Bookish Giveaway & Review: Hound’s Bite by E. J. Stevens

Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway!

Narrators: Melanie A. Mason, Anthony A. Bowling

Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press (2017)

Length: 7 hours

Series: Book 5 Ivy Granger, Psychic Detective

Author’s Page

Note: While this is Book 5 in the series, I feel that one could enjoy it as a stand alone.

Ivy Granger has returned from the Unseelie Faerie Court after learning some earth-shattering news about her parentage. But there’s no time to rest and deal with that because the Lord of the Hunt is about to hit Harborsmouth. She must call upon her allies, her latest training, and her friends to combat the Wild Hunt or suffer the loss of her beloved city.

This was a gripping read! I really enjoyed this installment in the series. First, there’s the great characters and they’re all written so well in this book, with great lines and actions that give them depth. Then there’s more than one crisis Ivy has to deal with, so it’s not just one long meandering battle with the Wild Hunt. Lastly, there are consequences and some of them are a bit rough. I like it when my urban fantasy drags talons across some of the major characters.

Jinx is still a big part of Ivy’s life and I’m very glad these two friends were able to deal with their recent falling out. And, yes, Jinx still has her crossbow. She and Forneus (who is a demon and a lawyer) are still together. Then there’s Torn, the cat sidhe, who flirts with both Ivy and Jinx, which really irritates both Forneus and Ceff (Ivy’s kelpie lord boyfriend). Then toss in Sparky, Ivy’s adopted demon child. Father Michael gets called in to babysit while the heroes work on a game plan to deal with Hearn, Lord of the Hunt.

Yet before they get too far along, Sparky goes missing. Now a powerful witch, Kaye, has a plan to save Harborsmouth from the Wild Hunt but things are going disastrously wrong there. Ivy and her friends will need the help of the mysterious Circle before they can regroup and get back to dealing with Hearn. I loved this part of the book. It was a bit of a detour from the big event but I really enjoyed how it added to several of the characters. Ariadne, a witchling who is in training to Kaye, really gets to be in the spotlight for part of it. Then there’s Ivy’s new Faerie and Wisp powers to put on display. Also the beetles! The next time I get something stuck in my throat, I will be looking for beetles.

So then we get past that and allies must be gathered for the big fight. Now the thing about the Wild Hunt is that if a hound of the Wild Hunt bites you, you turn into a hound yourself and you’re bound to serve the Lord of the Hunt. Armor! Bring me my armor! Obviously, things don’t go well for everyone involved and Ivy faces the very real danger of losing people she loves to the Wild Hunt.

I was very satisfied with the ending. Not everyone got everything they wanted but there’s still enough good stuff that people can pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. I especially like how far the Pooka came in this series, despite their choice of condom hats.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Once again, Melanie Mason narrates the bulk of this story, being the perfect voice for Ivy. I also love her Jinx voice. Anthony Bowling has all the male character lines and he does a great job with Torn (a flirtatious snot) and Father Michael (a sincere man). Most of the time, Bowling’s lines are inserted smoothly into the recording but other times it definitely felt like these two narrators weren’t in the same room during the recording. There were a few sound effects mixed in, and for the most part they worked. There were a few that I wasn’t sure what they were until the story told me what they were.

What I Liked: Great cover art; no rest for the wicked or the good; the segment dealing with Sparky’s abduction; the beetles!; the very real consequences of being bitten by a Hound; the Pookas; the way things ended.

What I Disliked: I would like the audio production to be a touch smoother, but this is a minor quibble and didn’t detour me from enjoying this book.

Synopsis of Hound’s Bite:

Ivy Granger thought she left the worst of Mab’s creations behind when she escaped Faerie. She thought wrong.

In a cruel twist of fate, Ivy has unleashed a powerful horde of Unseelie beasts upon her city, turning her homecoming into a potential slaughter of innocents. Now Ivy must gather her allies to fight a reputedly unstoppable force – The Wild Hunt.

Will the training Ivy received in her father’s court be enough to save her city, or will Harborsmouth be forced to kneel before the Lord of the Hunt? She is willing to risk her own life, but some sacrifices come at a cost worse than death. When an ally is bitten by one of The Wild Hunt’s hounds, Ivy must face the possibility that winning this battle may mean killing the one person she has come to love most.

Hound’s Bite is the fifth full-length novel in the award-winning, best-selling Ivy Granger urban fantasy series by E.J. Stevens. The world of Ivy Granger, including the Ivy Granger Psychic Detective series and Hunters’ Guild series, is filled with action, mystery, magic, dark humor, quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, flirtatious demons, sarcastic gargoyles, sexy shifters, temperamental witches, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

Audible ~ Amazon

Author Info

E.J. Stevens is the author of fourteen works of speculative fiction, including the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal romance series, the Hunters’ Guild urban fantasy series, and the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk, she enjoys teaching writing workshops, dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. on Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, and on her Blog.

GIVEAWAY!!!

To celebrate the Hound’s Bite audiobook release and Audiobook Month, we are giving away a HUGE Ivy Granger Prize Pack, including an Ivy Granger button, pen, flashlight keychain, custom earbuds, a Hound’s Bite mini poster signed by the author, and a Passport to the World of Ivy Granger signed by the author and the audiobook narrators!  This giveaway is open to the US/UK/CA.  Giveaway begins June 1, 2017 and ends June 30, 2017.  Entry is by Rafflecopter form.

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Giveaway & Review: Birthright by E. J. Stevens

StevensBirthrightWhere I Got It: Review copy.

Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press (2016)

Narrators: Melanie A. Mason, Anthony Bowling

Length: 7 hours 4 minutes

Series: Book 4 Ivy Granger

Author’s Page

Note: Even though this is Book 4 in the series, I think it works mostly OK as a stand alone.

Ivy Granger, paranormal PI for Harborsmouth, is in hiding. Supposedly she’s dead and she doesn’t want to let her enemies know otherwise. But she needs to work in order to buy groceries. A simple wispy job will lead Ivy on a quest through the Celtic underworld to the Wisp Kingdom in order to learn more about her father.

I’ve really been enjoying this series and Book 3, Burning Bright, has been my favorite so far. Parts of this book have that same quality as Book 3 but other parts felt like they were still in final draft mode and needed just another little push to tie everything together. It’s still a complete story and some significant things happen, so if you’re a fan of the series I still think it’s worth the time. I just think that Book 3 was more polished and that set the bar for this book.

Jinx and Ivy adopted Sparky, a baby fire demon, in the previous book. He’s still around and provides some comic relief. It’s also nice to see the domestic side to Ivy. Then we get to learn a little about Jinx’s family, which was cool. I love that Jinx still accessorizes with a crossbow.

Ivy has to leave on this quest to learn more about her father, taking Ceff (her kelpie prince boyfriend) and Torn (a flirtatious cat sidhe). There’s some pretty cool scenes as they make their way to the Celtic underworld. Very exciting! I love all the mythology built into the plot. Torn has some of the best lines, being a flirt and sometimes sarcastic.

Once we get to the land of the Wisps, big things happen to Ivy. She meets a relative, gets some life-changing news, and these events leave her changed. All of that, big picture-wise, is good. But the details felt penciled in. A certain character comes across as creepy and eventually evil long before the big reveal at the end and Ivy didn’t catch on. I want to believe she was glamoured but sometimes her own internal monologue seems to point out these things and then they’re dismissed in the next scene. I felt this was out of character for Ivy and found it hard to believe.

So we have this evil character and then Ivy’s friends are in peril. Significant time goes by in the second half of the book and I was left wondering why the evil character did not kill Ivy’s friends. It would have been simple, it would have solved problems. So that seemed like another break from logic.

Setting those criticisms aside, the big reveal at the end was great. I am very much interested to see where Ivy goes from here. Her life has been irrevocably changed by this installment in the series. I really like that Ivy is going to be forced to play in the big leagues by these changes.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review (thanks!).

Narration: Melanie Mason was once again a good voice for Ivy. She had to come up with some interesting sounds for Ivy when she was in the middle of fight or in pain. Anthony Bowling has replaced David Wilson Brown for all the male voices. Bowling did a fine job, but again, I had to adjust my inner expectations for inflections and such as I got used to Bowling. But once I did, all was well. I loved his voice for Torn, the cat sidhe. He makes a good flirt! I also liked his voice for baby Sparky the fire demon. I’m not too sure why the author keeps changing narrators with this series. I think if I sat down and tried to listen to them all back to back, it would be off-putting. They included a few sound effects, some of which worked well and others were slightly confusing until I was told what the sound, like the roar of the beast they meet on the way to the underworld. That didn’t sound like a roar at all. But other sound effects were spot on.

What I Liked:  Sparky the baby fire demon; learn more about Jinx’s family; traveling to the Celtic underworld; some big changes for Ivy; great cover art. 

What I Disliked: It wasn’t as polished as the previous book; yet another narrator change; a few little breaks in logic.

What Others Think:

Gizmo’s Book Reviews

Rantings of a Reading Addict

Book Bite Reviews

Hot Listens

I Am, Indeed

Author Info

E.J. Stevens is the author of fourteen works of speculative fiction, including the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal romance series, the Hunters’ Guild urban fantasy series, and the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk, she enjoys teaching writing workshops, dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. on Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, and on her Blog.

Giveaway Info

To celebrate the Birthright audiobook release and Audiobook Month, we are giving away a button, pen, custom earbuds, and a Birthright mini poster signed by the author to one lucky winner.  This giveaway is open Internationally.  Giveaway begins June 14, 2016 and ends June 29, 2016.

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Giveaway & Review: Burning Bright by E. J. Stevens

StevensBurningBrightWhere I Got It: Review copy.

Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press (2015)

Narrators: Melanie A. Mason, David Wilson Brown

Length: 7 hours 32 minutes

Series: Book 3 Ivy Granger

Author’s Page

Note: Even though this is Book 3 in the series, I think it works fine as a stand alone.

Ivy Granger returns for a third installment in the series. Her best friend Jinx is in dire straights – and Ivy is the only one who can save her, but at a cost. Someone may just have to die. Additionally, there’s a hoard of fire imps running lose, creating havoc in the city of Harborsmouth.

Previously, Ivy made a deal or two with the Green Lady (aka the glaistig) in a chaotic moment. Basically, Ivy owes her a favor, or two. And the Green Lady has called in her debt. It’s a doozy and Ivy is none too happy about it. But the fae have strict rules about deals and if Ivy doesn’t make good, then she may well become an assassin’s target. Yeah, this book was fun and I enjoyed it the most of the first three books in the series.

The plot has Ivy running all over the place trying to figure out how to get herself out of this jam while also saving her friend and not killing any other friends. It’s tough. Oh, and the vampires call in their mark, requiring Ivy to stop the fire imps. So, she’s got all sort s of pressures and she holds up well. The pacing and action are all great. There’s some small fight scenes but also several intense, dangerous situations that don’t necessarily end in violence. Some of these had me holding my breath as I didn’t know if Ivy would end up with some interesting scars or not.

Once again, this urban fantasy is steep in mythology, which I love. There’s various types of demons, water lords, a witch, and Ivy herself as a half-Wisp. Ivy has to use what she knows (or learns) about these folk to out wit them or to make reasonable bargains with them. Indeed, I think Ivy is coming into her own in this book. She’s not insecure or hesitant and instead acts with decision, which is needed in many of the cases. Frankly, she has become that bad ass we were all hoping for.

The side characters are all interesting in their own ways, but they are rather static. They have pretty much stayed the same since they stepped on the page. The one exception may be the demon Forneus, but we don’t get much of him overall. The characters do provide a good backdrop for Ivy to bounce off of and let her grow.

I quite enjoyed this installment in the series and I really look forward to seeing where the author takes the series next.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review (thanks!).

Narration: Melanie Mason was a good voice for Ivy. It did take me perhaps 30 minutes to get use to her voice for the story after recently listening to Book 1 & 2, which are narrated by Traci Odom. Nevertheless, she did a very nice job. of course, her inflections for Jinx and Kaye are different, but consistent throughout the book. David Wilson Brown stepped in and did all the male voices, which were each distinct. I especially liked his voice for Humphrey the gargoyle. They included a few sound effects, such as making a voice sound like it was on a phone and trying to do creepy  vampire laughter (which came off more amusing than creepy). Still, I appreciated these little touches and for the most part they worked.

What I Liked:  Great pacing with lots of action; Ivy grows as a character; Ivy is in a real pickle; plenty of interesting side characters; Ivy becomes the bad ass we have all wanted; nice ending. 

What I Disliked: The side characters are all pretty static.

What Others Think:

Gizmo’s Book Reviews

Earth’s Book Nook

Rabid Reads

Author Info

E.J. Stevens is the author of fourteen works of speculative fiction, including the Spirit Guide young adult paranormal romance series, the Hunters’ Guild urban fantasy series, and the award-winning Ivy Granger urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk, she enjoys teaching writing workshops, dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

Connect with E.J. on Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest, and on her Blog.

Giveaway Info

Winner will receive a signed BURNING BRIGHT postcard, BURNING BRIGHT audiobook download from Audible.com, and custom E.J. Stevens earbuds.  Giveaway begins November 10th and ends November 24th.  This giveaway is open to mailing addresses in US/CA/UK.  Giveaway winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter.  Giveaway ends November 24, 2015.

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Giveaway & Review: Blood & Mistletoe by E. J. Stevens

StevensBlood&MistletoeFor the Audiobook Giveaway, scroll to the bottom.

Where I Got It: Review copy.

Publisher: Sacred Oaks (2015)

Narrators: Melanie A. Mason, David Wilson Brown

Length: 2 hours 18 minutes

Series: Book 1.5 Ivy Granger

Author’s Page

Note: Even though this is Book 1.5 in the series, it works just fine as a stand alone.

Ivy Granger is a private detective working in Harborsmouth. And her demon associate, Forneus, requires her talents to solve a series of murders. With her psychic abilities and help from her friends, such as Jinx who runs the office, she attempts to make it through the holidays and save fae lives.

Even though this is short, plenty of awesomesauce is packed into it. Ivy herself is a lot of fun and has plenty of insightful, and sometimes snarky, remarks throughout the book. Forneus is a layer demon who I was intrigued by, but also wanted to smack upside the head on occasion. Jinx is curvaceous and clever with knives. I want to do shots with her. There is just a touch of romance – Ivy has a beau. However, her psychic abilities are triggered whenever she touches another person, so their relationship has been strictly celibate.

Then we have the plot, which is a series of fae murders Now, not all the dead fae came from the same house, so it was a bit tricky to figure out who the murderer was. But the murderer being the clever person they think they are left a sprig of mistletoe at each crime scene. Luckily for the fae community, our detective is more clever. Plus I love all her little comments about the holidays.

I was pretty amused and sometimes surprised by this little book. I will definitely be continuing my Ivy Granger adventures with the other books in the series.

I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author via her audiobook tour in exchange for an honest review (thanks!).

Narration: Our narrators, Melanie Mason and David Brown, were both excellent. Mason was a perfect fit for Ivy Granger. I also loved her near-purring voice for luscious Jinx. Brown was an excellent near-evil demon attorney (Forneus). He also had some great voices for the other baddies we come upon.

What I Liked:  Great mix of snark, action, and quiet reflection; Jinx and her blades; the cover art; Forneus and his kept-in-check violence; the murder mystery; the ending was good. 

What I Disliked: Nothing! I really enjoyed this book!

What Others Think:

Rabid Reads

Twilight Sleep

My Urban Fantasies

Reading Lark

Book Blurb:

Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are bloodsucking vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the bestselling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are Hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed and every victim has one thing in common—they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they only leave one clue behind—a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim’s blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she’ll be lucky to survive Christmas.

Genre:  Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Add to Goodreads.
Length: 2.6 hours

Now available in audiobook at Audible, Amazon, and iTunes!

About the Ivy Granger Series:

The Ivy Granger series is an urban fantasy series written by E.J. Stevens. The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Ivy Granger, a psychic detective with ties to the paranormal underworld of Harborsmouth—ties that ensnare Ivy and her friend Jinx in the Machiavellian schemes of the city’s teeming population of bloodsucking vampires and psychotic faeries.

About the Author:

E.J. Stevens is the author of the SPIRIT GUIDE young adult paranormal romance series, the HUNTERS’ GUILD urban fantasy series, and the award-winning IVY GRANGER urban fantasy series. She is known for filling pages with quirky characters, bloodsucking vampires, psychotic faeries, and snarky, kick-butt heroines.

When E.J. isn’t at her writing desk, she enjoys dancing along seaside cliffs, singing in graveyards, and sleeping in faerie circles. E.J. currently resides in a magical forest on the coast of Maine where she finds daily inspiration for her writing.

About the Narrators:

Melanie A. Mason:  There has never been a moment when Melanie Mason wasn’t interested in telling a story, either one of hers or someone else’s. She is an accomplished Actor, Director, Audiobook Narrator and Voice-Over Artist. Her voice work includes Web Spokesperson, anime, commercial and film. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and an MS in Information Science, with a focus on Storytelling. She has been a University faculty member for over a decade teaching Communication Studies and Broadcast Communication.

David Wilson-Brown:  Actor, director, and audiobook narrator David Wilson-Brown has been a storyteller since he can remember.  His numerous credits range from stage, to film, to voice-over work for numerous anime and live action projects.  He received his B.F.A. in performance and his M.F.A. in acting.

*Please note that the narrator for the Ivy Granger audiobooks Shadow Sight, Ghost Light, and Club Nexus is Traci Odom.

Giveaway!

The author is giving away a BLOOD AND MISTLETOE audiobook download, signed postcard, and button to one lucky winner.  This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Audiobook available to anyone who can download books from Audible.com.  Giveaway ends June 30th.

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