This Chick Read: Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock #7) by Faith Hunter

Evan Trueblood arrives in New Orleans with the fury of a man on the hunt for his wayward wife. When he finds out Molly isn’t staying with Jane, he, Angie, and little Evan camp out at Jane’s while she investigates Molly’s disappearance. At the same time Jane, as Leo Pellissier’s enforcer, finds out there are strange vampire’s in town, one of whom is a vampire-witch hybrid. Can these two things be connected? I’ve learned in a Jane Yellowrock novel that there are no coincidences, just plots that intertwine into one cohesive soul burning conclusion. This most recent novel, Black Arts, is no different.

The reason for Molly’s appearance in New Orleans is not just to make peace with Jane or take a break from her marriage. She’s gotten mixed up with these new vamps and it’s up to Jane to find her before she steps even further over a line that will be hard to recover. This plot has roots in the previous two to three novels and I love how this author plays with the present and the past to keep the reader invested in how the future will play out.

As a reader and fan of the Soulwood novels, I finally get the facts behind Rick and Jane’s falling out, with the introduction of Pakka, the were leopard from Africa who has created a divide between the two lovers. Their relationship never gelled for me and this novel answered some of my questions about why I didn’t feel as connected with Rick in this series as I do in the Soulwood novels. Maybe Jane isn’t meant to be with Rick and her sizzling chemistry with George (aka Bruiser) or Leo, the Master of the City is where her future lies? I’ll just have to keep reading this series to find out.

I loved so many things about this novel. Jane’s reunion with Angie and little Evan was tender, her relationship with Evan continues to get better, her partnership with Eli and Alex turns into an emotional bond, and her reunion and eventual healing of her relationship with Molly brought it all home. This novel hit all of the high points in my love for this series that I couldn’t help but feel refreshed and ready for Jane to move forward into whatever the future may hold. I can’t wait.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Black Arts (Jane Yellowrock Book 7)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase this book through the above link I will receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Death's Rival (Jane Yellowrock #5) by Faith Hunter

Death’s Rival neatly ties into the previous novel Raven Cursed. While traveling to Asheville as envoy for Leo Pellissier, Master Vampire of New Orleans and the southern states (excluding Florida), Jane defended herself in her hotel room, killing an armed intruder. Now, another Master Vampire intent on taking over the United States declares Jane’s actions, as Leo’s enforcer, to be an act of war. A serious offense, to say the least. the fact that this Master Vamp is conquering his intended victims by releasing a virus on them and dangling the serum for their servitude? That’s a problem that only Jane has the skills to investigate.

Death’s Rival finally moves Jane’s character forward in many ways. It introduces a new character for Jane to lust after and partner with in Eli, removes and explains Rick’s absence, and provides more of a connection between she and George (Bruiser), Leo’s primo. Three men to tempt Jane strikes a little close too Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series for me, but luckily Jane is all talk and very little action unlike Anita’s character who has sexy times with pretty much anyone. I enjoyed the three scenario’s presented in this book and liked how they all also interacted with each other.

Another plot that moved forward was the relationship between Jane and Leo. Somehow in previous books she had managed to hold off Leo’s interest in her but her actions in Raven Cursed finally caused that tenuous peace between them to break. Jane has to become what she declared in Raven Curse. She is now Leo’s enforcer and has to face all that entails. Some of it is very hard to read. I have liked Leo’s character in the past but in this novel he shows that he is actually Master.

What is missing from this novel is the sisterhood. Jane and Mollie’s relationship hasn’t gotten past that Jane had to kill her evil witchy sister and I miss that lightness her friendship with Mollie and her kids brought to her character. It also mellowed out her inner ‘Beast’.

This one kind of ended on a mini cliffhanger so I immediately moved on to the next novel in the series. This is just getting better and better as it moves along! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Death’s Rival: Jane Yellowrock, Book 5

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you should purchase this book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Raven Cursed (Jane Yellowrock #4) by Faith Hunter

Jane is hired by Leo Pelissier, Master City of New Orleans to work as a bodyguard for his envoy to a delegation to discuss a new Master in Asheville, Jane’s hometown. While there some werewolves have bitten some campers and Jane is brought in to investigate that savage attack. When she finds that it’s connected to her purpose in Asheville she soon finds herself up to her elbows in blood, guts, and bullets.

There were a few interlocking plots in Raven Cursed. Rick LaFleur, her ex-boyfriend bitten by both werewolves and were panther in the previous novel is in the Asheville area. He connects with Jane during this investigation and their relationship is again teased into existence. Having grown found of Rick from having read the Soulwood novels I’m eager to learn more of he and Jane’s back story so any Rick scenes are much appreciated.

Jane’s best friend and witch Mollie also lives in Asheville, and her big sister who turned slightly evil in Mercy Blade also gets a continuation of her story in Raven Cursed. Her possible tie to the attacks on Leo’s envoy and Jane herself make her an even more interesting piece of the puzzle than she had been in Mercy Blade.

Jane, herself, keeps evolving as we learn more about her past. I am even more intrigued by her than I was when this series started. Her sass, confidence, and yes, even Beast who lies within are interesting and keep me coming back for more. It’s on to book #5 with many more to go. I gotta admit, I just love that feeling. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Raven Cursed : A Jane Yellowrock Novel(Paperback) – 2012 Edition

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase a book through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chicks Audio Review: Mercy Blade (Jane Yellowrock #3) by Faith Hunter

After reading Faith Hunter’s Soulwood novels and LOVING them, I decided to get the audiobooks for her Jane Yellowrock series. It’s been slow going up until Christmas when my mom got me a few months worth of credits on Audible and I’ve been able to use those credits to further my fix. Narrated by the supremely talented Khristine Hvam I am now well into the darker series and finally hearing the details about Jane and Rick LaFleur that I’ve been dying to find out.

The newly outted were’s have come to town and Leo has requested that Jane deliver a message that puts her into direct contact with their pack. Of course that doesn’t go well and as she fights her way out of that dangerous situation she receives help from a mysterious stranger who, as she investigates the death of one of the were pack members keeps showing up in the middle of her investigation. Constantly embattled and in danger, Jane’s boyfriend Rick also turns up missing and somehow his disappearance is related to the tense negotiations going on between the vamps and the werewolves.

Jane and Rick’s relationship in Mercy Blade has just begun and it’s off to a rather rocky start. Jane calls Rick her boyfriend yet she still has a huge attraction to Bruiser, Leo Pelissier the Master Vampire of New Orleans’, right hand man and blood donor. In fact, it’s rather confusing because it seems as if Jane and Bruiser have more heat between them than she and Rick, yet it’s Rick who gets the title of boyfriend. When he goes undercover and hooks up with a woman, I’m right there with Jane in feeling betrayed and actually wishes that she’d go over to the dark side. Despite Bruiser’s loyalty to Leo, he doesn’t seem that bad a guy. (really!)

It’s interesting to read this earlier series and see how Faith Hunter’s writing hasn’t yet gelled. Or at least it seems so in this novel. While all of the action was intense, the relationships did seem to still be working themselves out and the conflicting emotions made Jane’s decisions kind of a confused mess. Knowing there are quite a few more books in this series and still looking for answers to what happens between she and Rick, I know I’m going to be along for the ride for a good long time. Oh, and that mysterious fellow who kept showing up in the middle of everything? His story is pretty fantastic!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Mercy Blade (Jane Yellowrock, Book 3) by Faith Hunter (2011-01-04)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate- if you purchase through the above link I’ll receive a small stipend.

This Chick Read: Junkyard Cats (Audible Original) by Faith Hunter

After the Final War, after the appearance of the Bug aliens and their enforced peace, Shining Smith is still alive, still doing business from the old scrapyard bequeathed to her by her father. But Shining is now something more than human. And the scrapyard is no longer just a scrapyard, but a place full of secrets that she has guarded for years.

This life she has built, while empty, is predictable and safe. Until the only friend left from her previous life shows up, dead, in the back of a scrapped Tesla warplane, a note to her clutched in his fingers – a note warning her of a coming attack.

Someone knows who she is. Someone knows what she is guarding. Will she be able to protect the scrapyard? Will she even survive? Or will she have to destroy everything she loves to keep her secrets out of the wrong hands? 

Faith Hunter has put out the first book in the series Junkyard Cats as an Audible Original, narrated by the extremely talented Khristine Hvam who narrates all of this author’s other books. When I read the above synopsis of a woman named Shining Smith who was not quite human who lived in a world where there are bug aliens I was both repelled and excited all at the same time. Shining was everything I’d hoped her to be and although this novel really only sets up the story and world I’m intrigued enough to hope for a full length novel.

If there was a negative it was that there were a LOT of technical/mechanical terms. This novel reads more sci-fi than fantasy, so beware going in that the details may bog the story down a little. The flip side is that you can zone out for those minutes and tune back in when the story progresses and not really miss a thing. 🙂

This sci-fi novel packed in a lot of world building, character development, and story for a 5 hr narration. Faith Hunter’s style is consistent with the other novels of hers that I’ve enjoyed and I’m really excited at the prospect of exploring this new world and new series. If you like sci-fi novels with strong female heroine’s and bugs, you’ve really got to be ok with those too, then you should pick up the audio of this novel. It’s fast paced and fun. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Circle of the Moon (Soulwood #4) by Faith Hunter

When PsyLED leader and werepanther Rick LaFleur finds himself naked outside a witches circle where a black cat has been sacrificed he calls in his team to investigate. When it happens again it becomes apparent that someone is using magic to summon Rick to them. What they have to find out is who, why and how to stop it before Rick becomes the sacrifice that will summon a demon.

Circle of the Moon advances Nell’s journey away from her Churchwoman background towards a “city” life. Her magic gets stronger and she has to constantly fight the urge to kill for her land, Soulwood, but she is also in a more maternal role with becoming the guardian of her younger sister Mud, who also has earth magic tendencies similar to Nell’s. Her tentative feelings for Occam resolve into want and his feelings for Nell into love. It is so easy to love them as a couple because it’s a healing kind of love where they are better together than apart.

Nell’s character wasn’t the only one evolving in Circle of the Moon. Tandy seemed to be taking on some new characteristics that I’m curious to see where they lead in future novels. Rick, also, went through quite a evolution and of course being at the center of they mystery he would, but I felt different towards him after seeing what he was going through. More sympathetic to him? I think I am!

The thing about Faith Hunter novels that always amazes me is how she intertwines a few plots so that they seem separate and then all of a sudden converge onto the same path. This novel was no different. Although the Church was more of a subplot than in previous novels, her “adoption” of Mud kept her family in the story. Her romance with Occam was stronger than in previous books because she is finally ready to move forward towards a relationship with him. The mystery was fabulous. I’d imagine if I had kept pace with the Jane Yellowrock series I may have been just a little more informed over Rick’s background but I really didn’t care. I was caught up in the action, the characters, and the resolution of this case. It was great reading and I enjoyed it thoroughly! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I was given a free ARC of this book for my honest opinion and it was honest!

Opinions from around the Blogosphere

“I can’t think of a single problem with this book, it satisfied every fan-impulse/desire I had, was a step up from previous installments in many ways, and told a solid and complete story that still drives the reader to want more. I can’t imagine a Hunter fan not liking this book — and it’s the kind of book that should get her some new readers, too.” The Irresponsible Reader

Click this link to purchase!* Circle of the Moon (A Soulwood Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading.

JUST FINISHED

Undying: An Unearthed Novel by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

First Sentence Read: The darkness is close and still, and absolute.

CURRENTLY READING

Circle of the Moon (Soulwood #4) by Faith Hunter

First Sentence Read: The night sky was a wash of cerulean blue over the trees and the roofline, with a trace of scarlet and plum on the western horizon.

I can’t wait to curl up on my couch and spend my day reading!

What are you reading?

An Interview with Faith Hunter author of the Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood Series


Hi Faith! Thank you so much for answering a few questions, I’m a big fan of your Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood series and can’t wait to hear your answers to my questions.
 ME: I have a confession. I read the first Soulwood novel before picking up and reading the first Jane Yellowrock novel and now after reading Flame in the Dark, I am three books in on each series. Since Soulwood is a spinoff of the Jane Yellowrock series, I am given clues into some of the later Jane books, especially when it comes to Rick LaFleur. However, I don’t feel like I HAD to read the Jane Yellowrock series first, was that intentional?

Faith: Not really. I was about eight or nine books in to the Jane Yellowrock series when I began to consider a spin off. With a spinoff there is always a common backstory that overlaps, and that overlapping grows organically. What I didn’t expect to happen was the lingering coinciding that came from Rick LaFleur’s continued presence in both series. I’m trying to break away Rick’s presence in Jane’s series, without taking the easy path of just killing him off. Instead, I am replacing him with a different character who will have a major role in Jane’s life. It’s been a technically interesting experience to slowly cut Rick away from Jane’s series, while not leaving a hole in Jane’s life, and at the same time, not leaving a hole in Rick’s life either, so that Rick can take up permanent residence in the Soulwood series.
ME: Jane’s character seems to be more intense than Nell Ingram’s even though they both have struggled with dark incidents in their pasts. Do you have more of an affinity with Jane or Nell? Which character has been more fun to write?

Faith: I don’t like or dislike either Jane or Nell more than the other. Both are fabulous to work with for entirely different reasons. Jane is harder to write simply because there is so much backstory in her life. The Jane Yellowrock series is now 12 books long (this counts DARK QUEEN which I am wrapping up) and is projected to go through 14 books. (Yes that makes my head spin.) To keep Jane fresh, I’ve had to write in some major changes and obstacles to overcome, and her challenges are always more physically dangerous and physically difficult than Nell’s will ever be. 
That said, Nell has to overcome so many social and emotional problems that Jane never will, because Nell was raised in (and escaped from) a polygamous cult. Her place in the real world is uncertain, and because she is the only one of her kind, that she has ever met, Nell is stumbling along in the dark, finding her way. When put in context, with Nell as a law enforcement officer, there is a layer of internal conflict that Jane will never face.
Sooo… Like a good parent, I didn’t answer to say which of my children I prefer. (gives cheeky grin)

ME: In the first three books of the Soulwood series we have seen Nell’s character grow from church widder woman to independent townie, at least inside Nell’s own mind. Do you attribute this growth and independence to her discoveries about her nature or about herself as a woman? Which discovery is more important to her independence?

Faith: I attribute Nell’s changes to education. Nell has met new people and seen how they live, how they react to one another, how normal relationships are supposed to work, all in the course of a joining a law enforcement team and solving dangerous paranormal crimes and meeting a possible romantic interest! (Can I squee over Occam?!?) She has seen women in powerful jobs, where they are in charge of men, give orders, and follow through on projects. And she has discovered what it is like to be part of a team made up of equal partners, instead of always being the one on the bottom of the pack. All this is new and exciting and in total opposition to her previous experience in a polygamous cult. 
Her own nature is something that actually sets Nell apart and steals her independence. In each book, the balance of action and danger weigh against her personal situation and history and the ways in which Nell is being forced to grow simply by being part of society and part of a crime-solving team.
ME:  Occam and Nell’s relationship seems to finally be moving forward. I have been waiting forever for that first kiss, and boy, it was a good one! Nell as a nymph or brownie, seems to have a very fertile nature. She grows leaves and twigs that need grooming. Her relationship with Occam will obviously change how Nell sees herself, but will it also change her nature?

Faith: I don’t think any creature changes its nature. A cat is always a cat, a tree is always a tree. But what I do see changing is the isolation that is part of Nell, instinctual as much as nurtured into her by John Ingram, her deceased husband. I see Nell reaching out, making friends and family, and growing into an emotionally healthy woman while solving crimes, learning about the world and falling in love. Badges and romance! Nature and falling in love! And learning how not to be a victim.
ME: This world that you have created for both of your series is so expansive! How do you keep track of characters, species, relationships and plot points? Do you have a system you can share?

Faith: Yeah…. I kinda painted myself into a brick wall with that one! I have three people I depend on for help in keeping me straight. One wonderful person keeps a searchable character history for me (which I’ll be giving away soon). Another one is keeping a book-by-book plot outline (which might be updated into the Jane Yellowrock Companion soon, a free gift to fans). The other one is a timeline and continuity editor who works with me all through each book to keep me on the straight and narrow and to do an ongoing copy edit. It takes a village!
ME:  Can you give us a hint of what’s coming up next for Nell and the PsyLED team? 

Faith: More crime. More vampire tree. More romance. More of everything!
ME: Last question- will Rick and Jane have a reunion in the Soulwood series? ( you don’t have to answer this one if you don’t want to…)

Faith: No. Not planning on it. The two series will separate totally after FLAME IN THE DARK and DARK QUEEN. But oh my! What a separation!

Faith thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. You have really made me excited to read more of your novels!

Deborah

This Chick Read: Flame in the Dark (Soulwood #3) by Faith Hunter

The Soulwood series has satisfied my hunger for thought provoking Urban Fantasy. Nell Ingram, ex-Church Woman, has grown into her role as a PsyLED investigator. As in the past, probie Nell seems to have the skills to solve the mystery. Her affinity to read the land has evolved her sleuthing skills, but has also evolved her innate affinity with nature. So much so that she has to groom her budding leaves and twigs from her limbs and hair.

The mystery introduces us to another dangerous supernatural species. Every novel is like a Star Trek exploration to another planet, except for we haven’t left Earth! We get an inside look at the team that comprises PsyLED and also the relationships that have developed. Part of Nell’s charm is the fact that even though she was married at 15, she is new to dating, or courting as she calls it. There are two men who want Nell’s attention but only one that she wants back.  She finally has the confidence to explore that side of herself and in the next novel I’m hoping we will get to see her actually take that leap into womanhood.

We learn a little more of the inner workings of the Church as her sister Mud matures into a young woman and we see all that entails within the church. Nell is determined to save Mud from her fate. So not only do we see Nell start to build new relationships but we also see her change her old ones.

If you are looking to fill an Urban Fantasy hole this series will certainly do the trick. Faith Hunter continues in the world she built for her Jane Yellowrock series, but Soulwood’s Nell is a brighter beacon in part because her life is young in comparison to Jane’s. The tone of this series is also a little lighter, the dialog bringing moments of humor to pretty dark scenes making me look forward to those small flames in the dark. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.

Flame in the Dark Click link to purchase! Flame in the Dark (A Soulwood Novel) Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chick Read: Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock #2) by Faith Hunter

Jane is still in New Orleans hired to hunt down rogue vampires, kill them and collect their bounty. As she is doing this rather grisly job, she discovers that someone is trying to raise vamps using ritual sacrifice so that these vampires are immediately cognizant and not ravenous beasts. Unfortunately during this investigation, two of her young houseguests are kidnapped and the clock is ticking for her to rescue them before they are the next sacrifice.

Jane and her inner Beast have quite a few internal dialogs that reveal some personality traits of Jane’s that we may not have seen from her surface persona as a straight up bad ass bitch. Or whatever the cat version of a bad ass bitch may be. I loved seeing this more emotional version of Jane, she is a little easier to like. As the story unfolds she is torn between two men, Bruiser and Rick, and to me it was a little surprising which one she ended up with, as the sexual tension with the loser was A-Maz-Ing. Oh well, I’m sure that story is not over as this is only book two in like a twelve book series or something.

If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, as I am, you will really dig this series. There is a ton of paranormal dark fantasy, and a lot of the characters are really likeable. I’m still warming up to Jane, but she reveals more with each book, and I know there is a ton of Jane still to discover.

❤️❤️❤️❤️


Click link to purchase! Blood Cross (Jane Yellowrock, Book 2)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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