We’re having a particularly humid summer here on the Oregon Coast. In an average year, July is our driest month, at about 63 percent humidity. We spent much of July this year at more than 90 percent humidity. We don’t normally hit that even in the winter. Our max average is just above 80 percent humidity.

And although our temperatures have been about average (in the 60s), that humidity still takes a toll. (I know, I know, those of you living in places like the Southeast, Midwest, and other regions or countries with hot, humid climates just rolled your eyes, but hear me out.) We’re not used to this here on the Oregon Coast. I’m used to having to bundle up in layers to walk to work because of the cooler temperatures and strong winds, but when you have to wear a jacket and it’s still warmish and humid: you sweat when you move. And now that I’m on that walking streak, that means even though I can now drive, I often don’t. I still prefer to walk as many places as I can…while I can. If I wanted to get all sweaty just because I stepped outside, I’d live in the Southeast near my family.

I know I shouldn’t complain. We’re far better off here than a lot of you are in other areas of the Northern Hemisphere right now, weather-wise. So, I’ll stop whining about it.

Besides, I have a much more interesting kind of steam-related topic to talk about. Steampunk. And sorcery. Because this Wednesday marks the launch of our latest Storybundle, Sorcery & Steam, curated by Dean Wesley Smith. And although most of you know the drill on Storybundles already, this one is different for us.

For the first time since we’ve been doing Storybundles, the three books in this bundle are exclusive to the Storybundle. We’ll release them wide once the Storybundle ends, but until then, this bundle is the only way to get them as soon as possible. (With one exception: Fiction River Presents ebook subscribers received the new volume the same day the Storybundle launched, per their subscription terms. For more information on Fiction River Presents subscriptions, click here.)

Those books are: Killing the Angel of Death by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Luck Be Ladies: A Poker Boy Collection by Dean Wesley Smith, and Fiction River Presents: Sorcery & Steam, edited by Gwyneth Gibby.

Here are the synopses for each book:

Killing the Angel of Death

When Roderigo and Izzy form a group to stop the Angel of Death from taking more innocent lives, they realize they need help. One by one, Roderigo recruits people who see the creatures, who know their evil magic, who suffer from the damage the angels wreak.

When Roderigo enlists the newest recruit—a war-damaged sniper—he achieves the formula for the group’s ultimate success. But he might have just doomed the group to the ultimate failure.

A gut-wrenching story about love, loss, and the powerful inevitability of grief.

Luck Be Ladies

Superhero Poker Boy works for Stan, the God of Poker. But sometimes Poker Boy and his team come to the aid of Lady Luck, the most powerful God of them all. And the boss of everything.

In these five Poker Boy stories, meet three of Lady Luck’s four daughters. In the novella, “For the Balance of a Heart,” Lady Luck asks Poker Boy to find her missing daughter, the Queen of Hearts. In “That Lost Riddle,” Poker Boy helps the Queen of Diamonds solve an ancient riddle. And in “The Rules of the Game,” Poker Boy assists Lady Luck with her warrior daughter, the Queen of Clubs.

But Poker Boy also gets to save Lady Luck in “Luck Be a Lady” and rescue Lady Luck’s one great love in “You Forgive the Night’s Scream.”

Enjoy the crazy world of Poker Boy, one of the newest and most puzzling superheroes you might ever meet.

Fiction River Presents: Sorcery & Steam

Steampunk and sorcery offer fantastic flights of imagination in this latest volume of Fiction River Presents. From the merciless march of Lovecraftian prose to the echoes of Russell Hoban’s Ridley Walker, these nine authors create convincing and compelling worlds that feel like familiar places from some past life or dream. With engaging characters often caught in agonizing situations, this spellbinding volume proves why Adventures Fantastic says the Fiction River series “is one of the best and most exciting publications in the field today.”

Includes:
“Murmuration of a Darkening Sea” by Lee Allred
“Heart” by Leslie Claire Walker
“The Whirring Dreams of Aberrant Blood” by Cindie Geddes
“The Clunkety” by Brenda Carre
“Skinwalker” by Valerie Brook
“Dead Men Walking” by Annie Reed
“The Airship Adventures of Captain Jane Fury” by Anthea Sharp
“Trouble Aboard the Flying Scotsman” by Alistair Kimble
“The Scottish Play” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

For more information or to buy this Storybundle, click here.

I can’t think of a better distraction from the steamy weather outside than sitting someplace cool and reading great books.

Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer, working mother, and brain tumor survivor.