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So, I Read This Book Today

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Month

July 2015

Charity for the Epilepsy Foundation: Wicked After Dark: 20 Steamy Paranormal Tales of Dragons, Vampires, Werewolves, Shifters, Witches, Angels, Demons, Fey, and More

20 Hot-As-Hell stories from your favorite USA Today best selling and award-winning authors just in time for Halloween!

All proceeds to benefit The Epilepsy Foundation

Pre-order Price: $0.99
This title will be auto-delivered to your Kindle on October 6, 2015.

Mina Carter – The Reaper and the Cop
Julia Mills – Her Dragon to Slay
Stephanie Rowe – Darkness Unleashed
PM Briede – Spark
Jami Brumfield – Remote Paranoia
Claudy Conn – Dark Love
Eden Elsworth – Frippe House
Nicole Garcia – A Love for Somnus
Lane Hart – Let Him Reign
Tracey Jane Jackson – Bound by Fire
Melanie James – Conjuring Darkness
Gena D. Lutz – Chasing Magic
Michelle Mankin – Strange Magic Part I, II
Marie Mason – You Lucky Witch
A K Michaels – The Witch, The Wolf and The Vampire
Angela Snyder – Vampire Next Door
Candice Stauffer – Exquisite Breath of Darkness
Melissa Stevens – Change
Izzy Szyn – Bite Thy Neighbor
C.A. Tibbitts – Shifter In Training

DNF: Primal Heat by A.C. Arthur

Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating. —Andrea Dworkin

DNF. I rarely ever give up on books, but this one simply irritated me to the point that I couldn’t finish it. The concept was ‘been-there-done-that’, which is to be expected with shifter books – hiding from the humans and being chased, humans trying to create supersoldiers. But what really turned me off was the fact that I really, Really wanted to bang Nivea and Eli’s heads together. Eli is an unmitigated jerk:

“Don’t sound so excited about someone getting their head ripped off. You’re a female, remember.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

He sighed, wanting this conversation to be over, wanting this stupid assignment to be over, once and for all. “It means that you might want to start acting more like a female than a G.I. Jane. From the time you wake up in the morning until you close yourself off in your room after dinner, you’re either in the field looking for a fight, or in the cafeteria picking a fight, or just always looking for some way to be physical. That’s not what females do.”

Uh – Excuse Me?? She is a GUARD, Dude! That is what she is being trained for, and she is darn good at it – one of the best. And yet, you demean her this way? Of course, Nivea is no brain trust herself. Her actions are immature at best, stupid at worst.

Then there was the rape scene. . . That did it for me. Ugh. Though I appreciate the opportunity to read the book for review,  I won’t be reading any more of Arthur’s works. I wish I could say different, but I simply found the characters unbearable.

Review: The Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash #witches

Witches Protection Program“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.” – ― Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

“You are what you believe yourself to be.” – ― Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello

Wes Rockville comes from a long line of distinguished family members. Besides the string of famous men and women in his bloodline, his sister is an eminent prosecutor in New York, his brother is the head of counterterrorism, and his dad? Well, his dad is his boss in a police division started by his grandfather. Makes it pretty darn hard to keep up when you’re dyslexic, and dad certainly doesn’t understand what that means. For his father, dyslexic simply means stupid and incompetent.

But Wes works hard. Harder than his sister, harder than his ‘perfect’ brother. That is what it takes to overcome dyslexia and become a member of his father’s elite squad.

But then, Wes goes on his first assignment. . . And it all goes sideways. “Don’t look her in the eye. No matter what you do, don’t look her in the eye.” Something that seems incredibly stupid. After all, she is just little old lady, apple-cheeked, sweet and cheerful. Why would you not . . .

Oh.

Now, Wes’s father is furious and Wes is disgraced and kicked out of the unit. His last chance? DUMBO.

DUMBO? Like in the Circus?!

Nope. The Department “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” And this is certainly no circus. Well, maybe it is. Because, Really – Witches?!

Yep. Witches. Good Witches, the Davinas, will be Wes’s to protect from the Bad Witches, the Willa.

Yeah, right.

Only, apparently it is right – and Wes’s life is about to be turned on its head. Witches and spells, shapeshifters and things that go bump in the night are all real, and they are all determined to capture tiny little Morgan Pendragon, a Davina with a nasty bunch of women determined to get her back, and apparently take over the world.

Witches Protection Program is a hoot, with a strong undernote of poking very sharp, very pointy sticks at social injustice and political manipulation. Oh, and a strong vein of Steam Punk!!! Woo Hoo!!!!!  In other words? I got a kick out of it, and I hope you will read it and enjoy it as well. This book is FREE on Amazon Unlimited, or only .99 on Kindle. Can’t beat that!

I received Witches Protection Program from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

If you enjoy my reviews, please click over to Amazon and click “This review was Helpful” if you don’t mind. It will help the authors by drawing attention to my reviews! Thank you so much.

Review: Midnight Burning by Karissa Laurel

One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.” – Robert Fulghum

This dream was worse, So. Much. Worse. Than all the others. Horrifying, bloody, savage. And the worst part?

It was true.

Solina’s brother is dead, torn apart by a wolf-like creature. A monster who talks. Who thinks, and plans, and has yet another goal.

Kill Solina. Eat her alive.

A baker by trade, an introvert by nature, Solina Mundy is pulled to Alaska where her beloved twin met his end. Ostensibly, to gather her brothers things and close down his apartment. Realistically? To find out what really happened to her brother. Everyone is hiding things. Everyone apparently knows things she doesn’t. And they have no intention of telling her anything – or of helping her in any way. Go Home, Little Girl. Nobody wants you here.

Like. Hell. Solina is afraid, sure. She is, by nature, passive. A homebody who spends her time working in her parent’s bakery, kowtowing to their every wish. She has always left her twin, Mani, to be the adventurous one, the one who allowed her to live vicariously through his actions. But now, Mani is dead, and Solina is meeting obstacles every way she turns. Mani’s boss, Thorin, is a cold, unwielding jerk, belittling and demeaning in word and action. Val, on the other hand, is a Player, in all forms of the word. He was Mani’s best friend, and helped Solina though the first few months after Mani’s death. But now that she is there, she finds that he is more like a bull moose in rut than a real friend, and no matter how she tries to keep him in the friend zone, he keeps pushing, pushing, pushing. No respect there, only a single-minded determination to drag her into bed, no matter the pain it brings Solina when she comes to realize that he only wants to screw, not to be real friends. Val, the “Patron Saint of the Perpetual Erection.” Sigh. What a jerk. When she needs a friend as much now as she did when Mani died. Possibly even more.

Then, Solina meets Skyla. A former Marine and one tough cookie, Skyla is the woman Mani loved. And she loved him as well, with all her heart. She isn’t about to let his death go unpunished. And if helping Solina will help her meet that goal, she is all over it. Sol and Skyla quickly become close friends. Which is all to the positive, as the world begins to blow up around them.

You see, Solina and her twin are more than they ever could have expected. And if their enemies have anything to say about it, Solina will die as her brother did, ripped apart by a monster. And then?

And then, the world will burn.

This book is amazing. Really amazing. It delves into a mythology I have read very little about, and I found that incredibly refreshing. I don’t want to give things away – whatever I say will cause spoilers, and as I know my review will be one of the first ones out there, I don’t want to ruin it for other readers. Suffice it to say that it is a wonderful pleasure to watch a woman like Solina, an introverted woman who never even raised her voice in the past, much less her hand in anger, grow into someone who is learning to embrace her own power. This isn’t a Mary Sue “I was just a normal person and now I magically kick backside” sort of story. Solina takes the pain and gets up, over and over again, learning the whole way, making mistakes, and suffering for it. She isn’t stupid – far from it. Those around her, except for Skyla, treat her like she is worthless – though the whole world, and their own survival, balances upon her staying alive. Their dismissal of her Ticked. Me. Off. Which makes it even more fun when she takes their dismissal and slowly, but surely, turns it back on them.

This is, I deeply and profoundly hope, the first of a series. The book doesn’t end on a cliff-hanger, per se. But there is plenty of room for the story to continue. My only problem? Now I have to WAIT for the next one!!! Sigh. That is going to be MASSIVELY difficult!!!

I Highly recommend this book for those of you who enjoy a well written modern day Fantasy with a mythology you certainly haven’t read much on before (if any), well-developed female characters (yes, with an ‘s’ – there are several well developed characters here, even if one of them makes me want to slit her throat and watch her eyes dim to empty black), a creative story line and wicked good thrills.

Midnight Burning was received from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. I will have the next in the series on my Must Have list – I enjoyed it that much.

If you like my reviews, please choose “This review was helpful” on Amazon, or whichever site you visit to purchase your books. The authors will appreciate it, as it draws more attention to my reviews! Thank you!!!

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Review: One Second After by William R. Forstchen

One Second After“Unfortunately, the cyber threat to ‘the grid’ is only one means of eviscerating the soft underbelly of American society. Another which has been getting increasing attention could be delivered via the kind of nuclear-armed ballistic missile that Iran and North Korea have been developing: a strategic electro-magnetic pulse attack.” –Frank Gaffney

It starts out as a normal day.

Then, a high-altitude nuclear bomb of uncertain origin explodes over the United States. And suddenly, there will never again be a ‘normal day’.

Retired army colonel John Matherson teaches college, raises two daughters, and grieves the loss of his wife to cancer. Now, John must do everything he can to save his family as society begins to fail around them. John rushes to the drug store immediately. After all, his type-one diabetic 12-year-old will desperately need her insulin – and with the highways jammed with vehicles that no longer run, pharmaceutical companies that can no longer produce drugs, getting the insulin will be imperative. But there is only so much available – and after that?

Deaths start with heart attacks and eventually escalate alarmingly. Food becomes scarce, and societal breakdown proceeds with inevitable violence; towns burn, people are murdered for supplies, and roving gangs begin terrorizing towns where people have come together to help one another survive.

One Second After may not really be the “best book I have ever read” for its literary merit. Yes, it is well written, well scripted, and realistic in tone and writing style. What makes it the “best” is how REAL it is. America is, as is readily admitted by our government and military, NOT ready for an EMP. And should the blast actually occur, I can absolutely see exactly the outcome as envisioned by Forstchen. A total breakdown of everything that we, today, take as being the human condition. Forstchen does not paint a totally black picture – people do come together to help one another survive, moving back to the agrarian society of old, relying on one another to survive, bartering and helping. But there is also the black and bitter side of humanity.

This book should be REQUIRED reading for every single person in this country. Once it happens —

It’s too late.

Review: Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister

Dragon Fall by Katie MacAlister“You want to believe that there’s one relationship in life that’s beyond betrayal. A relationship that’s beyond that kind of hurt. And there isn’t.” – Caleb Carr

It was just supposed to be a bit of fun. Living in northern Sweden doesn’t exactly offer a plethora of entertainment options, so the idea of the GothFaire coming to town is exciting. And yes, exciting it was – especially when the guy Aoife meets at the faire starts talking about some funky things – like dragons and demons and all sorts of other weirdness. And then, even weirder things started to happen . . . and suddenly, Aoife finds herself locked up in “The Arvidsjaur Center for the Bewildered: Translation, the looney bin. Locked up by the sister she believed loved her, “for her own good”, Aoife spent two years suffering through what amounted to torture – including electroshock therapy. Now out of the nuthatch, Aoife is back in her home on the northern Swedish coast, isolated and alone, learning to live without the constant noise of seventy other inmates.

The thing is, Dr. Kara Barlind has decided that, in order for Aoife to gain total closure, she should visit the Gothfaire again. Oy. But, determined to be strong and in charge of her life, she visits the GothFaire again. Nothing there – but returning home? Well, let’s just say things get really exciting – and really, really bizarre. Like, “out of this world, OMG what I saw was real” sort of bizarre. Oh no, oh no, this can not be happening bizarre. Action, suspense, adventure, and a terrible betrayal keep Aoife and her new friends on the razor’s edge – and someone is liable to get cut.

Let’s face it. When I was offered this book for review, I expected something, well, less. A romantic urban fantasy with maybe a couple of twists. Instead, I got much, much more. Aoife is an unusual character. She has been through Abaddon (well, Hell, but Abaddon is the real name, so there ya go) over the last couple of years. Greatly loved by her Irish mother and Senegalese father, she has lost her parents to a Senegalese terrorist, her sister to the cruelty of locking her up, and her brother is far away and out of touch after her being locked up. And now, her life blows up one again. Demons and dragons and things that go bump in the night are all around, and Aoife appears to be their target.

There is a huge amount of fun in this story, which I completely enjoyed. Aoife has a sharp sense of humour, deep compassion, and equally deep strength. And a number of unusual made-up swear words that caused snorts and giggles. She is a bit obsessive, which got a little old a little quickly, but other than that, the book was a surprisingly strong new entry into Urban Fantasy – one that guarantees that I will be checking out other books by Katie MacAlister.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. If you like Urban Fantasy, dragons, and an interesting story, you should try this out.

If you like my reviews, I would really appreciate it if you would click “This review was helpful” on Amazon! Getting my reviews moved up helps the authors I review receive more attention. Thanks!

This title will be released on July 28, 2015.

The second book in the Dragon Fall Series, Dragon Storm, will be published November 24, 2015.

According to some (including himself), Constantine is one of the greatest heroes of dragonkin who ever lived. Too bad he’s now lonelier than ever and his biggest adventure involves a blow-up sheep-until he has an opportunity to save his kind once again. All Constantine has to do is break into a demon’s dungeon, steal an ancient artifact, and reverse a deadly curse. The plan certainly does not involve rescuing a woman . .

 

Review: Hedging His Bets – Celia Kyle & Mina Carter

Hedging His BetsIt’s tough being a big, tough, scary shifter – when you change into a hedgehog weighing about a pound. Oy. How embarrassing! Especially when you are totally addicted to Honey, an Amazonian honey-blond with attitude to spare. But when Blake finds out that Honey adores Hedgies, he decides he will play the ‘poor little hedgehog’ and get himself into Honeys arms that way. What could go wrong?

Um…. well, let’s see. You come into her home playing a role . . .

What happens next is funny, sad, and a lighthearted look at just how dumb men can be when they are determined to get what they want! This is a light-hearted story, just what we expect from the team of Celia Kyle and Mina Carter. Lots of humour, quirky characters, and of course, an HEA. Not brain surgery, but lots of fun.

Hedging His Bets (Hedging His Bets #1)

by Celia Kyle (Goodreads Author), Mina Carter (Goodreads Author)

What ‘editing’ means to publishers – and it’s not what you think

Matthew Wright

‘Editing’ is an oft-misused term. In the next few posts I’ll be outlining what it is in terms of editorial systems for publishing – which isn’t what authors mean by ‘editing’.

To do that, I’m drawing from the thirty-plus years I’ve spent in the business, not just as a writer but also working professionally in publishing over that span in various ways: tasks where among other things I’ve had to edit stuff, define ‘house style’ and grammar standards, hire editors and proof-readers, and evaluate the quality of their work.

Wright_Books2I don’t often blog about this. It’s not where I expected I would find myself, given my first love of physics, music and the sciences in general. But such are the turns of life: I learned the business through some very hard yards, and today there is little about writing or publishing that surprises me. In this agile new age I can also say that while…

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Review: Summit Of The Wolf – The Silver Wolf Clan

Summit of the Wolf (Silver Wolf Clan, #4)There are very few people who are going to look into the mirror and say, ‘That person I see is a savage monster; instead, they make up some construction that justifies what they do. – Noam Chomsky

Morgan set her blazing glare on the stranger. “Why do you want me? You don’t even know me!”

“I don’t have to know you. You are Silver Wolf.” Rodrigo said it so matter of fact, as if the title was the only important thing about her. “You will bring honor to any wolf you choose.”

Grr. Asshat. He doesn’t even use her name….. And Morgan would sure as sugar rather lick a port-a-potty than be a kidnap victim again. – Morgan, Brand of the Pack: Silver Wolf Clan

They Just. Won’t. Stop. It doesn’t matter that Morgan is mated and happy with Grayson and his Demon Wolf. With Morgan being the last of the Silver Wolves, the only breeders that ever existed, there are those who will not stop until they can capture Morgan and make her a breeder for their pack – a sex slave with no rights, destined to be nothing but a rape victim and ‘puppy mill’. Grayson will never let it happen, and the Dallas Pack is there to help – but how will they ever stop the horror of constant attacks against the packs, attacks meant to capture Morgan, but just might wind up killing her and everyone she loves, including her baby niece, the daughter of Morgan’s sister who was killed by the same werewolf who turned Grayson.

The fourth of the Silver Wolf Clan series picks up where the last books did, ramping up the action and costing the lives of friends. The only hope now is the Summit and, hopefully, pressure from the Old Ones to stop the attacks and attempted kidnappings, and protect not only Morgan, but tiny Lana and teenaged Marissa. And then there is Gray’s stupid, self-centered, sanctimonious father stepping back into the scene and causing even more havoc. Can we not get a BREAK here?!

“We would have invited you to the wedding, but Grey assured us you were a prick.”

Ha! You tell him, Morgan! “Her control over that pesky middle finger of hers was impressive.”

Of course, it isn’t just the wolves that are a danger. Nope. Let’s add in some ancient vampires to round things out – vampires, who are the very reason Morgan is the last of her kind. Again, a break here?

I am so thrilled I found the first book, the aptly named Silver Wolf Clan. My review rating has risen with each book, to this one, which hits the five-star rating I have been reaching for. A wonderful series!!

I received the books of this series from the publisher in exchange for realistic reviews. This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series, and I highly recommend it.

If you like my reviews, I would be honored if you would leave a “This review was helpful” on Amazon or whichever site you use to purchase your books. Thank you so much!

Silver Wolf Clan (Silver Wolf Clan, #1)Black Wolf's Revenge (Silver Wolf Clan, #2)Brand of the Pack (Silver Wolf Clan, #3)

 

 

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