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review 2016-11-09 03:27
The War is Heating UP! Are you ready for Wizardry?
Assault in the Wizard Degree: Book Six of 'Fantasy & Forensics' (Fantasy & Forensics 6) - Michael Angel

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” 
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul


“To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves


Pull out your “Happy Dance” ladies and gents! Assault in the Wizard Degree is printed!! The Fantasy and Forensics series has expanded to book six, and six is definitely a magic number.


Poor Dayna. The more she busts her backside to save the world on Andeluvia, the more it twists itself into a bloody mess . . . and guess who gets the job of straightening everything out each and every time? Yep. You got it. What is a Forensic Scientist stuck in an epic fantasy land supposed to do? Well, if you are Dame Chrissie, you dust off your hiking boots, gather your tools, and do your best to save the day. Again.


“Salvation shall come to Dame Chrissie only when she stands in the shadow of all that she has achieved.”


Well, salvation is something, at least. A bit of hope, after the court Soothsayer invades the throne room of the King bearing tidings of doom and death.


“I dreamt a dream of utmost import . . . that if not heeded, shall mean the downfall of this kingdom and the ruin of all Andeluvia!”


And this time, he might just be right. Dayna’s life in Los Angeles is hard enough as the evil attempting to take over Andeluvia bleeds over into her birth world. Now, an evil long thought buried and gone is awakening. Death and despair, war and horror are looming on the horizon, and Dayna’s small group will be tested beyond anything they have ever faced before.


It begins, as do so many things, with a request for Dayna’s help. The centaurs, you see, have a problem.


“A centaur that has committed an act of sacrilege regarding the ‘Ceremony of Equilux’.”


It should be a simple case – use her forensic skills to discover who committed a crime. But what she finds is so much more. The Creatures of the Dark have made deeper inroads than anyone expects (well, anyone other than Dayna and her friends) and even the densest and most purposefully ignorant will no longer be able to deny the truth.


There are, of course, the light moments Michael’s writing is so well known for. Characters are well written and believable, the landscape of the world of Andeluvia is sharply drawn, and the storyline holds perfect continuity throughout the series. If you haven’t read the rest of the series, I would highly recommend you do so before reading this installment. I am not saying you couldn’t understand or enjoy this book as a standalone, but it is such a wonderful series it would be a shame to miss the run-up to this pivotal point in the series.


This is a Wonderful series, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!! Of course, full disclosure, I work with Michael on his books – but that doesn’t mean I don’t adore each and every one.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2016-09-10 18:21
Made in Hell - Caith Morningstar Rides Again!
Made In Hell (Urban Fantasy) (Caith Morningstar Book 3) - Celia Kyle,Lauren Creed

Can a half demon, half pixie/holy warrior/unicorn/Father Earth/werewolf (Yeah. Don't ask.) not get just a little bit of peace and quiet? Just a little? I mean, Come ON People! She already saved the world. Twice, as a matter of fact, in the last couple of years. Can a girl not just enjoy her adopted Brownie son and her half-fallen angel boyfriend for a few bloody minutes before you all go messing things up? Again?
But nooooooo . . . You have to go gettin' all rowdy, joining a whacko cult, walking around like zombies (when you aren't rutting like bunnies) and generally messing up Caith’s life.



It seems a couple of Caith’s old enemies are up to no good again. Even if Uncle Lucifer did throw them into the very bowels of the deepest circle of Hell. Of course, if Uncle Dearest didn’t have his mind on the little demon spawn he planted in the brainless twit he just dumped on Caith’s front door, maybe she could have gotten things under control a little more easily?

Nah. No such luck.


That’s all bad enough. But when Caith’s little Bryony, Sam, and Jezzie are endangered? Well, here’s a clue. Don’t. Piss off. The niece of the Morningstar. That will get you just all kinds of pain.

Caith Morningstar is one kick-ass beotch. You would expect her to be, taking into consideration who her mother is, but while she may have set Chicago on fire (Once! It was Just Once!) and maybe started a war (or two), the influence of all five fathers makes her loyal, protective, and determined to keep Mouse Town, her family, and her friends, safe.

Ms. Celia has written another winner Urban Fantasy in “Made in Hell” I have no doubt you will love! Humor, pathos, love, hate - it's all here, and all written in that unique Celia Kyle style.

I received “Made in Hell” from the author in exchange for a realistic review. How Lucky am I?!?!

Source: soireeadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-11-16 14:03
A Chet & Bernie Christmas (and a few extras)

SANTA 365 by Spencer Quinn

Bernie and Chet, of the Little Detective Agency, put Plumpy Napoleon away for running a Ponzi scheme netting Plumpy over one million dollars.  Because of prison overcrowding, after only eight months behind bars Plumpy is standing in Bernie’s driveway hoping to pitch his new “business plan” – a Christmas party planning service.  For a nominal fee Plumpy will plan a party with all the trimmings; the tree (for a nominal fee), the food (for another slight fee increase), the gifts (with the platinum package) and for Bernie, he’ll even throw in a real live elf or two.  Since it was Bernie’s Christmas to have his son Charlie he gives Plumpy’s service a try.  The party is a success but when everyone clears out afterwards Bernie discovers his safe has been cleared out too.  Bernie and Chet are soon on the trail of the culprit and discover some surprises along the way.
Bernie’s mom shows up unexpectedly, we get to know Charlie a little better and revisit with the rest of the characters from the series.  Chet, as usual is the unreliable, yet lovable, narrator.  For fans of the series this e-short is a fun must-read – just in time for the holiday season.
I’m putting this one on my Christmas Reads shelf so give it four bookish trees.
* I received this ebook at no charge from Atria Publishing via Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review *
This short story is being released on November 24, 2015 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com or from your favorite local bookseller.
Before receiving this book for review I had already purchased three other Chet and Bernie short stories that I had not gotten around to reading yet.  Since I was reviewing the above book I felt it was the perfect time to read the others as well.
Finally!  Finally!  Finally!
In every book of this series Chet, although his dog-memory and attention span is admittedly short term when it comes to most things, mentions the cat incident that caused him to fail the final test in K-9 school and cost him his graduation.  That was bad.  The cat incident almost landed Chet at the pound but it also allowed Chet to meet Bernie for the first time.  That was good.  It was love at first sight for both of them, a match made in heaven and the birth of the partnership that makes up Little Detective Agency. 
If you are a fan of the series this short story will take you back to the beginning of the series and if you are thinking about giving this series a try this is an excellent starting point because – well – it’s the beginning of the adventure.
Five stars for this one because it finally gave me the whole story behind the infamous “cat incident”.
A beautiful blonde approaches Bernie about investigating her cheating boyfriend.  Right away Chet gets a bad feeling about the case and it’s not the kind of case they usually work.  But Lt. Stine had recommended Bernie to this young lady so Bernie takes the case.  One day of work, $600 in the Agency’s coffer and the case looks done – until another client shows up asking Bernie to investigate the same cheating boyfriend, this time the referral came from Leda, Bernie’s ex-wife.  Some interesting twists and turns and then suddenly the title’s meaning becomes quite clear … truly the perfect definition of the word vengeance.
Five stars for this short story because I loved the twists and turns and especially the final scene.  It was completely fun to read.
Bernie and Chet are having a well-deserved morning of sleeping in when a knock on the door wakes them both up.  Well, it wakes Chet who rouses the still snoring Bernie.  Unexpected knocks are very seldom good news and this is no exception.  At the door is Daniel Parsons, their next-door-neighbour and it seems Iggy, his little dog and Chet’s good friend, has disappeared under very mysterious circumstances.  Chet is on instant alert and Bernie wants to help old Mr. Parsons.  After a hospital visit, some disappearing jewellery, a really unusual motorcycle cop and new head of hospital security Bernie and Chet, as always, close the case.
While I enjoyed it this was my least favorite of the four short stories I read but fun none-the-less so three stars for this one.
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“A Cat Was Involved” is obviously the start of the series so can certainly be read as a stand-alone story.  While the others slide in comfortably between the exiting books in the series they can certainly be read independent of the books and still be entertaining and easy to follow.  Chet makes sure of that by giving the reader just enough back-story to make it work.
 ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from the final pages of Santa 365)
Spencer Quinn is the author of seven previous bestselling Chet and Bernie mystery novels.  He lives on Cape Cod with his dogs, Audrey and Pearl.  When not keeping them out of mischief, he is hard at work on the next Chet and Bernie mystery.  Keep up with him – and with Chet and Bernie – by visiting ChetTheDog.com. 
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text 2015-09-05 23:16
Kick Ass Women, Humor, and Pride is still a favorite series!
Bear Meets Girl - Shelly Laurenston

“See,” Cella shot back, “that’s a ridiculous thing to say, because I don’t even know this guy or whether I like him or not. I was just going to kill him.”

Yep. The Smith wolf pack is back. Along with the van Holtz pack, all the members of the Carnivore Shifter Team, and all their assorted friends and pack members. But when you add in the Malone family, especially Cella “Bare Knuckles” Malone, She-Tiger, hockey enforcer for the Marauder, ex-Marine sniper, daughter to Butch “Nice Guy” Malone and hit-woman for Katzenhaus Securities, or KZS, the international feline protection agency. . . well, things get “interesting” in a very “Holy Shit!” sort of way. Gotta love me some Cella!  

Bear Meets Girl is another of Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series, and is just as good as all the others in the series. Although, I have to admit, the cover is really bad. As in, sticking “Cella” down there at Crushek’s feet like some prissy little weakling really sort of ticked me off. As IF Bare Knuckles Malone would whimper and mewl at some dude’s feet!

Anyway, off my “Hate the Cover” Rant Horse and on to the story. I had read the book before I saw it on Netgalley, but who could pass up being able to read any of Shelly’s Pride series once more? I mean, the books are freakin’ awesomesauce!!! I love humour in my urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and Shelly always offers something fun. In this case, watching poor Crushek wake up from a horrendous hangover in bed with a feline of all things (He knew lots of felines, but he didn’t spend time around them because they were, as he’d already stated and everyone knew, totally untrustworthy. It was a fact. Look it up!) he only came to the party because, well, yeah, he was depressed. Well, he was getting transferred, of all things! And Crushek hates change. Like the fact that his favorite shoe store moved six years ago. And he still goes by and stares in the window and wishes that things didn’t change. At least, until the people in the tea shop called the cops on the meth dealer standing around outside the window and scaring them all. Well, when you are a 6’9” 350-lb polar bear shifter who works as an undercover cop (yes, normally as a meth dealer. Sometimes a hired killer. But mostly? Yeah, a meth dealer) that isn’t all that hard to understand. But that whole ‘change’ thing? Crushek just doesn’t care for it. Like, At. All.


But change is here, and what happens? He finds himself mixed up in all sorts of change. Oh, and poachers. And taxidermists. And let’s not forget Novikov. And Nice Guy Malone. And a whole lot more of his hockey heroes. Because while he may not be able to play all that well, Crushek is a seriously (and I mean really seriously) hockey fan. And the fact that Cella, who he is sure is a whacked out female who is a danger to her toddler daughter (Snort. Giggle. Wait till you meet Cella’s “toddler” daughter. . .) keeps pretending to be his girlfriend, sitting in his lap and basically driving him right out of his tree? Ha! Gotta adore some Cella!

Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series is in my top five of the best paranormal series out there. The characters are amazingly fun, diverse, and consist of quite a few asskicker women who don’t put up with any sort of garbage from anything or anyone. The underlying storyline of the families is well laid out and developed. But what I really like is her continuing story of how the shifters are working hard against humans, and even other shifters, who are running hunting camps where shifters, some as young as six, are turned loose on private preserves, hunted and slaughtered by anyone who has the money to pay – their bodies then stuffed, mounted, and kept in the homes of the rich and depraved. It isn’t the animals who are the true monsters.

The story gets deeper, and meaner, this time around. The BPC, the Bear Preservation Council, and their leader, Peg Baissier, are up to something. Isolationists, the BPC don’t like that Crushek works for the police department. Something bad is going down, and Peg seems determined that Crushek will fall into line. And if that means Crushek’s cover was blown, and Crushek himself blown-away, well. The hunters are bad enough. But Peg Baissier may be even more deadly. Especially to Crushek – her foster son.

If you are a lover of PR and UF and haven’t picked up this series after all the praise I have given it, why not? If you like humor, action, truly likeable (and hate-able) characters, solid world building, and a tight storyline, well, you can’t do much better.

I received this book from the publisher (and Netgalley) in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. I love this whole series!

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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