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Trafficking in Demons: Book Seven of ‘Fantasy & Forensics’ (Fantasy & Forensics 7)

“I’ve smelled some truly terrible things in my time. It came with the job. In fact, the patent was still pending on my very own Chrissie Scale of Stinkiness . . . I wasn’t going to be using a body bag. It looked like I’d need a wet-vac for this job.”  Dayna Chrissie, Trafficking in Demons: Book Seven of ‘Fantasy & Forensics’ (Fantasy & Forensics 7)

Not by the forces of civil war can you govern the very weakest woman. You can kill that woman, but she escapes you then; you cannot govern her. No power on earth can govern a human being, however feeble, who withholds his or her consent. – Emmeline Pankhurst

Poor Dayna. As if it weren’t bad enough wading into all the ‘normal’ carnage of being a Crime Scene Tech in gritty Los Angeles, cleaning up all the Andeluvian spillover sometimes causes some really messy messes. And Trafficking is boiling – not only in LA but in the world of Andeluvia as well. As has been so well put before, She’s the LAPD’s best corpse-kicker. And the world of Andeluvia’s as well these days.

C.S. Lewis does indeed continue to meet CSI in Michael’s newest addition to the absolute incredible Fantasy & Forensics series. And the tension continues to ramp up, both in our world and the other.

If you are a poor suffering reader who hasn’t found this series yet – well, let’s just say you are missing something special! The series began back in Centaur of the Crime (and hey! It’s FREE on Kindle unlimited right now! As is The Deer Prince’s Murder!)  What are you waiting for??? 

(Clearing throat.) So, back to your regularly scheduled review…

The tensions of the previous books have built to what, in this addition to this incredible series, could very well be an explosion of epic proportions on both our world and on Andeluvia. The carryover of technology to a Middle Ages world is bad enough – but magic in our world? Let’s just say that the blowback could be devastating for both worlds.

Of course, not everything is horrible and scary. Dayna began the series feeling as if everyone hated her and she only had herself to rely upon. And let’s not fool ourselves, lots of people did. And still do. But as the series has developed, so has Dayna. She has grown, realizing that she no longer has to rely solely on herself. And what is not to love about a group of close friends that include a Centaur Wizard, a Griffin Warrior and a gentle Fayleene Prince? And the addition of Skallgrym Serikkaylen of the House of Friesain (Better known as ‘Rikka’) in Assault in the Wizard Degree, the previous book in the series, gives another much needed feminine (yet strong!) presence to the series. Which is hysterical in this case, because Rikka’s warrior status in the centaur realm is a huge contrast to Dayna’s most recent requirement placed upon her by King Fitzwilliam. Let’s just say it requires miles of pink fabric (PINK!) and some highly embarrassing pomp and ceremony!

Well, even with war on the horizon, politics and catering to the expectations of the masses must continue…

If you haven’t read the series, you ‘can’ pick up here, but I highly recommend starting from the first. This blend of humor, fantasy, politics, and plain ol’ excellent writing is well worth the investment of your precious reading time!!!!!

(And aren’t the covers Great?)

 

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Playing With Fire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (With A Body Count) – R.J. Blain

“Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.” — R.J. Blain — Playing With Fire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (With A Body Count)

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OK, Really? Who could possibly bypass that sort of intro? Of course, I am a HUGE R.J. Blain fan, so pretty much anything she writes I read. The Balancing the Scales series and the Witch and Wolf series are personal favorites, both Urban Fantasy and both marvelous. She also writes a wide range of other tales, from Magical Apocalyptic to Sci-Fi and, yes, Pack tales.  Oh, and don’t forget immortal pirates! Something for all.

Playing With Fire is something different again – and once more her wit, creativity, and the ability to craft a tale well outside the common is a winner. Baily Gardner is not your common-and-garden barista – not when she spikes your java with pixie dust on request. Of course, spiking drinks all day is often much more pleasant than her other job. You know, the one that requires cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances. I mean, come on! Who would voluntarily clean up gorgon vomit? And for “a cute little pittance” no less. Sigh.

I refuse to say more. You have GOT to read this yourself! But be careful about drinking or eating while you are reading. You might just wind up with your drink sprayed all over your tablet.

Just sayin’.

Highly Recommended!  Ms. Blain says she is bringing out at least two follow-ups (hopefully this year!) and I can hardly WAIT!

The Case of the Disappearing Blogger!

““No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
― Gautama Buddha, Sayings Of Buddha

It is amazing to realize just how long it has been since I last published. As we all know, life has a tendency to get in the way of where we want our present and future to go. Instead, we are at times forced onto other, more winding paths, often into a bleak landscape we fear to tread.

Other times we must put our heads down and hook up to our own personal plow, digging the rows of life, planting crops we wish to one day reap. I can’t say all my rows are planted, but I can say that I am seeing my way through. It will require discipline to start up again, but I can’t tell you all how much I am looking forward to it.

I have been editing books by various authors, Susan Bliler and Michael Angel in particular. If you haven’t checked out their works, I highly recommend them. I have also been editing business manuscripts, as well as supporting COBRA client agents. COBRA is a continuing program which allows employees to continue their benefits after they leave their previous position until they are insured by another employer or health insurance plan. And yes, that does veer wildly away from my love of books, but you do what you can to retain a steady income, right? I have been given the opportunity to work with a publishing house to edit for them, and I am thrilled about it! I will still be soliciting books from Indie Authors, so if you have a book that needs a keen eye, my rates are good! (Hint Hint)

So. I will be posting reviews again, though not steadily I imagine – at least for a while. I have to ‘get my feet under me again’ and get organized, but I am working on it. Currently, I am reading Bad Magic: 10 Novels With Demons, Djinn, Werewolves, Vampires & Rogue Gods . . .”  if you haven’t picked it up yet, I can Highly Recommend it so far. I Have read Chosen The Djinn Wars: Book 1, and Dead Rising The Templar – Book 1 so far, and both were wonderful stories. I am getting ready to start Hidden Blade Soul Eaters #1. I wasn’t familiar with the first story, but I have added the series to my reading list. The second I had already read, as I am a big fan of Debra Dunbar, but that was the only one of the series I had read. Both of these series are going on my “to read” list. If you previously followed my blog you will know that I have widely ranged, very eclectic tastes in books, and a bad case of “Oooooooo! Shiny!!!” so series often drop by the wayside when I find a new toy.

The last anthology I just finished was From the Shadows: 13 Tales of Urban Fantasy, Witches, Werewolves, Magic, Romance, Shifters, Fae, Demons, Vampires, Dark Fantasy & More!  While I can’t say that I will love all the books in any one anthology (who does?) this one was, in a word, stunning. With eleven different authors offering thirteen stories (Annie Bellet offers The First Three!!! of her The Twenty-Sided Sorceress books!) there are plenty of stories here to please anyone with an interest in strong, well-developed female characters, males who don’t run over the top of them but stand by their sides, and storylines that grab your interest and hold it. While I discovered that I am not really a Dannika Dark fan based on the story in the anthology, that is simply a matter of taste, not a snark against the writer. To each her own.

As I have gotten more into reading again after a long drought, I have read books by a wide range of authors, from Margo Bond Collins’ Under Her Skin to Devon Monk’s Ordinary Magic series books one and two.

My favorite stand alone recently was Playing with Fire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (With A Body 

 

Count) by R.J. Blain. I adore R.J. anyway, and this start to a new series is a Hoot!

“You really are a one-track mind when you’re a unicorn.”

Yep. Get it. Read it. Review to follow 😉

Besides, it is free on Kindle Unlimited, and only $0.99 to purchase.

OH! And I read the first three of SM (Sara) Reine’s Preternatural Affairs Series (again!) and purchased the next three books in the series. If you haven’t read it, and you are fond of supernatural policing, this series is wonderful. I know I wouldn’t want to be a witch allergic to magic!

So, that is it for now. Reviews to follow. And if you need an editor or just a beta reader, be sure to drop me a line!

Hugs,

Leiah

 

Assault in the Wizard Degree – Fantasy and Forensics Book Six!

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Pull out your “Happy Dance” ladies and gents! Assault in the Wizard Degree is printed!! The Fantasy and Forensics series has expanded to book six, and six is definitely a magic number.

Poor Dayna. The more she busts her backside to save the world on Andeluvia, the more it twists itself into a bloody mess . . . and guess who gets the job of straightening everything out each and every time? Yep. You got it. What is a Forensic Scientist stuck in an epic fantasy land supposed to do? Well, if you are Dame Chrissie, you dust off your hiking boots, gather your tools, and do your best to save the day. Again.

“Salvation shall come to Dame Chrissie only when she stands in the shadow of all that she has achieved.”

Well, salvation is something, at least. A bit of hope, after the court Soothsayer invades the throne room of the King bearing tidings of doom and death.

“I dreamt a dream of utmost import . . . that if not heeded, shall mean the downfall of this kingdom and the ruin of all Andeluvia!”

And this time, he might just be right. Dayna’s life in Los Angeles is hard enough as the evil attempting to take over Andeluvia bleeds over into her birth world. Now, an evil long thought buried and gone is awakening. Death and despair, war and horror are looming on the horizon, and Dayna’s small group will be tested beyond anything they have ever faced before.

It begins, as do so many things, with a request for Dayna’s help. The centaurs, you see, have a problem.

“A centaur that has committed an act of sacrilege regarding the ‘Ceremony of Equilux’.”

It should be a simple case – use her forensic skills to discover who committed a crime. But what she finds is so much more. The Creatures of the Dark have made deeper inroads than anyone expects (well, anyone other than Dayna and her friends) and even the densest and most purposefully ignorant will no longer be able to deny the truth.

There are, of course, the light moments Michael’s writing is so well known for. Characters are well written and believable, the landscape of the world of Andeluvia is sharply drawn, and the storyline holds perfect continuity throughout the series. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, I would highly recommend you do so before reading this installment. I am not saying you couldn’t understand or enjoy this book as a standalone, but it is such a wonderful series it would be a shame to miss the run-up to this pivotal point in the series.

This is a Wonderful series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!! Of course, full disclosure, I work with Michael on his books – but that doesn’t mean I don’t adore each and every one.

Forgery of the Phoenix is Here! Fantasy and Forensics, Book Five

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“The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery.” –  Ralph Hodgson

“Sometimes you trust someone who turns out not to be honest. There are a lot of things that happen in life that don’t turn out the way you’re given the impression that they will. And I think that’s all kind of a con. But I think we’ve probably all been hurt.” – Sigourney Weaver

Poor Dayna! Isn’t it enough that she has saved the land of Andeluvia over and over, and never gotten even a “Thank you” for her efforts? I mean, come ON guys! You beat a demon, save a couple of races, and keep warning the whole planet that a war, fought long ago, is heating up once more . . . and all she gets is laughed at!? Wow. Talk about disrespectful!

The Royal Court doesn’t listen. Life back home on Earth is going sideways faster than she can say “Great big gobs of greasy, grimy Griffin Poo!” What is a girl to do??? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the King! Not only does he only intermittently have Dayna’s back. Ohhh no! Since Dayna was given the rather dubious title of “Dame Chrissie” the costs for renovating her tower are going up. Who was to know that, when she turned down tenant farmers and lands, not wanting to be responsible for all that, she was also turning down the income that comes with it? And the King? Well, well well. Being the “Kingly” sort, in the “I’m broke and have to pay all these people, so I am going to stick it to Dame Chrissie” (Really. You honestly didn’t notice that certain parties were draining your treasury?! Sigh.) way, Dayna has been awarded the “Great Honor” of becoming the one and only member of the Order of the Weasel. Whaaa?!?!

Yep, the Order of the Weasel. Or, better known as The Order of the Welchers. Who happened to leave behind nearly a quarter million in debt. Which, of course, Dame Chrissie is expected to pay.

You gotta be kidding me!

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the Phoenix who pops out of the fireplace during a meeting of the Royal Court is determined that Dame Chrissie shall save his whole species from extinction!

Can a girl not get a freakin’ Break?

Join Dayna and her friends, Grimshaw the Griffin, the Fayleene Protector of the Forest, and Galen the Centaur Wizard on their newest adventure, as they fight off the depredations of evil (If they can figure out what the “evil” is), and take on another wonderful, magical adventure!

If you like your fantasy with fun, you will LOVE Michael’s writing, especially the Fantasy and Forensics series, of which Forgery of the Phoenix is the fifth! And don’t forget to check out all the other books in the series. They are best read in order 😉 Enjoy!!!

Click here for the Series on Goodreads!

Click here for Michael Angel’s Website!!!

I work with Michael on his books. All thoughts are my own.

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Ready To Return To Hell? Caith Morningstar Is BACK!

30866647“I have always marveled that so many religions exact such revenge against dissenters. It only weakens the appeal of their faith and contradicts any claims they might have made that ‘all religions are basically the same.'” – Ravi Zacharias

Caith Morningstar was there when the first brick of the Mouse’s house was laid. Order. Secrecy. That is all she asked. Orlando is her city. Her place of peace, where demons (dems), angels (gels) and tweens (‘other’) come to rest, relax, and visit her bar, Hell’s Chapel. Well, when you are the niece of “The” Morningstar, have an unending life and a very, well, let’s say ‘eclectic’ family, you deserve a little peace. – Review, So, I Read This Book Today, Hell’s Chapel by Lauren Creed (Celia Kyle)

 

Caith Morningstar may desperately want peace in her city, and most particularly in her life – but as the Pussycat Dolls say,

Be careful what you wish for
‘Cause you just might get it
You just might get it
You just might get it”

Caith wished to be with her mate, Samkiel. So not happening. Half-fallen Angel of Destruction, On High had him in time-out on Earth for forgiving someone he wasn’t supposed to forgive. But when Sam saved Caith and newborn baby brownie Bryony, the last living member of Caith’s band of brownie friends, from a mad wizard with a true hard-on against Caith, he was cast down – as in, way way down, to the 9th circle of Hell. Well. That sucks.

After the violence, terror and death of Hell’s Chapel, Caith is incredibly pissed. Solution? Kick every stinkin’ demon out of Orlando. Hum… how’s that workin’ out for you Caith?

Apparently? Not all that well.

It has been a year, and Caith is bored out of her mind not having demon fanny to kick around in her bar, Hell’s Chapel. But she has baby Bryony to raise, she has her friends and her five fathers (don’t ask, just read ;-)) and life is moving along. Until baby Bryony gets sick. Now, there really Will be Hell to Pay.

Hell’s Gates picks up Caith’s story and runs with it, feet blazing. While you may know Celia Kyle better as a Paranormal Romance writer of such series as Ridgeville and Grayslake, and more recently her Alien-Shifter-SciFi series, The Ujal and Dragons of Preor, the Caith Morningstar series is quickly becoming my favorite overall. Caith is a 600-year-old, kick-ass half-demon with attitude to spare, a disturbing habit of killing first and asking questions never . . . and a heart as big and kind as five amazing fathers can make her. Well, even though her mother is the sister of “The” Morningstar, and “quite possibly the worst mother ever…” Caith knows one thing that all the demons in the world will never understand. Love. And when you mess with those Caith loves? Be prepared, cause she is gonna kill you. And bring you back to kill you again. And again. And Again. And when Caith decides you are going to hurt, you are going to hhuuuurrrrtttttt.

You GO Girl!

You will enjoy Hell’s Gates much more if you pick up Hell’s Chapel and read it first. Both are marvelous, but you can’t really understand what Caith has been through, what she has suffered, and why, unless you pick up from the first. Besides. These books are marvelous!!!

And you have no reason not to – Celia’s work is on Kindle Unlimited, where you can

Read For Free!!!

I received Hell’s Gate from Celia in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own – and you know I won’t lead you wrong!

The Huntress is BACK! Alexandra Sokoloff’s Bitter Moon In Preorder!

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NEW HUNTRESS BOOK!

Bitter Moon, Book 4 of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers, is now available for pre-order.

From Alexandra’s email this morning:

Bitter Moon is in some ways the most mystical of the books, parallel storylines set in the California desert, as Special Agent Matthew Roarke and fourteen-year old Cara must join forces to stop a horrific series of rapes and murders — separated by sixteen years in time.

The first three books are absolutely stunning, and I am sure the fourth will be the same. Click the photos below to go to Alexandra’s page on Amazon and grab them to read before Bitter Moon comes out, and check out her other books as well.

 [cover: Huntress Moon]  [cover: Blood Moon] [cover: Cold Moon]

JUNE SALE — $1.99!!

The first three books of the Thriller Award-nominated Huntress Moon series are on sale for just $1.99 each on Amazon US in June! If you haven’t caught up with the series, here’s your chance to get a great deal.

To get the deal, go here and use the code: READJUNE16.

Prior to making your purchase, click the Enter the Code button, enter READJUNE16, and click the “Apply” button.

And! (Drum roll Please!!!) As you will know if you are familiar with Alexandra’s work, she is an incredible screenwriter as well as a novelist. And NOW!

HUNTRESS TV SERIES!

It’s back to film writing for me — I just finished the pilot for the Huntress TV series, currently in development. Next we go out to directors and actors, so if you have any casting wishes, I’d love to hear who you’d like to see play Roarke, Cara, Epps, Singh, Rachel, Snyder, Jade, Mills, et al. More news to come….

OK, yes, I am squeeeeing like a Fan Girl! I will have to start thinking about who should play the characters. They need to be actors with gravitas . . . do they make those any more?!?!

Mother’s Day is May 8 – Have You Read Shifters In The Spring and What To Expect When You’re Expecting A Shifter?

29774075Mother’s Day is the 8th, and sixteen Paranormal Romance/Suspense authors got together to write Shifters in the Spring, bringing together stories of babies, frisky shifters, and fertile surprises. Another eight got together to write What to Expect When You’re Expecting A Shifter. Things like, 5 Ways to Keep Your Baby Wolf Shifter from Biting People and Other Valuables (Prepare for extreme teething!), Top Ten Do’s and Don’ts for New Dragon Moms (Doing your research now will save you a world of headaches down the road, not to mention renovation costs and many arguments with insurance adjusters. And, A good sprinkler system is a must.), and of course, The Survival Guide for Wolf Shifter Fathers-To-Be: How to Treat Your Mate We She’s Expecting (Snacks are vital to your existence! And remember fathers, (the cubs) practice hunting while in there, which involves lunging and snapping. Pregnant female shifters report it feels like Jaws is attacking them from the inside.)

I laughed through What to Expect until tears ran. If you didn’t grab a copy when it first came out – Sorry! All gone. But if you grabbed a copy and haven’t read it yet, do so! It is Hysterical! The stories in Shifters in the Spring are drawn from various Paranormal series, some, such as Jacqueline Sweet’s Bearfield series (don’t mess with pregnant Mina, she will Kick. Your. Ass.), J.K. Harper’s Black Mesa Wolves series, and the Swipe Left series by Ariana Hawkes I have read works by. Others, such as Elianne Adams and Cynthia Fox I hadn’t read before. Not all of them were to my taste, but most were good reads I very much enjoyed.

Never having had kids, I couldn’t really identify with the trials and tribulations, especially when it comes to being a single mother of a shifter kid (No Eating The Neighbor Kid!) but I have to say, I totally enjoyed these kick-ass women as they dealt with kids and mates, kids and potential mates, and years of being single moms without any help in raising dragons, wolves and bears (Oh My!).

On another note, I watched a CBS News Sunday Morning which showed two “big brave men” (Ha!) undergoing a labor pain simulator. It. Is. HYSTERICAL! Here is a clip from YouTube and dailymail.co.uk.

That was funny enough. But then? I found The Try Guys trying childbirth . . . and laughed so hard the dogs started barking at me! (Ha! Sissies!)

Get the books. Read them. Then don’t forget to thank your mother for everything she went through to push you out into the world. After seeing this, don’t you think she deserves a cruise?

The Dowser Series by Meghan Ciana Doidge on Audible.com!

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic: Dowser Series #1 | Meghan Ciana DoidgeThe Dowser Series is out on AUDIBLE!! Wooo Hooooo!
Here is my review of the first in the series, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and other Deadly Magic:

Meghan, Meghan, Meghan! I am expecting cupcake stocks to sail through the roof, and a run on cupcake ingredients at local markets just from reading this book. Whee!!!

OK, listen to this . . . Bliss in a Cup – peanut butter-iced fudge cake (did I say fudge cake? OMG wait a sec, I have to go get a towel . . . whew, there)  Now, where was I? Oh, yes. Sex in a Cup – chocolate butter icing with a wallop of cinnamon and cocoa in the batter. Or, this particular favorite of mine, Buzz in a Cup – mocha fudge cake with mocha butter icing . . . oh, yes, I could go on, but I might swoon from pure overload. . .

Jade is a sweetheart. A nice young half witch, half human (maybe. . . ) with a nasty tempered foster sister, a wild earth witch grandmother, and a cupcake bakery. A very popular cupcake bakery with a reputation for ‘magical’ tasting cupcakes. She has a quiet life, happy with her baking, her trinket making and her quiet, apparently fulfilling life.

Then, of course, things change. And not in a nice way. Poor Jade. Life will never be the same. Apparently she isn’t who she thought she was. But then, who is she?

Cupcakes, hot werewolves, cupcakes, mystery, oh, did I mention cupcakes? Yummy, luscious, delicious, chocolate, fudge. . . Oh. My. Goddess. The hardest thing about reading the book? First, I am dying for cupcakes now. And second? Hurry! Hurry! Write the next one, Meghan! Please!

Highly recommended.

Now, all the books (except for #5, which isn’t up yet, but I am sure it will be!) are on Audible for your listening enjoyment. And the first book is only $2.99! So grab your copy while you can at that price, because you are going to want to buy them all!

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