Author Archives: Carol

A book reviewer and editor at Bitten by Books since 2008, Carol reads extensively in the urban fantasy genre, and also writes the column on genre television, Screen Bites. Serving as the director of the Urban Fantasy track at Dragon Con, Carol also works at Coastal Magic (formerly Olde City, New Blood), and AnachroCon, and for the last three years has been one of the organizers for a small literary festival in the town where she lives. When not reading, writing reviews, or working at conventions, Carol spends as much time as possible with her three amazing grandsons.

The Loss by Julie Plec

The Originals: The Loss by Julie PlecWhen The Loss opens, forty-four years after the events of book one, The Rise, the Mikaelson siblings run New Orleans, creating new vampires to increase their ranks, rebuilding the city after the devastating hurricane summoned by the witches in 1722. While Elijah and Rebekah have worked to solidify their power and make their home comfortable, Klaus has had a completely different and secret agenda–to somehow bring back to life his beloved Vivianne who died in the siege of their home at the end of the previous book. Read More »

Spell Blind by David B. Coe

Spell Blind (Case Files of Justis Fearsson) by David B. Coe Spell Blind, the excellent first installment in The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, opens with former-cop-turned-private-investigator Justis, or Jay as his friends call him, on the trail of a missing young woman. After successfully rescuing the girl, later that evening Jay gets a call from his former partner, Kona, a close friend who also happens to be the only person he has ever told the important truth about his identity as a weremyste, or magic-user–the reason behind his leaving the force. It seems that the murder of a senator’s daughter has all the signs of the Blind Angel Killer, the very case the two had been working together when Jay left the department. Kona feels Jay’s magical skills may prove useful in tracking down the killer, and asks for his assistance. Read More »

Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle

Dark Alchemy by Laura BickleGeologist Petra Dee arrives in the small town of Temperance, Wyoming, for a job in Yellowstone National Park, taking soil samples for the U.S. Geological Survey. Mike, the park ranger who picks her up at the airport and drives her to her ramshackle rental trailer in a desolate area, tries to convince Petra she should go to the park lodge rather than stay there, but she tells him she will be fine, especially as the less-than-ideal accommodation represents an improvement over the oil rig she just left. Mike does insist that Petra needs protection, and leaves her one of his personal firearms. Read More »

Witches with the Enemy by Barb Hendee

Witches with the Enemy: A Novel of the Mist-Torn Witches by Barb Hendee Witches with the Enemy, the riveting third installment in the Mist-Torn witches series, begins just a few months after the events of book two. After a period of calm, dealing primarily with physical complaints from their apothecary customers, sisters Celine and Amelie get called to the castle to see Prince Anton, their benefactor, for whom they also work as seers when needed. Upon their arrival at Read More »

The Rise by Julie Plec

The Originals: The Rise by Julie PlecWhen Elijah made his first appearance on The Vampire Diaries in Season Two, viewers immediately became enthralled with the concept of the Original vampires–enough so that the often vicious but always intriguing family got their own show. The Originals: The Rise, first in a trilogy, provides a background for the trio’s early years in New Orleans. Read More »

The Dream Runner Kerry Schafer

The Dream Runner: The Dream Wars, Book #1 (Science Fiction-Fantasy) by Kerry SchaferTen years after leaving home at sixteen when her father died, Jesse Davison returns to take possession of the house she grew up in. However, Jesse finds herself less than pleased with the rep there to meet her: Marsh, town ladies man. During their very brief meeting, after Marsh drops the bombshell that her former friend, Will, has returned, Jesse receives a phone call from her supernatural employer, The Dream Merchant, telling her that she has a task. Read More »

The Cursed by Alyssa Day

The Cursed (League of the Black Swan) by Alyssa Day The Cursed, the entertaining first installment in The League of the Black Swan series, opens with wizard Luke Oliver receiving an unwelcome visit from Maestro, an envoy from the League with an assignment for Luke–one he definitely does not wish to undertake. In Bordertown, the area of Manhattan populated by the supernatural as well as humans, bike messenger Rio Jones, a young woman with the ability to read minds, witnesses the kidnapping of a young girl. After calling the police, Rio goes back to her apartment, determined to leave and seek out the assistance of Luke Oliver in tracking down the girl, based upon the dangerous thoughts she picked up from the kidnapper. Read More »

Every Breath You Take by Chris Marie Green

Every Breath You Take: Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire by Chris Marie Green Every Breath You Take, the excellent third installment in the enjoyable Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series, finds our intrepid heroine and her friends up to their typical ghostly good deeds–haunting a human guilty of murder until she confesses. After accomplishing her task, Jensen receives a visit from Amanda Lee, her human psychic friend/cohort, who reports that a ghost-hunting team has shown up in the forest, and their topic of interest–Jensen. Read More »

Namaste, My Love by Sam Cheever

namastemyloveThis installment in the Cougar Club series finds forty-five year old Felicia, at the insistence of her good friend, Sis, joining friends of similar ages at a club with male exotic dancers. While there, Felicia meets Bris, a man eighteen years younger, who makes clear his interest in her. Somewhat flustered and not sure how to handle her own reaction to the younger man, Felicia ends up going out with an acquaintance ten years her senior, Dave. While at dinner, Bris appears, and Felicia chokes in reaction. Read More »

Hit by Delilah S. Dawson

Hit by Delilah S. DawsonSeventeen-year-old Patsy Klein’s difficult-yet-bearable life gets shockingly, infinitely more complicated the day a representative from Valor Savings shows up at her door, presenting her with a “wonderful opportunity.” Valor, along with other undisclosed shareholders, having paid off the United States government’s debts, now plans to call in its own debtors in enforcement of its fine-print agreement. Her mother’s debt is being called in, the sinister man explains to Patsy and her mom, presenting them with two options. One, they can forfeit their lives, or two, Patsy can join Valor’s team of “bounty hunters” providing an assigned list of ten people the same choices. Read More »

Infinity Bell by Devon Monk

Infinity Bell: A House Immortal Novel by Devon Monk Infinity Bell, the terrific second installment in the absorbing House Immortal series, picks up immediately where its predecessor concluded, with Matilda, her brother, Quinten, the wounded galvanized, Abraham, and her friend, Neds, on the run from the ruling Houses in the wake of two murders being blamed on them. Read More »

Jinn and Juice by Nicole Peeler

Jinn and Juice by Nicole PeelerWorking as a belly-dancer in a burlesque bar in the poisoned-magic city of Pittsburgh suits cursed-jinni Lyla just fine, especially since the clock on her curse (a thousand years) nears its end. Unfortunately for Lyla, one night at work, just a week away from her curse being broken, returning her to human, a magi spots her in the club, chases after her when she flees, and successfully binds her to him. Given that Lyla must be unbound to a magi at the time her curse expires, she finds herself none too pleased with having a new Master. Read More »

Grave Matters by Lauren M. Roy

Grave Matters: A Night Owls Novel by Lauren M. RoyJust as its predecessor did, Grave Matters, the excellent second installment in the engrossing Night Owls series, grabs attention from its opening scene. Elly, still getting used to living with her not-exactly-legally-adoptive brother, Cavale, gets a visit from a young girl who lives down the street. Cinda explains that a ghost has been haunting she and her father, and she wants to hire Elly and Cavale to get rid of it. Intrigued by the girl’s story, Elly agrees to help her, and upon arriving at the house, has to deal with an unusual ghost in the basement, one with a sigil she does not recognize drawn on his skin. After dispatching the ghost, Elly picks up some of the ectoplasm for Cavale to analyze. Read More »

The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber The Eterna Files, the excellent first installment in a unique new series, begins with a familiar story–the death of Abraham Lincoln. Immediately thereafter, the tale veers into less-recognizable territory, with young “spiritualist” Clara Templeton declaring that the president should have been made immortal in order to protect the position. Lincoln’s widow, Mary, instantly latches onto the idea, resulting in the birth of the Eterna group, with the secret mission to investigate immortality. Read More »

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy) by Ilona Andrews Burn for Me, the exciting first installment in the Hidden Legacy series, hits the ground running, pulling the reader in to a fascinating world where magic means power–personal, political, and financial. In 1863, a serum was developed that enabled people to tap into their innate magical abilities, and despite the serum eventually being hidden away due the recognition of the dangerous individuals and situations it was creating, along with the potential for even more, the damage had been done. Now hereditary, magic creates dynasties which form Houses, wielding their power and wealth over those not so fortunate. Read More »

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson The Witches of Echo Park, first in an intriguing new series, grabs the reader’s attention with its first sentence. Lyse MacCallister does not react well to the news that her great-aunt, Eleanora, has terminal cancer. The shock results in an evening of drinking, and the snap decision to buy a plane ticket from her home in Athens, Georgia to Echo Park, California, in the Los Angeles area. Once her plane lands, Lyse feels pleasantly surprised to find Eleanora waiting for her at the airport, especially as she had not told her great-aunt she was coming at that time. Read More »

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn

Things Half in Shadow by Alan FinnThe tremendous Things Half in Shadow  grabs the reader with its very first sentence, refusing to let go for the duration of the novel. Our narrator, journalist Edward Clark, begins by describing his visit to the scene of a dead young woman, called there by his friend, Inspector Barclay, in the hopes that Edward will print the story with a photo which will lead to identifying the woman. This effort becomes unnecessary when the dead woman’s mother and sister arrive at the scene, with the mother’s surprising news that her daughter’s ghost appeared to her, stating that she was dead. Read More »

Vacant by Alex Hughes

Vacant: A Mindspace Investigations Novel by Alex HughesLife has been going pretty well for telepath and consultant to the police, Adam Ward. He and Isabella Cherabino, his work partner he has long been in love with, have been dating for four months. Vacant, book four in the superb Mindspace series, opens with the couple attending a rock concert (a very different experience for Adam, given the cacophony of minds all around him), and they leave the venue satisfied and happy. The good feelings quickly evaporate when the two come upon a very aggressive t-shirt vendor and his friend a few streets down from the arena, and a brief scuffle ensues, during which Isabella identifies herself as a police officer, and shortly thereafter she and Adam leave. Read More »

Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Bloodwitch (The Maeve'ra) by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes Bloodwitch, the engrossing first installment in the Maeve’ra series, opens with shapeshifter Vance Ehecatl, sitting (in his quetzal form) very still for a painting being done by the vampire Lady Brina. When the artist takes a break, Vance changes back to human and does some of his chores around the greenhouse. Vance gets a big surprise when his trainer, Taro, arrives with Mistress Jeshickah, the vampire leader of the town of Midnight, and Vance’s benefactor, having taken him in as a child when he was abandoned by his parents. Feeling alternately elated and overwhelmed when coming face-to-face with the powerful woman, fourteen-year-old Vance somehow acquits himself well, and learns two things: Lady Brina had been talking about him in the marketplace, and somewhere in Midnight lives another quetzal shifter. Read More »

Another One Bites the Dust by Chris Marie Green

Another One Bites the Dust: Jensen Murphy, Ghost For Hire by Chris Marie GreenIntrepid ghost heroine, Jensen, returns in Another One Bites the Dust, book two in the highly original Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series. Picking up a few weeks after the events of book one, Jensen and her ghost friends, along with still-alive psychic Amanda Lee, attempt to make the best of their situation: realizing that even though they uncovered a killer, a dark spirit of some sort was released through a portal in the process. As a result, not only do they have the dark spirit to contend with, but also the ire of Wendy, the young woman (able to see and speak with ghosts) upset with Jensen for having gone inside the head of her older brother, Gavin, numerous times to determine whether or not he was the murderer of Amanda Lee’s lover (he was not). Read More »