So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff


Action & Adventure

Playing With Fire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (With A Body Count) – R.J. Blain

“Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.” — R.J. Blain — Playing With Fire: A Magical Romantic Comedy (With A Body Count)


OK, Really? Who could possibly bypass that sort of intro? Of course, I am a HUGE R.J. Blain fan, so pretty much anything she writes I read. The Balancing the Scales series and the Witch and Wolf series are personal favorites, both Urban Fantasy and both marvelous. She also writes a wide range of other tales, from Magical Apocalyptic to Sci-Fi and, yes, Pack tales.  Oh, and don’t forget immortal pirates! Something for all.

Playing With Fire is something different again – and once more her wit, creativity, and the ability to craft a tale well outside the common is a winner. Baily Gardner is not your common-and-garden barista – not when she spikes your java with pixie dust on request. Of course, spiking drinks all day is often much more pleasant than her other job. You know, the one that requires cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances. I mean, come on! Who would voluntarily clean up gorgon vomit? And for “a cute little pittance” no less. Sigh.

I refuse to say more. You have GOT to read this yourself! But be careful about drinking or eating while you are reading. You might just wind up with your drink sprayed all over your tablet.

Just sayin’.

Highly Recommended!  Ms. Blain says she is bringing out at least two follow-ups (hopefully this year!) and I can hardly WAIT!

Assault in the Wizard Degree – Fantasy and Forensics Book Six!


“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Pull out your “Happy Dance” ladies and gents! Assault in the Wizard Degree is printed!! The Fantasy and Forensics series has expanded to book six, and six is definitely a magic number.

Poor Dayna. The more she busts her backside to save the world on Andeluvia, the more it twists itself into a bloody mess . . . and guess who gets the job of straightening everything out each and every time? Yep. You got it. What is a Forensic Scientist stuck in an epic fantasy land supposed to do? Well, if you are Dame Chrissie, you dust off your hiking boots, gather your tools, and do your best to save the day. Again.

“Salvation shall come to Dame Chrissie only when she stands in the shadow of all that she has achieved.”

Well, salvation is something, at least. A bit of hope, after the court Soothsayer invades the throne room of the King bearing tidings of doom and death.

“I dreamt a dream of utmost import . . . that if not heeded, shall mean the downfall of this kingdom and the ruin of all Andeluvia!”

And this time, he might just be right. Dayna’s life in Los Angeles is hard enough as the evil attempting to take over Andeluvia bleeds over into her birth world. Now, an evil long thought buried and gone is awakening. Death and despair, war and horror are looming on the horizon, and Dayna’s small group will be tested beyond anything they have ever faced before.

It begins, as do so many things, with a request for Dayna’s help. The centaurs, you see, have a problem.

“A centaur that has committed an act of sacrilege regarding the ‘Ceremony of Equilux’.”

It should be a simple case – use her forensic skills to discover who committed a crime. But what she finds is so much more. The Creatures of the Dark have made deeper inroads than anyone expects (well, anyone other than Dayna and her friends) and even the densest and most purposefully ignorant will no longer be able to deny the truth.

There are, of course, the light moments Michael’s writing is so well known for. Characters are well written and believable, the landscape of the world of Andeluvia is sharply drawn, and the storyline holds perfect continuity throughout the series. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, I would highly recommend you do so before reading this installment. I am not saying you couldn’t understand or enjoy this book as a standalone, but it is such a wonderful series it would be a shame to miss the run-up to this pivotal point in the series.

This is a Wonderful series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!! Of course, full disclosure, I work with Michael on his books – but that doesn’t mean I don’t adore each and every one.

Sugar Lee Ryder’s Gunslinger Matthew Slade Series – Book 6 Out Now!

rebelThe Rebels of Russian Hill: Book Six of Matthew Slade (Gunslinger Matthew Slade 6)
Sugar Lee Ryder
Release date: April 3, 2016
Kindle Edition: $2.99
Paperback: $9.99

The Gaslight Gunslinger: Book One of Matthew Slade (Gunslinger Matthew Slade 1)


The Gaslight Gunslinger: Book One of Matthew Slade (Gunslinger Matthew Slade 1)

1878: San Francisco’s changed from a Gold-Rush era boomtown into a bustling city full of money, Victorian-style bawdy houses, and a loose sense of the law at best.

Enter Matthew Slade. Formerly the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s best gun-hand, investigator, and tracker. No sooner does he arrive at San Francisco’s stockyard than he rescues Mai Lee, a little Chinese girl, from a pair of thugs intent on kidnapping her.

Slade finds out that the girl is wanted by Huang Sun, the leader of the dominant tong – a Chinese crime syndicate that runs opium dens, fan-tan parlors, and prostitution in the city. And Slade can’t walk away, even if he wanted to. His first paid job as a free agent is to keep Mai Lee out of Sun’s hands – no matter the cost!

Can a gunslinger used to the open plains and prairies of the West deal with the criminal underworld of a crowded metropolis? Even with the help of his friend, sea-captain Amos Harding and the backing of a pair of bawdy-house madams, the odds are long at best!

For all the Sugar Lee Ryder books, Click Here!

Let’s Go “Beyond The Ice Limit”

ice limitRemember The Ice Limit? One of my favorite Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child books, it was published back in January of 2000.

I didn’t have this site back then, so there is no review – yet – but I will get to it. I am editing right now or I would pull out my battered paperback copy and read it again and do a review, but edits come first!

The book ended in a Twilight Zone manner (Preston & Child compare it to one of their favorites How to Serve Man) and I have to agree with that concept. You were left with the denouement open ended. Not a ‘cliffhanger’ really, more of a “Make up your own ending to suit your personality and thoughts about the book” sort of thing. Personally, I would have compared it to the end of the last book of The Dark Tower cycle by Stephen King, but that is beside the point. The book was just darn Good.

Now, after fifteen years and, according to P&C, tens of thousands of beyondletters over that time period demanding a sequel, it is on its way! Beyond the Ice Limit is a Gideon Crew novel this time around, but that shouldn’t disturb the story:

Five years ago, the mysterious and inscrutable head of Effective Engineering Solutions, Eli Glinn, led a mission to recover a gigantic meteorite–the largest ever discovered–from a remote island off the coast of South America. The mission ended in disaster when their ship, the Rolvaag, foundered in a vicious storm in the Antarctic waters and broke apart, sinking-along with its unique cargo-to the ocean floor. One hundred and eight crew members perished, and Eli Glinn was left paralyzed. But this was not all. The tragedy revealed something truly terrifying: the meteorite they tried to retrieve was not, in fact, simply a rock. Instead, it was a complex organism from the deep reaches of space.

Of course, it is too expensive for my blood. . . and this is what happens when I work through the night and sleep all day. I am now number forty-seven on the list to read the book at my local library. Sigh. So, I wait. But when the edit of Michael Angel’s A Perjury of Owls (Book 4 of Fantasy and Forensics), (and yes, I am squeeeeing like a little girl at this one!), I will pull out Ice Limit and give it another read and review. Then, when I finally get my copy of Beyond, well, I can hardly wait! And from P&C’s email:

“Free eBook preview! Those of you wishing for a free eBook preview of the first eleven chapters of  BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT can get one by clicking on the following links:
And a special deal for those of you who have not read The Ice Limit: While we took pains to ensure BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT is a stand-alone novel, reading The Ice Limit first will surely enhance the pleasure of experiencing the new book. And to help make that happen, we’ve persuaded our publisher to discount to $2.99 all eBook editions of The Ice Limit during the two weeks leading up to BEYOND THE ICE LIMIT’s May 17 pub date (that is, May 2 to May 16). During that time, if you go to iBooks, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Google, you can pick up a copy of The Ice Limit at that special price.”
You can also order your copy from The Poisoned Pen, and for a limited number of books you will get a signed photo of “The Guys” as part of the package. I am not a collector of author ephemera, but if you are this is a first-time offer of signed photos from these two authors.

Teaser Tuesday – Trying To Get Back Into My Groove!

I have been more “off” than  on lately, but with good weather coming soon I am starting to come out of hibernation. Yawwwwwn!!!


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser Tuesday for today is from Grand Theft Griffin: Book Three of Fantasy and Forensics by Michael Angel. If you don’t have it yet, you should!

Newscasters in Fall’s slick new fashions describe the gusts off the desert plateaus to the east of the city the Santa Ana. But the cops know better. They cal it el viento del diablo, the Devil’s Wind, and it does strange things to people at a time when the rest of the country is out shopping for witches’ hats and carving pumpkins.

Sometimes, the winds bring a warning. And this time, there is a very good possibility that not all will survive. If you haven’t read the first two in the series, click the cover below and you can download all three books!


The Bartimaeus Trilogy and A Couple Others

Books I haven’t read in a while? The Bartimaeus Trilogy. Supposedly for “Kids 10 and up” I actually found the series quite satisfying. Better than Harry Potter, in my opinion. We all need a little fantasy in our lives, right? was advertising the series today, and I remembered how much I enjoyed the books. They have a very Victorian feel to them, something of Steampunk, something of foggy London days. Satisfying.

Bartimaeus Trilogy

The Amulet of Samarkand – Bartimaeus Volume 1 (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $7.99)
Nathaniel is a magician’s apprentice, taking his first lessons in the arts of magic. But when a devious hot-shot wizard named Simon Lovelace ruthlessly humiliates Nathaniel in front of his elders, Nathaniel decides to kick up his education a few notches and show Lovelace who’s boss.



The Golem’s Eye – Bartimaeus Volume 2 (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $7.99)
The second adventure in the Bartimaeus trilogy finds our young apprentice magician Nathaniel working his way up the ranks of the government, when crisis hits. A seemingly invulnerable clay golem is making random attacks on London.

Ptolemy’s Gate – Bartimaeus Volume 3 (4.5/5 stars, currently priced at $7.55)
Three years have passed since the magician Nathaniel helped prevent a cataclysmic attack on London. Now an established member of the British Government, he faces unprecedented problems: foreign wars are going badly; Britain`s enemies are mounting attacks close to London; and rebellion is fomenting among the commoners.

A book I haven’t read, but sounds interesting for children and adults alike, is

The GriffinThe Griffin’s Boy (The Griffin Riders’ Chronicles Book 1)

by Julia Hughes

4.6 stars – 40 Reviews
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled

When the mischievous griffin, Balkind, is rejected by the Griffin Master as a difficult ride, lowly orphan Neb is determined to change the old warrior’s mind. Stealing Balkind, he flies off on the adventure of a lifetime, risking his life, heart and finally his very soul.

Of course, if you love Griffins, as I do, you can’t go wrong with

Grand Theft Griffin eBook CoverGrand Theft Griffin: Book Three of ‘Fantasy & Forensics’ (Fantasy & Forensics 3)

Dec 16, 2015 | Kindle eBook

Of course, Michael is a buddy of mine, so I can’t help but brag on his works – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t Awesome!!
And you have to read books One and Two as well, they are just that much fun!

On Sale Now: Off The Beaten Track: My Crazy Year In Asia

For ONLY $0.99 at eBooksHabit.comI was flipping through my  newsletter and fond this – only $0.99 and Trit sounds like a hoot!

Off The Beaten Track: My Crazy Year In Asia

by Frank Kusy

Get This Book for ONLY $0.99

In 1989, Frank Kusy found himself the unwilling love pawn of a booted and bodiced Boadicea on a Harley low rider. Then he fell in love with someone else, and it got a lot worse. Trapped in a small bedsit in London, with strange foreign curses coming through the door, he jumped at the chance to write a travel book on South East Asia. There followed the craziest year of his life: he got married in a Balinese village, attacked by giant spiders in Australia, and bombed on the Cambodian border. Not to mention starting a new business in India, nearly killing the King of Thailand and receiving the death penalty in Malaysia.Oh, how Frank wished he’d never met that crazy Polish biker chick…

Review: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama; fathers and sons, martyred heroes, star-crossed lovers, the deaths of kings – stories that taught us of the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. – Tom Hiddleston

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
…and you can do the same thing if you choose.
MAS*H – Johnny Mandel Lyrics

Hubris and science are incompatible. – Douglas Preston

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin


Let’s face it. Matthew Reilly is the reigning King of the high-octane, over-the-top action/adventure novel. From Ice Station, my first Reilly novel, to Scarecrow and his other novels, he is the master of the “literary 400 mph bullet train” story. And here, he does it again.

The Great Zoo of China appears at first to be simply Jurassic Park on steroids. Human hubris, taken to extremes, as humans endeavor to create a monstrous (literally) exhibit to shock and awe the world. And, like so many other human endeavors, this bit of human hubris is destined to destroy the world – unless a small group can stop the insanity.

Meddle Not In The Affairs Of Dragons For You Are Crunchy
And Taste Good With Ketchup

There are many things to love about The Great Zoo of China. Reilly has, as usual, done his homework on the background and politics of the story. Utilizing the political, economic and sociological quirks and horrors of Chinese growth and development, Reilly has layered complex ideas and issues with the aforementioned political intrigue and a heavy dose of scientific development to create a story that is actually much more interesting than Jurassic Park. Todays ‘new’ China, is all about the Money, as the country utilizes near slave-wage conditions to create massive new cities, dams, basically anything they need – no matter the cost. And here, they do it again, reaching for the spectacular ‘money-is-no-object’ outcome they are reaching for . . . but Reilly makes a pinpoint observation. The Chinese have the cold, hard cash. But what they don’t have, after generations of communist control, is the ability to think and create. They can build, but their inability to create means that they also cannot think ahead, cannot foresee all possible outcomes. And what they cannot foresee is the intelligence of the creatures they consider ‘less’ – and again, that hubris, that condescension, makes the story even more fascinating than a normal Reilly tale. Yes, it is fast and furious – but it is also thoughtful, and a smart statement of today’s worldwide political and economic climate.

Besides. It has a female lead – CJ Cameron is one smart lady, one of my favorite heroines of the books I have read in the last couple of years.

Highly recommended! I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. I really enjoyed it, and hope you do as well. Publication date January 27, 2015.

Seven Unholy Days – Jerry Hatchett – – 99 Cents Today!

Seven unholy days by jerry hatchett

Seven Unholy Days

By Jerry Hatchett

In the wake of a crippling attack, tech-wizard Matt Decker must stop a lunatic from bringing the Book of Revelation’s apocalypse to life. With over 250 five-star Amazon reviews, this is “a thriller not to be missed!” (James Rollins).


Originally: $2.99

Get Deal:


Deal ends: September 30
Category: Thrillers

My Review!

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