Friday, February 7, 2014

Five Fang Book Review & Spotlight: More than Magic by Donna June Cooper

More than Magic
Book 1
Books of the Kindling
by Donna June Cooper

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Publication Date:  4 February 2014
Length:  305 pages

About the Book:
When a terminally ill DEA agent tracks down a drug op to an isolated farm in the Appalachians, he finds more than he expected: a chance at love and a chance at life. But for the owner of the farm, sharing her mountain’s gift could bring far too much attention to the home she’s trying to protect.
A malignant secret could turn her mountain sanctuary into their tomb.

DEA agent Nick McKenzie is sure magic exists—a dangerous drug called Smoky Mountain Magic that’s wreaking havoc in Atlanta. He’s also sure that locating and eliminating the source will kill him.
When he arrives undercover on Woodruff Mountain, the beautiful owner’s awkward attempts to scare him off tell him something’s afoot, and it’s not her secret patch of ginseng.
As her dream of seeking medicinal plants in the Amazon fades away, Grace Woodruff struggles to come to terms with a magical gift she didn’t want, and searches desperately for the meaning behind her late grandfather’s final, cryptic message.
The last thing she needs underfoot is a handsome enigmatic writer recovering from a recent illness. Until an accidental touch unleashes a stunning mystical force and Grace senses the wrath of a malicious blight at the heart of the mountain. Now Grace must choose between her need to hide her gift from the world…and her desire to save Nick’s life.

Warning: This book contains a fiery redhead whose magic cannot be contained and a handsome DEA agent whose final case might give him a second chance at life.

Our Review:
I was thoroughly delighted by this book and recommend it for anyone who likes mystery, drama, humor, a great love story, and yes, magic. The opening, scene-setting chapter for physician Grace is both captivating and mysterious, and her very ill patient, young ‘Tink,’ absolutely charming. But what becomes of either of them? We are left to wonder.
With the opening chapter for Nick, we are introduced to a man who seems nice, affable, and certainly has friends who care about his well-being, but this intro is equally mysterious. What is he all about, what is he being sent to find out, and what is the underlying health issue alluded to?
When Grace and Nick finally meet, way back in a Southern mountain holler, the story unwinds with charismatic characters, fun writing, and rich scene-setting. However, this is not a RomCom – far from it. There is something dark, perhaps even evil going on, and Grace and Nick, along with beautifully precocious child, Jamie, must work together to uncover what that is, in order to ‘cure’ the mountain of its disease.

The writing is captivating, and one sign of a true storyteller is when I find myself so ‘inside’ the story I come out surprised I don’t actually know any of the characters personally, or have never visited the region portrayed. More than Magic is one of those, and I applaud Donna June Cooper on her first book. I look forward to many more. Very well done.

About the Author:
A transplanted mountain girl. 
As the granddaughter of a coal miner and the great-great-granddaughter of one of the Muscogee people, Donna was raised in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains - in the beautiful hills of East Tennessee. After getting a couple of college degrees, she was lured away from her mountains by a gorgeous Italian guy, who married her and carried her off to Texas. (Texas, by comparison to her mountains, is very hot and very flat—a fact she points out often to whoever will listen.) Her vocations have included a little bit of everything, including a stint as an IRS tax auditor, a few years managing a bookstore, and a career in the corporate world writing technical courseware and documentation, but her avocation was always writing. She enjoys being walked by her Jack Russell Terrier (if you know Jack's, you understand), belly dancing (excellent exercise and lots of shiny costumes), reading (three books at once, at times), and travel (with family in Italy and England, who wouldn't?) But, like any child of the Appalachians, she doesn’t stay away from her mountains for long, and visits as often as she can.

More Than Magic is Donna’s first book.

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