Tag: Allyson James

Guest Review: SHADOW WALKER by Allyson James

Posted November 22, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Mary’s review of Shadow Walker by Allyson James

Racing her motorcycle down a lonely winter highway, Stormwalker Janet Begay feels the ground collapse beneath her feet. After tumbling two hundred feet into an underground cavern, she manages to escape with help from her sexy dragon-shifter boyfriend, Mick—but not before they disturb some dark forces.

As Janet contends with a hotel inspector intent on putting her out of business, as well as her grandmother, who’s taken up residence, Mick’s behavior becomes strange and erratic, until he is a clear danger to Janet and her friends. Janet’s drag-queen, attitude-ridden magic mirror insists that Mick has been touched by shadows, and the Stormwalker realizes that someone is out to enslave her dragon. Now she must free Mick before he kills her…

Completely drool-worthy, Mick is such a fabulous alpha male and a dragon to boot. Too bad he’s struggling with these shadows that are trying to possess and control him. After he helps out Janet and Nash escape from the skeleton-hand-filled sinkhole (holy cow, I’d have nightmares for ages if I fell into a hole and there were skeletal hands coming after me. *shudder*), Mick emerges from the sinkhole a completely different dragon, one who snaps and snarls at his lover, one who makes Janet’s Magic Mirror scream bloody murder.

The third book in the Stormwalker series, SHADOW WALKER finds Janet on the verge of losing her hotel, her sassy grandmother moving in and putting Janet in her place, and Janet with the mystery of who’s enslaving her boyfriend. On the positive side, Janet’ learning how to combine her Beneath powers with her Stormwalker powers in a way that harnesses the Beneath power so it doesn’t overwhelm her and so Mick and Coyote don’t have to make good on their promise to kill her.

Each Stormwalker book brings new characters and I’m kind of hoping there won’t be too many more added in book four. Right now, there are just enough for an interesting plot without muddying the waters too much. Too many characters can really get confusing. We got to learn a bit more back-story on some of my favorites, namely Coyote and Nash. While I wasn’t a bit fan of Nash in the first book, he really grew on me in the second and, now that I know about his PTSD and experiences in Iraq, I like him even more. And Coyote, he’s just a fabulous character. Who wouldn’t like him?

But back to Mick and Janet. At first, I thought Mick was just being pissy and showing his moody side. But the author had other plans for Mick, slowly enveloping him in shadows until he was completely enthralled to the evil witch. There’s such an amazing connection between Janet and Mick, even when one of them has turned to the dark side. And, of course, the sex between the two of them is H.O.T.

SHADOW WALKER brings the Stormwalker series to another level of awesomeness.

Rating 4.25/5.0

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Guest Review: Stormwalker by Allyson James

Posted November 9, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith‘s review of Stormwalker (Stomwalker series, Book 1) by Allyson James.

Janet Begay is a Stormwalker, capable of wielding the raw elemental power of nature’s tempests–a power that threatens to overwhelm her. Only her lover, Mick, a dark-haired, blue-eyed biker, is able to siphon off her excess energy and calm the storm raging within her–even as their passion reaches unimaginable heights of ecstasy.

Janet and Mick have come to the desert town of Magellan to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the police chief’s daughter. The barren land around it is full of vortexes, the gateways that connect the human world with the mystical realm of Beneath, and after encountering skinwalkers and receiving hints from a shape-shifting coyote and a smart-ass magic mirror, Janet fears that her own powerful, scary-as-hell mother is involved.

She’s also uncertain about Mick. He can wield fire and never get burned, and Janet can’t seem to touch him with her storm powers. But Janet must trust him, since she and Mick find themselves venturing where no human can survive alone–and only together can they overcome the greatest danger they’ve ever faced.

This is the first Allison James novel I have read and I have to admit that I was hooked from just about the first paragraph. I normally don’t care much for novels written in the first person–I like to get the point of view of all the characters–but it wasn’t too far down the first page that I forgot about that prejudice and just started getting involved in the story.

I was also delighted to read a book that embraced the Navajo traditions to the extent that was the case here. The Begay name is well-known in the Navajo Nation–I even have a hand-made piece of pottery that was crafted by a member of the Begay family–so that caught my attention on a personal level. I have long been fascinated by the Native American acceptance of the “other worldly” and am delighted that the main character in this story was a part of that tradition.

Ms James has been adept in expressing the frustrations that are often present in many love relationships–the trust issues and the sometimes lack of sharing of those deeper levels of who each person may be–just as it was between Janet and Mick. He would disappear for long periods of time. Even in the early days of their relationship, long before Janet decided to settle in Magellen–five-and-a-half years earlier, her love for him was constantly put to the test by his long absences and his refusal to explain why he was gone or where he had gone. He would just disappear and then re-appear at will. She was just expected to adjust. Little wonder that their affair lasted only six months. And little did Janet realize that in the intervening five years, Mick has been shadowing her, keeping her in sight, but keeping himself hidden from her.

This book is not a simplistic story. It is a very well-written novel, built on a solid and unusual plot, with a story line and characters that move forward at a steady pace and which are constantly submerging the reader in deeper mystery, questions that don’t seem to have answers, and personalities that are very strong but one wonders why they are there and what do they have to do with the story. Besides Mick the reader is introduced to a crow that seems to be ever-present, a coyote that visits regularly and turns out to be one of the ancient gods, a sheriff who is a former Special Ops guy with an obsession for keeping the rules and who probably hasn’t smiled for twenty years and who turns out to be a null–a person who can absorb magic without affect to himself , and a goddess mother who appears to be loving and wanting the love of her daughter–Janet–but whose true nature gradually emerges throughout the story. There are several story strands that Ms James weaves together throughout the novel, all of which make for an engaging story that continually goes in one direction or the other, and does a great job of keeping the reader’s interest.

This is a story about loyalty and trust, friendship and love, passion and authentic caring. It is a tale that embraces the best and the worst in human relationships, spiced up with the paranormal and the fantastic. It has a wonderful magic mirror (as in “mirror, mirror on the wall) that is sassy and is always interested in being a sexual voyeur. It also embraces, in probably the most extreme way, the need for each of us to make important decisions about the choices before us–good and evil, family loyalties, embracing the best in ourselves and being honest about the rest, and recognizing that no matter how frustrating a significant 0ther may be, do we want that person in our lives and what are we willing to endure to make that happen.

This is truly a delightful book and I urge romance readers and lovers of the fantasy and paranormal literature to give this book a go. I think you will find it a worthy expenditure of your time and effort. I give this book a 4.75 out of 5.

The series:
StormwalkerFirewalker (Stormwalker)

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

Guest Author: Allyson James

Posted November 9, 2010 by Casee in Giveaways, Promotions | 22 Comments

Author Allyson James is here today to discuss her fantasy series. Her new book, Firewalker (second in the series), is out now.

Thanks so much for asking me to blog today! I’m excited about the release of Firewalker, which released this week, in my Allyson James persona. Firewalker is Book 2 of the series that begins with Stormwalker.

Stormwalker introduces Janet Begay, a woman who can draw on the power of storms to work powerful magic (she can’t conjure storms, only work with what’s there). Janet moves to a little town called Magellan, near the Navajo Nation in the Southwest, to find a missing young woman, and then gets drawn into all sorts of problems.

Her biker boyfriend, Mick, a powerful Firewalker, suddenly returns to her life as well. Mick’s the only one who can calm her down when she’s in storm power frenzy, drawing off her lightning in a most sensual way. Mick (with the help of a bisexual, drag queen magic mirror) helps Janet beat back an evil threatening to crawl out from Beneath.

And then there’s Coyote, the trickster god who can shapeshift between Coyote and man. They need his help too, but his snarky, sexy suggestions always put Janet on edge.

Mick’s actions in Stormwalker break some dragon laws, and in Firewalker, Mick has to stand trial for those actions. Now Janet needs to protect him. But there’s a crazy new power rising inside Janet, and she’s going to need Mick’s help to control it. At the same time, murder and mayhem happen, because that’s what happens around Janet. Plus, another dragon, Colby, has waltzed into town, claiming that he’s the only hope Mick has. Mick and Colby were enemies once, and Janet doesn’t exactly trust him.

Coyote is also back. 🙂

For a rundown of some of the characters you’ll meet in both books:

Janet Begay: Raised on the Navajo Nation, Janet can draw the power of storms to feed her formidable latent magic. Without a storm, she’s pretty powerless. Storm power makes her crazy, and only Mick can ease her down.

Mick: An inked biker bad boy dragon-shifter who rescued Janet from the clutches of her own power. Mick wields powerful fire magic and can draw off her storm powers with his sensual touch.

Nash Jones: The Sheriff of Hopi County, he’s an Unbeliever, not fond of people who claim they use magic. He’s ex-Army Special Forces, a stickler for rules and regs, and might possess the most potent magic of all.

Maya Medina: A beautiful electrician with many secrets.

Fremont Hansen: A plumber who calls himself a minor mage. He has secrets too.

Jamison Kee: A Navajo shape shifter (a Changer), friend to Janet. He’s responsible for bringing her to Magellan.

Coyote: A shape-shifting trickster god with an eye for the ladies. Despite his jovial exterior, Janet knows he’s damn dangerous.

Additional, from Firewalker:

Cassandra Bryson: A beautiful witch with a murky past but one heck of an efficient hotel receptionist.

Pamela Grant: A wolf Changer with a sinister message.

Jim Mohan: A hiker. Maybe.

Colby: One of Mick’s people, he calls himself a friend. Or maybe an enemy. He hasn’t decided.

Drake and Bancroft: Dragons who prefer long, black, chauffeured limos.

I hope you enjoy this action-packed installment of the Stormwalker series. I have a page dedicated to the series with blurbs, forthcoming books, and excerpts:

http://www.allysonjames.com/stormwalker.html

Thanks so much!

We have three copies of Stormwalker to giveaway! Leave a comment for a chance to win. Ends 11/16 @ 11:59pm.

Guest Review: Firewalker by Allyson James

Posted November 9, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith‘s review of Firewalker (Stormwalker series, Book 2) by Allyson James

Janet Begay’s Crossroads Hotel has attracted the supernational from the day it opened. Witches, Changers, and a mouthy magic mirror have decided to make it their home. But a new, dark power is rising–this time inside Janet herself.

Her boyfriend, Mick, a sexy dragon shape-shifter the Navajo call a Firewalker, knows what terrifying magic is gthreatening to overwhelm Janet and her Stormwalker powers. He watches over her, ready to fight for her, to do anything to keep her safe.

But then a mysterious corpse is found near the Crossroads Hotel–and Janet becomes Sheriff Nash Jones’ main suspect. Trouble is, even she can’t be sure she didn’t do it. Now Janet and Mick must uncover what really happened, and their investigation leads to the most perilous decision of their lives: Mick must choose between protecting his own kind or Janet, the woman he loves, from the many forces amassing against her.

There are few series I have read where the succeeding books rival or exceed the first in the series. I think Allyson James may have accomplished that. This is one heck of a read and one I was truly sorry to see come to an end. It is one of those novels where I go back and read parts of it and look to see when the next book in the series is due. I just flat out couldn’t put the thing down!

Written from the perspective of the heroine, Janet Begay, this book could have easily lost me early on. I usually don’t like first person narratives as I enjoy listening to the inner thoughts of all the characters. But Ms James’ heroine really comes alive in this novel as she did in the first book in this series. She is a rebel biker gal, intent on being her own person, confident in her use of her earth/Stormwalker magic, but not afraid to admit that her Beneath/goddess powers scare her witless. Her efforts to help others by allowing her Beneath magic to spring forth is getting her in trouble with Coyote, an ancient god who is also a Changer and with her dragon-guy Mick. Both have vowed to kill her if she does harm to anything or anyone. Nice to know that’s hanging over one’s head, eh? Her hotel clerk is a powerful witch who is in love with a wolf-Changer; her saloon mirror is magic and extremely mouthy; her best friend from the Navajo Nation is a lion-Changer and a shaman; and she is constantly being harrassed by Sheriff Nash Jones with whom she has a love/hate relationship and as an ex-military guy is always threatening her with jail time for onebroken rule or another.

The biggest issue that is hanging over Janet’s head is the upcoming “trial” of Mick before the Dragon Council for refusing to kill her when commanded to do so. He has sworn that he loves her, will protect her even at the cost of his own life, and declared that Janet is his mate. This trial will not be conducted according to human court rules but according to dragon dictates–Mick has already been judged “guilty” so this trial will determine if he should be killed or if not, what will be his penalty?

This book is full of twists and turns, surprises, compelling characters, love, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, mystery, shape-shifters, spells, aerial combat of the “other world” kind, and so on. It is the story of an enduring connection and relationship between Janet and Mick, one that becomes frustrating and that sits uneasily with Janet often. Yet Mick seems determined to love and protect her. Janet is a woman of thoughtful and creative possibilities when she sets her mind to resolving a conflict or solving a mystery. She speaks to dragons openly and pointedly, she yells at gods and goddesses, she moves freely between mortal and immortal forces. Yet she always remains “Janet.” Somehow she must resolve the impasse between her earth powers and her Beneath powers without losing her sense of self.

This is a delightful, sensual, engaging, riveting novel that is a “must read” in my view. If you don’t like paranormal stories, this might be a bit difficult for you, yet I think even people who have not read much paranormal will come to like this novel very much. I am planning to put this book on my “must read again” list and be sure I revisit it from time to time. I am sure there are good things in here that I missed the first time around. That is always the way with good fiction, and this is most definitely good fiction. I was delighted to see that a follow-up novel is on the way. I can’t wait!

I give this novel a rating of 4.75 out of 5.

The series:
StormwalkerFirewalker (Stormwalker)

You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

What I Read Last Week

Posted October 26, 2009 by Tracy in Features | 7 Comments

Hidee Ho! 🙂

How are you all doing? Did you have a nice weekend? I certainly hope so!

Let’s see what happened this week? Nothing much actually. I was lazy with the blog but hopefully that will change this week. I’ve got a few reviews for you.

My hubby was gone on a business trip this past weekend so it was just the me and the kids and it felt like we didn’t sit down all weekend long. We got manicures and pedicures and went to breakfast and then ran errands. We did church and then a birthday party and then went to the mall because my youngest decided that she was finally gonna get her ears pierced. Yeah, she chickened out again. Poor thing. We then walked to the corner and went to the Haunted Jailhouse that the Sheriff’s dept. does every year. My kids were terrified! I ended up carrying my youngest the whole way and my oldest was crying. My oldest is normally fearless so I’m not sure why she was shakin in her boots. It was really good though. Kudos to the dept. for doing such a great job.

I completely dig this song. I’m not a huge Colby Caillet fan but words in this song just touches the romantic in me:

So onto what I read this week (all new-to-me authors except Meredith Duran):

First up was Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran. I really enjoyed the book. I just love her style of writing! This was Phin’s story whom we met in Bound by Your Touch. I should say Phin and Mina’s story. Phin has some issues which seemed to disappear in the middle of the book and then show up again. I was a little surprised by this omission but overall just good stuff. 4 out of 5

Next was Red’s Wolf: Torrent Talents Book 1 by Brigit Aine. My friend Jen bought me a couple of books because I’m constantly handing her paperbacks to read! lol Anyway – this is a take on the Little Red Riding Hood story and I wasn’t a huge fan, unfortunately. It was cute but incredibly short so there wasn’t a whole lot of character development, etc. Red Hood meets Ethan Wolfe and since he’s a shifter he knows that she’s his mate. He’s sold on the idea immediately but she holds back…for about a minute and a half. I would have like to have seen a few more interactions between the two before she fell. 2.5 out of 5

Next was My Lupine Lover by Stormy Glenn. This was another shifter story of mates, Vadim & Sasha, finding each other, but after the two men found each other there was some learning to be done between the two. They were given the opportunity in the story to discover who the other person was and I was so happy to see that – especially after reading the previous book. I thought Vadim was a little presumptious at first with Sasha’s life but he got better after a while and there was a ton of sex in the book (which could have been a little less), but other than that it was good. 3.5 outof 5


After that I read Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. I read about this book on Kris’s blog and it caught my attention. I’ll be posting a review this week.

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge Read for the week was The Dragon Master by Allyson James. The story about a fire dragon, Seth, who is summoned by a dragon master who was imprisoned thousands of years ago. He meets Carol who is also a dragon master but doesn’t realize it. She manages to bind him to her and together, and with friends and other dragons, they try to find a way to release the dm that summoned him. It was an interesting book in that Seth was having feelings for Carol but he wasn’t sure if they were because he actually cared for her but because he was bound to her. I liked the twist. Carol wasn’t a bad character but I didn’t get too attached to her. She was very tense- which she had reason to be at times, but still. Also she betrays Seth’s trust at one point in the book and I just couldn’t relate to her after that. I thought Seth deserved someone much better and it kind of pissed me off that they ended up together. 3 out of 5

So that was it for me. I hope you all have a great week!
Happy Reading!

Oh and I forgot – my review for The Year of Living Shamelessly by Susan Carr is up @ TBB. Man, I’m so bad at information! lol