Tag Archives: #Vampires

Page, Jessica: The Agency (Agency Hunger I) (2014)

The Agency - Jessica Page

The Agency by Jessica Page is a paranormal romance with a mystery twist. The Agency is Ms. Page’s first published novel and is part of a series called Agency Hunger. Ms. Page provided me with a copy of her novel in return for a review.

We all know that I am a terrible romance reviewer but I will comment of the stuff that I understand about the concept.

Our male main character’s name is Reid. He falls into the cognitive trap of telling himself to “not think about thinking about a subject”. You know what happens then. The more you fight it, the more you think about it. Sure enough. The more Reid thought about not thinking about liking Harper the more she stuck out in his mind. Silly old vampire. Should know better by now. Especially since he discovers early one that Harper is able to read minds. I thought this was hilarious which is what romance is to me.

The other romance bit that I am able to understand is the sex part. For those of you who do not know yet, I am Norwegian. When Ms. Page told me that her novel had adult content I admit that made me curious as to whether this Viking would think so as well. Personally I think older young adults could read Ms. Page’s novel so they could learn about consensual sex. Because that was what it was. Nice, consensual sex that made me a bit horny. Well done Ms. Page – both on making me horny with your writing and for writing about kind sex. Nor was the violence especially violent.

Both Reid and Harper are extremely sexy and good-looking and that seems to be some sort of rule with romances.

We first meet Harper as she is on her way to and arrives on the subway platform. She has her first encounter with the supernatural world when a person sneaks up behind her wanting to “taste her”. Harper knows this because of what she thinks is a one-of-a-kind ability. To say that she is freaked out is putting it mildly. She turns around, sees sharp incisors and red eyes and thinks what any regular person would

“a fucking vampire standing right in front of me ready to kill me? That is not possible.”

Immediately she has her second encounter when the first vampire is pulled off her by another one – Reid.

Harper is dragged into the supernatural world disbelieving herself and who/what she meets yet finally feeling as though she fits in. Her mind-reading ability caused her adoptive parents to turn her over to a private research facility for testing and Harper had lived 8 years of her life in a laboratory being examined in all sorts of ways. Growing up is difficult enough to do under normal circumstances. Adding non-optional electric shocks and other invasive procedures has made her wary of other people’s reactions to her abilities. Discovering that she is a normal supernatural with an irregular ability must have been relaxing. Finally there is a place in this world where she belongs.

The supernatural members of Harper’s new world are werewolves, vampires and mages (Harper is a mage). You are either born or made a vampire or werewolf. Mages have to be born but do not begin manifesting their abilities until they are ten years old. Werewolves have controlled, painless transitions and they remain in charge of themselves after the change. Vampires are alive but depend on blood to feed the virus that gives them extra abilities. Both werewolves and vampires need to be coached while they are newbies so they do not allow their predatory sides to take over.

Reid is old enough that he has seen the consequences of letting his predatory side rule. His choice was to join up with the group of supernaturals that wanted to keep the community and themselves under control. He belongs to the Agency as one of their best trainers and agents. His responsibility will be to train Harper. Their job will be to help figure out why all the illegal turnings and the deaths that follow the unsuccessful ones are happening.

I liked Jessica Page’s first attempt at a novel. Sure, there is something that needs work. That is a tightening of the story. Sometimes her story falls out of the flow and she has to find her way back into the stream again. But she manages to make her text flow and that is a feat in and of itself. Her English is Canadian English.


The Agency on Smashwords

Moore, Christopher: Bloodsucking Fiends (Love Story I) (1995)

 

Christopher Moore has writer’s magic. Reading Bloodsucking Fiends was a joy. Words flowed in and around my brain engaging me in his version of San Fransisco.

There are very few things I know about San Fransisco. I have seen its Golden Gate Bridge in movies, Alcatraz is somewhere nearby and it was one of the first places where you could openly hold hands with one of your own gender without getting beaten or killed within the first few minutes. Oh, and the gold rush. Must not forget the gold rush and a couple of tinee tiny fires.

Actually, now that I think about it San Fransisco has been part of several books that I have read, but not until Bloodsucking Fiends did San Fransisco settle in my mind. There were two contributing factors to San Fransisco becoming part of my repertoire. One was The Emperor. The Emperor was the most loveable character of the whole story and I don’t really know why that is. The other factor was Tommy moving from Incontinence, Indiana to San Fransisco. That combination was one of the funniest moments in the story for me. The US being the US I actually wondered if there was a place called Incontinence in Indiana, but looking it up left me empty-handed.

Then we have Jody’s mother. Jody had forgotten to phone her mother the month she became a vampire because Jody had not gotten her period. She would combine the two most unpleasant things in her life to get the unpleasantness over with. Not getting my period ever again is certainly one advantage to becoming a vampire that would appeal to me.

Details like this are some of the many things that made Bloodsucking Fiends as fun as it was. That moment when Tommy walked into the store the first time and owned the Animals. Or the time when Jody decides she has had enough questions and asks Tommy one of her own.

“Men are pigs: Fact or fiction?”

“Fact!” Tommy shouted.

“Correct! You win.” She leaped into his arms and kissed him.

Finally I got to read a story with the kind of romance that I understand. Christopher Moore’s irreverent take on homelessness, gender, stratification, relationships and stalking will probably end up being a repeat read for me.


Reviews:


Bloodsucking Fiends on Little Brown


Emperor Norton

If Asian People Said the Stuff White People Say (Video)

Winchester, C.S.: Past Due (Past I) (2009)

Past Due CS Winchester
Cover photo: Ivaylo Sarayski The one I prefer

CS Winchester‘s Past Due is a romantic, urban-fantasy mystery placed in London. In it we find a major component of the paranormal and magical. Our main character is Frankie (Francis Wright), the psychic, who is supported by Alex (Alexander McNabb), the vampire.

Two killings bring them together, and the two of them end up working to solve the mystery of what seems to be serial killings with magical components. Frankie is part of MI5 (they control the paranormal population). Alex is not. He happens to own a nightclub. However unlikely it might seem that these two should work together to solve a crime, they do. In fact, the two of them end up becoming more involved in each other’s lives than they had originally thought.

The world of Past Due seems to be a man’s world. Except for a phone conversation with her mother, Frankie is the only woman we get to meet (other than the corpses). Her mother provides the comic relief of the story with what I presume is a common mother/daughter phone call:

… “Well you know, even large age gaps can be overcome. Felicity, from my bridge group, married a man thirty years her senior. Of course he was loaded, hardly a match made in heaven, but at least her husband died happy.”

“Well, I’ll just pop down to the bingo hall, shall I? See if they have any octogenerians?” …

Some resemblance is purportedly found between Frankie and CS Winchester (VLA). What do I know about Frankie? She is adopted, psychic (reacts to touch), in her 30’s, works for the paranormal police, wonders if a relationship with a vampire is doable, is independent, has a mother who does not believe that Frankie is psychic, has been thought insane and cares for the victims of her cases. When the vampires try to bully her into doing their will, she stays true to her cause. She and her ex have issues (nothing new there).

I find her believable.

Frankie and we discover fairly early on who the serial killer is. We get some information on him, enough for him to fit with profiles of serial killers. Even the magic element is something some killers would believe they use. I wonder what made our murderer actually step over the killing line?

I find him believable as well.

Past Due was an easy-on-the-brain type of read. I liked it.


Reviews:


Past Due on Amazon US

Summers, Jordan: Red (Dead World I) (2008)

Cover design by Christian McGrath
Cover design by Christian McGrath

I generally do some research before writing about a book. When the blurb began:

“What if Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf turned out to be the same person?”

I went off on one of my curiosity sprees. Roald Dahl has a wonderful version of Little Red Riding Hood (below) that resembles the version of Little Red Riding Hood that Jordan Summers writes about.

Red has three Riding Hoods that are eaten by the big bad wolf while their grandmothers are left alone. Our Were-theme is discovered in the first chapter when the murderer describes being wracked with the pain of being ripped apart and put back together again. Then he mauls and eats his murder victim. Summers’ description of the mauling and eating is just as descriptive as her description later on in the novel of sex and its prelude – pretty explicit.

The mystery part of Red is pretty straight-forward. As a reader I know everything long before Red and Morgan do. When Renee Forrester, Lisa Salomon and Moira Collins turn up dead, I  draw conclusions faster than the couple-to-be. Embroiled as they are in the action and full of fear of being discovered, fear of the other not liking them, fear of the other person liking them, and being horny to the degree that the two of them are probably slows them down.

Red is full of the non-existent, exterminated Others. These people were supposed to have been wiped out. Instead they are turning up all over the place. Some of them do not even know that they are an Other. Discovering what they are might just mean the difference between life and death for themselves and others.

We are all Others of some sort. It isn’t my Asperger side that defines me as an Other but rather the Beast in me that might rear its head at some point in my life. We sure see a lot of the Beast types in the world without needing to genetically tinker one into us.

I liked Red.


Reviews:


Red on Amazon.com


Red Riding Hood, 2014; by LessThanHuman
Red Riding Hood, 2014;
by LessThanHuman

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf

As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma’s door.

When Grandma opened it, she saw

The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, “May I come in?”
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
“He’s going to eat me up!” she cried.

And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, “That’s not enough!
I haven’t yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!”
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
“I’ve got to have a second helping!”
Then added with a frightful leer,
“I’m therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.”
He quickly put on Grandma’s clothes,
(Of course he hadn’t eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma’s chair.
In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,

“What great big ears you have, Grandma.”
“All the better to hear you with,” the Wolf replied.
“What great big eyes you have, Grandma.”
said Little Red Riding Hood.
“All the better to see you with,” the Wolf replied.

He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I’m going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma
She’s going to taste like caviar.

Then Little Red Riding Hood said, “But Grandma,
what a lovely great big furry coat you have on.”

“That’s wrong!” cried Wolf. “Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I’ve got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I’m going to eat you anyway.”
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She wimps a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature’s head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, “Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.”

Roald Dahl, Revolting Rhimes (audioversion)


Cane, Laken: Obsidian Wings (Rune Alexander IV)

Obsidian Wings

The birds annoyed me. Not because they are were-birds/shapeshifters but because Cree carried a person as large as Shad. My asperger soul was triggered to the point of obsession and that set me off in research mode. That is when it became fun. I adore digging into stuff. While increasing my knowledge on the requirements for flight vs. weight vs. mass vs. pain tolerance vs. … I discovered a couple of things (at least that was the way all of this information was put together inside my head). There is a theoretical possibility of humans being able to fly. For flight to happen the human’s form would have to change drastically making us more like the flying creatures we know and less like humans. Were-birds or genetic tinkering are the only alternatives. Whether this would make Cree able to carry Shad is another matter altogether, and not knowing is now something I feel comfortable with.

I feel I need to thank Laken Cane for handing me this chance to look at the possibility of humans and flight.

Much later, she lay wrapped in his arms and realized she’d never felt more at peace than when she was with the berserker.

It was not a wholly comforting thought.

Sometimes knowing that another person’s presence brings a sense of completion can frighten us. I happen to be married to a man who brings me that sense. Allowing the peace he brought to set roots in my life was incredibly complicated and perhaps even worrying. What would happen to me if my heart gave up that piece of me? Personally, I do not have words for what his entry into my heart brought.

For a person like Rune, with the frightening and lonely background she has had filled with self-harm, self-disgust and self-fear, letting go of part of herself would be an even greater challenge. Yet a choice needs to made sooner or later. And it will be made eventually and during Obsidian Wings.

In the meantime Shad is driving Rune crazy with his over-protectiveness and willingness to fight Owen for her. I have no idea what Owen’s obsession is with Rune. Nor do I understand why Cruikshanks thinks he is unable to stay away from Rune. Three men driving Rune insane with their need for her while all (hah, hah) she wants is for her world to become whole again, Z to live and the twins to be back in the group, giving Ellis his Levi back and Lex her anchors.

I liked the second demon that turns up on the scene. Well, really it is the first demon but in a way it ends up being the second one for a lot of people. That is about as confusing as I can make this statement in my attempt to avoid giving anything away.

So, yes! Once I had resolved my issues with the birds I was a happy one myself and finished Obsidian Wings in no time.



My review of:

  1. Shiv Crew
  2. Blood and Bite
  3. Strange Trouble

Shaman shapeshifting into a bird
Shaman shapeshifting into a bird; By Susan Seddon Boulet

Birds of Paradise project (Cornell University)

If a human were to have wings? (SciFi Forums)

On Shapeshifting (Sarah Ann Lawless)

Shapeshifting (Wikipedia)

Shapeshifting (World of Warcraft)

Tengu: Guildwars (Wikipedia)

Voluntary shapeshifting (TV Tropes)

Why can’t humans fly like birds? (Rhett Allain)

Harrison, Kim: The Undead Pool (The Hollows XII) (2014)

 

“That’s because pixies think with their hearts,” Quen said, ignoring Trent’s peeved expression. “This decision is already causing problems.”

“Most warriors think with their hearts,” I said, telling the mystics to back off and that I wasn’t angry with anything they could crush or explode. “It’s what keeps them alive through the crap they have to deal with to keep the rest of you safe.”

Quen smiled, deep and full. “Rachel,” he amended, then headed into the hall. “Jenks, a word?”

“What the hell is it with you people?” Jenks griped as he followed him out. “Can’t you make a decision without talking to the pixy?”

“Warriors build empires around the kernel of truth that others overlook,” came Quen’s soft voice …

Who are the warriors? Well, in the world of The Undead Pool the warriors are pretty much all of Rachel’s friends. They save the world from the chaos caused by others and sometimes themselves (unintentionally). Some of them crave the adrenalin that comes from the fight while others fight for what they believe even though they are frightened half to bits.

When you take away the trappings of fantasy, you quickly see that Rachel Morgan is like many of us.

She grew up a sickly child. Her father died while she was young and her mother lost it for a while after that. Rachel was an outsider and bullied for being different. As she grew up Rachel learned to keep to herself and was afraid of bonding with others. But her personality was of one that stands up for what she believes in and one that fights for the weak in society. In time the force of her personality drew people to her and because of Rachel’s willingness to sacrifice for others those bonds became strong. Due to her fear of intimate relationships, Rachel had a tendency to choose lovers who spoke to her self-destructive side. But eventually her choices and the choices of others opened her eyes to the fact that it is OK to choose a partner who will be just that – a partner.

What Rachel has learned is that life is about so much more than surviving our pasts. In letting people into her life and taking the chance of being hurt further, Rachel has opened up for possibilities that would not have been there otherwise. In her fight for the protection of the weak, Rachel now has support that enables her to do what has become her “job”. She is still an outsider, but no longer is she alone.

Then we add the trappings of fantasy and we have a rip-roaring yarn told by one of my favorite authors.


  • Series: Hollows
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition edition (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061957933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061957932
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches

My review of Ever After

Cane, Laken: Blood and Bite (Rune Alexander II) (2013)

Blood and Bite

Blood and Bite was given to me as a reviewer’s copy.

As you all know I loved the first installment of the Rune Alexander series, Shiv Crew. Talk about dark. I am going to state one major complaint about Blood and Bite. It was simply too short. Way too short. I was having this humongously fun time reading it and then it was over. Bummer.

So now you know. I liked Blood Bite. There were still the “baby’s” that I thought were weird. Norwegians just don’t go around throwing endearments at people we like. I kind of wish we did.

Shiv Crew is still adorable. I want to give them all a big hug. You’ve got this gang of huge (except for Rune and Lex) guys running around killing monsters in monstrous ways and I want to give them a group-hug. I must be messed up.

The characters that are the most fun in Blood and Bite are Rune and Ellis. I think that these two characters are the ones that kind of carry the story or maybe the idea of Shiv Crew. Ellis is Shiv Crew’s assistant but also their mascot and heart. At least that is the way Rune feels. Without him she thinks she would fall apart. And Rune might be right about that. For in spite of her stay with the shrinks at the rehab Rune is still messed up, although she is dealing more sensibly with her “monster”. Her mantra has become: “I am my monster, and my monster is me.” Rune’s monster loves fighting. Rune is not averse to it either. If there is one thing she excels at it is fighting. Along with the fighting Rune instills a sense of loyalty in those who work with her (nut-cases excepted).

There are a couple of nut-cases in Blood and Bite. Nicolas Llodra, the vampire master, and Tim Emerson, the Church of Slayers, are the worst ones in Rune’s life at the moment. Nicky has gone bonkers. Insanity seems to be the doom of all vampires. Whether Rune is one is kind of difficult to say. She believes that herself, but we as readers are given hints that there is something else in her blood. Insanity is the one thing that terrifies Rune and killing Nicholas seems a mercy-stroke to her. If only he wasn’t holding something over the heads of Shiv Crew.

Tim Emerson is a nut-case in a human manner. We all know that the worst monsters out there are humans. When we go bad we seem to go all out. Fanaticism just gives us that push to do what we might otherwise hesitate to do. My opinion is that Tim Emerson would have been a cold-blooded monster even without the Church of Slayers. But getting rid of Emerson without proof is difficult.

Raze, our rat-loving, Shiv Crew member is out of jail and Shad returns from Philadelphia with his wife and son. Gunnar the Ghoul is stranger than usual. Ellis is having trouble in his love-life. And – to top it all – Rune’s house is burned down. Hurrah, let’s just give the girl another challenge.

I think there are probably authors out there who love to make the lives of their main protagonists as difficult as possible, and I suspect Laken is such an author. But it makes for a fun time for the reader.

Anyways, have fun. Oh, and there is no sex but some explicit violence.



My review of Shiv Crew

Singer, Z.N.: For the Last Time (Someday Wars) (2011)

For the Last Time
Sword stock used in cover courtesy of FantasyStock of Deviantart.

If you want information on the Someday Wars and Z.N. Singer’s vampires you should visit his website.

For the Last Time is about the love of a father and what a parent is willing to do to save his son from himself. I read this story many books ago. I think I borrowed it at the library. Back then it made an impression on me. Let me tell you, For the Last Time broke my heart all over again.

Mardon sets off for a village where a new vampire Lord is setting up headquarters. That means going against a stream of refugees and meeting a whole lot of zombies on his way. As a Master of The Discipline he has the right tools at his disposal to shorten the death of these slowly dying people who are in thrall to their master.

In the Author’s words Singer apologizes if the reader has found this story a little confusing. I didn’t but you are now warned.

———————————————

You will now have to get For the Last Time as part of a collection of short stories called For the Last Time and Other Tales at:

Smashwords:

Published: Dec. 25, 2011 
Words: 39,010 (approximate)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465743695

Miles, T.A.: A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please (Dreamer I) (2011)

Dreamer

Dreamer is the title of a series of short-stories/novellas beginning with A Bit(e) of Discretion, Please. 

If you are going to be naughty in this world of ours (with a few super-naturals added to it), you had better make certain you do not attract the authorities. Stuart did and he who was once a Prince of Dreaming now has his powers for mischief limited. As if that wasn’t bad enough Stuart also has to do community service in the form of catching other breakers of human rules with what seems to be a girl (Mei Lin the spiritualist) as his partner. But as long as the tea is good Stuart manages fairly well.

T.A. Miles gives us a humourous look at scoundrels and their baby-sitters, baby-sitters whose patience is sorely tried at times. We also get a look at characters who think themselves devious but who are fooled themselves instead. Dreamer is indeed a light-hearted and enjoyable read.


Reviews:


Cane, Laken: Shiv Crew (Rune Alexander I) (2013)

Shiv Crew
Editor: A. Chance

Wow. Just wow. The cover is gorgeous and so is the first story in the Rune Alexander series. I mean it – Wow. Cane practically had me bawling by the end of chapter 7. I had to put my tablet down, it was so sad.

I just had to say that before stating that I received a reviewer’s copy from Laken Cane a couple of days ago. Here is my review.

As you might have guessed, I loved this novel. There were a couple of “baby’s” that I could have done without but that is only because I’ve never used baby in my own vocabulary.

There is an adult content warning at the beginning of the novel that I felt was a bit extreme. Folks, Shiv Crew is dark, very dark. Other than that an older young adult would be perfectly safe reading it. I have read young adult novels with a lot more explicit violence (sad to say). As the sexual content is very low-tone in Shiv Crew there isn’t that to worry about either.

No romance. Can you believe it. A female hero and no romance. Oops, I lie. Toward the end there is a kiss.

What we do have is a lot of pain. My goodness is Rune Alexander, our protagonist, hurting. Cane’s description of Rune’s self-loathing and grief is amazing. Like I said, she practically had me bawling. All through the novel I carried that pain inside my chest and cheeks.

Enough about that. Action. Is there any action? Is there ever. Shiv Crew is a group of extremely dangerous individuals, of which Rune Alexander happens to be one. These guys have to kill Others (vampires, ghouls, werewolves and such) whenever they overstep the bounds humans have set for them. We are talking about seriously tough people. And huge. And protective. And sweet.

I don’t understand how Cane has managed to make Shiv Crew so adorable. Or maybe I kind of do – maybe. I think Ellis is part of the reason. He just so adorable and kind and GOOD.

Of course Rune has a huge secret she is hiding from her guys. Well two huge secrets. Both secrets will come back and bite her and the others in their behinds. But that is part of being a fantasy creature. Having one’s behind bitten is part of the game.

Humour. Yes there is humour. Dark humour, but humour. Enough to make me smile and chuckle at times.

Can you tell I loved Shiv Crew? If the next installment in the series had been out, I would have bought it already. I mean, WOW.


Reviews


  • File Size: 448 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Laken Cane; 1 edition (27 Aug 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EUBZS9I

Hunter, Elizabeth: A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries I) (2011)

A Hidden Fire
Cover design: Flash in the Can Productions
According to herself Elizabeth Hunter writes contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance. The Elemental Mysteries series is a four book paranormal romance/mystery series. The mystery part of A Hidden Fire is pretty good while I found the paranormal romance bit kind of “romance novellish”. Why the series is supposed to be for adults is beyond me. A Hidden Fire didn’t have any bits I would hesitate to let a young adult read. It wasn’t overly violent nor was it especially sexual. Perhaps it has to do with a more adult style of writing and because it is about adults.

In A Hidden Fire we meet a 500-year old vampire who happens to be a rare book dealer. Giovanni Vecchio is copying down a manuscript in the library where Beatrice de Novo works.

Gio’s one great failing in life is technology. Anything he touches with his bare hands gets zapped. This means that he and computers are not compatible which kind of makes modern life a pain. But Gio has a butler to help him with all of that – Caspar (not the ghost).

Caspar is human. It seems vampires in the Elemental Mysteries world need humans to deal with daylight affairs. Like a lot of vampires in literature these vampires tend to get severe sunburns during the day. They also have to sleep during the day and be active at night.

Vampires are strange creatures. Basically, they are semi-dead or wholly dead people who wander around usually looking pretty good. Giovanni looks good for any age. I wonder if this has something to do with a predator/prey sort of constellation. If a vampire looked its age, it is highly unlikely they would attract prey. At 500 he ought to be a walking skeleton. I still like vampires. They are sometimes really cool creatures. The ones in A Hidden Fire are fairly OK if a bit stereotypical.

Caspar, Giovanni’s human butler, is fun. He is fond of his boss and his family has been in Giovanni’s service for ages. I guess it would be kind of hard to advertise for a human caretaker on Craigslist. Caspar keeps Giovanni grounded. If he didn’t Giovanni would get too full of himself.

When Beatrice de Novo turns up as the librarian where Giovanni is copying down his manuscript Caspar has her checked out. There is something about her name that tickles Giovanni’s memory. When Gio learns that Beatrice’s father died in Italy ten years previously his warning lamps go off. But Beatrice is innocent of any wrongdoing having to do with vampires. In fact, she does not believe in them, something she and I share.

Beatrice seems to be dramatic looking, intelligent and of Mexican/Spanish heritage. Her grandmother, Isadora, is a hoot. Matriarch seems to be a fitting description of her. The two of them make a good pair for their daily lives looking out for the well-being of the other.


Reviews:

———————————–

  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475049196
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: E. Hunter; 2 edition (October 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005VTVE0U

Gilmour, S.J.B.: Angela of Troy (Pack Coppernick) (2011)

Angela of Troy
Cover artist: Tom Hermann

Angela of Troy is the story of an Amazon, necromancer and daughter of Cassandra of Troy and the god Apollo. Her job is to police the supernatural community and make sure that no unnecessary murders are committed.

A rogue werewolf has been on a killing spree and Angela is sent to stop him. To find out who the next victim is supposed to be she turns to a demon. Demons aren’t really Angela’s idea of fun – more like a necessary evil.

What she discovers is that the man she has been sent to hunt, Benjamin McConnell, is out to kill all who were associated with the man who cursed him. I can understand wanting to do that.  McConnell has his own protection. If another tries to harm him that damage will be inflicted on the one trying to hurt him. Angela’s superiors must have known of this ability, yet they still sent her off to destroy McConnell.

All in all an interesting short story with a strange set of characters.


Reviews:


Alexander, Cassie: Shapeshifted (Edie Spence III) (2013)

ShapeshiftedFinal
Cover photo illustration by Aleta Rafton
Cover design by Kerri Resni

The Catholic church is a fascinating church. Within its realm we find people praying to both official and not quite so official saints to get these saints to function as mediators between themselves and God. Santa Muerte (the Skeleton Saint) is one such unofficial saint (a folk saint) – one that people pray to in spite of the priest’s condemnation of her.

For some strange reason the followers of The Godmother are persecuted in both Mexico and parts of the US. Human nature being what it is this has only led to an increase in the Saint Death‘s popularity – in some places eclipsed only by Virgin Mary worshipping. Santa Muerte is The Personification of Death itself and is considered very powerful. People pray to her on issues of health, money, love and so on.

PaleHorse Santa Muerte
Pale Horse Santa Muerte

In Shapeshifted the Lady of the Shadows seems to have disappeared. When Edie seeks help for her mother, the condition for getting help from the Shadows (from the sub-basement of County Hospital) is that she find Santa Muerte for them and inform them of the Skinny Lady‘s location.

Edie has no clue as to who/what the Holy Girl is. So she does what most of us do – goes on the internet. While looking for the Pretty Girl Edie finds a job in a poorer and criminally challenged part of town. The reason she applied for the job is because of a picture on the net of a huge mural of the Black Lady on the wall of the clinic. Unfortunately for Edie her lack of Spanish is a huge minus but due to how she deals with a crisis she gets hired.

Without knowing it, Edie is firmly back in the midst of the supernatural world and is once again going to have to fight for the lives of her friends and herself. Even though Edie felt she was getting a grip on what the supernatural world entailed, she finds her beliefs and values challenged. Not only must she find Santa Muerte, but Edie must also discover how much she believes in freedom of choice.

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Reviews:



My review of: Nightshifted and Moonshifted

Loomis, Mercy: A Wild Hunt (Aether Vitalis) (2009)

A Wild Hunt
Cover design by Mercy Loomis and Jon Connor
Images by Morguefile.com

A Wild Hunt is an urban fantasy with paranormal creatures. According to Loomis most of the Aether Vitalis stories are dark. A Wild Hunt could be considered dark fantasy in my opinion.

In A Wild Hunt we deal with death magic and its apparently willing victims. That is what can happen when dark witches are in your neighborhood. Good job the neighborhood watchperson – well skinshifter – is close by.

At the beginning of our tale Ariane Conant seems to be your typical drooling college student. Her job is to protect humans from finding out too much about the faery community. That one of the humans she ends up protecting just happens to be her drool object just ups the ante for her. She goes from an empty-headed drooler to a dangerous woman to cross in a magical battle.

A Wild Hunt was a pretty good short story. There are limits to how much background and info you can cram into a story this size, but Loomis did manage to give us a little. Mainly we had action from the very beginning and the story did not slow down as it went along.

Not too violent and no explicit sex.


Reviews:


  • File Size: 256 KB
  • Print Length: 42 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Rookery Creek Media (October 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services,  Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005WLP7D2

Humphrey-D’Aigle, Rachel: Bloodsucker Bay (The Demon Isle Witches) (2012)

Demon Isle
Photographer: Danielle Page
Cover design: Rachel Humphrey-D’Aigle

Rachel Humphrey-D’Aigle. Now, there is a proper author’s name – at least in my head.

I love this cover. I agree with Humphrey-D’Aigle that Danielle Page is a great photographer and Rachel has done a cool job with the colors and fonts.

I think Bloodsucker Bay would be considered a novella as it is only 73 pages and 4 chapters long. It is definitely part of a serial as the ending leaves the reader hanging in loose air.

Bloodsucker Bay is a mystery – dead body and all. The thing about Demon Isle is that most of the inhabitants know of the weirdness of both the Howard family and the Isle itself. When a dead body turns up the Sheriff uses the Howard family as much as she can in solving the crime.

For the main part the story is about the Howard siblings and their vampire guardian William. Melinda, Charlie and Michael each have their strong and not so strong sides and we get to share in them. Melinda is a great potion maker and is prescient. One of the reasons William hangs around the witches is that Melinda makes a potion that helps him not bite humans. But he also acts as their guardian while they all try to come to terms with the death of their parents. Melinda feels guilt at not having prevented the death of her parents as her newly developed prescience had warned her of it.

Charlie is a werewolf. That gives him great strength but also urges that get stronger around full-moon. He is the big-brother and suffers from all of the big-brother symptoms.

Michael happens to be the one to feel the full force of Charlie’s big-brotherness. Charlie just cannot let Michael decide on his own what his future is to be. He feels that as fate made Michael a Howard and the Howards traditionally are caretakers of Demon Isle then Michael should just get his act together and do the job. Michael’s witchy side is being a death reader. That means he is very popular with the Sheriff when some unsolvable death occurs on the island.

There were a couple of scenes that I really liked. One was in an underwater cave and involved the brothers. The other was with Emily, Michael’s probable girlfriend. The pace in those two scenes was perfect and the way they were written fun.

Bloodsucker Bay has pretty good potential. Rachel showed the ability to hit the flow and with a little more tightening she could manage to stay there.

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