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Urban Fantasy series

Review: Hellborn by Dana Cameron

Hellbender front cover.pngMy reviews often start with pertinent quotes, and Seven Kinds of Hell was no different.

You see what we do to each other over the slightest differences in religion or politics? We beat each other up over baseball games. We’ll kill over the wrong-colored bandana. What would we do faced with the Fangborn? – Adam Nichols, Seven Kinds of Hell

This one quote, more than any other, describes the heart of Dana Cameron’s Fangborn Series. Of course, many Urban Fantasy series address the question of the introduction of hidden beings, whether they be were, vampire, ghoul, or all the other “other” beings of the mythological pantheons. Ms. Cameron addresses the issue in her series – but more than that, especially in this third edition, Hellbender, she goes beyond simply the ‘introduction’ of the mythological to the Normals, but also the whole concept of how reality is designed.

“You’d said you’d been studying . . . the physics of Fangborn abilities?”

“Yeah. Bit o’ this, bit o’ that. Whether how the Change transformation the vampires and werewolves can do is a quantum entanglement of some kind . . . Spooky action at a distance, you know?”

Blood and agony. Fear and death. Zoe never asked for, never wanted, to be a monster, a savior, a weapon beyond comprehension. But she is – and as IDay – Identification Day, the day the Fangborn “come out” comes closer and closer, as those who wish the Fangborn nothing but death gather their forces, danger now comes from an even more deadly direction, as The Makers join the fray. The Makers – beings so advanced they stretch the boundaries of times and space. Did they really create the Fangborn? And for what purpose? To protect the humans, as the Fangborn have always believed and worked towards? Or to destroy them?

Hellborn is, literally, amazing. The story has developed over the last two books with intelligence, exceptional writing, and creative character and world development to match any UF out there today. Yes, even my beloved Kate Daniels series.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, and this series is well worth your time! Is Hellbender the last in the series? Well, I looked on Dana’s site and didn’t see anything, and it did wrap in such a way that it could be the last – but I certainly hope it isn’t!!

Seven Kinds of Hell http://bit.ly/1DqyMbC

Pack of Strays http://bit.ly/1FqSQdw

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Glacial Eyes on Sale at Smashwords – Grab Your Copy!

glacial eyesGlacial Eyes is available at Smashwords for $1.00 until 8th October. Use code  JY56K.

A Hugely Promising New Series Beginning – Four Stars

To get this out of the way, I was asked to read and review this book. However, just because I am asked to review a book,that doesn’t always mean my review will be fawning, sometimes far from it. So, how did “Glacial Eyes” do in this reviewers eyes?

In a word, there is true potential here for an exceptional series. Jazz, the main character, hasn’t had it easy in the last few years. Her parents were killed and she is trying hard to pay her own way through college. She hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to study yet, but she has time, so it’s all good. Then, one horrible night during a rave in the woods, everything about Jazz’s life changes.

Waking up naked in the woods is no laughing matter. Neither is finding out that everything you thought you knew about reality suddenly needs to be swept out the door with the dust bunnies. Suddenly witches and warlocks and were (oh, my!) are no longer the creatures of fantasy. Waking up to discover you are the newest member of the furry set is a bit more than Jazz can handle at first. Well, that and the fact that she now has boobs. Nice boobs. Way bigger boobs. And what is this thing with the six-pack abs all of a sudden? Yep, things are changing for Jazz.

What follows is one of the better new urban fantasies I have had the pleasure of reading. The characters are well written, and the paranormal community that she enters is realistic. They want to stay hidden in a world where DNA analysis and medical tests are ubiquitous. In order to stay hidden, their rules are tough and not always fair.

The story itself is as much a serial killer mystery as it is an urban fantasy. Being two of my favorite genres, I was thrilled to find that the author does an exceptional job in carrying the story through both styles. The weres are believable as they try to live their lives in a world that would lock them away and dissect and murder them should they be found out. The serial killer storyline itself was believable and kept me guessing. Oh, and Loki the cat? The real hero of the book!

Jazz herself is my kind of girl. She took auto shop while in high school and this girl knows her cars. She drives an old 510 (five-and-dime in “Jazz speak”) but throw in a 180SX engine and my girl has turbo power! As Jazz says “There may be no replacement for displacement, but a turbo sure is fun!” Jazz is no Mercedes Thompson, Volkswagen Mechanic Extraordinaire, but there is enough ‘car-talk’ going on through the book that I got a huge kick out of it. Jazz is tough enough to handle what is going on in this new life without too much freaking out, but she doesn’t fall into the UF trap of being suddenly Superwoman with more tricks in her toolbox than The Tomb Raider. Grand Theft Auto? Well, she can do a bit of that when needed . . . She also doesn’t fall into the UF stupidity of falling into bed within the first five minutes with the love interest. Come on, do real people really do that? Instead, the relationship grows through the book. Oh, and she totally saves his ass instead of the other way around, which ROCKS . . . hey, all you women writers out there?

Why is it only the guy writers like Mark Henwick Sleight of Hand (Bite Back 1) and my newly discovered favorite here doing the “girl kicks ass and saves the guy” scenario? Hello? Anyone listening? Girl saving guy is totally HOT. Speaking of Hot – Jazz’s love interest, Logan, is totally Cajun. Walker even gets the speech patterns right, making me wonder if he, like me, spent time in the bayou country. The rest of the cast of characters are very well written and believable and make you love (or hate) them in a way that makes them believable. You could see these people as your friends. There is death in the book (I lost one of my favorite characters and nearly cried) but nothing is overdone.

All in all? A solid four and a half – simply because I want to hang onto that extra half point to see how well Mr. Walker continues the story from here. There were some glitches in the writing, but for a first book I found Mr. Walker to be quite mature in his style. Amazingly so compared to many published authors. I am going to download Mr. Walker’s next book in the series, “Hollow Eyes” and start reading that one soon. Even with the mountain of books I have on my TBR list, I quite look forward to moving “Hollow Eyes (Salt Lake After Dark)” to the top of the pile. I am sure I won’t be sorry I did so! Some violence but not uber-bloody, a bedroom scene later in the book, a kick-butt heroine, some naughty and nice weres, witches and vampires and probably the best depiction of a dhampyr I have read. Overall, pick it up and read it. You won’t be sorry!

Edited Edition of Skin Walkers: Monroe Now Available

monroeThe newly edited edition of Skin Walkers: Monroe is out now! Check out Smashwords and Kobo for the new editions. On Smashwords make sure that you choose the 2014 edition!

Please note: there will not be a new edition offered on Amazon as there is an audio version that is set to whispersync. Since we made extensive changes to Monroe, there will not be an updated Amazon edition. Sorry!

Blurb:

When Game Warden, Eden StCloud, goes up against CEO, Monroe StoneCrow, she encounters the most intimidating, powerful, and sexy man she’s ever seen. Unaware of the fact that Monroe is the Dominant Skin Walker in North America, it isn’t until Eden becomes enmeshed in his life that she realizes it’s too late to escape. Worse, she’s drawn the children under her care into the lair of the beast and must now succumb to Monroe’s desires or risk losing her children forever.

CEO, Monroe StoneCrow, is a man tormented by his obsession with creating a haven for his Skin Walkers. Determined to form a community where his Walkers can exist in peace, he has no time or desire to seek out his own mate, his angel. When Eden StCloud crosses his path, there is no denying his instant attraction, or his overwhelming animalistic urge to claim her. His affliction is so intense that even his own medical experts are at a loss to ease his symptoms. With his Skin Walker refuge in danger of collapse due to his preoccupation with Eden, Monroe is stymied by his inability to do what he’s always done…simply take what he wants.

About The Author:

susanMy pack territory is in Central Montana, between Stone Crow estates and the North Fortress. Born and raised in an untamed location that bridges the gap between rolling prairies and majestic mountain peaks, I am born to a family that also bridges the gap between cultures. My father’s people boast a fiercely proud Scottish ancestry while my mother’s tribes descend from two savagely beautiful and unique nations that inspire my Skin Walkers series.

I’m a huge fan of MMA, boxing, hockey, 30 Seconds to Mars, Linkin Park, DMX, the Killers, and 21 Pilots (“sometimes quiet is violent”). I also love to read because it encourages me to write. (I hate it when authors add that they love coffee and chocolate. Really? Who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate?) Anyway, I love beer…kidding. I don’t love beer but we are engaged in a very serious relationship. (Mom, please don’t call me when you read this.)

Check me out at http://www.susanbliler.com
Please leave feedback. Believe it or not I actually read your opinions/suggestions and try to adapt my work accordingly. A’hau.

 

Review: Treasures, Demons and Other Black Magic – Dowser 3 by Meghan Ciana Doidge

TREASURES_cover

The envious die not once, but as oft as the envied win applause. – Baltasar Gracian

Like hatred, jealousy is forbidden by the laws of life because it is essentially destructive. – Alexis Carrel

I hadn’t set foot in the human world for more than a few hours in over three and a half months. So begins the third in the Dowser series by Meghan Ciana Doidge, one of the better Urban Fantasy series I have found. Creativity and depth define the works of Ms. Doidge in all of her stories, but especially in the Dowser series.

If you haven’t yet read Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic, or Trinkets, Treasures and Other Bloody Magic, you can still read Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic – but why would you want to read the one without the others? They are, in a word, wonderful. In my review of Cupcakes I said; “Jade is a sweetheart. A nice young half witch, half human (maybe. . . ) with a nasty tempered foster sister, a wild earth witch grandmother, and a cupcake bakery. A very popular cupcake bakery with a reputation for ‘magical’ tasting cupcakes. She has a quiet life, happy with her baking, her trinket making and her quiet, apparently fulfilling life.

Then, of course, things change. And not in a nice way. Poor Jade. Life will never be the same. Apparently she isn’t who she thought she was. But then, who is she?

Since then, Jade’s life has become so very much more than it was, and she is so much more than she ever expected to become. And not all of it makes her terribly happy. Will she, and her friends, ever be safe again?

We rejoin Jade’s story in book three as she reenters our world through a magical portal from the reality of the Dragon Guardians, protectors of the earth and heavens, where she has been training for the last three and a half months. Three and a half months spent preparing to kill her psychotic, blood witch sister, Sienna. It is Jade’s intention to find and kill the wicked witch (yea, yea, I know, but I couldn’t resist…) all on her own.

Only things don’t exactly go according to plan. She is followed from the portal by Drake, a thirteen-year-old fledgling Guardian, alternately cocky and wise beyond his years. A trip to the castle of the sorcerer Blackwell results in terrifying news, and the addition to her little group of Jade’s best friend Kandy, a green-haired werewolf, and Kettil, or Kett, Executioner of the Conclave of Vampires, who Jade is linked to through a life debt.

Many things happen in this third novel, as the search for Sienna comes to a head. New alliances are made, old friends are lost, new ones gained, and the war may be won, or lost, on whether old alliances can be regained.

Once again, Meghan does a fabulous job of telling a compelling story of love and power, life and death, and the strength and weakness of family. This is a great story, and is high on my list of best loved reads!

 

treasures_coverreveal_stockchocolate_comingsoon
These are as tasty as their covers! Pick up copies of Dower 1 and 2 at Amazon, IBooks, Kobo or B&N. Then watch for book three, out this month!!!

Note: I am proofreader for Meghan’s works. I received a copy for proofreading from Meghan, and write this review based upon that copy. No matter – this is still one of the best Urban Fantasy series with strong, well-written heroines on the Urban Fantasy scene today. Highly recommended!

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