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Welcome to the Forest of Darkness site! :) Check out the Books tab for New Release: Shifting Darkness, Book 4 in the series. All books can be read as standalone novels and are available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and NobleSmashwords, and iTunes, and don’t forget to check me out Goodreads. If you’d like to know when new books are available, please sign up for my newsletter on the contact page. And visit my blog for reviews on Books, Movies, TV Shows and more. Thanks for checking out the site and have a great day!
Kate

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Kate Wendley writes paranormal romance for those who love drama. Vampires, werewolves and more contend with hot tempers and incredible powers while bravely navigating the mysteries of finding love and acceptance in her urban fantasy series, A Forest of Darkness. Set in the City in a Forest, Atlanta, GA, it make you think twice about how well you really know your friends and neighbors. When Kates not busily writing about things that go bump in the night she enjoys watching sci-fi, campy horror movies and stand up comedies.

Book Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson Novel #1)

Mysteries Abound in the Tri-Cities for Coyote VW Mechanic, Mercedes Thompson

 

Mercedes ‘Mercy’ Thompson is a walker, meaning she can turn into a coyote in the blink of an eye. Being less powerful than the werewolves and vampires in town, and being the only one of her kind that she knows of, she tries to keep a low profile running a mechanic shop for older foreign cars. But when a newly turned werewolf shows up looking for a job, she can’t help her curiosity at how this teenager, ‘Mac’, came to be gaunt, homeless and without a pack. His skittishness doesn’t help her get to the bottom of his story, though, so she tries to give him some time to open up to her.

 

Mercy soon learns time isn’t something Mac has. Mac’s girlfriend is already dead, killed by whoever also attacked Mac and turned him wolf, and now they were back to collect their prize. After Mercy turns coyote and attacks Mac’s would be abductors, hoping to distract them so Mac could get away, she never dreamed she’d actually kill a werewolf. The man was dead, though, and now Mercy had to call in the local werewolf pack to help clean up the mess.

 

While Mercy tries to keep her head down and make nice with the local wolf Alpha, Adam, Mac’s story raises alarms for wolves everywhere. Drugs are being tested on newly turned wolves that could render werewolves everywhere completely helpless. When Adam is eventually attacked and left for dead, and his teenage daughter is kidnapped, Mercy becomes firmly embroiled in their world in her attempt to save their lives while not losing her own.

 

Patricia Briggs weaves a tightly woven world of werewolves, vampires, fae and more that will keep you glued to the pages to find out what happens next. This book is mainly a paranormal mystery, but there are hints throughout of budding romance, or even a rekindling of an old romance. Since I’ve read more of this series already, though it’s been a few years, I can tell you the romance continues to develop in future books, but always with a healthy dose of danger. Patricia Briggs is an excellent writer, the action never slowing and her world rich with fully fleshed out details. A must read for paranormal fans!

 

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Book Review: Crooked Foundations (Lost Falls Prequel Story) by Chris Underwood

Great Series!

 

Ozzy Turner is an amateur ‘cunning man’, someone who uses minor charms and spells to help people in the small town of Lost Falls, a town where magical creatures exist, but not exactly openly. While meeting with his mentor, Early, and a potential client about her haunted house, Early gets called away to deal with an angry troll. Bolstered by the fact that Ozzy has accompanied Early on many other cases, Ozzy tries this one alone.

 

Once at the haunted house, however, everything goes to hell. The house literally traps him and the woman inside, and when Ozzy finally gets his mentor on the phone, we learn that this is no ordinary home. Early burned this house down himself, yet here it was now, good as new. The house communicates with them only by telephone and has wooden creatures to rough them up if they don’t answer questions the way the house likes. And what questions does the house have? Simple. The house wants to know how Ozzy and this woman feel after having someone’s memories played straight into their brain through a cursed movie projector, making them feel as if they are these people. Except… the house thinks Ozzy is the man in the movie. And at the end of all the movies, it’s surely death for them both.

 

This was a great story that just jumped right into the supernatural world of this town in the middle of nowhere. This is a prequel story to Cunning Devil, the first book in the Lost Falls Series by Chris Underwood, (my review here) the prequel available by signing up for the author’s newsletter. Our hero, Ozzy Turner, is just finding his way as his own ‘cunning man’ in Crooked Foundations, and the next book, Cunning Devil, Book 1 of the series, is even better. I highly recommend this series for anyone who enjoys a paranormal who-dunnit with a likeable, though flawed hero.

 

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Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast (2014) (French with English Subtitles)

This is not the Disney version

 

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve seen one of the Disney versions of Beauty and the Beast. This is not one of those films. This movie is a French version of the classic Fairy Tale, told in French with English subtitles. The movie itself is gorgeous, and the story has you rooting for everyone, wondering how this could ever work out in the end.

 

If you love romances with a side of cursed beasties who might be good, or might not, this is for you. This re-telling goes in depth into Belle’s family life before she becomes trapped in the Beast’s castle, then takes you on an enchanted journey as she learns what happened to this beautiful place and the monster living within. Her family is in dire financial straits, and one of her brothers can’t help but make things worse. In an effort to save her father from death, Belle sacrifices herself to the beast, and from there she’s on her own in a frightening alternate world where magic exists all around her.

 

I will say the build of up the romance between Belle and the Beast is a little uneven, but the story and all the subplots and side characters are so interesting that this seems like a minor flaw. If you love a bit of fantasy in your romance movies, but not a flick that’s too overly sweet and saccharine, this is for you!

 

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Movie Review: The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

Jason Bourne – Lite

 

Geena Davis plays the amnesiac kickass heroine Charly Baltimore in The Long Kiss Goodnight. Much like the Jason Bourne movies, Charly doesn’t remember who she is, but has been living her life for years now as school teacher, Samantha Caine, along with the daughter she was pregnant with when she first woke up 8 yrs ago to not knowing who she was. After some bad guys from her past resurface, bits and pieces of memories of her previous life come back to her. Realizing things are getting dangerous for her daughter and her new husband, Samantha leaves them and hires a crooked detective to help her uncover the truth about her past, which increasingly becomes a fight to save thousands of lives.

 

This movie is violent and bloody, but oh so good. Geena Davis is awesome in the lead role, alternating between suburban homemaker and lethal assassin. Along with a young, dapper Samuel L Jackson playing a just this side of shady private detective, this movie doesn’t take itself nearly as seriously as the Jason Bourne movies. Still, you’ll see a lot of similarities, including a cast member, Brian Cox, playing a pretty similar role in both. This flick has great action, a great cast, and is a lot of fun to watch. Highly recommend!

 

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Cunning Devil (Lost Falls #1) by Chris Underwood

For Jim Butcher Fans

 

Ozzy Turner is a small town man who turned away from a life of hurting others and now is a ‘cunning man’, someone who uses minor charms and spells to help people. In his small town of Lost Falls, nestled in the middle of nowhere, he, along with some others in town know about the world of ‘Strangers’ that exists alongside our own. Goblins, hags, vampires and more are all out there, and he helps make sure the general public doesn’t find out about them. The rumors and town lore keeps the tourists coming to town, but the real ‘Strangers’ are kept hidden as much as possible.

 

Ozzy’s called to his sister’s house to figure out what’s scrambling around in her basement, and from there the action never stops. The unidentifiable beastie in Alice’s basement is a mean little bastard, but soon the creature starts growing on Ozzy and he doesn’t want to see it hurt, so he brings it to the local ‘Stranger’ collector, Alcaraz, with a side hope of running into her lovely assistant, Lilian. She wasn’t human, and Ozzy and her had a dinner riding on whether he could ever figure out exactly what she actually was. Before being able to drop off his newest find, though, he’s called away to an actual paying job.

 

Enter the creepy stranger, his immobile and sickly mother, and their old, moldy, funk filled house. Ozzy’s hopes of an actual payday are dashed, but what the stranger is looking for pulls at Ozzy’s heartstrings so hard, and renews a hidden rage so deep, he immediately decides to take the case.

 

The Cunning Man, Lost Falls Book 1 by Chris Underwood was an awesome find of a book. It’s well written with instantly relatable characters and a family feel right off the bat. Ozzy is a biggish, tattooed biker looking dude who just happens to know some magic, and he’s fiercely protective of his family and friends. With a great supporting cast of characters, this is a great start to a new series. I signed up for the author’s mailing list and am now excited to read the prequel novella. Enjoy!

 

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TV Show: Firefly (2002-2003) and Series Finale Movie: Serenity (2005)

Outer Space Western

Firefly is a 14 episode show best described as an outer space western. Captain Mal Reynolds leads a rag tag crew through space on his ship, Serenity, taking any job that comes his way, legal or not. After previously fighting for the brown coats against ‘The Alliance’, those that that sought to become an interplanetary government to the whole galaxy, Mal still doesn’t sit easy with the thought of one government looking out for what’s best for everyone. And so, he’s frequently on the wrong side of the law.

 

Stopping for supplies and to refuel while they try to offload the bounty from their latest job, they pick up passengers to make some extra cash. Unbeknownst to Mal and his crew, they’ve also picked up some cargo that the Alliance would do anything to get back. As Mal learns what exactly he has on board, he battles with his conscience on what to do with it as it looks more and more likely that the Alliance has definitely been up to some bad things in the name of protecting all the citizens of the galaxy. As he wrestles with what this means for him and his crew, and the jobs they need to pick up in order to keep flying, stay in the air and free from Alliance control, the meaning of the ‘cargo’ becomes more and more complex.

 

This is an action packed show that takes you through all corners of the galaxy to terraformed planets, some livable, some just barely. Captain Mal Reynolds is bitter and surly, and overly protective of his crew, but don’t call him soft hearted, and don’t question his morals. With a rag tag crew that’ll do just about anything for their captain, this show is at turns ridiculous and hilarious, action packed, as well as grungy and creative with the worlds and ways that people live, and a must see if you love Sci Fi adventure. And don’t worry, after you watch the final episode and aren’t ready to be done watching the crew of Serenity get into more trouble, or are still wondering what this means for the cargo they’ve been trying to figure out the meaning of, the movie “Serenity” provides a wrap it all up nicely, though you might be alternately crying and swearing at your TV by the end. Enjoy!

 

 

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Logan (2017)

Awesome movie that I highly recommend, though it’s pretty violent so not suitable for kids.

Logan picks up in the near-ish future, feeling a bit like its set in a dystopian world. Logan, aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is a shaky, hard drinking mess, Professor X is a senile, ninety something year old without much control over his abilities, and pretty much all mutants in the world have been wiped from existence. Logan tries his best to stay under everyone’s radar while also keeping Professor X hidden from the world, helping him to live out his remaining days in peace and as much comfort as possible with the help of a talented albino played by Stephen Merchant.

 

But there are still those that hunt mutants, though Logan isn’t the one they’re currently after. Instead, it’s a little girl, Laura, played by Dafne Keen. When the world thought all mutants were dead and none had been born in years, it turns out that might not be true, and Laura’s mother has somehow tracked Logan down and wants his help to get Laura to safety, the border between North Dakota and Canada.

 

You won’t be surprised by Logan’s gruff attitude in this movie, which is even worse now. The mystery now is what’s wrong with Logan? Why can’t he heal like he used to and why is he sick for the first time in his life? And beyond Logan, who is this little girl, Laura, and how did she gain abilities just like his?

 

This was a fantastic movie, though definitely on the violent side. Dafne Keen plays an excellent foil to Wolverine, and Professor X, Patrick Stewart, is wonderful as an elderly man still trying to help where he can, even though he can’t remember much these days. It’s far from the typical superhero movie, with many poignant parts that’ll bring tears to your eyes towards the latter half of the movie. Highly recommend this movie for the raw, gritty world and all too human characters.

 

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Movie Review: La Bamba (1987)

I recently learned that not everyone has seen this awesome movie! If you’re one of those unfortunate few, or maybe you hadn’t been born yet when this came out in 1987 (gasp!), there’s still time! Lou Diamond Phillips stars as real life rock and roll pioneer, Ritchie Valens. Growing up poor in the San Fernando Valley, living and working on farms, he dreamed of becoming a rock and roll star. When his troubled older brother finds him on the farm, he offers the family an actual home. Ritchie’s mother is dubious, but picks up the family and moves to Pacoima, CA.

 

Through some pretty rough family dysfunction, and Ritchie’s own desire to be a music star someday, he continues to attend school where he meets the girl of his dreams: Donna. But Donna’s father doesn’t appreciate the fact that Ritchie is Latino, and the back and forth pull on the young lovers eventually leads to heartache for Ritchie, and a hit song.

 

I’ve only touched on a portion of the plot of this movie, which has taken a few liberties with the actual story of Ritchie Valens, but is all in all an awesome film. Everyone in the movie was awesome, including some pretty well-known actors and musicians. The tug at your heartstrings never stops, and especially not when you get to the tragic end of the movie when Ritchie’s life seems to be on a fast track for success.

 

This movie is a mixture of the history of late 50’s pop music, a heartbreaking romance, and a talented young man determined to see his destiny through. Highlighted with some awesome music throughout, I highly recommend it!

 

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Red Fox (Experiment in Terror #2) by Karina Halle

Another great addition to the series!

For this addition to the series, the ghost hunter duo of Perry Palamino and Dex Foray head to Albuquerque, NM. Forced to pretend they’re married, and not quite sure if they’re actually welcome to investigate a supposed haunting at a ranch, they soon find themselves mired deep in stories of shapeshifters and magic.

 

As usual, Perry gets herself into some strange, and dangerous situations. Her knack for attracting the supernatural ends up getting her attacked by seemingly random animals while the locals warily keep their eye on these non-natives. In a town where Christianity is at a cross roads with the traditions of the Native Americans, tempers flare all around and secrets are a way of life.

 

Perry gets to know her mysterious partner Dex a little better in this book through one of his old friends who set them up with this opportunity to create another episode for their new internet show, ‘Experiment in Terror’. Except Dex’s friend may be more like a frenemy. Not knowing who to trust, Perry is once again at a crossroads in her life. Play it safe, or go for the gusto with this crazy turn in her life.

 

This is another great addition to the Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle. While the first book was about a ghost haunting, this second book incorporates other supernatural forces, making this series more dynamic than I’d expected. Perry and Dex continue to have an explosion filled relationship, but they both continue to grow personally as well as their friendship, making you want to keep reading more about both of them. I love these two characters and love this series by Karina Halle!

 

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Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)

Loved it!

Our rowdy anti-heroes are back, mostly, (RIP adult Groot!), and this second volume is just as much fun as the first! The movie opens with an awesome scene where the crew is doing their hired job of defending some highly valuable and highly prized cosmic batteries from a baddie, all while baby Groot dances to Peter’s music and stumbles around, somehow managing not to get hurt the whole time. The camera is on baby Groot, making for a really fun, unique view of the scene.

 

They somehow manage to successfully keep the baddie from taking the batteries, only to have Rocket pocket some of the smaller ones because, why not? Except when their employers discover their theft, it’s such an affront to the perfectness of their kingdom that it’s a given that they need to chase them down to kill them.

 

A mysterious stranger comes to the rescue just as it looks like our heroes are done for, and Peter Quill, aka Starlord, finally meets his dad for the first time in his life. An offer to see his home world is too tempting to pass up, no matter how conflicted Peter suddenly feels, and our team is separated.

 

Enter Gamora’s sister Nebula, who’s hell bent on killing Gamora, as well as Peter’s former frenemies, Yondu and his rag tag crew, hell bent on getting Peter back for his betrayal in the first movie.

 

If the first movie was about our heroes coming together as a team while we learned about each character’s quirks and uniqueness, this second movie is about them going through some growing pains while they figure out if they’re more than just friends and actually a family, as well as who their family actually includes. This movie didn’t feel quite as raunchy and twisted as the first one, maybe because we’d already met everyone and knew what to expect, but it was just as much fun. I was both laughing and crying my eyes out at the end. The new characters that are introduced were an exciting teaser for future movies, and I hope they keep making them!

 

(P.S. These movies aren’t really suitable for young kids. Violence galore and some raunchy jokes are par for the course.)

 

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