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Why is humour often grave?

Grave Humor Book Cover Grave Humor
A Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) #14
R. J. Blain
Fiction, paranormal, urban famtasy
Pen & Page Publishing
May 12, 2020
386

Most days, Anwen regrets working at a funeral home. With the residents no longer inclined to stay in their coffins where they belong, she's got her hands full making sure everyone follows the rules: In the funeral home, there is no screaming, no murdering, no mutilation, no possessions, no kidnappings, no resurrections, and no cursing of any type. Be quiet and stay polite. The day Old Man McGregor decides to take a walk and disturbs her peace, Anwen learns there's a lot more to the basement in the funeral home than a vampire and a handsome gentleman on ice. If she's not careful, she'll learn first-hand why 'eternally yours' is the most potent of threats. Warning: this novel contains romance, humor, bodies, shenanigans, and mythological puppies. Proceed with caution.

Part of a long series with bodies….

This was a good length and so it was long enough to complete a story in one book. No need for a sequel here and I enjoyed reading through whole.

Just a couple of minor grouches from me though – 1. For me it seemed there was too much emphasis on the Aramaic pantheon; and 2. I got seriously confused at times when the characters were explaining all the different relationships within the angelic host and others. This just needed to be simplified down for those not familiar with this pantheon and the way angels and their various families are linked.

I had not realised, until I looked it up, that angels are common to many religions including Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. Of course Medieval scholars managed to make it all very complicated and to have many different choirs of angels and thrones etc but the one thing that most agree on is that Azrael holds a rather benevolent role as the angel of death, wherein he acts as a psychopomp, responsible for transporting the souls of the deceased after death. I have come across the concept of a psychopomp before in Christine Bauer’s work so this was at least familiar to me. But of course, each religion has a different take on angels – names, roles and hierarchy too.

I’m glad that I didn’t give up though. As I found that the story kept me interested and I loved the Mausoleum and graveyard. Anwen was an interesting heroine and I loved her chats with the dead and the loved the way the dead behaved too.

A different world again – but as the angels and others keep hinting – each world that the universe  builds lasts only a time – and then is destroyed for some reason and another world appears and magic appears in this new world at some point too. But each world acquires its magic at a different point in its history. Some characters in these stories live through multiple worlds – often by sleeping for long periods. Interesting thought and philosophy.

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Lactose Intolerant?

Blood Bound: Lowrance Vampires
Lowrance Vampires #1
RJ Blain
Urban Fantasy, Romantic Suspense
Pen & Page Publishing
(28 Jan. 2020)

After waking in a shallow grave and clawing her way to freedom, Penelope Francis hunts for the rogue who stole her life and transformed her into a vampire. Despite being corrupted into a feared preternatural, she clings to her humanity and refuses to prey on innocents, instead slaking her thirst on other miscreant vampires. In exchange for a chance at revenge, she joins forces with the charismatic master of the Lowrance brood, a choice that may spell the salvation—or destruction—of humanity as she knows it.

OK. So just about everything you thought you knew about Vampires is wrong – just about anyway. As usual, we get new world building from one of my all time favourite authors because she is funny and comes up with weird and wonderful worlds and stories. And the best kickass heroines with real snark and humour.

For a start, vampires are lactose intolerant. Also, they prefer blood from happy animals, so they arrange for the animals to live a wonderful life, organic, grass fed, and frolicky. And to have a nice death too – a happy death where they feel no pain and are not hurt in any way. Also chicken blood is good as is kobe beef steaks, rare of course.

Only those who have gone ‘wrong’ drink from unwilling victims and they frequently get blood lust and thus drain their victims – who are usually not willing, and so these crazed vampires have blood orgies, which the good vampires break up and see that they are punished.

Vampires do indeed live in clans or families, and are usually rich having lived a long time, and everyone has a job and is a useful member of society. They take human wives as otherwise they couldn’t have children. And people become vampires willingly – on the whole – to live this long and rich life.

I look forward to learning how this series continues and what happens to our heroine – Penelope/Pepper – who was turned against her will and yet survived – and gets sick on chicken blood – gets on with her new life within the Lowrance clan.

Blood Bound: A Lowrance Vampires Novel by [R.J. Blain]

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Whirlwinds go around…

Warpaint
OhSoBoutique! Series Book 1
J.J. Maya
Romance | Women's Fiction, Romantic Comedy
BooksGoSocial, Michelle McDermott
3 Apr 2020

WARPAINT IS THE SIMPLY SPARKLING ROM COM NOVEL OF 2020 - WILL WILLOW STEAL YOUR HEART? Readers are falling in love with Warpaint!  Scottish Makeup Artist Willow meets dashing New Yorker, Rick, and marries him after a whirlwind romance. But her new life in NYC is far from the perfect fresh start she imagined. Ignoring the warnings of her colleagues on the beauty hall floor, Willow headed off into the sunset with Rick...but his “Manhattan” loft is a bedsit in Queens and his ex, Isabella, appears to be in residence. Scorned Isabella alerts the authorities of a suspected “Green Card Marriage,” setting off a chain reaction with dramatic consequences. Now, faced with the threat of deportation and her marriage over before it had the chance to begin, will Willow find the courage to stay in New York and make all her makeup artistry dreams come true? Warpaint is Book One in the heartwarming OhSoBoutique! Series.


Are whirlwind marriages always deigned to go wrong? Can you fall in love (not lust) within a matter of weeks and marry and give up everything you’ve ever known to follow your new spouse into a new country and culture?
Well this heroine thought she could.
Willow is not the youngest heroine, nor is she the most beautiful, and so when Rick – a dashing American who appeared to have plenty of money – claims to have fallen in love with her, asks her to marry him and move to his Manhattan loft, she accepts. With trepidation its true. Which was justified as Manhattan lofts are not quite what she expected – especially when she finds remnants of Rick’s girlfriend in evidence. Seems she had only just left the ‘loft’. And wasn’t best pleased about it either and was determined to let Willow and Rick know.
This is a sweet tale of misguidedness and naivety and how difficult it can be to settle into a new culture and worse – to get a job in the States. The legal requirement of a valid and happy marriage being one of course.
With some finagling we manage to get to a happy ending through tears and struggles and stubbornness which makes one fall for Willow in her innocence, even not so much Rick. But her choice. And Willow finds she has some lovely co-workers who are prepared to put themselves on the line for her, demonstrating their depth of friendship.

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Finding out who dun-it

Where The Innocent Die Book Cover Where The Innocent Die
Detective Ridpath #4
M J Lee
Fiction
Canelo
March 2020
300

The case was closed. Until people started dying... DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising detective who captured a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then the murders began, in an uncanny echo of his first case. As the death count grows, old records, and bodies, go missing. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, Ridpath is in a race against time. A race to save his career, his marriage, and innocent lives. When a detective disappears everything is on the line. Can Ridpath save his colleague? A nail-biting crime thriller, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and D. S. Butler.

So this is Detective Ridpath again in the Coroner’s Office and there is a death in a Detainee Centre and he is asked to investigate it and confirm the findings as the Inquest was due – the parents had flown over from China to take their daughter’s body home. The Coroner did not want to postpone the inquest because of this.

The pathologist had identified the death as suicide but there was one factor that confused Ridpath. Despite all the doors to the rooms being locked by 9.15pm and the inmates being unable to unlock them, the girl’s door was unlocked – which was why her death had been discovered in the wee hours of the morning as the ‘officer’ made his rounds. And then the camera outside her room had been disabled – as had 5 others in the facility.

 Ridpath has to work fast to discover the truth of the death which turns out, as one could expect, to be rather more complicated than the initial findings.

The story proceeds – and Manchester is portrayed in its grimy, grey self accurately – and yes, people retiring wanted to get away to somewhere warmer – it drove our daughter, once she had lived there a few months, to Australia!

 I like these stories and hope Ridpath stays with the Coroner’s Office as it makes a definite change of storyline from the usual major incident squads.

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Calypso

Calypso’s Heart
(Orion’s Order #1)
M.C. Solaris
Adult, Paranormal, Romance
May 15th 2020

CALYPSO’S HEART is an adult paranormal wolf shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species! 

You’ll feel right at home if you’re a JR Ward, Nalini Singh, and Dannika Dark fan.

 

How Was Calypso’s Heart Born?

By M.C. Solaris, paranormal romance author of Calypso’s Heart (Orion’s Order Book 1)

So, I was sitting at my desk with my story outline I’d been working on for years and a brand new, blank Google Doc page and—

*cue the record scratch sound effect*

Although that may be the way many books were born, that is so not how Calypso’s Heart was born… not in the least. You see, I was never “in the closet” about writing. I didn’t write in secret at night after work (and maybe drunkenly get the courage to anonymously post short stories on some blog a time or two). I didn’t harbor my story and character ideas notebook close to my heart (or rather, in the safe at the back of said closet). Hell, writing paranormal romance stories (let alone publishing them) wasn’t even a tiny blip on my radar. Seriously! Sure, I’m an avid reader of PNR and love it but it wasn’t in the realm of my conscious mind to write PNR.

So, how exactly was Calypso’s Heart born then?

This may sound weird but the honest answer is during the January 2019 super blood moon eclipse, I literally woke up and began writing bios for my imaginary friends (AKA the characters that were suddenly in my head introducing themselves and sharing their world with me). And as soon as I started writing, I couldn’t stop. The words and scenes were just in my mind, playing out like a movie and I decided to write them down. This is how Calypso’s Heart was born. This is also how the other books in the series were born (which I’m working on publishing as soon as possible).

So, I wasn’t an “in the closet” writer taking creative writing classes at night (or any kind of writing classes, in fact) and honing my craft for years. I’m just a person who woke up one day, saw a new dream, was over the moon excited about it, and decided to just go for it. And I’m sharing this because if you’re reading this (thank you 🙂 ) and you wake up one day with a new dream or desire, don’t be afraid to see where it takes you. Who knows what you’ll birth into the world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day. As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).

On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.

Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com and sign up for the newsletter.
Welcome to The Order!

If you enjoy Psy-Changeling and Black Dagger Brotherhood, this new series is right up your alley!

Sexy shifters. Hot vampires. Intriguing immortals. Strong heroine. Sizzling romance. Page-turning plot full of emotion and excitement. Modern and fresh take on fated mates.

Caly

Do you dream of ridiculously hot men? Okay, maybe you do. (And yes, I’m well aware I should lay off the romance books before bed.) But do you actually ever meet those men you dream about in real life? I didn’t think so. That’s probably a good thing though because I have… And these men from my dreams have done nothing but pull the rug of reality out from under me… which was how I fell and ended up in a world that I thought only existed in romance books.

My name is Caly (AKA Callie) and I’m just an ordinary single woman living the LA dream… paycheck to paycheck. Except whose dream is it? I’m not really sure… but it’s not my dream. Especially because I have really weird dreams… like really weird. Then again, everyone has weird dreams, right?

Blake

I am an alpha wolf shifter and leader of Orion’s Order, a pack of… well, not wolves. We’re an unconventional pack of highly skilled specian hunters that do one thing: hunt the evil in our world. And we were hired by SILE (Species Investigative Law Enforcement) to hunt a bloodthirsty criminal who is infamously untraceable. That was until an irresistible female brought an unexpected twist to our hunt and set things in motion… a motion that has left my pack and our world forever changed.

Welcome to The Order and a secret world of magic and mystery, where a pack of unlikely friends find love and fight against an ancient evil force.

Devour this addictive series at your own risk…

+ Happily Ever After

+ Steamy Paranormal Shifter Romance

+ Multiple POV

+ Mature Content

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