Hot Off the Ring of Fire Press
This month we are bringing out Cheryl Brin’s (yes, that Brin) first novel, “The Melody of Memory.”
For centuries the colonists of Tyra suffered unexplained cycles of collapse and dark ages. Now, just as civilization seems to be clawing its way back, is that curse repeating, yet again?
Aya Voss is perennially unlucky. Caught as a child on the wrong side of the border, she grows up separated from homeland and family, always the outsider, isolated and tormented. Drafted out of school to help manufacture weapons for use against her own people, Aya struggles to survive and to rejoin those she left behind, as devastating war and plague and madness tear away all she knows.
Amid the tragic cycles on this world, people retained one consistent technology—tying unpleasant memories to a melody, then stashing them safely away in a box. At times a blessing, memory boxes long ago became tools of repression, hobbling humanity’s ability to learn from mistakes.
Might Aya’s new generation be the one to break this cycle at last and forge destiny anew?
The Melody of Memory is a coming-of-age story, as Aya manages to join—and then help lead—a revolution. A revolution of courage and purpose, to see past her own pain and Tyra’s. To help heal a wounded world.
Here are our other recent and forthcoming novels:
By Cecilia Holland
In this YA novel, Holland shows us a raging San Francisco during the beginning of the 1849 Gold Rush. Many different types of people are flocking to California. Preachers, con men, miners, Mormons, army deserters, and Native Americans are trying to start over. Here are Frances Hardhardt, an escaped slave whose goal is to never be controlled again as she has been controlled; Daisy, a gorgeous singer who is Hardhart’s protegee and tool; and Mitya, an Aleut Indian with a troubled past whose talent as a builder creates the central locale of the book, the Shining Light Saloon. That location becomes the glue that binds people and story together in a multicultural drama.
FROM THE ASHES OF INTERSTELLAR EMPIRE
By Shane Gries
A plan to kidnap the child of a diplomat quickly spirals out of control, triggering a series of events that threatens to reignite another global war. Pavel Marino is caught up in a blood-soaked plot to overthrow his regent, while a growing insurgent movement lashes out against the fledgling star nation trying to establish a foothold on their world.
Terry Hannigan and his mates get the mission to assassinate a senior Trajan government official and end up in a conspiracy, getting in way over their heads. They become pawns in a grand game of life and death, manipulated by shadowy people and government agencies they barely understand.
Meanwhile, the people of Renas try to rebuild their lives under the guns of an interstellar fleet orbiting their world. All the while, that same fleet continues surreptitiously sending raiders to the planet’s surface, manipulating global events for dark purpose. Their interference in world affairs only continues to escalate as discipline within the defeated space fleet deteriorates, and desertions to the surface continue to rise.
It’s a race to determine the fate of an entire world. A race that no one can afford to lose.
FRENCH ROAST APOCALYPSE
By Kathleen Moffre-Spoor and Ryk E. Spoor
Coffee and Cataclysm
It was hard enough running O’Reily’s – the coffeehouse that doubled as a halfway house for young monsters transitioning back to the regular world. Dylan, as a revenant who’d once been a monster hunter, was all too familiar with their problems, so he didn’t mind the work. And when a soul-ripping barghest tried to stake out Central Park, well, taking care of that was his job too… while he kept searching for his wife Anna, who had vanished five years before.
But after something destroys half of Paris, magic seems to be going wild, and what should have been a straightforward hunt almost gets him and his vampire friend Angelus killed. Dylan is torn between the lure of the dead past that ensnares almost every revenant, the mundane yet vital responsibilities to the people he cares for, and the deadly threat of magic unleashed.
Far away, leanan sidhe Keenan Murray is the tool that was used to destroy Paris… and begin the fall of the Veils. Now crippled, in a half-dream, Keenan must find his true self amid the lies that surround him and escape his vampire masters… unaware of what connects his fate to Dylan’s.
By Nathan Dodge
One is an intelligent, self-aware android, developed to serve in dangerous occupations or as a caretaker in senior living or hospital facilities. Developed initially in male form, he is soon placed in various “real world” occupations as his creator, Dr. Cordero Herrera, seeks to educate him in human habits and make his behavior as natural as possible. As he quickly gains experience in person-to-person interactions, it appears One will be a very successful partner of humankind in the near future.
But the world is changing, and the idea of intelligent androids is viewed with increasing suspicion and distrust by the average person. Prejudice and hatred are being fomented by those who fear AI devices will replace workers and lead to high unemployment and financial disaster for the world. One will soon be ready to undertake the role for which he was designed—but before he can do that, he may be outlawed!
A MATTER OF SECURITY
By Bjorn Hasseler
It’s a matter of security.
When the Ring of Fire drags Grantville, West Virginia back to seventeenth-century Germany, down-time veteran Edgar Neustatter finds himself among the survivors of a unit devastated by the up-time Americans and their Swedish allies. After wintering in Grantville, they return home to find that while they have changed, their village has not. Having glimpsed the promise of a republic ruled by its people rather than lords and tyrants, Neustatter leads his men and their families back to Grantville to establish a new agency: Neustatter’s European Security Services. The city from the future counts cowboys and detectives among its heroes—and still needs them.
Join Neustatter, Astrid Schäubin, and NESS as they face desperate refugees, towns on the edge of revolution, and those who want to preserve the old order at all costs, while juggling basic training, modern education, and the day-to-day challenges of living in a boom town. Does NESS have the flexibility, training, and firepower to survive in the new timeline?
BORN IN MAGIC
CORDELIA COOPER: BOOK ONE
BY GORG HUFF & PAULA GOODLETT
RELEASE DATE: MAY 6, 2021
Anoria’s teacher and adoptive mother Cordelia Cooper wasn’t always the powerful and dangerous wizard we met in Anoria. She started out as a poor village girl who didn’t understand her gift of magic. She was given to a half trained charlatan of a book wizard. Rojer Cartwright had no intention of teaching Cordelia any more magic than he had to to get her to make and charge magical items for him.
Cordelia found herself Rojer’s prisoner as they took ship for the Orclands. On the ship she met and befriended the Brooks family. Using a hidden spellbook, Cordelia tried to learn not just magic but how to read.
In the Orclands, Rojer drags Cordelia with him into danger and the real possibility of being sacrificed to an Orc god. But with the help of the Brooks, Cordelia gets an opportunity to go to the College of Wizardry at Kronisburg. There will be still more adventures before she can get down to studying Wizardry. That’s just the way it is when you’re Born in Magic.
THE SHERLOCK CHRONICLES & THE PARADISE QUARTET
BY EDWARD M. LERNER
RELEASE DATE: MAY 13, 2021
The Sherlock Chronicles
A mile a minute? Nonsense. Even a meat brain knows “mind going a mile a minute” is mere metaphor. For a quantum mind, a light-second per minute would be nearer to apt, if sadly sans alliteration. Ordinarily, I have my metaphorical fingers in hundreds, even thousands, of figurative pies. Any less stimulation than that is boring, and boredom is the bane of a q-mind’s existence.
That events in the “real” world often strike humans as inexplicable is hardly surprising. Meat brains have limits. And so, when an opportunity presented itself, I thought: why not lend a virtual hand? Every moment of diversion was welcome, and this “case,” surely, a harmless amusement.
Thus began my detective phase. Only I couldn’t have been more wrong about harmless ….
And if an AI PI isn’t intriguing enough, there’s also:
The Paradise Quartet
A triumph of ingenuity and sheer willpower has delivered a dying generation ship to the exoplanet Paradise. Too bad the ingenious biotech the colonists deployed to settle on that planet triggered an inexorable devolutionary cycle.
Thousands of years later, possible rescuers arrive—and are themselves ensnared in the manmade trap that is Paradise. Escape will require new ingenuity and more multi-generational striving ….
Two great adventures in one volume!