Monthly Archives: May 2015

Nell’s Book Hunt

18524646Title: A Child of Two Worlds
Author: Mark Cole
Series: The Nine Realms Series 01
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Fantasy
Published: September 15, 2013

Publisher’s Description: When Terra Duval is kidnapped by the Demon Lord Azreal, Alex Zane must venture from Earth to the Realm of Magic to rescue his love. Together, Alex and Terra must unite the forces of a fractured world to free the Nine Realms. But will his love for Terra prevent him from saving those he has been charged to protect, or will it be the catalyst Alex needs to save the Nine Realms?

Free on Amazon | Barnes & Noble sells a Paperback for $180.63 ?Nell 100

Today’s book hunt comes from our friends at Amazon.  There are three books in this series so far and if you hop to it, you can get them all free.

The Libram of Fate by Mark Cole
Earth on Fire by Mark Cole

I’m sure the B & N website is misprinted, but it’s kind of interesting to see anyway.  Happy Reading!

Straight to Hell by John G. Hartness

25353400TitleStraight to Hell
Author: John G. Hartness
SeriesQuincy Harker, Demon Hunter 02 Novella
Publish Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Falstaff Books
Genre: Dark/Urban Fantasy
Perspective: First Person

Publisher’s Description: Quincy Harker is back, and the stakes are higher than ever. The fate of the world rests on the shoulders of a swearing, drinking, misanthropic half-vampire with a bad attitude and an itchy trigger finger. Harker and his team of misfits have just a few days to prevent the actual end of the world, as a group of fanatics have kidnapped a young man thought to possess the power to open the Seven Seals.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).


Nell 100

Nervous Nellie says…

“This is your fearless leader? He couldn’t summon a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, much less bring about the end of the world.”

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Quincy Harker, bad ass demon hunter and world saver. Glory, his guardian angel.  Rebecca Gail Flynn, Quincy’s new partner with Homeland Security. Renfield, Quincy’s Uncle Luke’s “butler with abilities leaning from Wizardry to Chauffeur….or the other way around with lots in between..

Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ Uncle Luke a/k/a Dracula only had cameo appearances this episode. John Smith, Agent of Homeland Security has now become Quincy’s “handler”.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Modern day Charlotte, South Carolina where we need demon hunters, bad guy wizard seekers and wishers of apocalyptic disaster extinguishers.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I think I’m in love with this kinder, softer Quincy Harker.  OH, he’s still foul mouthed, but he’s different than in the first novella.  He had no connections other than Luke and that was tenuous at best.  Now, it feels like he’s a family man.  Wife: Rebecca Flynn (PLEASE don’t tell her I said that – she’ll carve my heart out.  Father: Renfield.  Father in Law: John Smith.  He feels a little more steady and put together – if that makes any sense at all.  Anyway, the story:  You may have to brush up on your Revelations because there is Bible inferences.  Flynn and Harker are assigned to protect the Lamb of God/Lion of Judah (Wallace Gubegna), who can open the seven seals of the scroll in God’s right hand.  First four of the seven seals summon the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding in on their respective horses.  First, I saw Pestilence, next was War, then Famine and then Death.  Harker, Flynn, Smith & Renfield are left to defeat all four and save us all from end times.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I really like these characters.  I hope the author does more with Quincy Harker.  I don’t care if they are only novellas – I’ll take what I can get.  This is a fun, enjoyable read and it’s very well written.

Stand Out Award Badge2If you like Quincy Harker, you’ll love:

No promotional consideration was granted for this review.

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

restorer

TitleThe Restorer
Author:  Amanda Stevens
Series: Graveyard Queen Book 1
Publish Date: March 12, 2012
Publisher:  Harlequin Digital Sales
Genre: Urban Fantasy with a slight hint of Paranormal Romance
Perspective: First Person

Publisher’s Description: My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).


Nervous_Nell 50
I’m done with The Restorer by Amanda Stevens!  You were right, it was excellent!

Ruby_Lee 50Well it’s about time.  I told you about The Restorer three years ago.  You should know that I would never lead you astray.  What did you think of Devlin?  Hot, right?

Nervous_Nell 50Yes, but I can’t figure out the haunting.  I haven’t started book two yet, but I understand he’s not hardly in the story line?  What’s up with that?  I thought this was gonna be a romance?

Ruby_Lee 50Their story is like a fine wine – It takes a little bit of time to get it perfect.   He’s in the second book even less but you can feel the sexual tension through the pages. 

Nervous_Nell 50I don’t like wine.  I like beer.  Instant gratification, you know.  Feel sexual tension through the pages? Really, Ruby?  I think you’ve been sniffing Lucyfer’s catnip.  Anyway, I haven’t gotten to book 2 yet, so I don’t know about the filtering of tension whether it be sexual or not.  How many books are there?  Is this a trilogy?

Ruby_Lee 50Yes, there is a second book and a third book AND they are already published.   I saw you were whining about the “Discovery of Witches” incident in Sunday’s blog.  I didn’t know it was a trilogy until I finished the first book and by then I already had you reading it.  Besides Lucyfer prefers sulfur to catnip. What did you think of the four rules?

Nervous_Nell 50I really wonder what happened to her Dad to turn her against her gift.  I can sort of understand the rules – I mean it could be potentially dangerous.   It really intrigues me to figure out her story.  Her Mom and Aunt didn’t help matters much.

Ruby_Lee 50The creepiest part was how the dead sucked the life out of the living and they never knew the dead were there.  Some days, I am so tired that it makes me wonder if I have any dead relatives stealing my energy.  When Lucyfer read this book, she wrote the author and asked for detailed instructions on how to suck a person’s life energy.

Nervous_Nell 50Of course she did.  I think she’s the one sucking your energy!  So, can you tell me any spoilers or will you stick to your morals yet again?

Ruby_Lee 50No spoilers!  I enjoy watching you suffer a little plus I need to help you develop patience.  I will tell you that The Kingdom (Book 2) is definitely different than Book 1 but it helps to develop Amelia’s story.  However, there are still questions at the end that I know will torture you. 

Nervous_Nell 50So you are saying cliffhanger, aren’t you?  You know I hate cliffhangers.  They just leave me……hanging.


Ruby_Lee 50[Facepalm]

Nervous_Nell 50Hee hee….I love to drive you crazy!


Amanda’s rules:
1.  Never acknowledge the dead.
2.  Never stray from hallowed ground.
3.  Never associate with those who are haunted.
4.  Never, ever tempt fate.

Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…   

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer.  She researches how the cemetery would have looked in its prime and tries to clear away the grime from the grave stones and repair what she can.  Sometimes there are clues hidden on the gravestones, symbols that mean something to Amelia and she’s the only one that can help solve the murders.  John Devlin is a police detective who appears to Amelia to be haunted by something dark or he IS dark.  He has a dead wife and daughter and he is emotionally unavailable because of that and also of being drained of his energy because of them.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Takes place in modern Charleston, South Carolina.  Nothing about the world is too out of the ordinary except for the ghosts that make appearances. The cool thing is that I got to see South Carolina graveyards vicariously.  The history involved was extraordinary.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Amelia is hired to restore a cemetery because that is her profession. She loves the history and the symbolism on the stones and she really dislikes seeing history in disrepair like no one cars.  She sees ghosts and she’s very wary of them because of her father’s warnings to not acknowledge them in any way.  It wasn’t revealed why she needed to keep away from them other than they will stick to her and take her energy.  She gets drawn into a murder mystery that has all to do with symbolism and the occult.  It’s a creepy, get-under-your-skin kind of mystery that had me concerned about Amelia’s well being…..and okay….it had me looking under the bed too.  The ghosts, whether malevolent or not, would appear to her with such clarity that sometimes she couldn’t tell if she was seeing a person or apparition.  Spooooooky.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I liked the story.  I liked Amelia and I really rooted for her and John, but there is something really creepy attached to him and Amelia gets really freaked out (not that I can blame her at all).  The mystery was a good one with plenty of twists and turns but very little romance.  In fact, I wouldn’t call it romance at all – it’s more a paranormal suspense slash urban fantasy.  I am concerned that John doesn’t make much of an appearance in book two, but Amanda Stevens writes so well that I’m sure she’s got a reason.  I mean, I can’t always have the Hero and Heroine hook up.  Oh, and there isn’t a cliffhanger, but this is a trilogy so there is more going on than just this mystery.  It’s definitely worth the time.


Ruby_Lee 100Ruby Lee says…

Three years ago I desperately pleaded with Nell that she needed to read The Restorer.   I told her that it had everything she looked for in a book… smart writing, a mystery, ghosts, dead bodies, sexual tension (O… M… G… THE SEXUAL TENSION), and a kick ass female protagonist that sucks the reader into the story and doesn’t let them go. But like all things Nell, she does what she wants on her own time schedule and that’s why I am reviewing this book almost 1000 days after I read it the first time. Sigh…

Actually, I am not going to admit this to Nell but I was happy to dig this story out again. With the crush of new books and an ever growing “to read” pile, I forget about old favorites and revisiting The Restorer was like going through an old photo album and remembering a friend that I had forgotten.

During my trip down memory lane I tried to piece together how I first happened onto this book. I don’t know how I found out about it but I know what drew me in… Amelia Grey is a cemetery restorer.   How cool of a job is that? I don’t remember that being an option during my high school career day because if it had, I think my life would have gone down a very different path.   Top that off with the fact that Amelia see ghosts and I know exactly why I picked this book up. Add to it the beautiful writing of Amanda Stevens and her completely unique view of the spirit world and I know why I couldn’t put it down the first time and the second time I read it. In fact, I slurped down the first three books in this series like I was a starving woman and someone just handed me a chocolate and marshmallow ice cream shake.

The fourth book has been elusive and over the years I have followed Amanda Stevens. (Followed, not stalked… There is a difference.) I have read the beginning of a fourth book but the expected publishing date on Goodreads keeps getting pushed back.   I hope someday I will be able to make new memories with Amelia Grey but right now I have one piece of advice… Don’t be a Nell and put off reading this book. You don’t know what you are missing.


Lucyfer’s Corner

Lucy Face4 ½ paw prints – I have attempted to contact Ms. Stevens many times so I can learn the secret of how a dead spirit sucks the life force out of a living person. She so exquisitely explains this practice in this novel, and I think this skill is a “must have” for any up and coming demon cat. I look forward to practicing on the dog next door. He doesn’t have much life force to start with but I think it is better if I start small and work my way up to the mailman and then the vet.


Other reviews:

If you like this book…

No promotional consideration was granted for this review.

Luther’s Return by Tina Folsom

LutherTitleLuther’s Return
Author: Tina Folsom
Series: Scanguards Vampires 10
Publish Date: May 6, 2015
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre:  HOT Vampire Romance
Perspective: Third Person

Publisher’s Description:  After twenty years incarcerated in a vampire prison, Luther is finally free. But before he can close this chapter of his life once and for all, a kidnapping thrusts him back into the world of Scanguards and into a confrontation with the vampires whose mates he very nearly killed two decades earlier.

Actress Kimberly “Katie” Fairfax has turned her back on Hollywood and now teaches drama at a college in San Francisco. When Scanguards owner Samson’s daughter disappears during a performance, Katie blames herself, because she inadvertently put Isabelle in the path of danger. Realizing that Luther may be the only one who can rescue Samson’s daughter, she forges a tenuous alliance with the inscrutable stranger. As passion ignites between them, they not only have to fight against the unknown foe, but also against the darkness within themselves that could destroy them before they can rescue Isabelle.

Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!).


Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Luther West, ex-vampire convict put into prison by Samson and Amaury for trying to kill their mates, Delilah and Nina 20 years ago. Kimberly Fairfax n/k/a Katie, Wes and Haven’s sister.

Other characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Samson, Delilah, their kids, Armaury, his kids, Blake, Thomas, Eddie, Haven, Yvette, Roxanne and a whole slew of others.  I wanted to hear from Quinn and Rose, but no such luck this time around.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ San Francisco 20 years after Thomas’s Choice.  Isabelle and all the kids we haven’t gotten to see born were all in attendance.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ At first, I said who the hell is Luther?  After a few pages, I said, “Oh, Yeah!  I remember that guy!”  Luther gets out of prison and goes back to San Francisco to atone and apologize for his behavior to Samson and Armaury.  Unfortunately, he stumbles into a kidnapping situation that he’s accused of before he even has a chance.  Isabelle is kidnapped by a lunatic who really wants Kimberly n/k/a Katie.  Luther is threatened, beaten and lie detectored and he is still accused.  Poor guy then gets kicked to the curb without a “Hey, sorry about the mix up, man” and he meets Katie face to face.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I love the Scanguard vampires.  I really sat on the fence about buying this book because I kept thinking “Where else can Tina go, for goodness sake?”  20 years into the future is where she went.  It was an awesome idea and it was fun seeing all the kids that the Scanguards were lucky enough to have by their perspective mates.  The story was great as I never saw Luther coming.  I’d relegated him to the bad guy bin and forgot about him.  Well played, Tina.  Well played.

If you like this book…

No promotional consideration was granted for this review – I bought it because I couldn’t resist. 😉

Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep

Great review of an anthology that looks interesting! Thanks, Jaffalogue!

Jaffalogue

Mermaids and Other Mysteries of the DeepMermaids and Other Mysteries of the Deep by Paula Guran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another excellent Paula Guran anthology! This time thoroughly exploring the breadth of folklore and mythos surrounding water-based entities: rusalka, selkies, mer, nereids, et al. Whereas vampires often personify passion and sex, and zombies claw at the very definition of humanity, these creatures often personify longing, dysmorphia and gender-dysphoria. Creatures with a foot is two worlds rarely fully sync with both and that discomfit makes for great story telling.

There are a few stories of science fiction in which humans have modified themselves to exploit the oceans, and not without consequence. Three give perspectives on the celtic lore of selkies, the seal people that can strip off their seal skin and appear as human. A couple tales highlight the slavic rusalka, water spirits born of the violence when a young woman purposely drowns herself. Many…

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