In which we celebrate the publication of beautiful new print editions of three of our very favorite books: The Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K. Höst!
Beautiful Cover Art by Kirbi Fagan
We Book Smugglers have been busy in 2017–we launched our novella program, another season of short stories, and finished a kickstarter campaign. We also have been hard at work on a project with Andrea K. Höst, for one of our very favorite SFF series–today we are thrilled to share with you our Book Smugglers Publishing editions of Stray, Lab Rat One, and Caszandra.
Behold! The Smugglerific Covers!
About the Books
Part One of the Touchstone Trilogy
On her last day of high school, Cassandra Devlin walked out of exams and into a forest. Surrounded by the wrong sort of trees, and animals never featured in any nature documentary, Cass is only sure of one thing: alone, she will be lucky to survive.
The sprawl of abandoned blockish buildings Cass discovers offers her only more puzzles. Where are the people? What is the intoxicating mist which drifts off the buildings in the moonlight? And why does she feel like she’s being watched?
Increasingly unnerved, Cass is overjoyed at the arrival of the formidable Setari. Whisked to a world as technologically advanced as the first was primitive, where nanotech computers are grown inside people’s skulls, and few have any interest in venturing outside the enormous whitestone cities, Cass finds herself processed as a ‘stray’, a refugee displaced by the gates torn between worlds. Struggling with an unfamiliar language and culture, she must adapt to virtual classrooms, friends who can teleport, and the ingrained attitude that strays are backward and slow.
Can Cass ever find her way home? And after the people of her new world discover her unexpected value, will they be willing to let her leave?
Lab Rat One
Part Two of the Touchstone Trilogy
In the months since Cassandra Devlin walked off Earth onto another planet, she has grappled with everything from making blankets to helping psychics battle the memories of monsters. Not able to find a way home, she has instead gained friends and a purpose. Unfortunately, that purpose brings with it the pressure of being more than a little valuable, and those she has befriended are also her guards, ordered to explore and control her abilities to find out just what it is a touchstone can do.
Test subject was not the career path Cass had been planning.
With no privacy, too-frequent injuries, and the painful knowledge that she must always be an assignment to her Setari companions, Cass can only wish for some semblance of normality and control.
And as her abilities become more and more dangerous, tests and training may be the only thing capable of protecting Cass from herself.
Part Three of the Touchstone Trilogy
Cassandra Devlin doesn’t know what she’s for. But she knows she’s running out of time.
Since Cass was rescued from the abandoned world of Muina, the Aussie teen has proven more than useful to the people of Tare. Expeditions to their home world no longer end in slaughter. The teaching city of Kalasa has been unlocked. After years of searching for answers, they are starting to make progress.
But space is tearing itself apart. Ionoth attack in ever-greater numbers. And “the useful stray” has been injured so many times that the Tarens hesitate to use her for fear of losing her.
With one particular Taren now her most important person, Cass is determined to contribute everything she can – and hopes to find some answers of her own. What is the link between Muina and Earth? Why are the reclusive Nurans so interested in ‘rescuing’ her? And what role in the crisis do the inhuman Cruzatch play?
Can Cass keep herself together long enough to find out?
About the Author
Andrea K Höst was born in Sweden but raised in Australia – mainly in Townsville, Queensland. She now lives in Sydney.
Andrea writes fantasy and science fantasy, and enjoys creating stories set in worlds which slightly skew our social expectations, and most especially give her female characters something more to do than wait for rescue.
Her novel “The Silence of Medair” was a finalist for the 2010 Aurealis Awards for best fantasy novel, while her novel “And All the Stars” was a finalist for both the 2012 Aurealis Awards and 2012 Cybils Awards.
You can catch the latest news from Andrea at her site: andreakhost.com
About the Artist
Kirbi Fagan is an award-winning, Detroit based cover illustrator who specializes in YA and MG fiction, fantasy and comics. Her illustrations are known for their magic themes, nostalgic mood, bright colors, and powerful characters. She received her bachelor’s degree in Illustration from Kendall College of Art and Design. Kirbi’s work has been acknowledged by organizations such as Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, ImagineFX, Art Order and the International Writers & Illustrators of the Future.
Visit her website www.kirbiillustrations.com
How to Get the Books
All three of the Touchstone paperback books are available now on Amazon!
Stray | Lab Rat One | Caszandra
Add the books on Goodreads: Stray, Lab Rat One, Caszandra.
To celebrate the release of the newly repackaged trilogy, we are giving away one set of the paperback books to a lucky winner! This is open internationally, and will run until 1/2/2018! To enter, use the form below–and good luck!
Presenting The Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K. Höst – HeadlinesDecember 21, 2017 at 11:00 am
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Maria HaskinsDecember 21, 2017 at 11:33 am
Favourite SFF novel… TOO MANY! I just read V.E. Schwab’s Darker Shade of Magic trilogy and absolutely fell in love with that world.
Mary ADecember 21, 2017 at 1:09 pm
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Thanks for the giveaway.
Gerd DuernerDecember 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001 – A Space Odyssey”
I re-read it regularly.
Theresa WollensteinDecember 21, 2017 at 3:17 pm
Currently loving the Expanse books!
Laura ChristnsenDecember 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm
My favorite SFF “novel” is actually probably the Touchstone books, considering how many times I’ve read/reread them so far, and how many times I’ve recommended them to people. >.>
Otherwise, my audiobook favorite re-listens are Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. I’m currently re-listening to The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison, though. I love the slow build and the characters and immersive world. 🙂
LauraDecember 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm
Haha, I was so excited I didn’t even spell my own name right. Oh well! XD
Mary PrestonDecember 21, 2017 at 4:34 pm
I have to say “Howl’s Moving Castle”.
Rebecca navnetDecember 21, 2017 at 6:26 pm
My favorite series are the Touchstone trilogy of course and the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Cant pick between them
Estara SwanbergDecember 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm
OH I love especially the Lab Rat and the Caszandra one, so perfect once you’ve read the book. YAY!!
John SmithDecember 21, 2017 at 6:53 pm
My favorite fantasy is still “The Lord Of the Rings”.” And regarding portal/parallel world stories, I loved the BBC series “Lost In Austen,” where our heroine goes through a portal and finds herself in “Pride and Prejudice.”
CarolynDecember 22, 2017 at 1:03 am
My favorite recent SFF portal novel is “Every Heart a Doorway”. Thanks for the giveaway!
HerenyaDecember 22, 2017 at 6:18 am
Oh these covers are gorgeous! I love the light in them and how they fit the stories. They also do a really good job of signalling the trilogy’s genre – I can imagine new readers looking at them and thinking “that looks like my sort of book”.
My favourite SSF novel is always going to be The Lord of the Rings. And I’m in the middle of rereading one of my favourite parallel/other worlds stories, Diana Wynne Jones’ Deep Secret.
JoanDecember 22, 2017 at 8:13 am
Love, love this trilogy! Own bookstore and recommend these all the time. Is there a way I can get some wholesale to sell in my store?
FranceneDecember 22, 2017 at 9:57 am
Oh, there are so many to choose between from Lois Mcmaster Bujold to Jo Walton. Today I’m going to say Jo Walton’s Among others is one of my favorite SFF books because I hope to hear her speak in a few months at a conference.
JoannaDecember 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm
Hard to pick a favorite, but The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne Valente, is one I’ve reread a number of times!
Pamela HillisDecember 22, 2017 at 2:15 pm
My favorite non-series are the Forgotten Beasts of Eld, the Goblin Emperor, and Medair. My favorite portal is Touchstone!
Katy K.December 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm
Today I’ll say the Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones is a portal fantasy good enough to be worth reading aloud.
ElianaDecember 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm
One of my favorite SFF novels is Tam Lin by Pamela Dean… I have reread it so many times it feels etched in my heart. …I’m not sure if the Elfland crossover counts as a portal world, however, since the protagonist certainly never leaves our world.
…but another favorite, with a clearer portal/parallel world system, is Deep Secrect by Diana Wynne Jones.
James B FranksDecember 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm
The one I keep going back to. Have Space Suit Will Travel.
KolbieDecember 23, 2017 at 12:20 am
I would have to say the Touchstone Trilogy! I reread them all the time!
MindyDecember 23, 2017 at 2:27 am
The Fairyland Series by Catherine M Valente.
JenniferDecember 23, 2017 at 4:32 am
My favorite SFF novel? Hard to pick just one. The Neverending Story is one I reread and still want to read again.
Alexandra the GreatDecember 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm
How can I choose!? SFF has been my genre of choice ever since I picked up A Wrinkle in Time from my grade 5 class library. But to answer your question, anything by Robin McKinley, Sorcery and Cecelia (or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot), To Say Nothing of the Dog… and, of course, the Touchstone trilogy. I’ve read it many times over the last few years, and I can’t wait to own physical copies!
Elizabeth T.December 25, 2017 at 2:55 pm
I have so many favorites, and I especially enjoy Andrea Höst’s books!
DonnaDecember 26, 2017 at 2:36 pm
M favorites: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Graceling by Kristen Cashore and The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I would like to read Andrea’s trilogy.
Sharon TDecember 26, 2017 at 2:59 pm
Love these books! I re-read them periodically because the characters and the worlds leave me to wonder. Thank you!
JuliaDecember 26, 2017 at 7:40 pm
Touchstone series is currently my fave! Urban fantasies are usually my go-to read, though.
C.N. RowenDecember 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm
Favorite Portal SFF is currently EVERY HEART A DOORWAY.
JASMINEDecember 30, 2017 at 10:19 am
My favourite sff novel would probably have to be either an accident of stars by Foz Meadows or the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
Kim AippersbachDecember 31, 2017 at 1:49 am
Love these covers! I re-read these books all the time. Favourite SFF is anything written by Lois McMaster Bujold. Or Megan Whalen Turner.
kelly woodsJanuary 1, 2018 at 11:26 pm
I have never read one but would like to. Thank you
Beth RasmussenJanuary 4, 2018 at 1:19 pm
Beautiful covers — but will you be making an arrangement with Amazon.ca? Someone is reselling for $45 — which is around an extra 30% on top of foreign exchange. ><
I can maybe argue myself into buying a $35 hardcopy of a book I already own digitally — but as I need to get all 3 — that's getting a little nuts.
Beth RasmussenJanuary 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm
Well — apparently I can still order directly from .com … *facepalm* — but it’s weird that .ca doesn’t immediately also have them. Not like there’s an ocean between us — just endless red tape.
Spencer ZimpelDecember 13, 2020 at 10:13 pm
Spencer ZimpelDecember 13, 2020 at 10:14 pm
Thx for this post