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Review: Mind Sweeper: Mind Sweeper #1 By AE Jones

22733969An angel, a demon and a vampire walk into a bar.

OK, now tell me. Who wouldn’t want to read a story that starts with that line? You see, an angel, a demon and a vampire did walk into the Erie Bar. And wreaked havoc and destruction, totally ignoring the ‘don’t let normals know you exist’ rules. So, Kyle McKinley and her partners, a Vampire and a Shamat demon, have to come in and clean up the mess. And if that wasn’t enough, poor Kyle has now been saddled with a human partner of all things. And her cop partner is not only handsome as all get-out, he is also a pushy, overbearing MAN to top it all off! As if she didn’t have enough on her plate …

This is a really wonderful first entry in the Mind Sweeper Series. The story is one of those I am always looking for – it is out of the typical for the genre. Though there are vamps, shifters and demons, they are put together in a much more interesting method than the usual found in urban fantasy. The main character, Kyle McKinley – (yes, at first I thought it was “Ky-lee” but no, it is really Ki-al” the male pronunciation – which is interesting in and of itself) but anyway, where was I? Oh, yes! Kyle is human, but not your common and garden sort. Kyle can change memories. Which is a good talent to have when the supernatural world is trying to hide in a world where cell phone cameras and security cameras are the norm rather than the exception. With her partners, Jean Luc the vampire and Misha the Russian demon, she works to keep supernatural secrets. She has worked for ten years with her best friends, and is not really happy at all when yet another human is assigned to the team. Well, you can’t blame her when the last one tried to stake Jean Luc. Idiot. (Insert big sigh here)

Soooo. . . it isn’t just the way-too-handsome Dalton being added to the group that is the problem. It seems that the vampire mixed into the vampire/angel/demon fight in the Erie lost his head – literally. And the darn head is just gone. Poof! And now there are more dead bodies lying around. And why in the world are angels going around cutting off heads with swords? Hum?

The vampire leader Sebastian is up to no good – but what exactly is it he is up to? And what is the Pavel demon leader hiding? Then of course, as much as the angels claim to be holding themselves outside of the fray, well, chopping off a vampire’s head with a big ol’ sword in a bar in front of humans is not exactly standing on the sidelines!

I had spoken to AE Jones about possibly reviewing her third novel in the series, Shifter Wars. Instead, I wheedled a copy of Mind Sweeper out of her, and I am so glad I did. Starting a good series at the first volume is always for the best (to my mind) and I was in no way disappointed. Put this on your list of series that will remain on your “keeper shelf”!

I received Mind Sweeper from the author in exchange for a realistic review. I can hardly wait to start the next in the series, The Fledgling: A Novella. Recommended!

About the Author:

Image of AE Jones

Growing up a TV junkie, award winning author AE Jones oftentimes rewrote endings of episodes in her head when she didn’t like the outcome. She immersed herself in sci-fi and soap operas. But when Buffy hit the little screen she knew her true love was paranormal. Now she spends her nights weaving stories about all variation of supernatural–their angst and their humor. After all life is about both…whether you sport fangs or not.

AE lives in Ohio with her eclectic family and friends who in no way resembles any characters in her books. Honest. Now her two cats are another story altogether.

 

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Review: Hotter Than Helltown by S.M. Reine

hotterthanhelltownAh! César and friends are back again – and this time, his murder case may just kill him. That is, if his boss doesn’t kill him first. After the action in the second in the Preternatural Affairs series, Silver Bullet, César is in big trouble. He used a cell phone he shouldn’t have, and the VP of the Office of Preternatural Affairs is out for César’s guts – literally. And if César doesn’t pass his Aspis exam, to become Shield to Director Fritz Friederling, she just might have said guts for garters.

Could things get worse? Well, sure they can! For there is a vicious demon on the loose, a demon strong enough to kill a Kopis by simply being in the area. With more bodies dropping, all brutally savaged, the race is on as César, his partner Suzy, Isobel the necrocognitive, and Fritz all scramble to find the demon. A demon who may be unkillable.

As always, Reine does a wonderful job of writing a tight narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat, using a level of creativity that I truly admire. There is terror and blood, but also a great deal of subtle humor in Reine’s works. I enjoyed the first two in the series, and can hardly wait for Sara’s next César book!

Highly recommended. If you haven’t read the first two, I would suggest reading them first. They are really good books, but if you haven’t read them, you can catch up easily enough in this volume. However, it won’t be nearly as much fun!

I received Hotter Than Helltown from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

bnbuypowells  amazon-ca amazonBig amazonUK

About the Author:

saraHi everyone! My name is Sara, and I’m the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author of urban fantasy known as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). You can usually find me writing on my treadmill desk at 2am on any given day.
If you would like to know the instant I have a new book available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! I’ll only email you when I have a new release, which is generally no more than once a month. I can’t write any faster than that. 🙂

http://smarturl.it/armyofevil

List of my series, including title reading order:

SEASONS OF THE MOON (completed)
Six Moon Summer
All Hallows’ Moon
Long Night Moon
Gray Moon Rising

THE CAIN CHRONICLES (completed)
New Moon Summer
Blood Moon Harvest
Moon of the Terrible
Red Rose Moon
Darkmoon
Of Wings and Wolves
Alpha Moon

THE DESCENT SERIES (completed)
Death’s Hand
The Darkest Gate
Dark Union
Damnation Marked
Dire Blood
Defying Fate
Paradise Damned
Deadly Hearts (prequel short story)

THE ASCENSION SERIES (completed)
Sacrificed in Shadow
Oaths of Blood
Ruled by Steel
Caged in Bone
Lost in Prophecy
Torn by Fury
Sins of Eden

PRETERNATURAL AFFAIRS (in progress)
Witch Hunt
Silver Bullet
Hotter than Helltown
Shadow Burns(coming soon!)

TAROT WITCHES (in progress)
Caged Wolf
Forbidden Witches (coming soon!)

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: Worlds of Obsession (A Celtic Otherworlds Novel) – Kella McKinnon

It was the morning of her twenty-sixth birthday, and Liv Johnston couldn’t shake the feeling that today was no ordinary day. Thus begins a supernatural romp through the streets of Glasgow, with side stops that cross dimensions and lead to worlds within worlds that a simple internet advertising office plodder, sending out emails that people hated to receive and tossed without a thought. But today is, truly, no ordinary day.

Out the door on her way to work, Liv is interrupted by a courier – a courier with a very strange message, instructing her to fly from her home in Boston to Glasgow, and there to proceed to a certain house, on a certain street. Along with the message, there is an even stranger package. The Celtic Myths and Legends, by C.L. Dryfus. Huh? What in the world could it all mean?

Tossing it all aside to think about later, Liv gets to her office, only to find that her job has been made redundant, as have the jobs of everyone else in her branch of the company. Well, darn. So, having a bit of savings, and an encouraging friend, Liv hops a plane to Glasgow, certain this must be some sort of joke – but who could resist a bit of mystery and adventure? Especially when you don’t have a ‘day job’ and could really use a bit of vacation.

Liv soon finds that life, as she knows it, will never be the same. Thrust into a world she neither knows or understands, she still somehow feels at home, safe and secure. Though she truly is neither safe nor secure – and things are about to get a lot weirder.

The hero character and love interest is Bastien, a Fomoiri Demon. Having lost his love over two hundred years ago, Bastien has withdrawn into himself and become even more of what he is – a warrior for the Guild, a group whose sole purpose is the protection of humans from the dark, whether it be physically or in the form of knowledge of the other races.

Liv is a strong character, taking her new situation in stride while showing a lot of backbone and more than a bit of temper. I really liked that about her. She takes no nonsense, and doesn’t fawn and whine over Bastien, the (of course) hunky and drool-worthy Demon. She handles herself well under the circumstances and doesn’t back down from anyone – even a bad tempered, hostile Demon who is determined to cut her out of Bastien’s life – and out of life all together.

There are great women characters in the book. A meddling Witch, Carman: Carman had worked for ages to build a solid reputation as an evil Witch so that most other beings, especially humans, left her alone to do as she pleased.” I loved her to pieces, good hearted (though inept) meddling and all. Leanan is the mother of all Vampires, has a wicked sense of humour and is more than willing to get into trouble right alongside Carman. Well, she is the mother of the good Vampires, that is. Those bad ones? They are called Droch Fhola, and are the descendants of Abhartach. . . Well, that is a whole other story. Then there is the Kelpie, the Grandmother who isn’t a grandmother at all, and one bad ass Warrior Goddess with a nasty attitude and an even worse temper. How cool is all that?

woo
If you are into erotic covers, I suppose it is ok. If you want to know what the story is about, ignore the cover and read the book. Great women characters!!!

The only thing I didn’t like about the book, honestly, is the cover. TERRIBLE cover for this particular book. Yes, yes, you are all pretty with your naked, oiled up chest. Get over it. This book is more about Liv than the not-quite-bright Demon Boy. And yet, she is nowhere to be found on the cover! That stinks. Really. Ok, right, fine. Some people want to get all hot and bothered over covers, and Demon Boy is pretty as a ‘picture,’ I will give you that. But this is a LOT more than erotica, and the cover really blows for a book with a good story line and great characters. I hope it gets changed, but I won’t hold my breath.

I received this book from Bookplex in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Review: The Terminals: Spark – Michael F. Stewart – STUNNING!

The question of afterlife disappears, when we start to recognize the fact that we did not existed before our birth and the same will happen after death. ― Sipendr

terminal
An incredible book of horror, psychology, and intrigue that I HIGHLY recommend! Not for the under 18 crowd – this is intense stuff!

I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.― Mark Twain

Joshua Bruns said that the trouble with quotes about death is that 99.999 perent of them are made by people who are still alive. So, I’m part of the 0.001 percent. – Captain Kade “Morph” Harmina, US Army Terminal

If you knew that you were going to die soon, that your death would have no meaning other than pain – your own and that of your loved ones – would you be willing to sacrifice what little comfortable time you might have remaining in order to save the lives of others? Causa moriendi est causa vivendi. Dying for a reason is a good reason to keep living.

But what happens after death occurs? Does religion really have the answers? Or is it both more and less than what the human mind may conceive? If the afterlife is real, does our energy simply sustain what our mind conceives, fading into oblivion as the currants of life expire?

Questions upon questions, with no answers in sight. Well, until you are dead, and then will those questions actually be answered? Or is the concept of an afterlife merely a conceit, a naïve attempt to ease the terrors of the unknown?

Michael F. Stewart has written a horrifying book in The Terminals Episode 1: Spark. Oh, don’t get me wrong – I mean horrifying in the best possible definition of literary excellence. This is a spine-chilling novel, full of disturbing layers of both the physical and metaphysical. The story reached down inside my mind and jerked at the lids of all the mentally hardened boxes it contains, the memories inherent in a mind tormented by PTSD. the dark terrors at the edges of death, only to return, kicking and screaming, into the agony of life once more.

When Lieutenant Colonel Christine Kurzow awakens in a hot, dusty field hospital in the burning desert of Iraq, the first words she hears are those of General F. Aaron: Dying for a reason is a good reason to live, Colonel. A strange comment, and one that opens the door to a perverted, powerful, and deeply disturbing book that reaches into the mind, distorting science, religion, belief, and the basic tenants of the human concept of the afterlife.

Kurzow is crippled by guilt after the loss of eleven of those under her command – a loss that could have been prevented if she had taken one shot – a shot which would have killed a child, but saved her team. A rising star in the Army hierarchy, Kurzow’s misjudgment, and subsequent suicide attempt, is a public relations nightmare for the Army, one that is quickly swept under the rug. No punishment attached, rather a Medal of Honor awarded by the military machine. No punishment from her peers, but a deadly degree of self-punishment in the form of a sharp blade, and a massive number of pills. Now, she is pulled back from the brink and pushed into a secret military unit. A unit that accomplishes the impossible – communication with the dead. The only problem? One must die that many may live.

What is most terrifying about Stewart’s tale is just how clearly I could see in my mind’s eye everything that was happening, in grotesque detail. And how horrific the religious visions of the afterlife really are. For, the method the group uses to track down the killers and terrorists in the afterlife is based on religious beliefs – the sharing of the Terminal’s beliefs with those of the person they seek in the afterlife.

Can Christine gain her redemption by her own death? She will be given the chance – but before she can reach for salvation, she must handle the euthanizing of the Gnostic monk, Charlie. For Charlie is an expert on Hillar the Killer, a psychopathic mass murderer with a minimum of eighty kills under his belt. Charlie not only shares Hillar’s religion, but also understands the depths of Hillar’s psychopathy. Charlie must find Hillar in the afterlife – the lives of eleven kidnapped children depend upon him. And when an incompetent, glory hound cop blunders what should have been a simple shot, killing the killer, Charlie the monk must die in order to save them.

Can Christine convince the monk that he must die in order to save the children? And can Charlie track Hillar through the brutalities of the Gnostic deep – and then pull the needed information from a creature of pure evil? Finally, can Christine, an Atheist, truly work through a system that relies upon meshing the religious beliefs of the Terminal and their prey?

Though one believes in nothing, there are moments in life when one accepts the religion of the temple nearest at hand.  ― Victor Hugo

More questions – of religion and faith, of the good of the many over the good of the one. Of honor and pride, patriotism and heroism. And even greater questions of morality and ethics and an even simpler question – are the Terminals really terminal, or is there something truly evil in the works – an evil promulgated upon the innocent by a selfish, sociopathic coward with a god complex?

Where questions of religion are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanor. ― Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (The Standard Edition)

Morph says it best. Listen, don’t fixate so much on death. It doesn’t matter. When we are alive, we are not dead, and when we are dead, we are no longer alive. There is no in-between. No dying. It is the dying that most people fear. Of course, when she made that statement, she was already dead.

I received The Terminals Episode 1: Spark from Netgalley.com in return for a realistic review. If I could give the book ten stars, I certainly would. It has nothing to do with whether or not I received the book for free and everything to do with the fact that this one of the best books I have read in recent memory. I can hardly wait for the next Episode and will drop everything to read it to see if it lives up to its stunning début.

terminal
An amazing story of horror, psychology, and the depths of belief. HIGHLY recommended. Not for the under 18 crowd.

Yippee! Beta Reading Book Three – The Pierced Series by J. C. Mells

Perfect Cover 2
The cover for “Perfect” – Book three of the J. C. Mells “Pierced” series!

Just finished the Beta and, OMFG!!! J. C. does it again – another brilliant story full of pain and hate, love and understanding and a tremendous cast of characters. Watch here – I will let you know as soon as I know when it is coming out – and you have to read this book! Of course, if you haven’t read the first ones, you have to read those too- – – these are too good to miss!

Thanks, J. C. Mells!!!

 

“Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.”

Never have these words seemed more true to Pierce as she deals with the aftermath of Salt Lake City. She and Lucas can’t seem to stay apart from each other for very long without the night panics happening again – but being together is almost as torturous. Will her past ever allow her to be intimate with him? Can she afford to let her guard down and allow herself to be happy? She’s still suffering from the post-traumatic stress of what happened to her the last time she did that.

But on the plus side, their little town of Nowhere is coming along in leaps and bounds. So much so, that it has appeared on the radar of the wolf community. Or at least Pierce’s presence has.

Suddenly it seems like Nowhere is THE place to be these days..

pierce
Who is Pierce?

______________________________

Keep your eyes open – I will post when the book is published!

The Ascension Series S M Reine – Sacrificed in Shadow

sacrificed in shadow
Don’t be dumb like me and start here. 😦
Start with The Descent Series – Link below!

I finally figured out what was bothering be about Sacrificed in Shadow. As the first book of The Ascension Series, I thought I was getting in on the first of the series. See, I should have looked before I leaped – as The Descent Series is the actual first of the series. Now, I have to go back and read that series before I come back to this one.

It makes sense now that I was lost throughout the book, though I suppose, stepping back, it was actually quite readable without starting at the very first. It was just that niggling feeling that I was somehow lost in the translation, like I should have known more about the characters, should have had a better feel for the interactions between Elise and the kopis, and Elise and the priest, Father Night. And, of course, the world building seemed off to me, not clarified enough. But, I was so into actually enjoying the book itself, and the unusual world it showed, I didn’t let it bother me too much. I loved Elise and how different she is as a character, how well developed she is. And the world itself and it’s mythology? I thought I would just learn more about it as time goes along. And, I have no doubt that, as with many series, if I just read Ascension, I would be fine and happy with the whole thing. It is very interesting, without a doubt.

descent series
Start here – and the FIRST THREE BOOKS ARE FREE RIGHT NOW!

However, I am stopping and going to the first book of the Descent Series, Death’s Hand and starting over from there. If I am enjoying the story this much without the back-story, how much will I enjoy it with the back-story intact? This is some seriously good storytelling, and it will be well worth going back and starting over. In fact, I am totally excited by the thought! Besides, right now you can get the first three books of the Descent Series, Death’s Hand, The Darkest Gate, and Dark Union FREE at Amazon as a set: http://tinyurl.com/kkske4a so there is no reason not to start there, right?

As I said, Sacrificed in Shadow was quite good on it’s own. Secrets, betrayal, hatred and love, all embroiled in a dark and sensual story of angels, demons, witches, and wolves. Ultimately, I was quite satisfied with my reading, but will be much more satisfied when I have the first series under by belt, so to say. Being that person who always goes back to read the first books in a series before reading the next to come out, I feel like a kid in a candy store, figuring out the series. Or, should I say a bibliophile at the end of the world, living out her life inside the New York Public Library, no worries, no interruptions, and all the books I could ever hope to read?

TWO Happy Dances!!

wicked
Click the cover to purchase!

The amazing Jillian Klein Der Lowe just shot me an e-mail letting me know that her book, Wicked, just hit the #3 spot in her genre on Amazon!!

applause
Icon courtesy of
http://unf.edu
Thank you!

Click the cover to grab the book from Amazon FOR FREE!!!! Then, of course, after you have read it, I am sure Jillian would love a review. (Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge!)  My review is here in case you want to refresh or haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet.

Congratulations, Jillian!!

Now, for even MORE good news, we turn to another wonderful author, J. C. Mells, author of the Pierced series.

J. C. is happy to announce that her next book in the series, Pinked is nearing the end of editing, and will be out soon! Pinked continues the adventures of Pierce and Mia, a fascinating pair, with a story that is one of the most interesting I have read in recent memory.  Watch for the review here, and for publication at Amazon soon. Until then, you really MUST pick up your own copy of Pierced! Click on the book cover to order. My review is hereIt is only 99c right now, and J. C. is sure to be a wonderful addition to your ‘must-buy-as-soon-as-published’  author list!

Also, be sure to pick up a copy of Escaped, volume 1.5 of the Pierced series! It is also only 99c for a short time at Amazon.

Congratulations, J. C.!

Shrieking and Jumping up and down! J. C. just sent along the cover for PINKED!!!

Drool worthy, huh?  Click on the cover to see the video trailer!PINKED BC3

J. C. just sent me the cover!
Click on it for the YouTube Video
for the upcoming book!
Squeeee!!!!
pierced
For now, Pierced is only 99c at Amazon.
Click cover to order!
escaped
Click to purchase from Amazon!
Only 99c for a short time.
You KNOW you won’t be able to live without it
after reading Pierced!

Review: Entangled-An Anthology to Benefit Breast Cancer Research

Entangled: An Anthology To Benefit
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Sometimes it amazes me.

entangled
Your purchase helps fund Breast Cancer Research.
Please click the cover to purchase!!!!!

With all that is bad with this world, that some people can be so generous, giving and kind. That is what happened here, as this wonderful group of authors gave generously of their time to write this group of amazing shorts, especially to benefit the Beast Cancer Research Foundation.

As a survivor myself of advanced Stage III breast cancer, I cannot tell you what a great help the Foundation was to me, and to others like me. My heartfelt thanks to all these women who gave a part of their hearts in these stories!

Proceeds from this wonderful paranormal, contemporary anthology, Entangled, are being donated to the Foundation in full. Please, purchase a copy. It costs less than a cup of Starbucks Latte, and these stories will nourish your soul. Thank you!

Halloween Frost
A Mythos Academy short story
Jennifer Estep
www.jenniferestep.com

Gypsy girl Gwen Frost has the gift of psychometry – the ability to collect images from things she touches. Pretty cool, if a little nosy at times. Hey, she is a teenager, what should we expect?

In this short story, Gwen and her friend Daphne, a Valkyrie, are primping out for Halloween when we first meet them. Well, at least Daphne is. Gwen? Well, not so much.

I haven’t read any of Gwen’s young adult tales previously, though I have heard nothing but good from authors I know and admire. Set at Mythos Academy, the stories revolve around a teenage girl and her friends, learning magic, how to fight and how to serve their ancient Warrior Ancestors. Having not read Jennnifer’s work before I would say that the overall feel is very ‘Percy Jackson’ though, from this short reading, I would say that should I read the first of the series, First Frost I believe I would like Gwen and her friends quite a bit more than I liked Percy.  One thing that does bother me about the story? Gwen apparently keeps getting her ashes pulled out of the fire by a “Big Strong Drool Worthy Spartan” – bummer. Girls rock, let’s see her Kick some butt, not get hers saved!!!! On top of that, Why is it the BOY teenage wizard characters get all the attention in the media?! No fair. I liked Gwen’s personality better than Harry’s too – shh… don’t tell anyone, I don’t want to be lynched! LOL

Cute story that gives you enough of a taste of the mythology and background to capture your interest and place Gwen and friends on your reading list if it isn’t already there.

Note: Jennifer Estep’s grandmother is a breast cancer survivor and this story was written to honor her strength and spirit, as well as that of other survivors.

The Fat Cat
Edie Ramer

http://www.edieramer.com

Another writer I haven’t previously read, Edie Ramer’s story, The Fat Cat was a perfect introduction to her writing. Funny, quirky and highly readable, Edie’s story is a happily-ever-after fairey tale with a healthy dollop of excitement to round it out.

Nikki just lost her loser boyfriend (thank goodness) and has decided that the perfect companion is no longer a man, but a cat. A young, healthy, female cat. After the loser boyfriend, she fully intends for her apartment to be a ‘penis-free’ zone! What she gets and where it goes from there is a fun romp of a tale with a surprise twist of an ending that left me uplifted and laughing. I believe it will leave you similarly touched.

Note: Edie is herself a breast cancer survivor. Though fairly young and doing all the right things for her health, Edie’s story is like many others who suffer this horrible disease. It strikes out of nowhere, destroying lives, families and souls.

Medium Rare
Nancy Haddock
http://www.nancyhaddock.com/

I have had the satisfaction of visiting with Nancy Haddock on Good Reads, and it has been a great pleasure. She is the person who originally introduced me to Entangled: A Paranormal Anthology when we talked about my own breast cancer, books, genres, writing and other ideas. She is a lovely person, inside and out.

Colleen Cotton worked her fanny off to get her degree and start her psychotherapy practice. However, finding clients was harder than she thought. Well, until she discovered a knack for ghosts. And then? Everything changed. Now, if it goes bump in the night (or the day, for that matter) Colleen can interact with it. And usually sooth it. Trouble is, once the ghost is gone, the client no longer needs her. Bummer.

In this short by Nancy, the ghosts are restless – not on behalf of others, as in a haunting, but rather on behalf of themselves. If the ghosts themselves are frightened, there must be something particularly nasty on the wind. And someone particularly handsome, and particularly slanderously rude stuck in her living room wing-back.

Now, besides the ghosts themselves having the heebie-jeebies, the legend of St. Augustine (a breast cancer and lymphoma survivor herself) has more trouble with her House Ghost Zavier who is spazing out in a most irritating manner. What is happening is a fascinating story, and brought me a great deal of pleasure. Mostly because Colleen is so likeable and her Da is a hoot. Will without a doubt add Nancy’s work to my read-list!

Note: Nancy lost her beloved grandmother to the ravages of breast cancer, as did far too many of her friends and family members. She begs that all women, young and old, do breast self-exams and have yearly mammograms, as well as living a healthy lifestyle.

Sweet Demon
Misty Evans

www.readmistyevans.com

What a cool thing to be – a Vengeance Demon! That is what Kali Sweet is, and her main goal in her existence is to protect humans. Oh, she can protect us from our own dumbass selves, but she can certainly try to save them from supernaturals. And working for the Bridge Council, the supernatural version of the Justice Department, lets her do just that.

Another author I hadn’t found before – how cool is that? This is the great thing about anthologies – you get to find all these wonderful authors you didn’t know about before you found their story amongst other little gems. And this one sparkled!

I adore it when stories and characters have a sense of humour, and Misty doesn’t disappoint. However, she weaves a deep layer of darkness through this story and has addicted me to her character. She will definitely be on my to-read list!

Note:  Misty managed a breast and cervical cancer-screening program for uninsured women. She also lost an aunt to breast cancer, and recently had a friend go through a double mastectomy.

Sian’s Solution
Dale Mayer

http://www.dalemayer.com.

Vampires and humans are living in a fragile balance in this young adult short story by Dale Mayer, another author I was unfamiliar with. Geeze! You would think I never read! Sian is a vampire whom you first meet as she works desperately to free her lover, Taz, a human, from the clutches of a “Blood Farm” the humans know nothing about. A farm where humans are hung, like sides of meat, and kept for their blood. Her determination to save Taz, and her strength, endeared her to me.

Sian and Taz are minor characters in Dale’s Vampire in Denial series. If they are indicative of Dale’s characters, I look forward to finding time to read more of her work.

Note: Dale’s aunt and two friends are breast cancer survivors.

A Bit of Bite
Cynthia Eden

http://www.cynthiaeden.com

Crossroads, Mississippi. The home and stomping grounds of Sheriff Ava Dushaine, but not exactly the first place you would think of for paranormal activities to be the norm. Werewolves and vampires, oh what a set of critters to try to enforce law and order upon. Oy. Especially when it’s been only ten-years since the ‘coming out’ party for the goolies and goblies and things that go bump in the night. And the dead bodies that are currently showing up in Ava’s county. But who is to blame? The wolves? The vampires? Or something even more deadly?

Note: Cynthia speaks of friends who have struggled with breast cancer. Thank you, Cynthia, for your contribution to this anthology!

Sinfully Sweet
Michelle Miles

http://michellemiles.net/

I love scones. My favorite is dark chocolate chunks with dried cranberry and walnuts. Yummers, yummers!! So, of course, with the first page of Michelle’s story including scones and cupcakes and tarts, (oh, my!) I was happy to settle in for this story.

Chloe O’Shea is a baker with a secret. She is a witch on the run, running from her previous coven. A coven filled with secrets. Secrets, and murder. Hiding in plain site amongst the humans as a baker and owner of Sugar Mamma’s Bakery, Chloe has been enjoying her new life. Well, until a sexy hunka-hunka burning man invades her bakery. And suddenly, Sugar Mamma’s is under siege, and Chloe’s new life is blown all to hell.

Note: Michelle has donated her story to this anthology to honour all those who have suffered from not only breast cancer, but cancer of all types.

A Night of Forever
Lori Brighton

http://www.loribrighton.com/

Who was Aidan Callaghan? A seemingly simple question. With a rather complex answer . . .

I have to admit, I am not a fan of, what do you call it? Regency romance, I believe? This story is set in 1859 England, so whatever that means is what I mean! Surprisingly, however, I found this piece quite entertaining and pleasant. My feeling on these pieces is based on a despite for a society that saw and treated women as belongings. Women of the period were often little more than pretty baubles, with no power and no recourse from brutality or ill usage. I suppose that is why I have never cared for these period pieces – women as toys, easily left behind as broken bits, crushed under the male heel. This is a fate Mary Ellen is terrified of, and with good reason. Her background is one of crushing poverty, and she has no intention of returning there. When she meets Aidan, she sees only that falling for him could put her right back into that place, and it terrifies her. But Aiden is so utterly fascinating, so intriguing; she can’t help but wonder what his story might be. And his story is one she could never have imagined.

This is another lovely addition to the anthology. I may not read others of her works, but I found this quite pleasant overall. Should you be a lover of period pieces, this is highly recommended. Or even if you, as I, are not a lover of same, you may still find it as enjoyable as did I.

Note:  Lori lost not only an aunt, but also a grandmother and a grandfather to cancer. This story was contributed to honour their memories, and to provide hope for those who still suffer.

Feel The Magic
Liz Kreger

http://www.lizkreger.com

Liz’s story is one I truly got a kick out of. Jenna is a Practitioner (a fancy title for a recognized witch) who has a big job to do. A weird, quirky job, but an important one, not only to her but to all Practitioners. Did I mention the weird part? Politics, backstabbing and nasty people, oh, my! A cat, a witch and a pimp walk into a bar . . .

This is a lovely little story, unusual and quirky, funny and well worth the read.

Note:  Liz is a 15-year survivor!

Breaking Out
Michelle Diener

http://www.michellediener.com

Guess what, Michelle? You did a kickin’ job with your very first Contemporary/ Paranormal short! A self-avowed historical fiction writer, Michelle has written a terrific short story full of action, close calls, and a heartrending take on military horrors. Each time I think the last story was the best I read in this anthology, each author seems to kick things up a notch, in a very good way.

Kelli has been imprisoned and tortured for three years, her small gift of telekinesis pushed beyond all limits, while ‘Dr. Greenway’ and the sadistic orderlies torture and abuse her and her gifts, twisting her mind and body. She is nearly beyond all hope, when a fluke occurs, and Kelli has a chance. What happens next is by turns exciting, heart wrenching, and disappointing – disappointing because I would happily buy a book based upon this short story and I am not sure that there are any plans for one!

Note: Michelle’s grandfather, mother-in-law and aunt died of cancer, and she states that any small part she can play in helping to find a cure for this disease is something she is proud to do.

Ghostly Justice (A Seven Deadly Sins Novella)
Allison Brennan

www.sevendeadlysinsbooks.com

Detective Grant Nelson has had a bad month. A. Very. Bad. Month. Demons, black witches, supernatural war. And he had to cover it up. Besides the fact that his girlfriend was massacred in the mess. Now, he has another job to do, and some people he truly doesn’t like are the only ones who will be able to help him; that is, if anyone can help him at all. Did I mention that Detective Nelson has had a bad month?

This novella is partway through Allison’s Seven Deadly Sins series. Though it doesn’t fit ‘exactly’ into the concept of returning the Seven Deadly Sins Demons to Hell, it still does an excellent job of giving you a wonderful feel of the story behind the story, and introduces you to Moira and Rafe, kick-butt demon hunters, as they return a favour for the wounded Detective Nelson. The story is fast paced and truly interesting, with a solid story line and great character development. I had read the first of Allison’s series quite some time ago, but never got time to read the rest. After reading this novella? I believe my TBR list (which is groaning under the weight) may have to have a new addition.

Note: As Allison puts it; we all know someone, and sometimes more than one someone, who has been stricken by breast cancer. Thanks to Allsion, and all the other incredible authors who donated stories to this anthology, funding is just that much closer to helping find a cure.

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