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Paperback Spotlight: Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry

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Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan MaberryFrom New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West.

Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns . . . and a mysterious substance called “ghost rock” fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets.

In Ghostwalkers, a gun-for-hire, literally haunted by his bloody past, comes to the struggling town of Paradise Falls, where he becomes embroiled in a deadly conflict between the besieged community and a diabolically brilliant alchemist who is building terrible new weapons of mass destruction . . . and an army of the living dead!

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers will be out in paperback on August 2nd. Please enjoy this excerpt.

Chapter One

Grey Torrance sat on his horse in the dark shade of a tower of rock and watched a posse try their damndest to kill a Sioux.

They were going about it with a will, Grey had to give them that. Clearly they’d given it some thought. Put some effort into. Making a job of it.

The Sioux?

He seemed to have the same work ethic when it came to not being killed. Riding hard until they shot his little pinto out from under him. Then climbing onto the big piles of rocks left over from when sheets of ice covered this whole land. The Sioux kept deviling the riders, cutting through narrow clefts in the rock, picking his way up trails a goat wouldn’t risk. Tumbling rocks down on his pursuers. Even set a small brush fire. The man was using all the tricks.

Grey thought it was highly entertaining.

Kind of a shame the Sioux had no chance at all.

Not with six mounted men. Not out here where he could stall but he couldn’t really escape.

Still, it was fun to watch.

Grey took a piece of jerky from his pocket, bit some off, and chewed slowly, letting the salt coax spit from his dry mouth. He wasn’t entirely sure the jerky was beef, but as he’d taken it from a dead man’s saddle it wasn’t something he could verify. It kept him alive, though. That and a handful of beans and a water skin he’d filled from a dreary little stream.

Alive, and until now, unhappy.

This lifted the day from nothing to something.

One man on foot trying to escape six on horseback in a country that was made for dying. The hills were a broken tumble of tan rocks that looked like they’d been dumped here at the end of the sixth day of creation. When God was just too damn tired to build anything else, so he tossed it all across Nevada and said to hell with it.

Maybe he thought the Devil would want it.

No one else much did.

Hateful, ugly place where the scorpion was king and water was worth more than gold or ghost rock.

It wasn’t a place for the living.

It was a desert.

A boneyard.

A dead land.

He chewed and watched as the Sioux raced for the shelter of a massive tumble of rocks and started to climb. Some of the rocks stood straight up like the arms of buried giants. Some lay flat and stacked. Three of these formed a kind of rough terrace, with two smaller platforms and a big one up top. Be hard as hell to make it up that top shelf, but as Grey watched the Sioux seemed to be trying just that. The Sioux raced across the lowest table, leaped up and out, and caught a twisted root of a Joshua tree. The root was as withered as the tree, which leaned drunkenly over the edge of a higher shelf. Grey narrowed his eyes, trying to understand the point of the Sioux taking that risk. Even if he got to the next shelf, the posse could simply fall back and wait. There was nowhere else to go. That second shelf stood alone, like a tiny mesa, offering no shelter or …

The Sioux snaked out his hands and caught the vine. Clutched it firm, then immediately began to climb. He was clearly making for the dense shadows under that bigger top shelf and Grey wondered why the six pursuers didn’t just shoot him down. At that range they could shoot to wound and have a good chance of getting it done.

But they didn’t seem to want to kill or injure the Sioux. They wanted him alive.

Now … why was that?

As the fugitive climbed up the vine toward the lip of the higher shelf, Grey found himself chewing on the question as much as on the jerky.

Why would six white men go to such lengths to capture an Indian unharmed?

That was damn odd, even for a part of the country that was odder than most. If it was one man Grey could put it down to heatstroke or some personal grudge. But this was six men. Well-armed, and from their bulging saddlebags, well-provisioned.

And wasn’t that damned interesting?

Grey reached down and stroked the long neck of his horse. His newly acquired horse. The animal’s coat was the same shade of dusty blue as the hair of Grey’s grade-school teacher back home in Philadelphia, so he’d named the mare Mrs. Pickles. Picky for short. Nice horse.

Picky blew softly and shook her head. But she, too, was watching the drama below. She seemed every bit as curious as Grey was.

“So,” Grey murmured, “what do you think?”

Picky lifted her head as if listening.

“We could turn northwest and leave these fellows to their own adventures.”

Picky made no move.

“Or we could be busybodies and go interfere where we ain’t wanted.”

The horse blew again and stamped the rock with a hoof. She did it so hard it kicked up a spark.

“That’s what I thought you’d say.”

Grey thumbed the restraining thong off the end of his pistol and loosened the Winchester in its scabbard. He absently touched the knives in boot-top and belt. Then, as he did a thousand times a day he turned and looked over his shoulder.

There was nothing there.

Behind him was more of the blasted and blighted Nevada wasteland. The road he’d come was a random zigzag through different states, different nations, different climates.

Different wars.

He knew, with all his intellect and experience, that no one was following him. He was good at leaving no trail to follow. So, he knew that there was no one back there. No one hunting him, as the posse down there was hunting the Sioux.

He knew that.

Just as he knew that he was wrong.

Partly wrong.

No man followed him, that was certain. No posse, no hunting party, no Agents or Rangers.

What was back there, riding his back trail somewhere in the dust and distance was not a man. Or even a group of men.

No, you couldn’t call them “men.”

Not anymore.

They’d been men once upon a time, though. They’d been men before they died.

Before he killed them.

The ghosts of his crimes were relentless.

Grey took a breath and forced himself to turn and study the landscape before him, not the wreckage behind.

He swallowed the last bit of jerky, took a long drink, nodded to himself, and then kicked Picky lightly in the sides.

“Come on, girl,” he said, “let’s go see if we can’t get into trouble.”

Which is what they did.

Copyright © 2015 by Pinnacle Entertainment Group

Buy Deadlands: Ghostwalkers here:

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Tor Books Announces Programming for San Diego Comic-Con 2016

 

sdccTor-logoaTor Books is heading to San Diego Comic-Con!

Once again Tor (Booth #2707) continues our wildly popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, offering you a chance to meet your favorite authors up close and personal and pick up free books. We’ve got a great line up including appearances by: V. E. Schwab, Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Mary Robinette Kowal, and more!

For excerpts, a spotlight on our newest authors, panel schedules, giveaway times and much more, please visit torforgeblog.com. And make sure to follow @TorBooks on Twitter for up to date information and last minute events.

THURSDAY

  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm Nerd Trivia Challenge: Author Edition, Horton Grand Theatre
    Nerd Trivia Challenge is a one-hour game show featuring three teams of today’s biggest authors competing for the chance to be the champions of nerdy knowledge. Authors V. E. Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows), Patrick Rothfuss, Pierce Brown, and more test their knowledge of everything from Marvel Universe characters to Harry Potter. Moderated by Brandon T. Snider.
  • 2:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Thomas Olde Heuvelt, HEX
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm Fantasy Mixology: The Perfect Literary Cocktail, Horton Grand While the average happy hour involves a bit of gin, rum, or vodka, these authors mix things up with witches, demons, giants, ghosts, Celtic gods, and other magical beings. Top-shelf authors Paul Cornell (Witches of Lychford), Mary Robinette Kowal (Ghost Talkers and The Glamourist Histories), Kevin Hearne, and more discuss the ingredients that go into making your favorite fantasy cocktails. Moderated by Petra Mayer from NPR.

FRIDAY

  • 2:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Madeline Ashby, Company Town
  • 2:30pm Spotlight on Seanan McGuire, Room 24ABC 
    This panel has traveled from Australia to Ireland, and now it’s coming to San Diego Comic-Con! Part Q&A, part stand-up comedy, part serious discussion, the only way to know what will be said is to show up and ask questions. For this one-hour period, Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway) will answer anything you care to ask her (although, as a warning, the answers will rarely be as simple as might be expected). There may be prizes for particularly good questions, depending on how much room she has in her suitcase.
  • 3:00pm – 4:00pm Sweet Dreams Aren’t Made of These: Horror and Thriller Authors Bring Your Nightmares to Life, Room 29AB
    Authors in the horror and thriller genres are more than just talented writers. They have to be masters of psychology, understanding what makes us most terrified and portraying worlds and scenarios that strike at the very core of our deepest and darkest fears. Thomas Olde Heuvelt (HEX), Del Howison, Amy Lukavics, and more as they discuss the best ways to scare you.
  • 4:30pm – 5:30pm Science Fiction/Future Now, Room 26AB
    Science fiction has ever been the muse of real-world advances, but now ideas can be achieved almost as soon as they are thought up. So how do writers, out-dream the dream makers? How do writers handle the truth of real science and the fiction that is needed for writing their stories? Is it a crisis for the writer’s imagination? Or does it serve to inspire? Join Madeline Ashby (Company Town), Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Sherri L Smith, and more in a roundtable discussion as they take this subject on.
  • 5:00pm Tor Booth (#2707) Signing: Mary Robinette Kowal, Ghost Talkers
  • 5:00pm Autographing Area, Table AA09 Signing: Thomas Olde Heuvelt (HEX)
  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm The Annual International Association of Media Tie-In Writers Awards Panel, Room 28DE
    Max Allan Collins, co-founder of the IAMTW, hosts this year’s Scribe Awards for excellence in tie-in writing, including honoring this year’s Grandmaster Award “Faust” winner, Timothy Zahn. Panelists Adam Christopher, Nancy HolderJonathan Maberry, and more engage in a freewheeling look at one of the most popular and yet underappreciated branches of the writing trade.

SATURDAY

  • 12:00pm – 1:00pm The Female Geek: Women as Fans and Creators, Room 7AB 
    Featuring: Madeline Ashby (Company Town) There’s more to being a geek girl than meets the eye. From Princess Leia, to Katniss Everdeen, to Hermione Granger, fandom is full of awesome female characters-but what about the women who create these iconic individuals? Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir, Kiersten White, and more discuss feminism and fandom in a panel moderated by Madeline Ashby (Company Town).
  • 1:30pm – 2:30pm Autographing Area, Table AA09 Signing: Madeline Ashby (Company Town)
  • 2:00pm – 3:00pm Worldbuilding: Creating Realistic Fantasy Settings, Room 9
    Words are important. But how are they made? Claudia Christian (Wolf’s Empire: Gladiator)Seanan McGuire (Tor.com, Every Heart a Doorway), and more discuss how they set the stage for their stories and explore the dos and don’ts of building a living, breathing world for their characters in a panel moderated by Cindy Pon (Serpentine).

SUNDAY

  • 3:45pm – 4:45pm What’s Hot in Young Adult Fiction, Room 5AB
    Strong protagonists, engrossing romance, humor, action, and angst! Join us for this popular annual chat about the hottest new titles and trends in YA fiction. Moderated by Nathan Bransford and featuring Victoria Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic), Renee Ahdieh, Victoria Aveyard, Michelle Hodkin, and more.

All Tor Booth signings are on a first come first serve basis and while supplies lasts. Limit one book per person.

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Sneak Peek: Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan MaberryWelcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns . . . and a mysterious substance called “ghost rock” fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets.

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry comes the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful RPG set in the Weird, Weird West. We hope you enjoy this excerpt of Deadlands: Ghostwalkers.

Chapter One

Grey Torrance sat on his horse in the dark shade of a tower of rock and watched a posse try their damndest to kill a Sioux.

They were going about it with a will, Grey had to give them that. Clearly they’d given it some thought. Put some effort into. Making a job of it.

The Sioux?

He seemed to have the same work ethic when it came to not being killed. Riding hard until they shot his little pinto out from under him. Then climbing onto the big piles of rocks leftover from when sheets of ice covered this whole land. The Sioux kept deviling the riders, cutting through narrow clefts in the rock, picking his way up trails a goat wouldn’t risk. Tumbling rocks down on his pursuers. Even set a small brush fire. The man was using all the tricks.

Grey thought it was highly entertaining.

(more…)

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Book Trailer: Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry

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Deadlands: Ghostwalkers by Jonathan Maberry

From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, Ghostwalkers is the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West.

Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has shattered California into a labyrinth of sea-flooded caverns . . . and a mysterious substance called “ghost rock” fuels exotic steampunk inventions as well as plenty of bloodshed and flying bullets.

In Ghostwalkers, a gun-for-hire, literally haunted by his bloody past, comes to the struggling town of Paradise Falls, where he becomes embroiled in a deadly conflict between the besieged community and a diabolically brilliant alchemist who is building terrible new weapons of mass destruction . . . and an army of the living dead!

Deadlands: Ghostwalkers goes on sale September 15th. Pre-order it today: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s Books

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