Monday, April 29, 2013

Voracious by Alice Henderson


(I bought this book.)

Back of the Book Blurb:
Madeline Keye’s gift—to touch someone and see flashes of the past—has set her apart from family and friends. She finds sanctuary in the wilderness, until a backcountry hike in Glacier National Park turns into a hunt—with her as the prey. Because something that’s not human is out there. And it’s hungry. 
(Published 2009.)

This was one intense book!  Although published by Jove under their Horror imprint, this book would better be labelled as paranormal thriller with a touch of romance.
Madeline is hiking in Glacier National Park, enjoying the solitude and peace of the wilderness, when she senses she is being watched.  Right afterward she is caught in a flash flood and nearly drowns. She is pulled from the flood by a handsome man named Noah.  Shortly after Madeline sees a strange, sleek humanoid shape crawling on the rocks by the riverbank, and Noah tells her it is a deadly predator he has been hunting for a long time.  Noah is more than he appears to be, and he tries to protect Madeline by sending her down the mountain to the ranger station while fighting off the creature.  And from this point on it's a deadly game of cat and mouse, inhuman predator and human prey, and I could not put the book down.  It was intense and spooky, and the author did a great job of maintaining a consistent level of suspense and action.  Madeline is smart and resourceful and terrified, but she realizes that she is now hunted, and she agrees to use her psychic gift to help Noah hunt the creature.
I really liked Madeline - she has been isolated, a pariah, shunned by her family and community her entire life because of her ability.  She was hoping to start a new, anonymous life in a big city when she caught the attention of a millenia-old predator.  She is torn between doing the right thing and having the life she has dreamed of, and her inner turmoil is compounded by her increasing attraction and affection for Noah.
Noah and the creature are also really well developed.  Their histories are intriguing and detailed.  The glimpses into the creature's history are tantalizing as we learn he is thousands of years old, and may or may not have been human at the beginning.
The plot is tightly woven, the pacing fast, the characters interesting and believable, and the action relentless.

My only quibble is that at the very end, the final fight scene between Madeline and the creature felt wrong, like this superfast, superstrong creature was just laying there to allow her to triumph.  But the action is so intense and the pace so fast I was quickly past this point, so it didn't really take me out of the story.

I really hope to see more novels from Alice Henderson - this was a great, original read!

Check out the author's website at:  Alice Henderson

Supernatural: Fresh Meat Portal Through Time Night Terrors (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Stake Your Destiny Series) Summoner 2

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Absolute Liability (Southern Fraud Thriller #1) by J.W. Becton

Absolute Liability (Southern Fraud Thriller 1)

(I bought this book.)

Back of the Book Blurb:
Meet Julia Jackson. Apparently, she's been abducted....

A woman is taken at gunpoint from the downtown office of Southeastern Insurance, and the police believe the victim is Special Agent Julia Jackson. Only it isn't true.

Now, with the help of her new partner Mark Vincent, state fraud investigator Julia Jackson must find justice for the woman who was taken in her place.

As Vincent and Julia begin to unravel the multimillion-dollar frauds that led to the abduction, they encounter a cast of quirky characters, one of whom will go to desperate lengths to hide a deadly secret.

Things only become more dangerous as bodies begin accumulating around town and Julia must discover the truth before the abductor comes to rectify his mistake.

Absolute Liability is the first in the six-book Southern Fraud Thriller series, which blends suspense, humor, and Southern charm with just a touch of romance. If you enjoy reading humorous mysteries or watching TV crime dramedies like Castle or The Mentalist, you should like Absolute Liability.

This was a solid mystery/suspense book with a touch of romance as described, but I didn't find it to be very humorous, or the characters to be quirky. There were definitely a few humorous moments, such as the spa-going habits of one of the male characters, but readers looking for a funny mystery series will be disappointed.  Instead, it had a decidedly gritty feel with a well-plotted mystery involving arson, insurance fraud, kidnapping and murder.

Julia is a former police officer now working for the state insurance office.  On the side she has secretly been investigating her older sister's rape for the last seventeen years.  When she was laid off from the police department she took a copy of the file and some evidence with her so she could continue to search for the rapist.  The rape of her sister is the pivotal event of her life - Julia cites it as the reason she became a cop, and the reason her sister is now an alcoholic and her parents divorced and her family crumbled.  The current arson/kidnapping/murder storyline is the primary one, but the hunt for the rapist is a close second.  Julia's family allowed the event to ruin their lives, and this is evident in their behavior in the present and in Julia's memories.  Her father retreated into himself emotionally, disappearing long before the divorce from her mother.  And her mother retreated from her social life and pretty much neglected her younger daughter.  Julia is much like her parents and sister in that she obsessively blames the rapist for everything that happened, when in reality it's obvious that both her parents failed the major test of their lives, leaving both their daughters adrift after such a horrific event.  They are not very likeable characters.

The present-day mystery was really well-done.  The identity of the bad guys kept me guessing up until nearly the end.  The book is written in first person narrative by Julia, but every couple of chapters there is a very brief one from the villain's perspective.  It was intriguing and tantalizing, because as the reader we're in the mind of the killer, and he leaves us little clues about his motivations and thoughts, but we still don't know who he is.  A really effective construct.
As Julia and her new partner, Mark Vincent, continue to investigate the insurance fraud in the hopes of discovering the identity of the killer, Julia finds herself increasingly impressed by and attracted to Mark.  He has secrets and a painful past of his own, and their cautious behavior around each other felt real.

All in all I enjoyed the story, but found the secondary rapist storyline to be more of a distraction, taking the book into a much rougher vision of reality and casting an unflattering light on many of the characters.  It may be realistic as hell, but it was also sad and frustrating, and definitely took away from the main mystery for me as a reader.

Check out the author's website at:

Add to Goodreads

As JW Becton she writes mystery/thrillers:
Death Benefits (Southern Fraud Thriller 2) At Fault

As Jennifer Becton she has written historical fiction:
Charlotte Collins: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Caroline Bingley: A Continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Maria Lucas: A Short Story in the Personages of Pride & Prejudice Collection The Personages of Pride & Prejudice Collection

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Accidentally Married To...A Vampire? by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Accidentally Married to...A Vampire?
(I bought this book)

Back of the book Blurb:
This is book 2 in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance Accidentally Yours series.

After a three-century "time out," legendary vampire Niccolo DiConti vows to fulfill an ancient prophecy and, along the way, defeat the demented queen of the damned. All he has to do is find his human mate, seduce her into agreeing to become a vampire, and bond her to him forever. Luckily, he's handsome, charming, and mind-blowing in bed. How hard could this be?

On vacation in sultry Mexico, biologist Helena Strauss makes the discovery of a lifetime when she meets Niccolo-and finds herself caught in a world of supernatural secrets and dangerous delights. Even more shocking is that he seems to know everything about her and claims her as his true immortal companion. Sure, she can't take her eyes-or mouth-off this gorgeous, perfect being. But can a hot-blooded gal like her really settle down with a cold-hearted vampire?
Helena discovers Niccolo while lost in the Mexican jungle, and soon her carefully planned life is turned upside down by the incredible physical attraction and magnetic pull she feels for him.  Throwing caution to the wind, she lets him bring her to New York City where he makes her a virtual prisoner in a fabulous penthouse while he waits for the three month mark (in accordance with Cimil's prophecy)to convert her. But he refuses to tell her anything, and she has no idea what he does, who he is in the vampire world, or what she can expect after she is turned.
Meanwhile, she is under constant vampire guard, has extremely limited contact with her mother and best friends, and has absolutely no information about the world she is waiting to enter.  This section required me to shut off the part of my brain that was screaming all kinds of self-preservation and common-sense mantras - like "Run, run, run!" and "Stalker!".  As the reader I knew Niccolo had (mostly) honorable, if selfish intentions.  But Helena does not.  This was mildly disturbing because she puts up with it for 2 months. In real life she would be dead, stuffed and her picture would be on the wall at WalMart.  But this is a romance novel, not real life, so hang in there because Helena finally hits her limit, and she outsmarts the thousand year old Viking vampire guarding her and takes off, only to be intercepted by a slightly crazy goddess and an angry Demilord.
At this point the story changed from a creepy stalker/prisoner love story, and became more of a romantic suspense/action story and I could not put it down.  Helena is thinking rationally now, and although she is only human, she is smart and capable.  I liked her a lot more at this point as she began to truly question her feelings for Niccolo and whether she could trust him.  On the run with no idea how to break their bond, she has unwittingly paired up with Andrus, a Demilord who plans to kill both Niccolo and his maker, the Vampire Queen.  But once Helena and Niccolo are physically separated, the strength of their Mate bond is evident, and the two-way flow of emotions allows both Helena and Niccolo to figure out how they really feel. 
Pretty soon the goddess Cimil pops back into the narrative, and to call her bat-shit crazy is an understatement.  Her brain is so stuffed with all potential future scenarios she is cryptic without meaning to be, and unfortunately she likes to be cryptic and manipulative anyway.  I really loved Cimil - she has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments and I would love to read another book with her character!

The author's view of the gods is really classic - as in, they're divine but have many human-like foibles and character traits (ie. petty and bitchy).  As with the Greco-Roman pantheon, the gods like to involve themselves in the lives of humans (and vampires and their newly created hybrid, Demilords) with tragically comic results.  Luckily, this being a romance novel, the end is happy!

I was really delighted with how damn funny this book was - I haven't laughed out loud this much in quite a while.  Whether it's Niccolo trying to adjust to life after a three hundred year nap, and his attempts to use current slang and navigate technology, or his reaction when he realizes that a Mate bond forces him to feel human female PMS, or Cimil's truly funny sense of humor, or the scene in a gay biker bar, I snickered all the way to the end.

Reading this reminded me a lot of Kerrelyn Sparks' Love At Stake series.  It was fun, the pace was fast, there were laugh out loud funny lines, plenty of pop-culture references, and lots of very sexy moments.

I am DEFINITELY going to be reading the author's other books!

Barnes & Noble link

For more information check out the author's website at
Her next book is coming in September 2013, and is called Vampires Need Not...Apply?

Accidentally...Evil? Sun God Seeks...Surrogate? Accidentally In Love With...A God?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Red, White and Blood (Nathaniel Cade #3) by Christopher Farnsworth

Red, White, and Blood (Nathaniel Cade Series #3)
(I borrowed this from our local library.)

Back of the Book Blurb:

The Presidential Campaign Trail, 2012: 
A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while caught in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK.
And with that, a centuries-old horror known only as the Boogeyman returns to taunt Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. Against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential race, with the threat of constant exposure by the media, Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.

This series just gets better and better.  This is easily the spookiest of the three books, probably because the Boogeyman is the creepiest bad guy I've read about in a long while.  He is Cade's oldest nemesis, and he always comes back from Hell, or the Other Side, to inhabit an average human who has sunk into such anger and hate that he invites such evil into his life.  The author then does a fabulous job of creating the myth of the Boogeyman, tying in urban legends, documented serial killers, and actual quotes from Son of Sam and the Manson Family concerning demonic possession.  By the time I was a third of the way through the book I was definitely creeped out.  I think the most terrifying aspect of evil is when we are confronted by the fact that it blends in, looks normal, and can carry on a conversation in line at the grocery store.  All of the other monsters Cade has fought are straight up "different" - species, genus, whatever, but they aren't human.  The Boogeyman wears a human like a suit of clothes, because the human lets him in.  Scary!
On top of dealing with such an enemy, Cade and Zach must also navigate the vicious waters of a political campaign, with its all-too-human scheming, and sociopathic manipulation. The President needs protection on many fronts, and in some ways the inhuman enemies are a lot more straightforward.
We learn a lot more about Zach in Red, White and Blood, and he really comes into his own as his past and present lives collide. As Zach tries to work in both, he comes to realize that his new position is all-encompassing.  He can't have a normal life, and if he tries to he will endanger everyone he cares about.  Throughout all three books Zach and Cade have been so well-developed that I feel like I know them.  Both man and vampire are so fleshed out, so real, and they continue to change as events mold them.  And I think that is one of the reasons why this series is so damn good - it's believable.  Even with vampires and demons and creepy critters, the action, the mysteries and the stories are so completely grounded  by the characters.  Add in a seamless blending of historic record, conspiracy theories, and real people, and the world of Nathaniel Cade feels like our own.  The shocking and ironic ending of this book reinforces that as well, and has lingered in my mind for days.
This is top-notch storytelling. 

Check out the author's website at

The President's Vampire (Nathaniel Cade Series #2)   Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Whiskey Rebellion (An Addison Holmes Mystery #1) by Liliana Hart

Whiskey Rebellion   Whiskey Rebellion: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Romantic Mystery)
(I purchased this book.)

LOOK!  Two different covers - I'm kind of digging the 2nd one for the James Bond vibe.

Back of the Book Blurb:
My name is Addison Holmes, and I teach history at James Madison High School in Whiskey Bayou, Georgia. You might be under the assumption that my life went to the dogs when my fiancé left me at the altar for the home economics teacher, or when I got notice that my apartment building was going to be condemned, or even when I was desperate enough to strip to my unmentionables to earn some extra cash so I could buy a house. The truth is that I'm pretty much used to disasters following me around on a daily basis, but I could have gone without finding my principal dead in the parking lot of a seedy gentlemen's club.

After the initial shock of finding my first dead body, which included throwing back shots of Jack Daniels like it was water, I decided to take stock of my life. I was in a desperate situation, and if the school board ever found out I'd been a stripper, even a bad stripper, I'd be jobless as well as fiancé-less and homeless. Fortunately, I have a friend who felt sorry enough for me to give me a job doing some surveillance work at her detective agency. And it didn't bother me one bit that it was the equivalent of a pity f**k. Money is money, and I was about to be homeless. Not to mention the fact that I was now able to stick my nose into other people's business for a good cause, find a murderer and pick up helpful tips from an incredibly attractive detective.

Come check out my story and be thankful your life is relatively normal.

This was a fun, fast read.  We meet Addison as she is about to go onstage at a very seedy stripper bar in a desperate attempt to raise money for a down payment on a home.  She is spotted by her school principal, causing Addison to get offstage fast.  But as she makes a beeline through the parking lot she trips over the bloody, still-warm body of the same principal, throwing her into the middle of a murder investigation.
The lead detective is incredibly hot and sexy, which kind of freaks Addison out, because she has not been with a man since her loser fiance left her at the altar while he boinked her long-time rival in the limo outside the church.
Addison is a hot mess, and finds herself in one wacky situation after another, most of which result in her getting hurt.  Halfway through the book she is a walking bruise/contusion/laceration model.  As Addison starts to work surveillance for her best friend and PI agency owner Kate, more people die and Addison finds herself in the middle of something ugly.  She also finds herself in heat over the hunky homicide detective.
Even though I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the next in the series, I found Addison very hard to like.  She's a hot mess and gets in the wacky situations because she makes really stupid, selfish choices.  And at thirty it's not cute.  She lives in an apartment building that's been condemned so she can afford the payments on her sports car, expensive shoes, and an underwear of the month club.  She drives her car really fast while steering with her knees and eating ice cream, then honks her horn to swerve three lanes to an exit, nearly causing an accident.  Not cute.  Not funny.  She borrows her friend Kate's car, gets it trashed, and then leaves Kate a note and takes off.  So it's really hard to believe that Addison has any friends, or a job.  Although not a sympathetic character, the story is a fun one with a well-written mystery, and an ending I sure never saw coming.  I will definitely look for the next book in the series.

For more information check out the author's website at  She is very prolific and has a lot of series as well (I do love a series!).

Check out this list from her website - and this is just her series - there are also standalone books:
J.J. Graves Series | Addison Holmes Series | The MacKenzie Family Series | Collective Series
Rena Drake Series | Paradise Series | ALPHA Squadron Series | Lonely Hearts Series

Whiskey Sour: An Addison Holmes Mystery (Romantic Mystery) Sins and Scarlet Lace - A MacKenzie Novel Breath of Fire Catch Me if You Can, A Romantic Suspense All About Eve, A Romantic Comedy

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Nathaniel Cade Series by Christopher Farnsworth

Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1)         The President's Vampire (Nathaniel Cade Series #2)  Red, White, and Blood (Nathaniel Cade Series #3)

(I purchased Books #1 and #2)

Back of the Book Blurbs:

Blood Oath (Nathaniel Cade Series #1):
Zach Barrows is a cocky, ambitious White House employee until he's abruptly transferred out and partnered with Nathaniel Cade, a secret agent sworn to protect the president. But Cade is no ordinary civil servant. Bound 140 years ago by a special blood oath, Nathanial Cade is a vampire. On the orders of the president he defends the nation against enemies far stranger-and even more dangerous-than civilians like Zach could ever imagine.

The President's Vampire (Nathaniel Cade Series #2):
or 140 years, vampire Nathaniel Cade has been bound to protect and serve the United States of America. When an ancient evil is resurrected, the President's Vampire and his human handler, Zach Barrows, must track down its source. The prime suspect is a shady private defense contractor who may be dealing with powers far deadlier than any mortal weapon. So it's up to Cade and Zach to drag the forces of darkness into the light...

I LOVE these books.  I've finished the first two and need to head to the library for #3. (At $9.99 for the ebook they are a little pricey).
Nathaniel Cade is one of the most interesting characters I have read in a long time.  Turned into a vampire during a vicious attack over 140 years ago, he was spared by then-President Andrew Jackson, who had the foresight to think of Nathaniel as a weapon for the United States.  Bound by a magical blood oath, Nathaniel is a secret agent for the United States' war on malicious paranormals and really evil humans.  He is principled and focused, even without the pull of the blood oath.  Raised in a time of incredible hardship and hard labor, the human Nathaniel was already a survivor and tougher than today's gym-goers and couch potatoes.  Nathaniel may be strong and silent with a sense of honor, but any other romantic comparisons to popular literary bloodsuckers ends there. Nathaniel is no longer human.  He no longer thinks, or has emotions, like the rest of us, nor does he consider himself to be part of the human world in any significant manner.  He is a predator and humans are prey.  His purpose is to perform his duties.
When Zach Barrows is ordered to become Nathaniel's latest human handler, he is less than impressive.  But Zach has hidden strengths of his own, and a mile-wide stubborn streak.  He slowly earns Nathaniel's respect and comes to realize how important his new role really is to his country.  Pretty soon Zach and Nathaniel are battling paranormal and superhuman enemies who may be involved with some of the highest ranking members of the US government.  And Nathaniel is apparently not the only secret in a town full of them - a shadowy organization seems to be running their own agenda right under the nose of the President.

One of my favorite things about this series is that at the beginning of each chapter, there is a paragraph taken from the research journals of the scientists who have studied Nathaniel over the years.  These little snippets offer insights into Nathaniel's abilities and history, and the world he is now resides in.
These are highly original, fast-paced adventure/thrillers with a paranormal twist.  The plots are rich and layered with all kinds of interesting characters.  The depths of the characters are beautifully revealed bit by bit as the story and action progresses, and the author is very deft at allowing a character's actions to reveal more about him.  I'm really excited about reading Red, White and Blood!

Red, White, and Blood (Nathaniel Cade Series #3)
Back of the Book Blurb:
 The Presidential Campaign Trail, 2012: 
A political operative and a volunteer are brutally murdered while caught in a compromising position. Written in their blood on the wall of the crime scene: IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK.
And with that, a centuries-old horror known only as the Boogeyman returns to taunt Nathaniel Cade, the President’s Vampire. Against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential race, with the threat of constant exposure by the media, Cade and Zach must stop the one monster Cade has never been able to defeat completely. And they must do it before the Boogeyman adds another victim to his long and bloody list: the President of the United States himself.

For more information check out the author's website at

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lethal Bayou Beauty (Miss Fortune Mystery #2) by JanaDeLeon

Lethal Bayou Beauty
(I purchased this book.)

Book Synopsis from Goodreads:
No one in Sinful liked Pansy Arceneaux, but who hated her enough to kill her?When aspiring actress Pansy Arceneaux returns to Sinful, Louisiana, to head up the beauty pageant portion of the Summer Festival, CIA assassin Fortune Redding knows she’s in for trouble. Her undercover identity as a former beauty queen makes Fortune the perfect choice to chair the event with Pansy, but Pansy’s abrasive personality makes it impossible to get through a single rehearsal without a fight.When Pansy turns up dead, Fortune is the prime suspect. Armed with only her wits and two conniving seniors referred to locally as The Geritol Mafia, Fortune launches an investigation to find the real killer before her cover is blown.

I can't believe I forgot to review this book! I loved the first one so much I bought this as soon as it came out and read it right away.  Of all Jana DeLeon's books, I like this new series the most - and that is saying something, because sometimes I feel like this blog is in danger of becoming a Jana DeLeon tribute/fangirl site.  However, if I actually start to type the equivalent of "squee" I promise to back away from the computer immediately.
Fortune is a practical, highly-trained CIA operative/assassin who is undercover in the little town of Sinful, Louisiana because a really bad guy has put a price on her head.  Ironically, the little backwater town is a hotbed of intrigue, murder and weapons-toting citizens, and keeping a low profile is harder than it should be for Fortune.
Fortune can kick some serious ass, but has spent her entire adult life in training or on missions, and as a result is somewhat socially inept and almost entirely naive of pop culture.  The fact that she is posing as a former small-town beauty queen has created several Sandra Bullock/Miss Congeniality style moments, as Fortune had to get hair extensions, and is expected to own a dress and know the difference between eyeliner and mascara.  The latter skill set is put to the test when Pansy assigns Fortune to apply makeup to children for a local beauty pageant.  Fortune may not know makeup, but she knows how to improvise and those pages had me in tears from laughing so hard.
When Pansy is murdered, the small town goes all vigilante-gang mentality and blames Fortune.  Luckily she has Gertie and Ida Belle on her side, and these women are more dangerous than any killer.  Pretty soon they are hot on the trail of Pansy's killer, much to the incredible frustration of the hot deputy Carter.   Carter tries to restrict the women to the town limits, but pretty soon they are cruising the countryside and the bayou investigating Pansy's death and trying to save Fortune's ass.
If you like laugh-out-loud humor, a solid mystery, and small town characters oozing with personality you will love this book.  Top it off with DeLeon's unique brand of crazy-sauce and this is one fabulous read!

For more information check out the author's website at

Louisiana Longshot The Helena Diaries - Trouble in Mudbug Rumble on the Bayou Trouble in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law Series) Showdown in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law Series)

The Helena Diaries by Jana DeLeon

The Helena Diaries - Trouble in Mudbug

(I purchased this book)

Back of the Book Blurb:
WARNING: This novella is a companion book to TROUBLE IN MUDBUG. You should not read this novella prior to completing Trouble in Mudbug. The novella contains major spoilers for the novel and would not make sense if read beforehand.

Do you love Helena Henry?

Did you wonder what she was thinking during Trouble in Mudbug, or what she was up to when she was off-page in the novel?

If so, then this novella is for you. All of Helena’s thoughts and actions during Trouble in Mudbug, compiled in a diary for you to enjoy.

The warning listed above is 100% accurate - if you have not read Trouble in Mudbug you will be clueless and lost.  I am positive that some half-wit will do just that and post a negative review about The Helena Diaries being obtuse and hard to follow, because they did not read the instructions.  (Probably the same population that necessitated the huge increase in warning labels on basic household items.  We should really let Darwinism's theory be put to the test and cull the herd.  But I digress.)

Now that I've had my little rant and consumed more coffee, I would label this as a Trouble in Mudbug companion because it provides a new perspective on the events of that book, as told by the recently deceased and still opinionated Helena Henry.  Helena figures out pretty quickly that she is now dead, and probably murdered.  But by who?  Helena has a seriously thick skin, because it's very apparent that her death elicited no sympathy in her hometown, a fact she learns by hanging out in the local beauty parlor to get the gossip on her passing and the reading of her will.  She is only momentarily bothered by the constant harsh assessments of her personality, and remains focused on finding out who killed her and who is now trying to kill Maryse.
Fans of Helena will enjoy this little book, because it opens a window into her motivations and character.  She really does respect and like Maryse, and has no illusions about her loser husband and loser son.  With characteristic bitchy snark (is that redundant?), she explains her justification for her actions in life as she tries to adjust to her new status as a ghost.  Helena is stubborn, willful, funny, focused, and surprisingly compassionate - she just doesn't always let compassion guide her actions.  Helena is old school.
I laughed out loud several times reading this book, and look forward to more glimpses into Helena's mind!

Check out my other reviews of Jana DeLeon's book by clicking on her label to the right of this screen - I am such a fan of her writing!

The author's website is at

Trouble in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law Series) Mischief in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law Series) Showdown in Mudbug (Ghost-in-Law Series) Rumble on the Bayou Ghost-in-Law Series Boxset