Fire by T G Ayer

I did the cover reveal for Fire back on 30th June for this Novel and I have since had the chance to read this novel.  (Isn’t it an amazing cover!)

Fire Front Cover aNormal people sneak out to a party and have fun. Maya Rao ends the evening by incinerating the guy who attacks her.

Nik Lucas, sexy, new in town and totally forbidden, happens to walk in on her. Normal guys would run for the hills. Nik knows a whole lot more than he’s telling.

Maya doesn’t believe the gods are real, doesn’t waste her time with mere mythology. But when gods, demons and hellhound’s become the new normal and wielding fire becomes her new skill, she must decide what it is she really believes.

Can Maya accept that normal is something she will never be because it isn’t normal to be …the Hand of Kali.

T G Ayer is Indian by birth, and has decided to make a foray into her own history and religions to come up with this wonderful story of Fire.  

Maya is a character with guts.  Her parents have stepped outside of their norm and have trained her in hand to hand combat, something most Hindu families don’t believe in; Women are commodities to be traded for marriage goods.  Maya in the reincarnation of Kali, and therefore must fulfil her obligations to the gods and goddesses.   That is why her parents have prepared her, and they have prepared her well.

Nik Lucas, who is a white guy who casually turns up and has the hots for Maya turns out to be very helpful, especially when it turns out he is the son of a god.  From Earth to Hell and back.

Between Nik, Maya and Maya’s friend Jess, they manage to fight against demons and survive long enough to tell the tale.

If you are looking for a story about gods and goddesses, humans and the realms in between, then this is a story for you.

Unknown by Melissa Pearl

Melissa Pearl, who brought us Golden Blood, Black Blood and Pure Blood has put her hand at Fantasy and created the Elements Trilogy – the first book is Unknown, with Unseen and Unleashed coming out later this year.

UnknownDarkness is covering the land. As the city of Mezrah grows with power and greed, the rest of the world can only stand by and wait for their inevitable destruction. The only hope against this growing power is an ancient prophecy that people have stopped believing in.

Then a star begins to fall.

Princess Kyla of Taramon stopped believing in the power of light the day her father died. Trapped in a city she does not care for, under the watchful glare of her mother, the queen, she struggles to accept her fate.

Then a star begins to fall.

Jethro has loved Kyla for as long as he can remember. Learning that she was to marry his cousin drove a wedge between him and the feisty princess. Watching her from a distance is a torture he is unable to free himself from.

Then a star begins to fall, sparking an ember of hope and sending two seekers on a treacherous journey into the unknown

Exercept

“Nikara?” Mordekai poked his head into the room, he saw the small lump in the bed and hurriedly approached his apprentice. “Nikara, my dear.” He shook her shoulder.

She let out a soft groan and turned towards him. “Morning already?”

“No. No.” He shook his head. “Sorry to wake you, but this is of the utmost importance.”

Her wide, slanted eyes looked dry as she gazed at him. He knew she would never have the impudence to consciously show it, but he could sense her reticence.

“Please, child. You must see this.”

Biting her rosebud lips together, she slid out from beneath the covers and took the candle he held out to her. Throwing a robe over her shoulders, Mordekai danced like an excited child as he beckoned her to follow.

Her steps were too sleepy and slow for his liking, and he found himself dragging her through the streets. She knew not to question him before she must and stayed silent throughout the short journey. They reached the top of the stairs and stepped out onto his small perch.

“Mordekai, what are we doing up here?”

He turned away from the inky blackness below and gazed up at the sky. His white teeth beamed through his grey beard. “Look through the telescope.”

Nikara covered her yawn with delicate fingers. “Mordekai…”

“Just look, child.”

She blinked slowly. He knew she didn’t like him calling her child anymore; she was nineteen years of age and quite a beauty. He noticed how men now stopped to glance at her, something he was struggling to adjust to. To him, she would always be the little waif he found bleeding on his doorstep.

He bit his lip as she stepped towards the telescope he had spent hours gazing through. He knew the night sky better than anyone in the city.

Nikara squeezed her left eye tight and peered into the lens.

“Do you see my star?”

Her small fingers swivelled the telescope to the north. “Yes,” she mumbled.

He watched her in agitated silence. Her body was rigid, her fingertips turning white as they pressed against the smooth wood.

Had she noticed? Why wasn’t she saying anything?

Finally unable to bear it, he whispered, “Do you notice—”

“It’s moving.” She glanced up at him, her lips parted. “I thought I was seeing things, but…” She bent down to have another look. “It’s…” Stepping away from the telescope, she leaned against the wall. “Mordekai, is it falling?”

He let out a chuckle. “Look for a diamond glowing in the north, though it falls, it will not fail.” He quoted the second part of the prophecy with a laugh.

“What does that mean?”

“It means I was right. The diamond of the prophecy is not the crystal in Taramon Tower. It is this star.”

The one he had discovered sixteen years ago.

Nikara swallowed. “Mordekai, it’s been too long. No one believes the prophecy anymore.”

“Well maybe they should.”

Her lips pressed together in a tight grimace as she looked out into the inky blackness. “Do we tell—?”

“No. No, we mustn’t. He forbade talk of the prophecy years ago; we must keep this to ourselves.”

His face scrunched in thought as he turned his gaze to the far borderlands.

“Mordekai?”

The tremor in her voice was hard to miss, and he felt a touch of guilt as he turned to her. “Pack your things, child. It’s time to leave Mezrah.”

Review

Unknown is a book about a Oron, a God of Light who destroyed darkness, but was destroyed himself.  Whispers of a prophesy have been building until a new star is discovered in the night sky by Mordekai and a new adventure begins.

I love the characters in this story, their flaws are so completely human and normal, the twists and turns are fast moving and head turning.  There are some great characters in there, from Mordekai, the wise man, to Kyla the princess, Asthra, the fiance and the elements themselves.  I can’t wait to see more of the others in this series.

For a fantasy, it is easy to read, no heavy description, no long winded explanations, it is a story that flows quickly and ends way too suddenly.  Can’t wait for Unseen to come out.

The exciting thing is, this book is being released today!  So you can get your hands on a copy over at Amazon and Smashwords

Skin Deep – T G Ayer

Publisher T G Ayer Books ISBN: 1484836707

Skin DeepPanther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths. Now she protects the humans, and has something to be proud of. But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.  

Enter Logan Westin, an agent that investigates the strange and unusual; a cop and a Human…. Can Kailin ignore the attraction between them, can she keep him at arms length before he finds out exactly what she is? 
The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is? And can she finally allow herself to trust Logan?

Skin Deep is the newest offering from T G Ayer, one of my favourite NZ authors.  Kailin is a shape-shifter, and she kills wraiths, something that her family doesn’t know, and if they did… her life wouldn’t be worth living.

Kailin is a strong person, who ends up in all sorts of trouble after she discovers the body of a fellow shape-shifter – he has been murdered, and the murderer’s know that she has seen the body.

Not only has she got the murderer’s after her, but she also has to deal with a missing sister, and an Uncle who is estranged from the family, and then there is her mother…

Logan has his own skills, he is able to burn things.  His attraction to Kailin grows stronger with every interaction he has, yet neither of them can explain why.  It isn’t until Kailin is kidnapped by her Uncle that puzzle pieces start falling into place.

New Release – Skin Deep by T G Ayer

Skin Deep (The Darkworld Series – Vol 1) by T G AyerSkin Deep Cover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication Date: 30th APRIL 2013

Format: Paperback, E-Book & Hardback

Publisher: Infinite Ink

Pages: 390

Add on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13604857-skin-deep

Available through Amazon 

EXCERPT:

“The cold cocking of guns set my body on fire.

It also did something worse. With mortal fear gripping me, my imminent Change wasn’t taking second place anymore. My body churned the fear and my Panther grasped at the visceral power of the adrenalin in my veins.

I ran.

A gunshot echoed around the garden, the sound ping-ponging off the aging brick walls of the surrounding apartment buildings.

I gasped as a blast of searing pain slammed into me.

As a bullet buried itself deep within my shoulder.”

 

DESCRIPTION:

Panther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths. Now she protected the humans, and had something to be proud of.

But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.

The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is?

Bare-Naked Lola – Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but smile? If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves to keep under wraps….

Sadly, I haven’t read the first two of this series – though that doesn’t really matter as Miss Ramirez does a great job of seamlessly introducing any necessary history into the narrative without bogging the story down.

It was a great, light weight read. I powered through it in less than 24 hours and it provided me with a nice little escape and plenty of giggles. Lola Cruz is a character I could easily grow to love: she’s kick ass, loyal to her family and friends, true to her values (once she realizes what they are), and also has a softer side.

There is quite a large cast in the novel, loads of secondary characters, most of whom are a mix of the usual people you’d find in these novels, but each with a unique spin on that archetype. The story line was hilarious, and the situations Lola found herself in had me in stitches.

I’d recommend this book for anyone who likes these kinds of mysteries – so if you are a fan of Stephanie Plum, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. Worth checking out.

Hanging By A Thread – Sophie Littlefield

Summer is the best part of the year in Winston, California, and the Fourth of July is the highlight of the season. But the perfect town Clare remembers has changed, and everyone is praying that this summer will be different from the last two—that this year’s Fourth of July festival won’t see one of their own vanish without a trace, leaving no leads and no suspects.

The media are in a frenzy predicting a third disappearance, but the town depends on tourist dollars, so the residents of Winston are trying desperately to pretend nothing’s wrong.  And they’re not the only ones hiding something. 

Clare, a seamstress who redesigns vintage clothing, has been blessed—or perhaps cursed—with a gift: she can see people’s pasts when she touches their clothes. When she stumbles across a denim jacket that once belonged to Amanda Stavros, last year’s Fourth of July victim, Clare sees her perfect town begin to come apart at the seams.  In a town where appearance means everything, how deep beneath the surface will Clare dig to uncover a murderer?

When I read the above blurb for Hanging By A Thread, I thought it sounded like it could be my cup of tea – I really enjoyed Littlefield’s Aftertime series, and while I didn’t realize that this one was YA, that didn’t put me off. Littlefield has an engaging style of writing that transcends age or genre, so I thought I could probably trust her on this one.

It’s very much a YA novel though, and those aren’t exactly my cup of tea. There is a lot of inner chatter, and the main character is a talented and creative seamstress who spends vast amounts of time thinking about clothes and working with them. Some of this was really interesting, but for a woman lacking in style like me, it probably wasn’t the best match up.

That said, I actually enjoyed the book. It was a fun, lightweight read that I burned through very quickly. I really liked Clare, and I loved the idea of psychometry that was linked only to clothing. The fact that she is willing to risk learning things she doesn’t want to, shows just how important this passion for clothes of hers is. I enjoyed reading about her conflict between wanting to fit into this small town, as well as her desire to stay true to who she is. The cast of characters were your typical tight knit community and I wasn’t sure who the killer it was revealed near the end.

So in summary, this book is a nice blend of cozy mystery and paranormal YA romance, which isn’t something I have seen much of, but definitely think there is a market for. Worth a read, in any event 🙂

The Kingdom – Amanda Stevens

Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town….

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

I read and reviewed the first book in this series (The Restorer) a year ago, and finally the second book is out! I was so excited when I saw that The Kingdom was coming, and I waited very patiently. It was totally worth the wait.

This book is quite different from the first – not only is Amelia moving onto a new graveyard, but she is moving away from her love interest in the first novel, and away from everything that is familiar and safe.

Asher Falls is in a world of its own. A creepy world that seems to have its own rules and far too many secrets for Amelia’s liking. Very quickly it becomes obvious that everyone is protecting their own interests, and no-one is telling her the full truth of the situation.

Like the first, this book was deliciously dark and beautifully written. I quickly overcame the brief confusion I had at finding that Amelia and Devlin were not an item any longer, and poured myself into the mysteries within these pages. The book this time seems less about the graveyard, and more to do with the skeletons in the towns closet, and what they mean for Amelia. We finally learn more about her parentage and origins, and how she came to have the ability to see, and communicate, with the dead.

Amelia has spent a lot of her life playing by her fathers rules, which have until now kept her safe, but this town, and the people in it (living and dead), have their own agenda’s. Amelia has never been more at risk, and there were plenty of times I was on the edge of my seat, eager to find out how everything would come together at the end.

That said, it’s not a perfect book by any means. Amelia is in danger a lot and she makes some awfully risky decisions. I could understand some of them, but others felt like they were a little bit on the not-so-smart side for a character I felt was pretty savvy in the first book.

However, I still really enjoyed it and went straight from this book to the third in the series, which will be released later this year. I’ll be reviewing that closer to it’s release – but I can tell you that I really enjoyed that one too!