Tag Archives: Ghosts

Coming Soon: Shattered Souls by Delilah Devlin

29 Oct

Private Investigator Caitlyn O’Connell lost it all—her plum job as a detective for the Memphis PD, her partner and lover, and her own self-respect —to booze in an attempt to drown out the voices in her head. When her ex-partner drags her to a murder scene where she’s his only real lead, she knows it’s time to face her greatest fears and harness the inherited gifts she’s always rejected. That she’ll have a chance to prove she had damn good reasons for shutting Sam out of her life is just icing on the cake.

The last thing Sam Pierce wants is to revisit his painful relationship with Cait, but she’s the only lead he has. Sam doggedly follows Cait into a dark world filled with magick and unholy terrors as they search for killer wraiths and the demon who commands them.– Release date: Jan. 29, 2013


Review: Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady

1 Aug

Hearts of Darkness by Kira Brady
Kensington (Aug. 7, 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $5.99
ISBN: 9781420124569

Favorite Lines: “I will carry you when you grow weary…I will warm you when you are cold…I will shelter you when you seek refuge…I pledge my body to your protection, my soul to your happiness,  and my heart to your keeping.” (p. 327, ARC)

Nurse Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her, Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories. And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.

Book one in Kira Brady‘s romantic Deadglass trilogy, Hearts of Darkness, is a new take on the paranormal world. In Brady’s world there are dragon shifters (Drekar) who lack souls and feed on humanity and shapeshifters (Kivati) on the verge of extinction who are battling the dragons. The shifters are also supposed to protect humanity, but that’s not high on their priority list.

Hearts of Darkness combines Babylonian, Native American and Norse mythology to create a world on the verge of destruction. Though set in the present day, the world has a steampunk feel due to the monocles, steam engines and clothing worn by the Kivati. There is a crack in Seattle’s Gate to the Land of the Dead. Damned ghosts and evil wraiths slip through the crack into Seattle longing to touch and feel again. Those spirits are capable of possessing humans, turning them into walking zombie-like creatures.

The paranormal aspects of life in the corrupt city of Seattle remains unknown to most of humanity, but Kayla is not allowed to keep her head in the sand. She want to find her sister’s killer and her very human attempt at compassion has placed her in debt to the Kivati. She is given three days to find an item her sister hid or face the consequences of not upholding her side of an agreement with the Kivati. She’s not what I consider a kick ass heroine, but an everyday woman thrown into a “crazy” situation. Kayla is pretty naive for being the woman who always cleaned up after her little sister. She takes things at face value, never looking below the surface which kept placing her in danger.Especially when it comes to the book’s hero, a Kivati man named Hart.

Hated by his fellow Kivati, Hart is enslaved to the leader of the Drekar. He is filled with self-loath and has little choice in many of the actions he is forced to take. He clings to threads of honor, unwilling to become completely warped by the evil he has been associated with for over 15 years. Hart wants to be a better man, however until his debt is paid off, he can do nothing but follow orders.

Hearts of Darkness is filled with suspense and action. I never became enamored with the romance thread though. I know Kayla and Hart were attracted to one another, but I didn’t see the appeal for more than a sexual relationship. It’s a book in which a man can earn redemption and love can be found and recognized in the darkest of situations. I enjoyed both the suspense and the happy ever after ending despite my ambivalent thoughts on the romance. I will be reading the next book, Hearts of Shadows, because its main characters (Grace and Leif) really interest me.

Movie: ParaNorman; You Know You Wanna See It Too!

13 Jul

Review: The Prophet by Amanda Stevens

8 May

The Prophet by Amanda Stevens
Harlequin/MIRA (April 24, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780778313397

Favorite Lines: “But I could already feel the exchange of energy, the stealthy siphon of my warmth as Devlin unwittingly replenished his life force with mine. One of the ironies of falling for a haunted man. My haven protected me from his ghosts, but hallowed ground couldn’t shield me from him.” (p. 230, e-galley)

My name is Amelia Gray.

I am the Graveyard Queen, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. My father passed down four rules to keep me safe and I’ve broken every last one. A door has opened and evil wants me back.

In order to protect myself, I’ve vowed to return to those rules. But the ghost of a murdered cop needs my help to find his killer. The clues lead me to the dark side of Charleston—where witchcraft, root doctors and black magic still flourish—and back to John Devlin, a haunted police detective I should only love from afar.Now I’m faced with a terrible choice: follow the rules or follow my heart.

The Prophet is book three in Amanda Stevens’ Graveyard Queen series and so far is scheduled to be followed by an additional three books. It returns the reader to the creepy world introduced in book one, The Restorer.

The ghosts in Stevens’ world are leech like. They feed on human energy and only some people can see them. The heroine, Amelia, was taught to ignore ghosts when she was a child, but began breaking the rules after meeting a detective named, Devlin. I never understood Amelia’s interest in the detective, but it’s back in full force in The Prophet.

I’ve got to tell y’all that The Prophet is my least favorite book of the series primarily due to Amelia’s interest in Devlin. I don’t like her unhealthy obsession with Devlin and really don’t get her lack of self-preservation. She seems to have a death wish and it interfered with my ability to enjoy The Prophet. I think Michele at GoodReads put it pretty good when she said, “Amelia’s grating personality, her annoying, repetitive inner dialogues, and her inactions when it mattered.”

Despite my irritation with the Devlin/Amelia relationship story line I found myself enjoying parts of the book. Never enough to make this a book I’d read again, but I wanted answers and I got some. Mysteries surrounding Devlin’s deceased wife and child and semi-solved, places visited in book one were re-visited and a “power” was discovered. There is definite fallout from the events of The Prophet to come in future books. I’m just not interested enough to read them.

Stacia & Stacey Giveaway Hop

20 Mar

The winner is…laura588!

When Cat at Addicted 2 Heroines asked me if I wanted to participate in the Stacia & Stacey Giveaway Hop I had to say yes. Not just because my name is Stacy, but because both of the women are authors I read and enjoy. You may be wondering what the two series have in common other than releasing at the same time. I can clear that up for you. While Stacia Kane‘s series is set in a world where ghosts are a menace and Stacey Jay‘s series is set in a world with violent faeries, both feature a heroine who has a problem with addiction.

The heroines, Chess and Annabelle, both manage to pull it together long enough to save humans (and themselves) from death, but they haven’t kicked their chemical addictions. One is dependent on alcohol, the other on pills. It’s more than a habit or stress reliever. It’s a necessary tool needed for each woman to function. Above the women hang the lingering question: is either character capable of living a sober life?

I’m not sure I’d recognize either woman without their addiction. The traumatized heroines are far from perfect and that’s part of what makes them such great characters. I’m able to feel morally superior while rooting for them both to love themselves and take better care of themselves throughout the series. Kane and Jay’s characters are more realistic and avoid easily being placed in a generic “cookie cutter” type mold.

Stacia and Stacey are both releasing new books on March 27. Stacia is releasing book four in her Downside series and Stacey is releasing book two in her Annabelle Lee series. To celebrate I’ve put together a Vice Gift Package to giveaway. In it the winner will find a bottle of Jim Beam wing sauce, a metal pill box and some mints. To enter simply leave a comment and tell me if you read either series. If so–what you think about the series’ heroine. The giveaway begins now and will run until 11:59 pm March 27 and is open to those with mailing addresses in the US or Canada. 

Stacia/Stacey Giveaway Hop:

1. Addicted2Heroines
2. Goldilox and the Three Weres
3. Miss Vain’s Paranormal Fantasy
4. Underworld Love Addiction
5. Vanesmate the Bookaholic
6. Gizmo’s Reviews
7. Yummy Men & Kick Ass Chicks
8. Pages of Forbidden Love
9. Claire’s Book Corner
10. The Book Nympho
11. RhiReading
12. Booking It With Hayley G
13. The Bookaholic Cat
14. Nocturne Romance Reads

Review: The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens

19 Mar

The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens
Harlequin/MIRA (March 27, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780778312772

Favorite Lines: “Did I cross his mind now and then? Not that it mattered. He was a man haunted by his dead wife and daughter, and I was a woman who saw ghosts. For as long as he clung to his past–and his past clung to him–I could not be a part of his life.” (p. 8, egalley)

Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town…My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

The Kingdom is Amanda Stevens follow-up book to the creepy book entitled The Restorer. Both are part of the Graveyard Queen trilogy. According to Stevens’ blog she has just sold another trilogy in the Graveyard Queen series to MIRA. It will follow the same heroine, Amelia.

The story picks up months after Amelia was almost murdered. She has resumed her life as a graveyard restorer and accepted a job in a small town called Asher Falls. Once there, she learns she is not alone in her ability to see ghosts and discovers her hidden past.

The book is not as creepy as The Restorer, but it is full of slow burning tension. Unlike the first book, it doesn’t take long to realize where the danger is coming from. I was okay with that because I knew there was something going on that would hit Amelia on a personal level–much deeper than a possible new romance with a man named Thane Asher.

While book one felt like cold breezes in a silent night, The Kingdom felt like the intro to a new horror movie. The horror is in the descriptions used to instill a sense of dread. There were no OMG bloody sections, but it was the mind games sort of horror. I’m not a fan of horror, but Stevens managed to suck me in and hold my attention. That said, I had a huge issue with the heroine.

I don’t remember Amelia being quite so angsty. And I most definitely don’t remember Devlin the way she did:

“I wasn’t over Devlin, might never be over him, and an attractive stranger could do nothing more than momentarily ease my intense longing.”–p.15

Yes, she was interested in Devlin, but she didn’t have much time with him and she knew going in that he was haunted and harmful to her continued existence. I don’t get why all of a sudden Amelia is so obsessed with him. Devlin is blatantly unhealthy for her and the new love interest isn’t any better. It feels out of character for a successful woman who has had to be on guard all her life to fall for dangerous men within moments of meeting them during a few months time. There was never any information about that being a habit of hers. You’d think she’d be more careful after the events of book one.

Overall, I liked the slow burning tension in The Kingdom. I was happy Amelia was away from Devlin and hoped she’d learned sometimes what you want isn’t good for you and you have no choice but to stay away. I’m not so sure she came to that realization. As Amelia’s family history unraveled it became clear that much more was going on than the reader was exposed to.  I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion of the trilogy, The Prophet.

Review: Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

11 Aug

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price
ROC (July 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780451464095
Excerpt: Click here

Favorite Lines: “Then he kissed me, his lips taking possession of mine as if everything that hadn’t been said could be passed through our lips, tongues, breath.” (p. 370)

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil, thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L”-word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses–only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end–her own.

Grave Dance is book two in Kalayna Price’s Alex Craft series. The first book, Grave Witch, introduced us to Alex, her world and her family. Grave Dance picks up a month after Alex almost died. Of course, things are never simple with Alex so expect tons of drama, confusion and complexity.

The Alex in Grave Dance has matured but is dealing with the effects of being part fae. She can’t handle being around iron and is hiding her true nature from those around her. Well, she’s trying to hide her nature. This book places Alex’s friends in danger, teaches Alex what she is capable of and explores possibilities surrounding Death and Falin. Yep, there is a love triangle in full effect. (Still not lovin’ Falin. I’m all for Death.)

I know a hell of a lot more than I did when I picked up the book. By the end of the story, I was satisfied with the knowledge that nothing had been resolved. I don’t know what to think about Death, Falin or Alex’s dad. Fairy is a political battlefield. And being Alex kinda sucks. She is surrounded by drama…and love. I’m more intrigued than ever with the series and am looking forward to the next book.

Fiction Vixen
Mystifying Paranormal Reviews
Ruby’s Reads
Reflections of Reading Romance

Review: Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry

21 Jul

Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry
HarperCollins/AVON Impulse (July 2011)
Mass Market: $6.99 (Aug. 2011); ebook: $3.99
ISBN: 9780062105226
Excerpt: Click here

Favorite Lines: “It’s good to see you again, Matt,” she said barely above a husky whisper.

Ten years melted away as he looked down at her, remembering the last time he’d held her. She’d been naked and warm in his arms and sweet as his Uncle Bob’s huckleberry wine. But those days were gone for good and she’d broken too many hearts along the way.

“Wish I could say the same.” (p. 23 & 24 egalley)

Kate Silver’s back in town, and her dead mother just won’t leave her alone.

Kate usually spends her days dressing Hollywood A-listers, but after her estranged mother dies she finds herself elbow-deep in flour in her parents’ bakery . . . in Deer Lick, Montana. She thought she’d left small-town life far, far behind, but it seems there are a few loose ends.

The boy she once loved, Deputy Matt Ryan, is single and sexy and still has a thing for her . . . and handcuffs.

Her mother, who won’t follow the white light, is determined to give maternal advice from beyond the grave.

And somehow Kate’s three-day stay has, well . . . extended. She never planned to fill her mother’s pie-baking shoes—she prefers her Choos, thank you very much. But with the help of a certain man in uniform, Kate quickly learns that sometimes second chances are all the more sweet.

Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry is a contemporary romance about returning home and letting love find you. It’s an emotional story; don’t look for action because you will be disappointed. The heroine, Kate, returns to small town Deer Lick, Montana, for her mother’s funeral only to find a former lover and her mother’s best-friend who disapprove of her. Kate takes the smart ass comments in stride, but when the ghost of her mother pops into the backseat of her car she freaks.

I’m not the biggest fan of stories which incorporate the paranormal for the sake of having it. This means I really didn’t care for the ghost aspect of the story. However, the ghost allowed Kate to find closure in concern to her mother. It forced her to come to terms with the fact that her mother was human and made mistakes. And that all along, and especially in the end, her mother wanted her to be happy and to find love. Love her mother knew could only be found with Matt.

Matt was a semi-jerk. He wasn’t evil.  He came across as crass and inconsiderate at times. He had been hurt and was protecting himself. It didn’t seem to matter how hard Kate tried, Matt always found fault with her. It really irritated me that Kate was vilified for wanting a life outside of the town and for some perceived insult. As Matt lowered his walls, I began to understand why Kate was attracted to him. Matt wanted the best for his town and the people in it. It didn’t matter who the person was, he wanted them to succeed. Watching Matt balance his need to serve, with his desire to have a loving partner ended up being my favorite part of the story.

I enjoyed watching Kate make a home for herself in the last place she ever thought she’d want to live. Seeing her focus her attention on Matt was pleasurable. The reason for the animosity left me scratching my head. I know it was done out of love, but it was seriously weird. I also felt like the story was wrapped up a little too easy. One minute Kate is bustling around, the next a major decision was made and every one lived happily ever after. I love my happy endings, but sometimes it happens too easily. It doesn’t ruin the book, but it does detract from the story.

Overall, Second Chance at the Sugar Shack is a nice, safe read. It has a touch of paranormal which is more funny and almost played out like a figment of the heroine’s imagination. I’m interested in reading the next book in the series which will be about Kate’s brother and a small town school teacher. That book will be released in November 2011.

I’m not the only person reading Second Chance at the Sugar Shack:

Long and Short Reviews


Review: South of Salem by Janni Nell

25 May

South of Salem by Janni Nell
Carina Press (May 30, 2011)
e-book: $4.99 (66,000 words)
ISBN: 9781426891670

Favorite Lines: “”The Sir Galahad Award for Honorable Treatment of Women.”

I didn’t ask whether he was serious. I could tell by his expression that he was. Curious, I asked, “Who are the other nominees?”

“Henry the Eighth, Caligula and Jack the Ripper.”” (p. 108) Continue reading

Review: Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell

4 Apr

Blood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell
Carina Press
(April 11, 2011)
e-book: $5.99
ISBN: 9781426891441

Favorite Lines: “It was like she’d handed him Christmas, his birthday and an all-you-can-eat porn star rolled into one. From the way he swallowed, he might have started drooling.” (p. 50)

A seduction-gone-wrong leaves vampire Parker Hollis with a new vegetarian lifestyle and on the run from a vengeful witch. Moving to small-town Maggie’s Grove, Parker meets a redheaded dryad with green, leafy blood that draws him in a way he hasn’t experienced in decades. His new neighbor smells divine, and it isn’t long before craving gives in to need.

In a unique community of supernaturals, tree-loving outcast Amara Schwedler has never quite fit in. She’s scarred by a traumatic incident and feared by the local townsfolk. She’s convinced Parker will look elsewhere for a mate once he discovers she’s not one of the O-positive set, and can’t believe it when Parker finds her irresistible.

When the witch who’s been plaguing Parker’s life discovers the newfound attraction between Parker and Amara, she takes out her anger on the town. Can the supernaturals of Maggie’s Grove accept Amara and band together in time to withstand the assaults of the enraged witch?

Ok, the prologue almost made me regret my decision to read Blood of the Maple. While it was needed for the reader to completely understand the both the hero and heroine’s problems, it made me think the book was going to silly fluff. I’m pleased to say by the end of chapter one, I had discarded that thought and continued to read a very different, but extremely exciting story.

Blood of the Maple is book one in Dana Marie Bell’s Maggie’s Grove series. Maggie’s Grove is a predominately paranormal community in Maryland. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches and dryads are only a few of the creatures living in Maggies Grove. The town caters to every abnormal living in the community except Amara. For an unknown reason she is shunned by most of the people in town. When Parker arrives the town welcomes him which shows it is capable of accepting those who are different, but their disdain for Amara is a puzzle.

I liked Amara from the get-go. She is a refreshing and mysterious character. We know that others fear her, but not why. My need to find out why she was treated like an outcast helped keep my flipping the pages of this ebook, but the romance was a solid second. Amara needed someone to love her and Parker had enough quirks of his own to make him worthy of her. I wanted her to find a happily ever after and that was possible with Parker.

The secondary characters almost stole the story. From the mayor to the mystic, to Parker’s best friend who happened to be a ghost and the ghost’s lover, Blood of the Maple is infused with people I’d love to know more about. I want to know their secrets and desires. I learned enough about them to want them to find love and HEAs.

One reason why you should read Blood of the Maple: The sex scenes involving a ghost. It’s a M/M relationship, so avoid this book if you dislike books which mention homosexuality.

I’m glad I read this book and would recommend others check it out. The story is 210 pages of steamy sex, funny innuendos and action. (This doesn’t include the 8 pages which included the cover, letter to the reader, dedication and acknowledgements.)