Monday, January 9, 2023

Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain: Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain
Princess Adele’s Dragon (Witches and Dragons Book 1) by Shirley McLain

Publisher: Shirley’s Book (July 23, 2022)
Category: Sword & Sorcery, Fantasy/Romance
Tour dates: January 3-31, 2023
ASIN: B0B7GMCDJ5
Available in ebook only, 220 pages


   
Princess Adele's Dragon

Description Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain


With the possibility of death before her, Princess Adele sets out to slay the dragon to save her Kingdom. What she discovers in her quest changes her and the King’s life forever. We follow the lives of the Royalty of Valdoria as their world is threatened. In this medieval story, there are good guys, bad guys, white and black magic as well as goats and dragons. Read this story of love, hate, danger, and evil. You will turn the page so you can find out what happens next in this gothic adventure.

Review Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain 


Review by Suzie

I read this book all of the way through in one sitting because I couldn't put it down! 'Princess Adele's Dragon (Witches and Dragons Book 1') by Shirley McLain is one of the most thrilling stories that I have read in 2022, and I think if you pick it up you'll immediately see why.

This book does not skimp on the action, immediately bringing you into the world of the kingdom of Valdoria, right when the king is in the middle of making a huge and terrible decision. The king realizes that he must sacrifice a child to the dragon that has been terrorizing their kingdom for years, in order to appease it.

The king's sister, Princess Adele is obviously horrified by this prospect and privately vows to slay the dragon herself to spare the child. But, upon seeking out the dragon and seeing it in person, something stays Adele's hand.

She suddenly feels that she knows the dragon, and when she feels moved enough to kiss it's cheek, it transforms back into the shape of her long missing fiancé. Prince Anthony has been missing for six years, ever since one of the king's advisers enlisted the help of a local hag to turn him into a dragon, and now that he is back in his human form, Anthony and Adele realize that they must stop the king's adviser before he and his lover steal the throne for themselves.

I am not normally much of a fantasy reader, but I enjoyed this immensely and found myself more than ready for the next book in the series, whenever that may be coming. There was much to love here and much to be excited about! Five stars for this action-packed fantasy novel!

Guest Post by Shirley McLain 

My writing World

First, let me thank My Tangled Skein Book Reviews for letting me visit everyone today. I began writing full-time when I retired from being an RN (registered nurse). I woke up one morning with a story on my mind. I haven’t stopped since. I love telling stories.

I am a “pantster.” Let me educate you if you don’t know what a pantster is. It has no formal structure, such as everything plotted out, characters, storyline, etc. I write when I sit at the computer, and my muse feeds it. That’s not to say I don’t get stuck. I have to back away from the writing and give it a rest. When I return to it, I have the answers I need.

Book writing is fun for me. I find my world in what I read and write. I’m an eclectic writer. I write in every genre, but fantasy and gothic romance are my favorites.

I must confess that I build new worlds sparingly. I try to let my readers build the world they see when they read my stories. I create the characters and the setting.

Princess Adele’s Dragon is based in the fantasy world of Valdoria. I imagined it to be in the northern section of some medieval world full of evil men, good guys, catapults for war, dragons, kings, princesses, and a castle. As you read my words, you can create any scene to go along with my story that your imagination comes up with. Building a world depends on what the readers make of it and my descriptions.

This article is from a Master Class I took, published in August 2021. I find it very useful.


5 Essential Elements of a Fantasy World

The fantasy genre often has elements of science fiction, magic, or imaginative creatures—but it’s more than writing every fictional element you can think up. The world of your fantasy novel, video game, television show, or film must make sense for the rest of its parts to work in harmony.

Some elements to consider when crafting your fantasy world:

1. Magic: Decide if there is a magic system in place, then set the rules of it. What powers it? Is it a secret? Can anyone use it?

2. Geography: It may help create a fantasy map. Identify major landmasses and historic sites. How does the landscape impact the plot or the characters? What is the climate like? You can get as specific as identifying the indigenous flora and fauna, even if you don’t use those details. As a world-builder, you can include as much or as little in your process and final version as you like—as long as your story comes together in a way that makes sense for the audience.

3. Society: Figure out the inhabitants of your fantasy world. What language do they speak? What do they look like? Are they humanlike? Are they creature-like? What sort of culture do they have? How have previous historical events affected the way they live now?

4. History: While you need not outline the beginning of your world’s history to the end, it’s helpful to know of key events like wars, plagues, political strife, extraterrestrial invasions, or anything else that affects the way your world operates now.

5. Time: How does it flow in your world? Is there a calendar? Are there seasons? What affects the light and the darkness?

 

                 How to Create a Fantasy World 

There are many avenues for writing fantasy worlds, and you can start with whichever part you like first:

1. Use real life as inspiration. That doesn’t mean taking people from existing ethnic groups and putting costumes on them—but observing how other cultures live and interact with their environments. By incorporating real life into your fantasy book, you can avoid falling into tropes and clichĂ©s, and create a richer template for your characters and plot to thrive in.

2. Define the setting. A good starting point when creating a fantasy story is the universe itself. Is this an imaginary world existing within our own world? Is it a fictionalized version of a real-world place? Or is it its own new world? Please describe the landscape, its colors, or how many suns and moons it has. Any details that can help make your fantasy world feel more like real-life, to help ground it in something believable, will make a difference in how your audience feels and experiences it.

3. Create inhabitants. A fantasy world has more than one type of inhabitant. They can differ vastly from one another, or only have subtle contrasts. Inhabitants also include the antagonists. Make them more than one-dimensional bad guys—give them motivation relevant to their world.

4. Make magic. Start your magic system if there is one. Write its limits, along with its capabilities. Such as, in Harry Potter, magic interferes with the performance of electronics, which is why technological devices powered by electricity don’t work at Hogwarts. Magic needs rules to function correctly in your fantasy world. While you don’t need to include a list of laws in your writing, using it must make them apparent.

The world you create is built one step at a time. It’s your world, so make it what you want.

Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLainAbout Shirley McLain



Shirley McLain is a retired RN, wife, mother, and grandmother of six and Great Grandmother to four, three boys and one girl.

She is currently living in Sapulpa, Oklahoma where she is enjoying her retirement to the fullest. She was born in California but lived her growing years in Oklahoma. She has done extensive travel within the United States and learned to appreciate each state for its own beauty. Her dream trip is to see Spain and Italy at a slow pace.

Shirley has published a young adult mystery called “Crimes and Retribution”, a book of short stories called, “Shirley’s Short’s and Flashes” and a Christian poetry book called, “Verses For My King.” “Dobyns Chronicles” is a historical fiction in which you follow a family through troubling times. She has published her educational fiction about Bullying. It is for ages 10 to Adult to help them deal with bullying in school. She is now working on a book of short stories called “Shirley’s Compilation of Short Stories,” which is stories of different genres. She plans on having this book out in December 2022.

Shirley’s love of travel, adventure and writing have created works that will hold your attention, and leave you wanting more.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShirleyMcLain93
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShirleysBooks/

Buy Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain


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Giveaway Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain


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Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain

Monday, November 14, 2022

Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu- Excerpt, Review

Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu


Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (November 22, 2022)
Category: General Fiction, Literary Fiction, African-American Fiction, Immigrant Experience
Tour Dates November 2-23
ISBN: 978-1955065603
Available in Print and ebook, 332 pages
  Soulful Return

Description Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu



“The hounding voice inside me would not let go.”

Thus begins the emotional journey of Afamefuna Onochie Nwaku, a Harvard-trained medical doctor with a career most can only dream of, a loving wife, and supportive family. Then, he receives a telephone call from his sister who lives in Nigeria that her life is being threatened.

Left with no other fair choice, Afam leaves behind his family, throwing his marriage into turmoil and risking the life he has built in Boston. Instead of the Nigeria that he loves, that he needs, he finds a land and people he barely recognizes waiting for him. Afam decides to stay but realizes that his future in Nigeria is as murky as the River-Niger after a torrential tropical rainfall.

As Afam sets out on a journey to reconnect with the family and heritage that he left behind, he must face new enemies in an increasingly corrupt Nigeria where many people see him as an American intruder. And through it all, he must fight to keep his family together—and alive.

Excerpt Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu


“As more time passed, I reflected on the day I’d left home and how many years had passed. Memories of my parents overwhelmed me, and the fear of losing Elisha returned. I felt lonely, surrounded by strangers who weren’t cognizant of what I was going through. As much as I tried to forget the enormity of my inherited responsibilities, it weighed heavily on me.

Sitting on the wrong side of the Niger and unsure when I would cross it, my worries sapped all the energy left in my hungry body. It was only a distance of twenty miles going east from the riverbank that separated me from my hometown, but it felt as if we were traveling to the moon. With every sunset, the crime rate in Onitsha increased, and it had been so for as long as anyone I knew could remember. My safety weighed on me too, and I was eager to get home.” Page 100

© Fidelis O. Mkparu

 Review Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu


Review by Suzie

“I realized that fate had brought me back to Obodo, where my life had started. It had brought me back to where they'd buried my umbilical cord to tether me to the African earth for eternity. It had brought me back to where my soul had remained to roam in my physical absence. There was no doubt left in me that the land where I stood belonged to me and that I belonged to it.”

Afamefuna left Nigeria many years ago. Back then, he left to come to America and earn a medical degree. Now, decades later, he is turning 60 and being offered the position of CEO at his hospital. Afamefuna's wife, Elisha wishes for him to accept the position, seeing it as a reward for all that he has worked for. But Afamefuna is divided. Ever since he came to America, he has had the intention of returning home to be the patriarch of his family and manage his father's lands.

Recently, he's been hearing a small voice inside of his head telling him to go back to Nigeria. This voice only gets stronger when Afamefuna gets a call from his sister, telling him that she is no longer sure how long she can protect their land.

Making an executive decision (and somewhat angering his wife) Afamefuna returns to Nigeria, unsure if he will ever go back to America. Once there, however, he quickly realizes just how different the country he left decades earlier has become. Now, he tangles with the police who come to him asking for bribes and threats from his cousin, Ejike, who has made it his mission to regain some of the land that he feels rightfully belongs to him.

Mkparu’s writing leaps off the page, his characters grab you by both hands into a tug of war to try to get you on their side. I greatly enjoyed this book and how it touched on the loneliness and grief of growing older and how it can still be difficult to find your place in the world even then. 

Advance Praise Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu


“Mkparu has created a masterpiece of immigrant experience and connection, outlining many of the forces that influence and stress modern Africans and Americans alike.” — D. DonovanMidwest Book Review

Awards and Praise for Fidelis O. Mkparu



2018 EVVY winner, Literary & Contemporary Fiction for Tears Before Exaltation.

Silver Medal: Nautilus Book Awards, Fiction 2016 for Love’s Affliction.

Reader Views Literary Award Winner 2015/2016 for Love’s Affliction.

Finalist 2015: INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award, Multicultural Fiction for Love’s Affliction.

“A must-read, Love’s Affliction is an exceptionally gripping and poignant story. While intense throughout, there is resolution – and not quite what one may expect!”—San Francisco Book Review

“An exceptionally well crafted work, “Love’s Affliction” is an engaging and extraordinary multi-cultural novel that documents author Fidelis O. Mkparu as a talented, first class storyteller. “Love’s Affliction” is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and would prove to be a valued addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections.”—Midwest Book Review

Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu

About Fidelis O. Mkparu


Multi award winning author, Fidelis O. Mkparu is a Nigerian immigrant in the U.S. who wishes to speak to his experiences and those of his fellow immigrants. He is a professor of Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University and a senior attending cardiologist at Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio. Previously, he was a Spaulding fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School. 

His preceding novels include Love’s Affliction and Tears Before Exaltation.


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  Soulful Return by Fidelis O. Mkparu

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling- Review


Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling
Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling

Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (November 8, 2022)
Category: General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Family Secrets
Tour Dates November 1-23
ISBN: 978-1955065665
Available in Print and ebook, 479 (or less) pages

  Between Before and After

Description Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling


Indie movie director Sebastian Foster has found his niche making movies based on the award-winning novels written by his estranged mother. However, his latest film, based loosely on the tragic death of his sister as a child, opens up old wounds best left under bandages.

Told in two concurrent timelines, now and when Sebastian was a teen, some twenty years ago in the mid-1990s, this story of learning unknown truths unwinds in the streets of Paris, where Sebastian lived as a teen and where he has returned to make his picture.


Review Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling

A masterful novel from Jessica Stilling, and one that I know I will be thinking about for a long time to come. 'Between Before and After,' is a story about an director who intends to make a movie about the toughest time in his life, and the consequences of what happened that day.

Sebastian Foster was only 14 years-old when he lost his younger sister. Lucy was only five years-old, herself when a disastrous fire consumed the family's apartment on the 6th arrondissement in Paris.

Now, almost 3 decades later, Sebastian wishes to direct a movie based on the book that his mother wrote about the fire. Regina Foster has become a very successful novelist in the time since her daughter's death, but she and Sebastian no longer speak. Despite this, Sebastian has been making movies based off of her novels for years, and this has led to success on his own part. But exploring the incident that killed his sister may be too much for Sebastian, as it begins to bring up emotions and trauma from that time.

What secrets does this family hold, and what do they have to do with the fire? These are questions that are answered in the book, and in ways that I truly was not expecting. I found myself so intrigued by this book that I had trouble putting it down and ended up reading the whole thing in one night.

This is a gripping reading adventure that will leave you wishing it was just a little bit longer so that it wouldn't have to end so soon. Stilling's writing and grasp of plotting are impeccable. I can't remember the last time I read a book that I enjoyed this much! If you want a book with a fantastically deep plots, this is the book for you! 

Praise for Jessica Stilling


Bronx Council of the Arts Chapter One Award for The Beekeeper’s Daughter

“Stilling’s take on this familiar tale is provocative and poignant, rich with emotion and powerfully described, laced with profound contemplation about dying too soon and growing up too quickly.”- Publisher’s Weekly review of Betwixt and Between

“At turns happy and unbearably sad, Betwixt and Between is a beautifully realized re-imagining of a classic story that will enchant readers as the original did.”- Booklist starred review of Betwixt and Between

“A suspenseful read. Jessica Stilling sets the story among a backdrop of stunning scenes of Greece described as being almost visceral with a unique compilation of romance, mystery, and self-inspection. A compelling story that comes to life off the page.”-San Francisco Book Review of the Weary God of Ancient Travelers


Between Before and After by Jessica Stilling

About Jessica Stilling

Jessica Stilling has written three works of literary fiction, Betwixt and Between, The Beekeeper’s Daughter, and The Weary God of Ancient Travelers. She also wrote poetry and short fiction for various literary journals.


Her articles have appeared in Ms. Magazine, Bust Magazine and she writes extensively for The Writer Magazine. She has taught Creative Writing in both high school and university. She also publishes young adult fantasy under the pen name JM Stephen.

Jessica loves Virginia Woolf, very long walks, and currently lives in southern Vermont where she writes for the very local newspaper, The Deerfield Valley News.

Website: https://www.jessicastilling.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaStilling
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessica.sticklor

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Stealing the Selkie’s Heart by Ella Rose: Guest Post, Review

Stealing the Selkie’s Heart by Ella Rose
Stealing the Selkie’s Heart (The Selkie Seas, #1) by Ella Rose

Publisher: Lightning Platypus Press, (July 19, 2022)
Category: Paranormal Romance
Tour dates: November 3-23, 2022
ISBN: 979-8985603811
Available in Print and ebook, 286 pages


Description Stealing the Selkie’s Heart by Ella Rose


A cursed town, a kidnapped selkie…what will happen when love is on the line? 

Powerful selkie warrior Ronan must negotiate with a group of local sirens before war breaks out. The last thing he needs is a desperate human who steals his sealskin, intent on forcing him to help her. He decides to seduce her, get his skin back, and fulfill his mission. But finding out she’s his True Mate changes everything…

Widow Una MacCallan is determined to save her small Scottish fishing town from the curse that fell over it twenty-four years ago, even if it means blackmailing the fierce selkie. Though she knows he is the key to breaking the spell, she doesn’t anticipate the attraction between them. She can’t afford the distraction, and she doesn’t trust that his interest is anything more than a manipulation, a bid for freedom. But she keeps finding herself tempted…

Together, they must race against time to break the curse. But as the two get closer, they find themselves asking: can they give up love to save those around them? What is the price for their newfound passion?

Stealing the Selkie’s Heart is an exciting enemies-to-lovers paranormal romance and the first book in The Selkie Seas series by Ella Rose. Let it steal your heart today!

Review Stealing the Selkie’s Heart by Ella Rose

Review by Suzie

“This close, she felt the primal energy coming off him in waves, and it sparked an answering energy deep inside her. This was a desperate man. And he'd just met an even more desperate woman.”

On the Hebrides islands in coastal Scotland lies a small village, with a big secret. The year is 1861, and young widow Una MacCallan is desperate to bring in her fishing haul when she witnesses something that few humans have ever seen before.

In a small cave on the shore, she sees a seal enter, and a man escape from it's skin. The man is a selkie, a mythical race that are capable of transforming from a seal into a human by simply taking off their seal skin. However, selkies must hide their skin, because if a human steals it, they are bound to that human until it is returned.

Knowing this legend, Una decides to steal the selkie's skin so that he might help her free her town from a curse that has left them nearly bankrupt. The selkie, Ronan, agrees to help, but secretly plans to seduce Una so that he can retrieve his skin and return to the sea.

This is an electrifying story that has elements of history, passion and romance all rolled up into one.

I loved the immediate sexual tension between Ronan and Una, and the way that he found himself falling for her even after promising himself that he was not going to. The main plot of the cursed town was a great backdrop for the romance of the story, and, as a reader, I really came to care about the people of Selbane and hope that Una and Ronan would prevail and the curse would be lifted. This was a five-star read for me and I suspect it would be for you, too! 

Guest Post by Ella Rose, Author of Stealing the Selkie’s Heart 

What is a Selkie

Suzie,

Thank you for graciously hosting me today. As you know, my latest paranormal romance novel, Stealing the Selkie’s Heart (The Selkie Seas, Book 1), revolves around selkies and other water creatures. But one question I get a lot is this: “What the hell is a selkie in the first place?” And if that was your question, too, never fear! I’ve got your back.

Simply put, selkies are seal shapeshifters. When they change from human to seal form, they pull on their sealskins like a cloak and fasten small hooks that go along the stomach. This allows them to shapeshift. When they desire to change back into human form, they simply unclasp the hooks with their teeth, and they slip from beneath the sealskin as a naked human.

The common tale, when looking at the history of selkies, is that of a fisherman who stole a female selkie’s sealskin, thus binding her to him as a selkie wife. She was preternaturally beautiful and very fertile. The story goes that, for decades, she bore his children, until at last, upon his deathbed, the fisherman gave back the sealskin. The selkie wife immediately fled to the ocean and followed her children as they made their way in the world.

For me, I enjoyed taking the selkie wife concept and turning it on its head. In Stealing the Selkie’s Heart, the main character, Una MacCallan, is the one stealing the skin, and she does it not out of desire for a selkie husband, but to save her home from ruin. She strikes a bargain with the selkie, Ronan, that she’ll return his sealskin once he helps her lift the curse that’s befallen her town.

In my telling of the selkie myth, there are certain physical attributes that set them apart from regular humans: first, their eyes look different. The pupils themselves aren’t round, like a normal person’s, but contract to a slit in the light. Their heart beats faster than a human’s, as well. And finally, they live longer than humans do; in Stealing the Selkie’s Heart, Ronan is about 60 years old while his physical appearance is that of a 20-year-old man.

But the real magic, in so far as my series is concerned, is that they have the concept of True Mates, which is my take on the Fated Mates trope. They can sense when they are near their True Mate by experiencing a doubled-sensation of body: they feel lungs expanding out of sync with each other and heartbeats pumping out of rhythm of their own. These feelings usually happen during the first time they sleep together, but the True Mate bond isn’t solidified until they climax at the same time. Once that happens there is a telepathic bond that stretches between the two mates: they can’t read minds, but they can send and receive emotions through the bond.

Selkies can also find True Mates outside of the selkie world. In Stealing the Selkie’s Heart, the couple is a human and selkie. Other books in my Selkie Seas world revolve around selkie-selkie relationships. But in the case of human-selkie True Mate bonds, the human’s lifespan is extended to match his/her mate’s.

As you can see, a lot went into the selkie mythology, and I tried to stay as respectful of the origins as I could, while still making my mark on the lore. As always, if you have selkie questions or curiosities about The Selkie Seas world, email me! You can always catch me at ellarose@ellarosebooks.com.

Best,

Ella Rose

© Ella Rose 

About Ella Rose



Ella Rose is a paranormal romance author who loves kink, ink, and cake, and hopes you do too. She is a bi-sexual author writing through a Bi-Polar Disorder lens and thinks representation and mental health matter. She is the author of The Selkie Seas series, which includes Losing the Selkie’s Skin and Stealing the Selkie’s Heart.

Her latest selkie short stories will appear in Dark Rose Press’s Worlds Apart and Dragon Soul Press’s Beyond Atlantis anthologies. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Paranormal Romance Guild.

Website: https://www.ellarosebooks.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EllaRoseBooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellarosewrites/
Tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ellarosewrites?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/EllaRoseWriter/

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Giveaway Stealing the Selkie’s Heart by Ella Rose


This giveaway is for 2 print or ebook copies. Print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on November 24, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only. 

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Stealing the Selkie’s Heart by Ella Rose
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Friday, October 28, 2022

Book of Jobs by M.L. Grider

Book of Jobs by M.L. Grider
Book of Jobs: A Collection of Helen Wu and Amy Dresden by M.L. Grider

Publisher: Thursday Night Press, an imprint of DX Varos Publishing (October 18, 2022)
Category: Crime drama, LGBT subgenre, Short Story Collection
Tour Dates October, 2022
ISBN: 978-1955065542
Available in Print and ebook, 292 pages

  Book of Jobs

Description Book of Jobs by M.L. Grider

In this prequel to Bitter Vintage, M.L. Grider explores events in the lives of Helen Wu and Amy Dresden prior to their adventure in 1995. While these incidents may seem at first glance unrelated, they all contribute to what makes Amy and Helen who they are.

Some are funny, others tragic, but that all adds up to why Helen quit the LAPD in favor of a gun shop, and Amy gave up her dream of acting to become an antique dealer.

Review Book of Jobs by M.L. Grider

Review by Suzie

A tremendous prequel to M.L. Grider's prequel, 'Bitter Vintage.'

'Book of Jobs: A Collection of Helen Wu and Amy Dresden,' goes back in time to before the events of that novel to show the main characters, Helen Wu and Amy Dresden before they knew each other.

The stories in this collection go all the way back to their teenage years, and alternate between Helen's life and Amy's, showing different trials and situations that led them to become the strong women that they eventually grew into.

Starting with Helen dealing with a home invader that ends up being her sister's new boyfriend, and Amy dealing with a jealous boyfriend of her own, who ends up causing a ruckus at her new job.

My favorite story in the collection was titled, 'New On The Job,' and centered around Helen when she was new to the LAPD.

Alternating between a few different POVs, the story is about Helen helping a teenage girl who has been humiliated and left in a tricky situation by a boy at school, and a pair of criminals who are intent on killing a local pimp in the hopes that it will earn them favor with a madam who will offer them free services with her girls. I won't detail how this story ended, but let’s just say it was a shocking conclusion that left me really impressed with how everything came together.

This collection is a must-read for all fans of Grider's first Helen Wu book, and anyone who enjoys a good, entertaining book of short stories and the crime fiction genre.

I loved Helen and Amy's characters and the LGBT representation in the text. Grider's writing is both beautiful and really funny in places. I loved the way he creates a perspective for these characters that I wanted to stay in. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! 

Excerpt Book of Jobs by M.L. Grider

At about six o’clock on the morning of January 1, 1988, Monk’s Raiders were on their way home from a New Year’s Eve gig. Ted and Amy went straight back to their apartment in his new Vette. But the rest of the band had to take the long way home in the snow in the old van.

They were crossing the Jackson Boulevard Bridge when two street racing teenage boys tried to pass the van doing ninety. The driver on the left tried to make his move and crowd the other one out. The little Honda smashed into the rear left fender of the van at full speed and propelled it through the guard rail into the murky river below. The driver of the Honda was killed instantly. Monk’s Raiders weren’t so lucky. All four were trapped inside and drowned when it hit the frosty water below. The other driver was never caught.

Ted was emotionally destroyed by the accident. They were more than just his band. He had grown up with those guys. They had all learned to play together, that’s what made the Raiders so great. They had been buddies from grade school, more than buddies. They were like brothers. What a way to start the New Year.

Ted was wracked with survivor’s guilt. If he hadn’t bought the Vette, he would have been in the van with his band where he belonged. Four funerals in two days was just too much for him. He went on a month long bender of guilt and remorse fueled by alcohol and cocaine. Only the threat of Amy leaving him had pulled him out of the self-destructive spiral.

After he dried out a bit he didn’t have the strength of will to form a new band. It felt like betraying the memory of his friends. He couldn’t face the idea of a solo act either. Haunted by the ghosts of the guys, everything was the past to him with no future. Ted needed a new start, a new beginning. So he and Amy pooled their savings and packed up all their belongings to make the move to the big time. They moved to Los Angeles.

But Los Angeles was not the fresh start that Ted was counting on. In Chicago, Ted had been a big fish in a small bowl. In LA he was still a big fish, like a tuna, in a school of other tuna swimming in an overcrowded shark tank at feeding time. It had never occurred to him that he would have to audition to get into someone else’s band. Or that after an audition he might not get the gig. He just assumed that he would form his own band in a couple of weeks and start booking clubs. But the work was slow in coming. And everything in LA was so expensive.

It didn’t help his bruised ego that Amy was doing better than he was. Things started to go really wrong their first week in LA when Amy met Rachel. Amy found an ad in a trade paper for open auditions for a low-budget horror movie and went to read for the part of Kennedy Montfort, the plucky honor student that is chosen to be a virgin sacrifice by the evil cheerleader-vampires.

She sat out in the lobby of the producer’s office for two hours with ten other girls waiting for their chance to read for the part. Across from Amy was a stunning redhead in blue jeans and a tight t-shirt. She was openly staring at Amy and making her more than a little uncomfortable. After about fifteen minutes she finally spoke.

“Are you reading for Kennedy Montfort?” she said without preamble.

“Uh, yes,” Amy said a little embarrassed to be interested in such a shallow role.

“I figured. You’re too vanilla to be any of the vampires,” she said.

“Thank you, I think,” Amy said.

“I’m reading for Kennedy’s bad-girl best friend. Hey, maybe we could help each other out. I hate to go into a reading cold. Would you like to run some lines with me?”

The idea seemed safe enough to Amy, so she agreed. The dialogue was so campy that by the third reading it was becoming funny.

After they had both read, they were told that the parts had already been cast, but there were still some parts open for the vampire cheerleaders in the orgy scene, if they didn’t mind doing a little tasteful nudity.

(c) M.L. Grider, The Book Of Jobs

About M.L. Grider

The Book of Jobs is the second published novel to escape the twisted mind of M.L. Grider. In addition to writing, Grider is a professional photographer. He is busy at work on the next adventure in the Helen Wu series among other wild and warped stories. 

Website: https://www.dxvaros.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DXVaros
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DXVaros.Publishing

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Thursday, October 27, 2022

Supernatural PI by Courtney Davis

Supernatural PI by Courtney Davis
Supernatual P.I. (The Fawn Malero Mysteries Book 2) by Courtney Davis

Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (October 11, 2022)
Category: Supernatural, Paranormal, Mystery, Vampires
Tour Dates October 17-November 23, 2022
ISBN: 978-1955065627
Available in Print and ebook, 240 pages
  
Supernatural PI

Description Supernatural PI by Courtney Davis


Just when Fawn Malero was getting comfortable in her new life….

Fawn was enjoying her new-found career as a Supernatural P.I., settling into a relationship with the Werewolf, Logan, and figuring out how to interact with all the supernatural creatures living in the Seattle area. But it never occurred to her the water off the shore was also under her administration…that was until they started crawling out to beg for help.

Before she knew it, Fawn was on a quest to learn who was attempting to steal the magical properties of the ocean, where a powerful Vampire’s daughter was being held captive. And could she catch the Magician who’d been selling dangerous items to humans?

Of course, she wasn’t alone. The posse she’d collected were still with her and determined to help. If she was going to make it as a P.I. she wasn’t going to do it without backup.


Review Supernatural PI by Courtney Davis

Review by Suzie

I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to keep up with my interest in this book! 'Supernatual P.I. (The Fawn Malero Mysteries Book 2) by Courtney Davis,' is a great read for any lovers of Urban Fantasy or Supernatural Mysteries.

The main character, Fawn Malero is a P.I. who deals with supernatural cases. Fawn comes from a big family of Magicians and has a few special abilities, like the ability to communicate with animals and a little bit of healing capabilities. Mostly, Fawn is sensitive to the emotions and feelings of others, and feels a drive to help other supernaturals. This makes her a very strong female character and a great P.I.

In this book, the second in the series, Fawn takes on the case of a missing stone that is said to control the oceans. Fawn is contacted by an octopus shifter named Eldoris, who asks for help finding the stone, which originally belonged to Poseidon. Of course, Fawn feels compelled to help the shifter and, of course things don't go as smoothly as she might have hoped.

After Fawn and her motley crew of supernatural friends locate the stone, they find that it is being used by a human to improve his fishing haul. Fawn must find a way to retrieve the stone from the human so that she can return it to where it rightfully belongs. Meanwhile, she also has to deal with a missing vampire and the occasional possessiveness of her territorial werewolf boyfriend, Logan. Luckily, she has her friends, and a hoard of cats, dogs, and one very friendly bird, to help her along the way.

This is the first Courtney Davis book that I have read and I enjoyed it immensely! I will definitely be adding her to my automatic buy list in the future. 

Supernatural PI by Courtney Davis

About Courtney Davis

Courtney Davis is a mother, wife and teacher who has always loved to find time to escape into a good story. She's been in love with reading and writing since she was a child and dreams of a life where she can devote herself fully to creating worlds and exploring relationships. To give someone else enjoyment through her words is the ultimate thrill. 


Website: http://authorcourtneydavis.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorcdavis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCDavis/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorcourtneydavis/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorcdavis?lang=en

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill

Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill
The Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill

Publisher: DX Varos Publishing (July 26, 2022)
Category: Young Adult, Coming of Age
Tour Dates October 3-27, 2022
ISBN: 978-1955065528
Available in Print and ebook, 280 pages

  The Osprey Man  

Description Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill


Jacob is at that most magical time between childhood and adolescence. As the end of the school year approaches, he is dreaming of baseball and the beach, but most of all, about working on the comic book he and his best friend Jonathan have created, The Osprey Man. Then tragedy strikes and Jacob has to find an inner strength he is not sure he has. 

This beautifully written tale of youth, coping, and working through grief is ideal for readers of all ages.

Review Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill

 Review by Suzie M.

A young boy experiences a startling loss in this YA coming-of-age story by author Christopher Tuthill. Jacob is just finishing fourth grade when his best friend, Jon is unexpectedly killed in a bicycle accident.

Confused and grieving, Jacob struggles to find his footing and understand the depth of the loss that both he and the town around him are dealing with. Jacob suddenly finds that all eyes are on him at school, as everyone knows that he and Jon were best friends.

An older boy named Chaz Mancuso approaches him and confesses that he lost his own cousin last year and that he will stand up for Jacob if anyone bullies him. Chaz's father owns the local pizza place and he even gets Jacob a job there, asking if he can do some sweeping up and small chores for money.

Unfortunately, between going out on a date with a girl that he has a crush on and working on the comic book that he and Jon had been writing, Jacob begins to get so busy that he loses track of his days.

The comic is called Osprey Man, and it is incredibly important to Jacob to finish it, as it was the last thing that he and Jon worked on together before the other boy's death. But now that Jon is gone, Jacob has to recruit another friend to help him finish.

The friend, Kris is skeptical at first, but eventually agrees to help and the two boys begin working in earnest on the comic with the intention of selling copies of it at their local shop.

This is a stupendous novel and one that I could read again and again. I really felt for Jacob as a character, and I felt like I was living through his grief with him. Five stars to this wonderful author! 

Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill

About Christopher Tuthill

Christopher Tuthill’s short fiction has appeared in The Mythic Circle, Dark Tales from Elder Regions, and Tales of Reverie. A native of Riverhead, on Long Island, and a graduate of Catholic schools, Chris grew up around many of the places and people that inspire his writing.

He lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with his wife and children. He works as a librarian, and his hobbies include board games, baseball, hiking, camping, and telling stories to his three children. Among his other interests, he is co-founder of the New York Tolkien Conference.

Website: https://christuthill.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisJTuthill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chrisjtuthill
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cjtuthill/

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Osprey Man by Christopher Tuthill