Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

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Thea Slavin was accepted into Princeton with exceptional piano skills without realizing that she was following in the footsteps of her long-dead sister. The mysterious sibling was kept a secret from her until she began to follow bread crumbs into the past. She promises her parents that she will leave the past alone, but when she arrives it Princeton it becomes clear that she can’t rest until she finds out what really happened, over a decade ago on that very campus.

While adjusting to the new culture, so different from her native Bulgaria, she finds herself attracted to a dark stranger who appears from shadows and the fog to tantalize her before disappearing for days on end. Following the steps her sister might have taken, talking to the professors and university staff who might remember her, Thea discovers that not everything is what it appears to be…Even the reality of the world she lives in doesn’t seem the same.

Was Thea’s sister some kind of witch, a “Wildalone” as they are known in her native Bulgaria? Did she do rituals in hopes of gaining favor from the gods? Did she believe herself to be a supernatural being? Was she losing her mind? How does the sexy stranger tie into all of the confusion? What about the creepy janitor who is always appearing to let her into locked doors?

Wildalone, by Krassi Zourkova, is a haunting story about a girl who stumbles into a dark world where the lines between fantasy and reality seem blurred, and her own sanity is questioned at every turn. Is she imagining these events and descending into madness, the path which many believe her sister took before she died and disappeared? Was someone she met every day involved in the disappearance of her sister? Who knows more than they are letting on? Will she be able to scrape through the fog and discover what is real before she meets her sister’s fate? If you like fiction that has a touch of supernatural, Wildalone is an original twist on a story that melds fantasy with the everyday.

Help for the Haunted by John Searles

help for the haunted by john searles

Sylvie Mason does not live a normal life. Her parents are in the business of paranormal activity-they offer “Help for the Haunted” to those in need, offering prayer and peace to souls in torment. They call themselves demonologists. This, of course, means that Sylvie has never been able to hold onto friends, and she has a hard time fitting in. Critics constantly attack her and her family wherever they travel, and they travel regularly to do talks about the paranormal at conventions and events. Strange people are always seeking the help of the Masons for loved ones who are “haunted” or “possessed”. Sylvie accepts the life she has been born into, but her sister, Rose, is not only skeptical, but highly rebellious and confrontational. Life is strained in the Mason household, and on a night like many others, the Masons receive a phone call and tell Sylvie she is to load up into the family car, without much explanation. Her parents left that car, but they never returned. When Sylvie wakes up, she finds that her entire world is gone, and the mystery surrounding the deaths of her mother and father hangs over her heavily.

When the man originally cleared for the murder of her parents is suddenly cleared by an alibi, Sylvie goes on a mission to find out what truly happened to her mother and father that night, and what has been kept from her by everyone around her for her entire life. This takes her down a path with a conclusion so shocking, readers will be stunned. If you like the paranormal, you will be enthralled by Help for the Haunted, by John Searles, through to the very last page. Readers who love the mystery of Emily Arsenault (Miss Me When I’m Gone and In Search of the Rose Notes) will also enjoy this wonderfully eerie novel. Top marks from this reviewer.

Paranormal Romance of 2012

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Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Fallen Angels, Demons, Witches, Fairies, Pixies, Gods and Goddesses, the genre of paranormal romance, which took the world by storm some years ago, is still going strong, with a devoted following. Here are some authors and some of their 2012 releases, for those of you who try to keep up.

Kerrelyn Sparks’ Wild About You (Love at Stake #13) brings you Elsa Bjornberg, home renovating TV personality with a family curse brought upon her, and the Were Bear, Howard, who will stop at nothing to have her.

Sable Grace’s Chosen (Dark Breed #3) stars half-vampire, half lychen Kyana, a warrior protecting the earth from supernatural takeover who is in love with a supreme being.

Lynsay Sands’ The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau #17), in which Vampire Jeanne Louise Argeneau is kidnapped by a man who doesn’t realize just what he’s getting himself into, and the connection between the two becomes more important than anything in the world.

Juliana Stone’s King of the Damned (League of Guardians #2) introduces a fallen Angel, Azaiel, who wants more than anything to atone for his past mis-deeds and comes across sexy Witch, Rowan, bringing them both into a quest to avoid damnation for once and for all.

If you love paranormal romance novelists like Laurel K Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Pamela Palmer, etc, and you haven’t tried one or all of these authors, be sure to give them a sampling and decide if they will be your next paranormal romance obsession!

Rogue Rider by Larissa Ione

roguerider-200x321Rogue Rider, by Larissa Ione, is Book 4 of Lords of Deliverance series, which is made up of Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, and Lethal Rider.   The series is about the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, (actually 3 horsemen and one horsewoman), born to bring on, or end, the Apocalypse, depending on the prophecy in play and the translators…These immortal beings have superhuman strength and very bad tempers…Not people you should mess with. As you follow the series, these unstoppable beings, one by one, learn the meaning of true love and find a more noble path to their destiny, sending a few bad guys back to hell along the way.

Rogue Rider is about Reseph, the Horseman responsible for Pestilence on earth, who goes from good to evil and back again, in a constant struggle as the power tempts him to turn to the dark side and join Lucifer in taking over heaven. He wakes up with no memory of who he is, and Jillian Cardiff finds him in the snow on her property. She helps him back to her house and feeds him, and she decides to help him figure out who he is and what he was doing out in a snowstorm. She has no idea that he is immortal or anything other than a VERY sexy stranger with amnesia. As they become friends, the sexual tension between them becomes almost unbearable, until they finally give in to the lust they share. But Lucifer is still trying to take over the world and demons are running loose on earth in the meantime. Reseph will have to figure out who he is and how to fight his own internal demons, then take down the enemy threatening his new life and his family. Can he overcome the evil once and for all?

This novel is a paranormal romance, and it definitely borders on the erotica side of the spectrum. It’s very graphic, both violently and sexually, and the language is very colorful. If you think you can handle some very sexual demons and fallen angels, this series (and Rogue Rider) will not disappoint. The audiobook format is also excellent if you like to listen to your smutty romance…But don’t drive off the road in distraction when things get steamy!

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Diana Bishop is back in the second installment in the All Souls Trilogy-the first book of which was called A Discovery of Witches and was insanely popular among paranormal romance readers. In Shadow of Night, Diana and the sexy vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont have time traveled back to Elizabethan England to find the famous manuscript, Ashmole 782,  that started the saga in the first novel. Diana and Matthew must get the manuscript to keep it out of the wrong hands, and every supernatural creature wants the book for his kind, and is willing to take out Diana and Matthew in the process-but the hero and heroine are determined to save the supernatural world by preserving the book and the current status quo between the species.

Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, and MANY other historical figures make their way into the plot of the story, so if you love historical fiction, you will be tickled by the references made and the excellent attention to detail that the author, Deborah Harkness, is well-known for. If you read the first novel, you won’t want to miss the second, and if you haven’t, I suggest you start from the beginning!

Readers who enjoyed The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe, and The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston, will love the A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. Paranormal romance with a touch of history and elements of magic with hints of time travel….