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Review: Into The Fire by Jodi McIsaac

intothefireCedar McLeod had a quiet life before the action in Through the Door, the first book in The Thin Veil series. A tired, overworked single mother, Cedar and her daughter Eden still manage to have a happy life. But one day, things change drastically. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door sends Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, pushes a child to make a devastating error – an error which cost lives, and lead to the kidnapping and terrorizing of Eden, and a trip across space and time to the land of Tír na nÓg, and a battle to save two worlds.

As Into the Fire, the second in The Thin Veil series, begins Eden and Cedar, and their newly found family, including Eden’s father Finn, have returned to Tír na nÓg. Destined for the throne, Cedar finds instead that Nuala, Eden’s kidnapper and the partner of the destroyer of Tír na nÓg, has entranced the Council, and is making a strong bid for the throne herself. Though Cedar’s parents were the King and Queen before their deaths and baby Cedar’s banishment to Earth, she finds that she must fight for her position, and for the protection of her family – and to save Tír na nÓg from the evil Nuala. It won’t be easy, and she will have to fight against the very people who should be working to help her, but in order to save her world, it must be done. Filled with Celtic myth, mystery, suspense and adventure, this second installment of The Thin Veil series is as good, if not better than, the first – and I great look forward to the third!

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

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Review: Magic Gifts A Kate Daniels Novella

magicgiftsKate Daniels has always been on my very short list of the best Urban Fantasy heroines today. Strong, caring, heroic. She is all the things that a strong heroine should be, and I love her for it.

In the Kate Daniels Novella, Magic Gifts, we see Kate at her best as she, Curran and Doolittle struggle to save the life of a child. A child who has been cruelly endangered by his sociopathic mother. With only a short time to save the child, our intrepid trio must do what it takes to rescue the child, even if it endangers their own lives. Pure, classic Kate.

This novella was a holiday gift from the team of Ilona Andrews to all their loyal readers, and it is a lovely gift indeed! Taking place during the action of Gunmetal Magic, Andrea’s story, it blends the happenings of Gunmetal with Magic and as usual blends seamlessly into the overall story line. And with all the action and pain, there is also the Andrews undercurrent of humour from the very first, when Andrea and Kate are trying to wrestle the body of a seventy pound flying jellyfish dripping pale pink slime through the door of Cutting Edge Investigations.

If you are a fan, don’t miss this novella. And if you haven’t been blessed with knowledge of this series, well, pick it up. It is like Cookies and Crème Ice Cream – you can’t stop with just one bite!

Review: Through The Door by Jodi McIsaac – Highly Recommended

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

~John McCrae

What connects two thousand years of genocide? Too much power in too few hands. – Simon Wiesenthal

…the Tuatha De Danann or Sidhe, the ‘Gentry’, the ‘Good People’, and the ‘People of Peace’ are described as a race of invisible divine beings eternally young and unfading. They inhabit fairy palaces, enjoy rare feasts and love-making, and have their own music and minstrelsy. They are essentially majestic in their nature…Mythologically they are gods of light and good, able to control natural phenomena so as to make harvests come forth abundantly or not at all. — W. Y. Evans-Wentz; The Faerie Faith in Celtic Countries, 1911 (quoted by Michael Tsarion)

throughthedoor
Click to purchase the book, and to learn more about Jodi McIsaac. Highly Recommended!

Millennia. Millennia beyond counting, the Tuatha De Danann graced the lands of Tír na nÓg. Tír na nÓg, where fields of flowers . . . caress those who walked past, waterfalls of crystal nectar, trees that sang and danced and hung heavy with fruit. . . And yet, though they despise the humans that drove them from Ériu and back to the lands of Tuatha De Danann, the lands of plenty and peace.

Click this link to visit the beautiful land of Ériu

And yet, even the Tuatha De Danann are not immune to war. And war there is, a war of hatred and greed, a war led by a psychopath. For sometimes, living forever is dangerous in the extreme. Long years of thought, of jealousy and avarice, and bitter blackness of the heart. Those who are undying can be killed – and the slaughter is beyond comprehension.

Many years later, we meet Cedar McLeod as she enjoys a busker fair with her beloved Finn, her boyfriend of two years, and the love of her life. Having a wonderful time with Finn, she is also excited for another reason – for she has a secret, of the baby sort, and she is trying to find the right moment to tell him during this wonderful day. Just as she begins to impart her news, however, Finn suddenly tenses up, then rushes Cedar to her apartment and leaves. The next morning, Cedar walks into Finn’s apartment only to discover it empty and he is gone without a trace . . .

Forward seven years, and though Cedar is an exhausted, overworked single mother, she has her own mother for support and a deep and abiding love for her daughter, Eden. Oh, yes, it is hard to look upon her sweet face at times, for Eden is the spitting image of her father. But her great love for her child lays all those pains aside, to be pulled out only in the dark of the night, alone in her bed. Life isn’t wonderful, but with Eden’s presence, life is good.

But things are about to change. For Eden is more than she seems. So very, very much more. A single open door will send Eden and Cedar on a terrifying slide into horror and despair, as the teachings of Cedar’s mother, to not ever tell Eden of her father, push a child to make a devastating error – an error which will cost lives, and lead Cedar and Eden on a trip across seas, and across time and space, in a desperate bid to return Eden home.

Through the Door is a modern day urban fantasy of the very best kind. Filled with fantasy creatures, of course, this isn’t just a fantasy. It has deeply embedded strands of thriller and suspense, mystery and terror that step this up from just fantasy to something so much more. War and death, psychopathy and greed, power and politics play a strong role, for even the gods themselves are not perfect. Add to that the fact that Jodi McIsaac has done a stunning job of research into the world of Tír na nÓg and the Tuatha De Danann, and the writing itself is beautifully done, and this is a highly recommended read. And don’t forget – the final book of the trilogy is out! That means that you can sit down and read all three straight through – how awesome is THAT?

Into The Fire (The Thin Veil Book 2)
Beyond the Pale: A Thin Veil Novella (The Thin Veil 2.5)
Among The Unseen (The Thin Veil Book 3)

jodi
Click to go to Jodi’s site!

 About Jodi:

I grew up in New Brunswick, Canada. After stints as a short-track speed skater, a speechwriter, and fundraising and marketing executive in the nonprofit sector, I started a boutique copywriting agency and began writing novels in the wee hours of the morning. I currently live with my husband and two feisty daughters in Calgary, Alberta.

I love to connect with readers, so come say hello on FacebookTwitter, or Goodreads!

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I received this book from the publisher, 47North, in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not influenced by this fact. If you enjoyed my review, please click “This review was helpful” at Amazon.com. Thank you!

Reviews: Temptation Road and Speaking of the Charmed Life by Kimball Lee

I don’t write 700 page books padded with useless words that take three chapters to describe a doorknob! – Kimball Lee

tempt
Temptation Road
Don’t pay attention to the cover itself –
it appears to be a hangover from her other
books and has nothing to do with the story.
tempt2
Temptation Road Two
If you don’t read the first, the second won’t make any sense.
They are both free, so no reason not to.

Temptation Road and Speaking of the Charmed Life, the two current editions of Lee’s series, speaks to the quoted comment regarding her writing style. This qualifies more as a short story, a novella, rather than a book,only 49 pages. And she attempts to stuff a world into these short pages, a world of mystery and magic which would have been much better served by a writer with a more expressive hand. Given that, there are still things to like about the book, even if I deeply wish that someone else had handled the writing.There is a world of beauty in the thought of the book – one that could create a world of wonder. A beautiful, magical house, wild creatures who wander into the yard and strop themselves against your knees. Hate and love and strangeness.

I will admit, however, that a writer friend of mine will probably love the idea of the novella over a long novel. She has three very small children, a house to run, and books to write, so novellas fit her needs exceptionally well. What I didn’t care for was the choppy delivery, the compression of what could have been beautiful paragraphs into single hard, choppy sentences. The flow simply wasn’t there.

The cover nearly kept me from reading the first book. It has no correlation to the story, instead appearing to be just a stock photo that fits with other books that Lee writes. If I hadn’t read the description, I wouldn’t have read it because the “sex me up” style doesn’t work for me. And those who expect  “sex me up” book certainly will be disappointed.

The mysticism in the book is confusing, to say the least, though the good and evil characters are more interesting than most. In the second book, the relationship moves forward rather roughly, with a heavy overtone of punishment that pretty much creaped me out.  The inability of Rae, the main female character, to accept the incredible gifts that she is given, instead winding into a whining, baby obsessed wreck, was truly disappointing. Though she is supposed to be more special than one can imagine, instead, she strikes me more as the type of woman who blows things totally out of proportion – spoiled. Meh.

Overall, I really wanted to like it more than I did. However, in many ways the book was oddly appealing. I know, sounds weird, huh? Gripe gripe gripe and yet I found it interesting enough to immediately download the next one and read it. I don’t know. I will get the next one simply because I am interested to see what happens next. I hope I am not disappointed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I would – but will be happy if I am not.

Review: Frat House of the Dead by J. K. Walker

frat
Creepy novella with a twist of humour, a great introduction to the world of Salt Lake After Dark!

Frat House of the Dead is a great little novella which follows up on the happenings of Glacial Eyes (Book One of Salt Lake After Dark). If you have a previous edition of Frat House, you can download the new, edited version from your Kindle Library.

Glacial Eyes was one of my favorite series beginnings of the year. It was a requested review by the author, and I am tremendously grateful I acquiesced to the request, as it quickly earned J. K. Walker a spot on my “must buy immediately upon publication” list.

In Frat House, Jazz and her girlfriends attend a Halloween party – a party which will prove to be a lot more than they expected.

The story lines that make GE so good are included in this book, but we also learn a bit more about the ladies, especially Tammy, Jazz’s best friend, and Rachel the Technowitch. One of the things I really like about Frat House of the Dead is how J. K. weaves in a strong thread of humour through the story while not losing it’s edge. A feat that is missing in much of the Urban Fantasy books published today.

The book is clever, fast paced, and gives you a good overview of the female characters of the Salt Lake After Dark series. If you are considering the series, check out the novella. I have no doubt you will be as enthralled by the series as I am!

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