First of all, happy Memorial Day. Well, that doesn’t sound quite right. After all, Memorial Day is rather a somber day, isn’t it? At least, it probably should be. It’s a day of remembrance. Last year, I wrote about what that remembrance means to me. To read that post, click here.

These days, however, Memorial Day has a dual purpose. Remembrance, yes, first and foremost. But it also heralds the beginning of summer. (At least it does in most places with, you know, warmth. Here on the Oregon Coast, we don’t really consider summer to have started until July 4, when it’s, well, warmish.)

So, if you are indeed starting to think about summer—and, of course, your summer reading list—I’ve got a double-feature release week for you.

First up is the next volume in WMG’s acclaimed Fiction River line: Alchemy & Steam. Edited by the incomparable Kerrie L. Hughes, this lucky thirteenth regular Fiction River volume brings us our first foray into steampunk. And you won’t want to miss it.

FR Alchemy & Steam ebook cover web 284Here’s the synopsis and the table of contents:

Alchemy changes more than dross into gold. It changes steampunk stories into stories of magical transformation. These thirteen stories combine science and magic into do-not-miss alternate history stories that span the globe. Travel with a soul-stealing carnival, meet the Grand Dangoolie, put on some perfect perfume, and sample some magical chocolate. These adventures grace the pages of the most creative volume of Fiction River yet.

Table of Contents
“The Rites of Zosimos” by Angela Penrose
“Heart” by Leslie Claire Walker
“Pennies for Portents” by Diana Benedict
“The Order of the Golden Grapefruit” by Sharon Joss
“The Perfect Perfume” by Anthea Sharp
“The Grand Dangoolie” by Ron Collins
“The Whirring Dreams of Aberrant Blood” by Cindie Geddes
“St. Jean & The Dragon” by Brenda Carre
“Weight in Gold” by Dory Crowe
“Heaven’s Flight” by Leigh Saunders
“Blood Moon Carnival” by Kim May
“Makes the World Go ’Round” by Kelly Cairo
“Myrtle’s Boxes” by Louisa Swann

As you might tell from the titles in this volume, creative doesn’t begin to cover it. Thirteen stories in the thirteenth volume filled with science and magic. I’m pretty sure it’s bad luck not to read it!

Calling Dead ebook cover web 284Speaking of bad luck, Dean Wesley Smith’s Cold Poker Gang tackles a case more disturbing than any they’ve run across in their careers in the latest novel, Calling Dead.

Here’s the synopsis:

The retired Las Vegas detectives in the Cold Poker Gang work hard to solve cold cases. Sometimes, those cases bring back personal nightmares.

Deciding to tackle one of the coldest cold cases in the files, retired detectives Lott, Rogers, and Andor uncover far more than simple murder, and possibly the worst serial killer ever.

A twisted mystery that will keep you reading to the last page.

Twisted, indeed. This one is full of plot turns you won’t see coming.

So, science and magic and a dark, twisty murder mystery.

Bring it on, summer!

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.