Blood Hunt by Lucienne Diver

Oh My Chaos!

Tori has wings, but she’s no angel. She wants what most gals want: a career, romance, and chocolate croissants. Her heritage, as the descendent of Medusa, has turned her into a freak show. Too bad she’s not still with the circus. Trapeze. No problem. High wire. Cake, compared to the cases she investigates. And, the whole saving the world thing.

Badassery. Primo fight scenes. And, of course, the chocolate croissants. Lucienne Diver brings all the awesomeness of the previous books in this series, plus a few new, yet very old, deities from Greek Mythology mixed with a pinch of Egyptian influence.

The author nailed it with the prologue. From the first page, there was a “true crime” detective feel as the story unraveled. It reminded me of an Agatha Christy mystery, one that I wanted to solve.

The Latter-Day Olympians series is amazing! I want to read it all over again. Check out (FREE prequel) Trickster Blood, (book 1) Bad Blood, (book 2) Crazy in the Blood, (book 3) Rise of the Blood, (book 4) Battle for the Blood, (book 5) Blood Hunt, and don’t forget the short story, The Parlor, in Kicking It.

Trickster Blood by Lucienne Diver

Thom Foolery is Afoot!

This prequel is more than a Greek appetizer; it is the dessert of the Latter-Day Olympian series. Hermes is the double-frosting cupcake of the gods. Sure, Lucienne Diver writes yummy male characters, but the messenger of the gods is complex with cool powers of trickery.

I love that Hermes is a modern-day syndicated columnist. It makes me suspicious about the flow of “god gossip” to Yaiyai at her Goddities website:

To quote Bad Blood: Beware of killer kisses, trickster gods, and “bearded grandmothers Who Know Everything.” One of my favorite characters in the book is Yiayia, Tori’s grandmother. Yes, she is the bearded lady in the circus, but she is also a Greek guru of “mythography” and gives her granddaughter sage advice regarding the gods.

This author has a grand sense of humor and an entertaining way with words. The twist to this novella is that it is written in third person from a male POV. Whoa! Wow! Kudos to you, Lucienne! I love Hermes. He is such a believable character. (Insert Oliver Twist impersonation here) Please, can we have some more?

The soundtrack for this story rocks: the Spider Man theme song!

Gilded By Christina Farley

Have Black Belt, Will Travel!

I won this paperback in the “YA Chicks” #ReadorWriteAnywhere contest. At first glance, I thought it was a contemporary YA. I was very pleased to read this mythical fantasy plotline. The POV is written in a present tense that makes the action seem immediate, but if you are not used to reading this type of prose, it takes acclimation. I’ve noticed many currently published YA novels are written in this style.

Reading tip for this book: check out the handy-dandy glossary in the back pages. It gives definitions of Korean words that are used throughout the story. I found the vocabulary gave an authentic feel to the culture, the myths, and imagery of the words. It really bugs me when the text of a novel is not as exotic as the location, or if the accents don’t seem legit in the dialogue.

I enjoyed the fast-paced plotline in this novel. Yes. A novel. This is quite a long read for a YA book with details that would have been missed in a shorter version. I’ve read that the author lived in this part of the world, which for me, gives the writing an authentic feel. I’ve never been to Korea, but I felt like a took a mini-vaycay by reading Christina Farley’s words.

Consider this review my postcard: having a kickass time shooting arrows, wish you were here!

Tae Kwon Do Read This Book!

Invisibly Yours by MA Ray

This is the short story that made me fall in love with MA Ray’s writing. I originally read it in an anthology, but I’m glad it’s been published as a stand alone. It is the most unique story – about a tree – that I have ever read. Where nature and magic collide, this tale begins.

Dingus. Little boy. Halfbreed. Sweet.
Moira is a tree. Not ordinary. Her “prison of wood” keeps her in one place.

There is a mystery of those who tended her but fell to dust. What is the mysterious Power she senses in him?
This fantasy is full of emotion. A chance meeting. Bonds of friendship. A nuturing, natural relationship turns to starcrossed love. It’s both uplifting and sad.

A Wing and a Prayer by MA Ray

A Tale from Rothganar. I want to live in MA Ray’s written world. I want to hang out at Knight HQ and the Cathedral of the Winds. Yes. Everything has a really cool name. Including Vandis Vail.

Her. Who is She? He can hear Her in his mind. And she makes him fly. “He could outrun the wind.”

The Saga of Menyoral. I have not read the full-length novels by this author, but they are on my TBR list. I love the way this woman writes. I read a short story that MA wrote in an anthology and was enthralled. I dig the way she crafts words like a modern-day Shakespeare. I’m not saying she’s a poet, but if the winged-shoe fits! This author’s short stories remind me of RA Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms contributions. They are fantastically fantasy with touching, loving, humorous, and tearful resolutions.

Blood Drunk by Jen Ponce

Party like a vampire!

Have you ever been blood drunk? No? Then you haven’t met the right vampire. Or the wrong one!

An alternate name for this book could be Blood Revenge or Blood Love. This story contains a whole lotta blood, revenge, and love. And sex. And more blood. The preface and first few chapters reminded me of historical fiction with vampires and pirates.

Blood Curse is the first book in the series. Blood Drunk continues the saga of bloodlines that reach back to 1392. The whole cast of characters that did not die in the first book continue their journey in Blood Drunk. Will Issala and Lorelei find happiness together? Will Morganna destroy her sister? Will the Marquis de Curval find his children? Will Logan get his wife back? Or will Tessa get the death she desires? Will Patrick fall in love? Beg?

SPOILERS: The really cool thing about this book: being blood drunk. Plus, vampire saliva heals. Jen Ponce has created a unique vampire lore in this series. It is LBGTQ and BDSM friendly. It also has one of the most surprising plot twists. I did not see it coming. It’s tragic, beautiful, and heartbreaking.

The third book in the Blood Tetralogy is Blood Shy. The author also writes the Devany Miller series, which I highly recommend. If you like Urban Fantasy with hints of horror, check out Jen’s repertoire of novels.

The Boy That Was a Stone by Cedric Nye

This book is all about truth. It is painful, yet simply sweet. Each page is illustrated like a cartoon that expresses the author’s feelings. I would highly suggest it for kids, or adults who have suffered abuse by “Big People”.

To quote the author, “Child abuse is a stone thrown into the pond of a child’s body, mind, and spirit.”

The topic of abuse is difficult to talk about. This book is a perfect ice-breaker, or more appropriate, stone-breaker for broaching the topic. If you read the author’s biography, it is obvious Cedric Nye knows the subject well. He also writes a zombie apocalypse series which empowers victims. Though he may seem hard as a rock, this gentleman is extremely creative in writing and poetry, a warrior poet.

Obviously, a boy can’t really turn into a stone. And zombies don’t exist. But monsters do. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading books by this author, it’s that anyone can “take back” what has been taken from them. The little boy who was a stone did just that.

Tears of Heaven by RA McCandless

This fantasy adventure is filled with colorful characters, comedy, and it references all my favorite movies and television shows. Ok, most of them. This author has a brilliant sense of humor and a talented grasp of dialogue.

“By Hera’s toenails…”

This novel chronicles a long lifetime, switching from the past, circa 221 BC to modern day. The story follows the life of Water Lily AKA Del, a seven-foot woman sold as a slave. Our unlikey heroine is not helpless. Her pirate shipmates are convinced she is Ares in female form. Her origin is a mystery; her power is awesome.

Eventually, the timeline from the past catches up with the plotline of the future. All is revealed in the last twenty-five percent of the book in a twisted mind bender. I love stories with a strong female character, and Del does not disappoint. I expected glorious fight scenes and battles on the high seas. I was surprised to find a beautiful love story. Well done. The book is rightfully named Tears of Heaven. It ends with an intriguing cliffhanger. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Writing for Rescue by MJ Fahy and Other Authors

It’s hard to pick a favorite in this anthology of short stories. Each tale encompasses animals that are rescued. Some are fiction, and some are tributes to more than pets, but family members that touch lives with loyalty and love. I hope these authors continue to craft words. I would love to read more!

I’m a sucker for any book with a dog. So, when MJ Fahy, author of the Tatty Moon series, announced the publication of this book, I had to get it. I love this author. Yes, she writes MG, but I’m a kid at heart. I adore getting lost in an innocent fantasy full of adventure. And magic. Lots of magic. MJ’s story in this anthology is called Midnight. It’s so precious, I wish it were longer. She dedicated this story to all of her pets, past and present, listing each of their names. It gave a real touch to the fiction.

Yvonne Marjot’s story called Norah’s Ark was short but sweet. This author has a way with words. As with each of these stories, there is an element of rescue that boils down to humans being humane. From the title, you can see that Yvonne has a clever sense of humor.

Lyn Flanders wrote the awesome story called For Dogs. Her first-person tale read like a memoir. Though Lyn’s story is named For Dogs, it covers much more than that. “Cats Rule OK!” I loved the emotional story of sweet William. Thanks for sharing your words.

Ian Stewart wrote a fantastic story called Flash. What a primo name for a dog! Again, this story read like an account of Flash’s life and vacations with the family. I couldn’t tell if it was fiction because it read like a diary, or a family newsletter one might receive in a Christmas card. Thanks for sharing, Ian. Flash’s story will be with me, forever!

Karen Taylor, author of Vampire Legacy series, wrote Belle, A Dog’s Tail. I’m a fan! I enjoyed the tone of this story. I believe it would make an excellent full-length novel. Especially since the author has an entertaining way of describing Belle from puppy to adulthood. It read like a first-person memoir, so I couldn’t tell if it was fiction. It read as if a dear friend was telling me a delightful dog tale over tea.

It’s apparent that all of the authors are animal lovers. When reading their words, it’s obvious we all feel the same about our four-legged friends. We share the joy of their puppy and kitten years. We understand the grief when we lose them. There is a connection through this collection of stories: love. It’s wonderful. Thank you for writing this book. I hope it helps ease the suffering of animals and supports the Romanian rescue centre to provide a sanctuary for abandoned animals.

Demon’s Cradle: Book 3 in the Devany Miller series by Jen Ponce

If you’ve gotten this far in the series, like me, you are hooked on more than magic sugar. From the first book, the inventive magic in this novel is amazing. I would like a Magic Eye of my own.

This one is definitely a love story of Urban Fantasy awesomeness. Not only is it full of passion, but the bonds of family are a love story, too. Kroshtuka, the Wydling, is a worthy mate for Devany. I enjoyed the previous characters, the growth of her children, Liam, and Bethy. Best cat name ever: Cheeseweed. The new characters are intriguing, as always. The Rider. The twists and turns in the plotline kept me at the edge of my seat.

Besides Neutria, the inner-spider bitch, my favorite characters are Nex and Jasper, Ty’s soul. I think it would be cool to be a soul, so I love that concept. Nex has some awesome dialogue. “I believe he now has part of your soul as well.” Chilling when a somewhat sarcastic head of a bloodsucker says it. Warning, there are some life-and-death sacrifices that are emotionally stimulating. To tears.

I love how this book ended. As in the previous books, there is a bit of a cliffhanger that makes me want more. Looking forward to the next in the series!