The Warrior: Abe’s Story Part 1 by Tricia Drammeh

28105049The story opens when Abe is a teenage Spellbringer – a magic race that is a cross between humans and faes. After a near indiscretion with a human, Abe’s father sends him away to the Spellbringer’s academy to learn to be a warrior, even though Abe would rather be a veterinarian (a bookish career his father looks down on). His time there flies by and soon he’s graduated and on assignment in Africa. And then he comes face to face with a demon. In a fit of rage, he kills the monster and is labeled a hero. But was it really heroism that led him to defeat the demon, or did he just snap?

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a prequel about Abe – the father of Jase and Bryce from the Spellbringer’s series – but from page one I actually forgot that he was their dad. Abe is just as interesting and complex as his sons in the main series, and I found myself quickly turning digital pages to find out what would happen next. I enjoyed reading about events that are mentioned, or in some cases just hinted at, in the series, and felt like this filled in a lot of gaps. There’s also a nice romance between Abe and Jerrica and, though I knew how it would turn out, I enjoyed seeing how it got there.

As usual, Tricia’s writing is delightful – no watched words, no paragraphs I had to skim or skip, just well crafted and creative storytelling. I can’t wait for part 2!

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Bound by Love by DM Yates

27685943I thought I reviewed this back when I read it, but apparently not! Eek! That’s terrible because this book deserves the good review!

The Dimidiums – or Hablings as they call themselves – are human/vampire hybrids with a society all their own. Trevor, the son of a high council member, is essentially a tracker who hunts down the bad guys – which are usually full blooded vampires. His world makes sense until he takes an assignment to deal justice to a murderer who happens to be human. Oh, and a beautiful woman.

It doesn’t take long for Trevor to discover she’s innocent, but can he convince her to accept his world?

The habling society is interesting and their mythology is original and creative. A new take on vampires.

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Crusade Across Worlds by CG Coppola

30331612It’s another awesome entry in the Arizal series!

As the book description says, Fallon finishes her training and joins the usual crew – including the super hot Reid – on an adventure that sees them moving seamlessly from world to world. Fallon has grown as a character, not just personal growth, but physical growth as well. She’s gone from being a pretty normal twenty-something in book 1 to a kick butt fighter. This is a transition that few authors handle well, and generally leave me shaking my head and saying “yeah right,” – but not Coppola! She handles it beautifully and makes Fallon’s transition feel not only plausible, but believable.

Another thing she does well is turn a phrase. I always enjoy her writing and this book was no exception. Several of the descriptions, such as “His fingers unfold like flower petals in bloom”, literally made me stop reading and think “Dang! I wish I’d thought of that!”

And did I mention Reid? Still as hot as ever, a little bit of a love triangle gives him the chance to be just possessive enough to be hot, but not so possessive as to be creepy. Even better, I appreciate the way Fallon handles it – no throwing herself at the other guy like so many book heroines do.

Basically this book (and thes series) are a perfect example of the right way to handle…well… everything! Coppola has an amazing sense of timing and flow, and seems to know just when we need some action, or some tension, or a tragic flashback, or some romance. I don’t want to get into too much because of spoilers, but I can say that I loved, loved this book and I love, love this author and am so excited for whatever she writes next!

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Slightly Off the Mark by Mark R. Hunter

Slightly Off the Mark is a collection of unpublished humor columns written by Mark Hunter for the newspaper – that is until he was labeled ‘redundant’. However, these columns are anything BUT redundant. With a variety of topics from writing to household injuries, to storm chasing, higher learning, and the mystery of Ohio’s predilection for flight, there is something for everyone within the pages of this collection, and a chuckle on every page. Mark’s wit, humor, and ability to make the mundane (and even the horrific – a prostate exam!) hilarious makes you eager to turn the digital pages. You can sit down and enjoy this gem in an afternoon (as some reviewers have done), or enjoy an article or two a day (like I did.) No matter your preference, you’re bound to find giggles, guffaws, and laughs galore. Here’s hoping there’s a Slightly Off the Mark 2!

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Sweet Sorrow – Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh is one of my favorite authors because she writes awesome books, and this story was no exception.

Rowan harbors a tragic past; one night changed her life from a cheerful drama girl into a fearful zombie. After months of “dropping out” of the world, the senior play entices her to come back – just in time to notice Eddie, a hot senior football player who has trouble of his own. When she lands the part of Juliet to his Romeo she’s ecstatic, but is he really the bad boy everyone thinks he is, or has he just gotten a rough deal being one of the few poor students in a rich school?

Tricia’s ability to write real characters continues to astound me. Rowan, Eddie, her father, any one of these people could walk right out of the pages and drop into the world next to you and fit right in. She is so good at capturing the personalities and nuances of the people she writes about. She also captures the pettiness of high school – the good, the bad, and the in between: that time when getting a zit or dropping you notebooks in the hall was the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you – and then she gives her characters something real to deal with. They don’t respond in a too mature way, like so many YA books that leave you thinking “What? no way would a 17 year old do that!” but they also aren’t annoyingly immature, either. That’s why Tricia remains one of my favorites.

 

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Diary of a Reluctant Vampire by LC Cooper

I’ve had this book on my kindle for awhile and kept meaning to read it but there was always something going on; finally I said “No more! I will read this or else!” And I’m glad I did.
LC’s humor, seen in her myriad short stories, gets to shine through in this vampire parody. Eugene (whose initials spell EEK) is not your average junior high kid. Plagued by bullies, embarrassed by his step mother, and adept at clumsy escapades, Eugene is famous throughout the school for his humiliating hi-jinks. His life can’t get any worse.
But of course, it can.
Eugene (literally) runs into a kooky old vampire who accidentally bites him. Trapped in the change, Eugene tries to find a way back to humanity before it’s too late.
Though most YA books are predictable, this one had many surprises hidden among the laughs. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say there were several scenes I did not see coming.
If you’re looking for yet another serious YA vampire story then give this a miss, but if you want something that not only pokes fun at the genre, but manages to hit werewolves, diary stories, and about every other YA book out there, give this a read.

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Emily Dahill CID Part One by Lindsay Downs

(I actually read and reviewed this some time ago on another blog, but since I am de-cluttering, I wanted to move it here.)

A collection of four stories, Emily Dahill CID, Part One, starts off heavy and ends with a big laugh. The first tale, Final Mission, recounts Emily’s near fatal copter crash in Iraq. She heals, but can’t seem to shake her new fear of helicopters. Even the sound of one flying overhead is enough to fill her with panic – until she meets her new partner. Dakota follows her into story two, A Body in the Snow, where he helps her to capture “the bad guy”. With a partner like that, bunny slippers are just fine for making the arrest.  In the third story, Right Place, Wrong Day, Dakota and Emily are both in for a little surprise when they agree to meet her friends for a camping trip, and the laughs continue in story four, Dog on Fishing where Dakota shows Emily and her friends the real way to fish. Told partially through Dakota’s eyes, it’s really a dog’s eye view!

Emily and Dakota have a special bond, and Lindsay shows this very well, not only with Emily’s thoughts, but also in their actions and reactions with and to one another. You get a sense of a very close and unique friendship that leaves both parties the richer for it. Her descriptions are rich, but not too wordy, so that you get a real feel for the scenes; from the sound of the bullets crashing around Emily and her team, to the cool lapping of the river.

If I had to pick a favorite line it would be“You know Special Agent Emily Dahill, I’ve been detained by all sorts of police, military and civilian, but I swear this is the first time by someone wearing bright pink, floppy eared, bunny slippers.”  That picture was just too much for me! Hee-hee!

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Songs of the Dead by Dawn Colclasure

(I actually read and reviewed this some time ago on another blog, but since I am de-cluttering, I wanted to move it here.)

Dawn Colclasure’s dark poetry collection, Songs of the Dead, is not only dark, but passionate. Anger, fear, hurt and betrayal run under the skin of this work and shine through especially bright in poems such as No Turning Back, Deep Within and I am Madness. Colclasure examines the dark side of human nature; murder, drug use, violence, insanity and isolation. But, beyond the tales of death and darkness there’s also a message of empowerment; the voice of someone who has taken too much, for too long and has finally had enough.

Songs of the Dead is a re-release of the chapbook originally published in 2003 and, with more than twenty-seven new poems, it has more than earned the title “expanded”.  Colclasure has a flair for prose, with lines such as “walk on the moon and hear the stars breathe,” (from Death shows my Pain) and different poetry forms stop the reader from falling into a sing song rhythm of sameness and help to keep the collection fresh and interesting, page after page.

From poems of death and surrender, to fury and revenge, this is a poetry book to enjoy in the darkest of moods and one that anyone who’s ever “been there” will instantly empathize with.

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The Gryphon Killer by Chapel Harlow

(I actually read and reviewed this some time ago on another blog, but since I am de-cluttering, I wanted to move it here.)

The book opens with the no holds barred murder of Porter and his wife, a rich, upstanding couple of Dexter, Alabama. Caroline Harp is called to the scene the next morning, but because Porter was an old school mate they won’t let her have the case. A twist of fate changes that, and soon Caroline is wrapped up in the investigation of a serial murder and the mystery of the Gryphons. But what is this secret society? And why would anyone want them dead? Caroline must deal with the ghosts of her past; her father’s untimely death in Africa and memories of a terrible night, if she hopes to solve this case and defeat the murderer.

The Gryphon Killer is a fast paced read that sucks you in quickly. Harlow has a flair for prose in the right place, and for crawling inside the heads of his characters. The story has just enough gore and grizzle to keep it exciting, but not so much as to be gratuitous. The murders are well thought out and executed, and the author thinks of details that are often overlooked in novels. One instance is at the beginning when the dead body of the maid releases a burst of methane. That attention to detail makes the events seem more real, and lends a believability to the story.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and if I had to compare it to something I would say it reminds me of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta novels. Like those, this is a book that will keep you up all night – wanting to know what happens next!

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Legacy by LC Cooper

(I actually read and reviewed this some time ago on another blog, but since I am de-cluttering, I wanted to move it here.)

It is World War II. A group of American pilots do a routine bombing on a train loading with German weapons, never knowing what it is they’re really bombing, or the Reich’s true plans.

Fast forward to the 1990’s. Collin Roggero works as a restoration mechanic, though his current task doesn’t interest him at all. As luck would have it, while looking through the warehouse he stumbles upon something that does; a group of world war II era crates. Inside he finds the parts to a German plane and something else. A mysterious cylinder and a bunch of random parts that he knows don;t belong to the airplane.

And that’s when the dreams begin.

Led to his fate by a mysterious “feeling” – call it destiny – Collin has to abandon his current life, and even his identity to unravel an age old mystery and stop a plot that’s been over fifty years in the making.

Legacy was a book that was full of twists and turns. LC Cooper does a good job of giving the reader the right information at the right time and maintains a good sense of suspense as well as a conveying a sense of urgency. You want Collin to succeed. You want him to be careful. You want him to watch out behind him…

I don’t want to spoil anything, but this book has one of the creepiest “monsters” (though I hesitate to use that word, as it doesn’t quite fit) that I’ve run into in a long time! It will definitely stick with me for a long time to come!

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