#Review “Hunted: A New Adult Supernatural Thriller: A Jonathan Harker Novel Book 1” by Christopher Draven


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Title: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel

Author: Christopher Draven

Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

3/5 Stars!

Missed the Thrills…

Jonathan Harker is a mage of indeterminate years, dedicated to eradicating mankind of the dark forces of evil most aren’t aware even exist.

Harker has spent lifetimes destroying demons all over the world, and when he awakens beaten, bloodied and bound to a chair, the human-born mage is incredulous. With no memory of how he fell to his situation, the reader follows Jonathan on the journey to find out how (and why) he was duped.

It’s revealed Jonathan’s transgressions against all things Dark and Supernatural have put him at the top of their hitlist and a contract has been made. He’s wanted by The Source (of all dark magic? Of all evil?)… alive.

Jonathan Harker is being hunted… but has he been caught?

When I first read the synopsis of Hunted, I quickly volunteered to read it as part of a blog tour and was excited to get started once I received the ARC. Unfortunately, by page 25, my excitement had cooled.

If Harker were real, he’d be the person at the dinner party everyone avoids because he never shuts up. He loves the sound of his own voice and explains… everything.

This is Jonathan’s story and of course, the backstory is necessary to understand him and his current plight.

My issue with Jonathan is almost every time he opened his mouth, it was an info dump. He couldn’t use or look at a weapon without explaining its history and/or uses. He couldn’t think of a spell without explaining where he learned it, who taught him, how it worked OR why it would or wouldn’t work in his current battle.

World-building is a necessity of any story and mandatory with dealing with the supernatural, but Jonathan’s inner monologue and storytelling became annoying because it took me out of the story.

In the midst of fighting with demons and demon-kin, Harker spent too much time telling instead of showing. The man is fighting for his life and about to deliver a fireball… but stops to explains fireballs. Battle scenes were laborious because too much time is spent in his head.

We meet several interesting characters in Hunted. Kitchen witch Momma Dee, Rroma Clover, and even Demon Prince Cresh. All interact with Jonathan, but HE tells us their backstory. Would have been more enjoyable for me to have their stories shared as dialogue.

With the nature of supernatural beings, there’s always subjects not spoken of, events glazed over, and information not shared… and Jonathan felt compelled to share quite a bit of it in his thoughts.

It’s understood most characters only matter as far as how they relate to the protagonist, especially if there will be more characters introduced in future books. However, this would have been a richer story for me had Jonathan shared the spotlight with his backup cast more—generating more dialogue and more showing, less telling—than yammering on for pages.

There is a good story here. It’s why I wanted to read Hunted, the blurb drew me in. But it is buried in Jonathan’s head and the way he shares it—for me—is exhausting.

Hunted takes place in a twenty-four-hour period. Twenty-four-hours for Harker to find them before they find him… again. Yet, I never felt a sense of urgency. I was never on the edge of my seat swiping the screen to find out what happened next. I know I’m in the minority, but I never felt the thrills of this thriller. I’m also confused as to why Hunted is considered ‘new adult’. It isn’t–well, at least I don’t feel it is. It’s not a genre I read often (or at all) and had those words been included in the info of the initial email I received, I would never have volunteered to read it. But, after reading it, I don’t get the title. Shrugs.

Would I read the next book? Honestly, I don’t know. The premise still interests me, I’m just over the man who needs to get over himself—Jonathan Harker.


Hunted coverSlinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.


~ Author Bio ~

Christopher DravenChristopher Draven has worked as an instructional designer, newspaper journalist, and ghost writer.

One soggy Monday morning, he committed to leaving behind the soul-stealing work of corporate puppetry and escaped to a meadow where he could concentrate on his passion. Since that fateful day, Christopher has focused on learning the craft of fiction.

Links

Print – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547126868/

eBook – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071NZC3Z9/

www.christopherdraven.com

twitter: @writerdraven

email: info@christopherdraven.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16042473.Christopher_Draven

https://www.facebook.com/WriterDraven

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#Review “I Used to Cry: The Essence of Essence” by E.N. Hardy


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“I Used to Cry: The Essence of Essence”

by E.N. Hardy

Genre: African-American/Coming of Age/Urban

Release Date: July 1, 2017

4/5 Stars!


A powerful story of a young girl who grew up much too fast due in part to her own actions and the actions/inactions of those who should have been guiding and protecting her.

A smart girl, Essence ‘Nikki’ Huggins’ potential to achieve leaps off the page. Unfortunately, her father’s abandonment and mother’s poor relationship choices do serious damage to Nikki’s self-esteem. Add in her issues with her plus-size body-type and Essence is a child looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong ways and places.

One of these ‘wrong’ encounters further diminishes Nikki’s opinion of herself and costs her what could be the love of her life.

Trying to move on, Nikki’s desperate need for attention leads her down some pathways no woman should have to deal with… so watching a child do it was heartbreaking.

Parents aren’t perfect and make their share of mistakes, but I was less than impressed with Nikki’s mom, Esther, and Stacy’s mom.

While Esther had her ‘motherly’ moments, IMHO, she was too self-absorbed in her own drama to properly nurture her own children. Allowing Nikki to smoke weed and drink (and even doing those things with her daughter) was bad enough, but when she offered to fix fourteen-year-old Nikki up with a twenty-seven-year-old man, I was done.

Despite her ongoing setbacks, Nikki is a hard worker and never backs down from a challenge. She refuses to be just another welfare mother. She will not be dictated to. Nikki does want more and that desire leads her to work two jobs and continue her education at night and earn a degree. At times, she would persevere with little or no outside support and accomplish what women twice her age failed to. Nikki is not some weak-minded child willing to perpetuate a stereotype. She is stronger than even she realizes. But Nikki was her own worst enemy and self-sabotaged. Maybe not consciously… but she still did.

None of the men who passed through Nikki’s life were worthy of her. I believe deep inside she knew that. Yet, fueled by her cravings for attention and love, Nikki allowed herself to be abused and used physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially time and time again.

Any sympathy I had for Nikki changed to apathy when after finally reaching adulthood and making positive life changes, her relationship choices didn’t improve. Even when the truth is laid out in front of her, Nikki is slow to end what is probably her most toxic relationship yet.

And that’s why book 1 ends the way it does.

I Used to Cry is well-written, grammatical and editing errors are minor, but there is confusion over Nikki’s last name–Huggins/Hudgins.

I Used to Cry is a journey that has more downs than ups. But there is change and growth, and it’s honest and raw… and a journey worth taking. I recommend it and am looking forward to book 2.

Enjoy!

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“Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel” by Christopher Draven #Excerpts


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Hunted coverTitle: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel

Author: Christopher Draven

Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.


~ Book Excerpts ~

Excerpt 1

 My brain righted itself, and I could pull my thoughts together.

Neither demon seemed to possess magic. Instead, the creatures relied on their strength and speed. There was no matching those physical attributes. To survive, I would need to use a different tactic. Direct confrontation had failed, twice. My next trick was misdirection.

“Tell me,” I said. “How did a low-powered summoner rank high enough to afford two Demon Nobles?”

Both demons, who were whispering to one another across the room, turned to face me.

“You know us,” Cresh said with a tone of surprise. The demon still pressed one hand tightly against his wounded side.

“Yes,” I said.

“You knew and you still entered to battle?”

“To be fair,” I said. “I had no idea who was waiting.”

Cresh huffed a small laugh; Mindal growled.

Well, I thought. I know which one is the smart one.

Excerpt 2

Growing up, Momma Dee was no great beauty. She was an average looking woman with an above average talent for “kitchen and witchen” work. And while mastery in baking was an excellent skill in the real world, it didn’t make the boys at school go wild.

The girl who brought cookies to class was popular while the cookies lasted. Once the final cookie was eaten, the novelty wore off, and the beautiful girl was popular again. Such was the fickleness of boys – and men.

Excerpt 3

A crack of thunder, followed by a wave of warped air, exploded out from my hand – ripping my fingers wide.

The pressure of the trick slammed into Cresh when he was only a few inches away. The counter-force of the magic pushed me back against the wall, threatening to knock me down; but I kept my balance. The drywall behind me fractured and buckled.

Cresh was struck, the force of the power stopping him in mid-air. Ripples of energy warped the air around the demon. The strength of the magic overwhelmed his momentum and held.

Growling in frustration, Cresh waited until the magic, gravity, and his inertia canceled each other out. The force was quickly spent, and natural laws were reinstated. Cresh dropped to the ground, landing with unnatural grace.

The whole exchange did nothing but stop the demon from falling on top of me. Cresh stepped forward, completely unfazed, and reached out to take hold of me.

The familiar sensations of dread, nerves, and fear crept up my spine. I hated the part of me that fell so easily into fright – the human part. I had faced creatures best left unnamed, and every time I felt the fear. A fear I first experienced when confronted with death and eternal damnation.

The sense of impending doom threatened to overwhelm my will. I fought back, channeled my power into a single strike, and unleashed a torrent of magic upon the demon.

And I missed.


~ Author Bio ~

Christopher DravenChristopher Draven has worked as an instructional designer, newspaper journalist, and ghostwriter.

One soggy Monday morning, he committed to leaving behind the soul-stealing work of corporate puppetry and escaped to a meadow where he could concentrate on his passion. Since that fateful day, Christopher has focused on learning the craft of fiction.

Links

Print – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547126868/

eBook – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071NZC3Z9/

www.christopherdraven.com

twitter: @writerdraven

email: info@christopherdraven.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16042473.Christopher_Draven

https://www.facebook.com/WriterDraven

“Hunted (A Jonathan Harker Novel)” by Christopher Draven


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Hunted front cover

Title: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel

Author: Christopher Draven

Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.

Author Bio

Christopher DravenChristopher Draven has worked as an instructional designer, newspaper journalist, and ghostwriter.

One soggy Monday morning, he committed to leaving behind the soul-stealing work of corporate puppetry and escaped to a meadow where he could concentrate on his passion. Since that fateful day, Christopher has focused on learning the craft of fiction.

Links

Print – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1547126868/

eBook – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071NZC3Z9/

www.christopherdraven.com

twitter: @writerdraven

email: info@christopherdraven.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16042473.Christopher_Draven

https://www.facebook.com/WriterDraven

“Origins of an Alpha: Beast of Red Moon Ranch (An Arranged Marriage Romance)” by Morgan Rae

99¢ at the time of posting!


“Origins of an Alpha: Beast of Red Moon Ranch (An Arranged Marriage Romance)”

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban/Shifters

Release Date: May 19, 2016

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What would you do to save your family…and yourself?

It’s a new era, a time of free love and women’s lib. So why did Mae McCullen agree to marry a total stranger at her father’s request? Ever the good girl, the solid one, she thinks it’s all to keep her family’s land and money secure. Instead, her father is hiding a much darker secret, one that is too wild to be real.

Scott Westmore doesn’t much care who he marries. After all, one human is the same as the next. But with the intense feeling that he’s losing touch with his human side, a marriage of convenience seems like an easy way to tether himself to reality and keep his Beast under control.

But when a shaman’s orphan has other plans for the shifter clans, ones that will curse the alpha into an animal existence forever, Mae must break the curse if she has any hope of keeping her bear…but only if he’s willing to stay.

“Denai Storm (Excalibar Investigations Series)” by Tiffany Shand #NEW


Title: Denai Storm

Author: Tiffany Shand

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

After her husband, Jason is kidnapped, Denai witch Cate McCray will stop at nothing to get him back. Along with her team of enforcers, Cate and her allies venture into the country of Setara to find Jason and bring him home.

But going into the heart of the Covenant’s territory comes with its own risks and saving Jason could have dangerous repercussions. Back at home, the team faces a killer lurking on the streets of their city. What kind of new enemy have the Covenant sent after them now, and what price will they all have to pay for going up against them?


Excerpt

With a wave of her hand, Cate sent the Elody crashing to the floor.

“Guards, stop her!” Elody screamed.

Blasts of kinetic energy hurtled towards Cate. She raised her hand, deflecting it away from her as she advanced towards Elody.

“Charlie? Drake? Where are you?” Steve asked. “We’re under attack.”

“We’re kind of busy right now, Dad,” Charlie answered.

“Remember that stunner I gave you for your birthday? Did you bring it?”

She felt in the pocket of her dress. “You said only use it in a dire emergency. Of course, I brought it.”

“Good. Use it on Cate and get the hell out of there.”

Drake yanked Charlie out of the way as a kinetic blast came at them. She felt the burn of invisible energy against her skin. Drake hurled fireballs at the Devas which barely stunned them.

“What about Jason?” Charlie prompted, pulling her stunner out of her dress. “We can’t just leave him here.”

“We—” Steve cried out.

Charlie’s heart stopped for a moment. “Dad? Dad, are you okay?” she asked. “Jalen? Alva? Are you there?” She glanced at Drake when no response came. “You need to go. Go help my dad, I’ll stay here with Cate.”

“Not bloody likely!” Drake protested.

She’s fists clenched. What was it with men and their over protectiveness? Hell, she might be younger but she was still a McCray.

A Deva came at them, about to strike Drake. “No!” Charlie cried. A blast of energy shot out of her hand, sending the Death Dealer crashing across the floor. She looked down at her hand in surprise. “That’s new.” She met Drake’s gaze. “Please, I can’t lose my dad and it looks like I can handle myself against the Devas.”

Drake’s jaw clenched. “I will be right back. If anything happens, I will not be happy with you, little witch.”

Drake shimmered out as Charlie turned her attention back to the battle. More Devas seemed to be appearing, Cate took them out one by one. How long before the blood rage finally consumed her?

Charlie raised her hand but nothing happened. Whatever strange power she had channeled wouldn’t be triggered so easily. She’d panicked before; so she gave into her panic and raised her hands. An invisible whirl of energy sent the Devas crashing away from her aunt and made Charlie’s long brown hair stand on end.

Elody hurled her own power at Cate, sending her staggering back a step. Cate raised her hand again, locking Elody in place.

Charlie grinned. Good, no witch could escape the control of the Grand Mistress, the leader and high priestess of all witches. Another Death Dealer came at her, clutching her by the throat before she could react. She gasped, hands flaying as she tried to fight him off.

Devas were strong; his hand locked around her throat like a vice. Charlie tried to summon her new ability again, nothing happened. Nor could she call out to Cate. Instead, she reached up, grasping the Deva’s throat. Charlie’s Denai medium powers usually only worked on spirits, but still, she reached out to compel him just as she’d seen her aunt do. Her eyes flashed black as she unleashed the power of her own touch on him. The Deva laughed, then his eyes widened as his body exploded in a burst of silver sparks.

Cate clenched her hand into a fist when she set her sight on Vicus. The Deva leader gasped as her power locked him in place.

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Author Bio

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance.  She writes both non-fiction and fiction and loves helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

Find Tiffany on:

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s blog

Facebook

Twitter

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“You Are Dead. (Sign Here Please)” by Andrew Stanek

#FREE at the time of posting!


“You Are Dead. (Sign Here Please)”

Genre: Paranormal & Urban/Humor

Release Date: November 11, 2015

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You Are Dead. (Sign Here Please) is a madcap comedy of truly ludicrous proportions. After Nathan Haynes dies, he discovers that the afterlife is run by straight-laced bureaucrats, but when he refuses to sign his 21B he is punted back to life in his insane home city of Dead Donkey. He can’t rest easy, though – the bureaucrats are out to get him and they will put his papers in order, no matter the cost. Will our hero die (again)? Will the bureaucrats trick him into filling the proper forms in? Will Nathan ever get to do his laundry? Find out in You Are Dead. (Sign Here Please)!