Thursday, April 30, 2015

Book Review: BLOODGIFTED (Urban Fantasy / Romance / Myth & Legend)


The Dantonville Series: Book 1

By Tima Maria Lacoba
Amazon Link:
#UrbanFantasy #Romance #Historical #Myth #Legend

A deftly woven tale of myth, legend, action, and romance. 

Bloodgifted starts out with a prologue that takes us back to 263 AD when the battle between two warring parties, the Pictish and the Romans, culminates in a curse thus creating the first vampires and the bloodgifted.

Author Tima Maria Lacoba spins an exciting tale of romance and intrigue as her heroine, Laura, comes into her bloodgift and the vampire race grapples at a chance to shift the power. This story is an exciting recount of the struggle between two factions of vampires, those who want to maintain order and integrate with human society and those who see humans only as food to be devoured.

Trapped in the middle, Laura struggles to survive the violent power-plays between these volatile factions, who both consider her the winner’s prize. To spice things up further, Laura must deal with the rivalry between her current boyfriend Matt, a tenacious detective, and the irresistible Alec, a vampire from the new underworld she is just discovering. But there is more! An obsessive stalker is on the loose . . .

If you love action packed urban fantasy or paranormal romance, and have a taste for history, myth, and legends, you should definitely try this story.

Lilo Abernathy
Author and Book Lover

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Book Review: NIKO (Urban Fantasy / Science Fiction / Gene Mutations)


The Outsider Chronicles: Book 1

By Kayti Nika Raet
Amazon Link:
#UrbanFantasy #ScienceFiction #GeneMutations #Monsters

Before I even go into the review, I feel this cover must be mentioned. IMHO it is kick-ass. Not only does Niko look tough, but she looks sexy with some great booty. And, pleases, let's talk about the bat. Chains and nails and dripping blood? Sweet . . .

Okay, moving on to the story. If you like original stories, creativity, and new creatures, this story is for you. 

Niko lives in a time where something happened to the atmosphere to turn all rain to acid rain. The acid is so strong you can't let it touch you, least it eats through you. Acid proof shingles have to be put on roofs. Your shoes have to be acid proof or they will melt away. And all water must be treated or it will kill you. This is a harsh world.

It's made even harsher because humans have divided into the Haves and Have Nots because there are limited resources. Only the wealthy can afford to live in the city where purified water is in plentiful supply. The rest are kept out by gates, guards, and guns, surviving by their brawn and wits.

If that isn't bad enough, there are genetically mutated humans who have transformed into scary as hell creatures called Slithers. Slithers eat people and move with incredible speed, far beyond the average human. Luckily, some rare people have an innate ability to move fast enough to kill them.

Enter Niko, a seventeen year old girl who's entire family is killed by Slithers, except for one brother who goes missing. When the insider populace finds out Niko can kill Slithers, she's taken to the city to protect the populace. However, her brother is on the outside and all Niko cares about is finding her brother. Outside of the gate waits Slithers galore, acid rain, starvation, thirst, gangs, and other people doing whatever required to survive their brutal existence. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants a unique kick-ass urban fantasy with science fiction elements in a dystopian environment.

Lilo Abernathy
Author and Book Lover

Book Review: JADE (YA Urban Fantasy / Action)


Three J’amigos Series: Book 1

By Rose Montague
Amazon Link:
#UrbanFantasy #Paranormal #Action #Shifter #YA

An Action Packed Story of Good Versus Evil
The story opens up with Jade Smith joining her new police partner, Rolfe, a shifter who takes the shape of a huge Kodiak bear. Rolfe initially thinks Jade will be a weak female partner, a liability if you will, but he is soon disavowed of that notion. Jade kicks butt. 

But what is Jade? She has the build of a shifter, but keeps mum about her shifter form. She has vampire fangs and fay relatives. One part of her is even more secret than all the rest. Where did Jade come from and what did she do in her life prior to working with Rolfe? How does she happen to know the secret of a weapon legend says was used by angels?

The plot is rife with twists and turns, new friends and lovers, and set-ups and betrayals. The mysteries are slowly revealed.

This story will be enjoyed by YA readers and adults alike. Kudos to Ms. Montague for weaving in a LGBT relationship into the story. There is considerable focus on diversity, which I really appreciate.

Lilo Abernathy
Author and Book Lover

Book Review: THE CALLING (YA Urban Fantasy / Romance)

The Calling

The Gateway Series: Book 1

by Louise White
Amazon Link:
#YA #UrbanFantasy #Romance #Action

I loved this book. The beginning was absolutely incredible. Carolyn walks in to see her family being destroyed and something happens to her. She becomes this beautiful feral wild thang. She is called the Destroyer and her purpose is to kill Demons who steal humans.

Let's just pause here a moment and reflect on the Feral Wild Thang. When I say feral, I actually mean feral, as in the movie Nell with the feral child, starring Jodi Foster. It's fantastic like that too. I am soooo envious that Author Louise White thought of this idea before I did. Now that she's written it and I've read it, I can't use it. Maybe in about 20 years. But for now, I can't. So . . . major envy here.

The story is filled with thrilling action as Carolyn completes her mission of destroying demons. Eventually, she starts to move toward a more aware mind and way from being a raving killing beast. The transition is fascinating to watch. Then, several possible love interests appear, each with potential ulterior motives, leaving the reader unclear who's safe and best for her. I'm rooting for one male, but I'm not sure if Louise is with me on that. :) Deception and betrayal complicate the plot and the characterization is excellent, allowing you to feel deeply for Carolyn's team.

Several side plots further enrich the story and mysteries abound. Do some of the secondary characters have a relationship? What is the relationship of the strongest Mage to the God-like Protector? What is this parasitic power that has attached to her first, and secondly to Note? So many mysteries . . .

I'm looking forward the next book!

Lilo Abernathy
Author and Book Lover

Monday, April 27, 2015


Exciting News: The Light Who Binds is coming soon!

I've just finished integrating the changes from my Beta Readers and I've sent it off to editing. At this point, I'm estimating about six weeks. So with the book complete now, I've drafted a teaser and wanted to share it with you. Please note this is unedited!

The Light Who Binds: Teaser

The Prophecy

Inspector Bluebell Kildare has waited months for her sexy Vampire boss, Jack Tanner to divulge the secrets he knows about her. She couldn’t be more shocked when he finally reveals her birth was prophesied over two thousand years go and she’s expected to save the Vampire souls so they can escape their fate of eternal damnation and burning on the Plane of Fire.

The Case

A savior she is not. Blue and her wolf Varg are busy battling several factions attempting to abduct her. Plus, she’s chasing a vicious serial arsonist who’s setting houses on fire and burning victims alive. Is it random or Genocide?

The Wolf

The furor accelerates when Varg displays new powerful abilities and a complaint is filed against him. But when the sorceress who sent him shows up, Blue fears she’ll lose him forever.

The Romance

Jack is the final straw. His eyes and sometimes his hands vow yes to her, but his delicious mouth murmurs no, until she puts her foot down and demands he makes a decision about them. What will he choose? And can she handle the answer?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Well, did that tease you enough to want it? This will become my Amazon description and the back of book blurb so I'd love to hear your opinions on it. Please comment below.

Want more?
You can read an excerpt of Chapter 1 here.

You can sign up here to be notified right before The Light Who Binds is released.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Swear Words in Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance Books?

I just checked my reviews today and saw a new one came in addressing swear words. The reader writes,

"I like that you told a great story and you didn't have to use curse words. Thank you for that."

This isn't the first time I've received a comment like this and I love that readers are communicating their thoughts on this issue. However, it wasn't really a goal of mine when I wrote the book to produce a curse word clean story. I'm not pro or con swear words. I'm fine with them when they fit the story. Interestingly, my book actually does contain swear words, but they are rather mild and infrequent.

The Light Who Shines is a cross-genre book that spans Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Mystery. The first two genres are known to be proliferated with swear words. When I first drafted my main character profile for Bluebell Kildare, I decided that she only said soft swear words, as this fit her personality. She says things like, "Holy cow!" "Holy smokes!" and "cripes!" That is just her way. She grew up in an orphanage associated with a Catholic church so hard swears are not comfortable for her.

One of the detectives she works with is Catholic and his expletives are things like, "Jesus Christ!" and "Jesus, Mother Mary, and Joseph!" He doesn't swear a lot because his image is important to him and he likes to be seen as cultured. One of my editors felt that the religious cusses would actually be disliked more than the non-religious hard swear words, but I haven't received any negative feedback on it. I should clarify that this is not in anyway a religious book, even though the various religions of the characters shape their actions and thinking.

The other main character, Jack Tanner, does say more common swear words, but not often and usually not in the presence of ladies. He's a five hundred year old Vampire and a bit old fashioned that way. He has been known to say, "Crap!" "Shit!" and may even say, "Fuck!" in future books, though he hasn't yet.

So, while I didn't set out to create a book purged of swear words, it ended up being fairly clean based on the personality of the main characters. I was pleasantly surprised with all the comments I've gotten from readers who have been hungry for a great action book in these genres that has cleaner language.

How do I feel about swearing in books that I read?

Naturally, I've read a considerable amount of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance to be able to write in those genres. I recall being turned off by a few where the main character cussed all the time and it seemed unnecessarily ugly. But other times characters will belt out the harder curse words during times of danger, pain, or when emotions run high and I'm fine with that. I'm also fine with no swear words.

When I first released my book, one of the negative comments I received was that I had too many exclamation marks. I took this to heart and removed almost all of them during my revision. I left them at only the highest points of emotion in the story. I think all those exclamation marks tired people out.

Similarly, I think hard swear words do the same thing. In my opinion, too many is too many. You risk losing potency.

Still, even though I know that many of my readers don't care for the hard swear words, I think others would be fine with them in any quantity. I think some people feel that if the book doesn't have sufficient hard language it's more of a young adult book, even though the official definition of young adult has nothing to do with swear words.

So, in light of all of these questions, I'd created a poll. The results of the poll are available here:

I'd love to hear your comments!


Friday, April 17, 2015


Dear Readers,

It occurs to me that since so many people loved the excerpt of book 2, I should probably post an excerpt of book 1, THE LIGHT WHO SHINES. (smile)

I do have to give you a bit of warning. This excerpt contains graphic violence and a torturous death. So turn back now if you can't handle a taste of dark fantasy. The book in its entirety contains some very steamy sex scenes, though this excerpt does not. The dark scenes of the book are well balanced by magic, whimsy, love, and humor.

This excerpt is the entire Prologue which takes place 2000 years before the rest of the story. It begins in Year 1 of the Red Ages. The age was named thus because it's the year that Vampires were first created and the time that followed was so bloody, it's said the rivers ran crimson and the ground was cloaked in scarlet. This Prologue is the story of Shaina, the wife of the first Vampire.

So here goes!

The Light Who Shines
Book 1 of the Bluebell Kildare Series


Winter, Year 1, Red Ages

I wake to the sound of pounding on the door and Mor’s voice yelling, “Shaina. Shaina.”

Sorcha wakes up crying as I rush to open the door. A bloodcurdling scream tears through the night, destroying any illusions of a peaceful return to slumber. I swing open the door with trembling hands and see anguish in Mor’s eyes. The words that tumble from her mouth bring to the fore all the fears I’d been trying to suppress this winter.

“Shaina, Conor was found dead, killed by the bloodsuckers. Grainne and Aongus are calling you a Witch and gathering the town folks to burn you as one. Quick! We must run.”

I start gathering my things together, but Mor yells, “There is no time. Grab the bairn. We must go now!”

Sorcha is wailing now. Tears streak her little cheeks as she grips her blanket tightly in tiny fists. I grab my plaid and wrap it around us both as I follow Mor outside.

“You must quiet her,” Mor whispers.

I try to comfort Sorcha in a hushed voice. “Shh, Sorcha, you must be quiet. Shhhh.”

Sorcha pays no heed and cries all the louder as she clutches me with her little fingers.

I hear the voices of the villagers coming now, yelling and screaming, “Burn the Witch. It was her husband who brought this upon us.”

Aongus’ voice rises above the rest. “Let her die too. Why should she be spared?”

Mor leads me past the blacksmith’s shop, behind Fergus’ cottage, toward the forest. I see their torches at my cottage now. A voice yells, “They’re gone,” and the villagers continue to chant, “Burn the Witch. Burn the Witch.”

I cast through my mind wildly now, seeking a remembrance of a place to hide. My mind comes up empty, just as it did all winter when I feared a night such as this would come. I should have braved the cold and gone to the sea caves where the dragon tribe dwells despite the perilous winter journey.

Just then, Sorcha lets out a loud bawl, and I hear Grainne yell, “She’s over there.”

Mor and I run around Fergus’ cottage and make for the tree line. The throng is following us quickly with the younger men in the lead. The woods are just up ahead—if only we could lose them in the deep of the trees. If only Sorcha would stop crying.

We reach heavy brush, and I hear the thunder of feet behind me. Just at the edge of the woods, my foot catches on a tree root and I tumble to the ground. As I land on the hard dirt, I twist to protect Sorcha from being crushed by my weight, and pain shoots up my leg. Fear strikes my heart as I realize I’ve a choice to make.

“Mor,” I yell.

Mor glances over her shoulder and sees me on the ground. I try to stand, but my knee gives way. I see the torches through the dark coming swiftly closer.

“Mor, take Sorcha. It is too late. Run. Keep her safe.”

Mor stands there, petrified. She looks at me, she looks at the woods in front of her, and she looks at the torches that are almost upon us. I thrust Sorcha out while warm, wet tears stream down my cheeks and fall unheeded onto the snow. “Take the bairn! It’s me they want.”

Mor grabs Sorcha and my arms, bereft of their lovely burden, fall uselessly at my sides. I stare hungrily after Sorcha for one last moment, and just as Mor and Sorcha disappear in the dark of the woods, the torches are upon me. First the young men arrive, their faces ugly with rage. I know each of them, grew up with them, broke bread with them, bartered with them, sang with them, but it matters not. It’s fear that drives them this night, and no proclamations of innocence or fond memories will help me now.

Niall grabs my arms and drags me into the throng. I try to gain footing, but my right leg will bear no weight. Tadgh holds my other arm, and together they pull me to the center of town. The mob crowds around, cursing me, throwing sticks at me as I’m roughly tied to a large ash tree. The faces of my friends and neighbors swirl around me in angry confusion with rays of moonlight shining on a gaunt cheek here and a slashing brow there. The bindings are pulled tight, cutting into my wrists and ankles as I struggle, but I know it’s useless. It’s been useless since Torloch made his pact with the devil’s handmaiden, Lilith. It’s been useless since Torloch took my wee baby boy and returned home with his blood on his hands. It’s been useless since Torloch became a bloodsucking monster and spread his disease through the village.

I look out at the faces of the crowd, and I see anger and fear. I see despair. It’s a mercy they’ve let me live this long. I curse myself again for not leaving earlier despite the biting cold of winter. I hear one voice among the bloodthirsty yell, “Give her a Witch’s Trial.”

Another voice responds, “We’ll give her a trial of fire. If she’s innocent, let her be saved.”

Bundles of dry oak twigs and sticks are piled at my feet. Oak, the tree of strength. I wonder if the oak will give me strength in my last moments of life. I think of Sorcha, the twin of my poor baby boy. I hope only that Mor got her away safely and at least one of our family will be spared.

Grainne walks right up to me and spits in my face. “You filthy Witch,” she snarls. “Your monster husband and his kind killed my son. Shredded his neck.” Tears run down her dirt-smudged face. “We are going to watch you burn for what you’ve done.”

Una, who lost her husband to Torloch, grabs a torch and sets the wood at my feet on fire. The firelight reflects off her savage face, and I see months of grief and seething anger in the depths of her wild eyes. There is no mercy here.

I feel the heat rising, and it burns. I look at their faces, and even through my fear, I feel their sorrow and rage. I feel it in me as well. That has always been my curse: to feel others as myself. Their rage now feeds mine. The flames lick my ankles, and smoke fills my eyes.

I look up at the night sky and my fury overflows. Months of rage at Torloch, who took the life of our son to try to save himself. But most of all I rage at Lilith, who made him an empty promise and turned him into a monster for the price of our child. Tears stream down my face as I recall my own black pit of grief at losing my lovely little boy. I feel the grief and pain of everyone on this dark night.

I smell the smoke from the ash tree I am tied to mingling with the oak kindling about my body. My childhood learnings flit through my mind even in my last hour. While oak gives strength, ash is the bridge between Earth and other worlds. Good. Let it make a bridge to the Plane of Fire for me so that I might reach Lilith and pay her back in kind.

I shout to the blackness of the sky above. I call to the dark with all the rage of my soul. “Lilith, I call on you to hear me. By my blood, you will be destroyed. A light will come. A light that shines through your evil. A light that calls you to answer for your deeds. A light that binds you as I am bound and burns you as I burn. A light that rips you asunder and destroys your darkness.”

The pain is so great. The flames sear my legs. I can’t help but scream and convulse, though I know there is no escape. I writhe, trying to get away from the fire, but it just grows and grows as my calves blister and melt. A part of my mind wishes the fire were higher so this pain would end more quickly. The only escape now is death, and it fast approaches. The smoke is so heavy I cough as I scream. The fire has reached my waist now, and it envelops me in its excruciating embrace. I see the horrific faces of the mob, distorted and cast in red from the fire that consumes me.

I scream with all the strength I have, willing my voice to carry through the between spaces. “Lilith, hear me. I call to you. By my blood, you will pay for what you have done.” I cough and hack, unable to get a breath of air. I thrash my head as the tongues of fire lick ever higher, melting my flesh, binding me to the holy ash tree as though we are one. The pain is so great now that I know nothing but the feel of it engulfing me. It seems to be all that was before me and all that will ever come after. I’m being eaten alive by the ravenous fire. The agony and the rage are the whole of who I am now.

I think one last thought, unable to even catch enough breath to scream it, unable even to work my mouth to speak it as the flames lick my chin. My dying thought sears into my soul and lifts with me to the Plane of Light. “Lilith, by my blood you will be destroyed!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Available Now!

If you enjoyed that excerpt, you can get entire book, The Light Who Shines on Kindle here:  It's also available on Audible and in print either on Amazon or through your local book stores. 

Coming Soon!

Be sure to sign up here to get notified when book 2 of the Bluebell Kildare Series, The Light Who Binds is released.

Please do comment and let me know how you liked it.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book Review: THE SUMMER SOLSTICE ENCHANTED (Fantasy, Magic, Greek Mythology, Romance, Fun)

The Summer Solstice Enchanted 
The Summer Solstice Series: Book 1
By Author K.K. Allen
Amazon Link:
#Fantasy #Magic #Greek Mythology #Romance #YA #Fun

Well, I've been in love with this cover for the longest time. Now that my second book is with my beta readers, I finally had a chance to read it. And let me just say that the cover exactly portrays the story. This was such a light fun read, I loved it.

Kat, recently orphaned, moves in with her estranged Grandmother and weird things start happening. Her sight and hearing senses become impossibly accurate. Disturbing and dangerous dreams haunt her sleep. She’s confused about what’s happening and her Grandmother isn’t giving her much. Plus, she’s lonely, and nervous about being the new kid in school. Then along comes the handsome neighbor boy. He gives her some confidence, but the two girls who feel she’s infringing on their territory give her equal measures of trouble.

Author K.K. Allen has filled this story with all the drama of a young girl in this situation. There’s suspense woven in through the enigmatic Grandmother, the unfolding of the family history, and the magic capabilities Kat is learning to control. Unbeknownst to her, danger is creeping up as she comes to the attention of evil forces. But, Allen keeps it light with the beach town setting and the threads of romance.

I recommend this lovely story for YA readers or anyone who enjoys YA and magic. It was quite an enjoyable read.

Let's give a collective sigh for young love. Sighhhh . . .

Lilo Abernathy

Author and Book Lover