Book Review: The Frost Bloom Garden

Romarin is back, and she does it again!


Enchanted Review

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and I was a little concerned I wouldn’t like this one because that’s a hard act to follow and second books often suffer from droopy syndrome. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Demetri has really hit her stride with The Frost Bloom Garden. Mystery, action, twists, and turns bring the book to life and leave the reader with a sense of urgency that is really hard to create on the page.

Reading this first book in the series would be, I think, essential, so check out A Mirror Among Shattered Glass before this one. But definitely read this one, too.

Overall, I am definitely looking forward to book 3!


About the Book

As if the Supernatural London Underground couldn’t open up any further, Romarin is immersed in different cultures, struggles, and factions— including the revelation of her first dangerous foe—that make the hidden world what it is: treacherous. As a detective in pursuit of a Jack The Ripper type killer, Romarin’s sole purpose is to destroy evidence of their secret world, reminding her of how blurred all of their roles are, and that the price for that could very well be one’s life. With rumors of a safe haven, an island where people like her can go to be free and understood, perhaps she won’t need the cure she vehemently seeks. A cure for a broken heart however, that’s another story. And then a cure for a burning heart? That’s just impossible.


About the Author

15057660.jpgRomarin Demetri, author and creative force, is a story crafter who loves black coffee and traveling abroad. When her characters come home in some sort of trouble, Demetri swears she didn’t invent it. Pulling from her Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology, her debut series, The Supernatural London Underground, is a blend of fantasy ground in reality and a world readers can truly escape to. As an eccentric and reader, she still enjoys creating the alternate reality in her urban fantasy series (more than anything!), and her interactive world waits for you at RomarinDemetri.com.


Essential Information

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Title: The Frost Bloom Garden

Author: Romarin Demetri

Publisher: Block 13 Publishing

Length: 241 pages

Release Date: December 1, 2016

Purchase Link: CLICK HERE*

 

 


*Affiliate Links provided for your convenience*

Review: The Dead Seekers by Barb and JC Hendee

Enchanted Review

I’m a tabletop gamer (mostly Pathfinder and D&D), in addition to writing, editing, developing, and publishing games, so I can’t help looking at fiction from that perspective as I read. I’ve previously read and enjoyed the witches series (The Mist-Torn Witches, Witches in Red, Witches with the Enemy, and To Kill a Kettle Witch) by Barb Hendee and Dhampir by Barb and J.C. Hendee. The setting is what I enjoy best about the books, which are all set in the same world—that of the Noble Dead (http://www.nobledead.org/)—which is a bleak, dark, medieval atmosphere where feudal lords make life tough on others, vampires feed on the average peasant in the late hours of the evening, and people fear to travel anywhere after sunset. These books, especially Dhampir and the wonderful The Dead Seekers, a new Noble Dead series, show you what it would be to live in a world like that of the long-running game world variations of Ravenloft—a world infested with the undead, most of whom rule various territories of humans.

So, that atmosphere continues to excite me with the new book focusing on ghost hunters. Yet, what I find refreshing is that the authors do not get bogged down in the world of their fiction: the world remains backdrop to character-driven stories, as I believe it should be. I happen to be one of the readers who believes the setting should not overshadow the story, and that authors absolutely do not have to spend pages and pages providing world and landscape description. If you like that in your fiction, you’ll not find it here. However, if you want intriguing stories and stimulating characters set in a dark world that posits the existence of the undead in a medieval setting, then the Hendees are absolutely your kind of authors!

In The Dead Seekers, the reader is introduced to Mari Kaleja, one of the Móndyalítko, a gypsy folk. At the age of 10, a dark being and controller of spirits killed her family in the Wicker Wood. Since then, she’s been seeking out the one called the Dead’s Man, whom she believes murdered her family with his pet spirits in the forest, to gain her revenge.

The Dead’s Man turns out to be Tris Vishal, a baronet who was born dead. Ever since he was a child, he has seen into the spirit world, and he knows he has a dark half in the spirit realm who wants to kill him and take his place. Tris has spent long years away from his baron father, having left home after his mother’s death to a strange sickness. He, instead, earns his living by legitimately ridding villages and towns of vengeful spirits.

Tris and Mari meet when she saves him from several bandits while he is on his way to remove a troubling spirit of a young girl in another village. She travels with him, seeking to be certain he is the man she seeks, and before long, she is working with him as his translator and following him where the removal of ghosts leads him. Along the way, she uncovers his secrets—and he hers, of course. They are later joined by an interesting alchemist who helped train Tris in his ghost-removing career.

I was simply enthralled by the first part of the book, which really introduces you to the characters, and the pace was fast. The book slowed some when the characters sought the spirit who had created their village ghost in a nearby city’s guard barracks. The pace relaxed because this half of the book centers more on a mystery of the identity and nature of the haunting spirit and its motivations. I eagerly followed the mystery to its conclusion, and was satisfied with the ending.

I absolutely recommend the book to those who like high fantasy with a touch of darkness to it. You won’t be disappointed.

This review copy was received for free via Net Galley. However, the reviewer will be buying a print and electronic copy for her own library.

— Reviewed by Christina


 About the Book

In the New York Times bestselling Noble Dead saga, Barb and J.C. Hendee created an engrossing mix of “intrigue, epic fantasy, and horror.”* Now, they present a bold new series set in the same world, where the destinies of two hunters shaped by the shadows of their pasts are about to collide…

In the dark reaches of the eastern continent, Tris Vishal travels from village to village, using his power to put unsettled spirits to rest. He works alone, having learned that letting people close only leads to more death. Still, he finds himself accepting the help of the Móndyalítko woman who saves his life—a woman whose gifts are as much a burden as his own.

Mari Kaleja thirsted for vengeance since the night her family was taken from her. She has searched far and wide for the one she thinks responsible, known only as “The Dead’s Man.” But before she can kill him, she has to be sure. Mari hopes traveling with Tris will confirm her suspicions. But as they embark on a hunt where the living are just as dangerous as the dead, she learns the risks of keeping your enemy close…

Because it’s no longer clear who is predator and who is prey.

— Book description from Amazon.com


About the Authors

Barb and J. C. Hendee are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Novels of the Noble Dead, including The Night Voice, First and Last Sorcerer, and A Wind in the Night. Barb’s short fiction has appeared in numerous genre magazines and anthologies. She is the author of the Vampire Memories and Mist-Torn Witches series. J.C.’s poetry, nonfiction, and short fiction have also appeared in many genre magazines.


Essential Info

51-7dkomk3lTitle: The Dead Seekers

Author: Barb and J.C. Hendee

Publisher: Penguin

Cost: $13.99 (ebook)

Length: 332 pages

Release Date: January 3, 2017

Purchase Link: CLICK HERE


Links to Other Works Mentioned in the Review

The Mist-Torn Witches: https://www.amazon.com/Mist-Torn-Witches-Book-ebook/dp/B009UZ8U3K/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483055654&sr=1-3

Witches in Red: https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Red-Novel-Mist-Torn-Book-ebook/dp/B00FX7LYP0/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483055654&sr=1-2

Witches with the Enemy: https://www.amazon.com/Witches-Enemy-Novel-Mist-Torn-Book-ebook/dp/B00O2BS67W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483055654&sr=1-1

To Kill A Kettle Witch: https://www.amazon.com/Kettle-Witch-Novel-Mist-Torn-Witches-ebook/dp/B013Q70AK8/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483055654&sr=1-4

Dhampir: https://www.amazon.com/Dhampir-Noble-Dead-Barb-Hendee-ebook/dp/B002D9ZMJA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483055828&sr=1-1&keywords=dhampir

Book Review: Octavia E. Butler by Gerry Canavan

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Enchanted Review

I’ve recently become intrigued by Octavia E. Butler and her award-winning science fiction, so when Gerry Canavan, a professor of English at Marquette University, came out with this book about Butler, I knew I wanted to read it.  Canavan has delved into the Octavia E. Butler archive at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, to illuminate her character and her works in an accessible way for the general public—not the academic one. He details a shy, depressed, and lonely African-American woman who grew up as an only child to a mother who worked as a cleaning lady for white people. Her father had died when she was only seven. She fell in love of reading at an early age, especially comic books, but certainly science fiction, and was an avid reader. She kept journals throughout her life and practiced a “positive obsession” in writing down her goals and dreams. She wanted to be a writer. She wanted to make good money at being a writer. This, however, would be something that she struggled to do throughout her life, performing odd jobs to make ends meet, and always teetering toward bankruptcy. That would change when she won the $295,000 MacArthur Fellowship (aka “Genius Award”) that allowed her to purchase a home and live more comfortably.

Canavan does an excellent job of analyzing Butler’s various novels through the lenses of her journals and other drafts accessible at the Huntington Library. He shows how Butler focused on certain topics over her career: power, racism, sexism, slavery, procreation, and rape. Though her stories can be seen as “bleak,” she did not see a how the societies she explored could lead to a happy ending. She definitely did not write utopian fiction.

This is a must-read book for any Octavia E. Butler fan, or for anyone who is interested in alternate views in science fiction. Canavan proves an excellent guide through Butler’s fiction, and you’ll want to take time with this book, exploring Butler’s books and stories as Canavan moves through them. There is absolutely so much to be explored here, and I’m sure much fruit will be born from the Huntington Library on Octavia E. Butler. I’ll be rereading and enjoying this book for some time to come.

 

Reviewed by Christina


About the Book

I began writing about power because I had so little, Octavia E. Butler once said. Butler’s life as an African American woman–an alien in American society and among science fiction writers–informed the powerful works that earned her an ardent readership and acclaim both inside and outside science fiction. Gerry Canavan offers a critical and holistic consideration of Butler’s career. Drawing on Butler’s personal papers, Canavan tracks the false starts, abandoned drafts, tireless rewrites, and real-life obstacles that fed Butler’s frustrations and launched her triumphs. Canavan departs from other studies to approach Butler first and foremost as a science fiction writer working within, responding to, and reacting against the genre’s particular canon. The result is an illuminating study of how an essential SF figure shaped themes, unconventional ideas, and an unflagging creative urge into brilliant works of fiction.


51vbc4ropsl-_sy344_bo1204203200_Essential Info

Title: Octavia E. Butler

Author: Gerry Canavan

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Cost: $22.00 (paperback)

Length: 224 pages

Purchase Link: CLICK HERE


Book Review: Curse on the Land by Faith Hunter

Enchanted Review

The unusual earth-connected being that is Nell Ingram has graduated from Spook School, after having proven her worth to Unit 18 of the paranormal-policing PsyLED division of Homeland Security against the gwyllgi that infested her family’s church-cult in the first book, Blood of the Earth (I absolutely enjoyed Nell’s detailed church background Hunter provided in the first book). On returning home from training, she discovers her own lands inherited from her dead husband, are sick. The evil life force of Brother Ephraim that she had fed to it still lingers underground, but he has somehow linked itself to the church compound of the God’s Cloud of Glory Church and has grown slightly stronger. However, Nell’s dealing with her own land issues and those of the church take a backseat when the boss, Rick LaFleur, informs her that he needs her to report in early for her first day of work, for her special earth-based skill set is needed in a new case involving odd-acting geese infused with magic found on a particular section of land. Nell’s attempts to read the land involved in the initial incidents result in her being attacked by something residing within, and she learns pieces about the underground residents from her perceptions while scanning the area—things that she does not fully understand. As more and more deaths occur, escalating from animals to humans, the PsyLED team races to find answers to the source of the troubles.

This series is set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s well-received Jane Yellowrock novels, but it has its own unique soul (if you will allow the pun), and the books offer up a fresh reader experience in the crowded urban-fantasy field, for Nell Ingram is not a witch, not a skinwalker, nor were-creature or vampire. She is something completely different—and she does not even know what she is. Though the intrigue about Nell’s nature alone will bring the reader along for the ride in Curse on the Land, Faith Hunter’s skill at character development, her vivid world description, and her mastery of mystery will keep the reader enthralled with the book. The Inter-special PsyLED team of weres, witch, human, empath, and Nell truly comes alive in this book (and appeals to the tabletop gamer in me as a very interesting adventuring party), and getting to the underlying cause of the magical disturbance proves highly intriguing.

This is a series you will want to inform your friends about. It is not to be missed.

Disclaimer: The reviewer received an advanced reader copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Christina


About the Book

Set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the second Soulwood novel tells the story of a woman whose power comes from deep within the earth…
 
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals comes with dangers of its own….

After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more….

 


28953491Essential Info

CURSE ON THE LAND

Soulwood #2

By Faith Hunter

November 1, 2016 | ISBN: 978-0451473325

ROC | $7.99 | 352 pages

Purchase Link: CLICK HERE


About the Author

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Faith Hunter is the New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series, including Shadow RitesDark Heir, and Broken Soul; the Soulwood series, set in the world of Jane Yellowrock, including Blood of the Earth; and the Rogue Mage series, including HostSeraphs, and Bloodring.

Book Review: Shadowed Souls

Enchanted Review

Who really travels the road to the light all of the time?

That’s what the short story collection Shadowed Souls, edited by Jim Butcher and Kerry L. Hughes aims to explore. Sometimes the good guy isn’t always the pure hero; sometimes the good guy has a troubled past, does questionable things, or just falls into the “bad guy” category for some other reason.

There are 11 stories in this collection, but three stood out to me to highlight in this review.

First, Jim Butcher’s “Cold Case” — This is a “Molly” story, a character from his Dresden Files series, which I have not read. I include this one because even though I am not familiar with the character in the setting of the other stories, I was able to read and enjoy this story on its own. Also, it made me want to read more in Butcher’s world, so I’ve added the Dresden Files to my endless TBR pile.

Next, Jim C. Hines’ “Hunter, Healer” — I include this one because it had me hooked from the first page. A wise-cracking, foul-mouthed hearth fairy just sets the tone for the entire story: dark with a sense of gritty humor.

Finally, Kat Richardson’s “Peacock in Hell” — Holy dark story, Batman. I love dark stories, the more disturbing the better, and this one puts the reader right there in the story and hits right in the senses. Great description, great story.

Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy (ARC) from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 


About the Book

In this dark and gritty collection—featuring short stories from Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rob Thurman—nothing is as simple as black and white, light and dark, good and evil..

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what makes it so easy to cross the line.


About the Stories

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Cold Case, Molly Carpenter—Harry Dresden’s apprentice-turned-Winter Lady—must collect a tribute from a remote Fae colony and discovers that even if you’re a good girl, sometimes you have to be bad…

New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s Sleepover finds half-succubus Elsie Harrington kidnapped by a group of desperate teenage boys. Not for anything “weird.” They just need her to rescue a little girl from the boogeyman. No biggie.

In New York Times bestselling Kevin J. Anderson’s Eye of Newt, Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble’s latest client is a panicky lizard missing an eye who thinks someone wants him dead. But the truth is that someone only wants him for a very special dinner…

And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman’s infernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals wih some overdue—and nightmarish—vengeance involving some quite nastyImpossible Monsters.

ALSO INCLUDES STORIES BY

Tanya Huff * Kat Richardson * Jim C. Hines * Anton Strout * Lucy A. Snyder * Kristine Kathryn Rusch * Erik Scott de Bie *


Essential Info

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SHADOWED SOULS

Edited by: Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes

Roc Trade Paperback Original

$17.00 / 352 pages

November 1, 2016

 


About the Editors

A martial arts enthusiast whose résumé includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives mostly inside his own head so that he can write down the conversation of his imaginary friends, but his head can generally be found in Independence, Missouri.

Kerrie L. Hughes has edited thirteen anthologies in addition to Shadowed Souls, including Maiden Matron CroneChildren of MagicFellowship Fantastic, and Dimension Next Door.

Blog Tour: An Import of Intrigue by Marshall Ryan Maresca

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Enchanted Review

I enjoy fantasy, but true High Fantasy has never really been my thing. Maresca takes high fantasy and combines it with three things that I really do like: dark and gritty world building, a solid mystery, and great characters.

I fell in love with this series when I read the first book, A Murder of Mages (review coming soon), but the second installment is even better. The stakes are higher, the world is darker (a change in setting contributes to that) and we get to see some things we thought we’d figured out turned around on their heads (no spoilers!) to really push the complexity and depth of the characters.

I will definitely read the next installment, and I will go look for his other books set in the  port city of Maradaine.

5 Lamps

Enchanted Rating: Five Lanterns


About the Book

This second novel in the Maradaine Constabulary series blends high fantasy, murder mystery, and gritty urban magic…

The neighborhood of the Little East is a collision of cultures, languages, and traditions, hidden away in the city of Maradaine. A set of streets to be avoided or ignored. When a foreign dignitary is murdered, solving the crime falls to the most unpopular inspectors in the Maradaine Constabulary: exposed fraud Satrine Rainey, and Uncircled mage Minox Welling.

With a murder scene deliberately constructed to point blame toward the rival groups resident in this exotic section of Maradaine, Rainey is forced to confront her former life, while Welling’s ignorance of his own power threatens to consume him. And the conflicts erupting in the Little East will spark a citywide war unless the Constabulary solves the case quickly.


picture1Essential Info

AN IMPORT OF INTRIGUE

Maradaine Constabulary #2

By Marshall Ryan Maresca

November 1, 2016 | ISBN: 9780756411732

DAW Mass Market | $7.99 | 400 pages


About the Author

7179557Marshall Ryan Maresca grew up in upstate New York and studied film and video production at Penn State.  He now lives Austin with his wife and son.  His work appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced and has worked as a stage actor, a theatrical director and an amateur chef. His novels The Thorn of Dentonhill and A Murder of Mages each begin their own fantasy series, both set in the port city of Maradaine. For more information, visit Marshall’s website at http://www.mrmaresca.com.

Blog Tour: Crymsyn Hart Deathly Encounters

Crymsyn Hart’s Deathly Encounters Blog Tour, Featuring Death’s Dance and Death’s Revival!

September 12-18, 2016


About the Author

crymsynhart_authorphotoCrymsyn Hart is a National Bestselling author. Her worlds are filled with luscious vampires, gorgeous gods, quirky witches, and everything else that goes bump in the night. Hell, there is even a delicious cheesecake god floating around, but if I were you I wouldn’t eat his brownie cheesecake.

Crymsyn worked as a psychic for many years in Boston while attending Emerson College. She graduated with a BFA in Writing, Literature, & Publishing. Crymsyn shares her life with a small zoo, three playful puppies and her hubby Mark. If you come after dark, you’re more then likely to find her snuggled up with a gory horror movie, or a bloody vampire movie.

Crymsyn has a collection of Living Dead Dolls and five bookshelves overflowing with books. Of course there’s always room for more.


About the Book: Death’s Dance

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Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are.

Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost.

From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.

From there things went from bad to worse.

Death’s Dance is Book One of the Deathly Encounters Series


Enchanted Review: Death’s Dance

A ghost town haunted by death? Yes, please!

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so anything that promises anything ghostly or haunted is right up my alley. Death’s Dance is town that doesn’t want to be found. It tries to keep Jackson away, it doesn’t appear on any map, and it’s a little cranky to have guests.

Hart comes up with a great concept. It’s a little like taking Anita Blake, MacKayla Lane, and Silent Hill and putting them in a blender, adding more death and a dash of gore, and pouring out a ghostly smoothie. It’s a fun read, especially this time of year when the weather is getting cooler, pumpkins are appearing on the porch steps, and the grim reaper could be lurking around any corner.


About the Book: Death’s Revival

deathsrevivalcover1200x800Becoming a grim reaper was right up my alley. I enjoyed being dead. I helped souls crossover into either Heaven or Hell with my fellow reaper, Than. For two years, I enjoyed my life and then the killings started.

Psychics were being murdered at haunted sites and souls disappearing.Someone was tampering with the fabric of the universe, trying to draw something evil into this world. To do that, the killer needed the souls of the psychics and the ghosts he could gather to open the doorway.

I was charged with saving those souls and find out who the serial killer was. Yeah, being used as bait was definitely not my first choice, but who can kill a grim reaper? I’m already dead.With Than’s help, I’ll stop the evil from penetrating this world so I can get back to my soul gathering.

I mean the dead stay dead, right?


Enchanted Review: Death’s Revival

This one is a solid follow-up to Death’s Dance and certainly leaves the door wide open for a third book. There are some great interactions between characters, and it’s great to see a glimpse of what’s been happening in the two years between novels.

I would like to see some more books, novellas perhaps, between these two books. I’d like to see the development of her grim reaping skills and maybe some of the inevitable “oopsies” that would happen when she’s just learning her trade.


Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crymsynhartauthor

Twitter: @CrymsynHart

Website: http://www.ravynhart.com


Tour Schedule and Activities

9/12 Beauty in Ruins Top Ten’s List

9/12 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Guest Post

9/12 The Seventh Star Blog Author Interview

9/13 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Author Interview

9/14 The Southern Belle from Hell Top Tens List

9/14 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Guest Post

9/14 Jordan Hirsch Review

9/15 Deal Sharing Aunt Author Interview

9/15 SpecMusicMuse Guest Post

9/16 Jordan Hirsch Review

9/17 I Smell Sheep Top Ten’s List

9/18 The Enchanted Alley Review


Amazon Links for Death’s Dance

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Dance-Crymsyn-Hart/dp/1941706134

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Dance-Deathly-Encounters-Book-ebook/dp/B00L8JOJAY

Barnes and Noble Link for Death’s Dance

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deaths-dance-crymsyn-hart/1119890521?ean=9781941706138


Amazon Links for Death’s Revival

Print: https://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Revival-Crymsyn-Hart/dp/1941706754 

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Deaths-Revival-Deathly-Encounters-Book-ebook/dp/B01FL38OPS

Barnes and Noble Link for Death’s Revival

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deaths-revival-crymsyn-