A Tale of Two Reviews

Welcome to Friday’s Bitter End! Since we sometimes talk about paranormal stuff on Fridays, I’m going to review a couple of good books with paranormal themes. I’ve got variety for y’all today. One book is an adventure with a sassy heroine and the other is a new adult romance. So there’s something for everybody.

That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies

by TW Brown


I am a vocal fan of both Todd’s ZOMBLOG and his DEAD series. They are serious, intense books that explore the core of man–both at his darkest and at his most heroic.

That Ghoul Ava and The Queen of the Zombies is a complete departure from both of these series. If I had to force it into a genre, I’d call it Chick Lit Urban Fantasy. Yes, really. At first, I was unsure I would like this side of Todd’s writing, but I enjoyed this book quite a bit.

The book stars Ava Birch, a Portland, Oregon waitress who became a ghoul after committing suicide. She has no idea how to use her supernatural powers and nobody will tell her what to do. Because TGI Fridays ain’t beating down the doors looking for ghoul waitresses, she takes on jobs for a local psychic named Morgan. Ava’s latest job is to investigate reports of zombies in a nearby small town. Problem is, Ava didn’t even know zombies really existed, much less how to stop them.

This novel is told in first person from Ava’s point of view. Todd does a great job of writing from the female point of view. Of course, I already knew he could do this from reading his ZOMBLOG series; however, I didn’t realize how funny he can be. Ava’s “voice” made me laugh out loud more than once.

In case the book’s title left you wondering, Ava is a ghoul. She eats corpses–like ghouls do. Her descriptions of the way things smelled and how it made her mouth water had me howling. Her observations of people are crude and spot-on.

Todd took the overused standards of this genre and twisted them into new and exciting shapes. He had a believable (and new) mythology for vampires, psychics, witches, Templars, ghouls…and zombies. The heroine is in her late 30s and is delightfully politically incorrect. The “romance” is one of those “roses smell like poo-poo” affairs. Each new detail delighted and impressed me.

So…if you want to meet a ghoul who drives a Corvette, listens to 80s music, and says exactly what’s on her mind, this is the book for you.

Buy at Amazon.com

Buy at Barnes and Noble


Without Fear of Falling

by Danielle Boonstra

Without Fear of Falling

Without Fear of Falling is a paranormal romance with reincarnation elements.

Ellie is a young woman who sees snippets of past lives–both hers and of people around her. She possesses an innate understanding of who the people in her visions are in the here and now.

For example, she might see a vision of a woman from Biblical times and know that woman is the coffee shop owner in her present day town. (That’s a made up example–and not a very good one–but Ellie’s visions are such a cool element in this book. I wanted to somehow do them justice.)

These visions of past lives are something Ellie has dealt with all her life, but as she ages, they sort of go away…until she meets Declan.

Declan re-awakens Ellie’s visions of past lives, and she can’t quit thinking about him. She soon realizes that her past incarnations are entwined with Declan’s and wants to know more.

Using past life regression, Ellie remembers the story of William and Louisa, who were Declan’s and her previous incarnations. She remembers the love and the tragedy they shared. That helps her analyze her attitudes about life and how she approaches it, both then and now.

What I loved about this book is that it’s about finding happiness and inner peace. In some ways, it’s about the choices we make, but the answers Ellie finds both surprised me and made me think.

Buy at Amazon

Buy at Barnes and Noble

That’s it for today. I hope y’all do some clicking and get these books on your e-readers or in the mail en route to your houses. Both books are worth your time.  

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