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.
Witch Dust: A Paranormal Comedy
Thriller Witch Series Book 1
Mystery & Thrillers, Women's Fiction
Pub Date 12 Jan 2020
For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill! But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.
From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without. Ophelia, it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, the newly discovered nearest and dearest with their peculiar tendencies and failing hotel business, the happier she’s going to b.
There are just a few things to sort first including a possessed chef; a hanged housemaid; a fly-on-the-wall documentary and a doppelgänger. Things slide swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One minute she’s saving the family business the next, battling to save their lives. Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.
Complicated fun and bizarre plot elements give a nicely humorous storyline for this witch-based story. Starting with initial paragraph where her mother transports into her living room with her luggage, a cat, and a brown envelope, and announces that she has just killed her husband – our narrator’s father!
Of course, this turns out not be as literal as it could have been.
Ma and Pa were 2 halves of a Magic Act – which of course was more magical than they let on. They had been together for many years touring and bringing baby along too – both were beautiful, glamourise and natural show business actors. They had a manager named Murray who did most of the actual child rearing for Serenissima (AKA Sandra) our narrator. Who much preferred to be living outside of the chaotic life of her parents.
And then Pa has a mid-life crisis and decides that Ma is getting too old for the act and he would prefer a younger partner. Which is of course the start of the shenanigans that occur, especially around the knives! And the ghosts and….
The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant
(The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant, #5)
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance
Publication date: October 31st 2020
From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff comes a snarky Mystery with a side dish of Romance and two sprinkles of chaos, THE LIBRARIAN’S VAMPIRE ASSISTANT, Book Five. (Yep! These books are STANDALONES. But the more you read, the merrier!)
NEVER HIRE A HANDSOME VAMPIRE!
MIRIAM MURPHY loves being a librarian. It’s all she’s ever wanted—to eat, breathe, and sleep books. But when she hired Michael, a handsome college student, she had no idea he was a four-hundred-year-old vampire and that inviting him into her life would result in her becoming one too. But not before he knocked her up and broke her heart.
Now Miriam is a single mother, all alone in a new world with a new vampire body. And someone’s trying to kill her. Who? Why? She has no real enemies.
If only Michael would help. After all, he’s the vampire king now. And this is one mystery she can’t solve on her own.
NEVER FALL FOR A LIBRARIAN!
MICHAEL VANDERHORST knows he’s changed. He can no longer love or laugh or enjoy hot peppers like he used to. But being an unfeeling, ruthless vampire is what it takes to rule the deadliest bloodsuckers on the planet. It’s the only way to keep humankind safe.
Problem is, his enemies know the librarian and his daughter are special to him. They are his to protect, even if he’s incapable of feeling love.
But when danger comes knocking at Miriam’s library door, he must choose between solving the biggest mystery of his existence and the woman he swore to protect.
My parents started this library and filled it with millions of dollars of books. Three floors. Open in the middle—same as our house—overlooking the main floor. When I wasn’t in school or training to be a Keeper, I was here, losing myself in books. I think I always knew I wanted to be a librarian, but it just took a while to work up the courage to tell my family. Of course, when I did, they acted like I’d told them I wanted to be a porn star or bank robber.
To this day, I don’t regret my choice, but I do regret how my parents were murdered before I could convince them that choosing another path in life didn’t mean I hated them. They died thinking the worst of me, and for that, I don’t think I’ll ever feel closure.
I pull into the parking lot to the side of my library and immediately go for my crossbow. The big one this time. Bertha.
There are four black SUVs in the lot and two parked out front on the busy street at the meters. I know it isn’t Nice, which is why I grab the chocolate-tipped arrow. I make them myself with pure cocoa powder and a flour paste so the tip hardens just enough to penetrate the skin. Vampire skin.
Chocolate is a narcotic for us. Give us enough, and it’ll kill, whereas a small dose has the same effect as alcohol. I’ve yet to sample any since being turned because I’ve been alone with Stella and must be on my guard. Mommy can’t get a chocolate chip cookie buzz until she finds a ninja sitter.
I take my crossbow and exit my Hummer. I might be a librarian, but when it comes to defending my child, I’m a one-woman army. Ready to kick fangs or asses. The ill-fitting, disheveled clothes I wear—below-the-knee skirts, moth-eaten sweaters, and granny glasses—are merely a disguise. Today I have on a wrinkled white blouse, plain tan pants, and a black cardigan that’s all stretched out. People see me and think I couldn’t harm a fly or fight my way out of a paper bag. All part of my Keeper upbringing. Unfortunately, my natural clumsiness is genuine, and so is my lack of love for violence. I can fight, and fight well. It’s just not something that comes naturally or that I enjoy. Even when I was Nice’s prisoner, fear always held me back. And he knew just how to use it to keep me tethered to his side, reading bad poetry, helping him shop online for ruffled shirts, telling him how much I admired his wiry body and long black locks.
The man is a monster.
At least I wasn’t mistreated sexually. Mr. Nice has a rule about not sleeping with humans (apparently they’re too fragile for his bedroom games), but he kept Stella from me. Those are years lost with my daughter, and I’ll never get them back. For that, he’ll pay.
MIMI JEAN PAMFILOFF is a New York Times bestselling author who’s sold over one million books around the world. Although she obtained her MBA and worked for more than fifteen years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance closet and follow your dreams.
Mimi lives with her Latin lover hubby, two pirates-in-training (their boys), and their three spunky dragons (really, just very tiny dogs with big attitudes) Snowy, Mini, and Mack, in the vampire-unfriendly state of Arizona.
She hopes to make you laugh when you need it most and continues to pray daily that leather pants will make a big comeback for men.