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Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017

This is going to be short WIR this week as I have been a been busy reading books I can't review....or at least not yet. The Qwillery is participating in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off 3 and I am busy trying to find the next winner (I voted for the book that won the last SPFBO). I am also part of the beta review group for Michael Sullivan's third instalment of the Legend's of the First Empire Series - Age of War. It will be quite a while before I can tell you what I thought. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017
I discovered a great series of novellas from Claire North - The Gameshouse. Novella number 1 - The Serpent - is set in the 1700's in Venice and centers on Thene who was married off at the age of 15 to a drunken lout who gambles away her dowry. When she is forced to join her husband at the mysterious gambling house aptly named The Gameshouse she doesn't realise how much her life will change. The better you are at gaming the higher you rise in the leagues until you are playing a game far more sinister than you ever expected. Kings are toppled, wars are won and lives destroyed by the roll of the dice and all because of the Gameshouse.

No one really knows where the Gameshouse exists but it seems to exist outside of time and the games that are played are for higher stakes than a few coins. The way that North sets out her world inside the Gameshouse is very descriptive but she leaves enough to the readers imagination so that you can picture it in your mind. Not only is the plot compelling but the way in which North tells Thene's story is really unique. The reader is cast as an observer, following Thene throughout Vienna on her journey to win the game. Through the alleys and canals of Venice we follow Thene as she puts her pieces in play hoping that she has made the right choices. Finding out whether she wins is a nail biter. This is a fantastic read and very difficult to put down.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017
Novella 2 is The Thief which it is set in the 1930's in Thailand. It starts again, in the Gameshouse where this time Remy Burke makes a dangerous gamble. He has to play a real life game of hide and seek. If he loses the game he loses all his memories so winning is the only option. From north to south and east to west Remy travels through Thailand trying not to get caught. Whether he wins or loses is for you to find out.

Yet again, another fantastic novella by North. Despite the fact that Remy was a bit of a drunken loser he still made you want to root for him and pray that he won the game. The Gameshouse seems even more sinister in this instalment than before and seems to take on a life of it's own. This is another great (and short) read. Don't miss out.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017
Now, I feel I must apologise. I have had Urban Enemies for a few months now. It is an anthology of short stories all about the bad guys. Several popular authors contributed short stories of their favourite baddies that you love to hate including Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire and Kelly Armstrong. I have to admit I couldn't finish it! I have surprised even myself. I think the fact that Jim Butcher's contribution was the same one as in the anthology Dark and Stormy Knights (St. Martin's Griffin; July 2010) was a bit too disappointing and rather turned me off. I am not the biggest fan of short stories and when they all center around the antagonist I seemed to lose interest very quickly. Sorry!

That is it for me this week. I hope you have had productive weeks and I am looking forward to telling you about novella 3 of the Gameshouse series - The Master - next week. Until then Happy Reading!

The Serpent
The Gameshouse 1
Redhook, November 3, 2015
eBook, 100 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017
In 17th Century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse.

There, fortunes are made and fortunes are broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.

Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman, who is about to play, may just exceed everyone's expectations.

Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules . . .

The Thief
The Gameshouse 2
Redhook, November 3, 2015
eBook, 100 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017
The Gameshouse is an unusual institution.

Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost through games of chess, backgammon - every game under the sun.

But a select few, who are picked to compete in the higher league, know that some games are played for higher stakes - those of politics and empires, of economics and kings . . .

In 1930s Bangkok, one higher league player has just been challenged to a game of hide and seek. The board is all of Thailand - and the seeker may use any means possible to hunt down his quarry - be it police, government, strangers or even spies . . .

Urban Enemies
Edited by Joseph Nassise
Gallery Books, August 1, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017
Villains have all the fun—everyone knows that—and this anthology takes you on a wild ride through the dark side! The top villains from seventeen urban fantasy series get their own stories—including the baddies of New York Times bestselling authors Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, and Jonathan Maberry.

For every hero trying to save the world, there’s a villain trying to tear it all down.

In this can’t-miss anthology edited by Joseph Nassise (The Templar Chronicles), you get to plot world domination with the best of the evildoers we love to hate! This outstanding collection brings you stories told from the villains' point of view, imparting a fresh and unique take on the evil masterminds, wicked witches, and infernal personalities that skulk in the pages of today’s most popular series.

The full anthology features stories by Jim Butcher (the Dresden Files), Kelley Armstrong (Cainsville), Seanan McGuire (October Daye), Kevin Hearne (The Iron Druid Chronicles), Jonathan Maberry (Joe Ledger), Lilith Saintcrow (Jill Kismet), Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville), Joseph Nassise (Templar Chronicles), Domino Finn (Black Magic Outlaw), Steven Savile (Glasstown), Caitlin Kittredge (Hellhound Chronicles), Jeffrey Somers (The Ustari Cycle), Sam Witt (Pitchfork County), Craig Schaefer (Daniel Faust), Jon F. Merz (Lawson Vampire), Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock), and Diana Pharaoh Francis (Horngate Witches).

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

And the winners are...

Deliver Me from Temptation (Paladin Warriors 2) by Tes Hilaire - Read the Guest Blog here.

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Question:  Has there ever been a time when your creative muse abandoned you? If so, please tell us how you got out of your funk and if not, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind about me or my writing process.

SdyLion who said...

I write our annual Christmas letter every year. I was better at it in the beginning, rhyming the words and all, but now, I just tell it like it is. I feel like I am either brimming with creativity when it comes to writing, or I am just empty.

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Eyes to See (The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles 1) by Joseph Nassise - Read the Interview here.

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Question:  Where (town, city, etc.) was the last Urban Fantasy novel you read set? 

Texas Book Lover who said...

The last UF books I read were the Mercy Thompson series set in the Tr-Cities area of Washington.

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Awaken the Curse (Imnada Brotherhood eNovella) by Alexa Egan - Read the Guest Blog here.

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Question:  I'm a huge fan of e-novella prequels and e-novellas in general.  What about you?

erin who said...

Thanks for a great post and congrats to Alexa on the newest release! Sounds fantastic :)

I've actually really become a fan of prequel novellas. It gives me a taste of the world and what to expect, which is great if it's a new to me author. Plus, the pricing is pretty good and for just a dollar or two, you get almost a 1/3 of a book! Before my kindle, I'd have never searched out novellas but now that they are becoming more available, I've been gobbling them up :)

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Ghost Planet by Sharon Lynn Fisher (3 winners) - Read the Guest Blog here

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

Question:  What’s your favorite genre blend?

Rebe who said...

I love sci fi with romance, steampunk, and urban fantasy with a touch of romance (I'm a bit off PNR these days).

Winners x 4 - December 23, 2012

The winners have been notified and have until 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on December 30, 2012 to respond or The Qwillery will very randomly choose a new winner or winners.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012

Please welcome Joseph Nassise to The Qwillery. King of the Dead, the second novel in The  Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles, is published today.

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Joseph:  I don’t write my novels in order. In other words, I don’t write chapter one then chapter two then chapter three and so on. I plan extensively ahead of time, so that I know what is happening in each and every chapter and then I write whatever chapter appeals to me at the start of a writing session.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Joseph:  Most definitely a plotter. I don’t begin writing until I know exactly where the book is going to go. I find the other process unfathomable. I wouldn’t begin building a house without knowing what I want it to look like down to the last detail. I don’t see books as being any different.

TQ:   What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Joseph:  Staying focused, I guess. My attention can wander easily and it takes discipline for me to sit down and focus for several hours in a row.

TQ:  What inspired you to write the Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles?

Joseph:  I wanted to write a dark urban fantasy about ghosts essentially. I started with the character of Jeremiah Hunt and his two ghostly companions, Whisper and Scream, then worked backward from there. Once I knew how Hunt saw the ghosts that surround him, the rest of the story fell into place.

TQ:  How did you choose Jeremiah Hunt's name?

Joseph:  Just plucked it out of thin air, to be honest. That’s how all my character names come to me.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for the Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles?

Joseph:  I dug into a lot of things for the Chronicles – the history of various places, including Boston, New Orleans, and Los Angeles.; what daily life is like for the blind; ghosts and the ways to banish them, famous historical ghosts. Life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The list goes on.

TQ:  Why did you choose to write the Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles as 'hidden world' urban fantasy?

Joseph:  I wanted to examine the idea that there is another world just beyond ours, just out of reach, so to speak. Laying an otherworldly ghostly realm on top of our own allowed me to play with that concept a bit. It also helped tied the world of Jeremiah into the world of the Templar Chronicles (another series) because the two share several characters.

TQ:  You've set Eyes to See in Boston and King of the Dead in New Orleans. Why did you pick those particular cities?

Joseph:  I picked Boston because I was very familiar with the city – that’s where I grew up. Boston is a city rich in history and full of ghostly tales, so it fit very nicely into what I was looking for setting wise. I chose New Orleans because I wanted a place where there was a residue of strong emotion, as that would play a part in the plot of KING OF THE DEAD. Given everything that had happened in the city, both historically and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I thought it was an ideal location for book two.

TQ:  In the Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles so far, who was the easiest character to write and why? Hardest and why?

Joseph:  Jeremiah was the easiest, actually. His obsessive search for his daughter is something that I could understand intimately and I was able to slip into his character without difficulty in that regard. Jeremiah also happens to be the hardest character to write, because of his deep isolation and real disregard for the people around him when book one, EYES TO SEE, opens.

TQ:  Tell us something about King of the Dead (The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles 2) that is not in the book description.

Joseph:  Hmmn, let’s see. Readers will learn more about the history between Denise Clearwater and Dmitri Alexandrov before the book is over.

TQ:   Without giving anything away, what is your favorite scene (or scenes) in King of the Dead?

Joseph:  There is a scene near the end of the book that requires Hunt to carry out a single act that will have major repercussions in the future for him and those around him. I think I did a good job pulling out the emotion in that scene.

TQ:   What's next?

Joseph:  What’s next? Well Jeremiah Hunt #3 of course! I’m putting the final touches on WATCHER OF THE DARK next month and then it will be off to production. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more books featuring Jeremiah and his companions after that as well.

I’m also knee deep in a new series for HarperVoyager called The Great Undead War. It is an alternate history series set in World War One featuring steampunk and zombies. Yes, I said zombies. It has been great fun to write and I’ve just finished up book two, ON HER MAJESTY’S BEHALF, which will be out in June.

The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles

King of the Dead
The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles 2
Tor Books, November 27, 2012
Hardcover and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012
Joseph Nassise shook up the urban fantasy genre with Eyes to See, a novel New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “heartbreaking, deeply insightful, powerful and genuinely thrilling.” In a devil’s deal, Jeremiah Hunt sacrificed his human sight in exchange for the power to see the hidden world of ghosts and all of the darker spirits that prowl the streets. Hunt uncovered a world of murder and magic that took his daughter from him and nearly cost him his life, but that was only the beginning....

Now Hunt is on the run from the FBI, who have pegged him as a mass-murdering dark sorcerer. His flight from the law is diverted to New Orleans when his companion, a potent witch, has a horrific vision of the city under magical siege. When they arrive, they realize that the situation is more dire than they could have imagined: the world of the living faces a terrifying attack by forces from beyond the grave. King of the Dead, the second book in this groundbreaking series, promises more of Nassise’s electrifying writing that will enthrall readers looking for a supercharged, supernatural thrill.

Eyes to See
The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles 1
Tor Books, June 26, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
Hardcover (October 2011)

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012
In Joseph Nassise's Eyes to See, an urban fantasy that charts daring new territory in the field, Jeremiah Hunt has been broken by a malevolent force that has taken his young daughter and everything else of value in his life: his marriage, his career, his reputation. Desperate to reclaim what he has lost, Hunt finally turns to the supernatural for justice.

Abandoning all hope for a normal life, he enters the world of ghosts and even more dangerous entities from beyond the grave. Sacrificing his normal sight so that he can see the souls of the dead and the powers that stalk his worst nightmares, Hunt embarks upon a strange new career—a pariah among the living; a scourge among the dead; doomed to walk between the light of day and the deepest darkness beyond night.

His love for his departed daughter sustains him when all is most hopeless, but Hunt is cursed by something more evil than he can possibly imagine. As he descends into the maelstrom of his terrifying quest, he discovers that even his deepest fears are but prelude to yet darker deeds by a powerful entity from beyond the grave…that will not let him go until it has used him for its own nefarious purposes.

The Great Undead War

By the Blood of Heroes
The Great Undead War 1
HarperVoyager, May 1, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012
Train them . . . Arm them . . . Then turn them loose on the zombies!

At the tail end of 1917, the Germans introduced a new type of gas to the battlefield, T-Leiche, or "corpse gas," and changed the face of the war by resurrecting the bodies of the dead, giving the enemy an almost unlimited source of fresh troops.

When the American ace Major Jack Freeman—poster boy for the war against the Kaiser's undead army of shamblers—is downed over enemy lines and taken captive, veteran Captain Michael "Madman" Burke is the only man brave and foolish enough to accept the mission to recover Freeman. Burke assembles a team of disparate members, from his right-hand man, Sergeant Moore, to big-game-hunter-turned-soldier Clayton Manning, who funds the mission for an opportunity to confront this most dangerous zombie game, to professor Dan Richards, one of Tesla's top men and the resident authority on all things supernatural. With the help of a highly advanced British dirigible war machine to infiltrate enemy territory, the team faces incredible danger as it struggles to reach the prison camp and strike at the heart of the enemy.

But they are pitted against the most deadly enemy of all: Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. Having risen from the dead with his abilities enhanced but his mind on the brink of madness, Richthofen has plans for victory that give no quarter to soldiers or civilians.

The Sharp End
A Great Undead War Story
Harbinger Books, April 23, 2012
eBook, 47 pages

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012
March 1921. The War to End All Wars continues, with no foreseeable end in sight. The Central Powers control most of Europe, with only a thin stretch of French coastline still in Allied hands. A beleaguered Britain fights resolutely on, but everyone knows that without the continued support of the United States it would fall within weeks. Even that may not be enough to defeat the brilliance of the Central Powers’ scientists and the advantages their weird science gives to their troops as wave after wave of zombie troops are sent against the Allied front lines...

On May 1st, 2012 HarperVoyager will publish BY THE BLOOD OF HEROES, the first book in the new zombie steampunk alternate history series known as The Great Undead War by internationally bestselling author Joseph Nassise.

Here, for the first time, is the story behind the story. Follow the hero of The Great Undead War series, Captain Michael "Madman" Burke, leader of Burke's Marauders, in the early days of the war, when the Germans are just beginning their field tests of a new weapon.

A weapon that will eventually come to change the face of the war itself, that will resurrect the bodies of the dead, both friend and foe alike, and turn them into flesh-eating monsters. A weapon that will come to be known as corpse gas.

About Joseph

Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012
Joseph is the author of more than a dozen novels, including the internationally bestselling TEMPLAR CHRONICLES series, the JEREMIAH HUNT trilogy, and the forthcoming GREAT UNDEAD WAR series. He's also written several books in the popular Rogue Angel action-adventure series.

His work has been nominated for both the Bram Stoker Award and the International Horror Guild Award and been translated into half a dozen languages to date. He has written for both the comic and role-playing game industries and also served two terms as president of the Horror Writers Association, the world’s largest organization of professional horror and dark fantasy writers.

Website : Twitter : Facebook


What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Eyes to See (The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicles 1) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question: 

Where (town, city, etc.) was the last Urban Fantasy novel you read set? 

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Melanie's Week in Review - August 6, 2017Review: Midian Unmade: Tales of Clive Barker's Nightbreed edited by Joseph Nassise and Del Howison - and GiveawayWinners x 4 - December 23, 2012Interview with Joseph Nassise, author of The Jermiah Hunt Chronicles, and Giveaway - November 27, 2012

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