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1. The Menagerie series by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski

Looking for a new series to add to your e-bookshelf? You can now get all four books of The Menagerie series by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski on your Kindle via Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk!

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- this series rocks! If you like X-Men and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you'll enjoy the mix of mischievous, powerful characters that make up The Menagerie: each legendary character has distinct abilities and mystical, mythical, and/or literary origins. Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski have taken various characters well-known from literature and mythology and made them their own. They've got Eve (yes, that Eve - who became a vampire after she fell from grace), Ceridwen, and Doyle (what's up, Sherlock?), among others.

Again, there are four books in the series, which you can get separately or all at once. Trust me, you're going to want to have the entire series on hand once you start the first one so you can read them back-to-back.

Let me know which character or story is your favorite in the comments below.

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2. GraphicAudio Releases Their First Graphic Novel Adaptation - Cemetery Girl, Book One

If you cannot see the media player embedded above, click here to listen to the sample track at SoundCloud.

GraphicAudio has released their first graphic novel adaptation - and it's CEMETERY GIRL Book One: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris and Christopher Golden. Double cool! I loved the original book, and the audio sample released by the publisher (see above) immediately sets the stage for the story's location and feel. Kudos to Emlyn McFarland, who plays the main character, Calexa, and to the sound designers and producers.

Read my review of the original graphic novel.

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3. Snowblind Optioned for Limited TV Series

Fantastic news for one of my favorite people, Christopher Golden -- his spine-tingling book Snowblind has been optioned for a series! As reported in Deadline:

Universal TV, David S. Goyer Eye 'Snowblind' Limited Series

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Television and David S. Goyer have optioned TV rights to horror novel Snowblind, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden (Ghosts Of Albion, Joe Golem And The Drowning City). The New England-set book, published earlier this year by St. Martin's Press, tracks the denizens of a town still reeling from the disappearance of over a dozen people who were snatched during a sinister snowstorm 12 years prior.

Goyer is coming off of Da Vinci's Demons and Man of Steel and will supervise development and executive produce alongside Golden and Pete Donaldson. Project is being developed as a limited series. Snowblind also comes with a choice celebrity endorsement from horror maven Stephen King: "Snowblind is instantly involving and deeply scary. It will bring a blizzard to your bones (and your heart) even in the middle of July. Throw away all those old 'it was a dark and stormy night'; novels; this one is the real deal. And watch out for that last page. It's a killer."

Read the entire article by Jen Yamato at Deadline.

Read my review of SNOWBLIND by Christopher Golden.

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4. Christopher Golden Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Publication

For immediate release

New York Times #1 Bestselling Author Christopher Golden Celebrates a Milestone

Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden It all started with Of Saints and Shadows, a book which helped lay the groundwork for the genre we now call urban fantasy. Christopher Golden’s debut novel kickstarted a critically-acclaimed career that is still going strong two decades later.

Since the publication of his first novel in 1994, Golden has received accolades from Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Peter Straub, Clive Barker, Charlaine Harris, Graham Joyce, The Boston Globe, New York Public Library, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and many more.  The #1 New York Times bestselling author has won the Bram Stoker Award and been nominated many times for the Stoker, the Shirley Jackson Award, and others.  His novels have been published in at least fifteen languages in countries around the world.  Over the past twenty years, Golden has written dozens of novels, as well as comics and graphic novels, short stories, screenplays, radio plays, and an animated web series.

 "I never could have imagined--twenty years ago, in a market that even then frequently saw books appear on the stands and go out of print in a matter of months--that OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS would still be in print, and never gone out of print, two decades later,” Golden says. “I've been a full-time writer ever since, but that first novel of the Shadow Saga is the one that started it all."

On June 1st, the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Salem, NH--where Golden made frequent signing appearances early in his career--will host a 20th anniversary celebration featuring cake, numerous giveaways, and author special guests including Brian Keene, Daniel Palmer, Mary Sangiovanni, Nate Kenyon, and Rio Youers.  Golden will also be offering special online giveaways leading up to and on June 1st. http://www.christophergolden.com

Golden's next novel, TIN MEN--now in feature film development at Warner Brothers, will appear in 2015 from Random House, but the author will read from that novel for the very first time at the June 1st event, as well as from his most recent publication, SNOWBLIND, available now from St. Martin's Press.

Christopher Golden is available for interviews. Please email crdg@comcast.net

Of Saints and Shadows Angel Souls and Devil Hearts Of Masques and Martyrs The Gathering Dark Waking Nightmares The Graves of SaintsThe Graves of Saints

On the 20th anniversary of the publication of Christopher Golden’s first novel, OF SAINTS AND SHADOWS, these fantastic authors and sites have shared their thoughts…

“Golden’s 1994 book is the template for a score of books that have been published in the years since its publication.  Many of those books have been bestsellers.  Reading Of Saints and Shadows again after so long, I was amazed to realize how many elements now familiar in the vampire and thriller genres appeared in Saints first.  Golden’s imagination and expert plotting wove these elements into a startlingly original book, as exciting to read now as it was when it first appeared on the rack.  Of Saints and Shadows should be part of every genre writer’s library.”
          --Charlaine Harris

“Some of my editor friends tell me that horror fiction is finally starting to make a
comeback after the catastrophic boom and bust in the 1980s. If that's true, writers like Christopher Golden are a big part of the reason.”
          --George R. R. Martin

“Christopher Golden was writing kick-ass urban fantasy before the genre even had a name.  The Peter Octavian novels are smart, fast-paced, lyrical and vicious.”
--Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin

“Christopher Golden is one of the most hard-working, smartest, and most talented writers of his generation, and his books are so good and so involving that they really ought to sell in huge numbers.  Everything he writes glows with imagination.”
                      --Peter Straub

“Although Of Saints and Shadows was not the first Christopher Golden novel I read, it was the novel that illustrated for me why it is he’s been so widely-read and well on his way to becoming a household name:  from the very first — the very first — this guy had a wizard’s ability to balance deeper themes with compelling plots that kept the reader from knowing they were being asked to see the worldview of a singular story-teller, one whose personal agendas never turn into lectures, and whose sense of pace, characterization, and overall story form began where most writers arrive after only a dozen novels.  Tis is to say, I’ve hated him for as long as I’ve been reading him, because i’ll never be this good of a story-teller.  Never.  I read all of his work, and will continue to do so, and have the anti-psychotic prescription bills to prove it.  Yeah — he’s that good.”
-- Gary A. Braunbeck

“Golden combines quiet, dark, subtle mood with Super-Giant monster action.  Sort of M.R. James meets Godzilla!”
--Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy

“It’s almost an entire generation since Christopher Golden put out his debut novel Of Saints and Shadows, bit the bullet and became a full-time writer. In those intervening years he’s produced a staggering number of follow-up books, comics and stories whose standard remains embarrassingly high. At PS Publishing, we were fortunate enough to do the special limited signed hardcover edition of The Boys Are Back In Town, a time-travel paradox that sits happily alongside Finney’s Time And Again, King’s 11.22.63 and, in the short form, Heinlein’s ‘All You Zombies’. Here’s a fine chance for nature nuts to see the tiny acorn from which mighty oak trees have since grown: I tell ya . . . Saints is as good now as it was then. And so’s Golden. Maybe even better. Damn his eyes!”
            --Peter Crowther, author of Songs of Leaving, publisher at PS Publishing

“A delightful read and a noteworthy debut by a writer who cares passionately about the stuff of horror.”
--Douglas E. Winter, in Cemetery Dance

“A breathtaking story that succeeds in marrying gore and romance, sex and sentiment. A brilliant epic.”
--Dark News, Paris

“Before Urban Fantasy was even a glimmer in our eyes, there was Golden’s Peter Octavian. ... Christopher Golden wrote the first Peter Octavian book back in the mid 1990's before Urban Fantasy was even a genre. While almost everyone gives credit to Charles De Lint and Laurell K. Hamilton for beginning our favorite genre, somehow Golden has been overlooked and I believe strongly he should receive credit as well as the worlds others have built after him have so many of the same characteristics.”

“It has a refreshing take on the whole vampire mythology. This is quite impressive, seeing as it predates the current vampire trend by over ten years.”
--Worlds Unimagined

“Golden redefined vampires in his Shadow Saga series.”

“A new book by Christopher Golden means only one thing: the reader is in for a treat.  His books are rich with texture and character, always inventive, and totally addictive.”
            --Charles de Lint

“One of the best contemporary writers of dark fantasy and horror.  As good as Stephen King.”
            --The Green Man Review

Of Saints and Shadows by Christopher Golden   Angel Souls and Devil Hearts by Christopher Golden   Of Masques and Martyrs by Christopher Golden   The Gathering Dark by Christopher Golden

If you'd like to run this press release at your website or blog or in your magazine or newspaper, click here to download the PDF.

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5. Attention Filmmakers and Readers: Make a Snowblind Trailer!

Attention filmmakers (and readers!)

Want to show the world what you can do AND spread the love of a good book? St. Martin's Press and Talenthouse are accepting 1-minute trailers for Christopher Golden's upcoming book SNOWBLIND. All of the submitted videos will be seen by some pretty cool folks - legitimate directors, writers, producers - and one will be selected to be the book's official trailer.

If you are interested, you should enter.

If you know other filmmakers - be they amateur or professional, adults or teens or kids - please let them know about this incredible opportunity.

Trust me. I've read the book, and it's amazing. With edge-of-your-seat tension and jaw-dropping twists, Christopher Golden's Snowblind blizzard is going to blow you away!

So what are you waiting for? Spread the word, gather a production team, and make that mini-movie!

Here's the official press release and all of the pertinent information. Good luck!

St. Martin's Press and Talenthouse invite amateur filmmakers to produce a short horror book trailer for SNOWBLIND, the highly anticipated novel by New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden. The winning trailer will be heavily promoted and used as part of an integrated marketing and advertising campaign for the book and will also receive a consultation with one or more of the judges to discuss their work.

Helping St. Martin's Press judge the entries are:

FRANK DARABONT (Director, Writer, Producer) - The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Walking Dead, Mob City, among others.

DAVID S. GOYER (Writer, Director, Producer) - Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Blade, Da Vinci's Demons, among others.

DON MURPHY (Producer) - Transformers 1-4, Real Steel, Natural Born Killers, Vampire Academy, among others.

STEPHEN SUSCO (Writer, Producer) - The Grudge 1 and 2, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Red, High School, among others.

CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN (Author, Editor) - Of Saints and Shadows, Baltimore, Tin Men, The New Dead, among others.

For more information on how to enter:

SNOWBLIND trailer competition guidelines

Video should be a maximum length of 1 minute.

The end shot of the trailer must provide the publication information for the book, including title, book image provided, and the publication information:

On Sale
January 21, 2014
Wherever Books Are Sold

Choose one of the three options listed below:
1) Create a scene from pages 28 - 30 featuring Cherie, her dog, and the iceman. (See the book excerpt linked below.)
2) Create a scene from pages 48 - 51 featuring Isaac looking out the window at the ice men dancing in the snow in his yard, with Jake not believing him. (See the book excerpt linked below.)
3) Entrants are invited to create their own scenes or images inspired by a provided sample from Snowblind. These original trailers should capture the tone of the novel. For example:
- A woman sitting on her bed with the covers drawn up, hugging her knees, staring in terror at the window with the wind rattling the glass, snow piling up against it or pelting it.
- A woman smoking a cigarette outside a bar at night with the snow falling. She hears a sound, turns, looks terrified.
- An anchor reads the news about the blizzard and what happened twelve years ago and then the power goes out and you hear the whistling of the wind as snow whips across the screen, perhaps suggesting the image of evil features looking in.

The presence of the snowstorm/blizzard may suggest digital effects but they are not required.

Entrants may devise their own approach to representing the ominous presence of the storm and the fear of the townspeople.

Judges will consider many factors, including imagination and ingenuity.

Direct links to all of the necessary ingredients:
SNOWBLIND Novel Excerpt
About the book
St Martin's PRESS Logo
Judging Panel Official Bios

Get Snowblind:
Barnes and Noble

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6. Baltimore: The Infernal Train by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

All aboard, comic book collectors and horror fans. Baltimore: The Infernal Train has arrived. Choo-choo....chew.

While Baltimore hides out in Budapest awaiting the arrival of the sadistic Judge Duvic, a strange woman shows up with a bizarre invention she promises will rid the world of vampire plague.

By Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden, Ben Stenbeck, Dave Stewart. Published by Dark Horse Comics.

The first issue of The Infernal Train was released on September 4th. There will be three issues in this story. Issue #2 will be released in October. Issue #3 will be available in November.

If you haven't read any of the Baltimore comics yet, here's the backstory:

It all began with BALTIMORE, or, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, which Christopher Golden calls "the coolest project [he's] ever been involved with." Written by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola, this illustrated novella took Hans Christian Andersen's classic story and turned it into a gothic tale, complete with dark and stormy nights, strangers brought together by a mutual acquaintance, battlefields in war-torn countries, and, oh, yes, vampires. Months after a devastating plague ends World War I, Europe is suddenly flooded with deadly vampires. Lord Henry Baltimore, a soldier determined to wipe out the monsters, is on the hunt for the creature responsible for this chaos and his own personal tragedy. What he uncovers is a terror as horrific and frightening as any he's seen on the battlefield.

There's more to that story: Dark Horse Comics has published additional mini-series and graphic novels, and even more Baltimore stories are on the way. BALTIMORE: THE INFERNAL TRAIN is the newest mini-series in the line. This month, you can also pick up the third volume of collected Baltimore stories, BALTIMORE: A PASSING STRANGER AND OTHER TALES.

Check out Christopher Golden's site - specifically the Baltimore page - for more information on the series. Also check out the electronic press kit (EPK), which contain an excerpt of the first book, a video interview with the authors, the original press release, and more.

I have to tell you all what happened when I was writing this post, because it's a perfect example of how my life works: As I was typing up this post, I was watching the film Frequency, which I've easily seen a dozen times. It's one of those movies that, when I see it in the TV listings, I immediately click over to it. I have told people that I want to make a boxed set of Frequency and the book The Boys are Back in Town by Christopher Golden and sell it to people who, like me, are keen on causality and dig stories that show what happens in the present day when someone somehow changes the past.

So the end credits of Frequency rolled by, and I'm still typing away, and the next thing they show is an ad for the new TV series Sleepy Hollow, which I will definitely be sampling. Earlier today, I saw a billboard for the show and reminded folks to read Sleepy Hollow High by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore in the meantime.

Immediately following the Sleepy Hollow TV spot was an advert for Sons of Anarchy. I started cracking up. Not because SoA is a comedy (it definitely is not) but because the SoA comic book series was written by Christopher Golden, with art by Damian Couceiro, and it just so happens that it was profiled in USA Today earlier today. SAMCRO fans can pick up the first issue next Wednesday, the day after the show's season premiere. High-five to Boom! Studios for getting the perfect pub date - and the perfect author. Golden is not only a fantastic writer, but he's also a fan of the series, and he's certain to do it justice.

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7. Teens Wanna Know: Otherworldly YA Books

Looking for an awesome YA book that will take you out of this world? Love sci-fi/fantasy series? Check out my guest post at Teens Wanna Know! 

I've recommended five fantastic stories by Christopher Golden (Prowlers), Thomas E. Sniegoski (Fallen), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies), Justine Larbalestier (How to Ditch Your Fairy), and Holly Black (The Curse Workers). These books include angels, shapeshifters, surgeries, good luck, and bad luck, among other things. 

If you haven't read them yet, you should. If you have read them, let me know which one you liked the best.

Check out my Otherworldly YA post at Teens Wanna Know and leave a comment!  

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8. Magic Zero by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski

In the world of Magic Zero, everyone and everything is magic.

Everyone, that is, except for Timothy. For his own safety, his kind father kept him hidden away for years, providing him with a safe haven and a chance at a decent - albeit magic-free - childhood.

When his father passes away, Timothy is flung back into the world. Now everyone knows he exists. Who can he trust? Where can he go? He must decide who his allies are - and quickly, because assassins are coming for him.

The books are packed with action, fantasy, and drama. Timothy is surrounded by intriguing, strong characters: a warrior who can blend in with his surroundings; a robot buddy of his own creation; firebreathing, war-torn dragons; a talking raven named Edgar; and Cassandra, a girl who may or may not be on the same side as her power-hungry grandfather.

You simply must put Magic Zero in the hands of kids who love magic and fantasy series. There's something here for everyone, whether you like the otherworldly creatures in The Spiderwick Chronicles or the battles and tribunals featured in Star Wars. This is a great introduction to the works of the imaginative and prolific authors Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski. Each author has released a multitude of titles individually, including Golden's chilling Shadow Saga (thankfully, these vampires do not sparkle) and Sniegoski's best-selling teen angel series The Fallen. Older readers (meaning teens and adults) should check out the pair's dark fantasy series The Menagerie, which I often compare to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and give to fans of the X-Men.

Back to Magic Zero: Is this for the Harry Potter crowd? Yes, no doubt about it. At the core of the story, you've got a boy who becomes an unlikely hero in a world filled with magic. The really cool flip in Magic Zero, what sets it apart from other books starring a Young Boy on a Magic Quest, is that Timothy's the only person who cannot wield magic. Also, we know this going into the book, rather than being a loss or gain of powers somewhere along the way. Magic Zero is inventive, the premise well-developed and executed. Just wait 'til you see what happens when Timothy approaches a door protected by magic. Also, there are dragons, robots, talking animals, and more, more, more. Steampunk aficionados, check out the alternate sources of energy used in these books; Star Wars fans, prepare thyself for a battle of epic proportions.

Here's the official book flap summary:

Timothy has great potential for power - no magic necessary - in this start to an action-packed fantasy series from two New York Times bestselling authors.

In Timothy's world, everyone has magical powers. Except him. He has spent his entire life as an outcast hidden on a remote island. When he is finally taken back to the city of his birth, Timothy is fascinated by the current of magic that fuels the world and mesmerized by the buildings and orbs that hang weightlessly in the sky. But he is also marked for death.

Assassins are watching his every move, and some very powerful people want him destroyed. Timothy can't imagine what threat he could possibly pose; after all, he wields no power in this world. Or does he?

The Magic Zero quartet, originally known as the Outcast series, features an unforgettable adventure. Read the books in order:
Magic Zero - available today, April 2nd!
Dragon Secrets - available today, April 2nd!
Ghostfire - coming in June
Battle for Arcanum - coming in August

Get the Magic Zero series online now!

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9. The Graves of Saints by Christopher Golden

The Graves of Saints by Christopher GoldenThe Graves of Saints, a brand-new Christopher Golden novel about Peter Octavian, is now available.

I'm excited. First of all, brand-new Christopher Golden novel. Those are magic words, and his words are magic.

Second of all, it's part of The Shadow Saga - If you like fictional vampires, then you need to read this inventive, thought-provoking, myth-twisting, heart-racing series RIGHT NOW.

Third of all, the previous novel, Waking Nightmares, ended on a what-just-happened-no-no-NO tragic turn of events, and the fallout from that starts Saints off with a bang.

But don't listen only to me -- Check out what other horror and fantasy writing juggernauts have to say about The Shadow Saga series:

"Christopher Golden was writing kick-@$$ urban fantasy before the genre even had a name. The Peter Octavian novels are smart, fast-paced, lyrical and vicious." - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of The Dragon Factory and Rot & Ruin

"Christopher Golden scared the unholy $#!& out of me. Thank god I was reading with the lights on! WAKING NIGHTMARES is one deliciously terrifying, un-put-down-able book. Totally, compellingly creepy. (I hate him now and shall have to kill him because I'll never be able to sleep again.)" - Kat Richardson, author of the Greywalker novels

"Startlingly original." - Charlaine Harris, author of The Southern Vampire Mysteries which inspired the TV series True Blood

"A delightfully different take on vampires." - Kelley Armstrong, author of the Women of the Otherworld series and The Darkest Powers trilogy

Cover flap summary:

For centuries, Vatican sorcerers kept demons and monsters out of our world with the magic found in a grimoire called The Gospel of Shadows. Years ago, to save his people from madmen, Peter Octavian defeated those sorcerers and the Gospel of Shadows itself was banished from the Earth. Ever since, the evils and monstrosities lurking in parallel worlds have been waking to the realization that our magical defences are down - the barriers keeping them out of our world are crumbling.

With massive demonic incursions in locations around the world, Octavian should be focused on using his own sorcery to drive the evil out and rebuild our defenses. But a renegade vampire named Cortez has murdered the person Octavian loves the most and, even with his friends and allies around him, he is so lost in grief that he can think of nothing but revenge. There are others who can fight the darkness - mages and Shadows, witches and Reapers and vampire samurai - but only the warrior-mage, Peter Octavian, can defeat it.

If he will answer the call.

Additional Information
Published by Simon & Schuster UK
March 14th, 2013
368 pages
ISBN-10: 0857209647
ISBN-13: 9780857209641

eBook available:
Get it from Amazon.com
Get it from Amazon.co.uk

Read the entire series:

Of Saints and Shadows Angel Souls and Devil Hearts Of Masques and Martyrs The Gathering Dark Waking Nightmares The Graves of Saints

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10. Throat Culture by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of Evidence

Throat Culture, the final volume in the Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala, begins by the sea and ends on a strong note.

Anyone that's worked in food service could tell you a story or two about what goes in the kitchen and on the floor. There are the regular patrons, the menu changes, the interesting requests, the difficult co-workers, and more. After an employee at Oceana's By the Sea conducts a deadly experiment on the customers - just as, quote, "a field test to see how things work" - he decides not to stop there. Shortly thereafter, he taints the food at a faculty luncheon at Somerset University - a luncheon celebrating the marriage of Criminology professor Frank Logan and English professor Shayna Emerson. And Shayna's reaction to the tainted food lands her in the hospital, paralyzed.

Enter Frank's daughter, Jenna Blake, who works for the Medical Examiner's office and has both the personal and professional motivation to catch this guy. Readers who have followed Jenna through all ten novels in this series will be cheering her on as she investigates the crime that's hit so close to home - but will she go too far this time?

As extremely sad as I am to see this series come to an end, I am glad that the authors gave us such a solid final scene. That image has stuck with me, and it still strikes me when I re-read it. Jenna is a fiery, intelligent, and resourceful woman, and her strength and determination make her a great protagonist. The characters who surround her - Danny, Slick, Yoshiko, Hunter, Dyson, her friends, her family - matter to her, and to the readers.

Throughout the course of the series, we've seen Jenna grow and change, but she's always stayed true to herself, and she's always fought for the victims, refusing to give up until she finds the perp or at least makes things better for those touched by the crimes. If there ever was another book in this line, and it was set a few years in the future, I wouldn't be surprised to find Jenna working Homicide or Undercover - and her partner would be Veronica Mars. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Cover flap summary:

"Could she have become infected without showing any symptoms herself? Could she be contagious?"

Wedding bells are ringing for Jenna Blake's dad, and she couldn't be happier for him. His new wife, Shayna, is just the greatest. And their wedding luncheon is perfect -- until the food arrives. When guests start experiencing unusual symptoms, Jenna knows something is terribly wrong. Then all too quickly, Shayna winds up paralyzed.

But Shayna's not the only victim. The mysterious illness begins to sweep Jenna's college campus, leaving two students dead. Doctors suspect that this is no ordinary virus. Highly unusual and destructive, it could only be the work of human hands.

While the Center for Disease Control is blanketing the campus, Jenna and the rest of the medical examiner's team scramble to put the pieces together. But the longer it takes to solve the puzzle, the more critical the situation becomes...

Because this virus is deadly -- and very contagious.

Get THROAT CULTURE from Amazon.com
Get THROAT CULTURE from Amazon.co.uk

Related Posts at Bildungsroman

Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Skin Deep by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Brain Trust by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Last Breath by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

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11. Last Breath by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of EvidenceTake a deep breath and dive into Last Breath by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala. The ninth Body of Evidence novel finds protagonist Jenna Blake prepared to enjoy the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college. Summertime and the livin' is easy, right?

Maybe not so easy. At  least, not when you're working for a medical examiner and attempting to stop a serial killer who is drowning people left, right, and center and leaving the victims in public places.

I love the prologues in this series. Akin to the "cold open" of Law & Order or CSI, the Body of Evidence prologues tend to introduce us to our first victim. The prologue of Last Breath takes place in an aquarium, and deserves a Jaws-worthy underscore.

As with the other books in the line, Last Breath made me want to visit Boston right away. The locations are beautifully detailed. Jenna's emotional journey will pull in readers and keep them turning pages. Her strength is really tested in this book, and the events which take place in the last few chapters will change her forever.

If you like modern-day murder mysteries with characters, pick up the Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala. Check out the widget at the bottom of this post to get all of the books.

Cover flap summary:

"When a psycho wants to make a statement, and nobody gets it, he's only going to say it louder the next time."

Jenna thought spending her summer in Somerset would be quiet and relaxing. With classes over and the students home on break, the campus is a ghost town. But the summer is not chock-full of R&R. In fact, her latest case at the medical examiner's office is anything but quiet.

A psycho killer is on a rampage, drowning the victims in Boston's most public places. It seems everyone is talking about the murders, yet no one has any leads.

Then Jenna uncovers a key piece of evidence, and she is quickly drawn into the puzzle. But the closer they get to the killer, the more frequent -- and more violent -- the drownings become. And before Jenna realizes how deep in she's gotten, it's suddenly sink or swim time for her...literally.

Get LAST BREATH from Amazon.com
Get LAST BREATH from Amazon.co.uk

Related Posts at Bildungsroman

Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Skin Deep by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Brain Trust by Christopher Golden

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

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12. Brain Trust by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Get ready for surf, sand, and murder. Talk about perfect timing: Body of EvidenceBrain Trust by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala has been re-released just in time for Spring Break. In the eighth Body of Evidence novel, college freshman Jenna Blake heads off to Florida with her best friend for a much-needed vacation. It's all fun in the sun until the girls witness a horrible accident - one they barely escape themselves, or so they think. Jenna quickly becomes convinced that it was no accident, and she learns more about the victim, she realizes he's not the only one who has been killed in this fashion. But who's next?

This is a really cool story, not only because of the tension (and nifty scientific factoids) that Golden and Hautala have in all of the BoE books, but also because the readers know early on who the perpetrators are - and can only helplessly watch (that is, read) as they work their way through their list of targets. Without giving anything away, let me just say the villains of the piece are creepy and calculating.

If you're looking for an awesome series of thrillers, pick up the Body of Evidence books by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala. You won't be sorry.

Cover flap summary:

"Maybe the odds are against the cases being connected, but I'd hate to find out that it was some contagious, horrible disease."

Spring break is prime time for R&R, fun in the sun, and all things low-key. So when Jenna Blake goes to Florida with her roommate, Yoshiko, the last thing she's expecting to find is another mystery. Well, you can take the girl out of the ME's office, but...

A series of seemingly natural deaths turn out to be suspicious when each of the bodies proves to have mysterious growths of some kind. Needless to say, despite Yoshiko's concerns that her roommate is missing the point of a vacation, Jenna can't stay away from this case.

After autopsies, another common denominator among the victims presents itself. And when further research reveals similar deaths in other states, Jenna starts to wonder if the deaths were indeed natural. As the body count climbs, Jenna's break gives way to a dangerous chase. With Slick and Danny back in Massachusetts,  Jenna has only herself to rely on...for survival.

Get Brain Trust on Amazon

Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Skin Deep by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Burning Bones by Christopher Golden

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

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13. So You Want to Read YA?

Kelly from the Stacked blog rounded up a bunch of bloggers, booksellers, and librarians and asked them to list the YA novels they'd recommend to someone who is just starting to dip their toes in the waters of the Young Adult bookshelves. When she asked if I'd like to kick off this round, I replied, "Twist my arm!" Here are a dozen books to get you started.

Body Bags by Christopher Golden begins with the line: "It was a beautiful day to grow up." Body Bags is the first in a line of ten novels - collectively known as Body of Evidence - which follow Jenna Blake as she begins college and starts working as an assistant at the Medical Examiner's office. I highly recommend this series. Both adults and teenagers will discover plenty to relate to and enjoy in this line. Readers will find Jenna visiting crime scenes and autopsy rooms nearly as often as she's in her dorm. Her relatives, friends, and studies factor into the books just as much as serial killers and detectives.  Throughout the series, Christopher Golden - and, later, collaborator Rick Hautala - created characters who are believable but anything but cookie-cutter. The quality of Body Bags is above and beyond most suspense novels, and it continues throughout the series, versus other series which lose the momentum after a few books, or series in which the books become carbon copies. If you enjoy medical thrillers with great characters, especially if you watch(ed) television series such as CSI or Profiler, or read or watch Rizzoli & Isles, then you need to read these books right now. You won't be sorry.
Read my review of the book, and the entire series.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is, dare I say, a coming-of-age story. It's not about breaking the rules, nor it is about controlling others. It's about daring: daring to be yourself, daring to stand up for yourself, daring to step outside of your comfort zone, daring to change the world. This novel possesses all of the elements necessary for a good bildungsroman, following the protagonist's journey through her formative years. Both snarky and serious, this History is written by the victors: the memorable narrator and the author. Frankie is smart, grounded, and direct, but she also has a quirky side. Author E. Lockhart (The Boyfriend List, Dramarama) writes with heart and authentic feeling. History has an incredible conclusion, and Frankie becomes a remarkable young woman.
Read my full-length review of the book.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is about grief, acceptance, and everything in-between. It's about running - running for fun, running out of fear, running from yourself, running from the truth. It's also about to-do lists, kitchen messes, and really good waffles. It's about long conversations and comfortable silences. It's about forever, which is yesterday, today, and tomorrow - and forever is never long enough. Dessen is always good, and this is Dessen at her best.
Read my reviews of all Sarah Dessen's novels.

Deb Caletti writes really fantastic realistic novels. My favorite Caletti novel to date is The Nature of Jade, about an overachiever who has developed panic disorder. Jade doesn't know yet that she wants something more out of life - and that she is about to meet someone that will change her life.
Read my reviews of all of Deb Caletti's novels.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson is an absolute staple of modern YA fiction. This story is an example of how to use first-person narration to connect readers to a largely silent and introverted protagonist - and how to reveal things slowly, to connect actions and emotions. This book is gritty and real without being gritty for the sake of it. Often imitated, never replicated, this book is what inspired the wave of YA books that tackle tough issues.
Check out my Speak playlist.

The Alison Rules by Catherine Clark. Wow, wow, wow. After her mother passes away, Alison is reluctant to confide in anyone other than Laurie, her long-time best friend. She pulls away from pretty much everyone else and decides to quietly lives by the rules she's made for herself. Read it, then share it.
Read my full-length review of The Alison Rules.

I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak, which you should go into completely spoiler-free, so I'm not going to tell you anything about it. Go read it, and when you're done, tell me what you think, because you will definitely have a reaction to how this story unfolds and how it turns out.
Check out my interview with Marcus Zusak - and then read The Book Thief.

Feathered by Laura Kasischke tells the story of two best friends who travel to Cancun for Spring Break. After an auspicious start, the unexpected happens, and their dream vacation turns into a nightmare which they can't simply escape by waking - which, perhaps, they cannot escape at all. Feathered wonderfully captures that feeling of freedom one gets while far from home, when it's possible (easier?) to be uncharacteristically impulsive. Fueled by the toxic intensity of perfect strangers, fast friends, and foreign cultures, the girls find themselves in an extremely dangerous situation, and, in the blink of an eye, everything changes. Every high school student who is planning a big-deal trip for Spring Break (or for any break) needs to read this book - and so do their parents, teachers, and chaperones. So do writers who aspire to craft stories with alternating points of view.
Read my full-length review of the book.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is not your typical boy meets girl story. Sure, it starts when boy meets girl - but then boy asks girl to pretend to be his girlfriend for the next five minutes, and girl agrees. Over the course of one night, two perfect strangers fall in and out of love with life, music, friends, cars, food, the city, and maybe - just maybe - each other. This book definitely popularized multiple narrators in modern YA fiction.
Read my review of Nick and Norah - Check out my own Infinite Playlist

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers shows that sometimes, what you don't do can be as consequential as what you do. Parker was a good girl. A nice girl. A cheerleader. A straight-A student. Then something happened. Something which changed Parker completely. Something she wishes she could change. Her mood, her grades, and her spirits have all plummeted. Haunted, Parker is no longer the girl she once was - and she doesn't want to be, not anymore. Courtney Summers' debut novel is not to be missed. When the characters speak, they sound authentic: some kids swear and some kids laugh while others toss out a word or two while swallowing down what they really want to say. Adult readers will quickly be transported to the halls of high school and feel as if they never left. Pick up Summers' other novels while you're at it, but start with this one.
Read my review of the book.

The Fallen by Thomas E. Sniegoski led the pack of immortal/angel fantasy/action stories that now line the YA shelves. The premise: Aaron has always known that he was adopted, but he never suspected he was half-angel - or that he could be a hero in the ultimate fight between good and evil. Fun fact: Before he portrayed Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries, Paul Wesley starred as Aaron Corbet in the film adaptation of Fallen - and Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad played Lucifer!

Check out the Fallen website.

Looking for Alaska by John Green has energized a new generation of readers, writers, and all kinds of people searching for their great perhaps. It's thought-provoking, poignant, and lovely. Please read it.
Here's my Looking for Alaska playlist.

For those of you dropping by Bildungsroman for the first time, welcome! I'm Little Willow. Here's a quick intro to me and this blog: In addition to being a bookseller, blogger, and writer, I'm also an actress, singer, and webdesigner. I always have a script or a book in my hands and a song in my heart. I primarily review YA novels, hence the blog name:

Bildungsroman: A novel whose principal subject is the moral, psychological, and intellectual development of a usually youthful main character. (dictionary.com)

Looking for additional YA staples and recommendations? Click through the blog and the corresponding archive for reviews, exclusive author interviews, and more. I have a slew of booklists I hope you'll check out, including:

Tough Issues for Teens

Coming-of-Age Novels

Transition Times / Set in School

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TweetLord Henry Baltimore, Vampire Hunter, is more strictly speaking the hunter of a specific vampire, as THE WIDOW AND THE TANK one-shot reminds us. For such a goal-oriented guy, he certainly leaves plenty of ash-piles along the way, not to mention the corpses of other creatures he may happen to encounter. Writers Mike Mignola and [...]

3 Comments on REVIEW: A Driven Man in BALTIMORE: THE WIDOW AND THE TANK, last added: 2/24/2013
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15. Baltimore: The Widow and the Tank by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

Baltimore The Widow and the Tank by Mike Mignola and Christopher GoldenBaltimore: The Widow and the Tank by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

A blood-curdling double feature! Eisner Award–winning horror master Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden present this horrific double feature about a widow with a not-quite-dead husband and a child-killing vampire taking refuge from something even worse.

Praise for the Baltimore series:

"It still takes something special to impose a unifying vision, and Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden have got it." - The Wall Street Journal

"These Baltimore miniseries over at Dark Horse have provided us with the type of genuine Gothic horror that we crave...this is a great read." - Complex

Get Baltimore: The Widow and the Tank from your local comic book store today! UPC: 7 61568 19678 8 00111

Find out where the story began: Read the illustrated novel Baltimore, or, the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, the tale that inspired the subsequent comics and graphic novels.

When Lord Henry Baltimore awakens the wrath of a vampire on the hellish battlefields of World War I, the world is forever changed. For a virulent plague has been unleashed -- a plague that even death cannot end.

Now the lone soldier in an eternal struggle against darkness, Baltimore summons three old friends to a lonely inn -- men whose travels and fantastical experiences incline them to fully believe in the evil that is devouring the soul of mankind. As the men await their old friend, they share their tales of terror and misadventure, and contemplate what part they will play in Baltimore's timeless battle. Before the night is through, they will learn what is required to banish the plague -- and the creature who named Baltimore his nemesis -- once and for all.

Baltimore was named one of Booklist's Top 10 SF/Fantasy books of the year - and for good reason.

Learn more about this inspired gothic take on Hans Christian Andersen's story The Steadfast Tin Soldier.

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16. Burning Bones by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of EvidenceBurning Bones by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Official book jacket summary:

"How do you burn someone to death in public, and not have anyone notice?"

Two people burst into flame, burned alive in front of plenty of eyewitnesses with no obvious cause. Spontaneous human combustion is a bizarre phenomenon, but according to published accounts, it happens. Could that be what occurred here? Or is it murder?

As Jenna Blake turns nineteen, she is getting over a recent breakup and is rekindling an old flame. Between her personal life and college, she has enough on her hands. The last thing she needs is another nasty little puzzle.

But the burn victims' clothes weren't flammable, the crime scenes reveal no evidence of arson, and none of the various witnesses can provide anything resembling a clue. In fact, she and Slick are just beginning to re-evaluate their faith in rational, scientific explanation when the fire claims another victim, and an incredible explanation presents itself. Even as they struggle with their discovery, the danger hits far too close to home...

My thoughts:

In the words of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's best guy friend, Xander Harris,
"It's like the Human Torch - only it hurts." Unless you've experienced severe burns, one can only imagine how excruciating it must be to be injured much less killed in such a manner. In this book, the way that the killer burns his victims is (evil) genius.

And then what happens during the climax of the book - Wowza.

In Burning Bones, Jenna continues to juggle her professional, academic, and personal responsibilities. Throwing herself into her schoolwork and her work at the M.E.'s office helps her bounce back from her breakup. Though the books are narrated in third-person, readers can easily get in Jenna's mind, which is great not only when she's puzzling out crimes, but also when she's reminiscing about Animaniacs in one paragraph and referencing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the next - then, a page later, considering Shirley Jackson's novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Bibliophiles will see themselves in the line "Jenna was a constant reader" while people fascinated with medical facts and criminal profiling will love the discovery of evidence, research, and interrogation scenes throughout the novel.

Can you imagine Jenna working alongside with Abby from NCIS? I definitely can! Jenna is smart, and she is clever, and she's not about to let people think she's incapable of solving crimes due to her age or her gender. She's a strong female protagonist, often as bold as Lilly Rush on Cold Case (another character I admire and praise!) and while her youth and willfulness might get her into scrapes now and again, those elements also help her figure things out, as she's quick-thinking and often more open-minded than some of the older detectives, doctors, and scientists.

If you aren't already hooked, let me share with you the first line of the book:

         If looks could kill.

Get it from Amazon.com
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17. Skin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Body of EvidenceAnother Body of Evidence thriller is now available as an e-book, and it's one of my favorites in the series!

Skin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

"A girl is dead, and one of your best friends got his head cracked with a shovel, because some white guy didn't want to see them kiss.."

When Jenna and Damon first began dating, neither worried too much about the other's skin color. After all, Somerset is a pretty liberal college environment. But when a black couple is attacked by a white man on campus, race relations become cause for frenzied peace rallies, protests, and debate for the entire student body. Suddenly, Jenna has her hands full investigating the attack - and defending her interracial romance...

Then a white student turns up dead at the hands of a black assailant.

As racial tension reaches a fever pitch on campus, the crimes continue, growing increasingly brutal. Strangely, in each case no two witnesses can form the same description of the perpetrator.

The people are looking for two young men. Until one assailant, pronounced dead at the crime scene, disappears...

Get it from Amazon.com
Get it from Amazon.co.uk

Skin Deep is so good, people. If it opens up just one person's eyes...

And this quote:

There was magic in the world again. Hope.

Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Head Games by Christopher Golden

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

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18. Head Games by Christopher Golden and Skin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

Two more Body of Evidence thrillers are now available as e-books, including one of my favorites in the series!

Body of EvidenceHead Games by Christopher Golden

"They were my friends. I've known them almost my entire life. Maybe they both just lost it. But I think something's going on here, and I have to take a closer look."

Home from college on break, Jenna Blake is horrified to discover that a childhood friend has murdered his entire family -- and he's not the only one. During the next two days, several other area teens experience homicidal rages, but are later unable to explain or even recall their actions.

The police are leaning toward the popular explanation: brutality influenced by violence in movies and video games. But when Jenna investigates further, she begins to believe that someone is playing sinister head games with her former classmates...and with her, as well.

What Jenna needs is someone to take her seriously, but Slick is preoccupied with a mystery of his own, her father has taken off for France, and her college friends have all gone away for the holidays.

Jenna's on her own this time.

Get it from Amazon.com
Get it from Amazon.co.uk

There's a powerful message here: It's easier to blame violence in the media than to realize that humans can be inherently violent. I dislike violent video games and recently repeatedly turned down a friend's invitation to play a first-person shooter game. That's not for me. As a strong-minded person who is not being easily influenced by others, it was chilling to read about these seemingly well-adjusted characters who snapped due to something out of their control. Wowza.

Body of EvidenceSkin Deep by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala

"A girl is dead, and one of your best friends got his head cracked with a
shovel, because some white guy didn't want to see them kiss.."

When Jenna and Damon first began dating, neither worried too much about the other's skin color. After all, Somerset is a pretty liberal college environment. But when a black couple is attacked by a white man on campus, race relations become cause for frenzied peace rallies, protests, and debate for the entire student body. Suddenly, Jenna has her hands full investigating the attack - and defending her interracial romance...

Then a white student turns up dead at the hands of a black assailant.

As racial tension reaches a fever pitch on campus, the crimes continue, growing increasingly brutal. Strangely, in each case no two witnesses can form the same description of the perpetrator.

The people are looking for two young men. Until one assailant, pronounced dead at the crime scene, disappears...

Get it from Amazon.com
Get it from Amazon.co.uk

Skin Deep is so good, people. If it opens up just one person's eyes...

And this quote:

There was magic in the world again. Hope.

Related Posts at Bildungsroman
Radar Recommendations: Body of Evidence series by Christopher Golden and Rick Hautala
Book Review: Body Bags by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Thief of Hearts by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Soul Survivor by Christopher Golden
Book Review: Meets the Eye by Christopher Golden

Get all of the Body of Evidence books available for Kindle:

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19. Baltimore: The Play by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola press release

Baltimore news! If you're not yet familiar with the Baltimore series (novellas, comics, and graphic novels) by Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola, click here to learn more about it.

Now here's the official press release from Dark Horse Comics:

From celebrated comic artist Mike Mignola and award-winning novelist Christopher Golden come the next installments of the critically acclaimed Baltimore series!

In Baltimore: The Play, a mad playwright puts on a Grand Guignol featuring actors that are real vampires. The evil financier of the play makes a bizarre discovery when he finds out that the playwright is a fraud and the true author is the disembodied head of a famous American author kept in a glass case. Baltimore: The Play is on sale November 21st, 2012!

Click here to see one of Mignola's illustrations from Baltimore.

Following The Play, Lord Baltimore finds himself in a double feature with Baltimore: The Widow and the Tank, on sale February 20, 2013. The Widow concerns a woman whose husband and war buddies have returned from the war as vampires and begun preying on their hometown. In “The Tank,” Baltimore learns of a wrecked tank in a field as he is passing through the war-ravaged countryside. People believe there is a vampire living inside that has been eating cattle and attacking locals. When Baltimore checks it out, it turns out to be true…to a point.

Lord Baltimore’s next adventure, Baltimore: The Inquisitor, features the origin story of one of his main antagonists - Judge Duvic. Look for The Inquisitor on sale June 19, 2013!

Praise for Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola:
“It still takes something special to impose a unifying vision, and Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden have got it.”
—The Wall Street Journal

About Dark Horse
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent such as Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Brian Wood, Gerard Way, Felicia Day, and Guillermo del Toro, and comics legends such as Will Eisner, Neal Adams, and Jim Steranko, Dark Horse has developed its own successful properties, including The Mask, Ghost, Timecop, and SpyBoy. Its successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Mass Effect, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan, Emily the Strange, Tim Burton’s Tragic Toys for Girls and Boys, Serenity, and Domo. Today Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic book publisher in the US and is recognized as one of the world’s leading publishers of both creator-owned content and licensed comics material.

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20. 21st Century Dead Takes Over Stores Today

TONIGHT, Tuesday, July 17th, 2012
Three signings tonight - one in Los Angeles, one in Framingham (MA), and one in Doylestown (PA) - to celebrate the publication of 21st CENTURY DEAD.

Los Angeles -- Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA, 7 PM
featuring Amber Benson, John Skipp, Cody Goodfellow, and S.G. Browne

Framingham, MA -- Barnes & Noble, 7 PM
featuring Christopher Golden, Caitlin Kittredge, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Rio Youers and John M. Mcllveen

Doylestown, PA -- Doylestown Bookshop, 6-8 PM
featuring Jonathan Maberry and Stephen Susco

21st Century Dead: A Zombie Anthology edited by Christopher Golden21st CENTURY DEAD

The editor of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology The New Dead returns with 21st Century Dead, and an all-new lineup of authors from all corners of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection... with ZOMBIES!

The stellar lineup of contributors for this new volume includes:
Orson Scott Card
China Mieville
Simon R. Green
Daniel H. Wilson
Elizabeth Hand
Dan Chaon
Jonathan Maberry
Duane Swiercyznski
Caitlin Kittredge
Brian Keene
Amber Benson

S.G. Browne
Thomas E. Sniegoski
and - with his first published prose - Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter.

Published by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN-10: 0312605846
ISBN-13: 978-0312605841


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21. Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden

Run - don't walk - to get Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden, especially if you like steampunk.

I've recommended Christopher Golden's books here at readergirlz many times, and for good reason: his stories rock, and they often feature a strong female protagonist. In the heart of Manhattan, you'll find 14-year-old Molly McHugh. Described as "all freckles and red hair and youthful vigor," Molly is a force to be reckoned with. The girl's got moxie, and she can certainly hold her own. She trusts her gut, which has helped her to survive in the Drowning City.

Just what has happened to the once-glorious city? Here's a little backstory:

Fifty years ago, earthquakes shook Lower Manhattan, submerging the city and forever changing the landscape and livelihood of all who lived there. As the years passed, the gap between the classes widened: the wealthy live and thrive in Uptown, where they grow wealthier, as the poor people in submerged Downtown try desperately to survive in what is now known as the Drowning City.

It is in Downtown that aging magician Felix Orlov resides. Molly, his energetic and devoted assistant, lives the floor above him. Dark dreams, a seance, and an attack lead to Orlov's abduction and cause Molly to run away - and enlist the help of Simon Church, an investigator, and Joe Golem, the bodyguard to end all bodyguards. If Hellboy were mixed with Eliot Spencer from Leverage and dressed in clothes from some classic Warren Beatty films, he might just be Joe Golem.

Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola make me want to live in the Drowning City, to meet the wonderful characters they've created and help them defeat the monstrous villains. They've also offered up a short story, Joe Golem and the Copper Girl, but I still want more. Mignola's black-and-white illustrations are, as always, memorable. One only hopes that the movie, which is currently in development, captures the spirit and intensity of this book. The submerged city, falling buildings, and fight scenes need to be Inception-level awesome on screen. This captivating story deserves all of that, and more. I also recommend this novel to fans of Fringe. (Hello, Manhattan and alternate history!)

Want to know more? Read my full review at my blog, Bildungsroman.

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22. Sleepy Hollow High by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore

Sleepy Hollow just woke up.

Sleepy Hollow High by Christopher Golden and Ford Lytle Gilmore

The spine-tingling series has been re-released as eBooks. Get them. Get them now. You won't be sorry.

Sleepy Hollow High

Book 1: Horseman

New to Sleepy Hollow, teens Aimee and Shane Lancaster find that upon their arrival an ancient curse has been unleashed upon the town, tracing back to a legend that might just be more truth than myth. Now an array of evil demons is after them, with the infamous headless horseman leading the pack.

eBook Available

Paperback edition
Published May 2005
ISBN: 1595140247

Sleepy Hollow High

Book 2: Drowned

Having stopped the horseman in his tracks - at least for now - Aimee and Shane must face the other evils tormenting Sleepy Hollow. An enchanting oak tree, cackling cornfield imps, and the greatest threat: naiads - the beautiful and deadly sirens that have infested the Hudson River, drowning their victims on dry land.

eBook Available

Paperback edition
Published August 2005
ISBN: 1595140255


Sleepy Hollow High

Book 3: Mischief

No one is safe in Sleepy Hollow.

Life in The Hollow isn't getting any easier for Aimee and Shane Lancaster, or for their friends. Still facing the fallout of the curse the siblings unknowingly triggered by moving to town, the group of teens continue to confront new demons and creatures at every turn. But keeping the danger at bay becomes even more challenging when tensions erupt between friends and a secret love is finally confessed. Will the group be able to work together when it matters most?

eBook Available

Paperback edition
Published February 2006
ISBN: 1595140247

Sleepy Hollow High

Book 4: Enemies

Shane and Aimee Lancaster are faced with the darkest horror yet in the fourth installment of The Hollow series. An enemy they once fought could be their only hope, but how can they trust someone so dangerous? Meanwhile, Aimee reels from the discovery of a deep betrayal by the two people she loves the most, but she must rally with the very people who hurt her to save their lives - along with the lives of everyone else in Sleepy Hollow.

eBook Available

Paperback edition
Published June 2006
ISBN: 1595140271

My Review and Recommendations

I'm so excited that these books have been re-released. (Click through the links above or the slideshow widget at the bottom of this post to download the books!) As someone who enjoys the original story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and who loves Christopher Golden's writing, I raced through these books. Sleepy Hollow High offers twists, turns, and things that go bump in the night. Small town, new folks, old grudges, family ties, legendary hauntings, running through the woods - check, check, and check! 

I recommend this series to adults just as often as I recommend it to teens because I know people in their 20s and 30s who enjoyed books by Diane Hoh (Nightmare Hall, anyone?), Richie Tankersley Cusick, and R.L. Stine will also like Sleepy Hollow High.

I also look forward to seeing what Fringe creators Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci do with the story; they are adapting it for a television pilot now, and if that pilot airs and goes to series, you bet I'll tune in...but I'll be wishing that Aimee and Shane Lancaster were part of the show, too!

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23. The Shell Collector by Christopher Golden

Looking for a spooky story to read on this rainy evening? Get The Shell Collector by Christopher Golden. It's FREE to download on Kindle until midnight EST tonight, Friday, November 30th! Get it now!

At just over 100 pages, with a story that takes place over just a few days, this novella is a quick read. The narrative closely follows the protagonist's journey as he learns of the grave disturbances in his coastal town. Gloucester, Massachusetts is a wonderfully cinematic setting. (Wikipedia informs me that it boasts the motto, "America's Oldest Seaport.") If there were a creepy-cool anthology TV show on the air right now, this would make for one solid episode, with some meaty scenes for the fortunate actor cast as the lead, Richie Feehan. Richie's a guy basically just trying to make ends meet, painting houses most of the time and catching lobsters a few days a week, and it's while he's working that second job that he comes across a rather curious collection of shells stuck in a lobster trap. Also factoring in: Richie's long-time on-again, off-again girlfriend, Bree; her brother, Pete, who's a cop; and Richie's brother and sister-in-law.

The fact that Richie's family runs the local funeral home allows him access to certain goings-on and information without having to make the character himself involved in the business. He seems far more suited to his job as a lobsterman than as his brother's job as a mortician. Richie's seafaring job also sets the story's first waves of action in motion, and helps us get to know the character right away. This line of work also runs in his family, and while I personally would never, ever go into that profession - I'm a vegetarian and supporter of animal rights - I like how it makes him feel connected to those who came before:

With the ocean breeze and tang of salt in the air...he felt as though his father and grandfather were still with him somehow. He liked that feeling.

My favorite line of the story is as follows:

The rules of the world as he'd understood them had been broken.

Official Book Flap Summary

It's October in Gloucester, Massachusetts, where Richie Feehan was born and raised and has lived his whole life. He's a part-time lobsterman and full-time painter who sells his art at galleries in Rockport and Newburyport. Between the two jobs he makes enough money to get by, living in an in-law apartment in the family home owned by his brother Jim. Jim runs Feehan & Sons Funeral Home, a business started by their grandfather in 1921.

All in all, despite the tension with his brother, and despite the grumbling of his friends, whose business has suffered because of a lengthy red tide and a spectacularly bad overall fishing season, Richie enjoys his life very much. He's content, and believes that's pretty much all a man can ask from his life.

That is, until a horrible mystery begins to unfold in Gloucester.

Out lobstering, Richie sees something nightmarish in the surf one day, catches a bare glimpse of it beneath the surface. He doesn't dare speak of it for fear of what others might say - he doesn't want to become the town crazy. But he's having a hard time sleeping at night, and several days later, while out hauling in his traps for the winter, Richie finds one of them stuck on something. When he finally hauls it up, there's a corpse attached, a corpse that has been eaten at by sea creatures, including something large . . . the corpse of Greta Wagner, a woman who had been waked at Feehan & Sons two weeks earlier and buried a couple of days later.

Someone stole her corpse from the ground.

And her grave won't be the only one disturbed.

Booklist Review

"Golden's chilling novella is set in the fishing town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, where Richie Feehan divides his time between painting houses and trolling for lobsters, as the men in his family before him have done. One day, out on the sea collecting traps, Richie encounters a terrifying sight: a group of shells with glowing orbs that appear to be eyes resting in one of his traps. Richie throws it back into the ocean, but the memory of it haunts him. But when he spots his brother, Jim, who runs the other family business, Feehan & Sons Funeral Home, talking with police about a body disappearing from the graveyard, Richie never imagines the two things would be connected. A horrifying graveyard encounter with the entity known as the Shell Collector proves they are, however, and Richie realizes he must take action or risk losing someone close to him. Despite the tale's brevity, Golden vividly evokes life in a small fishing town and builds the suspense to a terrifyingly vivid conclusion."

Visit The Shell Collector page on Christopher Golden's website.

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24. Four Summoner's Tales

A little something to put on your wishlist for next year:

Four Summoner's TalesFour Summoner's Tales

Four terror-inducing novellas from acclaimed bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry beginning with the premise: "A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk's dearly departed from the dead - for a price."

In Kelley Armstrong's "Suffer the Children," an acute diphtheria outbreak kills most of the children in an isolated village in nineteen-century Ontario. Then a stranger arrives and offers to bring the children back to life. He wants money, of course, an extravagant sum, but more importantly, but for each child resurrected, one villager must voluntarily offer his life...

In David Liss's "The Good-Natured Man," a con man on the margins of eighteenth-century British society discovers a book that reveals the method for bringing the dead back to life. After considering just how far he would go to avoid bringing his violent father back, he realizes the real value of this book. Instead of getting people to pay him to revive their departed, he will get people to pay him not to...

In "Pipers" by Christopher Golden, the Texas Border Volunteers wage a private war against drug smuggling by Mexican cartels in a modern-day South Texas town, complete with an indestructible army of the risen dead...

In "Alive Day" by Jonathan Maberry, a US Army sergeant must dive into the underworld of modern-day Afghanistan to try and barter for the release of his team, never dreaming of the horrors that await him...

Additional Details
Published by Simon & Schuster
Trade paperback published September 2013
ISBN-10: 145169668X
ISBN-13: 9781451696684

it now!
S&S | Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound

eBook also available
ISBN-10: 1451696752
ISBN-13: 9781451696752

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25. The Waking: A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden and Thomas Randall

The Waking A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden and Thomas RandallStarting over in a place that's haunted by death...

Kara Foster thinks the hardest thing about moving to Japan will be fitting in as an outsider. But dark secrets are stirring at her new school. When Kara befriends Sakura, a fellow outsider whose rebellious nature sets her apart from the crowd, she learns that Sakura's sister was the victim of an unsolved murder on school grounds. And before long, terrible things begin to happen...

The Waking trilogy concludes with A Winter of Ghosts. Kara's life in Japanese prep school has been a whirlwind of terror, as a demon's curse keeps waking up ancient, evil creatures to torment her and her friends. When a student goes missing during a visit to a mountain forest, Kara and her friends are sure the curse has struck again. This time, it's a demon of winter, whose power is more chilling than anything they've encountered so far. And then it gets worse: the demon kidnaps Kara's boyfriend, Hachiro, with whom she's just starting to fall in love. Desperate to save him, Kara ventures back into the snowy woods, where dark forces await her...

This frightening trilogy will have readers glued to the page and scared to go to sleep.

"Randall describes the scenery, the culture, the characters, even their clothing, with heartfelt details. The story has suspense, mystery, and horror. It will be a great hit with fans of manga, anime, or Japanese culture." - School Library Journal

"A well-structured tale of ancient spirits who exact revenge upon humans. A brisk Japanese adventure." - VOYA

"The Waking: Dreams of the Dead starts as the dream of everyone who has ever wanted to travel to an exotic, far-away country to start again, and weaves a nightmare based in rich Japanese culture and myth.  I can't wait until it is released and I can recommend it to my readers." - Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, author of In the Forests of the Night and Persistence of Memory

Crawl on over to The Waking website.

Check out my interviews with the author: here and here.

Read the books in order:
Dreams of the Dead
Spirits of the Noh
A Winter of Ghosts

A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden Thomas Randall A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden Thomas Randall A Winter of Ghosts by Christopher Golden Thomas Randall

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