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Oh, This Book, This Book, This Book! Garden of Darkness by Gillian Murray Kendall

“Oh, this book. This book, this book, this book. Post-apocalyptic YA is usually just something I read for funsies, but I had to stay up last night until I’d finished this one. It wasn’t the story–kids survive in a world where disease has wiped out all of the adults–but the writing. Most YA uses fairly simple, straightforward prose in telling its story, with the occasional descriptive passage used to point to something that will be Very Important to the Plot. This book, however, seemed to relish language; to use it to full effect to build mood and character. Every character had a distinctive voice, a distinctive way of speaking, which made them clear on the page. Each change of circumstance was rendered clearly, with the panic of the early part of the book giving way to the fear and loneliness of the middle, then on to the companionship, love and hope of the latter part. I really wish I could explain this better or that I had been smart enough to copy down some of the phrases and sentences that particularly stood out for me, but, alas, no. I will say, though, if you haven’t read it yet, to give it a try when you have a chance. Like I said, there’s nothing earth-shatteringly original about the plot, but the writing itself elevates this book far above the rest of the heaping pile of post-apocalyptic YA.” Billie Bloebaum, Powell’s @ PDX

The Garden of Darkness explores the journey of four children who, after surviving a disease that seems to infect all but one adult, hope to find meaning by joining forces with this sole remaining grownup — who says he possesses a cure. These children discover, however, that the greatest meaning of all lies in the friendships they forge during the journey itself. This groundbreaking Young Adult novel—shaded with despair like that in The Road and hope and renewal like that found in The Hunger Games— shows the courage, tenacity and, finally, love necessary to create a new world from the ashes of the old.

Their families dead from the pandemic SitkaAZ13, known as “Pest,” 15-year-old cheerleader Clare and 13-year-old chess club member Jem, an unlikely pair, are thrown together and realize that, if either of them wishes to reach adulthood, they must find a cure. A shadowy adult broadcasting on the radio to all orphaned children promises just that—to cure children once they grow into Pest, then to feed them and to care for them.
Or does this adult have something else in mind?

Against a hostile landscape of rotting cities and of a countryside infected by corpses and roamed by voracious diseased survivors, Jem and Clare make their bid for life and, with their group of fellow child-travelers growing, embark on a journey to find the grownup they believe holds the cure. Their only weapon is Clare’s dog, Bear.
But Clare and Jem, as well as their followers, are hampered by the knowledge that everything in this new child-led world had become suspect—the love of diseased adults, alliances, trust, hope. As Clare and Jem learn to stitch wounds, skin deer and survive in the ashes of the old world perhaps it is no surprise that they begin to find that friendship is as redemptive as anything they seek—that friendship has its own kind of healing power. And, at the end of their journey, in the face of the ultimate betrayal, they discover that out of friendship can come love.

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Kim Harrison’s “Undead Pool” Hits #1 on New York Times Bestseller List

Kim Harrison returns to the supernatural adventures of Rachel Morgan in The Undead Pool, the penultimate book of Kim Harrison’s bestselling Hollows series. And today it achieves the pinnacle of success in the book industry, the #1 position on the New York Times bestseller list, beating out Janet Evanovich, James Patterson, J. D. Robb (Nora Roberts) and Donna Tartt, author of The Goldfinch.

HARDCOVER FICTION

THE UNDEAD POOL, by Kim Harrison
THE GOLDFINCH, by Donna Tartt
THE CHASE, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
PRIVATE L.A., by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
CONCEALED IN DEATH, by J. D. Robb

In The Undead Pool, Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan knows magic—earth, ley line, even the forbidden demon magic—and that knowledge has saved her life more than once. But now something—or someone—is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong while living vampires attack humans and Inderlanders alike.

The pressures build when the city is quarantined to contain the unreliable magic, and Rachel must stop the attacks before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and it becomes all-out supernatural war.

The only way to do so is through the ancient elven magic, but that carries its own perils—for magic always has a price, and gods do not come lightly when called.

Keep an eye out for news of the climactic 13th book of the Hollows series.

Kim Harrison is represented by Richard Curtis Associates.

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OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA ACQUIRES E-READS

Open Road Integrated Media has acquired E-Reads, it was announced today jointly by E-Reads CEO Richard Curtis and Open Road CEO Jane Friedman.

E-Reads and Open Road, founded ten years apart, share the same passion for the power of digital publishing.

E-Reads was founded in 1999, at the dawn of the digital era. The company is the oldest independent digital publisher in the field and was built to create an ebook market for authors.

Open Road was founded in 2009, just as the ebook market was about to explode. The company was built from the ground up to bring the greats back to life through digital publishing and marketing. Using cutting-edge technology, Open Road connects authors and readers like never before. This is why we are so excited to announce Open Road’s acquisition of E-Reads, uniting the oldest ebook publisher with the largest.

Open Road will bring all of its marketing power to E-Reads’ 1,200+ titles, a majority of which are science fiction and fantasy and also span the romance, mystery, and thriller genres. These incredible books by authors like Dan Simmons, Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, John Norman, Aaron Elkins, Laura Kinsale, and Ray Garton join Open Road’s more than 4,000 titles, adding to its growing genre list.

See the official announcement below for more information on our exciting news.

Thank you for joining us on the Open Road,

Richard Curtis and Jane Friedman
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OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA ACQUIRES E-READS

E-Reads’ 1,200+ Titles to Be Published and Marketed by Open Road,
Uniting Oldest Independent Ebook Publisher with Largest

Superstars Dan Simmons, Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, John Norman (Science Fiction and Fantasy), Aaron Elkins, Barbara Parker (Mystery),
Laura Kinsale (Romance), and Ray Garton (Horror)
Add to Open Road’s Growing Genre List

(New York, NY, February 10th, 2014) – Open Road Integrated Media, the largest independent ebook publisher, announced today that it has acquired E-Reads, the oldest independent ebook publisher in the field. E-Reads’ more than 1,200 titles, a majority of which are science fiction and fantasy and also span the mystery, thriller, romance, and horror genres, will now be published by Open Road and marketed through the company’s proprietary platform. E-Reads founder Richard Curtis will consult with Open Road during the transition.

“E-Reads has proven to be as successful as I envisioned when I founded the company in 1999,” says Richard Curtis. “However, as I recently surveyed the state of the industry, it became apparent that it was time to seek an alliance with a company with greater resources, particularly in the all-important area of marketing. I am confident that Open Road will afford all of our books the best opportunity to realize their full potential in a competitive, ever-changing, and increasingly crowded marketplace, and I look forward to playing a role in the integration of these two great firms.”

“E-Reads is one of the publishing industry’s pioneering companies, and it shares Open Road’s passion for the digital future,” says Open Road cofounder and CEO Jane Friedman. “Richard Curtis has built an incredible catalog filled with beloved and bestselling authors, and we are excited to welcome them to the Open Road family as we bring all of our resources to connecting them with readers around the world.”

E-Reads’ catalog spans multiple genres, with a focus on science fiction and fantasy authors including Harlan Ellison, Greg Bear, John Norman, Dave Duncan, Dan Simmons, Brian Aldiss, and Robert Sheckley; mystery bestsellers including Aaron Elkins and Barbara Parker; romance star Laura Kinsale; and horror master Ray Garton, who will now join Open Road’s growing list of genre greats.

Open Road launched as a literary publisher (Mary McCarthy, William Styron, Sherman Alexie, Michael Chabon) and has since expanded into additional genres including science fiction and fantasy (Octavia E. Butler, Theodore Sturgeon), mystery (Carl Hiaasen, Dorothy L. Sayers), and romance (Heather Graham, Amanda Scott), among many others.

This acquisition unites the oldest independent ebook publisher in the field with the largest. E-Reads was founded by Richard Curtis in 1999, at the beginning of the ebook era. Open Road Integrated Media, cofounded by Jane Friedman in 2009, published its first ebook in 2010 and has since grown to become the largest independent ebook publisher, with more than 4,000 titles.

Chris Davis, Open Road COO, led the negotiations on behalf of Open Road. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close on April 1, were not disclosed.

After the closing, the E-Reads website will be taken down and its titles will be featured on Open Road’s website (http://www.openroadmedia.com/), with links to all major e-tailers.

About Open Road
Open Road Integrated Media is a digital publisher and multimedia content company. Open Road creates connections between authors and their audiences by marketing its ebooks through a new proprietary online platform, which uses premium video content and social media. Open Road has published ebooks from legendary authors including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, James Jones, and Pearl S. Buck.

About E-Reads
Founded in 1999, at the dawn of the ebook era, E-Reads is the oldest independent digital publisher in the field and an innovative leader in the modern book industry.

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Harlan Ellison Opens The Cartons and….

E-Reads has issued a handsome matched collection of over thirty major works by multiple award winning fantasist Harlan Ellison.

Over the course of his legendary career, Ellison has defined–and defied–modern fantasy literature, yet has refused to allow any genre to claim him. A Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association, and winner of countless awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker, Ellison is as unpredictable as he is unique, irrepressible as he is infuriating.

E-Reads is proud to publish over thirty titles in Ellison’s brilliant catalog, now available in this elegant new package. Included are such deathless works as Shatterday, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Strange Wine and Deathbird stories. For the complete list visit his author page.

Here’s an entertaining video of Harlan “discovering” the books on his doorstep…

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Christmas Gift for Him? Solved!

Though we’re not prophets we can safely predict that you’re intensely involved in filling out your holiday gift list.  We can also predict that for your your favorite males, many of whom seem to have everything, you will be thrilled to find the ideal gift in your local bookstore or online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It’s The Oxford Companion to Beer by Garrett Oliver, arguably the world’s authority on the beverage.

Here is Oxford University Press’s product description for the book:

For millennia, beer has been a favorite beverage in cultures across the globe. After water and tea, it is the most popular drink in the world, and it is at the center of a $450 billion industry.

The first major reference work to investigate the history and vast scope of beer, The Oxford Companion to Beer features more than 1,100 A-Z entries written by 166 of the world’s most prominent beer experts. Attractively illustrated with over 140 images, the book covers everything from the agricultural makeup of various beers to the technical elements of the brewing process, local effects of brewing on regions around the world, and the social and political implications of sharing a beer. Entries not only define terms such as “dry hopping” and “cask conditioning” but give fascinating details about how these and other techniques affect a beer’s taste, texture, and popularity. Cultural entries shed light on such topics as pub games, food pairings and the development of beer styles. Readers will enjoy vivid accounts of how our drinking traditions have changed throughout history, and how these traditions vary in different parts of the world, from Japan to Mexico, New Zealand, and Brazil, among many other countries. The pioneers of beer-making are the subjects of biographical entries, and the legacies these pioneers have left behind, in the form of the world’s most popular beers and breweries, are recurrent themes throughout the book.

Packed with information, this comprehensive resource also includes thorough appendices (covering beer festivals, beer magazines, and more), conversion tables, and an index. Featuring a foreword by Tom Colicchio, this book is the perfect shelf-mate to Oxford’s renowned Companion to Wine and an absolutely indispensable volume for everyone who loves beer as well as all beverage professionals, including home brewers, restaurateurs, journalists, cooking school instructors, beer importers, distributors, and retailers, and a host of others.

Garrett Oliver is the Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and author of The Brewmaster’s Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food. He has won many awards for his beers, is a frequent judge for international beer competitions, and has made numerous radio and television appearances as a spokesperson for craft brewing.

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Nightmare at 28,000 Feet – Dan Simmons’ “The Abominable” Published Today

The latest thriller by Dan Simmons, The Abominable, released today, is being hailed as one of the most exciting adventure novels in decades. If you think that’s hyperbole, check out this review, calling the book “the climb of your life” and  “amongst the best of books.”

What’s it about? Booklist captures the story best:

Simmons, in this thematic cousin to The Terror (2007), once more plunges into a storm of snow and ice, this time tackling no less than Everest. It’s 1924, and a trio of rogue climbers—mysterious WWI vet Deacon; emotional Frenchman Jean-Claude; and our narrator, brash young American Jacob—are hired to find the corpse of a dignitary lost on Everest. While they’re there, they go for the legendary summit. Right away, there’s a complication: a fourth team member, the dead man’s cousin—and a woman, no less! But it’s the subsequent complications that make this required reading for anyone inspired or terrified by high-altitude acrobatics: sudden avalanches, hidden crevasses, murderous temperatures, mountainside betrayals, and maybe—just maybe—a pack of bloodthirsty yeti. Though the first 200 pages of climbing background might have readers pining for the big climb, it is nearly always interesting, and, later, Simmons excels at those small but full-throated moments of terror when, for example, a single bent screw might mean death for everyone. Exhausting in all the best ways; maybe read this while it’s still warm out? –Daniel Kraus

Here’s how a movie industry newsletter summarized The Abominable:

Three climbers set out to discover the truth behind a series of mysterious 1924 disappearances on Everest. Deep in Tibet, the climbers – joined by a missing boy’s female cousin – find themselves being pursued through the night by someone… or something. It’s a nightmare at 28,000 feet. As they fight their way to the top of the world, the friends uncover a secret far more abominable than any mythical creature.

Simmons is represented by Richard Curtis Associates.

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Karen Chance’s Latest Cassie Lands on NYT Bestseller List

Tempt the Stars, Karen Chance’s latest Cassandra Palmer fantasy thriller has launched on the bestseller list.

Being a goddess is a lot less fun than you might think. Especially when you’re only a half goddess, and you only found out about it recently, and you still don’t know what you’re doing half the time. And when you’ve just used your not-so-reliable powers to burglarize the booby-trapped office of a vampire mob boss.

Yeah, that part sucks.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cassandra Palmer, aka the Pythia, the freshly minted chief seer of the supernatural world. After all, Cassie still has to save a friend from a fate worse than death, deal with an increasingly possessive master vampire, and prevent a party of her own acolytes from unleashing a storm of fury upon the world. Totally just your average day at the office, right?

Haven’t read Karen’s earlier Cassies or met Dorina, her other glorious heroine? Visit her website and see what you’ve been missing.

Karen Chance is represented by Richard Curtis Associates.

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Caesar the War Dog Wins Hearts – and Breaks Them, Too

From a Smart Books for Smart Kids review of Caesar the War Dog, the first novel in Stephen Dando-Collins’s hit children series launched by Random House Australia:

This is the story of a single father, named Ben Fulton, who is a dog handler in the Australian Army. After his military dog dies, Ben must find a replacement to train to be an Explosive Detection Dog (EDD). When Ben visits a kennel where dogs are housed that have been given obedience training for the military, he takes a liking to a funny-looking chocolate-brown labrador, named Caesar, with a snout swollen from fresh bee stings. The kennel manager warns Ben that Caesar would not be a good war dog, because he’s a relentless digger. But Ben sees something special in Caesar and decides to take him home and train him.

Before long the two are called to active duty in Afghanistan, where Caesar quickly proves to be a most valuable team member, locating explosives in unusual places and saving lives. One fateful day under Taliban gunfire, Ben and some of his fellow soldiers are injured, separated from Caesar. and are sent back to Australia to recover. To Ben’s dismay, no one can locate Caesar, and his whereabouts remain a great mystery, deeply saddening Ben. What happens after that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Although Ben doesn’t know where Caesar is, you the reader will, and along with this four-legged hero, you’ll venture on a journey of admiration, despair, sadness, hope and joy.

“…those who don’t have dogs of their own, don’t appreciate the bond that exists between an EDD and his handler.”

Based Upon Real Life Dog (and Human) Stories

The author is represented by Richard Curtis Associates.

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Fleeing the Inquisitors: “Darkbeast” Sequel Takes Its Young Heroine to a Dark Place

In Darkbeast, author Morgan Keyes introduced the young heroine Keara whose questions about the repressive society she lived in got her into mortal danger. Now on the run with her “darkbeast” Caw, she has discovered other rebellious souls like herself.  Whether they can be trusted is the story of Darkbeast Rebellion, just published.

Betrayal threatens everything Keara dreams of in this fast-paced, exciting sequel to Darkbeast.

Keara, her friend Goran, and the wily old actor, Taggart, are fleeing for their lives. They have all spared their darkbeasts, the creatures that take on their darker deeds and emotions and lift their spirits. But their actions defy the law, which dictates that all citizens must kill their darkbeasts on their twelfth birthdays.

There are rumors of safe havens, groups of people called Darkers who spared their darkbeasts and live outside the law. To find the Darkers, the trio must embark on a dangerous journey—and evade the Inquisitors who are searching for them everywhere. In the middle of winter, freezing and exhausted, Keara and her companions are taken to an underground encampment that seems the answer to all their hopes. But are these Darkers really what they appear to be?

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First Volume of Dave Duncan’s New Fantasy Duet Released by 47North

With Dave Duncan’s King of Swords, 47North releases the first volume of Starfolk, a fantasy duet of breathtaking beauty and complexity. But Duncan’s hallmark swashbuckle makes King of Swords as exciting to read as it is elegant.

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Rigel has always known he is not quite human, but the only clue to his origin is the otherworldly bracelet he has worn since childhood.

His search for his parentage leads him to the Starlands, where reality and fantasy have changed places. There he learns that he is a human-starborn cross, and his bracelet is the legendary magical amulet Saiph, which makes its wearer an unbeatable swordsman. Fighting off monsters, battling a gang of assassins seeking to kill him, Rigel finds honorable employment as a hero. He knows that he must die very soon if he remains in the Starlands, but he has fallen hopelessly in love with a princess and cannot abandon her.

Through the imaginative landscape of the Starlands, Rigel’s quest leads him to encounter minotaurs, sphinxes, cyclops, and more fearsome creatures in Dave Duncan’s latest fantasy series.

Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King’s Blades. E-Reads carries these among its 31 vintage backlist Duncan titles. Visit his author page to see them on display. And check out Duncan’s blog and webpage: www.daveduncan.com

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