New World Rights deal for urban fantasy author Suzanne McLeod

An image of urban fantasy author Suzanne McLeod.Gillian Redfearn of Gollancz has acquired World Rights to two supernatural thrillers by Suzanne McLeod.

The titles offer an exciting new twist to the series, set in London, but the details are currently being kept under wraps for now and will remain so until closer to publication.

Speaking about the deal, Gillian said, "We’re really thrilled with this new proposal from Suzanne McLeod. Her characters are warm and engaging, their relationships zing, her magic is clever and her London is beautifully evoked. The Spellcrackers novels are perfect for fans of Kim Harrison and Karen Marie Moning, and I think (when we share it!) readers will share our excitement about these novels."
McLeod’s novels have been sold in Europe and the US, and have received praise from the mainstream and genre press. Authors as varied as Sunday Times bestseller Ben Aaronovitch, the critically acclaimed Mike Carey, and international bestseller Charlaine Harris, have all read and praised the series.

Suzanne McLeod lives on the South Coast of England with her husband.

The agent was John Jarrold.

Urban Fantasy vs. Paranormal Romance – What’s The Difference?

For someone who’s meant to read a lot of books, I’ve never really considered the difference between urban fantasies vs. paranormal fantasy, why you might ask? Because I prefer to read the book, get to know the characters, story line, rather than focus on which “fantasy genre” it belongs to.

“Oh how dare she,’’ you might say? Well it is pretty simple.

As far as my understanding goes, I seem to fall into Urban Fantasy as a reader. I like books with plots, you know, where the character is on a mission in some god forsaken world that has elements of magic, intrigue, and the leading heroin or hero must save the world he lives in. For example, I read a lot of Jacqueline Carey, so for me, I like stories that have purpose and I can learn something from them. If you haven’t read anything by Jacqueline Carey, perhaps you should. On the other hands, I’ve read Twilight, which seems to fall into the Paranormal Fantasy Genre. Where love and sex dominate the plot, instead of having someone on a mission to save their home planet.

Jacqueline Carey Image:


Twilight Books Image:


But really, does it matter that much which genre of fantasy a book belongs too? You’re not going to say to your friends, “that paranormal fantasy book really gets my goat” are you now? No. You’re going to tell them what the book is about, why you love it, and why you continue to read a series that is beyond your understanding.  I will elaborate.

When Twilight came out, I was obsessed, and I don’t mean mildly either. I was reeled in, hanging onto the worm. I was reeled in because of the romance between Edward and Bella. Of course, a few years later, my obsession is gone. And although I love the books dearly, I have come to realise that Twilight, as fun as it was, mainly focused on a teenager falling in love for the first time with what our parents would call the “ bad boy” of today. But don’t get angry at my comments. Really, I do love the series. In fact, I’m going to the midnight premier of Breaking Dawn Part 2. But I’m just over reading about how ‘so and so’ doesn’t love ‘so and so’ and that their entire world is falling apart because the apparent love of their life doesn’t know they exist.

What I do love is a good book with a message that sticks inside my head and lets me know my weekend wasn’t wasted. I like a book that makes me think, one that provokes some kind of emotion other than jealousy and rage at the stupidity of the central characters. I want to and I do read books that are meaningful, so if I fall into the urban fantasy circle, that’s fine with me.

Should we focus on the contents of the book instead of the genre? We read because we love to escape. Heck, it’s the cheapest form of a holiday for most of us, even if we are transported into another world for a few hundred page. But isn’t that what books are about? The journey, not the genre sub section and dissection?

I’d like to know what you think and what your favourite books are.

New four book urban fantasy series from Michael West

A cover image of Poseidon's Children, by Michael West.Seventh Star Press has recently announced a new urban fantasy series from Michael West. The series, entitled Legacy of the Gods, will consist of four books, the first of which will be Poseidon’s Children.

The award-winning horror author’s foray into urban fantasy is his second series with Seventh Star Press, joining his Harmony Indiana novels in a schedule that will see two books a year released.

Poseidon’s Children has already received high praise from Maurice Broaddus, whose series, The Knights of Breton Court, has been making big waves in the urban fantasy world.  As Maurice commented, “Poseidon’s Children is some of Michael West’s best writing and storytelling!”

As with all Seventh Star Press novels, the books will feature interior artwork, with covers and illustrations being done by acclaimed fantasy/horror artist Matthew Perry.

"This has been an epic story that I have been passionate about for a long time, an idea that would not let go of my brain, it just kept growing, and growing, demanding that I start writing it all down,” Michael said in regards to the upcoming series.  “I’ve talked about wanting to do this series for years, and my faithful readers kept asking me, ‘When are you going to do that? When is it coming out?’  Well, I’m happy to say that the answer is now, and I am so pleased that Seventh Star Press has given me the opportunity to finally make this dark, horrific, fantastical dream a reality."

In Poseidon’s Children, man no longer worships the old gods; forgotten and forsaken, they have become nothing more than myth and legend. But all that is about to change. After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current–high-priced yachts and leaking fishing boats, all ransacked, splattered in blood, their crews missing and presumed dead.

And that’s just the beginning.

Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes … at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse. Now, to stop the carnage,Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.

Michael West’s work includes The Wide Game (Graveside Tales), Cinema of Shadows (Seventh Star Press) and a single author collection, Skull Full of Kisses (Graveside Tales). He also has an array of short fiction published, spanning many magazines and anthologies, including appearances in Shroud Magazine, and the Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest.

"Seventh Star Press is simply amazing to work with,” Michael commented.  “They know good fiction, put out hardcover, paperback, and eBook editions of the highest quality, and they support their authors and releases more than any other publisher in the business. I could not be happier to be working with them on my Harmony, Indiana books and now the Legacy series."

The projected release date window for Poseidon’s Children is March of 2012, with versions released in limited hardcover, trade paperback, and several eBook formats, such Kindle, iPad, the Nook, and Sony/Sony compatible eBook reading devices. The second novel is slated for spring of 2013, with other titles to follow on an annual basis.