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Nell’s Gossip and Book Hunt 2/11/2018

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

  • First thing out of the chute today is the audiobook release of Blue Curse (Blue Wolf #1) by Brad Magnarella.  I cannot wait to listen to this!! Oh, and just a little gossip: the sequel to this book will be released in March 2018 with the audio released a month after that!

 

 

Title: Blue Curse
Author: Brad Magnarella
Series: Blue Wolf #1
Release date: January 31, 2018
Narrator:  James Patrick Cronin
Publisher’s Description: “I was leading my final mission when everything went to hell…”
Cursed by a blind witch in a remote corner of Waristan, Special Ops Captain Jason Wolfe finds himself changing into a horrid creature of local legend: a lupine referred to in fearful whispers as Blue Wolf.

Faster, stronger, and more lethal, he’s the perfect soldier – but not for the U.S. military. To break the curse, Jason must lead a war between ancient tribal foes: blue werewolves and white dragons.

In a battle spanning from the icy peaks of Central Asia to the valleys of Manhattan, and with the help of a bookish wizard named Prof Croft, Jason will push himself to the breaking point. Because with the curse now spreading to his mind, he’s running out of time – and the stakes are everything.

Win and he returns home to a fiancé to whom he’s pledged a family and future.

Lose and he dies a blood-thirsty beast.

  • Next up is a book sale!  Who doesn’t love book sales?  Author Ken Lange is putting his first book of the Vigiles Urbani Chronicles on sale from February 9-16, 2018 for 99 cents in honor of the release of book 2, Dust Walkers, releasing February 20, 2018.

Title: Accession of the Stone Born
Author: Ken Lange
Series: Vigiles Urbani Chronicles
Publisher’s Description: Former DOD operative Gavin Randall is coming home after twenty-eight years of war. Dismissed by the government he spent his life fighting for, his only solace is knowing that the life waiting for him is one of peace.
Unfortunately, Gavin stumbles upon a secret underworld that exists alongside ours, one populated by vampires, mages, and bloodthirsty werebeasts.

Now, Gavin finds himself recruited by the Biblical Lazarus, leader of this hidden community. He must track down those who seek to disrupt the fragile peace keeping these nightmare horrors at bay. If he fails, more than his life will be forfeit.

Title: Anubis
Author: Kris Michaels
Series: Guardian Security Shadow World, book 1
Released: January 20, 2018
Publisher’s Description:

Title:  Summer Reign
Author: John Conroe
Series: Demon Accords #13
Released: January 20, 2018
Publisher’s DescriptionDemon Accords book 13. Faced with writing college papers, prepping for tests, and teaching testy witches, Declan O’Carroll has enough on his plate. Not to mention the magical withdrawal of leaving his very own magical kingdom behind on Fairie. But when he and his friends are attacked from creatures out of folklore and fable it seems the Queens of Summer and Winter aren’t done with him yet. But if they’re so eager to mess with Earth, maybe it’s time to Earth came to them. After all, he’s got some lessons to teach. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brutal Asset by John Conroe

21713522Title: Brutal Asset
Author: John Conroe
Series: Demon Accords 03
Publish Date: January 4, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Partnered in an uneasy alliance with federal law enforcement, Chris Gordon has been hunting down the outlaw gang, Loki’s Spawn, who attacked his vampire girlfriend. But when he finds unexpected hostages who trigger his baser instincts, Chris is thrown into a search for answers to dark questions. How to control his inner demon, what do the Spawn want with children, and who is hunting him? His search takes him deep under the Big Apple, to the center of the Pentagon, and South of the US Border. All while learning the finer points of vampire politics.

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


Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: Chris Gordon is an ex-NYPD officer who is the epitome of super hero.  He can do anything – strong – you name it he can do it.  He’s athletic, wealthy, young, sexy, handsome and probably a great kisser for all I know. The only flaw that he has is that he can’t control “Grim” the other half of his nature.  Tanya is a natural born vampire who has been put on a pedestal because of her natural born status.  She also is beautiful, exotic, strong, clever, and beautiful…did I say that already?

World: Modern day, vampires and a “Men in Black” government agency type of atmosphere.

Story: The main plot is really just following Chris as he finds his way through life with extraordinary events along the way.  I can’t say that the book was really believable – more along the lines of comic book literature.  It was a good vs. evil story with lines clearly drawn.  No hazy bad guy in this book.  The bad guy is the bad guy period.  With that in mind, I knew the hero would prevail, but the story line was not really predictable.  It was not dull, however it did not nag me constantly to return to it once I put it down.  The battle scenes were designed for those who love weapons.  Makes, models and armament description galore.badge3v4

Overall: I liked the fact that both main protagonists never had a problem with arrogance with the “ultimate power” detritus.  They seemed pretty down to earth and willing to help the little people.   There was some interesting descriptions of Native American beliefs that I enjoyed but really little else other than the standard good vs. evil.

Vagabond_Vahn_3-flip

Vagabond Vahn says…

I absorbed this book in one sitting.  As with past entries in the series, it reads fast.  Much as I did with Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, I bear witness to the author John Conroe becoming more proficient and more comfortable with his characters and world with each entry in this series.

The Good: Perhaps it’s the testosterone in my system, but I find the Chris/Grim reactions to violence throughout the story extremely satisfying.  Most of the novels I read have the hero/heroine being beaten down over the course of the story before finally overcoming their adversary at the end.  This is a technique I refer to as the “Rocky Effect”, as it reminds me of the movies where Stallone is beaten up for an hour and ten minutes before coming back for the win.  It is a pretty standard mechanic, but can get old after a while.  It’s nice to see Chris/Grim and Tanya step in and kick ass without taking names.  It’s hard to pull off, but John Conroe does it.

Chris has stopped saying “Ah” to open every other dialogue, and no longer calls himself a freak constantly.  This is good, as a third entry of both of these things would have bothered me.  The character of Barbiel provides some solid explanation for Chris’s abilities and hints at Tanya, though Chris still doesn’t seem quite ready to accept what we as readers already know. Hopefully that won’t last long.

The Bad: There weren’t any particular issues that stood out with this entry or bothered me on any significant level.  I do find myself worried about the future of the series, however.  I still find it refreshing that Chris is unstoppable.  I find his triggers for Grim satisfying; but I worry that the as the series continues, the author will simply introduce more and more powerful villains to keep up and provide a challenge – villains who would achieve their goals if they just avoided New York.  We’ll have to wait and see…

badge4v4The Conclusion:  Brutal Asset officially earns a 4!  I was so close with Demon Driven, the previous entry, and am happy to find Conroe establishing a trend where each novel is better than the last.  I hope this continues, as I can see this series taking a place on my shelves alongside the Dresden Files, Iron Druid Chronicles, and the Walker Papers.  Read this series.

 

If you like this book…

Demon Driven by John Conroe

8826125TitleDemon Driven
Author: John Conroe
Series: Demon Accords Book 2
Publish Date: March 16, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Seven months have passed since Chris Gordon met Tanya Demidova. In that time he has adapted to the vast changes in his life. Being faster and stronger, working for a paranormal police unit and dating a vampire. But new threats appear; from the South, from the North, within the NYPD and from the U.S. government. But his greatest danger is already inside him.

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


Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: Chris Gordon is an NYPD officer attached to the Special Situations department.  Not much has changed except that Chris’s supernatural powers seem to be growing. Life and battle seem to be working to Chris’s advantage.   Tanya Demidova has declared that Chris is her mate and awakened her to her life and real purpose.

Other Characters: Lydia is Tanya’s handler and Gina is Chris’s handler.  Senka, one of two elder vampire, Tzao, two of two elder vampires, Briana Duclair – federal agent that has suspicions about Chris.  Okwari – spirit bear and also a very powerful demi god.

World: Modern day, vampires and a “Men in Black” government agency type of atmosphere.

badge3v4Story: Feds are intent on controlling Chris by any means necessary.  They treat him as a threat that they have to “neutralize” because the “don’t understand”.  Sound familiar?  Kill it if you don’t understand it.  The Feds somehow force the disbanding of the Special Situations Department and reallocate personnel because their cases just aren’t believable.

Overall: No cliffhanger which is a plus.  The story reads well and it’s not hard to stay interested.  Be sure to leave your disbelieve at the front door because the protagonist is really quite indestructible. There is no real crime or case to solve just minor obstacles to overcome.

Vagabond_Vahn100Vagabond Vahn says…

I devoured this book; metaphorically – I didn’t actually eat it…  Like certain other Urban Fantasy novels, the entries in the Demon Accords series are capable of being consumed in one to three sittings, provided they draw you in.  That was the case for me with Demon Driven.

The Good: There are very low levels of Spoon Feeding here.  The recaps are quick and painless.

There is a bit more development of characters.  Some interesting side drama fleshes out the squad but isn’t a hindrance to the story.  The author shows that he obviously has plans for the side characters that extend beyond this entry.

The romance is perfect from my perspective.  It’s there, it’s given a nod, and then the story moves on efficiently.

While Nell mentioned there is no cliffhanger, the author keeps with his trend of including an epilogue that takes everything a step further, and makes it obvious that this simply concludes an episode and allows room for more to come.

The Bad: Honestly, there are only two things that bug me.  Please allow me a moment to rant…

Like book one, Chris says “ah” entirely too much for both my taste, and my ability to accept.  I say “Ah” when I’ve figured something out, or when correcting someone – not to respond every time I’m spoken to.  For you readers who can be pulled from a scene by excessive use of the same word or phrase, be aware.

Second and last, is the fact that Chris hangs on to being a “freak” entirely too long.  Multiple characters took time in book one, and more so in book two, explaining that he is attractive to most women and some men, and why.  Let’s hope the next book shows some progress on this front, because it’s getting redundant.  End rant!

badge3v4The Conclusion: Like Nell, I’m giving this three.  I am very close to giving it four.  Perhaps the next book will tip it over the edge.  The book is strong, and a great second entry! As Nell mentioned, the character is nigh indestructible – but I find this refreshing.  It’s difficult to pull that off with a main character without it becoming boring, but author John Conroe pulls it off well.  I recommend the series!

If you like this book…

God Touched by John Conroe

21622426Title: God Touched
Author: John Conroe
Series: Demon Accords Book 01
Publish Date: March 26, 2010
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Perspective: First Person

Publisher’s Description: Chris Gordon is a rookie with the NYPD – one with a secret. In his spare time Chris is an exorcist without equal with a gift from God.

But when he saves a beautiful girl from a demonic attack, he discovers there is more to fear than just demons. Finding himself surrounded by vampires, were weasels, and facing a giant short-faced bear, Chris struggles to stay alive, all while protecting his deadly new girlfriend. And then there’s her over protective vampire mother!

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


Nell 100Nervous Nellie says…

Main characters: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥  Chris Gordon, 23, (another dang youngster) NYPD rookie officer trained as a demon banisher.  Alex Gordon, Chris’s grandfather and man who raised Chris.  Tanya Demidova, (another 23 year old), “Young Queen” of the vampire race.  She is born of two vampires (only one known to exist) and thus placed on a pedestal as royalty. Okwari is my favorite.  He is a tough spirit tortured by demons to do their bidding and ends up being Chris’s protector.

World: ♥ ♥ ♥ The world is the same one I am in except filled with vampires, werewolves and demons.

Story: ♥ ♥ ♥ Chris is a family trust fund child with a couple cool million stashed in the bank.  He doesn’t have to work, but he does anyway.  The plot wasn’t all that big.  It was basically a power struggle within the vampire world.  The bad guy vampires want to take Tanya’s blood (It’s special since she’s born of two vampires, not made.)  The drug they create is called N’Hance.  Chris happens upon Tanya being attacked and she (of course) falls immediately for him.  No graphic sex.

Overall: ♥ ♥ ♥ It’s SOP with the vampires again being massively possessive except this time the female is doing the possessive stuff over the male.  How come when males are possessive it’s romantic and when females are possessive it’s “Fatal Attraction”?  Anyway, Chris finally found a place to belong and are very protective of him.  The lines between good and evil are drawn clearly and there is no cliffhanger.

Other Reviews

If you like this book…

You might try the Yancy Lazarus series by James A. Hunter or the Eric Carter series by Stephen Blackmoore.

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