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Spooky Legends Giveaway: Death Watch by Ari Berk

November 2nd, 2011 Angela Posted in Giveaway, Spooky Legends 22 Comments »

Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways

Last, but certainly not least, the final Spooky Legends bonus giveaway is DEATH WATCH from author Ari Berk. DEATH WATCH is the first book in The Undertaken series.  Unfortunately, Ari’s busy writing schedule kept him from participating in our event.  Thanks to Ari, you have a chance to win a copy of the book!  See details below.

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About Ari:

Ari Berk is an award-winning writer, folklorist, artist, and scholar of literature, iconography, and comparative myth.  Deeply dedicated to interdisciplinary writing, teaching, and research, Dr. Berk holds degrees in Ancient History (B.A.), American Indian Studies (M.A.), and Comparative Literature and Culture (Ph.D.). The former student of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer N. Scott Momaday, he has studied at Oxford and traveled widely, making friends in many parts of the world.

As Professor of English at Central Michigan University, he teaches courses in mythology, folklore, American Indian studies, and medieval literature, and is the former editor of the Realms of Fantasy magazine’s Folkroots section. Dr. Berk also sits on the board of directors of the Mythic Imagination Institute.

Ari is the author of numerous books for children and adults. His latest books are The Life and Times of William Shakespeare (with Kristen McDermott), The Secret History of HobgoblinsThe Secret History of Giants, The Secret History of MermaidsHow to Be a Vikingand Coyote Speaks — Wonders of the Native American World (with Carolyn Dunn). He is also the author of The Runes of ElflandGoblins! and Lady Cottington’s Pressed Fairy Letters (all three with internationally known artist Brian Froud).  His work has been translated into numerous languages.

Born and raised in California, Ari now lives in Michigan with his wife and son. He has passed three times through a holed stone.

You can visit Ari around the web here: Website | Blog | Facebook

Want to read more from Ari Berk?

Death Watch

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This giveaway is provided by Ari Berk

One winner will receive a copy of Death Watch (Undertaken Trilogy) by Ari Berk

Available on November 15, 2011 from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

About the Book:

One night, Silas Umber’s father Amos doesn’t come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos’s brother, Charles.

Even as Silas eagerly explores his father’s town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber’s ornate, museum-like house—something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father’s disappearance. When Silas’s search leads him to his father’s old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.

Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport’s secret history—and discovers that he has taken on his father’s mantle as Lichport’s Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father—no matter the cost.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Spooky Legends Giveaway: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

November 1st, 2011 Angela Posted in Giveaway, Spooky Legends 68 Comments »

Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways

Next up for our Spooky Legends bonus giveaway is SHATTER ME from debut author Tahereh Mafi. SHATTER ME is the first book in a new dystopian series—with a paranormal twist.  Unfortunately, Tahereh’s busy writing schedule kept her from participating in our event.  Thanks to Harper Teen, you have a chance to win a copy of the book!  See details below.

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About Tahereh:

She’s 23. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Orange County, California, where the weather is just a little too perfect for her taste. When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts.

SHATTER ME is her first novel.

You can visit Tahereh around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Tahereh Mafi?

Shatter Me

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This giveaway is provided by HarperCollins/Harper Teen

and Dark Faerie Tales

Three winners will each receive a copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Available on November 15, 2011 from HarperCollins/Harper Teen

About the Book:

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Spooky Legends Giveaway: Unforsaken by Sophie Littlefield

November 1st, 2011 Angela Posted in Giveaway, Spooky Legends 42 Comments »

My next Spooky Legends bonus giveaway is UNFORSAKEN from Sophie Littlefield. UNFORSAKEN is the follow-up to BANISHED and the final book in the Banished young adult series.  Unfortunately, Sophie’s busy writing schedule kept her from participating in our event.  Thanks to Sophie, you have a chance to win a copy of the book!  See details below.

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About Sophie:

Sophie grew up in central Missouri, daughter of a history professor father and an artist mother. She earned a degree in computer science at a large Midwestern university and made very little use of it. After living in Chicago for ten years, she and her husband packed up the kids and moved to Northern California in 1998. She’s been keeping house and writing ever since. She published a number of short stories and articles before landing an agent and selling her first novel in the spring of 2008.

You can visit Sophie around the web here: Website | Blog Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Sophie Littlefield?

A Bad Day for Sorry A Bad Day for Pretty: A Crime... A Bad Day for ScandalBanished UnforsakenAftertime Survivors Rebirth

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This giveaway is provided by Sophie Littlefield

Two winners will each receive a copy of Unforsaken by Sophie Littlefield

Available on October 11, 2011 from Random House/Delacorte Books

About the Book:

Hailey Tarbell is no typical girl. As one of the Banished who arrived from Ireland generations ago, Hailey has the power to heal—and, as she recently learned, to create zombies if she heals someone too late. But now, Hailey is finally getting a chance at a normal life. After realizing the good and bad sides of her power, Hailey has survived the unimaginable to settle with her aunt, Prairie, and her little brother, Chub, in the suburbs of Milwaukee. Finally Hailey has a loving family, nice clothes, and real friends. But her safe little world is blown apart when she tries to contact her secret boyfriend, Kaz—and alerts the incredibly dangerous man who’s looking for her to her true whereabouts.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Spooky Legends Giveaway: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

November 1st, 2011 Angela Posted in Giveaway, Spooky Legends 46 Comments »

Our Spooky Legends event may be over (you have until November 4th to enter all the giveaways), but that doesn’t mean that Abigail and I don’t have a few surprises for you.  First up is DEARLY, DEPARTED from Lia Habel.  I know that so many of you enjoyed the book, and that many others are looking forward to exploring New Victoria.  Unfortunately, Lia’s busy writing schedule kept her from participating in our event.  As luck would have it, you still have the opportunity to slip into the Dearly Universe.  Thanks to Lia, you have a chance to win a copy of the book!  See details below

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About Lia:

Lia Habel was born in Jamestown, NY – as far as it’s physically possible to get from New York City and still be in the same state, and official spooky abandoned farmhouse territory. As an only child of good geek stock (her mother still attends San Diego Comic-Con yearly, and her father is still an early tech adopter), young Lia was lovingly reared on horror movies, video games, and Victorian novels. She developed an affection for horror movie monsters early on, often challenging her weary mother with lists of reasons why Jason Voorhees might yet be saved or excuses for Darkman’s cackling insanity. As she grew older and her natural sympathy extended to ever more serial killers, swamp monsters, sentient fanged beasts, and reanimated gents, her mother began to worry what her daughter might one day bring home.

Despite this promising start, Lia went on to live an unremarkable life. Although she entertained vague thoughts of one day writing (comic books, specifically), it was only her love of literature that compelled her to pursue her B.A. in English Lit from SUNY Buffalo. Afterwards, ever the generalist and lover of Old Things, Lia moved to the UK to attend the University of Leicester and get her M.A. in Museum Studies. Several scattered internships and jobs followed, but Lia was never able to obtain long-term, serious work in her chosen field. In order to support herself, she at different times worked as a makeup artist, retail clerk, envelope-opener, door guard, and substitute teacher. Success never seemed to be hers, and she wrote the first draft of Dearly, Departed while unemployed for the fifth or sixth time. She had all of $10 in her bank account when she received her first check for it.

Miss Habel currently still lives in Jamestown, with three former alley cats and far too many Victorian ball gowns. She enjoys attending anachronistic and steampunk events, watching zombie movies (her goal is to watch every zombie movie ever made), and collecting Victorian and Edwardian books. She still hopes one day to run into the beautiful monster of her dreams, but would settle for the reincarnation of Vincent Price.

You can visit Lia around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Lia Habel?

Dearly, Departed

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This giveaway is provided by Lia Habel

One winner will receive a signed copy of Dearly, Departedas well as swag, posters, bookmarks.

Available on October 18, 2011 from Random House/Del Rey

About the Book:

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune, and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, steampunk meets romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Spooky Legends: Clay and Susan Griffith

October 31st, 2011 Angela Posted in Spooky Legends 6 Comments »

Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways

Happy Halloween!  We are celebrating Halloween today with our final Spooky Legends guests, Clay and Susan Griffith. Clay and Susan are the authors of the phenomenal Vampire Empire series.  The setting of the series is a chilling and deadly world that held me captivated.  It began with THE GREYFRIARwhich left an indelible impression on me, and continues with THE RIFT WALKER.  Our short story compares the vampires of myth with the vampires from their series.  It’s a partial transcript from a formal presentation to a Victorian-style scientific academy by one of the characters from Vampire Empire.

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From Vampire Empire

Clay & Susan Griffith

(This transcript is an excerpt from a presentation by Sir Godfrey Randolph (FIA, FICS) before the Imperial Academy in general assembly at Alhazen Hall, Alexandria, January 13, 2018.)

“Vampires, gentlemen.

A word which, centuries before, caused even sensible men and women to shudder and inch closer to their winter hearth. However, in wiser days, a mere century and a half ago, the educated classes dismissed such creatures as fancy, and disdained those who still believed in such phantasmal remnants of ignorant days.

That was before the late winter of 1870.

In the bloody years that followed, we learned that ignorance is always the greatest enemy. Vampires did, in fact, exist and they brought that fact down upon us to the cost of millions of lives before the carnage was done, and a reorganization of human population across our globe the size and speed of which has never been seen before in recorded history. Free humanity was virtually scoured from the northern hemisphere. All that remains of us north of the frontier are herds of once-humans raised for food by their vampire masters.

Now, nearly one hundred and fifty years after that horrible winter, as we in Equatoria contemplate a great crusade to drive the vampires off the cadaver of the northern world, I ask you learned gentlemen of the Empire, what do we truly know of our enemy? What have we learned to part the curtains of superstition?

My answer, in short, is not nearly enough. There are only two endowed chairs dedicated to vampire biology within the Empire. Here at the Imperial College of Surgeons in Alexandria, lately held by myself but now in the capable hands of Dr. Mahloof, and at Calcutta University under the imminent Dr. Sendurhi. I submit that, despite the enormous accomplishments of these remarkable scientists, two locations of research are insufficient to guide our nation on its formidable path. We risk sending our valiant young men into harms way with little more knowledge of our fearsome enemy than our ancestors had on that night in 1870.

I will put to you briefly what we know about our vampire adversaries. And you will see it is a distressingly feeble mix of myth and fact.

Vampires of myth were the reanimated dead who rose from their graves to drink the blood of the living. We now know that to be false. These creatures are a parasitic species that has shadowed the development of humankind from the beginning of time. This species, however, known as Homo nosferatii, does indeed sustain itself on a diet consisting totally, so far as we know, of human blood.

Vampires of myth could only be destroyed by a variety of prescribed methods such as decapitation or driving a wooden stake through the heart. We know this also to be untrue. The origin of these stories, we believe, are due to the fact that homo nosferatii are remarkably resistant to damage. They appear to have a blunted sense of touch, which seems to protect them from succumbing to shock when harmed, such as shooting or stabbing. Even severely wounded, they carry on as if unaffected unless they sustain catastrophic damage or significant injury to a major organ, such as the brain or the heart. Their ability to directly metabolize human blood seems to aid their healing factors because they have been observed to regenerate tissue and even knit broken bones at an inconceivable rate. It seems obvious that a greater understanding of this incredible biology would serve our military in their coming campaigns against these near-machines of destruction.

I would further argue that the vampires’ extraordinary speed and superhuman strength, its retractile claws capable of cutting flesh and even bone, its catlike senses of sight and smell, and its as yet unexplained ability to levitate or float give it a remarkable advantage on the battlefield, expanding the arena in vertical as well as horizontal directions, and giving it the mastery of the night, allowing the vampire to sustain combat nonstop over 24-hour periods, which even the most well-conditioned human soldiers could not match for long.

I understand the arguments of our leading commanders and industrialists that our newest weapons fire at greater rates than ever before, that our airships give us greater command of speed and distance, and our men have been drilled in combat techniques designed to counter the ferocious natural skills of the vampire. However, I still maintain that we are contemplating sending a generation of Equatorians into a meat grinder.

I therefore call for increased study of both the biology and society of the vampire, but also alternative ideas for combating the creatures. It was well known in the days of our forefathers that vampires were repelled by symbols of religion. We owe it to our children and free humans everywhere to allow ourselves to freely inquire into this phenomenon.

Gentlemen, please.

I furthermore call for a renewed interest in these forsaken ideas which may well save the lives of thousands and prevent the wasteful crippling of a generation of Equatorian men who are woefully unprepared for an enemy we only think we know…”

(The assembly degenerated into demands from the floor for Sir Godfrey to step down, which the Chair echoed. Many members filed out in protest of the speaker’s call for research into unorthodox and unscientific disciplines.)

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About Clay and Susan:

Clay and Susan Griffith are writers who have also been married for over 15 years. They are the co-authors of The Greyfriar: Vampire Empire Book 1 and The Rift Walker: Vampire Empire Book 2 (Pyr Books). The Vampire Empire trilogy is a rousing combination of fantasy, steampunk, pulp adventure, and romance, and Paul Goat Allen, the sci-fi/fantasy moderator of B&N.com, referred to Vampire Empire as a “landmark event.” The third book of the series will be out in 2012.

Clay and Susan have written many comic books over the years including The TickThe Man-Eating Cow and, more recently, Ray Harryhausen Presents: It Came From Beneath the Sea…Again. They also script and contribute to the tv/web show Monster Creature Feature (www. mcftv.com).

Oh, and James Marsters (Spike himself!) is narrating the audio version of Vampire Empire. Check out this link for a sample of The Greyfriar.

They plan to continue writing together. And to stay married.

Visit Clay and Susan around the web hereWebsite | Blog | Twitter |Facebook

Want to read more from Clay and Susan Griffith?

The Greyfriar The Rift Walker

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Available on September 6, 2011 from Prometheus/Pyr

About the Book:

Princess Adele struggles with a life of marriage and obligation as her Equatorian Empire and their American Republic allies stand on the brink of war against the vampire clans of the north. However, the alliance’s horrific strategy for total victory drives Adele to abandon her duty and embark on a desperate quest to keep her nation from staining its hands with genocide. Reunited with her great love, the mysterious adventurer known to the world as the Greyfriar, Adele is pursued by her own people as well as her vengeful husband, senator Clark. With the human alliance in disarrray, Prince Cesare, lord of the British vampire clan, seizes the initiative and strikes at the very heart of Equatoria.

As Adele labors to bring order to her world, she learns more about the strange powers she exhibited in the north. Her teacher, Mamoru, leads a secret cabal of geomancers who believe Adele is the one who can touch the vast power of the Earth that surges through ley lines and wells up at the rifts where the lines meet. These energies are the key to defeating the enemy of mankind, and if Princess Adele could ever bring this power under her command, she could be death to vampires. But such a victory will also cost the life of Adele’s beloved Greyfriar.

The Rift Walkeris the second book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternative history. Combining rousing pulp action with steampunk style, the Vampire Empire series brings epic politcal themes to life within a story of heartbreaking romance, sacrifice, and heroism.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from The Greyfriar

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**Don’t forget to visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Jennifer Estep and a chance to win a copy of KISS OF FROST**

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