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The Second Coming: A Mythpunk Urban Fantasy Novel (The Ascension Series Book 8)The Second Coming: A Mythpunk Urban Fantasy Novel by SM Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! I love Elise Kavanagh and James Faulkner! But this is the best book about them yet! Since they had entered the deity, I had supposed we wouldn’t get the same action-packed story that they used to give us. So wrong! I wish I hadn’t been so sleepy both nights (hot, miserable days can do that to you, and then even once you fall asleep you can’t stay there! Ugh!) I would have finished this one in one night! (Okay, need to put the exclamation point away!.)

Once again, Sara Reine puts the story in the Reno-Tahoe area and so I’m engrossed knowing about where she is describing and how it looks now (or at least the last time I visited last year) and how her goddesses/gods have changed it with each reincarnation of the world. This time into the future.

Though I loved seeing Elise become a human avatar, giving birth, nursing, and attempting motherhood, as I have gone through most of what was described, four times, some might not find that aspect of the book appealing. But stick with it, let it be your reason not to go through it, or learn Elise’s lessons ahead of time (better than Dr. Spock or even Dr. Sears), or see what a woman goes through. Even this goddess found that an arduous path and she’d been through all kinds of pain and suffering. Giving birth is not for sissies! Nursing can be challenging! Mastitis is real and can cause severe illness and hurts like hell! And try all that while being the target for assassination and kidnapping! <—sorry, I can’t help myself. Think of the exclamation point like Elise’s Infernal Sword of emotion!

I love that Ms. Reine included some flashbacks. I’ve read every one of Sara’s books and feel in touch with all the characters, even so, I have my favorites. Elise is one, as is Rylie, and Dana MacIntyre (hope I spelled that right). I thought I knew all Elise had been through, but I’ve forgotten a lot!

It is always hard when writing a review because some of the things I want to say would be spoilers. But there will be friends from the past. There, that did the trick!

Sadly, I have to find something else to read now. Let that be enough for you to know I highly recommend the entire collection of Sara Reine! If you can’t afford it, see if you can get your library to carry the books. Especially those in Reno! Starting with Six Moon Summer and enjoy the rest of her world beyond!

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Payback Royale (Payback Society Book 3)Payback Royale by Cidney Swanson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book was to come live on the 29th. (And Yay! It did!) I finished reading this book four nights ago. I hated finishing it. I always want to know what will happen after I close the book. I enjoyed the book, thoroughly! The most exciting part was about space travel and its purpose. I have to admit to nearly squealing as the main character promotes it.

I know I’m not the target audience missing the ages by five decades or so. Even so, I can remember being a young adult. I can imagine I would have loved, well, everything Miss Swanson writes. Her characters, world’s, and plots are fresh and fun. The books read themselves, okay, with the help of text-to-speech. But I don’t want to put any of them down until the last word! Payback Royale was no different. Loved it!

On the other hand… I hate the antagonist. I don’t see hope for him. Please let’s put an end to his story! Without killing our friends, please!

I can’t wait to read more by Cidney Swanson!

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Priest of Skulls (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #2)Priest of Skulls by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always excited to read another of Sara Reines ARCs. I must admit that I am happier reading about the old characters, like visiting with old friends. But I’m sure I am mostly alone in that. I think others prefer to have something new and exciting to read. Well, this one is for you.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy this and the first book in this offshoot series. Ms. Reine was able to bring up some delicate and scary subjects in a fantasy setting and make some important points. If you get the chance to read this one please take the time to read the notes at the beginning of the book. There are warnings of what you will find inside. There are uncomfortable situations, even triggers if you will for folks that have had sex forced on them, rape. But it is worth the read for the empowerment given.

On an aside, there are, also, some very different forms of erotica that are — fun to read. Not what we’ve expected from SM Reine. But so different that, well, you know how the fae are! I can’t wait to read the next one!

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Race of Thieves (Artifact Hunters #1)Race of Thieves by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not every were is a wolf. In this case, a squirrel who’s pretty feisty and smart is the person Shatter Cage. Sometimes he is not as smart as he thinks he is. Then he finds himself in some pickles. But sometimes that squirrely brain helps him escape.

Okay, it sounds kind of silly. But Sara Reine’s characters are serious beings on the post-apocalyptic side. All her books suck you in and won’t let go until the last page. For those of us lucky enough to get to read for honest reviews it is the very best of worlds! I love all her series-es. Usually, I tell folks to start reading at the Six Summer Moon series and enjoy the ride. But somehow Ms. Reine has been able to write a new series that includes a lot of our old favorites without a newbie feeling lost. There is just enough background to feel informed without overwhelming the reader. So if you are new–start here.

If you follow my reviews you will know that my main objective is female authors writing strong female main characters. I know most people don’t have that aim in their reading/entertainment lives. That’s why I’m giving a four-star where most are giving a five-star review. I haven’t been the biggest of fans of Sara’s male main characters. But Dana is in this book. She’s one of my favorite characters so if I could this would be a four and a half star review.

Thanks for letting me read this. I can’t wait for the next one!

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SpellsmokeSpellsmoke by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sorry to be late to the party, again. Between computer/internet issues and smoke making my eyes too blurry to get online to write this, I am about a week late for this review.

I am always happy when I get to review yet another of S.M. Reine’s books. She has got a library full of her own writing at this stage. She never stops! So I couldn’t wait to read Spellsmoke. Unfortunately, I seem to have a huge amount of books to read right now and some are waiting for reviews. It’s hard to be fair when you have favorites. Wink, Wink.

When a book starts with Meadowood Mall… I’m hooked. I knew of every aspect of the walk through the mall. Even Dippity Dots Kiosk! And Borders! I love when Sara includes Reno and other places many of us know and love in her stories. Who knew so many demons and vampires walked the Washoe County streets? I wish I would have gotten to know her when I lived there!

Okay, Lincoln Marshall is not my favorite character. He maybe is equal or above Cesar but most people will like them, I think. What I liked was meeting old friends like Rylie and her wolf clan. Which reminds me: Please, if you haven’t started these series’s Start with Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon, #1). That’s when you meet Rylie Gresham for the first time. Lincoln comes later in the series. But recurs often enough you get to like him.

Oh, and we get to see Sophie Keyes the historian again. She’s a little weird, but I like her a lot.

Ms. Reine is bringing up touchy issues in this book but handles them with grace. Thing like racism and abuse. I’m proud of how she presents these and finds ways to explore both sides and introduces other angles not in a dogmatic way but rather in ways we all need to think on.

I can’t wait to read book three in this little series. We weren’t left on a cliff but were given enough to want to continue. I hate putting Sara’s books down and go back to real life!

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A Crown in Time (Thief in Time Book 4)A Crown in Time by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cidney Swanson has done it again! This was a fun time-travel to Elizabethan England from 21st century here in America. It is the perfect ‘what if?’ with a mixture of thrilling moments fighting evil and or impossible situations and sweet moments of love. Imagine you could actually meet THE Queen Elizabeth!

Ms. Swanson presents some of the questions of time-travel and puts her own spin on things. Those crazy questions brought up in the past of seeing one’s self in the past, etc.

Meanwhile, there are three young women, newlyweds with spouses from other times. So well written that I found myself fighting a sore throat when the main character complains of same. Yes, it was coincidence but I worried about hypochondria. But after being out in public I realized it was allergies to certain perfumes had irritated my throat. Hot tea took care of it. But that is scary to think you can be so drawn into the book that you ‘catch’ their disease. Good thing I’m too old to feel the pregnancy symptoms! LOL!

If you get the chance, read this series. Even better start with my favorite series Saving Mars. Cidney Swanson can pull you into her books within a sentence or two and keep you up way past sleep time as you try to find a good stopping place.

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The Missing Girl: A Short Chapter BookThe Missing Girl: A Short Chapter Book by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love getting books from my favorite writers for review. It’s the best of both worlds. Getting to see their writing, getting to read new books.

Ms. Gita V. Reddy has created another fun story, mystery(?) for middle grades. I don’t want to give anything away here, but the story didn’t go the way I thought it would. But neither is it as scary as the title might imply. So go ahead and read it. It’s free right now on Amazon.

There is a bonus story in this book. If it wasn’t about a boy, I would have thought that Gita knew me in grade school. Yes, I was the talker that teachers moved around the room trying to find the person that would encourage silence in me. Nope. Didn’t happen. In fact, and I hate to admit this, even in college as a 40 something-year-old adult, even when I sat next to the teacher I found them interesting and willing to share conversation with me. Being social is a good thing and can teach you more than silence. On the other hand, as a teacher, I understand the disruption to the lesson plan. I did see that it can be useful for bringing up questions the class might have been afraid to bring up. I loved the kid of my heart in the second part of the book.

Both stories made for good reading before bed. You or your children might have fun with these, too.

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ShiftShift by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. How could I resist? I love Ms. George’s writing. The minute I open one of her books I know I am in for a fun ride. Shift is no exception. I added to my sleep deficit by spending too many hours after bedtime looking for a good place to stop reading for the night. But I wanted to know what was going to happen to the characters in this story.

I finished Aqua, which I also loved, a bit ago and couldn’t wait for more. My biggest disappointment was that this book is a stand-alone. I love a long and deep series. But for those that don’t like that this will be more up your alley. Still, I won’t rate this lower than five stars as it kept me going.

I can’t wait for more!

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AquaAqua by M.A. George
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was a surprise. And a few nights of nearly four o’clock in the morning reading. Forcing myself to pull away from the story and into sleep. That was hard to do!

The first impression that I got from the title was that this would be another mermaid book for young adults. Nope. But I won’t tell you more about it. Spoilers!

The story kept moving. It seemed not to give me a chance to push pause, even to get up and get something to eat or to go on a potty break. That’s how good Ms. George’s writing is. The book is a decent length but not so short or immature as you might think. Though there was a bit of a romance it wasn’t the angsty stuff of most young adult books. It was respectful of each other and seemed healthy.

I think others will love this book, too. It is cleverly written and far from the norm for this genre.

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Lonesome Paladin (A Fistful of Daggers #1)Lonesome Paladin by S.M. Reine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Though Cèsar and Lincoln are not my favorite characters, this book had me a Reno. I love it when Sara Reine centers her stories in my old haunts. Once I am immersed in the town, I care about what happens there. Who knew there were so many demons, vampires, were-creatures, fae in Reno? I’ve thought I’ve seen a glimmer here and there, but I figured it was a figment of my imagination–or was it?

I started this book around 9 PM last night and couldn’t stop reading until finished a little after midnight. It was a wild ride! While I told you my non-favorite characters, I was excited to know we would get to see Ophelia, Cèsar’s sister. And I enjoyed getting to know Sophie Keyes.

I always enjoy Ms. Reine’s books. That’s why I’m always happy to receive a request to read and review them. Thanks for the opportunity! And I love the side topic Sara was able to present in this book to make an educational moment or two.

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Made in America with Norwegian, German, Polish, and Irish DNA! I enjoy knitting, crochet, yarn dyeing, cross stitch, bullet journaling, books, baking, cooking, cats, dogs, dirt track racing, sprint cars, 101, NASCAR, MTJ19, and the color purple!

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