Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Guest Post: Bail Money?

I was relaxing at home when a rapid knock at my door drew my attention from my current read. A second knock came before I got to the door. As I opened the door, the gentleman's hand was raised to knock again.

"Hello?" I spoke, noticing something... off. I must be seeing things. No horns there.

"Melissa?" The tall man asked as he relaxed his hand and lowered his arm.

"Yes." I tilted my head. He was professionally dressed, but in a trench coat with this warm weather. Is that a strange sparkle to his eyes? No. That's a glow. "Can I help you?"

"I have letters for you. They were said to be urgent." He handed them to me and turned and walked down the stairs to the sheriff car parked in my drive way. I stared as I swear there was a tail that swayed underneath his long trench coat.

I waved when he looked over his shoulder and smiled a sharp smile. I shut the door with speed that caused it to slam. I cringed and looked to the letters in my hand.

I sat at the table and opened them...

A picture falls out with the first letter:
Guilty

Dear Melissa,

Can we have some bail money? I know this is a sudden and unusual request, but Chris Pisano and I are in a Tijuana jail cell again. The good news is they like us here and gave us our usual jail cell. The bad news is during the last time we were here, the sheriff let us out to apprehend La Chupacabra. It didn’t go so well – it outsmarted us and a goat outdrank us, and then we woke up in a Canadian jail cell. But that’s not important right now. We’re calling upon your infinite generosity, because you are the last person I remember seeing at the TV Gods: Summer Programming book release party at Balticon 51. I’m not sure how we ended up here. I’m actively blaming Chris Pisano, but I think Jeff Young might be involved. Do you happen to know how Jeff did this to us? The last thing I remember about the release party is you handing me a glowing drink with a perpetual mushroom cloud, and saying, “Here, drink this.” The last thing Chris remembers is you asking him if some rag smelled like chloroform. Anyway, could you bail us out?

Thank you,
Brian Koscienski


Dear Melissa,

Please disregard the above note. What they are not telling you is that they were extradited to Canada due to outstanding warrant for their harassment of a local creature, the Wendigo, which is now a protected species. They are also forgetting to mention that with their beer pants, they are currently at the center of a black market in the prison, supplying not only the prisoners but also the guards. In fact, Chris and Brian negotiated for a laptop but after a brief argument, Chris ended up with the keyboard and Brian got the screen. They had to settle for a can of sharpies. Right now if you were to enter their cell you would find that there is very little free space that isn't written upon. The problem is that after Chris writes something, Brian tends to write over top of it and vice versa. But why might you ask are they doing this? After the successful launch of TV Gods: Summer Programming, the two want to produce something of their own to rival its popularity. So they have in fact found a spot where no one will disturb them and their room and board is taken care of – in other words, they are right where they want to be. But why, you might ask, would they ask for money for bail? This time they are planning on getting two laptops...

This of course never would have occurred in Mexico. Well, best laid plans and all. I've taken to mailing them paper, one piece at a time. I encourage you to be creative as well. However, for your part, I strongly recommend that you keep your money, rather than send it off.

Cheers,
Jeff Young


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This was a fun post to do. These guys are a hoot to meet and talk with. This post came to mind as I was talking to them at Balticon 51, where the picture was taken. I hope you take a few moments to check out their books and visit their links in the letters.

Pick up their books at Amazon:


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Review: Deadly Spells

Deadly Spells

By:  Jaye Wells

Publish Date:  February 10, 2015

Format:  Book

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  3rd book in Prospero's War series; 0.5 Novella ~ Fire Water, 1st Book ~ Dirty Magic, 2nd Book ~ Cursed Moon

First Impression:  Perpetual motion, with life and criminals.

Synopsis:
After the grisly murder of a dirty magic coven leader, Kate Prospero and The Magical Enforcement Agency team up with the local police to find the killer. But as the infighting between covens turns ugly, an all-out war brews in the slums of Babylon.

When a tenacious reporter sticks her nose in both the investigation and Prospero's past in the covens, old ghosts resurface. The team will have to use all the weapons in their arsenal to stop the coven war and find the killer before the case brings down all their careers - and their lives.

Deadly Spells is the third novel in the Prospero's War series that started with Dirty Magic and Cursed Moon!

First Sentence:
There was a body in the church.

Purchase At:
Amazon /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I read this book for my own enjoyment.

Kate and Morales are called in as consultants at a crime scene. A body with his limbs cut off. Kate knows the victim, Charm, from her days in the coven. Uncle Abe's enforcer. Charm's death could be the very excuse the covens need to start a coven war in Babylon city. Kate and the MEA force need to act fast to find the real killer before war breaks out, destroying the city. Kate also is distracted as Charm's death stirs old memories of her mother's death. Then there's life with making sure Danny is taken care of. He is a teenager, and troubles do pop up.

I love going into this book that I know each chapter and scene has something big in it. It may be dealing with Danny or it may be Kate's job. Or, if we are lucky something with John Volos or Morales. Oh John Volos. That usually involves a double whammy of work and sparks. And the same could be said of Morales. I love that Kate is working her way through raising her brother, which gives her a family feel as she stumbles through parenting like many of us do. Family and work are hard to balance, and choices need to be made. Kate does just that.

Speaking of family. Kate learns more about her mothers death. Wow. That's a punch to the gut. I like how Jaye left us with hints about Kate's mother at the end of Cursed Moon, and with this case Kate is drawn to the memories. Kate is determined to know what happened with her mother. I'm not saying any more because you need to read to learn what Kate learns. Oh, and what we learn from John Volos and Morales. Interesting!

Then there's Kate and her own personal life. She feels there's really no time for it with Danny and work. But Kate starts to open up a little bit here, for herself.

This book feels as it expands the world for us. There are other suppliers and covens that we learn about. These expand outside of Babylon city, but are a threat to Kate's home city and the way of life here. This opens up the series for us in a big way.

The book has all the elements I enjoy in one place and constantly has me glued to the words. I have enjoyed this book, world, and characters.



***If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Post #170 - Time to get serious.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's time to get serious and crack down when I'm home. I've got many things floating in the air and I want to get them all moving again. First and foremost will be exercising. I've been slack on it with all that we've had going on then being sick. I want to get back to posting pictures over at Spellbound in a Flash. Then there's the book review posting. I soooo need to get caught up at posting my thoughts on books sights.

I made a decision this week. I need a weekend job. I'm still doing content editing and my full time job Monday through Friday, but we are struggling. It seems the cost of living - bills and food - are rising faster than my paycheck. Well, more than seems. That's what's happening. My husband is already working two jobs and kiddo is working, I'm who's left.

Yes, picking up the second job along with editing work is going to limit my time with exercising and photo posting. I just need to be wise about my time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... Erm... nothing. I haven't even push mowed the grass because I was sick or it rained on the way home from work. Ugh.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Exiled by Amanda Carlson
And
Working on Editing work

Current Audiobook:
The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!)


Finished Last Week: 
xxx by xxx


Audiobooks from Audible:
Lucifer's Star by C.T. Phipps & Michael Suttkus



Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing yet.


DNFed:

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)



Guest Posts:



Posts:

Spellbound in a Flash:
Nothing new last week. I have pictures to touch up and share, but time has not been sharing lately.

Challenged Writers:
April, May, and why not June Update on writer-ly items.


Around the Internet...


Reviews:
Villains Rule by M.K. Gibson

"I felt I could believe Jackson's thinking and I really liked him. I want to watch movies with Jackson. He would be a hoot at pointing out the flaws in plans, hero and villain. I laughed at the obvious observations pointed out by Jackson in this book. So good and so true! Jackson's written in a way that I liked him even though he wasn't the clean cut good guy. I even felt the fluctuation of praise and irritation of Randy with Jackson - all thanks to Jeffrey's vocal talents and M.K.'s writing."

Heart of Gold by J.A. Cipriano & J.B. Garner

"There are a lot of quick toss ins that are to be jokes that reference movies and such. Frank does say he has a love for movies and music, so it fits him. But they come so fast it's easy to miss them and their reference."


Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:

~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will have two reviews and a guest post.



~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:





Audio Books Requested for Review:
Perses by K.A. Finn
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Brayden Sawyer is trapped far from his ship and crew in the last place he wants to be. Earth. ∞ From award winning science fiction author K.A Finn ∞
On a mission to stop the Foundation from creating an army of cyborgs, wanted felon Brayden Sawyer is trapped far from his ship and crew in the last place he wants to be. Earth. With the Foundation hot on his heels, Bray must ask his family for refuge, a family who always preferred his brother Gryffin over him and kicked him out of their lives a decade ago.
When his family rejects him a second time, Bray wonders if saving Gryffin, and completing his mission, is worth it. All his life, he’s been second best to his brother, a brother he never really knew. But turning his back on Gryffin is out of the question and he won't let the Foundation do to others what they’ve already done to him and Gryffin.
Breaking into Foundation headquarters, Bray comes face to face with the horrible truth about his brother’s cyborg enhancements as well as his own modifications. And that’s not all. The Foundation is set to destroy a planet of innocent people, using Gryffin as their number one weapon.
With time running out, Bray must finish what he started. Together with Garvan and his family, Bray must escape Earth with the necessary technology to save Gryffin and stop the Foundation’s evil plans. But can one man stand against the all-powerful and tyrannical Foundation? If Bray can save Gryffin, he may just have a fighting chance.

To Beat the Devil by M.K. Gibson
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Goodreads Synopsis:
175 years have passed since God quit on mankind. Without his blessing, Hell itself, along with the ancient power of The Deep, were unleashed upon the world. Two world wars and oceans of blood later, a balance was reached. Demonkind took its place as the ruling aristocracy. Mankind, thanks to its ability to create, fell to the position of working proletariat. Alive, but not living. 

Lucky Us. 

Welcome to New Golgotha, the East Coast supercity. In it you will find sins and cyborgs, magic and mystery, vices without virtue and hell without the hope of heaven. In the middle of it all is Salem, smuggler extraordinaire and recluse immortal, who has lived and fought through the last two centuries, but his biggest battle is just beginning. 

To Beat The Devil: A technomancer Novel is an incredible adventure full of cyborgs and demons, gods, magic, guns, puns and whiskey, humor and heart. Follow Salem as he embarks to discover the meaning of the very nature of what mankind is: our souls. And, who is trying to steal them.


Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
Captive by Anna Santos
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
What would you rather have: a vampire or an angel for a soul-mate? 

Innocent Aria never imagined that her dream trip to Paris would change her whole life. She is soon thrown into a world where vampires, angels, gargoyles and werewolves exist.

After being rejected and almost dying, Aria finds herself stuck in a dangerous love triangle and her freedom and happiness are at stake.

Who will Aria choose to love forever? The gorgeous but ruthless, cunning vampire who sentenced her to hell or the breathtaking possessive gargoyle prince who offers her redemption and a brand new pair of wings but will be doomed to die without her love to break his curse?

Find out in Captive.

Full Moon Howl by Orlando A. Sanchez
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Mystery. Malice. Revenge.
Broken bodies and bloody messages are appearing in the darkest corners of New York City. Infected werewolves are roaming the streets attacking innocents.
The Dark Council demands answers. They summon Simon and Tristan to investigate. The evidence points to the work of a powerful mage, unfortunately, there is only one mage in the city powerful enough to cause this kind of infection-Tristan Montague.
Now, Simon and Tristan must locate the source of the magical infection before the Dark Council declares Tristan a dark mage, destroys the werewolves, and shatters the fragile peace in the supernatural community.
 Join the Montague and Strong Detective Agency while they are hunted and chased. All while trying to uncover the identity of their unseen enemy before it’s too late!

A Dying Land by K. Ferrin
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Evelyn always believed that warlocks and monsters were nothing more than fairy tales. The truth is far more terrifying. 

Far from home and, with no one she can trust, Ling finds herself caught in the powerful currents of a centuries-long war that threatens the lives of everyone she holds most dear. As she journeys deep into the Colli Terra on the mythical island of Marique, she finds herself faced with a decision: Should she continue her single-minded quest to break the spell that holds her family in thrall? Or should she succumb to the pull of war and join a battle between two races fighting for their very survival?

A Shift in Power by Erin D. Andrews
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Rising action star Fitz Walker's career stutters to a halt when he gets news of his father's death in an Alpha fight. He flies back to his home of New York immediately to find his pack in turmoil, and rumors that his father's death may have a murder. 

Sid Carlson, Junior Agent with Meier and Jones Talent Agency has one shot to save her job. Follow Fitz Walker to New York and make sure that, when the dust settles, he gets right back in front of the camera. She's willing to do anything to keep her spot at the agency, but when things with Fitz get heated, she finds herself neck deep in Pack politics, a human in shifter territory. 

When Fitz's younger sister goes missing amid tensions with a rival pack, Sid must make a difficult choice. Save her career by enticing Fitz back to L.A., or stand by his side as he steps into his father's place?

Insomnia: Faction 9 by Noree Cosper
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Fear to lay thee down to sleep, for Fae will steal your dreams to keep. And if you die before you wake, with your life, your soul they’ll take.

Aneira is on the run. Ever since Aneria discovered Nimue and her army of enchanted witches, Aneira has been afraid to sleep and have her magic drained by the fae who want her dead. When she and her guardian dragon have are targeted by Nimue, with no way to fight back against the Fae sorceress’s incredible powers, Aneira ends up gravely wounded.

A beautiful Fae named Colin finds her and takes her under his care. But after his kingdom is ravaged, the only way to find the strength to defeat Nimue is by traveling to the city of nightmares, a place of evil wonder and grasping darkness.

Death is everywhere, and betrayal is made by those closest to her as Colin and Aneira face malice and cruelty beyond imagining. But can the sorceress be stopped? Or will Aneira’s nightmares become reality?

USA TODAY Bestselling author Noree Cosper brings readers into an action-packed world of dark romance and dystopian dreams in Insomnia that lovers of Karen Maries Moning are sure to enjoy!

Follow Aneria as she’s forced to choose between love and fate in this standalone installment from the Fallen Sorcery ISA FAE Collection.

Born of Aether by A.L. Knorr
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
They say if you tell a lie long enough, you'll eventually believe it, but Akiko will never forget who she really is.

Akiko Susumu is not what she seems. Her life as a normal teen living in a coastal Canadian town is a complete sham. The old man she lives with is not her grandfather, he's her captor. And Akiko isn't a teen. In fact, she isn't even human.

But Akiko isn't allowed to share the reality of her true nature with a single soul. Not even her three best friends know of the power she could wield, given the chance.

So, when she's sent back to her homeland to steal an ancient samurai sword, she jumps at the chance to secure her freedom. Only to get caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the most dangerous crime syndicate in Japan.

Can Akiko escape with her life and her soul, or is true freedom as elusive as the Aether she was born from?


Born of Aether is novel #4 in the Elemental Origins Series, but the series can be read out of order. Because much of the novel takes place in Japan, a Japanese culture expert and editor was hired to ensure cultural references were within reason and as accurate as possible.

Touch of Fire by Jasmine B. Waters
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Mari Elwood is part of a Fae family who is tasked with keeping peace among the various magical creatures in their area, while maintaining secrecy from the humans they co-exist with. Mari has had years of practice identifying individuals’ innocence or guilt where their laws are concerned, as she is one of the few truly powerful empaths remaining in her family. Mari is working with her brothers to apprehend a shifter who has information about a recent attach on a human, thinking everything is business as usual. 
What she isn’t prepared for is when her dreams about a strange man become more and more intense. She’s left literally scorched from the passion in her dreams. Her dreams begin overtaking her life, as they impact her friendships, family and grip on reality, until she can’t keep them a secret any longer. 

Knights Thranis by Liam Young
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The Blades are left reeling in the wake of the recent invasion of Freylar as they struggle to reconcile their losses and bolster waning morale. Recruitment is at an all-time low and The Vengeful Tears – an increasingly zealous band of surviving Blades led by Anika – become cause for concern. In a desperate attempt to solve the problem, Anika is chosen to accompany Rayna, who is tasked with the onerous mission of establishing a new trust with the estranged Order of the Knights Thranis. Together she and Rayna must journey to Freylar’s southern lands to mend the fractured alliance between the Orders. Pledging their services to the Knights, the pair engage in The Hunt in a bid to prove their worth. However, before Anika can earn the Knights’ trust, she must first repair the damage to her own soul. 

During their secondment to the Knights Thranis, Anika and Rayna learn more about the mysterious Order and its true motives – and more importantly, about themselves. Yet while they fight alongside their new companions, seeking to earn the Knights’ trust, their domain faces new challenges; previously strong relationships begin to crack and old enemies bide their time in the shadows, licking wounds and harbouring grudges, whilst scheming Freylar’s newest downfall.

Marked by Sin by Jasmine Walt & Debbie Cassidy
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
In an alternate London, where ancient Hindu gods rule, one woman holds humanity’s fate in her blood-stained hands... 

Adopted by Brahma Corp’s Assassin Guild and raised as one of their own, Malina Hayes is about to make her fiftieth kill. After bringing down forty-nine of London’s worst criminals, this latest job shouldn't be a big deal. But if Malina is successful, she’ll receive her first milestone mark. Ascension in the ranks, better pay, and a swanky flat in Soho all sound like very good reasons to make this kill count. 

But fate and destiny have different plans for Malina. Seconds away from receiving the coveted milestone mark, Malina is torn away from the world she knows and thrust onto a new path—one where the purity of her soul will determine the very fate of mankind. Trouble is, Malina's kill orders were a lie. The targets she assassinated were innocents, and each one has left a terrible stain on her soul. 

Stains she must now remove, at any cost. 

Atoning for the blood of fifty victims is no mean feat, especially for someone who has spent their entire life killing. But if Malina fails, the lock on the gates of the underworld will crumble to dust. And we all know what happens when a legion of demons is unleashed upon the world... 

Especially when they have their sights set on you.


Audio:




Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Under Her Skin by Margo Bond Collins
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Lindi Parker works hard at being human, not an easy task for a weresnake. She has no desire to search for others like her—until a new case changes everything. When Lindi learns that she's not the only shapeshifter in the world, she realizes she might be next on a killer's list. 

In order to save herself and the abused children she works with, she will have to team up with Dr. Kade Nevala, a member of the shifter tribe responsible for eradicating weresnakes—and the most attractive man Lindi's ever met. Even more terrifying, she’ll need to embrace her serpent side, a choice that has enormous consequences for Lindi, and for everyone around her.

The Shadow Children by L.C. Hibbett
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Goodreads Synopsis:
Everything you know is a lie… 

Eighteen-year-old Grace is sick of running. For over two thousand years the Angels have hunted the Half-Born, determined to maintain the barrier that conceals the magical world from Human eyes. Grace and her foster family have survived capture by living amongst humans, but the noose is tightening as the spell binding their magic begins to fail. 

When unexpected allies send Grace and her family crashing into the world of The Shadow Children, she finds herself at the epicentre of a battle to save those she loves. 

But who can she trust when everyone has the face of an angel? 

The Shadow Children is the first book in The Demon-Born Trilogy, an exhilarating series of Urban Fantasy novels. If you like action-packed fantasy that tugs at the heartstrings, then you’ll love L.C. Hibbett’s debut. 

The Shadow City by L.C. Hibbett
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Goodreads Synopsis:
The dark is closing in…

It’s been a year since Grace’s world was ripped asunder. The Shadow Children are fighting a losing battle to rescue the halfborn from the Silent Homes. When the Spirit Demons begin to attack the Angel communities, Grace and her friends are faced with an impossible decision- battle on alone and risk losing everything or place their trust in the people who have hunted them for centuries.

With Sam by her side, Grace must negotiate her way through the secrets and lies that pave the roads of the Shadow City.

When it feels like she has everything to lose, what is there for her to gain?

The Shadow City is the second book in L.C. Hibbett’s captivating Urban Fantasy series.

The Shadow War by L.C. Hibbett
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Goodreads Synopsis:
*Heart stopping action. Heart breaking finale.* 

This world will burn… 

The Shadow Children's greatest enemies have been unmasked, and the stakes are far higher than Grace had ever feared. With her friends imprisoned and the Circle determined to annihilate the Human race, Grace and The Shadow Children must prepare for war. 

There is only one way to break the Circle, but are Grace and Sam strong enough to make the sacrifice? 

The Shadow War is the heart-stopping installment in L.C. Hibbett’s riveting Urban Fantasy.

Ranger's Folly by J.T. Williams
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Goodreads Synopsis:
He is a Ranger of the North. His fellow Rangers, those he would call friends, are dead. Now, he has been branded a deserter and a thief. He only wishes to get back to his family alive.

It is said that Fadis the Ranger stole something from the king. Now a massive bounty is on his head. But in particular, it isn't the sell-swords and bounty hunters that he should worry about. There is a powerful mage on his trail and this man cares little of a reward of gold.

Only a few hours from his wife's embrace and his son's smile, will he, at last, be free from his past? Nothing ever remains the same and this Ranger is about to learn that. The hard way.

Sanyare: The Last Descendant by Megan Haskell
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Goodreads Synopsis:
A woman torn between honor and survival…

Raised in a realm where humans are no better than slaves, Rie Lhethannien has struggled for decades to earn a meager post in the High Court messenger service. Even training as an elite fighter isn’t enough to earn the respect she craves. Scorned by the high elves who rely on her loyalty, Rie’s closest allies are the fierce carnivorous pixies who travel by her side.

When she’s attacked on a routine delivery by assassins from the enemy Shadow Realm, Rie’s martial prowess keeps her alive…and frames her as a traitor. Facing execution at the hand of an unmerciful king, Rie must forsake her oaths and flee into enemy lands to prove her innocence. With surprising help from a bastard prince and an ambitious blood sidhe, Rie searches for the truth behind the attack. The secrets she uncovers may threaten more than her honor or even her life…for war is looming in the nine faerie realms.

Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster
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Goodreads Synopsis:

Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order…

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot.

The Chosen Knights by Mary Ting
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Goodreads Synopsis:
(Spin-off to Crossroads Saga) - Read Prequel - The Angel Knights - first **Can be read as stand-alone

When teens go missing in Hawaii, a group of demon-hunters—half human and half angel—disguised as high school students, must leave Crossroads, the place where they reside. In a race against time, they uncover the mystery connecting the missing teens, which dates back to the era of the Knights Templar. However, when they discover one of the Templars passed down a book containing all the secrets and codes to finding a particular treasure, they soon realize this forbidden treasure needs to be found before Cyrus, the lord of the possessor demons, acquires it—a treasure which been safeguarded and hidden from him.
There is only one problem: the pages containing the clues leading to the treasure is missing. When the first page is found, Cyrus threatens to kill more descendants of the Knights Templar if it is not given to him by Friday the thirteenth. In the midst of threats and discovery, the demon-hunting angels find they are not alone when supernatural beings begin to reveal themselves. Can they put their differences aside and work together to solve the Knights Templars’ cipher? As they astral travel to the past, they witness a lot more than they have bargained for. And some things are better left unseen.



Free Audio Books/Stories:


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Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells
Lucifer's Star by C.T. Phipps & Michael Suttkus

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Audio Book Review: Heart of Gold

Heart of Gold

By:  J.A. Cipriano & J.B. Garner

Publish Date:  July 26, 2016, Audiobook Release December 12, 2016

Format:  Audiobook - 5 hrs 7 mins
Narrated By:  Joe Hempel

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Clans of Shadow series

Impression:  Magic becomes known to one person.

Synopsis:
My name is Frank Butcher, and when I got out of my truck to deliver the last package of the day, I never expected to get blown up by anti-magic zealots.

Yeah, you heard me right. I said magic. I didn't know it was a thing either.

Now, an ancient artifact is the only thing keeping me alive, and to make matters worse, that artifact is what those cultists wanted.

Still, I could have made a run for it, disappeared down into South America and spent the rest of my life on a beach. I nearly did it, but I didn't.

Why? Because the cultists have offered me a trade. Come to them or they start killing kids.

First Sentence:
My name is Frank Butcher and when my mother looks up 'underachiever' in the dictionary, I swear she sees my picture.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.


Frank is running late on his deliveries. At Doctor Gabriela Perez's office his military experience kicks in as the Doctor is attacked by a group called The End Society. Frank is hurt severely and Gabriela saves him. Now, the ancient artifact that functions as his heart also makes him untouchable by magic or spells. Not only is he targeted as being wanted by both societies, but he could be the only one to help Gabriela and the Whites to stop The End Society from removing magic from the world. And all Frank worries about is his mom.

I've listened to Joe before and enjoyed his work. Actually, listening to him voice this story and a few small threads with Frank remind me of the another series he voiced that I listened to. Joe gets to do a few slight accents for characters, bringing them to life as more than characters on a page. Again, the audio sounds clear and seamless as I listen.


Frank... well, he is thrown into a mess that he didn't ask to be in. How does one handle that? Sometimes with a bit of not-so-nice snark. Frank kind of comes across as a jerk in the beginning. There is something about Frank that just doesn't strike me. I don't know what it is, but he doesn't feel likeable to me. Not a bad person, but like he's missing something in how he's written or trying to hard to make him a tough guy.

There are a lot of quick toss ins that are to be jokes that reference movies and such. Frank does say he has a love for movies and music, so it fits him. But they come so fast it's easy to miss them and their reference.

Frank does worry about his mom. There's a reason and you learn it. But, Frank is all she has left in the world and she is his mother. Who wants their mother to suffer for some mess they end up in? No one.

I found my mind wondering while listening to this story. I didn't connect much with Frank in the way to care what happens to him. And the magic, though sounds neat, I didn't feel was shown and expressed to easily understand. It felt as there is a larger world that we are just stepping into, which I believe we are. But the story felt to be missing the magnet to pull me in.

I'm sure this book will be enjoyed by others, but it just didn't impress strongly on me. So please don't let my thoughts change yours if you like the sounds of the book.



***If my thoughts were helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Audio Book Review: Villains Rule

Villains Rule

By:  M.K. Gibson

Publish Date:  February 9, 2017, Audiobook Release April 19, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 49 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafer

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Shadow Master series

Impression:  Oh my so much fun!!

Synopsis:
Hi, how are you?

Yes, I am talking to you, the reader of the this book’s description. It’s rude not to answer a person when they ask you a question. OK, I get it, 4th wall breaking is overdone. Get over it. This book, Villains Rule, is a fantasy action-comedy which you have to read. Not because it redefines the genre, far from it. But rather for what it contains. A villain’s tale.

How often do you get to read a story where the villain is the protagonist? No, not an anti-hero, or a brooding monster, nor a hero thinly disguised as a villain. And not evil. If you want evil, take that nonsense to therapy. No, I mean a villain’s villain. The ones who use their power because they can, while morality is only a philosopher’s complex.

This is the story of Jackson Blackwell, the Shadow Master and the top villain adviser. Sadly, even the top villain occasionally gets double-crossed. Trapped in one of the fantasy realms, Jackson has to use his skill and wits to exploit the rules, points out the genre flaws, undermine godly authority, and win the day.

Because, that is what villains should do, shouldn’t they? Read this book, have a few laughs, and find out.

First Sentence:
(Look, I know prologues can be boring.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.


Jeffrey performs with heart, stepping in to the characters minds which breathes life to them. When stories are performed with the emotion the characters are feeling, and the narrator feels as to be having fun, the book is brought to a new level of awesome. Jeffrey accomplished that in this work. Jeffrey speaks with different infliction and personality for each character, which makes it easy to know who's who along with keeping my attention.

At the end of the first prologue, I had to smile. Really. This was something I always thought about, how easy it would be to take down a hero when he's having his "moment". I got a feel of a twist of Grayskull (You know what Grayskull is, from He-Man.) here with other elements mixed in. I like what I get, and it's only a prologue!

Oh my the references of all the great science fiction and fantasy tales!! Really! Even in the titles we get great one lines that we know reference so many. lol. I love listening and pointing out references and what I get the feel of. I'm sure others would pick up on others I've missed. This is the kind of story I would love to listen to with someone who I could talk to on the potential influences. You know, listen at the same time and go geek on what we pick up on! lol.

Okay. The story. I enjoyed how the rules of heroes and villains are viewed and understood in the world. And they still stand and function. M.K. has created a story with a villain that sees those rules and uses then in a way to do what all villains want. And he's talented at his work. M.K. tells us these rules and we see the predicament that Jackson ends up in, and has to find his own way back to his place in the world. M.K. writes a well crafted story of fun while still in the guidelines and takes a villain in the outs and brings him back. Totally awesome work.

I felt I could believe Jackson's thinking and I really liked him. I want to watch movies with Jackson. He would be a hoot at pointing out the flaws in plans, hero and villain. I laughed at the obvious observations pointed out by Jackson in this book. So good and so true! Jackson's written in a way that I liked him even though he wasn't the clean cut good guy. I even felt the fluctuation of praise and irritation of Randy with Jackson - all thanks to Jeffrey's vocal talents and M.K.'s writing.

At my first big surprise in events, I wanted to give M.K. Gibson a big high five. He told me what not to do. He drew me into doing just that. And I was surprised when he used that. AWESOME JOB!! M.K.wrote it so well, I was drawn into the web.

This book is a modern setting with Jackson but it's also in a fantasy world, or worlds as he goes along, because of the different realms of villains. It's so easy to understand and enjoy. I loved the play on different fantasy themes as it made me smile.

As Jackson goes through the fantasy world he's in, working to get to the ruling villain, he points out the fantasy tropes present. And he hits on them all! Totally awesome and fun summary of characters in fantasy tropes. And I can say I read about that. It was great as it was fun in how it's portrayed. M.K. has taken fantasy, brought what we know to our attention, then twists it to his world and makes it fun.

Enjoyable story to listen to. It kept me entertained.



***If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!