Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake – a Review

Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake – a Review

 

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Description:
Jazz, the powerfully magical teen first introduced in Wickedly Powerful, is now being trained as a Baba Yaga—and she’s determined to free the Broken Riders herself.

Jazz had a rough life before meeting her guardian, and she knows she’s lucky that Bella is training her to be a Baba Yaga. But the gifted young witch is frustrated by the slow pace of her lessons. Jazz knows she’s capable of even greater magic, and she wants nothing more than to find a spell that will give the Riders back the immortality they lost. 

With the reluctant assistance of Bella’s dragon-turned-cat Koshka, Jazz travels to the Otherworld to get the necessary ingredients to perform the spell. A willful young witch, dangerous magic, and one powerful wish—what could possibly go wrong?

 

Review:

Wickedly Spirited by Deborah Blake is a novella in her Baba Yaga series.  Blake has another series, Broken Riders, that is a spinoff of her Baba Yaga series.  Broken Riders are warrior men who protected the Baba Yaga witches, until a powerful crazed witch took away their immortality, emotionally breaking them. 

In Wickedly Spirited, Jazz, a teenage Baba Yaga in training is determined to find a way to help return the Broken Riders to the way they were.  Jazz lives with Bella, the Baba Yaga who is her mentor and training her.  Bella knows that Jazz has a lot of magical power, but tries to hold her back until she learns everything there is to know about using potions and spells.  Jazz is tired of being treated like a kid, which she is, and decides secretly to come up with her own potion. 

This being a novella makes it difficult to tell too much more, as it would be major spoilers.  What follows Is a fun storyline, where Jazz will visit the Otherworld, with Koshka, (a cat -really a dragon) to get what she needs to create this new potion.  She is determined to do what she feels is right, even if all the Baba Yago witches have failed.   Jazz is an overconfident teenager, who will not listen to warnings until she performs the spell she created, with an unexpected outcome, which will certainly teach her a lesson.  Do you want to know what happens…..you need to read this cute quick story.  

Deborah Blake gives us a fun fast read to lead the way to the next book in either Baba Yaga or Broken Riders series.   I really did enjoy Wickedly Spirited, as it was a nice quick fun read.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

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Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake – a Review

Veiled Menace  by Deborah Blake – a Review

 

Veiled MenaceAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM

Description:
Since Witches came out of the broom-closet in the early 21st century, they have worked alongside humans as police officers, healers, stock traders, and more. But they aren’t the only paranormal entities in our world…

Witch and police officer Donata Santori is no stranger to magical mayhem, but lately her life has been unexpectedly charmed. Her job as a Ghost Yanker now includes the occasional paranormal investigation, and she’s advancing her magical abilities with the help of an ancestor’s treasured spell book. And while both of her former love interests—reclusive half-Dragon art forger Peter Casaventi and disgraced Shapechanger Magnus Torvald—are nowhere to be found, she’s not averse to being wined and dined by wealthy businessman Anton Eastman.

But Eastman isn’t what he seems, and what he wants from Donata is far more than she’s willing to give. When a mysterious relic, the Pentacle Pentimento, resurfaces, along with Peter’s Dragon father and a shocking Santori family secret, Donata must fight to save herself, her friends, and just maybe the fate of the world from a magic as old as it is dangerous…

 

Review:

Veiled Menace by Deborah Blake is the second book in her Veiled Magic series. Veiled Menace picks up a few months after Veiled Magic ended.  Donata Santori , our heroine, is a witch & police officer, who has been elevated from working in the basement talking to the dead, to her own desk upstairs and helping the Captain on cases involving the paranormal. In this world, Supernaturals are known to the Humans, but they must also fight the prejudice of the Cabal against them.  

Donata has also been working with her aunt to learn and enhance her magical abilities.  During her off time, Donata has been dating Anton Eastman, as her former boyfriends from the 1st book, Peter and Magnus have not contacted her in 6 months.  Donata has been having strange dreams, which have become more sexual, and she soon discovers that Anton has been drugging her wine.

When Peter resurfaces after the death of his father, Donata will help him try to find out who killed him, as well as trying to find out clues in the painting that Peter still has, which played a major part of the previous story.  The weird weather, causing deaths; Anton’s desperate attempt to win Donata to be his wife; and the discovery of a new 6th species will force Donata to find the truth about the new species and stop them before all their lives will be in danger.

This was a nice, at times exciting story line, with a very good tough heroine. I did like Donata, and many of the other secondary characters, such as Doc, Chief, her cat and Ricky, the 3 foot kobold.  I liked Peter, but he annoyed me a bit with his quick anger.  I look forward to the next book of this series, as it has a lot of promises for Donata to become more powerful, and the return of Magnus. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake – Review & Interview, & Giveaway

 

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Dangerously CharmingAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
The Riders are three immortal brothers who protect the mythical Baba Yagas. But their time serving the witches has ended—and their new destinies are just beginning…
 
Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…
 
For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…
 
To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts…

 

 

Review:

Dangerously Charming by Deborah Blake is the first book in her new Broken Riders series.  This is a spinoff from Blake’s successful Baba Yaga series.  I have not read that series, but this book read very well without having to read the previous series,  as the author gives us information along the way to make it easier.  However, with that being said; I enjoyed this book and Deborah Blake’s writing, and I will need to find time to read the Baba Yaga series (3 books and 2 novellas).

Mikhail Day, our hero, is a White Rider, who protected the Baba Yaga witches, and was immortal.  We learn at the start that Mikhail is a Broken Rider, after being tortured by a crazed witch in a previous story, losing his immortality.  When we meet Mikhail, he is still recovering but in seclusion.  On a stormy night a lost young lady knocks on his door to get into safety from the rains.  Mikhail’s life will once again change.

Jenna Quinlan is our heroine, and she is desperately trying to escape a fairy, who is determined to find Jenna.  It seems that Jenna is pregnant, and the fairy, Zilya has come to claim her first born child.  Jenna’s family has suffered this curse for generations, and Jenna is desperate to find a way out. 

Mikhail at first wants nothing to do with her.  All he wants is to be alone.  But he does take her to meet the fairy Queen, who would like to help Jenna, but this curse was created long before the rules changed.  As in the land of the Fae, the Queen gives a sly hint to Mikhail to help Jenna and warns Zilya to leave Jenna alone until after the baby is born.  This gives Jenna a chance to solve the curse riddle that will release Zilya’s claim. 

What follows is a fun and romantic story line, where Mikhail and Jenna will travel through the Otherworld to find the clues.  Barbara, one of the Baba Yaga witches, will offer some help in trying to unravel the riddle, but Mikhail and Jenna must do this on their own.  Despite his wanting to be alone, slowly Mikhail finds himself falling in love with Jenna, and she with him.  We also get to meet Mikhail’s brother, who is also a Broken Rider, and whose story will be next. 

The key to a good story is always to have characters you enjoy and care about.  Deborah Blake gives us this in Dangerously Charming.  I loved Mikhail and Jenna, as they made a great couple.  I loved the supporting characters, such as Barbara, the Baba Yaga witch; Gregori, Mikhail’s brother, Babs, the young daughter of Barbara, and even the Fairy Queen was nice.   This was an enjoyable read, exciting, action-filled, as they had to fight off those trying to stop Jenna; a sweet romance, great couple, as well as spending time in the land of the Fae.  Dangerously Charming is in fact a charming & fun story. I look forward to the next book in this series, and to find time to read Deborah Blake’s Baba Yaga series. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Hi Deborah. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions today.We are always looking forward to reading about the author behind the book.  

TRC: Would you please tell us something about yourself? 

Deborah Blake
Deborah:
I live in rural upstate NY in a 130 year old farmhouse with three cats, my day job is running an artists’ cooperative shop a friend and I founded 17 years ago, and I am a practicing witch. Don’t worry…I’m a good witch, not a bad witch.  

 

 

 

TRC: Have you always been interested in writing? When and how did you first start writing? 

Deborah: I’ve been writing since I was a kid. (I think I wrote my first “novel” sitting at the back of a sixth grade class.) I dabbled some when I was in my teens and early twenties, but the rejections scared me off. I didn’t get serious until I was about 45 and had my first nonfiction book published. I guess you could call me a late bloomer!

TRC: Dangerously Charming is the 1st book in your Broken Riders series. Can you please tell us about the premise of this series? How many books are you planning for this series?

Deborah: The Riders were side characters in the Baba Yaga series, companions and friends of the Baba Yagas. Something BAD happened to them in the third book (hence the “broken” in Broken Rider) and this series follows the three Riders as they try to figure out new lives…and their mysterious new abilities. The Baba Yagas do make appearance in these books, too. At the moment, the plan is for three books, one for each Rider, Day, Sun, and Knight.

Dangerously Charming
TRC:
Can you please give us a brief description of Dangerously Charming?  

Deborah: Ever since a near-fatal mistake stripped Mikhail Day and his brothers of their calling to be Riders, Day has hidden from his shame and his new, mortal life in a remote cabin in the Adirondack mountains. But when a desperate young woman appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist helping her—and cannot deny how strongly he’s drawn to her…
 
For generations, women in Jenna Quinlan’s family have been cursed to give up their first born child to the vengeful fairy Zilya. When Jenna finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is determined to break her family’s curse and keep her baby, even if it means teaming up with a mysterious and charismatic man with demons of his own…
 
To unravel the curse, Jenna and Day will have to travel deep into the Otherworld. But the biggest challenge of the journey might not be solving an ancient puzzle but learning to heal their own broken hearts… 

TRC: Broken Riders is a spin off from your Baba Yaga series.  For those who may not have read your Baba Yaga series, can you please give us a brief description of the series? 

Deborah: The Baba Yaga series is an updated version of the Russian fairy tales about a powerful witch. These days, Baba Yaga is more of a job title than an individual person, and the series features three different women—all powerful witches, but all very different—as they cope with magical challenges (and some pretty challenging non-magical men). Luckily, they have help from the Riders, and each has her own Chudo-Yudo, the Baba Yaga’s mythical dragon companion, disguised as a giant white pit bull, a huge black Newfoundland, and a massive Norwegian Forest Cat. (People would probably notice a dragon.)  

TRC: How did you come up with the idea of Baba Yaga

Deborah: My agent Elaine and I were talking one day about what I should write next. We agreed that we both liked my books that had witches as protagonists, and we both liked updated fairy tales. So I tried to figure out which fairy tales hadn’t been overused (and had witches in them that weren’t completely the bad guys) and ta da! Baba Yaga.

TRC: You write multiple genres, such as Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, etc .   Do you have a preference on writing a genre, and have you thought of writing a different genre?

Deborah: I love both Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy I’ve written for Berkley (plus the nonfiction books on witchcraft I write for Llewellyn), but right now I’m actually working on a humorous contemporary romance. I love books that make me laugh. And romance, of course.

TRC: Can you please tell us what you working on now, and what you have upcoming in 2016/2017?

Right now I’m working on the romantic comedy, a book of cat magic, another Baba Yaga novella, and revisions on the second Rider novel, which will be out in November 2017. There will also be a second novel in the Veiled Magic series come spring, the novella towards fall, and I have a tarot deck coming out from Llewellyn in January 2017. 

TRC: What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Deborah: I do outline. I have since about the second book I wrote, but now that I am working with an editor, I always have to submit a synopsis for each book anyway. I actually do fairly extensive outlines, since they help when I get stuck or overwhelmed. I write sitting in a red recliner or on the couch (which also reclines) in my living room, since it seems to be the easiest on my back and arms, and it also makes it easy for the cats to supervise me. I usually work in the evenings, from about 6:30 until 10:30 (give or take), although on the weekends and days off, I sometimes also do another stint in the morning. And yes, that means I work seven days a week, most of the time. 

TRC: When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Deborah: Besides cats? (laugh) I make jewelry, have an extensive garden, and I like to cook. I also am the high priestess of a small coven, so I do some magical things with the gang on occasion.   

TRC: Would you like to add anything else? 

Deborah: I love my readers—they have been so supportive of my books and my writing. I hope people will come connect with me on my blog, Facebook, and Twitter. And I hope they read and enjoy Dangerously Charming! 

To learn more about Deborah Blake, you can find her at the following links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

 

 LIGHTNING ROUND 

Favorite Food: Chocolate. No, lobster. No, chocolate. Okay, bacon.

Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu 

Favorite Movie: The Princess Bride 

Favorite TV Show: Firefly (yes, I know it is off the air—I’m still bitter) 

Favorite Movie or TV Celebrity: Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) 

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Dark all the way 

Favorite literary character (not your own): Alanna (Tamora Pierce’s heroine) 

Dog or Cat: Cats (although I do like dogs too)   

Thank you, Deborah, for answering our questions. The Reading Café wishes you the best of luck with Dangerously Charming.

 

giveaway

Deborah’s publisher is offering a paper copy of DANGEROUSLY CHARMING to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Please follow Deborah Blake Facebook.

4. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

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7. Please follow The Reading Cafe on Tumblr

8. Giveaway open to USA only

9. Giveaway runs from October 7-11, 2016

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