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Stolen Ink by Holly Evans

What a pleasant surprise to find Holly Evans’ first book in the Ink Born series. I recently interviewed Danielle Ackley-McPhail, one of the editors of the Bad-Ass Faeries anthology series and she mentioned Evans as an author she thought was going places. I’d have to agree with her on that one!

Evans takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that and tosses in a dash of this other thing over here and makes a world that is both familiar and different at the same time. In a city that could be anywhere, but most likely in England, resides Dacian. Dacian, or Dan, is a tattoo magician. He can help draw out the tattoo that his clients are meant to have. There is much more to it than that, but I don’t want to take away from the fun of discovery.

Oh, and did I mention that he has two tattoo animals, a cat named Kyra and a snake named Aris; a best friend who is his tattoo partner, former lover, and an elf; that he has dreamwalker and shapeshifter friends? Or that he is a lonely gay man in a world of magic and intrigue that seems to leave little time – or desire – for anything long-term? Or that he has a deep secret that he won’t even tell his best friend?

You’ll just have to read the book to find out about that secret!

Dacian feels compelled to get involved in a series of mysteries tattoo related magical deaths. He’s drawn to the killer through the ink. Like many a hero in fantasy he is reluctant and fights it all the way kicking and screaming. But along the way he learns something about himself, something that he is afraid to share with anyone and something that might lead to him having to flee for his life and leave everything behind that he has worked so hard to create – his tattoo business, his friends, and a budding romance that he didn’t even want.

If you like fantasy, faeries, magic, mystery, and a dash of romance this is a book for you. The love scenes are subtle and won’t even make you blush to read them on the bus or in a coffee-house. The action is intense at times and the road to self-discovery for Dacian is one that I do not envy him.

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Lammas Night, a mini review

Many years ago I came across Katherine Kurtz and her books. In particular, Lammas Night sticks out in my mind. It is a book that I go back to time and time again. Usually right around this time of year. Probably the title. *wry grin*

The book is partially based on fact. Though Kurtz takes large artistic license with what facts she represents in the book. Not just the bits of history from World War II and the British monarchy of the time, but exploring the connection between the throne and the land throughout British history.

Let’s put it this way… Kurtz takes a page from the history books about the supposed witch crafting that repelled the Spanish Armada and applies that to the WWII contemporary story of Dion Fortune and several other magical practitioners of her time doing a similar working to repel the Nazi’s. Combine that with unexpected change in the order of succession of the British royal family and flashes to the past and Thomas Becket’s role in the repulsion of the Spanish Armada and you’ve got quite the story.

What we do know for sure about the planned Nazi invasion is that the skies suddenly clouded over, a heavy fog covered the land and the Nazis were unable to land as planned. Whether Dion Fortune and her contemporaries had anything to do with it is anyone’s guess. Katherine Kurtz takes to that idea and more.

Lammas Night takes you on a journey through a war-torn country with elements of magic and politics. She certainly knows how to tell a story, and one that is believable. With elements of past lives and reincarnation, royal intrigue, and references to Hitler’s occult leanings, this book is sure to capture the imagination of anyone, particularly those with a fascination for British history and the World War II era.

Kurtz has a flare for magical drama, check out her Deryni and Camber series.

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What I Do

Among many other things that I occupy my time with, I read and listen to music. A lot. My book library is larger than some small public libraries and my music collection has exploded in the last four years.  Monthly I receive new books and music from the authors and musicians. I am honored and thankful that they want to send me their works. That is why I have decided to start this blog.

There are hundreds, even thousands, of blogs out there that review either books or music. Some of them even combine those two topics into one blog. I’ve even written some of those blogs, or submitted articles to their owners. So what makes this one different? I take a different look at what I read and listen to than many of the amateur reviwers in the interwebs. I try to look at the works from the perspective of the potential audience. I’m not a professional, I don’t get paid for any of this.

I often receive the music or books because of my work in radio and internet broadcasting. Musicians and their promoters send me CDs or digital downloads. Authors and publishers send me hard copy or ebooks. I sometimes solicit the works, but they are usually sent to me without any effort on that end. I put the real effort in when I read or listen to the work.

My book tastes vary through almost all genres, as you will see by reading the reviews you will find here. My music taste is a bit more specific, though I am open to almost anything. As my radio and internet broadcasts are focused on Paganism and LBGTQ+ issues you will find that most of the music I review here will be somehow connected to those areas. For the most part, anything goes.

Check out the About page on this blog for details about the broadcasting and other projects I am involved in. For now, it is time to dive into a good book while listening to some excellent tunes!

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