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Review: Gray Bishop by Kelly Meade

20741176Gray Bishop
Series: Cornerstone Run Trilogy #2
Author: Kelly Meade
Publisher: InterMix
Published on: October 21, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Format: 313 pages, eARC

I sat back and wondered – how the hella howdy am I ever going to write this review without giving everything away? Well, here goes, and I am going to do everything I can not to toss it all out there for you and ruin the plot!

First, I didn’t read the Cornerstone Run Trilogy first book, Black Rook, but I didn’t feel too out of joint with what was going on in this second book. Bishop is a gray wolf, and Alpha – though he is the youngest of three brothers, and a weaker Gray rather than a Black Wolf like his brother Rook or a rare, endangered White like his other brother, Knight.

As another reviewer, Rabid Reads, said in her review: Meade is one cold hearted writer—I even told her so on Twitter, and she replied with an ominous cackle. And this is one cold-hearted book, as hundreds die and hundreds of others struggle to survive.

In a world where half-breeds are hated and turned away at every turn, a trio of half-breed females is wrecking a path of blood and destruction through the packs, and their quest to capture the rare White, Rook, may lead to the destruction of all the packs hold dear. Stepping up to fight them are Bishop and his love interest, the tragic and incredibly strong Jillian, whose own story is one of death and tragedy right up there with the best of all tragic heroines. Blood curdling darkness seems to be the underpinning of Meade’s writing in this trilogy, and she wrings out every drop, while keeping the reader pinned to the page.

While this is shelved with the “paranormal romance” stories, I actually take exception to that genre placement. Yes, there is romance, as Bishop and Jillian try to make an extremely unlikely relationship work, but that isn’t the heart of the story. Rather, the bonds of family, the pain of loss, and deep insanity rule the day – an odd mix of Southern Gothic and savage thriller that stands up to the best of both genres.

Yes, I will go back and read the first, and the third as well. Meade had definitely ‘gone dark’ in this series, and the depth of the story makes me anxious to get the time to read her Dreg City series, written under the name Kelly Meding. I wonder if they are as dark, bloody and luscious.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts, except for the quote from Rabid Reads, are my own.

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The Whisperings Paranormal Mystery Series by Linda Welch

But, soft: behold! lo where it comes again!
I’ll cross it, though it blast me. – Stay, illusion!
If thou hast any sound, or use a voice.
Speak to me. – Hamlet 1.1

Why, what care I ? If thou canst nod, speak too, –
If charnel-houses, and our graves, must send
Those that we bury, back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites. – (Macbeth, 3.4)

There is no ghost clause in that lease.David Simmons

Along Came A Demon (Whisperings, #1)I know it is silly, but when I find an author I wasn’t previously aware of who really catches my interest and makes me go Ooh! I always feel smug. Like I am the first person who has found this particular author and deserve a pat on the back. Ha! As If!!

Anyway, when I found Linda Welch and Along Came A Demon I got that same feeling. A giggly, bubbly feeling as I read an Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Mystery that is just enough different than the norm, and just far enough along the curve of creativity to make me sit up and take notice. And spend way too many of my sleeping hours reading to be healthy when I have a bad cold and need my rest. Ah well! It was worth it…

Tiff Banks (don’t ever call her “Tiffany” if you know what is good for you – hey, she is 6’4″ – does that sound like a Tiffany to you?) Got a short, sharp shock a few years ago, when she realized the woman she was passing in the doorway of a cafe in San Francisco was covered in blood, apparently shot. Screaming for someone to call 9-1-1 and trying to talk the woman into sitting down until the ambulance arrived, she was horrified that everyone around her just stared at her and turned away. Well, that is how crazy people screaming about ambulances and dying women get looked at when there is obviously nobody standing there with blood all over them, right?

Since that time, Tiff has moved back to her old home town of Clarion, in the Utah mountains. Well, it has to be better than dealing with the massive number of dead people that surround her in San Francisco, right? Humm…. well, there may not be as many, but they are still there. Wow, look at that. She even has two of them living in her house. Jack and Mel were murdered there, though it wasn’t in the realtor’s disclosure forms. Well, no wonder, since the guy who owned the house before didn’t really advertise the fact that he had kidnapped and murdered two people and buried them in the basement. Well, it’s done now, and Tiff is stuck with her ‘roomies’ – even though their murderer has moved on, which should allow them to do so as well, neither intends on being reasonable.  Although, with  her roll as ‘speaker to the dead’ for the Clarion PD their assistance is often useful as she helps the PD track down murderers. And then again, sometimes they can just be a huge pain in the backside.

“There’s a naked woman in the garden,” Jack said.

Huh? Will you look at that? The dead aren’t supposed to wander from where they died, but Coralinda Marchant certainly has. And what happens next is one of the more creative takes on the supernatural I have found for a while – a take I am certainly enjoying! In this first book of the series Tiff is drawn into the murder of Coralinda and the search for her missing son into a world she knew was there, but really, really didn’t want to get into. For there are demons in the world, and those demons want the boy. And they aren’t hesitant to come after Tiff to get him. The concepts and ideas in play are fun, creative and at times kept my right on the edge of my seat as I held my breath, wondering why demons would want a little boy born on November 9, 2002 – or why so many little boys born on that date are now dead, murdered in unspeakable ways.

The second book of the series, The Demon Hunters, is just as good. Now partnered with a7315607 demon ex-cop from the first book, Tiff and Royal have opened their own detective agency. With Royal’s preternatural connections, strength and speed, and Tiff’s ability to talk to the dead, they make a good team – and the ‘bad guy’ demons still being after the two of them, working together gives them an edge. But now, they have new clients. And these clients could be even more deadly than the monsters they are chasing. The Dark Cousins of Royals people, the Gelpha, the good old DC are scary beyond all reason, and not afraid to mind bind, or murder, to reach their goals.

Townsman #1: Hey, Pacha, you just missed your relatives.

Pacha: My relatives?

Townsman #1: Yeah, we just sent them up to your house.

Pacha: What’d they look like?

Townsman #1: Well there was this big guy, and this older woman who was… well, how would you describe her?

Townsman #2: Ah, scary beyond all reason?

Townsman #1: Yeah, that’s it.

They have Royal’s mind locked up tight, and now Tiff is more on her own than not in trying to help Daven Clare and Gia Sabato, a monster in her own right, find her lover, Alissario Arellano (Rio) Borrego, who has been captured by an unknown party for an unknown reason. Well, not totally unknown. For both Dark Cousins and Gelpha are being burned and beheaded, just like a human would think to kill a vampire . . . but how is the murderer finding his victims all over the world? How are they being recognized, when no one other than Tiff seems to be able to recognize them under their glamour?

Welch as a way with a turn of phrase, a strong streak of humour, and a way of looking at life and relationships that is highly appealing. This isn’t your typical “vampires and werewolves” urban fantasy. Instead, Welch has gone in another, more creative direction that I am tickled to have found!

I know, I have to put down the Linda Welch and get my work done. Lots of books to read and review, edits to do. I know, I know . . . but these things are like potato chips – I can’t just eat one and walk away! Well, I read two, one after the other, but you know what I mean. And I don’t even know how Along Came A Demon wound up on my reader! Maybe she did a giveaway at some point and I grabbed it them? Anyway, I am just glad it did. And I will absolutely be reading more of this series. I just have to     not . . .        do  . . .         it . . .            now . . .

New Release by Deanna Chase

I just received the following and had to share it with you. I didn’t realize I was so far behind on the Jade Calhoun Series. This one is on my list – now I just have to find time to read it… oh, and catch up on Jade’s goings-on… and everything else on my reading list!
Intoxicating Magic is here!

Hi Everyone,
Just a note to let you know the third book in the Crescent City Fae series is now available on all retailers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Buy links for Intoxicating Magic:
Willow Rhoswen is finally coming to terms with the fact that Talisen—the healer she thought was the love of her life—has left town and is trying to move on when a rogue vampire poisons three of Allcot’s guards. With his most trusted security team on the verge of death, the notorious Cryrique leader orders Willow to bring Talisen back to New Orleans before it’s too late.But when she gets to her hometown of Eureka, California, Willow once again finds herself the target of her brother’s murderer. And suddenly no one is who they seem. With spies, secrets, and undercover missions to navigate, Willow’s determined to not only survive but to do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves, all while hopefully getting her happily-ever-after.
Thanks for reading,
Deanna!
Influential Magic is free:Get the eBook for FREE on 9/3-9/6


New Release Dates:
Accepting Fate (Destiny series book 2) – Nov 2014
Incubus of Bourbon Street (Jade Calhoun Series, book 6) – Dec 2014
Shattered Souls (Destiny series book 3) – Early 2015

 

Audio!
The audio version of Defining Destiny is available! Now on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. It’s narrated by the amazing Andi Arndt and Jeffrey Kafer.
In case you missed it, the first five Jade Calhoun books are here:
And this first two Crescent City Fae books are here:
Deanna Chase, PO Box 352, Independence, LA www.DeannaChase.com

My Guilty Pleasure-The Bobcat’s Tale by Georgette St. Clair

bobcatI was really exhausted this morning after working all night and well into the day. So, when I crawled into bed at 2PM, I grabbed my reader to do a bit of what I call my “selfish” reading. Usually PNR, it allows me to relax, have a cup of decaf tea, and prepare myself for sleep.

Flipping through my PNR shelf, I came across The Bobcat’s Tale” by Georgette St. Clair. Now you have to realize, that shelf is all books that I have read in the past and enjoyed as a little self indulgence. Pulling it up, my brain went “Ah-HA!” You see, I knew I had read something of hers before and had really liked it. But since her readers have mostly become the BDSM crowd, I haven’t read anything by her lately. Ugh. Shiver. Anyway! I read longer than I should have this afternoon, then didn’t wake till 1AM, sigh. But it was worth it. If you have self confidence issues, pick this one up. If you like a good BBW PNR, pick this up. Just pick it up, will ya? This isn’t brain surgery, but it is certainly relaxing, and fun to boot. With a bit of a mystery tossed in as well.

***

I just finished “The Bobcat’s Tale” by Georgette St. Clair. I had read it quite some time ago, and ran across it again while I was organizing my shelves. The book really touched a very hurt part of me. Like the main character, Lainey, I had a very rough family life, very similar to hers. I always heard “fat, stupid and lazy!” Pretty much like Lainey. Well, I may have had curves, but I was far from stupid, though I admit to being somewhat lazy 😉

So often we are bullied into being something we are not, when what we are is perfectly fine, just as it is. I really admire Ms. St. Clair for writing a book which helped me understand that, just because I am not perfect in someone else’s eyes, I can be perfectly who I am!

Review: Hank Mossberg, Private Ogre: Murder In The Boughs

One man’s murder is another man’s justice. – Hank Mossberg

hannkHank Mossberg is a man out of time. Well, make that an ogre out of time. For he is the last of his kind, an anomaly amongst anomalies. Not that the humans around Hank, even notice that he is a 6’6″ ogre with green hair and skin. People are good at ignoring the things that frighten them; things they don’t understand or want to deal with.

Of course it is hard to be afraid of Hank, large and green as he is. Hank is a sweetheart, the last true Steward left in the world. The last Ogre in the world. How sad, to know that you are the last of your kind. Once the guardians of the forests, as the forests became parking lots, roads and skyscrapers,  the Ogres have died away, until only Hank is left.

As a PI in the human world (remember that whole 6’6″ and green thing? Nah. Nobody notices) Hank is also the Steward, the law-bringer for the fae world. And Hank is going to need all of his skills to solve his latest cases. For there has been a murder in the fae lands, and Hank is the main suspect. Well, he did truly hate the victim. What’s not to hate? A high elf head of the elf mafia (Yep. Mafia.) guilty of all sorts of nasty, including making pixie dust. And pixie dust is a lot nastier than one might imagine – in all sorts of ways.

Hank is a wonderful person. A gentle heart and a strong sense of right and wrong is special in itself. Add in a wonderful supporting cast, creative world building (the Mother Tree, where Hank lives and works, is awesome) and a quirky sense of humor, and you have a wonderful series I fully intend to follow through!

About the Author:

https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1392589970p5/4537524.jpgJamie Sedgwick is a northern California writer, musician, winemaker, mechanic, boat builder, blacksmith, etc. Jamie divides his time between his family, his writing, and his numerous hobbies, in that order. Jamie also writes Mystery and Thriller fiction under the name Jeramy Gates. For more info, visit www.jeramygates.com

Edited Edition of Skin Walkers: Monroe Now Available

monroeThe newly edited edition of Skin Walkers: Monroe is out now! Check out Smashwords and Kobo for the new editions. On Smashwords make sure that you choose the 2014 edition!

Please note: there will not be a new edition offered on Amazon as there is an audio version that is set to whispersync. Since we made extensive changes to Monroe, there will not be an updated Amazon edition. Sorry!

Blurb:

When Game Warden, Eden StCloud, goes up against CEO, Monroe StoneCrow, she encounters the most intimidating, powerful, and sexy man she’s ever seen. Unaware of the fact that Monroe is the Dominant Skin Walker in North America, it isn’t until Eden becomes enmeshed in his life that she realizes it’s too late to escape. Worse, she’s drawn the children under her care into the lair of the beast and must now succumb to Monroe’s desires or risk losing her children forever.

CEO, Monroe StoneCrow, is a man tormented by his obsession with creating a haven for his Skin Walkers. Determined to form a community where his Walkers can exist in peace, he has no time or desire to seek out his own mate, his angel. When Eden StCloud crosses his path, there is no denying his instant attraction, or his overwhelming animalistic urge to claim her. His affliction is so intense that even his own medical experts are at a loss to ease his symptoms. With his Skin Walker refuge in danger of collapse due to his preoccupation with Eden, Monroe is stymied by his inability to do what he’s always done…simply take what he wants.

About The Author:

susanMy pack territory is in Central Montana, between Stone Crow estates and the North Fortress. Born and raised in an untamed location that bridges the gap between rolling prairies and majestic mountain peaks, I am born to a family that also bridges the gap between cultures. My father’s people boast a fiercely proud Scottish ancestry while my mother’s tribes descend from two savagely beautiful and unique nations that inspire my Skin Walkers series.

I’m a huge fan of MMA, boxing, hockey, 30 Seconds to Mars, Linkin Park, DMX, the Killers, and 21 Pilots (“sometimes quiet is violent”). I also love to read because it encourages me to write. (I hate it when authors add that they love coffee and chocolate. Really? Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?) Anyway, I love beer…kidding. I don’t love beer but we are engaged in a very serious relationship. (Mom, please don’t call me when you read this.)

Check me out at http://www.susanbliler.com
Please leave feedback. Believe it or not I actually read your opinions/suggestions and try to adapt my work accordingly. A’hau.

 

Review: Demons Not Included: A Night Tracker Novel

demonsWhoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

 Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil… prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon. – Terry Pratchett

Monsters are real. You just can’t see them. And if you do? Well, a Soothsayer will make sure you forget all about it. So, it’s all good, right? Olivia’s T-Shirt says it all: People like you are the reason People like me need medication. And there is heavy need for medication going around. Because the Ruhin Demon Gate has been breached, the Gatekeeper murdered, and demons are at, and past, the gate.

Nyx is a Tracker, protector of the people of Earth from the things that go bump in the night. Of course, Nyx is one of those things that go bump in the night – a Drow Princess, half Dark Elf, half human, crazily strong, crazily brave, and more fragile than most would understand. She lives between worlds, not only as a Tracker but also in her very makeup. By day, she works as a PI beside her friend Olivia, a human. But by night, Nyx is Drow, or as close as she can get. Her half-blood heritage means she her skin is amethyst rather than blue, her hair cobalt rather than sapphire, but she is still Drow in her heart, and her Drow powers of manipulation of the elements, strength and speed mean that she is very, very good at her job. But the sudden presence of demons in Manhattan changes everything. As Trackers die, and their human liaisons disappear, Nyx’s strength will be tested beyond anything she ever imagined – and the whole world will be at risk.

This first in the series had the potential to be “just another UF.” There is the expected cast of characters – vampires, werewolves and elves (Oh, my) as well as characters that aren’t often seen, such as shadow stalkers and metamorphs. But Cheyenne McCray has done a wonderful job of taking this book to a new level, writing a much more character-driven novel than one normally sees. There are twists and turns, some seriously messed-up stuff, and the truth of never knowing if those who you believe to be your friends truly are.

This is a great start to the series, and I look forward to reading more.

I was given this book as a gift from a friend. All thoughts are my own.

Review: The Society of Imaginary Friends by Kristen Pham

societyI had an imaginary tormentor. He was made up by my parents whenever we would go on holiday to Porta Pollensa. He was `The Vampire Man’. He lived in a house with round windows, and my parents told me that, if I didn’t behave, he’d feast on my blood. When I go there now, I still cross to the other side of the road to avoid that house. I’m a 27 year-old man. – By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

My niece was around 6 years old but could talk really well. She grew quite fond of this imaginary character named Donney or Donee. She said he would only show up whenever Mommy and Daddy went to sleep. He said she would play with her and s***. Well, one night she was in the living room resting on the couch when I walked in the door. She shot right up looked at me with the most dead but evil filled stare ever and, I quote, said, “Donney, no! Don’t hurt him! No!” then went back to a comatose that would be followed by screams of horror. This is where it gets real interesting. One day I was sitting watching the television when she looked at me and said, “Sometimes, when I’m playing with Donney, we take of our clothes an jump on the bed.” I decided to ask her what Donney looks like (no, I didn’t have a clue what I was ******* doing) and this is exactly what she said, ” He’s tall, with black and red skin. He has worms crawling out of his eyes. He also has black teeth and black hair. He wears black clothes.” – An Ask Reddit reader

What is a girl to do, when her imaginary friend is plotting to kill her? When we first meet Valerie this is a very serious consideration for her – because Sanguina, the imaginary “friend” that has tracked her all her life isn’t a friend at all. And she is setting up Valerie’s foster brother, Daniel, to die. Sanguina, Valerie’s very own personal tormentor, who doctors considered proof that Valerie was truly, certifiably schizophrenic. And to make things worse, every time Sanguina shows up, Valerie has a seizure – and now, one more of these seizures and Valerie will die.

But things are about to get much worse – because Sanguina has a partner – and he is very, very real.

Pham has made me eat my words. Yep. I have said repeatedly that I am not a Young Adult' book reader. I have found that there is a lot moreteenager’ in `teenage’ books than I can handle. Well, imagine that! LOL

Really, when you think about it, excitability and end-of-the-world histrionics is what being a teenager is all about, and the proliferation of `Young Adult’ books on the market today is, in my mind, a wonderful thing. It not only encourages teens to read, but gives them an outlet, an ability for even the shyest to realize that they are not all alone, that what is happening to their minds and bodies is natural.

So, as I was saying, Pham has changed my mind about not enjoying YA with her book, The Society of Imaginary Friends. Yes, there is a YA feel overall, with it’s compliment of temper tantrums and attitude. But this is a lot more, a testament to the strength of a young girl and her friends as they begin a fight which ultimately will become a war – a war of magic and terror, of hatred and pain which will change the fate of not one world, but two – and possibly that of the universe itself.

There is much to like about Pham’s first in The Conjurors series. The characters, Valerie, Thai, Henry and Cyrus are all well written, well-developed characters. They are brave, but not too brave. Smart, but not too smart – they feel real. Through heartache and joy, they work together to do what needs to be done in order to not only survive, but to thrive. Society is a book filled with magic and wonder – and a lot of terror and madness as well.

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. Highly recommended.

Review: Thin Places by Diane Owens Prettyman

Heaven and earth are only three feet apart, but in the think places the distance is even smaller. – Celtic Saying

In prison, if you know how to get there, you can travel to those thin places. – Calvery, Death Row Inmate, Thin Places

thinplacesChloe Thomas lives a quiet life, fishing off the coast of Washington and Oregon, only unusual in that she is the only woman charter fishing captain in the area. A cash strapped charter fishing captain, at that. But she has a poorly kept secret in her small town of Clam Harbor. For the Clam Harbor Gazette says it all on the front page: Clam Harbor Resident Slated for Execution.

Of course, Chloe didn’t always know that her father was a convicted murderer, Her mother didn’t want her growing up knowing that her father was sitting on death row, so she picked the name “Gallagher” out of a book of Irish names, gave it to Chloe, and until her grandmother was on her deathbed three years ago, Chloe had never known that her father was dead.

Finn Tully is a loser, an addict and a liar, doing time in the Polunsky Unit in Huntsville, Texas. Working in the prison as a porter, Finn mops the floors of the halls of Death Row, and comes to know the man he calls “Calvery,” a death row inmate. Muling sugar for Calvery, for the production of “toilet bowl wine” Finn and Calvery become close.

This ended up a little risky for me, but in his situation, I figured he deserved a little hooch to wash down his bread and beans.

As Finn and Calvery become close, Calvery makes a final request of Calvery. Find his daughter, Chloe: You promised you’d talk to Chloe, Finn,” he said. “Tell her I’m innocent.” When Finn’s wife files divorce papers just before Finn’s release, one of many releases over his loser life, taking his daughter Lacy away from him, Finn decides to keep his promise and find Chloe. And possibly a treasure? But what kind of treasure?

The plot of Thin Places twist and turn, as redemption and betrayal, love and loss all pay a part, as do ghosts – both of those lost and memories of the past.

Overall, it took me a while to get into the book. Maybe because I really didn’t care for Finn at first. I mean, really didn’t care for Finn. And other than Chloe, I couldn’t engage with the other characters, so I sat it down for too long. But once I went back to it and started reading again (yes, because I promised I would) the story gradually began to flow, and ending up being a tale of loss and tragedy, mystery, romance and mystical insight.

Read past the first few chapters, and I think the book will hold your attention as well.

This book was provided to me in return for a realistic review. The review is late, but I enjoyed it after all. I would rate it more 3.5 stars overall.

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