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Vampire

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

 

Review: Dead Rising by Debra Dunbar

Dead Rising (The Templar, #1)“The noir hero is a knight in blood caked armor. He’s dirty and he does his best to deny the fact that he’s a hero the whole time.” — Frank Miller

“When in doubt, follow the truth. The path is often well-illuminated and it usually leads me in the right direction.” — David S. Brody, Cabal of The Westford Knight: Templars at the Newport Tower

“Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us – God will avenge us.” – Jacque (Jack) De Molay, last Grandmaster of the Knights Templar, Friday 13th, 1307

They started as protectors of Pilgrims on the Path. About 1119, Hugues de Payens, a French nobleman, began The Knights Templar, a group of knights charged with protecting the weak and innocent on their journey to visit the Holy Places.

But that changed.

From religious vows of obedience, chastity, poverty and piety, and under the orders of the Church, they became slaughterers of anyone who didn’t believe in Christianity. Thousands perished under their swords, men women and children. They became bankers to the world, an order without “clear purpose or support,” but with enormous financial resources and power.

Well, the church couldn’t have that. So, at dawn on Friday, October 13, 1307 their members were arrested, charged with heresy, blasphemy and various other crimes, tortured, and then executed.

Now, in Debra Dunbar’s marvelous imagination, the Templars still exist – but nothing as they were before. Focused on protecting their Temple filled with magical treasures and conducting research, they no longer Protect Pilgrims on the Path. Oh, they still train. With swords. Yeah, try riding a horse around town with a hand and a half bastard sword strapped to your back and see how far that gets you in this day and age. But mostly? They sit around the pool at their mansions, sipping martinis and playing golf. Well, all that treasure, invested properly, means that everyone inducted into the order pretty much lives a life of fairly obscene luxury. Well, except for Solaria Angelique (Aria) Ainsworth. Nope. Aria works in a coffee shop for minimum wage, lives in a hovel of an apartment, and lives on Ramen. At 26, she is far past the age she should have taken her oath to the order (no matter that her mother nags her constantly!). She knows the Templars should be more. They should still be protecting the Pilgrims, not counting their gold. The modern Templar belief is “only God should judge.” Of course, after their brutal and bloody history, it is easy to understand the reasoning – but to Aria it is a cop-out. There are still Pilgrims trying to find their way along the path, and they need protection.

Even if they are vampires.

When Leonora, the local vampire Mistress, asks for her help in identifying a mysterious sigil, she thinks it will be no problem. After all, she is a well-trained researcher with a massive collection of mystical texts. Oops. Finding the meaning is hard enough (after all, she only has seven days) but then? Things get sordid. Mass murders, the forty year old slaughter of a happy family, and secrets and lies force Aria to make a decision. Who is right, who is worthy of her protection – and who deserves to die.

I loved the idea behind the story. Aria? Nope – not so much. Almost not at all. The woman is 26, she has intense training, and not a lick of self-preservation or emotional common sense. Tell me this. If you know for an absolute fact that if you are to screw the vampire you will last maybe a few weeks, at most a couple of months, and then you will die . . . would you Really be considering actually doing it?!?! Yep. That pretty much ruined the book for me. Everyone who knows me know I love a strong female character. And in a lot of ways, she is strong. She is trying to do the right thing, for the right reasons, but her emotional “I am a pre-teen with a vampire crush” whining throughout the book really turned me off. I mean, seriously turned me off. I kept reading because the book overall was quite good, but I doubt I will read another.

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!

Fire Touched – Out March 8th!

Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson, #9)

It’s coming out March 8th. I am still hesitant after the last one (Night Broken pissed me off. . .)

Have any of you read a beta? Thoughts?

The library has it ordered on disk. I am fifth in line, so I can give it a listen without having to buy it for Penguin’s fixed price . . .

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

*Library Journal

Poking the Vamp – Celia Kyle Serial is Finished!

Celia Kyle has finished her serial, Poking the Vamp.

As we all know, my personal preference is NOT serials. So, I held off posting this till it was done – and she finished and posted the final today. So, here are links to her website to read the whole thing! And check out her others when you go – she is a warm, funny writer. And I am on my way to refill my tea cup and read Poking the Vamp…

Free Story-Poking the Vamp

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Poking the Vamp Part #1
September 29, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #2
October 6, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #3
October 13, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #4
October 20, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #5
October 27, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #6
November 3, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #7
November 10, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #8
November 17, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #9
November 24, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #10
December 1, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #11
December 8, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #12
December 15, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #13
December 22, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #14
December 29, 2015
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Poking the Vamp Part #15
January 5, 2016
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Poking the Vamp Part #16
January 12, 2016
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Poking the Vamp Part #17
January 19, 2016
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Poking the Vamp Part #18
January 23, 2016
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Poking the Vamp Part #19
January 25, 2016
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Poking the Vamp Part #20
January 27, 2016

About

Ex-dance teacher, former accountant and erstwhile collectible doll salesperson, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Celia Kyle now writes paranormal romances for readers who:

1) Like super hunky heroes (they generally get furry)

2) Dig beautiful women (who have a few more curves than the average lady)

3) Love laughing in (and out of) bed.

It goes without saying that there’s always a happily-ever-after for her characters, even if there are a few road bumps along the way.

Today she lives in central Florida and writes full-time with the support of her loving husband and two finicky cats.

If you’d like to be notified of new releases, special sales, and get FREE ebooks, subscribe here: http://celiakyle.com/news

You can find Celia online at:

http://celiakyle.com

http://facebook.com/authorceliakyle

http://twitter.com/celiakyle

 

Kate Baray – Episode 3 of Spirelli Paranormal Investigations

Spirelli Paranormal Investigations: Episode 3 (Spirelli Paranormal Investigations, #3)Kate Baray continues her Episodic, and it keeps getting better! An offshoot of her Lost Library series, Spirelli Paranormal Investigations, Episode 3, continues the story of Jack Spirelli, Paranormal investigator and Marin, his dragon sidekick. The story in Episode 1 was the first Jack and Marin worked together – and a ghost is determined to ascertain that it is their last. It was lovely fun. In Episode 2, Jack and Marin’s next case take them back to Louisiana, where a single case of “something odd is going on . . .” becomes much more, and much more dangerous, than they ever expected.

Now, in Episode 3, Jack and Marin bite off an even bigger chunk of “paranormal pain-in-the-ass” as they take on protecting Sylvia, a coven witch determined to escape the coven’s control. But Jack has a truly bad history with the coven – and that history may get the three of them dead just as much as the coven’s determination to make sure Sylvia doesn’t escape their grasp.

I’m not a lover of episode storylines, but Kate does it right. These are complete novelettes, with beginning, middle, and end – something that most don’t offer, and Kate blows out of the water. If you haven’t read the Lost Library series, I highly recommend it.

Thanks Kate, for once again offering me the opportunity to read and review your stories! I love, love your work!

Review: The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter – Fun!

The Vampire's Mail Order Bride (Nocturne Falls, #1)I had really fun Halloween. Well, a fun reading Halloween. Out here we don’t get trick-or-treaters, but I did get to read The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter. Truthfully, I am not a vampire lover. As anyone reading my reviews knows, after working in the morgue, the whole ‘kissing the dead’ thing just really doesn’t do it for me. But in this case, the mythology Kristen developed made it a whole lot more fun for me.

Delaney James is in a bad spot. After seeing her boss at the restaurant shoot someone, and getting caught at catching him, she is on the run. Slipping into a business to slip her pursuers, she finds it to be a dating service. Snatching a file off the desk, she finds herself posing as a match for a groom-to-be. Hummm . . . gunned down by a mobster, or faking being a bride wannabe? Easy peasy.

Only, it really isn’t. Because not only does her possible groom not actually not want to be a groom (those pesky moms and their manipulations in order to get grandkids can be a real pain – even if they are really, really old) he is a 400-year-old vampire. Uh. She certainly didn’t expect THAT!

The town of Nocturne Falls, where Halloween is a 365 day event, is a character in the book all on its own. A great one at that. This is book one, and I can hardly wait to dig into the next. Great fun with a light and fluffy attitude!

Review: Owl and the City of Angels by Kristi Charish #Fantasy #SupernaturalArcheology

Owl and the City of Angels  (Adventures of Owl, #2)“Many people out there don’t have a choice in choosing their friends and the people they’re being manipulated by. Thank God, I have that choice. I can use my judgment and choose.” — Javier Bardem

“When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than lies. Because you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” — Michael Ende

Owl just can’t catch a break. She should have learned, from her run-ins with all that is supernatural in Owl and the Japanese Circus that, the more she learns about the supernatural, the more there is to learn. And the more she would regret breaking her one rule. It was so simple, really. Don’t mess with the supernatural. Well, that’s all blown to hell and back. And hell is exactly where she might end up this time. She had to go and open up that sarcophagus, hence pissing off the vampires. Bloody cockroaches. Then she had to get on the wrong side of a Naga and a dragon. Oh, and if that isn’t enough? Now it is curses and mummies. You just had to touch it, didn’t you? Just had to unwrap it and touch it. Sigh.

I said about Owl in my last review, “Owl is a damaged character. Her default reaction to, well, everything is to break and run for the hills. Sure, it can save your backside to run away. But sometimes, you are just running further into the fire. And sometimes, the people you believe you know are not the people you thought they were at all. For good, or for bad. And Owl needs to learn the difference, quickly, if she wants to live, and to grow into something more than a child in a grownup world. Owl definitely needs to grow as a person, and as a character.” And I have to say, she definitely does show personal and professional growth in “Owl and the City of Angels.” Oh, that isn’t to say she doesn’t still make dumb choices – she does. Hence the whole “mummies and curses” thing. But she is growing.

“Come to think of it, I’m amazed how much I’ve grown over the past few months. I’m becoming an interesting person. Not well adjusted, but someone who occasionally sees through the messes they create.”

Of course, Owl being Owl, she winds up in shit storms of monstrous proportions, but that is to be expected. And vacillates between funny – and just plain causing me to plant a face-palm.

“You are correct in your assessment of the City of the Dead. Keep in mind that even we supernaturals sometimes lose places for a reason.”

The story itself is as good as Japanese Circus. There is as much going on in this book, if not more, and as the cast of characters expands Owl begins to learn more about the supernatural, and more about herself as well. Old characters come back, both good and bad, and Owl becomes a pawn once more in the political power struggles of both the supernatural and of the IAA. Layers are peeled back, only to reveal more layers of rot and lies underneath. As always, this is an adventure heavy, Indiana Jane sort of tale, and Owl impresses me more and more with both her capability, her savvy, and her ability to piss everyone around her off in new and inventive ways. And the authors interest in, and knowledge of, archaeology really adds depth and dimension to the story. I am, of course, a geek at heart, and I found all sorts of things to highlight and look up later.Owl and the Japanese Circus (Adventures of Owl, #1)

I can’t recommend this series highly enough for readers who like strong women characters who are still learning about themselves and about how to manage their pain and grow. Some wrongs are righted in this volume, though some even more horrible wrongs occur – one particular one which ripped my insides out. Captain, Owl’s Egyptian Mau partner is still a strong part of the story – who can’t love a cat who was bred specifically to attack and poison vampires with his teeth and claws? Awesome! The only bad part? I have to WAIT for the next volume! And from the epilogue? Oh, yeah. The waiting is gonna be very, very hard. Everyone wants to use Owl for their own plots and plans . . . and here is hoping that at least a couple of those people get exactly what is coming to them!!

I received Owl and the City of Angels from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Kristi Charish has assured her place on my Auto-Read list. Very highly recommended!

About the Author

Kristi CharishKristi is the author of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Jan 13th, 2015, Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), an urban fantasy about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. She’s also a co-host for the Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing Podcast.

The second installment in the Owl series, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Oct 5th 2015. Her second urban fantasy series, KINCAID STRANGE (Random House Canada), about a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, is scheduled for release mid 2016.

Kristi is also a scientist with a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.

FB: http://www.facebook.com/KristiCharish…
AISFP Podcast: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishin…

Some Were In Time: Shift Happens Book Two by Robyn Peterman

It’s on Goodreads! I wrote my review of 23524116Ready To Were in April to a lot of laughs. The one thing I bemoaned was the fact that we had to wait for the next one! Well, the “Coming Soon!” is now out on Goodreads . . .

Some Were In Time

Some Were In Time: Shift Happens Book TwoPlanning my own wedding should mean I’m having the time of my life…not defending it every time I turn around. Dragons, feral Wolves and Were Cows…I mean who in the hell knew Were Cows even existed?

All I wanna do is marry Hank, have 2.5 beautiful little Werewolf babies and live happily ever after while having sex on a very regular basis. Oh…and I still want to shoot stuff occasionally.
Apparently no one got the memo.

Instead of complaining about the price of flowers, cakes and the fact that my gay Vampyre BFF, Dwayne insists on wearing a dress at my nuptials, I’m locked and loaded trying to ascertain who wants my ass six feet under. With Hank at my side and some surprising allies at our disposal, we will take on the bad dudes…one bloody clusterhump of a sucktastic battle at a time.

No one ever said the Werewolf life was going to be easy, but this week we couldn’t catch a break if it bit us in the ass…


Kindle Edition, 231 pages
Expected publication: June 22nd 2015

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