Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Dead of Autumn #Mystery Blog Tour

 


Today I'm featuring a fantastic new read,the fifth book in the Sheriff Piper Maxwell mystery series by USA Today Bestselling Author Jean Rabe! Check out an excerpt and the giveaway below!

 About the book:

A teenager dressed as Tinker Bell never made it to the Halloween party.

Her murders sends a ripple of fear through Piper Blackwell's rural jurisdiction.

Investigating the crime, the young sheriff and her detective are drawn into an underworld they didn't know existed.

 Can the pair survive the trip into the dark heart of once idyllic Spencer County? Can they find the killer before more lives are are destroyed and he strikes again?

BUY: The Dead of Autumn on Amazon: mybook.to/DeadofAutmn
Dead of Winter on Amazon: mybook.to/DeadofWinterAudio
The Piper Blackwell Series on Amazon: http://mybook.to/PiperBlackwellSeries


EXCERPT: 

“Who the hell would shoot Tinker Bell?” Basil mused.

The victim’s skin appeared smooth and tanned, the arms toned. Thin, delicate fingers sported gaudy rings. Her coppery-red hair was fashioned in an up-do, a diminutive ivory bedazzled top hat perched on the side with pheasant feathers attached to it. Piper really wanted to turn her over and get a better look.

“Let’s talk to the man who found her.” Piper started out of the ditch, and the detective extended a hand to help her. She whispered, “Not how I’d planned to spend Halloween, Basil.”

“I take it you had a bowl of candy ready by the front door.”

“Oh yeah,” she replied. “More than necessary probably. Nang’s stuck with treat duty.”

Piper had grabbed only the good stuff for her first Halloween in Hatfield—full-sized Milky Way bars, packets of cookies, and boxes of crayons. The entire population of her dinkburg was eight hundred, so not all that many kids were likely to come by. Still, those who did would skip away happy. She was disappointed she wouldn’t be there to see them.

“Esme’s taking our kids through the neighborhood. Promised to email me pictures.” Basil glanced at his watch. “Probably leaving in a half-hour. Shaya picked a Ruth Bader Ginsberg costume from Walmart across the river. She doesn’t know who Ginsberg was, but she liked the black robes and lace collar. Jelani is SpongeBob. I hate that cartoon. He looked cute, though.”

“Nice weather for trick-or-treating,” Piper said.

It was seventy, a few degrees above normal for the end of October in southern Indiana. She pointed across the road to a man in knee-length shorts and a Colts t-shirt, sweat stains evident around his neck and armpits. His eggshell white bicycle with BIANCHI in bold type on the frame leaned against the side of her Explorer. The man seemed intent on his cell phone, head down like he was praying to it. Piper took another look at the girl in the ditch and then headed toward him, her feet crunching against the gravel.

He looked up. “I could tell she was dead, Sheriff, didn’t touch her or anything. I watch CSI—the old reruns, not the new version. I know not to touch anything. But I called 9-1-1 right away.” He thumbed a button on his cell phone and put it in a side pocket. “I’ll admit I took a picture of her.” A pause. “To show my wife. Otherwise, Ginny’ll never believe I found a body on a ride. A real dead body. It being Halloween, I first thought maybe someone stuck a mannequin in the ditch … to scare folks. Wouldn’t spook many, though. Not much traffic out here. Not many houses. A waste of a good scare, you know. Besides, when I took a good look, I could tell it wasn’t a mannequin. In fact—”

 
About the Author:

USA Today best-seller, Jean Rabe's impressive writing career spans decades, starting as a newspaper reporter and bureau chief. From there she went on to become the director of RPGA, a co-editor with Martin H. Greenberg for DAW books, and, most notably, Rabe is an award-winning author of more than forty science fiction/fantasy and murder mystery thrillers. She writes mysteries and fantasies, because life is too short to be limited to one genre--and she does it with dogs tangled at her feet, because life is too short not to be covered in fur.
Find out more about her at www.jeanrabe.com

* Follow the rest of the blog tour:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 24, 2022

New Spooky #Fiction Story, The Colored Lens

 


Don't ya just love that cover?? 

My latest short story, "Sweet Dreams" is in the Spring issue of The Colored Lens Magazine. Hoping they'll eventually put it up on the site... Get an issue here: Buy on Amazon.

Remember those childhood fears of what was under the bed? Well, here's a glimpse as to what really happens...  An eerie, spooky story. 

** Plus!!! Another story I really liked writing called "The Ghosts of Paris" has also been accepted at another place. This was inspired by something I read about the guillotines in Paris... 

I'm loving writing these ghostly tales and seem to be do better with spur-of-the-moment ideas. Stay tuned as I have others I'm working to finish/rewrite and send out! I seem to be on a roll as this is the most I've sold in quite a while! 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Monster Anthology Rondo Awards

 


Besides this being the er, creepiest but coolest award ever (this thing would scare me sitting on a shelf as I'd forget it was there!), there are some interesting entries for the 20th annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. 

* Vote - 1 email per person to David Colton, at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight, April 17, 2022.

** If you don't know any of the entries, one suggestion is vote for Category 12 - Best Classic Horror Fiction - * Turning the Tied Anthology, edited by Jean Rabe, with stories by Jonathan Maberry, and others, and Stephen D. Sullivan has a Dracula tale.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Another Great #Zombie #Audiobook Review!

 

Another Great Review for the new Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter Audiobook @ Audible!

In part: "This is a very good and well written story. The narration is very clean and professional. This type of horror, is more fun than my usual cup of tea...." - 5 stars.

Thanks Patrick!

* Also get it on Amazon.


Monday, February 28, 2022

#Zombie and Other Writing-Publishing News!

 Thought I'd include a round-up of a few things going on:

First - Got a new 5-star review on the Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter Audiobook:  "Excellently narrated. Well done story that's fast paced and full of surprises. I recommend this book to zombie fans and followers of the Borden murders."

(Get yours with an Audible trial free or contact me (via my website) for a free audio code.)

2. The Audiobook Blog Tour is still going on! Giveaway and more! See the Silver Dagger Book Tours  Page. (ends 3/3)

3. Yay! A favorite eerie short story I wrote, "Sweet Dreams," has been accepted and will be published soon! No, zombies in this one, but it's definitely haunting! Details coming soon!

4. I'm also working on another short story, this one inspired by something historical I read online. Trying to get the ending figured out. I like this one, so hope I can get it right!

*** Whoa! New!! Check out this incredible moving image of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter! Creepy! See website book page.


Thursday, February 24, 2022

Historical: The Last Roman: Exile Blog Tour #scifi #fantasy

 

 Today I welcome B.K. Greenwood, author of The Last Roman: Exile

Think you know the story of what happened after the Crucifixion? See an interview and review below.

About the Book: 

Some debts you cannot repay, even if you live forever...

Seasoned imperial officer Marcus Sempronius Gracchus leads the 9th Roman Legion into a bloody battle against a fierce barbarian tribe. It's a battle he won't survive. When he awakens three days later, clawing his way from a shallow grave, Marcus must face the reality of his new existence. He will never see the afterlife--but that won't stop him from dying time and again over the next 2,000 years.

But Marcus is not the only one cursed with eternal life, and they are determined to bring the world crashing to its knees. Forced to confront the only brother he has ever known, can Marcus prevent the inevitable and find redemption? Follow the story of a man who should be dead, as he tries to save the world... and his soul.

* Get it on Amazon - Goodreads

 * Continue the story in Book 2, The Last Roman: Abyss.

Review: This has to be one of the most fascinating books I've read. I read a short story a while back about Lazarus which had an interesting twist: how was the once-dead man really received, other than what it says in the Biblical accounts?

Having read the Biblical accounts of the Crucifixion, you know that the Roman Centurion has the unenviable job of thrusting his spear into Jesus' side and overseeing the breaking of the thieves' legs. But... what happened after? Did he stay up nights, haunted by what he witnessed and did that day? How was he changed?

What if the Roman Centurion Marcus was changed... except in another, unexpected way, that he, too, also becomes immortal but cursed with having to die over and over.... And another man, namely  Doubting Thomas, also lives up to his name and early convictions as he, too, was equally cursed.

I loved that this book follows the men across centuries and has alternating time chapters. And it offers an interesting take with a twisted purpose far more sinister than what is hinted at in the book's back blurb. The book does get a bit weighted down in the middle with lots of fighting but...the outcome is something horrific that will make you want to read book two, at least to see where it goes. I won't give it away except to say that it's an understandable outcome, if not a repulsive one, given what happens. The result is something far more evil, sacrilegious and twisted in keeping with modern-day science and technology. 

***

An Interview with B.K. Greenwood:

What inspired the story?

Hard to say! I started book one twenty-three years ago. And honestly, I forgot exactly what inspired me! I just know that I read a bunch as a kid and at some point in my twenties, I decided I had my own story to tell!

 What was your favorite part of the story and why?

My historical flashbacks. I love history and I always try to pick an under-represented period to share with my readers. To me, I can tell a story and help people learn.

If you had to pick a setting, where would you choose to live?

Ah, that is tough. It would be hard to choose between Ancient Rome and the Napoleonic period. I find the characters and events fascinating. One helped formed Western Civilization and the other really ushered in the age of nationalism.

 What were the hardest and easiest parts of writing this book ?

Easiest are historical flashbacks because I love history and I can pick whenever I want. Hardest is the ending of book three. The pressure to get it right, as I have no additional sequels to fix any missteps. Plus, after three books, I want to leave my readers satisfied.

 What do you want readers to know about your characters?

They are human. They laugh, cry, make mistakes, don't always have the right answer. They may not make the obvious choice, because we all have blind spots. I want them to be human. Not perfect.

 How much of your own life inspired the story and how?

I would say reading inspired my story. I read voraciously as a kid and that led me to want to do my own stories. What I learned from those authors helped form my writing style.

 What work did you do before writing this book? How it prepared you (or didnt!?) for writing this and your other books? 

I still have a day job. I work for a large tech firm. It has helped on the marketing side, with understanding return on investment and doing interviews and podcasts (I have a large team that I do zoom calls with). The experience with public speaking is very helpful.

What's next? 

Finish book three, then start a prequel!

* Book 3, The Last Roman: Absolution  is on pre-order and releases March 29.

 What do you hope readers take away from this book?

I hope they are entertained and hooked on my writing style and love the characters. It's the perfect beach read or vacation book.

***

 About the Author: B.K. Greenwood lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and wolf pack of four rescue dogs. He loves to travel and has incorporated his experiences into his writing. B.K. enjoys works of fiction and nonfiction, with a heavy emphasis on history, adventure, and classics. 




* Some links go to affiliate sites which may offer small compenstion to the posters. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter Audiobook Tour!


Celebrate the new audiobook (RELEASES TODAY 2/21)

 for Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter!



Follow along on the blog tour for a chance to win a $10 gift card and the Kindle ebook is also on sale for $1.99! * Get the audiobook here. (on sale with Kindle!) ** HEAR a sample!


* Get the
New! audiobook free with a signup at Audible. (Cancel anytime - but right now it's 3 months free!  3 month deal ends today 2/21). (*Releases 2/21).  ** LISTEN to Chapter 1 at my website. **

Follow along on the tour here: (Note: some posts may go up later)

Feb 17

* The Kickoff is up at Silver Dagger Book Tours

A Pinch of Bookdust

 

Feb 18

Girl with Pen

Liliyana Shadowlyn   

The Faerie Review

  

Feb 19

Books a Plenty Book Reviews

Scrupulous Dreams

 

Feb 20

A Wonderful World of Words

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin'      

  

Feb 21

Lady Hawkeye  

Sylv.net    

  

Feb 22

The Scratching Post

Books all things paranormal and romance

  

Feb 23

Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read  

The Book Dragon

  

Feb 24

Authors from everywhere

4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼

  

Feb 25

❧Defining Ways❧

The Sexy Nerd 'Revue'

  

Feb 26

I Smell Sheep

ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ

  

Feb 27

Readers Roost

Midnight Book Reader

  

Feb 28

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Writing Dreams

Twisted Book Ramblings

  

Mar 1

Inside the Insanity

Bedazzled By Books

eBook Addicts    

  

Mar 2

Craving Lovely Books  

Insane Books

The Bookshelf Fairy

  

Mar 3

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Teatime and Books   

Cover Love Book Blog  


Friday, February 11, 2022

What I'm Reading - and Want To #mystery #sci fi #history #apocalypse

 I often publish reading lists of books that sound interesting to me. After all, reading is   subjective, right? I may be drawn to a book's cover or blurb, but it doesn't always mean it's something that matches my reading taste. That doesn't mean it's not interesting to someone else, of course. 

For February, here are some books I think you'll fall in love with, too.

Just finished: 

 The Last Roman, Exile (Book 1), B.K. Greenwood  - This book intrigued me for its unusual take - what if that Roman Centurion who had the unenviable job of overseeing the crucifixion of Jesus and the thieves was changed by his experience - but not how you expected? What if instead he was cursed to also become immortal, living for decades, centuries, and having to die over and over? And what if he wasn't the only one? Over the centuries, Marcus faces his once-friend and now arch-enemy Doubting Thomas (yes, that Thomas) as he tries to stop a fiendish, most unholy plan made possible by modern science and technology. Fascinating.

Want to Read:


 The Last Storm
, (Pre-order, Releases July 5) ,Tim Lebbon -  In this age of droughts and near-apocalyptic events, who can resist a book where rainmakers don't bring down rain but scorpions and strange creatures? Following up on his scary 2015 novel, The Silence  (adapted in 2019 as a creepy Netflix movie centering on a family trying to escape eerie monsters that attack based on sound), Lebbon now turns to the coming apocalypse. Here, America is a desert where a young woman begins building a supposed rain-making machine. But her father, who'd thought her dead, gave up his rain-making skills when it brought down scorpions and strange creatures instead. Now, he must stop her from using her tainted gift even as others follow her, and another seeks revenge, as she conjures even more deadly storms.

 

Under the Dead Man's Hat and Under the Dead Lady's Corset, Robert W. Walker - Besides the truly eye-catching and colorful covers, fellow former Chicagoan Walker has a way of using the Windy City as a backdrop in his novels. He used it with his Inspector Ransom mysteries set in the 1800s. He used it again in a series of fun, comedic and slightly gruesome horror novellas in his Chicaghosts series (see below.) Now he uses the city as a setting for his books featuring Medical Examiner Jude Avery, and adds an equally fascinating Poe twist to book two.  

Under the Dead Man's Hat, A Jude Avery Thriller (Killing Time Book 1) Dr. Jude Avery and Dr. Sybil Shanley, medical examiners for Chicago and Cook County, Illinois go after the most wanted and vicious killers in the city. The two violent men, known as the Veteran killers, graduate to become the Nun killers, preying on the most revered and vulnerable of society.

 Under the Dead Lady's Corset, A Jude Avery Thriller (Killing Time Book 2)  - Seven years before, someone bricked up a newlywed couple, their bones residing below City Hall in Chicago, right at the City Hall train stop... When a modern-day ME takes on the case, she learns it has a lot to do with Edgar Allan Poe...

Interesting Horror-Humor Novellas:

 

Gone Gorilla, The Old Fart Squad Novella Series, (Chicaghosts Book 1),  Robert W. Walker - Gone Gorilla -Chicago history meets horror and humor as these retired cops led by former Det. Aubrey Hamilton try to find out where the 500-pound stuffed Bushman gorilla has gone. (* Read this one. A fun story and fun setting!)

The Monster Pit (Chicaghosts Book 2) - Retired Det. Aubrey Hamilton and his "Old Fart Squad" investigate what is lurking beneath Chicago's downtown as a giant hole opens up and small animals, etc. disappear. 

Goatbusters, (Chicaghosts Book 3) - This time the retired Chicago detectives must track down where and why  trail bikers and kayakers are disappearing along a stretch of the Chicago River. It urns out they are disappearing into the river with a bizarr0 creature ripping them apart and feeding them to its babies. Where'd the monster come from? 

The Heads Have Eyes, (Chicaghosts Book 4) When a new strain of 'smart' spiders emerge in Chicago known as Chi-racnids, heads will roll, as these parasitic spiders make babies inside humans. Specifically inside human heads, until the weight of the growing horde inside the skull becomes too heavy for the brain stem and spinal cord to support.

What I'm Reading:

The Dead of... Mystery Series by Jean Rabe. - This mystery series by USA Today Bestselling Author Rabe has grown from an initial offering, The Dead of Winter: A Piper Blackwell Mystery, to the upcoming fifth book, The Dead of Autumn. It's been interesting following a youngish new sheriff in a small Indiana town who takes over the job after her father fights cancer and watch how she's grown, both personally and professionally. Coming out around May, book five (which I'm pre-reading), is interesting for its Halloween elements,  a couple of murders with a unique twist, and seeing how Sheriff Piper Blackwell, her chief detective and staff follow the clues and trail a killer. Great characters, great writing, and an interesting murder mystery overall make this one for the must-read list.


 The Five: The Untold Stories of the Five Women Killed by Jack the Ripper,
Hallie Rubenhold. 

I spotted this book in The Mighty Girl page on Facebook and thought it sounded fascinating. We all think we know about "the five" - the five "fallen" women killed by the notorious Jack the Ripper--- or do we? Love that time period and it's always interesting to read a new take on the Ripper murders so I had to pick this up at the library. 


* Posts include affiliate links which may provide some compensation.


Monday, February 7, 2022

Lizzie Borden, #Zombie Hunter Audiobook Out! #horror

 

The Audiobook of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter is now available! Get a freebie here! via Audible. Or BUY on Amazon with the Kindle.

Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her father 40 whacks... Actually it wasn't 40 but. why? What if Lizzie did it because her father had turned into... a zombie?


The ebook is also on sale! See both here. (Or.... a deal: If you have the Kindle version already, the audio is only $7.47!)

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Lizzie Borden Speaks! and #Zombies

 

What if Lizzie Borden's words came to life?

Hear what happened that fateful day in 1892 when her father and stepmother were brutally murdered in a vicious axe attack... why did Lizzie do it? 

Hear a snippet! 

** Give it a listen at my website here! 


 ***  The audio version of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter will be coming out soon, with wonderful narration by Brennan Koenigsreuter. Stay tuned for details!!! Check website- www.cverstraete.com  for updates as well! 


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

New #Zombie Audiobook Coming Soon! #horror


 Finally! The last few months I've been busy working on - TA-DA!  The audio version of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter will be coming out soon, with wonderful narration by Brennan Koenigsreuter. Stay tuned for details!!! Check website- www.cverstraete.com -  for updates as well! 


Friday, January 14, 2022

Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters Series #paranormal #scifi

 


With the new year, it's back to a favorite paranormal-sci fi series I loved reading last year.

Finally got the new one, The Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley by Mercedes Lackey and glad that so far it sounds as good as the past ones. Yes, it opens with some abuse as a young girl is beaten by the Wolf family (yes, shape-shifting wolves) who took her from the foster care facility, but she manages to escape and seems to also have a magical gift. She remembers being covered by fairies but thinks it was all a dream. That's as far as I got, but we'll see what happens. 

* Enjoyed it. Common elements with others, but an interesting take on the legendary shooter, werewolves and I think tying it in partly to the Red Riding Hood and the wolf tale. I hope there will be more in the series! (See description below.)

I'm reposting my list from last year and glad to see I missed a couple so will have to get those. I swore I had read them all. 

The Elemental Masters Series: (marked as read)

 
 

* NOTE: Apparently when this series began, there was another book published originally by Baen Books. Amazon still lists it as the first book as well, so I added the cover and link here. (I'm excited as that gives me another book in the series to read. I don't want it to end!)

* 1. The Fire Rose - A Beauty and Beast tale. A medieval scholar is hired to read ancient manuscripts, in near-forgotten dialects. Her employer's interest is anything but academic as he seeks how to correct a misfired spell. (Enjoyed it!)

-------------------
 
The Serpent's Shadow, A reimagining of Snow White set in India in Edwardian England.

The Gates of Sleep, After the mysterious death of  her parents, Marina is taken into the care of her aunt, who exudes a dark evil and is set on destroying the girl she cursed as a baby. Based on Sleeping Beauty.

3  Phoenix and Ashes, A dark take on the Cinderella story when after the death of her father, Eleanor Robinson comes under the care of an evil stepmother who performs a dark ritual tying the girl to the home's hearth.

  
 * The Wizard of London, In this dark retelling of The Snow Queen, 12-year-old Sarah Jane Lyon-White is in need of more training and protection when her teacher in charge of training those with "special" talents learns a powerful Elemental Master wants Sarah dead because of her rare skills as a true medium. (Their story continues in book 11.)

* Reserved for the Cat, Unknown to Ninette Dupond, a dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet, a magical cat sent to protect her is actually an Elemental Spirit. As she follows the suggestion to impersonate a Russian ballerina, she doesn't know the spirt of the real balleina has been absorbed by a dark spirit bent on the dancer's destruction.

*Unnatural Issue,  (I'm looking on Goodreads to figure out some of the fairy tales these are based on. This apparently is based on Donkeyskin, a French fairy tale by Charles Perrault first published in 1695, whose queen asks the King to marry someone more beautiful than her after she dies.) In this retelling, the reclusive Kng Richard Whitestone wants nothing to do with his daughter, Sarah, also an Earth Master who lives in another wing of the castle after his wife died in childbirth. Richard increasingly becomes obsessed with bringing his wife back to life through necromancy. He needs an appropriate vessel - like the daughter who's the image of her mother.

 

* 7  Home From The Sea,  (Someone on Goodreads mentioned this is a part sequel to The Wizard of Londonand introduces a grown-up Nan and Sarah.) Mari Prothero turns 16 and learns her family's fishing luck depends on each generation marrying a sea-dweller. (Mermaids and mermen it turns out.) (Is this based on the Greek tales of Poseidon perhaps or?) 

 8  Steadfast, (A Goodreads comment mentions it's a "loose" retelling of The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a Hans Christian Anderson tale of a soldier's love for a Russian ballerina.) A circus performer, Katie Langford loses her parents in a fire and later flees an abusive marriage.  She soon learns she's a Fire Master, but something has blocked her powers. The doorman, also a Fire Master and a "steadfast" man, tries to help her before her Element blazes out of control.

Blood Red, Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Rosamund, an Earth Master, was rescued by her adoptive papa after her teacher was murdered by werewolves. Rosa agrees to help two Hungarian magicians investigating a string of murders. But she doesn't know one is a hereditary werewolf, and there is a third kind that can transform themselves at will. 

              

* 10 From A High Tower, In this retelling of Rapunzel, Giselle a young Air Master has been isolated for the sake of herself and others. When a young man tries to climb into her window, she's saved by her mother, an Earth Master. When she's 20, she cuts her hair and enters shooting competitions to support herself, but wonders if that man, whose body was never found, will come back to attack her. Certain his magic saved him, is she prepared to stand against him. (So far I've enjoyed the series, but this one lost my interest. I read halfway and decided to quit on it. Some inconsistencies and it lost me.)

* 11 A Study in SableThis book introduces Sherlock Holmes and the Watsons to the series. Working with Lord Alderscroft, the Elemental Fire Master known as the Wizard of London, (see book 4) since leaving school., psychic Nan Killian and medium Sarah Lyon-White—along with their clever birds, the raven Neville and the parrot Grey—have a new assignment - to work with the famous man living at 221 Baker Street next to the famous Mr. Holmes. Dr. John Watson and his wife Mary, themselves Elemental Masters of Water and Air, take the occult cases John’s more famous friend disdains. Now they'll need every skill to confront and eliminate the mysterious and deadly entity that nearly killed them as children: the infamous Haunt of Number 10 Berkeley Square. 

* 12 A Scandal in BatterseaChristmas is a special time for Psychic Nan Killian and Medium Sarah Lyon-White and their ward Suki, who are determined to celebrate it properly.  It is special for their friends, Doctor John Watson, and his wife Mary, both Elemental Masters, who have found great delight in the season seeing it through young Suki’s eyes. It's also special for dark forces... As women and girl begin disappearing and others go mad, they and the Watsons called to examine the victims find it'll take their combined powers, magic and the greatest detective to stop the powers of darkness.  (* A sequel to book 11.)

 

13  The Bartered Brides, Mercedes Lackey -  Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Watson (and his wife) are also Elemental Masters who help two other Masters/Sleuths when girls keep disappearing and others are found dead. This has a strange paranormal link to Holmes' old nemesis, Professor Moriarty. 

* 14 The Case of the Spellbound Child, The opening line makes you wonder: Alf grinned as he pushed open the whorehouse door into the damp London night. This one also involves Holmes (still presumed dead) and the Watsons, and children missing in the Dartmoor bog. 

15  JoleneThe latest in noted sci fi/fantasy author Mercedes Lackey's offerings, Jolene, offers a slight twist on the Dolly Parton song of the same name, with the unusual paranormal and magical elements she's known for.

This, #15 and the latest in her Elemental Masters series, which reimagines classic fairy tales, centers on a retelling of the Queen of the Copper Mountain and is set in America for the first time. Set around Tennessee's coal mines, the story centers on a poor girl Anna May who's sent to live with her aunt, the local herbal, "witchy" woman. Anna May works on developing her magical powers even as she falls in love with the local stone mason, who also has caught the eye of the mysterious and magical Jolene. 

REVIEW: Great story and characters, though the heavy use of dialect for Anna May was hard to read and had me skipping over those parts. But it's a great story. 

New January 2021:


 
* 16. The Silver Bullets of Annie Oakley,   Annie Oakley has always suspected there is something "uncanny" about herself, but has never been able to put a name to it. But when Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show goes on tour through Germany, Bill temporarily hires a new sharpshooter to be part of his "World Wide Congress of Rough Riders": a woman named Giselle, who also happens to be an Elemental Master of Air. Alongside this new performer, Annie discovers that she and her husband, Frank, are not simply master marksman, but also magicians of rare ability.

Also new:
 

Briarheart A teen version of an adaptation of Sleeping Beauty. (See Book 2 above, The Gates of Sleep, in the series.) She's the child of Alethia and her previous husband, the King's Champion, who died fighting for the king, and she has no ambitions to rule. When her new baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she's ecstatic. She adores the baby, who seems perfect in every way. But on the day of Aurora's christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power. Soon, Miriam is charged with being trained in both magic and combat to act as chief protector to her sister. But shadowy threats are moving closer and closer to their kingdom, and Miriam's dark power may not be enough to save everyone she loves, let alone herself.