Posts Tagged first edition books

It’s “Barry” Season!

It’s Berry (Barry) Season!

When Virginia first arrived here from Texas her concept of jam was the grape variety (Welch’s preferred). As a native Oregonian I embraced my duty to expose her to berries. Now I am not talking about the obvious blues, rasps and strawberries (even though Oregon strawberries know no equal), but those more sophisticated varieties that tease the palette of the most hardened skeptic – Marions, Waldos, Boyzens, Logans, Huckles, and my favorite, Tayberries. We are always on the lookout for something new, unique and exciting.

So what’s new from the thorny branches of the literary scene? Yes, I am talking about Berrys (Barrys)!

Barry LancetMeet Barry Lancet, a long-time American expat in Japan. His first novel, “JAPANTOWN,” a contemporary thriller with Japan as the backdrop was received with rave reviews. It is the story of a San Francisco-based American antique dealer with strong ties to Japan and clues to a horrible crime committed by a secret society of ancient killers. This mystery adds a fresh perspective to the archetype of the gaijin detective. The author possesses stronger knowledge of the culture than others who have tackled the genre, and actually contributes new insights into the themes and rhythms of the charm, history, and culture, people and places that flow from his stories.

Now he returns with TOYKO KILL.

TOKYO, 2:36 P.M.

Eight people had already died by the time Akira Miura showed up at our door fearing for his life.

When the commotion broke out I’d been on a long-distance call to London trying to track down an original ink painting by Sengai, the renowned Japanese painter-monk of Circle, Triangle, and Square fame. The rumor had come out of the United Kingdom, so I was plying channels to nail down the potential gem for a client in San Francisco who would kill to get it, and kill me if I didn’t.

Read the rest of chapter one. Not enough? Here’s chapter two! You can reserve your copy here. You will be thrilled.

We are pleased to add Barry Lancet to our ever expanding field of berries. A field that includes Award-winning author Sebastian Barry’s THE TEMPORARY GENTLEMAN, Max Barry’s LEXICON, Dave Barry’s YOU CAN DATE BOY WHEN YOU’RE FORTY, and don’t forget, Brunonia Barry and Barry Eisler. And of course the most prominent berry in our field is none other than Steve Berry!

Now that’s “jamming!”


Signed Russell Blake Novels Now Available at VJ Books

Signed Russell Blake Books Now Available at VJ Books

Russell BlakeRussell Blake is a prolific writer. He is the USA Today bestselling author of 29 books, including Fatal Exchange, The Geronimo Breach, Zero Sum, King of Swords, Night of the Assassin, Return of the Assassin, Revenge of the Assassin, Blood of the Assassin, JET, JET – Ops Files, JET II, III, IV, V, VI, and VII, The Delphi Chronicle trilogy, The Voynich Cypher, Upon A Pale Horse, BLACK, BLACK Is Back, BLACK Is The New Black, BLACK To Reality, An Angel With Fur (pet bio), and How To Sell A Gazillion eBooks In No Time (even if drunk, high or incarcerated) – a parody of everything writing and self-publishing. And of course, he is also the co-author with Clive Cussler of The Eye of Heaven, laying down in September.

Blake lives on the Pacific coast of Mexico with his 2 dogs and a bad attitude. The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted him as “a 52-year-old retired home developer,” who has published 25 books in the last 30 months and sold “more than 435,000 copies.”

VJ Books has located 20 different titles by Russell Blake that he has graciously agreed to sign. We hope to have them up on our website by Friday, so don’t forget to check back.

Sci-Fi – Making our World Seem a Little Less Scary

Sci-Fi – Making our World Seem a Little Less Scary

Dr. Who Series 1 Episode 2 End of the World Maybe its Ebola on American soil, a nuclear Iran, illegals flooding our borders, or Isis expanding throughout the Arab world, but my reading has of late has been focused on apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic stories.

This theme is not new or original. Mary Shelley’s 1826 novel, THE LAST MAN, considered the first work of modern apocalyptic fiction moves through Europe as a plague kills most of the world’s population. In 1895, H.G. Wells’ novel, THE TIME MACHINE, his protagonist travels to the year 802,701 A.D. after civilization has collapsed and humanity has been split into two species. Wells’ 1898 novel, The THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, depicts an invasion of Earth by inhabitants of the planet Mars.

Several of Ray Bradbury’s THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES take place after a nuclear war force people to flee Earth and settle on Mars. In 1984 Whitley Strieber published WAR DAY, chronicling America five years after a nuclear attack, followed in 1987 by NATURE’S END with planet Earth rapidly approaching environmental destruction. David Brin’s 1985 novel, THE POSTMAN, takes place in an America where some are trying to rebuild civilization after the “Doomwar.” In THE FORGE OF GOD by Greg Bear (1987), Earth is destroyed in an alien attack.

That brings us to WORLD WAR Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006), an apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks bringing the “undead” to life. In his 2009 thriller, ONE SECOND AFTER, William Forstchen chronicles the aftermath of a high-altitude nuclear bomb of exploding, unleashing a deadly electromagnetic pulse that instantly disables almost every electrical device in the world. The causes of man’s destruction are as numerous as the books that tell the stories. There is no better time to dive into Blake Crouch’s PINES trilogy (PINES, WAYWARD, THE LAST TOWN) now that it is about to air as a FOX miniseries starring Matt Dillon, and brought to life by suspenseful storyteller M. Night Shyamalan, or Hugh Howey’s WOOL trilogy (WOOL, SHIFT and DUST), about how, in a ruined and toxic future, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. Howey follows with SAND, a barren, dune-covered landscape where there is only one way to earn respect, sand-diving: plunging deep below the desert floor in search of relics and scraps of the old world.

This brings me to Jeremy Robinson whose collected work takes on just about every possible calamity mankind could face. His most recent, XOM-B, finds us in the 28th century, a ruthless master race has killed billions of people it had enslaved, only to see the genocide victims arise as zombies and turn on their tormentors. SECOND WORLD has it all, frozen Nazis, UFO crashes, Antarctica, and some really cool science manipulated to bring a suffocating end to mankind. In ISLAND 731, Robinson puts his distinctive mark on Michael Crichton territory with this terrifying present-day take on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Action and scientific explanation are appropriately proportioned, making this one of the best Jurassic Park successors.

Finally, I must include the two latest by Brian Herbert (co-author of the DUNE sequels). In OCEAN we find ourselves in the year 2024, and Earth is consumed by a great War of Ocean Liberation. A military force of sea creatures attacks naval installations, shuts down shipping lanes and fishing operations, destroys offshore oil-drilling rigs – an ecological thriller where man may not be on the top of the food chain. THE LITTLE GREEN BOOK OF CHAIRMAN RAHMA follows the 2040s war that pitted corporate America against an alliance of environmental activists, anarchists and scientists; the New World has become the Green States of America, ruled by the relatively benevolent dictatorship of Chairman Rahma Popal.

If you find the headlines a little too frightening – turn off your TV and pick-up one of these sci-fi classics. It will make the world just a little less scary.

– John

VJ Books Honors Chelsea Cain as August 2014 Author of the Month!

VJ Books Honors Chelsea Cain as August 2014 Author of the Month!

Chelsea CainVJ Books is located in a suburb of Portland, Oregon, an eclectic city, where sophisticated and alternative styles coexist peacefully – a place that hundreds of authors call home. As you wander around a mix of open scenic spaces and parks combined with bustling city life and diverse neighborhoods you may run into ​Ursula K. Le Guin, ​Chuck Palahniuk, ​Stephen Greenleaf, ​Greg Rucka, newcomer ​Roger Hobbs or even the remarkable Beverly Cleary.

Or just maybe . . . Chelsea Cain. While not quite a native – she moved from Iowa to Portland to New York and back to Portland with brief stays in Florida and Pennsylvania, and in the process wrote some really amazing books. Chelsea Cain’s thrillers are masterful blends of psychological suspense and straight-up gore, chronicling the twisted bond between a police detective and a serial killer. Her main characters, Portland detective Archie Sheridan, and the manipulative murderess, Gretchen Lowell, have brought her considerable fame with a string of bestsellers – Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, Kill You Twice, and Let Me Go. Her newest book One Kick (releasing this month) is the first in her Kick Lannigan thriller series. Heartsick was named one of the best 100 thrillers ever written by NPR, and Heartsick and Sweetheart were named among Stephen King’s Top Ten Books of the Year.

Cain is the master of the gory thriller. The New York Times calls them “steamy and perverse.” In her own words, “. . . I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised to find myself writing thrillers. It does bring together many of my interests: forensic pathology, medicine, damaged heroes, dead pets, Nancy Drew, TV cops shows, my home of Portland, Oregon, and having an excuse to be alone in a room for long periods.” Each novel in this scorching series leaves readers wanting more of the twisted and destructive relationship between Archie and Gretchen, and now we get the first in a nail-biting new series featuring Kick Lannigan, a young woman whose complicated past has given her a very special skill set. The new book, One Kick, earned Cain a starred review in Publishers Weekly, “Above all, this is an edge-of-the-chair thriller, and Cain negotiates the twists and turns with finesse while keeping her foot firmly on the gas pedal. Excruciating yet always compelling.”

Chelsea Cain, our Author of the Month for August 2014!

– John