Unclean Spirits

Unclean Spirits

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

Denver is lousy with monsters and mayhem in this urban fantasy series launch by epic fantasist Daniel Abraham (The Long Price Quartet series), his first venture under the Hanover pen name. Stereotypically plucky heroine Jayné Heller stumbles into a world of dangerous magic when she inherits a distant uncles fortune and his difficulties with a clan of malicious supernatural beings. Jayné likewise gains her uncles loose conglomerate of useful friends, all of whom have about one character trait apiece (the chef, the Frenchman, the ex-Jesuit), and she plots with them to destroy her uncles murderer, the sinister Randolph Coin. When trouble threatens, Jayné displays startling monster-fighting abilities, belatedly attributed to her uncle's blessing. Abrahams smooth prose and zippy action sequences sag under the weight of clichés. (Dec. )
Read online
  • 606
Darker Angels

Darker Angels

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

In the battle between good and evil, there's no such thing as a fair fight. When Jayné Heller's uncle Eric died, she inherited a fortune beyond all her expectations -- and a dangerous mission in a world she never knew existed. Reining in demons and supernatural foes is a formidable task, but thankfully Jayné has vast resources and loyal allies to rely on. She'll need both to tackle a bodyswitching serial killer who's taken up residence in New Orleans, a city rich in voodoo lore and dark magic. Working alongside Karen Black, a highly confident and enigmatic ex-FBI agent, Jayné races to track down the demon's next intended host. But the closer she gets, the more convinced she becomes that nothing in this beautiful, wounded city is exactly as it seems. When shocking secrets come to light, and jealousy and betrayal turn trusted friends into adversaries, Jayné will soon come face-to-face with an enemy that knows her all too well, and won't rest until it has destroyed everything she loves most. . .
Read online
  • 574
Killing Rites

Killing Rites

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers: something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful. Ex’s history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they’re putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin
Read online
  • 504
Vicious Grace

Vicious Grace

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

When you're staring evil in the eye, don't forget to watch your back… For the first time in forever, Jayné Heller's life is making sense. Even if she routinely risks her life to destroy demonic parasites that prey on mortals, she now has friends, colleagues, a trusted lover, and newfound confidence in the mission she inherited from her wealthy, mysterious uncle. Her next job might just rob her of all of them. At Grace Memorial Hospital in Chicago, something is stirring. Patients are going AWOL and research subjects share the same sinister dreams. Half a century ago, something was buried under Grace in a terrible ritual, and it's straining to be free. Jayné is primed to take on whatever's about to be let loose. Yet the greatest danger now may not be the huge, unseen force lurking below, but the evil that has been hiding in plain sight all along—taking her ever closer to losing her body, her mind, and her soul…
Read online
  • 492
Graveyard Child

Graveyard Child

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

After years on her own, Jayné Heller is going home to find some answers. How did the powerful spirit calling itself the Black Sun get into her body? Who was her uncle Eric, and what was the grand plan that he devoted his life to? Who did her mother have an affair with, and why? What happened to her on her sixteenth birthday? And the tattoo—seriously—what was that about? Jayné arrives amid preparations for her older brother’s shotgun wedding, but she’s not the only unexpected guest. The Invisible College has come to town to stop the ceremony. And the more she learns, the more she uncovers a darkness that runs deeper than generations and stronger than blood. A missing bride and wizards bent on vengeance may be the least of her problems. Because in the shadows of Jayné’s childhood home, a greater threat awaits that didn’t die with her uncle. It calls itself the Graveyard Child.About the AuthorM.L.N. Hanover is an International Horror Guild Award-winning author living in the American southwest. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.When my uncle Eric Heller died, he left me a lot of money—like small-nation kind of money—and what I thought at the time was an ongoing fight against demons and unclean spirits. When I got in fights, I was impossible to stop, and spells and magic that tried to find me failed. I figured that he’d put some sort of protective spell on me.I hadn’t had a clue.Since then, I have been thrown nearly off a skyscraper by a demon-possessed wizard. I’ve snuck through the depths of a hospital haunted  by the kind of spirit that brings on genocides. I’ve watched a friend collapse from internal bleeding after a bunch of mind-controlled people tried to kick him to death. I’ve felt my own body being controlled by something that wasn’t in any way me, and I’ve been locked in a basement by a bunch of priests who were willing to sacrifice me to save me.The most frightening thing I’ve ever done was tell my dad I was going to a secular university. Getting everything in place had been a long complex of deceit and intrigue. I’d used my babysitting money to rent a post office box and filled out applications for three dozen colleges that didn’t have the word bible  in their names. I’d taken the tax returns that my parents had given me and made copies to send to all the financial aid departments without their knowing. For months, I’d snuck the paperwork into the house and hidden it under my mattress taking the letters out at night with my bedroom door locked. I looked over all the pamphlets with beautiful pictures of campuses and descriptions of college life like a starving woman paging through cookbooks.The first acceptance letter I got felt like a bomb going off in my rib cage, but I had to pretend nothing was going on. I sat at dinner that night, glowing on the inside and trying not to smile. My brothers, Jay and Curtis, were blissfully oblivious, but I could  tell my parents suspected something was up. Probably they thought it was a boy.I cobbled together a high-interest student loan that didn’t need a cosigner, a work-study position, and a couple small scholarships based on an essay I’d written as a junior in high school. And I had enough money left to buy a one-way plane ticket to Phoenix. I was going to be a Sun Devil, and every day I got out of my bed, fought for my turn in the bathroom, went to church with my family, and bowed my head in prayer felt like a little more of a lie.I didn’t know the word compartmentalization at the time, but if you’d looked in the dictionary,I’d have been the picture next to it. I was Jayné the good little girl weighing her options with her parents and not entirely sure she wanted to go to college at all, and I was also Jayné who was already committed and getting ready to leave. My plane left on Thursday morning at ten a.m. I told my father Tuesday night after dinner.I remember all of it. My father’s face went red, my mother’s white. There was a tremor in his voice while he explained to me that I was forbidden to go. He used that word. Forbidden. Jay took Curt to the TV room and they pretended to watch The Simpsons, but I knew they were listening. I sat at the dining room table with my hands pressed flat on my thighs and my heart doing triple time. The lump in my throat was so solid I was pretty sure I was going to vomit. And quietly, confidently, implacably, I defied my father. I was going. I was old enough to make my own choices, and I’d made them. I was sure if he prayed hard enough, he’d see that it had to be this way. All the things I’d practiced saying quietly in the bathroom mirror.My dad? Yeah, he detonated. Shouting, slapping his open hand against the table so hard the centerpiece jumped.I’d heard the phrase twisted in rage before, one place or another, but this was when I really understood it. And my mother stood in the doorway, her hands fluttering in front of her like birds in a cage. He called me things he’d never called me before: stupid, naive, a selfish bitch, and I’m pretty sure wannabe whore figured in there someplace. I called him a monster and a mind-fucking control freak. Our mutual hatred and anger peeled the paint.He told me to get my cheap ass up to my room and not to come back down until I’d seen sense. I remember that part very well.I stomped up the stairs, slammed my bedroom door closed, and left by the window. Two days later,I was in Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, weeping over my one suitcase. And a week after that, I was a Sun Devil. We hadn’t spoken since. The only one I’d ever touched base with at all before last week was my little brother, Curt, and then I hadn’t gone into great detail. Dropped out of college, got a huge fortune when Uncle Eric died. Oh, and did you know he was an international demon hunter? Or that he was an even bigger asshole than Dad? Or that I have a spirit living inside me called the Black Sun, and it gives me superpowers sometimes? How’s high school been for you? Didn’t see going there.And yet, there was exactly where I was going. Back home to where it all began, or if it hadn’t begun there, at least someone might know some of what had happened. Might be able to explain some of the confusion that my life had become since Uncle Eric died.The snow had been coming down since we crossed the New Mexico border into Oklahoma. It was all hard round balls like bits of Styrofoam that tapped against the windshield and flew away again before they had the chance to melt. China Forbes crooned from the speakers about falling stars falling forever, and Chogyi Jake snored gently in the passenger’s seat. I imagined Ex behind me, staring moodily out the window, and Ozzie curled up with her nose tucked under her tail; but since I couldn’t see them, that said more about my state of mind than theirs. Gray clouds pressed the sky low enough it felt like a ceiling. I could feel the highway getting slick under the tires just by the way the steering wheel vibrated.“I think the dog needs to go out,” Ex said.Chogyi Jake grunted, yawned, and leaned forward, blinking into the gray.“Seriously?” I said.“Well, I’m not positive,” Ex said. “She’s just got that look on her face.”“What look?“That the-backseat’s-fine-with-me-if-it’s-fine-with you look?”“Okay, message received,” I said.“We could use some lunch too,” Ex said.“Next stop coming up,” I said, willing my voice to be cheerful.Ten miles on, a service station huddled at a highway exit like a luckless hitchhiker. Along with gas pumps and the kind of bathrooms you have to go outside to get to, it boasted a little sandwich shop. Ozzie got to her feet as I pulled in, her wagging tail making a rhythmic thumping against the seat. Ex had apparently been right. It was kind of cute. I hadn’t pegged him for a dog person.“I’ll take her for a walk,” Ex said as I killed the engine. “You can order for me.”“Meatball sandwich, no cheese?” Chogyi Jake asked, though he didn’t have to. We’d all been working together for years now, tracking down riders. They were the spiritual parasites—riders was the generic term—that snuck in from the Pleroma or Next Door or whatever we called it and took up residence in the bodies of men and women. Bodies like mine. They were responsible for vampires and werewolves and lamias and a whole taxonomy of things that made the world weirder and more dangerous. Once upon a time, I’d thought we fought against them, but that had turned out to be a little simplistic.We’d traveled across the world together, the three of us, and—once upon a time—Aubrey. Only Aubrey was back together with his once and future wife, Kim, in Chicago, rebuilding the life that my uncle Eric had destroyed for them. And so it was just the three of us heading back to my family to try to figure out what Eric had done to mine.Well, the three of us and my dog.“Large iced tea,” Ex said, opening the SUV’s rear door. The blast of cold air pressed against the back of my neck for a second before the door closed again with a crash. I reached around for the leather backpack that I still used instead of a purse. Chogyi Jake stretched, squinting out into the snow. I felt another passing urge to apologize to him for ditching him back in New Mexico, but it would have been about the millionth time I’d done it, and I figured after about six hundred thousand it might start getting annoying.“You good?” I asked.“I try,” he said, smiling gently.I smiled back. “Smart ass.”The service station was small and tacky. Christmas tinsel still hung on the edges of the counter, and a bin of clip-on reindeer horns squatted by the  bathrooms with a hand-drawn sign saying 50% Off. We ordered at the counter along the eastern wall, then sat at a chipped Formica table and watched the semis roll by on the highway. The horizon was lost, sky and earth fading into a uniform nothingness. I ate two bites of my sandwich and pushed the rest away.“Do you know what you want to ask them?” Chogyi Jake asked. He had a way of stepping gently into the middle of deep conversations we hadn’t had yet. Since I’d called my mother a week before and arranged for this sudden, probably unpleasant reunion, he hadn’t asked me why or what I hoped to gain by it. We could skip all that. I leaned forward and shook my head.“I keep thinkin...
Read online
  • 61
Unclean Spirits bsd-1

Unclean Spirits bsd-1

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

In a world where magic walks and demons ride, you can't always play by the rules. Jayné Heller thinks of herself as a realist, until she discovers reality isn't quite what she thought it was. When her uncle Eric is murdered, Jayné travels to Denver to settle his estate, only to learn that it's all hers – and vaster than she ever imagined. And along with properties across the world and an inexhaustible fortune, Eric left her a legacy of a different kind: his unfinished business with a cabal of wizards known as the Invisible College. Led by the ruthless Randolph Coin, the Invisible College harnesses demon spirits for their own ends of power and domination. Jayné finds it difficult to believe magic and demons can even exist, let alone be responsible for the death of her uncle. But Coin sees Eric's heir as a threat to be eliminated by any means – magical or mundane – so Jayné had better start believing in something to save her own life. Aided in her mission by a group of unlikely companions – Aubrey, Eric's devastatingly attractive assistant; Ex, a former Jesuit with a lethal agenda; Midian, a two-hundred-year-old man who claims to be under a curse from Randolph Coin himself; and Chogyi Jake, a self-styled Buddhist with mystical abilities – Jayné finds that her new reality is not only unexpected, but often unexplainable. And if she hopes to survive, she'll have to learn the new rules fast – or break them completely…
Read online
  • 42
Graveyard Child bsd-5

Graveyard Child bsd-5

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

It's a homecoming, of sorts, for Jayné Heller — and she wants some long-awaited answers to her past, in this fifth book in the acclaimed Black Sun's Daughter urban fantasy series. After years on her own, Jayné Heller is going home to find some answers. How did the powerful spirit calling itself the Black Sun get into her body? Who was her uncle Eric, and what was the grand plan to which he devoted his life? Who did her mother have an affair with, and why? And the tattoo — seriously — what was that about? Jayné arrives during the preparations for her older brother's shotgun wedding, but she's not the only unexpected guest. The Invisible College has also come to town, intent on stopping the ceremony. They claim an ancient evil is threatening the child that would be Jayné's niece, and that the Heller family has been rotten at the core for generations. The deeper Jayné looks, the more she thinks they might not be wrong. And behind them all, in the shadows of Jayné's childhood home, a greater threat waits that calls itself the Graveyard Child...
Read online
  • 31
Darker Angels bsd-2

Darker Angels bsd-2

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

In the battle between good and evil, there's no such thing as a fair fight. When Jayné Heller's uncle Eric died, she inherited a fortune beyond all her expectations — and a dangerous mission in a world she never knew existed. Reining in demons and supernatural foes is a formidable task, but thankfully Jayné has vast resources and loyal allies to rely on. She'll need both to tackle a bodyswitching serial killer who's taken up residence in New Orleans, a city rich in voodoo lore and dark magic. Working alongside Karen Black, a highly confident and enigmatic ex-FBI agent, Jayné races to track down the demon's next intended host. But the closer she gets, the more convinced she becomes that nothing in this beautiful, wounded city is exactly as it seems. When shocking secrets come to light, and jealousy and betrayal turn trusted friends into adversaries, Jayné will soon come face-to-face with an enemy that knows her all too well, and won't rest until it has destroyed everything she loves most....
Read online
  • 30
Vicious Grace bsd-3

Vicious Grace bsd-3

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

When you're staring evil in the eye, don't forget to watch your back . . . For the first time in forever, Jayné Heller's life is making sense. Even if she routinely risks her life to destroy demonic parasites that prey on mortals, she now has friends, colleagues, a trusted lover, and newfound confidence in the mission she inherited from her wealthy, mysterious uncle. Her next job might just rob her of all of them. At Grace Memorial Hospital in Chicago, something is stirring. Patients are going AWOL and research subjects share the same sinister dreams. Half a century ago, something was buried under Grace in a terrible ritual, and it's straining to be free. Jayné is primed to take on whatever's about to be let loose. Yet the greatest danger now may not be the huge, unseen force lurking below, but the evil that has been hiding in plain sight all along — taking her ever closer to losing her body, her mind, and her soul. . . .
Read online
  • 20
Killing Rites bsd-4

Killing Rites bsd-4

M. L. N. Hanover

Urban Fantasy

Jayné Heller has discovered the source of her uncanny powers: something else is living inside her body. She's possessed. Of all her companions, she can only bring herself to confide in Ex, the former priest. They seek help from his old teacher and the circle of friends he left behind, hoping to cleanse Jayné before the parasite in her becomes too powerful.  Ex's history and a new enemy combine to leave Jayné alone and on the run. Her friends, thinking that the rider with her has taken the reins, try to hunt her down, unaware of the danger they're putting her in. Jayné must defeat the weight of the past and the murderous intent of another rider, and her only allies are a rogue vampire she once helped free and the nameless thing hiding inside her skin.
Read online
  • 19