Book Review - Cursed City (Shadow Detective #1) #urbanfantasy

Blurb: My name is Mike Raven, and the weird and supernatural are my life. Monsters murdered my parents when I was eight. Turns out my folks were paranormal investigators and Hell always settles its debts. Naturally I decided to join the family business.

For two decades I've studied the occult and traveled the world hunting nightmares. Vampires. Shifters. Demons. Wraiths. I've faced them all. But my greatest challenge still lay ahead...

From the moment Celeste stepped into my office, I knew she was in trouble. Black magic trouble. Her father had promised her soul to a powerful demon on the day she was born. Now, twenty-one years later, the forces of darkness were gathering to collect their long-awaited prize.

Guess who's about to pick a fight with the Devil himself?

Christine's review: Mike Raven hunts monsters. When Celeste hires him to help her, he isn't certain he can help her. Yet he isn't about to let a beautiful woman suffer. But will he be able to fight back the forces of the Devil himself?

A fantastic start to this urban fantasy series. If you like Supernatural, you're going to like this book. Great hook at the beginning to bring us into the world, and nice descriptions all around. Plenty of action and a few nice twists at the climax. Can't wait to read more in the Shadow Detective series!


Coincidences and Synchronicities

I've always had a thing for coincidences: those random events all coming together in ways that one least expects it. Good or bad, these kinds of events are fun and fascinating. For some, they suggest a higher power ordering things, but for me they're the chaos of the universe sometimes aligning into a wonderful and wondrous pattern. Anyhow, no matter what you think is behind them, they're all kinds of fun to think about.

My upcoming release, THE COINCIDENCE MAKERS, due out on November 19th (yep, gotta get a plug in there somehow ;) talks about the possibility of there being people who make these seemingly impossible things happen. Ami and Luke create coincidences--some small, some large, and some they have no idea why they are supposed to make happen. At any rate, the whole idea came to me from a RadioLab episode I listened to many years ago. You can check it out here, and I totally recommend it: it's chock full of wonder and delight (okay, that may be more my interpretation, but it's awesome if you like this sort of thing!).

Anyhow, this got me started thinking about where stories come from--what sort of coincidences are involved in that? For me, they tend to come from songs (Colors Like Memories came from a Linkin Park song), or a scene (the opening of Surrender the Sky was a horrible opening scene that got into my head I had to write it out). Anyhow, whatever the source, somehow there was something came along and demanded that I write about it.

Recently I was listening to NPR (which probably says more about my demographics than I comfortable with, but it is still amazing and I learn so much random, cool stuff that I just don't care), and Elizabeth Gilbert was talking. She's the author of Eat, Pray, Love (which, I swear, every time I write, I accidentally type out 'prey', which amuses me to no end). And I just kind of loved what she had to say about the way stories float around and try to find a home--looking for the person who can tell them and gift them to the world. And especially how we have to demand a lot from our "muse" so that they know we're serious. I kind of love this idea!

Also, I kind of love the thought of stories floating around in the air like ghosts, looking for vessels. It's both elegant and distinctly creepy. And yet, it feels that way sometimes. Like something just hits and all the pieces just snap together and viola! A book! Like a major coincidence, or maybe a synchronicity, that allows a book, a story, to come into the world.

I'm embedding the radio program here for anyone who's interested, or you can listen here. The Gilbert bit starts around 3:30.

Anyhow, I love a good coincidence, and I love a good story even more. Do any of you have a good story about a synchronicity that you had happen? Or one that you've read about that blew your mind? If you go and read my deleted scene, you'll find one that I lifted from true life :) (And hey, sign up for my newsletter while you're at it? ;)


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