Wow, what a book! Gwen Mitchell writes deeply layered, richly imagined, powerfully-nuanced fiction that touches, inspires, and captivates while it entWow, what a book! Gwen Mitchell writes deeply layered, richly imagined, powerfully-nuanced fiction that touches, inspires, and captivates while it entertains.
In Rain of Ash, we journey with Briana Spurrier, who left behind her family's heritage of magic to build a life halfway across the world as an acclaimed concert pianist. But fate and karma have other plans, throwing Bri back into the lap of her family's legacy, where she encounters a deadly curse that threatens everyone she loves. Bri must dig inside her heart, mind, and soul to discover the depth and breadth of her power, magic, and courage and learn who she really is, who she is meant to be, and what she must do to fight the curse and save not only herself but especially her loved ones.
Bri also has two scrumptious men competing for her. Her heart belongs to Kean, who adores Bri with all his might and will do everything in his considerable power to protect her from the dangers she will be facing. But she discovers, via past life regressions, that her spirit has already been bonded to that of Lucas, a powerful immortal being, not just for decades but for centuries, and that Lucas is looking for his mate.
The book excels in every aspect: it has a compelling and exciting story that mixes urban fantasy with delightful dark angst and wring-your-heart-out romance, characters that feel so lifelike that they walk right off the page and into your heart, masterful writing, and oh, yes, the page-turning factor. This book never failed to keep me up late at night, reading with bated breath to see what comes next. Rain of Ash is one of those amazing novels that satisfies on all levels, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. I only wish there were more than five stars to award!...more
Liar's Bench is a marvelous story, deeply felt, excellently told, and easily the best book I've read in a long time. It kept me turning pages, drawingLiar's Bench is a marvelous story, deeply felt, excellently told, and easily the best book I've read in a long time. It kept me turning pages, drawing me deeper, ever deeper into the world of young, earnest, and brave Mudas Summers and her difficulties and heartbreaks and her determination to uncover the truth about her mother's death.
I loved Kim Michele Richardson's nuanced portrayal of Muddy's complicated relationships with both her parents as well as the love and friendship she shares with Bobby, her boyfriend. And Peckinpaw's Liar's Bench – the actual bench – is woven deeply and skillfully into the story as its anchor in two different times, decades apart, yet profoundly connected.
The novel's richly imagined Southern setting and dialogue are outstandingly rendered and poignantly -- and often hilariously -- spot on. Kim Michele Richardson possesses top-notch gifts as a storyteller, a flawless ear, and a powerful, compelling way of painting intricate pictures with her words....more
Pieces of a Rainbow is a collection of character-driven and compelling short stories. The characters who people these stories feel real, and their joyPieces of a Rainbow is a collection of character-driven and compelling short stories. The characters who people these stories feel real, and their joys, sorrows, and challenges come to life in the reader's mind. Each story pulls the reader into its world, and each story is like a powerful lens on the day-to-day life struggles of its characters. There's a depth in each of these stories, which rings true to life, and the rainbow theme is wonderfully executed, with each short story titled a single color that's reflected in the theme of the story. Surprises abound in these stories, making the reader say, "Wow..." and giving a pleasurable read and ample food for thought, as well....more
This book is a treasure -- it rocks and rolls, on all possible levels. First, it's about a rock band, and no rock band could be more lovable than ShapThis book is a treasure -- it rocks and rolls, on all possible levels. First, it's about a rock band, and no rock band could be more lovable than ShapeShifter. And Trevor Wolff, the bassist, is irresistible. In Trevor's Song, Susan Helene Gottfried weaves together poignancy, humor, and serious situations into a gem of a story that begs to be read not just once, but multiple times. Her characters come to life so strongly that they enter one's thoughts and dreams just like old friends. Don't miss this one -- highly recommended....more
Not only is this a rollicking read, but it’s a rock-and-roll read. Maelstrom is the name of the band featured in Ann’s novel, but they’re no ordinaryNot only is this a rollicking read, but it’s a rock-and-roll read. Maelstrom is the name of the band featured in Ann’s novel, but they’re no ordinary band. They’re not even human.
Maelstrom is comprised of Kalila (a genie, or more properly termed, a djinn), Vic (a vampire who loves all blood types except AB negative), Lazaro (a zombie who likes to hang around college campuses for the smart food, and I’m not talking about campus buffets), Bo (an incubus with one thing — lustin’ — on his mind), and Nevin (a sweet-tempered fairy who loves nature and tries to urge the band away from misbehavior and toward philanthropy).
And the band manager of this motley musical crew? Ricky Landon, who just happens to be a good-hearted but quite ordinary human. His biggest struggle with his otherworldly band members is that being immortals, they just don’t understand human conventions, and as a result, they tend toward wreaking havoc everywhere they go and everywhere they play. Oh, and did I mention, the roadies are werewolves? And that Ricky has a crush on the gorgeous Kalila, who thinks that physical relationships with humans are icky?
Complicating the situation is the bet which Maelstrom has with Ragnarökkr , a band made up of washed-up deities whose front man just happens to be Thor. The two bands are competing to see which will be the first to win fame by human means — in other words, no magic allowed. The losers — including poor Ricky — will be banished to Hades for five hundred years. No big deal when you’re immortal, but for Ricky, we’re talking about a life-and-death situation.
Maelstrom is chock-full of delights, from the mysterious yellow cat who attaches itself to Ricky, to Echo (the answering service Ricky uses to contact members of the band via his Blackberry), to Kalila and her eccentricities regarding her lamps, which serve, of course, as her homes.
Particularly entertaining is the interplay of the strong personalities of the band members, juxtaposed with their struggles to comprehend human ways, and Ricky’s earnest endeavor to understand the ways and means of immortals.
The plot cracks along, keeping the reader turning pages to find out just what the Hades is going to happen next, while throughout the mayhem and hilarity, we see developing a message of friendship and tolerance — no matter how starkly individuals may differ from one another, common ground can be discovered and nurtured if they work from a foundation of compassion and understanding.
And from Ricky’s adventures with the band, we also see that sometimes what looks at first like an infernal mess might just turn out to be one of life’s most meaningful lessons....more
A fabulous read! Erin Quinn has created a real page-turner with Haunting Beauty. I enjoyed not only the story and the characters but also the subtletyA fabulous read! Erin Quinn has created a real page-turner with Haunting Beauty. I enjoyed not only the story and the characters but also the subtlety and richness of her world-building and magical elements. I highly recommend this one to fans of magical and paranormal novels....more
Amazing book, and beautifully written. Talk about a different perspective on Edward Rochester, and I found Antonia (Bertha) to be absolutely captivatiAmazing book, and beautifully written. Talk about a different perspective on Edward Rochester, and I found Antonia (Bertha) to be absolutely captivating and so, so heart-rendingly sad. I'll definitely be checking out more of Rhys's works....more