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Welcome to where I continue “Spreading a Little Gray Matter” on books and other special things in life.

This is the post excerpt.

Yes, another place for REVIEWS.

Mostly books, but there might be an app, gadget, or gizmo thrown in.  Or food… cakes of richness, cookies to die for, new ways to cook shark meat, etc..

Sometimes they’re long & juicy, sometimes short and sweet.  Some have a spoiler here & there, but I try to avoid them.  But every book I read, I review everywhere I find a place to do so.  And this is just another place for me to share Gray Matter.  (Books from previous years WILL start popping up here as well.  Oldies but Greaties!)

I’ve found that most books can only be reviewed where you bought them (mostly Amazon.com) and GoodReads, so I’m creating another place for promoting books worthy of my time.  FYI: Writing is a form of ART, so they are ALL worthy of my time & respect.  

A few things about me & reading (mostly):

  • Covers make a huge impact.  I worked too long in marketing to NOT notice them.
  • Same gors for titles.
  • I don’t read the end of a book first. It ruins it.  It should be illegal!
  • I will push through a book even if the beginning is slow because some of the best endings just need a detailed set-up.  Like foreplay of the written word.
  • I wish I could write, but I’m a bit scatterbrained at the best of times.
  • I love reading urban fantasy, but prefer watching science fiction shows.  I’m a visual person, some SyFy things are hard to really get the gist of unless you’re very familiar with the author’s style.
  • I’m slowly turning my husband into a TV junkie.
  • I have a Minor Injury Reaper that follows me around. He’s the Grim Reaper’s younger, somewhat more polite, cousin. He causes weird accidents to happen to me. I rarely go a day without an “ow-ow-ouch!” (or much much worse) spewing past my lips.  (I like “son-of-a-basket-weaver” a lot right now.)
  • Lastly, this site does NOT have automatic spellcheck! Arghh!

My main goal is to promote both indie and established authors and to get the word out about their books.  Over the past year, I’ve watched some of my favorite, newly self-published authors go to full-time writing.  It’s amazing to watch and I could not be more proud of them (think Katerina Martinez & Lee Dignam, the writing wife/husband duo who totally ROCK!).

Reading has always been a passion of mine, but with short-term memory loss it’s often a hardship when it comes to serial books.  So I try to gobble them all up at one time, with a lighter book thrown in between somewhere to keep me interested and refresh my brain.  But I could spend hours reading, unless I’m waiting for my husband to come home, then I fall asleep sitting up, with Kindle in-hand. Like last night. 😴  He works very crazy hours as a truck driver.

That’s that!  Another place for me to spread my Gray Matter like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches… all smushed together and sometimes a little worse-for-wear.

Thank you for taking time to stop by, and I’m terribly embarrassed to admit that for 3 months part of this once said “get the word out about their boils”.  I don’t spread any word of boils, I promise you.

Demon’s Kiss (Blood and Magick Series, Book 2) by Katerina Martinez: A Review

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Cheers for Demon’s Kiss, the second book of the Blood & Magick Series!

Madison & Nicole are best friends, and somehow their coven has been “elected” to rule the new witch democracy in New Orleans & keep the covens at peace. They’ve taken the single-man rule of all witches from Remy Jackson & he is entertained to see them flounder with their first serious problem is uncovered.

However, Nicole & Madison are determined to work with the covens & only seek Remy’s guidance when all else fails. I mean, sure, he’s 200 years old & has kept New Orleans safe from the other supernaturals since the Purge, but he’s power-hungry and cruel.

There has been no word from Jean Luc in months.

So when Maddie finds herself with butterflies in her tummy when she lays her eyes on Jared, a blind date whom she’s gets tingles from when they touch. Shortly, she’ll find out that the handsome Jared is, unfortunately, a true-born Demon. He saves her life, then Nicole’s, but can he really be trusted?

After Nicole is saved, Jared decides to leave his crew, and try walk a path in the light under the sanctuary of Chateau de Lumière. (If he can get into the house, he is no threat to her, right?). Madison believes that he means no harm, but still isn’t exactly sure what to do with this hot dish served right up on her doorstep!

So Jared has promised his help to the witches stop a summoning of a demon straight out of hell.., and they have to do it without killing Nicole’s mom, the only woman that can complete the ritual! Adding the easily-available Remy Jackson to the mix, whom is more than willing to help, and you’ve got a proverbial powder keg. And they need it all.

And remember, no matter how close you are to someone, there are always secrets they prefer to keep hidden at ALMOST any

Cheers for Demon’s Kiss, the second book of the Blood & Magick Series!

Madison & Nicole are best friends, and somehow their coven has been “elected” to rule the new witch democracy in New Orleans & keep the covens at peace. They’ve taken the single-man rule of all witches from Remy Jackson & he is entertained to see them flounder with their first serious problem is uncovered.

However, Nicole & Madison are determined to work with the covens & only seek Remy’s guidance when all else fails. I mean, sure, he’s 200 years old & has kept New Orleans safe from the other supernaturals since the Purge, but he’s power-hungry and cruel.

There has been no word from Jean Luc in months.

So when Maddie finds herself with butterflies in her tummy when she lays her eyes on Jared, a blind date whom she’s gets tingles from when they touch. Shortly, she’ll find out that the handsome Jared is, unfortunately, a true-born Demon. He saves her life, then Nicole’s, but can he really be trusted?

After Nicole is saved, Jared decides to leave his crew, and try walk a path in the light under the sanctuary of Chateau de Lumière. (If he can get into the house, he is no threat to her, right?). Madison believes that he means no harm, but still isn’t exactly sure what to do with this hot dish served right up on her doorstep!

So Jared has promised his help to the witches stop a summoning of a demon straight out of hell.., and they have to do it without killing Nicole’s mom, the only woman that can complete the ritual! Adding the easily-available Remy Jackson to the mix, whom is more than willing to help, and you’ve got a proverbial powder keg. And they need it all.

And remember, no matter how close you are to someone, there are always secrets they prefer to keep hidden at ALMOST any cost.  (Even if it’s your MOM!!)

A short read, but I hope more is unearthed in the next book.

Russian Roulette (Helena Hawthorn Series, Book 1) by May Freighter: A Review

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So much happens to this girl!  I love Helena.  She’s one tough chick.

This is quite a committed read as it is long, but well worth it. We get to see Helena go through so many changes… from being a human and possible saint, shuffled around between Vampire Council members, treated kindly then roughly abused, accused as a witch, possessed by a demon, falling in or out of lust/love, to (evidently) not being “entirely human’ anymore! But that explanation is waiting in the second book, Demon Gates.

And so many characters that she car across that she can’t even recount all of their names! And she’s only 19. This girl has had a rough year!! And just when she’s ready to give in, she’s saved again.

My copy of Demon Gates is out, loaded on my phone & Kindle & I’m ready to dive in!! I’m sure Ms. Freighter has another wild ride for this young woman now that she’s 20 and has been claimed by a tough, sexy vampire to whom she is incidentally soul-bonded…

READ IT!

The Unlikeable Demon Hunter (Nava Katz, Book 1) by Deborah Wilde: A Review

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Nava is a hot mess. She’s hot, & her life is messy… and that’s exactly how she likes it. One night stands are great, she tries to leave while her hookup is still sleeping (occasionally losing a bra in the process). Sex is no-strings-attached only, & like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”, no kissing on the lips… EVER.

Conversely, her twin brother Ari has physically trained studied demon hunting his entire life. It’s his destiny…to become a Rasha, or Demon Hunter, in the Brotherhood of David. Their family is a direct descendant, and he was chosen at birth (duh, he was male!) to commit his life to becoming a Rasha. Proud Parents of one “perfect” child who will fight against the evils of the world, while their daughter tragically loses her dreams of dancing and slips into a life of debauchery.

So what happens when the much-anticipated ceremony for Ari’s induction into the Brotherhood is interrupted by the “impossible”. Nava suddenly knows Hebrew and claims the Hamsa ring, a sigil worn by all Rasha, as her own. It wasn’t her intention. She only knows the word flew out of her mouth at the exact moment Ari should have said it. And her power manifests, undeniably proving she is Rasha. The first female Rasha, to be exact.

Let’s just say the Brotherhood isn’t so sure about a “Sister”, & she’s mortified that she has taken her brother’s seemingly rightful place. How can she fix this for her brother? She’s not trained, nowhere near regimented, & not sure if this is right for her.

Not to mention that she starts seeing demons for whom they really are instead of their glamour (her last hook-up at that!). And she kills the offspring of one big, bad, scary-as-Hell demon. Oops.

Nava is committed to having her brother fulfill his destiny of which he feels she robbed him. But how does she get the Executives to make it right, especially when they aren’t exactly thrilled with her after her first mission.

Yeah, there’s a catch, all right… make the impossible happen. A mission she’s not sure she can pull off, even with the assistance of the smoldering sexual tension with THE Rohan Mitra. He’s an ex-rock-star-turned-Rasha, her current lover, & the only man whom she could possibly give in to kissing.

Follow Nava’s crazy antics as she blazes a trail never tread by a woman. She’s hilarious, sneaky, dangerous, & doesn’t listen to her skilled trainer. What could go wrong?

For the first book in a new series, this funny romantic, urban fantasy hits the spot

Vampire’s Kiss (Legion of Angels, Book 1) by Ella Summers: A Review

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LEGION OF ANGELS… TOUGH LOVE AT ITS BEST!

Leda is special, but no one is quite sure why or how, just yet. But she has completed the first level and has taken into the Legion of Angels with the gift of the Vampire’s kiss.

She’s been trained to exhaustion, made solid friends, had an Angel fight over her, AND she’s even saved aforementioned Angel all on her own. Her Legion soldiers are partly in awe & partly afraid she’s completely out of her mind. Leda likes to think it’s a mix of both, as she is fiercely compassionate and values the lives of others around her.

In this world, the gods play games for power or entertainment, and Leda is being used as a pawn very early in her journey, but determined to become an Angel so she can save her brother, Zane.

She has been betrayed by two people she thought she could trust, now she’s been offered one-on-one training by the Angel she saved on her first real mission. He might even let her play with a flaming sword later down the road.

But we’ll have to wait and see where Ella Summers takes Leda in her second book in this series which is coming soon. I have been highly impressed with ALL of the books Ella Summers has written. Check out the Dragon Born series. It’s a MUST!

Witch’s Cauldron (Legion of Angels, Book 2) by Ella Summers : A Review

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Pandora Strikes Again!

This was an awesome book! It’s a 2-day read, it moves along at a fast pace, no dull moments, and you will devour it.

Nero, aka Colonel Sexy Pants, has it bad for Leda. And everyone knows it but Leda, until the very end when they come back from a harrowing mission in which they both could have easily died. And Leda has it bad for Nero, she just doesn’t want to believe that it won’t get in the way of her end game… saving her brother Zane.

Leda’s heroics have her saving Colonel Sexy Pants’s life, being openly recognized by Nyx (The First Angel), and actually making friends with one of the Angel Brats in this book. AND she and Jace, the only Angel Brat to receive the second gift of the gods with her, are integral at finding out who is behind the poisoning & bombings set to kill supernaturals.

It all points to the witches, as only the witches can make those special plants for the poisons. Leda’s sister, Bella, is enrolled at that witch university. She’s been told several times to trust no one. Surely she can trust her sister. Right?

Leda’s internal struggles are all over her mind for anyone with the Vampire Kiss gift to hear. Nero evidently has already told “upper management” that he plans to be her lover. Leda is the last to know, of course. Ivy gets all the dirt from her boyfriend Soren, a sexy higher officer in the League of Angels.

In the end, a question of Leda’s parentage comes up. She was an orphan, remember? Or is there something else that makes her very special. Nyx notices and I can see her digging deeper into Leda’s past in the next book, Siren’s Song… which happened to download just about 2 hours ago onto my Kindle! So excited!!!

READ THE BOOKS! Absolutely no regrets getting lost in this series!

THE ULTIMATE VANILLA CAKE by WalMart Deli: A Review

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Oh. My. Goodness! Ivory Nirvana!

I usually don’t get excited about cake.  It’s either good, bad or indifferent.  Calories upon calories, either way I’m going to enjoy it or dump it.

it was my mother’s 67th birthday yesterday… she still looks 45.  We’ve been asked if we were sisters while shopping before.  (I’m not sure whether to be proud for her or pissed because I look older than I am, but she’s a good lookin’ woman!)

My husband and I were looking for her favorite cake, “anything but chocolate”, while doing our grocery shopping Sunday.  Do you know how HARD it is to find a cake with no chocolate?  Especially since we are last-minute kind of people.  But you really can’t hide a cake around here for a few days & I wasn’t putting out big bucks on ordering one.  (Sorry Mom 😞)  And I wasn’t going with a generic sheet cake.  Not for my mother.  She deserves better than that.

So I find this cake that looks a little like a bridal party cake. So what!  It was so pretty and perfect. It had no chocolate… or so we thought.  But it was elegant & called The Ultimate Vanilla Cake.  Whi could possibly go wrong with that?

It was gorgeous!  It had buttercream-made flowers on top, buttercream frosting, 3 thin layers of light & fluffy cake, wit’s little beadwork strung among the flowers on top.  And the kicker that we weren’t even sure about… shaved flakes of white chocolate around the flowers on top and all the way around the bass.  White chocolate is my mother’s favorite!  It was priced relatively moderate at $15.88, so we snatched it up.  We hid it behind thesalad fixings… go figure!

It was almost as much fun watching her separate the plastic base from the clear top as it was to see her face as she picked up little shavings of white chocolate as they fell off onto our dinner table from the inside base and put them in her mouth.  PURE BLISS!  And I’ll be sure to note that she took it out of that plastic and put it in her own cake container and there that plastic puzzle-work into recycling!

i really should have taken a photo BEFORE we hacked away at it, but it was a lost cause.  We all just wanted to taste it!  And it was divine. It was rich with frosting, the cake was feather-light, the white chocolate was such a treat.  YUMMY!

YES, I got excited enough over this cake to write a review. But it’s one that you can only eat in small doses (my butt thanks me) because it is SO rich.  There is more frosting than cake, but it’s like eating a little bit of heaven.  And the brownie points are mine (and my darling husband’s)!!

If you want a decadent cake for something (bridal showers, bridesmaid’s cakes, or even a wedding cake), ask for The Ultimate Vanilla Cake at Walmart.  Call ahead!  I’ve never seen it before this past Sunday, and Valentine’s Day just passed so they might not keep it in stock.  Don’t take it for granted… we got it at the Walmart st River City Marketplace in Jacksonville, FL, but I’m sure they would have the same recipe at other stores.  I’m going to find out who made it the next time I go in there.  Someone deserves accolades

I would love to request it with a few changes…  bits of strawberries through the layers of cake and halved strawberries around the bass WITH the white chocolate crumbled on top of the them.  It might not be as rich that way.  And I love my strawberries!

(Sorry the photos are so bad.  The cake wasn’t uneven, that was my bad photo angle.  I was in a hurry to get to bed.)

SWORD WITCH by C.S. Wilde: A Review

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**You CAN turn tricks around on a Fae.**

Sally is a Sword Witch, but hasn’t been called to duty in a very long time. She sees herself as very plain, but a handsome co-worker falls for her. She loves the idea of being in love but wants to make sure it lasts.

Unfortunately she calls on a very tricky Fae to grant her a love spell. It always costs when asking favors from a Fae, so Sally is sure that she’ll tell Joseph and the favor will be nullified & she’ll have Joseph forever.

Joseph doesn’t see it that way when he finds out. No spoilers, but Sally finds a way out of her payment and when the Fae “loses his cool”, she is rescued a fate worse than death by the Magic Council.

A fun short story above loving family, and how you have to trust in love if you really feel it.