Authors to Watch in 2012

A look back at what hit the proverbial thriller shelves last year:

Out in paperback and e-book in May 2011, The Bonaparte Secret was the much awaited fifth installment in Gregg Loomis’s Lang Reilly series. From Venice to Port-au-Prince, Alexandria to Paris, Lang takes readers on a fast-paced search for a lost relic of Napoleon Bonaparte’s. Even if you haven’t read the previous four books, The Bonaparte Secret  is easy to jump right into. Da Vinci Code fans will love it!

 

A fresh face in the thriller genre, Chuck Hustmyre brought you House of the Rising Sun (July) and A Killer Like Me (August) in 2011. His back-to-back award-winning releases are both set in The Big Easy and tell the tale of detectives caught on the wrong side of the law. Not only did House of the Rising Sun debut in trade and e-book last year, it also celebrated its film release with Lionsgate Home Entertainment!

 

Stacy Dittrich is no newcomer to the genre. Her years as a police officer and detective inspired her to write true crime and thrillers, of which she has almost a dozen. October release The Rapture of Omega is the fourth title in her popular Detective CeeCee Gallagher series. A Major Crimes Division detective and the top of her field, CeeCee knows too well the burden the job can bring to one’s professional, and personal, life. No matter the circumstance, CeeCee manages to pull through. Teaming up with her forbidden love, FBI Agent Michael Hagerman, the CeeCee Gallagher series brings a hint of romance to a modern day crime series.

Be sure to check in with the Dorchester Web site for more of what’s new in thriller. Follow these exciting authors and many more in 2012!

#Booksarebetter: Great Gifts for Dad

Confession: I’m one of those people that believes books make the best gifts. If you don’t agree, then you’d better hope you don’t ever get me as your secret Santa. If you do agree, read on for a few great gift ideas for that genre lover in your family!

For the thrill seeker:

Pair our paperback original with Lionsgate’s Blu-ray for some serious thrills. Released in July 2011, House of the Rising Sun by Chuck Hustmyre is a critically-acclaimed New Orleans-set crime thriller that plays a dirty cop against the mafia, and there’s no saying who will come out alive.

 

 

 

For the chill seeker:

Consider this a cautionary tale about the repercussions of succumbing to a siren’s call, mythical or not. This title and all horror paperbacks are 30% off this week!

 

 

For the gunslinger:

When you think of the West, you think of Zane Grey.” —The American Cowboy. It doesn’t get much more classic than this, folks. Wrap it in a bow, secretly throw it on his e-reader. Either way, Dad’ll be saying “Don’t bother me. I’m reading” before you know it.

 

 

 

For the Indiana Jones fan:

Indiana Jones is dead. Long live Gabriel Hunt”—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians. From the towers of Manhattan to the jungles of South America, from the sands of the Sahara to the frozen crags of Antarctica, one man finds adventure everywhere he goes: Gabriel Hunt.

 

 

 

Can’t get enough of genre fiction? Stop by the Dorchester Web site for more classic gift ideas in thriller, horror, and Westerns!

Happy gifting!

STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL Discussion Questions

Ahhh, bookclubs. Don’t you love them? Friends, a good book, great conversation, and insights into a book you might have missed on your own (and hopefully a Cosmo or two!). If you’re part of a bookclub and are looking for your next engrossing read, consider The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker  from award-winning author Leanna Renee Hieber. Think Victorian Ghostbusters + mythology + Mr. Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet-esque romance + the camaraderie and magic of Harry Potter. Really, there’s nothing like it out there. Your bookclub will thank you.

To get you started, Leanna has kindly provided some discussion questions to keep you on track during your obsess-fest (’cause you surely will be obsessing!). Right click the image to print or click the link below for a printable PDF.

Strangely Beautiful Discussion Questions

Sexy Snippet: THE RUBY KISS

It all started with a magic knot, a mystical ring that contains the essence of its owner’s body, mind and spirit, an item capable of bonding two souls as one.

In The Ruby Kiss, the 3rd title in Helen Scott Taylor’s award-winning Magic Knot Fairies series, the fairy courts are off-balance, and only the fated bond between a powerful nightstalker and a fiery mortal can make things right.

Read on for a steamy glimpse into the magnetic relationship between Nightshade and Ruby, guaranteed to leave you wanting more—but don’t worry, you won’t have to wait long. The Ruby Kiss comes out later this month!

Warning: this sexy snippet is for mature readers only!

Read more of this post

Thriller Thursdays: From the Set of House of the Rising Sun

The gritty, action-packed House of the Rising Sun continues to blow readers, and now audiences, away! The critically-acclaimed debut thriller from former special agent Chuck Hustmyre is now a major motion picture starring Hollywood heavyweights Danny Trejo (Sons of Anarchy), Dominic Purcell (Prison Break), and Amy Smart (Crank). Check out these pics from the set, read an excerpt from the book, watch the trailer, and share our enthusiasm for this thriller success! And if you’re looking for the perfect stocking-stuffer for that thriller lover in your family, House of the Rising Sun is available in trade paperback, e-book, and Blu-ray/DVD!

 

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Last Stop in our September Sylph Series: Tooie

The last Thursday in September has fallen upon us, just like an anvil on a roadrunner.

I’m saddened that today is the day it is, because it marks the final day in our September Sylph Series, a weekly celebration of the burly, powerful, quirky battle sylphs in L.J. McDonald’s Sylph series. I’ve had more fun than I probably should have revisiting my favorite sylphs, but alas, they will always live on in the books I know and love.

Today I’m profiling Tooie, an adorable battler we meet in The Shattered Sylph. I think Tooie is just the cutest battle sylph EVER. Perhaps it’s because he can’t really talk, or maybe it’s the way he madly gesticulates to communicate, or maybe it’s just his dedication to his true love. Either way, although he’s a minor character, he’s still a personal favorite of mine.

Read on and enjoy!

Sylph (n): a mythological creature composed of the elements. The term, which originated in Paracelsus, commonly describes sylphs as invisible beings of air or “faeries of the air.” L.J. McDonald’s sylphs are either fire sylphs, air sylphs, water sylphs, earth sylphs, or battle sylphs. Battle sylphs are unique to L.J.’s original fantasy world; they are creatures of magic, unrelentingly male, who were traditionally bound to a male master in a sacrificial ritual. In L.J.’s debut, The Battle Sylph, everything changes when this dark ritual goes awry and a battle sylph is bound to a woman instead.

Name: Tooie (or #200 to his captors)

Species: Battle Sylph

Master: Tooie is a captive battle sylph, forced to fight against criminals for other’s entertainment.

First Appears In: Tooie is only in The Shattered Sylph (so far!). Lizzie (Leon’s daughter and heroine of The Shattered Sylph), is kidnapped and taken to a sort of sylph Colosseum, where she’s forced to serve as a plaything to captive sylphs in a harem (battle sylph are only happy when in the arms of a woman…). This is where she meets Tooie.

Personality: playful and caring.

Quirks: Tooie communicates in gestures (basically sign language).

Main Purpose in Life: Tooie is in love with Eapha, a slave girl in the sylph harem. The handlers of the battle sylphs don’t want them to love, but battle sylphs prefer monogamy. Tooie is completely committed to Eapha but is forced to pretend to be with other women in the harem so she doesn’t get hurt. All he wants is to find a way to be with her, and her alone.

Why I Love Him: Tooie, along with a few other battle sylphs, help protect Lizzie while she’s a captive. They take “shifts” pretending to sleep with her so she’s safe from the other, more aggressive, battle sylphs. Tooie knows Lizzie’s heart belongs to another (Ril), so he does everything he can to keep her safe until she’s back in his arms. There’s hilarious scenes where Tooie will be speaking to Lizzie in sign language while spastically jumping up and down on a mattress and banging on the walls to make the captors think he’s “with” Lizzie.

Tooie Quote: “He loved Eapha, Tooie did, had loved her since the first moment he had taken her in boredom to an alcove and accidentally tickled her, making her giggle. He’d been so enchanted, he’d tickled her again. She’d hit him with a pillow. He’d known he was lost from that instant, and yet they shared no bond; the patterns within him belonged to men, and his worship of Eapha was limited to her body alone. This newcomer [Ril] loved his lady [Lizzie] straight through her soul–and so Tooie, like all of the battlers outside, watched with hunger and rage but also guarded the couple, if only that they might continue to feel the pair’s pleasure and dream.”

So that marks the end of our September Sylph Series! To read more about Tooie, get your hands on a copy of The Shattered Sylph. Leave a comment below and let us know what you thought of our blog series, the Sylph books, or paranormals in general. We’ll be choosing a random commenter from the past 4 weeks to receive ALL THREE books in the series (in paperback!). The winner will be announced on Monday.

Thanks for tuning-in and sharing our enthusiasm for battle sylphs!


I Spy…Dorchester covers in a Verizon iPad2 commercial!

Most of us fast forward through commercials these days, but even so the chances are good that you’ve seen the Verizon iPad2 commercial below. It’s on every channel these days and four of Dorchester’s titles are featured in it!

I’ve grabbed a freeze frame from the commercial 6 seconds in in which you can very briefly see the covers of The Battle Sylph by L. J. McDoanld, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber, Siren by John Everson, and The Bonaparte Secret by Gregg Loomis.

What? They chose Twilight as the book to flip through and not ours? Like anyone’s read that! Hmph.

Still, this is an awesome Easter egg. Very fun—and perhaps a little subliminal advertising:)

 

September Sylph Series: Claw, or “The Neurotic One”


Who are these beautiful men, you may wonder? Well, they’re not really men. They’re sylphs! And the leading battle sylphs in L.J. McDonald’s Sylph series, no less. This week–as part of our September sylph series–we’re profiling Claw, the burly, tortured looking man on the far left (the first one with a face). Before we begin, here’s a summary of a sylph for those of you who are new to the series:

Sylph (n): a mythological creature composed of the elements. The term, which originated in Paracelsus, commonly describes sylphs as invisible beings of air or “faeries of the air.” L.J. McDonald’s sylphs are either fire sylphs, air sylphs, water sylphs, earth sylphs, or battle sylphs. Battle sylphs are unique to L.J.’s original fantasy world; they are creatures of magic, unrelentingly male, who were traditionally bound to a male master in a sacrificial ritual. In L.J.’s debut, The Battle Sylph, everything changes when this dark ritual goes awry and a battle sylph is bound to a woman instead.

Without further ado, here’s a profile on Claw:

Name: Claw

From: Eferem

First Master: Boradel, a cruel general of King Alcor, who was given a battle sylph to defend the kingdom.

First Appears In: We first meet Claw in an epic fight near the end of The Battle Sylph. Bound to a king’s man, he’s supposedly following orders and fighting against the good sylphs, but at last minute he joins his fellow slaved sylphs and escapes his bonds by turning on the king’s men and battlers. Once freed, he’s able to join the Queen (Solie’s) hive as a free battle sylph.

Appearance: Claw is first described in the perspective of King Alcor, who says he “was a hunched thing in a filthy robe, possessed of arms tipped with foot-long claws instead of fingers. Its claws were held up before it like those of a praying mantis, and it started at every sudden noise. Its face as oval, its mouth a round shape overstuffed with fangs jutting out in every direction.” Yeah, Claw’s a frightening one, but keep in mind he didn’t choose this form–Boradel did–so it doesn’t reflect his true nature. Once Claw becomes part of the hive, Solie allows him to choose his own form. For whatever reason he transforms into a “hunched, nervous-looking young man, eyes bulging and hands still held before him like a praying mantis. His skin was very pale, and his hair, bizarrely, was dark blue.” I’d say this is a more accurate reflection of his inner nature…

Second Master: In Queen of the Sylphs, we learn that Claw is given a female master. Battle sylphs respond significantly better to females, as they are essentially wired to adore and pleasure women. He’s paired with Rachel, an elderly and kind school-teacher, who helps soften him through her love and affection.

Personality: Although still ferocious in battle (which is inherent to all battle sylphs), Claw is kind of a fraidy cat. He’s a nervous, neurotic, spastic, broken creature, ruined by his years of slavery. He’s bizarre in his eccentricity, which makes him one of the most amusing and heartbreaking characters in the series.

Claw Quote: “Ril paused, eyeing Claw. ‘How’s the reading coming?’ Um, good,’ the other battler said. ‘I read a story to Rachel last night.’ ‘Nice,’ Ril said. Claw sagged. ‘The math is hard, though.’”

To read more on Claw, delve into September release Queen of the Sylphs, the 3rd book in the series and the installment that gives Claw the most page time.

Next week marks the last profile in our September Sylph Series–we’ll be giving away the entire series in trade paperback to one lucky commenter from this month’s series, so be sure to enter your comment! This week’s question: With his sketchy, blue-haired demeanor, Claw is reminiscent of a glam punk rocker. What 70′s/80′s musician did you have an embarrassing crush on?

Sylph Profiles:

Profile: Ril
9/1/2011 

Profile: Mace
9/8/2011

Profile: Heyou
9/15/2011

Profile: Claw
9/22/2011 

Profile: Tooie
9/29/2011

September Sylph Series: Heyou!

HEYOU!

No, not you. Heyou, the battle sylph.

It’s a silly name, I know, but it’s the perfect example of L.J. McDonald’s quirky humor. To find out how Heyou got his ridiculous name, read on, as we continue our celebration of Queen of the Sylph‘s release with a weekly sylph profile!

Sylph (n): a mythological creature composed of the elements. The term, which originated in Paracelsus, commonly describes sylphs as invisible beings of air or “faeries of the air.” L.J. McDonald’s sylphs are either fire sylphs, air sylphs, water sylphs, earth sylphs, or battle sylphs. Battle sylphs are unique to L.J.’s original fantasy world; they are creatures of magic, unrelentingly male, who were traditionally bound to a male master in a sacrificial ritual. In L.J.’s debut, The Battle Sylph, everything changes when this dark ritual goes awry and a battle sylph is bound to a woman instead.

Name: Heyou

A concept sketch of Heyou (right) courtesy of Anne Cain, artist of the Sylph series covers.

A concept sketch of Heyou (right) courtesy of Anne Cain, artist of the Sylph series covers.

Namesake: The first word a master speaks to his/her battler becomes his name. The first thing Solie says to her sylph is “heyou.” Here’s an excerpt from their first meeting: “The battler landed on the altar, bracing itself atop her, a beast formed of smoke and lightening, staring downward. She felt its emotions, its interest and its curiosity. Its eyes stared into hers, and she blushed as it slowly looked down the length of her body and then back up again. It purred, bent its head, and licked her from her navel up across her breasts and along her neck…What had the king said? Name it. ‘Hey, you,’ she managed, barely able to speak at all, she was so frightened. She swallowed, trying to get her tongue untied enough to ask its name, and it breathed warm air on her. Heyou it repeated softly, the sound echoing in her mind. Had she just named it?”

Species: Battle Sylph

A rendering of Heyou in his human form.

A rendering of Heyou in his human form.

Form: Battle sylphs can generally transform into any shape they wish. A battle sylph’s natural form is incorporeal and looks something like a cloud of smoke and lightning. In the human form Heyou originally takes (unknowingly modifying himself after all the men he had seen over time) Solie thinks to herself that “she’d never liked hair that short, and he was really rather skinny, his features rather plain and unremarkable. For someone who could change his shape, he’d certainly picked a boring one.” Once Solie tells him this, she helps mold him into a more likeable male. From then on, Heyou dons long, brown, straight hair, has a strong, broad muscular build, long legs, an angular and symmetrical face, and a height just a little taller than herself. Solie remarks “he became a stunning young man…the kind she was sure even her aunt would sneak a look at in the streets.”

First appears in: The Battle Sylph, which is mainly his story. He also plays a role in The Shattered Sylph and Queen of the Sylphs.

Personality: As far as sylphs go, Heyou is a young one, so the defining element of his personality is his youthful sense of humor. He’s also playful, likeable, and incredibly loyal to and flirtatious with Solie. There’s a lot of growth in his character throughout the series but he never loses these core elements of his being.

Master: Solie, a young, beautiful woman initially intended as a sacrifice to lure a battler to a male master, but she ends up being bonded to the battler instead. In the process, Solie becomes the first female to be mated to a battle sylph and eventually the Queen of the sylphs.

Heyou highlights: The last paragraph on page 95 of Queen of the Sylphs (I don’t want to give anything away by quoting). I think this whole sub-plot in Queen is absolutely hilarious.

Check in next Thursday for a sylph profile on Claw!

If you were given a battler, what would you want its human form to look like? Leave a comment below and let us know what your preference is. We’ll be choosing one lucky commenter to win the entire series in trade after the last sylph profile (09/29)!

At the Office: Behind-the-Scenes Photos

Dorchester’s office is a colorful place.

Most of the chairs are relics from the 80′s; orange, cushy things that envelop you in their warm embrace. The carpet was once blue (I’m told), but is now a dusty grey. Enlarged covers of bestselling books don the walls, as do plaques and awards from over the years. Black, fat filing cabinets holding hundreds of contract files make for narrow walkways, and any given desk or counter space is adorned with piles of books, papers, cover flats, coffee stains, stray pencils, computers, tootsie rolls or Twizzlers. Our stately glass front doors advertise the Dorchester logo, but I like to think they’re prankster ferrets posing as doors, because they occasionally decide to lock, on more than one occasion leaving us stranded in the hallway.

Dorchester has been headquartered in this quirky, beloved office for almost 10 years. Although it’s a bit run-down and slightly disheveled, it’s home to many of us.

Over the past week I took a few snapshots of the office, attempting to communicate that the small, everyday moments and details are what make this place homey. I hope you enjoy them!

Cheers,

Hannah, Marketing & Promotions Coordinator

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