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Kindle Store eBook Prices Are Rising … Or Are They?

I have had to laugh lately at the rising prices of “Name Publishers” books. With the plethora of truly well written books out there by Indie Authors I no longer even consider buying the “Big Name” authors. That is what libraries are for. Their books are just too expensive for my budget. Besides, why spend a small fortune on their books when authors like Mark Henwick, Michael Angel, Susan Bliler, Celia Kyle, and many many others put out exceptional books at reasonable prices? Besides that, what possible reason, other than price gouging, can one use to justify this sort of thing? Observe:

Stephen King’s

Mr. Mercedes

Kindle $12.99  Paperback $10.40

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)

Yep. $2.59 MORE for the Kindle edition than the Print Edition. The print edition requires paper, ink, cover materials, shipping and handling. And yet, you pay MORE for the Kindle edition that has none of these inherent costs.

So, anyway…

I was reading my mail this morning, and came across a email from Bookgorilla.com. If you haven’t found the site before, I highly recommend it.

The email led me to an article entitled, “Kindle Store eBook Prices Are Rising … Or Are They?” The article includes a link to a spreadsheet of the Price Breakdown of the Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers as of today, October 7.

What I found was surprising – but then again, not. One thing that tickled my fancy is the severe drop in “Name Published” books on the Top 100 List.

“In our (Bookgorilla.com) January 2013 analysis, 58% of the Top 50 bestsellers were published by the big traditional publishers, and that figure has since declined to 38%. Conversely, 42% of the Top 50 bestsellers were published by indie authors or by Amazon’s own publishing imprints in January 2013, compared with 62% this past weekend.”

In other words, what the big publishers have won in their latest round of contract “victories” over Amazon is the right to price themselves right off the bestseller list.” – Bookgorilla.com, Kindle Store eBook Prices Are Rising … Or Are They?, October 5, 2015 by Steve Windwalker

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Screen shot by Bookgorilla.com All rights reserved.

Looking at my Library on my Kindle, I find that the Top 100 books in my library (most recent purchases – yes, I have literally hundreds of books on my tablet, rather they be Kindle, B&N, PDF, or other) none of the books cost me more than $5.99. What does that mean for the authors I buy books from? Well, the way I look at it, none of us “Normal People” have a huge supply of cash available for “Entertainment Purchases.” Therefore, pennies are pinched where we can. And having books priced $5.99 and under means that I can buy a lot more Indie books, and review a lot more Indie books, than I ever could buying the books of people like Stephen King, whose books are way outside that $5.99 personal spending limit. And I only have a few of those. The books by my favorite “Big Publishing” authors, such as Ilona Andrews? Ilona and Gordon are with Penguin, hence the $12.99 Kindle tag. Well, that is what Libraries are for! I may have to wait for my turn, but I don’t have to shell out that $13.00 price tag I can’t afford.

Where does my limit lie on the Top 100 Kindle Books List? Well, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences” by Camille Pagán holds the number one spot right now, and lists at $5.99. However, if you are  a member of Kindle First? $1.99. The Mentor by Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli is $5.99 as well, $1.99 on Kindle First. “Life” is published by the Lake Union Publishing small press, while “Mentor” is Amazon Crossing. A couple of the “Names” pop up in the top ten, “Twilight” (Of course. Sigh.) at $12.99 and “The Survivor” by Vince Flynn at $14.99. Well, there are still going to be those who will save their pennies for the higher dollar authors. Rick Riordan comes in at #14 and Lee Child at #16, but John Sanford languishes at #97.

Of course, then there are the Top 100 Free Books! What’s not to like about FREE?! Of course, those are Indie Published – and a great way to catch attention. I can think of several authors I have found through a free book and have continued to read (and pay for) so the whole “Freebie” thing worked out, as far as I am concerned! Now, it is time to go scan the free list and see if I come up with something new!

What are your thoughts? Wanna share?

 

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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.

Edited Review: Spook Squad

I spent my birthday with a new series (for me) that I was really enjoying. The Spook Squad by Keri Arthur. The premise and story are fascinating, involving a close-to-us parallel world where nonhumans live alongside normal in an uneasy balance. They are policed by the SIU, a shadowy group set up to police nonhumans.

The main character in the book is Sam Ryan, a State Police Officer. As far as Sam is concerned, she is fully human – but is she truly? With no memory of the first 14-years of her life, Sam is an exemplary officer, but she is also a haunted woman, searching for her life before she awakened in a foster home at 14.

zero In Memory Zero we first meet Sam as she is set to meet with her partner, Jack, in a dark and stinking back alley of Melbourne. Jack – who has been missing for over two weeks, supposedly the victim of an unknown cop killer. Called to the alley by the missing Jack, having promised to tell no one, Sam finds much more than she expects as the Jack she meets is no longer human, but instead is a vampire. And something else – something much, much worse. Killing the man who is her partner, and yet not, Sam is pulled into a whirlwind of terror which begins to pull her history from her own mind, opening doors that should have stayed closed.

18Generation 18 is the second in the series, and continues Sam’s story. Now a member of the SIU, she is partnered with Assistant Director of the SIU, Gabriel, the two are neck deep in the investigation of a serial killer who is targeting a seemingly unrelated group of victims, whose only link is that they are all adopted, and all have red-gold hair. We learn a lot more about Samantha in this volume, and I really came to admire and like her, though not Gabriel, a cold and isolated man, determined to shake Sam off as his partner. He is determined to never have a partner again after the death of his former two partners, one of whom was his mate, Andrea. That loss, when he was 18, has set in his mind that he will never allow anyone close to him again, not even his twin brother. Struggling to catch the killer, the invisible Sethanon, Sam has to fight not only her growing memories, and her jackass of a partner, but also a growing threat against herself and who she may, or may not, be.

pen Penumbra is the third book in the trilogy, and builds up the series to a massive head, as Sam finally realizes who, and what she is. And who Gabriel is supposed to be to her – though he desperately fights it. Tracking a mix of clones, shapeshifters and shapechangers, the murders come fast and furious as the military comes closer and closer to achieving their goals of an unstoppable army, and Sam comes to realize that her dreams of her twin are not only real – but that they are much more dangerous than she ever could have imagined.

I was really liking this series. I mean, really liking it – enough that I sat other things aside and continued reading through all three books without stopping, other than to do what I absolutely had to.

EDIT TO REVIEW:

It appears that the whole “won’t be publishing any longer” wasn’t actually Keri’s fault. Here is a note from here. I really loved the books, Keri, and will be updating all my reviews. I also just finished Full Moon Rising and will be writing a review on that one too. Loved it.

Sorry I’ve upset you by not finishing the series…but the reason is not as simple as I didn’t feel like finishing it. I had planned a 4th book, but the Riley Jenson series came along and given it was my first major book contract (along the publisher’s decision to release the first 4 books in one year), I had to give priority to that series rather than the Spook Squad novel. And I’m afraid that several years away from the Spook Squad world meant I was no longer immersed in it. I’d rather leave a series unfinished than make a total and utter mess of it.

However, with Bantam re-releasing the series in paperback in the US, I did write a brief (5 page) epilogue that gave some closure on the relationship aspects. The rest of the plot (and the war) does remain unfinished.

Again, sorry to upset and disappoint you. I wish I could finish the series, too, believe me, but there’s just too many other books I have to write.

So, now we know why Spook Squad was never finished – the demands of Publishers! I am updating and reposting my reviews everywhere to take her note into account.

So, my apologies to Keri for losing my temper and being a snot!

Review: Hard Spell: Occult Crimes Unit Investigations, Book 1

hardspell“My name’s Markowski, a Detective Sergeant on the Scranton PD’s Supernatural Crimes Investigation Unit. I carry a badge. Also, a crucifix, some wooden stakes, a big vial of holy water, and a 9mm Beretta loaded with silver bullets.”  – Markowski, Hard Spell

Death is when the monsters get you. – Stephen King

Scranton, Pennsylvania fifty years after WWII is a different place than one might expect.  When millions of Americans poured into Europe to fight in the war, they picked up a little something extra to bring back home besides war wives and interesting STD’s. Quaint little things like cases of werewolves and vampires and zombies (oh, my!) Needless to say, it changed the way life is lived in the good ol’ US of A. Instead of McCarthy going after ‘Commies’ he gets to do real, honest-to-goodness witch hunts – for real witches. . .

There is a lot to like about Hard Spell. There is humor and a great deal of creativity that I got a kick out of. Gustainis writes an engaging tale with a strong noir flavour which reminds me quite a bit of the feeling I get from the Nightside stories by Simon R. Green – one of my favorite series of all time. There is a feeling of reality in the very unreal situations of the book, which was pleasing. However, the role of women characters in the book was, well, I hesitate to say “demeaning” but it comes very close to the razor edge of treating women as lesser beings – something that I found less than enjoyable. Even the female SWAT team member was portrayed in a less than admirable manner – something that irritated me to no end. I wanted to shake the author and remind him that “noir” doesn’t equate with “testosterone poisoning.”

I listened to the book – the Audible edition. As much as I enjoyed Gustainis’ work, I cannot say the same for the narrator. He was, in a word, completely irritating. What narrator worth his salt cannot be bothered to check pronunciations?!?! The guy STINKS at pronunciation! Come on – you don’t know how to pronounce “were” as in “werewolf??” Weer (like a Bostonian we’re)  is not even close to correct, Peter. It is rather insulting to the author that you can’t be bothered to take a moment to learn pronunciations.  Especially for such common terms.

Overall, I knocked a full star off for poor narration. Another half star for some problems with trite characterizations (especially the handling of Markowski’s first partner) and with his tendency to treat his characters with something less than respect. Overall, however, this was a completely bad introduction to the series. I hope to find a more well rounded volume with the next in the series, Evil Dark: Occult Crimes Unit Investigations, Book 2 – though I won’t be buying the Audible edition. Five more minutes of Peter Brooke and I may have been forced to throw my reader across the room. . .

 

Review: Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley

silverwolfclanHere is a confession. I am mad about Urban Fantasy. I suppose everyone has “that genre” that they simply can’t live without, and this is mine. So, starting from that point, I was very pleased to be offered Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley for a read-and-review.

The issue with some UF books, especially those involving werewolves, is that I have read so many that I often find myself bored. Been there, done that, and didn’t even pick up my T-shirt on the way out. Tara Shanley skirts that edge in this volume, but at the same time she reaches somewhat outside the furry box into something that made it more interesting for me, and that is a good thing – something that encourages me to reach for her next book in the series when I get a moment.

We aren’t often offered books where we see what happens to a “Changed” when he is taken down and becomes wolf after being attacked by a rogue without pack to assist the victim into his or her new life. This is exactly what happens to Greyson Crawford. Camping in the forest, he responds to a woman’s screams, only to come upon a horrific sight. A huge wolf is attacking a woman who is standing over a tiny child as she tries to fight off the monster’s rage. Rushing to her assistance, Grey draws the attack onto himself, striking over and over with his boot knife in order to save the woman and child. With another woman lying dead on the ground from the attack, Grey knows that the only way to save the woman and child is to put himself at risk. And what happens is, of course, what one would expect. Changed, Grey has no support, less knowledge, and a horror of what he has become.

On his own for the last six months, trying desperately to control the Wolf inside him, Grey is lost, terrified of himself and the beast inside. A visit by two unknown were introduces him to something he didn’t even know existed – pack. As he comes to learn that he may just be able to deal with being what he considers a monster after all, he is still haunted by the face of the pixie-like woman whom he rescued from the rogue.

Due to a turn of fate, the beautiful woman he rescued, Morgan Carter, slips back into Grey’s life, opening up new thoughts and feelings, and bringing a bit of balance into his life. What happens next is to be expected in the telling, but is expanded upon and tweaked by an unusual thread which brought the fairly rote story line into a new and more interesting territory.

Overall, the book doesn’t fall within my “Oh, Wow!” mindset, but it is interesting enough that I will still follow along to see what happens next.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not affected by this fact.

To Murder A Saint – Win An Audible.com Copy!!!!

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Now is your chance to WIN a copy of To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan!

 

Nicole just published her Audio version of her book at Audible.com. Read by Suzy Lexington the story leads from the swamps of Louisiana to New York City, and back to Louisiana again as Fanchon, one of two lovely girls from the swamps, searches for her best friend Josephine’s murderer. A tightly written story imbued with ambiance, it is a wonderful beginning to the Saints Series!

Blurb:

The ground is too wet…If you bury the dead here, they can come back.” Her father always warned her that the bayou was a mysterious and dangerous place. She never suspected that the greatest danger of her life was lurking in New York City. Before their bags are unpacked one of two Cajun girls in fresh from Louisiana is found savagely murdered in New York. All the clues point to a wild animal, a perplexing development for a third floor apartment. Lacking a suspect the police accompany the murdered girl’s French speaking roommate back to her reclusive Southern Louisiana town in search of a lead. They are met with a warning that the killer is not finished yet and learn that this is not the first mysterious death in the family.

Excerpt:

It’s probably a bad sign on a first date that my mind wandered to how best to bury somebody. Namely it wandered to burying Jason Stepwald: lumpy, chubby, balding insurance salesman, Jason Stepwald. Not handsome, full head of hair, marine ‘Semper Fi Jason’ as advertised on his My Date profile page.

I think I started picturing Jason dead when he would not stop talking about insurance rates while his mouth was stuffed with oysters. The shining grey and white matter swirling around on his tongue as he talked about tort reform set a picture in my mind of him buried in the wet soil of my parents’ front yard. I remember my father telling me when I was young, “The ground here is too wet, cher. If you bury the dead here, they can come back.”

With those words in my mind I saw Jason lowered into the ground, a respectable burial, and then his decayed corpse bubbled back to the surface, his tongue sticking out. It was the very color of the gelatinous goo currently occupying his mouth.

My attention came back to living Jason when I inhaled a pungent fish smell. Jason decided that I might try one of his half shell delicacies if it was swirled within an inch of my face.

“You want one?” he asked. “Clams are an aphrodisiac, you know.”

“Where I come from we call ‘em oysters,” I told him, pushing his hand away. I noticed that his hands were soft. My dad always said nobody dates a man with soft hands.

Jason recovered from my slight and said, “So, Fanchon. That’s an interesting name.”

“Well,” I said. “A name like Fanchon in Louisiana helps people separate poor bayou trash from just plain regular white trash.”

His eyes grew wide and some of his red wine dribbled down his chin. The red wine glistening on his neck was just too much for the dead Jason image in my head. I had to turn away from him or I was going to lose it.

“I didn’t mean to upset you or anything like that,” he said.

While looking away I suppressed a smile and turned back to face him. “It’s fine. If you really care to know it’s a Cajun name. I am from a French parish town near New Orleans. It comes from…”

He interrupted me. “You know what’s interesting about New Orleans?”

“I have no idea,” I said resting my head on my hands, giving up on getting a chance to speak.

“Well it’s interesting because the whole city sits below sea level, you know. What happened with Katrina, it was just a matter of time,” he said chewing with his mouth opened yet again. “That’s the risk of being below sea level; they don’t even offer flood insurance there. I have been to a place in even worse shape called Kiribati. It is so low they will be underwater in the next two years. Talk about an insurer’s nightmare. They are mostly savages in little huts though, so it’s not like they would even have anything to insure.”

After he steered the conversation to insurance yet again I couldn’t take it.

“I have to use the restroom,” I said, walking away before he could reply.

Once safely locked away in the bathroom I sat on a yellow chaise, facing a full-length mirror by the door. I took a deep breath and examined my reflection. I thought I looked pretty good that night, not like my usual self at all. I thought back to how excited I was getting ready with my roommate, Josephine. She sweetly brushed my unruly dark hair, taming it with all her gels and curlers. She pulled out her best red dress and stuffed me into it. It was so tight on me we had to buy stockings that sucked me in from my knees to my chest. I remember I told her, “I hate tight clothes.”

She replied with her usual pseudo French cadence. “Men here drawn to tight clothes and red like flies to honey, cher. Deese men won’t be impressed dat you know how to gut a fish,” she said as she pushed a stray hair out of my face. “You my beautiful friend, cher. It time you act like it.”

And don’t miss Nicole’s second volume in the Saints Series! All Saint’s Secrets is out NOW!!

Blurb:

allsaints“After her death the kids used to say her ghost haunted the plantation.”

The bayou holds many secrets. One of them is what really happened to Lisette, a beautiful Creole teenager who died on the last day of school. Everybody in Fanchon’s reclusive bayou parish knows Lisette died in a boating accident, but when the police take a closer look, they unearth the dead girl and find a surprise in her grave.

All Saints’ Secrets is the sequel to To Murder a Saint. It is highly recommended that the Saint books be listened to in order.

 

About The Author:

new-orleans-maskYou may know her as the syndicated humor columnist “The Starter Mom.” Nicole is a graduate of Michigan State University and an award winning Journalist, recognized by the Michigan Press Association as a top feature writer. She writes for two daily newspapers in the greater Philadelphia area. To Murder a Saint is the first book in the Saint Series. All Saints’ Secrets released in August. It is recommended that the books are read in order.

Nicole loves a mystery. Her favorite female sleuths were dreamed up by Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. She draws inspiration from the classics too such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allen Poe. She said she has to mention her first experiences with New Orleans came from the venerable Anne Rice.

About the Narrator:

Nicole and LizThe daughter of an American diplomat father and a model mother, Suzy Lexington has been traveling the globe since she was born.

Currently, Suzy is working as a journalist and living in NYC.

Click the Audible logo to see Suzy’s other works. audible

 

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

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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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Blog Tour And Review: Spirited Legacy: A Lost Library Novel, Book 2 by Kate Baray

Hooray!!!! Spirited Legacy is out, and after Kate Baray’s splendid first novel, The Lost Library, this newest edition does not disappoint! My review later today, but until then, enjoy the Tour information, read my review of The Lost Library – and don’t forget to get your copy of Spirited Legacy, available NOW!

Synopsis
Lizzie receives an offer she can’t refuse—an internship at the Lost Library, home to hundreds of magical books. And to make the deal even sweeter, her prospective boss has offered to act as her magic mentor. What’s a girl to say, but yes? Except…there are the questions of her unresolved love affair, her recently acquired arch enemy, and a haunting past.
 
Can Lizzie tackle a new job, learn the magical ropes of spell casting, and save her relationship with an amazing man—all while eluding her nemesis? She’ll sure as hell try.
 
Join Lizzie as she muddles through another magical adventure, with old friends and new, making the most of what life—and the afterlife—throw at her.

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Excerpt
This excerpt is unedited and subject to change.
Lizzy felt a hard yank on her scalp. She wanted to cry out, but no sound emerged from her lips. Someone was dragging her down the path. Her muzzy, pain-filled brain tried to put the pieces together. If he was carrying a gun, he might have a very good reason to hate her. A personal reason to become emotional over her appearance at his front door. Maybe his magic was gone, too?
The painful pulling at her scalp was joined by a steady wrenching feeling in her shoulder. She must have passed out for a moment, because suddenly she was inside the house and being pulled across a floor. She could feel the wood floor and then the rug underneath her—but it was all distant and fuzzy, like she’d just woken from a dream but wasn’t yet able to think clearly or move. She could feel even these sensations start to slip away as her thoughts became hazier. A sharp pain pierced through the darkness. Her body slamming into a wall? A doorway? Briefly she tried to grab at the door jamb she was being yanked past, but her fingers wouldn’t move to clench the frame.
She was so tired. Even the mounting terror—what would happen to her?—couldn’t keep her awake. She didn’t want to die like this. She didn’t want to die at all, she thought right before she lost consciousness.
She woke briefly as a guard pulled her body this way and that as he restrained her. Her shoulder screamed with a tearing pain, and tears were running down her face. She could just barely make out Worth speaking in the background. He was giving instructions to one of his men for evacuation. As she struggled to hear anything that might hint at their destination, the guard had finished binding her feet and moved to her hands. He pulled her hands together, wrenching her damaged shoulder. She bit down on her cheek frantically as waves of pain tore through her. She didn’t want Worth to hear her scream, she thought a fraction of a second before her mouth filled with her own blood, and she lost consciousness.
MeetTheAuthor


 

 

Kate Baray is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy writer. She writes and lives in Austin, Texas with her pack of pointers and a bloodhound. Kate has worked as an attorney, a manager, a tractor sales person, and a dog trainer, but writing is her passion. When she’s not writing, she volunteers with a search and rescue team, sweeps up hairy dust bunnies, and watches British mysteries. Sign up for Kate’s newsletter:

 

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