Here are some of the Jan 1 releases. If I missed something let me know and I will add them to scolling covers on the left side bar and to the bottom of the blog where you can always find the newest releases!
This time of the year everyone is posting their top 10 favorite books of 2012. So we thought we better jump on this wagon, but we fell off...or maybe we were pushed. So instead, I give you:
Top 10 reasons you need Sheep in your lives!
1. Flowers Everyone knows that March comes in like a lion, but it has to go out like a lamb or else you won't get those April Showers which bring? That's right! May flowers. So no baby sheep, no flowers.
2. Sleep If it wasn't for sheep, you would have nothing to count! You know what happens when people don't get enough sleep? Bad things! No sheep. No Sleep. Break down of society.
3. Happy children Everyone knows that a little lamb made the children laugh and sing, even if it was against the rules. No baby sheep. No children laughter. Now wouldn't that be sad? 4. Wool
Photo by Ken Hammond
If there were no sheep there would be no wool! People all over the world would freeze to death. Once again we are thrown into an apocalypse. No sheep, no wool, no warmth, everyone freezes to death!
5. Baby booties No sheep, no yarn and all those old ladies who knit would be out causing trouble instead of at home making baby booties. You know what that means?! Babies will have cold tootsies because grandma was out partying instead of knitting! No sheep, no yarn, cold baby toes. 6. Sleeping Beauty If there was no Sheep and therefore no yarn, there would be no reason for spinning wheels. The story of Sleeping Beauty would be completely different. There would be no spinning wheel for her to prick her finger on! No sheep, no Sleeping Beauty.
7. Sheep Puns If we don't have Sheep puns, people can't say "Get the Flock out of here" or "Shut the Flock up!" The world would sink into a vulgar mess. Everyone would have to use the "F" word instead. No Sheep, no puns, world depravity.
Davidp Tagged Wolf Sheep
8. Keeping wolves off the sex offender registry If there were no sheep, what would the wolves wear? They would be running around naked and cold. No sheep, no clothing for wolves = Naked wolf running through the forest and exposing his self to Little Red Riding Hood!
9. Keep children off drugs If there was no sheep there would be no wool for the little boy who lived down the lane. And he would be forced to sell drugs to make money.
10. This website If there are no sheep, then what the hell are we smelling around here?! I don't even want to think about it...
Baaart is so happy (those are tears of joy) you are part of the flock.
So go forth into the New Year and embrace your inner Sheep. Invite others to join the flock... make them drink the Kool-Aid! and if they don't...
One follower will win some sheep swag including a bookmark made from sheep poop!
one of a kind sheep desk calendar Werewolf hair moonpie blood necklace swag I Smell Sheep tattoos a stuffed sheep ornament! I am including this because it shows the awesomeness that is sheep. Thanks Diane Carlislefor reminding me of this
A deadly curse plagues a small town, melting the flesh from its victims--the violent revenge four warriors set in motion when their sacred burial grounds were disturbed for the sake of gold miners’ greed!
A new horror series written by Lance Henriksen (Millennium,Aliens, Near Dark) and Joseph Maddrey (Nightmares in Red,White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film), with art by Tom Mandrake.
* New horror series by Lance Henriksen!
Two words got me interested in this new five-part series: Lance Henriksen. I've enjoyed the heck out of his work in movies over the years, so I was keen to see what his own imagination had cooked up. "White Man's Guilt" is the title for this first issue and recounts the gold rush in the Colorado Rockies, with scores of white men tearing up the land to get at the ore, desecrating sacred burial grounds beneath their feet. I imagine Indians weren't too tickled to have a bunch of avarice goons trampling up the wilderness, but start pissing on their ancestor's graves and there's bound to be some comeuppance.
It's a ritual of atonement that's performed, four braves each shoot an arrow into the air then race down the hillside and take the hit themselves. But when the white men see the braves racing into their encampment, they panic and shoot two of the them down before the arrows can do their work, and thus a curse is put upon the land.
Jump ahead to present day and a man with the nickname Two-Dogs whose cynicism and weariness are thrown for a loop when he finds one of the two missing arrows of legend. Still, in one of his drunken hazes, he manages to plow his old pickup right into a town memorial to those old white miners and earns himself a night in the drunk tank, talking to a sheriff that bares the slightest of resemblances to Lance Henriksen himself--go figure.
The picture isn't totally clear with this story yet, not entirely sure what the stakes are with Two-Dogs finding that arrow, or what it might mean when the other is found, but the characters and folklore are depicted with all the grit and realism a reader could ask for. Mandrake's illustrations do well in capturing the feel of history and how it's dragged into the present, with a lot of really good work in contrasting light and darkness.
Henriksen and Maddrey have got something here with a lot of promise, and I'm definitely interested to see where it goes in the next issue.
Warrior is book three in The Fallen series by PNR author Kristina Douglas and was, at its heart, a meaningful story of love and adventure. Though Warrior lagged in bits I was overall entertained by the adventure and mystical angel worlds.
Every little girl imagines, now and then, that she’s a princess held captive in a tower. But Victoria Bellona is almost twenty-five. And that whole fairy-tale scenario? That’s her real life. The drop-dead gorgeous man who rescues her is no Prince Charming. He’s the gruff archangel Michael, and he insists that Tory is the Fallen’s only hope for ending Uriel’s vicious rule. She insists he’s crazy.
According to the prophecy, Michael must marry this frustrating, fascinating creature, bed her, and drink her blood. But their fate is a double-edged sword. If they give in to their urgently growing desires, Tory will die in battle. If they refuse, she will die anyway, and with her, all of mankind. Michael is determined to find another solution when a traitorous kidnapper forces him into a deadly confrontation. Even if he can save Tory from Uriel’s ruthless clutches, will they ever really be together? Or is her fatal destiny—and the world’s—written in stone?
If I had to boil Warrior down to its very bones, you would find it had some impressive shanks. While I thought the story had a little too much fat on the top, there was plenty of meat for the story which had flavor and substance.
Victoria has been bred for one thing: to either be the latest reincarnation of a goddess or be killed on her twenty-fifth birthday. So not so many balloons and cake and more ritual sacrifices. Not long before the big day an angel appears to tell her he's taking her away from the only home she's ever known, and whisking her off to a different realm to be his wedded wifey. No dinner, no dates, zip, niltch, nada. Talk about your whirlwind marriages! And does Victoria have a choice? Not really, because it's basically marriage or death. She goes with the option that lets her keep living, thank you very much!
The story then jumps into a world filled with hunky, drop-dead gorgeous angels and their mates; this is a world without the fairy dust, halos, and ponies, though, it's all about the bloody fight against evil! The hulked out warriors of this saga can absolutely hold it down on the battle front and the ladies, while not as buff, certainly have powers of their own! The action was intense and nail-biting to the very end.
The romance between our lead pair was not an issue at all for me. The characters had a nice amount of build up and romantic connection that was easy to picture. Where I have the biggest issue was the constant back and forth with Michael. One second he's saying damn all the prophecies and the next he's pushing away the gal he's clearly in lust with, and this happens repeatedly thru the story which starts to get old. I would have liked a lot less of this whole aspect and more of what was going on in the world around them.
It's a tough balance putting characters in a vivid world with complex relationships, but what lacked was vital to this story. As someone who was walking in at this point, I really needed a frame of reference to help understand what was going on. At a point, the pair take on an Alice in Wonderland type of scenario and each level that they enter into is crazy and wonderful in equal parts. I was really frustrated with the lack of information on these worlds that they visited, especially the world that was drained of color, I would have liked more details on that place.
I can imagine that future books will give way to more details, but the not knowing was what killed more of my love for these characters. Overall this is a fun book that's worth the read.
In this epic crossover with IDW, Steve Niles’s greatest characters come together in a final showdown.
Cal McDonald only wanted a beer, but what he got was a jaded federal agent and a story about vampires up in Barrow, Alaska. There’s a new vamp in LA, and he’s hell bent on escalating his attacks. When Mo’Lock’s sometimes ghoul-friend is murdered, Cal’s on the hunt . . . for Eben—the longtime protagonist/antagonist of 30 Days of Night.
* Dark Horse and IDW team up on this once-in-a-lifetime crossover!
* Covers by poster artist Justin Erickson (Rue Morgue).
“Fans of the horror genre really can’t go wrong with [30 Days of Night].”—About.com
Horror crossover of the year!
Do you know who Steve Niles is? Well, you should! He created two of the best comics out there. Criminal Macabre is a pulp-noir/crime and horror series that follows the exploits of the pill-popping, alcoholic Cal MacDonald and his straight-laced ghoul partner Mo’lock as they try to battle the forces of evil. I have reviewed several of the Criminal Macabre comics before (here) and fell in love with the troubled detective. Niles’s other famous comic, which I haven’t had a chance to read yet, is 30 Days of Night, which is about vampires that attack the small Alaskan town of Barrow. Barrow has a month of night which allows the vampires free reign. Steve Niles has written many novels and comic series for each title and 30 Days of Night was even turned into a major movie. Both titles have a large and loyal fan base and it was only a matter of time before these two worlds collided. In the last few issues of CM, Cal has discovered a war is about to be waged between the undead and humanity. In the recently ended 30DON series Eban, a once good vampire, has turned bad and is now building an army of vampires to destroy humanity. FBI agent Alice Blood is partially responsible for this turn of events and has come to Cal for help.
Criminal Macabre: Final Night #1 is the big showdown as Eban is invades L.A., pitting him against Cal. There is a lot at stake for fans in this epic battle, because there can only be one winner and losing will mean the end of a much loved series.
Final Night #1 is off to a great start. Using little detail and deep shadowing, which is a characteristic of the Criminal Macabre comics, the artist manages to capture the noir feeling but also to convey the dark humor of the series. I am not familiar with the 30 Days of Night comics but there is enough back-story included to catch me up on the motivations behind Eban’s actions. I think non-fans of either series will be able to enjoy Final Night, but there will be spoilers for the separate series if you decide to check them out.
I will be eagerly awaiting the next issue and cheering on one of my favorite comic characters.
Today we have one of my favorite authors Linda Welch. She writes The Whisperings paranormal mystery series. Book six, A Conspiracy of Demons, was recently released. Her books have a dark edge to them and most importantly our heroine, Tiff Banks, has a smoking hot partner named Royal. Linda is going to tell us the question she gets asked most and tell us a little bit about Tiff Banks.
Whether there are many people in your life, or only a few, losing one hits just as hard. An old friend is murdered, and a new friend stops by long enough to provide a listening ear where Royal and I need it most. Conducting our investigation under Provo PDs radar involves enough shenanigans to make this gal have nightmares, and that I'm a "person of interest" doesn't make it any easier.
You'll never believe where this investigation takes us. Never in a million years. Not in your wildest imagination.
Together with the High House, we uncover a plot of epic dimensions. Can we put a stop to it? When desperate times call for desperate measures, will there be casualties?
As if a major catastrophe in the making isn't enough to deal with, a conversation prompts me to relook at a decades old case closer to home. What I discover makes me face a tough decision. Do I tell the police and get myself in a heap of trouble? Do I tell the victims? Or do I let it go?
“Is that really you?”
You won’t believe how many times I was asked that question until I wrote a piece for the Indie Chicks Anthology in December, 2011, which included a picture of yours truly. After that, few people confused me with Tiff Banks, the main character in my Whisperings paranormal mystery series.
I thought an avatar of Tiff was a good promotional tool when I joined Facebook and Twitter back in 2009. She is seen from the rear, with her Scottish terrier MacKlutzy at her feet and a host of ghosts in front of her. I still use the avatar, except Tiff’s hair is now braided, whereas before it hung loose down her back. Tiff wears blue jeans, brown boots and a black sweater. Nothing sexy about that, yet some people, apparently, found it attractive. Yeah, I’m talking about men. Mostly, it was the long hair. They asked me, “Is that really you?” and “Is that really your hair?” I denied it. They didn't seem to believe me. “Your hair is beautiful,” they kept saying.
One local journalist Tweeted, “Is that really your butt?” followed by, “I find it very relaxing.” To which I replied, “Thank you. I think.”
Another Tweet simply said, “Turn around.”
Much as I would like to lay claim to a relaxing backside – or perhaps not – the avatar looks nothing like me.
Who is Tiff Banks? She carries a gun and generally hits what she aims at, but she’s no marks-woman She doesn't wear micro-skirts and midriff-revealing tops. No high heels either, because contrary to what you see on TV and the movies, running down a suspect while wearing four-inch heels will likely result in a broken ankle. Tiff wears jean, T-shirts, boots or sneakers. Not that she’s homely; at six-four, with long silver-white hair and pale skin, Tiff is a striking figure and a startling contrast to her partner. Royal Mortensen is tall, exotic and built, with long copper and gold hair, lightly burnished skin and mesmerizing copper eyes. Everything a red-blooded girl could want, except he’s not 100% human.
I don’t look like Tiff, but I could be her. Yeah, sure I could. I could talk to dead people. Though not the really grisly deaths, and talking to dead children would be hard. And living with Tiff’s dead roommates Jack and Mel would drive me crazy.
Okay, so maybe not the “talking to dead people” part. And I wouldn't like being chased by demons, or shooting bad guys, or dealing with grouchy police captain Mike Warren. And forget hiking up mountains. But Royal. . . . Ah, Royal. When the sparks fly and the heat rises, I’d happily step into Tiff’s shoes.
It goes without saying, though, that Tiff and I are alike in some ways. Her opinions on a wide range of topics are mine. We’re both impatient, and take very little at face value. Although I don’t share my home with two dead people, I know living people as irritatingly needy as Tiff’s dead roommates. We both adore food. Long years ago, my mother told me some people eat to live and others live to eat. Tiff and I are of the latter variety. I think, because I can’t indulge this particular passion and not look like a blimp, I live gratuitously through Tiff – she enjoys some yummy food in the Whisperings books.
Tiff and I love our Scottish terriers, Tiff’s feisty MacKlutzy and my Duncan. We spoil them with treats, and at the same time tell them they’re getting fat and it’s bad for them. We worry about them as a mother worries about her children.
And I admit I may be just a touch cranky until I get my first cup of coffee in the morning.
If only I had Tiff’s figure, and her hot demon partner. . . .
Please read an excerpt from Whisperings book one: Along Came a Demon.
“You have to trust me, Tiff.”
Trust him? I wanted to and had no idea why. I wanted to believe him. I wanted him to be the good guy. But was it wishful thinking because he was lip-smacking gorgeous, or did he use demon magic to sway me? Either way, trusting him was not a wise choice, not with what I knew about demons and this one in particular. And he had not said anything to persuade me he told the truth.
All I had was the word of a demon, and sorry, it was not enough.
Another silence with the clock tocking in the background and his gaze riveted to my face. I wondered what his hair would look like loose, sliding over his shoulders.
We sat and stared at each other. Don’t look in his eyes, don’t look! I told myself, but I did.
He shifted on the bed to face me, leaned in, and I thought he must hear my heartbeat. I forced my body erect, but my nipples embarrassed me by perking beneath my nightgown. Loose as it was, they still stood up like happy little mountain peaks. His gaze went to them; he very slowly arched one eyebrow.
I crossed my arms over my breasts. “Cold in here.”
Supporting himself with one hand on the mattress, he leaned in yet closer. “It must be you. I feel . . . warm.” And the bastard unfastened the top button of his shirt, then the next one down, baring a triangle of smooth, pale-copper skin, looking in my eyes all the while.
His eyes twinkled with what could be amusement.
I glared angrily, shamed by my body’s response as I realized he laughed at me. Or . . . teased? He saw my reaction and teased me? Teasing was outside my experience. Taunting, yes, teasing, no. The guy had some nerve, waltzing in here and having fun at my expense.
I thought I had learned to control my facial expression and body language long ago, but Royal Mortensen read me. What began as a muffled chuckle came from his mouth as a guffaw. I grew hot with mortification as he composed his features.
He said in a low, throaty voice, “If I can prove you’re wrong in one thing, will you listen to me?”
I hugged myself tighter, said briskly. “Tell me and I’ll think about it.”
He disarmed me with a broad smile. “I don’t have pointy teeth, Tiff.”
And he didn’t. His teeth were white and even and perfect in his delectable mouth. But that proved nothing, not when I’d already seen a demon alter his entire face. “Huh! Neat trick.”
He came in nearer. I tried to disappear in my pillows.
“Seriously. I had them capped.”
“Capped? So people like me won’t know what you are?”
“No.” This close, he smelled of sandalwood and amber. “So I can do this.” He put his hands on the sides of my face and his mouth fastened on mine.
It was deep and hungry and utterly consuming. His lips were velvet fingers, exploring mine, drawing my breath. I could have lived in his kiss for the rest of my life. When he pulled back, a little gasping puff of air escaped my mouth.
And he didn’t have pointed teeth.
Stunned. I was stunned by a kiss.
His hands still cradled my cheeks, and we gazed in each other’s eyes. The only sound was my heavy breathing and the tock of the old carriage clock on the mantle. He looked alien, with his parti-colored metallic hair and gleaming eyes, and incongruous against the backdrop of the pastel greens and fawns of my bedroom. His skin was so smooth; it had an ageless quality. And his eyes were depthless.
He let me go and sat back, and I blinked back to the here and now. He’s a demon, Tiff! I told myself. Don’t let that kiss fool you.
I licked my lips. “If I ask you to leave, will you?”
“Are you sure you want me to, Tiff?”
He dropped his chin so I couldn’t properly see his face.
“Did you really have your teeth capped so you could kiss me?” I couldn’t resist asking as he got to his feet.
His smile was slow and wicked. “Well, not you in particular.”
And then he was gone.
Damn! Nothing should be able to move so fast!
“If a man kissed me like that I’d be ripping his clothes off, not pissing him off.”
My mouth dropped open and I twisted to look at the corner of the room near the window. Mel stood against the wall next the fireplace, Jack beside her.
“What were you two in life? Peeping Toms?”
Jack pushed away from the wall. “Did you hear the one about the dead Peeping Tom?”
Linda Welch was born in Hampshire, England, and still has a British accent, as those who have heard her dulcet tones will attest. She lived in Idaho, California and New Mexico before settling in Utah. She now lives in a mountain valley, more or less halfway up the mountainside, with her husband and Scottish terrier. Unlike Tiff Banks, the heroine of Linda's Whispering series of paranormal mysteries, she is not tall and white-haired, and does not see demons. What she does see are moose, deer, raccoon, skunk, wild turkey, a huge bird population and a ridiculous amount of snow. When not writing and depending on the season, she is usually tending to the Scottie, filling the bird feeders, futilely attacking the weeds in her garden or shoveling out after a snowstorm.