Tag Archives: adventure

Lured by Light by Beth Barany (Book Review)


At Bijoux de L’Etoile, the high-end casino orbiting Earth, anything can happen.

It’s a quiet day for L’Étoile lead investigator, Janey McCallister, until a young woman runs screaming through the blackjack tables. She looks like a victim of abuse, but when her boyfriend turns up dead the next day, she becomes the prime suspect.

Determined to investigate every angle, Janey searches for clues and uncovers a world of high-priced escorts and human trafficking—a world just like the one that took the life of her best friend long ago.

When Orlando Valdez, inspector for Sol Unified Planets, shows up with a new suspect, Janey isn’t sure she can trust the mercurial man who stopped returning her phone calls. But as the threats escalate and she unravels a deeper conspiracy, Janey and her team will need all the help they can get. If they fail, it could be the end of everyone on L’Étoile.

***

Lured By Light, the second book in the Janey McCallister Mystery series, is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys, and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick-ass heroine with secrets.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Lured By Light didn’t fail to keep me entertained. It had mystery, suspense, murder, misunderstandings, futuristic tech gadgets, more questions than answers, and left me counting down the days until Gone Green releases in 2021. 

As with Into the Black, Orlando Valdez worked his way back into one of Janey’s case and, I believe, her heart. Of course, I’m not entirely sure he ever left it. He’s charming but irritating at the same time. One day soon, I think these two will eventually get some quality time together. Maybe Orlando will wear a costume for fun, not just for his undercover assignments. *wink, wink*

As for the ending, Janey didn’t get everything she wanted. The loose ends mean more books, and I am 100% on board for this.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤ 

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The ‘Janey McCallister Mystery’ Series Reading Order

Into the Black: Kindle Purchase Link / Print Purchase Link

Lured By Light: Kindle Purchase Link / Print Purchase Link

Coming 2021 – Gone Green: Kindle Purchase Link

Red Running Deep: Date TBD

 

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

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‘Henrietta The Dragon Slayer’ Series by Beth Barany (Multi-Book Showcase)

Henrietta YA Fantasy Box Set: Books 1-3

Recommended Age: 12+
Genres/Themes: YA, adventure, fantasy

Buy all three at once!

 

 

You can also purchase each book individually.
Keep scrolling for more information / purchase links! 

 

 ~ ~ Book 1 ~~ 

She’s a legend at 17, but only Henrietta knows the price she paid for her fame … and it was much too high.

From the Winner of the California Fiction Writer’s Book Contest comes this thrilling adventure of a young warrior on one final quest … against an opponent she swore never to face again.

Henrietta, the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve, can’t face the thought of another kill.

She’s lost family, friends and home on her rocky road to fame.

But when the young warrior is summoned by a King to retrieve the Dragon Stone from the last dragon in existence, she can’t refuse–her mentor lies dying, and the healing stone is all that can save him.

This quest will be her most harrowing of all, for it means facing mysterious assassins, the dreaded choppy sea, and all with a misfit band — a young witch, a jester and a surly knight. And at journey’s end, someone must die … the dragon, or Henrietta.

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EXCERPT

Henrietta strode away from the tavern, fists clenched so hard they hurt. At two paces from the forest edge, the ground crunched in the black night behind her. Even with her ale-fogged brain, she sensed the presence of a man, smelled on him soot, leather and metal, and knew he was armed, but wore no armor.

She didn’t have time for this.

“What do you want?” Henrietta whirled to face the thrill seeker, her long sword drawn, her red hair whipping across her chilled cheeks. Above her head, the bitter wind keened through the forest trees.

The man hovered five feet-lengths away from her, out of sword reach, his face shadowed by the light of the tavern behind him. “I heard your story back there.” His voice, thick with a foreign accent she couldn’t place, held no compliment. “I hear you’re looking for a new quest.”

“Who gave you that idea?”

“The Song of the Dragon Slayer.” The man’s tone was flat.

So he wasn’t a fan. She didn’t care. She cared that he didn’t move any closer. Empty hands at his sides, a sheathed long sword at his belt, he was broad shouldered and taller than her by half a head.

She re-sheathed her sword reluctantly. “So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s only a song.”

“A song about you. That is why you must come with me now.” He stepped toward her, his face still hidden by darkness.

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~ ~ Book 2 ~~ 

What if all those you loved were threatened by a force you couldn’t see or fight?

Henrietta the legendary ass kicking dragon slayer wants to return to her village for a heroes’ welcome. But an unknown sorcerer rides after her and her Dragon Stone, and aims to destroy everyone she cares about.

Can she claim her newfound powers sparked by the Dragon Stone and keep her loved ones safe, especially her more-than-friend, and her stalwart bodyguard, before the sorcerer destroys her and everything in his path?

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The early morning dawn hovered as fog wrapped around the ancient castle. Henrietta hoofed it up a staircase to meet with the new king. She was impatient to set sail on the mid-morning tide.

Henrietta knocked and slipped into the room on the command to enter. She greeted Jaxter with a firm quick hug, then stepped back, waiting for him to speak. In the castle turret room, her good friend, Jaxter, now the new King Renaldo of the Oro Islands, sat in his raised chair, regarding her with a straight face.

She wanted to shift from foot to foot, but schooled her nervous energy. That wouldn’t do for her new role as Ambassador for King Renaldo’s kingdom. Even if, she guessed, it was only an honorary title to thank her for all she’d done.

A merchant class junk would sail in a few hours, and she’d be on it, heading home to the Kingdom of Bleuve—her home. The gyrating tide in Plumaria’s large harbor beckoned her. Plumaria was the colorful, bustling capital and only large city on the main island of this nation of one hundred-plus islands. She’d miss the place. Another time she’d have to come back to explore the islands, now that she wasn’t afraid anymore of water or boats.

Jaxter smiled, his expression tinged at the edges with sadness. He was hiding something from her.

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 ~ ~ Book 3 ~~ 

Finally, the sweeping conclusion to the Henrietta The Dragon Slayer trilogy! 

Parted by destiny, the four friends struggle to rejoin forces and face for a final time, the ruthless sorcerer intent on destroying them all.

In the biggest challenge of her life, Henrietta the legendary Dragon Slayer of Bleuve must lead her people into a battle that may end life as they know it. For they face no ordinary army, but the dark forces of a powerful sorcerer bent on overtaking all five kingdoms. And unless she can rescue her dauntless knight Franc, she must do it without his support.

Franc will follow Henrietta anywhere. But on a mission to find allies among the Horse People, he is kidnapped and taken by minions of the evil sorcerer Eyvindir. Will he find the strength and courage to survive, and fight again at Henrietta’s side?

Paulette, the young fire witch, must stand trial for a murder committed out of desperation. In despair at her imprisonment by forces acting against her dearest friend, Jaxter, she escapes and flees to the frigid, forbidden land of Varangia to find a witch powerful enough to help her finally master fire. But what must she give up to gain the power to aid her friends?

Jaxter, now a king, must come to terms with the heavy responsibilities of ruling the Oro Islands, newly emerged from over 75 years of evil rule. This means doing right, even when it means going against ancient customs and protocols. Worse, the marauding Varangians press at his borders. He must find a way to defend his home, or none of them will survive.

Will Henrietta and her friends be able to stop the ruthless sorcerer from obliterating her, claiming the Dragon Stone, and ruling over the Five Kingdoms?

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EXCERPT

Henrietta leaned over the bowsprit and peered into the black churning sea that hissed and slapped the wooden sides of the junk. But they weren’t home yet, so she would make the best of her time during the voyage.

“Ready?” Franc said behind her.

She spun, her sword poised. “You’re late.”

He crouched. “You’re in high spirits.” He stepped into her, testing.

She danced to one side. “Leoni finally let me out of training. Those robes.” She shook her head.

“I think you look—”

She silenced him with a glare and stepped-feinted with her left foot and swung her sword from the right.

He caught it in time and countered easily with a quick spin to the left and a slice toward her middle.

She blocked him. “I look what?”

“If I tell you, will you knock me flat?”

“Maybe.” Henrietta grinned. She was free of the restrictive Oro diplomat robes and her limbs were loose and giddy. She had the rest of the afternoon to practice with Franc.

Franc shrugged, a half grin on his face, so uncharacteristic of him. She froze at his expression. Then jumped into action, somersaulting over some tightly coiled ropes on the deck, just as the junk lifted over a wave. She laughed and landed on her feet in a crouch. Nimbler than he looked, Franc swiped for her feet. She leapt.

“Well?” she said.

“Well what?” He squinted at her. The afternoon sun was in his eyes.

 

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Fun Facts about Beth:

* She speaks fluent French and has lived in Paris, France twice, and in Quebec, Canada, once. She also can say Thank you in over 15 languages. Merci!

* She’s run 4 sprint triathlons (swim, bike, run) and finished each one.

* She has earned 2 belts, so far, in capoeira.

To learn more about Beth, visit her website.

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The Soulweb by Steven M Nedeau (Book Review)

Centuries ago, King Mavius’s spell caused destruction beyond reasoning, weaving a web around and through the souls of his knights. Even now the spell of that long dead king pulls at his descendants and Jaron must trade his books for blades when Mavius, with his knights behind him, returns from beyond the grave to reclaim his throne.

Pushing heavy tomes onto marble shelves and translating archaic text until the wee hours of the night could not prepare Jaron for the trials in store for him. After years of teaching history, he will learn that books do not always tell the truth as he becomes a pawn in a war between kings.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

If you even remotely like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy a wee bit, then you’ll love The Soulweb. It possessed some of the same qualities as J. R. R. Tolkien’s works of art. 

  • important mission
  • dwarves
  • elves
  • creatures
  • epic battle scenes
  • magic
  • unique alliances
  • dragons
  • dead people
  • a ring: The Soulweb’s ring wasn’t precious, though. 😀

 

The Soulweb had its unique properties, which kept me engrossed in the storyline. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll attempt to keep things vague to peak your interest: Keepers of the Royal Secret, stone mage, shades, talking lion, secret passages, and lizard riders. 

With everything mentioned above, how could I not be highly entertained?! How could anyone walk away from this book feeling disappointed?! I don’t think it’s possible. 

Do I recommend The Soulweb to others?

OH YEAH! Most definitely!!! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤ 

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My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

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Juggernaut – Writer: Fabian Nicieza, Penciler: Ron Garney, and Cover Artist: Geoffrey Shaw

Publication Date: September 23, 2020

READY OR ‘NAUT, HERE HE COMES! A mystic gem. A force of overwhelming power. Nothing can stop the Juggernaut. Except himself. Another building falls. Cain Marko is done letting others pick up the pieces of the things he’s destroyed. Renowned X-scribe Fabian Nicieza (X-FORCE, DEADPOOL) and celebrated artist Ron Garney (CAPTAIN AMERICA, DAREDEVIL) team up to take the unstoppable in a new bold new direction!

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Publication Date : October 21, 2020

SMASH OR BE SMASHED! Juggernaut isn’t the only one who’s left destruction in his wake, and he thinks it’s about time for the IMMORTAL HULK to take responsibility for his actions!

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Coming: November 18, 2020

JUGGERNAUT ON TRIAL! It’s no secret Juggernaut has been on the wrong side of the law in the past… but can even justice stop him? Or will he tear down the system?

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Coming: December 9, 2020

KNOCK DOWN, DRAG OUT! For once, Juggernaut is worried about something other than himself. It’s not easy, it’s not what he’s used to… but D-Cell is counting on him. Try and stop him from helping.

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Book 5 – TBD

 

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The ‘Janey McCallister Mystery’ Series by Beth Barany (Multi-Book Showcase)

She wanted to make her mark. How hard could it be?

In 2130, at Bijoux de L’Etoile, a high-end casino orbiting Earth, you can get anything you desire.

Newly-hired as an investigator, Janey McCallister wants to solve her first big case—the theft of a priceless gem.

When her case of theft escalates to murder and points to the seedy underbelly of world affairs, Janey has to rely on her new team and trust the mysterious insurance investigator, Orlando Valdez—before a killer escapes into the black.

***

Into The Black is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough heroine with secrets.

Kindle Purchase Link
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Her implant flagged a quick movement in the crowd. Out of place, a shadow shifted. She clicked on her video. She’d get irrefutable evidence this time. Hope and determination fluttered in her chest.

A short, grey-haired man wove his way through the crowd, shoulders hunched, barely jostling people. Her implant flashed an ID: Mortimer Xang. His hotel record showed he’d arrived via space jet a week ago, and he had a room in the mid-priced level. No others in his party. He was leaving on the next transport Earthside in a few hours. Payee: Xang Enterprises.

One minute left.

He looked innocent enough, except for how one corner of his mouth quirked up in a faint smirk even though his gaze was downcast. His arms seemed pasted to the side of his body, and he took tiny steps as if to make himself even smaller.

Classic moves of a thief. Suspicious, though not evidence.

Her vid was recording, but all the other thefts had happened under the casino cameras and had not been detected.

She’d always trusted her intuition and her ability to read body cues before. But since she’d come to the station, she’d gotten it wrong twice. Should she wait for another sign that Xang was guilty? No, her gut told her he was up to something. She trusted that.

If she waited for the pickpocket to strike tonight, they could be here all night and still come up empty. She had to act now.

But if her instincts were wrong again, she’d be looking for a new job tomorrow.

“Got a possible,” Janey said to her team. “Shawhan, guard the exit. Lane, converge on my position. Kou, take our six.”

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At Bijoux de L’Etoile, the high-end casino orbiting Earth, anything can happen.

It’s a quiet day for L’Étoile lead investigator, Janey McCallister, until a young woman runs screaming through the blackjack tables. She looks like a victim of abuse, but when her boyfriend turns up dead the next day, she becomes the prime suspect.

Determined to investigate every angle, Janey searches for clues and uncovers a world of high-priced escorts and human trafficking—a world just like the one that took the life of her best friend long ago.

When Orlando Valdez, inspector for Sol Unified Planets, shows up with a new suspect, Janey isn’t sure she can trust the mercurial man who stopped returning her phone calls. But as the threats escalate and she unravels a deeper conspiracy, Janey and her team will need all the help they can get. If they fail, it could be the end of everyone on L’Étoile.

***

Lured By Light, the second book in the Janey McCallister Mystery series, is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys, and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick-ass heroine with secrets.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

She said good-night to Faizah and stood up to go. Just then, from deeper in the casino, a young woman in a short, rainbow-sequined, barely-anything-there dress dashed past the bar. Fear tightened the young woman’s mouth, her olive skin splotched red. Her short brown hair flopped in her bloodshot eyes as she pushed through the crowd, saying something Janey couldn’t hear above the clamor of the huge room.

The young woman made barely a ripple in the boisterous, game-playing crowd, but Janey noticed her. She was trained to notice anything out of the ordinary, but this was more than different. This was startling. The young woman bore an uncanny resemblance to her best friend, Christine, who’d been dead for over four years now.

Time to intercept and find out why the young woman was in such a hurry and so distressed.

Janey rushed to interrupt the woman’s trajectory toward the casino exit.

She strode through the crowd while her ocular implant ran a facial rec and dished her the woman’s name and hotel registration: Amelia Gain. Her check-in date was seven days ago, her hotel registration and premium room service paid for by the Eshe Kamal Coffee, a corporate city-state inside of the Independent Empire of Ethiopia. She looked young, no more than twenty-three, but corporate often sent their staff to L’Étoile as a corporate perk or for bonus vacations. And five to ten percent of L’Étoile’s guests came from Eshe Kamal Coffee.

Amelia’s heart rate accelerated and her breathing shortened, all details Janey registered in a flash on her ocular implant in her right eye, which scrolled data continuously across the top of her visual field.

Janey was two arm lengths behind her, then one. Close enough to hear what the young woman was saying under her breath.

“Oh my god, no! No more. I can’t…He can’t…I won’t…” Amelia’s words burst out between sobs.

Near the slot machines at the casino entrance, Janey reached out to touch Amelia’s shoulder to slow her progress and get her attention. “Can I help you?”

Amelia flinched from Janey’s outstretched hand and shook her head. Tears streaked her cheeks. “No!” Her strident voice carried above the whine and buzz of jangling slot machines.

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Coming April 14, 2021

L’Étoile’s lead investigator Janey McCallister faces her hardest case yet.

On the eve of the hotel space station’s twentieth anniversary celebrations, Janey must discover who robbed the casino’s vault, killed one security guard, and left another badly wounded.

Since the casino has only a day’s worth of cash on hand, she needs to solve the case before the theft creates a mass panic and puts the casino-hotel out of business—and before the criminal strikes again.

During the search for those responsible, Janey and Orlando Valdez, her on-again off-again lover, and undercover cop for the Sol Unified Planets, are kidnapped in mysterious parts of the station.

Not only does Janey have to work together with Valdez to get free, but she’s faced with a terrible choice between saving the life of someone she cares about and protecting the hotel casino guests and staff. Janey must face enemies from within and outside unexpected quarters.

***

Gone Green is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick ass heroine with secrets.

Kindle Purchase Link

 

 

 Janey McCallister Mystery series
Into The Black (Book 1)
Lured By Light (Book 2)
Gone Green (Book 3) – Coming April 14, 2021
Red Running Deep (Book 4) – Date TBD

 

 

Award winning author, Beth Barany writes in several genres including young adult adventure fantasy, paranormal romance, and science fiction mysteries. Inspired by living abroad in France and Quebec, she loves creating magical tales of romance, mystery, and adventure that empower women and girls to be the heroes of their own lives.

For fun, Beth enjoys walking her neighborhood, gardening on her patio, and watching movies and traveling with her husband, author Ezra Barany. They live in Oakland, California with a piano and over 1,000 books.

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/itbnews.

 

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