Tag Archives: paranormal thriller

Fright Nights, Big City (Canadian Werewolf Book 3) by Mark Leslie Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The man who once sought to live a simple life as a successful author and part-time werewolf finds himself embroiled in a battle of good versus evil as he fights to stop a growing wave of hatred and fear against supernatural creatures while also hoping to preserve the love he has sought for so long in author Mark Leslie’s “Fright Nights, Big City”, the third novel in the Canadian Werewolf series, (4th story overall).

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The Synopsis

STOP SPREADING THE NEWS

THERE’S NO LEAVING TODAY

Not when the Big Apple comes under attack from an infectious worm threatening to rot it, and the entire nation, to the core.

Michael Andrews thought he’d found the perfect woman. A companion whose own powers neutralize his werewolf curse and bringing the balance he’s always wanted. But his plans on settling down and giving up the vigilante lifestyle are fleeting.

The hatred, the fear, and the monstrous attacks on innocent civilians are growing and spreading as supernatural monsters roam the city streets at night. The neo-Nazi Proud Fighters for America, aware of the special abilities that Lex possesses, track her down and plan on leveraging her powers for their own nefarious purposes.

With Michael’s powers nullified in Lex’s presence, the couple is forced to divide in their attempt to conquer, and Michael turns to his ex-girlfriend and her knowledge of the occult world in order to understand how to fight this rising evil.

But will two supernatural forces of good operating separately and one paranormal scholar be enough to vanquish the growing legion of evil? 

The Review

This series just keeps getting more and more engaging. The balance of character development with grounded storytelling and rich mythology never ceases to amaze me. The evolution of new and existing paranormal creatures and individuals was great to see here, as was the dive into what it means to be the wolf for Michael, as his love Lex’s gifts keep the wolf from coming out, but at what cost? The exploration of that cost early on was so fascinating to see and shows the duality that comes from werewolf transformations in literature.

I also loved seeing the developing relationships between Michael, Lex, and Gail, as the sparks between Lex and Michael were so prominent but the author didn’t shy away from the complex relationship Michael has with Gail still, and the shared love that still exists there. The exploration of these characters and how they mesh together was so well done, and the author’s emphasis on character growth really elevated the overall narrative of this novel. The dive into the racism and violence our world has seen in recent years and how it impacts the paranormal community as well was such an inspired choice and was the perfect mirror of real-world problems in a paranormal setting.

The Verdict

Action-packed, emotional, and entertaining, author Mark Leslie’s “Fright Nights, Big City” is a must-read paranormal mystery thriller and the perfect next chapter in the Canadian Werewolf series. The twists and turns the narrative takes and the shocking finale that will have fans gasping in surprise will have readers hooked and in desperate need for the next chapter of the series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mark is a writer, editor and bookseller who was born and grew up in Sudbury, spent many years in Ottawa and Hamilton and currently lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

When he is not writing, he tacks “Lefebvre” back onto his name and works as a book industry consultant, having been a bookseller since the 1992, the same year his first short story was published.

Apart from publishing novels and non-fiction paranormal explorations under the name Mark Leslie, having works occasionally appearing on his mother’s refrigerator door under the name Mark Lefebvre, and podcasting and consulting about the book industry under the name Mark Leslie Lefebvre for his Stark Publishing/Stark Reflections brand, Mark is a lover of craft beer.

When he’s not enjoying craft beer or playing around with his three given names, he can usually be found wandering, awestruck through bookstores or libraries.

http://markleslie.ca/

Burning Lies (The Gift Legacy Book 3) by J.P. McLean Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After uncovering a hidden ability of her own and discovering the dark origins of her gifts, Emelynn uncovers a conspiracy to expose her and her people’s gifts to the world, forcing her to face her worst fears head-on in author J.P. McLean’s “Burning Lies”, the explosive third novel in The Gift Legacy series!

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The Synopsis

A dishonourable legacy. A powerful enemy. A future threatened.

While recovering from a psychopath’s savage attack, Emelynn Taylor learns the ugly truth: deceit spawned her gift of flight, and ruthless brutality safeguards it.

But knowing the truth doesn’t prepare Emelynn for the terrorist who rips her world apart. And when the escalating violence spreads to the inner circle of her covert community, Emelynn uncovers a conspiracy that threatens to expose the gift and all those who share it.

Emelynn joins forces with a man she doesn’t trust and a family she doesn’t know to fight a menace that cloaks itself in lies. And when she lands at the feet of a dangerous enemy, Emelynn must face her worst fears to save the people she loves—and she must do it alone.

The third book in The Gift Legacy series, Burning Lies is a thriller that skirts the edges of reality in a world within our own. Step inside and escape the ordinary: take flight with Emelynn Taylor.

Burning Lies was previously published as The Gift: Redemption

The Review

This was a truly captivating and entertaining read. The author always does such an incredible job of crafting a narrative that allows readers to pick up on the important plot points and themes found in previous entries of the series without it feeling like a full recap of the series overall. It felt natural and flowed smoothly, and allowed for the character’s evolution and the mystery unfolding within the narrative to come alive. 

The evolution of these characters was so mesmerizing. Emelynn’s journey from the previous book sees her recovering both physically and mentally from the abduction and torture she endured at the hands of a madman and his team, and her story of confronting that trauma and learning to take back the power that had been lost during that harrowing time was so important both to the story and to the overall theme of the violence women face far too often in today’s world. The gripping way that readers are on the edge of their seats trying to understand who can be trusted and who cannot is what makes this story shine, as you spend most of the time trying to figure out if you should hate or love a character, (except Manse, who everyone just hates). 

The Verdict

A powerful, engaging, and character-driven narrative, author J.P. McLean’s “Burning Lies” is a must-read novel! The paranormal/fantasy-driven thriller is the perfect next chapter in this ever-growing series, and the twists and turns the narrative takes not only enhance the growing mythos of the Fliers and those around them but Em’s own past and her connection to the family she’s lost over time. It’s an emotional experience as well as action-packed, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean writes urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers which have received honourable mentions from the Whistler Independent Book Awards and the Victoria Writers Society. Reviewers call her books addictive, smart, and fun. Her work includes endorsements from award-winning and best-selling authors, E.E. Holmes, Jennifer Manuel, Elinor Florence, Jennifer Anne Gordon, and Eileen Cook.

JP is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. She is a certified scuba diver, an avid gardener, and a voracious reader. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, JP lived in various parts of North America before settling on Denman Island on Canada’s west coast, where she now lives with her husband. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking dishes that look nothing like the recipe photos or arguing with weeds in the garden.

Visit her at https://jpmcleanauthor.com

Hidden Enemy (The Gift Legacy 2) by JP McLean Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman with a powerful gift finds herself caught in the crosshair between two powerful organizations (one ancient, one evil), and a web of secrets being brought to the surface in author JP McLean’s “Hidden Enemy”, the second book in The Gift Legacy series.

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The Synopsis

A forbidden book. A dangerous secret. A life in the balance.

In the wake of a bullet and a broken heart, Emelynn Taylor learns the true portent of a gift she can barely control. Her discovery of a forbidden book unlocks explosive secrets that connect her to a past she never imagined.

Now someone is threatening to expose those secrets, and an unknown assailant is hunting her. With everyone hiding something, whom can she trust? Emelynn is thrust into the eye of a storm as two powerful factions clash: one ancient, one evil. And both of them want a piece of her.

Knowing that not even her gift of flight will save her, Emelynn forms an uneasy partnership with a dangerous man she must learn to trust—and then she must risk her gift and her future to protect her friends’ lives.

The second book in The Gift Legacy series, Hidden Enemy is a thriller that skirts the edges of reality in a world within our own. Climb aboard and escape the ordinary: take flight with Emelynn Taylor.

Hidden Enemy was previously published as The Gift: Revelation)

The Review

This was such a fun and exhilarating paranormal and fantasy thriller. The author did such an amazing job of taking the elements that made the first book in this series such a hit and ramped up the action and suspense by about ten notches, making this such an exciting and action-fueled story. The balance of the character development and world-building that the author had with the deeper dive into the world of the Fliers and the mythos behind the different families that make up this hidden world made this story just fly by (pun intended)!

The arc that the protagonist had in this narrative was such a great advancement of the character development of this sequel overall. The way the author forged Emelynn’s actions and showed her evolution from a young woman thrust into this strange world of powers and hidden societies to a woman learning to adapt and evolve in this new world of hers and grow her own gifts, as well as take ownership and power within her personal life and dive into her own past at the same time, made this such a powerful read that many readers will be able to wrap themselves in. 

The Verdict

An entertaining, adrenaline-fueled, and suspense-filled paranormal and fantasy thriller, author JP McLean’s “Hidden Enemy” is a must-read book. The mythos and history that the author explores of both the protagonist and the Fliers themselves, as well as the infusion of some steamy romantic scenes and an examination of how we process trauma made this such an engaging read, and an open-ended final chapter will leave readers eager to jump further into this amazing series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

JP (Jo-Anne) McLean writes urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers which have received honourable mentions from the Whistler Independent Book Awards and the Victoria Writers Society. Reviewers call her books addictive, smart, and fun. Her work includes endorsements from award-winning and best-selling authors, E.E. Holmes, Jennifer Manuel, Elinor Florence, Jennifer Anne Gordon, and Eileen Cook.

JP is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. She is a certified scuba diver, an avid gardener, and a voracious reader. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, JP lived in various parts of North America before settling on Denman Island on Canada’s west coast, where she now lives with her husband. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking dishes that look nothing like the recipe photos or arguing with weeds in the garden.

Visit her at https://jpmcleanauthor.com

Reboots: Undead Can Dance by Mercedes Lackey & Cody Martin Review/Preview

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An oddball crew of paranormal creatures face their own strange issues and the threats of space as they travel together in this space opera paranormal sci-fi read, “Reboots: Undead Can Dance” by Mercedes Lackey & Cody Martin.

The Synopsis

Say hello to Humph the Boggart, the principled, down-on-his-luck private detective, Skinny Jim the zombie, and Fred the werewolf, in this film noir-style space opera.

Humans aren’t alone anymore—in fact, they share a planet with undead and near-dead beings, living in…semi-harmony, depending on who you ask!

This is the world of Reboots—where zombies, vampires, and werewolves live side-by-side with humans, taking whatever jobs they can in order to coexist peacefully. So, what better job to give almost-dead or dead beings, than one that consists of no air, cosmic radiation, and a lack of life-sustaining essentials?

In comes a cast of interesting, unique, and downright paranormal creatures as they travel through space.

Consisting of four parts, Reboots: Undead Can Dance is a space opera destined to become a favorite, written by beloved and world-renowned fantasy author, Mercedes Lackey, and Cody Martin.

Follow Skinny Jim, a zombie who conceals his ability to speak to avoid being exterminated after an ill-fated war launched by a zombie emperor, leading to an alliance between Norms, the Fangs, and the Furs. And then there’s Humph the Boggart, an ethereal parahuman private investigator who navigates interspecies relationships in claustrophobic extraterrestrial environments with his friends, including Fred the werewolf.

And what happens when you put them all together in a confined space?

Lackey and Martin have created a perfect, witty, fast-paced read that you won’t be able to put down, and will leave you craving more.

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The Review

This was brilliant, humorous, and the vastly expansive world the authors have crafted. The characters were so unique and captivating to read, as their own unique backstories and connection to the paranormal world made their interactions and developing relationships with one another feel vibrant and captivating. 

What truly captured my attention though was the world-building and mythos that the authors developed in the narrative. Early on in the story, the authors begin to delve into this vast universe of paranormal uniqueness, from corporations run by the humans or the “Norms”, to the way the characters allude to a zombie war years before that left zombies forced to hide if they gained intelligence, to the increased power a werewolf gains if exposed to more than one moon.

 Each story and chapter only served to ignite more and more world-building, which also greatly impacted the growing narrative surrounding this truly oddball detective agency that turned the plot into a full-blown noir thriller. The genre-melding that happened in this story was truly mind-blowing, and yet kept me so enraptured with the narrative that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.

The Verdict

A memorable, fun, and exhilarating paranormal sci-fi thriller, authors Mercedes Lackey and Cody Martin’s “Reboots: Undead Can Dance” is a must-read book this fall and winter. The humor and wit that the characters showed balanced out the greater mythos of the paranormal world and the space exploration that they delved into, making this a truly exciting book that I can’t wait to dive back into again. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy on November 30th, 2021!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70’s she worked as an artist’s model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts & Music, a small recording company specializing in science fiction folk music.

“I’m a storyteller; that’s what I see as ‘my job’. My stories come out of my characters; how those characters would react to the given situation. Maybe that’s why I get letters from readers as young as thirteen and as old as sixty-odd. One of the reasons I write song lyrics is because I see songs as a kind of ‘story pill’ — they reduce a story to the barest essentials or encapsulate a particular crucial moment in time. I frequently will write a lyric when I am attempting to get to the heart of a crucial scene; I find that when I have done so, the scene has become absolutely clear in my mind, and I can write exactly what I wanted to say. Another reason is because of the kind of novels I am writing: that is, fantasy, set in an other-world semi-medieval atmosphere. Music is very important to medieval peoples; bards are the chief newsbringers. When I write the ‘folk music’ of these peoples, I am enriching my whole world, whether I actually use the song in the text or not.

“I began writing out of boredom; I continue out of addiction. I can’t ‘not’ write, and as a result I have no social life! I began writing fantasy because I love it, but I try to construct my fantasy worlds with all the care of a ‘high-tech’ science fiction writer. I apply the principle of TANSTAAFL [‘There ain’t no such thing as free lunch’, credited to Robert Heinlein) to magic, for instance; in my worlds, magic is paid for, and the cost to the magician is frequently a high one. I try to keep my world as solid and real as possible; people deal with stubborn pumps, bugs in the porridge, and love-lives that refuse to become untangled, right along with invading armies and evil magicians. And I try to make all of my characters, even the ‘evil magicians,’ something more than flat stereotypes. Even evil magicians get up in the night and look for cookies, sometimes.

“I suppose that in everything I write I try to expound the creed I gave my character Diana Tregarde in Burning Water:

“There’s no such thing as ‘one, true way’; the only answers worth having are the ones you find for yourself; leave the world better than you found it. Love, freedom, and the chance to do some good — they’re the things worth living and dying for, and if you aren’t willing to die for the things worth living for, you might as well turn in your membership in the human race.”

Also writes as Misty Lackey

Author’s website 

Blood Mark by J.P. McLean Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman who has spent her entire life with mysterious red birthmarks and terrifying nightmares finds her world turned upside down as the birthmarks begin fading, and the dreams become more vivid as a serial killer sets their sights on her in author J.P. McLean’s “Blood Mark”, the first in a brand new paranormal thriller series.

The Synopsis

What if your lifelong curse is the only thing keeping you alive? Abandoned at birth, life has always been a battle for Jane Walker. She and her best friend, Sadie, spent years fighting to survive Vancouver’s cutthroat underbelly. That would have been tough enough without Jane’s mysterious afflictions: an intricate pattern of blood-red birthmarks that snake around her body and vivid, heart-wrenching nightmares that feel so real she wakes up screaming.

After she meets the first man who isn’t repulsed by her birthmarks, Jane thinks she might finally have a chance at happiness. Her belief seems confirmed as the birthmarks she’s spent her life so ashamed of magically begin to disappear. Yet, the quicker her scarlet marks vanish, the more lucid and disturbing Jane’s nightmares become—until it’s impossible to discern her dreams from reality, and Jane comes to a horrifying realization:

The nightmares that have plagued her since childhood are actually visions of real people being stalked by a deadly killer. And all this time, her birthmarks have been the only things protecting her from becoming his next victim.

Blood Mark is the first in a brand-new paranormal thriller series by JP McLean, author of The Gift Legacy series and whose writing has been described as “. . . deftly crafted, impressively original, and inherently compelling from first page to last.”

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The Review

This was a refreshing new take on the paranormal thriller genre. The integration of Inca mythology into a modern-day thriller was engaging and thought-provoking, giving readers a wonderful blend of mythology and gritty crime thriller. The author’s own writing was outstanding, delivering a very descriptive and creative balance of imagery and character growth that felt very cinematic as a whole. 

The characters themselves were so captivating to read. Each character brought a complex and emotional background to the narrative, and the mature setting and tone of the storyline really allowed the author to explore the nuances and thoughtful approach to the character’s arc. Jane was a well-rounded new heroine in this paranormal thriller and did an excellent job of creating a bond between the reader and the narrative overall.

The Verdict

A magical, haunting, and entertaining read, author J.P. McLean’s “Blood Mark” is a brilliant new paranormal thriller! The pacing and chilling atmosphere the author crafts, along with the heartbreaking backstories and gripping action that takes place make this a standout read, and will leave readers eager to devour more books from this author. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

I’m very fortunate to live in a writer’s paradise on one of the small northern Gulf Islands off the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The rugged beaches and towering fir and arbutus trees that surround me often end up in my stories. When I’m not pouring my imagination into my computer, I’m futzing in gardens, making a mess of the kitchen or hiking local trails. I write stories that entice you to believe the impossible and escape the everyday for a while. Enjoy the read!

I’m also on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/JPMcLeanBooks

Susan Taki: The New Coven: The Hangman Universe (HMU), Book 9 by Dee Rose (Narrated by Jeremy Olivier) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After awakening from a magically-induced coma, Susan Taki returns to San Diego after helping her demon-hunter boyfriend, and after patrolling the streets at night as a supernatural police officer, she finds herself facing her old coven in author Dee Rose’s “Susan Taki: The New Coven”, the ninth book in The Hangman Universe.

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The Synopsis

Susan Taki awoke from a magic-induced coma in the events of The Death Brothers: A Supernatural Awakening. After helping her boyfriend, the demon hunter, Father Tom Padilla in New York, she has now returned home to San Diego. She is weighing an offer from the vampire slayer, Jericho Caine, to be his partner, while she patrols the streets as a supernatural policeman at night.

However, her old witches coven has returned with a new and powerful leader, Tatiana. They intend to make Susie stand trial for her role in the death of one of their former leaders. The punishment is death. The underworld also has an interest in the outcome of the trial as they know Susie is an ally of their enemies, the Death Brothers, the Grand Librarian, and the Hangman. 

The Review

A fun, thrill-ride of a supernatural fantasy and action novel, author Dee Rose has done a fantastic job of world-building in this narrative. Admittedly, this is my first foray in The Hangman Universe, but the author’s writing and the narrator really do a great job of implementing a cinematic quality to the writing, bringing to mind shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Wynona Earp. 

The vast array of characters and mythology that the author implements into this narrative is engaging to say the least. The story implements a wide array of classic and iconic paranormal elements, from vampires and witches to demons and angels. The author breathes new life into the classic theme of good vs evil, crafting a series of complex characters that both define these two sides and at times stride the line between both. 

The Verdict

A masterful, action-fueled, and entertaining read (and listen!), author Dee Rose’s “Susan Taki: The New Coven” is a great new supernatural thriller. The author does a good job of complimenting the series that has preceded this novel while also giving newcomers a chance to really sink their teeth into the story. Great dialogue and cinematic imagery really craft a fantastic read that fans of the genre won’t be able to get enough of, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dee Rose was born on July 5th and resides in Denver, CO. He is the father of two daughters. “They are my life.” He says. He attended Metro State University of Denver, where he majored in Political Science. The Hangman is his third published novel and he plans to make it into a series. “Novels like the Hangman are the reason I started writing in the eleventh grade. I love taking readers on an incredible journey.”

https://www.facebook.com/DeeRoseBooks

Spells Trouble (Sisters of Salem #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Twin witches must avenge their mother’s murder, stop an ancient evil from taking over their town and ultimately fulfill their destiny in authors P.C. and Kristin Cast’s “Spells Trouble”, the first in the SISTERS OF SALEM series. 

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The Synopsis 

Double double, twins spell trouble…

Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life.

When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who’ve infected their peaceful town.

Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good.

The Review

A truly mesmerizing and haunting fantasy and supernatural YA series comes to life in a one-of-a-kind way, blending history and culture with mythology and the true concept of family. The family dynamics of the Goode sisters are engaging, to say the least, highlighting their differences as the two sisters who have always been close find themselves lost and drifting apart off and on throughout the narrative after the brutal loss of their mother. The history of Sarah Goode from the infamous Salem Witch Trials and tying her story into that of her descendants was an inspired choice for story and character growth, which helped elevate this story. 

What was the biggest draw for me as a reader was the incredible attention to detail both historically and mythologically, not only exploring the impact and culture of the Salem Witch Trials to a fantasy setting, but incorporating ancient gods and goddesses and mythological creatures from not just single mythology, but multiple mythologies. From bloodthirsty Norse monsters to ancient and sometimes even obscure goddesses of Greek origin made this narrative feel larger than life, while the balance came from the intricate relationship between the sisters, as well as their relationships with their friends as well.

The Verdict

An entertaining, shocking, and haunting YA fantasy and paranormal read, authors P.C. and Kristin Cast’s “Spells Trouble” is a must-read novel for YA fans this summer! A perfect blend of mythology, history, and family dynamics, the shocking final moments of this narrative will leave readers anxious to get a glimpse into the next book of this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Authors

P.C. CAST

PC was born in the Midwest, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school, she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. After her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today Best-Selling author and a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath. PC is an experienced teacher and talented speaker. Ms. Cast lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses. House of Night Other World, book 4, FOUND, releases July 7th, 2020. More info to come soon about the HoN TV series!

https://www.pccastauthor.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/p-c-cast

KRISTIN CAST

Kristin is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who was born on an Air Force base in Japan and grew up in Oklahoma where she explored everything from tattoo modeling to broadcast journalism. After battling addiction, Kristin made her way to the Pacific Northwest and landed in Portland. She rediscovered her passion for storytelling in the stacks at dusty bookstores and in rickety chairs in old coffeehouses. For as long as she can remember, Kristin’s been telling stories. Thankfully, she’s been writing them down since 2005.

https://kcastauthor.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristin-cast

The Girl Who Died: A Novel by Ragnar Jónasson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman looking to find work as a teacher in 1980’s Iceland finds herself in an isolated fishing village and surrounded by darkness, nightmares of young girls in white dresses and a shocking secret that keeps her isolated from the few locals inhabiting the area in author Ragnar Jónasson’s “The Girl Who Died”.  

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The Synopsis

Teacher Wanted At the Edge of the World

Una wants nothing more than to teach, but she has been unable to secure steady employment in Reykjavík. Her savings are depleted, her love life is nonexistent, and she cannot face another winter staring at the four walls of her shabby apartment. Celebrating Christmas and ringing in 1986 in the remote fishing hamlet of Skálar seems like a small price to pay for a chance to earn some teaching credentials and get her life back on track.

But Skálar isn’t just one of Iceland’s most isolated villages, it is home to less than a dozen people. Una’s only students are two girls aged seven and nine. Teaching them only occupies so many hours in a day and the few adults she interacts with are civil but distant. She only seems to connect with Thór, a man she shares an attraction with but who is determined to keep her at arm’s length.

As darkness descends throughout the bleak winter, Una finds herself more often than not in her rented attic space – the site of a local legendary haunting – drinking her loneliness away. She is plagued by nightmares of a little girl in a white dress singing a lullaby. And when a sudden tragedy echoes an event long buried in Skálar’s past, the villagers become even more guarded, leaving a suspicious Una seeking to uncover a shocking truth that’s been kept secret for generations.

The Review

A truly incredible blend of rich culture and history within Iceland with the chilling suspense that readers have come to expect from the author with a brilliant supernatural twist, THE GIRL WHO DIED is a fantastic nail-bitter of a thriller. The author does a fantastic job of making the setting of the novel such an integral part of the narrative that it feels like the small community feels like a character all its own, hiding its own secrets and becoming just as mysterious as the people living within it.

What stands out to this reader especially is just how incredibly written the narrative is. The mystery of this local legend and the level of secrecy the townspeople have are powerful motivators for the protagonist’s search for the truth. Yet it is the cast of characters that really make this thriller a standout, as the setting is such a small community with only a handful of citizens adds importance to the narrative and the pacing of the story, making their involvement in the overall plot super important.

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, haunting, and gripping thriller, author Ragnar Jónasson’s “The Girl Who Died” is a must-read novel. The twists and turns of the story will keep readers glued to the edge of their seats, while the final pages will be remembered forever by the readers who delve into this novel. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Ragnar Jonasson is author of the award winning and international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia. Snowblind has been a paperback bestseller in France.

Nightblind won the Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Most Captivating Crime in Translation.

Snowblind was called a “classically crafted whodunit” by THE NEW YORK TIMES, and it was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK.

Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia, Poland, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Croatia, Armenia and Iceland.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.

http://www.ragnarjonasson.com/

Dispossessed Inc. by Chris Stevenson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A couple seeking to become a family find themselves unknowingly thrust into a paranormal mission that could change the world as they know it in author Chris Stevenson’s novel “Dispossessed Inc”. 

The Synopsis

Even Jimmy Hoffa wouldn’t have believed that the ghost realm could have been unionized.

The League of Paranormal Cooperation and Studies is nearly 300 years old. It’s run by a clandestine organization deep from within the bowels of Homeland Security. According to the Declaration of Codependence drafted by the clergy in 1634, ghosts are restricted from committing wanton acts of property damage, trespass, and psychological or physical harm to humans. They are quarantined in district wards under the umbrella of the United States Guild. These facilities number in the thousands and go by the front name D.I. Foster Care and Adoption, better know as Dispossessed Incorporated.

Remy Hargitay and his wife, Phaedra, are sterile. Their fondest wish is to hold a loving child in their arms before the stress threatens to torpedo their marriage. Fortified with a ferocious resolve (and a fringe hangover) Remy visits the D.I. Foster Care and Adoption Agency to pick up an application. Only he brings home more than an application. He’s duped into signing a contract that enlists him as a “Guardian”, shackling him to three mischievous ghosts—a Chicago gangster, a New York prostitute, and a drug-crazed hippie. Unknowingly, Remy has just been recruited into Dispossessed Incorporated. His mission: hitch a ride “downstream” in time with each subject and perform a “death-stop” intervention. If he fulfills the contract, he will be awarded the foster child of his choice. Yet, the consequences just might change the history of mankind forever.

But Remy is unaware of how many times he and his wife will have to lay their lives on the line for the sake of the missions. Nobody told him that it was normal to die tragically during an intervention, only to be resurrected by something called a Dark Herald. And, really, someone forgot to tell him that performing the three “death-stops” would alter and impact the future timeline of all humankind in a way that Remy never expected.

But when the agency murders his wife, forcing him to perform a death-stop on her, all bets are off!

Contains mild language

The Review

Another brilliant read from author Chris Stevenson, the story brilliantly starts readers out on a paranormal adventure like no other, before traveling down a long and trippy sci-fi and fantasy driven narrative that includes time-travel and so much more. 

The author does an excellent job here of creating a memorable cast of characters, which not only serves as the backbone of the story but elevates it to new heights. A trio of ghosts who represent pastimes considered less than ideal by society become integral to the future of mankind, and makes for an interesting insight into character, morality and how our actions impact the future. 

The Verdict

A fantastic, evenly paced read and one of a kind adventure, this is one of the most original and in-depth stories author Chris Stevenson has written to date. An entertaining and character-driven narrative, the author has crafted a wholly original read and mythology that explores the world of the paranormal and time-travel. Feeling like a blend of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and The Shining, this is a must-read for any fan of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, as well as a perfect blend of horror as well. Be sure to grab your copy of “Dispossessed Inc” today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Check out my blog GUERRILLA WARFARE FOR WRITERS (SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS):

Christy’s Young Adult Fabuliers:

About me

Gender Male

Industry Science

Occupation Novelist and Science Writer

Location Sylvania, Alabama, United States

Links Wishlist

Introduction Been writing for 32 years, publishing novels, non-fiction books, radio horror plays, short stories, reviews, interviews, poetry and thousands of non-fiction automotive articles. I’m on my third agent, and have had 10 books and twenty-two short stories published, beginning in 1988. Writing Credits and History BOOK CREDITS: Auto Repair Shams and Scams (Forward–Ralph Nader), 1990, Price Stern & Sloan, Los Angeles–226 pages, non-fiction, consumer warning book. Garage Sale Mania, 1988, Betterway Publications, Crozet, Virginia–190 pages, non-fiction book—1988. Word Wars, a SF novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—May, 2007. Once Upon a Goddess, a Fantasy novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—January, 2008 Planet Janitor—Custodian of the Stars, a SF novel sold to Engage Books, May 2009 Gate Walker, a Paranormal Fantasy, sold Lyrical Press—January, 2009. The Wolfen Strain, a fantasy thriller sold to LBF Books, February 2009

The Girll They Sold to the Moon, Intrigue Books

Blackmailed Bride to Melange Satin Romance. Screamcatcher: Web World by Melange Books.

Interests Hiking, paleontology, Ufos, cryptozoology, bigfoot, astronomy, lake monsters, ancient Egypt, archeology, geology

Favorite Movies Blade Runner, Time Cop, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Logun’s Run, Transformers, The Time Machine, Kickass

Favorite Music REM, Abbaa, When in Rome, Steve Miller Band, SF and fantasy soundtracks.

Favorite Books Icerigger, Virgin Planet, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Lord of the Flies, Black Marble, Close Encounters, The Island, Black Marble, Dune, Riverworld, The Mote In God’s eye

How many books have I published? 10 to date, with three out on agent subs, and five more in the wings ready to go.

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

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