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Paranormal Suspense

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

 

Inquisitor (Witch & Wolf Book 2) by R J Blain

inquisitor“I have no idea what’s awaiting me, or what will happen when this all ends. For the moment I know this: there are sick people and they need curing.” ― Albert Camus, The Plague

“No one thinks of how much blood it costs.” – Dante Alighieri

“Can you please ask James to return to the lab?”
“I’m afraid that’s not possible, ma’am,”
“Why?
“He just locked himself in containment and started howling.” –
R. J. Blain, Inquisitor

When you are as old as Allison Victoria Mayfield Hanover, you realize that only are few things are truly immutable.  Blood and violence, horrors and hatred. And that one solid, totally immutable, truth of the universe: Everything eventually dies. Except, perhaps, for Victoria. Ah, but you see, someone wants, very much, to see Victoria dead. And they will do anything, kill anyone, to make sure that happens.

Which is a really crappy attitude when you realize who Victoria is. You see, she is the owner of Marrodin, one of the largest companies in the world. A company which goes out of its way to pay a hire those who have ‘special’ needs. You know the sort. Witches. Wolves. Single mothers.

Victoria is living in Atlanta as Allison Ferdinan these days, playing at being an accountant. Too bad money couldn’t buy me a life. Of course, sometimes what you wish for actually comes true – and too often in bad, very bad, awful sorts of ways. It started out as a simple favor for a client/friend, Mark. Let’s dress up and go to a party. You can be my fiancée!

Whoa. Hold the Phone!

Gack. Killing Mark in Central Park really probably isn’t the best idea. But what was a really Bad Idea? Yeah. You got it. Going to a Halloween party as the fake fiancée, only to find out that your fake mother-in-law-to-be is a real witch. No, I mean it. A Real. Witch. And if you want to drop the W and add a B, well, please feel free.

But the party isn’t the only thing wrong in Allison’s world. Pretty soon it seems the whole world is out to kill her. And when whoever it is that hunts her begins going after her employees, well, let’s just say that Allison/Victoria won’t let it stand.

Here’s a hint. Don’t tick off an ancient werewolf. You won’t like the outcome.

I loved this book so much I stayed up way too late into the early morning hours reading when I had to get up early the next morning. In fact, I liked it so much, I immediately downloaded the next one and started on it the next night. I am not saying there aren’t issues inherent in the writing. There are some continuity and relationship logic issues that were frustrating – but you all know how picky I am about that sort of thing. I still think you should at the very least pick it up on Kindle Unlimited for free the way I did. And I look forward to hearing what you think. This isn’t just another Paranormal – great character development, world building and a marked lack of the sort of sloppy writing that is so common in Urban Fantasy makes this series well worth the precious reading time if you like strong women characters. There are several between these pages!

About the Author

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband, and obeys the commands of Tsu Dhi, the great warrior fish.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Made in Hell – Caith Morningstar Kicks Ass – Again!

Made In Hell (Urban Fantasy) by Celia KyleCan a half-demon, half-pixie/holy warrior/unicorn/Father Earth/werewolf (Yeah. Don’t ask.) not get just a little bit of peace and quiet? Just a little? I mean, Come ON People! She already saved the world. Twice, as a matter of fact, in the last couple of years. Can a girl not just enjoy her adopted Brownie son and her half-fallen angel boyfriend for a few bloody minutes before you all go messing things up? Again?

But nooooooo . . . You just have to go gettin’ all rowdy, joining a whacko cult, walking around like zombies (when you aren’t rutting like bunnies) and generally messing up Caith’s life.

Again.

Ugh.

It seems a couple of Caith’s old enemies are up to no good once again. Even if Uncle Lucifer did throw them into the very bowels of the deepest circle of Hell. Of course, if Uncle Dearest didn’t have his mind on the little demon spawn he planted in the brainless twit he just dumped at Caith’s front door, maybe she could have gotten things under control a little more easily?

Nah. No such luck.

Sigh.

That’s all bad enough. But when Caith’s little Bryony, Sam, and best friend Jezzie are endangered? Well, here’s a clue. Don’t. Piss off. The niece of the Morningstar. That will get you just all kinds of pain.

Caith Morningstar is one kick-ass beotch. You would expect her to be, taking into consideration who her mother is, but while she may have set Chicago on fire (Once! It was Just Once!) and maybe started a war (Or two. Maybe.), the influence of all five fathers makes her loyal, protective, and determined to keep Mouse Town, her family, and her friends, safe.

Ms. Celia has written another winner Urban Fantasy in “Made in Hell” I have no doubt you will love! Humor, pathos, love, hate – it’s all here, and all written in that unique Celia Kyle style.

I received “Made in Hell” from the author in exchange fo­r a realistic review. How Lucky am I?!?!

Review: Dead Spots By Melissa F. Olson

Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard, #1)

“Your perspective on life comes from the cage you were held captive in.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Scarlett Bernard is one pragmatic lady. Of course, she has to be considering her job is supernatural crime scene cleanup. As in, get in, clean up the mess, steal the body, and book the hell out of Dodge before the cops arrive. She is truly good at her job, and her boss, the cold and distant Dashiell, Master Vampire of the city, may be scary, but he pretty much allows her to do her job without interference. But then, the worst happens.

She gets caught. Caught by a newly minted detective, Jesse Cruz, just after she arrives at a scene more bloody and grotesque than any she has ever seen. What happens next is fast paced action with terrific world building and interesting characters. I first read the book back in 2012, and enjoyed it then. This time I listened to the Audible edition narrated by Amy McFadden (one of my favorite narrators) and, as sometimes happens, I liked it even more as I listened. Scarlett is a strong character with a well-developed, though brutal, background and is likeable. She isn’t perfect, but that is what makes her interesting. She has taken horrific hits in her life – but the one she walks into later on is absolutely devastating and Olson does a rather wonderful job of writing the horrors of betrayal. I would have liked her to be more mature in her interactions with others – her tendency to cope a nasty, self-serving attitude at times was a downer. I am hoping that the next books will show growth in her as a character (especially since I own them all). Her behavior isn’t as horrendous as other female characters in the genre, but I am hoping for more maturity in upcoming works.

There are some things that were irritating. The Dreaded Love Triangle. Irritating! Not only do love triangles make me retch, this one felt stilted and unnecessary, dragging down the storyline. Also, the POV switches between characters and from first to third person erratically and unnecessarily. Irritating, but not as irritating as the lurrve (titter titter, Groan) triangle. Olson’s take on werewolf psychology was more interesting than a lot of other books in the genre, and her friendship with the Alpha and Beta were more realistic than many others. The Alpha isn’t as ‘Alpha’ as in other books (thank the Goddess!) and the tortured Beta was very realistically portrayed in the vein of “I never wanted this in the first place.”

So, flawed, it isn’t perfect by any means, but I still enjoyed it as much as I remembered, and Amy’s narration was, as always, spot on.

Review: Beneath The Blood Moon by R.J. Blain

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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” -Buddha

The chaining of Fenrir cost the god Tyr his right hand” – Völuspá,  translated to English in The Poetic Edda,  Henry Adams Bellows, 1923

 Free On Kindle!

Sara Watson thought her life was bad enough as it was. Working as a stripper and part time Vegas showgirl, she tries to hold down four part time jobs, go to college, and still pay the rent and eat. They say Vegas is a hard place to live, and she knows all about that. But even the hell of her life is better than the hell she ran from in New York. A father that beat and controlled her, a life with no meaning. At least now, if she can get through school, she can start a real life on her own – fake ID or no fake ID.

Yes, life was hard. But nothing as hard as being kidnapped along with her best “friend” (though the idea of friend is Las Vegas equates to ‘what can I get out of you for doing you the favor of being your friend) and dragged out to the desert by her ex ‘I’m-a-cheating-POS’ boyfriend who has tracked her down to Las Vegas to bring her back. Or kill her. Whichever works.

Telling him to get stuffed, taking her beating and broken ribs, then crawling out into the desert to die on her own and free is gutsy enough. I gained a ton of respect for her at this point, though I already respected her for keeping her moral compass (unlike her crappy friend) and going against said ‘friend’ and not going full-on prostitute made me respect her. Yep. She is one tough cookie, with more internal fortitude than any man her age I have ever known. But after the ex and the girlfriend finish doing the nasty and track her down as she crawls across the desert, then turn into wolves and begin eating her alive (literally), even weirder things happen. And suddenly, Sara’s life is more hell than she could have ever imagined.

Let’s get serious here. First, I really, REALLY wanted to give this book five stars with a bullet. Sara is tough and strong, yes. But she isn’t unbelievable, and she has a heart of gold and a strong sense of right and wrong – and did I mention the heart of gold? Then she meets four other women who are an absolute joy. Tough, take no prisoners women with a fetish for guns, not taking any crap off of anyone, and their husbands (pretty much in that order). There is romance, but no sex scenes, which was completely refreshing (if you are an erotica-only lover, skip this one). The story is fast, suspenseful, sometimes terrifying, and kept me totally immersed in the story. The characters are wonderful, the world building is unusual (living in the world as we know it, but with their own governance, etc.) Some of the scenes literally brought me to tears. That’s the good.

The bad came after I had a chance to come down off my ‘reader-high’ and start thinking about what I would write in my review, and realized I couldn’t give it a five at all. The story is complex, and kept my attention throughout, but there were some issues that a really good content editor could have solved. Ms. Blain has a brilliant mind for writing paranormal suspense, but she isn’t organized. She has a few different threads moving through the book, which is fine, I really enjoy books that are more than one-note songs, but she literally dropped the ball about midway through, dropping one of the more interesting story lines and never going back to it. No wrap, just dropped. Poor form. The book is quite long, 564 pages, and I was never bored or wanting to skip pages as I do with some longer books, and her descriptive narrative and conversational style was enjoyable, but dropping the story line, which I was invested in, shows a lack of organization. Editing for word usage, spelling, and dropped words was OK, but not good. Someone put effort into beta reading for that sort of thing, but the continuity is what killed it.

Overall, I will still recommend the book. The story and pace kept me up all night long (literally, yawn) and then the minute I rose I went right back to it and stayed with it to the end. Give this woman a good content editor, or just a whiteboard to write down all of her threads to make sure she ties them all up at the end and a couple of really good beta readers and she will be a force to be reckoned with in the world of Paranormal Suspense. Recommended, but could be better.

 

Review: Alaskan Fury (Guardians of the First Realm Book 2) by Sara King

fury“It is the mark of the mind untrained to take its own processes as valid for all men, and its own judgments for absolute truth.” ― Aleister Crowley, Magical and Philosophical Commentaries on The Book of the Law

Ah, the hubris of the male of the species. No, it doesn’t really matter what species. Human. Shifter. Full animal. But make that a multiple centuries old Wereverine, and all bets are off. I mean, come on, Dude. You know the Hunters are out to get you. You know they will kill anyone and everyone they have to to get their hands on your lovely little Phoenix mate. And what do you do? You still want to run around out in the woods, advertising the poor, lonely werewolf in the woods who only needs a goodhearted little human female to love and protect. Snort. Like the Hunters aren’t going to figure it out?!?! Sigh.

The second in Sara King’s Guardians of the First Realm series, after Alaskan Fire is Alaskan Fury, and it is a fast thrill ride from the first. The wereverine being careless and self-centered is what got them into trouble last time, but they survived. But this time it may cost all of the residents of Blaze the Phoenix’s lodge their firefreedom – or their lives. But then, for people who turn into animals, or spirits who pop out of different realms, what is the difference?

Kaashifah the Fury, Chosen warrior of the Lord of War, has spent centuries tied to the djinn ‘Aqrab of the Fourth lands, each waiting for the other’s death blow. A blow that will place one or the other at the eternal mercy of the one who deals the blow. Deadly enemies, they are forced to live side-by-side through the ages, waiting for a wish that never comes. But now, to save their friends and neighbors, as well as save themselves from the Inquisition, they must put aside everything and work together for the good of all.

Again, King has written a fast paced, thoughtful novel of not only paranormals, but of those who hunt them. The tale twists and turns, giving both sides of the story, from the paranormals who only want to be left alone in the vastness of Alaska to the Hunters who are trained from birth to hunt, use, and kill them. The characters are diverse and well written, though again there needed to be an editor, so keep that in mind. There are unusual characters here, from Wereverine (were wolverine) to Phoenix, Fury, Djinn and more. Overall, a strong read for those who like strong women characters, fast paced action, and a good story line.

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.

 

Guard Wolf (Shifter Agents Book 2) by Lauren Esker

“You think humanity’s found rock bottom, and then they keep digging.” – Special Agent Avery Hollen, Special (Shifter) Crimes Bureau, Seattle WA

“We can never be gods, after all–but we can become something less than human with frightening ease.” ― N.K. Jemisin, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Guard Wolf: BBW Paranormal Wolf Shifter Romance (Shifter Agents Book 2) - Lauren EskerBack in August of 2015 I wrote a review of “Handcuffed to the Bear” by Lauren Esker. At the time, I said, “If this weren’t a shifter story, it would fall under the suspense or romantic suspense genre without a doubt. So I will call it “Paranormal Suspense.” The focus is on Casey and Jack staying alive long enough to be rescued from a sadistic pack of lion shifters intent on hunting them down and slaughtering them, as they have with many other victims – including Casey’s best friend Wendy.

I had thought from the cover that it was some bondage thing and almost bypassed it immediately, but the blurb caught my eye. And I got a big kick out of reading it, as you can tell if you click on the link to my review, above. I mentioned that Guard Wolf, the second in the series, would come out that October. Then, of course, I got distracted. Oops.

The other day I came across Guard Wolf and thought, “Hum. That looks like a good ‘bathtub book’” (i.e., a book I carry into a nice hot bath with a glass of wine). As I got into it, I got a niggle that I had read another book by this author, and by the time I got to the end I remembered why the story felt so familiar.

I am glad I happened to stumble across Esker once more. Guard Wolf is the second in the series, carrying forward with the Shifter Agents storyline, this time the story of Avery Hollen, Jack’s best friend and coworker at SCB Seattle. Avery has a harder life than the others at the SCB. Badly crippled when an RPG took out the gasoline tanker truck he was standing beside in Afghanistan, he lived only through the efforts of Jack. Jack, who takes full responsibility for the fact that Avery was hurt in the first place. For you see, it was Jack’s ‘private security’ (read, mercenary) team who got themselves stuck on a lonely Afghan road, and cried for the Army to haul their ashes. A whole team of young, fresh-off-the-farm Army boys were slaughtered by that RPG. And Jack never forgot.

Now, Avery walks with a cane, his leg so torn up and twisted from his rapid shifter healing in the field he can barely walk at all. So, he gets desk duty more often than not. And tonight? Tonight he is thrown a curve when a box of werewolf children in puppy form are thrust on his desk. Oh, yeah. He just knows he is going to regret this. After all, his own childhood was a sadistic nightmare. What the hell does he know about children?!

Nicole Yates is a harried, hard-working social worker, specializing in shifters with family issues. When Avery stumbles into her office just before quitting time with said box full of pups/children, well, her life is suddenly not only turned on its head – she may actually not be able to hang onto her life at all. And neither may Avery. For these puppies have scars and shaved spots. Scars and shaved spots that indicate that someone, somewhere, have been at best medicating them. At worst? At worst, something nasty is going on, and these children have been subjected to the unimaginable. Tracking down what is going on leads Nicole and Avery down a warped path of horrors, of science gone incredibly wrong.

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” – Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

Like HttB, this second in the series is very much paranormal suspense of the best kind. Edge-of-your-seat, fast-paced suspense that kept me in the tub for three runs of ‘drain-and-refill and the heck with the empty wine glass’. I love paranormals with sharp edges, suspense, and fast action, and this one fits the bill to a T. It also isn’t simply a thinly developed, poorly plotted story designed to be a vehicle for ‘boom chaka laka’ (Yes, you DO know what I mean) on every page, which I truly enjoyed. Lauren Esker could write suspense thrillers all day long without the paranormal bent – but I am glad she writes what she does. I really enjoy her work.

A Human, A Ghost, A Vampire, A Witch And A Demon Walk Into A Baptist Fundamentalist Girl’s School…

It truly is darkest right around 3AM. Even the stars seem to dim, fading into the quiet of the night. The universe itself seems to sleep. But sometimes? Sometimes, not often, but often enough to keep your eyes turned to the sky in the darkest hours, a bright light flashes. Far off, and very quickly fading, a star explodes, giving off one brilliant flash before falling into the darkness, never to return.

Sometimes, I have that feeling with books. Even though my choices at that particular moment in time seem no more than dim stars, one will blast out through even the worst cover, worst blurb, the unknown (often only unknown to me, but well known to others, but not always) author, and, for whatever reason, simply take me someplace special.

It was a bit of a fluke that I picked up Juliette Harper’s Descendants of the Rose (The Selby Jensen Paranormal Mysteries Book 1). I am in no way a “Historical” lover. Long skirts and proper manners, they just don’t turn me on as they do some readers. So, when I saw the cover of this book, well, to say I was “put off” is a bit of an understatement. Although the cover is gorgeous, it screams historical romance. Or at least historical ghost story. But, for some reason, I went ahead and downloaded it (Free on Kindle!) and opened it up. Maybe it was the fates, maybe just sheer dumb luck, but I opened up a little world of wonders.

This is by no means a historical. Instead, it is a modern day jewel, filled with fascinating characters and a rich paranormal mystery (just as the title promised – imagine that).

Hi. My name is Selby Jensen. Now, unless you’re buying the coffee, get the hell out of my way.

Selby Jensen in a nutshell – the queen of snark. Of course, she has good reason for her attitude. Her life hasn’t exactly been rainbows and lollipops. Far from it. Her father was murdered by a monster, drawing her into a world she never knew existed. Then her beloved husband, Dex, met the same fate. Now, Selby spends her time with the dead, 24/7. Her vampire business partner. Her ‘died in Selby’s arms after a horrific car crash’ best friend Helen. Only, Dex apparently didn’t stick around after he died. And Selby? Well, after five long years, Selby hasn’t recovered, and it looks like she never will. So, why not face off with werewolves in filthy alleys, searching for the one who slaughtered her husband? Life as a blood bag just isn’t all that special any longer. Even though life is, well, ‘Interesting’ in the Chinese, “May you live in interesting times.” sort of interesting.

Burn all the sage you can find, but sleep with one eye open. The bogey man is real. I’ve met him. He’s from Bakersfield, and he did not have a happy childhood.

Well, the very fact that he is stuck living in Bakersfield would make anyone grumpy, just IMO.

Then, school calls. Well, “The Good News Educational and Salvation Academy” calls. One of those, “Praise God and don’t spare the Rod” sort of places (Well, their new headmistress is a bit ‘different’, but that is a part of the charm of making you wait to read it yourself) where your “embarrassing” daughters are sent away to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. You see, they have a bit of a demon problem . . .

Ugh. Talk about your understatements. Now, a human, a ghost, a vampire, a witch and a smoke demon have a bit more than a ‘bit of a kerfuffle’ on their hands. And how’s that for the New Scooby Doo Crew?

Of course, now I have to wait (Impatiently, I might add!) for the next, Lost in Room 636. I have to wonder, now that I have researched Ms. Harper’s bibliography, if the publisher was simply kowtowing to the fact that the team of Patricia Pauletti and Randa K. Williamson (writing as Juliette Harper) are apparently well-known for a series called The Lockwood Legacy, a “nine-book chronicle of the lives of three sisters who inherit a ranch in Central Texas following their father’s suicide.” Hum… well, it seems to be set in the 1960’s (?) not the 1800’s, so I guess I am off on the whole “lady in the long dress” cover style. Boo me.

Well, well. Lookie there – the first three are a free box set (Kindle Unlimited) so maybe I will have to check that story line out and see if I like their previous works, but I think I will read “Witch at Heart” first. The first in the “Jinx Hamilton Mysteries” it looks like it could be a really fun series. Looks like there are three of those in print, another three (at least) up to bat (wink wink, nudge nudge) so I will let you know what I think. WaH is free on Kindle Unlimited, so I just downloaded it. Will let you know what I think!

 

 

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