Friday, December 14, 2012

Talisman of El Giveaway!

                                                               Talisman of El

What if your whole life was a lie?
One planet.
Two worlds.
Population: Human... 7 billion.
Others... Unknown.

When 14 year old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again.  This time he witnesses a brutal murder.  He's afraid to tell anyone.  No one would believe him... because it was a dream.  Just like the one he had four years ago - the day before his dad died.  Charlie doesn't know why this is happening.  He would give anything to have an ordinary life.  The problem: he doesn't belong in the world he knows as home.  He belongs with the others.

Purchase Talisman of El:  Amazon  B&N
                                                      Image of Alecia Stone
Author's PageAlecia Stone - Follow her on her websiteFacebookTwitter, and GoodReads  

The author is giving away a Kindle Fire and a hardback copy of Talisman of El.  Contest open internationally.  Enter the form below!
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Monday, December 3, 2012

The 13th

                                                                    The 13th

Magic in Strega Bluff is like parking meters in other cities.  The quaint New England town is home to a large community of witches, warlocks -- and many secrets.  Jade Hansen loved living there until the untimely death of her parents.  After a much-needed sabbatical, she returns to find the peaceful hamlet turned upside down. A string of murders haunts the city and everyone is a potential target, but even worse, they are all suspects.  A family secret puts Jade in the middle and her loved ones in danger.  Dodging an evil warlock set on revenge, she is a race to stop the killer before it's too late.

Author: Shadow Stephens

I really enjoyed this book!  The author does a fine job of painting the town of Strega Bluff, the people who live and visit there, and the rich paranormal history of the town.  Jade and Asher are well-rounded and have  more to their personas than sex appeal and spell casting (although there is a lot of both!).  Jade's relationships with others are varied and realistic, without "cookie-cutter" characters or a re-hashing of an old plot.  Jade and Asher are fun to read because they have fun in their lives, and have hope in the face of fear.  It was refreshing to read a paranormal story that is relatively angst free!  This was a fast read, and kept my interest.

Mini spoliers: Recommended for 18+ because of frequent sex scenes.  While these scenes are not overly graphic, there is no doubt as to what is happening or how the participants are interacting.  However, other than the sex, the book reads almost as if it is for young adult readers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Broken Promises

                                                          Broken Promises

All Bri wanted to do was spend her Friday night with the man she loved and adores.  Little did she know leaving her home would result in her relationship with Quinn being tested beyond its limits.
Fae have been organizing to invade Earth, and their devious plans are culminating now, colliding with Bri's very existence.  Using a powerful glamour, the Fae trigger each person's violent tendencies, turning the streets into a battleground and strangers against each other.  In a crushing blow, Quinn becomes affected and Bri finds herself battling to save her lover from himself as he stalks her relentlessly, taunting her at every turn.
But fighting for her love isn't her only worry.  As the battle ensues, Bri discovers a startling truth about her own heritage that she must come to terms with.  She has no other choice but to fight, leading her to a confrontation that will change her world forever - and threaten to leave her with broken promises.

Author: Belinda Boring

A good, fast read.  The book is well written, with good turn of phrase, many humorous moments, and an intriguing plot.  There is not much direct depiction of the Fae, but their impact on the story is deep and far-reaching.  It was a little hard for me to get my head around the characters because they are almost all archetypes - flawless, physically perfect, dashingly witty beings - but this made their descent into the violent madness of Fae-possession all the more shocking.  Bri is warm, funny, lovable, clumsy, and a little vulnerable, but also strong and stubborn.  Overall, a good book that is worth reading.

Spoiler Alert: There is lots of sex, but the sex is almost always tied in with violence, and comes near rape on several occasions.  I found this hard to reconcile in a book that is labeled as a romance.  Bri's constant attempts to redeem Quinn despite his threats and acts of violence toward Bri crossed the line for me into willfully blind stupidity rather than passionate devotion to her man, but did not detract much from my enjoyment of the story.  But you be the judge.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Silver Cross

                                                     The Silver Cross           
                                                               The Silver Cross

The Silver Cross

There are two things Boston detective Lacey Gardner knows about killing vampires. Slicing off a head or a hit directly to the heart are the only surefire ways to kill one.  Silver is their Achilles heel.  A vampire never wears silver.

When she meets bartender extraordinaire, Damon Harte, her heart does a quickstep for the dark hunky guy. She's learned the hard way that having a love interest in her line of work can be heart-wrenching.  She's kept to herself for years, but something about Damon captivates her and draws her to him.  When she learns Damon's devastating secret, she knows what she has to do: kill the man who has stolen her heart...

Authors: Debra L Martin & David W. Small

I enjoyed this book.  It is well conceived, well written, and with characters that each have a distinct personality, appearance, and motivation.  There are a wealth of details, but not so much that they bog down the fast-paced action, or makes the slow and seductive romance too over the top.  The authors do a good job of introducing layers of story that are not evident from the above teaser-review, and his story is more than just "girl falls for vampire and has to choose between love and loss."  It was a fast read - I finished it in a little over an hour, but I will probably re-read it more slowly to really enjoy the unfolding of the plot and characters again.

Spoiler: Absolutely written to be the first in a series (there had better be more!), and there is no definite conclusion for any of the primary characters.

Saturday, October 27, 2012



For three days, it was dark.
News reporters scrambled.  This was the biggest story to come along in weeks.
They called it a blackout.
The last one was in New York City in 2003, but this one was different, special, because the grids in six major cities across the country had been fried, kaput, see-you-next-Sunday.  Everyone with some jurisdiction blamed each other, and when there was no one left to blame, terrorism rode in on its gallant steed.
It was the media's fault.  They were so busy stuffing fanatical Muslims with a penchant for Allah and decapitations down the American citizen's throat, that they never saw it coming. I guess I shouldn't be too hard on them.
They were partially right.
It was terror after all, but a whole new kind.  And when the lights came back on, things had changed.
The dark had brought us visitors.

Author: Beck Sherman

I thought I would never again see a story with thoroughly evil, light-hating, angst-free vampires, and then I read Revamp.  Thank goodness for this book!  The heroes are regular people in extraordinary circumstances who are combating powers and forces that are far older and more sinister than they could have imagined.  While there are some plot holes, the book is well-written, with an engaging storyline, a clear demarcation between good and bad, and enough gore to be satisfying but not over the top, Revamp is an excellent choice.

Micro-spoilers: It's not really a spoiler if I tell you that there is a good deal of blood in this story, is it?  I mean, it's a vampire book...  However, in addition to that, this book does contain significant scenes featuring physical violence, gore, flashbacks of rape while drugged, and (of course) drinking blood.  Not for the squeamish or for children.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Accidental Siren

Mara Lynn is the most beautiful girl in the world.  James Parker is the ordinary boy who discovers her power.  Set in 1994, "The Accidental Siren" depicts the joys and consequences of young love as Mara and James meet, shoot a movie, fend off bullies, and explore the potential of infinite beauty.

Author: Jake Vander Ark


This book is well written and has very interesting concepts.  It is told from the point of view of the 12-year-old protagonist, yet still poses questions about love and lust, good and evil, responsibility, hope, and what it means to be family.  The author has a great vocabulary and an amazing ability to paint with words in order to show the reader his story.  

Not for the squeamish or the easily offended, and not for children.  Some of the bullying that occurs is violent and there are some bloody scenes.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Still Life With Murder

                                                                                Still Life With Murder

When governess Nell Sweeney is charged by her employer to solve a gruesome murder, she must confront her own past to find the answers.
Author: P.B. Ryan
While the character of Nell is a little anachronistic in her knowledge of medical and police procedures, she is a likeable and believable heroine. This story is well written and features good characters with depth and complexity. There is excellent use of language and the writing is well edited. Best of all, I didn't know whodunnit until the end - even my suspects were wrong! Book one of a series, but it stands alone and has a satisfactory conclusion. FREE ON KINDLE at the moment. Absolutely worth getting.

Caution (and mini-spoilers) - This book is not for the timid.  It describes American Civil-War era prisoner of war camps, details of drug use, bloody murder, marital infidelity, and prostitution.  If any of this offends you or makes you shy away, you may want to pass on this one.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Amazing art for an amazing story!

The Phoenix Requiem: Volume One
The Phoenix Requiem

When children find a wounded man in the snow during a festival, the village nurse, Anya, must fill in for the absent doctor. Once healed, the man presents a fascinating enigma: he is both courteous and gentlemanly, but also makes casual references to his own madness and time spent in an asylum. Anya finds herself drawn in to solving the mystery of her patient, and how he is connected to a strange rotting plague that is spreading quickly from town to town.

Author: Sarah Ellerton
Once again, Sarah Ellerton's artwork and story-crafting skills truly shine. After following this webcomic since its first pages, it is a delight to have my own hardcopy. The interactions among the characters, and the complexity of the world make for a fascinating read, while the illustrations bring everything to life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bride of Fae of Fae (Tethers, Book 2)

A love more powerful than magic or time.
Beverly Bratton has a safe, mundane life. No drama. No magic. Since her parents died, she’s cared for her little sister Marion and worked at the Tragic Fall Inn. When a fairy’s charm sends Beverly a hundred years into the past-and into the path of a banished fairy prince-nothing will ever be mundane or safe again.
The regent of the Dumnos fae is turning the court from light to dark, and there’s nothing the rightful king, Prince Dandelion, can do about it. The mystical coronation cup which he needs to become king has fallen into human hands. When he meets a human woman with access to the cup, everything changes. Beverly is fascinating as well as useful-but of course Dandelion doesn’t love her.
Love for a fairy is rare. Love with a human, impossible. But when Beverly and Dandelion are thrown together in a battle against both wyrd and fae, they learn that in Dumnos the impossible happens every day.

Author: LK Rigel

This was an entertaining book with lots of intriguing characters and a richly developed fae realm.   There is plenty of drama; a nice blend of magic, sex, and lust; and a dash of tragedy to keep the balance just right.  The time travel is well-written and is not at all confusing, and the characters have depth enough to make each one distinct.  Even though I have not read the first book in this series (and now I really want to!) I was able to follow the plot and characters with no problems.

This book kept my attention and interest - I read it in one afternoon!  It is well written and imaginative, and I would love to read more in this series.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I am a new book reviewer, and am super excited about the chance to read books I haven't already read several times!  I especially like fantasy, science-fiction, and mystery stories with an occult twist.  Let the reading commence!