Edited by Mercedes Lackey
Summary: A second anthology of new stories set in the universe of Lackey’s Elemental Masters alternate-reality Edwardian London features magically gifted individuals whose stories are loosely based on classic fairy tales and includes contributions by leading genre authors.
Contents: Fire-Water / Samuel Conway — Fire Song / Diana L. Paxson — Sails of the Armada / Kristin Schwengel — The Wild Rogue / Fiona Patton — Feathers and Foundations / Elizabeth A. Vaughan — Hearth and Family / Dayle A. Dermatis — Secret Friends / Louisa Swann — Fire’s Daughter / Elisabeth Waters — Picking Up the Pieces / Cedric Johnson — The Price of Family / Jennifer Brozek — Arms of the Sea / Tanya Huff — London Falling / Ben Ohlander — The King of the River Rats / Michele Lang — Air of Deception / Jody Lynn Nye — Fly or Fall / Stephanie Shaver — Bone Dance / Rosemary Edghill and Rebecca Fox — The Flying Contraption / Ron Collins — A Peony Amongst Roses / Gail Sanders and Michael Z. Williamson — Into the Woods / Mercedes Lackey.
Summary: With shades of Water for Elephants and True Grit , a stunning debut novel set in the Australian outback about a female horse thief, her bid for freedom, and the two men trying to capture her. It is 1921. In a mountain-locked valley, Jessie is on the run. nbsp; Born wild and brave, by twenty-six she has already lived life as a circus rider, horse and cattle rustler, and convict. But on this fateful night she is just a woman wanting to survive though there is barely any life left in her. nbsp; Two men crash through the bushland, desperate to claim the reward on her head: one her lover, the other the law. nbsp; But as it has always been for Jessie, it is death, not a man, who is her closest pursuer and companion. And while all odds are stacked against her, there is one who will never give up on her – her own child, who awaits her.
Summary: From the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo , an exciting new novel that uses the life and sudden death of Harry Houdini to weave a tale of magic, intrigue, and illusion. What is real and what is an illusion? Can you trust your memory to provide an accurate record of what has happened in your life? The Confabulist is a clever , entertaining, and suspenseful narrative that weaves together the rise and fall of world-famous Harry Houdini with the surprising story of Martin Strauss, an unknown man whose fate seems forever tied to the magician’s in a way that will ultimately startle and amaze. It is at once a vivid portrait of an alluring, late-nineteenth/early-twentieth-century world; a front-row seat to a world-class magic show; and an unexpected love story. In the end, the book is a kind of magic trick in itself: there is much more to Martin than meets the eye. Historically rich and ingeniously told, this is a novel about magic and memory, truth and illusion, and the ways that love, hope, grief, and imagination can – for better or for worse – alter what we perceive and believe.
By Terry Hayes
Summary: This astonishing debut espionage thriller depicts the collision course between two geniuses, one a tortured hero and one a determined terrorist, in a breakneck story reminiscent of John le Carré and Robert Ludlum at their finest. PILGRIM is the code name for a world class and legendary secret agent. His adversary is a man known only to the reader as the Saracen. As a young boy, the Saracen barely sees his dissident father beheaded in a Saudi Arabian public square. But the event marks him for life and creates a burning desire to destroy the special relationship between the US and the Kingdom. Everything in the Saracen’s life from this moment forward will be in service to jihad. What follows is a thriller that jockeys between astonishingly detailed character study and breakneck globetrotting. The author shifts effortlessly from Pilgrim’s hidden life of leisure in Paris to the Saracen’s squalid warrior life in Afghanistan, from the hallways of an exclusive Swiss bank to the laboratories of a nefarious biotech facility in Syria. The inevitable encounter between Pilgrim and the Saracen will come in Turkey, around the murder of a wealthy American, in a thrilling, twisting, beautifully orchestrated finale.
Summary: Thirty-year-old Max Maguire, detective with the NYPD, finds herself in France again as she is sent as a bodyguard to one of America’s most famous wine critics, who is traveling to Bordeaux, France to taste some of the most expensive wines in the world. In the tragic circumstances that follow, Max is paired once again with French examining magistrate, Olivier Chaumont, with whom she had had a fling the year before while solving a case in Champagne. In the bi-cultural duo’s pursuit of a murderer on the loose, they run headlong into a counterfeit operation that has them entering the fabulous chateaux on one side of the Atlantic, and extraordinary New York apartments, wine clubs, and auction houses on the other side as they desperately try to prevent more violence. Max and Olivier, sip fine wines and dine in fabulous restaurants as they interrogate both French and Americans, the majority of whom comprise the one percent. Readers will want to know: Will Max unite at last with her French family? Will she and Olivier heat up the night again? Will they, considering their cultural and personality differences, be able to solve the crime without wanting to kill each other?
Summary: A romance in reverse is set in Paris and London and follows an artist’s attempts to fall back in love with his wife after the end of his affair, an effort that is challenged by the sale of a personal painting and his wife’s discovery of his infidelity.
Summary: As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night. Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison. Now thirty-four, Toni, is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy–not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni’s innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni’s life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.Butnbsp;in That Night by Chevy Stevens, the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.
Summary: Allison Weiss got her happy ending – a handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you? The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all? With a sparkling comedic touch and a cast of unforgettable characters, this remarkable story of a woman’s slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner’s most masterful work yet.