Requiem for the Living by A.J. Locke

RequiemForTheLiving_ByAJocke-

Description:

Selene is slowly dying…too bad that’s the least of her problems.

You could say that Selene Vanream has a lot of problems. First there’s the Rot that’s slowly killing her, despite everything Ilyse and Micah are doing to find a way to save her.

Then there’s Andrew, the ghost of her boss who is anchored to the living world. Selene would like to ignore him, but anchored ghosts with unsettled business turn into anchored beasties, so she can’t write him off. The government has sent a team to post up at Affairs of the Dead and keep an eye on her, which includes making sure she plays up to Andrew to keep him from turning.

On top of that, someone is using Selene’s new power to create anchored ghosts for their loved ones to keep around. Not good since the culprit doesn’t have a clue about that whole anchored beastie angle. Now Selene has a criminal to catch while trying to stay out of the hands of government goons who have stripping her reanimation power on their agenda.

When Micah and Ilyse finally find a way to save her, Selene thinks she can cross one bad thing off her list–until she learns the terrible price that must be paid to keep her alive. Full plate doesn’t cover it. Overflowing plate doesn’t cover it. Selene’s plate has damn near exploded.

Excerpt:

There were a few things that made me feel like my day was not off to the best start. For starters, I had overslept by an hour and a half so I was monstrously late for work. Then there was the scent of smoke creeping into my bedroom accompanied by loud swearing, which meant my ghost roommate had made a disaster of whatever he was trying to procure for breakfast. The sky was overcast so it’d probably be a rainy day. I had a slight headache…and oh yeah, I was looking into my backyard at my Yorkie, Luna, digging furiously in the dirt. I was almost certain what she was trying to unearth wasn’t one of her toys.

I stood there for a few moments more, trying to decipher what it was that Luna was pawing at, then shook my head and ran out of my bedroom. I almost collided with Ethan, who was on his way to my room with a frying pan in his gloved hand and the charred remnants of what he’d come to dub the wake-up bacon.

“It’s burnt, but I figured waving it under your nose would still get you out of bed any—Hey, what’s wrong?”

I brushed past Ethan and ran into the yard where I snatched up Luna, then had a good, hard look at what she’d been wrestling with. I’d been hoping that it was some oddly shaped root or five fingered toy I didn’t remember buying for her, but no, it just had to be the worst possible thing.

A human hand.

ajlocke

Bio:

A.J. Locke is originally from Trinidad and Tobago but has resided in New York City for over ten years. She knew early on that she wanted to be a writer, penned her first novel at fourteen, and hasn’t stopped since. Creating is her passion, and other than writing she enjoys drawing, painting, graphic design, and any other creative whim that may take her.

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Awakening the Fire by Ally Shields

Awakening the Fire (2)

Book Description: 

It’s her first murder case…

Twenty-three-year-old Ari Calin has sworn to keep the peace in the Olde Town district of Riverdale, and most of the time the Otherworlders cooperate. The vampires, werewolves and other magical creatures go about their business, living side by side with humans, until the foreign wolves arrive and a virtual reality drug hits the streets. Violence erupts, and Ari needs more than her witch fire, weapons, and potions to stop the madness.

Joining forces with a human police officer, Lt. Ryan Foster, and a way-too-sexy vampire singer, Andreas De Luca, Ari hunts for the enemy—from the vampire strip clubs to the caverns under the city. Every step draws Ari and her companions deeper into an old feud and closer to the brink of a supernatural war.

 

Excerpt :

(Despite the friction and mistrust between them, Ari has come to Andreas’s supper club to ask for his help on her murder case.)

The vampire’s coal-black eyes found her and silken threads of magic wrapped her in a soft web. The room faded away. She floated as in a dream, warm and safe. A place to linger forever. Her witch magic began to sing in concert with his, and Ari called it back to her. The effort brought her out of his web with a jolt.

Damn, how strong was he? She wrapped her magical aura around her. As long as she kept it in place, his magic was held at bay. Then, mercifully, the song was over. Andreas bowed to a wildly applauding audience and left the stage.

“Good evening.” Startled, she stared at him.

“Uh, hello.” How did he move so fast? He produced a polite smile.

“If you will come this way.” He waved a hand toward a hallway on the left.

Ari hesitated. A meeting in private? She hadn’t anticipated that.

His brows rose. “We have twenty minutes.”

Swallowing her doubts, Ari preceded him down the hall. It was better this way, she told herself. Fewer interruptions. At least she knew her time parameters. He ushered her past four closed doors, not stopping until they reached an exit door at the end. He touched a security panel, the door opened, and they stepped into a paved lane leading to the rear parking lot. Dense trees lined the opposite side of the lane. Total privacy.

The night was pleasantly cool. The crisp cleanness of fall filled the air. Ari hung back and watched her companion as he stopped in the middle of the lane. Andreas arched his shoulders and threw back his head, breathing deeply. For a moment all Ari could think about was how sexy he looked.

“I hope you don’t mind talking out here. It has been a long evening, and I needed the fresh air.”

“Not at all. It’s nice.” She looked up at the stars, pinpoints in an uncluttered sky, to keep from looking at him. “What was that last song you sang?”

“An Italian love song. Did you enjoy it?”

“Amazing.”

He turned to look at her. “It was, or I was?” His voice invited a broader interpretation.

She smiled. “Both,” she said, not bothering to hedge. “But who’s fishing for compliments now?”

“Touché.” His familiar laugh came then, rich and intimate, strangely companionable.

Review

I was hooked from page one.  When we first meet Ari on patrol as Guardian of Olde Town, the reader can tell she is going to be a character you want to read about long into the night.  She is smart, sassy, and believable.  I also loved our introduction mysterious and intriguing Andreas De Luca.  He’s not fooling Ari, but there is something between them…As a reader, I wanted to know exactly what that might be.

I am a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fiction, having read Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and Kim Harrison in the past.  I lost interest in Sookie Stackhouse when there were too many creatures and too many crazy plot twists.  While shields introduces many creatures and a complex plot, I still was able to suspend disbelief and accept the world she built.  Add in a little murder and mayhem and you have an excellent read.  4.5/5.

Bio

 
Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest, taught school on the East Coast, has visited forty-two of our states, and currently resides near Des Moines, Iowa, with her miniature pinscher, Ranger. Writing has always been a part of her life, and in late 2008, after  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time fiction writing. Her first urban fantasy novel, Awakening the Fire, was published in 2012, followed by six additional books in the series. She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings into her books. Ally enjoys talking with readers and is active in social media.

 

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