Tag Archives: J.L. Murray

New release: Monstrous (Blood of Cain Book 1)

READ THIS BOOK! If you like dark, original, beautiful, twisted and unpredictable this is the book for you.

The advantage of having cool FB friends is that you get their books before the release date, I, am extremely lucky and had the good fortune to read it. My review? Emm… well you all know I am not much of a writer so bare with me.

That blurb below, forget it, J.L. Murray makes it out as if it´s just another paranormal book, believe me it is not. Nothing prepared me for the original story line, the amazing characters, the constant twists in the plot or the beautiful writing. A touch of darkness permeates every page and grips you until you reach the last one.  Definitely a 6 star read.

Monstrous (Blood of Cain Book 1)

Amazon: Monstrous by J.L. Murray

Frankie Mourning died on a Thursday. Then she came back.

Tasked with killing the killers – people with the blood of Cain running through their veins – Frankie always gets her villain. But this time it’s different. This time she has to go home. Something strange is happening in Helmville, Montana. People are dying at an alarming rate, and the sheriff is ruling them all accidents and suicides. Nothing is as it seems and Frankie soon finds herself sucked into the tangled and seemingly supernatural mystery. Because the people acting strangely, the people killing everyone around her are haunting the mirrors. Now Frankie’s own reflection is behaving strangely and seems hellbent on causing her harm.

In a world enmeshed in remote beauty, dark magic, and violent memories, Frankie feels lost. Luckily, a detective on the run for murder shows up. Thomas Dekker wants to help and claims he cares about Frankie. But daring to trust him could cost her everything.




Urban Fantasy, where to start?

Part 1

Picking up a new genre is never easy and when you pick up one that usually includes vampires, shape-shifters, fae and other such interesting creatures, you really need to open that first page with an open mind. If there is a rule where to start, not only do I not know about it and to be honest neither do I care. Instead I will give you a list of my favorites over the years. So if you want to have a go here is some options for you to look at but there are so many good collections out there that I will continue the list at a later stage.

A Hidden Fire

A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter


One of my favorites is Elizabeth Hunter,  I am absolutely addicted to her books and have no qualms with this recommendation.

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mysterious manuscript he’s hunted for over five hundred years. He never expected a young student librarian could be the key to unlock its secrets, nor could he have predicted the danger she would attract.

Now he and Beatrice De Novo follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, though the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation hundreds of years in the making.

History and the paranormal collide in A Hidden Fire, the first book in the bestselling Elemental Mysteries series and semifinalist in the Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012.

Magic Bites

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

kate daniels.jpg

Another absolute favourite is the Ilona Andrews duo and their books are as good as it gets as far as reading UF goes.

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate’s guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t have it any other way…

Moon Called

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson.jpg

There is something about Mercy Thompson that once you start reading you won´t want to put it down.

Mercy Thompson’s life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn’t exactly normal herself.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by J.L. Murray


J.L. Murray is an incredibly talented writer but unlike the above authors she has a little darkness in her pen. The story doesn’t go the way you expect and the results are startling to say the least. One of the most fun reads ever in UF.

Niki Slobodian sees things – things that aren’t supposed to be there. Labeled an Abnormal by New Government, her name is tacked onto the Registry, which seems to be getting longer these days. Now she can’t work or she’ll end up the same place as her father: in prison. But with no money coming in, Niki’s getting desperate.

Kindling the Moon

Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett


There is a special story about this book, when it first came out Amazon did not deliver to Mozambique and I didn´t have a kindle at the time. I emailed the author and asked if it was possible to buy directly from her, I was after all desperate to read this book. Jenn Bennett did better than that, she sent me a PDF to my email. I have since then purchased all the books but the PDF is still in my email, it is a special momento which I am not quite willing to let go.

Meet Arcadia Bellbartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . .

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Storm Front

Storm Front by Jim Butcher


Jim Butcher is a must if you read UF. Personally, I don´t think a UF list is quite complete without his name on it.

Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago’s first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out the ‘everyday’ world is full of strange and magical things – and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in.

Harry is the best at what he does – and not just because he’s the only one who does it. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal capabilities, they look to him for answers. There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks.

So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get . . . interesting.

Magic – it can get a guy killed.

Hope that you find something that you like here, these, are in my humble opinion, worth your time and money.





One of my favourite books is free on Amazon.

This is such an amazing read and Niki Slobodian is the woman you want to be, well not the unemployed and broke one but the kind that saves herself.


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (The Niki Slobodian Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

Niki Slobodian sees things – things that aren’t supposed to be there. Labeled an Abnormal by New Government, her name is tacked onto the Registry, which seems to be getting longer these days. Now she can’t work or she’ll end up the same place as her father: in prison. But with no money coming in, Niki’s getting desperate.

So when a mysterious client offers to get her off the Registry in exchange for taking his case, Niki jumps at the chance. All she has to do is round up a homicidal Dark that’s escaped from Hell and is cruising around the city in borrowed bodies. The murders are piling up, with Niki’s notorious father somehow involved, and Niki’s running out of time. And it seems the Dark isn’t the only thing that escaped…

Promoting one of my favourite series

This book is always free. And the series is complete, so no waiting.
‪#‎selfpromofriday‬ ‪#‎urbanfantasy‬ ‪#‎reading‬ ‪#‎indie‬

Rereading books… Why do we do that?

f027f96ece4ba627fea90e0b3f7eb55c image source: on bt-images.net

How many people reread certain books? I don´t mean once more like five years down the line, I am talking about rereading them regularly.

I hadn´t given it much thought until last night when I started rereading a series of books that I must have read at least ten times already. I have approximately 30 new books on my kindle so reading one of the new books would seem the logical thing to do, instead I revert back to those that I know.
Don´t get me wrong, I do read the new ones, I had just finished reading one of the said new books by Anne Bishop, Written in Red (which I haven´t reviewed because I have no idea how to review that book), but instead of starting something new I opened up the Kate Daniels series…. again.

A few chapters in and I was wondering why I was reading this again, anyway, I realised that certain books comfort me, the stories, the characters, the writing. I know that I will be happy after I read it, that there is a contentment to be found that will make me smile and say, “This is a great book!”. Rereading something that I love is safe and I know that I won´t feel uncomfortable or disturbed with what I have read. I also realised that I tend to reread my favourite books after reading something that has left me confused in any way. Having said that Anne Bishop´s Written in Red was not what I expected, I´m just not sure how I feel about the story or the characters so I went back to what I know and enjoy for another read.

So to Ilona Andrews, Meljean Brook, Elizabeth Hunter, J.L. Murray and so many more, thank you for being my safety net in the literary world.

Book give away: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Niki Slobodian #1) by J.L. Murray

So, I mentioned a book giveaway and I wanted to give something that would appeal to both men and women. Ok gents, you must realise how hard that is for me because I love a good romance, but fortunately for you J.L. Murray seems to have skipped the whole romance thing when it was being dished out so instead she provides us with wonderful dark fantasy. If you like the genre you should really give this a try.

So here is how this will work, you can either leave a reply below or message me telling me why you want to read this book, I wrote a piece on J.L. Murray and later on why I loved this series, you don’t have to read it to tell me why you want to read this. I will choose my favourite three replies and perhaps I will ask J.L. Murray to choose the best one.

Please note that I will gift the book via Amazon, if you only have a nook my apologies but Barnes and Noble doesn’t sell books outside the US so Amazon it will have to be. I will announce the winner on Friday.


Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Niki Slobodian, #1)

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Niki Slobodian #1)

by J.L. Murray (Goodreads Author)

“It’s not like the movies, where they don’t know they’re dead. They don’t often haunt people or places for revenge, and as far as I know they don’t befriend lonely children. Usually. If you could see them, you might not even know them from some of the living. Empty-eyed and looking around at the world like they can’t believe it’s all still there and going on without them. Or maybe they’re seeing it for the first time. This city is full of ghosts. I can see them all. Lucky me.”

Niki Slobodian sees things – things that aren’t supposed to be there. Labeled an Abnormal by New Government, her name is tacked onto the Registry, which seems to be getting longer these days. Now she can’t work or she’ll end up the same place as her father: in prison. But with no money coming in, Niki’s getting desperate.

So when a mysterious client offers to get her off the Registry in exchange for taking his case, Niki jumps at the chance. All she has to do is round up a homicidal Dark that’s escaped from Hell and is cruising around the city in borrowed bodies. The murders are piling up, with Niki’s notorious father somehow involved, and Niki’s running out of time. And it seems the Dark isn’t the only thing that escaped.

The Devil’s Backbone… how I got here

It’s after 10 pm here and probably not the best time to be drinking a cup of coffee, but surely somewhere in the world it’s still perfectly appropriate to have a cup, so for right now I will just be somewhere else where the sun is still shining (or not).


Earlier I posted the cover and blurb of the soon to be released “The Devil’s Backbone”, book 5 in the Niki Slobodian series by the author J.L. Murray. There is a good reason to be excited about this series and the new book to be released. This is one of my favourite authors and she writes one of my favourite series, these are also amongst my detox books, essential to my survival.

Niki Slobodian is a unique fictional character, her life is just one shitty thing after another. This woman does nothing the easy way, but the author created an intelligent character, she’s clever and resourceful and damn she can take a lot of crap, but she can be kind and funny enough, she’s sort of balanced. If life dished me a third of what this woman gets in the books I would welcome death with a smile on my lips and a margarita in my hand thanking him for coming and looking forward to the journey.

I will tell you about my love affair with this series, it all started out with a book called Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, the story about Niki Slobodian is that she sees ghosts. She lives in this crazy world world created by the author, so very different and yet so similar to ours, anyway she is labelled an Abnormal by the New Government, her name is put on the Registry, which means that she can’t work or she’ll end up in prison. Obviously with no money she becomes desperate and that’s when the fun begins and you meet some more spectacular characters.

Then pops in a mysterious client offers to get her off the Registry in exchange for taking a job for him, the woman has no money so she does the obvious. How difficult can it be, I mean all she has to do is catch some psychotic demon that escaped from Hell and is leaving murdered bodies all over the place. I wish I could say that that’s that in a nutshell, but the truth is that it is so much more, but I can’t share anymore and risk giving away spoilers for people who haven’t yet read the books.

So ends book one and I now I have another problem, I’m addicted to this series. I do what all desperate bookaholics do, went straight to Amazon looking for book 2… not yet published! Panic sets in, but I stalk the author and discover that book 2 will be available soon.

The Devil is a Gentleman is released and J.L. Murray gives noir a new meaning. (From the blurb) Everyone Niki knows hates Congressman Frank Bradley. He is the father of New Government, after all. He started the Registry, and the world adopted it. Bradley is the man who separated Abnormals and Normals, and made it a crime for Abbies to exist.
So when Bradley shows up at Niki’s door bearing a terrible secret, then promptly disappears, she feels compelled to dig deeper. But the more Niki uncovers, the more danger she is in. A mysterious organization is out for her blood – literally – and her father’s criminal past may not be as self-serving as she thought. There is also the matter of Niki’s inscrutable employer Sam and the secret of his identity. With help from her partner Bobby Gage, Niki finds out just how little she knew about her family, and the truth of who she really is.

Now let me say that Sam’s character is as weird as they come, and I am so enjoying him, then I find myself thinking, “Aahh!!! this author is turning me into a freak!!” (but a very happy freak). And the blurb? don’t trust that blurb, it makes you believe that it’s going to be an easy read, you know just a chapter or two before you go to bed, IT’S ALL LIES!! You stay up the whole night to finish it, a cup of coffee in the morning?? that’s a joke right? You have to dunk your head in the coffee pot, drink it and sniff the beans, and it’s not only because of lack of sleep, it’s because you are still recovering from the damn roller-coaster ride that the author has just put you through.

After months of suffering J.L. Murray finally gives us Before the Devil Know’s You’re Dead. From previous experience I no longer believe her blurbs, so I wait to read the book on a Friday night knowing that I can sleep in the next morning (or go to bed the next morning to be more accurate).

From the blurb: The worlds are out of balance. The Creator is missing. And the war between Heaven and Hell has begun.
Niki Slobodian came back, but there were side effect. She is filled with a strange power no one seems to be able to explain. Not even Sam. She is also plagued with strange visions whenever she touches anyone. This does nothing but complicate the fact that she may be the reason for the war raging in the streets of her own city. A war that could mean the end of humanity.
Niki has always done whatever she had to for the people she loves, but this time is different. With carnage escalating and the people she cares for in danger, Niki and Sam must work together to save what is left of humanity. And with a psychotic archangel trying to assume to post of the Creator, and one slim chance to right the balance, the odds are against them.
Nothing is ever easy for a Slobodian. Not even stopping a war that could unmake the world.

I finish this book and I’m staring blankly at my kindle… I inhale, exhale and keep from screaming not to wake the members of the household. This author is not human, she is a spawn from hell, she didn’t make up these characters!! She knows them! She has met every single one of them on her way to the surface!!!

The Devil Was an Angel is released, and I stare at my kindle reluctant to start reading the book. What the hell is she going to do this time (the author not Niki). I head for the kitchen to grab my coffee, strong and black, I glimpse at the bottle of tequila from the corner of my eye and think about it for a second longer than I should, I head for the coffee, not a good idea to read this book even mildly intoxicated.

Form the blurb: Niki Slobodian knows loss. She knows tragedy. But she has never known this kind of pain. After the war the Archangel Michael waged on her city, Niki is dealing with the loss of her loved ones. And the haunting suspicion that everything was her fault. As well as her new duty to help all the lost souls cross over.
But when Niki’s only living friend, Bobby Gage, comes up missing, she has to take action. She enlists the help of Lucifer and together they learn that Bobby has been tracking Kane, the man who murdered his family, and is now killing again, leaving a trail of mutilated corpses all across the globe. And with the power to disappear unnoticed, it seems an impossible feat to find him and stop him.
But Niki is familiar with the impossible. And she would do anything to help her only living friend. Anything.

Maybe I should have gone for the tequila after all… but she has redeemed herself (again the author not Niki) and I rant and rave my praise for her exceptional writing. And am once again waiting anxiously for the next Niki installment, which is to come soon.

And that people, is the story of my love affair with the Niki Slobodian series. I can only encourage you to grab her books and read them if you haven’t done so yet, but keep the coffee… or the tequila close at hand for emergencies. On the other hand if you have already read them, you probably understand perfectly well what I’m talking about.

J.L. Murray, you are the best.