Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Audio Book Review: Spirited Christmas

Spirited Christmas

By:  Gary Jonas
Publish Date:  December 1, 2016, Audiobook Release November 27, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 1 hrs 20 mins
Narrated By:  Joe Hempel

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  9.5 Novella of Jonathan Shade Series; Book 1 ~ Modern Sorcery, Book 2 ~ Acheron Highway, Book 3 ~ Dragon Gate, Book 4 ~ Anubis Nights, Book 5 ~ Sunset Specters, 6th Book ~ Wizard's Nocturne

Impression:  Christmas heart with a ghostly twist.


In this short novelette, a little girl hires Jonathan to get rid of a ghost that haunts her family every Christmas. The hauntings have escalated from sightings to full possession. It should be an open-and-shut exorcism, but when Jonathan discovers the truth, it's more than he bargained for...

First Sentence:
Esther hovered outside my office door staring down at a little girl in a blue coat.

Purchase At:


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Jonathan arrives at the office one cold December morning to find a little girl has been balled up waiting for him for an hour. Madison wants to hire him to take care of the ghost that haunts her house at Christmas and grabs at her.

I've listened to previous Jonathan Shade books and Joe does a great job, as he always does, with Jonathan. Joe knows Jonathan inside and out as he voices  Jonathan when joking and being serious. You know what Jonathan is up to by Joe's voice. I'm so glad Joe has continued to carry through as the voice of this series. As always, the audio is clean and clear listening. I'm not distracted from the story in any way.

I love how Jonathan is with Madison. She's young, ten, and he treats her so well. When Esther tells him he wasn't going to not help this little girl, he is great at his payment as Madison only has change to pay with - all her money in the world. This is a small Christmas gift to the young girl so she can enjoy Christmas. Madison made me smile with her humor and personality. She could give Jonathan a run for his money on humors remarks. lol. She is a cute little girl. I enjoyed her interaction with Jonathan.

Jonathan finds that there's more to the ghost haunting than expected. In true Gary Jonas fashion, there is much more to the story than one would expect. Jonathan has a soft heart and it shows in this book. He's determined to do what's right but also what is wanted. The two do go hand in hand from time to time.

The ending brings the feeling of the heart of the Christmas spirit story, like many endings of Christmas stories. It made me smile as it warmed my heart. Also we have Jonathan in his fun remarks with Kelly as friends at the holiday.

The novella is marked at 9.5 in the series, but it's placed before the first book. There are things still in place for the first book or two. If you listen or read this novella, you can do so at any time. Read it before you get to the series or any time during the series. It gives nothing away for the events in the novels but gives a feel for Jonathan and Kelly, the major characters in the series. So, pick it up for the holiday this month!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Audio Book Review: Hell's Rejects

Hell's Rejects

By:  M.R. Forbes

Publish Date:  February 19, 2017, Audiobook Release April 6, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 15 mins
Narrated By:  Jeff Hays

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st book of Chaos of the Covenant Series

Impression:  A dangerous crew created put on a dangerous mission.

The most powerful starships ever constructed are gone. Thousands are dead. A fleet is in ruins. The attackers are unknown. The orders are clear: Recover the ships. Bury the bastards who stole them.

Lieutenant Abigail Cage never expected to find herself in Hell. As a Highly Specialized Operational Combatant, she was one of the most respected soldiers in the military. Now she's doing hard labor on the most miserable planet in the universe.

Not for long.

The Earth Republic is looking for the most dangerous individuals it can control. The best of the worst, and Abbey happens to be one of them. The deal is simple: Bring back the starships, earn your freedom. Try to run, you die. It's a suicide mission, but she has nothing to lose.

The only problem? There's a new threat in the galaxy. One with a power unlike anything anyone has ever seen. One that's been waiting for this moment for a very, very, long time. And they want Abbey, too.

Be careful what you wish for.

They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. They have no idea.

First Sentence:
"First time in a dropship, Lieutenant?"

Purchase At:


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The powers of the Republic will do about anything to stop the Outworlders after their latest attack. They destroyed a station with many powerful and elite captains present then stole of the two powerful space ships that were the only thing strong enough to fight the Outworlders. On a secret order, Captain Olis Mann is to do anything to kill who killed their people and stole the ships. Captain Mann feels creating a crew of ex-military and now prisoners with nothing left to lose is the answer.

Jeff is one of the most entertaining voice actors I've listened to. And I will continue to listen to him. He has a voice for every single character, no matter how large or small the part. When we have more than one character responding, we hear more than one character responding. Jeff truly brings the story to life when he tells it. This book is no different than I'd expect from Jeff.

So I know I enjoy M.R. Forbes's books. I know I love listening to Jeff Hays. And I absolutely love this title and description. How could I go wrong when I see it up for review? I HAD TO HAVE IT!

Forbes dives right in with events that shows us the Republic is struggling with Outworlders. There is a real battle between them in the universe. And being in space, it's life or death, and they are fighting for life.

We do get a large cast of characters. Each is in a different place or side of the battles. In doing this we get to see all that is happening, giving the story and world a large feel.

In getting these many different characters views, a few of them are lives that are extinguished with the battles they fight. Sad, but gives us a great view without giving away the "bad guy" and their full intentions. It also gives us the information that another character is sent to investigate while we follow our main characters. There are views from solid characters we follow through the book. Abigail Cage is one of these characters. She's severely wronged. Then someone wants to use her. But she's stronger than them - mentally. She outwits them. Though, because of that she almost gets overlooked when Captain Olis Mann going about fixing things (so we think) is looking for help. Captain Olis Mann is a man on a mission. He's to do what it takes to stop the Outworlders. The Republic have given him free rein to find the ships stolen, and kill who took them and killed so many people in the process.

It's mentioned by a few characters of how the Republic is corrupt. We start to see that with some of the actions being done to and with a few characters. There really is something more than meets the eye with the Republic that's to be good. I'm guessing the Outworlders have very good reason to fight them. But it's sad to see so many lives lost. We also see the Outworlders are not the innocent side either. But in the end we see there may be a third option here. Who are these people and what side are they on? If they are even on a side.

The universe is large. We get many different beings in this book. There are many different aliens (and I'm including humans as we are a being in a vast space system) in this world. I love it! It adds diversity to the cast but also adds to their personalities. Who they are and what they believe makes a huge difference in how they react.

I enjoyed this story. The crew too. A bunch of misfits, or rejects as the title says, that are brought together. But they make an awesome crew with some conflicts mixed in. The crew has a feel like the crew on the tv series Dark Matter. I enjoy this blend of personalities.

This story is all science fiction, though not heavy in the way of trying to understand technology. It's in space, on spaceships, with neat things they all can do. But! There is an element of something more. You get a paranormal feel at the very end of the story. Is it divine or is it alien powers? I don't know, and that's an added curiosity to keep me coming back for more!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Audio Book Review: Strain of Resistance

Strain of Resistance

By:  Michelle Bryan

Publish Date:  February 29, 2016, Audiobook Release October 17, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 6 hrs 14 mins
Narrated By:  Marnye Young

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st book of Bixby Series

Impression:  It's hard to open your heart in a dying world.

I was 12 years old when the world ended. For eight years I've survived in this craphole once known as earth. Fighting the alien parasite that mutated most of the population into blood-thirsty freaks, while the rest of us became the lunch special on their alien menu.

Now things are changing, and not for the better. The parasite is evolving. Becoming smarter, stronger and deadlier.

They've already stolen everything from me. My home. My family. Even the man I loved. It's time for this bullshit to end once and for all.
My name is Bixby and I'm the resistance.

First Sentence:
I was twelve years old when the world ended.

Purchase At:

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Marnye Young is a new narrator for me. I found I enjoyed her smooth voice and pace from the beginning. My brain didn't fight her voice, but instead instantly fell into pace with her narration. The characters felt to be true to the feelings she gave us in voice.

The first chapter is how the world ended and what happened to the people. This could have easily been boring, but it was well done! I got to know Bixby and what happened to the world. We see what the threat is and what they will be fighting. We also get hints as to weaknesses for the creatures. All this was well written that it kept my attention with being filled with a faster pace.

We have people who were not infected by the alien spores and are now fighting to survive in the world of people who are zombie like with the alien in them. Why are these people not infected? We get that answer as the story goes. I like that there are reasons for how and why things are the way they are. It puts my mind to ease, and the author does that. She gives me these answers so I can focus on the characters and what they are fighting for, and the romance that is present.

The story also has a romance to it. Bixby has a current lover, but she doesn't want love involved. Her heart still has a strong hold on Sam, who left a year ago and hasn't returned. Bixby starts to learn that she needs to open up her heart again, and this man is a perfect match for her. This is something Bixby thinks on through the book and finally accepts. (Although, after the ending, I think there's going to be heartache.)

It's been eight years since the first infection. They know what they are fighting and how to fight it. Though, there are changes seen. It's looking like the leeches are evolving and becoming a new, more dangerous, threat to the dwindling human survivors. Now, how do they stop this new threat from birthing and destroying what's remaining of humanity?

This is not a new story. The idea of the aliens and even the love relationships are something we're familiar with. But the author did a wonderful job of creating her own characters in the world. They are their own individuals and felt to stick out in this world for me. That's what makes the story for me.

The blend of hard personality to prevent feeling the hurt of lose in this world and growth of love along with an infected world one has to fight to survive was something that I slipped into and enjoyed. The book held my attention and I enjoyed Bixby's hard personality. Though, I can see some readers not liking Bixby's harsh personality. But, in her defense, it's her way of protecting herself and her heart. I really felt to understand why she was the way she was. And loved seeing her come to a realization in the end.

This book has an ending for what they are working to achieve. However, there was a comment made in the end that had me curious for the next book. Then, we get the last chapter which goes with the comment and REALLY has me curious about what will happen in the next book - with threat and love sides of the story.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Audio Book Review: Steamforged


By:  Eric Asher

Publish Date:  February 2, 2016, Audiobook Release July 3, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 57 mins
Narrated By:  Saskia Maarleveld

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk, Young Adult

Series:  2nd book of Steamborn Series; 1st Book ~ Steamborn

Impression:  Growth in characters and world, bringing us to ready for war.

There are old wounds in the forgotten places of the world, and some are soaked in blood.

Jacob and his allies flee into the Deadlands after the fall of Ancora. Charles, the enigmatic smith, hopes to find answers in the desert city of Bollwerk that could prevent a war.

Their enemies are many, and here Jacob will learn the cost of life in the Deadlands.

First Sentence:
Jacob watched Drakkar cinch a belt beneath the Walker, securing yet another leather saddlebag to the creature's back.

Purchase At:


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I do enjoy listening to Saskia voice this story. She was the narrator from the first book as well. She does a great job at differentiating the characters by voice. But, again, I felt I had to speed up the audio. At a faster pace, I moved through the book catching all that was happening.

We learn more of the land and see outlying areas. In the first book we primarily were in Ancora and started to hear names of other places, ending at a new place. Now we start to see different lands and learn more. There is a great deal more outside of Ancora than the kids had ever expected. They had read of the places in the book they found, but to see and experience the places is all new. However, with these new places come great dangers.

This feels a story that is catching for it's atmosphere. The world that the characters live in is different and interesting with the bugs and land and mechanics. We see many of what is described in the book Jacob and Alice have read. We do get to see the Mechs. The people with mechanical body parts that are feared. Though I do think the story is slower paced with all we see in the world.

For me, the beginning of the story is rather slow with all the world details we are given. I wanted to get to the important stuff. It felt that all we lived through was secondary items that are in life.

Every world has some sort of prejudice, whether it's poverty level or skin tone or even body parts of metal. This world has it too. We small glimpses of it as the story goes. That helps build the world but seeing some of this highlighted in the beginning and what is pointed out in the world, I expected it to surface again more importantly later in the book. Some of it does pop up, but not as heavy yet. Though, it does show where the fears and thoughts in the system at Ancora had come from. I'm wondering if it's a huge build up to the end.

Most of the story is from Jacob's POV, but we do get views from Alice, Charles, and Samuel. Even Drakkar. Jacob has an obstacle he must overcome. With the way the book began (actually the first book touched on), I expected it to happen. And it did. Alice is not a dainty little girl as some would thing. She hardens here, and comes to a new view on things. I like the person Alice is. She's got a flare to her.

If it wasn't for the danger that the characters are coming into, I'd say this book would be for the younger group of young adults. The story is simple and things are repeated to clarify what is happening and the plans they are making. Well written for a younger reader.

This book feels like a transition book. It's setting up for a great battle and war to come in the next book. It's putting into place all the pieces and people so we understand why things are going to get ugly in the future. It also brings the characters across events and actions they must take to be to a place to go into war.

****If my thoughts helped, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Audio Book Review: Hunter, Healer

Hunter, Healer

By:  Lilith Saintcrow

Publish Date:  May 5, 2016, Audiobook Release October 5, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 54 mins
Narrated By:  Rayna Cole

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Series:  2nd book of The Society Series; 1st Book ~ The Society

Impression:  Love is strong and one will do great things for it.

Their first mistake? Kidnapping her lover. Their second? Thinking she wouldn't do something about it.

The black-ops government agency known as Sigma has shattered the resistance, destroyed its infrastructure, and taken its best operative captive. It's about as bad as it can get, but Sigma's forgotten one thing: Rowan Price.

Rowan is no longer a civilian in the shadow war. Her talents are fully trained, and she's become something she never dreamed of—a cool, clinical, lethal psionic operative. Working as Henderson's second-in-command, she's utterly focused on two things: repairing the Society's infrastructure and rescuing Justin Delgado. Yet under her shell of calm and gentleness, her rage is simmering...and it's about to break loose.

Delgado knows he can't remember something important. He puts up with Sigma's beatings and questioning, the pain and the torture...

First Sentence:

Purchase At:


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

It's been three months since Delgado was taken. Rowan and the Society have been on the move, staying a hairs breath reach away from Sigma's fingers. Delgado did something to his mind, and he can't remember. He does know that Sigma has been drugging and beating him, asking where some girl named Rowan Price is. They want this girl. Bad. He doesn't know who she is, but if she's staying ahead of Sigma then he potentially trained her, and maybe she could help him.

Rayna is back for book two! Yes! I thought her voice fit Rowan perfectly in the first book as it fits the descriptions given of Rowan's voice. Rayna carries Rowan's emotions so well in her voice. Along with Delgado when we are in his head. There are moments that are italicized in the book to represent thoughts, which can be hard to relate vocally so the listener doesn't think the character is talking. Doing it with a slightly lower volume or whisper helps us differentiate these moments. I'm amazed at the talent Rayna has in jumping from Rowan's emotions to Delgado's emotions. They are both on a different feel, and it's portrayed in the quick scenes with grace from Rowan.

I was waiting for this audio book. I wanted to know how things would go after the ending of the first book.

Where Delgado kept his ability hidden and reserved in book one, we see him in action here. He's a killing machine when Sigma needs him to be. Or when he wants to be. We also get to see Rowan starting to understand her powers. She does more with them now, knowingly.

Rowan has grown stronger. In her ability and in character. She was weaker in the first book and still looks for her rock and love, Delgado, but she can function on her own. As a matter of fact, she can help run the team. She doesn't realize she's stepped into the position Delgado held, and she's doing an amazing job at it. Rowan is a complicated character. At times she seems like she should be weak and dependent, but she's not. There is so much more to her that makes her stronger and caring.

Delgado trained her to fight, in case this happened. In case he was taken and turned against her. He pushed Rowan past her limits when they were last together in the training room, but he knew he had to in order to keep her safe. Delgado's worst fears came true, and now Rowan is strong enough to survive against him. But she's more than that. She means the world to Delgado and he will find his way back to her.

What Delgado had to do to himself to protect Rowan from being found has lingering flickers for Delgado. Things are a tad rocky with him and Rowan as they find each other again. We see Rowan and Delgado as they are attracted to each other, but they are afraid of how things have changed. The story is more romance of how they find their way back to each other than what happens in bed, although that is present as well. This is more of the growing love they have.

The book feels to have a balance of romance and action. There is more story with Rowan and Sigma and Delgado and Sigma, as we get POV's from Rowan and Delgado. The story comes to an end, but there is an opening to possibly continue with these characters. I'd be up for it if it happens, but I'm happy with the way this ended as well.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunday Post #185 - I'm back!

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


Hi all! Sorry for the month and a half off. It'll be a touchy month here in December as well with the holiday so close. (Still lots to do to get ready.) But things have gone well. I made it through November and completed my hours I set as a goal. Yeah! I also completed the first round of re-writes and have started the second round. Yeah again! I'm hoping to get it touched up this round to a point to send out for a read through to someone that can help me through the rest and fine tuning the story (and if it's even worth fine tuning).

We've been busy with lots of family stuff on weekends. And started readying for the holidays. So much! I'll be working on photo posts over at Spellbound in a Flash as well. Oh! I picked up a new camera that was on sale. Sweet! I'm learning this camera and how the pictures are looking with different settings. It's totally different from my old camera. We also cut down our tree and started decorating. I still have a few rooms to clean and set up yet. I've got a few full weekends on the way, but hope to get to visit you all a little bit.

So, what have you been up to? Hope everyone is doing well!


The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I ... Have been a complete slacker! Life is going full time and trying to everything I want is hard. lol.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Winter of Ice and Iron by Rachel Neumeier
AND Content Editing work

Current Audiobook:
Teeth of the Gods by Sarah K.L. Wilson

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Alone by Scott Sigler (You can listen for free too! Go to Scott's website.)

Finished Last Week: 
Void Trip by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus

Audiobooks from Audible:
Deadlands: Boneyard by Seanan McGuire
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Hunter, Healer by Lilith Saintcrow
Steamforged by Eric Asher
Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan
Hell's Rejects by M.R. Forbes

Finished Podcast Book Listen:

Stonebriar Casefiles: Bad Alchemy by Laura Nicole Spencer (You can listen for free too!) - Author's stopped posting it.

Last Two Weeks on the Blog:

Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)

Guest Posts:


Spellbound in a Flash:

Spellbound in a Flash now has a Facebook Page!
Football season has started, so you can catch my photos of the games at the Facebook Page.

Challenged Writers:

Around the Internet...

The Half-Assed Wizard by Gary Jonas

"I enjoyed the way Gary plotted this story to come together in the end. Crafty. There was a twist to who's connected to who and what the ultimate goal is. I was surprised at one twist to the story. I enjoyed the power we find in Brett and curious to see what he may do with it in the future, along with his friends too."

Curiouser and Curiouser by Melanie Karsak

"I was pleasantly surprised with Melanie's creation here. She captured so many important elements from Alice in Wonderland yet wrote a different story that feels true to the world. So well done!"

Boneyard by Seanan McGuire

"These characters have internal battles they are fighting before they come to the external ones. They grow in their experiences and understandings along with fighting what's after them. Great parallel here with both. Sometimes external battles help make the internal ones clearer. Annie has more baggage she's carrying along, more battles she'll have to fight with what and who is after her."

Void Trip by Ryan O'Sullivan & Plaid Klaus

"I quickly found, I enjoyed these two characters and thought I could have fun reading them. And the being after them, he would give me enough of that rushing heart beat to wonder if Ana and Gabe will get caught and what will happen if they do. Though, I have this hunch there is more to this being that's after them."

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

"...the book was well written in this way, to rise a feeling from me. This means I cared for someone and didn't like others. But, as this is happening I saw sparks of moments where the one being used was slowly making her way into the man's heart and attention. I melted in these small moments."

Podcast Review:

Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have two reviews to finish and schedule for you.


Received For the Last Month:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)

For Review Consideration:

Audio Books Requested for Review:
Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan
Goodreads Synopsis:
I was 12 years old when the world ended. For eight years I've survived in this craphole once known as earth. Fighting the alien parasite that mutated most of the population into blood-thirsty freaks, while the rest of us became the lunch special on their alien menu.

Now things are changing, and not for the better. The parasite is evolving. Becoming smarter, stronger and deadlier.

They've already stolen everything from me. My home. My family. Even the man I loved. It's time for this bullshit to end once and for all.
My name is Bixby and I'm the resistance.

Teeth of the Gods by Sarah K. L. Wilson
Goodreads Synopsis:
My world is unraveling and it's all my fault. 

I'm alone in the world, my magic won't surface, my mother is dead, and everything I do just seems to make things worse. My father is planning to chain me to an enemy he defeated - literally. What should I do? I refuse to just give up my freedom! Is it really too much to ask that someone be on my side and that I get to have just a little bit of fun before my life ends?

The Legends Saga Collection by Stacey Rourke
Amazon Synopsis:
The Horseman is unending, his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse, you become the legend.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane seeks a way to break free from her soul crushing bond. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Dizzying time travel. Coercive witchcraft. The lines between fact and fiction blur as the works of Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, HG Wells, and Nathaniel Hawthorne come alive around her in this thrilling three book series:


H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS by Natalie Wright
Goodreads Synopsis:
A deadly alien virus spawns an epidemic. Predators attack Europe. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.

In this heart-pounding finale of the award-winning H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. They fought for their lives. Now they battle to save our species.

Tex and Erika are fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges from the ordeal changed in body and mind and with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from overtaking the human population and destroying those he has come to love. 

Erika Holt seeks a respite from the constant threats to her life but she’s not about to give up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the intra-galactic highway used by invaders who prey on humans, she grows closer to her troubled half-human companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Jack? 

Jack Wilson, with his friend Anna Sturgis, is on a mission of his own. He’s determined to destroy The Makers, an illuminati-like organization behind the H.A.L.F. program. It’s time to put an end to their schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, an anti-viral that could save millions from an alien virus has been stolen. As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.

Spirited Christmas by Gary Jonas
Goodreads Synopsis:
In this short novelette, a little girl hires Jonathan to get rid of a ghost that haunts her family every Christmas. The hauntings have escalated from sightings to full possession. It should be an open-and-shut exorcism, but when Jonathan discovers the truth, it's more than he bargained for...
Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
Goodreads Synopsis:
Shakespeare in Love meets A Christmas Carol in this transporting debut novel set during the whirlwind period in which Dickens wrote his beloved classic, as he embarks on a Scrooge-like journey of his own.

For Charles Dickens, each Christmas has been better than the last. His novels are literary blockbusters, and he is famous on the streets of London, where avid fans sneak up on him to snip off pieces of his hair. He and his wife have five happy children, a sixth on the way, and a home filled with every comfort they could imagine. But when Dickens’ newest book is a flop, the glorious life he has built for himself threatens to collapse around him. His publishers offer an ultimatum: either he writes a Christmas book in a month, or they will call in his debts, and he could lose everything. Grudgingly, he accepts, but with relatives hounding him for loans, his wife and children planning an excessively lavish holiday party, and jealous critics going in for the kill, he is hardly feeling the Christmas spirit. 

Increasingly frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace and inspiration in London itself, his great palace of thinking. And on one of his long walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets a young woman in a purple cloak, who might be just the muse he needs. Eleanor Lovejoy and her young son, Timothy, propel Dickens on a Scrooge-like journey through his Christmases past and present—but with time running out, will he find the perfect new story to save him? 

In prose laced with humor, sumptuous Victorian detail, and charming winks to A Christmas Carol, Samantha Silva breathes new life into an adored classic. Perfect for fans of Dickens, for readers of immersive historical fiction, and for anyone looking for a dose of Christmas cheer, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is destined to become a perennial holiday favorite.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Goodreads Synopsis:
Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

Glass Town by Steven Savile
Goodreads Synopsis:
A brilliantly rendered story about obsession and one man's attempt to unravel the mystery that destroyed his grandfather's life, set against a magical and intricately woven cityscape.

Steven Savile has been an international sensation, selling over half a million copies of his novels worldwide and writing for cult favorite television shows including Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Stargate. Now, he is finally making his US debut with Glass Town, a brilliantly composed novel revolving around the magic and mystery lurking in London. 

In 1926, two brothers both loved Eleanor Raines, a promising young actress from the East End of London. But, along with Seth Lockwood, she disappeared, never to be seen again. Isaiah, Seth’s younger brother, refused to accept that she was just gone. 

It has been seventy years since and the brothers are long dead. But now their dark, twisted secret, threatens to tear the city apart. Seth made a bargain with Damiola, an illusionist, to make a life size version of his most famous trick, and hide away part of London to act as a prison out of sync with our time, where one year passes as one hundred. That illusion is Glass Town. And now its walls are failing. 

Reminiscent of Clive Barker’s Weaveworld and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Savile brings out the magic in the everyday. Glass Town is full of gritty urban landscapes, realistic characters, conflict, secrets, betrayals, magic, and mystery.

Villain's Pride by M.K. Gibson
Goodreads Synopsis:
The Shadowmaster is back . . . whether you wanted him to be or not! 

Jackson Blackwell, The Shadowmaster, is in over his head this time. After his last adventure, where he tore fantasy novels a new one, Jackson has to deal with the repercussions of angry gods, angrier conspirators, and the wrath of his pregnant girlfriend! 

(I know . . . actual consequences in a comedy/action series? How avant-garde! --I think. Okay look, I really don’t know what that means. I’ve always just wanted to say it and I’m too lazy to look it up.) 

Thanks to a godly decree and a crafty clause, Jackson has been banished from his home. And the only universe kindly enough to take him in is one infested with comic-book-style superheroes and supervillains. A perfect place to cause mayhem, right? Well, it wouldn’t be much of a book if it were. 

Comics don’t play by the rules and Jackson has been tasked to do something “unique.” Whatever is a villain to do? 

Follow the adventure of Jackson Blackwell as he attempts to manipulate his way back to the top while dealing with all manner of dark detectives, godly aliens, expensive power suits, and the most daunting challenge of all . . . looming parenthood.

Dark Time by Dakota Banks
Goodreads Synopsis:
Three hundred years ago, she sold her soul to a demon. Now she wants it back.

For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life - as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her soul. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she saves a life for every one she has taken, she will be free.

But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable . . . and neverending.

Trace of Magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis
Goodreads Synopsis:
Even the most powerful tracers can’t track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Lock Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I’ll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions. 

Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she’s on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war.

Free Ebooks:
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Elemental Secrets by Elle Middaugh
Goodreads Synopsis:
With her mother long deceased and her father recently deployed, Valerie Moore is sent to live with her eccentric aunt in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Being a Navy brat has made her into a bit of a loner, and making friends isn’t high on her list. 

Time with her aunt, however, soon convinces her that a life of loneliness really isn’t what she wants. So, she opens up and makes a few friends - friends with secrets. 

Her love life quickly becomes a mess. Torn between the conflicted heartbreaker next door, the persistent jock at the top, and the rugged college bad boy, Valerie finds it almost impossible to choose just one guy. 

Romance isn’t her only problem, though. 

Secrets are revealed about her family, her friends and relationships, and her whole world… 

But the biggest secret of all is unveiled when Valerie discovers she has Elemental powers, unleashing a rapid chain of irreversible events.

Elemental Lies by Elle Middaugh
Goodreads Synopsis:
Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.

After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.

When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.

From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.

All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?

The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Goodreads Synopsis:
Three times they tried to kill her. Then a professional was hired. So was Riyria.

When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they're asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.

Magic of the Gargoyles by Rebecca Chastain
Goodreads Synopsis:
Mika Stillwater is a mid-level earth elemental with ambitions of becoming a quartz artisan, and her hard work is starting to get noticed. But when a panicked baby gargoyle bursts into her studio, insisting Mika is the only person she’ll trust with her desperate mission, Mika’s carefully constructed five-year plan is shattered. 

Swept into the gritty criminal underworld of Terra Haven, Mika must jeopardize everything she’s worked so hard for to save the baby gargoyle from the machinations of a monster—and to stay alive…

Blackbeard's Freedom by Jeremy McLean
Goodreads Synopsis:
What would you do for your Freedom?

Would you steal?

For Edward Thatch, there is no questioning the depths he will go for his Freedom.

Edward didn’t know he bought a former pirate ship, and when the marine captain Isaac Smith threatened to take his ship, and Freedom, away Edward took matters into his own hands.

Edward’s action sends him, and his best friend Henry Morgan, running from the law on an adventure across the historical Caribbean & Latin America. The two will have to fight not only to stay alive, but to stay free during the so-called “Golden Age” of piracy.

Edward also finds that half the ship he bought is locked, and the previous owner left clues to find the keys. Edward and his crew must follow the clues and face games of life and death before they can claim said keys.

Will Edward and Henry embrace the life that’s been thrust upon them, or will they crash against the rocks of their misfortune? See how Blackbeard came to be the scourge of the Caribbean Sea and beyond, and follow him on his fantasy adventures in The Voyages of Queen Anne’s Revenge!

A Burden Given by James Bee
Goodreads Synopsis:
No good deed goes unpunished. 
Gerald is a bastard, born to a Queen who despises him. Tasked with investigating a suspicious death, Gerald is sent far from his home in the Capital. However, when he arrives at the village Redstone, he finds unexpected dangers waiting for him. Now Gerald is isolated, outnumbered, and far from the life that he knew. Yet he must succeed, no matter the odds, if those under his protection are to survive. Packed with mystery, politics and pulse quickening action, A Burden Given is a fast paced read that pulls you in and doesn't let go.

Kitty Cat by May Sage
Goodreads Synopsis:
Aisling has every reason in the world to like her life as it is: away from the shifter community. Tucked in her little corner of the world, she sees no reason to gets involved in the drama of the ever warring packs, until trouble knocks at her door.
Trouble wrapped in a delicious package her cat wants to claw.

Raygan didn't know what he expected when he moved his pride to the loner's territory; maybe having to deal with a criminal, or someone in hiding. Instead, he found a fiercely protective, insanely attractive lunatic with secrets he wants to unravel.
A lunatic who might very well be his fated mate.
This book is a standalone; expect a full resolution, no cliffhanger. Also expect explicit language.

Born to Magic by David Wind
Goodreads Synopsis:
Welcome to Nevaeh— a world where technology no longer exists, but magic does. 

Long ago, the violence and radiation of the terrorist wars killed America. Those left dwell in a world of ritual and magic where ten dominions struggle for supremacy and a dark power rises to claim all. 

Areenna, the only daughter of the King of Freemorn, is barely eighteen, yet her psychic ability is strong. She is summoned to ‘The Island’ and learns that the fate of her world is in her hands. She must undertake a perilous journey to save Nevaeh from destruction. But she will not travel alone. 

Mikaal, the son of the High King of Nevaeh, has as much at stake as Areenna. Their quest takes them through haunted wastelands filled with mutants while an evil force does everything in its power to stop Areenna and Mikaal—for it wants Nevaeh as its own.

Mistletoe and Mischief: A Collection of Magical Holiday Tales (anthology)
Goodreads Synopsis:
Limited Edition Holiday Collection!

Sixteen magical holiday stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. This collection will whisk you from Christmas season in steampunk London to Yule celebrations with the coven to Hanukkah celebrations with a supernatural twist. Battle Krampus, ghosts, vampires, demons, and a hell of an eggnog hangover in this special collection of paranormal, horror, urban fantasy, and steampunk holiday tales.

PEPPERMINT AND PENTACLES: A Steampunk Christmas Fairy Tale by Melanie Karsak
HELL'S SILVER BELLS by Margo Bond Collins
POINSETTIAS and POLTERGEISTS: A Southern Stones Short by Blaire Edens
ALL IS BRIGHT by Jayne Fury
'TWAS THE NIGHT by Evan Winters
HOLIDAY MAGIC by Carrie L. Wells
DAWN by T.K. Bradley
THE TOWN IN THE MOUNTAIN by Angelique Archer & J. Mills
EGGNOG & EXORCISM by Deb Christie & Margo Bond Collins

Murder of a Werewolf by April Fernsby
Goodreads Synopsis:
A Cozy Mystery With Witches 

Brimstone - a town where supernatural beings live - and where crime is on the increase. 

Just like her gran, Cassia Winter is a witch. The Winter witches are responsible for investigating crimes in Brimstone. The only problem is, Cassia doesn’t know she’s a witch yet. 

When Gran tells Cassia about her true nature, Cassia dismisses it as nonsense. But a terrible incident causes Cassia to change her mind. With her cat, Stanley, at her side, Cassia enters Brimstone and is soon investigating the murder of a werewolf.

As Dead As A Vampire by April Fernsby
Goodreads Synopsis:
A Cozy Mystery With Witches 

Cassia Winter is a witch. She investigates crime in the supernatural town of Brimstone. 

There’s an increase in the illegal use of black magic in Brimstone resulting in the crime rate escalating. Taking her gran’s advice, Cassia takes up residence in town so she can observe anyone who’s acting out of character. 

It’s not long before Cassia comes across the murdered body of a vampire. Cassia discovers he was a particularly nasty vampire who had countless enemies – and there are many residents who are happy to see him dead. But which one of his enemies actually killed him? 

Glimpses: An Anthology of 16 Short Fantasy Stories
Goodreads Synopsis:
16 Short Fantasy Stories written exclusively for this anthology
Take a Glimpse into 16 fantasy worlds with this anthology of short fiction by some of the brightest new fantasy fiction talent.
Download this amazing collection of fantastic stories and find your next favourite fantasy author today.
Stories from: Adrian G Hilder, Cameron Wayne Smith, Craig A Price Jr, Eloise Hamann, J C Kang, Georgina Makalani, Kevin Partner, Kevin Potter, Killian C Carter, Nicholas Kotar, S K Randolph, Sarah KL Wilson, Shawn Robert Smith, Stefan M Nardi, Tom Hansen, Victoria DeLuis & Meg Cowley

The Little White Christmas Lie by Kristy Tate
Goodreads Synopsis:
Carson Trent doesn't know that the beautiful Millie Cruise who literally falls into his lap on the morning train is really Camille Harper, a rock star of the romance industry. 
Millie doesn't know she is headed for Carson's grandmother's picture perfect inn in a quaint New England town. 
Neither Carson or Millie know that their lives are about to spin out of control thanks to a patch of black ice, a cow, and a little white Christmas lie. 

Fugitive of Magic by Linsey Hall
Goodreads Synopsis:
In the city of Magic's Bend, I protect what's mine. No matter what.

To the world, I'm a just a Conjurer. To my closest friends, I'm a FireSoul--a dangerous Magica with forbidden powers and a dragon's soul. The downside? If anyone discovers what I am, I'm dead. So I lay low, kicking butt with my weapons, not my magic.

Things get ugly when I witness the murder of a powerful vampire ally and become the key suspect. Soon, I'm hunted by the sexiest, strongest supernatural I've ever met. Ares is an unheard of vampire hybrid, and it's hard to say if he wants to kiss me or kill me.

I've got three days to catch the real killer. The bad news? It will take my forbidden magic to succeed. But can I control it, much less keep my secret with Ares watching my every move? Especially when the stakes get ever higher?

I'm used to protecting I have to protect myself.

I'm Not Afraid of Wolves by Erin Hayes
Goodreads Synopsis:
Christine would do anything to get away from it all.

After escaping an abusive marriage and heading up a group of brand new performers, she’s tired and in need of a vacation. So when her sister Sara wants her to go camping out in the mountains of Georgia with the girls, she packs her bags for some rest and relaxation. Not even meeting a gorgeous park ranger like Colton Donnelly is going to distract her.

Except Sara didn’t tell her the real reason for the trip: she’s running away from a terrible secret. One that puts all of their lives in danger.

Now the vacation that Christine so desperately needed is ruined, but that’s the least of her worries. She has to use her wits and skills to save them all. Because she soon finds out that werewolves are very real. And they’ll stop at nothing to get their claws into her sister.

How to Talk to Ghosts by Erin Hayes
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lita didn't expect to inherit trouble when her uncle died. 

As someone who can talk to ghosts, Lita’s always been more comfortable around the dead than the living. That's especially true with her estranged father, who cares more about building his business empire than her. 

Then her eccentric Uncle Neptune died, leaving behind an aquarium that Lita’s dad wants for himself. The only problem: Neptune left it to someone else. 

Now Lita’s dad wants her to help him to get it back. But her uncle’s friends are so…strange. It seems like everyone has their secrets, including her father. And he will stop at nothing to fulfill an ancient conspiracy to take over the world.

And Lita may be the only one who can stop it.

How to Be A Mermaid by Erin Hayes
Goodreads Synopsis:
All Tara ever wanted was to be a mermaid. 

So she takes a year off between high school and college to don a fake tail and tour aquariums across the country in a professional mermaid troupe.

Everything's great until she meets a gorgeous real-life merman named Finn. Suddenly, what she thought was a dream turns out to be a nightmare -- she's turning into a mermaid herself. For real.

Yet when she returns to the sea to seek out Finn and reverse her transformation, she finds herself in the middle of an impending war between the land and sea. Tara may have always wanted to be a mermaid, but now it's sink or swim. In order to survive, she has to learn how to be one, too.

Blood and Mistletoe by E.J. Stevens
Goodreads Synopsis:
Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are bloodsucking vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the bestselling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common—they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind—a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim's blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she'll be lucky to survive Christmas.

Blood and Mistletoe is an Ivy Granger series novella.

Free Audio Books/Stories:

Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
Hunter, Healer by Lilith Saintcrow
Steamforged by Eric Asher
Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan
Hell's Rejects by M.R. Forbes