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Assault in the Wizard Degree – Fantasy and Forensics Book Six!

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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Pull out your “Happy Dance” ladies and gents! Assault in the Wizard Degree is printed!! The Fantasy and Forensics series has expanded to book six, and six is definitely a magic number.

Poor Dayna. The more she busts her backside to save the world on Andeluvia, the more it twists itself into a bloody mess . . . and guess who gets the job of straightening everything out each and every time? Yep. You got it. What is a Forensic Scientist stuck in an epic fantasy land supposed to do? Well, if you are Dame Chrissie, you dust off your hiking boots, gather your tools, and do your best to save the day. Again.

“Salvation shall come to Dame Chrissie only when she stands in the shadow of all that she has achieved.”

Well, salvation is something, at least. A bit of hope, after the court Soothsayer invades the throne room of the King bearing tidings of doom and death.

“I dreamt a dream of utmost import . . . that if not heeded, shall mean the downfall of this kingdom and the ruin of all Andeluvia!”

And this time, he might just be right. Dayna’s life in Los Angeles is hard enough as the evil attempting to take over Andeluvia bleeds over into her birth world. Now, an evil long thought buried and gone is awakening. Death and despair, war and horror are looming on the horizon, and Dayna’s small group will be tested beyond anything they have ever faced before.

It begins, as do so many things, with a request for Dayna’s help. The centaurs, you see, have a problem.

“A centaur that has committed an act of sacrilege regarding the ‘Ceremony of Equilux’.”

It should be a simple case – use her forensic skills to discover who committed a crime. But what she finds is so much more. The Creatures of the Dark have made deeper inroads than anyone expects (well, anyone other than Dayna and her friends) and even the densest and most purposefully ignorant will no longer be able to deny the truth.

There are, of course, the light moments Michael’s writing is so well known for. Characters are well written and believable, the landscape of the world of Andeluvia is sharply drawn, and the storyline holds perfect continuity throughout the series. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, I would highly recommend you do so before reading this installment. I am not saying you couldn’t understand or enjoy this book as a standalone, but it is such a wonderful series it would be a shame to miss the run-up to this pivotal point in the series.

This is a Wonderful series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!! Of course, full disclosure, I work with Michael on his books – but that doesn’t mean I don’t adore each and every one.

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Get “Beneath The Veil” by William McNally Free

17838087I reviewed this book back on July 21, 2013 and found it truly unusual. Now, it is on for free. 

Here is my review. Read, then check out the link to pick the book up for free.

Don’t cry, I’m sorry to have deceived you so much, but that’s how life is.
― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

I never realized before there were so many ways to die. So many ways to kill people. Why are there so many deadly weapons?”

Clapp rubbed his lip and looked down at her. “Listen, Miss Gilbert. I’ve come to figure that man is the only deadly weapon. Take a gun. It’s an absolutely harmless thing—even makes a good honest paperweight—until some man gets his hands around it. You can strip a gun down to its basic parts and it’s lost its power. You can reduce a man to his chemical elements, but you’ve always got the spirit of whatever you call it left. And that spirit will find some damned way to do evil.

― Wade Miller, Deadly weapon

There are secrets. Secrets hidden between the darkness of the world and the darkness of the human soul. Secrets wander amongst the lost, where only the dead are truly free. Secrets live within the darkness, sucking away the human soul, leaving a shell of nothing but horror.

Barry Ryan is learning about secrets. His personal secret, that he is dying of an inherited disease. The bigger secret, hidden under layers of history, that there is something strange, very strange, about his family and where he came from. An adopted child, Barry has done well in his life. A famous sculptor, Barry has friends, a career, and an adoptive family that loves him. But with only a familial match capable of giving him the marrow transplant he needs to survive, Barry must return to his roots, return to the shadows of the past – the shadows and secrets of a place called Auraria.

With his sister, and her boyfriend, Barry begins his trip to Auraria. And thus begins a trip to Hell. But a Hell of whose creation? Layers of lies and superstition and death fill the pages of “Beneath the Veil.” I was immediately drawn into the story, as reality becomes merely a memory. As truth and physics and geography twist and turn upon themselves, into a horror no longer dreamed, but lived.

The story itself was well written and convincingly frightening. The characters themselves are believable, though they could have been a bit better ‘fleshed out’ in my opinion, though some would say that doing so would cause the story to drag a bit. To each their own. The author doesn’t lead you by the hand through the book, you must come to some of your own conclusions, and this is not a book tied up in a tidy little bow at the end. It is, however, extremely creative, and, for a horror novel, ended in a deeply thoughtful manner. Overall, I found there were some small missteps, but I am quite comfortable with my rating. If you are a lover of horror, mystery, or thrilling ghost stories, this is most certainly going to interest you.

Recommended.


 

Beneath the Veil: A Novel
William McNally
4.3 Stars (45 Reviews)
Genre: Horror | Mystery, Thriller & Suspense | Fantasy

FREE for a limited time

The Residents of this Town Eat Zombies for Breakfast. Grab your copy and visit a town where the dead have never left.

Successful sculptor Barry Ryan is in search of a blood relative for his bone marrow transplant; being adopted, he must travel to the town of Auraria where a genealogist has traced his ancestry. His adoptive sister Jen and her boyfriend Jackson join Barry on the trip, but what they find is a town abandoned. Except for the dead who never really left.

By day, the creatures that inhabit this town are but ghostly remnants of their former selves. At night, however, they transform into a physical and lethal form.

There’s no escaping Auraria with all roads leading back to where they started, and Barry, Jen, and Jackson know that joining a band of survivors is their only hope. Struggling against his own dark urges, Barry flees to an old, abandoned plantation.

It is at this plantation, Barry’s familial home, that he discovers his own tragic heritage. That his family is under the control of an evil entity called Evangeline due to a series of events initiated over a hundred years earlier by Ezra Rhodes, Barry’s distant relative.

Mixing science fiction with horror, and the real with the supernatural, William McNally brings to life a world where the past maintains a firm grip on the present, and man’s own fatal desires are brought disturbingly to light. Readers of Stephen King and Dean Koontz will delight in this chillingly oppressive tale.

Click here to get this book for FREE

Review: Heart of Stone by Christine Warren

heart
It has possibilities as a series. Ella is well written.
Click to order.

Christine Warren’s Heart of Stone came to me through Netgalley.com, with a request for interview. Honestly, what drew it to me was the “gargoyle” theme, as gargoyles have been an obsession for me since I was a child. Honestly, the main character in the book, Kees (pronounced like ‘peace’)  is not a true “gargoyle” but is instead a “grotesque,” a gargoyle-like character which was designed for protection rather than the movement of water along the gutters of ancient French rooftops. And protector he is. Kees and his six brothers were called centuries ago to protect humanity from The Darkness, an ancient evil that even the Light of the Universe cannot overcome.

 Ella Harrow, on the other hand, is definitely not a protector in her present standing. Instead, she is a quiet, reserved, and introverted museum docent who would rather walk over hot coals than interact with people. She isn’t just shy – she is terrified of people and crowds. I love Ella. Absolutely love her. She is quiet and shy, and more damaged than anyone would ever understand. She has horrors in her background – horrors which she can never allow to be known.

 Tonight, Ella has suffered through the quarterly fundraiser, and is more than ready to go home and curl up in her apartment, her ‘Fortress of Solitude,’ and forget all about having to interact with all the museum contributors. However, Ella’s life is about to change, and change drastically. No longer will she be able to run and hide, to shy away . . . for there are people, and creatures, after her. And only the statue, a grotesque come to life, will be able to help her to reach her true potential. If she lives long enough.

 I hadn’t realized that I had read any of Christine Warren’s works before. I once read part of On The Prowl and hadn’t remembered it. That particular book didn’t impress me at all – in fact, I gave it a 1-star rating on Amazon. I actually called it another poorly written, poorly conceptualized bomb of a book and I still stand by that review. To say that the lead female character was spineless and embarrassingly stupid was an understatement. I am glad I didn’t remember that book before I picked this one up or I wouldn’t have read it. This female character is much more self actualized and better written. Overall, this book, the first of a projected series, was worth the time I took to read it, and I will be watching for the next volume.

 The Netgalley copy that I received was an unedited volume with extensive errors that I am hoping were corrected in the final volume which was published in December 2013.

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