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The time has come for Meredith Gentry to put aside her detective work and fulfill her ultimate obligation to the world of Faerie - where her efforts to conceive an heir to the throne of the Unseelie Court are crucial to restoring magic, and life itself, to the Fey kingdom.
And though her quest to produce an heir may be full of sensual pleasures, it is also fraught with peril: the shadows of intrigue stalk the royal court, and sabotage lurks at any turn. Merry's cousin schemes and plots, determined to see her fall. But, in the once-dead gardens of the world of faerie, something has re-awakened an all-powerful, malign magic. And Merry's own powers have turned wildly - dangerously - unpredictable. As plots and counterplots are hatched and strategies and subterfuges played out, the destiny of an entire world turns upon the fortunes of Merry Gentry: object of obsession, target of treachery and pawn of uncertain fate.
Once you tell someone certain things, like, say, you got mailed a human head in a box, they tend to think you're crazy.
Anita Blake's reputation has taken some hits. Not on the work front, where she has the highest kill count of all the legal vampire executioners in the country, but on the personal front. No one seems to trust a woman who sleeps with the monsters. Still, when a vampire serial killer sends her a head from Las Vegas, Anita has to warn Sin City's local authorities what they're dealing with. Only it's worse than she thought. Several officers and one executioner have been slain - paranormal style...
Anita heads to Las Vegas, where she's joined by three other federal marshals, including the ruthless Edward hiding behind his mild-mannered persona. It's a good thing Edward always has her back, because, when she gets close to the bodies, Anita senses "tiger" too strongly to ignore it. The were-tigers are very powerful in Las Vegas, which means the odds of her rubbing someone important the wrong way just got a lot higher...
Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton returns with another addictive adventure featuring vampire-hunting heroine Anita Blake, to thrill fans of Charlaine Harris and Anne Rice.
My name is Anita Blake and I have the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. I'm a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since master vampire Jean-Claude and I went public with our engagement, all I am to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude's fiance.
It's wreaking havoc with my reputation as a hard ass - to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, I'm still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue.
Someone is producing zombie porn. I've seen my share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn't bother me. But the women being victimised aren't just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signalling voodoo of the blackest kind.
It's the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And my own soul may not survive unscathed . . .
An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novel
'The bride was a witch who solved preternatural crimes. The groom raised the dead and slew vampires for a living. It sounded like a Halloween joke, but it wasn't.'
When I'm not up my elbows in sacrificial gore, I've got serious preternatural issues to deal with. Psychotic shape-shifters, duplicitous vampires and sexually deviant were-leopards. And that's just my friends. I'm Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Federal Marshall.
My life is more complicated than ever, caught up between obligations to the living and to the undead. Now there is a vampire serial killer preying on strippers. And I've been called in to help the police.
"Enjoying pain with your pleasure is something you either get, or you don't. If you get it, then you don't really need it explained, because you know how good it feels, and if you don't get it then no amount of talking is going to convince you it makes sense."
But sometimes you have to explain the unexplainable, especially if the love of your life needs to understand, or she'll leave you. Jason Schuyler is one of Anita Blake's best friends and favorite werewolves, with benefits. J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York. She's accomplished, beautiful, and she's crazy about him, too. Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong?
J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual, with an emphasis on the female side of things. She plans to keep sleeping with women, because Jason can't meet that need, just like she can't meet Jason's need for rough sex and bondage. J.J. doesn't understand why Jason isn't content to go elsewhere for a need she can't fulfil, so Jason asks Anita to help him explain.
Anita is having her own relationship growing pains with her only female lover ever, Jade. Jason suggests that J.J. might be able to help Anita with her girl problem, while she helps him with his kinky explanations. With some encouragement from a few other lovers in Anita's life she reluctantly agrees, and J. J. makes plans to fly into town for an experience that none of them will ever forget.
An exclusive excerpt from the stunning Anita Blake adventure, DEAD ICE, is also included.
I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because Princess looks so pretentious on a driver's license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn’t be the only one for much longer...
Merry Gentry, ex-private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of the both courts of faerie are coming to woo Merry and her men at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have offspring of their own.
Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry, and failing that, raped her. He's using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the children is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can't prove it.
To save herself and her babies from Taranis Merry will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, The Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie - while trying to contain the war, to keep it from spreading to those innocent humans who are in very real danger of becoming collateral damage...
'You can't trust anyone who sleeps with the monsters.'
That's what I've always said. That's what I've always believed. But now I'm the one sharing a bed with the Master Vampire of the City.
I'm Anita Blake, the woman the vampires call the Executioner. From part of the solution, I've become part of the problem. So it hits close to home when an arsonist begins to target vampire-owned businesses all over town - an arsonist who seems to want to destroy more than just property.
It's the monsters who are in danger now. And it's up to the Executioner to save them from the inferno.
An anthology of zombie short fiction from some of the biggest names in horror and speculative fiction - including Stephen King, George R. R. Martin and Neil Gaiman
When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!
From White Zombie to Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil to World War Z, zombies have invaded popular culture, becoming the monsters that best express the fears and anxieties of the modern west.
Gathering together the best zombie literature of the last three decades from many of today's most renowned authors of fantasy, speculative fiction, and horror, including Stephen King, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, George R. R. Martin, Clive Barker, Poppy Z. Brite, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Joe R. Lansdale, The Living Dead covers the broad spectrum of zombie short fiction.
Praise for THE LIVING DEAD:
'The best collection of zombie fiction stories ever' - Barnes & Noble.com
'Believe the hype. The Living Dead is absolutely the best zombie anthology I've ever read (and I've read many)... If you have even a vague interest in zombie fiction, you MUST buy this book' - Horrorscope
'The Living Dead contains stories of heartbreak, drama, and man's eternal struggle against himself. The focus doesn't fall squarely on violence and horror, which earns it a place among the best of zombie fiction' - Robert Kirkman, writer of THE WALKING DEAD and MARVEL ZOMBIES
'A superb reprint anthology that runs the gamut of zombie stories . . . There's some great storytelling for zombie fans as well as newcomers' - Publishers Weekly
An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novel
'Richard was an alpha werewolf. It was his only serious flaw. We'd broken up after I'd seen him eat somebody.'
You never forget your ex-fiance. And when the call came at three in the morning, I thought for a moment it was him. It wasn't. It was his brother. And it wasn't good news.
Apparently the former love of my life had got himself thrown into jail for assaulting a woman. Since I make my living as a preternatural expert, I tend to believe almost anything's possible. But though he may be one of the monsters, Richard would never harm a woman. So it's Anita Blake to the rescue. I've got just a few days to spring Richard and find out who framed him - and why. There's a full moon coming, and if my werewolf love is still behind bars when it rises, he'll be facing a lot worse than an assault charge...
'I was covered in blood, but it wasn't mine, so it was okay.'
Edward is a hit man. He specialises in monsters. Vampires, shape-shifters, anything and everything. There are people like me, Anita Blake, who do it legally, but Edward doesn't sweat the legalities or, hell, the ethics. He is an equal opportunity killer.
I may be one of the few friends that Edward has, but it's like being friends with a tame leopard. It may curl on the foot of your bed and let you pet its head, but it can still eat your throat out...
For most people, summer barbecues are nothing to be afraid of. But Anita isn't exactly plain vanilla - and neither is her love life. So it takes a special kind of courage to attend a barbecue thrown by her friend Sergeant Zerbrowski. Walking into a backyard full of cops and their families with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel both looking gorgeous on her arm won't be easy, even with almost-four-year-old Matthew Vespucci to break the ice ...
Anita is determined to have a good time with her family, just like everyone else. But it doesn't take long for tensions to rise among the adults and kids. And Anita will learn that gossip and innuendo can be just as dangerous as anything the undead can throw at her ...
Includes a preview of AFFLICTION, a thrilling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel
Some know her as Meredith Nic Essus, princess of faerie. Others as Merry Gentry, LA private eye. In the fey and mortal realms alike, her life is the stuff of royal intrigue and celebrity drama.
Among her own kind, she has confronted enemies, endured the treachery and malevolence of her kith and kin, and honoured her duty to conceive a royal heir...all so she could claim a throne. But now she's turned her back on court and crown in favour of exile in the human world.
However, while she may have rejected the throne, she cannot abandon her people. Someone is killing the fey. The LAPD are baffled and Merry is worried: her kind are not easily captured or killed. At least not by mortals. And it's not just these murders that concern her. It appears mortals who she once healed with magic are now able to perform miracles themselves - a phenomenon that's wreaking havoc on relations between man and fey and provoking suspicions of forbidden powers.
So much for leaving blood and politics behind her. Merry had dreamed of a quiet life, but evil knows no borders and it seems nobody lives forever - not even the immortal...