Archive for June, 2011

My Lunatic Life-Sharon Sala

June 30, 2011

My Lunatic Life

Sharon Sala

Bell Bridge, Jul 25 2011

ISBN: 9781461087717

 

In their latest move, high school senior Tara Luna and her Uncle Pat move to Stillwater, Oklahoma.  They are accompanied as always by two ghosts (Millicent and Henry) that she sees and talks with but her only living relative cannot.   Although she would prefer settling in one place Tara loves her eccentric uncle who took her in before her first birthday when her parents died in an accident.

 

At school Tara is called the “Lunatic” by everyone but Flynn O’Mara who calls her “Moon Girl”.  They start dating.  While in a classroom, Tara’s psychic skills erupt as a boy is dying in the bathroom.  She leads the teachers and coach to the spot where Corey Palmer suffers a seizure and dies.  When Corey’s spirit asks her if he is dead, she says yes, but tells him to return to his body if he desires, which he does.  His GF Nikki makes Lunatic one of her BFFs.  Someone abducts head cheerleader Bethany Fanning who was one of the trio that treated Tara with disdain.  While a ghost buried in the backyard of their new home pleads with her to find her body and her killer, Tara and Flynn try to rescue Bethany.

 

OMG, Book one of the Lunatic Life young adult series is a fun teenage Ghost Whisper (and more psychic skills) amateur sleuth.  Tara is a wonderful lead character who holds the entertaining story line together.  The cast is solid (that is figuratively as there are two prime ghosts and other hauntings) although the cheerleaders trio and the jock are too stereotypical.  My Lunatic Life is a delightful tale that combines the heroine’s adjustment as the newbie at the high school with her investigating paranormal scenarios.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

The Light of Epertase-Douglas R. Brown

June 30, 2011

The Light of Epertase

Douglas R. Brown

Rhemalda, Aug 1 2011, $15.99

www.rhemalda.com

ISBN: 9781936850105

In Matthew 1012, Epertase warrior Rasi is filled with regret and sorrow for the atrocities he committed under the guise of war though he tries to rationalize he was only following orders of his commander Prince Elijah.  Epertase desperately conceals from his pregnant wife his despair and guilt he feels from his combat experience.

Rasi joins a celebration honoring Prince Elijah as the Light of Epertase shines on him.  When he feels he can properly leave the coronation, Rasi heads home.  He intercedes in an attempted rape but the hooligans kill the women.  Authorities blame Rasi for the homicide and cut out his tongue and dump him into a pit to fight the rashta; shockingly he kills the beast.  However the tentacles from the rashta discharge into his back.  Over the next seven years he hides in the shadows until five years ago a woman began traveling with him. 

The Teks invade Epertase and Lithia to take the oil they need to run their machines.  Their superior firepower leads to many massacres.  Although few know it in beleaguered Epertase, Rasi is the only hope but that is contingent on Princess Alina replacing her corrupt father King Elijah on the throne.  Others prefer sacrificing the royal daughter to the Light of Epertase.

This action-packed military fantasy is a strong tale that hooks the audience from the onset and never loosens that grip until the final confrontation.  The Epertase world is established on solid footing in the first few chapters; once the foundation is anchored, the story line turns into an extremely fast-paced read.  Though the plot goes down the path readers will expect Douglas R. Brown provides an entertaining gripping thriller that is difficult to put down.

Harriet Klausner

Water to Burn-Katherine Kerr

June 30, 2011

Water to Burn

Katherine Kerr

Daw, Aug 2 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780756406912

 

In San Francisco psychic Nola O’Grady works for a top secret government agency so secret the CIA never heard of them.  She runs the Apocalypse squad whose mission is to support Harmony in the combat with Chaos across the multi-earths.  Her staff consists of two stringers and a bodyguard spying for the Israelis.  Having been successful in her last endeavor against the Chaos Masters (see License to Ensorcell), Nola and her bodyguard Israeli and Interpol agent Ari Nathan understand that was just one battle in a great war that crosses dimensions.

 

She is proven right starting with a strange wave coming out of nowhere that drowns a tweener child.  The Prophet Reb Ezekiel, who ran the Kibbutz where Nola grew up, has been seen stalking the city; the problem with the sightings is Reb Zeke is supposed to be dead.  On top of this on the personal front someone seems to be blackmailing Nola’s brother-in-law. To Nola none of these events connect until she finds the core is the enigmatic Peacock Angel cult.

 

With a nod to DC comics Infinite Earths (before the “Crisis” and subsequent reinventions) Water to Burn is a terrific urban science fiction with fantasy and police procedural elements.  The story line is loaded with action as Nola and Ari investigate strange phenomena in a world where other worlds collide and cultural anthology is the most important socials science (wonder what personality type some of these others would turn up under Myers-Briggs).  Nola is a great protagonist holding the story line focused.  However, the key is the Katherine Kerr universe that readers will enjoy exploring as long as the heroine and her bodyguard provide protection.

 

Harriet Klausner

Wolfsbane-Andrea Cremer

June 29, 2011

Wolfsbane

Andrea Cremer

Philomel, Jul 26 2011, $17.99

ISBN: 9780399254833

 

Seventeen year old alpha girl-wolf Calla Tor struggles with her love for Shay, who she changed into a man-wolf (see Nightshade) and her need for her soul mate Ren.  Calla worries about Ren as the Keepers who control the wolves were torturing him back in Vail.  She concludes the Keepers will destroy her Colorado pack unless she can intervene somehow.

 

She knows she cannot save her pack alone so she makes a deal with her enemy the Searchers who agree to assist her destroy her former handlers.  However, the Searchers have a price expected of her, Ren and the pack for her freedom.

 

The second Calla enjoyable high school age urban fantasy is a direct sequel to the first entry (see Nightshade) so it behooves the audience to read that tale to understand how the heroine got to this point of making a deal with her life long enemy.  The story line is fast-paced and loaded with non stop action as the reader joins Ren and others on a raid that fails to deploy as planned.  There are some heated sex and another cliffhanger that enhance the wonderful saga.

 

Harriet Klausner

Hainted Love- Maureen Hardegree

June 28, 2011

Hainted Love

Maureen Hardegree

Bell Bridge, Mar 21 2011, $12.95

ISBN: 9781611940145

 

In suburban Atlanta fourteen year old Heather Tildy knows summer vacation will give her more time to help those who died but unable to move on to do so although she prefers her paranormal gift to go away as it is a burdensome curse.  However, the teenage Ghost Handler has set several resolutions involving her family while school is out.  Though her motive is for a smooth entry into high school Heather hopes to connect with her grumpy older sister Audrey in spite of her sibling’s BFF nasty Karen.  Second she wants to keep her younger sister Claire from turning into a clone of their nasty older sibling by spending time with her.

 

Heather makes progress on the sisters’ mission until Jack the ghost arrives.  He died a few weeks ago though no body was found.  Jack insists he is comatose not dead and proves it to Heather with a soul searing kiss.  At the same time Aunt Geneva believes Heather is the next generation Ghost Handler, her sibling’s scheme has no ghost of a chance of succeeding as she is preoccupied.

 

Although the plot is similar to Hainted Misbehavin’, the second Ghost Handlers middle school urban fantasy.  Heather is a great character who remains abashed by her new paranormal skill as everyone who matters to her believes she is fruitcake except for her aunt who everyone knows is a fruitcake; ergo Heather a chip off the nutty block. Young adult readers will enjoy the opening Ghost Handler thriller due to the heroine who remains in deep trouble with her parents, sisters and others, and has a crush on an apparent dead guy.

 

Harriet Klausner

In the Heat of the Bite-Lydia Dare

June 28, 2011

In the Heat of the Bite

Lydia Dare

Sourcebooks, Jun 26 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781402245107

 

In 1817 the vampiric Earl of Blodswell Matthew Halket takes a stroll near Hyde Park when he meets Rhiannon Sinclair during a thunderstorm that appeared out of nowhere.  Though centuries since he was a chivalrous knight he offers her assistance until he realizes that she is the source of the storm.

 

Weather witch Rhiannon wants Matthew to leave her alone as she wants nothing to do with vampires.  She is also abashed that he caught her causing the storm.  When they next meet her weather control abilities go haywire and his supernatural skills act crazy.  To make matters worse, they are falling love with each other.

 

This amusing paranormal Regency romance is a fun lighthearted frolic between two star-crossed lovers whose powers go awry when they are in close proximity to one another.  The fascinating theme grips readers as the vampire and the witch may have to choose between love and their respective powers; both are used to having these skills so if they could survive giving them up (that is if they can) would that prove enough for them to become soulmates?  Leaving the world of werewolves, Lydia Dare provides a warm romantic historical urban fantasy.  

 

Harriet Klausner

Touch If You Dare-Stephanie Rowe

June 28, 2011

Touch If You Dare

Stephanie Rowe

Sourcebooks, Jul 1 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781402241963

 

The Guardian of Hate Jarvis Swain fears for his brother who wants Death to take him after his woman rejected him with a stake to the heart.  Although he thinks Rocco is insane as Jarvis spent an undesirable tortuous century and a half incarcerated at Angelica’s Den of Womanly Pursuits, he is obsessed with saving his sibling’s life.

 

After eight years of failed prevention, D-Day has arrived for Death’s Assistant Reina Fleming who remains obsessed with saving the life of her sister.  However, she has no earthly idea how to do so until she meets Jarvis.  She believes he possesses the skills she needed to rescue her sibling.  His agenda to beat Death fits hers.  They team up to try to save their siblings while falling in love, but though she soothes the savage beast she has doubts he is the right person for her even as Death has an appointment at Fenway Park.

 

The latest Soulfire jocular romantic urban fantasy (see Kiss at Your Own Risk) is an over top of the Green Monster satire that continues the lampooning of the sub-genre.  Jarvis and Reina are fascinating characters while the support cast (to include their siblings, Nigel, Napoleon, Death and a horde of other odd paranormal like Reap) enhance the romance between Hate and the Reaper in training.  Fast-paced from start to finish, readers will enjoy the affirmation of basic algebra in which two negatives make a positive

 

Harriet Klausner

Dragon’s Oath-P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

June 28, 2011

Dragon’s Oath

P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

St. Martin’s Griffin, Jul 12 2011, $12.99

ISBN: 9781250000231

 

Dragon Lankford is the Sword Master of the Oklahoma House of Night in St. Louis.  He is also a vampire wrapped up in enigmas and aloofness, but he was not always that way.  In 1830 England, he was called Bryan, the third son of the Earl of Lankford.  Tired of his misbehaving and bailing Bryan out of trouble, his father exiled his teenage son to America.  Before he went on the shop a vampire Marked him.  He has to go to school for four years and if the fledgling survives the Change he will be a full fledged vampire.

 

Dragon attends the school at the Tower Grove House of Night where several of his student peers have crushes on him.  In 1833 twenty-two years old Professor of Spells and Rituals Anastasia casts a spell to enable those fledglings who are attracted to the nobleman to see him as he really is.  He is interested in her and surprises her when he helps her with the spell focused on him.  They fall in love, but the human Sheriff Biddle and a dark magical creature want to destroy him and they believe killing Anastasia will do that.  He comes at his enemies with vengeance though he promised an oath of mercy to his perfect love Anastasia the former Quaker who was and still is his soul mate.

 

The fencing master in the young adult House of Night series, Dragon has always been a riddle to readers and fledglings.  This is the beginning of his “biography” mostly in St. Louis during the Jacksonian Era.  The paranormal historical story line is exciting as the unlikely pair of Dragon the sword master (even as a student) and Anastasia the pacifist Quaker of spells fall in love, but are Destined for trouble. This is as enthralling and as spellbinding as the main series.

 

Harriet Klausner

Never Cry Wolf-Cynthia Eden

June 27, 2011

Never Cry Wolf

Cynthia Eden

Kensington/Brava, Jul 1 2011, $14.00

ISBN 9780758242150

 

A charmer reads the thoughts of animals, Sarah King flees vicious werewolf Rafe Santiago.  She was undercover for the Feds as Rafe’s lover but he uncovered her identity. 

 

Knowing Rafe and his pack seek her out and distrusting her agency the FBI as she does not know who she can rely on, Sarah turns to the man who killed her ex-lover’s father, the Alpha of the Los Angeles werewolf pack Lucas Simone, for safety though he lingers in jail on murder charges.  Her theory is her enemy’s enemy is her friend.  She gets him out of jail on bail, but Lucas distrusts her motives as he believes she has an agenda beyond just asking for his protection though to his chagrin he is attracted to her.  Rafe has waited a long time to avenge his father’s death and with a betrayal inside his adversary’s pack, the time is now to kill Lucas and maybe Sarah.

 

The latest Cynthia Eden romantic urban fantasy is an exhilarating thriller filled with lust, lies, and traitors.  Readers will understand why the lead triangle trusts no one as perfidy is the norm, leading to a wonderful twisting plot as fans will ponder whose side Sarah is on?

 

Harriet Klausner

Mistress of the Storm-Terri Brisbin

June 27, 2011

Mistress of the Storm

Terri Brisbin

Kensington Brava, Jul 1 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758235206

 

In Scotland, Sigurd covets power; there is nothing this avaricouse individual would not do to gain more affluence.  He even sells his stepdaughter Isabel to lairds or with connections willing to buy.  She acquiesces to Sigurd’s pimping her in return keeping her sister Thora safe from this abomination and his family business.

 

Sigurd’s latest mark is Duncan a healer with ties to the king.  Isabel stuns Duncan with her touch as he can feel it, which goes contrary to his otherworldly skills that always have diminished his senses.  Duncan takes the whore to his holding to learn about the woman.  She fears his kindness as men are nice when they want something.  Watching him tenderly heal and seeing the aftermath of how much is taken out of her host, Isabel feels trapped as she is falling in love but must protect Thora even at the cost of her heart.

 

The fourth Storm paranormal medieval romance (see A Storm of Pleasure) is a terrific tale of good and evil; yet the key is the impact on innocent pawns.  Action-packed in and out of the boudoir, fans will enjoy the war for Isabel’s heart soul between the kind healer who she loves and the malevolent stepfather who she loathes as her sibling is the bait.

 

Harriet Klausner