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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

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Paranormal Romance

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

 

Legal Wolf’s Mate by Eve Langlais

legallwolf“You’re my lawyer, or maybe not. I’m really beginning to rethink this whole idea.”

“Ah yes, because you’d rather take your chances with your public defenderre, who has advised you to what? Oh, that’s right, plead guilty.” – Eve Langlais – Legal Wolf’s Mate

Fabian Garoux absolutely, positively, without a doubt, is not a sucker for a sob story. No. Really. After all, he is an attorney . . . (Argh!!! Run Away! Run Away!!!!) But when the best friend who found you running around naked in the woods after you were changed against your will, (And ate a rabbit. Raw. Eww.) asks for your help, well, it is hard to say no. Especially when the guy who is apparently framing the ‘Damsel in Distress’ for murder is the very scumbag who turned you against your will!

After all, revenge really is best served up cold with a side of “Got’cha!”

Set-ups, betrayal, revenge, and the most deliciously wicked ending, evah! made “Legal Wolf’s Mate” an actual thrill ride rather than the formulaic Paranormal Romances that are so common today. Oh, and don’t forget the Bounty!

Megan starts out seeming like a downtrodden simpleton, and I pretty much went “Huh? Who wrote this again?!” but as the story progressed, she became more and more interesting. Then more interesting. Then . . . well, you are going to have to read it to figure things out!

I received this book from Eve Langlais in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

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Review: Bear In The Rough By Ariana Hawkes

Bear in the Rough (Broken Hill Bears)

“Superstition, bigotry and prejudice, ghosts though they are, cling tenaciously to life; they are shades armed with tooth and claw. They must be grappled with unceasingly, for it is a fateful part of human destiny that it is condemned to wage perpetual war against ghosts. A shade is not easily taken by the throat and destroyed.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862)

Humans. As Hugo says, superstition, bigotry and prejudice incarnate. When you are ‘different’ it is hard enough. When you are a Shifter? Well, as Shrek put it, “Grab your torch and pitchforks!” Or, in this case, your cops with riot guns. Cause as much as we would like to think that we should all be able to live together, well. It ain’t happening. The humans love watching Shifters fight, MMA style, in the ring, but they certainly don’t want them in their towns. Of course, the Shifters don’t really care. After all, they worked out some really good financial contracts for their shows – so, who cares, right?

When Freya Wright was eight, her father disappeared. Walked out the door to “run a quick errand” and never returned. It destroyed her mother, and left a darkness in her own heart. Her mother took her from Washington and moved them to San Diego, but rather than getting better, she lost herself in a bottle. Now, with her mother dead, Freya has a plan to try to cut the darkness in her heart. She wants to walk the Pacific Coast Trail, the 2,659 mi trail up the coast from Mexico to Canada. While she plans to go alone, a high school reunion adds her friends Eloise and Marin to her trip. It will be hard, harsh and brutal, months of hiking over rough terrain in all sorts of weather. There are ups and downs, literally, but also mentally and emotionally. Then, the worst happens, what all women on their own fear. They see what they shouldn’t. And their lives will never be the same. Now, they are terrified, kidnapped and held prisoner. Life and death hangs in the balance, and is beginning to slide to the right.

In a lot of ways, this is a standard PR, but at the same time the strength of the women was pleasing, and the ideas behind human/shifter relations was interesting as well. It kept me interested, and left me satisfied. If you like PR with a ‘shifters in the modern world’ bent, give it a try. Free on Kindle Unlimited, or .99 if you don’t have KU.

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?

Review: Shift Happens – J.C. McKenzie #Paranormal

Shift Happens“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” ― Louise Erdrich, “The Painted Drum”

It was supposed to be a simple job. Go in, kill, get out. Only, the odd thing is, the Supernatural Regulatory Division doesn’t normally send an assassin after a norm. It’s just not done. But, the job is to get in, get it done, get out, no questions asked. So, that is what she does. Only, when werewolves breaks into the room while Andy is carrying out her assignment, she knows something is strange. Then things get really interesting, in the Chinese, “May you live in ‘interesting’ times” sort of interesting.

 “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. —William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, scene 5”

In this case, there are many things going on in Andy’s world – things that could very well cost Andy her life. Surprise. The ‘norm’ Andy was sent to eliminate happens to be the human servant of the Master Vampire of the Lower Mainland. And though he still lives (even after getting his throat torn out by Andy’s mountain lion) the MV, Lucien Delgatto, is pissed. And if Andy doesn’t find out who put the hit out on Clint, the servant, well, she will find herself Clint’s plaything. The plaything of a sadistic monster.

This is a good paranormal. Lots of thrills and action, and a strong female character who has been through horrors in her life and still remains strong, though broken. There is, of course, the romance between Andy and Wick, the werewolf alpha. But though the romance is there, I give the author kudos for realistically managing the feelings and actions of a woman suffering from PTSD after horrific sexual, psychological and physical abuse. She wants to get past it, but there is no magical ‘I’m all better, let’s bang’ scenario, which I greatly respect the author for. Wick, though, didn’t gain my respect. He and his pack are in a difficult situation, I understand that, but given the situation Andy is in, I found his constant attempts to eat up her time with sexual advances and ‘snuggles’ in his bed rather unbelievable at best. At worst? Controlling and self-centered to a rather creepy level – Andy doesn’t make her deadline, Andy better kill herself before Clint gets his hands on her. To say I was a bit put-out with him is an understatement.

I received this book from the publisher through Reading Alley in exchange for a realistic review. I noted on Amazon that this is the first in a four book series, so the rather unfulfilling ending is somewhat explained. The potential triangle at the end made me cringe – that particular trope is a weak author’s crutch, but appeals to a certain demographic, so I expect it will continue in the next books. As usual, I didn’t read the blurbs for the next books before my review so I don’t skew the review for the book I have actually read. Amazon indicates, “This is a new release of a previously published edition.” I take it that means the book was reedited, but if so, whoever completed the edit did a poor job. The book is riddled with editorial errors. The world building is interesting, but contained confusing logic errors and a lack of clarity were irritating given the potential of a rather unusual and interesting overall concept. Both of these issues caused the loss of a full star. I did mistakenly think that this was a British writer writing a book set in the Northwest (Again. Groan.) However, this is a Canadian author, so the “Brit spellings” issue is actually “Canadian spelling” so keep that in mind when you read. Being set in Vancouver, it makes perfect sense. Overall, the book is different enough to be interesting, and I hope that the author grows her talents over the series.

 

Review: Boarlander Boss Bear (Boarlander Bears Book 1) – T.S. Joyce

Boarlander Boss Bear (Boarlander Bears, #1)The Boarlanders get their series now, and this first one is, well, a hoot. You see, Audrey only Thinks she met Harrison Lang, Alpha of the Boarlanders, online. She only Thinks they have a great online relationship.But when she meets Harrison for real, it seems Harrison has no idea who this crazy woman who claims to know him intimately is. Huhh? Bangaboarlander.com is, apparently, a fake site. Really? Oh, the embarrassment!

It is great getting to know the Boarlanders. We know of them because of the previous series introductions, but now we get the down and dirty. This is the C team – thanks mostly to Clinton, the nasty little turd. But at least we get to know a bit more about Clinton in this book, and I look forward to learning more about just what his nasty attitude stems from. And Audrey? I really Love Audrey! She is a shifter herself, but has never been around any other shifters. Watching her come out of her shell is awesome.

More of Damon’s Mountain is cool. Joyce’s Damon tales are up-and-down, but this one is more ‘up’ than down. I look forward to more of the Boarlanders – that is, if Clinton doesn’t run them off first!

Back to Nocturne Falls with “The Werewolf Meets His Match”

The Werewolf Meets His Match (Nocturne Falls, #2)I first visited Nocturne Falls with the first book in the series, The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride. I didn’t know what to expect, but I found it in one of my email ‘freebie’ newsletters, and it sounded like fun, so what the heck?

It was, in a word, a Blast. I loved the town of Nocturne Falls, where Halloween is 365-days-a-year. What better way for witches, weres, vamps and all the other supernaturals to live their lives without fear of notice by the norms?

The books are $4.99 a piece, and with my tiny book budget and the plethora of less expensive books out there I hadn’t picked up another. But I finally broke down and bought The Werewolf Meets His Match and it was just as much fun as VMOB.

Hank Merrow, sheriff of Nocturne Falls and alpha’s heir, has always known that he would probably have to enter into an arranged marriage. Just part and parcel of being in his position. Sigh. But when he is notified that, not only is he going to have to have an arranged marriage, but it is to one of the bloody Kincaid Women (HORROR!) the temptation to back out of the whole deal is strong. But Hank is a good man, an honorable one, and his people don’t need another war. So, Suck it up, Buttercup, and marry the heathen already. Only, things may not be just exactly what they seem . . .

Ivy Kincaid’s first intro to Hank is from the other side of jailhouse bars. Well Hank isn’t really surprised by that. She is a Kincaid after all. But Ivy is just full of surprises. And the more Hank learns, the more he begins to think that things just may not be as bad as he expected. And when Hank learns Ivy’s secrets, he will soon discover that, lawman or not, some things are worth killing for.

I adored Ivy, her charming secret, and goofy, lovable Hank and his family. If you haven’t tried this series, check out the first one, it is only .99 on Amazon. Bet you get hooked as well! This one gets five stars. I adore Ivy, and her story made me want to stand right beside her and fight. Someone give me a map to Nocturne Falls – I want to live there!

Review: Lowlander Silverback (Gray Back Bears #5) by T.S. Joyce

Lowlander Silverback (Gray Back Bears Book 5)The Gray Backs are back – well, sorta. While the first four in the series introduced us to the Bears of the Gray Back crew, this one is a whole different bit of monkeyshines…. as in, the story of Kong.

Kong. Silverback Gorilla Shifter and next Breeding Alpha of his clan of silverbacks. But Kong doesn’t want a harem. He lived with silverback society all his life, watching as the children, like him, were ignored and unloved. Kong wants something different. He wants a single mate, a chance to raise his children with love and respect. But when you have bodyguards who are instructed to make sure you stay away from temptation, well, getting his hands on the woman he wants is difficult, to say the least.

The Gray Back stories have been rather uneven, and this one moves from the five-stars of Easton’s story to a solid three, like Creed’s story. The story was uneven, the characters not as well-developed, and the interactions between the heroes felt forced and ‘instantaneous’ to a level that didn’t feel realistic within the world Joyce has designed. It’s a shame, as both characters had potential.

On to the next!

Review: Gray Back Broken Bear (Gray Back Bears #4) by T.S. Joyce

Gray Back Broken Bear (Gray Back Bears #4)The Trailer Park Bears are here again, with the fourth in the Gray Back Bears Series.
The Gray Backs, and all the others of the Trailer Park Bears group of multiple series, truly do live in trailer parks. Broken-down singlewides, parked in the middle of the forest, where Dragon Shifter Damon Daye has brought them in to clear trees devastated by bug infestations. The TPB’s series is actually more than one series. The first tells the story of the Saw Back Bears, this second series is all about the Gray Backs. While the Ashe crew, the stars of the Saw Bears series, is the “A Team” of lumberjacks, well, the Gray Back crew is, as Alpha Creed puts it, “The C Team”. Rowdy, constantly battling, and constantly covered in blood, the Gray Backs are a misfit band of dominant bears. Broken dominant bears. Creed the alpha, Matt the man-ho, Clinton and Jason the goofballs. And then there is Easton, a bear so broken he can’t stand to live close to the others – and can’t seem to stop fighting, even when it might mean his death. A broken clan with a brutal and savage history, they are the clan that nobody wants to mess with.

Book one was Matt’s story. Book two took us deeper into Creed’s story. Gray Back #3, Gray Back Ghost Bear, was Jason and Georgia. Now, we finally get to Easton’s story, the one I have been waiting for. Easton’s life was a horror show of infinite proportions, and it has left him fighting every second for some form of sanity. The Gray Back crew is his last chance. If Creed can’t keep him under control, he will have to be put down. And that knife’s edge is cutting closer.

Then, a ghost from his past reappears, and the thin line of his sanity, which has left him with the name ‘Beaston’ among the crew, wobbles dangerously. For there is a Raven in their midst – a Raven Beaston is certain he only dreamed. Aviana – the raven who once visited him in the darkness and terror of his childhood. Can they renew that bond and save both their souls?

Book four is the one I was waiting for, and it didn’t disappoint. A wonderful story, full of hope and forgiveness.

 

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