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Shadow Duel by Brad Magnarella

Beware the shadow of many faces, but fear the master of many places…

shadow duelTitle: Shadow Duel
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series: Prof Croft #9
Publish Date: April 15 2021
Source: purchased by reviewer

Publisher’s Description:  Beware the shadow of many faces, but fear the master of many places…

It’s Monday morning, and I’ve recovered a strange glyph-covered chest from a landfill. By Monday afternoon, someone’s stolen it from my warded loft.

Before I can suss out who, why, and most importantly, how, I’m neck-deep with the NYPD on a murder case. A bigshot CEO is dead in his penthouse, his kidneys harvested in a way that screams black magic. Only there’s no magic in evidence.

The two crimes connect somehow, and the key may be an old explorer’s club in the heart of Manhattan. But this mage needs to get moving. More victims are turning up sans organs, and twice now I’ve found myself in a shadow realm—a darker, more dangerous version of the city, where a mysterious entity wants me dead.

And here I thought the summer’s biggest chore would be persuading my succubus cat to play nice with my wife.

Spoiler alert: she’s still Tabitha.

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

Nervous Nellie says…

I really love this series.  It’s kind of a police procedural but not.  That’s pretty wishy washy, huh?  Well, you have your intense magic user, you have nasty mythological creatures that terrorize people and murder.  If you have never tried this series and think that sounds boring, let me clue you in.  These books, this one included, are often edge of your seat adventure, murder in mysterious magical circumstances in a world that does know about magic.  I feel the comparison to Indiana Jones would lead to an idea of the content of these books…except Indy never had a consultant gig with the NYPD.

Everson now has a family.  I never thought that Ricki Vega would ever succumb to Everson’s charms, let alone his dangerous and most often very closely lethal magic dealings.  The baby they are expecting is growing and Vega is on desk duty.  She doesn’t like it, but she does manage to get inside this case due to her ability to liaison with the wizard.  She doesn’t really have an active part in this story, but she does have her moments in the spotlight.  It is a complicated relationship that plays out between Detective Hoffmen and Prof Croft.  They HAVE to get along and solve the case.  Ricki can only do so much since she’s not working directly on the case.  It’s a tough partnership between the two men.

So, the case.  Weirdest dang thing – people are getting killed and having certain organs removed without a trace of incision or cause of death.  No why or how.  Just is.  That’s where Everson is brought in.  He has a huge task of solving this riddle that just becomes more dangerous and mysterious as the book weaves it’s story.  It’s surprising Everson doesn’t develop a concussion for as many times as he hits a brick wall leading him to no answers, but he perseveres.  I have got to tell you that I’d never have guessed where leads took him and the places he ended up.  The dangers he put himself into were not just to solve the case, but to stop the destruction to humans of the earth.  This feels like an over-several-books story that doesn’t end at the end of this book.  It’s not a cliffhanger to the murders, so don’t worry about that part. There is, however, a revelation at the very end that was of particular interest.  It’s not a bad revelation – a very “OMG” moment and I cannot wait to see where this leads.


Our reviews in this series…

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Back off Witch by Brad Magnarella

back off witchTitle: Back off Witch
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  A Croft and Tabby Short (#2)
Publish Date: February 14, 2022
Source: Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Publisher’s Description: What’s worse than a sharp-tongued cat in a heatwave? Being stuck inside with her.

When my friend Kayla asks for my help as a wizard, I jump at the chance to escape my apartment—and Tabitha.

In New York’s inner city, a child’s closet hides a monster. At least according to my starry-eyed friend, who claims powers of intuition. But this time she might be onto something. The scariest part? The child will only confide in Tabitha.

Now I need to convince my succubus cat, who remains committed to eating, sleeping, staying cool, and, yes, devouring my soul, to help stop a supernatural threat that’s climbing faster than the city’s thermometer.

Can Tabitha and I overcome our differences in time to save an innocent life?

Or will she undermine me just to prove she’s still queen?

Croft & Tabby is a spinoff of the popular Prof Croft series, set before the main books. If you like snarky cats, fledgling mages, and supernatural investigations, you’ll love Croft & Tabby!

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

Nervous Nellie says…

Tabitha and Prof Croft work together again. Tabitha is always reluctant to help, probably because she’s once removed from a demon, but Prof Croft bribes and cajoles her into coaxing a little boy to reveal the beast he’s afraid of and that is endangering his life. Of course, with Prof Croft, nothing is easy. What sounds like a decent low involvement plan totally blows up into something much bigger. Non magic believers, gather ’round for an entertaining and well written addition to the Croft and Tabby short. By the way, these short stories are a nice way to try out Prof Croft’s world to see if you might want to engage with the full size novels, which I encourage wholeheartedly.


Our reviews in this series…

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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt for March 8, 2020


Welcome to my Sunday book hunt and author gossip.  Keep coming back for updates on book releases and news from favorite authors.

Back with new releases again… they keep writin’ them, we keep readin’ them.


TitleNight Rune
Author: Brad Magnarella
SeriesProf Croft #8
Release date: March 2, 2020
Description: Where to turn when all roads lead to ruin?

Last night I barely escaped 1776 New York City – now I have to go back.

My teammates are trapped in a time catch. Worse, the demon master Malphas is building a gateway there, one that could trigger a full-blown apocalypse.

But returning will require new allies: a crabby goblin, a fae princess and former lover, and the demon-vampire Arnaud. Yeah, that guy. And we’re no longer facing one time catch, but several. All ruptured and on the verge of collapse.

Now a simple rescue has turned into a death-defying journey, one that’s pushing my spell casting and stamina to their limits.

But as hellfire lashes up and day dims to eternal night, I’m facing an even greater test…

Choosing between my faith in magic and my love for Vega.

Night Rune is the 8th novel in the 100,000+ selling urban fantasy series. If you like occult action, spell-crackling suspense, and moments of heart, heroism, and all-out laughter, you’ll love Prof Croft!


Prof Croft Series
Preq 0: Book of Souls
Book 1: Demon Moon
Book 2: Blood Deal
Book 3: Purge City
Book 4: Death Mage
Book 5: Black Luck
Book 6: Power Game
Book 7: Druid Bond
Book 8: Night Rune


AuthorTeresa Gabelman
SeriesThe Protectors #15
Release date:  February 26, 2020
Description: Witch hunter and new VC Warrior, Bishop Valentino, takes pride in his duties, both past and present. Never once has he doubted his past as a witch hunter. That changes when a beautiful, independent witch occupies his mind more than he’s comfortable with.

Helping his new brothers of the VC keep all the Dragonfly Coven safe from the diabolical warlock, Orjyll, is Bishop’s number one priority. When that priority begins to shift and his focus is pulled away, his allegiance to the brotherhood is at risk.

Saving the world is something Bishop and the Warriors tirelessly do every day. But keeping witches safe is something new for Bishop, and if they fail and the Grail women fall to what the Fates bestowed on them many years ago, Hell on Earth could come swiftly.

To lose the epic battle between good and evil is not an option. Bishop has to find balance between his oath to the brotherhood and his heart. If not, life as he knows it will change forever.

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Druid Bond by Brad Magnarella

When the deal you need isn’t the one you want.  Everson has a lot of work to do to stop the evil, help the good and keep his family protected.

Title: Druid Bond
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  Prof. Croft #7
Publish Date: September 2, 2019
Source:  Kindle Unlimited on Amazon
Publisher’s Description: When the deal you need isn’t the one you want

To protect Vega and her son from the demon-vampire Arnaud, I’ve secured spots for them in a powerful safehouse. The price? Pledging my services to the Upholders, a group searching for stolen loved ones.

My new teammates are a young minister, a snarky half-fae, a hulking mermaid, and a druid with major control issues. Bonded by said druid’s magic, I couldn’t wriggle out of this deal if I were coated in wizard’s oil.

Now we’re hunting demons in a past version of New York City that’s on the bad side of strange. But I can’t stop thinking about Arnaud. He’s too close to the ones I cherish, and growing more lethal by the hour. He’s also gotten his talons on an enchanted item that could undo their protection.

I need to fulfill my contract to the Upholders and race home. But dangers here are mounting, verging on biblical. If I don’t crank my magic to eleven and become the leader this team needs, I may never see Vega again…

Or hold our future child.

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

Nervous Nellie says…

I love Prof.Croft.  He’s a little like Harry Dresden, but has so far kept himself alive.  He’s also got a significant other with a child on the way. The child was a bit of a blind side, but now that I’m used to it, it’s pretty cool.

In this story, Everson is not catching even one break.  Everything seems to be going wrong and when things go wrong it usually means someone dies.  Everson is trying to protect his family from Arnaud the vampire, who has now become a demon too.  What a mess.  Arnaud is still power hungry and has one major objective of killing Everson before he takes over the world.  Problem for Arnaud is that he is being controlled by a demon lord and he has less freedom than he wants.  Arnaud is ambitious and willing to sell his own mother for a step up the power ladder.  The other goal for Everson is to figure out where the “strangers” are taking the captured species for control by demons.  There are druids, mer-people and fae that are having their souls stolen and replaced by demons.  Everson has made a deal to help, but the head Druid is a hard head and absolutely will not listen to Everson’s advice.  He jeopardizes the mission more than once.

This is a fast paced story that has a lot of action.  Everson meets Ricki’s fam, which doesn’t go as well as hoped and, like I said, Everson could not catch a break even if it stood inches in front of him.

Good story.  I give it a 4.

Our reviews in this series…


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Croft and Wesson by Brad Magnarella

Reading and reviewing the stories in Eight in the Chamber anthology.  This is book #3, a short novella that has Prof Croft winging it to help out Wesson.  Will he make it out alive?

Croft & Wesson
Author:  Brad Magnarella
Series:  Prof Croft
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source:  purchased by reviewer in Anthology, Eight in the Chamber


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

Nervous Nellie says…

This is a review of the third story in the anthology.  James Wesson really does not take his job seriously.  He has to use the assistance of Everson Croft in order to figure out why blond women are disappearing.  It could be a serial killer, right?  It’s nothing to do with the gold bracelets and any kind of magic, could it?

Well, you know it does.  Croft & Wesson battle a bunch of were wolves that James owes a huge debt to, they have to stay on the straight and narrow of the local Sheriff how is wiley and cantankerous and try and stop whatever or whoever is sending bracelets to the ladies in town.  The story is a good one.  It doesn’t add a whole lot to the over arching series story, so it’s a good standalone to test out the waters.

There is some grisly parts, a puzzle and one big scary dude.  Check it out.  It’s worth it!


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