Deadmen Walking - Tor/Forge Blog

Spring Into eBook Sales: March 2023!

Spring Into eBook Sales: March 2023!

“March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” or so sayeth the sages of yore regarding March weather. Not so with our eBook deals. We’ve got a whole pride of lion-tier eBook deals! For the rest of March, we’re proud to present great books at steep discounts in digital format 😎

Check it out!

Unconquerable SunPlaceholder of  -62 by Kate Elliott — $2.99

Princess Sun has finally come of age. Growing up in the shadow of her mother, Eirene, has been no easy task. The legendary queen-marshal did what everyone thought impossible: expel the invaders and build Chaonia into a magnificent republic, one to be respected—and feared. But the cutthroat ambassador corps and conniving noble houses have never ceased to scheme—and they have plans that need Sun to be removed as heir, or better yet, dead. To survive, the princess must rely on her wits and companions: her biggest rival, her secret lover, and a dangerous prisoner of war. Take the brilliance and cunning courage of Princess Leia—add in a dazzling futuristic setting where pop culture and propaganda are one and the same—and hold on tight.

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Attack SurfaceImage Place holder  of - 51 by Cory Doctorow — $2.99

Most days, Masha Maximow was sure she’d chosen the winning side. In her day job as a counterterrorism wizard for an transnational cybersecurity firm, she made the hacks that allowed repressive regimes to spy on dissidents, and manipulate their every move. The perks were fantastic, and the pay was obscene. Just for fun, and to piss off her masters, Masha sometimes used her mad skills to help those same troublemakers evade detection, if their cause was just. It was a dangerous game and a hell of a rush. But seriously self-destructive. And unsustainable. When her targets were strangers in faraway police states, it was easy to compartmentalize, to ignore the collateral damage of murder, rape, and torture. But when it hits close to home, and the hacks and exploits she’s devised are directed at her friends and family, Masha realizes she has to choose. And whatever choice she makes, someone is going to get hurt.

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Deadmen WalkingPlace holder  of - 34 by Sherrilyn Kenyon — $3.99

Deadmen tell their tales . . .To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane– an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn– an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms. But things are never so simple….

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A Queen in HidingPoster Placeholder of - 45 by Sarah Kozloff — $3.99

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cerulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be. But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

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ImagerImage Placeholder of - 18 by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. — $3.99

Rhennthyl, son of a leading wool merchant in L’Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, has his entire life transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire, and Rhenn discovers he is an imager–-one of the few in the entire world of Terahnar who can visualize things and make them real.

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Vallista by Steven Brust — $2.99

Vlad Taltos is an Easterner—an underprivileged human in an Empire of tall, powerful, long-lived Dragaerans. He made a career for himself in House Jhereg, the Dragaeran clan in charge of the Empire’s organized crime. But the day came when the Jhereg wanted Vlad dead, and he’s been on the run ever since. He has plenty of friends among the Dragaeran highborn, including an undead wizard and a god or two. But as long as the Jhereg have a price on his head, Vlad’s life is…messy. Meanwhile, for years, Vlad’s path has been repeatedly crossed by Devera, a small Dragaeran girl of indeterminate powers who turns up at the oddest moments in his life. Now Devera has appeared again—to lead Vlad into a mysterious, seemingly empty manor overlooking the Great Sea.

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Empire Games by Charlie Stross — $3.99

The year is 2020. It’s seventeen years since the Revolution overthrew the last king of the New British Empire, and the newly-reconstituted North American Commonwealth is developing rapidly, on course to defeat the French and bring democracy to a troubled world. But Miriam Burgeson, commissioner in charge of the shadowy Ministry of Intertemporal Research and Intelligence—the paratime espionage agency tasked with catalyzing the Commonwealth’s great leap forward—has a problem. For years, she’s warned everyone: “The Americans are coming.” Now their drones arrive in the middle of a succession crisis. In another timeline, the U.S. has recruited Miriam’s own estranged daughter to spy across timelines in order to bring down any remaining world-walkers who might threaten national security. Two nuclear superpowers are set on a collision course. Two increasingly desperate paratime espionage agencies try to find a solution to the first contact problem that doesn’t result in a nuclear holocaust. And two women—a mother and her long-lost daughter—are about to find themselves on opposite sides of the confrontation.

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Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton — $3.99

With the dragons believed dead, the kingdom had no more need for dragonslayers. Drunk, disgraced, and all but forgotten, Guillot has long since left his days of heroism behind him. As forgotten places are disturbed in the quest for power, and things long dormant awaken, the kingdom finds itself in need of a dragonslayer once again, and Guillot is the only one left…

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Dancer’s Lament by Ian C. Esslemont — $3.99

Ian C. Esslemont’s prequel trilogy takes readers deeper into the politics and intrigue of the New York Times bestselling Malazan Empire. The first book of the Path to Ascendancy trilogy, Dancer’s Lament, focuses on the genesis of the empire and features Dancer, the skilled assassin, who, alongside the mage Kellanved, would found the Malazan empire.

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Child of a Mad Godimage alt text by R.A. Salvatore — $3.99

When Aoleyn loses her parents, she is left to fend for herself among a tribe of vicious barbarians. Bound by rigid traditions, she dreams of escaping to the world beyond her mountain home. The only hope for achieving the kind of freedom she searches for is to learn how to wield the mysterious power used by the tribe’s coven known as the Song of Usgar. Thankfully, Aoleyn may be the strongest witch to have ever lived, but magic comes at price. Not only has her abilities caught the eye of the brutish warlord that leads the tribe, but the demon of the mountain hunts all who wield the Coven’s power, and Aoleyn’s talent has made her a beacon in the night.

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Without Honoralt image text by David Hagberg — $3.99

When Aoleyn loses her parents, she is left to fend for herself among a tribe of vicious barbarians. Bound by rigid traditions, she dreams of escaping to the world beyond her mountain home. The only hope for achieving the kind of freedom she searches for is to learn how to wield the mysterious power used by the tribe’s coven known as the Song of Usgar. Thankfully, Aoleyn may be the strongest witch to have ever lived, but magic comes at price. Not only has her abilities caught the eye of the brutish warlord that leads the tribe, but the demon of the mountain hunts all who wield the Coven’s power, and Aoleyn’s talent has made her a beacon in the night.

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$2.99 ebook Sale: June 22-28

$2.99 ebook Sale: June 22-28

$2.99 ebook Sale: June 22-28

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We have a VERY exciting ebook sale this week for some of our bestselling titles—are you ready? Check out what books you can snag for only $2.99 below:

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

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Image Place holder  of - 91Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Deadmen Walking is the first historical fantasy title in New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadman’s Cross series. It is a tale of passion and loss, emotions that wound and heal…and ultimate redemption

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Place holder  of - 35The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz

Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine as war breaks out across the timeline–a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline?

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Placeholder of  -98Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.

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Poster Placeholder of - 7Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

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The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

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Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this new book, card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean–the one who became Ender’s right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers.

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The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin

When the inhabitants of a peaceful world are conquered by the bloodthirsty yumens, their existence is irrevocably altered. Forced into servitude, the Athsheans find themselves at the mercy of their brutal masters. Desperation causes the Athsheans, led by Selver, to retaliate against their captors, abandoning their strictures against violence. But in defending their lives, they have endangered the very foundations of their society.

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The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

A war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

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The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

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The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

Elma York’s experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon, as a calculator. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too. Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions of society may not stand a chance against her.

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All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological startup go to war in order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart. To further complicate things, each of the groups’ most promising followers (Patricia, a brilliant witch and Laurence, an engineering “wunderkind”) may just be in love with each other. Laurence and Patricia are forced to choose sides, but their choices will determine the fate of the planet and all mankind.

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Meet the #FearlessWomen: Cameron Jack from Death Doesn’t Bargain

Meet the #FearlessWomen: Cameron Jack from Death Doesn’t Bargain

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Never be beholden.

It’s the first lesson Cameron Jack remembers her parents teaching her and her brother Paden. A lesson she and Paden continued to follow after their parents died, leaving them to fend for themselves at a young age in a dangerous world. As a young woman, Cameron got a job in a tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she stayed while her brother went to sea.

In Deadmen Walking, Paden’s ship goes down with him on board, leaving both Cameron and Paden’s love, Lettice, devastated. But things aren’t always as they seem, as Cameron discovers when Paden sends her a mysterious package—after he’s supposed to have died. Luckily for Paden, Cameron is smart and determined, and she sets her sights on finding her brother, and rescuing him if necessary. This path leads her to Devyl Bane and his motley crew of Deadmen. It takes evil to fight evil, and Bane and his crew do their best to return the damned to hell before they can overrun the world.

Cameron’s life has never been easy, but deep down, she’s a kind, decent person. Despite this, she finds herself beginning to fit in with Devyl’s crew of reprobates. She’s particularly drawn to Kalder Dupree, a Myrcian warrior who’s as mercenary as you can get. As for Kalder…he’s never had a true family before becoming a part of Devyl’s crew. His own mother murdered him. But once he meets Cameron, he’ll do anything to protect her. Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad things in the world coming for her, due to her recently discovered Seraph blood. Even now, Cameron has no idea how truly dangerous it is to be descended from angels—both for her, and for the world.

But that’s not really Cameron’s concern right now. Cameron’s focus is on Kalder. Because for the first time in her life, Cameron is beholden. She owes her life to the stubborn, probably insane Kalder. Luckily, there’s a whole lot more to Cameron Jack than you’d expect—even more than she suspects, even. Because in Death Doesn’t Bargain, Cameron and the crew of the Sea Witch will challenge demons, gods, and even death itself to get back the ruthless warrior who sacrificed himself for her. Cameron Jack won’t rest until she rescues Kalder, and she’s got a lot of angry Deadmen determined to help her do it.

Order Your Copy

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Fantasy Firsts Sweepstakes

Fantasy Firsts Sweepstakes

It’s November, which means we are entering the last month of our Fantasy Firsts program. We wanted to say thank you with a special sweepstakes, featuring ALL the titles we highlighted this past year. That’s 40 fantastic reads from 40 different series to add to your TBR stack! Plus, we’re including an added bonus: two sandblasted book dragon mugs, so you can enjoy your coffee or tea in style while you read.

Sign up for a chance to win:

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Fantasy Firsts Sweepstakes


  1. ELIGIBILITY: The Fantasy Firsts Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes“) is open only to persons who as of the date of entry (and, if a winner, as of the date of prize fulfillment) are a legal resident of the 50 United States, District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec) and who are 13 years of age or older. We are sorry for the geographic restrictions, unfortunately it is required for various legal reasons. Persons who as of the date of entry (and, if a winner, as of the date of prize fulfillment) are an employee of Tom Doherty Associates (“Sponsor“) or any of Sponsor’s Affiliates (as defined in Section 5), and members of the immediate family or household (whether or not related) of any such employee, are not eligible. Eligibility determinations will be made by Sponsor in its discretion and will be final and binding. U.S. law governs this Sweepstakes. Void in Quebec and where prohibited by law.
  1. HOW TO ENTER: The entry period for the Sweepstakes begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 and continues through 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, November 19, 2017 (the “Entry Period“). No purchase is necessary. Any entrant who is under 18 years of age or otherwise under the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which the entrant resides (a “Minor“) must obtain permission to enter from his or her parent or legal guardian, and the agreement of the parent or legal guardian to these Official Rules, prior to entry. To enter the Sweepstakes, during the Entry Period, entrants must access, complete and submit the Sweepstakes entry form (which will require entrant to submit his or her e-mail address and such other information as Sponsor may require), found in entrant’s Facebook newsfeed or alternatively by visiting Sponsor’s website located at (the “Website”) and following the on screen entry instructions. The Facebook entry form may be pre-filled with information provided by the Facebook platform. There is a limit of one entry per person and per email address. All entries must be completed and received by Sponsor prior to the conclusion of the Entry Period. Entry times will be determined using Sponsor’s computer, which will be the official clock for the Sweepstakes. Normal time rates, if any, charged by the entrant’s Internet or mobile service provider will apply. All entries are subject to verification at any time. Proof of submission does not constitute proof of entry. Sponsor will have the right, in its discretion, to require proof of identity and/or eligibility in a form acceptable to Sponsor (including, without limitation, government-issued photo identification). Failure to provide such proof to the satisfaction of Sponsor in a timely manner may result in disqualification.
  1. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION: Following the conclusion of the Entry Period, one (1) potential Grand Prize winner(s) will be selected in a random drawing conducted by Sponsor or its agent from among all eligible entries received during the Entry Period. The odds of winning will depend on the number of eligible entries received. The potential winner will be notified by e-mail (sent to the e-mail address provided by the entrant when entering), or using other contact information provided by the potential winner, in Sponsor’s discretion. If the initial notification requires a response, the potential winner must respond to Sponsor’s initial notification attempt within 72 hours. The potential winner is subject to verification of eligibility and may, in Sponsor’s discretion, be required to complete, sign and return to Sponsor an Affidavit of Eligibility/Release of Liability or an Affirmation of Eligibility/Release of Liability, as determined by Sponsor, and, if legally permissible, a Publicity Release, collectively, a “Declaration and Release” for residents of Canada) and any other documentation provided by Sponsor in connection with verification of the potential winner’s eligibility and confirmation of the releases and grant of rights set forth herein (as applicable, “Winner Verification Documents“), within seven days of attempted delivery of same. The potential winner if a U.S. resident may also in Sponsor’s discretion be required to complete and return to Sponsor an IRS Form W-9 within seven days of attempted delivery of same. If the potential winner is a Minor, Sponsor will have the right to request that the potential winner’s parent or legal guardian sign the Winner Verification Documents on behalf of the winner, or to award the prize directly in the name of the winner’s parent or legal guardian, who in such event will be required to sign the Winner Verification Documents and/or, if a U.S. resident, an IRS Form W-9. If the potential winner is a Canadian resident, he or she will be required to correctly answer a mathematical skill testing question without mechanical or other aid to be administered via telephone, email or another manner determined by Sponsor in its discretion at a pre-arranged mutually convenient time. If the potential winner cannot be reached or does not respond within 72 hours of the initial notification attempt or fails to complete, sign, and return any required Winner Verification Documents or, if a U.S. resident, IRS Form W-9 within seven days of attempted delivery of same, or in the case of a Canadian selected entrant, fails to correctly answer the mathematical skill testing question without mechanical or other aid, or if the potential winner does not otherwise comply with these Official Rules and/or cannot accept the prize as awarded for any reason, “then the potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate winner may, at Sponsor’s discretion, be selected from among the remaining eligible entries as specified in these Official Rules (in which case the foregoing provisions will apply to such newly-selected entrant).
  1. PRIZE: One (1) Grand Prize(s) will be offered. The Grand Prize consists of one (1) hardcover copy of THE GUNS ABOVE by Robyn Bennis, one (1) trade paperback copy of RED RIGHT HAND by Levi Black, one (1) hardcover copy of ROAR by Cora Carmack, one (1) hardcover copy of THE ALCHEMY OF MASQUES AND MIRRORS by Curtis Craddock, one (1) hardcover copy of CHILD OF A HIDDEN SEA by A.M. Dellamonica, one (1) trade paperback copy of TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard, one (1) hardcover copy of CROSSROADS OF CANOPY by Thoraiya Dyer, one (1) hardcover copy of DEATH’S MISTRESS by Terry Goodkind, one (1) hardcover copy of STEEPLEJACK by A.J. Hartley, one (1) hardcover copy of DEADMEN WALKING by Sherrilyn Kenyon, one (1) hardcover copy of EVERY HEART A DOORWAY by Seanan McGuire, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE HUM AND THE SHIVER by Alex Bledsoe, one (1) trade paperback copy of RANGE OF GHOSTS by Elizabeth Bear, one (1) trade paperback copy of A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS by Marie Brennan, one (1) trade paperback copy of SERIOUSLY WICKED by Tina Connolly, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE LIBRARIANS AND THE LOST LAMP by Greg Cox, one (1) trade paperback copy of DANCER’S LAMENT by Ian C. Esslemont, one (1) trade paperback copy of FORGE OF DARKNESS by Steven Erikson, one (1) trade paperback copy of FINN FANCY NECROMANCY by Randy Henderson, one (1) trade paperback copy of ROYAL STREET by Suzanne Johnson, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE EYE OF THE WORLD by Robert Jordon, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE SHARDS OF HEAVEN by Michael Livingston, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE MAGIC OF RECLUCE by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., one (1) trade paperback copy of RIDERS by Veronica Rossi, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson, one (1) trade paperback copy of A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab, one (1) trade paperback copy of THE EMPEROR’S BLADES by Brian Staveley, one (1) trade paperback copy of UPDRAFT by Fran Wilde, one (1) ARC of THE MIDNIGHT FRONT by David Mack, one (1) mass market paperback copy of THE SIX-GUN TAROT by R.S. Belcher, one (1) mass market paperback copy of THE DINOSAUR LORDS by Victor Milan, one (1) mass market paperback copy of THE SLEEPING KING by Cindy Dees and Bill Flippin, one (1) mass market paperback copy of TOUCHSTONE by Melanie Rawn, one (1) mass market paperback copy by THE INCREMENTALISTS by Steven Brust and Skyler White, one (1) mass market paperback copy of CROWN OF VENGEANCE by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, one (1) mass market paperback copy of IMAGER by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., one (1) mass market paperback copy of LAMENTATION by Ken Scholes, one (1) mass market paperback copy of THE ETERNA FILES by Leanna Renee Heiber, one (1) mass market paperback copy of KUSHIEL’S DART by Jacqueline Carey, and one (1) mass market paperback copy of AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN by Tom Doyle, and one (1) set of two Book dragon mugs. The approximate retail value (“ARV“) of the Grand Prize is $551.56 USD. All prize details that are not expressly specified in these Official Rules will be determined by Sponsor in its discretion. The prize will be awarded if properly claimed. No substitution, cash redemption or transfer of the right to receive the prize is permitted, except in the discretion of Sponsor, which has the right to substitute the prize or any component of the prize with a prize or prize component of equal or greater value selected by Sponsor in its discretion. The prize consists only of the item(s) expressly specified in these Official Rules. All expenses or costs associated with the acceptance or use of the prize or any component of the prize are the responsibility of the winner. The prize is awarded “as is” and without any warranty, except as required by law. In no event will more than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules be awarded. All federal, state and local taxes on the value of the prize are the responsibility of the winner. For U.S. residents, an IRS form 1099 will be issued if required by law.
  1. RELEASE AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: By entering the Sweepstakes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and anyone who succeeds to entrant’s rights and responsibilities including without limitation entrant’s heirs, executors, administrators, personal representatives, successors, assigns, agents, and attorneys, and with respect to minors entrant’s parents and legal guardians (collectively the “Entrant Parties“) releases Sponsor, each of Sponsor’s Affiliates, the licensees and licensors other than Entrant Parties including authors of each of the foregoing, all other companies involved in the development or operation of the Sweepstakes, Facebook, the successors and assigns of each of the foregoing and the directors, officers, employees and agents of each of the foregoing (collectively, the “Released Parties“) from and against any and all claims and causes of action of any kind that entrant and/or the Entrant Parties ever had, now have or might in the future have arising out of or relating to the Sweepstakes, participation in the Sweepstakes, the use of the Website, the provision, acceptance or use of any prize or any component thereof or any use of the entrant’s name as permitted pursuant to these Official Rules, including without limitation any and all claims and causes of action: (a) relating to any personal injury, death or property damage or loss sustained by any entrant or any other person, (b) based upon any allegation of violation of the right of privacy or publicity, misappropriation, defamation, or violation of any other personal or proprietary right, (c) based upon any allegation of infringement of copyright, trademark, trade dress, patent, trade secrets, moral rights or any intellectual property right, or (d) or based upon any allegation of a violation of the laws, rules or regulations relating to personal information and data security. Each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties agrees not to assert any such claim or cause of action against any of the Released Parties. Each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties assumes the risk of, and all liability for, any injury, loss or damage caused, or claimed to be caused, by participation in this Sweepstakes, the use of the Website, or the provision, acceptance or use of any prize or any component of any prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for, and will not have any liability in connection with, any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Sweepstakes or in the announcement of the prize. The Released Parties are not responsible for, and will not have any liability in connection with, late, lost, delayed, illegible, damaged, corrupted or incomplete entries, incorrect or inaccurate capture of, damage to, or loss of entries or entry information, or any other human, mechanical or technical error of any kind relating to the operation of the Website, communications or attempted communications with any entrant or Entrant Parties, the submission, collection, storage and/or processing of entries or the administration of the Sweepstakes. The term “Affiliate” of Sponsor means any entity that directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries, controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with Sponsor. The term “control” means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of management and policies of an entity, or the ownership, directly or indirectly, of more than fifty percent (50%) of the equity interests of the entity.
  1. GENERAL RULES: Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to modify these Official Rules (including without limitation by adjusting any of the dates and/or timeframes stipulated in these Official Rules) and to cancel, modify or suspend this Sweepstakes at any time in its discretion, including without limitation if a virus, bug, technical problem, entrant fraud or misconduct, or other cause beyond the control of the Sponsor corrupts the administration, integrity, security or proper operation of the Sweepstakes or if for any other reason Sponsor is not able to conduct the Sweepstakes as planned (including without limitation in the event the Sweepstakes is interfered with by any fire, flood, epidemic, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or of public enemy, communications failure, riot or civil disturbance, war (declared or undeclared), terrorist threat or activity, federal, state or local law, order or regulation or court order) or in the event of any change to the terms governing the use of Facebook or the application or interpretation of such terms. In the event of termination of the Sweepstakes, a notice will be posted on the Website or Sponsor’s Facebook page and a random drawing will be conducted to award the prize from among all eligible entries received prior to the time of termination. Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify or prohibit from participating in the Sweepstakes any individual who, in Sponsor’s discretion, Sponsor determines or believes (i) has tampered with the entry process or has undermined the legitimate operation of the Website or the Sweepstakes by cheating, hacking, deception or other unfair practices, (ii) has engaged in conduct that annoys, abuses, threatens or harasses any other entrant or any representative of Sponsor or (iii) has attempted or intends to attempt any of the foregoing. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SWEEPSTAKES OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR HAS THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY PERSON INVOLVED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. The use of agents or automated devices, programs or methods to submit entries is prohibited and Sponsor has the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entry that it believes may have been submitted using such an agent or automated device, program or method. In the event of a dispute regarding who submitted an entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” means the person who is assigned an email address by an internet provider, online service provider or other organization (e.g., business, educational institute, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. An entrant may be required to provide proof (in a form acceptable to Sponsor, including, without limitation, government-issued photo identification) that he or she is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the entry in question. All federal, state, provincial, territorial and local laws and regulations apply. All entries become the property of Sponsor and will not be verified or returned. By participating in this Sweepstakes, entrants on behalf of themselves, and to the extent permitted by law on behalf of the Entrant Parties agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor, which are final and binding in all respects. These Official Rules may not be reprinted or republished in any way without the prior written consent of Sponsor.
  1. DISPUTES: By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant on behalf of himself or herself and the Entrant Parties agrees that, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, (a) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with the Sweepstakes, or the provision, acceptance and/or use of any prize or prize component, will be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action (Note: Some jurisdictions do not allow restricting access to class actions. This provision will not apply to entrant if entrant lives in such a jurisdiction); (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (c) under no circumstances will any entrant or Entrant Party be permitted to obtain any award for, and each entrant and Entrant Party hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, special, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules or the rights and obligations of the entrants, Entrant Parties and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York in the United States of America without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York. Any legal proceedings arising out of this Sweepstakes or relating to these Official Rules shall be instituted only in the federal or state courts located in New York County in the State of New York, waiving any right to trial by jury, and each entrant and Entrant Party consents to jurisdiction therein with respect to any legal proceedings or disputes of whatever nature arising under or relating to these rules or the Sweepstakes. In the event of any conflict between these Official Rules and any Sweepstakes information provided elsewhere (including but not limited in advertising or marketing materials), these Official Rules shall prevail.
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New Releases: 5/9/17

New Releases: 5/9/17

Here’s what went on sale today!

A Dog’s Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron

Image Place holder  of - 26After Bella is picked up by Animal Control because pit bulls are banned in Denver, Lucas has no choice but to send her to a foster home until he can figure out what to do. But Bella, distraught at the separation, doesn’t plan to wait. With four hundred miles of dangerous Colorado wilderness between her and her person, Bella sets off on a seemingly impossible and completely unforgettable adventure home.

Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh

Poster Placeholder of - 27Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school, and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, he embraces it—perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling—she tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. But her life—like her country—is headed for a crash.

Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.

Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Image Placeholder of - 80To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane—an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn—an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.


Killing Gravity by Corey J. White

Placeholder of  -60Before she escaped in a bloody coup, MEPHISTO transformed Mariam Xi into a deadly voidwitch. Their training left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust, and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.


Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Vol. 3 Story and art by Coolkyoushinja

There’s a Demon Lord on the Floor Vol. 2 Story and art by Kawakami Masaki


Leprechauns, Unicorn, and Deadmen

Leprechauns, Unicorn, and Deadmen

Image Placeholder of - 92Written by Sherrilyn Kenyon

When I was a small child, my grandfather talked about how everything, even the rocks on the ground, held a spirit and essence inside it, and my mother, on St. Patrick’s Day, had me convinced there were Leprechauns and Clurichauns cavorting in festive revelry under her favorite rosebush (and tormenting my puppy). I’ve been enchanted with the notion of the “unseen” world that exists side-by-side with our own ever since. Let’s face it, when you come from a family with as colorful a history as mine, you learn early on that what the eye sees is but a pittance of what makes up “reality.”

And the fact that we had a ghost living in my early childhood room didn’t help matters either. A ghost that was so active, my cousin refused to ever step foot into my room again, or to stay over with me. She saw my “friend” once and it was quite enough for her.

But I was never afraid. Quite the contrary. I inherited my grandfather’s defiant spirit and by the time I was sixteen, I was a regular participant on paranormal investigations—and this decades before anyone knew what they were. In fact, this was before the Poltergeist and Ghostbusters movies (yeah, I really am that old).

All the while, my writer’s imagination was soaking everything up. Every year of experience. Every location studied and investigated for its past and present. All the research materials went rolling through my mind. It’s impossible to be that steeped, that long, in history and the paranormal and not have your imagination run loose.

As historians, we give substance to our predecessors. We fill in as many missing details as we can, with as many facts as we can uncover. As writers, we fill in the emotions and motivations. Like Victor Frankenstein, we breathe life into our creations and make them living, thriving entities that if we’re lucky will go on long after us and reach immortality. There’s a not a writer ever born who doesn’t strive to touch that elusive bolt of lightning.

It is our Holy Quest. Our beloved unicorn. To create a world so vibrant and real that a reader is enraptured with it. That they, like us, want to live there. To breathe it. Feel it. Experience it, over and over again. Not once, but to return for countless adventures and to be eager to discover every single corner of it.

There’s no greater gift to any author in the world than to hear a fan say that they love our universe. That the countless hours of our lives and years of research we’ve put into it, and all the bullets we’ve sweated and dodged while struggling and fighting to make it unlike anyone else’s were worth it. That is the sweet symphony we crave. And it is the moment in our minds when we throw our heads back and laugh at the sky while shouting, “it’s alive!”

Yes, that is the unseen world in a writer’s mind. When you’re talking to us and telling us that you liked our work, we might look calm and collective on the outside. Inside, we’re turning cartwheels and somersaults. We are spiking that ball at the goal post. We are the three year old on a sugar high, screaming around the sofa that someone other than our mothers believe we don’t suck! It’s true. Just think about that the next time you meet an author.

And right now, as we begin this new adventure with Captain Bane and his Deadmen, we’re at the knuckle-biting stage. While it’s a part of the Dark-Hunter world, it’s a whole new realm and whole new time period. It’s uncharted territory. Something not done before. And like all the books and series I’ve written previously, it’s a setting not typically used, crossing genres in a way not typically done. But then I like defying the odds and blazing new trails. And I hope you’ll join me for this latest quest where the Deadmen finally get to tell their tales.

Order Your Copy

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Follow Sherrilyn Kenyon on Twitter, on Facebook, and on her website.


Interview with Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of Deadmen Walking

Interview with Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of Deadmen Walking

Place holder  of - 34 Welcome back to Fantasy Firsts. Today we are sharing an interview with Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of the forthcoming historical fantasy Deadmen Walkingavailable May 9th. Preorder your copy now to receive a special print signed by Sherrilyn Kenyon! You can sneak a peek of the first chapter here.

How is Deadmen Walking different from your other books?

All my books are different. I don’t write them to any kind of formula, nor do I pay attention to genre rules. So to that, it’s like all the others in that it’s unique unto itself, with new and fun people, in a different setting and with different obstacles. No two are ever the same, but it has my signature sarcasm and humor. The dark moments, laugh-out-loud humor, and the adventure. It explores a different set of mythology (Caribbean, Celtic and Norse) that I’ve hinted at in earlier books in more depth. So it’s completely different, but does have some familiar characters from the Dark-Hunters such as Thorn, Rafael Santiago, Janice, Savitar and Acheron.

Have you always been interested in pirates and their history? Did you do any special research?

This isn’t my first pirate novel. I’ve been writing pirate adventures since the early 1980’s and first published two pirate novels in the 1990’s, so I’ve been steeped in the lore since I was first carried onto a boat while still in diapers. My father was an avid sailor and fisherman (as were my uncles and grandparents— one uncle and several cousins were even in the Navy, and I owe my life to one of them for his daring rescue of me during a harrowing boating accident when I was a teen).

My love of the sea and the lore makes even more sense as one of my direct pirate ancestors, Jonathan Barnet, apprehended the infamous pirates Mary Read, Anne Bonny and Calico Jack Rackham.  I’m actually a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America through that bloodline that goes straight back in a direct descent to the royal Plantagenets of England. Yes, it’s true, I’m a direct descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine, herself, and of Charlemagne.

My direct ancestors helped found Savannah, GA, and Jamestown and Williamsburg, VA (as well as Andover and Plymouth, MA) so we have a lot of pirates in my family tree, on both sides (one was even hanged in Williamsburg). When I was a child, my father would regale me for hours with their nefarious stories, including one family member who lost his life in an infamous run-in with Blackbeard and another who is credited with bringing the Roosevelt family to American shores—all well documented facts. With such a rich family history of sea adventurers, and my father’s flare for storytelling and love of the water and sailing, I really had no choice, but to be drawn to the sea.

Were there any real life pirates that were the inspiration behind this series?

I pay some homage to a few of the ones my father raised me on. Mr. Meers is my tenth great-grandfather who lost his life to Blackbeard while returning from England. William Death was another great-grandfather who has a shady past in our family tree. Jonathan Barnet, of course, had to be in there. Along with Rafael Santiago. There are actually a number of them who were real people in my family tree. But I leave it to the reader to try and figure out which ones.

What drew you to bring Thorn into a new series?

Nothing. Thorn was always a part of it. You can’t have a Hellchaser book without Thorn. It’s like having the Dark-Hunters without Acheron.

Which of your characters would you like to spend an evening with?

Not sure how to answer since I usually spend the evening with them. I’ve spent every evening of my entire life with the people in my head. I’ve never not had them, so I can’t really answer the question. It would be like asking me what it’s like to spend the evening with myself. I was writing or drawing stories as far back as my memory goes. I was five years old the first time I declared to my mother that I wanted to grow up and be a New York Times bestselling author. I swear, that’s a real, true story. It’s all I ever wanted, so I always spend the evening with the people in my head. They’re with me everywhere I go.

Are any of your characters based on you or people you know?

No. My characters are my characters. They are living, breathing people unto themselves. I mean, it’s like having a child so there’s some basic DNA of mine in there, but at the end of the day, they have their own thoughts and reactions that are completely opposite of my own. That’s the beauty of them. They are themselves and I am me. I love to set them lose and watch them run.

What was your hardest scene to write in Deadmen Walking?

You’ll know it when you read it. But if I say it, it’ll be a massive spoiler. There’s no way to miss it, though.

What’s more powerful – love or vengeance?

Vengeance comes from love that has been shattered, betrayed or taken. Otherwise it would be empty and there would be no motivation to drive someone to the extreme behavior vengeance requires. Therefore love has to be the more powerful in order to create a need for vengeance.

What’s your writing process like – do you have a set place to write, do you set goals for how much to get done, etc?

None. I just write. I don’t have a process. I just do it.

What’s in the future for Bane, Marcelina, and his crew?

Fight evil, have fun, fight hard, and banter hilariously.  Hopefully, they’ll win!

What’s the best or funniest thing a fan has ever told you?

That she was in labor in the middle of a signing, but that she didn’t want to miss the event and wanted to know if she could cut the line to get her book signed. Of course, we all told her yes. The rest of the fans were quite understanding about it. Later, we got an email that she named her son Acheron.

What other exciting books do you have coming up?

I have a few! Nevermore which was originally sold back in 2004 is finally coming out! SMP had originally planned to bring it out before the Nick books, then backburnered it for Nick. But the first of it will be out this summer. It’s about a plague that sweeps across the world and mutates humanity, giving us some rather interesting abilities (including magic). Mankind has moved underground and it’s a whole new ballgame! I had the old site up for a few years 2005-2009 and we’ll be bringing it back when we launch the new site in a few weeks!

And of course Silent Swans! The first book of it will be next year. It’s my return to a historical trilogy that focuses on three women in history whose names should be as well known as Washington, Jefferson and Adams, as those men wouldn’t have existed had these women not birthed their mothers and fathers. These are the women who came over and who shaped our laws—two of the women in book three actually fought a major legal battle both here in America and in England before the king, himself. Yet only die-hard historians know who they are, and even they rarely mention them. It’s time for that to change. These are women whose courage and bravery need to be brought to light. They’re not unknown, they just haven’t been given their voices yet. They lived in fascinating times and survived unbelievable, harrowing adventures that actually happened. They single-handedly changed our laws and helped to shape the very foundations of America. Reign, The Tudors and Downtown Abbey had nothing on them! This is real drama! And it was in our back yard!

Then on Dark-Hunter front, we have Urian’s book coming up! You definitely don’t want to miss Dragonsworn this August as it sets the stage for his Battle Born next year. I don’t want to give spoilers, but yeah . . . it’s a doozie!

For League fun, we have Ryn’s book where you learn a lot about his relationship with Darling and a lot more about Drake and Nero (Nero’s book will follow after Born in Trouble).

Oh, and I almost forgot! This Christmas, don’t miss the Dark-Hunter ABC book! It’s adorable! For all those younger readers and to go with the League and Dark-Hunter coloring books and all the parents who’ve been asking for it for their little readers who’ve been enamored with the YA and manga/comics. Post Hill Press will have the DH ABC on the shelves this Christmas! I can’t wait!

And yes, the Acheron comics are still shipping. The graphic novel should be out later this year. It will have all four issues of the comic combined into one volume. And the latest Dark-Hunter coloring book is hitting the shelves right now. I believe it’s the fifth or sixth coloring book and it’s all new art. The League coloring book will be coming out right behind it! So there are lots of new releases for fans to look forward to!

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Excerpt: Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Excerpt: Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Image Placeholder of - 17 Welcome back to Fantasy Firsts. Our program continues today with a sneak peek from Deadmen Walking, the start of a new epic fantasy series from bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon—available May 9th. Please enjoy this excerpt.

Deadmen tell their tales…

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane—an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn—an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates..gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

But things are never so simple. And one of Bane’s biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn’t just a vessel, she’s also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged and who in turn wronged him during a centuries long war between their two races—a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and almost extinct race against Bane and his cause, and watches humanity fall, or she puts faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity—let’s hope Bane can sway her favor.

Chapter One

In the Year of Our Lord 1716

“Way I hear tell it, that one’s so bad, he whups his own arse thrice a week.”

Eyes wide, Cameron Amelia Maire Jack burst out laughing at the unexpected, dry comment she overheard above the raucous tavern voices and music. Until she caught sight of the man it was directed toward. That sobered her quick enough.

Holy mother of God …

There was no way to miss that giant mass of human male as he swept into the crowded room like the living embodiment of some ancient hero.

Nay, not a hero.

A pagan god.

At least six and a half feet tall, he towered over every one else there, and had a shoulder width so great he was forced to turn to the side to come through the doorway, and stoop down lest he decapitate himself with the thick, low- hanging beam. A feat he accomplished with a masculine grace and swagger that said he’d done it enough that it was habit from years of experience.

Which made her wonder how many times as a boy he must have whacked his head afore he learned to instinctively duck like that.

With a quick swipe of his massive hand, he removed his black tricorne hat and tucked it beneath his muscled arm, exposing a thick mane of unbound, wavy sable hair that gleamed in the dull candlelight. He held a set of rugged features that appeared chiseled from stone—in perfect masculine proportions.

Never in her life had she beheld his equal in form, strength, or grace, but it wasn’t just the unexpected sight of him. He possessed that raw, commanding presence that was unrivaled by king or commander. An air of noble refinement that was offset by an aura of bloodthirsty intolerance, cool indifference, and utter ennui.

He was lethal, no doubts there. Beguiling. More than that, he was an enigmatic study of warring contradictions that quickened her heart a lot more than she wanted to admit to anyone, especially

In a festering den of inhospitable inequity and evil, this man reigned as its supreme emperor. And while his two companions were dressed in brightly colored brocades— like the other vain occupants of the room— this one, in stark contradiction, wore a somber black wool coat, breeches with plain brass buttons, and an unremarkable
dark brown waistcoat. Even his cotton shirt and neckerchief were as black as his hair and boots. Like a Quaker…and yet his demeanor and weaponry said he didn’t partake of their religion or peaceful ways.

The only color on his body was the blood-red hilt of a barbarian-styled cutlass. And a flashing ruby signet ring on his pinky that caught the light.

But for his fierce stance, deadly demeanor, and the firm hand that stayed planted on the hilt of that sword, he could easily pass for a respectable man. Nobleman even.

Until one met that cold, dark, intelligent gaze that saw everything around him to the most microscopic detail.

She could literally feel him tallying the strengths of every one in the tavern and sizing them up for their every weakness of character
and physical flaw…

As well as their caskets.

He was exactly the kind of unnerving male that caused her and Lettice to draw straws on his entrance back home in the Black Swan to see which of them would be stuck for the night waiting on his

And Cameron always cheated to make sure she wasn’t the one left with it. Something that would bother her conscience a lot more but for the fact that it was Lettice’s father who owned the Swan,
and while Nathaniel Harrison would guard his daughter’s reputation and well-being, he wasn’t nearly as circumspect when it came to hers. Especially when placed against his need for profit. He’d sell all but his daughter for that.

Even his own mother, and probably his wife to boot.

Not wanting to think about that, Cameron scowled at the men flanking the newcomer. His companions were much more the typical pirate or privateer fare one would expect to find in such a sordid place. The one to his right had a mane of long brown hair he wore tied back in an impeccable queue, along with a well- trimmed
beard, and eyes so light and merry a blue they glowed in the dim light. Each of that man’s fingers held an ornate ring—no doubt plunder from some unwary ship he’d raided—if not some unfortunate corpse. Still, he seemed amicable enough.

While many Caribbean pirates had a tendency to pierce their earlobes, this one had chosen to place a small gold hoop in his left eyebrow, just off its arch. His elaborate burgundy and black coat was widely cut at the waist—in the latest fashion craze. And where the beguiling and dangerous captain had chosen a plain black neckerchief to wear, this pirate’s cravat was stark white silk, and trimmed in layers of decadent lace.

The man on the left was dressed in a peacock blue silk coat that covered an insanely ornate gold waistcoat. One so fine a silk that it shimmered in the light like water. He wore a small white wig
that concealed his hair color, but judging from his skin tone, dark eyebrows, and the careless whiskers that dusted his well-sculpted cheeks and jawline, she assumed his hair was as dark as his captain’s. Yet where the captain had a set of coal black eyes, his were a deep shade of hazel blue.

While his mood and countenance weren’t as dark and sinister as his captain’s, he was nowhere near as jovial as their companion, either. She’d guess him as the quartermaster.

Or a hangman.

The three of them swept past her without so much as a glance in her general direction, letting her know they saw her as no threat whatsoever— which was fine by her. Last thing she wanted was to
be crossed up with such terrifying and deadly men.

They made their way to the back of the tavern to an empty table. The large, burly guard who’d been keeping it reserved for them inclined his head, then went to fetch their drinks.

Something he returned with so quickly that it no doubt set a speed record for the inn. From her years of working in such an establishment, she knew it said much about his fear of angering the
three newcomers, and even more about their temperaments and personalities. These men did not like to be kept waiting, nor did they want to be interrupted once settled.

For the first time, Cameron’s courage faltered as she watched the men begin a private and intense whispered conversation.

What are you doing, Cam?

This was what she’d come for—to speak to Captain Devyl Bane and enlist his aid.

Maybe it’s not him.

She knew better. He was just as he’d been described. Darker than sin and more dangerous than dancing with the devil’s favored handmaiden. There was no one else it could be. The witch- woman
had told her to look for a captain who’d take her breath and leave no doubt in her mind that he was the bane of the devil himself.

That definitely described the man in the center of the other two. No one could be deadlier or more sinister.

“Greetings, governor. You be wanting some company, like?”

Cameron winced as an attractive prostitute plunked herself down on her lap. Because Cameron was dressed as a man and passing herself off as one so that she could travel unmolested and with ease, the prostitute had no idea she was wasting her time there.

Grinding her teeth, Cameron caught the woman’s hand before it drifted to a part of her body that would scandalize them both. Cameron shook her head sharply.

“What? You mute?” She reached to touch Cameron’s face and smiled wide. “That’s all right, love. Don’t be needing no words for what I do best, no ways. Fact is you be getting more your money’s
worth if’n we don’t be speaking no how.”

Cameron caught the woman’s wrist again and reminded herself to toughen her voice and lower it an octave. “Not interested, me sweet. You’re not me type.” She cast her gaze meaningfully toward
the three men.

The prostitute laughed. “Ah…can’t says I blame you there. They each be so fine you can’t help but crave a bite of those backsides and pray for lockjaw.” With another winsome smile, she
sighed. “Best of luck to you, mate. Way I hear tell it, though, you don’t got a chance with none of them.”

And with that, she left Cameron’s lap to pursue another, more probable client.

Taking a deep breath, Cameron debated the sanity of seeing this mission through. It was obvious that the three men had no desire to be approached by a stranger.

In fact, they appeared to be arguing.


This is all kinds of insanity…

But Cameron Jack was not a coward.

Maybe a little?

She shushed the voice of reason in her head that told her to run for the door before they gutted her. Jacks aren’t craven. Now get in there, me girl.

Scared and breathless, she forced herself to her feet and crossed the room, trying to exude a confidence she definitely didn’t feel. Her legs trembled as sweat beaded on her forehead and upper lip.

For a moment, she feared she’d faint.

You can do this. Don’t you dare back out now. Patrick needs you. You’re all he has in this world…

The moment she neared them, they fell silent and all three pairs of eyes pierced her with a malevolent glare she was sure had turned lesser beings into stone.

Or, at the very least, caused them to soil their breeches. Captain Bane took a drink of his ale before he spoke in a voice so deep, it rolled out like thunder over a dark, stormy cove. “May I help you?”

She took a nervous step forward.

The brown-haired man pulled his sword and angled it at her neck. “That be close enough, lad. Declare yourself.”

She cleared her throat and met the captain’s gaze levelly. “I was told that you’re Captain Bane?”

Without confirming it, the one she was sure was he brushed his thumb over his bottom lip. “Why do you seek the good captain?”

“I was told that he…or you, rather, were part of the salvage for the Plate Fleet that went down?”

His mate stood and, with his sword, forced her to step back. “We know nothing of what you speak.”

Too late, she realized that they probably mistook her for one of the king’s pirate hunters who’d been tasked with going after the raiders of the sunken ships and their cargos. “It’s not what you’re
thinking. Me brother was on one of the ships.”

Bane reached out to touch the man’s hand and force the point of his companion’s sword toward the floor. “And?”

“I was told he went down with his ship.” She choked on her tears that threatened to overwhelm her. Ever since she’d heard about her brother’s fate, she’d been unable to cope. Unable to breathe. Not after all the two of them had been through together. “Please. I have to know the truth.”

The wigged man spoke with a degree of sympathy in his voice. “Only one ship made it out.”

“Aye,” she whispered. “The Griffon. He wasn’t on that one. His ship was the San Miguel. He was the captain of it…Patrick Jack.”

Bane’s gaze softened. “Sorry. The captain didn’t make it out.”

As they began to ignore her, it angered her to be dismissed so casually, and Cameron stepped forward again. “If what you say is true, then can you explain this to me.” She tossed the bit of salvage
that had been delivered to her door with a note from her brother.

It skidded across the table to land beneath the candle in front of Bane.

He and his companions froze for a full minute as she held her breath, waiting.

It was a worthless trinket that made no sense whatsoever. A strange bit of a charm designed in the shape of an ornate cup, with a pair of wings rising over the rim and a stake with ribbons that fell from the bottom of it. And marked with a fleur-de-lis in the center of its bowl. While it was pretty enough, she had no idea why her brother would have sent such to her. Why he would even bother.

Never mind anyone else. It would be all kinds of cruel were it a hoax.

The captain scowled at the necklace charm, but made no move to touch it. “Is this supposed to mean something to me?”

She shrugged. “No idea.” Slowly, she approached the table and held out the note that had been wrapped and sealed around the item. “This was what he used to hold it and send it to me.”

Bane took the crumpled parchment from her hand and read it. The letter was simple and heartbreaking. One she’d committed to memory.


Forgive me for leaving you as I have. Know that me loyalty is with you. Always. Listen not to anyone. Keep your weather eye to the horizon and this to your bosom. Tell no one that you have it. Not even Lettice. Trust none at your back.

Ever yours,

With a gruff countenance, Bane returned it to her. Again without touching her or the necklace charm. “And so what’s the first thing you do with this?” he mocked.

He was right. She’d done exactly what her brother had instructed her not to do— she’d handed it over to someone she didn’t know. “True, but I have to fi nd me brother, sir.” She turned the letter
around and pointed to the top of it. “Note the date. It’s months after they went down, and he supposedly drowned by all accounts. Yet if he drowned, how did he send it to me?”

A peculiar light flickered in Bane’s dark eyes. One that made them appear almost red in the candlelight. Surely an optical illusion of some kind. “Who told you to come here?”

“A witch-woman named Menyara. She said that you’d be able to help me find me brother.”

He let out a fetid curse under his breath. It was so foul and guttural that it caused the man on his left to snap to his feet and step away from him, as if fearing an imminent attack of some sort from
his captain.

“Who’s Menyara?” the man asked.

A tic started in Bane’s jaw. “ Don’t ask questions you don’t want answered, Will. And pray to your God that you never meet that bitch.” With a dark, deadly grimace, he finally took her trinket into
his hand to examine it more closely.

His expression unreadable, Bane met her gaze. “Did she see this?”

“Nay. Only the letter.”

“Why did you show it to me, then?”

“I…I’m not sure.”

He flipped the trinket through his fingers several times while Will slowly returned to his seat.

“What are you thinking, Captain?” the one in the wig asked.

“All kinds of folly.” He paused to meet the man’s curious gaze. “I commend her to you, Mr. Meers. Take her to the ship.”

“Beg pardon?” He scowled fiercely. “What she be this?”

The captain screwed his face up at him. “Are you dafter than a doornail, son? Our little Cameron Jack here be a lass as sure as I be your devil’s bastard seed.”

Both of his companions gaped at him, then her. And she returned their slack-jawed stares without blinking or flinching. “How did you know that?” No one could ever tell she was female whenever she disguised herself as a lad. It was a ploy she’d been using ever since her parents had orphaned them when she was a small girl. A ruse Patrick had insisted on to keep her safe from harm, and under his nose so that he could watch after her.

Bane scoffed as he reached for his ale. “Never try to fool the devil, love. I can see right through you. Besides, no man has an ass that fine. If he did, he’d serve to be changing my religion on certain
things.” He took a deep drink, then inclined his head to his companion.

“See her to the ship, Bart.”

Bart hesitated. “Are you sure about that?”

“Aye, and settle her in private quarters for now. Make sure the others know to leave her in peace or face my full wrath.”

Bart saluted him. “Aye, sir.”

“And Mr. Meers?”

He paused to look back with an arched brow.

“I expect on my arrival to the ship to find the lass as virginal after parting your company as she is on leaving mine right now.”

Bart let out an irritated growl. “I hate you, Bane. You live only to suck all the joy out of me death, don’t you?”

He snorted. “Pray that joy is the only thing I ever strive to divest from you, my friend. The day I seek greater entertainment than that is the day you should live in absolute terror of.”

“Duly noted, and me testicles have adequately shriveled back into me body so as to pose positively no threat whatsoever to the fair maiden in boy’s clothing.”

“Good man.”

“Eunuch, you mean.”

“And well you should remain, lest I make that condition a permanent one.”

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

Terrified by the thought of being alone with them and their crew, but too desperate to let her fear interfere with her need to find her brother, Cameron reached for her letter and medallion, praying with every thing she had that this wasn’t a mistake.

Please God, protect me.

Swallowing in nervous apprehension, she nodded, tucked away her possessions, then followed the captain’s mate.

Devyl sat back to watch them leave. He cut his gaze toward his quartermaster. “What?” he snapped at Will.

“As I value me own testicles…not saying a single word, Captain. Just sitting here, nursing me rum.” He held it up pointedly before he took a swig.

Devyl snorted at him. “Hope you find more courage than that for the task we have ahead of us.”

“No fear there. Have more than me fair share. But you forget that I’ve seen you in a fi ght. And I’m neither fool nor drunk enough to think I can take you. Besides, you cheat and bite.”

Those words pulled a rare laugh from Devyl. It was one of the reasons why he’d chosen Will as his quartermaster. Unlike the rest of his crew, Will was unflappable and bolder than he should be. He maintained his composure, good nature, and calm rationale under even the most harrowing of events. And he did so with a biting sense of sarcasm and gallows humor.

More than that, Will was as courageous as stated. Courage mitigated only by a sound ability to reason and measure the merits of confrontation.

Aye, William Death was one of the best men Devyl had ever fought with. It would be an honor to die by his side instead of the way Devyl had been gutted before…

“Permission to speak freely, Captain?”

Crossing his arms over his chest, he leaned back to pin a sinister glare on Will. “If you’ve the backbone for it. Go on…”

“Just wondering what mind you have to be bringing a human on board our bewitched ship.”

“Did you get a look at what her brother sent her?”

“The meaningless bauble?”

Devyl scoffed. “And you’re the one who claims to be the faithful religious man between us.”


“That bauble, as you claim it, Mr. Death—”

“Deeth,” Will corrected under his breath. It was ever his pet peeve that they didn’t pronounce his name with a long e as opposed to the way it was spelled. Though why his ancestor had chosen to be so antagonistic with either the spelling or pronunciation was anyone’s guess.

“Death,” Devyl repeated incorrectly, as he was ever a cantankerous bastard, “is from the sword of St. Michael.”

“Which one?”

He reached to flip at the silver medallion that hung off a leather cord Will had wound about his left wrist. “That winged bastard creature you believe protects and watches over you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Neither do I. But until I do, I thought it prudent to put her under our guard lest something foul decide to make her its next supper.”

“And if that something foul proves to be a member of our crew?”

Devyl allowed his eyes to fl ash to their natural red state. “They would have a bad day, indeed… My mood, however, would be vastly improved by their act of blatant stupidity that would result in my natural retaliatory act of extreme and unholy violence.”

And speaking of…

The hairs on the back of his neck rose as he felt the hand of unsavory evil prowling toward the tavern.

Scowling, Will glanced about. “Do you feel that?”

“Aye. It’s come ashore as I said it would.” And headed for the largest gathering of victims…just as Devyl had also predicted.

Meanwhile, the humans in the tavern went on, oblivious to the malignant force that was headed for them.

Devyl rose, intending to keep them in their ignorance. But he only made it halfway to the door before it opened and three plateyes came in, wearing the skin of regular sailors.

Will pulled up short behind him. “Sailors from the downed fleet?” he whispered in Devyl’s ear.

Devyl gave a subtle nod as he debated how best to deal with the unholy bastards who’d come to feast on the innocent and take their souls back to feed their mistress. Part of being a bound Hellchaser was to let no one know that neither he nor Will had come to battle these demons.

Unfortunately, the plat-eyes didn’t have a Code they were tied to. They passed an evil grin to one another, then went on a vicious attack that resulted in the three humans closest to them being ripped to shreds.

Utter chaos exploded as the humans sought cover and escape.

Devyl cursed as he was forced against the wall by the tidal wave of terrified humans who were hysterical over being trapped inside by inhuman predators. With their preternatural abilities, the plateyes had sealed the door so that no one could flee them.

They thought to feast to night.

Groaning and shoving at a drunken male who was trying to reach a window, Will made it back to his side. “What do we do, sir? I can’t get near them for the crowd.”

Devyl pulled his coat off with a flourish, then handed it to his quartermaster. “Have I ever said how much I detest the sound of screaming humanity?”

“Really? Rumor has it, it was once your most cherished melody.”

Hitting the release for his sling bow, Devyl passed an annoyed grimace to him. “Nay, the sweetest music to my ears has always been the death gurgle of an enemy slain at my feet as he gasps his last breath.” Completely calm, he loaded the small bolt and released it straight into the skull of the nearest plat- eye.

The beast fell back and exploded into a black cloud.

Stunned, the other two turned to gape at Devyl. Then they must have realized who and what they faced.

Their eyes widened in unison before they shifted into wolf form and ran for the door.

But Devyl’s power was greater than theirs and he held them inside.

Will grinned. “That got their attention, Captain.”

As soon as the plateyes realized they couldn’t escape, they shifted into their true hideous demonic bodies. Then they each split into three more beasts to attack.

Will cursed. “Vulnerable spot?”

“Between the eyes. Decapitation.” Devyl caught the first one to reach him and twisted his head off. “But it won’t kill them.”

“ Pardon?” Will visibly paled.

He took out two more before he turned to face the man. “Creatures of vengeance and lapdogs. These are shadow manifestations.” He caught a fourth one with his knife and drove it straight through its skull. “To kill them for good, we have to find the bodies they assumed when they entered this realm and destroy them.”

Will growled before he drew his sword and dispatched the one that came at his back. “I hate me job, Captain.”

Devyl finished off the last, then quickly spread a compound of yew, salt, and ground jasper over the door-frame. That would keep more plateyes from coming inside to prey here again.

Will retrieved Devyl’s coat and rushed to join him as the crowd began to realize the danger had passed. Now, they wanted answers neither of them was at liberty to give. And before the crowd could compose themselves further, Devyl and Will made a fast exit.

Outside the tavern, the moon had turned an eerie blood-red, and clouds hung thick in the sky, making it even darker.

Handing the coat to Devyl, Will grimaced. “So those are not the beasts we seek either?”

Devyl shook his head as he shrugged his coat on. “ They’re merely servants.”

Will winced. “In our last few months together, I have seen unbelievable things that appear to have been spat out of hell itself. And I can’t help but wonder just what exactly does the Carian Gate hold back from this world, if we haven’t seen it yet?”

Fastening his cuff, Devyl met his worried stare with a knowing smirk. “The most corrupt, horrifying evil that ever gurgled up from the farting arse of the cosmos.”


He snorted and clapped Will on the back. “We should be so lucky. Nay, Mr. Death . . . what’s coming up from the sea makes Lucifer look like a petulant, harmless child.”

Will crossed himself. “What exactly is it, then?”

Devyl sobered at the memory as a wave of bitterness and fury washed over him and burned him to the core of his blackened and withered soul. “In short, Mr. Death…my ex- wife.”

Copyright © 2017 by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Welcome back to Fantasy Firsts. Today we are offering we’re offering the chance to win these fantastic titles on Goodreads! For details on how to enter, please click on the cover image of the book you are interested in.

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer

Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya DyerAt the highest level of a giant forest, thirteen kingdoms fit seamlessly together to form the great city of Canopy. Thirteen goddesses and gods rule this realm and are continuously reincarnated into human bodies. Canopy’s position in the sun, however, is not without its dark side. The nation’s opulence comes from the labor of slaves, and below its fruitful boughs are two other realms: Understorey and Floor, whose deprived citizens yearn for Canopy’s splendor.

Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Deadmen tell their tales . . .

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane—an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn—an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

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In the tradition of Patrick O’Brian and Honor Harrington, Bennis’ The Guns Above is an adventurous military fantasy debut about a nation’s first female airship captain.

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For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can’t remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Truthwitch by Susan DennardOn a continent ruled by three empires, everyone is born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end, the balance of power-and the failing health of all magic-will fall on the shoulders of a mythical pair called the Cahr Awen.

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It has been centuries since the fall of the Knights Radiant, but their mystical swords and armor remain, transforming ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for them. Wars are fought for them and won by them.

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