and Mistress Cassandra fall at Castleguard, what will become of the—?
Bands of multicolored light filled the air, blinding him mere heart­beats ahead of the explosion. The mind lash accompanying it nearly took the thought out of him. Protected by his weakness in Long Speaking, Striappa felt the gift burn out (not for good, he hoped) and fade, rather than experiencing more drastic results. Striappa dropped a double handful of wing-lengths in the air, but flapped, beak bloody, back to a safer altitude soon thereafter, concentrating on the feel of the infant breathing in his pouch to ensure they did not travel high enough to cause him harm.
Striappa looked back long enough to watch the spire fall in a flicker of slow motion, fading in and out of sight as if—
No. There was no time to speculate.
Master Sedric had given him a mission: get the child out of the city. Get the child to safety. Await further instructions once the child was safe. And so he flew and tried not to think of the body he’d seen in the after-image, arms wide, amid the wreckage and the falling chaos, eyes closed in concentration as she kept the transmission river flowing on the swift trip down.
Burned out and abandoned, the farm looked safe enough to the young manitou. The dead—and there had been dead—lay cold in the ground, yet no rebuilding had begun, and the barn seemed vacant enough despite the smells clinging to it. Best of all, it was out of the rain. Water falling from the sky did not bother Striappa. A manitou of his clutch could easily shift from feathers to leather wings if flying lightly-boned, but the lightning disconcerted him. When his Long Skills were functioning he would have risked it, but the infant didn’t like flying through it all, and though the child did not cry, Striappa was mildly concerned about keeping the boy warm and dry.
So, once the water had risen too much for him to shelter under the small, well-built bridge he’d found (and he didn’t much like sheltering that low to the ground in any case), he’d circled back to perch in the loft of the barn.
Striappa had not meant to doze, but he had been tired and not entirely certain the bloody beak and the fading of his powers was not a sign of a head injury. He was surprised to hear little Caius’s burbling coo.
Pain came next, sharp and sudden, burning him through the back and lungs.
He slashed back reflexively, talons catching a dirty ragged shirt instead of finding purchase in the meat of Striappa’s killer. Shifting into a more land-friendly form hurt, but he had to defend Caius against—
“Name’s Hap,” spat the hard-looking human with murder in his eye. He wore a coat of plates, with a layer of rags sewn over the top to make it look less like armor. Angry hanging-scars at his throat burned red from recent exertion. Little Caius hung in a sling looped under the coat, but over Hap’s shoulders. In either hand, Hap held cruel-looking daggers. Both bore blood. “My boy’s name is Caius. Where’s his mother?”
“Hap?” Striappa squawked numbly.
“Happrenzaltik Konstantine Vindalius.” The man gave a slight nod.
“I have been your murderer this evening. Now where is Cadie? Slight little thing, three-colored hair. A crystal twist. Burned down that house fighting whoever killed my crew. She wouldn’t have left the child behind, and you’re here with the child. It doesn’t take a scholar to know one sun rises right after the other.”
“Murderer?” Shifting came too hard. Things which should have melded together ripped and tore.
“Shifting won’t do you any good now, you dumb squawker,” Hap snarled. “I cut you nice and proper cross your core muscles. What you’re doing will only make the wounds hurt worse and you die faster.”
“Why?” Striappa managed, as the world began to blink in and out of focus, field of vision narrowing.
“I was hoping you could tell me where the boy’s mother is. Cadence Vindalius.” Everything went dark, and Striappa felt himself drop to the dirty straw. “And barring that, a man has to eat.”
Striappa gasped as the pain vanished and he found himself back in the family nest he had missed since the great storm had wiped it away when he was little and they’d had to rebuild. When he’d been a hatchling, there had been no warsuit-clad Aern standing in it. Removing a helm that bore the likeness of a horned lion’s skull, the Aern looked down on him with a stern face, made less frightening by eyes with black sclera and jade-rimmed amber-colored pupils, which, though unusual, possessed and conveyed a sad understanding.
“You’re an idiot, but you’re a well-meaning one, and you died in the keeping of an oath, so I have no particular disdain for you.” Kholster, the new god of death, ran a hand over his red hair, his forearm bending his wolf-like ears down each time he did so. “Do you want to go back and try things again, or do you want to be judged by the Bone Queen?”
“I’m dead,” Striappa said, more awe in his voice than fear.
“Yes.” Kholster bared his teeth, showing off his upper and lower doubled canines in a sarcastic grin. “And you aren’t the only one who will be dying tonight. If it helps at all, you seem a nice enough soul to me. Minapsis will not likely find you wanting.”
“What will happen to the baby?” Striappa asked.
I don’t know, and you never will.” Kholster’s tone sang to Striappa of barely constrained impatience.
“Is something wrong, sir?” Striappa asked. “You seem to have greens down your gob about something, if I’m using that phrase correctly.”
“Yes.” Kholster held out his hand. “There are a great number of things going wrong right now. Come along. I fear one of me will be required in some tunnels very soon now, and if I’m needed I would like to go myself.”
“You were mortal until recently, weren’t you?” Striappa obediently took the god’s hand. It felt like he had taken the hand of a statue that had decided not to crush all of the bones, but only just.
“I was.”
“The people who might need you, in the tunnels, were they friends of yours?”
“One was,” Kholster said, as the world went all to stars and Striappa felt himself begin to flow from one place to another. “The others are friends of my daughter.”


Worldshaker will be available in stores on February 21.


A perfect tale for Halloween

Halloween is almost here, and there's nothing better than a supernatural story to get you in the mood!  If you crave something other than witches and vampires and werewolves (oh my!) then Barbara Barnett's debut The Apothecary's Curse might be just what you're looking for. Rene Sears, editorial director of Pyr, recently chatted with Barbara about her writing style and inspiration behind this tale of the true price of immortality.  Read on for more!


The lives of two men become entwined for centuries after an apothecary creates an elixir from an ancient manuscript. Physician Simon Bell and apothecary Gaelan Erceldoune are able to conceal their immortality, but the only hope for reversing their condition rests with the now missing manuscript. When a modern-day pharmaceutical company unearths diaries that could lead them to the fabled "elixir of life," Simon and Gaelan must race to find the manuscript before their secret is discovered.

Rene Sears: I love the way the story in The Apothecary's Curse weaves through two timelines. What led you to such a that structure rather than a more linear timeline?

Barbara Barnett: My original road map told the story in a much more straightforward linear narrative. But as I wrote, two things happened. One, I realized I had to either do a very long time jump from 1842 to the modern-day story or fill in the story of the intervening years more fully, which would have led to quite a different (and much longer) novel than I desired. Second, as I developed the relationship between Gaelan and Anne Shawe, I began to see parallels with his Victorian-era story and I wanted to really explore that. So rather than keep it linear, I thought it would be much more interesting to integrate the two storylines, revealing both simultaneously.

In the book, a geneticist speculates about human immortality in relation to Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish. How did you come to be interested in the jellyfish, and how did it relate to the genesis of some of your ideas for this book?

I knew I didn’t want the immorality to be explainable only by some sort of magic event. That would never do for my skeptical hero Gaelan Erceldoune! He would say that all magic is simply science we did not yet understand, so I had to find science that might explain his immortality.

My undergrad studies were in biology and chemistry, and I have always been fascinated with genetics. So when I came across the 2009 Nobel Prize-winning research on the “immortal” jellyfish and its telomeres, I thought I’d hit on something that could play very well in my story. How can the jellyfish be immortal? Its extraordinarily sturdy telomeres (the chromosome end-caps, more or less) keep the keep the chromosomes from deteriorating and the jellyfish from aging. So, my fictional geneticist’s research is based upon the Nobel work and fueled by her family’s genetic history.

What goes into your writing process, and do you outlines before you write or discover as you go? Apothercary's Curse has such wonderful mood and atmosphere; I also wondered if you write to music, and if so, do you have a playlist for the book?

I tend to write road maps rather than hard and fast outlines. I keep in mind the classic “three-act” structure and put bullet points just under the chapter headings so I know where I want to go by the time I’ve gotten through a chapter. Beyond that, I really like the journey of discovery along with my characters. I started The Apothecary’s Curse with a fairly detailed road map, and then my characters took on a mind of their own, but even so, every time I got stuck or lost in the journey, my outline guided me back to where I wanted to be, at least in broad strokes.

As far as writing to music goes, I’m a professional singer, and when I have music in the background, I get distracted and listen to the music. So I generally do not listen to music while writing. However, I was listening to music when I wrote the Simon’s first scene visiting Bedlam. I was listening to Mozart’s Requiem, and when I went back to re-read, I was stunned by the sheer number of musical metaphors that had found their way into that scene!

The scenes in Bedlam seem really appropriate this close to Halloween! We'd love to know any scary details you came across about Bedlam in the course of your research.

Bedlam was in itself a scary place—especially for the poor wretches sent there. I thought it was interesting that in the pre-psychiatry days, the doctors treating mental illness were called mad doctors. Apothecary’s “mad doctor” really is a mad doctor. So many of the treatments used there would now be considered extreme torture, and if a person wasn’t insane when admitted to Bedlam, he or she surely would be in short order. Horrendous experimentation on patients was common as were “freak shows” not unlike to which Gaelan was subjected. Many died at the hands of Bedlam’s mad doctors and were buried in mass graves on the grounds. 

And finally, particularly as you have written extensively and analytically about television shows, I'd like to hear what shows you're watching. :)

My favorite shows right now are Game of Thrones on HBO, Poldark (season two is upon us!) on PBS, Man in the High Castle on Amazon (I’m a huge Philip K. Dick fan, and I adore alternate history stories). The newest one on my screen is Designated Survivor with Kiefer Sutherland. I was not a big fan of 24, but I really liked the first episode a lot.

I watch Once Upon a Time, though not as intensely as I did during its first couple of seasons. I adore the mashups of fairy tale and mythology, and I liked their original take on Rumplestiltskin (yes, it’s spelled that way on the show!), especially as portrayed by Robert Carlyle (who would make a fantastic Gaelan Erceldoune, by the way!) but I think the show’s gotten a bit away from the original concept over the last two seasons, but I’ll keep watching and hoping.

I’m a politics junkie, so cable news is often my writing white noise, while Real Time with Bill Mahler and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (both on HBO) are appointment TV for me.



Whelp, Tom Cruise agrees.

If you're looking for a fun, fast-paced book to pick up this summer then we've got you covered. In less than two weeks Laurence MacNaughton's urban fantasy It Happened One Doomsday comes out, and if you don't believe us when we say it's highly entertaining then take a look at its trailer!


July 12 can't come fast enough.


New for June!

In just five days (less than a week!) the second and final installment in Brenda Cooper's Glittering Edge duology, Spear of Light, hits shelves!  Long ago, an advanced human society banished a group of near-AIs to the darkest corners of the galaxy. Now they've returned to build a new home for themselves next to the very race that tried to destroy them.

If there's anyone you really should trust with your science fiction, it's Brenda Cooper.  Why, you ask?  Because she's a futurist.  Her job is literally to think about the future of mankind and our world.

To get yourself pumped up for this sequel, head to Pat's Fantasy Hotlist now to read the first chapter. Oh, and there's only one day left to enter the Goodreads giveaway for a finished copy!

If you're a fan of Cooper and have read Edge of Dark, then you absolutely need to get your hands on this one. Spear of Light hits shelves this Tuesday!

Don't miss out on these other books by Brenda Cooper:


New cover alert!

Ok so it's actually been a couple of days since we officially released the cover for Laurence MacNaughton's It Happened One Doomsday, but here it is!

Magic is real. Only a handful of natural-born sorcerers can wield its arcane power against demons, foul creatures, and the forces of darkness. These protectors of the powerless are descendants of an elite order. The best magic-users in the world. 

Unfortunately, Dru isn’t one of them.

Sure, she’s got a smidge of magical potential. She can use crystals to see enchantments or brew up an occasional potion. And she can research practically anything in the library of dusty leather-bound tomes she keeps stacked in the back of her little store. There, sandwiched between a pawn shop and a 24-hour liquor mart, she sells enough crystals, incense, and magic charms to scrape by. But everything changes the day a handsome mechanic pulls up in a possessed black muscle car, his eyes glowing red.

Just being near Greyson raises Dru’s magical powers to dizzying heights. But he’s been cursed to transform into a demonic creature that could bring about the end of the world. 

Then she discovers that the Harbingers, seven fallen sorcerers, want to wipe the planet clean of humans and install themselves as new lords of an unfettered magical realm. And when they unearth the Apocalypse Scroll, the possibility of a fiery cosmic do-over suddenly becomes very real.  

There’s only one chance to break Greyson’s curse and save the world from a fiery Doomsday – and it’s about to fall into Dru’s magically inexperienced hands....

Look for it in stores July 12!


Countdown to Masks and Shadows

Only one week left until the highly anticipated release of Stephanie Burgis's adult debut Masks and Shadows! Travel back to a time of grand music, dark magic, and deadly secrets...

The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls. Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.

Can't wait to get your hand on a copy?  Thanks to technology, you can travel back in time via Pinterest!  It, uh, can't send you to the future when Masks and Shadows it out yet though.  Sorry.

Follow Pyr® books's board All things Masks and Shadows on Pinterest.


Gats, goons, and ghosts

“Brimming with authentic vernacular and a glimpse into the world of Al Capone and his cronies, Black City Saint is historical fantasy at its best. From bootleggers and shadow goons to ancient enchanted swords and tommy guns, the unique combination is exhilarating. This is a fast moving tale of power, love, loss, and redemption."
Foreword Reviews

Get your hands on the newest book by the New York Times- and USA Today-bestselling author Richard A. Knaak, Black City Saint!  

For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate that keeps the mortal and Feirie realms separate, seeking absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the dragon. All the while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet for the past fifty years the Gate has, unknowingly to him, been open for the darkest Feirie-folk to enter the world of 1920s Chicago. Now, not only has an evil been resurrected from Nick’s own past, but also his lost Cleolinda, destined once more to die.

Does Nick have the strength to protect the way between realms and destroy the most vicious creature to ever walked in both worlds? 

Available now!


Get your hands on some ARCs!

Over at Goodreads we've got giveaways up for two of our biggest books coming this Spring. Enter now before they're over!

Chicago,1920s. For more than sixteen hundred years, Nick Medea has followed and guarded the Gate between the mortal realm and Feirie, seeking absolution for the fatal errors he made when he slew the Dragon. All that while, he has tried and failed to keep the woman he loves from dying over and over.

Yet in the fifty years since the Night the Dragon Breathed over the city of Chicago, the darkest of the Feirie­folk have been secretly trespassing through the Gate. Now, not only has an evil been resurrected from Nick’s own past, but also his lost Cleolinda, destined once more to die.

Amidst a brewing gang war between Prohibition bootleggers, Nick must protect the way between realms.  If he fails, not only might Chicago face a fate worse than the Great Fire, but so will the rest of the mortal world.

Enter now!

The year is 1779, and Carlo Morelli, the most renowned castrato singer in Europe, has been invited as an honored guest to Eszterháza Palace. With Carlo in Prince Nikolaus Esterházy's carriage, ride a Prussian spy and one of the most notorious alchemists in the Habsburg Empire. Already at Eszterháza is Charlotte von Steinbeck, the very proper sister of Prince Nikolaus's mistress. Charlotte has retreated to the countryside to mourn her husband's death. Now, she must overcome the ingrained rules of her society in order to uncover the dangerous secrets lurking within the palace's golden walls.

Music, magic, and blackmail mingle in a plot to assassinate the Habsburg Emperor and Empress--a plot that can only be stopped if Carlo and Charlotte can see through the masks worn by everyone they meet.

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Start something new this weekend

Check-in time.  We're almost halfway through January...have you ditched your New Year's Resolutions yet?  If your resolution is to start something new, or even to save money, then you should be doubly excited to hear about this.  As part of the Barnes & Noble "First in Series" promotion you can get the below series starters for only $2.99 each until Monday January 18th!

"This is space opera at its best -- simultaneously pulse-pounding and mind-expanding. [He] is the twenty-first century's master of excitement and adventure. Enjoy!"
Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

The Dead Enders are a team of military heroes who only take the most impossible missions in a galactic war between humans and an alien race. Clone a high-ranking general, infiltrate the enemy fortress, and escape without getting caught? Just another day in the office.

"Sword of the Bright Lady is an exciting new take on the modern-man-meets-magic conflict -- it's a how-to guide for surviving in a world of gods and monsters."
Dave Gross, author of Prince of Wolves

Christopher Sinclair, a contemporary man from Earth, will overthrow the entire social and political system of a fantasy world he accidentally entered in order to return home to his wife. 



"Peopled with compelling characters, filled with action and intrigue, set in a fascinating world at the boundary between history and legend, Grudgebearer is a gripping and ultimately satisfying novel. Highly recommended."
D. B. Jackson, author of the Thieftaker Chronicles

The leader of a warrior race works with his daughter to overcome their people's enslaved past and secure their future in a struggle against their creators, the enemy they were bred to battle, the oaths they have sworn, and the gods themselves.




Everyone knows who's coming down our chimneys next week. If you plan on starting your shopping this weekend―well, good luck. Even if you started shopping before the bird was on the table last month, there are always a few people who seem impossible to shop for (or who you forgot!)  So to cover all your last-minute gifting needs, here are some ideas for the readers on your list:

Action, adventure, and humanity against the world

A fresh take on the vampire legends 


How about some fantasy on an epic level?

We're talking dragons and killer dwarves

Thrillers with a quantum physics twist

Gimme the science fiction, but take it out of this world 

BONUS! Be their favorite aunt or uncle and get the entire series

When all else fails, settle for a bit of everything