Bite the Dust

REVIEW OF BITE THE DUST BY CYNTHIA EDEN

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New Orleans homicide detective Jane Hart is finding police work in the Big Easy to be more, oh, let’s say, more supernatural than her experience in other cities. Her first murdered corpse returns within hours as a vampire and is killed again, that’s twice in one night. Add to that the unexplained appearances and disappearances by an imposing restaurateur called Locke and, if Jane were a cop with less courage, she might begin to feel out of her depth.

 

Author Cynthia Eden has populated her well-crafted New Orleans world with a clever and often unexpected cast of characters. The French Quarter, Jackson Square, blues bands, and beignets share the spotlight with vampires, werewolves, voodoo priestesses, and – the greatest mystery – Jane herself, who is not totally human. The conflicts escalate as opposing supernatural factions vie for ownership of nothing less than Detective Jane Hart. Unfortunately, only one of those factions intends to allow Jane to remain among the living.

 

This is a fast, fun read with fascinating characters and legendary locales. (Parents, be advised that the novel is intended for mature readers and contains some bad language and a few fairly explicit sexual encounters.) It is difficult for an author to find something original to say in the vastly-populated genre of werewolf/vampire novels, but Cynthia Eden has happily succeeded.

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HOW TO MANAGE A MARQUESS

REVIEW OF HOW TO MANAGE A MARQUESS by Sally MacKenzie

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Nate has postponed marrying and starting a family because he promised his dying mother he would always look after Marcus. You see, Marcus is cursed, like every Duke of Hart before him. If Marcus marries, he will die before his first child is born.

 

Nate isn’t cursed by a witch, like Marcus is. Nate’s curse is that he is falling in love and refuses to acknowledge it because of his commitment to protect Marcus.

 

However, in the village of Loves Bridge, forces are at work that will force both Nate and Marcus to confront marriage in unexpected ways, despite gossips, curses, unwilling spinsters, and even a magical cat.

 

Sally MacKenzie’s novel is delightfully literate, light, and likeable, with characters who intrique us, situations that amuse us, and repartee that entertains us. Fans of period English romances will find all the desired elements present and masterfully combined in this book.

 

A special treat, in the volume that I read, was the additional novella, In The Spinster’s Bed, recounting the mysterious history of the Spinster House at Loves Bridge. The story makes use of the same setting and era as in How to Manage a Marquess. Both stories are equally charming and well crafted, but the novella is arguably even more humorous than the novel.

 

This reviewer has no personal nor professional relationship with the author or publisher of the book. A free digital copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

An Unwilling Mommy

Chapter 7 of DUBY’S DOCTOR has been posted on Wattpad for you to read for FREE!

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Agent Stone forces Mitchell into a role she never anticipated and certainly doesn’t want:  Jean’s surrogate mommy!  Wait until you see what happens when this working mom tries to enroll her 250-lb. “baby boy” in daycare!

Get the paperback novel at Amazon, or name your own price (including $0.00) for the e-book at Smashwords.

 

 

 

Where the Heart Is

REVIEW of WHERE THE HEART IS, Romance Collection: Love Is a Journey in Nine Historical Novellas  (a 2016 publication from Barbour Books)

Where the Heart Is

These charming frontier love stories take place on the American frontier in the 1860’s, just before, during, and after the Civil War. Men who have tired of war and its horrors have moved west to make a fresh start and a better life, and those men need brides. Each of these stories is about a couple who meet for the first time when the bride from back east arrives in her new western home just in time to marry a stranger, with whom she has only exchanged a few letters.

 

Each story is unique in its premise and in the obstacles its characters must overcome, but all of these novellas end happily with a loving couple and a marriage grounded in faith in Christ.   Scripture and faith are woven into each story in a natural, flowing manner just as they would occur in the conversations of people living in that time and place. But these characters are real people with faults, prejudices, strengths and weaknesses. They sin and require forgiveness; they misunderstand and must learn to communicate; they act before they think and then deal with the inevitable regrets.

 

Christian ladies will enjoy these fascinating people, times, and settings as well as nine sweetly romantic stories without foul language or immoral behavior being treated as normal.   Fans of Janette Oke will love this collection of well written and entertaining

novellas.

 

Novellas included:

Where the Heart Is, Sally Laity

The Midwife’s Apprentice, Rhonda Gibson

Murder or Matrimony, Pamela Kaye Tracey

Bride in the Valley, Andrea Boeshaar

New Garden’s Inspiration, Claire Sanders

A Tender Branch, Jane LaMunyon

Knight and Day, Erica Vetsch

On a White Charger, Erica Vetsch

The Wonder of Spring, Carol Cox

Tell the Wind and Fire

REVIEW OF TELL THE WIND AND FIRE BY SARAH REES BRENNAN   (5 stars on Goodreads)

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If A TALE OF TWO CITIES married ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, their offspring might resemble TELL THE WIND AND FIRE. This is a dramatic, emotionally evocative, finely drawn story of love, rebellion, and redemption set in a New York City of a distant, alternative future.

 

The city has been divided between the haves and have nots, and magic is more important even than technology on both sides of the divide. The aristocrats and governing Committee live in the luxurious City of Light, while on the other side of a Berlin-like wall the residents of the Dark City live such a hopeless existence that they are colloquially called “the buried.”

 

In this mesmerizing story line, a girl of Light, who has lost her mother to the Dark, is totally devoted to her boyfriend, also of the Light, who also lost his mother – but that happened in childbirth. In order to save the baby boy’s life when it appeared the mother would not survive his difficult delivery, the boy’s aristocratic family secretly broke the cardinal law of their society: they created a doppelganger. The doppelganger was supposed to be killed immediately, but instead was sent to be “buried” in the Dark City, hopefully never to be seen or heard from again.

 

Doppelgangers are supposed to be soulless, evil, totally without scruples, having absorbed all the dark magic that would have otherwise conquered the original person.

 

Our heroine soon finds herself and her loved ones caught in the middle of a violent, deadly political revolution – at the same time her boyfriend’s doppelganger shows up and steps into the boyfriend’s life (and hers), apparently with evil purpose.

 

The leading characters all have their flaws, their secrets, their loves, and their faint hope of redemption. The author has created people and environments that surround and engage the reader. No matter how much Light magic and Dark magic are thrown about during the conflict, the final victory or defeat arises from the depths of the hearts of the three principle characters.

 

Hard to put down. Great fun for sci-fi fans. Free of profanity, explicit sex, and gratuitous gore. (Yay!)

No Safe Secret

Review of NO SAFE SECRET by Fern Michaels   (4 OUT OF 5 Stars ON GOODREADS)

No Safe Secret

Fern Michaels once again demonstrates her mastery of the chick novel with No Safe Secret (2016, Kensington Books). The story spans more than two decades – linking the secrets of young Maddy Carmichael, 1964 rape victim, with the hidden life of suburban homemaker Molly Tanner, abused spouse, twenty years later.

While keeping the action moving from one mystery to the next and back again, author Michaels also keeps the reader involved and engaged in the internal dialogue of the protagonist, who must come to terms with her own willingness to allow others to mistreat her.

This is a fluid, easy read, crafted with Michaels’ typical skill and finesse. Readers will connect with, and root for, the heroine and her alter ego on the journey from victim to victorious.

 

2/23/16