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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cover Reveal: Dark Heir (Jane Yellowrock #9) by Faith Hunter

Dark Heir: A Jane Yellowrock Novel
by Faith Hunter
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Roc (April 7, 2015)

Shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is the best in the business when it comes to slaying vampires. But her latest fanged foe may be above her pay grade…

For centuries, the extremely powerful and ruthless vampire witches of the European Council have wandered the Earth, controlling governments, fostering war, creating political conflict, and often leaving absolute destruction in their wake. One of the strongest of them is set to create some havoc in the city of New Orleans, and it’s definitely personal.

Jane is tasked with tracking him down. With the help of a tech wiz and an ex-Army ranger, her partners in Yellowrock Securities, she’ll have to put everything on the line, and hope it’s enough. Things are about to get real hard in the Big Easy.

Be sure to pick up your copy of Broken Soul next week so you will be ready for Dark Heir next April!

Broken Soul (Jane Yellowrock #8) 
by Faith Hunter
October 7, 2014
amazon link

Jane Yellowrock is a vampire killer for hire—but other creatures of the night still need to watch their backs....

When the Master of the city of New Orleans asks Jane to improve security for a future visit from a delegation of European vampires, she names an exorbitant price—and Leo is willing to pay. That’s because the European vamps want Leo’s territory, and he knows that he needs Jane to prevent a total bloodbath. Leo, however, doesn’t mention how this new job will change Jane’s life or the danger it will bring her and her team.

Jane has more to worry about than some greedy vampires. There’s a vicious creature stalking the streets of New Orleans, and its agenda seems to be ripping Leo and her to pieces. Now Jane just has to figure out how to kill something she can’t even see….

Book Review: America’s Most Haunted: The Secrets of Famous Paranormal Places by Eric Olsen and Theresa Argie

America’s Most Haunted: The Secrets of Famous Paranormal Places
by Eric Olsen and Theresa Argie
Publisher: Berkley
September 30, 2014.
Throughout the United States, there are places haunted by souls both malevolent and benign. Places where paranormal activity runs rampant. Places where we can glimpse the other side…

In America’s Most Haunted, “Haunted Housewife” investigator Theresa Argie and journalist Eric Olsen team up to take you on a first-person tour of some of America’s most active paranormal hotspots.

Experience the crawl through the death tunnel where visitors have reported sightings of an inhuman creature that creeps along the walls and ceilings. Walk the decks of the Queen Mary with the hundreds of souls that met their ends in watery graves. And get to know the spirits that wait in jails, mansions, lunatic asylums, and even a stately old hotel.

Combining spine-tingling stories, documented evidence, and interviews with some of the top names in paranormal investigation—including the stars of TV’s “Ghost Hunters,” “Ghost Adventures,” and more—America’s Most Haunted gives you a terrifying chance to tour our nation’s most famous haunted places.

Are you brave enough to take a look?

As someone who writes nonfiction ghost books and investigates the paranormal, both for fun, Paranormal World Seekers, and even for my books, when I had the chance to review this book, I agreed and settled in to enjoy it, which I did.

Mr. Olsen and Ms. Argie take readers through a spooky tour of what they consider the most haunted spots in the United States. Ms. Argie has teamed with fellow Haunted Housewife Cathi Weber (both are part of a three member team based along the shores of Lake Erie in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland that has done “Paranormal Challenges” on TV) for investigations in some of these places. Like the Queen Mary in Long Beach, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia, and many of the others. Some, she has done with Mr. Olsen, like at the infamous Stanley Hotel in Colorado, the same hotel where Stephen King had written his terrifying novel, The Shining. Included also, are various interviews with people who work or live at these places, along with investigations led by Zach Baggins of Ghost Adventurers and SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, too.

Both authors draw you into these their adventures with the supernatural and whether an investigator of the paranormal or of the armchair variety, or even a skeptic, this book out just in time for Halloween and the cooler nights of autumn, will bring chills skittering up your spine and have you making sure all the lights are on in your house or apartment before you continue to read on.

I give America’s Most Haunted: The Secrets of Famous Paranormal Places 5 ghostly sheep!

Pamela Kinney

About the Authors:

Theresa Argie (the original Haunted Housewife)
Was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a wife, a mother, and ghost hunter who's focus is on the historical side of hauntings. She teamed up with para-historian Cathi "The Ghost Lady" Weber to form the dynamic "Haunted Housewives" duo. The Haunted Housewives have been featured extensively on radio and TV, including appearances on The Travel Channel, A&E, Biography, Syfy and NBC networks. Theresa's book, America's Most Haunted, was a collaboration with journalist and epic blogger Eric Olsen. Their work together as America's Most Haunted - the brand - includes a popular radio program, website, and a huge social media following.

Eric Olsen
Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen has an enviable track record of quality, leadership, influence, and success.

In 2002, Olsen founded online magazine, the multiple award‐winning "sinister cabal of superior bloggers," which he led to great heights and sold to Technorati in 2008.

Olsen then conceived and supervised the creation of a vibrant original content organization for in 2009 and 2010 before co-founding The Morton Report in 2011.

He has now flung himself into the paranormal world, is founder of the America's Most Haunted brand and co-author of the AMH book (Berkley/Penguin Sept, 2014).

Over a 30‐year media career, the proud father of four and husband of legendary blogger Dawn Olsen, has written influentially on a vast array of topics for periodicals, books, TV, radio, and the Internet.

Olsen is the principal author of Networking In the Music Industry (Rockpress, 1993), The Encyclopedia of Record Producers (Billboard Books, 1999), and co-author of America's Most Haunted (Berkley/Penguin, 2014).

Olsen founded and operated Olsen Entertainment, one of the leading DJ companies in hyper‐competitive Southern California in the '80s, established the "Cool Tunes" radio and TV brand in the '90s. Olsen was named a Trendsetter on the AlwaysOn/Technorati Open Media 100 power list in 2005, and has been a featured speaker at numerous industry events including BlogWorld and the Future of Music Coalition Summit.

Book Review: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving, William L. Hedges (Introduction)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories
by Washington Irving, William L. Hedges (Introduction)
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 1999
by Penguin Classics (first published 1819)
Originally entitled, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, this collection of essays, sketches, and tales established Washington's reputation as America's foremost professional author. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle are classics of American fiction and display Irving's ability to depict American landscapes and culture. This volume also contains a number of gently ironic pieces about life in England that reflect the author's interest in the traditions of the Old World and his longings for his home in the New.

I read both stories, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle” as a child and later, my son and I would read “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” every October until he became a teenager. It had been years since I had returned and it felt like I never left, as I came back to the familiar supernatural world of the Hudson Valley and its denizens. 

The other stories were wonderful and I can see why Washington Irving was America’s first professional writer to make his living by his pen. I enjoyed the other stories, especially “The Spectre Bridegroom.” That was another supernatural tale I remembered from my past. But it was "Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" that made me hunker down to read what I called comfort food of the fantastical. Rip Van Winkle, his wife, his dog, Ichabod Crane, Brom Bones, Katrina Van Tassel and of course, last but never least, the Headless Horseman fill my imagination as I read. I could visualize the Hudson Valley and its haunts. I bet that Edgar Allan Poe read these very same stories, giving him fuel for his own imaginative tales.

It's autumn and Halloween soon will be here. Need some good ghostly tales to while away safe and sound inside your home? Sure, go ahead and buy the latest Stephan King horror novel, but take time to check out Washington Irving first. I promise you, his Headless Horseman just may haunt your nightmares afterwards. And you will return year after year as I have. After all, we all need comfort food of the fantastical.
5 sheep

Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Wikipedia page
Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. He began his literary career at the age of nineteen by writing newspaper articles under the pseudonym, "Jonathan Oldstyle."

In 1809, he published, The History of New York, under his most well known public persona, Diedrich Knickerbocker.

Irving is best known for his short stories, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" both of which appear in his book, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. which he published in 1819.

Irving's historical works include a five volume biography of George Washington (for whom he was named after) as well as biographies of Oliver Goldsmith, Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Irving felt a strong connection to Spain and was appointed by President John Tyler to serve as the first Spanish speaking U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

Monday, September 29, 2014

38 New Releases in Speculative Fiction September 30

Here are this week's releases!

Click on the covers to be taken to the amazon page. I Smell Sheep is an affiliate of amazon and we will get a tiny percentage of each sale for advertising.

Book Review: The Original’s Return by David Watkins

Review: The Original’s Return
by David Watkins
Publisher: David Watkins (June 3, 2013)

ISBN: 978-1499280296
eBook: June 3, 2013. Print: June 6, 2014)
“He’s tearing him apart! Help us, please, God help us!” Sergeant Peter Knowles has seen it all: in Afghanistan he witnessed death on a level that no-one should walk away from. Returning to Britain, he jumps at the chance to lead a small team in Devon. The task sounds more like a holiday; exactly what Knowles and his men need. The mission: watch Jack Stadler. When the first dismembered body is found, Knowles begins to realize he has made a terrible mistake.

Jack Stadler is your typical ordinary man. He has a wife soon to give birth, is a teacher, and tries to keep in shape by running with his dog, Ginny. He loses sight of Ginny and finds her acting spooked, but in a hurry, he continues running. Suddenly, the ground gives way beneath him and he falls. Waking up later, he finds an animal bone impaling him, but there is no pain. When he yanks it free, he discovers no wound or any kind of break in his skin. He is in a cave with a stone slab with carvings, more bones of the animal, but no skull, and in a nearby dark tunnel, there are spiders that appear as he heads into it, but retreat when he heads back to where the bones are.

His phone broke in his fall, but lucky for him, someone finds the hole and gets him help, just in time for him to see the birth of his son, Josh. After leaving his wife and child at the hospital, he goes to play his guitar and drink wine. He loses consciousness and wakes up the next morning naked, his guitar in pieces, and the back door wide open. The fall down the rabbit hole doesn't stop there. He finds his dog outside, blood covering her snout and growling at him, and one of his farmer neighbor’s sheep ripped apart, eaten.

Great horror! I couldn't put the book down, not until I finished it. Jack falls down a rabbit hole of terror and finds that his life has shifted and will never be ordinary again. Worse, there are others who want him and what he has become, the British military, and a race of modern werewolves who feel that he is one of the Originals responsible for their existence. I cannot wait for the next book as the ending lays promise to that.

4 1/2 weresheep.

Pamela Kinney

About the Author:
David Watkins' bio:
David Watkins lives in Devon in the UK with his wife and two sons. He teaches Maths to teenagers by day and writes whenever the day job allows (ie not often enough). He has avidly read horror books since his teenage years and it remains a feature of the novels and stories he writes. The Original's Return is his first novel and he is currently editing his second novel whilst simultaneously writing a follow up to The Original's Return. He has published a short story "Presents of Mind" in the collection "When Red Snow Melts", which also features two stories by best-selling author Joe R. Lansdale.