Wyshea Shadows by Geoffrey Saign

Posted September 4, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Guest Post, Review, Series / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wyshea Shadows by Geoffrey SaignWyshea Shadows by Geoffrey Saign
Series: Divided Draghons #1
Series Rating: three-stars
Published by Kiraku Press on November 26th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 296
Format: Kindle
three-half-stars

From the award-winning author of the WhipEye Chronicles series comes the first book in the new
Divided Draghon
series, an epic fantasy thriller, with romance, action, battles, and a world at stake...
A hundred-year-war that won't end...Three young women sworn to kill each other...Famere, the wyshea butcher, seeks vengeance with loyal mythic beasts called shadows;Jennelle, commander of the Northerners, fights for her people's survival using brilliant strategies; &Camette, a wild divided draghon, searches for her kidnapped lover...Famere, Jennelle, and Camette must discover who is friend or enemy, who is responsible for the hundred-year dark sky and death mists, and if the men they adore will still love them.

The author did a really good job explaining what was going on in each tribe and in the story as a whole. I really enjoyed the book once I got far enough into it to really understand where it was going. The book made me feel frustrated at times, had me cringing during certain scenes, and in some chapters a little bit of boredom as well as awe. The first thing that really drew me into the book was Camette’s claws.

My favorite characters were Famere & Jannelle.

Famere because she had so much to overcome.  She lost her Dad & Ison during the bonding ceremony of her people & was not able to pledge to Ison.  Then she bonded to 2 Shadows (somewhat like wolfs but bigger and worse).  She had to learn to take over running her people as the first woman to do it.  She had to be very strong.

Jannelle because she was such a kind heart and wanted peace.  She had to run her people as well but had no problems to overcome as everyone loved her and she took her father’s place without any issues.

I hated Ison.  He was all about power and hiding who he truly was from his people and especially Famere.  In the end, he chose power over breathen.

The other characters each had their own place in the story and made Jannelle, Famere, and Ison more of who they were.  Gofin and Malley are the perfect matches for the female leaders.

The fighting scene towards the end where all the different allies/enemies came together to fight the main enemies for peace was my favorite part of the book.

These are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Jannelle “Would you feel honor in killing an enemy who is making himself vulnerable to save his riding beast?”

Sparks “I’ve never seen the sky open up.  It took my breath away.”

Profetess “Seek peace, Famere.  I’ve suffered many years for helping you.  Honor the light of the meadow.”

Famere “Because I am of two shadows”

I decided to read this book as a favor to Karen at the Baroness’ Book Trove.  Once I received the book & saw the picture I realized that had I not had the plot read to me to make me interested, I would never have given it a second glance.  Apparently, I do judge a book by its cover.  I am glad I read it through as it is a good book. I give it 3.5 stars.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book for your site. ~Melissa

three-half-stars

About Geoffrey Saign

Geoffrey Saign’s passion for nature and wildlife inspired his award-winning middle grade/tween urban fantasy series, WhipEye Chronicles (WhipEye, Gorgon, Drasine), and previously led to his nationally endorsed book, Green Essentials: What You Need to Know About the Environment, as well as his books African Cats and Great Apes. He has a degree in biology, assisted in field research with hummingbirds and humpback whales, and sailed as far away as Australia. With more than twenty years of experience working in special education, he has taught adults and children everything from sailing to speech to self-awareness to novel writing. He won the Shabo Award for picture books in 2010 and the International Book Award, Outstanding Children’s Fiction, and Reader’s Favorite for WhipEye. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter

Posted August 22, 2017 by karenbaron in Dragon Shifters, Fairies, Gargoyles, Guest Post, Leprechauns, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural, Vampires, Will O' The Wisp, Witches / 0 Comments

The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen PainterThe Dragon Finds Forever by Kristen Painter
Series: Nocturne Falls #7
Series Rating: five-stars
Published by Sugar Skull Books on May 12th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle
five-stars

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.
The tourists think it’s all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.
Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.
Monalisa Devlin is a Will O’ The Wisp, a rare and potentially dangerous creature. Unfortunately, her greedy father makes sure she lives up to that potential. Monalisa is magically compelled to obey her father’s evil commands—until he finally agrees to free her in exchange for one, last mission: Travel to Nocturne Falls and use her powers to force Ivan Tsvetkov back into the ring.
Once a champion on the supernatural MMA circuit, Ivan ‘The Hammer’ Tsvetkov retired after a devastating injury that left him unable to shift into his dragon form. Wounded and embittered, Ivan wants nothing more than to be left alone. Until an infuriating, stubborn, delicately beautiful stranger shows up on his doorstep and demands that he rebuild his life.
Posing as a rehab therapist seemed like the easiest way to get close to the smoldering recluse, but Monalisa quickly realizes that nothing about this mission is going to be easy. To gain his trust, she shares more of herself than she ever has before, and as their connection deepens, so does the weight of her secrets. She thought she was willing to do whatever it took to win her independence...but when her deception blows up in her face, will Monalisa discover that the loss of Ivan’s heart is too high a price to pay? Or will their love rise from the ashes to burn stronger than ever?

Just because he is all muscle doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a brain or heart.

The Dragon Finds Forever by Kristin Painter is the story of Ivan “the Hammer”, a paranormal mixed martial arts champion, a dragon and Monalisa Devlin, a Will O’ The Wisp and daughter of the King of Leprechauns in Las Vegas.

Ivan is injured in a match that Monalisa’s father rigged. Now she has been sent against her will to bring Ivan back to Las Vegas for a rematch (preferably before he is healed). Their story is full of freedom, growing love, respect, and a sort of coming of age. I love the way Ms. Painter incorporates the supernatural world in a growing romance. I believe in the way she allows even those with darkness around them to find the one that compliments them and empower each other.

Oh, yes and if Nocturne Falls were a real place I would be moving there…and I don’t plan to drink the water. My rating for The Dragon Finds Forever is 5 stars. If you haven’t read this series yet you should give it a try. I hope you like it as much as I do.

**The Dragon Finds Forever**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Kristen Painter

About the Author:

Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsessions with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning paranormal romance and urban fantasy. The former college English teacher can often be found on the social media links below where she loves to interact with readers.


Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang

Posted August 20, 2017 by karenbaron in Animals, Cats, Fantasy, Fiction, Review, Time Travel / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa LangThe Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang
Series: The Pharaoh's Cat #2
Series Rating: five-stars
on November 29, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 208
Format: Kindle
five-stars

The cat must free Queen Nefertiti from a horrific curse

The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter.

The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him.

The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.

Time travel, mystery, love and a Cat.

Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang is a cat’s story. This is the first adult story that I have read where the protagonist is a cat, but he is way more than your average cat. Wrappa-Hamen is a magic cat, he talks, walks on two legs, reads, writes, and eats human food. He is also the Pharaoh’s cat, although he does go by many names in this book.

I first thought the concept was good, this will be a good story, I mean ancient Egypt and cats…but once I got into the story I found that its fabulous. Ms. Lang does an awesome job with the character Wrappa-Hamen, he is a cat but he has such personality (not that regular cats don’t). She really nails Wrappa-Hamen’s priorities, such as food first, sleep second. He is vain and has an attitude. Yet, can be so loving when he wants to be. See, very cat like. However, if my daughter’s cat Mia, could talk, I’m not sure I would want to hear what is on her mind. I think most of it would be about the dog.

The family that Wrappa-Hamen lives with, have such character. Elena is bossy, and definitely keeps them moving, she is the mother of the Pharaoh. Then there is the High Priest, who is a total book worm and at times clueless (father of the Pharaoh). And the young Pharaoh, who is now an adorable toddler, who loves Wrappa-Hamen.

The settings were stunning, I was able to see them all so vividly. I think that time travel would be wonderful. The mystery was good, I enjoyed the clues and the explanations. A completely wonderful book, which makes my rating 5 stars. As the Baroness says anything that keeps you up at night is worth the stars.

**Eye of Nefertiti**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Maria Luisa Lang

Maria Luisa Lang has published two novels, The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti, which is both a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat and a stand-alone novel. She was born in Rome, Italy, and lives in New York City. She often returns to Italy to visit her family and has stayed for extended periods in Bath and London. She has a degree in art from the City University of New York, and her artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries. She is an amateur Egyptologist. Her love of cats and ancient Egypt has inspired her to write two novels set there with a very special cat as her protagonist. Both The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti are available on Amazon in paperback and in a Kindle edition.


A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

Posted August 19, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Dogs, Ghosts, Guest Post, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Urban / 0 Comments

A Ghostly Light by Juliet BlackwellA Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell
Published by Berkley on June 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth... Dangerous tides ahead...  When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.   But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...

This lighthouse holds more than just light.

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell this is one of my favorite series. I truly love the mix of history, home renovation, paranormal, mystery and the quirkiness of San Francisco and the bay area.

The world that Ms. Blackwell has created by mixing fact and fiction is so believable. Honestly, I would like to hire Turner Construction just to be a little part of this world.

I really think that Mel is shining in this addition. It’s nice to see her with her new man Landon. She is so happy. She still has things to work on (such as her recent fear of heights0 but don’t we all. She is finally working through all of her jobs: ghost, construction or murder. Landon is extremely supportive. It’s so sweet.

Mel has two mysteries to solve: the recent murder that her friend has been accused of and the mystery of the lighthouse ghost. Ms. Blackwell does such a great job keeping the whole thing moving through the past, present and glimpses of the future.

I adored the lighthouse history that was included with the story. The treasure maps were so thoughtful. What a wonderful way to teach and entertain your child, so much better than handing them a cellphone to play with.

I found this quote online and thought it was such a great fit for this story. “Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” ~E.P. Whipple

My rating is 5 stars, of course. If you haven’t read the other books you should try the first book in the series, Home Renovation or you can just start with this one. I guarantee you will want more. Mel and her entourage are worth your time.

**A Ghostly Light**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Give up the Ghost gp

Posted August 18, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Give up the Ghost gpGive Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell
Published by NAL on December 1st 2015
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle
five-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Keeper of the Castle, San Francisco contractor and ghost whisperer Mel Turner must solve a murder mystery at a haunted mansion in the Pacific Heights...
San Francisco millionaire Andrew Stirling wants to sell his Victorian mansion, but ghostly music, the squeaking of a long-disappeared weathervane, and an angry ghost keep running off potential buyers. After a famous psychic is called in, she informs the Stirlings that their multi-million-dollar renovations to “update” the home have left its resident ghost extremely agitated. So contractor Mel Turner is engaged to track down and replace some of the original features of the house. 
But when the beautiful psychic is found stabbed, it appears someone had a very human motive for murder. Now Mel must use her ghost whispering gift to uncover the secrets of the haunted house on the hill, and her sleuthing skills to catch a killer.

Completely Spectacular!

Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell. I love this series. The cast of characters, the history, ghosts and of course the bay area. Juliet Blackwell nails the whole package together.

Mel Turner is wonderful, eccentric and knowledgeable. She has such a great personality. I loved the way she does what she wants to do. Only in San Francisco could a general contractor be a woman who shows up for work in sequins dresses and occasional feathers with steel toed work boots. It is great how she jumps in and gets the job done, whether it is helping a ghost, taking a wall down or putting in a window. She is so like her father. I like that she restores the homes instead of tearing them down or apart. She is like a ghost talking Rehab Addict.

In this addition to the series, Mel takes on a new project that starts out as one of her ghost helping clients, so murder is soon involved. Mel keeps asking questions until motives start to surface. We meet some new characters and some of the old return. Mel is different in this book, she doesn’t talk about running away to Paris, and she seems more accepting of her life as it is. Mel’s definitely fitting in her own skin now. Although she is still a workaholic, she seems to finally be over the ex and has an understanding of what she wants. Her Dad is sort of accepting of her ghost helping in the volume. Mel seems happy.

She has quite a collection of ghosts to assist this time. There is one ghost who cleans the kitchen when it is messy. Honestly, I think I would learn to get along with that ghost. In this book more so then before she has to jump through the living hoops to assist the ghosts. Mel meets the murder victims’ family, however this time she feels an unexpected pull towards the brother of the victim. Mel isn’t sure if she can trust her feelings as she doesn’t seem to know what she is doing with regards to this gentleman and her boyfriend is out of town (again) on business.

I think that Ms. Blackwell has created such a great world of rich characters and history. She makes it so easy to follow and has creative plots. I am giving this 5 Stars and completely recommended it. Such a wonderful cozy mystery.

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

 

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five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.