Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Carina Press
Word Count: 89,000
Cover Artist: Croco Designs
Zoey Donovan—empath, wedding planner, go-to girl for monsters with personal problems—has been marked twice for pickup by Death. On both occasions, Riley the smoking-hot reaper has refused to follow through. For his breach of protocol, Riley is now on probation. For her refusal to die on schedule, Zoey’s right to live is challenged. She will have to undergo a life-or-death trial, but she won’t know when or where it will happen…
Staying alive might not be so difficult if the Leprechaun Mafia hadn’t strolled into town. Now every business owner with the slightest connection to the supernatural community is being threatened with the most appalling bad luck if they don’t pay up. Mirrors are smashed, bodies are dropping, and Zoey’s still got clients waiting for fabric samples.
With a little luck, she might be able to save everyone and still have time for a second attempt at a decent first date with her favorite reaper.
You help one monster in need, and everybody hears about it.
The recent appearance of various monsters and mythical creatures in my life took some adjustment. But no amount of flexibility prepared me to assist in the live birth of a sea serpent in my own backyard. That’s a lot to ask of anybody.
My swimming pool looked like a major crime scene, and I was pretty sure bits of mucus mixed with dried blood flecked my hair. I’d probably have to take out a personal loan to cover the water bill once I took a three-hour shower, then drained and refilled the pool.
When the sea serpent appeared in my pool a month before, I had no clue what to do about it. Fortunately, Maurice, my resident closet monster, was quick on his feet. While I stood slack-jawed at the kitchen window, he ran to get Molly to be our translator. Fluent in all sorts of crazy creature languages ranging from house pets to gargoyles, Molly, the brownie, lived in a mushroom house in my backyard with her kids.
As it happened, she was unable to decipher a word of sea-serpentese.
Fortunately, a pygmy dragon with a nasty cold had recently spent his convalescence in my garage. Molly spoke dragonish, and Bruce, the dragon, spoke serpentese. Problem solved.
Except it took over three weeks to find Bruce, leaving us with no idea why a listless, snorting sea serpent had moved into my swimming pool. Communicating in pantomime with a creature that had no hands was futile, absurd and probably hilarious to watch.
When Bruce (via Molly) explained the situation, I did my best not to panic. The sea serpent was pregnant, but she could tell something was wrong. Naturally, she came ashore to my house for help, since everyone in the supernatural community seemed to think I had the answer to every problem.
I had no experience delivering healthy babies of any species. All I had to go on were basic anatomy and zoology classes in college, and a wealth of medical procedural shows on television. And yet, something inside me clicked when Frannie went into labor and the baby stopped moving. I jumped into the water without a thought for my spangled, dry-clean-only shirt, or for the discomfort of wet jeans and high tops. In hindsight, I should’ve at least kicked off my shoes.
I’m not sure how to describe the supreme ick factor of having both arms shoved up to the elbow inside a sea serpent’s body. The baby was turned wrong, kind of folded in half and pointed to emerge center-first, rather than in a straight line with its head or tail facing the exit.
“Don’t push, Frannie,” I said. “I have to unfold the baby or it’ll stay stuck.”
Molly made a series of grunting snorts, which Bruce translated into a series of clicks and yowls. I felt the serpent relax around my squashed arms and wrestled the slippery baby into a better position. Another contraction hit and I stopped, waiting until I had more room to work.
The mournful cry from Frannie needed no translation.
When the contraction was over, I made another grab with one hand to hold the baby steady and pulled the head with the other. I’m not a dainty woman, but I’m not big enough to palm a basketball, either. That’s what it felt like I was trying to do in there, only the basketball in question had eyes I needed to avoid poking, and it was covered in what felt like tapioca pudding.
I got a good grip on a dorsal fin at what I hoped was the back of its neck as the next contraction hit.
Clacks and snarls followed down the translation line, and Frannie pushed while I pulled. My other hand shoved, guiding the rest of the baby straight. Once the head slipped into place, nature took over, and out everything slid. Right into my pool and all over me.
As an empath, I try never to leave the house without my protective walls up. The emotions of other people tend to overwhelm and drain me. But I was at home, and I was exhausted. I’d been so focused on the birth that I hadn’t built any barriers, so there was nothing between me and the small group around me to barricade my psyche against what wasn’t mine. I stood in the frigid water, unconcerned by my shaking body or the gore that covered me.
The emotional inrush saturated me in love and happiness.
Frannie nuzzled her new offspring, and a quiet joy settled over me, warming my freezing flesh. From Molly’s direction, relief lay across my shoulders like a heated blanket, and Bruce’s delight prickled my skin in electric jolts. My eyelids burned. I closed them to relieve the sensation. My back bumped against the side of the pool, and I let my knees bend so I could float.
They shot through the other emotions like tiny arrows. My eyelids cracked open, but only for a few seconds. Nothing was wrong. All was right. My job was done, so what would it hurt to take a little rest?
Thin fingers dug into the flesh in my arms, hauling me from the pool. I made a weak attempt to slap at the intruder.
“Zoey, come on, wake up.” Maurice was there, dragging me away from the water and piling towels on my wet skin.
My eyes snapped open. Well, crap. I lay flat on the pavement, still shivering, despite the previous illusion of warmth. Bodily fluids coated my skin, and Maurice had covered me with my good towels.
The closet monster’s big yellow eyes hovered inches from my face. His worry was so intense, it blocked all the warm fuzzy stuff happening behind him. He coaxed me to my feet, fussing at the towels to keep them from sliding off, and leading me into the house.
“Seriously, Zoey. I don’t know how you stayed alive before I got here. If you didn’t drown, hypothermia would’ve had you.”
My double review:
Sweet goodness this book is awesome! Plus I will NEVER look at a plunger the same!! I will also be aware of cold-carrying dragons lol! It’s a whole fresh new look on the supernatural, and oddly cool, that they have exactly the same problems as us humans. They catch the flu, the have abusive husbands, they have crazy just like us! Plus there’s some totally awesome, new creatures. Maurice totally takes the cake here! Plus I was hooked immediately! YAY!
Poor Zoey, I feel like she needs a hug, and maybe several aspirin and a large drink! Lol! She’s an empath who doesn’t really know that, and those migraines would kill me. Then she is completely bombarded by supernatural creatures! In this situation you have no choice but to believe. I liked that she didn’t stay hung up forever with that fact- there’s supes about! She’s a unique, funny, lovable and very real character! She has me forever. 🙂 she’s kinda in a bind with what’s going on and then there’s this bad incubus and she’s gotta make sure her and her new friends make it out alive!
Maurice is the coolest, as he was her closet monster, and he’s moved back in, unbeknownst to Zoey *giggle* but he’s a great cook! His situation is also completely believable and I love this relationship! I also really enjoyed Riley, which is Zoey’s boyfriend, but I can’t say too much as he’s got a little secret too. He and Zoey just mesh well together so I love their relationship!
The author’s writing is great as I couldn’t put it down. I was reading book one as part of book two’s blog tour and I just love this whole series! I’m so glad I didn’t go straight into book two without reading this one first. I would totally have missed out on awesomeness!! 5 AWESOME PAWSOME PAWS!!
I knew jumping straight into book two from book one would be awesome! It’s a fantastic series!! Zoey’s like the supernatural neighborhood helper. This is a completely fascinating series to me.
Plus I love that it’s also hilarious while having serious moments for conflict and drama. It’s a wonderful series and I really can’t wait for book three!!
Zoey’s seriously got a lot on her plate. Her and Riley were having issues, maybe because of his awesomeness, but the “powers that be” have a problem with that. So… We have a weird “watcher” who just gives me the creeps. But I loved that Riley and Zoey have an adult relationship with communication! YES!! And then Zoey’s got all the “others” to help.
Then she’s struggling with balancing her human friends and keeping them unknowing about the supernatural world. Plus there’s some serious gangsta going on with the crazy Leprachauns. I mean there’s so much that I just love about this series! It’s fantastic!
The author is now a new favorite. She is a wonderful writer. Plus she has skills of making her own story become real. She has created this amazing world. It’s beautiful to see it continue to unfold. I’ve become attached to the characters and I am in love with this series! GO NOW to get it! 🙂 because I say so, of course 😉 5 FANTASTIC PAWS!!
Rachel’s head is packed with an outrageous amount of useless Disney trivia. She is terrified of thunder, but not of lightning, and tends to recite the Disneyland dedication speech during storms to keep herself calm. She finds it appalling that nobody from Disney has called yet with her castle move-in date.
Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in a total of seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she’s planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two genius kids, several annoyed cats, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.
She doesn’t have time for a real dog.
Tour wide giveaway:
•one set of Monster Haven ebooks, both Monster in My Closet and Pooka in My Pantry.
•And five ebook copies, winner’s choice of Monster in My Closet or Pooka in My Pantry.
I hope you guys enjoyed today and I wish you all good luck!! Happy reading everyone and later gators!!