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As I drove out of his house, I had tears in my eyes. How could he have gone out to have dinner with that idiotic girl when I had spent the whole day preparing his favourite meal? I even refused to eat though I was hungry because I was waiting for him to return so we could eat together.

I felt devastated.

"That was a good performance you put up there," Satan's voice startled me, I didn't even realize He had come into the car.

"Yea, I hope you weren't around?" I asked Him, "Remember what Lucifer said were the instruction of THE ONE."

"I know!" He screamed at me with fire burning out of His eyes and nostril, "Stop reminding me of that Tyrant in Heaven."

"Am sorry if I have offended you My lord," I said.

"its okay, Lucifer and I watched it all from the Thirteenth Realm. You know we can always see you and whatever that is around you; the injunction didn't cover that part.

"I personally came to convey the appreciation and message of The Council of Six to you. We like the act you have put up so far but time is of essence. THE ONE placed a time limit to the operation. From what we can see, the young man is in love with you but he is not sure if you love him.

"WE ARE INSTRUCTING YOU TO GENUINELY FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM."

"But My Lord that will be difficult," I said feebly, filled with trepidation that they already knew I was in love with him.

"We know that, we feel the hate in your heart and we are sure he can feel it too. We want you to fake as much of a genuine love as possible that no one can be able to feel the hate in your heart, not even us," And with that Anger disappeared.

They shouldn't have bothered. I was already in love with Eric but this edict of the Council of six was the cover I needed to show my love without fear.

The tears now streamed down my face. I was so jealousy he had spent our special dinner moments with another woman.

I was also sad that I will be killing the first being, both spiritual and physical, that I have ever loved. I was going to kill Eric; there was not a single doubt in my mind. I was the Queen of the Seekers. I was Satan's bride...

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND BUZZFEED
 
These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
 
Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Praise for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Readers who already love Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”—Booklist

“The real reason to check out this collection is that it’s simply great storytelling. Martin crafts a living, breathing world in a way few authors can. . . . [Gianni’s illustrations] really bring the events of the novellas to life in beautiful fashion.”—Tech Times

“Stirring . . . As Tolkien has his Silmarillion, so [George R. R.] Martin has this trilogy of foundational tales. They succeed on their own, but in addition, they succeed in making fans want more.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Pure fantasy adventure, with two of the most likable protagonists George R. R. Martin has ever penned.”—Bustle

“A must-read for Martin’s legion of fans . . . a rousing prelude to [his] bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga . . . rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series.”—Publishers Weekly
Acting For three hours, the hegemonic shadows deliberated the fate of Nigeria without informing the President, the Senate president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The sequence of events was as followed:
17:15 hours: Yar'Aduah died.
17:23 hours: The first-lady was informed.
17:30 hours: Calls were placed to members of the kitchen cabinet.
18:35 hours: After deliberating for one hour, members of the cabal decided to inform all former Heads of State, with the sole exception of General Olusegun Obasanjo.
18:55 hours: Obasanjo called a member of the cabal and informed him that he was aware of the meeting. Till date, no one can tell how Obasanjo came about the information.
19:18 hours: All former Heads of State were present, including Obasanjo, who joined the deliberation.
20:13 hours: The Director-General of the Department of State Services got an anonymous call, and was directed to inform the Acting President immediately.
20:18 hours: The DSS DG called the Acting President and was shocked when Jonathan told him he was aware the very moment the President died and, that he had already informed the Senate President, the Speaker of the House, the Chief Judge, and some Army chiefs. The President of a foreign super power had studied some satellite images provided to him by his intelligence services and had placed a call to Acting president Jonathan.
21:00 hours: It was decided that the dictates of the constitution be followed to the letter.
21:03 hours: The deliberating men were informed that the Acting President welcomed their decision. Most men present were flummoxed over how the Acting president got a message that has not been sent to him. A few didn't appear surprised.
22:19 hours: Other eminent Nigerians were informed of Yar'Aduah's death.
22:41 hours: The first media establishment got wind of the news.
The next day, 6th may, 2010, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan was sworn-in as substantial President of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
And Yar'Aduah was buried according to Islamic rites in his hometown in Katsina State.

This classic science fiction masterwork by Isaac Asimov weaves stories about robots, humanity, and the deep questions of existence into a novel of shocking intelligence and heart.
 
“A must-read for science-fiction buffs and literature enjoyers alike.”—The Guardian

I, Robot, the first and most widely read book in Asimov’s Robot series, forever changed the world’s perception of artificial intelligence. Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-reading robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asimov’s trademark. 

The Three Laws of Robotics:
1) A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov formulated the laws governing robots’ behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future—a  future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

“Tremendously exciting and entertaining . . . Asimov dramatizes an interesting question: How can we live with machines that, generation by generation, grow more intelligent than their creators and not eventually clash with our own invention?”—The Chicago Tribune
My mother was trying to convince my father to kill her.

Father would have none of it even as my mom kept persuading him that it was the right thing to do; the best option available amongst the choices. Father was adamant in his refusal.

This argument has been going on now for 72 hours as both party stuck to their earlier position - none agreeing to back down.

"Ngulinzira," Mother called father by his name. My mom rarely calls my dad by his name except whenever she wants to drive home a point, "you have to find the courage to do the needful."

"I can't bring myself to do it my darling wife Sonia Mukasonga. I can't!" Father cried - referring to mother by her full name - as mother cradled his head in her bosom. I have never seen my father cry before but in the pass 72 hours he has been crying like a baby.

As I hid behind the lace curtain eavesdropping on them, my young mind tried to make meaning of all that was happening around me. I was six years old then.

"But you must try Ngulinzira, you must have the courage to do it for us," Mother said still referring to father in a formal way. I guess it was a negotiation ploy to make it easier for father to do what she was begging him to do.

Mother looked lovely in her silk robe that hugged her slim figure. Her long hair was tied in a ponytail behind her and fell across her left shoulder. Mother had a blessed ancestry, her skin were creamy light like goat milk and she had a nose many Europeans would be proud of. Everyone said I looked like her.

From afar we heard some noises and my dad stiffened, looking around with frightened bloodshot eyes like a lost chicken. I could see that his hands were trembling as he clasped them together; the shaking made his whole body quake.

"They are coming here honey," my mom said calmly to my father, "remember, you must be courageous to do what needs to be done, that is the only way you can save them. I trust you will save them."

My dad cried as he tried to cling to my mother but mom gently removed his hands saying in a firm formal voice, "Ngulinzira Bizimungu, do not disappoint me. You must be strong for us; you must do it for us or I will never forgive you even in the hereafter."

Just then her eyes fell on me, and I thought she would be angry having caught me eavesdropping, but she walked toward me with outstretched arms; I ran to her and she lifted me up, planting kisses all over my face and saying, "Rosalie my poor baby, I will be leaving you soon but one day, hopefully when you are older, your father will explain to you what happened."

"Where are you going Nana?" I asked her not understanding why she sounded so sad and why I felt I would never see her again after that journey, "and why are you leaving? Don't you like Dada anymore?"

"No sweetie, I love your father very much but he must send me on this journey so that you can have a future and know what it means to be loved by a man and to have him love you back, but don't worry about it now Rosalie, one day you will understand."

An all-new Dresden Files story headlines this urban fantasy short story collection starring the Windy City’s favorite wizard.

The world of Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is rife with intrigue—and creatures of all supernatural stripes. And you’ll make their intimate acquaintance as Harry delves into the dark side of truth, justice, and the American way in this must-have short story collection.

From the Wild West to the bleachers at Wrigley Field, humans, zombies, incubi, and even fey royalty appear, ready to blur the line between friend and foe. In the never-before-published “Zoo Day,” Harry treads new ground as a dad, while fan-favorite characters Molly Carpenter, his onetime apprentice, White Council Warden Anastasia Luccio, and even Bigfoot stalk through the pages of more classic tales.

With twelve stories in all, Brief Cases offers both longtime fans and first-time readers tantalizing glimpses into Harry’s funny, gritty, and unforgettable realm, whetting their appetites for more to come from the wizard with a heart of gold.

The collection includes:

  •  “Curses,” from Naked City, edited by Ellen Datlow
  •  “AAAA Wizardry,” from the Dresden Files RPG
  •  “Even Hand,” from Dark and Stormy Knights, edited by P. N. Elrod
  •  “B is for Bigfoot,” from Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Republished in Working for Bigfoot.
  •  “I was a Teenage Bigfoot,” from Blood Lite III: Aftertaste, edited by Kevin J. Anderson. Republished in Working for Bigfoot.
  •  “Bigfoot on Campus,” from Hex Appeal, edited by P. N. Elrod. Republished in Working for Bigfoot.
  •  “Bombshells,” from Dangerous Women, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois
  •  “Jury Duty,” from Unbound, edited by Shawn Speakman
  •  “Cold Case,” from Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie Hughes
  •  “Day One,” from Unfettered II, edited by Shawn Speakman
  •  “A Fistful of Warlocks,” from Straight Outta Tombstone, edited by David Boop
  •  “Zoo Day,” a brand-new novella, original to this collection
A stunning collection from international bestseller Stephen King that displays his phenomenally broad readership (stories published in The New Yorker, Playboy, and McSweeney’s and including the 25,000 word story “Gingerbread Girl” published in Esquire).

Stephen King—who has written more than fifty books, dozens of number one New York Times bestsellers, and many unforgettable movies—delivers an astonishing collection of short stories, his first since Everything’s Eventual six years ago. As guest editor of the bestselling Best American Short Stories 2007, King spent over a year reading hundreds of stories. His renewed passion for the form is evident on every page of Just After Sunset. The stories in this collection have appeared in The New Yorker, Playboy, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, Esquire, and other publications.

Who but Stephen King would turn a Port-O-San into a slimy birth canal, or a roadside honky-tonk into a place for endless love? A book salesman with a grievance might pick up a mute hitchhiker, not knowing the silent man in the passenger seat listens altogether too well. Or an exercise routine on a stationary bicycle, begun to reduce bad cholesterol, might take its rider on a captivating—and then terrifying—journey. Set on a remote key in Florida, “The Gingerbread Girl” is a riveting tale featuring a young woman as vulnerable—and resourceful—as Audrey Hepburn’s character in Wait Until Dark. In “Ayana,” a blind girl works a miracle with a kiss and the touch of her hand. For King, the line between the living and the dead is often blurry, and the seams that hold our reality intact might tear apart at any moment. In one of the longer stories here, “N.,” which recently broke new ground when it was adapted as a graphic digital entertainment, a psychiatric patient’s irrational thinking might create an apocalyptic threat in the Maine countryside...or keep the world from falling victim to it.

Just After Sunset—call it dusk, call it twilight, it’s a time when human intercourse takes on an unnatural cast, when nothing is quite as it appears, when the imagination begins to reach for shadows as they dissipate to darkness and living daylight can be scared right out of you. It’s the perfect time for Stephen King.
Includes the story “The Man in the Black Suit”—set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the iconic, spine-tingling story collection that includes winners of an O. Henry Prize and other awards, and “Riding the Bullet,” which attracted over half a million online readers and became the most famous short story of the decade, as well as stories first published in The New Yorker, “1408,” made into a movie starring John Cusack.

“Riding the Bullet” is the story of Alan Parker, who’s hitchhiking to see his dying mother but takes the wrong ride, farther than he ever intended. In “Lunch at the Gotham Café,” a sparring couple’s contentious lunch turns very, very bloody when the maître d’ gets out of sorts. “1408,” the audio story in print for the first time, is about a successful writer whose specialty is “Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Graveyards,” or “Ten Nights in Ten Haunted Houses,” and though Room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel doesn’t kill him, he won’t be writing about ghosts anymore. And in “That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French,” terror is déjà vu at 16,000 feet.

Whether writing about encounters with the dead, the near dead, or about the mundane dreads of life, from quitting smoking to yard sales, Stephen King is at the top of his form in the fourteen “brilliantly creepy” (USA TODAY) tales assembled in Everything’s Eventual. Intense, eerie, and instantly compelling, they announce the stunningly fertile imagination of perhaps the greatest storyteller of our time.

Stories include:
-Autopsy Room Four
-The Man in the Black Suit
-All That You Love Will Be Carried Away
-The Death of Jack Hamilton
-In the Deathroom
-The Little Sisters of Eluria
-Everything's Eventual
-L.T.'s Theory of Pets
-The Road Virus Heads North
-Lunch at the Gotham Café
-That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French
-1408
-Riding the Bullet
-Luckey Quarter
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Get ready for the ultimate Jack Reacher experience: a thrilling new novella and eleven previously published stories, together for the first time in one pulse-pounding collection from Lee Child.

No Middle Name begins with “Too Much Time,” a brand-new work of short fiction that finds Reacher in a hollowed-out town in Maine, where he witnesses a random bag-snatching but sees much more than a simple crime. “Small Wars” takes readers back to 1989, when Reacher is an MP assigned to solve the brutal murder of a young officer found along an isolated forest road in Georgia—and whose killer may be hiding in plain sight. In “Not a Drill,” Reacher tries to take some downtime, but a pleasant hike in Maine turns into a walk on the wild side—and perhaps something far more sinister. “High Heat” time-hops to 1977, when Reacher is a teenager in sweltering New York City during a sudden blackout that awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps. Okinawa is the setting of “Second Son,” which reveals the pivotal moment when young Reacher’s sharp “lizard brain” becomes just as important as his muscle. In “Deep Down,” Reacher tracks down a spy by matching wits with four formidable females—three of whom are clean, but the fourth may prove fatal. Rounding out the collection are “Guy Walks into a Bar,” “James Penney’s New Identity,” “Everyone Talks,” “The Picture of the Lonely Diner,” “Maybe They Have a Tradition,” and “No Room at the Motel.”

No suitcase. No destination. No middle name. No matter how far Reacher travels off the beaten path, trouble always finds him. Feel bad for trouble.

Praise for No Middle Name
 
“Captivating . . . classic [Lee] Child . . . This volume demonstrates what his fans already know: he’s a born storyteller and an astute observer.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
“Lee Child, like his creation, always knows exactly what he’s doing—and he does it well. Time in his company is never wasted.”—Evening Standard
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A magnificent collection of Outlander short fiction—including two never-before-published novellas—featuring Jamie Fraser, Lord John Grey, Master Raymond, and many more, from Diana Gabaldon

Among the seven spellbinding pieces there is “The Custom of the Army,” which begins with Lord John Grey being shocked by an electric eel and ends at the Battle of Quebec. Then comes “The Space Between,” where it is revealed that the Comte St. Germain is not dead, Master Raymond appears, and a widowed young wine dealer escorts a would-be novice to a convent in Paris. In “A Plague of Zombies,” Lord John unexpectedly becomes military governor of Jamaica when the original governor is gnawed by what probably wasn’t a giant rat. “A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows” is the moving story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents during World War II. In “Virgins,” Jamie Fraser, aged nineteen, and Ian Murray, aged twenty, become mercenaries in France, no matter that neither has yet bedded a lass or killed a man. But they’re trying. . . . “A Fugitive Green” is the story of Lord John’s elder brother, Hal, and a seventeen-year-old rare book dealer with a sideline in theft, forgery, and blackmail. And finally, in “Besieged,” Lord John learns that his mother is in Havana—and that the British Navy is on their way to lay siege to the city.

Filling in mesmerizing chapters in the lives of characters readers have followed over the course of thousands of pages, Gabaldon’s genius is on full display throughout this must-have collection.

“Gabaldon is in fine form . . . weaving together characters’ lives, connecting plot points, and showing tantalizing glimpses of the larger Outlander world, of which this reader can never get enough.”—Historical Novels Review
Includes the stories “Uncle Otto’s Truck” and “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”—set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

Features “The Mist” now a TV series event on Spike

The #1 New York Times bestseller and winner of the 1986 Locus Award for Best Collection, Skeleton Crew is “Stephen King at his best” (The Denver Post)—a terrifying, mesmerizing collection of stories from the outer limits of one of the greatest imaginations of our time.

“Wildly imaginative, delightfully diabolical…King once again proves to be the consummate storyteller” (The Associated Press).

A supermarket becomes the place where humanity makes its last stand against destruction. A trip to the attic becomes a journey to hell. A woman driving a Jaguar finds a scary shortcut to paradise. An idyllic lake harbors a bottomless evil. And a desert island is the scene of the most terrifying struggle for survival ever waged. This “wonderfully gruesome” collection (The New York Times Book Review) includes:

-“The Mist”
-“Here There Be Tygers”
-“The Monkey”
-“Cain Rose Up”
-“Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut”
-“The Jaunt”
-“The Wedding Gig”
-“Paranoid: A Chant”
-“The Raft”- “Word Processor of the Gods”
-“The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands”
-“Beachworld”
-“The Reaper’s Image”
-“Nona”
-“For Owen”
-“Survivor Type”
-“Uncle Otto’s Truck”
-“Morning Deliveries (Milkman No. 1)”
-“Big Wheels: a Tale of the Laundry Game (Milkman No. 2)”
-“Gramma”
-“The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet”
-“The Reach”

King is best known for his iconic, immersive long novels, but he is also a master of the short story, and this is a magnificent collection.
Includes the story “The Sun Dog”—set in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine

The Bram Stoker Prize-winner for Best Fiction Collection—four chilling novellas from Stephen King that will “grab you and not let go” (The Washington Post).

With the success of the Hulu series 11/22/63 starring James Franco and the highly anticipated The Dark Tower movie release, Stephen King's brand is stronger than ever. This collection, nominated for a Locus Award, is guaranteed to keep readers awake long after bedtime, and features an introduction and prefatory notes to each novella by the author. “Stephen King is a master storyteller, and you will never forget these stories,” raves the Seattle Times about Four Past Midnight.

One Past Midnight: “The Langoliers” takes a red-eye flight from LA to Boston into a most unfriendly sky. Only eleven passengers survive, but landing in an eerily empty world makes them wish they hadn’t. Something’s waiting for them, you see.

Two Past Midnight: “Secret Window, Secret Garden” enters the suddenly strange life of writer Mort Rainey, recently divorced, depressed, and alone on the shore of Tashmore Lake. Alone, that is, until a figure named John Shooter arrives, pointing an accusing finger.

Three Past Midnight: “The Library Policeman” is set in Junction City, Iowa, an unlikely place for evil to be hiding. But for small businessman Sam Peebles, who thinks he may be losing his mind, another enemy is hiding there as well—the truth. If he can find it in time, he might stand a chance.

Four Past Midnight: “The Sun Dog,” a menacing black dog, appears in every Polaroid picture that fifteen-year-old Kevin Delevan takes with his new camera, beckoning him to the supernatural. Old Pop Merrill, Castle Rock’s sharpest trader, aims to exploit The Sun Dog for profit, but this creature that shouldn’t exist at all, is a very dangerous investment.
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