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RabidReads

Rabid Reads

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. I also offer virtual assistance to authors and web maintenance services. rabidreads.ca

The To-Be-Read Tag


The TBR Tag was created by Danasquare & A Perfection Called, Books. I was tagged by Bethzaida from Book Itty Blog.


How Do you Keep Track of Your TBR Pile?


GoodReads, my wishlist and Google Calendar.


Is Your TBR mostly print? Or e-books?


Had I been asked this question a year ago, I would have said print, but now eBooks and audiobooks are definitely my preferred formats. They take up 0 shelf space, and I'm all about instant gratification. LOL Screw shipping fees and waiting on the postman!


How Do You Determine which Book to Read Next?


For the most part, I rely on my Google Calendar. I keep track all of the upcoming publication dates of titles I want to read, schedule my reviews as close as possible around 'em, and fill in the remaining spots with whatever strikes my fancy.


A Book that’s been on Your TBR List the Longest:


Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. It's been on there since December 2010. URGH!

 


A Book You Recently Added to Your TBR:


I just received Darynda Jone's Seventh Grave and No Body audiobook this morning. SQUEE!!!

 


A Book in Your TBR strictly Because of its Beautiful Cover:


Wolf Pact by Melissa de La Cruz: I'm a sucker for red heads, wolves, and moons, which means that I was screwed the moment I saw this one. LOL

 


A Book in Your TBR that You Never Planned on Reading:


Red Blooded by Amanda Carlson: I just KNEW that it was gonna suck, but I still couldn't resist in the vain hope that I might be surprised. I wasn't.

 


An Unpublished Book in Your TBR that You’re Excited About:


Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews, because well, this author duo needs no reason IMO. They should be on EVERYONE'S TBR!

 


A Book that Everyone’s Read But You:


Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris: I watched True Blood though, does that count? ;)

 


A Book on Your TBR that Everyone Recommends to You:


The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole.

 


A Book on Your TBR that You’re Dying to Read:


Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong: she's my favourite author, and her anthologies are DA BOMB!!!

 


How Many Books are in Your TBR Shelf:


15 on my to-read shelf;

27 on my own-to-read shelf;

201 on my wishlist shelf;

243 total.


I'm tagging:

 


Carmel Signature

Review: A Dangerous Witch by Debora Geary

Review: A Dangerous Witch by Debora Geary
A Dangerous Witch
Series: Witch Central #3
Author: Debora Geary
Publisher: Indie
Published on: September 16, 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Format: 165 pages, eBook
Provided by: Purchased
four-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-starsfour-half-stars
Amazon | GoodReads

It's the end of an era. This is the final release in the world of A Modern Witch. If you haven't met my witches yet, this is not the book you want to read :). Go find A Modern Witch and begin where it all started.

I figure the final book doesn't need much introduction. Take one last journey with your favorite witches as an oversized marble calls another member of Witch Central on a journey...



Forget everything you have read about witches before, because the witches in this series are probably not what you are used to, unless of course you already have read these books. I certainly have-all of them. And I have absolutely loved all of them. It was a shock to learn that this is the last of the witches of Witch Central we will ever read about, and I will miss them.

Most of these books revolve around the Sullivan and Walker families, their extended family, and friends. For the most part, they are all witches, with all different kinds of magic. Water witches, fire witches, earth witches, they are all represented, but with this story another sort of witch, finds her magic, and it isn’t good.

Nell and Daniel Walker are the parents of five children, which include a set of eleven year old, triplett girls. Ginia found her magic early, she’s an extraordinary healer. Shay has no magic, but she has her own great attributes. Up until now, Mia showed no signs of any magic, so when she suddenly exhibits signs of fire magic, all the fire witches are ready to start training her. What they don’t know, is that Mia is evolving into something that hasn’t been seen in over five hundred years, and it’s scary to say the least.

The best word to describe these books is heartwarming. Charming works too. They are always fast, well written reads, and feature a different witch in each book. The witch is usually facing some sort of problem, or just finding their particular magic. By this point, I feel like I know them all, and care about them all. Meeting their significant others, falling in love, having babies, this is how these witches live. There is so much love in these books, whether between a couple, parents, and their children, cousins, well you get the idea. It’s all held together by an old Irish witch named, Moira, the family matriarch. She lives in a small fishing village on the coast of Nova Scotia, where parts of these stories take place. It also takes place in California, and since the witches can port themselves to wherever they want to go, it totally works.

This book was shorter then the others,except the novellas. The author went through a personal crisis, and is unable to finish with the series. She took pains to try and wrap it all up in an epilogue, and I did enjoy the glimpses in the future that we get. I do regret not getting Aervyn’s grown up story-that’s the one I really wanted. Aervyn, also one of Nell and Daniel’s children, will grow up to be the most powerful witch that has ever lived(not a spoiler), and even at the age of four, surpassed all the adults. He, and Lizard, a female witch, and former delinquent, were my favorite characters of the series, and thankfully we did get Lizard’s grown up story, in a previous book. There is so much more to these stories, I could go on and on, like that there’s a magical realm game on the internet, run by witches, and mainly for witches, or that there’s always someone learning a life lesson, but there is just not enough room to tell it all. Suffice it to say, these are witches getting their happy ever after, and all they go through to get it-surrounded by love and magic, at every turn.

All of these books for the most part, top the Amazon charts when they are released, and if the reviews are any indication, are very beloved by all that read them. They certainly were to me. As I write this, eight of these books are listed in the top twenty fantasy reads on Amazon-including the top two spots. If it was me, I would start with A Modern Witch, the first book in the three series featuring these witches. I recommend them to ages 14 up.


Lorna Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/review-a-dangerous-witch-by-debora-geary.html

Paranormal New Releases: September 30th

Urban Fantasy:

Incarnate
Incarnate
(The Spellmason Chronicles #3)
by Anton Strout
Urban Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

HITTING ROCK BOTTOM

When Alexandra Belarus discovered her family’s secret ability to breathe life into stone, she uncovered an entire world of magic hidden within New York City—a world she has accidentally thrown into chaos. A spell gone awry has set thousands of gargoyles loose upon Manhattan, and it’s up to Lexi and her faithful protector, Stanis, to put things right.

But the stress of saving the city is casting a pall over Lexi and Stanis’s relationship, driving them to work separately to solve the problem. As Stanis struggles to unite the gargoyle population, Lexi forges unlikely alliances with witches, alchemists and New York’s Finest to quell an unsettling uprising led by an ancient and deadly foe long thought vanquished.

To save her city, Lexi must wield more power than ever before with the added hope of recovering a mysterious artifact that could change her world—and bring her closer to Stanis than she ever thought possible…

 

Generation 18 (Spook Squad #2)
by Keri Arthur
Urban Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

COUNTDOWN TO CRISIS

A serial killer strikes every twelve hours. A vampire takes lives at random. At first glance, these tragic incidents seem unrelated. But Special Investigations Unit agents Sam Ryan and Gabriel Stern trace them both back to a military base known as Hopeworth. Is the murder spree part of a cover-up? And are the vampire killings less by chance and more methodical?

The investigation takes an eerie, personal turn when Sam discovers a connection between herself and the victims—and a clue to her own mysterious origins. With the violence escalating and the danger drawing closer to home, the stakes are raised and the mission changes from seeking justice to ensuring Sam and Gabriel’s own survival. And the one person who seems to hold all the answers—about Hopeworth, about Sam’s past—is a mystery man she isn’t sure she can trust. They share a psychic link through her dreams, and he once saved her life, but he may just be the greatest enemy humankind has ever known.

 

Priestess Dreaming
(Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #16)
by Yasmine Galenorn
Urban Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

We’re the D’Artigo sisters: savvy half-human, half-Fae operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. Menolly is a vampire married to a gorgeous werepuma. And me? I’m Camille, a Moon witch married to three hunky husbands, and I’m about to journey through the veils to search for a long lost legend…

With the war in Otherworld raging, the Queen of Shadow and Night summons me to her court. Aeval orders me on a quest through the mists to find an ancient ally of hers. I am to seek out The Merlin and wake him from his long sleep. Surrounded by danger on all sides, with Morgaine and Bran along for the journey, I must pray they are allies rather than enemies, as we undertake a perilous search through the labyrinth of time…



Paranormal Romance:

Burning Desire (Dark Kings #3)
by Donna Grant
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

The Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But can one warrior resist the greatest temptation of all. . .?

A DESIRE THIS POWERFUL
In his quest to destroy the Dark Fae—his nemesis—the Dragon King known as Kiril goes to Ireland as a spy. When a gorgeous, mysterious woman tries to seduce him, Kiril instantly sees through her glamour to the Dark Fae beneath. Shara isn’t just any Dark; she’s from one of the most powerful bloodlines—and despite the dangers, Kiril can’t stay away from her. He’s enthralled by her smile, enslaved by the undeniable passion…

IS A WAR WORTH FIGHTING FOR
Shara has one chance to make things right with her family—and to prove her worth. It seemed like such an easy mission…until she actually meets Kiril. His charm, his sexual magnetism is too much for her to ignore. Shara knows that falling into Kiril’s arms can bring her nothing but trouble. Yet she discovers an inner strength she didn’t know she had…and an attraction that knows no bounds. But is her desire for Kiril worth the risk of eternal doom for them both?…in Burning Desire by Donna Grant

 

Chained by Night
(MoonBound Clan Vampire #2)
by Larissa Ione
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

 

A Very Levet Christmas
(Guardians of Eternity #11.5)
by Alexandra Ivy
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

A gargoyle of Levet’s charm and intelligence should not be facing a solitary Christmas. True, he may appear a little unconventional—not to mention unconventionally little—even for a gargoyle. But what Levet lacks in height he makes up for in loyalty, and being banned from the festivities surrounding the Queen of Weres’ new pups is quite unfair.

So when a beautiful Christmas angel begs for help in fulfilling her duties, Levet has nothing better to do than agree. Armed with a magical wand, Levet confronts Damon, a pureblood Were intent on seizing the throne. Challenging the King will put the pups at risk—and drive away Damon’s potential mate, Gia. Who better to convince Damon to choose love, not war, than a gargoyle expert in amour? With a little magic, and a lot of Levet, this may yet be a truly wonderful Christmastime…

 

Innocent Prey (Brown and de Luca #3)
by Maggie Shayne
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

To save innocent lives, they’ll have to risk their own.

Self-help superstar Rachel de Luca and Detective Mason Brown have finally given in to their overwhelming attraction to each other, but neither of them is ready to let physical passion turn into full-blown romance, so they carefully maintain an emotional distance. Then a judge’s daughter disappears, and Mason has a terrible sense that it’s connected to the most recent case they solved together: the abduction of Rachel’s assistant.

The discovery of a string of missing women—all young, all troubled—seems like a promising lead. But there’s no clear connection between the missing girls and the high-profile young woman Mason is trying to find. He realizes that once again he’ll have to rely on his own well-honed instincts and Rachel’s uncanny capacity to see through people’s lies in order to catch a predator and rescue his captives. But can they do it before Rachel becomes his next victim?

 

Lying with Wolves
by Cynthia Cooke
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

Only her powerful magic can save the Colony and the man she loves…

In the wake of a betrayal, Celia Lawson, the last of a preeminent magical bloodline, is building a new life for herself outside the security of the Colony. Meanwhile, demon raiders have breached the protective barriers of the compound and are threatening everyone she loves. When she learns of the tragedy, Celia races home to help mount a magical offensive–and finds comfort back in the arms of the shifter who broke her heart….

Risking exposure for all that he’s done, Malcolm Daniels wants only to redeem himself with the pack and win back Celia’s trust. But as demon forces invade, Celia’s magic–and her own conflicted feelings for Malcolm–will be tested in ways neither of them ever would have imagined.

 

Ghost Wolf (The Saint-Pierres #6)
by Michele Hauf
Paranormal Romance
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

The Lone Wolf’s Salvation…

When Daisy-Blu Saint-Pierre starts investigating the mysterious ghost wolf that’s been menacing hunters in Tangle Lake, she encounters a juicier sort of discovery in sexy lone wolf Beck. Beck, with his rugged, raw energy and virility to burn…

A tragic accident has left Beckett Severo hungry for revenge. Now faery magick has turned him from a werewolf into something more powerful. The lovely Daisy is a great distraction. Time spent in her arms almost makes Beck forget the danger they’re in. Almost.

Daisy and Beck must risk losing who they are to become what they are meant to be…together.



Fantasy:

Summer Moon (Celtic Wolves #2)
by Jan DeLima
Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

She won’t be ruled again…

Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.

Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.

When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined…

 

The Bloodbound
by Erin Lindsey
Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…

A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.

Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.

But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…

 

The Wonder of All Things
by Jason Mott
Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

On the heels of his critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling debut novel, The Returned, Jason Mott delivers a spellbinding tale of love and sacrifice

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear.

Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.

Elegantly written, deeply intimate and emotionally astute, The Wonder of All Things is an unforgettable story and a poignant reminder of life’s extraordinary gifts.

 

Winterspell
by Claire Legrand
Fantasy
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

After her mother is brutally murdered, seventeen-year-old Clara Stole is determined to find out what happened to her. Her father, a powerful man with little integrity, is a notorious New York City gang lord in the syndicate-turned-empire called Concordia. And he isn’t much help.

But there is something even darker than Concordia’s corruption brewing under the surface of the city, something full of vengeance and magic, like the stories Clara’s godfather used to tell her when she was a little girl. Then her father is abducted and her little sister’s life is threatened, and Clara accidentally frees Nicholas from a statue that has been his prison for years. Nicholas is the rightful prince of Cane, a wintry kingdom that exists beyond the city Clara has known her whole life.

When Nicholas and Clara journey together to Cane to retrieve her father, Clara encounters Anise, the queen of the faeries, who has ousted the royal family in favor of her own totalitarian, anti-human regime. Clara finds that this new world is not as foreign as she feared, but time is running out for her family, and there is only so much magic can do…



New Adult:

The Curse Defiers (Curse Keepers #3)
by Denise Grover Swank
New Adult
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

For centuries the gods have waited—for the betrayal that will release them, for the traitors who will defend them, for the warrior who will challenge them. Now at long last the gate between the human and spirit worlds is open, and with it, an army of vengeful demons poised to swarm the earth. Only the Curse Keepers, Ellie Lancaster and Collin Dailey, can stop it…if they can break free from a tangled web of treachery, jealousy, and lies.

Torn between two men—her heart belongs to David, yet her soul is bound to Collin’s—Ellie no longer knows who she can trust. Demons slipping through the gate are leaving a trail of bodies in their wake, each death a chilling reminder of the power of the ancient spirits to bring humanity to its knees. Faced with an unimaginable future, Ellie realizes the time has come to turn her back on prophecy and choose her own destiny—even if it means defying the gods themselves.

In the thrilling conclusion to the Curse Keepers trilogy, humanity faces its final battle for survival!



Young Adult:

The Queen of Zombie Hearts
(White Rabbit Chronicles #3)
by Gena Showalter
Young Adult
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

I have a plan.

We’ll either destroy them for good, or they’ll destroy us.

Either way, only one of us is walking away.

In the stunning conclusion to the wildly popular White Rabbit Chronicles, Alice “Ali” Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She’s ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers…until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It’s then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters…and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies…and she isn’t the girl she thought she was. She’s connected to the woman responsible for killing—and turning—Cole’s mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima—even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.

 

Sacrifice (Elemental #5)
by Brigid Kemmerer
Young Adult
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure.

He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment’s notice.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s “bad luck.” Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight. . .

 

Dead Zone (Blackout #2)
by Robison Wells
Young Adult
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

Homeland meets Marie Lu’s Legend in the explosive sequel to Blackout, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Ally Condie called “a thrilling combination of Wells’s trademark twists and terror. Fantastic!”

It began with a virus. Then a series of attacks erupted across the nation. Now America is at war—and a handful of teens with impossible powers are its only defense.

In Dead Zone, Robison Wells delivers his most nail-bitingly tense read yet—and an electrifying conclusion to a two-book series that’s perfect for fans of The Maze Runner and I Am Number Four.

 

Unmarked (The Legion #2)
by Kami Garcia
Young Adult
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

He is here . . . and he could be anyone.

Kennedy Waters lives in a world where vengeance spirits kill, ghosts keep secrets, and a demon walks among us-a demon she accidentally set free.

Now Kennedy and the other Legion members-Alara, Priest, Lukas, and Jared-have to hunt him down. As they learn more about the history of the Legion and the Illuminati, Kennedy realizes that the greatest mystery of all does not belong to any secret order, but to her own family. With the clock ticking and the life of someone she loves hanging in the balance, Kennedy has to ask the question she fears most: what is it about her past that has left her Unmarked?

 

Invisible (The Twixt #2)
by Dawn Metcalf
Young Adult
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

Some things lie beneath the surface.

Invisible.

With the power to change everything.

Joy Malone wants it all—power, freedom and the boyfriend who loves her. Yet when an unstoppable assassin is hired to kill her, Joy learns that being the girl with the Sight comes with a price that might be too high to pay. Love will be tested, lives will be threatened, and everyone Joy knows and cares about will be affected by her decision to stand by Ink or to leave the Twixt forever.

Her choice is balanced on a scalpel’s edge and the consequences will be more life-altering than anyone can guess.



Non-Fiction:

The Penguin Book of Witches
by Katherine Howe
Paranormal
Amazon GoodReads
 

Book Description

Chilling real-life accounts of witches, from medieval Europe through colonial America.

From a manual for witch hunters written by King James himself in 1597, to court documents from the Salem witch trials of 1692, to newspaper coverage of a woman stoned to death on the streets of Philadelphia while the Continental Congress met, The Penguin Book of Witches is a treasury of historical accounts of accused witches that sheds light on the reality behind the legends. Bringing to life stories like that of Eunice Cole, tried for attacking a teenage girl with a rock and buried with a stake through her heart; Jane Jacobs, a Bostonian so often accused of witchcraft that she took her tormentors to court on charges of slander; and Increase Mather, an exorcism-performing minister famed for his knowledge of witches, this volume provides a unique tour through the darkest history of English and North American witchcraft.



Carmel Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/paranormal-new-releases-september-30th.html

Early Review: Summer Moon by Jan DeLima

Summer Moon - Jan DeLima

Summer Moon
Series: Celtic Wolves #2
Author: Jan DeLima
Publisher: ACE
Published on: September 30, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Werewolves
Format: 304 pages, ARC
Provided by: Publisher

Amazon | Book Depo | Chapters Indigo | Kobo | GoodReads

She won’t be ruled again…

Rosa Alban has been obedient her entire life. But when her alpha husband dies, she seizes the opportunity to flee the oppressive Guardians—the rulers of the secret shapeshifter world. Her flight instantly brands her as a pack traitor, and she has no choice but to seek protection from a neighboring tribe by marrying one of their sons.

Known as the Beast of Merin, Luc Black loyally plays the part of unwanted son and devoted brother. He realizes marrying Rosa will strengthen his tribe’s territory, but he has no intention of loving ever again. Still, he’s unprepared for the intense physical need the wild she-wolf awakens in him.

When the Guardians hone in on Rosa, Luc must fight to protect his new bride. And as war descends, the unlikely allies discover their destinies are irrevocably entwined…

topread HowlingGood Fantasy

 

The sequel in Jan DeLima’s CELTIC WOLVES series has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2014 because I really liked the groundwork she laid in book 1, and fully expected this second installment to make my werewolf top 10 list once again this year. It only took a couple of chapters for me to fall in love with this author’s rich mythology, gripping characters, and captivating storytelling all over again, and to realize that CELTIC MOON barely even scratched the surface of this writer’s vast fictional universe.

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about the first novel was that the protagonists were older, so I was pleased that DeLima continued along that same path in SUMMER MOON. Rosa and Richard have both previously been married, are several centuries old on account of their shifter blood, and that maturity really shined through in both their personalities and actions. Their previous relationships were vastly different with one not being able to escape hers soon enough, while as the other is still lamenting over his loss some seventy years later. I loved the way that the author demonstrated how their past loves shaped their futures because getting readers to sympathize with a character who can’t let go of his long deceased wife while being married to another is no easy task. I never resented Richard, and I think the inclusion of Koko’s journal entries and artwork played a large role in that.

Rosa’s courage, strong protective streak, and loyalty made her the ideal wolf queen. I liked that rather than being cowed by years of abuse and neglect, she instead bided her time, and waited for an opportune moment to strike. Once her inner alpha was unleashed there was no stopping her forward march to free her people, even if it meant tying herself to yet another man. However, from her perspective, marrying Luke was indeed better than being raped by eight Guardians because of the council’s horrendous idea to revive an archaic fertility ritual in order to keep their blood ‘pure.’ The CELTIC WOLVES world is definitely not a kind one, but I appreciated that the author took the time to show Rosa what true love is supposed to feel like. The sex scenes were few in number, yet the steam factor was through the roof. This story sucked me right in with its mesmerizing mix of ugly and beautiful.

I’m grateful that this installment came with a glossary of terms because between the Celtic vocabulary and Fantasy writing style, it’s obvious that DeLima’s first career was as a researcher / librarian. As much as I enjoy this author’s way with words, it’s also her downfall at times. Now, her world-building on the other hand is absolutely phenomenal! I enjoyed learning more about the Guardians, who were only mentioned in passing in CELTIC MOON, and the lore surrounding the Beddestyr (Walkers), Bleidd (shifters born wolf), and Hen Was (slaves) was downright fascinating. There’s even a bit of Fae mythology which I suspect will come into play later down the line on account of the ending. I’m hoping for Elen and Cormack’s story next, but really there are so many great secondary characters to choose from that I’m sure I’ll be happy no matter which couple shows up in book 3.

SUMMER MOON is proof that Jan DeLima’s writing debut was no fluke—there’s a new werewolf queen in town (and I don’t mean Rosa)!


Celtic Wolves Series

My Review

 



Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on GoodReads!


Carmel Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/early-review-summer-moon-by-jan-delima.html

Review: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls by Elliott James

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls - Elliott James

This short picked up right where CHARMED I'M SURE left off, so I'm happy that there was some continuity to these stories because they don't really add anything to the series as a whole other than bonus time with John Charming which isn't in itself a bad thing. We have yet to encounter any of the cunning folk in the full length books, so that was a fun extra as was the Fossegrim. I like how creative the author is at coming up with new and original ways of conquering villains, and in this case that was Greek fire—nasty stuff! The aleuromancy angle, the ability to read the future in sifting flour, was pretty neat too. My complaint about the price remains however.

Review: Charmed I'm Sure by Elliott James

Charmed I'm Sure - Elliott James

I have to give it to Elliott James, he sure knows how to get creative when choosing his paranormal beasties! Only John Charming would pick a homeless guy up off the side of the road, and associate his forlorn state to a Wila's machinations. This was an action-y short, and a modern twist on an ancient Fae lore, instead of bows and reindeer steeds we get Harleys and machine guns. The hero made defeating formidable foes like the bugganes look easy, and the story was a fun addition to the PAX ARCANA world, although I wouldn't recommend reading this one before CHARMING even though it's labeled as a prequel, and the price is a little steep considering its length.

Reading progress update: I've listened 223 out of 478 minutes.

The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong

Tori is SO annoying!

Reading progress update: I've listened 178 out of 478 minutes.

The Awakening - Kelley Armstrong

Review: The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey

Review: The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey
The Bloodbound
Author: Erin Lindsey
Publisher: ACE
Published on: September 30 2014
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Format: 368 pages, eARC
Provided by: NetGalley
four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars
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Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…

A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.

Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.

But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…
Epic kickass love_triangle SwoonWorthy trendy

 

Fantasy Romance is one of my favorite sub-genres, but I rarely have an opportunity to read it, b/c there’s not a lot of it available. This makes no sense to me, b/c AWESOME–it’s Fantasy AND it’s Romance . . . what’s not to like?

 

I think some people automatically shoot down anything designated as Fantasy, b/c they get overwhelmed by visions of infinite pages, multiple POVs, gruesome battle after gruesome battle, etc.

 

BUT.

 

Fantasy Romance is an entirely different beast. Yeah, some of them are a bit longer (not this one) then the average book, and yeah, there is often more than one POV (only two), but the focus is different. The characters are still trying to save the world (or the kingdom), but the story is focused primarily on the heroine and her love interest(s), NOT on so many characters and organizations that a glossary is required to keep track of them all.

 

At least that’s my take. FYI.

 

And so The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey had been on my watchlist long before I had the opportunity to read it.

 

I instantly liked our heroine. The story opens in the heat of battle, and we meet Alix as she decides to run headlong into danger when she sees her leader in trouble. When a friend tries to reason with her–reminds her that their orders are to stay put–her response is, “And their orders were to attack.”

 

AND that is my reasoning every time I’m driving and have to pass some idiot on the right. You see . . . orders (rules, laws, speed limits, whatever) only work if everyone follows them . . . and when everything goes according to plan. Sometimes you just have to roll with situation you’re thrust into, damn your orders, and Alix gets that.

 

So does her brother:

“We’re not strong enough to confront the enemy directly, but we’ve become quite adept a hit-and-run strikes–taking out their scouting parties, raiding their camps, targeting their supply lines, that sort of thing. Some of the men disapprove of such devices–they’ve got fool-headed ideas about glory and honor–but I’m no martyr. I do what I can with the resources at my disposal, and no more.”

I realize that’s a lot of war talk for a Fantasy that I’m trying to differentiate based on the Romance aspect, but there is a war going on, and there are battles. They just aren’t the page after page (after page) of lopping off limbs and heads (and thank the nine Virtues for that) type of battles.

 

Speaking of the nine Virtues, the world-building left a bit to be desired. To save you the trouble, here are the Virtues I was able to figure out:

 

  • Farika – Patience/Grace(?)
  • Destan – Honor
  • Olan – Courage
  • Ardin – Boldness (Strength?)
  • Eldora – Wisdom
  • Rahl -
  • Hew – Wit
  • Garvin

 

Beyond that . . . I got nuthin’. I appreciate the lack of an info dump, but by the end of the book, I still hadn’t gleaned enough information to know what all nine Virtues were, let alone understand their importance. I had similar issues with other aspects of the world-building, but it wasn’t a huge problem for me, b/c I was too caught up in the story.

 

Why was I so caught up in the story?

 

Well . . . I don’t know about you, but by the end of Thor: The Dark World, I was ready for Thor to kick Jane Foster to the curb, b/c Sif. I mean really . . . Jane was BLAH, and Sif . . . Sif was Sif (A-W-E-S-O-M-E).

 

Alix is Sif with red hair. And Erik is Thor, and Tomald is Loki. *shrugs* Hey, you have to get your inspiration somewhere, and I’m pretty convinced that’s where Lindsey’s came from:

Tom sat beneath the window with his back to the wall, one arm draped across his knee. He made no move to stand as Erik entered. He did not even raise his head.

description

 

Don’t misunderstand–this is a completely new and original book, and one that I very much enjoyed. All I’m saying is that if you’re a fan of one (and I SO am), then it’s likely you’ll be a fan of the other (I SO was).

 

Full of witty banter, immensely likable characters, and swoons aplenty, The Bloodbound by Erin Lindsey is not to be missed. There’s something for fans of both Romance and Fantasy, and I can’t wait to see what Lindsey has for us next.

 

Jessica Signature

Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/review-the-bloodbound-by-erin-lindsey.html

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Deceived by the Others - Jess Haines

Loved this installment! It was the best one so far, but boy is it going to be hard to keep my thoughts spoiler-free. Vampires rule and werewolves drool, no I'm not switching sides, but in this particular case Chaz can suck it. Full review to follow.

Reading progress update: I've read 71%.

Deceived by the Others - Jess Haines

Sic Royce on that a-hole. Do it!!!

Reading progress update: I've read 40%.

Deceived by the Others - Jess Haines

Paula, meet Shia's foot you bitch!

Review: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith

Review: The Shadows of Stormclyffe Hall by Lauren Smith
The Shadows of Stormcliffe Hall
Series: Dark Seductions #1
Author: Lauren Smith
Publisher: Entangled
Published on: September 29, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format: 196 pages, eBook
Provided by: Publisher
four-starsfour-starsfour-starsfour-stars
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A thrilling gothic romance from Entangled’s Otherworld imprint…

To defeat a dark evil, they must face his family’s past…

Bastian Carlisle, the Earl of Weymouth, doesn’t believe in ghosts. Even though tragedy and mysterious hauntings have driven his family away from his ancestral home, Stormclyffe Hall, he is determined to restore the castle to its former glory. His plans are disrupted when a stubborn American shows up on his doorstep hoping to pry into his family’s tragic history.

Jane Seyton, an American graduate student, is convinced there’s more to the tragedy of Stormclyffe Hall than history claims. Ever the scholar, she is determined to discover the truth, even if it means putting up with the arrogant, yet sexy, Bastian.

Although Bastian wants nothing to do with the pushy American, it soon becomes clear that something evil is in the house—and that something is targeting both Jane and Bastian. The two must join forces to purge the ghosts of Stormclyffe Hall once and for all—even as they try to fight a physical attraction between them that grows more and more impossible to deny.



Ghost stories have been a favorite of mine for years, movies or books, it doesn’t matter. Throw in an ancient English castle, set it on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and I am hooked. Added bonus? A curse on the family that lives there, and on all the future generations for eternity. I grew up reading gothic romances, and this would have fit right in back then, with the exception of the sex scenes, that is.

Jane is an American, studying at Cambridge. She’s working on her dissertation, and all she needs to finish, is to be able to research the family tragedies at Stormclyffe Hall. She makes the journey there, even though the present Earl has only said that she can come in as a tourist, and that’s all. Almost the minute the Earl, Bastian, and Jane lay eyes on each other, weird things start to happen. Ghost possession on both of their parts? Oh yes, and ghosts that love each other at that. It made for a very interesting first scene together to say the least.

Jane is a very determined character. She has been dreaming of Stormclyffe Hall for years. She feels drawn there, feels like she belongs there. And after meeting Bastian, she feels like they belong together. Bastian is having none of it, and is just as determined towards that end as Jane is against it. So what is pulling Jane to the castle, and is she really falling for Bastian, or is something otherworldly causing her to feel this way?

Bastian is a super rich Earl, and super handsome as well. Jane describes herself as the studious type, and not beautiful. Bastian, however, thinks she is. The twosome make for good main characters, for the most part. Bastian does spend quite a bit of time denying all the paranormal happenings that are taking place in his home, and that got a little bit tiresome. When things are happening right in front of his eyes, and he denies it? It made for some conflict between the two, and moved the story along, so that was okay.

I enjoyed the spooky atmosphere, both in and out of the castle, and even the small town nearby had it’s weird moments. The shadows in the castle have their chance at scary on several occasions, and ghosts make appearances, both by possession, and in person. On top of all that, there’s also an evil presence in the castle, and it appears to want Jane to die. So for those that like ghost stories, this could be a good next read. And for those that like a good romance, with some hot sexual scenes, you may also enjoy this.

On another note, I thought parts of the ending were pretty predictable. It didn’t take rocket science to figure out where it would all take place. However, I can’t imagine how the author could end it any other way. Other then that, I found this to be a good ghost story, and sensual romance.


Lorna Signature

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Armageddon Rules by JC Nelson

ArmageddonRules.indd
Armageddon Rules | Grimm Agency #2

 

24/02/2015

 

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Marissa Locks, newly appointed partner of the Grimm Agency, has a reputation for making a mess of magical matters—although causing Armageddon is a new low, even for her…

Marissa is due for a little happily ever after. After all, she did kill the evil Fairy Godmother, end a war, and snag a sweet promotion within the Fairy Godfather’s magical-problem-solving Agency. But between maintaining a relationship with someone whose amorous advances can cause third-degree burns, dealing with a killer-poodle infestation, and helping her best friend, Princess Ari, learn to wield spells more powerful than curing a hangover, she’s not getting as much peace and quiet as she hoped.

When an enemy from her past appears to exact a terrible revenge, Marissa’s life goes from hectic to hell on earth. With Grimm inexplicably gone and Ari trapped by a sleeping spell, Marissa decides to fight fire with hellfire—and accidentally begins a countdown to the apocalypse.

With the end of days extremely nigh, Marissa will have to master royal politics, demonic law, and biblical plagues in a hurry—because even the end of the world can’t keep the Agency from opening for business…

Excerpt
               In my defense, I didn’t mean to start the Apocalypse. It wasn’t just my personal aversion to oblivion, I had a clear financial motive: the end of the world is bad for business.
               Speaking of business, that Monday began the same way almost every Monday had for the last three weeks: with a plague. Last week it was frogs.
               I rolled into the office at about nine forty-five, and, as usual, the Agency was pure chaos. Rosa–our receptionist–was opening a fresh container of Taser darts and we’d only been open for forty-five minutes.
               “Miss Locks, you gotta help.” A man in an orange jumpsuit with “Corrections Department” stamped in block letters down the side grabbed my shoulder as I walked past, spinning me around. “I gotta get me a wish.”
               Strike one: Escaping from a garbage pickup crew. Strike two: Putting grubby fingers on my brand new top. Strike three: Calling me “Miss” instead of “Ms.” Locks. Far as I was concerned, Miss Locks left the building the day I turned eighteen and hadn’t been seen around here since.
               “I’ll make a few calls.” To the police, if possible. To the morgue, if necessary.
               He nodded gratefully and sat down on a bench.
               I slipped through the “Staff Only” door, made it to the kitchen and almost poured a cup of coffee before the screaming started. One should never face disaster without caffeine. So I got my coffee and headed back out to the lobby, strolling through the door to see exactly what we’d been struck with.
               Rats ran everywhere. They scrabbled on the walls, gnawed on the furniture and covered the floor like a shag carpet from 1973. In the middle of the lobby stood a teenage girl, six foot tall, rail thin with platinum blonde hair. Her clothes hung in tatters from bony white arms, and red blotches surrounded each of her many, many piercings. Her extravagant collection of tattoos spoke of poor impulse control and even worse decision making skills. She looked up at me with baleful eyes. “Please. I need help.”
               I glanced around the room. The couple nearest the door held a cage with a amphibian I could only loosely call a frog. In the corner waited a group of kobolds. Roughly five feet tall, and with humanoid features except for their scaled skin and forked tongues, these Germanic lizard-men came every Monday to demand and be refused Grimm’s help in forming a professional soccer team. That left the homeless guy by the door, a man we called Payday George. He still hadn’t figured out this wasn’t a payday loan joint, probably because most days I felt sorry for him and just give him a twenty. I opened the staff door and waved to the girl. “Come on.”
               Rosa glowered at me, mumbling curses in Spanish. She hated when I picked clients, and if she had her way, we’d take them one at a time, from number one to number six-hundred in exactly that order. Even if fifty-three was a starving fungal giant and sixty-two was a samurai with a serious shitake addiction. To her credit, Rosa kept her mouth shut. One does not argue with the boss.
               We headed down the hall to a conference room, me, the girl, and enough rats to supply a hot dog factory running three shifts, seven days a week. I took a seat on one side of the table, she took a seat on the other and the rats took seats everywhere. Flicking one off my knee, I began the interview. “So what exactly do you want me to do for you?”
               Tears smudged the sludge of makeup she wore, and she waved her arms around. “Duh. Isn’t it obvious?”
               Absolutely. Obvious that she needed help. Figuring out which kind first, that was the hard part. I walked over and ran my fingers through her tangled, crispy hair, took a good look at all sixteen rings in her ear and the tasteful depiction on her shoulder of what was either Bob Dylan in “The Man in the Long Black Coat”, or a velociraptor playing acoustic guitar. “We can help. First, let’s take out those piercings. I’ll get you some alcohol and a prescription for some antibiotics. Your hair is crunchy from whatever you used to bleach it, and the tattoos are going to take years to remove.”
               A rat jumped into my coffee and poked its head out. The girl stared as I fished it out by the tail, set it on the table, and handed it a sugar cube.
               “What about the rats?”
               I took another sip of coffee, which tasted Parisian, with a hint of rat. “What about them?”
               “The only thing I need is for you to get rid of the rats.” She shivered.
               I pushed a box of tissues across to her. “What’s your name?”
               She scratched out a tissue and wiped her eyes. The tissue caught in her makeup and left shreds clinging to her cheeks. “Elizabeth. I like Beth.”
               I brushed the rats out of the way and sat down on the table, my mind already made up. “Well, Beth, I have good news and bad news. Good news is I can help with the hair, the piercings, and I’ve got a lady in my wardrobe department who can teach you how to use less than a pound of cosmetics a day. The bad news, I’m not going to do a thing about the rats.”
               She stared at me as her brain tried to process what I said. I leaned across and patted her hand. “You look hungry.” Truth was, she looked like one of those commercials for starving kids. I used to watch TV, and every once in a while I’d see commercials where you could mail order a kid for fifty dollars a month. Always wanted to try, but given my track record with pets, I’d signed an agreement with animal control that anything more than a goldfish required daily home visitation. Anyway, Beth reminded me of those kids.
               “I can’t eat. Every time I try to eat the rats take it from me.”
               I should’ve asked about her credit. I should’ve asked Rosa if her application was complete, but one look at her said I’d found my charity case for the week. “I’m going to order a pizza or two. I’ll have one of my employees bring a barrel of garbage up from the dumpster to distract your companions. I need you to sit tight for a bit, okay?”
               She nodded and put her head down on the table. Walking out the door, on the way to my office, I made a mental note to have the table cleaned, or burned, or both.
#


               My office, incidentally, was almost the biggest in the Agency. That was only right, since for most things, most days, I was in charge. I was a partner, the junior partner, but definitely not a silent one. On my desk sat a vase with yellow flowers. Daffodils, my favorite. The card attached read “La fille du majordome est mon amant. Love, Liam.” His attempts to learn French from the foreign film festival went about as well as my Spanish by mail lessons, because the butler’s daughter was not his lover. My dad was an accountant, and Liam and I didn’t even have a butler.
               I pulled a towel off the full length mirror in the corner and made a call. “Grimm, how’s it going?”
               Grimm snapped into view in the mirror, looking more like an English butler than a sentient manifestation of magic. Grimm was the Fairy Godfather, founder of the Agency, once my boss, and sometimes my friend. He could grant wishes if he wanted to, but most people didn’t need wishes. They needed solutions to their problems.
               Just so we’re clear, I had no magic. I wasn’t a princess, witch, half-blood or anything like that. The only magic I could work was performed with bullets, bacon or boobs. Anything that couldn’t be handled with the big three, I called in Grimm. I didn’t call often.
               He smiled, making the wrinkles in his face crease together. “Marissa, my dear, it is only Monday. Do you require my assistance already?” His voice always reminded me of some nature documentary narrator.
               I shook my head. “Nah. Nothing we can’t handle yet. Got a new Piper though. She can’t be more than seventeen.”
               Grimm slid his glasses forward to look at me over the thick, black edges. “What, may I ask, is she piping?”
               I shrugged. “The usual for newbies.” New Pipers, particularly girls, always started with brainless, easily to influence creatures like rats or teenage boys. “If we can get her trained, this year’s Poodling will go a lot easier.”
               He raised one eyebrow and pursed his lips. “And if you can’t, my dear?”
               Grimm had never appreciated my term for our yearly pest control operations. Every year, like clockwork, infernal energy welled to the surface. Instead of manifesting as something reasonable, like a six headed hydra, or flaming squid, it tended to take the form of small, white, dog-shaped creatures with a taste for murder. “If I can’t, she can supply kingdom with organic, free range rats. Can you tell me where Ari is?”
               Arianna, my right hand woman, my best friend, my Girl Friday, or at least Girl Thursday. At her name, Grimm’s lips turned down. “I already checked. She slept through her alarm, missed her bus to the Agency, and failed her civics test. On top of Arianna’s Department of Licensing disaster, she’s planning to call in sick.”
               Ari had spent the last two years in college. Grimm and I had running bets on what she planned on majoring in. Grimm always said “Do what you are best at.” From what I could tell, Ari was going to major in failing the driver’s license test. “She failed this weekend? Couldn’t you intervene?”
               “Marissa, I did intervene. She mistook the accelerator for the volume control and drove three blocks through the market at full speed. Again. It took every bit of magic I could pull off to make certain no one got more than a little run over.”
               “I’ll go fetch her.” Ari usually rose with the sun, and by now, she could have walked into the Agency. And Grimm hadn’t said she was sick. Only that she planned on calling in sick. The more I thought about it, the more I figured there had to be another reason. “Did she fail one of your magic tests too?”
               Grimm’s expression said it all. He wouldn’t meet my eyes, his face turned down. “Not exactly. She failed my pretest. I asked her to summon a dog with eyes the size of cup saucers. What she summoned hasn’t tread the earth since the Jurassic age.”
               Grimm had spent the last few years training Ari in magic. He traded passing tests in college for new lessons on how not to kill herself with magic. I remained unconvinced it was a fair trade. Grimm said he was taking his time because he didn’t want her exposed to evil. If that were true, he wouldn’t have made her take Calculus.
               I picked up my purse and took my jacket. “I’ll be back soon. The Piper’s in 2A, I suggest nobody opens the door. The Kobolds need to be turned down, Rosa will send away Payday George, and there’s a frog prince waiting in the lobby.”
               Grimm sighed and faded out of view. I wonder at times what he ever did without me.
###

               Ari lived in a brownstone about twenty minutes from the Agency. Technically she lived alone. I knocked, and she answered without bothering to check the peep hole. Her yellow sundress with matching hat made her pale complexion look a lot better, and she kept her red hair pulled back so that it didn’t fall into her face.
               I pulled my nine-millimeter from my purse and pointed it at her. “What have I told you about answering the door without looking first?”
               Ari ignored me and shuffled back inside. “I can see through the door, M, and Yeller would take care of anyone who bothered me.” At the sound of his name, a dog the size of a Shetland pony padded forward. Only Ari would keep a hell hound as a pet. He looked like Cujo crossed with an alligator and a zombie. None of those crosses improved his disposition.
               He stared at me, the gun in my hand, and began to growl, long and low. I put the gun away, since I’d grown somewhat attached to my hands. “Hey, Yeller. I have a poodle for you in the trunk of my car.” Yeller bared his teeth at me.
               Ari left the door open and walked down the hall. “Come on in, M. I’m making tea.”
               I hated Ari’s apartment. She lived there because it was the only thing she could afford. She could afford it because it was haunted, and I don’t mean “things that go bump in the night” haunted. I mean “things that devour your spirit.”
               Inside, the apartment still looked as if the previous owner lived there (which he didn’t) and like he was still around (he was). Ari brought out a tea kettle and poured three cups, then sat back on a couch, the cover of which looked like woven hair. She clinked her spoon against the cup, like ringing a dinner bell. “Larry, I’m having tea with Marissa. Are you going to join us?”
               The basement door blew open, and a ghastly form made of shadows flowed out.
               I nodded to it. “Larry.”
               It looked at me with those dull red orbs that passed for eyes, a look that said it would rather be devouring my spirit than sipping tea. “Marissa.”
               That one word took five syllables. I didn’t have the patience to talk with liches. I was supposed to have evicted this one a few years ago. Evictions were cheaper than exorcisms and worked about as often, but the day I went to court to close it, I made a nasty discovery.
               I still remember standing there in my business suit with my property attorney at my side, while we waited for the lich to fail to make an appearance. They never showed – being bound to the place of one’s death limited mobility options. Right as the judge was getting ready to approve it, the courtroom door swung open.
               In lurched a postman, his mail bag still hanging from his side. He moved in awkward, jerky movements like a teenager at his first dance. The postman staggered to the bench and handed a scrawled paper to the judge. A few minutes later, when I should have been filing the new deed, I was sitting outside asking our lawyer how we got beat by a possessed postman.
               I spent the better part of the next year fighting him. Well, technically him. Whether it was the grandma in her walker, or the hipster on his single speed bike, they all developed an unholy knowledge of property law when possessed by Larry the Lich. I think the low point was getting hit with attorney’s fees by an eight year-old-boy.
               At that point we actually did research and discovered that before death, Larry the Lich had been Larry Gulberson, Attorney at Law. That was before he took up a more respectable profession, committing unspeakable acts of evil.
               So we negotiated a new contract. Technically, Grimm and Larry did, and Ari sublet the top three floors from an undead spirit of wrath. He wasn’t a terrible landlord for someone bound to this plane only by the sheer weight of his hatred and malice. Ari claimed he wasn’t that bad, once you got past the glowing eyes, spectral form and tendency to devour the meter man. She always did find the positive things.
               So Ari went with me when we needed to hunt uglies. She helped me out when I needed to tame something nasty. Even if she was part princess and part sorceress, I trusted her
               I stood at the coffee table. “You’re late. Work started hours ago.”
               “I didn’t feel like coming in today. Summer semester tests are next week and I need to study more.” Ari made a terrible liar, her cheeks bright red, her hand over her mouth.
               “I need your help with a new Piper. She’s a mess. Got so many piercings she looks like a tackle box, and more tattoos than the Detroit Lions cheerleading squad. I could use a hand.” I took my tea and sat down beside her. As I did, I winced where the fabric of my pants rubbed fresh burns.
               Ari looked at me and nodded. “Liam singed you again?”
               “Yeah.” My boyfriend, Liam, burned with more than desire.
               Ari stood up. “I’ll get you some ice. Where’d he get you this time?”
               I gave her the look.
               She stopped for a moment, then opened her mouth. “Oh. You want burn cream?”
               “No. Remind me to ask Grimm for help when we get back to the Agency.”
               Ari nodded. “How was the film festival?”
               “Wonderful. I watched this movie –all in French—you’ve got to see it” I stopped, since Ari’s eyes glazed over like I’d wrapped her in a plastic bag again. Liam stayed by my side through three days of foreign language films. I think he spent more time watching me than the movies.
               “You’re thinking about him. You get that smile when you do.” Ari blushed, happy for me that at least I’d found my happy, if not the ever after.
               “We’ve got work to do. I’m sorry about the driving test. I’m sorry about the magic test, and I’m sorry about the civics exam. I’ve got a lobby full of potential clients and I’m missing my right-hand woman.”
               Ari stared at me for a moment. “We don’t get the results of the civics test until tonight.”
               “Well, in that case I have a feeling you’ll be doing the makeup exam. Now go get dressed for business and we’ll try doing something you’re good at.” She left me with the lich, and as she walked out the mood in the room changed.
               I knew Grimm negotiated safety for folks who stayed out of the basement. As the lights flickered and black smoke began to ooze out from the lich like tendrils, I kept my cool. “Larry, you hear about her driver’s test?”
               The tendrils paused for a moment and stopped snaking toward me. Larry nodded.
               “When it comes to driver’s tests that girl is cursed.”
               The lich shook its head, managing to keep it attached. Not bad for someone who’d been dead a few years.
               “Sorry,” I said, “I don’t mean actually cursed. She just has really bad luck.”
               Again the lich shook his head. Then he drifted over toward one of the towering book cases and began to point one-by-one at black bound tomes as if counting. It stretched out a skeletal hand toward one and beckoned to me with the other.
               If it were anyone other than Grimm who laid out the contract Ari signed before moving in, I’d have worried. We rented a truck to move the paper version of the contract after Grimm drafted it. I took out the book the lich pointed to and gave it a glance, trying to make sense of triangle based hieroglyphics.
               “I don’t read anything but English.” I went to put the book back but it held out a hand, stopping me. One claw touched the book and a vapor-like mist seeped out from what remained of the finger bones. Through the mist, the letters crawled like maggots, re-arranging themselves into words I could read. Also, I wasn’t hungry anymore. Celestial Law, Volume Three Hundred, read the title.
               I opened the book, and a wind began to whip through the room, blowing Ari’s mail into the air and flipping the pages until at last it died down. Again the lich did the maggot words thing. I read the chapter title. “The Exchange Principle.”
               I struggled through the first paragraph, then followed a bone finger to a single sentence. “For everything given, something must be taken. For every Blessing, a Curse.”
               At the words ‘blessing’ and ‘curse’ I shivered for reasons of my own. Blessings, Curses, no real difference. I’ve had a Curse do great things for me and a Blessing do awful things. I had one of each. “This isn’t about me. I was talking about Ari.”
               It shook his head again and pointed up the stairs. That got my mind got to work. Ari, through no fault of her own, was a princess. Born to a royal family, though the royal families these days had long since traded throne rooms for board rooms. My point being, as part of their contract with the universe, members of the royal families had what could only be described as ridiculous luck.
Reality itself bent over backwards to make things work out for them. Vicious creatures like hell hounds loved them, evil creatures like Wraiths tolerated them, and hungry creatures like wolves would rather eat gym sock soup than a single bite of princess. But maybe, I thought, all this came at a cost. If the only cost was not being able to drive, that was quite a bargain.
               “Larry, are you trying to devour Marissa again?” Ari stood on the stairs dressed in a standard black business suit with white shirt. She looked almost professional, but still cute.
               The lich shook his skull and held up his hands.
               “He was explaining something to me. On his best behavior, I promise.” I exchanged a glance with the lich and returned the book to its place. Then I took Ari and got the hell out of the haunted house she called home.



 
Author Bio

A Texas transplant to the Pacific Northwest, JC Nelson lives with a family and a flock of chickens near rainy Seattle.

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Giveaway

 

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What do you think of the latest cover in JC Nelson’s GRIM AGENCY series? I like!


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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/cover-reveal-and-giveaway-armageddon-rules-by-jc-nelson.html

Wedding Pictures!

I married my soul mate on June 21st, and we had a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony in my hometown followed by a wonderful reception at Le Belvedere with all of our family and friends. Our photographer, Kaan (KB Productions Canada), did an amazing job of capturing our special day. It was difficult picking only a handful of pics to share from the hundreds we received, but here are a few highlights, enjoy!


Wedding 2014
It’s show time!
Wedding
Do I look nervous? ;)

 

 

Wedding

My grand entrance!

 


Wedding
My papa walking me down the aisle.
Wedding
My lovely bridesmaids.

 

 

Wedding

The stunning venue, so happy it didn’t rain!

 

Wedding

I do!

 

Wedding

My new hubby & I.

 


Wedding
Wedding

 

 

Wedding

Your turn to get picked-up, dearest!

 

Immediate family, both sides.

Immediate family, both sides.

 

Wedding

Open bar—yeah baby!

 

Wedding width=

My sister-in-law made our wedding cake.

 

Wedding

First dance.




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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/wedding-pictures.html

Review: Hunted by the Others by Jess Haines

Hunted By The Others - Jess Haines

Hunted by the Others
Series: H&W Investigations #1
Author: Jess Haines
Publisher: Zebra
Published on: May 1, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Format: 353 pages, eBook
Provided by: Author

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They are the Others--the vampires, mages, and werewolves once thought to exist only in our imaginations. Now they're stepping out of the shadows, and nothing in our world will ever be the same again. . .

In A Town Like This, Being A P.I. Can Be Murder

Shiarra Waynest's detective work was dangerous enough when her client base was strictly mortal. But ailing finances have forced her to accept a lucrative case that could save her firm--if it doesn't kill her first. Shiarra has signed on to work for a high-level mage to recover an ancient artifact owned by one of New York's most powerful vampires.

As soon as Shiarra meets sexy, mesmerizing vamp Alec Royce, she knows her assignment is even more complicated than she thought. With a clandestine anti-Other group trying to recruit her, and magi being eliminated, Shiarra needs back-up and enlists her ex-boyfriend--a werewolf whose non-furry form is disarmingly appealing--and a nerdy mage with surprising talents. But it may not be enough. In a city where the undead roam, magic rules, and even the Others aren't always what they seem, Shiarra has just become the secret weapon in a battle between good and evil--whether she likes it or not. . .

PageTurner Kick-AssHeroine addictive

 

Several of my favourite Urban Fantasy series’ wrapped-up earlier this year which means that I finally have time to add a new one to my reading rotation, and Jess Haines’ H&W INVESTIGATIONS was next in line. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I picked up book 1, because reviews have been fairly mixed, but as far as first impressions go—I liked it! The author’s writing style flowed well, the pacing was excellent, and the story wasn’t weighed down by the dreaded information dump. In HUNTED BY THE OTHERS, readers get to witness the making of a vampire hunter, and I personally really enjoyed Haines’ introduction to her characters and paranormal universe.

Heavy world-building is usually a given in a first installment, so I was pleasantly surprised by how the author handled this aspect of her story. New terminology, magical rules, and artifacts are explored, but I didn’t find any of these aspects overwhelming at all. I especially enjoyed the inclusion of the latter because they helped give the heroine the tools she needed to tackle the big bad by shortening Shiarra’s learning curve which in turn led to more action, and less bumbling about. I liked learning about The Circle, White Hats, vampires and werewolves, and I thought that the mandatory Other contracts whenever humans were involved added an interesting safety net for the weaker mortals.

Shiarra finds herself in quite the conundrum when all facets of the Others start vying for her attention because of her latest assignment, and I was shocked by the sheer magnitude of character growth that she underwent in only one book. Waynest begins this story as a terrified P.I. flat out refusing to even consider taking a non-human case, only to end up just only in the thick of things, but actually fairing surprisingly well, although having a werewolf pack at her back, and a geeky sidekick certainly helped. Sara, Royce, Arthur, and Chaz were easy to like, and how can you not love a mouse named Bob? I found that some of Haines’ name choices left something to be desired, but I’m sure that they will grow on me in time.

The plot was entertaining, and I’ll be curious to see how Shiarra’s relationship with Alec plays out in future installments. There wasn’t much romance in this novel, but by the end pretty much all of the characters were paired off, so I can only assume that there will be some steam later down the line. The only thing that kind of bugged me were all of the lesbian jokes—now, I’m all for same sex couples in fiction, and the protagonist is obviously hetero, so why the jabs? They just felt unnecessary, and I’m sure that some readers might even take offense. I did however like how this book’s story arc was resolved because I 100% agreed with Waynest’s solution; it demonstrated both fortitude, and good judgement on her part.

HUNTED BY THE OTHERS went down easy, and left me itching for more. Next please!


H&W Investigations Series

 



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Source: http://rabidreads.ca/2014/09/review-hunted-by-the-others-by-jess-haines.html