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Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

No Good Deed by Bill Blais BOOK PROMO!

 

No Good Deed

Author: Bill Blais

Published: March 9, 2012

Synopsis: Kelly McGinnis has spent her adult life trying to do the right thing, but as a newly down-sized mother of twins and the wife of a man living with Muscular Sclerosis, she also knows that trying isn’t always enough.

While interrupting a scene of police brutality, Kelly unwittingly releases a real, live demon. After she manages to kill the creature through gut instinct and blind luck, she is approached to join a secret group of demon hunters who reveal an underworld of monsters and magic. Kelly’s mill town upbringing proves an unexpected asset and the pay more than covers her husband’s treatments, but the work begins to undermine her sense of right and wrong as she struggles to maintain her ‘normal’ life.

When she encounters Umber, a compelling incubus with an unexpectedly human story, Kelly learns that the truth is far stranger and more terrifying than she imagined.

Sneak Peek Into No Good Deed

“Last time,” I say, riding the bravado and pointedly not thinking about what might come next. “Where’s my friend?”

“I don’t know.” His voice is still warm, with a slight timbre to it. The kind of voice you could get lost in.

“Get him back here.”

“Who are you?”

“Look!” I shake the gun. “I’m the lady with the big gun pointed at your face, remember? Get him back!”

“Will you shoot me again?” He spreads his arms wide. “Defenseless and chained as I am?”

I aim at his legs.

“Typical.” He raises his arms beside him as his wings unfold, the torn one only half-extended, with the wounded end hanging almost to the floor.

I keep the gun on him, but this definitely doesn’t feel right. He’s defenseless, and I already shot him once like that. Another mind game? I bite my lip hard, bringing blood, but nothing else changes.

He stands crucified in front me, proud and angry, but strangely calm, as if I’m barely worth bothering with.

Now what? I look around, then point my elbow at Marianne and Rachel. “Fix my friends.”

“To what end? You’ll kill me, either way.”

“No, I won’t.”

He sighs. “Don’t patronize me.”

“No, really! I don’t want to kill you! I just . . . I just . . . .” I exhale loudly in frustration. I’ve shot him three times, already. “Look, just get my people back, okay?”

He looks at me for a moment, the anger replaced by a vague confusion. “Who are you?”

I look down the barrel of the shotgun at him, pinned to the floor, more handsome than is possible, with a hole in his wing that I made. He has wings.

I shake my head. “I’m nobody. I’m confused. I don’t know. I’m obviously the wrong person doing the wrong job.” I shake my head again. “You’re probably messing with my mind just like you did the others, so nothing makes sense and I’m gonna end up sitting on the floor with a stupid grin on my face waiting to be turned into lunch. Dammit.”

His wings slowly fold back and he lowers his arms.

I point the gun again. “Don’t!”

“My name is Umber.” His husky voice is calm between us, and his eyes never leave mine. “I am an incubus, and I am made for enjoyment. My touch is ceaseless pleasure and my kiss is blind ecstasy. I can be whatever you desire. I am fantasy made flesh.”

Umber. I can feel the blood pounding in my ears and my lungs are working overtime. His dark eyes compel me and I can actually feel something between us, almost physical, a deep, slow pull, at the center of my very being, warm and real and just a little demanding.

“But there is always a price.” He turns his gaze to the women on the floor.

I blink hard as a pleasant fog sweeps from my mind again. I hitch the shotgun back up from where it’s sagged. “Like their souls?”

“In the end, yes.” He spreads his hands. “It is what I am.”

Purchase on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Good-Kelly-Umber-Novel-ebook/dp/B007IXY6UC/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340728224&sr=1-2&keywords=No+Good+Deed) and Smashwords (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/169916)

Author Bio: Bill Blais is a writer, web developer and perennial part-time college instructor. His novels include Witness (winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Fantasy) and the Kelly & Umber urban fantasy series. Bill graduated from Skidmore College before earning an MA in Medieval Studies from University College London. He lives in Maine with his wife and daughter.

Where to Find the Author:

Website (http://www.billblais.com/)

Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1372793.Bill_Blais)

Twitter (http://twitter.com/onemoredraft)

Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBillBlais)

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Blais/e/B002BLNB7K/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1)

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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Urban Fantasy

 

Bill The Vampire by Rick Gaultieri

Bill The Vampire (The Tome of Bill, #1)Bill The Vampire by Rick Gualtieri
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I would love to say something extremely witty in my opening line for my review of Bill The Vampire. After all, it’s been since June since I have posted a review and Rick Gualtieri has waited an unforgivable amount of time for it. I read Bill The Vampire months ago and i’m still freaking giggling about it. I don’t giggle much. Laugh, well yah. A good deep giggle? Not too often, hence, I treasure anyone or thing that causes them.

Bill has been added to my favorite list and belongs there. Even though life circumstances kept me from writing, I kept Rick’s book in the forefront of my mind as the first review I would write when it was possible.

Bill is a geek, as you can surmise from the book cover and summary to follow. Awkward, self-deprecating, and goofy. I connected. I have a huge crush on geeks of all types. There is no truer and more exciting group of people you will ever encounter. They are heart-felt and honest in their pursuit of all things labeled geeky and i’m one of them.

Rick Gualtieri get’s it and his portrayal of an unlikely vampire is dead on, (pun intended). Smart and goofy, Bill takes us on his journey through a dangerous world of supernatural killers but stands back with the rest of us as we see hilarious stereotypes, vampire posers and a trashy heroine who treats Bill like crap, leaves him for food then uses him for her own purposes. Tramp with a heart of gold?

As characters are so important to me, I focused on all of them and was rewarded with unique and entertaining personalities from the vampire leader, Night Razor to his steriod-raged cronies, I was thoroughly involved and turning pages like the wind.

Bill The Vampire contains the mind of a geeky dude, the heart, mostly, of a street-tough vamp chick and the ego of a wannabe Vampire Master. A hilarious string of events when all are combined and an unexpected conclusion that has you cheering and giggling.

Book Summary: There are reasons we fear the night.
He isn’t one of them.

Meet Bill Ryder: programmer, gamer geek, and hopeless dweeb when it comes to women. All he ever asked for out of life was to collect his paycheck, hang out with his buds, and eventually (someday) ask out the girl of his dreams.

However, then Bill met Sally. She was mysterious, aggressive, and best of all…smoking hot. Bill never stood a chance. Before he knew what was happening Sally had lead him to his death, and that was only the beginning of his troubles.

Now Bill awakes to find himself an undead predator of the night. The only problem is he’s still at the bottom of the food chain.

He’s in way over his head, surrounded by creatures more dangerous, better looking, and a whole lot cooler than he is. Worst of all is the dreaded Night Razor, a master vampire who just can’t stand him. He gives Bill a 90 day deadline to either prove himself or meet a more permanent kind of death, and the deck is definitely stacked against him.

But Bill isn’t exactly average. A vampire like him hasn’t been seen in over five centuries. He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, unlikely allies to help him out, and an attitude problem that makes him just too damn obnoxious to quit. He may just pull it off… if he doesn’t get his teeth kicked in first.

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Embattled by Darlene Jones

EmbattledEmbattled by Darlene Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Embattled tells the story of Miracle Madame, a woman who begins showing up during acts of violence against the oppressed all over the globe. She walks in to the middle of a conflict without being harmed and miraculously stops the violence by persuading armies, oppressors, and murderers of all types to give up their weapons and negotiate peace. No one know who she, where she came from or how she does it. Not even Miracle Madame.
Known as Em by the two who love her, the Power who controls her and the man who becomes obsessed with her, she only knows that this is what she does. She doesn’t remember a normal life or how she came in to this ‘job’, only that she must do it. She is a normal woman who longs for friends and someone to lean on but the Power who communicates to her through a ring does not answer her questions. Questions about herself and who she is or why she was chosen to be a savior. She worries her mission to end war will actually be detrimental to the world in the future and she worries that every decision she makes will backfire and cause even more strife.
Yves is the Power who is tasked with Earth and is the one who chose Em to be the one who carries out his objectives for Earth. As time goes on, Em begins making her own decisions and doing very well. Yves, who is from a society that shows no emotion, begins to fall in love with her. When he starts seeing Ron, a man who has become obsessed with Em through the news, he becomes jealous.
Eventually Em begins dreaming of another life, a life where she is normal. Bits and pieces of that existence start bleeding through to her life as Miracle Madame and she realizes she is living a double life but has no idea who her other self is. Wanting to discover herself starts to become a frightening thing when she meets and falls in love with Ron. They have so little time together and always a few days in many months because of the work she must do.
This story is interesting and has some wonderful moments but I did find a lot of the beginning to be confusing. I enjoyed the premise of the plot and it was exciting to see what Miracle Madame would do next but I could not connect with Yves, her ‘Power’ and his journey into human emotion. I didn’t empathize with him or his reality. As for Ron and his romance with Em, moments were sweet and I felt his anguish at Em’s work but he felt off-balance and a bit incapable. Em was a great character and in my opinion the story would have benefited from delving more deeply into her duality. I could see a series of books with Em and her struggle to do the right thing.

Here is the book summary:With blood on her hands, strange words coming out of her mouth, and her face all over the media, Em knows that she did stop the jungle battle, storm into the armed courtroom, face and defeat the zealot soldiers. But, “working” for the powers controlling her, she is haunted with not knowing about or being connected to her own life. And, at some point she will have to decide which of her two lives are her true destiny.

Yves, her controller has his own set of problems as a rookie learning to be a Power, trying to communicate with Em, facing her doubts and questions as well as his own, and struggling to control the onslaught of emotions that arise from his association with humans. He risks losing his chance for advancement, his chance to free his people, even his life, by falling in love with Em.

Overall an enjoyable read with moments of intensity and tenderness. An interesting look at human nature faced with God-Like abilities. Fantasy and Sci Fi readers as well as romance lovers should enjoy this as well.

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Drama, Romance, Urban Fantasy

 

Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Alison WonderlandAlison Wonderland by Helen Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first thing I noticed about Alison Wonderland was the contradictory reviews on Amazon.
Now, I made sure not to read the actual reviews, a very bad practice for reviewers in my opinion. (I am big on opinions, I know.) I did, however, notice the Star Ratings. Fours, twos, fives, threes… it was odd. Having corresponded through email with Helen Smith, I knew her to be articulate and very interesting so I was confused with the ratings I saw.

So I began to read. And read, read some more, remember I missed dinner, and read while I ate dinner. I was delighted! Helen Smith’s writing style is enchanting in it’s vibrant colors, neurotic characters and flamboyant plot-lines. It’s like listening to that wonderful friend, the one who travels all over the world; wears bohemian mixed with designer clothing; has friends with yachts and still can’t wait to regale you with her stories, talking non-stop into the night with bottles of wine piling up on your coffee table.

I can see where some would get confused if they tried to take the characters too literally and too seriously. Helen Smith is very clever in that she weaves many “Easter Eggs” into most aspects of the story. It’s like falling into the rabbit hole and discovering brilliant people who aren’t quit what you expect and scenes filled with double-entandre. I loved every minute of it.

Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a bizarro read in which nothing makes sense and you have to re-read every chapter to get it. In fact, it flowed for me and I became lost in the story. In fact, the story is very straight forward. (Smiles)

Alison Temple has hired an all woman investigative company. She wants to confirm that her husband is not cheating on her. She eventually becomes an investigator at that very office. Once she has become experienced her boss sets her on a very secret assignment and the adventure begins.

You will love her friend Taron who is just plain nuts and lovely. Her neighbor Jeff, who is madly in love with her, is an inventor of crazy but useful things. The relationships are refreshing and funny and believable.

This is a smart story. Fantastical and fun. A decadent read that I loved and strongly recommend to contemporary, urban fantasy, mystery and the curious! Just kick off your shoes, lay back and open your mind, then open the book…..

Here is the Summary from GoodReads but I warn you, it doesn’t do it justice. When Alison joins Mrs Fitzgeralds Bureau of Investigation as a private detective, her new job takes her on a series of loosely linked adventures involving an abandoned baby, a transgenic animal and secret tunnels under The Thames. She travels from London to the seaside town of Weymouth and back again with her new best friend Taron, a girl with a hundred candle smile. But someone is betraying her. Is it Taron? Is it Jeff, the sweet-natured inventor who writes her poetry? Or are there darker forces at play? ‘Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one.’ The Times

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Bitten (A Lauren Westlake Mystery) by Dan O’Brien

BittenBitten by Dan O’Brien
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lauren Westlake is an F.B.I. agent who becomes enthralled by a cold case she discovers. Dating back a century there have been several violent murders in different places of the country. What ties them together with an impossible timeline is the fact that all the victims are torn and shredded in the same manner by, seemingly, the same weapon.

It had been speculated that these were some sort of animal attack but as Lauren reviews the cases she is intrigued by the hints of a supernatural cause.

Using a vacation as an excuse to investigate on her own she travels to Locke, Minnesota where the latest victim has been found.

Here is the book summary:A predator stalks a cold northern Minnesotan town. There is talk of wolves walking on two legs and attacking people in the deep woods. Lauren Westlake, resourceful and determined F.B.I Agent, has found a connection between the strange murders in the north and a case file almost a hundred years old. Traveling to the cold north, she begins an investigation that spirals deep into the darkness of mythology and nightmares. Filled with creatures of the night and an ancient romance, the revelation of who hunts beneath the moon is more grisly than anyone could have imagined.

This did not turn out to be your typical werewolf story. Elements of horror, police procedural and Urban Fantasy give Bitten a wide appeal.

I enjoyed the relationship Lauren strikes up with the small-town Sheriff and his officers. As the story progressed I was unsure of how things were going to turn out and, indeed, I was surprised by the turn of events.

I had a hard time reconciling the smart and savvy F.B.I. agent Lauren with the scattered Lauren that meets Dominic, a mysterious new-comer to Locke. Though it is most likely meant to portray an attraction between Lauren and Dominic and her feeling that there was something off about him, it was unclear and stood out for me. I also wanted a bit more character development. More meat on the secondary characters as well. (No pun intended.) Other than that I did enjoy the story and I see a huge potential for future Lauren Westlake novels.

I am looking forward to more from Dan O’Brien in this series.

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Born Lucky, The JD Chronicles by Christine Dougherty

Born Lucky (The JD Chronicles) Born Lucky (The JD Chronicles) by Christine Dougherty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Christine Dougherty was born to write.

In previous works Christine has tackled Horror, Speculative Fiction, and Mystery. In Born Lucky, Urban Fantasy and Suspense . She does each one of these very, very well. Her writing easily pulls her reader in to the story she is weaving and compells us to continue to turn page after page until the story is told.

In Born Lucky the author introduces us to a unique and likeable character; JD.

As a young boy, JD receives a gift and a curse in the form of psychic abilities.

One form that manifests is the ability to hold a newspaper article and receive a vision of the events described in the article. This also poses a risk in that JD suffers physically some of what the subject of the article suffers. This can injure or kill him and it, as well as other abilities, causes him to retreat from society at a very young age.

His choice of refuge? A secluded mental hospital.

Nora, an administrator in the hospital who understands why JD is really there just cant help slipping these articles to JD when she thinks he can help. This is how his adventures in Born Lucky begin.

Here is th book summary from the author: At three days old, JD was blown clear of the explosion that killed his mysterious parents and set him on a path of uneasy discovery. A reluctant psychic, JD chooses to live in the safe world of a mental institution, unable to control the things he ‘sees’…sometimes with unwelcome, and even dangerous, consequences.

Join JD as he tries to help find a young couple who go missing in the forbidding Pine Barrens of South Jersey.

I liked JD a lot. He is unsure of himself and afraid of the world outside of the institution. Cynical yet vulnerable, he starts off somewhat cowardly once he is pressured in to helping find two missing teens but starts to feel things differently as he connects to a park ranger and starts to see the small world he has created for himself. You still like him but even better, you like how his character grows. By the end of Born Lucky, I loved JD and as a bonus found the secondary characters in the story just as likeable.

I truly hope Christine publishes another JD book soon. The combined elements of suspense, horror, humor and realistic human emotion really hooked me. I foresee a successful, enjoyable series that will draw the attention of readers who enjoy many types of genres.

I recommend this to Horror, Suspense, and Urban Fantasy lovers!

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Bad Radio by Michael Langlois

Bad Radio (The Emergent Earth)Bad Radio by Michael Langlois
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

-IF you like heroes…

-IF you like heroines…

-IF you like Urban Fantasy with a bit of Horror and Mystery thrown in…

You have GOT to read Bad Radio by Michael Langlois, I mean it! Go now to your favorite book site and get it. Trust me.

OK, I’m calm. I’m gonna insert the book summary here so I can get an iced drink because this book is hot. 5 STARS hot!

Sixty years ago Abe Griffin saved the world and gained eternal youth.

Or so he thought.

Now, a man who Abe believed to be long dead is killing the surviving members of Abe’s old squad in order to reclaim the relics that they have kept hidden for decades.

The relics form an ancient beacon that must never be used, in a ritual that must never be completed. But the end of the world requires more than just activating the beacon.

It requires Abe.

With help from the granddaughter of his oldest friend, Abe must learn the truth about his immortal body, while at the same time trying to stop a horrifying series of supernatural opponents from sweeping away everything that he cares about.

The opening scene in this story begins on a farm. Abe Griffen is bucking bales of hay up into the loft and remembering his wife. He had lost her five years earlier and had been living a very secluded life in the country. Most of his friends are gone, or will soon be. After all, Abe and his friends are closing in on their eighties. They feel old, look old. They have married and had children, retired and rested. Well, except for Abe. He may have lived almost eighty years but he has the body of a thirty year old. He watched his wife age and die. Used tricks to hide his lack of aging until forced to retire to his farm. He is done.

Having been the leader of a special unit during WWII, Abe has seen and experienced things most people will never ever see.

So after neatly stacking his hay, closing up the house and taking care of the logistics, Abe sits down in a comfortable chair, content and at peace, and puts a gun under his chin.

Someone forgot to tell Abe that heroes don’t get the easy way out. Especially if their mission isn’t over. Michael Langlois knows this and proceeds to tell us all about it and Abe’s journey in Bad Radio.

What a fantastic and thrilling ride. From the knock on Abe’s door by a compelling young woman to running for their lives and racing to save the world. Abe and the granddaughter of a fellow squad member and friend are faced with the inevitable decision to sacrifice their lives to save the world from a psychotically mis-guided man in search of revenge.

I so loved this book I have recommended it to friends all over. I can not wait until Michael Langlois writes more for me to devour! I wonder if he takes bribes?

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Posted by on November 1, 2011 in Action/Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Urban Fantasy

 
 
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