A heads-up for those of you with excellent reading taste: writer friend Krista D. Ball has a new novella coming out and the boxset of the first three in the series are on for just 99c for a limited time (Amazon, Nook, Kobo).
The Spirit Caller Series is rural fantasy/paranormal, following a young woman who sees spirits (and so much more). Here’s the blurb for the first, Spirits Rising:
Rachel has no trouble believing in spirits. It’s the living she has a tough time believing in.
The man she’s in love with? Taken. The job she loved? Gone. Her neighbours? They’re taping religious tracts to her door. Then a rebellious teenage Wiccan accidentally summons the area’s ancestral Viking spirits — who promptly bring their thousand-year war to the remote Newfoundland fishing village. If Rachel’s going to have any hope of sending the spirits to their peace, she’ll have to stop drooling over unattainable men and trust her 93-year-old neighbour to help her stand against the spirits before their supernatural war engulfs them all.
Spirits Rising is followed by Dark Whispers and Knight Shift but, again, you can get all three for under a dollar. (You can also get the first free and then buy the others, if that’s your thing too.) Krista was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of the fourth book, Mystery Night (up for pre-order on Amazon and Kobo), which I read last night and thoroughly enjoyed.
There’s a lot that makes this a standout paranormal mystery series, from the setting (rural Newfoundland), the characters, the balance of darker topics with Rachel’s breezy friendly narration and humour, and well-built world. Mystery Night once again highlights one of the big things I love about Krista’s writing, though, which is the feminist-friendly angle she takes with her storylines. Instead of falling into the potential trappings of overly-idealized, Feminist 101 characters, the Spirit Caller Series presents real people with real (and supernatural) struggles, where diverse characters support one another in a world that isn’t always friendly toward them. Krista’s love scenes always present enthusiastic consent, violence against women is tackled in an honest, non-exploitative way, and when common romance tropes pop up–such as the secret love of your life showing up drunk at your house in a situation where he could be taken advantage of–the author subverts expectations in a refreshing way. Similarly, there’s a bit at the end of Mystery Night that was handled really well (no spoilers!), presenting a realistic situation that could’ve gone cliche but instead reaffirms why we love these characters and the stories. That said, the mystery and paranormal elements are always at the forefront, making this a great read for all fans of the genre.
The boxset sale ends December 15th and Mystery Night releases December 10. If you love a good paranormal mystery with humour, romance, heavy topics presented with respect and care, fun characters, and smooth reading, pick up this series ASAP and thank me later.
(Also, if you don’t like these things, pick the books up anyway and then send Krista hatemail ’cause that shit’s hilarious.)