Afraid To DieReturning to Grizzly Falls, Montana would be a lot more fun if they didn’t have so many serial murders around there!  But then, that would leave us with nothing new to read from the ongoing “to Die” series by Lisa Jackson.

Once again murder returns to hover over the winter holidays of Detective Selena Alvarez and her partner, Detective Regan Pescoli.

This time the mad killer is placing bits of Selena’s stolen jewelery on the bodies of his victims – frozen naked works of “art” by a killer who not only believes in revenge,  but in painfully, slowly unwinding secrets Selena would have liked to keep in her past.

Secrets will always find their way to the surface – Selena must make sure that her secrets are told to the necessary people before the killer makes them headlines.

Private Investigator Dylan O’Keefe has close ties to those old secrets and he is not going to let Selena keep them from him any longer.

A love gets a second chance – if – secrets can be told and trust freely given by both Selena and Dylan.

(possible spoilers ahead)

Before She Dies sm

A crystal ball is not always necessary to know that evil walks among us.

“Before She Dies” was an enjoyable read.  As a child of the carnival myself, many parts of the story had me smiling in memory of my childhood years traveling the carnival circuit with my parents.

But.. to my knowledge we never had a murderer among us!

Charlotte (Grace) Wellington’s sister Mariah was murdered.  Grace left the carnival world and set out to make her own life away from the memories, and the people of her past.   Yet the past rarely stays in the past.

Grace or Charlotte as she is now known, hides memories and her past behind the tough surface of her criminal lawyer career.  She rarely lets anyone in.  Detective Daniel Rokov is determined to get past the line she draws between personal and professional.  It’s a difficult task but one that Daniel will succeed at.

The carnival is in town – and women are being murdered.  His mission is to destroy the witches.  He takes great pride and pleasure in dealing out his kind of justice.  The seer, the witch, the one who has knowledge that she should not have will pay the ultimate price.

Face the Fire

Mia Devlin had always known that she would one day face the evil that threatened her island, her life and all that she loved.  Nell had found her courage and made her stand, Ripley had discovered that justice could be dealt without loss of control.  Now it was up to her.

After staying away for a decade, Sam Logan stepped off the ferry onto Three Sisters Island.  Not that much had changed, it was still the charming New England town that visitors flocked to in summer or to experience the wonder of the fall color changes.  Yet everything had changed.  He returned not as a boy struggling to discover his place in the world, but as a man who knew exactly what he wanted and intended to get it.  The Magick Inn was now his.  It had been a challenge to outwit his father and finally purchase his birthright, but it had been done.

He had come back for Mia.   Perhaps renting the little yellow cottage under one of his many businesses wasn’t the best way to handle his return to her.  Still knowing Mia’s stubbornness she wouldn’t have rented it to him at all.  And he needed the cottage, he wouldn’t live where he worked even if Magick Inn did provide the best hotel rooms on the island.

So, he was back on the island they both loved.  He would simply announce himself, pick up where they left off years ago and break the island curse.   Done deal, shouldn’t take more than a week to set things right again.

Trouble was.. Once Sam knew Mia’s every thought, knew exactly how she felt about him…now he didn’t know her at all.

Sizzle and Burn JAK

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; Reprint edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515145815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515145816
  • Source: Library

Raine Tallentyre hears voices. No, she’s not crazy just psychic. (although some people think that the two go hand in hand ..they don’t)

Raine has the paranormal ability (certainly not the gift) of hearing the whisperings of the evil mind that hides behind the mask most killers wear. Although she tries her best to keep them at bay, at the lightest touch of something that evil has handled, Raine hears their mind whispers – it certainly is enough to drive some people crazy, or at least believe that they are.

Aunt Vella had heard voices, too. Unfortunately, the voices she heard sent her down a spiraling fall into a private facility, and suddenly into death. Raine has returned to Shelbeyville in Washington state to sell her aunt’s home, which will not be an easy feat as Vella was considered a crazy lady at the very least.

Although Raine has used her abilities to help Detective Bradley Mitchell solve several cold cases, she always kept her special skills far in the background. Until she pushed the romance envelope… that backfired on her. Seems Detective Mitchell was just fine with using her “gift” to bring himself some glory… hearing voices kind of creeped him out. So much for romance.

At this moment in time, Raine’s past, present and her future are going to collide as she discovers a serial killer’s victim trapped in her aunt’s basement – and a connection to the Arcane Society heads into town in the form of J&J investigator Zack Jones.

Heaven and Earth

Earth raged, her anger and grief erupting from her soul.  Her sister had been killed.  Killed by her abusive husband and now Earth only sought what she saw as justice.  A life for a life.  Air had not fought back, she had not used her powers to save her life, but Earth could and would avenge her death.  The pleas of her sister Fire were an annoyance.  Yes, she knew the creed, she knew that harm none was more than simple words but a way of life for them.  A past way of life, for there was power surging towards Earth, power most satisfying and intoxicating and she wanted more..she wanted his death more than she wanted her own life.  She reached willingly for the power tempting her, deaf to the words of her sister, immune to the rational thoughts she was so known for.  Now only revenge would satisfy, and once fed she would lose more then a sister…

 

Deputy Ripley Todd was as down to earth as it was possible to get.  She believed firmly in justice and fairness.  All of this magic mumbo jumbo that Mia Devlin nagged her about was just that…hocus pocus.  No one really believed that three witches had created this island or that according to legend the island would be destroyed if the descendants of the original three sisters did not bind together to save it.

It was great for the tourist trade that the island residents depended upon.  The summer people made it possible to survive through the harsh New England winters.  Save the magical for them, Ripley wanted no further part of it.

Yes, she had stood with Nell and Mia – but that was a one time need, not to be repeated ever again.  Nell was safe and that was all that mattered.  Add magic and hocus pocus to all the news reports and rumors about happened that night when Nell’s abusive, now former husband showed up was bad enough.  To add further insult was the fact that Mia had allowed some super geek ghost hunter or some such nonsense to rent out the cottage that Ripley had her eye on – that just made her day, and gave Mia far too much satisfaction for Ripley’s comfort.

MacAllister Booke or simply “Mac” was the ultimate example of an absent-minded professor.  Most days he barely survived impaling himself on one of his vast number of gadgets and computer parts scattered about.  What he lacked in co-ordination he more than made up for in looks, talent and debunking the shams and charlatan out there that preyed on those that searched for knowledge.  It was true that he disproved more often than he proved, but when he did find the genuine otherworldly event people took notice.

He had heard the stories, had read the police reports of that night when an abusive husband tracked down his runaway wife.  Determined that he would never loose his Helen, Remington would see his wife dead before he would let her go.  Thankfully Nell Channing, no it was Nell Todd now, survived as did her now husband Zack Todd.  Yet enough speculation in addition to Evan Remington’s mad ravings about witches and things crawling beneath his skin had come to light to spark Mac’s interest.  Besides, Mac brought something to the island aside from his knowledge of the paranormal, he had a bargaining chip about the legend should Mia Devlin decide to not be interviewed.

Unfortunately for Mac..he didn’t bargain on Ripley.

Dance Upon The Air

The madness let loose on Salem Town was growing.  The death toll rising each day, and yet not one of the innocents murdered was what their pious accusers sought, not one was a witch.   It was with heavy hearts that the women known as Air, Earth and Fire cast their last spell on the mainland.  This night an island would be magically born, to rise up from the coast and spin itself into new life beyond the reach of the mad men, and crazed accusers.  This night the three would cast their circle, and create their own sanctuary where they could live free from fear following their beliefs and harm none.  Still, evil has many forms…

 

So begins Three Sisters Island Trilogy, my favorite Nora Roberts trilogy to date.  One that I re-read often, for I can identify with each of the main women characters so easily.

Nell Channing is on the run both away from the past and toward…here.  This island rising in the waters off the Massachusetts coast is sanctuary, freedom and a powerful sense of home.  Three Sisters Lighthouse, up there on the cliffs, had drawn her as no other painting ever had.  She had to see this place with her own eyes, and seeing she simply knew.  On this tiny scrap of land, far away from the life that died on another cliff, she could make her stand, create her own life anew.  She could stop running.

Dance Upon The Air introduces all of the characters within this trilogy.  Each character in the modern day story is somewhat represented by their counterpart in the legend of the creation of Three Sisters Island.  Three women and one man are modern day witches.  One who firmly believes that the legend is true and will come to pass unless the three come together once again to fight the ultimate evil that threatens both the life of the island and each individual witch as well.  One who once embraced her power and then by her own choice set it aside and now scoffs at anything relating to legend or hocus pocus.  One who doesn’t know she has power, and with innocent delight slowly learns and grows into the quietly powerful woman she was meant to be.  And one who left, walked away to save themselves from what destiny seemed to push them towards only to find that home truly is both a destination and a destiny fulfilled.

I strongly recommend this trilogy.  It builds book by book to a stunning conclusion.  Along the way, the characters come to life.  I enjoyed the way that although each book had it’s main “sister” and her own story, it also included every other character as they all went through this life experience together.  It truly is a great read, and I hope you’ll pick it up and discover the magic for yourself.

Dance Upon The Air  is available at Amazon and on Kindle.

Most people have a special shelf on their bookcase that is reserved for those books that have earned the title “Keeper”.

So, what you may ask is a “Keeper”?

Fair question.

There are some books that touch a special part of our reading hearts.  The characters are exciting, believable and we want to know more at the ending of the story.

These are the Keepers.  The books that a dedicated (addicted) reader would pick up to re-read over a newly published one sitting beside it.

This site is dedicated to the books (both new and old) that line my Keeper Bookshelves.

Truth is, that shelf keeps expanding.

Death AngelSometimes characters surprise me.

When they also do things that make me root for those who would normally be considered the “bad guys” – then it surprises and delights me.

Put together a drug lord, an assassin and a blonde bimbo and tell me honestly how I’m going to care about the outcome of two of those main characters.

Well, the drug lord is truly a scumbag with no redeeming qualities.  The Assassin has his own unique code as his hits are those who are far, far worse human beings than he is.  And the blonde is not dumb at all, in fact she probably has as much, if not more, smarts than both the men.

Drea Rousseau was a self created woman.  Perhaps self-centered could also be said of Drea.  Born poor and abused, she had recreated herself using the talents she naturally possessed beauty, willingness and charm – along with a serious dash of cunning, intelligence and a determination to never go back to being Andie Butts ever again.  She’d been poor, rich was so much better even if her choice of being mistress to Rafael Salinas was perhaps not the wisest long term.

Drea’s world turns upside down with one request from Rafael’s paid assassin.  While Rafael offered the assassin a bonus of one hundred thousand dollars for a successful assignment, the only bonus the assassin wanted was “One time with her.”

Tribute

Settling into a comfortable chair on a Saturday morning, I opened up my hardback copy of Nora Roberts’ novel Tribute, prepared to immerse myself in another excellent escape from one of my favorite authors.  I was not disappointed.

The Little Farm had finally come into Cilla McGowen’s hands.  The rural property that had once been the backdrop for Janet Hardy’s lush summer parties, and a get-away haven when the pressures of being a famous or even an infamous actress became too much.  The place where her grandmother escaped to, and where it was believed she took her own life was finally, completely Cilla’s.   Oh, it didn’t look so glamorous now.  The house itself was falling apart, the barn behind it wasn’t in much better shape.  The once beautiful gardens were clogged with weeds and debris.  The pond where  famous stars often skinny-dipped on starlit nights was full of overgrown lilies and thick with pond scum.  Yet Cilla saw it for what it could become once again with time and a lot of effort, mostly hers.  She’d been flipping houses for years now, she could do the same to The Little Farm – if she stayed beyond that or not, was yet to be seen.

There’s just something about a truly ugly dog named Spock.  Ever see something just so darned ugly that it was kinda cute, that was Spock.  But his master, now that was another thing.   Ford Sawyer looked more like the super heroes he creates for his graphic novels…or comic books for those not familiar with the term, with a good ole boy’s charm and a lazy, devilish grin Ford sets out to learn more about his new neighbor across the road.

I liked the way Cilla and Ford’s romance developed.  Steadily growing, pushed a bit here and there by events yet a constant building that felt to me totally natural for these characters.

As Cilla’s renovation work continues, word spreads quickly that Janet Hardy’s grand-daughter is back and returning The Little Farm to it’s past glory.  The rebuilding requires several contractors to wander about the property so that several characters come naturally into the storyline.  So naturally that not much attention is paid to them…at first.  As the mystery of this story took a stronger focus, I found myself going back and re-reading some parts in the hopes of finding clues that I might have overlooked.

The lighthearted tone of the novel changes when Cilla discovers a packet of letters sent to Janet.  Letters tenderly stacked and tied with ribbon, obvious mementos important to her grandmother.  As she reads the aged letter Cilla is shocked to discover that her grandmother was pregnant when she supposedly took her own life and that her lover appeared to be a married man.  Why would Janet end not only her own life but that of her child’s as well?  Or did she…

acheron dark hunters sk

Acheron  – A Dark-Hunter Novel –

I’ve waited for this book for a very long time.  Being a fan of  Sherrilyn Kenyon’s many series insures that on publication day I’ll be at the nearest bookstore.

Like millions of fans worldwide, I had been wanting Ash’s story.  He is a strong, compelling character and the more he was on the edges of stories the more I wanted, no even needed to understand him.

I was not in the least bit disappointed.  In fact, once I began reading Acheron I literally could not put it down.  I started it on a Saturday afternoon and stayed at it into the wee hours of Sunday morning when I turned the last page, fully and completely satisfied.

In the world of ancient gods and demi-gods, we of the modern world must trust the author to transport us to that reality, to take our hand and guide us through an unknown territory in a completely believable way.  I left my world and entered Ash’s.

In Acheron we actually have two stories.  We finally discover where Ash came from, what happened to him to mold him into the man he is in the modern day series.  And we have his modern day story, where finally Ash discovers his own unique soulmate.

I don’t want to give away any of the story.  Perhaps that’s unfair in this type of blog – but on this one I honestly feel to do so would take away from your own reading experience.

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