Title: The Last Atlantian
Author: Mikki Noble
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Spencer did not plan to work on her birthday. She didn’t plan a lot of things, but they happened anyway. Like, when she touched a guy and he turned into a gold statue, or when some stranger appeared to tell her she was in danger. She didn’t plan to see her life forever changed by one simple act, and it still happened anyway.
What Spencer doesn’t know is why. Why is all this happening to her? Why does she have the power to turn people into gold all of a sudden. Who is she really?
And why is this cute guy calling her the last Atlantian?
Excerpt from The Last Atlantian
© 2019 Mikki Noble
Spencer opened her eyes and looked around the busy coffee shop. Almost every table was full, and Cia had a very frantic look on her face. There was a line-up to the front door and almost all the tables were full of chatty people.
“Cia?” Spencer shouted, running over to her friend. “You’re here. And you’re okay.”
“You’re late,” Cia answered as she handed a customer their change.
“Um…” What? Cia knew very well that Spencer wasn’t late and why was she acting like that? Normal? After everything that had happened, why wasn’t she just as freaked out as Spencer was?
Cia walked over to the fridge and pulled out the soy milk. “Don’t just stand there. Get to work. I need your help.”
“But nothing. I’ve been slammed for over an hour. I know it’s your birthday but you need to help me.”
Spencer sighed and decided not to argue with her friend. It would be utterly pointless anyway. Maybe she could use a little normal after her morning, although she had a hard time letting it all go. Who was to say those evil, gold robed people wouldn’t come back again, or that creepy guy?
No, the shop was full of people. And… Spencer realized that the gold statue was gone.
Yes, a normal day of work might actually get her mind of the crazy of the day.
This location was home to a local writer, who came in for her morning coffee and would write for a couple hours. She was seated at her usual table in the corner, not looking up once at the crowd. She was here every day, so it didn’t get more normal than that. Spencer figured she would just take the rest of the day one moment at a time and pray that nothing else weird happened. “Where do you want me, boss?”
“Take the next order. I’ve got this one,” Cia answered in a clipped tone.
Even though she didn’t want to, Spencer went around the counter to help with coffee orders. Just because it was her birthday and a bunch of weird things had been happening, didn’t mean that she would leave her best friend alone with a crowd and a line-up. More normal for Spencer to concentrate on.
Cia glared at her as Spencer grabbed a mug—noticing right away that the burnt spot, the one where that guy had thrown a fire ball, only narrowly missing her head, was gone.
“Hurry up. What’s wrong with you today?”
It was Spencer’s turn to glare. “I’m going.”
Maybe she could convince herself that it was all some strange, elaborate dream and make it through the day that way. That’s what Spencer decided to do. Apparently, that was how Cia had decided to cope. So why not?
Over the next few hours, Spencer had finally been able to convince herself that it was a dream. It had to be. Although it wasn’t like her to have crazy dreams like that, she liked that idea better and just tried to forget it. It only took a couple cappuccino’s, a lot of repetitive thought, and a busy coffee shop to convince her.
Jeremy never came in, though; that was strange. He came into the coffee house every single day, rain or shine, but she didn’t worry too much about it. She didn’t want to freak out. Maybe he was just away or got stuck at work. Whatever. She didn’t care to see him anyway.
“Wow. That was one heck of a day,” Cia said several hours later, while turning off the open sign.
Spencer looked up at her from the dishwasher and said, “Yeah. Maybe they shouldn’t have left us alone on Friday the 13th. Apparently, people need their coffee today of all days.”
Cia laughed. “Yeah, that must be it.”
“At least it went by fast, right?” After all, she’d only been there a few hours when it was time to close the shop. At least, it felt that way.
Spencer pulled the garbage bag that smelled of coffee grounds and stale milk from the trash can and tied it closed, then tossed it in front of the back door before putting her jacket on and heading outside. It was cooler now that the sun was lowering, but not too bad. As she tossed the garbage bag into the bin, Spencer got a terrible chill along her spine and the hairs on her neck stood up. She was overcome with a need to run for the coffee shop. The moment she was inside, Spencer locked the door behind her and rushed to check on Cia.
Cia was standing at the till, counting money. Spencer let out a huge breath and pressed a palm to her heart, as if that would ease the beat. “I’m almost done here,” Cia said. “Why don’t you head home and try to salvage the rest of your birthday? Maybe you can do something fun.”
That was all Spencer had wanted all day, was to go home, but for some reason, she didn’t feel like leaving Cia alone. “Aren’t you coming over anyway?”
“Yeah, I was planning on it, but it might be a while and I have to pick up my little brother from his friend’s and drop him off at home. I don’t want you stuck here for another hour.”
“I wouldn’t feel right. Maybe there’s something I can help with.”
“Go,” Cia demanded. “You’ve worked hard enough. Everything will be great. I’ll see you around six, I think.”
Spencer almost protested but her phone rang. Since it was so quiet in the coffee shop, she could hear it all the way from the locker. It had been in there all day, which was unlike her. She normally carried her phone around, but it had been so busy, she’d forgotten to grab it earlier. She walked through the kitchen area and continued down the back hallway where a set of lockers were bolted to the wall. The phone continued to ring the entire time. Spencer grabbed the lock, spun the combo and opened the door just as the ringing stopped.
She pulled it from her purse, noticed it was her mother, and decided to call her back on the way home. She untied her apron and tossed it inside, grabbed her purse and her sweater before slamming the door.
Her phone started to ring again.
This time she answered it on the second ring. If she didn’t, her mom would just keep calling. “Hello?”
“How’s my birthday girl? How was your shift?”
“It was fine, Mom. What’s up?”
Spencer rolled her eyes. Her mother never called for ‘nothing.’ “Right. Now, what’s the real reason?”
“I really hate to ask you this, but can you pick up some milk on the way home? I’m sorry. I need it for dinner. Otherwise, I wouldn’t ask. Oh, and some parmesan, and some oregano, while you’re there.”
Spencer groaned. Luckily, her mom didn’t ask for much, so she just said yes and hung up the phone. She made her way back to the front where Cia was still standing at the till counting. She was a quick counter, but she was so noisy with the coins. Spencer didn’t know how she did it, but she slammed those coins down like a sledgehammer on a gong.
When Cia finished with the dollar coins, Spencer stepped in. “My mom called. I have to pick up some groceries on the way home.”
“I see. Go get the milk and I’ll meet you at your place a little bit after.”
Cia nodded. Already ignoring Spencer, she moved on to the quarters. Spencer left, not saying anything else, except, “Make sure to lock this door behind me.”
It would be dark in about an hour and it would take her almost half that to get milk and walk home. She wished her parents weren’t so busy and they could at least pick her up.
So far, if she was being honest, it was a sucky birthday.
Oh, well. Spencer made a vow then. Next year will be great. Next year, she’d be surrounded by her friends, she wouldn’t have to work, and hopefully she’d have her car by then. How much could a car cost? A year’s coffee money, plus tips should get her something at least.
She’d been working at the coffee shop for almost three months and she’d saved every penny so far, except for what it cost to rent the uniform. Spencer was just happy her best friend’s parents owned the coffee shop and hired her, no questions asked. If Spencer had to go out and get a job, go for interviews and make a resume, she wasn’t sure she’d have gotten hired.
The streets were quiet for a Friday. It could have been peoples’ superstitions keeping them inside. Spencer had never cared about those things. Not that she didn’t believe. She just didn’t concentrate on them very much.
Did she have exceptionally bad luck on Friday the 13th? She didn’t think so.
Although, with the way today was going, maybe she did.
Her birthday didn’t land on Friday very often anyway. She shouldn’t read too much into it. Today was just not her day.
It took her ten minutes to reach the store. Spencer reached for the cool metal handle of the cooler and yanked the door open. She grabbed the jug and the other items on the list and made it all the way to the counter before realizing she had no money on her. She’d forgotten to grab her tip money off the counter. She checked every pocket in her jacket and found nothing. Then she reached into her jeans pocket and found a set of keys that weren’t hers.
She gasped and swore as an icy cool feeling sunk in and reached straight to her core.
Creepy guy’s keys. The ones he’d dropped on the floor.
It had definitely not been a dream.
About Mikki Noble
As far back as she can remember, Mikki was creating characters and stories in her head. It wasn’t until fate brushed the tip of its wings over her eyes that she began to see that writing was what she was born to do. She loves animals, reading, everything supernatural related, and enjoys spending her free time on social media whenever she can.
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Title: Sister of Embers & Echoes (Rogue Ethereal #4)
Author: Annie Anderson
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Demons, murder, and a trip straight to Hell…
I thought I’d get a little time off before the veritable poop hit the fan, but fate — or rather the Fates — have other ideas. The witch who tried to have my sister possessed has escaped, and not only do I find him dead, but I don’t have a clue who he was working with. Or working for…
Now I have a Council Member in human jail, a ragtag bunch of stuffy law-abiders to lead, and a solid inkling that the next person on the chopping block is me.
All of that would be bad enough, but I’ve got bigger problems. Maria isn’t quite right after a demon almost stole her body, and I have a hunch it’s going to require a trip to Hell to get it fixed.
Time to sharpen my athames, vacation time is over.
About Annie Anderson
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.
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Title: To Kill a Fae (Hollowcliff Detectives #1)
Author: C.S. Wilde
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Fae enjoy playing dangerous games…
In detective Mera Maurea’s experience, three things motivate a murder: secrets, convenience, or passion. But none of the three can explain why the Summer King is dead.
With a tight deadline hanging over her head, Mera has to figure out who’s the culprit before the frail balance that holds the nation of Tagrad together crumbles into dust.
To aid her—or turn her life into a living hell, hard to tell which—is her fae partner Sebastian Dhay, a snarky detective with a penchant for the illegal. He’s a volatile wild card who will do anything to solve the murder, even if it means his doom.
The clock is ticking. And Mera is hiding a deadly secret of her own.
Excerpt from To Kill A Fae
Stepping beside her, Julian ran a hand over his hair. “What do you think, Mer? Lovers’ quarrel?”
Her throat suddenly dried at the sight of him.
Julian might be human, but he looked nearly ethereal. Like those marbled statues of the old gods, he was made of perfectly straight lines and sharp cuts. His strong, defined muscles were easy to spot, even covered by a white T-shirt and brown leather jacket.
Clearing her throat, she focused on the dead bodies ahead—the Summer King lying belly up, and the woman resting on her stomach, reaching for him.
“It seems that way,” she muttered.
About C.S. Wilde
C.S. Wilde wrote her first Fantasy novel when she was eight. That book was absolutely terrible, but her mother told her it was awesome, so she kept writing.
Now a grown-up (though many will beg to differ), C. S. Wilde writes about fantastic worlds, love stories larger than life and epic battles.
She also, quite obviously, sucks at writing an author bio. She finds it awkward that she must write this in the third person, and hopes you won't notice.
To be notified of upcoming releases, signup for the Kick-ass Team at www.cswilde.com
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Charlie is faced with a couple of tough cases this time around - both with some surprising results. Her life with Reyes is humming along mostly smoothly, but she determined to find out more about his past - which leads to yet another surprise!
I sort of wished the cases had wrapped up with an intertwined plot somehow. I feel like this one stretched Charlie too far, and I didn't really fall into each individual case and get swept away by it. I got tossed back and forth between the two instead.
I did enjoy learning more about Reyes. His past keeps getting more and more complicated - I hope we're at the end of the earthly complications because it's getting hard to follow his life story. I do love how the relationship between Charlie and Reyes is growing. I also think Cookie is really becoming a co-star in some cases instead of just a side character - I love Cookie.
The end of the third book in the Charlie Davidson series was emotionally draining and somewhat traumatic. Betrayal all around, and I wondered how Charlie was going to come out of this one.
Well, she doesn't exactly. Which was a stroke of brilliance by author Darynda Jones to make her seem more human and real. She is no longer the Grim Reaper and PI Extrodiarre, she is also Charlie - the woman who was hurt, betrayed, and tortured - trying to come to terms with what she's going to do next and looking for comfort in her credit card and home shopping channels.
It takes a new case to start to bring her back to herself. And this case was pretty interesting. I loved the look at the psychology behind our memories and what trauma can do to them. There were some pretty nice twists in it as well, and while I sort of had things figured out, there was one really big surprise that I didn't see coming at all. I understand that Charlie's cases need to be action-packed and exciting, but I'd like to see her come of out one without a near-death experience.
Reyes is back and not in Charlie's good graces. But he has a few things up his sleeve still to try and make things right with her. I'm incredibly curious to see where their storyline goes as we find out more and more about Charlie's unknown abilities and Reyes' background and motives.
I think the narrator for this audiobook is one of my favorites. She tells the story so well and is very easy to listen to.
At the end of Shadow Play, Rebecca was in a really bad place. I'm so glad I could just jump right into book two and watch her get right back on her feet ready to fight.
And by fight I mean go up against some of the most powerful Fae ever without fully understanding her powers or even knowing what they are. Enter Fenodree - exiled Fae that just might be able to teach Rebecca what she needs so that she won't die in the battle to come.
Her time with Fenodree wasn't just spent learning about her magic but falling in love with Lochlan. They have a lot to overcome, and I times I got a little frustrated with their on again, off again, on again, let's have sex right now relationship.
But in the end, it all paid off (both the training and the relationship), and I loved how the story unfolded and come to an almost ending. While this is a duet, there are a few characters whose story is yet untold that are coming up next, and I can't wait.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Shadow Play introduces us to Rebecca the world of the Fae - and yes, she's totally surprised to find out they exist. On top of it all, she discovers that the necklace she's been wearing her whole life is actually a Fae charm with some pretty remarkable abilities - and consequences.
Rebecca is thrown into the world of the Fae along with her best friend Ashley when she takes a job at a museum in Belfast. The Fae politics and factions are confusing, and Jill Ramsower does a fantastic job of introducing people and concepts as Rebecca discovers them. I could feel her confusion and lack of understanding without feeling totally confused myself.
As Fae danger and intrigue envelop Rebecca's world, she finds herself deep in the world of the Great Hunt and trying to keep the rest of humanity safe from the Unseelie and Shadow Fae that are sneaking through portals. When rumors of war and the return of Merlin surface, no one is quite sure what to think.
I loved the diverse characters and setting of Belfast was beautiful. There is a lot of intrigue and excitement. And I will warn you, there is a not so pretty cliffhanger at the end - but spoiler - while there's nothing to make what happens to Rebecca not awful - the second book uses it to make her a stronger person.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Title: Lost Souls (Soul Charmer #3)
Author: Chelsea Mueller
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Get out of Hell free card? Not for Callie Delgado, Gem City’s newest soul charmer. Sin and salvation collide in this gritty and action-packed urban fantasy.
Callie’s magic is finally her own. She and Derek dispatched Ford. They should have been able to breathe, but layers of sin run deep beneath Gem City. Another mob boss quickly rises, and his sights are firmly set on Callie—and her family.
Mobile soul rental shops begin to bite at the Soul Charmer’s business. His retribution is wicked, but the blowback threatens to crush Callie. If she can’t maintain the tenuous balance of souls in Gem City, more lives will be lost.
Only the more magic she uses, the more danger finds her. A break-in, pools of blood, and bare shelves at the Soul Charmer’s store force Callie to choose the fates of others. But which can she live with? Losing her city, her love, her family …or her very soul?
Lost Souls Excerpt
©2019 Chelsea Mueller
“I’ve worked security at four other buildings.” Benton held up as many fingers. His nails were short and black. Whether from blood or dirt, Callie didn’t care to guess.
She stood behind him and leaned forward to speak into his ear. Stale cigar stench clogged her nose. “You’ve worked jobs, but haven’t paid the Soul Charmer.”
Benton surged closer to the bar. His whiskey sloshed over the lip of the glass and onto his fingers. He slammed his shoulder backward and shifted to face Callie. The wide, milky eyes and taut tendons in his neck eased. Idiot. He licked the spilled liquor from his fingers. “I have experience, but they still won’t even let me take their exam.”
She gave two fucks about his ability to get a job. “That must suck. You owe the Charmer.”
“What do you mean?”
That’s not how this worked, and he knew it. “Cash or souls.”
“I ain’t got anything on me.”
“How are you paying for that Wild Turkey?”
Benton shot scattered looks in either direction. “It just you?”
It was, and normally she hated that. Her boyfriend Derek typically made these collection calls. He looked the part. Hulking and covered in leather and scars. She hid her wounds on the inside, and wielded dark eyeliner as war paint. Not exactly scary mofo material. Callie needed more from Benton than a simple rented soul, though, and that information need to be acquired alone.
About Chelsea Mueller
Chelsea Mueller writes gritty contemporary fantasy. She founded the speculative fiction website Vampire Book Club, blogs about TV and genre fiction for numerous websites, and is co-chair of SF/F charity Geeky Giving. She loves bad cover songs, dramatic movies, and TV vampires. Chelsea lives in Texas, and has been known to say y’all.
For the latest updates, join her email list at ChelseaMueller.net or follow @ChelseaVBC on Twitter and Instagram.
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I loved Third Grave Dead Ahead. Some amazing characters are introduced in the form of a biker gang - and I'm not sure if I'm really supposed to be rooting for them, but I want to. They are a super rough bunch of guys - but super sweet as well.
When Charley's dad tells her she needs to get out of the business - there's a huge falling out - and this comes into play big time as the book wraps up. It triggers some pretty major revelations about Charley that you won't want to miss.
Meanwhile, Reyes seems to be haunting her dreams - so she decided not to sleep while she searches for another missing woman with an over-controlling husband with a nasty history.
Another beautiful job narrating. I always get such a kick out of these books and I have a hard time pressing the pause button to go back to real life.
Second Grave on the Left was full of amazing information on some of my favorite characters. Charley is on the hunt for a missing woman that is friends with best friend, Cookie. The case has Charley chasing a trail of clues with some pretty surprising twists and turns.
Meanwhile, it turns out Reyes is far more than what we thought at first. When Charley finds out he's the Son of Satan (like, for real), she's forced to accept that she doesn't know all there is to know about the world around her and even her own abilities.
Second Grave on the Right not only includes an awesome mystery, it sets a huge stage for some pretty amazing things to come. Darynda Jones doesn't disappoint with Charley's sarcasm and sense of humor. Her personality plays so well with Cookie's, and their conversations are some of the best I've ever read.