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$2.99 eBook Sale: October 2022

No tricks here—we’re all treat, for all of scary season with delightfully devilish deals on ebooks! Check out the below list of hot titles!


Nightmare at 20,000 FeetNightmare at 20000 Feet by Richard Matheson – Horror Stories By Richard Matheson

Remember that monster on the wing of the airplane? William Shatner saw it on The Twilight Zone, John Lithgow saw it in the movie-even Bart Simpson saw it. “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is just one of many classic horror stories by Richard Matheson that have insinuated themselves into our collective imagination. Here are more than twenty of Matheson’s most memorable tales of fear and paranoia, including: “Prey,” in which a terrified woman is stalked by a malevolent Tiki doll, as chillingly captured in yet another legendary TV moment; “Blood Son,” a disturbing portrait of a strange little boy who dreams of being a vampire; “Dress of White Silk,” a seductively sinister tale of evil and innocence.

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The TollThe Toll by Cherie Priest by Cherie Priest

Take a road trip into a Southern gothic horror novel. Titus and Melanie Bell are on their honeymoon and have reservations in the Okefenokee Swamp cabins for a canoeing trip. But shortly before they reach their destination, the road narrows into a rickety bridge with old stone pilings, with room for only one car. Much later, Titus wakes up lying in the middle of the road, no bridge in sight. Melanie is missing. When he calls the police, they tell him there is no such bridge on Route 177 . . .

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The Bard’s BladeThe Bard's Blade by Brian D. Anderson by Brian D. Anderson

Mariyah enjoys a simple life in Vylari, a land magically sealed off from the outside world, where fear and hatred are all but unknown. There she’s a renowned wine maker and her betrothed, Lem, is a musician of rare talent. Their destiny has never been in question. Whatever life brings, they will face it together. Then a stranger crosses the wards into Vylari for the first time in centuries, bringing a dark prophecy that forces Lem and Mariyah down separate paths. How far will they have to go to stop a rising darkness and save their home? And how much of themselves will they have to give up along the way?

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MysticMystic by Jason Denzel by Jason Denzel

For hundreds of years, high-born nobles have competed for the chance to learn of the Myst. Powerful, revered, and often reclusive, Mystics have the unique ability to summon and manipulate the Myst: the underlying energy that lives at the heart of the universe. Once in a very great while, they take an apprentice, always from the most privileged sects of society. Such has always been the tradition-until a new High Mystic takes her seat and chooses Pomella AnDone, a restless, low-born teenager, as a candidate. Pomella knows that she will have more to contend with than the competition for the apprenticeship.

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Mystic DragonMystic Dragon by Jason Denzel by Jason Denzel

Seven years have passed since lowborn Pomella AnDone became an unlikely Mystic’s apprentice. Though she has achieved much in a short time, as a rare celestial event approaches, Pomella feels the burden of being a Mystic more than ever. The Mystical realm of Fayün is threatening to overtake the mortal world, and as the two worlds slowly blend together, the land is thrown into chaos. People begin to vanish or are killed outright, and Mystics from across the world gather to protect them. Among them is Shevia, a haunted and brilliant prodigy whose mastery of the Myst is unlike anything Pomella has ever seen.

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The RisingThe Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land by Heather Graham & Jon Land

Twenty-four hours. That’s all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever. Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

kindlef nookf ebooksf google playf kobof

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New Releases: 12/5/17

Happy New Release Day! Here’s what went on sale today.

Empire Games by Charles Stross

Image Placeholder of - 55 It’s 2020. Two nuclear superpowers across timelines, one in the midst of a technological revolution and the other a hyper-police state, are set on a collision course. Each timeline’s increasingly desperate paratime espionage agencies are fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a solution to the first-contact problem that doesn’t result in a nuclear holocaust.

Hymn by Ken Scholes

Poster Placeholder of - 55 The struggle between the Andro-Francine Order of the Named Lands and the Y’Zirite Empire has reached a terrible turning point. Believing that his son is dead, Rudolfo has pretended to join with the triumphant Y’zirite forces—but his plan is to destroy them all with a poison that is targeted only to the enemy.

In Y’Zir, Rudolfo’s wife Jin Li Tam is fighting a war with her own father which will bring that Empire to ruin.

The Macedonian by Nicholas Guild

Placeholder of  -50 On a cold, snow-swept night in the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon, a son is born to the king’s principal wife. His mother hates him for being his father’s child. His father hardly notices him. With two elder brothers, obscurity seems his destiny. The boy is sent off to be nursed by the chief steward’s wife.

Yet, in a moment of national crisis, when Macedon is on the verge of being torn apart, the prince raised by a servant finds himself proclaimed the king.

Mississippi Roll by George R.R. Martin and Wild Cards Trust

Image Place holder  of - 34 Now on its final voyage, the historical steamboat Natchez is known for her super-powered guest entertainers. But after the suspicious death of a crewmember, retired NY police detective Leo Storgman decides to make this incident his personal case. His findings only lead to a growing number of questions. Is there some truth behind the ghostly sightings of the steamboat’s first captain Wilbur Leathers? What secret does the current captain seem to be hiding? And could the Natchez be ferrying mysterious – and possibly dangerous – cargo onboard?

Strong to the Bone by Jon Land

Place holder  of - 89 1944: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a triple murder inside a Nazi POW camp in Texas.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself pursuing the killer her father never caught in the most personal case of her career—a conspiracy stretching from that Nazi POW camp to a modern-day neo-Nazi gang.

The Sword of Midras by Tracy Hickman and Richard Garriott

The world died during the Fall.

Abandoned by the mighty Avatars and their Virtues, the people who remained were left defenseless in an untamed land. That is, until the Obsidians came. Through dark sorcery and overwhelming force the Obsidian Empire brought order to chaos, no matter the cost.

NEW IN PAPERBACK: 

Death’s Mistress by Terry Goodkind

The Dosadi Experiment and the Eyes of Heisenberg by Frank Herbert

Dream West by David Nevin

Duel by Richard Matheson

Margaret Truman’s Deadly Medicine by Margaret Truman and Donald Bain

The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land

NEW IN MANGA: 

Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor Vol. 2 Story by Tarou Hitsuji; Art by Aosa Tsunemi

Captain Harlock: Dimensional Voyage Vol. 2 Story by Leiji Matsumoto; Art by Kouichi Shimahoshi

Dragonar Academy Vol. 13 Story by Shiki Mizuchi; Art by Ran

Magika Swordsman and Summoner Vol. 8 Story by Mitsuki Mihara; Art by MonRin

To Love Ru Darkness Vol. 1 Story and Art by Kentaro Yabuki and Saki Hasemi

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The Ten Best Pop Culture Pairings

Place holder  of - 68Written by Jon Land and Heather Graham

When Heather Graham and Jon Land decided to team up to write The Rising for Tor, they had no idea how the process would work or how well they would mesh. But their collaborative effort proved seamless, to the point where neither is exactly sure who was responsible for what in the finished product. As Jon recalls, “It got so we could finish each other’s sentences.” With that in mind, and to celebrate the book’s publication, Heather and Jon have assembled a list of the best pairings in the history of film and pop culture in general. See what you think and then chime in on what else should make the list.

Huck and Jim: Huckleberry Finn’s “freeing” of his friend, Jim, who is a slave, and their subsequent trip down the Mississippi by raft, remains the gold standard against which all such pairings should be judged. Learning from, and sacrificing for, each other defines friendship and love in a way that ushered in the modern age of the novel, even as it signaled the end of innocence for a still young America.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: The quintessential buddy movie is dominated by the relationship between Paul Newman’s Butch and Robert Redford’s Sundance, as they’re chased through the not-so-old West by a relentless posse. That relationship strikes all the right notes and lends the movie a light tone that belies the looming darkness personified by the oft-repeated line, “For a minute there, I thought we were in trouble.”

Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon: The film basically serves up a modern day version of Butch and Sundance in this pairing of an old-school detective with a younger, unhinged partner. Witty banter and byplay highlights Mel Gibson’s Riggs rising from his suicidal funk to become the hero Danny Glover’s Murtaugh needs him to be for both of them to survive. Their relationship inspired scores of would-be carbon copies and ushered in a new heyday for the cop movie.

Johnny Hooker and Henry Gondorff: Redford and Newman again dominate this even more classic pairing from The Sting, which is defined by Redford’s young Hooker luring Newman’s past-his-prime grifter Gondorff out of retirement to con a crime boss out of a fortune. Male bonding has never been done more effectively, making this one of the best films ever made.

Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega: The black-suit clad, hitman duo, so ably played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, are featured in the two tales that comprise the brilliant Pulp Fiction. In a movie with no heroes, they lend a crass morality and sense of nobility to an ignoble world. Sure, they’re not nice guys, but everything’s relative and the way they judge the world and each other keeps us from judging them.

Thelma and Louise: What can we say? Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis hit it out of the park in their portrayal of the title characters in a movie way ahead of its time, given that sexual assault is the catalyst that sets everything in motion. The relationship between the women establishes the benchmark for the power of friendship and a love that has nothing to do with sexual attraction.

Phineas and Gene: Speaking of (alleged) sexual attraction, the ultimately tragic friendship between two friends coming of age at a New England prep school remains one of the most enduring in literary history. A Separate Peace daringly explores the boundaries between love and friendship, crafting a relationship for which our two heroes employ entirely different standards and expectations.

Ripley and Newt: The Director’s Cut of the James Cameron classic Aliens restored the fact that, by the time Ellen Ripley got home from clashing with a monster in the original film, her young daughter had grown old and died. Returning to the planetary scene of the original crime unites Sigourney Weaver’s classic female bad ass with a surrogate daughter she has to save and creates the film’s primary relationship and emotional heart.

Natty Bumppo and Chingatchgook: From quasi-mother and daughter to quasi-father and son in James Fenimore Cooper’s classic Leatherstocking Tales about seeking respite in an American frontier roiled by violence. The story of Natty Bumppo, a white boy essentially adopted by a Native American man, was centuries ahead of its time, but right on point in making their relationship a harbinger of hope for an American future that turned out to be remarkably prescient.

Hawk and Spenser: Modern crime fiction is chock full of hero-sidekick pairings, including James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell or Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar and Win. But Hawk’s street wisdom is the perfect complement to Spenser’s more esoteric view of the world, to the point where Robert B. Parker’s characters seem almost to be two sides of the same coin. Their friendship, when contrasted against Spenser’s relationship with Susan Silverman, actually seems closer to a marriage.

Order Your Copy

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Follow Jon Land on Twitter and on Facebook.

Follow Heather Graham on Twitter and on Facebook.

(This is a rerun of a post that originally ran on January 9, 2017.)

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On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events in April

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in April! See who is coming to a city near you this month.

Marie Brennan, Within the Sanctuary of Wings

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Saturday, April 29
Borderlands Café
San Francisco, CA
3:00 PM

Cory Doctorow, Walkaway

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Tuesday, April 25
Vroman’s Bookstore
Pasadena, CA
7:00 PM
Also with John Scalzi and Amber Benson.

Wednesday, April 26
Santa Cruz High School Auditorium
Santa Cruz, CA
7:00 PM
Hosted by the Bookshop Santa Cruz, also with John Scalzi.

Thursday, April 27
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
6:00 PM
Also with John Scalzi.

Kevin Egan, Shattered Circle

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Thursday, April 6
Mysterious Bookshop
New York, NY
5:30 PM

Jon Land, The Rising

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Wednesday, April 5
Murder by the Book
Houston, TX
6:30 PM

Ken Liu, Invisible Planets

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Tuesday, April 4
Hong Kong Association of New York
New York, NY
6:00 PM

Renee Patrick, Dangerous to Know

Tuesday, April 11
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM

Saturday, April 22
Poisoned Pen
Scottsdale, AZ
2:00 PM
CozyCon 2017 – also with Tessa Arlen, Paige Shelton, Jenn McKinlay, and Francine Mathews.

John Scalzi, The Collapsing Empire

Monday, April 3
Books & Co
Beavercreek, OH
7:00 PM

Tuesday, April 4
Cayuga County Public Library – Parma-Snow Branch
Parma, OH
7:00 PM

Wednesday, April 5
Brookline Booksmith
Brookline, MA
7:00 PM

Thursday, April 6
Gibson’s Bookstore
Concord, NH
7:00 PM

Friday, April 7
Odyssey Bookshop
South Hadley, MA
7:00 PM
Also with Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear.

Saturday, April 8
Madison Public Library
Madison, WI
7:00 PM
Books provided by A Room of One’s Own.

Monday, April 17
Jean Cocteau Cinema
Santa Fe, NM
7:00 PM

Tuesday, April 18
Boulder Bookstore
Boulder, CO
7:30 PM

Wednesday, April 19
University Temple United Methodist Church
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM
Books provided by the University Bookstore.

Thursday, April 20
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
7:00 PM

Tuesday, April 25
Vroman’s Bookstore
Pasadena, CA
7:00 PM
Also with Cory Doctorow and Amber Benson.

Wednesday, April 26
Santa Cruz High School Auditorium
Santa Cruz, CA
7:00 PM
Hosted by the Bookshop Santa Cruz, also with Cory Doctorow.

Thursday, April 27
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
6:00 PM
Also with Cory Doctorow.

Brian Staveley, Skullsworn

Thursday, April 27
Phoenix Books
Burlington, VT
7:00 PM

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New Releases: 1/17/17

Here’s what went on sale today!

Empire Games by Charles Stross

Empire Games by Charles StrossCharles Stross builds a new series with Empire Games. Expanding on the world he created in the Family Trade series, a new generation of paratime travellers walk between parallel universes. 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.

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn

Martians Abroad by Carrie VaughnWell known for her Kitty Norville bestselling series, Carrie Vaughn has written Martians Abroad, a novel with great crossover appeal. Polly Newton has one single-minded dream, to be a starship pilot and travel the galaxy. Her mother, the Director of the Mars Colony, derails Polly’s plans when she sends Polly and her genius twin brother, Charles, to Galileo Academy on Earth–the one planet Polly has no desire to visit. Ever.

The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land

The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon LandFrom acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising. Twenty-four hours. That’s all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

NOW IN PAPERBACK:

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. SchwabFour months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free by Randy Henderson

Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free by Randy HendersonRandy Henderson continues his dark and quirky urban fantasy series with Bigfootloose and Finn Fancy Free, set in a world of arcane beings hidden among the mundane townies of Port Townsend, Washington. In this sequel to Randy Henderson’s acclaimed debut novel, Finn Fancy Necromancy, Finn Gramaraye is settling back into the real world after his twenty-five-year-long imprisonment in the otherworld of the Fey.

Only the Stones Survive by Morgan Llewelyn

Only the Stones Survive by Morgan LlewellynMorgan Llywelyn has proved herself a force in historical fiction with her novels of in the Irish Century series. In Only the Stones Survive, she looks back to the ancient legend of Ireland’s gods and goddesses. For centuries the Túatha Dé Danann lived in peace on an island where time flowed more slowly and the seasons were gentle–until that peace was shattered by the arrival of invaders.

NEW FROM TOR.COM

The Fortress at the End of Time by Joe M. McDermott

The Fortress at the End of Time by Joe M. McDermottCaptain Ronaldo Aldo has committed an unforgivable crime. He will ask for forgiveness all the same: from you, from God, even from himself. Connected by ansible, humanity has spread across galaxies and fought a war against an enemy that remains a mystery. At the edge of human space sits the Citadel—a relic of the war and a listening station for the enemy’s return. For a young Ensign Aldo, fresh from the academy and newly cloned across the ansible line, it’s a prison from which he may never escape.

NEW IN MANGA:

Franken Fran Vol. 7-8 Story and art by Katsuhisa Kigitsu

How to Build a Dungeon: Book of the Demon King Vol. 2 Story by Yakan Warau; Art by Toshimasa Komiya

My Girlfriend is a T-Rex Vol. 2 Story and art by Sanzo

Non Non Biyori Vol. 6 Story and art by Atto

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The Ten Best Pop Culture Pairings

ibooks2 84
Poster Placeholder of - 17Written by Jon Land and Heather Graham

When Heather Graham and Jon Land decided to team up to write The Rising for Tor, they had no idea how the process would work or how well they would mesh. But their collaborative effort proved seamless, to the point where neither is exactly sure who was responsible for what in the finished product. As Jon recalls, “It got so we could finish each other’s sentences.” With that in mind, and to celebrate the book’s publication, Heather and Jon have assembled a list of the best pairings in the history of film and pop culture in general. See what you think and then chime in on what else should make the list.

Huck and Jim: Huckleberry Finn’s “freeing” of his friend, Jim, who is a slave, and their subsequent trip down the Mississippi by raft, remains the gold standard against which all such pairings should be judged. Learning from, and sacrificing for, each other defines friendship and love in a way that ushered in the modern age of the novel, even as it signaled the end of innocence for a still young America.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: The quintessential buddy movie is dominated by the relationship between Paul Newman’s Butch and Robert Redford’s Sundance, as they’re chased through the not-so-old West by a relentless posse. That relationship strikes all the right notes and lends the movie a light tone that belies the looming darkness personified by the oft-repeated line, “For a minute there, I thought we were in trouble.”

Riggs and Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon: The film basically serves up a modern day version of Butch and Sundance in this pairing of an old-school detective with a younger, unhinged partner. Witty banter and byplay highlights Mel Gibson’s Riggs rising from his suicidal funk to become the hero Danny Glover’s Murtaugh needs him to be for both of them to survive. Their relationship inspired scores of would-be carbon copies and ushered in a new heyday for the cop movie.

Johnny Hooker and Henry Gondorff: Redford and Newman again dominate this even more classic pairing from The Sting, which is defined by Redford’s young Hooker luring Newman’s past-his-prime grifter Gondorff out of retirement to con a crime boss out of a fortune. Male bonding has never been done more effectively, making this one of the best films ever made.

Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega: The black-suit clad, hitman duo, so ably played by Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta, are featured in the two tales that comprise the brilliant Pulp Fiction. In a movie with no heroes, they lend a crass morality and sense of nobility to an ignoble world. Sure, they’re not nice guys, but everything’s relative and the way they judge the world and each other keeps us from judging them.

Thelma and Louise: What can we say? Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis hit it out of the park in their portrayal of the title characters in a movie way ahead of its time, given that sexual assault is the catalyst that sets everything in motion. The relationship between the women establishes the benchmark for the power of friendship and a love that has nothing to do with sexual attraction.

Phineas and Gene: Speaking of (alleged) sexual attraction, the ultimately tragic friendship between two friends coming of age at a New England prep school remains one of the most enduring in literary history. A Separate Peace daringly explores the boundaries between love and friendship, crafting a relationship for which our two heroes employ entirely different standards and expectations.

Ripley and Newt: The Director’s Cut of the James Cameron classic Aliens restored the fact that, by the time Ellen Ripley got home from clashing with a monster in the original film, her young daughter had grown old and died. Returning to the planetary scene of the original crime unites Sigourney Weaver’s classic female bad ass with a surrogate daughter she has to save and creates the film’s primary relationship and emotional heart.

Natty Bumppo and Chingatchgook: From quasi-mother and daughter to quasi-father and son in James Fenimore Cooper’s classic Leatherstocking Tales about seeking respite in an American frontier roiled by violence. The story of Natty Bumppo, a white boy essentially adopted by a Native American man, was centuries ahead of its time, but right on point in making their relationship a harbinger of hope for an American future that turned out to be remarkably prescient.

Hawk and Spenser: Modern crime fiction is chock full of hero-sidekick pairings, including James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux and Clete Purcell or Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar and Win. But Hawk’s street wisdom is the perfect complement to Spenser’s more esoteric view of the world, to the point where Robert B. Parker’s characters seem almost to be two sides of the same coin. Their friendship, when contrasted against Spenser’s relationship with Susan Silverman, actually seems closer to a marriage.

ibooks2 28

Follow Jon Land on Twitter and on Facebook.

Follow Heather Graham on Twitter and on Facebook.

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On the Road: Tor/Forge Author Events for January

Tor/Forge authors are on the road in January! See who is coming to a city near you this month.

Susan Dennard, Windwitch

Sunday, January 8
Book People
Austin, TX
2:00 PM
Also with Alexandra Bracken.

Monday, January 9
The King’s English Bookshop
Salt Lake City, UT
7:00 PM
Also with Alexandra Bracken.

Tuesday, January 10
Barnes & Noble
Los Angeles, CA
7:00 PM
Also with Alexandra Bracken.

Wednesday, January 11
Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing
Portland, OR
7:00 PM
Also with Alexandra Bracken.

Thursday, January 12
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
7:00 PM
Also with Alexandra Bracken.

Friday, January 13
Kepler’s Books
Menlo Park, CA
7:00 PM
Also with Alexandra Bracken.

Sunday, January 15
Parnassus Books
Nashville, TN
2:00 PM

Monday, January 16
Spellbound Children’s Bookshop
Asheville, NC
6:00 PM

Tuesday, January 17
Main Street Books
St. Charles, MO
7:00 PM

Wednesday, January 18
Anderson’s Bookshop
Naperville, IL
7:00 PM

Sunday, January 22
Books-a-Million
Beverly Hills, MI
2:00 PM

Heather Graham & Jon Land, The Rising

Tuesday, January 17
Bank Square Books
Mystic, CT
6:00 PM

Thursday, January 19
Barnes & Noble at Warwick Center
Warwick, RI
6:00 PM

Friday, January 20
Barrington Books Retold
Cranston, RI
6:30 PM

Saturday, January 21
Wakefield Books
Wakefield, RI
12:00 PM

Saturday, January 21
Books on the Square
Providence, RI
4:00 PM

Sunday, January 22
Stax Discount Books
Marlborough, MA
11:00 AM

Tuesday, January 24
St. Louis County Library – Weber Road Branch
St. Louis, MO
7:00 PM

Thursday, January 26
Murder on the Beach
Delray Beach, FL
7:00 PM

Friday, January 27
Vero Beach Book Center
Vero Beach, FL
6:00 PM

Saturday, January 28
Books-A-Million
Kissimmee, FL
2:00 PM

Sunday, January 29
Winter Park Public Library
Winter Park, FL
2:00 PM
Books provided by the Writer’s Block Bookstore.

Kim Liggett, The Last Harvest

Wednesday, January 11
Half Price Books
Oklahoma City, OK
7:00 PM

Friday, January 13
Book People
Austin, TX
7:00 PM
Also with Chandler Baker and Neal Shusterman.

Nisi Shawl, Everfair

Friday, January 6
The Book Bin
Salem, OR
7:00 PM

Carrie Vaughn, Martians Abroad

Tuesday, January 17
Tattered Cover
Denver, CO
7:00 PM

Thursday, January 19
Old Town Library
Fort Collins, CO
7:00 PM
Books provided by Old Firehouse Books.

Sunday, January 29
Jean Cocteau Cinema
Santa Fe, NM
1:00 PM

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Sneak Peek: The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land

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From acclaimed thriller-suspense novelists Heather Graham and Jon Land comes a story of action, mystery, and the endurance of young love in The Rising.

Twenty-four hours. That’s all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex’s attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

The Rising will become available January 3rd. Please enjoy this excerpt.

1

COIN FLIP

ALL RIGHT, VISITING CAPTAIN, the call is yours.”

Alex Chin watched the referee toss the ceremonial coin into the air, watched it spiral downward upon the St. Ignatius College Prep turf field set on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the Sunset section of San Francisco.

“Heads,” he heard the captain of the Granite Bay Grizzlies say.

“It’s tails,” the referee said, stooping to retrieve the coin. “Home captain?”

“We want the ball,” Alex said, long hair matted down inside his helmet.

His gaze drifted again to the man in the wheelchair situated just off the sideline. He was clapping up a storm with the rest of the jam-packed crowd on the home side, gathered to watch the Central Coast sectional championship game between Alex’s St. Ignatius Wildcats and the Grizzlies of Granite Bay, a public high school near Sacramento.

Tom Banks was as close to a legend in these parts as there was, quarterback of the last Wildcats football team to make a run at the state title until a vicious hit out of bounds put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His son Tommy played linebacker for the team now and had cracked the starting lineup earlier in the season. Alex had heard Tom Banks hadn’t been back to this field in all the years since his injury, tonight marking a quiet, unceremonious return just to watch his son play. The first time Alex had heard his name was when his own parents brought it up as a rationale to keep him from playing football.

As a result, Alex had joined the freshman team four years ago without saying a word to Li and An Chin, except to make up lies about where he was and what he was doing when he was really at practice. They didn’t find out until the local paper ran a story about the Wildcats promoting a freshman to start at quarterback for the first time in the school’s storied history. They’d been oh-for-four when Alex took over but then won five out of their last six games to finish at five hundred. The team upped that to seven wins Alex’s sophomore season, then eight his junior, before going undefeated this fall and earning a home play-off game.

Alex and the other two Wildcat captains switched positions with their Grizzly counterparts at the fifty-yard line to mimic the direction in which each would be going to start the game. The Cats were representing the Western Catholic Athletic League, and the Grizzlies, the Sierra Athletic Conference, with the winner advancing to the Division 3 state championship. St. Ignatius had taken the ball, instead of deferring possession until the second half, because they’d scored all eight times this year when they received the opening kickoff.

We want the ball.

Right now, though, Alex stooped and picked up the game ball the ref had laid down in the center of the Wildcat logo smack dab in the middle of the field.

“That’s not yours, son,” the referee scolded.

But as his fellow captains rushed into the pile of teammates cheering and jumping in a tight mass on the sideline, Alex tucked the football under his arm and jogged out toward the end zone near where Tom Banks sat alone in his wheelchair.

“That’s unsportsmanlike conduct!” he heard the ref call after him. “Fifteen-yard penalty, son!”

Alex still didn’t stop, didn’t even look back.

“This game’s for you, sir,” he said, handing Tom Banks the ball. “We’re gonna finish what you started.”

He watched Banks tuck the football under his arm the way he must have when he, like Alex, was an all-state quarterback. The man’s eyes teared up, the two of them looking at each other until Alex threaded a hand through his face mask to wipe his own. Then he ran off to a ripple of applause through the crowd, toward the sounds of Coach “Blu” Bluford yelling for him to get with it, the game was about to start, and what the hell was he thinking, anyway?

Alex knew his parents were up there somewhere, soon to be holding their breath as always in fear of his being injured. They may not have yelled at him the way Coach was yelling right now, once they found out he was playing football, but they’d been pissed too.

“Why can’t I play?” he’d challenged. “It’s my life.”

“You don’t understand,” his mother said.

“We are doing this for your own good,” his father added.

“You have to trust us.”

“No,” Alex said adamantly. “I want to play football. I’m going to play football.”

He remembered how his parents had looked at each other in that moment. Not angry, not disappointed, more like …

Scared.

Alex threw himself into the lurching pile of teammates pounding each other, swarmed by them and feeling the energy radiating like the air on the hottest day summer had to offer. The referee blew his whistle to summon the teams out for the kickoff, the crowd rising to its collective feet, stomping on the bleachers.

“What are we?” Alex shouted from the center of the swarm.

“Glue!” came the deafening response.

“What are we?”

“Glue!”

“What are we?”

“Glue!”

“Then let’s stick together and play some football!”

And with that Alex led the kickoff team out onto the field where the referee was waiting for him, tucking his yellow flag back into his belt.

“So was it worth it, son, was it worth fifteen yards?”

Alex turned toward Tom Banks, now cradling the game ball in his lap.

“Absolutely,” he said to the ref. “No question about it.”

 

Copyright © 2016 by Heather Graham and Jon Land

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