Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Beginning & Friday 56: Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Katy at A Few More Pages 
Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading. 
If you like, share with everyone why you do, or do not, like the sentence.

The Friday 56
  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
  • Turn to page 56.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of Freda's Voice
  • Post a link along with your post back to Freda's Voice
Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Justin Gustainis sent me a copy of his book Hard Spell recently to read and review. I love this urban fantasy story because the narrator has a quirky voice. The book was published on July 26 and is available as a mass market paperback or an ebook.

Here is the product description:
Stan Markowski is a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD's Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit.

Like the rest of America, Scranton's got an uneasy 'live and let unlive' relationship with the supernatural. But when a vamp puts the bite on an unwilling victim, or some witch casts the wrong kind of spell, that's when they call Markowski. He carries a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.
This is the city - Scranton, Pennsylvania.
This is the incredibly generic first sentence and first paragraph but it does give a flavor of the story. I need to continue and give you the next couple of paragraphs to really introduce the book.
It used to be a coal town, back in the days when anthracite was king. That was a long time ago--the last of the mines played out in the 1950s. But people here are tough, and they learned to adapt. Today, Scranton's got a healthy economy based on light industry, tourism, and retail. They've cleared out a lot of the culm banks left by the mines, too.

It's a good place to live and raise a family--apart from the vampires, werewolves, ghouls, wizards, and the occasional demon.
Now the urban fantasy becomes obvious.

Friday 56:
She swallowed a couple of times, then said, "And you've exhausted all of the usual means of getting information about this...atrocity?"

"Every damn one," I told her. "Witnesses: none. Forensics: none. Associates: none. Friends and families: none. Enemies: None."

"Well, one, anyway," she said grimly.


  1. Sounds mysterious. Thanks for participating!

  2. Oh this book sounds like fun!

  3. hmmmm ... one anyway? :)

    have a great weekend!

  4. Fantasy is a genre I very rarely dip in to, but as this is an urban fantasy which sounds so fun I think it could be something I'd really enjoy. I love both the excerpts - as you say the beginning needs the next few sentences to bring it to life, but I really like the wit that goes with it.


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