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The King’s Curse

This is the story of deposed royal Margaret Pole, and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England. Margaret Pole spends her young life struggling to free her brother, arrested as a child, from the Tower of London. The Tower – symbol of the Tudor usurpation of her family’s throne – haunts Margaret’s dreams until the day that her brother is executed on the orders of Henry VII. Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret is buried in marriage to a steady and kind Tudor supporter – Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales. But Margaret’s quiet, hidden life is changed forever by the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon, as Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple. Margaret’s destiny, as an heiress to the Plantagenets, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty and rebellion against the new royal family, luck restores her to her place at court where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine and watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband, and her fall. As the young king becomes increasingly paranoid of rivals he turns his fearful attention to Margaret and her royal family. Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, Henry VIII, or to her beloved queen and princess. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret has to find her own way and hide her knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors, which is slowly coming true…

This is the story of deposed royal Margaret Pole, and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England. Margaret Pole spends her young life struggling to free her brother, arrested as a child, from the Tower of London. The Tower – symbol of the Tudor usurpation of her family’s throne – haunts Margaret’s dreams until the day that her brother is executed on the orders of Henry VII. Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII’s claim to the throne, Margaret is buried in marriage to a steady and kind Tudor supporter – Sir Richard Pole, governor of Wales. But Margaret’s quiet, hidden life is changed forever by the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon, as Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple. Margaret’s destiny, as an heiress to the Plantagenets, is not for a life in the shadows. Tragedy throws her into poverty and rebellion against the new royal family, luck restores her to her place at court where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine and watches the dominance of the Spanish queen over her husband, and her fall. As the young king becomes increasingly paranoid of rivals he turns his fearful attention to Margaret and her royal family. Amid the rapid deterioration of the Tudor court, Margaret must choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, Henry VIII, or to her beloved queen and princess. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret has to find her own way and hide her knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors, which is slowly coming true…

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The Keepers: Homeward IV

Young Jan is stunned when his father, Cadell, the “zupan” and leader of the region’s villages, is offered the vassal lordship of the local keep. His father is about as far from nobility as anyone could be. For some reason, the nobles of the house of Äntes, the rulers of Jan’s province, have been unable to keep a vassal there for twenty years—as those appointed have fled the place in the night—and the Äntes may have grown desperate enough to throw the position at Jan’s father.
The last place Jan wants to live is a decrepit, dark little fortress above a village of superstitious peasants.  But when his father accepts the position, Jan finds himself swept off to the abandoned keep above the village of Chemestúk. The situation there is darker and more serious than he, his mother, or his father bargained for.
The local peasants won’t go near the keep; something terrible happened up there twenty years ago.  Soon enough, Jan and his mother begin to learn why no vassal has ever remained in that place for more than a moon. And the darkness upon the keep is greater than mere superstition. [Short Story, ~13k words]
**About “Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga”…**
No knowledge of the Noble Dead Saga or related works is necessary to read and enjoy these stories. They are written for fantasy enthusiasts in general and not just our established readership. Readers new to this world can step into it through any of these short works.
Tales are organized into “collections” where all stories therein share a theme and/or premise. When one or more link together, subsequent stories will mention “sequel to…” on their covers to guide you. Even so, each is self-contained enough to be your first adventure into this world.
—Barb & J.C. Hendee
**

Young Jan is stunned when his father, Cadell, the “zupan” and leader of the region’s villages, is offered the vassal lordship of the local keep. His father is about as far from nobility as anyone could be. For some reason, the nobles of the house of Äntes, the rulers of Jan’s province, have been unable to keep a vassal there for twenty years—as those appointed have fled the place in the night—and the Äntes may have grown desperate enough to throw the position at Jan’s father.
The last place Jan wants to live is a decrepit, dark little fortress above a village of superstitious peasants.  But when his father accepts the position, Jan finds himself swept off to the abandoned keep above the village of Chemestúk. The situation there is darker and more serious than he, his mother, or his father bargained for.
The local peasants won’t go near the keep; something terrible happened up there twenty years ago.  Soon enough, Jan and his mother begin to learn why no vassal has ever remained in that place for more than a moon. And the darkness upon the keep is greater than mere superstition. [Short Story, ~13k words]
**About “Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga”…**
No knowledge of the Noble Dead Saga or related works is necessary to read and enjoy these stories. They are written for fantasy enthusiasts in general and not just our established readership. Readers new to this world can step into it through any of these short works.
Tales are organized into “collections” where all stories therein share a theme and/or premise. When one or more link together, subsequent stories will mention “sequel to…” on their covers to guide you. Even so, each is self-contained enough to be your first adventure into this world.
—Barb & J.C. Hendee
**

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla

The early works of famed inventor Nikola Tesla, and a source of inspiration for generations of innovators.
At the time it was first published in 1893,  *The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla* was considered the bible of electrical engineering and inspired generations of inventors. This volume, edited by Tesla’s contemporary, Thomas Commerford Martin, includes extensive discussion of Tesla’s early work and inventions and contains more than 300 illustrations that demonstrate the practical application of his ideas. Tesla, who was born in what is now Croatia, is best known for his research into the use of high-frequency alternating currents and wireless transmission. Many of his ideas have found practical application in the modern world, and he continues to be a source of inspiration and fascination to this day. **

The early works of famed inventor Nikola Tesla, and a source of inspiration for generations of innovators.
At the time it was first published in 1893,  *The Inventions, Researches, and Writings of Nikola Tesla* was considered the bible of electrical engineering and inspired generations of inventors. This volume, edited by Tesla’s contemporary, Thomas Commerford Martin, includes extensive discussion of Tesla’s early work and inventions and contains more than 300 illustrations that demonstrate the practical application of his ideas. Tesla, who was born in what is now Croatia, is best known for his research into the use of high-frequency alternating currents and wireless transmission. Many of his ideas have found practical application in the modern world, and he continues to be a source of inspiration and fascination to this day. **

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Human Thread

Through evocative images, insightful descriptions, and companion personal stories, Joe Coca guides us on a global journey, weaving together place, people, craft, and story with the human thread that connects us all. Each section of the book features an array of remarkable photographs that shows a region’s people—most often portraits of artisans working in ancient traditions—as well as surprising glimpses of culture and environment. From a high altitude soccer match in Peru to silk weavers in Laos, exotic locales are made personal through intimate portraits, the work of hands, and everyday life captured, not by an observer, but by a participant, a fellow companion on the journey.

Through evocative images, insightful descriptions, and companion personal stories, Joe Coca guides us on a global journey, weaving together place, people, craft, and story with the human thread that connects us all. Each section of the book features an array of remarkable photographs that shows a region’s people—most often portraits of artisans working in ancient traditions—as well as surprising glimpses of culture and environment. From a high altitude soccer match in Peru to silk weavers in Laos, exotic locales are made personal through intimate portraits, the work of hands, and everyday life captured, not by an observer, but by a participant, a fellow companion on the journey.

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Human Blend

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alan Dean Foster’s *Body, Inc.*
**
In this first novel of a thrilling new series set in our near future, *New York Times* bestselling author Alan Dean Foster reveals a place where criminals are punished through genetic engineering and body manipulation—and poses profound questions about what it means to be human.**

Given his name because radical surgery has reduced him to preternatural thinness, Whispr is a thug. In a dark alley in Savannah, Whispr and his partner in crime, Jiminy Cricket, murder what they take to be a random tourist in order to steal his artificial hand. But the victim is also carrying an unusual silver thread, which Whispr and Jiminy grab as well.

Chance later deposits a wounded Whispr at the clinic of Dr. Ingrid Seastrom. Powerful forces have been searching for Whispr since he acquired the mysterious thread, and Jiminy has vanished. All Whispr wants to do is sell the thread, and when he offers to split the profits with Ingrid, she makes an astonishing discovery. So begins the formidable partnership between the Harvard-educated physician and the street-smart thief—as long as they can elude the enhanced assassins that are tracking them.
### About the Author
Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is also the author of numerous nonfiction articles, as well as novel versions of several films, including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction, the first science fiction book to ever do so. Alan lives with his wife in Prescott, Arizona. David Colacci has been an actor and a director for over thirty years, performing coast-to-coast in lead roles of plays by a variety of playwrights, from Shakespeare to Sam Shepard to Steve Martin. He has worked as a narrator for over fifteen years, during which time he has read the works of such authors as Jules Verne, Henry Adams, John Irving, Michael Chabon, and John Lescroart. He has won AudioFile Earphones Awards, earned Audie nominations, and been included on Best of Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal. David was a resident actor/director with the Cleveland Play House for eight years and has been artistic director of the Hope Summer Rep Theater since 1992. He currently lives in New York with his wife, narrator and actress Susan Ericksen, and his children, Mario and Elena.
### Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
1

“Let’s riffle the dead man.” Jiminy scowled at the newly won corpse and hopped to it.

Viewed up close, the freshly demised Meld wasn’t much of a prize–but then, Jiminy Cricket wasn’t much of a thief. Neither was his occasional mudbud Whispr. As Jiminy slipped the still-warm barker back inside his shirt, the two men bent over the motionless middle-aged Meld who’d had the unluck to be singled out as prey. Whispr was relieved the man had finally stopped gasping. In the deceptive calm of the Savannah alley where they had dragged the lumpy body, the dead man’s penultimate air suckling had grown progressively more disconcerting. Now it, and he, were stilled.

Jiminy had not been certain the barker would work as intended. With a slapjob barker you never did know. It was supposed to identify anyone, Meld or Natural, who was burdened with a fib, pump, adjunct, pacemaker, flexstent, or just about any other variety of artificial heart or heart accessory–and at the push of a button, stop it. A barker meted out murder most subtle. More important to the wielder, it imposed death quietly. Once the barker’s short-range scanner had picked the pedestrian out of a late-evening crowd, Whispr and Jiminy had trailed him until the opportunity to stop his heart from a distance and riffle the resulting corpse had presented itself.

Victim and murderers alike were Melds. Jiminy’s legs had been lengthened, modified, and enhanced with nanocarbonic prosthetics that allowed him to cover distances equivalent to obsolete Olympic long jump records in a single bound. Immensely useful for fleeing from pursuers. Awkward if you wanted to buy off-the-rack trousers. Each of his bone-grafted, elongated thighbones was twice the length of those belonging to a Natural of the same height. The high-strength fast-twitch muscle fibers with their bonded protein inserts that wrapped around his leg bones were three times normal thickness while the accompanying tendons had been fashioned from synthetic spider silk.

These melded legs had struck Jiminy with the casually bestowed nickname he had gone ahead and adopted as his own. Ostensibly he was a legitimate messenger, able to leap easily from platform to platform and street to catwalk across the multitude of canals and waterways that now crisscrossed Old Savannah. In actuality, they allowed him to elude all but the most persistent hunter. Evening to early morning was when he practiced his real profession. Was when he made his money resolute. Diurnal messenger boy was his mask, moonlight the chisel that chipped it away.

Unlike his friend who had acceded to a naming by acclimation, Whispr had chosen his own Meld name. His validated moniker was Archibald Kowalski. Everyone in his family had been big–in his family “big” serving as polite synonym for “obese.” Growing up an obese kid was bad. Growing up poor and obese was bad squared. So when the appointed legal hour of adolescence arrived when Archie could choose to stay natural or undergo his first legal meld, he chose to become–slim. Not naturally slim which he could perhaps have accomplished with diet or even unpretentious traditional surgery, but unnaturally slim. Meld-slim.

Set beside the grand majority of complex meld surgeries, his was comparatively simple. They removed half his stomach and the majority of his intestines. In their place were inserted a fuel cell-powered post-digestive NEM (nutrient extractor and maximizer) that drew its energy from the fortified liquids he drank. It was complemented by a compact prefood processor. Nothing custom was required–all were straight off-the-line components. They had to be. Even with the first-meld loan he took out to pay for them he couldn’t afford anything fancier.

Since then, with the money he and Jiminy had aggrandized through their after-hours activities, Archie had been able to add more personalized bioganic components to the humeld that was himself. A carbo squeezer, muscle assists, and most significantly a full course of bone aeration treatments. The result was that while he stood nearly six feet tall and weighed less than a hundred pounds, he was according to all tests and measures perfectly healthy, from his heart rate to his skin color. A bonus accruing from his chosen meld was that his cholesterol and triglyceride levels were lower than a mudpuppy’s pooper. He and his whip-thin silhouette were nothing exceptional. Not when compared to the average Meld–far less when set beside one who was exceedingly customized.

He could slip through spaces between buildings where the police could not follow and enter openings too tight or narrow for more intelligent but less willowy thieves. Due to his everlastingly abridged weight he walked in a permanent hush. This practice of making airfalls instead of footfalls had led to him choosing the Meld name Whispr. But unlike Jiminy he had not had it wholly transliterated to his national ident. The census still knew him as Archibald Kowalski. Only friends and fences were acquainted with him as Whispr.

He and Jiminy had not singled out the unaccompanied pedestrian for the man’s heartparts. Heart components were as common as–well, as melds. Perversely, what had drawn their attention was the man’s left hand. With the face of its deceased owner smudging the alley’s old brick paving, Whispr was able to admire the hand more fully as his partner extracted a compact set of decoupling tools from inside his copious shirt and began the process of ampuscation. Beyond the scene of the crim out on the one-way street an occasional electric vehicle, little noisier than Whispr himself, hummed along on its predetermined path as its passengers toured the city’s historical district.

In a time of rising sea levels the blocks of old buildings, warehouses, and stately homes had turned out to be easier to preserve than the natural vegetation among which they had risen. Unlike much of the native flora that dominated the low-lying east coast of the old United States, standing cypress had no problem coping with the rising water that had inundated much of the old city. But most of the other trees and bushes needed a good deal of tender loving care to ensure their continuing survival. In the historical district entire blocks had been razed repeatedly and entirely. As with similar localities deemed worthy of preservation in Charleston, Port Royal, and all the way down to Jacksonville, they had eventually been placed on hydraulic platforms. So Old Savannah still looked remarkably as it had in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, except that the warm Atlantic shallows now flowed sleepily beneath the power stilts that kept the historical city high and dry.

The old town was always full of tourists. Tourists being always full of credit cards and other instruments of financial transfer as well as marketable swag and viable body parts, it was where Whispr and Jiminy preferred to hang out after leaving their day jobs–and scan for quarry.

Working swift and efficient with the gear from the tidy tool kit, Whispr’s mudbud already had the hand half detached. Though his fingers were natural and unmelded, Jiminy was good with them. While his friend toiled, Whispr occupied himself keeping an eye on the distant street traffic and riffling the dead man’s pockets, taking time to look for any hidden antitheft compartments that might have been sewn or welded into the fabric. To his surprise he located the man’s wallet lying loose and unsecured in a front pocket. Such casual indifference to personal safekeeping pointed to a criminal neglect of personal protective measures. Or worse, the possibility that the wallet held nothing filchworthy. On the other hand there was the hand, whose construction suggested that its owner was a man of means, or at least had access to substantial resources.

Peering close he could see that the meld component his partner was carefully removing was an exquisite piece of work. Navahopi craftsmanship, perhaps. Or if it was an import, maybe Russian or Israelistinian. When one revelation after another came to light their excitement and expectations increased proportionately. As Jiminy’s work progressed, however, Whispr found his early enthusiasm giving way in his half stomach to a slow curdling of his dinner. It was becoming increasingly clear that what the Cricket was ampuscating was no ordinary meld accessory. This fertilized the rising suspicion that the evening’s prey might be no ordinary tourist.

Maybe sufficiently unordinary that others might come looking for him.

When the manifold processes of triple-R (Repair, Replace, and Regeneration) had first become cheap and widely available, people had opted for the best exterior matches to their truborn selves. It was only later, when flaunting one’s Meldness had become not only socially acceptable but trendy, that such additional cosmetic expense had proven itself unnecessary. The prevailing sentiment became the same as that espoused by purchasers of costly private vehicles or fine jewelry. If you could afford an expensive bodily accessory, why not show it off? What was the difference between a tattoo and a blue you? So the titanium weave and carbonic fibers of the dead man’s prosthetic hand glimmered in the dim light that infused the alley unencumbered by the ancestral wistfulness of human skin.

It was work as fine and precise as Whispr had ever seen. The bonding of metal and carbon fiber to wrist bone, tendons, and muscles was seamless. It was impossible to tell where organics ceased and modifications commenced. In addition to permitting basic grasping, each finger had been further customized to perform a different task, from airscribing to communications. The hand of the dead man had been turned into a veritable five-digited portable office.

Jiminy was all but cackling to himself as he strove to finish detaching the piece from its owner. “Swart-breath, this is terrific stuff! Must’ve cost tens of thousands to compile and append. Swallower will give us six months subsist for it.” He leaned into his work. A surgically equipped Meld or even a Natural wou…

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Alan Dean Foster’s *Body, Inc.*
**
In this first novel of a thrilling new series set in our near future, *New York Times* bestselling author Alan Dean Foster reveals a place where criminals are punished through genetic engineering and body manipulation—and poses profound questions about what it means to be human.**

Given his name because radical surgery has reduced him to preternatural thinness, Whispr is a thug. In a dark alley in Savannah, Whispr and his partner in crime, Jiminy Cricket, murder what they take to be a random tourist in order to steal his artificial hand. But the victim is also carrying an unusual silver thread, which Whispr and Jiminy grab as well.

Chance later deposits a wounded Whispr at the clinic of Dr. Ingrid Seastrom. Powerful forces have been searching for Whispr since he acquired the mysterious thread, and Jiminy has vanished. All Whispr wants to do is sell the thread, and when he offers to split the profits with Ingrid, she makes an astonishing discovery. So begins the formidable partnership between the Harvard-educated physician and the street-smart thief—as long as they can elude the enhanced assassins that are tracking them.
### About the Author
Alan Dean Foster has written in a variety of genres, including hard science fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He is also the author of numerous nonfiction articles, as well as novel versions of several films, including Star Wars, the first three Alien films, and Alien Nation. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction, the first science fiction book to ever do so. Alan lives with his wife in Prescott, Arizona. David Colacci has been an actor and a director for over thirty years, performing coast-to-coast in lead roles of plays by a variety of playwrights, from Shakespeare to Sam Shepard to Steve Martin. He has worked as a narrator for over fifteen years, during which time he has read the works of such authors as Jules Verne, Henry Adams, John Irving, Michael Chabon, and John Lescroart. He has won AudioFile Earphones Awards, earned Audie nominations, and been included on Best of Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal. David was a resident actor/director with the Cleveland Play House for eight years and has been artistic director of the Hope Summer Rep Theater since 1992. He currently lives in New York with his wife, narrator and actress Susan Ericksen, and his children, Mario and Elena.
### Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
1

“Let’s riffle the dead man.” Jiminy scowled at the newly won corpse and hopped to it.

Viewed up close, the freshly demised Meld wasn’t much of a prize–but then, Jiminy Cricket wasn’t much of a thief. Neither was his occasional mudbud Whispr. As Jiminy slipped the still-warm barker back inside his shirt, the two men bent over the motionless middle-aged Meld who’d had the unluck to be singled out as prey. Whispr was relieved the man had finally stopped gasping. In the deceptive calm of the Savannah alley where they had dragged the lumpy body, the dead man’s penultimate air suckling had grown progressively more disconcerting. Now it, and he, were stilled.

Jiminy had not been certain the barker would work as intended. With a slapjob barker you never did know. It was supposed to identify anyone, Meld or Natural, who was burdened with a fib, pump, adjunct, pacemaker, flexstent, or just about any other variety of artificial heart or heart accessory–and at the push of a button, stop it. A barker meted out murder most subtle. More important to the wielder, it imposed death quietly. Once the barker’s short-range scanner had picked the pedestrian out of a late-evening crowd, Whispr and Jiminy had trailed him until the opportunity to stop his heart from a distance and riffle the resulting corpse had presented itself.

Victim and murderers alike were Melds. Jiminy’s legs had been lengthened, modified, and enhanced with nanocarbonic prosthetics that allowed him to cover distances equivalent to obsolete Olympic long jump records in a single bound. Immensely useful for fleeing from pursuers. Awkward if you wanted to buy off-the-rack trousers. Each of his bone-grafted, elongated thighbones was twice the length of those belonging to a Natural of the same height. The high-strength fast-twitch muscle fibers with their bonded protein inserts that wrapped around his leg bones were three times normal thickness while the accompanying tendons had been fashioned from synthetic spider silk.

These melded legs had struck Jiminy with the casually bestowed nickname he had gone ahead and adopted as his own. Ostensibly he was a legitimate messenger, able to leap easily from platform to platform and street to catwalk across the multitude of canals and waterways that now crisscrossed Old Savannah. In actuality, they allowed him to elude all but the most persistent hunter. Evening to early morning was when he practiced his real profession. Was when he made his money resolute. Diurnal messenger boy was his mask, moonlight the chisel that chipped it away.

Unlike his friend who had acceded to a naming by acclimation, Whispr had chosen his own Meld name. His validated moniker was Archibald Kowalski. Everyone in his family had been big–in his family “big” serving as polite synonym for “obese.” Growing up an obese kid was bad. Growing up poor and obese was bad squared. So when the appointed legal hour of adolescence arrived when Archie could choose to stay natural or undergo his first legal meld, he chose to become–slim. Not naturally slim which he could perhaps have accomplished with diet or even unpretentious traditional surgery, but unnaturally slim. Meld-slim.

Set beside the grand majority of complex meld surgeries, his was comparatively simple. They removed half his stomach and the majority of his intestines. In their place were inserted a fuel cell-powered post-digestive NEM (nutrient extractor and maximizer) that drew its energy from the fortified liquids he drank. It was complemented by a compact prefood processor. Nothing custom was required–all were straight off-the-line components. They had to be. Even with the first-meld loan he took out to pay for them he couldn’t afford anything fancier.

Since then, with the money he and Jiminy had aggrandized through their after-hours activities, Archie had been able to add more personalized bioganic components to the humeld that was himself. A carbo squeezer, muscle assists, and most significantly a full course of bone aeration treatments. The result was that while he stood nearly six feet tall and weighed less than a hundred pounds, he was according to all tests and measures perfectly healthy, from his heart rate to his skin color. A bonus accruing from his chosen meld was that his cholesterol and triglyceride levels were lower than a mudpuppy’s pooper. He and his whip-thin silhouette were nothing exceptional. Not when compared to the average Meld–far less when set beside one who was exceedingly customized.

He could slip through spaces between buildings where the police could not follow and enter openings too tight or narrow for more intelligent but less willowy thieves. Due to his everlastingly abridged weight he walked in a permanent hush. This practice of making airfalls instead of footfalls had led to him choosing the Meld name Whispr. But unlike Jiminy he had not had it wholly transliterated to his national ident. The census still knew him as Archibald Kowalski. Only friends and fences were acquainted with him as Whispr.

He and Jiminy had not singled out the unaccompanied pedestrian for the man’s heartparts. Heart components were as common as–well, as melds. Perversely, what had drawn their attention was the man’s left hand. With the face of its deceased owner smudging the alley’s old brick paving, Whispr was able to admire the hand more fully as his partner extracted a compact set of decoupling tools from inside his copious shirt and began the process of ampuscation. Beyond the scene of the crim out on the one-way street an occasional electric vehicle, little noisier than Whispr himself, hummed along on its predetermined path as its passengers toured the city’s historical district.

In a time of rising sea levels the blocks of old buildings, warehouses, and stately homes had turned out to be easier to preserve than the natural vegetation among which they had risen. Unlike much of the native flora that dominated the low-lying east coast of the old United States, standing cypress had no problem coping with the rising water that had inundated much of the old city. But most of the other trees and bushes needed a good deal of tender loving care to ensure their continuing survival. In the historical district entire blocks had been razed repeatedly and entirely. As with similar localities deemed worthy of preservation in Charleston, Port Royal, and all the way down to Jacksonville, they had eventually been placed on hydraulic platforms. So Old Savannah still looked remarkably as it had in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, except that the warm Atlantic shallows now flowed sleepily beneath the power stilts that kept the historical city high and dry.

The old town was always full of tourists. Tourists being always full of credit cards and other instruments of financial transfer as well as marketable swag and viable body parts, it was where Whispr and Jiminy preferred to hang out after leaving their day jobs–and scan for quarry.

Working swift and efficient with the gear from the tidy tool kit, Whispr’s mudbud already had the hand half detached. Though his fingers were natural and unmelded, Jiminy was good with them. While his friend toiled, Whispr occupied himself keeping an eye on the distant street traffic and riffling the dead man’s pockets, taking time to look for any hidden antitheft compartments that might have been sewn or welded into the fabric. To his surprise he located the man’s wallet lying loose and unsecured in a front pocket. Such casual indifference to personal safekeeping pointed to a criminal neglect of personal protective measures. Or worse, the possibility that the wallet held nothing filchworthy. On the other hand there was the hand, whose construction suggested that its owner was a man of means, or at least had access to substantial resources.

Peering close he could see that the meld component his partner was carefully removing was an exquisite piece of work. Navahopi craftsmanship, perhaps. Or if it was an import, maybe Russian or Israelistinian. When one revelation after another came to light their excitement and expectations increased proportionately. As Jiminy’s work progressed, however, Whispr found his early enthusiasm giving way in his half stomach to a slow curdling of his dinner. It was becoming increasingly clear that what the Cricket was ampuscating was no ordinary meld accessory. This fertilized the rising suspicion that the evening’s prey might be no ordinary tourist.

Maybe sufficiently unordinary that others might come looking for him.

When the manifold processes of triple-R (Repair, Replace, and Regeneration) had first become cheap and widely available, people had opted for the best exterior matches to their truborn selves. It was only later, when flaunting one’s Meldness had become not only socially acceptable but trendy, that such additional cosmetic expense had proven itself unnecessary. The prevailing sentiment became the same as that espoused by purchasers of costly private vehicles or fine jewelry. If you could afford an expensive bodily accessory, why not show it off? What was the difference between a tattoo and a blue you? So the titanium weave and carbonic fibers of the dead man’s prosthetic hand glimmered in the dim light that infused the alley unencumbered by the ancestral wistfulness of human skin.

It was work as fine and precise as Whispr had ever seen. The bonding of metal and carbon fiber to wrist bone, tendons, and muscles was seamless. It was impossible to tell where organics ceased and modifications commenced. In addition to permitting basic grasping, each finger had been further customized to perform a different task, from airscribing to communications. The hand of the dead man had been turned into a veritable five-digited portable office.

Jiminy was all but cackling to himself as he strove to finish detaching the piece from its owner. “Swart-breath, this is terrific stuff! Must’ve cost tens of thousands to compile and append. Swallower will give us six months subsist for it.” He leaned into his work. A surgically equipped Meld or even a Natural wou…

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of Baskerville is the third of the crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that appeared serialised in The Strand Magazine between 1901 and 1902. The protagonist is always the fabulous Londoner detective, Sherlock Holmes. Set in the Devon countryside, the story tells about Sir Charles Baskerville who is found dead in his mansion, apparently because of an heart attack. His doctor and friend James Mortimer is convinced that Charles has been killed, as it happened to his ancestor Hugo of Baskerville. In fact, a 18th century manuscript reveals a legend about a mysterious and supernatural hound who would have attacked and killed the cruel Hugo many years earlier. The family of Baskerville has been plagued by this inauspicious event ever since. Holmes is asked to take the case and discover what is happening in the Baskerville mansion. He thus decides to send his friend and collaborator, Watson, to the Devonshire with Mortimer and Sir Henry, Charles’ heir, in order to start the investigation. Watson will meet then some potential suspects, but from this moment on, a lot of mysterious events will follow in a rapid succession that adds suspense to the plot. Obviously, all the characters are not clearly related to the victim’s death, therefore many doubts and secrets have to be explained. Nevertheless, at sunset, everyone seems to hear the same horrible hound howling…only until Sherlock Holmes will unravel the mystery. **

The Hound of Baskerville is the third of the crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, that appeared serialised in The Strand Magazine between 1901 and 1902. The protagonist is always the fabulous Londoner detective, Sherlock Holmes. Set in the Devon countryside, the story tells about Sir Charles Baskerville who is found dead in his mansion, apparently because of an heart attack. His doctor and friend James Mortimer is convinced that Charles has been killed, as it happened to his ancestor Hugo of Baskerville. In fact, a 18th century manuscript reveals a legend about a mysterious and supernatural hound who would have attacked and killed the cruel Hugo many years earlier. The family of Baskerville has been plagued by this inauspicious event ever since. Holmes is asked to take the case and discover what is happening in the Baskerville mansion. He thus decides to send his friend and collaborator, Watson, to the Devonshire with Mortimer and Sir Henry, Charles’ heir, in order to start the investigation. Watson will meet then some potential suspects, but from this moment on, a lot of mysterious events will follow in a rapid succession that adds suspense to the plot. Obviously, all the characters are not clearly related to the victim’s death, therefore many doubts and secrets have to be explained. Nevertheless, at sunset, everyone seems to hear the same horrible hound howling…only until Sherlock Holmes will unravel the mystery. **

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Honor of the Queen

RIGHT WOMAN, WRONG PLACE
It’s hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards war as the necessary prelude to conquest, and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That’s why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the so-called “Republic” of Haven–and the planet Grayson is just the right strategic place to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office had overlooked a “minor cultural difference” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet Grayson are without rank or rights; Honor’s very presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.
At first Honor doesn’t take it personally; where she comes from gender discrimination is barely a historical memory, right up there in significance to fear of the left-handed. But in time such treatment as she receives from the Graysonites does become wearing, and Honor would withdraw if she could–but then Grayson’s fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning and she must stay and prevail, not just for Honor’s honor, but for her sovereign’s, for–THE HONOR OF THE QUEEN.
At the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
“Old-fashioned space opera is alive and well [in] David Weber’s *The Honor of the Queen*. . . .”
— *Science Fiction Age*
” *The Honor of the Queen* . . . is worth shouting about. . . . I want more!”
— *Philadelphia Weekly Press*
“In terms of space combat, I think David Weber may be the best writer around . . . a top-notch read.”
— *FosFax*

RIGHT WOMAN, WRONG PLACE
It’s hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards war as the necessary prelude to conquest, and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That’s why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the so-called “Republic” of Haven–and the planet Grayson is just the right strategic place to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office had overlooked a “minor cultural difference” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet Grayson are without rank or rights; Honor’s very presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.
At first Honor doesn’t take it personally; where she comes from gender discrimination is barely a historical memory, right up there in significance to fear of the left-handed. But in time such treatment as she receives from the Graysonites does become wearing, and Honor would withdraw if she could–but then Grayson’s fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning and she must stay and prevail, not just for Honor’s honor, but for her sovereign’s, for–THE HONOR OF THE QUEEN.
At the publisher’s request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).
“Old-fashioned space opera is alive and well [in] David Weber’s *The Honor of the Queen*. . . .”
— *Science Fiction Age*
” *The Honor of the Queen* . . . is worth shouting about. . . . I want more!”
— *Philadelphia Weekly Press*
“In terms of space combat, I think David Weber may be the best writer around . . . a top-notch read.”
— *FosFax*

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Home Edit

**What if you could conquer the clutter, make your home pretty and keep it that way?**
**’Move over, Marie Kondo – Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are the professional organisers the A-list now let rifle through their drawers.’ – *Sunday Times Style***
**’Professional organizers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are in high demand in Hollywood, having organized everything from pantries to play rooms for stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Zoe, Lauren Conrad and Mandy Moore.**
**While the Nashville-based founders of The Home Edit (and its celeb-followed Instagram) may not be able to give you Rachel Zoe’s enviable shoe collection, they *can* give you the tools to get your own into similarly immaculate order – and hey, that’s a step in the right direction.’**
\- ***People***
Believe this: every single space in your house has the potential to function efficiently and look great.
The mishmash of summer and winter clothes in the closet? Yep. Even the dreaded junk drawer? Consider it done. And the best news: it’s not hard to do-in fact, it’s a lot of fun.
From Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the Instagram-famous home organizers who made their orderly eye candy the method that everyone swears by, comes a signature approach to decluttering. *The Home Edit* walks you through paring down your belongings in every room, arranging them in a stunning and easy-to-find way (hello, labels!), and maintaining the system so you don’t need another do-over in six months. When you’re done, you’ll not only know exactly where to find things, but you’ll also love the way it looks.
A master class and lookbook in one, *The Home Edit* is filled with bright photographs and detailed tips, from placing plastic dishware in a drawer where little hands can reach to categorizing pantry items by color (there’s nothing like a little ROYGBIV to soothe the soul). Above all, it’s like having your best friends at your side to help you turn the chaos into calm.

**What if you could conquer the clutter, make your home pretty and keep it that way?**
**’Move over, Marie Kondo – Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are the professional organisers the A-list now let rifle through their drawers.’ – *Sunday Times Style***
**’Professional organizers Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin are in high demand in Hollywood, having organized everything from pantries to play rooms for stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Zoe, Lauren Conrad and Mandy Moore.**
**While the Nashville-based founders of The Home Edit (and its celeb-followed Instagram) may not be able to give you Rachel Zoe’s enviable shoe collection, they *can* give you the tools to get your own into similarly immaculate order – and hey, that’s a step in the right direction.’**
\- ***People***
Believe this: every single space in your house has the potential to function efficiently and look great.
The mishmash of summer and winter clothes in the closet? Yep. Even the dreaded junk drawer? Consider it done. And the best news: it’s not hard to do-in fact, it’s a lot of fun.
From Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the Instagram-famous home organizers who made their orderly eye candy the method that everyone swears by, comes a signature approach to decluttering. *The Home Edit* walks you through paring down your belongings in every room, arranging them in a stunning and easy-to-find way (hello, labels!), and maintaining the system so you don’t need another do-over in six months. When you’re done, you’ll not only know exactly where to find things, but you’ll also love the way it looks.
A master class and lookbook in one, *The Home Edit* is filled with bright photographs and detailed tips, from placing plastic dishware in a drawer where little hands can reach to categorizing pantry items by color (there’s nothing like a little ROYGBIV to soothe the soul). Above all, it’s like having your best friends at your side to help you turn the chaos into calm.

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Home Crowd Advantage

This short story was first published in 2012 in the ‘Special London Edition’ of *Rivers of London*. It takes place during the Olympic Games in London, 2012.

This short story was first published in 2012 in the ‘Special London Edition’ of *Rivers of London*. It takes place during the Olympic Games in London, 2012.

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Hawk Eternal

While the warlike and merciless Aenir wreak havoc upon the territory outside the mountain stronghold of the clans, Sigarni, the Hawk Queen, arrives in a parallel version of her own universe through a gate in space and time. Taliesen, last of the gatekeepers, has no idea why she has come. But he knows that heroes are needed and grants her passage into the ravaged land.

Only Caswallon–loner, warrior, and thief–realizes the true extent of the danger and the mayhem that his people will come to face. As Taliesen tries to discover Sigarni’s purpose, Caswallon must attempt to unite the clans to overcome their greatest peril.
### Review
“Gemmell’s great reading–the action never lets up. He’s several rungs above the good–right into the fabulous!”
–Anne McCaffrey

“For anyone who appreciates superior heroic fantasy, David Gemmell’s offerings are mandatory.”
–Time Out London

“[Gemmell] does high adventure as it ought to be done.”
–Greg Keyes, author of The Charnel Prince
### About the Author
David Gemmell was born in London, England, in the summer of 1948. Expelled from school at sixteen, he became a bouncer, working nightclubs in Soho. Born with a silver tongue, Gemmell rarely needed to bounce customers, relying instead on his gift of gab to talk his way out of trouble. This talent eventually led him to jobs as a freelancer for the London ** Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Express. His first novel, Legend, was published in 1984 and has remained in print ever since. He became a full-time writer in 1986. His books consistently top the London Times ** bestseller list.

While the warlike and merciless Aenir wreak havoc upon the territory outside the mountain stronghold of the clans, Sigarni, the Hawk Queen, arrives in a parallel version of her own universe through a gate in space and time. Taliesen, last of the gatekeepers, has no idea why she has come. But he knows that heroes are needed and grants her passage into the ravaged land.

Only Caswallon–loner, warrior, and thief–realizes the true extent of the danger and the mayhem that his people will come to face. As Taliesen tries to discover Sigarni’s purpose, Caswallon must attempt to unite the clans to overcome their greatest peril.
### Review
“Gemmell’s great reading–the action never lets up. He’s several rungs above the good–right into the fabulous!”
–Anne McCaffrey

“For anyone who appreciates superior heroic fantasy, David Gemmell’s offerings are mandatory.”
–Time Out London

“[Gemmell] does high adventure as it ought to be done.”
–Greg Keyes, author of The Charnel Prince
### About the Author
David Gemmell was born in London, England, in the summer of 1948. Expelled from school at sixteen, he became a bouncer, working nightclubs in Soho. Born with a silver tongue, Gemmell rarely needed to bounce customers, relying instead on his gift of gab to talk his way out of trouble. This talent eventually led him to jobs as a freelancer for the London ** Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, and the Daily Express. His first novel, Legend, was published in 1984 and has remained in print ever since. He became a full-time writer in 1986. His books consistently top the London Times ** bestseller list.

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Great Game

It’s 1831, and Lady Gwendolyn Crichton has been appointed Royal Sorceress following the tragic events known as the Swing. Although unleashed by the rebel master magician Jack in battle with Gwen’s mentor Master Thomas, the popular press firmly laid the blame at the feet of the French. Now alone at the head of the Royal College of Sorcerers, Gwen must overcome prejudice against her gender and age if she is to exercise her authority and fulfil her responsibilities. Soon an unexpected responsibility is made manifest when Sir Travis Mortimer, a senior magician recently returned from India, is found murdered in a locked room. Gwen is required to investigate, but before long her inquiries lead her into a web of intrigue that combines international politics, widespread aristocratic blackmail, gambling dens, and personal vendettas. Should she believe apparent evidence that Mortimer betrayed his country, or is she being manipulated to keep her away from the truth? Who can she really trust? Is a title or popular acclaim a valid basis for trust? Soon, some of the more unsavoury aspects of the case get dangerously close to home, which means Gwen must make hard decisions and ask difficult questions of her own nearest and dearest. Continuing on from the end of ‘The Royal Sorceress’, ‘The Great Game’ follows Gwen’s unfolding story as she assumes the role vacated by Master Thomas. A satisfying blend of whodunit and magical fantasy, it is set against a backdrop of international political unrest in a believable yet simultaneously fantastic alternate history.

It’s 1831, and Lady Gwendolyn Crichton has been appointed Royal Sorceress following the tragic events known as the Swing. Although unleashed by the rebel master magician Jack in battle with Gwen’s mentor Master Thomas, the popular press firmly laid the blame at the feet of the French. Now alone at the head of the Royal College of Sorcerers, Gwen must overcome prejudice against her gender and age if she is to exercise her authority and fulfil her responsibilities. Soon an unexpected responsibility is made manifest when Sir Travis Mortimer, a senior magician recently returned from India, is found murdered in a locked room. Gwen is required to investigate, but before long her inquiries lead her into a web of intrigue that combines international politics, widespread aristocratic blackmail, gambling dens, and personal vendettas. Should she believe apparent evidence that Mortimer betrayed his country, or is she being manipulated to keep her away from the truth? Who can she really trust? Is a title or popular acclaim a valid basis for trust? Soon, some of the more unsavoury aspects of the case get dangerously close to home, which means Gwen must make hard decisions and ask difficult questions of her own nearest and dearest. Continuing on from the end of ‘The Royal Sorceress’, ‘The Great Game’ follows Gwen’s unfolding story as she assumes the role vacated by Master Thomas. A satisfying blend of whodunit and magical fantasy, it is set against a backdrop of international political unrest in a believable yet simultaneously fantastic alternate history.

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Genius Wars

The thrilling Genius trilogy is now bigger and better.
Boy genius Cadel Piggott has a new name (Cadel Greenaius), a new family, and a new life. No more illegal hacking, no more false identities, and most of all, no more Prosper English. But when his best friend, Sonja, is attacked, it’s up to him to figure out who was behind it. Before he knows it, Cadel is crossing oceans and continents, barreling back into the depths of the criminal activity he thought he’d left behind, and coming face-to-face with Prosper English once again. Can Cadel track down Prosper before it’s too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?
### Amazon.com Review
**Product Description**
Boy-genius Cadel Piggot has a new name (Cadel Greenaius), a new family, and a new life. No more illegal hacking, no more false identities, and most of all, no more Prosper English. But when his best friend Sonja is attacked, it’s up to him to figure out who was behind it. Before he knows it, Cadel is crossing oceans and continents, barrelling back into the depths of the criminal activity he thought he’d left behind, and coming face to face with Prosper English once again. Can Cadel track down Prosper before it’s too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?

* * *
**Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Catherine Jinks, Author of *The Genius Wars** *
Dear Amazon Readers,
Well, here it is–the final installment. I’m sorry it’s taken so long for *The Genius Wars* to reach you over there in the U.S., but at last your wait is over!
I’ve had a lot of messages on my website asking me if this is really the end of the series. My answer continues to be: yes, this really is the last we’ll see of Cadel, if only because I’ve pretty much tied up all the loose ends in his story. At the conclusion of Evil Genius, Cadel was left in a kind of limbo. At the end of Genius Squad, Prosper English was still looming in the background. (It was quite obvious to me that Prosper wasn’t going to just vanish into thin air, leaving Cadel to get on with his life.) But now, in *The Genius Wars* , I’ve sorted things out between Cadel and Prosper. And since the whole series revolves around their relationship, there’s nowhere else for me to go.
Besides, I’m not a computer expert. I’m not a math whiz, either. That’s why these books have been incredibly hard to write; if my friend Richard Buckland hadn’t helped me, I wouldn’t have been able to finish them at all. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Richard, he’s a bona fide computer expert–and a math whiz, too–and he appears in *The Genius Wars* under his own name because I felt that he deserved some kind of recognition. (You can view many of his university lectures on YouTube, by the way; his lecture on Turing is particularly fine.)
Of course, if someone offered me a million dollars to write a fourth book, I’d be horribly tempted. How could any author not be? But I’d be dancing with the devil if I did accept an offer like that, knowing full well that trying to write a fourth book would not only half-kill me–it would be downright wrong. In a funny sort of way, it would also be unfair to Cadel. You’ll know what I mean, once you read the book.
So happy reading! And thanks for all the positive feedback you’ve given me over the years. I wouldn’t have been able to keep slogging on without it.
*-Cathy*
(Photo © Peter Dockrill)
* * *
### From Booklist
Cadel Piggot Greenaius has a new family and hopes for a brighter future, but a series of “accidents” convinces him that Prosper, whom he mistakenly thought was his father, has both discovered the truth of their relationship and thinks the 15-year-old boy might be meddling in his evil schemes. Even with a new police detective stepfather, Cadel knows he is the only person who can take Prosper down, permanently. Cadel’s story, started in Evil Genius (2007) and continued in Genius Squad (2008), careens to a finish in this book, which also includes several characters from previous titles. Jinks is an entertaining writer, which helps ameliorate the thin plotting. Her imaginative use of technology, which may have some readers seeking an idiot’s guide to programming, creates some truly tense moments, and Cadel is Everyman enough for readers to root for in the thick of things. Fans of the trilogy will delight in this concluding volume, and it will also appeal to gadget-crazy boys—and girls—who enjoyed Alex Rider’s adventures. Grades 7-10. –Cindy Welch

The thrilling Genius trilogy is now bigger and better.
Boy genius Cadel Piggott has a new name (Cadel Greenaius), a new family, and a new life. No more illegal hacking, no more false identities, and most of all, no more Prosper English. But when his best friend, Sonja, is attacked, it’s up to him to figure out who was behind it. Before he knows it, Cadel is crossing oceans and continents, barreling back into the depths of the criminal activity he thought he’d left behind, and coming face-to-face with Prosper English once again. Can Cadel track down Prosper before it’s too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?
### Amazon.com Review
**Product Description**
Boy-genius Cadel Piggot has a new name (Cadel Greenaius), a new family, and a new life. No more illegal hacking, no more false identities, and most of all, no more Prosper English. But when his best friend Sonja is attacked, it’s up to him to figure out who was behind it. Before he knows it, Cadel is crossing oceans and continents, barrelling back into the depths of the criminal activity he thought he’d left behind, and coming face to face with Prosper English once again. Can Cadel track down Prosper before it’s too late? And what rules will he have to break in the process?

* * *
**Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Catherine Jinks, Author of *The Genius Wars** *
Dear Amazon Readers,
Well, here it is–the final installment. I’m sorry it’s taken so long for *The Genius Wars* to reach you over there in the U.S., but at last your wait is over!
I’ve had a lot of messages on my website asking me if this is really the end of the series. My answer continues to be: yes, this really is the last we’ll see of Cadel, if only because I’ve pretty much tied up all the loose ends in his story. At the conclusion of Evil Genius, Cadel was left in a kind of limbo. At the end of Genius Squad, Prosper English was still looming in the background. (It was quite obvious to me that Prosper wasn’t going to just vanish into thin air, leaving Cadel to get on with his life.) But now, in *The Genius Wars* , I’ve sorted things out between Cadel and Prosper. And since the whole series revolves around their relationship, there’s nowhere else for me to go.
Besides, I’m not a computer expert. I’m not a math whiz, either. That’s why these books have been incredibly hard to write; if my friend Richard Buckland hadn’t helped me, I wouldn’t have been able to finish them at all. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Richard, he’s a bona fide computer expert–and a math whiz, too–and he appears in *The Genius Wars* under his own name because I felt that he deserved some kind of recognition. (You can view many of his university lectures on YouTube, by the way; his lecture on Turing is particularly fine.)
Of course, if someone offered me a million dollars to write a fourth book, I’d be horribly tempted. How could any author not be? But I’d be dancing with the devil if I did accept an offer like that, knowing full well that trying to write a fourth book would not only half-kill me–it would be downright wrong. In a funny sort of way, it would also be unfair to Cadel. You’ll know what I mean, once you read the book.
So happy reading! And thanks for all the positive feedback you’ve given me over the years. I wouldn’t have been able to keep slogging on without it.
*-Cathy*
(Photo © Peter Dockrill)
* * *
### From Booklist
Cadel Piggot Greenaius has a new family and hopes for a brighter future, but a series of “accidents” convinces him that Prosper, whom he mistakenly thought was his father, has both discovered the truth of their relationship and thinks the 15-year-old boy might be meddling in his evil schemes. Even with a new police detective stepfather, Cadel knows he is the only person who can take Prosper down, permanently. Cadel’s story, started in Evil Genius (2007) and continued in Genius Squad (2008), careens to a finish in this book, which also includes several characters from previous titles. Jinks is an entertaining writer, which helps ameliorate the thin plotting. Her imaginative use of technology, which may have some readers seeking an idiot’s guide to programming, creates some truly tense moments, and Cadel is Everyman enough for readers to root for in the thick of things. Fans of the trilogy will delight in this concluding volume, and it will also appeal to gadget-crazy boys—and girls—who enjoyed Alex Rider’s adventures. Grades 7-10. –Cindy Welch

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Gathering Dark

The Gospel of Shadows enabled the Catholic Church to control all manner of supernatural beings for centuries. When the book was destroyed — and the ruling body of the Church with it — it enabled the Shadows, the vampires of legend, to learn the hidden truth of their triple nature: part human, part demonic, part divine. But it also weakened the barriers that exist between the worlds, and now beings of pure evil are breaking through — creatures from other dimensions for which Hell is just a name. Peter Octavian, once a powerful Shadow, now restored to humanity, is the only man with sufficient knowledge to stop them. Aided by a earthwitch, a vampire and a priest, and calling on the magical forces of mother nature herself, Octavian stands between the Earth and apocalypse, as entire cities are plunged into the abyss…

The Gospel of Shadows enabled the Catholic Church to control all manner of supernatural beings for centuries. When the book was destroyed — and the ruling body of the Church with it — it enabled the Shadows, the vampires of legend, to learn the hidden truth of their triple nature: part human, part demonic, part divine. But it also weakened the barriers that exist between the worlds, and now beings of pure evil are breaking through — creatures from other dimensions for which Hell is just a name. Peter Octavian, once a powerful Shadow, now restored to humanity, is the only man with sufficient knowledge to stop them. Aided by a earthwitch, a vampire and a priest, and calling on the magical forces of mother nature herself, Octavian stands between the Earth and apocalypse, as entire cities are plunged into the abyss…

Only registered users can download this free product.

The Game Piece: Homeward I

In his youth, Loni never felt that he fit in anywhere, even among his family or his people, the Lhoin’na, or the elves of the central continent. As he dwells on tales told to him by a doting grandmother, he begins to believe he might have been born in the wrong time.
One scant tale of a past age hints that the legendary Sorhkafâré led some of Loni’s people to the east at the end of the great mythical war. Loni dreams of those forgotten Departed ones, wondering if their descendants still exist. The answer may be more and less than he hoped in his quest to find where he belongs. [Short story, ~14k words.]
**About “Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga”…**
No knowledge of the Noble Dead Saga or related works is necessary to read and enjoy these stories. They are written for fantasy enthusiasts in general and not just our established readership. Readers new to this world can step into it through any of these short works.
Tales are organized into “collections” where all stories therein share a theme and/or premise. When one or more link together, subsequent stories will mention “sequel to…” on their covers to guide you. Even so, each is self-contained enough to be your first adventure into this world.
—Barb & J.C. Hendee
**

In his youth, Loni never felt that he fit in anywhere, even among his family or his people, the Lhoin’na, or the elves of the central continent. As he dwells on tales told to him by a doting grandmother, he begins to believe he might have been born in the wrong time.
One scant tale of a past age hints that the legendary Sorhkafâré led some of Loni’s people to the east at the end of the great mythical war. Loni dreams of those forgotten Departed ones, wondering if their descendants still exist. The answer may be more and less than he hoped in his quest to find where he belongs. [Short story, ~14k words.]
**About “Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga”…**
No knowledge of the Noble Dead Saga or related works is necessary to read and enjoy these stories. They are written for fantasy enthusiasts in general and not just our established readership. Readers new to this world can step into it through any of these short works.
Tales are organized into “collections” where all stories therein share a theme and/or premise. When one or more link together, subsequent stories will mention “sequel to…” on their covers to guide you. Even so, each is self-contained enough to be your first adventure into this world.
—Barb & J.C. Hendee
**

Only registered users can download this free product.