I promised a teaser on Bian’s Tale. You may have read the first 3 chapters when I posted them last year, and those haven’t changed much. This is approximately the first quarter of the book, to chapter 11.
It’s in PDF format and I think WordPress will host this and let you read it without downloading (though it took a couple of attempts for me)
If you download it, you’ll need Adobe reader (which is free). As an alternative, email me at Mark@athanate.com and I can send you Kindle (mobi) or iPad (ePub) format. The mobi can be forwarded to your Kindle email address and the ePub just stored in your iPad bookshelves.
It’s very different from the Amber novels and I’d love feedback again.
What’s a Shaman have to do to catch a break, anyway? You haul butt around, all over LA, finding lost souls (literally) and nobody gives you a lick of respect. Ugh. As if slipping on the Techno goggles and hoping around the multiverse, looking for wandering souls was an easy thing to carry off!
Livvy is a Techno-Shaman, a Shaman who uses 3-D goggles combined with the technology of the “God Helmet”, which uses an electromagnetic field and shamanic symbols created with light and magnets in order to open the way into the multiverse of the middleworld – the entryway world where she meets her spirit helper, her guide through the middle and down into the Underworld, the land of the Spirits. The money isn’t all that good, but hey, it’s a living – even though you have to dodge the occasional religious fanatic or prejudiced A-hole. Only, suddenly, Techno-shamans are dieing. And Livvy isn’t sure that she won’t be next.
As more Shamans die, and the underworld becomes more and more dangerous to enter, Livvy works with S.K., the dwarf who acts as intermediary for the Los Angeles area Shamans, to gather together the Shamans in order to stop the deaths and changes in the middle and under worlds. But pulling together the secretive and isolationist Shamans into a working group is harder than one might think. And it soon appears that, even working together, it might be too late to stop the destruction of the multiverse, and possibly of all time and space.
Shaman, Healer, Heretic is a quirky sort of Urban Fantasy, set in the gritty and unhappy back alleys and hovels of Los Angeles. Seeped in multiple world views and superstitions, the author blends differing belief systems into a satisfying whole, making it one of the more creative books of it’s type that I have read recently.
Just finished the Beta and, OMFG!!! J. C. does it again – another brilliant story full of pain and hate, love and understanding and a tremendous cast of characters. Watch here – I will let you know as soon as I know when it is coming out – and you have to read this book! Of course, if you haven’t read the first ones, you have to read those too- – – these are too good to miss!
Thanks, J. C. Mells!!!
“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”
Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.
But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.
Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..
Keep your eyes open – I will post when the book is published!
I first came across Deanna Chase in 2012 with her book Haunted on Bourbon Street. The book, featuring Jade Calhoun, was set in New Orleans and features Jade, an empath, and a creative and interesting group of friends, including a couple of strip club owners, a coven, and couple of ghosts with very different agendas. Since then, I happily enjoyed both Witches of Bourbon Street and Demons of Bourbon Street. There are still two more (that I know of) in the series that I have already purchased and are sitting in my TBR pile waiting for their turn. And I am very much looking forward to them.
Influential Magic is also set in New Orleans, and is the first in a series subtitled Crescent City Fae. This new series stars Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void. Oh, and she is also a faery – complete with wings and flight capabilities. Well, when she isn’t around vampires, whose walking death drains her earth magic, and thus her life force. A very uncomfortable position to be in when your evil faery auntie, who is also the Director of the Void policing agency partners you with a vampire in order to investigate dastardly deeds by the local vampire corporation. Especially when that vampire happens to be your ‘used-to-be-human’ boyfriend. A boyfriend, who suddenly dumped you with a quick text message (jerk!), then turns up later turned – literally.
What happens to Willow in this volume of the Crescent City series is a neat bit of creative urban fantasy, but it also carries an undercurrent of politics and xenophobia which reflects what is happening in this world, this reality, even now. I am, admittedly, not a ‘vampire groupie’ as so many are these days. Been there, done that, would really like for that whole ‘cold, dead, walking corpses’ to be over already. I mean, come on – have you ever felt a real corpse? Gross. I couldn’t imagine kissing cold, dead lips, much less getting down and dirty with other parts! However, in Chase’s alternate universe, her vampires are, though still cold and walking dead, much more ‘real’ people than others in the genre, with lives and families whom they love – even if they are still overwhelmingly entitled, making them both vicious and brutally efficient killers when crossed.
Overall, I really liked Willow. She takes a lot of damage, both physically and emotionally in this first book, and overall she handles it well. I did find her rather naïve at times, railing against those who would take care of issues in a vigilante fashion, while openly acknowledging that the governmental agencies are deeply corrupt. At the same time, I honestly admired her for understanding the siren song of power and how it can so easily corrupt.
The fantasy storyline is creative, well written, and believable as an alternative reality of a world which evolved under magical conditions, while still aligning closely with our own. There is a bit of a triangle aspect, between Willow and David, the vamp ex boyfriend and Talisen, her childhood friend and mentor who is another faery. The triangle seems to correct itself at the end, and I honestly hope that the concept doesn’t carry on through the other books, as I find those sorts of story lines to be crutches for poor story development. However, the Shih Tzu that turns into a wolf? Awesome! And I hope that Willow will be spending more time in her bakery, creating magically infused cupcakes, and more time with her best friend, Phoebe, a witch. There were a lot of ends left free, leaving room for a great deal of really good story development as we learn more about Willow, her skills, and her family and friends. And having listened to the Audible Edition, narrated by Gabra Zackman, one of my favorite narrators of all time, there was a whole other level of enjoyment that I was able to gain from the book. And right now, Influential Magic is only $1.99 for the Audible Edition! What’s not to like? Especially when it is also text-to-speech enabled for the Kindle edition. I prefer the Audible editions, as I can download them onto my Zune and pop it into my pocket while I am doing other things, but having it in both editions means I can read it any way I wish. Cool…
J. K. Walker’s Fallen Eyes:Book Four of Salt Lake After Dark is available on Amazon! Click the cover to order!
Jazz needs to get away. With her shapeshifter status outed to anyone with an internet connection, she’s being hounded by reporters, protesters, and fanboys alike. With her birthday fast approaching, all she wants is a steamy weekend with Logan, away from… well, everything.
But something’s killing people in her territory. The local pack and the police are looking to her for answers—or an arrest. Or just to arrest her. As alpha and enforcer, Jazz needs to shoulder the responsibility of protecting her community and finding the real monsters. If she can’t, she risks losing respect in a pack where her leadership is already in question.
As the investigation progresses, it becomes evident that old enemies have returned. They’re out for revenge, more powerful than before, and targeting those who’re most important to Jazz. The patterns are too familiar. The targets are too close to her heart. Jazz can’t be everywhere at once—can’t protect everyone at once.
Things just keep getting better. The last book, Sanguine Eyes, saw Jazz interning with the Salt Lake Police Department, and partnered with Detective Tabatha Granger, whom you will remember from Hollow Eyes. Now studying to be a police officer herself, Jazz and Tabatha answer what should be a simple call, a convenience store robbery. What they arrive to, however, is something entirely different. When the take down turns into a gunfight, and multiple blasts to the chest didn’t even faze the red-eyed robber, Jazz once again found herself in the middle of a supernatural disaster. Sanguine – a drug giving its takers supernatural strength and violence. And as Jazz dug into the mystery behind the drug, and the supernatural connection, the series truly hit its stride.
Now, J. K. Walker rises to the next level in his storyline, and in his character development. Jazz has been hammered over the last few books, as she is forced into a stronger and stronger role in the supernatural community. And it is becoming more and more obvious that, the harder she tries to handle everything on her own, the more she needs to learn to depend more on her wide and talented group of friends. And they truly are talented. Cassie, the Registered Nurse who helps keep everyone healthy, and in this edition of the story becomes much, much more. Tammy and Rachel, Tabatha and Tad, all of her friends have their own skills, their own insight. And it is time for Jazz to realize that, utilize her friend’s talents and skills. She has been so busy protecting everyone else that she has failed to allow her friends to protect her. Synergy is the theme, and J. K. Walker does a beautiful job of developing his characters, raising them to the next level.
Old friends, and old enemies are back with a vengeance – vengeance being the pertinent word. New monsters are on the prowl, and old enemies are stronger and stronger. And harder to kill.
This is one of the best Urban Fantasy series out there, and I certainly hope more people find J. K. Walker and his Salt Lake After Dark series. It is amazing. And you can WIN the series!!!
Leader (Angel Paws)
Jordan Taylor (13 Reviews) Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home | Religious & Inspirational Fiction | Religion & Spirituality
FREE for a limited time
A true leader? Or a terrible mistake?
Hundreds of miles separate Aaron from the finish line of a dogsled race he never meant to enter. With his best lead dog dropped from the race and unknown obstacles still ahead, he must take a leap of faith: relying on a young dog he has never learned to trust and whose leadership skills have never been tested. Until now.
Stories in the Angel Paws series celebrate the unique bond between canines and humans with heartfelt, moving, and insightful tales for anyone who has ever loved a dog.
While I was going through my cancer treatments, I did all the “Western Medicine” stuff. ATC chemotherapy. Radiation therapy too. The ATC caused internal bleeding, heart damage, and a full year in bed, unable to walk or do anything else without help. The radiation was a breeze after the ATC. But I also did acupuncture and acupressure for the pain (and believe me, there is pain like you could not believe), as well as aromatherapy, vitamins and supplements, and massage. My Oncologist, Dr. Kovachy, is brilliant at what she does, but she is also quite comfortable with the use of all sorts of natural treatments like acupuncture in conjunction with chemotherapy. With all my pain, and yet unable to hold anything down, (I lost 60 pounds over the treatment period) acupuncture was the only thing that kept me going. Thank you again, Dr. Robin!!!
Editor’s Note: THE GOOD FIGHT: A STORY OF CANCER, LOVE AND TRIUMPH IS a book about love and cancer … mostly love.
Book Description: An inspirational memoir by two doctors about their experience with a rare, deadly cancer. While following standard medical treatments, they also pursue the non-traditional, including acupuncture, supplements, and prayer. An amazing primer (containing charts and supplement doses) for patients and families looking for alternative — and healthy — complimentary treatment, The Good Fight is also a story of discovery and love.
Author’s Inspiration: How To Help Yourself While on Chemotherapy by Natalie Mitchell
Get this inspiring memoir FREE on your KINDLE on 2/20!
Detail. Some readers don’t really care about it – they simply want a book that they can pick up, breeze through, and go on to the next thing. Oh, that has its place, certainly. However, that has never been me. Rich details, complexity, and compelling story lines are what call to me as a reader, and del Franco offers these up in spades.
Unshapely Things is an urban fantasy, to be sure, with fairies and elves, gargoyles and monsters, and a damaged Druid hero, Connor Grey. Connor puts me in mind of both Simon R. Green’s John Taylor and Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden. Like Harry, Connor pretty much lives hand-to-mouth, taking the jobs he can get from the police. With his brain damaged and his Druid powers pretty much non-existent, Connor has been fighting a losing battle against depression and ennui as he slides from a life of power and wealth into the “The Weird,” the fae neighborhood where the dregs of both the fae and human worlds reside. You won’t find vampires in this world, but you will find dirty politicians galore – isn’t it the same thing?
When his human police partner, Leo Murdock calls him to the scene of a brutal murder of a male fairy prostitute, Connor has no idea that this murder could be a signpost to the end of the world – with Boston as the center of the maelstrom. What follows is a story that I found to be something quite special. This isn’t just an urban fantasy. Instead, it blends alternate history with suspense, mystery wit terror, and ties it all together with a huge dose of political intrigue.
In 1900, on this alternative Earth, there was “Convergence” – an event which brought the world of Fairy and the Earth into alignment, pulling Fairy creatures onto this planet, effectively blocking them from their own. Battling between themselves, they drug the war between fairy and elf onto this world, battling it out through the World Wars, with some siding with Hitler while some sided with the Allies. The time of the story lands right into modern day, during the Fey Summit, an attempt by both sides to extend an uneasy peace and avoid all-out war. As the bodies pile up, is there a possibility that the deaths are connected to the Fey Summit? Or is there something even darker and more dangerous going on?
Mark Del Franco writes exceptional characters. Connor was damaged during his work for “The Guild” the policing agency for the Fey on Earth. Broken, and with limited powers, he is living in poverty on a small disability check, pondering his losses and the wasteland he sees as the rest of his life. His partner, Murdock may be human, but with all of the bad feelings, jealousies, and hatred of most humans toward the Fey, he is curious and open to learning of the Fey and their ways. He cares what happens to them, and relies upon Connor as his instructor.
Del Franco’s female characters are both strong and likable, with individual strengths and personalities that I am very much looking forward to learning more about. This isn’t by any means a “paranormal romance” but if you are a PR reader who likes strong, adept women characters who still follow their hearts as well as their minds, these women will be right up your alley. The story is rich in detail, both in the world building and the characterizations, and holds the attention until setting the book down and remembering you have to do things like eat and sleep will be impossible to accomplish.
Overall, this is a series sure to appeal to a number of different genre readers, and a new-to-me author who goes immediately to the top of my “must” list.
I purchased this book on my own. My comments are my own opinion.
When Gabriella falls from the villainous Dream Master’s bag, Lore Valley will be forever changed.
Gabriella is no ordinary fairy. With iridescent wings, bells at the tips of her toes, and an impression of a wand coloring her forehead, her appearance alone sets her apart. Intrigued, the fairies welcome her with open arms, but as she grows up, some of her behavior disturbs the residents of the Lore Valley. Queen Pasha, in particular, worries that Gabriella may not have arrived in the valley accidentally. Could she be part of the Dream Master’s plan to destroy the fairies?
Full of quirky characters living in a whimsical world that the maniacal Dream Master seeks to destroy, this novel takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as Gabriella explores the Lore Valley and then the greater world beyond it when she takes it upon herself to confront the world’s most formidable creature.
From oddball bats to ghost cats, trolls to polka-dotted hens, Sirens to rouge eagles, you will find characters both lovable and treacherous within the pages of this book. Many of the characters have tidbits of wisdom to impart while others will amuse you with unique approach to the world.