Reviews for Black Magic Prey

To help launch Black Magic's Vendetta (Book 3 of the Siren Song Series), I did a blog tour this week in conjunction with Damp Pebbles Tours. In addition to a lovely interview and book excerpt, I also got so many great reviews from these fantastic book bloggers in both the US and UK.
"...a great read that had me enthralled, glued to the book, and wasn't something I had ever read before!" said Dash Fan Book Reviews.
"...kept me reading from start to finish and was unlike anything I have come across before. A bold and unique read from a confident writer," says A Little Book Problem.
"There were a lot of twists and turns in the book and I was kept wondering what was going to happen next," says Books, Tea, Healthy Me.
"...if you are looking for a book with mystery, charm, a hint of sexiness, a dash of dark magic and will take you away from the mundaneness of the every day this will suit you," says Booksbehindthetitle
This is my first blog tour and…

An Ember in the Ashes: A Review


Anyone who tells you dystopian fantasy is done for has not yet read an Ember in the Ashes. With such mixed reviews, I almost gave up on this gem before I even began, but I'm so glad I read it.

Laia lives under the brutal dictatorship of the Martial Empire, a brutal Spartan-like regime. After her brother is arrested and her grandparents killed, she seeks help from the Resistance to get her brother back. They agree, but only if she'll act as a spy in the Commandant's household. As it happens, the Commandant's son is Elias, the academy's finest recent graduate and unwilling soldier.

This book hits a lot of the normal YA tropes, but they are done perfectly, without the silly contrivances that so often mar other books. Laia is a normal teenage girl who rises to greatness because of her extraordinary circumstances, not because she's a "badass." There are no ninety-pound little girls beating up grown me…

In The Shadow of the Moon: Netflix delivers a modern scifi masterpiece

The first act of Netflix's sneaky new scifi flick is some of the most riveting storytelling in quite some time.

A title card tells us our story starts in Philidelphia, our nation's birthplace, in 2024. We see an empty office, bland and unremarkable. The camera pans and we notice there's a breeze in the room. Odd. Highrise offices generally don't have windows that open.

Then we see the windows have all been broken. The camera pulls us, almost against our will, closer to the blown out windows so we can see the devastation below. A hole in the pavement, in the buildings. Smoke. Sirens. And then, a partially burned American flag falling from above. But it's not quite an American flag.

The number of stars... is wrong.

With that shot, we are hurled back to 1988 to meet Thomas, a young beat cop in Philly. He's working night shifts in the hopes of making detective, making his heavily pregnant wife pancakes at 10 PM. This is the story we were promised in the blurb Netf…

Good Omens is Good for a Laugh... and that's it

Michael Sheen and David Tennant are fantastic in everything they do. Literally everything. Including Prime's Good Omens. When I saw the preview for this show, I immediately put it on my list. Based on the novella by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens tells the hilarious (and exceedingly British) story of an angel and a demon who team up to stop the apocalypse.

Crowley is the demon who appeared in the garden as a snake to tempt Eve. He is the reason for man's expulsion from paradise. Aziraphale is an angel, one with such a tender heart that he gave his flaming sword to Adam on his way out of Eden. There are lions out there, you see. Over thousands of years, the angel and demon cross paths many times, often conspiring with each other to get out of work (performing miracles for the angel, tempting good men to evil for the demon). Finally, they are both tasked with helping bring about the apocalypse, specifically trying to influence the young antichrist.

The problem? The…

The Boys: Amazon's Aptly-Named Meditation on White Men

"White men are nice... until they're not."

I have no idea where the quote above comes from. Perhaps it doesn't come from any particular place at all. It's just a sentence that feels like a quote because it's so damn true.

The Boys is a new series on Amazon Prime based on a graphic novel of the same name. And whether it was intended to be, the show is a full-blown meditation on the modern western male, specifically the white variety. It does this with a powerful contrast between the two leads, Hughie Campbell and Billy Butcher.

Hughie is the typical white millennial male who we can assume is of Irish derivation. He's passive, indecisive, almost willfully unsuccessful, though funny and kind. He knows he is capable of more, but mustering up the courage to ask his perfectly reasonable boss for a well-deserved raise is just too hard. Certainly moving out of his dad's apartment is way out of his league, even though his lovely girlfriend/fiance is encouragi…

Why Are Modern Films Rooting for The Destruction of Humanity?

There are many things to dislike about Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The writing is worse than a made-for-tv monster movie (despite the best efforts of the award-winning cast), the effects are lazy in places, and the science... they didn't even try. And it's not even Neil Degrasse Tyson-level stuff. It's having a B2 going at Mach speeds (it can't) and having humans just chilling near multiple atomic explosions and not melting into radiation-induced pustules. But these are minor details. No one expects Godzilla movies to be Shakespeare.

My issue came with the plot, such as it was. I hate to spoil any surprises here, but the main conflict in the plot is that scientist Dr. Emma Russell, played by the lovely Vera Farminga, is working with a band of violent eco-terrorists to intentionally awaken all of "the titans," so they might destroy the earth, or at least a good portion of it. Why, you ask? Because in the last movie, when Godzilla wrecked great portions of…

The Haunting of Hill House: The Family That Haunts Me

In October 2018, Netflix released The Haunting of Hill House. When I finally watched it seven months later, I was genuinely angry I'd waited so long.

The series begins on "the last night," the night in 1992 when Hugh Crain gathered up his five children in the middle of the night, bundled them in the car, and drove them to a hotel, ignoring their questions about where Mommy was. Instead of remaining with his children at the hotel, he leaves, telling Steven, the oldest, to take care of his siblings while he goes back for Mommy. When Hugh comes back the following morning, only Nell, the youngest, is awake. She asks her father what is all over his shirt. "Just paint, honey."

The limited series is a master in horror, because it perfectly captures not only the ghost story, but the underlying horror we all feel at a number of things: dying, mental illness, losing someone we love.

The show leads the viewer deep into the mystery of Hill House and the wreckage it made o…