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: http://goddities.malibulist.com/

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.