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Books Read in February 2023

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Wolves Running by Deborah Jarvis

Wolves is a book I picked up after interviewing the author for one of my many shows. The author herself is a sweet woman who works hard on her stories. I loved the inspiration and drive she had when talking about this story and I couldn’t wait to dive in.


This book focuses on shifters and their place in the human world. It begins by sharing that they are no longer hidden and that their secret is out. The reveal and the hatred that stems from some shocks the shifter community and many continue to hide who they are.


Sasha Wellington is the main character of this story. She decided to move further from her pack to pursue life in Boulder Colorado as a teacher. She leads a lift as a typical human and even dates a human with the knowledge that it wont last in the back of her mind, especially since he is one of the individuals spewing venom about the newly revealed shifters. She’s a wolf and knows it will have to end sooner rather than later. It’s during one of her hangout sessions with her friend, John Arndt, a former student at the school she now teaches, has his world turned upside down.


John feels normal at the start of the evening, but something changes. He suddenly becomes ill and basically sprints out the door. Sasha picks up on a change in his scent as she follows him and helps him transition into a wolf for the first time. With it being near the holidays, she knows she can’t leave him with this new life altering event, so she makes him pack his things to spend time at her family’s home. There he meets other wolf shifters and begins to learn a bit about being a wolf.


The story progresses and things spawn between the two. Sasha is left trying to figure out how to break things off with her current boyfriend and when she does, things don’t go smoothly. He becomes obsessive and stalks her, even pulling his radical friends in on some of the things he does. It gets worse when he discovers she’s involved with shifters.


Sasha was a fascinating character with a strong determination and focus. She helps John in his time of need and continues to help him as the story progresses. A romance sparks between them which is adorable. I grew a massive dislike for her ex and all the trouble he causes during this story.


Another thing that I observed while reading this novel was that it wasn’t your typical shifter story. It gave more on how they have integrated into society while keeping their secrets and focused more on family than romance. I loved how tight knit her family and friends were and that it continued to grow and include other shifters.


This book was an exciting and addictive read. I highly recommend it to shifter story enthusiasts, romance readers, coming of age, family focused readers, and suspense readers.

Synopsis:

The secret is out about the shapeshifters of the world, and as they face the wildly disparate reactions from all parts of the globe, the local groups of shapeshifters are trying to adapt to being in the public eye. For some, like Sasha Wellington, the revelation of her status as a wolf shapeshifter is not something she can reveal just yet in her role as a biology teacher at a Boulder, Colorado high school. As a matter of fact, that is probably the last thing she should consider.

Things begin to change when one of her friends from student-teaching days suddenly discovers he is a shapeshifter, and she has to find a way to get him trained so that he will be able to keep her secret.


Bringing the younger wolf home to her family’s house for New Year's, Sasha discovers that there is more to her young protégé than she originally thought and finds herself at a crossroads between the world she has built for herself in Boulder and the life that has always been hers amid the snow-capped mountains of Wyoming. In order to make these two parts of her life work, she will have to risk not only her livelihood as a teacher, but possibly the safety of her family and her friends in order to help achieve the lasting peace all of the shapeshifter’s desire.


About Deborah Jarvis

My name is Deborah Jarvis. I'm a college professor and English teacher with a strong background in mythology and a passion for fantasy and science fiction. I have been in love with these genres for a very long time.


When it comes to writing, fantasy is the genre in which I have spent most of my life. Fantasy gives the author a way to do things that are incredible, while at the same time creating characters and worlds that readers can relate to.


For me, reading was freedom. It gave me an escape as a child and allowed me to share in the journey of my favorite heroes. It also inspired me to write. Now, as an adult, I want to bring my own stories to life for other people. I hope to give the same gift to my readers that my favorite authors gave to me.

The Gypsy Magic Trilogy by Tonya Royston

I binge read this series over the course of a week. Each book picked up right where the one before it left off. It was a fantasy coming of age story that falls into the young adult group. The main character was the focus of the story for majority of the series.

Gracyn is a young teen who is forced to start over after her mom lands a job over seas her senior year of high school. Instead of moving with her, she is offered to move in with her mysterious half sister living in a small town. She’s welcomed as the new girl and experiences a boost in popularity that she’s never experienced before. Something is off though. There was a mysterious death years ago that was left unsolved. This even occurred near the woods where she’ll be living, and the one suspect accused of the murder has returned to town.

The story takes readers on a magical adventure where things aren’t as they appear in this small town. People too are not who they appear to be as well. I loved that the magical beings had ties to horses since that is my favorite animal. It was also a different take on witches than what I’ve read in the past. I really enjoyed this series and how fast paced it was. I highly recommend it.

Gypsy Magic

Gracyn Pierce is starting over. She has a new home, a new boyfriend, and a new horse. Everything is perfect, or so it seems. Because Gracyn left a secret behind. In her quest to erase the memory of that stormy night, she forces herself to study hard, her sights set on an Ivy League college. But her attempts to stay focused are derailed when the neighbor suspected of murdering his sister returns to town. As if that isn’t enough, her senses begin to change in ways that aren’t physically possible. As hard as she tries to find an explanation, there isn’t one. Gracyn soon learns that things are not what they appear to be. Even her sister who took her in is hiding something. Will Gracyn continue pursuing her goal of getting accepted to a top-notch university, or will the secrets of the past and present ruin her future?

Gypsy Souls

All her life, Gracyn Pierce believed in what she can see and touch. But after learning she is part of a supernatural world; she knows things are about to change. Gracyn has no idea what lies ahead. She’s nervous about her future, not sure she’ll go to college one day as she hopes. In spite of the powers that have awakened inside her, she moves on as though everything is normal, studying hard and spending time with her boyfriend, Alex. She finds comfort in knowing there are others like her, particularly Lucian, the neighbor suspected of murdering his sister. As an unexpected bond forms between them, she begins to believe he couldn’t possibly have committed such a horrific crime. When Gracyn unknowingly releases an evil presence, birds turn up dead and hallucinations torment her. Then danger strikes, threatening her friend, Celeste. Gracyn does everything she can to help, but nothing prepares her for the shocking secrets exposed in the race against time to save Celeste.

Gypsy Blood

Gracyn would like nothing more than to return to her old life, one that was boring, but also safe. Instead, she begins to sink deeper into the mystery surrounding the murder of a young girl while defending herself against an evil witch. Gracyn’s attempt to carry on with school as usual is quickly derailed by Marguerite’s threats. When her car slides off the road one morning, she realizes Marguerite isn’t playing around. Not sure where to turn, Gracyn feels lost and alone until Lucian steps in, teaching her how to harness her energy and use magic to defeat Marguerite. If only it was that easy. Putting her faith in Lucian, Gracyn trusts him to help her find her inner strength. But her world is turned upside down when she uncovers new evidence in the murder case, leading her to question his innocence. After refusing to heed the warnings about him, she starts to wonder if she’ll be the next victim and resolves to fight for the truth, no matter what that might be.

About Tonya Royston

Tonya Royston lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, son, two dogs, and two horses. Although she dreamed of writing novels at a young age, she was diverted away from that path years ago and built a successful career as a contracts manager for a defense contractor in the Washington, DC area. She resurrected her dream of writing in 2013 and hasn't stopped since the first words of The Sunset Trilogy were unleashed. Shadows at Sunset is her first novel, but it certainly won't be her last. She has already written the second and third books of this series and expects them to be released in 2016.

More information about Tonya and her upcoming endeavors can be found at www.tonyaroyston.com.














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