Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson Review

Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic Book 1) by [Olson, Melissa F.]

Title- Boundary Crossed

Author- Melissa F. Olson

Genre- Urban Fantasy

Purchase Link- Amazon

After her twin sister’s brutal murder, former US Army Sergeant Allison “Lex” Luther vowed to protect her niece, Charlie. So when two vampires try to kidnap the baby, it quickly turns into a fight to the death—Lex’s death, that is.

She wakes up to two shocking discoveries: she has miraculously survived the fight, and baby Charlie is a “null,” gifted with the ability to weaken supernatural forces…and a target for creatures who want to control that power. Determined to guarantee her niece’s safety, Lex makes a deal with the local vampires. She sets out with the mysterious—and undead—“fixer” Quinn to track down whoever’s responsible for the kidnapping, sharpening her newfound magic skills along the way. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her powers become.

Boundary Crossed is a dark, thrilling journey into a world where the line between living and dead isn’t nearly as solid as it appears…

Allison “Lex” Luther is living the life the best she can. Life has not been easy on Lex- she has not only lost her best friend, her twin sister Samantha but she lost her in a terrible way. Samantha’s body has yet to be found and Lex has vowed to someday find her, Along with the terrible emptiness left behind by Samantha’s disappearance, Lex is also an army vet and is battling PTSD. So she isn’t really living her life to the fullest but she is living the best way she knows how to, an attempt at a boring life with a boring dead-end job.

That is until one night while helping a couple find diapers she realizes that the baby that they are searching for diapers for is her niece Charlotte. With that realization she demands that the strange couple hand over the sleeping baby Charlotte to her at once. That’s when all hell breaks loose and things for Lex get very messy very quickly and she is thrust back into the battle fields a whole new world in order to protect her niece.

The Sweet-

The author creates a very realistic world, her characters are well-developed and concrete. Each one having a very distinct mark on the story as it progresses be it big or tiny. There are no filler characters that are often found in stories just to create content.

Lex being  a war hero suffering from PTSD also made the story that much more real for me. The struggles of every day life take a toll on her before finding out she is a boundary witch and all the stories of the paranormal world are true. We watch as her new-found magic somehow helps fix the fissures and cracks that both war and losing her twin sister have created.

The story itself is well written and full of action and heart. The author artfully places all of the twist and turns at the right moments making this story well-rounded and action packed. A page turner for sure!

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fresh take on Urban Fantasy and any fans of a kick ass perfectly imperfect witch!

Rating- 5 out of 5 cupcakes!

Melissa Olson studied film and literature at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After a brief stint in the Hollywood studio system, Melissa proved too broke for LA and moved to Madison, WI, where she eventually acquired a master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee, a husband, a mortgage, two kids, and three comically oversized dogs, and two chinchillas, not at all in that order. She loves Madison, but still dreams of the food in LA. (Literally. There are dreams.)

As of 2017, Melissa has published seven novels in her Old World series for 47North, and will release a second novella for Tor.com in October. Her journalism and academic work has been published in The International Journal of Comic Art, The La Crosse Tribune, U-Wire, Women on Writing.com, and the compilation Images of the Modern Vampire, and a few other places. She spends most of her non-writing professional time traveling around to conventions and conferences, though she is still somewhat fuzzy on the difference between the two. Melissa speaks about issues related to genre, feminism, writing, and parenting.

 

Alice in Murderland by Samantha Silver Review

Alice in Murderland (A Paranormal Cozy Mystery) (Magical Bookshop Mystery Book 1) by [Silver, Samantha]

Title- Alice in Murderland

Author- Samantha Silver

Genre- Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link- Amazon

Moving from Miami to small-town Oregon was supposed to be boring…

When Alice Calliope takes over her recently deceased aunt’s bookshop in Sapphire Village, Oregon, she’s not expecting her world to be flipped upside down, but that’s exactly what happens when her cousin Cat reveals to Alice that she’s actually a witch. Add in the fact that the two of them stumble upon a dead body, and Alice’s first day in town ends up being a lot more eventful than she could have possibly imagined!

What was supposed to be a simple cross-country move winds up with Alice having to learn how to navigate a whole new magical world while at the same time trying to clear Cat’s name as she emerges as the main suspect in the murder. Add in the eccentric Grandma Cee, witchcraft lessons, a whiny old ghost and the laziest cat ever, and Alice definitely has her hands full.

With pressure mounting for the super-hot local sheriff to arrest her cousin, will Alice be able to hunt down the real killer before it’s too late?

Alice likes her life in Miami, her friends and the city. She doesn’t think she could belong anywhere else, but when she inherits a book store from a deceased Aunt she never knew she had Alice has no idea the ride she is in for!

The Sweet- I really enjoyed this witchy cozy mystery! I appreciate that the author made the story a bit more realistic when it came to Alice’s Reaction to being a witch- I dislike when a character just accepts the fact that magic is real. Alice took it like any sane woman would and ran for the hills or well the trees!

The author is able to create both a cozy environment and a magic world that reader would love to spend some time in. The story and characters engage the reader and makes you feel really invested  in the fate of both the characters and the town.

The Sour- At times the story dragged just a bit me slowing the pace of the entire book. You get into a pace and then the author slows it and it can be a bit frustrating.

Rating- 4 out of 5 cupcakes!- I would recommend this book to any one looking for a great witchy read in a magical and cozy setting!

Samantha Silver lives in Oregon with her long-time boyfriend, her Jack Russell Terrier named Kilo, two cats who like to help her type by lying across the keyboard and the occasional foster. When she’s not playing mom to all these animals, Samantha is either writing the mysteries she loves, volunteering at the local animal shelter, or watching Netflix.

 

 

Magic of the Gargoyles by Rebecca Chastain Review

Magic of the Gargoyles (Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles Book 1) by [Chastain, Rebecca]

 

Title- Magic of the Gargoyles

Author- Rebecca Chastain

Purchase Link- Amazon

Mika Stillwater is a mid-level earth elemental with ambitions of becoming a quartz artisan, and her hard work is starting to get noticed. But when a panicked baby gargoyle bursts into her studio, insisting Mika is the only person she’ll trust with her desperate mission, Mika’s carefully constructed five-year plan is shattered.

Swept into the gritty criminal underworld of Terra Haven, Mika must jeopardize everything she’s worked so hard for to save the baby gargoyle from the machinations of a monster—and to stay alive…

From the imaginative mind of USA Today bestselling fantasy author Rebecca Chastain, Magic of the Gargoyles is a spellbinding adventure set in a world full of elemental magic and adorable gargoyles that is sure to enchant young adult and adult readers alike.

Mika has a dream to open up her own little shop in the Pinnacle Pentagon Center so she can finally be her own boss. She is busting her ass working and taking side jobs in order to save up for her dream. She can finally see the finish line and all her hard work will be worth it…. That is until a baby gargoyle asks for he help.

Now Mika is thrust into a the underworld of big dark magics and even bigger risk in order to save a nest of baby gargoyles from a cruel fate. Her powers are nothing compared to the dark people she is dealing with and Mika will have to put everything on the line including her dreams and her own life in order to save the lives of those innocent babies.

The Sweet-

I found the stories premise to have a creative spin on the world of Urban Fantasy. The author is able to flesh out the main character Mika rather quickly making the reader instantly like her and feel for her and route for her to succeed.

Mika and her best friend Kylie are the type of female characters we should see more of in books. I feel like they really compliment each other and the bond they have can clearly be felt as the reader dives further in to the book. Mika starts out as timid and under estimates herself every chance she can get and grows in to a bad ass while Kylie starts off as a bad ass and softens as the story goes on.

The author is able to create detailed and fully developed characters making the reader fall for the group of baby gargoyles and their savior harder than a bag of rocks (pun intended).

Though the book is rather short in my opinion (it’s more like a novella) I really enjoyed getting lost in the authors world.

The Sour-

As this is the first in the series the author is trying to set up the world for the books to follow of course I understand that but there were times that I wished for more detail. Just a little more explanation of this magical world would have helped me, the shortness of the story left me with some questions I hope to get answers to in the next book.

Rating-

4 out of 5 Cupcakes

 

REBECCA CHASTAIN is the USA Today bestselling author of the Madison Fox Adventures and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles urban fantasy series, among others works. Inside her novels, you’ll find spellbinding stories packed with supernatural creatures, thrilling action, heartwarming characters (human and otherwise), and more than a little humor. Rebecca lives in Northern California with her charming husband and three bossy cats.

Sign up for Rebecca’s newsletter to find out about new releases and behind-the-scenes information: http://www.rebeccachastain.com/newsletter/.

Contact Rebecca at
http://www.RebeccaChastain.com
http://www.Facebook.com/RebeccaChastainNovels
@Author_Rebecca

 

Flightless Bird by Kellie McAllen Review

Flightless Bird (Teen Paranormal Romance Series) (The Caged Series Book 1) by [McAllen, Kellie]

Title- Flightless Bird

Author- Kellie McAllen

Purchase Link

Genre- Teen and YA

The list of reasons why Lexus Wren is the last girl any guy would be interested in is mercilessly long:
Her dad’s in prison for murder, her mom drowns her sorrows every night at Dave’s Dive, and Lexus is just trying to survive the cruelties of high school as a painfully shy bookworm with a bad wardrobe and a collection of nervous habits. Never in a million years did Lexus expect to draw the eyes of two hunky transfer students, Phoenix and Griffin Easton.

The troubled brothers are haunted by their own demons and don’t seem bothered by Lexus’ tarnished reputation. They’re too busy trying to figure out why touching her makes them feel like electricity is frying their insides and why they’re compelled to obey her every command.

You’d think having two hot guys vying for her would improve her reputation, but the bullying at home and school only gets worse. When Lexus’ problems reach a critical tipping point, the boys are drawn to protect her, and the truth about their powerful connection is revealed in an explosive confrontation that will astound them all.

Lexus Wren’s life is anything but perfect, as a matter fact it’s a pretty terrible life. She is bullied by her classmates at school, her mother is a drunk who couldn’t care less about her and she has no one on her side. Every day is a struggle just to survive.

Everything changes the day she meets Phoenix while picking up her drunk Mother at the local dive bar. The next day her mother sends her o find her lost phone back at Dave’s Dive and she runs into who she thinks is Phoenix from the night before but it is actually his twin Griffin. Lexus’s life is turned right side up? Finally not one but two people care about her and her well-being!

The Sweet-

This in my eyes is perfect mix of YA and Urban Fantasy. It has all the teenage angst you need but also some of the grit that Urban Fantasy brings to the page. The author knows her way around a love triangle as seen in her smooth transitions from Lexus to Phoenix and then Griffin. The author artfully keeps the reader engaged but not lost while switching between the three very different people’s point of views.

In my opinion this book while yes having small hiccups is a great start to what promises to be a thrilling and exciting YA series that will leave its readers wanting to read more and more

The Sour-

I personally have an issue with a main character that is a female and is always asking herself “why does he like me”or putting herself down. I think that we need more bad-ass woman and girls who love themselves. As someone who suffer’s from bouts of depression it breaks my heart a little bit that in a YA novel the main character see’s herself so poorly. Now this is my opinion and personal preference and I understand why sometimes the author needs to make the character seem to be weak but really they are a shining diamond in the rough, but for me the self hate lasted a bit too long in this novel because of that and some tiny errors I took a cupcake away from my rating of this book.

Rating-4 out of 5 cupcakes

WORDS

Kellie McAllen is a bibliophile who has her nose in a book every moment she can. When she’s not reading or writing she’s either baking cupcakes, obsessively decorating and redecorating her home, or watching reality dance shows on TV. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, teenage daughter, and 2 sweet kitties. Visit her at http://www.kelliemcallen.com

 

Magick Reborn by Katerina Martinez Review and Drink Recipe

Magick Reborn (Blood and Magick Book 1) by [Martinez, Katerina]

Title- Magick Reborn

Author- Katerina Martinez

Genre- Urban Fantasy

Purchase link- Amazon

When I traded up for a gorgeous Victorian house in the New Orleans French Quarter, I thought I was getting away from my toxic life. Sure, the house was old and run-down, but it was mine, and the Big Easy offered exactly the fresh start I wanted.

But then I met Remy; a mysterious, sexy witch with power, class, and charm to spare, and everything changed.

I had no idea my arrival in New Orleans had set into motion a chain of events threatening to throw everyone’s life into disarray, not just mine. Now, pushed into the middle of an ancient war between vampires and witches, I have to unravel the secrets of the house I just bought before the forces awakened by my very presence rise from their centuries-old slumber, hungry and eager to feed on everything they can find.

Starting with me.

Madison Collins just bought her first house and is thrilled to get settled in and forget the past she left behind in New York. She is ready to focus on her future and finishing her latest novel and New Orleans might just have the magic touch that will help her do so.

Things take a turn when the local coven leader takes a shine to Madison and invites her into the coven. Add the vivid dreams of a man she has never met and the feeling of being watched she can’t seem to shake, things are starting to look like they might not be as simple as Madison thought they would be in good ol’ New Orleans.

The Sweet-

I love the the books setting in New Orleans and the fact that it’s kinda set both in past New Orleans and the New Orleans of today. The author is able to capture the magic of the city onto the pages and it is clear that she did her homework when she started this novel. Not only is she able to capture the essence of the city and its beauty but also create magic of her own with a great plot and character development.

I instantly liked the main character Madison from page one. She seemed snarky, down to earth and the fact that she is a writer only made her more endearing to me. Through out the book she definitely grew on me making me not only like her but love her.

Another aspect of this book I found extremely enjoyable is the semi love triangle the author hints at between Madison, Remy and Jean Luc as well as the raging war between Vamps and witches to come! Overall in my opinion the author builds a great first book the a series which is sure to be action packed and full of vampire, magik and witches (oh my!) and is sure to keep readers like me coming back for more!

Rating- 5 out of 5 cupcakes! I would recommend to urban fantasy readers as well as fans of witches and vamps!

As you may know by now i am a huge fan of bourbon and seeing as this book takes place in New Orleans I could not resist a Bourbon cocktail. Bourbon is known as a very “manly” drink (pfft) so I decided to try to add some sweet notes to this cocktail.

Bourbon Street Nights

Ingredients Needed

Cranberry Juice

Your favorite brand of bourbon

White Cream de Cacao

Instructions- in a mixing glass full of ice pour the following-

4 Count of Bourbon

4 Count of Cream de Cacao

Top with Cranberry Juice to taste- the cranberry juice will add a fresh and tart taste (you can also go with cherry juice for a sweeter tart taste)

Katerina Martinez is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes supernatural fiction with a creepy, thrilling, and romantic bent. Though she has been writing for a couple of years, her success recently exploded with the release of “Dark Siren”, the first book in the breakout “Half-Lich” Trilogy which became an instant bestseller in 2016. She continues to expand her backlist with books such as Magick Reborn, The Dead Wolves, and most recently, Smoke and Shadows.

If you would like to keep in touch with Katerina, learn about her work, and get notified when the sequel to Magick Reborn launches sometime in February 2017, just follow this link, sign up, and don’t be shy to drop her an email:

http://subscribe.supernalpublishing.net/authorpage

 

In Witch it All Began by Kali Harper Review

In Witch It All Began (Emberdale Paranormal Cozy Mystery Book 1) by [Harper, Kali]

Title- In Witch it All Began

Author- Kali Harper

Genre- Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link- Amazon

When Emberdale’s widow winds up dead at the bottom of Astrid’s stairwell, she’s thrown into a world she knows nothing about. From talking cats to thieving shifters, enchantments, and being haunted by Maggie herself, there’s a lot more to their small town than meets the eye starting with the fact Astrid might be a witch.

Along with her good friend Katherine, and Sammy, her recently inherited feline familiar, the three set out to uncover Maggie’s killer before it’s too late. As it turns out, all of Emberdale had a reason to murder the charming woman, including Astrid.

Discovering there’s magic in her blood is bad enough without Detective Lance barging in on her investigations, but it’ll take a lot more than his good looks to stop this witch.

In this paranormal town, can Astrid bring peace to Maggie’s ghost, or is this mystery too much for her to handle?

Astrid has grown to love the small town of Emberdale. She has come to think of it as home and Maggie who is her boss as family. She is living a very simple life and couldn’t be happier that is until Maggie is found dead in Astrid’s home and she finds out that Emberdale isn’t the sleepy little town she think’s it is.

Astrid had to move in with Maggie for a couple of days while her house was being tented for the termites in her walls. Maggie has become not only her best friend but more like family having taken Astrid under her wing when she moved to Emberdale. Life seems to be going at its normal Emberdale pace, until Astrid wakes to Sammy (Maggie’s favorite cat) desperately trying to get her attention.

Astrid sets out to find Maggie who seems to be missing. Along with Sammy, Astrid checks all the usual places Maggie would normally be found to come up empty-handed. Hours later Detective Lance brings Astrid in for some questioning that’s when things seem to get weirder and weirder by the minute…

The Sweet-

The author does a very good job of creating a very cozy small town setting from page one. As a reader you imagine a sleepy little town filled with quaint little shops and a cute little bakery owned by Maggie “Every Last Crumb”. I especially enjoyed the author’s attention to detail when describing Emberdale and its kookie inhabitants.

My favorite part of this book is the magic. I love how right before your eyes the town is transformed from this quaint picturesque little town to a world of magic that was hiding just beneath the surface! I enjoyed Astrid’s journey from becoming a normal woman who is just a bit lost and starting over to a strong woman who has discovered just how strong she is!

I also found this story to be filled with funny moments that made me snort out load. I mean I have never read a book that features the possessing of cats… yes I have read of talking cats but a eldery widow ghost taking over a cat?!? Never! I found certain aspects of this story to be quite unique!

Rating- 5 out of 5 cupcakes!

I recommend to this any one who enjoys a good cozy that features magical twists and turns!

Kali’s been writing since the time she could hold a pencil. Since then, she’s written across genres from epic fantasy and science fiction to romance and mysteries.

When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her stuck inside a good book or out on a forest trail with her husband.

 

Of Cinder and Madness (Once Upon a Darkened Night) by Nicole Zoltack

Of Cinder and Madness (Once Upon a Darkened Night Book 1) by [Zoltack, Nicole]

Title- Of Cinder and Madness (Once Upon a Darkened Night)

Author- Nicole Zoltack

Genre- Science Fiction

Purchase Link- Amazon

The stories about her have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, she is beautiful, with wavy blond hair and big, blue eyes and flawless skin, but her charming façade is a lie, a mask, a deceit.

Yes, yes, I’m sure you think me merely jealous. I’m not. I’m the victim, and I can prove it.

You see, Eleonore deserves to be locked away. My, she even deserves to be killed!

This gripping retelling of a much-loved fairy tale will make you question all you think you know about the girl who steals away to a ball and leaves behind a slipper.

Reviewed by Crystal H.

We have all heard the tale of Cinderella, the girl who is kind and sweet who would fall asleep by the fire reading. The girl covered in Cinders and made to serve her evil step mother and sister’s. The girl whose only friends are the birds and mice that surround her…

Well not all the stories we hear are always true. This is the twisted tale told through the eyes of the “evil” stepmother Angelique who isn’t as the evil that tales will have you believe.

The Sweet –

I love the idea of Cinderella actually being the villain in this story! I found the premise and idea of this book to be so creative and actually quite brilliant it makes the reader think What if all those princesses weren’t the heroes of the stories but actually the villains?

The author creates a deliciously wicked world were Danielle (Cinderella) has dark powers and isn’t as sweet as we all grew up thinking but quite mad and devious. The events portrayed in the book match up with the fairytale, She is looked away in an attic but out of fear. There is a ball that she crashes but there is no fairy god mother the magic is all Danielle and it’s not sparkles and happy thoughts it’s dark and mad. The prince falls for her and she disappears but there is no glass slipper left behind.

I really enjoyed the little flash backs that show us Danielle as a little girl before losing her Dad. There is still some darkness to be found but it doesnt get to the breaking point until he dies.

I also enjoyed how the author portrays Angelique a woman who is lost and at her wit’s end but still tries to fight for Danielle. She desperately wants to do right by her step daughter but at the same time she fears for her life and lives of her daughters.

The Sour-

I did find at times the story dragged a bit, leaving me wanting it to speed up and being a bit frustrating.

Rating- 3.5 cupcakes out of 5 cupcakes

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark fairy tales or retellings!

Nicole Zoltack is a USA Today bestselling author who loves to write romances, whether they’re fantasy, paranormal, or regency. She’s also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor and ghostwriter.

When she’s not writing about gentlemen and their ladies, knights, superheroes, or witches, she loves to spend time with her loving husband, three energetic young boys, and precious baby girl. She enjoys riding horses (pretending their unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead and Gotham.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit http://www.NicoleZoltack.com. Her email is Nicole.Zoltack@gmail.com. She can be found on most any social media site under Nicole Zoltack. Keep in touch!