IN THE SHADOW OF THE AXE Available Now In E-Book Edition!

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I told you it was coming soon! My new novel, In the Shadow of the Axe, is now available in an e-book edition from Crossroad Press! Here’s a description:

The year is 1847, and Kasch Möllhausen has returned to the small German mountain village of Helmburg in disgrace. Kicked out of the Swiss boarding school where he was unforgivably abandoned by his father, Luther Möllhausen, his humiliating homecoming is further complicated by the news that Luther has died. Worse, Kasch learns that the father he has come to despise instructed the village elders not to inform Kasch of his death or invite him back for the funeral.

But not everyone hates Luther as much as Kasch does. To the people of Helmburg, Luther was a hero. Shortly before Kasch was born, Luther led an uprising against the Necromancer, a mysterious figure who lived in a castle high in the mountains and preyed mercilessly upon the villagers. It was Luther who struck the final blow and put an end to the Necromancer’s reign of terror.

But Kasch finds Helmburg is still a haunted village. The ghosts of the Necromancer’s victims have begun appearing at night, and the old survivors of the uprising are being killed one by one, their bodies chopped to pieces. With the help of Hahn Gehrig, the elderly village doctor, and Liese Maentel, Kasch’s childhood love, he sets out to discover if the Necromancer is still alive — which would prove once and for all that his father was no hero — or if someone else is responsible for the murders, a madman living among them with no conscience or mercy. The terrifying truth he uncovers will change Helmburg forever — because the past leaves a long shadow, and the axe has only just begun to fall.

Includes an Introduction by multiple award-winning author Laird Barron (Swift to Chase) and the bonus short story “(F)Earless.”

A print edition of In the Shadow of the Axe will be available shortly, but the e-book edition can be purchased right now at the following online stores:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

If you are a reviewer for a magazine, newspaper, website, podcast, etc., and are interested in receiving an electronic review copy of In the Shadow of the Axe, please feel free to contact me. Please note: I am only looking for professional review outlets at the moment. Goodreads reviews, Amazon reviews, social media reviews, and personal blog reviews are certainly welcome, but I can’t give away copies to readers at this time.

Thanks, everyone, and I hope you enjoy my new novel!

Cover Reveal

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Coming soon. Very, very soon. Watch this space for more information.

Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival 2016

I will be taking part in the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival this year: Saturday, October 22nd, 10 AM – 4:30 PM at the Haverhill Public Library in Haverhill, Mass! This event is free and open to the public! There will be lots of great stuff going on, but here’s where you can find me:

Signing, 10 AM – 12 PM

Copies of Dying Is My BusinessDie and Stay Dead, and Chasing the Dragon will be available for sale at the event, but I’ll happily sign anything of mine that you bring, too! Don’t worry if you miss the window of my official signing, I’ll be at the festival all day and will be happy to sign your books whenever.

Some of my Best Friends Are Vampires: Diversity in Urban Fantasy, 3 PM – 4 PM

Kat Howard, Errick Nunnally, Nicholas Kaufmann (M), Douglas Wynne, E.J. Stevens

Much of the first wave of urban fantasy and paranormal mysteries didn’t contain many characters that reflected the diverse nature of the real world. They tended to be white, middle class, and North American in both setting and population. A new wave of writers in these subgenres are exploring cities and characters that are more inclusive. Panelists will discuss approaches to broader perspectives, challenges they face, and the best works of urban fantasy that embrace the multicultural nature of our world.

For more information, check out the festival’s Facebook page! I hope to see you there!

The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount CharThe Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Despite the enormous amount of violence and death in this novel, I actually found it quite delightful! That’s thanks to of Hawkins’ breezy prose and sense of humor throughout, as well as his ability to write interesting, well drawn characters. There’s a lot of bold and original creativity on display here, and a truly fascinating magical system. I was ready to give this book five stars, but found it stumbled toward the end with clumsy expository dialogue, frequent mentions of antagonists who never show up (wherefore art thou, Billy O’Shea?), and the redemption of a character who has, for 300 pages, been irredeemable to the reader for his stunningly heartless brutality toward the children. He is presented in the end as having a good reason for his sadistic cruelty, but that reason is never fully explored or made comprehensible to the reader, and thus it all comes off as needless. There’s some stuff with the president that’s just silly, and Hawkins makes the mistake of introducing us to several of Carolyn’s fellow librarians, all of whom are interesting in their own way, and then completely removing them from the story off-page so that we neither get to experience their absence ourselves nor feel Carolyn’s emotions about their absence, which leaves us not feeling anything about it either.

It may sound like I’m complaining a lot about this novel, but that’s only because I loved it for so much of its page count and found the ending disappointing. I still highly recommend the novel — there’s a reason I’m giving it four out of five stars, after all — and I think a lot of readers will find it as delightful and wonderfully original as I did. But I can’t help feeling that something went wrong at the end, whether it was too much editorial interference or Hawkins simply losing confidence in what he was trying to accomplish. Perhaps if I were to take one of the books from Father’s library I might discover an alternate past where THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR had the satisfying ending that such an amazing novel deserves.

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