This Chicks Audio Review: Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison and Narrated by Marguerite Gavin

One of my new favorite things to do is to revisit previous favorites by listening to them as audiobooks. Kim Harrison’s Hollows series has been one of my favorite urban fantasy series and recently when she came out with a surprise novel in what was a completed series I decided to take a look back and listen to the first novel, Dead Witch Walking. Narrated by Marguerite Gavin, I was pleasantly surprised at how much the main character Rachel Morgan, still resonated with a much older me.

The Hollows series is set in a world just like ours, but where magic and paranormal beings are commonplace ever since “The Turn” when a genetically altered tomato killed a good portion of the human race. Rachel Morgan is a witch, but she’s also an investigator, and Dead Witch Walking is the start of her story and her investigative team of Ivy, a living vampire, and Jenks, a pixy. The three of them live and work out of an old church in the Hollows, the more magical part of Cincinnati. Rachel has a price on her head and in order to pay it off she tries to bring in evidence against mysterious millionaire Trent Kalamack, that shows he’s dealing in Brimstone a street drug. In Dead Witch Walking you get a lot of set up, not only to the world, but also to the characters and Marguerite Gavin does a great job at voicing all of them. My favorite voice being Jenks, who’s a small pixy (picture tinkerbell sized) and his voice somewhat matches that size. It’s too cute.

Rachel Morgan, despite her witchiness, attracts trouble. She’s somewhat of a blunderer but she has great instincts and in this case she’s taken on a bit more than she can chew in Trent Kalamack who exhibits supreme bad guy vibes in this first novel. In the end, Rachel gets what she wants by paying off her debt and getting rid of the price on her head, but it’s not exactly done in the way that she hoped. Dead Witch Walking is a mad-cap adventure story with great characters that develop into true friends and a great investigative team, and also sets the story for many of the things that happen to and for Rachel in the next 15 novels. If you love well done urban fantasy novels and have the patience to see your character grow into the kick a&$ she becomes, please pick this up, listen to it, or plug it directly into your brain in whatever means possible. This book is good, but the series is even better and I’m excited that Marguerite Gavin does such a great job with the narration because I’ll be listening to them for a while to come. (15 books! Sixteen if you count the flashback, The Turn.)

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase the audiobook!* Dead Witch Walking: Hollows, Book 1

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Re-Read: Oracle’s Moon (Elder Races #4) by Thea Harrison

When I was choosing my next book I found myself hovering of Oracle’s Moon, a book I’d read back in 2014. I didn’t remember the plot but I did remember that I really enjoyed the story and tried to talk my sister into reading it even though she hadn’t read any others in the series. Thinking about that and wondering if I’d think it was as good as the first time I’d read it I downloaded the book and settled in to read.

With the exception of the first book in the series, Dragon Bound, Oracle’s Moon is my favorite of the Elder Races novels. Grace Andreas finds herself as not only the Oracle of Louisville but new parent to her niece and nephew after the sudden death of her sister and her husband. In her family the Oracle line is passed down from daughter to daughter and her sister’s daughter was too young to inherit the gift so it passed to Grace. What a way to find out your sister is dead! Overwhelmed by the demands of raising the children as well as becoming the Oracle she is struggling to make ends meet. When Drago, the leader of the Elder Races lands on her land (he’s a dragon) to have a “discussion” she comes to the attention of a Djinn, Khalil, who becomes fascinated with the children. He starts popping in for after hours discussions with the kids and Grace has to put her foot down. His fascination quickly changes over to her and he becomes enamored.

The plot doesn’t sound too different from other paranormal romance novels does it? Yet there’s a helplessness to Grace when she finds herself a new parent as well as the Oracle which contrasts with her steely determination to not let this djinn mess with her kids. I became fascinated myself! Combined with the humor from his obtuseness in dealing with her and the human-like need he has to be around them because they remind him of his own child? It’s hard to put across on paper but all of that makes for a wonder novel about magic, humanity, and love. I can’t say it was the right book at the right time because this is my second time reading it and I enjoyed it just as much as I did in 2014! It’s just a good book.

So, if you like paranormal romances this series is a fun read for the first I don’t know maybe 6 books or so? After awhile the newness of this world wears off a bit but Dragon Bound and Oracle’s Moon are definitely worth a read. Give them a shot and then let me know if I steered you wrong! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Click this link to purchase!* Oracle’s Moon (Elder Races Book 4)

Copyright 2020 The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

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

This Chick Read: Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs

After Mercy stood on a bridge and declared the citizens of her territory safe from others, she and her pack have been seriously busy. Called out to take care of some miniature goat zombies (or was it goat mini zombies?) she stumbles onto the fact that her territory is under siege by a coven of witches. The timing could have been better, after all, Adam and the pack are helping the government negotiate a meeting with the Gray Lords (fae) that will hopefully end in peace. Mercy again finds herself in the middle of a ‘situation’ and it takes the combined efforts of her pack to facilitate the survival of everyone.

Mercy is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines. Even though she’s mated to the Alpha of the Columbia Basin pack, is the daughter of Coyote, and step daughter to Bran- THE North American Alpha, she is a character that many of us readers can identify with. She is a woman who lives for normality. However, being Coyote’s daughter, mischief is never very far away. In Storm Cursed, Mercy’s role as ‘she who spoke big words on the bridge’ is never more apparent. She now has to leave that wish for normality behind her and actively interfere for those who ask for her help. Her interference previously has always been passive. Mischief finds her, but now she must find the mischief in order to stop all of the chaos. It’s an interesting change for this character and I quite like seeing her take a more leadership role in her own life.

There were many plots and sub- plots intertwining through Storm Cursed that makes it really hard to talk about the plot without giving away some key plot points so I’m not going to talk too much about those other than to say there was a lot of very satisfying action scenes where Mercy and the gang got to outsmart the bad guys. I loved these action scenes, but a more subtle defining moment for Mercy’s character was when she and Mary Jo were dealing with the mini goat zombie’s (or was it zombie miniature goat’s?) and they had a heart to heart. Mary Jo is one of the wolves who is against Mercy and Adam’s relationship. Even though Adam declared a cease fire on any active resistance to he and Mercy’s marriage, Mary Jo still subtly lets Mercy know she’d prefer Adam with Christy, his ex-wife. Mercy usually rolls with the punches, but Mary Jo’s dig catches her at a weak moment and she speaks her thoughts on why Adam and Christy were bad together. Why would you want your Alpha to be with someone who tore him down and made him regret who he was? Christy was that woman who make him feel bad about himself and ashamed of being a wolf. I believe this conversation with Mary Jo will be the turning tide in Mercy’s relationship with the pack and we could see a united front in future storylines. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so!

The title of this book is Storm Cursed which is certainly apropos because they are in fact battling a coven of witches and their evil curses, but that is not the only cursed storm in this novel. In fact, this series is rife with objections against behavior that is beyond the norm. There are government factions who are against non humans, both fae, wolf, and vampire. There are vampire politics and hierarchy whose lineage becomes transparent both in Marsilia’s seethe as well as rooted throughout America and Europe’s vampire community’s. Then there are the more commonly found bias’s among humans against homosexuals and women, themes that are vividly portrayed on these pages. In Storm Cursed, we see the beginnings of absolution for many of these things. Kyle, Warren’s lover, is given a hierarchy of sorts within the pack, politicians begin to see more clearly through the clouded glasses of bias and hate, and yes, women’s roles are not subjugated but given strength through their actions. This novel starts as Storm Cursed, but almost ends up being a blessed storm. One that provides a cool wind of change. I can’t wait to see what the next Mercy Thompson novel will bring and in what other ways the subjugated will become uplifted.

I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!

Click this link to purchase!* Storm Cursed (A Mercy Thompson Novel)

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

This Chick Read: First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones (audio book review)

First Grave on the Right was first published in 2011, so this is not a new book. However, recently I had another blogger recommend Darynda Jones to me because of my love of paranormal fantasy novels. When I looked up Darynda Jones I saw there were 13 books in this series and I’ll admit I was excited. There’s nothing like finding a great new author and getting to read through a bunch of their novels that are already published. I chose to explore by listening to the audio book narrated by Lorelei King. I’ll be the first to admit that I am just learning to recognize narrators names and I didn’t recognize Lorelei King, but when I heard her voice I knew immediately who she was. Ms. King also narrates Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, one of my favorites, and also a series I am currently listening to. Once I got over the fact that the voice may be the same, but the characters definitely weren’t I really enjoyed the novel.

First Grave on the Right introduces us to Charley Davidson, PI and Grim Reaper. Charley is not the Grim Reaper of horror stories. She doesn’t wear a cape and carry a scythe. She is a person who see’s dead people and helps them cross. The dead people see Charley as a brilliant white light which attracts them to her and to get them to cross she helps solve the problem that’s keeping them in this realm. In this case it is a murder. Charley’s character has such a joie de vivre! Ms. King read’s her with a sense of humor and irreverence that really makes listening to this novel enjoyable. It is part slapstick, romance and mystery; think Stephanie Plumb meets Nancy Drew.

First Grave on the Right is also a paranormal romance novel, but Charley’s lover is not corporeal, he is an entity that at first we’re not sure is a bad guy or good guy. We are only introduced to this character, but he has played an integral part in Charley’s entire life. Moving into future novels his character becomes a bit more fleshed out, but in First Grave on the Right Charley is trying to determine who and what he is, while also solving this other murder.

I really enjoyed Darynda Jones since of humor in writing these characters. It’s a paranormal fantasy so throw away your expectations of reality and just enjoy the ride!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

First Grave

Click this link to purchase the audio book! First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Rough Justice (Cainsville #8) by Kelley Armstrong

Rough Justice is a novella revolving around Olivia’s first Hunt as Matilda for the Cwn Annwn. The Hunt provides justice to those who have killed descendents of the fair folk and the Matilda leads that hunt as witness when justice is served.  Olivia’s day job is as an investigator for her boyfriend lawyer Gabriel, so admittedly it’s hard for her to accept their prey’s guilt without proof, and because of that he goes free. Olivia investigates the murder and finds that the solution is not as clear cut as portrayed.

Kelley Armstrong has written another great novel in this series giving us just a taste of being back with our favorite characters. The mystery traversed a path that was unexpected and I enjoyed that journey, however the tension that filled the other novels was missing from this one with only a mild segue into the current status of Gabriel and Olivia’s relationship. Maybe I’m nitpicking but that tension was a big part of why I felt the series was so gripping.

If you need a Cainsville fix this novella will give you one, but I hope she is writing another one quickly because this is just an appetizer and not a whole meal.

❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Rough Justice

Click this link to purchase! Rough Justice

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am an Amazon Associate and will receive a small stipend if you purchase this novel through the above link.

This Chick Read: Vampire’s Faith (Dark Protectors #8) by Rebecca Zanetti

Vampire’s Faith is the eighth book in the Dark Protectors series, but is really the first book in it’s own series, also set in the Dark Protectors world. Ronan Kayrs was sacrificed to live in an alternate dimension that was supposed to last for an eternity. His sacrifice was part of a key that would hold the ultimate enemy. When Ronan wakes in a hospital, he realizes his part of the containment has collapsed, and that evil is closer to being released back into this world. However, there is a bright side for Ronan. When he awakes he also sets sight on the woman he has been dreaming of for centuries, his mate Dr. Faith Cooper.

The Dark Protectors series is my favorite of Rebecca Zanetti’s. It uses the time honored theme of good vs evil, but with a paranormal twist. Vampire’s Faith adds another twist in that Ronan is a King from centuries ago. His brothers descendants are the current time Kayrs family who rules their vampire nation and are the heroes of the earlier books in this series. A clever way to tie the stories together and keep this thrilling series alive.

I had a really easy time enjoying Ronan. When he entered the story he was kind of goofy, after all he was dropped into current technology, clothing, etc. He was charming and self deprecating as he wooed his mate. As the story moved forward, he became more demanding and reverted to the “I am male therefore you should listen to me” ways of the past. Luckily Faith was not going along with his program. It made for a tension filled  love story where both of their eyes were being opened to unusual things and they had to rely on each other to be their anchor in an unfamiliar world. The highlight was that the attraction between the two was sizzling and their passion jumped off the pages.

Where I felt the story slow down was when the Kurjans and Cyst were bigger players in a scene. I guess I needed a little more back story for this hidden sect that showed up all of a sudden as the big evil was closer to being released. I’m sure their part in this story will get fleshed out a little more in the next novel, which looks to be a good one. The story set up nicely at the end of this book to tantalize the reader.

If you love paranormal romances this series is great. You can start with book #8 and jump right in, but to get a better picture of this world start at the beginning with Fated. It’s one of my favorites in the series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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

Vampire's Faith

Click this link to purchase! Vampire’s Faith

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reseved

I am an Amazon Associate and will receive a small stipend if you purchase through the above link.

This Chick Read: Torment (Origin #3) by Scarlett Dawn

In a world where the male population outweigh the females you have only a brief time before you have to make a decision. Join the army or get married and start doing your part to build up the depleted population. When you’re on the run from your psychotic father you don’t have a lot of time to think about your future. Megan is just trying to stay one step ahead and off his radar. After escaping imprisonment in the second book in the series, Transcend, Megan had found a job as a bartender. When the mercenaries that helped free her from captivity show up for a drink, Megan worries that they will lead her father straight to her, however her instant chemistry with Rune Mason pushes those worries to the back burner. For the moment. When she learns Rune is a panther shifter and she is his mate, she’s surprisingly blase about the whole thing. Panther? Cool! Well, cat’s do like to hunt, and he does promise to keep her safe from her father. I can see how that would weigh in his favor.

Origin is a serial where the plot is continuous from one book to the next. Our central couple shifts (pun not intended), however the overall story of these shifters trying to save the world from an evil mastermind continues. When Megan finds out her new beau, Rune, is a panther (also a successful, wealthy businessman) and can help her kill her father she embraces this dangerous world. After all, Rune can keep her safe and give her that princess life she’s always wanted. I’m not sure Rune gets anything out of the bargain except for a mate who is sassy and kind of cunning like he is, but as my mom always said, “there’s someone for everyone” and Megan and Rune are a matched set!

This is my second series by Scarlett Dawn, and I have to say that I really enjoy her style of writing. It’s energetic, fun, and kind of wacky! If you can keep yourself from thinking too hard about the details and how the characters move from point A to point B, then you’ll enjoy reading her books. Torment on it’s own was an enjoyable story. I like Rune, he’s always plotting and playful and I felt that Megan was a great match for his cunning cat. I’m used to this world they live in, so those details don’t take me out of the story, but there was one small detail that made me pause and go “huh”. Megan’s dream, after killing her father and being free to do whatever she wants? To be a princess, I’m guessing in a Disney World type setting (I hope!) and making children smile all day was a little far fetched, but maybe that was my own problem. I’ve never had ball gown and magic wand dreams myself. Pushing that one thing aside, Torment was a lot of fun and once again I found myself enjoying the romp. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Torment

Click this link to purchase! Torment (Origin Book 3)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am published- Book Bloggers and Reviewers Wanted!

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. The first was because I like to talk about the books I am reading and none of my friends or family were interested. The second reason is because I wanted to jump start my creative writing. I figured if I were blogging regularly I would get used to making the effort to write and would actually start that novel that I had been kicking around in my head. I gave you all a taste of my novel as I was going through edits and got some nice feedback from several of you. Well, I have GREAT news! Yes, I finished the book, but not only that, I have self published the book on Amazon and Smashwords.

Now that I am published (boy is it weird to say those words!) I need some help getting the word out. I get it. We are all super busy, and a lot of us, myself included have our calendars full. I was wondering if there were any of you who would be willing to read my novel and review it, and of course, post those reviews on your blog and on Amazon or Smashwords? As with any review I do for other authors, I only want honest reviews. If you don’t like the book, that’s ok. If you love it, great! Please take a look at the cover and read the synopsis below and let me know if you are interested and I’ll send you an e-copy. The book is relatively short at just over 210 pages and around 67k words.

Midnight Metamorphosis Cover -3

Here’s the synopsis for my YA Paranormal novel Midnight Metamorphosis:

A prophecy that a child of both Elemental and Seer races would be born as savior or destroyer of their kind prompts the existence of two factions. One faction wants to kill the child before her sixteenth birthday when she’s due to transition into her full powers. The other wants to steal her powers and with those powers help Avadar, a Grand Duke of Hell, rule the Earth.
Avery Anderson, at fifteen, lives with her aunt in southern California following her mother’s death. She wants a normal life going to high school and making friends, everything she hasn’t done living on the run with her mother for years.
On her first day of school her Elemental powers start to manifest and Avery finds out that her life will be anything but ordinary- this school is filled with Other kids, one of whom is assigned her Guardian, Cole.

Devon, part Mesmer and Elemental and his twin sister Dani have been enrolled at Avery’s school by the other faction to become close with Avery. Devon uses his Mesmer talent to become paired with Avery on an assignment. When they realize they can share their powers during a fight against Demonids, the Sentinel of the Elementals, who is also Avery’s father, realizes she is a threat to all Elementals and orders Cole to kill Avery before she goes through her transition on her sixteenth birthday. 
As her birthday approaches the attacks on Avery intensify and it is only with the help of her friends that she is able beat back evil, but as with any battle there is tragedy.

Of course, if you are interested in taking a look at the Amazon  and Smashwords pages here are the links:

Amazon – Midnight Metamorphosis

Smashwords- Midnight Metamorphosis

Thanks so much for your consideration,

Deb

This Chick Read: Covert Game (A Ghostwalker novel) by Christine Feehan

Ms. Feehan I salute thee for writing so prolifically and successfully! I think I read recently that this is her 75th novel? Well, Covert Game is the 14th novel in the Ghostwalker series and I’ve ready about five of them. The great thing about a series with a lot of novels is that you can usually read them as stand alone’s and catch up with the personalities pretty quickly and this novel fell into that category, so don’t let the number in the series scare you away.

Covert Game  started off really quick with our heroine Zara Hightower in China getting ready to deliver a speech about artificial intelligence to a Fortune 500 foreign company. However, not everything is as it seems! Zara is a secret agent placed there to steal secrets from Cheng’s (said business owner) computers while simultaneously giving her AI speech. (You may ask how that can be? Let’s just say she’s got more in her head than her wit and common sense!) Of course things go wrong, Zara is held captive and tortured (pretty horrifically!) and our Ghostwalker team with hunky hero Gino Mazza come in to rescue her from captivity to the evil Bolan Zhu who wants her for his personal submissive.

Like I said, it got off to a really quick start!  I liked Zara a lot. She was plucky, held out against telling secrets while being tortured and just an overall good person. These were my thoughts pre-Gino, anyways. Our hero Gino is introduced to us as a very conflicted guy. Orphaned and brought up by his uncle who is a Crime Lord, Gino is a Ghostwalker with his cousin Joe. Raised together, he always had his cousin’s back. Joe wasn’t in this novel too much, but my understanding is that although he is the leader of these Ghostwalker’s he’s a pretty likable guy. Gino, not so much. Other than when with his brothers in arms, Gino flies solo. Think dark, broody, silent type hero. When they receive their mission to save Zara, he becomes slightly obsessed. Once she is in his hands he doesn’t let go and she doesn’t want him to, becoming totally dependent upon him for her safety.

What happened to plucky heroine Zara? Well, she did get the sh*& kicked out of her, but she absolutely dissolved. I hated that for her. Gino wasn’t that bad a guy, he actually cared for her, but he really wanted her under his thumb and she allowed herself to be there. Now, before everyone goes crazy on me I will back down a bit. You can read a novel like this and take it two ways. One, there is someone for everyone. Gino had a rough life, so did Zara, and they seemed to need what the other person was capable of giving. Sounds pretty reasonable. I fell into the other column.  To me, Zara was a victim that wanted a strong man to take care of her and Gino was that guy who wanted to keep his woman safe and dominated. I was so conflicted! I really don’t like love stories where the woman is a victim. Covert Game started off really good, but the middle was a muddled mess, and then the action amped back up and gave the story a purpose again. A mixed bag for me.

How do you rate a novel that was well written but just did not hit any of my hot buttons? It was a fantasy so I gave it some leeway, but please Ms. Feehan give women a role model in their heroine, not a doormat. For those of you who don’t have trouble reading victim love stories, you’ll love this one. Don’t let my opinion turn you away. ❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this ARC for my honest review, and it was honest!

Covert Game

Click this link to purchase! Covert Game (A GhostWalker Novel)

Copyright 2018 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

This Chicks Sunday Commentary: This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers) by Author Gail Carriger

I am a big fan of Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol series and her YA series The Finishing School. I have reviewed a few of her books and occassionally read her newsletters to keep up with what she has coming out and is working on. Lo and Behold, tonight I read this fabulous article about why or really what cover art should say about what is in your novel. I totally agree with the importance of portraying what’s inside the book correctly. I think I have mentioned this a time or two… It’s fascinating to hear from the authors viewpoint. She also talks about her slight change in pen name when she writes from genre to genre. Her reasons make total sense when writing a clean YA, steampuk, to a raunchier adult, LGBTQ novel.

Anyways, you can read the article yourself because I have pasted it below.

If you read to the very bottom you will see a quote from THE READING CHICK ( yes ME!) from a review I wrote for Prudence. Color me shocked when I saw that! And VERY pleased!

So please enjoy Ms. Carrigers thoughts, she is a super talented writer, well spoken, and really knows what she’s talking about.

Deb (The Reading Chick)

This is Why a New York Times Bestselling Author Changed Her Pen Name to G. L. Carriger: On Pseudonyms, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal (Important for Writers)

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