Author Archives: Nervous Nell Justice

Magic Carpet Ride by Laurence MacNaughton

When shop-assistant Opal brings one of her father’s old rugs into The Crystal Connection to cover a burn spot in the floor, she and store owner, Dru, discover just why the rug was hidden away in the first place.

Title: Magic Carpet Ride
Author: Laurence MacNaughton
Series: Dru Jasper, Book 0.0
Publish Date:  November 19, 2016
Genre: Humorous Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Available on Amazon for $.99 or free when you subscribe to Laurence McNaughton’s newsletter

Publisher’s DescriptionDru Jasper scrapes by selling potions, charms, and enchanted crystals to help sorcerers fight the forces of darkness. But when Dru’s latest customer shows up on fire, things get magical (and funny) fast. This prequel story includes the first chapter of IT HAPPENED ONE DOOMSDAY. Available FREE exclusively on the author’s website at www.LaurenceMacNaughton.com/free/


Invested Ivana says…

Magic Carpet Ride is a short, but fun introduction to the world of Dru Jasper. Readers get a sense of:
*Dru’s shop, The Crystal Connection, and the kinds of magical problems Dru deals with there.
*Dru herself, her addiction to lattes, and her magical power.
*Dru’s shop assistant, Opal, and her quirky sense of humor and style.
*Dru’s friend, Rane, a kick-ass monster hunter with a magical ability of her own.
*McNaughton’s funny writing style, which puts me in mind of MaryJanice Davidson, but without the “Sex in the City” vibe.
The Dru Jasper series is a fun, quirky read, perfect when you’re you’re in the mood for light-hearted, magic adventure. Check out my review of the first book, It Happened One Doomsday, and stay tuned for the second book, A Kiss Before Doomsday, which comes out in July of this year.

Other recommendations…

For more urban fantasy with a light-hearted side, check out the Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series by Julie Kenner, the Queen Betsy (sometimes called the Undead) series by MaryJanice Davidson, or the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones

 

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Villainous by Kristen Brand

Black Valentine and White Knight are back in the sequel to Hero Status! After the events of the first book, Dave (White Knight) is dealing with the repercussions of his actions. If she wants to keep him out of jail, Valentina has to play nice with the feds and track down some nasty narcotics.

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

Title: Villainous
Author: Kristen Brand
Series: White Knight/Black Valentine Book 2
Publish Date: September 28, 2015
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Received for review from author

Publisher’s Description: Valentina Belmonte isn’t evil anymore—honest. She’s hung up her supervillain costume, retired to Florida with her family, and hasn’t committed a crime in years. (Well, not a felony. What’s a misdemeanor here and there if you don’t get caught?) This time, she’s not the one in trouble with the law—her goody-two-shoes, former superhero of a husband is.

He saved her life two months ago but committed a spectacular amount of assault and property damage along the way. The feds plan to press charges…unless Val does something for them in exchange. Apparently, an old friend of hers is importing a deadly drug that gives people temporary psychic powers. The feds want to send in Val with a wire to get evidence to bring him down. Sounds simple enough, but things turn deadly fast, and Val finds herself up against another supervillain—one who can out-play her at her own game.

Val’s worried she’s gone soft since retirement, but if she doesn’t get the feds the evidence they need, her husband will end up rotting in one of the most hellish prisons in the country…


Kat Mandu says…

This series is super full of action and I love it! It blends a lot of genres. It’s not just cool villain versus superhero fight scenes, it’s also got a touch of romance, mystery, and humor. Plus the characters are relatable to real life despite its fantasy appeal.

Valentina is sexy and hardcore and ready to take on anything if it means getting her husband a get out of jail free card. She makes a deal to track down a shipment of a drug called “psyche” and its seller, but discovers her own sister and her twisted arch-nemesis, Dr. Sweet, may be behind its trafficking. As she tracks down clues and skirts dangers thrown at her at every corner, she’s gotta use her telepathic abilities and sheer force of will (which is a lot, for the record) to save the day.

This series is growing to be one of my favorites in the superhero genre. It’s the little tidbits of information about the characters, plus the awesome flashback scenes, that really make it for me. Valentina and Dave are awesome on their own, but even cooler together. I’m very eager to see where the next book, Almost Invincible, whisks me off to on their adventures.

But don’t just stop there – check out Hero Status and her episodic online, all of which you can find on her home site. https://kristenbrand.com/web-fiction/ – I really recommend this fun, crime-fighting (or in some cases, crime-loving) series.

Other recommendations…

…you might try other badass superhero books from Lexi Dunne, Jennifer Estep, and Bethany Frenette.

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

Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

In this stunning companion to The Star-Touched Queen, we reunite with Guari as she finds herself faced with a choice: stay prisoner to the city of Ujain and let her older brother Skanda rule over her country with cruelty, or join a stranger in a competition through a magical world full of dangerous creatures and even darker desires.

Title: Crown of Wishes
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Series: Star-Touched Queen
Publish Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Provided by Good Reads courtesy of a giveaway

Publisher’s Description: Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

Dual review from Kat Mandu and Luna Lovebooks!


Kat Mandu says…

Kat_Mandu_100I absolutely loved this. For me it was all about that gorgeous imagery, hilarious dialogue, and the dual-narration of both Guari and Vikram. Though I didn’t dislike A Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes just really tickled my fancy more than its prequel. I almost couldn’t put it down and even then when I was forced to, I had serious withdrawals. It’s just so fascinating from beginning to end.

The continual banter between Guari and Vikram is the best. They’re bickering from start to finish, even as they grow fonder of one another. They really made this book for me because they each learn that they both have secrets and pasts, and learn to understand each other. I had a feeling they might fall in love but I was glad it wasn’t the focus of the story. It was more about them discovering who they really had to be in life, getting past their fears and showing their true identities.

There were a few scenes that kind of threw me for a loop, ones I either just don’t get or have been corrected in the final version. I didn’t really understand all that was happening in the courtesan tent – with the mirrors – and I wish I would have understood all that was happeningbadge5v5 when Vikram and Guari both “died.” Like I said, not sure at this point if those have been cleared up with editing or if I am just confused in general.

However, that writing is still there, succulent and mesmerizing with every page. It makes you really want to read more Indian fairy tales. It’s really gorgeous and I adore Roshani’s writing style.

All of this made it a five for me!

 Luna Lovebooks says…

Likes: As much as I loved the beautiful writing of The Star-Touched Queen, I think I love Luna_Lovebooks_100Crown of Wishes even more! The writing is still beautiful and lyrical. The characters Guari and Vikram are beautifully written and I enjoyed their playful banter. This novel is a bit more fantastical features even more of the beings from Indian mythology.

badge5v5Dislikes: Once again there isn’t much I didn’t like about this novel. There were a few instances where I was confused during a scene or by what a character did but it didn’t distract from the story.
Other recommendations…

…you might try Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer, Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis, Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

 

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Nell’s News, Gossip and Book Hunt 3/26/17

News and information at One Book Two.  Author cover reveals, author news and upcoming book releases.

This Weeks News:

I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to one of my favorite authors, D.B. Reynolds.  She lost her husband on March 17, 2017.   Please, say an extra prayer for Ms. Reynolds.  Sadness is hard to overcome.

New Releases:

Craig Schaefer is one of my top favorite authors.  He is releasing book #3 in the Harmony Black series.  Glass Predator will be released March 28, 2017. I won’t be able to review it for a couple days after, but check back in with me.

Title:  Glass Predator
Description:  For Harmony Black, practicing witch and government agent, defeating criminal masterminds and eliminating supernatural threats are all in a day’s work. She’s ready to fight, as long as she can count on her partner, Jessie Temple; her team at off-the-books special FBI unit Vigilant Lock; and her magic. But her latest case threatens it all.

A high-profile bank robbery reveals thieves with the same unnatural strength and turquoise eyes as Jessie, who was touched by the King of Wolves. Jessie becomes unstable, struggling with her inner Beast, and Harmony’s magic is threatened by unexpected interference. Even worse, the women uncover a secret their own handler may kill to protect, forcing Vigilant Lock to go off the grid.

From the smoky back rooms of Washington, DC, inhabited by the crooked elite, to the astonishing high-rises of corrupt upper-crust Manhattan, Harmony and Jessie fight to uncover and halt a mass conspiracy threatening US soil in a race against time—and hell.

This is a series Ruby Lee got me hooked on a couple of years ago.  I stopped reading because it made me nervous.  The endings weren’t exactly cliffhangers, but they weren’t always happy for the protagonist.  Anyway, Amanda Stevens is releasing #6 in the Graveyard Queen series, The Awakening, on March 28, 2017.  Ruby has promised to tell me what happens so I can start on book #3.  I know, I know.  I’m ridiculous.

Book Description:  Shush…lest she awaken…

My name is Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who lives with the dead. An anonymous donor has hired me to restore Woodbine Cemetery, a place where the rich and powerful bury their secrets. Forty years ago, a child disappeared without a trace and now her ghost has awakened, demanding that I find out the truth about her death. Only I know that she was murdered. Only I can bring her killer to justice. But the clues that I follow—a haunting melody and an unnamed baby’s grave—lead me to a series of disturbing suspects.

For generations, The Devlins have been members of Charleston’s elite. John Devlin once turned his back on the traditions and expectations that came with his birthright, but now he has seemingly accepted his rightful place. His family’s secrets make him a questionable ally. When my investigation brings me to the gates of his family’s palatial home, I have to wonder if he is about to become my mortal enemy.

Warrior Unraveled releases March 29, 2017.  This is a crossover between series.  Tina Folsom writes the Scanguard Vampire series (if you haven’t read them, the first one is Samson’s Lovely Mortal and it’s free on Kindle) and she writes the Stealth Guardians series. Wesley, Haven’s brother (see Yvette’s Haven) is kind of a liason between Scanguards and the Stealth Guardians and this is his story.  I have always favored Scanguards Vampires over the Stealth Guardians, but I can’t give a good solid reason. Again, I am ridiculous.

Book Description: Scanguards witch Wesley Montgomery’s attempt at forming an alliance between his group and the elusive Stealth Guardians meets with resistance and suspicion from Virginia Robson, council member for the Guardians. The fiery redhead who gets Wesley’s heart pumping thinks that he was sent by the demons to infiltrate them, a belief that is reinforced when the Stealth Guardians are attacked in their stronghold.
Despite her better judgment, Virginia is drawn to the handsome witch who offers his assistance. But can she trust the stranger of whom she knows nothing, even though his touch and kisses ignite a need in her that she’s never before experienced?

What will prove more difficult for the pair: finding a future together, or battling demons that threaten them at every turn?

Ivana (here’s her review of Bound) got me hooked on the Alex Verus seriesBenedict Jacka releases book #8 on April 4.  Check it out.

TitleBound
AuthorBenedict Jacka
SeriesAlex Verus, Book 08
Publish Date: April 4, 2017 by Ace
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher’s Description: Mage Alex Verus is caught between a rock and a hard place in the eighth urban fantasy novel from the national bestselling author of Burned.

Alex Verus is still haunted by his time apprenticed to Richard Drakh. He’s been free of him for many years, but now the only way to keep his friends from being harmed is to again work for Richard and his deadly ally. Even worse, he’s forced to bring the Light mage Anne into this servitude as well.

After weeks of being hunted and finally cornered into what he thought was his last stand, Alex never thought his life would be spared—and never anticipated at what price. This time, the diviner can see no way out…

Here’s reviews of the others in the series…

Viola Carr is releasing #3 in the Electric Empire series on April 18.  I am so excited because I LOVE this series.  It’s fun, it’s steampunk, it’s Jekyll/Hyde with a spin.  Be sure you have no appointments when you sit down to read this series because you will miss them.  The pages will just fly!

Title:  The Dastardly Miss Lizzie
Book DescriptionDr. Eliza Jekyll must turn to her dark side, Miss Lizzie Hyde, to stop a madman targeting London’s most important scientists and sorcerers terrorizing the city with dark magic in this third Electric Empire novel—a dazzlingly original steampunk fantasy set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, with echoes of H G. Wells classic, The Time Machine

Being two people in one body isn’t easy. Metropolitan Police crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to maintain a semblance of control, even as her rebellious second self, Lizzie, grows increasingly wild—threatening the respectable Eliza’s reputation and her marriage to Remy Lafayette, the Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope. With England on the brink of war, Remy’s away in sorcery-riddled Paris on a secretive mission that grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is coping with Eliza’s secret divided self finally driving her mad?

Eliza needs her mind clear and sharp if she’s to catch an evil genius who is killing eminent scientists. The chase uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories, and a cabal of fanatical inventors whose work could change the world—or destroy it—and who may hold answers to Eliza’s past.

As sorcery-wielding terrorists attack London, Eliza discovers her own enemies are closing in, driving her to desperate measures—enlisting the aid of the wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie—to thwart the killer. But Lizzie’s got her own life now, and true to her nature, will resort to the devious and diabolical to keep it. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn. . . .

1B2’s reviews of book 1 & 2:

The last two on my list really need no introduction.  They even probably don’t even need an announcement because everyone already is waiting impatiently for their release.  I would be amiss to leave them out, though, so here is:

Title:  Blade Bound
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #13
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Book Description: The thrilling final installment of Chloe Neill’s New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series sees a sinister sorcery advancing across Chicago, and it may usher in the fall of Cadogan House…

Since the night of her brutal attack and unwilling transformation to vampire, Merit’s stood as Sentinel and protector of Chicago’s Cadogan House. She’s saved the Windy City from the forces of darkness time and again with her liege and lover, Ethan Sullivan, by her side.

When the House is infiltrated and Merit is attacked by a vampire seemingly under the sway of dark magic, Merit and Ethan realize the danger is closer than they could have ever imagined. As a malign sorcery spreads throughout the city, Merit must go to war against supernatural powers beyond her comprehension. It’s her last chance to save everything—and everyone—she loves.

Title: Snared
Author: Jennifer Estep
Series: Elemental Assassin #16
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Book Description:  The sixteenth book in the New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series that RT Book Reviews calls, “An extraordinary series…[containing] one of the most intriguing heroines in the genre.”

If you don’t know Gin “the Spider” Blanco, you don’t know dangerous female heroines.

Irony 101—The Spider herself snared in someone else’s web…

Another week, another few clues trickling in about the Circle, the mysterious group that supposedly runs the city’s underworld. Gathering intel on my hidden enemies is a painstaking process, but a more immediate mystery has popped up on my radar: a missing girl.

My search for the girl begins on the mean streets of Ashland, but with all the killers and crooks in this city, I’m not holding out much hope that she’s still alive.

A series of clues leads me down an increasingly dark, dangerous path, and I realize that the missing girl is really just the first thread in this web of evil. As an assassin, I’m used to facing down the worst of the worst, but nothing prepares me for this new, terrifying enemy—one who strikes from the shadows and is determined to make me the next victim.

 

This Weeks Gossip:

*running and screaming with excitement*  Faith Hunter released some details of her world.  If you like Jane Yellowrock and can’t wait to get your hands on special purchase items in order to show your Yellowrock pride, check out Faith Hunter’s website shop and grab you some Beast gear.  She also has signed books available.  And don’t forget- not that I’ll let you forget- Jane Yellowrock #11, Cold Reign will be out on May 2, 2017.  Woot!!

You remember Dark Queen? That’s the title for Jane Yellowrock #12.  No cover yet.  No description yet.  That’s only because Faith Hunter is about 1/3 done with writing it.  The exciting news is that it’s coming!  Yay!!!

Soulwood #3, FLAME IN THE DARK is up for pre-order at B&N and Amazon. There will be pre order link up at the website soon for signed copies.

 

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Nell’s Gossip and Sunday Book Hunt 3/19/17

Sunday Book Gossip! I love gossip and what gossip is any better than book or author gossip? Normally, I’m not one to spread rumors, so be sure you listen close the first time.

This Weeks Gossip:

Exciting news on the Jenn Stark Immortal Vegas series front.  Wilde Child has a release date of May 17, 2017!  Yay!  If you like action/adventure with magic and a bit of romance/tension added in, this is the series for you.  I totally love it.  Here’s reviews from the previous additions to the series.

 

Fans of Kevin Hearne…PAY ATTENTION!  Oberon is going to release his sequel to the Purloined Poodle.  It will be called The Squirrel on the Train.  It’s #2 in the Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries series.  Purloined Poodle is a tale from the view point of Atticus’s best canine friend, Oberon.  Check out 1B2’s review and check back for the release date when I finally hear it.

 

Got a note from another fave author this week.  Lisa Shearin, author of SPI Files and the Raine Benares series says:

Ruins & Revenge: I finished writing Ruins & Revenge last Friday. It’s in editing now (content, then copy editing, then production), and will be released on May 2. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available for preorder.

The Ghoul Vendetta audio book: My agent contacted Audible, and they said The Ghoul Vendetta is in production. As to a release date, they said “less than three months.” As soon as I know something more definite, I’ll let you know.

New paranormal thriller series: While I wait for the content edits to come back on Ruins & Revenge, I’m plotting a brand new paranormal thriller series. It’s gonna be so freakin’ cool!

Three books a year/three series: Before anyone freaks out that the new series will bump any of your favs, rest assured that my three-books-a-year writing schedule will include one book each from Raine Benares, a SPI Files, and the new thriller series.

Next book I’ll be writing: I may be plotting a new series now, but the next book I’ll write will be another SPI Files, *then* I’ll do the first book in the new series. I want to allow enough time for the new cast of characters to come together in my head.

 

 

I’ve found a new series that I’m interested in.  Actually, a couple – so let me share.

Title: Mark of Cain
Series: Immortal Mercenary #1
Author: Conner Kressley
Description: My name isn’t Callum Coldwell but, for your own sake, you should probably call me that.

They say someone is murdered every minute…and I’m the reason why.

When I killed my brother, the Big Guy burned a mark into my skin and set me to wandering until the end of time. That was a while ago, and I think I’ve used my forever pretty well. Bagged a few women, saved a few lives, and gotten myself into and out of more trouble than I care to remember.

But something’s happening now. Evil forces are circling the wagons, and something sinister is getting ready to make a play for the big time. And, of course, it has me in its crosshairs.

When I said I wasn’t my brother’s keeper, I had no idea how wrong I was.

By now you’ve probably figured out my name. But don’t say it.

Bad things happen when people say my name.

AND

Title: Calling All Angels
Author: John G. Hartness
Series: Shadow Council Files #1
Description:  They are humanity’s defense against the supernatural. They are the light in the darkness. They are the guardians that walk in the night. They are The Shadow Council.

Joanna Harrison is a freelance editor, working mother, and loving daughter. She is also the great-granddaughter or legendary steel driving man John Henry, and she has taken up his hammer to fight against the monsters that threaten her family and her world. She is Jo Henry, and she packs one hell of a punch.

Jo is fighting like the devil, looking for an angel. She’s on a mission to find the Archangel Michael, give him back his hold sword, and bring his memories back. But first she has to stay alive. Through underground cage fights and demon hunts in the desert, Jo will need all the help she can get to wake up the angel. And when a demon kidnaps her mother and daughter, it’s time to come out swinging.

 

I went to Book Expo America last year in May.  It was AWESOME! If there is a chance to go again, I’m all over it.  This year it’s in the Big Apple.  I know there will be tons more publishers and authors that I would love to meet, but it’s in NYC.  The major drawback is having to ship all the free books home.  Luckily last year I had a car to pack full, so it wasn’t an issue. I’m thinking it’d be a huge issue in NYC.  I’m also thinking it’s going to be 25 times more busy.  This year it’s from May 31 – June 2, 2017.  Any authors out there need a roadie?

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