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Trafficking in Demons: Book Seven of ‘Fantasy & Forensics’ (Fantasy & Forensics 7)

“I’ve smelled some truly terrible things in my time. It came with the job. In fact, the patent was still pending on my very own Chrissie Scale of Stinkiness . . . I wasn’t going to be using a body bag. It looked like I’d need a wet-vac for this job.”  Dayna Chrissie, Trafficking in Demons: Book Seven of ‘Fantasy & Forensics’ (Fantasy & Forensics 7)

Not by the forces of civil war can you govern the very weakest woman. You can kill that woman, but she escapes you then; you cannot govern her. No power on earth can govern a human being, however feeble, who withholds his or her consent. – Emmeline Pankhurst

Poor Dayna. As if it weren’t bad enough wading into all the ‘normal’ carnage of being a Crime Scene Tech in gritty Los Angeles, cleaning up all the Andeluvian spillover sometimes causes some really messy messes. And Trafficking is boiling – not only in LA but in the world of Andeluvia as well. As has been so well put before, She’s the LAPD’s best corpse-kicker. And the world of Andeluvia’s as well these days.

C.S. Lewis does indeed continue to meet CSI in Michael’s newest addition to the absolute incredible Fantasy & Forensics series. And the tension continues to ramp up, both in our world and the other.

If you are a poor suffering reader who hasn’t found this series yet – well, let’s just say you are missing something special! The series began back in Centaur of the Crime (and hey! It’s FREE on Kindle unlimited right now! As is The Deer Prince’s Murder!)  What are you waiting for??? 

(Clearing throat.) So, back to your regularly scheduled review…

The tensions of the previous books have built to what, in this addition to this incredible series, could very well be an explosion of epic proportions on both our world and on Andeluvia. The carryover of technology to a Middle Ages world is bad enough – but magic in our world? Let’s just say that the blowback could be devastating for both worlds.

Of course, not everything is horrible and scary. Dayna began the series feeling as if everyone hated her and she only had herself to rely upon. And let’s not fool ourselves, lots of people did. And still do. But as the series has developed, so has Dayna. She has grown, realizing that she no longer has to rely solely on herself. And what is not to love about a group of close friends that include a Centaur Wizard, a Griffin Warrior and a gentle Fayleene Prince? And the addition of Skallgrym Serikkaylen of the House of Friesain (Better known as ‘Rikka’) in Assault in the Wizard Degree, the previous book in the series, gives another much needed feminine (yet strong!) presence to the series. Which is hysterical in this case, because Rikka’s warrior status in the centaur realm is a huge contrast to Dayna’s most recent requirement placed upon her by King Fitzwilliam. Let’s just say it requires miles of pink fabric (PINK!) and some highly embarrassing pomp and ceremony!

Well, even with war on the horizon, politics and catering to the expectations of the masses must continue…

If you haven’t read the series, you ‘can’ pick up here, but I highly recommend starting from the first. This blend of humor, fantasy, politics, and plain ol’ excellent writing is well worth the investment of your precious reading time!!!!!

(And aren’t the covers Great?)

 

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Never Mind the Princess! Save the Dragon! A Michael Angel Short Story

21314850By now you are surely familiar with Michael Angel’s Fantasy and Forensics series that I am so enamored of. But did you know Michael is quite the comedian as well?

Never Mind the Princess, Save the Dragon! is a comedic fairy tale just right for when you want a giggle and have a few minutes to spare. Only 64 pages, there is no sex, little violence, but a great deal of snorting laughter!

I don’t want to give a lot away, but picture this. A Polish Knight. A spoiled little girl slash young woman. Add in a greedy king and a sweet little dragon, and what you get is a hoot. Grab it for $.99, or get it free on Kindle Unlimited, but Sir Maximilian Maselniczka is well worth the read!

Enjoy!

 

Forgery of the Phoenix is Here! Fantasy and Forensics, Book Five

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“The handwriting on the wall may be a forgery.” –  Ralph Hodgson

“Sometimes you trust someone who turns out not to be honest. There are a lot of things that happen in life that don’t turn out the way you’re given the impression that they will. And I think that’s all kind of a con. But I think we’ve probably all been hurt.” – Sigourney Weaver

Poor Dayna! Isn’t it enough that she has saved the land of Andeluvia over and over, and never gotten even a “Thank you” for her efforts? I mean, come ON guys! You beat a demon, save a couple of races, and keep warning the whole planet that a war, fought long ago, is heating up once more . . . and all she gets is laughed at!? Wow. Talk about disrespectful!

The Royal Court doesn’t listen. Life back home on Earth is going sideways faster than she can say “Great big gobs of greasy, grimy Griffin Poo!” What is a girl to do??? Oh, and don’t even get me started on the King! Not only does he only intermittently have Dayna’s back. Ohhh no! Since Dayna was given the rather dubious title of “Dame Chrissie” the costs for renovating her tower are going up. Who was to know that, when she turned down tenant farmers and lands, not wanting to be responsible for all that, she was also turning down the income that comes with it? And the King? Well, well well. Being the “Kingly” sort, in the “I’m broke and have to pay all these people, so I am going to stick it to Dame Chrissie” (Really. You honestly didn’t notice that certain parties were draining your treasury?! Sigh.) way, Dayna has been awarded the “Great Honor” of becoming the one and only member of the Order of the Weasel. Whaaa?!?!

Yep, the Order of the Weasel. Or, better known as The Order of the Welchers. Who happened to leave behind nearly a quarter million in debt. Which, of course, Dame Chrissie is expected to pay.

You gotta be kidding me!

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the Phoenix who pops out of the fireplace during a meeting of the Royal Court is determined that Dame Chrissie shall save his whole species from extinction!

Can a girl not get a freakin’ Break?

Join Dayna and her friends, Grimshaw the Griffin, the Fayleene Protector of the Forest, and Galen the Centaur Wizard on their newest adventure, as they fight off the depredations of evil (If they can figure out what the “evil” is), and take on another wonderful, magical adventure!

If you like your fantasy with fun, you will LOVE Michael’s writing, especially the Fantasy and Forensics series, of which Forgery of the Phoenix is the fifth! And don’t forget to check out all the other books in the series. They are best read in order 😉 Enjoy!!!

Click here for the Series on Goodreads!

Click here for Michael Angel’s Website!!!

I work with Michael on his books. All thoughts are my own.

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Review: Beneath The Blood Moon by R.J. Blain

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“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” -Buddha

The chaining of Fenrir cost the god Tyr his right hand” – Völuspá,  translated to English in The Poetic Edda,  Henry Adams Bellows, 1923

 Free On Kindle!

Sara Watson thought her life was bad enough as it was. Working as a stripper and part time Vegas showgirl, she tries to hold down four part time jobs, go to college, and still pay the rent and eat. They say Vegas is a hard place to live, and she knows all about that. But even the hell of her life is better than the hell she ran from in New York. A father that beat and controlled her, a life with no meaning. At least now, if she can get through school, she can start a real life on her own – fake ID or no fake ID.

Yes, life was hard. But nothing as hard as being kidnapped along with her best “friend” (though the idea of friend is Las Vegas equates to ‘what can I get out of you for doing you the favor of being your friend) and dragged out to the desert by her ex ‘I’m-a-cheating-POS’ boyfriend who has tracked her down to Las Vegas to bring her back. Or kill her. Whichever works.

Telling him to get stuffed, taking her beating and broken ribs, then crawling out into the desert to die on her own and free is gutsy enough. I gained a ton of respect for her at this point, though I already respected her for keeping her moral compass (unlike her crappy friend) and going against said ‘friend’ and not going full-on prostitute made me respect her. Yep. She is one tough cookie, with more internal fortitude than any man her age I have ever known. But after the ex and the girlfriend finish doing the nasty and track her down as she crawls across the desert, then turn into wolves and begin eating her alive (literally), even weirder things happen. And suddenly, Sara’s life is more hell than she could have ever imagined.

Let’s get serious here. First, I really, REALLY wanted to give this book five stars with a bullet. Sara is tough and strong, yes. But she isn’t unbelievable, and she has a heart of gold and a strong sense of right and wrong – and did I mention the heart of gold? Then she meets four other women who are an absolute joy. Tough, take no prisoners women with a fetish for guns, not taking any crap off of anyone, and their husbands (pretty much in that order). There is romance, but no sex scenes, which was completely refreshing (if you are an erotica-only lover, skip this one). The story is fast, suspenseful, sometimes terrifying, and kept me totally immersed in the story. The characters are wonderful, the world building is unusual (living in the world as we know it, but with their own governance, etc.) Some of the scenes literally brought me to tears. That’s the good.

The bad came after I had a chance to come down off my ‘reader-high’ and start thinking about what I would write in my review, and realized I couldn’t give it a five at all. The story is complex, and kept my attention throughout, but there were some issues that a really good content editor could have solved. Ms. Blain has a brilliant mind for writing paranormal suspense, but she isn’t organized. She has a few different threads moving through the book, which is fine, I really enjoy books that are more than one-note songs, but she literally dropped the ball about midway through, dropping one of the more interesting story lines and never going back to it. No wrap, just dropped. Poor form. The book is quite long, 564 pages, and I was never bored or wanting to skip pages as I do with some longer books, and her descriptive narrative and conversational style was enjoyable, but dropping the story line, which I was invested in, shows a lack of organization. Editing for word usage, spelling, and dropped words was OK, but not good. Someone put effort into beta reading for that sort of thing, but the continuity is what killed it.

Overall, I will still recommend the book. The story and pace kept me up all night long (literally, yawn) and then the minute I rose I went right back to it and stayed with it to the end. Give this woman a good content editor, or just a whiteboard to write down all of her threads to make sure she ties them all up at the end and a couple of really good beta readers and she will be a force to be reckoned with in the world of Paranormal Suspense. Recommended, but could be better.

 

Review: Owl and the City of Angels by Kristi Charish #Fantasy #SupernaturalArcheology

Owl and the City of Angels  (Adventures of Owl, #2)“Many people out there don’t have a choice in choosing their friends and the people they’re being manipulated by. Thank God, I have that choice. I can use my judgment and choose.” — Javier Bardem

“When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than lies. Because you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” — Michael Ende

Owl just can’t catch a break. She should have learned, from her run-ins with all that is supernatural in Owl and the Japanese Circus that, the more she learns about the supernatural, the more there is to learn. And the more she would regret breaking her one rule. It was so simple, really. Don’t mess with the supernatural. Well, that’s all blown to hell and back. And hell is exactly where she might end up this time. She had to go and open up that sarcophagus, hence pissing off the vampires. Bloody cockroaches. Then she had to get on the wrong side of a Naga and a dragon. Oh, and if that isn’t enough? Now it is curses and mummies. You just had to touch it, didn’t you? Just had to unwrap it and touch it. Sigh.

I said about Owl in my last review, “Owl is a damaged character. Her default reaction to, well, everything is to break and run for the hills. Sure, it can save your backside to run away. But sometimes, you are just running further into the fire. And sometimes, the people you believe you know are not the people you thought they were at all. For good, or for bad. And Owl needs to learn the difference, quickly, if she wants to live, and to grow into something more than a child in a grownup world. Owl definitely needs to grow as a person, and as a character.” And I have to say, she definitely does show personal and professional growth in “Owl and the City of Angels.” Oh, that isn’t to say she doesn’t still make dumb choices – she does. Hence the whole “mummies and curses” thing. But she is growing.

“Come to think of it, I’m amazed how much I’ve grown over the past few months. I’m becoming an interesting person. Not well adjusted, but someone who occasionally sees through the messes they create.”

Of course, Owl being Owl, she winds up in shit storms of monstrous proportions, but that is to be expected. And vacillates between funny – and just plain causing me to plant a face-palm.

“You are correct in your assessment of the City of the Dead. Keep in mind that even we supernaturals sometimes lose places for a reason.”

The story itself is as good as Japanese Circus. There is as much going on in this book, if not more, and as the cast of characters expands Owl begins to learn more about the supernatural, and more about herself as well. Old characters come back, both good and bad, and Owl becomes a pawn once more in the political power struggles of both the supernatural and of the IAA. Layers are peeled back, only to reveal more layers of rot and lies underneath. As always, this is an adventure heavy, Indiana Jane sort of tale, and Owl impresses me more and more with both her capability, her savvy, and her ability to piss everyone around her off in new and inventive ways. And the authors interest in, and knowledge of, archaeology really adds depth and dimension to the story. I am, of course, a geek at heart, and I found all sorts of things to highlight and look up later.Owl and the Japanese Circus (Adventures of Owl, #1)

I can’t recommend this series highly enough for readers who like strong women characters who are still learning about themselves and about how to manage their pain and grow. Some wrongs are righted in this volume, though some even more horrible wrongs occur – one particular one which ripped my insides out. Captain, Owl’s Egyptian Mau partner is still a strong part of the story – who can’t love a cat who was bred specifically to attack and poison vampires with his teeth and claws? Awesome! The only bad part? I have to WAIT for the next volume! And from the epilogue? Oh, yeah. The waiting is gonna be very, very hard. Everyone wants to use Owl for their own plots and plans . . . and here is hoping that at least a couple of those people get exactly what is coming to them!!

I received Owl and the City of Angels from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. Kristi Charish has assured her place on my Auto-Read list. Very highly recommended!

About the Author

Kristi CharishKristi is the author of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Jan 13th, 2015, Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), an urban fantasy about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. She’s also a co-host for the Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing Podcast.

The second installment in the Owl series, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Oct 5th 2015. Her second urban fantasy series, KINCAID STRANGE (Random House Canada), about a voodoo practitioner living in Seattle, is scheduled for release mid 2016.

Kristi is also a scientist with a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.

FB: http://www.facebook.com/KristiCharish…
AISFP Podcast: http://www.adventuresinscifipublishin…

Review: The Library At Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char“Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don’t always like.” – ― Lemony Snicket

“There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it.” – ― Judith McNaught, Remember When

Ms. McNaught has it right. Sometimes, you just have to go for it and hope it works. And Scott Hawkins certainly reaches for the stars in The Library at Mount Char. Fantasy, mythology, horror, history, and a crud ton of weird. You can certainly call this book “unique”. And normally ‘unique’ is something I can get into. With this one, however . . . I don’t know. It just didn’t crawl into my mind and make itself at home. Perhaps because the fact that the book opens with a “blood-drenched and barefoot” Carolyn “walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 79.” Segueing from blood to guacamole, an obsidian knife used to murder a detective for no reason that appears any time soon threw me out of being able to settle into the book. Or maybe, honestly, I am simply not the audience for the book – that could certainly be the case. All of the librarians are weirdness incarnate – from Margaret, who you meet as she sprints out from the shadowy shelves of the library, shrieking and blind with terror, only to be pulled back into the stacks by “Father”, flowing tears streaked with blood, urine running warm down her legs, to David, whose catalog is murder and war. Twelve lost, abused children, forced into viciousness almost beyond bearing.

Demigods, talking lions and barbarism, oh my. The book has lots of very well-written, very positive reviews, and looking at it from a strictly technical standpoint, I can see why. This is some very unique storytelling. It just didn’t grab me. If you like writers more toward the horror side, well, you would probably love this. Sometimes I like horror, sometimes not – this one, not so much.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. The review is, of course, based upon my personal tastes. What I didn’t care for could be exactly what you are looking for in a book!

If you like my reviews, I would greatly appreciate it if you would see fit to click “I liked this review” or the equivalent on Amazon, or other book buying sites!

The Prince’s Man Is On StoryFinds Today!

THE PRINCE’S MAN

The Five Kingdoms Book 1

 Best Price $3.99 on Nook & iBookstore

Award winning novel, THE PRINCE’S MAN, has been described as ‘James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’ – a sweeping tale of spies and deadly politics, inter-species mistrust and magic phobia, with an underlying thread of romance.

Rustam Chalice, hedonist, dance tutor, gigolo and spy, loves his life just the way it is, so when the kingdom he serves is threatened from within, he leaps into action. Only trouble is, the spy master, Prince Hal, teams him up with an untouchable aristocratic assassin who despises him.

And to make matters worse, she’s the most beautiful woman in the Five Kingdoms.

Plunged into a desperate journey over the mountains, the mismatched pair struggle to survive deadly wildlife, the machinations of a spiteful god – and each other.

They must also keep alive a sickly elf they need as a political pawn. But when the elf reveals that Rustam has magic of his own, he is forced to question his identity, his sanity and worst, his loyalty to his prince.

For in Tyr-en, all magic users are put to death.

“The conflict Ms Jay uses between these characters are so vivid; it’s an amazing world she created, that reminded me a bit of Lord of the Rings/The Game of Thrones. ” – Adrienne Woods Books and Reviews


About Deborah Jay:

Deborah Jay writes fantasy and urban fantasy featuring complex, quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find the time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many horses, and her complete inability to cook.

She has a dream of a day job riding, training and judging competition dressage horses and riders, and also writes books and magazine features on the subject under her professional name of Debby Lush.

A lifelong fan of science fiction and…

Read More

 

A Short Review For A Rather Disappointing Anthology

22609311The title, “The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year” stands to reason. These are some of the best stories in both genres. For me, anthologies are the BEST. They give me not only the chance to enjoy works by familiar and well loved authors, but also to meet new authors whom I may come to love.

From magical realism to the just plain weird, this collection of stories is quite good.

The reason for the three stars? I would love to see more depth to Strahan’s stable. Many of these authors seem to show up every year. Also, why is there so much Horror?? This is supposed to be about SciFi and Fantasy – the horror stories seem much more fitting for a horror anthology.

Overall, the stories are good – but the overabundance of horror turned me off.
disappointed
I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

There Are SO Many Collections Out There!

Have you noticed how many book collections there are out there these days? Multiple authors get together and donate a story to a Limited Edition Book Bundle based upon a theme. I have several of these, and have found new authors to love in nearly every one, as well as new stories by authors I already know. Since today is the start of a new week, I thought I would toss some of the bundles out there for you. Some stories you will like in a collection, some you may not, but for the price, these are GREAT bargains! They range from .99 to FREEE! They are in no particular order, just as I come across them on my tablet. There are a lot of bundles out there – search Amazon for “Book Bundles for Kindle” or “Free Book Bundles for Kindle”. You can also search “Collections” and then search by genre. I am sure there are other ways to search, such as on Goodreads (“anthologies, collections” gained me 267 results while “series collections garnered 1904 results! Awesome… I am going to be hitting that list hard!).

23702709A Very Paranormal Holiday

.99 Cents!

There’s something supernatural lurking under the mistletoe this year. Get ready for a twist on the holiday season with paranormal tales from six fantasy authors (both Mark Henwick and J.C. Mells, two of my favorite authors, have stories here!)

Killer Confections: 8 Delectable Culinary 25045580Cozy Mystery Novels

.99 Cents!

A dash of murder, a dollop of intrigue, a little sugar, and plenty of spice create a tasty buffet served up by bestselling and award-winning mystery authors, Denise Dietz, Leighann Dobbs, Pamela DuMond, Harper Lin, Tamar Myers, Joanne Pence, Cindy Sample, and Connie Shelton. This culinary mystery bundle mixes lethal lunches, deadly dinners, poisonous pastries, and criminal cocktails into a scrumptious fare that you don’t want to miss. (And, of course, recipes included.)

 

The Dragon Writers Collection: A Fantasy and Science Fiction 23262719Bundle with Dragons and Elves, Wizards and Magic

Free!

Do you love to read about elves, dwarves, and dragons? Do you find the lure of magic mystery too enticing to resist? Do you crave stories of monstrous orcs and trolls vanquished by brave heroes?
Looking for fantasy with powerful female heroes, or villains? Beware of both!

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Ultimate Undead Collection: The Zombie Apocalypse Best Sellers Boxed Set (10 Books)

.99 Cents for 10 books!

! Pump up your adrenaline with 10 heart-pounding tales from today’s top apocalyptic authors.

THE PARANORMAL THIRTEEN23387007

FREE!

Actually, 14 full length paranormal and urban fantasy novels featuring witches, vampires, werewolves, mermaids, psychics, Loki, time travel and more! 1.3 MILLION words! 3,500 PAGES!

 

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Stars & Empire: 10 Galactic Tales (Stars & Empire Box Set Collection)

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AND!

Stars & Empire 2: 10 More Galactic Tales (Stars & Empire Box Set Collection)

Two collections, .99 Cents EACH!

 

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A Crime Collection – 5 Heart-Pumping Mystery Thrillers Boxed Set

Free!

Five first-in-a-series mystery novels by up-and-coming authors Betta Ferrendelli, R.S. Guthrie, Simon Jenner, Emily Kimelman and Renée Pawlish.

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Shifters After Dark

.99 Cents
SM Reine – OF WINGS AND WOLVES (Review here)
Dannika Dark – SEVEN YEARS
Marie Hall – HOOD’S OBSESSION
Melissa F. Olson – BLOODSICK
Kate Danley – THE DARK OF TWILIGHT
Phoenix Sullivan – HEARTSONG

22500632The Old Kingdom Collection: Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen, Clariel

OK, so these are $34.99. I have read each of these, and they are Wonderful!!!! Garth Nix is a storytelling God…..

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