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The New York Times bestselling author of the Cal Leandros series delivers a bold new supernatural thriller where one man's extraordinary abilities come with an equally phenomenal cost. Picking up a small, pink shoe from the grass forever changed young Jackson Lee's life. Not only did its presence mean that his sister Tessa was dead--murdered and stuffed in the deep, black water of a narrow well--but the shoe itself told him so. Tessa's death triggers an even more horrific family massacre that, combined with this new talent he neither wants nor can handle, throws Jack's life into a tailspin. The years quickly take him from state homes to the streets to grifting in a seedy carnival, until he finally becomes the cynical All Seeing Eye, psychic-for-hire. At last, Jackson has left his troubled past behind and found a semblance of peace. That is, until the government blackmails him. After Jackson is forced to help the military contain the aftermath of a bizarre experiment gone violently wrong, everything he knows about himself will change just as suddenly as it did with his little sister's shoe. And while change is constant . . . it's never for the better.
Because killers hide there, too ... Half-human Cal Leandros has always walked a bloody line between keeping his mortal soul free and clear (sort of) and unleashing the horror of his otherworldly heritage. The one thing that's always saved him is the memory of his brother, Niko, his friends, and those he loves. Until now. Cal wakes up on a beach littered with the recently slaughtered remains of a variety of hideous creatures that were obviously looking for trouble. The fact that he is the one who did the slaughtering doesn't bother him. The fact that he feels like a natural-born killer doesn't either. What bothers Cal is that he doesn't remember Cal anymore ... and he's not sure he cares
A star-studded urban fantasy anthology starring bestselling authors Rachel Caine, Jennifer Estep, Kevin Hearne, Seanan McGuire, and Rob Thurman, and including Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Gay, Mark Henry, Hillary Jacques, Jackie Kessler, Kelly Meding, Allison Pang, Nicole D. Peeler, and Jaye Wells, whose stories explore the creepy, mysterious, and, yes, sometimes magical world of traveling carnivals.The traveling carnival is a leftover of a bygone era, a curiosity lurking on the outskirts of town. It is a place of contradictions--the bright lights mask the peeling paint; a carnie in greasy overalls slinks away from the direction of the Barker's seductive call. It is a place of illusion--is that woman's beard real? How can she live locked in that watery box? And while many are tricked by sleight of hand, there are hints of something truly magical going on. One must remain alert and learn quickly the unwritten rules of this dark show. To beat the carnival, one had better have either a whole lot of luck or a whole lot of guns--or maybe some magic of one's own. Featuring stories grotesque and comical, outrageous and action-packed, Carniepunk is the first anthology to channel the energy and attitude of urban fantasy into the bizarre world of creaking machinery, twisted myths, and vivid new magic.
Ten years ago, Stefan Korsak's younger brother was kidnapped. No one knew who took Lukas, or why. He was simply gone. But not a day has passed that Stefan hasn't thought about him. As a rising figure in the Russian Mafia, Stefan has finally found him. But when he rescues Lukas, Stefan must confront a terrible truth--his brother is no longer his brother. He is a killer. He has been trained, brainwashed, and genetically transformed into a flesh-and-blood machine with only one purpose: assassination. Now those who created him will do anything to reclaim him. As Stefan grows closer to his brother, he realizes that saving Lukas may be easier than surviving him....
How I felt the mental stirrings of a bloodthirsty heritage when I passed through the gray light wasn't my favorite topic ... The Auphe nature wasn't mine. I wouldn't let it be. And if I said that to myself over and over and sprinkled around enough frigging fairy dust, maybe it would be true. Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, are barely getting by with their preternatural detective agency when the vampire Seamus hires them. He's being followed, and he wants to know by whom. But the Leandros brothers have to do more than they had planned when Seamus turns up dead (or un-undead). Worse still is the return of Cal's nightmarish family, the Auphe. The last time Cal and Niko faced them, the Auphe were almost wiped out. Now they want revenge. Cal knows that before the Auphe get to him, they will try to destroy everything and everyone he holds dear. Because for the Auphe, Cal's pain is a pleasure. And they're feeling good.
'Family was a hateful bitch, it was. I had the hot poker scars of that burned into my flesh, but, scars or not, sometimes family was all you had worth playing with. Maybe he would see that. Maybe he would want to play too. I played rough . . . I played to win.' If anyone knows that having family isn't always a good thing, it's half-human, half-living-nightmare Cal Leandros. But for once, it's not Cal's relatives causing the trouble. That headache belongs to his half brother, Niko, whose ne'er-do-well father is in town. He needs a favor, and if Niko refuses, it just might doom the entire city. Yet an even more dangerous reunion is in the works. The entire lying, stealing, hormonally hopped-up puck race (including the brothers' lethally charismatic friend Robin Goodfellow) is in town for their millennial meeting--and to hold a lottery that no puck wants to win. As Cal tries to keep both Niko and Robin from paying the ultimate price for their kin, a horrific reminder from Cal's own past arrives to show him that blood is thicker than water ... and that's why it's so much more fun to spill.
Half-human Cal Leandros and his brother, Niko, aren't exactly prospering with their preternatural detective agency. Who could have guessed that business could dry up in New York City, where vampires, trolls, and other creepy crawlies are all over the place? But now there's a new arrival in the Big Apple. A malevolent evil with ancient powers is picking off humans like sheep, dead-set on making history with an orgy of blood and murder. And for Cal and Niko, this is one paycheck they're going to have to earn.
"I was born a monster. Although truthfully, I was only half monster. My mother was human; my father was something... else. Half monster or whole, in the end it didn't matter. I had my weaknesses same as everyone else. And I was facing one of them now." After saving the world from his fiendish father's side of the family, Cal Leandros and his stalwart half-brother Niko have settled down with a new apartment and a new gig - bodyguard and detective work. And in New York City, where preternatural beings stalk the streets just like normal folk, business is good. Their latest case has them going undercover for the Kin, the werewolf Mafia. A low-level Kin boss thinks a rival is setting him up for a fall, and wants proof. The place to start is the back room of Moonshine-a gambling club for non-humans. Cal thinks it's a simple in-and-out job. But Cal is very, very wrong. Cal and Niko are being set up themselves - and the people behind it have bites much worse than their barks...
There are monsters among us - always have been, always will be. I've always known that, just like I've always known I was one... Well, half of one, anyway. From Dad's side.
Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good, old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their PI business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job. She wants them to find a stolen coffin that contains a blight that makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory. But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers have to hit the road. And if they're very lucky there might even be a return trip.
"I stopped and let them circle me, first because it was intriguing and, second, because, honestly, what could they do? Only knives, but all armed, and that made them even more interesting. Interesting. Fun." Taking on bloodthirsty supernatural monsters is how Caliban and Niko Leandros make a living. But years ago--before they became a force to be reckoned with--the brothers were almost victims of a very human serial killer. Almost. Unfortunately for them, that particular depraved killer was working as apprentice to a creature far more malevolent--the legendary Spring-Heeled Jack. He's just hit town. He hasn't forgotten what the Leandros brothers did to his murderous protege. He hasn't forgotten what they owe him. And now they are going to pay ... and pay ... and pay. ...
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