Charlayne Elizabeth Denney
Charlayne Elizabeth Denney was born in Amarillo, Texas and lived there until 1991. Now a resident of Houston, she has been a waitress, a DJ, a sports writer, a technical writer, sold knives, swords, and replica weapons, was part-owner of a comic shop, and a perennial student. She has 4 kids, 9 grandkids, 2 Shelties, and a cat who is the inspiration for Baron in “Fangs & Halos.” She married her 3rd and final husband, Bruce, in 1993 after a whirlwind six-month romance, having met him at a Science Fiction convention and her sister telling her to “go out with him” (and him overhearing her). She has written many non-fiction articles, has been published in several magazines, and wrote technical training manuals for Compaq. She reviews for Paranormal Romance Guild and loves vampire novels the most. “Lilly’s Angel” is her first novel.
"Lilly's Angel" has been nominated for a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer's Choice Award for 2013.
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- The Society of Sinners
on Feb. 16, 2012
With her book, Society of Sinners, Charity Parkerson has created a very interesting and refreshing twist on the vampire mythos. The book is the story of five men, members of the Society. Brandon, the vampire next door who ends up working with humans to help humans and vampires start a new life. Jazz, the vampire who is like a monk, serving God and the Society as a special elite warrior. Gabe, the werewolf, who walks away from the Society to try to live a normal life as a game warden for the mountain surrounding the little town of Jackson Station, Tennessee, where all the stories take place. Dominic, the vampire who tracks those who are sought by the Society, and Dimitri, a tainted vampire.
Vampires are not cursed by the devil or made by evil but by God as warriors for good, to battle evil and protect humans. They are much more than the familiar undead from so many of the books on the species. They are living beings who eat, sleep, and live like humans, however they have the usual strength, agility, and the eternal life to be able to perform the duties given to them.
The organization that kept the vampires and other supernatural entities from evil and who avenged those who were harmed by that evil is the Society of Sinners. And they take their mission very seriously in this first book. The evil comes from other vampires. Those who have the same powers as the warriors, who were once warriors in their own but who decide they want to rule, to have power over others. They use those powers for their own gain and to harm others. They create minions by harming and turning humans into vampiric slaves, they kill, and because of their actions they and their progeny are targeted by the Society.
The book reads like an anthologized novella, written in segments for each main character with a prologue for each that defines the background of the vampires and the Society. The stories have a main focus on the character but it has the other characters involved as well and it connects with a weaving that is complex yet very beautifully done. Each story gives the character his own voice and sets up the next and the situations with smooth grace.
I've not read a paranormal romance quite like this one and I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series.
- My Enchanted Life
on March 01, 2012
Emma is 18. She graduates high school, has plans to spend time with friends and family until college starts until she gets a couple of mysterious envelopes. She has inherited a house in England. She gets a plane ticket, money, and directions on how to get there. What's wrong with a little vacation before school starts again?
Everything. Especially when you find out you have special powers, a hereditary job to do, and people depending on you. And a boy named Matthew who is handsome, nice, and a half-demon.
Her teacher, Randolf, is a stuffy, stodgy, and bossy Sentinel who has been picked to teach her what her job is and how to do it. He is all about rules and laws and things and he hates demons, even half-demons.
I enjoyed this book for what Laura put in it. It's whole dimension of fairies, ogres, dragons, gnomes, and other mythological creatures. It is written for young adults and I spent some time reading part of it to my 10 year old grand daughter, who loved it. I didn't get to the part with the kissing, that may have been "icky" but she loved the adventure of finding out about a house and new people who were different than human.
The thing that I didn't like was the lack of character development, the rush to finish. It was like everything was just "accepted" as fact. Matthew is one-dimensional and the time at the end when he is separate from her and then comes back is rushed to the point that it left me wondering what happened and how he fared where he was. There were a lot of questions left unanswered as she pushed to finish the book.
The six-month jump to her family's visit was another void that left questions. What happened during that time? Did she improve her power? What happened with Randolf? Was there further interest between Matthew and Emma? And how did her family handle him being with her? So many questions left undone.
It was so short and she could have written more in that first book to clear up some of the questions and still lay down the clues and build the interest for the next book that I know is coming from something she was told late in the book. I do want to read the next one because I did enjoy most of the book.
- Immortal Desires (a Well of Souls novel)
on March 19, 2012
After being stood up at the altar by her fiancé, Deanna Cameron is given the chance of a dream job, one with many perks, an apartment in the building she is working in, a free cafeteria, and travel to places she could only dream about before, such as the first assignment to go Scotland and check on accommodations at a castle-turned-hotel.
Before she leaves, she encounters a strange man, almost a ghost, keeping watch on her in her new apartment in Boulder Colorado. What she does not know is that she is the soul mate of the last laird of the castle that is now the hotel she will be staying at. She flies to Scotland, sees his picture above the mantle, and then, during a walk in the cemetery, she finds a Celtic broach and suddenly she is whisked back to 1505 to meet with the laird, Ian Mackay.
Robert Thornton of the Light Street Corporation isn’t your average good looking mega-millionaire corporate CEO. He is a Guardian of the Well of Souls, someone who helps souls back to the Well to be paired with their soul mate in future lives. Guardians work with the Aeneas Council, the Gods of the Souls. Ian Mackay is an Immortal who works for Robert as a Guardian and is none too happy to find out that the new lost soul that Robert has hired with intents on recycling into the well is someone who is meant to be his soul mate, Deanna.
Workings against the Guardians are the Contri, a group that believes that the only way to save humans from extinction is to keep soul mates from pairing. They do this by targeting humans who are carrying souls to be mated and killing them to banish the souls from the Well.
This book has so many twists and turns, changes in time between the present day and the 1500’s Scotland. We see the story as it happens in the 1500s, Ian’s reactions in the present, and how Robert is having to work on things. The process of getting the soul mates together, how Ian in the present is having to sit and await how his early self handles things is an interesting twist on time travel storytelling.
I loved this book, Laura Eno is fast becoming one of my favorite writers and I am hoping there is going to be more to the Well of Souls. It has a fast pace and there are some really great scenes with Deanna’s modern woman ways and Ian’s “pigheaded Scottish maleness” pulling between them. Oh, and Ian does wear a kilt.
With the way it is set up and the way it has been put together, Laura Eno has almost an unlimited pool of stories to write about (pun intended). The book has some nice, gentle love scenes but it’s not graphic by any means, I would give those scenes a PG 13 rating, mainly for the necessary language used to describe their lovemaking.
- Illicit Magic (Book 1, Stella Mayweather Series)
on March 24, 2012
Stella Mayweather works at a temporary clerks job in London and lives in a very small, run-down flat after growing up in a series of foster homes. She’s odd, everyone either knows it or figures it out and soon she moves on because people can’t handle being around her because of that oddity.
And the news reports are filled with stories of women around Europe and then in England are getting taken and put into bonfires, burned to death as witches. In this day and time, someone called the Brotherhood has declared war on women. One night Stella gets chased home by these men who have every intention of making her their next victim. She manages to allude them and get home, only to have a young woman show up at her door telling her that she is in danger and she has to come along with her NOW. Etoile, the lady at her door, isn’t kidding around and as she convinces Stella of the immediacy of the need to move, the Brotherhood starts throwing firebombs into the apartment. Etoile gets Stella out, by magical means, and Stella’s life is completely changed from that moment on.
Illicit Magic is the first of a series about Stella and the world just on the edge of our own, one controlled by magic and headed by a Council of Elders that is fighting both the Brotherhood and something else, something deeper. Stella moves into a house kept by a lady named Meg with a lot of other students of magic, is taught by Evan and David to harness her skills, skills she has buried for many years. Things are not as they seem, there are questions about her parents, a missing sister of Etoile, odd behavior by another student without magic, and then there’s Evan. Stella is drawn to him like a moth to a flame, but will she get her wings singed?
This book is a lot slower that many of the other paranormal books I have read. Camilla spends a lot of time describing general life in the household and building up the relationships between the students and the teachers before she gets to the final few scenes that are the real meat of the book. Sometimes I found myself wanting to skip ahead and look for the good stuff when I got bored of watching Stella working on her lessons yet again. But the last 1/3 of the book made the rest of it well worth the wait as she pulled together several threads and explained a lot of the hinted upon background we saw all through the book. By the time I finished, I was in tears and wanting to pick up the next book, Unruly Magic.
- Two Halves
on May 01, 2012
Marta Szemik’s Two Halves centers around Sarah, the adult child a vampire father she has never met and a human mother who died soon after giving birth to her when the hungry baby vampire bit her mother and she bled to death. Raised by her aunt, she has fought the vampire side of her physiology with serums made from orchids. She blames her father for the fact that she had the vampire’s traits that made her kill her mother.
She is friends with Xander and Mira, a brother and sister that have been in her life in their little town since she was small. They have grown up together and she and Mira share secrets and stories like most friends do. Xander sometimes looks at Sarah with eyes of a young male regarding a good looking young female.
William is Sarah’s balance. His mother is human, his father a vampire. William was raised as a vampire by his parents and taught the skills he would need as he grew. He also grew to know he would eventually meet up with Sarah and they would have a very specific destiny, one that would place both of them in great danger and on a collision course with some of the most powerful beings of the underworld.
Sarah dreamed of William, nightmares and erotic dreams both. One of the nightmares awakens her senses and starts to show her a future of fear, demons with glowing orange eyes, burning buildings, and other things. And then she meets the man of her dreams, William, who tells her they have to run, that the demons are after her. And as much as she is drawn to him, they cannot come together because each time they try; they are electrocuted by a strange force within their bodies. So they have to try to work together while wanting to be more than friends.
Two Halves was a very good tale of vampires, shape shifters, witches, warlocks, demons and conspiracies planned and conducted. William and Sarah are very loveable and the plight of their love and not being able to be together is very well done. Her descriptions of places was so clear, I could see it in my mind without a problem. The story flows well from Sarah to the shape shifters and back again, between the underworld and the forces lined against them. The characters are well imagined and well defined; I was actually caring what happened to them.
Two Halves is marketed as a Young Adult book and I can see that teens and young adults would like the book. But it’s not restricted to just the youth, anyone who likes a good fantasy story with a lot of imagination.
- Pandora's Key
on May 20, 2012
Sixteen year old Evangeline Theopolis is having her birthday. Her mother, Olivia, is a brilliant artist who has started having problems with delusions that are scaring Evangeline. She is painting a portrait of her daughter that she refuses to let her see. For her birthday, she gives Evangeline a necklace with an antique key, a family heirloom that her mother has worn all of Evangeline’s life, and her grandmother wore before her. It is so old that no one remembers what it opens.
As she tries to sleep, E, as her friends call her, starts having nightmares about women she has never met, nightmares of their deaths. Her best friend, Melia, is listening to her with one ear but more interested in being with her new boyfriend, Tristin. Raphe, E’s best guy friend, is hanging around with them, trying to get closer to her. Her mom’s friend, Samantha, who is Evangeline’s godmother, has been a part of the family for as long as E can remember.
Her mother is hospitalized and then assaulted, ending up in a coma. Her godmother is wanted by the police for attempted murder. Then Evangeline finds out that someone, or several someone’s are trying to kill her and another group is trying to kidnap her. Why? Things start to make even less sense as she finds her face changing and she begins to manifest magical powers.
In the same town, Malledy, a brilliant young man finds that he has a disease that will leave him paralyzed and insane, and eventually kill him. He finds out that there is a girl in the town with a key, a key that can open a box that will contain the power to heal him. He decides to go after the key, go after Evangeline, and no one, not even the woman who has loved and raised him, will stop him.
Pandora’s Key is a new telling of the myth of Pandora’s Box from Greek mythology. Nancy Richardson Fisher has built a new history around the box and how it is handed down between generations. Carefully crafted, the book weaves between Evangeline’s story and Malledy’s story and brings them closer and closer to their meeting. The twists in the story are very surprising and very interesting. I really enjoyed how those around E’s life figured into the entire situation.
This is a good book for teens as well as adults.
on May 21, 2012
Hannah inherits the role of Guardian from her mother when she is burned as a witch in Salem in the 1600’s. The Guardian keeps the Crudelitas, those supernatural beings in the human world like vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, and the like, from harming the humans or each other. Wielding great power, she is able to kill with energy alone, talk from great distances into someone’s head, and project herself into a familiar place from a distance.
But she can also give her heart to someone, experience loss by death, and frustration. She has those who love her enough to follow her, wait for her, and to die for her. She fights her feelings for two of the Crudelitas, believing she should never be with them in love. Will she ever find someone that will fulfill that spot for her?
Meantime, the one who ordered her mother’s death is still alive after 300 years, there is chaos brewing in the Crudelitas society, and someone is looking for her to kill her. She doesn’t have long to find who is behind all of the trouble before she believes she will die and the next Guardian will take over.
I really loved this book. Gillian Joy has given The Guardian a lot of plot twists and turns, several changes to the story and it kept me guessing how she was going to end it. She really packed in the surprises, I would think I had her story figured out and then “Surprise!” she would have Hannah or one of the other characters do something that would completely change what I thought would happen. While Hannah has a love life, it wasn’t graphic so the book is suitable for teens as well as adults who want a great story. And the next in the series, Forever, is out so you have the chance to keep going on Hannah’s adventure.
- The Danger with Sinners **With bonus extra** Double the Sin
on July 24, 2012
Danger Cook gets hired as Narmer Horus’s head of security and begins to search for evidence of Tacha Vasiliev in the home. He encounters Kim Horus, Narmer’s daughter, who seems to draw him in like a moth to a flame. He wants to get close to her and she is not shy about making her passes at him. He tries to continue his search for evidence of Tacha while trying to make sense of several mysterious things going on in the building.
I have to admit, I love the Society of Sinners series. Charity Parkerson has created a world where vampires, werewolves, angels, and other beings operate within the human world and where the Society of Sinners and the Safe Haven Corporation keep humans safe. She’s managed, with this book, to add in some very hot scenes, Danger and Kim and their attempts to keep from becoming involved with each other, and some great flashback scenes.
This is a short book, only 69 pages. But it is well worth picking up.