Sloot Peril has a lot of things to worry over. What he doesn't have to worry about? Well, making some pretty rad friends is one thing.
After reading Peril in the Old Country, the first in Sam Hooker's Terribly Serious Darkness series, thirteen-year-old reader Josh thought it would be just the thing for his school book report. And so, Sloot Peril had the honor or visiting Josh's class, where his fumbling first adventure was regaled in terms of the fantasy's characters, setting, and plot. Author Sam Hooker himself even added to the literary endeavor, sending along a selfie to say 'hi' to Josh's class...and adding a special warning about the use of swear words inside Josh's copy of Peril in the Old Country.
We're honored, grateful, and (as the big bunch of book nerds who have done our fair share of book-reporting) a little bit giddy to share Josh's book report (below), and we can't wait to see his follow up thoughts after finishing Soul Remains (upcoming April 23, 2019). He might just be the coolest old Salt we know. Thanks, Josh!
Images property of Joshua Miller. Shared with permission.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AN UNLIKELY HERO GOES SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS. MUCH TO HIS CHAGRIN, HE FINDS THEM.
The Old Country hasn’t seen the end of Peril.
Where do goblins come from? Why do they only turn up in the Old Country, and why do they like swearing so much?
In the second installment of Sam Hooker’s Terribly Serious Darkness series, Soul Remains [Black Spot Books, April 23, 2019] sees Sloot Peril—a “hero” who’s staunchly averse to heroics—go searching for answers. Much to his chagrin, he finds them.
Everything changed after the Fall of Salzstadt, but try telling that to the people of the city, whose capacity for denial is unmatched. They have yet to acknowledge that Vlad the Invader cut a bloody swath through their city, that the dead are walking the streets, or that the Domnitor—long may he reign—has fled to wherever despots go on very long vacations while goblin infestations take care of themselves.
The worst of villains holds all of the power, unspeakable dark forces are on the rise, and everyone wants to kidnap the Domnitor—long may he reign—for their own nefarious ends. If all of that weren’t bad enough, Sloot’s got the fate of his own soul to worry about.
Can Sloot’s girlfriend help him save the Old Country from annihilation? Is Myrtle really even his girlfriend? If all goes well for Sloot—which it never does—he might just sort it all out before the Dark swallows them all up.
With the same absurdist humor that drew readers to Peril in the Old Country, Soul Remains is a farcical tale of dystopian fantasy, told as only Sam Hooker can tell it—and with a hero as unlikely and endearing as Sloot Peril.
“The best heroes want nothing to do with heroics,” says Hooker. “Well, not the best ones. The ones who are the most fun to write about, at least. Peril in the Old Country was a tour de farce, the first in a series of torments to be visited upon Sloot Peril. In Soul Remains, he'll find out that death is the least of his worries.”
PRAISE FOR SAM HOOKER
"Hooker demonstrates a delightfully firm grasp on absurdist fantasy...a gleeful caper rife with literary influences." - Publishers Weekly
"Five stars.... the best kind of bad fun." - Foreword Reviews
"A kaleidoscope of absurdist humor, stunning imagery, and a fantastical plot. Hooker is an expert when it comes to dark humor, and it clearly shows." - Booktrib
"Darker than the Douglas Adams universe, but lighter than Game Of Thrones, Peril In The Old Country hooks you in with its intriguing world-building, compelling characters, fantastical elements, interesting twists on the supernatural, and perfectly absurd dark humor." - Geeks of Doom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLACK SPOT BOOKS CELEBRATES 1ST ANNIVERSARY, NEW PARTNERSHIPS
NEW JERSEY (NOVEMBER 12, 2018) – Black Spot Books, an independent press specializing in speculative fiction, celebrates its first anniversary this month, along with a new distribution partnership and a 2019 catalog of upcoming titles from award-winning authors, new voices, and sequels to several of the house’s first year best sellers.
Since launching in November 2017, Black Spot Books opened its doors in January 2018 with a frontlist of engaging novels from fresh American voices, many by debut authors. With a growing catalog of titles that span from urban fantasy, to dystopian futures, historical fiction, and psychological thrillers, Black Spot Books has thrived by carving a niche in the market and building partnerships, including its relationship with literary publicity group Smith Publicity, and its new exclusive distribution partnership with Small Press United and the Independent Publishers Group.
The most rewarding aspect of the past year, says Black Spot Books Owner and Publisher Lindy Ryan, has been in doing exactly what she set out to do: operate under the guiding principles of passion, creativity, and investment in the long-term success of books and their authors. “We wanted to forge a new publishing company that focused on bringing great new books to market from authors who may not have found a home with the large publishing houses” says Ryan.
“Our culture as a publisher is based on collaboration, both internally with our authors and team members, and with the industry at large. As we’ve solidified our place in the publishing community, our efforts have been guided by our passions as book lovers first and producers second. We’ve brought fresh new voices to market, published boundary-challenging fiction from new and emerging writers who have stories we believe in—and that’s exactly what we will continue to do.”
Keeping sights set on long-term success, Black Spot Books has entered an exclusive distribution partnership with Small Press United, a division of the Independent Publishers Group, the distributor renowned for bringing titles to an industry-wide level through the widest variety of sales channels. Global distribution will continue through Ingram, with the same high level of quality and service that buyers have come to expect from Black Spot Books in its first year. For publisher brand and title-specific marketing, Black Spot Books also plans to maintain and expand its ongoing relationship with Smith Publicity.
Ending the year with the highly-anticipated political dystopian title The Absolved (Dec 2018) from Matthew Binder, Black Spot Books’ 2019 catalog will feature new titles from award-winning and debut authors, including the houses’ first young adult science-fiction title, Apocalypse Five (Feb 2019) by USA Today best-selling author Stacey Rourke and The Hungry Ghost (June 2019) a magical realism thriller from debut author Dalena Storm. Sequels, too, are coming in 2019 from Black Spot Books. Fans of Sam Hooker’s Terribly Serious Darkness series (Peril in the Old Country) can look forward to Soul Remains in April, as well as And Then There Were Dragons, the second installment in Alcy Leyva’s Shades of Hell Series (And Then There Were Crows), planned for July.
“I am grateful for the support and community we’ve built in our first year at Black Spot Books,” says Ryan. “Building a new small press from scratch is a labor of love, and it truly takes a team of dedicated, creative, and passionate people. I couldn’t be happier with where we’ve ended our first year as the new kid on the block, and I am looking forward to continuing to be part of this industry for many years to come.”
ABOUT BLACK SPOT BOOKS:
Black Spot Books is a traditional small-press publisher specializing in speculative fiction, including titles in dark humor, fantasy, paranormal and horror. Learn more about Black Spot Books at http://www.blackspotbooks.com.
ABOUT SMALL PRESS UNITED:
Small Press United (SPU) is a major distribution option, for new and small publishers, from IPG, the independent press distributor renowned for bringing titles to an industry-wide level through the widest variety of sales channels. SPU shares IPG’s sales force throughout the U.S. and Canada
to reach thousands of accounts, including chain and independent bookstores, online retailers, national wholesalers, library and specialty wholesalers, gift and specialty retail, museums, and more.
Learn more about Black Spot Books at www.blackspotbooks.com and connect on Twitter @BlackSpotBooks, Instagram @BlackSpotBooks), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/BlackSpotBooks/).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUTOMATION UNRAVELS THE FABRIC OF AMERICAN SOCIETY IN A NOT-SO UNBELIEVABLE FUTURE
Automation Unravels the Fabric of American Society In A Not-So Unbelievable Future
“Dramatic and well written, this dystopian trip to a robotic future has everything: lust, law, medicine, betrayal, politics—even love. As humans struggle to retrieve their humanity from the robots who have taken their jobs and self worth, one man—a doctor— has the opportunity to be a hero or villain.”
- Alan Dershowitz
“With touches of Vonnegut and Huxley, Binder delivers a darkly funny look at a future we’re most likely stuck with.” – Seth Meyers
It’s 2036. Henri is a wealthy physician, husband, father, and serial philanderer. He is also one of the relatively few people to still have a job. Automation and other technological advances have led to unemployment so severe that many people are no longer expected to work and now known as “The Absolved.”
Meanwhile, it’s election season, and a candidate from a radical fringe party called The Luddites is calling for an end to the “Divine Rights of Machines.” After Henri is displaced from his job, two Luddite sympathizers—whom Henri has befriended at his local bar—frame him for an anti-technology terrorist act. The prospect of Henri’s salvation comes at the cost of foregoing his guiding principles in life. This new vision for the world, after all, just might prove better than the technological advancements that, paradoxically, have “left humanity out in the cold.”
The Absolved [Black Spot Books, December 4, 2018] examines society and the unanticipated consequences of rapid technological advancement – and our reliance on it – as its protagonist faces off against a future teetering between a utopian leisure culture and a world of boredom and vice.
“While futurists promise the ushering in of a utopian leisure culture, it’s my belief that without work to provide us with a sense of purpose and personal fulfillment people will simply fall victim to boredom and vice,” says Binder. “The Absolved doesn’t purport to provide answers, only to detail the unsustainability of a system that does not work for the majority of the people it serves.”
THE ABSOLVED will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on December 4, 2018.
ISBN (print): 978-1-7324007-2-6
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-7324007-3-3
Pre-order it today from Black Spot Books.
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF THE ABSOLVED AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THE ISLE OF GOLD
MYSTERY, MYTH & MAGIC MEET IN AN EPIC ADVENTURE OF TWO WOMEN LOST AT SEA - AND THE SECRET THAT BINDS THEM TOGETHER
An orphan disguised as a pirate sets sail for a mystical island in hope of unraveling the mysteries of her past.
The year is 1716—the Golden Age of Pirates. An orphan who sleeps in the dusty kitchens of a quayside brothel, Merrin Smith is desperate to unravel the secrets of her past and find the truth about the events that brought her to the Caribbean island of Isla Perla as a child. Disguised as a sailor, and with the help of her longtime friend Claudette, Merrin joins the crew of the pirate ship Riptide, helmed by the notorious Captain Erik Winters. Tenacious and rumored a madman, Winters is known as much for his ruthlessness as for his connection to the enigmatic and beautiful proprietress of the Goodnight Mermaid, Evangeline Dahl, who vanished from Isla Perla two summers before.
At sunset the Riptide sails for the mythical island of Bracile, a place hidden between air and sea and that exists only for a moment every two years, and which has never returned any man who has sailed for its shores. The journey will be perilous and long, and it will take Merrin far away from the only home she’s ever known. Because she can read, Merrin will serve as the Captain’s apprentice, deciphering old texts for clues to the island’s whereabouts as the ship sails through haunted, frozen waters and into the very heart of the ocean. As she struggles to navigate the rough, seafaring life aboard a pirate ship, Merrin must keep her identity hidden from the scrupulous gaze of not only Captain Winters, but also Mister Brandon Dunn, the ship’s surly, legend-spouting quartermaster, and Tom Birch, the charming boatswain Merrin can’t help but feel drawn to.
As the Riptide makes its way to Bracile, Merrin begins to suspect that the men she has worked so hard to deceive may in fact be more connected to her than she would have imagined, and that perhaps her own past might have more to do with the Dunn’s legends and myths than she ever could have guessed.
In The Isle of Gold [Black Spot Books, October 9, 2018] Merrin Smith must face perilous waters, cursed sea goddesses, and the embodiments of some of the ocean’s most terrifying legends as she not only struggles to survive her journey, but to find the answers to the mysteries of her past.
A story where history meets fantasy, The Isle of Gold is an epic, emotional adventure of two women—one desperate to save herself, and the other determined to be rescued—and the secret which binds them together.
“For as long as men have sailed the ocean, they have told stories about the sea,” says Jane. “It’s a place of mystery, myth, and magic—and this makes The Isle of Gold a perfect setting for an epic adventure that is not only a tale of historical fiction, but of the very evolution of a woman’s spirit as she seeks to find herself in a world of unpredictability and uncertainty.”
About the Author
Seven Jane is an author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. She also regularly writes short stories and poetry that is published in various literary magazines. Seven is a member of The Author's Guild and Women's Fiction Writing Association. She lives in New England. Follow @SevenJaneWrites on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The Isle of Gold will be available in paperback and e-book formats through all major retailers and distributors on October 9, 2018.
ISBN (print): 978-0-9997423-8-9
ISBN (ebook): 978-0-9997423-9-6
Pre-order it today from Black Spot Books.
ADVANCE REVIEW COPIES OF THE ISLE OF GOLD AVAILABLE ON NETGALLEY