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Hidden where?

All That’s Hidden Book Cover All That’s Hidden
(Sugar Shack, #2)
Susan Golden
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humour
Susan M. Golden
August 12th 2019

Pet sitter turned entrepreneur, Jennifer Albright thinks she has it all: an expanding business, a new, blissful marriage to a very sexy husband, a dog named Rupert that people frequently think is a bear, and a parrot named Sugar that Jennifer’s pretty sure is psychic. But her idyllic life begins to unravel when a series of creepy incidents threatens to sabotage the launch of her doggie day care center, and the discovery of a hidden treasure thrusts her into the world of federal agents and international thievery. The chaos soon spills over onto her home life and Jennifer reluctantly begins to suspect that her seemingly perfect, unbelievably supportive husband is hiding something from her. There’s just so much that doesn’t add up. Tech-mogul Ryan has found the love of his life in his adorable new bride, Jennifer. But trouble seems to follow her like a basset hound. When one strange twist of events offers Ryan an opportunity he feels he can’t pass up, he unknowingly launches himself down the road of suspicion and mistrust. But he’s got this covered. She doesn’t suspect a thing.

Review

I loved this story – so much that I went back and read book 1 in the Sugar shack series too.

I especially liked in book 1 ‘Fate’. Fate who spun her top, or got dressed up to suit the occasion. And finding out how Simon was first introduced to Jennifer and Ryan was a gas. [Book 1 is called Catnapped]

There is gentle humour and lots of shaggy dog stories here.

So we have Rufus: and of course the Cockatoo Sugar as prime characters in both books as well as John for security and more. We have a really intelligent in an engineering way guy in Ryan and a somewhat flaky woman in Jennifer. Not that she isn’t bright but… They are fated to be together and these series see them get into scrapes together – see marriage – and then find interesting and novel ways out – see garbage trucks, sewers and 3 D printers. Not to mention Jennifer imitating scoundrels – quite poorly.

A very affectionate bird it can live upto 70 years in captivity and forms a strong bond with its owner. it grows to around 21 inches or slightly more and can be destructive if bored, as well as loud. Known to ‘dance’ to a beat/
originally used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest. He is a capable and hardworking dog, well suited to work on land or water. He is a strong swimmer and equally strong “pack horse.” Sweet-natured and responsive, he makes a wonderful family companion as well. Some 100-150 pounds and over 2 foot tall, but dislikes being alone.

AUTHOR BIO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Retired federal government employee turned accidental author. 

https://susangoldenauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Golden-Books-1849620365326979/

https://twitter.com/susangoldenbook

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Lost?

Little Boy Lost
DCI Anna Tate
JP Carter
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Avon,

Innocence is no protection against evil… One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks? An absolutely gripping thriller for fans of Cara Hunter’s No Way Out and First Blood by Angela Marsons.

A very disturbing story. very well told and believable after previous London riots.
My husband has always pointed to the regular occurrence of riots in the UK's history, and the fact that social ills were addressed afterwards, as a reason, possibly, that unlike  most of Europe, we still have a monarchy. And have not had a real Revolution.
 I saw a play created from interviews with our last London rioters, and it is clear that a significant portion of our youth feel very disenfranchised. And the increase in knife crime in 2019 emphasises this.
So the social unrest that is The background to this story is a viable a believable extrapolation.
I am not sure if Chloe's back story added a great deal apart from muddling stories up. I would have left it out. Its riot experience was enough.
And the final twist was one I never saw coming. Excellent.

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Tricky Tricky

Trickster Book Cover Trickster
(Angelbound Lincoln, #3)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: February 25th 2020

***A hilarious adventure after the events of Angelbound SCALA … and it’s all from Prince Lincoln’s point of view!!!***

With the drama of the Soul Towers and Lucifer’s Orb behind them, Myla and Lincoln look forward to sharing some quality time. Perhaps they’ll even do a ‘regular couple thingie’ like a dinner date. Or they could kill more demons together. Myla isn’t picky.

Then a trickster gets released inside Antrum’s secure borders. And by trickster, we’re talking a giant orange monkey with magical powers and a love of causing drama with uptight thrax.

Looks like date night is on hold.

So a Loki by any other name is a Trickster, but here, not necessarily by nature.

This story continues with Lincoln’s world view and adventures and says more about his soldier mentality and the way the medieval knight thought about the world and their role in it.

We replay his meetings with the Myla after she becomes the Scala and move on into their joint adventures before their marriage – which leads to a certain amount of sexual frustration – which may also lead to a certain amount of demonstration of virility in the fighting arena!

I like nearly all of the books in this series, but find these books about the early years less interesting, although I did like the Lion and his ‘pretend’ fight with Lincoln.

Nonetheless, even if Bauer does write the books out of chronological order, as they cover elements of the story we have not heard about before, they do link in. The writing style remains good and again a fun YA read.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!WEBSITEGOODREADSFACEBOOKTWITTER

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When social ills abound

Little Boy Lost Book Cover Little Boy Lost
by J. P. Carter
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Avon Books UK
Pub Date 23 Jan 2020

Innocence is no protection against evil… One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks?

A very disturbing story. very well told and believable after previous London riots.
My husband has always pointed to the regular occurrence of riots in the UK's history, and the fact that social ills were addressed afterwards, as a reason, possibly, that unlike  most of Europe, we still have a monarchy. And have not had a real Revolution.
 I saw a play created from interviews with our last London rioters, and it is clear that a significant portion of our youth feel very disenfranchised. And the increase in knife crime in 2019 emphasises this.
So the social unrest that is the background to this story is a viable a believable extrapolation.
I am not sure if Chloe's back story added a great deal apart from muddling stories up. I would have left it out. Its riot experience was enough.
And the final twist was one I never saw coming. Excellent.

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Your other half

Dead Ringer Book Cover Dead Ringer
(Gaslamp Gothic #5)
Kat Ross
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling, Urban Fantsay,
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 13th 2019

Dead Ringer
Kat Ross
(Gaslamp Gothic #5)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: December 13th 2019
Genres: AdultFantasyParanormalRetelling

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A poisonous secret. 
A terrifying curse. 
And a client she’d just as soon see dead in a ditch….
 

Summer 1889. Harrison Fearing Pell hoped for adventure when she signed on with the Society for Psychical Research as an occult investigator. Slogging through New York’s sewers in pursuit of a “mud man” wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But the reeking monster terrorizing the dance halls of the Tenderloin leads her to an even more peculiar mystery — and the last man on earth Harry wishes to become entangled with. 

James Moran is a prodigy in music, mathematics . . . and crime. Harry’s older sister, the famed detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, has vowed to put him behind bars. But Harry owes Moran a personal debt, so when he demands her aid she can hardly refuse. It turns out that the brilliant black sheep of New York Society is part of a secret club at Columbia College whose members have started dying in bizarre ways that may not be accidents. 

Thus begins one of the strangest cases of Harry’s career, a tale of murder, cold-blooded revenge and fairytale bogeymen to make the Brothers Grimm shudder. As the bodies pile up, each preceded by sightings of the victim’s doppelgänger, Harry and her stalwart friend John Weston must race against time to save a man who arguably deserves his macabre fate.

I am reviewing here a 5 book series – urban fantasy and gothic. The Blog Tour is for book 5. It was suggested we read books 3 and 4 if we wanted first to get background, but having started book 3 I decided I needed to go right back to book 1 to start the story from the beginning. Although I then discovered that these characters originated in yet another series! Which I will read in due course.

Book 1 is linked but not closely to book 2 and thus book 3 but it is the characters in the books that follow through. Each book of the first 4 is a story about a main set of characters, with the characters from the previous books playing a minor role. In book 5 all the characters come together.

Each book has 2 main characters that emerge who are not quite what they appear on the surface – for a start the 2 in book 2 are very much older. It is likely that the female character – currently known as Vivienne – was born in the time of Sumer and ran away from home to become bonded magically to a Daeva.

Now a Daeva is thought to be a very nasty creature according to the folklore.  In the Avestan language (not spoken but used in the old Zoroastrian scriptures), this was a term for a supernatural entity with a disagreeable character. The Zoroastrians believe them to be creatures of the shadows with their principal activities -according to the Persians – as being the creators of chaos and disorder, and battling goodness. They are a Principal amongst the demonic infernal hordes. But in these Kat Ross stories, perhaps due to their bonds with humans, they are actually battling for good and against evil. In the Kat Ross series the Daeva’s original name was Achaemenes and he was at least 2000 years old.

Vivienne had been bonded to a Daeva before him but she had died during the battle when they had freed the Daeva slaves from their mistress.

Vivienne shows her origins by the goddesses she worships. There are 3 major ones.

1.Mami aka Ninhwsag – who was a Babylonian goddess who created mankind from her bottom which was made of clay and blood.

2. Kavi was 1 of the 10 Mahavidyas – which are a set of Sakta and Budddhist goddesses and is the destroyer of evil forces.  The Sakta were a set of Hindu goddesses where Sakti means power. They are also called Durga who was known in the 16th century as a Great Goddess, Ma and Devi. The Sakta Pethas are places of worship for many goddesses.

3. And Inanna (Innuna), a Mesopotamian goddess who had many roles – love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, justice, and political power. In Sumer she was also known as Isktar.

All these goddesses took on different names according to the culture in which they were worshipped but all tended to originate from the Sumerian era.

I found the whole series to be addictive and full of interesting things to learn – abut ancient goddesses for instance, the details that emerged about the Zoroastrian religion – which is very ancient but still practiced in India for instance. I know that the Indian steel magnates Tata are Parsees or Zoroastrian priests who fled to Mumbai from persecution in Iran. Near Mumbai there is a Parsee retreat village called Matheran and I have stayed there in the hotel that the Tatas use. Matheran is a very interesting place as you can only travel by horse or foot in the forests and village. And is now ‘sold’ as an eco-village of course.  You come up from Mumbai on a toy train which is great fun. The hotel we stayed at is called the Verandah in the Forest , see the photo below, and the name and the situation were very appealing to me…  just one warning, don’t sit down in the forest as the ants are very bitey!

So Matheran embodies much of the Parsee religion.

I am now looking forward to reading more by this author as I found the work original and well written with a good style and plenty of stuff happening to keep you interested… and exploring the characters in different books was a good concept.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

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