Tag Archive | murder

Books I Read in July ’17

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Thief of the Night Guild

by Andy Peloquin

35281158The first book of Queen of Thieves (Child of the Night Guild) was “an edge of your seat, fast-moving and unforgettable read” and I was eager to read this second book.

Thief of the Night Guild is everything I hoped it would be, and much more!

Ilanna is now a strong and determined journeyman, a professional thief and a woman in what is mainly a mans world. She wants to secure her freedom from the guild and protect her son from its clutches.

The characters were so skilfully drawn that I felt as though I was living along side them.
So I joined Ilanna and her accomplices as they strived to pull off the greatest heist in Praamis.
Andy Peloquin’s fluent and descriptive writing ensured that I felt the joy of friendship and suffered heartache and pain from the betrayal and loss of our friends.

Illana’s story – so far – is one that will stay with me for a very long time.
And I am now waiting on tenterhooks for the next book in the series.

 
“I am Ilanna, Journeyman of House Hawk. I do the impossible.”

A cunning thief of unrivaled ingenuity, Ilanna is determined to secure her freedom. Nothing will prevent her escape from the Night Guild’s callous cruelty, not even the most powerful man in Praamis, Duke Phonnis.

Commanding a crew of pickpockets, bounty hunters, poisoners, and assassins, Ilanna schemes to disgrace the Duke. She must survive blackmail, a bloodthirsty rival syndicate, and enemies within her own House to claim her spoils: vengeance for the deaths of her friends and gold to buy independence.

But all Ilanna’s skill may not suffice to protect the one person who matters most: her son.

***

Flirting With Time: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

35555087 Another wonderful and entertaining mystery in the Charlie McClung series.

Mary Anne Edwards’ books go from strength to strength. The characters continue to develop and the mysteries get more intriguing and suspenseful.

I’ll be looking forward to the next instalment in Charlie, Marian and their friends lives.

To get the best out of this series the books should be read in order.

 
Detective Charlie McClung is haunted by someone leaving mysterious paper hearts in odd places for his bride, Marian. Any thought that this is the work of a harmless prankster quickly vanishes when his men are attacked and people begin to die. The stalker is growing bolder and Charlie knows he needs to act quickly but there are too many suspects, too many alibis, and too much at stake.

***

Wolf Bride: The Tale of Ailis and Eoghan

by C.D. Gorri

35222715C.D. Gorri takes us back to a time before the formation of the Macconwood Pack.

It’s a well written and fascinating, historical look at Macconwoods first Alpha and his mate. The story pulls you in and doesn’t let go.

Another superb book from this talented author.

The path to true love is often rocky, especially for Werewolves Eoghan MacContire and Ailis Dungannon in 16th Century Ireland.

Find out how it all began in this prequel to the Macconwood Pack Series.

***

The Hunger Within

by Lily Luchesi

35510557 The Hunger Within is not your customary stereotypical vampire story…. It’s a heck of a lot steamier!

There’s a lot of action and intrigue packed into this short story from Lily Luchesi, as Bec starts her new life alongside her dominating sire and fathoms out how to deal with all the complications that go with it.

 
Newly turned vampire Rebecca Renfield is about to discover that there is much more to the world of the Undead than sex, blood, and handcuffs. Her sire and Mistress is the direct descendant of Count Dracula, and that means she has a reputation to uphold. Meetings with vampiric dignitaries, secret blood and bondage dungeons, and vampire hunters now fill the couple’s nights. is this world everything Bec thought it would be, or will she fall under the pressure of what it means to be the submissive to the most powerful vampiress in the world?

***

Crane

by Stacey Rourke

35222715Crane is an entertaining and (in parts) amusing story. I liked how the author blended the ‘historic’ tale with the modern day twist on the retelling of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.

Although I thought the characters could do with a bit more developing, the story was well written and kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next.

 
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

***

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Books I Read in January ’17

fbbannerChild of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves #1)

by Andy Peloquin

33412715An edge of your seat, fast-moving and unforgettable read from Andy Peloquin.

I was drawn in the moment I started reading and my attention was held right up to the last word!

I spent ten years with Ilanna, shared her hopes and fears, and her triumphs and failures. I felt the aches and pains, the cuts and broken bones, and sat with her friends as she healed. I watched her grow from a scared, lonely little girl, called Viola, through months of torture, as Seven, and years of training, as Ilanna the apprentice, into a strong and determined journeyman.

The details and descriptions of Praamis, and the believable characters, each with their own personalities and troubles, made this book come to life. I didn’t just read a story… I lived it!

Andy Peloquin is an amazing writer and story-teller!

I loved the book and am eager to read the next book in the series.

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.
The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.
What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

***

If Wishes Were Horses… (The Neil Marshall Mysteries Book 1)

by Tim Hemlin

30361439An exciting and suspenseful murder mystery which held my attention from start to finish.

Neil Marshall is a multi-dimensional character, friendly, loyal, and easy to like.
The rest of the cast are also well fleshed out with their own quirks and personalities.

The many twists and turns kept me guessing who killed Jason, but I didn’t have a clue until it was revealed.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Neil Marshall is a graduate student in the University of Houston’s creative writing program and a promising young poet.

However, facing a financially and emotionally draining divorce has him worried about more than paying tuition. So, to make ends meet, Neil moonlights as a chef for a high-society caterer.

Just when Neil’s life seems bleakest, his oldest friend, racehorse breeder Jason Keys, is murdered. And Neil becomes the prime suspect.

To avenge his friend, clear his name, and rescue a missing championship thoroughbred, Neil infiltrates the dark underworld of horse theft and illegal breeding.

Neil’s friends — his attractive writing teacher, his cooking colleagues, and a freckle-faced teenage horsewoman — offer their support. But their cheers quickly turn to gasps when Neil becomes the hunted.

***

The Darkness (Regina #2)

by D.M. Singh

31016234Book 2 picked up where the first book left off and The Darkness was as well-written, and just as hard to put down as The Monster Inside.

Regina and her friends were back. The witches, elves, and vampires were back. The quest to save Jay from the Darkness began.

I journeyed with Regina, (and enjoyed every minute of it,) as she struggled with her inner demons and those who wanted to either destroy her or use her for their own ends.

The unexpected twist at the end, once again, leaves me wanting to read the next book now!

The world is on the edge of a secret war! A battle rages between those who fight on the side of right and those who crave the darkness. Without their saviour (Regina), the resistance is in tatters. Regina has no idea if she can save Jay from the Darkness, but she has to try. Now she must battle the unknown demons of this place as well as the ones within. The future is uncertain, but Regina knows she must stop Helena before she destroys more lives. She will pay for what she has done! She has crossed a line for the ones that she loves and this time there may be no way back.

***

Dead Normal

by D M Singh

32801248I loved this book!

I enjoyed the wonderfully quirky multi-faceted characters and the sweet, yet awkward romance between Amanda and Derek.

I giggled at the humour, the banter between friends and the situations they find themselves in.

I was surprised at the unexpected plot twists and the fantastic ending.

“My name is Amanda and at the ripe age of 23 I’m dead. I got the biggest shock of my after-life, when I discovered that what I thought was a near-death experience was just…death. What could be weirder than that you say? I just met death and his name is Derek.”

Amanda discovers that in order to move on, she must experience the things she never did while alive, Accompanied by her very own Grim Reaper

***

Joanna’s Journey

by Karen J. Mossman

28510893A well-written love story that follows Joanna through the pitfalls of falling for two completely different men, neither of whom is right for her!

Joanna is well-fleshed out and is mostly likeable. However, she is human and has her flaws, she can be selfish and I found myself frustrated with her at times. She refuses to listen to any advice and doesn’t always learn from her mistakes.

The ups and downs of Joanna’s life and relationships kept me turning the pages and I would love to know what happened next.

Escaping a broken romance, Joanna runs head long into another, and then another. Managing two long distance relationships at the same time is complicated and made even more so when her best friend is a good looking guy who knows her better than most.

Set in the 1980s, Joanna and her sister, Sandie are two very beautiful women. After a cruel upbringing, both girls have their scars, but deal with things differently and as with most sisters, they clash.

When the unthinkable happens and Joanna’s world implodes, she finds herself alone to face what she can’t and won’t accept. It is times like these you find out who your friends are and who you can trust, or more importantly, who you can’t.

***

The Oracle (Enchena #2)

by K.S. Marsden

33667296The second book starts out with a new ‘leading lady’, but it’s not long before she meets up with Samantha and other characters from book 1.

The story is well-written with plenty of twists to keep me hooked.

In my review for The Lost Soul I said:
“The detailed descriptions allowed me to visualise the landscape, the scenes, and the characters.”
The same applies to this book.

I enjoyed revisiting Enchena, and am looking forward to further visits. The book ended well, without a cliffhanger but definitely leaving room to continue the story.

After a brief respite, the Gardyn rebels have returned to fight the tyranny of King Hrafn and Prince David. Samantha, Jillis and Tobias will have to find their place in the new vision of Enchena; but first, they have to risk everything to make it real. New allies will rise, as the past plays a huge part in the future; and an Oracle must be brought, to guide them all.

***

Spellbound

by L.A. Starkey, Chess Desalls, Kelly Hall, Tricia Copeland & Melanie Rodriguez

30322766I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories in this collection. Although the stories were short they all told the whole story and left me satisfied.

Each one invited me into a different world and I enjoyed my visit to each one.

Five complete never before seen YA novellas to help you find a quick getaway this summer!!

Part of Your World by L.A. Starkey – When two worlds collide at the edge of the sea in a measure of desperation, a prince will bow before a commoner and a lost soul will finally be found. Part of Your World – Where love is waiting just beyond the edge of what you can see.

Glistens by Chess Desalls – Marian Spritz won’t gain guardian fairy status if she fails her summer school project. But when she hears a call for help—a song felt only by Glistens—she must choose between not letting her schoolwork and teammates suffer and protecting a ward who faces grave danger.

Tethered by Kelly Hall – Life had been simple for vampire Jayden Blackwell until he met the runaway Emmaline Grey. One taste of her blood revealed that not only is she a fledgling vampire on the cusp of her transition, but she’s also his bondmate and the granddaughter of his family’s biggest enemy. Will family feuding keep them apart or is it Jayden who compromised Emma’s survival?

Drops of Sunshine by Tricia Copeland – Working as lifeguard at a camp for the blind seems like the perfect escape for Nina. But a few perceptive kids can hear her thoughts. Can embracing her truth help her heal and reveal possibilities she never imagined?

Feathers and Fireflies by Melanie Rodriguez – Seventeen year old Rory of Vanora Village dreams of capturing the sacred summer solstice ritual of the animal shapeshifters with her trusty charcoal and parchment. But with only legends and tales to guide her, she cannot even convince her childhood friend, Lucas, that the ritual is real. On the night Rory follows the fireflies, she gets far more than she bargained for.

These fun beach reads have never been published before and were written specifically for this anthology. Hope you enjoy the adventure!!

Monster Mash Book Blitz -Day 7

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A Devil In Hong Kong by David Harris Lang

 
day-7-coverOn a snowy day in the year 889, Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty had an epiphany: he was not immortal. His jade carver created the most beautiful jade burial suit in history, finishing just three weeks before the Han Emperor died. When the priceless two-thousand-year-old jade burial suit suddenly goes missing in modern Hong Kong, a brutal competition to find it ensues between rival Chinese, Burmese, and Japanese factions. As they battle for the priceless artifact, a psychotic killer with a Maori tattoo on his face surfaces leaving a trail of dismembered corpses strung together like traditional Burmese puppets. Detectives Ian Hamilton and Angela Cheung follow a trail of hacked bodies and terror through contemporary Hong Kong in their search for the killer.

~Amazon ~ Goodreads ~

 

 

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day-7-authorDavid Harris Lang, a current resident of Hong Kong, has lived and worked in Asia much of his life. Besides being a prolific author of Asian-based thrillers, he is an international architect who brings an indelible sense of place’ to his writing as well as a deep understanding of Asian cultures, locales, and customs. His vivid fight scenes come from a life-long practice of the martial arts. A Devil in Hong Kong is David Lang’s third book.

 ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~

 

 

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Q&A With the Author: 

Do you have any pets?

I have had dogs all my life. They are pure unconditional love. People should learn from dogs.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?

Exercise and eat (I am a bit of a foodie) mostly. Writing is my major spare time activity. I also love exploring Hong Kong where I currently live. It’s a fabulous city with a lot of strange corners.

 

Snippet:

The police boat pulled up to the dock at Snake Bay. Coroner Cindy Leung was waiting for them, slat-thin arms, her torso the circumference of a chopstick, thick glasses too large for her face. She kind of looks like a praying mantis from this angle, Ian thought, looking down on Cindy from the deck of the boat. Cindy waved to him.
“Hey, Cindy,” Ian said when he, Angela, and Nigel were on solid ground.
Cindy, instead of returning the salutation, immediately started up the path. “Follow me, Detectives. Hurry! I left him hanging for you, but I can’t wait to get him to my lab. This is the strangest one I have ever seen.”
“Ok, Cindy, we’re coming. Commissioner Gu said that the victim had been chopped up and wired back together,” Ian said as he tried to keep pace with Cindy.
“So strange! We would not cut him down until your team had a go at him, of course, so I got up on a ladder to inspect him. First thing that I noticed was that there was a separation of about a centimeter between his neck and body. I found a screw where the cervical spine had been sawed and another one in the neck vertebrae. A wire ran between the two screws, holding the parts together.”
“Aiyahh!” Angela explained as they came to the first gorilla. “This is bizarre!”
“Yeah, I can’t imagine why someone thought that these life-sized animals would be a good idea for a resort,” Cindy said, and then continued, “I also noticed that the rest of the body was hanging very strangely too, not like you would expect. I could not undress him until you are done with your inspection, so I felt around. He had been cut and wired back together in seventeen places. Each part also had another wire attached to it connected to the wood beam that he was hanging from. It was like he was a puppet! A human puppet!”
“How long had he been dead?” Nigel asked.
“Based on body decomposition I would say about four days. I will be able to give you a more accurate answer once I get him to the lab.”
They walked past the abandoned resort building and came upon the hanging corpse. Scientific Evidence Officers were examining the ground below the body. Ian walked up to the officer who seemed to be in charge.
“I am Ian Hamilton from CID. Do you have anything yet?”
“Calvin Chan, Senior SEO. Walk over here, I want to show you something.” Ian followed Calvin about twenty paces to a circular clearing surrounded by low bushes. The clearing, originally envisioned as a courtyard for the resort’s customers to sit, rest, and appreciate nature, had been paved with tan and grey pavers. A giraffe peered over the bushes from the surrounding jungle, its dead, glass eyes wide with curiosity as it gazed into the plaza at the human visitors. Nature had started to reclaim the space, weeds pushing up between the pavers. Benches, which had once been painted white but were now mostly rusted, had been placed around the perimeter. “This courtyard is where he was dissected,” Calvin said, pointing to the center of the circular plaza, stained with blood.
“I wish that giraffe could talk. He was probably the only witness,” Ian said.
“No, I don’t think so. This wasn’t the work of one guy. My guess is that there were three of them. Two different brands of cigarette butts, only a few days old, were on the ground by that bench. I picture one guy doing the carving while the other two watched.”
“It also would be hard for one guy to string him up, so that makes sense, Calvin,” Ian said.
“We’ll send our report to your department within three days,” Calvin said.
When they arrived back at the corpse Nigel was almost finished with his evidence collecting. When he was done he gave Cindy a nod and her team took the body down and placed it into a body bag on a gurney. “See you, Ian,” Cindy called out to him as her assistants pushed the gurney towards the dock.
Ian walked over to Angela, who was photographing the scene. “Make sure that the technicians take the piece of wood that he was hanging from too. There are some characters carved into it.”
Angela said, “Why would the guy be displayed in such a strange way, all chopped up and then wired together, out here in the middle of nowhere? Typically, a killing this gruesome would be to send a message to someone, Mess with me and this will happen to you. How often do people come out here, though, once or twice a year? No one is here to see it. Who was the audience?”
“I am afraid that the audience was the killer himself, Angela. We are dealing with one very sick individual, a guy who took pleasure in what he did, and we need to find him before he decides to entertain himself again,” Ian said.
Nigel said, “Did you see how meticulously the wires were wrapped around the screws? How clean the cuts were? He took his time. He took pride in his work.”
“Just like us,” Angela said.
“Like us?” Nigel asked.
“Our logo, We serve with pride and care.”

 
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The Seer’s Daughter by Athena Daniels

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Title: The Seer’s Daughter
Series: Beyond the Grave, Book 1
Author: Athena Daniels
Published: November 9th 2015
Publisher: Sunset Coast Publishing
Genre: Romance / Paranormal / Suspense
Recommended Age: 18+

the-seers-daughterTo save her, he must let go of everything he ever believed.

Upon returning to her hometown for her grandmother’s funeral, Sage Matthews is terrorized by a series of strange events. She dismisses each eerie occurrence as a by-product of her overwrought emotional state, until it becomes chillingly clear that something not of this world is desperate to get a message—or is it a warning?—through to her…

Detective Sergeant Ethan Blade comes to Cryton, South Australia, to catch a serial killer. When Ethan meets Sage—the latest victim’s beautiful granddaughter—his attraction to her is explosive and inconvenient. He knows she’s not crazy, but Sage’s theory about the murders is unbelievable.

With the handsome detective rejecting her ideas, Sage embarks on the supernatural journey that her grandmother started. What she discovers shatters everything Sage ever knew about herself—and who she really is.

Ethan’s routine case quickly turns personal when he discovers Sage is the killer’s next target. For her, he’ll break all the rules and cross every line. But how can he protect Sage from an evil he cannot even conceive of?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads | Kobo | iTunes

 

Teaser:

Undoing the remaining buttons, he stepped out of his jeans and stood before her completely and stunningly naked. She felt as though she’d been hit with a sledgehammer. His was the most exquisite male form she had ever seen outside a magazine.

He was nothing short of magnificent. He ran a hand through his sexy mess of dark hair, biceps flexing impressively, and heat pooled between her thighs. His chest was broad and his waist tapered to slender hips that led to long legs with muscular thighs. She knew from her explorations during their kiss that his ass was just as glorious as the rest of him.

 

The Author:

athena-danielsAthena Daniels lives on the northern beaches of sunny Western Australia, where she writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance.
Athena is the author of romantic thriller Desperate and the first two books in the Beyond the Grave series, The Seer’s Daughter and The Alchemist’s Son. The Seer’s Daughter was a Top Pick at The Romance Reviews and was featured in AusRom Today’s January 2016 top-twenty list of “Lust-Have Sci-Fi, Paranormal, and Fantasy Novelists.”
Athena has a natural curiosity about the “more” there is in life, and holds several qualifications in metaphysics and natural therapies. She is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach, and feng shui specialist.

To learn more about Athena, or to take a sneak peek at what’s coming next, visit her online or connect with her on social media.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website

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Excerpt:

Ethan started to rise, and Sage grabbed his wrist. “Ethan?” She must have surprised him because he froze in place above her, his eyes piercing as they met hers.

“Yes?” His voice was deeper and a little rough.
“Thank you.”

His dark eyes intently searched her face, and a muscle along his jaw twitched as if there was something he couldn’t quite say. “You’re welcome,” he eventually said.
She was still gripping his wrist, but she didn’t let go. Couldn’t.

As she stared at him, something flared in his gaze. Could it be desire?

“I have to go. I’ll check on you tomorrow.” His husky tone belied his words. She didn’t let go, and he didn’t pull away. They were trapped in the moment, the air alive and crackling between them.

“I have to go,” he repeated. But there was no conviction behind it.

Without conscious thought, Sage leaned forward and kissed him. His lips were warm and full, and heat roared throughout her body. He hesitated for the barest fraction of a second before taking over. His hand, large and strong, cupped the back of her neck, and he deepened the kiss. Her body softened, her mind blanking as she surrendered to the sensual pull of his mouth. Tangling her fingers in the silky hair at the base of his neck, she tugged him even closer. His scent flooded her nose and she let out a soft sound. With a groan, he licked deeper into her mouth.

Mother of all things holy, the man knew how to kiss! Every inch of her skin was on fire and aching for his touch. She ran her hands across his shoulders and down his chest, resenting the thin layer of fabric that kept her from the warmth of his skin. Tugging at the bottom of his T-shirt, she caressed his taut abdomen, then slid her fingers up and across the rippling muscles of his chest. The contact was electric, and she reveled in the low sound it elicited from him.

He leaned into her, his weight pushing her into the mattress, and the juncture between her thighs grew hot and demanding. He pushed up her singlet top and found her breast. When his fingers brushed over her pebbled nipple, streaks of pleasure shot through her.

“Ethan,” she gasped, wanting more. Wanting all of him. Now. She tugged at his shirt, undoing the top two buttons before ripping the remainder.

He pulled back. Hands on her shoulders, he held her in place. Blood thrummed through her veins as she looked into his handsome face, flushed but set into hard lines. His breathing was as ragged as hers, and he dragged in a couple breaths before trying to speak.

“We can’t,” he rasped, looking as though it were the hardest thing he had ever said. Appearing almost tortured, he released her. Standing, he turned his back to her while he tucked in his ripped shirt. His hands curled into fists at his sides, and he squared his shoulders before turning back to her, his face etched with pain.

 

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Books I Read In May 2016

The Shadow Rises

by K.S. Marsden

I read the three books in the Witch-Hunter series back to back.
The Shadow Rises drew me in after the first few pages and wouldn’t let go so I moved straight onto The Shadow Reigns, quickly followed by The Shadow Falls.
These books now make up one of my favourite trilogies!


The Shadow Rises is an awesome start to an original and exciting series, that has a new take on witches. It’s a fast-paced, fun and enjoyable read, with action and intrigue plus an unexpected and surprising twist.


Hunter is a strong character, he is arrogant but also shows enough fear and doubt to not be unbearable. James and Sophie’s characters are well developed and well suited to their roles within the story.


There wasn’t a huge cliffhanger at the end of book 1, just a satisfying ending that made me want to continue with the story!

Witches are real, and to be blunt, they’re all black-hearted, and evil. These are not wiccans; witches are a different breed that use magic with devastating effect.
Charged with stopping the witches, taking whatever measures necessary, there are witch-hunters, all reporting to the Malleus Maleficarum Council (MMC). For hundreds of years witches have been persecuted and when the powerful Shadow Witch rises again, they have their opportunity for revenge.

The best the MMC has to offer, the talented seventh-generation witch-hunting Hunter Astley has his own part to play. In his own way.

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The Shadow Reigns

by K.S. Marsden

The second book in the series starts with Hunter recovering from the revelations and after-effects of book ones’ ending. It moves at a slightly slower pace, but with more descriptive writing. The details of the magic make it completely believable.

K.S. Marsden continues to develop the main characters, allowing them to grow with their actions and circumstances. I enjoyed getting to know Hunter much better in this book.


The ending of this book was so amazing that I was reaching for the third book as I closed this one.

The world has been thrown into darkness by the Shadow Witch’s revolution. The witch-hunters are scattered, but still strong. The race is now on to gather allies and win the war. New enemies will arise; loyalties will be pushed to the limit. And an important question will be answered: can a witch-hunter that practices magic ever be trusted, or will he be persecuted? It is said that ‘love conquers all’, but this twisted love must stay secret, locked away with the past.

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The Shadow Falls

by K.S. Marsden

Book three picks up where the Shadow reigns leaves off, with Hunter hiding from the witches and searching for the Benandanti.

The fast-paced action from book one was back in this book, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me on my toes.


Hunter’s personality evolves and becomes more complex as the story continues. A number of new, well-developed, characters are introduced in this book including Hunters son, his new love interest, a demon and the monks.


This book and the last few chapters were the perfect finale to the trilogy!


The plot, throughout all three books, was unpredictable and kept me guessing the entire time!

Hunter Astley has always known that he is different: being a witch-hunter that can use magic has sealed his fate.
He must destroy the Shadow Witch once and for all, with the help of some unlikely allies.

We delve even deeper into the world of the Malleus Maleficarum; into myth, rumour and history that refuses to stay in the past.

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Hellbeast

by Matthew W. Harrill

Take a trip to Hell in the final? installment of The ARC Chronicles.

This action-packed book with many twists, turns, and unexpected surprises is a well-written and awesome ending to the trilogy.


I’m not sure what I can say about Hellbeast, that I haven’t already said about Hellbounce and Hellborne.
“The graphically detailed descriptions don’t just let you visualise the scene, they draw you in and make you a part of it.”
“The interesting and dimensional characters were strong, believable and easy to love… or hate.”


I have enjoyed reading all three books and have loved being a part of the adventure.

 

The fate of the world is balanced on a knife-edge. Despite everything Madden and Eva have been through to prevent it, the ARC Council is in disarray, demons roam the Earth. The Apocalypse is closer than ever. The solution couldn’t be further from her grasp.

Enter the final chapter of The ARC Chronicles, where Eva throws off the yolk of personal tragedy and follows her destiny to the one place she doesn’t want to go, the one place she cannot hope to avoid.

Hellbeast: Heroes don’t always walk in the light.

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The Felix Chronicles: Five Days in January

by R.T. Lowe

This second book in The Felix Chronicles is shorter than the first and ends with a real cliff hanger.

All the main characters from book one are back, and their personalities continue to grow.
The story is, once again, well-paced with plenty of twists, turns, intrigue and suspense to keep you guessing, and the detailed descriptions place you right in the heart of the action.


It’s an exciting and fun book, and I’m looking forward to reading book three.


I received an eCopy of Five Days in January from R.T. Lowe in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Felix and Allison return from winter break with hopes of settling into the comfortable rhythms of college life only to find Portland College hasn’t escaped the wave of senseless violence sweeping across the land, from the malls of Minnesota to a small town in northern Maine. Amidst the chaos, a political movement rises, fueled by the turmoil threatening to tear the country apart. As the public’s discontent reaches a final tipping point, a new hope emerges from an unexpected figure, a man offering the promise of peace and security—the prospect of ‘freedom from fear’. When the line that separates allies from enemies blurs and good and evil becomes a matter of perspective, Felix must make a choice. But as the gears of a 2,000-year-old prophecy grind inexorably to the future, can Felix choose his own path, or is free will as illusory as the salvation promised by a man destined to set the world aflame?

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Slither

by Valarie Savage Kinney

Much more than a horror story…

A fascinating story that kept me on the edge of my seat and was impossible to put down.
The well thought out and unique plot twisted it’s way through this well-written book.


The main characters were well-fleshed out, each had their own flaws and abusive pasts to deal with, but worked wonderfully together to help and heal each other.


The villains were dark and menacing characters and easy to hate.

 

 

We’re often told tales of the underworlds to feed the darkest corners of our nightmares. We tuck them away with the sunlight and laugh away the fear our minds created. But the daylight offers no relief for Zari. She’s hidden her waking nightmare as nothing more than a damaged past. The venom of her secrets consumes her, as well as those she cares for most. Emmett, the love of her life and the only one with a past dark enough to respect her space, becomes a pawn in the war against the demonic force which is her bloodright. Can Zari overpower those out to get her to feed on the innocent? Can she save Emmett from the evil of Slither?

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Criminal Kind: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

I felt like I was holidaying with some good friends in the third book in the series. I joined Charlie and Marian, on their honeymoon cruise, which included an unexpected, and mysterious death.

Marian and Charlie are well-developed characters and there is a wonderful chemistry between them.


The murder ‘weapon’ in this story was quite creative and well thought out.


I had no idea who the murderer was this time, or their motive, until near the end.


These books could be read as a stand-alone mystery because you are not left hanging, but you would miss seeing how Charlie & Marian’s relationship has evolved since the start of the first book, and also the developing mystery of the paper hearts.

It’s the perfect setting for a romantic getaway at sea: Caribbean breezes, clear blue skies, passionate nights, and murder? Not exactly what Detective Charlie McClung and Marian had in mind for their honeymoon. When one of their fellow passengers is murdered on her 35th wedding anniversary, Charlie and Marian get pulled into the investigation. Who would want to kill poor Tammy Ferguson in such a brutal way? As Charlie uncovers more sordid details about Tammy and her husband, Peter, it becomes clear that someone else has found the same skeletons in the Ferguson’s closet and Tammy has paid the price. Is Peter next?

Trapped on the ship with an insidious killer, shadows seem more ominous and even the most innocent faces seem sinister. Has Charlie inadvertently put Marian in harm’s way? How long does Charlie have before the hunter becomes the hunted?

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Sins of My Youth: A Charlie McClung Mystery

by Mary Anne Edwards

Each one of the books in The Charlie McClung Mysteries can be read as a standalone, but the storyline is better appreciated if read in order.
Reading these books is like joining a group of old friends and helping them unravel the mystery.
The characters are well developed and colourful, and the descriptions and detail draw you in to the story.
Along with the new murders this book also continues the mystery of the paper hearts.

Secrets, lies, and revenge. What a deadly combination! When the owner of a local strip club is found with his throat slit, Detective Charlie McClung has only one obvious suspect: his wife’s best friend, Joan. Even though Charlie finds her clutching a bloody knife while standing over the body, he has been around long enough to know that crime scenes aren’t always as they first appear. But as other suspects become victims themselves, Charlie must delve deeper into Joan’s dark and seedy past to prove her innocence.

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Norma Jean’s School of Witchery: Book One: Jewel

by Rose Montague

I enjoyed reading this fun and action filled book, and liked the character connections to Rose Montague’s other series, Three J’amigos.

I quickly became attached to Jewel and followed her as she dealt with the trials of starting a new school, making new friends and discovering the extent of her magic powers.


Jewels new friends are a diverse and interesting group. I would like to get to know some of them better and hope we get to see more of them in future books.


Jewel and the main cast of supporting characters are dimensional, with their own strengths, weaknesses and personalities.

Jewel has a problem. She’s in a witch school and can’t get the most basic spells to work. Her true magical talents must remain hidden. That might be hard to do with a killer on the loose. Murder, mayhem, and magic with a little romance along the way.

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A Friend in Need

by Les Lynam, Tim Hemlin & Chess Desalls

Having read, and loved, all the books (so far) in Les Lynam’s Time Will Tell series and the first two books from The Call to Search Everywhen by Chess Desalls, I was over the moon when I was offered this book to read.

A Friend in Need is a brief but interesting insight into what happens when a couple of the characters from each of the above series meet in an alternative dimension/timeline.


It was well-written, as can be expected with three authors working on one book, and the crossover between the books worked well and seamlessly. It’s a wonderful and fun interlude for readers of any of the series involved… I would have loved it to have been longer!


I have not yet read Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders, but I was fascinated by the brief introduction to that world and will be reading it as soon as possible!

A Friend in Need is a short story collaboration between three different YA authors who combine their talents to create an intersection in an apocalyptic world populated with characters from their respective novels. LX and Jane (from Lynam’s Time Will Tell series) time-crash into Tim Hemlin’s The Wastelanders. Their only hope of returning to their own world requires help from Bear, Caballito, and the time-witch. Enter Calla and Valcas, (time-travelers from Chess Desalls’ Call to Search Everywhen series,) who land in the wastelands while conducting a time-search of their own. Will the travelers be able to return, or are they stuck in the wastelands forever?

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The Lost Shepherd

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

A compelling, short introduction to the Reacher Series.

I’ve read two shorts (edit: make that 3) and the novel, The Running Game, from this series and have enjoyed them all. I’m looking forward to reading many more books by L.E. Fitzpatrick.

In a world devastated by corruption, Father Darcy has lost his faith. After letting down the very people he had pledged to protect, he decides to take a pilgrimage across the dangerous English countryside in an attempt to find his mission again.

There he meets men hungry for his blood. A vicious, relentless landscape. And two boys more dangerous than anything he has ever seen before. But can he save these children, or will they his cause change forever?

This is a Reacher short story set before the events of The Running Game.

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Safe Haven

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

Another quick, easy and fascinating read from the Reacher Series.
This one gives some background into Rachel.


I’ve enjoyed all the short stories in this series, as well as The Running Game and am looking forward to reading Border Lines.

It’s Christmas time and snow is falling over Red Forest. Isobel is nine years old, she is running with her father and sister, trying to escape the gunfire tearing through the trees. Civil war is erupting and the family are right in the middle of the battlefield. With nowhere else to go they have to somehow make it our of the forest, but can they all make it out alive?

Safe Haven is a short companion piece to the novel The Running Game. Set two decades earlier this is the story of where the Reacher girls came from

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Family

by L.E. Fitzpatrick

Another short, but entertaining, story from the Reacher Series.
This one follows on from The Running Game, which I enjoyed immensely.

Rachel and the Smith Brothers are on the run, trying to escape the dangers they left in the city.

But when they stop off for supplies they suddenly find themselves in a whole new kind of trouble.

Rachel realises the true nature of the men she is travelling with, but where exactly does she fit in?

This is a companion short story to the Reacher Series set between The Running Game and Border Lines. This story does not contain any major spoilers to the main series and can be read independently.

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Raining Down Rules

by B.K. Rivers

A fun, fast and entertaining read, with a depth of emotion I didn’t expect.
There’s an interesting cast of well-developed characters, and there’s some great chemistry between them.


The ending was unpredictable and I wondered, whilst reading, who she would choose (I was happy with her decision)!


Mainly written from Jemma and Jordans point of view, I think it’a shame we didn’t get more from Vic’s point of view as well.

 

 

Jemma Bowers hasn’t kissed anyone in over a thousand days. She knows—she’s counted.

For twenty-year-old Jemma, rules are not meant to be broken…even if she’s the one who created them. Friendships have boundaries, relationships mean trouble, and don’t even get her started on sex. Haunted by the death of her mother and her father’s abandonment, Jemma finds herself hungry for something meaningful and permanent, but is afraid of what may happen if she pursues it.

Jordan Capshaw can’t fight his addiction. Not even if it will cost him his career…

When Jemma finds Jordan drunk and barefoot in the street, she convinces him to get in her car. Aside from the fact he’s the lead singer of her favorite band and pretty much the rock star of her dreams, she quickly realizes his addiction is a monster neither of them can control.

Who knew choosing between a rock star and a fireman could be so difficult?

Emotions run high as Jemma soon finds herself caught between the troubled rock star and her growing affections for Vic Harper, a swoon-worthy firefighter from her past. But when her grandmother passes away, leaving her with no other family, Jemma’s world falls apart.

To save herself from further heartbreak, she risks it all by breaking her own rules, and putting her heart on the line.

After all, the heart just might be the biggest rule breaker of them all.

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Girlie and the War of the Wasps

by Claire Plaisted

A thoroughly enjoyable book, for children of all ages.

The story is adventurous and interesting, and the illustrations were delightful.
I liked how the ‘lessons’ in healthy eating, bullying and discrimination were worked into the story without being preachy!

40% OF SALES GOING TO ‘CHASING A CURE FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES.’
Girlie is a young blue ladybug who sees her best friend kidnapped. Venturing after her, she discovers some naughty wasps who need to learn about healthy eating. Along the way, Girlie meets many different characters, some who are helpful and some who aren’t.

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The Sweet Ones

by David Moles

A short snapshot of life for a small group of people during a zombie outbreak.

It’s a quick read with some suspense and a bit of a twist.
However, the story is too short to get to know the characters and I didn’t feel any attachment for any of them. This also made it difficult to understand the reasoning behind some of their actions.

The Bad People Are Coming

Can five year old Tommy and his family survive a zombie attack by barricading themselves into an old house?

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Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance

by Tanille Edwards

Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures is a lovely little educational book.
Young children will learn lots of facts about different animals.
The emphasis is definitely on educating rather than entertaining!

 

 

 

Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures® for Wildlife Alliance brings children right into the center of animal life at a wildlife conservation center. Jordan and Justine use their magical powers to explore the world of dolphins, to find out how laws can protect wildlife, and to learn what it means to be a mammal. Perfect for children ages 7 to 9. By Tanille Edwards and Latoya Edwards

2016 is the year to take a stand for Wildlife!

There are animals that need our help. Author, Tanille Edwards and publishing company, Fire Flies Entertainment have partnered with the national organization Wildlife Alliance to share 50% of the proceeds from each Wildlife book from the Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures series sold to the organization

Books I Read In February 2016

Child of Blackwen

by Melanie Rodriguez

An amazing and intriguing start to a new series.

Melanie’s descriptive writing pulled me into the wonderful world of Arrygn and dropped me in amongst the action. Arrygn is a fascinating place, with elves, vampires, witches, mages and much more.

The characters are dimensional and likeable, and I felt like I had made some new friends in Artemis, Jack and Shadow, to name just a few.

The book was well-written, kept up a good pace throughout and the ending had me heading straight into book two.

The epic fantasy novel Child of Blackwen is a coming-of-age adventure story about the young dhampir Artemis in the mystical world of Arrygn.

Born of a human and a vampire, Artemis was raised among the elves of Ellewynth by her mother’s friends Shadow, an elven soldier, and Talisa, a witch. An outcast in elven society, Artemis is protected by the Elders of the Woodland Realm because her mother, the vampire Tamina Ravenwing, once served them. As Artemis struggles to overcome prejudice, she must also learn to control her innate thirst for blood. Her efforts are made all the more difficult when Shadow and Talisa are called to serve in the eight-year-long war against the dragons.

Just after they return, Artemis begins dreaming her mother’s memories, only to discover that her guardians are plagued with the same dreams. This, along with the mysterious murders in the Woodland Realm, leads Artemis to learn the shocking truth about her mother’s death: the unsavory woman in the dreams is none other than Tamina’s younger sister, Arlina.

Artemis poses a threat to the madwoman Arlina, usurper of the throne of Blackwen City—and the vampire will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat.
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Mistress of Blackwen

by Melanie Rodriguez

The second book in the Artemis Ravenwing series picks up where the first book finished and I enjoyed this book as much as I did the first.

All my friends from part one of the story were back and their characters continued to develop as we resumed the adventurous journey to Blackwen City, begun in the previous book, and struggled against the threats posed by enemies old and new.

I am looking forward to, and will definitely be reading, the next installment of this series.

Artemis Ravenwing, a dhampir and rightful heir to the throne of Blackwen City, struggles to accept her dark heritage as she plots to confront Arlina—a blood relative who murdered Artemis’ mother to usurp the title of Mistress of Blackwen.

Along with friends like Shadow, an elf and former soldier of Ellewynth, and Talisa, a witch and longtime vassal of the water goddess of Arrygn, Artemis heads to Westyron—a human-run city with a deep hatred of those outside their own race. But lying in wait for Artemis’ arrival is Arlina herself…as well as Gavin, the former human who fathered Artemis.

Lurking in the shadows behind it all is the specter of Tamina, Artemis’ full-blood mother. Keenly aware of the connection she has to her old pair of dragon-jeweled sai, she has a revenge-fueled agenda of her own for the power struggle taking place. But who will prevail?

A rich coming-of-age tale, the second installment of the Artemis Ravenwing series beautifully explores the strength of friendship and the dangers of revenge.

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Wolf Moon

by C.D. Gorri

I enjoyed this fast-paced and gripping story. The detailed descriptions drew me into Grazi’s world and didn’t let go.

There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me guessing, and turning the pages.

The author did an amazing job of describing both the physical and emotional changes that Grazi goes through as she comes to terms with her new life as a werewolf, as well as dealing with the everyday problems of being a teenager. Grazi is written in such a way that she is easy to like and to root for.

The supporting characters were also well-fleshed out, and believable.

I found myself on a par with Grazi, at times, as I wanted answers to the same questions as she was asking. Some of which were still unanswered at the end of the book.

Not a problem though as I moved straight on to book 2, Hunter Moon..

“Hi. My name is Grazi Kelly. There are things I know are true and things that I never would have guessed. First, demons and witches exist and they are evil. Second, the world is up for grabs and the witches are getting their minions ready. Third, I’m a werewolf and it’s my job to stop them.”

High school sophomore Grazi Kelly leads an ordinary life in the suburbs of New Jersey helping her grandmother with chores and attending Catholic school. Things are pretty good except for her bullying cousin and the rest of the obnoxious cheer team. Then things take a frightening turn when the night of the full moon arrives and the bodies start piling up. Grazi learns that she is different in ways she never expected. She finds herself torn between Sebastian, the school soccer star and Ronan, a foreign exchange student who shares her secret. She must uncover the identity behind the mysterious attacker, but is she ready for the entire truth?
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Hunter Moon

by C.D. Gorri

Hunter Moon carries on from where Wolf Moon ended and within the first few minutes of reading, the detailed writing carried me back into Grazi’s world.

I joined Grazi and the cast of fleshed out supporting characters as they continue to battle the dark and dangerous supernatural forces. The characters making a return in this second installment continue to grow and Grazi starts to come to terms with her destiny.

The slowly developing attraction between Grazi and Ronan is unrushed and, therefore, believable.

At the end of this book, I was ready for book three of the series.

Being a teenage girl is difficult. Being a teenage Werewolf is almost impossible. A few weeks ago I found out that I’m a Werewolf. Yup, that’s right. I tend to get furry around the full moon. Don’t believe me? Well, it only gets more fantastic from here.

You see, I’m bound by an ancient pact my ancestors made to serve with the Hounds of God. They’re like this mega Wolf pack who technically work for the Catholic Church. The Hounds have been fighting an age old battle against covens of Witches who want to claim dominion over the Earth for the Devil.

You heard me correctly. I mean the actual Devil, you know, Lucifer, the Father of Lies. Yup. That’s the one. You see, the Devil, is an actual being. Not some metaphor for evil. He is a fallen angel and his minions take many forms. The Hounds of God fight those minions. We are an ancient order dedicated to protecting humanity.

My father before me was a Hound. He and my mother died fighting this battle when I was about three years old. I keep a picture of them next to my bed.

I don’t remember that much about them, except for this recurring dream I have of my mom. Anyway, I was raised by my maternal grandmother, Nonna Rosa. Her son is my Uncle Vito. He and his family live with us too. Only Nonna knows the truth about me.
Hard to believe? You betcha. I didn’t really buy it either until last night when I got all furry and fangy and ripped the throat out of my high school librarian.

Scary, right? But they aren’t the only things out there. There’s much more that I have yet to learn.

This world is new to me. It is full of dark and dangerous things. And most of them seem to want me dead. I’m scared, I mean, I’m not crazy. But I have to survive. I just have to. To find out what really happened to my parents. And to avenge them.

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Rebel Moon

by C.D. Gorri

Rebel Moon seamlessly picks up where Hunter Moon left off, and once again I was whisked away to a world of werewolves, vampires, witches and demons.

I don’t know what to say about this book, that I haven’t already said about books one and two…

It’s well-written. It cracks along at a good pace. The characters are multi-dimensional and believable.
The detailed descriptions let you join Grazi and her friends in her world.

Book four is waiting for me 🙂

“From school nerd to Werewolf girl. It was quite a change after all. I ran hard for all those changes, all my mixed feelings. I could do little but accept them. They were a part of me now.

There were some things I knew could never change. For example, I was a teenager and would be for the next few years anyway. I was also a Werewolf and as far as I knew that was forever.

Witches had messed with nature and thrown it completely off balance. A demon with an angel’s face wanted me as his bride. And a more powerful demon wanted to escape Hell and rule the Earth.

Nonna was in danger of losing her home to the IRS. Julianna hated me more than ever because for a while Sebby actually liked me. I was lying to my best friend Angela about what I was.

But none of that seemed as important as this one unchangeable fact. I was in love with Ronan…”

Join teenage Werewolf Grazi Kelly as she continues to battle evil in this third installment of her series. Will she get closer to solving the mystery of what happened to her parents? Will she find out what it means to truly be part of a Wolf Pack? Will she find true love? Find out in Rebel Moon.
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Winter Moon

by C.D. Gorri

I have read books 1 to 4 of the Grazi Kelly series and have thoroughly enjoyed each of the books.

Thanks to C.D. Gorri’s descriptive writing, I have got to know the characters very well and feel as though I have been beside them on every step of their journey.
I am going to miss them and will be waiting (im)patiently for the next installment.

“It was difficult to remember the girl I used to be when my Wolf instincts were at the forefront as they were now. I closed my eyes and counted backwards. A little calming technique Cara had told me in one of the rare moments during our training when she was not out for my blood. It was a useful tool. When I opened my eyes I could think more clearly. The footsteps were closer and any second their bearers would break from the stand of trees into the small clearing where I was being held.

I braced myself, but nothing could have prepared me for the sight that came next. Angela’s fiery red hair broke through the tree line followed by a tall mystery guy with dark hair and a limp Wolf in his arms. I knew that Wolf. It was Ronan.

It’s St. Lucy’s Day and the battle has begun! With her friends by her side, Maria Graziana Kelly has more than enough fire power to fight the Demon minions. But will she be able to reunite with her one true love? Will Grazi find out what it really means to be a Werewolf? Can she save her brother before it’s too late? Find out in Winter Moon!

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Have You Seen This Girl?

by Carissa Ann Lynch

By the time I’d read the prologue, I was gripped by this tense and dark read that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was a well written and suspenseful story, that moved along at a good pace.

It was a book of two halves. In the first half, we follow a naive and young girl as she makes bad choices and is led astray by a friend. The second part of the book, as Wendi goes looking for revenge, is a tense thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing,
I liked that it was written in the first person, as it allowed more insight into Wedi’s thoughts and actions.

Have You Seen This Girl? is the first in a series of books, but with the story being rounded off nicely by the epilogue, it works very well as a stand-alone.

Wendi Wise is a troubled young woman who snorts her breakfast through a straw and spends more time in rehab than in the real world…
Her life is seemingly out of control.
But now she has a plan.
That plan involves a sharp set of butcher knives.
She’s going back to where all of her troubles began…
Flocksdale.
Wendi was lured away from a local skating rink, at the age of thirteen, and held captive in a place she calls ‘The House of Horrors.’ Dumped off blindfolded on the side of a dirt road, Wendi soon discovered that she was addicted to the drugs they fed her while she was captive.
Too scared to go home, and having a new habit to deal with, she hopped on a bus, vanishing from the family she loved.
Vanishing from Flocksdale…
The town of Flocksdale is littered with fliers with a grainy image of young Wendi, and the words ‘Have You Seen This Girl?’ written below.
Now, eight years later, she’s on a mission—a mission to find the mysterious house from her youth and the monsters who dwell inside it.
“This is the end, beautiful friend, the end…”
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House of the Lost Girls

by Carissa Ann Lynch

Having read book one of the series, I did wonder how the author could move the story forward, but as book 2 is set 20 years later that wasn’t a problem. The book was full of suspense, action, and surprises, which kept me turning the pages.

I could easily visualise the streets and buildings of Flocksdale, the same gloomy town that featured in book one.

Once again it is written in the first person which allows you to see things from Marianna’s point of view and feel what she’s feeling. As Marianna and her family move into the old creepy house of horrors, the evil that surrounds the inhabitants of Flocksdale rears it’s ugly head once again.

I liked that Wendi, (the missing girl in book one) was reintroduced in this one and was there to help, when everyone Marianne thought she knew turned against her.

Is evil ever truly defeated—or is it just waiting for another chance?
Seventeen year old Marianna Bertagnoli is miserable…
Not only did her father abandon her five years ago, now she’s being uprooted and forced to move with her mother and new stepdad to a creepy Victorian house they inherited in the even creepier town of Flocksdale.
Flocksdale has an evil, ugly past—and history has a way of repeating itself…
Marianna notices some strange qualities about her new home, and soon realizes she’s living in none other than the infamous House of Horrors. That’s right, the very house where the demented Garrett family ran a drug ring, leading to the kidnappings and murders of forty young girls.
The dark energy of the town begins to rise again…
Within a week of moving in, Marianna’s mother disappears, one of her small group of new friends is found murdered, and she’s attacked by a man wearing a hideous clown mask. As she searches for answers, Marianna wonders if the malevolence still lingers, somehow alive…and how her stepdad came to own the House of Horrors.
Unsure who to trust, Marianna turns to Wendi Wise, a survivor of the Garretts’ crimes…
Caught up in twisted family ties and surrounded by deceit, Marianna is targeted by a new generation of evil. Doubly imprisoned—in her own body and in the real house of the lost girls—Marianna needs Wendi’s help to unravel the bizarre history of Flocksdale.
But will Marianna survive long enough to bring the evil to light…or will she be trapped in the house of the lost girls forever?

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Carnival of Dead Girls

by Carissa Ann Lynch

Although the three books in this series work as standalone stories I would advise reading them in order to get the best out of them, as details and some characters from the previous books are carried forward.

This, the third and final book in the series is as chilling and atmospheric as the other two. I liked the creepy carnival setting of this novel, that and the haunted house, added to the darkness of this book. I also enjoyed the fact that Wendi (books 1&2) & Marianna (book 2) are back to save the day.

My favourite book of the three was House of the Lost Girls, but they were all well-written and had me hooked.

Nothing interesting happens in the podunk town of Lamison Point—until a freak show rolls through…

When a traveling carnival stops in the sleepy countryside, sixteen-year-old Josie Crowley is psyched to go with her new friend, Freya. But what started out as a fun-filled night of games, candied apples, and ferris wheel rides quickly spirals into a gut-wrenching encounter with one of the carnival attractions.

Once the excitement is over, Lamison is missing one of its residents…

When Freya is nowhere to be found, Josie suspects the carnival has something to do with her disappearance. Her goal to track down the elusive show leads to an alarming revelation—there is no record of it ever existing. And as she digs deeper, Josie is led to a mysterious town with a tainted past—Flocksdale.

Buried in Flocksdale’s sick, twisted history is where Josie may find the truth…

Creepy clowns, disfigured freaks, and a terrifying haunted house are the least of Josie’s problems…now she has to deal with a group of real-life monsters, otherwise known as the evil Garrett family and new, rising generation of hell-bound freaks.

If Josie is pulled into their world, she may become another member of a carnival of dead girls, where she goes in, and never comes out…
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Witches: Tea Party

by Mark Taylor

Although this first book of a new series is only short, Mark Taylor packs an awful lot of story into it.

This dark and suspenseful story had me on tenterhooks, wondering whether Mary and the witches coven she joined, could achieve their goals.

Despite the darkness of the story, there were moments of lightness and humour.

The characters were well-developed, and I became quite attached to the witches. I hope it won’t be too long before the next book is ready and I can catch up them again.

I was gifted an Ecopy of Witches: Tea Party from the publisher – no review required.

In Salem, 1692, Marie-Anne witnessed the death of her friend and confidant, Sarah Good. Charged with being a witch, Sarah goes to the gallows to protect Marie-Anne, a true witch.

Three hundred years later, Marie-Anne, under the name Mary Anson, vows to put things right.

With a new coven – Dina, Excalibur, and Lady – Mary puts in motion the steps to right what went wrong…and what followers is a chase across the country, a chase against time, pursued by monsters and darkness…

…will Mary put things right?

…or will she die trying?

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Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here

by Mark Rounds 

This book was a great beginning to what should turn out to be a great series. It is well-written and
perfectly paced.

The plotline of a virus being manufactured and dispersed by an unknown organisation is conceivable, but hopefully not in my lifetime. The plague, how it spreads, the attempts to stop it and the inevitable collapse of society is disturbingly realistic, although the control of the infected leans towards the paranormal.

The characters behave and react in a believable way, as they learn to work together to survive and fight against the infected population.

I am looking forward to the second book, and finding out what happens next.

I received an eCopy of Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here from Mark Rounds in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

“Hell is Empty and All the Devils Are Here” is the story of Chad Strickland, his family and friends as they try to survive the onslaught of a virulent plague. The setting is in the near future in Central Washington. Chad and Mary Strickland, along with their neighbors, Dave Tippet and Heather Tunney band together to protect their children and their way of life. Along the way, Chris Vaughn and Amber Hoskins join their group as they are hounded out of their homes and forced to go on the road to escape a gang of infected bikers led by Special Agent Macklin who is in turn part of a bigger plot to over throw the US Government and take control.
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I read a few more books this month than listed here, but as I was offline for a week I haven’t caught up with my reviews, so they will be added to March’s Round-Up 25658897

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.