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