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Review: Omega War of the Alphas by SM Reine

24371707We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination. – Nelson Mandela

I stood up as best I could to their disgusting stupidity and brutality, but I did not, of course, manage to beat them at their own game. It was a fight to the bitter end, one in which I was not defending ideals or beliefs but simply my own self. – George Grosz

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. – Winston Churchill

Twenty years ago, everyone died. Everyone. Man, woman and child, none were spared. And yet, once the Genesis Void passed, people returned – though not all. And those who did rise from their deaths returned to a world where myth and legend live, and you could very well awaken to find that you are a fairytale character. Sidhe and vampire, demon and were, all walk an Earth where humans are no longer the dominant species.

But massive change leads to mass confusion, and housing, feeding and providing care for the newly mythical brings about a razor sharp divide between the ‘Haves’ and the ‘Have Nots’ – and as Winston Churchill pointed out, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” And Deirdre Tombs is miserable since she returned. For though she is purportedly a were – she heals swiftly and moves quickly – she cannot change. And since she cannot change, she isn’t trusted to live in ‘Sanctuary’ – the safe, exclusive world created for and by ‘true’ shapeshifters. Shuffled from decrepit foster home to skid row group house, she is beaten and abused, hated and feared. Now, she lives in a condemned building with her friend, an Asanbosam Vampire, and works for a Nightmare. Literally. But when ‘moon-sickness’ begins to flow through the were population, Dierdre is recruited by the very people who turned her away, who left her to the cruelties of the socialized foster system – a very broken, very vicious foster system. Of course, the system wasn’t only cruel to Dierdre – and Everton Stark is determined to make Rylie Gresham, werewolf Alpha, pay for the pain and deprivation of the many when Rylie made sure that ‘her’ wolves lived in peace and plenty.

When Rylie offers Dierdre a chance to learn what she is, which she has longed for all of her life, in return for infiltrating Stark’s group, she accepts the challenge. With Gage Cicerone, one of Rylie’s ‘children’ at her side, she takes the assignment. But now is when things get fuzzy. For the lines between good and bad, truth and lies, begin to blur . . .

Set in the world of Preternatural Affairs, the OPA holds minimal place within the story, yet looms over the scene, sure to be felt in later books in the series. PA is still my favorite of all Sara’s work, and this new series, War of the Alphas, expands the idea in a wildly creative manner. One warning – when you open this book, be sure that you do so early in the day, and have nothing else to do. The ‘smart’ side of my brain kept saying, “Go to bed, nutcase!” The obsessive part? Well, she won – I finished it at four this morning!

I received this book from Sara in exchange for a realistic review. Goooo ME!!! Sara is one of my favorite authors (and a wonderful person, btw) and she has reached another level of WOW in this new series!

A Snippet From The Black Swan Inheritance By Marigold Deidre Dicer

Enjoy this snippet! The book comes out December 1, and you are in for a total treat!

This is an early scene from The Black Swan Inheritance:

Black SwanI found the body where the werewolf had left it. Black blood stained the ground, as well as my clothes. I worried if I had stopped to shower and change I would lose my nerve. Nerves were about all I had now. Nerves and necromancy.

Kneeling down next to the dead creature, my bare legs soaked up the heat of the day from the bitumen. I swallowed audibly and picked up the head to reposition it. That done, I took the small pocketknife I had been given when I joined scouts (I left after about a month) and opened the blade.

“Blood of the Black S-swan.” I was trying to command the dead to rise, and I couldn’t manage that through chattering teeth. I cleared my throat and started again. “Blood of the Black Swan binds you to me. I call you from the grave and into the night. If you shall accept, rise.”

I sliced the inside of my left palm and blood pooled. I coated my red blood against his black, running my hand around his severed neck. Then, finally, I placed my wounded palm over his mouth.

I looked away when I heard movement of flesh against stone, but forced my eyes back upon the scene. I watched as his blood coagulated with mine and brought the head back to the body. I watched as the fatal wound healed itself. I watched as the skin and muscle knitted before my eyes. I watched as the vampire’s eyes snapped open, and he grabbed my hand with both of his and pressed it hard against his mouth.

The feeding was disgusting. The vampire rose a little but only to force more of my blood into his mouth. It reminded me of a man bucking during sex. He drank with greedy desperation, as if frightened the blood be taken from him at any moment. I let him feed, but when I felt my strength wane, I had to put a stop to it.

“Enough.”

The vampire stilled with the command.

“Release me.”

He relinquished my wrist, and I checked my palm. The clean cut was marred with hickeys – bruising from the vampire sucking so desperately he brought the blood up through the skin. My vision became spotty, so I let my hand drop to my side, hoping that if I hid the sight of it I could manage to remain conscious.

“I have claimed you, do you understand?”

He nodded, but his eyes were glassy.

“Are you still hungry?”

“Yes,” he whispered in a weak voice.

“You can no longer feed on me. Is there anything else that can be done to heal you?”

“No blood?”

“No blood.”

He didn’t answer for a moment. Then he said, “Bury me. I need rest.”

I blinked. “Bury you? Bury you where?”

“Somewhere safe.”

I didn’t even own a shovel. I lived in an apartment, after all. Where would be safe?

There was a park right next to where we were, but that could hardly be safe. There was sort of a common, a grassy back garden at the apartment block where the clothesline was. How was I to dig up the ground?

Wait, the management hired a gardener. He came every week and kept his tools in a little shed, next to the hot water systems. There should be a shovel in there.

I just hoped I wasn’t caught.

“C’mon.” I helped the vampire to his feet. “You’re coming home with me.”

The Black Swan Inheritance will be out 1st December 2014!

Copyright © 2014 Sarah Thomas writing as Marigold Deidre Dicer

Review: Spirited Legacy by Kate Baray (Edited:Links Work Now)

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Click to purchase

The library, with its Daedalian labyrinth, mysterious hush, and faintly ominous aroma of knowledge . . . – P. J. O’Rourke

I understood right from the start that every set of library doors were the sort of magic portals that lead to other lands. My God, right within reach there were dinosaurs and planets and presidents and girl detectives! – Deb Caletti

When I first met Lizzy in Lost Library, the first in Kate Baray’s wonderful Urban Fantasy Romance series, I was, in a word, charmed. As I said in my review, Lizzy is much like me – She works at home, rarely sees even her own clients, and has a terrific best friend, Kenna. She just never sees herself as anyone who is brave or anyone who could be spectacular in any way.

Of course, in the manner of all things, Lizzy’s comfortable little world blows up in her face when a seemingly ancient book shows up on her doorstep. Well, she supposes it could be a book. If it weren’t blank, that is. And when a hotty McHotterson of a werewolf shows up on her front porch looking for the book, well, all thoughts of safe, calm comfortable Lizzy are blasted right out of the metaphorical water.

Now, in Kate’s second book, Spirited Legacy, both Lizzy and her Alpha werewolf (Boyfriend? Mate? Pack Member? Maybe?) John are back in Prague, ensconced in the Library, drawn there once again by Harrington, Director of the Inter-Pack Policing Cooperative, or IPPC. Just as friendly as ever, if you find controlling stuffed-shirts to be amenable, Harrington has called Lizzy back to the Library to continue her work on translations of the magical books found within. But to a much more serious purpose than simple research. For at the end of LL Sarah, Lizzy’s co-kidnapped from the first book, was injured, severely, saving Lizzy’s life. And the only way to save Sarah’s life may be to find a cure within the Library itself. And the fact that Harrington, a top caster, has offered to mentor Lizzy, is yet another encouragement.

Come, come, time calls our close complots to action.
Go, Proximus, with winged speed flie hence,
Hye thee to Wales: salute great Vortiger
With these our letters; bid the king to arms,
tell him we have new friends, more forces landed
In Norfolk and Northumberland; bid him
Make haste to meet us; if he keep his word,
Wee’l part the realm between us. –
Ostorius, The Birth of Merlin, or, the Childe Hath Found His Father, ACT III SCENE V – Ascribed to William Rowley, and occasionally (most likely spuriously) to William Shakespeare

Of course, life isn’t getting any easier for Lizzy than it has been since the happenings in LL. Even the resident ghost is throwing rocks at Lizzy’s head – literally!

I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do, I *do* believe in spooks, I *do* believe in spooks, I do, I do, I do, I *do*! The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz, 1939

After injuring the evil Zach Worth, soul sucker extraordinaire, at the end of the last book, Lizzy and her compatriots don’t know if he is still even alive – but all bets are on that he is – and that he has something even more evil up his sleeve than anyone ever imagined. What is a poor Caster to do? Is it not bad enough that John slipped in a, “Oh, BTW, you are my mate now and Female Alpha of my Pack and also BTW, my Pack hates you, even though they have never met you?” smack upside her head? Oy.

The previous cast of characters are all present-and-accounted-for, and we get to meet some awesome new characters, like Harry, Sarah’s healer (Yes, yes, “Harry the Healer.” Well, at least he thinks it is funny.) Oh, and did I mention the dragons?!

Kate’s writing remains crisp, her character development spot-on, and the intensity in this book keeps the reader enthralled from first page to last. There is a bit more relationship building between Lizzy and John, her Alpha boyfriend who is trying to pull his pack out of the Dark Ages in terms of their view of the world. John is one of the more interesting Alpha characters on the scene today. Much like Kate Daniels’ Curran, John comes off at first as all macho-macho man, and yet, if you look closer, there is a great deal of compassion and understanding underneath all that drool-worthy body and drive to protect. Independent Lizzy is having a heck of a time managing the transition from Totally Independent Lizzy to part of a couple, and John is having a hard time learning that sometimes being the full-time protector isn’t the right way to go. But they are getting there, and again, this is one of the more interesting couples that I have read in Urban Fantasy recently.

I highly recommend both books in the series, and would suggest that you grab a copy of Lost Library and read it now. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a copy of Spirited Legacy. If you can wait that long, that is. Once I ended LL, I couldn’t wait to start SL!!

I received an ARC of Spirited Legacy from the author, Kate Baray. This fact does not influence my reviews of either book.

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Review: Shiftless – Aimee Easterling – A Paranormal Fantasy

Sometimes, being a female werewolf can be a flat out nightmare. Especially when your father, the pack alpha, is a brutal, psychotic mess whose only interaction with you is to issue orders on your birthday every year, then walk away. And things are made even more difficult when you can’t seem to manage your shifts, making the thought of saving yourself from the situation even more impossible.

shif
A new author with a fresh perspective on the werewolf world. Worth spending a bit of your precious reading time with.

Hated by her own father and marginalized by her father’s repressive, misogynist pack, Terra struggles with her change and, when her father demands on her sixteenth birthday that she be mated and bred, Terra finally gathers her strength and flees her fathers hateful pack. Now on her own, life as the equivalent of a teenaged runaway is hard, cold, and more often hungry than not. Then, when the unthinkable happens, Terra knows that it is time to step up and bring her wolf under control – to lock her away and live solely in the human world.

Flash forward ten years, and we find Terra curled up in a chair in a bookstore, intent on a Patricia Briggs novel. If she can’t have a pack, she can at least read about them, right? But again, fate deals her a blow as a pair of werewolves, an alpha – on leash of all things – and his beta walk into the bookstore, and straight into Terra’s life. Oh, shit. Not another alpha! And the world continues to crash around her when her father reappears in her live with ultimatums and torments, threatening to force her back into the life of servitude she has worked so hard to escape.

Will the alpha known as Wolfie and his highly unusual pack be able to protect Terra and her nephew from the torments of her father? Or will she be forced to give up her life, to bend to the will of her brutal former pack in order to save her nephew and the members of Wolfie’s pack?

This is a first novel for Aimee Easterling, and for a first, it is very well written. Even more pleasant, it is well edited, which in and of itself is a positive. The book has many of the same tropes as the ubiquitous werewolf and paranormal romance novel, which in itself is not a bad thing. Ms. Easterling has put her own unique twist onto the culture, especially in regards to Wolfie and his oddball, loveable pack. They were my favorite characters, from the yahoos (you will get the reference when you read the book) to the lesbian couple, something one doesn’t often show up in the werewolf/paranormal genre, and is a pairing that I found quite refreshing.

Overall, this is a pleasant, quirky read, recommended for a lazy afternoon with tea and a quilt, curled in your favorite chair. The book does end on a tiny bit of a cliffhanger, but not unpleasantly so. I look forward to reading the next book and watching to see if wildly disparate groups can learn to function as a community.

This book was reviewed at the request of Readergiveaways.com. All remarks and thoughts are my own.

AN AUTHOR GIVEAWAY EXTENDED!!! J. K. Walker’s Salt Lake After Dark Series

THE GIVEAWAY HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MARCH 16, SO GET YOUR ENTRIES IN!

It’s time for a BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

 J. K. Walker has been kind enough to offer copies of his wonderful books from the Salt Lake After Dark Series.

And just think – there will be MORE THAN ONE WINNER!!!

J. K. will be giving away all three novels in paperback – signed editions!

There will be THREE (yes, THREE!) copies of the current boxed set in either mobi or epub.

There are FIVE signed copies of Glacial Eyes in either mobi or epub. This is STRONG Urban Fantasy, as I have bragged on multiple occasions. You can check out the website for my reviews:

glacial eyes
Glacial Eyes (Book One of Salt Lake After Dark)
sanguine pic
Sanguine Eyes (Book Three of Salt Lake After Dark)
hollow eyes
Hollow Eyes (Book Two of the Salt Lake After Dark Series)
salt lake box set
Salt Lake After Dark: The Boxed Set – Editions 1-3

In order to win, click on the link below for the Rafflecopter page and complete. Then please comment below. I will need your information: email address and whether you would like mobi or pdf files if you win.  Please remember to include your email address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

rafflecopter
Click here to complete the Giveaway on Rafflecopter!

CONTEST ENDS MARCH 16, 2014

AT 12 MIDNIGHT UTAH TIME!

Ilona Andrews and the Wonderous Excerpt!!!

magicbreaks
Ilona Andrews (Ilona and Gordon) have an excerpt on their website!
Click the link to read the First Two Chapters!!!!
It comes out on my birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

 

AN AUTHOR GIVEAWAY!!! J. K. Walker’s Salt Lake After Dark Series

It’s time for a BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

 J. K. Walker has been kind enough to offer copies of his wonderful books from the Salt Lake After Dark Series.

And just think – there will be MORE THAN ONE WINNER!!!

J. K. will be giving away all three novels in paperback – signed editions!

There will be THREE (yes, THREE!) copies of the current boxed set in either mobi or epub.

There are FIVE signed copies of Glacial Eyes in either mobi or epub. This is STRONG Urban Fantasy, as I have bragged on multiple occasions. You can check out the website for my reviews:

glacial eyes
Glacial Eyes (Book One of Salt Lake After Dark)
sanguine pic
Sanguine Eyes (Book Three of Salt Lake After Dark)
hollow eyes
Hollow Eyes (Book Two of the Salt Lake After Dark Series)
salt lake box set
Salt Lake After Dark: The Boxed Set – Editions 1-3

 

 

In order to win, click on the link below for the Rafflecopter page and complete. Then please comment below. I will need your information: email address and whether you would like mobi or pdf files if you win.  Please remember to include your email address!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

rafflecopter
Click here to complete the Giveaway on Rafflecopter!

CONTEST ENDS FEBRUARY 2, 2014

AT 12 MIDNIGHT UTAH TIME!

SM Reine and The Ascension Series

Is everyone ready? Here is one of the best Author Photos I have ever seen!

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Kick Butt Sara!

Awesome, isn’t it!  SM (Sara) Reine just sent me a copy of her newest, Caged In Bone for review and I can hardly wait to start it! Of course, with the holidays it will be be after the New Year, but it is coming! The photo below of the cover is before the text was added, the final cover can of course be seen on Amazon. And what KILLER COVERS they are!!!!

Caged
The original cover, without type. Check out the final cover, and BUY the Book, at Amazon! Click the cover to order!

If you haven’t found this wonderful series yet,Sac

Caged in Bone is a dark, gritty urban fantasy novel of 95,000 words. It’s the fourth title in The Ascension Series, so it won’t make much sense if you haven’t read the first two. If you’re new to the series, please go back and start with Sacrificed in Shadow:  smarturl.it/sishadow

sacrificed in shadow
The first in the series. Click to order.

Sacrificed in Shadow:  Sometimes, you need a demon to fight demons. Lincoln Marshall is a small-town deputy with a very big problem. Six members of his church have been found dead, killed by a rogue werewolf. He’ll have to make a deal with the Devil to save victims that have gone missing — maybe literally. Elise Kavanagh, preternatural investigator and exorcist, is the expert when it comes to violent deaths at the jaws of evil. She’s also among the most powerful demons that Hell has spawned. Elise jumps at Lincoln’s case, and it’s not just because of his down-home charm. Someone’s laid a trap for her in Northgate, and she wants to find out who. She’ll have to team up with Rylie Gresham, Alpha of the last surviving werewolf pack, to figure out who’s trying to blame the murders on werewolves. Only together can they stop the killings — and uncover the secrets buried in Northgate. Get it now! Amazon Kindle – B&N Nook – Kobo Books – Apple iBookstore

oaths of blood
The second in the series. Click to order!

Oaths of Blood: Werewolves are immune to every illness and can heal any wound. It should be impossible for one to become possessed by a demon. But that’s exactly what Seth Wilder is facing: a werewolf gone insane from possession. He has no choice but to deliver her to the only exorcist in America, Elise Kavanagh, who also happens to be a powerful demon known as the Godslayer. Elise is in hiding when Seth and Rylie Gresham, Alpha werewolf, arrive seeking her help. She agrees, but everything has its price. What they learn about the possessed werewolf changes everything — Hell and Earth, the pack, and the future of the entire world… Get it now! Amazon Kindle – B&N Nook – Apple iTunes

ruled by steel
The third installment. Click to order!

Ruled By Steel:  Elise Kavanagh failed to prevent the Breaking, and now Hell is spilling onto Earth. She’s delved deep into the City of Dis in an attempt to stop the infernal armies–but even the legendary Godslayer is unprepared to face Dis’s fiercest demons, not to mention the responsibility of liberating the humans they’ve enslaved. On Earth, rogue angel Nash Adamson is wing-deep in damage control after the Breaking, and his fellow angels don’t want to get involved. War is approaching the werewolf sanctuary. If Heaven won’t help them, he’ll have to turn to Hell for salvation. Everything hinges on who can control the City of Dis. Elise and her allies have no choice but to rule by steel… Get it now! Amazon Kindle – Apple iBookstore – B&N Nook – Kobo Books

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