A MelanieM Review: Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

James Martin is a teacher, a powerful Psychic, and an alcoholic. He used to work for the Center for Magical Research and Development, a facility that houses people who can’t control their supernatural abilities, but left after one of his students was killed, turning to vodka to soothe his emotional pain. The problem is he still has one year left on his contract.

When James returns to the CMRD to fulfill the rest of his contract, he finds himself confronting the demons of his past and attempting to protect his new class from a possible death sentence, because if they don’t pass their final exams, they’ll be euthanized.

James also discovers that his class isn’t bringing in enough sponsors, the agencies and world governments who supply grants and ultimately purchase graduates of the CMRD, and that means no profit for the facility. James and his students face impossible odds—measure up to the facility’s unreachable standards or escape.

When I start reading a novel by a new author, I always try to approach that first chapter with a fresh outlook and happy  expectation that perhaps I’ve found a new writer to add to my TBR pile.  Sometimes it happens and sometimes not.  On the rare occasion I find an author that goes immediately on my auto buy list.  Welcome, JP Jackson to that list.

Magic or Die by JP Jackson is the first in their Inner Demons series and oh my, what a killer of a story and way to launch a series!  Immediately, Jackson gives us a main character in trouble.  James is a sodden drunk living in squalor.  He’s also a powerful Psychic.  One forced to be a teacher to other  young psychics at a Magical Research and Development facility.

The character of James is so well constructed. A drunk using alcohol unsuccessfully to stop the memories of the past from haunting him.  Or are they really just memories?  James is complex, and will show great growth over the course of the book.  And in a way great failure.  He’s amazing and the reader will commit to him utterly.

But James will come to teach a group of young Psychics.  Some wild, vulnerable, compelling, and the reader will come to ,well, if not love them, then, become inordinately fond of them.  We want them to succeed.  All will feel alive, horrifically, hauntingly, alive.

There are multiple stories being told here.  The author does a admirable job of keeping each one appearing throughout the entire story so you are always aware of the many threads flowing through it.  And their importance to the characters and overall arc.

There is one concerning Jame’s missing sister which is a stunner, one about the Covens and one of the pupils Jame’s will teach, more about the facility itself…all these intriguing narrative balls that the author keeps juggling to high suspense and our great entertainment and  sometimes horror.

Yes, I care about each and every one of these people/beings and need to know more.    Especially after that ending.

I used to absolutely hate cliffhangers.  That would  really guarantee a story a lower rating.  But over the years, that slowly changed until I can see my  way past that.  So  yes, this has a cliffhanger.  One that raised many, many questions for me that I hope are  answered in the next story.

Because everything leading up to that ending?  Just incredible!  The characters, the writing and plot!  So I can imagine the author knows exactly where he is going next here.  I want to be there too.

Pick up Magic or Die (Inner Demons #1) by JP Jackson and see why I cringed, cried, laughed, and loved everything about this story.  Then we can wait together until the next one is released!

Cover art is just perfect for the story and tone.  Love it.

Sales Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 313 pages
Published July 2nd 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781948608992
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://ninestarpress.com/product/magic-or-die/
SeriesInner Demons #1

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Beneath This Mask ( Enhanced World #3) by Victoria Sue and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

As with the rest of the series, this story is spot-on, from the author’s nicely crafted plot and characterizations to the narrator’s outstanding vocalizations.

We first met Gael Peterson in the earlier books in this series. Gael is the enhanced team member whose face is scarred. In this installment, it’s his turn to get a human law enforcement team member. But Gael and Jake rub each other the wrong way, or at least, Gael takes Jake’s actions the wrong way, so Gael ends up with Drew as his partner, at least temporarily, and Jake is assigned to Vance whose new partner is on an undercover assignment and not yet available to the team.

It’s actually good that Gael and Jake aren’t partnered because they develop a friendship on their own that leads to a more romantic involvement—until Gael perceives Jake has turned against him. The intrigue and action that takes place in the main plot and in secondary scenarios is something one must pay close attention to in this audiobook. It’s not so easy to turn a few pages back to reread when one is listening, so I’m glad I was glued to my device from beginning to end, and I had already learned from past experience with these books that it’s important to listen carefully. The excitement and intrigue swept me away. Add to that the fact that I really wanted Gael to have a life partner and Jake was perfect for him. Then, there was the subplot surrounding Ethan, the young enhanced boy who only communicated with Gael, and when it looked like he was being transferred to a psych unit, it broke my heart. So as I said, I was fascinated with this story, totally wrapped up, and was by turns either heartbroken or rooting for the enhanced team like a crazed cheerleader.

The only thing I didn’t like in the story was one particular character, but his coworkers didn’t like him either so I’m in good company. And maybe the voice Nick J. Russo gave that guy had a little to do with it. Just sayin’—great narration.

And what an ending we got! There was not only a Gael and Jake HEA, but there was a perfect segue into Vance’s story, which I’m sure will be next in the series. Between the excellence of the writing and the awesome narration, this is one book, and series, I can highly recommend to friends who like an action adventure with a light paranormal twist.

~~~

The cover by Brooke Albrecht depicts a scarred face in the upper right pane, all done in shades of red, likely indicating the fire that caused the scars. And in the lower pane, a man with a machine gun is poised to take a shot. With the swirling bright colors, the cover is attractive and is tied in by those colors with the other books in the series. Very cleverly done.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

7 hours and 16 minutes.

Audible Audio, Unabridged, 8 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published January 16th 2018)
ASINB07DYK4WRV
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEnhanced #3

An Alisa Review: Tainted Life​ by ​Mel Gough

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Metropolitan Police detective Pete Tucker’s world comes crashing down when his wife sues for divorce and sole custody of their only son.

Desperate to forget his sorrows for a while, Pete seeks refuge in a Soho bar where he is approached by a sexy, funny, and clearly interested stranger. Photographer Liam Jackson is just the ticket for one oblivious night of perfect passion.

However, their attraction proves too intense for a one-night-stand. To his surprise, Pete finds that he’s game for something more – but his baggage soon gets in the way. Then Liam’s own dangerous secrets claw their way to the surface, and threaten to derail the budding romance.

Is their growing bond strong enough to weather the violent storms ahead?

Ohh man, this one pulls at your heart strings.  Pete’s wife just filed for divorce and seems to be making it out to be his fault.  Liam has been doing what he needs to survive but being with Liam gives him a little bit of happiness.

Pete has quite a bit to work through and I liked watching him figure out what is important to him and go for it.  I was glad he stayed by Liam’s side when he got hurt and the time they spent together helped them build some base for a relationship.  These two played off each other well and I liked how Liam interacted with Pete’s son.  I would have liked to see a bit more of a conclusion with Pete’s wife than the hostile truce she seems to have.

The cover art by Jazz Design is a beautiful picture of these two.

Book Link:  Tainted Life is available as a free ebook when you sign up for Mel’s mailing list: https://melgough.com/newsletter

Book Details:

ebook, 135 pages

Published: July 16, 2018 by Mel Gough

Edition Language: English

Blog Post – Lost In Indigo (Colors of Love #1) by V.L. Locey (guest post and giveaway)

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Hi there! My name is V.L. Locey and I’m thrilled to be here today! In case you’re not familiar with me I’m an MM romance author, primarily hockey romance, but I do also write non-sporty contemporary, paranormal, and mythological gay romances. Today we’re going to chat about naming characters.

How do you come up with all those character names?

It’s funny how names work for me. Sometimes I know a character’s name before I even have a clear idea of him or how he looks. Take O’Malley Ramsey from ‘Improper Fraction’. His name was the first thing that I had for this character. I sort of built the character around the name. Now with Victor Kalinski from my Cayuga Cougars series, his name was created when he was. I had his face and temperament in mind and his name leaped to life.

For ‘Lost in Indigo’ I wanted to make sure every color of the rainbow was used for this new series of standalone MM hockey romances. When I was coming up with the characters for this novel, the idea of naming the younger man in this incredible May/December tale Indigo popped into my head and I knew I had my name for the wonderfully loving, genderflux young man who teaches my old bear, Mat more than one life lesson along the way to their HEA.

Thanks for dropping by!Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L.

Buy Links:

 

Length: 70,695 words approx.
Blurb

Mathieu Beresford was so close to seeing his dream come true.


The thirty-eight-year-old captain of the Buffalo Surge had led his team to the final round of the playoffs with his aggressive defensive play and leadership. During the first game of the championship series, he was taken down, and his leg snapped upon impact with the boards. From his hospital bed, Mathieu watched his team go on to win it all.


Adrift in anger, resentment, and the new direction of his life, he returns to his mansion along the St. Lawrence River. Alone and sulking, Mathieu is not prepared for Indigo Neu to enter his life. The genderflux twenty-year-old botany major signs on to play nursemaid, confidant, and groundskeeper over the summer and slowly leads Mathieu out of his confusion––one tender smile and touch at a time.


The deeper Mathieu falls, the more he wonders if being lost might not be so bad after all.

July 10Love Bytes, We Three Queens, OMG Reads, July 12The Blogger Girls, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, Jen’s Corner Spot, Bookaholic & Kindle, Wicked Reads, July 13Two Chicks Obsessed, July 14Katie’s Book Corner, Megan’s Media Melange, July 15My Fiction Nook, July 16Urban Smoothie Read, Xtreme Delusions, Mainely Stories, My Book Filled LifeJuly 18Wicked Faerie’s Tales, Jessie G Books, Mirrigold, Bayou Book Junkie, Lillian Francis, Making It Happen, MM Good Book ReviewsJuly 19Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, July 21Bayou Book Junkie

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.



When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

Giveaway

In the Spotlight:Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt (giveaway)

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Sink or Swim (Anchor Point #8) by L.A. Witt
Riptide Publishing

Cover Art:  LC Chase

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

 

 

 

About Sink or Swim

 

When need meets fear, can two very different men find common ground?

 

Alhazar Bukhari spent his Navy career in the closet. Now he’s retired, divorced, and hungry for the love he’s never had a chance to experience. He tries to put his faith in Allah to bring the right man into his life, but it’s hard to be patient after all this time.

 

Chaplain Dylan Pedersen spends his days counseling Sailors, and his nights with men he doesn’t know. Months after finally escaping an abusive relationship, he’s terrified of anything more than a physical connection. Maybe it’s a sin, but he’s too lonely to not let men into his bed, and too scared to let them into his heart.

 

When Alhazar’s civilian job brings him aboard the USS Fort Stevens, and his daily prayers bring him into Dylan’s chapel, the chemistry is instantaneous.  Sex and friendship quickly evolve into more, but Dylan’s too haunted by his recent past to be the man Alhazar wants. Alhazar needs love, Dylan needs time, and if they can’t find some sort of balance, they’ll sink before they ever have a chance to swim.

About Anchor Point

 

Welcome to Anchor Point!

 

Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.

 

So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.

 

Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!

About LA Witt

 

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

 

  1. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Giveaway

 

To celebrate the release of Sink or Swim, L.A. is giving away reader’s choice of two eBooks off of her backlist and a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 21, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!