Stormwalker (Stormwalker Series #1)by Allyson James, Hillary Huber
View our feature on Allyson James’s Stormwalker.National bestselling author of Mortal Seductions
Janet Begay is a Stormwalker, capable of wielding the raw elemental power of nature, a power that threatens to overwhelm her. Only her lover, Mick, is able to calm the storm within her-even as their passion reaches unimaginable heights of/b>/i>/i>
View our feature on Allyson James’s Stormwalker.National bestselling author of Mortal Seductions
Janet Begay is a Stormwalker, capable of wielding the raw elemental power of nature, a power that threatens to overwhelm her. Only her lover, Mick, is able to calm the storm within her-even as their passion reaches unimaginable heights of ecstasy.
But when an Arizona police chief's daughter is taken by a paranormal evil, they find themselves venturing where no human can survive-for only together can they overcome the greatest danger they've ever faced.
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OneIt was already dark by the time I zoomed out of themountains, heading east toward the deserts and the town ofMagellan. The elevation dropped, the cool green of pinecountry fell behind, and the heat returned. Lightning forkedfar to the south, the approaching storm tingling through mybody like a lover’s touch.
By the time I reached Winslow and glided through itstraffic lights, clouds had blotted out the stars, but still therewas no rain. I took the road under the railroad bridge at thesame time a freight train rumbled over it, then I headedsouth to open desert, my Harley throbbing in the quiet.
Fingers of lightning lit the clouds with intense white,and I lapped up the residue like a greedy cat. I’m a Stormwalker,which is my father’s people’s way of saying I canharness the power of storms for my own use. On a calmday, I can’t work much more than simple spells, but put astorm near me, and I can make the wind, lightning, and raindance to my bidding. I’m good at it. Deadly.
Storm magic drove me crazy and left me more hungoverthan a three-day bender, but too long between storms hadthe same result. I hadn’t tasted a storm in the two weekssince I’d moved to Magellan to investigate the disappearanceof Amy McGuire, the police chief’s daughter. I neededa fix.
I took the turnoff that led to Magellan. The smudge ofthe small town’s lights beckoned to me from twenty milesaway. The larger glitter of Flat Mesa, the county seat, laya little north. The red taillights of a pickup bobbed aheadof me as it dipped and rose through the washes. Half of theleft light was broken, giving the truck an uneven look. Noone else was on the road with us.
A sudden gust of wind threatened to knock me off mybike, and a voice floated on it across the dark desert.
I skidded to a halt, heart hammering, and dragged offmy helmet. Wind buffeted me, clouds flowing toward methick and fast.
Daughter. The whisper was feminine, soft, almost loving.
Oh, holy crap.
The other reason I’d come to Magellan was to face mymother and stop her, like I should have stopped her yearsago. But I’d been too young then, too scared. The invitationto investigate Amy’s disappearance gave me the opportunityto return, and this time, I would fight her. As soon as Ifigured out how to.
Six years had passed since I’d met my mother in, of allplaces, a diner in Holbrook, where she’d scared the shit outof me. It was easy to convince myself that I was ready toconfront her while safe behind the heavily warded wallsof my new hotel, not so easy out here in open desert withthe vortexes beckoning to me. Here in the darkness, aloneunder this vast sky, I had to admit that she still scared theshit out of me.
Come to me.
“Like hell.” When I’d met my mother, she’d done herbest to make me her willing slave, but I had this problemwith free will. I liked it.
“Not this time!” I shouted.
The whisper died on the wind as lightning flared. Theelectricity of it sparkled through my fingers and pingedacross my helmet.
The storm magic was earth magic, which I’d inheritedfrom my grandmother, a small Navajo woman who wasstronger than she looked. My mother came from Beneath,the same realm that created the skinwalkers, and I’d inheritedmagic from her too. My mother didn’t much like earthmagic, because although earth magic had enabled me to beborn at all, it also made me strong enough to withstand her.
I put on my helmet, my fingers shaking, and glided onward.A curtain of rain washed over me, its sudden chillwelcome. I caught up to the pickup, whoever it was travelingslowly, and I realized that the encounter had taken onlya few short moments.
I pulled into the oncoming lane of the two-lane road topass the truck. Another sheet of lightning ran through thesky, reaching from the mesas to the south and spreading inall directions. It lit the clouds in cold, white radiance, andin that light I saw a giant figure burst from the side of theroad, heading directly for me.
I hit my brakes, cranking my bike sideways, trying desperatelyto avoid the impact. A horrible stench filled the airas the figure missed my front wheel and struck the pickupwith a resounding boom.
My back tire skidded out from under me on the rain-soakedpavement. At the same time, the pickup rose intothe air, almost in slow motion. It rotated once, twice, beforeit crashed to the pavement, landing on its cab. The pickupscreeched forward upside down a few yards, sparks flyinginto the night, before it lay still like a dead thing.
My bike kept skidding. I missed the truck by inches,was thrown free of the Harley, and landed facedown in arapidly filling ditch.
I lay unmoving in the wet dirt, the face shield of myhelmet cracked. My bike sprawled on its side next to me,front wheel bent, my legs just as bent under me.
No one moved inside the pickup. It was black dark outhere; I couldn’t even discern the color of the truck. I couldstill smell the skinwalker, though, lurking in the darknessbeyond us. My mother could control the things, who thrivedon the energy of the vortexes, and she’d sent this one to disciplineme. Not kill me—I knew she didn’t want me dead,just obedient. I wouldn’t be useful to her if I were dead.
I struggled out of my helmet. My gloves had ripped,and blood slicked my grip. I unfolded myself painfully andclimbed to my feet, dragging in aching breaths.
I heard the skinwalker coming back. The legends of mypeople said that skinwalkers were human sorcerers whodabbled in dark magic, wrapping themselves in skins ofdead animals to take on that animal’s characteristics. Trueabout the dead animals part, usually after they’d torturedthem, but skinwalkers weren’t human. They were throwbacksto the previous shell world, the one Beneath, wheremy mother was a goddess. Skinwalkers were evils, like demons,that should never have made it through to this worldwith the rest of humanity. But they had, clawing their wayout and breeding down the generations.
It charged me. The thing was huge, about eight feet tall,wrapped, as far as I could tell, in the skin of a dead bear.Faster than fast, stinking like the worst charnel house, itpicked me up and slammed me down on the road again. Ihit and kicked, making no more of a dent than if I’d hit awall. It put its filthy face close to mine, lips pulling backfrom yellow teeth.
I screamed. Not that it would help. No one lived out here,and whoever had been in the pickup wasn’t getting out.
The storm answered me. Thunder cracked in the distance,and I reached desperately for the lightning. I couldn’tcreate storms or move them; I could only use what naturedecided to give me, but if the storm was close enough . . .
Lightning flowed from the black cloud and into my outstretchedhands. I exhaled in relief. It wasn’t very strong,the storm still too far away, but it would help. I gatheredwhat lightning I could and threw it at the skinwalker. Theskinwalker grunted with the impact and danced back a yardor so, but that was about all I could manage. I scrambledto my feet.
Skinwalkers are damn hard to kill. This one was shamblingtoward me again. I reached for the wind and raisedmy hands to direct it at the disgusting thing. The skinwalkerstumbled. I hit it again and again with wind power, throwingsparks of lightning into the mix.
The skinwalker ran at me again, bent on destruction. Ididn’t think my mother wanted it to kill me, but did it knowthat?
The creature made it back to the road. Instead of pummelingme, it turned and kicked my bike.
”No!” I shouted. That bike was my baby. This old girland me had racked up a lot of miles. She symbolized myfreedom, my independence, me. I grabbed a handful oflightning and blasted the skinwalker. Electricity arcedaround him, but he still didn’t die.
At times like these, I regretted riding away from Mick,my man of wild fire magic. I’d seen Mick burn up a skinwalkerwithout breaking a sweat. Mick had made me crazywith his mixture of bad-boy charm, protectiveness, andelusiveness, but my time with him had also been the bestof my life.
Before we’d parted ways, Mick had given me six lightspells locked into little silver balls. I had one in my pocketnow, the last of the remaining two. The balls, when activated,radiated a white light that drove away every shadow—temporarily. They had no heat, only light, but they wereuseful in emergencies, against skinwalkers or demons orNightwalkers, creatures that shunned the light.
The electricity ebbed, the storm diminishing. The skinwalkercame at me, a murderous look in its red eyes.
The situation definitely qualified as an emergency. I duginto my pocket, digging out the spell that was about thesize of a ball bearing. It didn’t take much magic to activatethem, which meant I could use them whether I had a handystorm or not.
The skinwalker loomed over me, huge fists ready tocrush me. I lifted the spell ball, but before I could call it tolife, the skinwalker gave a sudden cry of anguish. A bluenimbus sprang up to surround it, one not created by me. Theskinwalker fought it, trying to beat its way out, while I stoodwith my palm outstretched, watching in astonishment.
The skinwalker ran off into the darkness, still surroundedwith glowing blue, until it was lost to sight. I blewout my breath in sudden relief and returned the spell ballto my pocket.
The stench receded, a sure sign the thing had gone. HadMama called off her pet? Or had some other entity interfered? I didn’t know, and at the moment, I didn’t care.
I limped toward the pickup. The next burst of lightningrevealed a dusty red truck that looked familiar, and myheart sank as I read the words on the now upside-downdoor. “Fremont Hansen, Install and Fix-It.”
“Shit,” I whispered. Fremont was the plumber I’d hiredto help me restore the derelict hotel I’d bought on the outskirts of Magellan. He was a friendly guy with a recedinghairline and innocent brown eyes, who claimed to have alittle magical ability of his own. “I can fix anything,” he’dboasted, wriggling his fingers.
I closed my bloody hand around my cell phone, but thefall had smashed it. Plastic shards stuck to my fingers, andthe battery dangled from useless wires.
I tossed the phone aside and crouched on the road nextto the pickup’s cab. Blood coated the inside of the driver’swindow, and I saw a head pressed against it.
“Fremont.” I tried the door, but I couldn’t budge it. Ihobbled around to the other side of the truck, my leg hurtinglike hell. The passenger window was open. I saw no gleamingpebbles of glass, so the window must have already beenopen before the wreck. The man lay in the blackness inside,upside down, neck bent unnaturally.
I fumbled in the debris inside the truck and found no cellphone, and the frame was too crimped for me to open theglove compartment. I withdrew, my nose wrinkling withthe stench of death.
Another flash of lightning lit the sky, farther to the east,the storm moving on. The lightning died, and red and bluelights took its place, accompanied by the wail of a siren. Isat down, exhausted, my back against the pickup, as a vehiclecame charging toward me, headlights blinding.
An SUV with “Hopi County Sheriff’s Department”painted on its side stopped a few feet from me, its tiressliding a little on the wet pavement. The door popped open,and booted feet hit the asphalt, followed by sharply creasedkhaki pants. The boots were polished to a sheen, strangefor a man who worked in the dusty desert all day.
Nash Jones, sheriff of tiny Hopi County, squatted downnext to me, regarding me with eyes ice gray in the glare ofhis headlights. Blearily I heard another truck pull up andmore boots crunch on dirt and pavement.
“Janet Begay.” Nash’s voice was flat and hard. He didn’tlike me. When I first arrived in Magellan, I’d tried to talk tohim about Amy McGuire, and he’d shut me down before I’ddone more than introduce myself. Amy McGuire had beenhis fiancée. Jones had hated me before he’d even met me.
He turned on a pinpoint flashlight and trained the lightright into my eyes. “You all right?”
“I’m alive,” I croaked.
“You ran into him with your motorcycle.” His voice heldno sympathy. “The impact flipped the truck. Am I right?”
“Something hit him. Not me.”
He didn’t believe me. “Can you get up? Do you needthe paramedics?”
“I think I’m okay.”
Nash didn’t believe that either. A woman in a blackcoverall came over at his signal, and she helped me stand.Nash abandoned me while the woman got me to the backof a paramedics truck and cleaned the blood off my hands.She checked me over, took my blood pressure, felt mylimbs for breaks, asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital.I said no but asked her for a lift into town, my motorcyclewheel bent like it was. She agreed but said she had to waitfor the sheriff’s okay.
I felt hollow inside. Fremont was dead in that truck.Dead because a skinwalker sent by my evil goddess motherhad missed me and hit him.
Nash Jones and his deputies surveyed the accident andstarted cutting the body out of the truck. I sat there sickand miserable. The storm was dying, leaving me drainedand sick as usual. I really wanted some coffee. Or a stiffdrink. I was a lightweight drunk, so I never drank much,but tonight I’d make an exception.
Nash returned and beckoned with a curt gesture. “Begay.Come with me.”
Probably the only reason he didn’t manhandle me wasbecause the paramedics woman might get mad at him.
Nash Jones had made it clear as soon as I arrived in Magellanthat he resented the hell out of my presence and the factthat Chief McGuire had asked me here. Nash had neverbeen officially charged regarding Amy’s disappearance, buthe’d been questioned as a suspect, and the talk on the streetwas that no one knew for sure. The things Chief McGuirehad told me about Sheriff Jones were . . . interesting.Nash didn’t touch me, but he made me hobble in front ofhim to his SUV. He opened the back door. “Get in.”
“Why? The nice lady with the blood pressure cuff isgiving me a ride home.”
“I’m taking you to the sheriff’s office. For reckless driving,possible manslaughter.”
“You are kidding, aren’t you?”
“I don’t kid.”
Jones could glare. He had gray eyes that could turn onyou with the intensity of a supernova, black hair cut in themilitary style he’d brought back from his army time in Iraq,and a hard, handsome face. I’d seen women in Magellanand Flat Mesa turn their heads to watch him go by, hislooks marred only by a scar on his upper lip.
“There’s something out there,” I said. “It hit Fremont’struck, hard enough to flip it. It ran off, but the storm’s dying,and it could come back anytime. It can tear this SUVapart like a paper bag if it wants to. Skinwalkers are friggingstrong.”
He answered me with a flat stare. Nash Jones was anUnbeliever, one of those people who didn’t buy the fact thatMagellan was built near a mystical confluence of vortexes,where the paranormal was normal. He’d grown up herebut derided those who made money from the tourists whoflocked to Hopi County in pursuit of the supernatural.
“Get in before I throw your ass in.”
“Were you like this in the army? Not believing anyonewho warned you of danger?”
“There I was with trained men. You’re a Navajo girlfrom a sheep farm. Get in the damn truck.”
“It killed Fremont, easy as anything.” I was close to hystericaltears. I liked gossipy, quirky Fremont.
“It’s not Fremont.”
I looked at him in shock. “What?”
“It’s his assistant. Charlie Jones.”
I’d seen Charlie helping Fremont work on my hotel’splumbing, a quiet, kind of scruffy kid in his late teens who’dkept to himself. I’d known his first name was Charlie, butthat was about it.
“Jones?” I repeated.
“My fourth cousin.”
“Oh, Nash, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
Nash gripped me under the elbow and all but threw meinto the backseat. “Stay there.”
He slammed the door and clicked a remote, and the locksengaged. As I suspected, the windows wouldn’t roll downfor the prisoner in the back, and a black grill separated backfrom front, with another one blocking me from the storagespace to the rear. I decided to be thankful that Nash hadn’thandcuffed me.
I slumped down in the seat, but I knew I couldn’t hide.If the skinwalker wanted to find me again, it would. I didn’tsense it nearby, though. The flashing emergency lights andactivity might be keeping it away. Skinwalkers didn’t likelight, noise, crowds. That didn’t mean it wouldn’t rise outof the desert and attack again when Nash drove me away.
I also worried about my bike. Would Nash leave it bythe side of the road like a mangled toy? I could imaginehim doing that, sending impound to retrieve it when he feltlike it.
I didn’t have much in the way of possessions, feelingfreer without them, but that Harley was important to me.I’d ridden her across this country and down into Mexico,first on my own, then with Mick, then alone again, whenI’d finally left him five years ago.
The bike represented my means of escape. No matterhow many roots I put down or how much trouble I got into,I could always throw a change of clothes into my saddlebags,swing my leg over my Harley, and disappear into thenight.
I saw the poor thing in the flicker of police flares, thewheel bent, the handlebars sticking up forlornly. It was amachine, a piece of metal, I told myself, but it was likelooking at the twisted body of my own child.
When Nash finally opened the driver’s door, I smelledno stench of skinwalker on the night. I inhaled, tasting theozone tingle of the storm. I toyed with the idea of snatchingthe lightning’s power and zapping Nash with it, but thatwould make me no better than the skinwalker. Hurting forthe fun of it. I shuddered.
“Should I consider myself under arrest?” I asked.
Nash slammed the door and put on his seat belt. “Beingtaken in for questioning.”
“Deputies are impounding it. It’s evidence.”
“Damn you, Jones. I didn’t run into that truck.”
“Save it.” He put the SUV in gear and pulled out past theflipped pickup as the deputies lifted my Harley and tossedit carelessly into the back of their truck.
Nash didn’t turn on his emergency lights, but he gunnedthe SUV and roared down the highway. Ten miles along,the road ended in a T-intersection, another narrow highwayheading north to Flat Mesa, the other south to Magellan. Myhotel stood here, at the Crossroads, a dark, forlorn squareagainst the darker sky. The Crossroads Bar, which shareda parking lot with the hotel, was lit and swarming withpeople.
I gazed longingly at the hotel, picturing my bedroomin the back with its waiting bed and bathroom, even if thewater didn’t work yet. That hotel was my haven, my defiance if you like.
Nash turned left, passing the hotel without stopping,and drove north toward Flat Mesa.
Meet the Author
Allyson James is a pseudonym of New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ashley, whose work includes the Stormwalker series, the Mortal series, and the Dragons series.
Hillary Huber is a multiple Audie Award finalist, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, and an AudioFile Best Voice. She has recorded close to three hundred titles, spanning many genres.
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Janet Begay, a Navajo Stormwalker through her father's family, is able to command the power of storms though powerful magic. She is also half-goddess, thanks to her estranged mother, a goddess herself trapped in the mystical realm of Beneath. Janet travels to the Southwestern town of Magellan to investigate the disappearance of the police chief's daughter. Magellan is located near several vortexes, gateways to the world of Beneath. Janet suspects her mother may be involved in the young woman's disappearance, as she will stop at nothing to find the key to open a vortex and escape from Beneath. Shortly after arriving in Magellan, Janet's mysterious ex-boyfriend Mick shows up in town, someone she hasn't seen in five years. Mick also possesses supernatural power, though Janet is unsure of what type of magical being he is, and he will tell her very little about himself. Janet knows that Mick can brandish fire without getting burned, and he is unaffected by her storm power. But what does he really want with her? Can she trust him to stand by her during the biggest battle of her life? Wow! I've been waiting for this book's release since I read the prequel A Little Night Magic in the anthology Hot for the Holidays. It was well worth the wait. Stormwalker was a page-turner! It was an action-packed urban fantasy, sexy paranormal romance and mystery/suspense all in one story. The plot is full of twists and turns, and you're never quite sure who's on the side of good or evil. The author has created a cast of fascinating characters - from a trickster god that changes from man to coyote to a bi-sexual talking magic mirror! I loved the first-person perspective of Janet Begay. She is an engaging heroine who had me fighting, cringing, laughing and crying along with her. She's the first character in a long time who could rival Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampires Series)! Any fan of urban fantasy or paranormal romance would enjoy this story.
I gave Stormwalker such a low rating for a few reasons. First of all, four chapters of info dump. I had to force - F-O-R-C-E myself to read through them because a) it's a book club book and b) a friend had already read it and said it was fantastic. Second of all, my issues with the main character. I know that these are both reasons why I rated this book like I did, and with that said, I can also understand why people would like this book. There are large expanses of it written well with engaging material and exciting 'stuff' going on - for me though, I couldn't forget either point a or point b. The Setting -- is a small town, in the middle of the desert in Arizona. There's not much detail given to the setting through the narrative except to depict it with a few, sparse words here and there. Usually it's to remark about the heat or the presence of a storm - which from the title you can denote is a fairly important aspect of the story. I thought that there was more of the beauty and misery of the desert could have been brought out to make the setting seem more alive. For an area that is supposed to be alive with energy and magic, I thought it could have come through more vividly. The Characters -- are going to get a bashing and a lot of loving from me. First off, there is Janet, the Stormwalker, who is an idiot. Okay, she's not a flat out idiot, and I know my distaste for her stems from my own biases to do with women who intentionally stay in bad relationships. Yes, her relationship-in-question turns out to be a good thing, but ladies, if a guy is bad for you - he's bad for you and you need to get out. Not romanticize what he might be and stick it out. You get out, suck up the losses, and move on. For a big chunk of the book I had to talk myself into reading it because I simply got very frusterated with her. I'll be honest and say that I finished the book because of Mick; the love interest. I will not give up the big surprise about him, but he made the book worth reading - for me. I thought that after reading one of the reveals about him that he could have come across as experiencing things more in relation to his true nature, but I still like him. He's what you want in a hunky hero. He has something dark in his past that makes it difficult on him, he's protective, he's sexy, he has this awesome power and he's the only person Janet can be around and not hurt. You can't help but love Mick for what he sacrifices and how you see him grow, or at least get the revelations of how much he's changed. Besides these two, there are other characters, like Coyote and Nash that make the story vivid. While I don't necessarily like all of these characters, they contribute to a very interesting cast of characters. The Plot -- was overall, straight forward. You went into it knowing that the big end game was. There was a caviate for what brought it about that's rather anticlimatically unfolded. The most interesting bits to me were the action parts when Janet was attacked or used her powers, and those concerning Mick. I liked the way the book ended and I'd be tempted to read Firewalker for Mick alone.
I think this book has the bones for a really good series. I really liked the main character Janet and to be honest was a little hesitant to read this after reading the other reviews. I got to say they are being a little nit picky this is a good book. Mick seems so sexy and mysterious to me I hope to find out more about him. All the characters in this book were interesting and that's why I think this series will do well, because I have an invested interest in all of them and can't wait to see how it all pans out. I'm looking forward to Firewalker. Keep an eye on this series I think its going to be a good one.
I had a lot of fun reading Stormwalker. I normally don't pick up paranormal romances, because I'm not usually in the mood to read a lot of sex, but even though there was a few sex scenes in this book, I didn't find myself rolling my eyes, or thinking "oh gag" due to overly mushy or purple prose. Which is refreshing, because sometimes, even in an urban fantasy (which I would expect to have pure adventure with maybe a bit of sexual tension, not a lot) where you are dealing with kick-ass women, sometimes you get some very mushy, way too tender scenes that don't fit in (well, to me they don't fit in). I'm just over the that, if I want romance, I look for a romance book. ANYWAY - that's why I usually don't pick up a paranormal romance, but I have to say that this book didn't seem to follow that paranormal romance formula (THANK god). This is about Janet Begay - who is a stormwalker. She can pull power from storms and use the power as magic. She also has a bit of a problem - she has two types of power battling inside her. Her grandmother is a Navajo magic woman. Her mother a mysterious figure. She grew up on Navajo land, with her father's family feeling like an outcast (ME TOO! not a Navajo, but I felt different than the rest of my family) She has quite a past....and quite a boyfriend from the past that shows up. He is the only person that could "siphon off' her excess energy after using storm magic, and the only time she didn't feel a horrible hangover is when her boyfriend Mick used her excess energy. In this novel, Janet has come to a small town to look for a missing daughter of the police chief. She has also bought an old abandoned hotel and is trying to renovate it to keep busy and have a place to stay. While she is dealing with finding a person who has been missing for a year, and trying to renovate a motel she has to deal with some hostile people (the missing girl's fiancee, who also happens to be sheriff), a coyote trickster, a snarky magic mirror (I want one) and her own magic mother who is making her presence known. I enjoyed the narration and the dialogue of this novel. There's one electrician that's been hired that just hates Janet, and yet Janet tries to make friends with her in a snarky way. The sheriff is a by-the-book sheriff that harasses Janet as much as he can, within the law. Mick - her ex-boyfriend shows up and refuses to leave, because he wants to protect Janet and Janet can't seem to force the issue. All of this could have been a melodramatic mess, but Allyson James works it in such a way it seemed to work well together. There were also bits and pieces of Navajo customs that were interesting to read - tidbits about characters of Navajo people and some of the rituals. I would have liked to read more about that, but it might have turned into a textbook. There is a sequel (Firewalker) releasing in November, so hopefully there will continue to be bits and pieces of the Navajo culture woven into that book as well. The main character and a lot of the other characters were Navajo or Mexican, which reflects more accurately the world I live in - which is nice to have in books. I wished the cover model of the book looked more Navajo. She has the dark eyes, and looks like she might have olive toned skin, but it's hard to tell. There are lots of clouds and lightening and an odd tint to the woman, possibly depicting evening, but the woman is not obviously Navajo, other than the silver band on her bi
Everyone spends a part of their life fighting off the demons that chase us. In the case of Janet Begay, a Stormwalker who has the ability to call the power of any storm and bend it to her will, that is a literal statement with actual demons chasing her down and trying to kill her. Janet's mother is the evil Goddess of the Beneath who is trying to convince Janet to join her in ruling the dark side of the underworld and taking over the planet. What Janet's mother needs is a body to serve as her vessel to rise from the Beneath and she sees opportunity in Janet's body and mind. But Janet knows she is key to whatever her mother is up to and fighting off everything that comes her way is not always easy and when she goes home because being that close to the mystical energy of the vortex from where her mother rules is dangerous but has to be done. Janet did not turn out to be the daughter of her mother's nightmare and running from the past has worn Janet down and now she has come home to face the demons literally and rid herself of their controlling influence knowing full well it may mean losing her own life. But trouble seems to come along for any ride Janet takes and before she has dusted her boots off she finds herself in jail and squaring off with the local sheriff, Nash Jones who is none too pleased to have her in his town. Janet is there to solve the disappearance of the sheriff's fiancé who one day never came home. He is part of a group of non-believers in all things mystical and believes if he the sheriff could not find her she is dead and he does not want anyone stirring up bad memories. But Janet is a master of stirring up all kinds of bad things and this is one mystery she will solve, once she gets out of jail. While she is there Janet also decides to reopen a hotel and renovate it to its former glory - what the heck it gives her something to do between demon fights and working out the issues with her boyfriend Mick who refuses to answer any questions with a straight answer. How is it possible she knows this man's body so intimately but not his last name? She knows he has magic and supernatural abilities but he refuses to give her a real reason for anything. There is so much trying to stop her and few helping that when even a coyote turns out to be on her side she says okay to his help. But some truths are revealed that even Janet discovers she didn't want to know about and tries her best to reconcile fact from fiction and fight to keep both feet planted in reality. Wow what a great book this is. The action never stops, the characters are so believable you feel they might be your neighbors, the romance is over the top hot and storyline is scary enough to make you not want to stop reading until you figure everything out - which you never really do because there is more books in the series... Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer located at www.marygramlich.com
Action packed enjoyable fast read.
I could not place this book down. I enjoyed the storyline so much that I can't wait to get to the next book.
I'm hooked on Janet! What a great series! Always something going on!
Great beginning to a wonderful new series. I love this author and I look forward to reading more. I highly recommend this book.
Awsome series. Adicting
Unoriginal, that is one word to sum it up. It was such an exciting read. The best thing about this was that you never knew what was going to happen and the author does such a great job of keeping things exciting. Every page was a page turner to see what would happen next. Each character had their own excitement and secret. Allyson did a great job of creating a world of hidden creatures, from demons, skinwalkers, dragons, witches and unworldly Gods. I like that the main character Janet, was a strong female character with her head on her shoulders. She is not the damsel in distress who needs to be saved on every page. I am very excited to continue the series with "Firewalker", which is about Mick. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
This is a Great series, I have loved them all....
Good series for those who enjoy the paranormal and romance. You have a half godess and half elemental witch. She is in a relationship with a dragon but the relationship is not easy. The series has gods, goddesses. Dragons, and shifters . It is set in a native American theme and she does give some history to help paint the picture for the setting. I realy enjoyed this series and look forward to any future releases.
Previously only read shorts by this author but was intrigued enough by what I knew to get and read this story. Loved the characters, the graphic landscape the author builds. You can see it all. Allyson James' story telling is powerful, fast paced, and natural. Loved this one enough to get the next two in the series. I will be adding Allyson James to my must read author list.
Book description on this site accurate. The most accurate review I can give this book is that I am now immediately starting the followup, Firewalker. Some of the other reviews seem to really rant or rave; I didn't get the extreme reactions after reading this book. I liked the odder mix of paranormal/spiritual/mythological blend in the worldbuilding of this book, not the same old stuff you find in the genre -- but, not completely 100% unique if you are at all familiar with some of the more popular Native American beliefs/legends that have also run through some other paranormal series (while in no way derivative, Mercy Thompson books come easily to mind because of coyote and skinwalker references). Caught up immediately in action/storyline. Very clearly set in American southwest (Arizona) and very much a modern day setting versus completely in a fantasy world or a modern/futuristic society with a lot of new stuff; one brief trip into realm of her mother. Would have rated another star if characters were a little more fleshed out; main character is one you root for and needs just a little more depth; love interests and other characters tantalizingly interesting but need more as well (the macho sherriff and chip-on-shoulder local hispanic girl a bit too stereotypical for me) -- with an urban-fantasy, modern-day setting the characters or worldbuilding or something needs just a little bit more to get a 4 star from me; the story/action really kept my interest so I enjoyed and will read further in series and by author. I put in paranormal and in urban fantasy genres (for being modern world) but no real "urban" to it, strictly small town and not as "light" toned as most paranormal romance..
I didn't really care for the style of writing but the story itself was interesting and kept me reading.
I really enjoyed this book. The whole series has been extremely clever with interesting twists on the shapeshifter/vampire theme. I can't wait for the next one.
These books are really good. I can't wait for the next one. How lucky she is to have Mick. Wow. I also really like the Highland Pleasures series she writes as Jennifer Ashley. Check them out too if you like that genre. If you want an exciting paranormal fantasy series this is the one!