Sneak Peek: The Hollow Queen by Elizabeth Haydon

The Hollow Queen by Elizabeth HaydonAcclaimed author Elizabeth Haydon returns with a heartbreaking tale of love and valor in The Hollow Queen, the eighth installment of her USA Today bestselling Symphony of Ages series that began with Rhapsody, publishing June 30th.

CHAPTER ONE: THE FORGES, YLORC

The ring of steel against anvil was always a lovely percussion line for a song, and Sergeant-Major Grunthor was in the mood for singing as he pounded away, shaping the new pick hammer he was making.

The fires of the ancient forges of Canrif, designed and built a millennium and a half before by Gwylliam the Visionary, splashed light over the enormous smithy, adding a dance of shadows to the heat and smell of the place, increasing the Sergeant’s already considerable pleasure. Gwylliam, an ancient king he had never met, was a genuine anus of a human being in Grunthor’s estimation, but an undeniable genius at smithing and architecture. Therefore he thought it only right and fitting to shape his newest song in tribute to the long-dead inventor, whose mummified remains he and his comrades had come upon a few years before, splayed out on a table that was hidden away in the vault of a secret library in the bowels of the citadel the man had literally carved out of a mountain range in what now was the kingdom of the Firbolg, known as Ylorc.

Grunthor threw back his head between swings of the forge hammer and let his glorious bass, often a few notes flat, fill the high-ceilinged chamber with song.

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Book Trailer: A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

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A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin

A School for Unusual Girls is the first captivating installment in the Stranje House series for young adults by award-winning author Kathleen Baldwin. #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot calls this romantic Regency adventure “completely original and totally engrossing.”

It’s 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England’s dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don’t fit high society’s constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies—plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war.

After accidentally setting her father’s stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible—until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads—or their hearts….

A School for Unusual Girls is a great next read for fans of Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series and Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin series.

Buy A School for Unusual Girls today:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | iBooks | Indiebound | Powell’s

Follow Kathleen Baldwin on Twitter at @KatBaldwin, on Facebook, or visit her online.

Where to Find Tor at the 2015 American Library Association Conference

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Tor/Forge at the 2015 American Library Association Conference

Join Tor/Forge Books at the American Library Association’s 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco from June 26th to June 29th. Galleys, posters, and other giveaways will be available throughout the show in the Tor/Forge Books booth (#1013)!

Join us for the following events:

Tor Books and the American Library Association’s Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) present
“Unknown Knowns and Known Unknowns: How Speculative Fiction Gets Technological Innovation Right and Wrong”

Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/node/28873
Saturday, June 27th: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Moscone Center, room 2005 (W)
Science Fiction often has a predictive value, yet often overlooks the small things. Join our great panel of Science Fiction and Fantasy authors, Vernor Vinge, Greg Bear, John Scalzi, Marie Brennan and Larry Correia as they discuss their work and how it connects with technological opportunities and developments that were missed, never invented, and those that came about in ways unimagined. The panel will consider the role speculative fiction plays in fostering innovation and bringing about new ideas.
*A complimentary bag of books will be given to the first 200 attendees!*

AAP’s Children’s and Teen Author Speed Dating Event
Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/node/29874
Saturday, June 27th: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Marriott Hotel, Golden Gate B
Join authors and illustrators of children’s, middle grade, and teen fiction including Tor Teen author Kathleen Baldwin in a lightning round speed-dating event.

RUSA’s Literary Tastes Breakfast
Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/node/28616
Sunday, June 28th: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Moscone Center, West Exhibit Hall, 1st Floor
Join Tor authors Katherine Addison and Jo Walton as they are honored for their RUSA Reading List selections. Complimentary book signing of The Goblin Emperor and My Real Children to follow.

The 2015 YALSA Alex Awards Panel
Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/node/28597
Sunday, June 28th: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Moscone Center, room 2002 (W)
Hear from the winners of YALSA’s 2015 Alex Awards including John Scalzi. Complimentary book signing of Lock In to follow.

Mystery Panel on the Pop Top Stage
Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/pop-top-stage
Sunday, June 28th: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Moscone Center, Exhibit Hall, Pop Top Stage
Hear Forge author Rachel Howzell Hall in discussion with her fellow mystery and crime writers. Complimentary book signing of Skies of Ash to follow.

The Future According to Tor: New Titles for Young Readers and Teens
Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/node/30169
Sunday, June 28th: 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Moscone Center, Exhibit Hall, Book Buzz Theater
Senior editor Susan Chang and publishing coordinator Ali Fisher will present a selection of must-shelve forthcoming fiction from Starscape, Tor Teen, and Tor/Forge Books.

The 2015 Stonewall Book Awards Program
Add to your calendar: http://alaac15.ala.org/node/28698
Monday, June 29th: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Moscone Center, room 3005 (W)
Join the GLBT Round Table as it recognizes the Stonewall Book Award winners and honorees including Tor author Jo Walton. Complimentary book signing of My Real Children to follow.

The following authors will be signing complimentary copies of their books in the Tor/Forge Books booth (#1013) during the show:
Mary Pat Kelly will be signing Of Irish Blood on 6/27 at 9:00 AM.
Charlie Jane Anders will be signing galleys of All the Birds in the Sky on 6/27 at 10:00 AM.
Kathleen Baldwin will be signing A School for Unusual Girls on 6/27 at 1:30 PM.
Rachel Howzell Hall will be signing Skies of Ash on 6/28 at 10:30 AM.

Paperback Spotlight: Unwept by Tracy Hickman & Laura Hickman

Unwept by Tracy Hickman and Laura HickmanOnce a month, we’re spotlighting a Tor book that’s about to become available in paperback. Today, we’re featuring Unwept, the beginning of a spellbinding new trilogy by Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman, publishing June 2nd.

In Unwept, Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself–but she doesn’t remember any of them. Only her past and those lost memories can keep her from falling prey to an unearthly killer. We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

CHAPTER ONE: NIGHTMARE

A cold, damp darkness greeted Ellis as her consciousness collected within her. She had been resting peacefully on her back. A sweet fluttering against her cheek brought her back from sleep. She raised a hand to touch her face and her wrist clacked against a solid surface inches in front of her.

Panic rose in her as the strangeness of being in a place she didn’t recall brought her sharply awake in the midst of utter darkness.

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Time Travel eBooks Now on Sale

TimeTravelLove time travel? So do we! So we’re celebrating this month with a special ebook promotion. Five titles are now available for just $2.99 each. This sale ends July 3rd.

Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card interweaves a compelling portrait of Christopher Columbus with the story of a future scientist who believes she can alter human history from a tragedy of bloodshed and brutality to a world filled with hope and healing.

Buy Pastwatch: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

 

Orion and King Arthur by Ben Bova

Orion has fought across time and space at the whims of his Creators, godlike beings from the future who toy with human history like spoiled children playing with dolls. Now, he must oppose his creator, Aten, to secure the life and legacy of King Arthur.

Buy Orion and King Arthur: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

 

Pirate Freedom by Gene Wolfe

As a young parish priest, Father Christopher has heard many confessions, but his own tale is more astounding than any revelation he has ever encountered in the confessional . . . for Chris was once a pirate captain, hundreds of years before his birth.

Buy Pirate Freedom: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

 

A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson

Tom Winter thought the secluded cottage in the Pacific Northwest would be the perfect refuge–a place to nurse the wounds of lost love and happiness. But Tom soon discovers that his safe haven is the portal of a tunnel through time. At one end is the present. At the other end–New York City, 1963.

Buy A Bridge of Years: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle |Kobo

 

The Technicolor Time Machine: Why pay for costumes, scenery, props or actors when the most brilliant drama of all time is unfolding before your very eyes, in vivid color–in 1050 A.D.? Join the film crew of that stupendous motion picture saga VIKING COLUMBUS as they journey back in time to capture history in the making.

Buy The Technicolor Time Machine: B&N Nook | eBooks.com | Google Play | iBooks | Kindle | Kobo

Goodreads Sweepstakes: The Dinosaur Lords by Victor Milán

The Dinosaur Lords by Victor MilánAbout The Dinosaur Lords: “It’s like a cross between Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones.” –George R. R. Martin

A world made by the Eight Creators on which to play out their games of passion and power, Paradise is a sprawling, diverse, often brutal place. Men and women live on Paradise as do dogs, cats, ferrets, goats, and horses. But dinosaurs predominate: wildlife, monsters, beasts of burden-and of war. Colossal plant-eaters like Brachiosaurus; terrifying meat-eaters like Allosaurus, and the most feared of all, Tyrannosaurus rex. Giant lizards swim warm seas. Birds (some with teeth) share the sky with flying reptiles that range in size from bat-sized insectivores to majestic and deadly Dragons.

Thus we are plunged into Victor Milán’s splendidly weird world of The Dinosaur Lords, a place that for all purposes mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…except the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. Where vast armies of dinosaur-mounted knights engage in battle. During the course of one of these epic battles, the enigmatic mercenary Dinosaur Lord Karyl Bogomirsky is defeated through betrayal and left for dead. He wakes, naked, wounded, partially amnesiac-and hunted. And embarks upon a journey that will shake his world.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends June 23)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

Magic in the 10th Century Viking Culture: The Seidur Tradition

People of the Songtrail by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear

By Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear

Let us first clarify that the Viking magical tradition called Seidur or Seidr, has been the inspiration for numerous modern shamanic movements–which are interesting in and of themselves– but for the purposes of this article, we are talking only about Viking Age evidence for this highly magical shamanism.

Seidur magic was Odin magic. Odin, who later became the chief god, was apparently merely a one-eyed war god when the 10th century began, but he was a powerful war god, and there are explicit descriptions of seidur magic in a number of medieval Icelandic texts. The most important of which are Edda’s Poems like Voluspa and Lokasenna, and great sagas, Gisli Sursson’s Saga, Eiriks saga rauda, and Hrolfs saga kraka, as well as Snorri’s Ynglingasaga.  

Seidur magic seems to have been largely the sphere of women. However, Odin himself is said to have practiced Seidur magic, and we have historical references to male Seidur seers. Such men were generally maligned for engaging in feminine activities. Seidur magic had several goals: (1) Prophecy. For example, in Eiriks saga rauda (chapter 4), the seeress is trying to gain knowledge of the future. In Edda’s poem , Voluspa, she is concerned with the fate of the gods, the coming of Ragnarok. (2) Controlling the weather, or people, both of which are documented in Gisli Sursson’s Saga (chapter 18), and The Saga of the People of Laxardal (chs. 35-37).

Seidur seers also gained supernatural knowledge through utiseta, which means they sat outside at night on graves and sought out the secret wisdom known only to the dead. To accomplish these goals, the seeress engaged in rites that included fasting, hanging, exposure to the cold, spirit journeys, ecstatic trance states and shape-shifting. Many seidur seers were apparently particularly adept at taking on the forms of bears and wolves.  As with other circumpolar shamanic traditions, we have hints that changing gender may have been part of some seidur intitation rites (see Meulengracht Sorensen 1980; 1983).  As Neil Price noted in his excellent article, The Archaeology of Seidr (Lewis-Simpson 2000, p. 278), “It would seem to be the apparent contradiction of Odinn’s role as both a male god and the master of seidr—these rituals that were primarily the province of women—that gives him such extensive power over the minds and movements of others, and particularly over the events of the battlefield.” It was the combination of male and female powers–the crossing of gender boundaries– that were the heart of seidur magic.

In conclusion, though it is rarely mentioned in books on Vikings, the highly magical seidur tradition was inextricably woven into the very fabric of Old Norse society. In fact, we would argue that you cannot understand Viking culture without an understanding of seidur seers and their magical influences.

Lewis-Simpson, Shannon. Vinland Revisited. The Norse World at the Turn of the First Millennium. Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc., 2000: 277-294.

Lewis-Simpson, Shannon. Vinland Revisited. The Norse World at the Turn of the First Millennium. Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc., 2000: 295-304.

Buy People of the Songtrail today: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Powell's

Follow the Gears on Twitter at @GearBooks, on Facebook, or visit them online.

New Releases: 5/26/2015

Alice in the Country of Clover: Twin Lovers by QuinRose, illustrated by Kei ShichiriAmazing Agent Luna Vol. 11 by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, illustrated by ShieiTrial of Intentions by Peter OrullianPeople of the Songtrail by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal GearLong Black Curl by Alex BledsoeThe Causal Angel by Hannu RajaniemiWorld War Blue Vol. 8 by Anastasia Shestakova, illustrated by Crimson

See upcoming releases.

Goodreads Sweepstakes: Dead Man’s Reach by D.B. Jackson

Dead Man's Reach by D.B. Jackson About Dead Man’s Reach: Let the battle for souls begin in Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth, stand-alone novel in D.B. Jackson’s acclaimed Thieftaker series.

Boston, 1770: The city is a powder keg as tensions between would-be rebels and loyalist torries approach a breaking point and one man is willing to light the match that sets everything off to ensure that he has his revenge.

The presence of the British Regulars has made thieftaking a hard business to be in and the jobs that are available are reserved for Sephira Pryce. Ethan Kaille has to resort to taking on jobs that he would otherwise pass up, namely protecting the shops of Torries from Patriot mobs. But, when one British loyalist takes things too far and accidentally kills a young boy, even Ethan reconsiders his line of work. Even more troubling is that instances of violence in the city are increasing, and Ethan often finds himself at the center of the trouble.

Once Ethan realizes why he is at the center of all the violence, he finds out that some enemies don’t stay buried and will stop at nothing to ruin Ethan’s life. Even if that means costing the lives of everyone in Boston, including the people that Ethan loves most.

Enter for a chance to win here!

(Ends June 18)

Also, don’t forget to check out our other sweepstakes!

Sneak Peek: The Iron Assassin by Ed Greenwood

The Iron Assassin by Ed Greenwood Energetic young inventor Jack Straker believes he has created a weapon to defend the Crown: a reanimated, clockwork-enhanced corpse he can control. He introduces “the Iron Assassin” to the highly placed Lords who will decide if Straker’s invention becomes a weapon of the Lion–or something to be destroyed.

Read an excerpt from Ed Greenwood’s The Iron Assassin, publishing June 9th.

SEPTEMMER 30

He is falling.

It is over. All over.

The game lost, and his life with it.

The soft, tiny glows of a thousand distant gaslamps rise past Langford’s gaze as he falls, despair rising bitterly to choke him.

Below, the dark ribbon of the Thames; around it, London sprawling away in all directions into the fog-shrouded night.

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