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Review: Defensive Magic, A Lost Library Novel, Book Three by Kate Baray

24771540When people want to win they will go to desperate extremes. However, anyone that has already won in life has come to the conclusion that there is no game. There is nothing but learning in this life and it is the only thing we take with us to the grave—knowledge. If you only understood that concept then your heart wouldn’t break so bad. Jealousy or revenge wouldn’t be your ambition. Stepping on others to raise yourself up wouldn’t be a goal. Competition would be left on the playing field, and your freedom from what other people think about you would light the pathway out of hell.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

“There are many hidden truths behind a lie” ― Arlin Sailesh Kapadia

 

It’s magic, Lizzie. Science twists and turns when magic is applied. Lizzy has learned a lot about magic since she first learned what she truly is – a magical being. In Lost Library: Book One of this amazing series, I wrote Kate Baray has written a fast paced, interesting book which I glad to say is much more story than ‘romantic scenes.’ Her magical world building is both unusual and comprehensive, and made me smile over the creativity. Book Two continued the story in the same magically creative manner. Now, with Defensive Magic, Kate Baray pulls out all the stops and sharpens the focus of her series as things come to a head – for good and bad.

Returning from Prague after Lizzie’s kidnapping and the near death of John and others, Lizzie and John are travel worn, exhausted, and barely functional. Which makes things worse as they walk into not one, but two challenges to John’s position as Alpha of the Texas Pack. Rumours had been coming hard and fast while they fought Worth in Prague, but when they arrive back in Texas, things are much worse than expected. For challenges aren’t the only problem. The saying is you aren’t paranoid if they really are out to get you. And someone – or multiple someones – is out to get John, and the Texas Pack. There are those who don’t want to 22041005move out of the middle ages when it comes to pack politics. And they are willing to do anything – even destroy the whole pack, to make sure that contemporary thought and management doesn’t bring the pack into the present day.

edd8a-spiritedlegacy-1900x2850But the problems aren’t  only internal. There are outside influences which are bent on destruction of the pack as well. But is it only the pack that is under attack? Or is something else happening? Are larger actions moving politics and magic, larger goals and intentions surrounding John and Lizzie? Evil magic, nasty politics, hidden agendas. And not surprisingly, things, and people, are once again not whom they appear. It’s all here, and done in Baray’s beautiful style. Fast, exciting, and eminently readable, this is a great series and well worth your reading time. You can read my reviews for Lost Library and Spirited Legacy – and of course, purchase these three books at your favorite outlet!

Highly recommended! I would love a positive response on Amazon if you like my review. 😉

amazonBigaddtogoodreads amazonUK  amazon-ca

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!

SM Reine and The Ascension Series

Is everyone ready? Here is one of the best Author Photos I have ever seen!

sara
Kick Butt Sara!

Awesome, isn’t it!  SM (Sara) Reine just sent me a copy of her newest, Caged In Bone for review and I can hardly wait to start it! Of course, with the holidays it will be be after the New Year, but it is coming! The photo below of the cover is before the text was added, the final cover can of course be seen on Amazon. And what KILLER COVERS they are!!!!

Caged
The original cover, without type. Check out the final cover, and BUY the Book, at Amazon! Click the cover to order!

If you haven’t found this wonderful series yet,Sac

Caged in Bone is a dark, gritty urban fantasy novel of 95,000 words. It’s the fourth title in The Ascension Series, so it won’t make much sense if you haven’t read the first two. If you’re new to the series, please go back and start with Sacrificed in Shadow:  smarturl.it/sishadow

sacrificed in shadow
The first in the series. Click to order.

Sacrificed in Shadow:  Sometimes, you need a demon to fight demons. Lincoln Marshall is a small-town deputy with a very big problem. Six members of his church have been found dead, killed by a rogue werewolf. He’ll have to make a deal with the Devil to save victims that have gone missing — maybe literally. Elise Kavanagh, preternatural investigator and exorcist, is the expert when it comes to violent deaths at the jaws of evil. She’s also among the most powerful demons that Hell has spawned. Elise jumps at Lincoln’s case, and it’s not just because of his down-home charm. Someone’s laid a trap for her in Northgate, and she wants to find out who. She’ll have to team up with Rylie Gresham, Alpha of the last surviving werewolf pack, to figure out who’s trying to blame the murders on werewolves. Only together can they stop the killings — and uncover the secrets buried in Northgate. Get it now! Amazon Kindle – B&N Nook – Kobo Books – Apple iBookstore

oaths of blood
The second in the series. Click to order!

Oaths of Blood: Werewolves are immune to every illness and can heal any wound. It should be impossible for one to become possessed by a demon. But that’s exactly what Seth Wilder is facing: a werewolf gone insane from possession. He has no choice but to deliver her to the only exorcist in America, Elise Kavanagh, who also happens to be a powerful demon known as the Godslayer. Elise is in hiding when Seth and Rylie Gresham, Alpha werewolf, arrive seeking her help. She agrees, but everything has its price. What they learn about the possessed werewolf changes everything — Hell and Earth, the pack, and the future of the entire world… Get it now! Amazon Kindle – B&N Nook – Apple iTunes

ruled by steel
The third installment. Click to order!

Ruled By Steel:  Elise Kavanagh failed to prevent the Breaking, and now Hell is spilling onto Earth. She’s delved deep into the City of Dis in an attempt to stop the infernal armies–but even the legendary Godslayer is unprepared to face Dis’s fiercest demons, not to mention the responsibility of liberating the humans they’ve enslaved. On Earth, rogue angel Nash Adamson is wing-deep in damage control after the Breaking, and his fellow angels don’t want to get involved. War is approaching the werewolf sanctuary. If Heaven won’t help them, he’ll have to turn to Hell for salvation. Everything hinges on who can control the City of Dis. Elise and her allies have no choice but to rule by steel… Get it now! Amazon Kindle – Apple iBookstore – B&N Nook – Kobo Books

Review: Full Dark A Novel of the Hidden – Ty Lawrence

fulldark
Recommended if you like the dark . . .

Full Dark by Ty Lawrence is not what I expected when the publisher first offered me a copy for review. In the modern supernatural world populated by fantasies of sexy vampires and alpha weres, Full Dark is entirely different in ways breathtaking, horrifying and deeply disturbing on a visceral level. This is a world of darkness, a Dante inspired fantasy of blood and death. In these pages, the dreams of the Dark Ages are born anew, brought forward into modern times. These are not the fangs of teenage dreams, nor the fur and claws of the ‘sexy wolf’. This is black blood and torn flesh, torture and enslavement and pain.

Ashlyn is a sorceress in a world that makes her a victim, her blood a narcotic to vampires. At a very young age her family is slaughtered and she is taken from her home to be savaged by a group of feral vampires. Rescued by the Master Vampire Brennan she is still a captive, kept for her addictive blood. But at least she is safe from the rouges who would keep her chained and savaged. Called The Hidden, the supernatural exist in a dark and dangerous world, hidden amongst the humans, who know nothing of their existence.

Or do they?

War is coming in this dark and hidden world. And while war foments Ashlyn has become a pawn of forces out of her control, forces who wish to use her, or hold her for their own. And the relationship between Ashlyn and Brennan becomes even more strained as Ashlyn strains against Brennan’s control, while knowing that her only safety is actually within his care. Further complicating matters is Lord Sorcerer Finn, a sorcerer of great and terrible power, who controls the Vox, the lands inhabited by the supernatural Hidden, who has his own agenda, and a strange and terrible control over Ashlyn.

This is a magnificent and terrible story. The characters are more than just well written. The reach out of the pages and pull you into their story, whether in hate or admiration, and often in both at the same time. Ashlyn herself tugged me in both directions. A victim for so long, she made me deeply sad one moment and furious the next. She is deeply scared, reaching for a life she will never have while turning her back on the one she might, a life of strength and control over her own fate. Desperate for a humanity that is not hers to have, she protects the police officer, Hayden, who has secrets of his own which will put him directly in the sights of Brennan. And in so doing, places herself in tremendous danger on his behalf.

This is a multilayered tale of power and depth that I would not wish to have missed. A tale of bitter and broken characters, of hate and pain, loss and death and the choices one must make to survive. And yet, through it all, there is a thread of love and warmth which can be found in the worst of situations. But can one learn to accept that love, and what will one do to protect those whom we love?

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: Pierced – J. C. Mells

pierced

Who knows what true loneliness is – not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.
Joseph Conrad

All universal moral principles are idle fancies.”
Marquis de Sade

This isn’t just a five-star review, ladies and gents. This is a full on, jumping up and down, screaming and squeeing and generally making an ass out of myself I am so excited about the book!

Where do I start? There is just so much HERE. . .

This is, in a way, as Mells describes it, an Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance, which is, as everyone knows by now, my favorite genre. However, that “title” doesn’t even begin to delve into the wonder that is Mells writing.

To be honest, when I first started the book, I was hesitant after the first couple of pages. Maybe her particular sort of “crazy” was a little too close to home for me. Memory. Obsession. Horror and fear. All living inside her head, counting steps and tiles and pain pain pain. Then, I kept turning pages. And becoming more and more engrossed into a world which includes, as I said, the UF genre, but is so very very much more.

Pierce is just a very small child when we first meet her. The daughter of an addict, living in a hell of someone else’s making, she is ‘different’ in some way she is not aware of. Different enough that her mother hands her books, and orders her to tell anyone she meets that she has Asperger’s Syndrome.

Never show anyone what you can do. Never. If you slip up and anyone questions you about it, you tell them you have Asperger’s. Do you understand me?”

Here are some books on the subject.”

Seemingly pretty strange for a child of six. But then, when that child can watch a foreign language movie and subsequently become fluent in said language with no training, that in itself is enough to worry that your child might become a pawn in someones perverted chess game. And that is only one of Pierce’s strange and wonderful abilities.

The perversions that flow through this book, and in no way do I mean that in a bad way, are horrifying, painful and yet a loud cry from the depths of the human soul. The strength of the human soul, and its ability to survive what no one should ever know exists, much less be required to survive.

You are strong, you are a fighter, he will not know this, and you will win. Men will always underestimate the supposed weaker sex, even if they suspect them to be dangerous.”

Mells takes the ‘modern fairy tale’ stories of UF and turns them on their heads, giving them a deeper and ‘truer’ view of the creatures of myth and legend. Pierced touches on the twists and turns of the mythological soul – and yet, her grasp on these creatures, no matter how perfect, is outshone by her ability to touch upon the true depth of depravity that the human soul is able to plumb.

Action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, suspense, it is all here. Wonderful and completely and with a raw brutality that sucks in the reader, keeping you on the edge of your seat and drawing you into a world so very like our own, and yet so very strange. The depths of mental illness (or something similar), the terror of living on the run, hallucinations and a really good recipe for steak and kidney pie. I know, weird, right? But so very right.

I highly recommend you take a chance on Pierced. You are in for a book of depth and character I haven’t seen since, well, I can’t really remember off the top of my head. But take a pinch of Othello, throw in a heaping handful of Mildred Pierce and a big splash of Jack Kerouack. Serve with a blast of What It’s Like by Everlast. Stir well and serve with a side of desperate hope. Just read it.

Book courtesy of J. C. Mells, http://www.jcmells.com/

Black Dust Mambo – Adrian Phoenix

A four-star winner – An excellent start to a promising series

blackTo start off, I have not read any other of the Phoenix books. I picked up the book based on the title, the premise, and what I read in the description at Amazon. As anyone knows who has read my reviews, all you have to do is mention Louisiana and it’s people, culture, and belief and I am right there, trying it out.

This book is not the best I have ever read on the subject, but it is very, very far from the worst. I have great hopes for this as an ongoing series, it shows great promise. It does, indeed, take place in one 24-hour period. Some people didn’t like that, I found it a great take on a beginning. But then, I liked the series “24” also. Fast action is my forte. What is more interesting to me is world-building and character development. Phoenix does the one in a fast, solid, believable manner, which I find quite encouraging. Hers is a realistic subculture, which could very much be set within our own world. The character development is short, but concise, and will give us the opportunity to learn the characters over time. I like that.

As for the comment from one reviewer that the Voudon was not well realized, one must realize that not everyone is a Voudon practitioner, just as not everyone is Catholic. Those are some strange rites there, too, but I don’t have to know how to do them, or necessarily want to. And besides, if I want a lecture on Voudon, all I have to do is go to my bookcase. But be that as it may, she may not have gotten it ‘right’ in some expectations, but this is, after all, a novel. Right?

As for the ‘romance’ I really liked that it was, in some people’s estimation, “slow.” Hey, this WAS set in a 24-hour period, right? Shouldn’t it take a bit of time to develop a ‘love interest’? So many books of this type today are thinly veiled erotica with very little story line, it is refreshing to see a female lead not jumping right into bed in the first chapter with the character you hope to see as the ‘love interest’. I am hoping Ms. Phoenix allows the relationship to grow over time. MUCH more interesting in the long run! (Of course, I wouldn’t have kicked Gabe out of bed either – a shame he had to get killed off in the first 2 pages! lol)

I didn’t really care for the language that much – I despise the word “ain’t” and cringed every time it came up. But, having lived in the South for thirty years, I understand what the author is saying – I just don’t have to like it! But, then again, it wouldn’t be realistic without it, so, be that as it may.

All in all, I have already downloaded “Black Dust Loa” and am looking forward to seeing if she meets the promise of the first book. I am also checking out her other books, and will find it interesting to see if Ms. Phoenix lands on my “must read” list.

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