Posted in Light Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romance, World Building

Nocturne Falls Series (Books 1-7) by Kristen Painter

Publication Info: All books listed are available on Audible.com through the Audible Escape package. Other editions available (e-book, paperback, etc). Check with your favorite retailer.

  1. The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride, Book 1
  2. The Werewolf Meets His Match, Book 2
  3. The Gargoyle Gets His Girl, Book 3
  4. The Professor Woos the Witch, Book 4
  5. The Vampire’s Fake Fiance, Book 5
  6. The Shifter Romances the Writer, Book 6
  7. The Dragon Finds Forever, Book 7

Summary: The town of Nocturne Falls in Georgia is a haven for supernaturals. Originally built by a family of wealthy, benign vampires, the town’s major business is tourism. In Nocturne Falls, every day is Halloween.

For the human tourists that visit daily, the residents of the town are all supernaturals pretending to be humans, pretending to be supernaturals. There is always a “Vampire of the Day” on duty in typical vampire regalia, flirting with the women who giggle as they take selfies with him. A werewolf runs “Howlers”, a biker bar with delicious food. A real-live gargoyle perches on the fountain, guarding the park. A witch is the town’s best real estate agent, selling homes to supernaturals and humans.

Each of the novels features a fun, flirty, romance between two supernaturals. The characters are all witty, polite, friendly and not a bit scary once you get to know them. Humans are kept ignorant of the true nature of the town by a magic spell cast on the town’s water supply. The author makes Nocturne Falls sound like a fun place to live — if it were real, I’d definitely want to visit!

Comments: This series is a hoot! I’m so glad I signed up for Audible Escape. I’m discovering so many good books that I would have overlooked otherwise. I’ve always been a sucker for Halloween, but I’m not fond of blood and gore. This Disneyesque series suits me perfectly.

There are currently twelve novels in the Nocturne Falls series, as well as four short stories. I’m featuring the first seven novels because those are all on Audible Escape. The remaining five novels are on Audible but not included in the Escape package. I plan to splurge and use a few of my regular Audible credits on the rest of the series.

Highly recommended for readers of Light Romances, Supernatural Romances and Humorous Romances.

My rating for the series: 4.5+ STARS

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, World Building

A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker

Publication Info: Expected publication date September 10, 2019 by Berkley. Pre-pub Kindle edition courtesy of NetGalley

Summary: Due to a rash of bombings and shootings that killed thousands of people, the government passed the congregation laws. Public gatherings of more than two or three people in an area are prohibited. This changed the way restaurants and hotels function. Large office buildings are sometimes completely abandoned. There are no more movie theaters or concert venues. Traditional stores can no longer operate and have been subsumed into a huge, automated center called Superwally, that provides drone delivery service for everything anyone could need.

Rosemary, a young woman, still lives with her parents on their family farm. She works for Superwally from her bedroom via “hoodie space”, a virtual reality conduit. She is a tech troubleshooter. She’s never seen anything beyond the farm, is very isolated and is too young to remember “before”.

One day, Rosemary does some troubleshooting for a representative of StageHolo. He offers her a chance to see a StageHolo concert and sends her an upgraded hoodie. Rosemary is suddenly introduced to the larger virtual reality world, where people meet in cyberspace to hear music, dance, drink and share experiences.

The flashy concert brings some excitement into Rosemary’s dull life. She decides to apply for a job with StageHolo and leaves home for the first time. She is now a recruiting agent, looking for bands in hiding, playing in private homes and illegal clubs around the country.

She soon realizes she’s made a deal with the devil and determines to help the musicians she finds in a very different way.

Comments: A Song for a New Day is an amazing book. It projects from the current situation in the US to a not too distant future, where people live in fear and isolation. The book also addresses the loneliness and falsehoods in social media. People project avatars in hoodie space that homogenize them. This is a place where mega-corporations rule and the government dictates behavior. In our current world, laws that separate us are being passed now. Not to this extreme, but the seeds are being planted. We are living in fear of shooters at malls, concerts and schools.

I related to this book on multiple levels. I grew up in a suburb of Baltimore, where some of this book takes place. I used to play guitar and sing in small venues and coffee houses in the area. I saw those struggle to stay in business.

But most of all, I have been a resident in virtual reality for thirteen years. I know how it feels to attend cyberspace concerts and clubs, to have coffee with friends that I never meet in person. I have experienced deep isolation with most of my friends being just contacts on social media.

Sarah Pinsker hits the mark on so many points. I’ve become an instant fan of her writing and hope she writes more novels!

My Goodreads rating– 5 stars