Tag Archive | demons

Books I read in November


Cemetery at Devil’s Bend

by Gina Moray

A well-written and spooky short story that grabs hold of you at the start and drags you along to the end.
Plenty of suspense and twists to keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat, right up to the surprising conclusion.
I was, very quickly, just as curious as Marty, to find out about the creepy cemetery.

 

Something strange is happening to Pine Creek. A cemetery pops up just outside of town and it’s fueling the residents’ fears. The headstones bare the names of residents interred in town and the townsfolk are left wondering … what’s buried beneath the soil. Marty Duller, a historian with a passion for cemeteries, starts to ask questions and learns that all is not what it seems in Pine Creek. There are more than bodies buried in the town’s history and their very souls may be at risk.

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Ascension Within: A Story of Angels & Fallen-Angels

by Julie Nicholls

Wow! A fantastic conclusion to what has been a fantastic series.

For the final time, I joined Eloise, Kai, and all their friends in their adventures as they endeavoured to win the game and save all of humanity.
I am going to miss them all!

I don’t know what to say about this book, that I haven’t said about the previous two.
The steamy scenes, violent fights, surprises, intrigue, and adventure that I loved, in the first two books, are all back in this book, along with more sadness, joy, secrets, rage and excitement.

If you haven’t read Demon Within and Angel Within, then you need to read them before you read this one.

Thanks again to Julie Nicholls who gifted me an eCopy of the book. 

The story continues from book two, Angel Within, where we left Eloise in a state of unrest at Kai’s disappearance. Can Eloise save Kai? If she does, is he going to be the same man she fell in love with? Or will he revert to his old persona? Confused by overwhelming emotions of despair and betrayal over losing her lover, Eloise finds inner strength and rages with determined purpose to aid her husband’s return.
Together with her comrades and the angel, Anael, she makes her plan to rescue Kai, but as always when dealing with angels, it is not so easy. The angels are cooking more plots and schemes; they just won’t leave the mortals alone! Anael reveals additional secrets regarding Eloise and Kai’s past, and she’s angry and hurt. Lashing out at the Angel, she condemns his actions and his interferences with the lives of mortals.
The battle is on to release Kai, and to save the souls of man from Nivel, a dark angel. He’s playing a dangerous game and the prize is all of humanity.
The witch Jana is aiding Nivel. What deceit is she planning this time after hiding her intentions in Angel Within? Nivel strives to win a game he and Anael started over 25 years ago, but who has the better team?
You will learn everything in the final book, Ascension Within, book three in the Fallen Angels Series.
Ascension Within has more secrets and plots, just as with Demon Within, and Angel Within. Together with sensual, erotic bedroom scenes, and an adventure that will keep you guessing, you will be riveted to know the conclusion of this saga.
The Fallen Angels series is a story of love, passion, good overpowering evil, and loyalty.
Includes an additional bonus short story
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The 11th Percent

by T.H. Morris

I enjoyed this exciting, fast-paced and original book. It brings a fresh and unique look at spirits and the afterlife.

The story is well-written, with lots of action and plenty of suspense. I was hooked from the first page.

Johan and the supporting cast were well-developed, had their own personalities, and were, for the most part, likeable. Even the unpleasant Trip, turned out not to be a villain, which I didn’t see coming!

Thanks to the descriptive and engaging writing, I felt as though I had joined Johan and his new friends in the challenging world of the 11th Percenters.

The book ended well, leaving room to continue the story, but without a cliffhanger.

Thank you to the author for gifting me an eCopy of the book.

Jonah Rowe, a bored accountant and aspiring novelist, is sick and tired of his job as an accountant. He is burnt out from all the office gossip, politics, and double talk, and he longs for his life to matter. Truth be told, Jonah wants anything besides the lame routine of coasting through his workday….only to psych himself up enough to do it all over again the next day. He only wishes that his life had some meaning.

Amidst the combination of writer’s block and society’s expectations to have a “real” 9-5 job, Jonah gets his wish.

His world is turned completely upside down one evening when his vision inexplicably turns blue for several moments. He then receives a warning from a spectral visitor that not only is he in danger, but everything in his life is about to change.

Overnight, Jonah transforms from an overworked, underpaid accountant to the centerpiece of a spectral battle. Will he rise to the occasion? Can he accept that everything he knows about life and death is completely wrong? And, most importantly, will he be able to comprehend and harness the power of the mysterious 11th Percent?

Follow Jonah’s journey in this new breed of ghost story!

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The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen

by R.T. Lowe

I really enjoyed reading this book. If you like your books short and sweet, this isn’t the book for you!
I have no problems reading a good long book as it gives me something to sink my teeth into.

The Prologue is long and at first I was unable to see the connection to the story, but it all made sense as events happen and the various plot lines meet along the way.

Q. What do you get if you mix monsters attacking and eating people in a forest, a serial killer who kills teenagers, a stalker, a band of assassins and a group of college kids?
A. A damn good story!!

The book is well-paced, with vivid descriptions, and plenty of suspense and action. There are violent scenes, some of which are quite graphic. However, there is also normal college life and moments of humour.

Felix and his friends are all realistically portrayed and wonderfully fleshed out. As are The Faceman and other villains of the piece.

I was surprised and slightly disappointed to find the end of the book wasn’t the end of this complex story and I am eager to find out what the author has planned next, for Felix and his friends.

I received an ecopy of “The Felix Chronicles: Freshmen” from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.
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Awethology Dark

by The #Awethors

A great collection of stories by some awesome authors. Some of the authors were ‘new to me’ and this was a great introduction to their writing.

I find with most anthologies, that I prefer some stories to others and this book isn’t really any different. Though in fairness to all the authors involved, I have to say that I am struggling to pick only one or two favourites, as they were all well written and all held my interest.

I am looking forward, with anticipation, to reading the other book of the pair, Awethology Light

Because one voice in your head isn’t enough, here are so many more, as the Awethors chime together with our vast collection of stories and poetry to make you laugh, make you cry and make you feel alive. We are the Awethors and these are our words to you.

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Vampyr: The Complete Trilogy

by K. M. McFarland

I enjoyed this somewhat steamy trilogy, and getting to know all the characters and their relationships to one another.
K. M. McFarland has taken the vampire genre and given it a new twist, giving us vampires with ‘humanity’ but without losing their predatory nature, and a unique take on vampire reincarnation.
My feelings towards the characters changed often, some for the better and others from like to dislike, depending on their role within the story.

As characters joined, left and reappeared, it could have got complicated and confusing, but the author kept it all straight in my mind.

My only complaint would be the occasional repetitiveness of one character explaining the past to one another, but all in all, it was an entertaining and interesting read.

The author gifted an ecopy of this trilogy to me

Vampires are alive and well in the Big Easy. In the modern world of forensics, technology, and security cameras everywhere, vampires are now forced to live in secret. In this new age where vampires have evolved into gentle predators mainly depending on alternative methods for acquiring blood, vampire bars have risen in popularity. Owned by a former rock star turned vampire, Quinn Forrester, Vampyr is New Orleans’ most popular venue. Aside from being the French Quarter’s coolest music club, it is also a secret vampire bar serving the finest quality human blood to its vampire clientele. The cryptic alley next to it seduces the most delectable humans just itching to quench a vampire’s thirst. Welcome to Vampyr…

SONG OF THE VAMPIRE: Successful rock star, Quinn Forrester, isolates himself after being turned to a vampire. Eighteen years later, a chance meeting with the daughter he abandoned as a baby the night he was turned shakes his lonely, tormented world.

UNDER A BOURBON STREET MOON: Quinn and his vampire lover seem to have the perfect romance, but their relationship is put to the test when a beautiful mortal woman from his past and an adorable country singer, who has just arrived from Nashville with her own connection to Quinn, enter his world.

MASQUERADE: Quinn has his hands full as the owner of all three vampire bars in New Orleans. As he gets closer to his new attractive young personal assistant, the successful entrepreneur also must deal with a vampire daughter, a mortal daughter who sees dead people, a spiritually connected vampire ex-girlfriend who is her mentor and a deceased ex-wife that just won’t stay dead.
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Now You See Her…

by Dale Mayer

I enjoyed this book and felt immersed in the story. I tagged along as Dean and Stefan struggled to keep Tia safe and find out who was targeting her. It was a fast-paced read, with plenty going on to keep me engaged.
The characters were well defined, realistic and likable.
The story was a rollercoaster of emotions as Tia and Dean came to terms with their abilities and their feelings for each other.
Although this is book 8 in the Psychic Vision series, it does work well as a stand alone book.
I have read books 1-3 of the series and fully intend to get back and read 4-7, when I have time.
I received an eCopy of Now You See Her… from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Energy. The life force of good … and evil
And sometimes evil is stronger.

Tia spent years imprisoned in a ‘special’ program. When she finally escaped, she ran as far away as she could. But it wouldn’t leave her alone.

Only one person can help her. Stefan. But when she contacts him for help, she gets more than she bargained for. Six weeks later, she awakens from a coma to find more problems than ever – and she’s still being hunted.

Dean, moonlighting as a guard at the hospital, finds himself in an impossible situation. His belief system is stretched out of control by someone whom he can’t forget … and can’t believe. Until he has no choice.

With everything on the line, Tia and Dean must work together to solve the problem that has somehow – in a very unique way – entwined them both.

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Desert Wolf

by Heather Long
When I first started reading this book, I was a bit confused as to who all the characters were, but as I read on everything, and everyone, fell into place.
The book is well written and moves along at a good pace, with plenty of action and adventure.
The characters are interesting and well fleshed out. Their interactions and emotions are believable, and this made me care about what happened to them.

It’s an entertaining read, which can be read as a stand-alone story, despite being part of a series.
I haven’t read any of the previous books in the Wolves of Willow Bend series, although I do now want to. I’d like to know what happened before.

I received an eCopy of Desert Wolf from Barclay Publicity in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before it utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.

Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack, a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several long months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.

Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…

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Where Death Is a Hunter

by Christopher Stookey

An exciting, well-written, fast-paced book that is a mix of medical drama, legal drama, and mystery.
It kept my attention from cover to cover, and with a multitude of suspects it was impossible to identify the offender before the climax.
The author is a doctor and his medical background shows in the stories realistic feel. He focuses on what’s important and doesn’t get bogged down with irrelevant details and jargon, which makes this book easy to read and understand.
Hannah is such a great character, that she slightly overshadows the supporting cast, who weren’t quite as fleshed out but still believable.

I received an eCopy of Where Death Is a Hunter from Christopher Stookey in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

 

Hannah Fâtier is a thirty-two-year-old physician fresh out of residency training. She’s just started her first job as an anesthesiologist at Deaconess Hospital in San Francisco, she’s bought a new home, and she’s engaged to be married.

In short, life is good for Hannah–until, one morning at work, tragedy strikes. A patient under her care dies unexpectedly during a routine operation. An investigation into the case reveals the cause of death to be a basic medical error committed by Hannah. Wracked with guilt, Hannah falls into a malaise of depression and self-reproach. Yet the more she ponders her alleged “error,” the more she realizes that something about the way her patient died doesn’t add up. Digging deeper into the records of the case, Hannah discovers a number of puzzling inconsistencies. She begins to suspect that someone has framed her for a medical mistake she never made. But who would do such a thing and why? And, more importantly, if there was no medical error, then why did her patient really die that morning on the operating table?

Where Death Is a Hunter is a medical mystery dealing with hospital death, betrayal, one doctor’s self-doubt, and the search for redemption.

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6 Ways to Where

by R. Mac Wheeler
The characters were superbly portrayed, as were their interactions with one another. Mar particularly caught my imagination as a strong but flawed teen.
The writing was descriptive and drew me into the story.
The suspense and build up was well written, along with the action scenes, but I felt that something was missing, that I was waiting for something to happen.
I’m not sure whether or not it’s because this is the 3rd book of the series and I haven’t read the previous two.

I received an eCopy of 6 Ways to Where from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

At eighteen it’s tough to decide a life path when the threat of pandemic hangs over the world, your brother is the genius who engineered the plague, and you’re repeatedly drawn into the fight against the terrorists spreading it. Plenty of people would kill an Abernathy on sight so it would be wise for Mar to visit the dojo, otherwise play invisible, but her brother is manipulating her into another adventure.

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A Boo-tiful Halloween

by Angela Shori

The illustrations in this short children’s book are bright and colourful, and the ‘monsters’ aren’t at all scary.

The vocabulary doesn’t seem too challenging for the upper age range (5 yrs) that this book is aimed at.
At the same time, it would be a fun book to read to younger children.

I received an eCopy of A Boo-tiful Halloween from Angela Shori in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Review From Dreydon -aged 5

I liked it.
The liked all the pictures, they were a bit spooky.
It was easy to read.

Gather all your ghouls and goblins for a colorful journey with the friendly monsters of A Boo-tiful Halloween.
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Rawblood

by Catriona Ward
I don’t like to leave things unfinished, so deciding not to read this book all the way to the last page was hard for me. I nearly didn’t leave a review, but on reflection I think I should.

I gave it a good shot, I read 152 of the 352 pages and I can’t say that it’s a ‘bad’ book, it’s just not for me. The writing is descriptive and the book is well-edited, but nothing much happened.

I was bored and eventually decided that I have far too many books on my to-read list to persevere with this one.

I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

In 1910, eleven year old Iris Villarca lives with her father at Rawblood, a lonely house on Dartmoor. Iris and her father are the last of their name. The Villarcas always die young, bloodily. Iris knows it’s because of a congenital disease which means she must be strictly isolated. Papa told her so. Forbidden to speak to other children or the servants, denied her one friend, Iris grows up in solitude. But she reads books. And one sunlit autumn day, beside her mother’s grave, she forces the truth from her father. The disease is biologically impossible. A lie, to cover a darker secret.

The Villarcas are haunted, through the generations, by her. She is white, skeletal, covered with scars. Her origins are a mystery but her purpose is clear. When a Villarca marries, when they love, when they have a child – she comes and death follows.

Iris makes her father a promise: to remain alone all her life. But when she’s fifteen, she breaks it. The consequences of her choice are immediate and horrific.

Iris’s story is interwoven with the past, the voices of the dead – Villarcas, taken by her. Iris’s grandmother sets sail from Dover to Italy with a hired companion, to spend her final years in the sun before consumption takes her. Instead she meets betrayal, and a fate worse than death. Iris’s father, his medical career in ruins, conducts unconscionable experiments, to discover how she travels in the Villarca blood. Iris’s mother, pregnant, walks the halls of Rawblood whispering to her, coaxing her to come. As the narratives converge, Iris seeks her out in a confrontation which shatters her past and her reality, revealing the chasm in Iris’s own, fractured identity. Who is she? What does she desire? The answer is more terrible and stranger than Iris could have imagined.

Walking Between Worlds by J.K. Norry

Author: J.K. Norry
Book: Fall of the Walker King (Walking Between Worlds, Book III)
Genre: Contemporary/Philosophical Fantasy
Release Date: December 1st, 2015

About the series

 

Some warriors have a special sensitivity, a rare compassion that makes them the perfect soldier for the perfect army. In life, these men and women are superlative fighters and law officers. In life, they often discover that their instinct for justice hinders or destroys their career in a sometimes imperfect army. In life, these souls are bent and broken by bureaucracy. It is not until death touches them that these unique warriors truly come alive. They become Walkers, immortal soldiers in an eternal army that wages constant war on the demons of humanity.


In the Walking Between Worlds trilogy and companion tales, the world of the Walker is finally revealed. Heroes that have lived in the shadows for thousands of years tell their stories at last, as a new story takes shape in present-day San Francisco. A new Walker is made that must undo centuries of damage as he risks everything in a desperate search for his lost love. One man must forge a path wide enough for everyone who walks between worlds, or see the way of the Walker lost forever.

The angels in heaven have capitalized on the situation rather than correct it, and the dragons in hell rule their realm with fire. Both forces stand against the Walker army as its new king is thrust into power and cast into danger time and again. From epic battles below to all-out war above, these brave patriots of the universe put everything on the line to save an unknowing world once more. If anyone can find a way, it is them . . . but time is running out, and the light is growing dim . . .

Book I – Demons & Angels


Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural, those who walk between worlds to help humans battle their demons. This is the spellbinding tale of a special group of people whose lives were changed forever when their eyes were opened to a new reality. Watch the ordinary collide with the extraordinary to test the mettle of their souls and the power of their love.

The first book in an exciting new series, Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels introduces us to a new way of looking at both the natural and the supernatural worlds. Join Paul Stone and Kris Reed as they walk between worlds in search of answers and themselves.

Book II – Rise of the Walker King

Step once again into the lives of Walker Paul and his trusted Guide Kris as they delve deeper into the meaning of walking between worlds and battling people’s demons.


Walking Between Worlds; Book II: Rise of the Walker King continues the exciting saga begun in Book I. Now that the king has risen to power, he must look within and without for answers to save both himself and the Walker’s world.

With friendly devils and murderous angels, dragons that belch flames and demons that run like a river, this philosophical fantasy will delight the adventurous spirit that walks between worlds in all of us.

 

Book III – Fall of the Walker King


Walking Between Worlds, Book III: Fall of the Walker King brings the Walking Between Worlds trilogy to a breathtaking and explosive conclusion. Walk alongside characters old and new as they navigate Hellish realms where blood rains from the sky, and Heavenly worlds that would imprison or destroy their very souls.

As war looms above and violence simmers below, a dark danger is lurking between worlds that threatens every realm. A new Walker struggles to fulfill his destiny while the old fight for their very lives. With the fate of all the worlds in the balance, a new way must form to take the place of the old as everything falls away. Yet it must be enough, and it must come in time . . .

 

Jay Norry Bio


Jay Norry is the author of Stumbling Backasswards into the Light, a spiritual autobiographical novel set in the mountains of the Puget Sound, and Walking Between Worlds (as J.K. Norry), a fantasy series set in San Francisco. He is the owner of Sudden Insight Publishing, an indie publishing company he founded in 2014 as a venue in which to publish his books. In 2016, Jay will join the Underground Book Reviews (www.undergroundbookreviews.org) team as a monthly columnist (Norry’s Toolbox) and indie book reviewer.

Currently Jay resides in Northern California with his girlfriend/Girl Friday, Dawn, and their dogs, Mammoth & Ximena. When he’s not busy writing, Jay enjoys wine tasting, gardening, coming up with new DIY projects, and fixing things around the house MacGyver-style.

Jay’s books are published by Sudden Insight Publishing (www.suddeninsightpublishing.com)

Read his blog on spirituality, writing, and life in general at blog.jaynorry.com

Connect with Jay/J.K. Norry
 
 
Demons & Angels (Walking Between Worlds, Book I)
by J.K. Norry

CHAPTER ONE

 The alarm clock was going off, a high-pitched grating pulse of sound echoing loudly off the walls. It had been going off for a while, but the shapeless form huddled under the covers made no move to silence it.
It was a small room, dirty and messy at the same time. There was an ashtray on every surface; the nightstand, the dresser, the mismatched speakers that cluttered each corner. Every ashtray was full, overflowing with cigarette butts and half-smoked joints. Posters and tapestries decorated the walls in a random rock theme that spanned the decades. The white walls were yellowed with age and smoke, cobwebs wisping where they met the ceiling.
Against one wall was an electric guitar on an upright stand, the only thing in the room that didn’t look like junk, a dark blue Fender Stratocaster. A black cord trailed from its snug housing in the body of the guitar to a knee-high amplifier sitting nearby. Another ashtray sat on the amp, a dusting of ashes all around it. A small television was housed in a beat up oak entertainment center whose remaining shelves were dominated by long tangles of guitar pedals and extension cords, open empty compact disc cases and a haphazard teetering stack of old vinyl.
A steady rhythmic pounding joined the blare of the alarm clock, and a voice shouted muffled through the wall. The thin sheetrock shook with the force of the pounding.
The covers stirred, an arm reached out from beneath them and silenced the alarm. Mason threw the covers off and rolled out of bed, his feet clumsily finding the floor. He sat on the edge of the mattress for a long moment, elbows on his knees and his face buried in his hands. Heaving a sigh, he peeked a look at the digital face of the alarm clock. He cursed.
Then he was a flurry of action, dressing himself frantically in jeans and sweatshirt. One moment sitting still in boxers and a stained tank top, his mussed longish hair askew in every direction; the next he was up and moving, opening and closing dresser drawers and tripping through piles of soiled clothes on the floor. Two doorways cut the wall opposite the entrance into thirds, one a doorless passage into his small excuse for a kitchen and the other a door open to the cramped bathroom. Dashing in and out of the open door, he emerged first with his hair wet and flattened to his head, then with a toothbrush sticking from his mouth, then with a hand towel he held cautiously to his dripping face. He crinkled his nose in distaste and threw it to the floor. Wiping droplets of water from his skin with the sleeve of his sweatshirt, Mason worked his feet into his sneakers and bent to tie the darkened laces.
On his way out the door, he stopped at an ashtray and pulled two half-smoked joints from the ugly collection of twisted stained tan speckled filters. A smashed cigarette butt fell from the ashtray to roll onto the speaker and from there to the stiff carpet below. Mason didn’t bother to pick it up. He put one joint in his pocket and one between his lips and walked out the front door.

CHAPTER TWO

 Paul pushed his way through the swinging steeled glass into the coffee shop. The jangle of the bell hanging over the door announced his arrival, and he stopped a moment just inside the entrance to gaze about the room. A wave of aroma greeted him, the warm welcome smell of fresh brewed coffee tickling his nostrils pleasantly.
The place was huge, especially considering how many customers frequented the spot. Longer than it was wide, the single room was wide enough yet for four tables, the coffee bar and aisles between all of them. A paneled wooden island on a sea of hardwood floor, the coffee bar was long and narrow, twin counters mirroring each other with matted work space between. Two people behind the bar would have trouble passing without touching, but the length of it would let three or four people move about freely. Stools were placed along the length of the bar for customers, steel and vinyl and old and currently unoccupied. The island was closed at one end by a cash register facing the entrance and a swinging waist-high door at the opposite end. A slab of counter on hinges served as horizontal barrier above the thin swinging door. Sturdy wooden tables were placed almost randomly about the open hardwood floor. There were less than twenty, though the space could have easily held twice that. Only three were occupied, less than half a dozen customers in the whole place.
Paul approached the register as the girl behind the counter turned to see who had come in. She smiled, a pretty sweet smile under pretty honeyed blonde hair and pretty bright blue eyes.
“Good morning, Paul,” she said. “White mocha?”
“Morning, Jessica,” Paul smiled back. “Yes, please.”
“Brenna’s here,” Jessica inclined her head toward a table in the back while she rung up his order. “Anything to eat?”
“Yeah, a blueberry muffin,” Paul answered, digging his wallet out of his back pocket. He dropped a dollar bill in the tip jar that sat next to the register and handed her a twenty. She counted out his change and reached it across the counter.
As their hands touched, Paul heard an explosion. Loud and muffled at the same time, it was followed by a thin, shrill scream. He jerked his hand back, looking around the shop bewildered. No one stirred or looked up; no one did anything. His eyes met hers, his heart pounding.
“You okay?” Jessica asked him. She was still holding out his change, but her look had become one of concern.
Paul looked around again. “You didn’t hear that?” he asked her quietly.
“Hear what?” She cocked her head to listen.
“Nothing.” Paul shook his head. “I must be hearing things. Thanks, Jess.” He took his change and walked the length of the bar. It wasn’t until he was almost at Brenna’s table that he noticed the big man huddled over another table in the corner furthest from the entrance.
“Morning, Roche.” Paul called to him.
Surrounded by books and ledgers sprawled haphazardly across the table, the man seemed oblivious to his environment. A big round head sat atop his mountainous shoulders, bald and topped with a battered black fedora. A blue pocket tee tried to contain the bulk of his torso, and a pack of cigarettes strained the pocket on his left breast even further. He made a notation in the ledger before him, cursed, erased it, and glanced up.
“Paul,” he nodded, then looked back down at the page before him.
Brenna had her laptop on the table and a tablet of hand-written notes beside it. They both sat neatly square with the edge of the tabletop, a cup of coffee just within reach on one side and an untouched slice of lemon poundcake on the other. She stopped typing as he approached and looked up at him.
Her hair was black and straight, parted down the middle to brush against her shoulders equally on both sides. The dark of her hair was in stark contrast to her smooth and milky white skin, and her face was a study in perfection. High cheekbones, full red lips and a small button of a nose all took a backseat to the beauty of her eyes, though. So brown they were almost black, Brenna’s eyes seemed to swirl with depth and beauty and sensuality. She had a way of looking up at him without raising her head that he found adorably breathtaking. A little horizontal line appeared across her forehead, and her big dark eyes got bigger and somehow more beautiful. It was how she was looking at him now. A slow smile started on her lips as their eyes met, and Paul leaned over to cover it with his own smile. She tasted of coffee and mint and lipstick.
“Good morning, gorgeous,” Paul sat next to her as she snapped shut the laptop. She took a moment to close the notebook and set it perfectly square on top of the computer, then slid them both to the center of the table. When she was done, she turned sideways in her chair toward Paul and put her hand on his knee and her full attention on him. He saw the agate oval that hung always at her throat from a delicate silver chain, hovering over the modest cut of her light blouse.
“Good morning, my love.” Her voice was soft and low, and her eyes lingered on his. “Are we still on for tonight?”
Paul nodded while Jessica approached the table with his order. “Absolutely,” he told Brenna, then looked up at Jessica while she placed the coffee and muffin on the table. “Thanks, Jess.”
He sipped his coffee and turned again to Brenna. “Where’s your brother?”
She rolled her eyes and frowned a little. “He didn’t come home last night.” When she saw Paul’s frown, she squeezed his knee gently. “Don’t worry, he’ll be here. Where’s Kris?”
“Running late. As usual.” A plain round clock hung on the wall above Roche, and Paul turned to glance at it. He reached across the table and slid Brenna’s breakfast and fork in front of her. “Better eat while you have time,” he said, and took a giant bite of his muffin. Crumbs littered the table while he reached to snatch a paper napkin from the small stack by her plate.
Her fingers, slim and delicate, moved from Paul’s knee to pick up her fork. She cut a small perfect square from the corner of the cake and slid the fork underneath it gingerly. She chewed slowly and deliberately as she spread a paper napkin over her right knee. She swallowed, had a sip of coffee, and turned her gaze on Paul again.
“What time tonight?” she asked.
Paul shrugged. “I should be home about six or six thirty. I can be at your place by seven.” He took another sip of his white mocha. It was cooling down, so he took a long drink.
“Okay,” she nodded. She glanced at the clock, and her fingers strayed unconsciously to the amulet at her throat. “I should probably get going.” Brenna was never late. For anything. Ever.
The door opened then, the bell clanging noisily as two young men entered arguing.
Tall, with dark hair cut short and styled to careless perfection, one man moved his hands excitedly as he spoke. “It’s called a pre-emptive strike,” he was saying loudly. “The best defense is a good offense.”
His companion was shorter, with a slight build and more subtle gestures. He was shaking his head slowly. Blue jeans and tee shirt and a light jacket all hung loose on his frame, and his hands were stuffed into the pockets of his jacket. Light brown hair covered his head in disheveled clumps, constantly threatening to fall into his eyes.
“How can you be the one defending yourself if you are the asshole that strikes first?” He was still shaking his head. “How can you know what would happen if you didn’t attack if you always open with an attack?”
“It’s the nature of the beast,” the dark-haired one answered with finality. “These savages will move in at the first sign of weakness.” His smile came as easily as the other’s frown, and he seemed to be clearly enjoying the banter.
His companion appeared visibly uncomfortable, on the other hand. “We’re not talking about war, we’re talking about women,” he said icily. He pulled his hands from his pockets and pushed a lump of hair from his forehead, quickly sweeping the room with a shy stare. Sharp gray eyes took it all in and came to rest on the girl standing behind the register. His eyes widened a little, a shy smile lit his face for a moment; then he looked away and stuffed his hands back in his pockets.
“Good morning, Jessica,” he said, staring at the floor. He pronounced her name carefully, like it was a sacred thing.
“Hey, Kris,” she replied, glancing away from the taller man behind him for a moment and then back. With a voice lower and slower she said, “Good morning, Matt.”
“Hey, Jess,” Matt answered as he stepped between Kris and the counter. “Two cups of your finest house brew, please. My companion will surely need cream and sugar; he can only swallow life and coffee masked by false sweetness.”
“I customize my coffee to my taste,” Kris said defiantly. He threw a scornful look at Matt and a softer one at Jessica before returning his eyes to the floor. “I don’t just drink any dark and bitter brew someone else serves up for me.”
A bark of laughter, and Matt called out to the man at the back of the room. “Hey Roach, Kris thinks your coffee is dark and bitter.”
“Roche!” The man called out without looking up, correcting the intentional mispronunciation with deliberate rudeness. He made a mark in the journal before him, closed it, and stood up. Glaring balefully at Matt, he grumbled, “He was talking about life, not coffee, jackass.” Roche turned to Kris. “Good morning, young man,” he said, almost smiling. “Still casting your pearls before swine?”
It was Kris’ turn to laugh. By the time he returned the older man’s greeting, Roche had turned and gone through the door at the back wall that said ‘OFFICE’ on a black and white plastic plaque affixed firmly at eye level. It slammed shut behind him.
Kris walked to their table, doffing his jacket and hanging it on his chair as he sat, while Matt got their coffee and followed him over.
“Hey, guys,” Matt said casually as he sat lightly on a chair across from Brenna, setting his companion’s cup on the table as he took the adjacent seat.
“You’re late,” Brenna said. Her voice was forgiving and reproachful at the same time.
“The day doesn’t start until I start the day,” Matt grinned. “I’m always on time, little sister.”
“Drink your coffee,” she said, ignoring him. “Don’t make Paul late for work.”
He ignored her for a moment too, reaching across the table to seize the rest of her lemon pound cake. Picking it up with his fingers, he bit off half of what was left in one huge bite and raised an eyebrow at her across the table. He gulped loudly, took a long pull off his coffee, gasped at the heat, gulped again and asked, “You weren’t going to eat that, were you?”
Brenna rolled her eyes and stood up. “I’ve got to go,” she announced. She looked hard at Matt. “I believe we all do.”
Matt gazed up at his sister, and Paul was struck anew at how alike they could look sometimes. The very expression that was adorable to him on Brenna he thought made Matt appear a helpless silly puppy dog. Matt’s long string of lovers surely thought it the other way around.
They made for the door all at once, cutting the number of customers in the coffee shop by half in one fell swoop. When they reached the door, Paul opened it and stood back, holding it open for the rest of them. Brenna reached out and brushed her fingers lightly across his abdomen, passing by first. Matt made as if to punch him in the gut as he walked by, his good-natured feint ending inches from Paul’s stomach. As Kris passed, he mumbled thanks to Paul and stole one last glance at Jessica over his shoulder as she waved goodbye to the group. A smile played on the corners of his mouth as his eyes met Paul’s. . .
. . . And when their eyes met, Paul heard it again: a loud thunderous crash, followed by a blood-curdling scream. It was louder this time, and he blanched, letting go of the door. It swung shut, barely missing Kris as he stepped hastily outside. Hanging there above the swinging steel and glass, the little brass bell bumped and rolled over the top of the door, clanging noisily. It clanged again as Kris opened the door and poked his head in, a concerned look on his face.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Kris said, stepping inside again. “Are you okay, man?”
Jessica had come up behind him, looking just as concerned. “Paul? Are you alright?” She touched his shoulder lightly.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Paul forced a smile. “You guys didn’t hear that?”
“Hear what?” Jessica and Kris asked together.
“Nothing.” Paul shook his head, as if to clear it, and reached for the door again. The brass bell danced across the swing of steel, its last frayed thread giving way a little bit, but not breaking. It clanged again as the door swung shut behind them; then it hung silent and still, just a little lower than it had before.
Gathered outside, Brenna couldn’t decide who to fuss over. She turned to Matt, but her eyes kept coming back to Paul. Taking Paul’s hand, she spoke stern to her brother. “You should take him home; let him call in to work for both of you.”
Paul was shaking his head. “I’m fine, sweetie.” Encircling his arm around her slim waist, he pulled her close. “Besides, it’s his first day, if I do get him a job. He can’t call in on his first day.”
Dark pools of love looked up at him, but her eyes turned to black ice when she looked at Matt. “He’ll find a way to screw it up anyway.”
Paul nuzzled Brenna’s hair, in part to breathe in the smell of her and in part to hide his smile. Looking over the top of her head, he noticed a man standing across the street watching them. His garb oddly both out of season and out of place, he stared at Paul intently with neither guile nor candor. The man wore a leather cowboy hat and matching leather overcoat hanging from broad shoulders nearly to the ground. Leather boots poked out from under the long duster.
His whole outfit seemed cut from the same bolt of thick leather. Surely striking when new, the ensemble now hung limp, battered and worn. A deep oiled brown on the armpits, the overcoat was faded to a dry blond in many places. Clumsy stitches held the coat together in three different places with three different colors. At its hem, the trench coat looked scorched, and the boots had the same beaten and battered and burnt color. Banded in what looked like dull red snakeskin, the leather cowboy hat was perhaps the most abused part of his whole outfit. Misshapen by a dent, it looked like a part of the brim had been sliced off clean. A pair of holes the size of marbles punctuated the planned hollows of the hat, a few inches forward from the unnatural grapefruit-sized concavity. Apparently there were matching holes on the other side, as Paul could see daylight through them when the man turned his head slightly. He could also see little black rings around the holes, like scorch marks.
Paul was overwhelmed by an otherworldly feeling as he looked at the strange man, and he swooned a bit as he brought himself back into his world of Matt and Kris. And Brenna. He breathed her in deep, glad she hadn’t noticed him waver a moment earlier. Paul focused on their words as she argued with her brother.
“It’s like you think I can’t do anything right,” Matt was complaining. The only time he was not the picture of strength and confidence was around his sister. All it took was a critical word from Brenna, and the man became a boy again.
“No, you’re good at lots of things,” Brenna responded blithely. “Short and shallow relationships, making promises you don’t keep, pissing away money.” Her body was stiff and rigid against Paul, only increasing the discomfort he always felt when the siblings went at it. Later, he knew, he could look forward to each of them seeking a private moment with him to complain at length about the other. He would validate both of them, feeling they were each wrong in their way but never saying so. She knew her weaknesses and her limits; it was his happy job to let her blow off steam without fear of criticism. And her brother . . . well, lecturing Matt was as useless and obvious as telling a tree it is made of wood.
Paul pulled Brenna close to him. “Sweetie,” he said. He was going to say, “We have to get going”, but the door opened behind them, swinging inward to the coffee shop.
After announcing countless arrivals and departures, hanging as silent sentinel in between, the brass bell clanged once as it climbed over the top of the door one last time. Rolling, it clanged again and then again and dropped to the length of the one last thread holding it suspended. The thread snapped soundlessly, and the bell fell just as silently through open space. It clanged again as it hit the floor and half-rolled, half-skittered between the four friends and to the edge of the sidewalk. One more roll and it would have been in the street. Instead, it sat at the curb; silent, still and unnoticed.

 tease

Books I Read in October

Blood Master: Book 1 of The G.O.D.s Series

by Kirsten Campbell

I loved this book!
The story started slowly setting the scene and filling in some background, but soon shifted up a gear with some great action and a number of surprising twists.
The characters were well-developed and, for the most part, likable.
The romance between Tassta and Griffin was tasteful and didn’t overwhelm the story.
The author has created a fascinating and realistic world of the future, with vivid descriptions of the Brotherhood’s fortress and the Underground.


I can’t wait to see what happens next for Griffin and all.

2052: Two-thirds of the human population have been killed by the Great War, the Clover Virus and the Death Plague. Only one man survived the Death Plague, an albino man named Griffin Storm. He’s the only albino in existence. No one knows what happened to the other albinos, but most believe the rumors that they were eliminated by the Guild Faction’s deadly experiments.
Griffin is hiding out in Underground Atlanta. He has special abilities. He can manipulate crystal and glass. He uses these abilities for good, raiding warehouses and old buildings for food and medical supplies to give to the abandoned children that live in the Underground. During a raid, he meets Tassta Vinetti. She’s a resident of the legendary Brotherhood Fortress. Griffin is taken to the Brotherhood and chaos ensues as Tassta, her twin brother Penn and her Uncle Lerin Sanctobous keep their new visitor and his untold powers secret. They can not disclose that the only albino in existence is now at their fortress or they could all be in great danger.
Fact is, the Guild is hunting Griffin. He is the only survivor of their deadly experiments and his survival will have dynamic consequences. The Guild believes Griffin will transform into a G.O.D., a Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensional being. If he transforms, he will have inter-dimensional doors within his body, doors that lead to heaven and hell. Griffin will become a Blood Master and he’ll be able to control the demons from the Dimension of Blood.
Will Griffin save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Will he transform into a G.O.D. and become the Blood Master? Only time will tell…

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The Exiled

by Scott Borgman

Never a dull moment in this book! There’s always something happening.
Once you start reading, it’s virtually impossible to put down.

The book is beautifully written. The storyline, the conflict between good and evil, is well thought out and has a sense of uncertainty and tension.

All the characters, both the good and the evil, are complex and alive. They each have their own individual personality.

An incredible story with a stunning ending. I can’t wait to read book 2.

David’s ordinary life takes a drastic turn when he finds out that he is the key to a struggle that has been going on for ages. Hunted by one side, sworn to be protected by the other, David finds that the fate of humanity itself rests upon him.
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Demon Within

by Julie Nicholls

Julie Nicholls is an awesome story-teller.
Demon Within is a well-written book, that trips along at a good pace.
There were steamy scenes, violent fights, and plenty of surprising twists and turns, to keep me turning the pages.
The characters are strong and well-developed. I feel as though they are old friends, as I’ve lived alongside them through the sadness, joy, betrayal, rage and excitement of the tale.
The world in which they live is easily ‘seen’ thanks to the vivid descriptions throughout the book.

Thank must go to Julie Nicholls, who gifted me an ecopy of the book!

When Angels ruled the heavens and mortals…one dared to risk everything for the love of a human and paid the price of eternal damnation.
Kai, sold into slavery at a young age, fought in the fighting pits of Darkmide, struggles with a violent, uncontrollable force that feeds on his anger. Coerced into an alliance with a King, Kai is offered his daughter Eloise, as a wife. In a twist of fate, she’s the only person able to bring Kai back from the edge when the demon within takes control.
When an act of betrayal causes the alliance to break, he rejects Eloise, bringing forth all his fears of being alone. Stubborn and running away from confrontation, Kai is about to lose the only person who isn’t afraid of him.
A connection between Kai and a fallen angel is discovered, as the angel systematically destroys all towns he’s connected with, bringing the two together in a fight for dominance. Only time would tell who would prevail.

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Angel Within

by Julie Nicholls

The first book, Demon Within, was awesome and was desperate to see what would happen next… I was not disappointed!
All my old friends are back in this sequel and together we fell in love and met new friends, and we fought old and new enemies.
The descriptions are so vivid that you’re drawn into the book. I could say that reading this book was like watching a film inside your head, but for me it’s more like being a character in that film.

The story is full of surprises, intrigue, and adventure, and will keep you involved and turning the pages to the end… and what an ending!
I need to read the next book now.

The books do need to be read in order and are definitely for adults.

Thank you, once again to Julie Nicholls, who gifted me an ecopy of the book!

Jana, a powerful witch, and Tigan, a deceitful mercenary from Sabe and Kiera’s past, join forces to summon Samyaza, one of the most powerful of all fallen angels.
The witch strikes a bargain with the fallen angel to possess Tigan, making him indestructible in battle. In exchange for granting this gift, Samyaza seeks a sacrifice, someone gifted with seraph abilities in order that he can free himself of the bonds that hold him captive in hell.
It’s a race to save the sacrificial offering, and to stop Tigan from becoming possessed. Kai and Sabe join Brightstone and Blackhill’s forces to rid the world of the powerful, evil witch and Tigan. Once again the seraph come to the warriors aid, yet at what cost? The final battle culminates with the transformation of Eloise from a timid queen to a feared warrior, as her husband fights for his life, and freedom from bondage, once more.
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Enchanted

by K.K. Allen

A great introduction to the Summer Solstice Series by K.K. Allen.

I liked Katrina Summer, who, when we first meet her, is a shy and awkward teen. As the story progresses she becomes more confident and courageous.
I enjoyed the way that the connections between the characters developed at a natural pace. The spark of romance between Kat and Alex wasn’t rushed and the strained relationship between Kat and her previously estranged Grandmother evolved gradually through the book.

The story is told from Kat’s POV and ticks along at a steady pace.
It’s a good coming of age story with an original and believable mythological/fantasy backdrop.

The book is, as the title suggests, enchanting. 🙂

After Katrina “Kat” Summer’s mother dies a mysterious and tragic death, Kat is hurtled into life at Apollo Beach. Her estranged and cryptic grandmother Rose fills Kat with legends of her Ancient Greek Ancestors from which the Summer family descends. Kat’s world begins to unravel as secrets from her heritage are exposed – secrets that her mother purposefully concealed.

Leading to her birthday, the day of the Summer Solstice, Kat becomes frightened when enigmatic visions and disturbing dreams haunt her. When her visions become reality, her fear turns to terror as powerful forces threaten the lives of those around her.

Amidst the turmoil, Kat meets Alec Stone, her gorgeous neighbor, who becomes her sole solace in an evocative world of mythological enchantment and evil prophecies that lurk around every corner…

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The Equinox

by K.K. Allen

Book 2 of the Summer Solstice picks up where book 1 left us and is, in my opinion, even better than the first.

The well-developed characters from Enchanted are back and some new ones are introduced. The new characters are as dimensional as the familiar ones.
Kat continues to grow into her powers, as she faces betrayals, new challenges and new friendships.

K.K. Allen has, once again, taken me on a journey to Apollo Beach, and now that I’m home I can’t wait to go back.

Hurry up with book 3, K.K.

Katrina Summer finally comes to terms with her enchanted skin as she is challenged with an evil that threatens the Solstice settlement of Apollo Beach…

At a private gathering on Summer Island Kat meets an entire secret society of Enchanters – and other mythological descendants of a different breed. The gorgeous Valli sisters appear forcing Kat to take a deeper look into her new existence. And when Arabella, the youngest of the sisters, befriends Kat, she learns the most disturbing Summer family secret of all.

To escape the lurking dangers of the Equinox, which brings outrage and heartbreak to the entire town, Kat accepts a job at the Island Grille where more trouble brews as her handsome, yet brooding co-worker, Johnny, makes life even more challenging. Meanwhile, Kat struggles between her lingering and undeniable attraction for Alec, the secrets that she is forced to keep from him, and a betrayal that sends them on separate paths.

Mysterious deaths, signs of pollution rising in the Bay, and discoveries of the Equinox’s motives stir up an entirely new and frightening adventure as Kat finally discovers that being an Enchanter holds a responsibility worth killing for…
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Fang and Claw

by Markie Madden

I loved this book, it grabbed me on the first page and didn’t let go ’til the end.
Set in a future where supernatural beings have been accepted in the human world, a unit of Immortals investigate crimes committed by other Immortal and undead creatures.
The authors portrayal of the world and the law enforcement of the future is well-written, descriptive, and entirely believable.
The characters are complex and dynamic. Lacey and Colton, the two main characters, have a complicated and tense relationship, which adds to their opposing personalities.
The story flows well and throws up a few surprises for the investigating pair, and for the reader.

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortals like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the attack.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is at stake!

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The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron: A Halloween Anthology

A great collection of 9 spooky stories from some brilliant authors.

As with all anthologies, I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, and some were scarier than others, but they were all well-written and entertaining to read.

My favourites were Joe DeRouen’s Good Fortune, Zeece Lugo’s Five Stories, Leonie Rogers’ Roast Pumpkin, CJ Rutherford’s Treaters and Jalpa Williby’s Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast by Jalpa Williby is an imaginative story which drew me in. I loved that it ended well for Kelsey.

CJ Rutherford’s Treaters grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. It’s a descriptive and chilling tale and the ending made me cry.

The book introduced me to some authors who were previously unknown to me, and I will be looking for some of their full-length books to read.

A strange and wonderful collection of Halloween stories, ranging from paranormal romance to horror.

Joe DeRouen’s Good Fortune teaches us a valuable lesson about why you should be very careful when you hold someone’s fate in your hands. It may come back to haunt you, just as it does for Grimsley Harkness, who dares to wish for more than he deserves.

Celia Kennedy’s Nothing Scares Me takes readers on a test of endurance. Lost in the Florida Everglades, Ardith Deblois, wife, mother and intrepid adventurer, fights for her life. Enveloped within the humid swamplands is a perilous maze full of obstacles and adversaries. Which is the greater impediment, the humans that hunt her or the deadly animals and poisonous plants she hides amongst?
Can she fight through fatigue and dehydration to save herself? Nothing Scares Me. True or not?

Zeece Lugo’s Five Stories Up finds us on October 31st, 1966, and night is falling over the city. Below, the groups of little ghosts and goblins stream in and out of the front stoops and basement bodegas, running, laughing, white blankets flapping in the wind, their candy treasures tightly held in hand. But above, in the dark rooftop of Sonia’s building, something pale and evil watches her, and beckons…

Angie Martin’s “Sold” follows a paranormal team as they investigate the home of a serial killer for their live Halloween night televised show.

In Heather Osborne’s Will You Remember Me? past and present collide when ghosts from witch trials of long ago come to life. It’s up to Sierra to lay things to rest.

In Leonie Rogers’ Roast Pumpkin, Anna discovers that going trick-or-treating in her new home town is more of an out-of-this-world experience than she’d ever imagined.

CJ Rutherford’s ‘Treaters’ tells the story of Jaz. Who would believe the world would end on Halloween night? Can Jaz, a retired U.S. Marine, battle loss, grief, demons, and loneliness, to survive the end of the world?

In Jada Ryker’s Dead Eye, Alex takes Marisa to an unusual Halloween party in an isolated Kentucky community… with a murderer ready with deadly tricks, rather than treats.

In Jalpa Williby’s Beauty and the Beast, Kelsey’s entire family perishes in a fire on a dreadful Halloween night. Overcome by grief and guilt, she decides to end her pain once and for all. Will the mysterious stranger be her savior, or will he ultimately cause her tragic demise?

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Sharpshooter

by Michael J. Elliott

A short but suspenseful horror story.
A great storyline with a lead character who’s easy to hate.
I loved the vivid descriptions that placed me at the heart of the action.

In my opinion, the minor errors that I noticed didn’t distract from this spine-chilling story

When teenager David decided he must own the Sharpshooter game at any price he could not have known that his violent actions would transport him to a nightmarish realm of hell. He doesn’t know that Sharpshooter is far more than just a simple video game and Ukami the pleasant shopkeeper is not quite what he appears to be. Join David as he fights for survival in demonic hell zone where he will come face to face with the victims of his past violent behaviour. Should David lose, it’s game over…forever.

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Casting Magic

by C.D. Gorri
A great introduction to a new (spin-off) series from C.D. Gorri.

It’s an enjoyable, fast-paced and action-packed short story.
The book is well-written, easy to read and hard to put down.

I will certainly be looking for more books in this series, and will be reading the Grazi Kelly Novels

Things in Northern New Jersey just got a little more intense for Angela Tanner. She is a Witch who hasn’t come into her powers yet, but things go full speed ahead when her father is accused of a crime he didn’t commit.

Enter Jody Nieves. The tall, dark, and powerful Guardian is sent to fetch her and observe as she tries to clear her father’s name. He does more than that, he wakes up a part of her she never dreamed existed.

Can she save her father in time, trust that Jody’s attentions are genuine, and discover the truth about her own powers? Find out in this first installment of the Angela Tanner Files.

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Skin

by Dale Mayer

I don’t usually read ‘romance’ books, however, this one was enjoyable, believable and inspirational.
It was an easy read with likable characters, who were true to life through a roller coaster journey of recovery to acceptance.
A beautiful and well-written story.

A journey of exploration…

A journey of healing…

A journey of love…

Two people are forced by circumstances into a therapy class to help them deal with their problems. They are strangers. Forced to be partners. Naturally opposites.
Kane is dealing with anger of betrayal at the deepest level, needing to find his way back to forgiveness. Tania is a previous rape victim hoping to deal with her fear of intimacy so she can have a loving relationship.
Tania’s medium of expression – her camera.
Her subject – the human body – Kane’s physical body.
Looking through the lens of a camera, she learns to find beauty and compassion…and the strength to find wholeness…with him.

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Scars

by Dale Mayer
Another powerful and well-written story from the pen of Dale Mayer.
It is along similar lines as Skin with the emotional journey for the two main characters.
Although this is the second book in the ‘Broken, but…Mending Book’ series it works well as a stand-alone book.

Some scars are visible…

Some scars are hidden…

The worst scars are buried deep inside…

Robin and Sean are existing in their private worlds. Hiding in plain sight, not really living, definitely not thriving. They both need to move forward… if they can.

Yet the price of success is pain as they confront issues that have plagued them for years. They’re so different, with such opposite problems. Yet they complement each other – or at least they will, if they can work through their issues and find each other.

This is a story of pain and sorrow, joy and success… and… love.

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Scales

by Dale Mayer

Another emotional and moving story in the Broken but… Mending series.

The main characters in this story are, as I have come to expect from Dale Mayer, well-written and believable. They are both stronger than they think and both have pasts that they need help to come to terms with.

On a personal level, I found this book harder to read than the previous two.

Although this is the third book in the series, the story works well as a stand-alone book.

She thinks she escaped Justice
He is still waiting for Justice to happen.
She’s afraid her day of reckoning is near.
He’s afraid his day of reckoning will never arrive.
Will love balance the scales of Justice?

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The Life She Didn’t Take

by Marie Krepps
This maybe a short story, but it isn’t short on intrigue or steamy scenes.
A well-written and enjoyable read.

Serahfine has walked these streets time and time again. Endless centuries alone have her longing for death’s release. But on this night when she means to end it all, she meets someone who intrigues her.
Is this a chance encounter or destiny?
Can an ageless vampire truly find happiness with a mere human?

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It’s Like the Full Moon

by Glorie Townson

This love triangle has some great moments of tenderness and affection.

Follow Rebecca, and her friends, as she tries to figure out her love life.

Glorie Townson’s characters are dimensional and have a good mix of vulnerability and backbone, which engaged my interest.
I felt as though I had met some good people, who were all flawed but likable.

I was given an ARC of It’s Like the Full Moon for an honest review.

Releasing February of 2016, this romance ARC needs a cover.
(My choice would be the top right.)

Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation.

In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.

A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?

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The Mine

by John A. Heldt
An enjoyable time-travelling old-fashioned love story, with some humour and history.

The book has a good plot and is well-written.
The story meanders it’s way calmly through the book.
The characters are delightful and dimensional, you get to know what makes them tick! The romance was sweet and innocent, as befitting the times.
The world building and scenes are portrayed brilliantly. I’m presuming the author researched the era pretty well.

And the ending? That was unexpected… and perfect.

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity.
He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

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Drawing Breath

by Laurie Boris

The book was well written and the plot nicely done although a little slow in places.
The characters were multilayered and the emotions and tension between Caitlin and Daniel were believable.
Caitlin, as a typical teen, swung between being childish and acting like an adult. She was easy to relate to and it was good to see her develop towards the end of the book.
I found Daniel to be a less endearing and somewhat naive in his relationship with Caitlin. Although I liked that he was shown as a person, flawed and imperfect, and not ruled by his disease.

Art teacher Daniel Benedetto has cystic fibrosis. At thirty-four, he’s already outlived his doctor’s “expiration date,” but that doesn’t stop him from giving all he can to his students and his work.
When he takes on Caitlin, his landlady’s daughter, as a private student, the budding teen painter watches in torment as other people, especially women, treat Daniel like a freak because of his condition. To Caitlin, Daniel is not a disease, not someone to pity or take care of but someone to care for, a friend, and her first real crush. Convinced one of those women is about to hurt him, Caitlin makes one very bad decision.

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Roads & Circuses 

by Tom Mazzone

Satire, wit and laugh out loud moments.
Follow the rise and inevitable fall of manipulative Irish politician, Marcus O’Malley.
The political intrigue, laughable situations, and humorous thoughts are well-written.
The characters are memorable though none of them are likeable or have any redeeming qualities.

Even if, like me, you’re not into politics, it is good for laughs.

Some Civil Servants are not so civil.

Marcus O’Malley is the brown-nosing suck-up everyone despised in school. He also happens to be Ireland’s best known barrister who truly has it all: a beautiful runway-model wife, two perfect children, prestige, power and wealth. When he refuses a dangerous villain’s request to defend him of heinous crimes, Marcus is rightly intimidated. A seemingly random opportunity to run for political office pops up and only as means to save him from the threats does he decide to dive in.

With his reputation as a do-gooder, Marcus takes like a duck to water to the local scene and his meteoric rise through the party’s rank begins. But as he sets his sights on becoming Prime Minister, he must cooperate with unsavory colleagues, bide time and determine what’s best for him versus what’s best for the party. Could outside forces bring him down, ruin his career and potentially send him to jail? Can he play the game in the shark-infested waters of Irish politics? Does he want power just for the sake of having power? Is he able to see that the chaos and the mayhem in his life are self-created? Can he continue to fool all of the people all of the time? Including himself?

Roads & Circuses is a thrilling satirical look at the world of politics and the duplicitous mind of a politician. It’s not so much what a politician says or does that should worry you, it’s what they actually THINK! And although set in Ireland, Marcus O’Malley could exist in any country or political party in the world.

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Baad Dog

by Sal Conte

A small cute dog that doesn’t need feeding, doesn’t poop and doesn’t bark, sounds ideal, right?
Not in this case!

Baad dog is a quick and suspenseful read. A bit slow to get going but it builds up the tension and evolves into an eventful story… but not a very scary one!

Since when did man’s best friend become his very own worst nightmare?

Harry wanted a dog.

He’d wanted a dog ever since his mother gave away the cute little mongrel pup he and his brother adopted when they were kids. His mom gave the dog away because Harry and Lenny didn’t take care of her as promised.
Now Harry is a grown man with children of his own. He brings home Queenie, a miracle of modern robotics who looks and acts just like a real dog. Big Mistake.

“One of the beauties of the K9-233 is that they don’t eat or poop.”

Harry’s wife, Pam, feels there’s something off about Queenie right from the beginning. And then strange things begin to happen: Harry’s five-year-old says Queenie talks to him. There’s the near fatal car accident after Harry makes Queenie spend the night in the garage for being naughty. But Harry loves Queenie—maybe a little too much. Will Harry realize there’s a murderous monster living under his roof before his entire family becomes dog food?

Baad Dog is a horror, sic-fi thriller with a twist from the author of 80s pulp horror classics Child’s Play and The Power. Sal Conte has been dubbed “the modern master of the surprise ending,” and this one is full of surprises.

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The Amaranthine

by Murees Dupé

Amaranthine, Vampires, and Werewolves are all included in this pleasant read from Murees Dupé.
There was enough action to keep me interested, but I didn’t feel ‘involved’ in the story.
The lead characters, Claire and Alex, were believable and well suited to each other, neither being good at dealing with, or expressing emotions.
I would have liked to get to know some of the other characters a bit better.
Although this is the first book of a series it doesn’t end in a cliff-hanger.

Claire is sassy, human, and an outcast of society―who only wants to know where she belongs.

Alex is arrogant, selfish, and an immortal warrior―who thinks he’s prepared for everything.

Claire knows the world of immortals is where she belongs. As her guide and guardian, Alex finds it hard to resist Claire’s subtle charm. Can the two overcome their differences and embrace their passion for each other, or will the possibility of true love be lost to both forever?

Books I Read in September

BloodMarked

by Lu J Whitley

I enjoyed this book immensely. It’s easy to read and clips along at a good pace.
The story is told from different viewpoints, alternating between the heroine and the hero.
The plot flows well with plenty of twists, turns, and action.
The descriptions pull you into the book and you feel involved in the story.
The characters are well developed, Greta is a gutsy heroine with attitude, Jaromir (aka Yummy)is a hot vampire who has problems controlling his inner beast and Stein is a charming, muscle-bound, tattooed troll.
I had a hard time putting down, and was surprised by the sudden ending, which was possibly a bit too sudden, but left me begging for more.

A ‘townie’ college student, living off campus with her overprotective mother, Greta Brandt thought everything about her life was right on track. Everything, except for the nightmares that have been plaguing her for as long as she can remember.
When her reality is torn apart, Greta finds herself adrift in a world she thought only existed in her fevered dreams. The only soul she can cling to, a dark stranger who seems to know her better than she knows herself.

Jaromir Ragnarsson is a shadow in a world men do not see. Charged with protecting the Brandt women from untold dangers, he had been ever vigilant in his task. Until one night, a fatal mistake threatens to take away mankind’s only chance for survival: Greta Brandt.
Now, he must find a way to protect Greta in his hidden world, where magic and myth are fact not fiction. And curses are very, very real.

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Storm Portal

by Michael R. Stern

Michael R. Stern brings a new twist to the concept of time travel in this fun, fast-paced and inventive read.
The quality of his writing makes it easy and exciting to read. It’s a real page-turner, with a new surprise or twist with each turn of the page.
The captivating plot isn’t overloaded with science, but takes you on a wild ride into the past and back to the present day, bringing history to life on the way.
All the characters, past and present, are fleshed out and have their own personalities. Fritz is a down to earth, nice guy who cares for his wife and his friends, is committed to his students, and struggling to understand the circumstances he has found himself in. The President is tactful and poised and responds with confidence to the unique situation, as befitting his position. Ash is intriguing, and I think there may be more to him than meets the eye.
Storm Portal is a wonderful start to the series and I am eager to read book 2, Sand Storm

Time travel is real, of that, Fritz was certain. He’d just done it. Meeting Robert E. Lee was fascinating, especially the way he got along with the kids. But witnessing the Triangle Fire with his class was scary. As a history teacher, his job was to teach, not participate, in events long past. And what if they hadn’t been able to get home?
Fritz Russell, an experienced and well-liked teacher at Riverboro High School, has found a portal to the past, his classroom door. But his trips didn’t happen every time. To make matters worse, he and his principal, George McAllister, walked in on the President of the United States. The portal was also a tunnel in the present. And he had no idea how it happened, how to control it, or what damage he was causing, in the future.
With his wife, Linda, and his friends, Fritz investigates the mysteries of time travel, of the portal itself, while the nation’s security apparatus gears up. Can the President help them?
Can they find the answers in time?
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GRAVITAS: VALKYRIE IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE

by Lynne Murray

A well-written and fast-paced adventure. I liked the plot and the humour of this easy to read book.
I enjoyed the author’s ideas on how people from other worlds and cultures may see us, and the attention to detail and witty dialogue.
The author’s take on the origin of religions on earth is unique and amusing.
The characters are interesting and memorable, and I loved that the heroine, Sybil, is a ‘well-built’ woman instead of the size zero that seems to be the norm in a lot of books as well as in society itself.

An urgent mission.

A woman with a past.

A dangerous burden.

Sybil, from Planet Valkyrie, carries a risky amount of Gravitas, a top secret aphrodisiac, to trade at a conference on ending slavery in her sector of the galaxy. Attacked by an angry warrior from slave-holding Planet Roggr, Sybil falls through an unmarked portal to land on Earth. The Forbidden Zone. Rescue is impossible. Portals to Earth are sealed. Sybil needs to defend herself, protect her hazardous cargo, and find a way home–while dealing with a damaging overdose of Gravitas.

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Cigerets, Guns & Beer

by Phillip T. Stephens

With plenty of dry humour from the beginning, this is an enjoyable book to read.
The characters are well-developed, from the likeable and calm ‘hero’ to the lowbrow backwater villains.
It’s a fast-paced story that has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Just as you think you know where the story is going it veers off in a different direction.
Due to some descriptive, (though not pornographic,) sex scenes this book is not suitable for young readers.
All in all, I would say that this is a ‘ripping good yarn’.

Murder, sex, buried bank loot and legends of UFOs Dodd breaks up a convenience store robbery when his car breaks down in Sweet Water Falls, Texas. What’s the thanks he gets? The sheriff won’t let him leave, the car lot can’t find the parts and everybody wants him for something-sales pitch, church membership, and even stud pony. But most of all, it seems a family named Dodd were shot down robbing the bank in 1949 and the half million they stole remains missing. Everyone thinks Dodd returned to dig up the loot and no one intends to let him leave until he finds it-along with (or so the legends go) a long lost flying saucer.
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The Dragon Dreamer

by J.S. Burke

The author cleverly mixes fantasy with fact in this delightful and original story which is appropriate for all ages, including adults.
The friendships between the different species are as engaging as they are inspiring. They learn to communicate, respect and trust each other as they experience some tough and demanding adventures
The world(s) in which they live are wonderfully described as are the creatures that inhabit them. The characters have human qualities and emotions, and are easy to relate to.

The Dragon Dreamer is a fast-paced adventure with flying dragons, an undersea world, and an unexpected friendship. “Fear ran up his spine like an icy claw. The legend was alive . . . ” It’s a young adult science fantasy layered for ages 9 to adult.

Arak is different, a worthless dreamer, tormented by other young dragons. Determined to prove himself he leaves the clan and flies far over the sea on a dangerous quest. He’s caught in a fierce storm and crashes, suffering serious injuries and the loss of his trance-stone. A fearless, shape-shifting octopus named Scree finds and heals him, and an unexpected friendship begins. Arak returns to the Winter Festival, where dragons carve glaciers with fire and toss lightning bolts in the clouds. When an undersea volcano erupts, it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his secret gift to save the dragons?

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Raising Hell

by Phillip T. Stephens

An unusual, one-of-a-kind, laugh-out-loud road trip through Hell.
This book is unique it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before.
Phillip T. Stephens is a master of one-liners with a brilliant, albeit dark and mature, sense of humour.
It’s a descriptive, brimming with details, that make you feel as though you’re there, however, this doesn’t prevent the story from moving along at a good pace.
The characters are well-written and likeable and had me alternating between rooting for Pilgrim and feeling sorry for His Satanic Majesty Lucifer, Sovereign Lord of Hell.
I loved the names for all the different parts of hell.

A clueless optimist ruins a perfectly good hell.

Pity poor Lucifer. He rules hell with a vice grip. Demons and damned scatter at the sound of his foot steps. The Supreme Butt In hasn’t pestered him in eons. Lucifer’s future looks perfect, pitch black, until an administrative error sticks him with an innocent soul—an overweight optimist who calls himself Pilgrim and who believes he must be in hell to do good.
Lucifer never considers sending him back. Why waste a second chance to corrupt an innocent soul? He orders his subordinates to torture, degrade and humiliate Pilgrim until he promises to become evil if only it will ease the pain. Unfortunately, Pilgrim makes the best of the worst possible experiences. Always polite and well-mannered, he makes Pollyanna seem like a prophet of doom. Even worse, the damned start catching on, and set about making hell into the most enjoyable place of everlasting torment they can.
Lucifer can’t let Pilgrim continue to wreak happiness, but he can’t send him back untainted, either. When God arrives with a deadline for Pilgrim’s return, he enlists fellow fallen angels Screwtape, Azazel and the gender morphing Mephistopheles in a plot to corrupt Pilgrim’s soul before the deadline expires.

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Power of the Fae

by Ariel Marie

The first book in The Mirrored Prophecy series is a well-written and somewhat steamy read!
Fae, Lycans, Witches and Vampires unite to battle Demons in this action-packed story, which is full of suspense and danger.
It’s highly descriptive and the attention to detail lets you ‘see’ the places and situations clearly.
The background on the different species is interesting and informative, and the characters have strong personalities.
The book is written from the points-of-view of a few individuals and brings different perspectives to the storyline.

The Ancients spoke of a Mirrored Prophecy that would determine the future. One version of the prophecy spoke of a small female of mixed heritage giving birth to a child that will save mankind. The other side of the prophecy spoke of the female’s child being the demise of the world.

The Princess of the Light Fae, Arlina Waldmar, may be small but she is deadly. She is a member of the elite Guardians of the Fae. She has been given the assignment of going to the human realm to investigate the vanishing supernaturals.

Colin MacKenzie, Alpha wolf, has determined that finding a mate is not in his future. His people are vanishing. He will need to lead his Legion, defenders of werewolves to find them. His wolf has recognized a certain dark haired Faery Princess to be his mate, but he refuses to claim her.

There is an evil set on destroying the Human and Faery realms. Colin and Arlina must work together to defeat this evil. His thoughts are constantly on Arlina. Arlina knows there is no fighting the attraction between them. Can she convince him to give them a chance before it’s too late?

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Fight for the Fae

by Ariel Marie

I enjoyed the second book in the series as much as I did the first.
It picks up the story where Power of the Fae ended, the Fae, Lycans, Witches and Vampires are still battling Demons to save the realms.
The writing continues in the same vein, with the vivid visuals, the suspense and the steamy scenes.
The characters strengths and depths are enhanced by the multiple viewpoints in this great follow up.

Arlina, Guardian of Faery, has sworn to protect all of those who consider the human and Faery realms home. She agrees to go to the Underworld and surrender herself to the Demon King. Discovering the missing supernaturals and his plan for them, she must stop the Demon King at all cost.

The Demon King’s banishment has been broken. His horde of creatures from the Underworld has been released onto the human realm, annihilating everything in their path. Once he conquers the entire human realm, Faery will be next. The power he harnesses from Faery will make him next to indestructible.

Colin has made a promise to go after Arlina. He refuses to let his mate go, but devastating news about her makes its way from the Underworld, tearing his world apart while his past comes back to haunt him.

Vampires, Shifters, Witches and the Fae must stand together in order to fight against the Demon King. Their belief in Arlina must not waiver. Their very likelihood depends on her powers and the destiny that she chooses. The Mirrored Prophecy has now been set in motion but Arlina refuses to roll over and let fate decide her future. Only she can control her destiny, no one else!

More is at stake now more than ever but will she prove that she can control her future, save the realms and reunite with her true love?

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Princess Alexia and the Dragon

by K. Meador

A wonderful children’s story that is sure to delight and entertain all princesses, and many princes.
Papa’s enchanting story about Princess Alexia shows Jasmine that sharing is important.
Younger children will enjoy having the story read to them and looking at the interesting and colourful illustrations while the language used is simple enough that older children can read it themselves.

Follow Princess Alexia as she and her brave dog, Zoey, as they embark on a mission to confront a fire-breathing dragon. She hopes to do what her father’s soldiers could not, capture the dragon so another Ample Apple Orchard celebration would not be attacked and the land set ablaze.

When Princess Alexia faces her adversary, she is frightened, but her fears abate once she and Titus, the dragon, begin talking. Can she convince Titus to stop plaguing her father’s kingdom, and will the festival be celebrated without fear of destruction?

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On Top of the Rainbow

by K. Meador

A lovely and imaginative story, with wonderful illustrations.
With the help of a unicorn and an unusual leprechaun, Gabe learns how much he means to his family, how important they are to him, and that running away won’t solve his problems.
It’s short enough to keep the attention of young children, and easy enough for school-aged youngsters to read.
On my kindle the writing is quite small, however, Amazon is working with the author to solve this.

Five year old Gabe runs away from home. While in the forest he meets Lep and Elita and climbs a rainbow. On Top of the Rainbow he must make the decision to cross over to a land of delight or go back to his family that he loves. Come and visit with Gabe, Lep and Elita as they discover the importance of family love.

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God Of War

by Ian Thompson

God of War is a well-written, descriptive and enthralling page-turner, that’s not for the faint-hearted.
The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next and who would survive (or not).
I liked the way the modern story and the one set in Roman times were told in alternating chapters through the book.
The characters, both ancient and modern, were fleshed out and believable.
I can’t say I liked all the characters, but then they weren’t all supposed to be likable.
A great book my a new-to-me author – I will be adding more books from Ian Thompson to my to-read list.

Horror of the Past. Terror of Today.

Roman greed and ambition created something almost two millennia ago. That creation still lives – starving, lusting for blood, eager to inflict suffering and carnage…
During the Roman Occupation of Britain, Gaius Pertinax embarks on a quest to provide “something special” for Nero’s gladiatorial arenas. The ever-worsening consequences of his actions will threaten his life, his sanity and even his soul…

A group of modern-day cavers discover the results of Gaius Pertinax’s ancient endeavours. They are trapped deep underground… Running out of food, supplies and power for their lights… Hunted by a behemoth worse than their darkest nightmares: a gigantic creature that kills both to feed and to satiate its sadistic desires…

Is there an escape from this subterranean hell? Can the God Of War ever be stopped..?

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Stone Cold

by Karina Kantas

A suspenseful short supernatural story that kept me hooked right up to the last page – I loved the twist at the end.
The story was well-written and flowed well.
The main characters have depth and dimension.
I would have liked a little more explanation regarding the possession.
It’s not an easy read, as self-harm, bullying, betrayal, and revenge are all portrayed in the story, but well worth it.

YA supernatural thriller.

Billy has been a target of bullying throughout her schooling. Exams are over but the stress she’s feeling leads her to thoughts of suicide. It’s her counselor that suggests she volunteers to assist in an archaeological dig in Scotland.

A secluded hostel. The residents start dropping like flies.
Billy knows who the murderer is.
Shane knows he’s next to die.

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Deep in the Hollow

by Brandy Nacole


The story is interesting with a few twists and has a new take on old legends and evil spirits.
The main characters were well developed and took you along with them as they battled the evil in their town.
This book has been a great introduction to new-to-me author, Brandy Nacole and I will be reading more of her books in the future.

Let me share some wisdom with you. There is evil in this world we cannot see, not because it is hidden from us, but because our minds refuse to accept its existence. But once we are able to get past what everyone says should not be, it becomes our responsibility to stop the evil we now see.

This insight wasn’t given to me until a year after I lost the most important person in my life: Bryce Rowan. Now, after another death at the same spot where he died—the overlook, where the mysterious lights dance amongst the trees—I begin to wonder if they were accidents after all.

Lucky for me, I’m not the only curious one in town. Cooper, a ghost hunter (aka chaser), and his sister Jada have moved to town and are starting to ask questions.

But the more we find out about this town and the people who live here, people who I have known my whole life, the more I begin to think there are those who would rather keep the evil secret, even if it means we will never be safe, and that more will die.

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Drayton, the Taker

by Tony Bertauski

A beautifully written, descriptive short story – the first of five, but is a good stand alone tale.
There is so much depth and intrigue in this story that I was drawn in and held captive for the brief time that I was reading it.
I was fascinated by Drayton and his unique story.
I’m glad there are more books because I’m looking forward to reading them.

Drayton once believed he was a vampire. He doesn’t know what he is. Or why he lives. He takes not his victim’s blood but the silky essence of their soul during their last breath. Often mistaken for the Angel of Death, his victims sometimes ask for forgiveness. Sometimes he delivers. After all, he is not without sin.

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JET: Oblivion

by Kim Cresswell


A short but great page turner with a superb plot.
Filled with non-stop action, it’s an adventurous white-knuckle ride with dynamic characters as the drivers.

After a catastrophic terrorist attack at a nuclear plant in California, JET, Mossad’s former deadliest operative, is leading a quiet life off the grid two-hundred-and-seventy miles away with her young daughter. But peace is short-lived when former FBI agent, Hal Decker, and ex-intelligence officer, Angela Donahue, track Jet down and blackmail her into helping them stop a new threat.

In a race against the clock the team must hunt down an al Qaeda terrorist cell working with the Sur del Calle cartel before a dirty bomb is smuggled out of Colombia and into the United States unleashing a deadlier attack at a second nuclear facility.

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Bleed

by Dax Varley

An entertaining and surprisingly light-hearted book.
The plot was unique and interesting, with plenty of suspense and twists throughout the story to keep me engaged. Alongside the tension and creepiness, there were also some humourous moments.
The vivid descriptions let me watch the scenes play out in front of me
The book is written from several viewpoints and I got a good insight into each person’s personality and their individual ability. Because of this I found it easy to like and care about each character.

LIFE IS A NIGHTMARE FOR Miranda Murphy. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms—an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months—one occurring just days before her arrival.

When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await.

Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students:

Topher – who can heal by touch.
Sam – who eats the sins of the dead.
And Xyan – who speaks and understands all languages.

It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds.

When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil that’s infecting their school.

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November Keys

by Michael & Brian Turner


Humour, magic, witchcraft, evil, crime, football, greed and a legendary tree mix well together in this book by Father and Son team, Michael and Brian Turner.
There’s a lot going on in this story (maybe a bit too much), with jumps back and forth in time and a lot of characters to get know.
The duo have done a good job of creating an entertaining read, but be prepared to leave your disbelief behind when you open the book.

November Keys Inhabitant
“If we had known, we would not have sold the club. I admit we succumbed to greed but we did not realise we were putting our heritage at such risk. They did take the team to great heights but the consequences were disastrous.”

American Gangster
“They asked for what they got. Did they seriously think that we were interested in some run down hick football club?”

November Keys Inhabitant
“Our benevolent buyers turned out to be ruthless. We had never experienced a murder in our village before. Not unless you include Cheryl’s cooking.”

American Gangster
“What did you expect? They had something I wanted. Something life changing. Do you think I was going to get it by playing peek a boo?”

November Keys Inhabitant
“Although we celebrated Harvesting Leaf Day and talked about the creatures in the tree, we did not actually expect to see them.”

November Keys, a quaint village that was ready to sell its soul to the Devil for hastily promised riches. However, when the Devil buys he expects to collect. A very funny tale of greed, gangsters and things that go bump in the night.

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Hell Is Coming

by N.P. Martin

An interesting and action-packed book.
The author has created a believable world populated by Nephilim, demons and more.
It was detailed, intriguing and kept up a good pace.
The main characters grew through the book and even the demons had their own varied personalities.

I enjoyed the book, however, it was like reading an episode of Supernatural but with Leia and her Uncle Frank as the main characters instead of Sam and Dean.

Leia Swanson has always believed in monsters, especially after one killed her parents when she was seven years old.

Now eighteen, Leia is being forced to confront those same monsters when they suddenly become part of her every day existence. Her life now turned upside down, she is drawn into a world of demons and the supernatural, where she must learn to fight for her life.

With help from an Uncle she never knew existed—one who harbours a dark secret concerning her mother—Leia must learn the ways of the Watcher’s, an underground group tasked with controlling the dark supernatural forces that threaten to destroy the world of humans. To become what she needs to be, Leia must put her life and very soul on the line, forever changing who and what she is.

Hell is coming for Leia Swanson—and she must do more than just survive to keep her soul.

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To Nowhere

by C.E. Wilson


A quick read from C.E. Wilson.
The story was a bit slow to get going, but picked up pace after a while.
I liked that the storyline was original and creative, it was that and the small details that kept my attention.
However, apart from the giant, Brindt, who captures and takes cares of Lyris, I didn’t find the other characters very likable, and at times I hoped they got what was coming to them.
Lyris was frustrating and annoying. She was too trusting at times and yet overly suspicious at others, and just as it seemed she was growing and making progress, she would suddenly revert back to her original spoilt self.

A world no one would believe.

From the moment Lyris is treated to coffee by a beautiful stranger, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. In her enthusiasm to start at a new school with a new boyfriend, Lyris is almost able to look past his oddities.

Almost.

The way he eyes up her striking red hair.

The way he loves that she’s seventeen. “The perfect age.”

And the way he’s gone from all but begging to show her a specific room in a specific house to making her swear never to even think about it again.

When Lyris doesn’t take his strange warnings seriously, she finds that nothing could have prepared her for what lay behind that door.

Suddenly, Lyris finds herself in a world no one would believe. A world where she’s only a few inches tall and giants aren’t creatures from fairy tales. Where humans are no longer the dominant race, but pets auctioned off to the highest bidder. Lyris understands the true danger of such a place, but there seems to be one person on her side.

Her kind and surprised captor.

And while Brindt appears to be sweet and trustworthy, he also straddles the line between seeing her as an equal and a cute animal.

Lyris has to get home… before the one person can turn to becomes the one person who can’t let her go.

Spotlight on The Guardian Novels

by Jen Winters

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Author Jen Winters fell in love with paranormal romance after her daughter was born and she needed a way to escape reality for a few minutes a day. She loved it so much she decided to take her own pen to it.

She is a stay-at-home mom, homeschooling two great kids. She spends her days with the kids and her nights with her book boyfriends. She is grateful to her hubby for all his support and love, and can’t imagine this life without him.

The top-selling world of the Guardians was developed through deeply irreligious conversations with her father who likes to misinterpret scripture as often as humanly possible and a good dose of did-I-just-read-that-! when looking into ancient near eastern mythology and scripture.

Be sure to follow her Amazon author page for updates when she publishes.

The Books

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When Yuruch calls for his children to join him in Ft. Worth, it takes every ounce will will-power Alex has to stay away. He may have to go to Texas, but he would rather die than become his father’s puppet.

This novelette follows Alex in the days leading up to meeting Geneva. If you haven’t already read Kissing Demons, this is your chance to meet the MCs from Alex’s POV.

Kissing the Rain is FREE on Amazon

Reviews for Kissing the Rain

I reviewed Kissing the Rain: A Guardian Novelette (The Guardian Novels)
Impossible to put down  12 July 2015A brief but very entertaining short introduction to The Guardian Novels.
It’s a fast-paced, well-written book, with amazing characters and great attention to detail.
Jen Winters has a wonderful imagination and for a short time I was allowed to escape into her world.
I read it in one sitting, it’s impossible to put down.
I enjoyed it immensely and have already started reading the next book in the series, Kissing Demons.
(13/7/15)
Having finished Kissing Demons, I just want to add that the events in this book run alongside the events at the beginning of Kissing Demons, but from a different point of view
Robin reviewed Kissing the Rain: A Guardian Novelette (The Guardian Novels)
Worth it August 29, 2015I’m not so great with words, but I really loved this story! I loved it enough that I bought every book she has available on Amazon and have been excited to have a new author to follow and read. The summary already tells you what it’s about, but I will say that her characters are exceptionally well-written. They make you want to get to know them better and that is just what they did to me. Happy reading! I definitely recommend this book.
JSReads reviewed Kissing the Rain: A Guardian Novelette (The Guardian Novels)
Senses and Sensuality: An excellent paranormal romance! August 29, 2015Kissing the Rain: A Guardian Novelette is a beautifully written adult paranormal romance. The writing is vivid: “Air slammed back into my lungs…Rats scratched at my throat.” Alex is a half-breed who must keep his sensuous werewolf and aura-eating incubus halves in balance. He can reach sensory overload in a crowd ripe with sights, smells, auras, and emotions; the story is drenched with well-described senses and sensuality. Geneva is the dangerous guardian who attracts him. When Alex is called by his powerful, evil father he finds clever ways to resist. Jen Winters has concocted a most excellent read!

Kissing Demons

I’ve been a Guardian for 800 years, and sometimes, even us immortals need a vacation. So when my big sister calls and tells me I’m off for two weeks, I take the opportunity to visit my favorite place: The Hunter’s Moon, a bar for supernaturals only. There’s a few things I want to accomplish while I’m not working: get a grimoire, find a little temporary fun, and make a friend. I did not want to find my soul mate, nearly die, watch a sister give up this life, and see my city in the throes of mass destruction.

What am I supposed to do now? My vacations over, my soul mate’s been kidnapped by a demon I’m not powerful enough to defeat, and Fort Worth, one of the cities I love, is in pieces. If I help the city, I will lose my soul mate; if I help my Alex, I will lose the city. What kind of Guardian would I be if I didn’t do everything in my power to defeat Yuruch? Am I even sure I want to be a Guardian anymore?

kissing_demons_painted_coverfinal_full_sizeGuardian Geneva Archer might be more infamous than famous among the supernaturals in Ft. Worth, but when a sexy werewolf enters her territory, she finds herself face to face with her worst fear: save humanity or save her soulmate?

After 800 years of guarding humanity from the things that make your hair stand on end in the dead of night, Geneva Archer is given a two-week vacation to work out her feelings of loneliness and refresh her spirit. With time on her hands, she goes to her favorite club: a place for supernaturals to gather without worrying about human interference. While there, she meets Alex, a compelling werewolf with a demonic side. But instead of blasting him back to hell like her instincts would normally tell her to do, Geneva falls head over heels.

For Alex, Geneva is an answer to prayer. She can free him from the most notorious demon walking the earth—his father. Yuruch isn’t interested in his offspring’s life, just his body—the perfect body for a demon to inhabit. With Alex’s body and powers, Yuruch will become nearly invincible, able to wreak his hellish destruction on humanity from an impenetrable fortress.

In order to get his hands on Alex, Yuruch kidnaps one of Geneva’s sisters, luring both her and Alex into an ambush. After the botched rescue mission, Alex is possessed by Yuruch, leaving Geneva with a dead sister, a destroyed city and no way to get her soulmate back without giving Yuruch everything he desires.

Can Geneva figure out a way to defeat Yuruch and save Alex without sacrificing the very best of humanity in the process? Does she even want to?

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Reviews for Kissing Demons

I reviewed Kissing Demons (The Guardian Novels Book 1)
A real page-turner  13 July 2015Another fast-paced, page-turning, paranormal romance from Jen Winters.
An enchanting tale written from the POV of the heroine, a smart, tough and tender Guardian
I love the writing style, the depth and strength of the many characters, the fascinating and unique world, and the hot yet sweet romance.I am looking forward to reading the next installment.
Angie Fournier Kissing Demons (The Guardian Novels Book 1)
Captivating  August 23, 2015Absolutely one of the best stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading! If you read any paranormal genre, this book needs to be on your TBR list. It’s got everything you never knew you wanted to read.
Scott Borgman reviewed Kissing Demons (The Guardian Novels Book 1)
Add another star, I need 6 for this book!!!  August 17, 2015I was pleasantly surprised with Kissing Demons. It’s told in first person from the viewpoint of the main character, Geneva. Very quickly, I became caught up in the story, and Jen weaves a tale that is extremely well done – giving bits and pieces throughout the story that really bring the not only the main character to life, but the others as well. What becomes so captivating about the story is how intricate the overall world is (set in modern day) without being overwhelming.There is of course a struggle within the book, but it doesn’t actually come about until about halfway through. Until that point, everything before builds a solid base for that last half to stand on. The sheer amount of different aspects that come into play and how Jen weaves them all together is simply amazing. The historical pieces that are referred to throughout the story only make it better, because they blend in with the story in such a way that it’s easy to believe what happened during those occurrences and how they are explained in the story.There are some steamy spots within the book, but like everything else, they make sense when they show up and in fact are actually a necessary part of the story. And nothing is explicitly descriptive when one arrives at those scenes.There were a few places where things felt like they were a bit slower compared to the rest of the book, but nothing so dramatic or overly long that I lost interest in the story.

Overall, the characters were exceptionally well done, the story was interesting and engaging, and the references to various historical incidents had this reader thoroughly enjoying Kissing Demons from beginning to end. Definitely looking forward to coming back for the next book!!!

Falling Angels

What’s worse than losing your job? Falling_Angels_cover
How about losing your life, your home, and everything familiar? I just wanted to work. What did I get in return? A long fucking fall with a sudden stop.

Stranded on earth with little hope for survival and an eternity of banishment ahead of me, I did the only thing I knew—I worked the jobs I could. Until I realized I’d been replaced. Then I got mad.

Eleven thousand years of fighting for my destiny had me broken, bitter, and ready to just give up. And then my best friend blew up Fort Worth and screwed the entire universe in the process. Now I have to save his ass from everyone including the Guardians.

I hate Guardians—those intrusive vixens replaced me, took over my job, and left me utterly useless. But this one, Lavinia, she’s almost as old as I am and she is starting to get under my skin. I can’t concentrate when she’s around—everything about her mystifies me and why the hell do I remember her from before? She shouldn’t even exist! And certainly not in my memory.

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Reviews for Kissing the Rain

I reviewed Falling Angels (The Guardian Novels Book 2)
Wonderful imagination  2 Aug. 2015I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because I think it’s worth repeating.
Jen Winters has a wonderful imagination!
I love escaping into her world of demons, angels, guardians, werewolves and vampires.
There’s fantastic action, wonderful romance, and plenty of twists that keep you reading and wondering what’s going to happen next.
This is a great addition to the series and I am now patiently (ok impatiently) waiting for the next book.
Dana Busenbark reviewed Falling Angels (The Guardian Novels Book 2)
A toe curling book, looking into the life of a Fallen Angel July 17, 2015This was Ambrose’s story, one of the Fallen Angels. It was a very interesting read, seeing Jen Winters take on how things were created and when and what the Angels were supposed to be doing and why the Thetas were created. How guardians came to be, how Yuruch’s children came to be. There are some pretty unexpected twists in the story arc that just curl your toes for good and curl your toes in an “OMG” fashion. Watching the transformation that Ambrose goes through in this book was fascinating. His thoughts, feelings, moods, his desire to continue working even though he was fallen. It all really made this story cohesive and helps to understand some of the things that happened in the first book that I wondered about. I’m already anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, “Raising Hell.” Yuruch’s story definitely needs to be the next one to be told. Especially after what happened in this book. Poor Demon.
Miranda Shanklin reviewed Falling Angels (The Guardian Novels Book 2)
This book grabbed my attention and I couldn’t put it down until I was done with it  July 8, 2015This book is a great continuation of the story. It can be read as a stand alone and you would not feel like you missed anything by not reading the first book.I loved seeing another side of Yuruch that gives me so much more insight into this character. I also liked seeing that even fallen angels can be bitter.This book grabbed my attention and I couldn’t put it down until I was done with it.The creation of the wolves and vampires was an interesting twist in the story. I found myself rooting for the unlikely friendship that saved both Yuruch and Ambrose. There were plenty of twists that have you guessing what will happen next. It is not predictable at all.

Thank you for joining me on my first book spotlight.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

Thanks again, Rainne

Books I Read in August

Origins of the Never

by C.J. Rutherford

This short prequel is a great introduction to the Tales of the Neverwar.
There is something special about the story, the characters, and the world(s) that sucked me in and won’t let go.

A prequel to The Tales of the Neverwar series, with dragons, elves and faeries.

Two friends closer than brothers. In a world of immortals, they are destined to become the mightiest among them.

An evil, thought banished forever, seeks to ensnare an unwitting pawn.

A perfect world, destined for destruction faces a desperate choice.

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Souls of the Never

by C.J. Rutherford

Wow! Never a dull moment in this interesting and thrilling blend of fantasy and science fiction.
The storyline is complex and attention grabbing.
All the characters were well-rounded, not just the main ones.
The world building was creative and the author puts his own twist on the idea of alternate/parallel universes. He must have a vivid imagination.
There are dragons, faeries, brownies, a horrifically evil bad guy, plus love, romance, trust, and betrayal all wrapped up in an amazing story.
I’m looking forward to reading Worlds of the Never.

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 20-year-old Katheryne dreams. Her dreams are killing her. Each night she sleeps, the beast comes closer to taking over and crossing into her world.

On Sanctuary, a world at the heart of the Never, the Liberi warrior, Derren, searches desperately for the face from his dreams. His soul cries out for her. She is the saviour, and only he can find her.

At the edge of the universe a dormant evil awakens. His slumber is over as the Veil that hides his source of power slowly collapses, allowing magic to trickle back into his malevolent grasp.

This is a battle of light against darkness. If darkness wins, we can only hope we die. The alternative is too terrible to imagine.

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…Before You Leap

by Les Lynam

A well-written and humorous read.
The characters were brilliantly described, completely believable and come alive as you read.
I loved Sean’s reaction to the science behind time travel, which was interesting and not overly complicated.
Ther was no great cliffhanger at the end, but it was left open for another book, which I’ll be more than happy to read
This book was so much more than a sci-fi/time-travel novel.

Sean Kelly considered himself an average 16-year-old, living in an average neighborhood in a small University town. Nothing too exciting ever happened in Grover’s Corners, Missouri; some might even label it boring. His ordinary life was disrupted when a distant relative dropped by at the beginning of his Junior year in high-school. A distant relative from the 23rd Century.

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…Saves Nine

by Les Lynam

Wow! Amazing! I loved this book!
If you read and enjoyed …Before You Leap read this! In my opinion, it’s even better.

The plot is fascinating and the writing outstanding.
The characters from book one continue to develop, and the characters new to this book are well fleshed out.
How the author keeps all the toing and froing between different times straight in his mind while writing it so that it’s completely understandable for the reader is beyond me.
I can only hope that Les Lynam can also travel through time so that the next book in the series will be waiting for me when I finish this book yesterday!

Sean Kelly and LX travel back one more generation to the year 1969. The question is: will either teen know how to ‘make the scene’ in the sixties? Can they blend in with the other teens in tiny Mercer, Iowa; including Sean’s dad? When they return to 1995, both of them have regrets about the past.

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Falling Angels

by Jen Winters

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, because I think it’s worth repeating.
Jen Winters has a wonderful imagination!
I love escaping into her world of demons, angels, guardians, werewolves and vampires.
There’s fantastic action, wonderful romance, and plenty of twists that keep you reading and wondering what’s going to happen next.
This is a great addition to the series and I am now patiently (ok impatiently) waiting for the next book.

What’s worse than losing your job? How about losing your life, your home, and everything familiar? I just wanted to work. What did I get in return? A long fucking fall with a sudden stop.
Stranded on earth with little hope for survival and an eternity of banishment ahead of me, I did the only thing I knew—I worked the jobs I could. Until I realized I’d been replaced. Then I got mad.
Eleven thousand years of fighting for my destiny had me broken, bitter, and ready to just give up. And then my best friend blew up Fort Worth and screwed the entire universe in the process. Now I have to save his ass from everyone including the Guardians.
I hate Guardians—those intrusive vixens replaced me, took over my job, and left me utterly useless. But this one, Lavinia, she’s almost as old as I am and she is starting to get under my skin. I can’t concentrate when she’s around—everything about her mystifies me and why the hell do I remember her from before? She shouldn’t even exist! And certainly not in my memory.

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Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels

by J. K. Norry

It’s a hard to put down, page turner. Well written and descriptive, with a thrilling storyline and a unique take on personal demons and angels.
The author brought his characters to life in my mind and I lived alongside them through the turmoil and action.

However, be prepared, the ending is a real cliffhanger! Have the next book ready. If I had, I wouldn’t have spent the past hour, since finishing the book, cussing J.K. Norry.

Meet the unsung heroes of the supernatural, those who walk between worlds to help humans battle their demons. This is the spellbinding tale of a special group of people whose lives were changed forever. Watch the ordinary collide with the extraordinary to test the mettle of their souls and the power of their love.

The first book in an exciting new series, Walking Between Worlds; Book I: Demons & Angels introduces us to a new way of looking at both the natural and the supernatural worlds. Join Paul Stone and Kris Reed as they walk between worlds in search of answers and themselves.

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Riddle

by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

A well-written book, with an intriguing storyline and a great cast of fleshed-out characters.
The book has believable romance and unpredictable mystery.
A true riddle with many twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end.

Seven years ago Kort Eriksen went to prison for killing his girlfriend Desiree. Now he’s back in Riddle and some people think he got off easy. Others, including long time friend Norma, think he was railroaded because he’s the only Native American in town. Grace Donahue is running away from her past. Trapped in Riddle until her car is repaired she develops a friendship with Kort. Suddenly accidents are happening and people are dying. Is Kort adding to his list of victim’s or has someone else taken the reins? As mysteries from the past rise to the surface, more questions will be raised. The suspect file grows as victim’s fall. Is Desiree’s killer back for more or is someone trying to avenge her death? The riddle of Riddle will be solved, but how many bodies will it take to find the answers?

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Blood Rose

by Danielle Rose

The book was interesting and kept my attention.
The storyline is well thought out, well written and cracks along at a good pace.
You get a detailed insight into what it means to be a witch and a vampire.
The characters are well-developed and brought to life. Avah especially is interesting and complex character

I’d like to see what happens next.

When Avah Taylor’s family relocates to the remote mountains of Shasta, California, she thinks she can finally hide the secrets of her family’s ancestry, a history that has marked Avah as an outcast her entire life.

But after only mere months of living in northern California, Avah’s given a death sentence. As one of the only Spirit users in her coven, she has been chosen to yield The Power, the ultimate weapon against the immortal species and an all-too-powerful gift that the shell of a mortal can’t contain for long.

As Avah slowly transitions into a life of blood and war, she realizes the world isn’t what it seems—and that everything she’s been told is a lie.

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Dry Land

by Jennifer Anne Seidler

I got caught up in this fast moving, entertaining, and action-packed novella.
Both the human characters and the hybrid android ones were interesting and I loved the surprise twist.

I enjoyed the short bonus stories at the end of the book.
The first one was interesting and explained the origins of two of the characters from the previous tale.
The second takes place after Dry Land and is a humorous snippet of life for the same two characters.

When mankind toys with nature, nature fights back. Astronaut Ted “Shakespeare” Hardiston is setting off on the adventure of a lifetime — for the rest of his life. He reluctantly leaves behind his wife, an android/human hybrid, to command the first base on the surface of the moon. Ted and the crew of Space Shuttle Liberty complete their mission, gifting the Moon with gravity and an atmosphere. In doing so, they cause mass destruction on the Earth below. By Ted’s side during this ordeal is Codie-5, another hybrid and a genetic duplicate of Ted’s wife. Ted, Codie, and the crew must work fast and make sacrifices to save the world — and for Ted, to return to the love of his life

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Thaddeus Whiskers and the Dragon

by H.L. Burke

A delightful story for youngsters, although I believe we are never to old for a good fairy tale.
It has all the elements of a great fantasy story… a sweet natured princess, an eternally young kitten, a ferocious/friendly dragon, an evil queen, an incompetent wizard and much more.
A wonderful read for the young and the young at heart.

Thaddeus F. Whiskers is a pampered palace pet, a kitten enchanted to never become a cat. Princess Clarice loves him, for in the entire kingdom, there is no other kitten as cute or as clever. He leads a life of cushions and cream until a wizard’s “gift” results in his banishment. Determined to make it back to the princess he loves, he escapes into the wilderness where he discovers the lair of a dragon.

Grandious, the dragon, doesn’t care about anything besides himself. He wants to be left alone with his treasure. However, there is something about Thaddeus that has him entranced. He finds himself opening his home and his heart to the little cat.

Thaddeus is a small creature in a big world. Between him and his beloved Princess stand conniving wizards, would-be-step-mothers, and rampaging rats. However, when danger threatens both Clarice and Grandious, Thaddeus won’t allow his size to get in the way of saving his friends.

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How Maxwell Grover Stole My House

by C.E. Vance

Although aimed at an audience much younger than I am, I enjoyed every minute of this book.
It was well-written, with age-appropriate language and some great gross-out moments.
The children in the story were likeable and acted their age during their adventures. The villain of the piece was disgusting and scary, but not too much for the younger reader.
A fun read that you and your kids will love.

Book 1 in the exciting new kids trilogy!

What if every fear you ever had about your creepy next-door neighbor turned out to be true?

10- year-old Zeke Langley has become the target of his nasty new neighbor, Maxwell Grover. For reasons known only to him, the unsavory stranger seems determined to make Zeke’s life miserable and force his family out of their home.

Inevitably, Zeke and his best friend Winks set out on a journey to discover what Grover is hiding. What they find sends them down a road they never imagined … and on a mission they may never return from.

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Hybrid

by Nick Stead

A great, dark read from beginning to end.
The best way I can describe it is as a book of two halves.
The first half is about a teenagers difficult adjustment to becoming a werewolf, even though he had always wanted to be one.
The second half is more action packed as the body count rises and the undead battle to survive the slayers.
The characters were well written and the story kept me guessing.
I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.

A full moon rises and blood is about to be spilled. Nick Stead, once a regular teenage boy falls prey to the werewolf curse. He begins to change in ways he cannot understand. The first transformation after receiving the bite is only the beginning. From that moment on, death follows in his wake as he seeks to satisfy the insatiable hunger awoken within. But hunter can easily become the hunted, and whilst battling his own lupine instincts, he must also hide his lycanthropy from those who would seek to wipe out his race. A clandestine faction known as the Demon Slayers are closing in on his trail and mean to wipe out his kind once and for all.

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Infinite Waters

by Nicholas C. Rossis

A collection of nine seemingly unrelated short stories that are connected by another story which slowly unfolds through the book.
Each story is different, from dark to fun and everything in between. They are all well-written and most have a twist or two.

Ten speculative fiction short stories and flash fiction, written by the award-winning author of Pearseus and Runaway Smile.

Although they seem to be concerned with various themes, there are certain passions that run through them. What is the nature of reality; digital and corporeal? Is there more to the world than we can see? How far can we trust our senses? What are the consequences of our actions, and is it possible to change them? And if so, would we simply repeat same mistakes, or make new ones?

The anthology includes the following stories:

“Infinite Waters”: A woman seeks her future at a carnival. She discovers more than she expected.
“The Twist in the Tale”: A confused woman meanders through a sleepy town. But not all is as it seems.
“James’ Life”: A man with nothing to look forward to but oblivion, discovers it’s not that easy to escape his life.
“What’s in a Name?”: A trip to the tropics has an unexpected ending.
“The Lucky Bastard”: How far will the luckiest man alive go to escape his luck?
“Two’s a Crowd”: Blood runs thicker than water. Especially when you spill it.
“Is There a Doctor in the House?”: A high school student just loves to experiment.
“Sex and Dinner”: A timeless combination. Or is it?
“Would You Like Files With That?”: Nothing’s scarier than a supermarket.
“The Hand of God”: Nothing has prepared a grizzly veteran for this meeting *.
(* first published in The Power of Six)

Humorous and poignant, these short stories are exciting, intriguing and imaginative.

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The Branches of Time

by Luca Rossi

The book held my interest from start to finish. The story toggles back and forth with different POVS and flashbacks.
The writing flows easily, the characters are fascinating and so is the plot.

The population of the island of Turios is mercilessly exterminated by the workings of black magic. Only Bashinoir, badly wounded, his wife Lil, and the Priestess Miril have survived. Determined to give their loved ones a worthy burial, the three soon discover that the corpses have disappeared. Their only hope for salvation now lies in the magical protection of the Temple, as sinister threats continue to pursue them. A shadow spreads over their hearts, dividing and destroying them, as their bodies appear to be fading away. Feeling increasingly isolated, Bashinoir watches as the two women grow closer…
In the Kingdom of Isk, wizards and wisemen alike must bow down before the insatiable King Beanor, whose greed for power and war is matched only by his hunger for sex. A young woman he has chosen as his next bride does not, however, wish to surrender her freedom to love and live. Will games and tricks under the sheets turn the tide in a war that has lasted thousands of years?

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Brilliant Disguise

by Mary Anne Edwards

Mystery and romance rolled up into one story.
The characters are well developed and colourful.
The descriptions and detail drew me in.
The book was intriguing, well-written, and kept me guessing until the end.

Detective Charlie McClung no longer finds his job fulfilling and has given up finding that “someone” his granny promised he would find. So he leaves behind the big city and his close-knit family and takes a job in a small town police department in Georgia, resigned to live a quiet life in solitude.

Things change when he meets Marian Selby while investigating the mysterious death of her best friend. But Marian swore never to love again after the death of her husband 11 years ago. What seems to be a suicide turns into a tangled web of deceit, corruption, and complicated shadows.

Can the two of them come to grips with their feelings for each other before the killer closes in on them?

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A Good Girl

by Mary Anne Edwards

The second book in the series picks up soon after the first, with another crime and another mystery.
It introduces us to Charlie’s extended family who were fun and likeable. The introduction of so many new characters was done in such a way as to not overwhelm you.
Each book could be read as a stand-alone mystery because you are not left hanging, but you wouldn’t have the background or see the love developing between Charlie & Marian.
Another well-written mystery, although this time I did have the suspect pegged before the end.

For Charlie McClung, going home to Virginia with Marian was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but upon arrival at his childhood home, he’s met with a note instead of his family. “Don’t worry, Love, we’re all okay. Come to the shop. A dead girl was found in an armoire delivered just now. Huggies, Ma” Charlie is quickly recruited to help solve the murder of a young girl who was on the path to becoming a nun. The suspects begin to mount as Charlie delves deep into the girl’s life revealing a sordid and ugly side of the town’s good girl.
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Vampire Addiction

by Eva Pohler

The author has a unique take on vampires and weaves them seamlessly into Greek Mythology in this story.
She has created an amazing world with characters that are realistic and easy to relate to. Their actions and decisions are typical for their age.
It’s an amazing start to a new series and I’m interested to see where the author is going next with these characters.

Seventeen-year-old Gertrude Morgan, the only child of one of the wealthiest couples in America, is shipped away from her home in New York City to the American school in Athens against her will. Her parents just want to get rid of her, and she knows it. Although she has no friends (her private schoolmates all seem fake), she sees no point in making any new ones on her trip, since she’ll only be visiting for one school year. Despite her efforts to remain aloof and in the world of her books, she falls in love with her boisterous and affectionate host family, as they do her.

But the city of Athens has secrets.

Her host family calls them “tramps.” In Greek, they are called vrykolakas, or “vryks,” which sometimes gets translated to “freaks.” They are the vampires of Athens, created centuries ago by the Maenads. They live in caves beneath the acropolis without economic resources and according to rules imposed on them by the Olympians. First and foremost, they are forbidden from turning humans into vampires. The human will not turn unless all of the blood is drained, so a vampire is allowed to drink up to one pint per month from a willing mortal. Some mortals are willing because a vampire bite will infect the body for six hours, and during that time, the mortal has the powers of the vampire: flight, invisibility, strength, speed, x-ray vision, and mind control. Such great power can become irresistible, though dangerous and addicting to mortals…

As Gertie uncovers the unfathomable secrets of this ancient city, she is drawn to the beauty and deep thoughts of a boy she first met on the bus into Athens–Jeno. Her host family and another boy she later learns is a demigod warn her to stay away from him, but her curiosity gets the best of her and she unwittingly becomes a catalyst in an uprising led by Dionysus, the god of wine and lord of the vampires..

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The Hunter and the Witch

by Rachel Chanticleer

A short read that whets your appetite for what will hopefully continue in future books.
For a short read, the book contains plenty of detail, a good backstory, wonderful characters and an interesting plot.

A Crescent City Arcana short story

A lethal stranger hunted Bethany Hayes down and nearly killed her. But without uttering a single word, he spared her life and vanished, turning her world upside down. Left with newfound abilities and visions of her attacker, Beth tried to make the most of this second chance.

Lucius Sempronius Asper learned to kill in the amphitheaters of ancient Rome. Enslaved and bound by the dark magic of a powerful witch, he spent centuries eradicating innocent witches at her command. Though made immortal by her enchantment, he was as good as dead inside.

All Lucius knew, what he thought he’d become, changed with Bethany. His one impulsive act of salvation linked them in ways they never could have imagined.

Will Beth be strong enough to free him, or will the hunter become the hunted?

This short story chronicles how Beth and Lucius learned of the existence of magic, and of each other.
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The Dune

by Bruce Beckham

The book was enjoyable, well-written, and atmospheric. I could feel the sand between my toes and the sun on my face.
However given the tagline on the book “sun, sand… and sorcery”, I expected more sorcery and fewer birds.
Over half of the book was given over to twitchers, bird sightings, bird habitats and the like. The sorcery didn’t really come into its own until the final 3rd of the book, and then it seemed a bit rushed although the ending was a complete surprise.

A shy, academic teenager, Luke spent the long, hot summer of 1976 working on an isolated bird reserve in Norfolk, England. Like most young men of his age, he found his thoughts preoccupied with the opposite sex and, gradually, peculiar events unfolded around him that seemed designed to take advantage of this Achilles heel.

36 years later, the discovery of human remains at a coastal archaeological site sheds shocking new light upon his experiences of 1976, compelling him to reappraise his memories and, finally, to return to East Anglia in an attempt to unravel the truth of a tale of witchcraft, intrigue, murder and love.

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The Feedback Loop

by Harmon Cooper

An interesting read that kept me entertained to the end.
The characters, even the video games NPCs (non-playable characters), were fleshed out and well written.
The story was intriguing, full of action and had a touch of humour.
Although this is the first book of a series it works well as a stand-alone book.

Stuck in a virtual dreamworld called The Loop, a man named Quantum Hughes struggles to free himself from a glitch that forces him to live the same day on repeat. His life changes when a mysterious letter arrives one morning from a woman named Frances Euphoria, the first human player he has made contact with in a very long time. Once Frances appears, members of a murder guild known as the Reapers begin surfacing in The Loop, hoping to capture Quantum or worse — kill him. To further complicate matters, The Loop itself is doing everything it can to stop Quantum from finding the hidden logout point by turning everything in the virtual dreamworld against him.

With time running out, will Quantum break free from his digital coma before he’s captured or killed by the Reapers? Who is Frances Euphoria, and what does she actually know about how long Quantum has been trapped?

The Feedback Loop Series takes place thirty years before the Life is a Beautiful Thing Series. It shares the same world, but is a standalone series that focus on dream-based virtual reality worlds and the people who are trapped in them. The next book in the series will be called Steampunk is Dead, and will be released in the fall.
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The Lost Mask

by Ashley Capes

I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy City of Masks: and am happy to say that the second book is just as good.
Familiar characters from book one are here as well as some new ones.
This book has less intrigue and more adventure. It’s fast-paced and quickly switches from one setting to another.
You do really need to read City of Masks to get the best from this book, but unlike book one this one ends in a cliffhanger.

Ashley Capes sent me an ecopy in return for an honest review.

The city of Anaskar is facing its most desperate challenge in centuries.

The enormous corpse of the Sea Beast has breached the walls and an invasion from across the sea is threatening. Cut off from the mysterious golden egg and bereft of the hope of ever seeing his family again, Ain remains in prison, at the mercy of the new king who obviously wants something from him.

Meanwhile, Flir and Luik struggle to contain the illness spreading from the Beast, as Notch and Sofia begin their desperate search for her father.

Charged with hunting down Vinezi, Flir and Luik find themselves thwarted at every turn while Notch and Sofia discover twisted magic is at work in the Bloodwood where the strange Sap-Born may prove to be the worst threat they have encountered yet.

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It Lives in The Basement

by Sahara Foley

This quick read is a great monster story with a start that drops you straight in at the deep end.
It’s split into 3 easy to read parts that combine to tell a creepy tale that spans years.

One day your three cats disappear, the next day, your girlfriend. And you think something that’s living in your basement killed them. You’ve seen it before, out of the corner of your eye, but told yourself it was one of the cats. Now, you disappear.

At a gruesome murder scene, Detective Carter and Sergeant Alvarez must uncover the truth of how the victim actually died. What they discover is evidence of an unknown creature. Do they dare go into the basement to confront it? Who will survive?