A MelanieM Review: The Devil’s Due (Pulp Friction 2015 Book 19) by Parker Williams

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

The Devil's Due coverArtie Middleton and Ben Nelson have faced everything thrown at them and come out stronger individually and as a couple.

They’ve lost friends, and learned the painful lesson that nothing good comes without a price. Now, Artie’s unwitting part in an insane plan to destroy all supernatural beings has pulled him front and center into a battle for survival.

When Ben becomes a pawn in the scheme, Artie must decide what he’s willing to risk to protect his family. It’s a question that must be asked when the devil finally demands his due.

Four books have seen Artie Middleton and Ben Nelson come together in love and devastating loss, find a new family in a strange group of supernatural friends, along with their human families that remain alive.  Now everything they have, their love, their lives, everyone’s future has been threatened and they must destroy it once and for all.  Now we find out how high the cost will be.

Parker Williams has the ability to wring the emotions out of a reader by the end of a story.  It didn’t matter that the last one, High Stakes, was only 40-some odd pages, I felt limp as a dishrag from all the sobbing and loss.  This story makes it all worthwhile.  This is the grand finale and Williams makes all the heartbreak, all the angst that has gone before not only palatable but, I can’t believe I’m saying this, meaningful and right.

Wonderful, absorbing plots need equally great characters and here we have a marriage of both.  Williams has developed the characters of Artie and Ben over four books, giving each man more interesting layers and depth to him, letting the readers watch them grow together and sort of grow up as the relationship developed.  We committed to them as they committed to each other. And that made the danger and pain that happens to them far more real and heartbreaking.

Terrific characterizations extend past the main couple to stellar secondary ones such as Tempeste and even a flatulent ghost dog who hogs the bed.  There are so many here to give your heart to, including a new one at the end of the story.

No details (as much as I would love to reveal them), that wouldn’t be fair.  But the author sets Ben and Artie on the road to finally confront the demon behind all the fiendish events and deaths that have been happening all over New Orleans.  But nothing goes as planned.  With all their friends involved, strategies are hurriedly devised, and moment by moment the suspense and absolute horror is ramped up until you are sure all is to be lost…

I was tucked into my bed with the popcorn, and dogs, and yes, glass of wine and didn’t touch any of it until the book was done. What a thrilling ride of a story!  Yes, the devil got his due and then some.

And then there was that ending. How I loved this story and series.  Artie and Ben, and yes Tempeste too.  They stole my heart.  Pick up this series and let them steal yours too.

Need a new addiction?  Grab up Parker Williams’ Four of Club series (Pulp Friction 2015).  Read them all at once in one major binge read or one at a time, either way, you will find yourself hooked.  I highly recommend this book and series. Happy Reading.

Cover art is lovely and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published November 13th 2015
ASINB017ZBD120
edition languageEnglish

 

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead ~ Blind Stud ~ The Devil’s Bedpost ~ Diamonds and Dust

Round Two:
Dead Blind ~ Stud Player ~ Up the Ante ~ Diamond Draw

Round Three:
Dead Button ~ Blind Man’s Bluff ~ Devil’s Playground ~ Diamond Edge

Round Four:
Dead Man’s Hand ~ Blind Hearts ~ High Stakes ~ Diamond Flush

Round Five:
Dead Money ~ Under the Gun ~ Devil’s Due ~ Diamonds Down and Dirty

A MelanieM Review: Dead Money: Jack of Spades #5 by Lee Brazil (Pulp Friction 2015: Altered States Book 17)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5   ★★★★★

Dead Money coverBarton Montoire’s fragile hold on his emotions is worn thin by exorcisms and fear. Even though he’s beginning to realize the full potential of his abilities as a ghost, he has no power to stop his lover’s plot to end the darkness that has threatened their relationship for close to a year, not with all their friends in the line of fire.

In all of time, there have existed few men who transcend the bonds of life and death, who see the spirits as clearly as the living. These men possess the ability to summon others, creating doorways between realms, physical and metaphysical. A dusty tome written in cryptic language reveals terrifying secrets, but with a little help from his friends, Sabine Brusilov knows what must be done. For the good of humanity and supes alike, he must call forth the shadowy demon, leading it into a trap.

Unfortunately, talent is not skill, and the ability to summon cannot be mastered by taking a class or two and scouring the internet for information. With Bart at his side and his friends at his back, Sabine brings talent, skill, and strength of will to battle evil before it can join the gathering forces of darkness that menace New Orleans.

With dead money on the table, is love enough to take the hand?

Well, Dead Money by Lee Brazil is the book I have been waiting for this entire series.  It’s just plain outstanding!  With this one story, Lee Brazil takes all my previous irritations and uncertainties with the plot, the characters, their relationships,  and dismisses them firmly and resoundingly.   In fact, had this been a stand alone series, Dead Money would have made the perfect  series finale.

For most of the series, I have felt that the relationship between Bart and Sabine to have been very unequal in power and affection, at least that’s the way it translated in the narrative for me.  But here and now, after all their travails,  they come across as deeply committed partners, people in love, no matter their corporeal status. Lovers reunited who are facing one of the greatest evils they will ever know.  Brazil has built up the demon they face with vividly scary descriptions and pain-filled scenes of horror but still what comes is far, far worse.  Something no one, not Bart, not Sabine and certainly not the reader is prepared for.

The other characters in the series are there trying to help as well, but its Bart and Sabine you fear for and the ending when it comes is both shocking and shockingly satisfying.  I’ll say no more.  But oddly enough, I’m so  happy with this story, I don’t feel like I need a book six, which might be just as well.  I love this book and the way it all turned out.  How on earth or on any other supernatural plane could you possibly improve on this?  Five stars plus?

And yes I highly recommend this author and series.  Not only for a Scary Halloween Read but for any time of the year!

The book cover is also the best in the series.  Apparently everything was waiting until Round 5.  Well done.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 47 pages
Published October 13th 2015 by Lime Time Press
ASIN B016NFRTO0
edition language English

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

Round Four:

Dead Man’s Hand (Jack of Spades 4) by Lee Brazil
Blind Heart (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner

Round Five:

Dead Money (Jack of Spades 5) by Lee Brazil

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

Round Four:

Dead Man’s Hand (Jack of Spades 4) by Lee Brazil
Blind Heart (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: High Stakes (Four of Clubs #4) by Parker Williams (Pulp Friction 2015 #15)

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5      ★★★★★

High Stakes coverBen Nelson marvels at the resiliency of his lover, Artie Middleton. He takes everything life throws at him and comes out the other end stronger than ever. It’s with this strength in mind that Ben tosses Artie a curveball that will change both of their lives forever.

A single question from Ben’s lips has Artie rushing headlong toward his happily ever after. One that he never thought he’d have and is now being served to him on a silver platter. He has it all—friends, family, and a future. But even a gifted psychic can’t see everything, and Artie is about to get a wakeup call.

Things he thought to be true about his past aren’t as clear-cut as he believed. His history with some of the people in his life runs deeper than he realized. And he’s about to learn a previously unknown threat from his childhood has returned to rip it all away.

Artie soon finds that in this game, the stakes couldn’t be higher: the lives of everyone he loves.

We’ve reached book four in the latest Pulp Friction series and we all know what that means if you’ve read any of the previous series.  It’s time for some serious angst and despair.  Boy, does Parker Williams and High Stakes deliver that in, well, clubs. Can’t very well say spades can we?

Using the poker game analogy, the stakes of the games are raised up even higher still.  Within these 60 pages, Parker Williams fills in more of Artie’s history and family background, along with a connection to another character’s past.  The author uses this information not merely to inform but to scare the living bejeezus out of us with the ramifications it brings.

If any book has a purpose in a series (and this one surely does), its to show the closing in of evil around our small gang of knights gathering to do battle.  And the odds aren’t looking good.  The despair pours off the descriptions, and the angst flows even over the most joyful of scenes.  And that ending?  A shocker to the soul.  That one went beyond a mere gnashing of teeth and tearing of the hair into the “Oh Nooooooooooo!” *cue to  screams of disbelief*.

I did not see that one coming.  When you can hide something like that event in the small clues stashed away in bits and pieces throughout the tale, well, that’s wonderful storytelling.  Well done, Mr. Parker!  Still devastated but well done.

Two more books to go.   One more by Parker Williams and then the series finale written by all the authors and combined story lines.  I can’t wait to see how they are going to pull this off.  I  am totally perplexed about the whole thing.  The villains, the subplots, and just how its all going to work itself out.  Am I a happy camper?  Yes, I am.

All the stories are short, so it easy to catch up if you need to start at the beginning of a series.  There are four of them that are connected here.  I have them all listed at the bottom of the review.  Use it as a TBR list if you haven’t already.

Love paranormal romance?  Murder mysteries?  Supernatural beings?  Why not combine them all in the style of a pulp fiction series?  They have it all here.  Now I just can’t wait to see how it will all end.

I highly recommend this series and all the interconnected series its attached to.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I’ve been ambivalent about these covers from the start.  But I really like this one.  Especially with the shadows that can be taken a number of ways.  Great job.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe)  | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 65 pages
Published September 13th 2015
ASINB015DBPJHE
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2015 #15, Four of Clubs #4
other editions (1)
High Stakes (Four of Clubs #4) (Pulp Friction 2015, #15)

 

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

Round Four:

Dead Man’s Hand (Jack of Spades 4) by Lee Brazil
Blind Heart (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: Blind Hearts (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Blind Hearts coverIn a world where supernatural creatures openly exist, who can blame them for coalescing in one of the most fascinating and erotic places on earth? Welcome to New Orleans.

Emotions are a human flaw, certainly nothing he’s familiar with…

Yet when Laurant looks at his mysterious lover, something happens deep within him. He’s a sex demon who has eyes for only one man. Man? When did he stop referring to his lover as a meal? And when did he turn into a green-eyed demon? Perhaps when family came calling, requesting help. No one wants their lover surrounded by sex demons. If Laurant can’t get a grip on his newly found emotions, humans and supernaturals alike will be in danger.

He lost his one chance of finding out who he is, what he is…

Gun’s been hunting down the witch that pilfered his memories and issued him false ones to no avail. It’s like she disappeared off the face of the earth. Unfortunately, that scenario is quite plausible. It leaves Gun with a major dead end and a mind that is no longer his friend. Memories of a false love with a beautiful woman hinder his present unexplainable need for a certain incubus. But does he truly belong here…with a lover who can’t feel love, a city that isn’t his home, and a ragtag group of poker players that now call him friend? It’s time for Gun to forget the past and create a future for himself. At least the forgetting part is simple.

They both have personal issues to conquer, if they could just stop trying to conquer each other first.

Havan Fellow’s round four story, Blind Hearts is so very aptly named.  You couldn’t find two characters with bigger blinders on their hearts than Gun and Laurant.  Gun is in the dark about his identity, right down to the type of being he is, except that its definitely not human.  Not a comforting fact to be in possession of.  Laurant seems to have so many people messing with his future, including his father.  The fuddy duddies of the Incubus world aren’t happy that Laurant goes the male route instead of the approved female one when feeding. And one top of that?  That Laurant is feeding from another supe, supernatural that is?  As against the laws as they come.  Plus there is a very big evil in town and…. now they are discovering they have feelings for each other to deal with? Nope, they would rather keep their focus straight ahead rather than have to look inside at what’ their hearts are telling them.  Self imposed blindness indeed.

Fellows has created a merrily as sin, deliciously sexy as, well hell, demon, Laurant,  and paired him up with an enigma of power, Gun. That the enigma is comes in the wrapping of a gorgeous hunk is all that Laurant needs to be hooked, not that he is ready admit it.  The author has let the layers built up around Laurant at the beginning of the story fall away book by book, revealing a complex individual underneath the flamboyant persona Laurant shows to the world (all dimensions of the world).

Its been a wonderful show, one I have reveled in.  Gun on the other hand, has had to be built up from nothing, added to layer by layer, book by book, a balancing act that’s been sort of mesmerizing to read about.  Each character’s truth being revealed by adding or subtracting layers, scene by emotional scene.  And still each is blind to the other man’s feelings about the other.

Blind Hearts takes off the blinder’s.  At the end, of course.  And does so with a kick to the heart and the head.  But never with any definite knowledge of what it all means, if anything.  It could still be all smoke and mirrors.  Or not. Maybe its something far worse.  A cliffhanger that will break your heart.

We will have to wait for book five to find out.  I’ve heard  tell I should be sharpening my pitchfork because of the events that are coming.  Hmmmm.  I can’t wait.  I love the anticipation.  Bring it on!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I can see Laurant in this model.  He’s sobering up a bit, who wouldn’t under the circumstances.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 53 pages
Published August 31st 2015 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
ASINB014RDYY52
edition languageEnglish

 

 

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

Round Four:

Dead Man’s Hand (Jack of Spades 4) by Lee Brazil
Blind Heart (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: Dead Man’s Hand: Jack of Spades #4 by Lee Brazil (Pulp Friction 2015:Altered States Book 13)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Dead Man's Hand coverBarton Montoire, the ghost of a nineteenth century riverboat gambler, is devastated and angry. His lover, physics professor Sabine, has exorcised him. Again. This time, there’s no denying the professor’s actions were intentional. Worse, Bart can’t seem to convince their friends to aid him in his quest get Sabine to listen to his side of things.

With his lover Bart safe from shadowy threats of eternal damnation in the “other realm,” ghost hunter Sabine Brusilov is free to pursue his own risky investigation into the mysterious circlet and its connection to the shadow figure that’s been tormenting the unlikely couple. With the help of his friends, he determines to take control of the situation and bring Bart home.

I may have been a little harsh towards Sabine in the past, mostly because of his behavior and attitude towards Bart, his ghostly lover and favorite character of mine. However, with Dead Man’s Hand (book 4), Lee Brazil start’s repairing Sabine’s reputation, in my eyes and in that of his friends as well as supplying some explanations for some of the more bizarre actions and events that Sabine has been involved in. Has this made me mellow towards Sabine?  Yes, it has, damn, it.  Still that amount of arrogance has cost him.

Forty four pages  isn’t a lot of time to turn a impression of a character around but Lee Brazil does it concisely and within the framework of a complicated plot. Its not, however, that Sabine changes but that our perspective of Sabine that gets revised now that we get to see underneath the surface of his actions.  We see how the things he said and weird things he has done now fit differently into the whole picture.  That tilt in viewpoint also  shifts the story into another mode – a renewed sense of needing this couple to be together, something that might not have been there before.

Bart is still desperately trying to find his way “home”, seeking answers, for his own scary actions and Sabine’s.  That dark evil influence had spread wider than anyone had thought possible.  With Brazil reinstating Sabine as more in need of our compassion than scorn, Bart blindly trying to come come to Sabine, and the plot more deeply layered and vicious, the author is setting the stage for the explosions and fires that book 5 is sure to bring.  Demons anyone?  Evil demons that is?  This is going to be painful, bloody, and someone, perhaps more than one is going to get hurt, but who?

Ah, Book 5, here we come, I can’t wait for the paranormal explosions to begin!

I highly recommend this story and all the stories that came before.  Pick them up and devour them like the scary bon bons they are!.

 

Cover artist Laura Harner.  Still wish they were darker and more frightening.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 44 pages
Published August 14th 2015 by Lime Time Press
ASINB013XZ611A
edition languageEnglish

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura HarnerRound Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura HarnerRound Three:Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

Round Four:
Dead Man’s Hand (Jack of Spades 4) by Lee Brazil
Blind Heart (King of Hearts 4) by Havan Fellows
High Stakes (Four of Clubs 4) by Parker Williams
Diamond Flush (Ace of Diamonds 4) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: Diamond Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner (Pulp Friction 2015 #12)

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Rating: 5 stars out  of 5     ★★★★★

Diamond Edge coverAlpha Jet Gorman might once have been a reluctant leader, but when he discovers someone is willing to murder in order to hide the origins of the newest members of the pack, his protective instincts are out in full force. To prevent further injury to the younger wolves, he works to uncover the truth of his deceased lover’s past—but the real answers he seeks may remain elusive as ever.

As an ancient vampire and former executioner for the Vampire Council, Nico Sanzio da Urbino takes a longer view when it comes to telling the truth—all is fair if you get there eventually—but the conflict between duty and heart have never been so personal. The price may be more than he is willing to pay as he attempts to keep his own secrets intact while helping Jet uncover the previous Alpha’s mysterious past.

With the New Orleans preternatural population continuing to increase at an unnatural rate, the local Alpha and the Odd Squad’s chief enforcer should have their attention focused on maintaining the human-to-super status quo, but with things between them heating up, their mutual distraction could prove deadly.

Give me the right vampire/werewolf combination and I’m all in.  With Jet and Nico, Laura Harner has her vampire and werewolf dynamic balance exactly right. Its on the edge, the power shifting subtly to each side from moment to moment. Nico and Jet are drawn to each other past what either had anticipated. One has age and knowledge, the other a youthfulness as well as a ability to love that the vampire has been missing. But their pull on each other goes beyond attraction and the need for blood into something unnamed and unknown…as yet.

Harner makes this attraction between Nico and Jet white hot and sizzling. Their scenes together when they finally give in to their feelings of lust…well, bring  on the fans!  But it was more.  Jet was still in so much pain over the loss of Russ and reeling from the revelations that their investigations were uncovering about the rogue baby wolves and Russ’ involvement. To have him, accept Nico and give him blood? That moment of exposure and acceptance? Made me love this couple even more. Then came the undercurrents of mystery and hidden secrets Jet was receiving from Nico and others  which had Jet starting to  wonder who exactly he could trust.  So typical of this series.

I loved the buildup of suspense.  The two point perspective helps to build our anticipation of further “emotional explosions” and angst to come, because we’re in the heads of  both our beloved  protagonists, for better or sometimes for worse.  In case of this story and ending, far, far, worse.

Diamonds Edge,  so sharp it can cut the hardest of materials, is by far my favorite so far.  That ending is a killer!  Now I need more.  Won’t get it, but definitely want it.  This series is so addicting!  Grab up all the stories and make it yours.  Must be read in the order they were written.   I highly recommend them all.  Read them one by one or wait until they are finished and binge read.  Whatever is your reading pleasure!

Cover Art by Laura Harner.  This is my favorite yet.  I don’t know if its because I’m just a back slut or if its because that stormy background combined with the muscly back gives off the supernatural vibes I’ve been looking for, either way, I love this.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe) |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published July 30th 2015 by Hot Corner Press
ASIN B0134S3J5M
edition language English

 

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: The Devil’s Playground: Four of Clubs Three (Pulp Friction 2015: Altered States Book 9) by Parker Williams

Standard

Rating:  4.75 stars out of 5

The Devil's Playground CoverThey say the course of true love never runs smooth, and Detective Ben Nelson is learning the truth of that adage in a big way. Two months ago, his lover Artie Middleton was tortured by demons determined to claim the psychic’s special gifts for their own. Now the same friends who helped Ben with the rescue are making a strong case that something about Artie isn’t right. When Artie verbally attacks his best friend, Ben is forced to acknowledge the unbreakable barriers surrounding Artie’s mind.

Searching for someone with the right gifts to help, Ben encounters a woman who insists there’s only one way—and one person—who stands a chance at saving Artie. What Ben finds when he goes on his solo rescue mission may very well mean both of their deaths, as they confront the evil that has made Artie’s mind the Devil’s playground.

Round Three stories are always a joy to read! Although not my favorite ones (that would be Round 5 and the finale), it comes close.  There’s always a mini explosion or three, and somewhere within the plot, the readers will get a small, yet so satisfying emotional payoff for all the angst and heartbreak that has  gone before.  That’s The Devil’s Playground by Parker Williams, book three in his Four of Clubs series in the Pulp Friction Altered States Universe.

When last we left our heroes, Artie and Ben, things were dark and getting darker.  Artie was behaving strangely, asking for help and yet repudiating any that came his way.  And he was mean, deeply, hurtfully, vindictive.  Every the opposite of the character we have come to love.  Ben, his partner and lover, was distraught and at a loss for answers.  In The Devil’s Playground we finally get some answers, and they’re as ugly as we had anticipated.

Demons, a nefarious, unknown plan and a close circle of friends imploding from the inside.  That’s the heartbreak, the suspense and the element that  provides so many emotional layers to this story and series.  Parker Williams continues to remain true to the pulp friction format with a writing style that’s crisp, descriptions that make his characters and situations feel real and a plot that keeps the suspense and angst ratcheted up to high levels. .  He gives us moments of happiness and then  proceeds to break our hearts and that of his characters.  And of course, there’s a cliffhanger as well.  Be still my heart!

I consider this Pulp Friction series one of the top reads this year and that includes all the interconnected series that goes along with it. I have them listed below.  Put them all on your TBR  list!  I highly recommend them all.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Simple, perhaps too simple.  I wish more elements of this story had been included to give it a punch its lacking now.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published July 13th 2015
ASIN B011K2DZSU
edition language English

 

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams

A MelanieM Review: Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) (Pulp Friction 2015 #9) by Lee Brazil

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dead Button coverHaunted. Seduced. Betrayed.

When ghost enthusiast Dr. Sabine Brusilov plucks a weathered skull from the mud and debris at the bottom of the Mississippi River, he gets more than he bargained for. The skull comes with a moody, petulant, sexy ghost who is not shy about his attraction to Sabine. Along with proof that ghosts really do exist, Sabine finds a treasure beyond compare.

Love.

Love is everything to long dead Barton Montoire. He’s lived for it, faced dishonor for it…killed for it. Now that he’s found it again, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep Sabine at his side for eternity. Even if that means more blood on his hands.

With the darkness that circles Sabine growing stronger, and his lover’s actions becoming more erratic and unpredictable, Bart is challenged to protect his love from some unknown danger.

Ghosts and humans exist on two separate planes, and there’s only one way for them to be together.

But betrayal lurks in the shadows…

Of all of the 4 interconnected series of the Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States collection, this series and main couple are the most problematic for me.  And that my somewhat dubious affection is for characters that comes from Lee Brazil?  Even more of a surprise and the cause of much questioning on my part.  That is never more true than for Lee Brazil’s story in Round Three, Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) (Pulp Friction 2015 #9).

After I finish reading each story, the first question that pops up is why don’t I like these characters more.  Or more accurately one character more? That would be Dr. Sabine Brusilov.  From the beginning he has come across as cold, unfeeling and harsh in his approach to his lover, the delectable ghost Barton Montoire.   Theirs is a long  relationship that has always seemed very one sided and prone to the potential for abuse.  Yes, definitely not a fan of Sabine’s.

It has come up along the way that other characters in the series see their relationship the way I do and the explanations have been that Sabine is shocked over the manner in which his and Barton’s relationship is viewed.  But have these scenes and clarifications made any adjustments in my feelings towards Sabine?  Not really.  For me, the one closest  to my heart with this couple is Barton.  His treatment at the hands  of Sabine both push Barton further into my affection while continuing to alienate Sabine more throughly from it.

But the more I think about it, I wonder if that isn’t part of Brazil’s plan all along.  That you must pull one of the characters down so far that he seems unredeemable.  Until he isn’t.  That his salvation becomes part of the “Holy Grail” of the story, something that must be achieved at all cost.  Because Sabine is certainly on his way to hell given his actions here.

Parts  of this story hurt so bad that I can still feel it.   Brazil’s writing leaves no emotion unturned or unchurned as I should say.  The pain is spread far and even across the characters.  The darkness is here and feels unstoppable as well as unknown.  Its brunt is borne by Barton, at least on the surface.  That Sabine is wrapped up in something out of his control is obvious but his actions?  How far back did the influence start?  This becomes more of a psychological mystery as well as a supernatural suspense story.  I love that.  Because as much as I dislike what Sabine is doing, Brazil makes me question the impetus for his actions and what the man must be feeling underneath it all.  Will I come to love Sabine as I do Barton?  The answer lies in stories 4 and 5 and I can’t wait to find out.

All the stories and series in the Pulp Friction 2015 collection are convoluted and full of shocking revelations.  Somehow, though, I get the feeling that Lee Brazil’s Jack of Spade might just supply the biggest surprise of them all.  Stay tuned!

Cover art by Laura Harner is dark and perfect for this story.  The covers for the series were originally too light but as the plot got nasty and murderous the covers have changed with the tone.  Love it and them.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 46 pages
Published June 15th 2015 by Lime Time Press
ASINB00ZS51B8M
edition languageEnglish
series 2015 Pulp Friction – Altered States Collection

☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows

A MelanieM Review: Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) (Pulp Friction 2015 #10) by Havan Fellows

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5:

 

Blinds Man's Bluff coverIn a world where supernatural creatures openly exist, who can blame them for coalescing in one of the most fascinating and erotic places on earth? Welcome to New Orleans.

His modus operandi is to feed and leave…

Laurant never repeats a meal. Not that his hors d’oeuvres complain. The incubus enjoys meeting every one of their needs multiple times over, leaving them in a blissfully sated state of mind for days—sometimes weeks—afterward. So, even though Laurant’s power is diminishing, why hasn’t he sought nourishment these past months since that explosive true feeding in March? For once in his centuries-old life, he realizes he doesn’t want just a snack…he wants a mysterious feast.

He has powers and no idea how to use them…

Gun has done his best to stay away from the sexy as hell incubus despite all his taunts and teases. Avoiding the demon was simple at first…but Gun’s powers are awakening and they like the sex demon. A lot. Now it isn’t so black and white, especially when Laurant focuses all his stimulating attention on helping Gun find his origins. But the once vivacious incubus doesn’t appear his lecherous perky self anymore. Gun jealously thought he found sustenance with others, but perhaps not. Maybe Laurant needs him again…and maybe Gun is okay with that…

They just might be on the verge of overcoming all the obstacles in their way…that is until those special three little words are whispered with the strength and magick to tear them apart completely.

In the Pulp Friction universe, the third round of stories always brings the heartbreak and the action.  The characters always seem to end  up at the edge of a precipice and the only way out is down.  Oh, the angst and suspense!  In Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3), Havan Fellows stays true to the pulp fiction formula and heightens both the emotional tension between Laurant and Gun as well as the relationship “high stakes” that comes with trying to combine an incubus with a taste for men and a sexy man who is more than anyone can figure out, including himself.  Gun is that true unknown quantity.  He has no memory of how  or what he is.  But clearly from past events, he’s not human. But the answer to what he is remains illusive.  Until someone from his past arrives in town to supply the answers. Or do they?

Gun is a wonderful character, made all the more remarkable because we have come close to knowing who he is ( his pov as supplied by Havan Fellows is a large part of the narrative).  Still what type of supernatural being Gun is remains an unknown.  But the clues are starting to pile up and the assumptions being made aren’t pretty.  That’s a huge amount of power he is capable of wielding, turning him into a weapon that can tilt the outcome of battles.  But whose side is he on? And what battles are looming up ahead? Some  of the answers start to fall into place here.

But the drama that pulls at me is on a smaller, more personal level.  That’s the tentative relationship forming between Laurant, the incubus who has never had a “special someone”  before, and Gun, the man who doesn’t  know who he is. Plus there is the added question of whether he can trust the politics that pull at Laurant constantly over his feeding and choice of partner.

Oh, Laurant.  how can such a sex on two legs demon come across as so vulnerable?  The author manages to make Laurant accessible and emotionally open, even as his actions and words give off an opposite impression.  I love this incubus.  He’s both troubled and troublesome.  He’s the gregarious man at the party and the lonely man in his heart.  How do you not find him charming and worthy of his own HEA?

Here it almost breaks and for so many reasons.  The other couples are acting uncharacteristically mean towards each other, all the close friends support for this unusual circle of friends seems to be breaking down and there is a darkness feeding the instability and pain erupting all around them.  Typically, this story raises more questions than it answers…perfect for a Round Three story.  I expect that and now eagerly await story number four.  As hearts break so I hope they will be mended.  Soon.

I love this series and characters.  They are wonderful, sexy, and unique.   If you are new to the Pulp Friction inter-connected series and groups of characters, then please realize these are not standalone stories.  They must be read in the order they were written.   I have listed them below.  Check them off as you go.  They are all on my Must Be Read  lists for this year!  Grab them up and get started today.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  These covers are getting better and better as well as darker and darker.  It goes along with the emotional tone of the stories and events that are occurring.

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 58 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Appleton Avenue Publishing
ASINB010PIZQ7S
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2015 #10, King of Hearts #3

 

 

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3)  by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3)  by Havan Fellows

A MelanieM Review: Up The Ante: Four of Clubs Two (Pulp Friction 2015 Book 7) by Parker Williams

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Up the Ante coverTwo months ago, Ben Nelson stepped between a vengeful demon and psychic Artie Middleton—and has been paying for that decision ever since. Now that the last rites have been administered, doctors are ready to pull the plug on the young police detective. The trouble is, Artie has seen his future and knows that Ben belongs there.

When a friend suggests a solution that seems…out of this world, Artie must face Ben’s parents and convince them that there’s a chance their son can be saved. Unfortunately, even if he succeeds, every good deed comes with a price.

And someone is always waiting to up the ante.

I’ve been waiting impatiently to see what happened next after the soul gathering demon attacked Ben and Artie in The Devil’s Bedpost (love that title).  And while I was waiting, I heard through ripples in the Force, that this story was going to make me want to hunt the author down with a torch and pitchfork because of the ending. Did that happen?  Yes, trust in the Force!  What a story!  And what a spine tingling ending that is almost quaranteed to make you scream in frustration and anguish.

Pulp Friction stories and their series are always accompanied by a rollercoaster of suspense, chills, close calls and lethal encounters.  But never more so than in this year’s inter-connected stories in the Altered States universe.  And that brings us back to the last moments in The Devil’s Bedpost where we weren’t sure who lived, who died…we were just left to panic and ponder.

Well, the wait is over.  Up The Ante picks up two months after the events in the  first book, and things are as disheartening and unsettled as never before.  Ben lies in a coma in the hospital, hooked up to the machines with everyone losing hope for his recovery.  And Artie is blaming himself and isolating himself from the few friends he has.  It’s a desolate picture and Williams brings us into Artie’s heart and thoughts as he despairs of finding a way of helping Ben.  We feel Artie’s pain, exhaustion, and desperation and we are there with him in spirit because we have become so fond of Ben ourselves in such a short amount of time.

One of the things that helps to complete a characterization, to give it a full fleshed out persona, is to make the supporting players around that character so believable that they add weight to his authenticity.  That happens here with Ben and his family.  We meet them all in the hospital where they have gathered, helplessly waiting to hear more from the doctors.  There’s his mom, dad, sister and her husband.  Each a well-defined character that grounds Ben in a family that loves him.  And that element helps to point out its lack in Artie.  Artie’s family is made up of a dog of a surprising nature, and his small weird group of supernatural friends.  That they are his family as well is something Artie becomes aware of during the story.   How I loved/hated these hospital moments with Ben so close to death because it allows Artie to finally start to accept his feelings for Ben and the idea that Artie might have/had more of a life then he ever dreamed of.  It’s lovely, and sad, and life changing.

It’s the entrance of Tempest, the witch who works in the occult bookstore owned by Travis Boudreaux (Altered States series). She’s a strong female character, just as charismatic as the rest and I adored her.  She heralds a sea change for those characters we have been concentrating our emotions on for so long.  And hope appears along with her…

But remember those ripples in the Force I was telling you about?  And yes, because this is only the second story, you know that things have to get nasty before they get better, so yes again, Parker Williams throws a boulder into the water at the end, and it’s not ripples but a tidal wave of emotion that will hit you at last word.  I’d get out my pitchfork as threatened but I need the author to continue the story, to fix things and make it all better for all of us.  Argh and sigh…because the ante has most definitely been “upped”.

But ignore all that gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, I am loving every angst-filled bit of this story and series.  It’s so well written, that the pages and plot fly by so I often have to go back and reread parts to see what clues or omens I may have missed.  And really, that dog Duke?  Priceless.  Grab up this series and prepare to fall in love with peculiar and wonderful men in love, a story full of shocks and surprises and world building elements that never stop entertaining or intriguing you.  Don’t start here, however, go back to the first story and read them in sequence.  It’s the only way to understand the overall series plot and character development.  Happy Reading and Anxious Waiting!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  I still wish for more of a dark element (not dark colors) to be included.  This is a series that includes demons and the occult so I wished for more of that in the design than a serious, sort of grumpy model.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)  –   Amazon     Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 61 pages
Published May 13th 2015
ASINB00XNPWOCG
edition languageEnglish

About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellows
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2)  by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner