Reckless Abandon (A Shaw McLeary Mystery Book 1)

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Staging plays in the conditions for which Shakespeare wrote them brings out an improvisational vitality long buried by the technology-aided, proscenium-arch, director-centric theater of the past two centuries. Markowitz thinks back to the "youthful, spontaneous, incredible, fun energy" that Shakespeare brought to her life some years ago.

They were celebrating two members in the company "completing the canon" playing in every Shakespeare-written play over the course of their careers with their opening-night performance of Coriolanus that had just concluded next door at the Blackfriars Playhouse. My wife and I happened to be in the lounge when they arrived, and one of the actors sidled up to me and whispered in my ear: "Sarah Fallon is coming back next Ren Season to play Richard II. Then the actor whispered more: "And Josh Innerst is going to play Hamlet.

One year of excited anticipation culminated today, a day of incredible theater and exceptional Shakespeare. Fallon's Richard is everything I knew it would be, and the ensemble work is exquisitely nuanced. As for Hamlet , well, I'm a guy who spent his formative years attending theater in England, where standing ovations are rarer than comets passing earth. I normally don't stand until the second curtain call, and that only because I don't want to stand out—or sit out in America, not standing is rarer than comets.

Tonight, I rocket out of my seat with hand-hammering applause even before the dead bodies can get up to take their bows. Floating out of the playhouse, I catch up with Joan Saxton, who lives in Sausalito, California, and has come to almost every Blackfriars production a continent away over the past 12 years.

She just shakes her head indicating she has no words to offer; her contented smile glazed on an expression of awe more than suffices. We and other patrons walk to the Stonewall Jackson for a formal reception unveiling the American Shakespeare Company's — lineup of plays. The buzz, though, is all Hamlet. People strain to constrain themselves from saying this might be the best Hamlet ever staged. This is not hyperbole; but now comes the part where the uninitiated are inclined to tell me, "pshaw! The company is one week into its annual Actors' Renaissance Season.

During the "Ren Season" the theater uses original production practices. Twelve actors with cue scripts their parts plus a line or two before they speak put on the play without any director or production team. The cast works out all the blocking and the look of the production in only about a week's worth of rehearsal time. By the end of the three-month season they will be doing a repertory of five plays. This, scholars believe, is how plays were produced in Shakespeare's time, a collaborative effort by the actors.

The result is textually pure productions. The actors simply don't have time to contemplate or argue about concepts or interpretations; they have to play what they read, and they have to listen to the other characters on the stage because they have to hear the cues when they arrive. Key phrases here—"original production practice," "textually pure," "Blackfriars Playhouse" a re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theater , "original staging conditions"—would incline many to think this is "museum Shakespeare.

Shakespeare wrote for such conditions and, reportedly, more raucous audiences than today's. How he navigated such an environment with his plot and verse structures emerge during these Ren Season productions, some of the most dynamic live theater—modern, early modern, or Greek—I've seen anywhere. Fallon portrays Richard's crumbling state—his crumbing psychological state as much as his regal one—speaking Shakespeare's most lyrical poetry.

Being king is all Richard has known, and he relies totally on divine right, anointed by God, for his political standing. Watching Fallon's Richard discovering that he is as human as everybody else is devastating, no matter how petulant we might think him early in the play. Casting Fallon as Richard II is a no-brainer. I've admired this actress's work on this stage since She has portrayed Cleopatra exactly as Enobarbus describes her. She played all four iterations of Queen Margaret in Shakespeare's Henry VI tetralogy produced one part per year over four years, one of the few women to ever do so a boy or young man would have played the part in the original productions.

Fallon playing Richard II is not stunt casting. Cross-gender casting is common at the Blackfriars. Just as Fallon playing Cassius was all about chemistry with Brutus, to Jim Warren, the American Shakespeare Center's artistic director through last year, Fallon is perfect for Richard because of her verse-speaking skills and her abilities in portraying regality and psychological disintegration—even at the same moment, as she does in the deposition scene at the center of Richard II.

Critics often see Richard as an effeminate tragic hero, but Warren knew Fallon wouldn't play the part that way. I've seen Fallon effectively lead armies, torture dukes, go toe-to-toe with Richard III, beat up messengers, psychologically castrate Scotland's greatest warrior, and, in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy , physically castrate a king, all while playing women; and I've seen her manage and participate in a successful assassination plot while playing a man.

Here she's playing a king. Sure, Richard is spoiled, loves flattery, is inefficient in governance, and not politically astute, but he keeps a firm grip on his core ethic, divine right. In the final scene he fends off four murderers, killing two of them before being fatally stabbed himself. That moral strength and physical danger runs through Fallon's performance from the start. I knew she'd be scary good as Richard II, and the payoff has been one year coming. It took two, big, burly corpsmen and my father to hold me down as the doctor gave me a penicillin shot when I was 7 years old.

My distaste for needles hasn't abated since. Bravery for me was getting a vaccine during a hepatitis outbreak on the Air Force base in Alaska where my father was stationed when I was a young teen. One of my classmates had been stricken, so I weighed the odds—and gave in only to the base commander's orders for all families to get the shot at the base clinic. I've never gotten a flu shot. I've also never had the flu. Heck, I average a cold only once every three years. But I've had three colds already since October, and there's been a particularly virulent strain of flu going around the D.

Today, when I was at a doctor's appointment for an unrelated matter, the nurse asked, "Have you had your flu shot? My life flashed before my eyes: not my past but my future, cramming as much as a dozen Shakespeare plays in a dozen locations into the next three months. Holy cow, I just agreed to get a shot! How's that for dedication? Honestly, I didn't feel a thing when she gave me the shot. Not that I'll volunteer for future needling, but 53 years of imagined terror seems kind of silly to me now.

My parents once gave me a jigsaw puzzle of the moon. I've never been good with jigsaw puzzles. I was in junior high school at the time and I didn't think to report them to social services. Then my wife, Sarah, topped them: one Christmas a couple decades ago she gave me a piece, double-sided jigsaw puzzle of The Beatles eponymous LP—better known as "The White Album. She's still my wife, too. Traveling back and forth across the land, seeing all that Shakespeare and visiting all those theaters, what fun!

Planning it all out, not so much. It is part of the adventure, but in manner much like Alaska's giant mosquitos that suck on you as you hike through that land's majestic splendor something I can look forward to in late July. Timing, I knew, would be the biggest contention. So many productions were bound to land during festival season, June through September. It's worse than I imagined, however. Most of the productions—including so many on my "must do" list of priority theaters and only-playing-there titles—have their runs in a three-week period from the end of July into August.

Attending an All-Star Game has been one of our primary baseball goals, and when the Nationals were announced three years ago as hosts for , we became season ticket holders to get first crack at tickets. It's not just the game; it's four days of festivities and showcase games from Saturday through the main event Tuesday night. As soon as Major League Baseball set those dates last August, I booked a hotel room across from the downtown ballpark. At that time, seeing the Shakesperae canon in one year was a fleeting wish.

Now, the All-Star Game is trimming significantly my canon-completing opportunities. Back to the matrix. I'm working with several different priorities. Number One, to see all 38 plays in the traditional canon the First Folio plus Pericles and The Two Noble Kinsmen and productions of Shakespeare's poetry and apocryphal plays as a bonus. Equal priority is to see each play in a different theater.

Next priority is to cover the breadth of the land, starting with the four corners of the continent: Miami done , Fairbanks, and San Diego are on the table, as is Hawaii if I can work out the schedule I'm quibbling with the definition of continent here. As for the northeast corner, my preferred theater, Shakespeare by the Sea in Newfoundland, is currently in flux, but I have geographical fall-back options. Except for the last, these regions have blurry borders. I also intend to limit myself to no more than five productions per region, but the midsummer traffic jam of plays I see ahead of me might detour me off these standards.

After consideration of geographical spread, I'll focus on covering a full spectrum of theater spaces, production styles, and company compositions. With about 30 theaters linked on Shakespeareances. Ironically, it's not lack of plays but too many productions of the same play that's giving me fits. Then there's Macbeth , not only with productions aplenty but a great variety in styles: the experimental version at Shakespearemachine in Fort Wayne, Indiana in November, yes! All these Macbeths , but not necessarily enough Shakespeare variety to spread out my calendar or attain my regional goals.

When Sarah and I were first laying out our ideas for the Canon Project, we had a short list of theaters and festivals we wanted to visit, some longtime favorites, some places we have never been in fact, one of my goals is for at least half of the productions I see to be at venues new to me. Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise was on that short list; we've been there twice and love the theater and the productions. However, for , of the five plays the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is staging, only one is by Shakespeare: yep, Macbeth.

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This is a notable trend at Shakespeare-named theaters. Of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 11 titles this year, only four are by the namesake playwright, plus one about the namesake playwright. At least they're not doing Macbeth , but three of their four Shakespeare titles I've already assigned to other theaters: Romeo and Juliet I'm opting for the choose-your-own-ending version being presented in a bar next week , Othello I'm opting for an original pronunciation version in April , and Henry V I have two more intriguing options that I can't reveal as one is not yet publicly announced.

That leaves Love's Labour's Lost , which, if I choose that one, several other preferred theaters come off the chart. Ultimately, many of my final selections will come down to time and travel: when can I get where, and where can I get when. Even my desire to get to the continental corners will have to contend with that reality.

Fist-bump-times-eight the spider! Piecing together my calendar provided a mix of bad news and good. As I expected, the run dates of so many plays appearing at only one theater this year fall between July 19 and August 5. Meanwhile, a couple of regions ended up lacking representation on the calendar.

I will have to forego a couple of really-want-to-see productions, sacrificing my own preferences for the greater cause. Nevertheless, laying out the calendar of potential productions brings this project's ultimate goal into clearer focus. I will be able to see every play in the Shakespeare Canon that is produced on the North American continent this year, plus at least three apocryphal plays, each produced by a different theater company.

It will take a lot of hustle, but the goal is within reach. I just need those last three missing titles to be staged somewhere. The production is part of the Women's Voices Theater Festival here in the Capital Region, with 24 companies currently staging plays written or directed by women. As I was about to toss the play program into my recycling bin, I glanced at the festival flyer, and a title caught my eye: Imogen.

Pointless Theatre in downtown Washington combines puppetry and other graphic elements with live action in its productions, and this particular outing does so with Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. The adaptation further retitles the play to focus on the play's true leading character, King Cymbeline's estranged daughter, Imogen. However, the play's run ends this weekend. Can I get tickets? Yes, I can! So now, Cymbeline is in the fold for the Shakespeare Canon Project, and I don't have to fly cross-country or try to squeeze it into a three-week, cluttered window in late July.

Serendipity strikes again. High-five the spider, post this update, and head downtown for an evening with Pointless Theatre. OK, about Spider. My dad had this plush toy spider next to his computer in his home office. I don't know when it showed up, where it came from, or anything about its backstory.

My mom collected teddy bears and other plush animals, and because of her obsessive-compulsive nature she had more than 3, such critters of varying sizes and species at the time of her passing. Dad obviously was attached to it. When Mom and Dad moved to their retirement center, Spider was one of the first items he packed in his office and unpacked in their new apartment. After his stroke, Dad had to move out of his apartment to the center's assisted living wing, and Spider accompanied the computer upstairs.

Near the end of his life as his condition deteriorated, Dad twice had to move to a new room for increased levels of care, and he would grab Spider and make sure it didn't get waylaid he may have suspected I was coveting it; he would have been right. Upon Dad's passing, I took custody of Spider. It now sits next to my office computer.

Because my dad's legacy is largely inspiring me to do the Shakespeare Canon Project, Spider serves as the physical representative for my father's spiritual presence, even accompanying me on my travels. He's a spider: he fits easily in my bags and likes tight spaces. We start our interrogation of William Shakespeare's feminist cred by challenging his choice of title for this play, Cymbeline. At lines, the titular king of Britain speaks just 8 percent of the script.

His daughter, Imogen, has more than twice that: lines which, at 16 percent, is so dominant that the next-largest speaking part, her husband Posthumus Leonatus, gets 12 percent of the total with his lines I'm indebted to ShakespeareWords. King Cymbeline, in his own play, is such an insignificant puppet manipulated by the Queen, Imogen's stepmother, that Pointless Theatre's production of the play presents him as just that: a hand puppet manipulated and spoken by the Queen Hilary Morrow.

It's more than just word counts. This is Imogen's play, her story. All plot threads—the banished husband, the chastity wager, the court intrigue, the lost princes, Rome's invasion of Britain—wind through Imogen on their way to being audaciously tied up in Shakespeare's deftest denouement. By titling her adaptation Imogen , Charlie Marie McGrath, who also directed, is setting the record straight, a starting point for not only honing the play's focus on Imogen but also revisiting Shakespeare's tragicomedy through a woman's lens. The Dance Loft on 14 is a complex of dance studios plus a small theater upstairs in a building housing a mattress showroom on 14th Street in Northwest Washington, D.

Pointless Theatre uses this space to stage its production of Imogen , an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Cymbeline. As McGrath is doing with her retitled version of Cymbeline , the Women's Voices Theater Festival is intended to highlight the too-often-downplayed role of women in theater, what McGrath calls in her Imogen program notes, "a correction of a deficit, a need, a desperate need to put women's voices at the forefront of 21st century American theater. With Imogen , the nine-year-old Pointless Theatre is making its first foray into Shakespeare.

Our getting to the company's current space, The Dance Loft on 14, is a foray in itself, though it's only 30 miles from our house. We give up on our confounded GPS to find street parking in a two-block business district of 14th Street that traverses this midth century Northwest D. We park in front of a mattress store housed in a drab-yellow Mediterranean-style building. Across the street is the bus barn, resembling a gothic fortress, for the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority. Pointless Theatre productions merge live action with shadow puppetry while layering scripts with heavy doses of music and movement.

McGrath, a product of Chicago's rich theater scene and assistant director for several productions at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in D. In addition to casting Cymbeline as a hand puppet, she uses shadow puppetry to illustrate off-stage elements of the plot, such as Leonatus, on his way to banishment, fighting with Cloten, and Guiderius, represented as a bear, knocking off Cloten's head in the Welsh woods. The production begins in a fairy tale world with the medieval look of a children's book but transforms into modern dress as the play progresses.

Two musicians sitting in the corner of the stage provide a constant soundtrack of music and environmental sounds composed by one of the musicians, Pointless Company Music Director Michael Winch. Choreographer Ryan Sellers creates mime and dance sequences for Fidele's funeral, the battle between the Britons and Romans including strapping on body armor and then, locked and loaded, crouching with bent elbows to represent bearing rifles , and Imogen's disguising herself as Fidele, a nightmarish trip for the woman as the ensemble strips and re-dresses her on stage.

Think about that: for Katelyn Manfre's determined and intelligent Imogen, becoming a man is a bad dream. Her father is a peevish blowhard. Her stepbrother is a crude lout with a violent temper. Her husband has accused her of adultery and wants to kill her for it. Iachimo is a slimy self-styled stud which comes across to women as, simply, a slimy jerk. Emerging from the trunk in Imogen's bed chamber and wearing gloves with elongated fingers, Iachimo does more than just note her bed chamber, take her bracelet, and inspect her body: he slips those elongated fingers up Imogen's nightdress for his own private climax.

Not all men are bad. The two princes are pure honor and adorably played by Renaldo McClinton as Guiderius who sheds real tears as he dances Fidele's funeral and Kevin Thorne II as Arviragus who sings the funeral dirge, the production's most moving moment, spurring those tears in Guiderius and some in the audience, too.

But, then, living with their supposed father out in the Welsh woods, they don't bear society's imprint nor has Imogen met them yet. And in this production, it's not their supposed father but their supposed mother: Belarius Lee Gerstenhaber has been re-gendered, as has Leonatus' trusty servant working for Imogen, Pisanio Acacia Danielson. That alone infuses the play with female perspectives as the lines they speak or are threatened with take on MeToo and Children's Health Insurance Program significance.

McGrath's adaptation remains relatively true to Shakespeare's text, though many lines are transplanted within the play and from other plays. She also transfers passages to a different character to suit her thematic purpose.


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It is Imogen, not Leonatus, who forgives and pardons Iachimo at the end but, then, Leonatus doesn't seem capable of doing that , and it is Guiderius who pardons the Romans. Cymbeline has retired, a la Lear, leaving the princes and princess to rule in equipollence. A fairy tale ending, perhaps, but not pointless. It wasn't that I miscounted, I just didn't recount. For more than a week, my upcoming trip to Connecticut would take me to my th staged William Shakespeare production.


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I was at , and a production of Coriolanus by Brave Spirits in Alexandria, Virginia, was coming up on this Saturday night, but not as part of the Canon Project. Brave Spirits had originially been the representative theater for Coriolanus , but when late this week I inserted Pointless Theatre's Imogen into the matrix, my need to spread out the Canon Project's geography trumped my desire to profile Brave Spirits. That was a hard call for me, too, as this company is one of my favorites, and it plans to stage the entire Shakespeare history cycle as a repertoire in , a sequential staging of the eight War of the Roses plays reflecting on current political conditions.

That's exactly something I've envisioned since I was in college in every age of man, "current" political conditions are always fraught, it seems , and I want to give Brave Spirit's ambitious "History Is " project wider notice. Nevertheless, I had another Coriolanus glowing on the matrix, a Stratford Festival production in Ontario already generating buzz before opening. Stratford was my initial choice to see Julius Caesar , but there always comes such another Caesar. So, Brave Spirits dropped off the Canon Project itinerary. Still, this production was a significant one in my lifelong Shakespearean trek.

By inserting Imogen and seeing it this afternoon, tonight's Coriolanus is now my th Shakespeare production. That doesn't occur to me as I wait in the theater lobby wondering why, five minutes before showtime, the theater has yet to open for seating. Then something more significant than a benchmark number happens: The plebeians start uprising—in the lobby. The small room barely has enough space for patrons, and now the first scene of Coriolanus is playing among us. I jerk as a firm hand clasps my shoulder from behind.

It's Menenius, and he moves on into the room to address the rabble. Ian Blackwell Rogers, a longtime fave of ours, is playing Menenius, and he chooses the target for his entrance knowing he would not get punched or sued. Things really get intense in that little room when Caius Martius himself later to become Coriolanus arrives. Looking around the room, I notice that the nonactors are worried: they might have to choose sides if a real riot breaks out. But, no, the action is moving to the capitol, Martius bids us follow, and we do—except in the hallway to the theater, the newly elected tribunes, Sicinius and Brutus, waylay us to worry openly about Martius.

Only then, for the play's second scene, do we enter the theater, its 52 seats arranged in a square. A couple of seats already are occupied. I sit next to a woman stitching a pair of pants. This turns out to be Virgilia Renea S. Brown , wife of Martius. The play continues in the same manner as what we experienced in the lobby, scenes exploding from behind and among us into the center of the play space.

Virgilia doesn't leave her seat as she plays her entire scene with Martius's mother, Volumnia Jessica Lefkow. The knife fight between Martius and Aufidius Robert Pike takes place on the floor a couple of feet from us. For the second half of the play, Aufidius takes the seat next to me where Virgilia had been sitting. Pike plays Aufidius as a coiled cobra, and I spend much of the rest of the play wondering when he would snap my head off at the mere memory of a fight he lost to Martius some years back.

Fourth-wall-shattering theater is no longer a novel concept, though the large number of companies that still strictly adhere to proscenium arch conventions might make you think otherwise. Fourth-wall-shattering was standard practice in Shakespeare's time, but these days it's often treated as theatrical calisthenics—gimmickry. Smith, who helms this production of Coriolanus , does not indulge in gimmickry.

She explores Shakespeare's texts with both a trust and openness that results in some of the most stimulating Shakespeariences I've known. She does so again with this Coriolanus. This is a play of the people. Literally: the word people is spoken more than 80 times. It's used with both positive and negative connotations, as a badge of honor and an entity to scorn.

Nevertheless, this play is peopled with equal representation from all classes and different countries, too. Coriolanus has famously been staged as an exemplar for political positions across the entire spectrum of ideologies, from communism to fascism. Smith doesn't assign any person or party as righteous or villainous, nor does she assign us, the audience, to any particular faction. She integrates us into the whole of Roman and Volscian society. In that opening scene in the lobby, the rabble direct their distrust at us, Menenius directs his parable at us, Martius directs his scorn at us, and the two Tribunes engage us in their concerns.

Which side are we on? O Martius, Martius! Would that this production represented you in the Shakespeare Canon Project. A domino effect later this year would make this so. Wisely or not, I am not restricting my theater attendance this year just to the Canon Project itinerary. We have subscriptions to Brave Spirits and other theaters in the region, and while visiting a company on the Canon Project itinerary, I intend to see as many of their productions as I can fit in.

This means a few more scheduling headaches and a lot more work, as I plan to review for Shakespeareances. Just six weeks into the year, in addition to four Canon Project plays, I've attended a Hamlet American Shakespeare Center that is among the best theater experiences I've ever had, and now I've seen Brave Spirits' scintillating Coriolanus. That Hamlet was Shakespeare stage production number in my lifelong tally, and this Coriolanus is The benchmark doesn't mean nearly as much as the ongoing proof that you can never see enough Shakespeare.

So what? She was in the Air Force. I'm a journalist. For the first dozen years of our courtship and marriage, we didn't spend a single Valentine's Day together. She was deployed or doing distant duty somewhere, or I was traveling on assignments. For many of the past half dozen years, my dad-care duties had me away from home on Valentine's Day, too. Even when we do happen to be home together on February 14, we treat it as just another day—probably because we approach every day of the year as our Valentine's Day. The play by Ann Fraistat and Shawn Fraistat and William Shakespeare, of course stops at three points for the audience to vote on the fate of the young lovers, starting with whether Romeo should pursue Juliet or stay true to Rosaline.

That means a total of eight different potential endings—a one-hour show with a page script. For a one-night-only performance, Simonetti and the actors have to rehearse each track. Just the logistics of keeping the blocking straight is mind-blowing, and seven-eighths of what they are working on today will not see the public light of day. Turns out I have a lot at stake in the audience's votes tomorrow night, too. I've seen all the endings, and one stands out for its brilliant hilarity: the flurple ending.

I saw it once in rehearsal today, and I want to see it again. I get my chance at the end of the day. For their single run-through at the end of a nine-hour rehearsal, I serve as the audience, voting on which turn the play would take. It's a lot of responsibility, especially as the script includes direct-address reminders to the audience that characters' fates are in their hands so don't [screw] it up. This is an adult-language play, so it's disconcerting to have actors level the f-word with the full force of a glare directly at me.

Though I knew which conclusion I wanted, I hadn't figured out how all the tracks pieced together as I said, the logistics are mind-blowing, and I'm not playing in or directing it. My choices led to the one happy ending for Romeo and Juliet and Rosaline and Mercutio and Tybalt, too. The only one here not happy was me: I didn't get to see the flurple ending again. So, on this Valentine's Day night, my loving energy goes out to tomorrow's sold-out audience at Tavern ; may your votes lead us all to a flurple ending.

Tom Simonetti is from The Valley, a cluster of small cities and large towns along the Naugatuck River. Its population is mostly working-class people, resiliently powering through the economic ebbs and flows of the past several decades and dedicated to their community, which, though comprising the municipalities of Seymour, Derby, Ansonia, and Shelton, they consider collectively as The Valley. Though located in southwest Connecticut almost equidistance between New York City and Hartford, The Valley is isolated from a mass transit perspective.

Valley residents might have an appreciation for culture but no convenient access to the cultural institutions of the Northeast Corridor. Simonetti is a theater artist, an actor and director who honed his craft in New York. He also has Valley DNA. From the time he was in college he dreamed of bringing a Shakespeare festival to The Valley. Even if he didn't sense a demand, he knew the need, and as he was nearing his 30th birthday, he founded the Valley Shakespeare Festival and staged its first free play, The Comedy of Errors , for one weekend in the summer of in downtown Shelton's Veterans Memorial Park.

Simonetti estimates a hundred people showed up that first night. Each night, the crowds grew. They continue to grow, now averaging to per show, even in rain. One person who attended that first year was Mark S. Holden, an insurance agent and chairman of the Shelton Public Schools. Growing up in nearby Trumbull, he remembers a Shakespeare acting troupe visiting his school with "gorgeous costumes and props and absolutely horrid actors, people who knew their lines but didn't know what they meant.

This played right into Simonetti's dream. He didn't just want to do free Shakespeare in the park of his hometown. He wanted to build a local institution, one with a professional i. And bars, too. Valley Shakespeare Company will do one or two plays in taverns during the winter. Simonetti and company believe the plays are a perfect fit for such an environment. One establishment, in fact, begged out of future shows because the crowds overwhelmed operations. Tonight, Holden is sharing a high table with me at Tavern We are among the plus people who have filled to capacity the restaurant's upstairs banquet room with a bar to see Romeo and Juliet: Choose Your Own Ending , a one-hour adaptation of Shakespeare's play by Ann Fraistat and Shawn Fraistat.

Three times in the play, the audience votes on a decision Romeo must make. The play continues with the audience directing Romeo into one of eight endings, ranging from everybody living and happy to everybody dying and angry. The Fraistats supplement Shakespeare's verse mostly from Romeo and Juliet , but other plays, too with some modern applications of thou and thine.

Nurse identifies Juliet to Romeo or Benvolio depending on the track with "Marry, bachelor, her mother is the lady of the house, and a good lady, and a wise and virtuous. I nursed her daughter that you talked withal. So whate're you're thinking, Montague, hands off! I've been in The Valley for three days and hanging out with Simonetti and his cast for rehearsals. I've been exposed to three things: a Valley-wide spirit of community fealty and generosity; a Valley-wide admiration for Simonetti and Company Manager Cheryl O'Brien; and the talent of this cast, all of whom welcome the challenge of playing Shakespeare in a bar.

Martin, playing workout wonk Paris and an arrogant Tybalt, leave their fellow actors in stitches. The cast comprises New York—based actors most originally from The Valley except one: year-old Valley resident Killian Meehan playing Romeo with only three years of stage experience and learning stage combat for the first time in this production. Meehan nevertheless leads the charge for the entire production with a commanding presence in a character who, in this version, is more straight man than blubbering lover.

Certainly, some in the audience are friends and family of company members, but the majority are Valley Shakespeare Festival fans generating a cult-following buzz. Rosaline is played by Jessica Breda, identified in the production's flier not by any of the many roles she's played but as "VSF Audience Favorite! As Romeo, having to choose between Rosaline and Juliet Ella Smith, channeling year-old essence , introduces the two women for the first time, Breda gets an especially enthusiastic greeting. Then, too, the audience has already shouted for Romeo to stick with Rosaline.

This evening, with just a couple days to rehearse and only Smith off book the other actors carry scripts , the cast not only embraces the wacky, it embraces the atmosphere and the audience, too. Funke's Mercutio switches "lawyer" to "architect" in the Queen Mab speech as he addresses a man who, based on audience reaction, is a known architect in The Valley. Patrons also get many of the play's Shakespeare insider jokes. Click the book title to purchase. So much has happened in the past 2 years and I've learned so much about the publishing industry!

Not to mention conceptualizing cover art, writing jacket copy and fighting with MS Word on how to make page numbers do what I wanted them to do. And then it was all about marketing and distribution. That is, until I got the itch to start writing another book. There was no stopping the second book! The pressure was off. My second book could be a disaster and it wouldn't have mattered. Not in the same way as a first book disaster would have hit me. And now another year has gone by. Another full calendar year and not a single book has been released on this micro-press label.

Which is a damn shame! Mostly that's because as the Owner I've had to shift my writing priorities to ensure I can keep paying the bills. I've been full time freelancing since May of last year and I must confess - I love it! Of course that means fiction writing has all but hit a screeching halt for the moment.

Will Writesy Press survive the no fiction release year? In short, yes! We're not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, through my freelancing work I've discovered nuggets of advice, wisdom, tips and other need-to-know articles for logic based, snarky and fun freelancers. As Del Nightingale and Tom Flanagan battle to survive the oppressive regime of bullying and terror overseen by the sadistic headmaster, Del introduces Tom to his world of magic tricks. But when they escape to spend the summer holiday together at Shadowland - the lakeside estate of Del's uncle - their hobby suddenly takes on much more sinister tones.

After a summer exploring the mysteries and terrors of Shadowland nothing will be the same. Jade is a seventeen-year-old mixed martial arts fighter. When she's in the cage she dominates her opponents--but in real life she's out of control. After she has a confrontation with a Hollywood martial arts star that threatens her gym's reputation, Jade's coach sends her to a training camp in Thailand for an attitude adjustment. Hoping to discover herself, she instead uncovers a shocking conspiracy.

In a world just beyond our own, a man is stealing the souls of children to try and live forever. Lutha Talstaff is sent to the remote, unpopulated planet Dinadh with her young son and her lover, and soon realizes they are part of a cosmic pattern that will alter their understanding of life, love, good, and evil. Read the full story for free at Uncanny Magazine.

Lovecraft's accursed New England hills, this collection features some of the most legendary landscapes of the cosmic horror genre. The collection includes the following twelve stories:. An atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; a hint of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space.

Karl Wagner wrote this pastiche of Robert E. Howard's pictish king, Bran Mac Morn, during the heyday of Howard reprints in paperback. Wagner wove a tale of swords and sorcery around the very real disappearance of the Roman 9th Legion in Britain. But soon Bran Mak Morn must lead his folk not only against the Romans but also against the dreaded People of the Dark.

In 'Adolf', a young boy becomes convinced his elderly neighbour is actually Adolf Hitler in hiding. The British soldiers in 'The German Ghost' have an otherworldly encounter with a mysterious and sinister figure in black. A late-night aerial mission at 24, feet becomes a terrifying supernatural experience for the crew in 'After the Funeral'. Master storyteller Robert Westall loved writing about three subjects above all: World War II, cats, and ghosts, and all three of these interests are on display in this collection featuring eleven of Westall's finest wartime stories, several of them supernatural.

The Cove (FBI Thriller #1) by Catherine Coulter Audiobook Full

Originally published between and , these stories are gathered together here for the first time and will delight readers of all ages. Spectral Shadows: Three Supernatural Novellas. Three supernatural novellas by Robert Westall, hailed as the finest British author of ghost stories since M.

James, collected together for the first time Why should three successive crews flying a Second World War bomber - Blackham's Wimpey - be driven to madness, despair, even death, though the plane returns from each mission without a scratch? Too many deaths, too many suicides. It was more than coincidence. The Wheatstone Pond was a killer. When it's drained, antique dealer Jeff Morgan gets interested, hoping there'll be a few valuable wrecks of model boats down there.

He isn't prepared for the horror he will find instead Sepp Yaxley vanished seven years ago, and no one has seen him since. Rose and her children Tim and Jane thought his vacant cottage, alone by the marshes, seemed like the perfect place for a holiday adventure. But that was before they decided to find out what happened to old Yaxley. Before they started to find strange things in the garden. Before the neighbors began to act weird. Before Yaxley's cat came back They came to his deathbed.

Four dutiful children. Each the victim of a different mother. Each mother the victim of a tragic accident, unsolved murder, mysterious disappearance. As he sank away they glowered their hatred. It was a hatred he expected, and his revenge was well-planned. He left a multimillion dollar legacy, bearing a ghoulish price tag. They could pay with their sanity, or their psyches, or their souls, they would be part of an experiment.

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It would be a great service to science, they were told. Just one last little joke on his kids, and they swore they could hear him laughing all the way to hell. A humanistic adept has discovered that by focusing his energies inward he can extend his life almost indefinitely. He undertakes an experiment using African lore to die and resurrect his own body thereby assuring his immortality.

His followers begin a revolutionary movement to supplant European civilisation. The first of Williams's novels to be written, though not the first published. A collection of 19 stories personally selected by the author, including two original to the collection, tales that draw aside the veils of mundane reality to reveal the hidden truths of this world and beyond. Stories that transport the reader from the icy Mars of Winterstrike to the searing deserts of Kazakhstan; from the exotic streets of Inspector Chen's Singapore Three to the forgotten waterways and hidden courtyards of Venice.

Liz Williams writes science fiction with the rich textures of the very best fantasy, and fantasy with the sensibilities of high-end science fiction. She reveals the world around us in subtly different shades and portrays other realms with a vividness that defies doubt. Read the full story for free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

In following the white man's road, Joseph Blue Crow has lost his Lakota heritage and is haunted by the loss. After the inexplicable suicide of the woman he loves, and as he sinks into alcoholism and despair and stands on the precipice of suicide, his best friend tells him, "You got to go on the mountain. Blue's journey takes him on a torturous path, and as he is guided by a shaman and a spirit bird, under whose wings lay the shadows of the past, he revisits--and relives--the massacre of Wounded Knee, standing beside his people as they fall under the gun and cannon fire.

Michael Reaves John Pelan. Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is among the most famous literary figures of all time. For more than a hundred years, his adventures have stood as imperishable monuments to the ability of human reason to penetrate every mystery, solve every puzzle, and punish every crime. For nearly as long, the macabre tales of H. Lovecraft have haunted readers with their nightmarish glimpses into realms of cosmic chaos and undying evil. But what would happen if Conan Doyle's peerless detective and his allies were to find themselves faced with mysteries whose solutions lay not only beyond the grasp of logic, but of sanity itself.

In this collection of all-new, all-original tales, twenty of today's most cutting edge writers provide their answers to that burning question. Wells join forces to protect a princess stalked by a ghost — or perhaps something far worse than a ghost. Brite and David Ferguson: A girl who has not eaten in more than three years teaches Holmes and Watson that sometimes the impossible cannot be eliminated.

Watson witnesses a maniacal murder in London — and recognizes the villain as none other than his friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. One year after the Great Sack, Protector General Ril Cowel took what remained of the fleet of Camrus and set out after the empire responsible for hammering his home into oblivion, the Empire of B'Nan. Cowel chased the mythic emperor for fifteen years. At last, fate seemed to hand him his chance, and in a swift strike Cowel damaged the imperial fleet and killed B'Nan.

The terror now over, he intended to dismantle the empire, to take it apart so that it could no longer destroy worlds like his own. But the more Ril Cowel tries, the harder it seems to be rid of the vast machinery B'Nan had constructed over a thousand years or more. For the emperor was reputed to have lived the entire time his empire grew. Cowel never gave credence to such stories A Darker Shade of Magic : Book 2. Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagent international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port. But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned.

After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall. A Tournament of Shadows : Book 1. Those of you who have met Morlock will get to run the streets with him a bit earlier in his wanderings.

A Tournament of Shadows : Book 2. Into the Unguarded Lands. Vocates Aloe Oaij and Morlock Ambrosius go into the Unguarded Lands, on a mission to find the reasons for the godslaying, and to avert any threat to the lands the Graith of Guardians has sworn to protect.

After crash-landing on the hostile coast of Kaen, they will face vengeful frightened gods, a calmly murderous dragon, a demon called Andhrakhar, and a bitter old necromancer named Merlin Ambrosius. Amid these dangers they will find that they can trust no one but themselves-and each other. A Tournament of Shadows : Book 3.

The tale of the early days of Morlock Ambrosius--master of all magical makers, wandering swordsman, and son of Merlin--concludes! From beyond the northern edge of the world, the Sunkillers undying enemies of everything that lives and breathes and is an individual are reaching into the sky of Laent to drain out its light and warmth.

Their hope is to scrape sky, land, and sea clean of mortal life and return to where they once dwelled, before the first rising of the sun. Against them stand only the Graith of Guardians, defenders of the peaceful anarchy of the Wardlands. But the agents of the Sunkillers are abroad even in the Wardlands: plotting, betraying, murdering among the Graith.

They may or may not save the world, but they will not save each other, or themselves. Ace Double F-Series : Book John Brunner Gardner F. When Earth's stellar empire was attacked by the Lyanir, a powerful race from the uncharted stars, it was Bran Magannon, High Admiral of Space, who met their battle-challenge. He saved the Empire, but he also fell in love with the beautiful young Lyarnin queen Peganna. To the people of Empire his name became that of traitor.

Now he was a lone, brooding outcast among Earth's outpost worlds, called Bran the Wanderer. Then Peganna of the Silver hair returned and told him of a fabled cache of deadly weapons left aeons ago by the long-dead race of the Crenn Lir. She wanted those weapons for her people, to use against the Empire if need be. These two worlds were at the heart of a taut dangerous situation which threatened to explode. Jorgen Thorkild, director of the Bridge System that connected forty worlds among the stars, had to try to tame them.

But Thorkild faced still another problem: the loss of his own sanity! Age of Legends : Book 1. In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire's worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned. Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters' journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they've ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor.

But a terrible secret awaits them at court--one that will alter the balance of their world forever. Age of Unreason : Book 4. As the ruthless forces of Russia lay waste to the New World, English troops make landfall in the east, determined to reconquer the colonies. But the balance of power rests with the French woman Adrienne de Montchevreuil, whose grasp of science is the equal of Franklin's, whose magic may be stronger than the Choctaw, and whose shocking secret may call into question where her true allegiances lie Aliens Universe: Out of the Shadows : Book 1.

In a dramatic twist, this novel will return us to that time, to Ellen Ripley, and to never-before-revealed secrets of the Weyland-Yutani Corporations Officially sanctioned and true to the Alien canon, Alien: Out of the Shadows expands upon the well-loved mythos and is a must for all Alien fans. Aliens Universe: Out of the Shadows : Book 2. As a deputy commissioner for the ICC, Alan Decker's job is to make sure the settlements on LV follow all the rules, keeping the colonists safe. But the planet known as New Galveston holds secrets, lurking deep beneath the toxic sands dubbed the Sea of Sorrows.

The Weyland-Yutani Corporation has secrets of its own, as Decker discovers when he is forced to join a team of mercenaries sent to investigate an ancient excavation. Somewhere in that long-forgotten dig lies the thing the company wants most in the universe--a living Xenomorph. Decker doesn't understand why they need him, until his own past comes back to haunt him.

Centuries ago, his ancestor fought the Aliens, launching a bloody vendetta that was never satisfied. That was when the creatures swore revenge on the Destroyer Ellen Ripley. Aliens Universe: Out of the Shadows : Book 3. When Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, she learns that the planet LVnow called Acheron--has been colonized. But LV is where Ripley and the crew of the Nostromo found the original Xenomorph--the killing machine known as the Alien. Protected by the Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet. Two such residents are Anne and Russell Jorden, seeking a fortune that eluded them on Earth.

On Acheron, Anne gives birth to the colony's first newborn. Rebecca Jordan, also known as Newt. The wildcatters discover a vast, decaying spaceship. The horseshoe-shaped vessel is of particular interest to Weyland-Yutani, and may be the answer to their dreams. But what Anne and Russ find on board proves to be the stuff, not of dreams, but of nightmares. All Souls Trilogy : Book 2. Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches, Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy and an international publishing phenomenon.

The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont; together they found themselves at the center of a supernatural battle over an enchanted manuscript known as Ashmole Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh.

Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries, delivering one of the most hotly anticipated novels of the season.

Allie Beckstrom : Book 3. Allison Beckstrom? But lost memories aren? Her late father, the prominent businessman? Daniel Beckstrom, has somehow channeled himself into her very mind. With the help of The Authority, a secret organization of magic users, she hopes to gain better control over her own abilities? Amazons of Aggar : Book 1. But when the Council of Aggar demands Diana be bonded to a Shadow in order to be allowed to make the journey, things get interesting.

Shadows are exceptional guides and fighters, but Elana is something more -- she has the gift of the Blue Sight. As the two women race against time to prevent an all-out intergalactic war, they become erotically entangled, complicating both their lives and putting their mission in danger. Amber's Mars : Book 1. Thomas L. James Carl C. The third exploration mission to Mars vanishes in without a trace. Two decades later, the success of human settlement of Mars and the life of a young girl hinge on the secret of what happened to the Ares III mission In , Mars is a growing outpost of humanity, and year-old settler Amber Jacobsen is a minor interplanetary celebrity - 'the First Kid on Mars'.

But pioneering is hardly glamorous work,and Amber wishes she were just an ordinary girl living on Earth. When the Jacobsen homestead is destroyed in an apparent accident, they relocate to an independent settlement in Noctis Labyrinthus, a vast and largely unexplored canyonland. Their new home promises new opportunities, and Amber looks forward to being just an ordinary member of the community. Instead, the other settlers dismiss her as a burdensome child and refuse to accept her as the responsible young adult she has become. To prove the value of her skills and unique perspective, Amber vows to uncover the fate of the Ares III mission, whose loss has largely been forgotten during the Martian settlement boom.

This seemingly harmless challenge thrusts her into a deadly conflict: those who know the truth will kill to keep it hidden, while others would use the secret to secure their dominance over all of Mars. In solving the mystery, Amber could destroy everything the Martian settlers have worked to create. Arcadia Bell : Book 3. Renegade mage and bartender Cady Bell has had a rough year, but now the door to her already unstable world is coming completely unhinged.

When a citywide crime wave erupts, Cady's demon-friendly tiki bar is robbed by Earthbounds wielding surreal demonic abilities that shouldn't exist. With the help of her devilishly delicious boyfriend, Lon Butler, Cady sets out to find the people who wronged her. But the criminals aren't the only ones experiencing unnatural metamorphoses--Cady's own Moonchild abilities are evolving beyond her control.

Can Cady track down the monsters responsible before the monster inside destroys everything--and everyone--she loves? Babylon 5 : Book 5. Babylon 5, designed to be a place of peace in a troubled universe, has erupted into rioting as visiting cultures clash and passions explode. Security chief Garibaldi must use all his skills to quell the violence between races.

But the troubles escalate as terrifying nightmares plague everyone on board from Captain Sheridan to Vorlon Ambassador Kosh. It seems as if some "force" is touching them all Babylon 5 : Book 7. Anna Sheridan has two passions -- her husband, John, and the mystery surrounding some intriguing artifacts found during a mission to a distant planet called Z'Ha'dum. Now she gets orders to become the science officer on the follow-up mission scheduled for the spaceship Icarus. Happy, young, beloved, and brilliant, never has a woman had so much to live for.

Or so much to lose. While John, recently promoted to the rank of captain, struggles with his new command on the Agamemnon , Anna begins to assemble her science crew She signs on Dr. Morden, a highly credentialed translator whose heart hides a weakness that can cost Anna her life or her soul.

Her second mistake is to underestimate the danger of Z'Ha'dum. What is awaiting the Icarus near the rim of known destiny As Elric and his student Galen watch with taut anticipation, dragons, angels, and shooting stars rain from the sky, heralding the arrival of the techno-mages on the planet Soom.

It's the first time Elric -- a member of the ruling Circle -- has hosted such a gathering, and if all goes well, Galen and the other apprentices will emerge triumphant from the grueling initiation rites, ready to embrace their roles as full mages among the most powerful beings in the known universe. But rumors fly of approaching danger, and Galen and his young lover, Isabelle, are chosen to investigate the dark tidings.

An ancient race has awakened after a thousand years, thirsty for war, slaughter, and annihilation. Will the techno-mages be the deciding factor in the war ahead? Or the first casualties? Balanced Sword : Book 2. When Kyri Vantage, Phoenix Justiciar of Myrionar, with the help of her companions Tobimar Silverun of Skysand and the unexpectedly dangerous little Toad, Poplock Duckweed, defeated monstrous killer Thornfalcon and unmasked a conspiracy of treacherous False Justiciars, she knew the job was only partly done.

A dark power stirs on the far side of the terrifying Rivendream Pass. Now, as the world shudders at the arrival of the Black City, of the King of All Hells, Kyri, Tobimar, and Poplock must venture beyond Rivendream Pass and into Moonshade Hollowa place from which none have ever returned. What they find there will challenge everything they believe in and conceals a menace they cannot imagine. Shadows of War: Twilight of the Clans Vol.

Battletech : Book Learning of a heavily guarded secret route to the homeworld of Clan Smoke Jaguar, the Lords of the Successor States have managed to put aside their differences and create Operation Serpent, a mighty invasion force that launches an all-out assault on the Jaguar Clan. After brutal fighting with heavy losses on both sides, victory for the Defense Force is close at hand, but when a few Clan warriors escape to spread the alarm, the Successor States find themselves in the fight of their lives!.

Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. Bedlam Bard : Book 1. Mercedes Lackey Ellen Guon. Eric Banyon, musician, is out playing the blues on his flute one day, but he couldn't have known that the desperate sadness of his music would free a young elven noble from the magical prison he has been languishing in for centuries--nor does he believe it!

The soldiers of the Black Company don't ask questions, they get paid. But being "The Lady's favored" is attracting the wrong kind of attention and has put a target on their backs--and the Company's historian, Croaker, has the biggest target of all. The one person who was taken into The Lady's Tower and returned unchanged has earned the special interest of the court of sorcerers known as The Ten Who Were Taken. Now, he and the company are being asked to seek the aid of their newest member, Mischievous Rain, to break a rebel army.

However, Croaker doesn't trust any of the Taken, especially not ones that look so much like The Lady and her sister Mercenary soldiers in the service of the Lady, the Black Company stands against the rebels of the White Rose. They are tough men, proud of honoring their contracts. The Lady is evil, but so, too, are those who falsely profess to follow the White Rose, reincarnation of a centuries-dead heroine.

Yet now some of the Company have discovered that the mute girl they rescued and sheltered is truly the White Rose reborn. Now there may be a path to the light, even for such as they. If they can survive it. After the devastating battle at the Tower of Charm, Croaker leads the greatly diminished Black Company south, in search of the lost Annals. The Annals will be returned to Khatovar, eight thousand miles away, a city that may exist only in legend Every step of the way the Company is hounded by shadowy figured and carrion-eating crows. As they march every southward, through bug infested jungle, rivers dense with bloodthirsty pirates, and cities, dead and living, haunted by the passage of the Company north, their numbers grow until they are thousands strong.

But always they are watched--by the Shadowmasters--a deadly new enemy: twisted creature that deal in darkness and death: powerful, shadowy creatures bent on smothering the world in their foul embrace. This is the first round in a deadly game, a game that the Black Company cannot ea hope to win. Black Jewels : Book 2. Ambitions unfurl as the realm's dreams of a liberator have finally been made flesh: Jaenelle, singled out by prophecy as the living embodiment of magic, is haunted by the cruel battles the Blood have fought over her - for not all of them await her as their Savior.

Black Jewels : Book 6. Now, only Warlord Princes stand - without a leader and without hope. Theran Grayhaven is the last of his line, desperate to find the key that reveals a treasure great enough to restore Dena Nehele. But first he needs to find a Queen who remembers the Blood's code of honor and lives by the Old Ways. The woman chosen to rule Dena Nehele, Lady Cassidy, is not beautiful and believes she is not strong. But she may be the only one able to convince bitter men to serve once again. Bound Gods : Book 1. A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now. Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny--to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious.

change the word: April

Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters--Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law. These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun Bright Empires : Book 4.

The search for the map of blue symbols started in a rainy alley in London, but has since expanded through both space and time. Yet with their shadow lamps destroyed and key pieces of the map still missing, the journey will be far costlier than they imagine. And when one of their own disappears with the coveted green book, they no longer know who to trust. At the same time, the Zetetic Society is on the verge of a most disturbing discovery.

The expansion of the universe is slowing and soon will begin to reverse. And when it does, the effect will be far more than a setback. It will be the systematic annihilation of all that exists. The quest for answers is no longer limited to treasure. Now everything depends on cracking the code. Carolus Rex : Book 1. Andre Norton Rosemary Edghill. Thrust into a volatile world where King Henry IX rules over the English Empire, America never revolted, and Napoleon Bonaparte marches unchecked across Europe, is young Sarah Cunningham, ripped from our history by magic and the machinations of the dying Duchess of Roxbury.

Magically coerced into believing she is Roxbury, Sarah finds herself caught up with the Duke of Wessex, the King's most trusted spy. A perilous adventure takes them into the black heart of Imperial France to rescue a missing princess before the last chance for peace dissolves and the world is left at the mercy of Napoleon. Case Files of Justis Fearsson : Book 3. A hardboiled, magic-using private detective fights dark sorcerers in Phoenix, Arizona. Justis Fearsson is a weremyste and a private detective.

He wields potent magic, but every month, on the full moon, he loses his mind. His battles with insanity have already cost him his job as a cop; he can't afford to let them interfere with his latest case. Phoenix has become ground zero in a magical war, and an army of werecreatures, blood sorcerers, and necromancers has made Jay its number one target. When he is hired to track down a woman who has gone missing with her two young children, he has a hunch that the dark ones are to blame.

But then he's also brought in by the police to help with a murder investigation, and all the evidence implicates this same woman. Soon he is caught up in a deadly race to find not only the young family, but also an ancient weapon that could prove decisive in the looming conflict.

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Can he keep himself alive long enough to reach the woman and her kids before his enemies do? And can he claim the weapon before the people he loves, and the world he knows, are lost in a storm of flame, blood, and darkest sorcery? Cassandra Palmer : Book 2. Clairvoyant Cassie Plamer has inherited new magical powers-including the ability to travel through time. But it's a whole lot of responsibility she'd rather not have. Now she's the most popular girl in town, as an assortment of vamps, fey, and mages try to convince, force, or seduce her-and her magic-over to their side.

But one particular master vampire didn't ask what Cassie wanted before putting a claim on her. He had a spell cast that binds her to him, and now she doesn't know if what she feels for him is real-or imagined Cemetery of Forgotten Books : Book 1. But when he sets out to find the author's other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax's books in existence. Soon Daniel's seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona's darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

Chapel Hollow : Book 3. Kim and Jaimie are freshman roommates-but their college experience is anything but typical. This is Jaimie's first time in the "real world," away from her large family and their magical traditions.

Reckless Abandon (Shaw McLeary Mystery #1)

It's Kim's chance to escape her high school reputation. But Jaimie quickly sees that Kim can't-she's being stalked by something that feeds on depression. And, just like that, reality reshapes itself, as the two girls-along with Jaimie's cousins and a Presence named Rugee-try to capture and rout the viri, or emotional vampire, who is tracking Kim. Chronicles of Elantra : Book 1.

Seven years ago, Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered— and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin…. Since then, she's learned to read, she's learned to fight and she's become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

But children are once again dying, and a dark and familiar pattern is emerging. Kaylin is ordered back into Nightshade with a partner she knows she can't trust, a Dragon lord for a companion and a device to contain her powers—powers that no other human has. Her task is simple—find the killer, stop the murders… and survive the attentions of those who claim to be her allies! Cirque American : Book 2. Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas's stage lights while her father's career as a magician soared.

More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic. When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira's possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father's handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she'll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future. But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can't control as her stage magic suddenly feels like To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira's presence, all while the Cirque's cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her.

As tensions mount and Moira's abilities come into question, she must decide what's real and what's an illusion.


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