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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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A Perjury of Owls – The Next Fantasy and Forensic Is OUT!

perjury“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”  ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

A Perjury of Owls

Dayna Chrissie’s life has changed, drastically, since she was first yanked, very much against her will, into  Andeluvia. There has been death and loss, friends made – and enemies as well. She has fought griffins and demons, dragons, and even magical deer (yes, magical Deer… and a psycho one at that!) She has been through Hell and back for her friends and the land of Andeluvia, even when those she protects demean and try to destroy her.

“Nothing could be more heart rending than this mute and motionless dispair” ― Émile Zola, Thérèse Raquin

Dayna Chrissie is a Crime Scene Analyst for the LAPD, but these days she only works there third-time while she spends the great majority of her time in Andeluvia. But Andeluvia hasn’t been all that friendly to her. The nobles consider her an interloper, and as much as the King wants to hire her as his court Forensics Examiner he isn’t willing to go against the nobles to force her into place. So, what is a King to do but dub Dayna Chrissie “Dame” Chrissie? But being a Dame has its own perils indeed. And unless the Owls release their death grip on the Andeluvian treasury, her Damehood may not last more than a few days before the whole of the country descends into anarchy and murder.

Ah, but there is more going on. The Darkness is growing, feeding. The Griffins have lost the majority of their aerie. The Fayleene have been forced from their devastated home, and though the Centaur community is standing stable? The Owls, ah the Owls. Dayna’s friend Albess Thea is missing, and Raisah of the Noctua, a feared warrior sect of owls, has taken her place. And Raisah certainly does not the the welfare of Andeluvia, or even of the Parliament, at heart.

Sirrahon the Stone Dragon, ancient, cruel and released from his three-thousand year prison has disappeared, and no one knows where he might be. There are dark things moving, and in the Shadows the outline of a man lurks.  The demons are moving in the dark, and though everyone has seen what is happening, all are hiding their heads. All but Dayna and her intrepid crew, Grimshaw the Griffin, Liam the Fayleene Prince and Galen the Wizard who have been with Dayna through thick and thin, through war and death, but also through hope and understanding.

Michael’s Fantasy and Forensics remains one of my favorite fantasy series of all time. Alternately funny and touching, painful and heartwarming, if you haven’t started it yet, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to do so. Andeluvia and its inhabitants will be sure to pull at your heart, your mind, and your soul. Enjoy!

I work with Michael on his stories, so I should say here that I received this book for free but all of my thoughts are my own.

 

What’s That? Michael Angel’s Newest Is Almost OUT!!!! AWESOME!!!

I am dancing all around my office today, because I am almost done with Michael Angel’s newest book in his Fantasy and Forensics series!

Grand Theft Griffin!

No cover yet, (COVER!!!!)

Grand Theft Griffin eBook Cover

 

In case you haven’t read the first two in the series yet (And WHY Not?!?!) here is the skinny:

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Dayna Chrissie is the lead Crime Scene Analyst for the LAPD, and from the perspective of a former crime scene analyst, I found myself breaking out in laughter at just how apt our first introduction to Dayna is. Michael Angel really “gets it.” CSI may be “sexy” to the television watching public – but it really isn’t sexy in real life!

As Dayna arrives at the crime scene where we first meet her, she cracked me up right away. First, we have the idiotic politico, Deputy Chief McClatchy, whose response to the murder in question is to send beat cops swarming all over the crime scene, stomping any possible evidence into the ground, and telling the “scene techies” to “Hurry up, we’ve got real work to do,” is spot on, and her response to him, which has him running for a puke bucket, is hysterical. Then there is her description of her crime scene wear; ‘the overall which assures that her hips stay slim and the cottage cheese stays off her thighs,’ because, damn those things are hot, and her “Stompy Gothic Boots of Doom” (They wouldn’t win any awards on the fashion runway. But they would keep corpse juices out of my socks.) Angel caught my attention right away. If you can make me laugh and identify with the main character that quickly, you have my attention. And Angel never lost it.

This particular scene is an odd case, to say the least. Peculiar clothing is only the start. Besides bullet wounds, there is a huge, charcoaled hole in the middle of his chest and Dayna has no idea how it was caused. Add that to “python-like” patterning all over his face and upper body, well, he is a puzzle wrapped inside a riddle, forensics wise.

Oh, but this isn’t the oddest thing. Oh, no. For Dayna finds an odd gold coin inside the body – a gold coin that transports her to another world. Oh, and what a world! I was tempted to say that Centaur of the Crime could be described as Alice in Wonderland Meets CSI but that is doing Dayna a disservice. She is a strong, competent, take-no-crap woman (hey – if you are a woman in a police position, you have to be all those things – just breathing the testosterone in air can cause unwarranted beard growth!) But she is also kind, understanding and very, very intelligent. A balanced character that I couldn’t help but admire.

Pulled into another world to solve the murder of a king, Dayna takes the transition well. She doesn’t go hysterical and flighty when she realizes she is surrounded by centaurs and “The Parliament” (wait till you meet these creatures – they are wonderfully written) and tasked with an investigation that no one here thinks can be done. Especially not by a woman from another world.

I loved this book. The fantasy aspects, the world building, as well as the creative development of the species and their various aspects. I have read what I would call “modern-day day fairy tales” before, and this one is at the top of my list of favorites. Enough so that I am dying to see the second volume, The Deer Prince’s Murder, come out on Audible. I am also adding some of his other works, especially The Detective and the Unicorn, to my Audible library.

The Deer Prince’s Murder

‘Hello, nice to meet you, you certainly look delicious this morning. I wonder if you are chewy or crunchy’.”

 You have us four. And sometimes, you need to find a sense of family with people who are good, rather than to try and find good in one’s own family.

Dayna Chrissie is at it again. Our intrepid Los Angeles CSI’s whole life changed in Centaur of the Crime. Pulled into an alternate world to solve the murder of Good King Benedict, Dayna finds herself in a world of hurt as she tries to find the guilty parties in a conspiracy to start a war. As she uses her scientific knowledge in a world locked into a medieval mindset, she finds herself magically bouncing between the world of Andeluvia and Earth as she uses her forensic skills, and the LAPD labs, to solve the murder and locate the guilty parties. Of course, she finds herself in trouble not only in Andeluvia as she puts herself in danger searching for the killer, but on Earth as well as her whacked-out Deputy Chief, Robert McClatchy, does everything in his power to destroy her career. Sheesh! Can a girl not get a break? Well, actually she can get a bit of one, as she makes some wonderful new friends who help her solve the crime, at risk of their own lives.

The Deer Prince’s Murder is book two of the Fantasy and Forensics series, and Dayna’s life isn’t getting any easier. Not. One. Little. Bit. Still on probation after going missing from her job as a consultant for the Los Angeles Crime Lab during Centaur (when people are snatching you back and forth across dimensions, it is a bit hard to keep up), she slips off to Andeluvia to spend time with her friends. Liam is a Fayleene, a magical white-tail deer, Grimshaw, better known as Shaw, a Griffin, and Galen, a Centaur Master Wizard are the wonderful friends Dayna made in Centaur. All rejected in one way or the other by their families, Liam for his lack of magical luck, Shaw for standing up for Dayna and offering to help against his rider’s wishes, and Galen, rejected by his war-obsessed father for being intelligent instead of brutal. Now, their little family faces an even more dangerous situation when the Fayleene Protector of the Forest, Quinval, is murdered, pulling Dayna into the most dangerous investigation of her life – and her friends right along with her. For here there be dragons . . . well, one dragon, Sirrahon the Stone Dragon, ancient, cruel and released from his three-thousand year prison. Who set him free? Why? And how will this all end?

When Captain Vazura of the Kings Air Cavalry, Shaw’s former Rider, is murdered by a shadowy figure, things become even more tense, and much more dangerous. With the help of a surprising new member of their little group, Dayna and her friends must work harder, smarter and faster than ever before to save this beautiful world. Oh, and to save Dayna’s job as a consultant to the LAPD Crime Lab as well. That McClatchy? Whew! He’s got some real issues in his tissues!

As always, Michael Angel has his criminal procedure down pat, which is always a joy. His wicked sense of humour is still as strong as ever, and his character and world building are exceptional as well. Not surprising, of course – he is always exceptional. If you like Urban Fantasy, mythology, and criminal procedure with a large dose of comedy, you can’t miss out on Michael Angel’s work. I am dancing on my toes as I wait for Grand Theft Griffin, scheduled for 2015! Until then, The Detective and the Unicorn is next on my Michael Angel list!

I received my copy from Michael Angel in return for a realistic review, and in thanks for my previous reviews. However, all thoughts are my own. I just really like his writing!

(Just a few of) Michael’s Other Works

These, and a lot more, can be found on Michael’s Goodreads Site. Enjoy!!

marriedunicornMy First Date with Jolene, and Her Cousin Billy-BobQuarantine on the Black NileThe Adventures of Amanda Love

Review: The Accidental Demon Slayer (A Biker Witches Mystery, Book 1) Angie Fox

The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox 3.5 stars
Great comedy and characters, lost a half-star for a rushed romance

accidental demon
Click cover to order this comedic romp!

Sometimes, Amazon’s ‘Freebie” program turns up a jewel. And with The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox, I am thrilled to say I wound up with a ruby. Hey, I like rubies better than diamonds, so sue me!

Come on, who wouldn’t be thrilled to have a kick-butt, 70-something, pink-Harley-riding grandma show up on your doorstep on your 30th birthday to help you kick demon backside? Well, if you happen to be the ‘turning-thirty-preschool-teacher” hiding in the bathroom from said grandma, things can get a bit confusing, but come on. A Pink Harley? Got to love it!

And the action only starts there. Strap your hyperactive Jack Russell into a ferret bag across your chest, hop on the back of Grandma’s Hog, (even if you do get carsick in anything faster than a tricycle) and take off for the Red Skull Hog Ridin’ Grannies biker bar, with demons in pursuit. What happens after had me grinning like a crazed biker granny myself, as Lizzie and Grandma kick fanny and take names across the American South – and a good portion of Hell.

This is the first time I had heard of Angie Fox, and I am thrilled to say it won’t be the last of her books that I intend to roll around in like a dog in road kill (hey, you will get the reference when you read the book – and DO read the book!) Her whole Accidental Demon Slayer series (two three-volume sets) is already on my Nook and set up to read. I also grabbed the first in her Monster Mash series (the 3063rd M.A.S.H. unit, location – limbo).  Angie has a wicked sense of humour, a brilliant touch with her characters, and her writing shows great pace and timing. In Accidental there is, of course, a ‘love interest’, and as usual said romantic twist rolls forward much too quickly for reality, but I have given up on the idea that any book with romance included as part of the plot isn’t going to include rolling around in the sack and declaring undying love within the first two days of meeting. Meh. At least in Angie’s book, Lizzie isn’t totally spineless. She stands up to betrayal and kicks it in the cohones. And the betrayer, too. So, no harm, no foul as they say.

I admit, I had to laugh at some of the low-star reviews. Come on, people! This is fantasy!!! I think that, sometimes, people get so wrapped up in their expectations, whether they be expectations of “realism” or expectations based upon what other writers do (“familiars” and whatnot) that they can’t just sit back, relax, and enjoy something new. It seems that some people wanted formula – shapeshifters shifting every two seconds, ‘my dog is my familiar’, I just suddenly know how to do everything magical even though my life has been totally mundane forever. Puh. Get over it, sit down, and read the book for what it is, a comedy that takes the old formulas and turns them on their head. Get over it!

Overall, Angie goes in my ‘must read when I am reading just for myself’ pile. She made me laugh, and her story was a pure, guilty pleasure. What more can I ask?

Recommended.

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