Banty Hen Publishing is an independent publishing house. We specialize in multiple types of fiction. Our flagship authors include Michael Angel, Sugar Lee Ryder, Devlin Church, Dr. Robert Yoho, and J.D. Cutler.
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The Hands of God
on June 19, 2011
A touching, compelling read...
Fourteen year-old Pamela Ruka is a veritable innocent, a sweet girl who lives with her grandfather. But not is all as it seems. We find out that Pamela's lost both of her hands in a tragic accident. Her grandfather treats her as little more than a marker for potential insurance money, and locks her in the house each and every day.
...and then we learn out that she has a strange gift for picking out patterns. A gift that allows her to pick out the winning racehorses...and lead to her liberation from her tragically shut-in life.
'The Hands of God' doesn't follow a path that one expects. There's something for everyone - heart-tugging scenes of friendship and family, tension-filled chases, a dash of speculative science, and ultimately, an exploration of God's purpose for all of us.
on July 04, 2011
Karen Abrahamson crafts a superb fantasy thriller with a spicy note of romance thrown into the mix.
Vallon Drake's one of the Gifted, a woman with the power to 'edit' the world so that buildings, neighborhoods, or entire landscapes can come into - or be erased out - of existence. This gives rise to a fun and entertaining conceit: that the American Geological Survey is in fact the most powerful group in the Homeland Security agency.
But Vallon's faith in the agency and her powers are challenged the night that one of her fellow agents - and a recent ex-boyfriend - is murdered. Specifically, murdered by someone with that same awe-inspiring cartographic ability.
Afterburn's an original and engrossing take on urban fantasy. It'll keep you reading through the night as Vallon must solve the case...and in the process, put her life and loyalties to the test.
Wasted On The Young
on July 04, 2011
David Schibi gives us a winning chiller of a story...one that recalls the darkest episodes of 'The Twilight Zone'. Schibi has a touch for creating memorable characters that nonetheless can make one shiver, as in 'The Harvest' and many of his other tales.
Burt's secret to near-immortality is one that turns him into a truly scary predator. But to keep this review spoiler-free, you'll have to give this a read...and don't do it too late at night!
The Bee Lady's Amulet
on July 04, 2011
Archaeological dig volunteer Melinda Kaibell is plucked from her own time by the goddess Askar. She's placed in the Bronze Age, during the glorious climax of the Minoan Civilization on Crete.
The catch? She's aware of the catastrophic eruption that completely wiped out this civilization, and it's happening in a matter of weeks. Can she deal with her emergence in this ancient time, her near-deification, and a budding romance, all while trying to save Askar's people?
Linn Henderson gives us a time-travel fantasy romance that's both mystical and engaging. I don't want to give away too many of the story's many plot twists, but it seems that Melinda's not the only time traveler that Askar's put in harm's way...
Highly recommended as an intro to the works of Ms. Henderson or Lilac Moon Books.
Monkey: An Indian Tale
on July 29, 2011
This is a quirky tale sure to delight, and provide surprising insights.
The story follows the strange, amusing journey of Tugli, a man who lives quite contentedly inside of metal box alongside a street in modern-day India. He's plagued by the generosity of an old lady who works at the restaurant down the street, who brings him bags of pungent pickles.
To his surprise, the one time he stashes the pickles atop his box (to prevent them from smelling up his tiny abode), they vanish. But things take a turn for the worse when the old lady stops bringing the goods...and the reason for the vanishing gifts - a disgruntled monkey - expresses his extreme displeasure.
Without giving too much away, this sends Tugli (whose patience is saintlike!) on a journey across India to find a new source of these specifically spiced pickles. And what he discovers will warm one's heart and teach some valuable lessons as to what's important in life.
'Monkey' perfectly captures the feel of a fable, and is suitable for all ages.
Mistress of Molecules
on July 29, 2011
Gerald Weinberg's sci-fi work 'Mistress of Molecules' is, on the surface, a tale about chemicals, eco-terrorism, and interstellar travel. However, it works on another level - one of two people, each seeking freedom of their own. They may start out in different sections of the galaxy, but it's when they come together that things kick into high gear.
Libra, a gifted chemist, seeks to liberate the residents of her planet, Precursor, from the pollution-spewing policies that cut lifespan by almost half. Making matters even more dangerous is the nature of her society, which is run by a quasi-religious police state.
In another part of the galaxy, the young man Andre is brought up amidst squalor and abuse, in both his own household and in the religious order he's inducted into. Some of the book's more tense and gripping scenes take place where Andre finally rebels, and desperately flees the confines of the monastary-island and stows away aboard a starship.
Andre, against all odds, manages to survive and thrive amidst the alien race he encounters, the Zgaarid. But his world is turned upside down yet again as he meets the mysterious and intriguingly alluring Libra on Precursor.
Without giving away any more spoilers, let's just say that their road together doesn't run smoothly. But it's wide, deep, and the consequences shape the future of both the humans' world and that of the Zgaarid.
A solid, engaging sci-fi read!
Jack Dervish, Super Spy
on Nov. 20, 2011
Jack Dervish is, quite possibly, the most interesting kid on the planet. Imagine being one of the children from the family in the 'Spy Kids' franchise...only your parents have mysteriously disappeared!
But Jack, being fantastically logical, forward-thinking, and disciplined, reacts by living in his parents’ super-spy lair, learning every super-spy skill, creating fantastical gadgets...
..and realizes that unless he gets out into the world and attends school, he'll be forever alone and isolated. I mean, even Batman needed to get out and visit Gotham, whether as Bruce Wayne or the Caped Crusader, right?
Most stories would then take the tried-and-safe route of making the super-intelligent, super-cool spy kid have to face his biggest challenge: blending in with other kids, dealing with his first crush, etc. OK, there's some of that in this.
But bigger, badder things await, and Jack comes up against an evil mastermind who, in classic James-Bond-villain fashion, wants to take over the world...
...and that same person may just know what happened to Jack's parents!
Fast-paced, fun, and fully engaging, this is a book you have got to read. And I'm already waiting for another!
Music to Die By
on Dec. 28, 2011
Still waters run dark and deep...
On the surface, Shanti Hazard has a promising career as the lead singer in the indie band Gorot. A globe-trotting free spirit (raised in Ireland and France, yet settling down in Japan), she and her bandmates are making an all-out attempt to carve out a name on the Japanese rock band circuit.
All that's cut short when a man she's known during her troubled childhood appears during one of her shows. One who knows of the horrific secret that she and her brother Alastair tried to bury deep.
But not all secrets are *meant* to stay buried.
Author Rose Nanashima gives us a cool, noir-esque look into Japan's underground music scene. She's also got a keen eye for detail and a real understanding of punk/grunge rock. Though languidly paced, the plot twists ever tighter as Shanti's nemesis manages to slip inside of her circle of friends. Definitely worth a read if you're into pot-boiler style suspense with an international twist.
The Spirit of Harlem
on Dec. 31, 2011
Felicity Savage’s writing works on multiple levels of literary understanding. On the surface, this is an arresting tale of an intervention – an attempt to move a promising young artist off her path towards self-destruction.
At the same time, I sense deeper levels of meaning. At some level, a lot of the drama and existential frustration in this story – and in life – revolves around language. More than once, the narrator bumps into these linguistic walls that create walls in the mind that are almost impossible to see before they are hit.
Sharp, poignant, and rich with meaning, this is a gem of a short story for those who like intelligent literature with an edge.
on Dec. 31, 2011
I thoroughly liked the story of Maya Papaya, but this is a tough book to categorize. The best I can come up with is a fruit-salad type mixture (not unlike Maya’s name!) that tosses in The Island of Dr. Moreau, Johnny Quest, Spy Kids, even a dash of Home Alone.
Maya’s early life is shrouded in mystery. She lives with her guardian, Mr. Norbert, who instructs her never to show her four-foot long prehensile tail. Even more interestingly, Norbert disappears for short periods of time into the attic, where she’s forbidden.
Until the day comes that Mr. Norbert is called away for a few hours...and Maya’s curiosity gets the better of her. Her shocking discovery in the attic leads to her questioning who – and what – she really is. And no sooner does she start trying to figure this than she’s placed on a ship to India in order to...
...well, you’ll just have to read the book, won’t you?
Intriguing and fun, with action and mystery that’s perfect for kids or young adults.
The Pearl Witch
on May 29, 2012
Tarin Peterson's sex life takes a turn for the surreal when she begins climaxing by shooting blue bolts of energy from her hands. These are serious releases of energy, ones that burn down houses or take down small planes.
Before one can suspect a case of universe's worst 'hot flashes', the story shifts from sexual comedy into a story with real stakes. Tarin's one of a very few gifted individuals who can manifest and manipulate sexual energy, and there are those who want to control and use it.
The book follows Tarin's attempts to control and utilize her power - for me, it was a highly entertaining variant on what the X-men's Cyclops must have had to go through as a teen - and how she deals with the two main men in the story. One's a hunky sex magician who has her best interests at heart. The other secretly wants to use her power to facilitate an alien invasion!
The Pearl Witch is at turns touching and surprisingly erotic. It definitely falls in genre of 'hot romance'. Yes, there's some S&M material in here, but it's handled tastefully and may even serve to introduce the reader to some situations that they find a turn-on. (Rest assured, most 'doms' are not seeking to exploit their 'subs' in order to open a portal between universes.)
Earth's Endless Effort
on Dec. 17, 2012
'Neuromancer' with wooden, not circuit boards...
Hunted, wounded, and on the run, Daphne DeFreest wakes up within the confines of a most unique healing unit - the embrace of a sentient forest entity that she dubs 'LAFE'. She and the being quickly establish a bond, which allows Daphne to work back in the human world in order to prevent a pipeline project from cutting the forest in half and effectively lobotomizing her new-found friend!
At turns touching and thought-provoking, this is a story that the hard-core science fiction community will enjoy. I liken this work to 'Neuromancer' because (spoiler alert, unless you read the Book Description) we learn that there are *other* gestalt entities out there around the globe that will also play a major part in the story.
Highly recommended for a fast, intelligent read.
on July 30, 2013
Short, but sweet!
This is a short, fast-paced story that is a prime example of how to do what's called a 'bottle' story: that is, a story that focuses on only 2-3 characters, and most importantly is confined to a small, definite space.
The narrator is a passenger on a damaged Zgaarid ship, one that's on course to plunge into a sun! The only way to save themselves is to find a single damaged piece of code among millions, making this a needle-in-a-haystack kind of problem. This is complicated by having to deal with some of the most passive-aggressive aliens I've come across in sci-fi (they even have a formal Chastising Voice) who resist the use of logic to reduce the guesswork.
In sum: A real find, and a great introduction to the excellent works of Gerald Weinberg.