Blood Sacrifice by N.P. Martin

Demons on the rampage.  Evil Sorcerers and a poor wizard that has slipped everyone’s mind.  What a day – day in the life of August Creed.

Blood SacrificeTitle: Blood Sacrifice
Author: N.P. Martin
Series: Sorcerer’s Creed #1
Publish Date: December 29, 2016
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s DescriptionSometimes the price of magick is your eternal soul.

After tracking down an occult serial killer, Wizard and “fixer” August Creed almost dies while fighting the killer.

He wakes up to two shocking discoveries: no one remembers who he is anymore, and he has just three days to break a spell that will ultimately end in a fate worse than death. Determined to catch the Wizard who cursed him and reverse the spell, Creed makes a deal with an agent of the “Division”, a top secret government organization that polices the supernatural. He sets out with the gun-toting and sexy-as-hell Leona Lawson to catch the killer and save his own soul, along the way using his magick to fight demons, ghosts and a slew of other supernatural beings that try to get in his way . But the closer he gets to the truth, the more he discovers things are a lot more dangerous than he realized, not just for him, but for the whole world.

Blood Sacrifice is a dark, thrilling journey into a world where the line between living and dead isn’t nearly as solid as it appears…

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel. In other words…spoilers.  *BEWARE*


Nervous_Nellie_100Nervous Nellie says…

Those who restrain desire, do so because their’s is weak enough to be restrained.

The cover is what attracted me to this book. Once I started reading, though, the story pulled me in. There are some typos, which I hope the author will fix. I won’t lie, I did think of putting this book down a time or two because of the editing, but the interest in the story made me plow on.

badge3v4The protagonist was a combination Harry Dresden/Yancy Lazarus. A rogue cowboy mage that takes on anything evil except he is already fully grown into his power. He knows how to wield it and though he isn’t loved by local woo-woo law enforcement, he is necessary to their closing cases.

The end isn’t a cliff-hanger but it does lead into the next book. There is a LOT of gory death sacrifice but no blatant sex scenes. The premise is somewhat a new spin which I appreciated. I would bet that I will find myself searching out the next book in the series because the characters were engaging.

Other recommendations…

…you might try  Yancy Lazarus series by James A. Hunter, Cisco Suarez/Black Magic Outlaw series by Domino Finn or Immortal Vegas series by Jenn Stark.

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Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon by Terry John Barto

Welcome to Saturday Shorts, in which we review shorter works such as short stories, novellas, middle-grade books, and graphic novels. Today, it’s my first review of a kid’s book! This is an exciting and short read that a lot of children will love!

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

nickerbacherTitleNickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon
AuthorTerry John Barto
Illustrator: Kim Sponaugle
Series: stand-alone
Publish Date: January 21, 2015
Genre: Children’s fantasy
Source: From where you got the book

Publisher’s Description: A dragon named Nickerbacher guards a princess “because his papa told him to.” However, he practices his jokes on Princess Gwendolyn, as he yearns to be a stand-up comedian. The young dragon gets up the nerve to tell his papa about his dream and is sternly reminded of his dragonly duty. Later that day, Prince Happenstance arrives for the princess and repeatedly challenges the dragon to fight. The opponents manage to find common ground and Nickerbacher leaves for the big city to pursue his dream.

Nickerbacher is the only dragon who wants to make people laugh. And in the process, he encourages the prince (and kids) to be themselves and follow their dreams.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

Nickerbacher is a dragon who guards a feisty young princess and defends her from princes who try to rescue her. But despite his father’s wishes, Nickerbacher would rather perform stand-up comedy rather than guard a princess.

So one day, he gets the opportunity to do just that. Nickerbacher, the Princess, and an unlucky prince go on an adventure in hopes of getting an audition for The Late Knight Show. But of course, dragons are perceived to be dangerous and at first, they don’t think giving him an audition is necessarily a good idea. Still, Nickerbacher knows he’s got talent (if he can get a new set of jokes) and on the big night, he slays the audience with his real, humorous self.

badge4v5This is cute and I love the illustrations. And sadly, I know it’s a kid’s book but I was still hoping the story would be a little bit longer and that his jokes at the end would be more than just two pages. But it got a few giggles out of me for sure.

Other recommendations…

I don’t read many children’s books under middle-grade, so I don’t have many recommendations on that level. However, if you like talking dragons, feisty princesses, and adorable plots, I really hope you’ll check out the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys are back at it again in this next installment of The Raven Cycle.

dream-thievesTitleThe Dream Thieves
AuthorMaggie Stiefvater
SeriesThe Raven Cycle, Book 02
Publish Date: September 17, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionThe second installment in the all-new series from the masterful, #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: Readers get to know Ronan better in this novel as it is focused mainly on his history, secrets and his terrifying yet useful ability to pull things from dreams. One of the best things about this book is that it explores the relationships not only between the characters but between the characters and their personalities.

Dislikes: What I liked so much about the first book was that the lines between reality and the paranormal were blurred. Not so much so in The Dream Thieves. The story seems much more functional and informational. It seems like the magic that was found in the first book is decidedly absent in this one.

badge3v4While this book is still essential to the overall story, I think that the magic that appealed to the reader in the first book is decidedly absent, and so I give this 3 feathers.

Our reviews in this series…

Links will become active as reviews are posted.

Other recommendations…

Black Heart by Holly Black, Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow, All Our Yesterdays by Christin Terrill.

Pray for Dawn by Jocelynn Drake

One of many things Jocelynn Drake is good at is the ability to leave you craving more. Pray for Dawn is no exception to this and with every page, I find myself rooting for Mira and her ragtag group of supernatural creatures as they face down their worst enemies – and each other.

Pray for Dawn by Jocelynn DrakeTitlePray for Dawn
AuthorJocelynn Drake
Series: Dark Days #4
Publish Date:  June 22, 2010 Harper Voyager
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionPray for salvation . . .

Pray for daylight . . .

Murder has pulled Mira out of the shadows and back into the living world . . .

As the fire-wielding enforcer of the nightwalker coven wrestles with the mind-destroying ghosts of her dark past, the slaying of a senator’s daughter in Savannah threatens to expose her kind to the brilliant light of day. The dawn of chaos has come. The naturi have broken free of their eternal prison to feed on the defenseless and unbelieving of an unprepared Earth.

Mira and Danaus–vampire and vampire slayer–must unite to prevent the annihilation of their separate races. But for Danaus the challenge is intensified, for he must also fight the bori who covets his soul. And Mira, the nightwalker he must protect–whose power is the Earth’s last hope–is rapidly going insane.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Kat_Mandu_100Kat Mandu says…

I think Drake loves to torture us as we eagerly await the time when Danaus and Mira finally have sex. She’s hinted at the idea many times, and although she’s given us several romantic scenes with other characters, I’m really begging for these two to shack up at last. There are so many moments that I think, “oh…oh, I bet they’re gonna do it,” and then I just get my hopes up. This is the most complicated relationship I’ve ever rooted for, I swear. But since I know Danaus becomes her consort, it implies some sexy times upcoming. I really enjoy this kind of romance blended in with the fantasy genre.

Also, I love how much Danaus gets beat up. Man, the author really beats the shit out of this guy. I feel like even though Mira gets beat up a lot, she takes more emotional damage than Danaus, so it puts her in this weird category in my head that’s different from Danaus getting stabbed multiple times and shot with poison arrows. Being “slightly” human has its disadvantages.

But being slightly human also delivers you some fun times. We finally get to see more into what’s happening inside Danaus’s head and are introduced to Gaizka. I’m not sure how you would pronounce that – but I love how he appears as an angel. I’ve always thought it was cool that the author has fairies being evil but now you have a bit of a twist as the bori enter the picture and more angels, demons, and gods will enter the picture. It makes me very excited how lush and full this world is.

badge5v5The only thing I’d have to say negatively about this book was my mixed thoughts on the ending. It wasn’t so much that bad things happened (with Lily, Tristan, LaVina, etc.) but I kind of had to reread the action scene a few times to completely understand what was going on. There was a lot to take in and I was losing track of who killed who and what was happening sometimes. But I loved the cliffhanger.

This gets another five stars from me.

Our reviews in this series…

Links will become active as each review is published.

Other recommendations…

If you like Jocelynn Drake, you might like Jeaniene Frost, Kim Harrison, and Vicki Pettersson (and vice versa).

Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson

Scarlett Bernard is back! It’s been three peaceful years since we’ve seen her last, and she’s grown up a lot. Now she’s thrown into a plot to frame her former roommate, Molly, with the murder of twelve human women and overturn the fragile peace of the Old Word in LA.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

midnight-curseTitleMidnight Curse
AuthorMelissa F. Olson
SeriesDisrupted Magic, Book 01/Old World Chronology
Publish Date: February 7, 2017 by 47North
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Amy McFadden
Source: ARC from NetGalley/Audio purchased

Publisher’s DescriptionScarlett Bernard is used to cleaning up messes. As a human who cancels out any magic around her, Scarlett’s job is to keep the supernatural world hidden—at any cost.

On the eve of the Vampire Trials, a two-day tribunal that allows the otherworldly community to air their grievances, Scarlett receives a blood-soaked message from Molly, her estranged former roommate. Molly, a vampire, had been living with twelve human college students…and in one terrible night, she slaughtered them all.

Scarlett believes Molly’s been set up, but no one else in the Old World agrees with her. And the true perpetrator is determined to make sure Molly goes on trial for the massacre—the penalty for which is death.

With less than two days to prove her friend’s innocence, Scarlett calls on former LAPD detective Jesse Cruz to help her dig into Molly’s past. But no one—Molly included—wants Scarlett and Jesse to bring the terrible truth to light.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Midnight Curse is the fourth book featuring magical null, Scarlett Bernard and the tenth work of Olson’s set in the “Old Word,” yet it is the start of a new series called Disrupted Magic. I’m not yet sure where this new series is going, but I sure enjoyed the first book.

It’s been three years since the end of Hunter’s Trail, and I’m not sure how long since the end of Boundary Born. Scarlett and Eli have been living together as a couple, along with the dog-like bargest, Shadow. Jesse Cruz has quit the police force, married and divorced, and is living a depressed life out of his one-room apartment. The mystery of who is framing Molly, Scarlett’s former roommate pulls Scarlett and Jesse back into the dangerous side of the Old World in LA.

I’m impressed at where this series has taken Scarlett and Jesse. In the previous books, Scarlett had feelings for both Eli and Jesse, but Jesse saw Scarlet as someone who needed saving and protecting–from her enemies and her own choices. Though Scarlett goes to Jesse for help, their romantic relationship is not immediately rekindled, even when Scarlett’s relationship with Eli is in jeopardy. In fact, NOT having romantic feelings help each of them see the other more clearly, which is the strength of their newfound partnership. I don’t know if they’ll become involved in future books, but it was refreshing to see them just be friends.

One of the big themes of this book is accepting yourself and others for who they are–not who they were or could be. Ultimately, Scarlett likes who she is and her role in the Old World in LA. When being her fullest self conflicts with her relationship with Eli, she chooses no relationship over one that forces her to be something she’s not. I think this is a great message. No relationship, no matter how loving, will be successful if you can’t be yourself. Love isn’t always enough. It’s a very modern and mature message and I appreciate it being played out in my fiction.

And can I just say how much I LOVE Shadow. In fact, I love how big a role animals play in Olson’s work in general. She is obviously an animal lover and supporter of animal welfare.

badge5v5Amy McFadden is the voice actor for all four Scarlett Bernard books. I listened to the three original books in preparation for Midnight Curse and enjoyed them thoroughly. I remember the first time I listened to Dead Spots, I felt like Amy’s voice didn’t fit Scarlett and it took me a while to get used to her. Maybe it’s because I’ve just listened to her for about 42 hours over the last week, but she is now firmly Scarlett in my mind. Her voice is clear and expressive and I really enjoy her interpretation.

I’m excited about this new series and the return to Scarlett’s world. I’m very curious to see what happens next for Scarlett.

Our reviews in this series…

Other recommendations…

If you haven’t yet, check out all of Melissa F. Olson’s work–the Scarlet Bernard series, the Boundary Magic series, the Old Word shorts, Nightshades (paranormal but not related to the Old World), and her non-paranormal Lena Dane mysteries.

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.