Book Review: HELLBENDER by Jason Jack Miller

HELLBENDER by Jason Jack Miller

4.8/5.0 stars

“It’s Johnny Cash with a fistful of copperheads singing the devil right back to hell.”

HELLBENDER by Jason Jack MillerHELLBENDER, sophomore novel by Jason Jack Miller, is as much a sensory experience as his first in the Murder Ballads and Whiskey Series, THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK. Instead of Morgantown, HELLBENDER is set in the mountains of West Virginia, and with Miller’s descriptive skill, I got to experience the flora and fauna of the Appalachians: the sights, sounds, and smells of a place I’ve never been but now felt like I was there.

The Collinses have been feuding with the Lewises for years. And their animosity comes to a head when Henry Collins buries his little sister in the cold, hard ground. Janie is a victim of the Lewises’ malicious spellcraft. Teaming up with love interest Alex, Henry learns she’s adept at the old hills magic that women in both families practice—for good and for evil.

Besides the magic and intriguing family characterization, Miller loads on the action like a railroad car full of coal, stoking the engine toward a violent destination.

I dig Miller’s turns of phrase, his depiction of local color and customs, his description of the rural milieu, and his demonstration of forces supernatural. If you believe in magic—or want to—you owe it to yourself to read HELLBENDER. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

You can connect with Jason on Twitter @JasonJackMiller. HELLBENDER is available in trade paperback from Raw Dog Screaming Press or for Kindle at Amazon.com.

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Book Review: MERLYN’S RAVEN by Rose Vanden Eynden

MERLYN’S RAVEN by Rose Vanden Eynden

5.0 stars

I recently finished an excellent first novel by a long-time student of Arthurian legend, Rose Vanden Eynden. MERLYN’S RAVEN from Soul Mate Publishing is a romantic fantasy set in fifth century Wales.

Merlyn's Raven by Rose Vanden EyndenGwendydd, the illegitimate child of an allegedly wild woman, suffers her mother’s reputation, but longs to know the truth of her heritage. Slated for a loveless marriage to her chieftain grandfather’s political ally, she meets and falls in love with a druid’s apprentice, a handsome man with golden eyes, possessed of second sight, yet said to be the son of a demon. Appearing and disappearing at will are a few of the many feats of magick the young Myrddin (Merlin) can do, as well as casting glamours—and building Stonehenge with his metaphysical prowess.

Beyond the disapproval of her family, difficulties mount when Myrddin’s clairvoyant visions foretell the birth of a great king who will unify a warring Britain. To shift the balance of power, they must succeed in a dangerous scheme, one that threatens their very lives.

If you’re looking for a book that’s a perfect potion made of magick, romance, and adventure, I highly recommend MERLYN’S RAVEN. Rose Vanden Eynden’s words flow like a rushing river. The setting is rich, the characters are fascinating, the magick is powerful, the treachery surprising. Keeping the pace brisk throughout, Vanden Eynden builds ancient intrigue to an exciting conclusion and sets things up nicely for the next edition of an enchanting saga.

You can watch the book’s video trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt4cu3rSKz8.

You can find MERLYN’S RAVEN at Soul Mate Publishing and Amazon.

The Goodreads page is http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13448335-merlyn-s-raven. You can find the author on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/RoseVandenEyndenOfficial.