The Necromancer and the Chinchilla K.A. Miltimore


The Necromancer and the Chinchilla: Stories from The Gingerbread Hag

Genres: cozy mystery
Pages: 47
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published on: April 17, 2019
The Necromancer and the Chinchilla K.A. Miltimore

Five short stories that tell tales from the lives of characters in Burned to A Crisp - A Gingerbread Hag Mystery. Find out a little history for Maurice, Alice and Zelda, Adelaide, Darro and Hedy. A little dessert for after you have finished reading Burned to A Crisp - A Gingerbread Hag Mystery. Stories include: The Necromancer and the Chinchilla Adelaide Meets a Hippie That Time Zelda Ate Alice Hedy in the Big Easy Granny Raith Kills Maryjane

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

 

To further round out the characters that appeared in Burned to a Crisp, K.A. wrote a collection of short stories. From the title you can safely assume that Maurice, the grumpy but obviously adorable chinchilla has a story. As is Hedy’s time in New Orleans, however I think there is more to her story than what is available. Darro’s origin is sad while making sense to how he is depicted in Burned to a Crisp.

 

Alice and Zelda have a shared history because Zelda is a jerk. But really she was just doing cat things, and usually cat things mean that they are also doing jerk things. The other story included is the story of Adelaide, the ghost that occupies Hedy’s residence with her. Well I guess after reading the story you could say that Hedy occupies Adelaide’s residence, since Adelaide is a ghost and has been there much longer than Hedy has.

 

While these are cute stories that spotlight specific times in each character’s life, I would have liked to see how they actually met Hedy or how Hedy’s life intersected with theirs. We know how Alice met Hedy but that goes back to cat’s being jerks. On a side note, I love cats, and think they are great companions but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they are perfect. In fact one of our cats likes to sleep on our pillow like he is innocent, but that is only after he squalls at the door to be let out, let in, because he wants to stand near the door, he sees something that may be edible, etc. Cute? Yes, a jerk? Also yes.

 

I really enjoy K.A.’s writing style, it brings you into the character’s lives and keeps you emotionally there. Even though I don’t know Darro well from the first book. His story really helps to give more meaning to him when he appears in the second book.

 

As these are short stories, they are easy to read and then put down. Overall it is not that large of a collection, but it does in my mind help bring more depth to the characters. Not just more depth but also more life, in that you don’t just see them as a snapshot of who they are from one book. You start to see how they are as a person, or in some cases a ghost or an animal.

 

While I would suggest reading the first book before reading this collection. It is not necessary as there are no spoilers per se. Reading the first book, or even all three before reading this collection will not take away anything. Just continue to add to the world that K.A. built.

 

 

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Academy Obscura by J.J. Krzemien


Academy Obscura: The Culling Year

By: J.J. Krzemien
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 240
Series: Academy Obscura #1
Publisher: Wednesday Ink LLC
Published on: September 10, 2019
Academy Obscura by J.J. Krzemien

At Academy Obscura the price for failing freshman year is death.Caprice Sorrentino grew up in the foster system. The summer after her eighteenth birthday, she gets a letter from a woman claiming to be her grandmother. Intrigued, Caprice travels cross country to visit this new-found relative. But there's something odd about grandma. She's a witch.

As the summer comes to an end, Caprice is forced to enroll in Academy Obscura. But she doesn't fit in with the ultra sexy witches, vampires, fae, werewolves, and shifters that attend this supernatural college. She doesn't show any signs of having magical abilities either. And failure leads down one road...death.

But maybe, with the help of Jaxon, Angel, and Liam, she will have a chance at surviving.

This is a reverse harem romance, featuring a sexy witch, werewolf, and fae.

 

In this day and age many people wish they were special. By special I don’t mean having green eyes or red hair. I mean something that sets them apart, something that is a bit magical, or supernatural. It could be the books that we grew up with or the movies we watched as teens and young adults. Either way it has become part of our culture and really engrained into our subconscious. That hope of getting a letter on our birthday, or having a owl come to us. Believing in something is never wrong. I think this story actually touches on this a bit, in a twisted yet logical way.

 

Caprice is a 18 year old foster child looking forward to going to college with her best friend on the East Coast. They have everything planned until one night when they decide to attend a college party. I mean what could go wrong other than some underage drinking and maybe making out with someone you don’t know. Well for Caprice is started to not only unravel her life a day at a time. It also opens her eyes to things that are at times better left unseen.

 

When a guy tries to essentially mind control Caprice and her best friend something happens to the man that has never happened before. Caprice is able to essentially push herself out of the mind control. What this means for Caprice is an assault doesn’t happen. Her friend, while sleepy, is okay. What it means for her future however is much more complicated and in some ways sad.

 

Upon arriving back at her foster parent’s house she is delivered a letter that starts in motion what the book is all about, a school for those with abilities. Those abilities range from witches to shapeshifters and vampires. However this isn’t your ordinary school, in fact as the title suggests the first year is the culling year. The culling year is where is the student does not perform well enough they are removed from the school, and much more.

 

Caprice is special but also trouble, in that she creates or finds trouble in all situations. While not technically having a curse on her head, she has a curse on her head. This is also a sort of love story, in a sense, but it isn’t your one on one, no this is a type of reverse Harem, where instead of a guy with multiple partners, you have a young woman who attracts men, much to the dismay of many.

 

Without giving too much away, which is hard because the books secrets are what makes it a story, I do not want to be in Caprice’s shoes. At all, I mean yeah hot guys falling all over me wouldn’t be horrible. Not all guys are equal, and in Caprice’s situation, her affinity may be her undoing.

 

I have read a lot of books, and this is actually the first with the combination that this book has. Now saying that I haven’t read a great deal of harem books. I have read a great deal of shifter books. It being unique also led to I liking it. There are questions I have and some of the situations didn’t make clear sense. I hope descriptions for certain elements have explanations in the next book. I would like to see the story flesh out a bit more in the next book.

 

With that said, I really enjoyed this book and will be reading more from author. This isn’t just an academy story, it is also a story about life, about love, and about death. It is also about age old grudges and what happens when the child isn’t who they are suppose to bed. The world this book is in, is just a step away from ours. Meaning that we see the individuals, we interact with them, but there is something more under the surface that humans wouldn’t see.

 

The personalities and descriptions of the characters and locations are vivid enough to draw you in. You will lose yourself in the story, I know that I did. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to find out exactly what happens to Caprice. Also, I want to know what happens in the entire world. Sometimes a supernatural world has real world ramifications.

 

 

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About J.J. Krzemien

JJ Krzemien (pronounced: krez-men) writes young adult urban fantasy and steamy paranormal romance. She has five cats, a hunky hubby, and lives in the woods near Portland, Oregon.

Debriefing the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell


Debriefing the Dead (Book 1 of The Dead Series)

By: Kerry Blaisdell
Genres: Ghost, mystery
Pages: 332
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Published on: May 7, 2018
Debriefing the Dead by Kerry Blaisdell

The only thing Hyacinth wants is her life back. Literally. She and her sister were murdered by Demons, leaving her young nephew, Geordi, to his father’s family in the brutal Sicilian Mob. Then Archangel Michael offers her a deal: recapture a powerful rock the Demons stole, and she can live long enough to find Geordi a safe home. Refuse, and she’ll continue up (or down) to the Afterlife.

So, slightly more alive than dead, she heads for Turkey and the Demons, taking Geordi, her mysterious neighbor Jason, and a sexy dead guy only she can see with her. But the hardest part won’t be battling Demons, meeting Satan, or dodging Middle Eastern customs—it will be later, when Geordi is settled, and Michael rips her away again. How can she abandon her nephew? Or can she outwit the Angel of Death himself, and stay with Geordi forever?

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

 

Welcome back fang fangs, today we are embarking on a trip, not through time, but distance. From rainy, cold Oregon all the way to France and Turkey.

 

Hyacinth is an antique trader. She doesn’t deal in the mundane, but in the unique and let’s be honest, likely and mostly illegal. She has a relatively ordinary life, with a sister and a nephew who visit once in awhile and a neighbor who is bartender and who knows what else.

 

That is until two men appear in her office to offer her more money than she is used to, and she is used to a lot of money. They just want artifacts from a specific location, one that her late partner had recently acquired before his death. Thinking of her sister and her nephew she doesn’t really think about why these men want this specific dig, not does she really care. Money is money and the things were just sitting collecting dust in boxes in a warehouse.

 

That is until she unpacks what looks like an ordinary rock that when she touches it, it screams. Not in a typical rock screaming fashion, but in a specific only she can hear it way. Not only that, but it seems generally happy to have bene heard by her. Which if you know anything about rocks, they usually don’t care if someone handles them or not. Or at least in my experience, but then I may be missing out on many rock related conversations.

 

Essentially from the time that she touches the rock to when the book ends, her life is never the same. Literally her life is not the same since she dies soon after she discovers the rock. The rest of the story is a tale of what happens when a woman who is used to not trusting anyone must trust someone. It is not something that happens quickly or in some cases painlessly.

 

I liked this story a lot, it brought in death, life, ghosts, history, archeology, demons, and angels. Oh yeah did I mention there are demons and angels in this story? There are and it is not who you expect, or I guess it is who you may suspect since you know there are demons involved. I however did not and was naively reading along and BAM there are demons. I mean when one is not expecting demons it can be a bit sudden. Don’t think everyone is a demon, because sometimes bad guys are just bad guys and are not demons at all.

 

It is a bit wordy and long. Don’t get me wrong the story is good, but there are some places that I started to glaze over but then something would happen that would pull me back into the story. I really enjoyed Kerry’s attention to detail not only when the story is in France, but on the trip to and in Turkey. The story has enough detail to make it feel like I am there, and I really like that in a story, especially one that is lengthy.

 

There needs to be a reason why I want to keep reading. The attention to detail, and characterization really keep me present during the entirety of the story. As this is just the first in a series, I am looking forward to the follow ups. I want to know what happens to Hyacinth. Actually not just her but I want to know more about Jason and more about this specific place in Turkey.

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About Kerry Blaisdell

Kerry Blaisdell is the award-winning author of The Dead Series, including DEBRIEFING THE DEAD - 2019 HOLT Medallion Literary Contest double winner for Best Paranormal & Best First Book, Romance Writers of America RITA® Award finalist, and Royal Palm Literary Award finalist - and its sequel, WAKING THE DEAD, which InD'tale Magazine recommends for "fans of television shows like 'Constantine' or 'Supernatural.'" She also writes Romantic Suspense and Historical Mystery. She has a Bachelor of Arts from UC Berkeley in Comparative Literature (French/Medieval English), and a Master's in Teaching English and Advanced Mathematics from the University of Portland. Kerry lives in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest with her husband, two (mostly) adult "kids," assorted cats and dogs, and more hot pepper plants than anyone could reasonably consume.

Burned to a Crisp by K.A. Miltimore


Burned to a Crisp

Genres: cozy mystery
Pages: 154
Series: Gingerbread Hag Mystery #1
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published on: March 31, 2019
Burned to a Crisp by K.A. Miltimore

Hedy Leckenmaul runs a strange little bakery in the sleepy town of Enumclaw, Washington. Her bakery may be bizarre but it is the non-human guests who stay at her home, along with her resident ghost, and her menagerie of talking animals that truly is strange. Hedy hosts a waystation for supernatural travelers and while hosting two such travelers, the town is rocked by an arsonist who is kidnapping women, and pitting the residents of Enumclaw against each other. Hedy and her friends must solve the mystery when one of their own vanishes, leaving them racing to find out who is behind it all before it is too late.

 

Hedy Leckenmaul is not just a bakery owner in the small, sleepy community of Enumclaw Washington, but is also the owner of a waystation. A Waystation is like a fancy bed and breakfast for supernaturals. It is a place that caters to their individual needs while still understanding that they do in fact have individual needs.

 

Burned to a Crisp not only introduces you to Hedy but also to four other characters that all are important to not only this book but future ones as well. You have Mel, the young genius who needs a place to hide out during school. Darro, the gruff Scottish gardener who has a background that is not what you expect it. Bran, the Salamander with a troubling but sad past, and Ana, an Undine who is escaping her past for an unknown future.

 

I enjoyed the descriptions that K.A. was able to impart into the characters while still pushing the plot along. The story isn’t just one about the fires that are started, but also about how unlikely friends band together to solve what could become a risk to their very existence.

 

One can not forget the talking animals, which are part of Hedy’s household. A chinchilla who is getting up there in years. A cat who is, well a cat. And finally a magpie that seems to possibly have been dropped on its head a time or 10. Even though they are essentially not main characters, their influence and personalities help to round out the story.

 

This is a cozy mystery, so it doesn’t just deal with the mystery. It is also about the relationships that are formed and broke in the course of the story. It eludes to elements of the characters past which frame and color how they see the present and future. Overall I think that this is a great story. One to curl up with a hot drink and a sweet pastry and read in front of a warm fire. Or in my case it is Buddha Kat Wine in a bathtub trying to ignore the minion’s complaining. Everyone needs their quiet time right?

 

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Alpha Rising by Robbie Cox


Alpha Rising

By: Robbie Cox
Genres: Action & Adventure
Pages: 130
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published on: August 15, 2019
Alpha Rising by Robbie Cox

Three alphas, each with their own agenda, but all wanting to rule Bull Creek.

Disenfranchised with his family, Dimitri Everest is tired of his father making his life decisions for him, especially after watching his brother, Fitz, get railroaded into an arranged mating. Now, Dimitri's ready to leave the paranormal town of Draven Falls, but where will he go? He's never left home before? And what about his sister, Lainie? Could he really leave her behind?

Neal Porter has found his destined mate, but the intoxicating pull of the call has blinded him to his true calling - alpha of Bull Creek. However, humans and witches are being driven from their homes, and the Paranormal Council back in Draven Falls wants Neal replaced, and now, they think they've found the perfect candidate. If only he will agree to leaving home.

However, there's a third alpha who has ruled the small town from the shadows, and he has no intention of releasing his hold on Bull Creek. He'll stop at nothing until the humans are run off and Neal Porter is firmly under his thumb.

Three alphas want to rule Bull Creek, but only one can come out on top. Will Dimitri be able to bring order back to a town ruled by chaos?

Also by this author: Enter the Witch: The Witches of Savannah, My Mate's Wife , Magic's Mate

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

 

Alpha Rising by Robbie Cox is a prequel to his “Destined Mates” series. If you haven’t read that series, I have two reviews, for Magic’s Mate and My Mate’s Wife.  Both of those reviews dive a little into the world of Bull Creek and Draven Falls.

 

This story follow Dimitri, who is also one of the Main Characters in Magic’s Mate. However, in this book he still lives in Draven Falls and is dealing with the fallout of his brother’s marriage. Let’s just say that the Everest Family doesn’t see eye to eye on some things. Dimitri, and his sister Lainie are so fed up that they want to leave, but to where? and what would they do? Lainie is a police officer for the Draven Falls police force, so she could theoretically transfer to another location. Could they really give up their birth-rite? Their birth-town? and their family for what could possibly blow up in their face? Well if they do it won’t be alone, as they have those who support them in their future.

 

I really enjoyed this story. It isn’t long, but it does pack a lot into the pages. From family issues, to friendship, to stepping out on your own, Dimitri has to discover what he is really made of. It also sets the future of not only this series, but the “Destined Mate’s” series well. I now know some of the answers I had to questions stemming from my reading of Magic’s Mate, and a little more about some of the people in the town. The Destined Mates really showcase some characters while briefly mentioning others. It seems like this series will flesh out some of those other character’s main stories.

 

Compared to the Destined Mate’s series, this book has less sexy time, but more information. I like the subtle differences between this series and the next, even though it has the same voice and overall cadence. Which obviously it would since it is set in the same world, and is by the same author. One thing this book that caused me to pause was the question about alphas. I never thought about it before, but what happens when a female goes from one alpha to being mated to what could be another alpha.  Who is her alpha? Who does she acknowledge as her leader? I guess for whatever reason it hasn’t come up in other books or if it has, I didn’t pay close enough attention. Well if you had a question about that, this book will lead you to some answers.

 

Overall a solid book that I think is worth the read. It sets up the world nicely, and adds to things that happen in later books.

 

 

About Robbie Cox

I live in sunny Florida where I spend my days taxiing the family to various places while jotting down the many crazy thoughts inside my head. I enjoy a freelance career writing for several magazines sharing some of my interesting viewpoints on life and those around me. I can usually be found on my back porch watching the squirrels chittering at the birds while enjoying a cigar, a scotch, and the many characters that talk to me inside my head.