Review of My Notorious Life

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My Notorious Life by Kate Manning

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Genre: Historical Fiction

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A brilliant rendering of a scandalous historical figure, Kate Manning’s My Notorious Life is an ambitious, thrilling novel introducing Axie Muldoon, a fiery heroine for the ages. 

Axie’s story begins on the streets of 1860s New York. The impoverished child of Irish immigrants, she grows up to become one of the wealthiest and most controversial women of her day. 

In vivid prose, Axie recounts how she is forcibly separated from her mother and siblings, apprenticed to a doctor, and how she and her husband parlay the sale of a few bottles of “Lunar Tablets for Female Complaint” into a thriving midwifery business. Flouting convention and defying the law in the name of women’s reproductive rights, Axie rises from grim tenement rooms to the splendor of a mansion on Fifth Avenue, amassing wealth while learning over and over never to trust a man who says “trust me.” 

When her services attract outraged headlines, Axie finds herself on a collision course with a crusading official—Anthony Comstock, founder of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. It will take all of Axie’s cunning and power to outwit him in the fight to preserve her freedom and everything she holds dear. 

Inspired by the true history of an infamous female physician who was once called “the Wickedest Woman in New York,” My Notorious Life is a mystery, a family saga, a love story, and an exquisitely detailed portrait of nineteenth-century America. Axie Muldoon’s inimitable voice brings the past alive, and her story haunts and enlightens the present.

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New Release: AfterLife (The Starbuck Chronicles # 1)

Zoe Dawson has just released the first book in a new adult urban fantasy series she’s writing – The Starbuck Chronicles.   Based on reading the book’s description, I can’t help but be reminded of Kim Harrison’s  The Hollow’s series.  Both are set in a fictional world where supernaturals live openly among humans and both contain plots centered around  a strong female protagonist solving a mystery or murder.  This is  a series I’ll definitely be checking out.

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AfterLife(The Starbuck Chronicles # 1)  by Zoe Dawson

Publication Date: May 19, 2014

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy (with romantic elements) 

Series Overview

The fine thread between reality and the fantastical has snapped. The mortal and supernatural must learn to co-exist in post-reality Minneapolis/St. Paul where video games leak monsters into the night, demons roam, thirsting for more than just blood, people are not who or what they seem and a diabolical evil plots and plans to devour the world.

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Lily Starbuck’s day doesn’t start well with blood on the horizon and a grumpy werewolf who refuses to pay his catering bill. Her day only gets worse when she finds out that her business partner in their catering company has embezzled all their available cash.

Lily can get no answers from her partner when she finds her dead. That’s the least of her worries—her landlord is evicting her, she’s being hounded by the Fairy Dust Administration (FDA) who suspects that her partner was dealing in illegal dust, and Lily’s pissed off their werewolf supplier.

With Lily’s very livelihood in jeopardy, she has no choice but to discover who killed her partner and try to track down the cash. She has only Spocko, a small, wizened gnome with just a bit of gremlin blood in him that makes him cantankerous at best to depend on, but he often goes invisible on her. Clues lead her to an open case being investigated by Otherworld Security (O.S.) and the tough O.S. Warden, shapeshifter, Tam Darkwood. And, at the outset of the investigation, a tiny, mythical fire-breathing, red dragon joins her as her trusty (and opinionated) sidekick, Kindle.

It seems a rogue mage has created a video game that is unwarded and game monsters are being released to terrorize the citizens of the Twin Cities. Trouble is Lily has reason to believe that this mage killed her partner.

The investigation takes an unexpected turn when they are led to influential and powerful Archmage Tarquin Wilding and somehow Lily finds herself embroiled in a sinister shadow Fae plot. With her friends at her side, she tackles dangerous and unpredictable supernaturals and monsters with an “all in a day’s work” attitude.

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