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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Comic Review: The White Suits issues #1-3

Writer: Frank Barbiere

Artist: Toby Cypress
Cover Artist: Toby Cypress
Genre: Action/Adventure, Crime
Dark Horse
Publication Date: February 19, 2014
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price: $3.99
UPC:7 61568 24061 0 00111
Mysterious killers dressed in white, they savaged the Cold War Russian underworld—then disappeared. Now they have resurfaced in New York, leaving a trail of dead mobsters. In this bloody wake, an amnesiac and an FBI agent search for the answer to a single question: Who are the White Suits?
* Debuted in the award-winning Dark Horse Presents.
* Violent noir action from Frank Barbiere (Blackout) and TobyCypress (Blue Estate, Predator).

Writer: Frank Barbiere
Artist: Toby Cypress
Cover Artist: Toby Cypress
Genre: Action/Adventure, Crime
Dark Horse
Publication Date: March 19, 2014
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price: $3.99
UPC:7 61568 24061 0 00211
The White Suits, scourges of Russia’s underworld, have declared war on New York’s organized crime. But NYC’s crime overlords have their own army of Russian mercenaries hunting the Suits, with FBI agent Sarah Anderson and the former Suit known as Prizrak certain to be caught in the crossfire!

Writer: Frank Barbiere
Artist: Toby Cypress
Cover Artist: Toby Cypress
Genre: Action/Adventure, Crime
dark Horse
Publication Date: April 16, 2014
Format: FC, 32 pages; Miniseries
Price: $3.99
UPC:7 61568 24061 0 00311
Mob war erupts in Chinatown! In a desperate final gambit, New York’s criminal underworld and their Russian mercenaries draw the murderous White Suits into a deadly ambush, with ex-Suit Prizrak and FBI agent Sarah Anderson as hostages. With no way out but death, who will survive the “Kill Box”?
* Violent noir action from Frank Barbiere (Blackout, Five Ghosts) and Toby Cypress (Blue Estate, Predator).

I was in the mood for some saw-toothed action when I decided to read the first three issues of this Dark Horse mini-series, and by god I got it.

Set in New York City, the various gangs have come under siege. An almost mythical threat has arrived on the grimy streets, known as the White Suits. As ruthless as the organized crime of the world's largest city is, they're downright fluffy soft compared to the buzzsaw-caliber quickness by which the White Suits decimate their numbers.

Amid the violence is a down-and-out FBI agent named Anderson, whose father was killed by the White Suits, and she's sworn revenge against them by any means, which puts her at odds with her bosses and sees her enlisting the help of a man named Prizrak, an amnesiac mercenary once associated with the mysterious killers.

The story feels murky at times, much like Prizrak's memory, with no hint of motivation behind the White Suits. They can mow down the gangs, so they do, while the gangs scramble like ants to keep from being trampled. And when mercenaries are brought in to protect the gangs, I immediately thought of Kick-Ass and how the Motherfucker got a bunch of mercenaries to protect him against Kick-Ass and the cops. Only in White Suits, the consequences feel a little more rooted in reality, albeit a blood-soaked one.
As for the artwork, it has a manic vibe that makes each three-color page just electric to the eyes. If you're hardwired for the clean, crisp lines of superhero comics, White Suits is going to beat your expectations into the dirt with 2X4 wrapped in barbed-wire. And when the violence hits manic levels, the illustrations take on an almost psychotropic quality.

I'm really curious to see how the fourth and final issue plays out on this revenge thriller. It has a lot to answer for in that one issue, so I'm hoping it pulls things off without leaving too many loose strings.

4 1/2 Sheep

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

25 New releases in Speculative fiction for April 22

Been a while since I've posted new releases and I have missed a bunch of good ones. But here are some for this week! Some good deals.

The WTF-ery of the week? The Adorable Snowman!

disclaimer: all these covers are links to our amazon affiliate pages. I Smell Sheep will get a small percentage of all sales through these links as an advertising fee. I Smell Sheep uses the money to pay for sheep s*** and shipping <G>

Release Day: East of Ecstasy by Laura Kaye + Giveaway

You guys! I can’t believe release day for East of Ecstasy is finally here! This is the final book in my Hearts of the Anemoi series, which includes: North of Need, West of Want, and South of Surrender. 

The Anemoi were wind gods the Greek associated with controlling the wind, weather, and seasons. In East of Ecstasy, hero Devlin Eston is the heir to the East Wind which has long been associated with unluckiness, misfortune, and, thanks to Devlin’s father, even evil. Devlin himself has been the victim of father’s evil, and thereby finds himself an outcast among his own divine family. In this scene, heroine Annalise Fallston—who gets visions that she’s forced to paint in order to quiet them in her mind—sees Devlin for the first time. Here’s what she says:

Forcing the chaos in her mind away, Anna dipped her brush into the gray and stepped to the canvas. Motion captured her attention from the corner of her eye.

The Dark Man, the subject of her recent paintings, stood in the doorway and leaned against the jamb.

Anna jumped and her pulse raced, but this time, anger flooded in instead of fear. “I will deal with you on my own damn terms,” she said, taking a perverse amount of pleasure from putting a figment of her imagination in its place. Because that’s all he was.

He didn’t move or speak. Not that he could, since, you know. Figment. Of. Imagination.

Anna rolled her eyes, done with being scared and so pissed to have to do this again that she was nearly out of her mind. “I’m doing your damn painting already. So just leave me alone.” She cut her gaze back to the expanse of white, but the desire to see if his image would still be there if she looked again drove her to distraction.

Finally, she gave in and…he was still there.

Completely still. Blatantly scowling. Totally unfathomable.

Was this a vision? Another image she’d have to paint?

Her heart tripped into a sprint, and she couldn’t look away from him. Like the compulsion that forced her to paint these images, Anna couldn’t help but return his stare and memorize his masculine features. The sharp angles of his face, the harsh set of his mouth, the dark shadows around his even darker eyes. Black eyes. Blades of black hair hung low over his forehead and just touched the hooded shirt he wore under his short, scuffed leather jacket. He’d crossed his arms over his chest, and the position caused his biceps to bunch up under the worn leather. In fact, everything about him appeared worn—the coat, the threadbare jeans, the scuffed boots. None of it struck her as the kind of shabby chic you could buy in some upscale store for a small fortune, either. The whole effect was rough. Dangerous. Deprived.

Deprived? What a strange way of describing him. But as Anna’s gaze swept over him again, the thought stuck. For his height, he seemed thin, with his lean hips, clad in old black jeans, a trim waist, and pronounced cheekbones. Her fingers twitched around the nearly forgotten paintbrush. What would it feel like to cup that harsh face in her hand?

Anna gasped and tore her gaze away. She had to blink to pull herself out of the haze of thoughts. Frustration surged through her and tensed the muscles of her shoulders and neck. She didn’t want to be working on another of these paintings as it was, so the last thing she needed was to lose a bunch of time daydreaming. Or would it be daynightmaring?

As she stared at the blank canvas, the image of the shackled man behind the prison bars filled her mind’s eye.

Definitely the latter.

Curiosity pulled her eyes to the left again. The doorway was empty.

So, did you have a favorite line from the excerpt? Thanks for reading!

East of Ecstasy (Hearts of the Anemoi #4)
By Laura Kaye
The final chapter in the award-winning and bestselling Hearts of the Anemoi series…

She’s the only one who can give him the strength to save them all…

Annalise Fallston made peace with postponing her big-city dreams to care for her ill father, but lately she's been filled with a restlessness not even her beloved painting dispels. Worse, the colors don't speak to her as they always have, and all her efforts produce dark, foreboding images of a dangerous man and a terrifying future.

Devlin Eston, black-souled son of the evil Anemoi Eurus, is the only one who can thwart his father's plan to overthrow the Supreme God of Wind and Storms. But first, Dev must master the unstable powers he's been given. Distrusted and shunned by his own divine family, he never expected to find kindness and passion in the arms of a mortal.

But Devlin's love puts Annalise in the path of a catastrophic storm, and in the final Armageddon showdown between the Anemoi and Eurus, sacrifices will be made, hearts broken, and lives changed forever...or lost. 

For a limited time only $.99
 Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

For a limited time only $.99
Catch up on the whole series with the Hearts of the Anemoi box set featuring the first three books: North of Need, West of Want, South of Surrender!
Amazon B&N | Kobo | iTunes

About the Author:
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Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Comic Review: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Premature Burial

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Premature Burial
Adaptation and Art by Richard Corben
Colors by Beth Corben Reed with Richard Corben
Letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover by Richard Corben
Dark Horse Books
April 2, 2014

The fear of being buried alive is presented in two horrifying Poe adaptations by Eisner Hall of Fame inductee Richard Corben—“The Premature Burial” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”

Sometimes the graveyard is a place for burials. Sometimes the graveyard is a place for “The Premature Burial.”

Victoria drank from the glass of wine that Lucian had poured, telling him that he would not share her bed before marriage, then leaving. Unfortunately, there was more than wine in the glass, as she fell ill and died. After she was buried, Lucian returned at night to dig her up. When he decides to take what he had been refused before, not dead, she awakens and kicks out a foot that sends him back against a gravestone and knocks him out. (Remember this was 1840 before embalming fluid so not all expired when they did.) He is deemed dead and buried. But he is dug up at night by the gravediggers who had shoveled the dirt at his funeral. Alive, he is taken back to his father’s house where he is told that Victoria wants him in marriage. But he will get more than the wedding bed.

In the second story in the comic, “The Cask of Amontillado,” two visitors to the vaults of the Montresors are disturbed by the footsteps of a man and a woman. The man, a Montresor, takes the woman to where the dead of his family rest, but only to where a cask of wine sits. He tells her a story of when he once wore a hooded costume to join the crowd of revelers at the carnival to find her husband, Fortunato. He was searching for another person to taste his wine in a cask to make sure it is Amontillado. Instead, Fortunato spouts that the other man is a fool and he will taste the wine to let Montresor know the truth of its vintage. But Montresor has something else in mind for him, all for some slight he thought Fortunato has done him.

Both adaptations of two Poe tales are done well and the artwork is creepy and splendid. Corbin takes two horror tales from the 19th Century and makes what are two short stories of fine wine and both are now the perfect glass of aged vintage unburied for your taste buds.

5 sheep

Pamela K. Kinney
Website Blog Facebook
aka Sapphire Phelan
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Cover Reveal: Hunger (Vampires Realm #8) by Felicity Heaton

Hunger (Vampires Realm Romance Series Book 8)
Felicity Heaton
Add the book to your Goodreads shelf
Betrayed by one of her own and turned into a vampire, hunter Eve is consumed by her hunger for vengeance and has spent five years surviving hell, driven to take the life of the man she once loved. But just as she is about to close in on the hunter-turned-vampire, an event is set in motion that threatens to see him slip beyond her grasp forever—the leader of her bloodline has sent an escort to bring her to the family’s mansion. To a nest of the very creatures she once hunted and loathes.

A vampire assassin hardened by centuries of service, Tor is a man of discipline and loyalty, never straying from his mission or the rules set out for him, and has purged all his weaknesses, including his emotions.

But the moment he meets the broken, fiery female he is to escort to Oslo, something dangerous awakens in him, something possessive and powerful, and when he is pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who betrayed her, Tor discovers he will do anything to protect the woman slowly claiming his heart and give her the vengeance she desires—even break all the rules.

Can Eve embrace her new vampire nature in order to have her revenge and find a reason to live again in Tor? Can Tor and Eve stop the man who betrayed her and the deaths of thousands of innocents? Or will he succeed in creating a new army of hybrid vampires who will rise up against the purebloods?

Hunger is due for release in ebook and paperback on May 10th 2014 and will be available from all major online book retailers. 

Pre-order your copy today
Apple iTunes USA:
Apple iTunes UK:
Apple iTunes Australia:
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More retail links will soon be available on Felicity Heaton’s website:

Join Felicity’s mailing list to receive a notification when Hunger is released, plus a sneak preview of the first 6 chapters of the book and chances to win a signed copy:

About the Author:
Felicity Heaton writes passionate paranormal romance books as Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. In her books she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons!

If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, Felicity Heaton’s best selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series she writes as F E Heaton or any of her stand alone vampire romance books she writes as Felicity Heaton. Or if you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try Felicity Heaton’s new Vampire Erotic Theatre series.

In 2011, five of her six paranormal romance books received Top Pick awards from Night Owl Reviews, Forbidden Blood was nominated as Best PNR Vampire Romance 2011 at The Romance Reviews, and many of her releases received five star reviews from numerous websites. In 2012, she received the GraveTells Author of the Year Award and her vampire romance novel, Heart of Darkness, was selected as a 2013 Epic Ebook Awards finalist in the paranormal romance category.