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What happens when blood makes you sick

Adventures of a Vegan Vamp: Book Cover Adventures of a Vegan Vamp:
Volume 1 (Vegan Vamp Mysteries)
Cate Lawley
crime fiction, mystery, thriller, cosy
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (23 Nov. 2017)
23 Nov 2017

Undead and vegan? Not the afterlife this girl had planned. Waking up thin is one thing. But waking up gaunt, hangry,and undead makes for a very bad day. Mallory's killer better hide, because she's just discovered blood, meat, and dairy don't agree with her, and a future with no cheese is grim indeed. She's out to find her killer...and maybe a vegan cheese that doesn't melt her nose hairs. Click to see how Mallory conquers a killer hunger while hunting a deadly vampire.

A Vegan Vamp?!

I so much enjoyed this tale that I read the following 3 stories in the series plus the 2 novellas. Still not a 5 star rating but enjoyable romps through just what happens when a vampire can’t stand the taste of blood and cannot digest it either. So how does she take in nutrition? Protein shakes with a mixture of vegetables etc to ensure she gets the necessary minerals etc.

Each book leads onto the next with a cliff-hanger and with the 2 short stories lying in the middle and intersecting – covering some of the same time periods but other aspects.

They are cosy murder mysteries, with magic, witches, political intrigues and lots of power plays. Living a long time gives vampires lots of time to plot it seems…

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Let Shakespeare name her

Portia Book Cover Portia
Angelbound Offspring Book 2
Christina Bauer
Teen & Young Adult Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Monster House Books
(25 Jun. 2019)

Unlike her famous older brother Maxon, Princess Portia isn't known for killing demons or attracting admirers. The reason why is simple: a spell was cast on Portia, and the magic has marked her to one day transform into a dreaded Void demon.

To fight this horrible fate, Portia’s spent her life hiding in libraries and learning magic. But when the Void demons threaten to destroy all the after-realms—and the handsome dragon Emperor Tempest offers his help—then Portia suspects that her future holds more than just a demonic metamorphosis.

Fate is calling the bookworm princess onto the battlefield. 

This time, it’s a fight against both deadly enemies and her heart’s desires. 

This for me, was more of a novella in length and thus was not long enough to include sufficient originality. It was less complex in storyline than the original novel. Also, author, Brits (males) do not end every sentence  with ‘luv’. I know because my husband calls me this, but only a few times a day, not every time he speaks to me..

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Be careful in vineyards

October Man Book Cover October Man
Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovitch
crime fiction, mystery, thriller, Greeks, and Romans,Urban fantasy
Gollancz
| 13 Jun 2019

Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany's oldest city. So when a man is found dead with, his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.

Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.

Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with the minimum of fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, he's quick to link the first victim to a group of ordinary middle aged men - and to realise they may have accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century. But the rot is still spreading, literally and with the suspect list extending to people born before Frederick the Great solving the case may mean unearthing the city's secret magical history.

. . . so long as that history doesn't kill them first.

This book takes us away from the usual London magic haunt and Peter to Germany and a new character who was apprenticed to a Mistress Practitioner of Magic – in the police of course.

Germany suffered badly after the war and its initial need for practitioners was to eradicate the werewolves, it was only once that task had been completed that it was possible to look at the strange occurrences from a policing viewpoint. But as in Britain, the official practitioners had been decimated by the magical battles and ‘magic ‘ police were still learning and had not yet linked up with the more established London police.

Nonetheless, it was rivers and their goddesses that were causing issues. Or perhaps one could say more accurately the lack of such goddesses and their worship.  Especially as some rivers had ‘birthed’ baby goddesses, who being toddlers really had little control of their powers. So we get wine growing, rivers and some very strange deaths and perhaps a new apprentice.

Nice but not quite as original and atmospheric as the London stories.

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Strange inheritance

A Magical Inheritance Book Cover A Magical Inheritance
#1 (Ladies Occult Society)
Krista D Ball
Independently Published
28/5/19

Miss Elizabeth Knight received an unexpected legacy upon her uncle’s death: a collection of occult books. When one of the books begins talking to her, she discovers an entire world of female occultist history opened to her—a legacy the Royal Occult Society had purposely hidden from the world.However, the magic allowing the book to speak to Miss Knight is fading and she must gather a group of female acquaintances of various talents. Together, they’ll need to work to overcome social pressures, ambitious men, and tyrannical parents, all to bring Mrs. Egerton, the book ghost, back.

A really interesting book. I enjoyed the language used and storyline, and it had some excellent points made about the role of women in society at that time in our history. It is not a Regency romance. It is not light and frothy but serious in its discussions of family, marriage, education and inheritance in 1810. Not to mention men’s attitudes towards women and their very small heads that don’t contain enough brain power to be able understand Latin and Greek, riddles, puzzles, mathematics (other than household accounts),  let alone the Occult.

Now the Occult here is a type of magic, it combines supernatural, paranormal, spells and herbs and ghosts.

The novel tells us a lot about being frugal and what it really meant – wearing fabrics until the patterns fade and dresses until the seams fall apart, upon which time, the material is re-used for a child’s dress or a lining or…

I also like the idea of invalid food that was common – I wonder what our invalids would say if we fed them boiled turnips with a little butter, and bread soaked in the liquor left after boiling salt beef for hours.

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And the Lore is? Ask the Author

Breaking the Lore Book Cover Breaking the Lore
(Inspector Paris Mystery Book 1)
Andy Redsmith
supernatural, magic, detective
Canelo
15th April 2019
kindle

A magical, mischievous mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch

How do you stop a demon invasion... when you don’t believe in magic?

Inspector Nick Paris is a man of logic and whisky. So staring down at the crucified form of a murder victim who is fifteen centimetres tall leaves the seasoned detective at a loss… and the dead fairy is only the beginning. Suddenly the inspector is offering political asylum to dwarves, consulting with witches, getting tactical advice from elves and taking orders from a chain-smoking talking crow who, technically, outranks him. With the fate of both the human and magic worlds in his hands Nick will have to leave logic behind and embrace his inner mystic to solve the crime and stop an army of demons from invading Manchester!

And the novel looks like:

Discovering fairies at the bottom of the garden is supposed to be good luck. Except when the fairy has been crucified. Two pieces of wood shoved into the ground, one tiny form fastened on to them. Sometimes, thought Inspector Nick Paris, being a cop could be the worst job in the world. And sometimes it was bloody amazing.

‘Well?’ he asked. ‘What do you reckon?’

Williams the pathologist lay on the grass, examining the scene. He shuffled round and peered up at the detective.

‘I’m not sure what to make of it,’ he replied. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’

‘You think I have?’

‘Maybe, Boss,’ said a voice over Paris’s shoulder. ‘We do get to see some mighty weird stuff. Remember I told you about those talking fish?’

‘Bonetti,’ said Paris. ‘That was Finding Nemo.’

For the umpteenth time, Paris cursed the process of allocating sergeants, and wondered how the hell he’d been assigned this one. Life could be a right pain. Still, considering the grisly sight in front of him, it had to be better than the alternative.

‘Anyway,’ he continued, ‘we’re not in Hollywood. This is Manchester, for God’s sake! The leafy suburbs, granted, but your archetypal northern industrial city. Things like this just don’t happen here. Mind you, things like this probably don’t happen anywhere. Help me out, Jack. Is it even real?’

Williams pushed his glasses back on his nose, then pointed at the grass.

‘We’ve got what appears to be blood,’ he said. ‘There’s also bruising around the wounds. Hence the answer is: yes and no.’ He clambered to his feet, brushing the soil from his trousers. ‘“Real” – yes. “It” – no. Most definitely a “she”.’

Paris crouched down to survey the scene once more. The two sticks were in the ground in an X shape, with one wrist and the opposite ankle attached to each. The petite head drooped forward, golden hair obscuring the face. Over the shoulders rose silver wings, glistening in the early morning sun. Below the head he could see a body covered by a pale blue dress. A body that was clearly female, with a sensational, albeit minute, figure.

‘Can’t argue with you,’ he said. ‘Living doll. Well, a dead one. But she can’t be a fairy, because they don’t exist. So what are we dealing with? Freak of nature? Genetic mutation?’

‘Maybe,’ said Bonetti, ‘she really is a fairy. Or a woman who got stuck in a washing machine.’

Paris looked up into his assistant’s permanently vacant face, sitting on top of the solid, rugby player’s torso. He had to admit, a good person to have around if they ever got into a fight. Plus a reasonable enough chauffeur. Apart from that, though, about as much use as the Gobi Desert white-water rafting team.

‘A washing machine?’

‘Happened to me, Boss. One of my shirts shrunk when we put it in extra hot.’

‘I see,’ said Paris, as patiently as he could manage. ‘And did it grow wings at the same time?’

‘No, Boss. Our machine’s too old for any of them fancy settings.’

Paris contemplated life with Bonetti as his sergeant. The alternative didn’t seem so bad after all.

‘Right,’ he said, turning back towards Williams. ‘Any suggestions which actually come from Planet Earth? Or anything else you want to tell me?’

‘I can’t give you a definitive cause of death until we get back to the lab,’ replied the pathologist. ‘I can tell you I don’t appreciate working in a circus.’

Paris raised his head. Shouting voices rumbled down from the house, hidden from view by a thick privet hedge.

‘There you go,’ he said. ‘I’ve always wondered why these people with great big gardens split them into different sections. Now I know. It’s to stop the media from seeing the bodies.’

He looked back at Williams, who frowned at him.

‘Bound to happen,’ said Paris. ‘You know how fast the papers pick up on the slightest hint of a story. Then someone reports finding a murdered fairy? Just be glad my guys are holding them back. Besides, we’ve kept it down to three camera crews and half a dozen reporters; I think we’ve done pretty well.’

Williams tutted. ‘You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?’ he asked.

‘I never enjoy finding the victims. Even when they’re fifteen centimetres tall. But I do like interesting cases.’

‘Indeed. You’ve certainly got one here.’

‘Boss,’ said Bonetti. ‘Do we tell the press anything?’

‘Do we hell!’ replied Paris. ‘Say it’s a hoax. I’m sure Jack can whip up whatever you need.’

‘Of course,’ said Williams. ‘Give you time to whip up the killer, I suppose.’

‘Yeah. Only that won’t even be the hard part. That’ll be dealing with the lawyers.’

‘What do you mean?’

Paris stared up at him. ‘How do you kill somebody who doesn’t exist?’

Author Bio

Andy Redsmith was born in Liverpool and grew up in Runcorn. For university he moved the enormous distance to Salford and has lived in Manchester ever since. He says the people there are great, but we don’t talk about football.

He worked for many years as a project manager in the computing industry, a job which really is every bit as exciting as it sounds. Eventually the call of writing became too hard to ignore and he went off to do that instead. Over the years in IT he worked with some very clever people and some complete weirdos, none of whom bear any resemblance to the characters in his books. Honest.

He has a wonderful wife, a great son, and a loft full of old Marvel comics. One day he’ll get round to selling them. That’s the comics, not the family.

Twitter: @AndyRedsmith

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