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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.

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey (Brilliance Trilogy Book 1)

Urban Fantasy / Sci Fi Thriller

Brilliance by Marcus Sakey is a unique combination of Sci Fi, Urban Fantasy, and Thriller. In a world where one in a hundred children are now being born with extra gifts, with no explanation for why this has started happening, the regular population is now nervous about what this means for them. When a ‘Brilliant’ can see the patterns of the stock market and completely crash the system, or another can read you mind, or determine in the blink of an eye what will happen next in any given situation, where does that leave the ungifted population?

 

Agent Nick Cooper is a ‘Brilliant’ working for the government to find, and sometimes even kill other brilliants who are working to hurt innocent civilians. When he learns of a planned bombing at the newly re-opened stock exchange, his attempt to stop it takes a turn he never in a million years imagined.

 

Suddenly partnered up with a brilliant he’d been trying to take down because of her part in another recent bombing, he learns more about this hidden world than he’d ever known. He’s in a race against time to get to and kill the true mastermind of all the chaos while also fighting to keep his own young daughter out of the state run schools for brilliants, which he finally learns are nothing more than government run labs to turn them into brainwashed soldiers. Everything Nick thought he knew about his world, and his personal motivations for why he works so hard to keep his country safe from the bad brilliants is thrown into a tailspin.

 

This was a really interesting, well written book with plenty of cynical humor, well thought out world building, and interesting characters. Romantic elements are thrown in and you hope that there will be more in Nick’s new relationship in the next book in this series. The twists and turns of the story along with the snips of news coverage thrown in make for a very realistic world where the average citizen is kept in a state of fear about their fellow man being something they don’t understand and have a need to control. Highly recommend this Marcus Sakey book for anyone who enjoys thrillers with a sci fi / urban fantasy twist.

 

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Movie: Maleficent (2014)

Beautiful Movie!

I don’t watch a lot of Disney or kid movies, but the premise of this had me intrigued, and I wasn’t disappointed! It’s rated TV-14 so the themes are a little more adult than some other Disney movies.

 

The plot centers around Maleficent, first as a fairy child living happily in the Moors with all the other fairy folk. A human was caught trying to steal a gem from the Moors, and soon Maleficent and the boy become friends. Years pass as they both grow up, seeing each other now and again. But as Stefan becomes a man, the kingdom beyond the Moors grows greedy and wants to expand their territory by overpowering the fairy and taking the land.

 

Maleficent has grown in power over the years and leads the fairy folk to succeed in keeping the borders of the Moors secure from humans. But the King will have none of it, and in his sick bed, tells his men, including Stefan, that whoever kills Maleficent will replace him as King.

 

Stefan visits Maleficent, and they have a nice time together as usual, but greed and ambition has corrupted his soul. Unable to kill his lovely friend, he instead mutilates her, leaving her unable to fly and command the fairy as she was once able. And so Stefan is crowned King and Maleficent is mortified, heartbroken, and finally enraged by what’s been done to her.

 

Enter the curse. King Stefan has married and a baby is born. All the land is invited to the castle, except for Maleficent, of course. She arrives, sees the babe, and curses her to prick her thumb on her 16th Birthday, only able to be awoken by true love’s kiss.

 

The King sends the baby to live far away from the kingdom, where she can’t come across a spindle and prick her thumb, but little does he know that Maleficent is also watching over her. Years pass, and as the curse draws closer, Maleficent grows conflicted over what she’s set in motion, and the King prepares his men for a royal battle with her.

 

This movie was really well done. Angelina Jolie was perfect in the role of Maleficent, the emotions of what she was dealing with playing out really well in the complexities of her relationship with the human king and his innocent child. The visuals were awesome, the fairy world not overly saccharin sweet, and the battle scenes gave a good balance of action to the movie. If you like Fantasy movies that are a little more adult themed, but have a soft spot for the Disney movies of your youth, you’ll love this!

 

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Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1) by Karina Halle

Usually there’s only one crazy main character…

I wasn’t expecting this sassy, crazy story based on the cover. The cover’s nice and spooky but doesn’t warn you that you’re in for a crazyfest! And in a good way! The hero and heroine are along the lines of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in the Movie ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to see it!).

 

I couldn’t put this book down. Told from first person point of view, accidental ghost hunter Perry Palamino is a twenty two year old self-conscious, ghost seeing, crazy dream having woman who’s trying her hardest to have a normal life and not disappoint her parents after all she’s put them through with her past issues. After running into tall, dark and crazy Dex Foray, she starts to question if she can really keep being ‘normal’, or if she even wants to.

 

Dex is a thirty two year old cameraman for a company that makes low budget shows for the internet. He’s sick of the show he’s been working on, Wine Babes, a show where two hot girls tell the world what wines pair best with different fast foods. Unfortunately for Perry, one of the Wine Babes is Dex’s girlfriend.

 

After uncovering ghostly activity at a lighthouse on Perry’s uncle’s land, Dex wants to make a regular show of ghost hunting. But first they need to go back and get more footage from the lighthouse to put together a proper pilot episode. However, since Perry seems to be the one to bring the supernatural creepies out of hiding, she’s the one that keeps ending up in scary situations, and always fighting her problem of having frequent panic attacks.

 

Between the craziness of the two lead characters, Perry’s relatable fear of looking like an idiot to someone she finally cares if she looks like an idiot to, and the creepiness of the spooks Perry encounters, this is a really fun, quirky, interesting story. I found myself crying at some of Perry’s troubles, then laughing out loud at her experiences with Dex. And then I immediately bought the next 2 books and novella in this great series by Karina Halle. Highly recommend!

 

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Movie Review: What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Quirky, Funny, and Awesome Special Effects!

This Vampire Horror/Comedy movie is quirky with humor that’s sometimes very understated and subtle, and sometimes outrageous. Combined with some shockingly awesome special effects where you least expect them, it’s a must see!

 

The movie is a documentary shot by cameramen who’ve been promised not to be killed while they shoot footage of vampire flatmates Vlad, Viago, Deacon, and Petyr during the months leading up to the annual masquerade ball in New Zealand. The flatmates are vampires of varying ages and personalities, all struggling to get along as roommates the same as any group would. Along comes a new meal that somehow gets away before being killed, and eventually ends up becoming one of the group. This newly turned vampire teaches the group of old fashioned, dark ages vampires some tricks about the modern world, but his cockiness gets someone hurt in the process.

 

I don’t want to give away too much, but this is a hilarious, must see movie. If you’re a fan of the show Flight of the Conchords (also starring Jemaine Clement), you’ll love this movie!

 

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The Prophet (The Graveyard Queen #3) by Amanda Stevens

This series is awesome!

Cemetery Restorer, Amelia Gray, is back home after a harrowing ordeal, and is quickly lured to the man she left behind, Detective John Devlin, by the ghost of his young daughter. Having already broken her rules of not acknowledging the dead, Amelia decides to try to help the young girl and is led on a wild chase involving eavesdropping on secret conversations, a mysterious stranger with scary powers unlike anything she’s ever experienced before, bearing witness to blackmail of one of her friends, and the unrelenting ghost of John’s murdered partner who also wants help to cross all the way over to the other side.

 

This was another great book from the Graveyard Queen series, full of spookiness, suspense, and a heart breaking twist at the end that I was totally shocked by. I highly recommend reading these books in order to get the full impact of the story, and everything that keeps growing and changing in Amelia’s life. Amanda Stevens has a wonderful, rich writing style that makes you feel like you’re right there with the characters, and suspense that keeps you wanting to know more.

 

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Fresh Hell (The Ghosted Series #1) by David Bussell

Jim Butcher Harry Dresden fans must read this!

This was a really fun, punchy story. Jake Fletcher was an exorcist in life, getting rid of ghosts in haunted houses. Now that he’s dead he realizes that instead of helping ghosts on their way to their next stage in life he was actually obliterating their souls. Deciding to make things right, he uses his knowledge of magic and possession to solve murders and actually help lost souls find their way to the great beyond.

 

This story had me laughing out loud. Between Jake’s biting sense of humor and his reasoning for who he uses as a ‘meat puppet’ when he needs a physical body to possess and walk around in, I couldn’t read this book fast enough. And as soon as I was done, I downloaded the prequel and read that as well. If you’re a fan of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden books, this will be right up your alley. My only complaint was that the story was over too fast! Would love to see a longer book in this series by David Bussell.

 

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The Kingdom (The Graveyard Queen #2) by Amanda Stevens

Ghost Story, Mystery, and a Side of Romance

Amelia Gray is a woman who can secretly see ghosts. She’s also a cemetery restorer, and in The Kingdom, Book 2 in the Graveyard Queen Series by Amanda Stevens, her quest to understand her unique, sometimes terrifying ability continues.

 

Amelia’s hired to restore an overgrown family cemetery in Asher Falls, a small town cut off from the mainland by mountains and a large lake. When she arrives, what she finds is a dying town full of secretive, suspicious people.

 

Having broken her own rules for dealing with the undead, Amelia has opened a door to the other side that she now finds is letting in different types of ghosts than she’s ever dealt with before. Or are they something more? A dark uneasiness seeping down from the mountains, a hidden, unmarked but carefully tended to grave, a ghost that seems to have a psychic connection to her, and the handsome, down to earth grandson of the town patriarch all leave Amelia feeling like there’s a reason she’s been drawn to this town besides the job she was hired to do, and she knows deep down she should leave before it’s too late!

 

This 2nd book in the Graveyard Queen series is just as atmospheric and spooky as the 1st. I highly recommend for anyone who loves Mystery, Ghost Stories, and a side of Romance!

 

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Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Fun Sci Fi Action Adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously!

Part hapless hero, part sci fi, this movie will have you laughing and praying this rag tag group can stay alive long enough to save the galaxy. Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, aka ‘Star Lord’, an orphan abducted by aliens as a child and raised as a thief and scavenger of the universe. Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, a kick ass assassin who turns on her keepers in order to steal back the latest item Peter ‘acquired’ in order to save the universe.

 

With a price on his head for backing out of sharing the bounty on his latest stolen acquisition, “Rocket” the cybernetically enhanced raccoon in all his devious glory (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and his friend and sidekick, tree man, Groot, who’s entire vocabulary is different intonations of “I am Groot” (voiced by Vin Diesel) attempt to kidnap and bring in Peter for the reward money. But Gamora gets there about the same time to steal the artifact and somehow they all get arrested and sent to an offworld prison, where they reluctantly team up together to break out, and include another prisoner, Drax, played by Dave Bautista, a character who’s race takes everything literally, so of course even basic metaphors are completely lost on him.

 

This is an action adventure movie filled with laugh out loud rude jokes that are right on the edge of being R rated, sci fi that’s just on the edge of being totally non-plausible. With anti-heroes that are almost too pathetic to ever accomplish what they’re after, underneath their tough exteriors they don’t want to see the galaxy destroyed any more than anyone else does, so you root for them all the way. If you love sci fi flicks, and a good laugh with some great cinematography and non-stop action, you must see this movie! And I can’t wait for the next one!

 

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TV Show: Hotel Beau Sejour (2016)

Murder, deception, love triangles… and a ghost! Addictive Show!

This was an awesome, awesome show. A teenage girl, Kato, wakes up bloody and dazed in a hotel room, and stumbles home only to realize no one can see or hear her. Well, almost no one, and that in itself is another mystery. She quickly realizes she’s a ghost and that she’s been murdered, and she decides she’s going to figure out who did it. The hard part is, she can’t remember the few hours leading up to her death.

 

This show is set in a smallish Belgian town, so unless you know Finnish you’ll need to turn your subtitles on. But please do! Between the awesome acting, getting to know the townspeople and their seemingly innocent character flaws, and then tagging along with Kato and the out of town detectives who take over the case from the local police who seem to be obstructing the investigation, this is an addictive show! Each episode you’ll swear you’ve figured out who the murderer is, only to have another clue foul it all up again. There are 10 episodes and a conclusion that will leave you in shock. The final short replay of what actually happened the night of Kato’s murder was a nice way to end the show, tying up all the questions you had in your head of everyone’s questionable alibi’s. Love, love, loved this show!

 

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Death Day (The Ghosted Series #0.5) by David Bussell

An ex-exorcist with a biting sense of humor!

This is an urban fantasy, short story / prequel to Book 1: Fresh Hell, and it’s a lot of sarcastic fun! Jake Fletcher is an exorcist with a waning marriage and a grumpy coworker, and soon finds himself being pushed off a train. From there, his life, and death, is turned upside down and inside out. After being told that all those lost souls he’d been exorcising from haunted houses didn’t make it to the great beyond because he blasted them out of existence, Jake realizes he might not actually be allowed into Heaven, so he hightails it back to the real world. Except now he’s a ghost.

 

This is a great story, full of biting humor, a fledgling ghost learning about his new life as he goes, and along the way he works on solving his own murder. If you enjoy a good detective story with a side of the supernatural, you should read this book!

 

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