DS Grace Allendale #3
General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 10 Feb 2020
The truth can be a dangerous thing…
When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.
Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…
A gripping and pacey thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the moment you turn the first page. The perfect read for fans of Martina Cole.
I read this book with interest as we have another female detective with angst to learn about. But question for authors – why so many – dare I say the majority – of female detectives seem to have angst? At least until they reach a ripe middle age and even then – see ‘Vera’ who is still anguishing about her relationship with her father.
Now for the book – a suspense novel with twists and turns and heartbreak – child abuse, criminal fraternity links, lots of queries about who is telling truths and much more. Not a light book for a beach read, but compelling and w,ell written. A book that keeps you reading even if you wish it would take a turn for the better…
Ducks and their sex life is a light topic that gets mentioned and as I have often seen ducklings with multi coloured broods I decided to check up on it.– see www.news.com.au which is a serious study of ducks and how they procreate. And just what it is that male ducks produce …
And not forgetting that female ducks can be quite promiscuous around mating time – they will sometimes choose multiple partners in order to receive the best genetic material. Hence you can see duck mums with a brood of many different colours or even species ducklings.
Legacy Series, #5
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
June 29th 2021
Banish the demon, stop the prophecy, and do not fall in love. Easy, right? Yeah, not so much.
Mina Donovan is a woman of many talents. Fire elemental, psychic, Legacy witch, magical asset for an FBI paranormal task force…she does it all. Her latest struggle? Not crushing on her sexy best friend. Logically, she knows they can’t be together. Too bad her heart has never bothered with logic.
The friend zone is the last place pyro expert Josh wants to be with Mina. Not that he has any choice in the matter. A witch hunter falling for a witch? Not smart. He’ll just have to learn to ignore his attraction to the gorgeous woman who already owns so much of his heart.
If Mina and Josh have any hope of finding their way to happily ever after, they’ll have to banish an all-powerful demon and take down an evil magical organization. Oh, and they’ll also have to figure out how to stop the prophecy that warns a dragon will consume Mina.
It’ll take more than magic to fix this supernatural dilemma
💜all the steam 🔥
A witch hunter who’d fallen for a witch.
There was no spell in the world to unravel that level of stupid.
“Can I kiss you?” The question came out on a breath, so soft she wasn’t sure he’d hear it with the fans humming as steadily as her powers on a Josh high.
*She poured seven hundred days of anticipation into this first kiss.
The staked witch burst into flames. Mina swore and jumped clear of the blaze. By the powers, she’d lit the wrong target with her elemental magic.
At least it’d only been a mannequin.
The camera above the door blinked a steady red, a judgment of her failure. Her boss could be watching right now. Or worse—her sisters.
Embarrassment sent hot tingles across her skin, and her pulse thudded louder in her ears than the massive fan above. Why couldn’t she control her powers?
If this had been one of her video games, she’d wield her magic with precision worthy of a stupendous title. Something inspiring. Something enviable. Something that would make her, Mina Donovan, legendary.
Second spare to the heir of a ruling witch family? Yeah, not so much.
Reality sucked in every supernatural way. Or at least it had these last few weeks.
Her actual targets—giant cotton balls tacked to a wall across the room—mocked her with their bright white while the mannequin and its formerly Mean-Girls-esque you-can’t-sit-with-us designer threads burned like a tiki torch.
“You missed.” Of course her district attorney sister picked that moment to walk into the room. Delia was everything Mina wasn’t—accomplished, distinguished, polished. Never mind how her sister’s blue-eyed, blonde-haired dressed-to-the-elevens flawlessness compared to her own frizzy-curled, height-deprived, rolled-out-of-bed look. “Unless you’re practicing to light one of us up like a witchy sparkler?”
“Hardly.” Being recruited to a secret FBI task force right after college had seemed cool. But it should’ve come with a neon warning: “All loved ones may be collateral damage.” Last night, her oldest sister and baby niece had almost died. Not her fault entirely, but that didn’t ease her guilt. Or help her get a grip on her powers. The now flaming mannequin was proof of that. “What happened to safety cones and boring bulls-eyes for training? Whose idea was it to put humanish targets in here anyway?”
“The boss’s. A13 wanted to test your aim so you won’t torch us out in the field. After this little demonstration, I’ll be sure to stay out of the line of—”
“Don’t say it.” Mina jabbed the button for the secondary exhaust system to blast out her know-it-all sister’s opinions as much as smoke. If she’d heard one bad fire joke, she’d heard them all from her snarky sisters.
The roar of the combined fans wasn’t enough to shut Delia up. “Good thing this place is retrofitted for magical elements training. One wrong spark in LA, and the whole city burns.”
Not the reminder Mina needed right now. She changed the subject. “Who decided on the witch hat and the giant demon dummy?” Red-sequined horns sparkled in the light from the fire.
“My fiancé has a sick sense of humor. You started that little inferno. You going to put it out?”
“Yes.” She hoped. But when she pulsed a thread of magic toward the mannequin, the flames shot higher than its pointed hat.
“Did you mean to make the fire worse?”
Delia’s yeah-right look was a speed dial straight to Mina’s self-doubt.
If the place had been made of anything but concrete, the fire would’ve raced across the room taking everything out. As it was, black circles spread in a messy scrawl on the ceiling.
Mina closed her eyes. The orange glow burned behind her lids, a flashing pyrotechnics show that didn’t help her maxed-out stress levels. With a deep breath, she imagined darkness where there was light. When she dared a peek, the fire was gone. Thank the powers.
“Quick work.” Delia sounded almost impressed. “Maybe we should race sometime.”
“Right, except if you’d used your air element, we’d both be unconscious. Me from oxygen deprivation and you from magic drain.” Petty, but true.
Delia’s powers would have her blonde butt on the floor within seconds—the price of her whirlwind-slinging element. Then the designer diva would be pissed off that she’d gotten soot on her suit. The tornado-tosser looked anything but amused. “Okay, super witch.” Which sounded like a not-so-subtle reference to another word ending in –itch. This was big sister bossiness at its worst. “Care to hit any of the real targets now? I thought you’d been working on this during your training sessions.”
“Don’t you have something better to do? Like making out with your fiancé? Since that’s all I see you doing these days when you’re training.” Mina wiggled her fingers in air quotes with the last word.
“Nope.” She totally was. Legacy daughters—those witches born to rule the witch Senate—were traditionally forced into arranged matches for powerful bloodlines and big bank accounts. But not her sisters. No. They’d each risen above that to find true freaking love. “So why don’t you get back to your guy instead of interrupting me?”
“Don’t be such a brat. I was just checking on you.”
Because Mina was the screw-up baby sister. Not as bad as their brother, but he’d set the bar low. As in conspiring with the Revelare, a demon-led organization looking to overthrow the witch Senate—that kind of low. “I can do this by myself.”
Luna Joya writes sexy hexy romances in the award-winning Legacy Series.
Fluent in sarcasm and penal code, Luna prosecutes by day and writes at night. She loves history, especially Los Angeles and Hollywood lore.
A survivor of traumatic brain injury with steel body parts, she lives in SoCal with her combat veteran husband and their two-pound terror of a rescue pup.
Devil Days in Deadwood:
# 11 (Deadwood Humorous Mystery)
Genres: Fantasy, (Young) Adult, Mystery, Horror,
23 May 2020
“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” ~William Shakespeare
Violet Parker knows better than to play with devils. They always cheat, especially when lives are at stake. Deadwood’s charming, troublemaking, and soul-sucking devils are no different, and they’re biting at her heels.
But the clock is ticking and Violet has no choice—she must risk her life to save her treasured Aunt Zoe. With any luck, she might be able to trick the devils and beat the old terrors at their own game. If not, Deadwood could end up short one Executioner.
“Executioners don't duck, they swing.” ~Violet Parker
There are 11 books – so far – In this series plus 5 short stories, but plenty of opportunity for more stories to come. Not all the monsters have yet appeared (?) or been vanquished. Whilst the short stories fit in between some of the main books, they are not essential to the main story line – which does continue through the books. None are stand-alone and even the short stories should not be read before their place in the series as the entire story-line is closely entwined.
So, these stories have plenty of humour, lots of ghosts, some murders, romance – quite hot at times, and the Old Wild West crops up as this is Deadwood as in ‘Shoot Out in the Corral’ Deadwood. With brothels, saloons, casinos, and gold – and thus mines and all the icky things that live in old mines! Also cropping up are: myths and mythology, folk tales and horror stories, demons, devils (yes there is a distinction – depends on rank), mediums of various types, ectoplasm and poltergeists – goes with mediums? So full on with all the various nasties you can think of, plus a few more to give you the heeby jeebies at night.
I did enjoy our heroine who was so very protective of her twins, and her boyfriend ‘Doc’ was also good. After all, he put up with her and her various eccentricities and adventures and rather messy way of killing… And she has a job as a realtor – which is the second most common job in Deadwood (they call them residential advisors), so it is tough, and they seem to do a lot of work. But unlike some property companies, she seems to get a steady salary and bonuses for selling and renting, so she has always something to fall back in terms of income.
The writing style was lively, and it was difficult to get bored, and I am now waiting for the next in the series to come out. In fact, I broke one of my cardinal rules and bought 15 books! The first was free but …. That was a lot of books for me to buy as I get so many free. But I couldn’t stop reading – I read all 16 books in one week.
Now we get quite a few descriptions of meals in the stories, and yes, we are in the South Dakota mountains and it is bitterly cold and snowy quite a lot of the year, (Deadwood averages 138 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year.) but still, the meals all seem to be very high carb and fat and very low in vegetables and fruit especially for the children. Pizza appears a lot and fruit appears in pies with tinned fillings and sugary tops; there was a mention of a cabbage and some salads, but the green bean casserole (why casserole green beans?) has added fat, as well apparently, according to Campbells Soups, mushroom soup and fried onions.
And then there is sugar, more sugar, and variations of sugar in various sweet foods.
Is there a shortage of fresh/frozen vegetables? Can someone explain please?
Yes, I do realise this is a novel and it isn’t reality but it does seem to me, that there usually a reflection of truth in here somewhere, either in the local culture of the South Dakotas or the author, so I checked with the State regional foods. And the Black Hills Visitor lists the following:
1. Kolache – cakes with cream cheese filling
3. Wojapi – berry dipping sauce
4. Chislic – deep fried meat cubes
5. Buffalo meat
6. Walleye fish
7. Indian Tacos (on Fry Bread)
8. Kuchen with custard
Yup. High carb, sugar and fat…
And look out for the Purple Boots and their importance and influence…
So, I strongly recommend this if you like paranormal fun and aren’t likely to get nightmares.
What A Nunderful World
(Nun of Your Business Mysteries Book 5)
Women's fiction, humorous fiction, cosy, women sleuths, fantasy
(27 Feb. 2020)
Hello! It's me again, Trixie Lavender and my best demon friend the stoic but adorable Coop.
Things have been going pretty great for us these days. Inkerbelle's Tattoos is doing well financially. Our clientele is growing by the day, and we're about to purchase the guest house we’ve been living in from our dear friend Knuckles.
Finally, we'll have the roots we've so desperately yearned for. Now, if only we could figure out how to get rid of the troublesome demon inside me...
We’ve also been focusing on Coop and her efforts to live her best life. As a newb to Earth, she’s on a quest to experience as much as she possibly can and that includes her latest passion, makeup.
While attending an event for Coop’s favorite beauty guru and online superstar Glitzy Mitzy, we watch in horror as she dies right before our very eyes.
Another good set of books from a great author with lots of human and paranormal going-ons.
5 books so far in this series but as I am binge reading by the time this gets posted I will have completed all 5 but I’m pretty sure that book 5 will have some spoilers so…
Here we have an ex-nun turned amateur detective. Her sidekicks are:
A demon – as a gorgeous woman; Coop (who has various surnames in the books and appears to be on the spectrum)
A demon inhabiting an owl; (Winston with an Irish accent)
A demon inhabiting a dog; (Jeff with a Boston accent)
2 tattoo artists
A homeless shelter owner who is an ex-undercover detective
Some homeless people she meets and makes friends with
And occasionally a local detective who is British born and seems to speak with every British known slang – too many in reality, seeing as she has lived in the States since she was 10, British mother or not.
We know by book 4 how she came to have her sidekicks and how Trixie got booted out of the convent but who the demon is that Trixie is so intimately acquainted with and why is left to book 5 – unless there is a book 6 to come – not yet known.
So, these are cosy mysteries with a rather naïve and bumbling detective, lots of twists in the tales, light hearted humour, good style and enough ‘must knows’; ‘more/whys?’ to keep you reading.
(A Small Town Mystery Romance)
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
Publication date: May 4th 2021
Everyone hits rock bottom, only the brave escape.
Welcome to 1314 Rattlesnake Road.
A quaint two-bedroom log cabin nestled deep in the woods of the small, southern town of Berry Springs—the perfect hideaway to escape your past.
Tucked inside thick, mahogany walls lay mysterious letters, forgotten and untouched for decades. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame breathtaking views of jagged cliffs, deep valleys, and endless lies. Mature oak trees, tall enough to touch the clouds, carry the whispers of the haunted, of stories untold.
Inside sits Grey Dalton, emotionally battered and bruised, her only wish to pick up the broken pieces of her life. But outside, await two men, one a tattooed cowboy, the other a dashing businessman.
One will steal her heart, the other, her soul.
Rattlesnake Road is a standalone mystery romance about love, loss, hitting rock bottom, and clawing your way to the other side.
Your escape awaits…
(Due to serious subject matter and mature content, please be aware that this book might be an emotional trigger for some readers.)
Wiping the motor oil from his hands, the mechanic looked over my shoulder to the BMW in the parking lot, then refocused on me. “You lost?”
Lost? The man had no idea.
“My car is smoking.”
The corner of his lip quirked. Something about me amused him.
“In that case, let me grab a beer and switch over to Marley.”
I rolled my eyes. My time, and patience, with this small-town country-boy was rapidly waning. “I meant—the hood is smoking. Under it, the engine, whatever, and trust me, I’m not laughing about it.”
“No, I can see that. Did you hit something? Run over anything?”
“Aside from the handful of potholes in this Godforsaken road?” I gestured past the trees to the red dirt road.
“Where in the middle of the road?”
“I don’t know.”
“What were you doing down Rattlesnake Road?”
“Ma’am, I can do this all day.” Unfazed by my impatience, the man sauntered over to a rolling toolbox and picked up a Coke. Sniffing at it, he scowled and set it aside—but not in the trash can. He picked up another and sniffed with the same result. Then he grabbed a bottle of water, opened it, and chugged.
“Home.” I fisted my hands on my hips, annoyed with not only his aloofness, but also how unaffected he was by me. “I was driving home.”
The man lowered the bottle from his lips. It was the first time I saw a flicker of something other than amusement behind his blue eyes. “You live down Rattlesnake Road?”
“Since not long ago.”
“I’m not sure that’s your business. Can you help me or not? This is a mechanic shop, right?”
He gestured to the dismantled cars.
“Then why don’t you have a sign out front?” Careful not to bring attention to my foot that was still stuck to the cement floor, I curled my toe around the thong of my flip-flop and tried to lift it from whatever the hell had stuck it in place. No luck.
“Don’t need a sign.”
“All businesses need signs. People don’t realize it’s a mechanic shop.”
“What’s your name?”
“Declan. What’s yours?”
“Are you a mechanic?”
“Where are you from?”
“What does that matter?” I asked. “You gouge prices on tourists?”
He took another sip of water, eyeing me over the rim. A thin trail trickled from his chin, wetting his T-shirt. He didn’t bother wiping it.
“How do you know I’m not from around here?” I asked.
“Because a local would’ve already unwedged themselves from the gum that’s got you stuck in place.”
“This is no ordinary gum.”
“You’re right. It’s watermelon Bubblicious.”
“I didn’t know six-year-olds worked on cars.”
He grinned. “You’re a Yankee, aren’t you?”
“As much as I’m enjoying this little tit-for-tat, can you help me or not?”
“I don’t know.” Declan downed the rest of his water, then tossed the plastic bottle into an overflowing recycle bin in the corner. “Oil leak, yep, I can fix, but it depends on what else I find under that hood.”
His eyes narrowed with the first sign of disapproval of my attitude. He picked up a towel and wiped his hands, then grabbed a handful of paper towels from a roll sitting next to a tin cup oozing with something. He strode toward me, his gaze on mine.
The man truly was massive. My instinct was to back up, but thanks to the damn gum, I was stuck in place. My stomach tickled as he knelt at my feet. A waft of air enveloped me, scented with fresh soap and that musky scent of man, with a motor oil finish.
The tickle turned to butterflies.
A strong grip slipped my ankle from my shoe, sending a wave of tingles over my skin. After sliding the paper towel under the shoe, Declan pried my flip-flop from the floor, then twisted the gum and rolled it into the paper towel.
As I balanced on one foot, he carried the shoe to one of the many sinks and dabbed a towel in something that resembled nuclear waste. After a few scrapes of the bottom of my shoe, he returned, kneeling again to grab my ankle and slip my gum-free flip-flop back onto my foot.
I felt like a redneck Cinderella.
Heat mixed with the tingles this time—followed by total humiliation when I remembered I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week.
“My, uh, razor’s . . . broken.”
He pushed to his feet. “I’ve got a bush hog out back.”
My jaw dropped.
He grinned widely. “All right. Let’s have a look-see at this smoking silver car of yours.”
“I can’t believe you just said that.”
Winking, Declan strode past me and I got the feeling I’d just met my match.