Thursday, March 21, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Terra Gambit

The Terra Gambit

By:  Terry Mixon

Publish Date:  February 23, 2018, Audiobook Release August 3, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 34 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Science Fiction, Space Opera

Series:  8th in The Empire of Bones series; Book 1 ~ Empire of Bones, Book 2 ~ Veil of Shadows, Book 3 ~ Command Decisions, Book 4 ~ Ghost of Empire, Book 5 ~ Paying the Price, Book 6 ~ Reconnaissance in Force, Book 7 ~ Behind Enemy Lines

Impression:  Moving forward with battle plans with a few bumps.

Sent on a mission critical to the survival of the New Terran Empire, Jared Mertz must travel deep into the AI-dominated Rebel Empire on an operation of deception.

Only there are games afoot that no one could foresee and players at the table that no one could expect. The stakes couldn't be higher.

When unexpected enemies deal themselves in, Jared must bet everything on a single hand. Bluffing might get him killed but folding isn't an option.

First Sentence:
"I left her there," Jared Mertz said. "This is my fault."

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

Veronica. I'm astounded by Veronica's voice work each time I hear her. She's great at different voice tones, personalities, and accents to differentiate each character as they speak. I love it! And this book/series, well, Terry gives her a wide cast to vocalize and make individual. And Veronica does that with what feels ease to a listener. She's one of my top favorite narrators.

Wow. Book eight!? It doesn't even feel like I should be on book eight. This is definitely a series you need to read in order.

It's been a while since I finished book 7, so I'm thrilled with the brief refresher in discussions happening to bring me back up to speed with where everyone is. I love how Terry easily inserts the relevant details to let us know where everyone is sitting and makes them important to the here and now moment. Terry also adds a new element to his people that he keeps organized for us. When you listen or read the books, you'll see what it is. I know I've said this before but Terry is a master at handling a large cast of characters so I know who they are and where they are from or at. This is a huge talent I appreciate as a listener.

With being book eight, we use what we've come across in the universe. Terry gives us a surprise visitor from Omega. If you aren't aware, Omega is connected to other universes that are of a parallel feel to the one we "live" in. And we get to see that here.

As many things move forward, somethings go backward. Jared and many others are moving forward in the battle against AI's and preparing. They need the scepter to open vaults, as do others in another universe. They move forward with living their lives and against the AI's, but something Jared dealt with before has surfaced to be his obstacle again, along with the dangers they face in their battle.

It feels as we are getting a do over with a few items as we tend to the needs of another universe, but there is a new element to all this. In explaining all that they bring to the doppelgangers, we get the whole story on what we've found in the previous seven books along with how it all connects. This was a bonus for me as I need reminded about the Singularity and Old Empire war and how the AI's fit into it all.

It felt as though there wasn't as much danger in the first half of the book, but building up to what could happen and placing all the proper details in the right places and to the correct people to use them. Then, once we take off, there will be lots of trouble to fight through.

Ugh. We end on a cliffhanger ending. Things aren't resolved at the end and there are several huge things happening here. It feels like there is so much more to happen, and it'll be all action. I want it!! I've seen the next book is out, so I'll have to get to it to resolve what we have here. I'm hoping it ties in with this ending as I really want to know!

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Audio Book Review: The Centaur's Last Breath

The Centaur's Last Breath

By:  April Fernsby

Publish Date:  July 3, 2017, Audiobook Release January 25, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 4 hrs 45 mins
Narrated By:  Rebecca McKernan

Genre:  Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Series:  3rd in A Brimstone Witch Mystery series; Book 2 ~ As Dead As A Vampire

Impression:  Relaxing cozy mystery with magic

A Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Cassia Winter is a witch. With the help of her cat, Stanley, she investigates crime in the magical town of Brimstone.

A centaur has died while out on a run. His death is confirmed as heart failure by a doctor. But the centaur’s father is adamant that his son was murdered and asks for Cassia’s help.

Cassia starts to investigate the centaur’s death and is soon convinced it was murder. Furthermore, she discovers the centaur had made many enemies in the lead-up to his death.

As Cassia and Stanley get deeper into the investigation, a stranger comes into their lives. This stranger is welcome, but things quickly take a turn for the worse and Cassia realises someone is out to cause her a great deal of harm.

First Sentence:
"There's been another murder."

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

When I started the audio book, I had to stop and listen to Rebecca. She's a new voice for me. But I found as she narrated it sounded like she was speaking fast. She also doesn't do much of a difference in character or personality when the person speaking changes. As the book went on, I did pick up slight differences but it took me a little to get settled into her pace. I do like that she has the accent that feels to follow through with Cassia and others in Brimstone.

This book starts the next day after solving the case of the vampire death in book two. There are a few things going on in town. There's still dark magic seeping into the town that's agitating the residents and setting them to violent actions. Blythe thinks she knows who's behind the dark magic, but needs Cassia to tend to a new murder and the complaints from the residents of town. Blythe also asks Luca to help, which brings about another problem for Cassia. Astrid, Luca's girlfriend.

Cassia still doubts her magic. She thinks she'll make a mistake and that mistake will hurt someone. This is something she needs to work on, and starts with small steps. Cassia is growing with each case and contact with people. She's doing her best to not get mad and react, she knows this won't help things. Cassia does a great job of keeping calm.

Cassia does appear to be fair in her questioning for the case. She asks about everything and not jump to conclusions. I like this as she feels to be a true Justice Witch in this fashion, and a fair person. Although, there is more going on in town as people feel to be irritable and it might be impacting Stanley and Cassia.

I have my eye on Astrid though. There is something up with her and I wonder if it has to do with the dark magic seeping into the town or if there's more to her. I do enjoy Luca and him spending time with Cassia. He seems so kindhearted.

This is a relaxing mystery with paranormal twist as it's in a magic city. I kept track of the clues and what Cassia learns along the way and it feels to work out in the end. If you looked at the audiobook length, it's just shy of 5 hours. This book is written in a fashion that the story moves forward with each scene. There is no wasted time here. I love this, no wasted words.

I've enjoyed visiting Brimstone, and look forward to doing so in the future.

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Audio Book Review: Valley of Dry Bones

Valley of Dry Bones

By:  J.F. Penn

Publish Date:  January 6, 2016, Audiobook Release January 21, 2019

Format:  Audiobook - 6 hrs 4 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Suspense

Series:  10th in ARKANE series; Book 1 ~ Stone of Fire, Book 2 ~ Crypt of Bone, Book 6 ~ Gates of Hell, Book 7 ~ One Day in New York, Book 8 ~ Destroyer of Worlds, Book 9 ~ End of Days

Impression:  Facing what they've lived through, and more.

An ancient prophecy.
An occult secret.
The power to raise the dead.

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author, J.F.Penn.

When a long-hidden tomb and a body covered in Voodoo symbols are found in New Orleans, ARKANE agent Jake Timber discovers a mystery that stretches back to the Spanish Empire and the bloody dungeons of the Inquisition.

But he is not the only one who seeks the Hand of Ezekiel. A shadowy billionaire, backed by those who seek immortality at any price, will stop at nothing to find the relics that can turn bones to living flesh.

When disaster strikes in the heart of the Louisiana bayou, Jake calls on ARKANE agent Morgan Sierra to help him once more as they race against time across the outposts of the Spanish Empire.

From Madrid and Toledo to the Philippines, Peru, and on to New Orleans and San Francisco, can Morgan and Jake find the relics and stop the resurrection of the dead?

A page-turning archaeological thriller with elements of the supernatural and occult, Valley of Dry Bones blends religious mystery with Indiana Jones-style action adventure.

Valley of Dry Bones is book 10 in the ARKANE action adventure thriller series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.

First Sentence:
The screaming didn't stop until just before dawn.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

I'm thrilled to listen to Veronica again. I love her voice acting. She's got many great voices for different characters along with accents. And she's so clear in her speaking that I have no problems knowing what words she's saying. Veronica has brought the same love and caring for the characters in this world back to life for us. One thing I noticed in this audiobook is there isn't much of a pause at the end of the chapter. It feels like it's a shock to hear Chapter (number) when I hear it. I don't realize that a chapter has ended until I get the quick next chapter announcement. Lost in the book, I am.

I love that J.F. lets the story dictate the length. Some stories need more pages, other not so much. This is a shorter audio book, at 6 hours, so it's a shorter book. But she hits it all hard along the way, keeping up moving along to find out what they learn and what they will face. The story moves forward constantly. Each scene an important part of the mission in finding the relics. I like we don't get the down time of the characters, but what impacts the story line or the characters relationships.

Where we left off with Morgan in previous book, she had a big possibility of not returning to work for ARKANE. I even thought she might not return but Jake goes on with a new partner. We do get to see Morgan again in this book. The best part, we watch Morgan struggle with what she's seen and make a huge choice that will affect her life... Whether to work for ARKANE or go on with mundane life after all she'd seen and lived through. Jake does return for the current case and is partnered with Naomi, who we meet in a previous book. I like Naomi, but like Jake knows, she's new to the world of ARKANE cases.

What Morgan and Jake have lived through and seen, even sees in this book, has impacted them. It's hard to see and know about things the ARKANE deal with. There's a line that people could cross that questions morality, all for power. The relic found here could bring anyone to cross that line for love or power.

The ending felt as though Morgan and Jake have changed with all they've learned. They act on what they've seen and know. This feels like a turning point for them. This has me curious to read more stories with them and relics they will find.

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

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Audio Book Review: Darkmage


By:  M.L. Spencer

Publish Date:  January 6, 2016, Audiobook Release September 18, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 18 hrs 26 mins
Narrated By:  Simon Wright

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Rhenwars Saga series; Prequel ~ Darkstorm

Impression:  Things aren't easy, but they are how things are lived.

The hope of the world rests in the hands of a Darkmage.

The Well of Tears is open and the terror of the night has been unleashed. Now, the last Sentinel left alive with the power to defend his world against the minions of the Netherworld is a man destined to be corrupted into the image of what he hates. In the name of duty, Darien Lauchlin will see oaths forsaken, crowns toppled, friends sacrificed and the land he loves desecrated. For there is a very thin line between duty… and brutal inhumanity.

First Sentence:
Thunder ripped the sky, amplified to a throbbing din by the stone walls that rimmed the square beneath the Hall of the Watchers.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 


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

I'm taken with Simon's narration. His accent and feeling in his voice fits the characters and world created here. He's a perfect match for the story. The narration is clean and clear throughout the book. Simon feels as though he's the story, which lets me focus on what's happening with ease. A wonderful match in voice for the story.

M.L. Spencer catches my attention with the story she's crafted, and her word choices. Wow. She's accomplished a huge thing in fantasy reads with her descriptions that give more than simply showing the scene. She draws me in with the words as it creates a vision in my mind that projects a feeling as well. Wonderful!

After listening to the story for a while, I got the feel for the growth of the characters Kyel and Traver. They find themselves on the front, in the midst of battle against a dark enemy. Their fall and evolution reminds me of a few of Raymond Feist's characters. The way they find their way at the front feels quick but I like where we go with these characters. They feel to have a strong future in the books.

I'm drawn into the lives of Kyel, Traver, Darien, and others as they battle to survive. We do get the story told from different POV's as the characters cross paths and carry on in different directions. This is great as it keeps us up to date with what each character is experiencing, seeing, and learning. These three are our main three but there are a few others who's eyes we see through.

We have a few battles to fight here. There are internal battles for all the characters, whether it be loss of loved ones or freedom, but we also have two battle fronts that collide. There's the war at the front that's trying to keep the enemy from taking all the land. Then there's a new battle we see come to life at the center of the mage system. When the Well of Tears is opened this creates a new, strong foe for all to battle.

I did listen to the prequel before listening to this book, but you don't have to in order to understand the story. The prequel gave a background, which you can read or listen to at any time.

I am totally looking forward to continuing with the series!

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

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Sunday Post #114

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.


I hate the spring forward of the clocks. I feel like I lose an hour and feel the anxiety and stress all day.

Have you ever been so far behind that you don't know where to start? That's where I'm at. I feel like I lost the whole month of February in personal items with being at the hospital with my dad. He is back at the nursing home now, and healing. It was a rough month for him. Now I'm home and have to figure out what to do first.

I was feeling good that I was getting on a path to get to everything before dad went into the hospital. Now... ugh, I just feel like tossing in the towel. I have so much I want to do and to get to with the blog, photos, and writing. It's getting to my anxiety and I don't think I can get to it all. I know I have to take it one step at a time and pick somewhere to start. So I'm going to take a deep breath and dive in somewhere. I took the last week to try to collect myself and relax along with trying to get the house back in order. Now I can start getting back to blogging, photos, and writing.

Some cool news in photos. The photo group I belong to has ties with the county we live in and the county is building a new Children's Center and would like photos to hang on the walls. I submitted eight, as my photo list is short, and they picked four of them! I have to go back to the photos and see if I can do the sizing they want to verify it though. So that's on my list to do. :) I'm excited about this. If I can get them to the size they want and go to the opening, I'll share photos of my pictures on the walls! :D


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 didn't get on the treadmill at all.

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
King of Ashes by Raymond E. Feist
Editing work.

Current Audiobook:
I'll start a new book on Monday.

Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.

Finished Last Week: 
Not yet.

Audiobooks :
The Centaur's Last Breath by April Fernsby
The Terra Gambit by Terry Mixon
A Thousand Fiendish Angels by J.F. Penn
Agent G: Saboteur by C.T. Phipps
Space Force by Jeremy Robinson

Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new yet.



Last Week on the Blog:

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

Guest Posts:


Around the Internet...

Rogue's Quest by Sarah K.L. Wilson

"Tor and Saboraak are a fun match. Well, match... They have strong personalities that clash a bit. The clash is a way that each tell the other what they need to hear, to make them stronger. They made me smile as they told the hard truths to each other. In this short story I grew fond of Tor and Saboraak together and as characters."

Witchbreaker by James Maxey

"We meet Sorrow in the previous book and learned how and why she has a piece of Rott's tooth in her skull. It is fitting for the story to follow her next, as it's a series of the Dragon Apocalypse and she's now connected to a dragon. Sorrow has her vision set on what she's going to do. But her friends open her eyes to somethings she didn't see about herself. This is Sorrow's journey in what she wants and what she learns, sometimes they are connected but don't lead to the same result."

Wild Hawk by Justine Davis

"So much bitterness and anger, it can be motivation for great or terrible things. A few people in this book demonstrate it. All these terrible feelings are fueled by love that was felt to be betrayed in some fashion. But there is one person that might be able to help one of the emotionally hurt people."

Podcast Review:

Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have two reviews scheduled for you this week.


Received For the Last Week:
(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:
A Thousand Fiendish Angels by J.F. Penn
Goodreads Synopsis:
Three short stories inspired by Dante’s Inferno, linked by a book of human skin passed down through generations. On the edge of horror, thriller and the occult. 

Sins of the Flesh: When the tortured and mutilated corpse of a wealthy author is discovered, the police officer sent to investigate finds a curious diary amongst the occult objects at the scene. Will he uncover the author’s secret at the ruined chapel, and can he pay the price that it demands? 

Sins of Treachery: On the death of their Grandfather, twin brothers Simon and Gestas are left a map covered in alchemical symbols that could lead them to great wealth and power. But they find more than they expected in the frozen wastes of the Arctic north … 

Sins of Violence: In a brutal post-apocalyptic world, a young girl is about to be taken to The Minotaur for a Blessing that will end her innocence. Can her sister gain access to the fortified city of Dis in time to stop the ritual and avenge her own lost youth? 

Space Force by Jeremy Robinson
Goodreads Synopsis:
Five years ago, the United States Space Force became a reality. And while those writing the checks took things very seriously, the other military branches did not. As a result, Space Force was populated by undesirables: men and women who made too many mistakes, didn't follow the rules, or...slept with the wrong general's daughter. Three times. On camera. It was a mistake, okay?

My name is Captain Ethan Stone, a decorated member of SEAL Team 6 turned Space Force 'recruit.' While the powers-that-be attempted to make Space Force an embarrassment, they also sent some of the very best minds, fighters, and pilots to the program, because sometimes the best of us decide to take a stand against those same powers. Yeah, yeah. Not me. Though I seem to recall I was standing when...

Sorry. It's a distracting memory.

Flash forward five years and between tenses. President West is in office. Power has shifted. And Space Force is defunded. With just a handful of us still living on base, we find ourselves being evicted. But before all of us can leave, aliens invade. Really ugly ones, too. Super nasty. I don't think I could describe them here without getting the book banned.

Anywho, using their advanced technology, they seal off Space Force Command behind a shrinking force field and kick off a battle royale to the death. Human vs. alien. To the victors goes the Earth. While my boy Frank Taylor and I throw down inside the force field, my main squeeze, First Lieutenant Jennifer Hale, leads an international strike team into freekin' space. It's nuts. Crazy action. Super funny, too, in like a Deadpool way, if that's your thing.

The only way to really know what went down is to snag a copy of this book and read it for yourself...before it's too late. Or wait for the movie. There is going to be a movie, right?

Hale and I agreed to let 'bestselling'* author, Jeremy Robinson, tell our tales. He's not my favorite person in the world, but I think he captured our voices, and the reality of what happened, printing every word we spoke, no matter how offensive, blunt, disgusting, or violent it was. If you're upset by what you read in this book, first, lighten up, but then, blame me. Jeremy Robinson is a fragile flower. He's only to blame for hackneyed writing.

*Bestselling is in quotes because the only bestseller status that matters is New York Times. Doesn't matter if it's not a true reflection of actual sales, popularity, or quality. Everyone knows that, Robinson.

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Goodreads Synopsis:
Age of Myth inaugurates another six-book series set in Elan.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.

Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
Goodreads Synopsis:
In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched readers on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without—and bitter rivalries within.

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits—an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.

Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan
Goodreads Synopsis:
Rich in magic and adventure, Michael J. Sullivan’s soaring fantasy novels are masterworks of heroism, love, and sacrifice. Now, in Age of War, the epic battle between humankind and the cruel godlike beings who once ruled them finally ignites in all its fury.

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile—and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda through a loveless marriage that will result in the betrayal of the person Persephone loves most: Raithe, the God Killer.

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise . . . but at what terrible cost?

Dourado by David Wood
Goodreads Synopsis:
A sunken treasure. An ancient Biblical artifact. A mystery as old as humankind. On January 25, 1829, the Portuguese brig Dourado sank off the coast of Indonesia, losing its cargo of priceless treasures from the Holy Land. One of these lost relics holds the key to an ancient mystery. But someone does not want this treasure to come to light. When her father is murdered while searching for the Dourado, Kaylin Maxwell hires treasure hunter and former Navy Seal Dane Maddock and his partner Uriah "Bones" Bonebrake, to locate the Dourado, and recover a lost Biblical artifact, the truth behind which could shake the foundations of the church, and call into question the fundamentally held truths of human existence. Join Dane and Bones on a perilous adventure that carries them from the depths of the Pacific to ancient cities of stone as they unravel the mystery of the Dourado. 

Darklands by M.L. Spencer
Goodreads Synopsis:
Compelled to obey the dark god he pledged his soul to, Darien finds himself tasked with delivering the people of the Black Lands from under the curse of darkness which shrouds the skies. With the enemy mage Azár, Darien sets out across a barren darkscape to assume his place as the leader of a people who despise him.
As he journeys deeper into the shadowed waste, Darien is confronted with difficult truths that force him to question every loyalty he has ever held. For there, in the brutal proving grounds of the north, Darien will be inexorably forged into the most dangerous adversary the Rhen has ever faced.

Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Garden of Lilies by Eli Constant
Goodreads Synopsis:
This time, helping a ghost might kill her. 

Victoria Cage has one main objective in life—make sure that no one finds out she’s a necromancer. You know, a carrier of that pesky little power that caused zombies to rise back in World War III? 

Of course, it’s hard to stay hidden when you deal with dead bodies. Like, every freaking day. 

Maybe taking over the family funeral home wasn’t the smartest choice in the world, but sometimes being the local mortician and resident ‘crazy pants’ has its benefits. Like… when Victoria’s caught talking to thin air, folks just dismiss it as her own brand of strange. I mean, what person in the business of death isn’t a little weird? 

When a murder victim reanimates on her embalming table, Victoria is drawn into an unfinished business that puts her to the ultimate test. It yanks her in like a fish on a sharp shiny hook, until she’s knee-deep in a cocktail of blood magic, death power, and fairy meddling

Talk about complicated. 

Fans of Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series & Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series will fall in love with this world that mixes a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a lot of kick-ass, relatable necromancer in size twelve jeans. And don’t worry, there are enough sexy AF men to go around. 

Sex & Language Warning 
Victoria Cage has sex… people around her curse. There are dead people sprinkled between instances of profanity (okay, maybe the language isn’t that bad). The Victoria Cage series will also deal with some heavy material—child trafficking, gender acceptance, rape. If you can take the dark with the light, you might just love this series. Me personally? I’m all about the shadows in between. -Eli C.

A Whisper of Smoke by Melinda R. Cordell
Goodreads Synopsis:
From a whisper of smoke … to an apocalypse of fire. 

Skeggi has been raising his brothers ever since their parents died last year. One respite from his never-ending work is the time he spends with his sword-friends, learning to fight and fly dragons. But during battle-practice on dragonback, Skeggi accidentally stumbles upon an invasion force of Danes preparing to attack his city, and all hell breaks loose. 

As the city prepares for war, Skeggi and his friends are sent on a mission to bring back the Queen’s daughter. The sword-friends run into the forest on a perilous journey. Not only must they rescue the Queen’s daughter, but they must escape the wrath of the Dane’s commander, Iron Skull, one of the most dangerous men of Viking legend. The sword-friends have found someone that Iron Skull considers more valuable than gold—his thrall girl. And now he is hunting them to get her back. 

The sword-friends are going to be hard-pressed to get back to Skala … if they even survive the journey.

Cornerstone by Misty Provencher
Goodreads Synopsis:
Nalena Maxwell is The Waste. At least, that’s what she’s been tagged as at school, due to her mother’s obsession with hoarding truckloads of paper, each one scrawled with lines of what appears to be single-sentence stories. The insane volume of paper has forced them out of their house and now threatens to push them out of their apartment, but Nalena’s mother, Evangeline, refuses to part with a single sheet.
Evangeline’s papers are so much more than just a hoarder’s obsession.
They are the reason behind the Maxwell’s tumultuous family past.
And they are the reason why the future is calling upon Nalena as its champion.
Kept in the dark, in order to protect her from the past and future that no mother wants her child to endure, the life she’s presently living is illegible to Nalena. She believes her fate is to be only The Waste, until one night, when Garrett Reese--possibly the school’s most handsome and popular Senior--seeks her out in the back corner of the library with answers and questions that reveal the true ink on Nalena’s destiny.

Witchcraft by Katie M. John
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ever since its earliest days, the small English village of Heargton has been steeped in the occult. Tales of witchcraft and paranormal activity have been part of the local folklore for generations. Some people blame the lay lines that intersect at the very centre of the village, others blame a terrible curse.

700 years on, Heargton Village still holds dark secrets, and when one of the village girls falls victim to a terrible ritual killing, the old superstitions resurface.

At the heart of these whispers are the Meadowsweet sisters. All beautiful, all charming, all eccentric, but it is the middle daughter, seventeen-year-old Fox, who captures the imagination of American newcomer Jeremiah Chase; a deviant New York playboy sent to live with his Aunt in the Chase ancestral home of Coldstone Hall. A place that has its own grisly history.

But, as Jeremiah discovers the history of the Meadowsweet Sisters, the Chase family history is also unearthed, leading Jeremiah to understand that good and evil are not always on opposing sides.

A tale of witchcraft, demons and ghosts, blending traditional English folklore with the American Gothic.

A Chance in Hell by S.K. Gregory
Goodreads Synopsis:
Chaos comes to Bedford... 

Persephone, the former Queen of the Underworld, is about to come face to face with her past, when her old frenemy Eris comes to town. Chaos ensues when bodies start popping up and it looks like Eris has a homicidal partner working with her. 
Persephone isn't about to let her ruin her quiet life, she wants her gone. But things change when she discovers exactly what Eris is after. Could she hold the key to resurrecting the Gods? 
Persephone is determined to find out, because if there is a chance in hell that she can raise Hades, she's going to take it.

The Forest of Adventure by Katie M. John
Goodreads Synopsis:
For Mina Singer, falling in love with a knight on a white horse was never part of the plan. 

Finding herself catapulted into fairyland she discovers that the Real World is not quite what she thought and fairyland is not quite what she imagined. 

The question is... who will come out alive?

Lost Library by Kate Baray
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lizzie led a normal life...until the Book arrived. 

Author Kate Baray begins her new paranormal romance series with Lost Library, a tale of werewolves, magic, adventure and romance. 

John Braxton arrives unannounced on Lizzie’s doorstep. Little does she know that when she invites him for a drink on the porch, Lizzie opens the door to a secret world of Lycan, magic, spelled books, and a power hungry mastermind. Caught up in one man’s search for power, Lizzie soon begins to uncover surprising secrets about her own past and powers—but not before stumbling upon a library like no other. And romance with a serious but sexy Lycan? It might just happen… 

Take a romp through the life of the quirky and well-meaning Lizzie as she discovers exactly what it means to live with magic.

Dawn of the Dreamer by L.J. Higgins
Goodreads Synopsis:
For Amelia Bailey, a normal life is a farfetched reality. She’s an anomaly; a Dreamer. 

In a society where everyone has a microchip implanted in their wrist, the Wristcuff promises to give the wearer nothing but pleasant dreams. But to some, nightmares still prevail. They call them Dreamers, and Amelia Bailey is one of them. 
Desperate to shake the nightmares she’s endured for years, Amelia submits to testing in the hopes of being cured. Then she meets Joe, a mysterious stranger whose shocking revelations open her eyes to the deceit and secrets behind the Wristcuff and its creator, the MultiMind Corporation. 
With her once quiet life spinning out of control, Amelia is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever.

Fight for the freedom to dream, or eradicate her nightmares and lose the ability to think for herself?

Once Upon a Kiss: 17 Romantic Tales
Goodreads Synopsis:
Seventeen all new, magical stories from NY Times and USA Todaybestsellers and award-winning authors that will warm even the coldest hearts. Inspired by old favorites as well as lesser-known tales, find retellings of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Old Rinkrank, King Thrushbeard, The Princess and the Pea, and many more - all with fresh, romantic twists - just in time for Valentine’s Day~ 

THE GLASS MOUNTAIN - Alethea Kontis 
On the way to her wedding, brave and clever Princess Sabine falls into a Glass Mountain, where she is trapped with a crotchety man she calls “Old Rinkrank.” The two form a unique, unlikely friendship while working to escape. 

THE BAKERS GRIMM - Hailey Edwards 
When two struggling business owners compete for the contract of a lifetime, it’s all bakers on deck. Mix in a dollop of rivalry, a tablespoon of romance, and a pinch of magic, and you’ve got the recipe for one heck of a bake-off. May the best decorator win! 

A young woman in ancient Greece is tasked with carving a new statue for Aphrodite's temple. But what happens when she falls in love with her art? 

RED– Sarra Cannon 
Charlotte is searching for a cure to save her sister, but what she finds in the woods is not at all what she expects... 

PRINCESS CHARMING – Yasmine Galenorn 
Sometimes, the road to Happily Ever After leads a girl right past Prince Charming... into the arms of his sister. 

MAD ABOUT YOU – Jennifer Blackstream 
Alice doesn't want to marry the Mad Hatter. Will an unexpected trip to Wonderland change her mind? 

A mermaid gives up everything to be with the mortal man she loves – but can there be a happy ending when the Sea Witch intervenes? 

Juliet enters the afterlife and discovers the truth behind her relationship with Romeo and Paris - and that their greatest challenge is yet to come. 

SOOT AND STONE: A Fae Tale of the Otherworld - Jenna Elizabeth Johnson 
Aisling, a young Faelorehn artist, finds herself falling for the son of one of the famed Tuatha De Danann. The only problem is, she’s unaware of his true identity, and her selfish uncle will do anything to keep her from realizing her dreams. 

Sometimes, a prince isn’t as charming as history would like you to believe. And sometimes, a princess needs an alpha male shifter to find her happily ever after. 

An imp finds herself in a fairytale world without her infernal powers facing an impossible task. Will Sam barter away her firstborn? Will her angelic main-squeeze save her? Or will she come up with a devilish solution of her own? 

THE GLASS SKY - Alexia Purdy 
Star’s refusal of suitors lined up for her hand has her family in knots, but when the city is bombed and overthrown, she loses everything. After she’s rescued by a handsome stranger named Clyde, she sneaks away to save her parents but finds herself trapped in the new president’s clutches. 

RUSH - C. Gockel 
Misogyny is a beast. 
When the incarnation of Creation gets angry at Rush for innocently stating his opinion, she curses him to find true love in two weeks … or else. 

PERCHANCE TO DREAM – Phaedra Weldon 
Her first love has been placed under a spell.

THE TOAD PRINCE - Nikki Jefford
Isabel Ivers’s stepfather will do anything to secure his place as Far North’s new ruler, even if it means marrying her off to the depraved prince of the lowlands.

CRAFTED WITH A KISS - Shawntelle Madison
Despite fighting in countless battles to bring peace to warring kingdoms, Pynnelope, a warrior maiden made of wood, knows no fear. Becoming human is all she desires until she discovers she can have so much more.

A SMALL MAGIC - Devon Monk
A cursed princess, a talking pea, and a wish that changes everything.

Strong Suit by Lauren Blakely
Goodreads Synopsis:
From the day he meets her in the conference room, Noah has his sights set on Ginny. But he'll need to pull out all the stops to win her over in this delightful office romance short story from #1 NYT bestselling author Lauren Blakely!

Free Audio Books/Stories:
(With Audible membership)
Lucky Suit by Lauren Blakely
Goodreads Synopsis:
Listening Length: 2 hours and 25 minutes

Kristen Leonard is done with setups. She’s not interested in your son or your nephew or your butcher or the guy who mows your lawn, thank you very much, grandma! After all, she’s a modern woman—she’ll take her chances on the algorithms of online dating to find her ideal man. Before long, she meets a man who might just be the one—he’s hilarious, quick-witted, and full of heart. And when she meets up with Cameron in real life, he certainly looks exactly like his profile picture…but something’s not quite right.

There’s really no telling what brought them together and all bets are off as to whether or not they can trust their hearts over their heads. After all, can you fall in love with someone you’re not sure you really even know?

Dodge & Twist by Tony Lee
Goodreads Synopsis:
Twelve years on from the events of OLIVER TWIST, a once-more penniless Oliver is back on the streets of London... When a meeting with the now grown-up Artful Dodger leads Oliver into a scheme to regain his money, he begins to wonder just how accidental the meeting was, as friends and foes from his past begin to mount up in a plan to steal the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond from the 1851 Great Exhibition.

As the heist progresses, Oliver is pulled back into a world he hoped to escape from a decade earlier, a world of deception and betrayal, where every ally is a potential enemy and where his so called 'friend' Dodger is speaking to the ghost of the long dead Fagin - and planning his revenge on Oliver.

Oliver finds himself in a maze of lies and half truths while escaping the police, the East End underworld and Dodger's own violent plans - visiting his once home town and workhouse, Fagin's Saffron Hill den, Sowerberry's Undertakers, the British Museum and Newgate Prison in the process, as he faces his own demons, including the now destitute Mister Bumble, his one time bully Noah Claypole, and his guilt over the death of Nancy, a decade earlier...

In a situation that can only end with a noose around his neck, Oliver must find a way out of this nightmare - or forever stay a pawn in a game far bigger than that of the people around him, a game he must win at all costs...

DODGE & TWIST is a rollercoaster ride through Victorian London, involving characters from OLIVER TWIST in a brand new, thrilling adventure.

A Midsummer Night's Murder by Colleen Helme
Goodreads Synopsis:
A Shelby Nichols Novella
For a mind-reader like Shelby Nichols, finding a murderer should be a piece of cake. But add an overzealous prosecuting attorney with a grudge against her, and the wrong person could end up in jail. Can Shelby find the real killer before he strikes again? (From the Summer Snoops Anthology)
USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Colleen Helme offers a clever mix of mystery, laugh-out-loud humor, and page-turning adventure in the highly acclaimed Shelby Nichols Adventure Series.

Drop Dead Crime: Mystery and Suspense from the Leading Ladies of Murder
Goodreads Synopsis:
Five women. Five sublime authors of crime fiction. One stunning book. 
Gripping thrillers, packed with deviously executed crimes and in-depth investigations are some of the most popular reads available on traditional and virtual book shelves today. 

Now, you can sample some of the best female writers of crime fiction, in Drop Dead Crime, a collection of novellas packed with the twisted plotlines and memorable characters that excite readers and leave them demanding more. 

Lisa Regan, Leslie Wolfe, Colleen Helme, Amy Vansant, and Julie Smith are among the most skilled and prolific writers of the genre today, and each one knows exactly how to tease a story to maximum effect. Their use of strong female leads, combined with delicately balanced plots, means suspense is always kept at a fever pitch—ready to boil over at any second. 

Lisa Regan’s Over The Edge is guaranteed to keep you up at night. When P.I. Jocelyn Rush witnesses a young mother jump from a bridge, she is determined to solve the mystery of why, and what she finds is a complex web of secrets and lies so shocking it could destroy the people left behind. 

Leslie Wolfe introduces FBI Agent Tess Winnett in Not Really Dead, a fast-paced, intense thriller about a serial killer who makes a terrible mistake. 

Colleen Helme stuns with Behind Blue Eyes. A grisly murder along with a new client hiding a deadly secret is just the beginning for Shelby Nichols, mind reader extraordinaire. Don't miss this exciting thriller! 

In Amy Vansant’s exclusive novella Parental Kilt, the stars of her "Kilty" romantic suspense series, Catriona Phoenix and Brochan the Highlander, find themselves trapped in a serial killer's maze during a movie wrap-party gone wrong. The serial killer was supposed to be dead, but the bodies are piling up... 

Julie Smith brings a dazzling story of suspense, The Big Crazy.Detective Skip Langdon, NOPD, while navigating a world of chaos and betrayal after Hurricane Katrina, takes on a gang of rogue cops who may be acting as self-appointed executioners. 

Get a copy of Drop Dead Crime today and sample some of the best crime fiction writing, from some of the best female crime writers around!

Melissa's Quest by Blair Drake
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lost and bewildered after being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Melissa wants nothing more than to curl up with her pain. But then she’s summoned by the headmaster of Gray Cliffs Academy and finds herself on the roof in the middle of a wild and tumultuous storm. Before she realizes what is happening, a vicious wind sends her flying through the darkness and she lands in the frozen north. It is then she discovers the true meaning of feeling lost. Though full of mystery and magic, there is something sinister about this strange new world… 

All Melissa wants is to return home, but first she must learn the rules of this strange new reality and how they will help her in her quest before it’s too late and she’s stuck in this place forever… 

Elijah's Quest by Blair Drake
Goodreads Synopsis:
Life as a seventeen-year-old jock at Gray Cliffs Academy is hard for Elijah Davies. Failing grades? Check. On the headmaster's hit list? Check. Dumped by girlfriend? Still working out the precise logistics on that one...

When Elijah called his girlfriend's obsession with the Live Action Role Play game Legends of Orynthica stupid, he never dreamed Zoe would break up with him. Before he has a chance to make it up to her, a violent storm sweeps him into an unfamiliar world full of Ice Trolls and vicious warriors—and worse, he's got the sneaking suspicion this new world is Orynthica.

Elijah doesn't believe in magic, but everyone thinks he's the Catalyst—a mage who will help the people of Thanasi win both the Ascension Games and its prize: the magic Yarlstone that can restore balance to the lands. 

The only person who doesn't have faith in him? Zora Stormshadow—Zoe's Orynthican alter ago—and the leader of the Thanasi team. Nine teams of four enter the Ascension Games, only one survives. The fate of Orynthica rests on Elijah's shoulders. Can he learn to wield his magic? And will he ever get a chance to make it up to Zoe in his own world?

The Other by Marilyn Peake
Goodreads Synopsis:
The world was melting down. North Korea had tested another nuclear missile. Terrorist attacks were happening with frightening regularity in European cities. In the United States, the FBI and CIA were investigating multiple computer hacks in which the Russians were the prime suspects. Then the news took an even more ominous tone. People began seeing UFOs and strange, alien-looking creatures with humanoid shapes, green skin and large black eyes. In places where this occurred, doctors reported the spread of a mysterious virus that scrambled people’s thoughts and caused hallucinations. Many experts believed the virus came from the aliens. The pathogen had not yet been identified; there was no known cure. 

Psychology professor Dr. Cora Frost had a different theory: the bizarre symptoms were nothing more than mass hysteria, not unlike the hysteria that caused people in our not-too-distant past to see witches flying through the sky, which justified hanging them or burning them at the stake. Intense stress within societies gives rise to scapegoats. Doing field research within the compound of a cult in Roswell, New Mexico that revered the exact same kinds of aliens being reported on the news, Cora’s entire worldview is shaken and upended. In a shocking series of events, her past and future collide, forever changing her life.

Relics and Runes
Goodreads Synopsis:
Join the quest to unearth magic in Relics and Runes!

Strong heroines and stalwart heroes seek mythical treasures, wield powerful sorcery, and face down unstoppable forces. Will they survive?

Delve into twelve brilliant stories of magic, mayhem and monsters to find out! But be forewarned - you won't want to put this collection down!

Scroll up and one-click now to unleash the ultimate fantasy and urban fantasy adventures.

Featuring stories fromUSA Today bestselling author Heather Marie Adkins
USA Today bestselling author CK Dawn
USA Today bestselling author Tameri Etherton
USA Today bestselling author Amir Lane writing with N.J. Ember
USA Today bestselling author Muffy Wilson
Aiki Flinthart
Jennifer Ann Schlag
Mirren Hogan
Lee French
Kimbra Swain
Tiffany Shand
Robyn Jenkins

Flirting with Death by Ali Winters
Goodreads Synopsis:
Being a reaper has its perks, but also its downsides. 

While on an assignment, Evander is caught off guard by an unmarked human. 

Captivated, he is unable to tear himself away. 

This is why reapers don’t associate with mortals.

Piper was ordinary, just a girl looking for love. And all she knows is that her current boyfriend isn’t it. An unfortunate incident and a series of remarkable events turn her world upside down. 

But what she finds is the last thing she ever expected — She finds herself falling for the least likely candidate.

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
The Books and Braun Dossier by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
Solomon Key by David Wood
Darkmage by M.L. Spencer
Valley of Dry Bones by J.F. Penn
The Centaur's Last Breath by April Fernsby
The Terra Gambit by Terry Mixon
A Thousand Fiendish Angels by J.F. Penn
Agent G: Saboteur by C.T. Phipps
Space Force by Jeremy Robinson